Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkins, gunshots, and why dessert is always a good idea

We had a pretty nice weekend here in the queen city. Saturday morning we took Wilson to the vet for his follow up appointment. His ear treatment seems to be working well and he lost 2 lbs since his last visit so I'd say it was a successful follow-up visit. Seems the ear trouble is caused by allergies (shocking) so we just have to keep giving him Benedryl once or twice a day until the fall allergies run their course.

After dropping him off at home, we did our grocery shopping and then headed to Hodges Farm to visit the pumpkin patch. There were pumpkins everywhere! It's on a lovely farm with hayrides, face painting, snacks, and farm animals to see. We probably spent a good hour there walking through all the fields of pumpkins until we picked out a couple we really liked. Then we headed to another pumpkin farm near our house for some mini pumpkins for table decoration. We are definitely set for pumpkins and just need to do some carving on the big ones sometime this week.

Since Wilson didn't partake in the pumpkin festivities, we loaded him up in the car and headed to a new park I found on the Internet that is about 5 minutes from our house. I was expecting a small park with a little walking area, not the 230 acre park with the huge lake, soccer fields, fitness course, nature trails, paddle boat rentals and mini golf course! It was awesome! We had a nice walk with Wilson and tired him out for the evening.

Then we hit up a restaurant that sells awesome sandwiches.  Once finished, I coaxed Brian into this campfire s'mores ice cream dessert. Just as we started eating, we heard several loud bangs coming from the front of the restaurant. I thought it was someone banging on a table until Brian saw people running into the restaurant. Turns out someone in the parking lot was trying to sell some stuff and the person who was to buy it shot off their gun in the parking lot in an attempt to steal it. From the shell casings marked off in the parking lot, he fired all shots from the gun. So, 10 police cars, crime scene tape around my car, and waiting till the police cleared the scene and released us, we spent another 30-45 minutes in the bar area drinking beer waiting to go home. Had we skipped dessert, we may have become witnesses instead of just patrons of the restaurant.  These people are just lucky I didn't have to whip out my ninja skills and kick some ass.

At least Sunday was a relaxing day and the Vikes won. Good times!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So Much for 7-4

Only 3 days into my new hours and there is already a disruption in the schedule. Overtime. The good thing is overtime brings in more scrilla for me to spend on candy and records, but it requires me to do that pesky task of actually working overtime.

But, I really liked getting off work early and being home while the sun is still shining! Hopefully this will only last a month or so and maybe I'll go in for a handful of hours on the weekends to knock off a chunk of it at a time. I don't mind the work itself, it's being at work for so long that's tiresome. If only I could do the extra time from home. Sigh....

In other news, the weather here is still spectacular this week with perfect temps during the day and a nice chill in the air at night. Wilson has been in heaven with his evening walks, although sometimes he can be a handful but that's just what that cold weather brings...a spunky puggle!

I am looking forward to this weekend as we are heading to a pumpkin farm where we can pick our own pumpkins and hopefully enjoy some other fun festivities. I feel like some hot apple cider and pumpkin pie. Fall has got to be my favorite time of year and it's so nice to enjoy the changing least until that first snowfall shows up.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Tidbits

  1. The heating element in our dryer went out yesterday I was drying clothes with no heat. It takes for-ev-er. It probably would have been quicker if I just put up a make-shift clothesline in the back yard and let nature dry them but, with only a 3-4 foot high fence, I find that idea a tad bit tawdry. So, I guess I'll just enjoy the never-ending hum of the dryer until it can be fixed. At least, as a renter, we don't have to fix it.
  2. Other than the dryer fiasco, it was a pretty good weekend. The weather is perfect right now so we took advantage on Saturday and drove to the mountains for some pics of the beautiful leaves. There was definitely more changing color up there than here...we still have green everywhere (not complaining) but I think we could've waited another week or so for brighter colors. I'll have to upload those pics in the next couple of days. Fall colors or not, the mountains are beautiful.
  3. I got to change my hours at work and instead of working 830-530 with an two-hour commute round trip (on a good day), I now work 7-4 with just over an hour commute round trip. It's amazing what beating that dreaded rush hour can do for saving time and sanity.
  4. Brian decorated the outside of the house for Halloween and it looks pretty dang good. I'll have to get some pics of that, too. We have tombstones, ghosts, a scary pumpkin guy and a goblin here and there. Just giving the neighbors a glimpse of how we roll....wait till they see our Christmas display!
  5. I've been on a s'mores kick. And I totally cheat when I make them. I get my plate, put down the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow, and then nuke them for 20+ seconds in the microwave till the marshmallows blow up, then out they come for their graham cracker top hat. So yummy and they taste so good in the cool weather.
  6. Lastly, I have had to refrain from running this past month. If you recall a couple years ago, I mentioned the problem with the joint in my right foot. Well, apparently the drugs from my injection have worn off cuz that baby hurts once again. So, I have decided not to do the marathon in January and will hopefully do a different race later down the road, probably after another visit from the doctor. It's disappointing but that's life, I guess.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Late Weekend Recap

We kept pretty busy this past weekend. Friday night we went out for dinner at Quaker Steak & Lube where I had the best cupcaketini ever! A pink martini with sprinkles...sheer awesomeness.  After a great dinner, we headed home for some movie time and relaxation. 

Saturday started off with a trip to the vet for Wilson. He was not a happy camper to get poked and prodded. The vet here was way more thorough and knowledgeable than our FL vet. This guy was the doggy guru, although from the looks Wilson was giving him, I don't they will become friends anytime soon.  After that, Brian and I enjoyed a fun afternoon at the Renaissance Festival.  It's great that it's located about 15-20 minutes from us and was such an awesome set up.  I always enjoy watching the Washing Women, belly dancers, glass blowing demonstrations, the jousting, and the food of course! We ate our share of goodies and the weather was perfect for it. Plus, we had coupons and got in for half price. Good times.

Sunday consisted of finishing up household chores, movie watching and football, of course. I have yet to see a Vikings game but what can you do. At least they are kicking butt so far...knock on wood.

The weather is cooler this week, which has been nice and we've even had to turn on the heat for the last couple of evenings.  This weekend we are heading over to the Ashville area and I hope to get some great pics of the changing leaves. It's been years since I've seen it first hand and it should be beautiful up in the mountains. Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mid-Week Day Off

Both Brian and I took the day off today to enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures: the DMV. After 8 months of living here, we finally decided to get our driver's license, as I do not like to rush into these things too quickly. That and we both had just purchased our new FL tabs not long before we moved so I was getting my money's worth out of that first!  Unlike FL, we had to take the written test again, so we did a quick review of the book last night and both of us aced it...having taken this in every other state I've lived in except FL, I'm pretty familiar with the book other than each state's own quirky laws.  We were in and out in under two hours so it was a pretty painless experience. Once the licenses come in, we can get our vehicles registered (no one stop shop here) and then we'll be all set.

After that, we ate at a great sandwich place where I had french onion soup and a french dip-scrumtastic-followed by some errands before I went and got my hair done did with some nice highlights and a trim.

Now I just need to figure out what to do for dinner and then relax and catch up on some shows. Even though it was still a busy day, at least I wasn't at work!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Blame Netflix

After nearly 3 months of no blogging, I'm back for another run at it. Basically, I just wanted a break from it and other than reading posts and making a few comments here and there, I stayed away from the blog world. So, what brings me back? Well, I find myself having been kind of lazy these last few months. Not to say that we haven't been busy with work, traveling home to both Chicago for a wedding in July and Minnesota in August, checking out new locations and other things here and there, but as for any personal achievements, they have flown out the window.

I blame netflix. I have watched all four seasons of Mad Men. Several movies. Hoarding series (keeps my house clean). And started watching Private Practice. Through all of this lovely tv time, it has come to my attention that I haven't spent much time doing projects that I have on my lists...heck I've even been neglecting my reading! For shame! So, with fall approaching and three months left of the year to enjoy, it's time to dust off those lists and projects and see what can be accomplished.

And, of course, tell you all about it. Yay you! 

As for this weekend, it is gloomy out there today with rain throughout the day (sounds like a perfect tv day doesn't it) so I haven't decided if I want to chillax or do something productive. All I know is an iced coffee sounds wonderful and McDonalds is only a short distance away. Maybe I'll start with that....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Running...I kinda missed it

This week turned out to be a pretty good week for running. I spent last Sunday running on the treadmill in a gym that felt about as hot inside as it was outside. Needless to say, I was a sweaty mess when I left but at least I left with a couple miles under my belt.

Monday I did a couple miles outside in the evening. Just a little run/walk since I am still trying to gain back some of my running momentum and because I am blessed with shin splints from hell. Nothing like the feeling of razor blades scraping your shins to make you want to keep running!

I took Tuesday off since we went to watch a race with these legend cars at the race track, followed by a fireworks display. It was pretty good...lots of crashes and the ambulance came a couple times. These cars look like matchbox cars on the track, they are so small but very entertaining to watch.

Wednesday I rode my bike for an hour and then we just enjoyed the day. It was so hot out, a lot of time was spent indoors but we did get in some barbecue and fireworks shows, although it was pretty laid back. But when it's in the middle of the week and you have to work the next day, I guess that's how it goes.

Thursday I ran 3 miles after finally getting home from work around 8pm and ran again this morning for about 3.5 miles around 5:30am. I can see my endurance slowing picking up, although it is definitely coming back much quicker than when I first started running, which is a nice reminder when I feel like I'm not making much progress. Overall, it's been a good running week and hopefully I can keep up at least 3 days of running next week, even though we are heading to Chicago on Wednesday.

Note to Self: To keep your distance and endurance as a runner....refrain from a running break of 6-7 months cuz now it feels like I'm starting all over again.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Tidbits

  • It is hot as hell out there! It's been like this since Friday and we have a couple more days to go of 100+ degree temps. It's made for a lot of indoor activity time and movie watching since it's just too dang hot to be out there. We could go to the pool (we have a community pool) but I almost think it's too hot for that. Maybe later this evening...
  • This heat is also the reason I haven't ran since Thursday. Yeah, I think I could have pushed through it early in the morning, but going to bed after 1am kind of deterred that idea. Hopefully I can get some run time in this coming week or I may have to hit up the treadmill at the gym.
  • Work has been busy but pretty good. On Friday, my supervisor pulled me into her office to thank me for being such a rockstar employee and doing such a good job. So that felt good. Now if that praise could just be followed with a few extra dollars in my paycheck, I would be thrilled.
  • I finished up my latest read, "My Year With Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock. It involves Ms. Hancock losing her job and realizing how much of her former self has slowly disappeared over the years as well, so after reading a quote at a coffee shop by Eleanor Roosevelt, she sets out on a Year of Fear and basically does a bucket list of things she has always been afraid of doing. It was a pretty good read and I am a sucker for a good memoir.
  • As for this evening, I am looking forward to a nice steak dinner and a little more relaxing before beginning another work week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

My sister came to visit for the weekend and we had a nice, relaxing few days here together. The best part was that it wasn't one of those crazy-let's run around doing as much as possible-type visits but a nice one where we just hung out, hit up the pool area, watched some shows, and had some good talks kind of weekend. It was great to really catch up and enjoy one another's company. The time sure went by fast though!

My running has been off to a pretty good start. I won't be winning any races quite yet, but I've got  3 or 4 runs down already, albeit with some walking sprinkled in there, but it's a good start. The only bad thing about picking a January race is having to train in the summer months, especially since it's been in the mid 90s and humid as hell and we have 100 degree days looming ahead of us. Guess that will make those cool runs this fall feel even better. Guess it's ass-crack of dawn or late-night runs for this gal.

Other than that, it's been work and reading here and there. Got a book coming this week called "My Year with Eleanor" and can't wait to read it. Basically it's about a girl who tackles a bucket list. Can't wait!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Go Big or Go Home

I am not a runner. At least I wouldn't call myself one. Yes, I've ran some races...some 5k's, a couple 10k's, and even the Disney Princess half marathon in 2010, but I wouldn't call myself a runner. A swimmer yes, but not a runner.

So, what better way to make myself become a runner than this?

That's right! I have just signed up for the big race in January, the Disney marathon. Since I did my first 10K there (Disney Wine and Dine), as well as my first half marathon, I might as well complete the marathon at the happiest place on earth. Plus, it's an excuse to head to Disney again!

With 201 days to go, I guess that means I need to find a training program. Once the anxiety of this decision wears off...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Let's Wing It

The week days are so packed with work, schedules, to do lists, etc., that on the weekends (unless it's a necessity), we like to "wing it" and just do whatever we feel like on the weekends. Yesterday was one of those kind of days that we just went out and did whatever and had a great time doing so.

We started the day off at Subway, getting breakfast sandwiches, with Wilson in tow, before heading to Reedy Creek Park to do some trail walking. We did about 2.5 miles of walking before heading back home and showering for some afternoon activities. The conversation on what to do went something like this:

Brian: "So, what do you want to do?"

Me: " I don't know, but something. It's too nice to stay indoors today."

Brian: " I agree. So what should we do?"

Me: " I don't know. Maybe we just hop in the car and drive till we find something?"

Brian: "Sounds good."

And that's how we wing it. So we hopped in the car and headed towards towns in our area we haven't visited yet. After a nice lunch at a 50's diner, we ended up in Moorsville, dubbed Race City USA, and explored the area. We checked out all the race car corporations and drove around the town, which is very pretty, ending up in the downtown area where I, of course, spotted the Black Velvet french pastry shop. We picked up a mini chocolate cream cheese cake, this ridiculously huge cookie, and my favorite, a root beer float cupcake with straw in it. It was delicious and tasted just like drinking a root beer float!

After some sweets, we headed towards the Lake Norman area where we found ourselves on a floating dock at Queens Landing, sipping some drinks and watching all the boaters. It is so beautiful there and I could foresee a lake view home in our future :)

After a long day, we headed back towards home, stopped for some Mexican food, and then relaxed with a movie for the night. Those days of just jumping in the car and picking a direction can turn into fun-filled days of adventure. It's always nice to just wing it now and then.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekly Recap

Such a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in the queen city area, although it's pretty damn hot out there, but the skies are a bit overcast so it takes away some of the heat at least..that and I'm currently in the house so it really doesn't matter that much right now.  It's been a long week since I last had a chance to post a bit, but nothing really exciting was going on during the work week, just a whole lot of work.

I stayed late for overtime on Monday-Thursday this week, getting home around 730 at night, which doesn't leave much time to get a whole lot done in the evenings. I have been doing well on the exercise front by riding my indoor bike and taking Wilson for walks but could really use some good workouts of 45 min or so instead of just a half hour. The biking I usually do in the morning and I just can't get up before 530 since I go to bed around 1130 in the evenings. Yes, I suppose I could go to bed earlier but I am just not tired before 11 anyway so what's the point. Friday I went in early for work so I could leave on time and we enjoyed a nice evening at home plus a Sonic run for some ice cream.

Saturday was a good day. I was up with the birds at 6 am...really? So, I watched some House Hunters and exercised before finally getting my hair cut after 7 months of ponytails. I had the hairdresser take off 4 inches so now it's just below my shoulder blades with some long layers in the back and it feels so much better! Then Brian and I went to a small car show in our area before heading down to Charlotte for the Taste of Charlotte. We had a bunch of good kind of thing since you can sample so many different small portions of things. I had an excellent sea bass cake with coleslaw and chipotle sauce (my favorite), pork and brisket sliders, an excellent sangria drink, an oyster on the half shell (bucket list item) and ended with some delicious cupcakes of course. After we finished our afternoon adventure, we spent some time at the mall and finally made our way home for an evening of tv time and Chinese food.

Today has been a home day with laundry, some house cleaning and reading.  A nice, relaxing day to enjoy before heading back to the work schedule next week. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Travel Bug

Because moving wasn't enough travel for me...

One of my good friends just hopped a flight to Frankfurt, Germany today for a "last minute" trip to Europe. Well, I would like to hop a plane for a quick trip too! Where's my ticket? While some people enjoy new stuff such as new tablets, iphones, clothes, cars, etc., I prefer to travel anywhere I can possibly go, especially if it takes me to another country, which unfortunately doesn't happen all that often,(apparently you need lots of funds and a very understanding boss for this kind of lifestyle). I should also place some of the blame on House Hunters International as I tape many of their shows to watch and find new places I would love to visit.

Here I sit thinking about all the places I would love to visit. Some of my top choices would be Paris, Italy, Argentina, Iceland, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Spain. There are many more,  but these are at the top of my list right now. If I truly had my wish, we would live abroad for 6 months to a year in another country to truly experience a different culture and lifestyle, but I don't see that option on the least not any time soon. Maybe in those retirement years...

Instead, I shall just have to enjoy my little outings here for the time being. We have a trip to Chicago in July and Minnesota in August. We are also hoping to go somewhere for our anniversary in November, maybe a cruise of some sort. We haven't really looked too much into it right now. As for other travel, there are still numerous places to visit in North Carolina that have yet to be explored as well as many places in the U.S. I still want to see. The travel bug will be fed, just maybe with more local cuisine for the time being.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recent Happenings

Another week has flown by and now it's Wednesday already...heck it's almost June already! Hard to believe. This past weekend was pretty nice. We had some hot days over the weekend but I still managed to get to the park for a 4 mile walk on Saturday and Sunday, Wilson even joined in on Sunday. He loves his trail walks and seems to do better in the woods than walking the sidewalks, probably because he has more to entertain him in the wilderness. We did some barbecuing on Saturday evening and went to the Nascar race on Sunday. It was a pretty good race and, for it being the longest race, it felt like it went by pretty fast. We had seats in the fifth row just before turn 1 and it was great! But so. many. people. The campgrounds and all surrounding areas were packed. Reminded me a lot of We Fest in Detroit Lakes, but with more rednecks :)  Monday was just a nice relaxing day spent reading and doing all the household chores.

The previous weekend, my mom and aunt were here and we explored the antique mall for 6 hours (we shut the place down), went to Reed Gold Mine for a history lesson, which turned out to be way more interesting than I thought it would be, and we got to walk down into the mine. Sunday was our big excursion as we drove to Ashville, NC to visit the Biltmore Estate. That place is absolutely gorgeous! We spent the entire day there and didn't see everything because it is so damn big, but we made sure to tour the house, do the wine tasting, eat ice cream, visit the gardens, and drive around the estate. I'm sure there will be another visit in the future.

As for the exercise front, I have been doing quite well so far. Lots of bicycling (indoor), some push ups/ sit ups, trail walks and an exercise dvd even thrown in there. I have also started working on drinking my 64 oz of water per day, which feels like water overload when you're not used to drinking so much, but I keep chugging away.

Not sure what this weekend will bring. The antique show is back in town and I have some things I want to do around the house so we shall see. How is your week going?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And how do I bring sexy back?

By pole dancing, of course!  My friend A.M. has been going to pole dancing classes for about 3 months and loves them. She has been trying to get me to go with her but I haven't thus far because, it's dang expensive to climb the pole! Those specialized gym classes are not cheap, that and the classes are a good 20 minutes from my house, so it's not the quickest commute for me either, therefore very easy for me to talk myself out of going.

However, today she sent me an email of a groupon for 3 pole dance classes for $20 or a month of classes for $48 (usually $100). Hells yeah! Now that gives me some incentive to try this. After all, it is on my bucket list. So, I think I am going to pick up one of these groupons and, in July, strut my pole skills (I have other plans for June). As for June, I am planning on joining Crossfit down the street from my house for a month of hell...I mean, great workouts, yeah, that's it.

So, that is how I am planning on bringing sexy least for the next couple months. Can't wait to get some strongs again!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back

Cue Justin Timberlake's song....

I have been a sloth for long enough. Although I have made a few attempts at getting back into the workout groove, those attempts have been few and far between. This has resulted in a slight weight gain since our arrival here in NC nearly 4 months ago. Unacceptable!

It's time to start eating healthy again.
It's time to start exercising regularly again.
It's time to start using that new gym membership.
Or as Jen Lancaster said so eloquently in Such a Pretty Fat, it's time I stop sweating while I eat.
It's time to bring sexy back. She's been hibernating for way too long.

I could give you reasons for this need for change such as " I want to feel healthy again; I want to live forever; and I want to be stronger but I will be honest and state the truth: I am vain. And based on the title of this post, my vanity wants to be sexy again. Yes, all that other healthy, good for my body stuff will be an added bonus and I will love the added bonuses of my efforts, but seeing as I'm not getting any younger, the bottom line is that I want to get back to my prime shape while I still can do it and enjoy it. All the other stuff is icing on the cake.


Focus! Okay, so as I was saying, it's time to get back in the saddle and reach my weight loss goal. I would like to lose 50 lbs by December 31st. Hopefully, even with the thyroid, I can reach this goal if I stick to my guns and stay away from the bakery. Here's to a new start on the weight-loss wagon. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Be Bold...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

My mom and aunt are currently on a road trip, destination: my house. They should be arriving here sometime this evening. It's been almost seven months since I've seen them so it should be a good visit...hopefully good weather too!

Work has been stressful lately. We have lost several employees ( i blame crappy management) and there is a lot of work and not enough people right now. I've done some overtime here and there but it does make for long days, especially with a long commute.

I have been doing some morning workouts this month. Although I don't love getting up to exercise at 530 am, the long work day keeps me from being motivated to do so after work so, until my hours can be changed, I am going to keep up the a.m. workouts.

We have a lot of things planned in the next few months. Friends will be visiting next month, my sister will also come for a visit, we head to Chicago in July and Minnesota in August. Well, it appears it is time to start work so I'm off. Shorter day today to get home before the gals arrive.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I love Saturdays...

It is a beautiful day here in the Charlotte area. High 70's, partly cloudy, just heavenly weather. This morning we enjoyed a great breakfast at this cute 50's diner called Punchy's Diner. They had the whole 50's theme inside, lots of car pics on the walls, and some cool cars in a show window. The food was excellent as well and we can now add that diner to our weekend breakfast rotation, as we enjoy going out for breakfast at least once on the weekends. So yummy!

As we were leaving the diner, we saw a few classic cars drive by us and decided to follow them. They headed a couple miles down the road to this huge manufacturing factory-turned-antique mall in Concord where a classic car show was going on. Talk about timing! Of course we had to stop in and check out all the cool cars and spent a good hour walking around the car show before venturing in to the antique mall. That place is HUGE. We probably walked around for another hour in there looking at all the stuff before heading out again...I am planning on bringing my mom and aunt back there and didn't want to see everything twice in one we did a quick tour of the beautiful homes in downtown Concord before doing some grocery shopping and heading home again.

What was supposed to be a quick breakfast and shopping turned into a mini afternoon adventure. It's always fun when you can get a little excitement mixed in with those mundane tasks. This afternoon I think I'll do some reading and maybe go for a walk later this evening. These laid-back Saturdays are the best!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five for Friday

1. We saw The Avengers last night at IMax. If you like actuon films, this is a must see. 2. The weather is perfect here and I cant wait to finish work and enjoy the weekend 3. My mom and aunt are road tripping down here next Tuesday through the weekend and I can't wait to see them. 4.Since spring is here i am thinking i need some new lip gloss. Just sounds like fun. 5. Debating on a new phone. My contract ended last month so i get an upgrade but dont know if i want to go through the hassle. My phone is being an ass right now though...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Go Grandma!

No, not my grandma...

So yesterday, I was purusing MSN and noticed an article with the headline 55 year old cheerleader. With a title like that, of course I was interested! When I pulled up the article, it was about a lady by the name of Sharon Simmons, a 55 year old grandmother, who auditioned for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders this past weekend. Not only is she a grandmother, and would be 56 at the start of the season, she is also an author and a fitness competitor since age 50 and a fitness model. 

It had always been her dream to audition for the cheer team in her early 20s, but being a single mother with little disposable income, she chose to focus on raising her family. Now, she figures, this is her time to get out there and try to see where she can take her dream. I must say, she looks pretty damn good for 55!

I will be waiting to see if they state whether she makes the cut or not. Right now, the oldest NFL cheerleader is 42 years old. There may be a new record breaker!  This story just tells us that it's never too late to go after your dreams and see what you can make of them. Never give up and reach for the stars.

For her story:  Sharon Simmons Dallas Cowboys

Monday, May 7, 2012

The weekend here was pretty low-key for us. On Friday, we got to enjoy a nice visit from our good friend, Mark, who was here for the week for a trade show. It was great to catch up over dinner and drinks. We miss you Florida guys!

Saturday was basically a clean house kind of day. I cleaned up the kitchen, did the laundry and some other random household chores. We grilled out for the evening with some awesome chicken bratwaursts and side dishes and watched J. Edgar Hoover and Rum Diary. Both were pretty good movies.. I liked the first one cuz I love learning about the FBI and the Rum Diaries had Johnny Depp. Enough said there.

As for Sunday, I relaxed and caught up on many of my reality shows such as Bethenny Ever After and the Real Housewives of Orange County and New Jersey. Good times! Plus there was some good book reading on the deck. I finished, in the water they can't see you cry by Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard. It was really interesting to read how someone that strong and dedicated can have some much going on in their mind that can tear them down. A great read and right in time for the summer Olympics.

Today it was back to work. I must say, it is so nice to work in a normal workplace again. I forgot what that was like after my last place. My coworkers are normal and everyone does their own work and carries their own weight, such a change!  As for this evening, I have to wrap my niece, Morgan's birthday gift for her party this weekend....3 years old already! She's already riding a bicycle and is getting a pet fish from my sister so it's an exciting year for her! After that, maybe some reading on the deck and a little TV time.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Recap

This weekend there was very little relaxing and instead we had a whole lot of painting going on. Since we are now feeling settled in, we figured it was about time to throw some paint up on the walls. Some areas, such as the entryway and the dining room, will probably stay in the butter cream color they are right now because I like it and we have a huge ceiling in the entryway. We did change up the kitchen and living room in a light mocha color to go with our darker furniture and the kitchen cabinets. All the burgundy accents play with the color nicely as well. Yesterday, we painted the master bedroom a pretty lavender color and the bathroom will be a lighter shade of lavender to match. The white furniture really pops now and the black and white photos look awesome in there as well. We still have the office to do after this and maybe one of the other bathrooms, but the remaining two bedrooms will be left alone since they still look pretty good.  It's crazy how sore your muscles get from painting. I am feeling it in both the arms and the legs today.

Beyond that, I made a yummy lasagna for dinner last night and tonight is rosemary chicken and potatoes, which I should probably check on in a couple of minutes. My next house project is going to be the backyard. There is no landscaping, plants, etc. out there and it could use a little splash of color and a few shrubs...grass would be nice too! So that's my next mission, maybe in a couple weeks.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Escaping the Comfort Zone

Yesterday, I was reading through one of my Fitness magazines when I came across a section named Fit Life, in which it takes inspirational snippets from two or three people every month, discussing some way they have changed their lives for the better.

The one I read yesterday was about a woman who was 35 years old with two small children in tow who was invited by a friend to take a trapeze class. She was very intimidated by the thought of it, especially since she was out of shape and not sure if she could handle the challenge, but with some friendly persuasion, she went ahead and did it anyway.

As she stated, it was tough at first but the challenge of a new endeavor followed by the thrill of picking up the basics and getting the hang of the trapeze encouraged her to continue with the lessons and she now takes 2 classes a week and loves it. Not only has it become a fun new hobby, but also has greatly toned her body, especially her stomach and back muscles.

I find it interesting to see how people develop new habits, what encourages them to try new things, and how they are able to break out of their comfort zones and embark on a new adventure, no matter what it may be.

Some new things I would like to try is scuba diving, rock climbing, zip lining, and doing more traveling to foreign countries. I think it time we try something new and get out of our comfort zone, we become a stronger and more well-rounded person, even if we decide we don't like or want to pursue that particular item again. It's just fun to try lots of new things and make some wonderful memories along the way.

What is something you have always wanted to try but haven't done so yet?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Your Inspiration?

It feels like this past week has flown by, especially when I check my blog and notice that I haven't written anything in a week. A week? It's really been that long? Apparently so and I think I know why...I have had nothing much to say. It's been a pretty typical week here with work, home, dinner, tv time, wash, rinse repeat. You get the idea.

Hmm..idea, I could use some of those. Lately, since I haven't been scouring through "the list" or focusing my attention on any new project, I find myself with not a whole lot of content to throw out there. I mean, I just wrote nearly two paragraphs about how I have nothing to say. Good times.

So, it's time to find some inspiration, I think. I must say my most inspiring places are in nature. I think that's why I have enjoyed all my trail hikes lately is they get me out in the middle of the woods with the beautiful surroundings, scents, and smells. Gets the brain all happy and shiz. The water is another place I draw a lot of my inspiration. The sounds of the waves, the ripples on a lake, how peaceful a good swimming rhythm can be when you're swimming in the zone. Swimming as always been one place where I could listen to the sound of the water and not think about anything else.

I also enjoy reading quotes as a source of inspiration. Some are quirky, others thoughtful, and some just give me a good chuckle. It gets the creative juices flowing and the thoughts running wild. I guess with my inspiration waning, I should check out some of these hot spots and see what's in store.

What about you? Where do you find your inspiration?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

  • I tried some oysters for the first time last night. They were pretty dang good...although I must admit they were fried and I coated them with cocktail sauce. Still counts.
  • I also ate mussels for the second time last week in a big lobster platter. Pretty dang tasty this time around.
  • Other than food news, work has been brutal this week. Just crazy busy and I foresee it staying that way for quite some time. It's always nice to be busy, but it's also nice not to be buried. At least tomorrow is Friday so I am going to plow through my desk and see how much I can accomplish.
  • As for this weekend, we have a big car show we are planning on going to on Saturday. I am hoping for lots of cool old F100 trucks to look at and I don't think I'll be disappointed!
  • For the rest of the weekend, I am thinking maybe doing some household projects and, of course, all that pesky cleaning that always comes up. 
  • So, that's what's happening around here this week. How bout you?
  • Oh...and they already know me at the McDonalds drive-thru. This morning the guy said, the usual for you this morning? Yep, that's me, the iced coffee queen.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day at the Races

Today Brian and I enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day in Charlotte at the ZMax Raceway watching the races.
The weather was perfect for it, in the mid-70s and clear skies. We enjoyed some corn dogs, chili cheese fries, and tons of lemonade, and picked up some great t-shirts as well.

Here's some pics from our day:

Brian next to one of the cars

 John Force, very well-known drag racer


These ones were the loudest and this track is 4 wide instead of the usual 2 wide. We were shaking in our seats!

The only downer to the day was seeing one of the crew get caught up in the tire and flung up into the air. He got up and was able to walk to the ambulance, but it still shows how dangerous the sport can be.  Overall, we had a great day and got to see some awesome racers. My ears are still ringing, even with the ear plugs. Now it's time to relax with some beer and tv a lower volume.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staying in the Moment

Most people who know me know that I have this Bucket List. It has gotten so big that it should almost be in all caps: THE BUCKET LIST. It seems to have gotten that ominous at this point. I glance at it every now and then and review what's on there. Sometimes I change or alter something that is no longer important to me, and sometimes I add more items. I was reviewing it the other day, trying to decide what I want to accomplish next...there are so many choices! I would love to start at one end and keep going to the other end but there is a bit of reality that slaps me in the face: this list is EXPENSIVE.

Many of the items on the list require travel, money, and time away from work that I don't have access to right now. Although it frustrates me at times, I am trying to get myself to stay in the moment and enjoy the little things right now. Exploring the areas around me, taking lots of pictures, and working on the things that are free and less time-consuming. I don't want THE LIST to become another to-do list I feel I have to do. I want it to be full of wonderful things I want to do...when the time is right. Until then, I will enjoy this lovely glass of red wine and prepare for the new season of Deadliest Catch this evening. That's good enough for me tonight.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Sometimes in the chaos of life, we forget what's really important to us. We start complaining about the mundane things in life like traffic (ugh), our jobs, people who gossip, money, clothing, etc. It's easy to get caught up in all those things as they are part of our everyday lives.

But then something happens and we are reminded of what is really important to us: family and friends. Today, one of my coworkers received the horrible news that her mother had just passed away. I ran to her side to help her sit down and let her get her thoughts organized a bit before she drove home to be with her family. A similar situation happened to me several years ago and I could imagine how devastated she was by the news, especially when it's a parent. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family during this very difficult time.

It reminds me how important my husband, family and friends are to me and that having them in my life means more to me than stuff and the bullshit parts of life. Today is one of those days when I count my blessings and thank God for everyone I have in my life.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty laid-back in the Stachowski household. Saturday turned into a project day, where we did some of the little things around the house we hadn't gotten around to yet, such as putting together two new dressers for the master closets, hanging pictures, putting up all our ceiling fans, and putting up some mirrors, etc. In the evening, we relaxed by watching Real Steel, which turned out to be a pretty good movie. The premise reminded me a lot of Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone, not a bad movie for a rental.

Today we went out for a great breakfast at a local diner, picked up my rocking chair for the porch (yay!), did some more household chores and Brian tackled the lawn. I hit up the bookstore, a second-hand bookstore, for some great deals and picked up Julia Child's book, My Life in France, which I am enjoying so far. Now, we are just enjoying the evening before another work week approaches. I must say, these weekends go by way too fast!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Recent Purchases

I've been doing some shopping for the house since we moved here. I figured, we are in a whole new place, let's start with some new decor.

I found this mirror at the antique show that comes to the area once a month. Once we do all our painting, it is going to be placed in the dining room. 

These lamps, along with the other two selections below, I found at this great little consignment shop. I went in there looking for a cool secretary desk and came out with these items. As you can tell, I am going for a Parisian theme in either the bedroom or the office.

I am obsessed with the Eiffel Tower. I have a few black and white pictures of it as well. 

This purchase caught my eye when I saw the lamps. It has a much classier look than a cork board up on the wall so I think this will end up in the office. We plan on getting some new bookshelves and maybe a cute reading chair for that area as well.

Next weekend ( I previously thought it was this weekend) the antique show comes back into town with all the different vendors and we are planning on checking it out again. Maybe my desk will be there this time. Plus, I do want to find those awesome grey lamps I was eyeing up last time. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You know it's a good day when... get to schedule an interview for a position at a corporation you didn't think you were going to here from; and pick up your dead ipod, start pushing the buttons and yelling at it and the apple icon lights up. It's alive! Guess it just needed a break; and had the best dang BLT sandwich eva!

Good times, peeps. Good times....

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

  1. I have abstained from getting my McDonalds coffee for two whole days now! I think I deserve some sort of merit badge for this.
  2. That doesn't mean I stopped drinking coffee. I have just been enjoying the hot stuff at work instead.
  3. Remember my buy or save decision? Well, now I have a new one to ipod. Seems it has decided today is going to be its last day on Earth. It went dead this morning and no amount of begging, pleading, or incessant button pushing has brought it back to life.
  4. So now it's new Nook, new iPod or gym membership? (The ipod is going to win this one).
  5. There is a huge antique showing going on this weekend. I can't wait cuz I am really hoping I can hunt down these awesome lamps I found last month. A girl can dream, right?
  6. And wouldn't you know that my ipod quits working on the day I decide it's a good idea to start running again. Timing, I tell ya.
  7. Lastly, I have found a favorite red wine. For those who know me, I am not a fan of red wine and mostly prefer the white as I find the red to be too dry. However, Barefoot has an excellent sweet red wine that is scrumtastic. My new favorite and now I prefer that over the white. It's always nice to try new flavors.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Buy or Save

For the past couple of weeks, I have been contemplating some purchases and can't decide if I should just bite the bullet and get them or wait for awhile...or at all. The first one is a new Nook. I do miss m eReader but have been surviving quite nicely without it as well. Ai have been rereading several of my favorites and some other paperbacks I never got around to before so I have been keeping busy. It's about $200 for a new one (the one I want) so I just don't know. Maybe a library card would be a good replacement for now.

Secondly is a gym membership. I know. I know. If I spend the money, will I actually go. Plus,my job has a gym I could use, or I could work out at home/get back into running. That's free. I am leaning towards no on both decisions or maybe just picking one. What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Walking through Harrisburg Park

Here are some pictures I took while on my walk in Harrisburg Park last Saturday.  The park features two sports fields, several picnic areas, the local library, and horseshoe pits as well as a little off-road trail walks, which of course peaked my interest.

I headed through the park to pick up this trail. I love the feeling of being out in the woods, in the middle of nowhere.

That is, until I came upon this little gem hiding at the end of the trail...

The Historic Harrisburg Post Office and a miniature railroad area! How neat is that.

I forget what this building was supposed to be but it just looks old and rustic. 

You can see a little bit of the "lake" in the background and this wagon for the hobby shop. 

This was at the front entrance area, some antique pieces on display.

Can't forget the sweet railroad tracks! Apparently, the miniature trains actually run here but they are currently under maintenance.

Gotta love a miniature train trestle! 

I decided to take the road less traveled on my way out of the railroad area. This led me to a couple other connecting trails until I found myself back at the park. It was a great way to spend an hour outdoors in the a.m. Now, with all the trees in bloom around here, I can't wait for my next excursion.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Five for Friday

1. My little nephew, Xander, turned one year old this week. Such a big boy already!

2. I broke my damn nook. It got buried under a blanket on the couch and stuff got thrown on top of it, evidently too much weight, and now 3/4 of the screen doesn't work. Ugh. Guess it's time for an upgrade.

3. I am eyeing up two races, a 5k and a half marathon.

4. It is so beautiful here now that all the trees are in bloom. Can't wait for my next traik hike!

5. So happy it's Friday! Can't wait to do some projects this weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work, Weekend, Wednesday

Let's just say that you can't lose 26 people in one day and not expect it to affect the office. It's been a pretty hectic week with it only being Wednesday and I foresee this crazy schedule to continue for at least a month until things smooth out. Good thing I got my resume out there again :)

But enough about work...I never got around to discussing our weekend. We had a pretty good time enjoying our new place. Brian has been setting up his garage and I explored a park here in Harrisburg that was pretty sweet. I took some great pictures but can't get the printer to cooperate right now so I will have to try to do some uploading over the weekend.  Sunday we went to this great bakery and got a bunch of scrumptious doughnuts (red velvet cake! seriously!) along with a coffee for moi and, along with Wilson, explored a huge nature preserve in Reedy Creek. So many trails! So much to do! Wilson absolutely loves trail hiking and behaves so much better than on his regular walks. It was a pretty good time. We also checked out a great little pizza place in our area, which had great pizza and a killer chef salad. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy the evening.

Now it's Wednesday and I think I should probably go accomplish something before it's time to unwind and veg out for awhile. Or maybe I'll just read for an hour. Yeah, that sounds good too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crazy Work Week

It's tough enough to learn a whole new area of law coming into this law firm, but there is currently a major reconstruction going on with half the staff leaving and many more coming into positions, re-evaluating peoples' skills, shuffling the work loads, and the general chaos all of this entails that I have been leaving the office mentally drained every day this week. The long car ride home hasn't calmed my nerves that much either, but I did download a new book on tape so maybe that will keep me entertained on my long ride tomorrow.

Thank goodness for yummy red wine, a loving husband, and a puggle who's just happy to see me when I get home! I am sure in a few weeks the craziness will subside and the place will find some normalcy. Until then, Brian should just have a glass of wine ready for me when I get home :)

At least tomorrow is Friday!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Recap

We had a pretty mellow weekend. Friday night we went out for dinner at this awesome family diner here in Harrisburg. I had a great tilapia dinner and Brian had a philly cheese steak sandwich. The food is so yummy there with that great diner atmosphere...I do believe we will become regulars there.

Saturday was a big shopping day for the house. We spent hours in Ikea getting blinds, a pretty set of blinds for the patio doors, some vases and bathroom accessories and other odds and ends. I love shopping at Ikea, so many things to get and they are mostly reasonably priced. We also made sure to have lunch at the restaurant there...mmm Swedish meatballs! The rest of the day was spent at Home Depot, Target and Walmart. I think we got almost everything we needed.

Today I focused on unpacking more boxes and getting the office and guest bedroom in order. I could use some new book shelves for the office but otherwise it is pretty organized. Brian worked on building up his shed for the backyard and clearing out some of the garage. Wilson was chillin like a villain cuz that's how he rolls.

Now we are just waiting for some scrumptious pizza, I am enjoying some wine, and we are going to relax a bit with what's left of the weekend before works sneaks up on us again. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Well, apparently since I am the bomb-diggity, after only 7 days of work, I am being trained to take over one of my coworker's desks and all her clients. That includes the 7 or 8 ( i forget) different computer programs I have to learn before she goes on medical leave. Next Tuesday. Awesome sauce.

I almost ran over a ladder on the highway this morning. A few weeks ago, it was a tire-rim and all. What the hell peeps? Lock your shiz up so I don't crash my car. Thank you.

Still haven't gotten my hair cut. It's been 6 months and it's definitely in need of some upkeep. Thank goodness for ponytails! Maybe in the next week....

Speaking of upkeep, I think it's time I get back into some type of eat healthy/exercise daily kind of plan instead of the eat crap/haul boxes plan I have been focusing on lately.

Found another antiques place to hit up one of these this weekend. I am looking for a nice secretary desk to go in the fourth bedroom. I am all about getting my vintage on!

It's thirsty Thursday! I think I'll have a beer. Later!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moving Update

Well, we are all moved in to the new house. I think we both agree that we love this place already. It's so nice and roomy with lots of storage for all our stuff and it will be so nice to find a place for everything because living in chaos is not for me!  We have actually made a really good dent in the boxes so far. The master bedroom is nearly done, the bathrooms, and the kitchen. The living room is getting close and then it's just all the remaining stuff for the guest rooms and office, which are on a slower time frame. I have put in a couple hours tonight after our two full days and will probably do the same tomorrow and Friday and then hit the rest of these boxes on the weekend. We also want to do some painting before anything goes up on the walls so we'll probably check that out this weekend as well. 

It is tough to learn a new area, move into a new home and learn a new job. My brain is mighty tired by 11pm and none too happy to get up at 6 either! After a couple weeks I am sure we will have a routine down and all the stuff will be put away and we will be ready for everyday living. Until then, I guess we just keep plugging away. Once the house looks a little more presentable, I'll take some pics and post them. After all that house hunting, it sure is nice to have a place we really like to call home.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Antiques and Trails

This weekend we managed to get out of the house and enjoy the area a bit.  On Saturday, we headed over to a big antique show they do in the area once a month.  I think we spent a good 3 hours there looking at all the antiques and collectibles.  I found a bunch of great items that I wanted but settled for just a couple of them. We picked up a cute wine style chalk board for the kitchen to go with the rest of our wine items and also a beautiful white distressed wood mirror that I may put in either the dining room or office. It is beautiful and I can't wait to head back for some more pieces next month when the show arrives again.  I love shabby chic design and am trying to design some of the new place on this concept.  It's always fun to shop for new stuff! I'll have to take a picture of it to post once we are moved in.

Today was pretty low key. We had a nice breakfast at home and hit the trails with Wilson in the afternoon. I think we managed 3 miles before turning around and heading home, which is pretty damn good for the puggle.  This evening I made a nice pork chop dinner and am enjoying a glass or two of wine and waiting on The Walking Dead to start. Oh yeah, and packing since we are moving in our new place tomorrow.

So, that sums up our weekend adventures. Can't wait for moving day tomorrow and finally getting our stuff back. You really learn to appreciate your things when you don't have them! Once we are settled, maybe I'll get some pics of the new place up on here as well. Until then, hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Review/March Goals

Well, we have made it through another month already...where oh where did February go?  Time to reflect on the goals I made for the month and decide on what's in store for March.  As for February's goals, they were:

1. Find a house.
2. Find a job I enjoy.
3. Exercise 4 days a week.
4. Keep reading.

So how did I do?

1. We did find a house and move in on Monday. Yay! Once we are moved in and the dust settles, I will probably post some pics of the place.

2. Check on #2 as well. I have finished a week of my new job and so far so good, although the commute is less than stellar. Took me an hour to get home today. Thank goodness for books on tape.

3. Um..monumental fail. I exercised a day here, a day there and sat on the couch the rest of the days. Maybe that's another one for this month.

4. I did pretty good with the reading but could probably have devoted a few more hours to it. I'll give myself half credit for this one.

All in all, a pretty successful month. So what's in store for March?  Hmmm....

1.  Exercise 3 days a week.
2.  Explore someplace new, whether it's a new trail, town, or shopping center
3.  Try a new bottle of wine
4.  Read 2 new books.

Yep, pretty low key this month. What about you? Any plans or goals?

Monday, February 27, 2012

How about 5 on Monday

  1. I have 3 days under my belt at the new job and it's going pretty well so far. I always hate starting new jobs. I want to know everything right away. Hate not knowing the process of things but it will all come together six months from now.
  2. Did I mention we found a house? We get to move in next week. It will be so nice to get our stuff back again. I sure miss our bed and couch and all my kitchen stuff.
  3. I've been battling a cold these last few days. I haven't been sick since January 2011. Damn it! I wanted that streak to keep going! Oh well, hopefully it will pass in a few days.
  4. We had a nice weekend trying new restaurants, checking out the motorcycle show, and roller derby in the evening. Roller derby is boring. Don't think we'd waste the money to see another one.
  5. We ate at Hardees for the first time in years. The Frisco burger still rocks.
That's all she wrote!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hiking the Trails

Since the weather has been so beautiful here in the afternoons, and I don't start work until tomorrow, I have been taking advantage of the good weather and getting in some good hiking at the nature preserve in  Historic Latta Plantation.  The area is so beautiful and filled with trees, trails, and even horse back riding, which I may take up one of these days.  There are a variety of trails to choose from, ranging from low key, to the hill trail, cove trail, and split rock trail. They all wind through miles of forestry, streams, and even a beautiful gem of a lake in the center.

Yesterday, I was out there for nearly two hours exploring the different trails and the nice thing is starting off on one trail and then picking up different ones throughout the walk.  It is so quiet and serene there and I am looking forward to heading out there this afternoon for another long hike. The scenery reminds me of the Midwest and the hills, valleys, and crisp air are a nice change from heat, humidity, and flat lands.

I had pictures to show but my phone is being difficult with sending them to my email so maybe I'll take the camera with me for some shots. It's so pretty now even with though most of the trees have no leaves, I can only imagine how pretty it will be when spring arrives. Can't wait to explore some other parks in the area as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Recap

Well, we had a pretty laid-back weekend here in NC. Friday night we went out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and I some steak and lobster, followed by a huge apple crisp dessert that was scrumtastic! Thank goodness Brian and I decided to split one...they are definitely "shareable" desserts.

Saturday we ran some errands in the a.m. and then headed to the mall for some much-needed shopping.  Now that I have landed a job, it felt like a good time to update my wardrobe. It's always good to have an excuse to go shopping! This mall is wonderful and has all the good stores, including a few treasures from the Midwest..I didn't know Maurices was still around! I think I got 6 tops for work, 3 pairs of dress pants and a couple t shirts. Next up will be jean shopping and shoe shopping but I may hold off on that for a few weeks. We ended our shopping excursion with a bite to eat at good ole Chili's.

As for yesterday, it was a pretty lazy Sunday. The weather went from beautiful 60's and sunny on Saturday to dreary and rainy on Sunday, so we watched a few movies and enjoyed some chill time.  When it was time to take Wilson for his evening walk, I noticed it was snowing outside. Now that's something I haven't seen for many years, so Wilson and I enjoyed a nice walk in the snow. It didn't last too long and the remnants are long gone already, except for the ice on the hood of my car, but the temps are supposed to return to the low 50s today so I'm sure it won't take long to melt. And of course we ended the evening watching The Walking Dead on TV. Can't miss that!

So that about sums up our weekend. How was yours?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five for Friday

  1. I am going to be an Auntie again! Found out my sister is pregnant again and is due in September. Can't wait to find out if it's a boy or girl. Yay!
  2. I am looking forward to going back to work but will miss my daytime court shows i.e. Judge Judy, The People's Court and Judge Mathis. It cracks me up what some people will sue for on these shows.
  3. I see Jen Lancaster is coming out with another book soon. Can't wait till I can read it. Her sarcastic humor makes me giggle.
  4. Speaking of books, anyone have some good suggestions? I am running low on my supply and could use a couple new ones. I was contemplating The Hunger Games...Shannon, you've read them, right? What did you think?
  5. I wish I had my crock pot. All this chilly weather makes me want to cook comfort foods and bake cookies. Guess I'll have to settle for pizza and cupcakes instead. Mmmm...I can live with that. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm Employed!

Remember me mentioning the interview I had on Friday? Well, I had a really good feeling about that law firm when I left. The people I spoke with were really nice, the building was beautiful and the offices were all brand new, and the whole place just gave me one of those feel-good vibes. Even though I had two other interviews set up, I felt good about this one right away.

Well, they must have had some feel-good vibes about me as well because they contacted me yesterday about a job offer. I thought about it for about 2 minutes after listening to the offer and accepted. It just feels like the right choice and the law firm appears to be well-respected, not to mention quite a large firm as well specializing in 9 different areas of law. So, there is plenty of room for growth and opportunity, which is always a nice thing to have as well. I start next Thursday and can now actually enjoy this last week of time off before my worker bee status begins again.

And how did I celebrate the news? With a McDonald's vanilla iced coffee of course!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running Woes

I must admit, I haven't been out running in quite some time. Weeks...maybe a month or two? I'm not even sure how long except that it's been too long. Here's the thing: I don't love running when I have to start all over from scratch again, which is where I feel I'm at right about now. I'm sure I can run farther right now than when I first started running a few years back, but it's nowhere near where I used to be in 2010 and the thought of struggling through those first few months of starts, stops, shin splints, etc. makes me want to stay on the couch instead of lacing up my shoes.

Also, it's cold outside. At least it was the last few days. So that's another reason for my laziness. That and I really don't have any good running trails in my area that I can utilize right outside my doorstep. NC is not known for its shoulders on highways, in fact, I hardly see any here so I think I may have to drive to a park area or trails to run safely, at least until we get into our own house and the neighborhoods may be more conducive to running.

Or I could just get off my lazy butt, go to the gym and run on the treadmill. That may be my option right now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Randomness

Sitting here with the heat blowing on me, covered in blankets, and sipping on some yummy coffee is how I am starting my Sunday morning here. First of all, it is cold here. Ridiculous cold. Cold I haven't felt in years, not since we lived in Chicago since we haven't been home for Christmases in the great white north since moving to FL over 5 years ago. It's got to be in the 20s or teens right now. So glad I packed my warm winter coat, now if only I had packed some gloves as well!

I had a job interview on Friday with a law firm which went pretty well. The people are so nice and friendly here that it's almost a culture shock from FL people. I have two more interviews coming up this week so hopefully something will pan out soon.

We have continued exploring our neighborhoods and getting to know the area. I think this transition period is always tough because everything is new. I need to find new doctors, dentist, gym, local stores I like, favorite food places and local hangouts. It's great to try new things, but everyone likes the old and familiar at the same time. I'm sure in a few months, we will be more settled and, most importantly, we will have our stuff out of storage and will be in our own place again.

Oh, and how sad is it that Whitney Houston has passed away? 48 years old is still so young. It is awful to see how much she declined over the years. She had such a beautiful voice.

Alright, time for some reading. With all this time off, I have been dedicating a lot of time to reading and will have to replenish my supplies after my latest book. Hopefully I can find some good ones that peak my interest. Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

25 Things

1. My middle name is Rae.

2. My favorite color tends to change over the years. When I was young it was pink, then green, and now I’ve settled on purples.

3. I prefer white wine over red.

4. I am the oldest of three but the only one without children yet.

5. I love, love, love to-do lists. Many of my posts are in list format. As you can tell…

6. I really like listening to books on tape. It sucks that they usually cost more than buying the book.

7. I just got married in November 2011 but have known my husband for 11 years.

8. Extreme heights make me nauseous-that’s why I jump from them.

9. I love the north but hate winters. I live in the south but hate humidity.

10. Swimming is my favorite sport and I rock at it. I could swim farther than I could ever run.

11. Valentine's Day is overrated...

12. But I better get something nice :)

13.  I never used to eat onions. Hated them. Until Brian showed me they weren't so bad...sometimes.

14. I would love to have a second home in Key West or Costa Rica.

15. Especially Costa Rica cuz it's just so beautiful, laid-back and so much to do.

16. I find the beach to be peaceful but the mountains to be mesmerizing. I think it's the challenge of climbing to the top of them that makes them rock.

17. I don't trust people until they've earned it.

18. It makes me so happy to be an auntie. I have a wonderful niece and nephew who are absolutely adorable.

19. I don't mind driving but hate getting lost. Thank goodness for GPS.

20. I have 2 tattoos.

21. and have pierced my ears 5 times (3 in left, 2 in right)

22. and my belly button pierced, which was the least painful of all of them.

23.  I think it would be awesome to live in Europe for a year, either Paris, London, or somewhere in Italy.

24.  I love taking pictures but never remember my camera.

25. Last but not least...I started this post 3 weeks ago and just finished it today. Yep, still a procrastinator.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

  • Patience is a virtue I haven't quite mastered yet. I have applied to several jobs in the last week or so and waiting to hear from these firms/companies is brutal! Although I enjoy having some time off to do other things, it's always nice to know you have a job to head back to in the near future. I am sure things will all work out in the end, but the waiting game is frustrating.
  • I started last week off well with exercise and eating right. I hit up the gym in our complex, have taken many walks, and did some exercise tapes-yoga is my go-to video lately-and then managed to take off Sunday for some Superbowl eats and Monday, well, just because.  Today I am getting back on the wagon and going to do a video and take Wilson for a power walk.
  • Speaking of Wilson, he sure is loving his walks every day and can't wait for his trips around the complex. It's pretty chilly these last couple of days but he loves it. He's already down almost 2 pounds so I can't complain about that.
  • Being home has me flipping through TV channels and I have rediscovered my love for daytime court shows such as Judge Mathis and Judge Judy. Those two crack me up and it's hilarious what people will try to sue for on these shows.
  • We are still house hunting but have found some great ones we hope to look at this week, so I am hoping we have something locked down soon.  Although our current place is nice, I will be happy to have my own furniture and the rest of our stuff back.
  • Last but not least, it's friggin cold out today! There was actually frost on the windshields this morning. We were spoiled with warm temps last week and now we are feeling some real winter temps here. Let's face it, it's not MN winter temps, but after several years in FL, these chilly days take some getting used to. It is nice to expand the wardrobe to long sleeves, pants, and socks though.

Friday, February 3, 2012

5 Things Friday

  1. I miss my car. Can't wait for it's arrival in the next day or two. It's funny how we managed to get here in 11 hours but my car takes 10 days to arrive!
  2. I am a Real Housewives junky. They have been running marathon episodes of the Orange County season (new season starts next week) and I catch myself watching too much. Must say no!
  3. I miss our DVR. Now we either miss our shows or have to watch them in "real" time, and with commercials. The horror! :)
  4. I made it to the gym yesterday for a treadmill workout. It felt good to get a good exercise in plus all this walking with Wilson is keeping me active, plus Wilson is loving his walks.
  5. The great thing about moving to a new location is all the new food places to try. We hit up a great Irish pub and I had some fantastic fish and chips platter and yesterday we found a pretty good pizza place. So scrumptious!
Besides the 5 things, house hunting continues. Job hunting continues. Hopefully these will be resolved in the next couple weeks. Happy Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wedding Pics Part 2

The wedding dress. I really loved this dress. Totally felt like a rock star wearing it.

A cute pic of the rings resting in my flowers.

One of my favorite balcony shots

It was so windy up there but my hair held strong!

My shoes and only lasted about an hour into the reception.

Glamour shot!

The ladies' bouquets. So pretty!

They'll be more pictures to come. It was such a memorable day and I enjoy showing everyone some of our wonderful memories. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Review/February Goals

Well, January has come to a close and all I can say is, "What?! Already?!!" It's been a crazy month for us but things are starting to settle down a little bit now so that's something to look forward to at this point. So, how did January go? Well...

We made the move to North Carolina and have settled into our apartment, which is really quite fabulous I must say. We spent the afternoon yesterday looking at houses and found one we both really liked, but still have a few more to look at so we are just taking our time and making sure we choose the right one.

I have been looking for jobs as I became unemployed due to our move and have had some good responses so far. Here's hoping for some positive outcomes.

I read three books in January, not quite a book a month but it was a hectic month so I'm cutting myself some slack here. That and some books are friggin long!

No weight loss. Very little exercise other than packing, unpacking, and cleaning.

As for February goals, I have some specific ones in mind:

1. Find a house.
2. Find a job I enjoy.
3. Exercise 4 days a week.
4. Keep reading.

Pretty simple and straightforward for this month. Here's to a successful month!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

  1. We're here NC! We arrived on Saturday and spent Sunday moving into our corporate apartment which we will be staying in for the next month.  It's very nice and in a great area with local shops in walking distance so it's a pretty nice set up. Wilson is adjusting well and is already loving his daily walks.
  2. I am still on the job hunt but am hopeful something pans out soon. In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy the time off and maybe tackle some small tasks in the interim.
  3. The weather is pretty sweet right now. It gets chilly in the evenings but the highs this week are in the 60s and may reach 70 tomorrow, which is a pretty good way to settle in to our new surroundings.
  4. It's tough not having all of our stuff with us. We have just what we needed to get by for the next month but I miss my bed and our furniture already. It's good to "rough it" now and then though. :)
  5. Walmarts and Targets are hidden gems around here. There are only 2 or 3 of them each within a 20 mile unlike having them everywhere in Florida. We are on the hunt for one of them today and maybe some house hunting as well.
That's pretty much what's been happening these last few days. My car should arrive sometime this week and then I can do some more exploring as Brian starts work tomorrow. Time for some coffee....McDonald's is walking distance away. So blessed :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clearly it was meant to be...

Wednesday was my last day of work. Besides a few good coworkers, I really wasn't sad to go and enjoyed finishing up my last-minute things, passing off any remaining files, and clearing out the remainder of my desk. In my exit interview, I wished my bosses farewell and told them I would keep in touch, stating I am curious to see how everything turns out with our latest projects and to get updates on what everyone is doing down the road. Then I said all my goodbyes and left without any regrets.

Yesterday, while we were in the middle of the packing and moving process, one of my coworkers sends me a message. She tells me that they just got out of an office meeting whereby they were told the office is going to be shut down in a few months and everyone is out of a job. Wow. Talk about timing being everything. Clearly, us taking on this new move to Charlotte was the right thing to do and I am even more certain we are making the right move at this time.

I guess things really do happen for a reason.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bucket List: Try Mussels

I always like to accomplish goals, even when I'm out on the town. Last night I went out with a couple of my best buds to Bonefish Grill, a great seafood place with excellent drinks.  We sipped on some delicious cosmos (so scrumptious), enjoyed some appetizers of bang bang shrimp and decided to order another that is on my bucket list. The mussels.

Mussels have always intrigued me. Here in south Florida, I see many people ordering these suckers up in pizza places, Italian restaurants, and of course anywhere seafood can be found.  I found these little critters to be interesting yet daunting. But, since I had put it on the list and the ladies, of course know all about my bucket list, we decided to give them a try. The best part was that neither AC or MN (the girls) had tried them before so it was a first for us all.

They came to the table in a huge bowl and we just sat and stared at them for a moment. Then everyone grabbed a shell with our cute miniature forks and we did a round of pictures cuz you have to have pics of these momentous events in life! After staring down the little critter, I took the plunge and ate it. The girls followed suit. I had a few more just to put a dent in our bowl and pulled out the list (oh yeah, a copy of it is in my purse, what of it?) and marked the occasion. Our waitress even congratulated us on our first mussel meal, and them took the rest of them away.

The verdict on mussels: they're not horrible or slimy and the consistency is not bad. The sauce they were cooked in: a lemon garlic sauce with tomatoes, was delicious. Overall though, I probably won't get them again. I think I'll stick to my shrimp and lobster, but I'm still happy I finally tried them and got to do so with some awesome friends as well.  It turned out to be a great night with lots of laughter, good drinks, great food, and a cross off the bucket list. Can't beat that.

I'm gonna miss those girls...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

60 Days

I really want to get back into running again and have found a race to sign up for, the Charlotte Motor Speedway half marathon on March 25th. They claim it’s a relatively flat-surfaced race overall so I wouldn’t have to deal with too many hills, but it’s a mere 60 days away. I am wondering if it’s really logical that I could train hard enough to be able to run the distance in such a short period of time.

Should I give it a whirl or wait for a later race…any thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

Even with all the chaos going on right now, we had a pretty nice weekend. Friday night we spent time doing projects around the house/garage getting things in order and then spent time lounging on the couch catching up on all our saved TV episodes from the last week. So much to watch and so little time!

Saturday was more of the same with household cleaning in the morning and some organization for the afternoon. I did get in some coffee and reading time in the afternoon, which was glorious! In the evening, we met up with a group of our friends for some farewell food and drinks. It was a great evening and we will definitely be missing everyone a lot.

Sunday we enjoyed a lovely barbeque with all of our neighbors and hung out for most of the afternoon. I love a good bbq and we had all the good foods from wings to burgers, hot dogs, and some great grilled veggies as well. It was fantastic! It was a pretty great weekend and let us know that we will be missed by a lot of wonderful people. Thankfully there are so many ways to keep in touch nowadays so at least we can still stay involved in their lives.

As for this week, I have a feeling it’s gonna be crazy! I have 3 days of work left, the movers come to pack us up Wednesday and Thursday and leave with our stuff on Friday, my car leaves for the journey on Friday, we have to pack our personal stuff for the trip, oh and we need a place to live. No pressure :-)

Here’s to a successful week of craziness and chaos!

Friday, January 20, 2012

5 Things Friday

1. That lovely house we had picked out in the Concord area? The owner up and sold it as a relocation sale. So, now we are trying to pick a home via internet pics. And that, my friends, is just awesome sauce.

2. I have only been working out again for the last 3 days but I already feel much better. Why do I ever let you go, exercise?

3. My house is in disarray due to boxes, Goodwill piles, etc. As you know, I prefer a nice, tidy house so I have done my best to live happily in my organized chaos. I’ll be happy when everything is in its place once again.

4. Wilson is definitely our fur baby. We were gone for 4 days and since our return, he has gone from happy to see us to pissed that we left him. Wait till he has that 12 hour car ride coming up, then he’ll love us again.

5. Chips and salsa sound awesome right now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Likes & Dislikes

With only a little over a week left in our stay here in Florida, I’ve been thinking a lot about our time here and my likes and dislikes of the sunshine state. This is the longest I’ve lived in one place since my college days in Minnesota, so we have definitely made a lot more memories and had several adventures along the way. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short.

Some likes:

1. Disney World. Need I say more? We basically made a trip up there at least once a year, whether it was for fun or the couple races I did there, which will always be my favorite. No one does a race like Disney!

2. Our wonderful group of friends. We have met some great people here…funny enough, several are not only from MN, but we also all graduated from the same college. Small world indeed. We will miss the parties, the kiddies, and just hanging out with you guys. It’s been fun.

3. The winter weather months. 70 degrees in January is awesome.

4. Living so close to the beach. Even though we don’t go as often as I would like, being only 20 minutes from the beach has been pretty sweet and I started my running along the beach as well.

5. There is so much to do here. We can always find something to do on the weekend or just hang out by the pool in the backyard.

6. Last but not least. Key West. I love the keys and when I make my first million, we will be buying a cute little shack somewhere in the keys. It’s simply the bomb diggity.

And the dislikes:

1. Overall, the people suck. They are rude, inconsiderate, and ignorant. Besides our group of friends, most people here are not friendly at all and I am sick of the attitudes.

2. School systems suck. Although I don’t have munchkins yet, we will someday soon and I want my kids to have good schools to go to when the time comes.

3. Bad drivers. Everywhere. Everyday.

4. Florida summers and humidity. I hate humidity. Bad on hair, skin, sweaty all the time. Just plain icky. I hear it does get humid in NC but not to FL standards.

5. Closer to family. It might only take us a day to drive home and 8 hours to fly instead of a 2 day drive and 12-15 hour/3 plane ride trip.

6. Lastly, my job. I won’t miss it. There are a few coworkers who I’ll miss but that’s about it.

It’s a bittersweet experience. There are many good times and bad times spent here and I am sure I will eventually look kindly on the good ones and forget the bad ones. Not to mention that we are driving distance from here and can come visit now and then. I’ve got more Disney races to run yet so we’ll be back! However, as a travel bug, I love to explore new surroundings and try out new things so a move, although scary since I don’t have a job lined up yet, still means excitement and lots of exploration. It all works out in the end.