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 radius...so 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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

weight loss wednesday

To me, the universal sign of weight gain isn’t the scale’s number but my clothes. When the clothes start feeling snug and uncomfortable, I know it’s time to do something about it. I’ve been happily coasting on holiday fumes for quite some time now, enjoying junk food, cake, ice cream, highly caloric coffee beverages, etc. and I think I finally reached my fill this past weekend.

The clothes are snug.

Junk food doesn’t sound good anymore.

The exercise bike looks inviting to me.

Yep. I think that’s my sign that it’s time to get back on an exercise/food plan and see where it takes me. Last night I started out with 35 minutes on the exercise bike and some sit ups. Tonight I’d like to do one of my exercise videos and maybe do some running this weekend as there is a half marathon I am eyeing up in Charlotte in March (which means I’d better start running).

I’ve also found a few gyms for us to check out when we get settled and a kick-ass bootcamp that I’m sure I’ll be checking out as well. There are definitely plenty of options, now it’s up to me to make it happen. I figure 30 minutes a day is not too much to ask for right now so that’s my plan until things settle down.

Baby steps…

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And we're back....temporarily

Overall it was a pretty good weekend visit to the great state of NC. We were up at 3:45am on Friday to head out to the airport and had easy travel the whole way there. One thing stands out the most upon arrival to Charlotte: COLD! It was only in the high 30s to low 40s, which meant the flip flops were retired to the suitcase and the shoes, socks and sweatshirts came out. Glad we packed appropriately or there would’ve been a quick shopping excursion immediately upon arrival.

After checking into the hotel and grabbing some lunch, we met with a realtor and spent the entire afternoon running around the Concord/Harrisburg area looking at different homes. We did find one we really like and put in an application so hopefully we hear something today. It’s a beautiful home in the Concord area and is only about 5-10 minutes from the Charlotte Speedway.

Saturday through Monday were spent bumming around in the car checking out the surrounding cities, downtown Charlotte, Lake Norman, and downtown Concord as well as checking out Brian’s new job location. The chilly weather stayed with us all weekend and definitely means I will need to update parts of my wardrobe soon, although I am excited to wear my boots again since I rarely get to wear them in Florida. We checked out the mall (very nice), saw the Sherlock Holmes movie and ate lots of good food. Overall it was a good trip and as long as the house goes through we can call it a success.

Now it’s back to FL and the job of getting things in order for moving day. I have a week of work left to power through, packing up our personal stuff for the journey, and covering all loose ends. I’m sure these next few days are gonna fly by.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Off to NC

At the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow, we are heading up to Charlotte to look for a house. I am looking forward to getting away for the weekend and getting a chance to explore our new location as I’ve yet to visit North Carolina so I’m pretty excited to see what the area looks like. It’s too bad we didn’t know about this sooner cuz I would have totally tried to sign us up for House Hunters to look for a house. We could have seen three lovely homes, analyzed each one and decided how much bang for our buck we could get out of each, how much renovations would be needed and the costs associated with each, and then sat down with theme music in the background while we made our decision. Oh, how lovely that would have been!

Guess we’ll just have to settle for my own theme music and ponderings. As long as we find a nice house with a fenced yard in a good neighborhood, I think we’ll be happy. Can’t wait to do some exploring of the local scenery as well. It should be a great weekend! I think I’ll try some fried pickles…I hear they’re delicious there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

1. I got on the scale this morning and have actually lost 3 pounds without trying too much. I think it’s a little bit of anxiety mixed with some busyness and topped with an I-don’t –have-time-to-care-about –this-right-now attitude. I’ll take it!

2. I gave my notice at work today. It was one of those bittersweet moments. I am ready to move on but I was there for over 5 years and a small part of me will miss the place…at least the craziness that ensued there.

3. I’ve been pretty good with my goal of taking more pictures. I took some cute ones of Wilson and some nice landscape ones as well. Maybe if I take enough over the year I can validate that shiny new camera I have been eyeing up for the past year.

4. Starting to stress about getting a new job. I am sure I can find something but it’s worrisome nonetheless, especially when you’re trying to find one so far away. It’ll happen; I just have to be patient I suppose.

5. My plan was 5 things but I can’t seem to think of one now so I’ll just ramble about how I can’t come up with the last tidbit as my last tidbit. There, now we have 5.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's get organized!

I was sitting on the couch watching House Hunters International yesterday (p.s. I want to live in Italy and Paris now) and was thinking that I could really use a project right now. Yes, I could make weight loss a project but that’s never ending and I hate to put that much emphasis on one goal. Plus, I would like these projects to be short, monthly things I can do and accomplish to show my awesomeness throughout the year.

So, this morning I decided this month’s project will be dedicated to organization. With a pending move, there is obviously a lot of packing and prepping involved in getting things together. As I was going through the kitchen, I came across an entire drawer full of miscellaneous recipe books, copies of recipes from the internet, magazines, etc. that are all just piled into the drawer with no organization at all. So, I am going to put all the loose recipes into a binder with tabs and the whole works. This way, I can actually find things when I want a new recipe. I’ve already cut out all the recipes from the mags I want to keep and now I just need to organize them into categories and put the book together.

After that, I need to tackle the office cuz there is a lot of organization to be done in there! I am also going to start up my recipe Sunday for new recipes. Hopefully I’ll even include pics with them. Last night I made homeade pizza with side salads. The pizza turned out great, although I would’ve used an airated pan instead of a regular one for a crisper crust.

So, that is the plan for the rest of January: find organization in the chaos.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How about some wedding pics

My girls

The boys

I was going to add a few more pics but blogger is taking about 15 min per pic to load so three it is.

Friday, January 6, 2012

5 Things Friday

1. Tomorrow I am re-starting my skinny bitch exercise/food regimin. I allowed myself to take the first week off of January cuz it always seems to be too much effort to start right away on January 1st and, well, I just didn’t want to. But, after a week of eating whatever I want and exercising via the remote only, my body is telling me it’s time to grab those healthy habits again.

2. I think Wilson also needs to go on a 2012 slim down as he had way too many tasty treats over the holidays and I think it’s going to be a shocker when I put him on the scale again. It’s so funny to watch him though. As soon as I put the scale down, he walks a circle around it and puts his front paws up on it, then looks at me to help him sit down properly. Such a good boy!

3. We have been having glorious weather here in south Florida. Highs in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s-50s, one day it even dipped to 38. I love this cool weather and look forward to enjoying more of these cool temps on a regular basis. Hooray for less humidity! One would think this would have motivated me to get out there and run but, alas, this is not so. I have gone out for a few walking excursions so that’s something.

4. I need to go clothes shopping. Due to wedding planning and expenses, I basically didn’t buy anything not related to the wedding for the past year or so. I could use some new goodies, not to mention the fact that I pretty much only own open-toed shoes and flip flops, which is not going to cut it in NC. Maybe some shopping will be in order next weekend.

5. To cut my hair or not…that is the question.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New race possibility

Originally four of us girls had planned to do the Disney Princess half marathon in February this year, but as circumstances have changed, I will not be able to attend this one, although I do love running the Disney races. So, I have been looking for a race to sign up for to keep me motivated to run and keep running this year and I think I found one. I am eyeing up the Charlotte half marathon in April as my first attempt of the year. I haven’t signed up for it yet since I just found out about it last week, but I am definitely keeping it in the back of my mind. I didn’t run races last year and noticed how much less mileage I ran overall, so I think this is just the ticket. It’s also great to see how cheaper these other races are from Disney. You can do 3 races for the cost of one of theirs.

So that’s my tentative plan. I won’t sign up until we have moved up there and gotten settled to make sure I have enough time/effort to train. With job hunting, house hunting, packing, moving and all that jazz, I may end up looking for a later option. Decisions…decisions…