Friday, September 28, 2012

Keepin' the Heat


With this cold weather moving in more quickly than I would like, I wrote a little something about how to keep the heat this fall and winter, when the daylight shortens and the soaring temperatures disappear. Go over to HooplaHa to add some spice and warmth by reading about my favorite ways to keep me happy in the cooler months.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Summer Fades






Summer is fading away, even though it's technically now "fall." These surprisingly warm afternoons are greeted by chilly nights. No more strapless dresses or walks in flip flops for this girl. And apparently a vicious, change-of-season cold has graced me with it's presence.  But the picturesque blue skies, like the ones from that mid-September afternoon, still greet me when I leave at lunchtime to walk Louie. I feel like fall is a transition time. A new beginning arrived for me as I started this amazing new job, but my mindset has also changed. I've lost focus and worry about how clean, or not clean, the apartment has gotten. I've paid more attention to M and Louie. And I'm consciously trying, but mostly failing, at giving my undivided attention to just one thing at a time (i.e., not checking my phone constantly while watching TV or a movie with M). It's not been an easy feat, but I'm trying. That's what counts, right? As summer fades for you, how are you doing with the transition? Both with the weather and mentally...
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Excuses {I'm Sick}

I could sit here and tell you how I've been a bad blogger, which I have, but there's really no excuse. I'm loving my job, and I would spend 24 hours a day working, but I think Louie and M would be deprived.  I'm fighting one of those silly change of seasons colds, which has turned my mind to mush. So I'm writing this at the very end of the daybefore going to meet M and Louie for a puppy play date.  So that's that. And to make up for this terrible blog post, here's a very sweet photo of Louie snuggling me this morning. He likes to rest his head on my legs.



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Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Last year M and I brought Dad to his first Yankees/Red Sox game

Dear Dad,

Happy birthday! I know I'm a day late on this post, but beter late than never, right? Right. Anyways, thanks for cooking your own birthday dinner last night. It's always guaranteed to be delicious when you cook. I can't believe another year has passed since your birthday last year though. So much has changed, and yet so much has stayed the same. I definitely miss living at home though and watching football and hockey together. But I'm glad you've been so supportive of every move, literally, that I've made over the last year. Having you to call or talk to when I need it most is something that's irreplaceable. So I hope you know how much I appreciate you. Happy birthday again, Dad! I love you lots!

Love,
Amanda

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Fall!

Photo Taken Last Year in my Parents' backyard

I don't know about all of you, but fall is in full force here. That means sweatshirts for morning and evening walks! I've still been holding on to summer as much as possible though, wearing my summer dresses to work despite my not so stylish choice of sneaker and post-op shoe. I wrote this story back before my running injury, but here are some of the things that I'm most looking forward to this fall! Happy Friday, now get your daily smile from HooplaHa!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If Your Boss Read Your Blog...

If your boss read your blog, would you change how you write? Would you sensor your posts? Would you filter yourself?

If your boss read your blog, would you change your content? Would you remove your blog? Would it make a difference?

What's provoking this post? My boss reads my blog. (Hi A!) And I've been reflecting about this throughout the week. Last Monday morning started off with her and I chatting about mister Louie and M's photos on the blog. She also follows me on Twitter, so she knew that I painted my nails grey and sparkly.

And with a tiny onset of panic, followed by thinking how silly I am, I realized that my mom reads my blog too (Hi Mom!). There's really no harm done with what I write and put out on the Internet. This blog is about my personal life, and when I wrote about starting my new job, I emphasized how much I don't change who I am for this blog.

I don't share every last detail of my life on here, but who really wants to read that anyways? And now that I've mentally answered the above questions, I'm posing those questions to you!

If your boss read your blog, would you change anything?
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Photo Shoot Sneak Peak!

Enough of this negative Nancy stuff about my foot, although I do really appreciate all your thoughts and kind words! Anyways, over the weekend, my friend Sarah and I met up to do a little photo shoot for this blog of mine. I had a bunch of head shots taken back in the fall, but they're much more professional looking, so we wanted to do some fun ones...

Here's just a few so far, and can we talk about how it was such a picture perfect day?




These are just a few favorites from on the bridge, more coming later this week! Thanks again, Sarah! I really appreciate it! And you've now motivated me to start saving even more money for a DSLR camera!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Foot Update!

Let's start with the positive, shall we? He says my hips and knees are very strong, woohoo! However, my foot is on the spectrum of a stress fracture. What does that mean exactly? Well, I have either a stress reaction or a stress fracture (this is more severe). We won't know more until after my MRI, which I can hopefully schedule this coming week.

In the mean time, no running for this girl still. He said I could do pool running, but I don't have access to a pool with a deep-end, so that nixes that.

It also means that I need to wear a "post-op wooden sole shoe." You may have seen me post a picture of this on Twitter on Friday. They're not pretty. I was hoping to find a store that sold them in my hometown area, however I'm going to be heading up to pick one up a little out of my way this morning before work since they're not open on weekends.

Watch out fashionistas, the wood shoe is back!

I guess we need to address the elephant in the room though...the NYC Marathon. And to be honest, as I write this, I'm still pretending like I haven't made a decision about it, even though I know what the right thing to do for me is since my doctor didn't want to give me a straight answer since he knows us crazy runner types. I'm just not ready to put my decision into words on a page. We can talk about that after the MRI, k?

Happy Monday from your wooden shoe wearing friend!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Sister!


Dear little sister,

Happy birthday! I still haven't been able to wrap my hands around the fact that you can now come out drinking with me. I guess you're growing up, which seems so weird since I'll always think of you as little. I hope that you're having the most wonderful birthday celebrations, and I'm so happy the ones you love are here to spoil you with love and excitement! So happy, happy birthday! I'll always love you lots.

Love always,
Your big sister


Friday, September 14, 2012

D-Day (a.k.a. Doctor Day)

Today is D-Day, also known as doctor day. I'm going to my amazing sports medicine doctor to find out what in the heck is wrong with my foot. He diagnosed my hip/knee issues and off I went to my physical therapist who fixed me right up! Wait, but now we're talking about my foot, you ask? Let's rewind to about four weeks ago (an eternity in any kind of running training).

M and I were all packed up and ready to go up to Boston after I ran a local 11 Mile Road Race. I needed to get in an 11 or 12 mile long run, so I figured doing it with a bunch of people and not running it as a race would be good for me.

Friday night I decided to go on a flat, short run around our neighborhood, but after about two miles, I just felt dead with heavy legs. So I stopped to rest up for the next morning. And when I woke up, my ankle/foot hurt and was a little swollen. What the heck? I don't remember rolling my ankle or anything, so this was odd. (I know, I know, you shouldn't run on an injury.) I decided to run anyways.

Once I got going (in the pouring rain mind you), I felt fantastic. A twinge of pain here or there, but I felt really strong...to the point where I thought, wow I'm definitely mentally ready to tackle 26.2 miles, and my body will be ready in no time.

Then after the race we hopped in the car...for almost 4 hours with the traffic. And as soon as I stepped out of the car, sharp pain went through the outside of my right foot. Cue terror! I couldn't figure out what the heck could be wrong, but when a friend mentioned potentially a stress fracture, I googled the symptoms and mine lined up perfectly.

I didn't have health insurance from the day I left my job until September 1st so seeing my doctor was out of the cards. Now I'm anxiously awaiting diagnosis. And I've decided that it won't be the end of the world if I can't run it this year, since I've only got one more race and volunteering to go for guaranteed entry via 9+1.

Stay tuned for updates! And if you don't follow me on Twitter, that's probably where I'll post first!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honestly?

Honestly? I'm exhausted....like bags forming under my eyes tired. This whole new working hard, throwing my everything into my new job has gotten me back into the two cups of coffee plus a Diet Coke a day phase. Bad, I know.

And honestly? Working this hard makes me unbelievably happy. Yeah, with the exhaustion comes this pure joy and gratefulness that I haven't felt in...well ever, at least about work. I'm smiling more on my way to work, during work, leaving work. I've been called serious here so far, but I take it as a compliment. They'll be sorry they unleashed my sense of humor once it does make it's appearance.

Also, honestly? I could really use a drink. Like a Jack and Diet type of drink. But we never seem to have any Jack in the house...because I drink it all. Oops? Oh and that's what our bar looks like all the time except with a lot more booze and currently no Jack.

Last, honestly? I fall more in love with M every day. Who knew that could be possible in love? But I just know that's why we're meant to be together. The best part is that we laugh so much. And he definitely has turned me into a funnier person. I made a joke last night where I cried laughing. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure how blog appropriate it is...it's about poop. You decide if you want to hear it or not.

With that, happy Thursday!

Oh and shame on me for two posts today, but the first one doesn't really count.
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Positive Thinking Day!


Doesn't get much better than this, does it? Well, it might, but because today is all about keeping your thoughts positive, you can find out more about the above afternoon of golf. Head on over to hear how my thoughts didn't stay so positive when my dad, M, and I went to play nine holes of golf one Saturday afternoon.

P.S. Smile :)

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Latest Obsession {Epilator Review}

Disclaimer: This is an unpaid, unsponsored post. All of the following opinions are my own, and I was not compensated by any means for writing this.

With that out of the way, let's jump right in. A while ago, I complained about shaving my legs. Yes, it's one of those womanly things that we all have to take care of. I've had hair laser treatments on other parts of my body, and I also get monthly waxes, but when it comes to my legs, I was missing a solution. So, I whined, and my friend mentioned that she used an epilator. Huh?

Yeah. So I went on trusty Amazon.com and did my research. I read and read and read reviews until I thought my eyeballs would fall out. Okay, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but I felt like I was drowning in reviews. Then M did some research (don't hate me for saying that you did, but you did).

And after I received an eGift Card to Amazon, I decided on the Emjoi Soft Caress Cordless Hair Remover. Because my gift card was for $25, I only paid the remaining balance of $19. Deal? I think so!


It arrived on Friday night, and I actually read the instructions to let it charge for 16 hours before use. Saturday morning it should have been fully charged up, and I braced myself for the pain. (A lot of reviewers claimed it hurt.) Fortunately, it wasn't as terrifying as I thought it would be. So over the course of the weekend, I epilated. And let me tell you, it definitely took a long time. I would have to go over the same section multiple times to get it all. So it's not as fast as shaving.



I can't speak to how long the results will last for me personally, but I think in the long run, this will save me time (and money). I think I'm going to look into this one for the future since it has more tweezers. But for now, I know that the one I chose is perfect for the beginner like me. And it doesn't hurt that even M noticed how much smoother my legs are already!

P.S. You cannot go out in a dress, skirt, or shorts after epilating. My legs were covered in tiny little red dots...so I wore a maxi dress for date night.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11


I wrote this on the ten year anniversary of the attacks (last year). I thought about writing a new, different post, but I think this captures that day and emotions for me all too well. Today's a day to remember those lives who've been taken to soon, both on that day and as a result of that day. 

I thought it was just another day in September. A perfect blue filled the sky with only a few white fluffy clouds passing through to say hello. I sat in the middle of the classroom in English class in eighth grade. I was wearing a white shirt with a green skirt. It was picture day.
         We had barely been through fifteen minutes of class when another teacher came into the room. One of the twin towers in Manhattan had been hit by a plane. Living 45 minutes from New York City, many of our parents made the daily commute into the city. Something wasn't right. Something was about to hit far too close to home for one too many of us.
         As we walked down a silent hall of classrooms filled with currently oblivious students, I was not prepared for what I was about to witness. The TVs weren't on mute when we walked into the library. We didn't even have a moment to sit down as another plane flew into the second tower of the pair. I couldn't believe my eyes. Was this really happening? Were we watching a movie? No, this was real life.
        I felt numb. More classes poured into the open space. An announcement came over the loud speaker to return to our classrooms. People were already crying, and a line to use the pay phone began to form. (This was right before the boom of cell phones.) I felt confused, alone, and wondered who I knew in the city that I should be worried about.
         The day progressed as scheduled for pictures. I don't remember much of what was said. I remember sitting to take my eighth grade photo and turning to see several friends sobbing. The teachers didn't know what to do. My science teacher had already left for the day because her fiance had been in one of the towers.
         "Please look at the camera," stated the photographer. I smiled and took the best class photo of my life, except for my eyes. In my eyes, you could see the sadness and pain, forever imprinted in our hearts.
         My mom picked me up from school early, like many of the other parents. We picked up my sister from elementary school and headed home. I sat in front of the TV for hours, holding back tears and watching coverage.
         As I write this, tears come to my eyes because of all the pain that happened on that day. Since that day, I choose not to look at photos or video footage. Maybe it's trying to pretend like it didn't happen, or maybe it's because it hits too close to my heart.
         Ten years later still feels like yesterday. Ten years later are ten years marking a day of events that shouldn't have happened. But they did, so now we celebrate. We must celebrate the unity that came from such a horrid day and celebrate the lives lost that day.
....I remember 9/11. Do you?


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend According to Louie

Started off with sitting on the bed while Mom got ready for work...

Then I stared out the window for a little while, luckily I was freed from the cone of shame finally.

So we took lots of walks. I like to feel important too by carring my poop bags as we walk.

I snuggled Daddy and covered him with kisses...a ton of times.

And more kisses in the car.

Took a long nap on the couch with Mom...Dad snapped a picture while we were sound asleep.

Ended the weekend sleeping on Dad's lap while he watched football very seriously.

P.S. When I wasn't snoozing, I was playing a lot, going on lots of walks, and chewing things I wasn't supposed to chew...
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Friday, September 7, 2012

New Gig Update

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Friday is here! And as much as I'm looking forward to the weekend, I just want to keep learning more and more at the new job of mine. I'll have to check back with you all in a month to see if the shiny, newness wears off, but I have a strong feeling that it won't.

If you haven't guessed already, I'm loving the new gig. LOVING everything. Learning so much, all my new co-workers, my pretty new MacBook Air, Starbucks every morning, the super short commute, the hours, everything. I know a bunch of you had been asking about how it's going, so that's the short, happy version.

I'm off to work, then enjoying another weekend with M where we don't really have any plans except to tire out Louie.

P.S. Louie's cone of shame comes off today!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Accomplishments

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What the heck? August is over. September is here. Where does the time go?  I spent half of August relaxing, cleaning, decorating, and mentally prepping to start a new job. Now that September is here, I want to check out what progress I did (or didn't) make within the month. I'm linking up with MeghanLoriMeghan, and Whitney again to share what I've accomplished for the month. Here are my posts for JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, and the year.

  • Be happy. Done and done. Extended time off, plus finally cleaning the apartment? Hells yes, I'm happy. 
  • Relax more. Does sitting on the couch for hours watching Food Network and Friends count as relaxing? I think so!
  • Write. Still a contributing writer for HooplaHa, but I'm also starting to do a lot more personal writing and brainstorming. 
  • Read at least one book a month. (I read 2: Everything Happens for a Reason and One Thousand Gifts.)
  • Cook a new recipe once a month. (Cucumber & Tomato Salad, Short-cut Meat Sauce)
  • No shop months. Ha! I've completely lost count of this, plus have shopped a lot...mostly for apartment things, but I did purchase myself a new bikini.
  • Give once a month. I donated money to some of the causes at the checkout in stores again.  
I think now that Fall is here, I'm a little more motivated. It's a new school year for some, but it's a fresh start for me...with the new job and all. I love it! I think the main thing I want to focus on is getting back to the "real me" of blogging. I haven't talked about fun activities in far too long...

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Silky, Smooth Hair {Dove Conditioner Review}

I'm someone who has very fine hair. Translation: I can't wash my hair with the same shampoo every day otherwise it ends up super greasy a.k.a. not pretty. And in order to avoid this, I have four different shampoos and four different conditioners currently filling my shower.  So when I found out that I could test condition my hair with Dove Conditioner, I jumped at the opportunity.

It currently has the prime spot in the shower!
To start, it smells amazing. That's the very first thing I do when choosing a shampoo or conditioner...check out the scent! I've used it a couple times since it's arrival, and I decided I would definitely condition my hair with it yesterday for the first day of work. I'm not sure if anyone noticed that my hair was silkier than normal, but I could tell.

I think another reason that I like Dove products is because they're consistent. I know when I go buy a couple bars of Dove soap or body wash, I'm going to get the same product as I did the first time. So when I run out of this conditioner, I know I can go pick up another bottle at my local CVS.

What do you look for in conditioners?

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day!

Today is my first day of work at the new job! There, I said it. I can't believe the past two weeks flew by so quickly, but I'm glad I had that time off. It's crazy to think of how nervous I was for my previous two real jobs.

My very first job out of college, I cried. I sat down at the kitchen table around 6:30AM and cried. "Who am I going to eat lunch with?" My mom laughed, but not in a cynical way, but in "this isn't the first day of school" way.  There I made some amazing friends, who are still some of my closest friends today, and that job was like a family. I cried a lot when I left.

My second job, I didn't cry, but I was definitely nervous. I was walking into a more corporate, or so I thought, world in an industry I knew nothing about. Saying goodbye to that company didn't bring as many tears, but I had to say "see you soon" to a girl who has become a best friend. We were like two peas in a pod in the office, and I miss her a lot already.

Today, I haven't cried. I didn't toss and turn in my sleep. I just feel more relaxed. I think it's because I keep pinching myself saying "is this real?" I'm giddy with excitement. I have my outfit picked out, and I can't wait to walk in that door to see some already very familiar faces.


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Monday, September 3, 2012

Time Off To Do List Update

Happy Labor Day, friends! I hope you're all enjoying this long weekend.  Unfortunately, my time off has come to an end. I'm glad that I was able to accomplish so much on my list though. Although I didn't complete every single item, I did cross of a ton, which I think is huge since it took over two hours for carpet cleaning alone on a beautiful sunny day. I'll be posting some before and after photos so you can see the magic of a few storage bins, along with what our apartment is looking like. There will also be a follow-up on the marathon training coming soon. Let's just say there has been a bump in the road, specifically my right foot...

Apartment:
- Clean the entire dang apartment (including carpet cleaning)
- Organize and clean out living room closet (including tupper ware storage bins, create bin or basket for all re-usable bags)
- Kitchen (clean and add wall art, buy bin for Louie's food, clean off kitchen table) didn't pick out any art for the kitchen
- Living room (hang speakers and art, if find art for above the couch) speakers now are on the TV stand and art will soon be ordered
- Organize and clean out hall closet (add bins for clothes, move seasonal clothes to top, sort through and giveaway clothes, combine M's junk boxes into one)
- Bathroom (hang photos and finish decorating!) no idea what decoration I want to take with decorating the bathroom
- Bedroom (organize closet, give away any unworn/unwanted clothes, finish headboard and install, hang photos/art, maybe buy second laundry bin) hung one print, but we finally got a second cable box and the bed frame is finished, just need to buy slats 

Running/Exercise:
- Marathon training 3 days a week, completing the exact workouts more on this to come...after my doctor's appt. on 9/14
- Cross/strength training 2 days a week (yoga, boot camp, Pilates, rollerblading, etc.) I biked a few times...
- Hiking with Louie or play dates with Whiskey, every day

Misc.:
- Get pants that I bought in January shortened at least they are now sitting in my car...still waiting to be shortened
- Re-cover kitchen chair cushions picked out the fabric, just need to order then install

For Fun:
- Read every day!
- Get some Vitamin D at the pool or beach
- Bake French Macarons from scratch with little sister failed with this
- Make marinara sauce from scratch with little sister failed with this
- Sleep in once a week