Friday, November 30, 2012

Visitors!

To say that I'm giddy with excitement while I type this post would be an understatement. You see, we're having visitors! But not just any vistors....these two:

K & J
J is one of M's very best friends who he grew up with. And an even funnier story is that J and M's dads were in the same group of friends growing up too! Since M and I started dating, K and I have become really, really close. We've bonded over SkinnyGirl, running (or lack there of), pulling boats across lakes and everything in between.

K & I - July 3, 2012

And did I mention how much we laugh and act ridiculously silly together? No? Well we do!

K, J, me & M


We don't really have all that much planned except for some delicious meals, showing them around our town, and maybe even a visit into NYC to see some Christmas decorations. I'm counting down the hours until they arrive!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Simple Thanksgiving

This year was a simple, yet wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I'm a little late in the recap of Turkey Day, but better late than never, right? On Wednesday at lunch, I packed up the car and Louie so that we could go straight to my parent's house for the night.
Louie got to come to the office and had lots of fun!
Louie loving life at the office!

We got let out early for the day, so off to begin the chaos of the weekend! Under one roof there were 4 humans, 4 cats, and 3 dogs...oh and a dead bird. We ordered Pasta Vera, a favorite take-out for us, followed by my mom and I watching a movie while Louie destroyed some toys.

The middle of Wednesday night we were woken by Tiggre puking up said dead bird. TMI? I don't think so. I mean, how good looking is this guy? Can you believe he's 18 already?! (He was my second real pet that we got when I was only 6.)



Thursday morning we were up before 6AM, which was not by my choice. We let the dogs play, finished up prepping the turkey and stuffing, cleaned the house, and put the turkey in the oven....all before 9AM. I drank a lot of coffee. The rest of the day was spent hanging out before mom got home from work and my aunts and uncle arrived. My aunt brought the appetizer of lots of cheese, cracker and fruit combinations. I could have eaten this for dinner.
Then came a low key meal of turkey, stuffing, salad, bread, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts with chestnuts and pancetta. Then we had two different cakes and homemade pumpkin pie. Delicious!
Dad did a great job!
After the kitchen was clean and everyone had left, Dad and I had our annual tradition of watching Punkin Chunkin. Louie and I ended up leaving before it was over though because Louie couldn't quite calm down, and his best bud still wanted to play.

Even though I love going home to my parent's house, I couldn't wait to sleep in my bed again with Louie snuggled up on top of me. The only one missing was M.



Simple days like this year's Thanksgiving make me appreciate my family and life so much. It really doesn't get much better than this.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giants Kick Packers Butt



Before I get to recapping the extended Thanksgiving break, I'd like to recap our very exciting Sunday Funday. Yesterday, M and I took the day off since we had tickets to Sunday night's NY Giants game. His company had extra tickets, so we headed down to New Jersey in the late afternoon to do a very weak version of tailgating before enjoying the game.


I hate to admit this, but I'd never been to a Giants game before even though I'm a fan, so it was quite exciting being there, let alone knowing we were in a pretty good section. We ate chips and salsa on the back of my car and enjoyed some Bud Lights. We made friends with a bunch of Canadians that were quite the motley crew along with some people who come to games all the way from Lake George.


A little before game time, we headed into the stadium, grabbed some beers
and took some photos before kick-off.

All bundled up and loving our seats
To say that we loved our seats would be an understatement. I only wish that we had gotten the four tickets so that J and my dad could have sat with us.


After the Giants scored...again...we headed out to make the trek home before sitting in all the exit traffic. Even though it was freezing cold, it really was a lot of fun despite the fact that M and I don't root for the same teams.

Panorama setting on the iPhone is awesome!

Do you go to a lot of sports games? Do you love them as much as we do?

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Turkey Day



Happy Thanksgiving blog friends! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with all your family and friends. If I listed every little and big thing in life that I'm thankful for, I think the blog post would exceed the character count maximum. Is there even one? So instead, I'm just going to say a giant THANK YOU to all of my family, friends, blog friends, work family, and everyone in between. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and feel all the love in the world.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Falling Away {Almost Thanksgiving}


I can't believe that these are the last of the fall leaves here in Connecticut. I also can't believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I mean, when did that happen? A year ago, we were getting ready for our big family vacation to Europe.

Fall in Paris


Now, we're home, and I'm hoping that it will be a relaxing holiday. M left last night to go home for the holiday, and now it's just me and Louie. We're going to be spending a few nights at my parent's house, which will be lots of fun. We're cooking a big meal, as usual, then continuing with some other family traditions. I'm excited to spend time with my parents and sister and extended family.

This year, Thanksgiving night will be spent on the couch watching The Incredibles and football. Hopefully, Louie will sit quietly on my lap, although he'll probably be wanting to play with Whiskey (my sister's puppy) instead.

Here's to hoping you all have an absolutely wonderful holiday! Do you have any family traditions? Do you have to travel to see family?
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Ran a Mile!

So last night was week three of physical therapy, and I'm happy to report that this runner is backkkkk!!!!!!

Yes, all of those exclamation points are necessary. With much deserved attention given to my feet by my PT, he figured out that the reason for my foot pain is caused by structure. He said I'm much stronger than I've ever been in my hips and legs, so it's all about orthotics at this point.

So, we figured out that the Superfeet that I had in my shoes were not supportive enough for my right foot, and I bought another $45 pair of inserts. Then, I ran: 1 mile in 11:05. Normally, this time would be extremely discouraging since I'm much speedier, but the fact that I even ran a mile was unbelievably fantastic.

Next steps are adding a half mile every other day to my runs as long as I don't have any pain while running. My PT wants me to email him on Monday to check in and see how things are going. If all is going well, then I get to graduate from PT. All I can say is: YAY!

And now my mind is ready to start looking at potential spring races....still dying to go sub-2 in the half marathon category before tackling NYC Marathon next year. Who wants to do a fun spring race?

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Calories Don't Count on Friday

Did you know that calories don't count on Friday? Or your birthday? Or during holidays? Or when other people make the food? Good. Glad we got that out of the way!


My fabulous co-worker baked some amazing cupcakes for an event, and she brought in the extras. Start drooling now because they taste even better than they look. And they look amazing, if you ask me. On the left are red velvet, and on the right are pina colada. I wish you could reach into the screen and grab one because they are that good.

Anyways, I still need to upload the few photos from last night's event, so come back Monday for the recap of the Sara Campbell Blogger's Night Out!

Have a great weekend friends!

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

This Post is Too Random to Have a Title

Well good morning sunshines! I was up early to walk mister Louie then hit the gym, and now I'm starting to crash. So in hopes of waking up more, I'm drinking some coffee. I also started eating a yogurt for breakfast and opted for a ring ding instead. What is it with when you work out more you're more hungry? I totally forgot about this side effect; it's been that long.

Here's a random mix of things for Thursday:

- I wrote an article all about potential Thanksgiving recipes over on HooplaHa.

- Louie, M and I have "us time" at night and snuggle.


- I made a delicious dinner last night that was super healthy: steamed spinach in white wine, chipotle-cheddar chicken sausage and quinoa. I don't hate that I'll be eating this for lunch today and tomorrow.

The ingredients M left out for me to start cooking upon my arrival home while he was at the gym.

- M got an Instagram account! I'm not going to share it yet, but this is a big deal in my book.

- Oh and for those of you who have been asking about the below photo, here's the recipe! They were even better than they looked. They had a serious crunch. But definitely better fresh out of the oven than the next day.


- A few weeks ago, I got invited to the Sara Campbell New Canaan Blogger's Night Out! (#SCNCBloggersNightOut) This is the first type of event that I've been invited to, so I'm really excited.  No one has actually used the hashtag on Twitter except for me and Maria, so I'm excited to meet a fellow blogger who lives in the same city as me!

- Because of the night out, I actually put effort into my outfit since this is a fashion/style type event. Everyone in the office has asked why I'm so dressed up. I guess I've gotten comfortable in the "you can wear jeans to work" at this job.

- Happy almost Friday!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Formerly Secret Dream of Mine



Yes, I have a secret dream slash goal in life. M knows about this, but I'm not sure how many other people do. I don't even know if I've talked to my parents or sister about this one. The secret was let out of the bag over on HooplaHa after I saw a video of an awesome little girl living my dream. Go on over to find out what my dream is!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great-full Day

Happy Tuesday all! I hope your week is off to a great start. I am feeling extremely great-full!
last night at PT with a hot pack on my calf
I had my second physical therapy session last night with news that my PT might let me run on the treadmill next Monday to test out how my foot is healing. Cue choirs singing and sanity coming back into my life. To say that I've been a little off my rocker since this whole injury happened would be putting it lightly. So that made my Monday, maybe even my week!

In light of these events, and permission to continue biking, ellipticalling, and strength training, I hit the gym this morning. And now I'm feeling extremely grateful.

I'm grateful...

...that I get to workout again.

...that I'm making progress on my novel, even if it's only a couple hundred words a day, it's still more words than no words.

...that my sister and I have gotten so close lately. I guess it's the whole we're growing up thing and don't pick fights with each other.

...that my sister and I are going to be assistant chefs to my dad for Thanksgiving. Our best meals and the most laughs always happen when the three of us are in the kitchen.

...that I don't have to travel for holidays. I know so many people that have to take planes, trains or long car rides to get to their family, and I'm very lucky to only have to drive 3.5 miles to my parent's house.

...that I'm still loving my job. I was exhausted last night after yesterday's several hours of brainstorming, but nothing compares to feeling like you're making huge progress.

...that I have the best boyfriend.

...that my best friend comes home in a week.

...that the holiday season with traditions makes me happy.

What are you feeling grateful for? Do you help with Thanksgiving cooking?
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Meet Mr. Draper...the Fish


The weekend seemed to fly by, like most weekends do, but I don't really mind since we were able to relax, catch up on sleep, and just enjoy each other's company. I have to admit though that there were several highs and lows to the weekend.

Friday:
Highs
- Crossing off so much on my work to-do list
- A fantastic dinner at The Goose with N and M
- The start of the weekend, of course!

Lows
- Being overtired and super cranky, so going to bed at 9:30

Saturday:
Highs
- Getting to sleep in and M bringing me Starbucks
- Going to the gym for the first time in months for a 15 mile bike ride
- Took Louie to the dog park to get him tired out
- Syracuse beating Louisville for homecoming! (Sorry, Ashley!)
- Made some fast cash babysitting the cutest little one-year-old
- Broke 10,000 words with NaNoWriMo

Lows
- Realizing how terribly out of shape I am
- Not getting to spend Saturday evening on the couch with M
- Alabama losing

Sunday:
Highs
- Spending the morning at another dog park watching Louie play
- Meal-planning for the week
- Baking Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies (and eating the dough)
- M being the best and buying me a new fish to cheer me up, cue Mr. Draper

Lows
- Andy dying. R.I.P. little Andy Pettitte. You had a good 3 years! (Yes, I cried...a lot.)
- Spending all my cash already on groceries

Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. We almost got red-bellied toads, but we don't really have the space for a tank, nor do I want to commit to having to buy crickets every week. So instead, we got another male Betta fish. He already seems like a wonderful addition to our household.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update

Well, I'm here to update you all on this whole NaNoWriMo thing. To start, it's been tough. A lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I figured I'd be disciplined. I'd get up every morning, sit down at my desk, and write. Well that's only happened once...in a week. On November 1st, I sat down and wrote over 1,600 words.

But as the week went on, I felt discouraged and frustrated. Like any writer feels. So I reached out to my close friend and writing partner to vent and came to a big realization in the process. I need to redefine this whole NaNoWriMo for 2012 for me. For what works with my schedule, with my topic, with my mind.


Old Goal: Hit 50,000 words
New Goal: Write an entire first rough draft of my book. It doesn't matter how many words, and it doesn't matter if I don't write every day, or how many words I write, just so long as I finish the whole first draft by December 1st. 


Much better! I feel confident in finishing all 25 chapters (that's the total I've set for the book). I'm on Chapter 4 as I write this blog post. Yeah, I'm not on a set schedule, but I'm babysitting on Saturday night, so I can get a good chunk of writing done after she goes to sleep.

Happy weekend friends!
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Louie's First Snow




Louie came from Texas. He was born in January (a new year's pup) and probably never saw snow while living down South. Well, yesterday, when the Nor'easter hit, the snow started coming down during his walk time. And as soon as I opened the door, he was like "oh, hells no." So we walked around the complex, he did his business, then ran to the door. Once back inside, he proceeded to roll around on the floor in an attempt to rub the wet snow off his back.
Louie's out there somewhere


But after work, M took him out, and he had a change of heart. Now, Louie loves it. Once M and I chowed down on our cheap Domino's dinner, Louie and I walked to the park where he got to run and romp and play. He was like a pig in sh!t. Happier than a kid in a candy shop.

But I got cold, specifically my fingers despite wearing gloves. So we headed home, not without a game of chase. He didn't want to go back on the leash yet.
And we turned around and happily walked home in our first snow of the season. I'll admit that I didn't mind this snow storm so much because my car did great, and they kept the roads clear.



Plus my camera was able to capture how pretty it was out, even if it did feel like it was in the 20s with a piercing wind. 


Overall, I think it was a successful for snow for Louie. And I'm really glad I decided to walk instead of putting my butt on the couch to watch TV.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stopping By the Park on a Snowy Evening

Taken in our condo complex tonight. Probably one of my favorite snow photos.
Tonight, after doing some NaNoWriMo writing while waiting to pick up our dinner of pizza and cheesy bread, Louie and I went ventured out to explore the snow. Louie and I headed up to the park for his first romp ever in the snow. I'll write more about his first snow later, but tonight, I'll leave you with one of my all-time favorite poems.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apparently, I'm Maria {DC Recap}

Happy voter's day! Today's a day that we celebrate the wonder that is America. I'm not going to voice my political opinion on this here blog, probably ever, but I think it's very fitting that I recap our trip to America's capital.

Friday, we drove down mid-morning for a weekend away. And even with stopping twice (once for food and once for really cheap gas, $3.90 for premium), we made it there in great time. Being unprepared for the cool weather though, I forgot a real jacket.
M and I before dinner


We parked and walked over to the zoo to meet up with three of our friends before heading to a bar for some drinks to kill time before our dinner. And some random girl on the street asked if I was Maria. I awkwardly apologized and said no. If any of you love to eat, and especially meat, this place is for you, Fogo de Chao! Just be prepared to be in a food coma for far too long.






I would try to explain how the process works, but basically there's unlimited food. And they just have meat on these skewers and come over and constantly pile it on your plate until your flip your coaster over to say you don't want anymore. E and I liked the garlic steak the best! But the boys all had different opinions. The highlight of the meal was probably having a celebrity sighting of Brandon Meriweather sitting at the table next to us.

After dinner, we went to a bar for some drinks before heading home. The boys stayed up playing video games, and I drunkenly did some writing.

Saturday, we woke up late and headed to Open City for brunch. I was unimpressed with my Croque Monsieur. Unfortunately, I feel like I've become a snob since spending time in Paris and eating such amazing ones there.




Then we split up and had a double date at the zoo. Apparently the last time I got to see Giant Pandas in real life, I was two and threw a giant temper tantrum. Ooops? It was freezing out though, so we warmed up in the gift shop before seeing some animals.




Then we finally saw a real life Giant Panda. I think it made my entire trip, maybe even month. I asked M if we could take one home, but that didn't go over well.

Eating a giant fruit pop in the shape of a bunt cake
The rest of the afternoon we rested up before heading to Redline for pre-game dinner and drinks. The wings were tasty!



Stolen from PB

The game ended up being far too close, and they didn't put in any of the Syracuse alum, but it was still a lot of fun!

After the game we went to a bar to watch Alabama kick some LSU butt, which made for a very happy M. Then ate some late night Burger King before heading back home for the night.

Sunday, we woke up way later than I had thought we would. Our hosts made delicious bacon and eggs for breakfast along with coffee. We headed to Baltimore for some Maryland crabs and to see M's brother before hitting the road home. And man, was it good to be home!

Thanks to our wonderful hosts J and E for having us! We had a lot of fun, and we can't wait for you two to make a trip to Connecticut!

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