Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, What a Year

Sitting down to right this post has been daunting, almost overwhelming. There were some really high highs and even worse low lows. But I'm excited for 2013 knowing how great this past year has been for me. And 13 is a lucky number for this girl!

We rang in the New Year with family and friends.

My Christmas wish came true, just a little bit late, but it ended the long distance!

Flew to Nashville to run with and finally meet Christin! (Already planning another race to run together, if you're not already guessing that...)

Then I started freelance writing for HooplaHa.

M surprised me with an awesome birthday gift to go see Newsies.

And I bonded with Ruthie in NYC, who I can't wait to go see in Texas in 2013!

Had a massive blogger date with no sleep 'til Brooklyn with Neely, Meghan and more!

After that came a move less than 2 miles away.

Oh and we became furry parents to mister Louie. Look how he's grown!

C became Mrs. Buzz.

Ruthie was on TV!

We traveled to Maine, twice.

Then part of my heart went to heaven with Grandpa.

We celebrated the big 2-5 for M with fun activities.

And one of my best friends got engaged!

I said goodbye to one job and hello to my dream job.

My little sister turned 21, finally!

We visited friends in DC.

J &K came to visit CT!

I met BSK in real life, too!

And we celebrated a very happy Christmas filled with lots of love and appreciation.

I can't really believe how another year has come and gone. Although it's been an emotional roller coaster of a year, I know that 2013 is sure to be an even better one. On top of all of life's tough and happy times, I conquered two more half marathons, coped with loss and grew as a person. I'm so grateful for this amazing life, and I can't wait for another year to come.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Pizza Night, Recipe Not Included

Yeah, this just happened. We enjoyed some homemade pizza with homemade dough thanks to my new KitchenAid Stand Mixer that M bought me for Christmas. He's a keeper, that's for sure! I apologize for not sharing the recipe at this time, but I was just practicing some more of my photography and had to share. Also, still no editing done on these photos just give credit to the Canon's amazing quality! Drool away...


Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'd Blog But...

...I'm going to be too busy spending some quality time with this girl!
Shananny & Prepster

Plus M and Louie come home today, so that's going to take up the rest of my time too!

P.S. Should I keep my hair long or go back to that length?


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day, Unedited

Santa (my parents) brought me a DSLR for Christmas/my birthday, and by the end of the day I finally got the hang of it. In the mean time, here's a collection of images and moments from the day...without any edits. So just keep that in mind as you check out the Romaniello Christmas day.

Christmas surprises- a J.Crew bracelet and a needle-pointed ornament made by Mom

Me, Whiskey as Santa, out of focus lights, needle-pointed Dal ornament

Giada looking for trouble, Figaro posing, Tiggre sleeping, Winston smiling

My new coin purse, sisters in front of the tree, Mom modeling her new coat, feet by the fire

Ali and I made homemade raviolis to go with Dad's homemade sauce and meatballs

We finished the evening watching Garfield Christmas, an annual tradition. It was one of those wonderful holidays that just reminds you how grateful you are. The only two missing were Louie and M, but otherwise, I would say that this was just one of those really perfect Christmases. And I couldn't put it better than this...

"Christmas....It's not the giving. It's not the getting. It's the loving." -Garfield


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Spirit & Thumper {Ugly Xmas Sweater Party}

I know that I've mentioned it before, but I really do love spending time with M's friends, who are now my friends too! So when the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party appeared in our Facebook events, there was no way we were going to miss it.

M and I attempting to take a half decent photo
M wore a sweatshirt that we got at Urban Outfitters, while I borrowed one of his mom's ugly sweaters. She wasn't kidding when she said she had ugly ones. 

We enjoyed many homemade treats and foods that L prepared. She's a master chef, if you ask me. 

Yes, I wore silver sparkling leggings. They're from Target in the children's section. 
Then we played some fun drinking games, aka Thumper. Before M and I called it a night early. 

Family photo
It was a fantastic night, but the trip was once again too short. That last photo is my absolute favorite! We took it with the self-timer on my little camera, and I somehow managed to get in the picture before it took. Unfortunately, it's pretty blurry, so I'm hoping my Christmas gift will fix this problem!

Have you been to any ugly sweater parties this holiday season? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Sneak Peek

We had a great weekend! Two date nights, lots of holiday spirit, new sheets, and more. Further details to come on Wednesday! Don't forget about the Blogger's Day of Silence tomorrow. You can grab the button here.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silence and Support for Sandy Hook

To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Two days ago, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

 We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World

P.S. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Lucky Charms Tradition

Lucky Charms from Christmas 2011

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. Saying that it's my favorite is a huge understatement, but I want to share a tradition that has stuck around even to this day...

Growing up, we lived in a very healthy household. Having goldfish was a special treat for a snack, and there was never soda or "sweet cereal" under our roof. Being health conscious was instilled in me from a very young age, but come Christmas time we got to have a special treat. It's Christmas after-all!  Ali and I would each get to pick out a "sweet cereal" from the grocery store. And Lucky Charms was the one to get. I mean they are magically delicious!

Some years, I would stray from the Lucky Charms choice and get Fruity Pebbles or Coco Krispies, but they just weren't the same.

Last year, when my mom asked if we'd still like Lucky Charms, I was shocked that the thought of not having them would even cross her mind. Dramatic, I know. But even now, at the ripe age of 24, I'm still health conscious. I don't keep "sweet cereal" in the apartment for M and I.

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm looking forward to coffee with my Christmas morning's Lucky Charms.

Do you have any food traditions for Christmas morning?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Veggie Recipes

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, but lately, blogging has not been a top priority because life has been busy. Instead of getting to blogging, I'm just making it through the work day to come home and cook, exercise Louie, then go to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open to watch TV on the couch.

Anyways, that's all besides the point. Let's talk about being vegetarian, or at least vegetarian recipes. As a tofu lover myself, I consider myself a flextarian. I eat meat, but I also incorporate a lot of the vegetarian eating habits into my diet. Recently, M has been open to eating healthier, but going beyond just healthy to try out vegetarian recipes.

So I'm linking up with Michelle for "Oh How Pinteresting" Wednesday to share some recipes that we're definitely interested in trying that are on the vegetarian side.

Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing
Source via Pinterest
Buffalo "Chicken" Vegetarian Style
Source via Pinterest
Fall Vegetable Curry
Source via Pinterest
Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
Source via Pinterest

Do you incorporate vegetarian eating into your normal eating?
Any veggie recipes that you have tried and love?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Cookies and Blood {Weekend Recap}

Happy Monday friends! It's definitely very warm here today, like feels like spring warm, so I'm not feeling very holiday-esque except for the fact that I've been listening to Christmas music. Anyways, here's a little recap of our weekend.

Friday, we had a very low key evening. M made us a tasty recipe for quinoa burgers for dinner, then we watched Say Yes to the Dress and other random stuff.

Saturday, I was up at 5:30AM to catch a train to go run the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog. This was my first race post-injury, yet the last race of the year. I ran the 4 miles in 36:57 (aka 9:15 average pace), which is much faster than I thought considering I have just been getting back into the groove of running.
pre-race...yes, I ran with my neon jacket tied around my waist

After the race, I headed back to Grand Central to meet up with BSK and her husband. I always get a bundle of nerves right before meeting someone new, but it was like we had just not seen each other in a long time. BSK and I became blog friends early on. I think she was actually one of the first people that I started to text with, so it was cool to finally meet in person after almost 2 years. We laughed and chatted, took pictures, then said goodbye. I really hope that I can go down to Florida to visit her and her hubby!

The rest of Saturday was spent Christmas shopping, but not buying anything, then date night followed by Finding Nemo in 3D. I was falling asleep on the couch though so we just went to bed.

Sunday was pretty typical for us. We took Louie to play at the beach in the rain, helped my Dad and uncle with yard work, grocery shopped then I baked two different batches of cookies and M cooked dinner. We finished the day watching the Giants win, only to hit a bloody bump in the evening.
My happy face breakfast on Sunday

See, Louie doesn't like to get his nails all. So we kind of have to sneak attack when clipping them. Unfortunately, I clipped too short and got the quick. Cue blood everywhere. It wasn't an easy evening after that because I felt so guilty for cutting it too short, but there's nothing we can do now except wait for it to heal.
M's favorite cookies: Italian Anisette Cookies

And that was the weekend. Overall, I would say that it was a really good weekend. How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Medium, Where are you?

If you're like me, a happy medium requires work. Some of you may think, you're crazy! Why in the world do you need work at finding a happy place? Well six years ago when I sat across from my therapist Cory, he took out a piece of paper and drew two lines: one that looked like giant rolling hills and one that went straight through the middle. That middle line is where many aspire to live their lives, but it's not realistic, especially for a passionate and emotional person like me. 

That middle line is an unrealistic place for a happy medium. I'm not expected to be, nor do I want to be that flat line in the middle. I feel too much to think that I'll always just be one steady emotion. And it took me a long time to find that place and understand what it means for me since everyone's happy medium is different.

For me, the happy medium is living in the moment. Stopping to take a breath and appreciate that very moment. Often, I lose control and let my mind and emotions spiral off the deep end. That's when I need to take one minute, hour or day at a time, and not worry about everything else. I just need to remember that no matter the situation, it's not the end of the world.

Yesterday afternoon, while walking the dog, I found myself riding the extreme rolling hills of emotion again.

How did I get here? Is this because I didn't go running this morning? How am I going to get everything done? What do I need to finish today? What time will I need to leave on Saturday to make the train for the race? I can't wait to meet B in real life afterwards. Will she like me? Where did that black boot? I think the bathroom needs cleaning again. Do I still have a doctor's appointment tomorrow? Crap, I still need to email my PT. How did I end back at this point of feeling so happy one minute then near tears the next? How come I'm so frustrated? How come I feel like I'm being stretched too thin? Wasn't it just Monday that I took a mental health day that refreshed my mind and body? How did I get here?

And when I finished my inner-dialogue, I got back in my car, rolled the windows down and turned up the new Mumford & Sons CD. The fresh air on my face brought me down off my ledge to give me focus for when I stepped back into the office. Once I jumped back into my work for the day, my mind seemed to settle. And I was in my happy place. (Yes, work is a happy place for me.) Before I knew it, it was time to go home, and my mind raced yet again. 

Fortunately, one of the easiest ways for me to level back out to the happy medium is to go for a run. So off Louie and I went in the dark for 3.5 miles of jogging in the crisp air. Something about the pavement, the wind, even the snot running from my nose brought me closer to the steady flat line. I finished the day with making homemade pizza and browsing Pinterest on the couch next to M and Louie. 

I'm not really sure what my original intent was for this post, and you probably are thinking I'm crazy after that conversation I had with myself. But I wanted to get back to the honesty of my posts; some real writing for a change. Even if absolutely no one can relate to how extreme moments of stress and worry can take me to a low, but a great afternoon of work can take me to a super high, I'm simply being honest. 

I'm still learning that I have to work at my happiness, so sometimes I just need a little wake up call and reminder that finding my happy medium is just as important as making sure I get everything done that I want to accomplish. Happy medium, I've found you least temporarily.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Photography Help!

So Santa a.k.a. my amazing parents are bringing me a brand, spanking new DSLR camera for Christmas and my birthday.


Hello new Canon T3i! Since it was decided that this will be waiting for me under the tree, I've literally been reading and reading and reading all about DSLR cameras. A little fun fact that none of you know is that I was really big into photography in high school and even developed my own film.

I know a lot of you have these wonderful cameras and had to start somewhere in this digital SLR world, so do any of you have any great advice or tutorials for me? I know there are tons out there, but I'm definitely overwhelmed right now. I won't be able do too much until I have the camera in my hand, but any suggestions on reading would be really helpful!

Also, what camera bags do you all have use? Any cute ones?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Latest Obsessions

Recently, I've had a couple new obsessions that I thought I would share with you since I'm sure you all either already know about them or would like to know about them!

Does anyone else watch this show? I know I'm way behind on the seasons, but I started watching on Netflix last month and am already into season 3. I'm addicted.

Lep's World 2
On Sunday after our visitors left, I had a random craving to play a video game, specifically Super Mario Brothers. So I did a little Googling obviously and found Lep's World. Initially, I downloaded the free versions, but had to splurge to buy the full version. It is basically Super Mario with a leprechaun. It's awesome.

Rice Krispy Treats
Why are these so damn good? I now remember why I used to make them every weekend I went to visit M. They're quite addicting and tasty.

Nike Training Club
This is old news for me, but I'm back on the exercise band wagon. And I just love being sore (workout dork, I know), but I just can't get over how awesome this app is! If you don't have it, you need it. And it's free!

And that's that! Are there any apps or new things that you're obsessed with? I love hearing what other people are talking about and using!