Friday, July 31, 2015

Peter's Home!

Peter got home late last night (15 hour drive…) and I'm all like:

It's been a long 12 months but we made it! I can't wait to spend time together again, going on adventures and making memories. While Chicago was a fun place to visit, I'm really looking forward to all the fun things we're going to do here at home :)

This blog will hopefully see some more action now that I won't have an excuse to sit home and relax so much anymore :P 

Happy Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge - Check In

I know you've all been wondering how my reading has been going for the Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge so have no fear, you'll find out today! I crossed off the ones I've finished and wrote a small review.

1. A YA book (mandatory!) - The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
As I mentioned before I already read this one but I still enjoyed it a second time! It's just one of those cute fun books to read and only took me about 3 days. It's basically about this girl that loves baseball and falls in love with a baseball player - what's not to love? Definitely a good beach read.

2. Non US-Author  (mandatory!) I Will Teach You How To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

3. A book that was recommended by a blogger (mandatory!) The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

5. A book with a kickass female character - Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoir if neither of those are your jam.  - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

8. A book with a one word title. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I just started this one over the weekend and I'm only about 20% of the way through. The main character is a bit whiny but she is a freshmen in college trying to figure herself out without her twin sister so I guess it's understandable so far. I hope she gains some self confidence soon.

9. A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge! Also Known As by Robin Benway
This was the second book I read and I enjoyed it most of it. At some parts I thought they were going to turn out really bad but then nothing actually happened. It's another easy fun read and there's wasn't really anything that scary about it but I don't enjoy scary so it was good enough for me. 

10. A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge! - The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
Another one found on GoodReads.

Well 3 weeks in and 2.2 books finished..time to step up my game! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

General Life Update

So last time we talked I said I would post more and then left you hanging for 9 days…gah I'm work in progress :) My excuse this time is that I was out of town for 4 days and I spent last Wednesday night doing last minute packing instead of typing up a blog post. I had to pack for 4 different occasions in one carry on suitcase so it took some time. Okay excuse over…on to the life update!

+ I went out of town for the 4th of July because one of my cousins got married in Vermont. I have 10 cousins on my mom's side but they all live in New England and we just don't see each other often. The last time was probably 9-10 years ago so it was a bit crazy to see them all more grown up. The wedding was on the bride's family's 100 year old farmhouse, had about 50 people and a taco bar so all in all it was a pretty good one. Though being at wedding surrounded by a bunch of couples is not ideal when you haven't seen your boyfriend in 2 months. Have I mentioned I can't wait to have Peter home next month?! :D
They had the ceremony on the porch
Their dog's wedding attire
+ On my way back from Vermont I made a pit stop in Boston to visit my uncle and aunt on my dad's side. I don't see them very much either but they always offer to let me stay with them if I wanted to visit Boston so I finally took them up on it! I flew from Vermont to Boston in this teeny tiny airplane and almost had a heart attack. There were 10 people total on it, including the pilot. I fly because it's efficient but I hate it. I don't enjoy anything about it and try to keep the thoughts of plummeting to the ground out of my head the whole time. I put my big girl pants on though and ended up surviving the 50 minute flight. 

I got in Sunday night just in time to watch the Women's World Cup final. What a game!!! All those goals in the beginning is exactly why my one rule of watching soccer is to never leave the TV during regular time. Anything can happen! I heard that President Obama invited the team to the White House so I'm hoping they come and I can go see them somehow!

On Monday my uncle took the day off from work so we could hang out. He lives near Heartbreak Hill so we went running down it then up it. After only 1.5 miles it was hard to get up it so I can only imagine doing it after 19 miles! We then went into the city, walked down Newbury Street, saw the Finish Line and I got a Boston Strong shirt from Marathon Sports. I was so giddy seeing all the Boston Marathon stuff. One day I will be going to watch it! 

That afternoon we did a Duck Tour and it was awesome! I love all the history Boston has and its architecture. That night we grilled out and made italian sausage pepper pizza - yum! I was on flight back home at 6AM Tuesday morning and went straight to work so I was pretty much in struggle city the whole day. After all that social interaction all weekend I came home and told Sarah and Ryan that I needed a few hours to myself haha. Introvert through and through.
With the John Kelley statue
THE finish line
View while on the Duck Tour
+ Speaking of the Boston Marathon…I signed up for a marathon last week! Unfortunately not Boston but one in Virginia in the fall. I've really wanted to do one but I've been super scared because it just seems like a lot but I decided that there's no time like the present! For all of you who have run a marathon before (Tracy, Deb, Meagan), send me all your helpful tips and tricks! And for all of you that haven't, send me all your positive vibes and well wishes - I'm going to desperately need them!! I start training next week eek!

Well a quick though long life update but it's at least a post! I promise I'll be back on Tuesday with another one :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weekend Recap

As most of you may have noticed, my blogs posts have been sporadic, basically this entire year. It's for multiple reasons/excuses but two weeks ago I finally decide to give myself a little schedule. I love having something to follow. I decided my two blogging days would be Tuesday and Thursday. There's just no way you're getting 5 posts out of me per week. So two weeks ago, I blogged on Tuesday and Thursday but then by the time the next Tuesday rolled around, you got nothing. Thursday, nothing. I did muster up energy to write a post for Friday since I was super excited about my new reading challenge

I'm going to chalk up my lack of posts to that fact that I have too much free time. I know I know, first world problem but I think it's true. I don't have kids, my boyfriend is 700 miles away, I only have a few friends in the area and I don't really like having a ton of activities on my schedule (ISFJ personality type). For some reason I sometimes get super stressed out thinking I need to be here and do this then and spend time doing this, that I like having a wide open day to do whatever I want, whenever I want. During the work week that's limited to the afternoons too. Not that I just want to sit not the couch all day long but I don't plan events back to back. If I have things to do on Saturday, I'll leave Sunday open. Hopefully some of you can relate to this and not think I'm a totally loner :) Basically this long rant is about how I'm hoping to be blog twice a week and be more intentional with my time.

And now on to my weekend recap!

Friday night the USA women's soccer team played China in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. I parked myself right in front of the TV and didn't move for 90 minutes. I'm so bummed that there are only a few games left of the World Cup! At least the Gold Cup starts two days after it ends. #allthesoccer

Saturday morning Ryan and I went to Costco. Sarah always gives us a list and we do our best not to add too much to it but it's hard because who can really say no to 72 bagel bites? Our tradition is that we get Berry Smoothies after we finish too. I'm pretty sure they put crack in them and that's why I can never replicate their amazing flavor. Afterwards we stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods because they were having a clearance sale and I got cleats for $30! Too good to pass up. I also had to get a soccer ball and the US soccer shirt because I have World Cup fever. Again, #allthesoccer

Saturday afternoon I went to my co-worker/neighbor's house for her son's 3rd birthday party. He's the kid I babysit sometimes and she only about 15 people over. I'm now at that stage in life where I get invited to kid's birthday parties but I'm not old enough to have enough stuff to talk about with the other adults there so I end up just playing with the kids.  Playing with multiple is down right exhausting. I came home with one bruised foot (thanks for a giant toy plane being dropped on it) and took a nap at 6:30PM. Sarah and Ryan then had some friends over and we watched the England vs Canada game. We were supposed to go to a Polo match that night but it got rained out :(

Sunday morning Ryan and I went running. We got gatorade at Costco and it was pretty glorious to come home from a humid run to ice cold fruit punch gatorade. I spent the rest of the day reading and finished my first book for the literary ladies reading challenge! It was nice too because I didn't have to waste time figuring out what I should read next, I had a list of 9 to choose from!

This upcoming weekend I'll be at my cousin's wedding and taking 1.5 day trip to one of my favorite cities so a more exciting weekend recap coming your way next week! Happy Tuesday!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge

I read about this challenge on Tracy's blog on Tuesday and knew I wanted to join. You may recall on my 25 before 25 list I'm trying to read 25 books before my birthday and I'm currently at 5…I definitely need some motivation to get this done so this challenge has perfect timing. 

It took a few days to create my list but here it is! I must warn you that I prefer young adult, fun, lighthearted type books. I'm just not into reading all those books we had to read in high school or scary/suspenseful ones. My book tastes are similar to my favorite TV shows - Gilmore Girls and Friends. 

1. A YA book (mandatory!) - The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
Confession: I've already read this book but Rachel Hawthorne was one of my favorite authors in high school and I wanted to read it again.

2. Non US-Author  (mandatory!) I Will Teach You How To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
I bought this book a couple months ago to help my budgeting and I only read 10 pages.

3. A book that was recommended by a blogger (mandatory!) The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I saw Kristen post about her love for this book on Instagram so that counts as a recommendation right?

4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
As a young woman only 2 years into the working world I think this book will be beneficial to read.

5. A book with a kickass female character - Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
While I've seen the Anne Hathaway movie, I've never read the book.

6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I feel like I'll be able to relate to this so I hope it's good!

7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoir if neither of those are your jam.  - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Erin will be excited that I'm finally listening to her and reading this book :)

8. A book with a one word title. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Found this on GoodReads.

9. A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge! Also Known As by Robin Benway
As mentioned above, these kinds of books aren't really for me so this one as close as I can get.

10. A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge! - The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
Another one found on GoodReads.

Our first update is July 21st so hopefully I'll have at least 3 done by then! Off to a weekend of reading!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

More & Less

Sometimes when I get to work in the mornings, I think "wasn't I just here?" I do enjoy my job and co-workers but sometimes I feel like the time between work goes a lot faster than the time during work. I usually get home between 4:30 and 5 and go to bed between 9:30 and 10. That leaves 5 hours of my day to do whatever I want/need. Now that summer is here and there are a lot more activities to do/to go to, I want to be more intentional with my free time. I've had a lot of "me" time while Peter has been in Chicago but I'm definitely ready for him to come home and take some of it away! Here are a few more things I want more and less of…

+ More…reading. I have it on my 25 before 25 list to finish 25 books this year so I need to up my game (only 5 so far). One of my favorite things is to read in bed for hours and changing positions 18 times.

+ Less…multi-tasking TV watching. I'm really good at watching TV, while surfing the internet on my laptop, and looking at IG on my phone…#millennial. Time to focus more on less.

+ More…evening walks. I love warm summer nights and walking is good cross training. I know this will definitely happen more when Peter is home.

+ Less… evening runs. I hate/suck at running the heat and humidity so I want to get my runs done in the morning when it's not quite so hot and humid. I'd be happy with at least 3 days a week. 

+ More…yoga. I keep saying I want to do it more often and yet I make no steps towards that goal. While I'm not ready for a weekly class, youtube videos is my room is a good start! Plus the videos are only like 20-30 minutes. I spend at least that much time adding and deleting clothes in my Loft shopping cart before just closing the window and not buying anything.

+ Less…shopping. While I'm loving my capsule wardrobe, I'm still browsing Loft, JCrew Factory, Express for new clothes and deals. I finally unsubscribed from all the store emails yesterday so I can stop being tempted.

What are some things you want to do more or less of?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Have Nodes...

Well not really but I watched Pitch Perfect over the weekend so all the quotes are stuck in my head. I did find out yesterday that I have something but nothing related to my singing ability.

Remember during my vlog, I mentioned that I had allergies and thus why my voice sounded funny. Well when I said that I actually didn't know if I had them or not. About 3 years ago, I thought I got a cold but the stuffy, running, dry nose didn't go away. I thought it was something in the air down at Tech but when I spent the summer back home, nothing changed. Finally this spring I decided it was time to see an ear, nose and throat doctor and get some definite answers (Google only gets you so far.. or far off…). 

When I first went to the doctors, they saw that I had a sinus infection so I needed to get rid of that so they could see better up my nose. When I went back luckily it was gone and we decided an allergy test would be a good next step. Well yesterday I got to take the afternoon off from work for that woo! 
tried to get a picture of the test..the red dots are blending in with my freckles
The results…I'm "highly sensitive" to ragweed, tree and grass pollen, dogs, dust mites, cats and molds. Those that have been reading this blog for a hot second, probably gasped slightly when they read "dogs" and "cats" because they've seen pictures of the 2 dogs and 2 cats my family has and the 1 dog I live with on here. Luckily my allergies to them isn't like itching, eye watering, can't even pet them but the allergist suggested that I at least keep them out of my bedroom. Not that Sarah and Ryan put Zoey in my room when they leave in the morning so I get to wake up snuggling a dog… :(

Because of the things I'm allergic to and when they are present throughout the year (basically March - November), I'm eligible for allergy shots. Ooof. Being that I just found out all this yesterday I haven't made a decision yet but I did go home and wash all my sheets, dust my room and vacuum Zoey's hair out of there. It'll be somewhat of a lifestyle change but also I know this isn't the worst thing to happen. A friend of mine found out she was allergic to basically most of the foods she loved at age 19. Luckily since my allergy to dogs isn't terrible, I think I'll still be able to get one of the hypoallergenic breeds, which is what my first dog Henry is, and I never had problems with him. At least now I have some answers and can figure out the best treatment plan using this information. I would also like to point out that having a twin apparently means one gets everything and the other gets nothing…I had to get my wisdom teeth out, Kiefer didn't…I have allergies, Kiefer doesn't…ah the fairness of life :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Signs I'm Not A Biker

This past Sunday I rode in my first Tour De Cure event. It's a bike event, not a race, put on by the American Diabetes Association to raise money for the fight against diabetes. They have Tour de Cure events all across the nation so I encourage you to check one out near you! I had a great experience with the event and the organization of it. 

My company put together a corporate team and I decided it would be a fun thing to try. This was right after I had started healing from my IT band issues so I thought it would be a good way to ease back into exercise by riding a bike. However I didn't have my own bike and my mom wouldn't let me borrow hers (claimed they going to do a lot of spring riding…) so I ended up borrowing my mom's friend's fiance's bike. Which turned out to be a mountain bike…you know wide tires and big frames…great for flat, paved trails. But it was free so I just went with it. I got it a new seat and tune up and thought I was ready to get on this cycling train (inspired by Tracy of course). Well I ended up riding it twice in 3 months before the event. And a couple things happened on the day of the event to remind me that this particular runner is not a biker…

1. While heading to the event, I got 15 minutes away from my house and realized I had forgotten my helmet…I like that with running you can put on whatever you need ahead of time but it would have probably been a bit weird to be wearing a helmet all morning...

2. My mom and step-dad came to the event and when my step-dad took the bike off the rack on my car his first observation was "uh Becky the front tire is flat…"

3. His second observation,,, "uh Becky the handle bar should not be wiggling like this.." Clearly I did a great job assuming that the tune up I got 3 months prior meant the bike would stay in good shape.

4. The trail the event was held on is a popular one in my area for bikers, runners, walkers, roller bladders…as I was on the bike I was getting so jealous seeing all the runners. When I turned around at the halfway point, I wanted to call my mom and have her pick up the bike so I could run the rest of the way :P

5. Speaking of the halfway point, I stopped at the halfway point for the 14 milers and ended up turning around with them instead of going 3 more miles to the 20 milers halfway point…I just didn't have any motivation to stay out there for an extra 30 minutes.

While I didn't expect to fall in love with biking and I know they are a few factors that got in the way but overall I enjoyed the experience. It was for a great cause and my company ended up raising over $23,000 for ADA (there were 46 people on our team). I decided I'm going to stick with running and maybe one day I'll see a good road bike on sale and try my hand again at cycling!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Women's World Cup 2015!

Some of you may remember reading my post last summer about how excited I was for the Men's World Cup. This summer is the Women's World Cup and my excitement is on a whole other level! I played soccer from age 9 to 15 and though that's only 6 years, I quickly grew very passionate about the sport. I love everything about it. 

4th grade Becky with cornrows on the right...

I ended up stopping because once I got to high school the other girls on my club team started playing sports for their high schools and we didn't have enough players. My only regret when I played is never changing teams. I played on the same one all 6 years. I was uber shy back then and was worried about not being good enough to make another team and making friends if I did. Ya'll know how tough girls can be at that age. I enjoyed my team but since we never moved up into a higher league, it seemed like the motivation to play went down. When I tried out for my high school team freshmen year (2005) and didn't make it, I stopped playing soccer for good. At the time there wasn't a league for women in the US. The Women's United Soccer Association had suspended operations in 2003 and the next league wouldn't start again until 2009. The area I grew up has super competitive sports team and I thought I had lost my chance to continue playing by not being in one of the higher leagues. While I still wish I hadn't quit, I ended up joining the track team the next season and began my running journey. 

Though I quit, my passion for soccer didn't and I especially love women's soccer. I dreamed of playing soccer professionally. I idolized the players and loved following their journeys. Some of my favorite players growing up were Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Joy Fawcett and of course Mia Hamm. I remember watching the 1999 World Cup and Brandi taking off her sports bra but didn't realize what an impact this squad would have on women's soccer. 
Since that win a lot has happened with women's soccer in the US. Professional leagues have started and stopped, Olympic gold medals have been won, players have broken records, an amazing goal was scored in the injury time of overtime to tie the game in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal and ultimately beat Brazil in PKs but then ended in a crushing 2nd place finish in the final game.

The players on this year's world cup roster are ready to make their own impact on US soccer. For some this will be their first world cup and others it will be their last. They are ready to fight to raise that World Cup on July 5th. Tonight is the first step in that fight as they play Australia for their opening game. I will be at home, a nervous but excited wreck, not sitting still and cheering my heart out for this inspiring team and the wonderful women that are a part of it. 


Monday, June 1, 2015

25 Before 25 Update

141 days until I turn 25 so I thought I would give an update on what I've been able to cross off since I made this list at the end of January. Hint..I've been slacking!

11. Go on a winery tour - No…

12. Host a dinner party and cook - No

13. See the White House in person - No…

14. Hike in the Shenandoah National Park - No…

15. Learn how to properly put on make up Yes! My mom and I went to a Mary Kay event in February, got some quality make up and learn some good techniques! I may still wear just mascara most days but at least I have more make up now.

16. Go zip lining - No…Sarah, Ryan and I bought groupons for this but then never found a free weekend before they expired booo

17. Do a 30 day yoga challenge - No…I got about 16 days in in February then missed one day that turned into multiple…I'm going to shoot for June though now!

18. Implement a budget - Not completely

19. Go to a restaurant alone - No

20. Go a week without watching TV - that the Bachelorette is on I may have to wait until after it is over…I'm ashamed for saying that.

21. Babysit my niece all alone - Not yet!

22. Read 25 books - I've read 5 so far this year...

23. Go on a girls weekend - Yes! Went to New Orleans in March.

24. Visit Europe or figure out when it will happen - Not yet...

25. Volunteer - No…but I'm thinking of volunteering at some local races this summer!

Time to get cracking on this list again! I'm hoping when Peter gets home in 6 -7 weeks he can help me cross off a few of these!