Tag Archive | running

Friday Confessions

Hi there and happy Friday! I’m not sure where the time goes, but I’m not complaining. Friday came quickly this week! I have so much to share with all of you (wedding updates, recipes, etc.) but I have to get through my 4 exams next week before doing so. In the meantime, here’s my Friday confessions:

1) I have never been more ready for spring. As much as I love scarves, I’m over the cold. Over it, over it, over it. It can stop snowing any day now.
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2) Airbrushed make-up rules. My sister, Shauna (a bridesmaid), and myself went in for our wedding make-up trial last weekend and it was amazing.  Porcelain-looking skin for the day? Sign-me up! Our make-up must-haves for the wedding are : bold lips, smoky eyes with shimmer, bronzing, and contouring. Does that make us pains-in-the-neck? If so, oh well. We are having Serai Beauty out of Greenwich, RI do our make-up, and they are lovely to work with. Can’t wait for May 25th!
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3) I’m currently obsessed with the  ‘Irish Crème’ coffee flavor at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ve been treating myself twice a week on my long days at school, as it gives me something to look forward to in- between classes. Just two pumps in a black iced-coffee works for me. I’m already dreading the day they take the flavor away.  Has anyone tried the mint coolatta? I’m such a sucker for promotional items.
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4) My sister and I taste-tested potential wedding favors over the weekend. Cake-pops, cupcakes, and sugar cookies were on the menu. Can you say best job ever?! I am pretty sure she’s going to go with cake-pops from Sugar Bakery (a winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars), fingers crossed.
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5) I started volunteering at a senior center this week and I absolutely love it. I’m creating and baking sugar-free desserts for the diabetics at the center and yesterday was my first group session. It was so fun to get to know some of the members, and was an amazing feeling to be doing something that I’m passionate about, while helping others. That is a win-win in my book.

6) I ran outside for the first time in over two months last week…ouch. While I’ve been getting my cardio in via other forms of exercise (elliptical, biking, and HIIT workouts) I must admit my entire body felt that run over the next few days; calves, thighs, abs, everything! I am so excited to pound the pavement consistently this spring. Go away, snow!
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7) My sister’s bridal shower is only nine days away! Everything is really coming together, and I am so excited to celebrate the bride-to-be.  Since I am obsessed with all things Wedding Paper Divas, I loved the invitations my Mom and I picked out. Here’s a sneak peek:
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8) Brandon comes home in 5 weeks, 5 weeks, 5 weeks! Clearly I have a countdown going. Can you blame me? He was recently in Sydney visiting friends who had a beautiful baby girl late last year, and sent me this picture. Isn’t this the cutest?
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9) Eating gluten and dairy free (besides my wedding-favor tasting) is getting easier and easier thanks to more and more companies making great products, and adapting old recipes with new ideas. For example:
Best animal crackers I’ve ever tasted : 
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-Spaghetti-squash bake with dairy-free parmesan cheese and gluten-free crushed crumb topping:
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10) I need a dog. That is all.
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What’s your Friday confession?

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Reflections

Happy (belated) New Year! What a whirlwind the holidays are. Each year, it feels like they go by faster and faster. Anybody else feel that way? The last time I blogged, I had just finished finals, Brandon was about to come home, and Christmas was about to occur.
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Fast forward to today and suddenly I’m back in classes, Brandon has returned to Australia and Christmas is over. Where does the time go? Anyway, I was looking through my phone (and my nearly 3,000 photos…yikes) and I started to reflect on this past year. I love  how that’s so easy to do with pictures! I’ve never been one to state so-called ‘resolutions’ for the new year, but I do believe in goals, so I thought I’d state my reflections on the year instead, along with a goal to go along with each of them too.

Reflections 2013
-Personal growth happens when we least expect it
Looking back, I think I grew more as a person this past year than ever before in my life, but I never really thought so at the time. For all of last year, I was mostly just a basket of nerves. I was nervous to move beyond my comfort zone, nervous to change career paths, nervous to head back to school, move internationally, live with my boyfriend, make new friends and nervous to think about what direction my life would go in next. All of these things pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow. Yes it was scary, but I undoubtedly grew from it, without even expecting it.
Goal: Do one thing every month that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
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-Australia was a blessing
Moving across the world was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the greatest thing I’ve ever done too. It forced me to grow, ignited my love of traveling, introduced  me to things and new friends, and gave me a lifetime of lasting memories, too . As hard as it was to be away from home, for me it’s harder to be away from the one I love, so everyday has its challenges. That being said, I know (now) that I made the right decision for our future, but it sure wasn’t easy at the time.
Goal: Travel to Australia with Brandon again one day.
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Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Truth is, I didn’t always believe this, but I am a whole-hearted believer now. Long distance relationships, like any relationship are based on commitment and trust, but with long-distance, I feel the belief you have in your relationship and in one another is a key component, too.   With this commitment and belief forms an unbreakable bond, and if this year has proved anything to me, it’s this. I’m thrilled to say that as soon as April hits, the long distance will be over and Brandon will be home!
Goal: Date nights once a week, minimum!
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-A week off from exercise is actually GOOD for my body
If you told me this a few years ago I would have cringed at the thought. I took a 5-7 days off from exercise at a time a couple of times this year, and it truly helped me both mentally and physically. I am so happy to be past my exercise addiction habits and ways of thinking. Rest does the body good.
Goal: Take breaks from exercise, whether needed or not needed

-I need to sleep more
I have been guilty of being sleep deprived for as long as I can remember, and this year was no exception. I need to remember how good I feel after an 8-hour sleep compared to a 5-hour sleep. My energy levels are better, my concentration is better, my mood is better…everything is just better.
Goal: 7-8 hours of sleep a night
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-I ran a lot but I’d like to run more
Since I stopped playing basketball at age 18, I haven’t felt like I’ve had a ‘sport’. This year, I really connected with running and now it kind-of feels like ‘my sport’. I’m not running a marathon anytime soon, but a second half marathon may be in my future, and it’s just so nice to look forward to running.
Goal: ‘3’ has always been my average number, so I’d like to increase my average running route from 3-4 miles to 4-5 miles by the spring-time.
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-Group exercise is addicting
I can thank Australia for this reflection. It’s there that I fell in love with bootcamps and Les Mills workout classes, and I looked forward to them almost daily. They were addicting, but in a good way. I miss them everyday.
Goal: First purchase when I move back to city/Boston area living is a gym membership…can’t wait!
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-Age is just a number
The thought of turning 28 this year sort-of makes me want to cry. ‘Late-20’s’ oh my. I kick myself just writing those words, but I can’t help thinking it!  When I look at my Mom and Dad I just hope I am just like them in my 60’s, not looking or acting a bit like ‘60’ at all, since age really is just a number.
Goal: STOP thinking of aging as a sad thing and start thinking of it as exciting part of life.
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-As you age, you learn who your friends are
Moving away was truly telling about my friendships. Oddly enough, I felt moving away brought me even closer together to a few of my best friends. Even though I’m not in the same city or state as them right now, I couldn’t love them more.
Goal: Have a girls weekend once a month.
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-Family is a precious gift
My family means everything to me, and this year, more than ever, their support was crucial to my well-being. I can’t say thank you to them enough.
Goal: Make togetherness a priority this year and every year.
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And on a less serious note:
-I have a cookie butter problem
I’m not seeking help for it since it’s too delicious, but I just wanted to acknowledge that I eat far too much of it.
Goal:  Try new nut butters….there has to be others that I like just as much, right?

-Puppies are a key to my happiness.
This might sound sappy, stupid, whatever…I am a true believer in this. Puppies always make me smile, no matter what. My sister’s puppies actually lick my tears. Sometimes I fake cry just so they’ll do it (truth).
Goal: Puppy by year end (NO MATTER WHAT!)
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I’m thankful for a wonderful 2013 and looking forward to a bright 2014.

Do you have any reflections this year?
Anyone else  have  a goal of getting a new puppy, or a pet in general?

I love Cori’s new puppy!

Appreciating the moments

Hello, hello! Long time no talk on my part.  I really marvel at how time flies.  The last two weeks were some of the busiest I’ve had since I returned home, and while they were jam-packed with some very exciting things (and some not-so-exciting things like exams), I tried my very best to appreciate each and every moment as it came. Lately I’ve felt like I blink and suddenly a day is over, a week is gone, or a month has passed, and I just don’t like it!  So I made myself a goal to simply slow down and appreciate more moments. When I slow down, everything else seems to fall into place and I just feel happier.
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Things that I try to do to savor special moments include taking pictures, tapping out of technology, and just ‘being present’. Also, I find that no matter how busy I am, if I make a list and plan accordingly, everything seems works out.  Here’s some special moments I appreciated the last couple of weeks:

Moment One:
Brandon came home to the USA for a visit (and coincidentally he needed a t-shirt (my t-shirt) to sleep in LOL!)
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He was home to be a groomsman in his best friend’s wedding and I was fortunate to be invited to attend with him. It was honestly the best wedding I’ve ever been too. The love in the air just made me smile and my feet still hurt from dancing 5 days later! Congratulations Katie and Michael!
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Moment Two:
Mimosas with my boss after a great accomplishment of his. I’m so happy we did this because it was necessary to take a moment and celebrate. Plus, mimosas always seem to hit the spot!
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Moment Three:
Walks and talks and down-time with my parents. After living so far away, I’m just loving being back together.

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(Please note it’s only October and my Dad is dressed for freezing temperatures already!)

Moment Four:
Quality time with my second family. When I say it never gets easier to see Brandon head back to Australia, I mean it. It never gets easier. However, being surrounded by loved ones certainly helped, and fried clams helped our sad moods, too! We were just missing you, B!
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Moment Five:
Alone time/retail therapy. When I’m down, my go-to cheer-up reliefs include shopping, baking, and exercising. If anyone has a few other alternatives that won’t have me spending money or eating copious amounts of chocolate, I’m all ears! However, even though I really shouldn’t have been shopping, I couldn’t help but be psyched that I scored a new dress with a gift card(that I wore to the wedding) and a striped hoodie, both of which I’m loving!
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A much-needed run
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Dress shopping
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Loving this nautical hoodie.

I hope you have a special weekend, friends.

How do you slow down and appreciate each moment?
Does anyone else shop, bake, or eat chocolate to cheer yourself up?
Do you like weddings?

I seriously LOVE them. I officially have wedding fever!

A work and play weekend

Hey friends, how was your weekend? Since I actually ended up working and studying for most of mine, I didn’t feel like I would have too many exciting things to share  (unless you want to know all about the yummy gelato flavors we had this weekend, that is Winking smile).  However, when I looked through my pictures, I was reminded that I didn’t just work all weekend. There was some play involved too, thank goodness!

-First, I got my new Bic Bands in the mail and proceeded to wear them ALL weekend. No slip headbands that give back to charity? I.am.obsessed.

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-We decided to stay-in on Friday night, make pizza, and watch the American Idol finale: This ended up being the best decision ever. I swear, I’d choose homemade pizza over take-out pizza any day!

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-I went for a quick run on the water before my Saturday shift: It always feels good to sweat, always!
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(Wearing a Bic Band, obviously).

-I baked Sally’s Baking Addiction Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies for a going-away party I attended after work on Saturday: OMG is all I have to say about this recipe. Visit her amazing blog and try these immediately! (Thanks Sally!)
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-I got dressed up immediately following my shift at work for this surprise party: Although I was late
and missed the surprise (major FAIL), it was a blast. Plus, I always love dressing up!
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-I had Sunday brunch with the girls and got my favorite order: Muesli with greek yogurt and berries. Muesli is another food I’ll be shipping home to the U.S.A. when we leave Australia!
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There you have it, a weekend of some work, some play, and studying in-between. Not a bad combination if you ask me!

Do you wear Bic Bands? Homemade Pizza or take-out?

Did anyone watch the Idol finale?
I loved it, I just wish Angie had been in the top 2!

Australia Loving…March Edition

Hello, hello! Happy Sunday in the states/Monday in Australia : – )

May I just say, holy WOW time flies. The last “favorites” post I did was over a month ago! Based on the number of pictures I’ve taken on my phone in the last 30 days, I’d say it’s about that time I share some new things I’m loving in Australia. To me, one of the most exciting things about living in a different country is discovering new things on a daily basis. Anything from new foods, different product packaging, a new walking path, a coffee shop, a restaurant; the possibilities are endless, and it makes every day exciting. Plus, I’m very hopeful that maybe, just maybe, some of my dear friends and family will read these posts and be inspired to come visit us and see these things, too : – ) 
A girl can dream!

Anyway, here’s what I’m loving so far in March:

1) Seeing cruise ships from the treadmill: Yes, you read that right, cruise ships from the treadmill.  That’s just one of the benefits of joining a gym that overlooks the ocean I suppose! I was that weird girl taking pictures on the treadmill but I didn’t care. I have a slight obsession with cruises.cruise

2) New cereal boxes: I’m honestly age 26 going on 6… I think the marketing here on cereals is the cutest thing! The prices, however, are another story. $8 for Nutri-Grain…yuck!
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3) Boost Juice Bar Smoothies: A few weeks ago Brandon and I went to the mall and I was craving a smoothie more than anything, but I’ve struggled to find healthy options here. Boost Juice Bar offered a large variety of healthier options (such as low-fat yogurt and skim milk) for a decent price, too.  I’ll be going back!
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4) Sunsets and sunrises on the ocean: I will never, ever, ever get tired of looking at these!
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5) Ciabatta Restaurant: A few weeks ago I had my favorite meal thus-far in Australia: Macadamia Crusted Wild Baramunndi  (a white fish, similar to Cod) served over a bed of butternut pumpkin, peas, pine-nuts and pan-fried gnocchi, all in a sage and butter sauce. Best.thing.ever.
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6) A new-to-me Pink Moscato Wine: this beauty is only $6 and absolutely delicious.  I felt like I was at Trader Joes when I bought it…$6 for wine?!! Such a deal.IMG_1428

7) Pretty coffee: This has been in my favorites before, but really, I don’t think I’ll never get sick of “latte art”. One of my goals in the next couple of months is to take a coffee-making class so I can learn how to do this.
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8) Running in the sunshine: Still loving it!
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9) Australia celebrating Easter: Many of the holidays we celebrate in the U.S.A. aren’t celebrated here as much, so I was PSYCHED when I spotted chocolate Easter bunnies and Cadbury eggs!
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10) Icecream and fro-yo trips: Obviously, Australia has ice-cream, but anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE soft-serve, waffle cones, and cookie dough icecream. I had my first scoop of cookie dough and my first waffle cone here yesterday at Baskin Robbins, and it was glorious! The perfect Sunday treat.

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What are you loving lately?