Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five

TGIF! N's been in Chicago for a training all week so it's just been me and the pigs pugs chillin' at the house. I also cracked my phone on Tuesday and spent a pretty penny getting it fixed, and this afternoon I get to make an impromptu visit at the vet because I'm 99% certain Daisy has an ear infection. Booooo unexpected expenses.

Anyways, here's the 5 things that helped me perk up my week, despite some mishaps!

1. The randomness of Emilio Estevez. Wednesday night my older brother was at happy hour with a friend and spotted Emilio Estevez. He snapped a pic of him and sent myself and my little brother the pic. This is how the text convo went from there:

Older Brother: Emilio Estevez is at Merchant's. I just bought him a beer.
Little Brother: He should've bought you a beer!
Me: Emilioooooooooooooo  
Little Brother: Why is he in Lawrence?
Older Brother: He's doing a coast to coast road trip.
Me: quack, quack, Quack, Quack, QUACK, QUACK

*I realize I'm the 5 year old that everyone ignores in this conversation, but I can't pass up a good Night at the Roxbury/Mighty Ducks reference.

2. Skinnytaste Blueberry Banana Bread. So, so tasty, and healthy to boot.

3. Old photo albums. One of my most treasured birthday presents I've ever gotten is a photo album from one of my BFFs about 15 years ago. This weekend my parents were going through some of our old bedrooms and pulled out the photo album for me to take home. I thumbed through it and all these years later it's still just as hilarious as the day I got it.

My dad pulled off the lumberjack look before it was cool.

BFF's dad

A whole page dedicated to the hotties of the late 90's/early 00's

Little brother! So hard to believe he'll be 24 this year.

4. New bedding. About a year ago when we were re-decorating our master bedroom I bought a big, fluffy white comforter for our bed. While it looked beautiful, it made it so N and I so hot at night we could hardly stand it. Luckily I just snagged this white Jersey quilt from Target and it's 1000x times lighter than the comforter, but just as pretty. Now I'm thinking we should probably get a nice throw blanket and maybe some decorative pillows to finish the look :).

5. Our new Notes Board for our fridge. N can be a little forgetful at times, so this is a good (and pretty) way of reminding him of what we need to accomplish for the week.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Work with a scenic view

Last week was definitely a departure from what my usual week looks like. Instead of going to the office every day, I had the opportunity to go to Trinidad, Barbados and Puerto Rico for work.

Let me just preface the trip with one thing - I hate flying. I'm not a huge fan of heights period, so being 38,000 feet above ground freaks me out. Nonetheless I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to travel, so fly I did.

Monday was basically spent flying the whole day (yay!) and getting through customs. Seriously, I thought the guy at the customs counter was going to ask me to draw blood and give up my first born. Fortunately we all made it into the country and to the hotel by dinnertime. Our hotel was amazing - by far one of the nicest places I've ever stayed, and it was ocean front to boot. After a 2 hour dinner, we went back to our rooms and I took a waterfall shower (so.good.) for 20 minutes before slipping into bed.

Not a bad view for breakfast/dinner!

Enjoying the scenery on the way to the next location

The first half of the week we spent in Trinidad, hopping all over the island and spending a good 14 hours of the day working. Tuesday night we had an early enough dinner that I was able to slip away with a couple of my coworkers down to the hotel bar to enjoy some Mojitos and some live music. While in Rome, right?

Then Wednesday I got my first peak at what I'd be flying on for the next 4 (yes, 4) flights.
Gotta love propeller planes
 I'm not going to lie, I had a mini panic attack when I realized the plane we'd be flying on from Trinidad to Barbados was a twin prop plane and not a plane with engines. I felt even less confident about flying when I:
  1. Got seated in a window seat that was a view of the propellers (luckily a coworker switched me)
  2. The pilot turned the plane around before take off because there was a "technical" issue with the plane (side note: I don't think the plane had a technical issue at all. We just had to turn around because 2 people on the flight had to get off - and get arrested. For what I'll never know.)
Fortunately (and unfortunately) for me, my coworkers thought it was hilarious that I was terrified of flying, so half the flight I spent laughing since everyone else was laughing so much. The nice man across the aisle from me that spoke no English also offered me his KFC. It was definitely an experience. 

We flew into Barbados at 9 at night, and then went straight to dinner. I wasn't super excited about another long night, but my mind changed when I went into the restaurant. We were seated outside right next to the ocean. Enjoying fresh seafood and listening to the waves crash on the rocks was all I needed to unwind from the stress of flying.
One of the best spots to enjoy a meal
The next day was another early day. Fortunately the island was small, so we called it quits around 5:30 at night at had the chance along the way to visit the beach. Barbados is definitely on my list of places I want to come back on vacation. I could have enjoyed weeks of just looking at the ocean.

We also stopped for lunch at the #1 rated restaurant on Trip Advisor for Bridgetown, Cuz's Fish Shack. It's 1 guy that serves fresh fish sandwiches every day, and the type of fish varies from day to day. We had Marlin, and it was one of the tastiest things I've ever had. I'm still drooling just thinking about it.

For dinner we went to another restaurant on the island that was right on the beach. Since we finished up a little earlier than planned, we got to walk there on the way to dinner. I'm now convinced a beach vacation has to be in my future - a couple hours on the beach is not nearly enough.

Delicious mussels
 Friday we got up at 5am to catch our flights from Barbados to Puerto Rico. Since the airlines that fly in-between the islands make no sense, we had to take a total of 3 flights to get from Bridgetown to San Juan. Again, I was stressing about flying, mostly because I got stuck on one of these again:

Fortunately we made it to San Juan right on time (something that rarely happens on the airline we flew) and since we were all starving, we filled up with some delicious Cubans.

We spent less than 24 hours in San Juan, but it was a definitely necessary trip as far as work was concerned. We enjoyed our last dinner at another seafood place, and made it to the hotel around midnight. Saturday was another whirlwind day of flying, but coming home was the sweetest, sweetest thing after a long week traveling.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Radio silence and randomness

Last week was basically a complete departure from my usual work week. I spent 6 days in the Carribean (Trinidad, Barbados and Puerto Rico, to be specific) for work, hence the lack of blogging.

I'll post a trip recap later, but for today, I'm feeling random. So let's get that out of the way.

  • Is is just me or is everyone pregnant? I started following two fitness blogs, and bam, both announced within weeks that they were expecting. People on my Facebook feed are having babies like woah. I enjoy reading people's pregnancy posts just because I'm curious, and everyone has different experiences, but what I don't enjoy as much? Birth pictures on my Facebook feed. Hey, if you want to grab a professional photographer to take pictures of you half naked and mid-push, I say go for it.  Just leave those photo albums on your physical coffee table and not your very public, internet coffee table. 
  • Sometimes I think, wait, I know that my husband is more expensive than me. Between the Urgent Care/ER visits he springs on me a couple times a year, the man also goes through clothes like nobody's business. Our most recent sticker-shock purchase was yesterday where we dropped more than a few bills on a new suit for him. He looks very dapper in it, and I know it's a man's must-have, but my wallet cried a little bit, that's for sure.
  • I buy gummy multi-vitamins not because I think they'll make me healthier, but because I love the taste. It's like eating 2 tiny gummy bears after lunch every day. Who wouldn't want that?
  • Nalgene bottles are by far the most ridiculously shaped water bottle, but I love them anyway. They don't fit in cup holders, rarely ever on exercise machines and they cover a whole freakin' coaster. Not to mention if you're driving and trying to drink out of one at the same time, you end up covered in water.  I'm a sucker for them though, and I can't really explain why. I have hanging out on the floor boards of my car right now. 

Not pictured: my dirty car floorboards

  • True talk? I hide my fitbit in my bra. This makes for an interesting maneuver for getting it out without any of your coworkers seeing before you go through security at the airport. I find the half-spin/reach-down-your-shirt-when-you-think-no-one-is-looking as the best option. That or remembering to go to the bathroom pre-security screening (which happened exactly 0 times).


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

15 Things for 2015 Check-In

Happy first day of April! Don't worry about me tricking you, I'm not a huge fan of April fools. Call me a wet blanket, but half of the pranks people pull are either not funny or insensitive. I also have 2 brothers that constantly pranked me on this holiday, so I'm being a no-fun-Nancy and not playing along today.

On another note, can someone please tell me how a quarter of the year has already come and gone?! I feel like I slowed down a little bit this month in the goals department, but that's even more of a reason to ramp it up this month so I can knock some more of these off my list!
  1. Try 6 new recipes that aren't desserts (and post the review/recipe on here).Is it sad that I can't even remember if I added another recipe this month? I don't think I did. That still makes the total three. Anybody wanna help a girl out and throw me your favorite healthy recipe to make at home? You can see the recipes I've made so far here and here, and  here. 
  2. Read 5 new books. Officially over halfway there! See my completed list below. Next book I plan on knocking out is First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.
    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    2. Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? by Mindy Kaling
    3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (seriously, SO good!)
  3. Try something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone on vacation and did some super intimidating mogul runs, but I'm thinking there's something even bigger I want to do for this one. Stay tuned :).
  4. Take pictures for at least 4 family functions. Eh, so I never really posted the photos from my nephew's birthday, but I did take a ton of photos on our family vacation. I posted those, so I'll say I've got one down, and three to go. 
  5. Hang pictures of family/friends on the walls (this sounds simple, but our home has had nearly bare walls...for almost 2 years). Completed! In case you didn't see the glory that is our photo wall in  last month's post, it's below. 
  6. Send a birthday card in the mail to 3 6 friends/family members. I've sent 2 so far, waiting for some more birthdays to pop up to send out the other 4!
  7. Do an act of kindness. Not yet, hoping an opportunity to help someone comes naturally, if not I'll have to think about how to get this one accomplished!
  8. Visit 3 places I've never been before. Work is definitely helping me out with this one! The first three on the list are work-related, but I'm still counting them. This year so far I'm planning on going to:
    1. Trinidad
    2. Barbados
    3. Puerto Rico
    4. North Carolina
  9. Follow a clean eating or whole 30 plan for a week (hopefully longer, but baby steps, right?)Still waiting to snag a copy of It Starts With Food at the library. My friend Jenny is well on her way of completing the Whole 30, so I need to get some tips and tricks from her before I start it as well! 
  10. Work back up to running a 5k again, straight through. Since the half-marathon we did 2 years ago (yeesh, time flies) I took a hiatus from running, and have never quite gotten back in the groove. Better late than never, right? Truth be told, I haven't been running as much because I've been going to a lot more classes at the gym. I've been more focused on doing exercises I think are fun and getting in a lot of variety, instead of just focusing on running,running, running. Luckily the classes have been helping my endurance because I ran on the treadmill today over lunch, and was able to run 1.8 miles straight through! Maybe I'm not too far off of getting this one done :)
  11. Blog at least 24 times. Truth be told I suck at this, but maybe 2015 will be the year to be more consistent! Definitely beating this one! Not sure what the post count is up to, but I know I have to be close to this goal.
  12. Clean out/organize all of the closets in our house. Hall and spare bedroom #1 closet down, 500 4 closets to go. No progress made since last month. Maybe I'll get in the spring cleaning mode this month?
  13. Surprise my husband in some way. Ugh, no, and I have NO idea what to do. Any suggestions?
  14. Do a house project. We gave our yard a little love last week. I think the biggest project we'll undertake is cleaning it up and getting our garden in over. I would love to have our house painted, but there's that whole "money" thing, and with N and I trying to pay off our student loans aggressively, it doesn't really leave much for the home project fund.
  15. Go visit a friend that lives in another state. Settling in a college town means that the majority of our friends over the years have moved, and seeing them is long overdue.  I'm still thinking NYC for this one! Southwest just started flying non-stop to there from our airport, so I just need to work out a time with my friend for me to come visit :).