A Weekend In My Life: Workin’ It Wednesday

One of my favorite posts on this blog to look back on is one of the most recent (even though that was more than a year ago!) because it tells all about a day in my life. I love rereading that post because it takes me back to that time in my life. I have yet to do another day in the life post, but I should because no two days are ever the same and I have a new job now! That post is in the making…but for now, I’ll share a recent weekend in my life and link up with Erika and Shay. Fair warning: I extended my weekend into Monday because I had family in town, and also ate out for almost every meal which is very atypical!

– Friday –

My Fridays begin at 5 PM, and I usually like to have dinner plans. Waking up early for work makes it hard for me to want to be out super late! Plus I like enjoying the morning on Saturday. On this particular Friday, Joe and I were talking about going for a run on a new-to-him trail. He just moved to D.C. so pretty much everywhere we run is new to him! At the last minute, I had a change of heart and told him we should run to Shake Shack…because what’s better than running and dinner all in one?! From Arlington, you can run across the Key Bridge and through Georgetown down a nice little path before you have to hit the streets again.

By mile 3.5, I think Joe regretted his decision to run to dinner. But we made it and the fries and lemonade were SO worth it. Joe had the Chick’N Shack, and I had the ‘Shroom Burger…the cashier made sure to tell me it was a vegetarian burger. I knew that, but I guess some people who order get confused by the name! After dinner, we walked half a mile to Farragut Square. All summer, different outdoor areas host free movies on Friday and Saturday evenings. The only flaw in our plan to run to dinner was that we didn’t bring blankets or anything to sit on at the park!

I can never say no to Melissa McCarthy, so our film for the evening was a good one — Ghostbusters! I have already seen this in theaters, but it was so fun to be outside surrounded by a bunch of other people just enjoying summer. It was also fun to see people walking through the park who were unaware of what was going on…one guy on the phone said, “Hold on…I’m walking in front of a movie screen right now!” Another guy biked past with three boxes of pizza on the back of his bike! Ha! After about an hour, our legs were itchy from sweating while running and sitting with all the bugs in the grass, so we ducked over to a park bench and it was perfect! Once the movie was over, we took the Metro back to Arlington and called it a night.

– Saturday –

Saturday morning was for lounging around. I probably should have been running, but I ran a lot of miles last week, so I figure it worked out just fine. By lunch time, I was ready to get moving for the day, so Joe and I ate at Silver Diner. This is not your average diner — they are all about fresh, locally sourced food. They have delicious breakfast, but I was feeling the chopped Cobb salad on this day…I love the tangy ranch dressing, avocado, and the fact that it is chopped…duh. 🙂

My friend Sarah invited me to go to Stone Tower Winery with some friends, so I went on over to her house to get ready to go. Most wineries are about 45 minutes to an hour from Arlington, so we all piled in her friend Amy’s car and headed out. Side note: Amy drives my dream car. A white, four door Jeep Wrangler with a hard top. #bestillmyheart

On the drive out, Amy had the best idea…

Stop and eat some Chic-Fil-A. I can never say no to their chicken nuggets or their lemonade! Are you sensing a theme here? Lemonade is where it’s at all summer long for me. We also got these perfect cow hats to be put to use on Tuesday, which was Chic-Fil-A day. Who wouldn’t dress up like a cow to get a free entree?! Although I do have to be honest, on Tuesday I was cooking buffalo chicken dip to take to small group. Whoops!

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Stone Tower was absolutely beautiful. I have heard great things about the views at this winery, and I was seriously impressed! You pull up a long, windy drive to get to the property, and first enter a large barn where the wine tastings take place. There’s an outdoor area for families and dogs nearby, and then across the way is their event space, and another outdoor space for those 21 and above. We first did a wine tasting — for the flavors, yes, but also so we could spend more time in that barn!

The worker talking with us was so knowledgeable, and spoke about some of her other favorite wines and let us try those as well. The tasting menu includes 3 whites and 3 reds…I liked the very first white, Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc, and the very last red, Estate Wind Swept Hill. And then I ordered a glass of rosé to enjoy outside, because of course I did.

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We had the best time sitting on the outdoor couches and talking about everything under the sun. A perfect girls’ day!

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After we made the drive home, I took a nap and ate a late dinner at Rockland’s BBQ since it’s about ten steps from my apartment. I don’t usually eat out during the week, nor do I usually eat every meal out on the weekend, so you’re looking at a very unusual time for sure. 🙂 The best item on the menu (in my opinion) at this restaurant is Rockland’s Pearl. It’s a bowl of mac and cheese, baked beans, chopped pork, and Rockland’s barbecue sauce. I’m sure the description doesn’t do it justice, so you should try it if you’re ever in the area!

– Sunday –

This day started bright and early at church. I love my church and it will be one of the places I miss most if I ever move away from D.C. I have always served in children’s ministry, so I’ve been praying about working somewhere else in the church.

On this day,  I was shadowing those who work on the hospitality team. They serve coffee and donuts, welcome people in, pass out the weekly bulletin, take the offering, and just generally give everyone a happy face to find if they need something during service. I helped pass out programs, give directions, and take the offering. The 10:30 AM service is very low maintenance because you don’t have to set up or clean up since there are services before and after, so once I shadowed for a bit, I headed into church to hear the message for the week.

Since I entered a bit late, I sat by myself, and that was just fine since I was catching up on what was going on. 🙂 To be honest, I felt like I missed the most important parts at the beginning, so I listened to the podcast of the entire service again on Tuesday!

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After church, Joe and I headed to a nearby cafe to sit outside and wait for my mom and my aunt to arrive in town! I called my little brother, who had just gotten his college schedule via email, and Joe looked up stocks or some other very interesting thing like that. 😉

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Somehow, the GPS directed my mom and Aunt Sheila to the middle of nowhere Maryland instead of Capitol Hill. They found us eventually and we had lunch at Ted’s Bulletin! I love their homemade pop-tarts and just the general feel of the restaurant. It’s very old fashioned and there is always a black and white television show playing on nearby projectors. After lunch, we were ready to walk around and headed over to Eastern Market. During the summer, they have even more vendors than they do during the winter! We spent some time looking at local art and jewelry made by the most creative people.

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I had to show them Capitol Hill Books, which is a used bookstore in an old row house that has absolutely everything. The owner has non-fiction downstairs, fiction upstairs, and other genre titles on shelves…but beyond that, you have to do some serious searching! I love the prices here because they are always at least 50% off. His prices are written right inside the cover, so they’re easy to find! I found a hardback copy of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult for $12! And I also picked up Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (for $7!), because I have heard great things about both the book and the movie.

The heat was really getting to us by this point, so we headed back home! My Aunt Sheila is visiting my family in Pittsburgh and has never been to my place in D.C., so it was fun to show her around my favorite parts of town. We lounged on the balcony for a few hours, then grilled burgers and corn on the cob for dinner at Joe’s apartment. I have grills at my apartment, but they look like they belong on a campsite so I’m not a big fan. 😉 We fell asleep early because I had to work for part of the day on Monday.

– Monday –

I took a half day so that I could spend time with my mom and aunt before they left town. It was a quick trip for them, but Pittsburgh is only about 3.5 hours away. They had plans to visit Lakeshore Learning because my mom is a kindergarten teacher who absolutely loves her job so shopping for school stuff midsummer is her favorite task. 🙂 I rode the metro to work and then started my walk across the bridge…

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…and ran into a whole group of tourists at 7:xx AM. WHY were they up this early and where were they going?! I can promise there are no interesting sights right on the edge of the Key Bridge. Ha!

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Monday was a busy morning with two video calls, catching up on emails, and starting other tasks for the week. The most exciting thing to happen: my iPad and wireless headphones came in! I used some professional development funds to purchase these items, and I also signed up for an online class that starts in August, so I am excited to use my iPad for this. I have the 10.5 inch iPad Pro and it honestly feels thinner than my iPhone 7! The headphones are i.am+ Buttons by Apple and I LOVE them because they came with approximately 293480 ear buds to size them to your ear and they don’t fall out. Ear buds with those rubber pieces on the end will never stay in my ear, so I am happy!

At lunch time, I left for the day and walked my mom and aunt around Georgetown’s campus (I work here if you are a new reader!). We visited the school store and bought lots of things we don’t need. 🙂 Then we ate lunch on M Street at Clyde’s. A little salad/sandwich/soup lunch followed by cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake, because you just have to. I honestly never tried a cupcake here until I started working at the university even though I come to this part of town all the time! I enjoy their competitor Baked and Wired more…the cupcakes are bigger. 😉

Then it was a quick drive around town to see some last nights, including what’s down at National Harbor. I love their waterfront and we quickly sought shade because it was so hot on this day! We took turns posing with their many statues, got iced tea at Starbucks, and walked along the water before finding a candy shop and calling it a day. They left around 5 PM and my weekend was officially over!

 

A Birthday & A Serious Question

Happy Tuesday! I have two topics to discuss with you on this fine day.

– Jake’s Birthday –

I love both of my brother’s birthdays almost more than I love my own. It’s so fun to celebrate people! 17 words that describe this awesome kid:

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And 17 of the cutest pictures ever (because Jake was the cutest baby ever):

 

– Race Shirts –

In the running world, there’s a bit of an ongoing controversy. Do you wear your race shirt TO the race, or are you the kind of person who can only wear the shirt post-race? I fall into the latter category, and I have very specific reasons why!

  1. I don’t like to wear anything new on race day. I want to wear the clothes that I know fit and feel the best. This new random race shirt hasn’t had time to pass my tests yet!
    2. I spend a lot of time selecting my race outfit! Beyond feeling good while I run, putting together a race day outfit is kind of like a reward for all of my hard work.
    3. Everyone knows where we are and what race we’re running. If I wore my race shirt, I would feel like a running billboard. Plus, I might blend in with other people who decided to wear THEIR shirts! Have you ever spectated a race? It’s quite the parade and you need to wear something obvious so that you stand out to those looking out for you!
    4. If you run in your hometown, you will most likely lounge around the day after the race. If you’ve traveled to your race, you’ll most likely be traveling home. In either situation, you will want to wear something comfy and casual, and a new race shirt fits the bill. Plus, it’s a subtle way to humble brag. 😉

So which side are you on? Race in your race shirt, or save it? Share your thoughts with us here!

Hour By Hour Weekend [March]

Did you have a good weekend? Oh, you did? Me too! 🙂

This was the perfect weekend for Astleigh over at Hill Collection to bring back her Hour by Hour linkup. I knew it would be out of the ordinary and fun to document! Originally, my mom was going to come to town and spectate the Rock ‘N Roll DC race. I was planning to run the half marathon and then we were going to head out of town for the night to go to a concert. There are a long list of reasons why I didn’t run this weekend, but I still went to the expo with my friends and had a ball. 🙂

Friday

2:00 PM

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My second graders are working on huge posters for Science Week this week at school. On Thursday, they partnered up, chose a topic, and started sketching their ideas. On Friday, they were to start working on their tri-fold boards. Thank the dear Lord my mom arrived on this day to volunteer in my classroom! I almost lost my mind with the number of markers and pencils and upset children in the room haha!

6:00 PM

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We decided to head out of town a day early to go to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The sunset views that you see while driving are never as pretty in photo form! Can you spot the Washington Monument? #pinksky

7:00 PM

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Who needs dinner when you have trail mix? Especially dried pineapple. #crack

9:30 PM

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Taking pictures as if I’ve never been here before! (Spoiler: I have…every Memorial Day Weekend for many, many summers!)

10:30 PM

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You’re wrong if you say there’s anything better than a hotel bed. Just wrong. 🙂

Saturday

9:00 AM

Room service for breakfast. 🙂 I, of course, was most excited about my baby bottle of Heinz ketchup. There is no other ketchup worth eating. I had an egg white omelette with peppers, onions, and cheese! We also wanted to try the oatmeal and fruit. The oatmeal was thick, filling, and delicious.

10:00 AM

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I made the world’s worst cup of coffee ever to help get me through “wanding” my hair. I love the look but my hair is thick, so my arm is still adjusting to being held up that long haha!

11:00 AM

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Out and about in the casino! We like to stay at Bally’s, which is right on the boardwalk. Any vacation is made better when the ocean is right in eye’s view. 🙂

12:00 PM

The new Britney Spears slot machines are SO fun! I only play penny machines and I start by putting a small amount into the machine because I honestly would rather buy something with my money than gamble with it, BUT this game was worth it! I loved hearing it sing to me. Occasionally, the song “3” would start playing and then you would win 3 times whatever amount popped up on the screen. It also sang “You Drive Me Crazy” when you won free games and one of the extra bonuses was picking little potion jars, so of course it would sing “Toxic”. 🙂

1:00 PM

We headed out to the Boardwalk to walk around and noticed that EVERYONE was dressed in green. I knew that the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade was this past weekend, but I made no connection to the fact that most everyone would be celebrating since the holiday is on Thursday this week! In Atlantic City, everyone was outside waiting for the 1 o’clock parade. My mom and I found a great spot to watch from the side and I took a picture with a random monkey. Then we noticed the skywalk from Caesar’s Shops to Caesar’s Casino and figured that view might be more fun. 🙂 It was definitely soundproof way up there though!

2:00 PM

Ditched the Boardwalk for the Tanger Outlets and stopped in for a quick lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s. I’m always a fan of a salad bar. Their tortilla soup was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was spicy and delicious! We also shared their crab cakes and I have no idea what that bright orange sauce it, but it paired well with the dish.

3:00 PM

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Give me all the brightly colored pants! And all the sales. I got two sweaters and the navy floral pants on the right for $48. 🙂

4:00 PM

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Back to Bally’s! We made a quick stop at Rite Aid because I have a head cold that won’t go away, but I was ready to try my luck with the puppies. They were cute, but it wasn’t a winning machine!

5:00 PM

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One of my favorite past times is forcing a pack of Shakeology to fit into a water bottle. #saidnooneever We can call this one a win, because I only spilled a bit of powder ONCE and the rest made it into the bottle. Then I read my book and relaxed on my comfy hotel bed. 🙂

6:00 PM

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We took a taxi to the Borgata Casino and asked a random guy to take our picture because we kept taking selfies that looked identical! Instead of saying, “Sure, I’ll take your picture!”, he said, “You know that every time I do this I take like 7 pictures. Ready, here we go…” The best of his 7 came out like this. Ha!

7:00 PM

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Omg garlic butter sauce. Omg cheesy breadstick. Omg burned tongue.

8:30 PM

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In our seats at The Music Box Theater. This picture is deceiving, but I was trying to cut off the blonde girl’s head in front of me, and that part was successful. 🙂 Anyways, this place only seats 900 people so we were actually quite close to the stage and not hanging off the ceiling. My mom and my aunt love Donny Osmond and while I can’t say I share their adoration, I’ve seen him in concert two or three times now and he does put on a great show!

10:30 PM

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Donny performed his encore song, Crazy Horses! He was SO interactive with the audience the entire time. There were many people called up to stage and others who were given random backstage passes. We, of course, stuck around after the show to try to get ourselves some backstage passes, but no luck! Then my mother almost got us killed when we were getting on the Jitney (one of Atlantic City’s busses) because she cut off a huge group of people who had been waiting for the bus longer than us. In the end, we all got on the bus, but the one lady was MAD and of course my mom talked to her and told her to calm down. The other woman yelled back. I played with my phone. Hahaha

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Sunday

10:00 AM

Oops! Time change made us sleep late. Breakfast at The Corner Cafe!

11:00 AM

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Back to Britney for one last chance at luck! She wasn’t having it so I played Wheel of Fortune, a Gremlins game, the Ellen Degeneres game, and then this Quick Hit game. Ellen ran me down to $9 so this really was a last ditch attempt and I won $80 so I was quite pleased with myself. 🙂

12:00 PM

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On the road back to DC. I look back at this picture with anger because it was after the Delaware Memorial Bridge that we ran into a whole ton of traffic that we never quite recovered from. A little fog and rain will make people drive like idiots, I tell ya. 😉

1:00 PM

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Hangry and trying to remain a pleasant co-pilot by eating a tostada salad from Baja Fresh!

2:00 PM

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Ignoring the upcoming tollbooths and being a terrible copilot by taking random pictures out the car window. Ha! Sorry, mom. She eventually found the $4 she needed. 😉

3:00 PM

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Quite the beautiful day for a drive, yes???

4:00 PM

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Home, goodbyes exchanged, workout clothes on, Beachbody OnDemand fired up. I decided to preview the new 22 Minute Hard Corps because hello, 22 minutes. I should know by now these trainers don’t mess around, but I really wasn’t expecting to need a shower after this workout. Hahaha

The rest of my evening consisted of three loads of laundry, watching Fixer Upper and Grey’s Anatomy, figuring out how to eat healthy this week without making a trip to the grocery store (lol), and writing this blog post. 🙂

On My Bookshelf [March]

Well, I just joined the Arlington County Public Library, and then a month later (aka this weekend), I paid my first late fee. 😉 Last Sunday, I remembered that my books were due and I dropped them off while I was out doing errands. But, while I was collecting them from around my room, I left one behind because I honestly thought it was mine! It was the one I liked best anyways, so no surprise that I tried to keep it, right?!

Me Before You
Jojo Moyes

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I read this book in a day, so I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not I liked it. Ha! I truly had no interest in reading this book until I saw that it was becoming a movie. But in its defense, I also didn’t really know the storyline, and once I did, I knew it was one that I would like.

This story starts with the main character, Lou, losing her job. She works at a cafe in a small town in England and she loves it! The owner of the cafe suddenly needs to leave town, and so he does…leaving Lou with no job. Now in her twenties, she never went to college and never really thought about what kind of job she would like to have. The career center in her town places her in the most random of jobs until finally she becomes a caretaker for a former London businessman, Will. He was paralyzed in an accident and is not interested in embracing his new life in a wheelchair. He’s sarcastic and mean, but Lou gives back a little of the sass that he gives and they end up becoming friends. She wants to badly for him to see the bright side of life again, and her job as his caretaker suddenly becomes so much more than just a job. I really loved how this story unfolded because even though you think you might be able to guess the ending, it really ends in a completely “un-Hollywood” way and so I am interested to see how it plays out on film. I am listening to the sequel, After You, on audiobook right now, and again, I have no idea what the storyline is, so I will keep you posted. 🙂

Then Came You
Jennifer Weiner

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I remember buying a sample of this book on my Kindle and being highly annoyed when the first chapter and a half ended. I wanted to know what happened! I finally bought it at a book sale at the library this summer for the low, low price of $1. 🙂

This story weaves together the lives of Annie, India, Bettina, and Jules. These four women are brought together through motherhood, in one way or another. Egg donor, adoptive mom, surrogate mom, mother as stated in a will…there is a little bit of everything in this book. Each of the main characters has a chapter and it is not confusing at all to switch from point of view to point of view because the chapter that follows goes along with the one that precedes it. Jules is an Ivy League college senior when she decides to donate her eggs to earn money to help her family. Annie is a stay at home mom who never thought about anything else besides being a mom when she decides to become a surrogate to help support her family and regain her sense of purpose. India has climbed the social ladder all the way to the very top, marrying a very rich New York City businessman who she actually decides she loves. When they decide to have a baby together, Bettina (rich businessman’s daughter), starts to look into India’s past because she is convinced this woman is not as she seems. Even though these four lives could not be more different, there is a big sense of friendship and community woven throughout this book!

If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities
Mark Batterson

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This is my pastor’s latest book and I am working my way through it chapter by chapter. There is a part inside of everyone that wonders, “What if….” but usually, that voice is quieted by our thoughts of the past and wondering what we could have done better. If only I said this/did this/looked like that/read this book/took that job etc. etc. etc. I am excited to read more about how “what if…” possibilities can define my life because to me, that represents forward thinking, and we all know we’re moving towards the future anyway, so you might as well think that way. 😉

What have you been reading?

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Awkward and Awesome [1/29/16]

Happy Friday! I’m back with another round of “Awesome and Awkward” moments from the week. 🙂 Giving all the credit for this idea to Morgan at The True Life of MKH. It’s fun to read about these random moments in her life, and it’s just as fun to compile my own list. Of course, some of these random moments have also turned into some of my favorite things, because it’s all about the little things in life, right?

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-Getting really mad at the nurse at the gyno for weighing me and recording a ridiculous number…then coming home and realizing that number matches the one on the scale here, too. #eyeroll I like how I look, so I don’t care about the number. But I do. But I don’t. #itsamindgame
-Going out for mimosas and brunch with friends and being the first one to leave…this was mid-blizzard and we were at the only open restaurant one block from my apartment. I just really wanted to watch Netflix and lay in my bed. Hahaha
-Telling Amanda I would adventure with her and her friend to see Iwo Jima in the snow and backing out after three blocks. Hahaha! I really sound like the life of the party, don’t I? I didn’t want to get stuck far away in the snow with no way to get home! 😉
-Cohabitating with my roommate’s boyfriend…he was at our apartment all weekend during the blizzard and then come Sunday evening, he couldn’t get home. So while my roommate went to work all week and I had 234937 snow days, he and I bonded. Or something.
-When I raise my eyebrows, I get really attractive forehead rolls…

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Don’t mind Jake, he was busy trying to find a video from the local news on Facebook.

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-My friends and I were shopping on Tuesday and we met up with some friends of a friend while we were out. We all went to Duquesne together, so we had that in common, too. I recognized both girls, but I don’t think I had ever actually talked to them before. Upon meeting, they said, “Hey, didn’t you used to teach a Spin class in college? We used to come all the time!” Hey! Yes! That’s me! I’m the Spin teacher! 🙂

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-I left some gloves and other winter gear at my mom’s house in Pittsburgh, so she sent me a little care package with those things plus some of my mail. And of course chocolate covered Sarris pretzels! A $20 bill also dropped out of the box, but my favorite part was the quickly written note from my little brother. 🙂 #thelittlethings

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-The same cute baby brother who wrote me a note let me drive his new car when I got home on Wednesday night! My friends and I used to drive around aimlessly for hours in high school so it was fun to do the same thing with Jake 🙂 Most of my family members drive SUV’s so it feels weird to zoom around in a little car!

-While driving back to Pittsburgh, Kristen and I talked about (and Google-d) how spaceships land, how spaceships are driven, the U.S. mint, inflation, and how the world’s marketplaces figure out how much things should cost. We also recently discussed how the Metro definitely goes up hill while we are riding it, but it always feels like it’s moving in a straight line. I tell you these random thoughts to point out that we aren’t the kind of friends who are always staring at our phones…we are pondering real important things about life. 😉 Haha!

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-You have my full permission to judge me for this one. I LOVE THIS REMIX. Actually, I love all song remixes. Regardless, I don’t even like the regular version of this Fetty Wap song (because really? Your name is Fetty Wap?) but when the beat drops at 1:03, it makes my Spin teaching self so happy. Listen here; I know you want to. 😉

Around the Internet:

“Reserving” Your Street Parking Spot in the Days After Jonas #sassy
Short video about your BFF’s ex-significant other 😉 #stilllaughing
On Taking Charge of Your Career #justdoit
Why We Should Stop Saying #GirlBoss –> never thought about it this way until I read this but I totally agree.
Etsy Planners –> These remind me SO much of Erin Condren (design, layout, and customizing features) but are priced much lower!

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Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

 

What’s Hap-Pinning [1]

Pinterest and I go through seasons of life where we are either best friends or mere acquaintances. Sometimes, I can’t help myself and I pin all the things, but other times as I scroll I find myself almost feeling bored! I’m currently in a #pinallthethings season of life, so here’s what on my boards.

You can follow me on Pinterest here!

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Link up with your hap-pinning post here! 🙂

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I’ve been making more time to read, because let’s face it, I have the time. I simply am just not making time for an activity I actually really love. How fun is this book chair?! It was in a Buzzfeed article that listed all of the crazy things you should buy if money were no object, which was probably a popular article with the Powerball jackpot getting so big! Any winners out there?! I know a few $4 winners! 😉

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I’m also dreaming of spring, which brings blooming cherry blossom trees to DC. It’s been so warm that I can’t help but think ahead to sunnier, longer days! The weathermen claim a humongous snowstorm is coming this weekend, but you know how those reports go. So much talk and then nothing happens! We are talking feet of snow, not mere inches, so hopefully they are correct in their predictions. 🙂

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I haven’t been running much because I want to build muscle and get stronger. Do I want to be a body builder? Not in the slightest. However, I talk the talk in regards to strength training while running and I never actually do it. Right now, I’m taking a few weeks to focus solely on weight training with a few random runs and then I’ll pick my running schedule back up so I can get ready for a March half marathon. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ve been doing Hammer and Chisel workouts. I love the diversity of the program, in both choice and length of workouts, but the above image that I pinned is exactly the kind of strength training I like to do when I’m looking for a quick and easy workout on my own. I will definitely be doing this workout (with a medicine ball or dumbbells)!

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The majority of people assume that elementary teachers have all the time in the world to do creative projects and color with their students. In reality, I struggle to feel like I’ve taught everything I’m supposed to, so creative projects often fall to the wayside. This is no one’s fault except my own, because there are little pockets in the day where I could make it happen. I did just that during the month of November when we made a tree with leaves expressing what we were thankful for at school. I like this similar “craft” for the month of February! It takes all the attention away from people that you love (because second graders think that’s gross) and focuses instead on things that you love about school! If I write about this on the Internet, that means I actually have to do it, right?! 😉

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I mentioned yesterday that I want to take a lot of weekend trips in 2016…this is a random pin of the Navy Pier in Chicago that I just added to one of my boards. There are so many places in the U.S. that I still haven’t visited and though I have big dreams to travel abroad as well, I want to get out there and see the world that is right in my own backyard!

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The message at church this week was all about resetting the relationships in your life. I think relationships have a lot to do with our happiness! We obviously enter new friendships and relationships with good intentions, so our pastor was talking about the importance of revisiting the relationships that you already have in your life and being intentional with your time (and your friend’s and/or significant other’s). Sometimes you and someone that you are close to grow apart, and that’s okay. I tend to worry about what other people think of me, so that does affect my level of happiness because I want to make other people happy. I know this about myself, and often after getting down on myself about something, I literally tell myself that I need to stop thinking about it and move on so I can be happy. Ha!

I also liked this piece about being a good friend from church last week: in Mark 2, Jesus heals a paralyzed man, but only after four of that man’s friends carry him to the house where Jesus is preaching and dig a hole in the roof to get their friend inside. The point of this story was to remind us that we all depend on people in our lives for certain things…but we also need to BE that dependable person for someone else. Who’s mat are you carrying in life?! I’m working on surrounding myself with people who carry me…but also depend on me for support too.

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I have worked hard my whole entire life to be a teacher and I love it so far. As with any new endeavor, there is a big learning curve both on and off the job. Sometimes I like articles like these, and other times it sounds like millenials whining about how the grass is always greener…BUT this was a pretty accurate read. Enjoy 🙂

What’s “hap-pinning” with you?!

All the Christmas Things

How are you feeling this marvelous Monday morning?!

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Hopefully you are the complete opposite of Amigo. 😉 My brother’s dog is THE definition of “not a morning person”. My mom sent me this gem on Saturday morning and I could not stop laughing!

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My Monday is brought to you by lots of happiness from Christmas adventures this past weekend. My roommate and her boyfriend bought our tree on Saturday and it is the cutest. Now all we need are a tree topper and a skirt! I am most excited to have a real Christmas tree because I haven’t had one in years. We also added a wreath to our front door, some greens to our mantle, and two poinsettias on the fireplace. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas up in here!

Friday evening was spent doing a ridiculously hard workout courtesy of Blonde Ponytail. It looked a little something like this:

20 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) with 25# dumbbells
10 squat hang cleans
10 push press
10 walking lunges

…except I modified the workout so that I could use 15 pound dumbbells because I’m not that strong yet and it still kicked my ass! I invited my friend over to watch Christmas movies and we had a ball laying on the couch and watching The Grinch and Elf. Christmas movies are the best!

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On Saturday, I took myself on an adventure to The National Harbor in Fort Washington, MD. I have never been and I have always wanted to go, plus I know that there are Christmas events going on this month, so it didn’t matter who was going with me…I was going! There are many restaurants and boutiques along the waterfront, but my first stop was at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

The lobby was all decked out with Christmas trees so I knew the rest of the place would be just as amazing! I also took a picture of that tree four times and each time, it was just as crooked. #bloggerfail

The child behind me on the escalator told his mom that he felt like he was in the tropical rain forest and I couldn’t help but agree! The interior of that place would be amazing even if it wasn’t Christmas. Added to the usual surroundings were a train, breakfast and dinner with Santa, pictures with Santa (of course), The Village of the North Pole, and ICE featuring Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. ICE is definitely the main event and I really wanted to see what it was all about, but I couldn’t justify a $38 ticket if I was by myself ha!

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Luckily, The Village of the North Pole was free and there was still a lot going on! There was a carousel, a gingerbread house making station, and lots of Christmas decorations and candy for sale! I bought bells to hang from the doorknob to my laundry room. So exciting, right?!

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I left the Gaylord and went to do the other “normal” National Harbor things such as shopping in all of the boutiques, but the best thing that I came across was The Grinch playing on the big screen! It was 53 degrees on Saturday so people had jackets on, but there were so many eating ice cream from the nearby shops while they watched the movie. It was so funny!

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I’m a child and moved to a place where no one was in front of me so that I could see better. I am sure that people thought I was very strange. The Grinch is just my favorite movie ever! Fun fact: Sarah (from Picky Runner) and I go to a lot of the same places at a lot of the same times and yet our paths still have never crossed. I posted the above picture on Instagram and she commented that she was just there. Of course! Haha:)

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Me, my puffy eyes, no makeup, and a Christmas tree. #bestselfieever #not My eyes have been bothering me lately (besides the fact that I scratched my cornea — that is all healed now) so the doctor put me on “contact vacation”. I am not a fan. My glasses are in the hand that’s not holding my iPhone here. 🙂

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Last night, I went to a Christmas party at the Hill Center. It’s an old Naval hospital which is kind of cool, but now it hosts meetings and events for various groups. My church has unofficially planned this Christmas party for the last 7 years. National Community Church doesn’t sponsor the party, but alot of NCC’ers go and proceeds always benefit a mission at our church. Last night, we were raising money for an orphanage in Zambia. I was super excited for this party because it was cocktail attire and who doesn’t love to get a little fancy sometimes?! I have to admit, I had on a sparkly navy cocktail dress and I changed into a sweater dress with tights and booties because my arms and legs were cold. #im107yearsold #iknow

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My friend Shannon is one of the people who travelled to Zambia this past summer to work at the orphanage, so this event was super special to her! She also created all the promotional things there, from posters to little info cards, and I was so impressed! We graduated from college the same year but she is a graphic designer and I am always amazed at how creative she is!

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There were probably five or six rooms on each floor of the Hill Center and each room was something different. One had a photo booth, another had live music, and several had food and drinks. Many people in attendance provided the food and drinks that were available to us all which I think is awesome! My favorite part of the party was gathering together at one point to sing Christmas carols and waiting in anticipation to see if I would win any of the prizes from the raffle. There were really good prizes! I was hoping for the $50 Anthropologie gift card or the month of free Spin and barre classes at a new studio, but no such luck. 🙂

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The best room was the one where we had room to dance…and we danced for a while! At 11:30, our feet were DONE and we crashed on a few open chairs. Even so, it was such a fun way to kick off the holiday season!

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I was up bright and early on Sunday morning to serve in the nursery at church during the 9 AM service. Somehow, I always seem to hold the baby who is teething or really tired. I do love it, though! The little girl I was holding yesterday would start to fall asleep on my shoulder and then turn around and look at the other babies playing in the room and start screaming and crying. She was not pleased to be at church haha! I haven’t been in the nursery much lately, so it was really nice to get back and see the other volunteers and of course, the little ones who are always there! Two of the babies that I have seen the most since I started volunteering this spring are about to turn 2 and move on into the toddler room. So sad!

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If you need a little marvelous in your Monday today, I suggest going to your local grocery store and finding these Peanut Butter Crunch Pretzel Crisps. I found them at the grocery store when I went to pick up my prescriptions the other day and they are SO GOOD. I may or may not have had too much sugar this weekend. You decide. 🙂

Happy Monday!

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