Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. You’ve made me the luckiest and happiest girl in the world.
{photo by Megan Garrison Photography}

And a very Happy Valentine’s day to all my freaders, may your Valentine’s Day be filled with love and happiness regardless of your relationship status.

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Fitness Friday #1

 

 

Given that I’m now 17 weeks out from marathon #4 (and about twelve weeks from 1/2 Marathon #1) and I’m continuing my battle to get in shape I thought I’d join in the Fitness Friday Fabulousness!

Yay-worthy!

*Got in my first run outdoors this week – a fabulous change from the dreadmill that I’ve been stuck running on for the past month. Ran last night – 3.355 miles, 40:02, a bit slow at 11:54/mi but considering there were a lot of icy patches on the sidewalk, not surprising. I’m shooting for 11:00/miles or so for the marathon, so I’ve gotta get my pace up.

*Trained this week. My trainer was a bit frustrated so he took it out on me. Generally we do 2 sets of circuit training, and 2 sets of ab workouts. Tuesday we did 3 sets of circuit training. Pain. Pain. But I can tell the training is working which is awesome.

*Went to Yoga on Saturday with Vanessa – did not like the yoga instructor or the class – felt she did the movements way too fast. Missed my old yoga instructor. A lot. But was nice to finally GO to a yoga class. Will definitely keep searching for a good instructor be it at my gym, the nearby Lululemon, or at a yoga studio. Also, realized I need new yoga pants as the ones I had from Old Navy are paint splattered from when we finished cleaning our apartment out in DC and had to repaint everything.

*Have a RAD workout on tap for tonight. A 7 miler for Tomorrow or Sunday. Am feeling really good about my running these days. Have you read the Fitnessista? She’s amazing and so, so inspiring. Saw this workout posted and in lieu of interval training, I’m going to do some hills. My run last night had 4 decent sized hills, which leads me to suspect that Stamford is going to be a tough place to run in if I don’t get used to running hills (DC was relatively flat sans running up/down Capitol Hill and some of the smaller hills on the Mt. Vernon Trail. But those are molehills compared to these bad boys.)

*Cooked with tofu. Ruling? Success.

Oops…

*Need to get my runs in earlier in the week. I have my training written out. But I’m awful at sticking to it. Getting better at doing my 3 days of running and 2 days of X-Training. I shouldn’t be fitting in a speed workout two days before a long run. Bad Heidi.

Goals for next week:

*Yoga 1 time (Sunday?)
*Running 3 days. Nine miler next weekend. (Monday, Wednesday)
*4×800 speed workout next week (Following the Yasso 800’s as part of my training this time around to shoot for a 4:45:00 marathon, should I get into NYC Marathon I’d love to run it as a BQ more realistically though is shooting for a 4:30:00 – entirely doable. A 3:40something marathon? Not so much. Still though. I have big dreams to run Boston someday soon.
*Strength training 2 days (Tuesday/Thursday)
*Spinning/XT – two days! (Tuesday/Thursday)

Doable? I think yes.

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Monday Materialism

Ladies, I’m bring back Monday Wants. Except I’m making it better. You’ve seen Jess @ Classy in Philly’s fabulous Where in the World Wednesday; we’ve all heard of Menu Monday’s and Thankful Thursday’s, but now as was suggested to be by a fabulous reader, Monday Materialism/Monday Want’s is back but now I’m making it better. I’m encouraging audience participation.

So If you’re going to participate, feel free to borrow the image and be sure to post your link back here so everyone else can see! Post what you’re lusting after this week – whether a pair of shoes, an outfit, a bag, whatever. It’s our chance to be fabulously materialistic without breaking the bank because Lord knows our wallets can’t stand it. I welcome you all to Monday Materialism!!!

Earlier this evening (well, when I got home from a super bowl party in New Haven that is), I happened upon some fabulousness in my tumblr feed. They stopped me dead in my tracks, mostly because I lust for red shoes. I long to have a place to wear them. I want to feel sassy in a beautiful pair of red shoes – and I have a pair. A single pair and oh how fabulous they are but I’ve worn them, in the past year, likely twice since I lost my full-time job in March 2009. Twice.

Freaders, feast your eyes upon these beauts. I have no need for them, I’ll never buy them but oh….lusting. Lots and lots of lusting.

{By Jones NY via DSW. $55 (!!!!)}

I will lust after you shoes forever, but unfortunately, it’s not meant to be.

Freaders, what are you lusting after???

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Happiness Is…

To re-start my motivation and happiness after this awful week, I thought, since Yoga this morning, about what makes me happy, there is a lot, but sometimes, we all need to be reminded of the little things that are worth being thankful for like…

Spending an extra ten minutes in bed with hubs cuddling; cuddling with my puppy; sitting in a big cushy chair in Barnes & Noble reading; free wifi anywhere; a good, cheesy, chick flick; long conversations with good friends; the familiarity of going to a city you once lived in again; the silence of snow falling at night; microfleece blankets; good books; winning a game of scrabble; a cup of hot chocolate made right from dunkin donuts (with skim milk and whipped cream); laughing till your stomach hurts; a massage; the high after a good workout; a good yoga class; meditating; a nice bottle of wine with a candle lit dinner; comfy sweat pants; a hot bubble bath; a tight hug; meandering around a mall aimlessly looking at the styling in stores like JCrew, Ann Taylor Loft and Forever 21; down comforters, and down pillowtops on the bed; flip flop weather; a cute outfit; making new friends; my favorite song on the radio; Ugg boots; seeing my kitchen clean; a good veggie pizza (in the oven!!!); good conversation; a good acoustic playlist; Taylor Swift in the car; Lady Gaga when I’m running; a good opportunity; feeling inspired and hopeful.

What makes you happy?

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Serene

I’ve been crying a lot the past couple days, for no reason in particular, other than I just can’t seem to chuck this huge weight on my shoulders about everything and the breaking feeling in my heart that just seems constant. This feeling that for some reason I feel like I’m just destined to fail in everything I do. Pathetic, I know, but just…it’s feeling helpless and overwhelmed by life.

So Hubs sent me this this morning:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I’m going to go repeat that to myself, go to yoga tomorrow to get into it again and start reading this book followed by this one. Hopefully this will all help perk up my mood in the long term and give me a little bit of much needed hope.

Sorry to be a bit of a debbie downer lately, sometimes you just need to vent, and writing makes everything better. In happier news, I’ve applied to a few hopeful freelance gigs, a couple of tutoring positions and a job. Grad school said I should hear back “soon.” As in the GPA waiver committee made their decision, sent it off to the director, and once he/she approves it, I’ll hear back. I’m not just keeping my fingers crossed, I’m praying because if this doesn’t work out I may have to rethink everything.

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Researching….

Starting to get fed up with my birth control. I’ve written about this before and have read a lot of great blog posts about women going off their BC. We are NOT trying to have kids just yet, we are in NO position to have them, but from what I’ve read (I still have a lot of research to do before I go off it for sure) it is entirely possible to not get knocked up while off birth control.

My birth control pills have just made me lethargic, moody and have literally killed my sex drive. To the point where I just have no desire. And I? Do not like any of that one bit. I recently changed my pills (again) and there’s no change. Really. So I think it’s time to start making the motions to go off BC once and for all. So… I invested in this book and Amazon will have it at my door in two days (thank you Amazon prime!) and I read a couple of great blogs that were informative and incredibly helpful (especially after reading all the lovely comments).

So I’m going to read this book, and keep doing research. I just…hate the way BC has made me feel. Combined with every other stress in my life, I’m just…over it. Provided I/we can be responsible, which I know we can if we put our minds to it, I think this will be a good decision. Clearly, I’m not going off BC tomorrow, but soon. Hopefully by the early fall is my goal, to feel comfortable enough with my body that i can go off the pill and not get knocked up the first month because mini-me’s are definitely not in the plan for the at least the next 12 months. Definitely not in my “defeat my quarter life crisis plan.”

{image via Amazon}

Any gals read this book at all? Experiences going off birth control? Suggestions?

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But Leggings Aren’t Pants!

I have a confession freaders, I switched teams.

Up until recently, I was vehemently on the “anti-leggings as pants” team. Until I started reading this blog. This blog? Gave me a renewed appreciation of all things leggings – now granted I don’t own $78 Lululemon leggings (but I will! Soon! Thank you state of virginia!) I own cheap little $5 ones from Forever 21 (but I upgraded! To $15 ones from Macy’s!) but the comfort level was pretty high and I…am a big fan.

So I’m using that blog, and some polyvore-age to inspire myself to wear leggings. As pants. More often.

Rules for wearing leggings as pants:

1. Thou shalt not wear see through/sheer leggings
2. Thou shalt not allow camel toe
3. Thou shalt not allow panty lines
4. Thou shalt not allow wedgies
5. Thou shalt add color!
6. Boots. Or flats. Boots but preferably not Uggs. (as much as I love mine)

YES!

{image via Lululemon blog}

NO!!!

{image via google search}

Note the differences. You’ll see me wearing leggings as pants on days when I don’t really need to leave the house, or on days when I do have to leave the house but not to do anything but maybe go to the gym or run errands. Definitely not for Junior League events, Alumni events or job interviews/tutoring days. You will always see my ass covered, you will never see sheer leggings or metallic leggings (WHY!? WHYYYY????.

But aside from the fact that I realized my leggings were slightly more sheer than I would have liked (I expected more from you Forever 21!!!), I was rather comfortable (they were also a little more low cut than i would have liked but i had a sweater covering my bum so that made it better) and you know what? I’d wear it again. That’s why I used a gift card to spend $15 on leggings today.

Hubs you should read this: for valentine’s day? All I want is this, this, and this. {and of course my garmin, and new sneaks. but those are coming next month anyhow for marathon training.} Yes I know that’s all extravagant – I’m exaggerating clearly. I know we can not afford all that, but still, sometimes, it’s fun to want. Isn’t it?

What say you all freaders on this debate – leggings as pants or not…?

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Recipe Alert: Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs

Last week we invited my in-laws down. You see, my brother in law lives about a mile from us so when they come to Stamford, they see not one of their children but two of them. Three if you include me.

So I offered up to cook dinner – which I’m always happy to do – I lurrrve hosting, and I lurrrrrve getting to use all the fun dishes and gadgets that we got from the wedding.

The meal? A huge hit. I wish I had taken pictures. I always forget that.

However, I am considerate enough (I kid, I kid) to share the recipe with y’all.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ingredients

Directions

1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef
1 1/4 c. italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
basil (i used ~1-2T)
italian seasoning (2 t)
parsely (1 t)
3 eggs

1/2 pound of pasta of your choice – I used Rigatoni

Directions
In a bowl mix together meat, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese in a big mixing bowl.

Form meat into 1-2″ balls. Place in bottom of slow cooker. Add tomato sauces so meatballs are covered, add spices (i added them to taste so estimates are rough estimates). Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or until meatballs reach 165 degrees F. When ready, feel free to skim some of the grease off the top of the sauce

{FYI – if sauce needs to be thickened add 1-2 T of tomato paste}

A great weekend recipe, full of flavor and ohemgee it was SO GOOD. I figure any recipe that I cook that gets the approval of Hubs’s dad who’s super cook (seriously the man can cook anything) that gets his approval is a win in my book. I’ll be cooking this again soon. Next time, I’ll remember pictures. Promise.

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Making things happen

Things got monumentally worse yesterday.

In Hubs’s and I’s quest for the #movenorth, we’ve, in so many terms…lost a lot of money. Gone into some debt for him to take his job. I quit a job, albeit a minimum wage paying one, but a fun one. I loved the gym. He was “consulting” and was brought on full-time to his job just this month thus giving up other consulting clients for his job, and taking a pay-cut to do so. A pay cut. After taxes, etc…which his company will now be paying for, he will be bringing home significantly less than the past few months of “consulting” while also losing a significant amount of outside income. I am…kind of freaking out.

It was, in addition, non-negotiable.

My biggest fears: Are we going to be able to survive? Are we going to be able to not go bankrupt? Will we be able to eat? Will we be able to keep puppeh in kibble? Oh. Em. Gee. The list goes on and on, because while Hubs is incredibly supportive about me pursuing my dreams, the reality is – and I’m realizing this faster than he is – I need A job. It won’t likely be THE dream job, but I need…A job. And I’ve been applying, to part-time, freelance and full-time jobs. But guess what kids…the economy is still crap and well…I’ve had ONE interview since we moved up here. ONE.

I’ve applied to at least ten private schools, ten public schools for pretty much any position that will allow an uncertified teacher – substitute, teaching assistants, etc.. I found out the other day that Stamford Public Schools have SIX HUNDRED substitutes. They TURN teachers away. Same with Wilton. I need to follow up with a few other schools but can I just say…holy. Crap. Me teaching is likely not going to happen any time soon – I’ve still got my fingers crossed for grad school but in the mean time…

Crap crap crap crap.

I’ve begun, slowly, applying for more freelance jobs. Mostly because this teaching thing? Is going to be slow going and me? I love to write. A lot. I think you can tell by my blog right? Right. I might as well wait, wait for grad school or a private school gig, and do something I enjoy in the mean time that may just allow me to make some money. Keep your fingers crossed.

In addition to my quest for freelance gigs, my longing to teach, my marathon training, my soon to be tutoring, I recently started a project that has long been in the works – there’s about eight other bloggers – with a few others that are currently getting started on the site that haven’t been introduced yet. It’s a wedding blog. A blog that came to fruition at BlogHer and took this long (for me: 1 wedding, 1 move and a job and a half later) to get off the ground.

Currently, we’re in the middle of a redesign to make it a pretty wedding blog. Soon? I want to be bff with the big time wedding bloggers. Sharing pretty pictures and dreaming of the wedding that could have been. I loved my wedding, every minute of it – from my sister waking me up super early to give me my wedding gift, to having breakfast with my mom and sister in the morning, to stopping at our frequented liquor store in full wedding attire after the ceremony to get some champagne for the limo to the after party in our suite. I loved it. But I also love the thought of planning weddings – seeing everything come together – the details, the colors, the dresses, the coordinating – everything about weddings I love.

So this blog, is a source for REAL bloggers to write about their weddings. Not that all wedding bloggers aren’t real bloggers but I just found that some of the wedding blogging out there is…less than stellar. And for some reason, I have a small condescending attitude towards bloggers who created their “blogs” to blog for a wedding blog. Or bloggers who write for a wedding blog who had never blogged before. I dunno, it just kind of turns me off. Judgemental I know, and I don’t claim to be the next Anne Frank but sometimes, you just want to read bloggers who can use a semi-colon properly. Am I right?

So, my project, unpaying but oh so fulfilling with some of the best bloggers out there (IMHO) is up and running: The Bridal Bloggette. And in the meantime, while I wait for my teaching dreams to come to reality, I’ll keep writing because it makes me happy and if there’s one thing I need to stay in our dour situation is happy.

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Love Harder

I saw this all around the blogosphere and I was reminded why I absolutely love blogging. The community, the love, the support, the friends. It’s incredible and inspiring and I had to post this. Blogging = friends. Friends = love.

The quandry: We feel terrible. Just horrible. And oh so helpless… if only there was something we could DO for them.

The answer: Ummmm. Did you forget that WE ARE THE INTERNET?!?!!??! And also, Yes We Can!!!

The result: Brandy and your Hot Awesome Dude… this one’s for you. Love, The Internet.

Our Plea

Our friend Brandy is a brilliant writer, a wonderful teacher, and a generous friend.  And she is in love with a man who has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

We are raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund in his name.  For the price of a cinnamon dolce latte, half-caf, hold the whip, you can be part of an effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.

http://www.loveharder.org

Every dollar brings us a dollar closer to a cure.  And every donation brings a sliver of hope to a girl who needs all the hope she can get.

Love Harder,
Heidi

What You Can Do

  • Give. Be part of a worldwide effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.  Every dollar helps.
  • Pass it on. Forward this story to five people.  Share this blog post.  Become our fan on Facebook.
  • Love harder. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. Tell someone you love them today.

Where Your Money Goes

  • The American Institute of Philanthropy recently named The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation one of the best organizations to give to in terms of their accountability and use of resources.
  • By working closely with researchers, clinicians and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, the MMRF has helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments that are extending lives around the globe.
  • The MMRF has advanced twenty Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They need your support to advance these clinical research programs and accelerate the development ofbetter, more effective treatments.
  • The MMRF’s Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative recently became the first to sequence the multiple myeloma whole genome in its entirety.
  • A whopping 98% of your donation to the MMRF will be used immediately to supporthigh-priority multiple myeloma research.
  • With diminishing funding for early stage drug development and the next myeloma treatments not expected to be approved until 2011, the MMRF desperately needs your help.

Brandy’s story can be found HERE.

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