Super Bowl Sunday Shenanigans

Saturday night, I ended up chatting with one of my friends about half-marathons, so I didn’t fall asleep till past two am…but long run at 10 am the next day we did! Huge thanks to L for accompanying me on the beautiful trail even when he was exhausted. We took a few stretching breaks and did our best to ignore our rumbling stomachs. We hit six miles at 1:17…at the entrance of the dining hall. Perfect timing!

Sandwiched between L and Mel. Yes, we are THOSE people that ran straight to the dining hall instead of showering…yikes. The BF isn’t pictured…but he showed up to enjoy my sweaty company, anyway. What a trooper.

After a relaxaing afternoon, we all piled into the lounge to watch the game on the projector. Go Giants! Wooo!

(Cheering the team on after stuffing ourselves with pizza and chicken wings!)

Yup, just some college students having fun. But I’ve gotta say…Mel is a big fan of creepy photos.

(Like this one. Girl knows how to capture my beauty, let me tell ya.)

I’m still recovering from my food coma, phew.

Did you watch the game?!

It’s Monday. I’m exhausted and swimming in homework. Any concentration tips?

Go Long!

The past two Sundays, I’ve been going long. 7 and 8 miles, both new distances for me! (1:38 and 1:40 respectively). It was pretty eye-opening to see how much faster I run outside rather than on the treadmill.

I was so proud of my 8-miler that I took a photo:

(Yaaaaay! 8 miles!)

It was a nice, relaxing run. I love Sunday long runs. They give me time to meditate, ruminate, and, I admit, belt out some Flight of the Conchords alongside Taylor Swift. (Yep, I’ve got quite an eclectic mix of music.)

I’ve been trying more gym classes–I tried a dance class yesterday and Zumba’d it up today! On top of that, I ran a quick three miles with a friend. Half-marathon training and socializing has never been so exhausting!

My roomie, Mel, smuggled me back a s’mores bar from the cafeteria:

(These are addicting. Oooh, my.)

Anyway, I’m running five miles tomorrow with a bud! YAY for half-marathon training! Time for bed…schoolwork + social life + training is exhausting.

What’s your latest food addiction?

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and while I thought about running as a love and an addiction, she thought about it like a love/hate relationship…what do you think?

Adventuring in Progress….

What can I say? I sincerely apologize for the gigantic hiatus. College got the best of me, and these past four months have been unlike anything I’ve ever known.

What I did this half of 2011:

-Ran a 10k! (recap coming!) The Rock ‘n’ Roll 10k in Prospect Park was one of the most unprepared-for events I’ve ever participated in. I’d only run two 5ks before this, so I was a wreck, but it was an amazing race and I finished with a smile on my face!

-Got a 4.0 average! I was taking two major classes, but only twelve credits. Still…it’s a proud moment.

-Which means I made the Dean’s List!

-Had an amazing social life and managed to meet some incredible people (including my boyfriend, but more on that later).

-Fell in love with yoga Oooh, yoga. I love it. I’ve started practicing some yoga stretches after runs and I’ve noticed it makes such a difference in my running. And stretching and warm-ups and cool-downs are now my buds. 2012 will not be the year of injuries!

-Mourned the loss of my kitchen

I have microwaveable soup more often than I would like, but the weekend breakfasts are very good. Still, I miss my gigantic fridge of fruit and veggies at home!

-Played in the snow…on Halloween
Snowball fight with my friends? Check!

-Went to my first concert! (Laura Stevenson & The Cans) They were amazing live, even though I didn’t get home till 2:30 am! It was worth it.

Here’s to an adventure-filled (AND blog-filled) 2012!

Hang on tight for the ride!

(Ziplining in Costa Rica, Jan. 2012)

Terrific Trip Tuesday: My Home Turf

Rewind to a cool day in NYC history….

When the Yankees won the World Series!

A friend and I skipped off to Manhattan to watch the parade, and then out to Max Brenner for some goodies.

I’m about to leave for my hiking trip, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. =)

What do you love about your hometown?

I’ve just moved into my dorm! Woohoo! What are you looking forward to about this school year?

The Week Where I Give In To Every Craving….

Okay, I’m only going to be gone for about two weeks before I visit home.

Still, the past week has been packed with visiting friends, eating a TON of delicious food, and basically traipsing around my house like I’m leaving forever. Oh, and shopping. I caved and bought New Balance Minimus Life sneaks. I love them so far–review coming soon!

Canceling my gym membership and returning all my library books seems so final. How did summer go so quickly??

With a number of things to do before I left, close to the top of my list was to make a Green Monster smoothie. I used the simple-yet-delicious recipe from JuliannaBananna. It isn’t the prettiest, but it was delicious! (My mom tasted it and was shocked when she heard I put spinach in it. I eat the most vegetables in the family, haha.)

Bottoms up!

I have been craving s’mores lately, so I finally bought all my ingredients at the grocery and concocted a ton. This one is made with a dark chocolate Reese’s. YUM. Dark chocolate + pb = amaaazing combination.

We finally went to a new(ish, new to me is about…a year?!) restaurant, CheeburgerCheeburger. I did the unthinkable and ordered a salad. They have unlimited toppings on their salads, so I went a bit crazy. It was gigantic, with grilled chicken, banana peppers, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, salsa, black olives, cheddar cheese, guacamole, onions, baby corn, and romaine. *phew* I think that’s everything! I liked the salad even better after it marinated overnight, and I stuffed it in a wrap, which toned down the spiciness a bit.

I leave with this (so flattering) photo of me, because my mom thought it was funny I was in bliss, and I made s’mores three nights in a row.

Have marshmallows, will microwave.

I might become a s’more.

What food can’t you get enough of lately?

I loved my Green Monster! I wish it had more green. Do you like smoothie/shakes?

Terrific Trip Tuesday: Washington, D.C.

Although my trip was only a few days, so much happened that I had to split it into two parts. (Part 1: National Harbor, Maryland and Alexandria, VA here.)

I’m going for a run! No, really, I AM!

After a day of sightseeing in Alexandria, I decided to check out the hotel gym for a quick run. I mean…super quick. I ran two miles in about 23 minutes and then ran back to my room to take a shower before the military band performance.

A workout is a workout. I wasn’t exactly planning on running this vacation (I had a huuuge inflating spider bite on my heel), but I was able to cover it up with a band-aid and some foam so I could walk (and run!) without pain. Due to this, I didn’t exactly pack running clothes…so my pajama Tweety top it was. =P

After a speedy shower, we headed down to the harbor to watch the Army band perform. They were awesome! We grabbed some subs and sat on the steps for a waterside show. Later that evening, we saw some impressive fireworks (while perched on boulders by the hotel) and I edited for several hours.

The next day was busy! We toured the Capitol. Fun fact–even though there is a crypt inside it, no one is actually buried there. George Washington was supposed to be buried there, but he requested in his will to be buried at Mt. Vernon instead. Inside statuary hall, there are “whisper spots” where you can hear people several feet away, thanks to the acoustics of the building.

Another fun fact: the statue of King Kamehameha I stood in statuary hall until the floor underneath started cracking. The statue and its base have a combined weight of 15,000 lbs. WHOA. It now stands in the lobby of the building. (more info on the statue and the man here.)

With a quick stop for some food in the cafeteria before heading over to the Library:

Corn on the cob, sauteed eggplant, and grilled chicken with olives, onions, and tomatoes.

What was probably the most expensive (yet tiny) salad I have eaten. I believe this was about $6…yikes. I was craving greens, though. Tomatoes, strawberry, spinach, and well, I’m not quite sure what else….

On to the Library of Congress! What a beautiful, beautiful building. The ceiling is engraved with famous quotes. My favorite? “The pen is mightier than the sword.” –Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I was probably most excited to see the viewing area with all the books. There is a balcony overlooking the library where National Treasure was filmed. No photos allowed, but I enjoyed it. The best part is that anyone can go in and read or research–you just need to apply for a reading permit across the street. Amazing.

The next day, we toured the White House! So. Cool. The president was awarding a Medal of Honor that same afternoon, but we didn’t spot him.

Did you know that there is no “back” and “front” of the White House? They are referred to as the North and South entrances, because they didn’t want to offend anyone by welcoming them at the “back” entrance.

We stopped for lunch at Founding Farmers. There was quite a wait, so we hopped over to CVS to buy some milk for breakfast and coffee.

Wow. It was totally worth the wait.

Founding Farmers prides itself on organic, local foods, and the place was mobbed! Everything was quite tasty. I had the butternut squash ravioli.

It was the best pasta I have ever had (outside Italy, of course). Whoa. Just looking at the photo makes me want to race back to D.C….

We topped off the day at the National Building Museum, where I saw a World’s Fair exhibit (pretty much empty, since the museum was closing–neat!) and a LEGO exhibit. I had seen some of the LEGO models before, on my Chicago trip, but this in-progress White House replica was cool.

It was a LONG, hot walk back to the hotel (my dad caved and took the metro), but a great day. We stopped at the American History museum before heading home the next day (best part: the First Ladies’ dresses and the replica of Julia Child’s kitchen!). I love U.S. history, but after a full day of touring the day before, we were all exhausted and ready to head back home.

Great trip! I hope I get to return to D.C. again. I love all the museums and historical sites.

Sweet Times + Swede Dreams

Why did I spend a recent morning dancing around my kitchen with a blissful look plastered on my face?

That would be dark chocolate-covered pineapple. In the shape of a star, plucked from an Edible Arrangements basket. YUM. My family goes through fruit by the ton, and this was a welcome surprise. (Okay, I don’t want to give away all the credit…I have been known to eat four or five apples/oranges/an entire bushel of grapes in one day. I am a fruitivore. =P)

The next day…IKEA! I had no reason to shop, what with my dorm already being furnished, but I’m a sucker for everything miniature. I love the sleek furniture and I coveted sooo many bookshelves. One day I will have a Manhattan apartment with lots of bookshelves. =D

We stopped for a quick bite to eat. I had Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes, along with a side salad.

Lingonberry juice! =)

I loved the lingonberry jam and bought some to take home for myself. Dinner was some biscuits with jam…delish. I hadn’t had biscuits in a very long time.

I’ve been running around lately trying to finish up everything before I leave for college. I needed some quality friend time. =D

Froyo date with the lovely M. We went to a new place (with CHAIRS! Whoa, a step-up from the place I had been to before) and it was a nice time catching up, reminiscing about high school, and analyzing the shop’s soundtrack. The music consisted of Glee covers, Broadway, and random Disney songs…strange, but I liked it!

Nice, new shirt? Yes, super comfy, but…I realized I had blue armpits by the end of the night. Wash before wearing…noted! I am wearing my running shorts, but I actually went for a 20 minute swim that morning. I have not been in the workout groove lately (my muscles feel tight), and I’m not doing anything strenuous before my three day backpacking trip. It’s so close! A week from today, I’ll be in the middle of hiking in the mountains. Woohoo!

Cake batter, banana, and raspberry flavors with chocolate chips, kiwi, maraschino cherries, and rainbow sprinkles! I am addicted to the combination of cake batter and banana. After making a CVS run (for Sour Patch Kids and Fig Newtons…talk about sugar overload!), we watched The Notebook (me for the first time…I live under a rock. I liked it! I love the 40s era!).

I was up against the Rock Band champ…but I managed to pull off 99% on keyboard! Yipee! I had to record it because I am notoriously terrible at Rock Band. Queen? Heck yeah.

My attempt on drums? Um…there is a reason I didn’t photograph that one. 😉

Of course, M kicked my butt in Disney Trivial Pursuit. I consider myself a Disney enthusiast, but I am useless on questions for The Rescuers and The Great Mouse Detective…I really need to watch/re-watch those!

Well played, M, well played.

I think I’m bringing Disney Scene It to college for a hall-wide competition. =D

The next day, I hung out with more friends! I saw Glee, the movie, and stopped at Borders to pick up a few books.

Do you like board games? I can’t get enough of them. I say the weirdest things in reaction to clues (this week: MUUUUFASA! (a la The Lion King)), and they make great competition and fodder for inside jokes.

Watched any movies lately?

Success, and Why I’m Obsessed With It


I haven’t been very much of a prolific blogger lately (yikes). I had been away at the beach in the no man’s land of no internet. Being cut off from the world made me a prolific writer. It also made me incredibly lonely with my thoughts when events were going on.

Lately, I have been so obsessed with measuring success and progress. I thought I left that world behind when I finished college applications, but I suppose not!

Okay, to get the full picture, these are my high school hobbies:
-Writing -Lacrosse -Tennis -Running
-Swimming -Volunteering -Costume-making

Not really in that order.

I love doing everything. I am addicted to learning about new hobbies.

The problem is, I love being successful at everything. I push myself to my limits and beyond. This can be amazingly helpful (I received a Most Improved medal for my first year on the lacrosse team!), but it can also be frustrating, and utterly exhausting. I thought I’d brought the pressure down to a manageable level, but it’s started to creep into my exercise.

In the past two days, I’ve spent at least two hours a day exercising. I’m beginning to break in my hiking boots (on the treadmill, unfortunately, because I don’t live near trails).

I have been diligent about recording every minute I’ve been working out.

Diligence is good, right?

Well, the pressure grew to the point where I would get really frustrated if I swam for 18 minutes instead of 20, or something like that. I started measuring everything and stacking things up against how they would prepare me for my hiking trip (upper body strength, etc.) or my half-marathon.

I also did not have a very relaxing vacation, due to a number of reasons, but tensions were high as I returned home. I sort of collapsed with the exhaustion and then I was swept up again in college preparations. The two issues piled up against each other and it was causing me a lot of stress.

Sometimes I guess I just have to take life as it comes.

I swam today. No stopwatch. No goggles. Just me and even breathing.

It was kind of meditative…something I’ve been experimenting with after dinner lately. My family meditates for a few minutes after eating. We all gather on the living room floor. I don’t think it’s really meditating–my dad counts; my mom flits through the day; I stretch. It’s a start.

I know I have plenty of time to get in shape for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon (which I am now officially registered for! YAY!). There’s no turning back after paying that entry fee, haha!

And the hiking trip…I’ll be okay. Pressure, get out of my exercise routine!!

Have you tried meditating? What about yoga? If you don’t–how do you wind down your day?

Have you run without a watch lately? Or the equivalent, if you don’t run?

What Writing Is….

The lovely Cat Hellisen over at Inarticulations posted about what writing is. I’ve been thinking lately about why I started blogging. Probably so I could have a reason to take even more delicious photos of food.

(Some great Thai in Chicago. I’ve been on a Chicago photo kick lately. Great city.)

Don’t forget to photograph dessert, too!

(Cheesecake cake pop. Mmmm.)

Or maybe it was because all the cool cats were doing it, and I wanted to get in on the fun!

(Those are my friend’s kittens. That kitten in the back corner is actually blogging. I. Know. He’s so talented.)

Truth is, I love entertaining people. I don’t hesitate to crack jokes and blurt out my life’s story in person…so why not combine it with writing? I like to write novels, but I love the idea of writing for an audience in real time. It connects people in ways I never thought possible. I get to read slices of life from all over–Puerto Rico, Utah, Florida, and even in my own backyard, NYC. I probably would have never encountered these wonderful people without blogging. I’m a fiend for tracking my exercise, and I love to watch progress. And…I like to talk. Writing novels will always be my passion. There’s nothing like finishing a draft and going, “Oh, thank goodness that’s over,” but blogging is an exciting aspect of writing that I wish I had discovered sooner.

As Cat said, the lows of writing novels (and the beast that is publishing) can be very low, and it’s nice to have feedback from non-industry people. Now that I’m not working on the school newspaper, I need to keep my skills fresh. Blogging is a great way to do that. What’s writing to you? So as you all read this, I’m cooped up in the car! Hopefully rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now…what’s on your to-read list?

How NOT to Run, and the Amazing Blogger Award!

Wisdom is doing something and going, “Oh, dangit, now I know!” Workout-wise, the past few days were…interesting.

My Saturday, aka: How NOT to Run

First, decide that you’re not going to run today! Nope, you are definitely not running. You are having a relaxing day at the beach. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen!

As a result of you having a nice relaxing day, have a HUGE breakfast.
Lots of fiber. Grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich. With two apples. Oh yeaaah. This is the kind of breakfast you’d like to sleep off on the beach.

Ten minutes before you leave, make a snap decision! You’re running! And it’s going to be a long run. Oh boy.

Make sure your Garmin’s not charged! Hasn’t been charged in a while? EVEN BETTER.

Throw everything you think you need into your backpack. Make sure you forget your headband so your hair flops crazily all through the run! It’s the latest fashion, you know.

While you’re at it, leave your Body Glide at home, too.

Arrive at the beach at approximately 11 am. Decide to start your run at the hottest part of the day. Luckily, you HAVE packed sunscreen.

Run your four miles! =D

All joking aside, this run was actually awesome!! There are some days I just get the itch to run like crazy. This was my first official 4 mile run ever! Yay! I kept it slow and steady, so I had 4.03 in 49:45.

Did I learn, though? NAH! The day after, I ran two miles in the rain (24:52), effectively destroying my phone.

Bad move on my part. Darn rain. Now I know–next time, my phone’s going in a plastic baggie. The run was peaceful and fun, though, so at least that was good. =D

In other news, the lovely Paola over at Sol de Luna tagged me for the Amazing Blogger Award! Thanks, Paola! Her blog is absolutely awesome, definitely check it out!

1) Favorite cartoon character?

(I love
Stitch. “O’hana means family,” is a sucker line for me every time. Lilo & Stitch remains one of my favorite movies.)

2) Favorite thing to photograph?

(I do enjoy photographing food, of course. Deep dish pizza in Chicago!)

(But I truly love photographing architecture while I travel. In front of the Louvre in Paris, France.)

3) Favorite thing to cook?
I do love breakfast. I rarely photograph it, because it’s similar. I love egg with salsa over brown rice, or a grilled pb sandwich with an apple. YUM.

4) Favorite way to exercise?
Running, swimming, and biking! I love all three! =D They each teach me a new appreciation for what my body can do.

(I get the kookiest looks on my face when I run, though. I can’t help it–I’m so happy.)

5) Favorite movies:
After Lilo & Stitch, I love Catch Me If You Can. The musical is just as awesome.

(Why hello, Leo. His Broadway counterpart, Aaron Tveit, portrays Frank Jr. fantastically.)

6) Favorite clothing:

(Often layered over something else. In Chicago.)

7)Favorite flower?
Sunflowers and carnations. They tied.

8) Favorite breakfast?
Scrambled egg with cheddar inside two waffles. *swoon*
Really, I could eat breakfast food all day long. I love almost all kinds of breakfast food, it’s hard to pick!

9)Favorite book?
I love many, but lately I’m loving Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. Stop making me cry, Hannah!!

10) What is your least favorite food?
Peas. I like sugar snap peas, but regular peas…ick. I try to be an equal opportunity vegetable lover, but peas are a skip every time for me. Who knows why….

(I sure don’t.)

11) What would your dream job be?
I want to be an event planner for Walt Disney World. I admire their gold standard of customer service, and I love the area of hospitality.

(But first, I would love to intern here!)

12) What is your favorite salad topper?
That’s easy! Black beans!

(Though from that photo, you might think it’s grapes….)

13) Do you have a running mantra?
Yes! Mine is: “Keep moving forward.” No matter how slow I’m going, as long as I keep going, every step is a success. As long as I continue my exercise ventures and try new things, I’ll discover things about myself and the world around me I never would have if I had sprawled on my couch.

It’s a shortened version of this quote, because the short version is easier to chant:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards very long, we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

–Walt Disney

Have you had a bad workout recently? Did you learn anything from it?

Because I’m about to go on vacation…what was one of your favorite places to visit on vacation?