Industrial Radiators

You know how I mentioned in my previous living room post that I had super cool industrial radiators in my new apartment? Well here they are, they are like large industrial sculptures in each room and I really like them. It's a funky mix with the modern flooring and appliances throughout the house. 


Moist, Flavorful, and Simple Roast Chicken

When it comes to the roast chicken, simplicity is best. I make mine with a little butter, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. I stuff a lemon, onion and some garlic cloves into the cavity and voilĂ   a couple of hours later, you have a delicious, moist and fragrant dinner.

Okay, maybe it's not that simple, but it's pretty darn close. My first word of advice, buy a bird with a popper. There's nothing worse than not knowing if it's cooked through and jabbing that poor little guy with a thermometer twenty times just to find out that it's still not done. 

First, I cut up some onion, lemon and rosemary to put in the cavity. This time around I also put three whole garlic cloves in there as well. 


Arts and Crafts for a Cause

Every year, my husband's company encourages its employees to participate in Martin Luther King's Day of Service. Let me start off by saying that I think this is a wonderful thing that this company does, not only do they sponsor the event, but they have a list of activities that employees can sign up for and they welcome family participation. Last year, we traveled up to Bucks county and painted a home for a family that was in transition and needed a fresh start. This year, BryGuy signed us up for "bowl making" with a few of his coworkers. You might be asking, "how is bowl making considered community service?" I was thinking the same thing when he told me what we'd be doing for the day.

BryGuy gets down with the bowl making


One Year of CrossFitting

I looked at the calendar today and realized that it's exactly one year, to the day, that I started CrossFit. And oh, what a year it has been. When we first started, BryGuy and I had signed up for a membership that allowed us to go to classes twice a week. The workouts were posted online so I could see what was in store for me later that day. Honestly, it would give me anxiety. How was I going to make it through that workout? What was that move again? Sometimes, if it was a workout that I was uncomfortable with, I would just decide to go another day that week. (Real talk: I'm scared to try new things. Always have been.)

On the days I was determined to go, a.k.a. BryGuy was making me, I would be thinking about the workout all day long – looking up videos online if I wasn't sure what the movement/exercise was. I would get home from work, change my clothes, and the butterflies in my stomach would start. At that time, our gym was on the fourth floor of a storage unit and while climbing those stairs I was seriously wondering if I should just turn around and go back home. Luckily, BryGuy is fearless in situations like this, and he was always right next to me, dragging my ass up the stairs and telling me, "It's not that bad, you'll be fine." 


Our Wedding Photos Have Arrived!

Yes, we are in the pouring rain with no umbrella.
After a much-anticipated few months, we finally have our wedding photos in hand. I could not be happier with the results! The images truly capture what a great day it was. 

After a restless night of sleep on the night before my wedding I awoke to a muggy September day with an afternoon tornado warning (yeah, you read that right). Maybe some brides would go into freak-out mode about the weather, but not this one! I was determined to be calm, cool, and collected and roll with whatever the day decided to bring on. 

Truthfully, the rain was a blessing in disguise. Even though we weren't able to go to the three locations we had scoped out for photos, our photographer knew about an area that was covered, but would still give us the look of being outside. (This is really important: hire a photographer that knows the area well, so he/she can think on the fly about creative alternatives to your requested spots). 


Why You Should Watch Cougar Town Tonight

I really love Cougar Town. It's not just a show for chicks, it's a show for awesome people everywhere! Maybe my husband wouldn't approve of me sharing this with you, but he actually enjoys Cougar Town. 

Finally, the producers got smart and started to make fun of the name, because the name, Cougar Town, has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the plot of the show. So, it's understandable that it's a turnoff for some viewers. However, I highly recommend that you give it a shot, and here's why:


Our Cozy and Quirky Living Room

We've lived in our new place for just over a month now (yes, we've gotten past our renter's remorse). We've made really good progress on most rooms, but there's always more work to be done! As I learned from Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun, when you move into new place you have to pick one room to focus on and make it your own. Since we spend a lot of our time in the living room it was important to me to get it feeling cozy and comfortable for us to lounge around and watch movies.

Our decorating style tends to be a mix of modern and old world, with some funky accessories and eclectic details sprinkled throughout. The home we moved into is significantly more modern than our previous apartment. The lighting fixtures, flooring and appliances are all updated, but the house still has some historical details, like the radiators, which are basically artistic sculptures in each room.

1. Built-in entertainment center (probably from Ikea) - Mirrored box from Home Goods (our attempt at hiding our cables, wires), some of our favorite books (Bespoke - The Men's Style of Saville Row by James Sherwood, Our engament photo album/wedding guest book self designed on Adoramapix, The Essential Batman Encyclopedia by Robert Greenberger, World Whiskey by Charles Maclean, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman), Media boxes from Ikea.

2. Built-in glass shelf above television from Ikea - Brown vase from Home Goods, Silver candle stick holder from Ikea (it doesn't seem to be available any more), Blue hand blown glass vase a gift from my bestie who lives in Egypt, large white vase and leaves from Home Goods, the copper bird was a gift from my grandmother (she has no idea where she got it, but it's really cool).

3. Pink Panther - A gift from my grandmother to my husband for Christmas. A little background, my grandmother was a world traveler, she's collected many antiques or unique artifacts from around the world. My husband has always talked about how he wanted some "manly" lion or tiger statue or artifact in our house, so I told my grandma this and she said she had the perfect thing for him.

4. Coffee table tray from Home Goods - Always complete with a fun book: The Sartorialist: Closer by Scott Schuman, and some magazines, GQ and Bon Appetit


New Year, New Goals

I have mixed feelings about New Years resolutions. On the one hand, I don't think that I have to wait until the first day of a new year to decide that I'm going to make some changes in my life. On the other hand, I understand the  importance of the milestone, a new year means renewed focus. Now is as good a time as any to start making changes and setting some new goals. 

I'm a firm believer that you have to be held accountable for your goals, or you'll find excuses not to achieve them. So, here are mine, I'm laying it out there for you. Periodically, I'll check back in and update you on the status of my goals and accomplishments throughout 2013. 

2013 Goals/Resolutions for Marissa:

  • Take online workshops and courses to improve skills in graphic design and video editing 
  • Bring a renewed energy to my current job, go in with a positive mental attitude and creative ideas

Personal & Relationship 
  • Work on listening skills and making sure that my first reaction in a conflict is not to be defensive
  • Do something nice for the hubbers on a daily basis
Toes to Bar

Health & Fitness
  • Get to the gym three times per week
  • Stick to the paleo diet Monday through Friday
  • Be able to do pull ups (without resistance assistance band), toes to bar, and hand stand push ups 
  • Compete in at least one CrossFit competition

  • Save money towards a down payment on a home (yes, I have an exact dollar goal, but I'm not sharing that with you nosy folks)
  • Start a retirement savings account. (I can hear you now, *gasp* "You don't have a retirement account?!?" Well I did have one at a previous job, but when I started my new position in Philly a few years back I never set one up or moved my funds over from my previous account. So, I'll be doing that this year.)

  • Set aside more time to focus on the blog and post at least twice a week. Lucky you, you'll be hearing from me more often.


Fitting in a Workout During the Holidays

'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, cookies were baking, and I sat on the couch with my spouse (clearly, poetry is not my forte). The truth is, we were feeling a little sluggish after a few days weeks of not eating the most nutritious of foods and a less than consistent work out regimen. We decided that it was time to get moving. 

Rather than paying a cool $20 per person to go to a CrossFit class at our home-town affiliate we decided to do an at-home workout. That's one thing I love about CrossFit, many of the exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, kettle bell swings, running, jump rope and burpees all require little or no equipment.

BryGuy and I started brainstorming what type of workout we could do. Given our space constraints we decided to take our workout into the front yard, and embarrass ourselves in front of all of my parent's neighbors. 

Here is our pre-Christmas workout, which we appropriately named, Earn Those Cookies. So if you happen to be stuck somewhere without access to a gym and want to do a quick workout, here's what we did. 

"Earn Those Cookies"
Workout of the Day (WOD) 12/24/12 

Double unders on the jump rope (meaning the rope makes two rotations for every jump)

Between each set of dubs and sit-ups perform 10 burpees and run 100 meters 

Dubs first!
Then sit ups.
Followed by 10 burpees
Then a 100 meter run.
And repeat many times.

This photo makes me chuckle because it looks like BryGuy is dead,
but I swear, he's working out here.
BryGuy finished in an impressive 17 minutes and 10 seconds
I took slightly longer (my dubs blew chunks that day...) 20 minutes and 40 seconds.
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