Ten happy moments of the week

Photo by Dave Beckerman

This week was pretty superb. I have so many things to be happy about! 

1. My first moment that I'll share is my absolute most happy one of the week. We were down in Atlantic City celebrating our friend's birthday last weekend and on Saturday night we headed out to dinner (sadly, without the birthday boy because he was feeling under the weather.) So we pushed together two big picnic tables outside of Distrito and we all indulged in some tacos and margaritas. I remember at one point between wildly inappropriate jokes, just sitting back and thinking that I consider these people my family and that is such a great feeling. I feel like I can be my true self around them and that they are just all so great and make me feel like Philadelphia is finally my "home." 

2. Winning $60 bucks or so at roulette, only to have BryGuy blow it later on some more gambling, but whatever, we were up for about five minutes! 

3. Making Bry laugh at my ridiculous dance moves in the middle of Wegman's 

4. Finding a new delicious and not too expensive lunch spot - Hummus Grill

5. Chatting on the phone with both of my parents the evening before their anniversary! Happy 32 years together! My parents are truly an inspirational couple.

6. Dancing with some awesome ladies until the wee hours of the night! Photographic evidence available here

7. Getting to bed early multiple times this week. I think because I've fighting off some kind of throat/sinus thing my body has been exhausted. But I'm so happy that I've made the effort to get my butt in bed nice and early! 

8. Eating a delicious lunch with my coworkers at Barbuzzo.

9. Planning my workout days in advance this week and actually adhering to them! Read more tips for staying motivated to workout when it's cold.

10. Making it to work on time four out of five days this week! Honestly, that is a new record for me. 


Finding motivation to work out when it's frikkin' freezing

Believe me, I get it... It's hard to find the motivation to go to the gym when it's 10 below and one deep breath outside makes you feel like your nose hairs and lungs are frozen. But, if you want to meet your fitness goals in 2014 (here are mine) you don't have a moment to lose. I know for me, one unplanned day off from the gym is the beginning of a slippery slope to a week off... 

Here are some tips to stay motivated to hit the gym during the winter months: 
  • Don't sit down! I usually go to the gym after work. First, I stop home to do a quick clothing change and then I hightail it out of there to try and make the 6 o'clock class. The key is to not sit down or get too comfortable, otherwise that one minute of relaxation on the couch turns into hours of watching the Real Housewives while dipping pretzels into a jar of nutella.... wait... is that just me?
  • Set out your workout gear in advance. Have everything ready to go when you get home or if you're one of those psychos that works out before dawn, set out your stuff the night before. You're less likely to be mulling around trying to find that sports bra or fresh pair of socks if you get it all ready to go in advance. Or even better, go straight to the gym from work and have your stuff packed in your car.
  • Dress appropriately. Maybe your gym has heat... you lucky duck, you. Mine doesn't. So that means I need to layer appropriately. Usually I start with three shirts and two pairs of pants that slowly but surely get stripped down as I go through the workout. 
  • Set your gym schedule in advance. Know which days you're going to work out for the week and put them in your calendar. This way you can plan other activities (grocery shopping, happy hour, etc.) around your workout schedule.
  • No excuses, play like a champion. I'll be honest, sometimes there's a little dusting of snow on the ground and I'm all like, "I can't possibly go to the gym now, it's a blizzard out there -- far too unsafe!" But really, that's just an excuse. Whether you're not feeling 100 percent healthy or the weather is not cooperating, don't allow yourself to make silly excuses. However, if weather is truly a factor, or you're actually sick, it might be the safe bet to stay home, but you should still do something physically active at home. Yoga, a home wod (pushups, air squats and situps), zumba, sex, whatever... just because you're stuck inside doesn't mean that you can't get in a little heavy breathing!
  • Make your gym your second home. This is a little trickier and takes some more time, but basically if you immerse yourself in the culture of the gym and get to know the people there, you'll probably feel more motivated to go. This means that you have to take off your headphones every once in a while, talk to people, put yourself out there and attend a social event being hosted by the gym. Not all gyms are built equal in this category, so if the community aspect is really important to you, it may take some shopping around. Most CrossFit gyms have a great community or family atmosphere, and even some traditional smaller/family-owned gyms are the same way. Cue the shameless plug: if you're in the Philadelphia/Manayunk area, I highly recommend CrossFit Manayunk or CrossFit 2 St because, well, they are the best. 
And just to prove that I practice what I preach, here's a little clip of my workout from yesterday (Four hang power cleans and three burpees, every minute on the minute for 22 minutes!) 

You'll notice the pile of clothes on the rig... I'm like an onion, I have layers. 


Obsessing over...

Ponchos, capes and cardis, oh my!

I just can't get enough of these cozy ponchos, capes and super soft and long cardigans. I think it's the cold weather, I just want to wrap myself in giant cashmere throw, grab a cup of tea and a good book, and never leave my couch. I'm particularly fond of that lavender/grey number on the bottom right, it would be the ideal transition piece to take me into spring. As you can see, the cold weather also has caused me to pick an essentially neutral palette. With the exception of Joseph's technicolor dream coat on the top row. 

Most of my options are somewhat affordable but I gave you a couple of pricier ones if your pockets are deep (Why hello, Burberry cape!)

Which ones are you lusting after? 
Ponchos, capes, and cozy cardigans


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

Ahh, I'm so behind today so this is coming out late, but here we go...

1. Snow days!!! 1 1/2 official ones for me this week and it was wonderful. 

2. Delicious burgers and beers with my boo during our snow day outing. 

3. New bathing suit arrived in time to take to AC with me this weekend (happy moment) not sure I love the way it fits (not so happy moment)

4. I was finally able to get to sleep last night without having tissues shoved up each of my nostrils. 

5. Work event this week went well, no protesters and no pushy media. Yay for events that run smoothly! 

6. The moment when I went to catch a train home and was going to have to wait for 25 minutes for it to arrive but the train before it was running super late and pulled up just as I stepped onto the platform. so no waiting for me. 

7. Taco salad. When I was little I hated tacos (What the eff was I thinking?!) So, instead of tacos I would make myself a salad out of all the taco fillings (...maybe I just didn't like the tortilla.... again, what the eff.) Anywho, as an adult I have realized how amazing tacos actually are, I love them to death and I think I eat them so often I'm trying to make up for what I missed in my childhood. But this week we took it old school in attempt to be mildly healthier and I made us big ass taco salads. Yum yum yum. 

8. Eagerly anticipating a fun weekend in Atlantic City with my buddies! 

9. Snow plows! For some reason Philly decided to get its act together for this snow storm and they were out plowing the first evening of the snow fall. 

10. Reading Mindy Kalings book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) makes me giggle on the train.


Snow day? You mean burger day...

When you've been trapped in the house a little too long and you're no longer entertained by this list of things to do on a snow day. Sometimes, you just gotta get bundled up, make your way out into the snowy tundra and find yourself some red meat and a brewski. 


Things to do on a snow day

Photo by pheobe_rousseaux on Flickr

Yesterday, I was working from home because I'm feeling a little under the weather, but it ended up working out because our office closed early because of the expected snowfall. BryGuy hightailed it out of his office and braved the elements to head home and then we spent the afternoon on our respective computers . Today, I found out that my office was closed, so YAY! Snow day numero dos! 

However, I'm feeling trapped today, I've been in the house for too long now. So here's a short list of how I entertain myself when it's snowy outside. 

1. Watch movies you've never heard of on Netflix - I particularly liked I Don't Know How She Does It featuring SJP.

2. Cook. Challenge yourself to a little game of Chopped in your own kitchen. Pull out some ingredients you've had lying around for a while and make something delicious. Yesterday, I whipped up some chocolate mint pots de creme, which were rich and delicious and some minty whipped cream which we enjoyed taco salads for dinner. 

3. Catch up on house cleaning. *and the crowd boos* Yeah, I know this is lame, but yesterday I handled all of our dirty laundry and got the kitchen in order. 

4. Get outside! Make snow angels, go sledding, build a snowman, eat snow. Basically, be a kid again. 

5. Drink. As an adult I think snow days are synonymous with drinking days. Crack open a bottle of wine or mix up some tasty cocktails. 

6. Play games. If you're lucky like me and you're stuck home with your very best pal, pull out some board games (Yahtzee and Bananagrams are great games for two people!)


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. I witnessed a random person on the street helping a blind man at a crosswalk. It made me think that I need to stop and partake in more random acts of kindness.

2. Taking a day off from the gym to relax and try to fight off a little cold. I successfully held the cold back by treating it with a netti pot and enormous quantities of mint tea.

3. Receiving lots of support and kind words from friends and family about my "positivity" posts on the blog this week, read them here and here.

4. Feeling appreciative of my awesome coworkers that take my mind off of silly work things for a few moments each day.

5. The warmer weather this week has me all excited for spring and summer to come. And I just bought a new bathing suit in!

6. A FABULOUS visit from my best bud in the whole wide world. She stayed with me in Philly for a few nights last weekend and we had so much fun eating tacos, visiting the Barnes, and getting drinks at Time while be deafened by awesome jazz music.

7. Pequea Vally Yogurt. It's amazing. Expensive, but amazing.

8. A brief phone call to my sister that put me in the middle of a heated conversation about wiping (yes, bathroom wiping) during their supper time. Ahhh, I miss our big family dinners, they were so disturbing and hilarious.

9. Good chats with my buddy Lindsey about the future and how we're both trying to be more spiritual or zen or whatever you want to call it. I'm so happy that she's so happy doing what she's doing, even if it is way too far away from me!

10. A fun girl's night watching football last weekend followed by a crazy dance party. I was sweating my ass off on the dance floor!


A bit of clarification

Yesterday's post, about my new daily ritual to stay positive, came off a bit melodramatic. I can seen that now. I have a teeny tiny smidgen of self-awareness somewhere deep, deep inside of me. 

To clear the record, I AM a very happy person. In fact, I love my life! Every day I think about how blessed I am and a part of me wonders how it could possibly stay this good forever. 

I guess what I was trying to say, was that I am an easily irritated person. I have less than an ounce of patience in me. I accept this as one of my many flaws. That leads to me constantly huffing and puffing because people are rude (see my miss manners part I & part II posts) and it leads to inexplicable amounts of road rage. Thank you papa, I believe I inherited my road rage from you, you were always good at parenting by example.

I also have bitchy resting face disorder. Which means that even though I'm feeling joy and bliss on the inside, I'm really emanating an aura that says "don't f*ck with me." 

One of my 2014 personal goals was to be more positive. 

To me, that means that I don't let the daily little things get to me as much. I try to be more free-spirited and easy going, and I smile more! The chanting thing is my attempt at putting myself in a good head space to accomplish those small feats. 

So with that being said, I leave you with this. It's sure to make you smile. :)


A new daily ritual... it involves chanting

I have a new "thing." It falls in line with my one of my 2014 goals to be more positive. This morning, on the way to work, I started a little internal mantra that went something like this:

Today will be a great day. 
Today will be a positive day. 
Today will be a happy day. 
Today will be a healthy day. 
Today will be a productive day.
Today will be a stress-free day. 
Today will be a great day. 
Today will be a positive day. 
Today will be a happy day. 
Today will be a healthy day. 
Today will be a productive day.
Today will be a stress-free day. 
Today will be a ....

Okay, you get it. 

So, I did this little chant (in my head, of course) for the four block walk from the train station to my office. Usually, that four block trek is a primary source of frustration that could potentially start my day off on the wrong foot. People walk slow, people stop abruptly in front of me, people don't move over to the right to let other people pass, cars block the crosswalk, people don't say thank you when you hold the door for them, people just.... frustrate me. 

So, as I was repeating this mantra in my head over and over again, I stopped thinking about all the people that weren't doing exactly what I wanted them to be doing, and I started just thinking positive thoughts. 

Well, so far things are going good. I feel like this little act in the morning put me in a good head space. And, I decided I'm going to make it a part of my morning ritual. 

I think I saw a TED talk a while back (or maybe it was an article?) that talked about how people with bad body image should look in the mirror and compliment themselves out loud everyday, and gradually they will have higher self-esteem. I suppose this is kind of like that. If I think about how it's going to be a wonderful day then it's more likely to actually be one. Or at least, I won't turn every tiny little thing that goes wrong into a monumental issue that ruins my day.

I really admire those people. You know. The people that are always smiling, that people that just love life, the people who always seem visibly upbeat and happy and excited about everything. Maybe if I pretend to be one of those people, I'll eventually just become one of those people. 

That's the plan at least. 

I hope you have a good, stress-free, happy, healthy, productive, energy-filled, positive day! 

What sort of things do you do to stay happy and up-beat? Tell me all of your secrets happy people! 


Bourbon ginger cocktail

I know it's only Tuesday, but chances are you could use a drink. Preferably a stiff one. Or is that just me? I made some ginger infused simple syrup for our New Years Eve champagne cocktails and decided that I could put the simple syrup to use in another drink as well. I whipped up a bourbon cocktail that includes ginger simple syrup, bourbon, club soda and is garnished with a lemon twist and slice of candied ginger. Get the full recipe below.


For auld lang syne

I'm not getting a good start on the blog in 2014... totally slacking and didn't even realize that I hadn't put up photos from NYE! New Years Eve was wonderful, we shared a great meal with friends, laughed, danced and drank a lot of bubbly. Butcher & Singer did not disappoint; the aged rib eye melts in your mouth, the stuffed hashed browns are ridiculous, and the desserts were heavenly. 


2014 goals

I debated whether or not to do this post, and figured that it couldn't hurt. As I mentioned last year at this time, I don't believe that you need to wait for a new year to set new goals, but it it a great time to think about the things you plan to accomplish in the coming year. I like to make goals that fit into various categories (health & fitness, personal & relationship, career, and finance) and I'll try to remember to check back every few months and let you know how my goals are progressing. So here they are, my 2014 goals!  

What do you want to accomplish in 2014? Tell me all about it! 


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. Can you say snow day? Well not technically a snow day, but I'm laying low and working from home today and it's a great way to ease back into things after a nice holiday break.

2. I had the best steak of my life on New Years Eve at Butcher & Singer. It was sooo. freaking. delicious.

3. Ringing in the New Year with my husband and great friends. We had a ton of laughs and ate way too much food.

4. Nursing my New Year's hangover with an enormous brunch and lots of movies on the couch was so necessary and wonderful.

5. Cooking a delicious roast chicken with potatoes was the ultimate comfort food for our first night back in Philly.

6. Getting my new Naked 3 palette on New Years Eve, just in time to use it for a night out. I love new makeup!

7. A smooth car trip back from NY - we've had some lousy trips in the rain/snow lately and it was really nice to just have a drive back without bad weather.

8. Listening to the Christmas Abbott Barbell Shrugged podcast which was really good and makes me like her even more (if that's even possible.)

9. Using my matte finish nail polish! I just love it, thanks to that topcoat I've officially doubled my nail polish inventory.

10. Feeling refreshed and energized for 2014. I have so many things I want to accomplish and I just feel like I'm going into the year with a new perspective and sense of positivity. It's going to be a great year!

Christmas in New York

We spent the holiday in upstate New York with our families and it was such a wonderful and relaxing week. I love seeing my parent's house all decked out in Christmas decor and smelling the scents of delicious food cooking in the kitchen. We did a little ice skating, a lot of game playing and way too much eating! On Christmas morning we got all dolled up in our onesies and opened our presents while the fire was crackling and the french toast was baking. My bro always plays Santa's helper and doles out all of the gifts. Check out some of my favorite gifts I received this year.

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