Tag Archives: 2011

2011: A Year of Milestones

And just like that, another year has ended. I always find that once we get to the Holidays, time seems to fly by. For me, though, this entire year flew by. So much happened – I got married, ran a marathon, and quit my job. It really was a growing and turning point year for me, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for me. But before we get to the new year, let’s take a look back, shall we?

The year started off with a bang (literally – our New Year’s Eve party always involves fireworks), and the momentum really carried us through the entire year. Our first order of business was to run the Disney Half Marathon and enjoy a little vacation time, which was awesome. Even though I had been battling some different leg injuries (hi shin splits that I still have), I was able to complete the race and have an enjoyable vacation. The winter was full of snow and work, while also taking classes and getting into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning.

Spring was a breath of fresh air – I had finished up my online courses and knew I was free until the following winter, and was able to devote most of my time to wedding planning. Looking back, I can’t believe how efficient my husband and I were at planning, saving money, and getting exactly what we wanted. Aside from a minor meltdown over the color of our bridesmaid dresses (which turned out to be amazing), and stress related to picking a honeymoon destination, the rest of planning went rather smooth.

By the time summer hit, my husband and I were picking up our training for the Philadelphia Marathon. We had both taken significant time off during the winter in an attempt to heal our injuries, but unfortunately that didn’t seem to help much. Most of my running was done at 5a, as the entire month of July was almost 100 degrees or over. It was at this point I realized that the second half of the year was going to be a whirl-wind, and I wasn’t really sure if I was prepared for all of the changes heading my way. By the time August rolled around, though, I was ready to tackle the months ahead.

And we had to get serious with our running. While I never got to the coveted 20 mile run, I settled for 18 and crossed my fingers. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t petrified of the race. I didn’t feel prepared at all, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. Somehow, I finished in an upright position and with a respectable (for me) time of 4:37. My goal is to run another one closer to 4, and then eventually get under the 4 hour mark. I think I’ll need to have a successful training cycle before that happens, though. So I’m planning to not sign up for any big races yet for 2012 and instead focus on building my mileage. That way I can get to a point where I can really follow a training plan and be successful.

The last big event of 2011 was quitting my job. Being this was the first job I had right out of college, and every previous job was seasonal, I had no idea how to go about the quitting process. I knew the day was coming for almost a year, so I had plenty of time to muster up the courage. It was a lot easier than I had anticipated, and I was even able to work it out so I’ll still contribute part-time, remotely. That will be extremely helpful since I’ll be student teaching from January to May, with no real income. It’s a good thing my husband and I were so serious about saving for the wedding, and we have enough left over! While making changes and doing the unknown is scary, I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life. I’ve always known deep down inside I wanted to be a teacher, and I’m excited to be on the path to make that a reality.

2011 was a big year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in-store for me in 2012!

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Lackluster Cooking

The week between Christmas and New Years is always packed with as many outings and visits with friends as possible; dinners and drinks here, shopping trips there, and just time spent with those you care about. This oftentimes requires you to either cook for the masses, or spend little to no time in the kitchen. For me, it was the latter.

This year, our company observed the Christmas holiday the following Monday, giving us off when most of our business partners were hard at work. It worked out perfectly, though, since there was a huge snow storm that Sunday, leaving everyone trapped in their homes anyway. Leaving my fiancé at home to use up the last bit of his 2010 vacation days, I trudged to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, less than enthusiastic. The end of the year can be a crazy time in time and attendance and payroll, so that coupled with the holidays causes a serious time crunch. On Thursday, however, I took the day off to go wedding dress shopping! My mom, sister, and I headed to Priscilla of Boston in Short Hills to check things out. You can check out my pre-shopping trip video here. The dresses were pretty, but I wasn’t overly impressed with anything. It was a fun trip, but I didn’t say yes to the dress.

Friday (New Year’s Eve) was a day of relaxation and baking – I whipped up some pink champagne mini cupcakes, inspired by both Boozy Baker and Booze Cakes (two awesome books I got for Christmas!) to bring to our friend’s NYE party. After anxiously watching my fiancé light off fireworks from across the street and devouring lots of yummy appetizers, it was 2011! The new year started off with a 9 mile run, followed by a trip to Sonic to refuel (they have veggie burgers now!).

My mom, sister, and I reconvened on Sunday for another dress trip – this time to David’s Bridal. I had high hopes, hearing stories from many girls who found their dream dresses at David’s after searching high and low. While I didn’t have an overwhelmingly emotional experience (I’m not that kind of girl), I did find my dress! And while I can’t show you the dress I purchased, I can show you the dress I didn’t pick. And believe me when I tell you, my dress choices were all over the place. You name the style, I probably tried it on.

One of the favorite dresses I didn't choose...

My last day off ended today, Monday, as my company again observed New Year’s Day the following Monday (win!). While it’s sad to see the holiday season come to an end, I’m heading in to work tomorrow for only one day. Why? Because I’m heading to Disney World bright and early Wednesday morning for a week of fun, and to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon! I’m really excited to be heading back just under a year from the last time I was there, where I got engaged! I’ve been going to Disney World since I was 5, almost yearly, and get giddy like a child every time. Even though I’m a little injured (though getting better), the race is just going to be about the experience – I can wait until April to knock out a PR.

So, needless to say my cooking has been almost non-existant this week, aside from making Belgian waffles with chocolate chips and coconut flakes one morning, breakfast burritos a few other mornings, and a super simple stir fry for dinner one night. Tonight’s menu is a giant salad and some fish sticks – classy, I know. But somewhat fitting – a child-like meal before heading to the most wonderful (and childish) place on earth!

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Filed under Baking, Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Running, Travel, Wedding

2010

Yup, I’m doing it too.

So, how was my 2010, you may ask? Not too shabby! In terms of food related things, I won my first cookbook giveaway, had a bunch of giveaways of my own, and got to try a whole bunch of new recipes, and even created a few myself!

Aside from food, I also took a trip to Disney World in January of 2010, where I got engaged inside Cinderella’s Castle! We started planning our wedding right away, picked our venue, and were able to bring both of our families there for brunch.

I started running more seriously, and even completed my first half marathon (oh yeah, and my second is only 6 days away!).

In the Spring, I decided it was time to go back to school, and started my first semester as a graduate student in May 2010. I’ve got two semesters down and three semesters to go. I promise I’ll even eventually divulge what it is I’m back in school for – but that’s neither here nor there!

Needless to say my 2010 has been quite busy. There have been lots of ups and downs, but I probably wouldn’t have changed much, if anything. Sure, there are things in my life that could have been made easier, but in the grand scheme of things, a little running injury here, failed baking attempt there, lack of time due to school and work, etc. really isn’t so bad.

So what’s on the radar for 2011? Definitely more cooking, baking, and eating – that’s for sure! There will also be  lots of running, so that way maybe in the Spring/Summer of 2011, I’ll maybe just maybe be ready for a full marathon. The first half of the year is also going to be heavily dedicated to all things wedding related, since I’m getting married in September! We’ve got the big things out of the way (like venue, photography, DJ, etc.) but need to tie up the lose ends for other things (flowers, transportation, hotel, etc.). And of course, there will be more work, and more school.

I’m not one to make resolutions just because I find myself less likely to complete specific concrete tasks, instead of general ideas and notions. This means trying my best to cook new and exciting things at least twice a week, while still rotating in old favorites. It means doing my very best to keep my running mileage high, while staying injury free – something I’ve had a very hard time with the second half of 2010. It also means making sure I just enjoy life – friends, family, and all those things I love to do, while balancing it out with those grown up important things that are typically on the less exciting side of life.

I’m looking forward to 2011!

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