Tag Archives: Writing

Oh Hi!

Well hello there! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Things have been busy around these parts and I haven’t had the time or energy to really blog. After most hiatuses, though, I’m trying to tell myself I should get back into blogging. I mean, it is something I enjoy doing after all! So what have I been doing these last three months? Let’s play catch up!

I started a new job. It’s been almost two months since I started and I’m finally at a point where I feel like I’m a contributing member of my team. A lot of time was spent with training, reading, and other on-boarding requirements not only for the company but also my specific department. For those that don’t know, I’m a technical writer which means I write user-facing documentation. You know the stuff you read when you go to the “Help” section on websites and stuff? I’m the one that takes the features that have been developed and try to explain them in layman’s terms to help users. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time spent trying to come up with something as simple as a title. I always thought creative writing was hard, but taking something complex and technical and trying to turn it into something simple and straight-forward? Oof. So as you can imagine, my brain hasn’t been wired for writing more when I get home.

Running has been limited. Things were going pretty decently after my IT band drama of the winter, but then I noticed some slight discomfort in my outer ankle/foot area. I traced it back to my peroneal tendon, but it’s being a real jerk and making it difficult for me to run consistently. When I say it’s being a jerk, I mean that I can generally run with it because it’s only slightly uncomfortable, but then after sitting for a while (and especially the next morning) my first few steps are quite painful. I’ve been foam rolling and using my trigger point ball like a mad woman, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. It needs to get better sooner rather than later, though, because Chicago marathon training needs to start soon – ack!

I’m obsessed with fitness classes. Not too long ago the idea of fitness classes seemed silly to me. I always thought to myself, “why pay X amount when I can just go and do the same stuff at the gym?” Well guess what? I wasn’t actually going to the gym and doing that stuff. I have a weird level of motivation, and if it’s just me going to the gym on my own, I oftentimes skip it. BUT, if I’m paying money for a specific class that has an instructor, I’m much more likely to go. Some of the classes and memberships are really expensive, but if you’re going, enjoying yourself, and seeing results, I think it’s worth every penny. The best part is that most of my friends are very into fitness as well, so we push each other to get to classes and try new ones. Last week I tried barre for the first time and was surprised at how hard it was and how sore my abs were the next day! Not to mention they’ve been really helpful for me to keep my fitness up while dealing with my on and off running drama.

So that’s really what has been going on around these parts; adjusting to my new job, trying to get myself healthy to start marathon training, and keeping my fitness up by going to my tried-and-true fitness classes and also trying some new ones. After this long and cold winter I’m looking forward to the sunshine and warmth of summer, and hope to blog more about summertime fun!

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Filed under Life, Running

Five For Friday

Rather than do a Friday Favorites post, I thought I’d switch it up a bit and make it a Five For Friday (sorry, can’t escape the alliteration). This post will be a little random; a mix of things that I am currently loving, as well as just some updates and tidbits. But only five of them!

NYC Marathon

I decided to enter the NYC Marathon lottery this year after getting in for 2012 and it getting canceled, and then cheering the last two years… and I’M IN!

Woohoo!!

Woohoo!!

Considering I live in the Northeast — specifically in the tri-state area — I didn’t have high hopes for actually making it in, but I did! I really can’t wait to run through the streets of New York City and see all my friends (and family) along the course. This race will hopefully be a fun “victory lap” of sorts after either Chicago or Steamtown (depending on my lottery luck with Chicago).

Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream

So this is something I’m loving… and have been since I got the Origins Ginger Souffle lotion as a Christmas gift from my sister. She’s recently become a huge Origins fan and I always trust her judgement when it comes to beauty products, so I was excited to give this a try. Every time I put it on I feel like I’m in a spa – it smells like one and just feels so luxurious!

gingersouffle

I’ve been using it pretty regularly since Christmas, but I’m only about halfway through the container. A little bit goes a long way and it really hydrates your skin without leaving you feeling greasy, or with a strong smell. It’s been a life saver with these frigid winter temperatures… hopefully I won’t have to use it as much in the coming months!

Writing [Code + Other Things]

I decided late last week that I’m going to try to teach myself how to write code. I don’t necessarily think it’s something I can turn into a career (but hey, you never know!) but I know that it would be a very valuable skill to have. After thinking about it for a bit I settled on learning PHP through Code Academy. Gizmodo actually published an article back in August that included a list with some great resources which is what I used to help make my decision. I have plenty of people I can ask for help, so I’m hoping this won’t be as painful as I’m imagining. Only time will tell!

codeacademy

I’m also trying to write more fiction. I don’t have any particular plans for it, but I love to write so I need to do it more. The hardest part has been to actually take the time to do it since I’m overly critical of myself when it comes to my writing and I think everything is awful. I also have what I like to call writing ADHD. I’ll start to write something, get about a paragraph or two into it, and next thing you know I’m over it. I tend to have a lot of really great beginning ideas, but I don’t take the time to flesh it out. At least I can pinpoint my problems… now I just need to work on them. Work makes work.

This Weather! 

I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of saying “It’s so gorgeous outside!” Mother nature really turned things around in the last week and after one last snow storm things have been pretty great. I’ve been able to wear shorts on a lot of runs and even wore short sleeves with arm warmers for an 8-miler I did mid-week! It’s always windy where I run (Liberty State Park) because it’s along the water, so it’s been a nice change of pace to have wind and not numb-your-face-off wind blowing as I’m running. I’ve also obviously enjoyed not having to put on 3 layers in order to just go outside. I went through so much extra laundry this winter wearing an extra layer over my workout clothes to and from Refine, spin, and the gym. After all my classes this week I didn’t feel the need to change out of my clothes and into something new for fear of freezing… I was able to come home yesterday morning in my capris… an (almost) springtime miracle!

While it is definitely warmer than it was just a few weeks ago, there is one thing I don’t quite understand. Outside dining. Yes, there are a lot of restaurants that already have their tables and chairs set up outside… and I’ve passed people eating dinner outside (in their winter coats)! I just don’t get it. Sure, it’s warm and 40 degrees is a heck of a lot nicer than 20… but I’m not sure it’s warm enough to eat a meal outside just yet. But at any rate, the weather has been great and I can’t wait for it to get even warmer.

Organic Avenue Coconut Water

We can add this to the list of “things I think I need all the time, and buy even though I know I don’t.” I’ve never been a huge coconut water fan, but when Dori told me that the Organic Avenue version is delicious and I should try it, I took her word for it. Well, that was a mistake… because it IS delicious and I want it all the time!

coconut water

There’s one I pass on my way to/from Refine, so on days when I’m feeling a little dehydrated, I stop in to pick one up. The coconut water is nothing special (no fancy flavors like some brands offer), but it manages to be sweet without being TOO sweet and totally refreshing. I’ve found myself craving it when I wake up after having one-too-many drinks the night before (you know, like a whopping three of them) as well as after a workout. It isn’t cheap so I’m trying not to buy it too frequently, but boy is it delicious.

So tell me…
Anything you’re loving lately?
Something random you want to share? Spill it!

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Filed under Life

Getting Creative

This past weekend, I spent some time with my sister who is home from college for her winter break. She is extremely creative when it comes to cooking and crafts, so I knew I wanted to spend some time trying to be “crafty” with her. I’m confident (enough) in the kitchen, but when it comes to crafts, I’m completely clueless. I mean, I can’t even cut in a straight line! I see cute things on Pinterest, or think of ideas on my own, but I’m never able to translate the idea to a (decent) finished product. I have no problem admitting that she got most of the creativity genes and I wanted to try and benefit from them!

I had no idea what we’d make, but my sister wanted to go to the craft store to get more yarn, so I was hoping I’d find inspiration while we were there. I should note that when she was home for Thanksgiving she gave me a cute knitted headband, then for Christmas gave me another and a huge scarf! She also managed to knit herself two scarves, as well as a hat for my dad and her boyfriend. I always thought knitting was time consuming (and difficult), but she’s  quick and produces some pretty impressive pieces. Maybe when she’s home for spring break I can get her to teach me (ha!).

Kennedy modeling a scarf my sister made

Kennedy modeling a scarf my sister made

After wandering around the craft store for awhile, we had the idea to make headbands. We grabbed some elastic and went to look at ribbon and jewelry. Unfortunately they didn’t have a large ribbon selection, and the jewelry pieces weren’t exactly what we were looking for. So after standing in one of the aisles staring at each other for awhile, she remembered a print I had pinned to one of my Pinterest boards. She turned to me and said, “what’s that one print you have on your Pinterest board? We can make it.” I pulled up a few and realized it was this one. We grabbed a $12 canvas, a bottle of black and bottle of gold paint (they were $3 each), and a set of paintbrushes. Once we got home, my sister outlined the words free hand, and then we painted the words to match the print. We added a teal stripe at the top to make it “my own” and in a matter of two hours and $20 later, I had an awesome print to hang over my desk! I of course spent the rest of the night yelling “treat yo self!” to almost anything.

Oh, I will.

Oh, I will.

I decided to continue my creativity streak with breakfast the next morning. My mom and I got to work in the kitchen and made a breakfast bake that included onion, pepper, potato, tomato, black beans, cheese, eggs, and chili powder. It was super filling and really delicious – perfect for the (literally) frozen morning.

Who doesn't love a meal they can throw in the oven & forget about?!

Who doesn’t love a meal they can throw in the oven & forget about?!

After this weekend, I realized that I definitely want to try and be a little more DIY this year. More than that, though, I want to tap into my creative side. I know that I’m not super crafty and that’s okay, but there’s more to creativity than just crafts. I need to write more, and take risks in the kitchen.

Tell me…
Do you like crafting? Any easy starter crafts you can suggest for a newbie like me?
Do you consider yourself to be creative? 

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Filed under Life, Project