Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Soundtrack

Happy Memorial Day! The warmer weather and lazy days are finally here and I could not be more stoked!

"How stoked," you asked? Oh, I'd say I'm about this much stoked:

In honor of the unofficial start of summer, I decided to share some of my favorite summer songs (and few that will always make me recall special summer memories). These are the ones that I'll have on repeat from June through August:

Summertime by Will Smith
Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Don't Worry Baby by the Beach Boys
Mint Car by The Cure
Steal My Sunshine by LEN
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
Through Being Cool by Saves the Day
Summertime by Kenney Chesney
Steal My Kisses by Ben Harper
Island in the Sun by Weezer
Down Together by the Refreshments
Penny and Me by Hanson
Walkin' on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
Pickin' Wildflowers by Keith Anderson
Collide by Howie Day
Upside Down by Jack Johnson
Can't Go Back to Jersey by G. Love
Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts
Umbrella by Rhianna
The General by Dispatch
Summer Girls by LFO
The Remedy by Jason Mraz
Ticks by Brad Paisley

Do any of these songs bring back summer memories for you? What songs would be on your summer soundtrack?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Hate Running - Log 9: You Can't Win 'Em All

I started out strong this week. Last Sunday, I ran for 10 minutes straight!! This was another one of the goals from my 31 in 31 list, and I was not expecting to accomplish it so soon. It kind of just happened: I felt good after 5 minutes (my time from last week), I felt good after 7 minutes... and, next thing I knew, I looked down at my watch and saw that I was 30 seconds away from 10 minutes. So, I went for it. And, I felt amazing afterwards!

Tuesday was also awesome. I went running on the Perkiomen Trail (a local trail along the Perkiomen River, frequented by runners, bikers, and dog walkers) with the Little Miss who got me into running: Amy @ Little Miss Moon Blossom. Even though she is amazing and is ahead of me time wise, she stuck to 6 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking with me.

The trail was beautiful, and having the company while running was fantastic. Very easy to forget about the time when you have someone to chat with. I even finished my run off with a long (for me) sprint over the one of the bridges back across the river.

Wednesday, though... well, that's a different story. Aside from the first couple days when my body was still pissed at me for forcing running upon it, I'd classify Wednesday as my worst running day so far.

I think my mistake was going to a local park with obnoxious hills (I didn't remember them being as terrible as they were!) on one of the hottest days so far this year. I was dead by end of my first interval. I managed to get two more in, but skipped out on the last one and walked for the remainder of the 30 minutes.

Despite Wednesday's set back, I'm still feeling pretty good about my progress. It is good to remember that not every run is going to be fantastic. Sometimes, you just have an off day, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (so long as they don't all turn into bad days!).

Next week, I'll be running 7 minutes per interval.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Perkiomen

(My 1st time on the Perk! Cross another one off the 31 in 31 list)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Hate Running - Log 8: Breathing Easy

Last week, I made a last minute decision to add a fourth day into my running routine. Sunday is now going to be what I've decided to call a "Challenge Day" where I don't necessarily stick my schedule for the week. I'm going to use it as day to push myself a bit more and see if I can run longer, for at least one interval. Last Sunday, I made it to 7 minutes, which the longest I've run at one time so far!

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I did four intervals where I ran for 5 minutes and walked for 2 minutes.

The most notable thing about this week is that it's becoming easier and easier to breathe normally while running. Based on my breathing, I feel like I could keep going for a lot longer. The caveat is that my legs will now get to a point where they just don't want to go any further! But, I know that they will catch up soon - they're getting stronger every time I go out. I also took some time this week to map out run and determine how far I've been going. To my surprise, I've been running about 2.2 miles, which is a lot farther than I expected.

On tap for next week: Challenge Day on Sunday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday my intervals will be 6 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking for 30 minutes total.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thrift Store Dress Haul

I've managed to knock out two of my 31 in 31 goals in one fell swoop:

#5 - Check out Liberty Thrift & #23 - Find and purchase a couple cheap summer dresses.

Dan and I stopped at Liberty after work. We've been meaning to check out this thrift shop for a while now (it's only about 5 minutes down the road), but this is the first time we made it. It certainly won't be the last!

I was really impressed. The place was a lot bigger than I expected, the prices were good, the store was clean, and they had a pretty big selection. I could have easily spent a couple hours browsing through the clothes. But since I had the husband in tow and limited funds, it was a pretty quick trip. But, successful nonetheless!

Here's what I ended up with - two cute summer dresses and a great short-sleeved cardigan (which was originally from Target!):

The photos don't actually do the dresses much justice - they look rather shapeless. However, they drape nicely when they're on, and they're in like-new condition. I especially love the pink one, with the ruffle detail. It goes great with the sweater and will look perfect with pearls!

The best part? Altogether, all three pieces were just over $10!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

31 in 31

I saw this idea on {Not Quite} Susie's blog earlier and loved it:

Make a list of 31 things that you want to accomplish in 31 days. I tend to be more ambitious when I write things out in a list, so hopefully I'll get through them all by June 20!

**Updated 5.23.10**
**Updated 5.25.10**
**Updated 5.27.10**
**Updated 6.01.10**
**Updated 06.02.10**
**Updated 06.07.10**
**Updated 06.10.10**
**Update 06.20.10**

1. Spring clean and organize the apartment... In progress
2. Try out a new hiking trail.
3. Spray paint the porch chairs and make squishy cushions for them. I've had my eye on a few outdoor fabrics at JoAnn's for months!
4. Run for 10 minutes straight
6. Try a new recipe (maybe brine and bake one of the two turkeys that's been in my freezer since December?).
7. Make two more record clocks ...1 is started
8. Drop 6-8 more pounds... close - 5
9. Go to China Town.
10. Sew something new - I'm thinking either a skirt or a bag.
11. Bake something fun (it's been way too long since I've baked anything!).
12. Finish reading The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Shelia Kitzinger.
13. Start reading Ourselves as Mothers, also by Shelia Kitzinger.
14. Play mini golf
15. Go to the Elmwood Park Zoo
16. Go swimming.
17. Do something new with my hair (I have it in pony tail almost every day... I need a change!).
18. Help my aunt move into her new apartment (5.22.10)
19. Go camping in upstate NY with hubby, Leah @ The Suburban Gal, Jim, and Ellie.
20. Find my iPod and load it with new music.
21. Try out a new, local farmer's market.
22. Make strawberry jam with Vickie @ Little Miss Suburban Homesteader
23. Find and purchase a couple cheap summer dresses
24. Starting organizing my photos are order some new ones for frames.
25. Make a romantic dinner for my hubby.
26. Rearrange some things in the apartment and move one of the computers into the bedroom.
27. Have all the parents over for dinner.
28. Make it around all the bases in summer softball!
29. Go to a baseball game with Genevieve @ Little Miss Explorer
30. Re-vamp my blog... or at least make a test blog and start playing around with new things. Maybe make myself a button and such? (ok, so I didn't actually re-vamp my blog... but, it is re-vamped! So that counts, right? Check out A Grande Life Goodies for your own custom blog design).
31. Scope out the library to see if they have any books from the DONA reading list and/or buy a couple more online.

That's that... now it's time to get crackin'!

What would you like to accomplish in the next 31 days?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday: Softball

(no, really... one of the rules is that you're not allowed to hit a home run -- it's an automatic out -- and some of the players struggle to keep the ball on the right side of the fence)

(probably because I was so excited that I actually hit it that I almost forgot to run...)

(made worse by the fact that I played softball for, like, 5 years)

(and by the end of the summer? I will be awesome!)

Supah Mommy's Swag Bag

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Hate Running: Log 6 & 7 - A Love/Hate Relationship

I definitely forgot to do my running log last week. It was an amazing whirlwind of a weekend filled with impromptu visits with some of my very best friends -- blogging about my run was the last thing on my mind. And since this weekend is shaping up to be another busy one, I decided to get it done early, lest you think I've been slacking off ;)

As you may have noticed, I have endearingly termed my running log "I Hate Running" because I do... or, well, I used to. In reality, this weekly log is about the process of falling in love with running. I used to think I was just one of those people who would never be able to run. Now, not only am I running, but I'm actually enjoying it. Crazy!

Over the past two weeks, I have been noticing that I actually look forward to my running days. On my off days, I wish I was going running. When I get home, I feel like a million bucks.

Sure, I don't always love it when I'm actually out running. There are times when I have to fight with myself not end early because my legs start to feel like Jell-O or because it's really humid or because I have a blister. But, the thing that keeps me going is knowing that I will always feel awesome when I'm done.

Last week (week 6) my goal was to run 3 minutes and walk 2 minutes for 30 minutes total on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wednesday, I ran for 4 minutes on a couple of my cycles and it was great! But, I also skipped running on Friday, which was not so great.

This week (week 7) my goal was to run 3.5 minutes and walk 2 minutes for 30 minutes total on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Monday was ok, I stuck pretty strictly to the 3.5 minutes. Wednesday was a particularly good day -- I ran for 3.5 for my first two cycles and then ran 5 minutes, 4.5 minutes, and 5.1 minutes. Today was a bit rough (SO humid!), but I managed to finish my run and pushed myself to run for 5 minutes on my last cycle.

Overall, it's been a good couple of weeks.

I feel like I can actually start referring to myself as a "runner" now. I kind of felt like a poser before because in reality, I was walking with some running thrown in. But, in the past 7 weeks (5 weeks, if you count my 2 weeks off with a bum knee), I've more than tripled the amount of time I can run at one time -- when I started, I could barely run for a minute straight and now I'm over 3 minutes -- and during the 30 minutes overall, I'm running more than I am walking. And, my running times will just keep getting better! That give me permission, right?

On another high note, I've lost 4 more L-B's since my last running log. That brings my grand total up to 11. Woot woot!

Next week, my goal is to run for 4 minutes and walk for 2 minutes, rinse repeat, for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday: Dream Home

This week, the Undomestic Mamma's Top 2 Tuesday theme is Dream Homes.

At this point in my life, I'd take just about any home that's bigger than my apartment and doesn't resemble a glorified dorm room, but since we're talking "dream" home, here are my picks:

1. A Log Cabin in the Woods

Perhaps I have log cabins on the brain since my in-laws have been talking about getting one (they subscribe to a Log Home Living magazine that Dan and I love flipping through when we visit them). My mom also lived in a log cabin when she was first married and to this day, she still refers to it as her favorite house that she's ever lived in. They seem so cozy and romantic. Plus, living in the woods would be like camping all the time with all the comforts of home.

2. A Country Cottage with a White Picket Fence

I'm thinking almost specifically of my Nana's house. Even though her home is not in an ideal setting, the house itself is lovely and quaint. When I was a little girl, I'd tell her that I was going to live in her house when I grew up and move into the back bedroom. The idea of a white picket fence is classic and represents a simpler, more idealistic time -- which also fits perfectly with my dream of being a 1950's house wife.

Halloween 2009: me as a 1950's housewife, my niece Jasalyn as a cow girl and my sister Carlee as a Ceiling Fan

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Uh, Not at all Wordless Thursday?

My head must be in space this week... I've been thinking ALL DAY that it was Wednesday. I've had my WW post planned in my head since this morning.

Then, I go to do my post... decide to check out a few other blogs beforehand... and realize that it's actually Thursday. Duh, Brittany?

But, I'm going to be a rebel and do my WW post anyway. Even though it's not Wednesday, and not at all wordless. Oh yeah, I break all the rules ;)

So, without further adieu, I give you...

Wordless Wednesday

And since I'm breaking all the rules today, I'll add some more words. Eastern's graduation is this weekend and the Waterwheel is *the* photo hot spot after the ceremony.

Walking around campus this week, I've been feeling a bit nostalgic and couldn't resist sharing one of mine and Dan's commencement photo ops.

Did you have any your photo taken at any iconic campus structures after graduation?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another Blatantly Narcissistic Post About My Hair

Wow - I was shocked (shocked I tell you!) at how many comments I got on my recent hair post. I feel so loved! (...unless you were just subtly trying to tell me that my hair style totally sucked and I needed to change it - pronto!)

Either way, I was very glad for the advice, and finally made up my mind. So, thanks for all the suggestions!

Now it's time for the big unveiling - drum roll please......

Is it just me, or are my eyes kind of creepy in this picture? At least my hair looks good ;)

Ta da!

I went for the in-between cut, slightly shorter in the back and layers around the face (although, the mullet was tempting...).

Admittedly, I don't love it, but I do like it a lot! I'm sort of lamenting not getting bangs, but I know in a few weeks time I'd be frustrated with them.

Also, it does look almost exactly how my hair looked before getting snipped - just 5 inches shorter - which is kind of anti-climatic after waiting over 365 days. But, it is a style that works me and I can still pony-tail it for running and bad hair days. So, all in all, I'm a happy camper.

As a side note, my super thrifty self is pleased that I ended up not getting charged for the blow dry. The girl who conditioned my hair (no shampoo, because I pre-wash with BS LJ before going to the salon) didn't wash it all out. My hair was a tad on the greasy side for the rest of the day, but hey, I saved $13!! I'll consider that a win any day :D

And, just for kicks and giggles, here is a completely unrelated, yet absolutely adorable, photo of Phoebe from this weekend:

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Hate Running - Log 5: Back in the Game

This post is going to be short and sweet!

My knee is feeling great and my new Asics are lovin' on my feet. I got back into my running routine this week with wonderful results.

I was worried that I'd be back to square one, after two weeks sans running, but I am excited to report that I picked up right where I left off. I only ran twice this week, but both times I was able to run for 2 minutes and walk for 2. The last week that I ran, I was running 1.5 and walking 2, so I'm right on track. I also found a better loop around my neighborhood with far less hills, which has been a big help.

And for little more good news: I lost another 4.5 pounds this week! That is a grand total of 7. I'm feeling pretty stoked :)

For the week ahead, and I will be working on running for 2.5 and walking walking 2.