Tuesday, November 30, 2010
1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?
I grew up in a tiny town called Wyndmere, ND. I lived there until I graduated from high school. I could never live there again. Way too small for my liking. But I definitely had a safe childhood so I can't complain too much...
2. How would you classify your clothing style?
3. What kind of car do you drive?
2003 Silver Honda Accord
4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it (or already do!)?
I don't really have a specific vision, but I would like something with an open floor plan and a big kitchen. I'd also like a nice back yard and a deck.
5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?
Nope, no kids. But I have 4 nephews that I love like they are my own.
6. What is your favorite hobby?
It's a toss up between reading and knitting
7. Are you going to have any New Year’s resolutions for 2011?
I don't really do resolutions, so no!
8. What is something, if anything, that you’d want to change about yourself?
I would like to have great skin. My complexion is just awful right now. :( I went to the dermatologist a couple of weeks ago and am not-so-patiently waiting for my skin to improve....
9. What is something that you love about yourself?
I'm very determined/hard-working.
10. Pick one of the following: Someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.
I wish someone to clean my house for me was an option! Out of those 3, I'd say someone to cook for me. I do enjoy cooking but it's not something I make time to do every day so I end up eating really boring meals (like baked potatoes in the microwave). I'd love to come home to a home cooked meal every night like I did when I lived with my parents.
Monday, November 29, 2010
The combo of the weather turning colder + experiencing a little marathon training burn out + and starting a new relationship = unmotivated Lisa.
I need to nip this in a bud before I lose the level of fitness that I worked so hard to achieve this summer/fall. So next week when I check in, my goal is to be able to say that I worked out 3-4 times this week...
The weekend wasn't a complete loss, though. I didn't do any 'formal' work outs, but here are a couple of things that helped me burn some calories:
- The Barrister and I walked to an ice skating rink by his house and went skating! I have not skated since I was very young so I am proud to say that I did not fall! It's free to skate at this rink so I think we'll be doing quite a bit of skating this winter. It was such a fun date!!
- I bought a new Christmas Tree at Target yesterday. I then turned down the Target employee's offer to put it in my car for me. Instead I lugged that heavy, awkwardly shaped box into my car... and then down the very long hall way in my condo building. That was a work out, my friends. As was lugging the bins of Christmas decoration from my storage unit to my condo.
- In addition to the Tree, I bought a whole lot of other random things at Target, which I carried up the 2 flights of stairs to my condo. I will practically kill myself trying to get everything up to my condo in one trip v. taking multiple trips. Anyone else do that?
So not my most impressive week/weekend, workout-wise, but not a total failure!
Hi: Ice skating! I definitely used different muscles trying to keep myself upright!Lo: I didn't run at all this week...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tomorrow, I will gather with my parents, my 4 siblings, their spouses, and my 4 nephews at my parents' home. We are separated by geography and busy schedules, so it's such a blessing when we can all be together in one place. Our family has holidays sort of down to a science - everyone is home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is the year that everyone is home for Thanksgiving.
I can't wait to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by mom - with the help of others. She is definitely the mastermind behind the feast.
I can't wait to play Apples to Apples - most of the people in my family have a sarcastic sense of humor so playing this game with them crack me up.
I can't wait to play with my nephews and watch them interact. I'm hoping to play some Candy Land and Hi Ho Cherrio!
I can't wait to go for a run with my sister.
I can't wait to play Bananagrams with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law (and whoever else we can talk into playing!).
I can't wait to look around the room and see every person in my immediate family!
I am crossing my fingers and praying that everyone makes it home safely! The weatherman is forecasting freezing rain in Minneapolis and snow near my parents so I am leaving this morning in the hopes of beating the bad weather! I hope my siblings all travel safely as well!
For all my American readers, have a safe and fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! For those not celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I hope the rest of week flies by for you!
I've enjoyed sharing 10 things for which I am thankful! I'm sure I'll be back next week with a recap of my holiday weekend!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you know that I changed jobs this spring. This post has been brewing in my head for quite awhile, so I should warn you - it's a lengthy one.
Last October, I started what I thought would be my dream job at a company that I now refer to as "The Psych Experiment." I got the job offer through my MBA programs recruitment process and was on cloud 9 when I started. I was excited to work for this company and having met with multiple people within the organization, I thought it was going to be the perfect fit.
I couldn't have been more wrong... For reasons I won't go into, the position was not a great fit. Add in the fact that my manager and I did not see eye to eye on things, and, well, it was the makings of the perfect storm.
But I put on a happy face and kept telling myself it would get better. I told myself - just get through this first 18 month rotation and then you can look for something different. I am many things, but a quitter is not one of them.
By the time my birthday rolled around, though, I was crumbling. My dad called to wish me a happy birthday and innocently asked, "How's work?"
I started sobbing. I let down my guard and told him how awful work was. I told him how each day I would drive home and say to myself, "I used to be smart, right? I used to be capable and confident and successful, right? Where is that girl?"
I think my dad was in shock. My parents knew I was stressed and probably not all that happy, but I don't think they realized just how unhappy I was. And I don't think I realized it either until I put those feelings into words.
In March, I made the decision to leave this organization, a short 5 months after I started. I contacted my former employer and they re-hired me. I should also note that I am so thankful that I did not burn bridges.
I would be lying if I said the transition back to my former employer has been an easy one, because it hasn't. I still feel a sense of shame over everything that happened. I feel like I should have been able to make it work at The Psych Experiment. I feel sadness and disappointment.
But I am also slowly but surely healing from this experience. And while it's been a difficult year for me, I am so thankful to be back with my former employer. Am I in the perfect position? No, I'm not. But I am surrounded by fun co-workers. I have a boss that supports me, encourages me, and gives me positive feedback. I work for a company where I thrive in their culture. And I am making steps to work towards securing a position that will be a better fit and will utilize my math major and my MBA.
I'm excited to see what the year to come holds.
And I am ready to put all that happened in early 2010 in the past.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I am so thankful for my 4 healthy nephews! Over the last few years, I have learned that you can not take the healthy birth and development for a child for granted!
Late next spring, I will be an aunt again as my older sister is expecting - I am praying for another healthy niece or nephew!!
Friday, November 19, 2010
I would be lying if I said I don't have iPhone envy - I totally do. But until Apple releases an iPhone for Verizon, I will be sticking with my Black Berry.
While my Black Berry is not perfect, one thing I do love about it is Black Berry messenger. I would be lost without it! I am so thankful that Nora introduced me to it last fall when I bought my first Black Berry!
I use Black Berry messenger to keep in touch with my sister in Tucson. I used it to keep in touch with Amber while training for the marathon (and we of course still bbm on a daily basis!) I taught my parents how to use it and also use it to keep in touch with them. A week after we started dating, I showed the Barrister how to use it and now it's our primary source of contact during the work day.
I know that I will eventually get a new phone and bbm will be a thing of the past, but until then, it's a huge part of every day of my life!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Last weekend I finished "Wishin' and Hopin'" by Wally Lamb, a book I am reviewing for TLC Book Tours. As you can tell from the cover, the book has a bit of a holiday theme - but not too much of an emphasis so it didn't feel too soon to be reading it. Plus, it snowed last weekend, so it felt pretty appropriate to read a holiday-themed book! This is actually the first book that I have read by Lamb. I have wanted to read his other books, but just haven't gotten around to it. Truth be told, I attempted to read "She's Come Undone" when I was in high school but I got distracted by school and extracurriculars, and gave up on it. I own it and it's on my shelf of books I own that I have not read.... err, it's on one of the shelves. Yes, I own THAT many books that I have not read...
Now back to the task at hand - my review of "Wishin' and Hopin'." This book, we meet Felix Funicello, distant cousin of Annette Funicello. Felix is a bright but very innocent 5th grader attending a Catholic elementary school. The sister that was their teacher has a nervous breakdown early in the year so the school brings in a replacement - who happens to be be obsessed with all things French! Madame Marguerite Frechette assumes her role and makes some changes to the curriculum. Soon the kids are learning French and preparing for a unique Christmas play.
This was a very quick, easy read. There were some funny parts that made me smile - and brought back memories of being in elementary school. I definitely do not miss that phase of my life, but it was fun to read about Felix's experiences.
I was actually wishing that the book had a bit more of a Holiday theme than it did. I love a good Holiday book! But it was still enjoyable!
Have you read this book or any other books by Wally Lamb?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
She played tour guide and showed me around Vancouver and then we embarked on a fabulous road trip - destination Portland, where we met up with Lauren!
It's been wonderful to meet these ladies in real life! It's pretty amazing how they are all exactly like they come across in their blogs - fun, fabulous, genuine women.
If all goes as planned, I'll be meeting up with some new bloggers (and hopefully reuniting with some) in April in DC! Stay tuned for more info on that!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
So there you have it. Don't judge. We all have our quirks. I realize it's a bit odd to own 4 iPods, and have names for them. But our quirks are what make us loveable and interesting!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Last weekend, we had our 2nd Annual Julia Child night at my aunt & uncles house. You can ready about the night on my aunt's blog here and here. It was an absolutely fabulous night! There were 15 adults and 4 children there - so quite the large group! I brought the Barrister with - he didn't seem to be intimidated by the large group, which is good because there really is no such thing as a small gathering in my family... I mean, my immediate family has 15 people when you include spouses and children... so yeah... It's best that he gets used to this early on!
Anyways, I am very thankful for my aunt for opening up her home to that large group! And for spending hours in the kitchen, slaving over what was a delightful meal. I have always been close to my aunt, but blogging has brought us even closer together!!
Now for a very picture heavy post! First a disclaimer - I have a cheap point and shoot camera and I am not so great at photographing food... So these pictures won't really do the meal justice, but it's the best I could do.
My mom is on left, my aunt Barb is on the right - we are all sporting our Anthropologie aprons! If you don't own one, I highly suggest getting one! If you need a gift for you best friend, mom, sister, or mother-in-law - you can't go wrong with an adorable apron!
The salad course which featured warm squash. It is my cousin Suzanne's recipe (she also has a blog) and it was delicious!! My aunt substituted rouquefort for the stilton to make it a bit more French!
While the adults enjoyed their salad course, the kids snacked on cheese and apple slices.
Between the salad and main courses, my uncle Paul, aka the baby/child whisperer,entertained the kids. I love the look of absolute joy on my nephew Matthew's face! He is a huge fan of Paul!
All in all, it was a very successful evening! It was so fun to plan this with my aunt - we exchanged quite a few emails; she was definitely the master mind behind this and I was the sous chef. I love that we have made this an annual event and can't wait to plan our 3rd Annual Julia Child night! Hopefully I will return from my trip to France with some inspiration for our next meal!
Friday, November 12, 2010
As you all know, marathon training consumed most of my summer. I spent hours running. I spent hours staring at my marathon training plan. I spent hours exchanging emails and bbms with Amber about, you guessed it, marathon training!
Cue the song: You're My Obsession.
Yes, it became an obsession. A healthy one in my opinion, but I know some people might disagree with that statement.
I am thankful that all the time spent training led to a successful marathon where I PR'd. Now I feel like I can hang up my marathon shoes and set my sights on other goals.
Goals like a sub-2 hour half-marathon. Goals like improving my core strength. Goals like possibly buying a road bike and giving that sport a try next summer.
I am thankful that I ran a successful race, but I am equally thankful that it is all behind me!!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Now onto Day 2...
Today I am thankful for the brave Veterans who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
Today is Veteran's Day so it seems fitting to dedicate today's post to the brave men and women who have decided their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we all too often take for granted.
As I have aged, I have become more interested in the wars of our past and the stories of the men and women who fought in those wars; I feel like it is my duty as a US citizen to learn more about the sacrifices they have made for us. So each year, I try to read a couple of non-fiction books so I can broaden my knowledge of the wars of our past and present.
Today, I give thanks for the soldiers of the past, present, and future. I am thankful for these men and women who, as the song America the Beautiful so eloquently states, "more than life, their country love."
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Today, I am thankful for my boyfriend.
Yep, you read that right! I have a boyfriend! I've been a bit hesitant to blog about him as I am sort of paranoid and think, "If I blog about it, it will end." But we have been going strong for 2 months, and he's met my parents and gotten their stamp of approval so I feel like now is the right time to tell you about him.
Plus, today is his birthday so I figured it was apropos to start my 10 post series by telling you about him.
About 2 months ago, we were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend (a good friend from college is good friends w/ his sister-in-law). Truth be told, I was a bit hesitant to go on this date. We had exchanged a couple of emails and he came across a bit formal in his email. In fact, I nicknamed him "The Barrister" when talking about him because at times I felt like I was corresponding with a barrister in London, not a CPA in St. Paul.
Our first date was the evening of September 11th. I had done my 20 mile training run that morning so I figured if the date fizzled, I had a viable excuse to leave early.
We met for dinner at 7 pm at a seafood restaurant in Minneapolis. Dinner progressed to post-dinner drinks at a local sushi bar where we sat and talked until 1:30 am!!
Again, let me remind you that I had ran 20 miles that morning. The date was that good, it kept me out well past my usual bed time.
I was quite smitten from the get go and still am today. There are many things that I like about the Barrister (the nickname has sort of stuck... he knows about it and I think he likes it). Here are a few that I'd like to share:
I like that he plans fun and interesting dates - whether it's a great rooftop table, an evening at the Science Museum, or dinner at a French restaurant followed by an orchestra concert.
I like how he has welcomed me into his world by introducing me to his family and friends.
I like watching him interact with his niece.
I like that he makes me laugh - and I like that we have inside jokes that are only funny to us.
I like that I have a huge grin on my face as I think about him while typing this post.
I like all these things, and so much much... :)
Happy Birthday, Barrister! I hope the year to come is your best yet!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Usually my mom. Although last year my parents were at my brother's in the Chicago area and I wasn't able to join them so I crashed my aunt & uncle's celebration!
2. What is your favorite recipe the includes pumpkin? (bonus points for including the recipe)
I don't have one... Is that bad? I tried making some GF pumpkin muffins last year and they turned out so horrendously, they were seriously inedible.
3. What are 5 things you want for Christmas?
5 thing? That's kind of tough... But here goes...
1. Gift cards to a store where I can buy more Fiesta wear to go with the plates I recently got.
2. Narcisso Rodriguez For Her perfume
3. Yarn or a gift card to the yarn store where I shop (Bella Lana in Minneapolis)
4. A new apron from Anthropologie (you can't have too many!)
5. Shauna Ahern's new GF cook book
* um, this was hard. I have been thinking lots about what to get others... Making my own list? Not so much. I feel like I am getting to the age where the # of presents I receive should be pretty minimal since I really do not need anything!
4. Does your family draw names or do you buy for everyone?
My older brother, my younger sister, and their spouses draw names each year.
5. How do you feel about motorcycles?
I hate them. They make me so so so nervous.
6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?
Sleep in, read in bed, knit, and eat soup for lunch!
7. What is the coolest thing to do in your city?
Well, I love the Lake Harriet area so I love taking visitors to one of my favorite book stores, then to my favorite ice cream shop, and then down to the lake to enjoy the views (weather permitting).
8. Do you paint your fingernails?
Never. It would look like a 5 year old did it.
9. Who is your favorite actor over the age of 50?
I think Richard Gere is really dreamy.
10. Do you have a high school letter jacket?
Hells no. I never bought one. I HATED high school. I am not exaggerating, people. I hated it.
PS - Tomorrow I kick off my "10 Days of Thanksgiving" blog post series - and I have some big news to share tomorrow!!!
Monday, November 8, 2010
As I mentioned last week, fitting my work outs in each week has been a bit of a challenge lately. This week was no different. My past schedule of working out after work 3-4 nights/week just isn't going to cut it as there seems to be no end to the evening social commitments. I am not complaining, I just need to make some adjustments!
So my plan going forward will be to work out before work 2-3 times/week. Some mornings I will do a short 3-4 mile run, but one morning a week I would like to do some core work. I know myself well enough to know that going to the gym in the morning to do core work is just not going to work out for me. I can not stomach the idea of getting ready at the ghetto Y...
So I want to come up with a routine that I can do at home. From my Body Pump class, I have some core moves that I will do, but I am wondering if any of you can suggest a DVD that would be good for core work.
One thing to keep in mind - the video can't really feature any 'hopping around'. You see, I live in an apartment-style condo with neighbors above and below me. My neighbors are nice but dear God, they are a bit persnickety. I would like to avoid snarky notes and comments directed towards me at HOA monthly meetings, so for a exercise video to work, it has to be mostly 'stationary' type of moves.
Last week's high: I didn't have any work out highs, but I did make a new, healthy recipe on Friday that turned out fabulously!
Last week's low: Ufda. Let's not talk about how much I didn't work out last week... *hangs head in shame* Must turn this around this week!
Friday, November 5, 2010
I am SO excited for the weekend ahead of me! My parents will arrive tomorrow for a big event.
What is the big event, you might be asking?
They are coming to Minneapolis for the 2nd Annual Julia Child Night.
You all know how obsessed I am with France - but I share an obsession for Julia Child with my aunt Barb, the author behind the blog, Adventures with B and B. Tomorrow night we'll be cooking up a feast fit for a king! It will feature Beef Bourguignon as well as other fabulous French dishes. I am taking care of the cheese and olive course and tonight I will whip up some chocolate mousse which we'll have for dessert. Please cross your fingers for me - I hope it turns out ok!!
I am sure I will back next week with lots of photos. You can read about the inaugural Julia Child Night here if you would like!
I'm off to iron my Anthropologie Apron - cute aprons are a prerequisite for this evening! Au revoir!
What do you have on tap for the weekend?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles - I saw her in concert this week so had to include another one of her songs. I couldn't find a live version of this song, which is too bad because she is amazing live!
Oh boy, I really did not read much this month... All of my free time has been dedicated to knitting that gift for my friend, so I have barely read this month... I think this is the first month that I haven't read a single book since my grad school days...
54.2 miles. So I pretty much run 1/2 of the total miles for the month on 1 day. I've been giving my body a break from running, and will probably continue to give it a break so I expect my mileage to be on the lower end until February when I start ramping up the mileage in preparation for the start of 1/2 marathon training.
The weather has cooled off, so I am in cardigan mode! I bought this cardigan at Ann Taylor Loft this fall and have gotten quite a bit of use out of it already.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1. Do you color? If you do, is it with markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.?
If I am hanging out with my nephews, yes. Otherwise, no. I am artistically challenged. Coloring is not my thing. But I am on the same level as my nephews (ages 2.5-6) so I fit right in when coloring with them! I prefer the big box of Crayola crayons. Preferably nice and sharp!
2. What’s the most organized part (or system) in your house?
I have a file box in my closet where all of my bills and financial documents are in folders, in alphabetical order.
3. What’s the most unorganized part (or system) in your house?
My bedroom desk right now is an absolute disaster. I bet I have a stack of about 40 magazine that I think I am going to read so refuse to throw away.... The desk is also a catch all for stuff I want to keep but don't have a place for. Like my 20 mile and marathon race bibs. And my marathon medal. And a whole bunch of random stuff. I wish I had an invisibility cloak to throw over this desk when my parents come this weekend...
4. If you had unlimited amounts of time and money, what museum would you want to see and why?
Hmm, probably the Louvre. I didn't go when I was in Paris because it was just too overwhelming. But if I had unlimited time and could continue to go back without paying the admission fee, I'd like to check this museum out.
5. What is your favorite part of the fall season?
The cooler fall temps and the colors of the changing leaves. We've had beautiful fall weather here in Minnesota!
6. Did you dress up for Halloween?
Hells no. I am a party pooper. I don't really 'do' Halloween. But I enjoy seeing my nephews all dressed up!
7. Have you started Christmas shopping?
No, but I have started to make a mental list of what I am going to buy whom.
8. Do you crack your knuckles?
Nope. My piano teacher forbade me from doing this as she told me I'd have ugly, puffy hands. That has stuck with me so I have never intentionally cracked my knuckles..
9. If you had to live in another city for a year (all expenses paid), which city would you choose?
Can I pick 2? In the US, I'd like to live in Manhattan - probably on the Upper East Side. Internationally, I would choose Paris and I'd live in the Marais area!
10. Do you have any reoccurring dreams?
Nope, they are different every time, and pretty much all equally weird/non-sensical.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Anywho. Last week was not my best week, work-out wise. I am not doing such a great job of having a social life + exercising. Things aren't going to slow down this week or anytime soon since the holidays are fast approaching, so I need to work on fitting work outs in.
This summer it was so much easier to fit in work out since I could get up and run at 5 before going to work. That's not such a great option for me anymore because a) it's way way way dark now at 5 am, b) soon there will be snow on the ground and I just can't do snow + dark weather.
I could go to the gym before work, but that would mean getting ready at the ghetto YMCA I belong to. Oddly, it is located in one of the wealthiest suburbs but that doesn't seem to matter. Yes, I could change gyms, but the other gym close to my house is so busy, I couldn't get a parking spot when I went to check it out. So I will take the ghetto Y over a really nice but ridiculously busy gym.
So for now, I am trying to say yes to only one social obligation during the week. We'll see how that goes.
How do you fit your work outs in? Do you work out before or after work?
Last week's high: Running outside in beautiful fall weather on Sunday morning.
Last week's low: Only running twice... Hence the reason for the 'how am I going to fit my work out in' post...