Photo a Day

I’ve decided to partake in Fat Mum Slim‘s photo a day challenge.  I’ll be posting photos real-time to my Instagram account (abryant1114 for those of you who don’t already follow me).

I think I’m going to try and post some of the photos on here as well.  May not be daily.  And the posts may not have words.  But I know not everyone has instagram (hi mom!), and I’d like to share the photos.

I guess I should go shower for the “your reflection” photo.  Or just general hygiene….

Dodging Diabetes

Ever since the Princess Half, which I know I haven’t blogged about (if you really want to know why, ask me.  its not a big deal), I’ve been in a bit of a fitness rut.  What next?  I don’t have another race planned.  I’m out of town for the Rock n Roll USA Half this weekend, and the Cherry Blossom 10 miler is the day we return from Puerto Rico. That just sounds like poor planning, if you ask me.

Do I take on the challenge of weights? Crossfit? Keep running?  Without a goal, I feel like I’m floating in workout no where.

I realized one thing this weekend: running is not a comprehensive workout.  Sunday Ben and I headed up to Rockville, Maryland, for Dodging Diabetes.

Dodging Diabetes, founded in 2005 by Anna Tiedeman Irwin (a former coworker) and Elizabeth Kramer, raises money for diabetes research and awareness. Both Anna and Elizabeth have brothers who live with Type 1 diabetes. Through annual dodgeball tournaments, Dodging Diabetes raises money to support the Joslin Diabetes Center and JDRF.

My officer sponsors a team every year for Dodging Diabetes.  I wasn’t able to participate last year or in 2010 (both years I was down in Charleston prepping for the wedding), so I was excited to be back this year.

The first half of the day consists of a 6-game round robin tournament, in which we were 4-2.  The round robin scores are tallied and two brackets are created: The Vegas League and Average Joes.  Our team lost in the first round of the Average Joes bracket, but we still had a good time.

But it wasn’t until the next day, when I was sore, that I realized how little muscle I have outside of my running legs.

So moral of the story, Dodging Diabetes = good times, sore muscles.

MLK, VDay and whatever other holidays I missed

To say 2012 has been a busy year is an understatement.  Let’s see how quickly I can do a January/February recap.

  • For MLK day I traveled to Boston for Jane’s bachlorette weekend.  We rented a house in Rhode Island and a bunch of us just hung out for the weekend.  We had a blast.  AJ did some fancy cooking, which is always a pleasure, and I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while.  It was a blast and definitely better than bar hopping for a night.
  • For the Super Bowl, we went to a friend’s place to hang out and watch the game.  Everyone was a Giants fan, so naturally I went against the grain and rooted for the Patriots.  I know, cheering for the Pat’s is something I fought for four years.  Oh well.
  • For Valentine’s Day, Benjamin and I hung pretty low and had a wonderful seafood dinner.  We picked up a nice bottle of red wine at Trader Joe’s to sip with dinner.  We enjoyed a nice relaxing night of just the two of us.

I think that gets us up to speed…

Disney Princess Half

The countdown is on for the Disney Princess Half.  With just over a week to go, I can’t believe its almost here.  I think I’ve got most of the planning done.  If there is one thing this trip has taught me, its that I’ve turned into my mother.  I had a word document planning everything out and having all the details, including reservation numbers.  I’ve done so much planning for this trip.  The planning isn’t so much “we will be here at this time and do this at this time.”  Its more “ok here is all the information so we can make an overlyinformed decision.”

A bonus for the trip is the fact that my sister will be down there!  She’s been planning a trip to Florida and the timing worked out for her to be there the same weekend!  I’m excited to see her and be able to experience Disney with the kids.  It’s great to see the excitement and magic of the parks through the eyes of the kids.

I’ve got no goals for this half – other than to finish without getting picked up by the mouse golf carts.  I just want to go and have fun running this race with my friends.  The same friends who, during a walk back from Dunkin Donuts, said “I feel like I should be doing this running thing.”  Who, without their long distance support, I probably would have never gotten into this crazy sport.

So wish me luck!  You may not hear from me before then!

11 Questions

Hello again.  Just popping by because I saw Meals and Miles put together a list of 11 questions to answer.  And I’m feeling chatty.  Here you go.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world for just a year – where would you live?

Tough question.  I keep going back and forth, but I think the answer is Italy.  So much art and history to take in, and its fairly central that I could travel to the other places in Europe if I wanted.

2. What were you like in high school?

Oh man.  Beyond ridiculously shy?  I was a mixed bag.  I had a lot of friends who were popular, but I wouldn’t go near calling myself popular.  I played sports – tennis and crew – but was also in the school musical.  I would go to parties on weekends, but never drank.  It worked out well for my friends – they always had a DD.

3. How old were you when you had your first kiss?

I was 13.  It was in the back of a jeep.  on his birthday.

4. What is your go-to coffee or tea order?

That totally depends.  If I’m out, I never order tea, only coffee.  If I’m in my apartment, only tea. Summer – iced coffee with skim.  Winter – French vanilla latte.

5. How many states have you lived in?

3.5  New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia and the .5 is for D.C., since that’s not actually a state.

6. When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

About 5 minutes ago.

7. What is your favorite color?

Pink.  and Navy.  and Pink.

8. Favorite cartoon character?

Bugs Bunny.

9. What were you doing a year ago today?

Honestly.  The same place I am right now.  Sitting on my couch.  Except last year at this time I was getting ready for my bachlorette party.

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I changed my mind weekly.  Doctor. Teacher. Scientist. Animated Cell Painter (not kidding). Mayor (again, not kidding). Corporate Executive. College Professor. Campaign Manager. Advertising Executive. Magazine journalist.

11. Today is going to be a great day because…

I’m going to change this to tomorrow, since today’s basically over.  Tomorrow will be great because it’s Friday and I’ll have another chance at a fantastic day.

26 Things To Do in 2012

Opposed to goals such as “get in shape” or “be organized,” for 2012, I’m developing a list of 26 things I want to do in 2012.  Here we go:

  1. Run a half marathon
  2. Make at least one 5 day trip to my parent’s house
  3. Make at lease one 5 day trip to the mountain house
  4. Find a volunteer/community group in D.C. to get involved in
  5. Get Christmas gifts, cards and everything prepped by November 1
  6. Select location and dates for our big 2013 Eurotrip
  7. Actual fill the wedding photo frames in my apartment with wedding photos
  8. Select photos for and order our wedding photo album
  9. Select photo for and purchase wedding canvas photo and hang it in the apartment
  10. Actually make White Russian cupcakes (I’ve been talking about making these for months and months)
  11. Create a binder holding important information
  12. Hold a dinner party
  13. Hold a brunch party
  14. Go to at least 10 baseball games
  15. Go to a football game
  16. Roast a whole chicken
  17. Roast a whole turkey
  18. Find some sort of organization for our kitchen
  19. Host poker night
  20. Have a fantasy sport team
  21. Organize my life’s photos
  22. Get decorations for the various holidays and decorate the apartment
  23. Go wine tasting in Virginia wine country
  24. Eat crabs in Annapolis
  25. Eat a meal at a restaurant featured on Man vs. Food
  26. Spend a day volunteering for a campaign – can be anything or any level of public office

A review of 2011

2011 was a pretty good year. Some would call it life-changing.

 

Wedding

Obviously, the biggest thing to happen to me in 2011 was the wedding.  Which I realize now I never did a proper recap of (although I know I started one).  In April, I married my best friend and thew a big old party with our family and friends.  Ben surprised with me a fantastic honeymoon in the DR (again…apparently there was no recap…ooops).

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in lieu of a recap post, please enjoy this slideshow of photos

Running

2011 was a year of running improvements.  Although, considering I didn’t start until the end of 2010, I had lots of room to improve.  I was supposed to run three races this year, but only ended up doing the Veterans Day 10k (recap).  But I really got into a running flow this year.  And hopefully this will all help me out for the Disney Princess Half in 53 days.

 

Cooking/Baking

One of my 2011 goals was to cook more and bring my lunch more.  While this was a bit of a rollercoaster, I think 2011 was definitely better than 2010.  One thing I could improve is to actually follow recipes or write things down as I go so that way I can share my creations.  For example, this is the best I can do for the chicken pot pie I made the other night.

  1. cube 4 pieces of chicken breasts and put it into a cast-iron pan that can be used on the stove top or in the oven (I used my Le Creuset heart dish).  Add three handfuls of cubed sweet potatoes and enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients.
  2. After about 5-10 minutes, add veggies and more chicken stock so that everything is still covered.  I used a Birds Eye mixture of corn, carrots and asparagus.
  3. Add salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, poultry seasoning until it “smells right.”  Put the lid on the pot and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked.
  4. Add flour about half of cup at a time, mixing after each, until the consistence “looks right”
  5. Add low-fat milk until the color looks correct.  If necessary, add more flour for consistency.
  6. Roll out sheet of puff pastry and put it on top of the pot.  Make four slices to allow steam to escape.  Bake until puff pastry is golden brown and cooked thoroughly.

See, not exactly a science.  Too many “until its right” directions.

 

In all, 2011 was really good.  Here’s to 2012!

Best place to go to college

Scrolling through my Facebook feed the other night, I came across an awesome Huffington Post article – The 10 Best Places to Go to College.  And ranked number one – my very own Boston University.

With a storied history, bustling sports culture, and more than 50 colleges in the city, Boston is one of the most exciting places in the country to be a student, and BU is right in the thick of it. “Often, friends and I would go around the city to eat in Boston’s ‘little Italy’ the North End, or catch a Red Sox game, or go to a local bar and shoot pool. The benefit, for me, of going to college within a city was there never seemed to be a shortage of anything to do,” says Rachel, a theatre major. Since BU does not have a traditional campus like nearby Northeastern or Harvard, Boston is a major part of every student’s day-to-day life. For most, this is a highlight. Sarah, an international relations student, says, “Boston is one the best things about BU. It is such an amazing city to be a student in.”

So true.  Trip down memory lane time.

Just a few years ago, the city of Boston was my playground.  BU’s location was almost perfect – close to Fenway Park and not far from downtown.  I spent many a nights walking around the North End, trying to find the perfect Italian restaurant (they are all fantastic).  The Boston Redsox were our equivalent of a sports team (teachers moved tests to adjust for big Sox games).  There was always something to do.  Going to college in a city was amazing.  It forces you to grow up a bit quicker – city campuses teaches you to be a bit more independent and aware of your surroundings – and gives you unlimited opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.

I wouldn’t change my college experience for anything in the world.  I met amazing people and learned a ton (both in and out of the classroom).  The city of Boston never left me bored, and I’m excited everytime I go back.

 

Love that dirty water…..Boston you’re my home. 

Working in D.C.

A while back, Groupon had a deal for the Washingtonian magazine.  Ben and I decided it would be a good opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the area.

Usually, I’m quick to scan the magazine when it appears in our mailbox.  But for one reason or another, I just got around to reading November’s issue tonight.  And omg did I laugh.

[photo credit]

The whole magazine was dedicated to careers in D.C., and the feature article was the top 50 places to work.  Inbetween the lists of companies and their benefits were some “best of” lists – best excuse for not coming to work, best bizarre work behavior and best way to quit a job.  Let me share some of my favorites:

Best excuses for being late/not coming into work:

  • “A former colleague called in because they couldn’t find any pants to wear.  An angry ex had taken all of them and hidden them.”
  • “My goldfish died”
  • “My cat sat on my alarm clock and turned it off”
  • “My cat died last night and I need to bury her at her place of birth – Maui”
  • “I’m feeling great, but I think I’ll stay home just to make sure I don’t get sick”
  • I had a colleague who would call in sick on Monday if he was sick over the weekend, because he felt cheated out of his weekend”
  • “I had a coworker tell our boss that she was having a ‘fat day’ and just wanted to stay home.  My boss applauded her honesty and gave her the day off”
  • “I don’t want to lose the parking spot in front of my house”
  • “I got a voicemail from a subordinate who said he was sick as a dog.  It was during the World Cup, and he was a big fan.  He went on and on coughing and telling me how sick he was.  He thought he hung up the phone, but he didn’t. THe next two minutes were him and his buddies cheering and laughing.”

Best bizarre work behavior:

  • “A friend spills paper clips on the floor and lies down for a nap with her feet at the door.  If a colleague were to walk in, the door would hit her feet and she would wake up, saying ‘Oh, sorry, I just spilled these paper clips and was trying to pick them up”
  • “At another company, an employee would set up a coffee cup and his open briefcase and leave Post-It notes on his PC each morning, leading people to believe he was constantly in meetings.  Turns out he had taken a job across the street with a competitor and was drawing two incomes.”

Best way to quit a job:

  • “A former employee wrote a resignation letter as a haiku”
  • “I know someone who found crime-scene tape and taped his office door on the day he left with the comment that it was the scene of a burglary – the firm had stolen his ‘life, soul and twenties”
  • “Many years ago at another company, a coworker faxed a two-word resignation letter which said “I quite” instead of “I quit”
  • “An employee came into the office in his pajamas and tendered his resignation.  He said he didn’t plan to lose much sleep over it”
  • “A woman took a picture of herself in front of her new employer’s office building and e-mailed it to her old boss with the caption ‘If you’re wondering where I am today'”
  • “The network administrator changed all the passwords and left”
  • “A gentleman e-mailed his department of about 20 people stating he was going to pick up lunch.  He asked if anyone wanted anything, and several people brought him cash for their orders.  After two hours the office started to wonder where he was.  Shortly thereafter, they all received an e-mail from him saying he wouldn’t be returning to the office at all and that he’d mail their money back.”