Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm Back...

Well don't quote me on that. 

I've been away for awhile. For awhile I didn't have anything to write about and I didn't want to bore you. Then the opposite happened. I started doing things, things that you would love to hear about, but then I was too busy to write. Ah, what a vicious circle.

But I'm at the point where now I want to share those things with you. Since I'm back to doing things that aren't blog-worthy. Like for instance - yesterday, I ate three pieces of birthday cake. I mean, I also watched my high school football team win the semi-final game that allows them to advance to the state championship, which is blog-worthy. But you get my point -- some things you just don't want to hear about. 

But for the things you do want to hear about:
  • I should fill you in on my first 6 months of living in Richmond. Country girl in the city.
  • The four weddings I went to between August and November -- My junior year roommate, my high school best friend, my freshman year hall mate, and my best friend. Also the effect of going to 4 weddings on a serially single girl. 
  • JMU Homcoming 2
And whatever else, I can think of. 

So stay tuned. And I'll try to stay here. I mean it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sports in the City

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend some sporting events in my new city! 

First, I finally made it out to The Diamond to see the Richmond Flying Squirrels play. I attended the game with the Richmond chapter of the JMU Alumni Association. As much as I love baseball players, I had never been stepped foot in The Diamond. Luckily I now live really close to there so hopefully I will take in some more games! The best part is that general admission is only $7.00 (+ $3.00 to park). You can't beat that.

Tori & I
Anyway, I was decked out in my purple since it was a JMU event. The Flying Squirrels were playing the Portland Sea Dogs. I may or may not have but definitely did bring and wear my Portland, Maine hoodie, since I had been in Maine the week before. I am such a bad Richmond fan. I own nothing that says Richmond on it. (Wouldn't want anyone to think I meant U of R. Eek.)

Attempting to stay dry in my over-sized Portland, Maine hoodie
The game was super fun. Except after a couple of innings it starting raining and since there was a bit of a breeze, the rain was kinda coming at us sideways. And even my over-sized Portland hoodie couldn't make me dry and warm enough to stick it out through the weather.

My next Richmond sporting event came the Friday after the Flying Squirrels. I got off work at 3 p.m. on a Friday and headed out to meet my mom, her boyfriend, and my youngest sister at the Redskins Training Camp. In case you haven't heard (and that could only be possible if you live under a rock), the Washington Redskins are holding their training camp here in Richmond. They had about two and a half weeks of open practices that the public could attend for free (well, plus the $5.00 to park and the $2.00 trolley ride to the camp).

Redskins Quarterbacks

It was super crowded the day we went and none of the well-known players came over to see us. It was still pretty cool to see them practice though. I tried to get RGIII to wave at me as we stuck way after practice hoping he would realize he was in love with me or my sister come over. But no luck. Maybe next year!

What sporting events does your city boast? Do you attend any?

Friday, August 9, 2013

My First Pinterest Project

Hi all, 

You know how whenever you try recipes or projects off the internet, the pictures they show you always look waaaaaaaaay better than what your finished product looks like?

Well I (with some help) attempted my first Pinterest project and it was fairly successful! As most of you know, I recently moved to Richmond! In the process of attempting to organize my room, I decided I needed to do more in terms of organizing my jewelry. I have allowed my necklaces to get tangled and knotted way too many times. 

So to Pinterest I went. And I found this project here.

And this was created!

I love it and it's so simple and expensive to make. Just go to Walmart and buy a $10 thread rack and a $4 bottle of spray paint. The hardest part was putting it on the wall because I am not a talented Command strip user.

Here are my photos of the process, taken by my little sister who supervised the project. My mom's boyfriend had a lot of fun setting up the spray painting area and did most of the painting. 

Have you ever done a Pinterest project that turned out great? What did you make?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Island Livin'

Now back to where we left off. As I was gathering my things to leave my weekend in the 'burg, I received another invitation for another trip away. 

This trip I was invited to would take me back to Maine

And that's how I ended up in a car on a Friday, with my best friend, Patti; her fiancee, Ben; and his little sister, Hannah. If you remember, this would be my second trip up to Maine as I spent time on the island with Patti back in 2011. I couldn't wait to go back!

Meanwhile, it was Ben and Hannah's first trip to Maine. But don't you worry, I had my fair share of Maine first times. 

For instance, my first Fluffernutter. For my friends who are from the Southern regions of the United States and aren't quite sure what a Fluffernutter is, let me fill you in. It's a sandwich with peanut and marshmallow fluff. Yeah, I was skeptical at first. But it's actually not that bad. Not sure it actually should constitute as a lunch sandwich though. 

Also, my first lobster roll. There are actually no words to describe this.

But while there were many firsts, I also revisited a few of my favorite spots!

For instance, the popcorn store! We also ate at Dry Dock again, which I think is a must-eat place in Maine. 

Anyway it was a great time! I can't wait to be back on the island again!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back in the 'Burg

Hello all,

So in my last post, I talked about finally taking a day off. I refused to take a day off until I had actual plans because sitting around my house, trying not to check my work email wasn't going to do it for me. So where did I end up, you ask?

Harrisonburg, of course. (You can take the girl out of JMU, but you can't take the JMU out of the girl).

On Friday after the Fourth of July, I packed my bags and headed up to the 'burg. Because Jeremy had to work until late afternoon, I decided to burn sometime at the Book Fair. 

Never been to the Book Fair? You are missing out. The Green Valley Book Fair comes to down for three weeks at a time about 6 times a year. I've been visiting the book fair since my sophomore year of college back in 2007. They sell books of all subjects for 60 to 90 percent off retail prices. I could seriously spend hours there. I left there with a novel, a cookbook, and two books for my niece. 

Another major highlight of the weekend was helping Jeremy with a website for Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club by playing photographer. It was so great to have a reason to get back behind my camera. I got some awesome photos and tons of compliments. I'll post the link the website once it is finished.

iPhone shot
The other highlight was the feast we prepared on Saturday after being at the golf course all day. Jeremy and I came home and got to cooking! We had shrimp and chicken kabobs with green and red peppers, rice, pasta salad, and fried squash. A couple of friends joined us and we ate until we were stuffed and then we sat around the nice, warm bonfire, listening to some 90's music.

Dinner by the citronella light!
All in all, it was an amazing weekend! But hey, that was only the start to my travels this summer. Keep up!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

Hi friends and fellow Americans!

If you've been a loyal reader, you know my obsession with the 4th of July. It's one of my five favorite holidays (My Birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Groundhogs Day are the other 4 in case you were wondering). If you didn't know, please see past posts here and here.

Two days prior to Independence Day, I celebrated one year at my job! It's crazy how long ago that seems and how it also seems like it was just yesterday. In celebration of Independence Day, my one year anniversary with my job and because I've been just so darn stressed, I turned this past week into a 3 day work week.

The Outfit
On the 4th, I headed down to Colonial Heights to spend the holiday with the family, which turned out to be the best idea ever. Instead of the typical hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, we had steak and salmon -- yum!

The Food
After letting all that good food settle, watching (and playing) Jeopardy with the family, and introducing one of my uncles to Duck Dynasty, we headed out to Target to shop and watch the fireworks! Just like last year, my niece who is now 21 months old loved the fireworks. In fact, she mentioned that a couple of times. 

The Fireworks
All in all, it was a great start to my long weekend, which you'll hear about soon! Stay tuned!

How do you celebrate the 4th of July?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Off Balance

I'm going to write about something that has been weighing on my mind for quite some time. In fact, I thought I had already written this post months ago, due to the fact that it's been a struggle for me for that long. What is it?, you ask. 

Work/Life Balance.
And the simple fact that I have no balance. I have been in an awful mood lately. I've been letting the stress of work get to me and not leaving it in the office. That makes it hard for me to be myself outside of work when I'm always pissed off at work things. 

I've decided to make a list of all the things that I can do to improve my work/life balance. I'm open to any suggestions you may have as well.

  • Exercise --Exercise produces endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people don't hate their jobs
    • One of my coworkers and I decide to go to the body combat class every Monday. So far, it's been great. Mondays are one of the worst days of the week for me (who does like Mondays?!?) so getting to sweat it out at the gym after work totally makes me feel better after a long day of work.
    • Also, I recently relocated to the city (yay -- more on that later!) and everyone here is so active. At all times of the day, there are people of every shape, age and size running the streets of Richmond. I put my shoes to the pavement and ran 1.25 very flat (my favorite) miles down the road to see my sister at the gym on Saturday morning. I felt so great after that.
  • Relaxation -- This weekend, I decided I was going to really focus on myself and get myself back to me center. I spent time just being alone, listening to music and reading. There really is nothing else like getting lost in a book. 
  • Get your zzz's -- Being in a new place was not conducive to my sleep. Trust me, I was much more irritable when I hadn't been getting in sleep, which made the stress of work a lot worse. 
  • Friends -- Sometimes you really just need to vent to a good friend who won't judge you. I hadn't talked to my best friend in awhile and talking to her on the phone about how stressed work was making me made me feel a lot or better.
  • Leave work at work -- Or on the other hand, don't vent. I have tried to stop talking about work when I'm not there. I had this really bad habit of checking my work email when I was at home. Then I would stress all evening about things I couldn't take care of until the next day. 
  • Hobbies -- Work has been draining me; however, sometimes you just need to remember to do the things you love. I'm excited about the warmer weather because I want to take my camera out and get some good photos of my new surroundings!
  • And when all else fails -- use those vacations days you've got saved up. 

How do you balance your work life with your personal life?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Becoming a Richmonder

I think I am slowly becoming a city girl. If you know me in real life, this can be surprising. Traffic stresses me out. One way streets freak me out. 

I've been working in Richmond since July so this is bound to happen. And pretty soon, it'll be a lot more official.

Since the weather has gotten warmer, I've been spending a lot of time in Richmond. A couple of months ago, my middle school/high school/college friend, Tori and I did the canal walk. It was amazing! I learned so much about the history of Richmond and the James River. Best of all, I got some amazing photos.

A couple of weeks later, I spent a Sunday with my sister at the Virginia Fine Arts Museum in Richmond. I had been to the VMFA many times but my sister is an Art History major so she has class there all of the time. She has so much knowledge about the place so I learned a ton.

Have you gone exploring in your hometown or city lately? What have you seen or learned?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monument Avenue 10K: A Two Time Finisher

I have been so MIA. I apologize profusely. But let's get to the real point of this post.

As you know earlier this year, I joined the gym. What you may not know is that I fail miserably at the gym. At least at the part that was supposed to help me train for the Monument Avenue 10K. I can't stand running on a treadmill. Everytime I ran outside, my calf cramped up, my knee would hurt and my foot would go numb. Not a good recipe for beating my time from last year.

My sister, Dani, was also training for a half marathon. So she was out running 10 miles at a time and I was struggling to run 10 minutes. On the morning of April 13, 2013, my goal was simply to finish the race. I gave up on my sub-65, beat-my-time-from-last-year. I just wanted to finish the race which seemed impossible.
Pre race faces!
The weather was much nicer this year for the race. A lot sunnier and even too hot at times. I attempted to start my RunKeeper app when I crossed the starting line so I could track my progress. Unfortunately it did not start. So I just ran. I started looking at the clock on my phone and after 1 mile, I realized I was running at a 10 minute mile pace. I had to pee but I decided I could ignore that for awhile. After 2 miles, I was still running at a 10 minute miles pace. Stopping to pee was out of the question. And my calf? It felt great.

Are you ready to know how it ended? Are you sure you're ready?

Post race smiles!
I still don't know how I did it but I am happy. I was 2 minutes slower than Dani down to the second!

I'm still ecstatic I'm looking at sub-60 for next year; if I can get off my lazy butt! :)

Tell me about a time that you accomplished a goal that you thought was impossible.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

neVer forgeT 4.16.07

Six years ago on April 16, 2007, there were thirty two people who went to campus. Two hours away, I did the exact same thing. Those thirty two people never returned.

I will never forget April 16, 2007. I was a freshman at James Madison University. My freshman year was coming to a close and I was finally getting used to being so far away from home. It was a Monday, which meant I had my Spanish class at 9:05 and my literature class at 10:10. My 11:15 writing class was cancelled because we were having individual conferences with my professor about our final papers.

After my literature class, I went back to my dorm and signed on AIM. I instant messaged my RA upstairs and asked what he was doing. He wrote back, "I'm watching the news. Someone got shot at Tech." I replied back, "I have friends at Tech." He said, "Everyone does."

I tell my roommate Rachael that there was a shooting at Virginia Tech and she asks where that is. She was from Pennsylvania. I tell her that it is just two short hours down the highway. 

I head towards the dining hall to meet my friend Jessica for lunch. I meet her somewhere between the dining halls and I tell her there was a shooting at Tech and that one person has died. We get in line, grab some foods, and sit down to watch the televisions in Top Dog.

Jessica looks at the TV and looks at me and asks me what I said about it just being one person who had passed away because the headline on the television said 10. I told no, it was just 1. She said "No, it says 10 casualties. Doesn't that mean ten people dead?"

I look at the TV and see the increased count. I think, "What in the world is going on here?" I noticed that the dining hall was way too quiet for a Monday lunch hour. Usually people would be shouting to friends and talking about what they had done that past weekend.

I look behind me and notice that almost no one is in line for food. People are just standing around behind those seated at the tables; their eyes were glued to the televisions. This image is burned in my mind.

I called my mother because I talked to her every day of my freshman year and I was surprised she had not called me. Dinwiddie schools were on Spring Break so she had actually just woken up. When she answered the phone, I asked why she had not called me. She was confused. "Mom, there was a shooting at Virginia Tech."

Jessica begins attempting to call our high school friend, Sarah to no avail. I comfort her by telling her that I am sure everyone is trying to get in touch with everyone so phone calls probably were not going through. 

I remember going to work that day at the library and not doing any work at all. I sat on my computer refreshing the news pages of various websites, watching horrified as the number of those who passed away kept rising. I stayed on Facebook, watching as all my Virginia Tech friends changed their profile pictures to the remembrance ribbon. If they changed their profile pictures, I knew they were okay. 

On April 16, 2007, though I was two hours away from the place where that tragedy took place, my way of life was threatened. The world was not a safe place. Those people all went to campus that day, not knowing it would be their last. A handful of the 32 that lost their lives that day were freshman at Virginia Tech. They were just like me, starting out their education, careers and what was supposed to be the best four years of their lives.

Six years ago and I still remember so much from that day. Six years ago and I am still shocked for this tragedy took place. Six years ago today and my heart still hurts for the Hokies.

4.16.07 neVer forgeT 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hands Up For the Dukes!

I am not a basketball fan. I love me some football and baseball pants. Basketball is just so squeaky.

But I am a JMU fan. A big JMU fan. I learned via my Facebook newsfeed that JMU had won its first two games in the CAA tournament and was advancing to the CAA Championship.

Best of all, the game was taking place in Richmond! So on Sunday night, I got the idea in my head that maybe I should attend the game. After consulting with a couple of fellow JMU fans, I learned that tickets to the Championship were as cheap as $10.

I had to take advantage of that. So Monday, I spent some time coordinating a couple of friends to go to the game with me. I ended up getting in touch with one of my favorite Dinwiddie/JMU girls, Michelle and my cousin, Travis to attend with me. I also found out that Matt and Amanda would be in attendance too.

Hands up for the DUKES!
After work, I headed over to the Coliseum where the game was taking place and bought mine and Travis's tickets. We were playing Northeastern, a team out of Boston, MA, so JMU was obviously well represented in the Coliseum. Also no one was checking tickets at all so we got to sit much closer than the seats our tickets were for.


Our team had such great momentum in the first half and our fan had so much energy. Northeastern gained a little momentum in the second half but they couldn't keep up. JMU won the game 70-57 to become win the CAA title and to start their road to the NCAA tournament!

It was amazing to be there and watch it all happen. I love being a JMU Duke and being a part of JMU Nation.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Virginia Weather

Hey all! I hope you enjoyed the weekend. It was absolutely beautiful here. Which is actually kind of ironic due to the weather that we had earlier in the week.

I've lived in Virginia my whole life, for almost 25 years now and we can have some interesting weather. 

It's March. Almost mid-March. A little more than a month ago, good ole Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.

Does this look like an early Spring? This is Wednesday, March 6.

I drove 45 minutes to work in this messy weather. It rained the entire way up, until I reached the interstate and then it started a wonderful snow/rain mix. We ended up closing our office at 11 a.m. and I was stranded stayed in Richmond. I'm not sure what the final measurements were but I'd say we got 2 to 3 inches.
Today, just 4 days later, it was 63 degrees. Tomorrow it's going to be 70 degrees. Gotta love that crazy Virginia weather.
I can't wait until spring is here to stay.

How's the weather where you are?  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Get Fit or Cry Tryin'

Hello all!

So two weeks ago, I did something a little uncharacteristic of me. Firstly, it involved spending a lot of money (even though it is stretched out over a long period of time). Secondly, it involves me being active. A lot.

I joined a gym. No big deal, right? Except remember when I went to JMU and had free membership to UREC and I hardly ever went except for that one semester I had to go for Personal Wellness class. 
I'm going to go though. Because I spent my hard earned money on this. Also, I just signed up to do the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K again this year. It's in April this year instead of March so hopefully that will do me some good. I am determined to beat my time from last year

Except I've been a real wuss when it comes to the cold and running outside. Which brings us back to the gym! 

Do you belong to a gym? Anyone have any good advice to training for a race in the gym?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


It's no secret that I am outgoing. And I love going places that I've never been before. I was super excited when I received luggage for Christmas (and I got to mark something off my 101 in 1001 days list). 
My new luggage set
I spent the first two weekends of 2013 out of town. The first weekend, I headed up to Lake Caroline to spend some time with the best friend, Patti since I hadn't seen her since the last JMU game.

The second weekend of 2013 I headed down to Southport, NC to a wedding reception to celebrate the wedding of my birthday twin, which involved about 9 hours of driving alone in a two-period. 

So after two very busy weekends, I was perfectly content staying at home. In fact, most of the time I am a homebody. I usually prefer spending my Friday and Saturday nights wearing my yoga pants and watching Grey's Anatomy, which is what I did this weekend. Then I'm usually asleep by 11 p.m. and up the next day before 10 a.m. 

I'm getting kind of boring in my old age. Does anyone else feel this way about themselves?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hello 2013!!

Hello all! Sorry for being MIA. I hope the holidays treated all of you well. At least this post is being written a lot earlier than it was last year by 4 days

I love the beginning of the year. I love new beginnings. It's like anything is possible. I know each day is always a new beginning and anything is possible all the time but they beginning of the year is just magical.

My favorite part about the New Year is tradition. Every year for as long as I can remember, we always eat "good luck" food on New Year's Day for dinner. Black eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, fat back, and cornbread muffins. It's a Southern thing, y'all!

So on to new year's resolutions...this year I decided to not make any. Basically everything I want to accomplish can be found in last year's New Year's post. Womp womp. Not that I didn't make any progress. I just want to keep making progress. 

What are your plans for 2013? Make any resolutions? I want to hear them!