Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweaty and Ready for the Holidays

I'm pretty much the worst at saying "I'm going to the gym tomorrow morning", then falling under the "I'm-too-tired, I-don't-know-what-I-want-to-wear, I-won't-have-enough-time, I-don't-want-to-wash-my-hair" spell the minute my alarm goes off in the early morning. 

Little did you know - The first alarm is at 4:50am and then every five minutes after that, which I chalk up as a personal problem since feet usually don't hit the floor until 5:45, maybe 6am at best. 

The problem however, is that if I miss that alarm and I don't get my morning workout, the chances of me missing my daily sweat increase by somewhere around 80%. I'm no statistician, but that just sounds good. I really do want to work out in the mornings. 

I had a great rhythm going over the past 5 weeks taking a TRX / Kettlebell class at work (TRX is amazing if you've never given it a shot!) - but even that schedule made attending a challenge because it was at 4:15, and I was basically dragged away from work and had to always go back for a few hours after. I need morning classes, I need weekend classes - I need variety! 

Why am I telling you this?

Because it was a serious Christmas miracle when I received an email from ClassPass telling me that they were launching in Portland and they wanted me to test out the program*. 

If you've never heard of it, ClassPass offers a monthly membership that gives you the keys to the city and the top-quality studios in your area. 

The fee is a flat rate of $99 per month, so the cost is all the same for you to attend unlimited strength training classes, barre classes, cycling classes, aerial dance classes, meditation sessions, hot yoga classes or anything else offered in your town. And obviously more studios will be joining in on the fun as time goes on and ClassPass gets more people involved in such an awesome program. 

Really the only "rule" is that you can't attend one studio more than 3 times per month - but overall I think that's a great barrier so that it forces me into trying new things, changing up the workouts and meeting all kinds of new people with serious passion for fitness in my city.  The class offerings I've seen so far include early morning times and late evening times - plus multiple studios offering similar workouts - essentially making the 3 times per month rule null and void!  

My pass runs for the month of December - so consider me holiday-ready! There's no sense in waiting until January 1st to set your goals and work toward committing to your healthy lifestyle. 

Aside from trying new awesomeness (like aerial yoga), I'm looking forward to seeing what my city has to offer! 

*I was offered a free month of membership in exchange for a review on my blog and social media accounts. ClassPass is not responsible for my excitement over this program or the many sweaty selfies that will come out of this experience. You're welcome.  Just living the sweaty life. 

Want to know more? Visit ClassPass FAQs

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I Finally Learned About Long Distance Relationships

I'm always using the hashtag #LongDistanceIsHard on Instagram any time I abuse my girlfriend power to post un-approved photos of the guy. (example below)

That's because long distance IS hard. 

The need for connection, the absence of physical contact and even the void of those mundane errands like going to the grocery store make me miss my guy. The person I choose to spend my time with who mutually enjoys spending time with me can't always be there and I'm finally starting to realize that. 

We've both entered a really challenging time in our careers where we need to support each other, and the best way that we can be there for each other is to allow the other to focus, to not demand 100% attention and sometimes just not be such an energy-suck.

Through most of my time as a long distance girlfriend, there's always someone I'll talk to who will jealously say "oh, that must be so amazing! You have a boyfriend from far away who loves you and you still get your you-time". 

Pssch, yeah right - my "me" time is spent exactly how I want to spend it, on FaceTime talking to my guy about nothing in particular and everything that means anything. 

"No, no" they'll say, "you can make the most out of this opportunity while you're not living together to do the things you want to do, see your friends, take up a hobby, find yourself again, work out, cook great meals - this is the best of both worlds if you can see how to use it."


So the past two weeks as we've both had to spend more time at work and invest in our careers, I've made a conscious effort to latch onto some "me" time where otherwise I'd be staring at his handsome face through the screen and waiting for the next moment we could break away for some eye contact.

As a result, the dynamics of our LDR have changed. Here's what my "me time" has looked like:

+ I've made dinners other than "our" staple 2-3 egg scramble.
+ I started a book that I can't get enough of - hey look i'm reading!
+ Treated  m'self to a pedicure.
+ Bought some Christmas gifts already (includes Brooke's Birthday present - her Summer Birthday...)
+ Don't feel guilty about my workout schedule.
+ Feel less dependent on my cross country human-being.
+ Feel crazy productive at work.
+ Feel like I'm helping him - which goes for dayyyys in the love-deposit account. 
+ Realize we have more to talk about if we're not just asking what's been up since the last breath the other one took. 

It's been important to realize that we can accomplish our goals being far away from one another, but still feeling and knowing and trusting the security of your love being just one phone call away. 

And he'll always be there, and he'll always tell me he loves me before petting each other's sleepy faces at night. He's always there to support me and nothing drastically crazy will happen if we're out of contact for three hours doing our own things. It's actually quite peaceful. 

Plus, he still sends me Snapchats that make me giggle and love him even more. 

<3 you b!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Finally Accepting Winter

There was a huge development in Portland, Oregon this week and it deserves a mention. 

This season I felt the weather take a sharper turn than I ever remember from the past and it impacted me in a big way. I also think there was a part of me that has become a wuss amongst the elements over the past year since I stopped running. I used to be out stomping pavement no matter what weather. 10 degrees colder, add another layer. 20 degrees colder, wear gloves (or socks on your hands. Don't make fun, it works). 

Because of whatever excuses I want to make, I've become quite sensitive to the rain, the cold and the sudden change of the seasons. 

Therefore I bought a jacket, and it's everything I need. 

It's long, it's waterproof, it's warm, it has multiple pockets, waist defining details, zippers, buttons, a hood, and even the most ridiculous fur detail and obviously aggressive eskimo hood. 

I didn't find this jacket, this jacket found me. 

It was spotted at Costco after an afternoon of work beers on my usual quest for steak strips, gum and those delightful sample booths. Somehow I even managed to pass up the 5-pack of EOS lip balms, something I can't usually accomplish even in the Target check-out lane. 

My purchase makes me happy and might also make me feel a little ridiculous. 

Okay a lot ridiculous. #WinterIsComing

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recap - Birthday Edition

You wouldn't believe me that I had a refreshing and relaxing birthday weekend considering the stress-crater that popped up on my face on Tuesday, but I did. It was everything that I hoped my 27th birthday would be, minus a few key people and pets - each of which I was able to see over the weekend in one way or another.

The travel time that it takes to get to my guy is almost discouraging - but thankfully his handsome smiling face is always on the other side, even if my face was moody this time around when I was convinced that I'd lost my luggage upon arrival. 

I was almost delayed an entire day because of the cold weather and inclement weather that has swept the nation - but thankfully my parents are awesome and they got me to the Portland airport with enough time to catch a flight that was departing an hour earlier. Huge win - almond milk latte included!

What I love about the time that I spend out of town is that there's never any "agenda". It's no rules, no plans, no schedule - just relaxing, lounging and wondering why the heck I packed so many outfit options that ultimately come back home with me perfectly clean with just some crease-lines.

That's not all that we did - I also had the pleasure of meeting the guy's parents over four-hours of dinner and drinks, so I zipped up my brand new blue dress and curled my hair to make a first impression. That's right, four hours and would have loved to spend more time if we had it.

A few depressing things over the weekend included work for both of us and the first loss for his Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Alabama (and yes, Melissa thank you for rubbing it in). I was there to console him as best as I could, but in the end all that would offer any kind of relief was pizza delivery and Netflix. Nothing like quality snuggle time with my guy.

On my birthday I woke to the start of a text message string that evolved into 27 reasons why my guy loves me, all scheduled with a timer and nothing pre-written. It's quite the work of art and I've re-read it more than 27 times since then if we're going to be honest. He says he's not thoughtful, but the emotional outpour along with matching stuffed animal snuggle buddies and two massage gift certificates to my favorite lady in Portland proved otherwise.

The other awesome part of the day was the hour Brian and I spent on a video call with mom, dad and the golden sisters.

There was also this, which was a pretty excellent PicMonkey creation by my mother if you ask me!

To cap off the night, my guy braved the 20-degree weather to grill our favorite dinner of steak, ahi tuna steak and sweet potatoes then treated me to the first hour of Pulp Fiction (which I still need to finish). I did my best to not burn down the house with the 27 burning candles that decorated my special cake.

Twenty-seven candles can sure light up a room! 

All in all, quite the perfect birthday weekend. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Have to - Confessions

It's hurt me so badly the past two weeks to not have the confessions link-up to look forward to.

I understand Kathy's reason for letting a good thing die and fully support it - just wish that I could have a way to link up with all my eskimo sisters who are undoubtedly still sharing their awesome-crazy secrets with the blog world. 

That's right - eskimo sisters. You know you've all been up in that hump-day action. 

:: I had a dentist appointment before work this morning and it's been everything I can do the past week to floss as much as possible. I know that I'm going to tell the sweet lady at 7am that I brush 2-3x daily and floss every night before bed - but that's a lie the same way that I tell myself I'm going to work out every day this month.

:: If I'm at work past 7pm, this is likely happening. Before you judge, understand that my work takes a lot of analytical work plus a lot of creativity. It's not just the details I'm working through, it includes the art of storytelling and "painting a picture". Also, hey glasses!

:: I am spending my birthday with my guy! I head out tomorrow mid-day and get to spend four sleeps with him. This four sleeps includes a day of working remotely, a day of meeting his parents (eek, hi!) and hopefully getting thoughtful gifts like what he got me last year. Actually very practical gifts last year - a huge Excel programming book so I can be as smart as him and some dryer sheets  so I can smell as good as him (because he will forever smell like dryer sheets).

:: The birthday trip to see the guy is also a clever way to get more #ManCrushMonday photos - because ladies I have run out of things that I won't get yelled at for putting on the internet for all to see.  

:: I drank an entire bottle of wine on Sunday - just because I could. Saturday when I hit the Trader Joe's I grabbed a bottle of wine and decided that there was no better time than an evening with candles, music and red wine to get me ready for the week ahead. I can't say that it did the trick - but I suppose that's a good thing because it'll free me of the likely dependency one can get to a bottle of red wine on a Sunday night. 

:: I wrote my Monday, Tuesday and most of today's blog while drinking said red wine. The other time was spent reading Thought Catalog articles and writing a "nice to meet you soon" letter to man-friend's parents just to break the ice. P.S - do you know how difficult it is to find paper? And how difficult it is to write a letter by hand and not mess up 10,000 times? Thanks to the wine I had the patience to persevere. 

:: I really really miss the confessions link up. That's all. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Hip in Hipster

11:11 - Make a wish!

Since I turned twenty-six last year and came off of my parent's insurance, I have slowly realized the challenges of making my own doctor, dentist and optometrist appointments. It's not the one-stop shopping that I was used to, so having to check what doctors, dentists, lady doctors (oh my!) are in my network can be a crazy-pain. 

Just a few weeks ago I had a certain urgency to make an eye-appointment as I was down to my last pair of 2-week replacement contacts. How I possibly went two years on a year's supply of contacts is unknown to me, but also highlights the huge issue that I keep my "old" contacts in for too long, often fall asleep in them and have my eyes screaming for oxygen most of the time they're open. 

At the same time that I scheduled the appointment, I magically received an email in my inbox from Firmoo because somehow, some way they knew that I would love some new glasses in my life. They probably also guessed that I would pick out the most hipster pair possible since I live in Portland - and they were right!

Don't you agree? 

I was so excited to get these glasses at my home and once I got them - a contact lens didn't touch my eyes for days. The man-friend (from Tennessee) finds them a little too hipster for his taste, but I'm not in Tennessee, they're the right prescription and I seriously love the nerd that they bring out in me - so expect to see this lady as a friendly four-eyes from here on out! 

I'm a little nervous for the first time I plan to wear the glasses to work because I want to have the right outfit (flannel / vest / lace up boots) but I also want people to recognize me. Either way I'm sure they'll think I'm wicked smart (and fashion sensible, right babe?)

Thanks Firmoo for the excellent service, the next time I need glasses I'm coming your way!

*I was given prescription glasses in exchange for a review on my blog - all opinions are my own and all selfies are shameless. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Birthday Week

Once a week seems to be all that I'm good for these days, but it comes with good reason. 

Last week I truly considered what it would look like if I decided to just live at work. 

Seriously and honestly looked into getting a blow-up twin-sized mattress to shove into my office, considered what would it would look like to actually plan my wardrobe a week in advance, how much more I would work out because the gym would also be the place I'd take my shower, and how much time would be saved by not making the 90-120 minute daily back and forth commute. I'd probably drink more water, I'd be crazy accountable / productive and maybe, just maybe - I could climb atop the mountain of work that's ahead of me over the next few months. What do you think?

I mean, look at where I work!

MORE importantly - hey hey it's birthday week! I usually make a huge deal about "Birthday Month", but this time I'm cool with isolating it to seven days only because it's a little scary to me to think that soon I'll be twenty-seven. 

"Eek, that's old!" says the blogging community - you young ladies who are just starting to explore the world after college, but trust me - some days I still feel like I'm eighteen and have so many more lessons to learn and so many more dreams to reach for. I'm not past my prime, I feel like I'm just getting started. 

I never really have much on my birthday or Christmas wish list, but this year I don't know how to politely ask for money that could be spent on airfare to go see my guy. Along with the money I'd need some time to travel and maybe some kind of technology that would allow me to stop time while I'm there - that would be ideal. 

I guess this is my ask. Airfare, plz? 

Wait, airfare could also go toward making the trip down to see miss Mack or do a destination bachelorette + destination wedding for one of my dearest high school friends. Or for somewhere with palm trees - can't I just combine them all?

Anyway, today's also a day to welcome mom back to blogging with an on-point post about "mondays". Have a great week! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

What Was Learned While I Was Away

Hey blog, how've you been without me?

While I'd love to say that I've been off doing wild and crazy-fun things, I haven't. The reality is that the majority of my time since I last showed up was spent with the glow of my work laptop illuminating my face. 

This wasn't a surprise - the next 3-5 (maybe 12!) months will be crazy - but this time around when the smiley-emoji shit hits the fan I'll be mentally and physically equipped to deal with it.

Since I've been away, I've obviously learned a lot.

:: RIP Confessions Link up. I was hoping Kathy was just kidding about burying her Wednesday link-up, but then I realize that she doesn't mess around and wouldn't just say that to create blog drama. Don't worry, I'll still share embarrassing things here on the blog but will have to do it solo.

:: I learned that daily disposable contact lenses are infinitely better than the 2 week replacements - because let's be honest, they linger for more like 4-6 weeks and are probably damaging my vision even more than my legally blind status right now. Looking forward to my new glasses!

:: I finally caved and bought a Spiralizer on Amazon - and i'm silly-excited to start using it. Man-friend thinks I'll only use it three times and then it'll get tossed into the cabinet where kitchen appliances go to die, but I'm certain it'll be in the regular rotation just like my scramble skillets.

:: Man friend came to town last weekend and I didn't blog about it for two main reasons - 1. We only took laying-in-bed-watching-Netflix Selfies 2. We worked the entire time that we weren't sleeping / Netflix-ing / Parent Visiting. I learned that it doesn't take anything more than just him by my side to make the weekend complete. #sappy

:: I learned that having a little companion around the house is a great change, even if it's only temporary for the week! Also, it was much easier to cat-sit now that I don't have a betta fish - RIP Tiger.

That's all, Happy Monday!

Are you linking up with Katie today?