Saturday, October 31, 2009

101 in 1001...

Good morning everyone. I got about 9 1/2 hours of sleep last night in hopes of knocking away this cold the kiddos gave me...but of course I woke up with an even more clogged head and the tissue box has officially moved from in the kitchen to right next to me. I love kids but WHY do they get sick so often? You'd think since they are so young they would be able to fight illness Anyway, at least it's the weekend so I am going to rest, rest, rest so that when I have to go see those wonderful sick kids again on Monday (now even sicker from staying up late eating candy tonight), I will not be sick anymore.

First of all, I have to give a big thank you to Still a Rookie for giving me a "high five" (invented by the ever-organized Tall Mom who gives virtual high fives on Fridays to everyone running races that weekend). Guess what? I didn't even have a run a race to get one though because I wore pink pajamas to work. So basically, not only did I get to be comfortable and warm all day, I also get an honor normally reserved for people who wake up early and run long distances..YIPEE! (though I have to admit I'd love to be able to be running this morning if my knee and my cold would cooperate haha).

Anyway, on to my 101 goals. I'm sure you guys have seen this around blog land. I actually began this list of 101 goals for 1001 days back in March when I first started getting into blogging. It was only the other day that my sister reminded me of it and I added the few last goals to make a list. Turns out, I have already completed some of them so I was able to check off any completed goals. Here they are:
  1. Do something new with fiancé every month.
  2. Make one new friend. -check
  3. Catch up with an old friend I have lost touch with.-check
  4. Hang out with coworkers outside of work once per month. –check (if the gym counts?)
  5. Spend more time with my grandparents.
  6. Hang out with my brother and sister more often. -check
  7. Try to eat dinner at my parent’s house once a week.
  8. Tell people how much I care.
  1. Host a dinner party that I do all the cooking for.
  2. Host a BBQ.
  3. Learn how to make a cake that people actually want to eat and looks nice too.
  4. Buy an ice cream maker and learn how to make my favorite food. -check
  5. Learn how to make Japanese food.
  6. Start using our slow cooker. -check
  7. Start a recipe book of my favorite recipes (instead of letting them pile up on the fridge).
  1. Plant a garden.
  2. Grow some herbs.
  3. Paint the hallway. -check (well Eric did this!)
  4. Get new countertops. -check
  5. Clean my car once a month.
  6. Get my car washed MUCH more often.
  7. Seriously decorate my house for one holiday.
  1. Save enough money for a carefree honeymoon. -check
  2. Always have enough saved for an emergency fund. -check
  3. Spend $50 or less on groceries each week for one month.
  4. Document all spending for 1 month.
  1. Run a 5K. -check
  2. Run a 10K.
  3. Run a Half Marathon.
  4. Complete a sprint triathlon. -check
  5. Go on a hike. -check
  6. Learn how to mountain climb (at least in a gym).
  7. Rollerblade the 11 mile bike trail by my house.
  8. Go for a 50 mile bike ride.
  9. Go skiing or snowboarding.
  10. Floss.
  11. Get a massage. -check
  12. Go to dermatologist once per year. -check
  13. Start bedtime routine 20 minutes earlier.
  14. Ride my bike to work.
  15. Learn how to apply make up properly.
  16. Play tennis once per month (weather permitting).
  17. Take a spinning class. -check
  18. Swim across Lake Sunapee.
  19. Go snowshoeing.
  1. Get my masters degree. -check
  2. Join a book club. -check, if our blogger book club counts
  3. Take a class for fun that has nothing to do with work.
  4. Read one pleasure book per month. -check
  5. Take Irish step dancing class.
  6. Learn some sign language.
  7. Learn more about Nutrition, teach others.
  1. Take another trip to Europe.
  2. Visit two countries I have never been to before.
  3. Visit two states I have never been to before.-check, Arizona and Hawaii
  4. Go white water rafting again.
  5. Go to Seattle when Ash is there.
  6. Go to a Red Sox vs. Yankees Game. -check
  7. Try one new restaurant each month.
  8. Visit Nashville, TN- maybe see a country concert
  9. Go wine tasting in Rhode Island/Southern MA. –check (though I want to go again)
  10. Do the Sex and the City tour in NYC with my girl friends. -check
  11. Watch the sunrise. - if driving to work watching it counts, check
  12. Watch the sunset. -check
  13. Do the Kancamagus Highway in the summer time.
  14. Visit a new major league ball park I have never been to before. -check
  15. Go to a Cape Cod League baseball game.-check
  16. Go to Nantucket Christmas festival.
  17. Go to Cisco brewery on Nantucket.
  18. Do Sam Adams brewery tour.
  19. Walk the freedom trail in Boston.
  20. Go scuba diving.
  1. Help plan a bridal shower/bachelorette for a wedding I am the maid of honor in this summer. -check
  2. Help plan a bridal shower/bachelorette for a wedding I am in this fall. -check
  3. Find a wedding dress I love. –check!
  4. Try to plan a wedding that is exactly what my fiancé and I want, while still respecting the opinions of those who are important to us. -check
  5. Get married. -check
  6. Enjoy every minute of my wedding day and not stress about anything on that day.- check
Helping Others/ the World
  1. Donate clothes I don’t need every 6 months. -check
  2. Donate money to my college every year. -check
  3. Give blood.
  4. Use reusable grocery bags.
  5. Try to give a compliment at least once a day to others.
  6. Knit a scarf to donate.
  1. Teach an extra curricular class. -check
  2. Run at least one more workshop for teachers.
  3. Take the Reading Specialist teacher test. -check
  4. Seriously consider taking a year leave from my current job to be a reading specialist or work at a private school.
  5. Make $100 from writing.
  6. Enter a writing contest.
  7. Appreciate kids.
  1. Back up all my pictures on an external hard drive. -check
  2. Watch a movie that has won an Oscar.
  3. Continue my blog and try to increase interest/readers.
  4. Throw a party for someone else. -check
  5. Keep a journal for one month, write in it daily.
  6. Start a new quote book with quotes I like. - does pinterest count?
  7. Learn how to knit something new.
  8. Write a letter to my future kid.
  9. Take photos in a photo booth. -check
  10. Give more hugs (well, maybe after swine flu goes away...)

So that is all of them. Which one is your favorite? Anyone else want to take on 101 goals? You have over 2 years to complete them....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pink Pajamas?

Halloween is an interesting holiday for me. There are parts I really like and get excited about. For example, I am so excited to finally live in a neighborhood where kids will come trick or treating. I bought a ton of candy and I am looking forward to hearing the door bell ring all night tomorrow night. On the other hand, I am really not into dressing up as an adult. I wish I could get more into it, but the more everyone around me gets into it the more annoyed I get. I think I'll have a different attitude when I have kids and it's time to dress THEM up.

However, there is a girl at my school who LOVES to dress up for Halloween and for the past two years she has convinced the staff that we should dress up to surprise the kids (kids do not dress up at my school, don't ask). Since I am not into dressing up myself, I have to think of something very easy. Entering: pink pajamas. I love pajamas and I love pink. How can I decide on a good costume that would allow me to wear pink pajamas to work?

The answer: Mercy Watson! For those of you who do not teach kindergarten, Mercy Watson is the main character in a series of books by Kate DiCamillo. My kids are completely in love with Mercy Watson and we have read about 5 of her books as a class. These books are perfect for kindergarten/grade 1 because they are chapter books, but they also have lots of pictures to keep their attention. Mercy looks like:

And I looked like...

I know, attractive! Isn't it? I didn't say I was trying to impress anyone...simply that I was trying to wear pink pajamas to work. Plus the kids love it. Though I do think I am going to have to change it up next year because that nose REALLY hurts my face, I swear it left a semi-permanent mark.

In other news, I picked Pair #2 for the shoes yesterday. I really like #1 better, but I was worried about the informal thing, whether or not it's true. I went to get my dress hemmed today. The first place I went to only does alterations in the mornings on yeah I don't have one of those jobs where I can just duck out for a few minutes. So I had to go elsewhere, and I think they overcharged me. Sorry, I know they overcharged me. For Katie's wedding I basically had to have my entire dress re-made and it cost only a bit more for that. Oh well, don't have time to worry about it now. Tonight's main goal is getting sleep and getting rid of this annoying cold that the kids gave me. Half my class was out sick today. I need to get a ton of sleep this weekend so I can be 100 percent healthy by Monday.

Tomorrow morning I will post my 101 goals for the next 1001 days...wooo!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

If The Shoe Fits...

Let's just say...I am not a shoe person. Bags? YES. Love them. Would gladly carry a new one once a week. When it comes to shoes, I would much prefer if the rest of the world was on board with me living in flip flops, uggs, and sneakers. Actually I pretty much do. The problem is when I am in other people's weddings they do not seem to be on the board with the flip flop idea (til Ash gets married, then flip flops will be required I'm sure). So I have to find shoes to wear.

I know people who are good at deciding about things like shoes need info so I am ready to tell you all that you need to know. I am wearing this dress from JCrew in the Vintage Burgundy color. The wedding is in Boston in a couple of weeks (as opposed to a summer wedding or something ha ha). The instructions from the bride were to wear black shoes. So here are the choices. None of these pictures particularly flatter the shoes, but hopefully you can get the point.

Oh and in case you are concerned with things like comfort, I have never worn Pair #1. I wore Pair #2 to Timna's wedding, they were pretty comfortable- hurt by the end of the night. Pair #3 I wore to Tiff's bachelorette and they were okay, but hurt after awhile as well. I plan to be in flip flops after pictures at this wedding so I'm not TOO worried about comfort, within reason. I really like Pair #1 but are they too casual? is the wedge thing weird?

Pair #1 (yes I will remove the 8 sticker before wearing haha)

Pair #2

Pair #3 tell me which ones to wear and tell me quick. Tomorrow afternoon I HAVE to decide so I can bring my dress to get hemmed. Seriously. I must do it.
Also you may want to check back tomorrow afternoon/night. I will likely post pictures of my Halloween costume I am wearing to work. Let's just say I have figured out a way to wear pink PJs to work and call it a costume. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Teacher Vents

The past couple of weeks have really been a whirlwind and it is starting to catch up with me. I need my weekends to get things accomplished and I haven't had those so I feel like my "To Do" list is so long I can't even remember what is on it! Plus, there is my work to do list, my tutoring to do list, my home to do list, my life to do list and don't even get me started on my wedding- I haven't thought about that in my months. I feel like all I do lately is run around like a mad woman and spend a ton of money, always on necessities, never on anything I actually want. Whew!

Then today, I had seven parent/teacher conferences. I started yesterday and I'll be finished by next Wednesday at this time. I had a couple of the more annoying parents today...sorry to refer to them that way, but when you hear "what do you do for the "gifted" children in the room?" multiple times in one day it's hard not to. I have truly never had a "gifted" child in my class I don't think, but I've had about 20 parents who THINK their child is gifted. I know I don't have kids, so I can't possibly understand how much love a parent has for their kids. I really do try to look at it from their point of view as much as I possibly can. But really...get off your high horse and realize your child (while they may be wonderful, and many of them are) has strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. Just like you do. The end.

Sigh. But I won't be bitter, I swear. I can laugh about parents like this a lot more now that I have been doing this for a few years. I used to cry about them. It still makes me angry though with the amount of effort I put in, it still with never be good enough for these people. But oh well, it's always good enough for the kids.

Speaking of kids, I have a good story for you guys (let's lighten up the mood a bit). I was tutoring one of my amazing third graders the other day and I told her I was going to see Eric's football game after and I said, "my fiance's game." So she says..."what's a fiance?" At this point I explain to her that first someone is a boyfriend, then when you decide to get married they are a fiance, then when you actually GET married they are a husband. She looks as me and says... "oh, and then they are an ex-husband?" HAHAHAHA, what?!

And this girl's parents are still happily married I might add so her mom thought it was pretty amusing as well. Don't think about it too much or you may think its a pretty sad reflection on society...

Time to get back to that dreaded "To Do" list. Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Annoying Side of Restaurants

People ask me all the time how I deal with having a lot of restrictions on what I can eat. A lot of people say "I would just eat cake anyway, even if it made me feel sick!" I personally think a lot of people think this but don't quite understand how *not* fun it is to feel really terrible all of the time. To be completely honest, a lot of good has come from me having IBS. I have got SO much healthier about what I eat. I have tried so many new foods I probably never would've bothered to try. I have learned to cook for myself. I have learned so much more about nutrition and what is really healthy. I would say 90 % of the time, if not more, I don't even miss most of the stuff I can't eat and when I do it's often the healthy things that I miss the most.

However, there are 2 times that my stomach issues REALLY piss me off. #1- when I eat out, #2- when I travel (directly related to #1). When I cook for myself, I add only ingredients I know I can eat, and there is very rarely a problem. After about 2 years, I finally have figured out where and what I can eat and eating out is relatively successful now. BUT, when I travel things get a lot more complicated. Suddenly I am faced with all new restaurants, and eating out almost every single meal. Immediately my stomach usually rebels against this and I end up feeling horrible the rest of the trip and considering how much I enjoy traveling, this puts a major damper on the whole idea.

The NUMBER ONE reason why eating out is such a problem is because of the overall inflexibility and lack of understanding among restaurants. My family trip to California was a great example of this. I thought Northern California was practically KNOWN for being healthy, so I thought I'd be all set. Except that when I got there I found out that a "dry" sandwich apparently means lather the bread in butter, and it is considered perfectly acceptable to list something on the menu and not list MAJOR ingredients so I get a surprise cheese stuffed in my chicken or fish dripping in gravy. It became a joke in the family how often I had to send back my food. And I HATE to send back food, so most of the time I ended up just eating whatever I was served and then feeling horrible afterwards.

At one restaurant near my house I asked for chicken and veggie rolls steamed instead of fried. The chef actually came out to ask me if I realized "how that was going to look." Honestly buddy, I could care LESS how that looks as long as it tastes good and does not make my stomach hurt. And frankly, even people without IBS should probably steer clear of fried food so I don't see why we don't all order food steamed instead of fried. I realize I am not a chef. I cook only to feed myself budget-friendly and healthy food. I know that to chef's food is an art and you want it to present well. But in my opinion, this should not be at the expense of health.

One of my good friends has troubles with her stomach as well (and with that, lots of food restrictions). She told me a long time ago that she tells restaurants she is "allergic" to things she shouldn't be eating because that's the only way people seem to get it. I agree with her completely, as I've found people immediately start to care when I mention allergy. However, I have a lot of trouble this because my troubles are NOT an allergy and I will not have any serious health problems if I get a tiny piece of cheese mixed in my pasta. Also, I find it annoying that restaurants cannot just accommodate whether it's an allergy or a preference! Some people do not WANT unhealthy foods (or even healthy ones) mixed into their food and they are paying good money to have it how they want!

Oddly enough, I have found that the most helpful restaurants are often chain restaurants. I wonder if it's because they have chefs that may not be as into creating a special product? Just a thought...One of the BEST restaurants for allergies and intolerances is Outback Steakhouse. They shock me with how helpful they are, and after I did some research I read that the owner of Outback has a wife with Celiacs! Yay for him (and her) for taking one step towards making eating out a better experience for those of us with tummy troubles. I love going out to eat too much to give it up, so I will continue to plow through and hopefully get a bit better at advocating for myself.

What has your experience at restaurants been? Have you ever tried to change or alter your order to make it more healthy for you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Would Bike 200 Miles, and I Would Bike 200 More...

Today started out more interesting than the usual Monday when one of my parents showed up for their parent/teacher conference one day early! Yikes. I actually did the conference because I was somewhat prepared (minus having to shuffle through a few piles to find work to show them haha). conference down, a million more to go!

Also, my principal cancelled our faculty meeting today because tomorrow we have a community dialog from 4:30-8, and Wednesday conferences officially start. This was fantastic for me because I got to tutor earlier than usual and then go see Eric's football game. He was playing the town that I work in, but I was rooting for him haha. Usually his games are 30-40 minutes away so it was nice to get there in 5 minutes. He didn't actually see me there (and didn't think I was going to be able to come) but I proved I was by detailing his anger towards #69 who he was reaming out when I got there. Eric rarely gets mad and I hate when coaches yell at kids but I have to admit it was kind of amusing to see him throwing his arms around but not be able to hear what he was saying. He kept walking away and then going back and saying was really funny. He claims the kid is one of those lazy kids who does nothing in practice, puts in no effort and then gives him crap all game if he doesn't put him in every other second. Oh the joy of kids, even annoying after the age of 5.

Today I happened to be revisiting my "end of the year" goals from about a month ago. They were:
1. run another 5k
2. one week where I post everything I eat
3. go somewhere I've never been before.

Sadly- #1 will not be happening this year. My knee has been feeling a bit better but I can't risk bugging it again by running just yet. #2 I still need to do, hopefully in November when I have a bit more time on my hands and #3 I am going to count as Newport, even though I went there once when I was 10. I really don't remember that at all and I definitely felt like I was in a new place all weekend. Since #1 has to be eliminated I decided to add a new one.

Before December 31, 2009 I would like to bike 200 miles. I know we are coming up on Boston winter so most of these miles will probably happen inside. However, my gym just got new bikes for spinning class and they tell you how far you go, so I think I should be all set to do this. I think I am going to need the extra motivation since things are getting busier every day, and Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas are reason in themselves to work out a bit more. I do know that 20 miles a week of biking is REALLY not that much, but I want to keep it manageable because I do a lot of other exercising besides biking and I don't want to have to give up yoga, the elliptical and other gym classes. I got the idea from this from Bobbi and Caitlin's Pile on the Miles challenge. Sadly, they are not allowing anything but running and walking which means I really can't compete because of my knee. I understand why they don't want to get into crazy calculations but I thought I might have a chance to with Caitlin since she's had similar knee issues...I think I made her feel bad but not change her mind haha. Boo! SO...I will be doing my 200 miles by myself :) Who needs group motivation? Not this girl!

I don't necessarily think this challenge is great for everyone, but I do think this is a great time of the year to give yourself a big goal. What are your fitness goals for the holiday season?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Newport, RI Part 2

I'm back! I am completely exhausted and ready for another weekend, any chance I can get that before I even hit Monday? This week is going to be crazy again, but I think by the time I hit Thursday everything is going to get a lot better for the rest of October and the beginning of November. Yay! I still have some more reviews and recommendations for Newport for you guys though...

Yesterday we started the day with a trip to the Newport mansions. You can't go to Newport without seeing at least one of these amazing houses. We had heard that Breakers was the one to do, so we headed to Breakers.
Breakers was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt as a "summer cottage" for his family. Can you imagine if your "summer cottage" had this view?
This inside was absolutely gorgeous. Although, all the crazy decorating was a bit much for my personal taste (as in, I wouldn't want to live in a house decorated this way). But it was definitely massive and how awesome would it be to have a full on library in your house? To visit Breakers you pay about $20 (I think it was maybe $23) and you get an audio tour inside with a head set. It's nice because you can stay in certain rooms and learn more about different things, or you can keep moving and you are not on a specific time schedule. You can also do other passes that allow you get into another mansion for a much cheaper price after you see Breakers. We decided to head to our next stop instead...
I have been wanting to go to this winery (and the others in the Rhode Island, Southeastern MA area) forever! They have a tasting bar, and you get to taste your choice of 5 different wines. I picked mostly white but I did taste the pinot noir.
It was fine, for a red wine. I don't think I could ever be a good wine taster since I just prefer white wine so much. Oh well, I can still enjoy wine tasting and just not be so great at it. I also totally tasted my red wine before the white, strike 2. But I wanted the final taste in my mouth to be my favorite haha. Yeah, terrible wine taster.

For dinner last night we went to a place called Fluke Wine Bar. I LOVED the atmosphere of this place. They even gave us this corner table completely by ourselves. It was a nice place, but not overly fancy. However, I probably would not go back there myself. I looked up the menu online beforehand (as I have to do because of my stomach) and none of the stuff was the same at the actual restaurant, grr! I ended up ordering sea scallops with a bacon risotto.
I love risotto when Eric makes it, but I can't eat bacon or cheese so I asked for the sweet potato puree instead of the risotto. The waiter said they could not do that because it was pre mixed with the scallops. Admire the picture above again, do you REALLY think it's pre mixed? Are you microwaving my meal in the back? I decided to just get the risotto but I was seriously pissed off about paying $30 for a few scallops. Plus I ended up really not liking the flavor of the risotto which was all over my scallops. Later, the girls were speculating that the chef probably does not like to mix things up and thats why they say it is pre mixed. Eric has told me that about other restaurants when I try to make my changes. If I go into my thoughts on this it could be a whole post (maybe tomorrow) but let's just say it makes me VERY ANGRY. I really don't care about your stupid chef appearance, I care about my stomach being happy and since I am the customer you should be willing to accommodate what I want, even if you don't think it's a good flavor combination or the best possible appearance on the plate. Grr. Anyway, I think everyone else was pretty happy with their meals, so you may like it. I suppose I'm not the best person to evaluate restaurants OR wine today haha.

After dinner we headed out to a couple of bars. We started at a bar across from Fluke, and I can't remember the name. They had a DJ downstairs and they were playing really good music. However, everyone there was at least 30 years older than us (not exaggerating) and random ladies were coming up and trying to befriend us, and it just was not normal. Tiff wanted to move on, so we ended up on the top floor of the Phelam, where we saw this...
These college boys were dancing on that platform with each other the whole night. I particularly was amused by the one with his shirt unbuttoned...WHAT?! At first I thought I was going to run into my freshman in college brother at any point (although he lives in a different state haha). But as the night went on, I HAVE to give my brother more credit than to hang out in a place like this! We felt pretty old. Especially when a girl started throwing up and Tiff (the bachelorette) really wanted to go help her. I told her she was not allowed to help college students at HER bachelorette haha.

Overall, we had a good time at both places including all randomness. Next time I'm sure we would try to find the place where people our age hang out :) I am not thrilled with any of the pictures of me and Tiff from the night, but here is the picture of Tiff in her awesome orange boa that I got her!
Catch up with you guys tomorrow!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Newport RI, Part 1

Hi everyone. I'm glad everyone enjoyed Caroline's debut post. I think we are all in agreement that she should obviously start a blog haha.
I am *hopefully* back now although next week is going to be a bit crazy also, but I will try my best to post. I really enjoy blogging so much I hate when I don't have time to do it. Right now I am down in Newport RI for Tiff's bachelorette party. I haven't been to Newport since I was about 10 years old so there is not a lot I remember from that time. We arrived last night and so far I think Newport is a town I really like, at least in the off season (I could see it being too insane for me in the summer). We didn't get here til about 8 last night, so we headed to dinner at the nearby Red Parrot. I really liked the atmosphere, it was definitely bar/restaurant-ish and there were a good amount of people there. The menu was legit- a binder, middle school style.

Needless to say there was no shortage of choices. Since it was already at least 10pm, I decided to just get a sandwich (clearly I had already dipped into a LOT of snacks by this point). The sandwich was good, especially the bread- not your average hamburger roll. Yum.

After that, we headed over to One Phelam East, a bar I had heard a lot of good things about. It was not at all what I expected, as I had heard it was the place to go in Newport. It was definitely a fun place, there was a band and the people we met inside were nice. However, we couldn't even consider dancing as there was literally NO room on the dance floor and I was bumped more often than usual. I am thinking there may have been another floor we did not see. Might have to check that out tonight.

We got home fairly early but I have the hardest time sleeping when I have just been out, so it took me forever to fall asleep. I am definitely one of those people who falls into the trap of stressing about how I'm not sleeping and need to be and then just make the whole thing much worse. I was on the "Kelly you need to sleep! You are still here another night! After that you have conferences and a busy week! You can't have no sleep!" Stupid, I know. Needless to say I am pretty tired now and the real "bachelorette night" is tonight so don't be surprised if tomorrow's post makes no sense at all! Catch up with you guys in the AM. Hope everyone is having a great weekend :) Oh...and go BC!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Guest Post from My Sister!

Hi everyone! This is Kelly’s younger sister, Caroline, who you may have read about in earlier posts (I did the Triathlon with her!). As you may have noticed, Kelly hasn’t posted for a couple days, which is SO unlike her and as a dedicated follower I started to get concerned. She is super busy preparing for conferences and lessons and has another bachelorette party to go to this weekend. Lately, I have been getting really into this whole blogging thing, I’ve been reading some other blogs and thinking about starting my own! So I decided it would be fun if I wrote a post for Kelly and see how this whole thing works!

I am a college student pursuing my bachelors in Marketing and Finance. I love sports (watching and playing). Growing up, they pretty much took over my life but I loved every second of it. Now that I’m in college and not playing organized sports anymore, I have to be more creative in terms of working out and staying in shape. Surprisingly, motivation isn’t really the issue… I love being active, but throughout college other obstacles have prevented me from being as active as I like.

Which brings me to my topic: Shin splints.

Shin splints might just be my biggest enemy. I first developed shin splints when I was a sophomore in high school playing soccer. They got really bad simply because, I hate quitting. When my coach would say get on the goal line it’s time to sprint, I wasn’t about to say I couldn’t because of a little leg pain. However, I think this ended up really hurting me. After my senior year, when my sports career (sadly) came to an end, I picked up running. Within the first week, I was having shin pain again. I immediately went to my school trainer and he gave me some exercises to do with a resistance band in order to strengthen my shin muscles.

This didn’t help. For the next TWO years I battled consistent shin pain. Just walking around campus would hurt. I wasn’t able to run more than ten minutes at a time so instead, I tried swimming to fill my exercise deficiency. I went to at least three different doctors/physical therapists to try to figure out why I couldn’t even run a mile without severe pain. This shouldn’t happen to someone at my age!

Finally, I scheduled an appointment to meet with a doctor recommended by my parents. After only couple minutes of observing my feet, he said I have slightly flat feet, causing me to “over pronate” and that I should get customized orthotics to fix this problem.

Over pronate? How had no one ever told me this before? As soon as I got home I obviously researched it and information about shin splints connected to over pronation is EVERYWHERE. I found that over pronation is when the foot rolls inward too much causing stress on the inner shin. How did I miss this? Or better yet how did the THREE other doctors who I went to before this miss this? (One doctor actually told me I needed surgery!)

For the next six months, I wore my orthotics everywhere. I didn’t run and instead waited until the inflammation went completely away (yes, this took SIX months). However, it was all worth it the end! Four months later, I have since been able to run my first 5k and participate in my first triathlon!!

Even with my orthotics though, I sometimes my shin splints come back if I run too far, too fast, or outside. I’ve found that a shorter stride and landing on the middle part of my foot often helps, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy a nice fall day by running outside. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of chronic shin pain? If so, do you have any advice for running outside shin splint less? I’d love to hear all your thoughts!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Staying Healthy/Fit On The Road

Hi everyone! I'm so sorry about my absence the past few days, I have really missed blogging so much. I am having an absolutely crazy couple of weeks. I am definitely one of those people who gets everything organized and done on the weekends because the weeks are so crazy. But with a wedding last weekend and a bachelorette all weekend this weekend, the weeks have been even more crazy and I haven't had one spare minute. Next week is parent/teacher conferences so I have also been frantically writing report cards and trying to prep for those. I'm hoping next week will be a little bit better, but no promises.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm braving what is sure to be terrible traffic to drive down to Newport for Tiff's bachelorette. In spirit of this I thought I'd do a post on staying healthy on the road. I will admit that due to my problems with my stomach, I really don't have a lot of choice about staying healthy on vacation. But even with the motivation there, it can still be difficult. When I was on a family vacation in California last year, my brother was making jokes about how BAD restaurants can be about listening to special requests. I'd ask for a sandwich dry and it would come lathered in butter. This was in Northern California which is supposed to be the capital of healthy food!

Even though it is hard, there are still things you can do...

1. Pack snacks. A lot of snacks. So many snacks that maybe you only need to eat out twice a day (or less if you have a kitchen in your hotel room). I tried to make my snacks for this weekend as fun as possible since it's supposed to be a party :)

Notice both chips are the baked variety. I also made a pumpkin dip for the pita chips and apple slices. This took me about 5 minutes to make and it's SO good. I can't wait to dig into it this weekend! Other recommendations for travel snacks include:
  • nuts and/or trail mix
  • any kind of healthy bar- luna bars, cliff bars etc
  • cereal (obviously I'm a big Cheerios girl)
  • carrot sticks
  • peanut butter/almond butter
  • healthy crackers- kashi or akmak for example
  • bananas

2. Pack water. I don't know if it's just me but my stomach does not love tap water from other places (I drink it at home no problem). So this weekend I packed this giant thing of water just for myself haha. No I will not share.

3. Do your research. I know it sounds annoying but actually what is more fun than thinking about and planning your upcoming trips? (me that's just me). After doing research you should be able to answer:
  • What are some healthy restaurants near your hotel? Try Heathy Dining Finder or, if you are a vegetarian, Happy Cow.
  • Does your hotel have a gym in the building? Access to a nearby gym?
  • Does your hotel room have a fridge? (if so you have a lot more choices for snacks to bring) What about a full kitchen? (suddenly you can cook 1-2 meals a day in your room!)
4. Bring work out clothes and sneakers. I'll be honest, there is little to no chance I'll be working out this weekend, but the hotel DOES have a gym so I am going to bring my stuff just in case the mood strikes. It's worth having. If you prefer to run outside, this is a great way to see more of the place you are visiting.

5. Walk, walk, walk. Part of being on vacation is being a tourist and seeing everything. There is no better way to do this than walking. Walk as much as possible and then you don't have to feel bad that you didn't hit the hotel gym :) I think this weekend it's going to be more like dance for me, but you get the point!

What do you do to stay healthy on the road? I want to hear your tips and suggestions.

Tomorrow we will hopefully have a guest post from my sister, and then after that I am bringing my computer, so hopefully I'll be able to post!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cut Back, But Don't Cut Out Exercise!

It’s safe to say that people are cutting back on spending lately. It’s not extremely noticeable to me because I started to live on my own about right at the time that the economy started doing terribly. My friends and I are much more conscious of money now, but for us it has more to do with having low paying jobs and tons of bills rather than the economy specifically. However, we’ve been hearing for over a year about people eating out less, spending less on clothes, gifts etc. You can even see it at your favorite retail stores where sales seem to be more common than ever before. Today I received an article on Twitter from Fitness Magazine about how people are ALSO spending less on exercise. Yikes! And not just spending less, working out less because they are too busy. Double Yikes!

This is very scary to me because:

  1. We are not at a place in society where we can afford to be less active. We are already not active enough!
  2. The busiest people I know are working moms and dads. If they stop working out, what kind of example are we setting for the kids?
  3. Exercise is a major stress reliever. If we find the time, we will feel better.

All of this being said, I know we have to pay our bills and the gym is not a reality for some people. So here are my best get fit, without breaking the bank tips J

  1. Shop around for the cheapest gym around. Do you know that some Planet Fitness gyms are only $5 per month? One of my friends belongs to a gym where she was able to negotiate a price of $15 a month. Particularly if a gym does not post their rates, walk in and meet with someone in membership. Give the price you can spend (or a little under) and refuse to go over. Promise yourself if they try to talk you up you’ll walk out.
  2. Invest in some fitness equipment for your house. When I moved, I bought myself a treadmill that was about $500. Sure, it was a lot to spend at the time but it’s about the same as an average gym membership for a year. Use it for 5 years and you’ve saved $2,000! If you don’t want to make the commitment to a big piece of cardio equipment, try free weights or resistance bands instead.
  3. Buy a couple of good DVDs. Get some DVDs you can do in your house. Working out at home is not just a money saver, but also a time saver! I recommend any of the Jillian Michaels dvds including The 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones.
  4. Better yet, get exercise DVDS on demand for free! If you have Verizon Fios or Comcast you are already paying an arm and a leg for your cable/internet, no need to spend on the gym too. Go to your On Demand section for a HUGE selection of Fitness DVDs from Exercise TV. Any possible exercise you enjoy whether it be dancing, aerobics, pilates, yoga etc- you will find in this section I promise you.
  5. Try online videos for free. Yoga Download has tons of free 20 minute yoga videos that are a great way to start the day! You can also go to Exercise TV online and find some free videos if you do not get On Demand.
  6. Join a team. Were you an awesome basketball player in high school? Why not see if there is a team in your town that you can join? Usually the fees for these teams are not too bad, and you will have the added motivation of people counting on you to come. Even if you weren’t a star athlete when you were younger, you can always take lessons. Last year a good friend and I took tennis lessons through our Rec department. It wasn’t too expensive and it was fun.
  7. Go outdoors! Yes I know, I live in Boston and getting outside in January is not always a great plan. However, I do outdoor exercise whenever I can. In the spring/summer/fall this includes running, walking, bike riding, rollerblading, jumping rope, and swimming. In the winter, you can ice skate on outdoor ponds (carefully), cross country ski, learn to snow shoe…the possibilities are endless. Winter activities do take some equipment, but ask around, you can always borrow from friends.

Do you have any tips for cutting costs but still keeping your exercise routine alive? Send them my way! I'm now off to spinning class- even though I have crazy days on Mondays, I won't skip it! Gotta practice what I preach!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Timna's Wedding!

Last night was Timna's wedding and it went beautifully. I told Eric that since my uncles wedding when I was 13 I have not yet been to a wedding where I knew the bride without the groom (or even the groom without the bride). This was my first one! I remember very clearly when Timna met Matt. I have this image of seeing her on Columbus Day and her telling me about her new boyfriend Matt. Apparently that was SEVEN years ago! Time flies, huh? This was Eric and my first Jewish ceremony and it was SO much fun. There was a small glitch, only in that I did not understand that Eric was supposed to actually wear a yamaka. In my defense, in the Catholic religion if you haven't received your first communion, you are not supposed to go up and get communion, so I thought it was like that. Oops. I'll be ready for Sarah's wedding, I swear! Anyway, I got a pretty good picture of Timna walking down the aisle with her parents. I love when people walk with both parents...I know crazy feminist again.
Look how beautiful this is! I was in the very back row and I still got this awesome picture, yay for great lighting! The ceremony was really fun. There was a lot of talking in Hebrew, but Timna speaks Hebrew at home with her family so it was just kind of like being in their house. I told Eric I would always laugh when Timna would ask her mom to hang out with me because it would be like blah blah blah Kelly blah blah blah to me haha. I had a friend who spoke Spanish at home, and when she talked to her mom I got a word here and there- definitely not with Hebrew! Timna's dad made a joke during his speech because Timna's now husband just learned Hebrew and he said "now we don't have a secret language we can talk about him in" haha.
For some reason my camera really does not enjoy when people are moving too close to me, so this one is a little blurry but you can still tell how happy they are right?
After the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour with the most amazing sweet potato fries I have ever tasted. Unfortunately I did not get a picture, but it wouldn't have done them justice anyways. I did, however, get a sweet picture of Timna and Matt up on the chairs!

Then, just as we are all back at our table starting to eat our salads etc. Matt comes up to the microphone wearing only a T shirt. I can see Eric is already plotting in his mind that if Matt is wearing a T shirt 10 minutes into the reception, he can too! All of a sudden, a hip hop song breaks out and Timna comes out and they start doing a dance together. This was NOT their first dance, but it was way cooler than their first dance haha. They were totally in sync and awesome at it. Timna has been dancing since she was walking, but I was impressed that Matt picked up some good moves haha. This is a picture of them doing the dance below- and yes, Timna was out of her wedding dress at this point but she did change BACK into it (and yes, this would be a terrible decision with most wedding dresses, but Timna in true Timna fashion had a low maintenance dress).

The food was delicious too. I always have trouble eating at weddings since I can't eat steak, but at this wedding we got a choice between steak, chicken, fish or vegetarian. I got the fish:

Eric rocked the pink tie that I love haha...

And I got one picture of me and the bride...
I also got one of their cake cutting, even though I don't think anyone but me and the photographers were paying attention to it happening.
Okay SO...before I end this wedding recap, I must tell you a very funny story about the wedding last night. It's a bit long but trust me that it really is an example of how small our world is, and how little things in life can make big impacts...

Let’s see if I can tell this story properly. It all begins senior year of high school when I am going out with this guy named David (hi again- you are getting more air time on this blog than the average person right now haha). He has a friend from middle school who lives about 20-30 minutes away. One night he tells me that he wants us to go up and hang out with this guy and his girlfriend. So we do. He and his girlfriend are great and all is well. Fast forward a few months, we end up going to their prom with them just for fun. I pretend to be the guy’s (Matt’s- not to be confused with the groom, also named Matt) date, David pretends to be the girl’s date so we can get in.

Fast forward AGAIN, I end up going to college with the girlfriend and we become friends. Not just like oh see each other occasionally friends- really good friends and we live in the same suite for the next 3 years. In fact, Gerry and I each brought our individual friends together into one suite and we all became great friends. We joke that only useful thing about high school boyfriends is that they brought us together (j/k guys J). Oh and other weird coincidence, I was out for Gerry’s 21st birthday when I met Eric. SO…if I never knew Gerry, I’d never know Eric…

Fast forward AGAIN (this time 5 or 6 years) and it turns out Gerry’s high school boyfriend is NOW (well I shouldn’t say now…it’s been almost 2 years haha) dating a girl who went to my high school, who happens to also be great friends with Timna and SO…Matt is at the wedding last night! YAY. Good story huh? Oh… and I almost wore my dress from Matt’s original high school prom last night to the wedding but I could not find it anywhere! That would’ve been funny though. Here we are...

I really enjoy how in life, one night out with some random people can shape your college friends, and one snow storm (the night we were SUPPOSED to go out for Gerry's 21st birthday) can lead to your future husband...and all sorts of crazyness. It makes you feel like no matter what happens in your life, it's all for a reason and everything is going to work out exactly the way it is supposed to. It definitely did for this bride and groom. I love you guys :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Timinim- say it 10 times fast!

I am officially in the wonderful state of Connecticut...haha and ready for yet another wedding! Of course I am getting any sappy again and thinking this is my first high school friend's wedding. Timna and I have been friends for 11 years!!! (and the wedding I am in in less than a month is a friend of 13 years...we have officially been friends the majority of our lives!). When I first heard about Timna (from my other friend Sarah- getting married in May, yes my friends have a problem haha), I was very confused by her name. I am a visual person and hearing it without seeing it, I was like what?! I called her Timiniminimina all through high school just because I was a weirdo. now I've shortened it to Timinim...haha.

Anyway, Timna and I started out as part of a small group of friends. However throughout high school our mutual friends grew apart but we remained friends. I even got to see her more often than usual in college because I dated a guy who went to her school for the first two years of college (hi David- he reads this blog haha). It was always doubly great to go visit because I got to see Timna too. Here are two pictures of us playing in college (I so wish digital cameras were around when I was in high school :( )

I can't even figure out how I got my car so insanely curly in that last picture. Timna is the most low key, relaxed person I know. Definitely the most calm friend I have...and I don't mean that as an insult to everyone else, I am not calm either haha. Even her wedding is calm, she never once got stressed about it, she has no bridal party, no rehearsal dinner, none of that extra stuff. She is basically the type of person who is always smiling, and not in a fake way. I know tonight is going to be a very happy night for her and I couldn't be any happier about it. Her fiance (almost husband!) is perfect for her and I know everything is going to go perfectly (minus the fact that it really does feel like January temperatures in October right now!). Even her bachelorette party was drama and stress free...
Stay tuned for tomorrow's pictures of the wedding and the beautiful bride. For now, it is time for me to take off my Uggs, brrr and pretend like it's summer for my dress, which is at least long- thank goodness! I hope everyone has a great Saturday night!

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Than You Need to Know About Me...

I woke up this morning with great intentions of going to yoga tonight. I knew it was unlikely I'd actually go because my friends were going out for drinks after work, and drinks = no working out. However, after yet another day of sitting in training (2 full days of sitting on my butt in a 7 day span, not cool), I actually wanted nothing to do with drinks and everything to do with yoga. I figured I could have drinks tomorrow night at Timna's wedding and today was for trying to make my body forgive me for making it sit all day long yet again. I went to a yoga to music class at my favorite studio (does that make me sound like a yogi? it's not really my favorite studio, it's more like the only place I actually like yoga). I thought I'd really love the music but to be honest I barely noticed it until the end when we were just lying down. Not to say I didn't like it, I just didn't really notice it. I feel 100 times better after going. I'm serious if you live in Boston/suburbs of Boston, go to Prana. Even if you are not a yoga person, I wasn't either.

In other great news, one of my favorite bloggers Meredith from Balance for MEre gave me a blog award. Meredith is a teacher just like me and she blogs about food, fitness, body image etc. She recently showed a video I think everyone (especially moms, or future moms) should watch about little girls and the beauty industry. Oh and also, Meredith just shared (as part of this award) that she sat in bird poop on her wedding day. Can anyone else see that happened to me?

As part of this award I am supposed to list 7 things about me that you don't know. Since I have some close friends and family that read this blog I'm pretty sure you will know some of these, but here it goes:

1. I am incapable of talking on the phone while sitting down. I have to pace around. If there is anything on the floor I will kick it. My cousin Courtney got me this pink dice pillow a long time that I kicked around my bedroom for YEARS. But I have also been known to kick around scissors (safe, I know), clothes, etc.

2. I stink at turning off the stove and oven. Fortunately I seem to have some kind of ability to know when I am home alone and I do it then. But if Eric is home I tend to just walk away and completely forget about any appliance I had on.

3. When I am in the car and I'm scared another car might hit my car (this happens more often than you'd think) I always grab my seat belt. I used to put my foot up on the dashboard and take it down quickly if I was freaked out. Luckily I've broken that habit, but now I grab my seat that's going to help!

4. When I was in middle school/high school my friends and I used to give boys food nicknames as a code. Then we could discuss how much we like popcorn and no one would get we thought :)

5. I have seen every episode of Friends more times then you would want to know. When people tell me stories I often find myself comparing the situation to a Friends episode in my head. More often than normal.

6. I have an irrational fear of having annoying children, even if I don't find them annoying but other people do. Or worse, bad kids- like truly bad, not just kindergarten behavior problems but like bad people. That wouldn't happen to me though, right?

7. I love country music and I loved it before everyone else did....well everyone in Boston anyway haha (and yes like everything else I players, uggs and Vera Bradley bags, I did resist it at first haha)

Okay that's enough of me for now. I am supposed to tag 7 people, but I need to get some stuff done and get to bed early so I can be rested up for Timna's wedding tomorrow. I'll tag later :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's about this time every year that I question why anyone in their right mind (including myself) would choose to live in Boston when we could move to a tropical climate at any time. I hate cold. Even more than cold, I hate dark. It is only mid- October and it's already freezing and dark. I am going to Connecticut this weekend for a wedding and I heard a rumor it is SNOWING there. I'm pretty sure when Timna planned an October wedding, she was not thinking SNOW would be an issue.

I was wallowing in self pity about this miserable weather and the fact that it is only getting worse when I read this post. Angela is encouraging all of us to get outside and ENJOY winter instead of staying inside and being depressed. Another blogger, Gina, pointed us last week to an article on health myths and one of them is that being cold does not weaken our immune system. I have heard this several times before I have the hardest time believing it. If that's true, why am I always sick in the winter? I feel like from October to March I am fighting illness. I know I work with kids, but I work with them in the summer too. I had a kid this summer coughing and sneezing all over his work and I was his 1:1 tutor, yet I never caught it. What if it's not the cold, but rather my mood and the fact that I am not getting enough fresh air that is the problem? I do take my kids out to recess at least once a day in winter but I'm not being active and having fun during that time, just putting out mini fires about how so and so will not play with me or so and so hit me.

So, thanks to Angela's inspiring post this winter I am going to love winter. I know, easy to say now in mid October. I haven't had to shovel yet. But to be honest I was already starting to get depressed about how far away summer this faint speck of optimism is better than where I was. Enter:

The Things to Look Forward to in Winter List

1. Ice Skating

2. Gingerbread Houses

3. New Years Celebrations

4. Cape Cod- Winter Style

5. Christmas Decorations

See? Winter is not so bad! I also have some plans for getting active outside including learning how to snow shoe and cross country ski this winter.

What do you look forward to about winter weather? What do you like to do outside in the winter?

Go to my post yesterday to vote on which travel spot you'd like to hear about. Right now it is a 3 way tie between Italy, Scotland and New Zealand. All good choices I have to say!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Happy Hump Day! The week is crazy, I feel like my "to do" list is 10,000 miles long. So tonight I need some help:

I am going to write a guest post for Meghan on travel and I want your suggestion about where I should pick to write about. I am definitely going to go international, because it's fun and I haven't been too many exciting national places. So here are your choices:

Greece (Athens and Santorini)

Italy (Rome and Venice)




Scotland (all around)

Ireland (all around)

Australia (all around)- and yup, below is the only time you'll ever see this Boston girl in a tank top with an iced coffee...with a Christmas tree in the background!

New Zealand (Auckland, Dunedin, Doubtful Sound)

Please leave a comment listing which place you would *MOST* want to hear about?

Also, all this thinking about trips is giving me the Travel Itch. Anyone have any ideas of somewhere relatively warm and relatively cheap Eric and I can go April vacation? It's going to have to be in the US and cheap flights from Boston. I'd suggest Canada since all your Canadian readers are making me want to explore Canada, but lets be honest- there is nothing relatively warm about Canada in February haha.

So your jobs are #1 tell me where you want to hear about, #2 tell me good cheap trip ideas with lots of tourist stuff to do. I'm so demanding tonight :)