Sunday, March 31, 2013

Music, Miles, Books and Looks: March 2013

Not the best blogger over here. Oh well, I survived the month of March and that always seems to be an accomplishment in itself. If you celebrate, I hope you had a lovely Easter. I also hope you had some of the beautiful weather we enjoyed in Massachusetts this weekend. The best. 


If you like country music, you probably know Florida Georgia Line. Caroline introduced me to them last summer on our Jackson Hole trip, with great song Cruise. Last night she told me about the new remix of this song featuring Nelly, which is just amazing. Unfortunately, youtube seems to hate it for some reason so they have muted every version on there. I guess I'm going to have to stop being cheap and buy it on iTunes. Florida Georgia Line also has a new song out called Get Your Shine On


This month I was aiming for 3 miles of swimming, 60 miles of biking, 20 miles of running and 4 hours of yoga. My final totals were:

Swim: 6200 Yards (3.5 miles- goal met)

Bike: 62.8 (goal met)

Run: 21.5 miles (goal met)

Yoga: approx. 4 hours- I failed to track this 100% for some of my home practices, but I was definitely in the 4 hour range somewhere. 

I'm not going to lie. I got sick this month, and had out of town visitors, so hitting these goals involved a lot of catch up for the last week. Let's just say I will definitely be taking the first day of April off. Whew. 


I read so many great books in the last two months. I still can't get them out of my mind. I just finished another book, and now I feel like I don't even know where to go next. See my last post for the specific books I recommend. 


Seriously, I have to get rid of this section. I rarely buy new clothes and I am not that fashionable. Last month I discussed yoga pants, so there was that.  Maybe I will just start posting pictures of my friends babies wearing cute clothes? 

Goals Recap- March

Other than my fitness goals, I was also aiming for some other things in the month of March. My biggest accomplishment was cleaning for 10 minutes a night at 7:20. As I've mentioned before, I hate cleaning and get easily overwhelmed by it. The ten minute clean up was great, especially for the daily tasks like sorting and recycling mail etc. I also applied this baby steps method to other aspects of my life. For example, at work I wanted to donate/give away several books in my classroom library (I inherited some really bad ones when I started teaching and I was desperate then, but now they are just taking up space). I never have any extra time at work, but I decided I had time to go through one bin a day and try to get rid of about 10 books. At the end of two weeks I had put aside over 100 books for new teachers to take. Yay! This was a really important lesson this month and I'm really excited to explore it even further in April. 

I failed miserably at getting ready for bed at 9. I did okay on saving money in general, but I also booked our summer trip so any money saved was immediately spent. Oops. 

I will be back tomorrow with my April goals. They need their own post. 

How was your March and what are you looking forward to in April? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lost in a Good Book

Hi all, how was your weekend? Mine was wonderful. A few of my college friends were in town visiting and we all hung out most of the weekend. We even pretended it was 2006 on Saturday night and went out-out (which I have not done in literally years). It caused me a lot of stress leading up, but it ended up being really fun. I really wish a bar would open where you can dance at like 7pm, then I would totally go out more often- I still want to be in bed by 11 :)

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I also spent lots of time with my best buddy Teddy, aka bff Katie's baby. 

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I'm paying for the wonderfulness in exhaustion this week, but eventually I will catch up on sleep :) 


I have read SO many good books lately. I gave the last 5 books I read 5 stars on Goodreads. I admit I'm not the MOST difficult "grader" of books, but I only give a book 5 stars if I can't think of any real complaints about it. The first book I'll recommend for some light reading was our February blogger book club pick: 


I actually gave this one 3 stars. The premise of a woman losing her memory in a plane crash was interesting, but it was a bit too chick lit for me to love it. It might have been the fact that she used the word "fabulous" so many times…The good thing is, reading this book motivated me to give one the classics and try, and before I knew I was on to:


This is the first in my row of 5 stars. I mean, can anyone really give this book less? The story is incredible. I remember my first attempt to read this book was when I was in Washington DC in fifth grade. I wasn't able to finish it, which makes sense since I definitely had to re-read some of the language at times even now, but I'm glad I picked it up again because it was worth the time it took me to really enjoy this book. 


After taking a couple of weeks to get through Little Women, it was nice to plow through this book in basically one afternoon of waiting for Eric's tires to be fixed. I have always been obsessed with women's gymnastics at the Olympics and I remember Dominque Moceanu well. This was a fascinating read and will definitely make me look at gymnastics differently- as she said, I'll still enjoy the sport but definitely question some of the practices. I would never want my child to be a serious athlete for so many reasons...

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Did anyone not love The Guernsey Potato Peel Society? Well I did, and this book takes place on the same island during World War II. A woman has an affair with a German soldier who moves in next door. It's hard for me to find a World War II fiction story I do not love, and this was no exception. 


I admit, I've heard good things about this book but I still would not have picked it up on my own. For some reason I find memory loss due to Alzheimer's to be really uncomfortable/difficult, and I thought I would have a hard time with this book. It was our book club book for March so I gave it a try and I am so glad I did. It was told from the perspective of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's, which really helped me get into the story and appreciate her as a character. Of course it was a hard to read book, but I didn't find it depressing. That being said, I was a little worried about following it up with a story about a woman dying, but this next book came in at the library so I just went for it. 


I wanted to read this book, but as I mentioned above I was a bit worried about following Still Alice with this story. I thought it might be too similar and after loving Still Alice, I was concerned. I didn't have to be though, because I really, really loved this book, maybe even more than Still Alice but I don't know- they were both wonderful for different reasons. This was a book I truly didn't want to end, and when it was over, I immediately considered buying a hard copy of this book because I had it on my Kindle and a library version. I have never done this (in my 2 years of owning a Kindle and many more years of using the library). I loved this author, and his mom. I bookmarked a million more books to read because he mentioned them. I messaged Lisa to talk about the book. I e-mailed my friend Sarah to tell her she has to read the book. I wrote down quotes. I had this book in my mind still days later. I think my favorite quote is: 

“We all owe everyone for everything that happens in our lives. But it's not owing like a debt to one person--it's really that we owe everyone for everything. Our whole lives can change in an instant--so each person that keeps that from happening, no matter how small a role they play, is also responsible for all of it. Just by giving friendship and love, you keep the people around you from giving up--and each expression of friendship or love may be the one that makes all the difference." - Will Schwalbe

But there were so many more lovely quotes. I will never ever be a movie person, but I will always have my books. Recommend a great one to me, please! 



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kelly & Eric's Travel Collection

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As you know, Eric and I LOVE to travel. We also love to do fun stuff near our house. I have blogged about a lot of it. I hope some of it will be helpful to you if you are planning a trip. If you see a place without a link that just means I haven't blogged about it…yet! 

How to Plan a Trip

How to Create a Realistic Travel Budget

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Harpoon Brewery

Harbor History Cruise (we've actually done this several times)

Charles River Locks Cruise

Sam Adams Brewery

Freedom Trail

Boston Duck Tours


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Nashoba Valley Winery (and tailgating the winery again)

Blue Hills Reservation

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Charles River Canoe and Kayak

Portsmouth, NH (another favorite)

Newport, RI (Tiff's Bachelorette, Eric's family trip, Day Trip with a visit to the Coastal Wine Trail)

Coastal Wine Trail

Portland, ME (and where to eat and stay)

The Berkshires (and part 2)

Oguinquit, ME (and a winter trip)

Southwick Zoo


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Provincetown (highly recommend Art Sand Dune Tours and the Pilgrim Monument)

Hyannis Harbor Cruises (we have done this many times!)

Kennedy Memorial and Korean War Memorial


Bass River Cruise (and kayaking on the Bass River)

Cape Cod Canal Cruise

Sandwich Glass Museum

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Sandy Neck Beach

Chatham Lighthouse and Nature Reserve

Cape Cod National Seashore

Heritage Gardens in Sandwich

Martha's Vineyard: bus tour around the island, kayaking


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Burlington, Vermont (day 2 and 3)

New York City (in 2012- Brooklyn Brewery, Hop On/Off Boat, Restaurants, and in 2011 views of the city)

Jersey Shore/Sandy Hook

Chicago (and marathon watching in Chicago)

Miami Florida and the Everglades

Phoenix (in 2010- zoo, botanical gardens, restaurants, in 2010 hotel and restaurants,  and in 2011 Heard Museum)


        in 2012- Little Horse hike & helicopter ride, Cathedral Rock & Pink Jeep Tour, Devil's Bridge & Jerome

        in 2011- Jerome, Devil's Bridge & Cathedral Rock & Pink Jeep Tour

        in 2010- first glance of Sedona, golf and Pink Jeep, Red Rock Crossing

Grand Canyon (and a year earlier)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Jenny Lake hike in Grand Tetons and what to do in Jackson Hole)

Yellowstone National Park

Seattle, WA & Washington State

San Francisco, Muir Woods and Napa/Sonoma

Big Island, Hawaii (Kona Brewery/Kona Coffee/Place of Refuge, swimming with manta rays, paddle boarding and Pololu Beach, dolphins and Saddle Road, volcano helicopter and hike, amazing Thai restaurant)

Maui, Hawaii (getting to know Maui and cool blowholes, road to Hana and surf lessons, Luau and relaxation)


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Vancouver and Sunshine Coast (Amber's Wedding and my 2 year anniversary!) 

New Zealand


Greece- Athens and Santorini

Italy- Rome and Venice

Barcelona, Spain

Paris, France

London, England

Scotland (Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands/Isle of Skye)

Ireland (Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Ardmore, Killarney, Kenmare, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher)

Please e-mail me if you have questions about any of these places or want any help trip planning. Happy travels!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's Time For March

I'm a little behind on the goals recap this month, so you are going to get a weekend post. Wahoo. Hopefully there are others out there who actually catch up on blog reading on weekends. Anyone? 

I'm changing it up a bit this month but I will not leave you without some music, books and looks recommendations, don't worry. Here is a collage of my month:  

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You should listen to: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice

You should read: The Song Remains the Same (Allison Winn Scotch), Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) and Off Balance (Dominique Moceanu)

You should buy: Victoria's Secret Pink Leggings… I know everyone raves about Lululemons leggings/yoga pants and yes, they are comfy, but I could live in Victoria's Secret Pink leggings and they are much cheaper, so it's a win all around. Just be warned, they are supposed to be for middle school girls, so you may have to go up a size. Yes, I wear clothes meant for middle school girls. Sorry I'm not sorry :) 

When I look back at my February goals, I actually met more of them than I thought I was at the time. I definitely saw lots of friends this month (thanks to my staycation), I tracked my workout "miles" and got report cards done without being crazy (apparently I also should've specified get conferences done without being crazy, that is not going as well). The goal I focused on the most was yoga. I wanted to do 5 classes and 5 at-home practices. I actually went to six classes (yay) but only 3 at-home practices, so I don't meet my goal. However, I really wanted to practice twice a week and just forgot that February is a short month, so in that sense, I did okay :) I also tried a new studio that I loved, and actually once used my yoga thinking in a difficult situation… score. Finally, yesterday Caroline came over and practiced her yoga teacher training on me for one of my at-home practices. Cool! 

March Goals

1. Fitness Goals: 3 miles of swimming, 60 miles of bike/spin, 20 miles of running, 4 hours of yoga. Ready, set GO! 

2. Clean for 10 minutes on weeknights at 7:20. I got this idea from Caroline, but I can't do it before bed because I'm usually procrastinating bedtime until the last minute and then rushing, so instead I set an alarm on my phone for all weeknights at 7:20. At that point I will set my phone timer for 10 minutes and "tidy up" during that time. 

3. Start bedtime routine at 9:00 each night. Yes, I am a child and I need to be treated like a child. I have been slowly making my bedtime later and later lately and this is not helpful to anyone. I am going to start my bedtime routine at 9 and maybe even (maybe) pick out my clothes the night before to prevent stress in the AM. We shall see. Oh, and I should mention I ALSO set an alarm for this. As Eric said "you are going to have a lot of alarms." Yes I will. 

4. Spend less. Find ways to save. I have big travel dreams for this summer, and I just booked a trip to DC in April so, I just can't spend much on anything else right now. My new plan is every time I am considering spending money I am going to think about "is there any way I could just not buy this?" or "is there any way I could get this for less?" and see what happens. My latest trade? I've been eating 19 cent bananas every day for snack (approx $1 per week) compared to the yogurt I was eating every day which was over a dollar per day. Over the course of the month, that is about $12 saved. I know, not a ton… but that's $12 I can spend on breakfast in DC :) 


What are you most excited about in March? I am SO excited for conferences to be over, my college roommate to come visit and Easter!