Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Recap & 2013 Preview

Once again, another year is coming to a fast close. With Dearest out from school (a.k.a. busy catching up on all the video games he missed out on during the semester), it's given me some "me time" to reflect on this past year and the upcoming one. 

Let's look back to last year's resolutions:

In true New Years fashion, I'll throw out some resolutions for 2012.
~I will be more healthy and exercise to make it to my ideal body. Setting a specific weight goal never works.
~I will dedicate more time to my hobbies, like photography.
~I will be a more adventurous cook.

I'm really happy with how 2012 went. 
~ I may not always be satisfied with the number on my scale, but I'm happy with how I feel and look. Staying fit has become an essential part of life and I actually enjoy it! Dearest and I ran our second 1/2 marathon (set a personal record) and we're just about to sign up for our third. 
~ I bit the bullet and purchased photo editing software. Now to find the time to take the pictures. I got a new sewing machine as well and I've been busting out projects left and right. 
~ Cooking- I think this resolution may have been meant for Dearest. He's really come a long way. Some of his highlights: asparagus pesto risotto and braised beef.  Mmmm.

Looking to next year, I can honestly say that 2013 will be the best year of my life (so far). Bold statement, but I'm sure you'll agree. Here's why:
~ Dearest will be done with school. FINALLY! After 5.5 years, he will graduate in December. But starting in the summer, he'll have a full time internship (i.e. extra income). 
~ Work is going really well. My manager keeps reminding me I should go for a promotion, but I'm on the fence about it. 
~ I'm starting off the year in great shape. No weight loss resolution here. I just want to continue with the running and beat last years 1/2 marathon time. 
As for resolutions, I don't really have any. I just want to keep going in the same direction. 

Something nice about 2013 is that things seem pretty straight forward. I'll still be at the same job. Dearest will be in school and have an internship. We'll be in the same apartment (which we are out-growing rather quickly). Nothing major planned. 
Looking even further into 2014, I know that everything will be up in the air. Dearest will be getting a real job. We will probably move. Depending on the previous two, I may have to leave my job. Craziness. I'm sure in 12 months time, I'll be freaking out. 

So for now, here's to 2013! *cheers*

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Adventures of Dearest's Wedding Ring

Some of you may know that the wedding ring Dearest wears is not his first one. Not even the second one. In fact, it's ring # 3. Third time's a charm, right?

His original ring we were married with lives on a beach in Maui, taking up residence there just four days after our wedding. I like to think that we left a bit of our love there. But really, Dearest took it off to put on sunscreen and we lost it in the sand. I'm sure there are many other rings on that same beach.
A second ring (exactly the same as the first) was purchased in Maui. Could have been a nice reminder of our honeymoon. Unfortunately it wasn't the correct size and was exchanged within a month. 
Dearest's third ring, now the proper size, has been with him for over 2 years now. But not to be outdone by its predecessors, it has taken us on some interesting adventures. 

Less than a month shy of our 2 year Anniversary, the ring goes missing and we tear apart the apartment looking for it. This is where it's found:
Yes... That is a door. And yes. Dearest put it there.

6 Months Later.... Ring again goes missing. Apartment is again searched. (I did check all the doors.) This time we suspect it's fallen down the shower drain. After pulling apart the drain, it's definitely not there. Another thorough search of the apartment is done and just when we're about the give up, his ring is discovered. Can you find it? 
In Dearest's defense, he was cleaning the kitchen and didn't want it to roll away or get swept into the trash. 

 I've learned two very important things so far... 1. Dearest LOVES to put his ring on the most random things that stick out. 2. His ring tries to run away. Seriously. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Disneyland 1/2 Marathon 2012 Recap

I'll just start off by saying that yes, Dearest was right... It's not often I have to say that! I kid, I kid. ;) During our last couple months of training for our second go at the half marathon at Disneyland, Dearest was convinced that we'd run the 13.1 miles in less than 2.5 hours, cutting 18 minutes off our original time. I didn't think it was possible- our current runs were barely cutting it and we never ran the full distance. 

Race day I was still convinced we'd never make the 2.5 hrs and even worried that I'd have a worse time than last year. I decided to play at Disneyland the week prior to the race, instead of taking it easy, and managed to hurt my knee. Nothing like nursing a hurting knee knowing that you've got 13 miles or running ahead of you. 

We started in Corral D this year (up from last in G). A bonus was that the 2.5 hour pace runner was at the start of Corral D. If we kept up with him, we'd make our time goal. Only problem was when we funneled into our corral, we ended up at the back, behind tons of people and probably closer to the 2hr45min pace guy. 

For the first few miles of the course, we ran through Disneyland and California Adventure (and the newly opened Cars Land). Pardon the poor photos. ;) Disney really does a great job of making the course fun- the World of Color fountains and lights were on, there were characters out and random staff cheering us on. [Side note: I had the recent "opportunity" to be part of SC's Big Kahuna triathlon- our normal, and very public, running path was part of the course. The poor guys had to dodge people, bikes, dogs and other things all while trying to race each other. You think they would have at least blocked the path off...] 

Anyway, back to Disney's awesome race. We spent the first 6 miles or so looking for the 2.5 hr pace guy. To make him stand out, he runs with a bunch of balloons on a stick. On top of the already increased speed, we also had at least 5 minutes to make up. So many times I'd turn to Dearest and say "I still can't find those stupid balloons!" 

And then we saw them... It was just after the halfway point, coming around a large corner, we saw the pace guy carrying his balloons and the promise of a time under 2.5 hrs. We caught up (and passed!) the pace guy outside of the Angel's baseball stadium. 

At this point, my knee was really starting to get to me. There was a lot of breaks and walking and although Dearest could go on, he stuck with me. What an excellent partner to have in this (and in life as well!) My main fear was having the pace guy catch up and then pass us, so whenever he'd come in sight, it meant running again. 

Last year, I slapped Mickey's hand crossing the finish line and Dearest really wanted a picture of it, but... last year I was also really tired and just wanted it to be over, so I didn't bother pulling the camera out for him. This year, we were prepared. But Mickey was no where to be seen! I had to settle for a chipmunk instead. :) 

The best reward was meeting our time goal- by a lot! We finished in 2 hrs 23 minutes, shaving 25 minutes off our first time. I was more surprised that we averaged under 11 minutes/mile, something we rarely did when training. 

After- victory lunch at our favorite place in Disneyland. 

And next year, we're shooting for 2 hrs 15 minutes. And I actually think we can do it. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to Basics

For a long time, I used to think that good tasting food = labor intensive meal with lots of special ingredients. Now I know the truth: let the ingredients speak for themselves and you'll have an amazing meal. 

A simple blend of all the basics with bacon and kale, this soup comes together to create something delicious. Topped with parmesan, it's perfect comfort food, even on a summer evening. 

Contact me for the recipe and I promise this will be your go-to minestrone. 

Sliced bread topped with tomatoes, feta, a little salt and fresh cracked pepper, drizzled with olive oil, make the perfect snack. 
Fish Tacos
Panko Crusted Fish Tacos on a bed of lettuce, topped with a simple mix of avocados, tomatoes, jalapeƱos and onions. Super easy to make, yet so tasty. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Run, run, run....

3 weeks- Dearest and I have a little less than three weeks until we run our 2nd half marathon. This past month we've kicked up our distances, running twice a week for at least 8 miles each run. Last week Dearest "accidentally" had us go the entire 13.1 miles! We walked at least a mile mid way because my foot was hurting. I got new shoes a few weeks ago and I suspect that they're pushing on a certain part of my foot, making it painful to run. I re-laced my shoes, skipping that part of my foot, and it seems to be working out much better. We've also discovered that 3 days isn't enough recovery time between runs. While Dearest may be good to go, I am not. He gets to sit all day, while I stand in heels for 8 hrs. For the next few weeks, we've opted to run one long run (10-12 miles) with a shorter maintenance run (6 miles) in between. 
The awesome news is that our pace is getting better. Based on our last 8 mile run, we were keeping a sub-11 minute mile. If we can keep that up, we should *theoretically* finish in 2 hrs 21 minutes. But let's be realistic now... we'll be lucky if we can achieve the 2 1/2 hr goal we're setting. ;) 

I'm leaving on this adventure in less than 20 days, so I'm itching to get packing. Definitely very excited!  :) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Disneyland 1/2 Marathon 2012

Once again Dearest and I will be running the 1/2 marathon at Disneyland! Training has gone a lot better this time around. Last year, the training was long and slow, especially since we had no experience running long distances. I can still remember our interval training of running 2 minutes and walking 1. About a month before the run, we ran our longest distance of 8 miles at the gym on a treadmill. I'm still amazed that we finished the 13.1 miles. 
This time, we picked up running again earlier. Every few days we do a 2 mile run around our neighborhood for maintenance. Then once a week we go for a long run for distance training. Over the past month we've gradually increased our distance from 4 to 6 to 7 to 8 and now 9 miles. We found a great path- starting at the Boardwalk and running north to a state park just outside of town. Our plan is to do one more week at 9 miles, the next two weeks at 10 miles and then another two weeks at 11 miles. We'll stop the long runs and just do short runs for the week and a half before the run. 
With our first run, we had a final time of 2hrs 48mins. We're hoping to shave off 20 minutes and finish under 2:30. At the pace we're running (and miraculously maintaining even with adding distance to our runs), we'll be able to almost meet that goal. We would be literally just 30 seconds away. I'm crossing my fingers that the adrenaline will give us a much needed boost! 

I never thought I'd call myself a running junkie, but now I honestly can't see my life without it! Racing is quite addicting, especially Disney races. Most of all, it's really kept me in shape. Over the past 5 years, I've lost 20 lbs and I'm the most fit I've ever been. I definitely attribute it all to my amazing hubby who's been my motivation and support, I couldn't have done it without him. :) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strange Times Ahead

This summer marks the first time since Dearest and I have been together that we will both be working, and I'm not talking about part-time minimum wage jobs that either of us have held while also being in school. Dearest has an internship! The specifics of which I'm still a little fuzzy on, but he'll essentially be a test engineer. It'll definitely be interesting to say the least and will give us a taste of what life will be like when Dearest graduates. 

To kick the summer off, we both have a week of vacation. This is also the first vacation that we're staying locally. The seahorses at the aquarium are calling and we're planning to take a day trip to Sausalito (mostly in search of home-made waffle cones and ice cream that Dearest remembers from his childhood). I have a feeling that we'll start to drive each other nuts being at home for a week straight. As I type this, Dearest is poking my laptop while "studying" for his finals... 

As an ending to the odd summer, we have the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon. Training was rocky at the beginning, but we've definitely picked up the pace. This time around I'm actually motived to run and we're seeing good progress in our pace. My goal for the race: finish in less than 2hrs 30 mins, beating our time of 2hrs 48 mins. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I've lived for a quarter of a century. Kind of crazy when you think about it, huh? This time of the year is always fun; I get to see family more and I always get a good giggle out of seeing Dearest sweat about planning something for my birthday. But turning 25 comes with a serious note to it. I can't say that I'm in my early 20s anymore, I'll be on "the wrong side of 25" as an (older) friend puts it. Most of all, I can't help but thinking "Oh my gosh, next stop is 30. I better get my life in order!"

Not to say life is a mess, but I'm definitely starting to worry about the bigger things in life. I like to think that Dearest and I aren't too frivolous with money, we have to pay for his school, after all. This summer we'll get a glimpse into what life will be like when we're both working because Dearest got a job! It's a full-time summer internship and he'll get paid for it. In fact, he'll get paid more than I do! Completely awesome, but it makes me rethink why I work so hard. ;)

On Leap Day, Disneyland hosted a 24hr "party" where the park was open from 6am-6am. I was all for going, but alas, I couldn't get the time off work. I was talking to Dearest about it after...
Me: "Well, there's always next yeap year..."
Dearest: "That's in 4 years. You might not be able to go, especially if we're going to have kids by then."
Me: "Oh... Man... That's seems so soon..."

It's not a shock that we could have kids by then. I'd like at least one before we're 30, but it's a shock to realize how soon that really might be. I spend a lot of time wishing that life would fast forward to when Dearest will be done with school. He's been telling me to watch Click and to savor the time that we have now.

So that's my plan, to embrace the little moments we have now, such as the recent weekend trip Dearest surprised me with to the happiest place on earth. What a sweetie. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Moving into the Mid-20s

I will no longer be in my early 20s as of April. And as Dearest has so kindly pointed out, I'll have to update my blog info. After 21, birthdays weren't a big deal anymore. There was nothing to look forward to, like being able to vote or (legally) drinking. But with 25 rounding the next corner, it's made me think about how much life has changed.

-My "just out of college" job has become my career. Truthfully, I didn't expect to stay with the bank this long, though I can't really say I had a different plan. I'm enjoying where the job has taken me and I can see myself staying with them, at least for the next 2 years.

-My taxes have become more complicated, yet I have less W-2s. I've had years where I've had 2 or even 3 different jobs, yet with Turbo Tax, this year's taxes are more confusing and complicated. I'm sure it only gets worse with kids and a mortgage.

-Speaking of mortgages, Dearest and I have had serious discussions about buying vs. renting. When I say serious, I'm talking graphs and spreadsheets and calculations. (Yes, apparently that's what happens when you marry an engineer.) If you asked me what a mortgage was in high school, I probably wouldn't have had a clue what you were talking about.

Another big thing that's changed is... the end is in sight. The end of Dearest's time at University and the completion of his degree, that is. It is so much in sight that when I bought a planner for work, his final day was on it! (And yes, I squealed for joy, even if the planner is 2 years and his last day is on the last page. Technicalities.) Just being able to see that day reminds me of the awesome future that is soon to come.

Now, onto planning our trip to Italy after Dearest's graduation.... :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Year

I love New Years. Not quite as much as Christmas, no holiday could ever top Christmas for me. But New Years is pretty phenomenal. The parties are top notch, dressing up is a must, and everyone is just happy and excited. The fun times aren't what really make me love New Years though.

To me, New Years is a time of reflection. It makes me look back on the year and think about what I've learned and how I've grown- as a person, not height wise obviously. :) Last year, I was reflecting on the major life changes- marriage and a big promotion at work. This year, it's been all about growing as a person. I pushed myself both mentally and physically and I've come pretty far. From being a stronger leader at work to upping my self confidence and to being more comfortable in my skin, it's been a big year for me.

I've discovered I'm capable of things I thought weren't possible, like running a half marathon. I'm excited to say that running has become a huge (and enjoyable) part of my life. Dearest and I are going to make it a new tradition to run at least one event a year. We're planning for the Disneyland 1/2 again in September, hopefully setting a new personal best.

This past year has also held a lot of change for me and Dearest. After he transferred to the 4-yr University, there was a shift in our life. The talks became more serious (though we still get in some good tickle sessions). There's less fantasizing about what we'll do when he's done with school and more serious planning about where we want to live and when and how many kids we want. It's crazy to think that we just spent our 5th Christmas together!

In true New Years fashion, I'll throw out some resolutions for 2012.
~I will be more healthy and exercise to make it to my ideal body. Setting a specific weight goal never works.
~I will dedicate more time to my hobbies, like photography.
~I will be a more adventurous cook.

So as sad it may be that another year comes to a close, I feel rejuvenated and excited to embark on another year!