Category Archives: do stuff

Blogging, What a Concept

Today as I was texting a friend about needing a new hobby (or obsession) I thought, what about blogging again? What kind of blog could I start? Then I was like, ‘duh! I have one.’ HA! Oh yeah…

So I had the same job (as a marketing coordinator for a mid size family run, yet nationwide company) for almost 10 years. I was basically miserable for most of that time. I didn’t agree with the personal values/politics of the owners for one thing. That made things challenging. I did enjoy some much of my work and the travel aspect was fantastic. But most of all I made some AMAZING, lifelong friendships there. That’s basically worth 10 years in purgatory. haha.

Well, eight months ago I started a new ‘dream’ job. I’m still in Marketing (I love it!). But now I work for a not-for-profit society dedicated to green alternatives to specific traditional construction methods. Its a bit technical so I won’t go into details… I work FROM HOME! That alone is amazing. I believe in what I’m marketing! I work with a great team! You know, all the dream job requirements.

So why do I need a hobby now? Well, because we all do, right? I’m still cooking all the time. That’s my main hobby. I still read every day – another main hobby of mine. But working from home lends itself to workaholism (well email checking-aholism if I’m being totally honest). It is much more difficult to unplug, to ‘go home’ at the end of the day. Part of that is great because there is maybe a bit more flexibility. I was able to throw a pan of brownies into the oven yesterday in the middle of the day for Valentine’s Day. But on the dark side, I don’t really have a good routine yet. And I’m a routine person. I was kind of being hard on myself because I’ve been at my new gig for 8 months- that seems like enough time to get a routine going. But then I realized that I had been at my old gig for A DECADE! That is a loooong time. Talk about routine! Dang. So now I understand that it is taking me time to adjust. That’s FINE! But I’m ready for my new routine and a new hobby will be something good to look forward to at the end of the work day. I think it will allow me to shut down and transition away from work until the next morning.

Some ideas: Get back into a regular yoga practice! Teach myself to sew. Learn a new language. Take a night class at the community college. Find some craft I can’t live without doing… I guess now is the time to start dabbling until I find something I love. I know I’d like to start doing pottery. I already looked into classes but apparently everyone else is into pottery too because the ONE class available in the evenings in this town is SOLD OUT! :)

Ok… maybe my new hobby will be blogging about finding a hobby…

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Do Stuff: Run a 5K!

I want to run here!

My friend Hillary Libby took this pic. She is a great source of inspiration for me as she trail runs and posts fabulous photos like this!

One of my goals for a long time has been to run a 5k race. I’m not a natural runner but I love the idea of running and the freedom that comes with it. When I see people running effortlessly around town I always think it looks so fun.

Last spring I started the Couch 2 5k training outlined on this site and was really enjoying it until I was sidelined by a yoga-induced heal injury. I had to stop all physical activity and undergo physical therapy for a while. I didn’t get back into running after I was given the go ahead to start exercising again. I had kinda moved on to other things, but it was still there in my mind and on my goal lists.

The Couch 2 5k training is a nine week program that gets you from not running (‘couch’ potato) to running a 5k within that timeframe. I know lots of people who have used the program to get started and are now avid and regular runners. I would love to be among that crowd!

Last week (first week of the new year) I started running again. I’m using the Get Running iPhone app. It costs $2.99 and is totally worth it in my opinion. It guides you through each run- three times a week. You can listen to music while using the app and pause the program if needed and it tracks your runs. I really like it and it is keeping me motivated. Each workout is about 30 minutes- five minute warm up- walk/run for the allotted time- and then a five minute cool down.

Currently I’m running three times a week in addition to doing Turbo Fire six days a week. The runs are short enough and not overly intense that they are a nice addition to my cardio and stretching with the Turbo Fire program. It is a time commitment, but something I really enjoy (physically as well as mentally).

I’m planning to run a 5k in March. I may just do one race and scratch it off my ‘bucket list’ or it may become a ‘soulmate’ workout. I’m excited to see what happens!

Here’s the playlist I created for my training. I like to listen on random because this list is random! BUT, all the songs give me tons of energy. :)

2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

Do Stuff: Festive Christmas Mantel!

I love beautiful holiday decorations and for the first several years that David and I were married I decorated elaborately with a different theme each year. I had over 10 rubber totes full of Christmas décor. A few years ago I decided to go the minimalist route with my Christmas decorations. One reason I decided to cut back was because I was spending a lot of money every year on my ‘themes’. Secondly, my curious Cat Friends were destroying my trees! And finally, I decided that I wanted to focus most of my holiday energy on other things like baking and making gifts. So now I spend a few hours each season decorating my mantel (where kitties can’t reach) with some favorite things and usually something new and crafty each year. I have an adorable vintage aluminum Christmas tree that my BFF Joe found for me at a yard sale in New Jersey! I had always wanted a big aluminum tree but the vintage ones are hard to find and the vintage-inspired ones are not in my budget. One year I got a little package in the mail and when I opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes! There was a tiny vintage aluminum tree with its original packaging and instructions! Joe is the best!

Joey's tree!

My mom has a wonderful tradition of giving my sister and me a new special ornament each year. Several of these are hung throughout my house year around, but the others always make an appearance at Christmastime!

several of my special ornaments

And for my crafty fun thing this year I made these adorable (and easy) yarn wrapped trees! I discovered this beautiful gift guide from Ruche and got so inspired to do all kinds of fun holiday things, but the main idea that stuck with me was the wrapped trees. I found a rustic earth-toned yarn at Big Lots that was perfect for my Pumpkin Party banner and also for these trees. And I found the foam cones at the dollar store! I think I made all three trees (plus I have yarn leftover for gift wrapping) for about $4.00.

easy and fun crafty trees

I think little holiday vignettes are so cute and festive! Here’s an adorable one from Smile & Wave that I just fell in love with. What kind of holiday decorating do you like to do?

All my favorites!

funny little santa from before I was born!

I wish I had 1000 of these!

Partying- Pumpkin Style!

This past weekend I hosted a little party. The Second Annual Punkin’ Potluck Par-tay to be exact. The point of this soirée is to get together with a few friends and family members before the holidays and enjoy each other’s company and, umm, gorge ourselves on all things pumpkin!

Pumpkin Fun!

I kept the party of little smaller this year but there was no shortage of pumpkin deliciousness! My friends outdid themselves! And almost everyone made an effort to bring something vegan, even though there were only three actual vegans at the party.

I made a main, savory dish, the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions from Veganomicon. This dish is always a hit with vegans and omnis. I made it for a yoga potluck once and people were freaking out about how good it was! I made this last year for the Punkin Par-tay too and guests were anticipating it again this year. I couldn’t disappoint. Plus, I made an extra smaller dish of it so I’d be sure to have leftovers the rest of the week.

so much fun!

I also made a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting (veganizing a recipe I found online using a box of spice cake mix), chocolate pumpkin cupcakes (recipe from Cupcakes and Kale) and pumpkin scones.

cuppies!

The guests brought an array of awesome: pumpkin-cream cheese-chocolate brownie bites, pumpkin cranberry cookies, and chocolate spice cake with the most insane chocolate icing that tasted like chocolate donut icing! There was a pumpkin brownie cheesecake, and my mom made a lovely Autumn Harvest soup that had pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Another friend brought some homemade spicy pumpkin butter! And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other stuff I’m forgetting!

super creamy!

I served hot apple cider (spiked with Buttershots and, I swear, it tastes just like a caramel apple!), and the Great Pumpkin Martini made another appearance. Although, without the spooky friends hanging on the side of the glass.
I had so much fun noshing all afternoon on pumpkin goodies. Can’t wait to do it again next year!