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Treat Yourself Tuesday

I am suuuuper excited to be linking up for Treat Yourself Tuesday today with my lady Becky, who recently moved to Florida!! Around this time last year, we were getting ready to visit her in Chicago…can’t wait for our next Blend trip to sunny Florida ;) Preferably during the winter months! #justsayin

Anyway, every Tuesday in this little blogosphere we ladies (and fellas) come together to share how we have treated ourselves lately. I love reading through Becky’s post to see what fabulous things people have been doing. She puts it best:

“Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!”

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Birthday Week in Photos

Thank you for all your birthday wishes on my last post! I enjoyed putting it together and hope my eternal optimism and “YAY LIFE” musings weren’t too obnoxious to read ;)

Rather than posting a “Weekend in Photos” post, it seemed more appropriate to highlight my whole birthday week…because I seriously did celebrate all week long! I also need to give a specific shout out to my kick-ass boyfriend Russell, who deserves about 12 million high fives for being a champ and making sure I had the best week ever. And for making me stay up on Tuesday night to drink wine right at midnight even when I just wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV. ;) I’m a lucky girl!

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New Years in Oregon

My 26th Year in Photos

Today, I turned 26. This time last year, I wrote about how I was working through what I called my “quarter life crisis”.

During most of 2013, I was deeply unsatisfied with several aspects of my life. Luckily my ongoing health issues started to clear up…But after I ended a relationship which had been unhappy for far too long, I was left facing the fact that I hated my job.

It affected every aspect of my life. I was an administrative assistant at a small, under-performing lobbying firm, and I felt underutilized, like my brain was stagnating. To make matters worse, I had a supervisor who knew I didn’t want to be there — and didn’t want me there either.

In what should have been an extremely difficult period, I spent approximately 10 weeks unemployed. But unlike my unemployed post-college phase, this was about opportunity and carving my own path. I created endless To-Do lists, interviewed for several positions, worked at Macy’s for 2 days (ha), and began training for my first half marathon.

On January 15th, I began my new job — a full-time, paid, 6-month internship at a well-respected public affairs firm. 9 months later, I have grown, gotten a contract extension, learned, failed, succeeded, and last month I was offered a full-time position with the firm. I could not be happier about where I landed.

I’m very aware of the fact that none of my successes of the last year would mean nearly as much if they didn’t happen after epic failures. Having a job I love means so much more knowing firsthand how miserable it is to dread going to work every day. Being in a healthy, functioning relationship feels so much better knowing how emotionally draining a dysfunctional one can be.

I am 100% certain that I have created my own happiness this year. And it’s all because I’ve lived by the philosophy I described in last year’s birthday post: Do what makes you happy. Don’t do what is safe. Don’t do what is expected of you. Hell, don’t even do what’s responsible. Do what will bring you satisfaction, be it temporary or long-lasting.

My original intent was to post a photo from each month of my 26th year…I narrowed it down to about 15. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Pre-Birthday Weekend in Photos

There are no words to describe the gratitude I’m feeling for my loved ones after this weekend. I think it and say it all the time, but it’s true: I’m the luckiest girl!

My 26th birthday is in a couple of days (yep I’m a baby!), and unlike last year when I had a big ol’ neon themed pub crawl to celebrate early, this year I have been a little more low key about my plans. 26 just doesn’t seem as cool as 25, right? 25 was the last milestone age — now that I can rent a car, what else is left?!

I may not have had anything big on the radar, but I quickly learned on Friday evening that there were other plans in store for my pre-birthday weekend… Continue reading

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Fitness Friday – Nike Women’s Half Marathon Training Plan

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Some of you will remember that back when I signed up for my first half marathon, I was pretty anal about creating a training plan and following it. I created my plan some 14 weeks before my actual race. I not only followed that plan all 14 weeks…I kicked its ass. I only had 3 10+ mile runs originally planned, and I ended up doing 6. (Let’s ignore the fact that I totally botched my original training plan and left out 2 full weeks, haha. Even so, I progressed much more quickly with my long runs than anticipated!)

This time is going to be a little bit different. I am just over 5 weeks out from the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco, and not only have I have not stuck to a specific plan, but I’m also nowhere near the mileage I was at at this point last time.

However, there are a few differences this time around. Continue reading

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Best Buddies Challenge-Hearst Castle Recap

As you all know, I participated in the Best Buddies Challenge at Hearst Castle this past weekend. I completed a 30 mile (untimed) ride, and it was one of the hardest physical challenges I’ve ever completed.

Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities, such as Downs Syndrome and other similar conditions. Best Buddies Challenge serves as a way for people to raise money for the cause while actually participating in an event where they can be alongside Buddies, sharing the experience together.

I learned about the BB Challenge through my office, who is a sponsor of Team Maria. Team Maria was founded by and is led by Maria Shriver, whose brother Anthony Shriver founded Best Buddies. Every year, Team Maria accumulates one of the larger teams at the event, which consists of 100, 62, 30, and 15-mile bike rides. This year, our team raised over $250,000!

I knew that it would be a challenge for me to complete the ride, being that I had never ridden a road bike and the furthest I’d ever ridden my beach cruiser was 11 miles back when I was slowly scoping out my first half marathon course. Continue reading

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August Goals — Check-in

So about those goals I made last month

I promise I’ve had this post ready for almost a week, but just haven’t had the time to add pictures until now. (Like you needed any more signs that I’m a photo taking queen…)

Normally today I’d be posting pictures of my weekend. I had one hell of a weekend at the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, complete with dinners, barbecues, a VIP party at Hearst Castle…oh yeah, and a 30 mile bike ride down the Pacific Coast Highway. But it definitely warrants its own post, which is forthcoming :)

Til’ then, check out how I did on this month’s goals:

1. Go to at least 2 Spin classes and on at least 2 long bike rides

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Homemade Frozen Chicken Burritos

Hold the phones, people. I am posting a RECIPE!!

Back when this blog was born, I was pretty much posting at least one recipe a week, with very few posts dedicated to fitness and even FEWER dedicated to running any distance further than 2 miles. Oh how things have changed

To tell you the truth, when I started blogging, I was working a job that wasn’t extremely demanding time or energy-wise, and I actually had enough spare time some days to write or read blogs at work, or at least browse Pinterest for recipe ideas. I was also living at home with my parents in those early blogging days, where I had access to a much better stocked kitchen.

So when I got home from work, I was stoked to test out the recipes I had seen that day, or experiment with whatever I had in the kitchen.

However, as I’ve expressed before, lately all I have the strength or ambition to muster up for dinner when I get home is a plate of cheese and crackers with some green stuff (sometimes) and a glass of wine. Continue reading

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Bipolar Weekend in Photos

Looking back on my weekend, I feel like it was a little bipolar.

Spent Friday at work eating cookies and champagne (long story) and Friday evening eating all.the.tacos… then spent Saturday morning running 8 miles.

Spent Saturday night dressed up and drinking wine and pink cocktails with the girls…then spent Sunday drinking beer at a football game.

I think weekends like this are extremely indicative of me and my interests…AKA all over the place ;) Continue reading