Weekend Preview

It has already been ridiculously fun. Heading to Busch Gardens this morning and maybe Colonial Williamsburg tomorrow.


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Picture Post: Umstead Park

Last weekend, we did a family photo shoot at William B. Umstead State Park. I’m thinking about going there for hikes in the future, as they have plenty of longer trails just a few miles from my house.  Why haven’t I been before now?!

Here are some photos that I took that didn’t have people in them:









Happy trails!


Have you discovered anything new in your town lately? What is the coolest thing you can do close to your home?


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Wasted Time


I shouldn’t be so hard on myself for wasting time.  Specifically the time I spent unemployed this summer. I could have been doing so much in the way of working toward growing a business and getting out of education!

I know I can’t get that time back and that I should use these feelings toward using my time more wisely in the future.  It’s depressing to be low on cash and unemployed.  I get that and I know that it affected me in a big way this summer.

But next time, I know that I can look at the same situation and turn it into something a little more productive. Promising myself to be different is enough for now.

Do you beat yourself up about wasted time? What’s your biggest reason for losing that time?



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Weekend Adventures

I had a nice, relaxing weekend. Well, we still stayed pretty busy, but it’s quite the switch from our norm to not go at 1000 mph. We’ve not experienced a real weekend since wedding season started.  To start the weekend, we had a small family photo shoot on Saturday that involved some hiking — awesome, because I miss the woods.


Oh, and I ran 3 miles that morning. I ended up burning over 1000 calories that day. Insanity.

On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at O’Malley’s with some friends.  That actually translates into lunch for several hours, but who’s counting?

Last night, I was pulling my hair out due to a ridiculous homework assignment. One of those where they expect you to find information through a convoluted set of steps when you could really just Google correctly to find the right answer in five seconds… you know the kind.  Anyway, boyfriend poured me a glass of wine and then went on an “errand” that turned out to be picking up my favorite dish in the world for me — spaghetti and meatballs.  He really is a keeper.

It’s nice to get back into a regular semi-relaxing routine.  I’m sure that by the time wedding season restarts, I will be more than ready for it.  Until then, this seems like a nice routine to adopt. I just have to remember how to not be so busy.

Next weekend: Busch Gardens!

What did you do this weekend?

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Picture Post: Autumn in the Garden


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October 9, 2014 · 10:09 pm

Picture Post: State Farmer’s Market

Last Thursday, on my day off, I decided I needed a little bit of healing in my life. If I’ve had a particularly lame week, nothing soothes me like going to the State Farmer’s Market. I only bought $30 worth of stuff, which got me quite a few deals — Bay tree sproutling, two small pumpkins, six pack of arugula, snap dragons, coconut oil, huge things of cinnamon and cloves, a bag of muscadine grapes and four McIntosh apples.

They’ve always got tons going on, and that day was no different:

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Autumn at OZ

Have I ever told you that I live in the coolest state in the country? Even though I love West Virginia, North Carolina is a definite upgrade. There is so much cool stuff to do here, like go to an abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park for a day.

Photo Oct 05, 12 25 57 PM

After The Color Run on Saturday morning, Mikey and I went to go shoot a wedding until 8 p.m. Since we like to cram our weekends with all sorts of things (we haven’t had a whole weekend to just sit around in months), we left Sunday morning to meet our friends at Beech Mountain in the far reaches of western North Carolina. Guys, it took four hours to get there.  We left at the ass crack of dawn.  You all should know that is not my time of day.  Even though my job requires it of me, I am still not good at it. It required lots of coffee (hers) and Monster (his), but eventually we made it. We met Jim and Traci in the parking lot, and after running back to various cars for forgotten things like tickets and scarves, we finally made it into the line for tickets. Then the line for the bathroom. Then the line for the ski lift.  Then the line to get into the park. This place was decidedly not made for all of the people that wanted to see it.  That’s a good thing, since it will stay lucrative enough to stay open in the future.

Photo Oct 05, 1 33 36 PM

Since Traci is afraid of heights, we thought the best course of action would be to take the ski lift. She said she lost feeling in her hands due to the grip on the bar.  That was my first time on a lift and my only real trouble was getting on and off the chair.  I’m just not that coordinated.

Photo Oct 05, 1 28 32 PM

Once we finally got into the park, it led us through the whole plot of the movie.  We walked into Dorothy’s house before the storm, which lead through a storm tunnel to the house after the storm.  It was one of those lopsided houses that messes with your equilibrium.  Quite awesome. Then we walked along the yellow brick road through all of the best parts (meeting all of the characters, being afraid of the wicked witch, etc). 

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My friends and I had a ball. We laughed about how Traci looked like the Unabomber (she did), I was constantly given condolences for the death of my sister in that tragic falling house accident, and we made ridiculously inappropriate jokes the whole way through.  Nope, no alcohol was involved, but we seriously thought about it. I’m pretty sure every family surrounding us thought we were wasted anyway. 10358550_368073183347298_2516771880384436241_nPhoto Oct 05, 2 49 36 PMPhoto Oct 06, 4 44 39 PM Photo Oct 05, 2 49 14 PM Photo Oct 05, 2 49 27 PM     What I liked: Having an awesome group to go with — that really made the trip. If they hadn’t been there, I would have had a way different experience. They had hot cider, which was a definite plus since it was so cold. The view was amazing and the ski lift was fun.  There was enough diversion while waiting for them to call your number for entrance to Dorothy’s house that we really didn’t notice being inconvenienced.  The actors were superb in spite of freezing. What I didn’t like: I wish they had done a creepy Halloween theme.  There is so much potential there that was wasted.  Maybe they could do a family weekend and then a messed up, horror-themed weekend.  At any rate, just one weekend of being open a year is not enough. It was super crowded. We also missed the petting zoo, which I was a little sad about. I also wish we had more time to explore Boone and the other surround towns and attractions.  Soon! Take away: This is a wonderful experience that everyone must try — especially the fans. I loved this trip, but I think this is a once off.  Maybe I will go back once I have little kids. I’m definitely recommending this to my sister and her kids.

Have you ever experienced the Land of Oz? What’s the weirdest day trip you’ve ever taken?

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Color Run: RTP

Photo Oct 04, 7 51 17 PM

This morning I ran my second 5k ever. The first was the NPS Birthday Virtual Run back in August.

Everyone is doing them now, so to me 5k races aren’t anything like, say, running a marathon. My friend, Alex, is running a marathon and raising money for a really great cause (seriously, check her out). Next to something like that, running a 5k and expecting congratulations for it is like sneezing on a page and expecting a Pulitzer Prize.

That said, I had a freakingblast at The Color Run. My friend, Amber, and two of her buddies from Fayetteville were on a team called the ‘Spirit Animals’.  That name came from this trip and the fated meeting where Amber and I essentially became each other’s spirit animals.  The fact that she and I are probably the only people who have ever said that to each other only further validates our claims.

What I liked: Meeting two new buddies and running with my friend Amber was the coolest.  This event was also great for people watching. There was a definite feeling of “We Are All Here to Party — Don’t Be So Serious” that I really got into. This was my fastest 5k time since The Great “Use Of Fitness To Avoid MyCrumbling Marriage” movement of 2012, which is nothing to sneeze at. Amber ended up forgetting some items that she had purchased and, while they couldn’t find the originals, were more than willing to part with some extra merch in order to please a paying customer.  That deserves major kudos.

What I didn’t like: I did not like how commercialized it was. And since I don’t like people commanding me to be happy through blatant/subliminal messaging, their marketing strategy rubbed me the wrong way. The word “happy” was pasted all over everything.  I was really afraid they were going to play that awful Pharrell song nonstop to make sure that I was going to be happy whether I liked it or not, but thankfully they withheld. In addition, I wish they gave at least a portion of their intake to a charity (believe me, the amount of swag being sold is ridiculous and they can afford to give some of it away for a tax break).  Finally, it was a little creepy to have several thousand people in one place all wearing the same uniform of white shirts and black shorts/yoga pants. It looked a little cult-y. Most of all, Next time I do a run with airborne cornstarch, I will most definitely wear an industrial grade respirator.

Take Away: In short, we got doused in technicolor cornstarch and had a pretty good time. I ended up PR-ing and making new friends — you really can’t beat that.Photo Oct 04, 8 57 20 PM

Have you experienced The Color Run? What is the coolest 5k you’ve ever run?

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Health Update


Starting Weight: 185 lbs
This Weigh-in: 170 lbs

I know that losing 15 lbs in a year is no big whoop.  There are great weight loss success stories out there that have taken only a few months.  I think I got caught up in the idea that I could do it too, while balancing two jobs and lots of side projects.  As it turns out, this journey has taught me that I am not that kind of person.

My goal was to be down to 150 lbs by this time, which is kind of disappointing, as I am still 20lbs away from that. However, I can tell you that the amount of cheeseburgers in my life directly correlates with my general feelings of happy on certain days, and that’s a reason. Yesterday, I was super distraught and had a delightful 750 calorie lunch that did actually make me feel better at the time. Instead of a cheeseburger or pizza, it was hummus with pita bread and a salad.  I’m working on this, guys.  So with these facts in mind, it was kind of ridiculous to assume I would be down that far by now.  Realism is my biggest takeaway in the last 6 months.

My biggest help with the last few pounds was going to Hawaii.  That was my own personal fat camp.  We hiked/walked so much that I burnt about 1000 calories a day, which helped because sometimes I really splurged with food.  I lost 3 lbs on that trip and wondered if I should start leading hikes for a living instead of menial desk jobs.

With that in mind, my upcoming goal is to have lost 1o more pounds by February 2015.  I already know that I can handle that — I’ve already done it once. If I can manage that, I will be down to 160 lbs by February — the lightest I’ve been since undergrad (six years). I remember writing the last post and it feels like 160 is way more attainable than it was last time. What a wonderful feeling.

Things I’ve been doing right: Realism, excluding bacon from cheeseburgers (not that big of a deal after all), cutting alcohol intake, not eating the whole dish laid in front of me (last night with a restaurant-sized plate of spaghetti and meatballs — the struggle was real), learning to identify about how many calories are in something by sight, ordering things other than cheeseburgers in certain restaurants, running/exercise of some sort 5-6 days a week.

Things I still need to work on: Eating my feelings, drinking Coke Zero (still bad for you), assuming dessert is a right and not a privilege, trying not to weigh myself every day, keeping up with body measurements, not eating out as much, making workouts more fun so I won’t dread them like humans are wont to do.

Are you on a weight loss journey? What are your strengths and pitfalls? Are you also having a torrid love affair with cheeseburgers? let me know!

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Content Warning: Name Calling on the Job


It’s pretty normal for me to be yelled at on a weekly basis at my job.  Okay, people experience that.  It isn’t that abnormal.  But not everyone is called was fucking bitch at their job yesterday, like me.

Except teachers. And people that work retail (Oh, Borders <3)

I could go on and on about disrespect and ‘kids these days’. But who has the time for that? And I’ve already talked about how disappointing it is when a career path doesn’t work out.

I just wanted to point out that in the large scope of employment in this country, that shouldn’t be happening.  Retail and education are tough.

Change needs to happen for me (for everyone really). I’m contemplating new options that will get me out of this situation faster.  I’ll keep you posted.


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