Happy March 1st! Today begins the month-long celebration that is my birthday, one which I share with Chuck Norris.
This one is kind of big year for me, so I plan to celebrate all month long – I will have a lot to post about this month . Unlike last month which was kind of lame for me. Sorry friends, but there a couple of things I wanted to catch you up on from last month.
First things first: my photobook came! And it is glorious. I’m seriously impressed with the printing job (Mypublisher in case you’re looking for a good consumer printer). Here is one more screenshot I can share:
Next, this past week in York was Restaurant Week! I had hoped to make it out more than once, but I am proud to share that I convinced some of my coworkers to join me at Leftbank for lunch one day. I’m proud because we’re an eat-at-your-desk-alone bunch, so Restaurant Week was a great excuse to spend some time with people I really enjoy. I ordered the special: the salmon cake BLT. It reminded me of a softshell crab sandwich: YUM. PS Mom – we should definitely add bacon to our softshell crab sandwiches this summer
Last thing: voting has begun for your York favorites. Actually, I’m pretty late with this post and it ends on March 3rd! You can vote for your favs here, but you have to input them yourself. So I’ve compiled a list of favs that I’ve blogged about in the past:
- Event: Taste of York
- Bakery: Just Cupcakes or Copper Crust Company
- French Fries: JR’s Fries
- Donut: Maple Donuts
- Quick Service Lunch: Busy Bee
- Fine Dining: Accomac Inn
- Produce: Dennis Fitz at Central Market
- Pretzel: The Pretzel Twist
- Gift Boutiques: Kimman’s
- Photography: KM Photography
- Winery: Moondancer or Naylor
I’ve probably forgotten a few that I’ve previously blogged about and there are even more that I’ve never blogged about that I do love, but you only need to vote for at least ten categories so there are enough listed to get you started!
Get voting and have a great weekend friends!
Sigh. I’m very impatiently waiting the arrival of my photobook that I told you all about here. I mistakenly thought it was going to be delivered today, but at this hour I think I’m out of luck.
Let me show you why I’m so impatient.
These were some of my layouts from our Colorado trip.
I’m dying to see how these layouts printed.
Layouts that worked with my pics mostly didn’t exist in the publisher I used, so I had to create most of them.
I’m more than a little worried and desperate to see how it all turned out.
I really want to keep momentum going and create a book for 2011, 2010, 2009…
But don’t want to start anything until I see how this one turned out.
For now, I wait. Happy Valentine’s candy on sale day!
I already blogged about how I feel about Valentine’s last year, as well as the reason why we still semi-celebrate: it’s our sort-of official 10 year anniversary (if you don’t count the couple of months we broke up one month after we first got together…). So instead of getting into the commercial holiday blah blah blah of Valentine’s, I just wanted to post this eye candy:
These icing-heavy-wish-I-could-get-my-entire-mouth-around-the-whole-thing-in-one-bite deliciousness are from Just Cupcakes, which I’ve blogged about here, and mentioned here, here, here and here. Hmm…me thinks I have a problem. Today I got the hubs fav and mine: Oreo, which the staff sweetly topped with a candy heart.
Since I first started blogging about them, they’ve moved from Central Market to their own store front just across the street on Philadelphia Street. If you’ve not yet checked them out, get on it. Happy V-day!
I can’t believe it. I just wrote an entire post and it didn’t save. Total rookie mistake. I had started this post yesterday and had all my windows open so I started writing again tonight but apparently I was logged out of my account the whole time. Womp womp. Well I won’t be doing that again anytime soon! But I still wanted to post these pics from our road trip down to Atlanta waaaay back in November that I’ve been mentioning ever since then. So instead of my wonderfully worded post (you’re going to have to trust me on that) I’ll just highlight the pics for you.
First up is the cover of my completed photobook from last year! Remember my goals for this year? One of them was to create a photobook from last year and I’m done! Woo to the hoo.
I loved the layouts from our road trip so much that I grabbed the screen shots from my order. First up is from our our first stop in the Shenandoah Mountains.
We stayed at the Skyland resort, watched a beautiful sunset from an overlook, enjoyed the view of silhouetted trees from our room after the sunset, and had a one-of-a-kind amazingly delicious dinner at their lodge. The resort is located inside the park and is completely isolated from the surrounding towns. The next morning we rose early to hike before the sun rose and then were off to the next stop: Gatlinburg Tennessee.
The pinky purple pic in the middle was the view of the Smokies from our cabin balcony. We spent two days hiking the mountains and loved every minute of it. Sadly we were too late for fall foliage, but instead had some pretty sweet views of icicles down the side of the mountain.
After Gatlinburg, we were back on the road to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. We had a wonderful holiday and it was pretty hard leaving our adorable niece to get back on the road. But we had one more mini-vacation before we got back to PA. We spent one night in Asheville, NC to tour the Candlelight Christmas decorations at the Biltmore Estate.
Sadly, you can’t take pictures inside the estate, but fortunately I can adjust my exposure to get the outdoor shots above. The one on the left was from when we were waiting in line to get inside. I thought it was so cool and eery how the clouds covered the moon above the tower. And the one on the right shows how massive the lit up tree is outside an enormously massive house to begin with.
I’m really sorry this post isn’t more descriptive! I promise to post more when I’m less frustrated with myself. In the meantime I’ll be dreaming of our next “big” vacation, which I still have yet to plan. Suggestions are still welcome Stay safe in the snow tonight!
The weekend before last, on the Saturday before this weather got crazy cold, we went to the alumni game of the AHL Outdoor Classic in Hershey. If you remember from a previous post, I love watching hockey so when Janelle told me she couldn’t use the tickets she had for the game, we were all over it.
The stadium was almost packed and you could tell the alumni were grateful and impressed that so many people came out, some of the alumni had played many decades ago! That in mind, the game wasn’t quite as fast paced as your typical hockey game and sadly the Bears alumni lost. But the best part was when they interviewed the players during the game; they were pretty self-depricatingly hilarious. The entire audience was laughing.
An even better part was that we actually had time to go to Chocolate World and ride the Chocolate ride! The past few times we were there like for the Hershey Half, it was either too crowded or we didn’t have time or it was closed. If you’ve never been there, Chocolate World has a ride (think Small World in Disney) that takes you along the journey of how they make their famous chocolates. If you haven’t been there in a number years, they’ve updated the ride with singing cows and it’s pure awesome sauce.
After the ride is over (which is free by the way) they give you free chocolate too! And it always changes. This time around they were giving out Hershey drops. Most definitely because they’re marketing geniuses and they know you’ll get hooked. And the walkway conveniently leads you right out into the Chocolate World store where you can buy chocolate to your hearts content. We got ourselves a chipwich to share, which is buttercream frosting sandwiched between two Hershey’s chocolate chip cookies, otherwise known as heaven. The hubs may have also purchased a bag full of chocolate candy. And after one night in our house, I may have definitely told him that it will live in his car. And it may be completely gone now.
It’s no secret that I have a hard time keeping up with regular posts on here, especially in January. But this time I have an excuse. A really fun, warm, exhausting and envy-inducing excuse. Last weekend we were in Florida! Remember when I mentioned the hubs was raising money to run for A-T? Well that was this past weekend and it was awesome! We hung out with my old college roomie and her family, who I hadn’t seen in years, and had an overall amazing time.
If you’ve never done a Disney race before, it’s a lot like visiting one of the parks: hurry up and wait. The hubs did the half marathon and the race had around 25,000 people. Can we just stop for a minute and try to imagine 25,000 + their friends and family all trying to accomplish the same task? Needless to say race packet pick up was a madhouse.
This was the line for the t-shirt pick-up and the expo. We went to a separate building to get the actual bib number and timing chip. Let’s just take a look at the line wrapping around behind us:
Insane right? We’ve done this race before, but the last time we did, it was under 20,000 people. I should clarify: I did not do the race this time around.You have to sign up far in advance and I didn’t know how my knee was going to hold up during the Hershey Half I did. Plus this race is not a whole lot of fun for someone that runs an average pace like myself. There are just too many people to fight your way through and you can never get ahead of it. But if you’re Speedy McSpeederson like the hubs, it’s a great race to do…as long as you can get to the start in time.
Sad story: even though the hubs left two hours before the race start, he wasn’t able to get to his starting corral in time. There was just a crush of people and no one was moving. Poor guy started back with the 12-minute mile paced people and passed thousands and thousands of people once he was able to start moving. It greatly affected his time. His first mile was almost double his normal pace because of the shear mass of people he had to get around. Other than that, he had a great race. Probably the adrenaline of passing all those people pushed him to go a little faster the rest of the race.
Another sad story: my camera wasn’t working! I seem to be having problems with it when I need to use the flash. The flash goes off but it won’t let me take a picture – anyone have a clue what’s going on there? Anyway, it was too dark to capture a pic of him finishing with my cell camera. But I did capture this to give you an idea of how dark it was at the finish:
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you – the race started at 5:30 am! Which means for spectators like myself, we’re watching our runners finish before 7 am. I’d say good thing I’m a morning person except that Disney stops running the shuttle buses before the roads close at 5 am! I caught the last bus at 4:45 am! That is well before what even a morning person considers morning. But enough about me, this race was about the hubs. I was so sad I didn’t capture a pic of him finishing. But was pretty excited to capture this pic of him stretching at our hotel after the race:
Done running 13.1 miles all before the sun fully rises. He’s pretty inspiring huh? You know what else was pretty inspiring? The celebration dinner that the A-T Children’s Project put on after the race (if you want to learn more about the organization you can read my post here). We got all gussied up for the celebration:
The organization does such a great job putting on events. They really make you feel like you’re a part of their community and it was really awesome to hear about all of the strides they’ve made in research for a cure. We hadn’t been to an event in a few years, so it was really nice to be updated. The most inspiring thing was hearing that they hope to begin gene therapy testing trials on A-T kids this year.
Another inspiring thing? We met and chatted with a four-time Olympian! AND I watched him finish THIRD out of those 25,000 racers I mentioned before. Talk about inspiring. Hunter Kemper is a tri-athlete (could there be a harder sport?) that has represented the US in the past four Olympics. FOUR people. He is hardcore. And he raced Disney in his “off season” in order to represent A-T. And WON! They interviewed him right after the race and he focused the entire conversation on raising awareness for A-T. He wasn’t even out of breath.
And at the celebration dinner he spent about 15 minutes talking to us (well mostly to the hubs). The coolest thing was he asked all about the hubs’ race. He was really interested in the hubs’ running, only talked about his own running at the hubs request.The hubs picked his brain on training tips and has been implementing them ever since. He was so excited. And in such awe. Imagine how you would act if you met someone who lived your dream. Giddy schoolgirl? Yup.
One last pic – here was the view off of our balcony at Disney’s Yacht Club, overlooking the Boardwalk:
Overall the trip was awesome, with awesome old friends (they’re the best kind right?), new friends, and an Olympian! We wrapped up the trip with visiting my awesome Florida family with my awesome parents, who had also made the trip down to watch the race.
It was an amazing 80 degrees everyday so it’s not been fun adjusting back to the cold. One thing that’s made it easier? Dennis Fitz Produce at Central Market is now carrying delicious Florida strawberries and they’re even better than the ones I had when I was actually in Florida! Seriously. Pick some up if you get the chance.
Resolutions have always had sort of a negative connotation for me. I blogged about it in my first ever blog post and then again in my 2011 Goals (written in March mind you). Setting a resolution on Jan 1st has always seemed unrealistic to me, and this year it’s left me feeling pretty down on myself. I was thinking about everything I wanted to accomplish this year, and since I turn the big 3-0 this year, I felt even more overwrought with all of this things I haven’t accomplished yet.
I was feeling pretty down. So I thought I’d avoid writing this post. I started with checking my email. I got an email from Meetup titled “Unresolutions” with the body saying, “Resolutions are made to be broken. Try these instead.” I was intrigued. Once I clicked through it advertised some of their meetups as the opposite of resolutions. But not necessarily in a bad way. For instance, the first one said, “Cancel your gym membership. Join an Outdoor club meetup.” You can read them all here.
That got my wheels turning. But I still wanted to avoid this post. So then I checked on my 25 Days of Giving page, thinking I needed to update it with all of my days. Turns out I already did that – little win! But I still wanted to avoid this post. So I read through that page and I got to thinking, “Holy crap I really accomplished a lot!” But I don’t feel like I accomplished a lot.
So I thought instead of focusing solely on what I want to accomplish this year, I’d write out everything that I’m currently proud of doing and how I might tweak it in 2013.
- Healthy = Happy. I generally eat really healthy. By healthy I mean the majority of my meals are veggie-focused (even breakfast!). Nine times out of ten my meals are really good for me, and I have really high standards of what is good for me. I do extensive research on food and try to figure out super easy ways to incorporate everything into my diet. I take a daily probiotic and eat spinach EVERY DAY, usually twice a day. But I’m not perfect. And I get really down on myself on that one time out of ten that I’m not making healthy choices, when I should be patting myself on the back for those healthy choices I make nine times out of ten. But I digress, in 2013, I’d like to tweak my eating habits by keeping a food journal. The main reason is because even though I have a healthy diet, I’ve had some digestive issues in the past couple of years and I want to figure out what’s causing them.
- Snappy = Happy. I take a ton of photos. You all know I LOVE taking pictures. I love when people love my pictures. Every single picture on my sister’s family Christmas card this year was taken by me. Do you know how happy that makes me? And my Photo Friday posts have kept me on track with taking a ton more photos and posting them on here. But I take a quadrillion more pics than I actually post. And I don’t do ANYTHING with them. At least not for myself. Once in a blue moon I post them on Facebook. I haven’t even made a photobook or printed pictures for myself since 2008. That’s FIVE years people. Something has got to change. In 2013, I WILL make a photobook of at least 2012. I have already picked out all 745 pictures I want to use. So now I just have to make the book…
- Wordy = Happy. I don’t have to tell you all about my 25 days of consecutive blogging. Though I’ve avoided penning this post, I actually love writing. This blog helps me to write consistently, and y’all have to admit – I got better at doing it consistently last year! I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to keep my Bloggy Mcbloggerson skills fresh, but what I really want to do is write a book. Two books actually. I have several ideas for books, but over the past couple of years I’ve honed in on two that I want to pursue. One is a children’s book and I’m nearly done. The other is a novel, actually that sounds fancy – it’s really chick lit, but either way I’m ashamed to say I haven’t added any pages to it for more than a year. It might even be two years. In 2013, I’d like to focus on pursuing getting the children’s book published and then maybe get back to writing my chick lit.
- My Dog and Exercise = Happy. I do a pretty good job at taking care of a not-so-easy to care for dog. My dog is crazy. Just like people, he needs a certain amount of exercise in order to be healthy, happy, and less crazy. I walk him daily. At least 2 miles. And when I’m training for a race, he runs with me, up 5 miles. It’s all way better than I used to be. A few years back, we were trying to find a trainer to help with our dog’s craziness and I vividly remembering the potential trainer asking how much exercise he gets. I shrugged and said about a mile a day. She looked at me disgusted and told me that was not nearly enough exercise for him. I felt so guilty. Ever since, I’ve made a concerted effort to walk/run him daily at least 2 miles. But lately I’ve been slacking (ever since I was super congested from getting sick). I need to get back into a routine for 2013, and hopefully train for another race. A tired dog = a much happier household.
- Vacations = Way More than Happy. The past few years the hubs has been in new job after new job which equaled very little vacation time. The year before last he had two vacations days. FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. So last year, when he actually had vacation time he was able to use, we went for it. We went to Florida, Colorado Springs and Rocky Mountain National Park, OC (twice!), the Poconos, hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail, and drove to Virgina, Tennessee, and Atlanta (hmm…I still owe you some posts) and I went to NYC one, two, three times! And it was awesome. We’re currently trying to figure out where we want to go in 2013. We know we want to do another big one but we’re not sure where. Suggestions are welcome!
So there are my sort of renovated resolutions or tweaked accomplishments from the past year. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton more goals I’d like to accomplish but I’m also really happy with what I’ve done. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments if you start stressing about your resolutions. 2013 is going to be great, as long as you let it.