Taking a Step Back

Friday, May 16, 2014

At the end of this month, I'm moving home to live with my Mom.  My boyfriend is coming with me and the crazy thing is that this was all his idea!  It's funny how you think moving out and being on your own is going to make you a grown up and in the end it's almost more grown up to move back and save money.

We realized that living in Boston is no way to save for a house and I really don't want to put any more of my hard earned dough in someone else's pocket so back to Mom's it is.  It would be an adjustment if it was just me but it's even MORE of an adjustment adding a third person.  It's going to take a little while to figure out who's stuff goes where and how everyone is going to get their own space and I'll do some more updates on how that's going.

Now I'll finally have enough space and light to start a container garden :)

To be honest, I think it's going to be fun.  My mom and boyfriend love each other and the especially love partnering up and torturing me and it will be great for my dog because she'll finally have a yard to run around in.  In the long run it is most definitely the best idea because we will hopefully be able to buy our own place and start on my multifamily real estate empire within a year or so!

Sometimes you need to take a step back to take a step forward.  Fingers crossed!

PS Yesterday was my little munchkin's 5th birthday so I have to include some pictures of her :)

(Re)connecting With Friends

Monday, May 12, 2014

As I sit here making the hotel reservation for a good friend's wedding, I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have such a great group of people around me.  Friends are so important and so many of us take having them for granted.  I'm sure you've all gotten the following advice in some form:

Don't neglect your friends when you're in a relationship.  

It seems easy enough, right?  It's hard!  It's especially hard if your significant other doesn't live near you or isn't really part of your already existing friend group.

Newsies - Best Show Ever

You're probably saying that you would never do that.  Trust me, I said the same thing and it still happened.  I started dating someone right after college and it was sort of long distance for over two years.  I felt so secure in my relationships with my friends because we had just spent all of college together.  But time moves fast, and before you know it, you've neglected to keep up those relationships and it's hard to get back to where you were.  Friendships take work and give and take and I definitely have learned it the hard way.

It's important to do activities with your friends.  Like building gingerbread houses with glue guns

It's taken me a while (years! so don't make the same mistake) but I feel like I'm finally getting back to where I was when I graduated from college.  I'm also fortunate enough to have a wonderful boyfriend who fits right in with all of them.  They may actually like him more than they like me!

With the summer coming up, and your schedule filling up quick, make sure to put aside some time for your good friends!  You're never going to regret it.

An oldie but a goodie - Sunrise on graduation day

Obscure Holiday Friday - Roast Leg of Lamb Day?

Friday, May 9, 2014

So for my second installment of Obscure Holiday Friday, we celebrate.. well.. apparently it's Roast Leg of Lamb Day. Truly an obscure holiday.  So in that spirit, here is one of the highest rated recipes I could find.

Because this is no cooking blog, I can't really do a whole post on lamb so I'll go into what it reminds me of instead.  When I was 16 I went on a trip to Ireland with my Mom and Dad because that is where my father came from.  We spent a full two weeks driving around the country seeing all the sights and visiting relatives I had never met.  (we even met a few of my Aunt's pets)  The very first place I ever had lamb was at my Aunt's house in County Clare and it. was. AMAZING.  I would go back there at a moment's notice if I had the chance.  Maybe someday I will.

It truly was a wonderful trip and I feel like I got to know my father so much better after seeing where he had come from.  He passed away a little over a year later so those really are some of my favorite memories.  He was quite a unique man and maybe one day I'll write about him a little more.  In the meantime, here is some flashback Friday for you.

And not to be forgotten, to the moms!  Here is my Mom (and bestie) saying Happy Mother's Day to all.  (yes I know I already used this photo but I love it so much and it drives her so crazy that I had to use it again) Have a fantastic weekend!

Learning to Count to 5 and Other Lessons

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

There are a lot of important lessons that you learn as you grow up.  You're taught to save money and be respectful and be kind and that's really just the tip of the iceberg.  For me, the hardest lessons have been learned over the past 15 months.

I've always been outspoken and have always been firm in what I believe to be right and wrong.  But I've never realized just how stubborn and stuck in my ways I already am at 28.  Living with someone will definitely show you those parts of yourself that you weren't totally aware of.  Living with your boyfriend in a 415 square foot STUDIO apartment will show you those parts of yourself in a matter of days.

Let me just start by saying that I love my boyfriend very much and we're so similar that sometimes it's scary.  However, spending 15 months together in a tiny space has a way of highlighting the differences in how we approach different situations and how much work a relationship can really be.  Adjusting to accommodating someone else is never easy and here are some of the lessons I've learned (and am still trying to perfect).

Who could stay mad at this face :)

1) Count to five before you speak.  The wrong remark or the right remark with the wrong attitude can spark an argument or be conveyed in a less than desirable way.

2) Learn to pick you battles strategically.  Just because you've always done some trivial thing - like loading the dishwasher - a certain way doesn't mean you need to tell/harp on/nag your significant other or roommate to follow your lead.  You can adjust to a new way of doing things.  Sometimes the adjustment is long and painful but it's the best thing in the long run.

3) You do not always need to be right.  Correcting what someone says or does and getting the last word should not be the most important thing.  The most important thing is getting along and being happy and living a stress free life.  There is no need to add stress if you don't have to.

4) Keep open lines of communication.  This home belongs to both of you and both of you need to feel comfortable in it all the time.  If you keep your emotions and feeling inside then you will eventually resent the other and at that point it's much harder to come back from it.  NOTE: When keeping an open line of communication, please refer to lessons number 1, 2, and 3 :)

Travel Bucket List

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I've always had a desire to travel but I was never one of those die hard travelers.  My boyfriend and I watched the Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Sunday and it's got me all fired up and wanting to go everywhere I possibly can.  Has anyone seen that?  The cinematography and music combo is enough to make you want to quit your job and hop on a plane to Iceland immediately.

My 3 trips out of the country were to Belize for vacation, Bahamas for vacation, and Ireland to visit family. While I love the beachy vacations, I'm a huge fan of vacations with lots of sightseeing and activities. I'd say my top 10 (in no particular order) places I want to go are:

New Zealand
South Africa
The Grand Canyon

Because I haven't been to any of those places yet, I have no pictures!  So here are some pictures from our trip to Belize last year.

We went during the rainy season and these storms would just pop out of nowhere and then be gone within 10 minutes.  Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world and you can see the waves breaking on it in the distance.

Happy to be out of the office!

The roads aren't great so people bike everywhere.

Obviously I had to get a shot with my feet in it, right?
(Correction.  Those are my boyfriend's feet!  We had a good laugh about that one)

Sunset on the plane ride home :(  Until next time!

She's Baaaack!

Friday, May 2, 2014

So I took quite a long hiatus(and I had only just started!).  Sorry about that.  I feel like I really want to dedicate a significant amount of myself to this and so I took some time off to think and to gather myself.  This is really a learn as you go sort of thing and I'm excited to keep going.

The month or so since I last posted didn't feel very exciting and so I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to post about.  But the more I look around and the more I take time to just slow down and think, the more I realize that there is always something exciting and something challenging going on.  So much always seems to be changing and I'm going to try to slow down more often and appreciate that life itself is exciting and an adventure.

Take right now for example.  I'm expecting two fairly major changes to happen in the next month or so and both of them will require a significant adjustment.  But in the meantime, there are so many fun things along the way.  Last night I celebrated the engagement of two great friends.  I'm going to start riding horses again. (Yay!) This weekend will include some quality family time. The weather is finally getting warm enough to spend a good amount of time outside and I'm just generally happy, healthy, have great people around me, and I don't have much to complain about.

 I promise I won't leave for this long again!  This weekend I'm going to be taking a blogging e-course and will be back Monday with great ideas and posts for days :)

Just for fun, here are two of the most delicious things I can think of.  
Salted caramels and roast beef on a toasted onion roll. mmmm
Happy Friday!

Obscure Holiday Friday - National Puppy Day

Friday, March 21, 2014

That link will provide you with a significant amount of cuteness.  Far more than you'd need in a single day.

I've decided that my Friday tradition will be to touch on the obscure holidays that most people don't know about.  Some of them are a little weird but the ones today aren't that strange.  Today is also Memory Day, Single Parents Day, and Common Courtesy Day.  While all of those are nice, Puppy Day was the clear winner to focus on.

This is my little one when she was a puppy.

I am a huge advocate for adopting.  I know that some families need specific dogs because of allergies and obviously that's a very valid concern and reason to buy a dog from a breeder.  Don't get me wrong, breeders are very important to furthering dog breeds and it is everyone's prerogative to get their puppy where they want.  There are just SO MANY dogs that need adopting. alone is filled with hundreds of thousands of animals that need homes and there are so many others that aren't even listed. 

She fell asleep on my lap when we took her home.  She was so tiny!

My little one came from Georgia.  Her mother was a stray and was caught in a cage that was set up as a trap by animal control.  She had her litter of 6 puppies in there and they were there for 2 days before the trap was checked.  Luckily, they were all very healthy and were put up for adoption.  I think it was destiny that this puppy and I found each other.  We put in our adoption application less than 24 hours after the listing went up and got first pick of the litter.

Trouble from day one

I know people say this about their kids, but I really can't imagine my life without her!  She is a real nut and puts a smile on my face every day.

So, go get a puppy!  They are hard work but worth every last second if you train them correctly.  And I promise that no one will ever be happier to see you than your dog will.

Do you have a dog?  Did you adopt?
What is the funniest thing your dog has done?

The start of something wonderful!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring.  Oh my goodness.

It's here!!  I was beginning to think it would never arrive.  So I really like to consider myself someone that looks on the bright side but even I was getting preeetty sick of winter.  This just makes me think of all the things that I want to do outside.

This includes

Beachin It


and Baseball!!

Once it hits 60 up here in chilly MA I don't want to spend a single day inside.  In the meantime, I'm going to fill the cold void with fresh flowers, and bright colors.  

What are you most excited about for the warm weather?  
Are there any spring/summer traditions that you have?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So I feel like lately when I'm sitting in my cube at work, I've been daydreaming.  Thinking that there's got to be something more than cube life.  Maybe that's why I started this blog.  I don't mean that I started it to someday make money and be able to work outside of an office.  It's more of an outlet.  Maybe if I daydream here then it will be easier to put that away and focus at work.  So get ready for me to daydream here :)

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all really be what we wanted when we grew up?  For as long as I can remember, all I've ever wanted to do is ride horses.  My dreams were of owning my own, riding every day of the week, and being in the Olympics.  Obviously the Olympics is not something that's going to happen because the amount of money that you need to compete at that level is crazy.  Instead of going into a career with horses, I decided that making money in another career and owning horses on the side was my best bet.  Somewhere along the way, riding became too expensive and I stopped taking lessons and I can't even begin to describe how much I miss it.  My plan is to start riding again this summer.  I truly feel like it's a part of me and I don't feel right without it.

In the meantime I'm going to keep working and saving so that someday I can wake up to this!

What did you want to be when you were little?
Are you working in your dream job?

Walking slightly faster than normal

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm actually excited to go for my run today!  I've been doing the Couch to 5K program because every time I've run in the past I end up with injuries like shin splints or plantar faciitis.  I'm starting week 7 and so far so good.  I've actually been struggling with plantar faciitis for more than 18 months and between the foam rolling, stretching and the night splint I wear to bed I'm almost completely pain free. Everyone with that pesky heel pain should get a foam roller.  They're only $20 and are worth every single penny

My nemesis and best friend all in one 

My hope is to do a 5K with my friend in April. She JUST had a baby so this may be my only time to keep up with her because I am absolutely the slowest runner in all the land.  My sisters and mom love to share stories of trying to teach me to move my legs faster or hoping the first baseman dropped the ball so I would have an opportunity to get on base in little league. I'm pretty sure people walk faster than I run and I'm fine with that.

For now I'm perfectly happy with running at my own pace and being injury free.  I'm just going to grab my dog, go for a run and enjoy the fact that winter is almost over!

Have a fantastic day!

Family Time

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I just started this blog and I've already started slacking on my posts.  Sorry!  We've had some family things going on and that is why I haven't posted.  My three sisters and I spent about 16 hours at the hospital on Thursday while my mom was having surgery.  We found out a few months ago that she had breast cancer and this is the first step to make sure that the doctors get rid of it. 

Don't tell my mom I posted this :)
There were a couple of issues throughout the day.  One of the surgeons had an emergency in the morning and so the surgery was pushed off a few hours.  This made my mom very nervous and it caused her to have some heart issues which made the doctors think the surgery may have to be postponed.  Luckily everything worked out and at 2 AM she finally made it into a room was happy the first part was all over.

I have a VERY close family.  I have 3 sisters who were in high school when I was born and so at this point they all have families and kids and I have nieces and nephews running around everywhere.  I feel so lucky to have them and my mom is like my best friend.  I talk to her every day and can tell her anything.  Not everyone has that sort a relationship with their parents and so I never ever take that for granted.  

Well I'm off to the hospital to visit her.  Enjoy the beautiful weather!  Spring is almost here :) 

Make sure you have your sunglasses!

Mexican Food, I love you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I really LOVE Mexican food. To be perfectly honest, if I had to choose one kind of food to eat forever, it would be Mexican for sure.  I especially love eating it with a friend you haven't seen in a long time.  Today starts my journey to be a better friend.

I always feel like I need to ask everyone around me if it's ok to order fajitas.  They take up so much room! It's like - oh I need 4 plates to eat my one meal so you better move yours over.  No.  I can't be that rude.  So I ask, and everyone always looks at me funny like when you ask someone if you can use the bathroom.  Of course you can.

I got enchiladas instead.  whoops!

The other great thing about Mexican food is that inspires me to get up at 5:45 in the morning and work out so that I can eat more Mexican food.

This little face in the morning also helps me get out of bed.

Get outside and enjoy the heatwave today!  It's going to get cold and snowing again before it turns warm for good.  Hopefully March turns into a lamb sooner rather than later.  I can't even express my excitement for warmer weather.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Yikes!  This feels like one of those times where you're with a bunch of people you don't know and you're supposed to say your name and and adjective with the same letter.  Too bad there's always so many M names and I'm usually at the end so I end up with something weird like musical (I can't play an instrument to save my life) or medieval.. what?

My Fella

  Well I don't know that I can pick one adjective to describe myself or this blog.  This isn't really a fashion or fitness or food or how to/diy blog.  It's just sort of me, living a normal life, dealing with normal things, trying to get by and be happy.  I'd say happy consists of a mix of family, friends, my dog, food, working out, getting outside, some other variables, and binge watching TV shows like House of Cards and Friday Night Lights (Tim Riggins <3)

I really do torture this poor little thing

I feel like this blog should be sort of a - you're not alone - type thing.  I deal with loans and rent and rosacea and family things trying to keep up a good exercise schedule and trying to eat healthy and just normal, every day stuff.  This is a place to work through all of that together. Sometimes I'll have tips for you and sometimes it may be the other way around.
My favorite blogs that I read are ones that make me feel like I'm visiting a friend, so here's to making new friends!

I do love friends!

My mom on her 70th Birthday

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