Spring Break in Chicago, and Zoo Trips

It’s spring break! This means I (finally) have a one week break from work and class (kind of, I still have homework), and I’m in Chicago visiting my grandparents. Monday was a beautiful day 72 degrees and sunny, and I was stuck in the car driving from Ohio to Chicago, I would have preferred to be running.

By the time we got settled into the hotel, and stopped by my grandparents’ house for a quick hello, I was too tired to think about doing anything other than sleep, so that’s exactly what I did.

Saturday was spent driving to Pittsburgh where my mom and I spent Sunday with my sister. We got to go to the zoo, which was cold, but lots of fun! Also I love animals so it’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

I got to see

Polar Bears20150315_122926

Pink Jellyfish


And majestic penguins! They were my favorite.


I also promised myself that I would run as much as possible on this trip. I’ve only really been back at it for about a week now, and the last thing I want to do is lose my momentum. Luckily the hotel we’re staying at has a fitness room that has everything I need.

While I would prefer to run outside, I have a scarily bad sense of direction that doesn’t go well with new unfamiliar locations. I may have convinced myself that running outside would mean getting horribly lost and going missing. I may or may not be prone to over dramatization.

So far I’ve run twice, and Tuesday I managed to run four miles, before my ankle started acting up and I called it quits. Which is far better than what I’ve been managing recently: two miles in thirty minutes, with lots of walking before I have to call it quits.

I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I’ll be ready for a half marathon at the end of May. As far as my stamina goes, I know it won’t be an issue, but my ankle is another story. As much as I’d rather not, I’ll be taking it slow and holding off a little longer on registering for the Zooma Half.

Do you like zoos? What’s your favorite animal?


Friday Five: A Day In The Life Of MOI!

After a couple weeks off I’m excited to be participating in the Friday Five with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar. This week’s topic? A day in the life of.


I have to admit. I didn’t quite know how to approach this one. I have so much on my plate that each day is different from the last. The only thing that’s consistent is going to work from 9 to 5 and even that isn’t the same on Fridays where I work from 8 to 4 instead.

So I’m going to keep it simple and just go over how Thursday was.

7:00 AM – I spent the night at my boyfriend’s so I have to wake up earlier than normal to get ready for work. My original plan was to wake up at 5:30 so I could go running but after a lengthy debate with my boyfriend the night before, he (somehow) convinced me that getting 7 ½ hours of sleep before a midterm was more important than waking up early enough to go running. He was being so annoying I let him win, but by yesterday evening I was so so glad I took his advice, even if I was annoyed that I couldn’t squeeze in a run.

7:30 AM – I’m out the door to drive to work. I can leave for work at 8 but that means I have to take the ICC and pay $4. If I can leave thirty minutes earlier I can take the back roads that are cheaper, more scenic, but also a little longer.

9-5 – Work! I work for a university as an advisor/recruiter/paper pusher/little bit of everything. I like my job and every day is different. Thursday was very busy, which was good because I didn’t have enough time to worry about my impending midterm.

My work family!
My work family!

5-6 – Rush to Harris Teeter to pick up some healthy munchies, grapes and popcorn, so I won’t be hungry during my midterm, I don’t have a lot of food in the house because I’m trying to eat it all before I leave for Chicago on Saturday, I also knew I wasn’t going to have time to cook dinner so grapes and popcorn it was!

6-9:00 – IT’S MIDTERM TIME!! The midterm was take home, but timed, and we still couldn’t use notes or anything. Despite all my stressing out, once I received it I breathed a sigh of relief, because I knew how to answer every question, my studying paid off! I’m scared to be too confident though, because what if I jinx myself, but I’m pretty sure I did well on it.

8:30-12 – I finished my midterm with 30 minutes to spare, and then it was time to unwind, catch up on the Mindy Project, talk to my boyfriend, do laundry, start packing for Chicago, get started on some more studying that needs to be done, Snapchat with my sister, work on my blog post for today, crochet for a bit because I need to do something that is relaxing and doesn’t involve looking at a screen, look at the clock, freak out because it’s an hour later than I wanted to go to bed, and finally, SLEEP!

I know that’s actually 6 things but I couldn’t fit it all into 5 things! I also don’t know if seeing my entire day spelled out makes me feel more or less stressed…

What munchies would be your favorite picks?

Everything tastes better in a Crepe and Other Life Lessons

It’s been a little bit since I’ve been able to update (not having a working computer makes that a bit difficult) but I’m finally back with a working computer! I know everyone is as excited as I am.

So what exactly have I learned from this unexpected time off from the blog?

1. Working full time, and taking two grad school classes is no joke, and then just add on the fact that my computer was broken so I couldn’t do any homework at home. This has felt like one very elaborate juggle act, is it summer yet?

2. If I never see this screen again in my life I will be a happy woman.


3. Also in the six years since college I have definitely not missed studying for midterms.

At least my study buddies are keeping me company!
At least my study buddies are keeping me company!

4. I really love snow days that create unexpected four day weekends. I have, however, really started to hate the snow.

5. Sprained ankles are the worst, but your first week back at the gym feels amazing!!


6. I have gone a little overboard since my return to running and have started to sign up for every race I can think of…I may need to tone it down a bit.

7. Everything tastes better wrapped in a crepe! I learned how to make crepes and I may or may not have eaten one for lunch and one for dinner yesterday. That’s a crepe filled with avocado hummus, feta, mushrooms and caramelized onions, YUM!

Yes, it is sitting on a textbook. That is my life now.
Yes, it is sitting on a textbook. That is my life now.


8. Games on the rowing machine at the gym make things fun, even if I am not very good at them.


9. White grapefruit doesn’t taste any different from regular grapefruit.


10. Small apples also don’t taste any different from regular sized apple, but they’re MINI, and cute!


11. New running shoes are the best!


12. Wanting to go for a run and then realizing that you left your sports bra at your boyfriend’s, however, is not the best.

13. And lastly, with a midterm coming up on Thursday night what I really should be doing is studying, or sleeping.

Friday Five: Five Races I’m Looking Forward To in 2015

It’s Friday! And I am still without a working computer. Now I know what’s wrong with it, the parts are ordered, and now I’m just waiting for them to be delivered so I can have a working laptop again and be able to start updating this blog more regularly than once a week.

My ankle started acting up badly last weekend, so my plans to get on stationary bike were delayed another week which actually turned out for the best. This week was crazy with work, and trying to squeeze in time to get my work for grad school done. Let’s just say I’m counting down the days until summer break. 89 days left in case anyone was wondering.

That anticipation I have for summer meant that when I saw the topic for the Friday Five this week I knew it was perfect! I’m linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five and this week it’s Five Races to run in 2015.


I’m going to be 100% honest here. I am excited for the 2015 racing season, but does that mean I’ve actually worked out my racing schedule? That would be a definitive no. I’ve barely had time to think about anything past this semester. Plus the fact that I have a Saturday morning class means that I can’t really run any races until the end of the semester.

Still that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few races I’m not looking forward to.

1. The Color Run This is really the only race I’ve decided on officially, although I still need to sign up. I’ve gotten a friend of mine to run this with me, and I am so excited. I’ve never done a color run before but I’ve heard lots of good things.

2. Zooma half marathon or 10k I did the 10k last year and had a blast, I’ll definitely be participating again this year but I’m not sure in which distance. I originally wanted this to be my first half marathon but my ankle is making me nervous. I’ll have to see when I can start training for it. Also did I mention this race has wine? Because it has wine.

Zooma 2014 before it started.

3. Baltimore Women’s Classic I love this race, it’s so supportive, and you get a rose at the finish line! I missed it last year because I sprained my ankle the day before (have we noticed a pattern with my injuries at all?) but I’ll definitely be running it this year.

This was my first race ever. I can't get over how exhausted I look.
This was my first race ever. I can’t get over how exhausted I look.

4. Baltimore Running Festival I did the relay last year, and I am definitely doing the half this year. This will either be my first or second half marathon depending on what happens with Zooma.

Ready to run my leg of the relay!
Ready to run my leg of the relay!

5. Best Buddies 5k This race holds a special place in my heart. Best Buddies is a non profit I worked for for four years and volunteered with for much longer. They had their first 5k last year and it was such an amazing event, so well organized and the volunteers and Best Buddies employees did a great job making sure it was successful. If anyone is looking for another fun 5k to add to their list while helping a great cause this is one to consider.

What races are you looking forward to in 2015?

Friday Five: Things I Love!

I am so so happy that it is Friday. Earlier this week I realized that I hadn’t managed to post anything on here for a little over a week and that it could easily turn into two or three if I wasn’t careful.

It’s not that I have nothing to write about, in fact I have lots of posts that will be coming, hopefully soon. However, my computer decided to die a little over two weeks ago and once that happened it made writing for this blog much more difficult. I usually write at night after work and then post the next day. However, without a working computer that hasn’t been as feasible. I did contemplate writing them on my phone for about 10 seconds, before I reasoned that I hate typing on my phone and seeing as I’m a pretty slow texter it would probably take me 2 hours to write one paragraph on my phone. Not happening.

Anyways, despite all this I knew I had to at least link up for the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia. These are so much fun to write up and I hate to miss them.


This weeks theme is Love, appropriate seeing as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’m still not able to run/work out because of my ankle (Soon though!!) and it’s starting to affect my mood. So I thought I would write about 5 things that I am loving right now to help me think positively

1. The fact that I don’t need to buy a new computer: It’s taking a while to fix it, but my boyfriend says he can fix my computer and if it costs me anything it won’t be more than $100. I am so grateful, since a new computer is definitely not in the budget. The only reason it’s taking so long is that we’re both so busy we’ve barely had time.

2. Podcasts: So I was one of those people that binge listened to Serial over the summer and then after it was over I started looking for podcasts to listen to. Right now I’m hooked on Gilmore Guys, which I’ve talked about a couple times on here, and Don’t Get Me Started.

3. Boots, Apparently: I recently ordered my first pair of real cowgirl boots and when they arrived I squealed! I haven’t gotten a chance to wear them since my ankle is sprained and the brace I’m wearing won’t fit in them. I also went to Target this past week and they had boots on +clearance for $11 so naturally I bought two pair, one brown and one black. If I’m not careful, my already large boot/shoe collection is going to get a little insane (maybe it is already insane, I’ve decided to stop counting so I can live in perpetual denial), but how can you say no to $11 boots?

My new boots!
My new boots!

4. Upcoming Vacation/Spring Break: This isn’t quite here yet but I am loving the anticipation. My mom and I will be road tripping it to Chicago to see my grandparents in March over my spring break. She just sent me an itinerary for the trip and I got so excited. It won’t be a work free vacation as I’ll have some studying and a take home midterm I’ll have to take with me, but the break will still be amazing!

5. My Valentine’s Day plans: Okay at least one of these had to be about Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I will be staying in and keeping it low key. We’re going to make a seafood dinner together and I’m very excited.

One thing I don’t love? The cold!! It was 11 degrees this morning when I stepped outside, I am so ready for the spring!

What are you loving right now?

My Five Favorite Indoor Workouts!

I’m teaming up yet again with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the Friday Five! I’ve had so much fun the past couple weeks.

When I saw this week’s Friday Five, I had to laugh. Favorite indoor workouts, for one I generally don’t enjoy working out indoors, and I can’t do anything right now as my ankle is still hurting me if I stand on it for any extended period time, much less do any sort of activity.

I considered picking a new topic but decided to stick with the theme so I can think positively about indoor workouts, something necessitated by the cold winter weather.

1. Body Pump: I did Body Pump quite regularly about three or four years ago. I can’t say I’m a Body Pump regular right now as I only managed to make it to two classes before my sprained ankle. But I loved both of those classes and I’m 100% confident I’ll be making it a part of my weekly routine once I’m back to working out.

2. Treadmill: I have a love hate relationship with the treadmill. I try to avoid it so much, but I hate the cold weather much more than I hate the treadmill. So, invariably, despite my best intentions, and hard earned money spent on cold weather gear so I can run outside in the winter I always find my way inside on the treadmill once I can start seeing my breath. I’m pretty boring with my treadmill workouts, I just run and speed up and slow down as I feel I can take it or as I get tired. I usually put a towel or sweatshirt on the display to prevent me from looking at the screen every 5 minutes, and I’ve started listening to podcasts while I run.

3. Jillian Michaels Thirty Day shred or No More Trouble Zones: I bought these DVDs a few years ago and at the time, combined with body pump, they were my fitness routine. I don’t do them often anymore, but I love that the Thirty Day Shred is only about 30 minutes and if I’m running low on time it’s something I can pop in and do if I’m pressed for time. I’ll confess I hate her cheesy commentary during the DVD but they definitely get my heart rate up and I remedy that by muting the DVD and playing music in the background.

jillian michaels

4. Cycling: I took a few spin classes years ago and while definitely not my favorite form of exercise they were a nice change of pace. They’re a great way to get your heart racing and they’ll always kick your butt.

5. Yoga: If you’ll recall I took a couple free yoga classes this past year. I really enjoyed them and think it’s something I need to incorporate into my fitness routine this year. My gym offers a few yoga classes that I’m interested in trying out soon.

Have you ever tried a work out DVD? Do you hate Jillian Michaels’ cheesy commentary as much as I do?

My Weekend Update!

I have been having technical difficulties this week. On Saturday my computer decided that it was going to stop working. According to my boyfriend the hard disk is malfunctioning so I have to figure out what to do to fix that, so I’ve been dealing with no computer except when I’m at work.

This means writing blog posts has been a bit of a challenge for now. I haven’t been able to find time to stay late at work to knock a couple out and I had a moment where I considered writing them on my phone, but I gave that up really quickly.

Despite my computer being on the fritz I still had a great weekend! I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh visiting my sister. There was some question about whether I’d be able to make it seeing as the ankle I sprained is attached to the foot I drive with. But by Friday I decided that with cruise control I could handle the four hour drive.

Unfortunately, many of the plans my sister had for us involved walking, lots of it. So we had to cancel all of that, which meant we had a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning we got brunch at a place called Dor-Stop. They were featured on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives and was claimed to have the best pancakes. Now, I love pancakes but to me a pancake is a pancake is a pancake, still I was curious. But I was more curious about the raspberry french toast that everyone raved about.

In the end my sister and I decided to try a little bit of everything, we ordered the french toast, apple cinnamon pancakes and an omelet (because something needed to be healthy) and just shared it all.

Everything was amazing! And the reviews weren’t lying when they said it was the best pancakes ever. My sister and I took one bite and both decided that we had never had better pancakes. We ate them without syrup, they didn’t need it. The french toast was great as well, it was coated in cornflakes which gave it a crunchy texture, and the omelet was the perfect amount of savory we needed.

Of course, my horrible picture taking continues, I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture of our food until we were done! But you can go to their website and see pictures of their delicious pancakes!

After brunch we did a little bit of shopping along the Strip in Pittsburgh and then spent some quiet time allowing for my ankle to rest back at her apartment.

That night we went to the Incline to see the Pittsburgh skyline, which was absolutely beautiful! We hadn’t been able to fit this in the last time we were there so I was excited to see it.

Excuse the poor picture quality it's hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone....Still beautiful
Excuse the poor picture quality it’s hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone….Still beautiful
Cool statue called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!
Cool statue on the incline called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!

The day ended with a great dinner at Shiloh’s grill and hanging out at the bar, and then Sunday I made the return drive home to Maryland.

Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? Don’t you want to try those pancakes now?

Friday Five: All About Me!

I’m linking up again with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five! Last week’s was so fun, I knew I had to do it again. I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

This week’s theme is Five Things About Me so I guess you’re going to get to learn some fun things about Moi! Enjoy!

Silly selfie, because why not?
Silly selfie, because why not?

1. I am currently getting my master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Last semester I was only taking one class to ease myself into working full time and going to school part time. This semester I’m taking two classes, one of which will be held on Saturday morning, which sucks, but I’m also excited about the class. Plus it doesn’t start until 10am so I have a little time to sleep in! I’m nervous, but also excited.

2. I have never been, nor do I believe I ever will be graceful. I am one of the clumsiest people I know. Apparently, I also felt the need to prove this fact this week as evidenced by my sprain! I am always finding new bruises on my legs and arms, and I have been known to trip over my own feet when I am just standing still, it’s a talent. My friends soon learn to ignore my random yells of “Ouch!” unless I start screaming in obvious pain.

3. Pandas are my favorite animal. Always have been. I used to go to the National Zoo every summer to see the pandas, and whenever there’s a new baby panda I HAVE to make a visit to see it. I have so many pictures of the pandas it’s ridiculous, and my collection of panda merchandise is a little crazy, lots of panda stuffed animals, and my favorite? A panda necklace my boyfriend got me for Christmas.

See, lots of panda pictures!
See, lots of panda pictures!

4. I’m crafty! Mainly crochet or jewelry making. Unfortunately, as my schedule has gotten busier I have had less and less time to spend actually doing this but it’s something that I find very relaxing when I get the opportunity. Half of my walk in closet is serves as storage space for my yarn and bead collection, which doesn’t usually stop me from buying more.

(insert picture of my yarn stash that I 100% forgot to take, whoops!)

5. I am a pretty adventurous eater but I absolutely HATE chickpeas and okra. The smell of either makes me gag and if I end up having to eat either I end up feeling nauseous. The few times I have ordered a dish that involved either of those two items I have turned from a normally well adjusted adult to a toddler who freaks out when she finds her food has been consorting with the enemy. One of these experiences is how I found out chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. Funnily enough though, I will eat hummus as long as it’s flavored and doesn’t actually taste like chickpeas.

Well that’s all there is. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

This Is Why I Shouldn’t Use Stairs…

Well, let it be known that I never do anything half way! I had a fun and relaxing weekend that ended with me laying in bed nursing a cold on MLK day. No big deal though, I have plenty of sick time, nothing pressing needed to be done on Tuesday at work anyways, so I took a sick day. Then Tuesday night, I decided, “I’m feeling a little better. Perfect time to do some laundry!”

Proceed to walk down the stairs with my overflowing laundry basket, miss the last step, land on my right ankle, (not my foot, my ankle. I fell on my ankle)  and crumple to the floor yelling in pain. My roommate comes running out to find out what happened, and after two phone calls, my boyfriend and mother drive to my place to help me.

The good news? A quick trip to the urgent care down the road (seriously, I was in and out in an hour) and three x-rays later, my ankle is not broken. It is, however, sprained, badly. I’ve been hobbling around on crutches ever since.

Doctor’s orders are 2-3 weeks of rest, i.e. no running, and I would assume no Body Pump. Followed by light bicycling if I decide my ankle can handle it. Then in 6 weeks I can start running, and lightly jogging should I feel so inclined. Splendid.

Could you hear the sarcasm? It was definitely there.

In the meantime it’s lots of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I’ve spent the majority of the past three days in my bed, watching TV and eating, because apparently when I get bored, I eat. On the plus side, it’s been (mostly) healthy things I’m eating. So it’s probably not as bad as it feels like it is.

Lots of this in my future...Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they're definitely helping the pain.
Lots of this in my future…Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they’re definitely helping the pain.

I’m disappointed, but I’ve been trying really hard not to let it get me down. In the immediate future, I’ve been planning for a couple months to drive up to Pittsburgh this weekend to see my sister. I’ve been so excited for the girl’s weekend we had planned, but it’s a 4-5 hour drive and if my ankle feels like it does today, I can’t make that drive by myself. I’m currently waiting until Friday to decide if I want to make the drive, and on the plus side if I don’t go there, she may be able to come down to Maryland and the girl’s weekend will still happen.

In the more distant future, running a half marathon in the spring may have to be pushed back. Six weeks from now puts me at March 3rd, which would be enough time to train for the Zooma Half Marathon, if my ankle feels up to it. I’ve sprained my ankle before and then been able to jump back into running after it’s healed relatively quickly, but this feels worse than the other times and I’m worried it may be more walking and less running for a little while. I’m trying to stay positive, there will definitely be plenty of time to make that decision later, and if I can’t do that Half Marathon, I’ll be able to do the Baltimore Half in the fall.

There is a bright side to all of this (see, I am trying to stay positive!). Once I can run again this cold weather will be mostly over and I’ll be able to do everything outside instead of on the dreadmill! I am so over this weather, so that’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.

So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.
So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.

In the meantime I’m going to try to remain healthy and positive, and not have any more mishaps.Oh, and hope that next week is better than the one this turned out to be.

How do you stay positive when things don’t go your way?

Friday Five: What’s In My Gym Bag?

This Friday I’ll be joining Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five. I saw the topic for this Friday is five things in your gym bag and thought it was perfect timing as this was my first week back to a traditional gym in quite some time.

Having said that even though I wasn’t attending a traditional gym I still kept a gym bag for quick changes after work before my runs.

So without further ado, the five things you can (hopefully) find in my purple gym bag.

Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!
Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!

1. Work out clothes: Can’t forget the essentials. As I usually am changing for the gym at work or the gym these are a must. Now whether ALL my workout clothes are there is another story, sometimes I like to forget things like my sports bra. I need to keep things interesting somehow!


2. Hairbrush, bobby pins, hair ties: I usually wear my hair down at work, so I need to be able to pull it back at the gym or before my runs.

3. Yurbuds: These are a must if I’m going to be running on the boring boring treadmill in the winter. (I run without music if I’m outside). I sometimes listen to music while running, but I’ve recently taken to listening to podcasts, most recently, Gilmore Guys, which is hilarious and everyone should listen to it!


As you can see I only have one cover on my yurbuds. This is the result of an unfortunate clumsy moment on the treadmill where the rogue cover went flying to heaven only knows what corner of the gym. After crawling around on my hands and knees, using the flashlight app on my phone to look under treadmills, and eliciting what I’m sure were very concerned stares about my sanity from the other gym members I finally gave up and accepted it was lost. My replacement covers will be, hopefully, delivered to me soon.

4. Running shoes: I need something to wear on my feet when I’m running!


5. A lock: This is a recent addition. I dug out my lock from middle school (I do indeed still have it) and am now using it to secure everything in the locker room.

What do you keep in your gym bag?