28 March 2012

Birthday Flowers

Several years ago I bought myself tulips for my birthday. 

Last year my work bff bought me tulips.

This year I decided that tulips and my birthday just go together.

My friend Kendra is in town to help me celebrate and I think we'll find some fun.

27 March 2012

True Grit- I did it

I hung this note on the mirror in my office's bathroom. I'm not sure if it made anybody else's day, but it made me smile thinking it might.

26 March 2012

Cherry Blossom morning

Friday morning I ran down to the tidal basin to check out the cherry blossoms without a crowd. There was a small crowd there already at 7 am. Mostly people with big cameras waiting for the sunrise and joggers with small cameras. It was definitely a different scene from the week before when I easily ran around the tidal basin without running in to anyone. This time I just ran to the edge and took some photos before running back home.

Jefferson memorial 
The woods
65 degrees at 7 am in March = sweaty


Washington Monument x2

22 March 2012

Allergies, Blooms, & Hunger Games

I don't think I will tire of seeing all of the beautiful flowering trees, but it seems I may be allergic to some of them. Pros & Cons. Last week I decided to start reading Hunger Games and found the perfect little park to read it in. My nightly routine now includes stopping in the park and reading for a few hours before continuing on my way home.

19 March 2012

True Grit Week 8

Become a Surpriser.

I kind of like week 8's challenge even though I didn't do any of the suggestions. Next week?

The challenge is to plan a surprise for someone. Nothing big, just something fun. The suggestions include:

Start an anonymous tic-tac-toe game via a note
Stick a post-it on a public bathroom mirror saying "you look awesome!"
Hid candy in someone's desk. Email them a clue.
Walk up to a friend, say "Tag you're it" and run away
Arrange objects in the shape of someone's initials and send them a photo, just because

Do you ever plan small (or HUGE) surprises? Did you try any of the suggestions? If you've been following along with True Grit did you learn anything about yourself?

18 March 2012

St. Patrick's weekend in NYC

As soon as I excited Penn Station I saw this billboard- 

File that under "things you don't see in DC"

After drinks and fun with friends I saw that the Empire State Building was already celebrating a day early...

My friend Carrie and I arrived at the parade at 11 not realizing till later that the parade lasts 6 hours!

There were lots of cute kids in cute Irish sweaters

And cute men in skirts playing bagpipes

I stayed with my friend in her Sunnyside apartment

And we finished St. Patrick's Day by going to the new musical Once

Sunday was spent catching up with friends at brunch, a walk up 5th Avenue, and people (and dog) watching in Central Park. Public art also brought us this-

Tornado made from inner tubes

A smooth train ride back and ready for another week.

17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I've made my way back to New York City for the first time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. For the four years I lived in NYC St. Patrick's Day was always mid week and I was always working while throngs of people filtered in from New Jersey and Long Island all day. I'm excited to see how it is on a Saturday.

River dyed green in San Antonio, 2006

15 March 2012

DC in bloom

The extra warm winter has lead to an early blooming season. Everyone has heard of the Cherry Blossoms (which aren't quite in bloom yet) but DC is full of flowering trees.

Treasury Tree

14 March 2012

Pat Green 9:30 Club

Last week I saw one of my favorite Texas Country singers in concert at the 9:30 club. It was a beautiful warm evening so I put on a dress with cowgirl boots and walked the mile to the venue, which wasn't much to look at from the outside:

The only way I found the venue was by following massive groups of men and women in plaid shirts.

The opening act was the Josh Abbott Band, which I really enjoyed. I didn't really know who they were, but ended up knowing some of their songs. 

Next up was Pat Green. He put on a good show, but we realized that he is pretty full of himself and clearly targets the younger crowd. 

Not sure what he would do if he played in front of a crowd who couldn't sing his songs for him.

Even so, the night was very refreshing. Packed in a room with hundreds of people in cowboy boots all singing the same song. Made me think of way back Texas.

13 March 2012

Race Recap: St. Patrick's Day 8K

Sunday morning I woke up nice and early at 7 am (6 am standard time) to get ready to race. The race didn't start till 9, but I wanted plenty of time to eat and digest, debate my outfit choice, and run/walk down to the starting line.

The forecast was calling for mid 60s but sadly at 8:30 am it was in the low 40s so my short sleeve green T was covered by my pot o' gold long sleeve. I also purchased running sunglasses to try out. After discovering a braid knocked them around I did a quick hair change and they worked out well.
Ready to go. Lucky 1384.
Once I headed out I jogged for awhile to get loosened up. After a block I started seeing groups of people headed down to the race. Around K street another running struck up a conversation. We discussed the challenges of knowing what to wear, local races, and the Logan Circle area. Once we got to Freedom Plaza we parted was as she was planning to run faster than me.

I lined up in the 9 minute pace group about halfway in. I ended up not having to dodge many people at all, but the route was crowded and the many turn arounds caused me to almost stop a few times.
You turn me right round baby right round
Unlike the Thanksgiving run I made sure to look up and appreciate all the landmarks we were running by.

I wasn't sure how an 8K race would feel so I started out slower than my recent 5K race pace, but after I passed the 5K split I picked it up for the final 2 miles. I'm happy with my time, but I think next time I could push it a bit more the entire race.

Race Stats
After the race I grabbed a banana and water. And watched these ladies get to business:

point, point, twist, twist, twist
I only wish I had the fake curls when I was taking lessons.

I met up with some friends of which one had an amazing time (40ish) and the other ran their first race. After washing some of the sweat off I met back up with them for some post race brunch.

07 March 2012

Seven steps for no snooze

My sister replied to my post the other day with this comment- 

"I need to take up your no hitting the snooze button. After waking up 15 minutes before I needed to leave for work I've taken to adding my phone into the mix of wake-up devices. So now it goes alarm, 10 minutes later the radio turns on and 10 minutes after that my phone goes off. The phone takes more cognitive ability to turn off, so hopefully it will continue to get me out of bed." - Beth

I hear from a lot of people that snoozing is a part of every week day morning (and usually in a negative way, hey if you like snoozing keep doing it!) so I compiled my top tips for waking up when your alarm first goes off.
  1. Go to bed on time, if you know you need 8 hours of sleep don't go to bed 5 hours before your alarm is set to go off.
  2. Make your morning plans before you go to bed. 6 AM is not the time for you to be making any decisions. If you are going to work out first thing, pick and set out your clothes.
  3. Place your alarm far enough from your bed so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are out of bed you should be good to go! My last apartment didn't have a good spot so I put it at the foot of my bed, still good because I had to sit up to reach it.
  4. If you stayed out really late, don't feel good, or canceled your morning plans, change the alarm time. Its better to get 35 minutes extra of pure sleep instead of five 7-minute increments.
  5. Find an alarm sound that works for you. I like gentle sounds, like bells and waves, but you might see something harsher like BEEPS. Find what works for you. 
  6. If you hate getting out of bed and facing the cold in the morning, make sure you keep a robe next to your bed or program your heater to gear back up a little earlier.
  7. Drink a big glass of water before going to bed. When your alarm goes off you will need to use the bathroom and you'll jump right out of bed!
Bonus tip- Tell yourself that snoozing is not an option, in fact it doesn't exist! 

Are you a snoozer? A recovered snoozer? Have you tried any of my tips?

05 March 2012

Paint the town red.. and green and yellow and...

DC has amazing row houses. You'll never see them if you only hang out near the Monuments. Sunday my fuel needed a boost. So I decided to talk a walk. I'm still learning how all the neighborhoods are connected so walking is a great way to figure all of that out. Its also a great way to see all the amazing houses and the amazing colors they are painted. 

A few of my favorites from today:

Green & Purple

I think I would be sad if I lived in the white one

03 March 2012

Yard Art

If you look closely I think the back rock is a lady

01 March 2012

Two months down

I can't believe its March already (AKA Birthday month)! Am I keeping up with my goals? 

  1. Refrain from using the snooze button- Two months and no snoozing.
  2. Run at least 6 races- Ran my first race of 2012 the Love the Run you're with 5K and managed to PR with 28:28 in sub freezing temperatures.
  3. Track what I eat and when I work out-  Still keeping this up with rounding and estimating on a few occasions (potlucks full of casseroles are hard to track). I also got a new toy to measure how much I move.
  4. Knit something new-  I haven't had any progress here, but Friday at work we decided we should have a crafting lunch once a week, this should help me focus.
  5. Travel somewhere new- I didn't travel anywhere to exciting, but I did go to the Newseum and to my cousin's basketball game (Go #14!).
  6. Be friendlier to strangers- The crossing guard on 12th street and I have gotten into a great routine of telling each other good morning everyday. Sometimes she's not there (probably when I'm running late), but I really enjoy that she now recognizes me and makes sure to say hi.