05 March 2014

Ab Challenge

Last month my friend, Michelle, and I decided to start a 30 day ab challenge, #27 on my 101 List.  We started it February 1st and have yet to finish it.  Needless to say, we're a little behind schedule but we're still at it.  A few lazy snow days for a us both and a couple intoxicated dinner parties for me, put us off schedule.

The challenge is an Abs & Squats challenge, which I like.  Usually ab challenges include many, many minutes of planking.  I'm soooo not good at planks much past 30 seconds and really have little desire to plank for 10 minutes.  Michelle enjoys the addition of squats because she feels like she's getting more of an all over workout. 

Below is the challenge we're doing, if you want to try it out yourself!  I will definitely say I feel a bit stronger than I did when we first started.


31 January 2014


So a couple weeks ago I finally got to meet my friend Talishia's daughter, Athena (#15 on my 101 List).  She is such a cute little peanut.  She's very tiny for her age, but gorgeous.  They were in town for unfortunate reasons, Talishia's grandmother passed away, but it was still good to see her and meet Athena nevertheless.  I haven't seen Talishia since her 30th birthday when I flew to Indiana with our friend, Katie, as a surprise.  It was great to see her and catch up in person versus our almost daily conversations.  Talishia says that it doesn't count because I didn't go visit her, but I say it counts because I visited with her.  My list, my rules.   :)

22 January 2014

Las Vegas!....and Shannon!

The week before last I took a trip to Las Vegas (#65) to visit, the one and only, Shannon.  Two items on my 101 List!!

Shannon is #66 on my 101 List.  We met about 7 years ago while I was on vacation in Florida.  Since then I'd seen him 3 times, I believe, and never more than for a few hours.  He and I are in contact all the time, but he travels for a living and our schedules never seemed to work.  He had a few days off before going back to work and since I'm not working full-time I had the time, so we decided to go for it.  Shannon is from Australia and swears Las Vegas is the best city EVER (always in all CAPS).

It was a "last minute trip" in my book as we discussed it right before New Year's Eve and I was on a plane less than two weeks later.   I'll be honest and say I didn't think the trip was actually going to happen, much in the same way I never believe it's going to snow (this makes snow days all the more pleasing!).  Then, two days before my flight Shannon said he'd meet me at the airport in Vegas and I realized this trip was real and I was going to Las Vegas.

Upon arrival in Las Vegas I was instantly overwhelmed.  There were slot machines in the terminals!!   In the terminals.  What is that?!  This was only the beginning.

Image from cnn.com

After Shannon picked me up, he drove me around and showed me The Strip.  Overwhelming.

Then, we continued on to see Old Las Vegas.  Slightly less overwhelming.  This is probably the only picture I took during the day until Sunday.

After our drive, it was off to the hotel and casino.  Overwhelming.  I swear the place was a
maze.  I never knew where I was.  Ever.  All weekend.  This photo does the place no justice.


Thursday we did dinner early and walked to some of the other casinos.  I saw the water show at the Bellagio and some other weird confusing show at some other casino, Caesar's Palace, maybe.  I really have no idea.  If you haven't picked up on this yet, I was overwhelmed.  Most of the rest of the weekend was spent being lazy in PJs.  I didn't even see daylight on Friday.

I promise you I've never been so happy to do nothing on vacation.  The evenings consisted of good meals, great wine, and excellent conversation with even better company.  After which the gambling and drinking too many libations commenced.

Things I learned after 3 nights in casinos.  I'm not sure I'm cut out for gambling.  Slots don't like me, but apparently they like Shannon.  Blackjack is way easier on the machine at the bar than it is at a table.  Doubling down is scary, even when you're supposed to double down.  I still do not understand how the table pays out and why Shannon kept getting 50 cent pieces, even though he explained it to me multiple times.  Craps may be more confusing than poker.  We won (by we, I mean he) and I have no idea how or why we won a good 90% of the time.  Last but not least, calling for maid service at 8pm is the most amazing thing there ever was. 

My winnings!  Actually it's what's leftover from losing...

On our last night there I realized we'd taken no photos, even though I'd talked about the need to take a photo for two days.  This photo was taken probably around 2am, so you'll have to pardon its quality.

Viva Las Vegas!

Oh, here are some daytime photos....

19 December 2013

A Quick 101 Update

I really must do better about writing a post every week or two.  I think of things to write about, but never sit down and do it.  So when I was in DC a couple of things were checked off my 101 List.  Woot!

11.  Watch Deer Hunter.
Halfway through this movie when the Russian roulette scene began I was pretty sure I'd seen it before.  Then when the second Russian roulette scene began I was DEFINITELY sure I'd seen it before.  I will say I watched it more intently this time because the movie seemed to make more sense to me than in the past.  I can also see why it's such a big movie to some people. 

50.  Buy a vegetarian cookbook.
Well, I haven't purchased it, but I have selected the cookbook I want to purchase so we'll call In Progress.  When I was house sitting they had several vegetarian cookbooks that I perused and I fell in love this one:  Moosewood Restaurant: Simple Suppers.  I'm waiting until I have a new home to buy it for myself.

69.  Visit the Air and Space museum. DC and VA parts
Partially complete.  I spent one afternoon visiting the Air & Space Museum in DC along with a visit to the National Art Gallery.  I'm being lazy right now, but will post photos later.  I didn't go over to the MLK, Jr Memorial that day because it was freezing and raining and I was not feeling that committed. 

100.  Convince at least one new person to join in on the 101 Fun.
My cousin, Dawn, decided to join in on the fun over at her blog, The Lens View.  Woot!  I haven't convinced Michelle yet, but she wants to do an Ab Challenge with me, so I'll take it! 

16 November 2013

Roses and Thorns

Last summer I worked for a super fun family.  Each day at dinner they did something called "Roses and Thorns" where each person told a highlight/good thing (rose) and a low or tough moment (thorn) that happened.  I believe they got this tradition from the First Family.  I'm going to share my Rose and Thorn for the week.

Let's start with the Thorn.  On Thursday, I found out the job I'd been interviewing for was offered to the other candidate.  A bummer for sure, but I'd started to get that feeling when I hadn't heard any thing by Monday.  The search continues!

My Rose this week definitely has to be hanging out with two of the snuggliest cats ever in DC.  

I'm house/cat sitting for a friend's neighbor and am really enjoying my time here so far.  I get to see one of my besties pretty often and it feels like I'm in college as I go downstairs in my pajamas and flip flops to get something from his apartment or use his microwave.  I am also planning to check a couple things off my 101 List!  Stay tuned!

06 November 2013

101 List. . .the 2013 Edition

After many days and a few edits, I think I'm ready! Here's my new 101 list.  If you're up for joining me on any of these tasks, let me know!

The idea is to make a list of 101 Things, be they minor or major, that you'd like to accomplish in 1001 Days (about 2.75 years).

Start Date: 06 November 2013
End Date: 03 August 2016

1. Go to Europe or Australia
2. Go to Trivia Night
3. Apply to Grad School
4. Create a business plan
5. Clean my things out of my mom’s shed
6. Put loose photos in albums
7. Make photo books for China, Colombia, & Germany trips
8. Take a Spanish class
9. Take a photography class
10. Buy a DSLR
11. Watch Deer Hunter
12. Watch American Gigolo
13. Read or Listen to the Pelican Brief (I’ve seriously been working on this since I was in 7th or 8th grade. I really think my Social Studies teacher gave it to me.)
14. Go on Vacation with my mom
15. Visit Talishia; meet Athena
16. Visit Katie; meet Creede
17. Visit Christy; meet Samuel
18. Go Tubing or Whitewater Rafting
19. Read Anna Karenina
20. Take tennis lessons
21. No television for a week
22. See a Broadway show
23. Finish a 5k in 36 min or less
24. Finish a 10k
25. Pay off student loan and credit cards
26. Start a Gratitude Journal
27. Complete an Ab Challenge
28. Go to a Bowie Baysox game
29. Take a real estate course
30. Go on a camping trip
31. Host a taco party
32. Lose 20 lbs
33. Go to VA Beach
34. Go to Topsail NC
35. Take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
36. Go on 5 dates in 4 weeks
37. Have my pearls restrung
38. Swim in the Gulf of Mexico and/or go on a snorkeling trip
39. Go to the Ballet
40. Complete my RHCP collection
41. Go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
42. Go to an amusement park
43. Organize recipes in a binder or box
44. Buy a shredder
45. Organize magazine articles in a binder or file folders
46. Finish filing system for financial documents
47. Buy a proper desk
48. Go to Tea with my mom, Aunt Dorie, and Marianne
49. Go to at least 3 concerts, which will hopefully include RHCP and Anita Baker
50. Buy a Vegetarian cookbook
51. Buy or make at least 30 things from my Pinterest boards
52. Take a Ballroom or Latin Dance class
53. Go indoor rock climbing
54. Read three non-modern classics
55. Take a knife skills class
56. Go skiing or snowboarding
57. Go to Boston
58. Floss at least 4x/week for a month
59. Make my bed a least 4x/week for a month
60. Volunteer at least 3 times
61. Give up Facebook for a month
62. Take a trip to Hawaii
63. Host Girls/Wine Night (I haven’t had a home since Girls Night began)
64. Make new one recipe from each of my cookbooks (will count cookbooks once I have a home)
65. Go to Las Vegas
66. Visit with Shannon for more than a few hours
67. Go to the driving range
68. Visit the MLK, Jr Memorial
69. Visit the Air and Space museum. DC and VA parts
70. Write 20 letters, not cards
71. Get InvisAlign and Damon consults
72. Buy a printer
73. Move all my retirement accounts from old employers
74. Buy a headboard
75. Frame door photos from Colombia
76. Replace batteries in all my watches (and have links removed in the Seiko)
77. Buy a Skagen watch
78. Read Daring Greatly in an effort to live Wholeheartedly
79. Exercise BEFORE work 10 times
80. Go to a Meet-Up
81. Attend a Bikram Yoga class
82. Get a new job
83. Buy a Plant
84. Go Skeet Shooting
85. Participate in Project 365
86. Complete at least 15 days of the FlyLady program (part of me thinks this lady is nuts, but the other part thinks she’s onto something)
87. Be able to complete 25 consecutive push-ups. Maybe with this plan.
88. Make a new friend
89. Buy the CORRECT version of Shag on DVD
90. Read at least 6 books I own and haven’t read including
-When You are Engulfed in Flames
-Game of Thrones
-Make your Creative Dreams Real
-The Pure and the Impure
-Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil
91. Write 30 blog entries in 30 days
92. Watch the sunrise at the beach
93. Watch an outdoor film in Baltimore
94. Lead a “Gifts of Imperfection” book discussion
95. Enter a photo contest
96. Go to the Drive In
97. Submit something to PostSecret
98. Start an Outstanding in the Field Fund!
99. Leave a 100% tip
100. Convince at least one new person to join in on the 101 Fun (Michelle, I’m looking at you!).
101. Ride a John Deere!

04 November 2013

A Week Later

What a difference a week can make.  Last Sunday I posted that maybe my luck was changing.  Monday, a friend called and said she'd spoken to someone at a company where I'd applied for a job and asked for my resume.  Tuesday, I got an email about having a phone interview that afternoon.  Thursday, I had a Skype interview with the same company.  Today rounded out the process with an in person interview. 

It has been a crazy week with lots of research, chaos, and some freak outs, but overall each step went well.  The interviewer said he was pleased after the Skype interview and seemed pleased today.  Hopefully, it will lead to an offer.  I should hear by the week's end. 

Fingers crossed!!!

Aimless Wanderer