City Living

Ever since I was little, I have always dreamed of living in a big city. According to my parents, I actually had this dream before most people even think about what they want their life to look like, back in early elementary school.

photo_2 (33)

Both my parents grew up near big cities, my dad in a Chicago suburb, and my mom in a tiny town 2 hours away from New York City. My dad’s favorite childhood memories involved taking the train to downtown Chicago to go to museums, see a baseball game or just walk around. For my mom, every big event in her life coincided with a trip to ‘The City,’ as she and her siblings call it. They would drive into Manhattan to shop for prom dresses, see shows, visit friends and try great restaurants.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to visit both cities with them numerous times, and see the cities through their eyes, both places have become quite special to me, which led to me eventually wanting to live in one. I had always planned to attend college and then live in NYC after graduation.

As I got older, I’ve still loved visiting various cities. Spending a few days walking, instead of driving, turning corners and finding new areas to explore and soaking in the general hustle and bustle.

photo_3 (27)

Recently, however, I’ve gotten a bit of a reality check.

I’ve realized just how much I like decompressing in my car after a stressful workday, and couldn’t imagine having to cram on a subway or walk blocks and blocks in heels in the cold. I’ve noticed how much I like the space of living in Colorado, and, though I now live in a neighborhood, my old apartment had a field out the window with nothing for miles. Not to mention the indoor space I have for a fraction of what even being comfortable would cost me in NYC.

There are certain things that I suppose I will miss out on, but as more and more of my friends are leaving or planning to leave the cities they moved to in the last few years, I’m realizing that high-rise, carless living must be as exhausting as I imagine.

All of these realizations have only upped my respect and admiration for those who do have what it takes to happily make one of these cities home, but it’s safe to say that I will get my fill of city life by visiting, frequently.

Advertisements

Struggle City

Happy Monday! Is getting back from vacation not the worst thing ever? I have been feeling completely out of it since returning on Thursday. Lots of eating, lots of resting, mixed with events that require alcohol has me feeling sluggish and unmotivated. I think the fact that I drank soda with abandon from the moment we took off until returning also played into it, since I haven’t had any soda since January. I went to the gym on Saturday and forced myself to do a good bit of cardio, but napped yesterday instead of going. After work I’m off to do some cardio and a Pilates class. Hopefully that will help me feel back on track. Might also be a cereal for dinner kind of night.

Enough with the complaining, the Iceland trip was amazing! Kristin and I are very good travel companions so we saw everything we wanted to see and did everything we wanted to do, with one exception. I’m going to start working on the Iceland posts and will probably do one for each day, so there will be more details to come.

photo (36)

Day one, looking slightly delirious and crazy after having been up for 36 hours

Recently

I’ve been holding onto a Lululemon gift card since Christmas and finally went to look around and make a purchase. I love that all of their pants have a long option so I don’t have to worry about that horrible ‘too short athletic pants with sneakers peeking out look’– it’s the worst. I went with their Groove pant in Long. Ironically, I don’t think I’ll actually wear them for working out, I prefer shorts or leggings, but they are great for to and from the gym, running errands and working around the house. I didn’t need to take advantage of their free hemming service, but I think it’s awesome they offer it.

photo_2 (15)

If I join a tennis league this summer like I’m considering, I’m buying the white skirt!

Last weekend, this guy had his first sleepover at my house. It went really well and it was fun to have him there, but I was reminded just how demanding a pet is and it showed me that I am not ready to get one for myself again yet.

photo_1 (16)

Eating well and being active works. Period.

photo (35)

Last Saturday I went to a freedom party for a friend. It was the first party I’ve been to that was totally Pinterest-worthy, where the host truly thought of everything to make it special.

photo_2 (14)

Dessert table (we had already eaten a lot)

photo_3 (10)

Girl power quotes everywhere

photo_4 (6)

photo_5 (4)

photo_1 (17)

Mashed potato bar– excellent idea for a party

After years and years of not updating my glasses with my new prescription, I finally ordered some new ones and they arrived last week. I have a very strong prescription, and with frames and lenses, my glasses price usually approaches 1k. I’d heard about Warby Parker and decided to do their home try on. I selected a pair I liked, and $135 later, I have them. Much more economical, since I usually only wear them before bed and wear my contacts the rest of the time.

photo_3 (12)

My mom and I did a 5k this weekend, and it was so much fun. They had a great after-party with pancakes and sausage and unlimited O’Dell’s Brewery beer. We stayed for a long time and listened to the Irish band play.

photo_2 (16)

photo_1 (18)

We’ve been having beautiful weather, so I’ve taken every opportunity I can to get outside for my workouts. This was last Sunday when it was about 72 degrees.

photo_3 (11)

Etc.

Well, I’ve been working on catching up on all of the big trips and happenings around here, but of course there were also lots of fun little trips and events. Here’s what else happened:

In October I had a large mishap, which involved losing all of the 2800 pictures I had on my iPhone. No, I didn’t have my cloud activated, and I hadn’t back up to iTunes since April. I was able to get back the pictures from before April, which I am eternally grateful for, but all of the pictures I took this summer are long gone. Lesson learned: download DropBox and actually use your cloud.

In mid-October I ventured to LA for my cousin’s 30th birthday. It was great to see all of her friends that I’ve gotten to know over the years, and spend time with my cousins and their boyfriends.

20131017-134259.jpg

20131017-134401.jpg

20131017-134458.jpg

loeTzKnPgS8P32PsbNCk1HPOBs_e-pimSGGfqagIOV4

20131017-134557.jpg

photo (1)

I also deactivated my Facebook. I mentioned that I was thinking about it here, and in late October, I finally decided to pull the plug. So far, it has been great. Some of the time I used to spend on Facebook I still spend on social media, while waiting in line, those last few minutes before bed, but I consider it more productive time because I will browse news on Twitter or work on my dream wardrobe and plan trips on Pinterest.  I may have missed some announcements from friends, and I’ve definitely missed out on opportunities to brag to friends and acquaintances about my life, but for now, I am content with this.

In December I attended a Christmas party at Mile High Stadium. In addition to a truly awesome dinner and dancing event, we also got to do a behind the scenes tour of the stadium. Here I am in the endzone.

photo_5 (3)

I took two trips to Vegas in 5 weeks.

photo_1 (12)

photo_2 (12)

Megan came to visit for two weekends! She had a work training during the week, so the first weekend was spent at my place and around Denver, and the second weekend we went up to Boulder. After the football games the first weekend, when it was determined that our teams would be playing each other here, we decided to splurge and get tickets for the AFC championship game. And what a game it was.

photo (26)

photo (27)

I hosted a big party in January, but no, it wasn’t a Super Bowl Party… I finally had my housewarming party! About 8 months after I moved into my place. Talk about overdue. Everything went very smoothly and there was a great turnout, and it was fun to give tours to the people who hadn’t seen my home yet. I’ve never hosted a party this big, so I am still a bit surprised at how busy I was the whole time. I didn’t have time to socialize with anyone for more than a few minutes at which time someone would come by to say hello or goodbye. Consequently, I didn’t take one picture the entire day. Not of the drinks table, all of the food, the dessert table, my friends, my family, nothing.

photo (32)

Loved the invitations

I also don’t know how I could have done the party without a silent co-host, my mother. She was able to answer the door if I was busy, cook, replenish crackers and fruit as needed and completely help to make the party a success. I truly don’t know how someone does a party like this without a caterer or an almost caterer.

The next weekend, Super Bowl weekend, still has me shaking my head. I spent all of Sunday morning working on my blue and orange Broncos tutu and making cake balls for the two parties I was planning to attend. The rest of the day is a blur of underwhelming commercials, a terribly disappointing game and dashed dreams. Still pretty much in shock. Until August, tutu.

photo (31)

Valentine’s weekend I was supposed to be in Washington DC and Baltimore with my family, but unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and I wasn’t able to make it out there. It was very disappointing. More details about that soon.

Things I Just Don’t Understand Part 3

This one gets me every time and truly leaves me dumbfounded. Padded sports bras. Now, I am not an athlete. I love sports, but I’m not that girl that can run for miles or pick up a sport and be good at it that day. But, when I get up the motivation to work out, I work out. I don’t put on makeup, I get sweaty, I don’t wear some coordinated Victoria Secret Active outfit, and I certainly don’t worry whether my C-cups look like B-cups under my t-shirt. And it seems crazy to me that anyone does. I’m probably making too big of a deal about this, but in my mind it’s basically saying that as women, we always have to be ‘on.’ Even breaking a sweat, we have to look sexy and show off those curves.

48f3273c827cb9b45d19ec9bafeeeb59

I write about the next one with a little trepidation. One, because I know some people out there will be offended and two,  I’m writing about something I have no experience with. However, I must admit that I am a bit lost when it comes to gender reveal parties. I grew up in a family where all of the babies gender’s were a surprise, and I’ve taken to my mom’s view that finding out in the delivery room must be the ultimate surprise, after all of that terrible work. And talking with a friend who is due any day now about her guess on the sex, which changes every time I see her, is really fun. Some people like to know in order to plan, I get that. But throwing yourself a party to find out the sex in front of everyone else, kind of weird. It takes an intimate moment that used to be just the couple in the delivery room, and puts it in front of friends, family and even coworkers. And all of the ways in which it’s revealed? Balloons in a box, cake color, opening a gift with a little boy or little girl outfit, just seem cheesy to me. I know I won’t have my own party (way down the road), but I realize they are becoming more and more trendy.

3cef76933248c887b0cb211a0610dc10

Professional athletes behaving badly. This has been a big issue here in Denver lately as one of our best receivers has had repeated run ins with the law. Drugs, speeding, driving without a license, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for him. Now, I understand the argument that these people are human, and are entitled to make mistakes and have fun. But being a professional athlete isn’t a life long career. In fact, the average length of time a player is in the NFL is 3.3 years. Can’t you focus for that time, and make your stupid choices later, when you’re retired?

2011 NFL Draft

(Images 1 and 2 via Pinterest, Image 3 via bleacherreport.com)

Things I Just Don’t Understand (Part 2)

Wedding day looks. Summer is wedding season so my Facebook feed has been filled with people walking down the aisle and sharing their pictures. And I’ve noticed a weird trend, where the bride doesn’t really look like herself. Obviously you want to look your most beautiful on your wedding day, but I would also think you’d want to look like you. Like the best version of yourself. But lately I’ve been seeing people with dramatic false eyelashes, just left the salon fresh hair color and too dark spray tans. They all look super happy in their pictures, so I guess they’re pleased with how they looked and obviously enjoyed their day but I know I’ll want my children to eventually be able to recognize me when looking back years later.

tumblr_lq4t2nz79q1qm241vo1_500

Another Facebook related item, but I am baffled by the way certain people are living out their entire lives for people to see on this medium, post college. When you’re 21, and sharing your night meeting your favorite college football player, or documenting your awesome weekend at the lake, that’s one thing. But when people post pictures upon pictures of their late 20’s gallivanting on the weekends, I don’t get it. And I’ve noticed it’s not a single vs. married thing. A lot of married people I know are even more ridiculous with this. At this point, I’m pretty close to deactivating my account. It’s not so much FOMO as GTFO.

FB

Bachelor/Bachelorette mania. Yes, it’s entertaining. Yes, I like to look at the male eye candy and the gorgeous dresses, and lust over their travels. But blocking out one night (for two hours!) to watch it every week? And having watching parties, complete with a rose for each girl to take home? Too much.

Bach

I hear this is the new guy. Umm, he’s absolutely adorable. But no watching parties here, thank you very much.

Things I Just Don’t Understand (Part 1)

Lately I’ve been left semi-dumbfounded by trends or things that people seem to be into.

– Nail art as a huge, huge deal. It shocks me that this is such a big thing right now and that there are countless Pinterest boards dedicated to it. If my nails are polished at all, that’s a victory.

Nails

Okay, so these are actually really cute. But who has the time?

– All of these 5K runs. Color Run, Beer Run, Bubble Run, Undie Run. It seems like every day there’s a new run in my Groupon email. Maybe it’s the envy of a non-runner, but these just seem silly to me.

Bubble

– Music festivals. Hot, dirty, remote. Short of a free ticket and a house with a pool walking distance away, I don’t see the appeal of Coachella. And the fashion choices? Trying way to hard, in my opinion.

Coachella

All images via Pinterest

Did I miss any?

This Month

June has been one of the craziest months in recent memory. From starting it on the beach in North Carolina with old friends, to ending it in Santa Barbara wine tasting with my best friend from college, there hasn’t been a dull moment.

Despite these two trips, I actually had a few consecutive weekends at home, which hasn’t happened since 2012. It was nice to have time to enjoy visits from family and focus on the packing, moving and unpacking that have been seemingly endless.

The month has flown by, but it’s been a great one.

20130630-103529.jpg

“You Just Bought A House”

The big news around here lately has been that I am now a homeowner! This wasn’t something I planned on doing in my mid-20’s, and I always figured I would rent until I was in my 30’s or got married, whichever came first. But one day I was bored while eating lunch at work, and came across the website of a new development being built. They had a little calculator where you put in some basic financial info., and as it turned out, it all seemed very doable.

In the end, that development turned out to not be right for me. Though the homes were very nice and it would have been so fun to semi-customize a house, it was even further from my ideal area than my current apartment, and extra add-ons I wanted eventually put my potential home value considerably above most of the others in the neighborhood, which is never good.

So I got in touch with one of my dad’s good friends who is a realtor, and we began to look at places. I looked at five before finding my place, which is so perfect for where I am now, yet also will fit my needs for the next 6-8 years or so. I got into a bidding war with a couple who had seen it 20 minutes before me, but with my realtor’s expertise and my willing to be a little bit flexible on going above the asking price, I won. My realtor called me while I was at dinner with my dad and responded to my ‘hello?’ with the quote that is the title of this post. Such a great way to find out that I had prevailed.

Pinned Image

(image via Villa Rose)

The whole experience was a lot of fun, from the research I did on my own, to looking at houses with my mom and the realtor and especially the closing, it made the spring interesting and has me very excited and ready to move in to my new place. One of the best things about it is that it’s in really great shape, so there isn’t much that I need to do, but I will be doing some small renovations to fix a few things that aren’t my favorite.

I still have my apartment for a few months, so I’m fortunate to be able to move in gradually and really take my time to get things situated the way that I want. But I’m not going to lie, I’m getting pretty antsy to make the full move over.

The Boston Marathon Tragedy

Sign

We keep having these tragedies. These awful, terrible occurrences that stop everyone in their tracks, scare us and make us reconsider everything.

This one hit especially close to home for me. Not just because someone I was very close to was there, and not just because I would have been there myself, like right there, were it not for recent occurrences, but because of the unique circumstances surrounding this event. Unlike the September 11th attacks, which were terrifying because they occurred on a normal day when people were in their routine of going to work and school and it was so unexpected; this tragedy was especially sad because of the extraordinary circumstances.

I’ve had the pleasure of being in Boston for six Boston Marathon’s and Patriot’s Days. And it is always a wonderful and special day there. Throughout the city, residents and visitors take their children to the baseball game, to local museums and walk along the water enjoying the holiday that is unique to their state. On Boylston St., spectators line the sidewalks to watch their loved ones or strangers cross the finish line, and the entire city just feels good and happy. It’s an event that represents, in my opinion, some of the best human qualities: determination, training, dedication and going after a goal that for many of us would be nearly impossible. Just being around this energy makes you feel motivated and excited about life’s possibilities, or at least it always did for me. The atmosphere at the finish line is truly intoxicating. So, to hear that such a catastrophic event happened there, when people are tracking their runners on their phone, checking each passing face to see if it’s the person they are there for, and mentally planning how to best celebrate the accomplishment, is so heartbreaking.

Of course, I speak from the perspective of a spectator, which is what I was for the years I was there. I can only imagine how violated and unsure a Boston Marathon veteran who has participated in the marathon and been a part of the exuberance I’ve witnessed feels.

I hope that all of those of us who were so struck by this event and who still have it at the forefront of our thoughts days later, can use it as a wakeup call to live every day with purpose and importance and to cherish every moment.

Runners

2012 finishers

Crowd

Crowd in 2011

Finish Line

2011 finish line

Church

Church in 2009

Kelsey and me

With my friend Kelsey, who went to school in Boston, in 2010

You can see my posts about my trips to Boston here and here. (I can’t believe I didn’t blog more about my visits.)