A summer list

Since it’s apparently now summer and I had a bit of lousy day at work (Tuesdays =  proven worst day of the week), I thought I’d make a list of why it’s fabulous news that the season has officially shifted to my favorite time of the year.

You know, because I love lists, and they make me happy.

And lists about summer? Forget about it.

Just go ahead and pull on your happy pants right now.

So here we go!

1. Summer = sundresses. 

Feel the J.Crew love.

Although let’s be honest.. I’ve been wearing my arsenal of dresses since we started to linger around 65 degrees here in D.C. Patience is not my strong suit.

2. Outdoor cooking.

Your backyard, my apartment building’s roof.. whatever. Food always tastes better outside.

3. Which reminds me – camping.

Sure I’ve only been camping one time (ever), and that was mainly because Penpal lured me in with promises of s’mores and a cool tent, but either way – awesome! And obviously reeks of summertime.

4. Watermelon, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, corn on the cob, and other ridiculously delicious summer foods.

Yes, I buy pre-cut watermelon. Don't judge.

I grew up living on the west coast and therefore spoiled with the abundance of fresh fruit and veggies at my fingertips practically all year, so now I basically have shakes for 9 months as I await the season when I get access to all my favorites at peak season.

5. Farmers’ Markets.

Not only are they now open and stocked full of fresh veggies and fruit, but wandering around these outdoor markets are one of my favorite ways to spend my time during the warm days.

6. Oh, and the warm nights.

Perfect for outdoors parties, because there’s nothing like drinking a glass of wine while sitting on your rooftop or at an outdoor bar amidst the steamy, summer air.

7. The freedom to enjoy running/walking/biking/beaching/WHATEVER outside. 

Including kayaking.

funny after I was back on dry land..

Even though I basically almost drowned on this first go at it last year, and may have screamed “NEVER LET GO” Titanic-style to Penpal throughout my entire 7 minutes in the water.

Anyways.

The point is that snow and freezing temps makes everything more difficult… sunny days make for a great excuse to go for extra walks outside, and definitely make my running routine a lot easier. I know a ton of people complain about the humidity and heat – especially for running (me included sometimes!) but I would take a hot, humid day over a chilly, wet one any day.

8. Both Cupcake (my niece) and my birthdays are during summer. She’ll pick out her own cake, thanks.

9. Relaxing in the sunshine.

Duh.

What are some of your favorite things about summertime??

A little Monday happy

Monday seems like a good day for a book review, don’t you think?

I mean, most Mondays I end up tired by 5pm and ready to curl up on my tiny sofa (okay, it’s technically a love seat, but I think that sounds sillier than necessary for describing furniture), pounding ice tea and tortilla chips.

That’s your Monday evening ritual too, I’m sure.

But, you know, reading books is a good use of my time as well… or talking about reading books. Right?

SO, let’s get on with it!

I finished The Happiness Project yesterday while sitting on my airplane flying back to D.C. It’s a shame I finished it mid flight because my seatmate was pretty surly and I needed a way to divert my attention from her hostility… Now there was someone who should probably read about a happiness project.

Anyways, the book was highly addictive to read, and actually very interesting.

For those of you who don’t know the premise of this book, one woman decided to take a year to learn all she could about happiness and being a happy person, and embark on the path to make herself happier. Throughout the whole book she claims to be an already content person but wants to make sure she is squeezing all the joy out of life that she possibly can (an effort I can definitely get behind), but to be brutally honest here – she sure as heck didn’t seem all that happy at the beginning of this book.

Eh.. she didn’t seem all that happy at the end of this book either, actually, despite some valiant attempts. 🙁

Maybe it was just her tone as an author, but half of the time while reading I found myself wanting to give the writer a call and tell her to freakin’ chill out.

The writing itself is very engaging, although she includes comments from readers of her blog that I personally didn’t appreciate much, and a whole lots rules/principles/etc to keep herself on track.

Don’t mind me, I’m just letting the inner English major within rear its ugly head.

I would definitely recommend the book though! It awoke some thoughts in my little brain about happiness and how your happiness can affect those around you – as well as the obvious that what makes one person happy is not necessarily what makes another person happy.

That seems like such a “DUH” observation, but sometimes it’s nice to have that little reinforcement written out.

For example, just because running races makes one person happy doesn’t mean that because I’ve never really cared about racing, there’s something wrong with me or I’m sacrificing happiness, just in the same way that I’m sure not everyone finds happiness in doing things like cooking or writing to-do lists  or drinking beer through silly straws like I do.

Courtesy of the same girl who finds the word 'love seat' unnecessarily silly.

(Yes, I love to make lists.. Yes, I’m a big nerd.)

Sometimes you have to go out and grab happiness with two hands. If something in your life makes you unhappy, change it! Being bummed stinks, and it’s exhausting. Happiness for the win!

Bottom line- a good read, even though it’s not like we solved world hunger with this one… but that’d probably have been less interesting for me to read on my trek around New York, no? 😉

And that’s all I have to say about that!

Anyone else read it? What’d you think??

Planes, trains, and automobiles

Hi! I’m back after what may have been the quickest trip to New York ever!

Manhattan Bridge!

In a nutshell, it was a fab little weekend getaway, all to spend time with just about every living relative on my dad’s side of the family (as well as my daddy-o on Father’s Day!),

Hi, Dad!

and wish my uncle a happy 90th birthday!

90 years = giant party! 

I rode just about every mode of public transportation available in the state of New York. 

gorgeous ceilings!

My first time in Grand Central Station, despite going to grad school in NYC.

Hey, better late than never!

Then I ate…and ate…

Grand Central Station

And ate some more.

No pictures but trust me- I was a serious eater/celebrator for 48 hours.

I actually stuck to my half marathon training schedule, too – despite eating my weight in Italian food.

Don’t mind my sweat, please.

Just 3 miles today!

*Please note I’m not normally one to workout on a vacation. I even impressed myself with this one.

I also partied with my little Cupcake, aka my niece who turns the big 4 very soon!

No, we were not at a rave. Why do you ask?

Besides a love for dance parties, she and I also like to enjoy pancakes and peanut butter together.

We don’t need no stinkin’ spoons around here!

And eventually I found my way back to ol’ D.C. with only one complaint:

I did not leave with nearly enough pizza in my belly.

😉 Bed time – back to work tomorrow!

Now tell me – how was your weekend?!

This is why I run

I should be too busy two-fisting slices of New York pizza and Italian pastries to be able to blog right now, but Mother Nature changed my plans… Combine rain in New York with a very confused set of airport employees, and my flight ended up being cancelled.

The airport was packed, and people were practically knocking each other down in order to speak to a ticketing agent. This was my view for a good half hour, before I finally rescheduled my flight for tomorrow morning over the phone.

Love me some disgruntled travelers.

But that’s not fun! Let’s talk about some happier views from today, shall we?

See the Kennedy Center in the background?

LOVE.

So maybe I got a little snap happy this morning. Blame it on the endorphins.

I’m a sucker for the D.C. pre-7am sky.

Needless to say my run this morning was fabulous, and I wrapped up 5 miles in 46 minutes. I was running stronger and faster today than I have in a long time- maybe Stella’s finally getting her groove back?

I have an extreme type A personality when it comes to certain things in my life, such as my career, school (when I was a still a student)… and running. I love a good challenge, but I get very frustrated when miles that used to be easy for me are suddenly difficult. I had stopped running for a while this year – first due to injury, and then because I gave it up for Lent – and just recently took it up again for real in May when I joined Team In Training and decided to start training for my first half marathon.

Of course it is going to be hard to get used to running so frequently again! Of course it’s going to be even harder to pound out my first 5 miler in months. But running is hard.

That’s why I love it – that’s why I run.

In the end – even if I was only able to run 2 miles a week at a slow as molasses pace – the fact is that I can still run! And that’s awesome!

Also awesome? The fact that my cancelled flight meant I got to have a delicious Pita Pit sandy with my best friend from high school, Meg, for dinner. No photos because I attacked it in three bites.

And now I’m ready to attack my bed- early flight in the a.m. Have a great weekend!

Do you run?? If you do, what makes you love it?

Amen.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

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