Saturday, March 31, 2012

State Hopping and Some New Goals!

So its been a busy winter in general for me with work travel, but I finished up last week with some state hopping for extension presentations. Megan and I began the week in Geneseo, NY. Neither of us went into this trip with high expectations, because mostly neither of us had any clue what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised and I think Megan was ready to jump ship and move to possibly the cutest town I'd ever been to.

We took these pictures during a walk we took before the presentation. Seriously, adorable! I should mention that it was ridiculously hot for New York in March and I spent most of the day sweating and trying to still look professional, but wish I could've spent more time for sure!

I then got the pleasure of spending the remainder of the week in Minnesota, my second home. Visited friends, Mankato, and spent a day at Gustavus for work. It was weird and overcast, so no good pictures on this trip, but I'm heading back soon, so I'll work on it.

With some downtime and vacation days this week, I've also set some new goals for myself for the next month/few months. Will and I have found a new place and are moving in May, but with that comes a financial burden for me since my lease isn't up until June. So starting 2 days ago, I'm no longer eating out until my Hawaii trip at the end of May. Even in 3 days I've noticed how little money I spend when I don't eat out. I know it will challenge me a lot, but I know I can do it. My budget needs an overhaul and this is the place I can do it! I've also joined Run to the Finish's 30 day Challenge for April, which is to inject fun into our every day! I've got a calendar all ready to go and will post how that is going too!

Overall, life is pretty fantastic right now. Finally in a place where I can actually enjoy and be grateful for what I'm blessed with and hope to keep that up!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Soaking up Life!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has felt like they miss too much of life. I often feel like the summer is over, year is over, experience is over and I didn't truly take time to enjoy it. Have been having some conversations with my people the past few days about my life in that way. How when I tell people what I do for a living, or that I get to travel, the response is always "how cool!" or "you must get to go to some neat places". My response is always "I usually just see a lot of airports and college campuses". In reality though, I have some amazing opportunities in my life and DO get to do things. So in an effort this weekend to be better about the experience, I played tourist!

My sister lives in Columbus, OH which I've been to about a bajillion times (we are kinda inseparable after all). With my nieces 2nd birthday this weekend, I drove over with manfriend to celebrate. It really was a fantastic weekend! We were blessed with some amazing weather and a sassy 2 year old to get us through, but we took the time to really soak it all in.

We went over Friday night and mostly just hung out and watched some basketball as a place down the street called Rooster's. Nothing fancy, but we did watch Lehigh beat Duke which was actually pretty awesome. Saturday Will and I woke up and decided to head out to North Market. I've been there before, and it is actually where I was introduced to my beloved Jeni's ice cream, (Seriously, BEST ICE CREAM EVER!)  but Will had never been. North Market is like a city market with dining options, bakeries, etc. I always describe is as much more eclectic and delicious than Indy's City Market though. The two of us wandered around trying samples and checking things out before settling on some barbecue for lunch. We sat outside and ate while listening to some outdoor musicians and soaking up the sun. It was really just wonderful! We then decided to go back in so I could buy some of my favorite popcorn from Pam's popcorn (the best cheese popcorn you'll ever eat, no lie) and then so Will could test out all the Jeni's flavors he wanted. He settled on finally a scoop of the dark chocolate and a scoop of cherry tres leches, I ended up with lemon frozen yogurt and mango kiwi special cake. I strayed away from my norm and was pleasantly surprised. Here are our cones below:

Once we got home Will, my sister, myself, Ela, and Maxwell the dog went for a walk around the neighborhood. Ela had a great time walking Maxwell all by herself!

Then it was time for the birthday! As Ela would say we had Elmo Abby cake and presents, and here is her best rendition of a cake monster (she's been big on Monster's Inc lately)

Today Will and I headed home so I could do some packing before I travel this week. We decided to play tourist one more time and stop by the Warm Glow Candle Company. This place is off of I-70 just outside of Richmond, IN. I have passed it more times than I can count, but in an effort to do more, we stopped. Lots of fun candles, and Will and I came out with lots of new votives for our new place.

About to eat some fresh pasta and tomato cream sauce for dinner, courtesy of North Market, and hoping to watch Lehigh win again tonight before I head out of town tomorrow. Hopefully some more posts from the road as I continue to try to play tourist and enjoy those little moments!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Madness has begun!

One of the things I adore most about my home state is having been born and raised on college basketball. IU basketball was a way of life growing up and I think it is part of our charm. I have a few teams I root for, buy none more so than my alma mater, Valparaiso University . I had the best collegiate experience a girl could ask for. I already proclaimed to manfriend in fact that our future children will also go to Valpo. Thankfully, he was smart enough to go along with this.

I was a cheerleader for part of my time in college as well, so that only intensifies my Valpo basketball love. Luckily this year Valpo played in the championship game of the Horizon League tournament and have played a hell of a season. Manfriend told me if I bought the tickets, he'd go to the game with me, and so Tuesday night we hauled our butts the 2.5 hours to Valpo, bought ourselves some new t-shirts in the book store, and got our cheering voices ready!

Don't we look excited to be cheering on Valpo?!

Sadly, the team had a really rough second half of the game and we lost to Detroit. I am so happy that I got to go back and see my team play, and have already decided to try harder next season to get to more games. Again, I'm super lucky that manfriend loves college basketball as well, and it also helps that we started dating during March Madness last year. Most of our first dates involved basketball watching.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can't Sit Still

So I travel for work...a lot! While there are some amazing perks to that, one of the downfalls is keeping on top of adult like things. You know, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. Since manfriend travels too,  I was lucky enough to have a whole day today by myself. Do you want to know what I did? Got moving!

I've been in a super spring cleaning organization mood partially due to some ideas on Pinterest, and partially due to an impending move in the late spring. This morning I managed to wake up and make enough breakfast burritos for me to have quick breakfasts this week, I did my p90x workout, and managed to do another load of laundry while starting my chicken in the crock pot for dinner.

The roommate and I then got moving on the fridge and pantry. After doing some major purging. I decided to start a snack basket that I had seen The one pictured is a fridge one (I'll get there at some point too) but here is my pantry basket!
I pre measured out little packs of almonds, popcorn chips, and puffins cereal so I can just grab and go. I hope to keep adding to this!

One of my other projects was tackling underneath my bathroom sink. I'm the girl who wears ponytails every day, but has enough beauty products to be a Hollywood starlet. After some purging again, I also decided I need a way to control (as manfriend calls it) my hair flair. I've always got bobby pins, ponytail holders, headbands, and the like cluttering up the bathroom. After another idea I found on Pinterest I re-purposed and old oatmeal container for a hair flair organizer.
I covered it with some scrapbook paper that matched my bathroom. My headbands don't fit around it, because well this idea was for kids and not adult sized heads, I still decided I could throw them on and stack them. Inside are all my little pieces of flair for easy finding!

My day isn't done, I'm hoping to tackle one more project before bed. It is college basketball season and Valpo is playing in the semi-final tournament against Butler tonight, so I can't tackle anything that would get in the way of my basketball watching. Cheer the Crusaders on for me, if they make it to the final game, I've got tickets!