Tuesday, January 22, 2013

life in the creek

This past weekend, I traveled to Buies Creek, NC to visit my BEST friend in the whole world, and her new husband. I got out of town, just in time to miss the snow storm, but not in time to miss driving in the dark in the rain storm. It took way longer to get there than it should have, but Wrigley was a great sport in the car. Thursday evening, I watched DJ cook dinner while we waited for Heather to get home, and then enjoyed plenty of time catching up, looking at pictures, half exchanging Christmas presents (I opened mine, but I left Heather's in my apartment).

Wrigley and Puck chased each other and fought over toys, beds, blankets, etc. It's entertaining to watch them after observing Wrigley with other dogs. She LOVES to play with her friend, Fenway, a fellow cockapoo, similar in age. With Puck, it's funny because they obviously are tolerating each other and get tired of sharing space after a few days. Mostly Puck gets sick of having a smart, spoiled puppy around (yes, I know Wrigley is spoiled). Wrigley on the other hand does nothing wrong. And this picture.... 100% tolerating going on here. cuties.

Back to my trip to the Creek.... When Heather got back from clinical hours on Friday, Heather and I went on a jog-ride. Heather has a knee recovering from surgery, so she rode on a bike while I ran. I felt like the friend that needed a friend to make her run, and Heather felt like the friend that wasn't fit enough to keep up running. We make a good pair.

Friday night, we drove up to Raleigh for an art class. It's a great time... They provide all of the supplies for painting and the students bring whatever beer, wine, drinks or food they want. The teacher instructs the class step-by-step  how to replicate the painting. The instructions include how many scoops of each color to make new colors, brush technique, which brush size to use, when to rinse the brush, etc. Each painting ends up looking a little unique, but reflects the original painting. Such a stress-reliever! I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday morning we all slept in, even Wrigley. Heather cooked a mega-breakfast before we fought the crowds at the outlets. DJ cooked some delicious burgers for dinner. Saturday night we vegged out with popcorn and a movie.

I'm always so sad to leave Heather. Sometimes wayyy to much time goes by before we see each other again. I remember being dramatic whenever Heather would leave to work at camp for a summer, or during college before going back to school for the Fall.... or Spring semester.  Everytime.... "We're never ever going to see each other again." Well, I now know that's not true, and I can't wait to find a time for Heather to come visit me at Sweet Briar!!

P.S. Heather also wrote a story on her blog about our fabulous weekend. Check it out. http://robinsonrumblings.blogspot.com/2013/01/wrigley-and-company.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

free shipping both ways

Online shopping has become more and more dangerous. It used to not be appealing to go crazy with online shopping because you always had to pay more due to shipping costs, and you never knew if it would fit, or if the color was ugly in-person. NOW, stores have free shipping AND free returns! Sign me up.

List of free shipping online stores I've used:
-Amazon items (only "Super Saver" items)
-Banana Republic, Old Navy and Gap (over $50 and free returns)

The best of all of these is Nordstroms. In the package, they include a return label.
1. It's exciting to have something coming in the mail.
2. You get the box in the mail and try on the outfit.
3. Don't like it? Put it back in the box, slap the return label on it, and drop it in the mail.
4. The money goes back into your account.

I think for shoebuy.com you have to go in and print a return label. However, shoebuy has more than just shoes. Clothes, purses, jewelry, coats, etc. Free shipping both ways? I'm in. Shoebuy also has lots of promos and sales so you can always find a good deal.

I've worn two dresses I got from Nordstroms online to special occasions in the fall, Fallon's wedding and a December holiday party.

Friday, January 11, 2013

veggie melt

This one is for Heather, who introduced veggie melts to me at Chesapeake Bagel Bakery in Arlington. 

Chesapeake is a staple for anyone the went to our high school. It was the place to meet before school, during lunch (as seniors), after school, and on the weekends. We would meet there as a team before game days. When I worked at a neighboring shop, I went there for bagel sandwiches every day. Maybe this is why I love bagels so much! 

Chesapeake does a veggie melt in a similar fashion with muenster cheese. If you order it, it takes forever to make because they have to put it through the toaster a thousand times. It holds up the line. My veggie melt is great for breakfast, snack or part of lunch. 

Bagel Veggie Melt
one bagel (whole wheat, everything, or plain)
vegetable cream cheese
2 slices of sandwich size cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, or muenster)

Toast bagel in counter top toaster, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread vegetable cream cheese over both halves of the bagel. Bite a whole in the center of the slices of cheese, and place one slice on each half of the bagel. Bake for 7-10 minutes until cheese is bubbling all over. (Baking is better than broiling because it heats the whole bagel and cream cheese instead of just melting the cheese on top).  

Caution: Cheese is very hot, it's best when the cheese is melted, gooey and creamy! Enjoy!

Pepper jack and sharp cheddar veggie melts on wheat. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

the new year is about to get going

I have several things that are about to amp up.

Since being home from Alabama, I have been doing a lot of relaxing. Wrigley and I have worked out everyday, which is awesome. I have been running, biking around campus, lifting and spinning. For Wrigley, she has been chasing me on my bike, up and down Faculty Row, at least a few times everyday. We've watched several movies. I highly recommend The Words, it was a thinker with multiple stories to follow and figure out. It's currently in redbox! On another note, the whole apartment is clean. Plus, Ryan rearranged the living room... just to put it back the way it was with only two chairs switched. Overall success relaxing to get ready for the weeks and months to come.

Coming up in the next few weeks for me (aka my To Do list):
-Cover lots of swim practices! (The team is back doing 2-3 practices a day before they go to Florida for their training trip)
-Prepare to teach my class starting Jan. 23 (powerpoints, assignments, tests/quizzes, rubrics)
-Prep all spring sports (tennis, lacrosse, softball) paperwork to start Jan. 23
-Visit Heather
-Go with Amy to NC to see her dress!
-Order bridesmaid dress for June 8
-Make a dentist appointment (booo the dentist)
-Post some pictures from Christmas, especially making divinity

For New Year's Eve, Ryan and I stayed in this year. I made a dip that I've always loved to have a parties, but never made myself. It's NOT good for you AT ALL. Nevertheless, it is delicious and New Year's Eve was the perfect time to make it. (Sorry no pics...)

Spicy Sausage Dip:
1 (16 oz.) package of spicy/hot sausage (found in the grocery store near the bacon)
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
Ritz crackers or chips or Fritos for serving

Brown crumbled sausage in a skillet. Reduce heat, add tomatoes and cream cheese. Continue to cook and stir until ingredients are well blended. Serve warm. Easy.

1. Have more people here to help me eat it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

happy new year

Good bye to 2012, I'm ready to see what 2013 brings. I'm not big on new year's resolutions. The things that I want to do have not just started today... they've been on mind and in the works.

I want to continue to work on calming down. Less worrying, less anxiety, more going with the flow, more living each day to it's fullest. My mind is always going a million miles a minute about how to survive in this adult world. How does anyone ever buy a house? Where will I be working and living in 5-7 years? What is the plan? How can I save money and prepare for the future? I go on and on, but really, I just need to take a chill pill. I need to enjoy the moment. The importance of working hard in my current life and work setting is what will set me up for the future.

I also want to continue to try new things and continue to enjoy being active. Over the past year I've started to cook. I want to learn to cook in new ways, new dishes and in a healthy way! In 2012, I've be really active playing soccer, squash, racquetball, running, trail running, playing soccer, spinning, tennis, swimming, lifting, circuits and doing the elliptical. I even tried Zumba. Once. And TODAY, Ryan and I went mountain biking through trails, puddles, streams, gravel roads, across grassy fields, mud, dirt paths, up big hills, and rocky downhills!!

Continuing on, the biggest thing for me is to plug into a church. I have been visiting churches in the greater Lynchburg area, on and off, for almost 6 years. Count them.  SIX  six  Six  six  years. To still be a church jumper after SIX years is not the ideal way to find the fellowship God desires for me in a church family. I know there won't be a church exactly like the one I grew up in, so I need to jump, with both feet, into the church we've been visiting more regularly and make the most of it. Here I go... jumping into 2013, no turning back!