Monthly Archives: July 2011

Celebrating 100 Posts

Yay! You’re officially reading my 100th post! I didn’t celebrate my blog-iversary (because I’m crazy), so I thought I’d make up for it by celebrating my 100th post. It took me awhile to really find my groove in the blogging community, and I’m still learning every day, but I think I’ve grown a lot in the past 13 months. I really love blogging and even though it took me about a year to find my niche in this blog family, I think it’s a success! And I consider it a success because I know at least one person is reading it…win!

After reading this post by Caitlin, I started flipping through the pictures on my phone. I’ve had it for about a year now, and well, a lot has happened! So let’s take a trip back in time to celebrate this important blog moment, shall we? Here’s what’s happened to me in the last year, according to my phone.

I went to a lot of weddings.

Dane Cook sang to me for my 21st birthday when Dustin took me to his show.

 I celebrated turning 21 with friends.

I saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with my family.

I worked in NYC during my winter break and ran in Central Park for the first time.

Worked with amazing people at a professional photo shoot, where I met Jackie Warner.

I visited my dad in Tennessee and introduced him to Dustin.

I ate a lot of great food.

And dessert.

I went to Key West for my final spring break and felt confident in my skin.

But I still avoided this bar.

I ran my first half-marathon.

I helped my best friend get married.

I went to the National Magazine Awards in an awesome dress.

And met Jillian Michaels.

I graduated from college.

Got a tattoo.

Moved to New York City and had my first blogger meetup.

I sweat it out with Brett Hoebel.

Discovered the wonderfulness of 16 Handles fro-yo.

And got Dustin to fall in love with Chipotle.

I got him to fall more in love with me too, or so he says. We celebrated 2.5 years together on this day.

Told you it was special!

And there you have it! Of course there were plenty of other things that happened, but I figured you would be sick of the photos by now (if you weren’t before you reached this point…if you’re still reading this, thank you!). I hope you enjoyed my 100th post and pray you’ll be back for my 101st!

p.s. My 101st post likely won’t be up until Sunday or Monday. I’m going out of town tomorrow and will have very limited access to a computer. Hang tight, I promise I’ll be back!

What big things have happened to you this year? 

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Britney Spears Workout

Ever since I realized that I missed out on the Britney Spears spin class at SoulCycle tonight, I haven’t been able to get the queen of pop out of my head.

I grew up watching Britney and was an obsessed teeny-bopper when hits like “Drive Me Crazy” and “Baby One More Time” hit the radio. I remember my older brother thought she was smokin’ hot and would record her concerts on VHS (throwback!), and then I would play it over and over again to try to memorize the dance moves to “Oops..I Did It Again.” Wow, did I really just admit to that on the Internet?

But just because I couldn’t go to the class and spin my heart out to Britney doesn’t mean I can’t sweat it out to her tunes! After perusing YouTube for a bit, I also rediscovered how awesome this girl is at making music videos…she knows how to bust a move! So I now have my Britney playlist ready to rock tomorrow morning’s run. Check it out!

“(You Drive Me) Crazy”

“Oops!…I Did It Again”

“Toxic”

“I’m A Slave 4 U”

‘Till the World Ends”

“Baby One More Time”

“Me Against the Music”

“Stronger”

“Gimme More”

“Hold it Against Me”

And there ya have it! I think these songs would definitely power me through a spin class better than a run simply because the beat is perfect for different portions of a spin session, but I’ll let you know how the run goes tomorrow!

Can we all please take a minute to acknowledge how rockin’ Britney’s body is in every video, too? Even through all of the crazy antics, she still knows how to move and look sexy while doing it. Dang, girl!

Are you (or were you ever) a fan of Britney? What’s your favorite song? 

Crazy, Stupid, Love

This movie hits theaters Friday, but I was lucky enough to go to the media screening tonight.

Awesome. Just awesome.

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Please go see this movie. Immediately. It’s so amazing!! I loved every second of it. It made me laugh, cry, fall in love and feel my heart break.

It didn’t hurt that I got to stare at this….

Seriously? Seriously.

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“It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” — Emma Stone

….and laugh at Emma Stone the whole time. Seriously, that girl is amazing. I want to be best friends.

I love her sense of humor.

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I won’t give anything away, but there is a great, unexpected twist toward the end of the film that really kicks it up a notch. And I’m glad they made Steve Carell the main focus of the story…it made it a more unique rom-com.

So yeah, go see this movie. Fall in love with it, just like I did. Then come back here, share the love, and we’ll gush about it together.

Time to get some more work done before bed!

Have you seen a great movie this summer? What are you dying to see? 

The Great Fundraising Act

My oh my, today was quite a Manic Monday! But before we get into that, let me show you pretty pictures from my early morning run today.

Love this view.

The heat wave is over! *Fingers crossed* The temperature was nice and cool this morning as I ran alongside the river. My legs felt fresh and I really pushed myself hard the entire run.

Wake up, NYC!

So hard, in fact, that I even made negative splits! I’ve never done that before!

Yay for blurry, sweaty mirror pictures!

I officially started my pre-half-marathon training plan today, if that makes sense. I’ve decided that I’m going to combine an intermediate and advanced training plan for when I officially start training on September 5 (will provide that plan soon!). But I’m anxious to get started now and I want to comfortably work up to that intermediate/advanced level without stressing myself out, so I started a beginner plan this morning.

Run it, run it, run it.

I only had to do three miles today, so I ran a loop that I’ve mapped out to the water fountain next to the track in the park. It’s exactly 1.5 miles away, so it was perfect for me to snag a quick sip of water and be on my way!

After my fantastic run, I bounded to work where things were quite busy! The best part of my day? Getting all the details about The Great Fundraising Act, which I’m sure you’ve all heard about by now. It’s an online auction that has all the proceeds going to Susan from The Great Balancing Act. Susan was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and my heart goes out to her. This blogging community has kicked major butt today — as of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, TGFA had raised over $20,000 for Susan!

If you want to read my full article on TGFA for FITNESS magazine,  you can view it here. And the auction isn’t over until 11 p.m. so make sure you check it out and bid on some awesome goodies! But if the stuff that’s left isn’t in your realm of wonderfulness, or it’s just not feasible for your wallet, you can always make a direct donation to Susan. She has to pay for all of her medicine, which costs about $5,000 a month, so every bit helps!

Now I’m off to get some more work done before heading to bed early (hopefully)!

How was your Monday? Did you bid on anything in The Great Fundraising Act? I totally wanted that year supply of Chobani!

10 Personal Questions

A little while ago, I saw Caitlin do a fun post answering 10 personal questions. I decided to follow suit and answer the questions myself. Here’s to getting to know each other more!

1.) What do you have on your bedside table?

Digital photo frame, flowers from Liz’s wedding day in a cup, lamp, vitamins, bottle opener, knee brace, headband, ear buds, Garmin, candle from Liz’s bridal shower, glass of water, TV/DVD remotes, phone charger, notebook, daily planner, and a book. (Good thing I cleaned it today…at least it looks organized.)

At least I'm organized.

2.) Do you have a tattoo?

I just got a tattoo this summer! It says 13.1 on my left wrist, symbolic of the first half-marathon I ran in April. That event was so much more than a race to me, and you can read about the meaning behind my tattoo here. I’m contemplating a second tattoo, but know that I won’t get it until at least May of next year if I go through with it. I won’t reveal the idea though, so you’ll have to wait and see!

Note to self: use lotion more often.

3.) Do you believe in abstinence prior to marriage?

I was taught that sex is a very intimate, personal thing and that you should truly wait until you are ready to participate in such an act. I don’t believe being ready for marriage equates to being ready for sex. I know many people (in my family and outside of it) who believe in waiting until marriage, but my mother was also wise enough to talk to me about sex beforehand. I definitely believe that you can teach young girls about birth control without condoning meaningless sex. In today’s society, I think it’s a much better idea to teach your daughter as much as you can about safe sex so that she is at least informed. You never know what they’re learning in school from their peers, and you don’t want her getting the wrong information because she’s too afraid to talk to her mother.

4.) What is your worst habit? 

Dustin would probably say my addiction to technology. I’m constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, blogs, my cell phone etc., but I also think it’s important to my career. I’m learning to find a balance!

I was obsessed back in 2008, too.

5.) How do you handle finances in your relationship? Or, how would you like to handle money in your future relationship?

Dustin and I have separate bank accounts right now, mostly because we’re not living together yet and we’re not married. I don’t believe in borrowing money from him, nor does he borrow from me because god forbid, if something goes awry between us, I don’t want money looming over either of our heads.

When we move in together at the end of summer, we’ll split the costs of living, such as grocery bills, rent, etc. But for now, we’re remaining independent of each other in terms of money. If and when a ring is put on my finger, then money consolidation will become an issue.

6.) If you could change your name, what would you change it to? 

I actually don’t think I would change my name. I love my first and middle name, and think I look like a Samantha. Mom and Dad did a good job 🙂

7.) Where do you want to go on your next vacation? 

I’m going to New Orleans in November! It’s kind of a vacation because I’ve never been there before, and I’m going to run a half-marathon to celebrate my birthday! As for a full-blown vacation, I really want to go on a cruise.

Louisiana, here I come!

8.) What is one political cause you feel strongly about? 

Females and their right to choose what happens to their body. You never know what has happened to a woman, and I would never want to force someone into a pro-life situation when it could mean their nightmare morphing into a reality. I’m definitely pro-choice.

9.) Have you ever stolen anything? 

Umm, I’m sure I have taken something small from a frat party or something. I pick on Dustin and his klepto condition for koozies.

10.) Tell us something embarrassing about yourself. 

I’m a total creeper. I love checking people’s Facebook pages, looking at photos, obsessively checking blogs, all of it. Oddly though, I don’t really care about celebrities. I only like to creep on you if you’re my friend. Or I’ll creep on you until you become my friend 🙂

Your turn! Answer one (or more!) of the above questions so I can get to know more about you, too! 

It’s A Special Day

Why you ask?

Drum roll, please…

Happy Birthday Liz!!!

Y’all have probably figured it out by now, but Liz is my best friend in the entire world. We grew up right down the road from each other (where I come from, right down the road actually means 3.5 miles…), rode the same school bus, played soccer together, randomly drove around together, stalked boys together and sang at the top of our lungs while white boy dancing…together.

Oh, you wanna know what white boy dancing is? Come on, you know…

We’ve been through a lot, experienced so many things and created so many unforgettable memories. I know I can turn to her for anything, and she can do the same thing. Even though we’re 1,700 miles apart right now (and I miss her like crazy), we still talk nearly every day and I know our friendship will never falter.

So, today is her birthday. And I wish a very, very happy birthday to…

…the girl with the most spunk.

…the girl I dance in the bathroom with.

…the girl who’s not afraid to be herself.

….the girl with the biggest heart.

…the girl who taught me how to live and love life

…the girl who’s obsessed with Twilight…and the NJ Devils.

…the girl that listens to my every gripe, worry, or fear.

…and celebrates in all my triumphs.

But most of all, I just want to wish a happy birthday to my best friend. Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today. I love you unconditionally and I can’t wait to see you again!

Who’s your best friend? What do you love most about him/her? 

Mix it Up Workout Playlist

While I was living at home, I would go for runs and only listen to the Glee station on the Pandora app on my phone. I’m still madly in love with that station, but it’s gotten a bit repetitive. Plus, it helped me remember how motivating music can be during a workout. Sometimes a slow Michael Buble song would come on right when I was hitting my stride — I love Michael, but he is not the one to power me through a run!

So I started devising a new workout playlist. I wanted some new tunes that would keep me pumping, with some oldies but goodies sprinkled in. After all, you can’t go wrong with some Michael Jackson or Wilson Phillips!

Lo and behold, I now have a “mix it up” workout playlist to share with you! Let me know what you think!

Also, this has nothing to do with music, but I just thought of this delicious treat: bake up some banana bread and put peanut butter on top! So simple, yet I’ve never done it before. Delicious! (Big thanks to Dustin’s mom for the banana bread!)

Peanut butter and banana find a new way to love.

What music are you in love with right now? 

Bikram Yoga for the Win

After months of contemplating, I finally experienced my first Bikram yoga class yesterday. It was definitely a different experience and my body enjoyed all of the stretching!

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Bikram band wagon yet (like me), let me give you a quick tutorial:

Bikram yoga is a 26-posture sequence that is performed in a 105-degree room. The heat is so high because a warm body helps with flexibility and it flushes out toxins. A class lasts 90 minutes and each posture can be held for 30 or 10 seconds each. You always repeat each posture twice.

The poses.

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When I first stepped into the room, I thought the heat would hit me worse than it actually did. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a 105-degree room, but it didn’t feel stifling hot. My body must have acclimated pretty quickly, I guess. I was sweating within minutes, but I didn’t ever feel dizzy or like I needed to escape. People had constantly warned me to “stay in the room” and “take it easy your first day,” so I thought this would be more of a problem than it actually was. Win number one!

I thought the postures would be more difficult for me than they actually were. Win number two! I am in no way a flexible human being. Ask me to do any type of deep stretch involving the hamstrings and I’m pretty much toast. I’m always super excited when I go to the doctor and am able to bring my hands under my feet without bending my knees. So it’s pretty safe to say that I went into this class expecting to fall out of multiple poses and not even accomplish some of them.

Not true, my friends! I was able to get into every pose, except for fixed firm pose. I didn’t hit the advanced pose each time, but I was able to get into the beginner steps for each one.  I tried fixed firm pose, but quickly decided not to push that because it hurt my knees way too much. My knees already have issues, so I’m not going to risk injuring them when I’m about to start training again.

I do not bend that way.

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My favorite postures (other than savasana, clearly) were eagle and triangle pose. Both of them felt really good and I just had fun maneuvering into those stretches. I was even complimented by the instructor for hitting the eagle pose on my first try. Win number three!

I quickly learned that you can’t have any hesitation when attempting a posture. If you doubt yourself, you most likely aren’t going to hold the pose. Just forget about looking silly (or gross because of all the sweat) because everyone else is doing the same thing, and go for it. You’re not going to be the only one who falls out of a pose and you might end up surprising yourself with how well you do! I know I was shocked at how successful I was with the standing bow pose. I have to work on bringing my leg up a little higher, but I held it for the full 30 seconds. Win number four!

I’m really glad that I went with a friend for my first time, too. I asked Victoria a ton of questions beforehand, just so I wasn’t going in blind, and found out exactly what I would need to bring to the class. When I go to regular yoga, I just bring my mat. For Bikram, there are other essentials you need. Here are a few tips I learned from my experience:

  • Wear as little clothing as possible. I had Under Armour shorts, a sports bra and a tank top. I took the tank top off about two minutes into the class.
  • Bring a beach towel to cover your mat. It’ll help you maintain stability.
  • Have another towel to wipe your face.
  • Hydrate a lot beforehand. A lot, a lot. Bring a bottle of water to class. Note: You’re not allowed to have a drink of water for the first 25 minutes of class, so you really want to be hydrated before you walk in. 

Overall, I’d say the class was a success. I pushed myself harder than I thought I could and felt like I got in a good workout. By no means am I a converted yogi – running will always have my heart – but I definitely understand the benefits of this routine. I’m going to do a little more research, and if my budget allows, I’m going to try to start going about once a week. After all, I like being a hot, sweaty mess at the end of a workout.

Look ma, no hair!

Have you tried Bikram yoga before? Did you like it or not? 

Farmer’s Market Fun

Happy Saturday!

I love the weekends simply because I’m free to roam about the city and get things done without any pressure. I had planned on going for a long run this morning, but Taboo and friends kept me up until 2 a.m., so when my alarm clock sounded off, I rolled over and hit the snooze button. So instead, I immediately embraced my leisurely weekend attitude and decided to switch things up.

First up: Friends and I headed down to Union Square to hit up the farmer’s market. I LOVE the farmer’s market. The produce is so much better and oftentimes much cheaper. I’m sticking to a tight budget though, so I just picked up some cucumbers to enjoy with hummus, feta cheese and chickpeas for lunch all next week 🙂

Although there were these pretty pepper trees that tempted me.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Too bad I don’t have a green thumb and would kill it in less than a week.

We found a truck that was giving out free iced tea and iced coffee too. It was some company that was trying to get people to sign up for an HP product. I don’t get the correlation, but I got a free iced tea without signing up for anything. Win!

Do you get the connection?

We love free stuff.

It was exactly the refresher I needed.

I like my fishy drink face.

My tummy started grumbling at the sight of all the food in the market, so I quickly realized my budget was not too tight for a 16 Handles trip. After all, we were only about six blocks away from the delicious treat and I soon found out that Jake and Victoria had never experienced this fro-yo. Say no more!

Jake seems to really enjoy it.

They were fans.

Perfection.

I had a mix of red velvet, peanut butter and birthday cake, with a myriad of toppings. Blueberries, strawberries, brownie bits and Reese’s pieces. Yum.

Here’s a question: how do you pronounce Reese’s pieces? I’ve heard people pronounce it REE-SEE-‘S PEE-SEES, and others say it just like you would say Reese’s peanut butter cup. I catch myself switching between the two all of the time.

This has nothing to do with pronunciation, but I always loved this Reese’s commercial. Did you have a favorite?

Now I’m off to do some Bikram yoga…I’m a newbie, so this will be interesting. Especially because it’s so hot today. But I’ve been drinking water all day (excuse me as I chug some more) in preparation, so hopefully it will be a pleasant experience. I’ll be sure to report back later!

I’ve also been cooking up an awesome new workout playlist. A mix of new hits and oldies but goodies. After all, you always need the best of both worlds, right?

How’s your Saturday going? What do you think of Bikram yoga? 

My First Blogger Meetup

Woohoo for making blog friends your real friends!

That sounds totally creepy and stalkerish, but anyone in the blogging community totally gets what I’m saying.

….Right?

Right. But I digress.

Today I had my very first real live blogger meetup! I met up with Ali today for some grub at Pret A Manger where we talked about anything and everything for an hour.  Blogging, running, spinning,  fro-yo-ing, working, traveling and dating. Yup, we covered it all. And I love her. I hope she loves me too. At least a little bit.

Isn't she cute?

P.S. Ali is running her first marathon this September and she’s fundraising for the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation with Run for the Rabbit. If you feel so moved, help a girl out and send a donation her way! She’s competitive like me, and I really want her to move to first place out of the other six runners that are fundraising for their own causes. Plus it’s an awesome cause, so why not?

The only other highlight to my day was enjoying this Clif bar. I’ve had the regular Clif bars before, but never tried the Kids one. It’s delicious! And it was gone in about ten seconds flat.

Yum.

I worked the rest of the day, came home and caught up on some reading, and played Taboo with my roommates. Taboo is the best game ever. If you’ve never played and live in the NYC area, please come over to my apartment sometime (when you’re invited…no stalkers, please), and I will introduce you to this amazing-ness.

Best. Game. Ever.

And to continue the trend, this is what I looked like today! Another new work dress, another happily dressed Sam. I love new clothes. Especially since it’s so rare for me to get them.

Work it out.

And that was my Friday in a nutshell. Tomorrow is filled with running, food and friends. I’m going to try to fit in a long run, then head over to the farmer’s market before meeting up with out-of-town friends. Cheers to the weekend!

How was your Friday? Any exciting plans for the weekend?