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Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Round-Up

ohmygosh, I think that I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. My work load is starting to ease up a bit. I think that last night was the first night in a month or two when I didn't work most of the evening and into the early hours of the morning. 

I'm finally starting to catch up on my blog reading (and responding to comments and everything else) too. There have been so many great posts this past week and I wanted to share them. Here are some of my favorites.

I know that this post over at MizFitOnline was technically from last week but it's an important post. Depression is shrouded in such secrecy and shame in our society and I believe that's what hurts us the most. Through posts like this, maybe we can begin a larger discussion about our health because health is about so much more than just physical fitness.

Tracy's post at Sellabitmum really hit home for me. I'm not the most out-going person. I prefer the company of a few good friends over large crowds and parties. I like one-on-one conversations over fighting to be heard over a large group. My heart broke when I read this post because I can totally empathize. But what advice does a shy parent offer a shy child?

Along the same lines as Tracy's post is this guest post Ginger from Ramble Ramble wrote for Kludgy Mom. It's a great reflection on the dream of friendship in adulthood.

I loved this post from Heidi at Banana Buzzbomb. Heidi recently returned from an incredible trip with Columbia Sportswear to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Now, Heidi and her husband are chasing after their dreams and moving to Arizona. PS - If you haven't read Heidi's recaps of her trip, you should do that too.

I love Ilene's blog - Fierce Diva Guide to Life. The start of summer is often a hard adjustment for parents, moving from the frantic pace of the school year to the illusion of less frantic days of summer. But in reality, our parenting standards often drop as we try to manage this transition and find a rhythm. I can totally identify with this. And yes, I do hiss at my kids sometimes...but only sometimes. 

This week, the nominees for the 20th annual ESPY awards were announced and Kelly Slater was nominated for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. Come on - he's been the youngest (at 19) and oldest (at 39) surfer to hole the world title. Go vote for him.

What good things have you read this week? Anything funny? I realize that the posts that I've shared, except for Heidi's, are a bit serious in tone. Happy Weekend!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Transylvania County - Land of Waterfalls...and the Hunger Games

I have to admit, I'm a little embarrassed by my lack of knowledge about the geography of the Southeast. Actually, make that most places outside of the Northeast and West Coast. It's terrible. I mean, I knew that there were beautiful places to explore in North Carolina but I guess I wasn't expecting the incredible beauty. And the mountains! I knew that Asheville was near the Appalachian Mountains but the Great Smoky Mountains too? No clue.

We poked around online to find some good hikes for Sunday and came across a few options. You know how sometimes you find what sounds like a great hike online, the description gushing about waterfalls and incredible vistas, but only to find a trickle of water when you actually get there? Well, not this time.

Yes, my hot pink Reebok RealFlex Transitions & Oakleys made the trip with me. Yes, I am obsessed with both of them.

We set off to do a loop of three waterfalls in DuPont State Forest - Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls. We should have known that we were in for a treat when we passed a sign welcoming us to Transylvania County and the land of waterfalls (over 200 waterfalls in the county!). It was a pretty easy hike but the falls were spectacular, cascading down 120-150 feet. Along the side of the falls, there were large, flat slabs of rocks - perfect for resting, picnicking or dipping your toes in the water. 

What struck me most about our hike was the number of families that were out together - hiking, walking dogs and swimming in the numerous swimming holes that dotted the area. I loved that and it made me realize that our family doesn't get out of NYC and explore the outdoors nearly as much as we should.

Apparently, this area is also a popular movie location. Triple Falls was featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans. But, most recently, three major scenes from the Hunger Games were shot in DuPont State Recreational Forest!

Remember the scene in which Katniss is tracking Peeta when he is injured and she finds him hidden along the river bank camouflaged? Peeta was hidden in the rock surface below Triple Falls. Sadly, the cave where they take shelter doesn't actually exists. Believe me, I was tempted to look for it. We didn't get to see the site of the two other scenes but Bridal Veil Falls is the location where Katniss jumps in a pool of water after being burned and scenes with active burning and fireballs were also filmed nearby. They cleared the area of underbrush and installed "trees" made of steel pipes and pumped with gas. 

After our hike and a quick lunch, we decided to drive back along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As we pulled up onto the Parkway, I think that our jaws dropped. The views were ah-mazing. It looked fake. Kind of like the set of a play where you have one layer of landscape behind another except that these were real blue-grey mountains. As we pulled up to the first vista point, we saw a sign telling us the name of the mountain in the distance. Oh, Cold Mountain. You know, the Mountain that was made famous by the novel by Charles Frazier and later the 2003 movie with Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger. Who knew that our little outing would turn into an impromptu movie set tour?

I'm really glad that we had the chance to explore the area a bit. We both left with a greater appreciation and curiosity about the area. As we left, we were already planning our next adventure to the Smokey Mountains. I also left wanting to expose my city kids to the outdoors more - more than just the big old park or the little old park but the woods and big trees and rocks and waterfalls and bugs. OK, maybe not the bugs.

Have you explored this area? Do you take your kids hiking? Are you as geographically challenged as I am? Did you watch the Hunger Games??

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back on the water: Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Asheville, North Carolina is known as one of the premier outdoor adventure destinations in the U.S. With rivers criss-crossing the area, including the Nantahala River which is known for its Class II-III rapids, it's also a great place for paddling - everything from whitewater rafting to tubing to kayaking. Naturally, as stand-up paddleboarding has gained in popularity, it also has made its way to the Asheville area.

I was so excited to try SUP. Not only is SUP on my Fitness Bucket List, but it was a great way to combine my interests with my friend's interests. You see, I'm a surfer and my friend is a sea kayaker. Surfing + kayaking = SUP. Best of all, SUP offered a less intense way for me to get back out on the water while I'm still rehabbing my knee. 

On Saturday morning, we drove from our hotel in downtown Asheville out towards the French Broad River. We were scheduled to take lessons with Dave, the owner of Asheville Outdoor Center. Dave started this business 20 years ago. He's originally from the Northeast but you wouldn't know it from his relaxed demeanor and Southern charm. He's been leading SUP lessons and trips for the past three years.

Before we headed down to the river, he told us a bit about the boards, fins and paddles we would be using. Our boards were 11-foot foam-topped boards. He also showed up some inflatable SUPs which appeared just as solid and sturdy but are a great option for those of us who may not go paddling all the time or may not have storage space for a 11-foot SUP. When deflated, the inflatable boards fit into a what looks like a medium-to-large duffle bag.

Our boards had a three-fin set-up with short flexible fins that would bend in case we came into contact with rocks or the bottom of the river bed rather than causing a hard collision (and potentially throwing us from the board and into the water). If we were going out on the ocean, the boards would probably have a single long fin attached so as to allow for carving turns on waves.

Lastly, SUP paddles look like single blade kayak paddles except that the blade is turned at 15 degree. As you pull the paddle through the water from front to back, the slight turn in the blade provides more leverage to your stroke, allowing you to generate more power. 

After our lesson, we hopped on some bikes and pedaled a mile to our launch site. Dave took us out on the water for about 2 hours. A big part of paddling on a river is learning how to read the river - the currents, ripples, and eddys - so that you could work with the river's mechanics. We first paddled upstream up to the Biltmore Bridge before heading back downstream. In total, we paddled about 2.5 miles. 

It wasn't as hard to balance on the board as I expected. Once you are standing up, you're pretty stable when your legs are shoulder-width apart and you bend your knees to absorb any movements of the board. I will admit, there were a few times when I almost bit it and fell into the water. It was challenging trying to get the paddle technique right and to figure out how to maneuver the board in the direction that I wanted to go.

At the end of our lesson, Dave let us play around a bit on our boards. I tried to do some yoga poses but could only manage to lift one foot up a few inches. It was super hard to balance on one leg on the water! He then showed us how to do a pirouette - basically spinning your board around in a circle. Of course we both had to give it a try, which is what I'm doing in the picture above. You scoot back to the back of the board so that the nose lifts up out of the water. Then you paddle hard on one side and spin your board around. It was Needless to say, I fell into the water at the end of this move.

It was super fun to try something new. It challenges me mentally and physically and I'm learning to embrace being a newbie. I know that I'm going to feel uncomfortable and make a fool of myself at times but I'm learning to be OK because these opportunities offer me a chance to experience new things and learn about something that I would typically shy away from. 

Thanks Dave and Asheville Outdoor Center for a super fun morning out on the water! This is seriously making me consider working SUP into my life somehow. It's a great workout but more than anything, an amazing way to spend time out on the water.

Have you tried SUP? Have you been paddling (e.g. kayaking, rafting) before?

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Scenes from my weekend - Asheville

First of all, thank you so much for your incredible comments on my post on Friday. After a frustrating week like last week, I was so grateful to read your kind words and encouragement. I mean, I know that we all struggle with balance but to actually feel the support from everyone? Unbelievable. I think that people at the airport thought that I was crazy as I teared up several times as I read each comment as they came in. 

This weekend was just want I needed to reset. We've had so much fun exploring Asheville, NC. It's a charming place. Incredible beauty all around with lots of rivers, mountains and waterfalls to explore. Music pouring out of every other restaurant or bar and musicians strumming on street corners. It kind of reminded me of that episode of the Gilmore Girls when the Stars Hollow troubadour makes it big and leaves town and would-be troubadours invade the town to take his place. Idyllic. There's a prominent local food culture here too and we've been enjoying delicious meals (so much food!!). Best of all, we've had a chance to properly catch up and chat. I'll share some of our fun adventures from the weekend throughout the week.

I'm also really excited about this idea that Melissa from Live, Love & Run had to start something called The Weekly Chase - about connecting bloggers with other bloggers to help each other reach our goals. Every week, bloggers will post one or more goals that they would like to chase down that week. The goal(s) can be anything that you want to achieve that week - fitness, nutrition/eating, home/organizing, etc. Won't you join us in The Weekly Chase?

My goals for the week are:
  1. Finish off the Green Smoothie Challenge!
  2. Go swimming at least once this week.
  3. Do my physical therapy exercises EVERY DAY. Lately, I've had a hard time doing them lately and have been skipping them some (most?) days.
What are you goals for the week? What fun things did you do this weekend?

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Friday, June 22, 2012


Can I just say thank GOD it's Friday?? I had serious doubts that I would make it to the end of this week. Actually, I'm still doubtful as there are still a number of things that I need to wrap up before heading to the airport bright and early in the morning...and it's 12:36am.

This week was one of those weeks where frustration overflowed from every pore of my body and I just wanted to dump everything in the trash and start over. I admit, I didn't handle it well. There were just too many things that collided head-on that were out of my control. I also took on too much work and too many other projects all at the same time. Oh yeah, then there were all the end-of-school festivities and beginning of summer and camp craziness.

I haven't been mindful and I haven't been respecting my limits. I haven't been doing well with that little thing called balance. Coincidentally, I read this article today in the Atlantic by Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first women Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, about the elusive work-life balance and basically flat out admitting that it's impossible to achieve. I think that's something that has been lurking in the back of my mind but I've been loathe to admit.

It's definitely been one of those weeks where I feel like I need to step back, assess and regroup. I need that. Thankfully, I will be on a plane in the morning on my way to meet my best friend to celebrate a belated birthday for her and an early birthday for me.

How do you find balance? How do you regroup after a particularly frustrating experience? Have any fun plans for the weekend?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dare you to rock climb

I've never gone rock climbing before. Several members of my family love rock climbing but not me. I think that it has a little something to do with my fear of heights. So when I asked my Facebook friends to challenge me to complete a physical test as part of the Under Armour Women What's Beautiful competition, the last thing I was expecting was for something to dare me to go rock climbing. But someone did. Thanks Ben.

Nothing like a good challenge to get you to face your fears. Luckily, there's a pretty great rock climbing gym near my apartment - Brooklyn Boulders. I knew that it was NYC's only fully dedicated rock climbing gym but I wasn't sure what to expect. The place is massive. It has 22,000 square feet of climbable terrain for all levels. 

I actually went bouldering which is climbing done on short walls with no ropes or belay. There are various paths up the wall which are marked by colored tape and numbers. The numbers indicate the level of the path and you're supposed to only use the foot/hand holds that are marked the same color tape. So if I'm climbing the pink path, I can only use the foot and hand holds marked with the pink tape.

Don't mind the little kids scampering up the wall next to me.

Let me tell you, it was kind of scary hanging off the wall with nothing securing you, especially when you have a bad knee. You will fall if you slip or lose your grip or just get tired.

But I had a lot of fun and my heart was racing. My forearms are SORE and it was hard work, especially since I finished an hour and a half physical therapy session right beforehand. OK, that might not have been the smartest move.

Have you ever been rock climbing or bouldering? Are you afraid of heights too? Wanna go climbing with me sometime?

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Preschool Graduate


I now am the mother of a Kindergartner. How in the world did that happen??

Jasper graduated from preschool last week. He and his classmates have been working very hard over the last month to prepare for their graduation ceremony. They made all the decorations - from body drawings for each student to tissue paper flowers that covered the railings to a quilt with their own personalized square. Jasper would come home from school and tell me about all the elaborate preparations. Then I was instructed to promptly forget what he told me because he wanted it to be a surprise.

He would wander around the house practicing the songs they were going to perform. He had the lyrics printed out on paper so that he could learn the words. While he might be a little pitchy, he poured his heart out as he practiced. In the end, they performed several songs including Lean on Me, That's What Friends are For, Three Little Birds, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, The Wise Old Man, and The Dinosaur Song. Quite a medley.

You could tell that he was really proud of himself and his friends. And rightly so. They've all come a long way and learned a lot. Plastered along the walls of the courtyard were posters proclaiming fun facts about each child and what they learned at school. 

When asked what was one thing he liked to do at school and one thing he liked to do at home, Jasper answered "Sleep" for both questions. That's my boy. When asked why he is special, he answered, "Because I love my family."

I'm not sure that the kids realize the significance of this day and their graduation. Next year, they will be off to new schools in different parts of the neighborhood. To them, it was a big party and a chance to have cake before lunch. But, it was bittersweet for me as I remembered my goodbyes and transitions to new schools and places. Plus, I'm not sure if I'm ready for my boys to grow up.

{Linking up with Alison and Galit for Memories Captured}

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there and especially to Ed!

It's been incredible to watch your relationship with the boys. The three of you are three peas in a pod. Thank you for getting up in the morning with the kids, making them breakfast, playing trains/cars/airplanes, taking them on endless adventures around the city, being silly with them, giving them baths and just being there for them. Thank you.

Also, in honor of Father's Day, here's a post I wrote about my Dad back in January. I miss you every day.


Friday, June 15, 2012

WAX Magazine

Back in March, someone forwarded me a link to a new magazine about surfing, art and culture in New York City that was development. I was excited to check out WAX Magazine and see what they were all about.

As some of you may know, one of the reasons that I started this blog was because I had a hard time finding surf-related resources, blogs, websites, and magazines that I could relate too both in terms of my experience level as well as location and community. I didn't surf those pristine waves in California, Hawaii, Indonesia, Central America, Fiji, etc. so I loved the idea that WAX was focused on the surfing community in New York City.

Each issue is organized around a specific theme. The theme for Issue #1 is Dialogues which sums up what the Editors aim to achieve with their publication - to start and create an on-going conversation about and between surfers and artists and ultimately New York City at large. Yes, surfing is becoming more and more popular both here in NYC and elsewhere. But there is a sense that there's something special going on too, something more than just surfing.

Last night, WAX hosted a launch party at The Wooly to celebrate its first issue. I was curious to see what kind of crowd would show up. And boy, did a crowd show up. It was jam packed. Who knew there were that many surfers or people interested in surfing in NYC?

They've put together a pretty good looking publication and I am looking forward to digging into it. You should check it out too.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fitness Daydreams

I admit. I've been daydreaming again. I think for two reasons. First, I'm ridiculously swamped with work and really would rather do anything except analyze metrics or write/edit documents. Second, I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally want to run-surf-spin-workout-doanything and just MOVE!! Sorry about that. 

While I was all happy and hopeful a month ago about how my knee was recovering, my doctor seems to have other plans for me. While my physical and therapist and I were getting ready for me to try running at 8-weeks post-surgery, my doctor wants me to hold off until 5 months post-surgery. 5 MONTHS = END OF AUGUST!! 

I know that this is probably the smartest thing for me to do, especially since my surgery was a revision of a previous reconstruction which means that it often takes longer to heal and regain strength and function. But it doesn't necessarily mean that I like the idea.

Yes, I'm annoyed but I'm trying not to think about it (so much). I'm trying to focus on other things that I can do to be active (which I haven't been so successful at lately - see Reason 1 above). That leaves daydreaming. While I've never had a bucket list before, I started creating a Fitness Bucket List pinboard on Pinterest. At first, I had a hard time coming up with things that I wanted to do, aside from getting barreled on a wave and running a sub-2 hour half marathon. 

But then I started thinking a little harder. There are so many things that I still want to be able to experience. Yes, I want to conquer side crane pose and handstands in yoga. Yes, I want to try stand-up paddleboarding, Crossfit and heli-skiing. I even started imagining things like completing yoga teacher training and meeting and with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. (It's a bucket list people!)

It's been a great distraction but most importantly, it's reminded me to dream. I realize that it's going to be a long road back, longer than I bargained for. But, I also know that there's a lot left that I want to conquer. I'm not ready to pack up my gym clothes just yet.

Do you have a fitness bucket list? What are some of the things that you dream of doing but haven't gotten around to yet? If you have a fitness bucket list pinboard on Pinterest, please link it up below! I'd love to see it. And come check out the rest of my fitness bucket list!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Smoothie Challenge Update

It's been 11 days since I started the 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge and I'm kind of loving it. I had a sneaking suspicion that I would because I truly love smoothies. In college, I worked at Jamba Juice before it was known as Jamba Juice. Back then, it was called Juice Club and I worked at Store #3 in the Town & Country Plaza in Palo Alto across the street from Stanford University. At the time, we were one of the busiest franchises. I even got to make smoothies for the likes of Tiger Woods when he was a Freshman at Stanford. 

What's in my smoothies?
Before I started the challenged, I pinned quite a few different green smoothies that I wanted to try. In reality, I glanced at a few of the recipes to get a sense of the ingredients and the proportions. Then, my inner smoothie-maker started to emerge.

I haven't been following any strict recipes. Instead have been experimenting with whatever's in the house and seeing how it turns out. I've used everything from milk, water, coconut water, yogurt, frozen/fresh spinach, frozen peaches, frozen mangos, frozen/fresh berries, apples and kale. I haven't been measuring the ingredients, mostly eye-balling it. It's funny because even after almost 15 years, I remember what the basic building blocks of a smoothie should look like in a blender.

My favorite smoothie so far has been this one.
  • Zico mango coconut water (1/2 cup - 1 cup)
  • Chobani nonfat plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Frozen peaches (1/2 cup - 3/4 cup)
  • 4-5 strawberries fresh from the farmers market
ohmygosh it was delicious. I really like the addition of the coconut water which added a little flavor and seemed to round out the other flavors and really made it smooth.

Tip: Add your greens as one of the first ingredients. That way, other heavier ingredients will weigh down the greens so that they will be blended. Otherwise, the greens are likely to stick to the side of the blender when blending. 

What blender am I using?
When I started the challenge, I used a Krups blender that my husband and I received as a wedding gift nearly 9 years ago. While it still functioned, it was definitely not performing well. So, I asked for a Vitamix as a combined Mother's Day and birthday present. Quite simply, it is amazing.

And look at all the different things you can do with a Vitamix!! Dips, soups, salad dressing, smoothies, juices, frozen desserts - seriously?? So far, it has lived up to all the hype. I'll keep you posted as I continue to use it every day.

Notice any differences?
While it's only been 11 days, I have noticed one major difference. I'm not as hungry during the day when I have a green smoothie for breakfast. That's huge for me. Normally, I have breakfast around 7:30am but I'm STARVING by 10am, regardless if I've worked out or not. I'm considering switching my green smoothie to the afternoon to see if it has a similar effect on my afternoon blahs and hunger.

While it's been fun experimenting, I feel like I should be more diligent about measuring my ingredients. Smoothies are one of those things that can easily balloon in size and calories. The whole point of this challenge isn't to have an excuse to sugar-laden dessert drink every day but to reap the health benefits of green smoothies.

I excited for the rest of this challenge. I'm really curious to see if I feel any other noticeable differences by the end of the month.

Do you drink green smoothies? What are some of your favorite combos? Have you noticed any differences since you started drinking green smoothies? I post most of my smoothies on Instagram so come and follow me there! 


Friday, June 8, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

One of the things that has continued to amaze me is the incredible people that I have had the opportunity to get to know through blogging and how supportive the blogging community truly is. I had heard "things" about the blogging community and how people come together and support each other but I didn't believe it. Well, the past six months or so has proved me wrong.

Last week, I found out that Lisa at Run Wiki passed on to me the One Lovely Blog award. This also reminded me that Michelle at Rage Your Way Thin passed on the Liebster Award to me way back in April! I can't believe that it's taken me so long to pay it forward! I'm honored. I hope it's OK with you but I'm cheating a little and combining the two awards. Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who awarded the award and link back to their blogs: Thank you Lisa and Michelle!

2. Tell 5-7 random things about yourself that no one knows.

3. Pass on the award to up to 15 blogs you follow and like/admire/wish they were yours (One Lovely Blog Award) or 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

4. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blog/tweet so they know about the award.

So, in addition to my 11 random things and my 10 summer memories, here are 5 more random things about me. Geez, I think that you guys know just about everything at this point!

  • I speak and understand enough Chinese, Spanish, Italian and Polish to get by in a pinch when traveling in those countries.
  • Despite having braces twice (Yes, twice) I still have crooked teeth. Don't get my Mom started on that one.
  • I had a perm when I was about 8 years old. I looked like an old Chinese lady.
  • I'm quite sentimental and, as a result, tend to be a pack rat. I have a hard time parting with clothes, books, knick knacks, etc. I have a box of old letters and journals that really just should be thrown away or burned.
  • As we were leaving for our honeymoon, my husband got a call informing us that the bed & breakfast we planned on staying in had burned down. Luckily, at least we weren't planning on staying there until about 3-4 days into our trip. 

I'd like to pass the award on to these lovely blogs but there are so many blogs out there that I really enjoy reading. Go check them out! I promise you won't be disappointed.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Traveling Thoughts

Missing NYC

Happy Wednesday! Oy, it's been a rough two weeks as I've been traveling for work  - Chicago last week and LA this week. I don't typically travel for work so having to travel two weeks in a row has been brutal. I'm not sure what day it is or what time zone I'm in.

Here are a few bits and tidbits about business travel that have been running through my head lately.

1. The hardest part. I think that one of the hardest things for me, aside from being away from my family, is trying to stay healthy and active while I'm away. I think that it's largely because my schedule is out of my control and my days are often long and filled with catered meals.

2. Hunger! For some reason, when I'm on an airplane, I'm constantly hungry. Maybe it's the weird cabin pressure? So, I try to pack snacks from home both for the journey and for the trip itself since I know that there will be catered food, cookies and candy at the office or that I will be tempted to buy a bag of chips at the airport. The problem is that I have a hard time finding good snacks to bring with me. I would love to bring Kind Bars or Larabar or even packets of peanut butter to spread on apples but I can't. I have a severe peanut/tree nut allergy which eliminates most of these snacks.

3. Working out. For some reason I will get up and at 6am and work out when I'm away but cannot for the life of me get up at that hour when I am home.

4. Air conditioning. Why does every hotel and office building have to be freezing?? Regardless of what part of the country I am traveling to, I have to pack a number of sweaters or wraps to bundle up in since the air conditioning is often turned all the way up.

5. Green Smoothie Challenge. As you may know, I'm in the midst of a 30 day green smoothie challenge. I was really worried about keeping up with the challenge while I was away from home. I guess it's a good thing that I'm in LA this week. There are almost as many juice/smoothie bars as there are Starbucks. Phews.

6. Health issues. It never fails that when I am away from home, I get sick or something happens that requires medical attention. OK, maybe not every time that I travel but often enough that it's no longer a surprise. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen a tweet yesterday morning saying that I spent the morning in the ER. Yup - true story. On the way to the client site, my right eye started becoming incredibly irritated. By the time we arrived, my right eye was red and angry. I couldn't open it and couldn't see. Luckily, there was an ER close by. Apparently, I have some small speckled scratches on my cornea. 14 hours later, it's better but still very irritated. Great way to make an impression on a client, no?

Do you travel for work? How do you maintain a healthy balance when you are away from home? Do you have any peanut/tree nut-free snack suggestions??


Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Memories

How is it June already? I don't really know where the year has gone. I feel like I say this every year but every year, I seem to find myself thinking the same thing - it's summer already?!?!

I think that I feel most like a parent when it comes to summertime. It's funny to think back on my memories of summer and to see the shift from enjoying carefree summer days to being responsible for planning those carefree summer days for my little people.

Summer is definitely on my mind and I wanted to share some of my favorite memories.

1. Summers = pool. Growing up, we had a pool in the backyard and I pretty much spent every day swimming in the pool with my brother and sister. That Wonder Woman bathing suit? I LOVED it. That bowl cut? Not so much. The funny thing is that every summer I would "forget" how to swim and my Dad would have to teach me all over again.

2. Snake. One time, I remember running up from the pool to find my Mom because my swimmies/arm floats needed some air. As I got to the deck, she was coming out of the sliding door with a bowl of watermelon. As she stepped on the door mat, a snake slithered out from underneath. I turned right around and ran back to the pool.

3. Watermelon. Summer was all about watermelon. It still is. I've been known to hoard watermelon. Now, I have to share since my oldest son also loves it too.

4. Summer in Montana. I spent a month during the summer after Junior year in high school building a playground on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. It was also the first time I went backpacking, spending three days in the Bighorn National Forest. I formed some amazing friendships that summer.

5. Day trip to the Grand Canyon. Sometime during my freshman year in college, I became obsessed with the idea of visiting the Grand Canyon. That summer, I took a rode trip with two of my friends. We drove straight through from the Bay Area. We spent the night, hiked the next morning and then drove home.

6. Summer in Paraguay. I spent a summer in college working on a public health project in rural Paraguay. I credit that summer for changing my mind about going to Med School. However, the hardest part was that I was vegetarian at the time and in Paraguay, beef is a staple. There was meat at every meal, culminating in a huge asado dinner every Sunday.

7. Summer before graduate school. Ed and I traveled in Europe for three weeks and visited his family in Poland where I was forced to drink more vodka than I thought was humanly possible, all starting at 10am.

8. Running through Europe.  That same summer, Ed and I were training for our first marathon - the Chicago Marathon. We ran our way through Warsaw, Krakow, Vienna, Venice, and Florence. It was an incredible way to see the different cities, early in the morning and away from all the tourists.

9. Cousins. I have a lot of cousins. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with them. I feel badly that my kids don't get to spend as much time with their cousins since most of them live in California. However, last summer, for my Mom's 70th birthday, we all went on a cruise together. While it was mass chaos for a week, the kids had such a great time hanging out together and playing. I can't wait to watch their relationships continue to grow as they do.

10. Summer with the boys. Since the boys were born, our summers have focused on spending quality time together as a family. We try to spend a week or two outside of NYC so that the boys have a chance to run around in the woods and breath fresh air.

Tell me, what do you associate summer with? What are some of your favorite summer memories? Do you hoard watermelon like I do?

{Linking up with Stasha and Monday Listicles}

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