Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Wonderland Workout!

I've got to say, after last year's super mild winter, I almost forgot what snow-- and a snowstorm -- actually look like. While it was in the 70's in mid-March last year, this morning I wake up to find that I actually have to shovel the walkway to the driveway (gasp!).

Now, I'm not going to lie. Seeing that much snow did make me want to crawl right back into my bed and curl up under the covers for the rest of the day. I certainly did not want to be putting my Under Armor running gear on so that I could go for a nice run in a foot of snow. But, my body is not going to run itself, and therefore I somehow found the motivation enough to step one foot into the leggings instead of back into my nice, warm, comfy pj pants. Oh, to be a kid again...

By the time I finally was dressed I had forgotten about the fact that I actually needed to shovel a walkway for me to be able to get to the driveway, and thus, the road! But lucky me, the boyfriend was sweet enough to head out there early and work on it so I would have to....I think he's a keeper :)
No, the girl above is not  me (I don't have my own photographer to follow me around while I run and look active, and as much as he loves me, the boyfriend is not going to follow me around taking pictures of me either!) -- but I would like to think that this is what I look like while I am running. Cool, calm, collected, and leisurely. In reality I probably look like a mess, but hey, it's the workout that matters, right?! 

By the time I got done with my morning run, the boyfriend had plowed out the driveway so I would have to worry about it while trying to leave for work. The run in the snow was a little strenuous since many of the roads and sidewalks weren't fully plowed yet, but the more effort takes the better the results! Well, that's what I kept telling myself as I kept trudging on through the foot-high snow...

On another note, we are starting to try and plan our New Years Eve plans. I always tell myself I am going to think of something fun and unique way ahead of time, and then I always put it off and wait until a few days before to try and think of something. I think part of that is that people I have too high of expectations and I always feel "let down" by New Years Eve. 

In my head, New Years will be like this: 

but in reality, it usually ends up feeling something like this:

Okay, Carolyn -- stop being so melodramatic. In all honesty we have had some pretty good New Years Eve's, but I still can't help but feel a bit "let down" each year. I don't know what I want to do this year -- the boyfriend seems to want to plan this one and he's not letting me in on what he's thinking. I guess if I don't plan it, I won't have any expectations to fall short of :) We shall see what he comes up with....

How about any of you -- do you ever feel like your NYE is everything you want it to be? Or am I not alone in feeling like it's a little too hyped up? What are your plans for NYE this year? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Finding balance....

"Next to love, balance is the most important thing."
                 - John Wooden

*original photo from:

I ran across this quote a little while ago and loved it. I loved it so much that I wrote it down on a notepad in my kitchen. I thought because I "wrote it down," and because it was in my kitchen -- the place I am in every. single. day... multiple times - I would see it and be reminded to create and maintain some sort of balance in my life. 

Wrong. Very wrong.

What happened to that little note I had made for myself? It got covered with papers and mail from that week. And from the next week. And the next. 

I like to say that I am organized, but I am not sure if that is a lie or not. Maybe I "pretend" to be organized. What's that saying? Organized chaos? Yes, that's me.... definitely me!

So yesterday I took some time to go through my "organized" chaos pile of papers that have been sitting on my kitchen counter for what seems like forever (in reality, it has not been that long... but with all the junk mail and credit card offers, its a pretty large pile that makes it seem like it MUST be longer than it really has been). I sat down in front of the fireplace with a nice glass of wine and just started to pour through all the paperwork. It wasn't until the end that I saw that little note that I had written to myself WEEKS earlier... yeah, the one that I was supposed to read over every day to remind myself to try and find some balance?  

Well, needless to say, I found my note. And this time I got smart, and I taped it to my mirror in the bathroom (so I can look at it every morning as I am getting ready for the day). 

So....balance. What does it mean to have balance? To me, it means I am able to have enough time in my day to do the things I have to do and to do the things I want to do. That sounds a little bit like prioritization, but that's because I think the 2 go hand-in-hand. Balance and prioritization mean that I actually take the time to do what's important. I have to work so I can pay my bills. But I also have to leave time for myself to do things in my life that I want to do. Yoga and other physical activities have become some of those things. Spending time with my family, friends and boyfriend are others. Getting time to work on my hobbies, or read a good book, are some more. 

We spend a majority of our awake hours (on average) with our co-workers. My co-workers are pretty great, so this isn't a big deal to me. And ya know what, work isn't too bad either. But what IS a big deal is how that means I don't spend as much time with the other people and activities in my life.

So now, with that little note taped to my bathroom mirror, I am set to remind myself of finding and maintaining balance in my life. Balance between what I have to do and what I want to do. Balance between who I have to be, and who I want to be. 

Does this make sense? Does this sound too lofty? Or too "easy?" 

What are your tips for creating balance in your life? I would love to hear them! 

xoxo Carolyn 

Monday, December 3, 2012

'Tis the Season!

So I am usually waaaaay more on top of my game, but this year I just feel like I am way behind on everything having to do with the holidays (am I alone in this?) Usually I go out and get a Christmas tree   right after Thanksgiving, but I just felt like I had so much other stuff going on that I kept finding excuses for not going to get one.

FINALLY, I told myself enough is enough, I want my tree! I called my friend up that was also going to get her Christmas tree and I ended up going with her and her fiance (I must admit, it was very helpful having him there as my man had to work and wasn't able to help with the "heavy lifting")!

The weather wasn't too bad -- we did get lucky that it wasn't a blizzard out, and we were able to get the tree before all the rainy, crappy weather started!

Now I have the tree sitting outside my house, because although we beat the rain when we went to cut it down (I loooove cutting down my tree -- I had a fake tree in college, and although I understand the practicality of a fake tree, I just can't bring myself to not go out and cut my own down each year), I did NOT beat the rain by the time I got home, and therefore my tree was way too wet to put up! I'll wait until the bf can help too -- have to make him do some of the work! I must say, I am super glad that I went out and got it, and am really looking forward to decorating it! I don't have my own Pinterest account (like facebook, I am afraid I will spend waaaay too much of my time on it and I am already so busy as it is!) but I was looking at it with my friend the other day (who does have an account) and I have to say, I saw so many things I loved and want to do!

I love the warm, rich colors of this tree! (found at:

I also like the look if this window-decoration - it's kind of rustic while also being festive! (found at:

I found a lot of other ideas too, but I thought I would share a couple with you. I always grew up doing multi-colored Christmas lights but I really like the look of the white lights on the tree above, while incorporating lots of warm-colored ornaments and decorations! What kinds of color-themes do you usually do? Are you changing it up this year, or are you sticking with your yearly-traditions?

On another note... I am proud of myself -- although in the past I would have considered helping to carry   2 Christmas trees my "workout" I made myself to an at-home yoga workout. I love that I feel comfortable enough with yoga now that I can do it at home and feel that I am truly getting a good workout. Although I do love to get to classes and be a part of the experience with everyone else, it's nice that on the days I don't feel like going back out to go to a class I can just stay at home and still get a great workout! I am thinking of adding pilates into my exercise routine -- what do you all think? I tried if a few times in college with a roommate but never really stayed with it. What are your favorite at-home workouts?!