About Me...

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
I'm a scientist , yogi, book worm, scifi junk, and I'm a little obsessed with my pup. My life is full of discovery both in the lab and out of the lab. This blog is my place to share my experiences as a person trying to stay happy and healthy in this crazy world.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows'

Yay, how exciting!

A small moment of tranquility...

Yesterday was Monday, and Monday's are always busy and I feel like I'm constantly rushing around and yesterday was no different.  After a wonderful dinner (Gnocchi with veggies in marinara sauce and blueberry/feta spring mix salad) I took little Phil for a much needed walk.  I put in my headphones and while listening to a podcast we quickly walked to the library.

After leaving the library I forgot to restart my IPod and walked through the residential streets and something hit me.  Peaceful quietness...  I could hear the birds chirping and kids playing a street over, but it was generally quiet and tranquil.  I didn't listen to my IPod the rest of the way home, but enjoyed the quiet and it helped relax and refresh me. It really changed the whole mood for the rest of the evening!  

It's easy to get used to the constant noise of busy cars and hustle and bustle, however, when it's gone everything seems tranquil and calm.  I think it was life's way of reminding me yesterday that my goal is to slow down and enjoy life more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pic from hooray Jonah celebration...

 The gang + dogs from Wed. night celebration!  Thanks for the Pic Jim!  (Little Philip's eyes are glowing like an evil dog....but I promise he's not! And check out the defiance of gravity that Steve is pulling (sideways guy in the back))

From Mr. to Dr.

Wednesday 6.23.10 marks a very important day.....the day a committee of very intelligent people decided to give Jonah, my fiance´ (pictured on the top left) a doctorate of philosophy in human bioenergetics (he's getting some serious energetics from that apple fritter in the pic).

After many many months of very hard work and stress it's official and everyone who knows him is SO PROUD of him.  On Wed. we had a little soiree, hosted by our amazing friends Jim and Abby, with lots of delicious food and company.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pics but it was a blast.
This weekend was the first time in quite a while we've been able to spend time together stress free!!!  Hooray!

So, CONGRATS JONAH!!!! You're awesome!

Monday, June 21, 2010

First day of summer....

Happy first day of summer.  Today June 21, 2010 is the summer solstice and the day of the year with the most daylight hours!  Today lends itself well to doing a quarterly assessment of life and goals.  In January my goals for this year were:

Home related goals:
  • Better organize my apartment!!
    • Summer update: it's still a work in progress, but I've gotten rid of many no longer needed things which were donated to goodwill.  I think I had about 4-5 bags of things. 
  • Run a marathon...
    • Summer update: in progress....
  • Relax more and reduce day to day stress.
    • Summer update: this is going to be ongoing forever, but I've gotten better at educating myself about things I can do to relax and modifying situations so I don't experience the same level of high stress.  
Work related goals:
  • Publish my first paper from the Yutzey lab this year.  
    • Summer update: It will be sometime this year, I feel a bit behind since I thought I would have my experiments completed by now.  Goal date is this fall to have it all done (Sept?)
  • Have a clear idea of what the next step is for my Ph.D. project. 
    • Summer update: in progress... the pic is getting more clear but still a little muddy.  
I'm ready to take advantage of the summer and get motivated to obtain my goals, and taking some needed rejuvenation time with a vacation.  However, we haven't decided what to do for a vacay yet.....

Anyway, happy first day of summer! 

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    Running running...

    This morning I did a long run as part of the official training schedule available from the Chicago marathon website.  The humidity and heat and still here in Cincinnati, but training early in the morning has allowed me to at least dodge the bulk of the heat so far.  I came into training with a strong milage base build up so I'm feeling confident and I'll been able to stick with my plan so far....extra stretching and yoga to help keep my back healthy this time.

    Running in Cincinnati is usually fun.  There are many runners in this area of town, and I'm able to see most of them in the mornings while running.  Also, at times running in Cincinnati is random.  For instance, this morning I saw a truck top half sparkly orange and the bottom half sparkly blue.  In addition to the interesting paint job there were 3 standard rims and 1 rim was a spinner.  Now you may be picturing a regular spinner, but oh no this one was extra special....a dollar sign! I literally laughed out loud.  I also got passed by some super speedy male runners.....and one had a lower back tattoo.....well he actually had two.

    Thank you Cincinnati for keeping life interesting while running!

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    happy Friday morning...

    You know how when you use brown sugar there are sometimes small clumps of sugar.  As a child, I remember  picking out a few of those packed clumps and eating them as my mom was baking.  Who am I kidding,  I still do that! I even did it this morning when I was getting a little brown sugar for my morning oatmeal.  Eating that small clump of brown sugar brought me back to when I was a child and I took a second to enjoy the moment!

    I experimented with oatmeal this morning and ended up making something that resembled pineapple upside down cake oatmeal!  Delicious!
    Pineapple oatmeal ingredients:
    brown sugar
    small chunks of pineapple (add the pineapple after the oatmeal is hot)

    yay for the small things in life!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Any given Wednesday....

    Almost every Wednesday morning I'm out running.  Wednesday morning is usually one of the more interesting and smelly days to run through Cincinnati.  Why? Well, it's trash day in Oakley, Hyde Park, and Mt. Lookout (the usual neighborhoods I pass through on the morning running route).

    It's amazing what is thrown away.  So, what caught my eye this morning and got me thinking about trash was one house in  particular that was throwing away 4 pieces of "as-see-on-TV" exercise equipment.  (2 bikes, 1 gazelle, and 1 that I had no idea what it was called).  Lesson from all of this: Don't buy exercise equipment from infomercials.  

    Although I know every Wed. is trash day, I still go out for a run.  The positive side: the sidewalks become an obstacle course where I  have to dodge trash cans and hop over trash can lids.  It adds a little excitement to the morning.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    New playlist...

    Here are some of the songs from my new running playlist.  It's very Jack Johnson heavy right now since the new CD recently was released.

    1. The office theme song
    -I like to run to theme songs....this one is especially  motivating.
    2. Telephone-Lady Gaga
    3. At or with me-Jack Johnson
    -I love that the new album has several songs with a more upbeat backbeat...it makes me wanna move
    4. Supermassive black hole-Muse
    -I can't help thing of vampires playing baseball when this song comes on, and I giggle a bit.
    5. Pictures of people taking pictures-Jack Johnson
    6. Sexy Chick-David Getta
    7. Nothing on you-B.O.B
    8. Can't be tamed-Miley Cyrus
    -Yes I like some miley cyrus songs...I also like Metrostation.  One day I had the bright idea while running that a whole Cyrus family playlist including Billy Ray would be fun, but later I realized that was a bad idea.
    9. To the sea-Jack Johnson
    10. You and your heart-Jack Johnson

    That's a small sampling of some of my songs on my running playlist.  A new playlist always motivates me a little bit more.  I first listened to the new playlist on Sunday morning, and I was almost singing out loud to a few of my faves.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Weekend recap...

    This weekend was great fun and very enjoyable, but it was  nothing like I thought it would be.  I thought I would have had time to knit on Saturday, but sadly I did not.  I'm determined to do that sometime this coming week.  I was also very emotional and cried while watching very nonemotional TV.....I was a total mess.  On Sunday, I went dress shopping for the first time for wedding dresses...and I think I found the one.  It was fun trying on all the dresses....and it reaffirmed that I really don't like the princess-y puffy dresses or the taffeta ones.  After a very productive dress shopping hour...that's right we tried on a ton of dresses and found the one in under an hour! (gasp).. I was able to spend the rest of the day celebrating the soon-to-be nuptials of a friend and enjoy some good company.

    As always I wish the weekend had just one more day, but it's time to bid farewell to another relaxing weekend that has helped rejuvenate me!

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Rediscover a hobby...

    While cleaning my apartment several weeks ago I came across a tote bag buried deep within my storage closet.  I opened it up to find it filled with balls of yarn and numerous sets of knitting needles/crochet hooks.  I used to love knitting...although my talents were limited to scarves.

    I remember many cold winter days sitting watching lifetime movies, drinking tea, chatting, and knitting with my grandmother.  She had given me all her knitting needles before she passed away in 2004.  I believe she would would want me to actually use her needles that she spent so much time with.....

    So, this weekend I'm going to attempt to start knitting again.  I might even get a book from the library to learn something other than basic knit stitch!

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Mediterranean inspiration...

    Cooking is surprisingly therapeutic for me.  I'm usually hesitant to cook when I get home, since I want food right then!  So, when I cook I've been taking a few short cuts to make it go more quickly.
    -Cut up veggies and pre-prep the night before
    -Marinade meat the night before
    -Have a recipe picked out or plan for dinner that night.
    -Stick with preparing foods that don't take over an hour to make; start to finish.

    Last night I made kabobs that were SOO good.  I marinaded the chicken in one of the garlic/herb lipton seasoning packets overnight, and cut up the veggies (red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes) the night before as well.  All I had to do when I got home was to put the meat and veggies on the skewers and put them on my grilla skillet (a skillet with raised grill lines in it).  To bring more of the Mediterranean inspiration into my dinner I added a bit of hummus and some kalamata olives.  Just for the tastiness I also had some Muenster cheese.  So yummy.

    Maybe cooking has grown on me since it is similar to cooking....every dish I make it a bit of an experiment because I follow a protocol (recipe) and get to troubleshoot and change the conditions to optimize the product.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Remember when...

    Do you remember when you were a kid and getting up early on a Saturday and watching cartoons such as Looney Tunes, Winnie the Pooh, Gummie Bears, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was an event to rejoice over.  I was thinking about how excited and how much I looked forward to those mornings.  Usually my mom would also make us pancakes on those mornings as well which made the whole experience all the more amazing.  (If you know my mom then you know she cooks old fashion style with real butter and fat and it's delicious) 

    While reminiscing I realized there are currently very few things that I get that excited about.  I'm not saying that I don't get excited about life anymore.  There are many things such as getting to see my fiance, vacations, and relaxation days that I still get excited about.  However, I'm losing the joy in the small things.  That's my goal this month... try to enjoy the small things more.  June will be enjoy and get excited about the small things in life!!!

    Running update:
    Did my long run this weekend...again totally too humid and hot....I'm investing in a new fuel belt bottles before my next long run since the bottles from my old one totally taste like plastic.  Hopefully, this will help keep me hydrated and I'll feel better.  This week I got nauseous near the end of the run, which made drinking water even difficult.  So, I think being more prepared for the heat will also help me enjoy the weekly long run as well.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    One flew the coop...

    This video was on sportscenter several weeks ago, so I had to find it and share it. I still laugh every time I watch it. The best part....the guy screaming like a girl and the determined look of the cardinal when they zoom in on his face. He looks totally mad. Also, this particular clip has the random chattering at the end of the fox news anchors which is funny in it's own right. "Does that require a tetanus shot?"

    Well enjoy.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Marathon training update...

    I wanted to update everyone on my training for the Chicago marathon.  I'm still about 18 weeks away from the actual race. But as I had mentioned previously, I'm taking a really long training schedule with a more gradual increase in mileage to try and prevent injury.

    While I was in Amsterdam I was able to run several times. (It was a blast!) But, I didn't get a good long run in.  So, when I got home I did a pseudo-long run and did normal training the rest of the week.  This past weekend I ran 10 miles in the super hot sun in Muncie, IN.  There was super humidity and the temp was near 80F.  I left a water bottle out around mile 8, which I should have used much earlier.  Luckily, Muncie is relatively flat so no Cincinnati hills to make it worse.  I think I got a bit dehydrated and overheated from the run.

    This week has continued to be hot and humid in Cincinnati, and running has been rather challenging.  I feel like I'm drenched when I finish running, and have to take a cold shower before getting ready for work.

    My back has been a little sore this week so I've been doing lots of stretching and using a lot of pain relieving cream.  I tried icing my back, but it feels worse after a lot of icing.  So, I've started using a heating pad on it before stretching, and it seems like it works better although I have no idea why.

    I'm running slowly but surely to Chicago 2010.

    P.S. In my attempt to take care of myself I've been doing one fun thing a week for myself.
    Here's what I'm doing this week:
    -Going to see the Sex and the City 2 movie.  Totally girlie and it will be a nice nonscience, relaxing time with a friend.