Category Archives: Life

A Scatterbrained Fitbloggin Recap

Fitbloggin Group

It has been an insane week, but I’m finally ready to sit down and mull over the awesomeness that was Fitbloggin!

I arrived in Portland a day early to hang out with the lovely Tasha of Lettuce Makes Me Fat. She took me to a phenomenal Vietnamese restaurant (Luc Lac, go if you are in the area!) and then we explored a bit of the area. Afterward, I showed her one of my favorite past times – hashing. I love sharing this craziness with others and was thrilled that she enjoyed herself . Seriously folks, if you like running, ridiculousness, and drinking, search for the hash house harriers in your city. They are some of the most welcoming and fun individuals.

The next morning I burst into my hotel room to ninja hug Kenlie and Martinus. It was great to be reunited with some of my favorite people (major shout out to my love Pinky who I got to spend a lot of time canoodling with). After catching up, I took the afternoon to explore more of the downtown area before trying out a pyrolates class. I went in a bit blindly and quickly realized why they called it PYRO-lates. Every part of my thighs and abs were on fire by the time the class ended (and for days afterward). It was intense, but fun to try something new. I need to get more burny workouts into my life, nothing proves that it is working like insane soreness the following days. (Is that a good or bad thing? Who knows.)

Firebrand Pyrolates Class Photo

I set a goal to attend every workout class offered this year at Fitbloggin, but disregarded how tough it would be to wake up at 5:30am each morning… I’ll admit that the workouts were by far my favorite part of the conference. It is great to try out new activities and joke around with friends. This year we got to “spank our bad kitties” again with Jeff of JumpSport. Lucky for me, he teaches a class in San Francisco so I’ll get to do it again sometime. And I realized that yoga isn’t as bad as I had recalled, this might be something I add into my routine.

Spank the Bad Kitty

This year we had a great fashion show coordinated by Emmie and I was lucky enough to be involved. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but I was quite excited to rock my Nux outfit. Outside the room I was overly confident, then as my turn arrived I felt the nerves coming on. I sauntered up to the stage and demanded confidence from myself. I don’t quite remember what I was thinking during the walk, but I do love this photo that was taken of me strutting my stuff. When I look at it I feel so confident and proud, and I think we all need to feel that way more often about our awesome selves. Take a moment to check out the greatness that was Maggie killing it on stage.

Fashion Show

Fitbloggin meant a lot to me this year for a multitude of reasons. It wasn’t just an opportunity to spend time with amazing people, but it was a moment to really consider what I’m doing with my health. I’ve managed to make some adjustments to my diet this past month and I want to think about what else I can do in the coming months as I reenter the working world. I want to make smarter decisions in both my eating habits and exercise. This is my year to make things happen, I need to remember that.

Overall I loved Portland. It had a nice urban feel, but it was easy to get out to nature. I’ll definitely be returning to do more hiking, kayaking, and site seeing. Who knows, perhaps I’ll end up in that area some day.

As for Fitbloggin, I’ll definitely be back! I’ve had a great time these past two years and look forward to meeting more amazing people next year.

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Graduated!

As of this past Sunday I’m officially finished with graduate school!  It is blowing my mind that it is all over. Two long, strenuous years of work and now I’m off to real world again.  I’m not completely sure I’m ready. Eep!

Graduation weekend began with my (incredibly stressful) final presentation.  I was given ten minutes to speak freely about my time at Stanford, which was slightly too broad… There were 12 people in my class and we all interpreted the prompt a bit differently. I ended up speaking about the different elements of my life that have helped me to become a more skilled designer.  Really profound stuff like – do what you love and play well with others. Here’s hoping my future career will involve these aspects as well.

A friend took this from the back of the packed auditorium

A friend took this from the back of the packed auditorium

While it was entirely too nerve wracking for me to handle, I think I was able to do a coherent job. Of course the audience had no choice but to sit back and watch, so I can’t really determine how successful I was… At one point, toward the end, I found myself a bit emotional. Best way to recover? Make a joke about drinking. I believe I said – “I apologize, the whiskey hasn’t kicked in quite yet.”  Thankfully my wise crack was perfectly timed, the audience laughed for long enough for me to regain composure (momentarily). Phew.

Once that was over we celebrated! Seriously, what else can one do after surviving a presentation in front of several hundred people? Of course it wasn’t over then as I still had to cross a stage and pick up my overpriced fancy piece of paper. So the next morning I woke up bright and early to sit in the painful heat (dressed in all black) to listen to Michael Bloomberg. The president deemed us graduates, we cheered, and then scuttled off to our private ceremonies.

With my proud big brother

With my proud big brother

After a few more hours of sitting, it was my turn to cross the stage. I walked tall knowing that this was it, the final moments of my graduate career. Snapped a photo with one of my favorite professors before I ran back to celebrate with the last of my class. We did it! We’ll all be going off in different directions this next year, but I am so grateful for each and every member of my (often dysfunctional) class.

You have no idea how much coordination it takes to get everyone looking at the same camera

You have no idea how much coordination it takes to get everyone looking at the same camera…

Now I’m “relaxing” on a short trip with my family. (Honestly, is vacation with family ever relaxing?!) Earlier this week we went to Yosemite for some great scenery and today I find myself in Napa. It is amazing, I’ve lived so close for two years and never actually made it up here. I do believe it is about time I start wine tasting!

Next week I’ll be in Long Beach for a few days before heading north to Fitbloggin. I couldn’t be more excited. Looking forward to meeting some other great bloggers, getting in a few intense workouts (I’m doing every single one, are you  in?), and sight seeing all of Portland. Let me know if you care to join me at the hash (a scavenger hunt for beer) on Wednesday or Thursday night.  :)

And we’re done!

Well, almost. I submitted all of my work and have confirmation from each of  my professors that I have indeed passed. There is no failing out of grad school for me! Now, I just need to muster up the courage to give a speech in front of several hundred people. Of course graduation falls on the 50th reunion weekend for my program, so I’ll have a great deal of alumni in the audience as well. No pressure…

Soon this will be happening again.  Eep!

Soon this will be happening again. Eep!

I’ve spent the last few days cleaning up my apartment and office in preparation for my eventual move. It is amazing how therapeutic it is to go through all of my items. Somehow I’ve given away a disturbingly large amount to Goodwill, I had no idea I’d amassed so much crap. Here’s hoping I can live with less once I return to the real world (whenever that happens).

In running related news, this morning I’m heading off to Alameda to rock the See Jane Run half marathon with my lovely running partner Maggie. Thank goodness she dragged me out for an 11 miler a few weeks ago or I’d never be prepared! At the Rock and Roll San Jose I helped* her PR, so I’m secretly hoping we can do that again. Again, no pressure whatsoever…

What races are you rockin’ this weekend?

*The term “help” is used lightly. I’m pretty sure it was all her and she was trying to finish quickly to get away from my peppy, obnoxious race self.

California made me crunchy…

It is official, I moved to California a year and a half ago and I’ve become a hippie. This isn’t totally surprising, I’d already been playing ultimate frisbee for years and, well,  it was about time… These days I thoroughly enjoy my flip flop weather and the ability to commute via bike. Haven’t gotten into hooping quite yet, but there is still time.

With becoming more one with the earth, I’ve changed up my breakfast routine. Instead of random cereal or oatmeal,  I’ve been enjoying my greek yogurt and Cascadian Farms granola every morning. In fact, I have to talk myself out of having it for dinner some days (like right this moment!). This breakfast combination leaves me completely satisfied from 8am until lunch unlike other things I’ve tried. It also improves the taste of cottage cheese if you want a high protein kick.

I’ve tried most of the Cascadian Farms granolas, and although I thought the dark chocolate almond would be a quick favorite, I gravitate toward the maple brown sugar. Seriously delicious. I find myself looking for excuses to munch on it. Isn’t everything better with some maple?  (Maple bacon scones are one of the greatest gifts to mankind.  Trust me on this and if you are in SF, then I’ll direct you to some!)

If you haven’t yet, also check out their new crunchy granola bars. The taste is similar to Nature Valley’s bars, but the ingredient list is significantly shorter. They also come in some other great flavors. Looking forward to getting my hands on the oat and cocoa!

What granola do you enjoy devouring? Have you tried Cascadian Farms?

Note: Cascadian Farms has sent me several products to sample over the past few months. But let me be serious, I loved their granola long before they offered to send me any.
 

Wordless Wednesday – Recent Adventures

I’m incredibly fortunate to have ridiculous friends that drag me on outlandish outings. In the past month and a half I’ve taken part in some fantastic events. Here are a few picture highlights!

Showing our support by rockin' out to 90s music

Showing our support by rockin’ out to 90s music

Riding a bull in the middle of Ragnar, disregard the ridiculous face...

Riding a bull in the middle of Ragnar, disregard the ridiculous face…

Preparing to rock the Tough Mudder

Preparing to rock the Tough Mudder

First things first, hop into this pool of ice!

First things first, hop into this pool of ice!

And of course the chaos that was our Red Dress Run

And of course the chaos that was our Red Dress Run

What are some of your recent adventures?