Wednesday, December 29

Top 10 of 2010

It's that time of year again...time to pick yourself up by the bootstraps, dust off that Christmas coma, and look towards the new year. 2011 is rapidly approaching and before I can make my list of half-hearted resolutions I'll probably forget by February, I want to reflect on everything that's happened over the past 12 months. 2010 has been a doozy and not just because so much of it was spent drinking tequila. A LOT has happened, in no particular order:

1. I made risotto (and other tasty things)

Risotto is a feisty bitch. It can be high-maintenance, aggressive, obsessive compulsive, and just a little bit needy. Basically its me, but in food form. I learned to make it for the first time in February and have been obsessed ever since. My favorite version is sausage and ramp risotto from Epicurious. (Really though, gimme any form of pasta with loads of parmesan cheese and I'm not going to complain)

2. I bought my first pair of shorts.

This is a big freaking deal, folks. I have never been a fan of shorts, I always felt so incredibly self-conscious in them. I never dreamed I'd ever go for a run, let alone in a pair of shorts. But after my first 5k in March, my confidence began to grow. With every run I took that spring, I felt myself becoming more comfortable with my body. By the time I was training for my half marathon in May, I was straight up hot. (as in sweaty. not as in supermodel) I knew I'd have to make amends with my disdain for shorts or else be the crazy lady passed out from heat stroke on the sidewalk. Now, I'm so into this whole shorts thing, I even bought another pair yesterday. in December. after a blizzard. Wordtoyomotha.

3. I blogged. and people actually read it! (This one still surprises me sometimes)
Quarterlife Quandary began as last year's resolution. A couple years ago I wrote a blog called Polos and Pearls, but never stuck with it.

After some loving nagging from my friends, I decided to jump back into the blog world. Over the past year, I've had some great opportunities through the blog. My post on British vocabulary was featured on which swelled my ego to "epic" proportions. For that fleeting weekend, I could hardly carry on civil conversation with people, I was so obsessed with my stats and # of visitors. (Reality certainly hit hard that Monday morning when it went back to normal) More recently, I've been honored with the chance to be a contributing member of Hollaback Health. Not going to lie, being a Hollaback Health girl is more exciting than grad school, sorority rush, and happy hour I get to sing Gwen Stefani every time I get an email from one of them.

4. I was the Maid of Honor for my best friend's wedding.

Being an only child, I figured my chances of being someone's maid of honor were slim. Lucky for me, God brought me a sister in the form of my best friend. Roommates in college and friends over the past 8 years, standing beside Laura on her big day was one of the highlights of my year. I am so excited she'll be there for me as my Maid of Honor in 2011.

5. Let's just keep the wedding ball rolling, with my own engagement

One of the hidden rules of blogging is not to brag about what you have, the same goes for gushing about who your one wants to hear how wonderful and amazing your relationship is. Now, I could tell you the top moment of 2010 came the first time Sean farted in front of me or the first chance I got to do his laundry because these are the more realistic aspects of being in a long term relationship, but screw that. It's my blog. I want to profess my love for this man. I love him and I can't wait to marry him and put up with his farts for the rest of my life.

6. I almost murdered Mother Nature

When the volcano in Iceland ruined my birthday and the chance to go to Trinity Ball in Ireland, I was irate. When my second flight was cancelled because of that same damn volcano and I lost all chance of going anywhere on my vacation, I was ready for revenge. I took all my sound and fury out on the local businesses of Boston and had a shopping spree worthy of Dr. Phil levels of therapy.

7. First trip abroad, followed by a move to Europe!

Apparently my vacation to Ireland and Italy wasn't enough time spent abroad for me, so Sean and I decided to spend some more time there. Although, as I've said before, our decision to move to London hasn't been an easy one and we're not really happy there, I still consider it one of the top moments of the year. In fact, it's one of the top moments of my life so far. Making a decision like that is balls to the wall scary, but I did it and I know after this I'll be a stronger person as a result. I'll just be a stronger person without any furniture, a car, a job, or life savings. pshhhh minor details.

8. I quit my job

This was, by far, the scariest thing I've ever done. I still have dreams about the students I left behind, I still get emails from those same former students, and I still worry sometimes that I was an idiot to throw away the safety and security that accompanied those weekly paychecks...but that's all part of risk taking. I have faith that 2011 will bring a new job my way that further bolsters my belief I made the right decision to leave teaching.

9. I signed up for a marathon. in Barcelona, Spain.

Hey, go big or go home right? So the people will be cheering for me in a different language, that's okay. Lucky for me, sangria and tequila are the same in every language. Mas cerveza, por favor! Ole!

10. I fell in love. with myself.

2010 has been a crazy year. I had a psycho roommate and a psycho ex boyfriend who repeatedly made appearances in my life, I had 2 car accidents, and a sprained ankle. I cried A LOT. but I also laughed a lot. and smiled alot. and learned a lot. I've pushed myself and showed myself I'm capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. I've learned to stop hating the person I see in the mirror. She's pretty awesome, even if her thighs will never be like Marissa Miller's.

I cannot wait for all the things 2011 will bring: a wedding in September, a move back to the United States, and Britney Spears new album....

bring. it. on.

Monday, December 27

A Christmas Coma

What happens when you combine 2 days of excessive eating and drinking with another 2 days of being snowed in by a blizzard that dumps 20 inches of snow?

If you guessed the answer is more excessive eating and drinking than you are correct my friends.

The #SNOWtoriousBIG happening outside our window has extended my Christmas coma a few extra days. I'm just not ready to let go of that holiday feeling yet. So instead, I'm going to stay in my pajamas, eat peppermint bark cookies and watch movies.

Happy Snowday/Post holiday/Christmas Coma day to you all!

Thursday, December 23

The bigger, the better...

I have a bit of a Christmas tree complex.

I like 'em big. The bigger, the better. I also will not accept a fake tree. Fake boobs? Yes please! Fake eyelashes? Sign me up! A tree from KMart with a pine scented airfreshener? Na uh. Not happening. Give me a big ole' fat bottom tree with a whole lotta girth and I'm a happy girl. (heh. heh.) In today's diet-ridden, PC speaking world, where else can you demand for something to be big and fat and not feel like a complete weirdo?

Keeping this in mind, we set out to cut down our own tree this year. With nothing but a saw and our sheer determination for the best tree possible, we set off into the wilderness.

Okay, not really. We went to a tree farm about 45 minutes away from my parents house. BUT we did get to use a saw. I was excited.

Searching for the perfect tree was tricky. There were so many to choose from, but they were all covered in snow.

Wait, I'm supposed to cut them down with snow all over them? Ummmm.....apparently I didn't think this whole "let's play Laura Ingalls Wilder and stomp off into the forest" thing through. That snow was deceiving. I didn't want to end up with a crap tree in disguise, but I didn't want to end up with a National Lampoon tree either.

Luckily, Sean came in handy as the perfect measuring tool. We made him stand next to trees and used his height as a comparison for the size of the tree. We also made him shake all the snow off the trees we liked. Poor, poor Sean. I still don't think he realized what he signed up for when he got down on one knee so many months ago.

As the sun began to set, we ran back and forth between 2 trees on opposite sides of the lot trying to get an idea of which one was bigger, and therefore better.

I wish someone had documented this part of the day. Three fully grown adults scrambling back and forth in the snow screaming to each other:

"How big is it?"

"Do you think it'll fit?"

"This one's wider! I like 'em wider!"

(*cough* That's what she said *cough cough*)

Finally, we settled on the perfect one...after doing a preliminary squirrel check to make sure there were no little rascals hiding out, Sean and my mom got down to business.

(aren't they hard workers? I was the supervisor. I'm verrrryyyy good at telling people what to do)

Just as the sun set over the ridge of the mountains, we made our way back to the car haulin' our loot in tow.

Just when I thought I'd squeezed every last sexual innuendoes out of this innocent little outing, as we tried to cram the giant tree into the back of my dad's pickup truck, a nearby tree farm worker hollered "You should wrap it up before you put it in! It'll make it fit easier!" (ba-da bing! ba-da boom!)

What's Christmas without totally blaspheming a sacred family tradition?

All immature, middle school jokes aside, I'd like to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!!!

And if you would, say a prayer Santa (aka Mom and Dad) doesn't take back all my presents after reading this completely inappropriate post.

Tuesday, December 21

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things!

When the dog bites

(I know, very vicious looking isn't he? Be afraid, be very afraid)

When the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel soooooooo baaaaaaaaad.

I know The Sound of Music isn't your typical Christmas melody, but the message behind the music does ring true to the holiday spirit. I've always been a Christmas fanatic...before I was even born, I was jammin' out to Mariah and sippin' on some second hand egg nog.

(see me in there? God I was cute, even as a fetus)

I've never been one to shy away from making my wish list for Santa either (what? You don't send a list to the North Pole when you're 26? pshhhhh). Although my presents have certainly changed over the years

a New Kids tape, rosary, Bible, and 2 pairs of Spandex?!? Now that is the makings of a goooood time. I was only 7 when I wrote that, but apparently I was a bad ass even then. Is it too late to change my list for this year? I'd freaking love to rock out to some NKOTB on Christmas morning....

Merry Christmas to you Joey McIntyre and your sweet, sweet early 90's hair.

But this holiday season, this one is different. Sean and I are not exchanging gifts this year. London is like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills high class hooker using us as her personal ATM machine, so the trip home was gift enough. But it's about more than gifts. Maybe because I'm engaged and sharing it with someone, perhaps it's because moving to London has made me appreciate being home so much more. Lord knows Sean and I are struggling right now, so the time among family was necessary...but in any regard, this Christmas is special.

We may not have a lot of money, we may not have jobs or babies or a house we call a home...but we have a lot and for that, I am incredibly grateful. I am full of warm and fuzzies this week. This trip has made me stop and appreciate all the little things in my life. Don't get me wrong, I still hope this little baby is under the tree

(I've been a very good girl this year Santa. I promise! I only used the f word on my blog once)

but beyond that, I've realized there are so many more important things to this holiday season than maxing out your credit card and bordering on attempted murder in the mall parking lot.

Some of my favorite things this Christmas?


no surprise here. I love beer. dark, light, hoppy, yeasty (yes, yeasty)...bring it on. Especially after a day of skiing.


just kidding. Who would list running as their favorite thing?! I haven't even mentioned dessert yet. I should be more specific.

I love how strong I feel after conquering a long run

and that tired sense of satisfaction in knowing I've accomplished a personal goal

and how its allowed me to eat pretty much whatever I want for 3 months and still fit in my New Years Eve dress

my family. present and future.


of all kinds.

mostly of the chocolate variety.

Seriously though, take a minute and think about this...what other holiday combines drinking, eating, and getting presents? Sure sure, your birthday does, but that's just for you. This is for EVERYONE. It's like a multinational, cross-cultural, equal opportunity to slap on an ugly Christmas sweater and bounce around your parent's house like a 5 year old on a sugar-cookie-laced-with-rum-spiked-egg-nog craze (not that I condone 5 year olds drinking rum. They should wait until their at least 15 for that stuff)

We are in the final stretch of the holiday season. I hope you take these next 4 days to spread some Christmas cheer. and by "spread Christmas cheer" I mean drink too much red wine with your favorite Aunt and eat an extra gingerbread cookie, because let's be real....Santa's belly was a bowl full of jelly, not spinach smoothies.
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