Friday, April 29, 2011

A few things...

Today I rode my bike to work for the first time since December.  There are some very special people who are hardcore and ride through the winter.  I am not one of those peeps.

It was the perfect day to ride -- sunny and gorgeous.  However, I did learn a few things on my ride today.

1) That as cute as the outfit below is and no matter how functional a high waisted, non-mini skirt may seem, it is still not advisable to wear a skirt when riding a bike.

Not because you risk flashing your who-ha to everyone on one of the busiest streets in Boston during the busiest time of day, but because you might get bike grease on it. 

 Semi-bike commute  fail.

2) When you haven't ridden your bike in a long time, 3.8 miles feels long.  Especially after strength training the night before. Squat sets with Jillian Michael's + riding = burning thighs.

Luckily, I'll have plenty of time to get my bike legs back.  The Consultant has informed me that with the price of gas and the #1 bus being ridiculously slow, I should be riding to work daily.

Honestly there is no reason not to ride everyday. Except it means I need to sleep more and get moving faster in the morning. Ideally, with the Escape the Cape triathlon quickly approaching in June, I would love to do my training rides in the morning by taking long routes to work.  Luckily, my office has shower facilities which is perfect so I don't stink up the place.  Now to just do it!

 In closing, I procured these cute red flats for 50% off at The Tannery in Harvard Square.  I had 4 pairs in hand, but exercised restraint.  They're having a great sale so check it out.  Happy Friday!

Some one needs to get a tan and do some anti-cankle exercises.

From Boston With Love,
The Twenty-Something

p.s. The Consultant is making me run tonight before we head over to dinner at our friends' place.  I'm glad someone is taking this half-marathon seriously.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weird Wednesday

Every time I type the word Wednesday, in my mind I say wed-nes-day.  I've done this since 2nd grade when I spelled "Wednesday" incorrectly on a spelling test.  Second grade was a hard year.  But I recovered and developed good coping mechanisms like the above. 

"Righty tighty, lefty loosey" has also been known to save my life a time or two.  It's the small things people.

Like the title states, today was a weird Wednesday.  The fact that it is not quite over still leaves me open for even more weirdness.  One can only hope.

Here's the list:

1) I woke up to this:

Yes, that is The Baby Pup on The Consultant's side of the bed, head resting on his pillow.  Similarly to last time, she apparently got onto the bed after I fell asleep and did so very quietly as  not to disturb me.  We might have spooned for a few minutes before I made her get down, but I can't be sure.

This behavior is just weird.  I wonder if maybe she has scary pup dreams that make her want to get into the bed with me.  She is just a baby after all.

2)  I had milk in my cereal:

This may not be a big deal for some, but I don't drink milk.  In fact, I loathe milk.  The thought of drinking a whole glass of ice cold milk makes me want to vom a little or at least prompts my gagging sound reflex. 

I am of the almond milk persuasion, but was all out.  Since I've been stuck in the purgatory that has been the last week of work, we are all out of everything.  Upon arriving home from work at the lovely hour of 9pm last night, I was too tired to make something to eat and went to bed on an empty stomach. 

Clearly, I woke up this morning with the hunger of a thousand lions roaring in my belly.  With extremely limited food options, I was forced to consume the mammary gland secretions of a bovine. It was disgusting.

Does anyone else think it is weird that humans consume mammary gland secretions of other animals?
{I am totally ok with cheese though. Some might call me a hypocrite. Those some would be correct.}

3) It was over 70 degrees in Boston today which was incredibly weird.  Maybe spring is here to stay?

4) Our bathroom is officially done {yes I am behind in the telling of the saga} and this morning as I took a shower, brushed my teeth, did my hair and makeup, all in one room, I was struck by how weird it was.  For the past five months I have done my makeup in the bedroom, brushed my teeth in the kitchen, and blow dried my hair in the hallway.

This whole finished bathroom will take a little getting used to.  BTW, the bathroom kinda looks like this now:

My original sketch for the vanity and shelves.

Well, with a toilet and shower on the other side. You get the idea.

5) I have run twice since this post.  I find it incredibly weird that I am apparently not scared enough of a half-marathon  to really train.  The race will be 4 miles farther that I have ever ran.  It is weird that this is not worrisome to me. 

I am not this fit right now.

With Weird Wed-nes-day Love,
The Twenty- Something

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Fatigue

I know you know what I'm talking about.  The final push to the finish, but no steam left..

The Baby Pup feels it too.
Yes, that is her laying to drink.  It's just too difficult to stand up. 

I wish I could lay down and drink. But really no time to write.  Real job is crazy busy.  I am supposed to be on a plane to D.C. later today. Haven't packed.

Hopefully I'll be in better shape when I return to Boston on Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Funky Friday Love,
The Twenty-Something

Thursday, April 21, 2011

El Bano Redo Part Quatre: Sand, Stain, Seal, Repeat

The Cast of Characters

The Help
I have mentioned before how our lovely bathroom was long and lean.  Well this being the case required us to have our vanity and open shelving unit custom built.  Because of the width of the bathroom and semi-necessary need to be able to walk to the toilet at the opposite end from the door, pre-fabricated vanities like the ones at Home Depot just really weren't an option.  They all protruded to much into the "walk way" down the center of the room.

However, I say "semi-necessary" because while we were letting the tile set and couldn't walk on it for a few days, I basically did an acrobatic routine to get to the toilet with out ever touching the floor.  Yes, it was amazing!

Mr. Matt in all his greatness, built our vanity and shelving unit, something that The Consultant and me neither have the tools, time, or actual desire to do.  But to save a little on the budget, we planned to stain them ourselves.  Being the perfectionist {control freak?}I am, I decided to take it upon myself.  Basically meaning I was a slave to staining every night from 9 - 2am for about two weeks.  Clearly this was one of the factors leading up to my Lent decision

Our kitchen metamorphosed into my working space.  After the first night, it was a disaster zone!

Only helpful until you start chewing my tools

I had never stained anything in my life, so after much googling, reading tutorials, and careful instruction from Mr. Matt, I dipped my brush in the pre-stain wood conditioner and began.  Putting the wood conditioner  on first helps the stain to be absorbed more uniformly so reduces blotching and streaking.  Then comes the stain.

We chose a dark walnut{apparently a popular stain}after deciding we already have a lot of wood pieces that are espresso color.  Also, the dark walnut color tied into the floor tile a bit better than espresso.  

The staining itself if not hard, but the process is a bit tedious. After every coat, I let the stain sit on the wood for 10-12 minutes and then wiped off the excess with a soft rag.  Then let it dry for several hours. Then lightly sand. Then you wipe clean with a tacky cloth. Then you stain. Wipe off excess. Let it dry for several hours. Lightly sand. Wipe with tacky cloth. Then you stain....  You get the idea!  

In total I applied three coats to achieve the depth of color I wanted.  Or maybe I just got tired of staining and called it quits after three? Who can say??

After the final coat of stain is dry, I then applied the wipe on poly.  This is basically a clear coat that seals the deal. I felt quite accomplished after putting the final coat of poly on the shelves. And tired.

Before: Naked and Cold
After: Warm and Woody

I took a full week off  from anything bathroom related, except using the john and showering occasionally.  The vanity was less mobile in that it weighed 8 million lbs. and was awkward to move so I wasn't able to stain it in the kitchen workshop.  I once again had to do my acrobat routine to get the toilet since the vanity was pulled away from the wall because we were at the same time painting the wall behind the vanity and shelves.  Who likes duel projects?  Raise your hand!

It was pretty much the same routine for the vanity, except slightly more tedious as I  obvi didn't want to stain any drawers shut.  The vanity proved to be a harder subject than the shelves with all the nooks and crannies.  
Vanity sans counter top and shelves all installed

A lesson in staining - apply the precoat evenly and allow it to dry completely or else you will get uneven stain color and streaking.  Mr. Matt was kind enough to sand down two of the cabinet drawers with his power sander in order for us to try again.  The second time around was much better, but goes to show good staining is truly a skill.


After all had dried, the wall and the wood, the vanity and the shelves were installed and ready for the arrival of the granite counter top. 

Piece by little piece, everything was quickly coming together.  I might even be able to stop sourcing my toiletries from the Trader Joe's grocery bag sitting in my closet next to my shoes.

A girl can hope!

Stained Love,
The Twenty-Something

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visitors from the South - Weekend Edition

The Consultant and I had the pleasure of hosting our BFF's from down South this weekend. It had almost been a year since we had last seen each other which is mostly unthinkable.

Everyone met me in Harvard Square on Friday after work where we headed over to Russell House Tavern for drinks and apps.  This little swanky place has become one of my favorites recently because of their delish oysters and great Washington and Oregon wine selection. 

{ a side note: my lovely yoga partner friend and I discovered it one night while playing hooky from yoga. wine just somehow sounded better than sweating in a hot room with 30 other peeps. it happens.}

OMG we can't believe we've been reunited!!!

Our faves from down south (and a little one on the way! eek!)
Then on to delicious dinner in the North End at La Summa. I can't not order Frutti di Mare. Amazing! Followed by canoli and gellato? Yes, please!

Saturday we hit up Fenway to have some sausages, a few Sam Adams, and watch the Red Sox win!  In the last seconds before walking out the door we thought to grab a blanket.  It was the best decision ever as I swear the temperature dropped 10 degrees while we were there.  It was truly a game changer, if you will.  

Luckily they know how to dress for the Red Sox

Such a fun visit
The second the game ended, I sent The Consultant on an all out sprint with one mission and one mission only --- to secure a table at The Lower Depths Taproom.  You see, Fenway/Kenmore gets crazy busy after a game, so it's very important to be fast if you want to sit anywhere.

In an amazing display of athletic prowess, The Consultant bested the crowds, got the best table in the house, and we celebrated with tater tots. That's right - tots! Lower Depths has a surprisingly wonderful menu of tater tot creations. Go try them!

To round out a fabulous Saturday, we enjoyed dinner and good company at our mutual friends' house in Brookline.

Sunday we enjoyed sleeping in {except for the Baby Pup} and then headed to the South End for brunch.  Union Bar and Grille was new to us and it definitely did not disappoint. Be sure to try the New England Cod Cakes... like eggs benedict but on cod cakes = Genius!

From here

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this trip was no different.  After a cone of J.P. Lick's {ice cream after brunch should be mandatory}, we tearfully dropped our faves off at Logan.

It will not be another year before we see them again however... they have a little bun in the oven that we will need to meet soon after his arrival! Love you guys and thanks for braving the trip way up north!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Marathon Madness Recap

Marathon Monday is really one of the days that makes me appreciate living in Boston.  The whole city is in motion and excited.  The city of Boston even came up with a fake holiday in order to not have work during the marathon.   I was able to swing working from home which was fantastic.  The weather was perfect so I opened the windows and being 1 block off the course, could hear all the cheering and cowbells.
The Baby Pup's First Marathon
I made it out to the course around 11:30 and set up shop in the Commonwealth Ave. mall just at mile 26.  A perfect view of runners coming over the last hill and picking it up for the finish. 

I had several friends running in the race this year and while I didn't see any of them, I did see several amusing costume choices and the Marathon Machine that is SR.

... a patriot

a monkey...

the  joker...
then men & women in uniform...

Paula Abdul's spandex from the '80s

a pretty pink wig and bright accessories...

... a gorilla

... a cheeseburger

a dork...

and then caught a glimpse of Skinny Runner as she worked it at mile 26!

Now that I am officially inspired {how can you not be? a cheeseburger ran 26.2 miles!}, my half-marathon training begins today with a nice 4 mile run. 

Is it weird that I might actually be looking forward to it?? I'm excited to start training for something again and of course will keep you posted.

Running Love,
The Twenty-Something

Monday, April 18, 2011

Things They Don't Tell You About Marriage #489

{just so everyone knows, I don't believe one word of the following story}

Over coffee this morning while checking email in tandem, The Consultant looked over at me and says, 
"Baby, I rolled over in the middle of the night to see if you wanted to get "frisky". When I put my hand on your stomach, you let out this loud, long toot. So I rolled back over and went back to sleep."

First off, I don't toot.  It's just not part of who I am.  And if you actually believe that, I like you a lot!

Secondly, I don't actually believe that The Consultant, who falls asleep in 2.5 seconds, sleeps like a rock, and doesn't move until the alarm goes off, woke up in the middle of the night. 

This story can't possibly be true. The End. 

Marathon Time!

Now that spring is officially here, I have enjoyed my first iced latte of the season, and it is a beautifully perfect 53+ sunny day outside ---

I'm off to cheer on the runners of the 2011 Boston Marathon! 

From Boston with Marathon Love,
The Twenty-Something

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's About Time...

First Triathlon Ever
Austin, TX
to get my butt in gear.

I have a half marathon in a little over five weeks.   Does anyone know of an "over tired and no energy half marathon 6-week training plan"  I could use?

I've been having a little problem with this thing called "work-life balance".  The problem is mine is never balanced.  It is either "Stay-at-work-until-8pm" and don't get anything done at home, not exercise, feel like a bad pup owner, or "leave-at-5:30pm" in order to do other things, but be thinking/dreaming{literally} about what work awaits me the next day. Or even heading to work early to "catch up" but then just being really, stinking tired for the whole day.  A vicious cycle!

Ahh! The insanity!  Regardless, I have a half marathon in less than 6 weeks.  So unless I want to die, somethings gotta give.
Escape the Cape Triathlon 2010
Onset Bay, MA
I actually don't think I will die per say, but I want to feel like I can push myself to do well by my standards.  I don't just want to barely make the finish line.  Given I have a semi-athletic history up until 2 years ago {I used to regularly do sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, lots of 5k & 10k races, and cycling events, too} and in addition to the fact I think most people can do anything once for a set period of time, I am 90% certain I will finish.  But again, the competitive part of me wants to do it right and at least be semi prepared.

So... all suggestions are welcome on ramping up to what will obviously be my first half marathon victory or even on just balancing everything day to day. 

I'll leave you with a tender spandex loving moment that I think highlights one of The Consultant's best assets. 

Triathlon Love
From Boston with Love,
The Twenty-Something

P.S. This little lovebug and her hubs are on the way to Boston as we speak! Can't wait!

A non spandex/lycra pic with our men.

p.s.s. The Consultant has no idea he is on here in spandex. Hope he doesn't mind!
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