Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy and Some Others

This is how Richmond, Virginia was affected by Sandy:

1. Schools were closed Monday and Tuesday
2. It rained. A lot.
3. It was slightly windy.
4. The local NBC news station freaked out about the storm for 4 days.
5. Stores ran out of bread and water.
6. I actually prepared by buying flashlights, getting a radio, and turning down my fridge/freezer and packing a cooler with ice and all my frozen foods in the freezer for the inevitable power outage.
7. A few hundred people lost power.
8. Barely any trees fell down.

This is how Richmond, Virginia was affected by three Severe Thunderstorms in June:

1. No schools were closed.
2. It rained. REAL HARD.
3. It was VERY WINDY.
4. The local NBC news station only freaked out for about a day each storm.
5. Stores were stocked.
6. I didn't prepare.
7. TONS of trees fell down and houses near where I live were destroyed.
8. THOUSANDS lost power. For days. Each time.

This is how Richmond, Virginia was affected by Hurricane Irene in August 2011:

1. Schools closed for one day.
2. It rained. A LOT A LOT.
3. It was EXTREMELY WINDY. For an entire day.
4. The local NBC news station freaked out for about 2 days.
5. Stores were out of bread and water.
6. I only prepared with alcohol and some candles.
7. Trees were everywhere. Like legit EVERYWHERE. Poor Monument Avenue and some cars outside my apartment.
8. Hundreds of thousands lost power (including me for 8 days)

Do you see a correlation? Seems the more Virginia freaks out, the less likely were are to be hit with anything bad. I am not complaining, but the anxiety an impending storm causes is something I could do without especially when nothing happens. I am fine with some days off work, but not to the extned of my sanity. Hurricane Irene was much worse for us, and since we aren't a big enough city, got much less media coverage.

That being said- thinking of my friends and family in NY and NJ!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mean Girls

For the Halloween Parties this weekend, some work friends and I went as "Mean Girls." I was Karen, the dumb blonde who thinks her boobs have magical powers, and two of my coworkers went as Regina and Gretchen. We were completed by a burn book and looks of pink.

We wrote funny/mean things in the book about our administrators.

This is the only one I can show you since he remains unnamed. The pages got more hysterical as the night when on and more people added to it.

We are so mean.

Things I learned from wearing a blonde wig:
  1. Blond, shinny hair makes my eyes pop WAY more than brown
  2. Cab drivers think I am a cross dresser (yes, that did happen)
  3. People will not recognize you because you look so different (yes, that also happened)
  4. I should probably stay brunette...I didn't have more fun as a blonde anyways!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week(end) Update

Sandy is putting a damper (literally) on my exciting weekend plans. I hate the idea of possibly losing power as much as I hate the idea of having to get a dental procedure done (cue the fact that I have to get gum grafts in the next few months). And Virginia is known for losing power with high winds because of all the trees. If you remember last year, my apartment lost power for 8 days. Now, I am in a different place where the complex only lost power for 1 day last year, but I hate losing power with a passion. Seems all my hobbies (besides exercise) revolve around the TV or computer. I should probably work on this (I actually am). SO I am calling it now that if we get hit like the weathermen say we will, I will be of school until Wednesday at least. Can't educate with no power!

Anyways, I have fun plans for this weekend including three Halloween parties and a cooking/baking extravaganza with my mom tomorrow. But that is not why I am feeling good- I am feeling good because I just had a nice week at work. It was one of those weeks where I was very productive, got to get out of the building for a networking opportunity and I actually got to do some counseling (say WHAT?!). I love good work weeks- the good mood from work seems to rollover into all aspects of your life. I also am taking charge in my free time by signing up to get back into volunteering (it has been too long since I regularly volunteered) and trying to find a part-time babysitting gig since many of my afternoons involve a workout and then sitting on my couch for 5 hours, which while I like that once in a while, is not how I want to spend my life. I enjoy being busy and hopefully putting these two new activities into place will be a fulfilling and fun way to expand what I do in my free time!

Also, I am hitting the week two mark of my low carb "trial." I am not doing this to lose weight, but simply to see how I feel and what changes I notice by eating more fat and less carbs. Thus far I have had very few side effects (poor performance in workouts and a slight headache), but I hear those will go away shortly. It has been difficult giving up some of my favorite foods (pretzels! bread! pancakes!) and limiting my sweets (though I will never give these up entirely), but I am feeling good overall. I will try this for probably another two weeks before I decide if it is worth it to stick with. On the plus side, I have consumed more veggies in the past two weeks than ever, so that has been a nice health benefit. I surely have learned a lot and will definitely continue to limit my carb intake, though I don't know if I will be able to keep it as low as I have (100-130 g/day when I normally eat 300-400g/day). Being a vegetarian AND low carb is not easy.

Anyways, that is my week(end) update. Stay dry and safe to my neighbors on the east coast!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I believe that

1. I am in control of my life
2. Friendship is the true epitome of happiness
3. Traveling is as important as the air I breath
4. God may or may not be real, but kindness and acceptance are undeniable
5. What I do is important, but it is not important enough to be my whole life
6. Alcohol does not taste very good (nor do hangovers feel)
7. No one can fill my own needs but me
8. The grass will always be greener, but it is up to me to not believe that's true
9. I need to live more in the moment rather than plan my life away
10. Everyone makes mistakes because we are constantly learning
11. Life will not go as planned, and I should just accept it rather than try to change it
12. Music makes everything (literally) better
13. Sadness will come and go
14. Money cannot buy happiness
15. What I want will not always be what I need, and what I need with not always be what I want
16. Looks will come and go, but how you make someone feel will always linger
17. Finding your passion can take most of your life, but the key is to keep looking until you do
18. I am only as old as I feel
19. Heaven is a beach
20. Everything works out in the end, so if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end

"The art of living lies in the fine mingling of holding on and letting go."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wedding Crasher

My 2012 wedding season is over!

Since May, I have had the privilege of attending six weddings. All were wonderful and had unique character. I drank a lot of good alcohol, ate too much wonderful food, danced more than I have since college frat parties (and learned a few new, more classy moves), saw many wonderful friends that live near and far, bought many gifts and new dresses, and celebrated the best part of life- LOVE! Only one wedding was out of town, so I also didn't have to travel very far. And I only had one meltdown about not being anywhere near my own wedding (too bad it was on the way to a church of a wedding I was in), but I would still say it was a success!

Twenty Thirteen looks to be another busy season as well- as of now I know of SIX weddings I am invited to in June, July and August, and it looks as if that number may be going up! The mid- to late-twenties certainly are a time of wedded bliss! I also am lucky to have so many wonderful friends that think of me as someone they want to be a part of their special day (and am lucky to be in touch with so many people). It is getting to the point where I won't be able to attend all the weddings due to travel and time issues, but I am going to do my best because they are such great experiences (maybe I will actually bring a date to one of them?!)

So adios to this wedding season! I will rest my dancing shoes, wallet, and liver for next year!

Nicole and Dan in May

Sarah and Zack in June

Brooke and Peter in July

Cate and Ryan in September

Jane and Doug in October

Keaton and Keely in October

*And if you like trivia, I keep track of all of the weddings I have ever been to, and with the wedding this past weekend, I have been (not just invited) to 25 total weddings (I started young with my extended family)! Wedding snob, anyone?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Is Awesome

If someone can watch this and say it isn't one of the coolest things they have ever seen, than they're just not human.

Go Bucks!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why We Get Fat

As many of you know, I care a great deal about health and wellness. I am always up for learning about new research or views on what it means to be healthy. In the summer of 2011, this lead to me becoming a vegetarian thanks in large part to my friend Nicole and brother Nate who both recommended books at the time that changed my life ("Skinny Bitch," "In Defense of Food," and "Eating Animals"). Now, almost a year and a half later, I am hitting a new leaf in my continual aspiration to be my best self.

I have been thinking about exercise a lot lately as Richmond is in the midst of a huge training season with the marathon and half marathon next month. I have been discussing with people how much we actually need to exercise to be healthy, because I feel that I have hit a plateau in my running and think that I could cut back from 5-6 days a week to 3-4 it wouldn't matter (I actually eat more when I exercise, but I do enjoy the mental aspects of a good workout). Well, my coworker Ernie, who is an English teacher at my school, recommended I read the book "Why We Get Fat" because he and his wife are also very into health and wellness. This book brought to light how everything we have ever told about what is healthy, is pretty much a lie. That it is not about eating less and exercising more, but about WHAT we are eating (and not calories or fat). This book, with research to back it up, explains that carbohydrates are like cigarettes- they never should be eaten, even in moderation, because what good is it to smoke in moderation? I will not go into details because you should read the book, but basically when we eat carbs and sugar, that is what our body will burn, and all the fat we eat will be stored, which makes us fat. When we eliminate carbs, our body has to switch to burn fat, which in turn causes you to lose weight because it is burning all the excess fat that is stored.

Now you may be thinking that this makes no sense because people lose weight when they eat less and exercise more. Well, of course they do, because all weight lose programs (Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, South beach, ect) assign more points to, or allow less, carbs. A pasta dish may have up to 7 points on Weight Watchers, but an egg is close to 1. An egg has 0 carbs and pasta is loaded. So naturally, whenever people lose weight they do cut carbs. However, when carbs are not limited almost completely, you are still craving those foods and are often hungry. Eating almost exclusively meat (or tofu, veggie burgers and fish for me), protein and veggies eliminates cravings for carbs/sugar because you are eating enough fat to not be hungry. And those studies about increases in heart disease and cholesterol with excessive fat? Heart disease actually INCREASED when starches and breads were heavily introduced into our diet and there is no link to fat and an unhealthy increase in cholesterol (both LDL and HDL go up).

As far as exercise goes, this book also explains that while exercise is very important, we don't need much to get what we need. Twenty minute bursts a few days a week is fine, because your eating will compensate for how much activity you are getting. Studies have proven this (he has a lot of good studies cited). Also, your body can only change so much- genetics is the main reason we look the way we do (sorry:(). We can only do our best to make sure we are eating right and controlling what we can. This, of course, is easier said than done, but just 2 days of actually reading carb content on nutrition labels has blown my mind. My "healthy"cereal? My "healthy" preztles? My "whole grain" bread? LOADED with carbs. No wonder I am hungry in the middle of the day.

My first step is becoming carb-low is to change my breakfasts to eggs, cheese and veggies and to get rid of all granola/cereal bars instead for afternoon snacks of cottage cheese, cheese sticks, veggies in regular dressing and other protein products. Then I will tackle lunches (my dinners are pretty carb-low anyways, but I will need to get rid or go through all of my rice/pasta). Sweets will be the hardest, but if I can cut back everywhere else, I can still allow myself to stay under 60 grams of carbs a day with a sweet treat after dinner. And being a vegetarian (besides fish), this will also be difficult, but I know of plenty alternative options and eating full-fat everything will fill me up even without meat.

Don't believe me or think this is all bull? Read the book and then we can discuss:)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Working for the Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend this past weekend. I saw a movie at the discount theater in Richmond, known as the Byrd Theater, with a coworker. We saw "The Dark Knight" and despite the fact that it was 45 minutes too long and had too much violence, the ending made the film worth while. Also, I have never seen a bad movie for $2. Just sayin.'

On Saturday my dear friend Jane got married. The wedding was great fun and the weather was perfect. It was at a plantation out in the country about 45 minutes outside of Richmond. It was full of great friends, new and old, and, of course, great dancing. At one point the music stopped and I was heard belting out the song by all guests. What can I say,  I love my singing! I also learned the "Cotton Eyed Joe" dance. Even though it required my shoes to be taken off following the dance, I quite enjoyed the number. Nothing like singing to great friends in slow numbers too...I just can't be taken seriously on the dance floor.

Sunday was great because some coworkers and I saw the college a capella movie "Pitch Perfect." All I have to say is if you are not familiar with college a capella, you are missing out! It was one of the highlights of my college experience. Also, the UVA group, Hullabahoos, has a cameo and a number at the very end. I may have screamed. Check out their beautiful sounds at the last concert I saw them at in college in 2008.

I hope your weekend was great and you are enjoying the fall weather!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Robyn 2.0


This has something to do with my Halloween costume. Any guesses? Or should I just keep the look for my daily life? I do feel like a little seductress with the golden locks...