Work It! Wednesdays (I'm late!)

I guess you probably expect this whole "I'm never on time" thing with my "scheduled" blog posts. I'm terrible but in my defense my internet was down yesterday so I was disconnected from this little world. Anyway, apologies for awesome punctuality skills but I still wanted to get a health post in this week!

I've mentioned before that I love running. It is, hands down, the best therapy out there. I'm not saying its easy, it is actually really hard to get into if you are not a runner yet. When I started running I never expected that I would ever enjoy it. It was like slow, painful, hot, sweaty self-inflicted torture. Actually, sometimes it still feels like that but now I know that pushing through the pain and the voice in your head saying "its okay, 3 miles is good enough for today" is worth it. Are any of you runners out there? What do you love about it?

Running has so many health benefits to offer you. Its the best workout for your heart, that thing inside that keeps you alive day in and day out despite how you treat it? Help your little ticker out and give it some exercise to make it stronger! Running also helps improve: bone density, immune system, energy levels, mental alertness, weight loss/control, better sleep, lung function, muscle tone, confidence and lowers your chances of anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, and more! Don't believe me? Click here, here, here or here to see for yourself!

Still not sold? Give it a try for two weeks and see for yourself. There is such satisfaction in the feeling of a strong, rhythmic stride. Get lost in your mind and your surroundings. Set a goal to give you something to work towards and accomplish. Mine? I will be running my first half-marathon here in Paris in October! We can keep each other encouraged as we go!

Other benefits of working out? Buying cute workout clothes and inspiring music! I love me some Lululemon.

Bon Courage!!


Update: Internship

I've now completed my third week at work, time is flying already! After my first week I posted this little doozy of a post. I was feeling really overwhelmed, frustrated, alone and just straight exhausted. The exhausted part hasn't change that much but everything else has gotten so much better. It was as if one day I walked in and it just all made sense. I fell into the flow of the kitchen and finally organized all the little bis of information in my mind and I have been enjoying it ever since. I guess I just had to pass through the learning curve.

The hours are pretty tough because like I told you, I am not the best morning person. If you ask Mike or my parents they would probably just roll their eyes at my ridiculous need for sleep. So when my alarm goes off at 5 or 6 am all I want to do is throw my phone against the wall and stay all snuggled up in my bed. By the way, you know what is better than coffee? Riding a bike 20 minutes to work in the dark and sometimes sketchy streets of Paris. Now THAT will wake you up.

And I know what your thinking. This girl can ride a bike?! Yes, its true. I have become a master. Surprising, I know!

So the verdict is that this internship will be great. I am so thankful that I don't want to pull my hair out or cry everyday like I did at the beginning. Things are looking up! It is also pretty cool to go into the store front and see something that I made sitting in the counter with a 23 euro price tag on it.

Here are some of the things that come out of our kitchen each day...


Italia: Pompeii & Naples

Like I said, in the 3 days that I was in Rome with my family we saw more than I could have hoped for. Last time I told you about the mind-blowingly awesome city of Rome and the beautiful mansion in Tivoli. Next we spent the day touring Pompeii! It was a really humbling, eye-opening and exciting experience.

In college, I took a highly intellectual class called "natural disasters" (best GE ever!). Anyway, we spent a lot of time talking about Mt. Vesuvius and the tragic end of Pompeii. Seeing the city with my own eyes, walking the ancient and perfectly preserved Roman streets, looking at the body's of victims encased and preserved in ash... wow.

I am really happy we made the three hour drive to Pompeii because it was a once in a lifetime type of day. I could go on about how in awe I am with the Romans and everything they did and invented but whenever I do that people tend to look at me like I've completely lost it. My brother and I went around the rest of the weekend claiming that Americans are the modern day Romans. I fully agree with our idea. The Romans were pretty bad ass and we have that in common with them.

Just saying...

On our way home we broke up the drive by stopping in Naples for lunch. Now, Naples is straight Italian. Like Jersey Shore but in real life. The people looked pretty rough and tumble but the landscape was breathtaking. The blue water and the volcano in the background. It was a perfect lunch spot and now we can say we had pizza in the place where pizza was invented! How about that? Oh yeah, and shaved ice. Literally, shaved off a giant block of ice by hand.


Work It! Wednesdays

First of all, I have been LOVING everyones funny and awesome comments on my blog the past few days. You guys make me smile! Keep them coming :)

So its another Wednesday where I am actually not going to be hitting the trail or the weight routine just yet. I am actually physically sore from work yesterday. Moving around 50 lbs bags of sugar for three hours will make your poor little arm muscles shake and feel like jello. Clearly, I need to step up my workout routine! haha...eek!

Okay, so as I'm sure you know - health is not JUST physical. It is just as much a mental game. It is so incredibly easy to get caught up in the little dramas of life and let them get you down or to let your stresses overcome you. I know I was feeling that way all last week. I was a huge stress case/emotional wreck! (Thank you for the supportive comments last week!) Sometimes you just have so much on your mind that that you don't think you can escape the grey cloud hanging over your head. Do you know what I'm talking about?

When this happens (and I know this is easier said than done, but...) try to take a step back and take a deep breath. Take a few deep breaths actually. Just this simple thing will calm you down ten fold. Close your eyes and just breath, remove yourself from the situation just for 10 seconds and then you will be able to see things much more clear. If you need something more, don't forget about walking. Take a walk around the block, put in your favorite song on your iPod. And my personal favorite mood-changer and de-stresser: running. Run, don't look back, just run and get it out.

Being stressed out can really take a physical toll on your body. Bad stress can give you stomach aches, head aches, chest pain, elevated blood pressure, loss of energy and can lead to things like depression, anxiety, rashes, lowered immune system and other more serious dependencies and disorders  - if not dealt with. So when you are feeling overwhelmed and under pressure just remember to take a step back and decide if this issue is really worth what you are feeling. Breathe, this will pass and everything will be okay.

Remember, being happy is a choice! Every day.

Have a healthy, happy and stress-free Wednesday!


"we don't mean to be rude..."

"...but we're French!"

Ratatouille was spot on with that quote.

{Disclaimer: not all the French are bad. Loads of them are awesome people.}

But Parisians are a special breed. One of a kind. I really don't think you could find people like them anywhere else. Its like a rare animal - an unhappy rare animal.

My friend Danielle and I were laughing the other day about all the random people we see crying, pouting, and glaring on the metro or on the streets. We never really know why they are so upset but if you want to stick out like a tourist all you have to do is put on your best smile and most likely we will know, you are not Parisian.

I got a perfect example for you today as to why the French can be so infuriating to deal with.

I am moving out of my apartment at the end of the month and I e-mail my landlady to ask...

me: our contract says that there is a cleaning fee of 15 euros/hour. can you tell me how many hours it usually takes?
landlady: well, it depends on the amount of dirt in the apartment
me: okay, can you give me an estimate based on your past tenants?
landlady: it depends between 4 and 16 hours

WOW! Thank you for that extremely informative answer! And by the way I live in about 100 square feet or less.


If you really knew me...

I just finished reading Courtney's post on "if you really knew me" and thought it was so perfect. I love reading her blog about her and her husband's adventures and now their new bun in the oven! I am stealing her idea and rolling out some random real life facts about myself, mike and our lives.

If you really knew me...

- You would know that I was bald until I was three. My parents had to stick bows and headbands on my head because everyone thought I was a boy!

-You would know that I am basically allergic to everything: dust, grass, trees, flowers, cats, pollen.... Most naturally occurring things make me go into a sneezing frenzy. My friends said back in high school: "bless you times infinity". They got tired of saying it so often!

-You would know that I hate change. It gives me massive anxiety and I cry over a lot of things. Moving to Paris was definitely the most stressful thing I've ever done. I'm working on embracing change instead of freaking out like a five year old child. After all, change is the only constant in our world!

-You would know I love country music! I love it so much and don't care who judges me! My friends from home appreciate its greatness but everyone I've met in Paris thinks I'm weird. Country music has gotten me through so much in my life and I would not trade it for the world. I am also insanely jealous of everyone who got to go to the "Brother's of the Sun" Tour! Seriously. Not. Fair.!! All time favorite song? Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn

-You would know that I am a really good sleeper. I love sleeping in and now that I can't do it because I have to be at work at 7 or 6 am Tuesday-Sunday...well, I just don't know how I will survive! I might become an avid napper.

If you really knew Mike...

-You would know that he loves mobile technology. He loves keeping up on all the new cell phone trends and releases. So far, the iPhone is still the winner!

-You would know that he loves Colorado over California. Mountains, hiking, shooting, open spaces... 

-You would know that he makes my favorite breakfast perfectly every time! Eggs in a basket. His are delicious and every time I try it turns out awful. He has even tried to teach me and I still snuff it up every time! He's got skills.

-You would know he hates country music *gasp!*. I know, he listens to this strange genre called "alternative".

-You would know he (and his family) are die hard Buffalo Bills fans. Its tough but they have stuck it out through the many years! Sundays usually involve a good amount of beer during football season :)

If you really knew us...


-You would know we met in our sophomore year high school science class. He played football, I was a cheerleader...We know. Cliché! Post-college we reunited much less awkward.

-You would know that we argue about who is the funnier one in the relationship. Clearly, its me.

-You would know brunch is totally our thing. We do it really well. We also do frozen yogurt really well too.

-You would know we are still trying to figure out what we are doing to do with our "lives". Does anyone ever really figure it out??

-You would know we love going to the movies. We used to go all the time but no scary movies. Scary movies are off limits!

-You would know that we are obsessed with our dog, Taylor. She is the world's cutest. I miss her!

-You would know that we still have five months and 4 days until we see each other again.

Find out anything new?! Write up your own facts and link up with me! I'd love to read your answers! Have a great week!


When in Rome...

I fell in absolute love with Rome. It was just astonishing and such a wonderful weekend with my family! We were so spoiled in our rooms at the Eden Hotel right by the Spanish Steps where we would end every night. In three days, we saw so many things and more history than I could wrap my mind around. All the ruins are unbelievable. Obviously, all of Europe has a rich history and beautiful old buildings but no other country can compare their history with the Roman history.

Rome is literally a city built on top of an ancient city. It is an archeologist's dream! We traveled to the lovely city of Tivoli one day and saw a beautiful mansion with the most eye catching fountains that are completely powered by gravity and the force of the water - no electricity! We stood in a room where half the floor was changed into a glass floor so you could see the ancient ruins they have found right underneath the floor of this mansion. It is crazy!

We enjoyed our family time together eating pizza, bruschetta, cafe and of course gelato! It felt so great to be in a HOT city..I could rock my usual Cali clothes: shorts and a tank! I felt at home. I would love to go back to Rome again and if you have not been there yet, please do me a favor and put it on your list! You could never regret a trip to Rome!


Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City