2011 – A year in review

This year has brought some pretty big changes in my life. Going gluten free, and getting married are only 2 of the things that happened this year. I figured I would do a year in review just to show myself how many important things have happened.

January – January started of 2011 and my first full year of being a real adult. No more college, no more “I’m a student” excuses, no more days of no student loans, no more school stress. It also brought me my first full year of being a nurse, and all of the stress and emotions that come along with the job.

February – This month found me doing my research on going gluten free. A friend of mine was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and I myself was dealing with increasing GI problems. She shared her symptoms with me, and I realized I was having many of the same symptoms. I did my reasearch and made an appointment with my doctor.

March – This month started off with me going completely gluten free under the direction of my doctor. She and I went over my symptoms, and decided that the best plan of attack would be a GF trial. If things went well and my symptoms went away, we would be golden. If not, we would go back to the drawing board in an attempt to figure out what was going on with me. March also brought around my 24th birthday!

April, May, June – These months were full of wedding planning!!

July – My first anniversary of being a nurse!

August – This month brought around my Bridal Shower and Bachelorette parties! It was an amazing weekend, and I am so lucky to have so many great family and friends. Not to mention how lucky I was to have such great bridesmaids and maid of honor, who spent a TON of time planning such a perfect day!

Bridesmaids!

Nurses!

Grandmas!

Cousins at the Bachelorette Party

Friends

For the full review of the Bridal Shower, you can go here.

August also brought about the birth of the blog! PastaFreeRunner was born after 6 months of me being gluten free. I wanted to share what I was learning with those out in the blog world, as well as wanting to connect with other gluten free people, and just other bloggers in general. I had another blog for about a year prior to starting PastaFreeRunner, but everything about it was fizzling. I missed blogging, and decided that this was the direction I wanted to go. You can go here to read my very first post!

September – This month brought about my discovery of Tofu! Who knew that tofu could be so delicious!
It also brought around the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. It was, and will continue to be, a very difficult  but important day for our country to remember.

October – This month was wedding month! The New Yorker and I got hitched after almost 6 years of dating. The day couldn’t have been more perfect (78 degrees and sunny in Boston on Columbus Day Weekend?? Unheard of!) and we were so lucky to share such a special day with the people we love the most.

All of these amazing photos are courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian. If you are getting married in the Boston/MA area, I HIGHLY recommend her! She was fantastic to work with, and very professional!

We also went on our Honeymoon, which I have to admit, I’m still working on uploading the 1500+ pictures I took in Hawaii! 🙂 It was the trip of a lifetime, and we made sure to do everything we could possibly do. We saw a volcano, we hiked to some waterfalls, we took surfing lessons, went to a Luau, went to Pearl Harbor, drove through a rainforest (or 3!), ate plenty of local fish, and relaxed. It was phenomenal!

November- This month brought me back to my running roots! I signed up for the ING half Marathon with Amy, and ran the Gobble Wobble 5K. I also celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, and took a trip down memory lane.

December – This month has found me in some crazy running outfits, making our annual trek to NYC with the New Yorker and his family, and getting situated for starting off our organic diet.

This year has been amazing. I wouldn’t have changed anything that happened, and I wouldn’t have added anything more. It was a year full of fun, family, and friends.

I thank all of you who have read, commented, and followed my blog for you support. I’m looking forward to an amazing 2012, and can’t wait to share all that it brings with you!

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Best 11 of 2011 – Photos

I started out this morning with a quick 3 mile run. I’m trying to get back into it with a little less than a month to go till my half. Dear god, this is going to be an adventure! It was a pretty good run as far as they go. I was listening to another JM podcast (obsessed..) and as always, time seemed to fly by.

3 miler

When I got home I was ready for breakfast. I had some oatmeal with peanut butter and honey. It was delicious!

PB and Honey

Spot the bird? 😉

I decided while running this morning that I wanted to do a top 11 photos from 2011. While the blog has only been up and running for less than 4 months, I still have a lot of photos from this short time that I liked, and wanted to re-share with you!

Here we go:

11.

Beth's Vegetarian Stuffing

10.

From Adventures With Swiss Chard...

9.

From NYC

8.

Flying Fish

7.

Colors!

6.

Starting to look like winter!

5.

Sunshine

4.

Lovely

3.

9/11 Tribute

2.

My favorite shot of the trip!

1. These last ones are cheating a little, since I didn’t take them, but they are definitely my favorite pictures from 2011 🙂

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

And there you have it! The best 11 (ok, 14, I cheated!) of 2011 🙂

Some New Toys

I know its been a while since I posted. Christmas has passed and we’re now gearing up for New Years Eve. I’ve been working on my New Year’s Resolutions, and will be posting about those soon. In the meantime, I’ve got a fun story about today!

The New Yorker and I have decided to make the switch to organic eating. We have signed up for Boston Organics and will start getting our deliveries January 6th. I can’t wait! I’m really excited that The New Yorker backs me on this. Sometimes he looks at me like I’m crazy when I tell him something I want to try. This time, he just said “sounds good” and off we went!

To get started, I ordered a book called Clean Start by Terry Walters.

It gives a really quick overview of clean eating, and how to stock your pantry. It was great for someone like me, who needs the basics and not much more. I tend to get pretty overwhelmed when I’m presented with too much information all at once. It broke down the separate groups (greens, legumes etc.) and how to cook them and store them. I also really liked how it gives tips about things, like what section of the grocery store to find certain things (chickpea miso is in the refrigerated section) or where to get things cheaper (bargain bins for legumes). The best part of this book? Everything is gluten and dairy free!

The New Yorker and I also went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and picked up a couple of things that would make this really easy for us. We were really lucky and got many gift cards to BBB for wedding gifts, and decided to put them to good use today.

Spicy!

We decided that a spice rack would be a great idea, all of these will be great for seasoning our food.

We also picked up a crock pot. A lot of the things we wanted to make needed to be slow cooked.

Slooowwwww it downnn

We decided to try it out tonight with a pot roast. The New Yorker and I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s as well today to stock up on a bunch of organic food. We bought meat for pot roast, and plenty of organic vegetables to put in it. Everything was stuffed in the slow cooker, and we are now enjoying the smells of it cooking.

While waiting, we broke out another new toy:

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!

My sister-in-law always gets us the best toys for Christmas! We had such a blast playing, and it’s still sitting on our coffee table waiting to be played after dinner. She also got us a table top Fooseball table, so there will probably be some serious competition soon. I just want it to go on record, that I seriously kicked The New Yorker’s butt at Rock’em Sock’em Robots 🙂

 

Is anyone making any New Years Resolutions?
What was the most fun gift that you received for the Holidays?  

Lunch with an old friend and Adventures with Swiss Chard

Yesterday one of my friends from college, Kara, came over for lunch. She works right near me, and luckily is able to get away from the office for a break. This is the second time she has come over for lunch, and we’ve both really started to look forward to it each week.

This week, I lucked out because both she and her roommate were leaving for the holidays and needed to get rid of some veggies! Her roommate gets fresh organic produce from Boston Organics delivered straight to their door every week. It’s similar to the CSA boxes that other bloggers have written about, except that Boston Organics delivers year round.

Kara brought over some delicious produce and we decided to make some gigantic salads!

Kara set up all the veggies, and I got to shooting pictures!

One of the things Kara brought over was some rainbow swiss chard. I had never seen it before, and was excited to give it a try. We googled swiss chard to see what to do with it. Kara and I opted to sauté it for extra flavor.

Then we added all sorts of delicious veggies and got to eating.

Kara and I have also decided that a fun new game for the blog would be “spot the bird”, so off we go!

Kara and I had a great conversation as always, and all too soon it was time for her to go back to work.

I got in a great 6 mile run later that day. Once again I was listening to Jillian Michaels’ podcast, and the miles flew by. Well, at least they did in my head! I kept up a solid 10-ish minute mile, and was quite comfortable.

It was a great run that left me excited for the half in January!

I’m getting ready for 4 nights at work that will take me through the Christmas Holiday weekend. I will attempt to post, but in case I don’t, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

A Christmas Trip and catchup!

I have a tendency to disappear from the world of blogs and twitter sometimes. Not that there is anything wrong with blogs, I love them just as much as the next person (sometimes, I’m positive I love them more than I should!) I just need a little break every once in a while. But as of right now, I’m back!

I made sure to keep myself wildly entertained while I was away. The New Yorker and I headed to NYC to visit his family and to check out the sights. We’ve been doing this the weekend before Christmas for the last 5 years, and I am not one to break tradition!

We always visit the same places:
We started out at Bryant Park and checked out the sights from there –

Loved that this tree was decked out in blue lights!

The New Yorker and I love this building. The top changes color!

The Chrysler Building

Then we moved on to Rockefeller Center to see everything there.

Lovely!

New Yorkers sure are picky! I thought the tree was gorgeous, they all said it was kind of stumpy!

One of the decorations in the plaza

One of the angels in the plaza

Of course The New Yorker had to drool over the Lego Store windows….

Lego Atlas!

This sign was made out of lego men!

Then we walked over towards Radio City Music Hall

I remember there being toy soldiers on the roof that laid down flat and then stood up. We didn’t see them this year, but all that means is that they could have been lying down when we were there!

Across the street there are some water fountains that get decorated – just a little – for the holidays:

Toy trains don't float!

My favorite shot of the trip!

Next we walked by the biggest Christmas lights I’ve ever seen!

Finally we ended up in Times Square. I got a shot of the 2011 ball

Goodbye 2011!

It was a great trip, and we had a ton of fun as always!

In other news, the competition is over! It was my snowman for the win!

Wooo!

It was a tough loss for The New Yorker   🙂

The New Yorker and I are having Christmas today because I’m working at the hospital for Christmas this year, so he will be going to visit his family and spend the holiday with them.

I’m awful at waiting for Christmas. I mean, really, really bad at it. So bad in fact, that I got The New Yorker to let me open a present last night! We picked one each to give to each other, and off we went. Mine was a water bottle from Lulu that had me written all over it!

True...

Really, really, really true!!

How perfect?? Does he know me or what?!

I have to get a bunch of stuff done for “Christmas” tonight, but I’ll be back later to do a running update!

What are some fun traditions that you look forward to every holiday season? 

Worst.Run.Ever.

I did it to myself this time. I went out with friends last night for dinner and ate food that was not conducive to running the next morning. Nachos with way too much cheese? check! Burrito? check! A few too many glasses of wine? check!

I paid for it big time today.

I went out for a quick 5k, a speed workout if you will. About half a mile in, I thought I was dying. My stomach was a complete disaster! I made it 2 miles because my ego couldn’t take logging 0.5 miles on Daily Mile, and then I walked home. Yup. I said it. I.walked.home.

Fail

But the good news is I learned from this. I REALLY need to be careful because my stomach isn’t like other people’s stomachs. I’ve spent today drinking water and tea and eating fruits and veggies to try to re-charge my poor system.

I’m going to be dabbling with going dairy free as well as gluten free for the next couple of weeks. While removing gluten has helped me immensely, I’ve been noticing that dairy is not really agreeing with me either. I’m just so sick of all the stomach pain that I will do ANYTHING to not have to go through it.

What do you do to reset your system when you’ve eaten something you wouldn’t typically eat?

Did you wear your sunglasses today?

The last 120 hours of my life have been filled with 92 hours at the hospital. The other hours have been spent sleeping, which is why there has been no update here in a few days.

Major life updates:

-I’m stuck in the splint for another 3 weeks 😦
-I’ve missed blogging – like the deserts miss the rain (if you break into song, please know I’m joining you.. all together now: And I miss yoooooouuuuuuuuu, like the deserts miss the rain…) but really. I’ve been so lost without this blog, and all the blogs I follow. I feel like I know you all so well, and that I’m missing out on a good friend’s life.

Thats about it actually. Cool.

On another note, last week I tweeted that I’m a super creeper:

Creeeeepppp

Let’s be honest. We all do it. I’ve even heard tales of people introducing themselves to a blogger at a race or even on a plane!

Well, if you are a Boston Blogger, and saw a crazy girl in a blindingly bright vest run by, that was me.
I went to Old Navy yesterday with a good friend, and we got a total steal on fleece vests. I HAD to scoop up this one to run in, since I’m always complaining that I need bright clothes to run in.

Whoa, bright!

I was very sternly told that under NO circumstance was I to wear this to work. I might cause a seizure.

I did get a few stares while I was running today, but I smiled and waved, and hoped that I gave someone a good story to tell later (“So I was out walking to Starbucks, when all the sudden this girl in a blinding vest flies past me..”).

Details of the run:

My body was CRAVING this run. It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to run because of work. I took off for a 4 mile run, and ended it about 4.5 miles later.

Not bad for a week+ off!

I listened to another podcast from Jillian Michaels while I was running, this time about organic foods and why you should make the switch. Let me tell you, after listening to all the facts and doing a little research, The New Yorker and I will be making the switch! The stuff that is added to livestock (I eat meat, but you vegetarians and vegans might be onto something!) is disgusting! I’m grossed out even just thinking about it! Blech. Moving on.

My last big thought for the night is that I miss singing. Big time. I was SUCH a chorus geek in high school, singing in general choir, chamber choir (our school’s “elite” choir), acapella, and even making districts my senior year. Now, there is no record deal coming my way anytime soon, but if anyone knows of an adult acapella group looking for an alto, send me their way!!

What is something you did in high school or college that you wish you still did?

BONUS! PLEASE follow me on pinterest!! 🙂