Sunday, November 29, 2009

‘Tis the season to be…charitable

I love the holidays. Cold weather, spending time with family, pie, cookies, 8 straight weeks of Christmas music on the radio, presents. What’s not to love?

A few weeks ago, as I was thumbing the pages of one of my magazines, I stumbled across this great little giving calendar:

My first thought was, “how cool – I’m going to do every single one of these, and then I'm going to blog about it” followed very closely by, “I wonder how much that would cost.” ($451 in case you’re wondering.)

Now, while I love the idea of giving something back, I’d still like there to be a little something left to take care of the rest of my holiday gift list.

So I did what any good (nerdy) accountant would do – I dragged out my trusty calculator laptop, opened up excel, set a scope, and got to work. Here’s what I did:
1. Any day where the financial commitment is over $5, I reduced it to $5.
2. Any cause that I feel more strongly about, where the financial commitment is under $5, I increased it to $5 - $10.
3. The one cause I feel most strongly about, I allocated $50. (Coincidentally, this is on the last day of the month. Nothing like going out with a bang!)

Here’s how the month will play out for me, financially:

All in, I’ll be contributing $150 to a variety of worthy charitable causes throughout the month of December, and I’ll be blogging about it here.

Tune in daily, for posts about each organization and links to their websites. Maybe, hopefully, you’ll feel compelled to donate a little something too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Say ‘yes’ ‘probably’ to the dress

I’ve spent the better part of the last 4 Saturdays shopping for wedding dresses, and although I don’t actually watch the show, from what I’ve heard, I’m getting the feeling that there are some serious editing liberties taken with the show.

Trust me, no one is trying on just 3 dresses and finding “the one.”

Or at least I’m not.

I’d guesstimate that I’ve tried on at least 50 dresses so far, and I’m still nowhere NEAR making a decision.

But, I reached a turning point on Saturday. After trying on at least 8 10 12 dresses, I took mercy on the poor sales associate and threw in the towel (at that store anyways.) And that is when she gave me some REALLY good advice…”stop torturing yourself.”

Data-whore that I am, I had this idea that trying on AS MANY DRESSES AS POSSIBLE would somehow help me find the *perfect* dress. But really, they’re all so similar, and yeah, I like some better than others, but I think I am at the point where I’ve pretty much narrowed down the style and there really isn’t all that much difference between all the front runners.

SO. No more trying on (new) wedding dresses. We’re taking a couple more trips to visit some of the front runners, and decisions will be made SOON.

In the meantime, tell me what you think:

(Photo courtezy of Gabriel Ryan here, sash/flower added by me)

(Photo courtesy of Ella Bridals)

(No, I’m not superstitious, and could care less if A sees the dresses I am choosing between. It’s so hard to make such a big decision without his input! Besides, he's already seen this...sitting right next to me as I blog.)
Please, PLEASE leave comments, and let me know what you think. I'm hoping to make a decision in the next few days.

Monday, November 9, 2009

One down, eleven to go

It’s hard to believe that I’m already a whole month into this running resolution. This month has reminded me, once again, why it is that I love running every day. It’s become a habit; my daily run is something that I look forward to from the minute I wake up until my feet hit the pavement (or treadmill).

I’ll be driving in the car and hear one of my running songs come on the radio, and I get the sudden urge to drop everything and go out for a run. On my short days, sometimes it’s hard to stop at just 15 minutes.

I’m officially hooked.

Now, that said, I do still have some crappy runs and just plain bad days. Like this Saturday. I’ve been feeling sorta under the weather and just generally run down for a few weeks now. This weeks’ ‘long’ run was a 6-miler early Saturday morning (before going to try on wedding dresses)!

From the first 5 minutes, I just knew something wasn’t right. It felt like someone was squeezing my whole torso with all their might. Slow as I went, I couldn’t get a deep, fulfilling breath. Man, did I want to turn around, walk, lie down in the middle of the San Vicente median (you get the picture). But I didn’t. I kept going, and eventually, I made it home. And truth be told, by mile 5, I was feeling pretty great.

(A couple pictures from some of my more recent runs.)

(Along the beach)
(At my hotel gym in Portland this morning)
(Saturday's long run)

And some good news to end on - I got my iPhone! Not only do I feel safer on long runs, I have 2 new running playlists, and I can take pictures while I am out running. I also downloaded this awesome running app that tracks how far you’ve run, pace and split times (in 2 minute increments) and elevation gains and losses.

I finally get the “there’s an app for that” marketing campaign. Oh so hooked on the iPhone.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Which one would you choose?

The sensible, more conservative and (most likely) more comfortable:

Or, the so-so-so pretty but my feet are screaming in pain just looking at them:

I mean, I do have a desk job, after's not like I would be walking in them (much...)