Not giving up yet

Still mulling over the fate of my lil ole blog. I realized that I started it because I wanted to  encourage myself to go out, try new things, and meet people the first few years I lived in Charlottesville. Now that I’ve moved to Ann Arbor, I realize that I am in a very similar situation. Although I grew up here, I don’t know many people here anymore and would love to go out and experience all of the fun stuff (restaurants, bars, football, hiking, camping, etc) that living here affords. So I’m thinking that I need to renew my commitment to Go On a Living Spree. My final thoughts on that soon.

For now, some new jams. Well some of them aren’t new per se, I’ve just added them into the rotation. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a New Music Tuesday! So here we go

Wait for Me by Kings of Leon

Letters From The Sky by Civil Twilight

Keep On Swinging by Rival Sons

Lucky Dutch by Radio Moscow

Only One by Rival Sons

Wildfire by John Mayer

Dust to Dust by The Civil Wars

I’m a King Bee by The Stone Foxes

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Just some pretties to get you through the week

Have I mentioned that I am OBSESSED with all things flowers? Oh yeah, I have once or twice 😉 I’ve never been a fan of tightly packed wedding bouquets. I want mine to be big and wild. I mean HUGE, overflowing with blooms. I’m also planning on wearing a floral crown during the reception of my wedding. So, in short, I’m currently loving images of huge overflowing blooms and floral crowns.

flower crown 1  flowercrown2


now THAT’S a bouquet!

Luckily I didn’t have to wait for my wedding day to get my hands on some beautiful blooms. I was one lucky girl indeed when, at a summer solstice party hosted by the lovely Jan at Belle Haven (where Mitch and I will be tying the knot next June), the amazingly talented mother-daughter florist duo, Pat and Sherry, from Southern Blooms (who will also be our florist for the wedding) brought me a GORGEOUS floral crown. Made up of huge dinner plate dahlias. Le sigh. And when the crazy talented and super lovely Jen Fariello–our wedding photographer–is there to capture it? Pure magic

c6A4pqJY4Y_8QOICuuel-IO345zzTdGhGZ6K4SQv8aI,d2yEmn-ktIhAIxj7jN5v8NST9jEeUKQ0lTm0kAUkGuk hf8vKm3eVbKgUsx5RxXkQntYXKAy1J8gsUTUSHdvskQ,DCCeMt6CTqkAKD3MnvI0IsEKKJKg4wlV1652xDp2SXc

NYktBBygbhViO2CvKZ39bjvdvYtAy6OAlWJFsfcdZu0,cB3dx4Ow1zOQczidWmnOD9ywQzZ2bEtGdTBHVlsIL0Icig8zD7dJ7ijWG6ftsecfYN6urEKWV2H2Jvf-HPii9A,OoCMgaFElZ71d8Af718HYF2yIsRS6LaSQIDbAB7cIigyutX6zoTJEx3GMv6w54q8qlkQR7Ky8ax6RkfCj2WkdQ,CkXqCaUzJWtQtnu7oDLurqHyDGEAl7VW1Vz5zPJ9VBwAnd some snapshots at the party

floral3floral1 floral2 Have a happy Thursday friends! One more day until the weekend! 🙂

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Welcome to Ann Arbor

Moving is such an annoyance. Especially moving halfway across the country. The past 2 weeks  have been beyond stressful with finalizing multiple work projects, packing, setting up the long distance move logistics for all of our furniture and stuff, saying goodbye to all of my friends, squeezing in some wedding planning activities, and getting to Michigan.



going away party, I have the best friends ever!


Sophie’s life was uprooted too!


The apartment I love dearly is empty and it’s official: We’ve Moved!


goodbye Cville. We’ll be back in the future (and of course for our wedding!)


The FI has grown a “moving beard”

But we’ve arrived and it is such a bittersweet moment for me. New chapters in life are wonderful but difficult to process at the time if that makes any sense at all. Once I get settled in more I’ll start to post more consistently.

My new job starts in 3 weeks and I am SO excited to start my career as a faculty member. I can’t wait to write all about it 🙂 And there are such PRETTY pictures coming your way soon. But for now, I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have moved back to Ann Arbor (and remind myself how much I loved living here when I growing up…and when I was 25)


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Running in the summer is aca-amazing


Y’all know how much I hate running in the summer heat. It was one of the main reasons why I decided not to train for a marathon this summer and instead stick to half marathons. Having less mileage is really quite glorious; I don’t have to get out of bed at 4:30am to run (even though when I do do that it is still 80 degrees and humid), I don’t have to feel nauseous and light-headed, I don’t have to plan out all my water/gatorade stops. Instead I can run relatively short 8-9 miles outside OR on the treadmill in the nice cold AC.


I had a nice, slow run outside with my girl Sara last week. She’s training for her first half marathon!!!

That said, running in the summer is still kind of a pain in the butt.

Quick tangent: UMMmmmmm I LOVE Pitch Perfect. Ever since HBO has started playing it, I’ve watched it like 20 times. So. Good. Why is it so good? It’s like Bring it On (don’t want to age myself, but I was a senior in high school when that came out) but BETTER. My only qualm? Anna Kedrick is like a 30-year-old playing a college freshman hahaha.


Ok, so with that out there, let me run down my love/hate relationship with running Barton Bella style

1. I hate running in the hot summer months because I feel like my body retains more water and I get all bloated

fat amy

2. I kind of love running in the summer months because even a short 10 mile run feels like an accomplishment (<–funny how that changes over the winter months)
tumblr_inline_mhkrmk3UxJ1r2mqdf 3. I hate running over the summer months because I have to get up so damn early in the morning to try to beat the heat (and even that doesn’t work!). I’m all like, let me stay in bed and…


4. I kind of love running in the summer months because it keeps me from gaining my dreaded summer weight. Let me explain. Do you know how most people gain the winter and lose in the summer? I’m the opposite. Like to the extreme. My weight fluctuates by a good 10 pounds every year summer to winter. Not sure why this is but I swear I have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder


5. I hate running in the summer because my pace slows down to basically a snail’s pace and I inevitably don’t want to share my run times/pics (which keep me accountable) with anyone

tumblr_meup2vp6Xm1qzlhnqo1_500 6. I kind of love running in the summer because it allows me to penetrate the limitations I set for myself in the heat

tumblr_mhdwiwoQIL1s2cm9uo1_500^^^Ok, so I couldn’t think of another way to use penetrate in a sentence related to running LOL

7. I hate running in the summer because I always think I can continue my race calendar without any problems only to realize later that….I hate running races in the summer

Pitch_perfect_but_then_i_think_mmm_better_not 8. I kind of love running in the summer because I get to think about all of the fun, summery things I get to do later that day/weekend. Oh and Skylar Astin doesn’t hurt 😉


9. I hate running in the summer because sometimes it just feels as bad as this


Alright people, running in the summer: hate it/love it? 

Favorite movie right now? 

Have a great weekend. Love You Awesome Nerds


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Repost: Everybody’s Regular Plan

Ok, today’s repost is not a cop out, I swear it. Have I mentioned that right now the FI is in A2 and I am here in Cville? He moved back earlier to start his program and I still have my research jobs through the summer. I know this sounds crazy but it’s really hard to be apart, even if it is only for 6 weeks. You see, we’ve been very close from the beginning when we first met. I talk about the story of our relationship in detail in one of my favorite posts to date, originally posted Everybody’s Regular Plan. Since I’m missing him so much right now and since my routine has gone all crazy without him around (I’ve been staying up til 3am every night watching Chopped…come on people), I thought I’d repost since it really is one of my favorites. I think it’s also really relevant right now for me as I make yet another change/transition in my life. It’s hard not to think, “Am I doing the right thing? Is this where I should be? Is this what I should have at this point in my life?”

Hope y’all have a great weekend and give hugs to the loved ones around you, whether they be dogs, cats, kids, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, or wives.

Everybody’s Regular Plan (As posted in February 2013)

First of all, thank you so, so much for all of your kind words and well wishes on our recent engagement. The BF–I mean FI 😉 — and I are so excited for the future and are ready to get down and dirty with some wedding planning. The special day isn’t until June 2014 but vendors, especially the good ones, are booked up crazy fast here in Charlottesville, which is an extremely popular place to get married what with the vineyards and beautiful venues. I’m sure I will be writing about wedding planning a bit on the ole’ blog but I won’t be doing it that often so I don’t bore you all!

Before I ever even get to any of that, I should probably start from the beginning.  I don’t talk much about my relationship on the blog. Never have really now that I think about it. So here’s a post on how the FI and I met, some of the crazy things we’ve done together, and how we ended up engaged to be married!!! This will be a precursor to tomorrow’s post on the engagement 🙂

The FI and I met in 2006 playing on the same co-ed soccer team in Boston and have been dating since the beginning of 2008 (yes we are coming up on 5 years people). We were very close, even from the beginning. We would hang out all over Boston, riding bikes, going to new restaurants and bars, and checking out the beaches and museums. We both lived close to downtown, me in Back Bay and him in Southie, and would trade off spending the night at each other’s apartment’s (although admittedly I would end up staying at his place more often because there was easier parking there). He even helped me train for my first marathon (Chicago 2008), running parts of my long runs with me…and eventually running the final 6 miles of the race with me. We were basically two peas in a pod from the beginning.

chicagomarathon santaspeedo beantown uglysweater halloween08 allston bdayparty dc nyestpattys wv strawberry strawberryrun wv bilt ftlauderdale race soccer sophie

lawn party faf coupes halloween3virginianbaseballWe’ve been having so much fun in Boston, Charlottesville, and traveling all around. We left a good group of friends in the Bean only to make new ones here in Cville. We’ve never been that type of couple that, once together, stops going out or having fun with their friends…Come on, you know those types. You’ll have a friend that goes out and is fun and as soon as they have a boyfriend they disappear altogether. We’re best friends and I love him so much for that.

Throughout our late 20s, as many of our friends were getting engaged, married, and having kids, the FI and I were just having fun. Deep down I knew I wasn’t following the exact plan that I had originally had for my life. You know, we all have these “ideas” of how things will happen in our lives. For me it was: get engaged at 26, married at 28, and kids at 30. Well folks, I’m 30 and not married yet with no kids. I’m actually still in school finishing my PhD something I never ever thought I would accomplish. In short, my life didn’t follow the plan I had for it, or “everybody’s regular plan”. Insert trailer to “How Do You Know” with Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd here. It is just soooo perfect:

“Most girls’ plan is to meet a guy…love…have a baby. But I don’t know if I have what it takes for everybody’s regular plan” 

But the thing about life is that it doesn’t follow a plan. Sure, I have friends (mostly those from high school actually and most of them I don’t keep in touch with) who already have kids and live what I consider to be a much more “grown-up” lifestyle then me. But when I really think about it, that actually makes me depressed. I wouldn’t want that for my late 20’s or even right now! I think of all the things I’ve done and places I’ve traveled to that wouldn’t have happened had I had this singular goal of getting married and having kids. That’s just not for me.


Everyone follows their own path. Eventually you get there 🙂


Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to what “everyone’s regular plan” is or people think it should be? 

Engaged? Married? Significant Other? Pet? Friend? How long have you known each other and what makes your relationship special? 

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This loveliness happened today


I had such a fun morning with Carolyn Thombs, who drove all the way from D.C.  to do my wedding makeup trial. I love love LOVE her. She is amazing at what she does and just as nice as can be (<—go check out her website and her awesome blog)

makeup3 makeup2 You all know that I’m kind of a product junkie so it was  such a treat for me to be able to see all the nice products she uses and ask tons of questions. Now I’m running to my office to get a couple hours of writing in. I could show up with makeup like this for work every day 🙂

Have you ever gotten your makeup done? 

What is the one makeup product (foundation, blush, bronzer, mascara, etc) you can’t live without? (<– me? hard to pick just one but I love this Stila blush I have in, surprise surprise, bright pink)


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Hungry Duck Half, Decker’s Creek Half, and July 4th Weekend Update

I’ve been going back and forth over what to do about the blog. On one hand, I am starting a faculty position and my already crazy busy schedule will get crazier. On the other hand, I was able to blog all through my PhD and dissertation, sort of an amazing feat considering the rigor of my schedule, so why can’t I continue? Also, my blog is my baby. When I was actually spending every day posting and had time to read and comment on other blogs, I had a pretty good following (which probably peaked last summer). I love the supportive comments I get from the readers I have and I know that a few of you have been along for the ride with me for quite some time and still follow me on Instagram, where it is clear I am still alive and well 🙂  So I am still making my mind up as to what to do. I’m going to try to do shorter posts but post more often and see what happens. Thoughts anyone?


I used to post recaps for all my races before life went all helter skelter on me (as shown on my race calendar on the right sidebar —>). I realized that I didn’t have a chance to post much for Decker’s Creek Half, which I ran the first weekend in June. And then this past week I ran the Hungry Duck Half with my twin sis in Michigan. Both races were….ehhh, not my greatest.


I just can’t seem to run my normal pace in the hot, humid summer months. But that’s no surprise to me. I still haven’t been able to get back to my 1:40 half PR and not sure I will ever. If I think back on why I was able to set that PR, it was mostly because at the end of 2011 beginning of 2012 I was in major recovery mode from my knee cartilage injury and my determination set the tone for all of my training runs and races. It’s not that I don’t have that determination now, it’s just that I have to work under the constraints of what my knee allows me to do. I have good months and bad months. Ups and downs. Swelling and, err, non-swelling. It’s quite a blessing that I am able to run at all so I’m going to go with that.


That said, I have had a ton of fun during my last few half marathon races. This last one in particular, which I ran with my twin sis, was so carefree. We decided the morning of (it was on 4th of July) that we would just take it easy because it was hot and humid out. Plus the course was super hilly….YES hills. In Michigan. Yes. So we ran together the whole race and ended up chatting basically  the whole time. We passed a lot of people in the first 10 miles but then just took our time the last 3. It was so funny to see people’s faces as they passed us in those last 3 miles. We were just gabbing it up about weddings (she is getting married too! Before me, in October), boys, shopping, etc. Quick tangent: how gorg is she after her engagement pics were taken last week? So bohemian chic chic chic!!!


Anyways, back to the Hungry Duck race. We were like 2 peas in a pod like we’ve always been.

hungryduck HD4

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that Becky is back into running. After all, she’s the one who got me into the whole distance thing in the first place! (<– you can check out her running story on one of her guest posts here, here, here, or here). She has so much more natural running ability than me; less injuries and more stamina and speed. No matter how much I train she can always go out there and kick my butt. It’s like she has an extra gear that kicks in at mile 10 in a race (or mile 20 in a marathon; I’ve seen firsthand her ability to kill the last 6 miles of a marathon like it was nothing). So it’s been so fun to have run not one but TWO halfies with her this summer so far. Like the Decker’s Creek Half in WV that I never got around to recapping. I had major–I mean MAJOR–GI issues and stomach cramping during that race but look how much fun I had anyways, just because I was running with my sis 🙂

DSC_0686 DSC_0688 DSC_0738 DSC_0753 DSC_0764 DSC_0780 I’d like to do a few more halfies this summer just for fun and then see what happens with my pace again come winter in Michigan (which I actually can’t wait for because I love love LOVE running in the freezing cold!).

Speaking of Michigan, the FI and I were back in the mitten last week to find a place to live when we move in August. We found a really fun house in downtown A2 within walking distance to Main St, State St, and all the shops, restaurants, and bars. So that’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. We were also able to take a short trip to my family’s lake house in South Haven, MI. One perk (among many) of moving back is that we can take the 2 hour drive out to the lake house whenever we want. My mom did a fantastic job of fixing it up in the last 2 years (although I think it was just fine the way it was before in the 18 years since we got it). Spending time at the lake is so #puremichigan

southhaven2 southhaven We also got a chance to hang out in the deuce (Ann Arbor, A2, Ace Deuce) and check out Top of the Park, which is a part of Ann Arbor’s Summer Festival downtown. Summer Festival is like Cville’s Friday After Five except it happens every single night. And it’s bigger (like most things in A2 are in comparison to Cville). I’ve been going to Top of the Park–which is called that because it started on top of a parking garage in downtown Ann Arbor–since I was young. Now it’s much bigger and had so many food and beer vendors 🙂

a2 Now I’m back in Cville trying to enjoy my last few weeks here. This weekend we have Starry Nights (see here for my recap of last year’s Starry Nights and here for my recap of Starry Nights 2011 <– geez just looking at that post makes me realize how much weight I’ve lost! 🙂 ). I’m also going to try to log some pool time with some friends on Saturday, something I haven’t been able to fit in yet this summer.

Have you been doing fun summer activities?

Feedback on the future of my blog? Anyone? 

Posted in active life, balanced life, Happy, Healthy, life in cville, running, social life, The Good Life | 6 Comments

Signs of Life

Yes, I am still here just inundated by…well, by life. I realized that I never got around to making the big announcement I had talked about in my last post (and was wondering why some ppl were asking me on instagram, until I realized that I never announced on here). The FI and I are moving to Michigan!!!!


He is going back to school at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!) and I accepted an appointment as assistant professor at a liberal arts college nearby. We’re so excited because Ann Arbor is just a fantastic place to live–and I say that not just because I am from there. We will totally miss all of our Cville friends and everything that makes living here unique: vineyards, mountains, music, southern charm, UVa. But I have this inkling that we may be back in the future.

What else is new in my world:

My fourth bride blogger post is up today on Charlottesville Wedding Blog. It highlights the engagement sessions we had with two photographers so you’ve probably already seen all the pictures here on my blog, but I like how that post puts them all together. So go take a gander.


I’ve been super busy trying to fit in all that is Cville before I have to move in August. In just a week and a half I’ve gone to a wedding at Keswick, the Pink Polo Charity Match (remember last year’s?), a charity dinner by Hill and Holler, summer solstice party (flowers in hair required! 🙂 ), picnicked at Jefferson Vineyard, and dined alfresco on my friend’s rooftop patio. WHOA we’ve been busy!

SAMSUNGDSC_0822DSC_0837alfresco2DSC_0903alfrescoSAMSUNGhill hollerSAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNGjeffersonSAMSUNG

On the fitness front, I’ve still been running–although my knee is acting up again. I’ve also been doing a lot more yoga this summer. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. My arms are getting a little too muscular for my taste so I might scale back a bit. Making that difficult is the fact that we have a new yoga studio here in town, Opal Yoga. It is soley a vineyasa studio, which I love. It’s the only kind of yoga I do. None of that heated, Bikram bull for me (sorry, but the whole heat thing is kind of a bunch of malarky). Opal has a whole bunch of different iterations of vineyasa and even one class that has a live DJ. AMAZE!

opal opalrunningSo tons of stuff going on in my world right now. Just trying to balance it with the research projects I am working on this summer. I can’t believe it is already the end of June, time has just flown by. I’ll be heading back to Michigan for a week next week and I’m so excited, we’re going to go to our lake house on Lake Michigan for the 4th of July weekend. We bought the house when I was 6 years old and have been spending summers there every since 🙂 The FI has never been and I can’t wait to take him!


The back of our house (with my parent’s frenchie Zinnie!)


View from the house 🙂

What’s new in your world?

Has summer flown by for you too? What fun summer activities have you done so far?

Plans for 4th of July?


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Still Kickin’

I’m still here, I’m still around. Promise! I’ve been finalizing a job offer (eeek!) and figuring out where the FI and I will be living. Keep an eye out for a big announcement soon here on the blog 🙂

First, check out my race schedule on the right sidebar. This might give some things away, but I will push through my hatred of running in the summer to continue my #yearofthehalfmary

I’ll also leave you with some pretty pretty pictures that our future wedding photographer Jen Fariello took for us a little over a month ago.

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❤ how these came out!

What’s new in your life?

Summer races? 


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Happy National Running Day!

National Runners Day How are you celebrating? 

Posted in active life, Celebrate!, Healthy, running | 3 Comments