On My Mind: August Edition

1. OMG there’s only two super long runs left until the marathon! Where did August go? Granted, I have to run 12 miles today (because that’s not long at all… who am I?) and then 18 and 20 the next two weekends, but after that I begin tapering for the BIG DAY (Oct. 12). How can that be? I feel like I’m getting there physically, but I’m not sure I’m mentally ready for this!

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2. After the marathon, I’m hoping to take some time off and travel somewhere warm. I don’t want to sight see; I just want to lay on the beach, eat/drink whatever my heart desires and not set an alarm for an entire week! I’m lucky enough to have a job with a decent PTO allotment and a boss that encourages me to take it, but I feel like there’s been a lot of chatter lately about how Americans don’t use their vacation time, which is just plain stupid. I especially liked Gawker’s take:

That job don’t love you. That job is not your friend. That job is not looking out for you. That job is a machine in which you are a cog. That job has no human feelings. That job is interested only in sucking you for every last ounce of labor that you are physically capable of producing before you pass out. It is not the job’s fault; it is in the job’s nature. Therefore it is up to you to look out for yourself. You gotta love yourself in this world. Take that time off. Nobody else is going to take it for you. Take it. Take it all.

Touché, Gawker. Touché. Now where should I go? Suggestions?

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3. Um, so I woke up today and decided that I hate my bathroom. I hate the stupid black and white checkered floor, I REALLY hate the old-school mirror/light combo, I hate the cheap over-the-toliet storage cabinet, I hate the color of the green accents. OK, I can really only do something about that last one (maybe two), but I’ve decided it’s time to revisit this space. It’s pretty much been the same since I moved in two years ago so… Here. we. go.

Opening Ceremony And 'Birdman' - Premiere - 71st Venice Film Festival

4. I’m really excited to get my hair cut tonight. I have not had many good hair days lately. The truth is I was on a medication for awhile that started to make my hair fall out! It was awful. And it still kind of is because now I have all these new hairs sticking out like a baby bird. But I’m hoping my stylist can work some magic. I’m thinking I should cut a couple inches off to help the little hairs “catch up” to the longer ones faster, and I think I’m going to use Emma Stone’s new do as inspiration. I kind of have a girl crush on Emma. She was hilarious in the Lip Sync Battle with Jimmy Fallon.

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5. I’ve totally been slacking in the cooking department. I got the new stove/oven weeks ago, and I think I’ve only used it once—to warm up leftover pizza. That’s just sad. But now that my grad class is over (and I’m taking the fall off), I might be able to get back in the kitchen. First recipe I want to tackle? Spicy beer shrimp sounds pretty damn good. Or maybe jalapeño cheddar scones. Guess I’m all about the heat right now!

(Images: 1. National Geographic, 3. The Gloss, 4. Chocolate Moosey)

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Summer Bucket List

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.37.25 PMHappy Friday! I don’t know about y’all, but this week has felt forever long. I think it’s because it’s been raining all week. I’m not (really) complaining because I’m happy it’s finally above 35 degrees, but I have to say I’m pretty excited for summer to hurry up and get here. I dream of the beach… yes, even our fake Lake Michigan “beach.”

But speaking of summer, it’s time to put together a bucket list! For the past couple years, some friends and I have assembled a bucket list for each new season. Some of the stuff frankly isn’t possible (create a time machine), some of it is too ridiculous (Sketchers Shape Up bar crawl) and some of it we just don’t get around to (go skydiving), but a lot of the items do get crossed off. It’s a great resource to have when you find yourself with a random free Sunday, and you’re looking for something to do. Then again, maybe I’m just not creative enough to think of something on the spot.

Anywho, here’s some of things on my personal Summer Bucket List:

Train for the marathon. This isn’t so much a fun bucket list item as a straight-up necessity. The Chicago Marathon is Oct. 12, so that’s means the training program starts about the second week of June. There’s going to be some eaaaarly mornings this summer… (This also means on your bucket list should be “Make signs to cheer Kelsey on at the Chicago Marathon!”)

Make my own popsicles. This one has been on my mind for awhile even though I don’t eat that many store-bought popsicles. I’m weary of what exactly is in there. (Is high fructose corn syrup good or bad for you this week? What about chemical sweeteners? Why are they always slimy?) But I’m always looking for new healthy snacks, and if I can make my own, then I’ll know every ingredient. Plus, I’ll have an excuse to buy these super cute molds. Yes, I’m really 6 years old at heart.

Go floating. This is a repeat item from a many a summer bucket lists past, but it’s finally happening this year—for my birthday! For those of you not familiar, floating trips involve, well, floating down a river in a big inner tube with a bunch of friends and usually a cooler of adult beverages. It’s like a real-life lazy river. We’re going floating at Turkey Run State Park and camping out nearby. I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday!

Attempt to grill pizza. In general, I want grill out a lot more this summer, but I’m especially interested in trying to grill a pizza pie. This idea could very well stem from the fact that my oven is terrible. (It won’t consistently stay above 400.) I really want to try this grilled pesto, sweet corn and avocado pizza recipe. Check out that dessert pizza she makes too, omg…

Eat at Hot Doug’s. Sticking with food, I want to make it to Hot Doug’s one more time before the beloved sausage joint closes in October. I’ve only been once—see above, that’s what just me and one other person shared. It was sad… but delicious. After Charlie Trotter’s closed, I wished I’d made an effort to get there. I should feasibly (read: financially) be able do Hot Doug’s at least.

Hit up the Kane County Flea Market. The rumor is that this flea market about an hour outside of Chicago is the place to be on the first weekend of every month (March-December). Like any flea market, I’m sure the Kane County Flea Market is a hodge podge of junk and treasures, but I’ve heard there’s some quality mid-century items up for grabs if you get there early.

Bike ride every weekend. I have a bike; I need a helmet. Then I’ll be good to go on weekend biking adventures around the city. I’m just a tiny bit scared…

That’s all I’ve got so far, but I still have another week to brainstorm. (I consider Memorial Day to be the summer kickoff.) Do you have a Summer Bucket List? What’s on it? What should I add to mine?