Monday, April 21, 2014

Gibson Tuck + Boston Marathon

I have a Pinterest board full of hair-dos and can actually make my hair do maybe 1....but now 2, because after numerous failed attempts, I have mastered the "Gibson Tuck", at least for today:

I always got stuck where you roll the hair into the space you made when you tuck your ponytail under, but turns out that cramming your hair in a hurry to get to work and pinning it there works too.  

Did you watch the Boston Marathon this morning?  The stories about the survivors of last year's bombings and how they're doing a year later make me cry every time.  Shalane Flanagan ran a HELL of a race and I'd love to see her win someday.  I get misty eyed watching the runners line up on the start line....5 years ago today Ryan asked me to marry him at that same spot.  

Shallow hair nonsense and the Boston Marathon, how's that for a wacky combo?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Out of Town

Sh*t that I do when Ryan is out of town for work at a track meet:

Eat cashews, hard boiled eggs and strawberries for dinner.

Sew for hours.

Let the dogs sleep with me; one always curls up around my middle and the other keeps my feet warm.  It's a good system.

Watch Girl Code in bed with said snuggly dogs.

Clean the house...and it stays clean.

Pinterest like I get paid to do it.

Meal plan.

Wonder why the Easter candy is disappearing at a steady rate, as I previously believed Ryan was the only one eating it.

It's been awhile!  How's your spring treating you?  Any big Easter plans?  I'm hosting a brunch for my family and I'm making this asparagus egg bake (and adding bacon), this cinnamon pull apart bread but with cream cheese icing, a strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing and blueberry muffins.  My mom is bringing hashbrown casserole and Grandma is bringing deviled eggs and fruit salad.  Lots of goodness.

Gratuitous picture of tulips at the Farmer's Market that just opened for the season this week

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Year

I didn't mean to not blog for a month but the holidays really walloped me this year!  There was lots of back and forth and changing plans and work all mixed in, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad we're back to our everyday routine.  How were your holidays?

I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of girl, but there are few things that have been weighing heavily on my mind that I'd like to work on:  Peace with my body, and peace with my mind.

I am ashamed about the amount of time I spend obsessing and worrying over my body and my weight, and I'm tired of carrying that around with me.  I also am stuck in the "its never enough" cycle (that my 30 minutes on the elliptical wasn't good enough because I didn't do a crazy hard workout, for example) and want to get out of that.  Actionable items to achieve this include focusing on being active to feel good and appreciating what I can physically do as opposed to looks.  I'm also adding some toning into my cardio-only workouts (Blogilates and yoga) and having 1 meal a day be grain-free (I LOVE BREAD so much but the No Carb Left Behind diet makes me bloated and I feel better about myself if I lay off just a little bit; there is no paleo or Whole 30 in my future, just some simple moderation of grains should do the trick).

I've always been a worrier, but my anxiety has turned into more and more of a daily issue in the last few years.  Just turning on the crock pot at lunch yesterday turned my entire afternoon into a worry fest of the house burning down with my dogs in it, completely negating the convenience of dinner being done when I got home!  This one is harder for me to tackle, so I did what anyone else would do...I Googled that business.  I looked up some books that had specific, actionable things to help take my anxiety level down a notch and will be reading these soon:

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques:  Understanding How Your Brain Makes you Anxious and What you Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg

The Gifts of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

I'd welcome any advice from you all on either front - books to read, something that really helped you, etc!

On a less serious note, I wanted to learn how to crochet in 2013 and that didn't happen so I just rolled that over into 2014.  A new yarn shop opened up here and they offer crochet lessons!  I'm getting it all set up this week.  Trying to learn from books and youtube has only gotten me to a certain point, I always get confused when you start crocheting into your foundation train.  I'm really excited to get going on crocheting!  It looks like such a nice thing to do in front of the TV.

What are you looking forward to or working on for 2014?  Are you glad to be back in your routine or missing the holidays?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Making Lately

A snowstorm 2 weeks ago got me on a sewing spree!  I had this minky/flannel blanket to finish up for a friend's baby girl arriving in a few weeks (DEADLINE!) and when we got a few snow days I had the chance to sit down and get it all together.  The satin edging was much more complicated and time consuming than I thought it would be (just gathering the satin edging took me hours) but it turned out so pretty:

It's the softest, cuddliest blanket I've ever sewn; I hope it keeps our friends' new baby girl toasty and warm!

I've also been on an elephant-making quilt lately, courtesy of this tutorial.  It all started when another friend of ours did up her new baby's nursery in elephants, so I made one for their new arrival and the new big brother.  They go together so quickly that lots of friends have gotten these for their little ones!  

Can you believe Christmas is next week?  We're almost done shopping but have a small handful of gifts to pick up still.  Are you ready to go or will you be hitting the stores this weekend?

Aside from that materialist bit, I was looking at our tree last night and feeling so grateful.  Our tree is full of ornaments that were all given to us by someone who loves us, and they're each a ticket to a time and a place I couldn't get to otherwise.  We both have jobs we love, our health, our families, more than we need to eat and a savings account.  We are so fortunate, and I feel this every day.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Privacy, the Internet & Social Media

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  The holiday season feels like it's whipping past me this year...Christmas is only 15 days away?!  Is it going by quickly for you all too?  I don't have nearly enough people crossed off my shopping list!

Social media, the internet and privacy have been weighing heavily on my mind lately.  I manage social media for my work (@VisitCape), and doing so has led me to be a more public persona than I had ever imagined. Within a few weeks of starting my job in tourism 2.5 years ago, I had local reporters and business professionals following my Twitter handle just by warrant of where I worked.  It was odd, but part of the job I had been told to expect.

Recently I added on @VisitCape's Twitter bio that @stacydlane (me!) was the voice of the account and let my Twitter go entirely professional.  Now at professional conferences its easy to go by my Twitter handle.

For a while I kept my Facebook private, completely personal and on lock down (or as much as Facebook lets that happen), but I finally gave in to having it be a more professionally oriented social media platform; I did some serious photo scrubbing I probably should have done years ago and started friending Chamber of Commerce members, travel bloggers I'd like to work with eventually and tourism friends.

Thanks to the circles employed by Google+, that platform is easy to keep a good grasp on privacy...I just wish more people were on there, haha!

A month ago or so, I made my Instagram (my personal favorite social media platform and the one I use most heavily) private; last week I went through and blocked every follower I don't know.  Now I know every single person who follows me and I feel very secure about the pictures I choose to post here.

This blog is public, but it isn't something I share on anything but personal platforms.

Gut checks help me with all of this; it feels good and right to let VisitCape followers know who the voice behind the brand is, but I also need a few spaces left private where I can post indiscriminately without worrying about the professional image that provides, privacy concerns, or anything else.  By indiscriminately I mostly mean outfit pictures without taunting, hahaha!

Raising a child in the age of all of this photo and information sharing is intimidating to me.  Ryan and I have talked extensively about how we'll tackle social media with our non-existent, entirely hypothetical children, and we reached an easy agreement that pictures of our child will not make their way onto any public platform; we'll most likely share pictures to Family and Friends circles on Google+ and on my private Instagram account, or via text.  I anticipate our families being supportive of this decision too.  This is what feels right to us (at this child-free point in our lives) and is by no means a sweeping judgement; I think that it's just important to be thoughtful about the pictures you post online.

Gut checks and soul searching all over social media and privacy....I think I see these things in a different light as social media comprises so much of my job, so I'd love to hear your views on this; what do you choose to share, to keep private, and why?

It snowed here last week!  Snow doesn't typically stick around very long:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Huntsville, AL and a Whole Lotta Hashtags!

The week before last I was in Huntsville, Alabama attending the Social Media Symposium on Travel and Tourism, aka #SOMET13US.  It's the 3rd year I've been to this conference and it's so nice to have a group of folks that I know to hang out with.

I road-tripped down with my friend Laura from Kenosha, WI and Alyssa from the outer Chicago suburbs, and we got to Huntsville on Tuesday.  The hotel was super nice (a Westin, I wanted to take up residence in the shower, heaven) and we got to enjoy the evening event for early arrivals, a "Tweet Up Tap Room Takeover" at a local brewery with food provided by two food trucks.  The watermelon wheat beer was incredible and I have a grilled "cheese"cake sandwich-2 slices of buttered poundcake with a slice of cheesecake in between.  It was just as insanely good as it sounds.

The next morning I had a fabulous run with my friend Jessie from Arkansas and then a breakfast to write home about:

Chocolate chip banana pancakes with homemade whipped cream, 2 fried eggs and a cheesy hashbrown casserole.  I didn't eat again until dinner, haha!  Freaking outstanding diner food.  Thank goodness this place doesn't exist where I live, I'd eat there too much!
We also shopped a bit in the outdoor mall attached to the hotel until the conference started at noon.  There were educational sessions all afternoon and then a welcome reception at the Space and Rocket Center!

We ate under the Saturn V rocket and then were set loose to explore.  Here's a peek at Space Camp (which they have for grown-ups, if you missed your chance as a kind like I did):

The Space and Rocket Center had a DaVinci exhibit going on, where they actually built the devices that DaVinci sketched, like his precursor to modern helicopters:

The next day was a full day of educational sessions, then another reception at a very cool outdoor venue that evening.  Friday morning I had a phenomenal run in the workout room, then more educational sessions.  We left around lunchtime and road-tripped back to Cape, where Laura and Alyssa dropped me off and headed on their way north!  Ryan had done all the grocery shopping and had dinner ready, which was a really nice welcome home.  I spent the weekend doing laundry, getting in some good quality time with Ryan and my family and loving on my dogs.  Now I'm working to take all of the knowledge I collected and apply it to the social media I manage at work.

Huntsville seemed like a really fun place, and its only 5.5 hours from Cape...good to know if Ryan and I can ever get away for a weekend trip!

Everything has been pretty low-key since that trip, so nothing exciting to report other than everyday things!  What have you been up to lately?   Have you gone anywhere fun for work?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homecoming Weekend

Posting about this past weekend on Thursday, AND this is a homecoming weekend post with zero homecoming pictures....oops!

I went a little overboard on Fall this weekend, but I couldn't help it.  The leaves were at their peak, the sky was a bright blue and the air was a crisp 50 with almost no humidity.

Friday night we kicked off the weekend with dinner and drinks out with friends; Ryan had some guy friends in town for Homecoming.

Saturday morning I watched the Homecoming parade and checked in on the newest member of the family, Karma!  My parents 8 year old mini schnauzer has cancer (a tumor was pressing on one of her eyes, which was removed a month or so ago, but we know that her time is limited) and my mom has been having a really hard time with it.  She wanted to bring another dog who needed a home into the family to help with the transition.  Karma showed up on my vet's Facebook feed needing a home; she's 4 and her family had to give her up.  She'd been at the vet for almost a month in need of a new family....she and Mia are getting along SO well!

Holy Fall you guys....

Saturday Ryan and I went to the 1 year anniversary party at our butcher's which was really fun (lots of free samples, and a local winery was there).  We rounded out the day on the couch watching the Cards in the World Series.

Sunday morning I hit the trail with Oscar and Ninja for a run, which we all loved:

Ryan made a big breakfast for everyone (his friends were still here) and I headed out to Trail of Tears State Park for a hike, again with Oscar and Ninja (hike quickly followed by a bath/combing to combat poison ivy and ticks):

I made pancetta+arugula pizza (this crust is so good) for dinner and there was more puppy cuddles on the couch Sunday evening...

It was the first weekend in months that we've had with both of us at home (Ryan didn't have a meet this weekend); it was so nice to kick back and relax.

How was your weekend?  What do you have cooking for this upcoming weekend?