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Things to do in Columbus (plus, a little buckeye)

This past weekend, I was able to go to the Columbus Blue Jackets game with my younger sister, Erin. While my Jackets lost 2-3, Erin and I had a blast AND we received free hats! Can you say #winning?

My younger sister is a freshman at Ohio State and currently applying to the nursing program. I am so happy that she chose to attend OSU – so I can see her a little more frequently AND keep an eye on her. Because truly, what are big sisters for?

cheering on the Blue Jackets!

I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I love Columbus, Ohio. I moved here in 2007 when I started at OSU as an undergrad, and I now consider the 614 my home. I moved back to Cincinnati for a summer or two, and then to Orlando, Florida when I was working at Walt Disney World.

Still, from Southern Ohio to Florida – there is something special about Columbus.

When entering the MBA program, you are surrounding yourself with resources, both inside and outside school. We have top companies in the Columbus Area (check out this article that appeared in Inc. in 2011), cool neighborhoods when you are ready for some fun and great sports teams (what can I say – I’m a sports girl).

Cool places to around school:

  • Arena District – see a show and have a drink – I’m in heaven!
  • Short North – edgy and express (see my post about Betty’s!)
  • German Village – shopping, bakeries, coffee and beautiful architecture
  • Grandview – Close to campus and great for place for graduate students to go when wanting to relax and enjoy a happy hour. Grandview Cafe has delicious food, great drinks and trivia night on Thursdays.
Sports around Columbus:
Food:
Other cool things in my favorite city:
So, why are you still reading?!? Go explore this fabulous city – see you around 🙂
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Cheers to a new year

“The Mayans were wrong.”

That my friends, was the text one of my best friends sent me at on December 21st. Not that I had any doubts mind you, but it was a little unnerving to see POSSIBLE DOOMSDAY ALMOST HERE constantly splashed on TV.

We made it through 2012 and opened our eyes to 2013.

Countdown-to-Fabulous-Dazzling-Styles-for-New-Years-Eve

I could list 10,000 about the past year, but I think Google sums it up a little bit better. Watch the Zeitgeist 2012: Year in Review – but be prepared for emotions and possible tears! The video of NASA celebrating the Mars Rover Landing at 1:26 got me a little choked-up.

So another year to be a better person and make more of a positive difference in the world. Every time I click to Facebook or Twitter, I see a post of friends and colleagues stating several New Years resolutions. Lose 10 pounds, straight As for the upcoming semester, planning a wedding for less than $15,000, increase patience and more.

Seeing all of these resolutions really made me think about my own. In the past, I’ve made resolutions…kept some, modified some, forgot some.

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So for 2013, I want to make my resolutions about my health, my future and the business woman I want to become.

  1. Take advantage of every opportunity at school. Learn as much as possible, spend time with my amazing classmates and continue to be thankful for this incredible adventure
  2. Read 3 Wall Street Journal articles a day. AND, not immediately click to Media & Marketing! 
  3. Train for my 3rd half-marathon (I’m trying to run it in under 2 hours) 
  4. Cook a little bit more (no, LeanCuisine dinners do not count! I did make a delicious chili crockpot yesterday – so far I’m doing well!)
  5. Enjoy life – try not to over-think and stress about absolutely everything.

My mantra for 2013: Work hard, stay true to yourself…and have faith that everything will work out. 

When I hear people say that the new year is a great time to start over, it makes me me a little sad. Does that mean that the last year was a waste?

We always want to start fresh and begin again. But what if the previous year was great? I think that entering 2013 should mean remembering all the great things of 2012 – and being happy. Little changes and ways to improve are great, but don’t ever completely call the previous year a waste.

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taco chili

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Just keep running…

For anyone who loves running – Columbus, Ohio is the perfect city for you!

Last weekend, I ran alongside 18,000 other individuals for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. I participated in the 1/2 marathon, and have never seen such inspiration. Each mile marker had a “Patient Champion“, and many of the patient heroes were cheering on the runners. Let me tell you, it was a huge burst of speed when I was starting to get tired at mile 9 and I saw their beautiful, smiling faces! Caution: checking out the video and reading about the heroes may cause tears and feelings of pride knowing that Nationwide Children’s impacts so many families!

Here is the “Race Recap” video!

This was my second 1/2 marathon – and while my feet and my body are finally feeling completely normal one week later, I have already signed up for another half-marathon next spring. Numerous people in the program ran, and my Facebook feed was full of great photos this morning. Those who ran the full marathon even ran through the Shoe!

Columbus is city that is constantly giving back, in huge ways! The Columbus Marathon sold out this year, and thousands of people came out to show their support. Other races, such as the Capital City 1/2 Marathon and the Arthritis Foundation 5k Jingle Bell Walk/Run are some of my favorites! Where else can you find such a generous city?

Even if marathons and half-marathons aren’t your cup of tea, there are hundreds of 5ks, 15ks and Walk/Runs every year in Ohio and near Columbus – RunOHIO is a great website to find out the perfect race for you! Running is a wonderful way to relieve the stress of classes –  and when you’ve already registered for a race, a great motivator to take a small break and exercise.

 

Happy running!

23 years…and more to come

Today I turn 23 – and I must say, I don’t think I could be more blessed! Even through stressful weeks – days like today that make me realize what a great group I have surrounding me.

WIthin 23 year I graduated from high school, graduated from The Ohio State University, participated in the Walt Disney World College Program, lived in Florida for nine month,  grew into a young adult, decided to return to school to pursue my MBA and more!

Even better, I feel like I am just starting to get-going in life! I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring.

 

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this was sent to me in a birthday email from Ms. Ellen – thanks for the smile!

 

Thank you to everyone for the birthday love and wishes!

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age” – Lucille Ball

 

The hunger edge

“No thanks, I already had a piece of bread.”

“You’re only eating one piece?! I thought it was a girls’ night and we weren’t counting calories.” 

My new favorite recipe: Teranga Pasta

Peer pressure.

To be more specific, peer pressure about FOOD. Eat more, get fries, split a dessert, or my biggest flaw, a delicious fried appetizer and a drink (and let’s be serious, we all know that a fruity sangria is NOT low calorie).

The conversation above happened a few weeks ago when I went out with some of my girlfriends for dinner, drinks and dancing. Meeting out for drinks and food is pretty usual, and I typically eat a small dinner beforehand while I’m getting ready.

Because really, I am starving at 5:30pm and we don’t usually head for till dinner till 7 or 8pm. I’d wither away from hunger if I didn’t eat sooner! My pre-meal is mostly carrots, a banana or some type of fruit/veggie combo. Nothing major, but something to take the “hunger edge” off (And cheaper! As I budget my life, I do to have the funds to eat out every weekend).

I’ll admit it, I do watch everything I eat very carefully – and I am very strict with myself about how much I eat and what I eat on a daily basis. Want to know why? Because I LOVE food and I can become an unintelligent eater very quickly. If I don’t think through what I am eating or how much, I can blaze through a full meal and dessert within 30 minutes and probably still be hungry.

Great to munch on if you want to eat a smaller dinner later, or after the gym! The brighter and more colorful, the healthier!

It’s ridiculous.

So to make sure I eat healthy I try and eat slowly, eat till I’m full and embrace cooking. Since returning from Disney and having a “normal” routine, I have been able to try new recipes (and Pinterest, I love cooking now because of that incredible website – I am not afraid to admit I have a problem).

I feel that you are judged by what you eat, and what you DON’T eat. Go out with friends and order a salad and suddenly people ask why you’re on a diet. Go on a double date and Red Robin and eat burgers and fries, and suddenly it’s a big deal and we are celebrating.

 

Again, it’s ridiculous.

I firmly believe that people are always on a diet – that is simply what you eat every day! You have the choice to make it health, or you can eat things that have no nutritional value and are not good for you. As a runner, I appreciate whole grains and bread. But I make sure I have my protein and veggies as well.

What I’ve learned recently is portion control. I am really trying to train myself to measure how the proper size of noodle when I make pasta, two teaspoons of dressing for salads and things of that nature.

It is OK to eat. In fact, it’s pretty critical. However, it  cannot be something that we obsess over and discuss while we are enjoying a meal. And on the other hand, it cannot be something we indulge in every day. We have to find  balance!

One of my favorite treats – ANYTHING from Pattycake Bakery

My tips are to cook more at home, eat intelligently when eating out, and split food is possible. It is common knowledge that portions at a restaurant are HUGE, so split with a girlfriend! If you are craving some dessert after the meal, pass on the fries.

Want to try cooking at home? Invite some friends over and cook for them! You’d be surprised how much fun it is to entertain others. Ask them what they look to cook and where they find their recipes. My old roomie in Disney, Ally, made INCREDIBLE meals and helped foster my love of cooking.

But most of all, live life and be happy!

wedding bliss

This past weekend I was in one of my best friends’ weddings and learned more about lace and taffeta than I thought possible. (I’ve always loved wedding planning – and I can officially say I’m hooked!)

After setting up the reception hall on Friday and the actual wedding, I learned a few, crucial, items: I know that baby wipes help take a mysterious stain out of a bride’s train, a pack of coasters even out a table, flowers can be arranged, rearranged and rearranged AGAIN to meet the bride’s expectation.

I also learned that a wedding doesn’t need to be perfect to be wonderful. The priest may flub a line, the flower girl may whisper (or yell – whichever) that she’s bored during the ceremony and the 103 degree heat may cause the wedding party to feel a little sluggish during photos. But, everything, and I mean everything, turns out ok in the end.

Things happen, plans change, life goes on and the little moments mean the most.  Those four expressions seem to be my motto for my life. Unlike my undergraduate career, I am not really concerned about my weekend plans or what I’m wearing to the big house party on Friday. I look forwards to friends’ wedding showers, date nights, exploring Columbus and finding delicious restaurants/bars that I never knew about. Why start planning the weekend on Monday when you have other things to focus on during the week?

I am slowing letting go of the iron-grip on my personal life and learning to go with-the-flow and relax … but I need to bring that to other aspects of my life.

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? I feel that I try so hard to prepare for ABSOLUTELY everything, but I sometimes forget to enjoy what’s happening around me. No one else noticed that table skirt was starting to sag during the wedding dinner (which I later fixed), but all through my meal I couldn’t stop looking at the daggon’ table.

Sometimes the easiest advice of relax and let life happen is the hardest to accept.

family vacations: the good, the fun and the togetherness

It can be a touchy subject. Family vacation 2012: translation, lots of family time on Hilton Head Island.

Lots.

Want to know the best thing? It was wonderful! I ate fabulous sea food, ran on the beach, saw dolphins, spent some quality time in the sun and allowed myself to relax.

I feel like my life is in a weird limbo. I am still figuring how to act towards my parents as an “adult”. I am in charge of my life and starting to figure out things such as the importance of credit scores, financing and saving, but I still depend on my parents for support and guidance. Even when they don’t always know what to say or how to help.

And my parents’ house is a great place to send my important mail. Because honestly, I don’t think I have lived in the same apartment for more than two years.

This vacation I felt like a visitor joining in on the fun. I wasn’t aware of the new inside jokes, my parents’ schedule and felt slightly like a mother as I asked my sister about work and preparing for college. And I talk to my parents almost EVERY DAY.

It was almost awkward having my parents pay for my meals – and now that I am maturing, I realize how blessed I am to experience such great vacations. I know the price of gas and how much it costs to take a family of four out to dinner.

Lots of togetherness, lots of love and lots of (good) changes.