CrossFit: A New Way of Life, but Not a New Personality

About 6 months before Matt and I got married, he decided he needed to get his butt in gear and slim down for the wedding. He decided to start doing CrossFit and has since become the top notch specimen that he is today. All kidding aside, I am very proud of Matt for committing himself to this and all of his hard work really is paying off. I am sure that his performance in the half marathon this weekend will provide more proof to just how successful CrossFit really is.

Last night Matt put me through a pretty rough workout. Our workout is listed below.

3 rounds for time of the following:

10 Power Cleans
10 Burpees
5 Pull Ups
10 Kettlebell Swings
10 Box Jumps

I nearly died. I find burpees to be one of the hardest activities known to mankind. I literally find myself lying, face-down, on the group unable to convince myself to get up and keep going. Matt crushed me, as per usual, and cheered me on as I finished a full minute and a half behind him.

After our workout we decided to do some stretching. I was trying to catch my breath and stop sweating when I heard a strange noise coming from Matt’s side of the room. It sounded like this:

“Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow… mooooooooooooooooooo”

I looked over to see Matt, totally in the zone, doing the well-known yoga move “Cat/Cow.” It is so nice to know that even as Matt becomes more hardcore, in terms of his CrossFit performances, he isn’t losing those goofy qualities that I fell in love with.

Organizing a Disorganized World

I am not a huge lover of art. I am slight embarrassed to say that after living in New York for nearly 3 years, I have visited exactly one museum, the Museum of Natural History.  With its large display of dinosaur bones and various animals, this museum appeals to the average 5-year-old child. So I guess it isn’t too surprising that this is the one museum I have visited.

Art is something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I remember standing in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre getting pushed by the crowds who flock to see this painting. Sure it was cool to see this painting, that has been replicated countless time in person, however I didn’t really find it that moving. I walked into a room adjacent to the famous painting, which was basically empty, and found 4 or 5 other paintings that I found much more interested than the Mona Lisa.

And don’t even get me started on modern art. Maybe my cultural pallet isn’t sophisticated enough to understand this art form, but I do not understand how an abandonded grocery cart is art – I see those on the street nearly every day and they aren’t art – only when someone puts one in MoMA does it become art.

So anyone who has been around my blog for a while knows that I like things organized. Maybe that is why art doesn’t appeal to me – it isn’t rational and most of the time, it isn’t organized. That is, until Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli came along.

Ursus Wehrli is also the author of Tidying Up Art, a unique  manifesto that seeks to provide a more rational, more organized and cleaner form of modern art. In deconstructing the work of Paul Klee, Jaspen Johns and other masters into its component parts, organized by color and size, Wehrli creates a more perfect art world.

Now this is art, and a world, that I can make sense of!

This is How Much I Like You


Last night Matt and I went out to dinner with our awesome friends, Lucy and Smeets (don’t worry, that is his last name – his parents aren’t that mean to name him Smeets). We always love hanging out with these two and last night we had a lovely time.

In the middle of dinner, I turned to Lucy and Smeets and said, “You know what, I really like you guys. You know this because I am here with you even though I am missing The Sing Off.” Matt turned and looked at me, completely appalled that I would say something so rude to our friends. However, in my mind, this was a huge compliment. Believe me, I wouldn’t miss that show for just anyone!

So cheers to good friends who are worth setting the DVR and watching your favorite shows later. Clearly tonight, I am going to be glued to my tv catching up with my favorite a capella groups!

The Great Brooklyn Debate

So Matt and I are thinking about moving to Brooklyn. We like the idea of having a bit more space, an actual neighborhood and hopefully an outdoor area where we can set up a sick grill. And while our lease isn’t up until next July, we decided to start scoping out neighborhoods since we don’t know much about Brooklyn.

This weekend we crossed the river for a delicious brunch at The Roebling Tea Room. And while there were a lot (and by a lot oI mean, basically everyone in the restaurant except me and Matt) of hipsters, the food was awesome. I got the baked pancake, which was incredible while Matt got the baked eggs and grits. YUM!


After brunch we stopped by Blue Bottle, an amazing coffee shop that we originally visited during our trip to San Fran last year. We have been obsessed since (more with the trendiness of the brand than the actual coffee) so when we found out that there was a Blue Bottle shop located in Brooklyn we thought “yes, another reason to move to Brooklyn!”

Then we proceeded to walk around Williamsburg for a while, looking at apartment buildings that we could see ourselves living in. I took down addresses for about 10 places so that I could look them up later and hopefully by-pass any broker fees. Eventually we found a building where the rental office was open and they showed us three model units. The first two were nice, but even though they were two bedrooms, the living space was much smaller than our current apartment. But the last apartment they showed us was amazing. It was a duplex with two bedrooms, a lofted office space, two full bathrooms, a staircase and tons of storage. There was a balcony that had views of the river and a park right next door. I was in love!


I thought it might be a little out of our price range but not entirely out of the possibility. With new buildings you can often negotiate great concessions like a month or two free.  After the tour, we went back into the office, only to have our dreams shattered… these weren’t apartments available for rent; they were condos available for purchase – and the asking price of my lovely duplex was 1.7 million dollars. Just slightly out of our price range…

Sadly, we rode subway back to Manhattan with a little less bounce in our step. Who knew the outer boroughs could be so cruel. This whole apartment/neighborhood/new lifestyle search might be a little more difficult that we anticipated.

But hey, at least we got our Blue Bottle Coffee!


Abby got a dog last Spring and I was immediately jealous. Although Matt is allergic to dogs and I don’t particularly like the way they smell or picking up their poop, the loyalty of a dog is something you can’t find in many other creatures (including people). I am pretty sure that the only other animal that rivals a dogs loyalty is probably a betta fish – they stick with you through it all! And they are pretty good at doing tricks too.

This is my new cubicle-mate. Please note the Robin Hood colored gem stones in the bottom of his tanks. I think he hates poverty too.

I am now accepting suggestions for his name. Please leave your thoughts below in the comments section. I will post the winning name in a later post. Right now the front runner is “fish” so the bar is pretty low.


One thing I love about living in New York City is the fact that every so often, you are bound to have a celebrity siting on the streets somewhere in the city. Since moving to New York I have had the following star run-ins :


There was one time I saw someone and I didn’t know who he was, but I knew I had seen him before. I racked my brain for hours trying to figure out who this mystery man was. I thought he was from some trashy tv show that I watched, but I just couldn’t place him. Then, months later, I spotted this same person walking on the street – but this time I had witnesses with me: Matt, our friend Nick and his girlfriend. After we passed by this unidentified celebrity, I quickly turned to Nick’s girlfriend and asked her is she recognized the person we just passed. Unfortunately she hadn’t noticed him. Thankfully, Matt and Nick overhead us discussing this and immediately Nick identified him for me.

Randy Fenoli

Immediately I knew he was right – Randy from “Say Yes to the Dress!” Not only was I impressed with Nick’s strong facial recognition skills, but I was also impressed that he had watched Say Yes to the Dress. I knew there was a reason I liked him!

Yesterday as I was walking down the street talking to my mom on the phone, I saw someone who I thought looked familiar. But what also made them stand out was the device they were talking into. Here I was, strolling down the street talking into my iPhone headphones looking all cool and city-chic. Well, the celeb in questions was holding this:


 So apparently, the new trend in technology is moving back to pre-cell phone times. Suddenly my apple ear buds seemed so 2010. 

Unfortunately my inability to place this celeb is driving me crazy! Again, I think he is a host or judge for one of the reality shows on Bravo/HGTV/Food Network – I think this might be a sign that I need to cut back on my trashy tv… I have spent the morning googling “Reality TV stars” but nothing yet. I am thinking that I should call up Nick and describe this guy – I have a feeling he would be able to get to the bottom of this!

Win One for the Gipper…

and for all of the wives of Notre Dame fans!

This weekend, Matt and I put on our Notre Dame t-shirts and headed over to our local Irish pub to watch the Notre Dame football team take on Michigan State. After the past two weekends, I was weary of where the afternoon’s game would take us.

Thankfully the team walked away with a win and I walked away with a husband who wasn’t depressed. I would like to personally thank Michigan State for improving the state of my marriage this weekend. While 1 – 2 isn’t an ideal record to start the season with, it is a heck of a lot better than 0 – 3.

Consumer Unit

When I was in 8th grade we spent the last quarter of school working on a special project called “Consumer Unit.” During this unit we learned about being an American consumer (also known as an adult). We were all assigned “jobs” and each job had a paycheck associated with in. We then learned about the various expenses that you incur as a consumer and had to pay off these expenses without going over the budgets determined by out paycheck amounts.

What I remember most about this unit was sitting in the lobby of a hotel after a swim meet watching my dad try desperately to salvage the mess I made out of my checkbook. I think he spent more time trying to balance my pretend checkbook that month than he ever had on his real account.

I couldn’t help but think that unit was completely worthwhile as I walked to work this morning and paid my credit card bill using an iPhone app.

30 Day Challenge

When I was home this weekend, my mom and I were talking about happiness.

Happiness seems like something that you should  achieve naturally. It seems like it should be this euphoric state that comes over you without a conscious effort to make it happen. Because if it were something that you were working towards, it would feel too forced to be true happiness. However, we both decided that this isn’t the way things work.

We were saying how happiness isn’t something that just happens; you need to take steps to find it and achieve it. You need to put yourself out there and figure out what will make you happy and then do it. It requires work, which can seem counterintuitive.

One of the things I miss most about swimming is the concept of being part of team and having goals that you work to achieve together. Having people hold you accountable for your actions and contributions to those goals can lead to incredible things. It may sound cliché, but we can achieve so much more together than we could as individuals. So, this weekend, we decided that together, we were going to take steps together to help us continue to find happiness in our lives.

After being Freshly Pressed last week, I had to opportunity to read a lot of blogs from folks who left comments on my post. One blogger wrote a post on her blog, “A Bit Of Everything” that featured a TED talk about 30 day challenges:

After watching it, my mom and I knew this was something we wanted to try. There are so many little things that we have always wanted to do, but for some reason or other, have never done. The 30 day challenge packages these things in a way that seem manageable and somewhat fun. After inviting Abby into the fun, we decided to start a blog  so that we could document our shared experiences (sorry, it is private – my mom isn’t ready for the fame that comes from a public blog just yet).

So with our newly minted blog, we have set out on our first challenge: take a picture every day for the next 30 days and post it to our site.

Our first 30 day challenge is not earth-shattering. It will not change our lives. But it will allow us to share and appreciate a small piece  of each other’s daily lives. And while it may not be awe-inspiring photography, I believe we will at least capture a few moments and memories that we may have otherwise missed.

Onward to happiness!