the best work life ingredient.

Sometimes when work gets uber stressful, I throw my hands in the air at the end of the day and think I’m not saving lives! Why the heck am I even doing this? I’m no good at it! 

Then when I make it back down to reality, I realize that I really don’t want to save lives and the people whose lives need saving probably don’t want me to try.

publix cupcakes photoshoot

I feel pretty lucky, though, because 2.25 (MATH) years ago I convinced this real sweet ad agency to hire me and it’s been an insanely fun ride ever since. I found a place that’s filled with people who like what they’re doing just as much as I do.

behind the scenes photo shoot3

Yeah, there are bad days. Who doesn’t have bad days? I worked at Disney for six months and had bad days. Insider knowledge: it’s not always the most magical place on earth after an 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. shift. 

publix petit fours photo shoot

But to keep the good days in the lead, the best ingredient in my work-life balance is variety. VARIETY. CHANGE.

Getting thrown into new projects basically every month is pretty much the norm at my job. Sometimes I work with food and flowers, then another week it’s bras and furniture. Next week I’m doing a project involving pets. PUPPIES & KITTIES.

behind the scenes publix photo shoot

When no two days are the same, that’s when I feel the most in love with what I do.

What I do doesn’t ever put a dent in world hunger and when an assignment gets turned in late, no one’s dying on the table. But in a lot of ways, what I do makes me feel alive.

publix premium spring flowers

So. Here we are at the end of a crazy work week and I feel insanely accomplished and proud of the work I’ve done.  and that is a pretty cool freaking feeling.

selfie

 

How was your week?

thinking loudly.

I’m linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays, a day and place where messy brains like mine need an excuse to word vomit all over their blog. Excited?  

Here we gooooo.

**You either love olives or you think they’re nasty crap. I personally think they should be removed from this earth. And/or never get near my salad again.

lunch salad

**I was researching stuff for work the other day and came across this photo. If you get the reference then we should be best friends forever.

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**I demo-ed a bag of kettle corn while watching and live-tweeting Pretty Little Liars. There was some work thrown in there. Some.

movie and popcorn

**Post-workout selfie feels. Go on. Judge me. I’ve been hitting the HIIT workouts real hard this week and I’m feeling awesome.

post workout selfie

**This is my commute, dudes! I’m walking to work as much as possible these days before it gets too bloody hot to walk or bike. It was glorious.

tampa bay morning fog tampa bay panoramic

**Back on the oatmeal train while it’s still somewhat cool outside. I think Florida has like a week left before we’re miserable again for a few months. I think it’s time I start looking for an apartment with central air. grumble grumble grumble

oatmeal for breakfast

**Last week I won FOUR jars of Essentially Coconut coconut butter from FitFluential. I definitely already told you this, but…FOUR JARS. I’m impatiently awaiting my delivery this week.

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Vacay in a jar and then party in my stomach. Yusssss.

**I’m heading to two photo shoots for work this week and I’m pretty excited. Keep up with me on Insta!

Gimme some thoughts.

ride 2 recovery, st. pete 2015.

I’m not sure if I stressed enough in my previous post how amazing this past weekend was. Lemme just reiterate: freaking blast.

Lots of riding went down and that’s what I’m here to tell you people about, specifically the Ride 2 Recovery in St. Petersburg.

Friday evening we got our race packets, picked up my buddy’s bike, then went for a nice long ride on Bayshore just to loosen things up a little before Saturday. And because this kid’s from Buffalo and being outside in t-shirt in March basically made him wet his pants.

The breeze was crazy insane so I stayed firmly in the back sucking wind and getting his good side. What.

biking bayshore blvd tampa floridaScreen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.06.41 PM

Saturday morning was the Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride in St. Petersburg, FL. We got up reallll early, wolfed down food and coffee (me, not him because he quit and now I don’t know why we’re still friends), packed our bags and headed to the Trop.

sunrise tropicana field florida

The race started at 8 a.m. but we got there in plenty of time because I’m my father’s daughter and there’s no such thing as too early.

ride 2 recovery st pete

We signed up for the 60-mile course and were on our way with 300 (guessing) of our closest spandex-clad friends.

Overall, the course was pretty similar to the Miles For Hope: very flat but very beautiful. The elevation gain was around 400 feet. And by elevation I mean manmade bridges.

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Riding along the water was just amazing and the breezes really helped cool it down. The only thing that I didn’t love was the traffic–I always get nervous about that–and the course was marked by spray paint on the road which was tough to pay attention to because of the traffic. Also, I’m pretty sure there weren’t any aid/sag stations.

After the ride we ate everything in downtown St. Pete. It was a great day.

Sunday morning we somehow pried ourselves out of bed for another ride, this time on the Pinellas Trail.

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This was also the day I got stuck in my pedals for the first time and slammed straight into the ground on my right side. I’ve got the bruise to prove it. #SMOOTH

I can’t wait to do this ride again next year!

we weekended hard.

Where have I been? HAVING ALL THE FUN THERE IS TO BE HAD.

A friend came into town last week and we had the best weekend ever. I was a little nervous because at the end of last week I was not feeling great at all. But somehow my stomach survived and I can’t remember the last time I laughed or smiled that much in a 72-hour period.

We had two long bike rides, including a ride for charity, toured Cigar City Brewing, walked all over Tampa, ate the best food ever, had ice cream before dinner, watched cruise ships go out from Davis Islands, soaked in a couple sunsets, went on a trolley ride, visited Locale Market in downtown St. Pete, and watched movies because sometimes that’s all you can do after hours and hours and hours in the sun. It was freaking glorious.

Let me show you how we made the most out of our short couple days.

ride 2 recovery st pete

*Cruising all up and down Bayshore.
*Demolished 58 miles on Saturday morning in the Ride 2 Recovery. (More on that in another post.)

biking st pete

*Kicked our own butts again on Sunday with 48 miles along the Pinellas Trail.
*Waved to the cruise ship passengers. Lucky ducks.
*Total: ~120 miles for the weekend.

cigar city brewery toursunset hogan's beach tampa

*One of the more perfect sunsets, squishing our toes in the sand, inhaling that weird-but-awesome salty air.

I am just so sad he’s gone. For now, all I have to say is this kid better not wait another two years to visit me again.

Hope you had a great weekend!

an easy way to get rid of running boredom.

After work this evening I had a meeting a couple miles away. I really wanted to get a workout in but I was super crunched for time and didn’t want to drive all the way back home just to leave my apartment again to go run/walk. Waste of time.

Instead, I brought my running clothes with me, changed all sneaky-like/weirdo-like in my car, drove to a park close by and ran from there.

pinellas trail tampa florida
Not where I ran but, you know, pavement is pavement.

What a difference!

Starting a run from the same place every single day is tough, but this time I got tired in a different place during my run, not by my usual spot–the broken water fountain. At any given point, I was never totally sure how far into my run I was because it wasn’t my normal route. I didn’t see any of the “regulars.” The sun even felt different because I started in a different direction.

Again: what a difference!

If you’re feeling a little burned out or just not excited about your normal run that starts and ends at your doorstep, hop in your car. Drive a few miles away and run around that area. All you really need is a new route, I promise. Oh, and go Garmin-less. It’s just better that way.

How do you shake the running/workout boredom?

dude knocked my twitter post.

They always tell you: don’t take your work home with you. Well, to me, that applies to couples, families, and those with needy pets that want all the attention.

Since I’m a single lady, my work and I are in a committed relationship and rarely without each other. #socialmediaismyboyfriend

See, 99% of my job as a Social Content Writer is creating social posts, campaigns, thinking of ways to engage a brand’s followers, and geting them to pick up what we’re putting down on our social channels. Social media doesn’t sleep and neither does my need to monitor how fans are reacting to the content we’re creating.

But what happens when some of those followers don’t really want to pick up what’s being thrown at them? Or what if a post gets very little interaction at all? Or what if they have nasty things to say about it?

Just a few hours ago I read a nasty reply to a Twitter post I created for one of our brand’s pages.

I felt a wave of HOW DARE YOU roll through me and got really really close to responding. I wanted to set the dude straight; tell him in my best 140 characters that he was all wrong–starting with his grainy profile picture.

I didn’t. But does that mean I’ve failed our brand in a small way because one person didn’t get it? There were other nice comments on the post, but in my insane rage to please everyone and offend no one, I almost took the time outside of work to respond to this Twitter noob that, for a second, made me feel like I couldn’t do my job correctly.

Yes. My work follows me everywhere, making me feel irrational feelings. But for better or for worse, we’re in this relationship ’til the bitter end.

Tell me: would you have responded?

mom’s birthday weekend, 3/13-3/14.

So, my mommabear turned 29 again this weekend. I don’t know how she does it.

Here’s how we celebrated my favorite lady in the whole entire world.

Saturday morning we were up early to go on a St. John’s River Cruise. The weather was absolutely perfect and the river is beautiful and so clean. Next ride will be on kayaks!

blue spring state park 2blue spring state parkst. john's river boat tour floridast. john's river tour florida 2st. john's river tour floridast. john's river boat ride florida 2

After the tour, we shopped in College Park, lingered in a out of some little shops, got lunch, went for a little walk/run when we got home, then we all got cleaned up and headed to Cooper’s Hawk for dinner. <— BEST PLACE EVER. I’m not super into wine unless I’m peer pressured, but I got down with the Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Flatbread (Mozzarella, Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Pesto, Basil, Balsamic Glaze) and pretzel bread appetizer. I felt like it was my birthday.

Sunday was lazy, lovely and oh so sunny.

poolside

I hate wearing sunscreen when I workout because it’s greasy and gets in my eyes and I pay for it in tan lines. It’s ridic, people. #sportsbralife

toes in the pool

Truly. Nothing better. I’m already missing my family and hanging poolside. 

Tell me about your weekend!

nothing better.

It doesn’t get any better walking in the door to my parents’ house and seeing this furry face. He missed me, I can tell.

kitty cat picture

There’s nothing better than squishing my bum into the deep deep cushions of my parents’ couch–it’s the best couch in the world. I’m officially inviting you all over to sit on it with me and watch Harry Potter. Sound good?

Sometimes (always) there’s nothing better than a bowl of dark chocolate M&Ms for dessert. My parents keep bags in the freezer for me when I come over. God love them.

There’s nothing better than having a productive week of work that ends in really fun Friday photo shoots. These are my favorite days.

behind the scenes photo shoot 2behind the scenes photo shoot

It’s my mommabear’s birthday tomorrow so I’m home for the weekend to celebrate. And do laundry. And eat their food. I think we’re also going on a boat somewhere to see manatees and crocodiles tomorrow. Who knew she was such an adventurer?

Have a great weekend! Tell me your plans.

how i always procrastinate before my workout.

I was so spoiled in college. My cross country and track practices were scheduled. We had a place and a time to show up every day and that was that. I didn’t have any excuses–it was routine.

My mornings these days aren’t really a problem either. Those are routine because I have a limited amount of time to sweat and then get ready for work. Nothing to it but to do it.

Evenings are a different story, and I’ve gotten real good at dragging my feet before finally deciding it’s time to workout.

Here are some of the things I always do. I hope you can relate.

Pick out an outfit.
Foam roll and stretch excessively.
Chop some veggies for lunch the next day.
Do the dishes.
Re-fill the ice cube trays.
Brush my teeth twice. Rinse with mouth wash.
Take off my makeup.
Decide on different shorts.
Lay on the floor. Do I really want to workout?
Ugh. Yes. Get up off the floor.
Make this list.
Polish my sunglasses.

procrastinating before a workout

Scroll through insta and my email.
Tie shoes. Re-tie and double knot.
Take out the trash.
Do a little living room dance party. TO THIS.
Finally head out the door.
Turn around, go back inside, write down one more for this list.

If I’m lucky I’ll make it out the door 15-20 minutes after I actually plan to and tonight I was right on schedule. I’m a work in progress, ya feel?

How do you finally get yourself out the door?

back at it after vacation.

Theory: vacation forms bad habits.

tampa florida ballast point park

Not in a drink-all-night and sleep-all-day kind of way (in my case), but in a no-alarms-no-probs way. And that made Monday’s wake-up real freakin’ brutal.

It’s officially time to get back into a routine. My routine = regular workouts! I’m just more me when I sweat every day.

home hiit workout stretch

I’ve been feeling a bit better since last week so I’m jumping back into home HIIT workouts because those get the booty in shape real fast. I’m also running/walking here and there when my legs feel good enough.

home hitt workout stretch 2

Let’s not forget about TGF. I went to a bootcamp tonight and here’s what I learned: dips and anything with ropes are no friends of mine. It kicked my butt. I especially like it when the trainers yell in my face; it definitely makes me work harder.

I’m also getting back on the bike because I’m doing the Ride 2 Recovery 60-miler in t-minus 11 days <– YIKES AND YAY. Thankfully I’m riding with a friend who can carry my water and shout at me to speed up. He’ll have his work cut out for him.

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I have some work to finish up tonight but I just want to leave you with this.

different ways

I saw this on a rando blog post one day (and I really wish I could remember whose it was) and it hit me hard. One person’s way of getting to a goal (whatever that goal may be) can be completely different than how you’re going about it — and you’re both right. Deep stuff.

Hope you’re all having a great week. How do you bounce back from vacation?