Tag Archives: new year’s eve

Ringing In 2018 (or Being Festive While Being Lazy On The Couch)

I had been looking forward to New Year’s Eve for a while. It’s always a great party and I knew that I’d be seeing a bunch of my friends there. And I was hoping for a much easier time getting home after the party compared to the year before (that’s when my car died). Everything seemed to be going my way until the week of New Year’s Eve.

That’s when I started dealing with the nausea and pain from hormones and I started to question if I was even going to make it to the party. I felt so horrible and wasn’t sure if I’d be a good party guest. But then I realized that not going to the party wasn’t going to make me feel better and I wanted to see my friends no matter what. So I took all my medications to try to help me get through the evening and headed to the party.

I did accessorize with my bracelets with my words of 2017 and 2018 on them because it felt like a fun way to celebrate a new year.

When I got to the party, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat anything, but I was able to hang out outside and be social with my friends. It was a smaller party than it has been in the past so it was easier to talk to people and catch up.

But after about an hour, I felt like my medications weren’t working anymore and the pain and nausea were getting to me again. I wasn’t going to leave the party, but I decided to go lay down on a couch in their living room to try to feel better. For a little while, I was by myself in there and that was fine with me. But slowly people started joining me in the living room to hang out and dance. I stayed on the couch being lazy and trying to feel better but it was nice to feel like I was still involved a bit.

Pretty much everyone at the party knew the situation with how I was feeling, so nobody was making a big deal out of me not doing much at the party. And people seemed to be making a bit of an effort to come over to hang out with me since they knew I wasn’t going to be getting up from the couch. And while I was feeling bad most of the time, there were moments that I felt like myself again and I managed to take a fun photo with some of my friends.

I was at the party for a few hours, and for a majority of that time I was on the couch not feeling so great. It was nice to have the distractions of my friends, but it was a bit frustrating to not feel like myself and to not be participating as much as I would have liked. Everyone seemed so happy and at times I worried that I was being a downer and bringing the party down (I know in reality I wasn’t, I just felt that way).

Right before midnight we turned on the tv to watch the ball drop (even though it was technically a 3 hour delay from when it happened in New York). I fortunately was feeling slightly better as midnight approached so I got off the couch and joined everyone to celebrate the new year. Even though I don’t drink that much now, I would have had some of the champagne if I was feeling ok. But I didn’t think mixing pain and anti-nausea meds with even a little bit of alcohol was a smart idea. So I toasted the new year with water instead.

I was happy that I made it to midnight with my friends, but right after I decided it was time to head home and get to bed. The party was going strong when I was leaving, but everyone knows that I like to leave before it gets too late because I don’t want to have to deal with crazy drivers on the road. I was also a bit paranoid that something would happen on my drive back like last year. Fortunately, I got home without any issues and was in bed before 1am.

While this wasn’t the New Year’s Eve that I had been looking forward to, it still ended up being a fun time. I think that just being around my friends is what makes these parties so great for me. The next party will be the Oscar party and I’ve already started to work on my costume for it. I’ve got a fun idea for the costume and I think it shouldn’t be too tough for me to do!

Unexpected Car Shopping (or New Year New Car)

As I mentioned in my New Year’s Eve post, my car died as I was leaving the party I went to. It was a really weird situation with what happened. I was driving home and I started to hear a ticking or clicking noise coming from the front of my car. Maybe 10 or 15 seconds later my car completely shut down and died. All the warning things were flashing in the front of my car and alarms were going off and then everything shut down. White smoke started to come out of my engine and I could smell something that smelled like it was burning. I had no power, no electricity, no lights. It was so scary but fortunately the freeway hadn’t gotten too crowded yet so I was able to drift over to the side of the freeway.

I got my car as far to the side as I could (there wasn’t a full shoulder for me to pull over into) and immediately called AAA. I told them I wasn’t in a safe situation because I couldn’t get the lights on in my car and I was still a bit into the slow lane and they promised to get a tow truck out to me as soon as possible. After being in a dead car for about 20 minutes, I could finally get my emergency flashers on and my lights would occasionally turn on. I just sat in my car with my seatbelt on (I was worried someone would hit me and I wanted to try to stay safe) and tried to stay warm as it was cold out and the heater in my car was dead too.

The tow truck got to me and I was towed home. The next day, even though my mechanic is open on Sundays, the mechanic was closed for New Year’s Day. I took Ubers to and from Orangetheory and limited my errands to stuff I could walk to and stuff I could carry home. I told my parents what happened and they were feeling hopeful that maybe this would just be another repair and it would be ok. But because I was in the car when it happened, I felt pretty certain that this was a bad sign and that there was no way we could repair my car for a reasonable cost. I started looking at used cars online and seeing what types of car I would consider. When I told my parents about that, they told me to look at Subaru Crosstreks because they are a good car, not too expensive, and while they are smaller and shorter than my Escape they still have a decent amount of room.

On Monday, I took an Uber to and from the gym again and once I was home and showered I called for another tow truck so I could get my car towed to my mechanic. I had warned my mechanic I’d be coming by and he warned me that this might be the end of my car. But I still wanted him to see it just in case I was overreacting and there was some hope left.

And as I expected, the car was done. In order to get it to work again, I would need to buy a new engine for it. And even doing that doesn’t mean I won’t have more problems in the next year or so. I called my parents to run things by them and they agreed that I needed to just get a different car. I’m so lucky that they were able to help me with buying a car so I didn’t have to get something that was super cheap and might not last that long.

I had called the Subaru dealership and they were able to meet with me that day. And even though my Escape wasn’t working anymore, they could give me a little bit of money as a trade in (it was more of a courtesy so I could get the car off of my hands). While I was waiting for a tow truck to bring me and my car to the dealership, I texted a couple of friends to see if anyone could meet me at the dealership to help me with car buying. I’m not great at making huge decisions like that and I wanted a friend with me. Fortunately, my friend Dani was free and was happy to help me out.

I had looked at the dealership’s used cars online the day before, so I knew what options I really had. I wanted to look at a few different cars and try a couple of types of cars as well, but Dani was willing to make sure I asked all the right questions and didn’t get taken advantage of by the salespeople. The first car I drove was a 2014 Crosstrek that was a really cool bright blue color. It was a nice car to drive and had some really nice features. It had about 40,000 miles on it so it was a used car but not super used. There was another 2014 Crosstrek on the lot, but I didn’t drive it because I didn’t realize that the technology in the car was the lowest end and was pretty outdated by then.

There was one 2016 Crosstrek on the lot and that was the next car I drove. It was much sportier than I’m used to, but it was really fun to drive. It didn’t have all the features I was looking for, but that was ok. Dani helped me to realize that having a GPS built into the car isn’t that important when I can just use my phone. And Dani (who rode in the backseat during the test drives), told me that the 2016 was a much nicer ride for her back there. And while this car was used, it was pretty close to new. It only had 5,000 miles on it and was only owned for a few months by the previous owner (they got into a situation where they didn’t need a car anymore which is why they sold it back to the dealership).

The last car I checked out was a Forester, which is closer in size to what my Escape was like. I love being able to sit up high, but the Forester was just too much car for me. I don’t need that huge of a car right now. And if I do end up needing a huge car later down the line, then I’ll look at them then. But for now, I needed a car that worked and wanted something that was fun to drive and perfect for me getting around town.

After some conversation with my parents (since they were funding the purchase I wanted their opinion and approval) and debating back and forth with Dani who was a great voice of reason for me, I ended up going with the 2016 Crosstrek. It is the better deal considering that it is basically a new car. I got a really great deal on it because there are some scratches on the car. But I don’t mind the damage because as my dad put it, I’d probably get scratches on it eventually. It’s a city car and it’s not meant to look perfect.

After deciding on the car, Dani had to leave and I was there for another few hours doing all the paperwork involved with a car purchase. We had to do the release of liability for the Escape and there were dozens of pages for me to sign for the Crosstrek. But about 8 hours after calling for the tow truck to bring my Escape to the mechanic to find out if it’s dead, I was leaving the Subaru dealership with my new used car!

This was not at all how I thought the beginning of my year would go. Even a week later, I’m still a little overwhelmed by the entire situation and what happened. I don’t believe it at times. My Escape was a great car for me for so long and I’m still sad that it died. But I’m so happy with my Crosstrek and how nice it is! I have personalized plates that have been on every car I’ve had and I did get them off of my Escape when I left it as a trade-in. I can’t put them on my Crosstrek yet, but once I do I think the car will feel more like mine and that I will finally be able to wrap my head around the entire situation.

Welcoming 2017 (or The Start To My New Year’s Eve)

As I have done for so many past New Year’s Eves, I got to ring in the new year with so many friends at the party that my friends Marie and Chris threw. The parties are really such a great way to celebrate the new year since I really don’t care to go out to a bar where it is overpriced and way too crowded. Being at a house party with awesome people is perfect for me and I’m always so grateful that Marie and Chris open their house up to all of us.

I got to the party this year a bit earlier than normal. Since New Year’s Eve was also the last night of Hanukkah, I promised to bring a menorah and candles with me. A lot of people at the party don’t celebrate Hanukkah, so this was the first chance they were going to have seeing a menorah lit and I wanted to make sure I got there before it got too crazy with people. I managed to find a pretty cheap menorah on Amazon (after shipping it was only $4) and brought that and some candles with me. I think it ended up looking pretty nice and everyone appreciated getting to see a little bit of Hanukkah.

There was a lot of really great food at the party that I got to enjoy, but I didn’t have any of the drinks. I’m allowed to drink right now, but I’m not doing it since I don’t think it’s necessary. But with everyone else drinking, we did get a couple of fun photos of everyone a bit loosened up.

I was having a lot of fun hanging out with everyone (most of whom I hadn’t seen since the Halloween party). I was eating more than normal, but I also figured that I had worked out earlier that day was going to be working out the next morning so it was fine to splurge. Also, like I’ve said before I have to get used to having occasional treats from time to time as that is normal eating. So I enjoyed myself and knew that I should be able to get back to my regular food the next day.

It was a pretty cold night outside so most of us ended up inside for a lot of the party. Typically I hang out outside, but after going back and forth a few times, I gave up on being cold and hung out inside where I was comfortable and warm. Marie and Chris got a disco light for their living room and there was a ton of open space in there, so they started up a dance party. I’m not a huge dancer, but the fun was infectious and I had to join in after a while. We were all jumping around and being crazy and it was perfect.

We all were hanging out in the living room after the dance party and for the last 45 minutes of 2016 we were watching the NYE shows on TV (we had heard about Mariah Carey and wanted to see what really happened). And just before the new year, we all got cups of champagne to ring in the new year in a festive manner. I had a tiny sip of the champagne because it seemed like the right thing to do, but then I passed my drink on to a friend since they were drinking that night.

I know that several friends are always sad that they are spending NYE without a significant other, but to me it doesn’t matter that I don’t have a boyfriend. There is so much love at that party with my friends that I don’t feel alone or sad at all. To me, it is most important to spend NYE with people who you love and who make you happy and that’s exactly what I did.

Since I had an early workout the next morning and because I want to get on the freeway before the bars close and dangerous drivers get on the road, I left pretty soon after midnight. Things are still fun at the party after that, but I’m never able to stay up that late (plus, since NYE was a Saturday I had to work starting at 8am that day). So by 12:15am I was on the road and headed back to my side of town.

I know a lot of us said that we were hoping that all the sadness and bad luck that they encountered in 2016 would end on NYE, but for me it wasn’t exactly that way. I’ll write more about this next week, but at about 12:30am while I was driving home my car completely died. This wasn’t like any other time that my car died, this time actually scared me and there was no way to pull over somewhere that felt totally safe to me. So I ended my NYE by sitting in a dead car on the side of the 405 with no power or heat waiting for a tow truck. I’m grateful that AAA got to me in about an hour and I had a safe way to get home. That wasn’t at all how I planned on ending my night, but it ended up being ok.

So while technically my car died 30 minutes into 2017, I’m not thinking about it that way. Someone said that even though it was already the new year, I hadn’t gone to bed so my car died in 2016 and it counted toward the bad luck of last year. I like that and I want to think of this year as the year that good things are coming my way and happening to me. And because of the dead car, that did end up happening. But that’s a story for next week!

New Year’s Workouts (or Ending 2016 and Starting 2017 With Orangetheory)

Happy New Year’s! I’ll be recapping my New Year’s Eve fun later this week, but as always for my Monday post I’m sharing my workouts from the past week. This past week I had my last 3 workouts of 2016 (getting me to 177 workouts for the year) and my first workout of 2017. They were all challenging workouts for their own reasons but I think that I ended one year and started the other with some really great work.

Monday’s class was an endurance day. We had 2 blocks on the treadmill back to back and I did my usual work with the push paces. I ran my 1 minute intervals for the 3 minute pushes and I ran the entire time for all pushes that were 2 minutes or under. In our second block, we had several intervals of 1 minute push paces with 30 second base paces. I ran the pushes and walked the bases and it gave me an idea of what this could be like if I did it for my next 5K intervals. I’ve been playing more with the idea of increasing my running time and not decreasing my walking time, but maybe I need to think more about it.

After the treadmill, I had my floor work which was supposed to also be rowing work. But because of how long each block took me, I never made it to the rower. The first block was squats, arm work on the straps, push-ups (I took the modification of using the straps for those because my knees were bugging me) and crunches. The second block was back and arm work mainly with some leg work at the end. I was dealing with some horrible cramps throughout the class, and while they would come and go I know that the pain was slowing me down a bit which didn’t allow me to get to the rower.

Wednesday’s class was a power day and we got to switch between blocks so it was even better! The first treadmill block was a 2 minute push pace that I was able to run and then we had some 1 minute all out intervals with walking in between. The second block was the same pattern so I did the same as I did in the first block. And our last block on the treadmill was all 30 second intervals so we did 30 second push paces, 30 second all outs, and then 30 seconds of walking. I didn’t do the last all out as a run because I was so tired, but I did run all of the rest!

When I moved to the floor, we had some rowing for each of the blocks. The first block was 150 meter rows and the second block was 200 meter rows. All of those were done pretty quickly and I was getting close to some of my best times for those distances. I also had a great moment during the first block when we had lunges with hops using the straps. I can’t do the hops yet, but I was able to do knee lifts with each lunge and I wasn’t having the usual issues with my balance. That was pretty amazing. We also had a lot of core work with 4 point planks and palms to elbows in plank.

I skipped my Friday workout (since I would be going on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) so my next workout was my New Year’s Eve workout. It was a 3G class where we had 2 rounds between all 3 sections. The first round was 8 minutes each. On the treadmill, it was supposed to be a .1 mile run at 10% followed by a 1 minute walk at 10% and then you brought the incline down 1% each time. I was able to do the first run at 10% but then my body wasn’t feeling it so I had to power walk the rest of the time. Since I still wanted to push myself, I just kept the incline at 10% the entire time and didn’t bring it down. The second block on the treadmill was 4 minutes and I stuck with walking again, keeping it at 6-10% incline.

On the floor, the first 8 minute round was split into 2 sections. First we had 4 minutes of push-ups and squats and then we had 4 minutes of lunges and plank jacks. For the 4 minute round on the floor we had pop jacks and rowing using the straps. And on the rower, the 8 minute round was also split into 2 sections. First we had 200 meter sprints with squats as our break and then we had 100 meter sprints with bicep curls as the break. Those movements didn’t really feel like breaks, but it was nice to have something different between sprints. And for the 4 minute round, we had a 4 minute row where I was able to increase my wattage on the rower each minute!

It was not an easy class (3G ones can be some of the toughest ones), but I was glad I went on New Year’s Eve so I was able to end my 2016 on a good fitness note!

And then on Sunday, I started 2017 with a 3G workout. I had some car issues getting home from the party I went to for New Year’s Eve (more on that later) so I only got a few hours sleep that night before going to work out. I think the lack of sleep mixed with some stress got to me because I was struggling on the treadmill. I started out with our 2 minute push pace as a run but I started to get a headache and had to switch to walking. I pretty much did all walking for the first block on the treadmill but during the second block we had some shorter push to all out paces and I was able to run for those. My headache wasn’t bugging me as much by the end of my time on the treadmill, but it definitely made things difficult for me.

On the floor we had 1 block that was 15 minutes long. We had several movements like squats, triceps work, lunges, and planks and each round we did fewer reps than the one before (starting with 14 and ending with 6). I ended up making it through the entire assignment so I ended my time on the floor with a 1 minute plank hold. I did have to take some breaks with my plank, but I was in really good form while I stuck it out.

I ended on the rower where we had longer rows with some work with the medicine ball. It started with a 1,000 meter row and some squats and jumping jacks with the medicine ball. Then it was 500 meters with more medicine ball work and at the end of class I was just about to finish my 250 meter row. The rowing was fine but my headache started to come back while doing the medicine ball work so I was taking things a bit slow.

After that New Year’s Day workout, I was exhausted but so happy that I didn’t let my lack of sleep and car issues stop me from getting to Orangetheory (I had to take an Uber to and from the workout since my mechanic wasn’t open on New Year’s Day to look at my car).

I’m so happy that my workouts for 2017 got off to a nice start. We’ve got Peak Performance Week coming up soon and I’m still deciding what classes I’ll be taking that week since I want to work on beating my old records again! And, coming up later in the month we have the weight loss challenge again and I think I’m going to enter. I won’t look at the numbers on their scale when I weigh in, but I like the challenges and how they hold me accountable. I think that 2017 is going to be a really great year for my fitness even with the potential setbacks I’ll have when I have surgery later this year.

Ringing In The New Year (or Being With My Friends)

My New Year’s Eve was pretty low-key. I had to work in the morning and then went to a workout right after. And then I went over to my friends Chris and Marie’s house for their NYE party.

I’ve talked about the parties that Chris and Marie throw in the past. They really do amazing parties that are the perfect mix of fun and being relaxed. There is no pressure to dress up, there is always great food, and I don’t have to worry about being in an over-crowded bar with an expensive cover charge and valet parking. So of course I was excited to go to their party. I knew it would be the perfect party to be at and so many of my friends would be there to celebrate with.

I originally thought I would bring some champagne. But back at Thanksgiving my aunt had a box of some of my grandpa’s alcohol in it. My grandma doesn’t drink and you can’t return alcohol to the liquor store, so she brought it so any of us could take some home. I decided to take a bottle of vodka and I figured I’d use it for something eventually. And the NYE party was the perfect thing to bring it to. I already have some vodka in my freezer and I have barely made a dent in it. So I have no need to have an entire handle of vodka and it seemed cool to celebrate the end of the year with one of my grandpa’s bottles.

Vodka

There were quite a few of us at the party. And since it was pretty cold out, most of us were inside the house. There was a bonfire so I spent a little bit of time outside (and went outside again after midnight when random people started shooting off fireworks), but the main party seemed to be inside. We tried to celebrate midnight in each time zone (but we discovered there was no way to watch midnight in Mountain Time live on tv) and were just being silly as usual.

And even though karaoke is usually a very late night/very early morning thing to do at the parties, they decided to start the singing before midnight so I was able to enjoy it! Even though I don’t sing, I got a kick out of watching my friends take their turns. Some people are seriously incredible singers and it’s almost like a concert and some people don’t take things seriously and we all (including the singer) have a laugh at how ridiculous karaoke can be.

NYE

When it was almost midnight, we all gathered in the living room to watch the ball drop (on the time delay) and celebrate the new year. It was pretty packed around the tv, but everyone is so amazing and I loved getting to ring in the new year surrounded by so many friends that I love.

NYE Group

We all got a little cup of champagne and got some fun party hats and noisemakers. And of course I had to take a couple of silly photos with my friends.

NYE Celebrating With Friends

While 2015 wasn’t a horrible year for me, I know it was a tough year for a lot of people. And even I had my tough moments. So I was happy to say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016 and all the possibilities the new year will have for me. I have a feeling that this will be an awesome year, and I was ready to see what’s in store.

Almost Midnight

I didn’t stay at the party too late because I want to get home before the bars close (then the roads get a bit scarier), so I started making my rounds of goodbyes a little bit after midnight. Of course, with that many people at the party it takes a while to say goodbye. But I was able to get home before the bars closed and into bed at a somewhat decent hour (I did have a workout in the morning).

Overall, this was another amazing party. Marie and Chris really are the bests hosts and they make everyone feel so loved and welcome in their home. And I’m already looking forward to the next party that they throw (I think that will be the Oscar one).

2015 Recap (or How I Did On My Goals)

It’s the last day of 2015! The year went by super quickly and I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve tonight! First, I want to wish you all a happy new year. And if you are going to be out drinking tonight, please don’t drive.

Now it’s time to look back at my 2015 goals and see how I did.

The first goal that I set for myself was to do 175 workouts this year. Technically, at the time I’m writing this post it hasn’t been completed yet. But that’s because my 175th workout will be at 12:15pm today! I can’t believe that I made this goal! I had so many setbacks with being sick and injured and it seemed impossible for a while. But I really planned it out for the past few months to make sure I got in all the workouts that I needed and I got it done! Not only did I do my 175 workouts (by this afternoon), I made giant strides in my workouts. I’m lifting heavier and my form is so much better. I’m not just working out more, I’m working out harder and smarter. Those are important accomplishments to remember too.

My next goal was to have 4 home cooked dinners a week. This one I kind of failed at. I definitely got less take out and delivery than I have in the past, but I ate a lot of prepared and frozen meals. I guess it is the lesser of two evils, but making dinners myself would have been much better. I think saying that I would cook 4 dinners a week at home were a bit ambitious, but when I started bulk cooking I really thought I had found the perfect solution for me. But then life got in the way and I didn’t do it anymore. While I think that bulk cooking might be great for me, I need to figure out a better way to do it. Maybe only bulk cooking one part of the meal and then mixing it up will be better for me. Or only cooking 2 or 3 meals at a time and not 4 or 5. I’m not giving up on this idea, but I think I need to do some more baby steps.

Next on my 2015 goals was to be down to 2 main day jobs not counting babysitting and the film festival. I’m pretty much there with this goal. I have my 2 main day jobs both from home and I’ve added another sporadic day job doing box office work for an old boss of mine. But technically, I’m down to 2 jobs and I’m finally getting into a more stable place financially (although I’m not making as much as I’d like yet).

Next on the list is something I’m very happy that I was able to accomplish. It was getting into an improv class this year and I finally did it after having it on my goal list for several years! I’m so glad that I took the class at UCB and I keep checking the schedule to see if there is a 201 class that fits into my schedule (nothing yet and I technically don’t have the money yet). But even though I’m not signed up for 201, I still got the first class done and got over my issues with going back into an improv class!

I had also hoped to have traveled more this year. That goal was kind of accomplished by going to Napa and a couple of family trips to San Diego, but I don’t really think I can successfully check this one off the list. I’m taking steps on making sure I travel more in 2016 (I’ve already got 1 trip planned with my mom) but I know that I didn’t do as much traveling as I hoped to do in 2015.

And my final goal for 2015 was to keep blogging, which clearly I did!

I’d say that while I didn’t accomplish everything that I had hoped to do in 2015, I really did get a lot done and I definitely view 2015 as a successful year!

Sweating Away 2014 And Into 2015 (or Starting The Year Off The Right Way)

With the past week, I wanted to make sure my workouts set me up for a great 2015. I decided to make it a 4 workout week and push myself to the limit again.

Monday was a good workout. Not horribly tough, but I was able to push myself and not feel overwhelmed. But then the Monday Challenge happened.

It was a challenge of full body pull-ups on the straps. Basically, you hold the straps at your waist and then drop down into a super deep squat. So deep that your butt touches the ground. And then you pull yourself back up using the straps.

We have done these a bunch in class, but I never do them properly. It’s not easy for me to squat down like that and have my butt touch the ground. My hips get stuck a lot that way and I sometimes will have my bones grind against each other when I try to stand. But for the Monday Challenge, if I wanted to participate, I had to do the full movement.

It was a 1 minute challenge and I was hoping to get to double digits. The first few reps weren’t so bad. They were tough, but I was able to do them. Then I got stuck on the ground. I literally wasn’t able to pull myself back up. I managed to stand up again after shifting my legs and hips, but it wasn’t fun. Then on the next rep, I pulled myself up so hard that I almost fell face-first into the mirror.

In the end, I was able to do 11 full body pull-ups in 1 minute. I was nowhere near the top 5 board, but I met my goal of double digits.

Wednesday was New Year’s Eve and I had an early (and half) shift at work. So I was able to attend a lunchtime workout so I would have time afterward to get ready for the party that evening. I wanted to look festive, so I found a silver sparkly headband (made by Sweaty Bands) to wear for that class.

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A couple of people joked that I was wearing a tiara, but I just wanted something fun to help me celebrate the year that introduced me to Orangetheory. Going to a workout was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the year, and a lot of people must have agreed with that idea because the class was packed! We did a 3G workout, which means that there is one group on the treadmills, one group on the rowers, and one group doing strength work (instead of the usual two groups). It was a little hectic, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

Then, just to push myself even more, I attended a workout class the morning of New Year’s Day. I was a little tired from being out the night before, but it was a later morning class so I was able to sleep in a little. My workout suffered a little from being tired, but again, this was the perfect way to celebrate the new year. And with my goal of 175 workouts this year, I need to workout even on holidays.

I did like how my new workout gloves looked with my New Year’s Eve manicure. I like looking girly and tough at the same time!

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And then, to complete the trifecta of pushing myself, I worked out on Friday as well! Not only was this my 4th workout of the week, it was another time working out 3 days in a row!

I was still tired from a lack of sleep and my body was getting tired from the workouts, but since it was a strength day I wanted to see if I could use some heavier weights. I ended up doing all of my strength work with 15 pound weights. When I started, I was using 8 pounds and recently I have been using 12 pounds and occasionally 15 pounds. But I didn’t let myself go down to 12 pounds. It was tough and my arms are still a little sore, but I’m proud of myself.

Then in the cardio section, there was a new challenge for me. As a walked, when we have push paces or all-out paces, I up my incline on the treadmill when joggers and runners up their speed. But for one of our treadmill blocks, everyone became a walker. We had to do 15% incline (which is what I usually do as my all-out pace), but we were allowed to go 2-3mph (I typically am walking at 3.2mph).

At first, I wondered why we were going to be allowed to go slowly, but then I found out that it was for 5 minutes! I had never done 15% incline for more than a minute or maybe 90 seconds. I was so glad that I was allowed to go slower and I made it through the 5 minutes with only taking one quick break to pop my hip back in (I know that that sounds gross).

I’m trying to pay more attention to my body not just during the workouts but after the workouts. I was a little sore after Friday, but nothing that was worse than any other day. This just proves that I can work with heavier weights and my body is ready for that.

I really feel like these workouts got me off to a great start for 2015, and I wonder how far I will be able to push myself over the next year of workouts!

Ringing In The New Year (or Fun With Glow Sticks)

I spent the evening of New Year’s Eve at Chris and Marie’s house. They always throw the best parties and I had a great time celebrating with them last year.

It’s been cold for LA lately (cold here means in the high 30’s/low 40’s at night), so I tried my best to dress cute but warm. Fortunately, their parties take place both inside and outside their house.

I got there a bit on the early side since I knew I would be leaving right after midnight. It’s always so wonderful arriving at one of their parties because there are always friendly faces to greet me and so many people to catch up with.

We spent the beginning of the party outside. They do have a heat lamp as well as a fire pit, so it wasn’t unbearable. Just really really cold.

We did throw some cinnamon into the fire pit again this year like we did last year to make sure that 2015 is a sweet year. But we didn’t burn our wishes for the new year.

After a while, most of the party guests were inside the house. But a couple of us hung out outside. There were some glow sticks that someone brought so we opened those up and started to crack them so they would glow. I started with a couple of glow bracelets and Marie and I decided to get a picture together showing off our new jewelry.

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And then I wanted to get a group picture of a bunch of us glowing in the backyard.

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Of course, I couldn’t stop with just glow bracelets, I had to make myself a headband as well.

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Once we felt sufficiently styled in our glow bracelets, we decided it was time to get out of the cold and go into the house. There were a ton of bracelets to pass out to other guests, so I made Marie a glow belt to hang the extra bracelets off of.

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Yes, we were that silly at the party (and I hadn’t had a single drink).

Once inside, I found a nice spot on the couch near the tv so I could warm up. Most people had gathered around there since it was getting closer to midnight. It was really just a chill party where we were all having fun catching up with each other and discussing the movies we had seen lately (since it’s awards season, movies are on everyone’s mind).

Just before midnight, I made sure to get another picture with Marie and one with my friend Robert.

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And before I knew it, it was time to count down to midnight. We all had some champagne and noise makers and once it hit midnight everyone at the party was cheering. I didn’t have a special New Year’s kiss, but I got a kiss and a hug from all of my friends at the party.

At about 12:15, I had to head out. I hate being on the freeways during holidays like New Year’s Eve when there are a bunch of people who have been drinking. And since I figured most people would probably stay out later until the bars closed at 2am, it was a good time for me to leave.

I wished I could have stayed later, but I had a somewhat early morning (more on that next week). But I really had an amazing time at the party. There’s nothing better than spending a holiday with your chosen family (aka your friends). I felt so loved by everyone and that’s exactly how I wanted to start 2015.

Thanks to Marie and Chris for throwing another epic party! The next one will be the Oscars party (and I haven’t even started to think of my costume yet!).

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Reflecting Back On 2014 (or How I Did With My Goals)

I can’t believe that 2014 is ending! It really seems like it was just a month or two ago that I was posting my goals for this year.

I just want to take some time and reflect on my year and the goals that I had set out for myself.

I really felt like 2014 was a rebuilding year for me and my family. While 2013 did have some great moments, there were also a lot of sad and stressful ones. I think of 2013 as the year that Ross and Krystle got married, that my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and my family lost two dogs. While we did technically adopt Tucker right before New Year’s Eve last year, I think of 2014 as the year he joined our family.

In 2014, so many positives happened for my family. Adopting Tucker was a big one, but the biggest was my mom being declared cancer-free. Knowing that she is ok (even though we all knew that she would be in the beginning) really has taken so much stress out of my life. I know that there are still some stressful times ahead with making sure that she stays cancer-free (and now I have annual mammograms to worry about too), but knowing that it’s all good right now just makes me so happy.

This was also a rebuilding year for me as far as my health goes. I have finally connected with a workout in a way that I had hoped for. And very recently I’ve been getting my food in a better place too. This isn’t to say that I don’t have days where I seriously struggle, but I’m taking more and more steps in the right direction.

So let’s take a look back at my goals from last year and see how I did with them.

My first goal was to continue to do 5Ks. I did 3 this year. And while that is much less than the year prior, I’m ok with that. I don’t love doing 5Ks as much as I want to, but the few races that I did do are ones that I look forward to a lot. I also got a new PR which I am very excited about!

My next goal was to make spin a regular habit. This did not happen. I stopped going to SoulCycle a while ago because I have replaced it with Orangetheory. I’m planning on going back next year every so often to spin, but I really wanted to focus on Orangetheory during the second half of this year. But since I did make exercise a regular habit, I’m declaring this goal as a partial success.

Next on my list was to track my food/exercise better. I’m still using MyFitnessPal to track my food every day. I’m much happier tracking it when I’m making smart choices. And as far as tracking my exercise, I think I’m doing pretty great at that too. It makes it easy to track my exercise in MyFitnessPal when Orangetheory tells me exactly how many calories I’m burning in each workout.

The next goal I had set was to get into an improv class. I failed to do this goal. I had every intention of getting started at UCB this year. I even purchased the book that all students are required to read. But I think the lack of stability with my job got to me. When I thought I knew when a class would fit into my schedule I would lose my job and everything changed. I’m feeling pretty stable with my current day job, but I’m still looking for something else to help me make enough each month. Once that stability is set, I think I can look into class again.

Next was pay down my debt and not add more. While I did pay down some of the debt, it was impossible to not add more this year. With some expenses having to be put on a credit card, there was no way to not add to it. But when I did have those expenses, I tried to pay off exactly what I spent by the time the bill came around.

Then I had the goal of going on another vacation. While I did go to visit my parents, those don’t seem to feel like vacations to me. They seem like getting to have family time. That’s probably because I’m either visiting them at the house I grew up in or I’m at their place in Tahoe. But I did get to go on a fabulous trip to New York with my sister-in-law this past spring. That trip was amazing and we are planning to try to go to New York again in the coming year.

My final goal for 2014 was to continue blogging. While some days are tough to come up with a topic to write about, I have maintained posting a new post Monday-Friday every week of this year. That’s a lot of posts!

All in all, even though I didn’t complete all of my goals, I think that I did a great job in trying to do them all. I’ll post my goals for 2015 tomorrow.

I hope that you all have an amazing New Year’s Eve tonight! If you chose to drink, please don’t drive. Take a taxi/Uber/Lyft to get home. Or you can call AAA for a Tipsy Tow.

New Year’s Eve Fun (or Making Sure 2014 Is A Lucky Year)

I had a pretty low-key New Year’s Eve. I started off my day by working at my day job. Our typical shift on Tuesdays is from noon-8:30pm, but since nobody wants to be making calls in the evening on New Year’s Eve, our shift was changed to be 9am-1pm.

After work, I headed home to take a nap. I needed it so I could stay up until midnight (I woke up at 5am that morning). I spent the rest of my afternoon relaxing and getting random chores done.

Then I headed out to Marie and Chris‘s house. They were hosting a relaxing hangout for New Year’s Eve, and that sounded perfect to me!

I spent most of my evening just catching up with friends. Some of the people at the party I hadn’t seen for almost a year (since I missed the Halloween party this year).

There was also a fire in a fire pit in the backyard. Besides just being cool, many of us decided to spend New Year’s Eve making sure that 2014 would be a better year than 2013. So one of the people at the party brought paper for everyone to write their wishes for 2014 on. And as we finished them we put them in the fire so the ashes would rise up and the Universe would see our wishes.

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I don’t know if New Year’s wishes are the same as birthday wishes, but just in case I jinx myself, I’m not going to share them. But you can pretty much figure out what I want based on my goals for this year.

We also put cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices in the fire. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are supposed to be good luck spices. And besides giving us good luck for 2014, the spices made the fire look amazing!

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Yes, we were all being safe around the fire.

As it got closer to midnight, the party headed inside to watch the NYC ball drop on tv (even though in reality it happened 3 hours earlier). We all got some champagne and celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of another.

And I did get a New Year’s kiss (on the cheek) from a friend of mine.

Since Marie and Chris live about 30 minutes (in no traffic) away from me, I wanted to head home pretty soon after midnight. The bars close at 2am and I knew that I didn’t want to be on the road when that happened. I left about 12:30am and got home safely and quickly.

Overall, it was the perfect New Year’s Eve party. Relaxing, fun, and surrounded by so many friends. I know that this will be the start of an amazing year for me.