1000 BLEEPING Cycling Miles

It’s no surprise that I LOVE  my bike. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a relationship with my bike.  I commute to work everyday on it, choose to ride long distances because it’s just so fun, and prefer to take a ride on my bike rather than use the car. From Memorial Day to Labor Day I managed to hit 1000 miles, despite one nasty crash (sprained the membrane between my ulna and radius), a car wreck, and three flats.  Here are some funny/nice/awesome moments of my first summer cycling in Chicago.

BICYCLE RIIIIIIIGHTS.

Me and Yoshi right after reaching 1000 miles on 8/29/2014.

20140903-100604-36364261.jpg

That time I wore this white Nike top and there was a surprise downpour on the way home….. AWKWARD.

20140903-100605-36365019.jpg

Giant Bike Packs. Gotta be prepared I guess.

20140903-100604-36364834.jpg

One Year exactly. 8.26.2013 vs 8.26.2014. HUZZAH.

20140903-100604-36364462.jpg

On the ride air pumps. This was the first of 3 flats I encountered – all within the same week too!

20140903-100605-36365961.jpg

Gorgeous view from my long University of Chicago Campus rides – total distance that day 35 miles.

20140903-100605-36365559.jpg

Work is nice enough to have an indoor bike rack. Yoshi never has to brave the elements without me.

20140903-100606-36366448.jpg

The aftermath of Yoshi vs. Car. Twisted handlebars… thank goodness no other damage was done.

20140903-100606-36366885.jpg

Sorry for my butt… about a week after my first crash. It took two months for that bruise to totally disappear.

20140903-100607-36367461.jpg

On the road with Yoshi and Leopold. If only that squirrelly little pug would sit in a basket… sigh.

20140903-100607-36367075.jpg

Here’s to many more 1ks on Yoshi!

Huzzah!
xxxx
GFK

Advertisements

Humpz Dayz

Is it just me or is this week kind of dragging? Maybe because it’s supposed to be Spring, but the weather still stinks? I mean I can’t complain that much – it’s been above freezing in Chicago so that’s like heat wave status.

Anyways – I’ve had a pretty great week so far albeit a little quiet and slow.

First: Been really enjoying my gym time. I go 4-5 times a week now and just feel like I’m killing it there. I’m still amazed that I have lost no weight, but the overall shape/tightness of my body is radically different. Don’t believe? oh look a before and after! My favorite! (haha). I have been going between 2-4 miles a day and as of last weekend have been using intervals and inclines to keep me on my toes.

after on left 3/14 – before 12/24 on right; same weight 160.

Second: I FINALLY found a great dentist here in Chicago. I had avoided the whole ‘check up’ thing since I moved. I take insane care of my teeth now (after root canals, LANAP surgery) and so I knew I wasn’t going to have any cavities or major plaque issues. I did have a consult done on my ‘root canal-ed’ teeth that are in the front. I’m nervous, but incredibly excited to move forward with that. To say that I have adjusted my lifestyle and smile to accommodate my always graying teeth would be an understatement. It’s a major bummer to look at photos and have it make my teeth look misshaped or worse look like I’m missing teeth! So that’s an endeavor I’m about to journey through and am excited to move past.

Third: I scheduled my GMAT exam. I know what you are thinking “Brianna, you just graduated with your MA last year.” Well, you all know it’s a goal to get my PhD and this stage of my life would be the best time to just ‘get ‘er done.’ So I have 9 weeks to study my face off. I’m not too concerned about finding time and I bought the Manhattan study prep kit so I think I’ll do just fine.

Fourth: I beefed up my sewing skills with a simple skirt class. The highlights were learning the ‘french seam’ and some nice hemming techniques. I’m excited to begin sewing more especially since I’m at the size I want to stay.

pattern and fabric.
little ‘faux fur bag’ i made the cats. the safety pins make the cover/lining removable (i.e. washable) they LOVE it. both fight over it.
adorable yarn draw string bag i made. i actually did the inside with french seams and practiced my casing skills haha.

Fifth: GREAT progress with the Heliopath KAL with socalmeaghan. I’ve seen quite a few followers/fellow KAL friends are WAY ahead of schedule. I am right on track. It’s taking me about 4 hours (!!!!) to knit the 16 rows of the cable lace pattern over 151 stitches. (That’s 2416 total stitches if you wanna think about how much work in a different sense). The pattern is easy, but tedious and as soon as I start getting tired I have to stop because I start fumbling and it gets scary with all the YO / K2TG / P2TG and cables.

4.5 inches of pattern / 2 inches of ribbing. sigh.

So there was the weekend/first half of the week. I’m ready for spring. I feel lonely and whiny. Lois is coming to visit Friday so I’m really excited to be around family.

xxx
GFK

Ghostfacing March Goals

Well it’s the first Monday of the month! Can you believe that it’s March? It seems like I was just back home in Denver eating green chili, nut bread, and getting tattooed for Christmas! Time flies when you’re having fun! That being said, I think every beginning of the month I’ll do a new ‘monthly goals’ challenge. That way I can measure, record, and obtain short term and long term goals for accountability.

My short list for March to-do’s:

1. Go to the Dentist – for many this is a simple chore, for me (someone who has had EXTENSIVE dental work over my short lifetime) it is a living nightmare. No joke. I had a great dentist in Denver who did my “laser gum surgery” (say it like Dr. Evil) and I haven’t found one here that I’m comfortable with. I specifically need to find an office that respects that I am terrified and not just ‘being a baby’ or ‘high maintenance.’ Okay now that I’ve thrown that out there I can wait until the end of the month to resolve it.

fact: chewing on your hand makes your teeth super strong.

2. Cheapskates are the best skates – I’m tired of spending money I don’t need to. I stopped shopping at the regular grocery store at the start of the year, and it’s cut my grocery bill in half. Plus I eat more (+1600 calories a day) and eat out WAY less (once a week out of pocket / 3 chipotle visits with gift cards). I’m going to only buy my clothes from thrift store from here on out, because I’m just sick of spending money on things. I’m not ‘broke’ by any means, but why spend the dough if I don’t have to? I’d rather have a GIANT savings account and some new tattoos than ground beef from whole foods or a new cardy from Target.

massages are not consumption.

3. Lent – Sigh. I’ve been a ‘terrible’ Catholic lately. In the sense I haven’t been to mass since last Easter, but as a person I think I’ve been more ‘faithful’ than ever. I digress, Lent, whether you believe in the tales or not is a good time for restraint and reflection in general. PLUS, it’s easy to commiserate with other ‘lent-giver uppers’ during this time. So my plan is to give up snacking completely after dinner. I’m a huge fan of the rolling dinner from meal to bed and it’s got to stop. It just makes me feel bad and gross. I need to eat more during the morning/afternoon, not at 10pm. ALSO this one is HUGE. I’m restricting frozen yogurt to once a week on the weekends. TEARS. But froyo doesn’t really fit with my whole lifestyle change and cheapskates regime.

a family out of control

4. I’ll save the best for last. This month is about positive energy. I’m really focused with surrounding myself with inspiring people. Everyday, I meet new folks either in real life or the interwebs that make me think that this world and life is so awe inspiring – this month of March I’m going to continue to surround myself with PMA and people with enthusiasm. Believe me I’m so happy with my family and friends and to add to that stellar roster is exciting as hell.

Okay I think that’s a great start. Dentist, cheapskates, Lent promises, and PMA. March, I’ll do right by you!

XXX
GFK

Perspective

Gee Whiz February Health Challenge you caught me on a day where this is a total loaded prompt for me. Sigh. Perspective.

Well, I guess in terms of perspective, mine has changed extensively in the last 7 months (!). Things I used to see in a certain light are now not even in the light, let alone my thought process. I think honestly, the thing I’ve changed my perspective the greatest in regards to is PMA: Positive Mental Attitude.

People can get a little preachy with the battle cry of PMA, but for the most part I love the idea. Of course everyone has a bad day here or there we are humans living in a challenging world. For example in my life recently: I’m heavily affected by blood sugar and in fact had a ‘bad’ day on Thursday when I didn’t properly feed my body/mind resulting in a quiet and somber afternoon/evening (I literally had to ‘put myself to bed’ early just to get back into balance). However, that didn’t stop me from spewing my irritation about ‘boxed lunches’ and literally a rant occurred about how bread/rice are conspiracy food fillers….. I know, I know – carry a snack always.

But I digress, PMA is just a way of seeing the world. Instead of ‘woe is me,’ ‘the world is out to get me,’ ‘nothing ever goes right for me,’ PMA challenges us to see not only the positives, but identify the underlying ‘problems.’ I’ve been a huge advocate of DO since I changed my life, and PMA is an extension/inclusion/result/cause/action of that. Lots of the roadblocks we face are put there by us. It’s simple to sit back and judge others and their problems/problem cycles, but ultimately, we all have areas in our lives that need PMA. I feel like I’ve only really brushed the very shallow surface of this, but perhaps it got you thinking about the positivity we can bring to everything we do. It’s easy to get into a cycle of shame and disappointment, but literally that is the worst way to go about finding a solution to a problem. Not only will you feel your life becoming a huge drag, but you yourself will become a drag too. Friends and family are always there to support you, but even if the spiral of shame is too encompassing, your drag may start to alienate you further. PMA is necessary to get through the challenges with a lesson learned, not just simply to get through one rough patch to immediately/simultaneously encounter another hardship. Life is difficult – there is a whole wide world of hard out there, but PMA can truly change your life. Focus on the good, enrich the positive parts of your life and the negative, energy wasting, drag parts will subside and be solved. PMA is important for us. It’s hard and no one wants to sound like a cheerleader, but you have to in order to have the life you love and want. At the end of the day, the only person that matters is yourself. With PMA and cheerleading for your own success, the people and things that lift you up will surround you entirely.

Nothing Hill Vimeo from EasyRider Records on Vimeo.

“you are the weakest link between you and your dreams”

xxx
GFK

Yogi Goal

the littlest yogi
the littlest yogi

gee whiz. I have to say I’m pretty pleased with all the goals I’ve set and attained over the last half year, but since this is a health challenge prompt I think I’ll make this goal fitness orientated.

Drum roll please…..

My goal is to practice yoga 3 times a week. I really enjoy yoga and it makes me feel calm and invigorated. Plus I really need the deep stretch and poses – especially after I am all hunched over crafting for so many hours. Not to mention I gifted myself four new pairs of workout pants that are perfect for yoga practice. So it is my goal for the remainder of the month to practice a simple 3 times a week at home.

This will not be hard especially since I have Kathryn Budig’s DVD (my favorite) and Jillian Michael’s yoga DVDs are on Amazon Prime free to stream. I have no excuse!

GOAL SET!

XXXX
GFK