Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Trap Life For Me?

A few weeks back, my friend Nichole and I decided go out on a limb, or should I say bar, and take a static TRAPEZE class! I know, I know, it sounds crazy, and no, I've decided not to join the circus, but as The Ardent Adventurer, I'm always up for new and exciting things!

It was quite the experience...I walked in a little nervous and questioning of my aerial skills, yet left feeling like I could fly! The class was small, about 10 students and 3 teachers. We got a lot of one on one attention and were able to try some basic skills and learn tricks!

You SHOULD take trapeze if:
You want a good core and arm workout!

You like to be challenged.

You are comfortable in spandex.

You can laugh at yourself and look ridiculous!

You like seeing men in purple tights!

Purple Tights

Silks...for the advanced!
It was a great experience all around. Fun Saturday morning for sure. What's next? Definitely looking into FLYING Trapeze!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh What A Night...

The past 2 years I've been wanting to do the McDonald's LATE Ride in Chicago. And FINALLY, I committed, took the plunge, bit the bullet and laced up my sneakers. With the good company of my awesome roomates Brittani and Bebe I was prepared to ride all night long...25 glorious miles through the neighborhoods of Chi-town.

The race was to start around 1:30am, so we arrived at Grant Park around 12:30am to meet up with Britt and her Rents. I have a confession...I have never owned, nor worn, a helmet while biking. I just can't stand the sight of them. And before you go judging, haha, I know, I vanity rationale is ridiculous and if my head were on straight I'd be safety first! So...this ride actually required a helmet, which happened to be the perfect motivation for me to join the caution band wagon! So this night I bought a shiny white helmet and rocked it all night long!

Our wave of riders left at 2:10am and we headed South along Columbus to Roosevelt, West to Elston and North to Foster. About half way in, my bum started hurting and I
was seriously regretting my horrible decision to not wear my cycling shorts - what was I thinking? "Save a bike, ride a cowboy" kept going through my mind, lol. At the halfway point there was a pit stop with food and refreshments and bathrooms and the respite was welcomed by all.

A little while later we rallied and proceeded to the Lake Shore path and headed south to the heart of the city, and ultimately the finish line. This last stretch of the ride was by far the best! We rode along the path while the sun was rising over Lake Michigan. It was incredible...made me seriously consider staying up all night more often, or getting up super early just to watch the brilliant oranges, pinks and yellows cut across the deep blue horizon.

The roomies and I stopped a few times to take full advantage of the amazing photo opps along the way. We finally rolled into the finish line around 6am. A surprising 4 hours after our start! We scooped up our breakfast goodies complete with a complimentary McDonald's breakfast coupon.

All that riding made Bebe and I crave sausage biscuits so we were determined to capitalize on our freebie this a.m. However, Murhpy's Law was in full effect this morning...and we'd been up for 24 hours - not a good combination if you ask me! We stalked two McDonald's downtown to no avail (for some reason they didn't open till 7am)! Then we had a few fiascos trying to catch the El (resorted to CTA b/c our bums couldn't stand anymore riding), the brown line wasn't running, we couldn't figure out which bus we needed and finally opted for the red line, carrying/walking our bikes along the way. Then we reach a red line stop a mile from our place and get off...I stop at a Jewel to go to the bathroom b/c I was dying and realize mid stream that there's no TP or paper towels!!!Ahhhh! I couldn't do anything but laugh! While I'm taking care of biz, Bebe is trying to put her chain back on her bike b/c it fell off while we walked our bikes down the stairs to the El (couldn't bear to carry them any longer)! So we were stuck walking our bikes a mile north and finally make it to a Mickey D's by our casa! We both get our free meals and for a brief moment, all is right with the world, haha! We reminisce about the mornings events and just laugh for a good 20 minutes as we devour our meal.

We finally make it home at 7:45a.m. and make beelines for our beds...sweet slumber. O what a night! Wouldn't trade it for the world!

Salads & Proposals Galore and More

Dinner and a chick flick = recipe for a bona fide girls night!

Friday night I hosted a themed dinner party for my girlfriends. What was the
theme??? Well, I was lobbying for Hawaiian, haha, but my friend Zhenya convinced me that a "Salads From Around the World Party" would be so much more classy! And I couldn't help but agree. :)

We had everyone bring a fave salad to share! Think: Potato Salad, Asian Salad, Fruit Salad, Pasta Salad, Taco Salad, Caprese Salad,Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, Chicken Salad, Spring Mix Salad, Beet Salad, Seafood Salad, Goat Cheese Salad....and on and on...

I can go on about how yummy it all was, but I'll let the salads do the talking...

Taco Salad

Barley Salad
Caesar Salad
Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Vegetable Pasta Salad
Fruit Salad
Mmmmm....makes me hungry! We topped off this deliciousness with a big helping of Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock via The Proposal. A delightfully charming and witty romantic comedy featuring a pushy executive (Bullock) who forces her assistant (Reynolds) to marry her to keep her US Visa and her high profile job. It plays out with many LOL moments and a few memorable scenes between the two. A movie I'd def recommend for any girls night!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fabulous 4th!!!

To celebrate the 4th, I decided to head South to visit Dan, a guy I'm dating, and one of my bff's from college, Sarah!
After much anticipation, I finally arrived in Dallas July 1st around 8:30pm. Dan was picking me up at the airport and after a glorious reunion we walked hand in hand out to the car, loaded up the and were off on a new adventure together. First stop, his office to finish up something (luckily i brought a book, haha). Then off to my best friend, Sarah, from college's house to unload and visit before her and her hubbie, Jesse went to bed. We had fun hanging with them and then finally decided to grab some dinner at 11:30, ahhh...Sonic was the only thing open, and I wasn't complaining. We both got burgers and tots and Dan being of the mentality "bigger is better" upgraded our drinks to Route 44's!!! Talk about bladder busters...i only made it through half of mine and a couple sips of his "Apple Limeade" - such a strange request that I had to try! After a fancy dinner he dropped me off at Sarah's and went back to his place for some shut eye!

Thursday, Dan had a crazy work day so i opted to sleep in and spend the day at Sarah's house, lounging, laying out, doing a workout DVD and watching a movie - Australia = Amazing! It was so nice to have a day to relax and do whatever I wanted. Sarah and Jesse got off at 5pm and we had plans to meet Dan for dinner at Joe T Garcias in Ft Worth - one of my fave Mexican restaurants!!! As an added bonus Dan's dad was in town this week and decided to join us for drinks at dinner. It was great getting to meet him. I enjoyed the time we had and looked forward to getting to know him more! After dinner we stopped by Dan's place to pack him a bag b/c he was staying at Sarah's house this night.

Friday was early to rise for sure. I was going to work with Dan today and our first appointment was at 7am!!! This boy certainly knows a thing or two about work ethic. He works harder than anyone I know! I got to be his acting assistant for the day b/c he let his real assistant have the day off! This consisted of driving him from appointment to appointment, and was not without a speed bump our two!! You see, Dan has a desk in the back of his minivan and a chair where he works while his assistant drives doing paperwork. Well, seeing as i don't own a car anymore and don't drive much and didn't know the routes we were taking, it made for an interesting ride. I hit the brakes a bit too hard a few times, which sent Dan flying forward to the front of the van! Yikes...he'd just look at me and say,"Babe...slow it down a bit, haha" And i'd smile at him apologetically and promise to try harder (but secretly found it pretty funny even though i wasn't trying to be a pain)! After all the inspections were done it was 3pm and we grabbed a bite at Braums Ice Cream and Dairy, mmmmm...Got some food and had the option to upgrade our drinks to shakes, which we gladly obliged. He of course insisted we get the mediums and not the smalls, hahahaha...and I reluctantly drank the whole thing! ay ay...gonna have to work out hard this week, haha. Then Dan kindly took me back to his place and dropped me off while he went back to the office to do paperwork. I took a long 3 hour nap and felt a little guilty about it when I called him at 7:30pm and he was just leaving the office!

This was date night and seeing as neither of us are from Dallas, we made some calls to locals and Dan found us this AMAZING sushi place in downtown Ft. Worth called Piranha Killer Sushi. We had some good food and great talks over dinner and really just enjoyed each other. Then we walked around downtown and caught a 80's cover band performing outdoors and watched for a bit and ended the night with, you guessed it...more ice cream from Marble Slab, haha! I opted for Fat Free frozen yogurt this time!

We decided Fri night to drive to Oklahoma for the 4th of July. My family lives only 4 hours from Dallas and I know they wanted to meet him and were having a huge party (100 people) at our house and just thought it would be so fun and give us some good QT in the long car ride. Dan was more than happy to go along with this plan and so we set out around 8:30 am for Ok. But didn't make the best time b/c we spent a good 30-45 min searching for a "healthy breakfast place" and ended up seeing his family's home outside of Dallas and eating breakfast burritos at Sonic, haha! We made it to Tahlequah around 2:30, stopped at my fam's house and made introductions and then I took him to Sam and Ella's Chicken Palace, my favorite pizza place of all time! While
dining we had a water fight and played paper football, haaha...good times. We stopped and picked up fireworks and Dan was like a kid in a candy store...we didn't need them, but he just really wanted to buy some, and I loved watching him! Then back to my fam's house for some swimming, the party and $2,000 worth of fireworks...quite an impressive show!

Sunday we got up and mom made us a southern breakfast and then we went for a quick swim before leaving around noon. We took turns driving on the way back so that Dan could get some work done. We stopped at a fruit stand halfway and got some fresh peaches and plums grown in Ok. Mmmmmm....such a sweet time. Made it back to Dallas just in time to meet his Dad at his Great Aunt's home to spend some time with her (she's the cutest, sharpest 80+ i know!) and then we all went to dinner at Macaroni Grill.

Sunday night I helped Dan make some calls for work while he got things set for the week. Then I was off to the airport at 5:30 Monday morning - stayed till the last possible minute - and flew back to Chi and went straight to work! It's safe to say that I never wanted this weekend to end...alas, all good things come to an end. But I'm happy to report that I lived it up while I could!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alert! Guest Blogger Report

That's right, I was asked by my church to be a guest blogger on one of their blogs! Get the scoop here!

PS. I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July! I had an awesome time in Dallas and Tahlequah and will fill you all in soon!!!