Exciting News!

Happy Friday, neighborinos! I don’t know what you all have on the docket for what is supposed to be a truly amazing weekend, weather-wise, but I am totally pumped. While last weekend was gloriously lazy, I have some fun stuff on the horizon.

First up, tonight is the re-return of book club, where we’re having a taco-themed fiesta (ole!), and then I’m going to see Snow White & The Huntsman with my sister. If you’ve already seen the movie and can confirm that it’s totally terrible, well, keep that to yo’self. I just want to see some beautiful Chris Hemsworth, stunning Charlize Theron, and quivering-lipped K.Stew, mmmkay?

And as if those two things weren’t delicious enough (both literally and figuratively), tomorrow night I’m seeing the lovely Kristin Chenoweth in concert! She’s performing at the Hippodrome tomorrow night, and I can’t wait! For those of you who might be less familiar, Kristin Chenoweth is a very famous Broadway actress and absolutely phenomenal singer who has cropped up in plenty of mainstream media lately. In addition to originating the roles of Sally in the revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! and Glinda in Wicked, she has also played April Rhodes on Glee, Olive Snook on Pushing Daisies, had a couple of supporting roles in various movies, and did a stint on the West Wing. She was most recently on that show GCB.

Anyway, she’s obviously fabulous and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform twice now: once as Glinda, during Wicked‘s pre-Broadway run back in 2007, and in the show Promises, Promises a few years ago. She’s basically one of my (many) idols, and I’m really excited for the show.

So actually, as exciting as my weekend plans clearly are (I’m sure you’re all thrilled for me, after all, hehe), the title of this post doesn’t actually refer to my schedule. I actually have an announcement to make!

I’m going to be speaking at this year’s Healthy Living Summit! I went to HLS last year (recaps here and here), and had an absolutely amazing time. I got to bond IRL with friends I only knew through their blogs, see the city of Philadelphia, and learned a surprising amount. This year it’s in Boston, and I’m so excited to be a presenter! The topic of my session?

Love in bloom PizzaPIzza
IMG_0503.jpg IMG_4652

Essential photography basics for blogging! I cannot even tell you how many bloggers I meet who are stuck using the Auto feature on their ridiculously expensive cameras. Hopefully I can provide some tips that embolden them to at least try shooting on Aperture mode, or even — gasp! — Manual. I’m clearly not a professional photographer, but I have had the benefit of having a brother who is, so hopefully I’m in a good position to help bloggers understand that having great photography is not a huge, professional undertaking.

Of course, not everyone has a DSLR, so I’ll definitely be including general tips on how to make the most of your point & shoot or camera phone, too. Here’s the little blurb about my session, as posted on the HLS website:

HLS blurb

I’m super psyched to be able to combine so many things that I love: blogging, photography, and forcing people to pay attention to me. Registration for HLS opens this coming Tuesday, June 12th, at 8 PM (EST) if you’re thinking about attending. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Have you been to HLS in the past? Are you considering going this year?

Freitag Fünf

Yes, I’m a copycat. I fully admit it. Every blogger and her mom does a “Friday Favorites” or “Five for Friday” or some other cleverly alliterative post, and today I am no different. Well, except for the whole thing where the title of my post is in German (literal translation according to Babel Fish: Friday Five.) Hey, I gotta mix it up somehow!

See, my plan was to blog about my first training run (in preparation of the Hot Chocolate 15K that I signed up for in an insomnia-induced stupor Tuesday night.) I was going to have this whole schpiel about how I did it even though I incessantly tried to talk myself out of it and how I managed to complete X amount of miles and blahblahblah. But just as I was tying the laces on my Brooks, the skies opened up. And since I am barely a runner, let alone the kind of hardcore runner that runs in the rain, I kicked off my sneaks and did yoga in my room instead. Let’s just call it “cross-training” and move on.

I like lots of things, but especially these things right now.

Photo on 2011-10-04 at 17.08 #5
1. La Croix Sparkling Water

You guys have known about my sparkling water obsession for a little while now, but I have to say it’s gotten a lot more focused since I’ve been introduced to this amazingness. I foresee many dollars being sacrificed to the La Croix gods in the future. Must… try… raspberry…

2. Brussels sprouts.

Sorry Pops, I know these are your least favorite food, but the little green brains are back in my life! These used to be one of my scary foods, but I’ve since learned better. Cook ’em up with some maple syrup and bacon? Man, oh man. Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll eat your share.

3. Weddings!

Tomorrow brings the FOURTH wedding that I will have attended since August. Whew! That being said, I still love weddings, and I am so, so happy to get to share in my friends’ special days. Steve, on the other hand, might be getting a little burnt out on my not-so-subtle bouquet-catching efforts, hahaha.

4. iOS 5

I just downloaded iOS 5 for my iPhone the night before last and I love it. Things are running smoother, faster, and I am OBSESSED with the new Banner notification option. Now when I get text messages they no longer pop up and interrupt whatever I’m doing – a notification simply slides down from the top. I can click it if I want, otherwise it will go away after a few seconds, sans interruptus. The new iMessage feature, where I can now text anyone else with iOS 5 for free (similar to Blackberry’s BBM function) is sweet too. Kinda makes that unlimited texting plan a little useless though, eh?

5. If I Die Young – The Band Perry

I know I’m really, really (um, a year?) late jumping onto this bandwagon but I have been eerily obsessed with this song lately. I literally cannot get it out of my head… and it may or may not be my ringtone as of 5 PM yesterday evening (damn you iTunes!) I’m sure my roommates are probably getting mighty sick of hearing me butcher it as I attempt to learn it on guitar though.

So what if October is already half over?! Better late than never!

1. Hit 184-point-something lbs.

I know this might not seem like the loftiest of goals considering I’m sitting at exactly 186.0 lbs (as of my last weigh-in), but with the aforementioned wedding coming at me tomorrow… well, it might not be such a gimme after all.

2. Complete a long run every weekend.

At this point, 4 to 5 miles is still a lot for me. I wasn’t able to run the Navy 5 Miler without walking, so I want to master that before trying to tack on any more distance. My goal is to do at least two shorter runs during the week and a longer run on the weekend. This is a really specific goal compared to how I usually plan things, so we’ll have to see how well I stick to it!

3. Go Shopping.

The feedback you guys gave me on yesterday’s clothing dilemma helped me decide that I should pick up a few more closet staples in the size I am now. I plan on snagging a couple of fall & winter basics to carry me through this in-between phase before I hit my goal weight. Thanks for giving me an excuse to spend more money, guys!

4. Bring lunch to work everyday.

I’ve been shamefully lacking in this area lately (and I was doing so well, too!) so I’m re-resolving to pack my lunch everyday. Bringing my own food is so much better for me, makes calorie counting so much easier, and is so, so, SO much cheaper.

Buncha Monkeys
5. Step up my photography.

Seeing Ben in photog mode (both at the wedding and at various portrait shoots like the one above with our friend’s baby) has made me really want to up the ante with my photography. Seeing him in action made me painfully aware of how much I still have to learn. I want to take a class, or at least spend some real time reading and viewing tutorials on how to master my camera and get to the next level of editing expertise.

And there you have it. Yet another one of my forays into a (hopefully) beloved blog fad. So now it’s your turn!

What’s one thing you’ve been loving lately, and/or one thing you’d like to accomplish before the end of October?