Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 A Year In Review

I have been MIA for the past week but for good reasons.  I flew home to spend the holidays with my family and friends.  I will update you all on that later but for now, it is New Years Eve and time to chat.   I feel like we all say this but looking back, wow, 2014 was a year filled with big moves and many adventures.  I love to spend New Years Eve looking back at the year, celebrating my accomplishments, reflecting on this life, and setting new goals for the next year.  

So here we go. 
Sit back relax and lets look back at 2014.  

I spent another year riding Bradley and showing in hunter and equitation classes,
 a new thing for me!

I went out to visit Thatcher and Utah a few times, went skiing,
and started to experience a part of the country I have never seen. 

I was a bridesmaid at one of my best friends wedding.  I got to spend some quality time with an amazing group of ladies from showers to bachelorette parties, and watched one of the most amazing women I know say "I do". 

I ran my first Marathon.  
My first time at 26.2 miles in Providence, Rhode Island 
with my friends and family cheering me on. 

I ran 540 miles for the year 
and between running and body pump, got in shape.

I  watched some of my wonderful friends and family get married and spent some quality time with my family, even if it meant temporarily moving home ;)

I spent another New England summer diving with an amazing group of friends.

I drove across the country, from Connecticut to Utah (and moved!)

I went to Las Vegas for the first time


I started Graduate School at the University of Utah

I did some amazing hikes, saw two new national parks, 
and saw an amazing new landscape.

But most importantly, I learned how beautiful this life truly is, from shorelines to mountains, from friends to family.  I learned how many amazing friends I have at home, and how lucky I am to know and love them all.  I learned that I have an amazing family back at home and how wonderful it is to be close with them . 

2014 was a good year but I know 2015 is going to be even better.  
I hope you all get the chance to look back at your year and feel as truly blessed as I do.

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nailed it Nailed it

First things first.  I took my law exam this morning (3 hours of stress right there) you know the one that I am the only non law student and I spent a MONTH studying for.  And I also handed in all my term papers.  That means I am officially done with my first semester of graduate school.  

And all I can think of is that Big Lots (Nailed it Nailed it!) commercial and I am absolutely singing it while dancing around the living room.  Oh and don't get confused.  I haven't nailed Christmas, and at the moment no one has presents.  But I am singing that song in reference to this semester that tried to kick my butt, but I won. 

Secondly-  I decided I needed some new scenery so ditched my normal run yesterday to check out Tanner Park and Parley's Tanner.  I ran three slow and easy miles here and it was..... THE Best decision EVER.  

It is about 15 minutes southeast of my apartment but totally worth the drive.  The only downfall I could find that it is really close to the highway.  But on the other hand, the highway is fenced off and there is this amazing large trail system where dogs are allowed offleash and a stream runs through the canyon for the dogs to play.  There are also some amazing running trails and a paved trail system for bikes.  I will be going back to take some better pictures and write up a review but I just had to share this exciting place with you all right. now!

And thanks to everyone whos dealt with my crazy mood swings and personality lately.  I am a pretty passionate person and really put a lot of effort into everything I do (especially school) so I have been on the verge of a crazy lady.   But as that quote says- I am worth all the chaos so cheers!

Flying to New York Sunday to spend a week with family and friends and I cannot contain my excitement!

Sorry if that song is now stuck in your head too....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moab Weekend Video

I am single handedly trying to bring back the art of handwritten letters and video footage. 

 Well, not single handedly, but I feel like these lovely art forms are being lost in time.  We don't call, we don't write, we don't really film any more. And if we do, it is usually a snippet on our cell phone or a 15 second segment to fit on instagram.  A virtual card is nice, but a hand written one with a postage stamp is just so much better.   

After I got my GoPro last year, I have been on a mission to start capturing some of the little moments that make this life so grand.  As a keepsake for myself, and as a way to share these moments with family and friends.

Emi over at The Well Traveled Wife has been such an inspiration in documenting the beauty of day to day life and of extravagant vacations.  If you haven't seen her videos, prepare to have your mind blown when you watch her video from India HERE.  Emi and her husband film and put together the most amazing GoPro videos and I hope one day my videos are half as good as theirs! I also had to steal that song because it is just oh so good! 

But practice makes perfect so here is my little video of my weekend in Moab last month.    

Monday, December 15, 2014

Six mile Snowy Sunday

It was a crazy weekend here in Salt Lake City. 
 And by crazy I mean I barely left the apartment and spent my weekend with this book. 

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, we were all a little stir crazy and the dog was less than please with my decision to stay behind my desk all week.  

The snow was falling, the weather was mid 30's, so we bundled up and went for a 6 mile run up into City Creek Canyon and then back home.  

I am starting to embrace the hill work and starting to work on getting my pace back to sea level levels.  

After my run, we decided to undo all that hard work with a few drinks and a late lunch at Gracie's.  

With the snow falling and the beginning of what finally felt like winter.... a boozy coffee and nachos just felt like the right thing to do.

A mountain of nachos.   

Next Sunday I will be landing in New York City and spending a lovely 9 days back home! Just this massive law final and term paper standing in my way ;) 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why I don't drive to school

Salt Lake City doesn't have the best public transportation system.  In fact, parking is pretty cheap and with roads wide enough  for  "a team of 4 oxen and a covered wagon to turn around" (6 lanes in many spots), it is a really drive-able city.  However, I chose to discard convenience for a cheaper, healthier, and environmentally friendly option. 

I thought it would be kind of fun to look at all the money
 I am saving by choosing to not drive to school and instead, bike or take TRAX.

(A is my apartment, B is the base of campus by the stadium where the first TRAX stop is, "Class" is where I walk to from the TRAX station to get to my classes)

It doesnt look far but Salt Lake City has some huge blocks!

I choose not to drive for a few reasons

A:  There is a shortage of parking and it is something I rather not deal with
B:  It is only 3 miles each way and there is a TRAX stop 1/2 a mile from my apartment 
C:  There are a TON of traffic lights from here to school so it still takes a whlie to drive the three miles. 
D:  I pay A LOT for tuition and an all use pass for TRAX is included with tuition so I may as well get my moneys worth
E:  More exercise!  1/2 mile talk to the trax station, and then 1/2 to a mile from the station at school to my classes.  Or if I bike its 3+ miles up that BIG hill
F:  Cheaper!  Cost of fuel and a $200 permit each year. 

The downfalls of not driving:
A:  Takes more planning, have to plan my time around the TRAX schedule (red line to University every 15 minutes)
B:  Have to plan time for the 1/2 mile walk if I take TRAX
C: Weather- walking or biking in the rain/cold/heat
D:  Campus is on top of a HUGE hill which makes for a challenging bike ride.
E:  Trax can be really packed and sometimes it is tough to fit my bike. 
F:  Thursday night class ends up involving nearly 3 miles of walking to and from Trax stations, my apartment and class which can be time consuming. 

Semester 1:   costs of driving
$200 permit to park on campus 

Class Schedule

So that would be once Monday (6 miles RT), twice Tuesday (12 miles RT), twice Thursday (12 miles RT).  So 30 miles a week for one semester (15 weeks).  Roughly 450 miles a semester at 10 mpg city.  
Price of Salt Lake City Gas (averages for each month): 
August:  $3.65
September:  $3.50
October:  $3.30
November: $3.05
December:  $2.7
Semester Average:  $3.24
 Roughly 450 miles a semester at 10 mpg city- so I needed 45 gallons and with fuel costs of $3.24 per gallon means I saved $146 dollars in fuel costs and $200 dollars in a parking permit.  This is a low estimate because many time I go to school on other days or other times to work on projects, meet up with groups, or use the library.  I think it is fair to round up to $200 to make up for all those extra trips I would be driving.  

Not to mention the health effects of walking and biking, and the environmental effects.  This city already has a large air pollution problem and I am happy to admit I am NOT part of the problem.

I also walk everyone around town (grocery store, errands, etc) and even run the dog to daycare instead of drive.  The only times I use my care is to go ride in Lindon or when I need to pick up Austin when nannying. 

~ $400 savings this semester in gas and parking passes.
And for a graduate student in the Environmental Studies program on a budget and trying to stay fit and healthy....
 this is a good thing :)   

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas cheer exchange!

Hello friends!

Today I am sharing my gift from the Christmas Cheer Exchange!
I found out about this fun exchange through Floral and Fudge and couldn't wait to link up!

Basically, anyone who wanted to join the fun was given someone to send a gift to.  The criteria was holiday themed and had a $10 budget.   Obviously, someone gets your name so you send a gift and receive a gift.  How fun. 

I sent a gift to Chastity over at A Cowboy Life in Texas! 
Check out what I sent her on her blog!

I received a gift from Alicia from @LoveKnotPhoto on IG!

It was so fun to come home to this pretty package on my door step. 

Alicia- I love it all so much!  Tea, peppermint, nail polish, mint lip balm and that ornament!  Truly some of my favorite things!  I collect ornaments and this looks so lovely on my tree!    And you bet I will be rocking that nail polish for Christmas!

In case you all need this holiday glitter too-  It is called "Holiday Rebel".  How adorable is that?

This was SO much fun and I had a great time sending a gift as well as receiving one! 

Thanks for hosting ladies and Happy Holidays!