Bye-Bye Blogging

I should have known that attempting to make major changes to the blog on October 13th was a bad idea, even if it wasn’t a Friday. Considering my knowledge of coding and any other technical-sounding thing is limited, it wasn’t much of a surprise when Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill crashed on Saturday. When I get an idea inside my head, I want to immediately act on it, so I tried to switch hosts and assumed that I would be able to figure it out along the way.

I called a technician, but he didn’t seem to understand when I told him that I know nothing about creating a website. Once he started spitting information about different databases and using acronyms, I hung up and went through a process of trial-and-error. Eight hours and several questions about whether or not my site was hacked later, I had some sort of website back up and running.

Since there was no forethought when I decided to switch servers, I’m still working on different design aspects—feel free to share your thoughts or suggestions! I apologize if you weren’t able to access my blog this past weekend, but’ it’s hopefully working now!

Insane

Some call it well-rounded; I call it insane. In the past week, I’ve started a third internship for this semester. Along with a full course load, freelance work, babysitting, and uh, a life, it’s a lot to manage, but I greatly value each and every opportunity.

As I was finishing my internship in New York City for Jill Stuart, I began seeking ways to get more involved with the fashion scene in Baltimore. Though it’s limited and not even remotely comparable to that of the city that never sleeps, it does exist. A local country club hosts a fashion show each year, so I reached out to see if I could help in the production process.

I then discovered that Stephanie Bradshaw Styling, a unique Baltimore-based company, produces the show. From that point, I immediately knew that I wanted to intern for the designer. Not only does Stephanie Bradshaw Styling do fashion styling, but interior design and event planning as well.

After interviewing with the team and seeing their gorgeous office space, I was thrilled to be offered the position. My first day on the job included shopping for artwork and putting the finishing touches on a model apartment that was about to be revealed!

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photo courtesy of SB Styling

It’s a crazy schedule, but I love it!

Just My Luck

It’s just my luck that…the first time I ever worked out with a personal trainer, I completely trusted him and went flying off the treadmill. In my defense, I was only fourteen and he told me that no one had ever fallen off while running sprints on the highest incline. My bloody knees sure showed him.

It’s just my luck that…the one day I open all of my car windows while driving on the highway and bopping to Carly Rae Jepson, a massive bug lands on my shoulder. Then, as I’m trying to swat it off (by ferociously moving my shoulder and looking like a lunatic), it flies onto the steering wheel. Windshield wipers were moving back and forth, high beams were flashing, and turn signals were blinking. Always use air conditioning.

It’s just my luck that…even after calling my friend to confirm her new address, I still ended up knocking on the wrong door, in the wrong apartment building. Just to be clear, I did awkwardly stand in front of a stranger with a bottle of wine and proceed to ask if she knew where my friend lived. She didn’t.

It’s just my luck that…I ordered an iPod from Best Buy and received an empty box in the mail. (I eventually did get the iPod after I called the company.)

It’s just my luck that…

A Stroll Through Childhood

Despite a terrible cold, I felt well enough to have a busy weekend with the help of apple cider vinegar, a pinched nose, and a tablespoon of honey. Natalie, Ali, and I are all interning for an event planning company, VME Events (like us on Facebook!), and as our first team outing, we planned a night in DC. In the late afternoon on Friday, we met Val, our boss (and good friend), at her apartment and then drove together to the Helix hotel.

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We had tickets to see the mind reader Josh Norris perform, but since we arrived a few hours before the show and were hungry, we decided to order dinner at the hotel.

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The four of us enjoyed dinner and drinks on the patio, and even met another magician beforehand.

Luckily, none of us were called on stage (one guy had to take a shot of Bourbon and shoot a staple gun at the magician’s neck) since we strategically sat a few rows back. I was grossed out when Josh inhaled a string through his nose and pulled it out of his eye, but it was an awesome performance.

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We also had the chance to meet Josh and an Obama impersonator afterwards!

On Saturday, Natalie and I went to Weber’s Farm with my best friend Emily. I hadn’t been to the local farm since I was in elementary school, so it was fun to spend the afternoon there!

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We went straight for the food—Natalie and I both tried their homemade apple cider doughnuts while Emily had an apple cider slushie.

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There was a long line for the hayride, so we instead visited the pumpkin patch of nursery rhymes.

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My favorite were the three little pigs!

Though we didn’t buy any pumpkins to carve, we were amused by their size and our [in]ability to lift them.

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Since we were a bit older than the general crowd, we skipped the barnyard activities and left after shopping in the general store.

We were near the neighborhood where I grew up, so as nostalgia struck, I decided to drive by my old house. The three of us creepily sat in my car, reminiscing and telling Emily stories from my childhood. After contemplating for a solid five minutes, we decided to take a risk and knock on the door.

We expected an old, grumpy man to answer the door and kick us off of his property, but much to our surprise, we were greeted by four little eager kids. The parents were kind enough to let us inside to see all of the changes that have occurred over the past twelve years. It was such a weird feeling to be in a house where we made so many memories, yet not recognize anything. It was sad to see our favorite part of the entire house completely transformed—my dad designed and built an addition so that we could have a hot tub inside of the house, but it had since been made into a playroom.

Have you ever visited an old house? Were you able to go inside?

Dinner Party

My younger sister, Natalie, recently moved into a apartment, so we’ve been planning a dinner party at her new place. Since Rachel (who we went to Miami with this past summer) was getting ready to move to California for the next several months, we thought this past weekend would be the perfect weekend to host friends.

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Between class, a lengthy homework assignment, an interview, grocery shopping, and cleaning, not much time was left to prepare for the actual party. In under two hours, Natalie and I managed to fill vases with bouquets of flowers, decorate her entire apartment with fall décor (all swiped from my mom’s collection), light several dozen candles, cut an eight-pound block of cheese, cook dinner, and get dressed.

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Just as the last guest was arriving, the chicken finished baking and we sat down to eat almost immediately.

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The menu included eggplant chicken parmesan, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, Caesar salad, and fresh baguette, all paired with a glass of red wine.

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Although there was leftovers, I didn’t go back for seconds so that I could save room for dessert. Our friend Misty brought a fruit pizza and I baked a batch of cookies. Considering I made the cookies to supplement a presentation that I was giving to my class and baked them at 6am while thriving off of three hours of sleep, I was unsure of how they would turn out. The cookies disappeared, so I took that as a good sign!

After cleaning up and putting away any potential fire hazards (we weren’t about to trust boys around candles), more of our friends came over. A lot of our high school friends happened to be in town, so it was fun to be able to see them, too!

The upside to having plenty of leftovers? A late-night call to the grimy pizza place for drunk food was not necessary. Once I had more dessert, my sister Ali and I headed back home to our house—we wanted to stay out longer, but I was exhausted!

McCormick Spice Factory Tour

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a tour of McCormick Spice Factory, so after an hour of guessing true and false statements relating to the time value of money, I met up with the other FitBloggin attendees.

FitBloggin, a conference for anyone who blogs about health, fitness, food or wellness, took place this past weekend in Baltimore. I initially planned to attend the conference, but I ultimately chose to only tour the factory.

Because I drove straight to the McCormick headquarters and didn’t meet the group at the Hyatt, I arrived a few minutes before the tour officially began. I was able to meet several of the employees and learn about their different positions at McCormick.

Once the entire group arrived, we were directed to the dining room and were offered lunch. After all of the high-tech camera lenses came out (I’m more of a point-and-shoot-one-picture-only-and-that’s-good-enough kind of person…), the guests enjoyed a lunch of roasted chicken, squash ribbon salad, couscous with tart cherries and apricots, sesame balsamic asparagus, and tumeric roasted cauliflower.

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While eating, we were introduced to some of the faces behind McCormick, including two of their chefs and Dr. Hamed Faridi, the Chief Science Officer. We split into two groups after a brief presentation; I started the afternoon by learning about the process in which our lunch was made.

Chef Mark Garcia and Dr. Wendy Bazilian explained the best way to cook vegetables to create not only tasty meals, but ones with the most health benefits as well.

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Afterwards, we went to the kitchen where another chef prepared one of McCormick’s entrees. As soon as I saw that there was fish involved, I stood in the far back corner of the room and stayed far away—I couldn’t risk breaking out into hives or passing out. Not that that’s unusual for me, though.

We then moved on to another kitchen to learn about the seasoning that was used in our roasted citrus chicken. Annette, a dietician who was assisting with the demonstration, also happens to be a mother that I babysit for, so it was funny when we realized that we were both at the same event. (I actually was supposed to be babysitting that afternoon, but passed the job along to my sister!)

The best part of the afternoon came when it was time for dessert.

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Seeing as I was at a facility that specializes in taste-testing products, I found it fitting to “taste-test” all three desserts.

The remainder of the day was spent doing sensory exercises and trying different apple sauces with varying degrees of cinnamon. I had fun meeting new people and getting a look inside of the McCormick factory! Thank you to everyone who made it possible!

If you could tour one factory, what factory would you choose? I would love to tour the Natty Boh factory!

Online Documentation of My Dating Life

To be completely candid, there are days—and sometimes even weeks—when the last thing that I want to do is open Windows Live Writer and blog. Conversely, there are also times, like today, when I am itching to form content (even if it is as silly as chronicling my embarrassing moments). I don’t know if it’s because the daunting thought of studying 126 pages is consuming me, and procrastinating is only logical, or if it’s because blogging has become part of my routine.

When I first created Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill, there was no predisposition for it to become “a success.” But then again, I think a success can be defined in more ways than one. Before blogging became a phenomenon, it was negatively viewed as creepy, online journaling. While I didn’t plan to make my WordPress site an online documentation of my dating life, I did see it as a place to share random musings with followers (read: my mom and best friend).

It has since evolved further than I ever expected, and for that, I’m eternally grateful, but also extremely overwhelmed. In the matter of two weeks, several amazing opportunities have been presented and I can’t wait until they come to fruition. I hope to share more details soon—preferably not when my blogging time is limited to the duration of a study break.

Of course, a little J.Crew therapy can always help a stressful situation (especially when it’s all on sale and from the factory!). These are my latest finds from this past weekend…

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Click photos to be redirected to J.Crew’s site.