Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Random Musings of a Sick Girl {v.2}

I have developed an affinity for getting sick. Yes, developed. Yes, an affinity. I swear, I used to be a sick-once-a-year kind of girl, but no longer. Now, if there are germs within a 50 mile radius {dramatic} of me, my body pulls them to me like a vacuum. A really unpleasant, obnoxious vacuum.

In my post Random Musings of a Sick Girl I explained that... sick feeling. When your brain just isn't quite firing on all cylinders, and there is nothing much that you can do about it. That feeling has been my life for the past few days, but finally took me down with a knock-out punch yesterday when I was confined to my bed and couch for the day, forcing PG to deal with Sick Sarah. Poor guy.

So, being not fully recovered as of yet, I thought that today would be the perfect time for a good-ol' volume two of some sickly random musings.

Ready? Me too.

Again? Really?
Why is it so incredibly bright outside the one day I don't feel well? Boo.
Is there some form of Best Girlfriend of the Year Award I could win for surprising PG with Penguins home opener tickets?
Would I have been taken out of the running for it because of my sub-par performance yesterday?
I have a lot to do today. I wonder how much of it will get done...
Is Penguin a weird word?
Why is it so hard to read when you're sick?
The high is 18 degrees today... don't really know what to say about that.
I wish I could wear my UGGs all day.
Did I leave the iron on this morning?
Did I get sick because I just bought new running shoes for a great deal and my body is making me pay for my awesome deal-finding skills?

C'est tout (that's all).


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Nice Little Weekend

Given that it's Wednesday, this post is way overdue. But with an insane work week in progress, I have had little time to do anything other than work, and dream about work.

This weekend, however, was so fabulous that I just had to carve out a space on my blog to talk about it. Why so fabulous, you ask?

1. Weather
It was in the 60's (yes, 60's) all weekend, and I was in utter shock. While I'm fairly certain that the mild weekend weather has made today's snowy miserableness even worse, it was absolutely worth it to ditch the winter jacket for a few days and spend some time outside. We had the windows open. We drove with the windows down. We spent hours in the mild glory. Now, in July we'll get a freak weekend where 60-degree weather will feel sweatshirt-worthy, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

2. Outdoor Activities
See #1. If you had weather anywhere near what we had in The Pitts and you shacked up inside all weekend, then shame on you! From the minute we saw the mild weather make its way onto the 10-day forecast, we were planning endless activities that we could do in order to take full advantage of our good fortune. What did we settle on?

The Strip District

There is no better place to go when you just want to be outside in Pittsburgh than the Strip District. Honestly. If you're hungry, in the mood to people watch, shopping, or just craving a good walk, this is the place to go. We snagged a few sandwiches at a Pittsburgh-tastic deli (see Eats and Treats for a new addition coming soon), and then spent a few hours (yes, hours) weaving in and out of the plethora of stores along the main drag. And we weren't the only ones. People were out in hoards (great word) to pretend it was Spring along with us. We saw everything from summer dresses to jorts to parkas, ate lots, and spent a little too much money - it was a great day.

3. Football
Alright, cover your eyes Pittsburghers, because this could be mildly extremely painful for you...

With a decisive win over the Houston Texans Sunday night, my beloved New England Patriots have advanced to face the Baltimore Ravens (booo) this Sunday in the AFC Conference Championship.

OK, so let me plead my case to the people of The Pitts here: I understand that the Steelers didn't make the playoffs. I understand that they lost to the Bengals to seal their fate. And I understand that you dislike Tom Brady (or Tim, as PG calls him) and the Pats... but come on, you know you hate the Ravens. It's the lesser of two evils here, people. Anywho, needless to say this completed a fabulous weekend, and PG even pretended to be happy as well. Weekend made. Bring it on, Baltimore!

Hope you all are having wonderful hump days!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vote, Vote, Vote {#MLB13Cutch}

As my first truly great act of Pittsburgh-ness since moving here a mere nine months ago, I am doing this - writing a post with the sole hope of encouraging people to vote for the Pittsburgh Pirate's own Andrew McCutchen to be on the cover of MLB 13 The Show.

He is currently in first place (whoopwhoop), leading Matt Kemp (LA), CC Sabathia (NYY), Bryce Harper (NAT), Buster Posey (SF), Ryan Braun (MIL), and Miguel Cabrera (DET).

I'll keep this short and sweet. Here are five reasons you should vote for him:

  1. The hair. Done and done.
  2. Despite all of the ups and downs (lots of downs) that playing in Pittsburgh has brought over the past oh, I don't know, 20 years, McCutchen truly loves playing in this city, and is loyal to his fans.
  3. He's one of the most engaged professional athletes on social media that I have ever encountered, and is even hosting Fan Appreciation Days today and tomorrow for those who have been voting for him. (Check him out at @TheCUTCH22)
  4. Ever been to a Pirates game? He is a blast to watch. A total game changer, and adds an energy to the lineup that is absolutely contageous.
  5. I love the number 22. Just do.
So there are my five reasons. But what are you still doing here? Go to mlb.com/covervote to vote for him NOW! Then head to Twitter, and vote again using the hashtag #MLB13Cutch.

Happy voting!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DIT in the Kitchen {Challenge #1}

Typo? Did I mean to say DIY?

Nope. It's DIT today, people. And by DIT, I mean Do It Together. While I can be a control freak about projects as a whole, when it comes to matters of the kitchen, I am happy to relinquish some responsibility.

Plus, it's fun.

There is no better way to save money when co-habitating then to cook as many meals as possible. Dinner for two every night at a restaurant? Major cha-ching. So with budgets in mind, we've decided to forego the lazy ways of old, and actually plan out our meals. We've even made it a bit of a challenge - pour through my cookbooks to find worthy recipes, and then give them a shot! See who can find the best recipe, who is the most efficient grocery shopper, who prepares the best meal... it's like Top Chef for the cooking-challenged.

Thus far, we've been pretty good about alternating whose night it is to cook, but after working all day I've found that the time spent cooking alone is valuable time together that goes to waste. So we've arrived at DIT.

DIT Challenge #1: Homemade Beef and Broccoli {in the slow cooker}
Recipe by Betty Crocker, amended by SJ


  • 1 pound beef boneless top round steak, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup condensed beef broth
  • 4 tablespoons teriyaki baste and glaze
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil {not necessary}
  • 2/3 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice {white or brown}
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons waster
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets


  1. Mix beef, onion, broth, teriyaki baste, sesame seed and sesame oil into a 3 1/2 - 4 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. 35 minutes prior to serving, cook rice in 1 1/3 cups of water, or in accordance with package directions. 
  4. While rice is cooking, mix broccoli with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in small bowl. Add to beef mixture in slow cooker, re-cover, and cook on low for 30 minutes, or until broccoli is the desired texture.

So, why did we pick beef and broccoli for our first DIT challenge? To put it simply, we are obsessed with Asian food. Sushi, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, cold, hot, hibachi, frozen in a bag - anything. Unfortunately, with this obsession comes unfortunate wallet and waistline side effects, so, as part of our New Year pledges we decided to try this to safeguard both! The ingredients cost a total of about $15-$20 depending on what you already have in your fridge, and one serving is a mere 335 calories. Perf.

The prep time was legitimately 20 minutes max, but we thoroughly enjoyed playing with knives and yummy ingredients together... and the ease of the recipe.

It's in the slow cooker now, and I will be sure to follow up with photos later this evening. Thanks to Betty Crocker for supplying us with our first challenge!


Monday, January 7, 2013

So You Think You Can Veg

Over the past three weeks - ok, three years - my significant other has learned to expect the unexpected when I open my mouth. Between the random, borderline-inappropriate comments, to the spontaneous crying, to my oftentimes-uncontrollable laughter, I am just way, way too much fun. Bottom line, it takes a lot to shock him these days. Which is why he was less than surprised when this little scene went down...

Me: "I'm going to be a vegetarian for the month of February."
PG: "Ok."
Me: "That's it?"
PG: "As long as you don't expect me to do it with you then yep, that's it!"

Needless to say, my craving for drama was not satisfied by his ultimately-supportive acceptance of yet another one of my little life challenges.

I'm going to grow out my hair.
I'm going to try to work out every Saturday and Sunday.
I'm only going to eat white meat and fish.

Inevitably turns into...

Long hair is a pain in my rear. I'm chopping it.
I'm so tired! I don't want to workout every day, I need a break! *cue tears*
Can I have a bite of your cheeseburger?

But this time, I'm going to do it! Why February? Well, what else happens in February? Nothing. No vacations, no big events, nada. Which also means zilch in terms of motivation to get my act together.

But then comes March - a benefit dinner with my family, a vacation that will most likely require me to wear a bathing suit, birthdays, and the like. Then, pretty soon it's warm weather yet again, we have about a million weddings this year, and are planning a vacation of our own in October. Oh, and I'm running on a relay team for the Pittsburgh Marathon. There's that too.

Essentially, February is the lead in to a crazy, photo, running and bathing suit-filled year. And I need to get a jumpstart on it. Is part of this a personal test? Absolutely. I love to challenge and bother myself. But it is also a way to make sure that I am starting off the year in a great way, and feeling fabulous heading into my big March.

It is also going to be a cooking challenge of sorts. As PG and I are working on learning how to cook, being a vegetarian for a month will force us out of our meat-centric cooking habits, and into a realm of veggies, tofu and all sorts of deliciousness. And by us, I mean me (see above).

So I'm doing it.

I solemnly swear that I will be a vegetarian for the month of February, and will keep you all posted as I struggle along this untraveled (by me) path.

Tips? Recipes? Well wishes? What-are-you-doings? Share away!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Newlywed Lessons Guest Post on Wifessionals

In my absence from blogging I absolutely neglected to share with you that I was a guest writer on Wifessionals as a part of the fabulous Kaitlyn's Newlywed Lessons series!

Though I'm not married, let's be real, a lot of the daily struggles of a cohabitating couple are absolutely relatable to the newlyweds of the world. So, Kaitlyn graciously invited me to contribute a post about lessons I have learned thus far.

Funny story - I haven't learned anything.

Only kidding! 

And I was pleased to see that her readers not only enjoyed the post, but totally felt my pain {and joy} over "manning up" a once-feminine apartment.

A newlywed? Living with your significant other? Head over to Wifessionals for the latest tips, to-dos, and definitely-don'ts expertly crafted by Kaitlyn, myself, and a handful of other contributors!


Here, I'll make it easy. Click the button above!



Adventures in Blogging

Time flies. It is so cliche, but so very true. I started this blog back in August (warm summer days, sigh) as a way of adjusting to my surroundings. PG was about to head back to school, and I quickly realized that I knew relatively little about my new abode. It was time to make this city my own, and blogging became a way to hold myself accountable to this goal.

What started out as a diary that spared me the discomfort of hand cramps, quickly blossomed into something much, much more than I had anticipated. I've made friends, I've tried things, I've wandered out into the depths of the blogging world, and I have shared a piece of myself with a community that I never imagined existed.

Now, five months later, in the depths of winter (I'm currently typing this with my UGGs firmly on my frozen toots) and at the start of a new year, I've decided to take some time to reflect on what I've learned from my adventures in blogging.

  1. In the vast world of the interweb, you are not alone. I've spent hours searching and searching for one little thing that I can't seem to find, and all I want to do is press a Help button. Isn't there someone out there? Anyone. The answer is yes. Blogging has put a human spin on my experiences online as Facebook quickly begins to feel more distant and impersonal.
  2. You do, in fact, have things to talk about. The most daunting thing about starting a blog is the lingering notion in the back of your pretty little head that there is no possible way you could have something to talk about every day. Even a few days a week. But you do. When I was sick, I literally wrote down the first 12 things that came to my mind. And you know what? I enjoyed it. Sometimes the challenge of coming up with what to write is the very best part of blogging.
  3. You can take days off. My great fear aside from having nothing to write was that if I didn't post something every single day that I would be ruined. Blog over. But that is simply not the case. My readers (and yours too, surely) come to hear what you have to say. And when you have nothing to say they don't abandon you, rather, they assume you're off on a wonderful adventure and they can't wait to hear all about it. 
  4. You're just as ____ as you think you are. If you think your post was funny, it was funny. If you wanted to touch the hearts of your readers, you did. Blogging is about you. It's your outlet. So no matter what the comments may say, it is your perspective that matters most.
  5. It's perfectly fine to be yourself, no matter what you may think. In the past few weeks I have read a variety of blogs that have outraged me, disgusted me, and made me simply shake my head. "How can this be on the internet," I wonder to myself. Well, for the same reason that I'm allowed to log on every day and type away - because we have the right to speak freely in this great country. While I am a full proponent of there being limitations, I am also glad that we are able to have this wonderful space that we can fill with our ideas, that inspires discourse, and that allows us to share ourselves with the world. This freedom is protected every day by our Armed Forces, and I intend to utilize it to the best of my ability.
It's been a great first few months, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

What have you learned from blogging?


Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Do! {Kind of}

Before the rumor mill starts churning let me just say that NO I am not engaged. Great, now that that's over, please keep reading.

While eating a little {healthy} dinner last night, I received a call from LA - one of my wonderful friends that I sadly had to leave behind in Cincinnati when I made the leap to The Pitts. Tear.

I can always count on her to have fabulous stories, and to thoroughly appreciate any and all of mine, so I pushed the veggies aside and answered away. Conversation went as follows:

SJ: "Blah blah blah, I'm hilarious, blah blah blah."
LA: "Blah blah blah, hahaha, blah blah blah... oh, and will you be a bridesmaid in my wedding?"


Cue tears and excitement and joy... it was like New Years Eve all over again, but without the cocktails. Needless to say I was (and am) thrilled, and am already counting down the days until the bachelorette party.. oh, and the wedding of course!

I wanted to write a little something explaining our friendship, what she has meant to me since we met practically two years ago, and how excited I am to share her special day...

...But I figured that this would be more fitting.

St. Patrick's Day {2011}... where all good friendships blossom

Themed bar crawl for your birthday? Absolutely!

But only if you bring the alligator hats!

Dance parties. Lots and lots of dance parties. (Hey Boergs)

Only "single" gal in the picture... weird!

We love us some happy hour. Especially if it's at the four-star Plum Street Cafe.

Fireworks in the rain? Sure.

Ladies in black.

Ok, we have a thing for festive hats.

So congrats to LA, and hooray for me! Now bring on the bridesmaid dresses!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome Back

Oh hey! Yes, I am still alive, and yes, I still plan on blogging in 2013 - so please don't take my prolonged absence as a sign of an unfortunate present-opening accident or a New Years Resolution to no longer blog.


No, no - I've been running around doing a million and one things, and sometimes nothing at all, but all of it was part of a prolonged period of quiet time. No, I certainly wasn't always quiet (really??), but it was more of an inner quiet that I was oh-so desperately in need of. No stress, no deadlines, no hustle-and-bustle other than my nightmarish travel experiences and overdose of shopping. Quiet time.

Quiet time also meant unplugging for a little bit - going as far off the grid as I realistically will ever go. I rarely was on my phone, my laptop is in the same place that it has been since last week, hell, I don't even know where 3 of my 4 phone chargers are right now. But it was nice, oh so nice.

What did I do? Let me break it down...

  • Eat, eat, and eat some more. Guess who can seriously put away food? This girl. Yep, I've still got it despite years of watching what I eat. But, unlike previous years, I am in no way remorseful. I ate well, but rarely over-indulged, and found a strange peace in just letting go of the calorie-counting for a brief moment in time.
  • Exerci.... Ok, I did do some of this, but not enough that I should even give it a bullet point. Sorry I'm not sorry.
  • I rediscovered the beauty of sleeping til noon. I didn't think I had it in me - the latest I have slept in recent memory was about 10:30a after a particularly brutal night - but I did it. Three times! And why not? No children, no pets, no work meant see you in the afternoon for me!
  • Spent some much-needed time with family and friends. Weekends just aren't enough sometimes, so the holidays always provide the chance to spend some quality time with the ones I love.
  • Ran in airports. And I mean ran. If you were lucky enough to see me haul across the Houston and/or Atlanta airport in my UGGs (woof) like a bat out of hell, well, you're welcome for the laugh. Don't worry, I only went 1-for-2, so 50% of the time it was all for naught.
  • Quality time with the roommate. After a particularly brutal, but great weekend with one of PG's best friends, we were down for the count come this past Sunday. The cure? Alternating between sleep and zombie states for a solid 12 hours on the new couch. Not only did we re-energize, but we got to spend some quality one-on-one time together, which will get increasingly rare as work picks up.
  • Ran into walls. Laugh away, but this was seriously a vacation filled with bumping into things. Maybe it was because I was partially asleep more often than not, or maybe it was because I love Christmas wine. Who knows. But it happened, so there it is.
  • Did some apartment redecoration. Hooray! We got new slip covers for our old couch, added an ottoman with serious loungability, got another end table, and did little things here and there. Washed down with a massive dinner at PF Changs thanks to a lovely gift from my parents.
Ok, that's it for now. You get the gist. I did a lot - a lot of something, and a lot of nothing. I even managed to get sick and survive a snowstorm. But the moral of the story is that it was a wonderful vacation, and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

How did you spend your holidays? I'd love to hear!

Doing a blog hop woohoo! Check out all of the fun by clicking the button below!