Five things on my mind lately

Lately the following things have been taking up some serious space in my brain.  When life gets busy and fast-moving, my daydreams get a little more creative.

1. I want to roadtrip across the US.  I’ve been wanting to visit all 50 states and lately I’ve been dreaming of meandering through Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.  I mean, who would’t be blown away by how vastly different the topography of this country is?

2. Exercise is addictive.  Seriously — I’ve been running a lot more, and lifting heavier weights.  The sense of accomplishment in weighting up and feeling stronger is the best feeling – especially during stressful times.  I have had several injuries so it’s even more awesome to know that I can run several miles, and pump out a bunch of weighted squats.

3. All I want to do on the weekends is go on the boat and it keeps being too damned windy.  Not cool weather. Not cool.

4. My nomadic instincts are kicking in guys. I keep wondering what it would be like to live someplace else – California, Italy, Spain. Wherever.  Obviously I don’t have the resources for this, but how awesome would it be?  I’ve had this explorer/nomad instinct for as long as I can remember. I’m restless like that.

5. I am on a new music kick. And I have Mumford & Sons on repeat. Oh yeah, and I really want to go to Bonnaroo.

I’m not getting sick. I’m not getting sick. Ok, maybe I’m getting sick.

I feel that I am getting sick guys. Maybe not this horrible flu that everyone is getting, but something’s definitely trying to drag me down.  I’ve been feeling tired and flushed.  So in my attempt to battle this, I made another batch of lentejas. And somehow in this I have discovered that lentejas have become my go-to comfort food.  I positively crave them when I feel like I am getting sick or stressed out. Plus soups in general are some of my favorite foods because I grew up eating them and they are so easy.

Also, I have been throwing myself back into exercise and I swear that it helps fight off being sick.  Yesterday I got back up to running a mile and a half straight (on the treadmill).  My goal is 3 miles straight by March.  I think I can do it.  There’s nothing better than kicking your own butt all over the gym (or track, or wherever you exercise) to make yourself feel better and de-stress yourself.

Looking forward

I’ve debated writing a New Year’s resolution post.  I mean, they are sort of littered around the internet and I don’t like the concept of resolutions. Actually, to be more accurate, I don’t like the word “resolution.” It’s so absolute.  But I am a marketing person – while I don’t like resolutions, I DO like goals and benchmarks.

Last year I did a “Year in Review” over at 305, and this is what ended up happening:

  • Continue to build a financial reserve (made easier by new job.) I didn’t build as much of a reserve as I would have liked, but I did hack away at my student loans pretty aggressively.
  • Continue to strengthen myself and stay in shape. Ongoing goal for me.  In 2012 I completed a 5k and I have never been able to run before.
  • Get back to karate, now that I have put this knee injury behind me.
  • Pay off a bigger chunk of my student loans of doom.
  • Write and blog more – although this may be at an undisclosed, new location Thanks to the 30 day blogging challenge I participated in this past October! And this blog is the “undisclosed, new location”
  • Travel to the following places:
    • Iceland
    • Austin, TX
    • San Francisco, L.A. (via southern part of PCH) This ended up being up the coast to Seattle instead
    • Key West 
    • Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC
    • Chile

So based off this, in 2013 I would like to accomplish the following:

  • Pay off at least 1/3rd of my student loans (This is part of my long-term goal of getting out of debt)
  • Travel to at least 3 new states (tentatively on the list: Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont)
  • Travel to a new country
  • Complete another 5k
  • Complete a 10k
  • Be more regular about my checkups
  • Continue to stay on track with writing
  • Learn a new skill
  • Cook a new dish a month
  • Start sparring again
  • Improve my photography

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! I’m blogging “out of pocket” as I headed home to the Carolina’s. For the first time in many years we do not have extended family over. So my parents, sister and I are spending a few days in a lovely place called Kiawah.

Kiawah is a small island off of John’s Island – just south of Charleston, SC. We used to come every summer when I was growing up and I have not been back since 2005.

I have been having a phenomenal time exercising and relaxing with the fam. Just to give you an idea, between walking and biking, we covered 18+ miles today. I’ve been taking lots of pics with my camera, and with my phone. To get an idea of what it’s like here, follow me on instagram @xtinakm.

To everyone out there, I hope you are also spending this time with loved ones.

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On dancing

As I mentioned on Friday, my troop performed at a local medieval fair called Camelot Days.  At some point on Saturday, one of my troop mates asked if I wanted to join the basket dance.  I’ve never danced with basket, but I have danced with swords, so why not?  As it turns out, dancing with baskets is actually a bit harder, especially in the wind.  They have less weight, and there is now blade and hilt to balance on either side.

Even though the wind was crazy, dirt was blowing in our eyes and acorns were falling, it was successful. And a lot of fun.  Oh yeah, and totally improved.  Because we perform ATS(r) style, we rehearse together, but you never completely know what the next cue is. And that’s what I love.

You see, I am a bit of a control freak. So throwing myself out there without knowing what’s going to happen next is totally counter my normal way of things. So this dance is exciting. It’s built on trust and good relationships.  You can tell when people do not like dancing with each other, and when they don’t have confidence in themselves.  Because it’s not how skinny or how tall you are with bellydance (unless you are in restaurant dancing.) It’s about how strong you are. And in Tribal Style, it’s about the relationships you have with your troop mates.

I also have to say we had some new students go out and it was so much fun to watch them get the confidence to join in quartets and trios to dance.  Seeing that confidence build in others is almost as gratifying as discovering it for yourself.

And here are some pics I found on Flickr!

 

Weekend plans

What a week!  It has been SO busy at work! And while I actually enjoy being busy, sometimes you just need a break!  So this weekend, my merry band of dance mates and I will be spending Saturday and Sunday at Camelot Days.

I am part of both an American Tribal Style(r) dance troop and a tribal fusion dance group.  Each year we play the part of the gypsies at Camelot Days and we have three performances daily.  It’s a super chilled out vibe and it’s a lot of fun.  It used to be much more intimidating because, while we definitely rehearse, our dance is 100% improvisational and lead entirely off of body cues.  It’s exhilarating and it makes for a very tight knit dance group.

I will be covertly Instagramming with #CamelotDays and #LotusDancers.  Follow me on instagram @xtinakm

Camelot Days dancers

Around the Internets

What a week! It’s the end of my blogging challenge, election day (I voted, and I hope you did too) and my troop has been preparing for our shows at Camelot Days this weekend.  Yes, we perform at the medieval fair and anyone who has known me for long thinks this is hilarious.

So in advance of what looks like a beautiful weekend in South Florida, here’s some reading for you:

The origin of the sandwich?

Exactly.

This post features such simple, chic brides. Love it!

I’ve been wanting to go to Russia ever since I read War & Peace (for real y’all. I’m a book nerd)

Everyone needs a spa break sometimes.

My friend’s weight-loss journey is inspiring. It’s not easy guys, but she’s super dedicated.

My brother has some new jams he just shared.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Tumblr is amazing. I need to go to all these places.