Monday, September 29, 2008

The Smell of Leaves

At least 1 out of every 5 people will say that they have a love/hate relationship with Autumn because it means that summer is over in some parts of the country and winter (a harsh winter for some) is just around the corner. I live in one of those areas that has a not so mellow winter and yet, when the leaves begin to change and the air begins to smell like leaves and wood stoves burning, I just get a sense of calm.

This also my favorite time of year to run. I take advantage of the short time that I have with Autumn and I try to be outside as much as possible to take it all in. I usually go at night, when it is just about to get dark because that is when it is not too cold but not warm out either. The air does not chill my lungs when I breath in but I still need my long sleeve thermal when I head out the door. Now, even though I adore being outside during this time of year, I need to gush about the most incredible smell when I walk in my house.

No, it is not the smell of wet dogs or the smell of an almost gone plant that I forgot to water (readers, take note that I do not do well with plants, but I should get credit for trying.... all the time... although I should just give up and let the poor plants go to a better home). I digress, my absolute favorite smell when I walk in my door and up my stairs (I am taking a deep breath in right now)... is...

Pumpkin Pie from Yankee Candle

Ohh this smell just makes my home a home even when I do not feel like my home could ever come close to feeling cozy. This candle is a miracle worker! I do not have a fireplace, but I do not even care, because with this candle, I curl up on the couch with Whoops (AKA my fiance) and just snuggle. If you have not gotten this candle yet, now is the time to do it!! I also recommend burning 'Autumn Wreath' in a nearby room and then 'Harvest' in another. All of the scents melt together to form the ultimate fall smell right in your own home! Not to mention some of the candles can also be bought with 100% soy wax! Just a bonus for the eco-conscious.

So go ahead! Run baby run and then light up... a candle!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Sad Goodbye

After many many years, too many that I was not alive yet to see and too many that I missed because I was not in a family of baseball fans, Yankee Stadium said its final goodbye last night. No, it is not the end of a team because they are going across the way into a new stadium, but it is the final chapter of a life. A life that so many grand parents, great grand parents, fathers, daughters, sons and so on have shared in.

So long to the uncomfortable sits that we were all too happy to sit in for 9 or more innings. So long to the nose-bleed seats that made you feel like you could topple right over if you stood up too fast. So long to many home runs that will live in our memory. So long to the many winning plays over hundreds of years that have changed the game of baseball. So long to the physical presence of the stadium, but not to the memories we will all carry with us and pass on to our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews.

I am not mad or bitter, if anything I am sad, like so many other fans of not just the Yankees but fans of baseball. This was a stadium that was built by legends and we can only hope that the new stadium will continue with the character and love that this stadium poured out of it every single game.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Song for Today

What a Feeling by Heather Nova

Why is this song for today? Because I am feeling a little lost today. Yes, I went for a run. Yes, I played with my dogs... but I did not have any coffee and it is 1:30PM (perhaps that is why I am feeling a bit off).

I just think that it is absolutely normal in a person's life to wonder if the path they are on is the right path. I think if we did not wonder this, we would not acheive a higher level. A level we might not even know exists until we are standing in front of it.

I needed this song today, I knew it was the right song. This song speaks to me that even though there is this sense of floating around a bit, that I am still here. Any song that can speak through the words and the melody that is unique to the individual is worth listening to.

Love versus 2008

Does love at first site exist? Or is it impossible and only lust at first site given the fact that two people who first meet do not know anything about one another other than what is on the outside. This may seem juvenile, but I have always believed in love at first site. I believe that one person can connect with another person with no words at all. I believe that two people who do not know one another and who have never met can feel one another moving in another room.

I also believe that the world that we live in today has caused us to loose site of love all together let alone love at first site. It seems that some are far too worried about things that seem so insignificant when compared to love. Such things as money, a BMW, a McMansion and having the newest technology. We have so many 'things' in our life now that love seems to take a backseat and is no longer a presence but instead just an object.

I had the opportunity to see two people meet for the first time and have a connection that even I was beginning to question. This connection is something that people who have been together for years might not even have the chance to experience. My point of this post is to bring the love back. That person sitting in the chair next to you, they are not your fiancé, your lover or your spouse. That person is your love at first site, there is a connection there that may be buried so deep given everything we deal with every single day, but it is still there. The iPod, the xBox, and the good book you cannot seem to put down and even the trips to the gym or going for a long run. Nothing should take priority over knowing that you have that one person in your life that gets you. Whether you have known them for 20 minutes or seven years, they get you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scoot My Way

My fiance was watching one of our favorite shows (Top Gear) and there was a little blurb on this company in the U.K. known as ScooterMAN.

What an insane concept to have this company which has been created to act as a safe ride of sorts. A person can go out and about town and call this company, either beforehand or as the night is winding down, to come get them. ScooterMAN arrives on.. yes a scooter, that folds up, they place it in your car and drive you home. Then they get back to work hoping all around town making sure people do not drink and drive.

Check it out! Perhaps there is an application for such a company in the United States such as San Diego or San Francisco to start out. Cabs are not as overpowering as they are in New York and Los Angeles in those two areas and there is a still a pretty heavy nightlife scene. Just some food for thought.

Trading in My Running Sneakers

Just for the evening, as I decided to subject myself to a cardio-kickboxing class at my gym. It is interesting how you think you are in the best shape of your life and then you decide to take a class that works muscles you never knew existed. That is exactly what happened to me tonight.

There were weights, there was an evil step and then there were squats... so many squats.. and then there were squats with weights. I thought my legs were strong until I did about 100 squats and now my legs are jello. I think it is good that my legs feel this way, that my abs feel like they are going to burst like a can of soda which has been shaken up and I suppose it is good that my face is still flushed even an hour after the class and after a warm shower.

All in all, a successful class. I did not pass out, I lasted the entire class and I feel pretty energized. Now it is time to calm it down a bit so I can eventually get to sleep. The only down fall to taking a high-energy class like kickboxing so late at night, is the wind down period. Which brings me to my question for all.

Whether you run, hike, walk or take kickboxing.. do you prefer to work out at night, in the morning, or (if you are one of the lucky ones) in the middle of the day. Do you notice a difference in your energy levels or mood depending on when you work out?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'll Take One of Those Please

Today was registry day. Only after I went for a run though to prepare myself for several hours of mall time with my fiancé who I can tell you would rather be anywhere but the mall... especially on a Saturday. After I pried him away from his xBox addiction, we were off on our little adventure.

First stop, Williams-Sonoma.

All the choices, all the colors, all the fun gadgets to cook with even though I do not cook. It was like being in a candy store and not knowing what any of the candy tastes like because I have never had any before. Therefore, I had no idea where to begin. Good thing I have my fiancé with me and of course he knew where to start.. the knives.

Of Course! Who ever thought there would be so many different kinds with different weights and now even different colored handles (I loved the white) but since that was my only input I did not get a say. I did want to registered for the Margaritaville machine and anyone who does not have this or has not heard of this needs to at least check it out because it is a must have! After a couple hours, I knew I was getting tired because I just started using the scanning gun on cookbooks.

So off we went.... to lunch so I could reenergize myself and then we decided to leave. As we were making our way towards the exit door in Macy's, my fiancé veered right and before I knew it, we were on the third floor. 'We' just wanted to take a quick look around at the glassware and flatware, just to see what the options were. Next thing I knew I was filling out a registry and we were off to the registry races again. Tired and weary I still found energy to swing that little scanner gun around like it was nobody's business! From little dirt devils to the most amazing cupcake carrier, I was on fire with that thing! After my fiancé scanned a deep fryer though, that is when I knew it was time to call it a day before things got too silly.

I do have a point to this blog though (as you can tell from my Margaritaville link), and that is that for anyone and everyone registering for their wedding may want to do the following:

1. Decide ahead of time what you need and what you want so you are not aimlessly wondering around a store for the better part of a day. As much fun as it sounds, it is very draining so carry a food with you just in the case of a snack attack.

2. If you register at Williams-Sonoma (which is amazing choice), maybe offer other places on the registry that have spoons for less than $18 a pop.

3. Don't piss off the people trying to help you or else they may put random things on your registry and delete the things you actually wanted (I am not sure about this, but I have a theory so be nice anyway).

4. And finally, remember, this is your registry and you are making a wish list for other people to get you these wonderful gifts to celebrate your day so please do not complain about having to take the time to do it! Just be prepared and be grateful and know that it only (for some people) happens once.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Uniqueness of it All

How can we find our own uniqueness with regard to launching a new business, writing a novel or designing a new fashion when it seems like every idea is already taken within the 5 minutes that it is thought of.

Let's take the following into consideration:

a. World population is over 6 billion
b. Go global or go home
c. Stay 20 steps ahead of everyone else

There is a lot of competition and it is not just in the surrounding cities. In order to keep the uniqueness, a brand needs to find its niche. Although it may seem like every fantastic, money-making idea is already taken, it is only the beginning. If there is an idea that a person has, it may already exist, so add an option to that idea or tweak it in a manner that makes it unique yet still valuable to your demographic.

Let's take for example this website that I was made aware of:

Another blog I was reading, , made note of this and I thought I would check it out. My first impression, I though iPhone. It reminded me of the map application on the iPhone, but a little more 'in-depth'. Then I thought to myself, but I do not have an iPhone, so this is actually extremely useful and cool! I even told a couple people about it and it seems to get the same reaction but it is still generating buzz.

The point is, not every idea is taken, but if an idea never gets a chance to be created or tweaked based on your vision, then you will never know. Instead of putting down all the commercials, product placements and articles on the hottest products to hit the market, use those as a launching point for your own ideas and let the brainstorming begin!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Own Your Run

I have been exercising as long as I can remember. Whether it was running, walking, yoga, pilates or trying to play a sport, I attempt to stay as active as possible. We all go through those moments in our life where we either reach for something to help us through or we fall apart. I reached for running.

Running is how I decompress, destress and how I allow myself to just be. Instead of thinking about what happened during the day, what to have for dinner or what bills to pay, I am simply thinking about putting one foot in front of the other.

When I saw the New Balance Love/Hate commercials, this campaign was the marketing miracle that would pull even a person who has never pounded pavement before out of bed at 5AM. Pure and perfect genius in my perspective. After all, how many of us have tried to break up with running or have just simply ignored it like a bad pickup line?

Forgetting to run or just not wanting to is so easy to do until you build that connection with it. Until you see that running can actually be your time, your space and your moment. Those little goals of going a little bit further every single time are yours and no one else’s. You own that time when there is no one around you and the air you breathe in is your own.

Own your run!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A New Demographic?

Who is the luxury market? Is it the tweenagers in Jimmy Choo shoes or the 28 year old power person who can organize their house, run a company and travel from New York to LA all without missing a message on his or her iPhone?

It seems that the day of age brackets equaling what a person may shop for, where they might stay or what kind of car they might drive is obsolete and has been for some time.

The line between business person, socialite and trust fund teenagers has been blurred and it might actually be possible to take one product and make it just that appealing. Is this blurred perception a new demographic that should be recognized and marketed too as if they are all within the same age bracket, live in the same area and have the same spending habits? One may be able to assume that this might already be the case but witness of an intern carrying and Hermes bag.

Perhaps the luxury market which once encompassed Louis Vuitton is now stretching even further to reach past the luxury products of yesterday. Perhaps the word luxury is not luxurious enough given the saturation of ‘luxury’ items that are now in everyone’s hands from little sisters to grandmothers.

Could we be entering a time, regardless of the current economy, of the super selects who up the ante and step outside the typical spending habits of the luxury demographic?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What Do You Mean I said 'Yes'?

I am going to offer a little bit of insight into the mind of women. If you are not aware of this already, I can only image the fights that have erupted because of the lack of knowledge or recognition.

I am not going to speak on behalf of all women, but I will have to say about 50% have been guilty of this and 99.9% of those 50% are aware that they do it and continue to do it, I am one of those.

No matter the time, place, date or situation (in most cases), if you (A.K.A. husband, boyfriend, fiancé and/or lover) implies that you are going out and we (A.K.A wife, girlfriend, fiancé and/or lover) say any of the following:

1. I don't care
2. Do what you want
3. If you have to
4. If you feel you need to

Or there is no response at all just the stink eye... this actually means:


Pure and simple, although we do whatever we can to make it as complicated as possible. The burning question... Why can't we just say what we mean?

Well, some do, some won't and some would rather do it this way. It is different for all women and the reason why is different for all as well. My personal view on why we do not just come right out and say it is that we do not want to be perceived as one of the following:

1. Your mother
2. The strict teacher
3. The bitch
4. The bitch all of your friends hate and they talk you into hating (Because let us be honest, you would rather blame your significant other on not being able to go out then getting your balls beat by 'the boys')

Trust me when I say that no matter what, there is a reason we are asking you in a not so obvious way not to go out. Perhaps it is abandonment issues, perhaps we just want the company even if we are both doing two separate things or perhaps it is just knowing that you had the opportunity to go out and you chose to stay in.

It is very clear to see when the above is occurring and for those who are oblivious, I will break it down. The following begins as soon as you say you are going out:

1. Body stiffens
2. Head begins to move slightly up and down
3. Possible huff or a laugh that indicates and 'I knew it' moment
4. Lips purse
5. Hands go on hips or fold
6. No eye contact is made
7. When words are spoken they are short and are covered with disdain

And if you move forward and take the words that we say with regard to this literally even after reading this, then you love the drama and the fights and that is an entirely different topic.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let Me Introduce My House

Let me just say that ‘we’ thought ‘we’ could do it ‘ourselves’ and ‘we’ decided to hire someone to take over the job.

In a house that needs to be completely remodeled inside and out (think 1970’s with wood paneling… EVERYWHERE) we have one bathroom almost done and sheetrock up and painted in the master bedroom, hallway and living room with another bathroom being ripped apart as I write this. Our contractor came into handle the trim and moulding in those rooms noted above; however, one unexpected fun piece of information we learned was that because of the width difference from going from paneling to sheetrock… we cannot just slap some trim up we actually have to order all new doors and casings.

I swear to you, at that very moment when he told me this…. my 5’1” frame stiffened up and I thought elephants decided to make their home on my chest. So, good times as always with this little fixer-upper… we are now ordering new interior doors.

And that is only a tidbit of why I run, exercise, sleep and take a train to crazy town as often as I do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2 girls and a cat

One Year, Two Months and Eleven Days

Before I began to write this, I asked myself “who would actually be interested in reading this?” Then I thought to myself, any person who has gone through, may go through or is going through all of the events that have occupied every inch of my life to date. So I simply began typing not only as a way to share my adventures with others but also as a way to try to remain sane as the process unfolds of all the tasks that encompass planning a wedding and remodeling a house.

Every day, thus far, during the process has included laughter, sadness, frustration, determination and an “I can do it by myself” along with an “I can’t do it by myself” attitude with the topping on the cake being an unbelievable amount of love and support that you never really appreciate until it is put to the test.

BUT before I jump right into it, I think it is only fair to take a step back. It is important to know how this all started in order to understand the events that are forthcoming. First off, my name is Jess and I am 28 years of age. I met my fiance when I was 19 and we were friends before we started to date and upon dating, I moved in with him almost immediately. Four years later, we purchased our first home {also known as the “fixer-upper”} and two years preceding that, the 'question' was popped and I mark that moment as the happiest day of my life.

I am an avid runner and self proclaimed klutz. My motto is the old adverb that anything that can go wrong will…however, if you try to find humor in it all along with perhaps a zanax and a little concealer for the dark circles, it will all be okay. The above noted may not seem like much information to go off of, but trust me, there will be enough said in future blogs that will make you feel like you just married me!

I leave on this note, planning a wedding is supposed to be fun, but I am sure who ever said that was not redoing their home, working full time, going to school full time AND trying to fit in a daily run and maybe even some snuzzle time.