Monday, January 31, 2011

Starcraft II

My husband has always been a fan of video games. I am not complaining at ALL however because I would rate his actual USE of said video games on a 3 on a scale of 1-10. I know so many women who constantly complain because their husbands are surgically attached to their x-box/PlayStation 3/wii. Kyle, however, really only plays on the computer or the wii when I'm not home/doing something else. I know i'm a very lucky girl!

He likes playing on the computer and he would always tell me about this game, Starcraft which he loved and I should try it yadda yadda. Well about 6 months ago we were in Target and he saw Starcraft II on the shelf and was like "Oh WOW they finally released the second one this is SO COOL" and so on. Did he purchase it? After I practically begged him to? no. The guy never buys himself ANYTHING. It really bothers me, so much so that I need to overspend on myself to make up for it (just kidding.....maybe)

So anyway when he was at sea for a month back in October, I bought Starcraft II for him as a welcome home present, which probably wasn't the best idea because I didn't see much of him for the first week after he installed it (which in case you're wondering was NOT the first week he was home haha) Again and again he asked me to play it with him, to try it, and last week I finally conceded

Now I'm addicted. Darn you Kyle!! 

Starcraft II is an RPG (role playing game) which is basically a war-type strategy game with each mission (level) being a different map in which you have to complete a task/destroy an enemy base etc. The game involves quite a bit of stragety because you have to build an army, but in order to increase your man power you have to train them, to train them you have to have funds, to get the funds you have to harvest minerals and gas, to do that you have to deploy special robots to do the harvesting and so on. It becomes quite difficult when you have to think about how many marines you need vs. how many supply depots you have vs. how much crystal you have harvested. I do really like playing and Kyle has enjoys watching me play and helping me out.

Here is a trailer video for Starcraft II. Blizzard is the same company that makes WOW (world of warcraft) and before you even ask, no, I don't let Kyle go near that. (we've both tried it *I KNOW* and it's waaaaayyyy too involved for us)

have any of you guys bonded over something that your man was interested in and actually ended up liking it as much as him?

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Friday Rundown

So I was thinking that each week I could check in with you guys and let you know how my 1/2 Marathon Training is going...I'm calling this my first "official" week of running. Even though I ran a couple of times last week I wasn't really "trying" i.e. I was walking WAY too much.

Week 1: Jan 23rd-Jan 30th
1/2 Marathon Training Kick-off: March 13th 2011 (44 days to go!)

Run 1 - Sunday
            Home course (1.2 mile laps around apartment complex)
            3.12 miles          

Run 2 - Tuesday
             Home course (1.2 mile laps around apartment complex)
             3.4 miles

Run 3 - Wednsday
             Home course (1.2 mile laps around apartment complex)
             4.03 miles

Run 4 - Thursday
             Home course (1.2 mile laps around apartment complex)
             2 miles

Run 5 - Friday
             Home course (1.2 mile laps around apartment complex)
             2.5 miles

Done for the week, working tomorrow so no running for me!

High for the week: Today's run was an easy 2.5 miles with NO WALKING!!
What I can do better: Improve my 10:30 mile average (slow poke!!)

Weekly Mileage 15.05! Wait, did I just say that? Me? run 15 miles in a week!? THAT'S AWESOME!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two years (and two days)

Two years (and two days) ago I married my best friend

I didn't think life could get any better....

it did.

Sara & Kyle's Wedding 1/24/2009 from Sara F on Vimeo.

Kyle, you're the best husband and the greatest friend a girl could ever have. I can't wait to have more adventures with you. I love you. Happy anniversary...

p.s. 4 miles today! HELL YEAH!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Years

Road Runner Sports: Shoe Dog

So today I was on call, but my phone never rang!!! Yay! These days are so rare that when they actually do happen I need to get out there and take full advantage. I went for a 3.5 mile run this morning longest one yet since I started back up again. I left about 1 hour earlier than I usually do which actually made the run a lot more comfortable since the sun wasn't right ontop of me in *bake* mode; because of that I was actually able to go 1.5 miles straight before I had to take a short walk break. Gotta keep going. I need to be in good shape when I kick off 1/2 marathon training March 13th!!!!!

Thanks you guys so much for the positive feedback on my photos. I really appretiate the support. I have been having fun tweaking my images using Photoshop Lightroom and I have already registered for another event in February! I even got some compliments on the website album from the other photographers! **faint**. This is just. so. cool. 

But anyway the point of this whole post anyway was to tell you guys about the experience I had today at Road Runner Sports. I had never been to one of these stores before but since I am going to be running pretty much non-stop for the next 5 months I wanted to check them out to get some new clothes and maybe a second pair of shoes. This place is SO COOL. They have this program called shoe dog which takes about 10 minutes but custom fits you to the ideal type of shoe to your feet. I learned more about my feet today then I have in the last 24 years I've been alive! It's really impressive/informative. As a person who is on their feet 12 hours a day at the hospital, then running on top of it, I believe that you really should invest $$ in your feet. So did I get a new pair of shoes there? No

The ones I wanted are on backorder =)

Here's a quick video on Shoe Dog and how it works. Any of you guys ever tried this?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Miramar Air Museum Shoot

I had SUCH A GREAT time at my first model shoot with Pro-am Photographers and Models on Saturday. There was quite a large group there, about 30 photogs, all from different walks of life and skill levels. I consider myself a very "green" photographer, and I have to say I was pretty star-struck by all the semi-pro and pro photographers that were there with all their gear and reflectors and lights. I hope I didn't look like too much of a groupie following around all the pro photogs like a little puppy dog.

Even though my photos are no where near as good as most of the other photogs that were there, I am still really proud of what I did and It makes me even more motivated to get better. If this is where I am now, I can't wait to see where I am in 2-3 years.

Here is a peek at some of my shots.

Not too bad for my first time out eh?

Running recap: 3 miles today, 8 miles total this week 

Friday, January 21, 2011


So I forget if this ever came up in a previous post this week but my cat Alex went into surgery today. He has had history of kidney stones which block in his urethra and prevent him from urinating. If he becomes blocked completely it can become life threatening rather quickly. It happened for the first time about two years ago and back then the Vet said that surgery will probably have to happen at some point to widen his urethra. When we got back from Disney he had another partial blockage, apparently heavy stress can cause him to block. So we have to decide; never go on vacation ever again, or pay for the surgery.

He had the procedure today, all is well and Alex is doing fine. Poor guy has on the cone of shame to protect his sutures. He has to wear it for three whole weeks, poor guy. He'll be ok. He just got another dose of pain medication, right now EVERYTHING is hunky-dory with him!

p.s. tomorrow is my first Model Photo Shoot, more on that tomorrow!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm committed

I registered today for the 1/2 marathon in June

I am really excited

I am really terrified

I am committed to doing this

Either I am committed or because of this I will end up being comitted, I guess we'll see in a few months...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WDW Lines Review

I wanted to write a little post explaining how Lines work. WDW Lines is the iphone app that allowed up to stay one step ahead of the crowds while we were in Orlando.

Please forgive the excessive use of iphone screenshots. I just learned how to do it and the novelty hasn't worn off yet.

Here is my iphone home screen,

There is the App!

Tapping the App will open this homescreen

You can see on the homescreen that the current time for Orlando is on top. Each WDW Park is listed with it's operating hours below the park name. To the right is current status of the park, open or closed.

The second panel we used a lot to plan which park we went to on which day. The application is designed by the authors of  The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World who have 10 years of research and statistical analysis of the parks under their belt. They have estimated (fairly accurately I might add) the crowd levels for each park, each day, all year. This day the estimated crowd levels are 6/10, and statistics show that the best park to tour is Epcot, and the worst parks to tour are The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

Have I blown your mind yet? Wait there's more!!

Above is what happens when I tap on Epcot Park. There is a list of all the attractions in Epcot with the wait times for each one. If the attraction offers FastPass, the return time is listed. For each show, the next occuring showtime is listed with the number of shows left that day. The wait times in blue are again estimates taken from the authors, which change throughout the day as the crowd levels change. Even though these are only predicitions they were pretty spot on during our touring.  As you can see on the first screenshot the wait time for Circle of life is 6 min the firework show illumiNations is at 9:00.

The second screenshot is scrolled down to the S's. Say I am standing in the park right in front of Soarin' and the wait time posted in 45min. Now the app says 48min, I know that's only slightly off but I can update that to a more accurate wait time.

Here you can see when I tap of the name of the ride I can adjust the wait time to the actual posted time of 45min. I know AMAZING!!!

I tell everyone that I am not type-A about anything in my life, except Disney World. I tell you when I found out just how awesome this app was, my heart sang. If you are planning on touring disney and have an iphone, you would be crazy not to download this.

There is a subscription fee of $10 which is waved if you have purchased the book The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2011  but even if you don't buy the book in my opinion the $10 is worth it (you'll pay just as much for a churro and a can of coke at the Magic Kindom)

 I hope you like my mini-app review. Sorry again about all the screen shots!

*I am getting no reimbursement whatsoever for this fantastic review. I just wanted to share the love!*

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back Home again.

So we flew home today and after a small delay we landed in San Diego around 1900. Thankfully our friends we right there to pick us up and we got home around 1940. I was so tired and ready to just collapse with the unique exhaustion that can only come from a fantastic vacation.

Too bad the cat peed all over our bean bag chair and we had to throw out all the foam in it as soon as we got home, thanks Alex!

Tomorrow we have to pick up my car and get back into the normal routine of life, then back to work Thursday (NOOOOOOOO)

Even though Disney was so amazing and it was so nice to see Kyle's family, there's no place like home!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day Six: DHS Second Attempt

Today we got up early in our attempt to get to the parks on time and take full advantage of the fact that we didn’t have to deal with the marathon crowds. We immediately went through the turnstiles and headed for Pixar Place to get on Toy Story Midway Mania. We made sure to get on this ride first because the day before we saw on our phone that the wait at 10am (1 hour after park opening) was over an hour. YIKES!.

After riding we all enjoyed it so much we immediately got FASTPASSES to ride it again later. It was SO MUCH FUN! The afternoon was a little rainy (thanks tiny-tiny totes umbrella for keeping me dry!) but we got around to see all that we wanted to see by around 3pm.

Since it was out last night in Disney Kyle’s parents wanted to go out with a bang and have dinner at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The restaurant in question, Citricos was probably the best food I have eaten since my honeymoon. I had duck ravioli to start, and braised grouper fish with shrimp and scallops for dinner. Oh man, it was heavenly. If your pockets are deep and you want to eat like a King at Disney, go to this place PLEASE!

While we were eating dessert (lemon cheesecake with fresh pressed organic coffee) we could see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the windows at the far end of the dining room. Talk about Disney Magic. I had such a good time with my in-laws and I hope that we can go on vacation again soon with them!

I can’t believe the week is over!

Favorite Ride: Toy Story Midway mania. Any arcade style game where I can beat my husband and my brother-in-law is OK in my book, sorry Joel!

Tomorrow: flying home :-(

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day Five: DHS - um, just kidding!

The full marathon was today, all 26.2 miles made for a lot of crowding at the parks. The night before we decided to sleep in for an hour and try to make it to the parks around 10:00 instead of getting there for opening like we had done earlier. What a mistake that was!!

The marathon had all of the major traffic diverted and it took us almost an hour from the time we left to the time we finally arrived at DHS. When we actually got in line to get into the park the waits for all the major attractions were almost an hour? How
Do I know this? Well before we left for Disney I downloaded an app called WDW lines which gives us real time updates on all the wait times for all the rides in each park. Let me tell you it came in handy more than once.

So anyway we are waiting in line ready to suffer through agonizing long lines when my brilliant sister-in-law pipes up and says, "you know, we could always do this tomorrow?" We all immediately agreed and back on the bus we went We had a fantastic lunch at a sandwich place in downtown Disney and then spent most of the afternoon shopping, and most importantly, relaxing! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day Four: Animal Kingdom

Fatigue is really starting to set in now. People never realize how much energy is expended during a Disney vacation. Miles of walking combined with several early mornings usually results in total exhaustion. Today we were planning on heading down to the animal kingdom but our transit there was a little delayed due to the Disney Marathon happening this weekend. The half marathon, 13.1 miles on Saturday and the full 26.2 on Sunday. The route for the runners cut through most of the main roads on the Disney property, which resulted in a major delay getting to the park.

Fortunately for us once we got there we pretty much walked on everything. The park was pretty empty so that made for quite the enjoyable day. They have a new roller coaster called Expedition Everest. One word there. WOW! The tracks change twice so you go forwards/then backwards then forwards again. I can safely say that that is my most favorite ride there so far

Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest: hands down
Tomorrow: Disney's Hollywood Studios BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day Three: Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Today we decided to break from Disney and head over to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Ever since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened last year I have been anxious to see it with my own eyes. We again set off early and were at the park shortly after opening. We immediately went over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to avoid lines. Apparently everyone in the park had the same idea and when we got back there we were met with HUGE amounts of crowds. The main Harry Potter ride in that area has it's queue throughout Hogwarts castle, which was pretty amazing. The replica of the castle, although built to scale, is very realistic and true to what you see in the movies. I was told prior to coming here that the set design team from the movies and even J.K. Rowling herself were instrumental in the design of the park. It certainly shows when you are there.

The back view of Hogwarts Castle

Although the Harry Potter area is magical and a real treat of an experience, Universal did make some pretty large mistakes during construction. For one, there are certain rides that require that you stow your purses and backpacks In lockers when you enter the attraction, then pick them up when you exit. Doing this requires that people entering and exiting the ride are all milling around in a small (emphasis on SMALL) common area, making you literally fighting for two feet of space. I felt like I was at a huge rock concert. Not exactly low stress, but more on that later.

The day was another long one, but incredibly fun. I got to taste butterbeer which is kind of like a cream soda concoction with a caramel topping.

The village of Hogsmede

There are several other lands in Universal Islands of Adventure including a Dr. Suss land and a Superhero land. The rides were really cool and the atmosphere fun and enjoyable but the parked lacked the special charm and whimsy that is always present at Disney, and that I have come to expect from other parks, but never get. That's why it's called Disney Magic I guess!

Favorite Ride: The Incredible Hulk, classic coaster, scream you head off. Fabulous!

Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day Two: Epcot

Today we went to EPCOT and I think that my in-laws enjoyed that park best so far (I know we've only been to two but still). We started out the morning very much like the day before, small breakfast in the room, hop on the bus to the TTC, monorail to EPCOT. We spent most of the morning riding the rides around FutureWorld including Soarin', Test Track and Mission Space. Mission Space was Kyle's favorite. The ride is a simulated journey to mars complete with blastoff, hypersleep and a fast paced maneuvering out of a meteor field. The ride is suprisingly realistic, using a large centrifuge to simulate the force felt during blastoff. Each "cockpit" holds four people and everyone is given specific tasks during the ride. Buttons on the console in front of you correspond to different jobs and when prompted you push the buttons to make different things happen. I nearly forgot to deploy our shields when we were in the metior field, thanks Kyle!

After that we went over to World Showcase to walk around and eat lunch. We went to eat in Germany at the biergarden and had DELICIOUS German food. We broke up the day after the meal by heading back to the hotel for a nap. After a few hours of resting up we went back to EPCOT for the fireworks show. All in all another fantastic day at the park

My brother-in-law in front of Spaceship Earth

Favorite Ride: Mission Space. Incredibly real, when the shields are deployed on time!

Tomorrow: Universal Studios Islands of Adventure BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day One: Magic Kingdom

Today we woke up bright and early to make it to the park when they opened at 9am. We had a light breakfast in the room and were able to hop on the bus at 8 to go to the transportation and ticket center. The TTC is kind of like grand central for Disney and from there you can catch trams, ferries, buses and of course the Disney Monorail. We took the monorail to the magic kingdom and was there for the opening dance number when they opened the park.

We went right over to Tomorrowland and got on Space Mountain, then we got right on the next ride, and the next one. The crowds were not bad at all. We spent all day leisurely touring the park, riding rides and having a great time.

Favorite ride of the day: Space Mountain. Classic Disney. An oldie but definitely a goodie

Tomorrow: Epcot.
BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

To Florida We Go!

We arrived in Orlando around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. We had a fairly uneventful flight which was broken up quite nicely with a short 45 min layover in St. Louis. When your flying from one end of the country to the other it's always good to have a little break worked in. We got a driver to come pick us up at the airport and take us to the hotel. I was very entertained by the fact that the driver was waiting for us at the baggage claim with the little sign with our last name on it.

We got to the hotel about 30 minutes after we left the airport and met up with Kyles family. His mom, dad, sister and brother were all able to come which is so great. My brother-in-law graduated last year from NYU acting school and spent the last six months traveling with a seasonal theater company. My sister-in-law is currently in her sophomore year of college studying English.

We dropped our bags and immediately went to downtown Disney for dinner. We had a great meal at a Irish Pub there then spend a few hours browsing in the shops. We spend the most time at the LEGO store! No, no my husband doesn't have a slight addiction to LEGO. No way...

My lovely in-laws + husband (I'm behind the camera)

Great start to an awesome week!!! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Resolution to forget resolutions

Every time I have thought about or made a New Year's Resolution it makes me feel a little depressed. I have a horrific track record with New Years Resolutions. I think last year was the first one I have ever completed in my entire life; last year I successfully completed the couch to 5-k running plan and after I was done, I kept running! I had discovered how much FUN running actually was (and still is). I believe the secret to my success was not "thinking" of it as a New Years resolution. It was a goal that I set for myself and accomplished.

This year my goal is all about my photography. For the last two years right after I picked up a camera I started dreaming about someday becoming a wedding and portrait photographer. I am really drawn to the idea of capturing real moments of people. At work I am constantly surrounded by people at their worst, they are suffering, sick and at their whits end. It would be nice to surround myself with positive moments in peoples lives; try to balance one extreme with the other you know?

I have the books, I have beginners equipment, I just need the practice!

So for the next year I have challenged myself to take major strides toward my dream of starting my own business. I have been stagnant on the edge of a cliff for the last 6 months. Now it's time to jump off and see if I can fly...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Nonni

     My Grandmother, god rest her soul, passed away this afternoon. She was a very wonderful woman, a strong matriarch of my father's family. She was not a perfect woman, but she was passionate about her family, about us and about life. She suffered from fairly progressive alzheimer's toward the end of her life and spent the last four years in a Nursing Home near where she lived in Connecticut. Her death was a peaceful one, and for that I am very grateful. She had no pain, my uncle was by her side and held her hand when she passed. In nursing school we are taught about death with dignity, and I believe that my Nonni's death was just that; a peaceful end to a wonderful life.

      Dealing with death is never easy. I myself have only dealt with one other death in my lifetime and that particular person I wasn't really attached to. People say that loss can be easier if you are a little more "detached." If it doesn't effect your day to day life sometimes coping can be easier. In truth I really didn't know how to handle this news. It came so suddenly. I felt like I was blindsided. I had no knowledge that she was slowing down. Living so far away can sometimes come back to haunt you when dealing with extended family - because of the distance I rarely saw Nonni during college and she was too weak to come to my wedding. I haven't really seen her in almost 6 years. Reflecting on all this when my husband told me the news (he spoke to my mother first because I was at work when this was all happening) I felt sad that I wasn't able to hug her again, to talk to her one last time, to tell her that I loved her.

   Even though I still feel a little confused and sad, I can think about Nonni and smile with joy and all of the happy memories we had together during my childhood. She was the woman who showed me how wonderful it is to cook, to create with food and share it with family. I remember watching her in the kitchen, she always made is seem so effortless! I really owe my love of cooking to her.

  She was never a religious woman and she didn't want a funeral. There will be a small memorial service to celebrate her life in the comming weeks; my family hasn't pinned down a date yet. Kyle and I are scheduled to fly to Florida Tuesday to go to Disney with my in-laws. I originally didn't want to go, I wanted to hop on a plane and get home to be with my parents, especially my dad. It was my Dad who told me that I should go, that I should cultivate a realtionship with all of my family and that there are more ways than physical support to be there for people. I haven't made a concrete decision yet but at least I know that my parents, especially my Dad, love me no matter what.

R.I.P Nonni. You were a wonderful woman and a great grandma!