High On A Mountain Top

Skiing has always been Jon’s thing. He grew up hitting the slopes with his family pretty regularly. I, on the other hand, can count on one hand the number of times I’ve skied during my adolescence. Most of those trips were courtesy of Girl Scouts and contained more socializing than actual skiing. Until I met Jon it had been years since I wrestled on ski boots, but since then we’ve made a concerted (although not entirely successful) effort to go skiing at least once every year.

Last Sunday was our first trip to the mountains in about two years and we were both itching to get back on the slopes. I won’t even pretend that my skiing skills are anywhere above beginner level, but after a few easy runs my muscle memory kicked in and I was feeling pretty good. I’m more of a slow and steady skier so I stuck to the greens and blues while Jon and the rest of the gang ventured to the terrifyingly steep (yep, I’m definitely a baby) black diamonds and terrain parks. We got in a good six hours at Blue Mountain (with a quick break for lunch at the overly crowded lodge) before calling it a day.

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After those six hours I was definitely ready to throw in the towel. Not only was I exhausted, but my hands and feet were freezing! Somehow, I manage to do a great job of keeping my body warm, but no matter what I do I can’t seem to keep my fingers and toes from going numb. This is always a problem for me, so I tried to prepare myself as much as possible with the right accessories.

  • Socks. You want a pair that’s warm but wicking. A great fabric for this is wool. You also don’t want to wear multiple pairs, though it might seem like a good idea. I bought a pair of Smart Wool and they definitely helped.
  • Gloves. This is where investing a bit more could go a long way. The gloves I own right now were $20 from Costco and they definitely aren’t doing the trick. For optimal warmth, mittens are definitely the way to go and they are next on my list of upgrades.
  • Hand and foot warmers. Disposable hand and foot warmers can definitely help. Though, the hand warmers didn’t quite do the trick for me. They did a great job of keeping my palm warm but my fingers were still ice cold.
  • Neck warmer. A scarf could easily work in this case, but I hate all the extra bulk or pieces hanging down. This is where a neck warmer definitely comes in handy. I purchased a basic Turtle Fur neck warmer and it was a life saver.

Of course, proper snow pants, jacket, hat and plenty of layers (both wicking and insulating) are important too. It definitely makes skiing much more enjoyable (especially for this hater of the cold) if you know how to dress for the weather. I’m still working on finding the perfect fix for my perpetually cold fingers and toes, but I’m getting there.

All you skiers out there, any advice or cold weather accessories you can’t live without? I’m definitely up to trying new things.

¿Hablas Español?

This post was going to be all about our outing this past Sunday to the Wings game, but I realized that isn’t all that exciting to most of you. Sure, Jon and I had a great time and were able to cross something off our list, but it would have made for a super short post (and I totally forgot to take any pictures!). To sum it up: they lost in overtime to the Buffalo Bandits but I learned a whole lot about lacrosse in the process.

Instead, I thought I would talk about another goal of mine that I figured may be more appealing to anyone reading this and may even be a goal of yours too. I want to learn to speak Spanish. I took German for six years while I was in school and of course forgot every bit of it (aside from “Darf Ich auf die Toilette gehen?” or “May I go to the bathroom?”) because when on Earth do you have the opportunity to speak German on a regular basis? Spanish, on the other hand, the language I should have taken, is much more useful. So I’m making it my goal to learn more than the basics.

I didn’t want to shell out the big bucks for Rosetta Stone and did a little searching around the App Store to see what was available. I stumbled upon Duolingo while browsing through the featured Apps and was immediately eager to try it.

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So far I have been loving it! I try to get on it for at least a few minutes every day. The first couple skill sets have been very basic vocabulary but there are tons of lessons and I have barely even scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Aside from Spanish you can also choose to learn German, French, Italian, Portuguese and English. There is also a desktop site but I’ve only used the App at this point.

So if you’re looking to learn a new language or simply brush up on one you already know, give Duolingo a try. And if you do, don’t forget to add me (username samposen) as a friend!

You’re a wizard, Harry!

If you know me at all, then you understand my love for Harry Potter. I’ve read all the books. I’ve seen all the movies multiple times. I was happier than a camel on Wednesday when I finally got to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter . So when I heard about the Potted Potter from my friend Heather I knew we had to go. “All seven Harry Potter books in seventy hilarious minutes”? Of course it was going on the bucket list. We crossed it off last Sunday at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia and rounded it out with some pretty awesome sandwiches and fries at Good Dog Bar. The play was as hilarious as it claimed to be – I barely stopped laughing the entire seventy minutes. I’m a sucker for good crowd interaction and they definitely delivered in that department. I won’t give too much away for those of you who may want to go see it, which I highly recommend if you’re a Harry Potter fan (or even if you’ve just seen a few of the movies and have some sense of what it’s all about – it’s hilarious either way). Jon and I both had a great time and it was the perfect way to start off January.

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M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

This post has been put off for far too long. The holidays were a whirlwind and the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas flew by in a blur. Here we are, almost a month since our plane took off for Florida and I am just now sitting down to write this recap. Christmas at Disney was everything I hoped it would be (cliche as that may sound). This specific item on our bucket list was strictly my doing; Jon has already experienced the awesomeness of Disney World during the holidays, though I’m sure he would tell you this time around was just as magical. Our trip was a speedy four days of jamming in as many activities as possible. Rather than bore you with the details I’ll leave you with a quick highlight of some of our most memorable moments.

I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but overall it was an awesome (and tiring) trip. I needed a vacation for my vacation, but it was totally worth it.

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Let’s Start the New Year Right

After spending the days leading up to the new year in Virginia Beach, Jon and I are back home and trying to settle into our normal routine. We had a great holiday with friends and family but I think I speak for both of us when I say we are looking forward to the calm.

With the new year comes the inevitable desire to make some changes and be better than the person you were the year before. I always struggle with whether or not to bother with new year’s resolutions. Why wait until January 1st to start making changes? But truth be told, there is just something about the idea of a brand new year that ignites a spark in me to really go after those things I always talk about. I was feeling a little overwhelmed when I first sat down to create my list of goals for this year – there are just so many things I want to accomplish and I have really high hopes for 2014 – but I took a deep breath and just focused on five big areas I want to improve.

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1. Do more of what makes me happy. This resolution is two fold. First, I need to truly figure out what makes me happy. I tend to want to do everything and many times end up doing what other people think I should rather than what I really enjoy. I want to take the time to discover myself and what really puts a smile on my face, and then do more of it!

2. Be kind to my body. Every year I always make it a goal to lose X amount of weight, workout so many days per week, eat this, don’t eat that. Rather than end up with a bunch of unaccomplished goals I am simply going to do my best to treat my body right. This means eating healthy food a majority of the time but not worrying if I eat a few too many Reese’s peanut butter cups. This means moving my body as much as possible by doing things that I enjoy. This means getting more sleep. This means loving my body no mater what size it is.

3. Don’t let fear get in the way. There are so many things that I stop myself from doing out of fear. Fear of failing. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of looking silly. I need to stop being so afraid and just put myself out there. I’m going to fail. I’m going to disappoint people. But if I don’t just go for it I may never know what I’m really capable of.

4. Disconnect. I will be the first to admit that I am way to attached to my iPhone. I’m so worried about missing out on something that happened in the virtual world that I completely miss out on real life going on right in front of me. (And yes, the fact that I am saying this as a write a blog post is not lost on me.) This year I really want to focus on stepping away from the computer/iPhone/iPad and just being in the moment.

5. Stop comparing myself to others. I unfortunately find myself doing this way too often and it’s completely silly. She is so much more fashionable than me. He works out 7 days a week! Look at the amazing house they live in. Everyone’s situation is completely different and it is pointless to be caught up in the comparison game. I just have to worry about doing the best with what I have.

What are your 2014 resolutions?