Posted in life

2017…another year in the books

2017 has reminded me just how grateful I should be, how thankful I am for the amazing people in my life and how blessed I am to live this life I have!

I’m not going to lie, 2017 started out as a rough year. 40 days in, my life changed forever. Dealing with my mom’s passing was rough, and I really thought it was going to define the year. While I am sure I will always remember that as the most influential part of my 2017, I have been blessed with a multitude of other experiences to make this year enjoyable in the days since. Here are my top 17 highlights from 2017:

  1. Monroe got a new yoga studio – Blue Lotus Yoga, opened by a dear friend of mine who has entrusted me with help her with her social media and website, and all the while it has only made Elaina and me better friends.
  2. My friend Mary came to visit from down south just to keep me company and be with me for a tough weekend. While it was a short visit, it is one I will always remember as she but her own life on hold for the weekend to be there for me at the drop of a hat.
  3. I got my 3rd tattoo – it’s my mom’s handwriting and says “Love, Mom”, taken off the Christmas card she wrote me last year.
  4. Tom and I went to see Jake Owen in concert! (I have to get at least one country concert in each year.)
  5. Once I finally had a chance to leave home for a bit, I visited Jenna and saw Oregon and Washington for my first time! We went beer tasting around Portland (along with whiskey and wine tasting) and even had a flight across the gorge in Washington! I was also able to see Mulnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge before they were hit with a devastating wild fire. Also, while in Portland, Jenna took me to my very first professional soccer game – and I will admit that I loved it!
  6. I spent Mother’s Day weekend in DC with Emily – wine tasting around Virginia and taking in another Nationals game.
  7. I completed my 2nd Warrior Dash with some awesome ladies from my softball team.
  8. I got a dirt bike!!!
  9. Spent Labor Day up on Cape Cod with Tom, Jenna and her family to wish her farewell before her next chapter of life and adventures in Cambodia! And since it was me and Jenna, rum, gin and wine tasting were all on the menu! Along with a 20+ mile bike ride on the rail trail. And we even caught a sight of seals off the coast in Provincetown.
  10. Finally took in a Bridgeport Bluefish game at Harbor Yard before they left town for good.
  11. And even though Hurricane Irma rained out the Tampa 2017 installment of #ktomandlamargotimlbtour, we booked a last minute trip to Cleveland where we saw the Indians win 21 straight games (and then break their win streak two days later). Plus we saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and cruised on the Great Lake to see a different side of Cleveland.
  12. I finally made it to Canada thanks to a work trip to Montreal. And though I didn’t have time for sightseeing, there was time to pick up pure Canadian maple syrup to bring home! Work also sent me to Atlanta, so I finally stepped foot outside the airport. And was able to experience some southern BBQ while we dined. My final work trip sent me to Torino, Italy for a week. And included a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt, which gave me ample time to go walk around the city instead of just hanging out in the airport.
  13. After wanting to learn for a long time, I dove in and took a calligraphy class at Joyful Noise Paper and have been enjoying practicing my new hobby ever since.
  14. I spent November writing my 30 Days of Thanks and looking back on all of the blessings I have in my life.
  15. I was elected chair of Monroe Youth Commission.
  16. I survived 3 straight days of Christmas baking – making 100 raspberry thumprints + 121 chocolate chip cookies + 3 Irish soda breads + 81 meringues + 45 chocolate covered pretzels…all for the weekend before Christmas. And that doesn’t include anything I made for Christmas itself, which we hosted for the 1st time this year.
  17. The Gotimer family grew again as Lizzie and Brian got married!
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Posted in 30 Days of Thanks

Day 28 – Frankfurt

I am thankful for a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt. While 7 hours is normally considered a long layover and most peacocks wouldn’t want it, I was pleased to have a long enough layover to leave the airport and explore the city of Frankfurt. Now, I didn’t have enough time to fully explore, but I had enough time to explore an area around Hauptwache. The reviews I read before going told me there would be new and old architecture and lots of stores, so I figured a great place for a tourist. Now I know starting my layover at 5:30AM was a bit early for shops, I didn’t want to go shopping, rather walk around and take in the sights (plus put my camera to good use), but what I didn’t expect was the entire area to be quiet, nothing open, but the alleys filled with Christmas markets (though they were closed, I was able to experience the decorations all over the area). While I would love to make it back to Germany again, I’m glad I finally made it, even if for a brief visit!

Posted in TNGG

What are Your Guilty Plea$ure$

As originally posted here on TNGG…

Unfortunately, our party lifestyle, coupled with a bad economy, has given more than just the New York Times the idea that our generation has yet to “grow up.” One undisputed Gen Y talent is spending money; turns out a few of us actually have some! Even after rent and college loan payments, we still have a couple pennies to scrape together for ‘disposable income’ and we’re just dying to go out and spend it. So without further ado, I give you the coveted guilty pleasures Gen Y just can’t live without:

Booze — All of us are either still in college, or recent grads who aren’t quite ready to give up the college lifestyle. Whether you’re a wine snob or a beer geek, you spend your money on booze. When an old friend is in town on a business trip, we don’t offer to take them on a tour of our home city, we suggest drinks. It’s a work night? Who cares? There’s a happy hour special at the bar around the corner. You’ll be here for the weekend? Well then, obviously we’ll need to go hit up the best new club in town and then it’s off to the karaoke bar before we head home (or to breakfast!).

Coffee — Whether you’re a Dunkin Devotee, Starbucks Siren or Tim Hortons is your morning kickstart, we love our coffee and we need the caffeine to get us through the work day after we were out the night before — caffeine is our legal drug of choice. (Have you seen the answers to the “10 Questions for…” series on TNGG? Almost everyone lists coffee as something they can’t live without.) We rely on coffee. Our bosses better not ask us to start a project before our first latte (better make it a double!).

Drugs — Hello, have you met a Millennial lately? Our mantra is, “It’s my life; I can do what I want!” This holds true for the drugs that we do, and when we’re stressed out because that cup of coffee didn’t come soon enough, they help calm us down. Prescription drugs are readily accessible, we know this and we take advantage of it.

Technology — A force that has always been a part of our live. We have netbooks, laptops, iPods and e-readers in addition to our BBFL smartphones. We depend on technology to give us immediate answers to everything. We are addicted and we don’t even care. If they’re not in our hands, they are attached to our hips (literally!) or securely tucked in a back pocket. They accompany us every time we stand up from our desk because we can’t delay in replying to the latest person who tweeted at us. My biggest fear of losing my purse in the city is not my wallet (it’s not like we carry cash on us anymore — debit cards and my work ID are easily replaceable), it’s that I will lose so many things I don’t know how I could live without (iPod/iPhone). Like everyone else, I don’t have the patience to sit still for that long with nothing to do. And how could I possibly last a week without social media these days?

Vacations/Getaways — many of us still live at home and no one wants to be home in their house with their parents all the time. We went away to college and then our friends who used to live within walking distance dispersed all over the world. We value our leisure time and we’re traveling more than the older generations. We are still grasping at our dreams — when we were little, our parents told us when we got bigger, we’d have the whole world at our hands. Now that we’re all grown up, we want to travel the world. Maybe we can’t all go backpack through Europe because we’ve got those pesky student loans and rent payments on our shoulders every month, but one thing full-time jobs come with is paid vacation time and we take advantage of every single day available to us.

Spending money on our guilty pleasures helps keep us sane and appeases our addictions — because face it, that’s what most of our guilty pleasures are… or turn into. So long as we’re smart (hopefully?) there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and again, right?

What about you? Any other guilty pleasures I left off the list?

Photo by BruceTurner