Friday Five: About Me

I’m linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia from You Signed Up for WHAT?!, and Mar from Mar on the Run. This week’s Friday Five theme is Five Things about Me.

Five Things about Me! |

It was kind of hard to come up with things that ya’ll would think are interesting, but I’ve done my best:

  • I’m an amateur floral designer. I took a class in college, which I loved, and I’ve done a wedding will be doing another this spring. The Engineer always buys me unarranged flowers so I can make up my own designs. Some people might think that’s weird, but I think it’s the best.
  • I’m an excellent cook. (Toot my own horn much?) 🙂 Both my parents are great cooks, and they taught me when I was a kid. I’ve loved to cook ever since, was a food prep teaching assistant in college, and have a book being published: The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook (CFI, May 2015). I love making up new recipes and trying new foods too. The Engineer is a better baker, though, but I’ve been known to make killer cupcakes.
  • I have really nice handwriting. Once upon a time in elementary school, my teacher said she couldn’t read my handwriting because it was too sloppy. I took that personally and practiced all the time. Now I have excellent penmanship. Twenty years of practice will do that to you. 😉
  • I’m a linguist. My bachelor’s is in English linguistics, and I love dialectology and sociolinguistics. (I also speak German and a little bit of Spanish and French. And obviously I speak English.)
  • I collect journals. I love writing in journals, but I have a habit of buying blank journals too. I have a box of blank ones I really need to fill up! (I also collect chapstick.)
Join us for Friday Five: Five Things about Me (Just in case you were dying to know) @FrenchFryRunner Click To Tweet

What’s something interesting about you? (I’m sure everything!)

What do you collect?

Baking or Cooking?

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London: My Five Favorites

I’m linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia from You Signed Up for WHAT?!, and Mar from Mar on the Run. This week’s Friday Five theme is Five Things I Like about My Favorite City. To be honest, I have several favorite cities because I love to travel, but I thought I would highlight my favorite city I visited 2014: London, England. I was only there for 4 days, but it made a serious impression on me. I will be going back soon! A close second is Mainz, Germany. Gotta throw that in there. 🙂 

Five London Favorites (1)


Here goes:

  • Architecture (hello, Buckingham Palace!). I’m just amazed at the level of detail on all the buildings in London. None of them have that thrown-together, strip-mall feel.


Gates of Buckingham Palace
Gates of Buckingham Palace
  • Food! A lot of people say they don’t like the food in England, but there’s enough of a variety to make everyone happy. We had fish and chips a couple times, delicious Indian food, and so many toasties from Pret a Manger, a delicious UK fast food chain.
Traditional English Breakfast
Yummy gelato at Scoop
Fish Cakes and Chips


  • So much history! Everywhere you look in London, there are monuments, plaques, statues, or buildings that commemorate a historical event. We visited Westminster Abbey and were overwhelmed by the history–in a good way. We saw the coronation chair (or King Edward’s Chair), the chair in which all the monarchs from 1296 have been crowned. We also saw the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, which was amazing. Another cool thing to realize is that American history and British history are the same until a certain point. It makes me feel more connected.
It’s me and the Crown Jewels!
Westminster Abbey


  • Activities and tourist stops. From the London Eye to the Tower of London to the rebuilt Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to West End shows, there is so much to see and do in London. We had a blast dipping our toes into the culture that is thriving there.
Shakespeare’s Globe



The London Eye!
The London Eye!
  • Museums! Most of the museums in London are free, so we were able to go to a few, which was awesome. We went to the British Museum (hello, Rosetta Stone!), the National Gallery (Monet, van Gogh, and Rembrandt, oh my!), and the Victoria & Albert Museum (so cool!). We saw so much awesome art, exhibits, and displays, and just loved it.
Monet’s Japanese Bridge


I really could go on and on about London, and it’s hard to pick 5 of my favorite things. I will say this, though: if you haven’t taken the trip across the pond, do it. You won’t regret it.

Honorable Mentions

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Mainz, Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany
  • St. Louis, MO


What’s your favorite city? What draws you to that city?

Where are you traveling next?

Don’t forget to link up at You Signed Up for WHAT?!, Mar on the Run, and Eat Pray Run DC.


Friday Five: Five Fitness Goals

I’m linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia from You Signed Up for WHAT?!, and Mar from Mar on the Run. This week’s Friday Five theme is Blogging or Fitness Goals. I’ll be talking about my fitness goals today, but first let’s check my goals for 2014:

  1. Get into shape. I hit the gym more in 2014 and ran a few races, so I call this a success.
  2. Run a marathon. I lost the motivation and injured my ankles a few too many times to achieve this goal.
  3. Do a handstand. I haven’t achieved this yet, but my shoulder stands are getting better, which means my core is getting stronger. So this is a fail, but I’m definitely progressing.
  4. Go on a kick-awesome trip. Huge check for this! I went on several trips (California x 3; North Carolina; Seattle; San Francisco) and the “kick-awesomest” was my trip to Germany and London! I finally went to Europe, and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.
  5. Do a runDisney race. My sister and I successfully signed up for and completed the 2014 Disneyland 10k! Next on my runDisney list is the 2015 Dumbo Double Dare.
  6. Try not to let the stress of my job get to me. Medication just wasn’t the answer for me on this. I decided to quit my job in June instead and I’ve never been happier. 🙂
  7. Move across the country. Not yet but soon!
  8. Spend less. I think I did a better job at this in 2014, but I can do better for sure.
  9. Cultivate a new talent. Not exactly a new talent, but I worked on my recipe-making and writing skills to work on a cookbook, which is being published in May 2015–The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook.
  10. Have fun! And be happier. Since I quit my job, this has definitely been achieved. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and less stressed.


2015 Goals

Now for my five 2015 fitness goals:

  1. Complete the 2015 Dumbo Double Dare. This is my A challenge for the year. The first challenging part will be registering. After that, I’ll be following the official training plan to complete the distance. Really excited about this. I’ve been slowly building up my base again.
  2. Run a marathon by December. I wanted to run a marathon in 2014, but since that didn’t happen, 2015 is the year! I hope to continue my training after Dumbo to complete the marathon. No time goals.
  3. Achieve PRs in the 10k and half marathon. I’m hoping my training for Dumbo and the marathon will help me with this goal. I won’t say no to a PR in the 5k either.
  4. Develop more strength (and tone up) by (1) Practicing yoga at least twice per week. I just love yoga and need to practice more on my own if I can’t make it to class; and (2) Attending pump class at least once per week. My gym has awesome pump classes. I’m looking forward to going every week.
  5. Run a race every month if possible. Most of these will be for fun and just to keep me motivated. I already know which races I’ll be running January through April . . . and possibly May. January and February are 5ks, March and April are 10ks, and May might be a half marathon. I won’t bore you with details now; that’s what later is for. 😉
  6. Be injury-free in 2015! I just had to include this . . .

What are your fitness or blogging goals for this year? Don’t forget to link up at You Signed Up for WHAT?!, Mar on the Run, and Eat Pray Run DC.