Business travel… so sophisticated

I’m home from a week on the road in Wilmington, Delaware.  I know, I was wondering why I was traveling to this random place, too.  Turns out a lot of trusts are based in Delaware for the same reason that most companies are incorporated there… for better tax treatment…. and I was auditing a trust for the week.  No, I don’t always have the snore-tastically boring job of auditing a trust, but that is what I have been doing for the past few weeks. 

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Bahaha… this sign was in the alehouse we went to almost every night because it was right next to our hotel.  About that… we went there sooo much.  We went drinking so much.  What the heck.  I didn’t realize people really do drink a lot.  Needless to say, I had quite a few sodas with a splash of cranberry juice, and I looked and felt significantly better than my colleagues every morning.  I also had a lot more room in my per diem budget for cupcakes!! 

Honestly, the real point of this post is that I wanted to share my excitement: I LOVE expensing my food on a business trip.  It makes me a little giddy every time I hand over the corporate AmEx for my latte.  And it’s a good thing I like it so much because I am going to be spending a good portion of May through September in NYC.  Yep, I will be working in Brooklyn, NY this summer and probably rotating hotels across the city over the summer, so I can get a taste of a few different areas.  I am pumped to be expensing my food in such a fantastic food city.  Such an expensive foodie city.  I will also be expensing a hotel room, so if you are interested in staying in NY with me for a week this summer please reach out to me to see about dates, details, etc.  Brendan will be staying with me for two weeks in May before he starts his summer job. 

The work I’ll be doing is totally different from my normal job.  It’s a huge financial job we’ve been hired to do, and the NY office asked the Boston office for some extra staff for the summer.  I volunteered because there probably isn’t another time in my life I will be so close to NY, have such flexibility in my personal life, and be so free to try new things at work (most auditors will be stuck in a single industry without much room for change by their second year).  My manager didn’t want to let me go, so I will be scheduled on my usual client in Cambridge on and off in the summer, as well. 

This short trip to Delaware, my short assignment on the trust, the opportunity in NY, and my lovely client in Cambridge are all making me feel pretty excited about my job right now and pretty optimistic about the future.  Please skip ahead if you are bothered by ridiculously nerdy comments: I really like public accounting!!!  (Please note that I am free to say the opposite tomorrow)

Coming up soon: I have a 20 mile training run tomorrow, a half marathon next weekend, and I will be spectating at the Boston Marathon the following weekend!!!!!!!!  Stay tuned.

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Longest run in SO LONG!

Today started out like most wonderful Saturdays in Berkeley with Brendan!  We woke up late, casually got ready and then headed out to the farmer’s market across the street.

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How wonderfully FUN is this arrangement?! It almost made me want to make hot pink part of my wedding palette.  But not quite. 

Of course our walk through the farmer’s market ended at Starbucks, as usual.  The barista asked me if I wanted my usual, but I decided to switch it up with a caramel Frappuccino light because my throat has been feeling itchy and I thought that would feel better!  Then we came home and I hung out with Becker.  My CPA exam is on Tuesday!  OMG OMG OMG.  I’m freaking out, but I’m sure I will be talking about that more on Monday, so I’ll spare you for now. 

Brendan is so sweet and said yes to going on a run with me in the middle of the day in July!  Crazy.  We ran 8 miles on the bay.  It was TOO sunny and hot, but the wind made it tolerable.  It also made my running skirt fly up in the air during the WHOLE run.  Great…

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We ran the first 6 miles together at about a 9:30 pace and then when I was really dying I made Brendan go ahead so I could slow it down to a 10:30 for the last 2 miles.  I’ll make no excuses for that one.  I just haven’t been running that long that fast lately, and I got all mental/I can’t do this/crazy.  But I was so happy to have run that far and so glad Brendan came!!  SF Half Marathon next weekend!!

Since Brendan was so sweet and came on that run with me, I decided to let him take me out on a date!  We went out for Thai food for dinner and then to the movies to see Super 8.  I HIGHLY recommend this movie.  It is so funny and so cute.  I laughed out loud several times.  Plus, check out these awesome leather seats the theater had…

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I felt a little excited about the chairs, but I was mostly getting super pumped because I brought THREE boxes of sour candies into the movies.  My favorite part of going to the movies. 

What a great start to the weekend.  Hope you’re doing something fun, too! 

Do you sneak anything into the movies when you go?

Brendan and I only eat Sour Patch Kids when we go to the movies, so we get really excited about bringing the candy in.  Sometimes I bring drinks. 


Officially Summer!

I was just telling my mom and Braed the other day how it just doesn’t feel like summer until Starbucks launches their treat receipts… and yesterday… IT HAPPENED!  Happy SUMMER!!

I went into Starbucks today completely unaware, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was being handed my receipt even though I hadn’t asked for one.  The cashier began to point to the bottom of my receipt and I started to get butterflies.  “Yes!!! I was JUST saying how it really isn’t summer until I get my first treat receipt!” Well… the cashier is used to my weirdness, so he wasn’t TOO shocked, but I don’t think he was expecting that level of enthusiasm. 

Big question #1: Do you even know what I am talking about? 

If you don’t… your life is awful.  What is wrong with you?  There is only one good reason why you have never gotten a treat receipt and that is if you wake up at 1pm in the summer, so you have never made it to Starbucks before 2pm to get your treat.  You are forgiven.  If you go to Starbucks in the morning and you still don’t know what I’m talking about… you are really dumb.  If you have never been to Starbucks because you “don’t believe in Starbucks” then you are such a hipster that you probably hate my blog anyway, so nvm. 

For the rest of you… customers receive a “treat receipt” at Starbucks from July 18 to Sept 5, 2011when they visit and make a purchase before 2pm.  THEN… you can come back after 2pm for a $2 grande cold beverage.  It is not like the deal of the century, and nothing is free, but it makes me happy.  So SHUUUT up

Big question #2: Will I use my treat receipt today? 

Maybe, maybe not.  If I do, it will probably be instead of Yogurtland tonight because I had my first Starbucks beverage today around noon.  I almost fit into the forgiven category from above.  jeez.  I do have a brain, so I realize you save more money not going to Starbucks at all.  $2 is still $2.   

ANYWAY… HAPPY SUMMER, my Starbucks lovers!


The beautiful days of July

I LOVE Portland, summer, sun, friends, and JULY!!! We got to celebrate the “4th of July” this weekend because Braedon and Heylee came home for their birthday party! 

Braedon and I spent the day together on Friday doing a little shopping.

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What? Isn’t this what everyone does when they have the day off in the summer?  I swear Braedon and I can’t go a day together without spending at least 3o minutes trying stupid stuff on. 

Today we started the day off with a 3 mile run and a trip to the farmer’s market in Beaverton…

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I finally found the perfect sign for my bedroom or office or house… or I could just wear it like a sandwich board. 

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Apparently they specialize in super cute signs.  And I LOVE super cute signs!!!

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Finally we had the birthday party!!! Heylee and Braedon celebrated their 22nd and 14th birthdays, respectively.  And they blew out the candles on the tres leches cake I made.  It was YUM!  I got the recipe from the the pioneer woman.  Definitely a keeper.  Plus, we served it with fresh raspberries from the market and chopped mangoes… GREAT DAY! 

PS… my brother passed another landmark on his journey to become a SERIOUS Portland hipster with this single speed bike from Urban Outfitters. 

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Happy 14th, Braedon!

This kid is, and will always be, the love of my life…

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He is so funny…

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so SMART!

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SOOOOO talented…

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So fun…

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and just SOOO cute!  dang it!

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He is the best brother ever…

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…and I am so happy to celebrate him every 4th of July! Happy Birthday, Braed!

We can’t wait ‘til you’re home (from his middle school class trip to the East coast) to come celebrate with us!  Have a happy birthday and happy 4th of July!


PRs were had by… many!

Today was 4th year running the Sauvie Island Half Marathon in Oregon!  It has become a major 4th of July tradition for our friends and family, and it is reason #43 that I love the 4th of July more than any other day of the year!  I have so many. 

This year was especially fun because we prepped by going shopping for matching holiday attire at Dick’s AND at the party store.

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It would be your favorite holiday, too if you had this little hat to try on!

We all piled into the car this morning at 5:30am and headed out for pre-race coffees.  I had a caramel latte before my last half marathon at Helvetia, but this time it gave me a serious case of the shakes, which made me nervous about how that would turn out during the race. 

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The race started out fine… I suppose.  I was really surprised by how windy the course was.  It was almost as windy as running on the bay!  I was completely worried about the race when I got to mile 3 and I couldn’t get my splits under 8:55-ish.  I’ve headed out in most of my more recent races with an 8:30 pace.  I couldn’t get over how worried I was about that.  That is when I started to really wish Braedon was there to carry me through the first 5 miles.  I’m always just cracking up with him for at least the first 3 miles while we hit 8:20s without trying.  Oh well… I tried to keep my thoughts as positive as possible, but I wasn’t really succeeding. 

I ran with Hannah, my friend from high school who is pretty speedy, for the first 6 miles.  I stopped at mile 6 to eat some Chomps, but I never really started back up after that.  I caught up to my mom and Maryanne, who were a little ahead going out of the water stop, but as soon as I caught them I had a mental crash with “I can’t keep up with them… this is too hard” thoughts overwhelming me, and I stopped to walk. 

While I was walking I noticed how NOT tired I was, and I just couldn’t understand why I was even walking.  I reminded myself that the race clock was not an all-or-nothing gauge.  Staying consistent at a pace that felt comfortable was a much better option.  I ran pretty consistent 9:30s after that.  At mile 9 or 10 they had Otter Pops, and I was stoked.  I didn’t even think about saying no to one of those bright blue tubes of goodness.  It slowed me down by quite a bit that mile because those things are kid/disgruntled runner proof.  If you give a runner an otter pop… they are going to want scissors too.  Hello!? 

I tried pushing it again at mile 11, and I had a pretty strong last 2 miles.  I broke 9 min for my last mile.  I finally came in at 2:00:38, a few minutes over my PR.

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The best part was being there for the excitement of my mom’s and Maryanne’s race.  My mom set a goal and seriously went after it!! She ran a PR under 1:57 and Maryanne broke 2 hours for the first time!! Yep, that’s two major PRs in a row for Maryanne.  She PR’d by about 7 minutes at Helvetia, and then took about 7 MORE minutes off of her time today!! WOW! 

I recommend Sauvie Island for anybody that likes flat courses.  It’s fun because it’s on the 4th, on BEAUTIFUL green farmland, organized by hot firemen and fresh strawberry shortcake is served at the end.  But… I have never had a good race at Sauvie Island.  It doesn’t really give me much race vibe/energy, which I really LOVE at most races.  What a great start to a great holiday!


Runner attacked by… a tree.

I started this morning off with a nice warm morning run on a bike path in Berkeley.  I didn’t have very long because I pressed snooze, ate a big breakfast, and read blogs for too long the light in our bathroom went out, which made it harder to get ready.  I decided I had time to fit in 4 easy miles.  It was a good run and a beautiful morning.  I ran without music, which is rare for me lately, and it was so refreshing to enjoy all of the excitement as everyone was getting ready for the holiday weekend.  I just LOVE the 4th of July. 

There were a bunch of yard sales going on along one part of the trail, and while I was scoping out my next purchase I was attacked by a tree branch.  It scared me so bad because I thought I had been ducking enough.  Apparently not.  When I came back up from ducking/looking at the branch that  had hit me, I was immediately whacked on the other side of the head by another branch.  I’m now realizing that it was probably (hopefully) because I was wearing a hat, and I suck at being aware of things above me when I wear hats. 

Check out my battle wounds…

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I was so confused when I looked in the mirror and saw this grass stain on my freshly cleaned hat, but then I remembered…

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I ended my run at Trader Joe’s so that I could get my favorite airport snacks. 

Even though Brendan wasn’t here this morning, I still wanted to walk through the farmer’s market on my way to the BART station.  It was super crowded since it was sooo nice out. 

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The flower stand was especially vibrant this morning.  I loved the sunflowers! 

I’m in Portland now, where the weather is just as beautiful.