Changing Paths

For the last, almost, 6 years (!) I have kept up somewhat of a presence on this blog. My biggest year was definitely 2011 when I was living close to Boston while David was deployed. After that year, life got in the way (David came home and we built our current house) and the blog was pushed aside.

Then a comeback was made in the form of my 30 races in 2014! What an accomplishment! A little recap if you will:

Phew! What tiring, yet fun, year that was!

As 2015 came and went, I tried to keep writing about races, restaurants, and just general life. In July of that year I ended up getting rid of my self hosted site and went back to WordPress. In the process I lost a good chunk of 2014 and some of 2015. It was a bit discouraging but I still feel like I made the right decision to scale back. It didn’t make sense to spend money on something that wasn’t making any money. And my heart just wasn’t in it at the time.

Lately though, I have thought about refocusing my blog to focus on more day to day life and perhaps more baking as well. I contemplated starting a new blog called “Baked with Bliss” but realized that it might force me into feeling like I could only talk about baking. I wanted to do a bit more. And since I’m no longer a concierge (although I am still “jogging”!) I didn’t feel that the name really suited me as well.

And that is why I’ve started a new blog! And I decided to call it “Made with Bliss.” (My maiden name is Bliss and it’s obviously the coolest last name ever 😉 ). I’m really going to try and focus on getting more content out there, too. It may be slow going at first, but hopefully I’ll find my groove.

Won’t you join me??

Made With Bliss

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Moving Up

Today is such a bittersweet day as it’s my last here at the concierge desk of the hotel. If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Instagram you may already know: I got a promotion at work!

Starting next Monday I’ll be the new Executive Assistant to the General Manager at the hotel (every time I say that I think of Assistant to the Traveling Secretary). It’s a huge step up for me, and even though I still had to go through the interview process, it was extremely flattering that the GM asked about me personally.

Of course now this means a whole new wardrobe! I even gave away some of my office wear a few months ago since I thought I’d be living in uniforms. Luckily I was able to find two beautiful Calvin Klein suits at Burlington Coat Factory for only $60 each (retail price of $280!).

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I also have some gift cards to Old Navy and TJ Maxx so I can at least get a good rotating selection of tops. It’ll be a work in progress for sure.

I guess the big question now is: what should my blog name be?? I’m not technically a concierge anymore, although the “Jogging Concierge” does still have a nice ring to it. I hope to still be active in Boston and surrounding areas, but we’ll see if I feel like changing things up in terms of name and identity.

And on another (singing) note, this past weekend I sang alongside my mom and other lovely ladies of Stardust Chorus to sing at the Algonquin Club in Back Bay. It was such an amazing experience, and I’ve forgotten how much I love singing in a group. We’ll have to see if it parlays into something I do on the regular. And it’s always fun to be able to play dress up:

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So those are the updates in my life! Oh, and on the garage front:

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We have electricity! Such a lovely thing. 🙂

What’s new in your life??

BAA 5K Training – Week 5

AKA: Better-safe-than-sorry week.

I’ve been battling some chest tightness and shortness of breath lately. It happens every so often, mostly when the weather has weird peaks and valleys. Rather than risk making it worse, I’ve decided to take the runs easy again this past week.

Monday 3/21 & Tuesday 3/22: Rest

Wednesday 3/23: 2.69 miles in 25:02 @ 9:20 pace. I battled up a big hill in town and instead of feeling exhausted on the way down, I felt like I was flying! I love that feeling. 🙂

Thursday 3/24 & Friday 3/25: Rest

Saturday 3/26: 2.33 miles in 22 @ 9:22 pace

Sunday 3/27: Happy Easter! I worked the morning shift and I was on the go-go helping with luggage storage for a group that was checking out. Lots of heavy lifting and fast walking! Felt like a workout to me. 😉 To celebrate the holiday I went to my sister in laws to watch the Syracuse vs. Virginia game and enjoy some dinner. It was just what was needed after my busy morning.

How was your holiday weekend?

Birthday Celebrations

 

As I celebrate my 32nd birthday today, I thought it would be fun to recap some of my most memorable birthdays. From Vegas to bowling to prohibition-themed, I always enjoyed getting out and about to celebrate turning another year older. (Although I still get mistaken for my mid 20’s. I’m not complaining! 🙂)

23rd Birthday in 2007 – Las Vegas baby!

Las Vegas

24th Birthday in 2008 – At home with family

24th Birthday

25th Birthday in 2009 – Celebrating at Tommy Doyle’s in Cambridge and Kings Bowling in Boston.

27th Birthday in 2011 – Celebrating with my sister in law and friend while David was in Afghanistan (the Thirsty Scholar and Post 390).

30th Birthday in 2014 – 20’s themed party at my parents house.

30th Birthday

31st Birthday in 2015 – The year of the doughnut cake!

donut cake

Today – Low-key day and having my parents over for dinner: mostaccioli and Guinness chocolate cake! And of course, more doughnuts, thanks to my wonderful manager Matt.

Donuts

What’s your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?

 

Scenes from the Weekend

Happy Monday evening everyone!

My weekend was a much needed one full of good food and relaxation. I had Thursday through Sunday off, and it was glorious. It definitely helped that the weather was awesome, and spring-like, in Massachusetts!

Thursday was National Drink Wine Day and of course, I had to participate. But which one to choose from?

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I ended up enjoying some Riesling in the afternoon. The whole day was spent running errands: grocery shopping, getting gas, cleaning the house. I cooked some enchiladas for David since I wasn’t going to be home that evening for dinner. Instead, I met up with my mom and we went to her friends house to sing! They invited me along to try out and sing with their a cappella group for a show in April. Thankfully the “audition” went well and the director thought that I would fit well with the group. A couple more rehearsals and then the show! Very much looking forward to it. Along with the singing, we enjoyed some more wine and Chinese food for dinner. 🙂

On Friday I pretty much stayed around the house all day and it was glorious. I printed up a 5K training plan for the upcoming race in April, and it starts today! (Well, rest day today and then 3 miles tomorrow.)

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For dinner, I really wanted to do something special. I set up the dining room table and had a pork roast cooking in the crock pot all day. We had it alongside salad and some champagne.

Saturday, David and I spent the whole day together. In the morning we went to New Hampshire to visit the tool outlet and Costco (thank you no sales tax!). He found a pneumatic stapler at the tool outlet and some LED shop lights at Costco. Can we also talk about how awesome Costco is?? I’m so used to shopping at BJ’s and while they do have a wider selection, the options at Costco are still amazing and the yearly membership is rather cheap ($55). And can we talk about all of the samples?? I think we went back multiple times for a few of the samples (burgers and cinnamon bread). We’ve pretty much decided that we’ll travel to the NH location twice a year to do a big haul. I’ll have to document it the next time we do! We picked up a few things but I could have easily bought out the whole place. 😉

For dinner, we were bad and ordered chicken wings and Little Caesar’s pizza. It was delicious though and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

Sunday was spent lazing around in the morning and then finally getting to work on the garage. I finished taping the ceiling (I did the whole thing myself!) and we finished the stem walls around the perimeter. There’s still so much to get done but at least we can work inside now. Because the outside is (pretty much) done!

That night we indulged in some of David’s (amazing!) burgers. I topped mine with pickles, onions, and ketchup, and we had some Alexia potato puffs alongside.

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Overall it was a wonderful weekend and I was ready to get into the work mode today. I had a lot of e-mails to catch up on, and thankfully the desk hasn’t been crazy busy. We’ll see how the week goes! I’m excited to be going to a concierge dinner this Wednesday in the North End. I’ll be sure to report!

How was your weekend?

TBT: 10 Years Ago & Now

I just happened to catch this on Rachel’s blog (one of my favorites!) and thought it would be fun to reflect on 10 years ago. It’s especially fitting since my 10 year college reunion is coming up! How did I get to be so old. 😉

Fast Food: 

10 years ago: I was all about the Wendy’s around this time. I loved their chili, hamburgers, and Frosty’s.

Today: Chick Fil A, hands down. (I’m going to have to concur with Rachel on this one!)

Favorite Food: 

10 years ago: I’m pretty sure I subsisted on Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Elio’s pizza, and ice cream. Not exactly the beacon of health back then. And enjoying some sangria in Madrid.

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Today: Thankfully I’ve developed much more healthy eating habits. I still enjoy pizza and ice cream but in modest amounts. Italian and Mexican are my favorite cuisines.

Breakfast: 

10 years ago: If I ate anything at breakfast it would have been a sugary cereal or a bagel loaded with cream cheese.

Today: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I could easily eat it all day. I love to mix it up with scrambled eggs, muffins, yogurt, oatmeal, and cereal.

Relationship: 

10 years ago: At this exact time (February 2006) I was amidst a really weird relationship where I ended up being the “home-wrecker”; it wasn’t until July of that year that I met David. 🙂

Today: Almost 10 years together and just over 7 years married! ❤

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Age / Life Stage:

10 years ago: I was a 21 (almost 22) year old college senior and just got back from spending a month in Spain with my school. I was studying Hospitality in the hopes of becoming a wedding planner.

Today: At 31 (almost 32) years old, I’m married, working in Boston and living in a house that my husband built. Our plans on starting a family are coming in to focus as well.

Work:  

10 years ago: I was just finishing college and working at Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse in Peabody (now a Container Store).

Today: I absolutely love my job as a hotel concierge. I’ve had the most amazing opportunities to try out different restaurants and experiences. I almost feel like a bit of a celebrity in the city. 😉

Car: 

10 years ago: My mom gave me her bright red Mazda Protégé when I graduated from high school. It was the most fun car, especially since it was a manual.

Today: I love my Toyota Corolla! We bought it brand new in 2013 and paid it off in the summer of 2014. Eventually, we might look into getting a Tesla for myself (when they come down in price of course). It would be so cool to drive an electric car!

Coffee Shop of Choice:

10 years ago: I was obsessed with Starbucks’ White chocolate mocha’s. I think that’s what aided in my weight gain. 😉

Today: I love local coffee shops now (Pavement Coffee, 1369 Coffee House, Barrington Coffee, Thinking Cup). My favorites are the iced coffee from Thinking Cup and the London Fog (earl gray latte) from 1369.

Shopping:

10 years ago: Obsessed with Target and Old Navy. Such is the life of a college student.

Today: I still like to go to Target for some things (or all the things!) and Old Navy for my jeans. I love Banana Republic and the Loft nowadays. I’m having fun shopping too since I continue to lose some pounds.

Hair Care:

10 years ago: Loved Herbal Essences for color care. I was big into the chunky blonde (my hair is naturally light brunette). I also loved to scrunch it when it was wet.

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Today: I love the Suave Professional shampoo/conditioner for fine hair. When I blow dry my hair, I use a hot heat, then blast with cold just as it all gets dry. Then I use a straight iron to flatten away some of the waviness. I then use Garnier Fructis hair spray for humidity to hold things in place.

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Superhero: 

10 years ago: Oh gosh, did I even have a favorite super hero? Maybe Batman because I really enjoyed the movies.

Today: I love the Avengers. Notably Captain America and Hawkeye. *Swoon*

Books:

10 years ago: My absolute favorite book at that time was “Mermaid’s Singing” by Lisa Carey. It’s about three generations of Irish/Irish-American women; it’s really raw and emotional. And it made me think of my travels to Ireland two years prior.

Today: I love, love, love James Patterson books. They’re nothing mind blowing but it’s such an addictive read.

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What a fun little trip down memory lane! I can’t wait to attend my reunion this summer. It’ll be fun to see people I haven’t seen in the past 10 years. Although the one’s that matter most are the one’s I see more often. 😉

Tell me a little something about yourself based on these questions!

Scenes from My Week

A favorite breakfast of an English muffin with fried egg, veggie bacon and Laughing Cow French onion cheese spread. One of my colleagues brought back some freeze dried chocolate flavored coffee from Columbia. A teaspoon in a cup of coffee = delicious!

One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to put together amenities to have placed in the room for a guests special occasion. In this case, the husband requested flowers and chocolate for his wife’s 30th birthday. The Godiva came from our gift shop, and I purchased the flowers at the local supermarket and placed them in a vase from banquets. Later that day the husband came down and said that his wife loved them. Yah! Always love hearing that. 🙂

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I’m ashamed to say that prior to a couple of weeks ago, it had been 10 years since my last eye exam. I have astigmatism and a slight lazy left eye, so it wasn’t the smartest doing on my part to go so long. And since I recently lost my glasses, it was kind of a sign that I needed to get things checked out and get some new glasses. Last Tuesday, they finally came in! No more headaches or strains from looking at the computer all day.

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And an update on the garage: our doors have been put in! I feel like such an adult when I use my clicker in the car to open the door. As much as I’m liking this mild winter we’re having so far, I wouldn’t mind a storm or two so that I DON’T have to shovel off snow for once. 😉

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Work was crazy for a few days: Double shift on Wednesday, then stayed over to work Thursday morning; met a friend for a drink at a restaurant that he currently manages, then attended a reception at Symphony Hall. Had my previous days not been as busy, I may have stayed for the performance, but I knew I needed to get home and sleep since I had to work at 7 the next morning.

Yesterday I attended an AMAZING performance of Ragtime at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester with my mom. It’s my favorite musical and had been years since I’ve seen it. The soundtrack is a constant in my CD player, and it took everything I had to not start belting out the songs as they were being performed. The songs brought me to tears, and certain parts of the show had my heart racing. Every actor was absolutely amazing, especially the gentleman who played Coalhouse Walker Jr.!

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This week should be much quieter, and thankfully, I’m not working a double shift. This Wednesday is the associate party and they’ll be announcing the Associate of the Year! P.S. I’m in the running! 🙂

How was your week/weekend? And Happy February!