Not feeling so hot the past few days, trying to flush out any illness with lots of liquids and not the alcoholic kind! Actually, on my recent trip to Indiana, my boyfriend’s father mentioned that he has been adding apple cider vinegar to his juice in the morning because it is full of health benefits. Easily swayed to try various health suggestions, I decided to overlook its sour taste and add a Tablespoon to my daily regimen.     Read the rest of this entry »

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Today, Katie (red) Shinsato and I went to pick up all the photos from our ‘Baltimore: Place to Place‘ photography exhibit that has been shown at The Wind Up Space for the past two months. Here is Katie just after we loaded up our cars with Baltimore photographs.

We have exciting news, the show is currently in the early stages of moving to a new location, Baltimore’s Youth Hostel located in Mount Vernon. Here is a brief description of the project and some pictures from our opening back in early November.

“Baltimore: A Place to Place Photo Project: the project is intended to examine place, more importantly to acknowledge  the space around you and then take a deeper look at your surroundings by photographing them. Members of the project are Baltimore residents from various areas, some with a photography background and many without. Each participant was told to share a place of interest in Baltimore, options could be as broad as an entire neighborhood or as specific as someones favorite tree. Locations are then swapped amongst members and participants are asked to photograph a place that they did not choose. This allows the photographer to go somewhere that may be new to them and capture the space in whatever creative light they desire. ”

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Ok, here is the deal, I have been meaning to do 30 days of posting to get myself back in the spirit of blogging. It can be really hard to get the process rolling when you are running on empty from holiday madness! Champagne anyone?

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Happy Summer everyone! It has been too long since I have posted; a lot has happened in the past four months. First order of business, I moved! This has been a huge change in my life. It was a pretty amusing move and I wanted to share some of the highlights. After living in the Woodberry house seen below for many years, I made a decision to leave the comforts of familiarity and make a new home for myself.

It was time, after switching jobs almost a year ago and enjoying a healthy relationship, I knew I had to take a leap in a different direction. Michael, my boyfriend, and I decided to move in together and so began a search for a new neighborhood. We began our search in April, planning on moving in at the beginning of June. The neighborhoods we looked at ranged from Roland Park to Mount Vernon. Weighing pro’s and cons along the way and figuring out how to compromise on our individual criteria, it was difficult to feel confident that any one neighborhood or apartment was the perfect fit.

Luckily, our future home fell into our laps. After looking at several underwhelming apartments in Mount Vernon, we were led by an agent to an area that became more familiar with each step. I mentioned that it would be funny if the apartment we were about to look at was one I had spent time in before. Sure enough, the leasing agent led us to a space that a friend of mine had occupied. A spacious one bedroom located in historic Mount Vernon.

I knew this apartment would not last long before being swiped up, high ceilings and a washer/dryer! We had to make a decision as soon as possible. After looking at one more option, that had its perks, we decided to go with our instinct and put in our application. We were one step closer to our move. We felt good about our decision, the apartment was beautiful. However, there was one big downside: our latest move in date was a whole month earlier than we planned.

Ok, so let the hilarity and madness begin. A big part of moving is assessing your belongings and deciding what can stay and what must go. I was about to share my space with a significant other, and I had a lot of baggage, literally! I am a hoarder in some respects, the type that will hold onto an old skirt from three years ago or that feels each and every bag I own has a particular use. It was time to start sifting through all my stuff and part ways with some dear old friends. Hoping to make the experience more fun, I asked my friend Anna to document a full day of sorting and saying goodbye. Feel free to have a nice laugh!

                              Do I need all these coats and bags?

                     Random stuffed animals? Oh, hey there E.T!

                                                         Shoes?

       Did I mention all the bags? I let my friend Katie-Red have her pick.

Nope, time to let go. I divided my collection of items into piles for keeping, selling and donating. It is hard to let go of certain things for sure, but the excitement of a fresh start made it a lot easier. My future closets would be shared and I was ready to make room for that.

Moving day arrived and Michael and I were lucky enough to borrow a truck and obtain the help of some amazing people. It took two days to fill the place with all our big items and I spent the next three weeks getting the rest of my stuff out of the old house! Once again, how does one acquire so much stuff?

It is now two months later, we have sorted through most of our things and made the space our own and are recovering from a successful housewarming party. Pictures coming soon!

Living in Mount Vernon is helping me rediscover Baltimore, I have lived here for over ten years now. The neighborhood is a walkers paradise, with places to eat and drink just minutes from the apartment. I am excited to be biking more as well, very close to the harbor and fifteen minutes from Hampden.

Future entries will focus on my Baltimore discoveries, hidden gems and a new appreciation of old favorites. Please let me know if you have a favorite spot in Baltimore that I should check out and I will mention it in my upcoming posts!

Here is an update on my 30 day challenge from this past month. As each day went on, I learned more about the difference between NEEDING and WANTING something. For starters, I don’t need to eat every potato product set before me.

Don’t get me wrong, they called my name at work in the form of roasted, mashed, and chip. I had to look away, and over time, viewed the pesky potato as optional!! To my surprise, I am not counting down the days until I shovel a plate of french fries into my mouth at full speed.

Hot yoga has been great, it has become a routine in my life again. Starting my week off with hope for health, energy, and balance is so refreshing! Walking to coffee with friends directly after doesn’t hurt either.

Acupuncture has also been a blessing, every week I look forward to my visit with Stacy DeMarco! I have been seeing her for a couple months now, coming a long way from my first session when the needles TERRIFIED me. Stacy even has the ability to anticipate the every day struggles created by my own mind and body. After my next appointment, I will start going every other week, but I have no doubt that my time with her has done wonders for my challenge. Check her out!! http://www.stacydemarcoacupuncture.com/

Drinking on the other hand….

A bit more of a challenge, yet I held my composure and stayed strong….up until early this week.

The first three weeks I was diligent about not going over my two drink limit. I planned out when each drink would be, saving one for a special occasion, birthday, or ladies night. Ironically, not drinking is my favorite cleanse of all, hands down! I feel energized, alert, awake, and excited about life when I am not drinking. However, I sure do enjoy drinking! It also remains both a social aspect in my life and a treat at the end of a long work day.

Oh….wait….you want to know why I slipped up?

I blame this

This past Monday I decided to see Blue Valentine at The Charles Theater with two girlfriends. We were the only people there as it was the middle of the day! This movie was good, maybe too good, stirred up some emotions that led us to comment our way through many scenes [don’t worry, not one of my bad movie habits]. Blue Valentine has severe ups and downs, a drink [or TWO] was in order as those credits began to roll. Did I mention that I had already enjoyed my first drink of the week the day before?

In the end, I went over my weekly limit. I am not proud to admit this, but it happened and I will learn from the experience.

Overall, I am walking away from these 30 days feeling stronger, healthier, and more aware of my body and what it needs. I started running again and yesterday I joined the gym. A decent start to 2011! Like I said in a previous post, I am not perfect. Doing the best I can and continuing to challenge myself will only make me stronger. Hopefully, each time I strive for success, it will be easier to reach it.

This may sound funny, but I am diving right into another challenge on February 1st. I really enjoyed this past one, mistakes and all! A focus on exercise and fewer sweets is on the agenda. If you would like to do your OWN challenge, as in you pick your focus, let me know by January 31st and I will be starting a Facebook support group. I can’t wait to encourage one another!

Admittedly, I am not the most competitive person. My school years were not filled with tallying up my soccer game scores or displaying trophies on a shelf. In fact, after trying out for various teams and not making the cut, I decided to pursue a route that differed from those of my schoolmates. Cross country running was calling my name……Katie Katie, we choose you!!! They did not turn anyone away, that is. What a thrill this was for me, participating in a healthy social activity and learning to compete against myself in the process. Running is my favorite form of exercise to this day. I am always trying to run further, more often, participate in races, and encourage others to do the same.

Where I am going with this….well…

Years later a co-worker of mine, Chris(tine), mentioned a 30 day challenge she was about to begin. She was giving up certain foods and adding new exercise requirements into her daily life. I was instantly intrigued! A health challenge against oneself, avoiding temptation, all with a time limit that seemed possible. I was in. The 30 day challenge was born.

The most important concept to remember when doing a 30 day challenge is to be reasonable with yourself. Completely avoiding every single indulgence in your life is not always realistic. Believe me, my last challenge involved NO SWEETS! I made it about 15 days. Challenges of this sort may require a health coach (more on that another time). During my most successful 30 days without, I gave up alcohol, coffee, and french fries while increasing my exercise regimen. 30 days is just the right amount of time to start detoxing, see how your body reacts, and decide if you should make further changes after the 30 days are up.

Jump ahead to Katie and the Holidays of 2010!!

so much eating

so much drinking

A 30 challenge is in order and not just because a NEW year has begun. It is time to remind myself why I like competing…against myself. For starters, it has been a while since my last challenge and I feel both lethargic and antsy at the same time. Time to rejuvenate and not let winter get the best of me. My new challenge requires that I…

attend hot yoga every week

2 alcoholic beverages per week only

no potato products (this is a result of my french fry addiction and the potato chips that tempt me at work)

sweet potatoes are fine though, full of nutrients!                  

acupuncture every week during the cleanse to stay balanced

begin a regular running routine, join a gym perhaps.

Luckily, a few friends have joined me as I pursue my latest 30 day challenge. Encouragement from peers is key, pep talks are often needed, and success stories are always more fun to share alongside those you love.

In the future, I would love to start 30 day challenge groups. Perhaps, have a forum where those involved can keep one another up to date on daily struggles as well as progress. Please e-mail me at Katiesmall3@gmail.com if you are interested. I will keep a list of names and be in touch for my, or OUR, next challenge!

Wish me luck.

Hi. After telling a fried of mine the title of my blog, she told me I could be the next Oprah telling people all over the globe (or at least Baltimore) what to like (or at least what I like). The only difference is that I don’t have my own television show or the money to hand out my top ten favorite items every year.

Mainly, I am practicing with wordpress because I will soon be  blogging on a regular basis for my job at Great Sage, a vegan restaurant located in Clarksville, MD! I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get a head start on using all these blogging tools while also posting fun ideas/projects/photos, and likable items.

My first….i.like.this. goes out to my friend Liz Walunas who makes beautiful jewelry and recently had an event at Fraziers (bar and restaurant) on the Avenue in Hampden, Balt. After being solo for a while, she teamed up with a friend, Dina King, to create

Lizzy Lu and Cherry Too!

Here are Liz and Dina!

Some of my favorite items, these barrettes go well with everything, I wore two at a time for Christmas parties.

 

The best thing about all this jewelry is that I know I am supporting local business and creativity.

To find out more about Lizzy Lu and Cherry Too, visit their etsy site

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LizzyLuBaltimore?ga_search_query=lizzy+lu&ga_search_type=seller_usernames