Monday, April 30, 2012

Laura Loves {April 2012}

You have probably noticed that this month I have fallen off the April Photo A Day challenge. I’m not sure what happened…I was doing so good! I think just had a busy second half of the month…and I wasn’t really connecting with the prompts from the second half of the month. I think I will be trying again in May

But here is one last photo I took for Day 15: Sunset from the April Challenge:


But back to business….here is what I’ve been loving in April!

Weekend Mornings
Lately I’ve had a less motivation to get out of bed in the morning on the weekends…because lately I’ve had a buddy that wants to sleep in with me…


Milo doesn’t usually like to sleep on my bed. If he is up there…he usually stays only for a few minutes and then goes to sleep under the bed. But lately on weekend mornings, he has been hopping up…not to wake me up…but to curl up and go back to sleep for much longer than usual. Its so cute…but it doesn’t help me get out of bed!

Clinton Foundation: Celebrity Edition
I don’t follow the Clinton Foundation a lot…but I really enjoyed their recent video documenting the work of their Celebrity Division:

Crystal City 5K Fridays
Well I did it! I completed my very first official 5k! Each year around April they do a series of laid back 5k races each Friday in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. This year I signed up for the very last one so that I’d have time to train. I think I will sign up for 2 of them next year! That way I have one to baseline and one to improve on. The coarse is pretty flat…everyone is laid back and motivating…they update results on the website quickly…

5k Results

…and best of all you get a free beer after the race!

Honestly I am really excited about my results. The fastest I’d ever run the distance on the treadmill was 37:47…and because I am not the best at pacing I wasn’t sure I’d survive running the whole time if I didn’t do a 12 minute mile. I can’t believe I beat my treadmill time by 1:32!

Working in the DC Area
This month I got to experience a fun benefit of working in the DC area…cool things like space shuttles piggy backing on a 747…fly by your window at work…

470125_10150632410892364_202626512363_8878636_642549173_o{Source: US Census Facebook Page…(I wasn’t able to get a picture of my own)}

You may recall from my last Photo A Day post that I had bought myself a present…well this month I made a big jump and switched from my long list of unnecessary cable channels and cable DVR to a cut back in cable…and switched over to TiVo. I had considered doing this for a while (with the advice of my pal Avi) because most of my shows are on the main networks…but I do watch a lot of TV and need a DVR so that I’m not a slave to my television. With cable, in order to have a DVR I needed to subscribe to additional cable I didn’t really use that much AND rent the DVR and DVR service monthly…it was a money pit!

While the TiVo options I chose made it a bit of an investment this month, I still have the ability to record most of my shows in HD…and my cable bill is going down by about $60 per month…it will pay for itself in a matter of months!!! On top of the money I’m saving…the TiVo comes with apps for Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube (and other streaming apps as well)…it has more capacity than my cable DVR…and is even more flexible with recording options than my old cable box. I’m crossing my fingers that it lasts me a while…but I’m really enjoying my purchase so far!

Check back at the end of May for more Laura Loves!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I’m Running a 5K Today!

I have a confession to make…almost two months ago I signed up for a 5K…and was too nervous about it to blog about it. Not sure why. I was confident I would follow through with the actual race when it came time. I guess I wasn’t confident how I would progress training…I’ve never run that distance before.

To those of you who are runners…I know that a 5K doesn’t sound very daunting. But even when I was in shape in high school and could play almost an entire 90 minute soccer game…I was never good at distance. I always DREADED the 1 mile run day in gym. So signing up for an organized race…longer than 1 mile?? With actual runners?!?! And people watching?!?! I never thought I’d do it.

But when my friend Liz mentioned these easy-going Crystal City 5K Friday races…I thought it would be a great way to get myself motivated to start interval training again. I signed up for a later one to give myself time and I began at the beginning of this training chart…adding a few intervals in order to try to gain the distance. I was doing great! I ran every other day for almost a month. I was really close to getting to a straight run (no intervals) when this happened:


The sprain kept me away from running for almost 3 weeks! To be honest it made me a bit glad I hadn’t written about my training on the blog…I as the healing slowed a bit during week 2 I was wondering if I’d be able to run this thing at all!

Luckily after 3 weeks I was able to run again. I had a bit of trouble starting up…I wanted to push myself to the level I was at when I had stopped and it was hard (and a bit discouraging). But this past Monday…for the first time ever…I ran a complete 5K on the treadmill! The farthest I have ever run non-stop…in my life!

Now, running the distance on the treadmill doesn’t directly translate to doing it outside on race day. The treadmill forces my pace. And if I’ve learned anything from my training…its that I’m not the best at pacing myself.

Anyway the race is TONIGHT! I’m finally letting the blogosphere know! I’m a bit nervous but excited. If you told 16 year old Laura that she’d ever be excited to run in a 5K race…she’d think you were crazy. I think in a way that thought makes me even more excited!

My ultimate goal is to complete the entire 5K without walking. However with my known pacing issues, I think I will still be pleased if I run the first 2 miles before I need a break…and only a short one at that.

I guess we will find out tonight…update to come…

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Wedding Weekend {Wordless Wednesday}

This past weekend I attended a beautiful family wedding in New Jersey! Here are some of my favorite photos from the event!

My sisters, their boyfriends and I were looking pretty cute….

Ferreira Girls
{Photo Credit: Jennifer Brzoska}

But our identical twin cousins and their older brother had us all beat!


Earlier in the week they called for rain…but luckily the sun was shining bright over the bride and groom!


And then we ate and danced the night away…well…most of us that is…

Sleepy Kiddies
{Photo Credit: Ray Ferreira}

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April Photo A Day {Part 2}

I am in serious need to write a post that contains more than just photos…but I just need to figure out what recap from the last few months to write up first! In the meantime, here are this week’s photos from the April Photo A Day Challenge. If you have been following me on Twitter…I haven’t been so great about posting these photos in time…but I am taking them!

April 7: Shadow

April 8: Inside Your Wallet

April 9: Younger You
One of my favorite pictures of myself from the good old soccer days…circa 1999…I was about 15…

April 10: Cold
Nice cold glass of milk and Linden’s Cookies….perfect evening snack!

April 11: Where You Ate Breakfast
I don’t normally eat breakfast (bad I know)…so I treated myself to McDonalds Breakfast for the sake of this picture (bad I know)….eaten at my desk at work…

April 12: Stairs

April 13: Something You Found
Tonight I found a present I bought myself at my door when I got home from work!!! I’m sure I’ll be writing about it soon!

Ok…sooooo my goal for this week is to write a blog post that isn’t about daily photos…..but if you like my pictures, you can see the entire April collection {here} and the entire March collection {here}.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April Photo A Day {Part 1}

I honestly hope to share more on this blog soon than just Photo A Day posts but these are fast and easy and I like the summary of my pictures weekly. The next two weeks are going to be much less hectic than the last month has been so hopefully more variety will be on its way to the blog soon! In the meantime, here are my photos from the first week of April! If you are interested in joining the challenge, you can find the daily photo themes {here}!

April 1: Your Reflection
If you look closely you can see its actually a double reflection. For some reason its much easier to see on my phone…it’s a bit dark on the computer.

April 2: Color
Colorful shirt I wore that day.

April 3: Mail

April 4: Someone Who Makes You Happy
This photo was taken a few days before…but it was a cute picture of the mutt that makes me happy!

April 5: Tiny

April 6: Lunch
All that was left after I forgot to take a picture of my lunch…whoops!

In other photo a day news, Instagram finally released an app for Andriod on April 5th! I downloaded it April 6th and decided to use it for that daily picture (notice the filter and the border). I really like the Instagram filter/border choices but at the same time I like the freedom to tweek certain things myself like I can in PicSay (the photo editing application that I had been using). It can be nice to have you own control over tint, contrast, exposure, temperature, etc. which Istagram doesn’t give you. But at the same time, the filters on Instagram can be hard to recreate. So I anticipate going back and forth between the two for my daily photos. You can follow me on Instagram {LAFink23}, but the easiest way to see my photos each day (no matter what the program) is to just follow me on Twitter!

And don’t forget you can see my whole April album {here} in Google+!

Did you join in the photo a day fun for April? Try Instagram for the first time on Android? Have another favorite photo editing Andriod app to recommend? Let me know below!