Author Archives: Andrea

About Andrea

Hail from a small island in the Caribbean. Moved around a lot for most of my life. Currently residing in the United States. I love animals, cooking, running, weight lifting, traveling, crafts, and writing!

Long Time No Write

Well, it has been several months since my last post. I actually made my entire blog private for a while because I was wrestling with the idea of posting about my life on the internet… for people to read… I’m not entirely anonymous on here so in theory someone I know COULD find this and read it and do whatever they want with that information. The thought of that definitely made me hesitate to post and to keep this blog.

I now decided that it doesn’t matter. I’m not posting anything confidential. Also, I don’t think anyone cares that much about me to go digging around on the internet to find out what I’m doing. 🙂

And so, I will be posting regularly again.

I’ll be starting a half marathon training program in mid August again so I’m excited to blog about it.

Still living the RV life, so I’ll be posting about that occasionally too.

I’ve also recently decided that I was going to try to be as “zero waste” as I possibly can. That’ll be interesting!

Anyway, happy to be back. See you soon.

 

 

Advertisements

Erin Condren 2017 Life Planner

For my 30th birthday I bought myself a life planner. I think that says a lot about what I think about turning 30. I should have it together by now but I don’t! Maybe this expensive life planner will help! That was pretty much my reasoning for spending that much on a planner.

To be fair though, I do like this kind of thing as a hobby. I like being crafty.

Anyway, I made an unboxing video:

I filmed and edited this at the beginning of the week, so I’ve had my planner now and have been using it for the past five days.

I do like it a lot but there are a couple of things that aren’t so great. For example,  in the video I talk about how I’m a little disappointed in the designer dots. Well, it turns out, I actually like them a lot and find them really useful. The downside is, it would cost like 50 bucks to have enough of those dots for an entire year of planning. There is no way I am spending that kind of dime on designer dots. Forget it. And I think that’s what is going to ultimately stop me from getting another Erin Condren planner in the future: the price.

We’ll see how it goes though. Right now I’m getting around having a bunch of stickers by coloring things in with colored pencils.

Any tips on decorating a planner on a budget?

Get 10 dollars off your first Erin Condren purchase by using this link :

Camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Earlier this week we went camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It was my second time going camping ever. The first time was seven years ago at  a park in North Carolina. That trip we slept in a tent and didn’t have an RV. This time around we took the RV and slept in there. I still consider it camping. We had a campfire and everything!

I highly recommend Big Basin for camping and hiking purposes. It was absolutely beautiful. We went on a Tuesday and stayed that night and Wednesday night. It was not very busy at all which was great. I felt like we got plenty of privacy and many times we were hiking and didn’t see anyone at all.

img_20161019_142842img_20161018_180421img_20161018_153509img_20161018_143519

My favorite parts about the trip is the absolute silence at night and the lack of light. It is SO dark. I couldn’t see a thing outside. It was scary and also kind of amazing. I don’t experience that kind of darkness on a daily basis. I loved it.

I didn’t take many pictures because I was mostly filming for a youtube video which I will link to now:

It was so cold on our first night. The following day I went on my scheduled run with the dog. I wasn’t going to let the cold keep me from my half marathon training.

Anyway, I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking about booking another trip for the spring. I want to try out some other camp sites too. If you have any suggestions for good camping on the west coast please leave a comment. Thanks and thanks for reading!

My First Time Dumping the RV Tanks

Last weekend we needed to dump our RV tanks. Mostly the black water tank because that one fills up way faster than the grey water tank. This was our second time dumping the tanks. The first time John did all of the work and I was the one who stood in the bathroom with a hose through the bathroom window to flush out the black water tank while it was emptying.

Here’s a tip for when you go dump your tanks: know where your supplies are. We wasted at least 5 minutes just looking for our gloves. Too much time was spent with me trying to get the tank caps off too. They were hard for me to open. People don’t like to wait for you too long.

Anyway, we filmed the entire process in case anyone is curious:

 

Thailand Trip Video

I made a video of the trip to Thailand we took in May 2016. We filmed everything using our phones and held them in our hands so unfortunately, there was a lot of shakiness. Now that I’m into making videos though I’m going to try my best to minimize shakiness for future videos! I hope to make this the last shaky footage we upload on Youtube.

We were in Thailand for one month and backpacked around visiting Bangkok, Koh Samet, Koh Chang, Koh Phi Phi, Railay Beach, and Chiang Mai. We didn’t have a plan when we got to Thailand except we had booked a weekend at Railay Beach and we had booked a hostel for our first night in Bangkok. The rest of the time we used airbnb to book places the day before we got there. It worked out well probably because May is low tourist season in Thailand. It was very hot, it rained a lot, but we had a fantastic time.

First “Vlog”

John and I went on our first RV road trip this past weekend and we attempted to vlog it.

We drove up to Santa Rosa, California to visit John’s uncle and aunt. It was our first time taking the RV out on a trip like this and staying in it. We parked in John’s uncle’s driveway and slept in the RV.

It was fun! The driving is probably the least exciting part. We passed the hours by listening to the HarmonTown podcast. My favorite part of those podcasts is the D&D section. That’s pretty much the only reason I listen to the podcast. Although, I am a fan of Dan Harmon’s other work: Community and Rick and Morty. In fact during SXSW 2015 we went to the Community Season 6 party and got to see the cast of Community and Dan Harmon in person. That was pretty cool.

danharmon

I was so drunk at this event.

I tried to sneak into the upstairs party where the cast was hanging out but I failed miserably. I was super drunk and also I’m terrible at acting like I belong where I don’t belong. Oh well!

Unfortunately, at this years SXSW I missed the opportunity to go to HarmonQuest because I had no clue what it was and I didn’t even bother looking it up. Little did I know, that later, when I would watch the HarmonQuest show, I’d end up loving it and regretting not going. Sigh.

Back to the road trip… We went hiking on the first day up Taylor Mountain. It ended up being a much more grueling hike than we were expecting. We weren’t prepared at all. No water, no hats, and we didn’t have on proper shoes. We made it though. We also went and emptied the RV tanks for the first time but I didn’t include that in the video because I didn’t really film us doing it.

I liked Santa Rosa. John’s aunt and uncle are SUPER nice people. Piet, our dog, loved them right away. I hope we get to go back soon.

Half Marathon Training Week 1 recap and My Running Story

I’m starting my training with Hal Higdon’s novice 5k plan because I have not run regularly since I ran a half marathon last December. I ran the Decker Challenge in Austin and it was my first half marathon ever.

decker

Do my fingers look less swollen like this?

I had never run that far before. In fact, before starting training for that race I had only ever run 6-8k tops.

For a first half marathon, I picked a HARD one. The Decker Challenge is full of hills, with a really long incline around mile 10.

deckerchallenge

Not my photo. I can’t believe I ran this.

I used Hal Higdon’s novice plan for half marathons to train for it. The longest run you do in that plan is a 10 miler the week before the race. According to Hal, you didn’t need to run more than that before your first half marathon, because the adrenaline and excitement you experience during the race will get you through to the end. Well, for me it was sheer willpower. After that huge hill at mile 10, it took EVERYTHING I had to get through that race. I HAD to finish. And I HAD to finish having run the whole thing. Those thoughts were the only things keeping me going. I had no music to push me and no podcasts to distract me. John was on a business trip at the time and I didn’t have many running friends or people who would willingly wake up early on Sunday morning to cheer me on. So, I didn’t even have that to keep me going…. just me and my thoughts. I was also running in between two pace groups, the 2:15 group I believe and the 2:20 group.For a lot of those last few miles I was running by myself.

I have never been good at running. Always huffing and puffing and lagging behind. Hating my life with every step. I remember being a senior in high school and having to run just one km during PE and I was dying. I was only 18, how embarrasing, right? I wasn’t overweight, just really unfit. I also have a pretty high resting heart rate. In the 90’s last time I checked, which really bothers me.

I didn’t start running for exercise until I was a Sophomore in college and I had gained the Sophomore 15. I had to start out really slowly. Run/walking until I could do 3 miles without walking. I was pretty confident in my running at that point. So much so that during the annual sportsfest at the university I was attending I signed up to run the one mile race after the original runner had cancelled. Sportsfest was just an event where different floors of the different dorm buildings at the school competed against each other. Some students were athletes, most were not, so it wasn’t a super serious competition. I had just had a bowl of oatmeal and the race was in half an hour, “yeah, I can totally do it.”

mile

Look at how confident I was

Well, I nearly barfed after that race. I did come in third though, out of four.

After that I didn’t run for a few years until I moved to Amsterdam and lived near the Amsterdamse bos (Amsterdam forest).

amsterdamsebos.jpg

Amsterdamse bos on a really good day. Also not my photo!

I decided I would start running in there and I started out slowly until I could run 6-8k without stopping. I would always quit in the winter time though because I couldn’t and still can’t stand the cold. In fact, it was the cold that stopped me from going running last year after the Decker Challenge and I lived in TEXAS.

When I moved to Austin I lived right next to a busy trail which was always full of runners.

trail.jpg

Just one of the many things I miss about Austin.

I got inspired to start running again after yet another hiatus and signed up for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5 mile race. I had so much fun I decided I was going to train for a half marathon and the rest… the rest is history.

I have about nine months to train for this next half marathon which is why I’m starting with the 5k plan. I’m also taking my dog out running with me and he needs to slowly build up his miles too. He has gotten way out of shape since we left Austin.

fatdog

Time to get fit doggy!

I want to try to keep running after this race. Now that I live in California there are a bunch of cool races around: Big Sur, the North Face challenge (I think), the San Francisco half, the San Francisco women’s half, and so on and so forth.

I do really miss the trail I used to live by in Austin though. I just don’t see as many runners out here. I like running where other people are also running around me.

Training is going well so far. This week the longest run was 1.75 miles. Piet, my dog, is getting used to it too. When he hears my watch beep he starts running. I listen to podcasts while I run. If I listen to music I have a tendency to blast it and that’s not good for my ears. I find podcasts a lot more distracting than music too. I try to listen to inspirational podcasts to help me feel hopeful about my life. It’s a good start to my day.