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Hi friends! Happy Labor Day weekend! How are you doing this fine day? I felt like last week would never end, just some work frustrations and uncertainties. There is definitely something different about being a free roving consultant, as opposed to working full time for a company. You just never know when work will end or begin. It is definitely scary and can keep a girl up at night.

Anyway, I am psyched because I quit my gym (which I hadn’t visited since April, but was paying monthly, oops!) and bought a spinning bike. My favorite part of the gym was spinning and free weights, and now I have it all at home. Now to get the hubby to build a sauna. . .

Spinning is one of my favorite workouts, especially as part of a marathon training plan. I am hoping to get my hands on a 2012 Boston Marathon bib, and I deferred my Napa Marathon registration to this year. If I can manage to get back in shape without burning out, I may train for one or both. Or enjoy being a spectator, having beers, and cheering everyone else on. Who can tell what the future holds?

One of my favorite parts of spinning is the music, and I got started on my Spotify playlist yesterday, but I would love your help. Here’s what I’ve got so far. Promise not to laugh, okay?

Maneater – Nelly Furtado

Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado

Rolling in the Deep – Adele

Till the World Ends – Britney

Hold it Against Me – Britney

Crazy Beautiful Life – Ke$ha

We R Who We R – Ke$sha

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus (told you not to laugh!)

Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga


What am I missing? What are some of your favorite workout tunes? The more embarrassing the better!

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Tags: exercise, music

Did you know that in Ireland spring starts on February 1? Technically it begins on March 20/21 like here in the US, but they consider February to be spring, and that’s good enough for me.

On our trip to Ireland that past couple of weeks, we were blessed with a mix of both wintry and spring-like weather. When Ireland is clear and warm, there is really no place like it. Likewise, as I found out as a runner, if it is windy, rainy, and cold there is nothing more bone chilling.

Luckily on our first full day, we had a gorgeous morning and I did a fantastic hill workout around the hubs’ old neighborhood. I took the family dog for the first part of it.


He keeps a great pace for a 17 year old Pomeranian!

Once my run was over, we walked into town for a pub lunch and some shopping. After a lot of wandering, we decided on The Front Door. The Front Door is a sprawling old pub with dark wood and cozy seating. It was one of my many Galway haunts in college, but like many pubs in Ireland, attracts a variety of ages especially during the day for football and rugby matches.

We both opted for a pub favorite, soup, brown bread, and the obligatory pint of Guinness. I apologize in advance for the varying quality in my photos from the trip. We used two cameras and were often in very dimly lit spaces.


The soup was gorgeous and comforting. I detected carrot, parsnip, and leek and will definitely be playing with flavors of my own to recreate this velvety blend.


Our walk around town brought us by the Galway Cathedral and down the cobbled streets of the city.




After a really lovely day in town and some relaxing by the fire, we went out for a quiet, romantic evening at a wine bar that I love.


Biquet’s is dark with a lot of candlelight, good music, and a pretty extensive wine list, mainly French. Their cheese plate is to die for and is really a meal in itself, albeit not a balanced one :)


Blue cheese, brie, goat cheese, herb cheese, Manchego, and yes a lovely pot of sweet, creamy homemade butter for the crusty baguette that they provide.

After a glass of house red and our cheese, we headed up the town to listen to some music. Many places in Galway offer live music nightly be it traditional Irish or other types of lively tunes for dancing or relaxing with friends and family. We wandered into the Hotel Spanish Arch and tapped our feet to some great instrumental songs from Ireland and around the world.


As you can probably imagine, it was a blissfully relaxing day, full of good food, family, drinks, beautiful scenery and exercise, pretty much everything I love in life!

Do you have a place that you love to visit because it incorporates all of your favorite things?

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Tags: Food, Ireland, music, Travel, wine, wine bars

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