I Am Back

I have been out of town for the past week visiting my sister before she moved to Germany. It was not only a much needed vacation, it was a much needed break from blogging. Once I’m a little more settled into the week, I’ll let you know about a few changes to the blog that will hopefully lead to fewer periods of extended hiatus.

For now, here’s a shot of me and my little sis on her last night in Michigan.

First Day of Summer

Today is the official start of summer! Here in Baltimore, we’re ushering in the season with uncomfortably hot weather. But I’m not going to let that ruin summer for me. It’s such a great season. There’s always lots to do and so many great ways to relax and have fun.

This summer I’m looking forward to…

…Just relaxing in the park, where it’s always 10º cooler than anywhere else in the city. On Tuesday and Sunday evenings, they have free concerts. It’s fun to set up a blanket on Pagoda Hill and enjoy a little picnic while listening to music.

…Sprucing up the garden and enjoying the beauty of our back patio while sharing a bottle of wine on cool (a person can dream!) evenings.

…Keeping up with my running in spite of the warm weather. Though I’m also hoping to supplement this with some swimming from time to time. I can’t wait for the pool to open up.

…Spending time with my awesome sister before she breaks my heart by moving to Germany.

…And of course, hanging with my husband. He’s my favorite companion when it comes to trying out new recipes with fresh summer ingredients, walking to get gelato in the evenings, completing little projects around the house and, of course, just lounging around on the couch watching movies and avoiding the heat.

What are you looking forward to doing this summer?


This is the look I want to give to this week. Just a “why are you bothering me when I just want to chill?” look. It isn’t really working out in my favor that this is a short week thanks to the holiday on Monday. Normally, I’d be thrilled, but instead, I feel like I’m trying to pack 3 weeks worth of stuff I absolutely must do into only 6 days.

All of this is to say that I probably won’t be posting much, if at all this week. Things are too nutty. I am still determined to get my daily photos up, but even that might not be possible. So anyway, if it is really quiet around here, my apologies and don’t worry: I’ll be back next week feeling more like this

2 Years + 7

May 25, 2008

Two years ago today, I married the man who has been my closest friend and confidant for what feels like ages by this point. I have known Dan since middle school and we started dated when we were just 16. So while today marks the end of our first two years of marriage, Dan and I are actually in our 9th year as a couple. That’s crazy!

Over the course of nine years, you really get to know each other. Some things aren’t so great and you just learn how to live with them (e.g. Dan will often putz around on his computer while I’m talking to him about something and it never seems like he’s listening to what I’m saying, but then when I accuse him of not listening, he always manages to repeat word-for-word everything I’ve said. It’s infuriating, but by this point, it mostly just makes me laugh). But there are lots of other things that are constant reminders of how lucky I am to have such a kick-ass partner. In honor of our nine years, here are nine things about my husband that are totally awesome. Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Oct. 2001, Homecoming Dance, High school Junior Year

1. Before we started dating, Dan and I would get together and study for our Chemistry class. Dan was pretty good at chemistry, I got by thanks to his help. We would meet up at Einstein Bros. Bagels to study. It was the beginning of fall and they had just released their seasonal cookies, these positively delicious Pumpkin Spice cookies. I loved those cookies! To this day, whenever I eat Pumpkin Spice anything, I think back to those study dates and remember what it felt like when I first realized I liked Dan.

Homecoming Dance, High school Senior Year, Fall 2002

2. Whenever something is really funny, Dan always starts laughing by kind of throwing his head back and he instinctively puts his hands on his hips as if to catch himself because the humor of the situation is enough to make him fall backwards. It always makes me laugh even harder.

High school, Senior Year, Spring 2003 (9 years worth of pictures and this one is still my favorite)

3. With great patience and so much support, Dan helped turn me into a runner. He ran alongside and paced me during my first half marathon last year, and when I finished the race, he was way more proud of me than I was of myself. It was awesome.

Summer 2006 (between junior and senior years of college)

4. He knows, like, everything. His brain stores so much information and knowledge. Often, when our friends are having a dispute about something or someone needs an answer to some random question, they’ll get in touch with Dan to find out what’s what and he pretty much always knows.

College Graduation, May 2007

5. In keeping with number 4, he’s a great teacher. He has a background in Economics and has been most helpful in improving my understanding of what’s happening in the national and global economies and what needs to be done, etc. He is fantastic at taking complicated things and explaining them in simpler, more digestible terms.

Comerica Park (Summer of '07, I think)

6. He writes a fantastic blog about baseball/baseball cards. Even though I don’t really care about baseball cards, I still love reading the blog because his writing is so funny and heartfelt. Check out his post on recently deceased Jose Lima. I don’t know Jose Lima from Adam and this post still made me tear up.

On our honeymoon, Dec. 2008

7. He runs marathons in Hawaii, which means we got to go there for our honeymoon. It was fabulous.

Sept. 2009

8.  He doesn’t let fear of looking silly or ridiculous stop him from doing things that he thinks are fun or interesting. It’s admirable and a quality I’m trying more and more to emulate. (Case in point, he grew the beard above for the purpose of shaving it down to just a mustache for the start of the University of Michigan football season. He looked ridiculous and kind of like a pervert with that mustache, but he just rolled with it and had a good time.)

Winter, 2010

9. He’s hilariously funny. Seriously, I spend so much of my life laughing at what he says. It’s fantastic.

Hooray For Friday!

Get Happy from Moxiedoll

I am so glad this week is over and I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I have an 8 mile run to do tomorrow and a friend’s housewarming party tomorrow night, but apart from those two things, I’m excited to just relax and watch some movies and hang out with my husband and pets. We’re supposed to have good weather all weekend, so maybe I’ll spend a little time reading in the park.

Why don’t you welcome the weekend with this fun article about dinner dates from the perspective of a waiter? It’s pretty great.

Have a great weekend!

A Non-Easter Weekend

by aussiegall

Since my husband is Jewish and I don’t give a hoot and half about Easter, we will be spending our weekend eating things on matzo and enjoying what is supposed to be wonderful weather here in Baltimore. Dan and I have tentative plans to start cleaning up our “backyard” and begin replanting our garden. Our little patio space really took a hard hit with all the snow we had this winter and I’m definitely looking forward to getting things cleaned up and replanted. We also need to put up our beautiful woven branch chuppah so that it is in place when the ivy that runs along our neighbors’ fence begins to grow again. I think the chuppah will look really pretty wrapped in flowering ivy. I’m excited to have the back patio all spruced up so that as the evenings start to get warming, we go back to sitting outside, chatting and enjoying glasses of wine. That’s definitely one of my favorite things about warm weather.

We are headed to DC tonight to meet some family for dinner and have a bunch of small errands to run tomorrow. But other than that, our weekend should be pretty relaxing and carefree with, I hope, lots of time spent out in the sun.

Next week, baseball officially starts. I’m stoked!

Happy Easter to everyone who is celebrating.

Friday Farewell


My husband is working a little late this evening so I’m taking the rest of the afternoon to read in the sun and stroll through the park with my puppy dog before meeting up with him later for some food and a few drinks.

I’m looking forward to more fantastic weather that is in store for us this weekend! I might try to take advantage of it and get a little bit of work done in our backyard gardens. Other than that, I’m just planning to do a bit of running and good deal of basketball watching and some catching up with a friend who is coming into town on Saturday night.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. If you haven’t entered my massage giveaway yet and you live near Baltimore and want to win a free massage, be sure to get your entry in before midnight tonight. Thanks to everyone who has entered thus far and don’t forget to check back here on Monday when I’ll be announcing the winner!

If Only

My husband just sent me this message:

Federal Tax Refund. What up.

Our tax money has arrived! We really stuck it to the man this year after having the man stick it to us and got a pretty nice refund.

I would like to use the money to take a trip to Colombia to visit my brother…

(My mom and dad took all of these photographs during their trip there last year with just a little point and shoot camera. Just goes to show that all you need to take beautiful pictures is a beautiful location!)

…but we really need a washer and dryer, so the money will have to go to that first. I’m going to visit him someday soon, though! I’m determined!

What would you do if you got a little extra cash?



I am super busy today coming up with clever marketing ideas and pulling together some information for a Chair Massage brochure that I’m trying to put together this week. I will be back to regular blogging tomorrow and I have some good stuff planned so be sure to check in! Hope everyone is having a relaxing or at least productive day!

You Said It {The Time Has Come}

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

~Sven Geran Eriksson

On Tuesday, my massage therapy license arrived in the mail. I am officially a Licensed Massage Therapist. On Wednesday, I published the website {www.clairetaylormassage.com} for my business. I have never created a website before and am extremely pleased with how it turned out. I have selected this coming Monday, March 1st as the official start date for appointments. This is it. I started this process at the beginning of February, 2009 and now, just a little over one year later, I’m ready to be a working Massage Therapist.

It’s scary. I am a highly motivated person and when I set out to do something well, I take it very hard when I fail in that endeavor. Massage Therapy is a competitive business. You have to find a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd and you have to be able to give not just a good massage, but a great massage every time. In a business that is largely driven by word of mouth recommendations, every client is a crucial component in building a successful practice. It feels like a lot of pressure. I’m trying to remain calm and forcing myself to remember that it’s all about staying centered, staying focused and being present for my clients and myself in every session. The rest is a bit of luck, a lot of determination and a nice dose of courage.

* * * * * *

This weekend, I have a few massages left in my free promotion and my husband and I are (weather permitting) going out in search of a long overdue washer and dryer. Saturday night I’m catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Other than that, I’m looking forward to watching The Wire and doing a bit of reading. It would be nice if the cold, blistering weather we have right now would turn around a bit, but I’m not counting on it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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