It’s (almost) my 25th Birthday! …Remembering Horrible Life Decisions

By this time tomorrow I will be the ripe old age of 25. This is the age that I will undoubtedly become a fully functioning adult human being because that is when that happens right? To celebrate (early) I thought I’d share with you some of the more horrible decisions I’ve made over the last quarter-century of my life and what I’ve learned from them.

1995: Kindergarten

I got a new hair cut and couldn’t wait to brag about it to my then best friend, Heather. I was so excited I didn’t even wait til the teacher stopped talking during class to blab on and on about my very fashionable bowl cut. Turns out if you talk during class you have to stay in during recess and sit in complete silence at your desk. This silence was and still is my nightmare.

    1995 Kari

My mother used to get so mad about those ears sticking out of the hat in all softball photos.

Life lesson learned: I have learned nothing from this to be quite honest. 20 years later I still talk far too much (a lot to my still best friend, Heather) and will tell anyone who will listen about my hair cuts and other relatively unimportant happenings in my life (aka having a blog).

2000: The Fourth Grade

I made the terrible mistake of calling my then nemesis Heather, a “bloody fish face” after returning from a family vacation in England. Heather did not enjoy this nickname and subsequently turned the entire class against me for an entire week.

2000 Kari

European vacation photos with a cameo by little sister Meghan back when she smiled for photos.

Life lesson learned: Don’t assume you can use lingo you picked up from visiting a place for a week… it’s not your lingo… nobody will think you are cooler. Be yourself but don’t be an asshole. More 10 year olds need to hear that.

2005: Freshman Year of High School

Ohhh the Great Eye Brow Debacle of 2015… what a time to be an awkward teenager. I don’t even think you could consider my eye brows over-plucked… they just weren’t there. You wanna talk about a learning experience.

2005 Kari

Sharing is caring. Don’t let this happen to you.

Life lesson learned: I wish I would have known that only two years after they finally grew back I would take a field hockey ball to the eye causing them to once again be ripped away from me. They are okay now but they will never be good. You know what’s cool 15 year old Kari? Eye brows. Keep them!

2010: Sophomore Year of College

Ah the year of the Bronzed Goddess. Jersey Shore was big, I was living in the south for the first time in my life and man did I care deeply about looking tan. So much so that I spent hundreds of dollars on tanning bed packages, spray tans and J-Wow Bronzing Lotion. I looked like an oompa loompa but nothing would stop me.

2010 Kari

This was the night Casey and I also ate a 5lb bag of tater tots so you know… live and learn.

Life lesson learned: I practically sailed myself over from Ireland, never will it look “natural” to be a tanning bed regular. I mean besides the fact that it is horrible for you I’d go back and tell myself that even Snookie stopped tanning.

In all seriousness I’d tell 20 year old me to not get so hung up on fitting in. Don’t be so selfish and don’t spend every dime that you absolutely do not have. You are much more likely to not only maintain relationships but create new ones if you embrace the fact that you are a goofy, sarcastic, loud, giggly, dancing fool. I’m serious about the money thing though, former self, you are broke, please stop pretending you aren’t!

2015: The Big 2-5!

While it hasn’t happened just yet I hope that my worst decisions this year are eating too many McDonald’s french fries, being “too” good at applying liquid eyeliner and attempting to hug a police officer.

2015 Kari

I hope I find balance between being taken seriously and not taking myself too seriously.

I hope that I take chances but make thoughtful decisions.

I hope that I keep smiling to show off my (first year on my own dental insurance) pearly whites.

I hope that when I drop the ball I find a way to pick it back up.

I hope I get that degree that has taken so many years and life lessons to get and remember how lucky I am to have been successful along the way to that little piece of paper.

I hope that this is the year that my brother thinks my stories are hilarious.

I hope that this is the year that I get a pony and figure out how to wear a tulle skirt in public.

I hope that I’m a better daughter, sister, girlfriend and friend to those I love so dearly but bring just enough dysfunction to keep making them laugh.

I hope that I become the coolest f&*#ing person on planet earth best version of myself.

2015 Kari

As always, thank you so much for reading! You guys are seriously the best!

Feel free to share a hopefully hilariously horrible decision or a life lesson learned below!

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Training Day: Jan 29th-Feb 4th

I’m so happy to report my workouts have gone from non-existent to sporadic to dare I say regularly scheduled! Holla! Here is this week’s success story…

Thursday: Flow @ Sangha

Last week was really great for my yoga practice, I made it to 4 classes and really started to get into a “flow” shall we speak. Thursday night’s class however was definitely a struggle. It was just one of those classes where I spent half the time just feeling entirely unbalanced and the other half of the time thinking about how unbalanced I was. I was frustrated but I just kept telling myself that if I just push through I’ll feel so much better and I really did. Everyone has those classes, Thursday was just mine.

Friday: Spinning @ Cyclepath

Maria and I made it to our weekly spin class date about 15 minutes early and had a really awesome chat with the owners. Little did we know the freezing cold temperatures kept everyone else away that night so we essentially got an hour long private class. They even played Bastille… you guys know how strongly I feel about that band, I was in heaven! Thanks so much to Ian and Kara for taking the time to help us sweat it out also thank you for not making us do push ups 🙂

Saturday: Slow Massage Flow @ Sangha

This was the first time I took this style of class which is described as being mellow, gentle and meditative. I was really excited about it because I love the instructor and I thought it’d be a great way to relax for an hour while still doing something good for myself. I absolutely loved the style of class and I’m so glad I went but I am hesitant about just how crowded it was. The studio is small and the weekend classes seem to be quite popular (such a great problem for them to have in my opinion) but I think I prefer my week day classes with a little bit more space.

Sunday: Rest

Aka Super Bowl watching and chili eating.

Monday: Rest

We did go bowling that night which was a blast but I’m not entirely sure that I exuded a lot of physical energy getting all of those strikes 😉

Bowling

Tuesday: Snowboarding

I took a random vacation day to finally escape up to the mountains for a day on the slopes. It was bitterly cold but the blue skies and sun shining were only slightly less attractive than the huge piles of untouched powder. There were no lift lines, no jam ups on the trails and absolutely no limit to how truly sore I could make myself in one day. It was perfect. We spent most of the afternoon in the glades and also made a few casual pit stops at the Castlerock Pub… because why not?

Sugarbush Mountain

Zach in the glades

Wednesday: Sore

So sore, just so unbelievably sore. I had really high hopes of going to my favorite yoga class of the week around lunch time but I just couldn’t have imagined that would have been very fun in my condition. Walking up the stairs to get to my evening class last night was the worst kind of torture. Oh well, it was worth it 🙂

On to this week’s plan…

Thursday: 30 minutes of Yoga at home

Friday: Spin Class @ Cyclepath

Saturday: Snowboarding with the family for the birthday!

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Flow Yoga @ Sangha

Tuesday: Spin Class @ Cyclepath

Wednesday: Flow Yoga @ Sangha

I’m really happy with how these last two weeks have gone fitness wise, they aren’t perfect but they are so much better and it’s amazing how great I feel just being more consistent. Hope you are having a lovely Thursday!

How is your fitness routine going?

Bowling: Exercise or not?

Recapping: Quebec City Part One

Hello all and welcome to one of my favorite types of posts… travel recaps!

Warning: This post is decently long, I’ve tried to put as much character in it as possible but if you want to just scroll through the pictures I don’t blame you.

A couple of weekends ago Zach and I joined our friends on a last minute trip up to Quebec City and let me tell you, it was incredible!

Friday Night

We arrived at the Quebec City Marriott Downtown and were immediately greeted by a valet who helped us with our items and led us into the quaint but beautiful lobby. The rooms were on the smaller side but had all of the items we could possibly need for a weekend away. Once we got all settled in to the hotel we headed back down to the lobby for some recommendations for our Friday evening. I can’t for the life of me remember the valet’s name but let’s call him Isaac. He gave us the breakdown of the city and gave us some suggestions for dinner as well as a few local pubs to try out afterwards.

Dinner @ Café Au Bonnet D’âne

Roughly 15 minutes walking distance from our hotel we ended up at this cozy little corner cafe on Rue Saint Jean-Baptiste. The highlight of the menu was their extensive list of poutines which we all decided would be the perfect dish to warm up with. For those of you who haven’t had poutine it’s typically french fries, cheese curds and gravy… it’s also a heart attack waiting to happen but is quite delicious in moderation (aka once every 7 years). The poutine section had everything from traditional brown gravy to a cajun cream sauce and a even a red sauce. I went with the traditional and their take on the Mexicain burger which was topped with onion rings, chipotle sauce, brie and tomatoes. It was a total showstopper of a meal.

Cafe au Bonnet D'ane

   Cafe au Bonnet D'ane

A pint @ Nelligan’s Pub

After our hearty meals we headed back towards the hotel in search of the small Irish pub we were told had a great low key vibe which is exactly what we were looking for. The Nelligan’s crowd was eclectic to say the least, everyone from old men throwing back shots and laughing at each other to college aged kids huddled in the back room trying to get a buzz going. Seating was limited but we were lucky enough to have two gentlemen offer to move over so we could get the bench by the bar. We had a blast sitting and chatting with them for an hour, I couldn’t believe how nice everyone was to us. I’ve been to Montreal many a times and each time (in my experience) you count your lucky stars to get one friendly waiter let alone a couple of locals. I tried their namesake ale and thought it was really good but it was the atmosphere that won me over.

Nelligan's Pub

After a few more stops on the pub crawl list we headed back towards the hotel but made sure to stop first at the ice rink located across the street and take photos/run across the empty ice. Shh don’t tell anyone.

De La Place D'Youville

Quebec City

Saturday Morning

As you can see from the photo above our hotel was located just outside of one of the gates entering the old city. Saturday morning we ventured down through the winding cobblestone roads to find the historic district of Petit Champlain.

Old Quebec Funicular

Petit Champlain is located so much lower than the rest of the city that you have to take a serious set of stairs or this funicular. We gladly paid the $7 for the four of us to ride down.

Petit Champlain

The minute we stepped out of the Funicular it was like we had just walked into an old European city. I kept comparing it to stepping out of the Tardis because I couldn’t get over how beautiful and different this part of the city was. I’ve finally made a Doctor Who reference on the blog… so happy!

Brunch @ Le Lapin Sauté

My job was to find the brunch locations for the trip (a task I take incredibly seriously) and after reading a ton of reviews online had settled on this gem of a spot.

Le Lapin Saute on Petit Champlain

The entire restaurant was the size of my apartment’s kitchen and so perfectly decorated to be someone’s home in the country. The service was unbelievable, they were so friendly and welcoming. They gave us menus in English (bonus points) and the menu was expansive but fairly priced. Our meals included coffee or tea, fruit smoothie shots, and the entree for around $15 on the higher end.

Le Lapin Saute Brunch

I ordered the maple sauteed apple omelet which came with potatoes and this warmed up slice of baguette. It was all so delicious but that strawberry jam was the best part of the meal. I wish I could have taken it home with me. The servers were so attentive and helpful, they really seemed to enjoy themselves. I would love to go back there in the summer and enjoy my meal on the restaurant’s patio!

Maria and I

We spent the rest of the morning popping in and out of the stores on Petit Champlain which ranged from authentic fur shops to your typical souvenir shops and candy stores.

Bear Attack

Couldn’t resist.

Zach and I Quebec City

This photo is one of my favorites from the trip! I love that you can see the Château Frontenac as well as the Funicular and the streets of Petit Champlain 🙂

So that was the first half of our trip, hope you guys enjoyed it! I can’t recommend Quebec City enough, we had such a surprisingly amazing time! Stay tuned for the second half which includes a behind the scenes tour of Hôtel de Glace, ice skating, as well as a restaurant featured by Anthony Bourdain.

Have you ever been to Quebec City?

Have you ever had Poutine?

Recapping: Cocktails, Comedy & Chili

Happy February Friends!

So I didn’t get any posts up last week but this week I have prepared for what I think is a great week of posts so definitely make sure you stop back by to find out what I’ve been up to (aka where I’ve been eating and drinking). Starting things off is a little recap from what turned out to be quite the busy weekend!

Friday

The new Hilton Garden Inn opened up in downtown Burlington on Friday and Sarah and I decided to check out the appropriately named Armory Grille & Bar just inside of it. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking but it’s definitely a very cool space that I think is really going to take off. The drink menu was a little on the small side but that was to be expected for their first day open to the public. I must say the Burlington Mule was absolutely delicious and I appreciate all places who serve them in the appropriate cups.

  Armory Grille & Bar

 Burlington Mule

Burlington Mule = Smuggler’s Notch Vodka + Rookies Ginger Beer

Sarah and I at the Armory

Saturday

One of the joys of living in a complex with an parking lot is that we have spots off of the street during the dreaded parking bans from snow storms. One of the downfalls is being woken up before 9am on a Saturday to move our cars for the plow to come through. Such was the case Saturday morning so instead of being lazy like we had planned Zach and I hit up the grocery store in order to make this epic feast…

Brunch

We somehow managed to push through our food coma and both make it to the gym after this meal, that’s dedication. Later that night we went out to support our friends in the Best In Show Comedy event at Hotel Vermont. I had seen some of these acts before but I must say that they were so much better than I remembered! I loved the different styles of comedy they each brought to the mic, it was an awesome excuse way to waste an evening laughing with some of my favorite humans. Big shout out to Mike & Adam for inviting us and being hilarious per usual! Oh and the $5 cans of Sip of Sunshine are always welcome in my book! If you are local and have a chance to check out these guys I’d highly recommend it!

Best in Show @ Hotel Vermont

(photo cred Hotel Vermont’s facebook)

Sunday

I really like to grocery shop. I like to make the lists, save the coupons, and I especially like sorting the groceries to bag them in the most appropriate manner possible. This is by far the dorkiest quality I have but it’s the truth. I’d dare say I’m the best grocery bagger that’s ever come out of the state of Vermont. That being said, I have a few deeply held beliefs on grocery shopping and they are as follows…

1) Do not go on the day of the Super Bowl.

2) Do not go on any Sunday, ever.

3) Do not ever go on the 1st of the month.

I am here to admit that I broke all of my rules yesterday and it was the worst decision I’ve made in a long time. I stood in line for an hour. There was a kid passed out under the flower stand the lines were so absurd. I’m still completely traumatized thinking about all of the horribly bagged groceries that must have come out of the place that dreadful afternoon. Hopefully when I turn 25 on Saturday I stop making such poor life decisions.

After the disaster that was the grocery store Zach and I managed to pull off a pretty decent spread for a few friends coming over for the Super Bowl. We had ourselves a little chili cook off and managed to incorporate cheese into every single dish which is never a bad bet.

Super Bowl Chili Cook Off

While I was thoroughly bummed with the outcome (I freaking hate the Patriots) I did find solace in knowing that one day my dream of becoming a mascot can not only come true but it can come true in the form of a singing shark during the Super Bowl halftime show. My career goals have just changed dramatically.Super Bowl Singing Shark

So yeah now you know that I’m a grocery store nerd and an aspiring dancing shark, you are welcome.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday! Come back tomorrow for the first half of my Quebec City recap!

🙂

Have you attended many comedy shows?

How do you feel about the grocery store? I’m willing to bet probably not as strongly as I feel.