The Christmas Season

Another Christmas season has past. It started with my very first real Christmas tree. I grew up with a fake tree since my family has allergies, but this year Teddy and I cut down one in his parent’s back yard. It is a bit scrawny, but much larger than I anticipated. It was also free! We got a few ornaments and picked up lights and a few other decorations at a local craft fair.P1040252

The holiday season included many other festive activities – a trip to the Christmas Revels with friends, visits to craft fairs, and a fun night of making gingerbread cookies.

Teddy and I hosted about 25 friends for a Christmas party! We wanted to share our meade with everyone, I made way too many cookies, and we had lots of fun. It was great to see everyone, and we’re hoping to make it an annual event.

On Christmas Eve my family enjoyed a lovely meal with friends before heading to church. On Christmas morning we headed up to New Hampshire, and the following evening my sister returned from the west coast and we enjoyed a relaxing evening opening gifts and spending time together. On Saturday we saw the other side of my family, and on Sunday we spent time with Teddy’s family. Needless to say it was wonderful to see the family, but it was great to get back to Cambridge as well. Sometimes the holidays can get a bit overwhelming!

Work has been super quiet this week, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting back to normal next week. New Years can always be a bit stressful, and this year is no different. I’m looking forward to this weekend!

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Warby Parker Review

Have you heard of Warby Parker? It’s an site to purchase really cute glasses. The best part about it? They send you up to four pairs of glasses at a time, and you’re able to try them on at home. The company allows you to repeat this process as many times as you’d like until you find the perfect frames. After you’ve decided on the frames, they fill your prescription and send the completed glasses to you! Pretty cool, huh?

A little background – my family has REALLY bad eyes. Like extremely bad. Both of my parents are legally blind because their eye site is so poor. We are a site to behold on the beach in the summer. Let’s just say we’ve always had very distinctive coloring on our beach umbrellas. A family of functionally blind people trying to find their towel in a sea of people? Not pretty. I am lucky enough to have the best eyes in my family – I didn’t get glasses until I was in Middle School! My parents were so proud/surprised.

Because my sister has such a strong prescription, she frequently has a difficult time finding glasses that work for her. The lenses have to be very thick, and there are a lot of frames that won’t accommodate those lenses. Alternatively, thinning lenses out can be super expensive. Because of all of these limitations, she’s been hesitant to try out any online glasses vendors.

When she was in town a few weeks ago we headed into Boston to go to the brick-and-mortar location of Warby Parker. My sister lives in upstate New York, so online shopping is a huge help for her. She had previously tried on quite a few pairs of Warby Parker frames and knew what she liked. However, she was nervous due to the strength of her prescription.

Frames from Warby Parker

We headed into the very cute shop, and we were both totally blown away by the customer service. There were loads of fun styles to try on, and she quickly found an optometrist with whom she could review her concerns. Not only were they able to accommodate her prescription, but she was able to get just the frames she was looking for. Better yet – the price was nearly half of what she was expecting to pay! How amazing is that?!

Because the business is all online, an associate helped her place the order, took a few measurements for the fit of the frames, and walked her through the next steps. Since she didn’t have the prescription on hand, she was able to email Warby Parker the name of her optometrist who wrote the last prescription, and the company got in touch with them directly to get the prescription. Such amazing service!

Now, while my sister was floating around on cloud 9 so excited about the fact that she could actually get awesome glasses, I was poking around the shop. I’ve been considering getting prescription sun glasses for quite some time, but never felt that I could justify the cost. Though it would be so convenient (right now I rarely wear sunglasses) my eyes have been changing so rapidly that it hasn’t felt like a good investment. That is, until now! At my last appointment, my optometrist advised me that my eyes are nearly finished changing (yay!) so I could expect relatively minor changes in my prescription moving forward. The reasonable prices, cute styles and ease of use convinced me – time for new sun glasses!

I had an equally seamless experience getting the prescription from my doctor, and I received an email when the glasses shipped. They’ve finally arrived, and I’m totally thrilled! I’m excited to use them for driving, and beach days will be super different – I’ll be able to see the beach!

Anyway, if you are interested in a new pair of glasses, I encourage you to try Warby Parker. I was very impressed with the service, and I’m thrilled with the outcome!

The Aidez is done!

Holy smokes, I made a sweater.P1040260

It only took a year, but I’m finally done! Overall, I’m super happy with the pattern, and would love to make it again. It was a lot of work, and I think I need a break from cabling for a while, but I love it so much! I’m excited about the prospect of another sweater, and have been eagerly prowling Ravelry for more patterns. I’ve been eyeing Sundottir but I’m waiting to find the perfect yarn. In the meantime, my knitting tasks involve finishing up a baby sweater and a new pair of socks, but I’m craving a new big project. Hopefully soon!

 

Race Review: Cambridge Winter Classic

My first race since high school was a great success!

Teddy and I decided to run the Cambridge Winter Classic 5k race. It would be Teddy’s first race ever, and my first race since high school. I’ve been running for a while, and looking for a new challenge. I promised Teddy that if he found a training plan, and stuck to it, we could run the race together. Seeing as it was my first road race, there were some logistics to get used to, but overall I’d give this race 5 stars! It was great fun and I’d absolutely run it again.

We picked up our bibs on Saturday afternoon at the Asgard pub in Cambridge. Pick up was well organized and easy. We got great technical tee shirts (long sleeve, too!) and great pint glasses. If you do both the Fall and Winter Classic races you get an awesome fleece – noted for next year!

We arrived at the start around 8:45 and easily oriented ourselves. We found my parents, gave them our stuff, and then just focused on staying warm. We lined up with about 10 minutes to spare before the race. We placed ourselves with the 10:00 minute pacing group. Based on our training this would be an aggressive pace for Teddy to hold and he was a bit hesitant, but I encouraged us to try it. We could always slow down a bit.

As soon as the race began we hit the pavement at a quick pace. The course was very crowded, so we focused on staying towards the inside of the curves and keeping enough space around us. The crowd support for the race was pretty minimal, but the runners were all in very good spirits, and the atmosphere was awesome.

We missed the first mile marker, so by the time we passed the second one I was a bit disoriented. Was the “Mile 2” sign indicating that we were at the beginning or the end of the mile?! Distress ensued. I also didn’t have a watch (it’s on my Christmas list…) so really wasn’t too sure on our pacing. Teddy was feeling strong so we kept up our aggressive pace.

Finally we started to see a few people with bibs walking towards us – we must be nearing the end! I sprinted towards the end and had quite a bit of steam left. We finished unsure of our final time, but we ran past the clock while it was displaying 30:04 – we might have made it below 30 minutes!

Teddy’s goal for the race was to not walk at all, and my goal was to support him and stay together. The race absolutely flew by, and it was a blast! Our final time was 28:46, or a 9:15 pace! I’m thrilled with that time. I felt awesome the entire time, and am excited about running a race by myself and really pushing my pace. This was faster than I’ve been running lately, so was a good boost of confidence. Hooray! I think the running bug has bitten Teddy and he wasn’t to keep racing – his competitive spirit will do him well 🙂

 

Summary:

  • Distance: 5k fun run
  • Time: 28:46
  • Pace: 9:15
  • Would race again: Absolutely

Weekend in Review

This weekend felt super long – but maybe that was because I packed so much in!

Friday

On Friday Teddy and I had a relaxing evening. We started by heading to the Longefellow House, a historic house in Cambridge that I visited earlier in the summer. It was decorated for Christmas, and there were knowledgeable guides thoughout the house discussing Christmas celebrations during the time while the Longfellow family was living there. It was really interesting, and I loved all of the decorations! I particularly enjoyed the beautiful luminaries lining the pathways around the house. My mother used to make Christmas luminaries, so it reminded me of home!
After the tour, we grabbed a quick bit to eat before heading home for a relaxing evening. We’ve been missing each other a lot this week, so it was nice to make a pot of tea and catch up. We also finished the final episode of Sherlock, and really enjoyed it! We’re looking forward to the new season, and also looking for new show suggestions. Any thoughts?

Saturday

On Saturday our first stop was a Christmas Craft fair in Harvard Square. We enjoyed looking at the crafts, and even picked up a few gifts. Next, we headed down to Central Square to pick up our race bibs for our first race! (More on that tomorrow). After that we stopped at a few places to pick up more supplies for Christmas gift creations. After all of the errands, we landed at Mr. Bartleys, a Harvard Square institution, where we enjoyed milk shakes and burgers. Not exactly the world’s most healthy lunch, but boy was it tasty! We headed back to my place were I finished up the vast majority of my Christmas shopping (thanks, Amazon) and Teddy mass produced gifts for his family. Again – more later!
I enjoyed a relaxing evening of knitting and reading before heading to bed early. It was a very relaxing a productive day!

Sunday

Sunday started bright and early with a 5k race, which I’ll recap tomorrow. It was very fun, and my parents came into town to watch! After the race we headed over to Zoe’s for brunch. Very tasty, as always! We were craving some classic diner food, and they always deliver. After brunch we said bye to Teddy and headed over to my apartment for a while. My parents wanted to see our beautiful Christmas tree! After relaxing at my place for a while we headed over to the Coop. I always love browsing the books there, and end up feeling inspired and wishing that I made reading more of a priority. I’ve been getting through books quite quickly lately, but there is so much to read!
We finished our afternoon by enjoying an excellent concert by the St. Paul’s Boy’s Choir. The sound was incredible, and the program was fabulous. It was such a treat to hear a unique and world-famous group perform. I loved the seasonal selection, and the acoustics in the church were magnificent! They’ve recently released a new CD, so the group has been receiving a lot of publicity lately. All in all, we were extremely glad that we were able to attend.
All in all, this was a very festive and productive weekend – hopefully the this week continues in the same vein!