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In May my family headed back home to Romania to visit my extended family and attend the wedding of a close family friend. The week was full of family, food, laughing, and wedding fun. And weddings in Romania are quiet the experience - two days, two ceremonies ... an the reception lasted till 6 in the morning and included a 6 course meal. Wow!
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Come July, my family was back off for another international adventure. This time to Singapore for four days and then on to Japan for another five days. Amazing trip! First we visited our friends in Singapore who just had a little girl in February! So adorable - and ... my parents are her Godparents! This was my 5th trip to Singapore and it was just as awesome as I remember. Cannot wait to go back and see Megan (and the city!) again! Then it was onto Tokyo for a few (super hot) days of travel. This was my first time in Japan and it was wonderful to explore somewhere new. We visit Tokyo and Kyoto as well as the Hakone region where Mt. Fuji is located (where I spent my actual birthday!). And ... ended the trip on a fabulously high note with an upgrade for the 12 hour flight from Tokyo Narita to MSP. Heaven.
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Then we rounded out this year's international adventures by heading to Paris for my mom's birthday ... for my mom's SURPRISE birthday! She didn't know she was going till the day before ... and she didn't know that I would be there along with their best friends until she saw us in the hotel lobby. Three days in the city of lights at Thanksgiving was amazing! Walked the city, ate lots of amazing food, laughed with my loved ones, stopped at some museums, wandered the Christmas Market on the Champs Elysees.
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I don't generally do too much personal US travel each year and a handful of business trips. But this year, there was a bit more than in the past. Went to LA (twice), Colorado, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Detroit, and somewhere in one of the Virginias. Most were business trips, but it is always fun to breakup the week with some travel! Got to have some great food in LA and spend some time in amazing hotels, shopping, styling and a TV show filming and after party (all for a work event). I stayed on after a business trip in San Francisco for some personal days - got a hotel down by the waterfront and spent my mornings running and biking by the water and across the Golden Gate bridge and my afternoons wandering the city, watching the America's Cup and eating yummy food. And finally, spent one of my evenings at the Legends of Summer Concert with Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. Colorado was fully for fun - visiting one of my best friends in Fort Collins and spending some time in the mountains snow shoeing. Then Indianapolis, Cincinnati and San Antonio for work. Not exactly the funnest places in the US, but whatever. I will say, San Antonio was pretty cool with its lower-level canal system and cute restaurants and pathways, etc. And ... all that travel to California = lots of delicious In N Out Burger. Yummy!!!!
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I ended 2012 in a not happy place with my weight. I have a very roller coaster relationship with my weight, but at the end of 2012 it was really on a high point (low point? ... whatever). It wasn't good. I had had a rough fall/winter in 2012 and was ready for a change. So I changed ... a lot. I worked out every day, I started running seriously, I took up Jillian Michaels DVDs, I started packing my lunch everyday, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, and being all about moderation. The results? I lost 37.5 pounds in 16 weeks. And, for the most part, I managed to keep it off! I ended the year only 1 pound above where I was at my lowest!
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They wanted to take my rent up 20% at my old apartment. So, a hectic and frustrating search ensued. I could not find anything that had the things I needed: reasonable price + safe + two bedrooms + 1000 sq ft or more + a gym + a good Minneapolis address. Is that so hard?!?!? Apparently, yes. So after I had given up and decided I might as well stay where I am and just suck it up and pay the price, I found IT. IT!!! And by IT, I mean the perfect apartment. Good location. Great price. Super safe (24 hour security and an annoying large number of doors with key card only access). And the flat itself. OMG. Huge. Two bedrooms. Open plan. Converted warehouse. Cement floors. 13 ft ceilings. And THE most amazing view of downtown Minneapolis and the miles and miles of city surrounding it! It's still hard to believe I live here sometimes! Moving was fun/crazy. You try painting 13 ft ceilings! Although I am sure I drove my parents to almost hate me, but 5 days transformed this place - new paint on ever wall, full cleaning, and moving and setting up every single thing to form a beautiful loft!
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I got promoted at work. Boom. Assistant Manager!
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I also got a rotation at work in May. After spending over 2 years works on the Progresso business in IMC, I moved over to a desk on the BTFE team. I really enjoy my new desk and the people I work with.
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There were a whole lot of first dates this year. And there was one guy that I liked enough for a second date ... and and third ... and even more. And even though it didn't last, it lasted long enough for me to have a lot of fun and learn a lot about myself, about relationship, and about what things are the most important to me.
| 10 |
Taking Some Of My Possessions From "Good" To "Great"
As I grow up, the time has come to replace some of the things in my life with better versions of themselves. I have always liked to surround myself with beautiful things, things of quality. And I am lucky enough to have parents who support this and who have helped me greatly along the way. But now it is finally time to replace some items with better versions of themselves. Upgraded from a 32" TV to 60" of Smart TV gloriousness. Took my couch from a little Ikea love seat to an amazing Room & Board piece with a chaise extension. Got some great new art. And I spend more time shopping at J Crew these days. Little by little ... pieces will get replaced.
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Twin Cities Fun
As usual, it was a great year for fun adventures in the Twin Cities with friends, family, and sometimes by myself. The list includes: new restaurants, fun concerts (Sarah Brightman, Postal Service, Iron & Wine, Skylar Grey), apple picking, theater and opera at the Guthrie, Orpheum and Ordway, pond hockey championships, running the TC 5K with my mom, hockey game at the U, great events at the MIA and Walker (Art in Bloom, Art Per Chance, Arrow Awards, etc), visit to Hill House, hiking at Taylors Falls, art fairs galore, my first-ever trip to the State Fair, and lots and lots of great movies and brunches! It was a great year for some local fun!
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Continuing My MBA
(And Starting To See The Light At the End Of The Tunnel)
It. Is. Getting. Closer. Thank goodness! 5 semesters down ... 3 more to go! And I am tracking to my May 2015 planned completion date! Cannot wait to be done! And for the first time, I am really starting to see the end of this whole thing.
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Feeling a Little More Adult-ish
From my new apartment to another birthday closer to 30 to changes at work (re: promotion and rotation) to starting to do a little cooking at home and lots of many other small changes. This year I started feeling a little bit more adult-ish. But not much ... because I also did a midnight showing of Catching Fire and am currently making my way through the entire Gossip Girl series on DVD.