Day in the Life

February is off to a good start.  Honestly, February feels more like the start of the year to me than January did.  I thought a Day in the Life post would be appropriate, as February has been sort of a new beginning for me. Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

6:20am-Alarm goes off.  I let Pettitte out of his kennel and take him out for a quick bathroom break.

6:30am-I put on the work out clothes that I laid out the night before and throw my hair in a ponytail.

6:33am–I play with Pettitte and kind of laze around a bit and prepare Pettitte’s kong filled with peanut butter and blue buffalo.

6:45: Frank seems to be ready to go, so I put on an extra layer of pants and a sweatshirt, my jacket, hat and scarf.

6:48: I show Pettitte the peanut butter kong and he sprints for his kennel. I tuck him in with the kong and a toy and he enjoys breakfast as we slip out the door. We’ve found giving him breakfast in the kennel has totally ended any crying when we leave.

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6:50am-We walk to Barry’s bootcamp in the 15 degree weather. Brrr.  But we are signed up for the academy, so we have 18 more early morning walks to enjoy before the month is out.

7:00AM: We arrive at Barry’s and brave the crazy locker rooms to drop off our belongings and switch from boots to sneakers.

7:10am: Class starts. It’s legs and flutes day and I start on the floor.  I generally think that all the barry’s trainers are fantastic, unfortunately, this might be the one that got away. The strength moves are way overcomplicated and he never makes it near my end of the room to check form. Fortunately, the running segment is much better.  We have another set of strength and running and we are done. Since we are running overtime, almost everyone has skipped stretching, but I know I’m going to need every stretch I can get if I am going to make it through the academy.

8:15am: I head home.

8:25am: I give Pettitte breakfast part two in his tricky treat ball. He enjoys this while I take a 2 minute shower and throw dry shampoo in my hair.

8:35am I get dressed and do my make up, which consists only of moisturizer, powder and mascara.

8:45am: I read a few emails and play with pettitte for a few more minutes.

8:55am: I put Pettitte in his kennel and head to work.

9:00am: I’m at work.  This is the beauty of basically no commute. I work quickly to finish up a few things before my morning meetings start.

9:30am I dig into the yogurt and cereal I packed for breakfast.

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9:50am  I send one last email and head to my chair meeting which is followed by a committee meeting.

11:40am Meetings are over, so I head to my downtown office.  I have two different offices–note the different colors of the desks.  I generally try to work in one or the other each day, but that rarely works out. At least I get exercise.

12:00pm: Work, work work.

1:30pm: Lunch arrives from Fresh and Co. I love Fresh and Co.  I think they have a lot more variety in ingredients than chopt–for example, they have daiya vegan cheese, brussel sprouts, and all kinds of yumminess.  Their seasonal salads are always fabulous too. I’d eat there everyday if it wasn’t so expensive! $16 later, my lunch: The Sante Fe Salad, chicken, onions, tomatoes, kale, cheese, corn and avocado. Plus, the low fat tex mex dressing that is so nice and spicy.

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2:00PM A marathon of meetings starts and doesn’t end until 4:45pm.

4:45-5:20pm: I finish up a few things, but don’t even make a dent. Fortunately or unfortunately, I work until 11pm on Wednesdays, so I’ll have plenty of time to get caught up tomorrow.

5:25pm: Greet and walk Pettitte.  He has to do a whole long wag, stretch and hide under the coffee table routine before he’ll go for a walk and he will NOT be rushed.

5:45pm-6:00pm: Back from the walk. I feed Petty in his treat ball. The best trainer advice I got was to never feed a puppy in a bowl.  The ball method gives him some extra exercise. I play with Petty/try to keep him from  chewing up absolutely everything in the house. 7 months is a  very challenging age.

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6:00pm-6:30pm: I hop in the shower, do my make up and get dressed–while still trying to keep the beagle in check.

6:30pm: I hop in a cab to the Princeton Club where I am meeting Frank for an Emory in Your City Alumni Event.  It’s a cocktail reception and lecture about how a dog’s brain works.  The ride is slow, so I open feedly and read Meghann’s post on the WDW 44 Challenge while I sit in traffic.  I  enjoy the post so much that I actually don’t even mind until I finish the post and look at the meter.

7:00pm-8:30pm: I enjoy a few too many passed appetizers and a small glass of wine at the cocktail reception. The lecture is fascinating, if you are into dogs, I suggest you check out the book How Dogs Love Us. 

8:30-9:45pm: Frank and I walk to Ammos Estario for some dinner. We share the  greek salad and zucchini fritters. I also have a few bites of Frank’s fish. Too bad I don’t have a picture of the salad because it was stunning.

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We hop on the subway and our home by 10pm, just in time for Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce–LOVE.

10:00-11:30pm: We watch Girlfriend’s Guide and play with Pettitte.  I feel bad he hasn’t gotten much attention today, so I book him a spot in day care for Friday and confirm his mid-day dog walkers for the next three months.

11:30pm: Brush teeth, remove makeup and go to bed.

Soul Cycle Review

Gosh, this review has taken me a long time to even attempt to write!  My love of SoulCycle is somewhat complex.  You see, people seem to either love or hate SoulCycle, even my most trusted sources seem to disagree.  For example, Kelly Ripa (who introduced me to Physique 57 and changed my life) loves it.  Well and Good, who I adore and respect, has some mixed reviews.  Neither is Andy Cohen for that matter.

Anyways, maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

What is SoulCycle?

It’s a boutique indoor cycling studio with 36 locations in 8 states and not one but two cute logos!

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 The Studios: SoulCycle studios are shiny, sleek and clean in fresh white and sunny yellow.  They are spotlessly clean with high end bathroom amenities. I will say that the studios vary in size by location. I’ve taken most of my classes at the NoHo location, which is large and bright with a more than ample locker area. On the other hand, the Union Square location is teeny tiny and the locker area is a madhouse. Did I mention that the Union Square location is a three minute walk from the location one block up on 19th street?  Crazy! The classes are that packed!

The studio itself has high quality bikes in stadium style seating.The bikes are pretty close together and have no measurement of resistance or RPMs–it’s a feeling not a calculation.  Most classes are done in candlelight, which adds a nice ambience. Also there are 2 pound weights that rest on the back of the bike.

Soul-Cycle

The Workout:

45-60 minutes of spinning to upbeat music.  There is a mind body element–it’s sort of zen/yoga-esque.  You are encouraged to let go of your day and focus on your workout.  My classes have been heavy on the push ups and bike dancing, which I love. I always feel like I am being pumped with happy endorphins. However, the classes are very low on resistance, so you really have to self regulate to feel the burn.  There is a short weights section done with very light weights. This is followed by a cool down, where most people really bliss out!

What I love: I love how fun SoulCycle is!  It is literally a joy to be there.  The class is a non-stop good time with a side of work out. If I’ve had a rough day and just need to get away from it all for an hour; I immediately book a soul cycle class. I also think the instructors are very good and the front desk staff is always super friendly and welcoming. The general vibe of the place is great, it feels young, fun and a little bit fancy.

Why I’m not head over heels:  While I really enjoy soul cycle classes, I don’t think I get quite as good a workout as I do at Flywheel or even other similar studios. I like having the accountability of the RPM and resistance gauge. It ensures I push myself to the max. I don’t always leave spent At SoulCycle, I really have to keep on my resistance because it’s rarely even mentioned, so you can spin your heart out without really burning anything if you aren’t careful. On the plus side, SoulCycle will never bulk you up the way Tracy Anderson claims most spinning studios do. As a friend put it, “I feel like I can go to Soul Cycle if I’m a little bit sick”, meaning you can kind of phone it in if you want to.  For example, the 2 pound weights that are attached to your bike are pretty wimpy, you have to take it upon yourself to pick up heavier weights at the front of the class.

Bottom line: If you are someone who can push yourself without someone screaming in your face and telling you exactly how hard to push, SoulCycle will be perfect for you. If you want your workout to actually feel enjoyable, Soul Cycle will be perfect for you. However, if you pay to get whipped into shape, Soul Cycle may not get you there, even though you will leave with a smile plastered across your face.

Cost: A single ride in NYC is $34, your first ride is $20.

Fitness Lover’s Gift Guide

We are down to the wire, but if you are looking for last minute gifts, here are gift ideas at every price point for the fitness lover in your life (or yourself).

Under $25

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Eos Lip Balms are just the best! They are great for preventing chapping on those winter runs.  $4.99–available at any drugstore

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Runner’s World Subscription.  The gift that keeps on giving–I look forward to seeing this in my mailbox each month, although it’s probably time to go for the iPad subscription at this point. $12

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Choosing Raw Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat. A beautifully written book inspired by the beautifully written blog.  I love this book because it is so much more than recipes; it helps you make practical, achievable, healthful changes no matter what your relationship with food. $13

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Gift Certificate to Liquiteria, Hu Kitchen or any local health food spot.  Perfect for post-workout recovery.

Under $50

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C9 Printed Leggings: These come in all kinds of fun colors and prints and they are under $30! I’ve been wearing mine nonstop. It’s a good way test out the print trend at an affordable price point.

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C9 Space Dye Pullover This is another great Target find! It’s cozy and cute.  It’s really warm, so you can wear it in lieu of a jacket for most of the winter.

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Gift Cards to Their (Your) Favorite Studio.  May I suggest Refine, Uplift, Barry’s Bootcamp, Soul Cycle, Flywheel, Mile High Run Club and City Row? $30-35

Under $100

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Erica Sarah race necklace. On my list every year.  They are the perfect combination of inspiration, victory and elegance. Around $50

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Athleta Triangular Be Free Tight Pricey, but Athleta has had the most gorgeous printed tights this year.  I want them all. Bonus, they have a wide range of size options! $74

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New Balance Wind Blocker Half Zip Let’s face it, wind is what really makes cold weather running tough.  This top will help stop wind in its tracks so you can journey on.  Plus, I love the side detail along the neckline. $99

Under $175

Finally, some splurges!

shoppingThe Soda Stream Revolution Starter Pack.  We got this as a wedding gift and it’s the best! I love that it has four different fizz settings, so if you are more of a Pelligrino than a Canada Dry, you are all set. As someone who is not a water enthusiast, this thing keeps me hydrated. Bed, Bath and Beyond usually has them, so snag one with a 20% off coupon! $174

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New Balance Fresh Foams. My favorite new shoe of the year!  I use these for running as well as pretty much all my workout classes. Plus, they are super light if you are lugging them around pre or post workout. $110

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Lululemon Weekend Warrior Bag I’m going to admit that I’ve never owned any Lululemon workout bag, but I’ve always wanted one!  I can never justify the price, but as workout bags go, you can’t find many with better style and function. No matter how much schlepping you have to do, this bag has you covered with room for your laptop, yoga mat and water bottle, plus wet/dry compartments for swim gear, dirty shoes and sweaty apparel. $148

New Balance Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the New Balance Giveaway!  The winner of the $75 gift card is :

True Random Number Generator  11

I really really want the glow beacon vest!

Congratulations, Ash!  The drawing was totally random–I promise!  Enjoy the glow beacon vest!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I’m hoping to get through a bunch of errands and organizing, including:

  • Get 3 loads of laundry out of the  dryer and fold and put them away.  I don’t mind doing the washing and drying, but the folding and putting away kills me.
  • Finish holiday decorating–currently 75% complete
  • Continue throwing out things we don’t use, we are doing this slowing and trying to get rid of 2 garbage bags full of stuff each weekend until we have less clutter!
  • Finish some birthday and Christmas shopping–all online
  • Grocery shop and start prepping for large dinner party on Thursday
  • Make dinner for tonight, I promised Frank I’d make this PW recipe.
  • Take Pettitte to dog school
  • Organize the chaos that we currently call a bedroom
  • Wash dishes

If I get through all of that, I will be thrilled!  Better get moving.photo-6

Winter Workout Playlist 2014

It’s time for a playlist.  I have to say the end of Gossip Girl has left a serious void in my life where fun indie music finds used to be.  However, I’m liking the sort of throwback vibe of a lot of the songs on this list.  Here are some songs to help your work up a sweat as the temperature drops.Various-Artists-Workout-Music-300x300

Ghost-Ella Henderson
Animal-Maroon 5
Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson
Bang Bang-Jessie J
Habits-Tove Lo
Cool Kids-Echosmith
Shake it Out-Taylor Swift
Lips are Movin‘-Meghan Trainor

Also, don’t forget to enter my New Balance Giveaway!

New Balance $75 Giveaway

In September I ran the Reach the Beach Relay as part of New Balance‘s media team.  It was a great experience and I got to check out a lot of great gear, almost all of which I wear on a weekly basis.  I love New Balance  and their products so much that I wanted to do a giveaway for readers!

Before I get into the giveaway details, I wanted to share a few of my favorites…

The ice racerback this tank is paper thin and perfect on a hot day…or for hot yoga. The racer back really adds to the style of the top.

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The first are the Fresh Foam running shoes.  They are light and springy!  I wore them in the last leg of RTB and they pushed me through a tough final 3.1 miles. I wear these all the time and get lots of compliments.  They come in road and trail versions. photo 4

Fresh Foam 980

w980pp_nb_31_iIf you are looking for a light shoe that still has plenty of cushioning, this is it.

My  other favorites are from the Anue studio apparel line.

I love this light long sleeve top with the sheer patterned back. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be available right now, but maybe something similar will pop up soon.

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And the burn out wrap–which is available! It’s literally the perfect top to throw on to head to the gym or a class. It even has pockets-POCKETS!

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 The Giveaway:

To enter to win a $75 New Balance Gift Card, just go to the New Balance site and leave a comment telling me what item you’d most like to add to your fitness collection by Friday, Dec, 5th at 9:00AM EST.

Winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 5th.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

After being quite sick for over a week, I’m finally on the mend–I hope.  Phew, I was just about to break down and go to the walk in clinic or my actual doctor!  Sorry to all my co-workers for refusing to  take sick days–I promise I always cover my cough.

Today has been both lazy and busy, Frank’s at work, so I’ve had all kinds of thoughts and nobody to share them with, thank god for blogs, right?

Here are just a few things on my mind, feel free to chime in!

Thanksgiving Live: I love Thanksgiving specials on the Food Network, but apparently, no Thanksgiving Live this year.  Was is because of the very awkward on air feud between my beloved Giada and Alton Brown last year?

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I guess Food Network isn’t taking any chances this year. I wonder if Giada and Alton have spoken since!

Petty is So Cute in his Petticoats

I’ve gone a bit nuts with buying winter clothes for Pettitte.  He’s pretty much always better dressed than me when we go out.  That said, the poor dog is still cold even in his jackets.  The sweater+jacket combo seems like overkill, but it might be necessary. We managed to make it to the vet for a bordella shot, then to petco to make up for the shot, and then a quick trip to the Union Square Dog Park.  It was my first time at that dog park, the dogs there were so nice and Petty had a blast, but it smelled terrible. Not sure if I’ll be back.

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Sweatpants

Is it acceptable to wear sweatpants until I change for a 9:30PM dinner?  I think the answer is no, but I will likely disregard my own advice.

Shake it Out

Will I ever get Shake it Out, out of my head? It’s been weeks.  This is so embarrassing, I need to download something new stat.

Andy Cohen

I read both of Andy Cohen’s books, Most Talkative and The Andy Cohen Diaries in a couple days.  I love Andy. I love Wacha.  How have I never run into him? We seem to go to a lot of the same places in the village.

Giveaway

Most excitingly, I have an awesome giveaway planned! It’ll be up in a couple days, if not sooner.  You won’t want to miss it.

What are you thinking about this Saturday?

 

City Row Review

I tried City Row once over the summer and last week with Ashley, so it’s definitely time for a review!  Let’s do this.

Source: NYRacked

Source: NYRacked

Logistics are always important to me when considering a workout and City Row gets an A+ for ease of use.  The studio is less than a 10 minute walk from my apartment, so I can get up 30 minutes before the class and still make it on time. Hu Kitchen being right next door is a nice bonus too!

The studio itself is small, but sleek.  There is a check in desk with friendly staff and a small hallway with coat hooks leads right to the studio space, a big room with about 20 (estimate) ergs.  There is also a small bathroom and cubbies for shoes and bags right in the studio, so you don’t have to worry about locks.  It’s a very well laid out functional space and I really like the great views down 5th Ave and 14th Street.

The workout: I’ve tried two classes, the Signature Row and the Row+Flow.  Descriptions here.

Source: NYRacked

Source: NYRacked

The signature class alternates 6 minutes of hard core rowing with 6 minutes of strength.  I love how you are constantly alternating, so the class never gets boring.  Even if you’ve never rowed, it’s pretty easy to pick up the basic motion and even add some fun oblique twists.  In my classes, you were often rowing for short bursts to achieve as certain amount of meters or split times–sort of HIIT-style. The strength was tough also, even the light weights really burned as we did a full body circuit by the end of the class.

The signature class was a great mix of sweat and strength, the short intervals, kept it interesting and I felt like I got a good workout in.  I also think Frank would really like the class, and I love any workout we can do together.

The Row+Flow class started with about 15 minutes of rowing followed by 30 minutes of yoga.  The instructor was equally good at teaching both row and yoga, she paid lots of attention to form and expected us to row at challenging pace. However, I prefer the signature class to row and flow, 15 minutes of rowing didn’t seem like quite enough time to really get my sweat on, although I did like that the 30 minutes of yoga was short yet effective.

Price: Classes are $32.  Typical.  But they are on ClassPass, so you can get a bit of a discount that way.

Will I try it again?  Yup. I’d like to try the SignatureX and Signature Row–Core Focus classes as well!

 

Beauty Must Haves (Empties!)

I am a very low-key person when it comes to beauty and make up.   However, there are a few products that I really love and use on a near daily basis. I thought I’d share my list of non-make up beauty products that have become my go-tos.

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1.) Supergoop! This is a relatively new product for me. I believe I got it in a Birchbox a while back.  It was an instant favorite.  It’s heavier than my normal moisturizer–#6, so it will be great as we move into winter. I like its creamy texture and the built in sunscreen. $18-20

2.) Blowpro Faux Dry.  Oh my god.  This dry shampoo CHANGED MY LIFE. I tried dozens of spray formulas before I finally found this dry shampoo.  It is literally the only dry shampoo that actually refreshes my hair and saves me from shampooing daily. I have fine, oily hair and it needs a daily wash.   Other dry shampoos actually made my hair greasier. However, Blowpro actually absorbs the oil, blends easily and extends my hair’s life for a day.  I can’t say enough about it. It’s worth every single penny. $20.

3.) Yes to Cucumber Facial Towelettes. I bought these for Reach the Beach and they were another instant fav.  They are so refreshing. It’s like have cucumbers on your eyelids. A daily moment of serenity if you will. While you might need another eye make remover if you have a lot of make up on, these are perfect for a quick clean. $2.99

4.) Kiehls Creme de Corps.  This was a gift from a friend and I really love it for a weekly body moisturizer. It’s very rich, so it’s great for winter skin.  It has a very mild scent, which is great because I don’t like fragrance in lotion. $18

5.) Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.  I got this as a birthday gift from Sephora.  I know these have a lot of fans, rightfully so, they are awesome.  They are a light, but effective moisturizer in beautiful packaging.  I find them more effective than your average chapstick and they glide on like silk.  I really like both the untinted and colored. The only downside is the price, $22.50 seems like a lot for a single tube of chapstick!

6.) Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer.  I’ve used this for years, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. While my friends who work in beauty say it’s time to  upgrade, this product has been great to me. It really does reduce redness and even out my skin tone.  $14.99

7.) Origins Cheeks and Balances Frothy Face Wash.  I love this for a squeaky clean face.  I use this mainly in the summer when my skin is on the oily side, and it keeps blemishes in check. $21.50

 

NYC Marathon 2014: Canceled

Congrats to Frank!  A two time NYC Marathoner!  He just rocked the 26.2 miles and he’s strutting around today like it was nothing!

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What a rockstar!  I saw him running by in Long Island City and then I hustled to the subway to meet him at mile 18. I jumped in to run with Frank through the Bronx and said goodbye at mile 23.  Then we met up with friends to celebrate at the Tangled Vine. By the way, they give a free glass of champs to all finishers.

I have to say, this year, despite the crazy winds, everyone I saw on the course seemed to be having the time of their lives.

Not running this year was pretty tough for me.  I just couldn’t get my long runs where they needed to be. A planned 15 miles became 12, a 17 become 13 and so on and so forth. I just couldn’t strengthen my mental game to get in those crucial long long runs. It was tough for me. I’ve only ever canceled on a race I had registered for once, the Brooklyn half a few years ago. A few times, I’d missed a 4 miler, but never anything significant.

I have to say, canceling my registration was beyond unceremonious. It took me three tries on three different days to actually hit the cancel button…and then nothing.  It just said NYC Marathon 2014–Canceled.  No, sorry we’ll miss you this year–hope to see you next year.  Not even an email confirmation with details of how the deferral works.  Nada. Tear.

Not running the marathon reinforced a feeling that I’ve been experiencing a lot lately.  Unfocused. I just don’t have the discipline that I used to have. I don’t know what happened to that person who just always made long runs and workouts happen no matter what. It’s not that I don’t still love working out, it’s just not a priority in the same way it once was.  But mostly, I just feel like I am lazy.

Part of it is sheer laziness.  The other part is a certain little fur ball that I absolutely adore.

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I typically wake up around 7AM and immediately take Pettitte out.  I could stick him back in his kennel and go to the gym, but I feel bad because 7-8:30AM is the only time he gets out of the crate in the morning.  It’s the same deal after work, I take him for a walk anytime between 5:30 and 7:00PM depending on when I get out of work, and then I don’t want to just stick back in the crate when he deserves some time to run around.

I guess Frank and I will have to work out some kind of alternating schedule, but it’s definitely a dilemma that I’ve been facing.

Ashley actually posed a good solution by suggesting a 6:00AM Barry’s Bootcamp class this morning. When I got home, Frank was just taking Petty out for his walk.  I kind of hated my life when the alarm went off at 5:20AM, but having my workout done before work was priceless. It even gave me time to write this blog post. I’m not sure I can always get up at the crack of dawn, but I guess that’s the old discipline thing again!

Oddly enough, I feel better after letting this all out. Thanks blogies!