Category Archives: About Me

That Time I Quit My Job

Today, August 26th 2016 was my last day at Old Navy where I spent nearly the last two years, first on the international team and then on the social media team.

I’ve learned that the hardest thing sometime can be knowing when to throw in the towel when something isn’t working. This can apply to relationships, your job, your workout routine — having room to fail is what helps you to grow.

Failure has such a negative connotation in our society. Webster’s Dictionary describes it as “omission of occurrence or performance”, but really, it should be known as what happens in order to force change to create success. Despite knowing failure is natural and brings you to a place of growth, I still have a hard time giving up on anything. I once ran 20 miles on a stress fracture because I refused to accept that I was injured.

Staying at my job wasn’t working for me. I’m such a success-oriented person who needs to constantly achieve and when I wasn’t achieving at work, my whole life started crumbling around me. I felt like a failure because I wasn’t invested in my career anymore. My lack of interest in what I was doing made me feel like I wasn’t ambitious, I wasn’t driven, and that I literally had no business being in San Francisco anymore since this wasn’t working out.

I had a moment of clarity when I was home in Pittsburgh in July. It all came to me as I drove to my grandparents house one morning and it felt like a sign that I suddenly had all of the plans in my head — I was going to quit my job, move back to Pittsburgh for a few months, try to freelance full time and then come back to SF to work on a really exciting project with a friend. I told everyone my plan, they were all on board — even my dad. I wrote my resignation letter on the plane back to SF.

Yet I stayed. I started second-guessing myself because I didn’t want to lose the cushy paycheck. “Oh but I’ll miss being able to travel.” “I’ll miss getting my nails done.” “I won’t be able to afford SoulCycle.” Really shitty excuses when it comes down to my overall happiness. And really, they were excuses because I was afraid of taking a really scary leap into the unknown.

I just kept waiting around for everyone else to make a decision for me because I didn’t trust myself. Then one day my hand was forced and I realized — it’s not fair to anyone that I’m staying in this job. All my friends and family hear about is how miserable I am yet I wasn’t making a change. It wasn’t fair to future Cassie who deserves to be happy and do something with all of this talent. It wasn’t fair to my employer or my team, either. They deserved someone in that role who wanted to be there, not someone who was there out of self-induced obligation.

I was so jealous of everyone I saw who was writing, freelancing full-time, working on cool projects and desperately wanted that kind of flexibility in a career. It’s not that I don’t want to work hard and do awesome things, it’s just that I want to be able to do so on my own time and at the place of my choosing. I realized I’m the only person who’s capable of achieving living the life I want. If I want to somehow make six-figures doing work I actually give a shit about, that’s on me. But first, I had to get out of the situation that completely destroyed my self-confidence, my drive, my relationship and my motivation. So I decided to throw in the towel on my job.

That morning, I lined up the first bit of freelance work just to have some money coming in so I felt a lot more secure in my decision. I thought about taking a sabbatical from work but since I do have that desire to have a purpose and achieve, I knew that wasn’t the right answer (and truthfully, it was a relief when I realized I actually wanted to work, just not where I was currently working). I had told my therapist the Friday before I was finally going to quit. I told all my friends and family (for like the fifth time, I’m sure). But this time, I actually did it. And exactly zero part of it was scary. It was 110% a sense of relief.

I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. It’s okay to have that existential crisis in your mid (okay, late) 20s. It’s okay to have it at any point of your life. I don’t know how this is all going to pan out in the end but if it wasn’t meant to be, it wouldn’t have happened this way. Life has a funny way of being cyclical and dropping you off right where you need to be and bringing and taking people to and from your life at the pivotal moments.

Quit your job. Buy that plane ticket. Write that e-mail. Submit your essay. Whatever you’re putting off because of fear of failure or fear of being hurt — just do it. If you’re feeling something in your gut — and you keep feeling it for weeks and weeks — your intuition is probably right. The worst that happens is you have a learning experience, maybe you have to lick your wounds for a little bit but life goes on. The best that happens is everything works out perfectly but let’s be real — being vulnerable and admitting what we failed at or what we’re not great at is what makes us relatable and human.

None of us are going to knock it out of the park in every aspect of our life all of the time but if we keep going, something we do is going to work out and get us up on the scoreboard.

Breaking Your Routine

I am a creature of routine which is something I am very quick to admit. I could tell you my day-to-day routine, or at least, what it is like on a normal week.

Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:30 a.m. PST, do blog work for an hour or so, go for a run/go to SoulCycle/go to yoga/do some at-home workout, get ready, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, do more blog work, go to bed.

Saturdays I would wake up early, eat banana and peanut butter toast, do my long run, maybe go get my nails done, walk around the city, meet up with friends. Sunday I would lounge around in the morning, go to the Farmers Market or go to SoulCycle or yoga, probably hang out with friends, go to Whole Foods, meal prep for the week ahead. Throw in some more writing in one of those days somewhere.

This fall, my routine was shaken up when I was #Funemployed for a month or so. I stopped setting an alarm. I worked out when I felt like it. I watched way too much TV and moped on the couch because I was in this weird place in between my old life in Pittsburgh and my new life in San Francisco and my friends were all at work. I shopped every day because what else was I supposed to do? It took a few weeks but once I got settled in in SF, my routine was back to normal.

This past week, my routine was broken. I stopped bothering to pack my lunch every night because I was just eating a Kind bar at some point in the afternoon. I didn’t wake up early to blog because I didn’t have the motivation to write and truthfully, sleeping felt better than running. Thursday I realized I needed to go surfing this past weekend to get back to feeling like myself. To me, I never feel more like myself or like anything is so clear as when I’m out in the water. I decided to skip my long run and if I really felt like devoting three hours of my day to running 18 miles I would do it on Sunday (until I looked at my training calendar and realized I had a 10 mile tempo run this morning).

breaking your routine almost getting it together

Wetsuit selfie.

I drove down to Santa Cruz, about an hour and a half south of SF, and surfed for a couple hours with an instructor (because it’s not safe to go surfing by yourself, kiddos). As soon as I got into the water, I felt like myself again. I remembered that I’m strong and capable and that I was in the water while I would normally be drinking a protein shake and foam rolling. The one time I probably take zero things for granted is when I’m in the water. It humbles you. It reminds you where you’ve came from and where you’re going – and can go.

Long story short, I was stuck in a rut, didn’t feel like myself and I broke my routine. Sometimes you have to revisit things that you think aren’t working. Next weekend will I run 20 miles and get my nails done and hang out with all my friends in the city? Sure. But this weekend I did something else I loved and made time to spend time with other people I love.

Chat with me:
What is your daily routine like? Do you ever break your routine? What do you do when you need to get out of your head?

One Word for 26: Confidence

confidence-cassandra-pisone-almost-getting-it-together

It’s so weird to think of where my life was a year ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago. I was living in Pittsburgh, totally spinning my wheels, writing out goals I thought I should achieve as a 25 year old. I felt stuck and like this list of things would get me out of my stuck place.

I don’t want to focus on goals for 26 because I made a bunch of goals for this year. I want to focus on a word, inspired by a question Tina Muir asks in her Runners’ Connect podcasts. The word for 2015?

Confidence.

25 was kind of a whirlwind. As the wordsmith Drake once said, I go 0 to 100 real quick. I spent my birthday with my family in Savannah, pretty quickly after went on a surf trip to Nicaragua. I set a couple new half-marathon PRs, thought I fell in love, lost my job, got a new job, got dumped, moved across the country, made out with a boy I had a crush on for years (wait, didn’t that happen earlier in the year, too?), started dating someone across the country again, made some new friends, lost some old friends (actually, JK on that one… I think)… a lot happens in a year. A lot of things that can shake anyone’s confidence.

confidence-cassandra-pisone-almost-getting-it-together

First day on the new job.

confidence-cassandra-pisone-almost-getting-it-together

New friends!

confidence-almost-getting-it-together

Finding these notes while unpacking boxes in SF was tear city.

I suffer from self-sabotaging, debilitating doubt at times. It’s really weird because I can be the most confident person at times and others, I can’t get out of bed because I feel like I’ll never be good enough so why bother. My expectations for myself are much higher than anyone else would ever set for me and I need to realize that if I’m going to achieve all of the things I want to, I need confidence to do so. I’ve had boys people ask me why I’m trying so hard to appear be perfect because it’s exhausting. And it is.

I’ve figured out how to push myself out of my comfort zone, which I think was a big theme for 25. Now I have to figure out how to own it. Own that I’m capable of running 26.2 miles. Own that I’m talented and I have the ability to be successful. Own that a boy would actually want to be with me and likes me for me, not the idea of me (gasp!) because, I get it, I’m great on paper (great job, great apartment, athletic, pretty, decently smart) but in real life, I’m kind of all over the place and mentally a mess at times.

So here I am. Three days from 26 and starting to embrace feeling sure of myself. Because, let’s be real – confidence without arrogance is sexy.

Chat with me:
How do you embrace having confidence? What do you want to own this year? What is something you want to work on?

Scenes From My Pittsburgh Staycation

As I alluded to yesterday, my time in Pittsburgh was kind of a total wash as far as fitness and health is concerned but a total success as far as fun is concerned. I’m writing this on the plane back to SF and I’m not going to lie – it’s really, really, really bittersweet (mostly bitter) going back to the Best Coast.

I didn’t really take a lot of photos because I was trying to be in the moment (aka having a “Pittsburgh Staycation”), but my last “photo dump” type of post was pretty successful so I thought I would let you relive my time at home through photos.

chipotle | almost getting it together

Dad decided we should have Chipotle for lunch after he picked me up from the airport. We both had barbacoa salads.

Post "running up Mt Washington" Mad Mex with Angela + A.

Post “running up Mt Washington” Mad Mex with Angela + A.

McConnels Mills | almost getting it together

Shooting + Hiking at McConnels Mills. Photo credit: AW.

McConnels Mills | almost getting it together

Took advantage of the nice weather and hiked at McConnels Mills.

pedicures nikes | almost getting it together

An unpictured long run with Lesley and Emily and pedicures with them and our friend Sangam afterwards. Also, that marked my third time in Lululemon in less than 24 hours.

hot chocolate | almost getting it together

Making hot chocolate after my dad made us venison enchiladas with Erin and Angela.

hot chocolate | almost getting it together

Bloggers blogging (and taking advantage of being able to watch hockey!)

new years eve 2014 | almost getting it together

Taking walks on the last day of 2014.

brew gentleman | almost getting it together

Beers at Brew Gentlemen.

pittsburgh pierogi truck | almost getting it together

#yinzermoments aka pregaming champagne with pierogis.

the almond eater | almost getting it together

Met up with Erin for drinks on NYE… prior to drinking an entire bottle of champagne and drunk eating leftover Thai. Whoops.

pittsburgh pierogi truck | almost getting it together

Pierogis, I missed you.

amazing cafe pittsburgh | almost getting it together

Smoothies + Acai Bowls despite the cold weather with Angela.

dungeness crabs | almost getting it together

Scooped up dungeness crabs at Wholey’s Market for my last dinner (which turned into my second to last dinner).

dungeness crabs | almost getting it together

I made my dad pose with a crab who made A pose with a crab.

pittsburgh penguins | almost getting it together

Another #yinzermoment with A – watching the Penguins lose. Still, I missed hockey.

There are a lot of unpictured moments: time with my family, cold walks downtown, more indulgent meals than I have had all year (E2 brunch! Square Cafe breakfast! Altius dinner!). Lunches and drinks with old friends and co-workers. Maybe a day spent hiding from the cold and watching Catfish all day (no shame).

Now, counting down until February when I see some of these lovely people in SF.

Chat with me:
What did you do over the holidays? What are your favorite places to go in your hometown? What would you do on a staycation?

Goals for 2015

McConnels_Mills-1 | almost getting it together

I know, I’m late to the “New Year’s Goals” game. I basically completely lost any semblance of routine, health or normalcy for 16 days while home in Pittsburgh. So now my goals are even more pertinent than normal.

I’m just going to throw my goals for 25 out the window. My life has changed so immensely from March 2014 and I’ve achieved the things I’m going to achieve so now it’s time to refocus and get back on track.

Running
This is the year I’m actually going to take running seriously. I saw a lot of improvement in 2014 without really challenging myself so now it’s time to actually do some work and see what I’m capable of achieving.

marathon training | almost getting it together

Marathon training + tea at night.

  • Run a 1:45 Half-Marathon
    I’m going to actually do speed work and real tempo runs and stuff like that. It’s 8:01 miles and taking 7 minutes off my current PR which I am allegedly capable of according to my running friends who tell me to actually push myself.
  • Run a Full Marathon
    Yeahhhh…. Savannah kind of crashed and burned with my move to SF. I am going to run the Pittsburgh Marathon and hopefully be at the point where I can run with Lesley’s pace group (3:50-4:00), you know, thanks to speed work and tempo runs and things.

Health

  • Get Back to my Happy Weight
    I’m not going to say my goal weight because my goal weight is kind of unattainable and only happens when I’m being insanely active and not eating a ton… but that’s two pounds from my happy weight. And I’m 5 pounds from that. Being home just equaled eating out a lot and drinking even more and not running for a week. (My ankle was not happy with a solid 40ish miles of hills and trails within a week). Disclosure, my clothes all still fit and my happy weight is 107 so everyone can hold me accountable to that.
  • Stop Snacking After Dinner
    I was actually doing pretty decently with this at home and really, for the past three weeks or so. Minus that night I ate a bunch of leftover Thai and Pittsburgh Popcorn Company Maple Pecan Popcorn after drinking a bottle of champagne (aka New Year’s Eve). I need to just drink tea and go to bed.
  • Strength Train Four Times Per Week
    I don’t have any excuse to not strength train. I know it’s what gets me lean and will get me faster. I’m going to aim for 30-45 minutes. I’ll probably tack two days a week onto running days and two onto non-running days.
  • Go to Yoga AT LEAST Twice a Week
    I’ve been terrible about going to yoga since moving to SF. I finally found a studio that will do (it’s no Amazing Yoga but it’s heated power vinyasa and there’s music and it’s walkable from my place). I bought a 20 pack of classes so I should really use those.
  • Go to SoulCycle Once a Week
    AKA cross train. I’m not going to join a gym right now because I’m not going to use it enough to make it cost effective and I don’t need Equinox to find a boyfriend (kidding but also kind of not kidding). My Gram bought me SoulCycle classes for Christmas because she’s the best.
  • Juice More Regularly
    I own an expensive juicer, I should really use it.

Blogging/Career

  • Post Four Times a Week on AGIT
    If I want this to be a legit form of income, I need to treat it like a real job.
  • Improve My Photography
    Pro Tip: Date a photographer who will help you do these things. And actually shoot. And make an effort to take nice photos.
  • Business Plan
    This is kind of a secret, some people know what’s going on, but I’d like to have a full business plan for what I think is next for me (and others!) finished by the end of the year (preferably sooner!).

Personal

  • Actually Go Surfing
    And buy a wet suit. Goals for next weekend haha. I allegedly moved to California to be able to surf more so I should probably do it.
  • Be More On Time For Things
    Self-explanatory.
  • Stop Procrastinating
    “Reading blogs” doesn’t count as being productive. Neither does back stalking myself on social media.
goals for 2015 | almost getting it together

No part of this constitutes as being productive. Except for my ghetto standing desk AKA my counter top.

Travel

  • Visit One New Country
    At least! Hopefully Morocco, preferably another
  • Visit Vancouver
    Can’t fit it into number one since I’ve already been to Canada (Montreal & Toronto).
  • Take More Advantage of the West Coast
    I don’t know how long I’ll be in California so I should really take more advantage of all the amazing destinations on the West Coast, including places it’s easier to get to (Alaska, Hawaii, etc.).

Chat with me:
What do you think of my goals? What are your goals for 2015?

Four Questions

san francisco | almost getting it together

I don’t usually do surveys but Ang tagged me to answer sets of four questions so I feel basically obliged to do it because she’s my bae. Also I’m going to SoulCycle late Monday so I know I’m not going to come home and write a post for Tuesday. I have some real exciting posts coming your way though, so get excited.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name.
1. Chip (My dad’s nickname for me)
2. Bug (My grandfather’s nickname for me)
3. Cassie (I guess that isn’t technically my real name?)
4. Sassafrass (old lingering term of endearment)

Four jobs I have had:
1. Working “top of house” at Theatre West Virginia, aka running the concessions register/hanging out with my friends and flirting with boys
2. Sales associate at AEO (hah)
3. Social Media Coordinator (ha)
4. Professional actor (no really, I used to do professional theatre when I was in junior high/high school… see above)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. Lost in Translation
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Marie Antoinette

Four books I’d recommend:
1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
2. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
4. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

Four places I’ve lived:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Morgantown, WV
4. Hong Kong, China (wildcard)

hong kong | almost getting it together

Hong Kong throwie. (throwback)

Four places I’ve been:
1. Siem Reap, Cambodia
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Rome, Italy
4. Hawaii, USA (four different continents, boom.)

hawaii | almost getting it together

Hawaii vibes.

4 places I’d rather be right now:
The real answer is nowhere, I love San Francisco so freaking much. BUT if I have to be somewhere else:
1. Pittsburgh (GAME CHANGER, I KNOW.)
2.  Hawaii because, duh.
3. Morocco
4. Iceland

Four things I don’t eat:
1. Anything that isn’t real… i.e. all processed foods
2. Refined sugar, for the most part.
3. Shrimp, because I’ll die.
4. Pasta/gluten/bread (except I am planning a trip to Tartine, whoops)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Greek Yogurt
2. Avocados
3. Nut butter
4. Ice cream

ice cream over the moon san francisco | almost getting it together

I have got to stop with this.

4 TV shows that I watched:
1. 30 Rock
2. Parks and Recreation
3. No Reservations (and it’s cousins The Layover and Parts Unknown… loveeee Anthony Bourdain)
4. The OC

4 things I’m looking forward to next year:
1. Angela visiting
2. Having another visitor in February :) (!!!)
3. Hopefully going to Morocco (HEY JESSI)
4. Finally going surfing on a regular basis once I buy a wetsuit haha

nutty for life | almost getting it together

Bae.

Four things I’m always saying:
1. “Okay, perfect”
2.  “Like, WTF” (except I actually say what it stands for)
3. “OMG really?”
4.  “I’m running late” <- HA, there’s my New Year’s Resolution

Chat with me:
Did any of my answers surprise you? Answer one (or a bunch) of these questions so I can learn more about you!

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 10.6

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3

This week was a week. I can’t wait to tell you all about it but with something like this, it has to be absolutely perfect. To tide you over, read some of the best links and articles I found this week. There’s not a ton… I’ve had less time to sit on the computer and read blogs, sadly.

Travel
Take this tongue-in-cheek peek at what San Francisco is best at and why it’s the best city in the US (well, at least in California).

This is a cool map of all the locations in Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

I’m totally into the third-world country vibe. I like a good challenge. I’ve wanted to go to Bolivia for years. I even wrote my honors thesis on it in college.

Lifestyle
According to social media, I’m pretty sure every boyfriend in the entire world is now ‘bae’. Does the extra b kill you? Also, it seems like bae is the worst boyfriend.

I’m obsessed with all of these colorful rooms.

Want to be more stylish? Check out the 7 Habits of Highly Stylish People.

Running
My marathon may not be happening (long story), but in case it does, I’ll be referencing how elite runner Tina Muir fuels for a marathon.

Food
You can have crappy cupcakes or cookies but I would venture to say there is no thing such as bad ice cream, which is why it’s my favorite treat. Now I just need to eat all of the best ice cream in the world.

Butternut squash queso… are you kidding me? YUM!

I am always crushing on Kylie’s recipes and her Zucchini Coconut Rice with Crispy Cheese & Chickpeas is no exception.

Chat with me:
What was the high of your week? The low? What amazing article did I miss?

Getting it Together Thursdays: Goal Check In

catamaran tour san juan del sur nicaragua

On my 25th birthday, I posted my goals for the year. My half birthday is Sunday, which makes me halfway responsible for seeing how driven I have been in actually achieving some things instead of thinking about achieving them this year. Let’s check back in.

  • Personal Goals

My number one goal is actually not able to be posted up on my blog. If you know me, you probably know what it is. If you don’t, feel free to go to my About Page, send me an e-mail and ask.

Update: Still secret. Still in progress.

nicaragua  san juan del sur | almost getting it together

Nicaragua moments.

Go on a solo trip. I don’t want to be held back on adventures because I don’t have someone to go with. I actually already have this one planned – I’m going to surf camp in Nicaragua later this month! I want to be able to just go out surfing on my own (granted I’m by the ocean and not in Pittsburgh) so I figured the best way to really hone it is to go to surf camp.

Update: Nicaragua, beaches! (Play on words, get it?)

fiesole italy | almost getting it together

Me in the homeland, a million years ago. It would be beneficial to have a passport and be a real citizen.

Get Italian passport. I’ve seriously been meaning to do this for like six years. I have Italian citizenship through my grandmother and it’s just a pain to deal with the Italian embassy. It’s in Philly, it’s open literally nine hours a week in total. My grandmother gave me the name and number of an attorney who will actually do all the paperwork for me – I seriously just need to get it together (pun not intended) and call. From my adventures in third world countries and desire to go to Cuba, sometimes traveling as a non-American has its perks.

Update: AHAHA. I need to get on this. I did call the attorney (months ago) he just decided to not return my call. I need to stalk him call back. A classic case of me being unmotivated.

Pittsburgh Marathon 2014 | almost getting it together

Me with my fave seasoned marathoner, Emily!

Run a marathon. This is the year I’ve finally decided I’m ready. If I don’t get in the New York City Marathon, I’m going to run the Savannah Marathon with my great aunt for her 70th birthday. I would have ran Pittsburgh but I’m running the DC Nike Women’s Half the weekend before and I really want to focus on doing well at that race.

Update: In progress. I’m planning on running the Savannah Marathon. I accidentally ran 18 miles Sunday and kind of wanted to die the last two miles, but other than that, I feel like I’ll probably finish.

Take the GMAT. I’m not totally sure if I want to get my MBA yet, but just in case, this will be the year I take the tests

Update: Yeah, this hasn’t happened. I looked at a prep book at Barnes and Noble, immediately got a headache and left to get an iced coffee.

Start/finish my novel. I used to think this was stupid and unattainable until I read The Happiness Project. If you write 1,667 words a day, you can have a short novel done in a month. I am going to self-publish and see if it goes anywhere from there.

Update: The pattern of goal-achieving failure continues. I haven’t done a thing, other than think of a few ideas. I’m disappointed in myself, but it’s so hard to find time to write.

Go to Wanderlust/other yoga retreat.

Update: I still have six months for this. I’m considering teacher training this winter. We’ll see!

Read one book per month.

Update: I’ve kind of done this, so I’ll kind of count it. I read The Rum Diary in July and I’m working on
 The Goldfinch now.

Start swimming again. I keep talking about it – I just need to do it.

Update: I went to the pool Monday. I swam 500 meters. I forgot how hard swimming was. I like berating a lot.

  • Blogging Goals

Redesign my blog for a more professional feel. Self-explanatory.

Self-host my blog. Google Analytics would be nice.

Aim for new content three times per week. I want to have new content more often that that, obviously, but I know for goal making you’re supposed to set attainable goals.

Make a press kit. This is becoming my to-do list in a blog post.

Apply for one new partnership opportunity/guest blog/free lance writing gig a month. If I want my blog to be successful, I need to put a little time and love into it!

Update: Basically, I just need to make a press kit. At least I’ve made progress in my life somewhere.

  • Friends & Family Goals
almost getting it together

My grandfather and I golfing earlier this year.

Spend meaningful time with my family at least once per month. I’m guilty of blowing my family off, screening calls because I’m busy or sitting at my grandparents house reading blogs. I seriously need to focus on them when I’m with them.

Make time to talk to my friends. I am also guilty of saying I’ll call and never do. A lot of my friends live in different cities and are always there for me when I need them. I really need to make more of an effort to pick up the phone and talk to them every once in a while rather than texting.

Reply to e-mails within 48 hours. Do you ever get an e-mail from someone and don’t want to respond right away so you can write a meaningful response and then totally forget to respond? Yeah, me too. I need to write a response, even if it’s short and sweet.

Update: I’m marking all of these as in progress because I’m making progress, but I’m not there. I haven’t seen my grandparents since June, when I just went up to get my hair done/have dinner with them. They live an hour away. I’m an asshole. I need to see them more.

I’ve been making an effort to talk to my friends more – Facetiming, Skype, actually replying to texts and e-mails. I went to Boston this past weekend to spend time with my friend Lorraine and we both agreed – it’s important to remember what matters in life: what matters is the people in it. It’s not work (unless you’re saving lives), not going out and getting wasted – it’s knowing what you enjoy doing and who you enjoy being with. It’s having pride in your work (but not letting it be your life).

Chat with me:
What are your current goals? What do you think I could be doing better to achieve my goals? I’m always down for constructive criticism.

Guest Posting at Nutty For Life

bastille pittsburgh nutty for life | almost getting it together

While Angela is enjoying Wild & Wonderful West Virginia, I’m guest posting for her at Nutty for Life. I’m talking about doing something I was good at for a long time – being single – and why it is such a stigma in today’s age. Go take a read and be sure to give me your thoughts.

What I Ate Wednesday [4]: Savannah and Birthday Eats

Zunzis Savannah Salmon Salad Zunzis sauce What I Ate Wednesday | almost getting it together

Incase you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I spent the past weekend in Savannah. The last thing in the world I was going to do was spend my 25th birthday in Pittsburgh.

In early February, I received an invite in the mail to an award ceremony for my aunt who lives in Savannah on my birthday and knew it was a sign (she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia – little known fact, my family, especially my aunt, is super involved with Girl Scouts). I immediately called my cousin Jaimie who lives in Atlanta and we quickly planned a trip.

Since we arrived late Thursday and spent a few hours talking with my aunt when we got to Savannah, we slept in. There was a ton of fresh fruit so I had my favorite breakfast for my birthday – lots of oatmeal with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt (not pictured).

gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds and fruit what i ate wednesday | almost getting it together

My grandmother and aunts all have the same dishes. No matter where I am, I feel like I’m at home!

There was a luncheon for the awards ceremony, but nothing was really gluten-free so I picked at some grilled chicken and veggies. Totally forgot to take a photo and also it wasn’t photogenic. t was at the same table as all of my aunt’s girlfriends, many of whom I have ran half-marathons with in Savannah or Disney, so it was definitely fun. My aunt also did an Ellen-style selfie on stage… and I realized my entire family is selfie-obsessed except me.

family | almost getting it together

I look totally out of place with my cousins and aunt because of my dark hair and skin. Was I adopted?

Afterwards, we decided to go downtown and do a little shopping at my favorite store in the world, Paris Market (more about that on Getting it Together on the Road: Savannah, coming soon). I was hungry – verging on hungry, really – so we stopped by Zunzis and I had my staple salmon salad and one of Jaimie’s falafels that honestly was maybe the best falafel of my life.

Zunzis Savannah Salmon Salad Zunzis sauce What I Ate Wednesday | almost getting it together

Salmon salad from Zunzis with a bite of falafel off to the side.

My Aunt Sherry is a huge runner (I ran my first half-marathon with her on my 21st birthday!) so she signed us up for a Shamrock 5K that ran through the squares of Savannah. I was a little disappointed during the Savannah Half-Marathon that the race didn’t go downtown but after running approximately one hundred corners, I understand why.

I started scheming and thinking I had a chance to place in my age group. Never before (besides the AEO 5K we had at work this summer) have I been in the front of the pack (okay, top 1/5th of the pack) in a race. Eating a salmon salad an hour and a half before was a bad idea (I know better but my hunger got to me) and I definitely felt it around mile 1.5 (despite running a 7:42 mile two). I didn’t place in my age group, but I was in the top 15% overall and top 6% of women so I’ll take it. Also this time is off because I did not cross the start line at the gun – I was definitely sub-26.

savannah shamrock 5k | almost getting it together

THIS TIME IS WRONG, SAVANNAH.

savannah shamrock 5k | almost getting it together

I proceeded to never warm up that night after taking off my gloves, ear band and jacket.

My aunt is also gluten-free and told me about this new restaurant that had gluten free pizza called My Your Pie (JK on the my pie, I’m glad I fact-checked that). Your Pie is basically the Chipotle of pizza – you choose your crust (white, whole wheat or gluten free) then whatever cheeses, veggies and meat you want. I never eat pizza anymore (besides my 10-Minute Gluten Free Pizza), so I was pretty pumped to eat pizza on my birthday. Then I had to indulge because it was my birthday and eat a kid’s sized gelato – half pistachio and half dark chocolate.

what i ate wednesday my pie gluten free pizza | almost getting it together

Gluten free pizza from Your Pie.

what i ate wednesday my pie gelato | almost getting it together

Birthday treat – gelato from Your Pie.

So basically on my birthday I ate a ton and felt totally guilty on Saturday and had to run it all off (kind of… before I proceeded to drink a ton of champagne). This was really different for me because I feel like for the past few years I’ve had to go somewhere fancy for my birthday with my family and this year I just wanted pizza so I had it. This is basically a break-through with me eating things because I feel like I should.

Full Savannah recap coming soon!

And of course, linking up with Jenn from Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

Chat with me:
Have you ever been to Savannah? What did you eat on your last birthday? Is your family as cool as mine?