Friday, June 20, 2014

happy happy summer!

It is summer vacation, and tomorrow is the longest day of the year!  This is the first time in a while that I've had a whole summer free, and I'm really excited about the upcoming 7 weeks or so.  I have already had a lot of time to run, read, and just generally relax, and checking off stuff on my fun to-do list will be lovely.  Life is oh-so-good.  

I haven't posted here in quite a bit, but I compiled a list of some of the songs I have been listening to on repeat.  Some are on the radio, others a little more off the beaten path, but in my opinion they are all great for windows down, music blasting summer days.  Check them out!
Love Runs Out by One Republic
Problem by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea
Fancy by Iggy Azalea (trying to memorize all the words)
Come Get it Bae by Pharrell Williams
On Our Way by The Royal Concept
Scare Away the Dark by Passenger (featured in the super cute Middlebury video I watched the other day)

And here is a video from Sunflower Farm in Maine that has over 2 million views in the last few weeks.  Only 35 seconds but cute: The Running of the Goats.  I recently started watching How I Met Your Mother (I know, I know, several years late), but I'm enjoying it so far and trying really hard to avoid finding out how the show ends.  I am also reading Game of Thrones, and am thinking about maybe starting to watch the show.  I like the book more than I was expecting, so I'll have to give it a try sometime soon. 

Things that I'm looking forward to:
-family vacation in Alaska (hi Robin, see ya soon)!
-running the Clam Fest 5 miler in July...just about halfway through my training plan, but feeling better every day
-getting some new running shoes soon (pictures to follow)
-a visit from Tiffany and Elise next weekend
-the beach, eating seafood, enjoying Maine

As always, if you're interested in receiving a letter, send me your address!  I love having summer pen pals, and I am definitely up for some vacation postcards! 

Enjoy the beginning of summer!  Sending you happy vibes from Maine!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


On this Easter Sunday, a list of things I'm thankful for:
-I got to run outside along the lake on a beautiful afternoon.  The lake has thawed, the bike path is clear of snow, and running outside is no longer crazy.  It's wonderful.  I also just started using Strava to map my runs and it's kind of my new favorite thing.  I feel much more motivated to run/run fast when I know that my GPS is tracking me. 
-I have finished two books recently and am working my way through the giant pile next to my bed.  If you're looking for a good book that will probably make you cry, check out Tell the Wolves I'm Home.  It was a powerful and sad read.  But very well-written and interesting.  Yay for reading for fun!
-I've been listening to this song a lot recently and just found out that Fitz and the Tantrums are coming to Higher Ground in June - anyone want to go??  Here's The Walker.  Frank Turner is also coming in May, so I'm thinking about going to see him too.  And the Avett Brothers are playing in August!  So much good music in Burlington!
-I like Phillip Phillips, so here's his latest, Raging Fire.
-I took a picture of the crazy icicles that had formed on our oars last week (after a chilly April snowstorm), and it was chosen as the picture of the day on row2k!  Here's the link, check it out :)
-Lent is over, so I got to eat candy today!
-Family, friends, friendly strangers, all the people who brighten my days.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's April!

I can't believe that April is already here.  Partly, that's because there is still a fair amount of snow on the ground, and Lake Champlain is still almost completely covered in ice.  And, I think that time has been going by pretty fast lately.  That being said, I'm excited for spring, and the warmer weather and longer days it brings.  Here is a list of notable things going on in my life.  

-I got back from Florida a week ago.  It was a fun trip - I saw lots of amazing birds, a very large alligator, cool trees...basically, just a lot of different wildlife.  The weather was excellent, and I'm now very tan, which is always a plus.  It has been hard adjusting to the cold back in Vermont, but today it was above 50, and my run outside felt warm and spring-like. 

-I found a fabulous blue maxi dress at T.J.Maxx today.  It's comfortable but also looks nice, and I can't wait for it to be warm out so I can wear it!  Also, it has pockets, which is clutch.  Here's a pic. 

-Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's is Tuesday!!  One of the best days of the year :)

-I'm starting to get excited for the summer in Maine.  A partial list of things I'm looking forward to/want to try and accomplish: go to the beach as much as possible, hike Mount Katahdin (not sure if this will happen, but it would be really cool!), run the Clam Fest 5 mile road race, eat lots of seafood, etc.  Maine in the summer is my favorite thing in the world, and I can't wait to enjoy every minute of it. 

I need to go do my dishes, so that is all the sunnyside material I have for now, but I hope that the second week of April brings more literal and figurative sunshine.  Peace!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

3/9/14 - or Catherine turns 23.5

I want to start off this sunnyside post by acknowledging the scary and sobering disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Flight.  I can't believe that a large passenger plane can literally just vanish.   While a happy ending is seeming less and less likely, I do hope that authorities are able to piece together what happened soon and give answers to the families of those on board.  I also hope that whatever happened will help make flying a little bit safer.  It's sad that horrible events are often what leads to big changes, but hopefully something good can come of this. 

On a less sad note, it was spring ahead day today, which meant an hour less of sleep but also meant that sunset wasn't until 6:51!  It will be nice to have some more light in the evenings. 

It has been a good week, full of lots of sleeping.  I was exhausted all week, and as a result I slept 9+ hours every night.  I think maybe I was on the verge of getting sick, but sleeping kept it away.  It also prepared me well for spring ahead :)

The Josh Ritter concert last Sunday was great.  He played a mix of new and old music, and it was a very different concert than when I saw him 4+ years ago - much quieter, and more intimate.  He is a really fun performer, because he is almost constantly smiling and high energy.  It was a long way to drive for just the weekend, but worth it!

This is one of the cutest and happiest things I've seen in awhile.  I love Lennon and Maisy on Nashville, and they have the best YouTube videos.  Here's their newest one, a cover of That's What's Up by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. 


Here are a couple of pictures from my weekend.  I made this delicious lentil-vegetable stew for the second time.  The recipe seems to have disappeared from where I found it online, but basically it's lentils, sweet potatoes, onion, spinach, and a delicious mix of spices - curry powder, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger.  If you want the recipe let me know and I can send it to you.  Highly recommended!  I also spent some time this weekend searching for a bathing suit for our upcoming spring break crew trip to DeLand, Florida.  Unfortunately, March is a very poor time to shop for swimming apparel in Vermont.  Apparently it is still too wintery for most people to be considering swimming.  I did end up ordering one online from Boden, so I'm hoping it fits/I like it.  We shall see!  So the picture is of these pretty hideous spandex I found at JC Penney...covered in french fries, pizza, onion rings, hot dogs, etc.  I was almost tempted to buy them but they're just a little too weird.  For your viewing pleasure. 
And a thought to leave you with, from the song Pumpin Blood that I posted last time: "You're a catalyst to your happiness you know."  A good mantra to live by - you're only going to be happy if you decide to be.  Have a good week!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"march"-ing ahead

I'm pretty good at being optimistic and seeing the sunny side of life and just generally rolling with the punches - hence the name of this blog.  Even so, I have days where I feel sad or overly tired or just a little down, and on those days, I turn to music.  This post is in honor of some of the songs I have been listening to a lot recently (both new and not-so-new).  I enjoy a pretty wide range of music and musical styles, so playlists that I make are often a bit eclectic - but here it goes:

happy songs for spring 2014
Hang With Me by Robyn
Pumpin Blood by NONONO
Mmm Yeah by Austin Mahone
What I Wouldn't Do by Serena Ryder
Move by Little Mix
Chocolate by The 1975

I'm also really looking forward to seeing Josh Ritter play at Bates tonight!  I'll have to give a review of the concert afterwards. 

And I wrote about it before, but I got my Stitch Fix last week!  I think I had slightly unrealistically high expectations, plus it arrived at a time when I was trying to not spend money, so I was a little disappointed.  But I ended up keeping a bright pink, kind of slinky shirt that I think would look nice dressed down or dressed up.  It'll be a good addition to my "fancier/grown-up" clothing collection that I'm trying to expand. 

Finally, a few things I'm excited about: Chili Fest in Middlebury next weekend, a pile of good books to read, Florida sunshine ( >3 weeks away!)...I'm sure there are more, but that's plenty of happiness for now!  Peace, and have a fabulous first week of March!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

olympics in the air!

The biggest news of this week is that I bought a TV and am able to watch the Olympics!!  I didn't realize that you could still get "over the air" stations, but with an antenna, I have 8+ different channels.  It has been great so far.  However, I am already pretty addicted, so I'm trying to make some guidelines for myself, like: turn town the volume if it's an event I'm not ALL that invested in; read (or do dishes) during commercial breaks or previously mentioned events; and go to bed after the end of primetime coverage (11/11:30pm).  Yes, I'm a little obsessed, but it's the best 2+ weeks of television for 2 years!  Might as well enjoy it while I can.  

This was the iTunes song of the week last week, and I actually like it a lot.  I've also been hearing it quite a bit on the radio.  I'm not sure if that's because of the iTunes special, or it's popular on its own.  Anyway, here's a link to Riptide by Vance Joy.  Disclaimer: the music video is really weird and disturbing, but I still like the song. 

If you were somehow unaware, it is Valentine's Day this week.  I have had plans for the last few months actually - hot date at the dentist's office!  So if you're feeling bad for yourself because you're alone on Valentine's Day and not receiving any flowers or chocolate or lovin', just remember that it could be worse :)

Finally, if you haven't seen this performance yet, please watch.  Jason Brown is perhaps my favorite Olympic athlete, and his long program is outta this world.  This is the video from US Nationals in January, but he's skating this routine in Sochi as well.  He is just so much fun to watch, and definitely sunnyside material.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

hi there february, let's do this.

Pretty VT views on a Saturday snowshoe
Thanks for helping make January 2014 keep on the sunny side's second most popular month ever!  Now we're on to February - inching closer to springtime and summer.  Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, I couldn't see mine today in Vermont, so I'm going to believe that winter is coming to a close. 

Here are two interesting articles I read in the NYTimes recently.  The first is about sloths and how they have adapted to survive their very unique lifestyle.  And the second is about obesity, specifically understanding when in life obesity begins, and how body weight changes over time.  Check them out.

Last week, I talked about making my lentil dish.  It was ok, not one of my favorites.  But I made a yummy turkey pot pie last night.  So here are some food pictures, as well as a few other photos from my week. 

The lentils.  Not bad, but not my fave.

Yummy and cozy turkey pot pie


  Friday Outfit, wearing a Lopi sweater my mom knit back in the day!

Lastly, a couple songs.  From This Valley by The Civil Wars and I Will Remain by Matthew & The Atlas.  Also, I'm pretty sure I've already written about Songza on my blog, but just to reiterate - it's amazing!  "Handclapping & Footstomping" is one of my favorite playlists, but there are many, many great ones.  If you don't use it, give it a try and you'll be hooked.  

Now, I'm off to watch some Sherlock (new to the show, but enjoying it so far).  Happy beginning of February!!