Wine Snobbery

Hey y’all! We are most definitely in the full swing of things over here in Raleigh!

I’m working on 3 projects right now that all involve broken code on computers <- side note: if anyone sees a computer flying out a window just ignore it. They also involve very complicated lab setup…20160914_142943.jpg

And yes I have to stand on the ladder to reach stuff and do research……really hope standing on lab tables isn’t a safety violation…..

Luna is still a crazy dog bat! We crowned her accordingly 20160902_202039.jpg

Also, we went on a date! (me and Steve not me and Luna although I should do a dog date that sounds fun)

We tried out a relatively new Greek restaurant in Raleigh, Taverna Agora, with an awesome patio! It probably helped that the weather was nice, but the patio was still cool20160903_191259.jpg

Pretty sure this was taken right after I ordered us an appetizer (flaming cheese) and didn’t tell Steve that they would light the cheese on fire at the table 🙂 Needless to say he was in heaven and I had to stab his hand a couple times with my fork to remind him to share.

After our dinner we went to a wine bar, cause we are totally fancy wine snobs. On a grad student budget. Right. Anywho.20160903_203851.jpg

They have awesome art that we snobbily (semi-sarcastically) judged and critiqued and a rather comfortable couch that I would like to take home with me. Don’t worry though, we definitely are not snobs and don’t really fit in at places like this20160903_203925.jpg

Our next date is scheduled and we are going to the ballet!!! I’m only a little excited 🙂


Have a great weekend and ttyl!

Huntsville Sprint

The family that tri’s together stays together!!


Last weekend, my dad, brother and I all did the Huntsville Sprint Triathlon. Which, tbh, was a SUPER sprint. It was a 400 m pool swim, 7 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run! Obviously it went by really fast.

Since it was a pool swim, they seeded us (our race numbers) by our estimated time to finish the swim. Idk what I put down but I was number 3 O.o I am definitely NOT that good of a swimmer and I definitely have not been in the pool since April for a while. Andrew, who is very in shape, was number 29 and my dad was number 225.

Here I am looking rather unsure about the swim portion. I was right to be nervous, I swam the last 300 m backstroke #embarrassed #IWasPassedALot

Here’s Andrew getting started!

Aaaand I couldn’t find a picture of Dad, so here’s what he probably looked like during the swim 🙂

Final Swim Times:

Andrew – 7 min 25 s    Amanda – 9 min 55 s     Dad – 11 min 56 s

-These include the rather lengthy run to transition

Transition 1: Swim to Bike

Andrew – 2 min 8 s     Amanda – 1 min 27 s     Dad – 1 min 58 s

So we were off on the wonderfully flat and short bike course!

Note the intense look / realizing I am waaay out of shape look on my face. So attractive.

Andrew doesn’t have a bike so he used my dad’s old bike (from the 80s for you bike aficionados). And with no fancy gear, he still beat me and dad. Ugh. Stupid fit brothers. So proud.

Aaaand here goes Dad!! Glad they actually got a picture this time 🙂

Final Bike Times

Andrew – 23 min 1 s   Amanda – 23 min 34 s   Dad – 23 min 45 s

^ We were so close together! ^

Transition Bike to Run Times

Andrew – 1 min 3 s     Amanda – 2 min 20 s     Dad – 2 min 12 s

^I was kinda disappointed in this transition cause I couldn’t get my shoes on quickly 😦 For reference, my T2 is usually somewhere 1 min to 1 min 30 s

And last but not least we had a super flat off-road run that was 2 loops around a pond! At this point Andrew had left me for the sharks….#siblinglove

Here he is coming in to the finish!

Here I am demonstrating my ability to levitate and my uncanny habit of running like a gazelle. Seriously, ask anyone, I look like a gazelle when I run. Idk why a gazelle but that’s the animal everyone uses.

Here’s Dad not walking! And obviously still having a great time 🙂

Since Andrew and I finished with some time to spare, I got some pics of Dad coming in to the finish!


Now this was supposed to be a 5k run…….but my watch ended at 2.8 miles and Dad’s ended at 2.7… I think it was a bit short 🙂

Final Run Times

Andrew – 19 min 35 s     Amanda – 23 min 02 s    Dad – 29 min 59 s

We all finished!! WOOOOOOOOO!!

Finish Times

Andrew – 53 min 10 s

Amanda – 1 hr 0 min 16 s

Dad – 1 hr 9 min 48 s

Andrew got 4th in his age group and I got 5th in mine! (Could’ve gotten 3rd if I had remembered how to put shoes on in T2…..ugh) Note: there were approx 15-20 people in our age groups.

We had a great time and spent the rest of the day watching Game of Thrones and drinking beer 🙂 Recovery is the best





Hi there!

Posting has been a bit sparse lately but that’s because of things! Exciting things, not bad things. One of my best friends, Jenna, came into town last week for a visit!

I was so. excited.



We lived together for 2 years at Mississippi State and both majored in Mechanical engineering so yeah we bonded.We also had team spirit!

(circa 2009?? 2010?)

She now lives in New Orleans so visiting is rare, but that makes it so much more special.

We spent a lot of time actually hanging out in the College of Textiles at NC State cause we are both *cough* nerds *cough* and we like fabric/textiles/and cool things like that. Beyond that most of our time was spent just catching up and hanging out. Which, in my opinion, is the best kind of friend time you can get.

So here are more pictures of us having fun!





Even Steve was allowed to hang out with the girls #privileged

After she left, I took the dogs down to ‘Bama for a triathlon!! Which you shall hear about tomorrow 🙂

I Make Weird Dares

Happy Friday! (I definitely started typing Fireday if that gives any indication as to how hot it is here in Raleigh)

I wanna talk about setting goals today cause, if you haven’t picked up from the whole gradschool/ironman thing, I’m a super goal-oriented person and not everyone gets that.

Most of my goals start out as jokes. Like “we should run 5 Ironmans by the time we’re 25” LMAO 😄 Flash forward a few years and about half of that statement was actually accomplished. Weird right?

Let’s start with grad school. To be completely honest, I NEVER imagined getting my PhD. Ever. It was something I actually tried to avoid for years and only just accepted the idea of getting one about 2 years ago. The decision to accept an offer for a funded PhD project happened when I was driving from Mississippi State University to Little Rock. I had just broken a 3 year relationship and was not it the best state of mind. It sort of happened as a dare. I dared myself to get a PhD. I dared myself to break ‘tradition’ and not do the whole marriage/job/babies/house-in-your-20s thing.

aaaaaaaannnnnnd I struggled with that. For a long time. I watched my friends happily get married, buy houses, get well paying jobs, etc. And it seemed like I was stuck in this time warp of kinda-college-kinda-not idk wtf I am. Not fully adult with an ‘adult’ life but not a college kid who enjoys the ‘college experience’ either. It’s this weird gray area. I fought being in that weird gray area. For 2 years. And made myself miserable in the process. But something clicked and I realized that to be a successful grad student and to complete my dare, you have to be 100% okay with the gray area. It’s okay to be in a weird half-adult state cause every other grad student is there too. It’s not the same ‘adulthood’ that’s sold to you as a kid, but it’s still a valid ‘adulthood’ and will be a super exciting adventure if you let it.

Also, I have this weird thing about never quitting so that also helped push me through.

5 years ago I would have laughed hysterically if you told me I would run marathons and enjoy it. Seriously. I remember actually laughing at the idea when it was suggested. I thought of it as a hilarious joke…….which……of course…..ended up with me running a couple marathons. The thought process was like this:

LOL NO…..that’s crazy……running 2 miles sucks……(now in a sleep deprived state) hmmmmm………ya know what could be cool? running a half marathon…….signs up for half marathon……(next morning) SHIT wtf did I do?!? well I paid a bunch of money so I may as well…….(finishes) that was pretty cool…..definitely don’t want to run more than that……marathons are CRAZY……(few months later)………friend asks if you’re interested in a race……..debate for a couple weeks…… a moment of weakness (read 3 glasses of wine in) sign up for FULL marathon…….(the next few months consist of a lot mental berating for doing something that stupid and crazy).

But when the time came to actually run the dang thing I was actually excited! Yeah, it’s scary. Yeah my knees don’t like to run sometimes. Yeah I laughed at the idea of doing it. Yeah it’s kinda cool.

And I finished.

A similar thing happened with triathlons. I was joking with my friend Jen on how we were going to finish an Ironman race by the time we were 25. That never happened. But. When Ironman created a 70.3 race in Raleigh, my interest was piqued. So one night, after several glasses of wine, (are you seeing the trend here?) I signed up.

And I completed a half Ironman when I was 25.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next, besides graduate with a PhD. But a new goal/dare/idea has been floating around in the back of my head for a while now. It may be time to make another crazy dare…..

I want to dare myself to qualify for the Boston Marathon by the time I’m 30. I am daring myself to finish a marathon in 3:35 which is running a pace of about 8:12 min/mile for 26.2 miles.

It’s on.

Day at Dix

Here in Raleigh we have Dix Park. It’s on an old psychiatric hospital named after Dorthea Dix. (If you are giggling hysterically at this point we should be friends)

We went to a festival there on Sat with the pups to check it out. It was a bad idea. The park was awesome. The people were awesome. The festival vendors and such were awesome. The temperature……not so awesome. 

The heat index was well into the 100s with little to no share at the park. The poor dogs almost had a heat stroke!

Luckily Raleigh is a drinking town. Specifically a beer drinking town. Which means….drum roll…there was a beer tent!!

It was shaded and involved trying some new beers so we took on the challenge of finding the best one while the dogs cooled off (read we poured ice water on their bellies and they freaked out)

Once everyone was cooler and happy we immensely enjoyed the beer tent! Happy dogs = happy owners/dog parents

Luna was still pretty mad about the whole ice-on-the-belly things. Nbd just trying to save your life angry puppy.

To fulfill our duties as beer taster Steve needed an extra hand to make sure no beer was spilled. 

All in all we had a great time and discovered some new and pretty unique beers…

The blueberry citrus wheat was my favorite until I tried the habenero mango cider. It was SO GOOD! It was crisp and refreshing (almost like a good white wine) and had just a bit of kick at the finish for funsies 🙂

All in all we had a great time and plan to go back albeit on a cooler day.