H54F: What's going on!

We made it to Friday. It couldn't have come fast enough! Today I want to talk about 5 things from this week that I have been working on. I am so excited about where this blog is headed.

I am so exited for my new venture on my blog. If you read my post last Sunday I rambled on about my ideas. I am working on building a relationship with my local community. This is so exciting for me because I live in such a diverse and fun little city. So much to offer and so much inspiration comes out of where I live. Stay tuned for my weekly features on local spots.

Speaking of working with local businesses I decided yesterday to debut my first review post about a local pub and eatery. I think it went well. I was so happy to see the response from the owners on social media as well as the traffic the post created.

Now that I am working on becoming a part of my community I am looking for events to attend, volunteer positions, and classes. I am particularly pysched (does anyone still use this word?) about this because if you recall my February goal was to meet new people, and this is a great way to accomplish that.

Speaking of goals, I wrapped up March goals but never talked about my April goals. My plans changed a little with my move and such so that changed my goals. I have decided to make April all about finding a hobby that makes me happy. What that lead me to was this new page (pun intended lol) on my blog. I have not been this excited for a new project in a long time. I am finally taking the steps I need to make this blog my happy place. I am so excited for it and what you will all think!

Tonight I am volunteering at my first event! It is to support local theater, which I love. It is called the Red Event and I will be helping out with my new friend Nikki. So excited for this because it gets me out on a Friday night and the group I am volunteering with is a young professional group so I can meet some new peeps my age! I look forward to writing all about it next week. I really hope you all have a fantastic weekend ahead! Spring has sprung ya'll!

Local Posting: Red's Place

Hey all. I mentioned on Sunday that I was going to start bringing some local posts to my blog each week. I want to connect with my community and to give potential visitors a taste of what they can expect if they visit the Finger Lake region in New York. I wanted to go ahead and get that started this week as I visited a new to me restaurant over the weekend that was AH-MAZ-ING.

Red's Place, a unique dining pub has it all. A bar. Great menu. Great help. Me and R decided to catch a late lunch when we were shopping on the Commons on Sunday. It was 2pm and the weather was perfect so we were not able to get a table outside, but the interior was enough to make us forget all about the tables outside. The light fixtures are made of mason jars, and the wood on the bar from an old barn. There is a mural of NYC on the wall and the table tops were beautiful.

Being it was a warm day, we both decided to go with one of the many beers they had on tap. They have a nice beer list, including seasonal and local beers. We were brought our beers and 2 mason jars of water. I don't know about you, but mason jars are the way to my heart. They are so versatile and you can dress them up or down.

After a few minutes of deciding on a meal, we decided to try a few items and share them. We ended up with 3 Rosebuds (chinese five spiced bbq pulled short rib sliders with coleslaw), A Wild Thing Flatbread (wild mushrooms, rosemary, prosciutto and fontina) and a basket of steak fries. We mostly wanted fries because of the cute little basket they came in.

The food came really quickly and I have to admit it was gone just as fast. Everything was really good. The pulled bbq was tender with flavor and the flatbread was soft and crunchy in all the right places. The french fries were what any french fry tastes like to me. Nothing fancy, but hit the spot!

While R paid the bill I hit the bathroom. I have to say it is one of the nicest restaurant bathrooms I have been in a long time. Very clean and a full on changing table for mothers who need to tend to an infant. That gets a gold star in my book!

Overall we enjoyed out experience. The food was good. The place was clean. The staff were great. For both of us to eat our bill was just under $40. I would say that is just above average for Ithaca. 

If you would like to visit Red's Place they are located at:
107 N. Aurora Street ("Restaurant Row")
Ithaca, NY 14850

You can check out their menu here -----> Red's Place Menu

Stay tuned for more local posts! If you are in central NY and would like to work with me, please send me an email! I would love to work with you!

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Wellness Wednesday - 10 Minute Challenge

Did you all think I was going to forget about my 10 minute challenge posts? Not a chance! Today I want to give you 5 more exercises and stretches you can do in 10 minutes. Not only are these quick, they can be done anywhere and they bring quite a punch! If you missed the last one you can check it out here ----> 10 Minute Fitness Challenge

Today we are focusing mainly on legs. Make sure to make adjustments to any of these exercises if they do not feel comfortable to you. Never do something if it hurts. I am not a certified trainer, these are all moves I perform myself. If you have any doubts please consult your doctor.

2 Minutes-Warm up doing jumping jacks. Do them in intervals. No need to do 2 minutes straight!

2 Minutes- Do 2 sets of wall sits. Lean up against a wall and slide down until you are in a comfortable "chair" pose. Hold this for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 1 more time.

2 Minutes - Calf raises!  30 minutes of raises, 30 minutes of rest. Repeat 1 time.

2 Minutes- Desk Leg Raises. Sit at your desk with good posture. Lift both legs up until they are straight and hold for 5 seconds. Bring feet back to he ground. Continue this movement for 2 minutes for a great  leg workout.

2 Minutes - Squats! Do 3 sets up 10. Rest in between as needed. 

There you have it folks. Easy peasy and you got leg day crossed off you list! Come back next week for more easy office workouts!

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How to protect yourself from Identity Theft

People will never seize to amaze me. Just when I think it can't get any worse, it does. I took a small break from this blog and social media last week due to an amazement that came in a bad form. I had my identity compromised. Even though we live in a digital world these days, we also must remember that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is accessible online. Even if you do not shop online or electronically pay your bills, chances are your banking institute is online.

I was only informed I had an issue when my bank sent me a new debit card. My current card was getting ready to expire so I thought nothing of it. I looked at it quickly and thought the numbers looked different but thought no more about it until my bank called me. They had asked about a check coming through that they thought was suspicious. Thankfully I was aware of this particular check, but that did spark my thought about the new debit card.

After speaking to another bank rep, I was informed my identity had been compromised and there was suspicious activity on my account. (Funny how they never called me about those issues..). I got everything sorted out and my new card activated before it really hit me. Someone had access to my personal information and could have potentially did some damage to my finances and my name. 

Identity theft is a real thing and can happen to ANYONE. I thought I was doing a thorough job of keeping all of my personal and financial information safe. I check my accounts every couple of days to make sure everything looks kosher. Just like that things can get scary. For this reason alone I asked lots of questions on how to do an ever better job at keeping my identity safe. Here are a few tips I learned so I wanted to throw them your way:

Change passwords regularly. A lot of financial institutes already make you do this, but if they don't do it yourself. It really can make the difference.

Credit Reports. Get yourself signed up for a program that provides you with quarterly reports. A lot of these programs will also alert you if you have any suspicious activity on your account. I have a program with my Discover credit card but unfortunately it is still in my parents address so I did not get any word of the issues going on. #fail

Protection. Similar to the reports I get from Discover, there are programs out there that are strictly in place to monitor your identity. I am personally looking into using Life Lock. A co-worker suggested it when I mentioned this little adventure. It offers detection, alerts, and restore services. There is a small fee a month but they will fight for you if you ever have an identity issue. Truth be told just because your bank got hacked doesn't mean your bank won't fight you tooth and nail with overdrawn charges and such. I know someone who was sent to collections from their bank and it was the banks fault. Crazy stuff out there folks!

Beware of Scams. This sounds like a no brainer but there are so many scams out there asking for your personal information.  Being in the freebie business (yes I consider it a business.. it takes lots of hard work!) I have to be very careful with who I give my info to. If it seems to good to be true, chances are it is a scam. There are new scams everyday and they are getting more and more believable so keep your guard up.

I hope this never happens to any of you, but if it does make sure you are prepared. Get yourself protected. This was such an eye opening experience for me and now I don't feel at all guilty to purchase a plan that will help me fight back had this been a serious threat.

Have you ever had your identity stolen or compromised? Were you prepared for it? I would love to hear how you handled this serious situation.

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Sunday Rambles

Ahh Sunday. So nice to see you. I don't normally post on Sunday but today I felt like I had a lot to say and I wanted to just get it all out rather then wait until next week. Taking a bit of a break from the blog was nice for me. I didn't take the break for clarity but I certainly thought a lot about where I want my blog to go and what I'd like it to look like. I have been blogging almost a full year and really wasn't sure where my blog "fit in" and what I wanted to become of it.

This past week I really put into perspective what I wanted from this blog. I want to get gratification from knowing someone was able to read something I wrote and use it somewhere useful in their lives. I am definitely drifting slowly into the health and fitness world, but I don't want to be labelled as that one thing either. I was out and about today in this beautiful weather we are having in Central New York and thought about the city in which I live.

My city is a very health conscious place and there is always something to do here that links in with staying healthy and fitness. There are oodles of yoga studies and massage therapists. Health food stores and natural artisans making all kinds of soaps and green options. It is here in my city that brings all kinds of inspiration to my every day blogging.

By the time I hit my 1 year bloggy birthday on May 1st I want to be incorporating more local posts here on my blog. I want to share with the world some of the great things you can find and do here in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Anything from state parks, restaurants, wellness options, hospitality options. I want to dive into as many things as I can and bring a weekly segment here.

Summer is quickly approaching and this area is an amazing place to visit for a couples, girls weekends, or families. Whether you are a fellow neighbor or someone looking to explore the area I hope you will enjoy these weekly segments. A few things you can look forward to that I will be attending this coming week and writing about are:

 4/16/2015 Avanti Trunk show at Miel Beauty Bar featuring Red Head Wine

4/17/2015 The Hangar Aces Red Event at the Hangar Theater

4/19/2015 3rd Annual Spring Tea Fundrasier at the Dryden Community Center

I also visited a newer restaurant in Ithaca today called Red's Place and will be writing about that as well!

If you are local to me and have an event coming up that you would like me to write about please send me an e-mail! I would love to work with you! 

I hope you will enjoy these upcoming posts and have a great week!
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