30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

FINALLY getting these posted! It’s not a complete “story” as I don’t have any photos of the cookout party. I was too busy chatting and doing real life to have my phone out I guess.

It was a fabulous 30th weekend! Brother and SIL from New York came down, brother from Alabama came up last minute and close friends moving out to Cali joined us on Saturday. We went to an art museum, cooked out with a bunch of friends to celebrate the last day in my twenties, cheers-ed 30 at midnight, made waffles for brunch and took Monday off for an adventure to the botanical gardens. It was relaxed and fun and just what I hoped for.

30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} 30 birthday photo story {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

Now it’s July, my birthday month is over and I’m 30 you guys.

Thanks for reading!


Tell me about your summer so far!
Fun trips? People visiting? Favorite summer activity?

Braids shades and sunshine {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} fresh air, yoga, fashion, fitness
Braids shades and sunshine {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} fresh air, yoga, fashion, fitness


#1: last weekend I enjoyed my first fresh air run since October! Only 2.5 miles, so don’t get too excited with me. It was slow and I was waaaay too sore the next day. My lack of regular running these days showed big time. But I RAN OUTSIDE YOU GUYS. Get excited again.

#2: I’m all about the office workouts these days. Sure, I get up for my 30 minutes at home in the morning, but I also like taking 5:00 breaks throughout the day for some pushups, planks, lunges, really whatever I feel like. I’m regularly getting 15-20 minutes extra by the end of my work day. And no, I have no shame doing pushups in a dress in my office.

Truth be told,  my motivation for this isn’t really about the strength building and more about keeping my toes and fingers attached to my body because its f***ing cold in my office. The AC was on in March (we don’t control it). Last summer I used my space heater in July.

The worst part is that I walk to work. During warm months, I dress as work-appropriate as summer clothes allow and am sweating like crazy when I walk in. Only to spend the rest of the day freezing. It’s horrible. #FirstWorldProblems #Inefficient

Life lessons:

• A handstand a day really does improve handstands. I’ve been finishing every morning workout with inversions.


These are the days of weekend hikes on the Potomac river, lunches outside  and our vegetable garden. Generally just enjoying fresh air while it’s pleasant. Truth: Jon does 94% of the garden work; I just eat and make salsa and take credit where I can.

I’ve also been sewing like I’m paid for it lately. I made this breezy top with open sides and have second one to post about still. My shirt caught the attention of a co-worker, which led to a fabric store trip and I made two more for her and her housemate. I’ve tailored a few of my own pieces, have a few more to do, and have at least two more summer tops to make myself. My machine has a semi-permanent place at the dining table these days.

I don’t need to shop. I just need pretty fabric and an idea. I am in control of my own style destiny.

From the world of Instagram:

Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness
Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness
Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness Fasting and fresh air {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} April, yoga, fashion, fitness


So here’s the thing. Jon usually does the grocery shopping, but he made the mistake of sending Matt and I this week. A few chocolate treats may have found their way into our cart. Hellloooo Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups??? I can’t resist.

Besides that little detour, my sweet intake has remained controlled and my water hydration is better than ever.

The real question today is about intermittent fasting. The basic idea is that you consume your normal amount of food but in a smaller time period. This way your body goes into a “fasting state” and uses stored energy instead (i.e. burns fat).

Anyone tried it?? Great, good, bad, terrible?


• I’m not a foodie and often forget to eat. Seriously, it happens often. I skip a meal unintentionally at least once a week. This “eating window” idea may keep me consistent.

Happy Friday friends!

Let’s hear it:
Thoughts on intermittent fasting?
How was your week??

This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

This is me, friends. A woman who lives by a to-do list, but isn’t afraid to ignore it when needed. Even the blog calendar. I haven’t felt this happy to write a post in a long time as I do right now. It’s been a crazy few weeks and I’ve missed it! Getting up this morning, sitting down with my tea and signing in to PPA felt refreshing and oh-so-perfectly normal. Life is settling down again.


Moving counts, right? There are 37 stairs round trip and a parking lot between old apartment and new apartment. I walked those 37 steps a lot. I counted the hours total we spent working, then averaged how much of that I was walking back and forth to be about 10 hours over moving weekend. Seeing as everything hurt for the next week, I’m counting those hours.

That equals about 37 hours of activity for the month of March. Only 15 days of actual workouts, as I took nearly a full week off post move. Best news is I am tracking my measurements and weight for monthly check-ins with my accountability partner – I’m consistently dropping inches and while the weight is slower, the number is moving.

What I learned this month: 

• Stairs are the enemy. I have never liked stair workouts and I hate them even more right now. So I need you to do me a favor:

Tell me that a good stair running workout works in less time. Tell me the heart rate and VO2 max training results are better than anything else. Tell me it’ll make my ass look amazing. Please and thanks for the motivation.


Um, we moved! But really. I found I was in the mood for something new and fresh. Call it spring cleaning or something. This move just felt really good. We purged some more stuff, reorganized and have a much prettier balcony view now.

Sure, I’m convinced my new building is built over a sinkhole given the dramatic waves in the floor. And btw, sinkholes are f*** terrifying, so I most definitely had a moment of freaking out and “hells NO Jon, I can’t live here!” It passed.

Now my brother Matthew is our new housemate. My kitchen is stocked with Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs and Pop Tarts. Jon and I are boring adults I think.

In other fun news, IT’S SPRING. I enjoyed morning tea on my balcony for the first time this weekend, I wore sandals last week, I painted my toe nails for the first time this season AND it’s Cherry Blossom season so we took Sky Squid out for the Blossom Kite Festival (even though it was actually not spring that day, but almost miserably cold). Now I have a few online shopping carts of spring and summer tops that I can’t buy right now but absolutely need. You understand.

Favorite Instagram photos:

This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}
This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}
This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} This is me March review {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}


Confession time. The no sugar thing continuing through Lent didn’t really happen. I gave up pretty quickly. I’d already done it for a month! I’d paid my sugar dues. What did happen was much more mindfulness of said sugar intake. I’m quite proud of myself actually. *pat on the back* My February sugar detox was successful in that it caused me to be more aware how much sweets I was consuming and change accordingly.

My other success is my water intake. I’m averaging 7-11 glass per day. My goal is at least 100 ounces, preferably closer to 150. And yes, I track it daily in my work planner. I feel amazing you guys! Funny how you don’t realize you felt bad until you feel great. I’m less fatigued, snack less (hunger vs. dehydration) and my skin feels a lot better.


• >sugar + <water = great!

• I power up in the sun. Man I feel so much better when it’s bright in the morning. Remind me of this when it’s 90° and sunny.

Happy April!

How was your March?
How was your Easter weekend?

{PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February
{PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February

How is it the shortest month of the year has felt so long? February was a bit rough.


On Superbowl Sunday, February 1, I had a great treadmill workout. Monday morning, I couldn’t bend my left toes and could barely put weight on the ball of my foot. It was a constant ache with sharp pain if I wasn’t gentle. Not gonna lie, I shed a few tears. I did nothing active for over a week, save limping to work on my daily walk.

Finally a physical therapist friend had a look, told me to ice and roll on a tennis ball and thought it could plantar fasciitis. The rolling did wonders! I’ve kept a ball under my desk to roll after my walk to the office.

I eased back into low impact interval workouts and I had to modify in yoga class. Nearly four weeks later I’m running carefully again and I still roll to keep any soreness away. I’m guessing this will be something I just have to manage, for a while at least.

All told, I’ll be at 21 hours of activity, including my walks, and 18 days of workouts for February. Not what I’d hoped for, but considering the time off, I’ll call this a win.

What I learned this month:

• You don’t realize how much you need your big toe until you can’t move it. At all.

• There’s lots of low impact “cardio” one can do. Kettlebell swings for days. Whether its a bum foot or neighbors in the apartment below, or both, I’ve been creative about my home workouts. More to come for us apartment dwellers.


I made it big on PBS. We threw a Superbowl part with 14 adults and 2 babies in our 650-square-foot apartment. We had one of the best Valentine’s Days yet. I organized two additional dinner parties with new friends. We saw giant bobble head presidents at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery when we stumbled into a family President’s Day celebration. I did lots of inversion practice. We signed a lease to move into a two-bedroom apartment in March and my youngest brother is moving in with us.

All while missing 99% of the horrible winter weather. We’re just south enough to avoid the biggest parts of the storms.

Oh, and I made a free background for your desktop, tablet or phone. Download here. While I’m at it, here’s a marketing post on taking quality photos for your blog.

Favorite photos from Instagram

{PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS
{PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS
{PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS {PIlotingPaperAirplanes.com} February Instagram @LarissaDaltonS


I’ve decided to extend this no-sugar thing through Lent. This means Sunday’s will be break days. I don’t remember this growing up, but apparently Sundays aren’t counted in the 40 days of Lent and Catholics, at least, take them as a break from whatever fast they’re doing. So! That takes me through Easter with a handful of days for my hot chocolate or desert. I’m also adding back honey to my morning tea.

What I’ve learned: 

• I’m a stress eater. When I get overwhelmed or frustrated, I just need something sweet to help me settle. My February sugar detox has been mostly good. I’ve had only a few days of tough cravings and a couple of fails. I’ve learned when I feel good it’s easy to say no to sweet snacks. But when I’m tired or stressed, it’s almost impossible.

• Don’t go over a friend’s house to watch the Oscars after a workout without eating a real dinner. Those Oreos won’t know what hit them. I know better, but it still happened.

Actually, my sugar-free-Lent means my Oscar Sunday cookies were fine, right? #doesntcount

 Thanks for hanging with me!

If you’ve dealt with plantar fasciitis, how have you managed it?
Are you an emotional eater?

{Piloting Paper Airplanes} mountains

{Piloting Paper Airplanes} fresh start, mountains, nature

I love new years. I love the adventure and unknowns of something new. I love a fresh start. I love the dreams and anticipation inherent in beginnings. I love the freedom to be, to create, to build. To leave behind the old, only taking what I want into the new.

Last January I was so happy to leave 2013 behind. It was a tough year I wanted nothing more to do with. Fresh start indeed. This January couldn’t be more different. 2014 treated me well.

In 2014 I…

• … stopped blogging, almost entirely, for 6 whole months.

Dear PPA, I love you, but you simply became too stressful. Brainstorming content for my writing schedule, finding time for said writing schedule, not hating the writing schedule…. instead of forcing posts, I just stopped. Cold turkey.

At first it was supposed to be a week off. I may or may not have dramatically hyperventilated because I JUST HAD to get a post published. Clearly a week was not long enough. Then a month and I breathed easier in general. Around 3 months I published a few posts and immediately hated the renewed pressure. Then…. oh, hi, 6 months.

• … moved to a new city, started a new job.

Technically both of those things happened in December 2013. Buuut…. I worked for a week before a Christmas week off, so basically I started really working January. My OCD self loves that my new city/new job fresh start happened to coincide with a new year. I’m now 12 months in and can look you in the eye as I say “I love my job.”

I can also get right in your face as I say “I love DC.” New York Shmoo York folks. If you want an east coast vacation – especially on a budget – DC is where its at. I’ll meet you for drinks on U Street.

• … simplified.

Living with a partner in roughly 700 square feet will do that to you. We cleared out when we moved half way across the country. We cleared out more as we unpacked. We got creative with storage.

We have to be very conscious what we bring in to the apartment. Often, if something comes in, something else has to go out. Simple living causes you to lose anything you don’t love. If you have the space for crap, you will collect crap. We now have a space that we love and feels very “us”.

• … found my style.

In my 29th year I feel like I FINALLY have a good handle on my personal style. This growth has taken considerable attention and thought in recent months. For the first time in a long while – maybe ever – I feel comfortable and confident in my wardrobe.

• … read. A lot.

Ahem. Over 50 books since I got my kindle in June. I am an unapologetic binge reader.

In 2015 I…

• … will continue blogging.

I’ve thought long and hard about this. If I’m truly ready to be done, this is the time. I’m not a sentimental person and I generally don’t think twice when its time to move on. Buuut… its not time. That said, I am ready to change things up around here. Simply brushing off the cobwebs isn’t enough. More another day.

• … stop making excuses.

I’m not talking about fitness yet; I mean in life. When I don’t want to go somewhere, I can say no without an elaborate excuse. I won’t feel guilty about saying no to dinner with friends because I need to introvert that evening, and I don’t have to make an excuse beyond that. And yes, my good friends are familiar with me saying something like “I’d love to another day, but tonight I’m introverting.” #sorrynotsorry

go minimal.

This really means continue the simplification I started in 2014. I don’t intend to go all out, like 100 items lists or 40 clothing pieces per season. But I do want to be more minimal in my life. Minimize things I own to only what I love, minimize habits so I have time for what I really want to do, be mindful of the TV I watch, that sort of thing. For me, this embodies a fresh start, or a clean slate, in daily life.

• … be active.

I’ll be honest. Fitness hasn’t been a heavy priority for me lately. I’ve been active with lots of yoga classes, walking everywhere, hiking, etc. But I know my body. I can’t maintain a healthy weight without 1) some serious cardio or 2) not eating.

For the first time EVER, I have an accountability partner. We started in December and check in twice per month, at least until my 30th birthday (!!!) in June. I have some goals I really really want to hit for that milestone birthday. My partner’s goals go beyond the summer, so I’ll reevaluate what I’m working on after June and continue with her from there.

• … take risks.

I have a couple things in mind to be expanded on as I make them happen.

 Thank you for reading and supporting. You are the best.
Cheers to a fresh start this 2015!