15 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

I’ve done a bit of soul searching this week.

Not for any particular reason. Nothing’s wrong. Life’s just fine. Yay hooray! But I’ve been feeling more introspective than normal. (I blame this on the fact that I spend a lot of time walking my puppy — and therefore a lot of time with my thoughts, since she doesn’t really respond when I talk to her…which I do endlessly.)

A treat for your thoughts, Ellie?
A treat for your thoughts, Ellie?

One of my biggest takeaways from this week is to stay focused on the big picture — the big, life-changing hopes, dreams, and goals — while making sure to appreciate all the little things along the way.

Journey. Not the destination. Preach.

With that mindset locked and loaded, here are 15 things that made me happy this week.

Ellie's first day of school!!!
Ellie’s first day of school!!!

1. The long walks with Ellie. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m grossly obsessed with my dog. I’m not just one of “those people,” I’m way worse. I know. I get it. It’s happening.


In addition to taking Ellie outside every time she has to go to the bathroom (or whenever I think she might maybe kind of have to go), I also take her for at least one long walk during the day.

What a little model!
What a little model!

I talk to Ellie the entire time I’m out with her. I’m not on my phone (except during our photo shoots, which I can’t resist), I’m not reading emails, I’m not listening to music. It’s just me and my furry sidekick, strolling around the city, chewing on sticks and peeing wherever we want. (More her than me on both accounts.)

Soon she will be too big to pick up :(
Soon she will be too big to pick up 🙁

I have really come to relish this time we spend together. When we first got Ellie, she definitely preferred Brian. He was “the alpha,” and I — never having had pets before except the beta fish that died after 19 minutes — didn’t really know what to do with her. Now we have bonded bigtime and are BFFL.

One of us is cute and one of us needs improvement.
One of us is cute and one of us needs to put more effort into her “look.”

2. The fact that I still got to be in Central Park every day, even though I’m not running. Whenever I’ve been sick and unable the run, the thing I miss the most — besides the sweat and endorphins and general feeling of health and having quality of life — is Central Park. It’s no secret Central Park is my favorite place in the whole world, and I miss it on days I’m not there. So even though my knee is keeping me sidelined a bit longer than I had hoped, I love that I still get my daily dose of the Bridle Path by taking Ellie on walks.

Little-ish puppy in a big city!
Little-ish puppy in a big city!

3. Taking another Justin Bieber dance class with my November Project pals.

I wish I had style. Instead I have legwarmers and Lululemon skirts...
I wish I had style. Instead I have legwarmers and Lululemon skirts…

We learned the second part of the “Sorry” video, so now I know the entire routine. We had so much sweaty fun and I want to start taking daily dance classes again. Come with us next time!

We don't just run and hug. We can bust some serious moves, too.
We don’t just run and hug. We can bust some serious moves, too.

4. Ellie’s A+ report from the vet. Ellie went to the vet on Tuesday and, as usual, she loved it.

My, what a long tail you have!
My, what a long tail you have!

The staff is so good to her and she gets so much attention and she doesn’t even mind the part where they stick a thermometer up her butt. The vet called her “perfect” and I wanted to douse her in gold stars. I will never be able to have children. I will be the worst. (She’s a healthy, happy pup, and she weighs 27.3 pounds and counting. So big!)

Ellie at the vet. She's outgrowing the table!
Ellie at the vet. She’s outgrowing the table!

5. This version of “Under Pressure.” I had to resist the urge to get up and sing and dance when the yoga instructor played this song during savasana on Tuesday night.

6. Writing this for Self.com. (Though, really, I never get sick of hearing about anything running-related. Except maybe right now, when I’m not running at all on account of a bum knee.)

7. Seeing a familiar face in a bunch of New York Road Runners newsletters. My face! (And my thighs. OMG my thighs.)

Lest you think I'm "leading the pack," they ALL had to slow down for me so we could look like we were actually running in a group.
Lest you think I was “leading the pack,” they ALL had to slow down for me so we could look like we were actually running in a group.

I probably should have worn a more photo-shoot-appropriate (translation: more flattering) outfit, but I swear I told the photographer I didn’t want to be in pictures and just wanted to do the workout. Yet here I am, showing up in peoples’ inboxes every damn day. Sorry, runners of NYC.

Such form. So heel strike.
Such form. So heel strike.

8. Lots of new work opportunities, assignments, and clients. Yay!

9. This website, which made me LOL IRL. If you watched Making a Murderer and thought, “Wow, so many cool hairstyles!” you are not alone.

10. Watching 10 Things I Hate About You and immediately transporting back to ninth grade. Finding this on HBO Wednesday night was the ultimate treat (with a side of udon noodles and crab rangoons, #eatclean #whole30). Not only do I still remember many classic lines (“Shit, Bianca, I’m shooting a nose spray ad tomorrow!”), but I also remember my tap solo to the Save Ferris classic, “I Know.” Did I perform it [full-out] for Brian and Ellie, grand finale fouettes included? YES.

STOP DANCING LIKE THAT. You're embarrassing yourself.
STOP DANCING LIKE THAT. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Also, I am ashamed to admit that instead of idolizing cool Kat Stratford (AKA Julia Stiles), I always wanted to be Bianca (Alex Mack/Larisa Oleynik), her super shallow bratty sister whose only quality was “being pretty.” Dream big, ninth grade Ali.

11. Doing online makeovers! They just never get old.


I’ve been addicted to these hilarious things since computers were invented and I graduated from Oregon Trail and Barbie Fashion Designer. (I also went through a pretty intense phase where I liked designing and decorating houses, and my parents got me all the “3D Home Architect” software. I used to make the houses as big as possible, but then I didn’t know what to do with the empty space beyond adding a couch and a toilet.) Anyway, online makeovers. Get into them. The results are never not fantastic.


12. Hearing this quote: “Get little things off your chest before they become big things.” So often we let things simmer for too long, and then they eventually come to a boil, and it’s all too much to deal with and it’s a mess, but then it’s delicious because it’s pasta with pesto. Stop stressing over the little shit. Air it out, deal with it, or forget it. Move on accordingly.

13. Every time Ellie yawned and a little squeak came out. It’s her signature move. I love when she wakes up and she’s so sleepy and just wants her belly rubbed and can’t stop yawning.

No more photo shoots, please.
No more photo shoots, please.

14. Doing some yoga. It sucks not to be running, but it sure feels good to do yoga in a very toasty room. Plus, I’m starting to feel stronger than I did a week ago. Last week I didn’t even have the strength to press up into Wheel. This week, I’m back in Wheel, and I’m handstanding and forearm standing again. Progress!

15. Every minute I spent in bed. I love being in bed. I love crawling into bed, I love watching TV in bed (for 36 seconds before I pass out), I love having the heating pack on in bed, I love everything about bed. I used to be someone who didn’t need or crave much sleep. But now, bedtime is my favorite time. Horizontal is my favorite way to be.

This is my favorite picture ever. Ellie loves the bath.
This is my favorite picture ever. Ellie loves the bath.

The end!

PLEASE PLAY ALONG: Tell me something good, great, grand, or wonderful that happened in your life this week!



32 Responses

  1. Sometimes when I read your posts I wonder, “are we the same person?” This post made me laugh out loud. I am loving your chill, happy, no bs approach to 2016. I need more of this in my life. I especially love #8 on your self magazine article. My response is usually in my head something like, “you haven’t done any, so why are you judging!” I’ve never done a full, only a handful of halves but the number is always growing!

  2. You’re blog makes me happy!!! I get slightly over excited when I see there’s a new post.
    I have also concluded that I clearly need to move to NYC for all these cool exercise classes (learning the moves to jbiebs…whut?!) as well as for that restaurant that serves everything potato that you talked about in a previous post!
    Also….S’up Ellie!

  3. My entire week began and ended with my furry child. Duncan, my Labradoodle is the best cuddler. Especially in the winter. I look forward to bedtime just so we can spoon. Glad I don’t live with my boyfriend just yet so Duncan and I can still have our alone time. Lol.

  4. First of all, I LOVE Ellie’s sweater- beyond cute! It’s nothing super big but I won $7 in the Powerball. As someone who never wins anything, it wax pretty awesome. In case you were wondering, yes I spent it all in one place…about ten times over since the drawin in Wednesday.

  5. I am totally that puppy mom!! The one that makes sure Miss Cocoa is warm enough in her jacket before we go outside for a run and is protective of her at the puppy park. It’s so fun, right!! And the hairstyles. Oh my goodness yes!! They are so funny!!

  6. I literally guffawed (??) out loud at the Making a Murderer comment, as I too was more obsessed with the really bad hairstyles (and clothing), whereas everyone else was raving over the story.

  7. Ellie is just the cutest. Getting puppy fever over here! Good thing: last weekend I ran my first marathon. I can confidently say without hesitation that it absolutely changed my life for the better.

  8. I just got a pup too! Her name is Martha, a lab-german short-haired pointer mix. Se is a rescue from a kill shelter (the thought makes me sick) and she is nothing but delightful. She brings such light into my life, so I ‘get’ everything that you say about her. Our pups are perfect!

  9. Seeing pics of your pup almost makes me want one. Such a cutie!

    Nothing overly exciting happened in my life this week, really. My ballet class did pick out a costume for our recital, though- that was fun! And it’s so pretty! I can hardly wait to wear it!

  10. Love love love per usual. I miss walking my dog simply because I would walk around talking. Now it’s just me and millions of New Yorkers mumbling something or another. My mom also loves Ellie.

  11. Seriously, I can’t get enough of Ellie. Love every single pic.

    I was up early today to get our reservation for a week of camping in Yosemite in June. The spots fill up within seconds of becoming available (no exaggeration). Last year I didn’t get through at all, just kept hitting refresh until the site said everything was FULL. Today I scored two sites!! Happy happy happy!

  12. Your blog! It’s hilarious and wonderful, and your thighs look just fine, so don’t give them a second thought.

  13. so i think i am one year older than you but otherwise we are AS ONE, since i was obsessed with 10 things i hate about you in TENTH grade. I watched it w/ my little group of lady pals pretty much every weekend.

    also you crushed wheel on Saturday.

    Hi Ellie, I’d like to know you.

  14. I’m glad your knee pain is only sidelining you from running (even though it sucks!). You have too much experience with being sidelined from everything you love in life.

    I’m playing along!
    I am going to share something from last week. We were dog sitting! We had our two and another pup (none under 40 lbs) romping around for 4 days. It was so much fun! So if you ever need a dog sitter I am only a short drive through a few states!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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