Monday, January 21, 2019

My Week in Pictures VI

Another week, another post full of food pictures to show you everything I ate throughout the week.. haha but seriously, I have a habit of just taking pictures of my food and hardly anything else. Eventually I'll get better at this. I hope everyone's Monday is off to a good start, especially those who have the day off for MLK Day! Enjoy your Monday :)

My week started with making a bucket list as part of Bucket List Tummy's Better Than Dieting challenge. I already have a bucket list written in a notebook somewhere in my house, but I wrote this one off the top of my head based on what I wanted to do in that moment. I'll have to add it to my original list once I find it!

John surprised me with chicken taco bowls for dinner after I told him that's what I've been craving.

My Built Bar sample pack finally came in! They're protein bars that are nut free AND supposedly taste amazing. I'll let you know my opinion soon!

With the beginning of my week being busy, I was still able to get in a run to start breaking in my new Brooks Ghost 11's!

I also had a spontaneous relaxing night in with John. It had been awhile since we had one.

Yay for a new VoxBox from In]fluenster that actually has things I'll use {besides the false lashes cause ain't nobody got time for that...}!

Amazon had a great deal on Nuun this week so I definitely stocked up.

We had to go shopping for a birthday gift for John's dad so of course we ended up at Red Robin. I loooove their sweet potato fries!

After my Saturday morning run, which ended up not being as cold as I anticipated, John made us omelettes. I don't know where he learned his omelette-making skills...

Saturday was John's dad's birthday so we join him, his mom, and his aunt, uncle, and two cousins for dinner at a nice restaurant. I tried a chocolate covered pretzel martini and man, was that yummy!

I forgot to snap a photo of my food before digging in, but I didn't forget to take a photo of this drool-worthy key lime pie! I wasn't even hungry for dessert but I couldn't resist!

It's been awhile since we got a nice picture together so we tried to get one before we left.

We invited everyone back to our house after dinner since his aunt and uncle hadn't seen our house yet. We played Left Center Right {I usually call it Left Right Center but the box corrected me...} with Hershey Kisses as the tokens because I wanted to get them out of my house haha.

Sunday was our 8 year dating anniversary we spent most of the morning lounging around, enjoying the natural light that comes through our window in our bedroom.

It was a rainy day here in Jersey so some hot chocolate with breakfast was a must!

It is restaurant week in Philly so we decided to go to dinner at Chima, a Brazilian steakhouse, in the city. We dressed up and everything which I regretted on our three-block walk from the parking garage to the restaurant {we may or may not have gotten a Lyft back to the parking garage after dinner...} haha. The food made braving the cold worth it, though!

Prior to dinner, we went searching for a photo booth to keep up with our tradition of a photo booth picture every 4 years. Sadly we never found one :(

Question of the Day: Did you do anything fun last week?

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Five: 5 Things I’m Loving This Week

This was another week where I wasn't really sure Friday was EVER going to get here but alas, here it is! I'm really looking forward to this weekend as it is a 3 day weekend. My school has off for MLK day on Monday so this tired teacher is happy over here! I have a pretty good weekend ahead of me but that will all depend on how the weather goes since we are due for snow on Saturday. John and I's 8 year dating anniversary is on Sunday so I am really hoping snow doesn't keep us from going out for the day! I guess we'll see... Now onto 5 things I have been loving this week!

I found myself in Target during my holiday break and like always, I perused their clothing clearance. There clearance on clothes is usually hit or miss but this particular day was a major hit for me! I found an adorable purple cardigan that fits me really nicely for less than $12! A goal for me this year is to downsize my wardrobe, which I realize I wasn't doing by purchasing a new sweater, but I do have good intentions for this. In order to downsize my wardrobe, I am trying to build up my wardrobe with good quality clothes that I really love AND can be interchangeable with outfits. This is exactly it. I went home that same day and threw a couple older, cheaper sweaters into my donate/sell box to jump-start my process!

2. 10 Year Challenge
I'm not really sure how it started or what the whole story is, but I've been loving the 10 year challenge people have been doing. If you've been a hermit the past week or so, then I'll explain. On social media, people are sharing a photo of themselves from 2009 and then a photo of themselves from today to show how they've changed in 10 years. I know some people are doing there first Facebook profile picture versus their current one, as well. After seeing a ton people doing it, I decided to dig back into my Facebook albums and find some old pictures of me. Man, was that a trip down memory lane. After awhile I finally chose my sophomore year homecoming picture (this was technically the end of 2008 but oh well...). I honestly don't think I changed very much besides the length of my hair but you tell me haha.

3. Safe
Something about it being cold and dark outside most of the time make John and I feel like we need to constantly binge watch Netflix shows. Over the weekend we started the Netflix original, Safe, and sure enough, we finished it up on Monday night. The show is about a guy whose daughter goes missing after a party one night, along with her boyfriend. Her father takes it upon himself to try and find her himself. It's such a suspenseful story line with tons of twists and turns. It is only one season and I'm unsure if there will be a second.

4. Pimple Patches
Pimple/acne patches have been all over the internet, or at least Buzzfeed, for awhile now. While in a Big Lots store a few months back, I found a small pack of them for less than $2 so I figured it was worth a shot. The whole idea is that you put the patch over a pimple that has already come to a head. The patch is supposed to suck the yuckiness out while also reducing redness. I read somewhere that the pimple had to be one that was popped but I'm not sure if that is true or not. I had used these a few times and saw some good results but it wasn't until this week that I realized how magical these babies really were! On Monday, I had two of the most red, painful pimples that I've had in years. Seriously, I felt like I was back in middle school... Before bed I showered, washed my face, and then put one of these bad boys on each pimple. When I woke up, the previously bigger than ever pimples were now non-existent, except for a little bit of redness left behind. I couldn't complain about the redness, though, because that poor patch had a lot of hard work to do in just one night's sleep. Unfortunately, as soon as I realized these were actually the best thing ever, I went back to Big Lots and I couldn't find them :( I found a lot of them on Amazon but not at as good of a deal as Big Lots was.

5. That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
I got this book from my school's book fair a few weeks back and I finally got around to reading it. It's a young adult novel, which meant I probably could've read it quickly, but busy schedules happen. Anyway, I found this book really interesting. It's about a girl, Lee, who is a survivor from a school shooting where she witnessed her best friend being shot. Three years post-tragedy, Lee is trying to share the real truth of what happened the day of the shooting since there are many false stories being shared in the media. To do so, Lee begins collecting letters from the other survivors who were witnesses and have their own stories to tell of the events that day. It's really interesting to see how the media can contort any story to make it sound "better."

Question of the Day: What is something you're loving this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My Top 5 Favorite Races

Over the past few years I have ran my fair share of races ranging from “OMG I’ll never do this again” to “I could run this each year and never get tired!” While this was a tough task, I took the time to pick out my top 5 favorite races and wrote about why I chose them. I hope this list may encourage you to try out a new race or two :)

1. Philadelphia Marathon (Philadelphia, PA/Typically the Sunday before Thanksgiving)
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this is one of my top 5 favorite race and it  has a special place in my heart for many reasons! Number one being this was my first marathon. I’ve also spent my whole life living super close to Philly, so there are a lot of memories tied in with the city. If we’re gdtging technical, though, this race is great because it’s a primarily flat course with great scenery. You run all throughout the city of Philadelphia, and the sights are definitely worth seeing, from University City to Old City to Manayunk. This marathon can be comparable to one big party as the music and spectators are plentiful! If you’re looking for a perfect first marathon, look no further because Philadelphia Marathon is your race!

2. Hershey Half Marathon (Hershey, PA/Late October)
This was my first half marathon and what a perfect first it was! There are so many amazing perks to this race. For one, you get two free tickets into the park (they have to be used either race weekend or the following weekend, if it's still the same) which makes for a very eventful weekend! Second, the area around Hershey is beautiful so the course is just great. Third, you get chocolate before, during, AND after the race! They typically throw some candy in your bag at packet pick up, they had out mini Hershey bars on the course around mile 11 or 12, and then at the end, you get a whole reusable lunch bag full of snacks and candy! I'm all about the post-race snacks so the bag at the end is perfect. If you're looking for a fun race weekend and maybe even a racecation, this is it!

3. Garden Spot Village Half Marathon (Garden Spot, PA/April)
Most people would probably be shocked that I'm putting this in my top 5 because the course is hills for days and the year I ran it, it snowed... in April! Not gonna lie, the snow made it so much fun and added to the experience. My main reason for choosing this race is because the the overall hospitality of the race directors and other people who help run it. From sign up to crossing the finish line, this race was phenomenal! The swag is incredible. They give you not only one, but TWO race shirts. "One for running in (tech shirt) and one for running around in (regular t-shirt that comes in men AND women's fit)" is how they explain why. The non-tech shirts are always so nice and have cute sayings. I actually went back a year I wasn't running it and purchased one of the shirts because I thought it was awesome. And this comes by no surprise, but the post-race food is spot on! Oatmeal, soup, chocolate milkshakes, and more. They have so much, I honestly can't remember it all. I could go on for days but I'll end with this: if you run this half along with the Bird in Hand half (a close contender when it came to making my list) in the same calendar year, you'll get the Road Apple Award. Wondering what that is? It's literally a plaque with petrified horse poop on it. I know it sounds strange, but it's so cool!

4. Rock N Roll Half Marathon/5K (Philadelphia, PA or anywhere else the Rock N Roll series takes place)
I wish I had all the money in the world to be able to travel and run all of the Rock N Roll series races! I've had the opportunity to run the Philly twice and the 5K twice. Both were awesome races with cool swag and great music along the course! The courses are similar to many Philadelphia races but I can't complain because it's the coolest route in my personal opinion. Like many Philly races, it has a cool expo! I wish I had more to say but it's hard for me to explain just how fun and awesome the Rock N Roll races are.

5. Broad Street 10-Miler (Philadelphia, PA/First weekend in May)
This was my first long distance race and what a great race it is! Everything from the expo to the finish line area is amazing! The course is pretty much just 10 downhill miles of parties. Seriously, everyone comes out to cheer on runners and the vibes are phenomenal! I'm totally motivated by people cheering me on so I have no problem at any point during this race. This is the perfect race for anyone who wants to run something longer than a 10K but isn't quite ready to go for the half marathon. Broad Street is the race I have to thank for getting me into running longer distance. I had so much fun running for more than just a 5K and it made me realize I could definitely run a half marathon (and even longer!).

Question of the Day: What is your favorite race?

Monday, January 14, 2019

My Week in Pictures V

Happy Monday! This weekend definitely flew by for me and I could use another day added on to it, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. This past week was a good mix of busy and relaxing. I'm hoping it's the same for me this week! Continue on to see what adventures I was up to last week!

I got an amazing deal on blueberries over the weekend so I enjoyed them with my lunches all week.

I went back to the grocery store on Tuesday and stocked up on more blueberries! I froze a lot to use for smoothies later.

I got some quiet time on Thursday to read before John's parents came over for dinner. I'm currently reading That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger. It follows the story of a high school student who survived a school shooting who is trying to share the truth of what really happened and not what people are assuming happened. So far so good!

I received my first Nuun order as an ambassador! So far I tried the cherry limeade and it's good.

Friday was jeans day at work and I finally got to fit in with a school shirt I got from our spirit wear sale a few weeks back!

 I have a weird schedule on Friday's which means I eat lunch alone. I can't complain though because I get the chance to read during lunch.

 My grandparents came over on Friday to eat dinner with John, my brother, and I. They brought us sandwiches from a pizza place near them!

Later on Friday evening, Dale, John, and I were watching Nailed It! which had us craving sweets...
so we went on an adventure to this pretty cool diner...

We found the most YUMMY cake there! Such a good decision! This chocolate fudge cake was so fudgey- exactly what I was craving. It was a lot though so I took most of it home to snack on later.

Saturday night was a thank you/retirement party for my mom and a few other scout leaders who will soon we leaving the troop as all their boys have aged out. It was a good time and I enjoyed seeing some people I don't see often.

Later that evening I enjoyed relaxing in bed and reading my new magazine- something I don't do often!

We woke up to a beautiful snowy morning on Sunday which meant I just HAD to get out there and run!

Something I saw on my run in one of the courts in my neighborhood... #dedication.

I stopped at 3 miles so I could get back home and get ready. My friend was up from Delaware so we went to get her bridesmaids dress and also grabbed some lunch. It was such a fun afternoon catching up and seeing the gorgeous dress on her!

I used some of my Christmas money to buy new running shoes. They're the new Brooks Ghost 11 and I am dying to try them out because they felt so amazing when I tried them on!

John and I ended the week with a spontaneous date night to a local diner. I decided to try out their "tex mex platter" and I was NOT disappointed! It was like a taco salad/taco bowl all in one! It was huge, though, so it will also be my lunch today and tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What was something fun you did this weekend?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Five: 5 Things I’m Loving This Week

Is it me or did this week feel like it lasted 30 days?!? The days just seemed to drag on and I kept thinking the next day was Friday starting as early as Tuesday... Thankfully it’s FINALLY Friday which means we just have to get through one more work day before it’s the weekend! My weekend will be partially busy and partially relaxing. Tomorrow afternoon I have a party and then Sunday one of my best friends and future bridesmaids is coming to visit  so we can go get her dress (yay!). I haven’t seen her in awhile so I am excited! Read on to see what I’ve been loving this past week!

1. Being a Nuun Ambassador!
Last week I got awesome news that I am a Nuun Ambassador for 2019! This is my first ambassadorship and I am so excited for this opportunity. I'm still learning what this title entails, but so far I know that I'll have to opportunity to share the importance of hydration with others which is a big passion of mine. I know hearing that hydration is something I'm passionate about, but it's the truth. I 100% believe that staying hydrated can solve a lot of problems for people and it's so dang easy! I'm sure I'll be sharing more about my ambassadorship soon, as the information becomes available. For now, I'm just enjoying getting to know the other ambassadors through social media.

2. The Ranch
John and I were done all the shows we've been binge watching on Netflix lately so we went searching for a new one. My parents had told us about The Ranch so we figured we'd give it a shot! I'll have to be honest, it took me a few episodes to really get into it but that isn't uncommon for me. The show revolves around a dad and his sons who run a ranch, and all the drama within all three of their lives. It's a pretty funny show with some emotional moments so it's really a show for everyone. And I'm not gonna lie, some of these episodes had me more emotional than when I watch This Is Us... There are currently 6 seasons (or parts, as they refer them to) and we finished all 6 parts as of Sunday night! Each part has about 10 episodes and the episodes are only about 30 minutes, so it wasn't hard to binge watch.

3. Soup
This has probably been something I loved in the past but it's still stands true! The cold, rainy weather has made me want soup for lunch each day this week and I'm not complaining about that! A few weeks ago, I had stocked up on Progresso soup and that has been my go to all week. I also had some of my grandmom's homemade veggie soup one of the days since she sent me home with a container of it on Monday. Something about cold, rainy weather just has me craving warm soup!

4. #31HealthyHabits Challenge
Back before the end of December, Gazelle Sports shared on their Instagram a challenge for people to participate in during the month of January. Each day presented you with a task that worked towards building healthy habits within your life. I like this challenge because the tasks aren't all fitness related. They also focus on mental habits and self-care, which is something I definitely wanted to work on. You can still join in on the challenge! Read their blog post here for more information and a copy of the calendar!

5. Blueberries
My go to fruits this time of year seem to be apples and bananas because berries are hard to find for a decent price. I was thrilled when I saw blueberries for $2 a pint at my local grocery store this past weekend and stocked up on a few! They have been such a nice treat all week. I'm not gonna lie when I say they make me think it's summer... until I look outside...

Question of the Day: What is something you're loving this week?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

My Favorite Winter Gear

With winter in full swing around here, I figured it was about time I shared with everyone my favorite winter weather gear! Does anyone else feel like it takes twice as long to get ready for a run in the winter because you're literally just piling on layers?! Sometimes I'm worn out before even leaving my house, haha. Layering is definitely the best option when it comes to running in the cold because you can slowly peel off each layer as you warm up!

 There are so many different brands and options out there, so feel free to just use this as a guide for finding what is right for you.

I prefer ear bands over beanies because I don't always keep it on throughout the whole duration of my run. An ear band fits easily into my Flipbelt or a pocket in my hydration vest. This is just a personal preference. I like this specific one because it's not too thick and the material does not let any wind pass through to your ears like knit ones sometimes do. There is also a ponytail hole in the back, which is super convenient! The one I have is branded with my running group, but they sell the same exact one plain on the North Face website!

Brooks Running Vest 
Vests are the perfect winter weather clothing option, especially for layering. I never thought a vest would keep me warm but it really does! I've always been told that once your core is warm, the rest of you can warm up, and I do believe it. Some days I'll just wear a running vest over a long sleeve shirt and it's warm enough without feeling too bulky. I can't find the specific vest I own but here is one similar. I like that the vest is thin so even when layering, you don't feel bulky either.

Saucony Gloves 
My hands are always freezing so gloves are a must for me! Regular knit gloves don't cut it for me so I opt for a tech material pair of gloves that keep my hands warm and wicks away any moisture once my hands warm up. The specific pair I own even has magnets in the wrist so that you can clip them together when storing to prevent separation! I can’t find the pair I have online, probably because they’re old, but here is a pair that looks close to them.

Fleece-Lined Leggings
I've raved about fleece-lined leggings before and I'll do it again! Any type of running tights are great to keep your legs warm and block the wind during a run, but fleece-lined tights just bring it to a whole new level! Personally, I've learned to not wear them until it's really cold or else my legs get super hot. They're that warm! I have both an Asics and Fila Sports pair and both are great! These are definitely something you pick out based on your personal preference.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite winter weather gear?

Monday, January 7, 2019

My Week in Pictures IV

I'm not sure how it is already Monday but I guess it's time to start a new work week. This past week seems like a blur between New Years Eve/Day and getting back into the swing of things at work after such a long break. While looking back at my photos from the week, I realized there aren't many. I guess this either means my week was really busy or I was exhausted the whole week... Both are possible haha. I hope everyone has a great first full week of the new year!

My sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and brother joined us for New Years Eve! My nephew has a huge obsession with Dexter so he was pretty much by his side the whole night.

We had wings from the best little restaurant for an appetizer and then made individual homemade pizzas for dinner.

On Wednesday night, John and I used our new air fryer to make delicious chicken tenders! We then ate them while watching Bird Box. We both thought it was pretty good but weren't huge fans of the ending.

Dexter was a snuggle bug all week and we aren't complaining over here!

I got the news on Thursday that I am a 2019 Nuun ambassador! I'm super excited and can't wait to share my love of Nuun with everyone!

John's mom got me a mustard yellow shirt for Christmas and I've literally never owned anything that color so I was pretty proud of the outfit I put together.

I crossed one thing off my '19 in 2019' list on Saturday when I bought myself  reusable produce bags. One steps closer to helping the environment!

After relaxing most of Sunday morning, I finally pushed myself to go for a 6 mile run, part of which was on a trail I found at my local park.

We ended our weekend by visiting John's best friend at his new house. We got to get a tour, had a yummy dinner, and then played the Christmas Story version of Monopoly.

Question of the Day: Did you do anything fun for New Years Eve/Day?