Friday, November 29, 2013

I don't know how it's already 10 pm

There is too much truth to "time flies when you are having fun".

I slept in today till 11am (first time in a year).
Got Starbucks for breakfast.
Went to a Christmas tree farm with my in laws.
Ran 10 beautiful miles.
Ate my second Thanksgiving dinner.
Played scrabble. 
Shopped at Target (second time in 24 hrs-Pure happiness).
Now laying in front of the fireplace with wine.

I am pretty sure I just described the best day ever.

I wasn't the only one to have the greatest day. Emma would tell you it was her most favorite day too. 

Seriously. Just to prove it to you I will give you a photo diary of her day. 

The drive thru lady at Starbucks liked Emma so much she made her a pupacino. No lie. That's what she called it. It was a cup full of whip cream. I don't even know if that is healthy for a dog. Don't tell me if it isn't.

As you can imagine, Emma got to the Christmas tree farm and was on a sugar high. She loved rolling in the shrubs (I am most likely lying to myself. There was probably something disgusting that she was rolling in.) and running around like a lunatic. She was also a ham on the hayride.

Last but not least, this lucky duck got to lick the turkey pan clean after dinner. 

I think Emma will go home from this weekend with her belly hitting the floor. 

And now since I am sure you really needed to know the life of my dog today you can sleep better- So I will let you guys go do that :D 

Unless you are way cooler than me and plan to do something NOT in pajamas on a Friday night :) 

Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Trotting

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you are reading this happily stuffed! I cannot wait to get everything delicious in my stomach soon. 

We are driving back from our first Turkey Trot and this will be the first blog post I do from my phone so be prepared for probably the most bizarre mistakes and/or probably zero cohesiveness :) 

Ok so cover your eyes and just skip this part if you want to miss the cornball comment I am about to make... Standing out in the freezing cold with a bunch of happy, enthusiastic runners made me realize the quality of people who run. In any other situation in life being forced to stand outside in the miserable cold, crowded by other people would bring out the worse in many individuals. Runners nah. I suppose you could say we sign ourselves up for this nonsense but really who enjoys standing and freezing and being bumped by strangers??? You still have a choice to be radiating positivity and I will say that it hit me. I felt incredibly thankful to be a runner and be surrounded by that this morning. 

Cool now let's get to the running. I had an egg mcmuffin again for breakfast and a small latte. I am still thinking it's a great breakfast for me. I didn't take any GU cause I was only going out for 5 miles. 

Jacob ran the 5k and finished in about 28 mins! That's awesome for him :) he was also really excited about this race which I feel pretty good saying hasn't been the case in any previous races. I think he is starting to get some confidence with running which makes me so happy. I already know he's awesome. Mainly I am so excited to share this sport with him. 

We ran about the first mile together and then split. 

I wish I had more for you then this but it was freaking cold and that's mainly where my mind was at. The course was greatttttt. I thought about that a lot too. It was so flat. No major hills. We also weaved through town, neighborhoods and trails. Variety is a wonderful thing. I dedicated my last mile to my grandpa. He isn't with us today and by far this was his favorite holiday so it felt right. He'd love that I was running and would totally be there if he could so it was nice to spend some time with him. It was also my fastest mile (8:01) so I felt good about that. 



I am incredibly happy with my time. I was NOT expecting to maintain a 8:14 average!! So close to the 7sssss :) 

Total bonus of this run:

Great swag!!! Love my new sweatshirt. 

Ok out of here! Home now & I just heard a cork pop!!! 


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

turkey plans

If you are looking for my Thanksgiving post. I wrote it a week early. You can read it here :)

I am really glad I got a jump start because I think everyone can agree...this year the "thankful" posts and statuses have been overwhelming. I don't think anything is wrong with it, but they sure were everywhere. 

I will say that after tomorrow's big meal, I think I am ready to put the turkeys away.

I am ready to sing with Mariah Carey loudly on repeat, while forcing Emma to wear a Santa hat permanently for a month and wrap some presents : ) Now don’t get me wrong, I will still be thankful but I am sure my thankful thoughts pack a little more heat when I am actually thankful in a different month than November. So bring it December.

Tomorrow morning I will be participating in my first TURKEY TROT !!! I can’t wait. It is in Long Grove, IL which is such a cute little town. Jacob has never been so it should be a great morning. They are supposed to have a Santa’s village set up and all their cute little shops will be open in the morning for the runners. I hope I don’t freeze my butt off but I am sure I will.

Speaking of cold…It is 15 degrees here today in Wisconsin. Kill me.

Then we will be eating and drinking all afternoon with my side of the family. Jacob’s parents do Thanksgiving on Friday. I think it is the nicest thing in the world. I know how many couples/families have to stuff themselves twice on Turkey Day & I am so happy we aren’t one of them. Enjoying two full days of yummy food is wayyy better.


I have two major thoughts for today. First, I really wanted to be sure to THANK you for reading. I know I am still very new in this blog world but I could not be more flattered & thankful that you are taking even a second out of your day to read my thoughts or care about what I have to say. This place is growing slowly but surely and with every comment I get I grow more sure that I made the right choice to start my journey as a blogger.

Blogging really is so rewarding and I am so grateful to each of you for being so supportive and so sweet : )

Secondly, I hope you all have a fabulous holiday!!!

But on the flip side I know and wanted to mention that for one reason or another sometimes the holidays are really hard too. I had some tears on the way to work this morning. They were quick and fleeting but there is still a little hole in our family on Thanksgiving and Christmas without my Grandpa. Some of you may be fresh out of hard relationships or even on the verge of losing someone you love so I know all of these happy, thankful internet messages can get draining (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Blogland). Just know that everyone has holidays that are hard in their life. Not all will be perfect. It is just another day, but if you get a chance to be with the ones you love, don’t take those moments for granted. 

So with that, I hope to get a Turkey Trot recap up tomorrow afternoon. Try to stop by while you are nursing your turkey coma & I hope you enjoy every single bite of whatever is on your menu tomorrow : )

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

What is your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving??

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

hostess with the mostess...or at least I try

As promised I am back today with a better attitude and some holiday spirit  : )

I have been kind of a complainer the last few days & I know that can’t be the most fun to read, so thanks for your sweet comments. I’d rather be honest about having a few hard days than faking it on here. Also it is so nice to know I am not alone in my crabbiness... and tendency to only want eat my feelings for days, while contemplating never doing a physically strenuous thing again. So double thanks for that.

I mentioned a few weeks ago about how Jacob would be going to law school next year. We haven’t nailed anything down yet but one thing is pretty for certain. We will need to sell our house.

I am not really sure how I feel just yet about this because some days I am so excited for a new adventure and to start over again. I love the idea of throwing a bunch of stuff out! I swear once you own a house you acquire more crap than you thought was even possible, especially for only two people and a dog.

However since the holidays are basically here, I can’t help but feel sad. We had so many high hopes for our little house and it meant everything that last year we were able to get in and settled just in time to host Christmas for both sides of the family.

Last Christmas Eve.
I found out I absolutely loveeeee hosting holidays. Quite possibly it could be because currently we are a family minus little people and I have the time to attempt being a Pinterest princess but I don’t know… I think at the root of it go ahead and make fun of me it makes me feel like a real grown up! I think the downfall of being an only child is always having this weird need to prove yourself…and although only children often grow up as “one of the adults”, once you ARE an adult everyone can only see you as the little girl in the family.

But whatever the case, I am going CRAZY this year because god only knows the dorm room version of an apartment we will be squeezing into come spring : )

Let me also note that I love hosting parties but I am not a great cook and dare I try something and fail, so I’ve got two of the simplest appetizers EVER for you today. I just have to share because whether you love hosting or you run to everyone else’s parties you could always use a new dish.

When I say these are simple I mean a three year old could easily help. 

I don’t know who made up "save the best for last"- I don't agree, so let’s go with THE best first.


So I don’t even care if you hate Brie, you WILL like this. I swear. I have had numerous people who said they can’t even think about choking down brie try it and then they died, went straight to heaven, and came back for more.

This stuff is straight up candy.

The night before you want to mix the following:

¼ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of pecans
1 tablespoon of brandy

Put it in a bowl & then in the fridge.

The next day and shortly before you are ready to serve, take a 14 ounce Brie round. Looks like this.

Put it in a pie pan & in the oven on 500 degrees for 5 min.

Then pull it out. Dump your mixture, from the night before, on top. Put it back in for 2 more min.

Serve with apple slices and crackers.

SERIOUSLY without the crackers and apples, this app is four ingredients!!! and you will impress everyone. I bet my life on it.


These are so great because they look so festive. 

OK. Ready for your mind to be blown. It does not get any easier than this.

Take a chunk of fresh mozzarella. Cut into tinier chunks.

Get some cherry tomatoes. Extra points if you buy the ones from my picture. They are actually called “Santa Sweets”. Guess the big guy grows ‘em himself.

Put a chunk of cheese and a tomato on a toothpick and squirt a dollop of the basil on the top.

Sprinkle the whole plate with balsamic vinegar.

This is a picture with basil leaves but it will look something like this.

You can find these tubes of basil or other herbs everywhere now! They are usually by the refrigerated salad dressing at the grocery store.
I guess you could use real basil leaves but this stuff in the tube is really flavorful and so easy. I actually think it looks cool too. If you are really feeling artsy you can do little designs on the plate with it too.

Please, let me know if you try either of these!!!

Do you have any simple dishes you cook up for parties??? Please share. 
Hosting? Take it or leave it.??

Monday, November 25, 2013

a holiday rut

So I just wrote a post TWICE and accidentally deleted it BOTH times.

Honestly it isn't surprising. Work today has been beyond difficult and I think if one more tab was open on my computer it would explode. I have been slammed with emails and excel files. My phone has been ringing off the hook and I am so frustrated that no one else got the memo that this week is a holiday. I don’t talk a lot about my job on here and I probably won’t but when it is challenging, boy! is it challenging. This is just one of those days I can feel the tears welling up for no real good reason kind of day.

…So as you can imagine, it was probably fate that my original post disappeared. It was full of very “unthankful” thoughts.

I think the real cause to my inability to deal with today’s stress comes down to a lack of “me” time this weekend.

This getting dark early thing, plus work kicking my ass, on top of it being veryyyy cold is just really not helping me make good choices. I simply am not taking good care of myself and it sucks.

It will pass and I need to just invest more time in finding what is going to work for me during these winter months but here’s the deal.  I took this weekend off. Not entirely on purpose mostly because I felt lazy. I didn’t go to the gym or run. I think it has been months since I haven’t ran on a Saturday.

I did clean my house top to bottom. Jacob and I decorated for Christmas. I probably drank two bottles of wine myself & we saw a movie. Everything was really fun but I made excuses. I could have fit in a short run or have thrown a yoga DVD in. Excuses bite you in the ass if you didn’t know.

Catching Fire
As much as we need weekends off, I really want to note that after those weekends are over you don’t always feel the best. Taking care of yourself is different for everyone. It takes some trial and error & I think I know now that taking a number of days off in a row is not good for my mind.

I didn’t have to go hard this weekend but just fitting some time in to sweat a little would probably have made a huge difference today. I feel like I can’t even deal with the littlest things; i.e. snow, snow on my car, driving in the snow, shoveling the snow, walking in the snow, snow (catch my drift???).

So lesson learned, I could have used two miles on the treadmill and maybe one less glass of wine. No use beating myself up today…It’s just worth it to share that it’s important to reflect on what works for you & maybe why you don’t feel your best or want to scream at someone who doesn't deserve it.

This is as much a reminder for you as it is for myself.

With the holidays coming up we really start to put others first, and although that is completely the point of the season, try not to forget what you need to be the best you : )

I am going to get my run on now. See you tomorrow with a new attitude : )

Friday, November 22, 2013

Not much more to say but this...

Oh my gawd.

Do you ever get to Friday and wonder how the hell did I make it here?

Well confession time.

I have ran a whopping 2 miles so far this week.
I have not eaten the best- Unless Velveeta has gone organic?
I have gone to bed late every night except yesterday.
I have sat almost all 9 hours at work, 4 days in a row. 
I have drank more Coke Zeros than I can count.

Photo Credit 

So in conclusion, the fact that my husband is still alive and my co-workers are still speaking to me is a miracle.

I know all the right things to do. I talk about them all the time on here...BUT I guess today’s post is just going to be me admitting that I blew it this week.

So on this gloomy cold Friday up in herrr, I am calling it Monday and getting my ass into gear.

If you have had a similar week, I dare you to join me :) 

Happy Monday Folks. Have a fabulous weekend, wouldja?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

holiday shopping, a running update, and even a proposal

Only one week till Turkey Day!

& boy! am I ready for some time off from work...

...which got me to thinking about all the unfortunate people that will have to work during the Holiday weekend & I can't help thinking how that used to be me. 

Look! now that it isn't me, I will be honest. I absolutely love Black Friday and all the shopping that surrounds the holidays (mostly because I have a problem) but I promised myself when my retail days were over I would never forget how horrible it is for the employees. 

So I planned to write a little ditty on why it was so awful and how gracious we should be when we shop but then I saw this posted on Facebook, by none other than my last manager, and I couldn't have said it better myself. So share this. Read it. Preach it! 

I get that it has become a hot topic, should we or shouldn't we shop on the holidays??? but this is America. We have one big shopping addiction. I don't think it will stop anytime soon so just be nice & thoughtful & respectful even if others are not, no matter what your opinion is OK?

Walmart Black Friday
Just for the record, this is not me...I swear (Photo Credit

Second, I wanted to give you a running update because I have talked a lot about my racing schedule and recapped races but I feel like I have left some of the day to day out so just to clarify, in case you missed it...

Running lately has been hard. I am taking my mileage down to about 20 miles or less a week.

I am going to try to get two treadmill runs in during the week and one long run done on the weekend.

At least in my head I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself trying to figure out how to keep running through the winter. The thing is, I work. Its dark in the morning and at night. I don't really have a full time running buddy (accepting applications now) and so I am just going to have to become friends with the treadmill. Its hard though. I am snail slow on that thing and have a bad attitude about it.

However since I won't be running as much, I am going to try my best to fit in some new fitness classes this winter. I reallly realllllly realllllly want to try Barre and get back to a regular hot yoga schedule. How are you dealing with winter??? I NEED to know, especially if you have been running for awhile? How hard is it to take a break and then get back into it?

& last but not least, I am always late to the party (both metaphorically and in real life) so if you have seen this I am sorry... BUT oh my gawd, this is so incredible. I haven't gotten to the end yet but I had to share!

Watch Video Here.

Happy Thursday Turkeys!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let's start ditching the gym.

Happy Wednesday Beautiful People!

I am linking up again today with Skinny Meg for Workout Wednesday!!!

I want to talk today about gyms and my thoughts in regards to them.

I am very fortunate and have a gym at work. My days are usually chaos so I am not always able to make it there during the work hours but I am able to slip into my yoga pants around four thirty and know that I don’t have to drive anywhere. I can just walk, no matter how many feet of snow we have. 

This is a total bonus of my job and a completely brilliant choice by my company but before I worked here I belonged to many public gyms.

I almost don’t even want to mention this because I cringe at the thought but technically we still belong to a gym about twenty minutes away (money down the toilet). When Jacob and I started living together we signed a two year agreement at the fanciest gym. This month is FINALLY our last month there, or not there if you get my drift. We don’t go because it is in the middle of the city, insanely crowded, and the parking is a J.O.K.E.

Gym Funnies

I am not even kidding you. You have to park at one lot between the morning hours. One garage between the afternoon hours. You have two options at night, which are usually full, and some other crazy far lot on the weekends. <ONE> I cannot remember that shit. <TWO> Can you imagine a less motivating reason to go to the gym? At first this didn’t matter because we only lived blocks away, but now we have to drive there (20 minutes) and then put up with that crap so as you can imagine how often we go. Never.  

So anyways this got me thinking and today I wanted to talk about 3 reasons I think we need to ditch the gym.

1.       Have you noticed the popularity of studios opening? Crossfit, Barre, Combat, Boot Camp, Yoga...I seriously feel like the days of the quintessential gyms, meaning big sweaty rooms filled with soul eating cardio machines, are limited (was that dramatic enough for you?). I am actually a huge supporter of this new trend and I can imagine others are too. I won’t lie. I am initially attracted to the newest version of a machine (cardio or weight) but at the end of the day classes and instructors, that keep you accountable, are absolutely more valuable and often produce the results we want more efficiently. I totally recommend finding a studio you love by using Groupon or Living Social. It is how I found my Hot Yoga studio and nixed some others that I wasn’t so fond of.

2.        When I started running you can imagine I stopped going to the gym as much. At first it felt weird. I almost felt like I couldn’t count my runs as workouts because I didn’t have a little screen that populated all of my statistics. I couldn’t prove how far I went or how many calories I burned to myself. How unhealthy is that??? That was probably the first gift that running gave me. It broke me up with the gym and all the unhealthy numbers that the gym comes with. I can’t concentrate on how far or long the person next to me is going. I can’t see a scale out of the corner of my eye while I am breaking a sweat. I am not staring at a clock using it either as an excuse or a punishment.

Now I do have a Garmin but it’s different especially because I started using it after I got my head back on straight. I realize now that I enjoy going to a class or running outside or doing a Jillian Michael’s DVD wayyy more than staring at a little screen that validates my workout to the crazy side of my brain.

Now I work out and think about the work out. My form. My breathing. And most importantly the world around me. I am not stuck inside a sweaty gym every time I want to burn some calories and half the time I don’t even know how much I am burning. I can almost guarantee I am burning more because I am not concentrating on it. So my second piece of advice, go outside and live while you work out. It makes a huge difference.

3.       Gyms are expensive. We depend on them too much to get a workout in. Society pressures us to think this. If you do not believe me, stop in a gym on January 3rd. It is disturbing.  It is full of people who just got an insane deal on a new membership and they all truly believe that this is the year they will get to the gym every day and change their lives BUT two months later they are held up at work or need to get home and they start missing their workouts.

Here is what I want to tell them… You can change your life in your living room, in your back yard, & pounding the sidewalk in your neighborhood. If you love the gym and it works for you AWESOME! But don’t neglect the fact that the world is full of fun free ways to be active. And remind yourself that you ARE burning calories even though a little screen isn’t there blinking a number at you.

You Are Not A Number

Where are you working out today??? Do you love your gym?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

a Thanksgiving post a week early

Just this past weekend Kym from Travel Babbles did a feature on being "Thankful in November". I was featured alongside the lovely ladies that are her sponsors this month.

I briefly mentioned that I was most thankful this year for health. Not just my own, but the health of my family as well.

A lot of blogs & Facebook status’ & twitter updates have mentioned, like they always do around this time of year, that we forget to be thankful. We get so busy that we forget how lucky we are to have a job & a house & clothes & food... & I completely agree.

But just think for a second what those things would even mean if you were sick or hurting.

Fortunately, not everyone gets completely shaken by illness. Many are lucky and never have to feel the weight of being sick or watch someone they love waste away because of pain. It is the worst kind of heartache and if you are one of those lucky few I hope you know it.

In 2011 my grandpa passed away. He was the toughest guy I have ever known but he was built with the softest heart. Our family is very small. For many, many years I was his only grandchild. My two little cousins didn’t come until I was almost eleven years old. My grandparents on both sides are basically just additional parents. They have been so engrained in my life and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. My grandpa showed up at everything for me. School recitals, ice skating lessons, you name it, he was there.

My grandpa was not what you would think of when you hear the word Grandpa.  He golfed multiple times a week, drove his 1988 Porsche often, and went on cruise vacations with my Grandma a couple times a year. This was no old fella, he was only 72 when he past. He had a lot of life and a lot of years ahead of him.

When I was in high school my Grandpa received a heart transplant. We thought we would lose him before he got his second chance but we didn’t.

A young 21 year old man lost his life on a motorcycle and my Grandpa got to live 9 more years because of him. I wasn’t brave enough at 15 to write a letter to that young man’s family but I wish now, more than anything, I had.

Unfortunately the down fall of transplants, is that you have to take an anti-rejection medication. It is strong as hell and ensures that your body won’t reject the new organ. That medicine after years of use can cause cancer.

I will never EVER forget my mom taking a call from my grandpa and him telling her that he had cancer. It had been 7 years since he received his heart.

Even worse yet, having cancer with a transplant doesn’t allow you to receive the strongest form of chemotherapy. It would do too much damage to the transplant organ and in this case my Grandpa’s heart. He could only receive baby doses. My grandpa never wavered in his strength and we all held our breath hoping the little bit of chemo would do something, anything.

Someone upstairs answered our prayers because we found out that the cancer faded after a few rounds of chemo. Meaning that my Papa had a whole extra year to golf, travel and give me a hard time :)

A year later though they found a tumor on his brain. But don’t get sad yet, my Grandpa beat that too. My Grandpa had brain surgery, brain surgery!!! and it didn’t even faze him. Only an hour after surgery, he held my hand, called me his pumpkin and asked how I was doing. I still can’t even comprehend that. I just remember being so happy and completely blown away at what this man could endure. 

Unfortunately almost exactly a year later we found out that he was bleeding out because the cancer was back. It was confusing. He beat the odds EVERY damn time. The hardest part was accepting that this just wouldn’t be the case this time.  

I wasn’t sure how our family would move forward but we did and we do every day, but never without a little piece of him. I can always feel him with me.

Although this was a profound time in my life, a learning experience even and one that stays with me every day, reminding me to be so thankful for the rest of my healthy family, I would be missing a huge chunk of this post without mentioning my mom too.

My mom has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She has had it for almost 28 years. About seven years ago she became wheel chair bound. She has really hard days, I know… and I push her way more than I should, but my mom really enjoys her life and is such a happy person. It is no wonder she is my grandpa’s daughter. They have something in their blood that makes them the best fighters around. I can only hope I inherited a little bit of that.

I don’t think I have ever told my mom this, but every day that I run, a little piece of me runs for her.  I know more than anything she wishes she could walk and run again but she can’t. The anger she could have because of this never shows. She worries more about me being in pain from a winter cold than she does about her legs hurting or her neck aching. She is certainly the most remarkable person I know.

This post is not meant to be a sad story. Please do not feel bad for me or my family or think I am asking for any ounce of sympathy. I just wanted to share the two sources of inspiration in my life that remind me to be strong and thankful.

At the end of the day it really is ONLY about having our health and those we love by our side. Sure having a house and clothes and a working car to drive to your job is great. 

But when you are reflecting on what to be thankful for this last week before Thanksgiving, take a moment to really reflect on the fact that your arms and legs work. 

That your heart beats strong and your lungs fill with air easily. 

That you can talk & sing & laugh. 

Squeeze everyone you see this holiday season a little tighter and take that extra second to Skype or Face Time your loved ones who are far away. Take advantage of your health. Use it to its fullest potential. Make yourself tired doing all the things you can because you can :)

The more you Thank life, the more Life gives you to be Thankful for!

Sorry for getting deep with y'all. I just had this post in me today and I am starting to learn you just have to go with what your fingers type. Back to talking about the lighter stuff tomorrow like Pinterest and guacamole :) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

A few WINS this weekend.

I think I tricked Jacob into shopping more this weekend than we have in months. WIN.

Added bonus??? We were able to get a lot of our Christmas presents out of the way…SAY what?!? 

I have no idea who I am.

Next weekend we are even planning to get our tree up early.

A little part of me hurts just saying that. I usually have a strict rule of NO Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving but we are going to be with family the whhhhhhhole weekend after turkey day and therefore I know I will have not one ounce of holiday spirit left to put a tree up on Sunday night.

Anyways... back to this past weekend. I have three highlights for you. I bet you will never guess what they have to do with?

Running and Food! BOOM. 

I swear I will work on getting a life.


Saturday morning I woke up and laid in bed for three hours playing plants vs. zombies. I know you think that I am kidding and/or exaggerating BUT for real, three hours of my life was spent calculating sun and zombies eating my brains. Turns out being a complete lazy ass helps you run better cause I knocked out 13.27 miles as soon as I dragged myself out of my warm bed.

I stopped only once for water and a gu @ my parent’s house @ about 9 miles. Jacob ran the last two miles with me. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. Just kept a steady pace and tried to enjoy the gloom. WIN. 

Speaking of gloom, Seasonal Depression is real folks & I pray every year it will not rear its ugly head but it does. The Midwest in the winter is not the place to be and something tells me that my mileage will be suffering shortly. I am just going to have to find a way to be okay with it.


Fun fact. Sushi easily combats gloom. It also was an excellent way to refuel after my run on Saturday. We had a coupon to Screaming Tuna in downtown Milwaukee and decided to have a date night. AHHHHmazing. Everything about our meal, service and view was extraordinary. We will definitely be going back soon. Side note: I need to get better at taking pictures for this blog.

I wish you could see my pants better.
They look leopard but they are NOT.
They are a mix of chevron/Indian print :) I love them.
I missed taking the picture of our sushi entree.
We devoured it too quickly. 


Ready. Hold your breath. On Sunday night I cooked. I made soup for the first time in my life. Stuffed Green Pepper Soup. It basically looks like chili but I substituted ground turkey for ground beef and used pounds and pounds of veggies. It turned out great; major WIN !!! I am going to try a few more soup recipes and share the best with the blog. I am so lazy and always a little intimidated to cook but soup proved to be really easy. If you have any great recipes, please share!!!! I can’t eat sushi and Aunt Annie’s pretzels every time I am cold and depressed this winter, so help a girl out.

I hope your Monday is painless and you get a glimpse of the sun wherever you are :)

Also please don’t forget to send some prayers and good thoughts for those hit by the tornadoes yesterday. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Well I missed a day of blogging for the first time in three weeks …

& I didn’t like it... I didn’t like it at all.

But I am here today :) with Five on Friday!

I don’t know why it’s taken me three weeks to jump on this link up because I love it. Basically I love lists (because I am OCD) and I love randomness (hence the name of this blog) so it makes sense. 

1.       Over the last year I can say with confidence that my style has really developed. Not like I think I am straight up Pinterest material over here but I have "grown up" whatever that means. I have said sayonara to the days of trying to stick my hips into low rise pants and I laugh at the crop tops Kendall Jenner wears...But I am here to tell you, I found the best fitting jeans this week & although I have tried to quit this store and move on... 
I. Can. Not. 
      I will forever be 21 and I don’t care. I got the cutest jeans for 8.50!!! 8.50!!! I hope I just wasn't completely delusional in the fitting room but I swear they look great and don’t feel like they were only $8.50- On second thought, I am sure that after a few washes I will be telling you how fast they went to Goodwill but I digress...go get yourself sum. 

2.       I found the best pick me up, mid-week & I am very concerned for my thighs. Over my lunch hour, after the gray jeans fit amazingly and I burned some calories dancing in the mirror…come on, you do it too... I decided what better way to reward myself than with the smell of buttery pretzels. Then the smell turned into 4 dollars being handed over and me drowning my mid-week stress into an Aunt Annie’s pretzel. I am not sure I came up for air. I forgot how freaking amazing those things are. I have been plotting and planning ways to get Jacob to the mall this weekend so I can drown my weekend happiness in another one. Actually I just think all emotions should be celebrated with Aunt Annie’s Pretzels and I refuse to forget about their magical ways. I know I am taking this too far and my life seems very boring since this is a highlight of my week. Got it. 

3.       On Monday Jacob was home early, if you know us you know how much of a miracle that is, and you will not believe what he did after he walked in the door. He bundled himself up, missed part of Monday night football and ran for a half hour with me outside. I didn’t even have to beg or whine! By far this has been the best part of my week. It was cold but beautiful out and running in the dark is really a blast. Try it. I have to think of a selfless thing to do for him now. Maybe I will buy him an Aunt Annie’s pretzel.

I know, I need to get better at taking pictures but I think you get the point.
We were running. It was Dark.
4.       I signed up for my first indoor race on a track. It is a 20K and I think it will be boring as hell (did I mention NO headphones). However I wanted to give it a try. Also I couldn't turn down the 15$ entry fee. Great deal. Get ready for a blog post about it. I run it on December 8th.

5.       This weekend we have not ONE thing planned. Whoops! Correction we have lunch planned on Sunday but other than that NOTHING!!!!! It’s a miracle. I cannot wait to sleep in till 12 and hang out with this cute girl.

This is her first professional picture. I am embarrassed at how much I paid. Don't ask. #dogmomproblems
      Reflecting back on #5 makes me realize how NOT ready for babies we are. I love weekends full of no responsibilities.

Tell me about your weekend? Any big plans?? 
Any races/runs ???

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How we started dating...

Being a new blogger is a funny thing. You want to find this balance of letting your readers know who you are and yet not go overboard, over-share, or seem self-absorbed. Yet, you have to go through these awkward stages of laying it out there, otherwise my words carry less weight.

All I know is I connect best with bloggers that I feel open up their lives to the world & although I am not sure that will be me, I want to do the best I can. I guess I just feel like we started dating & I am not sure I remember how :)

So whether you care or not, I decided today I would share a glimpse into the past. Explain a little more about a younger version of me, and while I am at it, what could be more appropriate than telling you how Jacob and I started dating?

So after graduating high school, I thought I had it all figured out.

I had decided to move away for college and I honestly thought that I was ready for it. I was absolutely sure it was going to be an amazing experience. All I remember saying was that I wanted to get away from everything I knew.

I would be lying if I didn’t say a big part of that was my parents. I was an only child and although they had given me the best life, I just wanted to be on my own. Chalk it up to the “only child” independence thing…I don’t know. I was really stubborn and certain I didn’t need them. Dramatic and mean, yes. Do I feel bad now looking back, absolutely.  

Well I was horribly wrong. My freshmen year I was completely unhealthy. I went from one extreme to another and it wasn’t just physically, it was mentally too. I was over confident on how “adult” I thought I was and made bad decisions left and right. I absolutely did not have my priorities straight and overall I was really lost. I was failing school. I was messing up friendships. I was unkind to my parents & worst yet, I was blaming everything that was wrong on everyone else.

What do you think I did next? …I threw myself into a serious relationship. Duh?! Because ya know that makes sense <eye roll> ....making someone else responsible for putting you back together is a great idea, right?!

FALSE. It was the worst choice. I don’t regret it at all now because I learned a lot, but I made a terrible mess of that relationship. However, it eventually pushed me to look at myself. In the mirror. Head on. 

That is tough stuff and I admire anyone who says they had to do that in their life. We all get lost for a while, just hopefully not for too long.

Well at the end of that relationship I was 19 and I took a job during the summer at a restaurant before I transferred schools, closer to home.

Enter Jacob. We had gone to middle school together and as I was interviewing for my position I saw him walk behind the bar. My first reaction was to run in the other direction. All I wanted was to get through the summer and go to my new school. I had zero interest in seeing anyone from high school, let alone middle school.

Well after a few weeks working together, we became friends.

When someone told me he liked me, I knew. But a part of me also knew and Jake will deny this until he is blue in the face that he liked every girl he became friends with. 

It also didn’t help that the kid had long hair... that I hated!!!

Example :) He looks like a baby.

But mostly I just knew I couldn’t handle anything with someone and I needed a friend more than a boyfriend (at least I was learning something).

Anyways the summer ended and we stayed friends. We talked on and off and one weekend three years later things turned around. He came to visit me in Milwaukee with short hair :) and the instant I saw him something clicked. It wasn’t so much clicking as butterflies. I knew I was straight up in trouble. When he left after that weekend I couldn’t even go back to my apartment. I went straight to my parent’s house and told them that I think Jacob is it. I still remember that morning so clearly. It felt like my life was beginning.

It wasn’t just because of Jacob though. I was succeeding at school. I found a job I was good at. I got my health in check, for the most part. I liked who I was and the friends I made. I owned my own apartment and went home every day to a girl I liked, me.

This is the first picture of us as a couple.
Silly boys. He must not have known I would have a blog one day
and need good pictures to document our life.
This might not be the most profound blog post, with the most obvious point, but there are two things very important things I know

1. If you love yourself, if you truly 100 percent love yourself, you know it. You can only lie to yourself for so long & in turn you can only open your heart completely to someone else until you tell yourself the truth. I wasn’t ready for Jacob when I was 19 and he wasn’t ready for me. However 22 was a different story. I am so happy I put the time in and did the work on me because my reward was pretty amazing.

2. Fall in love with your best friend. Pretty simple. You will never regret it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sweet Home Chicago

I am starting to think Jacob and I have issues. We take vacations a lot. Jacob is really great at saving money. Me not so much. I would spend every last dime we have on having fun and doing things we love. Thank god he balances me out... on most days :)

After Jacob took the LSAT I knew I wanted to think of a way to spoil him for all his hard work. I had the race coming up in Chicago so I sprung for a beautiful hotel and we got planning on what we wanted to do.

We stayed at the Palmer House. It was so beautiful and once our car was parked after my race, we didn’t move it until we left, which is exactly how I like it. When we lived in downtown Milwaukee, we walked everywhere and I miss that. We did take a cab here or there but walking everywhere is one of my favorite things about cities.

We started our Saturday by walking down Michigan Ave and State street. We shopped a little & then walked through some of the Law Schools Jake wanted to see. He really loved one and is open to the others; so one day Chicago could be home for us. That is very cool to think about. I have always really loved the city but I was a little worried because Jacob was nervous about the size of Chicago. He kept saying that it is different when you go someplace just to visit and go again thinking about living there. I get that and I wanted to give him room to make his own judgment. Well I was shocked by how much he took to it. For me, I love the hustle and bustle...maybe not forever, but it would for sure be a fun three years.  

After all that we had a very early dinner at RPM Italian. I didn’t get to see Giuliana and Bill Rancic like I had hoped (sorry if you don’t watch their show- they are part owners of the restaurant and often film there) but it was delicious !!! I had to go with Mama Dipandi’s famous recipe and it didn’t disappoint. They make all their noodles @ RPM fresh every morning….that alone makes their pasta out of this world.

We headed back to our gorgeous hotel for drinks and then met some friends for more drinks. Speaking of, I quickly realized how running has really changed some of my habits. I love a glass or two of wine but honestly that has been my limit since I started running. It isn't like I made this decision on purpose, it just happened. Like most runners my long runs fall on Saturday or Sunday morning… and sometimes both. I hate feeling like crap and I want to do my best. That just started becoming more important than an extra drink.

Wellll wa wah wahhhhh…this girl took the night off but it was well deserved. We had a great time. A part of me was still hoping I would wake up and feel like I wanted to get a short run in, take advantage of the city and such but I didn’t. I woke up and thought about it for a second, and then realized I was in a fancy, beautiful hotel room with the sun streaming in and falling back to sleep sounded way better. SO I took the day off.

My favorite drinking buddy, Al

I read another runner’s blog the other day and they were talking about workout guilt or I guess a lack there-of. It really is all a balance. Living a healthy life for me YES includes running, lots of veggies and less alcohol, but sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it includes nights of too much wine with good friends, nachos, and a day without running. Balanced meals, water and running will be there tomorrow. This might be a slight tangent but I think it is an important one. We all deserve days and nights off. I HATE when people say “cheat meals”. We aren’t cheating. We are living & we deserve to.

Ok. SO Sunday was a blast. We woke up and had breakfast in bed and then headed out to the Shed Aquarium. We were there for 5 hours. I could watch the beluga whales and dolphins for all 5 hours. I am easily entertained. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Beluga whales.

If you are ever in Chicago you should go. No question. It is really worth it.

We headed home a little sad. Short vacations sometimes seem so long and long vacations seem so short.
Does that happen to everyone??!?