Disney World 2015 {Day 1: Expo}

Hey HEY hey!

{{Disclaimer: I began this post over a week ago. I had some technical difficulties with pictures not loading and decided a blog without pictures was too boring to post. Finally got it working again!}}

After a whirlwind week in Orlando, coming back to work for 4/5 of this week was rough. But now I’m back in action {and writing a blog post on a Friday night… don’t judge me and my pathetic excuse for a social life}!

DRIVE TO ORLANDO

We are fortunate enough to live close enough to Florida to have a day drive rather than spend boocoo bucks flying there! My mom and I left mid-morning on Wednesday afternoon. Mickey, we’re coming for ya!

Road trip to Orlando

{We may have made a pit-stop at a Dick’s Sporting Goods along the way… can’t let those coupons expire!}

We arrived at a hotel on International Drive in the evening and found our way to Uno Chicago Grill. I love deep dish pizza! We had decided that we didn’t need to stay on a Disney property that night.

I went to sleep that night with one goal in mind for the next day: get a pair of the 2014 runDisney shoes!

HOW TO GET runDISNEY SHOES

For those of you unfamiliar with the runDisney/New Balance collaborative process, I’ll give you some insight:

On the first day of a runDisney expo, a “virtual queue” line opens up at 6am. You sign up through your race bib number {to ensure you are legitimately running in a race that weekend}. You will be assigned a group number and a time. I’m not sure how many people are in each group, although I’m guessing around 20. You will receive a text and/or email when your turn is up. At that time, you have one hour to return to the New Balance tent. {Your spot is not saved if you arrive later than that} Although you have a group, your spot within that group is determined by your actual time of arrival at the tent. Each person is then escorted individually by a New Balance rep to the shoes. Just because you are in that virtual queue, you are not guaranteed your size or style of choice. It’s actually an incredibly stressful process!

Going through what my mom and I went through last year, we were aware of the process and determined to get another pair from last year’s styles. For the 2015 shoes, they decided to go with a retro design that we were not particularly fond of. We knew they had a very limited quantity left from 2014 though! There was even an inventory online of what was sold out in semi-real time. {I heard it had a slight lag} Since there was the Disney Marathon in January, much of 2014s leftover stock was gone before our race weekend even began! So, as soon as the clock struck 6am, I had my race number out and typed as fast as I could to get the earliest group possible. Guess I was quick enough because I was assigned Group 1! My heart was beating so fast and adrenaline fully flowing! The first endeavor of the day was a success!

We arrived to the expo location nearly 2 hours early. This was partially because we had nothing to do, and partially because we wanted to be very first in line at New Balance. It was a freakishly cold day in Florida {sub freezing temperatures and 21 mph winds} and we were standing outside for two hours. Some people might call that crazy…

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Our toes and fingers were completely frozen and faces red from that cold wind. But we stood there and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, they decided to open the expo early because everyone was freezing their butts off! The good news is that we were the first two people in line for the shoes! HOORAY!!!!! I got the smallest size made of the men’s “Goofy” shoes from last year, while my mom opted for last year’s Cinderella model. We were so pleased with ourselves!

As we were ringing up the purchase, a New Balance manager that was there shouts “The first two pairs sold of the expo!” and everyone surrounds us and starts clapping and cheering! That was a surreal moment, to say the least! If you know my mom and I at all, you know that we have an unnatural love for “cool sneakers.” My dad said he was glad someone finally recognized us for our great accomplishments ;)

Cinderella and Goofy

Cinderella and Goofy

After our major shoe accomplishment, we browsed through the rest of the expo and enjoyed seeing the different booths in relatively low crowd levels!

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We also took advantage of many photo opportunities!

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runDisney Expo

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The NEW glass slipper!

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Glass Slipper Challenge

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HOTEL CHECK-IN: CORONADO SPRINGS

Following the Expo, our hotel check-in was a breeze! I took advantage of Disney’s online check-in process, so all we had to do when we got there was receive our room number! This year we stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. While checking in, the concierge even joked “have you done this before?!” because I had everything completed and nothing left to fill out. Our magic bands {that were mailed to the house a month in advance} served as our room key as well as FastPass at the parks!

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REST OF AFTERNOON

For the rest of the afternoon, we walked around Downtown Disney, went to our dinner reservation at BOMA Flavors of Africa, and then went back to Downtown Disney! It was a busy night, but we were so excited to be at Disney, we wanted to do as much as possible!

If you remember from last year, Boma is my very favorite Disney restaurant and I was so glad to be back! It’s an African-themed buffet that is crazy delicious! My only disappointment was that I adore their carrot ginger soup {so random} and we went on a day they were not serving that particular soup. It was still a fabulous dinner, though!

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Plate of Mini desserts!

For the desserts above, I was not a fan of the guava panna cotta at all. In fact, I’m surprised that I had the self-control to not spit it out… definitely not a guava person! At least I know that now. I adored the little zebra-looking dessert, though! The key lime cheesecake was great as well. Bread pudding was so-so, in my opinion.

At Downtown Disney round 2, we made a stop at Ghirardelli to split a sundae… as if we hadn’t had enough dessert for one night! Have you heard about my sweet tooth?

Ghirardelli

Ghirardelli

Once we were finished, we toted our sugared-out selves to the bus area and went back to the hotel. We wanted to get a good night’s sleep since we were going to the MAGIC KINGDOM all day on Friday!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Is there a food you can’t stand? {guava— ick!}
  • Any further questions about the runDisney New Balance process?

ORLANDO: We Have Arrived

I am currently blogging from a warm bed in a hotel room in Orlando, FL! I just want to stop on by and say a quick hello!

My mom and I drove down yesterday. We may or may have not been singing along to Disney songs along the way… no shame ;)

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Currently, we are getting ready to leave this hotel to head on down to Disney for a little breakfast and go to the “Disney’s Fit For a Princess” Expo! Last year, we were so impressed by this race expo and are looking forward to it!

Throughout the week we will be going to Magic Kingdom, attending a wedding, going to Epcot, racing in the Enchanted 10k, and racing in the Disney Princess Half Marathon! {<– those two events make up the coveted “Glass Slipper Challenge”} We are beyond excited for the busy week ahead!

I probably won’t check in again until after our trip is finished, so have a great week and I’ll catch you later!

HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH

My Sweet, Sweet Valentine

Hello, all you lovebirds out there! I hope your Valentine’s Day weekend was filled with the ones you love most <3

Sweet Tooth Fulfillment 

On Friday at work, the Valentine spirit began a day early! Throughout the day, I collected quite a few treats {that I may have indulged in without regret…).

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I received even more after this picture was snapped, but you get the general idea. My favorite was the EOS lip balm that my thoughtful boss purchased for everyone. What a great idea! I left work on Friday feeling the love and looking forward to the weekend ahead!

A COUPLE OF MY LOVES

Saturday morning began with a couple of my loves… exercise and catching up with a friend! My friend Jade and I met up in Atlanta to do a 5 mile run around Piedmont Park and have a Starbucks date to follow.

As far as the run went… I struggled. Big time. Which is not exactly a good feeling when you have both a 10k AND a half marathon in the next week {Glass Slipper Challenge, here I come!} After 2 miles I already felt tired and sluggish… but pushed through until we made it to 5. My best guess as to why my run felt like poo is that 1) I hadn’t hydrated properly beforehand and was dying of thirst and 2) I ran the day before and tend to do better when I’m more well-rested. But then again, who knows!

I was just glad to rehydrate with a large water along with my favorite drink. Anyone know what that might be? A chai tea latte. Comfort in a cup!

IMG_8313YES. We ended up chatting away for two hours… how time flies when you’re having fun! Then I drove back home to finish up some Valentine’s baking, pick up a gift from my mom, and get ready for my dinner date with Paul.

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Chocolate peanut butter cupcake from mom! I’m one lucky girl :) She is the BEST!

VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER DATE

I arrived home to a dozen red roses {awwwwwwh} from Paul. I don’t care if I’m cliche {or “basic”}, I adore fresh flowers. They are so beautiful and never fail to make me happy. This was the first time in my life that I have ever been given red roses… I don’t know why I feel like this is a significant fact, but I do! To me, red roses just say “I love you.” Does anyone else feel that way, or is that just me?

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I took a shower and got ready. The dinner location was a surprise for me, so I was eagerly awaiting to find out where we were going!

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Paul had made reservations at a steak house called Parker’s on Ponce in Decatur. Neither of us had ever been there before and from the moment we walked in, we knew we were in for a treat. There were several fireplaces lit, live piano music quietly setting the mood, and couples grinning at each other all around. I took some pictures of our food without my flash because I didn’t want to be obnoxious, but they were way too dim to post. I’d recommend looking up their website to see how impressive each dish truly was.

As an appetizer, we started with the Short Rib & Ricotta Stuffed Piquillo. Oh my gosh, that was delicious! I would recommend that appetizer to anyone in a heartbeat! It was rich, creamy, and had a “melt in your mouth” quality. As a main course, I got the 6 oz. Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Butter on top. Wow. Simply incredible. Paul enjoyed the NY Strip Steak Oscar with a Loaded Baked Potato on the side. Although we were stuffed, we decided that dessert on Valentine’s Day could not be ignored! The Chocolate Lava Cake was our dessert of choice. It was as delectable as it sounds! I am so thankful to Paul for treating me to such a special dinner. It was without a doubt one for the books!

FURRY VALENTINE

A time to celebrate love would not be complete without my little red-headed love… Teddy!

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Paul and I took Teddy and Toby to the dog park for a little playtime today. It was chilly, but the sun was shining! Teddy bear loves her soccer ball! She also loves kisses from me :)

That pretty much concludes our Valentine’s Day weekend! I had such a great time and am reminded once again how lucky I am to be surrounded by my loves. I hope each and every one of you feel the same!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Did you go to a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner as well?
  • Do you also receive/ give out Valentine’s Day treats at work?

I’ll be back soon to share my prep for the Disney Princess Half Marathon taking place next weekend!

7 Benefits of Training with a TREADMILL

Hi guys!

My laptop had a little bit of a meltdown {nooooooooo}, so I was out of commission for a little while. Paul seems to have fixed the problem… temporarily at least! I know it’s about time for a new one, as I have a 5 year-old Macbook, but I don’t want to part with this one! I love how pretty and white it is and they stopped making this model years ago. Never-the-less, this baby has served me well as outlasted any other computer I’ve ever had. #teamMac!

Anyway, enough of that randomness. On my day off from work today, I hit the gym this morning to use a treadmill as it was pouring rain outside! That got me thinking… treadmills get a bad reputation. I often hear people call it the “dreadmill” and I can see how people would prefer other methods of cardio. BUT, there truly are some pluses to using a treadmill to enhance your training!

Treadmill Training 7

Now, keep in mind that I am a far cry from a running expert! These are simply some benefits I have personally experienced throughout multiple half marathon training cycles. 

1. Holding yourself accountable for running at a goal pace! If you don’t have a GPS watch for running outside, the treadmill is a fantastic way to make sure you’re running at a particular speed. This is especially helpful if you are training for a race and have a goal pace in mind. You’ll get an accurate feel for the speed you will need to maintain.

2. Safety. A lot of people, including myself, work for the entirety of daylight hours during the week. Especially in the winter when the sun isn’t out as long. Although I live in a safe area, I do not feel comfortable running outside by myself in the dark before/after work. Enter the treadmill! To get my cardio in on work days, I typically gravitate towards the treadmill because I get a much better workout in than if I were to use a bike or elliptical. Everyone is different, but this is my go-to when it’s dark!

3. Ease of incorporating interval training! A lot of running gurus encourage you to incorporate some sort of interval workouts into your training routine. There is one type of interval training that I was introduced to through a running club a couple of years ago called “fartlek.” The term is Swedish for speed play and helps you to ultimately get faster! The treadmill makes this super-easy, since you can actively see the clock ticking and are able to set specific speeds.

4. Bad weather is no excuse to not exercise! A lot of people tend to use the weather as an excuse to stay at home and not exercise. This is a terrible excuse, because even if it is too cold/snowing/raining/too hot/too humid/ whatever weather you don’t like outside, you can still get a solid run {or walk!} in with a treadmill. Today, I would have run outside if it hadn’t been raining. I could have easily said “Oh, it’s raining. I can’t run today,” but instead I took my run inside and completed the same workout that I would have if it was sunny out.

5. You can make hills. Well, not technically. But if you want to do a hill workout, that can be accomplished with the push of a button. Changing the incline is a wonderful way to make your workout more interesting, as well as more difficult! You can always leave it at a certain level, or alter it throughout your run. Whatever you are in the mood for can easily be accomplished in a way that it often cannot be outside!

6. Less hard impact on your body. Although running on a treadmill is still running, the softer surface of a treadmill can help with that pressure. I know that after a race when my legs are feeling sore and tired, I prefer to do an easy post-race run after a day or two on the treadmill instead of outside. It’s not as rough on my body, which can be helpful in the recovery process. There are even special treadmills with zero impact… although I’ve never had the privilege to use one of those!

7. It’s good mental training! I think one reason people don’t like treadmill is because they can be boring. I’ve learned to challenge myself mentally on a treadmill, which is incredibly helpful for both racing and work! I can’t tell you the number of times during a race I hear people say “What?!? It’s only been __ miles? I’ll never make it!” I know that due to my treadmill training, I’ve learned how to really get a feel for time passing slowly and pushing through that mental block!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Do you use treadmills to enhance your training?
  • What is your favorite treadmill workout? Please share!

Holiday Hoopla {and more!}

Hello friends! Happy 2015!

Is the holiday season over already?! I can’t believe it! As a die-hard fan of December, I’m always a little sad once New Year’s Day rolls around. Post-holiday depression? Is that a thing? If so, I’m pretty sure I have it. That being said, I’d love to share some photos from my holiday season this year :)

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Christmas Eve sheet washing

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Christmas Eve cold-cuts dinner

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Christmas jammies!

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Dozing off in hopes of Santa Paws

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Christmas morning

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Teddy opening one of her gifts

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Mia loves her Kong catnip toy from Santa Paws

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Gift opening

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Favorite presents! Espresso machine and Taylor Swift tickets!

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Never too much Christmas spirit!

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Christmas dinner with Teddy

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BEST meal of my life! Brisket quesadillas from Mi Cocina

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Weekend walk

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Ugly sweater party!

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Game Day! GO SEAHWAKS

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Besties

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Cleaning out Paul’s room

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Great group of people

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Rainy date

That was just a glimpse into our past week and a half! I hope your holiday season was filled with love, joy, and new memories to cherish! I’ll be popping back in again soon to talk resolutions!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Does your family do Christmas Eve pajamas?
  • Do your pets receive a visit from “Santa Paws” as well?
  • Are you sad or relieved once the holidays come to an end?

My 25th Birthday Celebration

Well, hi there strangers!

To say this time of year is busy would be a huge understatement! I’m sure everyone can relate to me there!

This past weekend, I celebrated my 25th birthday! A whole quarter of a century. Whattttttt!?!

DIP N DAB

To kick off my birthday weekend {the big day was Saturday}, a couple of my friends, my mom, my sister kayla, and I met up in Atlanta and participated in a BYOB painting class on Friday night! Except… we noticed online that the policy had changed and it was no longer BYOB. We decided to follow the rules and come empty-handed. It seems as though we were the only group aware, as there were wine bottles galore when we arrived! Then, nobody ended up getting in trouble for having their beverages because the rule was so new. Oh well!

We still had a blast painting though! An art teacher took the class though a step-by-step lesson on painting a bridge scene in San Francisco. We chatted and painted for a solid 3 hours and came out with our own personal masterpieces!

Dip n Dab

Dip n Dab

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Saturday morning, I began with one of my favorite things… any guesses? Bodypump! I had requested my favorite lunge track and was able to shadow alongside the instructor. Not going to lie, the class kicked my butt! I’m still sore several days later! We pushed ourselves to the max- embrace the burn :)

When I returned to the apartment, Paul cooked me a delicious birthday breakfast complete with eggs, bacon, and an English muffin. Yum. I showered and got ready because we were going to the zoo! {And yes, I realize this was my 25th birthday and not 8th… but I love animals and aren’t you supposed to do whatever you want on your birthday?}

But first, we made a pit-stop at Starbucks so I could pick up my birthday reward! I treated myself to a grande peppermint white hot chocolate. It’s pretty much heaven on earth.

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ZOO ATLANTA

I have only visited Zoo Atlanta one other time six years ago. Needless to say, it was long overdue!

The day was overcast and crisp. It turned out to be absolutely perfect because the forecast calling for rain probably scared a lot of people away, plus it was the last Saturday before Christmas. We practically had the place to ourselves! Yippeee!

Here are a few highlights:

Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta flamingos

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Parakeet house

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Otters!

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DINNER

If you know me at all, you know that my favorite type of food is without a doubt Mexican. My parents and all siblings but one {who is not home yet} took me out for Mexican food!

I think you know there had to be a sombrero involved. {And holy moly was that thing heavy!}

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The whole gang!

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Paul and I <3

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IMG_7845 Birthday sopapillas

Cake, ice cream, and presents at home followed! I cannot even begin to express how darn excited I am because my parents got me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I have literally wanted one for 15 years! Eeeeeeeeeeeek! They’re the BEST!

Best. Gift. Ever.

Best. Gift. Ever.

I definitely had to try it out on Sunday. It was everything I ever wanted and more! Such a beauty!

The weekend ended a little somethin’ somthin’ like this…

Perfection

Perfection

A fire, watching Elf, baking cookies, and spending time with Paul and my fur babies! I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Is there a gift that you’ve wanted for a really long time? What is it?
  • What is your favorite animal at the zoo? Mine are lemurs {!!!!} and otters!

Go Big Orange

Hello, hello!

WORKOUTS

So far this week, I have gone to the gym before work both Monday and today. With the sub-25 degree temperatures outside, I consider this a major victory! Staying in my warm bed is all too tempting…

On Monday I did a quick 3.25 mile run on a treadmill and jammed out to Taylor Swift’s 1989 cd. That definitely got me going at 5:30 am! This morning I made my way to BodyPump for the first time in a couple of weeks {moving totally messed with my schedule!} and can already feel the soreness setting in. Man, I love that class!

While I know a detailed recap of my workouts would be super-scintillating {or not so much}, I’m going to focus on the fun weekend I just came off of!

WEEKEND SHENANIGANS

This weekend Paul and I took a mini-road trip to Knoxville, TN! Paul is a big-time University of Tennessee fan {he attended UT for 3 years} and has been talking about the magical atmosphere of Neyland Stadium since we met. We finally had the opportunity to go to a home Vol football game together, thanks to my incredibly generous neighbors. Although I’m not a huge college football fan, I was excited to go to experience this renowned stadium! {Fifth largest in the country holding 102,455 fans}

I wanted to take in everything possible, starting with the players walking in.

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We found an unoccupied spot and people-watched in a living sea of orange for the players to make their grand entrance. I found it humorous seeing them all in suits. For some reason, it made me laugh imagining them actually playing in their dress clothes!

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Despite the cold weather, it really was a gorgeous sunny day!

Next on the agenda was wait for the band to march through. We people-watched some more {seriously one of my favorite activities} until we heard the tell-tale sounds of a band!

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After the talented band did their thing and blasted out some “Rocky Top,” we walked back to the car to grab the blankets we packed! It was a good use of 45 minutes as we made it back with perfect timing to grab some Petro’s to eat and find our seats before kickoff.

Chilly night calls for a puffy jacket!

Chilly night calls for a puffy jacket!

As most of you probably know, Tennessee completely dominated the University of Kentucky and we had fun cheering during the victorious game!

Neyland Stadium panaromaHere is a panoramic picture I took with my iPhone. Perfect fall evening!

UT cheerThe entire game I was fascinated by the cheerleaders. Paul and I were trying to figure out the whole time if they were actually in college or not. I swear they looked like they are 15 years old. What do you think? Other people around us mentioned this as well, so I know it’s just not me feeling old! Maybe it was the freshman team? The dance team looked like they were in college though. So strange.

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That was the game! We celebrated at Outback later that night with a drink and Blooming Onion… such party animals ;)

On Sunday we made the rainy drive back to Georgia. Paul promised me we could stop at an outlet mall quickly and we did! I only went into Loft Outlet because that’s my favorite. I got some amazing deals… go check it out if there’s one near you! I got a $39.99 blouse for $4.88! Wow!

Now you’re all caught up!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Do you like college football? What’s your favorite stadium you’ve been to?
  • Any good shopping deals out there lately? Do share!

Weekends are for Relaxing?

Following the trend of just about every other weekend in my life lately, this past one was crazy busy! Wouldn’t expect anything less from me, would you?

HALLOWEEN FRIDAY

Halloween was pretty uneventful for Paul and I. For the past several years I’ve wanted an occasion to have an awesome costume… and that has yet to happen. There’s always next year?

What I did do was dress up Daphne and Teddy and take them on a little doggy trick-or-treat walk! {I was totally tempted to ring doorbells with them… but I refrained.}

Teddy the spider and Daphne the ladybug

Teddy the spider and Daphne the ladybug

Perfect occasion for glowing eyes

Perfect occasion for glowing eyes

We then got back to my house and to no trick-or-treaters. My neighborhood is the lamest. I was also rather disgusted by the few groups that we did see. The majority of kids were either in golf carts, cars, or truck-pulled wagons. What happened to walking from door to door?!? No wonder obesity is at an all time high in the USA…

SATURDAY

My Saturday started the same way they have since August… run in Atlanta! We knocked out 11 miles on the coldest day of fall thus far. The wind was brutal, but I was thrilled that we finally had a brisk fall morning! Love it!

Post-run Starbucks

Post-run Starbucks

After our run, Jade and I found ourselves sipping on warm drinks at Starbucks. I’m sure it didn’t do much in the way of post-run nourishment, but it sure tasted great! Not to mention it felt wonderful warming our cold selves up.

Once I got home and showered off, Paul and I drove over to our top choice apartment complex to turn in some paperwork and take measurements. We even got a cute Halloween-themed goody bag on our way out!

Sugar... the way to my heart

Sugar… the way to my heart

On top of all the excitement, it was cool enough to wear boots without feeling ridiculous. It’s the little things!

I adore my Frye boots and lace boot socks

I adore my Frye boots and lace boot socks

The rest of the day was filled with couch shopping! We drove all around town looking for a “screaming-deal” {as my dad would say} on a couch. Nothing caught our attention, but at least we now know where not to look! I never knew finding a couch would be so difficult.

SUNDAY

We started the day with walking the dogs. Nothing shocking there!

Teddy walk

Teddy is showing off her tummy because she was fixed last week. It’s healing well and she’s completely back to normal! That girl loves her walks :)

On Sunday, we had a lot more shopping on the agenda! After our couch bust from the day before, I wasn’t feeling particularly enthusiastic on the couch front. The options for an embarrassingly low price point seem to be quite limited. We will find something though!

Sunday was a success as far as finding other odds and ends we need for our apartment! Here’s a little peek at our purchases:

Apartment shopping

Above you will see: Brita pitcher, tumbler cups, comforter set, throw pillows, wall art, utensil tray, ceramic knife, bamboo cutting board, Thanksgiving kitchen towel {had to}, shower caddy, shower curtain, curtain rings, a matchlight, a set of six steak knives and holding block, and two items that hopped into our cart… peppermint hot chocolate and salted caramel hazelnut spread. Not sure how those got in there…

These items came from Steinmart, Tuesday Morning, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target. We went a couple other places, but didn’t find anything we needed! We still have a long way to go, but we’ve made some progress!

Today we also had some good news… we were officially approved for the apartment! We may have little to no large furniture, but we are moving out of our parents’ houses and that is good enough for me. About time!

Hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed that extra hour of sleep!

What Dreams Are Made Of

Hello party people!

This weekend I was all over the place in the best way! Hang on tight because you’ll be exhausted even reading about this fun-packed weekend.

Birthday dinner. Apartment hunting {!!!}. Wedding #1. Atlanta 10 Miler race. More apartment hunting. Wedding #2. 

FRIDAY NIGHT

Immediately following work on Friday, I drove up to help celebrate Paul’s moms birthday in Snellville. Ribs and cake were eaten and a great time was had by all! {I foolishly did not take any pictures… so unlike me} It’s been far too long since I have seen them and I’m thankful I was able to come up for the evening. Happy birthday, Chris!

SATURDAY

On Saturday afternoon, Paul and I started searching for our first apartment together. Imsoexcited. We had been doing tons of online research and decided it was finally time to hit the pavement and go see some of our top choices in person. It didn’t take long to decide on a couple factors that were important to us and we narrowed down our list further. It was tedious to travel around and visit different complexes, but exhilarating all the same! I am beyond ready to move out of my parents house and am thrilled it is finally happening. {That’s not to knock my parents, but I feel old and pathetic living at home}

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Does anyone remember my two New Year’s Resolutions I made in January? No? They were to not buy any body wash and use up my massive stockpile {still holding true to that one} and to move out. Cheers to a successful 2014 to me!

Following our whirlwind tour around town, we got ready for the wedding between my dear friend Meagan and her new husband, Cooper. They had a sweet wedding held at a charming venue out in the country.

paul kristi wedding

Sharing a smile with the bride and groom :)

Sharing a smile with the bride and groom :)

Doesn’t Meagan look beautiful? Such a stunning bride she made!

We sadly had to leave the wedding early, which is something I prefer not to do. The reason was because I had to wake up before 5 AM the morning to get ready for a race! Busy busy busy!

SUNDAY

Right on time, my alarm went off early in the morning. I got ready and we started our drive to Atlanta. When we were down the road about 7 minutes I realized that I forgot my race number. Big problem!!! Luckily, we had enough time to turn around so I could run in and retrieve my missing number. Phew!

Also, big shout out to Paul for waking up early and coming to the race to cheer me on! He’s the best.

Shortly before the race began, I met up with my friends Coty and Jade so we could run together. I still say some of the best friends a girl can have are running friends! Fundamentally, you will have a drive that most people simply do not possess. {Some people may call it a craziness…} Not to mention lots of time to just chat while you are training! Love it.

We started the race knowing all too well that it is probably the hilliest course we have run to date. It was a pretty intimidating course! With that in mind, we set a loose goal of “finishing under 1:45 would be nice. But really I just don’t want to die and stay strong.”

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I am proud to announce that we finished in 1:44. For 10 miles, that is a 10:21 pace, which I consider a win for how insanely hilly the course was! For those of you familiar with Atlanta, it included the infamous “Cardiac Hill” in it’s entirety.

10 miler medals

We also received our Triple Peach medals at this race! To be a “Triple Peacher” you must complete the Peachtree Road Race, Atlanta 10 Miler, and Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving day in the same year. Coty and I both earned this honor last year as well as this year! Double Triple Peachers! You get the magnetic piece to complete the medal on Thanksgiving after you complete the half!

ATC Recovery KitEach runner was also gifted these awesome “Fitful Recovery” snack boxes courtesy of the Atlanta Track Club! I couldn’t eat right after the run, but a little while later I started snacking on the goodness!

Following a long shower, brunch at Cracker Barrel {where I inhaled my food}, and some more apartment hunting, we headed back out to Paul’s house to get ready for our second wedding of the weekend!

This wedding was between Paul’s friend Omar and his now-bride Jennifer. Their nighttime wedding gave a whole new meaning to the word elegant. I was completely blown away by this classy wedding!

wedding

Candy bar

At this wedding, the bride and groom recited handwritten vows to each other. Every guest had teared up, including myself. The love between these two was so apparent.

They also had a candy bar… totally up my alley!! I thought it was so appropriate considering it was held the weekend before Halloween. {Don’t mind my awkward right arm trying to keep hold of my clutch slipping out from under my grip} I think even without the picture, you would know that I absolutely took part in that!

WEEKEND OVER.

And that was my weekend! A crazy beautiful mess and perfect example of what dreams are made of. Love, passion, and the journey in between.

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  • Have you ever been to two weddings in the same weekend?
  • Do you enjoy searching for a place to live or dread it? Please share!

Is This “Real Life?”

Well, hello there!

As you may have noticed, I’ve been MIA now for quite some time.

I started my new job three weeks ago and am loving it! It is definitely taking some adjusting though getting my life into a new routine. Here are some of the changes:

  • Working 8-5:30 leaves little time to do much else (obvious, I know)
  • I’m having to wake up around 4:30-5 am to do my running and BodyPump in the morning. I could exercise after work, but I know myself… and I know that after work all I want to do is eat dinner and walk Teddy. So the chances of me working out at that time are pretty slim. Since I highly value exercise, I make time for it before I head out for work with all the other crazies!
  • Less time with my pets. This one makes me sad because I don’t ever want my beloved animals to feel like I don’t love them… that couldn’t be further from the truth!
  • Less time with Paul. We now both have full time jobs, which is AWESOME! But we have found out that we need to actually schedule time to see each other or it won’t happen.
  • I find myself being too exhausted to blog when I do have some minimal free time. Which is a shame because it’s something that I enjoy. I have all of these posts that I want to write {Garth Brooks concert recap, an oatmeal pumpkin spice cookie recipe that I came up with, a “pupdate”, our trip to the fair, etc} and I have yet to even download the pictures….
  • Simple errands take some major planning. Things like going to the grocery store and bank that used to be easy are now a huge hassle. There is only one hour a week that my bank is open and I am not working. So if I need to go, that’s my only chance for the week!

There’s a little glimpse into how my life has changed this fall. Different is not necessarily a bad thing and once I make these changes a habit, it’ll be all good :) In the meantime, I will try my best to write some more on here! I value each and every one of my readers {thank you!} and haven’t forgotten about you!

Have a great night!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Has your life changed drastically lately? How so?
  • Are you able to workout after work? Or do you prefer early like me?