Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Week Plans

I know Thanksgiving is still 4 weeks away but as I've mentioned on here before, Peter will be home that week and it can't come soon enough. The last time I saw him was Labor Day weekend - this is the longest we've gone without seeing each other. Luckily there has been plenty of just saying hi phone calls and I can't wait to see you texts. To be honest I wasn't exactly sure we would do long distance since we had never done it before but it's going well as it can I think! I miss him like crazy and I can't think about him  still being there until next summer but we are making it work. One perk of it is that our time together is very well spent. Recently we've been planning out what to do while he is home for Thanksgiving!

+ Not surprisingly, a lot of wine bottles will be opened. We've made it a goal to have at least 5 of the wines in our collection. Yes wine goals are real things.

+ We'd also like to make a delicious meal to go with one of the wines. We've both been working on our cooking skills these past few months so I know it's going to be good. 

+ We have a lot of favorite restaurants around here. We're hoping to go to our crepe place for breakfast, Thai place for lunch and French place for dinner sometime throughout the week. 

+ We also have some favorite movies we like to watch around that time of year, Sleepy Hollow and In Bruges. We'll see how many episodes of Gilmore Girls I can get him to watch because I think I should on Season 5 by then...

+ We'll be going on a lot of neighborhood walks. One because I'll be watching Zoey for a few days while Sarah and Ryan go visit his parents and two because we like our neighborhood strolls. We've had some good talks on those walks.

+ On Thanksgiving we're going to enjoy hanging out with his family and eating a delicious meal. Peter's family loves their holidays and I know they've all missed Peter while he's been away. 

This is just what I've been able to come up with so far. I'm sure we'll be adding some fun things to this. I'm so glad that I took the week off from work so I don't have to waste any time working while he's home! 23 days to go :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

eShakti Review

This is my first blog review! I'm sure most of you have seen reviews for eShakti clothing around blogland by now. I was really excited when I got an email from the eShakti team asking if I would like to chance to review an item of my choice. 

Disclaimer: While I was provided an item of my choice in exchange for this review, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

eShakti is an online clothing company that sells women's fashion apparel in sizes 0-36W and offers custom clothing. As I've transitioned my wardrobe into more professional clothes, it's been nice to find stores that offer plenty of options. With the holidays coming up as well, I wanted to choose something that I could wear to work and for a special occasion. I love dresses, especially fit and flare ones, so I went with the Red Hot Colorblock Dress

I didn't choose to do the custom sizing and went with my typical dress size. I submitted my order and then promptly got wrapped in life and forgot about it until it showed up on my doorstep. I think it only took about a week and a half to be delivered though. 

I quickly opened the box to try it on. I loved the colors - red and navy blue. It looked just like it did on their website. 

For the most part, it fit great! The only problem was that since it was cotton, it was a bit tight in my chest. I couldn't quite lift my arms all the way up.

This is what I like doing in dresses with pockets!

It's not often that I really need to be doing intense stretches in a dress so I was still looking forward to wearing it. I decided to wear it to my birthday dinner with Peter's family. All I had to do was sit a table, eat delicious food and drink yummy wine - nothing that involved me doing the YMCA. 

I'll definitely be wearing this dress again and I want to thank eShakti for the opportunity to review one of their products!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Training For Tuesday {Round 2}

Confession: I enjoy reading blogs and commenting more than writing my own. I just get worried that what I'm writing about isn't that interesting or good. I know I leave out words when I write sometimes and grammar isn't my #1 skill. But what keeps me coming back is you all - when you comment with insight, kind words, funny stories. I love the connections/friendships I've made through this blog and I so appreciate you spending time reading about my dogs, niece, running and going to bed at 8pm. There are plenty of blogs with more glamorous postings than mine but I'm proud of the life I lead and that's all that should matter to me. Sometimes I fall down into the black hole that is social media and have to remind myself that life is not a competition. 

And with that off my chest, now on to the point of this post - linking up with Tracy and Alyssa for Training For Tuesday! In last month's post, I wrote about the first few weeks of my half marathon training so I thought I would give an update now that I'm on Week 7 and have 5 weeks to go.

+ As of yesterday, I've run 70 miles so far. My average pace has been 9:30. My fastest mile so far is 8:40!

+ The weather has been really great so far. I think there's only been a handful of days that were either pretty hot or pretty cold. I love that I can sleep in until 8am on Saturday, eat and go running at 9am and still have great weather.

+ I've been slacking on running before work. But it's just SO dark at 5:30am. I'm not trying to get kidnapped here. I'm hoping once day lights savings comes, it'll be a little lighter and more doable because I really like getting my run in before my day has even started.

+ I took most of Week 6 off. My left hamstring started to bother me about 2 weeks ago but of course I kept running thinking that it would go away…#runnerlogic. It didn't go away and then my quad started bothering me too. I sit a lot at work so I'm sure that wasn't helping either. Finally after my uncomfortable 7 mile long run I realized I should take it easy for a few days. I did a lot of yoga, foam rolling and icing. I looked up stretches my hamstrings and have now incorporated them into my post run stretches. I was able to do 6 miles on Saturday so luckily I think I'm on the mend!

+ Most of my runs I do by myself but occasionally Ryan (Peter's brother-in-law / one of my roommates) will run with me. He's been running since the summer but only goes up to 3-4 miles. He say it's "boring" and only does it for the workout. Yesterday on our run, I was trying yet again to explain how running is awesome and that maybe if he went longer, he would enjoy it more. There's something about waking up during the sunrise and getting 10 miles in. He said then he would do a half marathon if I did a mud run. I'm off to find a local mud run…

+ I'm still working on raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of Team Momentum. I'm about $200 away from goal. I've put my link up on social media a few times but that's been about it. Feel free to share to any fundraising tips in the comments!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birthday Celebration(s)!

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated multiple times right? Especially when it's on a Monday. I texted Peter a few days ago and thanked him for always letting me drag out my birthday to which he responded with "Of course it should at least be a week long!" That's my guy :)

By the time I got home from work, I was more than ready to start the weekend. Sarah, Ryan and I had pumpkins to carve from our farm visit so we set up outside on the patio to enjoy the nice weather and create our masterpieces. Ta da!

My pumpkin's transformation!
The rest of the night I watched Gilmore Girls and went to bed early (anyone surprised?).

I decided to wake up early to get my long run in. There was a 5k going on in my neighborhood that morning and while it would have been fun to run, I didn't really want to pay $30 to run on roads I do every day. I got treated with this lovely view for half of my 7 miles and it made me so so thankful to be able to run. It wasn't because my time or distance but because the weather was perfect, the leaves were sparkling red/orange/gold and I got to simply enjoy something I love. 

I'm great at matching...
I watched about 6 hours of Gilmore Girls after this. (again, is anyone surprised?). Around 4pm, I finally got up from my mold in the couch to get ready for my birthday dinner with Peter's family. Recently I got contacted by eShakti to review a dress and decided to wear it out that night. Review post coming soon! Peter's little sister Chrissy had Homecoming that night so she wasn't able to come but we still got to snap some fancy pictures!

Sarah, me and Chrissy!
We went to a delicious Italian restaurant and had bread, pasta, and wine. My kind of dinner. I got to open my first gifts. Sarah and Ryan got me a fleur de lis necklace and smores maker. Peter's parents gave me some spending money and Peter and I already have plans to hit up some outlets when he is home! Sometimes I remember that not all girlfriends are this close with their boyfriend's family (aka living with his sister and brother-in-law) and it makes me feel very lucky that we all get along so well and they want to take me out to dinner for my birthday even if Peter isn't here! 

Bouquet made by Peter's mom!

We got home around 8:30 and I promptly changed into pjs. Since I had started opening gifts, I decided to open up the package from my favorite Minnesotan Erin!She knows me SO well :)

Sunday - Birthday Eve
I thought I would sleep in but by 8AM I had already gotten 10 hours of sleep so I woke up wide awake. I decided to get to Trader Joe's early before the crowds picked over all the good stuff. I had to stop by another grocery store because I needed some spices and it just so happened that my favorite bagel place was in the same shopping center. I got my favorite combo - everything bagel with cream cheese. Perfect birthday eve breakfast.

In the afternoon I made my lunch for the week. If you like sweet potatoes, quinoa and chili, you need to make this! It was super easy and didn't take long, about an hour all together with prep and cook time. With the cooler temperatures weather this week, I've been looking forward to it each day. Yum!

Around 7 that night, I finally called Peter so I could open his birthday presents to me! I was gone for most of my birthday (coming below) and I wanted to make sure he was at least there via voice while I opened them. He's been getting me gifts for 7 years now and he always does a GREAT job. His thoughtfulness still blows my mind sometimes. He's never gotten me a gift just to check off the occasion. I so so wish he could have been there in person but it will just make next birthday when he is that much better! 

He got me this amazingly cute dress and a WeWood watch. He told me that a lot of the german people he works with wear one and he thought it was cool and different and now I'll fit right in when we go to Germany. I loved it! It's a little big so I just need to go to the mall to get a link or two taken out and then I'll wear it all the time. He also got me a small Berlin tote bag and sent back a book for me to read. I have the best guy!

Monday - Birthday!
I woke up and went to work. I didn't really think about taking the day off mainly because I want to save my leave for when Peter is home and trips to see him. A few of my close work friends remembered that it was my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. There are about 60 people on our team and I got a card signed by most of them. I wasn't expecting everyone to remember and I usually didn't bring it up. 

Once I got off work, it was time for the true birthday celebration. I went to see the US Women's Soccer team play one of their world cup qualifying games that night! I've been dying to see them for many years now but their games and my schedule never seemed to link up. When they came to my hometown ON my birthday, luckily Julie knew we couldn't pass up that kind of opportunity and got us tickets. Our friend Ellie and Cassy also came and we had a great time! I had stadium food and our seats were only a few rows from the field. USA beat Haiti 6 to 0 and have moved on to the semi-finals. I miss playing soccer and watching games always make me miss it more.

Celebrating a goal!

The birthday celebrations aren't quite over yet! Today I'm going out to lunch with my boss and our smaller team to celebrate. On Thursday my co-worker/friend is taking me to my favorite Thai place. Finally, on Saturday my mom and step-dad are taking my twin and I out to dinner. I'm lucky to have a lot of people who want to feed me and help me celebrate my birthday :)

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and birthday wishes on Monday!! I really appreciated it and it made me feel extra extra special :) Shout out to Kayla who wished me a happy birthday at least 5 different ways - text, snap chat, email etc!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Happen at 23!

Today I turn 24! At 11:12pm. Kiefer will be 24 11 minutes before me. After 8 months together in the womb, I wasn't about to leave so soon once I got the place all to myself :P

I thought it would be fun to recap some big things that happened in my 23rd year of life. Luckily this blog of mine helps me remember!

October 2013
At my birthday last year, I was a month into my Invisalign journey. I was still getting used to brushing my teeth all the time and I was self conscious about taking my aligners out in front of people. Now I'm 2 weeks away from being done and I'm thrilled with my smile! My first good investment :).

November 2013
I signed up for what was supposed to be my first marathon. Thank goodness I ended up switching to the half because that day it rained, sleeted then snowed. I was glad to get out of it after 13 miles!

December 2013
I got to hang out with my boomies! Julie was home from school and Kelly was in town visiting her boyfriend. We went to Peter's winery and then went to meet Kelly's kitten Griffin! It was the best night. I'm sad I've only seen them both together one other time since then. I miss 4100H!

March 2014
I hopped on a plane to go stay at someone's house for the weekend that I had never met before. Luckily that someone was the wonderful Kayla and we were able to have our first blate!! Thankfully her equally awesome sister-in-law Erin also lives in the same city and it was like 2 blates in 1! It was the greatest weekend and felt like we were all just old friends, hanging out and catching up. I can't wait to go back! I see Mexican food, dance parties and trips to Jungle Jims in our future again. And maybe even a 5k?! :)

April 2014
I ran my 4th half marathon with three of my favorite people! Julie, Kelly, Ellie and I went to bed early on a  Friday night and woke up at the crack down on Saturday. There was great weather and scenery! I love running races with friends!

May 2014
My family headed down to the beach for a few days for my older brother's wedding! It was a wonderful ceremony, tears were shed and big smiles for both families! It was also a good excuse for a small vacation and extra family time. 

July 2014
At the end of this month, Peter moved 700 miles away to Chicago. Well I was very sad to see him go, I knew this was a great opportunity for him and I could support him! While I miss him every day, it's fun to have an excuse for extra phone calls, sweet texts and to fill the time together with a million fun activities!

August 2014
One of my best friends got married and I got to stand by her side! Julie and Joe had such a fun wedding and I was so happy to help them celebrate!! It was very surreal to see it all happened. I remember when she first started talking about him, fretting about outfits for dates and hearing about when he officially asked her out. Then when he told Kelly and I two weeks before he was going to propose and then getting the phone call! Weddings are such a happy occasion!

September 2014
I may have mentioned her a time or two on this blog but my niece came last month :P. When I finally got to see her in person, I couldn't believe how tiny and perfect she was. Babies are the cutest! Especially when you get to be the cool Aunt, buy her all the cute clothes and hand her back over to the parents when she gets a little crabby! It's the best.

Phew what a year it's been! I can't wait to see what 24 has in store. Tonight I will be going to see the US Women's Soccer team play their world cup qualifier game with friends! I'll have a full recap of my pre-birthday weekend and birthday celebrations on Wednesday!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Randoms

I thought Wednesday was Friday so I'm glad it is finally here. My work days have felt long this week and I'm glad for a two day break. Plus it's the start of my birthday celebrations! I wait all year for it and then get sad that's it over so I try to draw out the celebrations for as long as possible…. 

For today I just have a few random things to tell you from my week!

+ My birthday gifts from Peter arrived on Tuesday and I can't wait to open them! Though it's going to be really weird to open without him. I told him I may just wait until he's home for Thanksgiving and he said he didn't want to wait that long to see if I liked them or not haha. I already know I will love them!

+ I had my first hill workout on Wednesday and it felt good. Hills usually intimidate me but I figured getting more practice on them will just make me feel better when I see them in a race.

+ Did you hear Friends is coming to Netflix in January?! Thank you Netflix Gods for that and Gilmore Girls. My life is pretty complete.

+ I've been thinking about marathons a lot. I want to do one but I'm also scared to start training for one again. I don't want to get injured and have to miss it. But I really want to experience one. I don't know which one to do or when to do it. I don't really want to do it alone because that's such a far distance. I'd like to do a smaller one, a couple of thousand runners instead of tens of thousands of runners. Lots of marathon thoughts.

+ eShakti contacted me a few weeks ago to do a review. My first! My dress arrived this week so look for my review next week! The dress is adorable and it fits for the most part except in the chest. Details to come.

+ Yesterday after work my mom and I met at Target so I could help her print pictures of Baby Sophia. Of course we had to stop by the baby clothes just to look. It was a quick errand but I'll take any excuse to hang out with my momma :)
I love getting pictures of her!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 14th Pasts

I'm sure by now you've all heard of the app TimeHop. Leslie first told me about it a few months ago. I linked my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to it and it's been really fun to see what I've been up to each day in years past. I thought I would share what I was posting about on October 14th because there's been some exciting things!

1 year ago:

I had the day off because of the government shutdown and Peter had the day off from the winery. It was the first day we both had off since our Cape Cod vacation back in August. We got to do a whole bunch of fun things together like a trip to the record and carving pumpkins and it made not getting paid that day okay. I wrote about it here

2 years ago:

iPod touch quality...
My mom and step-dad got married! They had a very small wedding with 7 guests at a small inn in the middle of the Shenandoah mountains. It was a Sunday and I drove about 2 1/2 hours from Tech to be there for the ceremony and small reception. My mom had been married twice before and she finally found her person. To this day, they are still adorably in love and I'm so glad my mom has someone who will make sure she's taken care of for the rest of her life. Eases this daughter's mind :)

3 years ago:

My brother found out that he would be stationed in Chicago. I feel like that finally made him being in the Navy real. While in Chicago, he's gotten married, gained a step-son and had a daughter! He's been promoted, made new friends, played lots of bike polo and Kiefer and I visited him last summer. We're all hoping that he'll get stationed back home though soon. It's funny to think that 3 years later, Peter is out there too!

7 years ago:

Hopefully you all don't think I'm terribly weird when you hear this story and if not, we will be great friends!

Some back story. In our junior year of high school, Julie and I both took AP History. I'm really bad at history but I heard you could get college credit for it so I gave it a shot. Our teacher told us that our textbook would become our new best friend and we had to treat it as such. Julie and I took that pretty literally. The author of the book was Alan Brinkley so we shorten it to Brinkley. We always talked about it as if it was a person and made up adventures we had with him. 

One day we got the idea to dress him up and take our homecoming pictures with him like he was coming. And so we did - top right and bottom right. At school the Monday afterwards we showed our teacher and I think he thought we were the weirdest students ever but was also really impressed. And we continued to be like that the entire year and still got our college credit! Brinkley will always have a special place in mine and Julie's hearts :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Weekend!

This weekend was all Fall and I loved every second of it!

+ Saturday morning I got in my long run of 6 miles. It was 50 degrees and sprinkling. I don't really mind running in the rain though so I enjoyed it. I'll take rain over heat any day.
The fall leaves looked so vibrant too!

+ Saturday afternoon I went to an Oktoberfest celebration with my friend Ellie. We had beer samples, chili, a soft pretzel, donuts, soup and bratwurst! I can't wait to go to Germany and eat their food. I know I'll love it. There was a group of alpine dancers for entertainment. They would perform a few dances and then grab some people from the crowd to teach them. One of the little old men made me come up to dance with them! I have two left feet and I kept telling them I had no idea what I was doing. It was still fun and my friend Ellie snapped a few pictures.

+ Sunday morning Peter's family and I went to a local farm for its fall festival. It is super popular around here. We got there 15 minutes after it opened and there was already hundreds of people, kids and strollers everywhere. I used to go all the time as a little kid and it was fun to re-live some of the memories. We got kettle corn, went on the hayride, launched some pumpkins and saw all the farm animals.

+ Sunday afternoon Sarah, Chrissy and I decorated mini red velvet cupcakes with halloween things. We did this last year and it's become a fun tradition! We then watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and Sleepy Hollow.

I love this season and all the activities there is to do! I just wish Peter was here to enjoy it with us.

My birthday is next Monday and I'm looking forward to a lot of fun celebrations this weekend and next! I splurged and got myself new running shoes for it :) I tried on a few different pairs but still went my Brooks Ghost! Love the blue.