Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday drinking.

In this household of beer, we typically do not make too many mixed drinks.  We don't keep a constant supply of spirits.  We have a wide variety of beer and a stocked "beer fridge."  This means I stick to easily pulling a beer of and popping the cap.  I can even pour it in one of our many fancy beer glasses if I'm feeling exciting.  Over the summer, I really wanted to make a homemade sangria.  That never happened.  I'm thinking what better way to cozy up and really make the holidays special than by making a few holiday/winter cocktails.

Now this recipe is a little more high-tech for my unprofessional cocktailing (read: fresh vanilla bean and nutmeg), but I know it's something D would die over.

This Winter White Sangria may allow me to finally fulfill my homemade sangria goal!  I love any new way to use a pomegrante as well.

Also a bit more complicated, Hot Buttered Rum.  You can make the spice "batter" in advance and use for a bit though. 

Now this seems super easy and right down my alley.  Real Simple calls it a Bourbon and Blood Orange Blast.  All you need is bourbon and blood orange juice (um, where can I find that??).

D and I do eggnog every year.  This Martha Stewart recipe is for homemade eggnog, but I think we'll stick to store-bought with rum/bourbon.  Believe it or not, I've tried my hand at eggnog and it didn't go over well.  Once the eggnog is purchased, I know it's holiday time!  Some of my favorite holiday memories involve eggnog, Christmas tree cakes, and Home Alone with D. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We're almost to Friday!

This has been the longest week ever too.  But that's ok...I've been coping with alcohol :)  And next week is Thanksgiving (where has the time gone?!).

Today I'm over at Lacey's blog: Lacey in the City.  I'm talking about why I love mine and D's elopement and would never exchange that for a "real" wedding.

Happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For your viewing pleasure.

Pictures of a girl who looks like she walked an entire half marathon.

 [Scary that both feet are so close to the ground here...I was booking it to the finish!]

 [I swear I'm not walking]

 [Hmm...pick my feet up more = run faster?]

 [Um, why do I look so tired at only mile 5 or something??]

[Note to self: Be mindful of photographers.  To my credit, I was too tired to think about anything once I crossed that finish line]

Monday, November 14, 2011

What do I write about now??

In an effort to not bore you non-runners with more running talk, I posted over at Little Girls Running about my upcoming race plan.  I can't promise I won't talk about running on here less (because let's face it, this better become a lifestyle change), but I'll try to put the majority of running posts on the running blog.

I can't thank you all enough for all of your advice, encouragement, and congrats!  It really means the world to me!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Official results are in.

Right on par with Garmin but still don't understand the distance difference. So proud nonetheless!

-BlogPress post

13.1 done!

It was truly an amazing experience to run a half marathon.  I can not really begin to describe the emotions I was feeling.  I have worked so hard for this moment.  I decided back in March that I was going to run the OBX, but I could barely run two miles.  I figured I had enough time, so I started Couch to10k then worked a 16-week half training plan.  After basically going from a beginning runner to a half marathoner, this has been an amazing experience. 

I was lucky enough to have a school holiday for Veterans Day, so we headed to the Outer Banks on Friday.  We hit up the Race Expo Friday night and picked up my bib and gear.  I was planning to buy a running belt there, but luckily my race swag included a small running belt just big enough to hold my phone, inhaler, and chapstick.  We spent Friday exploring some of the Outer Banks (pictures to come, just have to upload them from my phone).

Saturday was a pretty wonderful day where we explored more of OBX.  I honestly didn't carb load too much because we ended up a more of a seafood restaurant.  I just stayed away from most fried foods and drink little beer + lots of water.  I really appreciated everyone's encouragement throughout this whole process as well!  My dad sent me a text that especially made me laugh:

This morning I woke up and was a bit scared by the weather forecast:

Cloudy + windy did not seem in my favor.  Let me tell you though, I couldn't ask for better race weather!  It wasn't cloudy at all.  With the sunny blazing, the wind was the perfect cooling factor!  I appreciate everyone's apparel advice!  I forgot to bring any long-sleeve item (and am too cheap to buy something to just throw away), so I went with the capris and short sleeves.  I ended up being pretty happy with that.

[This is it. Don't get scared now]

I didn't love waiting in a bunch of people alone, but I think it was because I had so many emotions going on before starting.  I almost broke down in tears just waiting there.  I just kept thinking about all of my hard work.  This is probably the hardest I've worked for something in my life.  

I didn't take any pictures during the race just because it was too annoying to deal with slipping my phone in and out of the belt.  Plus, I was on a mission that didn't involve pictures.  It is a shame though because it is a gorgeous run.  Nonetheless, here are my splits:

 I'm really happy with 2:42 as my unofficial time for my first half.  I'm quite interested in my official time seeing as Garmin clocked me at 13.21 miles.  What the...?  I obviously started too fast.  I think I could have kept up the 11:30-40 pace had I not gotten a nasty blister around mile 8.  It may have benefited me to stop and bandage it at an aid station.  It messed with my mental game and hurt like hell.  That combined with hiking up this bridge:

[That is daunting from a car, imagine as a runner!]
Right after coming off the bridge (about mile 10), my left calf cramped up.  I had to take a break to stretch and tried to walk it off.  D captured this picture as he passed me:

D says I was definitely running.  I was probably also in pain.  Those last two miles felt like the longest of my life.  I had to walk again during mile 11 because my right calf got a cramp.  I walked it out until 12.1 and gave it my all the last mile.  I kept with my motto, "I don't quit when I'm tired; I quit when I'm [fucking] done!"  I definitely chanted that quite a few times.

 [I was seriously working so hard to get to that finish line. Those feet look like they're actually running!] 

[That is the face of someone working hard!]

I couldn't find D on the sidelines after I crossed, so I was busy looking for him.  I'm super surprised I didn't cry.  I think I was too tired to do anything.

I was feeling too exhausted/sore/sick for about an hour and a half after to really even take it all in.  I still can't believe I did it.  I walked through water stations and a bit more through the cramps, but overall, I couldn't be more happy with my performance.  The farthest I ran in training was 10 miles.  

 [The face of a girl who battled and won against 13.1 - kissing the medal]

When I crossed the finish line, I thought, "I don't know if I ever want to go through this again."  About two hours later, D asked me, "Will you do another one?"  I responded, "Of course; I have a time to beat!"  

I am so grateful to D for coming along with me, paying for meals, getting up early to drop me off, battling traffic/racing the clock to watch me finish (guess it's a good thing I'm as slow as I am??), and of course for his amazing support along this journey.  I definitely owe my family and friends a thanks for their encouragement (and KayD who texted me super early at 6:25am!!). Thank you as well to all my readers, tweeters, etc. who gave their support and encouragement and put up with numerous running tweets.  I feel grateful to have so much support along the way! 

I'm not running to the computer to sign up for another race just yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to see where this running journey takes me next!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do you think?

Here is the weather forecast for the OBX half on Sunday:

Should I wear capris and a short sleeve shirt or shorts and a short sleeve shirt? The race will be at 7am so it could definitely start in the 50s. The capris are not completely fitted and are looser on the bottom.

Thanks! As always I appreciate your advice. And even more thanks to those of you who told me you voted for me! If you haven't, vote here:
The person in the lead has 400-something votes already!

Have a great weekend lovelies!

-BlogPress post

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I have a plea.

Would you guys please help me by taking just a minute to vote for me?

I submitted a teaching idea I use in my classroom to We Are Teachers to win a classroom grant. 5 teachers can win, but the winners are based on voting. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone would help me out and vote for me! I promise it takes just a minute!

As for the prize, I could win a Flip video camera and $200 for my classroom. Since special education is already underfunded (as is my specialized classroom), it would really benefit my students!

As for voting, just follow this link:
A voting box should come up, and if not click vote for me on the left side!

Thanks for your help and I promise to give you more interesting content next week after I finish my first half marathon!!

-BlogPress post

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Closet Craving :: Fall/Winter necessities + Giveaway?

It’s been quite a while since I did a closet craving post.  I’ve already picked up a couple necessities I wanted for super cheap (which is amazing for me to find sales at the beginning of the season).  There are just a couple of other pieces I’m certainly coveting for the season though.  I have some dependable brown and black boots and some good sweaters.

Over-the-knee socks 

I want some over-the-knee socks to wear with boots this winter.  I'd prefer gray along with a few other standard colors.  What better way to stay extra warm?!  Where can I find these for cheap?!

Checkered/Gingham shirt

 [J Crew Perfect Shirt in Gingham $72]

I refuse to spend the prices ole J Crew wants for theirs (you've got to be kidding me that a button down cotton shirt should EVER cost $72??)  This would be perfect for layering with sweaters this winter.  I've been coveting a shirt like this for a while.

Another pair of “jeggings” 

I got a cheap pair from Target last year and I basically live in them.  They are super comfy and surprisingly don’t stretch out like my regular jeans.  They are the best for pairing with tall boots.  I tried on a clearance pair at Gap recently, and they were awful.  No butt pockets – no buy.

Colored tights

I have a plum/purple pair, but I’m vying for navy and maybe mustard.  Plus I want to wear skirts a bit more to work in the winter.

A chunky knit

I'm thinking a chunky scarf especially, but I'll settle for a chunky knit sweater too!

A cover for my iPhone - Speck or Kate Spade

I'm trying to decide between both of these.  My Speck case held up wonderfully with my iPhone 3, so I'm confident in the brand.  I wish I knew how hard/tough the Kate Spade case actually was.  I am excited to have a bright case since my last one was boring black.

Now here is where the “giveaway” comes in.  Maybe I tricked you a bit because technically I don’t have a giveaway yet.  I’ve been planning to do one for quite a while, but I wanted to hit 100 followers first.  Help me hit one hundred followers by following through Google Friend Connect, and I’ll present my giveaway.  I’m hoping to be able to do the giveaway in December, so I’m planning to make it festive!  I won’t reveal everything I’m planning to giveaway (primarily because I haven’t determined it all yet) but think stocking stuffer items, my favorite things, and even a donation to a charity of your choice!  Spread the word and help me hit 100!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Half marathon freak-outs.

It's coming.  The half marathon is Sunday.  I've got some things under my belt that are freaking me out just a bit.

1.  My sickness that is still lingering a bit.  It caused me to miss a good bit of my training.

2.  The weather forecast is predicting a high of 60 degrees.  It typically doesn't reach the high until around 2.  I'll be running at 7 or 8 in the morning.  I wouldn't be too worried if it wasn't for my first running failure two weekends ago in which cold weather was against me.

3.  My knees.  They've been feeling a little weak and sore for these last two weeks...and that's only running shorter distances.

4.  My sickness.  It's still be lingering, and my breathing has still been difficult.

5.  My pace has slowed.  While I know the treadmill isn't the best place to gauge my pace, I can tell I'm slower than I was pre-sickness.

6.  My last runs have been on the treadmill.  I really don't like this, but with the the cold lingering and the weather remaining chilly, I couldn't risk my sickness worsening.

While I am feeling my nerves getting to me, I'm keeping my eye on the prize.  Finishing.

[What?!  I want a Tiffany necklace for finishing!]
I will finish.  I can see it in my mind.  I've given up any notion of having a time goal.  My standard race goal will remain: don't walk.  I know I can do this.  I know it will be hard.  Nonetheless, I will do this.

Source: via Kaelyn on Pinterest

I've worked too hard to fail.  It is not an option; it never was.  I can overcome these obstacles.  My body is ready for this.  What percentage of running is mental?  I think I've got the mental part down.

I'm pretty sure, this is going to be my mantra.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last month I wrote about figuring out my true passion in life.  I was still baffled about how to pursue my passion without a trust fund or being completely broke.  I was inspired by Stephanie over at Big Mario Life to think a little deeper about my passion.  The idea didn't hit me until this weekend.

Many website recommend taking a "skill" you have and running with that.  Common skills that are easy to travel with are hair cutting and web design.  With two degrees in social work, I don't have many useful skills to travel with.  But wait!  What do I enjoy?  Traveling, yes.  I also enjoy working with children.  While leaving my D and my animal family for a year+ to teach abroad is not realistic, there is another benefit to being a teacher.  I have my summers off.  Would there be anything wrong with finding a 4-8 week summer school program?  There are lots of international teaching programs that pay.  I would also continue to be paid my teaching salary in those off summer months.  Bingo!  Travel+teaching+getting paid.  I think I've discovered a plan. 

I'm doing a bit of research, and I don't anticipate that I would be able to make this a reality within the 2012 year.  Since I'm boring you with lots of words and no pictures, I'll bring this to a close.  Give me your advice though!  Help me make this happen!

Do you know anyone who has taught (not volunteered, although that may be an option I could/would pursue in the future) abroad?

Have you heard of any successful programs for short-term teaching abroad?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just popping in.

With some snippets of what felt like a marathon week. At least I'm almost not sick anymore.

Halloween bingo at school. Yep, gotta take the easy routes when I can. My students always need "social skills" games.

For real, $4 neon running shirt from Target. Thank you pay day, and I hope to rock this at the half (next Sunday!!), so D won't miss me from the sidelines.

Chilling with KayD and her new baby!

Sort of freaking about my lack of training for the second 8 weeks. I have done every day this week.

Getting the worst set(s) of letters ever in Words with Friends. Really?! But surprisingly, I pulled out a win!

Loving my new Warby Parker specs! And thanks to all who made sweet comments about them! It makes me love them even more.

And finally, this is the collateral damage of a student meltdown today. Seriously.

I'm celebrating the end to this week by dreaming of our upcoming trip to the Bahamas that D booked, relaxing tonight with D, and keeping up with the remainder of training. Next week is a 4 day, short week, so we're on the up and up already!

-BlogPress post


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