Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Which Food Must Go?

Hi Everyone!  Happy Tuesday.  Today I have a fun blog post idea that came from strengthandsunshine.

It's a survey where you have to choose which of the foods in each group you would be willing to give up.  Some of these were really simple for me to choose, and some were nearly impossible.  Pick a few of the categories and tell me what you would pick in the comments, or make it into a blog post! 


Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30- Weekly Goals

Welcome to another week, the last of March!  The year is already a quarter of the way over (I work in a bank so I'm all about the quarters!)  and on Wednesday I'll be doing my first monthly goal wrap-up!  Does anyone else love the end of one month and the beginning of another?  I know I do!
Today, I'll be doing another weekly goals.  This week should be very relaxed and not busy at all, thank goodness.  I'm looking forward to going to all my normal gym classes and seeing my favorite instructors!  I also have my first race of the year.  Here is my plan for the week:


3.5 miles




Group Centergy
C25K : 5 minute warmup, 28 minute run

Speed workout : 1 mile warmup, 6 x 400 @ 1:45, 400 m jog between
1 mile cool down - Total of 5 miles


Group Power
C25K : 5 minute warmup, 28 minute run


Spin class


PHenomenal Hope 5K Race
A Goal- 23:00 (7:24 pace)
B Goal- 25:00 (8:03)
C Goal- 27:00 (8:41)


Rest day!!




It's going to be a busy week with my first race of the year on Saturday!  I'm really excited to see what kind of shape I'm in, and it should be a fun race.

I hope everyone has a great week!  What are your plans for the final week of March?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Half Marathon Training- Week 2 Recap

It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be


Thank goodness that the second week of training was a little less busy.  I had plenty of time to get my workouts in, even if I had to rearrange a bit.  It was Dan's birthday, so I had to move some classes to go out to dinner (which was great!) and we're also currently visiting his family in Boiling Springs, PA.



(note, I'm not affiliated in ANY way with the Biggest Loser or with the Run/Walk.  I just wanted to make it clear what I'm training for in a fun way!)

Here was my training plan for the week:



To remind you, I'm using Hal Higdon's half marathon intermediate plan as a base, but adjusting it to fit my schedule.  I'm also helping Dan train for a 5K using the Couch to 5K plan.

Here's how my week went:

Monday

3 miles / 28:00 / 9:20 pace
I had a dentist appointment, so I had to run on the treadmill at the gym.  Not a particularly good or bad workout, but nice and easy.

Tuesday

Rise and Shine Yoga video
Dan and I went to dinner for his birthday during my Centergy class, so I ended up doing this video and some sun salutations before work.  I used to do yoga in the morning when I could walk to work, so it felt really good!  I might have to start waking up early to do this every day before work.

2.5 miles / 27:00 / 10:48 pace
The Couch to 5K run was to do 25 minutes non-stop.  It was a more challenging run, but Dan got through it like a champ!

Wednesday

3.8 miles / 35:00 / 9:12 pace
After work, I walked some dogs at the Humane Society, then ran back to my apartment.  Today was a tempo run, so I started at a 9:30-10:00 pace to warm up for 10 minutes, then increased to 8:00-8:15 pace for 15 minutes.  I was so tired and dehydrated after that, so my cooldown was super slow and I walked home after finishing 35:00 of running.

I didn't make it to spin class because I stayed too late at dog walking, but I was too exhausted to go anyway!
 

Thursday

6AM Group Power class
I had to swap my usual evening class for a morning one since we traveled after work. I love this class!  Today, we had a few new exercises and I tried to move up in weights on a few exercises.  I was super worn out afterwards but felt great!
 

Friday

2.63 miles / 25:00 / 9:30 pace
Today's C25K ran was great!  We ran in Dan's neighborhood, which is super flat compared to Pittsburgh.  The weather was perfect- 45 and cloudy- and he had no problem running the 25 minutes and talked non-stop.  Amazing how one run can feel awful and a few days later feel easy!

Saturday


3.1 miles / 27:10 / 8:45 pace
Chilly morning run with some snow.  Felt a bit sluggish and couldn't get into it until the halfway mark.  Not the best and not the worst run.

Sunday

6 miles / 54:00 / 9:00 pace
Great run!  I tried out Honey Stingers gel today for the first time and I loved it.  It didn't bother my stomach at all and made me feel nice and energized.  I think I'll buy some more and see how it goes on longer runs.  I liked how thin it was and it tastes amazing (if you like honey!)  For the run, I did the first 3 miles alone, then Dan joined me.  He kept pushing the pace, and we finished up at an 8:00 pace!  I could barely keep up.
  

Total Mileage for Week: 21 miles / 9:19 average pace 

Overall, week two was a success.  I did have to skip a spinning class and had to combine my run with Dan's C25K, but I'm fine with that.  I hit all of my actual training runs, and was happy with my paces.  Hopefully next week nothing comes up so I can go to all my regular gym classes.

 Week 1 Training Recap

Friday, March 27, 2015

Top Five Friday #5 - Spring Food

Believe it or not, it is finally spring time!  Pittsburgh has seen some glimmers of warmer weather in between snow and rain in the last few weeks.  Hopefully all the cold weather is behind us, because I'm ready for hot weather, shorts, and iced drinks.

Today, for the DC girls (MarCynthia and Courtney) Friday linkup, I'll be talking about my five favorite spring foods and drinks.  I mentioned last week that I love spring for the lighter, brighter food, so here's what I'll be eating in the coming months!

http://thefitchen.com/2013/09/15/mango-fruit-salad/

There's nothing better than fresh fruit on a beautiful day.  I love to mix a few varieties together for an easy fruit salad, or blend it with some ice and coconut water for a delicious smoothie!  In the spring, some of my favorite fruits come in season- mango, berries and pineapple. This recipe sounds perfect- I love the addition of basil!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/08/03/magazine/bittman-gazpacho-the-simple-chilled-soup.html?_r=0

This chilled soup has always been a favorite of mine, but I never tried to make it myself until last year.  I found some recipes last year from NYTimes and have been obsessed with trying different flavors.  I love to order this from restaurants as well.  Gazpacho  + chopped salad = perfection on a warm day.

http://www.yummly.com/dish/2012/07/keep-it-simple-with-splendid-salmon-recipes/
I love salmon pretty much any way I can have it- baked, poached, smoked, in a sushi roll, in a salad, you get the idea.  My favorite (and easiest) way to cook it is butter poached and topped with Trader Joe's Corn and Chili Tomato-less chili on a bed of rice and arugula.  I might also have to try out this recipe because it looks perfect for a light spring dish!
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mojito-242527

My all-time favorite alcoholic beverage is the mint mojito.  I stink at making them myself, but I always have to order them if they're on menus!  I love trying other versions and flavors of the classic mojito, too!  There's something so simple and fresh about these that I can't get enough of.

http://liquor.com/recipes/moscow-mule/
 If a mojito is my all-time favorite drink, this is my newest obsession!  The moscow mule is an old-time favorite drink that's become popular in the last year.  I tried it for the first time at a Christmas party over a year ago, and fell in love with the gingery bite that you get!  Since then, I'll always order one if it's on the menu.  On a trip to Denver, we even found a restaurant that specialized in different flavors of mules, and it was amazing!  I could have stayed there all day taste-testing all of them!



Now that I do a weekly workout recap, I wanted to switch things up and talk about:

5 shows


American Idol

I have to admit that I'm happy about who was eliminated (mostly because it was down to Rayvon, Adanna and Maddie, and I would be so sad if he was cut!) and loved the throwback songs!  Even though I was born in the 90's, I still listen to and love a lot of older songs (hello, classical is my favorite genre!). 

Dancing with the Stars

Loved this week's theme of "My Jam Monday"!  Everyone seemed so much more relaxed and happy.  My favorites were Nastia (so beautiful and smooth), Patti (tons of fun and she can move!) and Redfoo (too bad he didn't dance like that last week!  Such a shame).  Noah's girlfriend coming to surprise him was definitely the highlight of the show, especially seeing her reaction to Nastia's routine!  She couldn't pick her jaw up from the ground!

Scandal

I haven't watched this weeks episode yet (no cable!) but this season has been excellent! All the issues they deal with are current events and are told in a logical, clear way. I think the show is a lot different from its first season, but I really like that. I especially like that the camera doesn't constantly shoot through windows and mirrors...that always gave me a headache!

The Voice

This is the time I start to really get into the show.  I love the Knockouts, because the singers pick their own song and they don't have to worry about harmonizing with a stranger that usually has a different style from them!  Mia Z is a local girl and her performance blew me away!  I think she could definitely be in the show a while.  Meghan Linsey's performance was also incredible, even if she eliminated my early favorite, Travis.  She is a super-talented powerhouse!

Survivor

I'm honestly a little behind on this show, but I haven't been that crazy about the twist for this season- white collar vs blue collar vs no collar. I went through a phase of watching older seasons with Dan a while ago, and the players were so much better back then! They were way more into game play and were always scheming every minute of the show. Now it seems like a popularity contest and everyone just acts like they're on vacation!

5 songs


OctaHate- Ryn Weaver
Such a great, different song! Apparently this is the newest and hippest song around and I'm probably late to the party, but I like it!

Somewhere over the Rainbow- Tommy Emmanuel
I absolutely love acoustic guitar, and this is such a beautiful version of a great song.

Take you High- Kelly Clarkson
I love Kelly and this is such a fun song for summer! I'm going to see her in concert and I hope she sings this!

Dare (La La)- Shakira
Lately, this song has gotten me through some rough times on runs!  I absolutely love the beat and Sharkira is one of my favorite singers.

Glory- John Legend and Common
What a powerful, beautiful song.  I love how John Legend's smooth, beautiful voice is paired up with Common's rapping.  I haven't seen Selma, but I do love this song.


Also linking up with ClareJill, Heather and Katie


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pin to Present #1

Hi everyone!  Today, I'm joining in a linkup with Anne called Pin to Present!  Is anyone else obsessed with Pinterest?  I use it all the time for outfit inspiration, makeup ideas, travel guides, workouts, and recipes.  Now, you get to see me attempt my most recent pins!

Today, I'm going to be trying out a few different pins: an art project, a hairstyle, and an outfit.  Go big or go home, right?

First up is the art project.  I got this idea from Tatertots and Jello. I knew ahead of time that I wanted a project that re-purposed magazines, because I have a TON of old issues that I needed to get rid of.  This design was really pretty and easy to recreate! 

I decided to make mine with a plane silhouette instead of a bird, since I love to travel so much.  This would be a fun project to do with kids, or to give as a present to someone because it's easy to personalize.  A running themed one would be really cool too!  Next time, I'll use a thicker paint and an extra coat of Mod Podge, because I could still see the magazine a bit through the paint.  I also like how her version is more colorful!



Next I tried out a hair style that I've been attempting for a long time- curling with a straightening iron.  This pin claimed that it made curling nearly fool-proof, so I decided to give it a try.  It turned out to be really easy using their method!

This has been my latest go-to style for work when I have a little extra time (literally 5 minutes).  It looks sleek and is really easy to accomplish.  The secret is to wrap the hair around the flat iron and pull slowly towards the end.  This adds a nice, natural curl and also makes it look really sleek!  Make sure not to stop along the way, because that caused me to get some crimps in the hair which didn't look so good!
I usually just do a few pieces throughout my entire hair and brush it out.  This takes just a few minutes and makes my hair a bit more interesting and doesn't take a lot of effort.



Finally, I tried to recreate an outfit that I pinned.  This comes from my favorite style blogger, Caroline from un-fancy.  I had to create a look from her, because she inspired me to buy most of my recent purchases.  She makes everything look so great and effortless, so I had to copy her on this outfit, since I had all the pieces but never wore them together.


I don't think mine looks quite as effortless as hers, but it's something different for me to try!  Next time I'll play around a bit more with the tuck, and maybe try it with a less-flowy pair of shorts.  These ones are the same pair that she's wearing, but they're a size too big on me.  The chambray shirt is also a little large, so I usually pair it with tighter bottoms.  It's still a fun look though!


I hope you enjoyed my trials with some fun pins.  Check out the linkup for more ideas, and let me know some of your current Pinterest favorites below!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Reviews: Outer Banks and Proposal

Hi everyone! Today's review is a bit different, because it's more of a travel guide (my first one!). This one is very special to me because it's where I got engaged! Today is Dan's birthday, so I thought it would be a perfect post for today.

outerbanks north carolina

I'll be telling you about where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did, as well as our engagement story.  Since this was a beach trip, we spent a lot of our time relaxing.  Future travel guides will have much more information!

It’s helpful to know when choosing a location that locals commonly divide the area into three main sections: the Northern Beaches, consisting of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head; Hatteras Island, consisting of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras; and Roanoke Island, consisting of Manteo and Wanchese.  For our trip, we stayed on the Northern Beaches.


--------------------sleep--------------------

4701 South Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
Toll Free: 800-327-8881
252-441-0454
The hotel was in a great location, and we had no problems with the room, and the staff was very friendly.  We got a beach-front room which was absolutely beautiful- you can see our view above.  I would recommend the hotel if you're looking for a simple, no frills place to stay.

Amenities:
  • True Oceanfront Hotel on 4 acres
  • Pristine Beach & Lush Gardens
  • Oceanfront Heated Indoor Pool
  • Large Jacuzzi & Sun Deck
  • Free Onsite Covered Parking
  • Free Wireless Internet Access
  • 24-Hour Front Desk
  • Y-Tel (Gym)Membership Benefits


--------------------eat--------------------

600 South Croatan Hwy
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252)449-BREW
outer banks beer
This place was awesome!  The whole atmosphere was really relaxed and fun, and it's actually the first wind-powered brewery in the United States. I tried a flight of their beer, and everything was fantastic. We got to sit on the second floor, and view was great!  They also host weddings here, which would be a really cool venue!

Kill Devils Frozen Custard + Beach Fries
1002 Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 27948
252-441-5900
photo credit - http://www.ncbeaches.com/OuterBanks/Restaurants/LetterK/NoHeader/
We tried out a lot of different custard and ice cream shops, and this one was the winner.  The custard was really rich and creamy. Delicious!  I also got a Coney Island hot dog, which was fantastic.  There was a long wait to order food, so you know it's popular.

1029 Colington Road
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 480-1123
colington cafe outer banks
photo credit- colingtoncafe.com
If you're looking for a fancier place to eat, definitely check out Colington Cafe.  The restaurant is in an old Victorian house, far away from the touristy areas.  They have some beautiful rooms and gardens around the property.  Their wine list was great, and the food was delicious!  If you're planning on eating here, reservations are suggested.


--------------------explore--------------------

Bodie Island Lighthouse
8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Rd
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-5711
outerbanks lighthouse
This whole area was so beautiful.  There were lots of places to walk around and lots of swamps.  The lighthouse itself was beautiful!  To go to the top, you have to join a tour, which was excellent.  We learned so much about the history of the island (it was  originally known as Bodies Island or Body's Island since the area was originally settled by the Body family. There are tales that it actually refers to the bodies that were left because the area was so hard to navigate on boat.)

Jennette's Pier
7223 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 255-1501
outer banks pierOBX pier
Every beach has to have a great boardwalk, and this one is excellent.  It does cost a few dollars to enter, but the view is great!  There were a bunch of people fishing when we were there, and we just relaxed for a while on the pier.  There's a small museum inside the building as well.

Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary
300 Audubon Dr
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-0603
outer banks standup paddleboard
We spent one day at the Audubon going on a stand up paddleboarding tour!  It was so much fun and really easy to learn.  We were the only two on the tour, so we got to go all over the place with our guide!  It was really easy to learn how to paddleboard, and in no time we were paddling like pros.  The area is protected and was full of all kinds of animals.  It was really beautiful, a lot of fun, and a great workout.  If you've never tried SUP, I would highly recommend it this coming summer!

Jockey's Ridge State Park
300 W Carolista Dr
Nags Head, NC 27959
jockys ridge outer banks

This place was so cool!  It was a gigantic sand pit.  The views were incredible, and we even got to watch a few sunsets.  It was insane walking over huge sand dunes, and I bet it would be a ton of fun with a dune buggy!  I would highly recommend making the trek to check out the tallest natural sand dune in the Eastern United States!  I've never seen anything like it.


--------------------love--------------------

Now on to a more personal part of the trip...the proposal!

Every morning, Dan would wake me up to go to the beach to see the sunrise.  On the final day we were staying, he woke me up again and said he would meet me down there.  To be honest, I was so tired and didn't feel like going down to see the sunrise - again - and almost stayed in bed.  Thank goodness I changed my mind and went down!

When I walked out and headed towards Dan, I saw something red in the sand near him.  I thought it might be garbage on the beach or a towel that was left by someone.  I got really confused why Dan would want to sit by the only garbage on the beach, until I got closer and saw what was on the sand:

beach proposal

At that point, I was wide awake!  I could feel my heart racing and couldn't stop smiling.  Dan handed me the bottle that was in the middle of the heart,which had a message inside.  Once I was done reading it (to be honest my adrenaline was pumping so much that I didn't actually read it..I couldn't focus or think straight, so I had to pretend to read it), Dan was on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I said yes and grabbed the ring and put it on (I blame being delirious from lack of sleep).

sunrise engagement

 I'm someone who is very into signs, so I was so happy when three things happened almost immediately.  1. We saw a few dolphins jumping out of the water right after I said yes, which was the first dolphin sighting we had the entire trip.  2. Once we got in the car to head home, the Wedding March came on Sirius radio.  3.  We stopped at Starbucks, and they had this sign in the store:


I hope you enjoyed this review/guide of the Outer Banks!  It was such a fun trip, and one that will be impossible to forget.  I'd also like to wish Dan the happiest birthday!

Have you ever gone to the Outer Banks?  
Does anyone have a fun engagement story?  I'd love to hear!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Day - Night Makeup

A few weeks ago, I talked about my everyday 5-minute makeup look.  I'm so glad that a lot of you liked that post!  It was a lot of fun for me to put together, and I hope to sprinkle in a bit of beauty posts every once in a while.

Today, I'll be sharing what I add to that look if I'm going somewhere after work.  Today I'm actually going out for a fancy dinner with Dan for his birthday, so this is exactly what I'll be doing once I get home!  This is still going to stay on the neutral side, but add a few more products to look more special.  It's really easy, but some of the techniques (like the liquid liner) can take a bit of practice.  I'm no pro, but I think I've gotten much better after lots and lots practice (and makeup remover)!  Hope you enjoy :)

Face
loreal lumi pen
I don't like to add to many extra products, but I'll touch up any areas that have worn off throughout the day.  I'll dust on a bit more of my Tarte Airbrush foundation that I used in the morning.  I'll also add some highlight with my L'Oreal Magic Lumi pen under my eyes, down the center of my nose, and above my lips (cupid's bow).  This pen has a fantastic texture, and blends in wonderfully, even over powder.  For a special touch, I'll add a bit of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft n'Gentle on my cheekbones. 

Eyes
easy winged liner tutorial
I mentioned that in the morning, I use the BareMinerals cream eyeshadow, and this serves as a perfect base for some eyeshadow.  I currently only own the Lorac Mega Pro palette (it was limited edition, but try out the Pro palette, which has rave reviews), because it has every color I would ever use!  My current favorite (and super easy) look is to add sand all over the lid, then Sienna on the outer corner and blend the two slightly.  After that, I'll add my liquid liner.  A really easy one to use is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner.  I've tried some drugstore formulas, but this one is so much easier to use and stays on all day!  Some days I feel like adding a wing, and I've used this tutorial from EssieButton, and it's made it nearly fool-proof.  If you're having trouble with wings, give this a watch!  I also add some more volumizing mascara to add more drama to my overall look.  An old favorite is the Maybelline Falsies mascara, but I really love Benefit Bad Gal (I don't own it currently though!)

Lips
YSL rouge volupte 1 
I generally stick with neutral lips even at night.  My current favorite combination is using Rimmel's lipliner in East End Snob to line and fill in the lips, then using a NYX Butter lipgloss over top (these are fantastic..not sticky at all, beautiful colors, and smell terrific!).  On really special nights, I'll use my one and only luxury makeup product- YSL lipstick in #1 (Nude Beige).  It has such beautiful packaging and I love the color, but it's so darn expensive that I use it really sparingly!  I bought this with my first paycheck of my post-college job, and only use it on special occasions.  It's so beautiful and smells like candy!

Here's what everything looks like on my face:



I hope you liked this post! Let me know some of your favorite "fancy" makeup below! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23- Weekly Goals

Another weekend has come and gone, and this one was really exciting.  Our musical opened on Thursday and we had our final show on Sunday.  It was such a whirlwind, and all the performances went really well.  I'm happy to have more free time, but I already miss playing!

In case you missed it, I recapped my first week of training in a post yesterday.  This week is another packed week of workouts.  It's going to be another busy week, because Dan and I are traveling to his hometown to see his family, because his birthday on Wednesday.  I have a special post planned for that day, so make sure to come back and check it out!

Here are the workouts I'm planing for the week:

Monday

3 miles

Tuesday

Group Centergy
C25K:
5 minute walk
25 minute run
5 minute walk 

Wednesday

Speed work- 30 minute tempo

Thursday

Group Power

Friday

C25K:
5 minute walk
25 minute run
5 minute walk
 

Saturday

3 miles

Sunday

Long run- 6 miles
C25K:
5 minute walk
25 minute run
5 minute walk

Total Mileage for Week: 22.5 miles


What's everyone else up to this week?  Any big plans?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Half Marathon Training- Week 1 Recap

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher

Hi everyone!  Now that my half marathon training is in full swing, I thought it would be useful to review each week of my training so I can hold myself accountable.  I'm sort of stealing this idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer at Running on Lentils (who, by the way, is kicking butt in training for the Pittsburgh Marathon!)

biggest loser erie half marathon
(note, I'm not affiliated in ANY way with the Biggest Loser or with the Run/Walk.  I just wanted to make it clear what I'm training for in a fun way!)

Here was my training plan for the week:



To remind you, I'm using Hal Higdon's half marathon intermediate plan as a base, but adjusting it to fit my schedule.  I'm also helping Dan train for a 5K using the Couch to 5K plan.

Here's how my week went:

Monday

3.27 miles / 28:00 / 8:36 pace
It was a beautiful, sunny, cool day.  I ran on the trails at Frick, which was perfect! 

Tuesday

6AM Group Power class
We had dress rehearsal for musical, so I couldn't make it to my normal Centergy class.  I decided to go to power before work, and it was a great class.  I might have to start going then instead of after work! 

Wednesday

4.5 miles / 41:00 / 9:00 pace
First speed workout.  1 mile warmup, 5x400 at a 5K pace.  My goal was to run 1:45 per lap, and my splits were 1:43, 1:41, 1:40, 1:38, 1:36.  1 mile cooldown.
 

Thursday

2.08 miles / 22:00 / 10:43 pace
Finally able to run with Dan.  The workout was to run 5 minutes, walk 3, run 8 minutes, walk 3, run 5 minutes.  
 

Friday

6AM Spin class
There was a sub in class today, and I just couldn't get into the workout.  The hour seemed to drag on, but I tried to push during the intervals she had us running or climbing.

Saturday

Group Centergy
I woke up so tired today, so I was planning on just skipping it and doing some yoga at home, but decided to go.  I'm so glad that I did, because we did half of the new program in class!  It's so fun but really focuses on the legs, so I got pretty worn out!

3 miles / 30:30 / 10:10 pace
Ran with Dan and a little by myself.  The run was to do 22:00 nonstop, and he did great.  At the end he wanted to keep running, so we actually ran two extra minutes, then I ran a little extra.  Didn't end up doing the extra two miles that I was supposed to do today, because Dan and I are running Sunday to get in the third C25K run.

Sunday

5 miles / 46:50 / 9:20 pace
I ran a new route through Oakland and it was challenging!  It was really cold and windy out, and I couldn't get into my grove or get warmed up until around the two mile point.  
  

Overall, I'm really happy with my first week.  In the past, I would let life get in the way of training, but I told myself that wouldn't happen this time!  I put that in action by getting all my workouts in one way or another.  I felt great in pretty much every workout, so I'm very motivated and encouraged! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Top Five Friday #4 - Spring Favorites

Happy Friday to everyone!  As I keep saying, this week was insane and I am so happy that it's over.  I have three more performances of the musical, then I can finally take a rest.  Playing this much makes me miss college when I played in the marching band at Penn State!  I will be happy to relax after work, though, and not have to rush to practice.



As usual, I'm linking up with CynthiaCourtney and Mar on their Friday Five Linkup as well as ClareKate and Heather! The topic for today was Spring, which was very vague.  I decided to talk about my five favorite things about springtime!

colorado run

1. Trail running.  I mentioned this a bit in my Pittsburgh Running Routes post, but I absolutely love trail running.  I grew up running at Riverview Park, and ran cross country in middle and high school, so I feel really comfortable on trails.  I love how you never know what to expect, the hills are always rolling, and the scenery is beautiful (the above picture is from a trip to Colorado. Can't get scenery like that running on roads!).  Spring is the perfect time to hit the trails!

2. Run Commuting.  To go along with that, I love being able to run home from work.  I live about five miles from my work, and can run along the Eliza Furnace trail.  It's a great, flat, pedestrian/bike trail that takes you to the Southside or Schenley Park.  I love it!  To go along with that, I bought this bookbag last year and it's great for running (It was only $27 when I bought it, but now it's over $70! Similar here , here, and here for cheaper).  It's comfortable, lightweight, and holds a surprising amount.

3.  Spring Makeup.  Once it warms up, my makeup routine becomes a lot simpler and brighter!  I love to wear tinted moisturizers (a few of my favorites are Cargo and Smashbox) and colored liner (plums and navy blues are my favorite!).  Bright nails are also a lot of fun and look nice and happy after months of wearing dark, moody colors.  I'm currently in love with my Jamberry wraps, and I got a lot of fun designs for spring!

spring toms


4. TOMS are my absolute favorite shoes.  They're so comfortable and look really cute!  I wore these on a long trip to Europe and walked miles a day and never had any problems.  I still buy them every year or so, and love breaking them out in the spring and summer!  They're so easy to slip on and run out, and come in a ton of styles and patterns.  I like the more neutral ones (navy and black) but might try for a pattern some time, in fact I'm loving the one pictured above!

5. Seasonal food and drinks.  As much as I love warm, hearty food of the winter, it starts to weigh me down and make me feel tired all the time.  Spring reminds me of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, and nice light meals.  I also love special spring beverages from bars and restaurants- from yummy sangria to spring seasonal drafts!

Songs

I decided to switch it up this week and share my favorite spring-time songs!  These make me think of warm weather, sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine, or cruising around with the windows down!

Grazing in the Grass- Boney James and Rick Braun
This is such a catchy and easy-going song.  Every time I listen to it with Dan, we always want to learn how to play it (he plays the trumpet).  It's one of my favorite songs ever!

Sugar- Maroon Five
Does anyone else think all of Maroon Five's songs kind of sound the same?  I like their most recent song..it's nice and catchy and easy to listen to.

Baba O'Riley- The Who
I fell in love with the Who in marching band, because we played a lot of their songs.  This is my favorite by them!

Runaway Baby- Bruno Mars
Such a fun, fast-tempo song.  I love everything on this album, but this might be my favorite!

Groove Is In The Heart- Deee-Lite
Whenever I hear this song, I think of Barney and Robin dancing at a wedding in How I Met Your Mother.  This came out right after I was born, but I still love it today!

Workouts

Monday - 3.25 mile run on the trails at Frick park
Tuesday - 6AM Group Power class (yes, that happened)
Wednesday - 5x400 repeats.  Total of 4.5 miles.  Splits were 1:43, 1:41, 1:40, 1:38, 1:36.  Felt great!
Thursday - C25K run with Dan. 5 min run/3 min walk, 8 min run/3 min walk, 5 min run 
Friday - 6AM Spin class

I hope you all had a great week!! Tell me some highlights and some fun things you have planned for the weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thinking Out Loud #2

Happy Thursday!  Today is opening night for my musical, and I'm so excited for this week to be over!  I love being in musicals and really love playing my saxophone, but the final week of dress rehearsals and shows is so stressful and exhausting!  I'll be happy when it's all over, but then immediately miss playing again.  I need to find a group I can play with year-round.


Today I'm linking up with Amanda for another Thinking Out Loud Thursday. I want to talk about some of my current favorite shows!  As you'll see, I'm really into reality competitions.  I'm not one for most reality shows, but competitions are my absolute favorite- especially cooking ones!  This is a great time for me, because my favorite shows are pretty much just starting.  I also threw in one of my favorite scripted shows.  Hopefully some of you also like these shows and we can chat about them!

dancing with the stars

First up is a show that just came back for its 20th season this week- Dancing with the Stars.  This is one of my all-time favorite competitions, and I've been watching for years!  It's been really interesting lately, and they've featured some really popular stars.  This year is a great mix of celebrities- from an Iraq war veteran to an Olympic gymnast, as well as the legend Patti LaBelle!

nastia and derek

I have a few favorites right from the start.  My first is Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough.  Does anyone else notice that Derek is always paired with someone who's already naturally talented?  The worst that he's ever placed was 6th (and that was in his second season) and he's won 5 times already!  I wasn't surprised at all when they paired Nastia with Derek, and I'm sure they'll make it to the finals, unless something unexpected happens.  Their first performance was great and shows that she's extremely graceful and talented, but bends backwards way too much!



My next favorite is Michael Sam, paired with my favorite female dancer, Peta Murgatroyd.  He seems like such a nice guy, and his dance was amazing!  He obviously has some dancing skill, and he reminds me a bit of Alfonso from last season.  Can't wait to see him progress throughout the season!

A few others that really impressed me were Robert Herjavec, Chris Soules (I was SHOCKED at how well he did after seeing him on the Bachelor.  I though it would be really awkward and stiff!) and Noah Galloway (he's not the most talented, but seems like an amazing, hard working, inspirational guy.  I think he'll make it far!)

AI season 14


Next up is American Idol!  The season is in full swing, and it's already down to the top 11.  This is the first season that I've watched from the first episode, so I've been loving it!  There are a lot of really talented singers this year that I'm loving, and some that I'm hoping go home SOON!

clark and rayvon ai


For the guys, my favorites are Rayvon Owens and Clark Beckham.  Rayvon is ridiculously talented and I fell in love with his voice in Hollywood Week (listen to his group performance with old classmates here), but so far I haven't been blown away in his live performances.  I hope he'll pick songs that fit his voice better so he can stay around for a while!  Clark is also incredibly talented, and I think he's the front runner at this point, especially for the guys.  The judges and producers seem to be pushing for him!

jax and joey ai


The girls aren't quite as exciting for me, but I like the two most interesting singers- Jax and Joey Cook.  My favorite part of these types of shows is listening to new and interesting versions of popular songs, and these girls hit it out of the park every week (even if the judges don't always agree with me!)  I hope they both stay around for a while, because I want to hear their takes on all the fun themes the show throws at the contestants!

A few others that I'm enjoying are Quentin Alexander and Tyanna Jones.  Quentin is such an original and gets so emotional about the whole competition.  You can see how much he wants it!  Tyanna is really young, but is incredibly talented.  She's also one that I think the producers and judges are pushing, so I think we'll see her in the end.


Finally, I'm loving the show Scandal!  It's been an intense season to put it mildly, but I'll wait to share my thoughts till the season finale.  I have no idea how this season will end, and I can't wait to find out!

What shows are you currently loving?
Any thoughts on DWTS or American Idol?  Who do you love and hate?

Thanks to Amanda for hosting the linkup!  Can't wait to see what everyone else is thinking :)