Showing posts from November, 2015

Throwback Thursday : Thanksgiving in Europe

With today being Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to dedicate a post to something that I'm constantly thankful for- the ability to travel the world.  I've been to so many amazing places, and getting to explore a new country makes me happier than anything else.  Today I'll be sharing some pictures from a trip I took to Budapest, Hungary and Prague, Czech Republic two years ago.

I purchased this trip from Groupon Getaways, through the company Gate 1 Travel.  I get a lot of questions from people about the benefits of going on a Groupon Getaway, so I also want to discuss my personal experience (I also went on a trip to Costa Rica through Groupon, and I purchased both trips on my own).

The trips are usually a lot cheaper than purchasing on your own.  For this trip, round-trip airfare was included, as well as transportation between the countries and hotel rooms.  We could add on additional day trips or activities through the company as well.  All together, the trip cost around $2,500 …

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  Today will be a fun, new post- I'm joining the What's Up Wednesday linkup to talk about what's new in my life.  This is a fun way to catch up and answer a few questions.  I'd love if all of you also answered some questions below!

eating this week : lots of Thanksgiving food!  I had to test out all the recipes that I shared in my GretchRuns Thanksgiving posts (read part 1, 2, 3, 4) and we'll be having even more treats this weekend!

reminiscing about : my trip to Budapest and Prague!  I went two years ago on a Groupon Getaway, and it was an amazing trip.  On the way back home, we had a layover in New York City the day before Thanksgiving, so we stayed for an extra day to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade in person.  Such a great trip, and I have a post planned to talk more about our trip (tomorrow)!

loving : Selma, always and forever

we've been up to : budgeting.  Dan and I are hoping to buy a house in the next 6-12 months, so we're really worki…

GretchRuns Thanksgiving : Part 4 [Appetizers]

Today is the finale of my Thanksgiving series!  If you missed the others, I shared desserts, drinks, and side dishes.  Now it's time for some appetizers- probably my favorite part of any holiday meal!  Does anyone else fill up on the snacks and little bites before the main course is served?  I swear, I could have a meal just consisting of chips and dip.

Today I'll be sharing some delicious appetizer ideas that each call for less than five ingredients, take just a few minutes to assemble, and are bite sized pieces of deliciousness!

Traditional Caprese Salad BitesIngredients : cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, balsamic glaze

Directions : On a toothpick, skewer a cherry tomato, piece of basil, and mini mozzarella ball.  Serve with a balsamic dipping sauce or glaze.  

Rosemary Caprese Salad BitesIngredients : cherry tomatoes, rosemary, mozzarella, balsamic glaze

Directions : Trim the leaves off the bottoms of a rosemary branch. Skewer a mozzarella ball, then a tomato.  Serve with…

Weekend Highlights

What a weekend!  Most of my weekends lately have been pretty lazy and full of free time, but this one was crazy!  I had so many plans, which made the weekend fly by.  Thankfully this is going to be a very short work week, because I already feel like I need another break!  Here's a look at what I did from Friday to Sunday:

Pittsburgh Crèche blessing at lunchtime.  Religious leaders from across the city came to bless the scene, and we all sang Christmas carols together.
Met up with my old manager and team for some drinks at Market Street Grocery!  This is a little hidden gem in Market Square with lots of great wine and drinks.  They also serve food and macarons.  If you haven't stopped in, I recommend it!
Friday night was Dan's work party!  This year it was held at Rivers Casino, and this is what I wore.  This is an old dress from Dana Buchman at Kohl's.  It's no longer available, but here's a similar dress!  (P.S. I took off my FitBit after I took this picture!)

Training Report : 11/16 - 11/22

What a great week!  Not only did I get all of my runs in, but I also managed to cross train three days.  I love it when I get to try different activities to work different muscles, so this was a perfect week for me.  I also met up with a local training group for a speed session, and hit some paces that I didn't even know were possible for me!  
Another positive sign is that I ran completely pain free for half of my runs this week!  I spend a lot of extra time stretching out my hips and applying a heat pad for an hour each afternoon, and I'm feeling much better.  Thank you all for your well wishes- it definitely helped!  This coming week I have a race (the Turkey Trot), so I wanted to get in one final week of hard work before I take next week easy.  Here's how my week went:

Monday3 miles / 26:56 / 8:58 pace We still have gorgeous weather in Pittsburgh, so I was excited to get out for an easy three miler.  I stayed on trails to give my hip some rest, and it didn't bothe…

GretchRuns Thanksgiving : Part 3 [Sides]

Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Today I'll be sharing part 3 of my Thanksgiving series.  I'll be talking about side dishes, and the format of today's post will be a bit different.  I'm going to be sharing one dish that I made, which is actually a combination of two side dishes that I found online.  The first dish is Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash.  The recipe called for dried cranberries, but I only had fresh.  Inspiration struck and I thought of making a cranberry sauce to dress the roasted veggies.  I have to say that the dish turned out amazingly well.  The veggies are nice and crisp from being baked in the oven, and the sauce is a little sweet, a little tart, and completely delicious.

I hope you enjoy my side dish creation!  I'll also be sharing a few recipes that are really easy and quick to make, and would be fun side dishes for your Thanksgiving meal!  Make sure you come back next week for the grand fina…

Top Five Friday #34

Happy Friday!  I don't have any big intro for today - it's been a tough and long week at work, so my brain is fried (to prove how much- when I tried to type "fried" I wrote "friend" about three times before I got it right).  So, let's just hop right into my favorites for the week!  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Dark Purple Nail Polish This week I painted my nails a dark purple, and I absolutely loved how it looked!  There are so many options at different price points that I wanted to share.  My personal favorite formulas for nail polish are Wet n' Wild- it's really cheap, and I love the wide brush which makes application a breeze- and Formula X- a bit more expensive but huge color range and it lasts forever on my nails!

Wet n' Wild in Disturbia
Formula X in Desire
OPI in Lincoln Park at Midnight
Essie in Wicked
Sally Hansen in Pat on the Black

Marley Coffee I decided to switch up my normal K Cup routine and use my French Press!  I got one a…