Friday Five: Favorites

This week has been one of a kind. No really, I hope this week only happens once in my life.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal, but it has sure made for a long week.  Let me tell you a little story.
Monday work was a little dumb come 5pm, I was more than a little grouchy.  I had plans go to go an event at church with the future in-laws, and had some time to kill before hand so the fiance and I took my car to get an oil change and hang out for a little while in an attempt to cheer me up.  We got to the oil change place and they informed me that over Thanksgiving weekend there had been a run on oil changes, and they didn’t have any of my filter in stock.  We said no big deal and went on our way.
Anyway after a half an hour with the fiance, he had me laughing and smiling which was really the point (oil change, hot date, I know), so off to church I went.  And it was a very nice evening with a big group of ladies at church to kick off the Advent season. Afterwards I went to head home, and my car gave an odd lurch.  Whatever, it’s cold.  I don’t move so well either when it’s 15 degrees outside.  I made it a few miles down the road… another odd non-car-like move.  OK call fiance.  Of course as soon as I called him, it stopped acting weird (isn’t that how it always goes).  And it didn’t do anything odd for a while so we concluded it was just cold.
Then all went wrong at once… the car was NOT working right.   And it all clicked in my mind.  They must not have put the oil cap back on.  My first car back in the day had many oil issues, so I am well acquianed with oil-related car problems… it just took a while for my mind to catch up.  I started screaming on the phone (classy moment), pulled over, and popped the hood to confirm my suspicions. Thank goodness for those iPhone flashlights.  They rock.  Of course in the light I could confirm that there was no oil cap, and what must have been all of the oil that used to be inside the engine was now spewed all over the outside of the engine and every other thing underneath the hood.  BAH.
Driving it any more was simply not an option…. soooo…. called a tow truck, police came (just to ensure no one ran into me as a sitting duck), dragging fiance out of bed to chauffeur me, tow truck took my beautiful blue baby to the dealership to be fixed and cleaned up.  All in all, it worked out fine.  I got my car back after a few days, the oil change place has been really cool about it.  It’s all fixed, so no harm, no foul.  But MAN, was that an adventure I could have done with out.  However, it makes for a hilarious story (now that it’s over).
So moving on.  It’s FRIDAY.  Thank GOODNESS.  This week’s Friday Five link up with the DC Trifecta is Friday Favorites.   Thanks to Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run for hosting!
1) My CAR. I do love my car, and I’m so glad she’s back and good as new. I had two cars before this one that both had a lot of problems. I worked hard to buy it so I could escape constant maintenance (and fear of not ever arriving at my destination!). And she is blue and adorable, those don’t hurt either 😉
car

Christmas jams in the car!

2) This week brought to you by… Coffee. Sleep was a little sparse this week, starting with Monday when it should have taken 30 minutes to drive home but instead took a few hours and then involvement of two trucks. Luckily I had a free drink from Starbucks that I fully took advantage of. My normal drink at Starbucks is pretty tame, grande skim latte. But when I have free ones? Treat yo’ self! Venti! Extra shots of espresso! Feeling wild? Add some vanilla!
3) Thanksgiving, part deux. Fiance was on doctor ordered liquid diet over Thanksgiving weekend. Ummm? Worst Thanksgiving ever! So on Tuesday we re-made Thanksgiving. It was good, but I have some work to do in the homemaker department. Thanksgiving at Grandma’s is infinitely better. Good thing he already agreed to marry me.
thanksgiving
4) Treats!  Thursday after work we went to an outdoor mall close by.  They have a mini outdoor German Christmas market.  Some shopping, some potato pancakes, a brat and a cake pop treat.  Yum!
food
5)  And lastly, this guy.  He’s pretty great.
us
Hope you all have a great weekend planned!  I’m hoping to find some time to relax! What about you?  What do you have planned?
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Thinking Out Loud

I’ve wanted to link up with Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud for a while, and decided today was a good day to start! I’ve got a ton of thoughts bouncing around my head, why not share the random?

1) I had a donut for breakfast. And it was glorious. Someone brought a few boxes into work today, and there were a ton left, so I just had to rescue one. And it obviously had to be the chocolate with chocolate frosting. I haven’t had a donut for soooo long I nearly forgot how good they are when they’re fresh.

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2) I have only worked out once since my half marathon. Yes, it was a week and a half ago. Which I probably shouldn’t admit to after telling you all I ate that donut. Ha! Anywho, we had an arms day at the gym, and my arms were dead for two days. Nothing like easing back into it, sheesh.

3) Wedding planning is fun! Trying on dresses and veils… dreaming about cakes and flowers. Yay! And we checked the big stuff off the list, namely A DATE, the church, a pastor, and a reception venue.

4) Wedding planning is hard! Pick a photographer? What? How? Find bridesmaid dresses? They’re either cute OR affordable. Block of rooms at the hotel… oh they won’t return my phone calls? Ok that’s nice. Uuuugh. I keep trying to remind myself of the prior exclamation of “wedding planning is fun” and that if we have a church and as pastor, that’s the whole point of the day. But my bridesmaids would prefer not to be naked, and my guests would like a place to sleep.

5) Christmas is coming! Yay! I’m all about Thanksgiving, don’t get me wrong, but I love Christmas. There’s pretty lights, and fun songs and everyone is cheerful! Sorry, these are Instagram repeats!

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6) Have you heard of the podcast Serial? Yeah, I hadn’t until Tuesday. My roommate said it was good so I put a few episodes on my phone to listen to at work on Wednesday. Ohmygoodnessitissogood. Go listen.

 I suppose I can stop rambling now… I’m sure I could keep going, though.

What is happening with you? Random thoughts to share? Ideas for keeping wedding planning sanity?

Dresses and a Race

This weekend was PACKED with fun times.
Unfortunately… there is very little photographic evidence of it. Whoops…
However, I was had so much fun, I’m not even that upset there are very few pictures.

Friday the first stop was packet pick up for the race on Sunday, followed by a Chipotle dinner. Yum! Once our bellies were full, we wandered around the mall a little, dreaming about things we want to put on our registry. Eventually we will actually have to pick things instead of just walking around the store pointing at pretty grown up objects like crock pots and silverware.

packet

Saturday morning I went out to breakfast with a friend. We have opposite work schedules, so it’s always a treat to see her. And the two pots of coffee we polished off at the restaurant were a pretty good treat, too 🙂

I headed home after breakfast to wait for my parents to get into town. My mom and I went wedding dress shopping! There are pictures of this, but as the fiancé occasionally makes a stop by the blog, I can’t post them! I didn’t buy one, but I found one that I like A LOT. But this was the first time I tried on dresses, so I want to check out a few other places. I have a feeling I’ll come back to this one though 🙂 Instead of a dress picture, how about this picture of me showing off my ring (like a cheese-ball)?

ring

After dress shopping was pasta for a pre-race dinner! I had shrimp and scallop linguini. It was fantastic. And I only had one sip of my mom’s margarita. Water only otherwise!

I attempted to go to bed at a reasonable hour Saturday night, so I could get up and, ya know, run a half marathon. But all-the-thoughts were running (get it?) through my brain. Laying in bed went something like this.

Go to sleep, self. You need to get up early!
Ugh, so early! It will be dark still!
I bet it will be cold in the dark.
I don’t want to run in the cold.
Why did I sign up for this race again?
Oooo that one dress was really pretty… except for that weird ass bow on it.
I’m cold now! It will be so much worse in the morning… outside.
Gloves! Don’t forget gloves! (I got up… and gave flat Kat gloves)
Do I want white or ivory?
Ivory… but a light ivory?
GARMIN! Don’t forget your Garmin! (I got up… gave flat Kat her Garmin and road ID)
Whew, fiancé would have been annoyed if he had to go home and get the Garmin (again… like last time)
Why can’t I SLEEP?
I reeeeeeally liked that one dress…
I want to tell fiancé about it.
CAN’T! Must. Keep. Secrets!

Clearly it was a long while before I managed to fall asleep.  But I did and morning came, way too early and way too cold.

I put on all my layers, ate my oatmeal, and climbed in the car.  I got dropped off at the race.  I found my running buddies, and before too long, we were off!  I’ll save all the details until later and an actual recap, but I ROCKED IT.   I had vague dreams of a 2:15 race, but I didn’t really put it out into the universe because I wasn’t sure it would happen and didn’t want to be disappointed.  Well IT DID happen… 2:11:36!

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I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday as well as Jessica Joy and Jill for the Fit Dish.  The Fit Dish topic for the week is wandering minds during work outs.  My mind was certainly wandering about running… it’s close!

Does your mind take over when you’re trying to sleep?  Mine was out of control!

Friday Five: Staying on Track During the Holidays

It’s always challenging for me to stay on track with working out and not eating all-the-things during the Holidays. It’s dark when I leave the house, it’s dark when I get come. It’s cold. There is snow. And that’s all before we get to Christmas. Then there are cookies. And wine. And more food in my eyesight than I should ever considering trying to consume in one sitting.

Every year I go into the holiday season with good intentions, and come out feeling like I ate my weight in cookies (which is probably because I did). This year is a little bit different though. I’ll be entering the holidays coming off half marathon training (three days to go!), and not to toot my own horn, I’m in pretty decent shape right now. I’d like to keep it that way instead of backsliding like normal.  And on top of that, this girl is getting married come spring, and I don’t want to be working on losing Christmas-weight (yep, it’s a thing) while I’d really like to be working on toning up for my wedding.

My half marathon is this Sunday, and I’ve been catching myself thinking how nice it will be to not have to run all the time. Of course I will have to give myself a break, but I just need to make sure it’s not a 2 month break. I’ve been thinking about ways to not fall of the wagon after my race, so this weeks’ Friday Five link up with Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run has come at a perfect time. How to stay on track during the holidays!

Staying on Track

1) Yoga! My favorite yoga class meets on Wednesdays, and I haven’t been able to go because that’s when my half training group met. I’m excited to get back to the class after the race.

Yoga

2) The treadmill. I mentioned on Instagram how much I hate the treadmill. How does it make 2 miles feel like 8? But it’s a necessary evil for an Illinois resident who will not run outside if it is a million below zero. I did the first few months of training for my first half on a treadmill and I’m still here to tell the tale. (Barely)

3) 7 Minute Workout app. I mentioned before how much I like this app, but I tend to forget about it. I’ll have to work on remembering to use it. I know there are similar apps out there, so I’ll have to investigate those, too.

4) Keep the focus on good food. During the winter the last thing I want to eat is cold veggies. I need to work on finding food that is comforting in the winter, and still fuels my body with good things. However, there will still be cookies to eat and cocoa to drink, just with a side of some veggies.

5) Weight training. I like to do weight training at the gym with the fiancé. One, so I don’t drop the bench press bar on my head, and two because I’m kind of new to free weights and still don’t know what I’m doing. I used to avoid the free weight section like the plague (the men over there have biceps bigger than my head!), but I’m getting better provided I have an escort to tell me what to do. And it’s a fun opportunity to get to do something together, which is always a plus.

As a bonus item… setting a plan. I need to focus on actually DOING all these things. During the winter I never want to do any of the above wonderful things. I put it off for “one more day” and the next thing I know it has been 3 weeks since I did any sort of physical activity. Though trying to keep warm during polar vortex time has to add up to some sort of calorie burn.

What do you do to keep on track during the holidays?
Do you have any favorite work out apps? I need more! I like the 7 minute workout app like I said before, and my Fitbit app! Wanna be friends?

Treat Yourself Tuesday: The Best Treat Ever!

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with Becky over Olives ‘n’ Wine and Treat Yourself Tuesday!  I’m never any good at remembering to take pictures, so these are some random snaps from over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago at work I decided I earned a treat in the form of this delicious drink.  All that sugar, it’s definitely a few and far between treat 🙂

Sanpell

That same night, the boyfriend and I went for a walk at a local arboretum and were treated to this beautiful sunset.

mortonI was then treated by the boyfriend fiance to the best surprise EVER.  Don’t mind the terrible picture… it was dark and selfies are hard when you’re SO EXCITED.  I’ve been dating this amazing man for nearly four and a half years, and I could not be more happy!

surprise

All this excitement was followed by celebratory pizza! And beer! And wine! And ice cream!  (And followed the next morning by a rough 12 mile run…)

pizza

Since that wonderful evening?  I’ve been all-the-wedding-things! Somewhere in between my dream wedding and reality 🙂

One dream? The Palmer House Chicago.  This building is just gorgeous.  Did you know that brownies were invented at the Palmer House?  Mrs. Palmer requested a dessert for a group of ladies during the Chicago World’s Fair and the Palmer House chefs came up with a brownie.  See?  It’s a great place.

PalmerHouse

Another dream?  The Chicago Cultural Center.  This dome?  Amazing.

CulturalCenter CulturalCenter2

 

And with that, I’m back to day dreaming.  I’ll come back to reality… sometime… maybe 🙂

What is your fantasy wedding location?

Goals: October Update

Back at the beginning of September, I recapped how my 2014 goals were going and now I’d like to do it again!

Goals Upadate

So how was September?

1) Meal planning.  I know I am never going to be super planner, at least not now, but I’ve been doing pretty well at eating pretty delicious and healthy meals, so I check this one in the win column.

2) Vary my workouts.  I started a squat challenge to hopefully strengthen my legs and take some strain off my knees.  I haven’t been able to do the squats daily like I had hoped.  On days when my knees already hurt like on days I’ve ran, I don’t do the squats so I don’t aggravate them more.  I also headed back to they gym a few times to work on some arm strength!

3) Half Marathon Training.  This is going great! Next to the knee pain, of course.  I have worked up to a 10 mile long run with the group two weeks ago, and this past Saturday we got a reprieve with only eight miles. Woo!  Here are recaps of weeks 7 and 8, and weeks 9 and 10.  I can see my paces staying steady as the distances get longer, and sometimes even picking up.  Always good to see progress, which is great inspiration to keep going forward!

For October, I’m not looking to change much.  Meals have been pretty good lately.  Cross training isn’t too bad; I wouldn’t be upset with more, but don’t want to burn myself out during half training.  And the half training itself… going great.  Just keep on going!

I’m linking up with Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Nicole at The Fit Pepper for the Fit Dish!  Go check it out and #Dishthefit!

How are your goals going?

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 9 and 10

Half marathon training is plugging along! Six weeks to go!
When we left off at week 8, I had big plans for week nine!

I am join yesterday’s Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Nicole at The Fit Pepper!  Go check it out!

My running group meets on Wednesdays, but a running buddy couldn’t make it that week so we met up after work on Monday to get a run in. We ran 5.5 miles around my work. I haven’t run that far leaving from work before, so we ventured into uncharted territory. Our scenery turned out to be some biiiiig houses. I decided for the sake of not-being-a-creeper, I wouldn’t plaster pictures of strangers’ houses all over the internet, but seriously. Mansions.

Tuesday I had every intention of running with a friend, and then going to get wine and dinner with her. Wellllll, we went straight to the wine and food. Worth it.

Pinstripes

By Wednesday I was having a crazy week and for mental health’s sake as well as knee’s health’s sake I skipped out on group running and had a night in to myself. It was seriously needed. A run may have helped the stressfulness of the week, unfortunately the nearly 2 hours of driving involved to get to the group (thanks rush hour) do not help the stress.

Thursday I made up for it, and ran somewhere between 4 and 5 miles around work. Ever pause your Garmin at a stoplight and then forget to start it again? Yeah, that’s the “between 4 and 5 miles” bit. I went yet another route this time and found this crazy building. I tend to get distracted by shiny things and paths I haven’t been on before. I knew the general idea of where this path went, but then there was a fork that I didn’t know existed. I just had to take it; I can’t help it. 🙂

PeabodyEstate

Saturday’s long run started out OK, then the whole knees-hurting-business. Ugh. This was a run that may have turned into a walk if it weren’t for my running buddy. I was encouraged along by renditions of Shakira and Meghan Trainor. (Love)

Monday of week 10 started off with a after work walk with boyfriend. Mondays can be dumb, and getting to be outside and just chat with him improved the Monday-ness.

For Wednesday’s run, some of the group was doing 8. Now I don’t know about that came about. It seems to me that if the previous week’s long run was 9, we don’t need to be doing 8 on a week day. Not when I have to do 10 coming up! This seems a little high, for my liking and my knees liking, so we knocked it down to six. My knees were over it by mile 4, so I’m glad that wasn’t the half-way point!  It was pretty dark by the time we were done, so I was OK with that choice.  I did get to try out my new shoe lights!

DarkShoe

Thursday I went to the gym! I haven’t been there in a while. Like… over a month. It’s been too nice outside! We did an arms work out, and let me tell you did I feel it the next day. I gotta go to the gym more often!

I mentioned last time that Saturday’s long run was 10 miles. Always feels good to get a double digit run under your belt!  For the most part, it was pretty uneventful.  It was oddly humid, which made it a bit of a struggle, and there were certainly times that I wanted to lay down and take a nap.  My knees held out for 4 or 5 miles before they started hurting.  I was tired afterwards!  And I had a full day of travel and fun for the rest of the day, and I was only a little loopy from being tired with no nap!

We are getting closer to to the end of training and I’m getting excited! Six weeks to go!