Two Weeks of a Lovely Life, in Pictures

Hiya, friends. It’s been a busy couple of weeks!

C2 Graphics web training course

C2 Graphics web training course

I finished my web design training up in Milwaukee at C2 Graphics. Love that place, their instructors, and the learnings I walked away with.

Followed up training one night by meeting my good friend (and bridesmaid!) in the Third Ward for dinner and drinks at the Milwaukee Ale House. I drank the Sheepshead Stout beer, “a robust Irish style oatmeal stout with distinct roast chocolate notes and a creamy smooth finish.”

Milwaukee Ale House | Sheepshead Stout

Milwaukee Ale House | Sheepshead Stout

It was oh-so-good!

I also got to see the new Anchorman 2 movie a day early, thanks to the lovely Jockey undies that were featured in the film.

Anchorman Briefs from Jockey

Anchorman Briefs from Jockey

You can buy these online, and I think it would make a great gag gift for the fun dudes on your list. I bought this pair for our one buddy who loves Anchorman. He might also like to remove his pants and play guitar when he’s had one too many drinks. Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Was Anchorman 2 as good as the first? You’re probably wondering. I have to say, for being a sequel, it was pretty swell. It had as much randomness and funny one-liners as the first movie. (“It’s chicken of the cave!” And let’s not forget, Doby.) I think the first movie is so funny because all those quotable one-liners that we all picked up afterwards. This has that same potential. But, in the beginning of the movie, I did feel like it was trying too hard, but maybe I was scrutinizing it too much.

Moving along…

I’ve been chowing down on [too many] Christmas cookies.

Snickerdoodles Christmas cookies

Snickerdoodles

Like these snickerdoodles I made for work. I got lots of compliments on how delicious they were. Matt stole and ate a bunch before I even got them to work. Psst…They’re made out of the bag from Betty Crocker. 😉

Peanut Butter Blossoms with mini hershey kisses

Peanut Butter Blossoms

And finally, these peanut butter blossoms that I made last night. Matt had made dinner…

Matt's Homemade Lasagna

Matt’s Homemade Lasagna

(My FAVE!)

So I had to make dessert (his fave).

I’ve been very healthy lately, you can see.

Here’s more proof:

Cosmopolitan, please.

Cosmopolitan, please.

Kicking off a 9-day vaca (!!!) Friday night with a Cosmo martini at our nearby martini + tapas bar.

People must know we like wine and booze, because we were showered with these housewarming gifts at our Housewarming Holiday Party last weekend:

Housewarming Booze

Housewarming Booze

YUM, Rumchata. Thanks, everyone!

We were so glad to have many friends over for our party, to celebrate our new home with us and get in the Christmas spirit. We had tons of yummy food; there were two tables filled with it, and I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture—but then, I didn’t really have time to even think of that for the first few hours! We also had the drinks flowin’, the Christmas music playing and the lights shining…

Heart our Christmas tree

Heart our Christmas tree 🙂

And I think everyone had a blast. We sure did. Thanks for celebrating with us!

With all that in mind, I haven’t been working out much, but I did bite the bullet and hit a treadmill yesterday, since we got hit with freezing rain & ice Friday night.

Running on the dreadmill, I mean, treadmill...

Running on the dreadmill, I mean, treadmill…

It’s kinda blurry, but I was trying not to look like a huge tool at my new gym for taking a pic of my machine.

I always run way harder on the treadmill, so I can get done faster, so I’m sore today…but it feels good. Glad to be back at it. More posts on the running & workout stuff to come soon!

– – –

Happy holidays everyone! What are you doing to celebrate?

How are you fitting in your workouts over this hectic holiday season—or are you not, and just eating cookies like me? 

Winter Is Coming

We flipped our calendars to September and suddenly, it seems the world has decided it’s fall.

I went on a bike ride yesterday and couldn’t help but notice that slight bite in the air… Not fully there yet, but enough of a brisk nibble to make me take my post-workout stretching inside.

And then, there was that crunch-crunch of leaves already littering the street as my tires rolled over them. Where did those crispy leaves come from? Why aren’t they a zealous green, still attached to those sprawling branches above?

Everyone is so excited for fall to be here, but to me it only means one thing:

WINTER is coming.*

Seriously.

I love pumpkin-flavored anything as much as the next person. I love throwing on a sweatshirt after dinner and going for a walk, taking crisp gulps of fresh air. It feels cleansing.

I love snuggling up under blankets to watch a movie before bed, because it’s already dark out at 7pm.

I love soft, chunky knit sweaters. I love the leather jacket I just bought (ooh, so can’t wait to wear it). I LOVE scarves, kinda obsessed.

I love boots. Well, the ones that my enormous runner calves can fit into, anyway. #RunnerProbs

But, fall is like a gateway drug, people. It means one thing:

SNOW IS NEXT.

And that—nope, I am just NOT ready for.

Sure, I’m stoked for cooler runs and less humidity. Perhaps even waking up leisurely on a Saturday morning, not worrying about starting my run at the crack of dawn, because it will still be cool come 8am. And, I suppose I have to admit that though I hate the fact that football literally infects my ENTIRE Sunday (yes, infects, it’s a bit like a disease), I do like that I get to treat it with a healthy dose of game day snacks and maybe a microbrew. Or two. Or three.

There are so many things to look forward to during the fall season. But, the days will get shorter, the sunshine will wane, and snow will soon begin its descent…

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here. But really, we could have snow in two months. TWOOOOO months.

Good thing we decided when we moved in to our new house that the husband-to-be is the lucky one on snow removal duty.

Forever.

I suppose I can handle it when I think of it that way… 😉

Are you excited for Fall? What’s the best part of the season? How do you feel about winter?

*Har, har. Any Game of Thrones fans out there?

P.S. Excuse this random post. I’m merely taking my mind off the fact that I go see the physical therapist in a half hour. I’m hoping that she has a miracle, or the answers to life, a.k.a. what is wrong with my knee so I can go run again. Pleeeease. Update soon!

Finger Printing Powder & a Cheers to the Weekend

Finger printing powder sure does make a mess.

But Amanda… You may start asking. Why are you cleaning up finger printing powder? 

Well friends, it’s been one of those weeks.

I had all kinds of fun posts planned for you. A new recipe, a fun recap of some trail running (my fave), an overdue post about getting fit for new running shoes. And last but not least, [super dorky] “SNACK week”—not to be confused with Shark Week—to show snapshots of some of my favorite tasty snacks this week.

But instead, I haven’t posted in a couple of days. My workouts this week have been severely lacking. Work stress and long hours have taken their toll on my brain, which I imagine currently resembles the charred bits of oatmeal burned to the bottom of a pot. And, I’ve just felt so tired and sore every.day.this.week.

To top it off, on Wednesday night, I couldn’t fall asleep for hours. By 1am, I couldn’t shake this weird feeling, and every time I closed my eyes I had to pop them back open to check the room. Paranoid much? But maybe for good reason…

Into the picture comes the aforementioned finger printing powder. This really all sounds much more dramatic than it is, I’m sure, but someone broke into & burglarized 20+ cars in my neighborhood on Wednesday night. So, after a combined four (?) hours of sleep, when I zombie-walked to my car Thursday morning, the sight of everything in my car torn up and thrown all over was a lovely “good morning.” The contents of my glove department, papers & mail, numerous CDs, shoes & some clothes (that really needed cleaned out of the backseat anyway), were strewn every which way. Luckily, I know better than to leave anything important or valuable in my car. But, I was left feeling violated, and my sense of security in our new neighborhood has been dampened, to say the least. Someone was literally steps from my front door, going through my personal property. Ugh.

Because there were so many cars broken into, the police dusted my car and several items in it for fingerprints. It’s almost a little comical to me that they went to all that trouble even though I had nothing stolen, but I suppose with so many people affected, they have to do what they can. Now that I’ve got my car sparkling clean again, and all the black dust out from under my fingernails after cleaning off my belongings, it’s time to move on and hope that this sucker is caught soon.

But all of this reminds me that sometimes, we just have an off day (like Monday), and maybe even a plain bad week. We might not get everything done that we needed to do, we might not feel that great physically, we may not even feel all there mentally at times. But we have to keep moving, we have to keep trying, and we just have to keep looking ahead.

So, I’ll be lifting up my glass of wine tonight to you all (just one, followed by lots of water) and “cheers”ing to the weekend: To a good 15-mile long run bright & early tomorrow morning. To celebrating a friend’s baby on the way. To meeting up with friends and chatting, smiling, laughing. To spending time with the ones we love. To eating good food and drinking good beer. To taking some time out to relax and recharge. To just BEing.

Cheers.

P.S. All those cool posts I mentioned at the beginning of this ramble-rant? Look for that good stuff in the coming week.

: )