Just Livin’ That Lovely Life

Over the winter, when I thought about the whole marathon training + working + planning a wedding + staying social thing, I knew it’d be a little busy…but I had no idea! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, a good one, and I’m in my own happy little version of Oz.

The Green Bay Marathon is quickly approaching: Only about a month away now! I’m so ready. I’m excited, but I have to admit that I am fully looking forward to it coming, and then going and being done. Staying in alone Friday nights, then getting up at the crack of dawn and running for 3+ hours on Saturday morning isss getting a little old. I love, love, love running—why else would I run a marathon?! But all the time that training’s taking away from the rest of my life…well, I’m ready to get that back. 😉

That said, training’s been decent. I did my 18-miler two weeks ago. I felt great for it all, ’til what I thought was my hip flexor, but I now suspect was perhaps my groin(?), was pretty tight for the last 3-4 miles. I finished without pain, but had some dull aching that night and the following couple of days. I took off Sunday—Thursday, then did a 2-mile test last Friday. I didn’t want to push my luck, so I only did 9 miles as my long run this past weekend (instead of 19 miles). I have a 20-mile run on the docket in two weeks and I think I’ll be golden for it. In the meantime, I’m looking up hip and groin stretches and strengthening exercises to help keep me feelin’ good ’til that finish line is in my crosshairs.

In other news: Work + wedding + social life have been fabulous.

I earned a promotion at work a few weeks ago, something I’ve been working towards for almost two years, so that’s exhilarating and motivating. YAY! Of course, that means big projects + personal goals to make things even MORE uber-awesome now, which means I’ve been putting in some extra hours lately. All worth it, though! Can’t live, or work, without a little extra passion. Amen.

I wish I could say I’ve been just as on top of wedding planning.

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I was feeling good about it, like I was ahead of the game, and then the last 2-3 weeks have positively FLOWN by and suddenly my to-do list is glaring at me. Eeeek.

Hope to do some real updating and more in-depth recap on my training lately…stay tuned!

– – –

How do you balance it all? 

Resting Up + Party Plans

YO, party people!
I am so looking forward to this week being over already. It’s been crazyhecticnutso around here, but in a good way. Plus, I have an exciting weekend coming up!

Last week flew by because work was so crazy. At my day job in web design world, we finished off our Black Friday + Cyber Monday sales, and kicked off our Christmas sales, so we’re in the home stretch for marketing land. It feels good to make it this far without losing my sanity (too much).

chateau st. michelle wine

delicio-so

Thank you, vino.

The week left me exhausted, and I was oh-so-happy when Friday rolled around. I had some web design training during the day (love going to “school”!), then returned home to some happy hour festivities with a buddy that will be leaving the hallowed work halls soon. Wah.

After that, I headed over to my company’s annual holiday party, where I got some yummy dinner and chatted it up with lots of co-workers. I stayed for a couple hours, then called it a night and headed home. I was ready for some sleep!

Saturday morning, I was supposed to run the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K. I did this run last year. It was well-organized, fun and well worth facing the cold then. But, temps were under 5 degrees, with a wind chill well below zero… Based on how miserably cold my Turkey Trot run felt last month, and with the temps even warmer then, I decided to skip the race.

A lot of my running club still went to the race, and I felt a little guilty for not going myself. What am I, a pansy? How cold is too cold, when it comes to winter running? What do you think?

In the end, I was pretty glad I skipped the race—I was so exhausted from Thanksgiving and the work week, so I really needed some extra zzz’s. I finally felt well-rested and was able to get a head start on all the work I needed to do around the house.

Why so much work to do here? We’re finally having a housewarming party this coming weekend! I LOOOOVE Christmas, so what better excuse to throw a holiday + housewarming party (finally)? We’re trying to put the finishing touches on every room, make our place spic ‘n’ span, get our holiday decorations up, and plan out our yummy food menus for the party before Saturday arrives.

We are having a ton of people over, so we’re doing a heavy spread of appetizers instead of a real “dinner” or anything. So far on the list we have:

  • Cheese, crackers, olives & grapes
  • Veggies, dip, hummus
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Taco dip + chips
  • Guacamole, salsa, chips
  • Salamis, green olives & mozzarella kabobs (festive!)
  • Spinach & artichoke bites (<– Thanks, Pinterest)
  • Brie, cranberry sauce & pistachio bites
  • Smoked salmon & chive cream cheese on cucumbers
  • Pepperoni rolls (<– Mom’s specialty)
  • Oreo truffles
  • Nutella brownies

Ahh, I’m already hungry just thinkin’ about it.

What are your favorite party foods?

Anything we should add to the spread? 

How cold is too cold when it comes to running?

The Long Haul to Turkey Day

It’s been a busy week so far. Even though it’s a short week at work, I’m counting down the hours ‘til Thanksgiving: Family, food, relaxation & a break! I’m in need of all those things. And maybe a few glasses of wine.

Well, always some wine. 😉

Here’s what my week has looked like so far:

My weekend involved lots of house cleaning, organizing & improvements. I’ll do full reveals of these rooms once they’re completely done, but I’ve pretty much finished making over our main guest bedroom and my office. Yay! Finally.

Sneak peek of our guest room. Neutral and comfortable.

Sneak peek of our guest room, picture unhung.

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my "clothesline" for fun stuff!

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my miniature “clothesline” for fun stuff!

I took a break Sunday and broke my hermit streak. Seriously, once it gets cold out, I do NOT want to leave the house. But my friend, Liz, invited me to meet her and a friend for a beer at a local craft brewery, Rustic Road. Beer? Sure!

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

I drank the Hazelnut Harvest amber ale. It was supposed to have flavors of vanilla and hazelnut, but they were pretty faint. Overall, the beer was okay, but not one I’d buy at a store. Which is sad, because I love me some hazelnuts!

I came home and got into the Christmas spirit a bit… Okay, I admit, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past week. But, I’ve been working on Black Friday and other holiday emails every day at work, what do you expect?!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Matt got us this wreath, handmade from some Boy Scouts. Love it! Mmm, fresh pine.

Then I enjoyed an Angry Orchard amidst the romantic glow of candles…

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…while I baked some [break ‘n’ bake] cookies to bring to my running club meeting for the next night. I’m a cheater.

Simply Pillsbury break n bake cookies - peanut butter and chocolate chip. Yum!

But I tell ya, these babies are so yummy! Lots of my running club buds were even saying so. Plus they are made “simply” without a bunch of crap like normal pre-made cookies. So, uh, they’re good for you, right?

On Monday, I got into work by 7a.m. and put in a good 11 hours, trying to get everything done for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Had to skip my planned run with friends, but it was worth getting some extra stuff done. Plus, I rocked an afternoon presentation to my boss and some execs. Ohhh yes. Hoping to help make some good changes in the near future!

Left work by 6 to go to the running club meeting and feed people with my delicious homemade cookies. The cookies were gone quickly, and they [plus pizza] fueled us through a couple hours of packet stuffing for our upcoming sponsored race, the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run!

Did you ever realize how much work goes into that packet stuffing?

I hadn’t.

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run

But it took a while, and a whole bunch of spunky runner folks.

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And a few paper cuts.

Packets for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Look at all those packets! That’s not even all of them…

But we got it done! If you’re looking for a Turkey Trot or a Thanksgiving Day race to help offset all the eating, drinking & being merry on Thursday, sign up for my running club’s race! It’s almost sold out, it’s a popular one. 🙂

Today was another long day at work, but in a good way. Getting lots done and ready to bring on the holiday shoppers! But coding a bazillion emails has made me cross-eyed. Good thing my boss brought in cupcakes to fuel us along.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

BTW, best way to eat a cupcake: Tear it in half, and flip the top with the frosting over. Eat like a scrumptious cupcake sandwich, with frosting in every bite. You’re welcome.

One more long day of work, LOTS to get done. Then it’s Thanksgiving break time!

And also time to start streaking. A run streak, that is. You in?

Good thing this post looks so healthy, with all its boozy mentions and cookies and cupcakes. Maybe I should start taking pictures of my salads. But you know, those just aren’t as pretty.

What’s getting you through the week?
What are your plans for the holidays?
Will you be run streaking?

Things I’m Looking Forward To + Rachel Zoe

Whew! We made it to Thursday, people. It’s been a long week on the work front—lots of hours and last-minute projects. I guess that’s the norm in the marketing & web world, but sometimes it gets a bit draining. Looks like taking some extra time off running this week was good timing, because at least I’m not 110% drained at the end of every day.

On a positive note, lots of good things have been made, and we’re in the process of making so many improvements at work. I will just keep those positive thoughts in mind, keep my nose down to the grindstone, and truck along. That’s how I do.

Speaking [writing?] of making great things, I want to share with you the big project I was working on a few weeks ago: I work at Jockey International, and we’re partnering with stylist & fashion icon Rachel Zoe. Have you heard of her? She’s kind of a big deal. 😉 Anyway, a couple weeks ago we soft-launched our new microsite for new “cheeky” underwear that she promotes—that’s right, NOT granny panties! I put a lot of time, effort, and, umm, possibly some wine into this site. Check it out and let me know what you think of it!

Jockey + Rachel Zoe Microsite

Jockey + Rachel Zoe Microsite

Things I’m looking forward to in the next few days:

• Getting engagement photos back soon.
EEEEEE [<– imagine a high pitched girly noise here] I will fill you in on our amazing wedding photographer & all that jazz once we get the pics! Here’s a sneak peek:

shot by The Salty Peanut Photography

Engagement Photo Sneak Peek

• Chef salads & soup for dinner.
Simple and relatively light. Yum.

• Having a beer with said “light” dinner.
Balanced diet. Er, yeah.

• Staying home this weekend and “winter-izing” our house.
What does one do to “winter-ize”? We just know we need to get our shit together before the snow starts falling, which could literally be any day now. Damn you, Wisconsin. We plan to get our deck cleared off & our garage organized, and then get some major cleaning around the house done. I know, sounds exciting. But I will feel good when it’s done!

Things I’m not looking forward to:

• Avoiding Matt’s sickness the next few days.
The flu/cold has been going around work and now Matt’s been home sick, too. I’m trying to get lots of sleep and have been taking my drug cocktail in hopes of staying healthy. And by drug cocktail, I mean: Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea & Garlic pills. Usually works like a charm!

• Cleaning the garage out this weekend.
I know, I just said I’m looking forward to it above, but there are always so many spiders and bugs and it’s like a dead bug graveyard and ugh. Just not my favorite thing ever.

• Cutting back on sweets again.
I’ve been pretty lax on my diet the last two weeks, with the whole marathon euphoria convincing me I can eat whatever I want. It’s been tasty, but I can feel my jeans snugging back up, so I guess it’s time to get all that sugar back under control!

spoooooky cupcake

buh-bye mr. bat cupcake

• Bundling up.
Brrrr. It was 34 degrees when I left home this morning. I fear fall is on the downswing and winter is coming…

What are you looking forward to this weekend? What do you do to “winterize”? What do you think of our Rachel Zoe website? 🙂