Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Randomness - A Cavalcade of Info

Sometimes I forget I have a blog over here!  Sheesh!

No, truthfully, I haven’t had a ton to talk about, so I’ve been keeping a list of things I want to chat about throughout the week and now that it’s Friday I’m going to give you a whole cavalcade of randomness.  Ready?

Exercise.  I have been keeping up with the exercise train since we last talked, which I’m proud of.  I got in 5 workouts last week and 3 this week.  Two this week were T25 workouts because I was just in that kind of sadomasochistic mood.  (Man, those workouts are tough – especially when you haven’t tried one in a while.)  And today I did a “hey it’s better than nothing” type of run/walk (mostly walk).  Eh, at least I got up and did something. 

But I’m really glad that I’m still riding the workout train.  Next week is a whole other story though…

Next week.  So next week is going to be a weird week.  The first part of the week, Monday-Wednesday, I’m at a Learning Conference in town, down at one of the Disney resorts (!).  This means that I will have to be up and out of my house, fully clothed and coiffed by 7am.  Bah.  No room for a morning workout unless I wake up in the middle of the night.  But, maybe I could sneak something in during breaks at the conference?  I’m going to try.  I am really looking forward to this conference – it’s all about new ways of learning and learning technology and all kinds of dorky stuff that relates to my job.  Steve Wozniak (“the Woz”) is the keynote speaker, so that should be really cool.  I’m kind of geeking out about that. 

The second half of the week, Hubs and I are taking a road trip up to Atlanta for a wedding.  We are leaving Thursday and coming back on Sunday, and spending part of the trip (the non-wedding part) celebrating my birthday!  We have no idea what we’re going to do there yet, but I would love to see some Fall foliage (since we don’t get that here).  So yeah, weird week, not much working out is going to happen and I’m sure I’ll be eating all of the things (like I’ve been doing this week too).  Meh.

Anniversary.  As I mentioned last week (the last time I blogged, sheesh), Hubs and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary on Friday (we’ve actually been together for 13 years, so celebrating 6 years is kind of passe).  We decided to go and pamper ourselves with a massage at the Mandara Spa at The Dolphin Resort out at Disney.  It was heavenly. 

We don’t get massages often (our last one was on our 4 year anniversary – seriously, 2 years ago), so this was a treat.  And apparently I really needed one because the masseuse at one point whispered, “your shoulders are really messed up.”  Um, thanks?  After our massages we enjoyed the steam room (separately, since it was in our respective locker rooms) and the rest of the spa.  It was really relaxing. 

After that we went down to Downtown Disney and walked around.  My goal:  to buy new running shoes.  (more on that later)  That evening, we had the most amazing and delicious meal.  We had a gift card for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and oh my.  Still the best steak in town, in my opinion.  We ate so much we were sick.  We both had filet and shared their famous au gratin potatoes and fire roasted corn (which was surprisingly delicious).  At that point we should have just stopped, but we knew we wanted to get dessert.  We had already decided on the White Chocolate bread pudding, but then our waiter brought over complimentary strawberry shortcake and chocolate truffles for our anniversary.

We ate that up and then ordered our bread pudding, because hey, why not have two desserts?  I was stuffed, but I am SO GLAD we got the bread pudding because it was quite possibly the best dessert I have had in a long time.  The bread pudding was great, but then they poured a glaze of white chocolate infused with Chambord (raspberry) liquer over the top.  Holy geez, it was good.  Wow.  They had to roll me out of there, but it really was worth it.

Jordyn.  The rest of our anniversary weekend we were running around, having fun and hanging with Jordyn!

(For those who don’t know, Jordyn is my 20 year old step-daughter who lives in LA) 

She was in town for a visit and while in town, she booked a gig at Celebration’s Rocktoberfest, so we went to watch her sing.  It was great.  As always.  

Jillian dressed up as Jordyn's Barbie character, Courtney, and sang along.

I didn’t share this with you guys, but Jordyn did something super huge and awesome.  She works as a singer/songwriter for a company that writes music for TV and movies, and one of her clients is Mattel.  (remember the Barbie movie she did?)  Well, Mattel teamed up with DC Comics to create a superhero show for young girls called DC Super Hero Girls, which will be airing later this year.  Jordyn was lucky enough to write the theme song and perform it, and they loved it and bought it!   So her song and voice will be featured on the TV show!  How cool is that?  The song is freakin fantastic and catchy and amazing and you just have to click below to watch the really fun lyric video on You Tube.  Seriously, once it's available on iTunes (later this year), it's going to be my new workout jam!  FUN!

The weekend ended with all of us going out to Food and Wine Festival at Epcot and hanging out.  Life is pretty good.

Halloween.  I am so super excited about Halloween.  This is the first Halloween where Jillian is old enough to understand and be excited about her costume.  She’s going as Tinkerbell, so it’s going to be too cute for words.  This week at her school they had a Halloween party – the 2 year olds weren’t invited to wear costumes (totally understandable), but they did get to wear Halloween shirts and decorate cookies, so that was fun.  And we took a trip to the pumpkin patch too. 

Seriously, too cute for words.

And I just hung up all of her Halloween artwork from school this week.  So adorable! 

Daylight Savings.  Can I just tell you how happy I am that daylight savings ends this weekend?  Fall back!  Gain an extra hour! 

Don't forget to "Cher" with your friends - hehe.

And the best - more light in the mornings!  It has been so hard getting up in the mornings lately.  I mean, it’s still pitch black out at 7am, what is that about?  Now with the time change 7am becomes 6am, which, by my calculation, means that it will be a little bit lighter out in the 6 o’clock hour.  Right?  I’m okay with this.

Aaaand now you’re all caught up on my life.  Aren’t you glad?  Hope you’re having a fab Friday and have a great Halloween weekend!

How about you … Are you dressing up for Halloween?  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gift Card-iversary

Happy Friday! Hubs and I are taking the day off today to celebrate our 6 year anniversary! 

Our anniversary is actually not until tomorrow, but it's way more fun to take a day off of work to play, right? That, and we have a bunch of stuff going on tomorrow and this weekend, so this just made sense. 

I'm deeming this anniversary "gift card-iversary" because we are putting some old, old gift cards to use finally. Exciting! 

We are starting our day with a couples massage at a spa out at Disney. I have $75 in Spa Finder gift cards and lucky for us, this spa accepts them. So that is nice! Spahhhhh!

And then in the evening we are going to Ruth's Chris for dinner. Yum. We've been sitting on a $100 gift card from there for close to two years (thanks mom and dad!), so we are finally going to cash in for some delicious steak. I can't wait. I also can't remember the last time we went there. It's been like a decade. For real. 

The rest of the weekend we have fun things planned. Jordyn is in town from LA and she's performing at Celebration's Annual Oktoberfest, so we'll be hanging with her and stuff, going to Food and Wine Featival, all sorts of excitement. And yes, there will be running thrown in there. Fo sho! Fun times! 

And that's all I've got!! I hope your Friday is off to a great start!! Have a great weekend! 

How about you .... Any good weekend plans? 

I Need Exercise In My Life

Last week I was in a funk. Like a big one. Work was stressful, I was moody, I felt fat, I felt like I couldn't get anything done, I cried, it was just a mess. And I inherently knew exactly what I needed to do to get out of my funk - exercise. Truth. 

As I have incessantly told you, I haven't been working out lately. Like at all. And this clearly has a really big affect on me after a while. I can always feel myself getting irritable and miserable when I'm not working out regularly. And I always know the remedy - go for a run, go for a walk, do something. I'm not sure why I ever stop doing normal workouts, because I know how it will make me feel.  And then I just complain about it.  So dumb. 

Anyway, I had my 5-miler on Sunday and it could not have come at a more perfect time. Was I prepared for it? Hell no. But it forced me to do what I needed to do to get out of my funkiness. And it worked. After my run I felt an instant gratification, and an instant happiness, like I did something great for my overall being. Not just my body, but my being. Endorphins are for real! And I knew I wanted, I needed, to keep it up. Because it's important, on a multitude of different levels. 

So I decided that I was going to change my routine so that I could make exercise work for me every morning (or at least almost every morning). This does require me to set the alarm for an ungodly, oh dark thirty hour, but I'm willing to do what I need to do to stay happy and healthy. 

Monday I was up and in my workout clothes by 5:30(am). Since I had run 5-miles the previous day, I kept things simple by doing a couple of easy but kinda hard workouts I found on Pinterest:

It felt great to move, but it was a heck of a lot of push ups.  I was amazed at how much I got accomplished in addition to my workout before 8am. Workout, emails, work stuff, blogging... Wow, who knew? 

By the end of Monday I was so sore I could barely walk, so for my Tuesday workout I took a short walk around the neighborhood and did an easy arm workout (because my arms, chest and armpits were all sore from all the push ups from the Monday workout - meh). By the end of Tuesday I realized I probably needed to take a rest day on Wednesday since I was still so very sore, so I did. No shame. 

Today Jillian was up at 4:30(am), sort of crying, sort of having a conversation with herself, but she was up so I was up. Not out of bed, just awake and aware. And of course my alarm was set to go off in a mere 45 minutes. She finally settled back in after 5, and since I was already up, I got up and out. Running in the 5 o'clock hour is dark. Like, I can see the stars and the moon dark. But peaceful. So I did a 25 minute run/walk around the well lit areas of our neighborhood and then did a quick strength workout (Heather's Bodyweight Workout). 

One thing I will say about getting up and getting things accomplished early is the fact that I already have half of my days step goal complete before 7am. That's pretty cool. 

All in all, I feel great this week. So much better than last week, and I truly believe it's the exercise and endorphins and the fact that I'm not eating as much crap (because there has been a lot of crap consumed lately). So hooray for being back on some kind of wagon. I clearly need exercise in my life and I'm going to try to not be so dense and feel the need to skip it and be lazy.  

Go me. 

How about you ... What motivates you to work out?

Monday, October 19, 2015

U Can Finish - And I Did!

Hey guess what? I ran 5 miles yesterday! OK well I ran/walked 5 miles, but still! 5 miles! 

The U Can Finish 5-Miler held true to its name, and I did in fact make it to the finish line with absolutely zero training or physical activity in the month leading up to it. And, I even did it in less time than I anticipated. Go figure! 

The race didn't start until 8am, so I didn't have to wake up terribly early, but when that alarm went off at 6:15 I let out an audible groan. 

Side story: Jillian has been sick all week with a nasty cough/cold (aka daycare funk) and she's been sleeping with us because she gets into these awful coughing fits and I'd rather have her close as she's trying to get through it. If that makes any sense. Anyway, needless to say sleep hasn't been stellar all week and I think we all have a touch of her funk right now (Hubs more than me) so when the alarm went off I had to think "hmm should I do this?" Hubs apparently can read my mind because he said to me "just go and walk it if you have to."

The race was on campus at UCF and man, has that campus changed. I was constantly like "whoa, where did that come from?" and "where did that building go?!" throughout the race. It's totally not the same school I went to. But in the best way. I love that my school is growing and becoming awesome. 

Fun fact: UCF is number one on the list of the largest universities in the country - 52K undergrads in 2015. Bet you didn't know that! Although when I went there were considerably less and people didn't have their own computers and had to use computer labs to do work. Oh and email wasn't a thing either. Until I was a sophomore. (And no, I'm not 50) Hehe, these fun facts are just funny. 

Anyway... There were two races, a 2-miler and the 5-miler. As I was walking up, the two miler people were just starting to come through the finish chute. The winner did it in 11ish minutes. Yikes. 

The 5-miler started on time and I heard Carissa's familiar voice announcing and then we were off. My goal was 2/2 intervals, because why kill myself?

You know how the adrenaline is at the beginning of a race - high (yes even for slow runners who don't train), so I ended up busting through my first FOUR interval chimes. What does this mean? This means I ran for 8 minutes straight without stopping. Yes! Good way to start the race, but not good if I wanted to continue running throughout the five miles, so I settled into my 2/2s pretty comfortably.

I stayed on track with the intervals until after the 5K mark, and then I started taking an extra walk break here and there, but I always went back to running, which was surprising. I thought I would get to a certain point and be like "I'm done" and just walk the rest, which I didn't.  And I'm glad I didn't. 

The course was great, we started at the stadium and wound through campus  for the first 4 miles. At mile 4 we hit the, what I like to call, "downtown" part of campus where all of the shops and restaurants are. I was astounded by how many eateries they had there - Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Dominoes, Jimmy Johns, Chick Fil A, you name it. When I went there they had a cafeteria. And that's it. For real. 

Anyway, the final mile wound through "downtown" and the to the baseball stadium where we ran around the fireld. This ended up being craptastic because we ran in gravel and I got a rock in my shoe, thank goodness it was near the end. 

And then the finale of the race was running through the new (or new to me) Bright House Stadium - the football stadium. Wow!  The last probably .2 miles of the race was inside the stadium. I was tired at this point and really wanted to walk, but as soon as I entered the stadium on that giant football field I knew I had to run run run. And I did. And it was great! What a great way to end a run. 

After running around the football field, we exited the stadium and the finish line was right there, so I finished really strong and felt really good about that. 

I had no time expectations at all for this, but I had 1:15 in my mind as a very loose goal. I finished in 1:12. Right on! 

I'm bummed I didn't have my camera during the race, so I took these at the car when I got back. 

Great race, great way to get back into physical activity again. I missed it so much. I really did. This came at the right time for me and now I need to make it a point to keep up the momentum. 


How about you ... How are you today?  Did you run at this weekend?  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fondest Running Memories

Despite the fact that I haven't run in a very long time, and I'm not prepared at all, I'm really looking forward to the U Can Finish 5-miler on Sunday. 

(Please, I've run half marathons with less training, I'll be fine...I hope)

So why am I so excited about running the U Can Finish? Because the race course winds all around the campus of UCF, my alma mater. And because running around that campus brings back the fondest memories. 

I always say that I "learned how to run" back in 2006 when we lived in Celebration, but that's actually not really true. I was reunited with my love of running then. My love of running actually began when I was a junior in college, circa 1998. (God that sounds sooo long ago!) 

When I went to UCF I did what every normal teenage girl did, I gained the Freshman 15. And then as time went on that number went up to like 20, or maybe 25, I dunno that was so long ago. But one day I realized that I needed exercise in my life.

I had dabbled in running here and there, running the occasional Turkey Trot with my family throughout high school, but I never did it on a regular basis. During my junior year at UCF I made it a point to incorporate running into my schedule every day. So I started running around campus in the wee hours of the morning before class. And I was an overachiever who had 8am classes, so it was very early.

Looking back, I am surprised (and thankful) I was never abducted or accosted in any way.  I ran in the DARK and I ran in some pretty remote areas of campus.  (That road where the UCF stadium is today?  It was just a barren road with nothing but trees - that's where I primarily ran - crazy.)  I literally cringe when I think about where I ran, alone.  I would never do that now.  But, me being a naive 19 year old, I laced up my sneaks, loaded up my Sony Walkman with an awesome running "mix tape" and I was off.  

Yes, tapes were a thing when I was in college.  I did fluctuate between my tape Walkman and my Sony Discman, but, a) running with a Discman was hard because your CD always skipped, and b) you couldn't make a "mix tape" of running songs on a CD - that technology wasn't available yet.  GOD, how old am I?!  

Anyway, I loved those mornings when I went for a run.  It was just me, my jams, in the dark.  I didn't go far, heck I don't even think I know how far I ran because I didn't have a pedometer of any sort, but I just ran and I loved it.  

So going back to run at UCF is a treat for me.  The campus has changed so much in the  years since I went there, it's fun to see the new and the old.  Much of the course on Sunday is on that road where I used to run alone early in the mornings, so that will be fun.  

Now here's hoping I don't keel over from lack of any sort of cardiovascular movement for so long... 

How about you ... Do you have a special place where you run or ran?  Fond memories of running?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Scenes From the Weekend

I know it's already Wednesday and the weekend is almost here again, but here's how our last weekend went...


Ice cream


Mall fun

Pool time 

Sleepy time

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Just a Thought...

This week has been crazy at work.  I’m on a new project that is important, has high visibility, and I’m in charge of it.  (What are they thinking leaving me in charge!?) 

As I was building out a super detailed project plan the other day, and listening to upbeat workout music (this is how I get creative at work – it works for me), I started to think about the fact that my exercise life is in shambles.  I haven’t done a thing lately.  I set my alarm and set out my clothes the night before with good intentions to get up and workout, but it’s just not happening. 

While working on my project plan, I realized that I need to do a detailed project plan on myself!  With work you creative objectives and goals and set timeframes and you get things done.  Why can’t I do this for myself?  Set an objective for what I want to achieve (a better, more consistent workout regimen), create guidelines for workouts (how many days a week, when, where, what) and then executing.  I can do this.  I’m a great project manager, so why not project manage myself?  Like work, my health and my fitness should be a priority and not an afterthought, so why not attack it like work?


Good idea, right?  Just a thought…  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend Fun

Totally meant to post this yesterday but things got hectic, so today it is!! 

This weekend was one of those non-stop weekends where we crammed a lot in and got a lot done.  I love weekends like that. 

On Saturday we got up and out fairly early for another mall stop.  Last week Jillian did the mall playground tour, and this weekend we visited another mall for kicks so that she could roam around and have some fun.  That child loves to run and climb.  

We got home and had a little bit of time to chill out, and then we were out the door again.  We decided since the weather was so nice (read: not stupid hot), we’d go out and enjoy the weather.  We weren’t in the mood to go to a Disney park, so we opted to go out to Fort Wilderness and mosey around there for a while.  We rarely go out there, so it was a nice change of pace.  We had dinner, let Jillian play and roam, and it was just a nice night.  Did I mention the weather was lovely?  Upper 70s and low(er) humidity.  Nice!  

On Sunday Hubs took Jillian out for a day of fun so that I could get some things done.  And get things done I did.  I really really wanted to get some Fall/Halloween decorating done and I was getting antsy that it wasn’t done yet, being October 4th and all - ha.

When I got our Halloween decor out I decided that I needed some new stuff, so off to Homegoods I went.  Dude, I could spend so much money at Homegoods.  Love that place!  I found all kinds of great stuff.  Our house right now is a hybrid of Fall and Halloween.  Since Jillian is still young, we’re not all in on Halloween just yet, so it’s a little of both.  AKA, a little all over the place.  Whatever, it works.



I also found my most favorite candle ever and bought them all.  They’re hard to find and I can only find them at Homegoods at this time of year, so when I find them, I buy them.  Smells like Fall.

Yankee Candle Fields. It's not a real scent that you can get in stores. I can only find them at Homegoods. In the fall.

I also made a run to JoAnn and Target where I picked up this cute top, which I most likely won’t be able to wear until February, but I was in the Fall spirit so I went with it.  

Sorry for the phone screenshot. I do everything from my phone these days. 

When I got home, I got to work decorating and got the house done before Hubs and Jillian got back.  And then I caught up on some TV - Nashville and Scream Queens (is anyone watching this - it’s crazy, but hilarious).  

And then as if we couldn’t cram any more into the day, we made an Epcot trip that evening for Food and Wine and met up with some friends.  A great ending to a great weekend.  

Love that!  

How about you ... How was your weekend?  How was the weather where you are?  

Stitch Fix - The Full Box

It finally happened. 

I bought the whole box! 

(Old picture, I forgot to take a pic of the box) 

Have no clue what I'm talking about? I'm talking Stitch Fix

If you like, and want to keep, all five items in your Stitch Fix box, you get the elusive 25% discount. This has never happened to me before, so I'm a little excited about it. 

My Fix this month was fantastic and I really hope my stylist on this one, Barbara, stays my stylist forever more because she gets me.  Here's what I got...

Daniel Rainn Veronica Crochet Overlay Top

Please disregard my ratty boxers that I've had since college, it was late and I didn't feel like changing for pictures. 

This top looks way better in person than it does in this picture. I love the fact that it's crocheted and then has a longer shirt underneath (that way I don't have to worry about finding a tank that works underneath) - it's all one piece. Love the color, love the fit, love it all. Here's a close up of the crochet. 

Pretty. Keep! 

Pixley Hillway Tank

I love me a flowy-ish tank with interesting straps. It's hot up in here all the time so I still have time to wear the crap out of this top (I actually wore it this weekend). Great colors, great style, my kind of top. Here's the back. 

Disregard the bra straps. Keep! 

Le Lis Granada Crochet Back Panel Top 

Another sleeveless flowy-ish top!? Barbara stop it, you're spoiling me! And I love anything navy and striped right now, so this was a no brainer. And then I turned around...

I can't even.... Lace detail down the back? Love it! I actually wore this top this weekend as well and didn't want to take it off. Keep! 

Margaret M Odela Houndstooth Pencil Skirt

I specifically asked for a black pencil skirt exactly like the blue one I got last time. And she delivered. It's perfect. 

And because it's black I have a billion things to wear with it. Yay!!

Pixley Betsey Abstract Strip Fit and Flare Dress

This is the only piece I had a little hesitation about. I liked the look and the style of the dress, but it was a tad big. Could I make it work? Yeah. 

It was also the only thing holding me back from the full box discount. So I did the math and realized it was actually cheaper for me to keep the dress than to buy the four other items (no 25% discount) and send back the dress. So I kept it.   

Happy day!! I heart Stitch Fix! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Randomness - October Edition

Hey, hey it's Friday!  Again.  Time is flying by.  

And also, it's OCTOBER!  So now it's officially okay to start all things pumpkin and harvest-y and decorate for Halloween.  Even though it is still 90 degrees here.  

(And no, trees never look like that here.  They're always green.)

Anyway, here's some Friday randomness for you...  

- On Tuesday night I went out to a girls night out thing that my friend Kandyce put together.  Since we’re Disney people, our girls night out took us to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival to see Wilson Phillips.  Oh yes, we are living on the edge.

(OK, I was going to post a picture of the girls from that night but I look so horrendously bad that I must refrain. It was raining and super humid out. Nuff said. Instead here's a cool Wilson Phillips  photo.)


I forgot that they had some good songs.  I really enjoyed them.  Afterwards, we wandered around the park, ate food, rode Soarin’ and just had a really nice time being out there without kids and strollers.  Disney is so different without your kids. Just sayin'.  

- On Tuesday I typed the word “Ocotober” about 97 times.  This could be a long month.

- Please do not ask me about working out or running this week.  Just don’t.  :(

- I may be late to the party on this one, but I am slightly obsessed with X Ambassadors.   They’ve popped up on my Spotify, and I’ve heard the Renegades song, but I haven’t paid that much attention.  Until now.  Loving them! 

- While I was at girls night out, Hubs took Jillian on another mall playground adventure.  She is now obsessed with malls and asks when we’re going to the mall incessantly.  We may have a mall trip planned this weekend.


- I never shared with you the final product of our painting project in our loft/my office.  A while back I told you we were tackling painting stripes on the wall. After like three weeks of OCD-ness trying to get the stripes just right (Hubs, not me.  I was like “it’s fine, just leave it!”) here is our finished product. 

I loooove it! I still have decorating to do.  I want to make a gallery wall on the wall to the left.  I’m slowly gathering frames and items to include.  It’s a process.  But I’m super excited about how it looks and I love having my own space to work when I work from home.  Sure beats the kitchen table.  

And that's it.  Hope you're October is off to a great start.  Have a super weekend! 

How about you ... Good plans for the weekend?