Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Five #44

I've got exciting things happening this weekend - I'm jetting out after work to visit my Momma & brother. They had planned a weekend trip & I'm crashing the party. I'll drive to VA after work & meet them at the hotel in a little town outside of Roanoke. So, if you've got any must see's or eats in Roanoke - pass 'em along!

In case you missed it, I posted Our Engagement Story + When are you getting married & other dumb questions about my wedding - a  satirical take on all the crazy questions I've been getting. But...while I'm busy counting down the hours 'til 5PM it's time for some Friday Five. I hope you'll share your favorite bits from the week in the comments, or tell me what's up for this weekend!

one // I went full on basic last weekend when Ciara , Katie & I headed to Soergel Orchards just north of Pittsburgh. There was apple picking, cider drinking, donut eating, wine tasting & even hard cider tasting. It was crazy crowded, but we didn't mind.

two // Fall feelings continued into the week. I picked up pumpkin gnocchi + pumpkin chipotle pasta sauce during my weekend shopping trip. So it was "Pasta Tuesday" around here this week. While I think calling the package of gnocchi 3.5 servings is generous, it was very tasty!

three // I've never been a beer fan, but I want to be. I want to be able to love on some craft brews. And also not be the odd man out, drinking a water when we head to new breweries. So, I take a sip of every beer I'm offered, but still think they're pretty blah. I did try this one though & didn't hate it. Progress.

four // Since this is apparently turning into the Fall edition of Friday Five, I may as well share one of my favorite pictures from our Poconos trip. This was taken near Tobyhanna Lake in Tobyhanna State Park.

five // And some funnies to round out the week... No funnies because while I was searching around the Interwebs I started watching Stranger Things on Netflix and now I'm two episodes deep, which happens to be about two episodes past my bedtime. So now I'm just home alone and creeped out until Mr. Sass (thanks for all the comments last week, I think the BF just became Mr. Sass) gets home. Sorry folks. We'll be back to regular programming next Friday.

What are you up to this weekend?
Who has watched Stranger Things - no spoilers, please!

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When are you getting married & other dumb questions about my wedding

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do is answer stupid questions with sarcastic answers, all while using a serious tone. Thankfully, my quick wit allows me to handle such a task quite easily. Watching people's faces as they try to compute sarcasm versus serious cracks me up - and, in my humble opinion serves them right for asking me a dumb question they probably have no business asking.

The only thing getting engaged did was open up a whole can of questions that 99% of the people asking don't need to know the answer to. So, after getting annoyed the first few times I finally just started screwing with people. And watching as they try to decide sarcasm versus serious. Do they have to play along or risk offending me? Or am I kidding & they can laugh? Fine line to to play with my dear friends, as ain't nobody tryin' to be on my shit list.

If you've been engaged at any point ever I'm certain you'll be able to relate to these ridiculous questions that people start asking 4.3 nanoseconds after you announce your engagement to the world. If you've never been engaged, do me a favor - don't ask this shit, at least not right away. I would wager a guess most brides have no idea. And trust me, if they do, they'll tell you.

Q : When are you getting married?
A : Never, if you keep asking that.
Alternate : A destination wedding, to Moscow, in June.

Q : What are your colors?
A : My dress will be white - or maybe more of an ivory.
Alternate : Black.

Q : Do I get a "plus 1"?
A : Not even sure you get an invite yet, so don't push your luck.

Q : I'm busy XYZ date next year, it won't be that day will it?
A : Actually, now that you mention it...maybe we did just pick a date.
Alternate : So happy to hear about your other social engagements, let me just put that down in our big book of things to consider when picking a date.

Q : My cousin's niece had a sister with a neighbor that did this thing - are you going to do that thing?
A : No.
Alternate : OMG, that sounds so neat, and affordable, and necessary for a wedding. Can you get me more details on how they did that?

Anyone else have any questions? :)
I promise I don't bite - but I also promise we seriously haven't picked a date yet.

Linking up with Amanda to share my frustrations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hell on Hills 5K Recap

My friend sent me the link to this inaugural 5K a few months back. At the time I was still undecided on whether or not I would run a fall half marathon. I wavered back and forth for a month or two, but finally decided I wasn't willing to put in the hard work to run 13.1 miles this fall. Instead, I registered for the Hell on Hills 5K.

Hell on Hills claimed to be the world's steepest 5K. And the start line was indeed at the bottom of Canton Avenue. Known by name to Pittsburghers, it's claimed to be the steepest street in the US, boasting a 37% grade, steps rather than a sidewalk, and pavement that switches to old school cobblestone halfway up.

I laid out Flat Jessie the night before - unsure how the cold temps would feel. But I made the right outfit choice.

There was no parking at the start line, as it started on a small neighborhood side street. Instead, parking was set up down the road, with a shuttle to take all the runners to packet pickup, which was offered day of only, before having runners walk up a short hill to reach the start line.

When packet pickup info went out, I saw no mention of a bag check for the start line, a big no-no in my mind since everyone would have a shirt to pick-up & this was a point to point rather than a loop course. I inquired on their FB page & suggested bag check. I had a response within the hour, and by that evening a confirmation that there WOULD be a bag check.

Packet pick-up was otherwise smooth. Though the race was small, only 230 runners, only 3 port-o-potties made for a long line at the start, so I opted to hold it. At 8:30 the announcement was made to head to the start line, about a 3 minute walk away. So, I shed my sweatshirt (in 39 degree weather mind you) and checked my bag before heading to the start line.

30 minutes later, we finally started race prep. A few last minute thank yous and thoughts from the race director, the playing of "Climb Every Mountain" en lieu of the National Anthem + a few technical difficulties. Finally, at 9:11 AM we were off!

I was a little surprised at how good I felt running up Canton Ave. After that I figured every other hill would feel like a breeze. Nope. What I failed to remember is, just after cresting Canton, just when you think it's all over, you turn the corner and an even longer hill states you down. I walked a few steps in the middle, looked at my watch at the top, and thought, oh good, only 2.8 more miles of this shit to go. 

Mile 1 : 10:27

The start of mile 2 was a steep downhill, so much so that I leaned backwards rather than forwards. I was afraid if I leaned into it my legs wouldn't be able to keep up. To gauge the steepness, this road also had stairs, rather than a sidewalk.

As we all know, what goes down, must go up. You know, the famous saying. Of course, just on the other side of the bend we found a steep 1/4 mile+ uphill.

Also, man does this elevation chart make molehills out of mountains. That shit was steep. And literally uphill both ways.

Mile 2 : 10:12

There was a small reprieve at the beginning of mile three. It felt flat at the time, but the slight downgrade explains why I was holding an 8:30 pace with no problem. Mile 3 flew by, the race director was cheering on the side of the road, and encouraged us by letting us know there was just one more hill. She lied. We round a corner - the finish line is in sight. But instead of turning to go towards it we're directed down a huge hill, that we then have to run back up. What a cruel joke.

Mile 3 : 8:32
.26 : 3:36

Final : 32:49

Finally, the finish line!

My sick new medal...and my free banana (not pictured).

It was a sick joke of a walk to pick up the shuttle, which involved some Pittsburgh stairs, and walking up a few more hills. All in all, for a first year race I thought this went pretty well. The shuttle had some kinks to be worked out. As did the finish line festival - which was not fully set up when I finished, though I finished 10+ minutes behind the overall winner. But definitely a unique race to run!

Linking up with  Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Engagement Story

If you've been here a while, then you've met "the BF". If not, you can read more about our love story here. But if not, he's no longer the BF, we're engaged! 

Which means two things.

1. Now I can't call him the BF. 'Cause, he's not anymore. But, just keepin' it real, I am way too lazy to type fiance every time I want to mention the man. I could type out his name, it's not long, but, he's asked me to not 100% reveal his identity to the Interwebs, which, I can respect. So, like, do I go with PH - for pre-husband? Just H? For husband, since he will be? I'm taking alternate suggestions. Like maybe just first letter of his first name? Chime in.

2. Now I have to plan a wedding. Help.

But, before all that nonsense - and no, we haven't picked a date yet. I want to talk our "engagement story".

We booked this trip way back in June. We saw the BF would have a 3 day weekend (which never happens), so we decided to each burn a vacation day or two and make a long weekend out of it. Then we saw a B&B pop up on Groupon that sounded good, and before we knew it we were headed to the Poconos.

When we book in June it never crossed my mind that I would be proposed to on our trip, but as it got closer the thought creeped into my mind. I talked it over obsessively with a few girlfriends, who all agreed, that while it wasn't 100% certain, this definitely was a golden opportunity.

Thursday, our first day of the trip, we headed to the PA Grand Canyon. We were definitely underwhelmed, expecting rim trails and lots of vistas, rather than two individual state parks on either side with short sidewalks to average views.

Then we headed to an old "fire tower" we had seen advertised - hoping we could see some of the great leaves we had spotted on the drive up. But what we found was this...

A janky, rusted out "fire tower", where for just a mere $3 (one swipe of the credit card) we could climb to the top. So of course we did. And the views from the top were worth it. Sketchy when the wind blew through, but worth it.

After we descended down the fire tower it was time for a stop at a nearby brewery for dinner, followed by the final drive to our first B&B. Cherry Mills Lodge.

The next day we headed to Ricketts Glen State Park, which is known for the Falls Trail. A trail that allows you to see over 20 waterfalls in a single hike. After no hint of a proposal on Day One, I started my hike with low expectations. Thinking clearly my friends had no idea what they were talking about. The BF wasn't acting funny, he wasn't extra sweaty, none of the "typical" signs.

We got to the third or fourth waterfall, maybe 1 mile into our hike, we hopped out into the middle of the creek, to get a better view of the waterfall. I snapped a few pictures & started to hop back towards the trail, but he stopped me.

One he said my name, and grabbed my hand, I knew what was happening. He said a few quick things, and before I knew it he was down on one knee, pulling a ring from his pocket. I nodded profusely, yes, yes! He slipped the ring on, but apparently in a fit of nervousness missed my emphatic head nodding, and a few minutes later asked me if all of this meant "yes". IT DID!

Once we finally hopped back over to the trail I pestered him for details, did he ask my parents? Yes. In fact, I almost screwed it all up when I went home last minute to visit them one weekend. Had he been planning this for a while? Yes. The ring had been in the safe since August. Did anyone else know this was happening? Yes. Literally all of our friends. Props to them for keeping their mouths shut.

The proposal was perfect. On a hike, which is absolutely "us" - one of our favorite things to do together, and part of what brought us together.

Being nosy like I am I loved hearing all the details. Like, he had planned it for the day prior, but changed his mind when the PA Grand Canyon was underwhelming. He had distracted me so he could untape the ring box in his pocket. And how he was so afraid he would accidently drop the ring in the water, which was why he was holding it with two hands like his life depended on it.

Any good engagement stories to share?
What's something that you & your SO share together?
Any new nickname suggestions for the BF?

Linking up with Holly & Tricia  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Five #43

Happy Friday! Even though I worked a short week this week the days dragged on & 5 o'clock can't come soon enough! I've got big plans, like a local 5K, All You Can Eat Crab Legs with some friends + a whole day of fall, including apple picking, apple cider & a big ol' bowl of homemade soup.

What are you up to this weekend? And what's your favorite soup? Drop me a link in the comments if you have one - and serious bonus points for anything I can make in the crockpot.

Now on to my favorite post of the week & some Friday Five!

one // If you missed it - shame on you for not following me on Instagram (@15minutes_late) but the BF & I are engaged! So, I guess technically he's not the BF anymore & I need to find him a new name, while not 100% revealing his identity to the Interwebs, because he's asked me not to. But back to the point. WE'RE ENGAGED! I'm excited to share more of the story + pretty fall pics next week. But here's a teaser in the meantime.

two // Is anyone interested in planning my wedding? I would say besides having good food & good music I don't care about many of the other details. So, don't expect centerpieces that will wow you. Because my thoughts on weddings are still pretty much this - from a post I wrote way back in April.

three // Mmm. Taco Tuesday for the win. When I lived alone, my meal prep game was strong, but I really only needed to make 2 - 3 meals for the whole week. Now I'm making 5+ a week, since the BF eats double+ what I do. So, having defaults, like Taco Tuesday, or Pasta Monday & Soup Wednesday (which BTW I just recently made up & have no ring to them) is such a lifesaver. This weeks tacos were ground venison, plus squash, onions & peppers from the garden & topped off with some homemade spicy salsa and homegrown lettuce. Mmm.

four // I talked back in the beginning of the summer about how I was cutting back on posting through Labor Day. Well, Labor Day has come and gone - and you may have noticed I'm just over here with my three posts a week, or some weeks, like this one, I just don't show on a Monday. Whoops. Anyways. I think 3 posts per week is here to stay. I'm loving the flexibility it gives me. And while I may pop in randomly on other days I never want to skip out on real life for the Internet. Ya dig?

five // And some funnies...

My face when someone asks me if we've set a wedding date has been less than a week folks, less than a week.


linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ragnar DC 2016 : Leg 2 Recap

I'm finally back with my leg 2 recap from Ragnar DC today! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or missed part one of my recap, you can find it here.

We left off at the end of my last recap at the end of leg 1. Since I was the final runner in my van the end of my leg meant we were free for the next few hours.

So off we went to lunch. Interestingly, of the 6 of us, I was the only meat eater. We made our way to Beckley Springs, WV. A super cute town I've driven through a few times. And stopped at a hole in the wall restaurant, Earth Dog Cafe. I was so impressed. 6+ pages of menu items, MANY vegetarian options, but just as many meat filled options. The waitress was super helpful about what could be made vegan for one teammate, and the prices were very reasonable. Half a corned beef sandwich, a cup of brisket chili, a basket of fries & bottomless coffee + tip set me back $15. Thank you small town America.

After lunch we headed on to the next "major exchange" - a major exchange is where both vans meet. Essentially Runner 12 finishes their leg & then Runner 1 starts the chain all over again. This means double the people & double the vans all converging on one place. This exchange was at a local highschool who opened their locker room showers for a small fee, hosted a spaghetti dinner & lots of open space for catching a nap, or charging your phone.

I opted for a short nap in the grass before the ants found me, followed by dutifully watching my phone charge. We ate lunch around 2PM - spent 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the major exchange & finally started round 2 of running around 7:30 PM. By the time it was my turn for leg 2 it was 11:55 PM, all of this to say I was not fed between 2 PM & midnight, save for a few granola bars, and these Crab Cheeseballs (delicious) - and was feeling dangerously low on fuel.

I strapped on my headlamp, blinking taillight + reflective vest & it was time for Leg #2.

This leg was set to be 3.5-ish miles, but, for better or worse, I didn't look at the elevation chart beforehand and got a nice little surprise when miles 1.5 to 2.3-ish were all uphill. So much so that I walked. 

I passed a flag waving high in the dark and stopped to snap a picture. But soon after the road was surrounded by trees & there wasn't a headlamp or taillight in sight. Which - is really creepy. So, once I finished the uphill I busted ass on the downhill.

I finished 3.51 miles in 33:49 for an average pace of 9:37 / mile.

After I finished my leg we made a beeline back to the van & sped off to Germantown, conveniently near our next major exchange & also home to one of our teammates. We grabbed showers & a few hours of sleep, and by a few I do mean about 2.5 hours of glorious sleep.

Linking up with Amanda to share.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Five #42

This week has been an odd one for sure. I spent a few days traveling for work - which meant hotels, lots of meals out & extra long days. Needless to say I'm extra ready for the weekend. Hopefully it'll be a chance to rejuvenate before another crazy week in the office next week.

What's going on in your world this week? And what are you up to this weekend? I hope you'll share in the comments! First an apology. Seriously, I read your comments & I should respond that instant, but then I don't. And then it gets to be an embarrassingly long time, but I will respond. Promise. Next week. But, now on for some Friday Five.

one // Taking it way back to last Friday...I come out to take a "lunch break" - it's already almost 2PM, but it's the first lull I've had. I had decided to go to Starbucks, when I notice a big ol' nail in my tire. SRSLY? I did what any 20-something girl would do. Panicked & called the BF. While also considering crying as if that would help. Thankfully we have a auto shop near work - so I took it down on my way back from the 'Bucks & they said $20-ish & they'd have it done by 5PM. Oh thank goodness, because I was really at the end of my rope already.

two // Wedding #5 of 6 for 2016 is done-zo. Only ONE MORE TO GO. In other news. The BF & I make a cute couple (humble brag) in what has become our official MacMod 2016 Wedding Uniform. I seriously cannot get enough of this dress. So comfortable, flattering & easy to dance in.

three // If you missed it this week, I shared a grocery haul on Instagram over the weekend (@15minutes_late). Which, I'm excited to keep doing, because grocery shopping is my favorite. You can follow me here if you're not already. :)

I also shared another Budgeting 101 post on Wednesday - buy this, not that. Some simple swaps to save some quick cash without cutting out the things you love.

four // Things I do not understand...when I live by myself I generate 1 load of laundry per week. Sometimes a bit more with sheets & towels. Ditto with the BF. Now, we live together & somehow our whole life is just running the dishwasher & doing laundry. We have done like 3 loads this week & could do another. 1 + 1 does not = 2 right here. Someone please tell me I'm not alone. Also, what sort of freak laundry math makes this happen. I don't like it.

five // Finally a few funnies to end this one.
This first one goes out to the woman at work who told me that pumpkin everything was ruining fall. Well, excuse me.

Also, this has literally been my life the past few weeks. My inbox will not calm down. So, seriously. I'll be over here in the sunshine, eating while someone rubs my belly. Thanks.

What are you up to this weekend?
Anyone doing anything fun & fall-ish?

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie