Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Five #41

Happy Friday, friends. I am so glad it's almost the weekend. Work has royally kicked my ass this week. There is always lots to be done for month end + it's also the end of the quarter. So double the work, double the fun. Wedding #5 of 6 is on tap this weekend. Plus hopefully some domestic-ness as the BF & I hang up some artwork (I really can't deal with the only pictures on the walls being of dead fish) & unpack some more of my stuff. And try to squeeze in a hike.

I'll be back next week with my next Ragnar Recap, so don't forget to check back. But, before we get to the weekend, it's Friday Five time.

one // Welp, the moving madness is "over" - at least in the sense that the keys to my old place were returned to my landlord, and I've started changing my address on things. But, we're far from finished with the unpacking. There are still pictures to hang up, knick knacks to find a home for, and more things to go to Goodwill I'm sure. The BF is working evenings right now, so while that sounds like it would give me ample time to unpack, it also gives me ample time to sit and re-watch Friday Night Lights. And every evening it's a toss-up as to what I'll choose.

two // I posted my first ever giveaway earlier this week. It's technically only open to yinzers (Pittsburgh people) - which I can't believe I just used that word, but the winner will receive a 2 month membership to a local gym + 1 hour free personal training session! So, if you're local, head over & check it out here. It's super easy to enter! And I would really appreciate the love.

three // There was a puppy at work on Tuesday! As part of our campus wide Safety Day. This little guy is a search and rescue dog in training. And while I don't think the intent was for every woman on campus to come over & pet him, that's pretty much what ended up happening. If this is safety I'm all for it! Puppy neck rolls are my weakness.

four // Fall in a pint glass. I poured a half shot or so of Dr. McGillicuddy's Apple Pie + some hard apple cider. Mmm. It sweetened up the hard cider and gave it the perfect sweetness.

five // And some funnies...

But seriously. Please tell me why. Learning calculus will not help me change my oil. And parallelograms will not file my taxes each April.

OMG. I died. That place might as well as be Goodwill, nothing is organized. At all. It's chaos. Finding something you like in your size is pretty much like finding buried treasure.

What are you up to this weekend?
Tell me something good that happened this week.
Pittsburgh people - Pleeeease go enter my giveaway from Wednesday!

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie + Mar + Cynthia + Courtney

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Personal Training Pittsburgh Giveaway

So, while I know I still owe you all a recap of legs 2 & 3 of Ragnar DC, which I promise I'll have next week, I was too excited to wait for this post.

A few weeks ago X Shadyside, a 24 hour gym in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, reached out to me, wondering if I would be interested in a trial membership + one hour of free personal training in Pittsburgh.

And stay tuned, because below I have my first ever blog giveaway! But before that I want to back up a little and tell you about my personal training session with Andrew & a bit more about the gym.

My training session was set for 6:30 PM and I was surprised to find the gym relatively empty. The bottom floor had a small personal training area, plenty of cardio equipment + a spinning room.

The second floor had a class studio that offers classes like Les Mills Body Pump, - which I am excited to try, Zumba, cycling & yoga. As well as a weight room and locker room.

Once I got the necessary forms out of the way, Andrew and I started by talking a little bit about my fitness goals. The more specific the better I was told - if weight loss is a goal, do you have a date in mind? A wedding, or a vacation? No dates in mind, but here are a few of my goals...

1. Run a sub 1:45 half marathon
2. Do a one-legged squat
3. Do a pull-up unassisted

Based on this, Andrew ran me through a circuit that made my shoulders burn & got my heart rate up for sure. We started off with a quick treadmill warmup. I jogged for 5 minutes while Andrew set up our circuit space. Then we got started with the following circuit.

1. Step-ups with medicine ball (15 each side)
2. Kettlebell squats (60 seconds)
3. Russian twists with medicine ball (45 seconds)
4. Bosu ball push-ups (to failure)
5. Bosu ball elevated planks (to failure)

We ran through this circuit x 2 and by the end my shoulders and biceps were burning. The step-ups and squats definitely got my heart rate pumping. Followed by the bosu ball which gave my arms and abs a workout for sure.

I'm excited to put my membership to use soon, as BodyPump has been on my 'must try' list for several years. But, I promised you all a giveaway! And I'm here to deliver. Partnering with XShadyside the winner will receive a complimentary 2 month membership + 1 hour of personal training! It's super easy to enter using the Rafflecopter tool below. Now, while this giveaway is technically open to folks everywhere, this gym is located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, so keep that in mind.

The giveaway is open until 10/5 at midnight & I'll choose a random winner that day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with Amanda

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall Bucket List

Happy Monday my friends, I've had this bucket list hanging out for a while. Mostly because I made it like the middle of August, but it seemed wrong to post amongst 90 degree weather with humidity to match. And also, because the thought of a hot PSL was enough to induce sweating. But now that the mornings are a little cooler, and the 90 degree days not so prevalent, I finally feel like fall is coming! So, here's my fall bucket list.

A list of all the little bits & pieces I love about fall. I managed to leave fall foliage hike off the list. OOPS! But, since I spend most weekends hiking at least a little bit, I figured it was a no brainer.

What's on your fall bucket list? Any good spiced wine recipes to share? Bonus points if I can dump it all in the crockpot! And also, who wants to have me over for Friendsgiving?

1 // Apple picking

2 // Homemade apple pie

3 // Pumpkin picking

4 // Make spiced wine

5 // Find the best fall foliage

6 // Make homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes

7 // Go for a walk & step on ALL the crunchy leaves

8 // Attend a fall festival

9 // Friendsgiving (attend or host)

10 // Eat soup from a bread bowl

11 // Drink hot chocolate fireside 

What's on your fall bucket list? 
Any good spiced wine recipes to share? Bonus points if I can dump it all in the crockpot! 
And also, who wants to have me over for Friendsgiving?

I'm linking up with Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights + AmandaBest of the BlogosphereLovePastaToolBelt SewCraftyAngel

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Five #40

First of all, FORTY Friday Fives? That's pretty cool. In November I'll hit a whole year of blogging - and I think that's neat. I'm impressed with myself. This stuff takes work, and way more than I ever expected. But reading comments you all leave and interacting with you guys is so much fun & so enjoyable. And definitely makes it worth it. But, enough being sappy...

Happy Friday! What's on tap for you all this weekend? I've got wedding #4 this weekend, followed by moving to the BF's on Sunday. EEK! My life is in a serious state of disarray right now, so I'm pretty excited to get back to some state of my new normal next week. And more so than anything, I'm excited to get back to meal planning // prepping & get out of clean out the fridge mode.

But, enough about that, I'll be back with my Fall Bucket List on Monday, and an update all about the move & my weekend come next Wednesday. In the meantime, here's some Friday Five for ya. :)

one // The fastest way to cause panic in an office building? Tell them the coffee maker is broken. Then make all of them shuffle down to another floor & stand in line to make coffee.

two // I found some things buried in the back of the freezer that will tide me over until I move on Sunday, but earlier this week, before I found those frozen treasures was rough. I ended up making an egg scramble with onion, corn, jalapenos, leftover sausage and beef + some feta and broccoli. It turned out surprisingly good (albeit ugly) & it made enough I could have leftovers for lunch, but now my house is officially out of eggs. And vegetables, unless we count onions & pickled jalapenos.

three // I mentioned in weeks past that we have a new service provider for an area that we outsource at work (like how vague that is? Yeah.) Anyways, it has been a total fail. Some aches and pains are always to be expected I guess, but I think this is a bit more. Anyways, it's going so poorly that I may have to work remotely from one of our sites to get this provider a better understanding of what we do. Please tell me how it sounds like I'll move in with the BF and see him less in the first few weeks than I usually do.

four // Work has been so crazy that I didn't get to take a lunch break on Thursday. I literally did not step out of the office once before the day was done. So, I took a break from packing & headed out for a walk before the sun went down. Just as I left the house one of my besties called me, so I got to enjoy a long chat. Which was much needed. And snap the picture of this vibrant sunset.

five // And as always, your weekly dose of funnies...

And finally, what I'll look like bounding out of work today, heading for a massage & then blitz packing the rest of my apartment, but only after I eat ice cream for dinner, 'cause #priorities.

What are you up to this weekend?
What's your go-to meal to clean out the fridge?
Share a major fail you had this week - I've been such a space cadet this week.
I've forgot to put my car in park more times than I can count before turning it off.

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's been two years, my love

It's hard to believe, but it has been two years, my love. I never would have thought that the date I almost didn't go on would mean meeting you.

You know those breakups that you're not really upset about because they were a long time coming? Yeah. The ones where you're both just sort of done with the relationship, but it's nice to not be alone sometimes, so you just stay together? I had finally ended one of those a few months prior & re-entered the world of Internet dating.

I went on a terrible date. I already had one set for drinks with the now BF later in the week. The day came & I told my roommate I wanted to cancel. She told me I couldn't, but that she would call a half hour in - to save me if I needed. She was true to her word, but I didn't need saving.

He quoted Step Brothers, I finished the quote & we high-fived. He told me he had a nice time and he texted me later to ask me out again. It was a whole week before we did. He took me to one of my favorite restaurants, without ever knowing I loved it. And on our third date we went hiking - at Ohiopyle. :)

We've traveled. To PA, KY, WV, OH, MI, VA, NY, New Zealand & Europe is in the works.

We've hiked ALL the miles.

We've been happy, we've been hangry (okay, so this one's mostly me), but still - hanger does not merely affect one person. We've made funny faces that I don't post to the Internet because I know you'd kill me ;) P.S. Don't kill me.

We have serious talks - but then we also talk about how we're probably pretty much the weirdest people ever.

You hate when I leave wet clothes on the bathroom floor & I hate when you leave all your dresser drawers open 1/2 an inch, because WHYYYY.

But, I love you, and you are my person. I'm excited to keep hiking, keep adventuring, keep being silly and keep hoping you'll learn to close your dresser drawers. Cheers to TWO YEARS!

How did you and your significant other meet?
How long have you been together?
Any good first date stories?

Linking up with Amanda.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ragnar DC 2016 : Leg 1 Recap

If you haven't heard me mention Ragnar around here recently, then welcome, you must be new. Haha. But, seriously, for those of you who haven't heard of Ragnar it's a 200-ish mile relay, where 12 team members rotate running different length legs until they reach their destination. Each runner has 3 legs & the "race" doesn't stop when the sun goes down, we just pull out our headlamps & reflective vests & keep on truckin'.

This was my third time running Ragnar DC, but my first time being Van 1. I've only run Ragnar DC, so I can't comment on others, but Van 1 seemed to have a lot more down time in between runs, Van 2 had longer overall mileage. By a lot. In the past I vividly remember having only 3 - 4 hours in between runs, whereas in Van 1 we had 6+ hours from when our van finish run 1 before we started run 2.  Honestly this made fueling a big challenge for me. Between run 1 & run 2 I had 12 hours & 1 meal. Not insurmountable, but I did not feel well fueled at all this weekend.

Our Ragnar van had 4 folks, myself included, who originally ran together at Ragnar in 2014 - after we met as individuals just looking to join a Ragnar team. 3 years later & we're still running together.

We woke up at 3:30 AM Friday morning and were out the door by 4:15 AM. We picked up two van-mates from a nearby hotel and headed to the start line about an hour and 15 minutes away. We checked in & perused the gear tent, but soon it was 7:15 AM & our start time & our first runner headed out!

The scenery is gorgeous. I think the only time we hopped on a highway during the race was to get back to a teammates house for a shower & a nap. Otherwise it was all back roads. 

A few  5 hours later it was finally time for my first leg. One of our teammates, Jaclyn, is currently training for her first FULL Ironman distance - and was looking to run a few more miles, so after she finished leg 5, she kept running & we chatted during my first leg. Excuse my face, I was clearly way too excited to finally be running.

My first leg was a healthy mix of hills and the downhill to even them out. We ended with 6 miles @ 8:51 per mile. A pace I was a little surprised by given the hills, and my desire to run conservatively since I knew I had 2 runs still to come.

I enjoyed the company since I saw surprisingly few people during this leg. We passed 5 or 6 ourselves, but weren't passed by any runners, which in my experience is unusual. But, since I had a photographer Jaclyn with me, I took full advantage & got a picture by my favorite Ragnar sign. One mile to go. :)

After I made it to the exchange and handed off the slap bracelet to Van 2 it was off to lunch! I'll be back with recaps for legs 2 & 3 later this week, but in the meantime...

How long before a run do you try to eat?
Do you run in a hat or visor?
I wish I could to soak up the sweat, but then it gets in the way of my sunglasses.
What time do you usually wake up for the day?
3:30AM is definitely NOT my style.

I'm linking up with Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Five #39

As you read this I'm probably running somewhere in Maryland. It's Ragnar DC weekend. I jetted off headed to Maryland last night, to crash at a teammates house before we all pile in the van to start Ragnar DC 2016. I'll be Instagramming all weekend, so if you don't follow me, but want to, you'll find me @15minutes_late.

In the meantime, a normal Friday Five to end your week, since next week I'll probably be spamming you all with Ragnar recaps.

one // Usually when I run Ragnar DC, we end in DC, I crash with a friend & we get some time to catch up & then I leisurely make my way home on Sunday. This year, not so much. The BF is about to be a Godfather, and the baptism is Sunday. The man doesn't ask for much, so when he asked if I could be there Sunday I told him I would find a way to make it work. I think it'll be a game time decision if I can keep my eyes open for 4 hours of driving on Saturday night. But, I'll figure out a way. BTW, in just a mere 4 weekends I have a day where I have zero plans. But in the meantime, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

two // Got an email Wednesday morning from Emily that I had won a Georgia Grinders giveaway on her blog! Guys, free nut butter, mailed to my house!? I'm one seriously happy lady. Especially 'cause I forever feel like the person that enters giveaways but never wins.

three // I made the tastiest pumpkin muffin // cupcake things on Wednesday evening. 1 can of pumpkin + 1 box of spice cake mix, I baked them in mini muffin tins & got 48. They're a little high in sugar to work as a breakfast for me, but they're delicious & I popped some in the freezer for a quick treat in the coming weeks.

four // Work this week has been another you're hobbling along in a race with a peg leg, but then the peg leg crumbles and you start crawling your way to the finish line, but then they move the finish line. It has been sort of like that all week. So, I'mma cut this one short, and go to sleep....

five // But here are some funnies to end your day...

Me, 100% when people are coming over - but also usually me needing to put pants on. 

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Minimalist Ragnar Packing List

If you've never heard of Ragnar, it's a 200-ish mile relay, where 12 runners (or sometimes 6 crazy ones) alternate running legs & driving around all through the night until they've RUN to their destination. Ragnar veterans...does that sound like a pretty accurate description?

It's obviously different from a half marathon or a 5K for several reasons, but the biggest being you'll be running 3 times in about 36 hours. And, since you'll be in a van with 5 of your stinkiest closest friends you won't exactly have a lot of room, this isn't packing for a destination race where your duffel bag gets to sit in your hotel room all weekend.

NOPE. From the time the first runner takes off you're on the move. If you're lucky you'll stop for a real meal or two, and if you're really lucky you may even catch a few hours of sleep or snag a shower. But either way, you're lugging all your stuff with you.

I'll be running Ragnar DC for the third year in a row. In 2014 it was a little warm, but not bad weather wise. We did have 2 runners bail about 6 hours before start time, so we all tacked on some extra miles, but if you're already running 24 miles, what's a few more? In 2015 Hurricane Joaquin was slamming the east coast, so we spent our 36 hours slogging through rain. 2016 is calling for temperatures in the mid to high 80's, so it's gonna be a hot one.

I've learned a few things over the past few years that have helped me get my Ragnar packing down to a science. I hate to bring more than I have to, and I especially hate to bring something that someone else already brought. Essentially doubling up on things we only need one of. I also don't pack for every what if. We're running from Maryland to DC, not the middle of nowhere. If there is something we need, but not a single one of us brought it, I'm sure we can get ourselves to a Walmart.

Running Clothes 
4 x shorts
4 x tech shirts
3 x running bras
3 x running socks
3 x tech undies
1 x running shoes
1 x calf sleeves

Each outfit gets its own gallon baggie - this makes it easy to get dressed!

You'll notice an extra pair of shorts & shirt. Why? 'Cause you just never know. I like to change into the clothes I plan to use for my next run when I finish a run, but, anything can happen, so I like to be prepared to run an extra leg if I need to. I don't love to re-wear a bra and socks, but it can be done. But ain't nobody trying to be near me re-wearing a t-shirt & shorts.

Running Accessories
Hydration pack
Reuseable water bottle - great to keep in the van & fill up as you get the chance
iPod // headphones
Preferred fuel - I always aim to eat real meals, but bars & gels will keep hunger at bay
Electrolytes (Nuun)
Headlamp - required for night time running
Reflective vest - required for night time running

Creature Comforts
Flip flops - Taking your running shoes off after you finish your leg is the best feeling
Stick - Your muscles will be tight, having the Stick or a foam roller will be much appreciated
Beach Towel - Can double as a blanket, pillow, or makeshift changing room in mixed company

Phone charger - Bring the car adaptor
Gallon baggies - I store my clean outfits in these & then fill them with dirty clothes after my leg
Hand sanitizer - Shit gets gross, fast
Mouthwash - 36 hour old breath is no good
Pain reliever
Body glide - I love Bag Balm since it doubles as chapstick & Neosporin
Baseball cap - To hide my 3 run old sweaty hair when I try to go to a bar after Ragnar
Bug Spray
1 x post race outfit - To get some of the stank off before I can get a shower

A few notes, you won't see an extensive list of snacks. Usually we eat an early breakfast before we start the race, followed by an big awkwardly timed meal when we finish with all our legs. Then we repeat after each leg. I'll be runner 6 this year, so I figure most of my fuel will be used pre-run rather than post run, since once I finish running we'll be safe to head for food. How's that for some motivation to run fast!?

So this is it. This is the pile of things that'll go in my car to head to Ragnar. Everything from above fit into this backpack. The only thing missing is wallet, keys, phone + reuseable water bottle.

Any must haves you don't see on my list?
Have you ever run a Ragnar?
What's your favorite post run meal?

Linking up with AmandaMarcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekend Highlights : Lake Erie & the Bluffs

This weekend was a busy one. Or, alternate first sentence, intros are hard & I'm awkward. So, that's all the intro you get today. Besides hi, while I'm never glad to say goodbye to the weekend, I do love interacting with all of you through the comments each week. :) I hope you'll tell me something good about your weekend!

Saturday was a swampy 7.5 mile long run. Ciara & I are BOTH Legend Compression Wear ambassadors & since we were both wearing our compression sleeves Saturday morning, we needed to snap a picture.

After my long run it was time to rush home, hop in the shower, run around frantically grabbing items & hoping I managed to grab everything I needed before heading out the door & north for wedding #3. The BF's cousin got married about 1.5 hours north of Pittsburgh - and a 1:30 PM ceremony time meant leaving the house by 11-ish.

There were hors d'oeuvres in the church after the service, but the BF & I opted to dip out after a few cocktail shrimp & check into our hotel before the reception. On our drive we spotted Cambridge Cellars & bipped in. We were able to taste 10+ honey wines & left with a bottle of Cranberry Mead.

After that it was phone down for the rest of the night, until I snapped one last picture as the reception ended. Ya know, to prove we were really there, in our official wedding uniform, since it's the exact outfits we wore to wedding #2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Sunday, after a surprisingly delicious hotel breakfast, shout out to the Holiday Inn Express in Meadville for having some tasty blueberry muffins and pumpkin spice coffee creamer, we hit the road & headed north again, another half hour towards Lake Erie.

First was a stop at Teresa's Deli, where a large 'Combination Nightmare' - aka Italian hoagie + some extras will run you $11.XX, but also come out weighing over 2 POUNDS. We ate lunch, twice & still didn't finish the whole thing. To top it all off it's delicious & all homemade. And our sandwich was just about as big as the one on their window.

Once lunch was in the cooler we headed to Elk Creek Wildlife Area for a jaunt down to the lake side.

Before we made it to the rocky beach we caught a glimpse of the lake through the trees. We kept trekking until we made it to the beach & the small strip of land that separates Elk Creek from Lake Erie.

We made our way back to the car for first lunch before we set off to find Erie Bluffs State Park. We figured we were close, but were surprised to find it was all of a 4 second drive down the road, and that our previous hike was actually inside the park boundary! We saw more great views of the lake from the tops of the bluffs before hunger got the best of us & we headed back to the car.

Then it was on to Presque Isle State Park. We had our eye on the Gull Point trail. The BF & I tried to hike it in the summer of 2015, but it was flooded due to high lake levels and lots of rain. Most of the trail is sand, since it lies around a peninsula jutting out into Lake Erie, but, we did have to cautiously skirt around some small flooded trail sections before we got going.

We were only ever a few hundred feet from the lake, but usually less. The trail leads to an observation "tower" that gives a good view of the lake as well as some land protected for migratory birds. We only managed to see some seagulls, but I'm told in fall it is quite the bird watchers paradise.

After a sunny selfie we hiked back to the car, strolled for a few minutes along the water & then headed home. Our days off don't always line up, but I am always amazed at how much we manage to pack into a day or weekend when we get the chance.

What were you up to this weekend?
Favorite song to dance to at a wedding?
Ever tried mead?

I'm linking up with Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights.