Take Advantage of Your Life

This weekend was a rare occasion where Casey went out of town without me.  He went to a concert in Atlanta and I wasn’t sure what my work situation was going to be when we were deciding if I could go or not.  So that meant after dropping him off Saturday, I was on my own.

I went straight home and hit the road for my 7 mile run which was amazing.  I truly enjoyed all of it, at 1:30 in the afternoon on August 2nd!  The weather was “crappy” all weekend by everyone elses’ standards but it was idyllic for a runner!  It rained off and on the whole time and it felt incredible.

When I got home, I jumped in the shower, then on my bike to head downtown and do some tax free shopping!!

IMG_1775I went shopping for two things: Casey’s birthday and navy tee shirts for me to wear to work.  Casey made out like a bandit.  Quicksilver was doing 2 shirts, shorts, flip flops and sandals for $99.  Considering the shorts I was going to get him were $65 alone I just went for the whole shebang.  I can’t even believe that was a real thing, I save $154 on what I got him.  He made out way better than I did, no navy tees for me.  What a simple thing to not be able to find.

When I got home, I spent some time sitting on the porch reading my book and letting the dogs run outside in between the rain.  I watched our friends dog yesterday and today it is always good when Scar and Cho get some time outside.

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IMG_1779Eventually I came in to make a dinner that Casey wouldn’t appreciate: a HUGE plate of shrimp with Rice, Quinoa, Red Lentils and Barley and Asparagus.  It was delicious and that rice mix was amazing.

IMG_1778Today held a lot of the same, except my 14 miler and some yoga.  I was so worried about this run after last week being such a disaster.  I was getting really nervous if I was just super out of shape and if my fall marathon may not happen this year.  Before I headed out I spent 20 minutes doing some deep stretch yoga.  Thank goodness I can say that my concerns were quelled after a flawless 14 miler.  I went over the bridge into old mount pleasant, out to pitt street pier (where there were sooooo many people out) and did a loop on back home.  It went so well.  Again it was cloudy and misty and about 80 degrees, night and day compared to last week.

Once I got home and showered I ran out to do some errands and came home to do the final piece of my Casey-is-out-of-town-weekend: cleaning, baking and laundry.  I took some of the cookies I made to meet the new neighbors (August 1st is the move in date around Charleston so we literally have 25 new neighbors).

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies

These turned out way better than I anticipated so I will have to get the recipe added!

So I would say I definitely took advantage of my life and my weekend alone.  It was wonderful, and it still isn’t over.  The rest of the night I am trying to finish this book I am reading, it is amazing.  Review to come.

Hope you had a great weekend and great long run as well!

Surprise in Asheville

This past weekend was our friend Clay’s 30th birthday!!  I had to be super secretive before because it was a surprise.

Clay and Lindsey went up on Thursday and spent a day there alone.  Friday morning/afternoon the six of us picked up a rental car and ventured toward the house.  He had NO idea.  The girls of course hoped out of the car and rushed the door furiously knocking and you could tell he was absolutely clueless.

The house was incredible.  It was like a grown up tree house.  We all had our own huge rooms, there was two big living areas and double decks with a hot tub to top it all off.

Gazebo on the back deck

Gazebo on the back deck

Back yard

Back yard

The first night the we all went out for a nice dinner to kick off the celebration in downtown Asheville.

The girls

The girls

Of course we couldn't get even one where all the boys were looking.  Even at 30 there is no chance for that!

Of course we couldn’t get even one where all the boys were looking. Even at 30 there is no chance for that!

When we got home from dinner we dove into some triple layer coconut cake that I made for Clay (per request).  It was actually really good, and I don’t even like coconut cake.

IMG_1740IMG_1748We had such a great night just hanging out, having a few drinks and playing Cards Against Humanity (A party game for horrible people).  Once we were worn out from that we all decided that the hot tub was essential but we couldn’t get it to heat up fast enough.  The boys had the brilliant plan to heat water over the stove and pour it in.  From the gazebo outside you could see into the kitchen and all the girls were sitting out there discussing how ridiculous this idea was and boy did we take that back.  It worked like a charm!  We were at a balmy 101 by the time they were done.

IMG_1746After a very late night Friday, we woke up pretty late; like 11:00 late.  I haven’t done that in sooooo long.  Our room had no windows so it was like a dungeon.  We could have slept forever if the smell of coffee didn’t call to me from the kitchen.  Once we all got moving we headed out to get some breakfast and do some shopping.

We went to Tupelo Honey Cafe for brunch and it was amazing but the pancake I got totally owned me.  I barely ate 1/3 of it and I was soooo full!

Sweet potato pancake with granola

Sweet potato pancake with granola

Bloody Mary the guys got.  It had shrimp, lemons, oranges, peppers, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and I am sure I forgot a few things.  It was pretty much a meal in itself.

Bloody Mary the guys got. It had shrimp, lemons, oranges, peppers, okra, tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers, celery and I am sure I forgot a few things. It was pretty much a meal in itself.

After putting myself in a sufficient food coma, I was ready to walk around and shop with the girls.  The boys headed off to a bar.  Really the perfect scenario.

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My new shoes for work.  Are they not the cutest things ever?!

My new shoes for work. Are they not the cutest things ever?!  Plus the shoes were buy one, get one for a penny so I got a great pair of Tom’s wedges!

When the boys finally ran us out of the stores, we headed back to the house and I headed for a run.  I felt like garbage after eating such a decadent breakfast and drinking the night before and I knew a run could help that situation out.  The run was tough because I had to pretty much go straight down hill for the first half and come straight up at the end.  The elevation was tough but made for a beautiful and very different run.  Plus I felt like a whole new woman when I was done.  The curative powers of a run!

We had all intentions of going back out for some dinner but we were having such a great time hanging out at the house that we just decided to stay there and order food in.  It was so great to get some good quality time in with everyone, especially having time to just sit around with the girls.  And the best thing, we didn’t have a TV on or a computer for two and a half days.  I didn’t even have my kindle.  It was so refreshing.

Sunday morning we had to check out of the house by 10 so we went back downtown to get some breakfast before heading out.

Awesome coffee shop in a Double Decker Bus (called Double D's)

Awesome coffee shop in a Double Decker Bus (called Double D’s)

It was such an amazing trip with the best friends.  Such a good thing to do after being bummed about leaving home.  It reminded how much I have here in Charleston too after being reminded how much I miss from home.

Today was my last day of freedom which means tomorrow is the big first day!!  (Side note: after all this time, I got two calls for interviews today.  When it rains it pours I guess.)  I am so sure I will have a ton to report tomorrow!

 

 

 

Post Christmas Gloom

Every year on the day after Christmas my mom and I hunt the deals on Christmas stuff for next year.  We went out at about 9, went by Starbucks (I got a Skinny Carmel Brulee…soo good and my mom got a skinny peppermint mocha).  We went to a bunch of places and came up mostly empty handed.  I did manage to get two pairs of jeans and a skirt at gap for $55 so I did pretty well there.  I hate buying jeans, but its like bras, you gotta have them and you will get good use out of them.

Before heading home my mom and I stopped at Panera Bread for breakfast.  I was trying to be calorie conscious so I just got a bowl of French Onion Soup (280) and a Baguette (100).  Lunch out for 380 calories isn’t bad and I was full until we had dinner.

I had planned to do yesterday’s run today since yesterday was Christmas but it was absolutely disgusting out.  It poured rain all day and had wind gusts up to 45 mph…our basketball hoop even blew over. I also don’t have a gym to go to that doesn’t cost atleast $15 for a day pass which is crazy.  So I decided to just let yesterday’s run go, in honor of Christmas I guess.

I couldn’t just do nothing though, so I hit up my favorite fitness blog, PBfingers, for a circuit I could do in the warmth and dryness of my house.   I started with an overall cardio circuit.

Jump Rope Circuit

It was really good and a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, as her circuits always are.  But my abs felt neglected and I really wanted to get about an hour in.  I wanted to keep with the jump rope theme and she had the perfect continuation of the first work out…

Jump Rope Abs

I also was soooo excited to find a timer that I could set for one minute “work” intervals and thirty second “rest” intervals that repeated as many times as I needed.

http://www.speedbagforum.com/timer.html

I am glad I got some activity in today.  I hate missing runs but going out today was going to do more harm than good.

Tomorrow is my last day at home and it is my little brother’s birthday.  I also have to go to the dentist tomorrow which is not high on my list of places I like to visit, but necessary.

sharp objects

I also finished my most recent book, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.  It was really good, but freaky as all her books were.  I am glad I read one in print instead of listening to the audiobook, just to have a different experience with it.  Just like her other books, lots of twists, turns, mystery and just overall odd characters.  I would highly recommend it.  It was a very quick read, I think I got through it in 3 days, even with the busy-ness of the holidays.

Has anyone else read anything good lately?  Does anyone have a good source for circuit workouts for bad weather days?

We made it through the end of the world!

Well if you are reading this, I guess you too have made it through the end of the world!

Whenever I come home I have a list of places I want to eat that I have to get to while I am here.  It is a lengthy list which means looooots of eating.

I got up early to get the run in today which I have told everyone I am not good at doing but I had a hair appointment and I didn’t want to have to run and sweat after I got my hair done all pretty.  I had a good run but it was windy and rainy and cold so the odds were against me.  I have 15 tomorrow and we are supposed to have wind around 25 mph…womp womp!  Good luck on everyone’s long runs tomorrow/Sunday!

I hurried home and took a shower and headed to my appointment.  The salon was all decked out for Christmas.

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There was even a man playing christmas songs on a keyboard with his very small dog dressed as santa…

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I have been getting my hair cut by Chea since I was like 13 years old so I was in desperate need for a cut living so far away.  Every time I go in there I say “Take off as little as possible, I love my length” and every time hair goes flying and somehow my hair is never shorter when I leave.  I have no idea how she does it; she is pure magic!

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Today for lunch we hit Agave, a fantastic mexican place that I had never been to.  It is super small so there was always too much of a wait to get in for dinner.  It was sooo incredible.  I got a margarita and my mom and I split a steak and blue cheese quesedilla with chipotle mayo that was to die for!  I am glad we split it because there is no way I could have eaten the whole thing.

We went on a shopping excursion for the rest of the afternoon getting last minute christmas gifts and checking out the deals.  Our outlet had UA cold gear tops buy one get one free and sports bras 2 for 30 which I have been in desperate need of so I feel like I made out like a bandit there.  I was also able to pick up something for Casey (not at UA though).

What was so refreshing today was how kind and happy and genuinely helpful everyone was in every store and restaurant and business.  It really (finally) truely put me in the holiday spirit and made me happy to be where I am from.  At the end of the day, before we headed home, my mom told me there was something she wanted me to see…

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Two young brothers from my community (in their 20’s) put up 20 wreaths and 6 crosses for the students and teachers that passed in Newtown, CT.  This here is what the Christmas season is about.  Not the gifts and the shopping and the food.  No, it is about truly caring about those around you and reaching out to people even if they may never know what you did.  I was inspired by this to do good as I hope everyone is this holiday season!