St Patrick’s Day and Guinness…

I had no idea what to post about on St. Patricks Day.

Yesterday I posted about how I began my running journey on this holiday.

I was actually inspired because while I’m not Irish, my two favorite drinks are Irish Coffee and Guinness.  If I’m having alcohol, it’s a 90% chance it’s either of those.

I like having Irish coffee because then it's "normal" to have whipped cream in it...

I like having Irish coffee because then it’s “normal” to have whipped cream in it…

As a wee lad celebrating my 21st, I drink a nice dark brew at a road race.

As a wee lad celebrating my 21st, I drink a nice dark brew at a road race.  #babyLOLZ

While googling St. Patrick’s Day Holiday traditions I came across this Buzzfeed article:

34 Ways to Add Guinness into your Recipes

I have added Guinness (talk about a throwback post) to my pancakes before and it gives it a slight dark taste.  I recommend adding Guinness and 1/4 cup cocoa powder.  You won’t regret it.

Another article: 11 Ways to add Guinness to your recipes

I enjoy cooking with Guinness occasionally because I think it gives it a bold, dark taste.  I also just like the taste…so today you learn nothing about my running but everything about my alcohol habits.

I don’t have any green smoothies or green oatmeal to post today because I’m not clever.  I’ll save that for instagram.

Since I enjoy my memes here are a couple: 

st patricks day meme

shamrock 2

I guess this is a super random post for today but that happens occasionally.  You learn my favorite drinks and that I occasionally cook with Guinness.  A few more fun facts in case you play jeopardy about my life…

Finally..stay safe my friends!

Questions for you:

How are you celebrating St. Patricks day?

I am working..wahoo…then probably hanging out a local bar.

What is your favorite beer?

 

 

 

My Start to Running.

Tomorrow is St. Patricks Day!

Since 2010 St. Patricks day has held a much more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green and pots of gold.  Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Five years ago I ran a 5k in college that would change the path and direction of my life.

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the gym stating if you completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.  As a college student you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room.  My roommate appreciated my hoarding I guess.  I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay sign me up.  Sign me up and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster.  I failed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…or passed by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12). Since 10th grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.  The only two times I had run was to “impress” upper classman on the swim team.  It wasn’t impressive and I made a goober out of myself both times.

During the off season from swimming I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.  It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming but I didn’t use running as cross training.  Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

merunning1

The race itself is pretty much a blur.  I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it.

A photo of me at the same 5k the next year...

A photo of me at the same 5k the next year…

I finished the 5k is around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time but I remember not dying, texting my shocked dad that I had run a 5k and picking up my tshirt.  (of course I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish…).  DadLOLZ had a marathon the next weekend and I didn’t want the embarrassment that his daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

I wore that tshirt all around the following day.  I was going to wear my badge of honor.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed in running.  I did realize it wasn’t all that bad and ran occasionally when it was nice out.  I ran 10-20 miles a week off and on for the rest of the spring.  When it was sunny I would run the same 5k loop around campus.  When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run.  I would just go to the gym.

I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because after that point I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I began to consider myself a runner:

I didn’t run everyday.

I didn’t run fast.

I didn’t log my mileage.

I didn’t run when it was cold, windy or not perfect weather.

I had no desires to run with anyone or at a certain time…

I didn’t run anymore races until July.

But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it. 

Questions for you:

When did you get your (workout) start?

What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!

Are you ready or are you like me that you are running around like a goober trying to figure out what to do? (Just kidding T because I know you read here and I’m working ;).  All kidding aside, Valentine’s Day is one of the most (unnecessarily) stressful holidays of the year.

Whether I have been single or not, I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day.  I don’t really care that it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” or that it’s overly obsessed.  I enjoy themes and a reason to be festive.  I’m not saying to spend a fortune but I do enjoy the day.  I enjoy St. Patrick’s day and Fourth of July just as much.

Last year Tim and I went and ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14k.  It was a lot of fun and as much as I would love to run the race again, J&A isn’t doing it.  I hope one day it makes a return but I know races in that area are a pain.

Stephanie, Mollie and I at the race start.

Stephanie, Mollie and I last year at the race start.

Instead of posting a few articles about what to cook (because I’m a terrible cook), I decided I would post some hilarious Valentine’s Day eCards as well as interesting articles.  One of the most important aspects of Valentine’s Day is having the best card.  Flowers, chocolate and candy are all secondary.  Feel free to print them out and send them to your favorite Valentine (which is me of course!).

valetines day meme

valentines day meme

valentines day meme 3

valentines day meme 1

 

Funny Articles:

Will You be Disappointed on Valentines Day?

Hilarious Valentine’s Day Stories (If this doesn’t fill your LOLZ tank, I don’t know what will)

The Onion: Valentine’s Day Stories

Questions for you:

Do you have any epic Valentine’s Day Stories?

What are your plans tomorrow? 

Beat the Ball 5k (19:50)

Instead of going out for New Years Eve, dad and I ran a local road race. We ran this race twice before (2011 and 2012).  It is always fun to finish the year off with a festive race.  Plus one of my friends Marie, was doing the race and I wanted to see her (ultimate peer pressure).

Dancing pre race with Marie

Dancing pre race with Marie

The race itself started at 11:15 pm.  I ran 8 miles that morning (around 8 am), then relaxed the rest of the day.  To be honest my nutrition wasn’t the greatest before the race but it happens.  I didn’t do anything special for the evening race and ate normally throughout the day.  It was the day I went out to eat at Citrus and then had pasta for dinner.  A lot of people worry about eating perfectly before an afternoon or evening race, I am not one of those people.  Normally at 11:15 pm I am sleeping so I thought eating normally was my best bet.

Dad and I arrived to the race at 10pm.  We signed up and I did a 2 mile warm up.

I felt good during the warm up.  Whenever I feel good during warm up, it’s normally a sign the race will not go well (at least for me…the worse I feel warming up, the better I seem to race).  It was pretty dark out and I focused on avoiding pot holes and not falling.

At 11:15, we were off.  It was cold out and I spent half the race trying to warm up.  Since it was dark out I couldn’t see my Garmin.  It was on but I couldn’t see the splits or time unless we passed through light.  During the first 1/4 mile, I found myself in third place overall. There were two males in front who were far ahead.  Around the half mile point a woman passed me.  I was discouraged but not upset. The woman and I played leap frog for the next two miles.  We went back and fourth for first woman overall.

We passed through light so I saw the mile time of 6:26. I thought to myself “right on track to break 20 this time…until I lose my energy (like my previous 5k)”.

The second mile was out and back.  I was able to get a full view of the entire race.  I saw the leaders (the two males in front), my general standing with other racers as well as those behind me.  I tried to side five as many people as possible including my dad!  Dad and I are never coordinated enough to get a side five during a race. After a few side fives, I went into the third mile and left the other female.  I felt more confident at that point.  The side fives made me run faster and I (unknowingly) ran a 6:19.

The last mile was riding the pain train.  I never have a strategy for 5ks, I normally just run as fast as I can until I get tired…then I positive split.  It was a dark, painful, lonely mile. The mile was painful in an exhausting way not an injury way.  I knew the finish line was getting close, so I focused on that. I don’t have a lot to say about the last mile other then I just wanted it to be over. I admired the views of Norfolk across the water.  It was a stunning view.  My last mile was a 6:30.

I heard my watch click three and I sprinted to the finish. I collected my 5k medal and hung out for the New Year.

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

Overall thoughts:

My 5k a few weeks ago left a very sour taste in my mouth.  I had no idea how Beat the Ball would go and my only real goal was to beat the previous 5k time of 20:35.  Although the two races were under different circumstances, I thought I could better my previous time.  I’m pleased I did and I might actually like 5ks.  While I felt strong during the race I didn’t feel overworked.  I believe with more 5ks, I can get back down to 19 and then hopefully below 19 minutes again.  I could have better prepared and possibly run a few seconds faster by training at midnight or eating better but I didn’t.  I had a great time and have no regrets.

Questions for you:

How did you spend New Years?

Have you ever done a night race?

Gifts in Reserve

Christmas Eve:

The last day before Christmas. 

A time to celebrate with your family.

A time to get last minute gifts (oh wait, just me?)

Today I’m working and then driving home.  I am actually 100% done with my Christmas shopping.  I managed to get all of my gifts for friends and family.  It was rather surprising.

Occasionally there will be someone you might have accidentally forgotten for a holiday, birthday or another celebration.  My parents once taught me to keep a box of gifts like giftcards or useable gifts for such an occasion.  Plus you can often times get certain items for much cheaper during the Holidays.  I often see gift giving guides on blogs so I thought I would do my own version of what is in my “Reserve Box” (I just made that name up, I’m not exactly sure what to call it?).  None of these are sponsored links.

Right now, I have a few things in my box of goodies.  Some of these things I bought doubles (one for myself).

Sears sent me this hilarious video to share if I wanted.  I LOLed so hard, it would be sad not to share. All I have to say is “so celebrate and booty shake”.  I can relate to this woman because if it wasn’t for work, I would be shopping until the very last moment (like every year).  I wish someone who come shop for me and we would celebrate with fun music and random people dancing.

Mrs. Fields Cookies and French Press 

If you are looking for a gift for a relative that drinks a lot of coffee (or your neighborhood LOLZ), this gift can never go wrong.  I feel like when in doubt you can never go wrong with a holiday basket.  I’ve always enjoyed Mrs. Fields cookies in the mall (and obviously enjoy my coffee).  It wasn’t until I tried their cocoa did I realize how good that was good.  I thought this was gift is personalized (from me) and a great gift for relatives that I had no idea what to get them. I actually got this gift for a few of my relatives (and mailed it directly to them so they have it now).

Jewelry:

A lot of jewelry is currently on sale too right now.  While I’m personally not a big jewelry girl, I know a lot of woman are.  It’s always nice to be able to pick up a few items deeply discounted.

I picked up this bracelet. It’s regularly 299.99 dollars but currently is 69.99.  I thought it was cute for 230 dollars off, I couldn’t go wrong.

sears bracelet

Men (in my life):

I have often found the men in my life are the hardest to shop for.  The men in my life equal: my dad, my brother, Tim and my father in law.  All four of them enjoy keeping their car’s pristine condition (especially Tim).  I obviously didn’t get one for each but I did pick up a few of these car cleaning sets.  I have a few of these in back up and also if they never get used I can use them for my car Lorraine.  So win, win!

car cleaning set

Who doesn’t need an Ugly Sweater? 

Finally, for those with a sense of humor (or the perfect LOLZ gift), there is always an Ugly Sweater.  It seems like 2014, was the year you couldn’t go anywhere without an ugly sweater party, so why not prepare your friends for next year?

This sweater is only 9.99 and 3D.  I think it might be the best 10 dollars I’ve spent all holidays.

ugly sweater sears1

 This post contains no sponsored links and all items were purchased by me (LOLZ). 

Questions for you:

Do you have gifts in Reserve incase you forget someone? 

How are you celebrating the Holidays? 

Last Minute Shopping

To be honest if I wasn’t on the Sears Blogger Squad I would have started my Holiday shopping the week before Christmas (IE: this week).  Every year I’m always a late starter but I’ve always gotten what I’ve needed.  This year being a part of the holiday blogger campaign with Sears, I felt the pressure to start a little bit earlier (LOLZ, blogging pressure).  Everyone is different and I even know people that had half their Holiday shopping done before Black Friday (go you guys!).

I  know people that start their Holiday shopping in May.  By Black Friday, they are pretty much done with everything.  I also know there are people like me, who panic and start 5 days before Christmas.  Everyone’s different and in reality, the Holiday’s are about enjoying the company of family and friends anyways.  My Holiday shopping is never stressful and I hope other people’s isn’t either.

black friday shopping meme

This year was a bit of an odd ball year for me.  I would have normally started shopping for everyone this week (Last minute LOLZ).  Since T has to leave and I am working in retail during the holidays, that wasn’t an option.   I am almost completely done with shopping except for my parents.  Sometimes I think my parents are the hardest to shop for.

———

I came across this LOLZy article from Huffington post about Christmas shopping.  I can relate to almost everything.  I thought the post was so relateable I wanted to dedicate a post to it!

Two tips really stuck with me: The first was “stay to the list”.  I love when someone gives me a list of things they want for Christmas.  Sadly most adults don’t give lists and I’m stuck guessing what people want…if everyone gave a list I think Holiday shopping would be easy.

christmas list meme

One thing I have been enjoying about doing holiday shopping at Sears is free shipping or the free in store pickup.  It keeps me able to stick to lists.  I just ordere what I want I want/need and pick it up.  I don’t mindless browse.

Mindlessly browsing stores always ends up like this:

Buy the gifts intended to purchase for friends and family .

Buy random things for Hollie she doesn’t need.

End up spending twice as much on random things Hollie doesn’t need.

I ordered all of Tim’s gifts online and then picked them up in store.  It makes it really nice.  Sears has been a staple for 75% of my gift purchasing this year.  I cannot thank them enough for opening my eyes to some of the great deals.

The second was that smart shoppers don’t buy something, “just because it’s cheap”.  I’m someone who doesn’t care for trivial junk.  If I haven’t used an item in a year, I donate it.  This includes clothing, random accessories or anything in general.  I always ask myself “will I even use this”?  Yes, it’s cheap but it’s pointless if (or the person intended) won’t use it.

So long post short my holiday shopping is almost done.  I have a few odds and ends left to purchase but all the major shopping is finally completed.

Questions for you:

When do you get your Holiday shopping done?

What is on your Christmas list?

That Time I made Thanksgiving Dinner and Didn’t End up on the News

I’m going to blow your minds I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey and didn’t end up on the Philadelphia Nightly News. People assume that because I blog and I eat moderately well that I can also cook. That is way beyond false. I can cook simple foods such as fish, steamed vegetables and oven bread….but a turkey?

thanksgiving meme

That visual should fuel your LOLZ tank all week.

Let’s rewind a bit.

Wednesday I found myself having one of the worst days of my life. That’s not an exaggeration.

Rewind even further. 

Tuesday evening I had gotten extremely sick (gone from fine to pulling over on the side of the road vomiting within a half hour drive).  The fact of eating anything (let alone cooking a turkey) was overwhelming. After composing myself and getting home, I immediately went to bed.  I slept and hoped I could sleep it off.

I woke up on Wednesday feeling a little bit better but not much.   I went to start my car (in the freezing rain) and it wouldn’t start. My car has done this before (normally in upstate NY when it’s below 0). I was left sick at home, in the freezing rain and alone.

Due to outside factors, there was no promise T would even be home for Thanksgiving. I had a turkey in de-thawing but I was sick and I wasn’t cooking a turkey.  So I did what any normal person would do…I cried and went to bed.

After essentially sleeping for 24 hours on Wednesday, I woke up feeling much better on Thanksgiving.  I didn’t wake up ready to run a Turkey Trot or the Beer Mile but I was able to move. (Edit to add: nearly a week later and I’m feeling pretty good, I think I ate undercooked chicken…which was my fault).

I guess this is the part where I actually talk about Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving morning, I ventured to Wegmans.  I got a few last minute things (and thankfully Wegmans wasn’t that crowded).  After picking Tim up, we went for a run and I cooked the Turkey.

How did I do it?  Not fancy like most bloggers, facebook friends and social media users.  I followed the exact directions so I didn’t set my house on fire…”bake in oven at X degrees until the center is X degrees (roughly 3 hours).”  

thanksgiving turkey

It’s funny what happens when you follow directions right?

thanksgivingmeal

We had a nice Thanksgiving together.  It was quiet and laid back.  Now that I cooked one turkey and didn’t destroy South Jersey, I can attempt to cook something fancier next year.  While it was quiet, I could enjoy Thanksgiving without getting sick. It’s no turkey like mom cooks but I’m not on the news either so I consider that a success.

Questions for you:

How was your Thanksgiving?

How do you cook your turkey?