Tag Archives: holiday

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).


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?


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? 

Black Friday at Sears

Black Friday is an emotional time of year.  I would know I’ve gone Black Friday Shopping the last 5 years.  In all honesty I don’t ever get the best deals and I don’t camp out overnight but I love the thrill of getting a deal (Does that make me sound like a shopping addict?).

I found the article: 15 Emotional Stages of Black Friday Shopping LOLZ worthy and true (Probably because they had the Tyra Banks snap and wave).

For me I never struggled with waking up early.  I always had coffee ready to go.  I struggled with the overhwleming crowds and people running around.  As someone who suffered from social anxiety and chalustrophia, having people running around screaming for deals.  After I went I felt oddly accomplished that I had been out there (and it was probably only 8 am).

This year however, I am on the other side and working on Black Friday.  Since I work at a running store, we aren’t as busy as Sears is but we will be busy.  I should do a 15 Emotional stages of Working on Black Friday.

This year Sears has everything you could possibly need or want, making it a great stop.  Sears will open 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day and have over 1,000 doorbuster deals.  1000 deals of 1000 items!. While you are letting our turkey digest, you have the option to head into a Sears and shop.

One item I’m eyeballing myself is the Sears NordicTrack® C900i Treadmill;that will be 800 dollars off.  I don’t need a treadmill at my house but it’s a great treadmill and the price is inexpensive (700 dollars for a nice treadmill is a great price).

sears treadmill

Anyways partnering with Sears for the Holidays, they asked to talk more about Black Friday shopping and my personal Christmas list.

Something I am personally asking for is a new coffee maker.  My coffee pot has lasted me since sophomore year of college (I know you are probably as shocked as I am).  It is starting to fall apart so I’ve been searching around for a nice coffee maker.

I had no idea that some coffee makers cost over 850 dollars.  I would prefer to buy 850 gas station coffees for that price.  I wanted something that I had the option to brew a lot or a little.  One of my housemates had this one, so I decided this one would be awesome.

sears coffee pot

As I said a few posts about, Tim really enjoys getting his tools at Sears.  There are a few appliances I have my eyes on for him such as Craftsman Home Series 3-Drawer Project Center.  I’ll probably get the red because that matches our house.  (Just kidding, I’ll get him whichever one he wants LOL).

Finally all Sears deals at your local Sears can be seen at searslocalad.com so you can figure out your plan.  (If you are anything like LOLZ then you thrive on planning).

Deals at all Sears: 

  • 55% off Kenmore 3.9 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer – White & Kenmore 7.0 cu. ft. Electric Dryer w/ Wrinkle Guard – White; sale priced at $799.98 for the set; regular price $899.99 each
  • Save $100 on the RCA 40” Class 1080p HDTV; sale price $249.99, regularly priced at $349.99; plus members get $50 back in points
  • Jeans for her and him – sale price $14.99 Canyon River Blues® and Roebuck & Co.®, regularly priced $30.00-$40.00
  • All DieHard® work boots – sale price $49.99, regularly $65.00-$110.00
  • Save $50, plus a Free Craftsman® drill when you purchase the ; sale priced $99.99, regular price $149.99
  • Save $800 on the NordicTrack® C900i Treadmill; sale price $699.99; regular price $1,499.99
  • Buy four Sears RoadHandler tires and get up to $150 in value, including an $80 mail-in rebate via an American Express award card when you use a qualifying Sears card plus a $70 Sears Award card

LD_Sears 11.27.14 Super Tab w/Lip Thanks-609 WP 703054 P ST1_¥

All thoughts are my own.  I have partnered with Sears this Holiday season.

Questions for you:

Are you going Black Friday Shopping?  When do you do the majority of your Holiday shopping? 

What is on your personal Christmas List? 

Happy Mothers Day!

I will start by start by saying my mom has always been there for me. Just saying that doesn’t even really do it justice though.

When I was younger my mom took care of my brothers and I while my dad was deployed.

My mom moved 3 children under the age of 6, 2 dogs and 2 cats across the world when dad had to be at work.

As I went through middle school, my mom was there. I wasn’t pleasant and I wasn’t that well behaved.


She was there for me in high school. She was there when I went to first prom. Edit: She was there for me through my ups and downs of high school and teenage years. She helped me keep on when I didn’t think I would.

high school prom
high school prom

When I went to college she was there for me. There for me when I switched majors, ended a relationship and quit swimming all within a month of each other.  My mom has always been supportive of everything I can and I could never ask for anyone better.


Now that I’ve flown the coop she is still here for me. She has helped so helpful with wedding planning and with life.


My mom has truly always there for me. Every year when I reflect upon everything she has done for me, it has made me more grateful.  She is supportive and I could never imagine it any other way.

So thank you mom.

Question for you: Tell me something about your mom. 

Final Shamrock Thoughts

Since I am an avid promoter of Shamrock and J&A races I had to dedicate one last post to this race.  I know a lot of people don’t want to race it because of cost but for everything you receive with the race it is truly one of the best values.

The race directors actually won the road race director of the year award.  (It’s just that good). They truly take care of you and I cannot sing this race enough songs.  If you are in Hampton Roads at another time they also host smaller races that I’ve done (Wicked 10k, Surf and Santa 10 miler, Virginia is for Lovers 14k and the last I haven’t done in October Crawlin Crab 13.1).  Anyways if you are looking for a destination race, looking to race every state or want to come hang out with LOLZ, Shamrock is the race to do it.

This year we got all of the following from the race:

1.       A nice technical (fitted) t shirt
2.       Big medel
3.       Beach towel (every year they do something different…last year it was a fleece blanket)
4.       Post race food handed to you directly after you finished (water, pretzals, shamrock sugar cookie, bananas)
5.       A sweet hat
6.       Free Beer at the end in a huge warm tent. 
7.       The famous Murphy’s Irish Stew
8.       Huge crowd supported flat, fast race course

Shamrock has one of the best race “after parties” across the nation and certainly the best I’ve gone too.  I’ll honestly probably try and go back every single year (because it’s that good).  If you are looking for a flat, fast early spring hlaf marathon or marathon course…give Shamrock a thought.  (but give it a thought quickly because this year the 8k and half sold out!)

These are just my own personal opinions though and I’ll honestly never rave about Shamrock enough.   Thank you to Jerry and Amy for hosting such a fun and fantastic race.  I really hope to see more of you there next year.  So yes go sign up.  

Here are some more race reports from Shamrock.  I can’t get enough of race reports and finding new bloggers so I hope you don’t either! 

Oiselle Meet up Report 

Half Marathon:

LOLZ Race report 1:25.29

Kellie Race Report (1:35.56)

Danielle Race Report (1:41.39)

The Fit Petite (J&A Ambassador)

Kristy (J&A ambassador) 2:03.19

*I also love this post Kristy wrote about dedicated to her friends and family.  Truly lovely! (Kristy is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will meet or read her blog) 

 Dolphin Challenge (8k and half marathon)

Lauren Race Reports

Question for you: What is your favorite race?