Friday Faves: Goodbye to February

Goodbye to another week. Goodbye to another month. 2015, just slow your roll!

The good thing about another week ending (besides it being the weekend and all) is that it’s time for another edition of my Friday Faves!

Fave Blog: LakeShore Runner

My first fave this morning goes to Sara over at Lake Shore Runner. Sara is currently probably by a pool somewhere in Florida with a tropical drink with an umbrella in hand. So, she asked me to guest post on her blog while she has all the fun! I shared one of my favorite travel and at home workouts that you should definitely check out here.

Fave Funny: The Office

I miss The Office so much y’all. Pam is everything I want to be when I grow up.

the-office-meme

 Fave Treat: Disneyworld white chocolate caramel apple

Besides Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, my absolute favorite Disneyworld treat is the white chocolate caramel apple. My sweet coworker went to Disney recently and brought this back for me. It was the best 15 minutes of my life. Now, I miss Disney…

disneyworld-mickey-apple

 Fave Find: Chobani Indulgences

I recently found these little Chobani Indulgences in Target and they are so heavenly! The mint chocolate chip flavor in particular is the closest thing you can get to eating the ice cream. It’s made with whole milk, so it’s extra thick, creamy and indulgent.

chobani-mint-dark-chocolate-review

 Fave Animal: Oliver

Oliver has recently started walking on the top of door frames. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t ask me how he gets up there. Don’t ask me why he’s so weird. I have no answers for anything. 

oliver

 Fave Workout Clothing: Shine Athletica

I have some exciting news that I’ve been wanting to share with you…I am officially an ambassador for Shine Athletica! I am so excited to be able represent a company that believes in creating cute, comfortable and, most importantly, empowering workout wear for women. My ambassador tank came in the mail this week and I’m in love with how soft and perfect it is! Plus, how cute is the slogan on the back. Over at Shine’s website, you can choose from many different slogan’s, but I chose “No Limits’ because that is how I feel about this year.  

shine-athletica-review

 

shine-athletica-review

 

Well, that’s it for this Friday! Hope you have a fun weekend : )

What is something that is a favorite of yours this week?

Has anyone made any summer vacation plans yet?

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

Sometimes…

Sometimes…I just wish I could quit life and live in Disneyworld.

Sometimes…I let my cats drink the extra milk from my glass in the morning because it gets all our days off to a good start.

Sometimes…I am really jealous hearing about other people’s snow days and wish I had one of my own.

Sometimes…I debate just how long I can go without washing my hair before it is deemed unacceptable.

Sometimes…I save 2 hours of my life and just read Reality Steve’s recap of The Bachelor rather than watching it.

Sometimes…I wish I could review hotels for a living. But really, is that a real job? If so, I need the hook-up!

Sometimes…I wish I had a British accent.

Sometimes…I eat more chocolate than a normal person should in a day.

Sometimes…I decide to watch an episode of Parenthood before bed rather than writing a “proper” blog post : )

Now your turn! Fill in the blank ” Sometimes I….”

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

Augusta Half Marathon 2015

Hello there!

I’m currently chilling on my couch watching The Oscars. Why do they always save all the fun awards until the very end? Don’t they know how hard it is for me to stay up past 10 PM period – nonetheless the day of running a half marathon? So if this post just seems kinda of scattered, you now know why. Apologies in advance – I probably will end up bunny trailing because my boys Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne are on TV.

So, I have exciting news…I PRed in my half marathon this weekend! But first let me back up a little bit and start from the beginning.

The day started off not very promising. It was warmish (for a February race), muggy and rainy. Plus, I was not in the best mindset prior to the start. Thankfully, I had my good friend Jennifer to talk to at the start line. Note to future self: rainy selfies are not a good idea.

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

 

I ran the first three miles with Jennifer and our other running friend, Courtney. It was nice to knock out a 5K portion of the race with friends. After mile 3, I let them go on ahead and I started doing a few walk/run intervals. I knew that the dreaded Walton Way hill was coming around 5-6, so I didn’t want to burn out too early.

The course is relatively flat except for two major hills: Walton Way and Birkman Road. Both of these hills are long (about a mile each) and steep. Since this was my third time running the Augusta Half, I was well prepared for these hills and took a GU at the start of each hill (mile 5.5 and 8.5).

When I got to mile 10, a strange thing happened. Maybe it was the Eminem song that came on my iPod? (Eminem is strangely my running jam!) Maybe it was the fact that the rain finally seemed to subside? Who knows. But I felt strong. So strong that I decided I wasn’t going to do anymore walking intervals. Miles 10-13 flew by for me as I ran around Lake Olmstead.

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

I knew at this point that I was going to PR and sure enough I crossed the finish line at 2:21:36 which was an over 10 minute improvement from my time last year and a 6 minute improvement over my previous course PR.

After I crossed the finish line, I met up with Jennifer and Courtney for a few photos. My friend Jennifer completed her first half and totally rocked it! She has been my training partner for the past few months and did such an incredible job! Now I just have to convince her to sign up for another one…

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

 

Aside from my PR, what was my favorite part of the race? Definitely the free hot chocolate at the finish line. After 13 miles in a damp rain/mist, a nice cup of hot chocolate was just what was needed.

 

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

 

After leaving the race, Jennifer and I went to Whole Foods to get some much needed food. Finally I made it home to my nice warm shower. It was so glorious! There is no greater feeling than a hot shower after a long race. After my shower, I promptly crawled into bed for my Parenthood Netflix marathon along with a nice nap. The only thing that may be better than a hot shower after a long race is a nap on a rainy day.

Once I woke from my nap, I went over to Jennifer’s (who just happens to be my neighbor) to watch the Oscar’s and eat our celebratory post-race meal of pizza, ice cream and cookies. #thisiswhywerun

 

 

oscars-2015

 

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

 

augusta-half-marathon-2015-review

 

Well, that would be my weekend, folks! Now, I’m strangely ready to sign up for another half. Any suggestions? Better yet, anyone want to do a race meet-up?

How was your weekend? Any races?

Did you watch the Oscars? Who was your best dressed pick?

Thanks to Erin for the weekend link-up!

 

 

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

WIAW: Stellar Wine Bar Review

 Happy WIAW to everyone!

I purposely left out all the fun food from my Valentine’s Day weekend trip to Greenville because I knew it was too good not to share today. For our Valentine’s Day dinner this weekend, we went to Stellar Restaurant & Wine Bar right on Main Street in Greenville, SC. 

Downtown Greenville offers so many great restaurant options that it can be hard to narrow your choices down. Plus, add in the fact that it was Valentine’s Day and finding reservations for three became quite a task. Thankfully, Stellar had an open reservation for 4:45 on Saturday night. Kinda earlier than I would have liked initially, but it actually ended up working out perfectly.

stellar-wine-bar-review

 Although you enter Stellar from Main Street, you walk up to the second floor to enter the actual restaurant. This, along with the beautiful wood floors, low lighting and starlit ceiling gave it a cool loft vibe.

I started off the night with the beautiful Grand Ma Pama-tini. I’m a sucker for a fun martini and this one did not disappoint.

stellar-wine-bar-review

 For our appetizer, we split the cheese fondue which came with plenty of veggies (carrots, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes), fruit (apples, strawberries, grapes), and bread. I love how fondue allows you to eat both healthy and awful at the same time. Yes, I got in my servings of fruits and veggies…I just made sure they were covered in cheese or chocolate first. 

stellar-wine-bar-review

 For my actual meal, I had this delicious tomato and tortellini soup which was seriously so good. Considering the fact it was literally freezing that night, soup really hit the spot. My friend, Kerri, ordered the Truffle Macaroni and Cheese with bacon. Yes, bacon was the winning ingredient in that dish, naturally.

stellar-wine-bar-review

When it came time to order dessert, we originally thought about continuing the fondue trend by ordering the dark chocolate fondue. However, when we asked our waiter for recommendations, he listed the S’mores Cheesecake. In fact, this cheesecake was in his words “the cat’s pajamas.’ With such a winning recommendation, we just had to order it!

Well, this was just another life reminder that you should always go with your first, gut choice. I don’t know what kind of cat’s pajamas you have seen buddy, but this cheesecake was not it. The cheesecake, while pretty, was very dry and not chocolatey. We tried to eat some of it but it simply would not do to satisfy my chocolate craving.

stellar-wine-bar-review

 So, in true girl’s night style, we ordered a second round of desserts. This time we stuck with our gut and ordered the dark chocolate fondue which included lots of fruit (strawberries, pineapple, bananas, grapes), pretzels and some kind of sweet bread.

stellar-wine-bar-review

 It was sooooo much better than the cheesecake and got a thumbs up from us! And yes, we might have quite literally cleaned the bowl.

stellar-wine-bar-review

 Overall, I really enjoyed our meal at Stellar from the drinks, to the decor and of course the food! Another great thing about Stellar was that it was a short five minute walk from the Peace Center where we saw our show. Even if the walk was very cold and very windy.

downtown-greenville-review

 Are you a fondue fan?

Favorite martini?

What did you eat on Valentine’s Day?

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

A Wicked Valentine’s Weekend

Who has a chocolate hangover? There is no shame, friends! I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day weekend. This Valentine’s Day will probably go down in the books as one of my favorites.

It all started on Friday when my boss must have sensed how depressed I was that I missed National Pizza Day earlier in the week and had this little treat waiting for us at lunch. I ate three glorious pieces and it was the best thing ever.

papa-johns-pizza

 Friday night I decided to treat myself even more with some Daniel Radcliffe and those Girl Scout cookies you just can’t say no to or else you feel like a bad person.

valentines-weekend

On Saturday, my best friend, Kerri, and her sister, Ashleigh, and I made our way to Greenville for a Wicked fun evening : )

valentine's-day-weekend-in-greenville I’ve talked about my love for downtown Greenville before and it only grew deeper during this trip. We started off at Stellar Wine Bar in downtown Greenville which I’ll tell you about on Wednesday because it’s WIAW worthy.

Then we braved the wind (it was so ridiculously cold and windy on Saturday night – this will come into play later) to walk down to the Peace Center for the main event: seeing Wicked!

peace-center-wicked-review 

peace-center-wicked-review

Once inside, we had the most perfect seats for the show!

peace-center-wicked-review

peace-center-wicked-review

 It was our first time seeing Wicked and we were all blown away. I would even wager to say it was the best show I’ve seen outside of Broadway in NYC. I was so impressed by the quality of the sets, the cast and just the show in general. I was worried I wouldn’t like the show due to the fact that I hate The Wizard of Oz, but Wicked is so original in itself and hilarious. If the tour is coming near you, do yourself a favor and get some tickets!

Another funny thing about the show was that Ashley Parker Angel (of the former boy band O-Town) was in the cast. Normally, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it because it’s not like I was a huge O-Town fan or anything. I was an NSYNC girl all the way! But….Ashley Parker Angel just so happened to be in the very first Broadway play I ever saw when I went to NYC for the first time at 18. It just felt full circle to get to see him perform again.

Yes, I am aware that he looks like a literal angel while I look like a hideous sweaty mess. First of all, it gets super hot in NYC in July hence the sweat. Second of all, this was when I was 18 and the art of the selfie hadn’t quite been mastered yet.

ashley-parker-angel-broadway

After the show, we made our way out of the Peace Center to head back to my aunt’s house where we were staying with for the night.

valentines-day-weekend

Since I had my phone off during the show, I missed the texts from my aunt telling me that the wind storm (remember?) had blown the power out at the house. My aunt lives on a farm that has a well for water, so no power equals no water either. So, we had to rough it. For real. It is so hard to go to sleep without brushing your teeth.

valentines-day-weekend 

valentines-day-weekend

So our Valentine’s Day ended in the most cliche and romantic way: by candlelight. We couldn’t help but laugh at the irony and it will definitely make for a great memory!

So, that was my Galentine’s Day! What did you do for yours?

Any Wicked fans?

Were you Team NSYNC of Backstreet Boys (or 98 Degress or O-Town)?

Thanks Erin for the Monday link-up!

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

Friday Faves: Not so Valentine Edition

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Oh, and I guess I should say Happy Valentine’s Day weekend too, right? This year Valentine’s Day is going to be pretty weird for me honestly. It’s my first Valentine’s Day in five years where I haven’t had a “Valentine”. That just felt weird typing that. In preparation for the holiday, I made some plans with two of my best friends to go to Greenville on Valentine’s Day to see Wicked! I’m really excited to finally get to see Wicked. Any time I get to see a live show, it’s a big event for me.

Now before I’m off to go eat ridiculous amounts of chocolate, I wanted to share a few things that I am loving this week.

1. My Movie Debut

You might have already seen this if you follow me on Instagram, but if you look hard enough at this picture you can see me sharing some screen time with Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal. Back in the olden days when Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon dated, one of my friend’s was a production assistant on a small movie called “Nailed” being directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), so I was able to be an extra on set for a few days. It was such an exciting experience for me as a Film and Television major at the time to be able to see the film making process first hand. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hang around Jake Gyllenhaal all day? FYI, he was super nice and even better looking in person : ) For whatever reason, the film was never fully completed and just now is getting released under a new title of “Accidental Love.” Even though I’m only in one scene, I can officially check off “being in a movie” from my bucket list.

accidental-love-review

2. Hot Guys Reading

This may very well be my new favorite Instagram account ever because guys with beauty and brains are obviously the best. Although I find it hilarious and creepy that someone decided to do this. But those hashtags…

hot-guys-reading

hot-guys-reading

3. Tom Hiddleston

What can I say, I’m feeling generous today? Plus, this is exactly how I have felt with all the 50 Shades of Grey stuff all of the place this week.

tom-hiddleston-fifty-shades-of-grey

4. My Grandmother

Eight years ago, my grandmother passed away from cancer the week of Valentine’s Day.  My mom recently shared some old photos on Facebook and one of them was of my grandma. I absolutely love this photo because my grandma looks like a old-school Hollywood movie star – very Grace Kelly! My grandma and grandpa were high school sweethearts who were married for over 50 years, so I love knowing that they are spending Valentine’s together.

mammaw

Alright, well that’s really all I have got for today!

I hope you have a great weekend and Valentine’s Day spending time with the people you love. Eat lots of chocolate for me!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?

Best Valentine’s candy?

 

 

 

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

WIAW: What I Didn’t Eat

I feel like I have failed at life.

How did I not know it was National Pizza Day on Monday? How did I not eat pizza the size of my face in celebration of this beautiful holiday? I have let myself down. You better believe that I have marked that day in my calendar for 2016. Let’s just go ahead and call that a New Year’s Resolution for 2016 – eat pizza on National Pizza Day. By the way, shouldn’t banks, schools and my office have been closed as well in celebration? 

So, in tribute to missing one of the best holidays of the year. I present to you: what I did not eat Wednesday…

I didn’t eat this beautiful bacon Chicago deep crust pizza.

chicago style pizza

 I didn’t eat this gorgeous and colorful NYC style pizza.

Pizza at Patsy's Pizzeria

 I didn’t eat this green goodness pizza. 

Abitinos pizza

 I didn’t eat this delicious Boston style pizza (yes, Boston deserves their own style).

boston pizza

 I didn’t eat pizza while a snowman looked on in jealousy. 

pizza and wine

 I didn’t eat pizza with cheesy breadsticks.

Pizza

 And finally…I didn’t even eat my healthy Mexican pizza. 

Healthy Mexican Pizza

 There is only one way to rectify this tragedy and it includes me consuming massive amounts of pizza in the very near future!

Who participated in National Pizza Day (and why did you not alert me!)?

On a scale of 1-10, how badly are you craving pizza now? 

What’s the best thing you have eaten lately?

Do you have a meal that you have to eat at least once a week?

Thanks to Jenn for the WIAW link-up!

 

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

ReNew & Brew

I just have to start the post today by saying how overwhelmed I was by all your support and encouragement from my post on Friday. I was so terrified to share that with the world, but reading all of your comments really gave me a renewed strength. We are all part of such a beautiful community and I am so grateful for it – so thank you!

I had an absolutely perfect weekend! It kicked off on Friday night when my friend invited me to a fundraising auction at Goodwill called ReNew & Brew. The event was held at Helms College which is Goodwill’s culinary college in Augusta. The whole purpose of the fundraiser was to highlight the college and its incredibly talented students. 

renew-and-brew-2015

 The items auctioned off were purchased at Goodwill and then repurposed into “new” items. My friend, Kerri, made this incredibly cute cat bunk bed out of an old suitcase. You better believe it took all my willpower not to buy this.  

renew-and-brew-2015

 The “Brew” portion of the evening came from the beer tasting that was paired with different food selections the culinary students created. The entire menu was designed by the students to compliment each particular beer. 

The set-up itself was really nice because we were able to go back into the college and see the kitchens and classrooms. Each room represented a different local brewery with the food pairings. I’m not a beer girl whatsoever, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and at least tried one of the beers from each of the rooms. My personal favorite was this chocolate peanut butter beer by Terrapin (And my favorite I mean it was tolerable…for beer).

renew-and-brew

 The real star of the evening for me was the food. The culinary students at Helms College put together an impressive menu! Everything was served appetizer style, so I definitely went back and got a second taste of my favorites like these chicken and waffles. Can you believe I had never tried chicken and waffles before? How did I make it 26 years on this Earth and in the South no less without trying this?? 

renew-and-brew-2015

 Below is the actual menu with each of the beer pairings. The clam chowder and bacon wrapped jalapeños came in a close second place for me.

(Side note: I’m actually writing this post while watching The Grammy’s. John Mayer and Ed Sheeran just performed together. I literally had to set my computer down and go stand in front of my TV while swaying and singing along. My two favorites on one screen!

renew-and-brew-2015

 Since the event was for charity and all, I couldn’t walk away empty-handed! I got these super cute repurposed vases that I’m hoping will inspire me as I try to redo my living room a bit. 

renew-and-brew-2015

 Another Saturday meant another long run. I’ve got a half marathon towards the end of the month, so this was my last “long” run before that. My neighbor, Jennifer, and I decided to venture outside of our neighborhood for our run for once and headed down to the Augusta Canal. The weather was absolutely perfect (spring-like 60’s) and the views were just beautiful! It’s crazy what a difference new scenery can make in your runs. 

augusta-canal-review

 The Augusta Canal has a trail that runs right along the Savannah River for about 5 miles, so it was the perfect out and back course for us to complete our scheduled 10 miles. 

augusta-canal-review 

augusta-canal-run 

augusta-canal

 After cooling off a bit, Jennifer and I headed to Whole Foods to meet a friend from church for lunch. Please notice the difference between my lunch (on the left) versus Jennifer’s (on the right). Yes, we ran the same amount. What can I say, I know how to refuel! Actually, I only ate about half of that burger because my stomach was just not feeling food (which never happens). Any other runners have trouble eating big meals after a long run? 

post-run-fuel

 I continued my cool down by walking around Whole Foods and getting a few essentials for the coming week. Somehow those few essentials came out to almost $100. Darn you, Whole Foods. I love you, but I hate you. The rest of Saturday was spent doing some things around the house and watching Parenthood non-stop.

I went to church on Sunday and then went out to lunch with Jennifer again where we made the best decision of the whole weekend: Cake Pops.

cake-pop 

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Have you ever tried cake pops? Which is your favorite flavor?

If you watched the Grammy’s, who was the best performance?

 

 

Thanks to Erin for the Monday Link-up!

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The Blog Post I Never Thought I Would Write

I have seriously been putting this blog post off for about two months. Even now as I type these very words, I’m debating whether my mouse will ever make it to the publish button.

But I guess that is the thing with blogging, we open our lives up for better or for worse. We share in each other’s joys, but also have to admit when we are going through the lows. We truly share life with each other to an extent. I know some bloggers are very private when it comes to their personal life and other bloggers are very open. I like to think I fall in the middle. I share just enough, but still keep some things for myself and close friends. However, in February of 2014, I made some personal news public on the blog and felt like I would be lying if I didn’t update you on where I am now a year later.

Last February, I got engaged. It was perfect. The proposal. The ring. The wedding dress I found in May. The wedding venue we booked. The date we set.

half-marathon engagement

 

This February, I am no longer engaged.

I honestly would have been fine never bringing this up on the blog at all, but I know that many of you have been longtime readers who remember that moment and were so kind by sharing in my joy as I began the wedding planning process. With Valentine’s Day and the one year anniversary of my engagement around the corner, I just couldn’t continue to pretend. 

So, there it is – out in the open.

It’s been a few months now, so I am doing much better. God has been so good and so faithful during this time, y’all. It’s blown my mind to see how He has brought such encouragers and strong women of faith into my life to walk beside me. He has been teaching me daily to depend on Him in new ways. For that, I am so grateful.

lamentations-3-24

romans-8-18

 

I’m sorry to have such a debbie downer post for you on a Friday. I promise that I am fine now. I just needed to get this weight that’s been on me off of my chest. It’s always scary to admit something and be so vulnerable. But at the same time, I’m learning that being vulnerable sometimes puts us exactly where God needs us to be.

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for choosing to share in my life! I am so grateful for each of you!

 

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

Getting through the Hump

We are almost there, y’all! I can see the weekend on the horizon. After today it is all downhill.

Sometimes on Wednesdays, I just need a little break. Mentally, physically, you name it. So today, I just wanted to leave you with some things that made me laugh and hopefully will make your hump day a little more bearable too!

I guess I lie to myself all the time now that I think about it:

netflix-lies 

Yes, this is me with any kind of animal:

animal-obsessed

 Don’t judge:

cat-lady-meme

 If only you knew how true this one is. This is seriously how I look when I wake up every morning:

dog-nap-meme

 Also, before leaving a voicemail:

texting-meme

 If this doesn’t make me an excellent candidate to go on The Bachelor then I don’t know what will:

cleaning-meme

I hope you got a few laughs out of those and are now ready to take on Wednesday!

What has made you laugh lately?

Anyone watch The Bachelor on Monday? Craziness!

Since it is still WIAW, have you made any good recipes lately?

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.