Friday Favorites

Oh Friday, you are finally here. It was 70* in D.C. yesterday and we’re approaching a 3 day weekend, so I could just end my list of favorites for the week right here, but it’s going to snow tomorrow so I need to remind myself of all the other fun things that have been going on. 🙂

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First on the list: watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony with friends. We had quite the spread of food, and no shortage of conversation! There were probably 20 of us, and while I tried to read the captions, we all ended up just talking about what we were seeing and catching up about other random things. 🙂 I have loved turning on the TV all week and seeing the stories of how athletes got to where they are!

 

Second favorite, although it is very lazy…watching the live stream of church from the couch. I loved this so much! Does it sound better if I say this last weekend we got more rain in 3 days than we have all fall/winter combined and I just didn’t want to go outside? Maybe. Also, only in D.C. would you listen to a sermon called “State of the Church”. 🙂

Can I also just say there are WAY too many things I enjoy watching on TV right now? This is a serious first world problem, but right now my favorites include The Olympics, The Bachelor, Celebrity Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and Bachelor Winter Games. How do I have time to do anything else, you ask? I never watch these shows live and fast forward through all of the commercials. #favorite

Tuesday was a fun day because I had lunch scheduled with two of my coworkers. I always bring my lunch, and I quite enjoying eating by myself. It’s my time to reset during the day! But it was nice to get out of the office, off campus, and eat with coworkers/friends at Paul Bakery. We had quiche and tea. Perfect Galentine’s Day lunch!

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My small group meets on Tuesday evenings, and this week we hosted a baby shower for one of the girls in our group. She is due next month with a sweet boy named Riker. 🙂 We all brought snacks to share and books for the baby. I gifted Guess How Much I Love You…who remembers that book? Plus, how creative is Shannon with her Hungry Caterpillar fruit board?!

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Valentine’s Day was a nice middle of the week event, too. 🙂 I had fun comparing a selfie Joe and I took right when we started dating to a more recent photo. We look so different!

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We planned to go to dinner and a movie, but ended up seeing our movie on Saturday afternoon (because it was raining…again) and just doing dinner on Wednesday. It was nice not to be out as late on a work night. 🙂 We ate at Paolo’s Ristorante and the red velvet cake stole the show. We exchanged small gifts, and I received the most beautiful roses!

 

It was a FULL week, and somehow, I am still keeping up with my training for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and the Pittsburgh Half. I haven’t legitimately followed a training plan for a race in a few years, so it is a humbling experience to be “starting over”, so to speak.

Yay for Friday and long weekends!

Friday Favorites [October]

– Family in town –

My mom and her best friend came to visit at the beginning of the month. Her friend was attending a workshop in the area, so she joined my mom and I at night for some fun weekend activities. 🙂

Since her workshop was out near the airport, we hung out in Reston one evening and had drinks at Barcelona. I had a wine flight and actually ended up ordering a glass of one of my 4 choices after a few sips! We also went to National Harbor to shop at the outlets and gamble at the MGM Casino.

– Apple picking –

I organized a social event for my small group and we drove a bit north to visit Homestead Farm. I’ve visited several different pumpkin patches in the DC Metro area and I loved this farm for its simplicity, and the fact that there was no admission fee! There was a farmer’s market, an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, and a few areas with animals.

We were very excited to go apple picking because most of us never had before. We quickly realized we do not know what constitutes a “good” apple, so I picked half a dozen and hoped for the best. Update: I just ate the last one yesterday and they were delicious! We also walked through the rows of pumpkins, but most of us settled on the more interesting looking pumpkins…the ones that are colorful and bumpy or the Cinderella pumpkins. 🙂

– Around town –

I saw shows at two different venues this month. Joe listens to the ESPN Fantasy Focus Football podcast on a very regular basis, and while I play fantasy football and occasionally listen, I can’t pretend to know the podcast hosts as well as he does! Matthew Berry, Field Yates, and Stephania Bell brought their podcast to town one Tuesday night for a live show, and it was so fun!

The show was at DC Improv, which is a small venue, and we were seated much like you are at tables in a restaurant. For a very inexpensive price, we were served dinner, and got to talk to the podcast hosts before and after the show. They have great chemistry and are hilarious, so even if your football knowledge is lacking, you probably still would have had a good time. 😉

This past Tuesday, the Museum of the Bible, which opens to the public on November 12, held an event in its theater. Someone at church had a connection, so a few girls from my small group and I were given tickets and went to check it out! For the second year, Kirk Cameron held a live event that was recorded and played in movie theaters around the nation.

Revive Us 2 was focused on “issues that divide us” and we heard from guest speakers like Alex and Stephen Kendrick and Dr. Ben Carson. My favorite part was the worship band with lead singer Zach Williams! He just released an album and we sang some of those new songs. I added Chain Breaker and Old Church Choir to my Spotify playlist as soon as I got home. 🙂

– Day trip –

Then, there was the Saturday that started with brunch and continued on with a visit to a new-to-me pumpkin patch and a winery. While I was at brunch, I saw one of my friends post a Snapchat story of a corn maze, and I was excited because this was not part of the farm I previously visited, and Joe and I had planned to go get pumpkins on this day anyway!

After a quick Google search, we were off to Great Country Farm in Bluemont, VA. It’s 53 miles from Arlington, so it was a commitment, but Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Road Brewery were right across the way, so there was plenty to do once we were out there!

While we made our way through the corn maze, we kept hearing the loudest banging noises…there was just an area right nearby where you could shoot apples out of cannons at targets! Besides the corn maze, we walked through where some of the animals were hanging out (although we missed the pig race by 10 minutes), took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, and grabbed some kettle corn for the road.

We dragged our two 18 lb pumpkins to the car and drove right across the road to Bluemont Vineyard. And when I say drive across the road, I literally mean we pulled out of one driveway and went straight into another! It was quite the trek up the driveway, and then quite the trek from our car to the building…it was really directly uphill. But the views were awesome and we had fun trying to figure out what skyline we could see off in the distance. 🙂

There was indoor and outdoor seating, live music, and pizza that smelled delicious! We both ordered a wine flight to try some different red and white wines, and ended up realizing we are true city people because the bugs were out of control and on our nerves. Ha! Bugs aside, I will definitely return to this winery.

That’s October in a nutshell! Up next on the agenda is carving pumpkins and keeping myself from pressing play on the Christmas music because I’m just over here like…

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Linking up with Five on Friday and Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites [Race Edition]

 I have called myself a runner for the last eight years, but my running for the first four years looked a lot different than my running of the last four years. For a lot of reasons, this is a good thing, but I am definitely not as speedy as I once was, and as I think about my upcoming race this weekend, I am feeling a little defeated before race day is even here. This is all my own doing…I always mentally think I am better and faster than I am. I think this train of thought means that I can go big places with my running, but I still need to be realistic about where I am right now instead of holding myself to previous goals. And in the end, I will still have another awesome race memory. For now, I’m going to highlight my five favorite things about racing!

– Gear –

Clothes, shoes, fuel, belt, headphones, charged devices, bib, safety pins, ponytail, headband…it all needs to be laid out and ready the night before. Race morning usually comes at early o’clock and I like minimal thinking to happen when I roll out of bed. But picking out my outfit is always so fun. Dressing for success and all that. 😉

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– Start Line Anticipation –

Getting warmed up, finding my corral, double knotting my shoes, singing the National Anthem, and hearing the gun go off…it’s the little moments leading up to the race that make you feel so excited about being part of the running community.

– Spectators & Signs –

Crowd support is the absolute best. When you are running along and feeling your best, those cheerleaders make you feel like a million bucks, and when you hit a wall, the crowd is still there pushing you along. I love when someone I don’t know reads my bib and calls out my name or cheers my on by the color of my shirt. Even if you mentally know where your friends and family will be along the course, a stranger’s words of encouragement go a long way!

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Sarah and I spectated the Marine Corps Marathon last year, and this is the race we will both be at this weekend! I am running the 10K, and Sarah is running her first marathon, along with two of our other friends who are basically marathon pros at this point. 😉 But two of my other running friends and I got together last night to make signs for this weekend and I am so excited to cheer once the 10K is complete!

– Race Photos –

I might be in the minority on this, but I love spotting the race photographer and doing something silly. They can catch you at the worst of moments, but I can’t deny that race photos are some of my favorite. You will always have memories of the happy/sad/hard/awesome times during the race. Plus, putting a smile on your face can totally change your attitude and we have to remember why we’re out there running in the first place…because we love it.

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– Digging Deep –

Whether you’re running for fun or trying to get a shiny new PR, there are always moments that feel harder than others. Pushing past mental or physical barriers that you put on yourself is the best feeling, and probably why so many of us continue to run day after day. We all need to feel like we’ve accomplished something, and nothing feels better than leaving it all out there on the race course.

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At 7:45 AM on Sunday morning, I’ll be toeing the start line of the Marine Corps 10K and reminding myself of all of these reasons that I love to run and race so much. My running has changed a lot in the last 8 years, so while I won’t be chasing a PR in the 10K distance, I will be chasing a 10K PR for me where I’m at in my running right now…and if I can do that with a smile on my face, then mission accomplished. 🙂

Linking up with Five on Friday and Friday Favorites 

5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Alright Spring Break, I see you coming to an end. Slow down just a little, please! We have a solid three months of school left (June 23rd oy vey), so I’m enjoying this down time a little too much. 🙂 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci this Friday to talk favorites!

-Warm Weather-

No night class, a 65 degree day in March, and running distance from the National Mall means one thing and one thing only. You must go for a run. 😉 I will never ever tire of running to the Lincoln and sitting on his steps. It’s my second favorite monument (Jefferson is first).

– My Friends –

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On the topic of running…aren’t race expos the best? Everyone in the room loves running and there are so many goodies to collect! We had the best time in all of the photo booths, and this picture is one of my favorites. The Rock N Roll DC Expo seemed to understand just how picture obsessed our generation is. 😉 I am so glad I’ve connected with running friends in DC. If your local Lululemon has a running group and you’re a runner, you should GO!

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I went to see The Sound of Music last night with my mom, her friend, and one of my best friends in Pittsburgh and it was an AMAZING performance! We ate at Peter Allen’s, an Italian restaurant near the venue, and then headed over to the Benedum Center for the show. There were people of all ages there and I found myself singing along during the show! The Von Trapp children were SO cute.

– Jake’s 17th Birthday and Promposal –

It’s been an exciting week in the life of Jake. First…

I filled Jake’s car with 120 balloons while he was sleeping the night before his birthday. On Monday night it suddenly occurred to me that I just needed to decorate his bedroom door, so I stopped for supplies on my way home from the gym. I came home to decorations galore courtesy of my mom so I had to redirect my thoughts…and that went to filling up his car. 🙂 It was SO fun and he was SO surprised! His cookie cake was also my favorite AND I put the 10 candles we could find in the shape of a ‘1’ and ‘7’ on the cake, so I was quite proud of myself. #thelittlethings

Then, it was time for the cutest promposal ever. (Sidenote: I was asked two years in a row via text message. So special. Hahaha)

Jake HAD to ask his girlfriend to prom in a cute way because apparently that’s how it works these days. Ha! If you can see it, she wrote “yes” next to the question mark! He brought her home after school on Thursday, they walked down the little heart path, he gave her roses, it was adorable and they were both so happy!

– Life As A Teacher –

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The week before Spring Break was Science Week at school. I had to exert serious self-control as I let my students design their tri-fold boards. I was trying to micromanage every pair’s poster and it was not working. #duh Once I forced them to design their title and had them research/write facts, I decided they could just have the boards and create whatever they wanted to their heart’s content. Then everyone was much happier. 😉 It was my favorite to see how excited they were to present their posters to the sixth graders. There were some really awesome posters and presentations!

– My Little Sidekick –

Meet Amigo, the velcro dog. He has not left my side since I arrived home on Monday. Gotta love him. 😉 I was on the floor with free weights, modifying the exercise because I don’t have a bench, and he laid down and put his head on my stomach. Velcro!!! As you can see, I had to watch my step as I worked out because I never knew when I might trip over him. Hahaha

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And a little humor for your Easter weekend. 😉 Reese’s eggs really are my favorite, although I don’t know that I’ve ever had a white chocolate one. I might have to remedy that problem ASAP.

Happy weekending to you! And happy Easter!

Friday FiveFriday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Well, my hands didn’t freeze off at recess yesterday and when I got in my car after work, it was a balmy 51 degrees outside…which leads me to believe my dreams of being a two hour delayed, snow days on demand first year teacher are becoming less and less likely! The meteorologist from NBC4, Doug Kammerer, visited my school in December and he promised us huge snowstorms in February, so I guess I have a few more weeks of waiting!

One of my favorite moments this week was walking to the grocery store on a random evening for an ingredient I needed for dinner. This might sound strange, but I love the grocery store, and in the town I am from, you cannot walk anywhere except your neighbor’s house. Even when I lived in downtown Pittsburgh, I really did have to drive if I wanted to go to a grocery store or restaurant or other store. Now, there is a grocery store two blocks from my apartment. I love being able to walk places! I walk to lululemon to meet up with friends to run, I walk to the library, I stumble to Starbucks (because it’s right across the street)…I just really like the ability to walk places now. This coming from a girl who doesn’t like walking much. 😉 I prefer to run!

My week started out with one of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Bachelor. Are you watching this season?! My thoughts so far are that Lace is going to make it halfway through the season for dramatic effect and end up on Bachelor in Paradise, Olivia (the news reporter) is there for publicity and a better career, and Caila is super sweet!

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My roommate invited some friends over and we had the best time talking about the show while we watched! We also enjoyed some wine and cheese…but this wasn’t your typical wine and cheese night. Carlin went to Italy with her family in the fall and bought a TON of wine while she was there and then a family friend sent her gourmet cheese this month. A decadent Monday night snack. 😉

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A student brought me a pencil on Tuesday…a dark chocolate Hershey kiss for the point and Rolo’s as the pencil. I didn’t even know I liked Rolo’s, but Tuesday was a long day, so I found out quick that anything chocolate and caramel was my jam.

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I was nominated for “The Red Bird” this week at work. As our mascot, the Cardinal is passed from teacher to teacher as they are recognized for their hard work. This week, one of my mentors nominated me and it made me so happy! My students think it’s a combination of weird and cool that I have this little trophy for the week. Ha! Sidenote –> there were two red birds that always used to tap at my Grandma’s kitchen window. After my Grandma passed away, there was a red bird who pecked incessantly at the driver’s side mirror on my car (I parked outside in the driveway every night). When I was hired at this school this past summer, my mom was so excited that I ended up at the school with a red bird as the mascot. Fate, right?

A friend from Pittsburgh sent me a Snapchat of the view from her office window…and I sent her the view from my classroom window. #sigh #whereisthesnow

On the topic of snow, you should know it’s Colby’s favorite. I’m convinced it’s because he was born in November, and therefore he is a snow baby. When he came home with us (3 years ago yesterday!!!) in mid-January, it was also snowy and cold. So he knows no different. He runs and frolics and has a grand ol’ time out there! Amigo, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with that fluffy white stuff and he literally wraps himself in a blanket the moment he runs back inside. Hahaha!

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Amigo is also not a morning person. This was my mom’s best attempt at making her bed on Wednesday morning. 😉 You should know that HE knows he is supposed to sleep down at my mom’s feet, and he does, but as soon as she gets up for the day, he gets under the covers. Ha!

Favorite Christmas present –> my Ugg slippers. My brother got me a pair of Sperry slippers for Christmas last year and I was long overdue for a new pair. I wear slippers all.the.time. And apparently I really like name brand slippers, too. Ha! #allcomfyallthetime
Favorite moment –> going to bed at 10 PM one night.
Favorite day –> Wednesday night because I started reading two new books.
Favorite discovery –> I LOVE listening to audiobooks while I drive! Currently “hearing” all about Ivanka Trump’s life. I love it!
Favorite video –> Adele’s Carpool Karaoke (wait until she raps Nicki Minaj. I died. Hahaha)
Favorite Internet find –>

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This picture just makes me LOL. 🙂 Get your act together and handle it!

Holla for a 3 day weekend! Happy, happy, my friends!

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Friday Favorites

More Than 5 on Friday

I’m in a bit of a frenzy right now because I have approximately -5 Christmas presents and the big day is SOON! I was going to be one of “those” people who was finished shopping in November but LOL it’s December 11 and so far, I have two little “extras” to put on top of my Dad and Jake’s gifts. Except here’s the thing…there’s no where to put their “extra” because there’s no actual gift yet. AH! Two things on my brain while I’ve Christmas shopped this year and come up empty handed: no one needs anything AND I refuse to buy a shirt or sweater for the sake of buying someone a present. NO. It has to be cool! *insert stress and buying zero things*

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Amigo and Colby went to see Santa this past weekend with my mom. These pictures are my favorite. As is the story of Colby being real chill and Amigo barking at Santa. Hahaha! Does that mean he is automatically on the naughty list? Colby is usually afraid of things he doesn’t understand (think balloons, large construction vehicles, etc.) so I’m surprised he didn’t bark at the big red man, too!

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A really cool thing that happened this week is the DC Capital Striders used my Instagram picture in their post about a Holiday Lights Run! How cool is that?! See their post and my picture here.

Other favorite things include:

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Staring at a Christmas tree all lit up in the dark.

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These friends.

A work dress code that allows me to literally get away with wearing leggings 5/5 days if I really want to…gray on the left, black on the right. 😉 I’m no outfit repeater!

A layered Hershey’s birthday cake from my coworkers and a mini Oakmonter from Kristen!

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This bike. ❤

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Decorating cookies for my birthday with my students!

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This AMAZING candy corn themed gift from a student! Who knew apple pie candy corn was a thing?! In case you were wondering, it’s kind of strange. 😉

This amazing box of goodies from my family! There’s no shortage of dessert or snacks in my apartment this week. I have a good candy stash for a while now!

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And this image I saw on Instagram. Hahaha! My friends and I entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler under the name “Team Queso”. We can so relate to this picture!

Have the best weekend! I’m off to do more Christmas-y things, starting with a run through the National Zoo to see all their lights. Tis the season!

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Friday Favorites

Thankful Things

It’s the month of thanks and the season of giving…so why not change up those Friday Favorites to reflect that? It’s favorite things gone thankful things. 🙂

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First on the list of things I’m thankful for today…doctors who work on Thanksgiving. I went for a run yesterday and while I was running, I felt something in my eye. When I reached up to rub it away, I poked myself in the eye with my nail. It hurt in the moment, but I brushed it off pretty quickly and kept running. As the day went on, my eye got more and more red…it got more and more watery…and it got more and more painful. It felt like a burning sensation. Diagnosis: I scratched my cornea. A quick Urgent Care visit later, I had eye drops and a recommendation to take Advil to help the pain because…surprise! The eye drops don’t help the pain at all. They just keep you from getting another infection while your eye is scratched. In any case, I am super thankful for that doctor who spent their Thanksgiving at work and I am super thankful for my family who put up with my cranky mood for a few hours yesterday afternoon. 😉

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I am thankful for artists who make albums with songs that I love so much that I don’t skip any of them. A few are Florence + the Machine and Lana del Rey. I’ve always liked Adele, but she went right back to the top of my “LOVE” list when her album came out this past week. I bought the extended version at Target so I could hear the 3 extra songs (duh) and I have basically played it on a loop ever since I purchased it. On Monday, I was listening to it on my phone during my planning period at school and I forgot to turn it off before my students returned. While I was teaching, they were bouncing off the walls, but I could still hear someone whispering no matter how I redirected them. I finally got annoyed enough to say, “WHO is whispering?! PLEASE STOP!” And someone sitting on the carpet near my desk was like, “Miss McGraw…it’s not us…it’s your phone.” Hahaha #Adeleiswhispering #teacherfail

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I am thankful for the Pinterest hack of using coconut oil to remove your eye makeup. I usually use Neutrogena face wipes to take my makeup off and I really feel like I need them. Even when I wash my face, there is still makeup on my eyes. Last week, I ran out of my usual Neutrogena wipes and at first, I wasn’t bothered. After a few days of extra makeup on my eyes, I knew I had to go to the store to buy them, but I never remembered to stop on my way home from work and so it became a vicious cycle! My friend recommended that I use coconut oil and listen…at first, I was very weirded out by the whole process because I cook with coconut oil so putting it on my eyes felt very strange. Now, I am a believer. It takes the makeup off my face so much better than anything else I have ever used and I really think it’s doing a little bit of moisturizing, too! If you have coconut oil in your kitchen, you should give it a try. 🙂

I am thankful for a fun last few days of school before Thanksgiving Break! The countdown was REAL. Students and teachers alike were itching to get out for the holiday, but we created a good balance of learning and fun activities to survive. 🙂 Monday started with one of my students bringing me an apple and Tuesday was a flurry of end of the unit quizzes, but I was able to squeeze in a fun video of Kid President’s Thankful Things and time to make a Thankful Tree for the hallway! They all wrote down things they are thankful for at school. This was a struggle for some, but we brainstormed and in the end, a lot of them wrote down the names of teachers and friends in the class, so that was nice to see and read! Now let’s talk about the mandarin oranges pretending to be a pumpkin. That was my great teacher idea for Halloween. Well, the day before Halloween, we had pajama day and an early dismissal. Needless to say, I did not remember to hand out the snack. So it went home on Tuesday with a note about why I am thankful for them. 😉 Teacher win or teacher fail? I can’t decide! And Wednesday, I left the little people with a substitute teacher while I flew back to Pittsburgh.

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#enoughsaid

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Finally, I’m thankful for these three! This is our standard holiday cousin pose. I have no idea how it started, but it’s tradition! We used to line up in age order and also just happen to be in height order, but that doesn’t work anymore! The two boys on the left are my brothers Jake (16) and Alex (21) and then my cousin Nick (20) is right behind me. We were missing our fifth amigo, CJ! CJ is the same age as me but he was in Ohio having Thanksgiving with his girlfriend’s family. Luckily, those two came home for dinner, so I crashed their dinner around the time they were having wine and dessert to visit! All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving, even with a red, burning eye. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and maybe got a few good deals today! I snuck away to the mall for an hour with my youngest brother before his volleyball practice this afternoon and though we were there for a short time, I managed to get three pairs of leggings for myself because 1) major sale and 2) priorities. Ha! Have a great weekend!

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Friday Favorites

Favorite Things Gone Thankful Things

It’s the month of thanks and the season of giving…so why not change up those Friday Favorites to reflect that? I’m so excited to be writing again after so many weeks of falling off the blogging radar. I am, first, most thankful for every one of you who reads this blog. I would still write even if my parents were the only ones who read my posts, but I love that others enjoy my writing, too!

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I am thankful for big comfy sweaters. Nobody likes an early Monday morning, but everyone loves a cute outfit. 😉

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My mom was in town twice last month so of course we did our fair share of shopping. She picked this out for me when we were shopping at Marshall’s. I love the different patterns and I love the POCKETS!

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Just the best little sweater there ever was.

I am thankful for running friends turned real life friends.

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Moving to a new city where you know zero people is not the easiest thing in the world. This I learned when I moved to DC last fall for grad school. Little by little, I started to find my place here. I went to as many events as possible hoping that maybe I would make some friends. Church helped a lot, but so did reaching out to acquaintances I knew in the area. Kristen and I graduated a few years apart at Duquesne so we became really good friends, and then this summer, we started going to Lululemon’s running club on Monday night. There, we met the rest of these pretty faces…and then we realized we actually really liked each other and could make plans outside of run club haha!

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It’s nice to make real friendships with people. It is so easy to meet others and feel like you have a forced friendship just because you are in the same place doing the same thing. That is not the case with this group! We truly enjoy each other’s company and look forward to our workouts together each week! Last weekend, we all went to Nationals Park for a beer, wine, and cider festival. It was so fun to just be outside enjoying the wonderful fall weather!

I am thankful for delicious recipes found in blog land.

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Here you will see a picture I stole from Hungry Runner Girl…but that’s because I loved my soup too much to take a picture. 😉 Chicken cream cheese chili in the crockpot. Doesn’t get much tastier or easier than that! I may or may not have had this for lunch and as a snack almost every day this week. You can be the judge of that. HRG got this recipe from a friend and has since updated the ingredient list a bit. If you plan on making this, add a can of tomato soup! It makes it taste even better!

I am thankful for unseasonably warm weather in November.

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I suppose that sentiment should be followed by a “knock on wood”! When cold weather comes, I will literally curl up in a ball and cry. I love snow. It is magical. And I’m a teacher, so give me #allthesnowdays and #allthe2hourdelays but I despise being cold. It makes me almost as cranky as being hangry. Ha! I’m like a bear. I almost need to hibernate. 🙂

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Last Friday was funny. The sky and clouds looked like a combination of “about to rain” and “sun doesn’t want to set”. You certainly won’t find me complaining about the sun setting slowly even though we’ve set the clocks back…

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…or the fact that it will occasionally still be in the 70s even though I feel like winter should be right around the corner. My mom has driven to work in 33* weather with the seat heaters on all week. Pittsburgh, I love you big, but your 33* November mornings certainly do not make me want to rush home. 😉

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Although this did happen last weekend…I didn’t check the weather before heading out for my run and I wore shorts and a tank top. I ran the fastest I have in weeks because I was trying to get back home! #alwayscold #allthetime

I am thankful for hilarious coworkers.

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Our team leader sent this minion picture to us yesterday before school. We all had subs in our classrooms in the afternoon so that we could attend meetings and plan for the rest of the semester. While that time is always more than appreciated, it is also a very tedious task to plan for months at a time, so there was no shortage of snacks and inappropriate jokes. We are a rowdy bunch! The math coach that was working with us was laughing so hard because we get our work done, but we certainly have fun, too. I don’t take it for granted that the five of us work so well together. For my first year of teaching, I couldn’t have better support!

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Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites: I’m Baaaack

Well, I fell off the face of the Earth this week. Except not really. This week, I was glued to my couch. I had a terrible sinus infection that moved into my chest and I had a fever. #goodtimes

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Being sick when you’re an adult is no fun at all. I felt like a baby! Ha! Last week, I lost my voice and thought I just had a really bad cold…but after working all week and going to the gym all week, my body shut down. Still, I was like, oh a fever, no big deal…and I didn’t take my sorry self to the doctor until Monday, which thankfully was a day off from school. I love Christopher Columbus. 😉 My doctor put me on two antibiotics and told me to take Tuesday off work. Now let’s just throw it out there that teachers in general do not like to miss school because it’s more work than actually GOING to school…but for a first year teacher, especially after a long weekend. Sigh. I was still feeling so sick that I had to listen to her! So my week has been nice and short, although I’m never upset to see another Friday come around! Especially since I have been giving standardized tests every day this week. LIFE IS FUN!

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I have been a coffee drinker for only two years now, and I always say that I don’t have a favorite kind of coffee and I don’t “need” coffee. Well, I think I have now decided my favorite flavor is actually Hazelnut and my occasional morning headache would beg to differ with the idea that I don’t “need” this warm beverage. 🙂

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Ice cream is my favorite…this Pumpkin Pie flavor has graham cracker in it. I was sold. It is not too “pumpkin-y”, but it is perfectly delicious. 🙂

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I got new leggings at Lululemon. They were on clearance and I’m a fitness instructor so double discount for me! #win These are my favorite because I LOVE this green color, they sit in a great place on my waist, and they have pockets. Oh, yes. I have been looking for a pair with pockets like these and I was so excited to finally find them! Then of course I saw a coworker wearing workout leggings with similar pockets today and she bought hers at Target. Of course!

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Surprise pocket!

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The little things are my favorite. Like noticing sidewalk art on my way to a Spin class…

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…reading chalkboard handwriting at a new-to-me coffee shop…

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…and eating Quest bars from friends. 🙂 Have you tried the Pumpkin Pie flavor yet? It is a coated bar, so it is definitely different than any other Quest bar I have had before!

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I love when I think I’m a baby genius when in fact, my idea is not so great. A caramel apple with Reese’s Pieces is my favorite kind of candy apple. I bought it at the pumpkin patch last weekend and it was sitting in my kitchen looking ready to be snacked on, so instead of holding it by the stick and taking a big ol’ bite, I decided to slice it nicely! What a great idea!

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No. The apple cutter broke (it’s 4 years old anyway) and the apple wasn’t even that good. #derp 

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This was on Facebook and it made me literally laugh out loud because it is so true. Happy Friday!

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Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Today is a teacher work day and then we are all off on Monday for Columbus Day. Nothing like a long weekend to get you excited about life! 🙂

– ONE –

I’ve had a lot of good luck with yummy food this week.

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First, I found this autumn harvest pasta sauce at Trader Joe’s. I also picked up an autumn harvest jar of salsa. They are both SO good! Butternut squash, pumpkin, tomatoes…you just can’t go wrong.

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My roommate returned from a family trip to Italy and brought me real Italian biscotti! My mom and I have a delicious biscotti recipe that we make all the time. While our recipe is definitely different than the real thing, I love both!

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I wanted pizza, but I didn’t want pizza. Ya know, eating healthy and all of that. So I made an omelette and then instead of folding it in half, as you do with omelettes, I put pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and chicken on top. BAM. Pizza. Could I pick it up with my hands? Well, actually, I don’t know. I didn’t try. I used a fork, and you probably should, too. But you should definitely make it. 🙂

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One of my coworkers had a birthday. She gave her Grandma’s secret cheesecake recipe to her best friend at work when he asked what she wanted for her birthday. She picked dessert, so obviously she’s a friend of mine. 😉 He obeyed her birthday wishes and made her cheesecake. I love both of them.

– TWO – 

Shout out to Timehop for being on point yesterday. Do you have the Timehop app on your phone? I love it! You can sync it with all of your social media platforms and it reminds you what you were doing years ago on that day. 🙂

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This was my very favorite thing to see. One year ago yesterday, I went to my church’s running group for the first time. That was a hectic day because I was stuck in traffic and I parked almost a mile away from our starting point because I just wanted to PARK and start running. I knew I could run faster than the traffic was moving haha! In the last year, I have made so many great friendships with people at my church and explored so many different places in DC all thanks to running group. So thankful for those people!

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Two years ago yesterday, I posted this picture of candy corn and claimed it was the only thing that was making me happy that day…

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…not much has changed. This is a picture from Wednesday when I stopped at the bank after work! My bank closes at 5 PM like most normal banks, but it’s a struggle for me to get there before they close, so I often go to the bank branch in the grocery store…which is dangerous because candy corn is nearby. But HELLO, I have never tried caramel candy corn, so the purchase was totally necessary. #mywaistlinesaysnothankyou

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And Timehop didn’t show this song, but this song started playing while I was reading through my Timehop feed, and it made me flashback to sophomore year of college when I listened to this song all.the.time. I especially liked listening to it as I drove out of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel into downtown Pittsburgh. Like I would specifically start playing the song at that point of my drive to Duquesne. Why? And why do I remember?! Ha! Also, if you decide to go listen to this song, let me just say I like stupid rap music. 🙂 #dontjudgeme

– THREE –

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Take a minute. Watch the sun come up or go down. You won’t be disappointed.

– FOUR –

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Taking race pictures BEFORE the race is my new favorite thing to do. We aren’t sweaty, but we do look kind of tired. 😉 This is the official race picture from the 10k race I ran a few weekends ago!

– FIVE –

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I finally got to wear my new scarf! I love to see others wearing outfits that have mixed patterns, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I wore a regular ol’ red shirt. 😉 But we have to take a moment of silence for my new jeans. These are Wit and Wisdom from Nordstrom and I LOVE THEM. Most of my jeans are from American Eagle and Gap and they sit in the WORST place on my hips ever, giving me an unwelcome muffin top. Ain’t nobody got time for jeans that make you feel bad about yourself! And yet, I have continued to wear those jeans for years. First grown up paycheck, first trip to the mall to buy new jeans in probably three years. If you haven’t purchased a new pair of jeans in the last year, I urge you to GO RIGHT NOW. They will change your life. #seriously

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We all know I could live in workout clothes, and on Workout Wednesday this week, all of my coworkers and students mentioned that they loved my “fall” colors. This was not a thought I had when I was getting dressed. I only chose the flower print pants because I thought the zebra print pants would be taking it too far. Next week. Ha!

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And this is just funny!

Happy weekend to you!

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Friday Favorites