MIMM: Pittsburgh Edition

What’s marvelous in my Monday? Well, after several much appreciated snow days, we are headed back to school today with a two hour delay. I was able to go home to Pittsburgh for a long weekend and so many wonderful things happened!

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First and most important, my dogs never left my side. We napped together, studied together, walked together, and worked out together. Except Amigo wasn’t really feeling the workout on this particular day. He was more concerned with his favorite toy, the penguin. Colby, on the other hand, was all about the resistance band. In retrospect, it looks exactly like his leash, so it’s no wonder he wouldn’t leave me alone. Hahaha!

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Cuddle buddies for life. #hesnotafanofmornings

I spent most of Friday with my aunt getting pampered all day long. We chatted, relaxed, and just had the best day. In between all the fun stuff, I was able to get some school work done for my night class that starts this week, so I also felt accomplished! My mom joined us for manicures and pedicures to end the night.

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On Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early to go see this guy play in a volleyball tournament. My youngest brother’s team is playing other local teams in tournaments during their preseason, so even though the winner and loser didn’t really matter, of course we were all paying attention to the score! They played a lot of teams that have been playing together since middle school, and that gives them a bit of an advantage because Jake’s team has only played together in high school. They did win two games, though! And Jake is the one serving the ball in the above picture. 🙂

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My Dad and I headed to our favorite restaurant for brunch. Eat ‘N Park is a Pittsburgh classic, and I love eating there every time I go home. There isn’t a bad thing on the menu and their smiley face cookies are always delicious for dessert! We ordered breakfast food (our favorite) and then my Dad humored me and let me take him shoe shopping. Of course all at the same time, my running shoes, rain boots, and black boots bit the dust and so I need to replace each of those pairs of shoes. I was on a mission! I found my favorite pair of running shoes on sale for $90. That’s quite the markdown from $160! My mom and I shopped a bit before meeting up with my brothers for dinner. Then I took a nap and headed out for a night with some friends from college!

I had quite the clothes catastrophe because I literally threw yoga pants in a duffel bag and jumped in my car when I heard we would be off school for the rest of the week, so getting dressed to go hang out with real people was a bit of a challenge haha! Props to my mom for letting me borrow her shirt and not killing me for throwing clothes all over her bedroom and the family room. #shesthebest We met at a place on Pittsburgh’s North Shore called McFadden’s and the DJ played the best music. Julie and Felicia (the two pictured above) arrived early enough to snag a table and it was nice to have a “home base” once it got crowded. Just a place to sit and talk! We had the best time. And then I realized half way home I forgot my debit card… #oops

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Randi and I went to breakfast in Oakmont on Sunday morning at a place called What’s Cookin’ At Casey’s. I had only ever been once before for dinner, so I was excited to try their breakfast menu! We had the best time talking about life and eating all the food. Two older women sitting in the booth behind us told us we needed to stay all day because “we can just tell you are having so much fun!” Ha! Randi and I went to the same elementary school and even took gymnastics together for a short time but as we got older, we had different friends since we were in different grades! We reconnected through blog land, and it is so fun to have a friend who knows exactly what you are talking about when you talk about high school!

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I spotted this pay phone outside the restaurant as I walked in and I thought it was so random! Do people even use pay phones anymore?! Photo credit goes to my Dad 🙂 He lives in Oakmont and took this picture when he was walking around town one day. Apparently it strikes everyone as odd! Ha! He claims that it works and he will be calling me from it today. So I shall be waiting for a call from an unknown number. Any guesses on how many quarters he will need to use?!

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60 degrees in January, windows down, sunroof open, loud music…no explanation needed. #perfection

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When I was writing my year in review post, I came across pictures from the run pictured above and remembered that was the first time my friend Kristen and I met up to run in DC. When I told her, she decided we HAD to go running on this day because it is like our one year friend-aversary ha! Well, that day was yesterday, and we were busy driving back to DC from Pittsburgh, so how were we supposed to fit a run in?

Um…we stopped driving every hour and ran one mile. Hahaha! This was at the rest stop in Somerset, PA and we had to take pictures at this exact spot because the well-known huge windmills are in the background. No one really noticed us running here…we just did a loop of the perimeter of the parking lot and hit a mile in 8:27.

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Then we got in the car and ate a donut, because we deserved it, right?! Ha! I’m one of those annoying people who takes two bites of a sweet treat and puts it back in the box. Salty treats are my weakness! These donuts are from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, which is a small shop in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. They really are little donuts, in case you were curious 🙂 Bite size, if you will! Flavors included vanilla, honey, apple pie, s’mores, cinnamon sugar, and mocha.

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An hour later, we were at our halfway point and stopped at our usual place to put gas in the car and get a salad at Subway. But while we were there, we had to get our mile in…so we ran around the perimeter of THAT parking lot. This one wasn’t quite as fun because we had to lap it 6 times;) I am pretty sure the big group of students we saw coming home from a ski trip thought we were weird. I didn’t ask them questions about their clothing, so they shouldn’t ask me questions about my running. 😉 #logic

Purple skies led us to our third stop at the Hagerstown outlets. Now THIS was a fun mile! It was our slowest yet at just over 9 minutes, but we got to “window shop”, we heard music playing through the outdoor speakers, and there were so many sidewalks/directions to run in! Do I sound crazy? I am aware this sounds really crazy and you are reading this wondering WHY I think this was fun. But I promise it was. And at this point of the drive, I am usually pretty unpleasant because I just want to be home…but we kept having a run to look forward to and that kept our spirits up!

We did not run a mile upon our arrival in DC, because important things like unpacking and grocery shopping and watching Grease Live needed to take place. 🙂 It literally made my whole Sunday to add a little bit of running to our drive and that is how I know I am a crazy runner person because no one else I know would do this. Haha! I cannot take credit for the idea because I saw someone I follow on Instagram (I can’t remember the name!!!) do this during a road trip a few weeks ago, but I’m very glad we stole the idea yesterday!

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Things that aren’t marvelous? Forgetting to bring back some of my mom’s delicious biscotti. WAH! #thelittlethings

What’s marvelous in your Monday today? Share something below! 🙂

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2015: A Year In Review

If you had told me last New Years Eve that THIS New Years Eve I would be on Christmas Break from my first year of teaching, I don’t know that I would have believed you. My life last year was so very different than it is now, but there have only been good changes!

I moved to College Park, MD in August of 2014 to start my Master’s in Reading. I took on three part time jobs at UMD: a research assistant in the Education Department, a writing consultant at The Writing Center, and a fitness instructor at the gym. That’s how last year began…a new semester of grad school plus my three jobs.

This is for my own memory. You will likely be tempted to skim or scroll past some stuff. Ha!

JANUARY

Right after Winter Break, I drove back to Maryland for a work trip to Boston. My research team worked with another team out of Boston College that we communicated with via Skype and phone calls. We went up to see them for 2 days in January to get LOTS of work done in person! It was also -4 the entire time we were in Boston, so thank goodness we were only there for 36 hours. 😉 This was a typical work trip in that I truly have no idea what the city of Boston looks like because I was at the airport, in a taxi to Boston College, at Boston College, at our hotel, and then all of that in reverse. This month, I also started teaching PiYo and I took myself on an adventure to Annapolis because I had never been and that’s what you do when you have few friends in a new place! I ran to the MLK Jr. monument on MLK Jr. Day and I met up with Kristen for the first time to run the National Mall!

FEBRUARY

I taught PiYo once before teaching it on a stage. At the beginning of the semester, the gym has a sort of “opening night” for its classes so everyone can see what’s available. That was a little bit out of my comfort zone! I started training for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler (you’re welcome for the selfie) and spent a lot of time on the indoor track because it snowed a LOT this month and I was a big baby! I went to running group with my church almost every Wednesday and found lots of new-to-me routes in DC. My mom and Jake came to visit for Valentine’s Day and my best friend Stef visited a few weekends later. I also worked at and attended a Fitness Expo at UMD’s gym that brought fitness instructors from up and down the east coast!

MARCH

I remember watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy this month. Ha! I was obsessed and school kept getting delayed, cancelled, or closed early because of cold weather and snow. I made it outside when I could to keep training for the 10-miler, I took lots of selfies at The Writing Center (omg long hair), and I kept teaching PiYo every Monday morning and Tuesday night! My running group did a special run for those we knew going on a mission trip to the West Bank and I spotted the National Cathedral for the first time since moving here. And of course, my baby brother turned 16 and got his permit!

APRIL

And then it was warm. This was also the month I started tossing around the idea of applying for teaching jobs. My final decision was made while I was sitting in a Jason’s Deli. My memory, I tell ya… I was home this month for Easter and drove with Jake for the first time! I also went running on my favorite loop downtown (where I ran almost every morning in college) and I have a very vivid memory of tripping over a crack in the sidewalk and falling into a big X-shape. My leggings ripped, my hands were bleeding, I was half crying and half yelling, and then when I finally stood up…I kept running. Hahaha! I went to an event at UMD called “Grad Prom”, attended my first bonfire of the year in shorts and sandals, ran to Gravelly Point where you can see planes take off from Reagan National Airport, and ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. It was so fun to have my friends in town for that race! I’m a Beachbody coach so I went to a Super Saturday event in Baltimore and I also went to my first Nationals baseball game!

MAY

I started and successfully completed Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix Extreme program this month. I made a last minute decision to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon when an extra bib became available and I also ran to Gravelly Point for the first time. You can see the planes from Reagan National Airport taking off and landing here! My friend Sarah and I went to the Marine Barracks Evening Parade and my mom and my aunt came to visit for the weekend. We went to Atlantic City at the end of the month for Memorial Day Weekend and I rushed back to Maryland ASAP because I had my first teaching interview! My mom wanted to know what I was wearing and my dad wanted to see a picture of the Zipcar I had rented, so that’s how I ended up with that super awkward picture on the bottom right. Ha!

JUNE

First November Project workout.
First Duquesne Alumni Event at the Nationals vs. Pirates game in DC.
First adventure to Old Town, Alexandria, VA.
First time eating an apple fritter (that was the size of my head).
First time making and eating Strawberry Salsa for a Strawberry Festival Party!
Second Kenny Chesney concert.
Second Taylor Swift concert.
Second and third teaching interviews (third time was the charm!).

I also chopped all my hair off and spent a lot of time on the computer. It sounds terrible to say that in the middle of summer, but I was taking two online summer classes and apartment hunting!

JULY

My mom, Jake, and his friend came to DC for the Fourth of July. Kristen and I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon with a team of other runners from my church. I spent even more time on my computer, took my mom to see the elementary school where I was hired, started moving to my new apartment, and spent 10 much needed days on the beach!

AUGUST

I officially moved to my new apartment in Virginia. One of my friends from college also moved to the area so we spent a lot of time exploring DC together! I ate brunch with other DC area bloggers, made my first grown up purchase of porch furniture, and ran the Lincoln Memorial steps for the first time. I went home for a week to surprise my family (a conference I was supposed to attend was cancelled last minute), we celebrated Amigo’s 2nd birthday, and then I started new teacher orientation. My classroom was looking bare and empty! Kristen and I went to a Steelers bar to watch a preseason game, I went to Baltimore to celebrate my friend Shannon’s birthday, and I finally got tagged at November Project!

SEPTEMBER

A secret November Project workout that ended at a Biergarten in DC for yoga and drinks. My first day as a real teacher. 😉 The Pope came to town, I ran a 10k with my friends, I met Amanda for dinner, and I went to a 90s bar crawl in DC. I also made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for my mentors and coworkers as a thank you for helping me during my first month of teaching!

OCTOBER

My mom and my aunt visited the first weekend of October! My classroom finally started feeling like a real room. I visited the pumpkin patch and then I got sick for the first time in my adult life…not even ashamed of that selfie. I had a fever and a sinus infection and junk in my lungs and it was horrible and I had to take care of myself. Hahaha! I participated in a Blogger Scarf Exchange, spent time with my family from Indianapolis in DC, and went to New York City to see the marathon!

NOVEMBER

70 degree days meant evening runs as often as possible. I went hiking on the Billy Goat Trail, attended a Beer and Wine Festival at Nationals Park, and generally counted down the days until Thanksgiving Break. 😉 I flew home (which is unusual) for the holiday, spent time with my cousins, and helped my mom decorate for Christmas.

DECEMBER

Where did this month go?! There was a lot of Christmas cheer this month. I ran to see the Capitol Christmas Tree and the National Christmas TreeMy friends and I went to see Zoo Lights at the National Zoo. I took myself on an adventure to the National Harbor to see all of their Christmas decorations and check out the area. I went to a Christmas party and hosted a Christmas party, which I also labeled my birthday party. 😉 #decemberbirthdayproblems My mom, my aunt, and I made Christmas cookies, I met up with my college roommate for dinner, and of course, we celebrated Christmas. Then, we made a getaway to Hershey, PA and NYC for a few days!

Looking back, I was ready for this life (teaching and such) at the beginning of 2015. I loved being in school, but I wasn’t fulfilled doing a whole bunch of jobs instead of focusing on one job. The summer brought some stress as I started applying for jobs, interviewing, and apartment hunting. I also thought it would be a fabulous idea to take two online classes, so that just added to my stress. August was a wonderful month free of responsibilities, at least until I started orientation for my job. I was SO nervous to take the night class that I have with my job but after doing it for a semester, I realize it’s not ideal but it works.

In September, I remember being SO tired. I was overwhelmed, I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing AT ALL, and I was just generally whiny to anyone who asked me about my life. In October and November, I feel like I started to hit my stride. I figured out that I will probably continue the rest of this year feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing…but having confidence to figure it out as I go is what is making me successful. I’m doing what I said I was always going to do…teach…and I’m doing kinda okay at it. I’m a perfectionist, so you will never hear me say I’m good. And let’s face it, as a first year teacher, I probably have some room to grow. 😉 I had a check up with my doctor last week and she was asking me about my life and just was amazed at how much has changed with me this year. She said she can’t wait to see what my life is like next year…and neither can I! Because I can’t even begin to imagine!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! 🙂

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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Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

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Friday Favorites

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was full of fun plans, which was perfect for the weekend before I started new teacher training. My weekend started on Friday morning in my Mom’s kitchen with her impressive number of K-Cups. So many flavors. So much yum. My favorite was Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla. 🙂 With a little splash of vanilla almond milk, it was even more perfect!IMG_0558

Then, I started my drive back to DC in my new favorite shirt. The drive to and from Pittsburgh is essentially a straight shot which makes it kind of boring, especially when you are driving alone as I do most of the time. I was entertained on this trip by 90s and 00s rap music and the podcast Undisclosed. 🙂

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My Dad bought me a bunch of supplies for my classroom and he threw this bag of candy corn in the box. I opened the bag on Friday afternoon and it was gone on Monday night. I don’t know whether I love or hate my Dad for this purchase haha! I didn’t develop an addiction to candy corn until my 21st year of life. I don’t know why I love it so much! My favorite Spanish teacher in high school just posted a picture on Facebook about how candy corn tastes like wax…how sad that she thinks that. 😉

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On Friday night, I drove up to Baltimore to celebrate my friend Shannon’s birthday with her and some of her other friends! Shannon and I met at church in DC but lots of her friends that came out with us are her coworkers at Anthropologie. I lovingly became known as “the friend from DC” because everyone kept asking if I worked at Anthro. Just for the discount, I wish!!! Haha

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On the drive up, I got stuck in some bumper to bumper traffic, but I caught views like this…

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…and the sunset only got better. 🙂

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We met Shannon’s friends at Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point. There were 112 beers on the menu and Shannon raved about the strawberry flavor! I love fruity drinks, and I have loved pineapple beer when I’ve tasted it in the past, but of course they didn’t have it at this place. I tried a raspberry wheat beer and another called “Son of a Peach”. They were both so sweet I had to sip water in between sips of beer. Next time, I’ll stick to something I know!

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Shannon just got back from a two week mission trip in Zambia with our church so it was great to spend her birthday with her!

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She got me a bracelet that kind of reminds me of a Vera Bradley pattern, but obviously much fancier because it’s from Africa! 🙂

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I slept at Shannon’s house on Friday night because even though we weren’t out very late, the drive back to DC was seeming very long and dark. 🙂 On Saturday morning, I woke up and headed back home. While I was getting ready to go down to the gym to work out, I got this text…

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…at least I know one person reads my blog on the daily. 🙂

Meanwhile, my mom was sending me pictures of my dogs, who are her babies. The proof is seen in these photos. She let them go “swimming” in our hot tub. Lucky dogs!

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On Saturday afternoon, I felt like Bob the Builder. I spent the afternoon hanging pictures on the walls in my room. My pictures aren’t so great because I was just snapping photos as I went so I could text my parents, so I’ll have to take better ones to share with you! You know, ones where the pillows aren’t tipped over and the toolbox isn’t wide open on my bed. Ha!

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Shannon was coming to DC on Saturday night to go to dinner with me, Sarah, and two of Sarah’s friends. I was texting Randi 74 different outfit choices because I consider her my most fashionable friend;) From 5:45 to 7:10, I was honestly picking out clothes, getting dressed, looking in the mirror, and then ripping those same clothes back off. I need to do a serious closet clean-out so that I only have my favorite pieces to choose from. Then the getting dressed process will seem much easier! Side note: I did not wear this outfit. 🙂

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We ate dinner at Paolo’s in Georgetown and I ordered eggplant parmesan. It was TINY, which I should have expected because it was an appetizer, but the waitress claimed I would be full. Obviously she has never met me. Luckily, Sarah shared her pizza!

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We went back to Sarah’s apartment to hang out before we went to another local place for drinks. Sarah went to college on a full scholarship for playing the harp and she has a beautiful harp in her living room! We forced her to play for us. 🙂 I was so impressed! It sounds like “piano music” but it’s obviously much different. I played the piano and violin when I was younger, but it was just for a few years, so it was really cool to see someone so talented play their instrument!

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We went to a place called Whitlow’s and it had a rooftop bar, which was so fun on a warm summer night! We asked Tim and Alex to take a picture of us and while they DID take about five pictures of us in a row, they also snuck in a selfie of themselves. 😉

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Sunday morning, Sarah and Shannon picked me up and we headed to church. First we made a stop at District Doughnut for coffee and/or doughnuts and then we headed to the service. I was so excited to go to church this week because our lead pastor was on sabbatical this summer. He hasn’t taken a vacation in the 19 years since he started National Community Church! So this summer, he took three months off with his family and friends. NCC has seven locations and there is a different campus pastor at each one, so we do occasionally hear another pastor speak, but it was different not to hear from Pastor Mark for three whole months! He told us stories of his time off and talked about taking action in your life. I love hearing him speak! You can listen to the sermon here or search ‘National Community Church’ in the Podcast app on your phone. 🙂

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My family has season tickets to the Steelers, so on Sunday, my Dad and my brothers went to the Steelers vs. Packers game in Pittsburgh. Heinz Field used to be shaped like a U, and recently they added seats in the open end of the end zone. It looks so different now!

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In my Steelers shirt, I was disappointed to find I didn’t get the channel that the game was on. #outofstateproblems Lucky for me and my shirt, a fellow Steelers fan worked at Target and gave me $10 off my transaction because he knew I was a fan, too. As if I didn’t love Target already!

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One more weekend find to share with you: these chocolate crunchy chickpeas. They remind me of granola and are so good with yogurt! A random Marshall’s find. Yum!

Happy Tuesday!

1989 Tour

It’s been a pretty exciting start to summer in my neck of the woods…I went to Atlantic City to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend and I’ve done a lot of traveling back to Pittsburgh, but for good reason. There’s always a good reason because my family and college friends live there, but most recently, the good reasons were for two concerts at Heinz Field. 🙂

I love going to concerts at Heinz Field because our stadium doesn’t have a roof so you are “outside” which is perfect for summer and it’s shaped like a horseshoe so it is completely open on one end. This is where the scoreboard is during Steelers games and where the stage usually goes for big concerts! Last weekend, I saw Kenny Chesney perform along with Chase Rice, Brantley Gilbert, and Eric Church. I heard most of Brantley Gilbert’s set and all of Eric Church’s songs, but I was most excited for Kenny! I have seen him once before, but I was probably ten years old when I attended that concert so I thought it was about time to go again! Kenny has such stage presence and really gets into his songs! It was so fun to hear his “classics” along with all my new favorites!

BUT, the big event was this past weekend when my friend Julianne and I went to see Taylor Swift. I saw Taylor perform when she was in Pittsburgh for her Speak Now tour almost four years ago (!!!) but I fell out of love with her when her Red album came out. I don’t know why! However, 1989 is an AMAZING album and I love all of the songs. I know an album is special when I like all of the songs because that never happens. 🙂 My friend, on the other hand, is a DIE HARD TSwift fan. Her parents got her two tickets for Christmas and I was lucky enough to go with her!

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I’m on the left and Julianne is on the right. We were really digging the black romper look. 😉

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After the longest Uber ride of our lives, which included stories of crazy passengers from our driver and lots of me stalking Taylor’s tour busses, we finally arrived at Heinz Field! For some reason, we thought it would be a great decision to eat dinner near the stadium. The four restaurants in a little cluster over there had a range of wait times from 90 minutes to four hours. I am not kidding. Who would even put their name on that list?! So we quickly remedied this problem by walking over to Rivers Casino where there were no little girls with their Moms and we sat right down to dinner! Ha!

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The most exciting part of this concert for me was that we had tickets on the floor. Julianne has sat close to the stage before…I have not. I’m of the mindset that as long as I’m in the stadium/arena/ampitheatre and can see and hear the musician, that’s good enough for me. But this was so super cool and I will definitely splurge for a concert in the future now that I know what it feels like to be so close!

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Almost every picture we took had other people in the background also taking pictures together. That was funny to look at as I uploaded my photos to my computer. 🙂

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Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy (above) opened for Taylor and they were both SO GOOD! I really enjoyed listening to Shawn even though I didn’t recognize any of his songs. That is rare for me. If I don’t know the song at a concert, I get slightly annoyed. I like to sing along. 🙂 And I knew a few Vance Joy songs, but I came home and added some more of his songs to my library. He was so good!!!

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Then our girl came out singing Welcome to New York. Because of course. Every SINGLE person around me was singing along to every song and was so into the performance, which made it so much fun! The coolest part of this concert was that every person in the stadium got a light up bracelet that changed colors and flashed in sync with the songs!

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Here is what my baby iPhone captured…all those little lights are bracelets on people’s wrists!

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And here is a picture the local radio station posted on Facebook. HOW COOL IS THAT!?

P.S. Another cool moment –> At one point, a ton of security guards showed up in the aisle next to us…and Taylor’s mom walked past! I didn’t snap a picture because I was too flustered. But the two girls next to me ran out into the aisle to hug her and I was surprised they felt confident enough to do that ha! Maybe since I was so close I will just tell everyone I hugged Taylor Swift’s mom. 😉 On a complete side note, I don’t have children…but what in the world does Taylor’s mom think when she sees her daughter’s name in lights and watches her perform?! I can’t even imagine how amazing that is!

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The stage did some pretty cool things like rise up, spin around…and then at one point Taylor walked to the opposite end of the stage (which was raised in the air at this time) and started playing on a keyboard! Everyone was so surprised because you couldn’t tell it was on that platform! I loved that she sang and played two songs with just a keyboard and then just a guitar. It really showed how talented she is!

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This is not the best quality…but about halfway through the concert, she said that she wanted to do something special for us fans in Pittsburgh because she is from Pennsylvania, too! All of a sudden, Little Big Town walked out onto the stage and they all started singing their song “Pontoon” together! It was like a throwback to Taylor’s beginning days when she was still considered country 🙂 I heard a few weeks ago when she was in Michigan, Imagine Dragons performed Radioactive with her. I’m excited to see who else pops up on the rest of her tour!

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Of course, the show ended with fireworks and the song Shake It Off. I cannot say enough good things about this concert! Taylor was such a different performer than Kenny…I really felt like I was watching a show when I was watching her…and she also had a completely different stage presence. Maybe Kenny has been singing for so long that it is different for him, but Taylor was so thankful and appreciative that she was singing in a sold out stadium and we were all singing along with her. She just seemed really humble and relatable! During a few of her costume changes, short interviews with fans she has met and with her friends were played and that was really cool too because you got a peek into her life! Also, her costume changes were amazing. Shiny, sparkly dresses, black leather…and oh the crop tops. Girl can rock a crop top and high waisted short like no one else!

I love going to concerts…but I think the last time I was this impressed was when I saw Blake Shelton in 2013. What concerts have you been to recently? And was it your favorite one EVER?! Do tell!

Friends + Fruit + Favorites, Oh My

Like Jamie over at The Celebrating Momma, I believe that you should do a little celebrating every day…not just when Friday rolls around. Although Friday usually does bring some pretty fun times. 🙂 My favorite day of the week is actually Thursday because it’s full of anticipation of good times ahead and everyone is usually still super productive. Even ABC jumped on board with their super amazing TV shows. #TGIT

Anyways, Jamie’s post this week really spoke to me. I was feeling all kinds of anxious and overwhelmed about certain decisions in my life and I kept going back to God asking…what are you doing? Why aren’t things happening? Where are you going with this? Why isn’t it happening MY WAY?

I was sort of asking the right questions. But I wanted to be in the driver’s seat of life, and I am not. I should have been saying…show me what I can do here. Let things happen in your time. Here are my fears…you will make them right. I trust you.

Instead of beating myself up for not trusting the Lord earlier, I’m going to celebrate my favorite moments. 🙂

– ONE –

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It could be argued that my favorite food is peanut butter, but is that really even a food? 😉 Come summer, I am all about the fruit. Put pineapple and strawberries in the same container and I am in HEAVEN. The juices mix together and taste so fresh and delicious! Last weekend, my mom and I made these fruit kabobs for me to take to the Kenny Chesney tailgate. Tailgates are also my favorite because they usually include chips and buffalo chicken dip, but I’m that friend that shows up with fruit kabobs and a vegetable tray and turkey burgers. Yes, yes I did.

– TWO –

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On the note of Kenny Chesney, these are my favorite people. A big group of us tailgated for a few hours before the concert…eating, drinking, playing corn hole and Kan Jam…there was also laying in the grass (as seen above) and ten people in my Jeep Patriot at one point. Ha! It was HOT and sunny last Saturday but there were scattered torrential downpours. Not scattered showers. It would go from sunny to literally WATCHING the clouds roll in…and then it would pour for a solid ten minutes…and then it would get sunny again. An adventure for sure. 😉

– THREE –

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me geeking out about my succulents the other night. I found these little beauties at Trader Joe’s the other day and I was SO HAPPY because from what I have heard, they are pretty low maintenance…as in, I don’t need to water them 24/7 for them to survive. If this is inaccurate, please don’t burst my bubble. Hahaha

Fresh flowers in my apartment is my favorite, but I don’t like how quickly they wilt and die. Hopefully I have better luck with these plants!

– FOUR –

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National Running Day. Need I say more? Running is my favorite. If running isn’t your jam, today is National Donut Day. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are giving out free donuts. You’re welcome. 🙂

– FIVE –

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Throwback pictures are my favorite. Do you have the Timehop app on your phone? You can link it to your social media accounts and every day, you can see what you posted on that exact day in previous years! I love checking it out every morning. 🙂 This picture was taken five years ago…I can hardly believe it. My little brothers are both 6’5″ so seeing Jake (my youngest brother) looking this little makes me feel all the feelings! Ha!

I remember this was during the last week of school…you know, those days when you don’t want to go because everything of importance is over?? My mom is a teacher so she went to work but I was allowed to stay home because I was a senior and we LITERALLY had nothing to do except practice for graduation! Somehow, the baby of the family convinced my mom he should also be allowed to skip school. I guarantee when I was eleven years old this never would have happened. #babychildproblems But since I was essentially “babysitting” and my friend and I wanted to make plans, we took this cutie to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Our other brother was hanging out with his friends on this day…but we had so much fun at the zoo and we took so many pictures! I hope my brothers both love hanging out with me as much as I love hanging out with them. 🙂

– SIX –

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Last weekend, my dad, my brother, and I went to brunch at Eat ‘N Park. It’s definitely one of my favorite restaurants! I love their omelettes, their salad bar, and of course, their Smiley cookies. I guess you could call this a chain restaurant because there are several locations…but it’s kind of a Pittsburgh thing! Randi will know what I’m talking about. 😉

When you’re a kid, this restaurant is the best because you get a FREE Smiley cookie after you’re done eating. Me and my brother Alex definitely tried to pretend Jake was a “kid” for a lot longer than he actually was so we could get free cookies! Recently, I bought a Smiley mug (in Pittsburgh colors, of course) so I can represent my favorite place while I’m at school…but last weekend, I discovered Eat ‘N Park now makes K cups and my day was made. I might have to go back and stock up! I don’t usually like black coffee, but this is so good with just a little bit of Splenda!

– SEVEN –

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One of the first Pinterest snacks that I pinned many moons ago was a such a success that now my mom and I have the recipe memorized. Energy balls are my favorite. Energy balls that aren’t rolled into balls yet are just plain dangerous.

– EIGHT –

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Summer gives me a lot of time to shop. This is not a positive. One positive thing is my tank top from Target was on clearance…so that makes it all okay, right?! Jake is super into brand name clothing. I like nice clothes. I don’t really care where they’re from as long as they’re pretty and they make me look good. Ha! Anyways, when I was in Atlantic City recently, I went to the True Religion store to browse around for him. While my mom and I were sending him pictures of clothes in the store (yes, we were those people), the sales woman was accosting me because all the shorts and pants were $50 off for Memorial Day.

Well. True Religion clothing is expensive and even at $50 off, I am not spending that much on shorts. It’s just not enough fabric to be worth it. Ha! So this woman convinced me that I needed to try on these jeans and really all I wanted to was go shop at the boutique next door. But I tried the beloved jeans on, and as Sheaffer would say, “they’re like buttah.” My new favorite.

Tell me about your week!!!

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Linking up with these lovely ladies. If you’re a blogger, join us in sharing your five favorite things from this week!

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AndreaNarciErika

National Running Day

Good morning. It’s my favorite day of the year.

Do I love Wednesdays? Well, no. Not particularly. Actually, my favorite day of the week is Thursday. 😉

Is today my birthday? Nope.

Am I going on an exotic vacation today? Big ‘ol no.

So what is going on, you ask???
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It’s National Running Day. I know, you are so excited, you can hardly contain yourself!

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Every year since 2009, the first Wednesday of June has served as a day for runners across the country to claim their crazy passion for running. I shared the love of National Running Day on Instagram in 2013 and 2014. It’s funny how I look at these posts and remember both of those runs!

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On this particular day, I left my local YMCA after doing some strength training to go running outside. Because you just can’t run INSIDE on National Running Day –> thoughts of my crazy brain. 😉 However, if you live in Plum and you run in Holiday Park, bless your little running soul. SO many unexpected hills. This day was also very humid, which didn’t help!

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Last year, I shared my “why” for running…getting lost in the miles is definitely not the reason I started running, but it is definitely what keeps me running! I wrote all about my running story HERE.

2015’s Instagram post (because did it really happen if it’s not on social media?!) will be me running with my small group at church. How awesome is it that we get to run together and then eat and talk and pray together afterwards?! I am so happy I found this church and these people. 🙂 I am also super excited because I have been inviting one of my friends to come to running group with me and she is FINALLY able to come tonight. How perfect that she will meet all my other running and church friends on National Running Day!

Running is special to me for many reasons, but the PEOPLE are definitely one of the biggest, whether it’s with my friends, or with one of my poor family members that I make come with me…

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Color Me Rad 2013

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…or even my dogs! This is the front yard at my Mom’s house, and no I’m not holding onto either of their leashes, because after a few miles with these crazies, you just have to let go! Ha! They are actually pretty easy to manage once we get going. Colby (the golden retriever) is a brat and spends the first half of the run turned around trying to chew his leash off. Yes. That is reality. Amigo (the pitbull) is 65 pounds of MUSCLE and if I’m not careful, he can very easily put himself in charge of the run by pulling us along. He’s a fast one! BUT, overall, my neighborhood is pretty quiet and the dogs leave each other alone, so the perfect run consists of running down the middle of the road with the two of them right next to each other. In the middle of the road, they aren’t distracted by mailboxes and front yards. I can’t have them pulling my arms off. 😉

I love running for a purpose, whether it’s to get rid of stress, stretch my legs after sitting at school or work all day, or honor others. In 2013, I was part of the Steel City Road Runners club in Pittsburgh, and we dedicated one of our Saturday morning runs to those suffering the aftermath of the horrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.

I love running because it gives me an excuse to shop…

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…shoes, belts, Gu, new clothes, comfy socks…these things are NECESSARY for a great run. I kid. They definitely make running more comfortable but they really just help me have an excuse for “retail therapy”. 😉

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New shirts from races never hurt, either.

Running is the perfect way to explore, whether you’re in your own town or on vacation in a new place. That’s the best part about running: you can literally do it ANYWHERE! Of course, then you have to sacrifice your travel outfit to wear your running shoes OR sacrifice space in your suitcase to pack your running shoes. I usually choose the latter. You will make it work if it’s important to you! Nothing beats exploring by foot. 🙂

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Running also gives me the excuse to order dishes like this…

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Let me just say, “carb loading” is a real concept. However, you don’t need to eat massive amounts of carbs before you run. You DO need to fuel and refuel your body, which means eating some protein + carbs, but running is definitely not an excuse to eat whatever you want. Your body will definitely tell you that you messed up! Imagine this: a girl running down the National Mall a good half mile behind her friends because she ate a ridiculous amount of peanut butter and jelly out of their respective jars with a spoon two hours before running. No, that never happened to me. I have no idea who would do such a thing. #sonauseous #worstrunever

Running gives me a lot, but it also takes a lot. I don’t always feel like lacing up my shoes and even when I do, I don’t always return on cloud nine.

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You have to take care of your body. You have to stretch, you have to walk or jog after you finish your run, and you have to give your body some time to rest. But, the views that you see while you’re out there make it worth it. Listen to great music, listen to nothing at all except the sound of your feet running, just take it all in. There’s nothing wrong with running and taking a million pictures on your phone…or running to a really pretty spot in your city and just taking a little break.

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Running is what YOU make it. You are not an Olympic athlete, and neither am I. Just put on some shoes, walk out your front door, and put on your game face. You might just come to love it.

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So tell me…do you like to run?!

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Right now, I am participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak! The goal is to run at least one mile a day from Memorial Day until the Fourth of July. Find out more about the #RWRunStreak HERE and read all about my daily fun (and struggles) HERE!

Memorial Day 2015

Every year for Memorial Day Weekend, my family goes two separate ways: my dad and my brothers go to Indianapolis to visit our family and go to the Indy 500 and my mom and I have a girls weekend. For the past seven years (ah!) we have gone to Atlantic City. AC was one of my grandparents’ favorite places and you just can’t go wrong with the beach!

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We all left on Friday morning. Our favorite place to stay is Bally’s Casino. I was perfectly happy with my window seat and ocean view. 🙂 This year, my aunt and my friend Julianne joined us. After unpacking and walking on the Boardwalk a bit, we walked down to the beach. Because the first time you feel the sand and see the ocean after a long winter is the best feeling!

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We ate dinner at The Rainforest Cafe and my mom and aunt headed to the casinos shortly after! Julianne and I aren’t high rollers yet (#collegekidproblems) so we walked the Boardwalk and checked out all the little shops. It was warm this weekend but pretty windy so we were kind of cold after awhile! Luckily we made our way to Margaritaville for drinks and found a window seat so we could see the beautiful outside without feeling the wind. 😉 We saw fireworks over the beach in celebration of Memorial Day and seriously contemplated getting our palms read, but ended up meeting my mom at Bally’s Beach Bar to people watch and hang out instead!

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My family’s favorite thing to do on vacation is wake up in the morning and ride bikes on the Boardwalk. It’s just so relaxing and fun! Memorial Day Weekend is the first weekend for a lot of things at the shore, bikes included, so I was so happy to be there for the “first ride” of the season. 🙂 In Atlantic City, I like to ride on the Boardwalk towards Ventnor (the next town over) because the sights change from tall hotels and casinos to beach houses that I will one day own. Ha! We made our way all the way to the Ventnor City Pier and took lots of touristy pictures before heading back. It was pretty windy on Saturday too, so we spent the day tanning on the pool deck/roof of our hotel. I actually got some serious sun on my chest and back!

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Tan lines look so good, right? 🙂

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My aunt loves to visit the casinos off the Boardwalk over on the Marina, so on Saturday night we had dinner and gambled at the Borgata Casino. I spent a little bit of money each night on the slot machines but it wasn’t enough to win big…just enough to keep me playing for a little bit, which I guess is okay! Only 1/4 of us were lucky winners this weekend, but one is better than none!

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There’s a part of Bally’s Casino called Wild Wild West and it sounds just like its name. Very outdoorsy and country in the form of a casino and bar! Julianne and I got these adorable mason jar drinks on Saturday night after our time over at Borgata. Wild Wild West is fun because there is a dance floor and people actually get really into it! We had so much fun. 🙂

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And because I’m me, I like to balance my mason jar fruity drinks with Shakeology. Travel blender for $14.99 at Target, I love you.

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On Sunday morning, we went shopping at the Tanger Outlets. We found lots of good deals because of the holiday weekend, but sadly, this little elephant romper thing didn’t make the cut. 😉

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It was supposed to be warmer and less windy on Sunday, so we put our brave faces on and went to the beach. Mind you, it was about 70 degrees this entire weekend, but the wind KILLED and made it feel so much colder at times! My mom said if you looked left and right while we were at the beach, the number of people playing, taking pictures, laying out, and even swimming (!!!) made it seem like it was 90 degrees and HOT outside but that was not the case. The wind struck again and I took to laying on my towel in the sand because the ground was warm. Hahaha

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We took some cliche beach pictures and headed back up the pool. First stop: one of the many hot tubs. I seriously laid on the beach with my towel around my shoulders! Ha! We found lounge chairs in the sun next to the pool…but it should be noted we were inside. The pool at Bally’s is inside, but the ceiling is all windows, so it technically felt like we were laying in the sun. 😉

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The cutest new bakery called Boardwalk Cupcakes opened in Bally’s and they make SO many flavors of cupcakes, but we decided to purchase this six pack: Chocolate Mudslide, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Margarita, Creamsicle, Pina Colada, and Jack and Coke. They were glazed and infused with alcohol. Because why not. Hahaha

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The cupcakes themselves were delicious…the frosting on top and the icing in the center definitely let you know you were tasting some kind of alcohol! I liked the Pina Colada and Mudslide cupcakes the best. Of course we only took a bite of a few of them because we had to do a taste test! They were also very sweet so I cannot imagine eating an entire one myself!

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I love The Pier Shops at Caesar’s because I love to shop BUT on the third floor, they have huge Adirondack chairs sitting along the wall of windows that look out on this beautiful view. 🙂

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Monday morning included more bike riding, iced coffee drinking, omelette eating, shopping, and finally packing up to come home to Pittsburgh. It was such a fun weekend away with some of my favorite girls! Of course, the reason for Memorial Day goes much beyond the eating and drinking and traveling with friends and family. We’re meant to remember those who have fallen serving our country…and I am so grateful and appreciative of the sacrifices our armed forces have made for me and you. We are truly blessed!

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Recap

I headed home to this place this weekend…

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…to wear an outfit like this…

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…and eat food like this.

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It was marathon weekend in Pittsburgh and I couldn’t wait to go back and cheer on my friends. I knew SO many people who were running and after spectating last year (when I was hurt), I knew it would be fun to go back and watch again! I don’t know why I didn’t sign up…but at the last minute, I found a bib and I was officially running another half marathon! The first time I ran a half marathon in 2013, I was SO nervous and I put SO much pressure on myself to finish in a certain amount of time. Yesterday, I knew my morning routine…I knew what to do when I got to the race…and I knew that even though I was prepared to run 13.1 miles, I didn’t REALLY train for 13.1 miles this spring. I trained for the 10-miler that I ran with my friends three weeks ago. So I have done a lot of running…but I wasn’t ever working towards 13.1. So going into yesterday’s race, I tried to take the pressure off of myself and just run for fun.

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I started the day with my favorite pre-race breakfast of peanut butter banana toast…

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…and got to the starting corrals right at 6:50. The gun went off at 7 AM. Oops! I didn’t mind arriving then because I don’t like standing around to wait. Pre-race nerves kick in and I end up in the world’s longest line with other people who also think they have to pee at the last minute;) So the only bad thing about my (sort of) late arrival was the corrals were PACKED. And since you enter from the back and work your way forward, it was kind of a struggle to get to Corral C, which is where my friend’s bib was registered. Luckily there was a girl in front of me who took charge and led the way!

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I didn’t take many pictures while I was running…but Pittsburgh is known for its bridges, and this is the first one we crossed at 16th Street in The Strip District. Here is what I remember from the race:

Mile 1: So many people. Lots of bobbing and weaving to find my stride. I don’t like when groups of people spread out across the street because then you can’t get past them!

Miles 2-4: Enjoying the crowd support and nice weather. I threw my sweatshirt right at the start line because I didn’t need it! I also started messing with my belt here because I wanted to turn my music on and put my phone in the pocket. Sadly, because I just got a new belt, I couldn’t figure out how to make it tighter and my phone made the belt so heavy…which means it bounced up and down while I was running. No thank you! I ended up holding my phone the whole race, but that was okay because when I run on a normal day I am usually holding my phone (I don’t like arm bands).

Mile 5: First Gu. Unfortunately it was chocolate because I couldn’t find a second salted caramel flavor at the store this weekend. Chocolate Gu is a little too sweet for me, I think. I was excited for the next water station!

Miles 6-9: If you saw me towards the end of these miles, I would have told you I wanted to quit. I thought I was going to see my mom in this stretch and I didn’t see her at the spot I thought she would be at! I also started picturing everything that was coming instead of the mile I was in and I just got cranky. Ha!

Mile 10: Free gummy worms. Usual part of a half marathon…

Miles 11-12: All. the. hills. The Birmingham Bridge is the last bridge you cross and it feels SO hard. This is also the spot where the half marathon and marathon split, so as we turned left to go to the finish line, we were relieved…and stuck with another hill. The end of this race is a slow incline until you are basically at the finish line and then it’s flat! I saw some of the chefs from Duquesne standing on the edge of campus and shouted “Let’s Go Dukes!” and they all started cheering. 🙂

Miles 12-13.1: I definitely played the same song on repeat because it’s loud and mean and helped me go fast!

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If you would like someone to pace you anywhere from 8:32-9:54, call me. Consistency is obviously my middle name. 😉 It’s funny because you can tell I was messing with my belt in mile 4…and then in mile 5 when I gave up and refocused on what I was doing, I ran so much faster!

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My number one fans were at the finish line. 🙂 I finished in 2:05 which is definitely not my fastest half marathon, but I’ll take it knowing I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been! I have a completely different perspective about races now than I did when I started racing…it’s just about celebrating what you can do on that day, in that moment. It’s not about “winning” or stressing yourself out…it’s about the atmosphere of a race. The atmosphere is AMAZING. Runners are excited, spectators are excited, everyone is happy and working hard…it’s very, very inspiring and it’s such an accomplishment no matter how many times you have crossed a finish line.

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And then there are the little things. I may or may not run for the free food.

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The finish line is right by Point State Park and there are a ton of vendors around selling food and other running goodies to us exhausted runners! I wanted to find my friends and see others finish the full marathon, so I took my time…got my medal engraved, drank a shake, and went to this wonderful place with foam rollers.

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Lindsey also ran the half marathon…her fifth half! Pittsburgh is her favorite course ever.

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Then I walked around some more and finally made my way over to mile 25 to find this girl. This was her second full marathon (because she’s nuts…I think I’m a one and done kind of girl) and she was SO. FAST. When I saw her at mile 25, I ran next to her for a little for encouragement…she set a 47 minute PR yesterday. She finished 47 minutes FASTER than she did last year! I am such a proud running friend. 🙂

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My brother got me a bear and now my first Pittsburgh half marathon bear has a friend;)

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And then I had to drive back to Maryland. Sigh. That was a long drive. It was so hard to sit for four hours! Luckily, my friend Kristen was in the car with me. She lives near me and is also from Pittsburgh so she was going home for the weekend to run too! The trip was so much more fun with someone to talk to the whole time! Especially yesterday when it was full of stories about running and racing. Something only a runner could appreciate!

Today, it’s back to reality and three more weeks of school. I think I can, I think I can…

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Unrelated picture of my brother’s dog and his new blanket with a hood. Cutest thing ever. Hahaha

Happy Monday to YOU! What did you do this weekend?

Friday Favorites: End of the Semester Moments

It’s been a good week. I’ve had a constant feeling of thankfulness for where I am and what I am doing in life right now. Thanks be to God for His sense of direction and timing because I sure as heck don’t know what I’m doing. 😉

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Time to talk favorites with Andrea, Erika, and Narci! My camera roll is one of the most random things you could ever look at. I take pictures of the STRANGEST things…all to document the silly little everyday things I love. Because that’s what life is all about, right?

– ONE –

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The end of the semester is near…and the end of my patience is also near. Ha! All of my assigned readings have been making me roll my eyes so I have been reading while I’m on the bike or elliptical at the gym because then I feel productive! I’m 4/5 for morning workouts this week…morning workouts are my favorite. They make the whole day better! But I have a SoulCycle class with my friend on the agenda for this evening, so the workout will have to wait today!

– TWO –

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Some people have the Super Bowl, I have Marathon Monday. I loved watching and tracking some of my favorite bloggers AND some people I know in real life as they ran the Boston Marathon! You know that running is my favorite and I felt like every runner’s number one fan as I live streamed the race. It is such an exciting event and weekend and I so hope I make it there one day!

– THREE –

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I “lost” (and then found) my debit card in my bag two weeks ago and my new card FINALLY came in the mail…a favorite moment for sure. But then I went and “lost” something else. My laptop was gone for all of twelve hours and for 11 1/2 of those hours, I didn’t even know it was missing. Can I get an amen for nice people who lock your computer up somewhere safe when you leave it at the gym?! I taught PiYo on Tuesday night and as I talked to people in my class after class, the next instructor came in and got her music set up. I guess hearing her music and talking to people in my class distracted me enough to pack up and leave without the laptop?! Oh my. A laptop is not just something you lose…unless your name is Kylie McGraw. Hello, nice to meet you.

– FOUR –

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I went to a fitness fundraiser recently and I took some free samples as I made my way to the different booths there…I love Shakeology for all of its vitamins and its chocolate flavor…and I love peanut butter Quest protein powder because it’s thick and the flavor is AMAZING. So it should come as no surprise that I took a sample of protein called “Chocolate Cookie”. Clearly, dessert in shake form is my fav. 🙂 I only mixed it with water and I really swear it tasted like a cookie!

– FIVE –

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Sandal weather is the bomb.com. And so are Michael Kors flip flops that are nice enough to wear to observations for my job;) Mine are old but you can find a similar pair here!

– SIX –

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As seen on my run…the sunrise…and also a very angry goose who chased me down this path.

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As seen on a walk…pretty flowers in front of a pretty house! I am loving getting outside and enjoying spring.

– SEVEN –

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Favorite moment of the week: being a real DC resident and taking the Metro to the Nationals game on Wednesday night! I am feeling especially proud of myself for finally getting my own Metro card. I have only lived here for eight months…I figured it was time;) I like to drive everywhere just because I love to drive but it is not always the smartest idea in this city because there is traffic all of the time. Like even on Saturday at noon when I’m going to the mall. BUT I LOVE IT ANYWAY!

– EIGHT –

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Activities that remind me of summer and warm weather…like going to baseball games…are definitely my favorite. It makes me so happy! I went to the Nationals vs. Cardinals game last night and I cheered for the Cardinals. In case you forgot, I am from Pittsburgh, not St. Louis. But these girls are Cardinals fans so I had to play along. 🙂

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“We” won! The score was 7-5 and it was actually a really good game! I usually lose focus but I actually paid attention;) The wind was not my favorite because it made it feel SO much colder than it actually was! I may or may not have bought hot chocolate just to hold it. Ha! My favorite part of going to this game was seeing how it compared to going to a Pirates game at home. The stadium definitely wasn’t as packed as a Pirate game but the fans were loud and proud of their teams! There were actually a lot of Cardinals fans there last night. But let’s talk about one of my favorite moments at a Pirates game…it’s when the pierogis race around the field:

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It’s a Pittsburgh thing. I don’t know. Apparently a lot of us are Polish. I actually am Polish so it makes sense to me. Ha! BUT, here in DC, there are no racing pierogis…

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…there are racing Presidents instead. Hahaha! Every city has it’s quirks!

What have been some of your favorite moments this week? Leave a comment below or post on your blog and join the link up!