Dec 17, 2014

Currently...

 

Watching: Christmas movies! I love watching Christmas movies to get me in the holiday spirit. I've already watched Love Actually, and looks like The Holiday might be up for viewing after the Michael Buble holiday special tonight.


Working on: Some handmade Christmas goodies. I'm not going all out and doing totally handmade, but I do have a few things that I'm making for some of my gifts this year. I can't wait to give them to their owners!

Wishing: That it would be cold on Noche Buena and Christmas Day! This is always one of my wishes every year, since I would like to feel a little Christmas-y and not like it's the middle of the summer on Christmas Day.

Thinking about: What to do here on the blog. My interests and passions are changing, and I haven't really known what to share here on the blog. I've been more into fitness lately than crafting and baking. I still like to do these things, but it seems like fitness is taking place as my main hobby these days. I've just started Insanity Max :30, and I'm so excited to see how far I can go. I know I wrote a while back that I was gonna include more fitness on here, but I just don't know how to do it yet. I think I'm just gonna go with the flow and bring you along on my runs and workouts and hopefully, you'll stay on this journey with me. I'm in no way a fitness expert, but I've been thinking that the fitness blogs that I enjoy most are just normal people sharing their love of fitness. And I know that I want to tell people that if I can do it, they can too. I've never been an athlete or into fitness until the last few years, but if this couch potato can get moving anyone can.

Making me happy: Getting Christmas gifts for my friends, cooler weather, holiday get togethers, Christmas cards in the mail, flannel pajama pants, great online friends, holiday baking, wrapping presents, late night movies

Dec 1, 2014

Turkey Day 10k recap

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend here in the US. I started off my holiday weekend with a 10k, and a personal record!

I did the 5k Turkey Trot last year, and this year I wanted to try the 10k. They renamed the race Turkey Day 5k/10k, which was totally great for me, cause it was still being held at Tropical Park, which is where I do my training runs.


The race started at 7:30, and Mom was coming with me, so we bundled up (it was a 55 degrees that morning, in Miami that's really cold!) and headed towards the park. Getting into the park to park the car was slow going, but we did get a space really close to the finish line.


We started on Miami time (about 10 minutes late), but I think that was more because of the traffic to get in. It was not that bad to park last year! At long last they sang the anthem and we got started.

It was cool to run in the familiarity of my training grounds. I started with my warmup, and waited for the crowds at the front to thin out a bit. They did and I started on my run/walk intervals. I was cold, so I think I was a little faster than usual just to get myself warm.

We looped around and saw the entrance to Santa's Enchanted Forest (sucks that we can't run through it!), and then around the horse stalls and amphitheater.


We looped back around to the stadium and there was the split for the 5k and 10k. The 10k runners kept going, and the crowd totally thinned out. Around this time I was just dying of heat, so I took off my jacket, and just kept on my long sleeve shirt. As soon as I adjusted my jacket, I saw Mom on the side taking pics. Gotta say it's pretty cool to have people cheering you on along the race.


This part of the race was in the part of the park where I usually enter and do my longer runs. I knew it well. I kept at it and knew what my 10k PR was and wanted to beat it. I knew what pace I had to keep, and was doing pretty good.

Mile 4 was in the shade of some trees and it was breezy, so I got cold. But I kept going, my pace was great and I knew I could do it. My hip was a little bothersome right before I hit mile 5, but I told myself I can't stop now.

Then just like that there was the mile 6 marker. And Mom waiting for me to take more pics! I thought it was weird, cause it was almost over, and knew she couldn't run over to the finish line. (Turns out she was confused, and thought I had to get to 10 miles, not just a 10k.) I turned onto the track and crossed the finish line in record time!


My new 10k PR is 01:20:33!! I'm so excited. That's race #3 of 7 in the books.


After that I went home ate some breakfast and prepped for the big event, Thanksgiving dinner!

Nov 14, 2014

Friday five

It's been a crazy week. After getting back from the rainy half marathon, I caught a cold. I've been taking it a bit easy and just resting, so I can get back to my normal soon! Here are some of my faves this week for you to check out:

picture from How to Nest for Less

1. Fave craft
I need some new curtains in my room, and here are plenty of DIY window treatments to choose from.




via The Kitchn
2. Fave food
The PumPecApple Cake. This is pure insanity (and I don't think I would ever eat that)!


via InknBurn
3. Fave fitness
I saw this shirt on a bunch of people at the Jingle Jungle 5k this weekend and I NEED one!


via The Undress

4. Fave new item
The Undress! This would come in so handy when doing races.


picture from Pizzazzerie

5. Fave holiday
These great Thanksgiving printables. Maybe some will show up on my Thanksgiving table.


I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Nov 13, 2014

2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend: Part 2

We left off right before the half marathon. We had done a 5k, napped, and now started getting ready. Since the night before the race, we had been crazy checking the weather. All week, the forecast was great, then a few days before, it called for rain. Rain all through the time we'd be running, not good.

We tried to keep positive about the weather and started getting ready. Of course, I made us new running skirts for the occasion. Kris wanted to play up her patriotic HFOT shirt, so I made her a red sparkly skirt and she added a Captain America sticker to her cheek.


I knew what my costume was gonna be since I went to the movies earlier in the summer, it was all about Maleficent.


Of course, I needed a sparkly skirt, that was the easy part. Then I added a cape and collar "things" to a black tank. The hardest part was the horns. These were attempt #3. I knew I couldn't run in the light up horns that I had, cause they weighed too much. Then Mom's Maleficent hat would have just been too constricting. And thank god I didn't use those, cause they would have gotten wet. I tried to make horns from toilet paper rolls and gauze, but those ended up being so heavy. The best option was the easiest, fabric! I made the horns out of fabric and stuffed them with fiberfill. They were light, but stood up and looked like Maleficent horns.


And that was the one and only time our costumes were visible. It was already chilly, so we put on our jackets and then boarded the buses and headed to the Wide World of Sports. We checked our bags (which we packed with dry clothes and socks), and were grateful that it wasn't raining. We sat on our ponchos and waited for the time to get into our corrals.

As the time drew nearer to get in the corrals, the rain finally began. We put on our ponchos and waited for our corral to start. The rain really didn't let up, but we decided that if we did, we would ditch the ponchos. That was a dream that never became a reality.


They finally called corral J, set off the fireworks, and we were off for a soggy 13.1 miles. Kris and I took it pretty easy because we wanted to stay on our feet and not slip. We headed out of the Wide World of Sports, and I was happy to see that the Country Bears were there for a photo op. Not many people were stopping for pics, but I was happy to see that they still had some people out there.

After about mile 1, we were hot with the jackets on underneath the ponchos. I helped Kris get her jacket off, and then took mine off under my poncho. It was much better with just the ponchos on. The ponchos shielded us from the wind, but still kept us cool enough not to suffocate.

We continued on our way to Animal Kingdom, which seemed really long. Other than the rain, I was feeling good, which I totally chock up to the morning's 5k warmup. We finally got to the Animal Kingdom, and the characters were waiting under cover. They are usually out in the open, but it seemed that they were scooted into anywhere with a little bit of a roof. The lines weren't too long for them, cause I suspect that people didn't want to wait in the rain.


Kris needed to use the facilities, so she did once we were in the park (better than using a port-a-potty), the rain really made you need to go! I waited as she used the rest room before we left the Animal Kingdom and we kept going. We had our intervals running, but the uneven ground in the Animal Kingdom looked extra slippery, so we took some extra walking intervals to make sure we didn't slip.

Once we hit the back of Animal Kingdom, we headed out towards the parking lot. We saw the pirate ship with Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbosa (one day I will get a pic with them, but that line!), and headed back towards Osceola Parkway.

This part of Osceola Parkway is a long stretch before you reach any park, so they usually have huge TV screens, lots of DJs and plenty of characters. I think they rain caused them to scale back. There were no TVs, only 1 DJ, and a few characters. I knew this was the hardest part of the race, but I still felt good and we had gotten back to the run/walk intervals.

We saw the Toy Soldier on the ramp on the way to Hollywood Studios and I knew we were almost there. Then we ran around the back and up Sunset Boulevard. I was so happy to see Hollywood Studios, but this is the part where I hit my wall. I'm not sure if it was the half of a Gu that I had at mile 9 (I lost my new pack of shot bloks while removing my jacket underneath my poncho earlier), or that I was wet or the fact that I was running in a poncho, but I was just done. I kept pushing though and kept at it. We ran through the backlot and behind the studios. I had almost fogotten when we headed back through the park that we got to run through the Osbourne Family lights! I'm such a sucker for those lights. That was definitely the place where I saw the most people stopping to take pics.

As we headed out of Hollywood Studios, I just couldn't hold it anymore. I had to go, but figured I could hold it til we got to the end, but the wind and cold and rain, just wouldn't let me. I stopped in the last bathroom in the Studios (luckily there was no line), and felt TONS better. I got my second wind and we headed towards my favorite mile of all, mile 11! I like mile 11, cause I never really end up training for more than about 10.5, so it's a BIG deal to get to 11. And so much closer to the finish.



This part of the race takes you to the Boardwalk resort, and is also very narrow. I remember that last year this part was so crowded, that we weren't able to get in all of our run intervals. But it seemed a little less crowded and we were able to run our intervals without issue.

We had heard since the beginning of the race that the Boardwalk would be slippery. And there were even volunteers warning us about it before we got there. It was slippery, so we kept up a good pace, but walked til we got off of the Boardwalk.

After the Boardwalk we headed around the back of Epcot and before I knew it, I saw The Land pavillion in front of me. I knew we were almost done. We came into Future World and saw tons of people waiting and cheering all the runners along. Being on such a rainy, wet course, hearing the volunteers and spectators cheering really did help.

Finally, we came alongside Spaceship Earth and the finish was right there in my sights! Kris and I kicked it into high gear, and ponchos and all, ran across the finish line! It was done, half marathon #2 is in the books.

We grabbed our medals and the RunDisney space blankets they were handing out and waited for Kris's friend Larry to finish. I never had gotten one of these space blankets at the end of a race (blame that on the Florida heat), but they really did keep us warm. Larry finally crossed the finish line and we all headed out towards the exit.

But first it was time to collect our drinks. Here is the major fail of the night, by the time we got to the drinks, they were all out of wine! How can you be out of wine at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon? I ended up getting a beer... :(

We went into the changing tents to get out of some of the wet clothes we had on and put on dry stuff. I luckily had dry socks and shoes too. That helped tons. When I took of my wet shoes and socks, it looked like I had been in a pool all afternoon. Nothing was cozier than those dry socks. When we were all changed, we headed out of the tents, still with our space blankets on. It was raining harder than it was before, plus the wind had really picked up. It was just miserable out there.


We had every intention of hitting up the after party big time, but it was too rainy and too cold. We went to Spaceship Earth to see if Larry was still there, but didn't find him. We took a very cold Spaceship Earth pic, and then asked if Starbucks was open. It was so we headed there for some coffee and pastries, that we got with the gift cards we planned on using at the Wine & Food Festival. Oh well... That hot coffee was the best ever. Even after waiting in line for 30 minutes. At least we were inside and dry. After our coffees, we headed towards the buses and back to the hotel. We got in at almost 4am, changed, and passed out.


The next morning I had made brunch reservations at Chef Mickey's. Since the kids were with us, we had no problem waking up on time. We met Kris's Dad over there and got to have a great brunch, and hang with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. It was the perfect end to the weekend, with our biggest supporters and Mickey and his crew.


I felt pretty good after the race, and I'm so glad this wasn't my first half, cause I think the rain would have flipped me out. Luckily, I just had some foot pain the day after, which I attributed to running in wet shoes. But now I can say that I've run a race in the rain. Doing the two races in one day actually helped how I felt at the end of the day, I think... crazy, I know.

I love doing the Wine & Dine Half. It was raining for nearly all 13.1 miles (with a little break around mile 9), but it was still a fun race. So, who'll be doing it with me next year?

Nov 12, 2014

2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend: Part 1

It was finally time for the 2014 RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend. This was my second half marathon, with the added fun of a 5k the morning before my marathon. Was I crazy? Yes! But it all got done, and it was a great, fun time.

I arrived in Orlando on Friday afternoon, and was able to get a great massage before heading with Kris to the expo. I love going to the expo. I always end up wanting to buy everything! But I only got my "I Did It!" shirt, a new 13.1 magnet, and some shot bloks. I also forgot my waist pouch to carry my phone, so I had to get a new one. I got one from Fitletic and it even had a bib holder, it was perfect for my phone and bib and was super comfy.


After the expo, Kris and I headed to Hollywood Studios to join up with Kris's charity team (she was running with Homes for Our Troops this year) for the group dinner. Eddie and Kris's friend Larry, who was also running, met up with us too. They took us inside Hollywood Studios to an old prop shop in the backlot and where we had a really tasty dinner. After the dinner we got to take some pics with the cool props that were decorating the space.


We left the dinner and Kris, Eddie, and I decided we needed to ride the Tower of Terror before we left, so as we headed that way, and then we noticed the lights. It was the first night of the Osbourne Family lights at Hollywood Studios. It was a little chilly, so between that, the lights, and the music, it felt like Christmas. It was the best surprise.



We headed to the Tower of Terror, screamed our heads off, and Kris and I headed back to the hotel. We stayed at the All-Star Sports Resort. We got there and turned in early, cause we had the Jingle Jungle 5k in the morning.



We woke up bright and early at 4am to get ready and be on the last bus by 5am. It was chilly, so we put on some long sleeves, compression socks and got out there.


We got there on the last bus, but still had over an hour to kill before the race, so we got into the line to get a picture with Mickey and Minnie. They were dressed in their holiday safari gear, so cute!


After waiting forever for that pic, it was time to get into the corral. I had corral C, but Kris (using Mom's bib, cause Mom wasn't able to do the race) had corral D. Since you can only move back in corrals, and not up, we moved to corral D. This was the last corral, and since we planned on walking the 5k, we moved all the way to the front of the corral to make sure we wouldn't be too far back.


Then with a big wave from Mickey and Minnie, we were off into the Animal Kingdom.



We got to walk through the Animal Kingdom as the sun was coming up. It was a gorgeous sunrise by the Tree of Life.


And in RunDisney fashion, there were tons of characters along the route!

We felt great as the sun finally warmed us up and finished feeling great from our 3.1 mile walk. We crossed the finish line, and got our cute holiday themed medals.


After the race we got a great breakfast (I wanted some eggs!), and headed to pick up some ponchos. The forecast said that night would be raining, and we wanted to get ready for that just in case. We headed back to our hotel where Eddie met us with the kids! They loved the hotel and the football field outside our room. We relaxed for a while, then grabbed lunch. After that Eddie and the kids headed to the arcade, while Kris and I napped. We needed some rest after that early morning and then the late race later in the evening.

Thankfully, we were able to sleep. I remember trying to nap last year and not being able to get calm enough to really sleep. I guess the race was no big deal now, cause I passed out. It was a great nap. Then all too soon, it was time to get ready for the big event.

And my half marathon recap will be up tomorrow!

Nov 3, 2014

Epcot Food & Wine 2014

One of the awesomest perks of being a passholder is going to all of the events that Disney throws throughout the year. One of my faves is always the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I grabbed my friend Melissa, and off we went to eat and drink our hearts away.


We were staying at Disney's Pop Century resort, so we got in the night before and were able to snag an awesome reservation at 'Ohana. We had tropical drinks, all the great food and even got "lei"-ed!

On Saturday, we got to Epcot at around 11, but did some of Future World before hitting up the World Showcase. There were over 30 different booths to hit up, which is a lot (no, we didn't eat at all of them!, and we split most of the dishes between the two of us) but we it was lunchtime and we were ready to get started.

Our first stop was New Zealand where we got the lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney. It was really yummy, but not too spicy. It was also in this delicious pillow of dough that soaked up that yummy sauce.

Meli's sweet tooth made the next pick with a pavlova (crispy meringue shell with fresh berries and vanilla custard) from Australia. It was great with the Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling from Australia.

Then we stopped by the Farm Fresh booth to get some goodies straight from Florida's farmlands.

We got the pepper bacon hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeƱos (we got rid of the jalapeƱos, we don't like spicy!). It was so delicious. the potatoes were tender and the bacon and hollandaise made it both smokey and creamy. And we had to represent South Florida by getting some Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen-Key Lime Wine.

The surprising favorite on our trip eating and drinking around the world was China. I didn't expect much, but it was amazing. We got the chicken potstickers, which were so tasty and fresh, and Mongolian beef in a steamed bun with chili mayo. The Mongolian beef steamed bun was so good! I was shocked how much I loved this one. Meli went back to get another one of these later in the day. Meli also got a mango green tea with popping bubbles, which was light and sweet and so refreshing.

In Italy we got Filetto di pollo, con funghi al marsala (chicken tenderloin, cremini mushrooms, marsala sauce and ciabatta bread). It was great. I can imagine eating it in a great sit down restaurant. I also hadn't gotten anything bubbly yet, so I got a glass of prosecco.

And a little cannoli al cioccolato (chocolate-covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit) never hurt anyone either! The cannoli shell was so crispy.

At this point our very extended lunch was over and it was time to hit up our Soarin' fast passes. We also tried to get on Fast Track, but there was some technical difficulty and the line was over 80 minutes, that wasn't gonna happen. So, we took one of the ferries and got back to the countries and our "dinner."

We started off where we had stopped, in Morocco. We had the kefta pocket (ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket), and some sangria.

Next up was the one place I didn't want to share, Brazil! This was my favorite dish last year, and I knew I had to have the crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro all to myself. It was so tasty, the pork belly was cripsy, the black beans seasoned just right and the tomato and cilantro gave it a touch of freshness. We may have wandered back to Brazil for some sparkling Moscato a little later when Kris came out to join us.

We got in the long daunting Belgium line (which actually passed by pretty quickly) to get Belgian waffles. We couldn't decided between the berry compote and chocoalte ganache, so we had one of each. The waffles were freshly made and crispy. The chocolate was good, but I preferred the slight tartness of the berries.

As the sun started setting we chilled in France for a bit as we waited for Kris to meet up with us. Once we did meet up, it was dark, and my pictures suffered because of it. :( But we went to Greece to get a chicken gyro. It was the most disappointing dish of the night. Firstly, we waited and waited and waited to get the food. By the time we got it, it was just meh... no big deal.

Then we went to Canada cause we just had to get the “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce. That filet is amazing. I actually need to make it into Le Cellier one day to eat this steak while seated at a table.



We actually didn't feel too stuffed, since we were just eating little things throughout the day. But it was a delicious day of eating and drinking. I can't wait to get some more delicious dishes this weekend after running the Wine & Dine half marathon.

Oct 24, 2014

Friday five

November is almost here people... EEK! I've been penciling in all my holiday parties already, and I have my half marathon in 13 days! Here are a few things to check out before the weekend really gets going:


picture from A Beautiful Mess

1. Fave craft
I love this Wine Cork Bulletin Board. I might have to start saving my corks.


picture from Kojo Designs

2. Fave recipe
Pumpkin cake with apple cider glaze sounds perfect for fall!


via RunDisney

3. Fave fitness
Today is the last day to register and there are still some spots open for the Disney World Marathon. It's the only race where you run through all 4 parks! Grab them before they are gone!


via Entertainment Weekly
4. Fave awesome
Guardians of the Galaxy's Awesome Mix Vol. 1 will now be available on cassette tape. Time to bring out your walkmans!


5. Fave funny
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt.


Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!