Archives for December 2017

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #7

Hey gang!  I am loving these Fridays right before a holiday. I love this time of year because I get to relax and think of goals for the upcoming year. Crazy to think that this will be the last WIFF for 2017! So here we go!!!

#1 Staying in for New Year’s Eve

My boyfriend and I have been staying in every New Year’s Eve for a few years now….and we love it! We have a tradition of making this ragu bolognese from Mario Batali. It’s critical you watch the video to see exactly how he does it. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were burning the sauce. OMG I am drooling just thinking about it! Pair this dish with a good champagne and you have the perfect evening.

#2 Bulldog Yoga in Villanova, PA

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Every time I am visiting my boyfriend’s parent’s house, I make sure I go to Bulldog Yoga at least once during my visit. Now let’s set the record straight here. I hate yoga. I get so bored during a typical class and some studios are pretentious. But Bulldog Yoga is different. It’s fast-paced so it feels like you are actually working out and fun because they play upbeat music (Bee Gees, NSYNC, AC/DC, etc.).  Last week for the holidays they had a holiday music themed class that took the attention off the actual workout and emphasized the holiday fun! Highly recommend the studio if you are in the area!

#3 Posh Podcast

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Speaking of fun music for your workout, you should check out the Posh Podcast immediately (available through iTunes and MixCloud). These mixes are delivered straight to your phone weekly for FREE. I have not had to create any playlists since I started listening to the Posh Podcast because it scratches my itch for upbeat music during my gym sessions. Yay for saving money!!

And that’s a wrap!!

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What I’m Feelin’ Friday #6

Hey friends!  It’s Christmas week and I couldn’t be more excited! I hope you get all the running stuff you wanted this year under your tree! 😛 He’ll be here soon enough….

So let’s jump to it! Here is what I am feelin’ this week:

#1 Christmas morning run

In my opinion, there is no better day and time to run than Christmas morning. The world is super quiet and most people keep their Christmas lights on and shining bright. I look forward to running on Christmas morning all December long. It’s a great time to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life and just soak it all in.

#2 Daily Greatness Journal

Dailygreatness Journal: A Practical Guide For Consciously Creating Your Days

Photo Credit: dailygreatness.co

I think it’s safe to assume that most runners are type A people. There’s nothing like the thrill of setting goals and going through the journey to achieve them!  I have used other life planners in the past, but what I like about the Daily Greatness Journal (<–Referral Link) is that it forces you to set an intention for the day and has you reflect on your day later that evening. So to me, it’s building a habit of making the most of my very limited time. I’ve had life planners before that week-based, but I felt like too many weeks slipped by where I wanted to be better but didn’t create the habits that would make me better. Watch out 2018, here I come!

#3 Hempz Lip Balm in Frosted Peppermint and Vanilla Sugar

As much as I love the cold weather, I HATE how dry my lips get. I have so much chapstick stashed around the house that I can use it on a moments notice. Unfortunately my beagle loves chapstick too. So much so that he actually broke into Christmas presents to eat the chapsticks that were in the bags. Yes, I had to go to Ulta to repurchase some hahaha. I love to put this chapstick on before my winter weather run.  It makes it feel even more like Christmas!! You can buy it here on Amazon or at Ulta.

So tell me, are you running on Christmas morning? What running-related gift will Santa bring you? Click “Comment” under the blog post title to leave a comment.

Race Recap: Celtic Solstice 5 Miler

Hey friends!  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!  This past Saturday, I ran the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in Baltimore.

This is my 5th time signing up for the race, but really only my 3rd time running it since it got snowed/iced out 2 other years. Unfortunately, they won’t cancel the race for inclement weather and there is not a refund.  So I got smart and sign up just a few days before the race when I can view the forecast. 😛

With the race start being at 8:30 am, my running partner and I decided to leave our ‘hood by 7 am to give us enough time to get there, park the car, and use the port-a-potties. Thank God we did leave early because we thought we would be smart and take a back road to the start area (the Maryland Zoo). We did this because the main way to get to the start is a short exit off the main highway and every year it is notoriously backed up and you are just waiting. Well when we tried to take the back entrance into the zoo, it was closed off. Womp womp! Then we drove around to the front of the zoo, where Santa was waving in traffic to another parking area. Well we must have been on the naughty list this year, because when we pulled up to the lot the attendant (Santa’s helper?) told us the lot was full and we would have to find another lot. So we turned around and were luckily pointed down another road, where we parked right at the start!!  Score!!

After parking, I quickly spotted the Irish Wolfhounds that kick off the race each year. I love petting these gentle giants!  This boy was 165 pounds!

 

Soon enough, it was time to start the race! We all had to walk up the road and turn around to run the other direction. Kinda awkward and it was packed. I couldn’t see the bag pipe march with the dogs but I sure heard it! So much fun!

Then we were off!  It snowed the day prior so I had to watch my footing but the race route was pretty well salted. Mile 1 was crowded but honestly, I do this race for fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you know my fitness watch broke a few weeks back. That allowed me to not be constantly looking at my time and just enjoy the scenery. The course goes through Druid Hill Park, which is America’s third oldest park. Oh, and it’s hilly as all get out. It was fun to run by all the quirky features of the park such as an old graveyard, pools, tennis courts, a K-9 Police Unit, and the Zoo. By mile 4 I was feeling the hills but knew the last mile would be over quickly.

After finishing, I quickly went to the post-race tent and grabbed some mulled wine. That’s always the food item that has the longest line. So right there is your incentive to run a little faster during the race 😉

Basically, the post-race food is the reason why I run the race. Other than the mulled wine from Boordy Vineyards, there is delicious soup (think it was vegetable soup?) from a chef in Baltimore, Italian cookies from Trinacria Deli in Baltimore, and coffee and hot cocoa from Zekes.

Another fun year at the Celtic Solstice in the books!

So tell me, what’s your favorite Christmas-themed race? How many of those cookies would you have eaten post-race? Be honest 😛

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #6

We made it!!!!!! Happy Friday gang! The Baltimore-area has seen snow this past week and I am loving it! Yesterday morning I woke up to a light blanket of snow. A lot of people say running in autumn is their favorite time of year to run but for me? It’s hands down running in the snow. The world seems so peaceful and quiet, even if it’s only for a little while. And the crunching of the snow under your feet? It’s magic!

It’s been a CRAZY week with little time to relax. So I have only 1 new thing I am feelin’ this Friday. I caught this gem yesterday and it had me cracking up! I may have watched it several times by now. 😛

I seriously love all the Bad Lip Reading videos! It’s a compilation of scenes from movies, TV shows, sporting events, etc. and they record their own audio as if they were trying to lip read what is actually being said. So frickin’ clever! I first saw the NFL Bad Lip Reading, but also discovered Game of Thrones, political events, and more pop-culture videos.

Enjoy!!!

So tell me, what are you feeling this Friday? 

Napa, CA Trip Day 4, Part 2: The French Laundry

Missed the previous 3.5 days? You can check out day 1 here, day 2 here, day 3 here, and day 4: part 1 here.

After our tasting at Robert Sinskey Vineyards, we ended our Napa trip on a high note with lunch at The French Laundry. The French Laundry is a three-starred Michelin restaurant from Chef Thomas Keller. It’s known for not only high quality, delicious french food but impeccable hospitality. I’ll be honest with you guys, I was nervous it was going to be a stuffy environment. I was sooooo wrong on that one. I literally wanted to be BFFS with everyone there by the time our meal was over.

NOTE: I am no way a professional food critic, so I will use very descriptive words such as “delicious” 🙂 I am just a girl who loves to eat!

We arrived at The French Laundry around 11:45 am for lunch. I would have never known this was the restaurant if Greg didn’t point it out to me a few days before. How cute is this blue door and courtyard?!

After we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly hostess and were promptly seated next to a window with a view into the wine cellar. I need one of these in my house…or maybe not because I’d never leave 😛

We started off with cornets and crackers that were delicious. Also, I’m a sucker for presentation.

A few moments after we finished, our plates were cleared and up next was the “Oysters and Pearls”, a “sabayon” of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and Regiis Ova White Sturgeon Caviar. This dish definitely set the tone for the day with it’s powerful, distinct, and rich flavors. I can still taste the oysters. *drool*

After polishing off that bad boy, it was onto the Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras “Terrine”, made with white wine poached Bartlett Pears, Sicilian Pistachios, Toasted Oats and Black Winter truffle puree.

Then it was onto Slow Cooked fillet of Wild Scottish Sea Trout, with a “ragout” of vidalia onions, Candy Roaster squash, Celery Root and Sweet Curry “Bouillon”.

OMG talk about fresh! That trout was amazing! After savoring the fish, we moved onto the Sweet butter Poached Stonington Maine Lobster, garden carrots, young coconut puree and arrowleaf spinach salad. This was my second favorite dish we had at The French Laundry.

Then it was onto some bread! YASS!! Next up we had “Bread and Butter”, aka “Parker House Roll” and Diane St. Clair’s Animal Farm Butter. Again, I’m a sucker for presentation. That butter is what dreams are made of!

And then (yep there’s more…) it was onto my absolute favorite dish that I have ever had in my entire life, “Carnanoli Risotto Biologico”, Castelmagno Cheese, Browned Butter, and Shaved White Truffles from Alba. Talk about decadent and rich!

I probably could have stopped here and died happy but no, we still had more dishes to go! Next up, “Chateaubriand” of Marcho Farms Nature Fed Veal, with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Musque de Provence pumpkin, crispy sage leaves and sauce “bordelaise”.

And then before dessert (remember there’s always room for dessert!) we had the Charcoal Grilled Japanese Wagyu, with “Ris de Veau” slow cooked La Ratte Potatoes, Preserved Green Cabbage and “sauce Raifort”.

And then, a mountain of desserts came at us! Macaroons, Coffee Semifreddo and donuts, real life coffee that rocked my world, and the best of all? They came out with a wooden box of chocolate truffles and you could pick whatever you wanted!!  Mind = blown!!

After we said our goodbyes to the wait staff, we lethargically walked out of the restaurant and took some pictures of the kitchen. I waved at them and they waved back. Yay!

Also, this picture of me cracks me up!  Why did I not just move 1 step to my right to get out of the sun?! I blame the wine.  😉

Some key take-aways:

  1. Soooo glad we did lunch. The whole event lasted about 3 hours and if we would have went for dinner, I would have been asleep by the 4th dish. #jetlag
  2. The timing of the dishes was perfect. We never felt rushed and we had enough time to enjoy conversation and drink the wine.
  3. It was 100% worth the money. This food was on a whole other level of delicious. I have never had anything so good and fresh in my life. Plus the service was fun and top-notch.
  4. You may want to use Uber after you have had so much food….and wine 😉

That wraps up our Napa trip!  Greg and I 100% agreed that this trip was one of the bests we have taken to Napa.  The itinerary was nicely timed without ever feeling rushed and we got to see different areas of Napa Valley and Sonoma. We can’t wait to go back!

Napa, CA Trip Day 4, Part 1: Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Alright we are back with the 4th and final day recap of our Napa trip! I am breaking day 4 into 2 parts; 1) Robert Sinskey Vineyards and 2) The French Laundry. The French Laundry deserves it’s own post. 🙂 But I don’t want our meal at The French Laundry to overshadow our AMAZING experience at Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Missed the previous 3 days? You can check out day 1 here, day 2 here, and day 3 here.

Earlier that morning since I knew it would be a day of an exorbitant amount of eating and drinking, I knew I should get in a workout. My original intention was to hit the hotel gym. You know the one. The one that only has 2 treadmills and a space the size of a bathroom stall to lift weights. Well guess what? It was full.

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So then my plan B was to walk outside on the trail.  I stepped outside and it was pouring rain. I was just about to bag the workout when suddenly I got the idea to run the stairwell in the hotel. Problem solved! I did that for 20 minutes and then went back to the room and did squats, pushups, and crunches. #noexcuses

After getting ready for the day, it was time to go to Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Not only is the vineyard itself beautiful but their food is amazing!! I mean look at this wood-burning oven!

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a glass of wine and explored the lobby and dining room. We opted for the Perfect Circle Tour, which includes a stroll through the culinary gardens, an introduction to RSV’s estate Stags Leap District vineyard, an unveiling of the wine production cellar and a journey to the center of the barrel aging caves followed by an indulgent tasting of seasonal dishes from the Vineyard Kitchen accompanied by a flight of RSV wines. Then as we sipped our wine, we were given the tour of the grounds.

Loved the wrought iron structures to hold the wine. To keep the bottles in place they actually wrapped wire around each bottle neck to the iron frame.

Before we arrived at the vineyard, Greg and I agreed to not snack before The French Laundry. Well, that quickly went out the window after they brought out this board for us. Those pickles are life! I normally hate bread and butter pickles but these rocked! My mouth is watering….

We had a TON of fun at Robert Sinskey. Greg and I agreed that our next Napa trip we will visit this place again. After buying a few bottles and having them shipped back to our home, it was time for The French Laundry!!

To be continued… 😛

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #5

Hey hey we made it to Friday!!!! How was everyone’s week? I’ve been busy checking off my Christmas list which is soooo nice! This Friday I am not following a theme. We will just say it’s overall health and wellness 😉 Here we go!

#1 Athleta

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I am OBSESSED with Athleta apparel. Every time I am browsing online or in the store I want to buy all the things! It is a bit pricey, but after experiencing the quality, comfort, and cuteness of their clothes, the sticker shock wore off. This stuff lasts forever and fits so nicely. I went to Fabletics yesterday just to try on their stuff out of curiosity. Yeahhhhh let’s just say I won’t be back. Any way, when I went to Athleta yesterday, I was on a mission to find some cardigans/wraps for lounging, running errands, etc. Well I scored and found 2 cardigans (the Luxe Pose Wrap and Pranayama Wrap) that are crazy soft. Use this code for 20% off one regular priced item. I am wearing one now. I can safely say it’s good for blogging activities 😛

#2 Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate

If you’re still drinking powdered hot chocolate, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Do yourself a huge favor and get the Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate ASAP! It’s not the holidays without this stuff. It’s rich and velvety and basically what dreams are made of. I plan on having a cup (or two!) by the fire this weekend with a book. I can’t wait 🙂

#3 Native Deodorant

I have been searching for a GOOD natural deodorant for awhile. I have been using your typical Secret deodorant and I always felt a burning sensation and occasionally an odd bump in my armpit. Yikes! I was trying other natural deodorants but they either didn’t work or had to be applied by hand. No thank you! Enter Native Deodorant (<—-referral link) . I found this product through another blog and after reading up on it, purchased it immediately. I love how smooth and soothing it is, as well as the yummy smells. Oh, AND it works!

So tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? Leave a comment by clicking the Comment link just below the blog post title 🙂

 

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #4

Happy First Friday of December!  Time to haul out the holly 😉  I get SO excited for the holidays. Hands down my favorite time of year to run. I am working on a running gift guide for you all, but in the mean time here’s another What I’m Feelin’ Friday! Today I am going to do a podcast-themed WIFF. I love podcasts because:

  1. I love to learn. There is such a variety of topics from business to science to health.
  2. They are free.
  3. It makes a long commute a little less painful.
  4. It makes aerobic cardio (stair climber, walking, elliptical) go by quicker.

Here are my favorite podcasts:

#1 The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

Lewis is a self-made entrepreneur who interviews guests that have made a difference in the world. He is all about gratitude, love, and kindness as well as going out there and being great. Think of him as the facilitator/curator of greatness. Among my favorite episodes are:

There are just so many episodes I love that I cannot possibly list them all. Episodes are between an hour to an hour 30 minutes. Here is the master list of all the episodes along with video/audio.

#2 The MFCEO Project Podcast

I first learned about MFCEO, Andy Frisella, on The School of Greatness podcast. Heads up: Dude is intense and uses a lot of curse words, which I don’t mind. So I think you can guess what MF stands for. This podcast isn’t for the faint of heart. Andy doesn’t sugar coat anything because guess what? Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows!! Andy inspires you to rise to adversity and challenge the status quo. Think of him as your business drill sergeant. He totally gets me pumped up and ready to go out there and kick some ass. Among my favorite episodes are:

Episodes can range from 12 minutes to an hour if there is a guest. You can find a master list of Andy’s podcast here.

#3 How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This logo

A podcast from NPR, Guy Raz interviews the top CEOs of globally recognized brands (read: Samuel Adams Brewing, Starbucks, Burton Snowboards, Chipotle, Airbnb, etc.) If you think this will be a boring Q&A session, think again. Each CEO takes you on the wild rollercoaster of growing their business from nothing. I have found myself saying out loud, “OMG what?! No way!!”. Amazing. Amazing. AMAZING. Among my favorite episodes are:

    • Burton Snowboards: Jake Carpenter

    • Starbuck: Live Episode with Howard Schultz

    • Samuel Adams: Jim Koch

I literally love every single episode of this show. I always walk away with a nugget of wisdom from each CEO, from deciphering the difference between scary and dangerous to not taking a minute of your life for granted. Episodes last from 30 minutes to an hour. Check out a list of episodes here.

That’s all for now!  Tell me, what is your favorite podcast? To leave a comment, click the comment link just below the title of this blog post.