Foodie Friday #22 London Afternoon Tea Edition

If you have never had an authentic afternoon tea before you are really missing out.  The first time I had afternoon tea was with my friend Amy at the Grand Floridian Resort during my Disney College Program.  It was fancy, and fun, and delicious.  Since that first time Amy and I have done tea only once more, mainly because tea at the Grand Floridian books months in advance and even then is extremely hard to get a reservation for.

Seeing as we were going to London, I had no other food plans except for tea…and fish and chips.  Knowing me, I wasnt just going to pick a random place for tea I did a lot of research.  One place that wasnt too expensive but not cheap either kept cropping up in top 10 lists all over the net…Sketch.  I checked the website, which can only be described as basic at best.  I was a little hesitant but checking their menu, photos online, and all the great reviews I knew this was the place.  Even better they took online reservations and had an opening the day we arrived at 4:00pm.  That seemed a little late to me but the time ended up working perfectly.  My flight ended up being late by an hour which pushed us about 2 hours behind schedule.  If we have any earlier of a reservation we would have missed our tea.

sketch art wallsketch interior

The restaurant itself is right in the middle of the shopping meca of London.  I dont remember how we got there because Joe was in charge of directions and I was exhausted from all the traveling.  We found the very discrete entrance and came into the warmth of the restaurant.  There are at least 3 different sections, 1 for tea, 1 for the bar and 1 for dinner.  The tea room was all pink and white with super cushy chairs.  The room was packed as full as it could but I didnt feel terribly squashed.  We ordered the regular afternoon tea but there was a champagne option was well.  I would have fallen asleep at the table if we had champagne so we skipped it.  First up was the tray of deliciousness…tea sandwiches and small desserts.

tea tower

The sandwiches were salmon, grilled cheese, coronation chicken, egg salad, and cucumber.  I loved all the sandwiches except cucumber, because I dont like that vegetable at all.  The desserts were passion fruit tart, pistachio cream puff and chocolate espresso cake.  The passion fruit tart was beyond delicious, pistachio cream puff was light and airy and I didnt eat the chocolate cake because its two of my least favorite things.  The parfait on top was blackberry cheesecake which was ok, a little too tart for my taste.  This tray came with unlimited refills.  We took advantage and ordered a second helping of the sandwiches we liked but not any of the desserts.

scones

Next up were the scones with clotted cream and two kinds of jam.  I got the scone with raisins, Joe got the plain scone.  I really liked the clotted cream with raspberry jam on the raisin scone.  The scone itself was perfectly moist and not a brick, the cream and jam perfectly complimented that.  I wish we could have had more of those, I love bread!

final dessert

Final course was the dessert.  We had two options, the chocolate cake or the special of the day which was a lemon meringue cake.  We both chose the lemon cake and while it was good it just wasnt hitting the spot so we both didnt finish this one.  While we didnt finish the dessert we both left thouraly stuffed which I was surprised by.  Before I talk about the service, I have to mention the tea!

tea cup

Such a cute cup!  I had the Christmas Chai and Joe had the vanilla black tea.  I enjoyed my chia but though the flavor wasnt as rich as a loose leaf tea would have been.  Joe liked his vanilla tea but I didnt try any I just wasnt feeling it.  Tea had unlimited refills as well.

sketch bathroom

I also had to make sure and stop and check out the bathrooms.  Why?  Well, nature calls for one, and the other because the bathroom was the most talked about feature of all the reviews I read.  For obvious reason, this was a weirdo bathroom!  Each toilet had its own egg pod and there were quite a few scattered around.  I felt like I was in some sci-fi movie using those toilets.  I told Joe to go check them out but didnt tell him why, he was cracking up when he got back to the table.

Ive said how good the food was, tea was decent, atmosphere was fun so what about the service?  Well…meh is about all I can say.  Our waitress was friendly when she came by…emphasis on the when.  We were at the restaurant for about 2 1/2 hours.  Thats right…a LONG TIME for tea.  It took at least 30 minutes to get the check.  I had a great time and we enjoyed our experience but when Im ready to leave I want to leave.  All that being said I would still recommend Sketch for tea in London.  I had a great unique experience that you just cant match at a hotel.

CHIME IN!!!  Have you had afternoon tea before?  Whats your favorite thing to do in a new place?  Ever been to a weird restroom before?

Thinking Out Loud #19

Have you ever heard the “Stuck in America” song by Sugarcult?

I just thought of this song because…IM BACK IN AMERICA.  Ok so Ive been back for about almost a week now but still.  I loved this band when I was younger…anyways totally off subject.

THINKING OUT LOUD!  Linking up with Amanda here.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1.  I am so excited to share my London travels with you over the next few weeks.  We did so much I have to break the posts up.  That being said…Here is the absolute highlight from that trip.  Hampton Court Gardens!!!  It was cold, it was cloudy but these gardens were gorgeous.  We spent about an hour walking around and even in the dead of winter I was still super impressed.  You thought I was going to say Harry Potter didnt you?!  Well thats the obvious choice, gotta keep you guessing!!

Hampton Gardens

2.  I fell off the “cut down on sugar” band wagon…hard.  I may have bought 7 packages of stroopwafels during my trip to Amsterdam (1 of which I ate while I was there) and I may have eaten a whole package of weird sour Amsterdam candies while I was there.  #NoShame.  I need to get back on track because on my last dentist visit I have more cavities.  I hate getting fillings, they STINK.

stroopwaffles

3.  I thought I was over my little cold but it came back and is kicking my butt!  Luckily my doctor says its not a virus or anything like that so that means I can still work…so maybe thats not so lucky 😉

meme-sick

4.  While I was in Amsterdam I was able to make it to a Dutch bookstore and get Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Dutch!  Not that I know how to read Dutch or anything, its a new collection Im starting of HP books from the countries I have been too.  So far I have Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom and soon Canada (thanks Mom!).  I think Ive mentioned it before but its an idea I got from Darla @ Bakingdom (she mainly is on instagram now but her blog was the shiz when she was posting) to collect your favorite book from different countries.  Cool right!  Cant wait to get the French version of Order of the Phoenix in September.

harry potter books

5.  Speaking of stroopwafels…did you know they typically are served with a hot beverage.  You put the stroopwafel on top of your cup to warm it up and get the middle all melty-like.  Since I have been drinking tea a lot lately I tried this out…well too bad my Starbucks mugs are all wider than a stroopwafel!  #StarbucksFail.  I didnt take a picture of that because I didnt want the wafel to fall in so instead here is what is SUPPOSED to look like.

stroogwafel

6.  Before our trip I had Joe take a look at my phone because my battery was dying super fast.  He moved some apps around and reconfigured my phone a little and everything was all good.  Until I went to look up my to-do list and found that when my note app was moved from the phone memory to the SD card all my lists were lost.  UGH!  Ive slowly remembered some of the things on those lists, but man that stunk.  I put things in those lists so I didnt have to remember them!  Lesson learned people, dont move note apps you will lose your notes!

color note app

7.  Im working from home today which means I get to spend time with these furry friends and work in a climate that is not the artic circle.  I have my nice little space heater, my sweat pants, and I am a happy camper.  Have I mentioned before I love my home office 😉

puppies

8.  I have been making more salads recently and I realized something about me and salads…I can really enjoy a salad if its part of a recipe, like say santa fe turkey salad.  When I dont enjoy a salad is when its just a hodge podge of ingredients (like a salad bar).  I must just be bad at putting together a salad but I enjoy them much more when its a “theme”.  Is that right…can food be a theme…whatever you know what I mean.  I’ve found a few salad recipes that I really enjoy so yay for getting more greens into the diet!  And before you say, no Im not using iceburg lettuce, I use Boston, Romaine or Leafy Green.  Iceburg lettuce is for BLT’s of course.

salad

9.  Do you love salad?  Do you ever get to work from home?  Ever had a stroopwafel before?  Tell me Im not the only one to make notes in the cookbooks.

WIWW #26

I doped myself up last night and dont feel better but my muscles dont feel like they are about to escape my body so thats something right?!

We had a cold front come in last night dropping the temps by about 20 degrees.  I didnt feel like wearing a jacket today so I pulled my warmest sweater out and viola!  Good to go and be warm all day.  I wore this sweater in London so its cold weather tested 🙂  Keeping things relatively simple today but nice enough to meet partners.  PS—I typically hate any type of sweater that goes around my neck.  This one though is loose enough that it feels like a scarf, anything tighter and it would have been sent back.  I dont know why I just never have liked tight things around my throat.

WIWW 26

Sweater:  The Limited (no longer in stock)

Pants:  Express

Shoes:  Tieks (still loving them 10000%)

CHIME IN!!!  What is your go to winter weather gear?  Did you get pummeled by Jonas?  Do you like turtle-neck type sweaters?

Workout recap 1/19-25

Let me start by saying working out while on an international vacation is difficult at best. Most hotels don’t even have a gym let alone access to one. There isn’t always a safe place to run outside or even room in your tiny closet of a hotel room to do any kind of workout.

I was lucky enough that two hotels I was out of the three were in an area where I could run so I was able to get in four of the five runs so hurry!!  Not to mention all of the walking we did in addition to the runs. So while I feel like I didn’t get as much exercise as I would have liked the walking very much made up for it in my hip can definitely attest to that.

Tuesday:  5:30 am wake up call to change hotels and make the Harry Potter tour ment no time for running but we ended up walking about 6 miles that day.

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Wednesday:  I was scheduled to run 4 easy miles but our new hotel was in a poorly lit part of town and I didn’t feel safe running outside alone.  Word to the wise,  trust your gut and stay safe no run is worth your safety.  Today I also left for Amsterdam!

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Thursday:  in Amsterdam my new hotel is in a great area.   I ran 4.6 miles with 8×30 second pick ups at hard pace.   Ended with average pace of 11:24, could have been faster but some of the roads and bridges were icy and I didn’t want to fall.   Those second I either very slowly ran or walked to be safe.   While it was very cold I felt pretty good.   I thought my body would feel tight since I haven’t been able to stretch but the only issue was my ever present left hip pain.   Overall I was happy with this run!   The lobby of the hotel has a gorgeous bar area, look at those chandeliers!

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Friday: last full day in Amsterdam and a full day of conferences. Since i can’t run Saturday because of my flight today is my first ever split run.   This morning was 3.8 miles and it was cold. But after the first 10 minutes it felt fantastic and I actually ran my fastest time with an average pace of 10:26! Wow that was much faster than I expected 🙂 this afternoon was a 2.75 mile run but I didn’t run outside because it was busy on the streets and forecasted to rain, which it actually did when I left the gym. Come to find out the treadmills are in Dutch which should be no surprise but they were also in metric which was very confusing. I ended with a pace of 10:55 which I was happy with but thought I could have dine a little faster if I had understood the metric conversion. Overall very happy with both runs being in a foreign country, not eating what I normally eat and just overall schedule thrown off.
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Saturday: traveling home today no run scheduled.

Sunday: 3 mile run this morning. Slow pace in tap but ended with 11 min/mile average. I actually ended up being able to go to bed the night before at a normal time and get decent sleep, which means luckily this morning I didn’t feel jet lagged. The run was uneventful but I was happy to get back out with the puppies 🙂 15 min stretching and foam rolling was much needed that night.
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Monday: 30 minute core class today was KILLER!!!  We had a sub again today and she works my legs for serious!  Nice to get back in the groove though and work on something other than running.  Not to say Im tired of running but I need a break sometimes with the workouts.  PS—the step is my arch nemesis!

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CHIME IN!!!  How was your weekend?  Did you have a great workout recently?  Do you like using the step in gym class?

Races on Tap

Happy Monday everyone!  We are almost done with the first month of the new year!  How did this happen?!  Before any more of the year flys by I wanted to share my official race plans with you.  Shout out if you will be there too!!!!

This year I have drastically trimmed down the number of races Im participating in (last year’s grand total was 8, yikes!).  Last year, admittedly, was probably too much for my body.  My doctor also says what I did in 2015 was too much.  This year Im focusing on quality rather than quantity.  I want to get some great race times and really hone my running skills.  Injured and slow, I have come a LONG way from the Frozen 5k back in February.  Arent we cute as Daisy and Donald though 🙂

frozen 5k

Here is what I am doing for 2016.  I may add one or two more 10k’s or 5k’s but no extra half marathons.

January:  New Years Double.  This was a super fun, relaxed race that I truly enjoyed.  Recap here in case you missed it.  The bling was totally worth it and made me realize some things about my running career that I hope to share later in the year.

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February:  Gasparilla Half Marathon.  This race is in Tampa.  My good friend lives there and we are running it together!!!  Its also pirate themed which is AWESOME.  Im a little disappointed Im missing the pirate weekend (its the weekend before, big party, pirate ship, the works) but the race will be just as fun.  I already have my pirate skirt and everything (this one)!

gasparilla half

April:  Bluebell 10k.  This is a semi-local race (its an hour away from me) where at the finish line you get all you can eat BlueBell!!!!!  I love Bluebell its the ice cream I grew up on.  Im semi-lactose intolerant so I wont be eating all the things, but its still cool to get a medal and ice cream at a race finish.  There are kids races and a 5k, but I decided to do the 10k.  I like the distance 🙂

bluebell fun run

September:  Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  Thats right Disneyland PARIS!!!  Im so sorry for mentioning Paris a million times on the blog, Im just ridiculously excited.  When this race was announced at the 2015 Princess Half Marathon I lost my mind.  Its 2 weeks before my 30th birthday and we were already planning an international trip for that.  What a great way to end my 20’s.  Im really excited about this race even though the registration process was a nightmare (hello 3am wakeup call to book 9am Paris time).  I cant wait to share all the memories from that race with you.

Disneyland_Paris_sleeping_beauty_castle

November:  Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Challenge.  I did these races (10k and half marathon for the challenge) in 2015 (half marathon recap here, 10k here) and LOVED it.  It was the most laid back Disney race I have done to date and cant wait to do it again.  Plus our friends from Australia will be there at the same time so it will be nice to see them again.  This race will also get me the Castle to Chateau Challenge medal.   The medal is new for 2016 this is the first year a race has been international so giving a Coast to Coast medal just wouldnt be the same. Its also called Castle to Chateau because the Disneyland Paris Castle is a REAL castle, not fiberglass like the ones in the states (why, because Paris is full of REAL castles, no one wants a poser).  The medal has not yet been revealed but I know it will be awesome (so this may be the main reason for this race but whatever dont judge me).

partner statue

You may have noticed there are no races between April and September.  For good reason, I live in Houston and its STUPID hot and nasty.  I tried a 10k in early June and wanted to die it was so miserable.  Ive decided to not have an official race on the books during this time for my sanity.  I know now I will never be one of those people running those “devil runs”, its not my bag…AT ALL.  Below is a picture from that 10k and it took me over 2 hours to cool down.  Ridiculous.

jog the journey 10k

Thats it, 6 races.  2 less than last year but thats still 2 less!

CHIME IN!!!  What’s on your race calendar this year?  Do you love running in the summer?  What are you looking forward to this year?

 

Foodie Friday #21 Brunch Review

In case you didnt already know, I love brunch.  Its the best meal of the weekend and never ceases to make me happy.  Yes I have had a bad eggs benedict or two in my day, but overall, there is little food wise that makes me happier than brunch.

In today’s food review I want to share with you a little more about the brunch we had New Year’s Day because it was DELICIOUS!  We went to Bread Winners in Plano (there are a few locations).  Check out their site and drool over the menu.  I didnt take a lot of pictures because I was so hungry, sorry 😦  I just ran a half marathon for the second day in a row!  It was time to EAT!

im hungry

Ambiance:  First the place was PACKED but it was New Year’s Day and it was 12:30pm, prime brunch time.  The restaurant felt like a fancy bakery, I wasnt impressed with the decor but it was much nicer than, say, IHop.  We were seated at a standard wood table and chairs close to the door.  They had a full service bar on one side of the room and a full service bakery with some beautiful baked good on the other side.  There was also a patio area that was covered and had heat lamps.

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Service:  Our waitress was so nice.  She gave us great recommendations and checked on us just enough for us to enjoy our food but also feel like she was watching out for us.  In the past when we had decent service the food is terrible, but the stars aligned today and we had great service with exceptional food.

bloody mary

Eats/Drinks:  To start I had a mimosa and Joe had the spicy bloody mary.  The mimosa came with 1/2 a wine glass of orange juice and a mum split.  The split was poured into the glass right at the table and was the perfect amount of champagne to orange juice.  I was feeling fine.  The spicy bloody mary was not very spicy and a little watered down, but it seems like everyone was ordering it because Joe had to wait 5 minutes for his drink as they ran out of the mix.  This also tells me they dont make the mix themselves which tends to be not as great of a bloody mary.  Joe was happy with it though so thats what matters.  Before our meal came out our server brought fresh bread to the table.  Pastry bread, 3 different types.  Im not sure what exactly they were but 1 tasted like spice cake, another had raspberries in it and I didnt try the last one I was saving room for my waffle.  The bread was rich, delicious and an overall nice touch.  For our meal I ordered the Belgium Waffle with strawberries and whipped cream and a side of maple crispy pork belly.  Joe ordered the Chicken and Waffles.  The food came out nice and hot, I didnt snap a picture with the beautiful presentation but did get one before we dug in thank goodness.  My waffle was perfectly fluffy, the whipped cream made fresh and very light, and the strawberries delicious.  I didnt use the syrup because for me the whipped cream was enough.  I wish I could say I didnt eat the whole thing but that would be a lie.  You cant see it here but the crispy pork belly was divine.  Cooked perfectly, flavorful and not greasy I shared a little with Joe but could have eaten all 4 perfectly sliced pieces myself.  Joe’s chicken and waffles were AMAZING.  Im a little sad I didnt order this but loved my waffle enough to get over it.  The waffle itself was cheddar bacon jalapeno, the chicken was seasoned and cooked just right, the sauce a great compliment and the syrup just pushed it over the edge of amazingness.  I was a little worried this would be spicy with the jalapeno in the gravy and the waffle but I had 2 BITES and my mouth wasnt on fire after!  PS—2 bites is a lot since I ate all my other food too.  Joe loved his dish too.  There were no food survivors for either of us.  We could have ordered dessert but I was totally full and happy.

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Overall:  I really enjoyed myself and am happy and sad there isnt a Bread Winners in Houston.  Our bill was about $45 for everything we ate and to me that seems just about right.  The drinks were a little pricey but the food was at a good price point.  I would highly recommend checking this place out if you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano area because for real, I had THE HARDEST time figuring out what I wanted to order there were so many great options.  Biscuits and Gravy, Pulled Pork Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, ugh it was so hard!  If you go tell me all about what you got!!

CHIME IN!!!  Do you like brunch?  What is your go-to brunch food?  Savory or sweet waffles?

Thinking Out Loud #18

Sometimes I feel like I know everything there is to know about running, and then I get a knowledge bomb dropped on me and I am put in check.  2015 was the year of learning for me and I suspect 2016 will be the same.  I want to share some of the knowledge bombs with you, if you already know all of this…WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME SOONER 🙂  Let’s do this thinking out loud style

Linking up with Amanda here.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1.  Shoes matter.  I had been running for years before actually getting fitted for shoes that fit me.  It makes a difference.  There are so many posts about it but sometimes until you hear this from a friend or trusted source you just dont believe it.  Let me echo that just in case my voice is the one to convince you.  Get yourself fitted for some shoes!!!

DM0Ux3vvSnPaNqGVJfgmJ7z60dMxLStQNKCYbfQdMACT=w411-h730-no2.  How you lace up your shoes matter.  I have gone through so many pairs of shoes and am now wondering how many of them could have been saved by changing the way I lace them.  Here is the link I used to figure it out, but trust me, lacing your shoes up the normal way is not always the way to go.

20160104_0535333.  Compression technology is your friend.  There are a few brands out there but I love CW-X tights and shorts.  I have 4 pairs now and love them!  They are really tight but have helped my hip issues tremendously.  It also helps stop things from shaking…ladies you know exactly what Im talking about.  Another reason I love CW-X in particular is because of the cool colors they come in, I feel super fancy when I wear the tights for sure.

20160101_0834274.  Properly fueling.  I used to just run and not eat before or soon after.  I woulnt take in additional fuel on a long run and hydration was sometimes iffy (except during the summer, my hydration is on point).  Now I can tell the difference in my running if I dont eat properly.  The night before a  long run is carbs, usually pizza.  Morning of the long run is a quest protein bar.  During the run (if 8 or more miles) is a GU right now but Im still working on this.  After the run I try and get some solid protein, usually a breakfast sandwich or some form of egg.  For a lot of people I think running is about losing weight so we forget to refuel.  Just remember, its ok to eat if you are eating smart 🙂  Like egg whites instead of waffles with whipped cream.

hydration5.  Running with someone is usually better than running alone.  For the longest time I was afraid to join a running club.  I felt like I would be the slowest person and feel stupid.  Luckily I found a great group that has a wide range of speeds and I usually have someone to run at least half the distance with me.  While the group is older and probably arent going to be my best friends in the whole world, its nice to get up early on a Saturday morning and run with some friendly faces.  Knowing that they will ask where I have been if I miss a run is also motivation to get out there, no one likes being called out!

running-meme-16.  Get a visor.  I run in the mornings and usually when its dark so I wouldnt run with anything to shield the rays.  Well when you are on a long run…the sun eventually comes up and then those UV rays will get you!  Avoid messing up your eyes and at the very least get a visor.  I say visor because when your head gets hot a baseball hat can trap the heat in and make you even warmer.  A visor is open on the top so you get the shield from the sun but the head heat escapes!  I run now with a visor and sunglasses because I dont want to be all squinty, but yes, get something to shield your eyes from the sun.

20150905_0854117.  Not all socks are created equal.  Again, there are tons of brands and types of socks in the market and what works for me might not work for you.  Experiment with your socks too.  I use the C9 brand from Target and double sock it on anything over 6 miles.  As a runner our feet are very important, so dont forget about the socks they are almost as important as the shoes.

20151009_2215258.  Charity Miles app is a fantastic app that raises money for charity through miles you run.  Get it now…and if you are a harry potter fan join the Hogwarts Running club and help us do #SoMuchGood.  They have a group on the charity miles app and also a facebook group that is very encouraging!!  Below is my profile, Im in Ravenclaw, obviously.  I thought it showed how much money you have helped raise as well but I guess not.

charity miles

9.  What have you learned through running?  Share!

WWW #25

I’m headed to Amsterdam today for my annual meeting.   It’s a crazy day today with packing and transport and what not so instead of sharing today’s outfit I’m going to share Tuesdays outfit!

We went to the harry potter studio tour today and even though it’s cold I had to dress the part!  Any chance to dress up like I’m going to hogwarts and I’ll take it!

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Sweater:  etsy

Skirt:  ModCloth

Boots:  DSW

Necklace:  etsy

Tights:  target

Hat:  etsy

CHIME IN!!!  Wearing anything special today?  How is your week going?   Cold weather,  love it or hate it?

Workout Recap 1/12-18

Hello from jolly ‘ol England!  Thats right, this post is coming to you from across the pond.  We are visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter today and I am STOKED!  Let’s talk about workouts shall we.  It was interesting to say the least.

Tuesday:  3.8 mile easy run ended with 11:39 pace.  I did not want to run today, Im still feeling sick and its cold out.  Normally I love running in the cold but I didnt wear my gloves this morning (rookie mistake) and my hand were so cold by the end of the run I could barely unlock my front door.  You know when your hands get so cold they just dont want to move, yeah thats where I was this morning.  I was also too cold to take a picture because apparently my brain could only think of getting in the hot shower…so here is a picture of the puppies instread.  Enjoy 🙂 10 minutes stretching, foam rolling that night.

whisp

Wednesday:  Hill workout today!  Im still feeling icky and taking some cold meds so I took the speed down a little.  Had the treadmill at 5 for 10 minutes at a 1 incline.  Then moved it up to 5 for 2 minutes then 2 minutes rest at 1 incline.  Did 5 1/2 of those then cooled down at 5 for 7 minutes then gradually reduced speed for another 3 minutes.  I was going to do the full 6 but my heartrate was above 185 and I didnt think that was too healthy so I cooled down a little early.  The goal today was 50 minutes but Im happy with the 40 minutes the way I was feeling today.  The hills were still really challenging even at a 5 speed.  I would have liked to do done a 5.2 speed but my body wasnt feeling it today.  Watching Guardians of the Galaxy though while working out is always helpful 🙂  Dont mind the super slow speed I was trying to slow walk and take a pic at the same time…obviously I still need to work on this!  10 minutes stretching foam rolling that night.

i am groot

Thursday: 3.5 mile easy run this morning ended with a 12:07 pace.  I am still feeling under the weather and…TMI had some “drainage” issues this morning.  Boo.  Its ok though I got out there, hit the distance I was going for and felt pretty good all things considering.  This is day 3 of 4 running in a row.  Tomorrow will set a record for me for days running in a row. Also Im back in my compression socks for a while since my calves are getting a little tight and not feeling the best.  I have been a bad runner and not wearing them like I should but Im fixing that now!  10 minutes stretching, foam rolling that night.

compression socks

Friday:  Had to get my long run in before the long plane ride!  To be quite honest that is the only reason I actually finished.  Being sick has taken its toll on me (dont worry its just bacterial, nothing serious) and today was rough but on the bright side I was able to get the distance and pace almost spot on to what was scheduled.  7.5 miles for an average pace of 11:50 (goal was 12 pace).  Honestly it was hard to keep the slower pace.  I would start out slower than my mind would wander and my feet would almost automatically speed up.  I would have finished even faster but I walked a few times because I needed it, and I was trying really hard to hit that pace my coach set.  Long detox bath and 10 minutes of stretching before leaving for the airport.  London here we come!!!  Hopefully the early morning and long run will help me sleep on the plane.

3 miles in

Saturday:  Rest day, although we walked around London a lot there wasnt really resting per-say, just no running.
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Sunday: supposed to run 4 easy miles but I was exhausted so I opted to sleep more instead. We did walk almost 10 miles today though!
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Monday: ran 4 miles with average pace of 11:13. It was cold out but not as cold as I thought. My legs were so heavy because of all the traveling and walking. I didn’t have space for my foam roller so no really good stretching 😦 it was a little scary running in the black pre dawn hours in a city I don’t know but I did it anyway! And I found some cool things along the way!
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CHIME IN!!! Do you travel with a foam roller? How does your body react to travel? How was your weekend?

Grinch Party Details

December got away from me…trips and races and family time…the month just got away from me.  This party was almost a month ago but it was too cute to not share the details from.  Pin it for next year because if you havent been to a Grinch party you are seriously missing out!

First…the invite!  I made this template and used a blank evite through pingg.com.  I dont even want to tell you how long it took me to make this, but feel free to borrow it I dont mind.grint invite 1

After the invite I made water bottle labels, because they are cute and more fun than boring water bottle labels.  These…also not going to tell you how long they took me to make 😉

grinch water bottle labels

Now that the invites are sent, the water bottles ready its time to decorate!

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For the dining room I wanted to hang streamers that looked like a circus tent.  I think Joe did an excellent job and executed my vision nicely.  It really added some nice depth to the room.

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Our lights this year were Grinch themed.  Joe made the cut-outs and yes I did drag down our winner sign and put it up.  No shame.

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Caitlin made these cute signs for the party…just in case you forgot where you were going or the real meaning of Christmas 🙂  Decorations are up, time to get the food out and ready.

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I decided I wanted to do a hot chocolate bar with a crock pot hot chocolate recipe (I used this one).  It was so rich and delicious.  I couldnt find all the toppings I wanted but what I did have was:

  • marshmallows
  • Redi-Whip (I could have made my own whipped cream but I thought this would hold up better in the hot chocolate)
  • Dove Peppermint bark
  • White chocolate syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Salted Caramel flavoring
  • peppermint flavoring
  • Horchata
  • Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon
  • Classic Bailey’s
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

I know it totally wasnt enough 😉  Other drinks we had were coke zero, hot apple cider with fireball (the most popular, thanks Lauren!) and jello shots (thanks Caitlin).

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Since it wasnt a huge party like Harry Potter we kept it simple with desserts.  I made grinch cookies and Caitlin made grinch santa hat fruit kabobs.  For dinner we had Roast Beast (Lauren’s), Who Hash, Pumpkin Rolls, Pasta Salad (Lauren), Brussel Sprouts (Caitlin) and Green Beans (Caitlin).  We all loved the Roast Beast and Brussel Sprouts, there were almost none left of both!!  You can see a little of the food in the background.

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Dont think we forgot about games!  We played corn-hole Grinch edition (get the heart in the Grinch)…

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Un-decorate the tree (Im a terrible person and forgot to take a picture of the madness, it was fun!!  Those 2 little trees on either side of the fireplace were the targets) and a costume contest.  When we party, we party for KEEPS!  At the end of the night we played cards against humanity and it was HILARIOUS.

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Trying to make my best grinch face.  Everyone dressed up, and blame it on the jello shots I didnt get a picture of everyone together.  I dont know if everyone would want their beutiful Who-attire on my blog either, so you just get to see my awesome outfit…

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Although its a must to show you Caitlin’s hair because she did the whole cup in the hair thing and it worked great!

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We even did a Green elephant gift exchange (get it…green…cause the Grinch)!  The thought was to read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and switch gifts to your right whenever I said the word “Grinch” and to the left when I said “Who”.  The book was much longer than expected so they stopped exchanging gifts in the middle section and began again closer to the end…this page Im at above in fact.  Funny enough…everyone ended with their own gift and we had to do the classic white elephant swap.  Oh well, it was fun reading the book!

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I dont know why but I love reading Dr. Suess books.  I used to read them to my cousin when he was younger and they are just so fun.  Also, a great message in this book if you pay attention 😉  Caitlin and I also made Grinch ornaments in November for everyone to take home.  They are super easy to make but thats probably a different post for a different day.

Next year…well this year…we are going to do a different theme but Grinch was really fun!  I think its a lot to do with the company too.  We all really enjoy hanging out with each other and have fun no matter what we are doing!

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Really quick…in case you are dying to know…everything I wore for my costume I had on hand except for the green tights (found here).  The shirt is Joe’s (but its from Target a long time ago), the green boa is leftover from the Grinch ornaments we made, the tutu with lights was from a race, and the santa socks my Grandma made a long time ago

CHIME IN!!!  Have you done a Grinch party before?  Do you like theme parties?