My Saturday was jam packed!  Not only did I run a 5K in a nor'easter, I also drove 40 minutes to Barnegat for a coworker's baby shower that afternoon then we had a costume party that evening at Mark & Kat's.  Our esteemed hosts were dressed as Desperate Housewives: Northern Arkansas.
Because I knew Saturday would be hectic I made sure to prep my mummy dogs the night before.  I think leaving them in the fridge overnight messed with their cooking because the dough didn't get a brown as I thought it should.  But everyone liked them so they couldn't have been too bad.
 Kat whipped up a variety of creepy treats.  

Lychee & blueberry eyeballs.  We're hoping the lychee keeps well enough that we can make martinis next weekend!
The most delicious brownie graveyard I have ever tasted (must get recipe).
Finger cookies.
Drunken gummi bears and much more!
Everyone came in costume.  I can't believe some people don't like to dress up!  I'm not crazy about Halloween but it is fun play dress up once a year.  Shana & Bill came as the leg lamp and box from A Christmas Story.  Joe and I were Quint & Jaws; everyone said my shark impression was a little too happy.
There was a viking and ice queen, a border officer and escaped Mexican.
and Dorothy with the cowardly lion.
Everyone was doing shots of tequila and downing Kat's delicious pumpkin martinis.
As the night went on things started to get a little crazier.  A giant dog started sniffling and humping everyone and the boxer went a few rounds.
Mark even convince Joe and I to act out Quint's final scene from the movie.
It was a really great night!  I thought it was funny because I had a better time hanging out towards the end of the night with just our normal crew of 8 then I did when the party was in full swing.  I guess some things very change, I'm just not a party animal (har har).  It was nice to get to put some faces to names though.  

I was telling Joe on the way home how grateful I am to have this awesome group of friends and I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy.

5K in a nor'easter...check

Look at me churning out these posts today!  I know I've mentioned a few times before that I've signed up for a lot of races lately in hopes of keeping myself motivated to run.  Well, one of said races was this past Saturday.  If you don't live on the east coast you may not be aware of the weather we were forecasted for Saturday; they were calling for 30+ mph wind, drenching rain & SNOW!  I don't really love throwing money away but I was pretty sure I was going to skip this one.  Then Friday morning, I received an email from the event staff that said, and I quote "Linwood, NJ Shorefest 5k: MEGA EASY AWARD ALERT! Less entries than awards. Nice little 5k in very pretty neighborhoods in town on Rt 9 below Atlantic City."  I sent and email out to my favorite running girls asking for advice, Angela, Kat & Amy all told me to go for it.  Angela even offered to come out and run with me!  I crossed my fingers that the weatherman was wrong and went to bed early.

The weatherman was not wrong.  I could hear the wind howling all night long.  When I got out of bed and looked out the window it was pouring.  I used the Runner's World website to figure out what to wear, it suggested shorts(!), a long sleeve shirt, rain jacket and a hat.  I put on capri pants and a long sleeve running shirt (I don't have a hat or jacket) then went downstairs to eat something.  When I opened the front door a cold wind about froze me, I turned around, ran upstairs and changed into under armour tights and a thicker long sleeve shirt.  I gathered up all of my gear and headed to car but before I pulled out of the lot I ran inside again and grabbed a fleece lined pullover.  

I parked near the start line and didn't see anyone, could it be true, no race?  After 15 minutes I got a text from Angela, they were around the other side of the building, damn.  I bitched and moaned the entire way through check in and then waited with the other 12 runners for the run to begin.
We were moved to the start line with a minute to spare, the organizers were super nice about keeping us dry as long as possible.  We all just sort of shivered there and kept talking about how crazy we all must be.  The woman in the teal sweatshirt was running her first 5K ever!  If I were her it may have also been my last.
I just love that no matter what the weather all the runners have got their watches out and ready for the gun.
And we're off!
It wasn't a pleasant race but it could have been a lot worse.  Once you got used to being wet the rain wasn't too bad, it was just when the wind kicked up that was torture.  About 2/3 into the first mile my shoe lace came untied!  I never have equipment failure like that!  Then right around 2 miles my calves started bothering me again like they did during the 10K, it was almost unbearable.  As we were rounding the next to last turn we saw some guys coming back towards us, they were very sweet and cheered us on but I panicked because I thought we were almost finished.  Did we really have another block to go around!?!?  I didn't say anything, just kept trudging along but later Angela and I were talking and it turns out we were both thinking the same thing!  Thankfully, as we turned the corner we saw the flashing lights of the finish line, Angela could tell my calves were really bothering me (I was almost whimpering) and suggested we just finish strong and not sprint  but I couldn't stop myself, I just wanted to be done!

I ended up finishing just before Angela and taking 3rd female overall and 1st in my age group, she was also first in her age group (it pays to run with people that are younger then you).  I thought it was going to be a personal best because I would be running faster trying to get it over with but it was pretty standard.  My watch had the course as short so it didn't stop when we crossed the finish line!  I turned it off a minute later when I realized.  My official time was 31:45.
We made sure to take an after photo.  Luckily I had brought a change of clothes so I stopped at the car and changed into sweats and galoshes.  I didn't realize while I was running but EVERYTHING I had on was absolutely soaked.  I was really surprised to see that Angela's shirt was totally dry under that jacket!  I immediately went home and added one to my wish list, although she got hers on sale at the outlet.  I'll have to check it out next time I'm over that way.
We wasted some time walking around the "festival" while they tallied the results and waited for the walkers (seriously, who walks a race in that kind of weather) to cross the finish line.  It was a pretty small area and I was too tired to do much shopping.  Oh, and those prizes, they were medals.  Don't get me wrong I love a medal but seriously I came out because I thought there were actual prizes, gift card, sweatshirt, something!

November Goals

Oh October, what a disaster.  Ok maybe it wasn't a total disaster but it wasn't pretty.  I learned I'm not ready to be left to my own devices.  I didn't make any goals and I can feel it.  I haven't weighed myself in two weeks so I'm not sure where I stand in that regard but I just feel loose.  I can even see it in my outfit pictures, my body just isn't as tight as it used to be.  Joe and I decided last night that we're going to start fresh in November.  He's planning to hit the gym more often and drink less beer.  I'm going to go back to what I know works, goals and blog accountability.
So here I am with a new month and a fresh outlook on weight loss.  I'm not giving myself any cheat days this time, except for Thanksgiving, all bets are off for Thanksgiving.  For the rest of the month the plan is to just do the best that I can.  This is the time of the year I dropped most of my weight in 2010 so I know it's possible, I just need to get my head back on straight.  Without further ado, my goals...

1. 1000 fitness minutes - put on sneakers and a sports bra then move my body.  These two items are imperative, this way I cannot count walks to the grocery store (no sports bra).
2. 10,000 steps per day - I just hate when I burn less then 2000 calories in a day!  I know that walking 10,000 steps insures that I will at least make it there.  Plus it's such a nice way for Joe and I to spend time together.
3. 500 calorie burn - I think shooting for 750 might be too much to ask right off the bat.
4. 2 classes per week at the LifeCenter - I'm hoping this will guarantee I use my membership at my new gym.  The times are a little different then what I'm used to so they don't fit my schedule perfectly but I've managed to squeeze at least 2 a week on my calendar.  Now I just need to make sure I go to them. 
5. Geocache 3x - I was reminded how much I enjoy running around with a GPS looking for "treasure" while we were in Utah.  It's a great way to get some fresh air, a couple of steps and spend some quality time with my mom.
Joe suggested a few more goals that I think are important so I'm going to add them.  It's going to be a busy month!
6. 30 minutes of cleaning a day - along with my eating right & exercising, cleaning fell by the wayside in October.
7. Dinner & a movie date night 3x - Joe suggested this one and who am I to shy away from quality time with my favorite guy?  Hope there are a few good movies out this month!

Day 27: From A Distance

This is probably a total cop out but I decided to take a picture of the plaza across the street.  I thought it might be nice to show you all where I do the majority of my walking when I need steps.  We walk out the front door and off to the right where there's a traffic light; we couldn't possibly jaywalk!  Actually it's more because the man that owns that yellow building is a real jerk and yells at anyone who cuts across his property so we go around just to save ourselves the headache, not to mention more steps are always good!  You can see the ShopRite straight across.  Rita's is all the way to the left but they're closed for the winter so we probably won't walk down that way much, I'm guessing we'll make more Starbucks stops for hot coffee!

Day 26: Close-up

When I read the prompt to take a close-up picture I immediately thought of the wreath on our front door and I have no idea why.  Maybe because I'm really embracing fall this year.  I was super excited to start wearing sweaters and boots even if we seem to have gone straight from summer into winter.  Seriously, what's with the weather lately?  Is it unacceptable to just have a  few weeks of cool weather instead of hot & humid then cold & rainy?  Anyway, the wreath isn't anything fancy, I think I got it at the end of the season from a craft store but it does the job from September - November.  Can you believe it's November tomorrow!?!?

Outfits of the Week ~ 10/24-28

I know, I'm a few days late, I really need to get back into posting regularly.  I literally have 7 draft posts to write.  I'm going to be posting my goals for November later so hopefully keeping track of everything will help me post more often.  Here are my outfits from last week, quick & dirty...

~ Monday ~ 
chain link earrings - The Limited
purple button down - Express
black pants - The Gap
grey boots - Zappos
~ Tuesday ~
feather headband - Icing
brown turtleneck - The Limited
tan pants - The Limited
brown shoes - Naturalizer
~ Wednesday ~
striped sweater - Express
black cami - New York & Co
charcoal pants - The Gap
black heels - Naturalizer
~ Thursday ~
purple cardigan - The Gap
brown cami - New York & Co
khaki pants - The Gap
brown boots - Piperlime
~ Friday ~
scarf - Van Huesen outlet
sweater dress - Old Navy
brown leggings - Old Navy
brown boots - Nordstrom

Five for Friday ~ 10/28/11

1. You didn't complain when we eat leftovers for 3 days straight.

2. You thanked me for making dinner.
3. You brought a halloween treat to my office.

4. Once I convinced you my new gym is cheaper you've been very supportive.

5. You order crab rangoons while we waited for Chris & Carol.

Shana's Wedding ~ 8/14/10


Day 25: Something Pink

I have so much pink around that I my biggest problem was what to photograph!  I decided it would be a great time to introduce you all to my new (and 6th) fitbit.  After getting my 5th one free a month or so ago it promptly died a week later.  I was so frustrated!  I talked to a rep and she offered to give me a refund but I wasn't ready to give up so she sent me one of their new Fitbit Ultra models.  It's been a few weeks and it's still going strong!  The body looks the same as before and I was even able to choose a pink insert!  It has a few new features too; it calculates how many flights you've climbed and also has a clock and stopwatch.  But my favorite part is that sometimes when you pick it up it greets you with motivational sayings and your name!  I can't remember any in particular right now but they're pretty funny.  

I've stopped wearing it on my bra which I think is why it hasn't died.  I'm sorry if this is TMI but I sweat pretty easily and I think that keeping it on my bra during the summer months was making the contacts moist a lot of the time and maybe shorting them out.  Here's hoping this one will go the distance!

Day 24: Animal

I almost took a picture of my cats for this prompt.  But they wouldn't hold still and I got frustrated and headed off to work instead.  When I got in the car I was excited to remember I had this guy staring back at me.  He's my little hippo friend that Joe got for me at Ikea about 3 years ago.  I had just bought the house and we were looking for design inspiration.  Joe joked that the $0.25 stuffed animals were all we could afford.  We picked him out and he's lived under my radio every since. 

Day 23: Sunflare

I knew this one would be easy because every morning when I take my outfit picture on the back deck I have to be sure to situate myself away from the sun.  If I'm doing it myself with the timer I can't get away from it so I crop the sun out before I post.  If Joe's taking the picture for me I have angle so that I'm not squinting directly into the sun.  I love an east prompt!


Day 22: Hands

I have my mother's hands.  I know that's a weird likeness to notice but one day a few years ago I looked down and saw my mom's hand on the end of my arm!  Seriously, it totally startled me!  Not that they're bad hands to have inherited.  Our hands are pretty small, Nicole calls them my "tiny Asian hands" and always calls me over when she needs to get at anything that's stuck in a small spot.  I also never noticed that they are pretty they are until my boss pointed it out.  We were talking about wedding rings and she mentioned that I'd be able to wear almost any style because my hands are so pretty and dainty.  I mean I'm not saying I should be a hand model or anything but it's a nice compliment especially considering the number of times I've accidentally cut myself in the kitchen.

Day 21: Faceless Self Portrait

I really wasn't sure how I was going to manage this one.  I thought about all the other posts I've seen for it.   Take a picture with the camera covering my face, I tried it but the flash in the mirror washed out everything else.  Wearing a big hat that covers part of my face, I'm not a big hat person plus with my super short hair I feel like I look bald.  Cutting my head out of a picture, doable but hard to do without cropping on the computer since my arms are short.  I really liked the idea of taking a picture of my shadow but I was running out of time so I just started taking shots of myself without looking at the camera and I really like this one.  There's just something about it.  I look nice and svelte, my fair is cooperating and the feathered headband adds just enough color.

Day 20: Bokeh

This prompt was the one that made this whole challenge come to a screeching halt for me.  I was cruising along taking pictures most days even if I wasn't posting them but then I hit bokeh.  I had to google the word just to figure out what exactly I was supposed to do.  I'm pretty sure my point and shoot camera doesn't have the settings to accomplish this kind of photo purposefully and if it does I don't know how to make it do it.  I talked to Joe about it and he wasn't sure my camera could do it either.  So after hemming and hawing about it for close to a week I decided to cheat and steal a picture that Joe took while we were in Utah.  While I didn't actually snap the photo I did edit it, that counts right?
Ok, so I obviously didn't try searching the internet very hard because I just googled "can my point and shoot take a bokeh photo" and found this article http://mansurovs.com/bokeh-on-point-and-shoot-cameras.  Then in the last five minutes using stuff around my office I managed to take this:
Don't I feel like an idoit...

Day 19: Something Orange

Who's the worst blogger in the world?  That would be me.  I'm pretty excited to get back to normal in November with some goals.  It will be nice to have something to report in with again because obviously taking pictures just isn't doing it for me.  Way back on the 19th (almost a week ago!) my prompt was something orange, luckily I didn't have to look very far to find something.  I think I mentioned before that I'm in love with the Extra Dessert Delights gum, it really helps curb my eating at night.  Well there's a pack of the orange cream flavor right next to my bed in what has become the fitbit grave yard.  You can see 3 of the fitbits I've managed to injure or destroy in the last few months.


Outfits of the Week ~ 10/17-21

I realized on my way home from work today that I didn't weigh myself this morning.  I really think this means I've hit a wall when it comes to my eating right and exercising.  Or lack there of.  I haven't worked out all week and while my calories haven't been out of control they also haven't been what anyone would consider low.  I need to get my mojo back and I've come up with a few ideas for how to do that...

First, I've signed up for more races.  I have now signed up for three maybe four more between today and Thanksgiving.  And I've somehow convinced Nicole to do her first 5K three weeks from now!  I'm super excited for her but I also need to get running with her some more to up her confidence.  I'm planning on running with her at least three days a week for the next three weeks.  That'll definitely up my fitness minutes.  Second, I'm making goals for November.  It was great not having to worry about accomplishing anything every day this month but I've obviously let myself go.  By some act of god I've managed to keep from gaining a ton of weight but I can't just sit around hoping things will stay the same.  Third, I'm very seriously considering changing gyms.  I think I'm bored of taking the same classes with the same instructors that I've been doing over and over for the last 5+ years.  The health system I work for has a very nice gym that is open to the public as well as employees.  I do a lot of their purchasing and the manager has been on me for almost a year to switch over, he's offered me a couple of really great deals that would make it less expensive then where I go now.  After talking to some friends that belong to this gym I'm pretty much convinced to make the jump.  I'm going to miss Christina so much, we pretty much only see each other at the gym.  I'm trying to convince her to come with me but it's more expensive when you don't have an employee discount. Maybe my manager friend will hook her up too.

I'm pretty excited for my weekend.  I'm not sure it will involve any hard core exercising but it should be fun.  Joe and I are spending the evening at home on the couch together tonight.  He's bringing home one of those rotisserie chickens from work for dinner.  I should probably be making something to go along with it but I can't seem to get up off the couch.  Tomorrow I'm having a Pampered Chef party at my house.  I'm guessing most of the day will be spent prepping for the party but I'd also like to make my Halloween costume, hopefully that won't be too much for one day.  Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk, we do it every year in honor of our friend John's mom (If you'd like to make a donation please do so here).  It's a great way to support a good cause and spend some time outside with good friends.  Plus they have a huge BBQ afterward with out of this world food!  It might be just the last hurrah I need.  

I am really loving that it's started getting cooler this week.  I was finally able to wear sweaters to work without feeling like a freak because it was 80 degrees outside.  I've also started to get a handle on my hair, I stopped using product in it and now it's back to its soft shiny self.  I'm not so sure I'd go as far as to say I'm going to grow it out but I don't think I'll ever cut it that short again.  

I know I've jumped around a lot but hopefully everything will get back to normal soon!

Monday ~ striped sweater from Ann Taylor Loft, black pants from The Limited and black peep toe heels from Naturalizer.
Tuesday ~ red sweater and grey pants from The Limited, black heels from Naturalizer.
Wednesday ~ tan sweater from Ann Taylor Loft, brown pants from The Limited and metallic loafers from Naturalizer.
Thursday ~ grey sweater and charcoal pants from the Gap, white cami from New York & Company, purple plaid scarf from The Limited and peep toe black heels from Naturalizer.
Friday ~ purple scarf and striped tunic sweater from Old Navy, black leggings from Banana Republic and slouchy black boots from Macy's.