Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

I came across this rendition the other day and I love it!!!

This also is a great movie. I watched it sometime last month and I loved it. It is such a sweet movie with an awesome cast. Plus I love Lea Michele and cant wait for her new CD to come out in a couple of months, I will be buying it. And as stated before I am a huge Gleek!!!

So I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Years Eve. Please do not drink and drive.

James and I are going to our favorite place for dinner and then home to just relax and chill out with some wine and such and watch the ball drop and come midnight back to bed lol!!

Cheers to a new year with new goals and successes.

Weekly Weigh In and End of the Year Recap of Weight Watchers

Well my last weigh in for 2013.  I have to say it has been a pretty good year with my weigh ins, while I didn't make it to every single meeting, I weighed in every week. I never missed a week, ever!

This year was different with my weight loss. It didn't come off as quickly as the year prior and I hit a plateau a bunch of times. It seemed like every week I was down a pound, the next week I was up. I went like this all year.

But I learned the victory isn't always celebrated on the scale. The way I look and feel makes up for it. I have lost inches in my waist, arms and thighs. I have toned up a bit and I have gone down at least 2 sizes in jeans and shirts. That is pretty amazing. My body is constantly changing this year. I really thought running was going to make the weight just drop off but I never imagined it toning my thighs, calves and ankles.

I don't have cankles anymore!!!

I learned a lot in my Weight Watchers meetings. Even though some topics were repeated, you learn so much more from those around you. I became more vocal in my meetings and speaking up and bringing some awesome creations and ideas. I participated in a walking group every Wednesday and even went on days I was running.

I spoke at numerous meetings about my weight loss and how far I have come and what got me where I am.

I might a lot of awesome people who I can consider my very dear friends. I am committed to Weight Watchers, I seriously can not see my life without it. I will be on this journey forever. James jokes well why cant we just get a scale and weigh you in here all the time. And there was a moment I thought about it, but going to the meetings, having a schedule and holding myself accountable to a certain day and time, it helps me succeed. Maybe some day I will just weigh at home, but for right now this is what I need.

After my run this morning I went over to the meeting and weighed in. To my surprise I was down .2. Now .2 is not a big number at all, but it is small victory because I ate like crap this week. Considering I was so busy with work all month, when it came to Christmas and all the goodies that come with it, I indulged. I did run every day but I indulge in cookies, chocolate and a lot of sugary chex mix. I tracked but I didn't track fully.

I nibbled a lot!!!!

But a loss no matter the amount is a loss and I am grateful and holding onto that loss. BUT I am also learning from that loss that it could be a fluke. So after today because I am going to be honest, I will be enjoying some drinks and good food tonight. I will work hard to maintain for next week and maybe have another victory.

Weekly Weigh In: -.2
Since 2011: 85.6 pounds
This year alone I have lost : 4 pounds.

But this is what 4 pounds looks like...

sorry for it being blurry, but this was New Years Eve 2012

And this was just other day...

I've come a long way....

December Run Streak Challenge Day 31: Happy New Years Eve

Holy Macaroni and Cheese Balls it is New Years Eve!!!!

I cant believe that in 11 hours the year is over...wow where did it go.

I was so busy running, it just crept right up on me.

But if you want to read my reflection on 2013, which was a pretty great one, scroll down, its the next post :0)

Okay so day 31...I originally set my alarm for 7:30 to run this morning. I knew I wanted to do at least 4 miles. 4 miles have been my go to mileage lately, plus its an easy route for me and enough to stretch out my legs. And when running 4 miles I earn about 8 activity points and burn almost 450 calories. Pretty awesome.

Well I ended up sleeping in until 830. I was having a pretty intense dream and I didn't even realize I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. Once awake I got dressed and hit the street. The weather is great for running, no humidity and just enough of a breeze. It really was the best way to end 2013.

Last year this day I started a big part of my running journey. This was the time that I really put the pedal to the medal and started the journey. On this day last year, I ran 6 miles in an hour and 13 minutes. An average pace of 12.18. This year I ran 4 miles in 43 minutes and an average pace of 10:45. What a difference a year can make.

I wanted to document my running last year into this year and I got a running journal. I was really strict with it, with writing down each and every run and how I felt, the pace, the time and the location, just all the details of it. Well I made it for most of the year and then I forgot about it. Well I back tracked and filled in based off my Runtastic App and I ended up running this whole 823.46 miles!!!!!!!


I cant even believe that I ran that much in a year. This is the girl who would never ever run. Well my goal for 2014 is to hit 1,000 miles in a year. But my goals for 2014 will be to be continued until tomorrow when the new year begins.

So one more day of my Run Streak of running at least a mile a day from December 1-January 1st!

Day 31: 4.13 miles
Total since Dec. 1st: 75.07 miles

What 2013 and Running Did To Me...

Oh 2013....what a year it was....

I have to thankfully say that there wasn't as much heartache as 2012 was, which was a nice change of pace, but 2013 has to be the year that changed my whole life. I became a brand new person this year, not only on the outside but the inside, my whole mentality and life has changed, with just a single step and a pair of shoes.

I know it sounds cliche and typical but it really did happen that way. Running has changed my life for the better and I really cant put into words how much it has. And if you know me that's pretty serious, I can put anything into words. But running, well running is better expressed by getting out there and doing it, rather than writing about it. I can sit here and tell you all the wonderful amazing things running has done for me, and don't worry I will, but what I mainly want to get across is I want you do the same thing.

With 2014, just a mere 25 hours away, take into consideration of experiencing running, start slow, start fast, start with an old pair shoes or get new ones, run down the street, run to the corner, run a 5k, run a fun run, run a half or run a full, run to get away from your life and stress and drama, run to feel something beyond what you think you can feel, run to feel close to some one or to get away...

run to feel alive, awakened and new.
run to be yourself or become someone new.
run to think clearly.
run to sweat or scream or cry.
run to music or the voices in your head or the sounds in nature.
run in the rain.
run in the heat.
run on your birthday, Christmas, any holiday.
run to eat.
run to drink.
run to feel.
run to think.
run to be you.

My main point is just run.
Run a little or run a lot.
Just experience a run, believe me you'll be thanking me by this time next year.

I started 2013 pretty strong. I had goals in place but I wasn't sure how far I was going to take them. I pretty much made 2013 all about me. I know sounds selfish but what I mean is I made 2013 the year I was going to find myself.

The beginning of the year was amazing.

I started running right away.

My friend Jacke and I had started training for St. Pete Rock and Roll and we condensed some serious training into about 5 weeks. I loved it!!!

I loved and looked forward to each and every one of our long runs. I couldn't believe I was doing this. When I ran my first 8 miles, the longest I had ever ran, EVER. I cried a bit, but after I felt pretty bad ass. I felt like I could take on the world. I signed up for R &R and I was ready. Each week we increased our mileage a little bit more. Jacke became injured but that girl stuck with me until the end.

When I did my first training run, 12 miles to exact, I cried at the end. I mean straight up sobbed. I looked to the sky and called to my dad and I cried. I mean I couldn't believe I had just ran 12 miles. Come on, ME, I DID IT! I was the girl who in High School would refuse to do the mile. It would take me almost 22 minutes to get a mile in high school, 22 minutes is almost 2.20 miles now for me. When I ran those first 12 miles, I was feeling more than bad ass, I was Bad Ass. And I was ready for that 13.1.

The next weekend we did a 13.1 training run and I couldn't wait for the race in almost 2 weeks from then. February 9, I ran my first Half Marathon ever in my whole life. The thought of running that long and that far would have never even crossed the old Angelina's mind.

I remember the day like it was just yesterday.

The feeling I had the whole time was something I could never describe, I seriously had a grin the whole entire time. It didn't hurt, I didn't get tired, I just ran, ran with over 4,000 people but I was running. I felt close to my dad that day and I know he was with me the whole time. I had a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Seeing James on the sidelines took my breath away to just know I had someone waiting and cheering me on.

And well ever since crossing that finish line, I was hooked and 13.1 was my new best friend.

Two weeks later Jacke and I ran another half marathon, just for the fun of it and do more. I loved it! I felt experienced and a veteran. I was prepared and I was taking on another one in a different city. I felt like a seasoned runner. When I would take those water or Gatorade cups, I would toss them to the ground like I was super hard core. I was out there kicking pavement and taking names. My boss and her family ran the same course and it was a very cool experience, waving and high fiving  someone who truly inspires you while your running.

After Feb. I didn't have anymore races until April when I ran Iron Girl Half Marathon. But I trained and I trained alone. Jacke suffered a really bad injury so she had to sit out some future races.

March was a hard month for me. I went home to Catskill, to be with my family since my dad's death anniversary was coming up. I don't ever want to be away from them on that day, EVER. I ran the whole time I was home on vacation. I ran a lot to keep up with my training for IG, but I also ran to be closer to my father. He used to run those same streets when he was in his prime as a child, teen and later as an adult. I wanted to keep his legacy alive and I did.

April came and so did Iron Girl. By this time my confidence was through the roof. I mean I had never in my whole life been confident, I might have come off as I was, but I put on a good show. I started to see my body change, not the weight, the weight went up two pounds, then down two pounds, etc. But my body started toning. I was trying new things, I got a gym membership, I was running more than I ever had.

I was ready for Iron Girl.

Iron Girl was a lot of fun, a great race, organization and awesome company. I ran with my boss and her gym family. They were huge supporters and inspiration. I had a PR on that run for my first mile and a record set to beat for my half's. The next day was the Boston Marathon bombing. I remember feeling so connected to these runners and hurting like them, because all runners, no matter the age, sex, race, etc, we are one community. I signed up for a memorial run around here and donated and ran in honor, we ran 2.62 miles with candles in memory.

May was Color Me Rad, which was fun but not all that it was cracked up to be. It was hot and not as much color, it was okay. Not a race I will do again. I also got my tattoo this month to signify my father. The tattoo came to me in a dream and the tattoo artist made it a reality, I'm not sure you can ever repay someone for a gift like that, he gave me my father forever in ink.

The summer months were the death of me, no races, but plenty of heat. But I managed every day off I would run some, some long runs, some short, but I ran just to run. It was my new hobby.

Clothes started feeling better on me, I started looking better and I was feeling the best I ever felt. I went home in July for a vacation and ran every day with my Uncle, all 7 days, I enjoyed their company and had a blast. I didn't use my vacation as an excuse, I used it as a result to get some mileage in. I turned 28 and as a gift for myself I ran.

I ran by my old house. I felt alive.

September 5 came and it would have been my father's birthday. I missed him a lot this year, something was missing.

My closure.

I scattered his ashes finally and released him. I scattered his ashes on his birthday before the sun came up and I ran 10 miles. The first couple of miles, I cried because I missed my father, but mainly because I finally said goodbye. I finally gave him a resting place but also I gave myself a new beginning. I know my father is with me every single day, but that day I set him free.

I also finally got fitted for new running shoes. A good pair of shoes truly changes your life.

October I just ran a lot. I finally started eating more to fuel my body. I started to be able to wear medium pants and small shirts. I was more into my running. I got up at 5 to get my long runs in. I refueled and recovered properly.

I became a better runner.

Which when November came so did the Women's Running Half. My best race yet. I PR and even made it a minute under my goal. I started in Feb with 2 hours and 45 minutes and then ended with 2 hours and 29 minutes. I went from the bottom to the top. Women's Running sparked a fire in my belly. I knew this running thing was for me.

Then I did the Turkey Trot, which now will always be a tradition in some fashion for the rest of my life.

And now December I have done a challenge to run at least one mile a day for the whole month until January 1st. 30 days done, two more to go. From December 31 and what is planned for tomorrow I would have ran 823 miles this year alone.

Can you guess what my goal in 2014 will be???

See 2013 was all about me and running.

Sure I have learned a lot this year and have grown into a better person.

I learned James and I will never be on the same page but we are going to make it work, he is my soul mate in some fashion and I cant imagine my life without him.
I learned it is okay to call your family and cry to them every 13 of the month.
I learned to let go and let be.
I learned that when you work hard, good things will come your way.
I learned that running has made me better in all aspects of my life, including my mental focus with stress and work.
I learned friendships are rare, but when you find the right few, hold on to them.
I learned to speak up for myself.
I learned I am stronger than I ever thought possible and it is okay to be weak every once and awhile, it doesn't mean I fail.
I learned its okay to still miss my dad, its only been 18 months and it is never going to get easier.
I learned people will say things about you because they are jealous.
I learned that loving someone for who they are is harder than you think.
I learned that I am more than my father's daughter and his death had a bigger impact on my life than I thought.
I learned that even though I am running, I am not necassarily lose weight. I have eat right, train hard and wait for results.
I learned that not all successes are defined by a number on the scale.
I learned that the right fitting clothes make a world of a difference.
I learned its okay to hit a rut, but just keep pushing through.
I learned that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you might not see the same person, but a better one.
I learned to see myself in a new light.
I learned I can wear shorts and tank tops and no one cares that my arms have some fat to them. No one cares or will make fun of me anymore.
I learned reading a good book changes your whole day.
I learned hitting snooze does not change the day.
I learned a good nap is very well deserved.
I learned to delegate more and not take on more than I can handle.
I learned to ask for help when I needed it.
I learned to work on my own and be on my own.
I learned it is important to hold yourself accountable, it makes a difference.
I learned I am an inspiration and motivation to others. I never thought that was possible.
I learned that family members and friends will want to follow in my footsteps.
I learned that I don't mind getting up early to run. Starting your day early is the best way.
I learned days off aren't just for laying around and being lazy, you can exercise too on those days and still enjoy the day off.
I learned it is good to separate work and home life. DON'T BRING WORK HOME.
I learned I am a big sap when it comes to emotions.
I learned that when you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Mainly I learned I am the person I was always meant to be.

2013 gave me this blog and I seriously cant imagine my life without it. Those who read this thank you.

Thank you for sitting through my rambles and thoughts and obsessions, failures, successes, joys and heartache.

Thank you mainly for just listening.

2013 was pretty life changing, but I have a feeling that in 2014 it will only be better.

I am going to take my new outlook on life and conquer the world.

Monday, December 30, 2013

December Run Streak Challenge Day 30

My run streak challenge is coming to end. I still cant believe that for 30 days straight I have ran at least one mile a day, during the busiest and most stressful time of my life with work and life in general. I am so proud of what I have done so far and succeeded in. I have two more runs to accomplish and then I think I just might take one rest day and then back at it. Its true when you don't take a rest day, you really don't need it.

Day 30 I got 4 miles in. I worked this morning and had only a half day so when I got home from work, I made a nice bowl of soup, relaxed and even took a two hour nap. It felt great to just nap in the middle of the afternoon and no interruptions what so ever, I woke up when I felt like it and felt great. Around 5, I put on my running clothes and went for a nice run. The weather was perfect, not too cold and not hot at all. I paid attention to my breathing and how I was feeling while running rather than anything else. I was running about every 13 minutes then walked for a minute. It felt good. I have come a long way for sure.

Day 30 in the books now I am doing some cleaning and relaxing for the rest of the night!

Day 30: 4.00 miles
Total since Dec 1: 70.94 miles

Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks

I am not a film critic at all. I go to movies based off pure emotion and probably because of who is staring in the film. I love all kinds of films, comedies, romance, history, kind of like foreign, etc. Last night James and I were kind of on the outs, I needed to just get away for a bit so I decided to go see Saving Mr. Banks. I love the movie Mary Poppins and remembered how much as a kid it made me happy. I also love Tom Hanks and anything with him is bound to be fantastic.

We usually go to a Regal theater because I have a Regal Crown card which earns you points which turn into a free soda, popcorn or movie. I had a free movie one and Saving Mr. Banks was not a no pass movie so I was able to see it. The movie was playing pretty late, but I figured what the heck. A 2 hour movie would be the same if I was staying home late.

I brought in some snacks with me because I wanted to be good. I know it isn't the nicest thing to do but I have a big purse so it works for me. I popped some fat free popcorn before I left and divided it into two baggies and also brought some strawberries as my "candy". I packed some of those addicting Hickory Farms mints too. I always need something to munch on in a movie, I just have to make the best choices available to me. I still buy a small diet coke.

Going to the movies by myself does not bother me at all. I actually enjoy it. My Poppy used to go with me all the time and sometimes he would go by himself after I left the nest, still does. He taught me that. He goes out to dinner and breakfast and everything by himself at times. I do the same. I don't get scared or wonder what people will think. I still want to enjoy things that mean the most to me. James apparently hates going to the movies, he told me this yesterday. So I will be seeing lots of movies by myself and I am okay with that. I get to go on my time and my terms.

Saving Mr. Banks was way more than a movie about Mary Poppins. It was the behind the signs movie with much more of a meaning attached to it. It dealt with the author who created Mary Poppins and why it meant so much to her. Her attachment to the characters and why she made them the way they are. Mr. George Banks, the father in the movie of Mary Poppins, was based off her own father, which she had a deep love and affection towards.

They had a connection like no other. Her father dealt with alcoholism and death. It was one of those movies that I think I was truly meant to see. I don't want to go into detail about the whole movie because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. But this movie was meant for me to see, alone. I feel my dad pushed me a bit to see this movie. The meaning behind it was my whole life on the big screen. I couldn't believe it and if you know me, see the movie and you will understand.

I cried, I laughed and I smiled. Everything I wanted to get out of a movie and then some. I found a piece of myself in that movie, that I didn't think I would. I walked out of there with a deep emotion I didn't know was capable. See the movie for yourself, please do.

I really want to see Mary Poppins again and read the book.

And remember take time for yourself, go out to dinner, spa, or a movie, you might amaze yourself what you find or learn when your on your own...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Run Streak Challenge Day 29

Today wasn't much of an exciting day at all. It rained this morning so I put off raining until tonight. Then when I finally got home from work I was exhausted, I don't know if it was the weather or everything is catching up to me, but I needed a nap. So I took one and I was knocked out.

After my nap it was dark out but the rain stopped so I went for a quick 1 mile run. It felt like just a mile too, I was having complications with my pants falling down and it was dark. I was trying to focus on the road and not trip. It just wasn't a good run, but I got it over with and done with. Tomorrow I am going to run after work again because I have more time after work I believe. I raced today because I thought James was coming home from work and we were going to eat and everything but it turns out he met up with friends. We are in a funk I think.

Some days we are great and then some days we are just not so great. I know he had a bad day at work and I just cant handle negative people. And he can get so negative. It just isn't in my nature, so I remove myself from the situation and I think I am going to do that by going to a movie.

I made some really yummy turkey chili that I am about to dig into and doing some laundry and then I will head to the movies. I don't mind going alone at all. I actually enjoy it. I am independent and I can sit in a dark room alone with other people just fine. I really want to see Saving Mr. Banks and I have  a free movie coupon to use. I will even sneak in some fat free popcorn to seal the deal.

I probably wont get home until late but hey you only live once right. Plus tomorrow should be a quick and easy day at work, that's what naps and coffee are for anyway.

Hope everyone had a great Sunday and enjoyed it.

Day 29: 1.00 mile
Total since Dec. 1: 66.94

A rainy Sunday Morn

Well its early for me this Sunday morning and when I woke up to my surprise it was raining. I was all set up for my Day 29 run streak, even had my clothes laid out, but it was super windy, cold and rainy and well I just was not having it this morning. I know I know its only rain and I will sweat anyway, BUT I HATE running in the rain. I have gotten stuck in rain storms, one too many times, I will wait until after work today to get my run in. It will probably be a small and quick one, but I will get it in.

So after I woke up I of course tried to go back to sleep and gain a couple of more minutes but my brain was up and thousands of things started running through them this morning. Very random things, such as...

I really need to do my laundry, it just keeps piling and piling up and even though I was off this weekend, I neglected it. I did get two loads done, but I was having a much better time off, shopping, blogging, and running. I mean aren't days off suppose to be that way.

I am very happy that I have lots of other days off this week, so I can do that, catch up on house work and possibly start taking down the Christmas decorations. I want to keep the tree up until after the New Year, we always did that at my house, I want to keep the tradition the same.

I am renewing my Runner's World subscription today. I can not live without that magazine and thinking about signing up for Women's Running also. Another great publication. Its funny my magazines I get now are Women's Health, Fitness, RW, Self and About You, all deal with healthy, beauty and running. Before it was Rachael Ray and Cosmo. My have my thought process and likes have changed. I was thinking about getting WW too, but I can buy that easily at my meeting location, I would rather give them the business.

Speaking of WW, I am debating when to weigh in, it usually is Tuesday's but because of my crazy schedule I weighed in on Monday last week, so I will have one extra day to make a difference. I hope I am down just a bit this week, but I will not be surprised if I am not. I have eaten a lot of snacks lately. Trail mix, chocolate covered pineapple, couple of desserts at Christmas, some gingerbread, low fat egg nog and we ate out a bunch this week, Chinese and Chipotle. I have ran every day and I am drinking water, but I am not sure that will help. These next few days I am really focusing. But if I am up, I am up! I can knock it down next week.

James and I had a great night last night. We were going to go to the movies but he was exhausted from work, so we went to Chipotle, I told ya, I am loving it lately and then some grocery shopping. I had to drag him there but we made it through. Then we received the Hangover 3 in our Netflix, so we watched that. All of our shows are off until February so we have been watching lots of movies, which is nice. I love nights in with each other. We are thinking about seeing American Hussel tonight. I love Jennifer Lawerence and Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper and the era it is placed in. I am hoping I get out of work early today so we can see it and I am still able to get a run in.

I am super excited for New Years this year. I know the same old thing, new beginnings, letting go of the past, fresh start. Yes I am excited for all that, but I just love the new year, new things to look forward too. And I have a blog post coming up of not just resolutions but goals and bucket list items I want to do. Just things I want to do this year more of.

Oh and plus on New Years Eve and Day, SciFy runs a Twilight Zone marathon all day long. I love the Twilight Zone marathon. I am totally fine with placing myself in front of it all day long and watching it, even if I have seen practically every one. It never gets old for me.

Well now that I have gotten all my random thoughts on the screen, I am not going to enjoy my breakfast and coffee and head to work.

Two things making me smile this morning...

My Princesses wear Running Shoes shirt from James's mom


New Greek Yogurt from Yoplait that is only 2pp. It is very good. Sold only at Target.

Talk to you later about Day 29

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December Run Streak Day 28 and my Saturday Off

I haven't had a Saturday off in over a month, to some it might not seem like a big deal but working in retail it really is a big deal, let alone having two days off in a row. I love having a Saturday off because I feel like I can actually go and do some things. Plus it is a really good way to get a longer run in.

I love running downtown because there are so many people doing the same thing, it is a never ending support and motivation. People high fiving, running by, smiling, wishing you words of encouragement, etc. Plus just seeing people doing the same as me, better, stronger and faster, is a huge motivation for me. I seriously enjoy running downtown because it is so beautiful. It is right on the water and sometimes you can see dolphins, manatees, pelicans, etc. Its really nice. If your ever in the St. Petersburg, Florida area, make sure you check it out.

So I went downtown and ran 5 miles. It felt nice, but very humid. I was hoping it would be cooler but of course Florida winters are not the same. I was glad I decided to wear my new clothes James gave me for Christmas. The pants and shirt matched perfectly and fit great. I cant believe the shirt is a small.

 I am a small!

 I cant even imagine. I used to fit perfectly into men's smalls, now women's smalls fit with even some room. It is a big success on my behalf. I wore my Under Armour hat to complete my look. Oh and James got me specific running underwear this year and I tried them out, LOVE THEM. I never knew I would need special underwear, but let me say, it makes a huge difference.

I still cant believe that I am the same person in that photo. It surprises me every day with how far I have come. I have never looked this good in my life.

I love my new watch. It is perfect.  It makes running so much easier when I don't have to reach around and try to see my phone on my arm. Plus I like to view my pace, which is helping me stay on track. I like the pace I had, I did have to pause for a bit because my bladder strikes and I need to use the bathroom.

I am beat red, dripping in sweat and smell horrible, but I wouldn't want to spend my Saturday morning any other way.

Since I was downtown I decided to hit up the Saturday Morning Market, which I love to attend when I can, that way I can get some fresh produce at awesome prices. The market was packed, so I just went to the one stand I wanted to visit and then left. I picked up some tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, summer squash, bananas and lemons, all for 13 dollars. Cant go wrong with that, i would probably spend double in the store.  I was hoping to get spaghetti squash and some more fruit, but nothing looked too good. There is always next week.

After the market I went to Starbucks to refuel with some coffee and one of my good friends, Jacke, works right next door, so I got a surprise coffee for her since she had to work on a Saturday. We are both so busy with work and she is in nursing school, we hardly can get together anymore with running or working out. I am making a point to put it on my goal list for 2014 this year. It was nice to chat for a bit with her. 

My favorite running store is right down the street from there so I figured I would pop in to see what was new and exciting. I just love going in there to just be a part of it. I really didn't need anything. I have all the bars and GU's I needed but of course I did find a hat I had to have lol.

I loved the color and the material and I know I will use it. As much as I love running wearing headbands, hats have become a new favorite of mine also. Plus on days off when I just want to do nothing with my hair, always wear a hat.

Since I was downtown I figured I would use a Groupon I had bought a while ago for the clothing store, Revolve. It is a consignment store that sells new and gently used clothing. I got the Groupon for 10.00 which gave me a 20.00 credit. I normally shop at Plato's Closet, which is the same concept, so I figured I would give it a try. I found the clothes to be just blah and quit pricey for second hand. I couldn't find too much, but I did find a new leopard headband, some grey work pants and two pairs of boots. Because I have such big calves, I have given up on the fact I can wear calve boots, but these heights work really nicely for me. They were inexpensive so I didn't feel so bad. 

After my Groupon I only paid 7.00 which was basically the cost of the black boots, I can wear them to work also, which is what I was looking for. You know for the days I just might want to dress up a bit.

I probably wont go back there again and I will continue to stick to Plato's Closet. They are more my style and way cheaper, which for clothes I appreciate considering I am still changing sizes here and there.

I have a deep, kind of scary obsession with CVS. 

I seriously love CVS! 

I would almost go as far as saying it could be one of my favorite stores. I find any excuse to go there and I get everything there, mainly because of the awesome coupon policy they have and coupons they give me and of course the Extra Bucks I receive. I sometimes buy things just for Extra Bucks, which I know isn't great when I am trying to be on a budget, but I use the Extra Bucks for household items, stuff for myself or gifts. I can rack up some serious Extra Bucks. So I figured why not let me go pick up some things. I needed Bobby Pins anyway for my hair. I had 18.00 in Extra Bucks to use, so I searched some of their clearance items.

I got this key and letter holder for only 2.99. I am hoping this can keep us more organized and sane because right now we have letters and mail everywhere. It fit perfectly on our wall, as you can see were just using nails before to hang up our keys. Here's too a new year!

I was walking down the aisle randomly and I found this in the DVD section, which was super small, so I took it as a sign that I needed to have it. Ghost is my favorite movie of all time and as a kid I would watch it over and over. In High School, one of my best guy friends, which back then I had a major crush on, got me this movie for Christmas along with a stuff teddy bear, after I had mentioned it was my favorite. He left it on my front porch, so sweet. This movie brings back so many memories for me, it is a cheesy love story, but I could watch  it over and over. Before I only had the VHS, which we cant watch anymore, so I was happy to upgrade. And since I was using Extra Bucks, I knew it would be basically free.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I thought these were cute to get for New Years Eve, even though we aren't going anywhere special, I still enjoy being festive.

And I found some Clean and Clear product that was 1.74, the same for the hair product. Normally they run at least 7.00 a piece and it is all stuff I will use. I have been wanting to try Not Your Mother's product too, I was excited to see it with Got2B on clearance and then of course I got my Bobby Pins. Also picked up some water and gum, to make my whole purchase after the 18.00 extra bucks, only 12.10, cant got wrong with that.

I was thinking about going to Marshall's to see if I could find that Run, Cheaper than Therapy shirt but my stomach was not having it, I was starving and getting a bit tired, so I went home. I unloaded all my goodies and took a nice warm shower.

I didn't feel like eating a whole lot so I threw together a salad that turned out to be amazing.

I threw together some bagged lettuce, cherry tomatoes, a tablespoon of Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus, 2 tablespoons of Salsa, some Siracha, 5 lightly breaded Perdue Chicken Nuggets and a tablespoon of some Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese. I didn't even need dressing it was so good. And so quick. 6pp.

I was craving something a little crunchy still, so I paired my lunch with some Simple Trek Mix from Trader Joe's and a diet sprite and a water (not pictured)

 A nice, healthy lunch.

The mix is only 

Now finishing up some laundry, might read a bit and then take a nap, mainly just because I have the time and I can! Tonight I think James and I are going to the movies for a little date night. 

Sorry for the rambling and the long post, I am really enjoying my days off.

Day 28 Miles: 5.00
Total since December 1: 65.94

Friday, December 27, 2013

Clearance, Gift Cards, Shopping: Oh My

I was off today and where did I end up, back at the mall. This time doing some serious shopping. I was going to put it off until tomorrow but I love getting gift cards and seriously after Christmas sales are pretty fantastic. And I had some coupons to go along with my gift cards.

After my run today I got some paperwork and errands done, such as the post office and bank. By this time it was almost 2 and even though I only had a Quest Bar for breakfast, I know not the greatest breakfast, I was starved. So I treated myself to Panera because I was given a gift card and it is my favorite place to eat.

Once I was fueled after my chicken noodle soup and Thai Chicken Salad off the Pick 2 menu, with a small side bread. I forgot to say an apple, oh well, the bread was warm and delicious, I really wanted it. After that I headed over to the mall and it was a freaking zoo. I forget how busy it is after Christmas for the rest of the mall. Kids are out of school, lots of people on vacation and sales like crazy, everyone using their gift cards and such. In my business we don't really get crazy busy because you cant return engraved gifts and we don't sell gift cards. We are strictly at times just occasion driven.

I started my gift card usage in Macy's, scooping out what I might have wanted. I spotted a Betsey Johnson purse, it actually found me. I didn't want to commit right away, so I walked out to the mall and did my rounds.

I went to JcPenney's and used my gift card for a new pair of work out pants and top, animal print themed of course. Then found some brightly covered tights on sale for only 2.00 and picked them up. I want to get out of a comfort zone with clothes and I know this will help. I used my 25.00 gift card and a 10.00 coupon and got all of these for 2.30.

After Christmas I always get a new calendar. I seriously love love new calendars and of course a running one. I had one last year and loved it and it is what I have been tracking my run streak on. I picked up a pull away desk one also to give some variety and it was motivational. I love anything that is inspirational and motivational. The calendars were all 50% off. So I got the two for 16.00.

I don't shop at American Eagle often because I tend to find them a little expensive and their clothes and quality aren't what I remember. But I went it because the sign said additional 50 off of clearance, so I figured I would poke around. Found they had work out gear  and I really loved this color, and they were in my size and half off. So I got a pair for only 10.00. So worth checking them out.

Hickory Farms in the mall means Christmas and Holiday to me. And after Christmas everything goes to 50% off with them. They usually sell out like crazy, so I was happy I could snag what I really wanted this year. Did I need these, NOPE! But I really wanted them and its nice to have for the New Years Eve, staying in night we might be having. Beware if you get the mints, they are addicting and absolutely delicious! The meat and cheese ball are nice treats for James. He loves stuff like this, as do I.

I went to Old Navy and made out pretty good too. The jeans are destroyed look jeans in a smaller size and the animal print flats are perfect for work and were on clearance also. The shirts were 75% off, so they came down to 5.00 a piece. I love their performance fleeces and even more for 5.00. I cant wear them a bunch in Florida but when I got home to visit or if we crank the AC up really high or at the movies, it is always so cold there. I got all of these for 16.10 after my 25. 00 gift card AND I got a cash card for 10.00 that I can use in the end of January, which I will stock up on my more clearance with. I love Old Navy because they are so inexpensive and have gotten super cute lately.

Before I moved to Florida I worked at a Yankee Candle and I became obsessed with candles and everything about them. Even 5 years after no longer working for them, I still love them and especially their after Christmas sale. I love their car products and making my car smell extra fantastic. The car jars go down to 75 cents and the air vents to 1.37, I had to stock up. I seriously think I might go back to get more. Their candles were all half off too, but I used a coupon a couple months ago and stocked up then. But the air fresheners are definitely worth checking out more of. I got all of these for 10.00 bucks. Here is to the sweet smell of victory.

My mom surprised me with a Payless gift card which I was thankful for because I can get more cute flats for work. I already have these in Silver for work, so I was excited to see them in black. I can wear them with  everything and they are dressy with out look over done. I also picked up this cute headband because it reminds me of something I had been seeing on Etsy for way less. After the clerk gave me a 20 % off coupon I got both for free, after my 20.00 gift card. BONUS!

Making my way out to my car, I went through Macy's again and found my purse. I knew I had to get because I saw one of my really good friends, Melissa there and she said it was definitely a me purse. And informed me of a 15% off coupon I could use with it. When scanning the purse and finding it was even less on sale and with the 15 % off coupon and using a 25.00 Macy's gift card and a 25.00 Visa Gift Card, I got the best deal of the day...

I got this beautiful, reminds me of something I pinned on Pinterest, Betsey Johnson, originally 98.00 purse for only .13 cents!!!!!!!!! I have never!!!! I was so happy!! Even the lady was shocked and she said "you kill me"

This was so great. I love clearance and coupons and good deals. I rarely ever buy anything full price and this was my best savings ever!!

Well I made it out of the mall with my arms and hands killing me from all my bags, I decided to use one more gift card for TJMaxx since it was on the way home. I was tired, hungry, ( I broke open the mints, bad idea) and thirsty, I am like a darn cactus today, but my shopping fire was still burning.

I love TJMaxx, Marshalls and Home Goods all the same. You can seriously find some awesome items there and with a gift card it is heaven. I don't shop there a lot, but I have made out every time I go. I was a little beat to go through the home area and clothing, so I went to my favorite part, the work out section. And found these awesome items...

I have tried to find a shirt like this on Etsy, Amazon and they were expensive. So I was so stoked when I found this. They had a couple different ones with work out sayings, such like Run, Cheaper Than Therapy, which of course I really wanted, but it was sold out in my size, such a bummer. But I am now on the hunt for it. I got this water bottle because I have been eyeing it up forever, it is a waist one, of course in pink, which I think will be better than the other fuel ones I have had.

Well that was my haul from the mall and TJMaxx. I did pretty darn well, if I do say so myself. Now we are going to use a Groupon we had for dinner at a pizza place by us, which also happens to be right next to a Target. Its like it is meant to be, but James is tired, so I have to be quick. I kind of know what I want and looking for, but I always get suckered in.

Hope everyone had a Fantastic Friday!!

What kind of savings have you had after Christmas???

December Run Streak Challenge Day 27

It is a nice, rainy day off here in my world. I really don't mind the rain, as long as I am not running in it. I actually got to sleep in for a bit today and then decided to get my run over with early rather than later today. And I am glad I did because it has been raining ever since I got back.

I had planned on waking up and just laying around but I figured I might as well get going so I can take my time this afternoon and enjoy it and not worry about getting my run in. I have some errands and retail therapy to attend to today.

I got in 4.04 miles today. My legs and body felt a little heavy and I walked a bit more than I had planned. I can tell my body is starting to feel a bit tired, but not enough to throw in the towel. Plus I have come so far, cant give up now. So I took the walks a bit here and there but made it through Day 27.

I am really loving my watch too. It alerts me of my miles also. I hate to give up my Runtastic App but my watch does everything the app does and more accurate. I am using the App until the end of the run streak and then I will use it here and there. Right when I got to my front door step, the rain started happening and I took it as a sign, I was meant to run earlier rather than later.

Now that I started Phase 1 of my apartment cleaning, I'm going to take a break and head to the mall to use some of my gift cards. Not a huge fan of going back to the mall on my day off, but at least I am not working.

Have a great day!

Day 27: 4.04 miles
Total since December 1: 60.94

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day Recap

Christmas is seriously one, if not my favorite holiday. I love everything about it and even at 28, I am still super excited for what the day will bring on Christmas morning. I was up earlier than I had hoped, which allowed me though to get my Christmas Eve post up and around 8:30, I finally woke up James.

We brewed ourselves some coffee, put on some Christmas Pandora and I started setting our Christmas presents at our couches. We started with our Stockings first, usually I do that last but James suggested first, so I just went with it. I got him so much for his stocking I had to put it into two stockings lol.

He made out like a bandit. I got him plenty of candy, even some candy coal, socks he asked for, suspenders he asked for and a surprise DVD of the Internship. We saw the movie days before and he mentioned he really liked it, so I surprised him and he sure was.

My stocking was filled with running socks, running headbands and my Animal print watch I had asked for.

I very much love it!!! It is all things that are me. I was shocked.

After our stockings we took turns on opening each other's gifts. James got personalized golf balls, video games for his PS4, and some Redskins gear, I know he would never think I would get him, such as a Redskins tie. I was so happy I found that. He works in a clothing store and has to wear suits, so a tie is a must and for Sunday's when the Skins play, I thought that would be perfect, he thought the same.

I made out fantastic. He got me running gear from Target, which is my favorite, and Under Armour and Puma running shirts. He was so happy to show me the Wonder Women one.

 He said I am such a strong person, it made him think of me. Am I truly blessed or what?!! And of course as stated in yesterday's post, I got my Garmin Forerunner, which I nearly jumped up and down about.

Then we opened our gifts from our mother's and family members back home. My Aunt got me some awesome running and work out gear, other Aunt and Poppy so graciously gave me money and my mom hooked me up with some gift cards, homemade Gingerbread cookies, iced even, and some of my favorite requested gifts from Trader Joe's.

I am so spoiled even at 28, it is a pretty awesome feeling. 

I can not wait to use these gift cards. I already have set up the Amazon one. I am getting a Expense Tracker, for 2014. I really want to settle down and stick to a budget and I think it will help and I got a phone case, which are all suppose to arrive the beginning of the year. Perfect timing.

I love gift cards because I can really get what I want. I make a list too of things I want to get and full fill. I swear I am a child.

James's mom always sends me tons of gifts. It is so sweet and nice of her, she spoils me so much. I am so lucky to have them in my life. She got me gift cards, ornaments, a bracelet, etc. Tons of goodies. And she gave James and I joint gifts, like this amazing Lunch Crockpot and Mug Warmer. I am in serious heaven.

The candy is all James. 

Then today when I got home from work we had another package from his mom waiting for us and I got more stuff.
I am obsessed and floored with the gifts she gave me. I love LOVE that shirt and cant wait to wear it. The magnet says Angie Runs Like A Girl and Proud of it. And she got me a coaster and a style caddy for my hair stuff. She spoils me so much, I can never repay her. 

After we did our gifts we just hung out. I was tired and made my phone calls to my family and Poppy to thank them for everything. Then James and I went to his Grandmother's house for lunch. I made him put on a Santa hat and be festive with me.

The hat is so him and it was a big hit. He seriously will do anything to make me happy. We have come such a long way.

Once we were nice and full from lunch we came back to our place and I passed out for 2 hours for a nap. James played his video games. Around 5, I went for my run and then we ordered Chinese, which was delivered, so I never had to get out of my sweats. And as a family tradition and in loving memory of my dad, we watched It's A Wonderful Life.

I, of course cried like a baby, missing my dad. I swear I hope it gets easier, cause right now it seems so much harder.

This quote reminds me of my father very much. I feel that he felt that no one loved him, he was a burden to us all, but in reality he was the glue that held us all together. T

his movie was my father, and I know now that he is gone, how much it mimicked his own life. I just wish he had a Clarence to show him the way. I will watch this movie every year in memory of my father.

I know my dad is an Angel now...hope he gets his wings soon.

After drying my tears and my heart full with love from the day, I was exhausted and feel asleep.

It was a great Christmas and just the best relaxing and joyous day I could have ever asked for.

December Run Streak Challenge:Day 26

It's the day after Christmas, which means I of course work, but this time not in my store, working at another location, which is a nice change of pace. I had to be there at 9:00 am, so I decided instead of waking up early and running, I wanted to sleep in a bit. But of course I didn't get to sleep in because an associate of mine called me super early forgetting their keys, so I had to bring mine to the store.

I was so sleepy so when I got back I crawled back in bed to just lay down for a bit more. Then I headed off to work and got home around 545. Once I got home I got into my running gear. Ever since last night my stomach has been so crazy. We had Chinese last night as our Christmas tradition and it really messed up my stomach. All day I felt wacky and my stomach was nauseous and just weird. It's amazing, you have one bad cheat meal or a couple of days and it really shows how much I have changed my eating habits.

So all day my stomach was crazy, so I only decided to run a mile because my legs and stomach were really messing with me. I couldn't move as fast I wanted and I felt like puking. I got the mile in and then called it a night with the running. Back to it tomorrow but I did get day 26 in.

I am very happy to be off the next two days. Like seriously happy!!

Day 26: 1 mile
Total since Dec 1: 56.90

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December Run Streak Challenge Day 25: Merry Christmas

Okay so this post will be short and sweet, because we are about to go grab some food and later I have a nice post reflecting Christmas I want to write, but for now I have to get my Run Streak on.

Well much to my surprise I was given an amazing running accessory for Christmas, I secretly was wishing for....

Woohoo!!! My running watch and in pink!!!!! I looked online and they seemed sold out, but I asked James awhile ago and really didn't think I would get it. He is the absolute best and I cant imagine a better and bigger supporter in my life than him. He treats me like gold and supports my healthy lifestyle and running, it really, truly makes me the luckiest girl on the face of the planet.

So I waited to get my run streak on until after our lunch and a long winters nap I took. I was just beat, but when I got up I was ready to run. I grabbed my phone and my new watch and hit the street. I still used my Runtastic app because it alerted me at each mile and I wanted to compare the two, the Garmin was definitely more on point. I loved the watch, it is simple, and fits great, light weight and made me feel like a true runner. It also has the run/walk alerts you can set, which is awesome!!

The pink color of course is so me. After my run, I was able to save the history and I set a new record and fastest mile, of course considering it was my first time I had great results.

I got in 4.03 miles.

I had a nice, easy pace and run. Nothing too hard and the weather was perfect. I ran down some streets that had beautiful Christmas lights and I listened to my Christmas Pandora station. It was a great way to get exercise in on the holiday. 

I seriously can not wait to run more with this watch, I am so blessed.

Day 25: 4.03 miles
Total since December 1: 55.90 miles

Christmas Eve Recap

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I will probably have multiple posts today because I finally have a day off and Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and I have so much to write about, I will just break it up into multiple posts haha.

So first I will just recap on my Christmas Eve, which was fantastic, even though I worked and of course didn't get out on time. Christmas Eve at my job of course is just busy and it was a lot more busier than I expected but we survived and I survived without tears or any meltdowns. I remember my first Christmas Eve as a store manager, I was at our engraver machine, sobbing uncontrollably because it was so busy and people were just so mean because we couldn't get it done on time. Or last year when I told a customer we couldn't do her item, she flipped me off and said F-You. At least this year I had none of that! And my sales associate actually kicked me out when I stayed 30 minutes after my shift, which was nice.

My festive work attire!

After work I desperately needed to get my eyebrows waxed. I literally had little caterpillars sitting on my face and then I went and got James some last minute stocking stuffer gift he was hinting towards. Then we headed over to his Dad's house for our Christmas Eve gift exchange and dinner. We have been doing it every year since I have moved down here and I really look forward to it.

In my family, every Christmas Eve we would go to my Aunt Margaret's for Christmas Eve, so I like that here I have a similar tradition. I miss home something fierce around this holiday, especially because it was my one day to spend with my family for the whole day of each. See after my parents divorced I still did Christmas Eve with my mom and Aunt and then Christmas Day with my dad and Poppy. And since I moved that all of course changes. And with my Dad gone, well we know...

But anyway, we had a nice time last night at James's Dads. We had lasagna from a local Italian market, which was delicious. I had two pieces because well, I was hungry, I didn't eat anything all day at work, which I know is bad, but I wanted to enjoy dinner and the holiday. We had Cesar salad and tons of desserts. One of which was an Edible Arrangement that James's sister, Libby sends to the house every year. I love fruit and fruit with chocolate is a win win for me. Since there so much we always get some to bring home with us. Nom Nom Nom.

We opened presents and took tons of pictures by their beautiful tree. I got the cutest ornaments from them and a coffee mug set, which of course we will put to good use. After the festivities and feeling very full and relaxed and content, James and I took his grandmother home. On the ride home she made the comment that all she wanted for Christmas was to have her whole family together. It warmed my heart, one because she considers me apart of her family and two, how beautiful and simple that is. It shouldn't be about the presents, even though they are nice and thoughtful but about who you spend it with. And I am so grateful and blessed that even though I cant be with my immediate family I can spend it with open arms with James's.

When we got home I immediately put our presents around the tree, because I am very much a child when it comes to this holiday and just like a tradition I had growing up we each picked out a gift to give to each other and open. 

James got me a smoothie maker! I was completely shocked he knew I really wanted something like that. I can not wait to make all the smoothies and protein shakes my heart desires. He even sparked interest in doing the same with it. We have a small blender now that is so hard to make good smoothies and shakes, so this is amazing.

I gave James his Redskin fleece throw to open. I know if we ever move into a house or an apartment with more than one room, he will have a Redskin Man Cave and I am just preparing it now. Plus we love blankets in our house, I mean we keep the AC cranking most of the year, lol.

Then James gave me my Jingle Jammies. Meaning a new set of PJ's for Christmas morning and to have. I swear he is not the man I met years ago, he would never do silly things like this. I am so happy and touched he has adapted to my silly ways and gives in. He truly makes me so happy.

We watched Twas The Night Before Christmas and then passed out, we were exhausted.

Of course my first day off after 9 crazy days and I cant sleep in. I tried but tossed and turned and now I am up and onto my first cup of coffee. I was going to get my run in but I just want to take advantage of just relaxing for a bit. I will run later tonight, probably after my nap. James keeps asking me if I am going for a run, I have a sneaky feeling there might be a running accessory I asked for under that tree.

I lit my Christmas candles and I'm just waiting to wake him up so we can open our gifts from each other and our family. The rest of the day we are just relaxing, going for lunch with his family and just enjoying the day together. I will face time with my family and call my Poppy.

So be continued on this Christmas Day...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December Run Streak Day 24, Merry Christmas Eve

First off I can not believe it is Christmas Eve AND that I have ran at least 1 mile every day since December 1st. If anyone has worked retail, you know how crazy this time of year is and especially when your in management. You are not only dealing with the mean, rude, demanding customers, BUT also a whole staff that most of the time is 3x what you normally have in your store. At my job we also deal with engraving our product, outside product, online orders, home office orders, etc. Plus paperwork, schedules and just squeezing in enough time to just breath. I hardly ever got to sit down and when I did it was to eat something really fast or just to sit for 5 minutes to regain my thoughts. Despite how crazy it is I love my job and this time of year. It makes the days go faster, it is fun and this year I was blessed with a lot of customers who were just so nice and really enjoyed the gifts we provided them with. I cried with a lot of customers as the holiday season was tough on them because they had lost someone very close, or were not sure if this was going to be the last Christmas with their loved one. I celebrated new weddings, engagements and births with my customers. New loves or anniversaries, it really is a fun time of year, despite how long the hours and difficult the days become. But I am glad that after 4pm today it is over and I can go back to my normal life, which I am not sure was ever really normal.

Back to my run streak. Every day I ran at least 1 mile and everyone that read would know that. I either did it before work or after, but I did it. And I have to say I am pretty darn impressed with myself, because I really didn't think I would make it the whole time. I was tired and beat a lot of the days, but the running I think made me stronger and more focused. And this is the first Holiday season I really felt good going into the final day. Am I  exhausted, YES!! Am I done with it all, YES! But am I beaten like normal, NOPE! This morning I almost threw in the towel, I just wanted an hour more of sleep and the thought of going after work crossed my head because I get out at 4 today. But then I thought, well if we are slammed I have to stay, or what if something happens and we are going to James's family tonight, I didn't want to be late because I needed to get a mile in.

So I sucked it up and went out there and did my mile. Surprisingly the weather is perfect, not too cold and not hot at all. I literally ran for the mile and back. It felt good in my lungs and woke me up and I know later I will thank myself for doing that this morning.

Well I am working and then celebrating. I am sure I will post more later and reflect the joy of my night.

Hope everyone enjoys their Christmas Eve and if you are last minute shopping, please be kind to us, we have had a long couple of weeks and most of us are at our breaking point, don't break us, bare with us, we want to help you more than anything, but we want to do it in one piece!!


One of my favorite Christmas movies!!

Day 24 miles: 1
Total since Dec 1st: 51.87 miles