November 26, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...


Thanksgiving is unusually late this year and while I'm usually a staunch opponent of decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, the late start to the Christmas season this year has actually had me itching for Christmas.

Guys, this is huge. I'm a giant grinch so for me to be getting excited for Christmas is a BFD.

This weekend, The Pilot and I are going to decorate for Christmas. We were planning on going out and buying a tree and then making the trip to target to spend a fortune on Christmas decorations until we came home one day to find that his parents had quite literally bought us Christmas.

They sent us a tree, lights, ornaments, an angel, a tree skirt...everything. It was amazing. It was so unbelievably thoughtful of them to realize that we don't have any of this stuff and that it's expensive and to send it our way.

So I'm excited to put up the tree, drink hot chocolate, and watch Elf and Love Actually (my two favorite Christmas movies).

I'm also excited to spend hours on the internet doing my Christmas shopping and avoiding all of the crowds. I've been eyeing all of the gift guides out there and am starting to put together my Christmas list. While I'm doing that though, I have a Christmas list of my own that I've put together, so here's my list of things on my 'Dear Santa' list...

This bag from C Wonder. It's my favorite color and it has my initial on it! I have a Longchamp bag but it has short straps and no zipper. This chic bag is perfect for work or every day.

A bright colorful blazer for work. I love the idea of taking a regular staple-wear item and making it bright and bold.

A double dipper crock pot. I am a vegetarian. The Pilot is not. Dinner in our house can get tricky. My sister has been trying to convince me to buy a slow cooker for months, but I never saw the point given the differences in our diets. Then, I found out about this guy.

When The Pilot and I went out and bought our wedding bands, I spotted this sport watch in the jewelry case and fell in love. (My dad would be so proud.) I was surprised at how much I love it because I actually hate rose gold, but I think it looks really nice on the white rubber strap. I only have one watch that my dad bought me for my college graduation and I love it, but it's really dressy and I would love a sport watch to wear when I'm not quite so dressed up (one that doesn't clock my pace per mile).
A simple pair of nice, flats for work. I always buy super cheap flats and they fall apart within months. Since flats are the go-to shoe of just about everyone who uses public transportation, a new pair of flats that will last me longer than one season would be great. I love the idea of bright, bold flats too though. I'm really into bright colors this year.

So that's that. There isn't anything I really need this year. There are a lot of kitchen appliances and things that I want, but I'll save those things for my bridal registry! Right now, I finally have a job that I love and am excited to dress up for, so I just want fun work clothes!

So what's on your Christmas (Holiday) list this year?

November 21, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. 11/22/63 - This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the JFK Assassination. Over the last week, tons of specials have aired shedding light on the conspiracy theory and everyone is coming out of the woodwork to talk about what happened on that day. I've always had a fascination with the JFK Assassination and am reading/watching/listening to everything talking about it right now. Earlier this year, the Newseum launched an exhibit on JFK and I've been to it twice...and am planning to bring my mom their next week when she's in town.

This time last year, I read Stephen King's latest book on the subject, 11/22/63, about a man who goes back in time to stop the assassination. While obviously fiction, the book was heavily based on fact and was really interesting. Last night, The Pilot and I watched the National Geographic film, Killing Kennedy, which provided interesting insight into Lee Harvey Oswald, but otherwise wasn't very well done. Either way, I'm excited to curl up this weekend and keep reading/watching all of the things about Kennedy.

2. Knee Update - For a blog that is primarily about running, I sure haven't talked much about well, running since my decision to withdraw from the Marine Corps Marathon. I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with tendinitis with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and 4 weeks of PT. This is exactly what I wanted. I don't have any race plans in the near future (not until March or April) so I'm hoping that this will help me get better and get in prime shape to tackle my next 26.2 because damn it, that sub-4 elephant on my back is really weighing me down.

3. DC Living - The Pilot and I renewed the lease on our apartment for another year and I'm ecstatic. You guys, this is officially the longest I have lived in one place since 2010. Seriously, I've moved almost twice a year since then. With all of the turmoil over my job situation this year, I'm excited to start a new job and live in one place and actually have some stability in my life. Oh hey and this means that I should probably start organizing things in my apartment that were haphazardly thrown around after we moved. I would like someone to give me money in the form of Container Store gift cards to organize all the things. Please and thank you. Maybe then I'll actually get around to posting a tour of our I said I would January.

That's that! Happy Thursday friends!

Tell Me: Are you just as fascinated by the JFK coverage as I am? I read an article that said that America is still recovering from the JFK assassination and I think it might be true. It's just all so interesting.

Have you ever had tendinitis? Did PT help you? Am I realistically looking at being able to run a spring half/summer full?

November 20, 2013

Wedding Things II: Getting Into It

Since I last updated you all on our wedding plans, we've checked off another few items off of our giant To-Do list.

First, I should say that one of the first things I did after getting engaged was to get organized. After a friend sent me this fabulous timeline/check list, I went through and took out the pages I didn't need and organized it into sections, put it all in a binder and have been checking it almost weekly as we go through things.

The Type A personality in me was ecstatic at the idea of having an entire binder to keep things organized in with a year-long check list of things to do. I love it. I absolutely love planning things, organizing things and writing to-do lists. I probably should have been an event planner because I thrive off of scenarios like this.

That being said, I surprisingly haven't been as on top of things as I would like. One, we have a lot of time and have gotten a lot of major tasks out of the way. I know, I know...everyone keeps warning me that it will be here before we know it, but we're in a really good place and I refuse to let wedding planning dictate every aspect of my life...especially with so much else going on!

Right now, the biggest thing we're working on are our Save the Dates. One of my sisters has an amazing talent for things like that and she designed them. Using Vistaprint, we were able to print out 100 of them for just $60! Now, I'm in the process of creating labels...something that was made remarkably easy thanks to Postable...but at the same time insanely frustrating due to some issues with Microsoft Word. 

Either way, we should have all of our Save the Dates packaged and ready to go by this weekend. I might hold off on sending them until the following week just because of the holiday but we'll see. Once they all go out, I'll upload the design so you all can see what they looked like!

We're also in the midst of our Catholic marriage prep, which has its own long list of things to do and we secured an officiant for our ceremony, a new priest at our church who we get along with great and are really excited to have!

We've decided on not one but two bakers to satisfy our enormous sweet tooths and are in the process of finalizing things with them. 

Moving into the holidays when wedding planning is going to take a big backseat, I'm feeling good. The biggest things on my plate for early next year are figuring out transportation, looking into florists, and trying to come up with ideas for centerpieces that use flowers as accents, rather than being large floral centerpieces. Since the girls in my bridal party are scattered all over the country (seriously: New Jersey, Texas and Connecticut), I'll be making my way around trying to figure out what my girls will be wearing!

So that's that! We're at 10 months to go (and counting) and the deeper we get into the planning, the more I can't wait to see everything come together! It's a super exciting time and I know that once January rolls around, things are going to fly by!

Tell me about the weddings you've been involved in: Your own? Your friends', sisters', cousins'? Was there a planner involved or did you do it all yourself? What kinds of DIY projects did you take on? What were some of the biggest headaches in planning? Or some of the easiest things?

November 18, 2013

The Week...and Weekend

I haven't posted in a week...oops.

Last week, my college bff (who is also my Maid of Honor) finally came to visit me in DC. She got in on Tuesday afternoon and The Pilot and I took her to our wedding venue to check out the space.

We spent the evening catching up over dinner at Matchbox before heading home and drinking hot chocolate because it was 0 degrees in DC.

Wednesday morning, Danielle and I headed to the International Spy Museum to check out the exhibits there. It was my first time and I highly recommend a trip to anyone who has been to DC and is looking for something new to do.

From there, we went over to the American History Museum to visit the Julia Child and the First Ladies exhibits (my two favorites!). Next, we took a little stroll through Georgetown for some window shopping before making our way over to Lincoln for dinner reservations.

Danielle just happens to be friends with the Chef de Cuisine at Lincoln and we were treated to an absolutely fabulous assortment of the menu items. I've never been to a restaurant where I was personally welcomed by the chef...or brought off-the-menu items and let me tell was absolutely phenomenal. I've already made reservations to take my mom back there next week when she's in town!

Post-dinner, we met up with Leanna, Jenna, Farber and Christine at Iron Horse for drinks and cupcakes to celebrate lots of things.

It had been a long, long day for us so we got home and went straight to bed.

After all, we had an early morning planned for Thursday because...

The Anchorman exhibit was opening at the Newseum! I've posted about it before but I love The Newseum. So much so that The Pilot and I have annual memberships...and very seriously considered having our wedding there (until they slapped us with a proposal that was $15000 more than they originally quoted us...but that's a story for a different day). Regardless, it's my favorite museum in DC and they are currently holding an exhibit dedicated to the movie Anchorman.

It was amazing.

Afterward, we checked out the JFK Exhibit...which I love...before Danielle hopped back on her train home and I headed to work for the afternoon.

We had an awesome time together and I was so so so happy to show her all of my favorite things about DC. I can't wait to have her in town more often as she helps with all of the wedding planning!

The weekend was pretty low key. I was super under the weather with a nasty cold on Friday/Saturday and spend most of the day at home.

Sunday was for church + brunch + shopping + manicures. All in all, it's been a great couple of days! I hope to be back to my normal schedule and blogging more frequently in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

November 11, 2013

There are Five Things Very Right with My Life.

If you don't know what movie/book the title of this post is in reference to, we can't be friends anymore.

I have the greatest mom in the world. Today is her birthday. This weekend, I jetsetted home for approximately 18 hours to go see her. She made a feast with yummy things likes sangria and butternut squash soup and guacamole (all homemade)...and then there were a hundred desserts. It was perfect. I was so glad to be able to pop home to see her...even it if was just for a bit!

Mama and me at Graduation last year
It's tremendously cliche to say that I am the luckiest girl in the world, but my fiance makes me feel exactly like that. We celebrate 4 amazing years together on Wednesday and I am so unbelievably excited to marry him next September. I still wake up every morning just as excited as I did the morning after we got engaged. Sometimes, it's hard that he isn't here most of the week, but at the same time...having to miss him every single week, makes it so much sweeter when he does come home.

It's almost been a year since I moved to DC and I love the friends I've made here. They are exceptionally amazing and fun people and I'm lucky to have them. At the same time, I love my old friends. My best friend from college (and Maid of Honor) is coming to DC this week and I'm so freaking excited to have her here and show her all of my favorite places and spend most of our time uncontrollably laughing like we always do.

On that note, I love living in DC. Things have not at all turned out the way I thought they would, but despite that, I'm 100% confident that it is the right city for me to live in. I hated New York and I didn't love Boston. DC is just so much more my speed. There are a lot of people who think I'm batshit crazy for leaving New York for DC but I love it. It was a fantastic decision and I'm so happy to have made the move with someone who loves this city just as much as I do.


I'm over the moon about my new job. I was really unhappy at my last job and was really itching to get out.
My new job is in an area that I have a some experience in, but have always wanted to be more involved with (nonprofit fundraising) and I can't wait to start and share my ideas and join what I already know is a fabulous team.

So, there you have it. There are five things that are very right with my life right now. 2013 has been a year of a lot of downs but things are finally starting to look up....way, way up.

So Tell Me: What's going very right with your life?

And if you've never read 'Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging' or seen the film adaptation of it, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of either. I promise, you will laugh uncontrollably. 

November 6, 2013

Product Review: Dr. Scholl's Active Series

With all of the issues I've been having with running lately, I'm looking into every possible option that's going to work to minimize my risk of injury.

I've had a terrible year for racing this year. I ran a 5k and 3 Half-Marathons...that's IT. I ran a great race in Cleveland, but I didn't train for it the way I wanted to and I squeaked out that 5 second PR on sheer dumb luck.

I'm craving a strong race...with or without a PR...though the PR would be nice of course. So, the next few months are all about getting myself strong and healthy to enter into next year's racing season.

Enter a new set of insoles. I've always run with insoles that I buy from Road Runner Sports and have them custom fit to my feet, but I find that they don't really do anything to change the way the shoe feels.

A few months ago, Leanna hooked me up with Influenster, an online community where you review products and get access to new products to try and review.

When Influenster reached out to me about trying Dr. Scholl's Active Series Insoles, I jumped at the chance.

This weekend, I finally slid them into my shoes and headed out for a run and let me tell you...they felt amazing! They're super light weight, and mold to the structure of the shoe, so they aren't changing anything in terms of fit, but they just make the shoe so much more comfortable. Throughout my 4 mile run, I just felt like I had an extra spring in my step and the run - my first in two weeks - just felt easy.

I ran in them again tonight with the same feeling.

They're designed to reduce the shock that your feet are subject to during a run by 40% and mitigate the risks of shin splints, plantar fascitis and runner's knee (aka all of the issues I've been having this year).

I've seen them at CVS and Target, but you can also buy them online from Amazon.

So tell me: Do you use insoles? Have you tried the Dr. Scholl's Active Series?

*Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I wast not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own.

November 4, 2013

Love/Don't Love

1. I got some exceptionally good news on Friday. News that I've been praying about and hoping for since April and I'm over the moon about it. Love.
2. I am so insanely thankful that it is November. The month of October just flat out sucked. Love.
3. I didn't do anything tremendously exciting this weekend. I slept and caught up on emails, worked on some things for the wedding and read a lot. Love.
4. While going through my computer this weekend, I found pictures from The Pilot's and my first trip to DC back in 2011. It was on that trip that I set in to motion my plan to convince him to move here...and where we discovered the World War II Memorial...where we got engaged 2 years later. Love.

5. Yesterday morning, I woke up early to watch the NYC Marathon. It was amazing to watch the race and track all of my friends online as they made their way through my former home. Love.
6. That being said, I still have absolutely no desire to run the New York City Marathon. Every time I run a Fall race, I absolutely hate the part of sitting around in the cold waiting to start the race. Doing that for 6 hours on Staten not even run for that amount of time...just sounds awful to me. Don't Love. 
7. It's November and it's time to be thankful. I'm thankful for the exciting news I got in #1, my mama who celebrates her birthday next week, my handsome fiance, living in DC and the amazing friends I've made since living here. Love.

Happy November friends! I hope it's a good one! 
I'll be sharing my news as soon as I can!
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