Weekend: Birthday Dinner & Christmas Clean-up

Happy Monday! (?)

Who likes Mondays, anyway? Let’s look back at this past weekend instead!

Friday night was my favorite kind of Friday: A lazy night in, going to bed early to rest up for a long run Saturday morning.

…Which didn’t happen, thanks to lots of freezing rain overnight. I spent Saturday indoors, working on some blog stuff ‘til after lunchtime. I also downloaded lots of new tunes for a new workout playlist—keep an eye out, I’ll be posting it soon!

Matt and I settled in to watch more Boardwalk Empire for an hour or two, then I got myself prettied up and Matt took me out for an early birthday dinner! (Psst, it’s actually tomorrow.)

We went to a little old-fashioned supper club restaurant nearby. Youngest people there by a good 30 years, but that’s how we roll.

I happily indulged and got a filet + twice baked potato. Glass of vino on the side.

A lil birthday dinner!

Mmm, birthday dinner.

So yummy! Alas, too full for dessert.

When we got home, we popped some champagne and had a glass (or two).

Happy {early} birthday to me!

Happy {early} birthday to me!

Matt watched some hockey while I worked on our wedding Save the Date postcards, which I’d like to get sent out this month. They are turning out so well, I can’t wait to show them off! The perfect mix of fun/quasi-vintage/us. Now, to just settle on the image to use, we are so torn…

Sunday morning, I got up early to meet some running club friends to get my long run in. It was still pretty icy out in the roads, and we had to run carefully. The run was good, but I ended up falling on my butt (after we were done, just walking) but I must have enough extra padding there, because I feel fine today. 😉

Matt and I spent the rest of our Sunday doing TONS of laundry and finally taking down all of our Christmas decorations.

Note to self: Next year, take the Christmas tree down before it’s totally dead and drops all its needles everywhere.

Oh Christmas Tree... farewell.

Oh Christmas Tree… farewell.

I spent the rest of the evening curled up on the couch with another glass of champagne (couldn’t let the rest of the bottle go to waste!) and reading a book. It’s an easy read, and interesting to think about what would happen. Nice way to end the weekend!

– – –

How was your weekend?
Highlights?

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Happy New Year!

Oh, hi. Hey there. Happy New Year!

It’s been a holly jolly few weeks around here. I’ve been so busy enjoying friends, family and the holiday cheer that comes along with it all, that I’ve been Grinchy about writing here on my beloved blog.

But fear not! My heart’s grown three sizes larger, and so has my waistline (or so it seems).

I've been chomping away like this guy this holiday season...

I’ve been chomping away like this guy this past month…

Which means my running plans and workout energy is renewed like never before. I hope you’re ready to read all about it.

Since Christmas Eve, our house has been a revolving door with family milling in, ready to relax and celebrate…and rolling out with hearts filled with laughter, full bellies, and, uh, maybe a slight hangover after a couple crazier nights. I’m so grateful Matt and I were able to spend our first Christmas and New Years in our new home with all of our family surrounding us.

Count the memories, not the calories.

Of course, with all of that hosting and celebrating going on, working out and eating healthy plummeted to the bottom of my list. I think it’s okay to take some time off and indulge, but it’s also important to realize when you are doing that, enjoy it for a short time…and then move back to your healthy habits.

So, that’s what I’m reflecting on today: Moving back to those healthy habits. Our house has quieted down and we can once more return to our “normal” routine, after what has been a month of non-routine fun and craziness. I’ll start hitting the gym again this week. Going to run with my running club Saturday. We’ll start prepping healthy meals for lunch and dinner, rather than cook huge decadent meals or head out to eat so much. I won’t have wine every night with dinner (and, uh, after dinner too) like I have been the last week. I’m excited to return to the “routine.” This must be part of what everyone calls “growing up.”

I [finally] ordered new running shoes today, and I can’t wait to break ‘em in as I look forward to a half marathon in March with my sisters.

And…possibly my second marathon in May??

And, of course, that short walk down the aisle at my wedding in August, when my last initial will change to a lovely little “M.” 🙂

M on the Christmas Tree

Here’s to a happy, healthy, fun, unforgettable 2014.

Much love to you all!

Two Weeks of a Lovely Life, in Pictures

Hiya, friends. It’s been a busy couple of weeks!

C2 Graphics web training course

C2 Graphics web training course

I finished my web design training up in Milwaukee at C2 Graphics. Love that place, their instructors, and the learnings I walked away with.

Followed up training one night by meeting my good friend (and bridesmaid!) in the Third Ward for dinner and drinks at the Milwaukee Ale House. I drank the Sheepshead Stout beer, “a robust Irish style oatmeal stout with distinct roast chocolate notes and a creamy smooth finish.”

Milwaukee Ale House | Sheepshead Stout

Milwaukee Ale House | Sheepshead Stout

It was oh-so-good!

I also got to see the new Anchorman 2 movie a day early, thanks to the lovely Jockey undies that were featured in the film.

Anchorman Briefs from Jockey

Anchorman Briefs from Jockey

You can buy these online, and I think it would make a great gag gift for the fun dudes on your list. I bought this pair for our one buddy who loves Anchorman. He might also like to remove his pants and play guitar when he’s had one too many drinks. Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Was Anchorman 2 as good as the first? You’re probably wondering. I have to say, for being a sequel, it was pretty swell. It had as much randomness and funny one-liners as the first movie. (“It’s chicken of the cave!” And let’s not forget, Doby.) I think the first movie is so funny because all those quotable one-liners that we all picked up afterwards. This has that same potential. But, in the beginning of the movie, I did feel like it was trying too hard, but maybe I was scrutinizing it too much.

Moving along…

I’ve been chowing down on [too many] Christmas cookies.

Snickerdoodles Christmas cookies

Snickerdoodles

Like these snickerdoodles I made for work. I got lots of compliments on how delicious they were. Matt stole and ate a bunch before I even got them to work. Psst…They’re made out of the bag from Betty Crocker. 😉

Peanut Butter Blossoms with mini hershey kisses

Peanut Butter Blossoms

And finally, these peanut butter blossoms that I made last night. Matt had made dinner…

Matt's Homemade Lasagna

Matt’s Homemade Lasagna

(My FAVE!)

So I had to make dessert (his fave).

I’ve been very healthy lately, you can see.

Here’s more proof:

Cosmopolitan, please.

Cosmopolitan, please.

Kicking off a 9-day vaca (!!!) Friday night with a Cosmo martini at our nearby martini + tapas bar.

People must know we like wine and booze, because we were showered with these housewarming gifts at our Housewarming Holiday Party last weekend:

Housewarming Booze

Housewarming Booze

YUM, Rumchata. Thanks, everyone!

We were so glad to have many friends over for our party, to celebrate our new home with us and get in the Christmas spirit. We had tons of yummy food; there were two tables filled with it, and I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture—but then, I didn’t really have time to even think of that for the first few hours! We also had the drinks flowin’, the Christmas music playing and the lights shining…

Heart our Christmas tree

Heart our Christmas tree 🙂

And I think everyone had a blast. We sure did. Thanks for celebrating with us!

With all that in mind, I haven’t been working out much, but I did bite the bullet and hit a treadmill yesterday, since we got hit with freezing rain & ice Friday night.

Running on the dreadmill, I mean, treadmill...

Running on the dreadmill, I mean, treadmill…

It’s kinda blurry, but I was trying not to look like a huge tool at my new gym for taking a pic of my machine.

I always run way harder on the treadmill, so I can get done faster, so I’m sore today…but it feels good. Glad to be back at it. More posts on the running & workout stuff to come soon!

– – –

Happy holidays everyone! What are you doing to celebrate?

How are you fitting in your workouts over this hectic holiday season—or are you not, and just eating cookies like me? 

The Long Haul to Turkey Day

It’s been a busy week so far. Even though it’s a short week at work, I’m counting down the hours ‘til Thanksgiving: Family, food, relaxation & a break! I’m in need of all those things. And maybe a few glasses of wine.

Well, always some wine. 😉

Here’s what my week has looked like so far:

My weekend involved lots of house cleaning, organizing & improvements. I’ll do full reveals of these rooms once they’re completely done, but I’ve pretty much finished making over our main guest bedroom and my office. Yay! Finally.

Sneak peek of our guest room. Neutral and comfortable.

Sneak peek of our guest room, picture unhung.

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my "clothesline" for fun stuff!

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my miniature “clothesline” for fun stuff!

I took a break Sunday and broke my hermit streak. Seriously, once it gets cold out, I do NOT want to leave the house. But my friend, Liz, invited me to meet her and a friend for a beer at a local craft brewery, Rustic Road. Beer? Sure!

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

I drank the Hazelnut Harvest amber ale. It was supposed to have flavors of vanilla and hazelnut, but they were pretty faint. Overall, the beer was okay, but not one I’d buy at a store. Which is sad, because I love me some hazelnuts!

I came home and got into the Christmas spirit a bit… Okay, I admit, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past week. But, I’ve been working on Black Friday and other holiday emails every day at work, what do you expect?!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Matt got us this wreath, handmade from some Boy Scouts. Love it! Mmm, fresh pine.

Then I enjoyed an Angry Orchard amidst the romantic glow of candles…

112613_angry

…while I baked some [break ‘n’ bake] cookies to bring to my running club meeting for the next night. I’m a cheater.

Simply Pillsbury break n bake cookies - peanut butter and chocolate chip. Yum!

But I tell ya, these babies are so yummy! Lots of my running club buds were even saying so. Plus they are made “simply” without a bunch of crap like normal pre-made cookies. So, uh, they’re good for you, right?

On Monday, I got into work by 7a.m. and put in a good 11 hours, trying to get everything done for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Had to skip my planned run with friends, but it was worth getting some extra stuff done. Plus, I rocked an afternoon presentation to my boss and some execs. Ohhh yes. Hoping to help make some good changes in the near future!

Left work by 6 to go to the running club meeting and feed people with my delicious homemade cookies. The cookies were gone quickly, and they [plus pizza] fueled us through a couple hours of packet stuffing for our upcoming sponsored race, the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run!

Did you ever realize how much work goes into that packet stuffing?

I hadn’t.

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run

But it took a while, and a whole bunch of spunky runner folks.

112613_stuffers

And a few paper cuts.

Packets for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Look at all those packets! That’s not even all of them…

But we got it done! If you’re looking for a Turkey Trot or a Thanksgiving Day race to help offset all the eating, drinking & being merry on Thursday, sign up for my running club’s race! It’s almost sold out, it’s a popular one. 🙂

Today was another long day at work, but in a good way. Getting lots done and ready to bring on the holiday shoppers! But coding a bazillion emails has made me cross-eyed. Good thing my boss brought in cupcakes to fuel us along.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

BTW, best way to eat a cupcake: Tear it in half, and flip the top with the frosting over. Eat like a scrumptious cupcake sandwich, with frosting in every bite. You’re welcome.

One more long day of work, LOTS to get done. Then it’s Thanksgiving break time!

And also time to start streaking. A run streak, that is. You in?

Good thing this post looks so healthy, with all its boozy mentions and cookies and cupcakes. Maybe I should start taking pictures of my salads. But you know, those just aren’t as pretty.

What’s getting you through the week?
What are your plans for the holidays?
Will you be run streaking?