Hello Friday! I’m still not feeling 100%, but I got a humidifier and have been taking Chestal for the last few days in order to calm things down. It has definitely helped. I think it’s sinus related for sure! I’ve been reflecting on the past year and thinking about what’s to come in 2014. For me, the last few years have been such a ride. I’ve learned so much about myself and where I want to be in the next 5 years. Have to lay the foundation to go from here to there! At some point, we all have to stop thinking and stop saying what we are going to do and just DO something! I’ve been thinking about starting to post a Vine video daily and yesterday I got so sick of just thinking about it and trying to make it “perfect” that I just posted one!
I found a few clips of R. Kelly on Jimmy Kimmel to promote his new album the other night and that got me thinking a little bit. He basically explains how he wanted to get paid when he was younger and he quickly realized what people wanted and made it into a song. He made it sound so simple: give the people want. Guess what? It worked for him.
Why do we make the simple things so complicated sometimes? They really aren’t. Sometimes you have to just do something and stop thinking, planning and trying to make it perfect.
What are you going to do today that you’ve been thinking about for the longest?
And here’s that video of R. Kelly just because he sounds great singing almost anything
I can’t believe we are in the month of December. I had a great Thanksgiving followed by all of the shopping days after. Seriously, I think it should have been called Black Thursday and Cyber Sunday. I felt like all of the sales days kind of ran together! According to Ad Age, Cyber Monday did better than Black Friday in store shopping. Go figure. I started my holiday shopping in October and with the exception of a few small items..I’m DONE! Feels good too. I’ve been feeling under the weather over the last few days, I can’t tell if it is sinuses or a cold. I took Chestal all day to help things go away and also had ginger chews and lots of water. Not much has changed. Hopefully, things will get better soon. If not, I’m headed to the doctor on Friday. I hate going to the doctor right when I feel sick, I usually give it a few days unless I’m completely miserable. In the meantime, I did make a wonderful sweet potato smoothie over the weekend:
1 scoop vanilla protein (I used vanilla, but I’m sure chocolate or plain would work)
1 medium sized sweet potato
1 small – medium sized apple (I used a red delicious one)
1 tbs Cinnabon Makara Cinnamon
1/4 cup Almond Milk
I put everything in my Vitamix and started it on 1, then after a few minutes slowly increased the speed to 5 and let it blend until smooth and then enjoy Mine came out just right, but if you like a really sweet smoothie add a teaspoon of honey or agave.
The secret to this wonderful tasting creation has to be the Makara cinnamon. I purchased it at the Cinnabon store at the mall. This is the cinnamon that makes Cinnabons smell and taste delicious.
In college, I used to always walk by Cinnabon. At the time, I dated a guy who would buy them for me as a treat. I think it’s cool now how Cinnabon has so many other products that aren’t just the Cinnabon. It’s a great way to keep brand enthusiasts loyal without even when they aren’t eating rolls. Excellent marketing strategy. I’ve had Cinnabon Smackers lipgloss which tasted like a roll without the guilt I’m also a fan of the Cinnabon Cream of Wheat. And now Cinnabon has a flavored Pinnacle vodka that I hope to try over the holidays.
And no this post is not sponsored by Cinnabon, but it is late at night and a Cinnabon sounds like a great treat to me in my sick state. I will be back when I’m feeling better!
Speaking of sweets, what sweets are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
Every year Black Friday seems to get bigger and bigger. Have you heard about all of the stores opening on Thanksgiving? I think that opening on Thanksgiving will prevent injuries and huge crowds on Black Friday. Remember the person that got trampled?
My Black Friday tips:
- Wear thin layers - this helps me try clothes on quickly without having to go to the dressing room. I also wear sneakers in case I will be standing up for long periods.
- Pack snacks - I pack snacks in my purse so that I don’t have to eat mall food or buy anything out. I like the Happy Family fruit and veggie twist. I also put nuts in my bag too.
- Water bottle - I carry a water bottle in order to drink and get refills throughout the shopping.
- Eat a hearty breakfast - Sometimes this one is challenging when shopping starts so early that I’m not even hungry. But I try to start off with a hearty breakfast. Maybe a boiled egg or two and a pear or oatmeal with raisins. I also make a black or matte tea before leaving home in order to give me a caffeine boost.
- Make a list - Go through what you would like to get from each store before you get there. This year, I don’t have any items that I’m just dying to get so I will be the designated driver for my mom’s shopping adventures.
- Use a calculator - Sometimes the promise of a deal will make you feel like you need to buy things. So I use my cell phone calculator to calculate each deal so that I do not overspend.
Do you plan to do any shopping for Black Friday? I don’t have a must have list this year. In fact, I started my Christmas shopping in October and I have only one gift left to pick out! Last year, I ended up finding the best deals on my iPad from home.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of the Sofia Vergara brand. Last week, my phone completely died on me. A glitch I guess, since I just got it earlier this month. While I waited in traffic, I noticed a huge picture of Sofia Vergara on the side of Rooms to Go in Buckhead. This isn’t the first time a celebrity has partnered with Rooms To Go (example: Cindy Crawford). .But I’m a huge fan of the collaboration. Here’s why:
1. Sexy furniture: When I think of Sofia Vergara I think fun, sexy, and spicy. I see how designing a line of furniture makes perfect sense. Sultry, sexy, spicy ladies need furniture too right? Of course. And Sofia’s furniture is modern and affordable. So it fits!
My favorite set in the collection. I liked the colors and how things were put together.
2. Furniture shopping is serious, why not make it more fun?: No really, shopping for furniture is way more serious than buying clothes and makeup. I went shopping just to check out the Sofia Vergara collection. Her other collaborations are more fun and immediate purchases like Cover Girl makeup or her clothing collection for Kmart. It took a while for me to warm up to it. The most fun part about it was testing out all of the mattresses I just went in there to take a look at the Sofia furniture, but left with the motivation to make a list of furniture items that I will need in the immediate future.
3. A personal note from Sofia: I appreciated how each piece of furniture had a personal note from Sofia on the tag. Her letter also details how she used to always shop at Rooms To Go when she first came to the U.S. which adds a nice flair to the collaboration.
After I warmed up to furniture shopping, it become really fun. The mattresses were the best part. To me, that’s going to be the first thing that I splurge a little on when the time comes. A good mattress is so important.
Where’s your favorite place to buy furniture?
What piece of furniture did you splurge on?
This weekend was pretty laid back for me. On Friday night, I went to an interesting zumba class with my coworker. Then on Saturday morning I went to cheerleading state finals in Columbus. My cousin’s team won 2nd place in their class
I finally had the opportunity to try the Yoplait Greek blueberry yogurt for breakfast on Sunday morning. I enjoyed the yogurt, but felt like there were too many blueberries for my liking. I prefer blueberries in my smoothies and plain to test out a Yoplait Greek blueberry in one of those and share that. But, I would definitely buy it for my dad because he likes blueberry everything. From Greek yogurt to blueberry Pop-Tarts. Next time, I will try some of the other flavors. I’m a huge fan of pineapple or just plain vanilla Greek yogurt. The yogurt was filling and kept me full until it was time for a mid morning snack 2 hours later.
I decided that I really want to focus on becoming a better planner. I know I outlined the fact that I am a bit of a commitment-phobe in my previous post. I usually spend my Sunday evenings getting prepared for the week. Writing out my commitments on a calendar, cleaning and planning out workouts. I currently use 2 desk calendars (one at home, one at work), 1 journal, 1 planner and Google Calendar to keep track of everything. I also store notes in Evernote occasionally. But there has to be a more efficient way! I’d like to streamline things a little bit. I love writing things down old school style and journaling helps track goal progression. I also love alerts for deadlines and due dates and vitamin taking electronically through Google calendar.
What works best for you?
Disclosure: I received Yopliat Greek yogurt to sample and review. All opinions are my own.
This week, Esprit de She came to Atlanta. The race happened in midtown at Piedmont Park. I appreciated being able to check in on site then walk right over to the start line. We started the race a little after 7pm on 10th Street. Half of the street was closed because of the race, but the other half was not. So that was interesting. I appreciate how the race announcers encouraged all walkers and slower runners to move to the back. All races need that Running at night outside was a new experience for me. I didn’t really know how my body would react. I thought I would feel tired and want to quit. But, honestly, that didn’t hit me until the very end. My foot fell asleep around mile 4 though and it sucked. The temperature was around 62 degrees. At first, I felt fine with my long sleeve shirt, but around the halfway point I got warm and wrapped it around my waist. I ran the race with my cousin Danielle.
Finish line photo
Favorite parts of the race:
- Running through the park at night – this was pretty fun to do with a big group. Not as scary as running through a park alone at all
- Race swag – I really liked our bags and race tees. The shirt fits loose at the bottom and is more like cotton than a moisture wicking performance tee. Great for yoga, running errands, zumba or even a run with the right sports bra.
- Dinner post race – the kale salad really hit the spot for me. I ate every bit of it on my plate and wished for more. The food was made by Fig Tree Catering. Plus we received Yoplait yogurt and Happy Family items. I tried Happy Squeeze at Blogalicious so I was happy they came out. I haven’t tried the kiwi, banana and apple yet either. I saved mine for later! Perfect purse sized snacks!
- Race vendors – I enjoyed shopping just after I finished. I wish I bought the white Esprit de She hat they were selling. I also really wanted to get a pair of the Sony wireless headphones, but I didn’t want to make an impulse buy. I missed all of the Athleta gear, but on our race bib we received a 20% off coupon for purchase so I will have to visit their Atlantic Station location. I received a Moxie tank from the folks at Lifetime, sponsors of the race. I will do a full review, and I noticed it on the sale table next to hoodies, hats and visors.
- The music – Nathan Sexton provided the post race sounds. I enjoyed his acoustic renditions of classic rock and r&b tunes.
Least favorite parts of the race:
- No lights – A few parts of the race were pretty dark. I wish the volunteers had some flashlights or something. I need a running headlight if I want to run at night in the future.
- Parking – We parked a little far away from Park Tavern. So it was a 1.3 mile walk to/from our cars. Next time I’ll scout parking online first for a safe street to park on closer to the Park. Fortunately, I was with my cousin so the walk wasn’t too spooky or unsafe. In fact, I felt safe, walking to and from the car because we passed other casual walkers and runners along the way and we parked on a residential street. Park Tavern was hosting an event that night and didn’t offer space to park.
- Post race temperature drop – The temperature drop hit hard post race. In fact, it made me want to leave sooner since I didn’t have a workout jacket on . I wished for some yummy soup and heaters around the food area to help combat the cold. The cold weather froze the fondue too.
- Einsteins – I thought there would be more socializing happening. Everyone was separated and throughout the restaurant so it was difficult to talk to new people. The drinks were great though:
Cranberry and ginger seasonal cocktails at Einsteins
I had a pretty great run during this race. I started thinking about everything and realized that I need to really work at focusing on running my race and not on my surroundings. That’s often the hardest thing to do. To center your thoughts on yourself. I struggle with that and I’m working through it! I did end up with a PR of 1:04 besting my first Peachtree Road Race time of 1:06 and coming in 11th place in my age group! So I’m very excited. I always tell myself that I want to run a 10K in less than an hour. With a little hard work, I feel like that goal is achievable. Now, I need a plan to get from 1:04 to under an hour. That’s always the hardest part I enjoyed being an Athleta Esprit de She race ambassador and hope to run the race next year! With a few improvements, the race can only get better and better.
What are your upcoming race goals?
Disclosure: I received free entry and additional perks for being an Esprit de She Ambassador. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
I’m entering the last stretch of miles for the 100 by Halloween challenge. I’m at 84 miles as of today. I’ve been doing workouts before work at 5, which I really enjoy. This morning, getting up hasn’t been to hard because the weather has been nice. Last week we had a few incredibly cold mornings and getting up early was a challenge. I made this fun Halloween playlist to help me make it through the next few days:
Tonight, I went to a screening of Time Apart with a coworker. Have you heard of it? It comes out on Friday. I thought the film was pretty good. Rachel McAdams stars in it.
The movie had a great love story, but it reminded me of The Time Traveler’s Wife a little bit. I guess because Rachel McAdams was in that movie too? Maybe. I would recommend seeing it though. I thought it was funny and the acting was great. I went to a fun Halloween party over the weekend and I have two more this week! I’m going as a school girl:
I will check back in later after I finish my 100 mile goal with a few final thoughts. Goodnight!
This week has been a whirlwind! I just reached 64 miles towards my 100 by Halloween goal and I want to finish out the week at 75. I want to create a final plan to push me to my goal by October 31. This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to 11 Alive for Twitter Tuesday. This is a new thing the station is doing to give a behind the scenes look to Twitter users on Tuesdays. I was invited along with another Twitter influencer I’ve met around ATL Tiffini.
The news room is right in the middle of the office! So we got to sit nearby in cubicles to watch all of the anchors work.
We met the morning show team:
R-L Elle Woods, Tiffini Gaitlin, Karyn Greer, Jeff Hullinger and next to me on the right Chesley McNeil
Visited the control room:
And we even made it on air a few times!
I think this is a cool idea to give Twitter influencers a behind the scenes look at the station. I get most of my news from Twitter. Yes, I’m serious. I usually check Twitter early in the morning before I go to work. For me, it’s easier to check Twitter as opposed to turning on the TV since I don’t have one in my room. I also read news on Twitter throughout the day, occasionally stream live news and watch news clips online. Plus, I’d rather listen to some music to help me get energized . I found out on Tuesday that 11 Alive has a live stream of their news, so that’s a more convenient option for me as I get ready for work. I thought that the anchors at 11 Alive worked hard at delivering the news and also engaging online on social media during their breaks:
Anchor Jaye Watson checking in online during a break
They must be used to the early mornings by now because everyone was super friendly. I’m sure having a morning anchor job and arriving at work at 3 AM will turn anyone into a morning person over time!
If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to join 11 Alive for Twitter Tuesday, follow and tweet me to and I will put in a good word!
I know I mentioned it before, but I’m participating in the 100 by Halloween Challenge with the Tone It Up team. As of today, I’m 35 miles in. I lost a little bit of traction during the week of Blogalicious, but I should be back on track with my goal and I hope to finish out the week strong. I made a new playlist for inspiration:
Speaking of getting miles in, my Espirit de She race is coming up on November 7th! Espirit de She is an all women’s race where runners enjoy a night on the town including a 5 or 10k then bubbly bar with tapas post race. Video highlights:
There will even be a market with local artisans and creative projects. Perfect for a girls night on the town with a workout thrown in there too. And I’ve been reading great things about the swag bags and the race t-shirt.
Would you like to join in on the race? Espirit de She has offered me the opportunity to giveaway race entry to one of my followers. You can sign up for the 5 or 10k. Enter below for your chance to win. I will select a winner on Monday, October 21. The race takes place at Piedmont Park on November 7th (a Thursday) at 7pm. Please make sure that you check the race details before you enter: