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Happy Anniversary to my sweet blog!!!! It has been 5 years of blog writing for me. I have to admit, I can’t believe I’ve been at it this long!!!! But, it has been quite a journey and I’m glad I still have a few faithful readers! Here’s to another year of blogging:)

My day did NOT start off well. I finally acted like a big girl and slept in my bed, first time since the Waterbug incident. All went smoothly until I got out of bed and went to open the blinds. That’s when I saw this:

  
Sure he was dead, but I’m also sure he tap danced all over me while I slept last night. Gross. I hate my life. Needless to say I went out and got some Raid, which I proceeded to cover the entire house in. I’m quite sure I killed several brain cells breathing in the fumes, but I don’t care. I want those critters GONE!

I hit up Kmart today because a friend told me they had a sale on athletic wear. It was more than a sale, it was a down right steal! Everything I bought was under $5!!!! Pants, tanks, long sleeves, all 60% off the already reduced sale prices. Here’s my lot.

  
I love a sale!

Yesterday I had an amazing run, and my longest in months. I hit for 9 miles!!! It was the first time in a long time I felt like my old self out there. I was beyond happy and it definitely set the tone for a great day.

   
 
After my run I went to church and then went downtown. A few friends and I took a walk down to the river and toured one of the tall ships that was docked in town for the week. It was pretty cool.

   
    
    
    
 
Dinner tonight was sautéed spinach and a scoop of Harris Teeter’s shrimp salad. It was super good and healthy! I’ve been trying to clean up my diet a bit AND cut back on my booze intake. So far so good!

   
 I downloaded a new book on my Kindle App so I see a night of reading in my future. Hope you all had a great Monday!

Zonked

Happy Friday friends! You have all successfully made it to another weekend. I, of course, work tomorrow, but did enjoy a nice Friday off today. I worked 3 shifts in a row, and went to bed around 9pm last night. I was exhausted. My plan was to wake up around 7am and get in a nice, longer than I have been doing, run. Well, I was literally passed the F out all night long and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off. Usually I’m good for waking up at least two times to use the bathroom. But last night, nothing. I was in the zone. I ended up giving myself two additional hours of sleep, putting me at a whopping twelve hours of sleep and a 9am wake up. Although I’m sure my body needed it, I am also sure my body won’t be able to sleep well tonight! But, I already have that set in my mind, so I plan on finding a good tv show or movie to watch on the old Netflix.

After dragging myself out of bed (well actually the couch, b/c I’m still horrified to sleep in my bed after Waterbug 2015) I headed out for a run. I attempted an 8.5 mile route, but the sun was blazing and I was dragging. It was NOT good. All of my joy over the past few runs I had last weekend were of crushed as I struggled through the miles, taking more walking breaks than this former Boston Marathoner cares to admit. Sigh. But, I chalked it up to being tired and stiff, and for the weather being hot. Sunday I will give it another go. And I will be successful this time!!!!

Since I had nothing I had to do today, I made it a relatively “fun” day. I started off with a trip to Kohl’s to hit up the summer sale racks. I didn’t get much, a pair of fun shorts and a tank top (it was only $1.60!) and some new earrings. I attempted to go to Sam’s Club, but seriously walked in, saw the ridiculous amount of people standing it the most ridiculously long line, and immediately turned around and left. I only needed gum and toilet paper, and neither one of those things are worth standing in line for the entire afternoon to buy in bulk. I can get those elsewhere!

I came home and that’s when the motivation happened…..I decided to rearrange my living room. Before my neighbor moved she gave me her papasan chair, but it really needed a new cushion. While my sister was here I finally got a cushion, and now with that amazingly cozy chair in my house, I knew the living room needed some rearranging to find the right spot for it. Check it out!

Before:

After:

 
It took me a few minutes of walking in and out of the apartment before I decided I did actually like it (even if I didn’t it was going to stay that way for a while!). The only problem I am currently facing is the plug for the t.v. doesn’t reach any outlet, and also doesn’t fit into the extension cord I have. So, I need to buy a new cord, but other than that, the place looks good. I’m excited to spend this Friday night sipping on some Kool-Aid and watching t.v. Wait, what? Kool-Aid? Oh yea, in my travels today I stumbled upon some on sale Kool-Aid packets and treated myself to good old fashioned tropical punch. Since the Kool-Aid itself doesn’t have calories, I just added water and an equal packet to sweeten it up. And it tastes just like it did when I was a kid!

   
 After my living room adventure I headed into my favorite room, the kitchen, to christen my new toy.

   
    A whipped up a quick cookie bar that contained peanut butter, butterscotch, and chocolate chips, topped with coconut and sprinkles. A little video for your viewing pleasure.

  
Got to love the Eminem music in the background!

I am in love. I can see lots of baking projects going down in the upcoming cooler months….including lots of pumpkin treats! I love pumpkin. And I will be honest friends, I am so ready for fall. We had no spring and the hottest June I have ever experienced in my life. July was just as stifling, and August has been a touch cooler, but still nothing too enjoyable. I am ready for the fall, the 70’s, and less humidity. And fall beers. But don’t worry Dino and Jim, I won’t touch a one until September 1st. There are rules that are not ever meant to be broken, and that is definitely one of them.

Dinner was a “treat”….a Whole Foods salad bar treat! Damn that place is expensive! But it was tasty.

 And that my friends, is all the raging excitement I have for you today! Enjoy your weekend, I’ll be back soon!

 

Stop It Charlotte

Wacky Wednesday here in Wilmington! My morning started off way too early. As I drove to the gym I had the grand debate in my head: to run or not to run? I knew I NEEDED to; if I am going to run a half marathon in a little over a month, I’ve got to pick up the intensity and frequency of my runs. It rained overnight making for a somewhat cooler morning, so I convinced myself to hit the dark 4am streets for what ended up being a solid 5 miles. The first 3 were speedy, I know this bc I struggled with the last 2, but my time was exactly 40 minutes which puts me at an 8min/mile pace. And after all I’ve been enduring this summer with epic heat and walking breaks, I take it as a win.

I finished up with another 20 of cardio at the gym. I was totally soaked by the end. Don’t I look oh so pretty?! (And we wonder why I’m single!)

  Sigh. Sweaty and single. Always.

After the gym it was off to work, where I managed to score a $25 gift card to Chili’s for being a “team player”. Winning!!!!

Dinner was more of a light snack, as I’m trying something new and eating a little more at work and a little less after in hopes of feeling less full right before bed. So I brought back an old favorite. The burnt English muffin. With some chunky peanut butter.

  
I forgot how much I love this simple little treat!

I do want to share one sad story with y’all, one that happens almost daily. Every morning when I leave for the gym before work, my little friend Charlotte sits in her beautifully spun web above my car, waiting to catch some breakfast.

   
Unfortunately, every morning when I back my car out of the driveway I watch her slingshot away as the web breaks because it’s attached to my car!!! I feel so bad, but she just doesn’t seem to learn. This morning was no exception. I feel bad, and it also moderately creeps me out every morning. And yes, I did name her Charlotte. Because I’m clever. ;)

And that dear friends, is all she wrote. 

Sister Weekend 2015

Happy Monday!!! The week begins once again. Hope you all had a great weekend, I know I certainly did. My sister came to spend Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday with me for what has become an annual sister weekend event. She arrived late Thursday evening, and unfortunately, the night didn’t kick off our weekend so well. I was awoken by sweet sissy at 2am with her telling me there was a giant bug on the bed. I stumbled off the couch and into the bedroom to find the most disgusting, largest, nastiest, water bug I have EVER SEEN just chilling out on the pillow. He crittered and crawled across the bed, both of us freaking out, and I finally pulled up my big girl panties and flung that mother F-er off the bed and then crushed him with my Dansko. Despite his immediate death, it took poor sissy a fair bit of time to fall back to sleep…….you seriously can’t make this shit up.

Friday morning was spent rehashing the water bug incident as we headed off for pedicures, lunch, and thrift shopping! We also hit up a wine tasting and had dinner at Hops Supply Company, which was really awesome. I had a tuna salad which was a tad overpriced ($23!!!!) but delicious nonetheless.

   
  We made it an early night as we had grand plans for Myrtle Waves water park in the morning with our cousin Ginny.

We awoke to gray skies; something we are not strangers too when it comes to sister weekend. Last year it rained the entire weekend, so I wasn’t shocked that the day we had plans for an outdoor event started off with gloomy skies. We hit the open road at 8am and made the hour and a half trip to Myrtle Beach. We went to Ginny’s and all hopped into her car and arrived at the park at 10am, right when it opens. There was a SMALL line (maybe 12 people ahead of us) but we somehow ended up waiting 50 minutes just to buy our tickets! We were losing our steam already, and the skies didn’t look promising, and I already had goosebumps. We then proceeded to take an hour and a half to get on 2 slides! Just 2!!! The lines were long and the slides were not very good; the second one actually being super bumpy and hurting Julie’s shoulder. So, despite wanting to be a team player and suck it up, I threw in my white towel of surrender and said I wanted to go. The park sucked and the lazy river was broken so poor Ginny was just hanging by the wave pool. The three of us called it and headed off to a much happier place, a winery!!!!!

Ginny took us to La Belle Amie winery, which was simple fantastic. We started off with a $5 wine tasting where you got to chose from a list of about 25 wines which 6 you wanted to taste. I of course stuck with 3 reds, a riesling, and two of the muscadine style wines. They were absolutely delicious. 

  
We shopped around the little gift cottage after the tasting, and I bought a few new fun decorative items for my apartment. We then headed outside for a glass of wine and some entertainment by the band they had playing outside. 

  
We were in for even more of a treat when a rather tipsy gentleman decided to get up to the front of the stage and lead us all in the singing of “Sweet Caroline”. Don’t worry, I took a video for you to enjoy !

We headed home shortly after that to pick up Ginny’s husband so we could head to dinner at the Grumpy Monk, a really cool pub with great beer and good food. I went there the last time I went to visit Ginny. We had a great time and headed home for a good night’s sleep.

  
Sunday morning I headed out for a 7 miler….and it was AMAZING! I was shocked at how great the run went considering I had several drinks the day before. The weather was perfect, no humidity, light breeze, and the sun (where was it for Myrtle Waves!?). I couldn’t believe my time, the fastest I’ve seen in a while!!!!

   
 Julie, Ginny, and I chatted for a little while longer in the morning before we made the trek back to Wilmington. We headed downtown for beer church, which was fun as always. 

  
Then this morning came, and with it, sissy left town. The weekend really flew by and I can’t believe it’s already Monday and back to another week of work and no play:( I am so glad I was able to spend some quality time with my sister, and am looking forward to our next reunion!

And that my friends, is all she wrote for now. Hope you all had an equally enjoyable weekend, and that you have an even better work week!

5 Before 5

Hey hey friends! Things started off great today; I awoke (unhappily) at 3:45am to hit the gym and the LAST thing I wanted to do was run. But once I got to the gym, I convinced myself to at least do two miles. Once on the dreadmill, I somehow convinced myself to push on longer and harder, and ended up with one of my fastest 5 mile runs in probably the last 7 months.

 I was a sweaty beast when it was over, but also a very happy camper!!!! I did vow to run a half marathon next month, so it’s time for me to start putting in the work to get there. And I’m not anywhere near where I used to (or want to be) but it was a great effort and I’m pretty dang happy with the result! 

Then it was off to work for a nice day with a super sweet patient. I also was able to snack on one of my favorites: butternut squash.

 And really friends, that’s all for the day. Tomorrow I work and when I get how my sister will be here!!!!! I am so EXCITED! 

Monday

Hello friends and welcome August! I know I say it all the time, but let’s be serious….how on Earth is it already August? Crazy. But, I have welcomed it with open arms! It is currently storming something fierce outside, and has done so several times the past few days. I even took the liberty of video taping a little snippet of it for you!

  
I’m not exactly sure where we last left off, but I’ll give you a quick run down of what’s been shaking over in Karenland. The BIGGEST thing that happened was something so magical and wonderful I can hardly contain my excitement in sharing it with you. I was in Target on Thursday when a sale on an end cap caught my eye. I strolled over to see a pretty decent sale on KitchenAid appliances and attachments. There right in front of my little green eyes was my baker’s dream: The KitchenAid stand mixer, with it’s not so glorious retail value of $299.99. Well, it just so happened that with the sale AND use of a Target Red Card (clearly I have both the credit and debit) the KitchenAid was reduced to a mere $227. I stared and stared and stared as the debate raged on in my head. Do I get it? Do I really NEED this? Back and forth for a solid 20 minutes, and finally said “F it”. And just like that it was in my cart. And now safely in my home where it belongs:)
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I have yet to use it, but don’t worry friends, I will. In fact, I think I will christen it this weekend, when I have a very special visitor here for the weekend.

My sister!!!! Yes, that’s right, sister weekend 2015 commences when I get out of work Thursday evening. Julie will be here until Monday morning, and for once I have lots of fun activities planned for us, including a trip to Myrtle Waves! My sis and I love the water parks, and we will reunite with cousin Ginny for this epic event as well. I am so excited for some quality sister and family time!

Yesterday I whipped up a new tasty treat (did not require the KitchenAid sadly) for my friends at beer church. Another awesome find at Target on Thursday was the return of a favorite cereal as a kid, and one that wasn’t around very long. French Toast Crunch. So, I got a little creative and made some delicious bars out of them!
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With anther childhood favorite to kick them up a notch.
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Diabetes for everyone!!!!

I also ended up making a brie dip on Thursday as well. Fig butter, pistachios, walnuts, all melted to perfection. This is definitely a winner appetizer in my book.
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I took the dip out with me while I had drinks with friends. And I even tried to dress up and be a little fancy. Check out these sandals!
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Quite a change from my normal look…..
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……of a Target tank top and looking horrified. The usual.

Let’s see, what else? Oh, I have a new found addiction to G2, the reduced calorie Gatorade.
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Lately I’ve been slacking with adequate water consumption, and with this heat and the amount of sweat that comes off my body during my workouts is not a good thing. But I am loving the Gatorade and it’s helping keep me hydrated. So I was super excited when I saw a 24 pack at Sam’s Club for $12!!! It does have 8 grape ones which I’m not the biggest fan of, but I will drink them, and that makes each bottle only 50 cents! What a steal!

Running hasn’t been the best, which sucks because I do believe I proclaimed a return to the half marathon in like, 6 weeks. But, I’m going to focus on better hydration, better sleep (been having serious issues in that department), and seriously just getting my game face on! The weather is hot but I’m hoping perhaps we will have a cooler September, which will have me in top form come race day. For now I will spare you the boring details of my crappy runs, and promise to have some positive running news for you in the very near future.

And that my friends, sounds like a good enough update to me. You got some self portraits, some new recipes, and pictures of Gatorade. What more could you want?

Have a great day!!!! I’ll be back again soon………!

Terrifying Tuesday

okay, okay, there actually wasn’t anything terrifying at all about today, but I had to do something to grab your attention!!!! And now that I have it, on to the life update!

The twin reunion was amazing. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen Brittany (MD mind you!) in over 8 years. It was wonderful catching up with her and honestly felt like no time had really passed between us. She made me a fantastic meal of grilled chicken, baked potato, and my friend Sarah made the salad. And of course there was wine!

   
    There will definitely be more of this fine lady in my future! Twins united in the dirty south!

Sunday was spent crushing it at the gym with Sarah, followed by a calm Sunday funday, in which I treated myself to a tuna sandwich from Subway. Do not judge; it was a favorite of mine growing up!

  Monday morning started off with a serious cardio session and grocery shopping, considering the fridge was practically empty.

  I spent the remainder of the day doing errands and cleaning before another few days of work. I also started a new workout program, and let me tell you kids, I am getting more and more sore with each passing hour. Yesterday I did the chest/triceps day, complete with a bazillion push ups, and today was back and bis, complete with a bazillion assisted pull ups. Oh and legs. Which I NEVER do. So why in the F are my abs sore? And my forearms? And why does it feel like someone punched me in the back over and over? Oh, right….bazillions of core crushing exercises. Why am I doing such things? :) looks like the old karen is returning with avengence.

And speaking of returns, what about a little return to the old running game? Because that shit is also happening, September 19th to be exact. A little Camp Lejune half marathon never hurt a girl, did it?

Yeah buddy. Time to get this party started. August had better watch out for me, because the fire has been lit and I’m about to burn it up!