Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday everyone! 

1. I am headed North this weekend for 4 of my friend's birthdays. They are all born within a week and there are sets of birthday twins (2 on 1/28, 2 on 2/5). I am also thankful to be able to spend some time with my family before the birthday celebrations.

2. Richmond got its second huge (by our standards) snow this year this week. Typically we get one good covering and everyone gets their snow fix. In addition to the snow, it was absolutely frigid for a few days. And to think I thought coming to Richmond would be an escape from Maryland and Blacksburg mountain weather!

3. After numerous people praising House of Cards on Netflix (the second season comes out 2/14), I decided to jump in head first. I have been flying through the first season on Netflix and it has kept me on my toes!

4. I updated my stuffed peppers recipe to make it a little healthier. Instead of rice, I used quinoa and added some diced tomato's and black beans for extra protein. It was super filling and flavorful 

5. Week 2 of my 10k training plan is done. One of my days this week consisted of cross training and I took a stab at the Arc Trainer. Boy, is that a workout. I think I found my new go-to cross-training machine.

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Road Trippin'

This frigid winter is giving me an extreme case of cabin fever. Usually, I have a little inkling to go skiing or play in the snow, but not this year. I would much rather be wrapped up in front of the fire with hot coco in hand. Well, I am ready to get out and onto the open road.

Ever since two of my best friends went on a cross-country road trip (Virginia to California) to drop my friend off for her Teach for America job in Los Angeles last summer, I have loved the idea. Outside of the east coast I have only visited San Francisco and Chicago. Cross-country would be the ideal trip but I would take up any of these smaller trips too!

Blue Ridge Parkway

This would be the easiest route for this Virginia native. The mountains are especially magical in the fall and you can stop along the way for hikes, wineries, and end up at the Biltmore!

California’s Pacific Coast Highway

With gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean along iconic Route 1, this is the perfect romantic road trip. Plus the trip brings views of farms, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful redwood trees.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

The only road to cross the Glacier National Park, at over 6,500 feet, and going over the Continental Divide. Not only will you witness stunning mountain and glacier views but some interesting wildlife, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Bourbon Trail, Kentucky
If you are trying to bring a man along for the ride, this is the ticket. With 8 distilleries creating 98% of the bourbon, you get to taste the best of the best. Plus you are hop away from beautiful Lexington and Louisville! 

Jackson to Yellowstone National Park
 Yellowstone National Park is the quintessential American road trip. Our great national park is loaded with beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, hot springs, lakes, and more.

Sonoma and Napa Valley’s
 Any other 90’s kid automatically imagine “The Parent Trap” house when you think Napa Valley? Driving through all that amazing scenery and being able to enjoy a glass of wine or two would be my perfect trip.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Superbowl Snacks

The Superbowl is one of my favorite events of the year. My family is huge on football, so growing up we hosted many of Superbowl parties. Last year, my parents were even lucky enough to attend the Superbowl in New Orleans to cheer our Ravens on to victory! 

Since the Ravens are out of the picture this year, I am shifting focus to my other favorite part of the big game - the food! Snacking on tons of yummy dishes. Last year we made homemaded mac and cheese, buffalo chicken dip, and gaucamole. Chili is on the menu for this year and at least a few of the following must be included! 

Honey Balsmic Meatballs by Iowa Girl Eats 
Honey Balsamic BBQ Meatballs |
I love the idea of this new flavor combo to these Gluten Free meatballs. 

Homemade Crab Pretzels by Sally's Baking Addiction
Sally knows Maryland's favorite Crab Pretzels cannot be beat. 

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers by Half Baked Harvest 
You can't go wrong with buffalo chicken or jalapeno poppers so I am loving the combination.

No Superbowl is complete without a cheesy dip. 

Baked Brie Bites by Iowa Girl Eats
Baked Brie is one of my favorite apps, and I love the idea of bite-size brie with different flavors.

Mexicorn Dip by Tasty Kitchen
My friend has made this before and it is so good, such an easy but delicious dip! 

Carmelitas by Averie Cooks
And of course, you need a little something sweet to end the night with.

What are you favorite Superbowl treats? Do you make something every year or switch it up? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10K Training Plan

Hi everyone!

This week marks 10 weeks until my second 10K and the beginning of my training program. I am really excited to be participating in the Monument 10K in Richmond, VA again this year.

I trained and ran last year (read my 10k weekend recap here), but had an injury half way through my training that made me take two weeks off from any running. I completed my goal to run the entire time (my longest distance to date) and had a fabulous time, so this year I want to up the ante and try to run the 6.2 miles in under 62 minutes (10 min/mile pace). Currently, I can run a 5k at this pace, so I am hoping the program will allow me to increase my distance and possibly my speed.

My training schedule is as follows:  
Additionally, I am adding 2 days of strength training a week. I am starting with one day of 5 upper body exercises and one day of 5 lower body exercises. Every few weeks I will work with a trainer to adjust accordingly.

To help hold myself accountable, I will try and update my progress on the blog periodically.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

2013 Recap

2013 was quite the year. It was my first full year of working, which of course is coupled with my first summer without a summer break. Even without a real break, I was very blessed to travel for work and play, highlights being Paris, Atlanta, New York, and Chicago. I learned a lot about myself as an individual, friend, daughter, girlfriend, worker, and person. I think the biggest lesson I learned this year was to surrond yourself by positive people. I had a rough last couple of months, but am so blessed to have moved on to bigger and better things. While I still have a lot of things I would love to work on, like letting go easier, harboring less anxiety, and gossiping less, I learned a lot this year that I would not have thought. 2013 definitely had it's fair share of ups and downs, but I am excited to say that I think 2014 will be the best year yet.

Cheered the Ravens on to a Super Bowl win

Spent a week in Paris with my college roommate

Celebrated birthday's in DC

Hung out with the cousins

VMFA Wine Nights became a Friday night tradition 

Ran my first 10k on Monument Ave (post race) 

Spent Easter in Maryland with my family 

Visited Blacksburg with my best girlfriends for the Hokies Spring Game

Made a Charlottesville trip for Foxfield weekend

Celebrated Kayleigh and my 23rd birthdays at the Rivah with best friends

Saw USA vs Germany men's Soccer match in DC

Played in an awesome kickball league with awesome people

Celebrated my sister's 21st birthday

Launched fireworks at the Rivah on 4th of July

Celebrated 1 year in exploring D.C. and cheering on the Nationals

Hung out at Virginia Beach with my sister and Mimi

Made a trip to Brooklyn for Eric and Eileen's Wedding 

Rain did not stop us from enjoying Dierks Bentley

Made a business trip to Atlanta, complete with a visit from Mom & Allie

Went to my first NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway

Won a whopping 1 game of wiffleball

Took my boyfriend to his first Raven's game in Baltimore

Rode the Intimidator at Kings Dominion with friends (faces waiting in line)

No fall would be complete without Hokie football

Went to a (rainy) Powhatan Festival of the Grape

Headed to Charlottesville for UVA's homecoming weekend

Hosted a Halloween Party on the famous Hanover Ave

Visited NYC with my best friends

Hiked 9 miles to the Top of Old Rag Mountain

Worked and played in Chicago

Got our groove on at the work holiday party

More Christmas parties at The Jefferson

Spent over a week at home with my family for Christmas and rung in the NYE at the National Harbor

Can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!