This Weekend I…

Took a selfie while fishing on the Colchester Causeway… Lake Selfie      It was necessary I promise.

Caught my first ever fish!!! I can’t even put into words how excited I was so instead I will share a ridiculous hair day photo of the momentous occasion…

Crazy HairSeriously though, my glasses aren’t even on my head right!

Swam around in this beautiful place…

Seymour LakeSeymour lake for the win!

Hung out with these clowns at Joe’s Grandfather’s 90th Birthday…

ClownsIt was a gorgeous day to celebrate!

Took a shot of scotch and soda for the man of the hour…

Scotch and SodaHollis in the background giving the thumbs up!

Got our dance on at the party…

Jess and IAnd our sweat on because it was so freaking hot.

Listened to Hollis tell us how he got to 90…

Hollis Speech“The key is to stay positive, that’s how I’ve been doing it for 90 years and that’s how I’m going to do it for the next 90!”

Leaving camp after a great weekend is always tough but I’m so excited to have a short week at work thanks to the 4th! Zach and I will be heading to Connecticut at some point and that will definitely fill the post-camp trip void 😉

Happy Monday People!

Indie Coffee Passport: Vermont Edition

Good Morning Folks!

I can’t freaking wait for the soccer game this afternoon… literally can’t wait. As you know I’m a pretty massive sports fan and World Cup is one of my favorites! Fun Fact: I’ve been a Clint Dempsey fan since I was 16 (circa New England Revolution/before it was cool) and even own his Fulham jersey.

On to to the point of today’s post:

Yesterday morning I was walking to the little cafe in our office building and noticed this sign chilling by the elevator…

Bluebird sign

While I’m actually not the biggest coffee drinker I was certainly intrigued (where there is coffee there is tea and where there are both there are pastries) so I decided to ask the gentleman at the register.

The Indie Coffee Passport was created by a couple in Toronto to give people a chance to try out coffee shops and cafes around the city.  It grew from there to Ottowa as well as Montreal and just landed in Vermont.

Indie Coffee Passport

For $12 you receive this adorable little passport to receive a cup of coffee (or tea according to the website) at 10 locations around the Burlington area.

Indie Coffee Passport

I have been to a few of these places but never really for a cup of coffee so I can’t wait to work through the list! I keep telling my friends it would be cool for us to be the “meet for a cup of coffee one morning” type of friends but so far we have only mastered the “wanna get a beer after work?” I think this will give me the perfect opportunity to push us along don’t you think??

I’m a big fan of “passport” type deals, I’ve been trying to crush the Vermont Brewery Passport but have not had luck getting to all of them.  I’m actually pretty sad about this, but don’t you worry! I’m going to keep trying 😉

This morning I checked off the first one on the list and grabbed a cup of iced coffee from the Bluebird Coffee Stop (conveniently located in my office building so I didn’t really have to work for it)

Iced Coffee Bluebird

I normally get an iced tea from Bluebird (cough cough or a maple creemee from the cart on Church St) but the coffee was nice and strong! Perfect for a Thursday morning after I stayed up all night to finish a book… more on that later though.  Definitely get yourselves an Indie Coffee Passport and do some caffeine-induced exploring of these lovely little coffee shops:)

Now it is time to get ready for some soccer watching, let’s do this USA!!!

Cyclepath Spinning Studio

Hey there!

To begin I just want to let you all know that our hotel softball team had an impressive victory last night, I know that you were concerned so I just wanted to get that out of the way.

  Zach and I Softball    Pitcher and Shortstop reporting for duty.

To celebrate a few of us headed out to the beach to have a little bonfire and some hot dogs before the storm came in and forced us out.

Beach BonfireSandy toes on hot summer nights, what could be better?

Moving on!

Spinning isn’t something I have done frequently in life but every time I have gone to a class I always walked away so glad I did it.  It gives me that cardio without running which is a really nice change especially coming off a half marathon.  I’ve gone a few times to this great new-ish spinning studio called Cyclepath right in downtown Burlington.  I’ll admit I’ve been incredibly sporadic about going but I’ve been looking into making it more of a routine and finally found the perfect opportunity. I received an email a few days ago that they would be dropping the price on their normal monthly unlimited memberships from $120 to $60 in the summer months. To pay per class is $15 which is pretty typical for fitness classes around these parts. So I jumped on the deal immediately!

I realize that it is summer and an amazing time to take advantage of exercising outside but if you are anything like me “scheduling” a time in my busy day to then push myself can be somewhat difficult.  Plus there are days like today where the clouds opened up and God says “I hate you, Alfalfa!”

I saw an opportunity to use a Little Rascals quote and took it, sue me.

Anyway,the instructors (I’ve met 2 so far) pretty much treat you like they know you.  They seem genuinely excited that you are not only getting your spin on with them but also don’t seem to mind having a quick chat before or after class.  In the past I’ve been weirdly quiet in fitness classes. I have this odd anxiety about talking to the instructors but for some reason I never mind chatting them up for a minute or asking questions. For me, Cyclepath is basically the spin studio equivalent of Cheer’s and everyone does in fact know your name! (Minus the beer but they do have Kombucha on tap)

CyclepathSorry the picture is so grainy, gotta love that orange and white sign though!!!

Today’s lunchtime class was called InSANEterval taught by the lovely and perfectly intense Sara. The class was fast paced and flew by! She pushed hard but never overwhelmingly and always gave options in case anyone was feeling tired.  I like when I feel like the instructor is talking to me but also sort of let’s me do my own thing and she did that very well.  Also, any time work out classes are dimly lit I’m all about it. It reminds me of being at a club and sweating my butt off dancing awkwardly to the music, except not at all.

Speaking of club-like atmosphere, they let you request songs to be played during classes through their website which is a flippin’ brilliant idea! I mean personally I would lose my s*&! if “Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart played.  Hello Favorite Song Ever!

My only complaint was that I forgot my “real-people” workout gear and instead looked like I had just rolled out of bed in a baggy t-shirt.  I’m pretty sure there was a hole in the knee of my tights… epic fail.

Cyclepath is also Juice Box, a juice and smoothie bar that I decided would be the perfect post-class treat.  Last week after class I tried their pear, apple and kale juice and it was great- plus the girl who made it was literally one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!  This time I went a little heavier and got the “Energizer Honey” because it had peanut butter in it and it was wicked delicious.

Energizer Honey#cubelife

I can’t wait to take advantage of their classes with this discounted membership. If you live in the Burlington area or plan on visiting soon you absolutely must make a stop at Cyclepath/Juice Box! They’ll kick your butt and then tell you you’re pretty afterwards;)

Have a happy rest of your hump day!

Burlington Wine & Food Festival

Aloha Friends!

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Burlington Wine & Food Festival located on Burlington’s gorgeous waterfront park.  This is my second year attending the festival and I could not have been more excited to return.  The tickets for the event are set at $50 which for everything you get is still a great deal however if you volunteer for a shift you are able to attend either session for free! $50 saved for 3 hours of manual labor sounds like a great plan to me.

The festival boasts over 40 wine distributors and vineyards from all over the world and an excellent selection of Vermont’s farm to table food. Vermont does such great job of not only producing incredible local fare but also promoting it especially at festivals like this one.

Lauryn, Maria and I Beautiful day with beautiful friends 🙂

Maria and IBefore we got the red wine lips…

Kyle, Lauryn and ICoworker love!

I wish I had taken more photos inside the tent but these were a few of my favorite wines (photos from their websites)

PlungerheadPlungerhead 2012 Lodi Zinfandel: I’m a sucker for a funny tag line, “Plungerhead is made with character for characters.” Plus the guy who pours it wears a plunger on his head… oh and it was delicious of course;)

FalerniaFalernia Syrah: I was really drawn to the symbols on this bottle and the gentleman who created them could not have seemed more excited to be sharing them with everyone.

As for the food Hen of the Wood never disappoints and Burlington’s newest seafood restaurant Bleu killed it on the seafood side but surprisingly enough my favorite food vendor was April’s Maple out of the Northeast Kingdom (how stereotypical Vermont of me). They don’t believe in white sugar only maple which is a cause I can definitely get behind!

April's MapleThis is their Maple Crunch Pancake Kit… holy delicious.

All in all it was a gorgeous day to be hanging out with great friends on Lake Champlain. I met a ton of new people and got to try out some incredible food and wine.  I have no doubt I’ll make it back next year to this awesome event!

Anyone attended any fun festivals lately?

Fun Facts Friday

Alright! Alright! Alright!

(I like to imagine Matthew McConaughey loves Fridays just like I do)

Fun Facts Friday will be my version of Friday Favorites or Five Things Friday… these facts will all be incredibly true and worth reading/taking in to consideration… obviously.

1. Ice Cream Socials were fun as a kid but might be even more fun as an adult.

Ice Cream FaceThis is my “ice cream in the hair don’t care” face.

Farm in South HeroVermont = Farm Country

Moose Wine HolderA moose wine holder??? How unnecessarily necessary!

I spent a lovely afternoon catching up with a dear friend over a couple of MASSIVE cones of ice cream and a long walk through the islands.  For those of you who haven’t been you must and I mean must make a trip to Seb’s Snack Bar in South Hero at least once in your life.  I have never been to a place where I chose hard ice cream over soft but at Seb’s the cookie dough hard ice cream is basically heaven. Plus it’s attached to one of the cutest little country stores… I mean hello who doesn’t need a hand crafted moose wine holder?

2. A Trader Joe’s Cookbook (skinny style) is a brilliant idea.

Trader Joe's CookbookSeriously, it has photos for each recipe… I’m sold.

Mexican Potato HashMexican food and potatoes?!? Yupp.

I picked this incredibly random cookbook up at a Christmas Tree Shop a week ago and can’t wait to try out some of the recipes.  Now that Vermont finally has a Trader Joe’s (I know what you are thinking and it really is tragic… we don’t even have a Target… life is tough) I am super pumped to know exactly where to get everything. The only thing missing from the cookbook was multiple recipes on how to use cookie butter… probably because “Skinny” was in the title.

3. A Sunday spent on the golf course is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Golf with BrotherBrother crushing it on the links.

On Sunday my big brother and I went golfing at Ralph Myhre Golf Course at Middlebury College.  It was the first time I had been there and from the drive there to the course itself it did not dissapoint! My score was nothing remarkable but it felt great to get out and spend a gorgeous Vermont afternoon swinging some clubs.  I even learned how to hit my hybrid… only took me 5 years 😉

4. When you find a great concealer it’s sort of like winning the clear skin lottery.

True MatchL’Oreal True Match Crayon Concealer

I literally cannot remember which blogger suggested this but I picked it up yesterday and could not be more happy with it. It feels great and it covers so well! If you are looking for an inexpensive but trustworthy concealer you must try it out! (Plus Rite Aid has a ballin’ return policy)

5. Weeknights at the Ball Park are basically the best.

Centennial FieldVermont Lake Monsters vs Tri City Valleycats

Lake MonstersThese people are pretty cool.

Ballpark StyleThursday Evening Ballpark Style

I had the pleasure of spending last evening at Centennial field which is such a cool little ballpark with an awesome history! A few friends of mine decided to go in on some season tickets this summer to the Vermont Lake Monsters (a minor league affiliate of the Oakland A’s) and now have a great excuse to spend home games together at the field.

ACTUAL FACT ALERT: Legend has it our very own Lake Champlain has it’s own lake monster affectionately referred to as “Champ”

Keep it real folks 🙂

Benders and Bargains

Oh hey there!

I don’t know about you guys but sometimes I go through some serious phases.  From various shows that I’m watching to books that I’m reading and quite frequently when I decide I must be crafty and redecorate the entire apartment before ANY guests can come over. Currently I’m rocking a shopping “phase” that I prefer to call a full blown bender.  While I don’t consider myself a stylish person I do believe that in being an obsessive style blog reader I am taking baby steps towards gaining random stranger compliments.

My goal with this blog is to try a little bit of everything because why not?

So today I am going to share with you a few things that I’ve purchased these last couple of weeks during my retail therapy bender. I’m actually pretty excited about a lot of these things as almost every single item was a massive sale 😀

        LIT BoutiqueLIT Boutique (Newbury location) $49.00 (I couldn’t find it online at LIT but I did see it here)

LIT Boutique

I bought this dress while shopping in Boston over Memorial Day Weekend and the second I put it on I had to get it.  The color (which shows way better in the second photo) was gorgeous and I am a serious sucker for fun backs on dresses.  It also wasn’t too short which is a problem I find often. I definitely need to make a trip back there before I head into wedding season in August!

TJ Maxx BagTJ Maxx $29.99 (Couldn’t find it online but this one is also adorable)

I mean seriously how fun is this bag? I’m loving aztec prints lately and this is just the right size for my computer! Plus who doesn’t love calling themselves a “Maxxinista” (Ha!)

Sephora HaulbareMinerals Faux Tan Face and Body $20 for sample set

Marc Jacobs “Daisy” $22

I decided after seeing Julia talk about this line of self tanners from bareMinerals on GalMeetsGlam that I would try it out but I was hesitant on my fairly Irish skin tone so seeing the sample size was the best way for me to go! This stuff has been great! It doesn’t feel streaky and it is noticeable without being over the top.  I will say that my hands look quite brown after but a few (10) washes tends to do the trick.

And this rollerball from Marc Jacobs I just love, it smells awesome and my friends always ask to borrow it.

Summer SandalsJC Penney Arizona Sandals $19.99

JustFab Emilee Sandals $39.95

JustFab Audri Sandals (Not found online anymore) but these are similar!

The JC Penney sandals I got for free because I returned something at sephora and had a coupon… win. I also signed up to be a VIP on JustFab and ended up getting those two pairs of sandals for $29.95 with free shipping! How that worked out I really don’t know. The Emilee sandal has been my go to, it runs a little big but doesn’t feel like it when I’m wearing them.  The Audri straps are so fun and classic, they produced a nice little blister on my heel though 😉

Maurices Black and WhiteMaurice’s from the sale rack for $10 (I’ve got my eye on this one though)

Maurice's Grecian DressAlso Maurice’s (not online) for FREE… with a whole bunch of giftcards/coupons

I only ever go into Maurice’s with my little sister who swears by their jeans.  Each time I go in though I come out with a dress that I’m not looking for but secretly am really happy about.  The black and white one fits really nicely but I haven’t had a chance to bust it out yet.  The Grecian dress just may be my favorite find in this shopping haul, I’m trying to decide if I want to bust it out at the Burlington Wine and Food Festival this weekend but I have a massive fear of spilling red wine on myself which would be a real bummer.

Do you all ever feel like you are in “bender” mode?

What have been some of your favorite purchases lately?

Also, premature question… how does one get red wine out of say the dress above? 😉

And for my first trick… A Race Recap!

Aloha People! (Or person… I don’t really know how this is going to go)
I had a tough time deciding if I wanted to do a race recap as my first post- in theory it would have been last week when the race actually occurred but then life got in the way. Oh well, here it goes!

On Sunday June 8th I ran in the Lake Placid Half Marathon in the beautiful Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. I was so excited to do this race because I hadn’t completed a half marathon in over 5 years and this one would be extra special as my Nana’s front porch is literally situated directly on the route. Built in fans, that is how I like to roll!

“Training”

 I had completed a few 6 mile runs and one 8 mile run prior to race day, not exactly what I was hoping for but I decided that those had gone over well and that I would manage. I also purchased new Puma gear for the race so I just assumed that would add 5 miles right there.    That is how that works right?

The Day Before:

 I was super lucky to have my little sister make the trip with me to Lake Placid. We arrived Saturday afternoon and headed right to the Convention Center for race packet pick up. I filled out all the forms, stared down the competition and purchased an incredibly overpriced 13.1 sticker… because I needed it. After that I had a great pre-race meal and got to bed super early.   I was going to fake this til I made it!

Race Packet Pick Up!

Race Packet Pick Up!

Pre-Race:

 My lovely Nana was sitting in the kitchen when I bumbled down the stairs at 6 in the morning for my FAVORITE pre-race meal of an English muffin with peanut butter and bananas on top. Literally I have never eaten anything else the mornings of races, it’s my comfort run food. Outside the kitchen window I watched a man clearly doing a warm up run at which point my Nana said “Well he’s not going very fast” and I explained to her that if I could run as fast as he was “not”, I would be elated.

The Start:

I have no idea why I'm lifting my shirt so oddly.

I have no idea why I’m lifting my shirt so oddly.

 After having a casual photo shoot in the gas station parking lot (see above) my sister dropped me off to begin the race. The starting line was placed right in the middle of town and I thought the announcers did an excellent job of organizing everyone. They also warned of the dreaded black flies who had taken over Lake Placid in recent weeks and would no doubt make an appearance on all of us. 5 minutes to race time a gentleman who was giving us a “pep talk” over the loudspeaker popped the question to his lady friend AND she said yes so props to you sir!

I started my perfectly organized playlist appropriately titled “Ballin” and was off!

The Race:

I started out slowly but maintained a 10 minute average pace through the first 3 miles.
Just after mile 3 I passed by the same window I ate breakfast in hours before and got a good laugh over the poster my sister had made for me which you will see below!

At mile 4 I realized that the couple wearing bright orange shirts, were not stopping to rest at each mile marker but instead stopping to do cross fit moves! During the half marathon?!?! Other runners noticed too and everyone was taking tons of pictures of them, I don’t know who you crazy kids are but DAMN.

At mile 5 “Borderline” by Madonna began playing and I’m pretty sure I laughed through the entire song thinking about how much my boyfriend LOVES that freaking song!

At mile 6 I started hitting some hills and decided to try out the 60 second rule I had just read about. Once I hit the mile marker I walked for 60 seconds and then continued on running the rest of the mile until 7 and then repeated the 60 seconds of walking. I did this for the rest of the race and it really helped mentally get me to break the race down into one mile at a time. In past races I have definitely tried to overdo it and ended up costing me quite a bit of time and more importantly unnecessary effort.

Everything was going great through to turn around at mile 7.5 and right through mile 10. Mile 11 had one fairly nasty hill, mile 12 I passed by my Nana’s house again feeling MUCH more exhausted but still going. Halfway through mile 12 was when a massive hill hit and I definitely struggled. I still felt oddly strong and I knew that I was going to finish but that last bit was tough I am not going to lie.

The finish:

I came into the oval following behind an older gentleman who’s grandson had run out on to the course to finish with his Grandpa… Cue the waterworks because I’m already an emotional monster. I held it together and crossed at 2 hours and 37 minutes with my amazing sister Meghan and cousin DJ standing right at the finish line. I felt like a rockstar who could no longer feel her legs. It was awesome!

Lake Placid Half Marathon Finisher!

Lake Placid Half Marathon Finisher!

For those of you who don’t know me, my celebrity crush (like of all celebrities ever) is Rory McIlroy so this sign could not have fit me any more perfectly!

Best Poster Ever

Best Poster Ever!

Overall:

The race organizers did a great job, from announcers to volunteers everyone I crossed paths with were so nice. I made sure to say thank you to everyone who would listen for cheering us on and spending the hot day out there supporting people. The course was beautiful, I mean when you have the opportunity to run in such a historic little town and see some of the most incredible views you have no choice but to feel lucky. It was so cool to finish directly in front of the high school my mom graduated from. It was absolutely heartwarming to have family there to be able to share my accomplishment with.

Favorite little sister on the planet!

Favorite little sister on the planet!

Thanks for reading my rambles ❤