Category Archives: Rave of the Week

No skin off my bones.

I have lived my life to this point very, very opposed to one item that so many people seem to love…..

The chicken wing.

I know what you are thinking. Whhhhhaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttttttt? Yes, you heard right. I have been leading the anti chicken wing movement with no solid reason why.

Thinking back, I can blame my disgust for chicken wings on my hatred for sauces. I don’t like salad dressings…..not a fan of BBQ Sauce or ketchup, and until recently, I was not a fan of mustard. I understand that to many of you, this is strange. When it comes to the aforementioned condiments/sauces, I have given them all the effort to say with conviction I DO NOT LIKE YOU. Mustard and I got together by happenstance, and we have been doing well ever since. I have tangoed with sriracha….may have a future there….the jury is still out. I am trying new things and attempting to add some sauces to my cooking arsenal.

Back to that wing.

This past weekend Kyle and drove back to my hometown to take my dad out of dinner for Father’s Day. Since it was his celebration, he got to pick where we went, and he chose Quaker Steak and Lube….always a crowd favorite. The Lube is known for their wings, but me….being the wing hater I am, opted for a healthy chicken salad instead of living on the edge. Kyle was the only one of the bunch who got boneless wings. The order was huge, and for some reason he didn’t clean his plate, so we had some to bring back home.

Later in the evening during our Mad MenOITNB date, Kyle decided he was ready to have the rest of his wings and offered me a bite. I had a little trepidation….I mean, the flavor he chose was called “Boom Boom”, and I am not the biggest spice person either. However, I decided to try the wing bite.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.MMMMMMMMMMMM.GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Why has no one force fed me a wing before? It was the most delicious thing ever! In fact, I was so obsessed that we ended up ordering a takeout order from Chili’s to share because #cheatmealshappen.

My deepest apologies to you, boneless wing. I promise I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you.

If you haven’t consumed a wing, first of all, congratulations on being part of probably 0 .000001% of the world, but do yourself a favor…..go to Quaker Steak and Lube, get some Boom Booms and rejoice.

New favorite cheat meal right here.

New favorite cheat meal right here.

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Rave of the Week: Being a Good Witch

If you ever have to interact with me before 10am, there is one piece of information about me that you absolutely must know.

I need coffee.

Correction: You need me to have coffee.

I wish this was legit.

I very much like to get up early, and I very much like to be productive. Often I am doing work before the sun comes up….sometimes even holding conference calls where interaction is a must. When this happens, I am already about 3 cups in. I’m a busy person with deadlines, an Inbox constantly full of emails, videos to record, trainings to lead, meal plans to create, exercises to do….coffee is to me what gas is to a car. I don’t go without it.

During the month of May I had an amazing little surprise from Panera: free coffee for the entire month. I like having a My Rewards card, but to be honest, I don’t use it all that much because I pack my meals and stick to my meal plan. However, when I learned of this little gift from the coffee fairy, I took advantage of it every.single.day. In fact, I am now on a first name basis with the barista, Brianne, and I have a little morning gang I see daily that is composed of 4 gentlemen all in their 80’s. Panera, I love you and please, feel free to share this with me any time you wish. It absolutely was an amazing gift.

Coffee. It happens.

One day a few weeks ago I posted this picture on my Facebook to showcase my coffee cup cemetery (and my strong lipstick game). An acquaintance of mine messaged me and told me that I needed to stop drinking coffee because it was healthy. No, no it’s not, acquaintance. You clearly haven’t had your coffee and are not thinking correctly.

Go get yourself one of these IVs, sister.

Back when I didn’t care about my health, I had no problem ordering the fattiest drinks on the menu or overloading my coffee with those delicious creamers (hello, Samoa creamer….I am talking to you). However, I have learned about how bad some of those drinks are for you and have made modifications. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks here or there, but when I do I get my soy milk fix and drink them sparingly.

My favorite way to have my coffee involves the secret gem of the kitchen, coconut oil. Are you using it? Im serious, you should be. I use coconut oil for so many things that I probably should devote a blog to it so you can learn how versatile it is. My favorite use is putting it into my coffee. Not only do I love the taste, but it helps me avoid the “I need the sweet creamer taste” that I used to get back when I was going through creamer withdrawal.

Here’s how I make my coffee. P.S. You can use any kind of extract your heart desires, but I love caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla.

Hello, lover.

So back to my acquaintance telling me coffee wasn’t good for me. I’d like to share with you some of the health benefits so you can see for yourself that, just like milk, it does a body good.

Reasons why Coffee is the bomb.com. 

Benefit #1: It increases energy levels so you don’t feel as tired.

Benefit #2: It helps boost your metabolic rate by as much as 11%….. meaning it helps you burn fat.

Benefit #3: It DOESN’T contribute to high blood pressure, like sodas do.

Benefit #4: It assists with the increase in adrenaline in the bloodstream.

Benefit #5: The smell of coffee decreases stress.

Benefit #6: It is a huge source of antioxidants and helps fight free radicals.

Benefit #7: It helps your memory…..moderate amounts of caffeine increases the size of the hippocampus, which assists with long term and short term memory.

Benefit #8: 200 to 300mg of caffeine helps your heart perform better by improving the blood flow.

Benefit #9: It helps reduce the risk of diseases such as cirrhosis, Alzheimers, diabetes, gout, liver disease, and cancer.

Benefit #10: It can help suppress your appetite .

Here’s to all of you whose blood type is also Starbucks. And based on the fact this blog entry is posting at almost midnight, someone better make sure I am caffeinated in the morning…..or else you may be seeing the Wicked Witch.

Found this online...so true.

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RAVE OF THE WEEK: Skimm, not Whole Milk!

Lately I have had a ton of raves each week which makes it difficult for me to choose a big winner.

That’s ok, right? More raves means less rants….at least in my world.

My latest rave is a website that Whitterbug shared with me a few weeks back. Since she is one of my best friends, she knows me just as well as anyone on this planet, so when she suggests something to me, she is usually right on with the recommendation.

(Unless of course it involves Jeff Bridges, but that is another story).

Anywho, Whit stumbled across a website called The Skimm and sent me an email right away suggesting I check it out. Honestly, I thought it had something to do with Skim milk, but my mind was in the clouds that day, so tickle me fancy when I actually went to the website and found out it was news oriented.

Now, what my followers may NOT know about me is that I am really into the News. I love to read about what’s going on and have been known to spend a lot of time on CNN (Ok, I also get some news from People and E News…let me just put that out there). What I struggle with when it comes to the news is that sometimes there are so many stories that don’t keep my attention….then I zone out….and then I stumble onto something else. I want to know all of the important stuff, and I don’t consider anything involving Bruce Jenner’s transition into womanhood or Justin Beiber to be considered top news.

The Skimm immediately caught my attention because it is News oriented, but touches on all of the top stories (something I feel CNN has not been doing lately). As stated on their website, “they read, we skim.” I like that. They skim the stories for all of the important stuff, and I can browse through it. Should the story interest me, I can always just read more about it.

What excites me most about The Skimm???? It is emailed to me daily. That’s right…every morning before a sip of coffee even hits my lips I can read the email and be caught up on everything going on. Like everyone else, I have a busy life, so anything that makes it easier is a win in my book.

I like the convenience. I like the straight forward approach. I like that I don’t have to dig to find the hot topics. I like its name. I’m just down with The Skimm. I think you will, too.

Cruise over to their site and check it out! You can even read the most recent Skimm before you sign up just to make sure you like it!

theskimm.com. It just makes sense.

theskimm.com.
It just makes sense.

RAVE OF THE WEEK: Because, Hey! It’s Been Awhile!

Let’s just address the elephant in the room: 2014 is the year my blog has been neglected. It is what it is. Sorry, little blog. Sometimes things just happen.

My last blog entry was such a difficult thing for me to write about, and as much as I would like to think it hasn’t affected my writing, the truth is, it has. I have logged into my blog several times a week since Andy passed away, but never am able to write anything once I revisit my last blog post, which in this case was about him. I am very much a creature of habit with my writing, and the one thing I do when I log in is read what I last wrote, then I proceed to start a new entry. In this case, I still get very emotional about the loss of my friend, and that usually results in me shutting my computer and telling myself I will write later in the week.  Sometimes you have to just push on, even if it is tough. So this is me pushing on with my blog. After all, life has been quite Kateastic lately.

I have about a million and five things I need to blog about because it has been so long, but I have decided that after a lengthy hiatus, I am bringing back my Rave(s)of the Week. These entries always were my absolute favorites to write, and since this is my blog and I do what I want…..Raves are back. And I think they deserve the first of the million and five entries.

Let’s talk about some Raves, shall we? And since it’s been awhile, I’m sharing some of my favorite Raves of the last two months.

– I SAID YES! Ok, we all know I jubilantly said YES when Kyle proposed in May, but since my last blog, we’ve been busy. The date has been set, the venue, caterer, cake, wedding colors, and lighting company all secured. And I said Yes to the Dress! Naturally, I can’t be sharing those details on here because Im superstitious and don’t want Kyle to see the dress or know much about it until the day I walk down the aisle, but I will share that it is very unique and very Katetastic. I can’t wait to wear it, and the chances of me refusing to take it off ever are high.

Here's a shot of where our reception will be held! Photo courtesy of our amazing lighting company, Solus Lighting Ltd!

Here’s a shot of where our reception will be held! Photo courtesy of our amazing lighting company, Solus Lighting Ltd! Yes, that is a dinosaur you see.

SQUIRRELS, SQUIRRELS EVERYWHERE! I like animals, especially baby ones. However, I don’t like when they are hurt…or when I can’t keep them. Imagine my delight when Kyle called and told me not to be alarmed but he had rescued a baby squirrel from the dogs and placed in a box in the garage. Unfortunately, he found it next to a dead sibling (we imagine they fell from the nest in the tree). This then became an all out homework assignment on what to feed this little guy, what to do with it, etc. Fortunately, I have many animal loving friends in the veterinary field and was eventually directed to a Squirrel Rescue by our house. We were able to deliver the baby squirrel, named Alfred Corn (or A Corn for short) to a caregiver to be rehabbed back to good health. It was amazing to learn how many Squirrel rescues were nearby and all the special things needed to care for a squirrel. I’m happy we were able to save little A. Corn.

 

– DONUTS ROCKED THE HOUSE! Once again, my trusty Donut headpiece held up during my 5.5 leg of the Akron Marathon Relay in September. I write about this race every year, and I look forward to it every year….in fact I was strongly opposed to having our wedding in September next year because it could interfere with this race (fortunately this didn’t end up being a problem). I do so many individual races where the end result is based strictly on what I do and how I perform. This race is a team event, and while we are all so competitive, it is just an absolute blast to run with my friends through such an amazing course. This year we ended up 269 out of 849 teams! Yes, we ran three minutes slower than last year (I take the heat for that since I haven’t been running as much), but we still did awesome!

Holly, Me, Jason, Mandy, and Jodi

Holly, Me, Jason, Mandy, and Jodi

-I JOINED THE SARC BOARD OF DIRECTORS. I am so excited about this venture with SARC, short for Summit Athletic Running Club. The running club has opened up so many doors in my life and introduced me to so many wonderful opportunities and people. To be able to serve as one of the few members on its board is such an honor. Honestly, anyone who is considering running one race should join. We meet monthly, eat pizza (yes, pizza), and do so many cool things. You can visit out website, http://www.summitathletic.com, to learn more about the club or read our monthly newsletter (P.S. This month I wrote a fun article…check it out).

 

-HEADBANDS, HEADBANDS, HEADBANDS! I am an absolute headband freak…I love them and wear them daily. Fortunately for me, one of my dear friends, Sharon, has been my own private headband maker for the past year, so I always have new and exciting sparkly numbers to show off. I was super excited when Sharon finally opened up her headband shop to others this fall! If you are active, you know that some of these headband makers (i.e. Sweaty Bands, Boulder bands, etc) charge you an arm and a leg to have a cool headband. I purchased a few sweaty bands before for a race and they cost me $20 a piece. I was really happy when Sharon started making her own because they are so much better than those fancy ones, they can be personalized to my interests (Yes, she even made me an Adam Levine one), but they are such a reasonable price. If you are after some cool headgear and are on Facebook, find the group Blossom’s Originals and Sharon can hook you up, too. I’m all about supporting small businesses, especially when I can tell you first hand how great something is. So proud of you, Sharon!

Just a few of what Sharon has made me.

Just a few of what Sharon has made me.

-GO TEAM BUBU’S BUNCH! Last weekend was the annual Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, and as always, my family and I were there to represent our love for our beloved Bubu, my grandma who is battling the disease. This year brought a change of venue, but the same energy and support that I have grown to love. My mother once again led a successful Chinese Auction….and I, for once, won something. It was a beautiful day for such a great cause, and I am so thankful that so many people support out family every year.

Team Bubu's Bunch 2014

Team Bubu’s Bunch 2014

 

-THE SPARKLE SQUAD IS BRINGING IT! My business has continually been in the forefront of what I am doing, and it has just been blowing up. When I celebrated my year anniversary in August, I couldn’t believe how much has changed since I began this venture last year. We went from a team of one (me) to a team of nearly fifty individuals. I had no idea what coaching for Beachbody would bring into my life, but I am so thankful. This past week brought the rank advancement of one of my coaches, Britain, which is a big deal for our team. And with so many of my other coaches close to getting their business to that level only means more celebration to come. I am so proud of what my team does every single day and am so lucky I get to call this “work”. The best is yet to come for The Sparkle Squad!

Congrats to my team for their hard work and special thanks to my coach, Laura, for this cute announcement.

Congrats to my team for their hard work and special thanks to my coach, Laura, for this cute announcement.

I could keep going and going with my raves, but the day is beautiful, and I’m off to enjoy it! Fall is my favorite time of year, so that is a rave in itself!

Have a lovely Sunday, friends!

RAVE OF THE WEEK: Lots ‘O Sunshine!

Since I absolutely had to rant about the creeptastic Easter bunnies flooding my news feed, I felt it was only appropriate to follow that up with a rave…or in this case, some raves. It’s been a pretty awesome week for me, and since I am one who likes to celebrate the little things in life, I can’t hold back and only recognize a few. Really, in this day and age when there is an influx of negativity and sad, depressing things happening around us, you really do need to focus on all of the small wonderful things that happen daily. Some may say I celebrate the little things too much, but I don’t care….every moment is beautiful and should be celebrated as such.

 

Preaching to the choir.  (Thanks, wideopenspaces.squarespaces.com for agreeing!)

Preaching to the choir.
(Thanks, wideopenspaces.squarespaces.com for agreeing!)

MY RAVES OF THE WEEK!!!!

1. Shine bright like a diamond! This past week was pretty awesome for my team, The Sparkle Squad, and for me as their leader. I officially advanced my rank to Diamond, which means I now fall in the top 4.3% of leaders in the Beachbody community. Out of 145,000 coaches, I think that is pretty freakin’ awesome. It also means I am one step closer to achieving the personal financial goals I have set. To say I am over the moon is an understatement, and knowing that after such a long time I have finally found my calling is just such a cool feeling. I am so excited for the future of the Sparkle Squad and feel so fortunate to have these people on my team. Sidebar: Since my business is growing, I am currently taking applications for new health and wellness coaches. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be in awesome shape or have a degree in nutrition to coach…you just must have the desire to help others! If you want to talk about these opportunities, you can click here!

sparkle_squad_LOGO

2. Color Blaze! It is no secret that I adore my family and any time I get to spend with them. Add my family to a running event….and I am stoked. This past weekend my mom, Aunt Sheila, cousin Jen, and cousin Taylor ran the Color Blaze 5k in Canfield. While it was unorganized and a muddy mess, it was super fun putting on a tutu and participating in a healthy event with my family. Now if only I could get my dad to agree to something where color is flung at you….

What a beautiful day for a 5k!

What a beautiful day for a 5k!

3. I had a hot date with a hot stud. And by hot stud, I mean a little man almost two months old! I always enjoy getting to spend time with my BFF, Whitney, but I am finding our coffee dates and visits are even more exciting now that little baby J is in the picture. He is such a cute little nugget, and I just love any time where I can stare at his cubby little cheeks and super tiny fingers.

4. I said Yes to the Dress! Not mine though…..my other BFF, Kelly, is getting married July 4th, and I had to go pick up my bridesmaid dress this week. Since there was a little bit of a mix up initially when ordering, I had never seen the dress or tried it on, so I was worried it may be a hot mess when I finally got a chance to pick it up. I was extremely happy that it fit perfectly and was super comfortable. I can’t wait to be a part of such a fabulous day for someone who I have been friends with since we were practically in diapers!

5. I got to run outside in the sun! With two marathons fast approaching, I have been trying to get in as much running as I possibly can. I’m well aware that I am going to do terrible when it comes to my standards since that little sickness I had to deal with for a month and a half kept me on the sidelines, but I am still going to give it hell. When the sun exposed itself on Wednesday I took the opportunity to get in a quick run with one of my fellow Phylers, Steve. Ahhhhhh….just knowing that pretty soon it will be warm and optimal running conditions every day excites me. Plus, the sun being out gives me a reason to wear one of my favorite accessories: oversized sunglasses.

Big sunglasses are definitely my trademark.

Big sunglasses are definitely my trademark.

6. Short work week.  I was extremely happy when I realized that we had off Good Friday. First of all, I needed the break and a day to catch up on sleep…but it also meant I got to spend an entire extra day with my other half. We got to work out together, go to lunch together, cook dinner together, and just be goofballs. The best part? We get to it all over again the next two days. I think he is probably pretty happy he doesn’t have to do anything involving me in a tutu this weekend.

Awwww…..

Awwww…..

7. Farrah went in for a checkup. For those of you who don’t know, my Xterra is affectionately known as Farrah…and as much as I love her, I hate spending money on her. She really is a pain. Last year I put in over $700 on new shoes for her, so I feel that is sufficient for awhile. However, the check engine light kept coming on, finally forcing us to take her in for a checkup. Fortunately, Farrah got a clean bill of health and I spent $0. Thanks, girl.

8. BVB Practice officially started! I’ve mentioned it multiple times in my blog and on Facebook, but being a part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Blondes Vs. Brunettes game is such a cool experience. This week officially kicked off our practice season, and I was very happy to be back on the field. Our big game is May 31st, so if you don’t have any plans, come and see us! You can also visit our site http://www.bvbakron.org for more information about game day, sponsorship opportunities, player biographies, etc. The best part of this event? Everything goes toward the Alzheimer’s Association, which is my charity of choice.

Even if it something as small as visiting your favorite hole in the wall restaurant, appreciate the small joys you are lucky enough to encounter this weekend! Have a wonderful Easter, all…and I hope a non-creepy Easter bunny brings you lots of chocolates and Peeps!

London Pickleworks….one of our favorites!

London Pickleworks….one of our favorites!

 

 

RAVE OF THE WEEK: I’m Wonder Woman!!!!

Yes, you read that correctly!

I AM WONDER WOMAN!!!!

n

Well, not really, but to the fine people of Dollar General I am.

It’s no secret that I have an obsession with Wonder Woman….I mean, who doesn’t??? Lynda Carter was fabulous…beautiful, tough, smart, and witty…all amazing qualities for someone to have. It doesn’t hurt that she can rock out a custom made leotard and knee high boots, either, or that she had big hair. I think we all know how I feel about big hair……..

Anyway, today I was out and about and realized I was out of tissue paper. Since I knew I would be recreating Santa’s workshop and wrapping presents, I needed some more, and I needed it immediately, so I ran to the dollar store to grab some. As I was checking out, the cashier told me that I reminded her of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Two ladies in line behind me agreed with the cashier, and I left feeling like a total badass. I’m not sure if I was just pleased by the fact that someone thought I looked like Lynda, or that finally someone acknowledged that I look like someone other than Sarah McLachlan. I hear that all the time, and I have been arguing that we look absolutely nothing alike ever since my dear friend Diddle first mentioned it back in high school. (I apologize for saying her name….you are now probably thinking about that sad animal rescue commercial and Sarah singing “Angel” softly in the background.)

Look alike? No, no we don't.

Look alike? No, no we don’t.

While getting compared to Wonder Woman was definitely the Rave of the Week, I realized on my long drive home (Ohio drivers, you should be used to this snow by now….seriously) that I actually have had a pretty awesome week with numerous raves:

1. I’m a freaking tough cookie. Some of you may know that this week I started a journey with an elite group of coaches, which I am extremely excited about being a part of. The first three days of this journey and challenge involved a 3 day cleanse. I entered this phase of the challenge with a great deal of trepidation.  I like to eat. I get cranky when I don’t. Most importantly, I work out a lot and burn a lot of calories, so I need the energy. I knew this would not be easy….however, I just finished up Day 2 without any hiccups! Surprisingly I feel amazing, have more energy than I thought, and I feel just really healthy. Don’t get me wrong…I miss food, but if anything this cleanse has done more for me than improving how I feel. I’ve learned I can overcome any temptation and remain disciplined. I even managed to avoid the huge catered Thanksgiving meal at work today. Take that, pumpkin pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. I finally decided on a tattoo!!! I’ve been toying with the notion of a tattoo for several years now, and while I have had many fun and unique ideas for one, I wasn’t 100% sold on any of the ideas. I knew I wanted something with a quote that meant something to me, but what quote??? We all know I love quotes. Last night, I randomly figured it out. One of favorite people ever was Marilyn Monroe for a multitude of reasons (she does rank about Lynda Carter, I must say), and one of my favorite quotes of all time is the one listed below.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to get these done….or how nervous.

Gosh, I love this lady and this quote!

Gosh, I love this lady and this quote!

Thus, my tats were born.

These will be on my feet in January!

These will be on my feet in January!

3. Sherlock! I finally got a chance to watch this television show. Everyone had been talking about how awesome it was, and I love Benedict Cumberbatch, so I figured it was time to do so. I am not disappointed, not one bit!!!! Sherlock’s wit and intellect remind me of my beloved Michael Scofield on Prison Break….I love it.

4. Windmill Jacking Jumps. Now that I am back in the game as an active gym member, I now spend my Monday nights at a super intensive Turbokick class with my friend Kelly. We love it so much that we are going to get our certifications in it, but this week I fell in love with a crazy jumping jack move called the windmill. I wish I had a video to show on here, but I don’t. However, I will gladly demonstrate upon request.

5. The Marathon Costume has been conceptualized! The fact that I have committed to running a full marathon has me terrified. I think I have extra luck on my side though, because the marathon falls on May 4th….aka May the 4th Be with you. My inner geek is quite pleased. This week not only did my mother book the hotel, but I came up with the perfect running outfit/costume. I love when my inner creative genius aligns with my running needs. I can’t wait to share it with you!

6. It’s a short work week, and we get to raise money for Andy! I’m pumped that tomorrow night I get to spend time with the Buehl family and my friends as we gather for a fundraiser for Andy. As many of you know, Andy was in a terrible car accident last December and suffered a traumatic brain injury. We are all so proud of the progress he is making and are looking forward to another great event honoring him! Still, please keep him in your prayers….he still has a long road ahead of him, but we all know great things are coming!

7. It’s Thanksgiving!!! Thanksgiving is always a great day for me! This year I am stoked to be running a race on Turkey Day, something I have never done! It’s going to be freezing and probably a blizzard, but I don’t care….my new running headband will keep my warm! I then get to spend a few days with my family and friends, some who I don’t get to see often….I even will get to see my little cousin Taylor’s basketball game! Oh, and then there is Black Friday shopping. If you’ve ever been shopping with me on BF, you know…………. hide your kids, hide your grannies, and watch out for flying elbows. Plus, Thanksgiving means I get to rejoin the eating population, as the cleanse ends tomorrow evening.

8. Finally, my Steelers beat the Browns. It’s always a good day when this happens. People shut up for awhile, and I can continue to laugh at the factory of sadness. This makes me very, very happy…..especially since a lot of people get to pay up on some bets now.

And now I’m off to other projects…..as Wonder Woman, that’s what I do……………..and yes, I really do own that outfit.

Call me, maybe. I'll answer.

Call me, maybe.
I’ll answer.

RANT/RAVE OF THE WEEK: Butt, Butt, Butt, BUTTER!

I am obsessed with the South….southern accents, southern hospitality, southern brewed sweet tea (it is really an obsession I can’t kick)…the south is just a lovely place.  It also doesn’t hurt that there are beaches in the south, and we all know how I love the sand in my toes.

There is one thing in the south that absolutely gets under my skin and drives me certifiably bonkers.

PAULA FREAKIN DEAN. 

I can't handle this picture...it makes me laugh so much. Thanks, google.

I can’t handle this picture…it makes me laugh so much. Thanks, google.

I do not know what it is about this woman, but she makes my blood boil when I see her. I feel like she makes up her accent as she goes about her day (ever notice how certain words are never the same twice?), I don’t like her love affair with butter, and I don’t like how she rips people off at her restaurant. Before we go any further, YES, I did laugh when Paula got hit in the face with the ham….and I am aware that probably makes me a bad person.

Earlier this week my friend Michael came over to hang out, which is always a guaranteed fun time. However, this visit he has a special surprise up his sleeve….a little thing called “Paula Deen riding things.” I know what you are thinking…..where is this going…..because that is what I thought when he asked me if I had seen this site or any of the images. Since I had not, I jumped on google, typed in “Paula Deen riding things”. Much to my surprise, a world of hilarity awaited me.

Some wonderful individuals took a picture of Paula and photoshopped the heck out of it. I love when those with mad photoshop skills maximize their talents. This is an example of that. Some of my favorites include:

I did come across one that angered me….a Paul Deen recreation of the Halloween costume I wore to work today!!!! What nerve!!!!!!

Here's Paula trying to be ET. She isn't even wearing the right outfit #epicfailPaula

Here’s Paula trying to be ET. She isn’t even wearing the right outfit #epicfailPaula

 

My creation. Obviously, mine is cooler.

My creation. Obviously, mine is cooler.

While I do dislike Paula with a passion, I recommend typing into google/yahoo “Paula Deen Riding Things” and have a laugh for yourself. You can also check out the actual site, Paula Deen Riding Things, by clicking here. It, too, is a blog where people can contribute new pictures of Paula Deen anytime. I think I’m going to put my photoshop skills to work and make an awesome one….the wheels are turning.

***No Butter was consumed during the creation of this blog post ***

acesoftheawesomes.com

acesoftheawesomes.com

RAVE OF THE WEEK: Well, the week!!!!!

The crazy chaos known as my life has seriously limited my ability to blog over the last month. Between moving, social obligations, races, and just work, I’ve barely been able to make time to write and share my ridiculousness on the internet. Lucky for you, that chaos is over. I’m back.

The past week has been busy, no doubt, but very delightful, making it extremely difficult to share a single “rave” as I usually do. I guess in retrospect I’m okay with that…lots of wonderful, fun things means a happy life and a happy Katie. I can’t complain if I have lots of things to share and don’t limit my readers to hearing about only one specific happening.

MY RAVES OF THE WEEK

1. Mama Comes to Visit! My hectic lifestyle has not only prevented me from writing, but it has also limited the time I have been able to spend driving back to my parents for visits. Sure, we have Facetime, Skype, texting, and phone calls, but it isn’t the same. I like going back home to spend time with my family, especially because of the peacefulness it brings me. Luckily for me, my mother decided to make the drive up to see me Sunday. Nothing makes things better than lunch and some gossip with your mother.

2. Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Squash Soup! Much like my beloved PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes for you non Starbuckians), this soup has entered the dangerous category of “Katie’s Addictions.” My mom introduced it to me during her visit Sunday, causing me to go get it three times this week and find the copycat recipe online. Since I purchased some butternut squash this weekend, I will be attempting the recipe this week. If you haven’t tried it, just take my word for it.

It's liquid crack, really.

It’s liquid crack, really.

3. Move #7854972636258 is over! On Monday I officially turned in the keys to my old apartment, meaning everything was out, and another move was in the record books. This has been one of the easiest moves I’ve had, but it still was a move. I’m just thankful it is over. It was an emotional move for me…I cleaned out a lot of stuff and got rid of items that I had attached certain memories to, which in the past has been difficult for me to do. Maybe I am maturing?

4. Touchdown my Pants! Ever since I entered the flag football arena for the Blondes Vs. Brunettes game back in June, I have been really into flag football, so I was tickled pink when I was asked to play on a team in Cleveland. The best part? Our name is Touchdown my Pants, clearly demonstrating our maturity, and there is no other thing I’d rather be doing on Wednesday nights.

You can't get more ridiculous than this!

You can’t get more ridiculous than this!

5. I officially got promoted up a level with my Beachbody Business! Yay, self! I know some people are over my posts about Shakeology and working out, but get over it, you haters. If I have to look at pictures of your kids getting potty trained, getting on the bus, or just a picture of their hair flying out of place, you can suck it up and look at my pictures of things promoting a healthy lifestyle. Anyway, I’m so proud of that fact that I am part of such an awesome organization, and I’m super proud of myself that I am moving right on up even with such a chaotic month. Being a coach when I’m already using the programs is easy, and if you want to know more about it, here is a little video from our CEO giving you the 411. If you aren’t, well….keep on posting pictures of your kid’s new scrape/doll/snack.

Here’s a video on becoming a coach!

6. Free Stamp….again! It is no secret that I have a strong love for the Free Stamp in Cleveland! I love it for many reasons….it’s big and obvious, and it is a beautiful work of art. Above all, I love that it was put there to tick people off. Much like myself, the Free Stamp goes against the grain and is controversial, and I like that. Don’t know the story of it? Click this link to read an article of why the Free Stamp is where it is today! Of course, I had to get my picture with it when I was in town this weekend….as I do every time I am in Cleveland. I probably have about a hundred pictures with me and that stamp, but I don’t care. I love it!

I look like a midget!

I look like a midget!

7. Rock N Roll Marathon Part Deux in the Books! To say I was nervous about the Rock N Roll Marathon in Cleveland this weekend was an understatement. For those who don’t recall, I had a little adventure during the Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon back in April….an adventure that included 13.1 miles running in a garbage bag in a terrible downpour. All week I frequented my weather app to see the forecast: oh wonderful, rain all morning. Fortunately, the rain stopped this morning just as I exited the car, allowing me to run during perfect conditions. Well, they were perfect until mile nine….when I met the hill from Hell and slipped on some gravel, jacking my ankle up. Oh well. Nothing some sleep, ice, and cursing won’t fix. I was disappointed with my time because of my slip up, and as always, was hard on myself once I crossed the finish. However, I am proud of myself for doing it. Every single time I start getting angry at my performance, I just think of all of the people sitting on their couch, shoving Big Macs down their throats and being too lazy to go for a walk around the block. Yes, I am lapping everyone on the couch.

This may have been a great week, but I know this upcoming one will be just as fabulous! Here’s hoping you all have a great Monday!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

RAVE OF THE WEEK: Fall, welcome back you fiesty devil!

On a scale of 1-10, how happy am I that it is FALL?????????

The correct answer: 20!!!! Can you see me doing cartwheels from your house? Probably.

Similar to how I look at life, I try to find the silver lining and little joys in everything. There are aspects of every season that I enjoy…Fall just happens to be my absolute favorite for many reasons.

I like the winter because I get to rock out my Ugg Boots (I don’t care what you haters say), plus I really like drinking hot chocolate and watching Home Alone at Christmas time….I guess reciting the line “Buzz…your girlfriend…woof” never gets old.

Favorite line from a movie ever? perhaps. Photo Courtesy of my friends at yahoo.

Favorite line from a movie ever? perhaps.
Photo Courtesy of my friends at yahoo.

I like the spring because I love love love flowers, and watching them bloom is just a beautiful sight. Also, this is the time of year that the running season kicks off, so I am happy as a clam.

Summer…well, we all know I celebrate my birthday pretty much the entire summer, so that’s why I love it. Throw in swimming pools, BBQs, and fireworks, and I am sold. Summer, you almost win, but your girl Fall….she takes the cake.

Fall…why do I love thee? Let me count thy ways:

1. Football is Back! When the football season ends, I seriously enter into a period of brief depression. Yes, I love baseball, but football….it is just the greatest sport ever. When I hear the Monday Night football music fire back up, I am excited. Big time. Here we go, Steelers, here we go!

2. Pumpkin everything! Gosh, pumpkin makes everything better! Starbucks has my pumpkin spice lattes…Whitehouse Fruit Farm has my favorite pumpkin doughnuts….I can make pumpkin rolls without being questioned…every candle smells like pumpkin. Ah, I just love it!

You make the world a better place, PSL.

You make the world a better place, PSL.

3. Akron Marathon! The Akron Marathon holds a very special place in my heart, so I look forward to it every September. Not only was it the first “big” race I participated in, but I also have run it with my dad, and most recently, on a relay team full of special crazy characters. We call ourselves “Running for Donuts”, and I cannot wait for the race the 28th. This year we add “Glazed” to our roster since “Coffee Roll” is out with an injury.

Our team last year!

Our team last year!

4. I have an excuse to roll with Zombies. While I am not one who is focused on a zombie apocalypse, I do think zombies are fun. This weekend I get to participate in a Zombie Mud Run with one of my BFFs, Jodi. I am excited to combine my love of getting dirty with running, and the challenge of escaping zombies will be crazy, I’m sure.

5. Speaking of zombies, Halloween: My favorite holiday! It is no surprise that I love to dress up and am always looking for an excuse to rock out a costume, so naturally, Halloween is right up my alley. I’m super pumped this year because I am going to bring a character from one of my favorite movies, The Neverending Story, to life.  If you don’t like Falcor….well, Houston, we have a problem.

Not going to lie, really stoked for this one.

Not going to lie, really stoked for this one.

6. Memory Walk Time! As everyone who knows me can attest, I have a strong passion for the Alzheimer’s Association due to the fact that my maternal grandmother, Bubu, suffers from the disease. While I hate that the disease exists, I love that people from all over come together for the Memory Walk every October. I also am very proud of my mother who organizes an amazing event every year. This year the walk is on October 12th, and if you want to walk with us, please feel free! You can learn more about the event, make a donation, or sign up to walk by clicking this link!

You can even bring your dogs to walk! I used to bring Simon, and he had his own team shirt!

You can even bring your dogs to walk! I used to bring Simon, and he had his own team shirt!

One thing I should mention I dislike about Fall? The fact that retailers don’t let us enjoy it. Why, Hobby Lobby, do you have your Christmas trees and decor already out? Let me enjoy my hoodies, bonfires, football, and pumpkins for awhile first. Santa can freaking wait.

Thanks for this photo, loveprintables.com

Thanks for this photo, loveprintables.com

RAVE OF THE WEEK: My Birthday!

There is one thing that will never change about me: I will always celebrate my birthday, and I will always celebrate the pants off it.

This year, by far, has been my best birthday to date. I’m not sure if it was because of the people I celebrated with, the things I did, or just the fact that I am in a much happier place internally than I have been in recent years. Regardless, it was absolutely fantastic and full of fun and exciting things.

What a cute little baby I was!

What a cute little baby I was!

I started my pre birthday weekend with back to back 5ks with my SARC Psycho running pals, Andrea and Sharon. Saturday we participated in the Andrea Rose Teodosio 5k in Akron, which was an amazing and well organized event honoring the memory of a young girl lost in a terrible skiing accident, Andrea Rose (you can read more about Andrea Rose and her foundation HERE ). I will be honest: usually when I sign up for a race, I don’t really care much about what it is called, and I don’t really look into the cause behind the race the majority of the time. After hearing Andrea Rose’s mother speak about her late daughter and her mission to make the world a better place, I was so happy I ran for such a good cause and person. This 5k is one I will always do, not just because they had Rita’s frozen ice at the finish or a cool photo booth, but for the goodness it represents. For my runner friends, I highly recommend it in the future. Mayor Alai’s 5k that we ran on Sunday? Not sure I would recommend that one. I don’t know what was worse: the heat or the first half mile up a terrible hill, but the pancakes after were quite delightful. After I got home from my run, I had a sister date with Emily that entailed margaritas and my favorite flatbread pizza at Chili’s…probably not the best choice since we decided to spend the rest of the day in the swimming pool observing my neighbors and their strange hairstyles.

After Mayor Alai's 5k...and a horrible hill...

After Mayor Alai’s 5k…and a horrible hill…

Mondays are always a difficult week for me. I love weekends more than I can express, so my attitude tends to me a little lackluster when I walk into my office Monday morning. However, this particular morning I had a lovely surprise: one of my favorite graduates, Barb, came to see me and brought me lots of fun treats. We also got to catch up and chat, which is always a pleasure since I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like since she is done with classes.

Tuesday was a super exciting day for me. After work I celebrated myself at one of my favorite restaurants, Wasabi. I ate a ton of food, drank too many zombies, and was very excited when the wait staff sang to me. The really exciting part of the evening? I finally ended my tumultuous relationship with Time Warner Cable and hooked up my Apple Tv. It’s an adjustment not having cable, but I will tell you…Apple Tv is amazing, and I am obsessed with it already. If you are an Apple freak like me, I strongly recommend it. Click here to see what Apple Tv is all about.

Getting serenaded at Wasabi.

Getting serenaded at Wasabi.

How excited was I for Wednesday???!!!!! My friend Kyla and I had tickets to see Gavin DeGraw, The Script, and Train at Blossom. We had awesome seats, and it was such a great show. I was extremely excited to be close enough to Gavin DeGraw to see sweat on his face, but I was disappointed that Kyla and I didn’t take advantage of the “Mermaids of Alcatraz” tour because had we dressed up like a mermaid, we would’ve gotten to go on stage and sing with Train. We won’t make that mistake again, that’s for sure. We did manage to create our own costumes (which doubled as fans).

We are fantastic mermaids!

We are fantastic mermaids!

Initially Whitney and I had planned to hit up the local Jazz and Wine festival on Thursday, but after some discussion decided it just wasn’t worth the $35 ticket cost, so we opted to visit the local Farmer’s Market and had dinner at Aladdin’s instead. I literally could eat at Aladdin’s every single day of my life. I was excited to learn of this Farmer’s Market…the produce was cheap and awesome. My work pals and fellow Trust Tree members also took me out to lunch (Chili’s again, because I am obsessed with it). I feel very lucky to work with such wonderful and fun people.

My boss is making a weird face (as usual), and I am yelling at him (as usual).

My boss is making a weird face (as usual), and I am yelling at him (as usual).

And then Friday, my actual birthday, arrived.

I have been waiting for Friday for what seems like forever. Why? Because this was the day Whit and I were going to FINALLY take the segway tour of Cleveland. I have had an obsession with segways for a really long time…. it started with this annoying little video I came across years ago. I mean, if a chimp can do it, why can’t I?

Anyway, Whit and I arrived at Tower City ready for this crazy adventure. I could barely contain my excitement!!! I think Whitney thought I was a little crazy when I suggested taking advantage of the Living Social segway deal awhile back, but I am so glad she agreed to participate. Our segway guide, Karl, was a funny and quirky gentleman who was a delight to be around. After a brief segway training session that lasted about ten minutes, we took to the streets of Cleveland. Even though we have been all over Cleveland countless times, it was still very cool to experience the city on these devices. Whit and I loved them so much that we both want to purchase one….For more information on the segway tours, check out the website HERE.

Saturday was a day that I have been waiting for since way back in high school: the day my friends Melissa and Jason tied the knot!  Before getting all dolled up for the wedding festivities, I met up with one of my college friends (and one of the best guys I know), Zack for brunch. I love getting to spend time with my college friends, and I love the fact that Zack has relocated not far from my hometown, so there is no excuse for me not to get to see him. It was a great way to start the day.

Not only was I excited for Melissa and Jason to finally get married after such a long period of time, but I was extremely excited to spend time with both of them since they live in Charlotte, as well as my dear friend Diddle. It’s crazy that we have been friends for so long, yet when we spend time together, it is like nothing has changed. The weather gods cooperated, the wedding was beautiful, the sangria tasty….all in all, a perfect day. I cannot wait to visit them in Charlotte in October.

Diddle, Myself, Melissa, Jason. Love you guys.

Diddle, Myself, Melissa, Jason.
Love you guys.

Sunday was all about family and celebrating with them. The only person missing from the celebration was my brother, as he was working and wasn’t able to be home. Still, I got to spend time with my parents and grandparents…even a quick visit with my uncle while visiting Bubu in the nursing home. I love getting to spend time back in my hometown…it is so peaceful and refreshing. I know it is no surprise, but I’m a little spoiled. Every year my mother makes whatever meal I request (it is always the same….I’m a creature of habit) and makes me whatever birthday cake I want decorated in some crazy way. Over the years she has made 3D pigs, cake shaped like pizzas and hamburgers…you name it, she has made it, so fortunately this year’s mustache request wasn’t too difficult. The best part of my birthday dinner? We rocked out some fake mustaches (my dad has a real one, no need for a falsie). It always makes me sad to leave my parents’ house, but it was nice to return home to a special delivery of my favorite brownies/blondie’s from Fatwitch Bakery in New York City . Haven’t heard of them??? You are missing out. I am obsessed with them, and that is where you can find me whenever I am in the city. You can check them out by clicking this link!

Even at 90, Grandma still knows how to have a good time!

Even at 90, Grandma still knows how to have a good time!

Finally, today, over a week after the celebration of myself started, I decided to wrap things up. Whit and I went to “All Fired Up”, a local craft hub where you can make plates and vases and all sorts of crafty items. We opted to make glass plates. While the finished products won’t be available for pick up until next week, I know they will be fabulous. We can’t wait to go back again and create something else new and exciting!

Creating our works of art.

Creating our works of art.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Jack Kerouac: “Be in Love with your Life. Every Minute of it.” Guess what? I am in love with mine, not just during my birthday week, but every week. I am very lucky….I have great people in my life and have the opportunity to do lots of fun and exciting things. I feel very fortunate to be able to share events like my birthday with so many people, just as I enjoy celebrating the special days in their lives. To each and every one of you who took the time out of your busy lives to wish me a happy day or celebrate with me, thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have the life I have.

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