Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s Address the Mess!

This weekend was supposed to be filled with fun Sparkle Squad bonding, running, laughter, and chocolate….lots and lots of chocolate. However, a super nice sickness decided that would be on the agenda instead, so while my friends are in Columbus getting ready for The Hot Chocolate Run, I am at home guzzling hot tea and watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta marathon on Bravo.

In an attempt to NOT feel like a total waste of space, I decided to tackle one item on my mile long To Do list. My T-shirt collection. Since I moved in with Kyle in July, I have tried rrreeeeaaaaalllllllllyyyyy hard to keep my clothes organized. I don’t think it is  a secret that I have a lot of clothes and shoes……especially t-shirts that I have accumulated from all of my running endeavors. When I moved in, I put about 80% of my stuff in storage, still I sometimes can get a little messy. My t-shirts has slowly been getting messier and messier and messier…..time to organize.

Here is how I organized my t-shirts so I could easily find them and save space. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. Seriously. I mean, look how easy this is:

Look at the difference!

Look at the difference!

Literally took me no time at all, and I had so much more room once I was done. 5 Quick Steps is all it takes!

Now get to folding!

Hail to the victory…..rolls

I like to think I’m known for a lot of things. Bright lipstick and big hair are definitely two of them, and I’m okay with that.

When it comes to my hair, there is one trend that I love love love and do often, and even though I love and adore it, I am always surprised when someone asks me “what’s wrong with your hair?” That, my friends, is my beloved victory roll.

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I love the pin up culture, and while I sometimes dress in the way the beautiful pin ups do, the victory roll is a piece of the 1940’s that I choose to keep alive.

Do you know what victory rolls are and why they are called that? No? I’m about to educate you.

Back during World War 2 there was a major shortage of metal meaning women did not have access to bobby pins. Because of this women had to be creative with how they curled their hair, often using pipe cleaners and other random household items to create the curls they desired. For those off in war, this hairstyle proved to be helpful, as it held the hair off the face.

Some say they are called Victory rolls because of the “v” shape that is associate with the curls; others claim it is because women wanted a connection the the war effort, and repurposing and recycling helped them have a connection and bring a sense of victory within the household while their men fought in the war. I personally think they are called this because it is a fun, creative victory for the hair, but that’s just me.

I’m a huge fan of this hairstyle and love what it symbolizes. I also love how things once were and how unique a victory roll can make you. I do all different kinds of victory rolls (the Classic example below that I found on Pinterest is one of my favorites), but I will strongly state that these tend to take a lot of practice, so don’t give up if you don’t get it just right from the beginning.

Want to know how to rock out an awesome victory roll? Here’s a great resource to show you how!

Click here to watch a great tutorial!

 

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Like sands through the hour glass…..

My poor, poor little blog.

It’s true…..you have been neglected lately. I’m sorry.

Now, I’m not one that likes excuses, but I have had a A LOT going on. When I say a lot, I mean a freakin lot. I can’t believe that the summer is almost over. Usually I am really sad about this, but the truth is that I am so excited about everything that is to come that I can’t handle it! My busy lifestyle had forced me for awhile to prioritize how I spent my time, and sadly, blog, you didn’t make the cut. However, things have simmered back down and you are once again an integral part of my lifestyle. Welcome back.

So what has been keeping me so busy? Let’s do a quick recap of some of the greatest happenings of the summer so far!

HE LIKED IT SO HE PUT  RING ON IT

For starters, I do have some pretty big news. In May I got engaged!!!! If you are my Facebook friend, this is old news, but it still feels like just yesterday that Kyle popped the question, and I love talking about it and thinking about it. We are planning an awesome destination wedding, and if I have learned anything about wedding planning, it is that a lot of people seem to have ideas of what you should and shouldn’t do. Fortunately for me I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, so doing things that others don’t view to be “normal” or “traditional” is A-OK with me.

Can't wait to marry this guy!

Can’t wait to marry this guy!

 

BRANDON ALSO LIKED IT SO HE PUT A RING ON IT….AND SAID I DO!

Not only have I been celebrating my engagement, but I was also lucky enough to celebrate a very special wedding on July 4th. My oldest friend…and when I say old I mean we have been friends since we were in preschool….got married to her longtime long, and I got to be a part of the fabulous wedding party. It was a beautiful event, fantastically unique, and a great night. When it comes to amazing moments in life, seeing your best friends happier than they have ever been is right up at the top. Congrats, Kell and Brandon!

What a beautiful bride!

What a beautiful bride!

 

BRUNETTES DO IT BETTER….WIN OR LOSE.

This spring I was also fortunate enough to once again participate in the Blondes Vs. Brunettes charity football game to benefit Alzheimer’s and this year served as Captain of Team Brunette. It was a crazy game, and even though the Blondes managed to sneak by us with the win, we were still able to raise over $12,000 for Alzheimer’s . I’d say that’s a pretty big win. Not only was it a blast to participate in, but it was awesome having my friend and incredible photographer, Brian Keith of Rustic City Photography, there to photograph the event. He did an awesome job capturing the spirit and competitive attitudes of the players, and I am already looking forward to seeing his work next May when we have our re-match! Mark your calendars now…it’s going to be a great time!

LET’S BECOME SUPERMODELS!

Speaking of awesome photographers, I have to give mad props to my fabulous photographer friend Danette Anderson, owner and head photographer of Ensepia Photography. Danette has been taking some of the most stunning photographs of the leaders in the Beachbody community, and I was fortunate enough to have a photo shoot with her the end of May. Her images are flawless, and I am already excited for my next photo shoot with her in Tampa the end of October. Sidebar: Make sure you watch the Miss America pageant this year! Danette is the current Mrs. Virginia and will be competing for the big title! Here is a look at some of her magic!

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ENDING THE TREND OF OBESITY ONE PERSON AT A TIME!

One thing that I have been devoting a ton of time to is my growing business. I can’t even begin to express how excited and and proud I am of my team, The Sparkle Squad. Day in and day out they are helping people meet their health and fitness goals, and that is such a good feeling knowing I am a part of that. All of the growth has created some pretty big and exciting opportunities for me, and it just blows my mind that a year ago I didn’t know a thing about this whole Beachbody business and here I am getting to the point where I have the option to do this full time.  Thanks so much for all of you who have supported me on this journey, and thanks to all of you who have joined my team! 2014 is the year of  Glamazon Fitness and The Sparkle Squad!

 RUN, FOREST, RUN!

As always, running has been a part of my schedule as well. Last year I was running like a mad man, but this year I haven’t been nearly as much. Earlier in the year I had to drop down from the Pittsburgh full to the half due to being sick for almost two months, and that interfered greatly with my training. Still, I rocked out the Half in the Burgh and followed that up with a great run in Cleveland two weeks later. Now that the fall is approaching, so are a bunch of races that I am anxiously awaiting, including the Warrior Dash, Akron General Birthday Bash, and Akron Marathon. I should state that I did injure myself pretty badly in Pittsburgh, so train properly, folks!

Team Awesome in Pittsburgh....Gary, Me, Jodi, Wendy, and Hahn.

Team Awesome in Pittsburgh….Gary, Me, Jodi, Wendy, and Hahn.

Julie and I after the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon sporting our beautiful hardware.

Julie and I after the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon sporting our beautiful hardware.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

Oh yeah, and then there were the birthday celebrations! You guys know how I roll. This year we took the birthday celebrations on the road and celebrated in two fabulous cities. My other BFF, Whitney and I celebrated our birthdays together as we do every year and went out in my old stomping ground in Pittsburgh. Ah, I love that city. The weekend of my actual birthday, Kyle and I went down to Columbus where I got to spend time with my brother and celebrate with our friends Rick and Kelly. Kelly has the same birthday as me, so it was double the celebration  and so much fun! Of course we had a family celebration back in Leetonia and a few other random celebrations, but overall it was an incredible birthday. I am so lucky to have the people in my life that I do.

 

Ahhh…..so many things going on! I forgot to mention I also threw another move in between all that chaos. Now that Kyle and I are living together, I am getting back into a routine and promise that my love for you, blog, will become apparent. I’ll make it up to, and to all my readers.

Have a Kate-tastic night!

The Curly Haired Girl That Could

Back to back entries about running! Woohoo! Those of you who dislike running and reading about running are probably sighing with disgust. Oh well.

Today was the Cleveland Half Marathon. I was not sure what I was going to do about the race since I was injured two weeks ago while running Pittsburgh. I do have a  tendency to ignore injuries and advice from my elders, but this time I took the responsible route: I rested, refrained from working out and running, and generously applied my coveted Deep Blue Rub religiously. Friday night I was pretty confident I would just suck it up and run the half. By Saturday morning (and after a talk with my dad), I decided I would just drop down to the 10k. I don’t think either of my parents wanted me to run in fear of a possible injury or flare up, but I had to run some part of Cleveland! I love the course, and I knew it would still be a great race. Plus I could see how my leg felt, and I would still get a medal. So that’s what I did. For the second time this year I made the responsible decision to not over-do it and took the smarter race option.

I’m so glad I did. I ran a quality, consistent time over the 6.2 miles and felt amazing when I crossed the finish line. And when I mean amazing, I mean my legs felt like those of Steve Prefontaine.  I didn’t run as fast I was was running pre-illness in February, but it was consistent, and that’s what I was looking for. My speed workouts will help me get back to my fast pace eventually. t won’t lie….my spirits were a little deflated after Pittsburgh. I hate injuries, I hate disappointment, and I hate not meeting the personal goals I set for myself (Yes, I did say I was down for whatever since I hadn’t trained, but deep down…..I still had some goals. I can’t help it…It’s who I am!). After my race today, I got my running mojo back…and just in time since race season is in full swing. The curly haired girl that could is back with a vengeance, running community! My sights are set on qualifying for Boston next year, and I am up for the challenge!

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Earlier in the week I was telling Kyle how I go through various stages of emotional distress on a race day. Today was no different. Im not sure if every runner goes through this or if this is just me….probably just me since I have so many weird traits and habits. Fortunately today I was able to capture these emotions.

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EMOTION #1 AKA ANGER: On race day I am always angry when I wake up. Probably because getting up at 4am isn’t exactly fun and that moment is always when I am my most comfortable position in the bed. Also, I come up with a lot of excuses about why I shouldn’t run. I always do, but I get angry at the fact that I actually paid money to get up so early.

EMOTION #2 AKA TREPIDATION: Before the race starts there is always that moment of “Oh Shit, can I do this?” I know that I can, but that moment still passes through my brain. Today my level of trepidation was through the roof. I was scared to death that I would injure myself again or worse than I did in Pittsburgh, and the thought of not being able to run terrified me. To the majority of you, running may be silly and a waste of time. To me, it is a part of my soul, my therapist, my release, my internal challenger, and my happy place. I felt like I was on Press Your Luck as I entered the corral earlier…..instead of saying “No whammy, no whammy, no whammy” I was chanting “No injury, no injury, no injury” pretty much the whole race. At least it worked.

EMOTION #3 AKA RELIEF: It’s over! I feel relieved that I finished and can collect that banana I worked so hard to receive. Today I was super pumped that there were fruit popsicles along with the cheese curls and chocolate Moo Milk. I’m not excited at this point or even happy. I just feel like an elephant got off my body , and I can breathe. Relief moment #2 comes when I get into my car and begin the descent home.

EMOTION #4 CELEBRATION: The moment of celebration always comes at the same time after every race: the time that I turn the shower on and hop into the hot water. Seriously, there is not a feeling more satisfying than getting that water (especially on those cold race days).

EMOTION #5 AKA JOY: After the shower, eating, and things have resumed to normalcy, I reach the happiness and joy level. This is also usually the time that I am hanging my medal up with the others and have realized that another race is in the books. I then begin to plan out my next big race and get excited about it.

EMOTION #6 AKA PEACE: The moment of peace comes at the moment I climb into my super comfy bed and go to sleep. Being totally exhausted from a long day of running and getting up early means a very heavenly sleep just like that of a baby. It’s also the emotion I am feeling right now…..

So Goodnight all!

 

Here’s how my Feelings Sound.

Photo courtesy of The Inspiration Network.

Photo courtesy of The Inspiration Network.

Ahhhh…Music. Quite easily one of the loves of my life. (Please note…..ONE, not THE).

Music is something I have always had a very strong connection to for so many reasons. It is my motivator, my therapist, my feel good friend, sometimes my enemy, but always omnipresent. I cannot function without it. I play it when I get ready for work…I rock out in my car to it….I stream it all day long while at work….I work out to it….I fall asleep to it. I love it so much I studied Communication in undergrad, ran my own slightly ridiculous and eclectic radio show throughout my college days, accepted an internship with Froggy, and upon graduation accepted a job offer to be on the air full time as a personality.

Enter into the equation another love of my life: Running (Again, please note…ANOTHER, not THE). I’ve spent many posts rambling on about the love affair I have with the sport, so it is no secret that I like to lace up and cruise around outside. Fortunately in my world, Music and Running have a very strong relationship and work well together. I run a lot of races but refrain as much as possible from those races where I can’t wear my headphones, such as mud runs, color themed runs, etc. I need my freaking music. When it comes to races (especially half marathons), one of my favorite things to do is create a new playlist. I know that the playlist is directly connected to my success…..at least that’s what I tell myself, and usually this really pumps me up the week of a race.

Well, except for this week.

Sunday is the Pittsburgh half marathon, which I HAD been looking forward to for a long time. I had signed up to run the full marathon and had been ecstatic to run the bridges of Pittsburgh once again. Pittsburgh means a lot to me for many reasons, but when it comes to running it is a reminder of how far I have come as a runner. Several years back Jodi and I made the decision to run our first half marathons ever together in Pittsburgh. We didn’t train or know the importance of Body Glide, and we just showed up the day before the race with matching shirts and no real expectation. It wasn’t the smartest decision we ever made, but we did it….we did it together…and we haven’t stopped running since.

Note to self: Reeboks are terrible running shoes.

Note to self: Reeboks are terrible running shoes.

When we both made the decision to run the full together, we were both excited. Then life happened…and by life I mean that illness that had me out of commission for almost two months.  I was angry that I was sick, but I was even more upset that I knew I would most likely have to drop down to the half marathon. I knew I could run a half without proper training, but I felt confident that I absolutely could not complete a full without it. Making that call and completing the paperwork to drop down to the half was a sad day in my world, but I hoped my excitement would eventually grow and I would be pumped to run Pittsburgh again.

Ummmm…..yeah. It didn’t. The race is this weekend, and I am not even the slightest bit excited. I know I am hard on myself when it comes to running; I always have been. I also know that I won’t run as fast or as great as I want, and that will upset me. At this point I have no expectation for the race and all that matters to me is finishing, getting my medal, and going home.

The silver lining to this is that I had to create my new playlist for the race. As I mentioned, I love doing this, and every playlist is such an eclectic crazy mess. Earlier today I was talking to one of my friends about music we like to run to, and she asked if she could see my list for Pittsburgh. Her response: “That’s totally what I would expect. A hot mess”

I present to you my “hot mess” aka part of my Pittsburgh playlist.

1. O’Fortuna. I start every race to this song. It’s nostalgic for me. And seriously  who doesn’t get pumped to an orchestra??!!!

2. MGMT “Kids.” Creepy music video. Good beat for me to start out to.

3. Krewella “Alive.” Could listen to this song on repeat for the entire 13.1 mile race.

4. NKOTB “Step by Step.” No judgement. Also, no shame.

5. Beastie Boys “Sabotage” This reminds me of our basketball warmup my senior year in HS.

6. Foo Fighters “Best of You” I just love Dave G’s voice.

7. Wicked Soundtrack “Defying Gravity.” Does not require explanation if you know me.

8. Drowning Pool “Bodies.” This comes on right when I realize I am ready to kick some serious ass.

9. Katy Perry and Juicy J “Dark Horse” I don’t like the song itself, but the beat is quite lovely.

10. The Alters “Every Good Thing” Randomly found this song after realizing I was listening to a Jesus station on the radio. Surprisingly, I really like this song to run to.

11. Bastille “Pompeii” Because Bastille is awesome.

12. Florence and the Machine “Shake it Out” Just one of those songs that I have a very strong emotional connection to.

13. Bob Seger ‘Wildfire”. We all know how I feel about Seger. This song (Now) is connected to something that pushes me to do better.

14. Fitz and the Tantrums “Out of my League” I like this song because I first heard it when I was trying on a dress 3 sizes smaller than I was wearing….and I just connect it to a happy place!

15. Janet Jackson “Escapade” Because the 90’s rocked and I am still living in them.

16. Michael Penn “No Myth” Romeo in Blue Jeans can never go wrong.

17. 30 Seconds to Mars ‘Kings and Queens” Neither can Jordan Catalano.

18. Mayday Parade “Kids in Love” This is one of those secret bands no one has ever heard of but I am obsessed with

19. Trapt “Echo”. Gets me angry and fired up if I have lost motivation

20. Big Country “In a Big Country” I love the 80’s…favorite song from that time period right here.

21. Jane’s Addiction “Jane Says”. Have you noticed I throw slower tempo songs in with my crazy ones? Helps keep me balanced.

22. Parade of Lights “Just like Falling in Love” Another secret band that I discovered while watching a Sunday marathon of “The Hills”

23. Cobra Starship “Good Girls Go Bad” I only have this in here because Gabe Saporata has one of my favorite male voices.

24. Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc” Hahahahahahahaahah.

25. Metallica “Enter Sandman” Every playlist needs at least ONE Metallica song.

26. Tegan and Sara “Closer” I finally omitted this as my cell phone ring tone, but I had to put it somewhere.

27. Rent Soundtrack “Another Day” Upbeat and fun!

28. Emblem3 “Chloe” I have no explanation for why this is here. It’s fun to run to I guess.

29. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin” Hello, have we met?

30. Wham! ‘Wake Me Up Before you Go” A special song between my love and I 🙂

31. Cher ” Strong Enough” If you don’t run to Cher you need smacked.

32. Jessie J “Domino” I just think Jessie has one of the strongest female voices ever.

33. Avril Lavigne “Smile” I am maybe a little ashamed of this….I wouldn’t be if she hadn’t married the guy from Nickelback.

34. Randy Houser “Runnin Outta Moonlight” Country music makes me smile.

35. Lil Wayne “Project Bitch” Just in case I need to break out my inner thug.

36. Cartel “Honestly” I’ve never run a single race without this song playing at some point.

37. Eminem and Rhianna “The Monster”. For some reason, this song makes me feel invincible.

38. WuTang Clan “Gravel Pit” Obsessed with Wu #sorrynotsorry

39. Coheed and Cambria “A Favor House Atlantic” Again, a strong beat that pushes me

40. Tegan and Sara “Alligator” Makes me want to punch people….and it fires me up.

 Yes, it’s only a snippet, and yes, sometimes I like to just repeat songs if I’m in the groove. I love the craziness of this playlist because it really makes no sense to anyone else but me. If nothing else, I can’t wait to run listening to it Sunday.

Speaking of listening, THE  love of my life (Yes the ONE and ONLY) got me a fun “Just Because” present to help me along the way Sunday: the Skullcandy Supreme Sound Hesh Headphones I have been wanting to maximize my listening abilities on the course. I have been after these bad boys for awhile, so I am super excited to now have my own pair and also have a little piece of my love with me since he can’t be there to cheer me on. This also means we now have matching headphones when we work out at the gym (kind of….his are green of course).

Love them!

Love them!

For all of you who are wishing me well and supporting me from both near and far, thank you! I may not be excited now, but I know that I will barely be able to sleep Saturday night because of the excitement that is awaiting me Sunday. And I will be even more excited when that medal is around my neck and I’m hugging my mom at the finish.

Good luck to all my fellow runners!

 

 

The Silver Lining

Is it summer yet?

Seriously, I am over this weird winter and all of the nastiness that comes along with it. This includes being sick…..it sure seems like everyone I know has had some kind of awful illness since 2014 entered our lives.

I am no exception, only my illness stayed with me for an entire month. 30 freaking days. Yes, February, you were an absolute delight.

Yeah, pretty accurate in my case.

Yeah, pretty accurate in my case.

I am not exaggerating when I say I was sick for an entire month, which seemed like an eternity to me….probably longer to the loved ones who took care of me and had to deal with me on a daily basis. It started with a little bit of nausea and loss of appetite….then extreme dizziness….then a headache that felt like someone was using a jackhammer to drill into my brain…an off and on high fever…super strange rash…..extreme dehydration….total weakness of the body….overall a blast. I got to spend lots of time in hospitals, lots of money on prescriptions and orange jello, and way too much watching Gossip Girl.

Sick and in the hospital? Still able to be textually active!!!!

Sick and in the hospital? Still able to be textually active!!!!

Being down and out really ticked me off. I never like my routine being disrupted, especially when the disruption means I can’t work out, go to work, or do the things I like. My sickness also forced me to make two decisions I didn’t want to make: I had to cancel my tattoo appointment, and I had to withdraw from the full Pittsburgh Marathon in May and opt to run the half marathon instead.

Regardless, I still did what I always do: looked for a silver lining. Now I know this may be a surprise to those of you who think I am cynical, but you should know that below the consistently wicked sense of humor and constant sarcasm lies an extremely optimistic human being (yes, I am discussing myself). What is a silver lining? It’s some element of hope and optimism in a difficult situation, not just a movie starring Bradley Cooper, and I look for them in every less than desirable situation. In this particular instance I found several.

THE SILVER LININGS OF BEING SICK

1. I learned a lot about myself. No, this had nothing to do with quiet reflections or affirmations. It has everything to do with one of my favorite sites, Buzzfeed, and the quizzes it pumped out to allow me to learn who the true Katie is. Thanks to Buzzfeed.com, I determined the following:

-If I was a food, I would be sushi.

-If I was a wrestler, I would be the Macho Man Randy Savage

-If I was one of the  Mean Girls, I would be Regina George

-If I was a character in Orange is the New Black, I would be Taystee

-If I was a rock band, I would be Fleetwood Mac

-If I was a member of a high school club, I would be in the drama club.

-If I were to die a Game of Thrones death, I would be decapitated.

If I was a Batman Villain, I would be Mr. Freeze.

If I was a pie, I would be Strawberry Rhubarb.

And now, thanks to Buzzfeed, I have a better understanding of who I am. Can’t believe I lived all these years not knowing this information.

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2.  I got to spend a lot of quality time with some very handsome fellas. Three of my best nurses were four legged attentive little men who brought me many laughs and kisses during my illness.

Bubba and Murphy took their role of nurse very seriously.

Bubba and Murphy took their role of nurse very seriously.

3. Orange Jello is even more delicious than I imagined.  I am not even embarrassed by the fact that I walked into a Walgreens and bought every single four pack of orange Jello they had in stock. I also am not embarrassed by the fact that I purchased them to help me digest the horse sized pills my doctors prescribed. Yes, I am a grown adult. Yes, I trick myself into taking my medicine by hiding it in Jello. No shame here.

My daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner while sick.

My daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner while sick.

4. I learned a creative new way to rock a heating pad. Like I mentioned, I had a headache that literally felt like a midget was tap-dancing on my head wearing football cleats. It was awful. While the medication the doctors prescribed me helped a little, laying on a heating pad and then using a headband to hold it in place around my cranium really did the trick. Did I look like a mental patient? You bet. Did I care? Absolutely not.

This may look ridiculous, but it sure helped with my headache!

This may look ridiculous, but it sure helped with my headache!

5. Sometimes it is fun to have others poke fun at your age. Kyle enjoyed giving me drinks in cups that said things like “Grandma” or “Sexy at 60.” I have to be honest, it did make me laugh quite a bit.

Hahahahahahaha.

Hahahahahahaha.

6. You get addicted to new television shows. During this month, I got addicted to Glee. Once I wrapped that up, I got started with Gossip Girl. Unfortunately, I am still trying to make my way through GG, but am proud to report that I am close to finishing the fourth season. Getting addicted to a new show is like starting a new job…..you feel like you have to put in some serious hours. I don’t mind though, but many questions have been raised. Does anyone else notice Chace Crawford’s eyebrows never move?  Who else wants to punch Georgina in the face? I have so many comments and questions.#teamchuckbass

7. You save money on shampoo and makeup. Seriously, it was kind of nice being a bum. I won’t lie. Don’t be thinking omitting showers took place, that wasn’t the case, but I didn’t feel the need to spend much time on my out of control mop top. Speaking of omitting, I did avoid pants as much as possible. We all know how I can’t stand them.

8. Others overlook your grumpiness. To those of you who were fortunate enough to interact with me while I was sick, thank you for letting my grumpiness slide. I am well aware that I could be compared to a toddler while I am sick, so it means a lot to me that no one attempted to suffocate me with a pillow during the month of February.

9. When the moment comes that you can exercise, you jump for joy. Literally, I did. Fitness is not just something I love, but it is a career of mine. Not being able to do ANYTHING was awful. The moment I was cleared to resume a normal workout routine, I took full advantage of it. This did include jumping around.

Yes, I was that excited.

Yes, I was that excited.

Thank heavens I am back to normal FINALLY. Turns out that I didn’t have Parvo, Meningitis, Vertigo, Mono, or any of the other illnesses suggested during my little bout of fun….it was just a really, really bad virus. While I am happy that I can resume my normal routine, I am also happy that I could find the silver lining.

Always look for one, they are there.

 

Found this on another favorite site of mine, the berry.com

Found this on another favorite site of mine, the berry.com

 

I’m a Psycho….and I’m 100% okay with that.

The greatest time of year has officially kicked off in my world, and I am ELATED!

This time, of course, would be the time of year where I can say goodbye to the treadmill and indoor track and take my running outdoors.

Hi, spring! So glad to see you!

Hi, spring! So glad to see you!

Earlier this week I had my first run outside with my running pals, Steve and Gary. Not only was it my first run outside in lovely weather, but it was my first run in over a month and a half since I was sick and out of commission for so long.  While it was a little more challenging than I had hoped, it lifted my spirits and gave me the motivation I had to keep pushing forward. As most of you know, being sick for such an extensive period of time forced me to make a really difficult decision: I had to drop down from the full marathon in Pittsburgh to the half marathon. It did deflate me for awhile, but after my run on Monday, I actually felt okay with it. True, it is something I really wanted to do, but if I have learned anything from the past year it is to adapt…..so that is what I am doing. My new full marathon plan involves running in Columbus in October.

The fact that the greatest time of year is here also means something else…..race season has officially started! The weekend is my beloved running club’s Shamrock 5k/15k, which unfortunately I am not participating in this year. Since I was unsure health wise where I would be on race day, I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. Still, I hate missing any opportunity to wear my leprechaun tuxedo.

Maybe I will just wear it to work Monday…..

Maybe I will just wear it to work Monday…..

The Shamrock run is one that will always hold a special place in my heart. Why you ask? It was my very first race as a member of Summit Athletic Running Club (SARC for short) and the beginning of some very wonderful friendships. I made many decisions and changes over the last few years, but one of the absolute best was joining this running club. SARC is an awesome organization, and for those of you in the area that are considering joining a club, let me share a few details about it.

-Clearly, we run. There are various running groups within the club where members meet to run daily, weekly, or monthly based on varying paces and availability. If you are a beginner, there are runners who can help you prepare for your first 5K. If you are a seasoned professional, you can meet up with the Phylers and throw down an easy 20 miler on a Saturday.

-When it comes to club sponsored runs like the Shamrock, many of us participate. If we can’t run, we volunteer. Volunteering is such an important part of the club, so if you aren’t a runner but would like to meet new people or be involved in the running community without actually running, volunteering is the way to go. Our club honestly could not function without the volunteers….plus it is a lot of fun! This morning I volunteered at the Shamrock packet pickup, which is always a good time. It also pays to volunteer and participate in the club. For every activity you participate in, you receive Reach for the Summit points. Those who earn enough are invited to a special dinner after the year ends, plus you can cash those points in for cool stuff at the end of the year. Look what my points helped me get this year….you know these are totally Kate-tastic shoes:

New running kicks in two of my favorite colors….and the bottom is reflective, too!

New running kicks in two of my favorite colors….and the bottom is reflective, too!

-Once a month, we have a club meeting where we eat, socialize, and listen to a guest speaker. I always am amazed what I learn from the speakers the club brings in. This past week we learned about some common running injuries and ways to prevent them….and I found a stretch that makes my entire body feel great after a workout.

I borrowed this picture from SARC's Facebook page…our speaker, Dr. Leo Kormanik, sharing a stretch known as "The Bretzel". I love it.

I borrowed this picture from SARC’s Facebook page…our speaker, Dr. Leo Kormanik, sharing a stretch known as “The Bretzel”. I love it.

-We make awesome friendships. While I have made so many wonderful friends of all ages over the past year, there is a special group of people who I have grown to love dearly. We choose to call ourselves “The SARC Psychos”…..because we tend to get a little psycho about running races together. I always love running with these people…we all run at different paces, but it is always fun to compete with each other and motivate each other along the way. There were a time during the Home Run for a Homeless race on Thanksgiving that I was absolutely struggling, and Steve (who had already finished because he is quick like the wind), turned around to run the last half mile with me. Running friends push each other. That’s why I love having them in my life…they make me run better every single day. Plus this group is an absolute blast, and I always find myself smiling and full of laughter when I am with them.

Andrea, Me, Sarah, Sharon, and Gary. Only one missing is Steve!

Andrea, Me, Sarah, Sharon, and Gary. Only one missing is Steve!

I love being a part of this club year round, not just this time of year where the exciting races and chip parties and fun stuff kicks off, but even during the down time, too. It’s the best $20 I’ve ever spent.

Want to be a part of this cool club? We always love new members! Check out our website for upcoming events and information http://www.summitathletic.com!

Brunettes Do It Better.

Last year I was fortunate enough to be a part of a really cool event that involved football, the color purple, and charity. It was the very first year Akron was able to hold such an event , and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.

What in the world am I talking about?????

Blondes Vs Brunettes Powder Puff Football, that’s what!!!!

This super fun event was created with one purpose in mind: help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, a disease that I, unfortunately, know way too much about first hand. As most of my readers know, my grandmother Bubu has been fighting a losing battle with this disease for over a decade, and while it has been crippling to her, it has also been very crippling to our family. Each one of us has been forced to deal with this disease in our own way, yet we all have been able to come together to volunteer and participate in the events that the Association has to help raise funding toward research and to help find a cure to such a nasty, nasty disease. Each year we have one of the largest teams at the Boardman area Memory Walk, an event that raises thousands and thousands of dollars every single year. It is an honor to be a part of such a cool event and to walk with Bubu’s Bunch. We also are active participants in the Forget Me Not Gala each spring…an event where my mother was honored as the Inspiration Award Winner a few years back. Still so proud of you, Mom!

When I was approached last year about participating in the newly created Blondes Vs Brunettes football game, I didn’t think twice about signing up. You’re telling me I get to break out my competitive side AND raise money for a charity that means so much to me???? Yes, please! The game was an absolute blast….not only did the Brunettes win, but the Association raised over $10,000! Yeah, buddy!

Team Brunettes with the Win!

Team Brunettes with the Win!

Naturally, when I was approached this year about not only hopping back into my wide receiver role on Team Brunette, but serving as one of the two captains, I was all in. I mean, I even participated in a flag football league this fall to help me prepare! The big game is May 31st, and I hope all of my readers mark that on their calendar and plan to attend! We also have a big kick off event coming up on March 21st at Gone Country Bar in downtown Akron….if you come and hang with us, you get lots of pizza, mechanical bull rides, and a ticket to the game for only $10! Yahtzeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Come to the game to have a good time, but know that your attendance means so very much to all of us. Yes, I am playing for my Grandmother, who I wish desperately could be there cheering me on and yelling my name like she used to at my high school and college games. I am also playing because I never want a family to feel what my family and so many families have felt due to Alzheimer’s. It is a disease that breaks your heart every single day, and it is a helpless feeling to not be able to find a solution. Fortunately, my Blonde and Brunette pals and I are working extremely hard to raise money to help find a cure. The game will no doubt be a blast, but the strides we all are making toward an end to this disease is really what calls for a celebration. We may enter that game as two separate teams wanting to win that shiny trophy, but we all end up as winners with your support.

Ahhhh….victory is so sweet.

Ahhhh….victory is so sweet.

If you would like to make a donation to me or if you want to read more about the event itself, please visit http://www.bvbakron.org. You can also find out more information about other fun events, like the kick off party I mentioned earlier!

Thank you all so much for your continued support. You really have no idea what it means to my family and to me.

I look forward to seeing you all at the big game on May 31st!

Many Thanks On This Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Greatest Pilgrim I ever met!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Greatest Pilgrim I ever met!

“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

Kind of a crazy thought, isn’t it? I ran across this quote during one of my Pinterest marathons earlier in the week and literally have thought about it every night before I have gone to bed. We all know I don’t talk politics or religion on my blog….I feel those, like relationships, should not be discussed in a forum such as this. However, I found it too beautiful and too thought provoking to ignore and not share you.

Obviously the month of November and the Thanksgiving holiday gives us all a reminder of how much we are thankful for in our lives. While many things on Facebook annoy me this time of year, there is one thing that I love that may surprise you: getting to see my Facebook friends share what they are thankful for each day in November. I participated in this last year, however decided not to participate this year….I mean, I post a lot of status updates and pictures as it is. For that reason, I have decided to share  what I am most thankful for in my life.

30 Days in November = 30 Things I am Thankful For

1. My amazing, amazing family. I am so freaking lucky to have the family I do! My parents are incredible role models who always support me and allow me to be me. My brother is one of the coolest people I know ,and even though he is different from me in many ways, is the ying to my yang. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to spend my life and holidays with grandparents and passed down traditions. I have a slew of beautiful, funny, and ridiculous cousins who are fantastic friends. My extended family of aunts and uncles are just a diverse and dynamic bunch that always make me laugh. All in all, we are just the right amount of crazy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. My friends. Gosh, these people. Really, I should have included them in #1, as so many of them are like family. Being that I don’t live that close to my family anymore, my friends play an even bigger role in my life than ever before. They are there for the good days, the bad times, the celebrations, and the tears. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a huge laugh due to one or many of them….I’m talking gut wrenching bring you to tears laughter (Marenda, thank you for your Bridget the Midget text today…I’m still laughing). I am who I am because of these people, and I love the pants off of each and every one of them.

3. My health. I am so thankful I made the decision this year to really take care of myself. Eating right, exercise, sleep, cutting out stress….I didn’t realize how much I had neglected them in the past….but glad I have gotten rid of 42 pounds of it!

4. My careers. Yes, careers. I wear many different hats….I always have. I have a lot of interests, a lot of talents, and a lot of things I love to do, but they always come back to one main task: helping people. I love to help people. My time spent in higher education has afforded me the ability to help transform many students’ lives in a positive way. I still cry every graduation when I see them walk the stage. My time in the fitness industry allows me to help others achieve a healthy lifestyle and push themselves to new limits. There is no better feeling than knowing some little thing you did impacted another human being in a huge way. It truly is a gift I am thankful for.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 2.53.07 PM

5. Running. Some of you may say this is included in #3, but I disagree. Running is one of the single most important things I have ever done for myself. Anyone who reads this blog regularly, who knows me in the real world, or who is my friend on Facebook knows that running means a lot to me. Yes, it is exercise, but it is way more than that. Running is my connection to a really good place…a place where I can find peace, comfort, clarification and happiness in a simple action. It pushes me to be better. It makes me see situations or problems in a clearer manner. It helps me think before doing something irrational or ridiculous. Running is my therapy and my passion. I am thankful every.single.day for the two legs I have and the ability to be able to do it every day, as I know so many people wish they could and can’t.

6. My puppy brothers. I love animals, and I love my dogs. They remind me unconditional love exists, and they bring me so much joy. I’m thankful for their sloppy kisses and existence in my life. They really do make my life better.

Kisses from Desmond.

Kisses from Desmond.

7. My iPhone. Without you, I would have no idea where I need to be when, who is doing what on Facebook, what running route I took, my horoscope, or what is happening on The Chive. I also wouldn’t be able to photoshop the Kool Aid Man into random photos quickly and efficiently. You truly are a remarkable invention.

8. My Spirit. Many people have tried to break me over the years and crush my spirit and childlike enthusiasm. I am thankful that regardless of the hand I am dealt, I always manage to beat it with a smile and a laugh….even if it sometimes takes a while.

9. A wonderful roof over my head, shoes on my feet, food in my cupboards, and a car to drive. I realize these are luxuries many people do not have. I feel very fortunate to have what I have in my life.

10. My heart. My heart, much like my spirit, has been tested and tested and tested over the course of my lifetime. I am thankful for those who tap-danced on it in football cleats.  I have a bigger heart now that is full of love, hope, and optimism. Thank you, haters.

11. Adam Levine. No explanation necessary.

Makes you want to do yoga, right? photo courtesy of justjared.com

Makes you want to do yoga, right?
photo courtesy of justjared.com

12. Medical Miracles. I am so thankful for the quality care my dear friend Andy is receiving in his new facility. As it approaches the year anniversary of his accident, I am reminded how far he has come, and none of this would be possible without an amazing medical team. I will be even more thankful when he is able to smile and laugh his crazy laugh again…he is one of those friends who has made me a better person, and I miss him terribly every day.

13. Mac So Chaud Lipstick. You are my signature lipstick shade and make me feel like a pin-up girl every day, and I am thankful for whoever made you.

14. The Alzheimers Association. This charity means so much to my family and I. I am so thankful for the money they raise to help fund awareness and find a cure, and I am thankful they allow me to be a part of such an awesome organization.

15. The invention of the DVR. How else would I watch Scandal since I got rid of cable?

16. Traditions. I think one of coolest things about the holidays and being a part of a family is the traditions that are passed down. Even if it is something simple, like an old school Easter Bread recipe, a tradition is attached to so many memories. I love having experiences that I know family members of mine also had.

17.  Pinterest. You’re a mindsucker, but I love you. You consume a huge chunk of my time every day, and the fact you have a mobile app doesn’t help the situation. My recipe box, friends, and crafting addiction all thank you.

So true! And a Pug, too!

So true! And a Pug, too!

18. Summit Athletic Running Club and the Steel City Running Club. Joining a running club has been an amazing investment, as well as a chance for me to make new friends in the running community. I love the events and monthly meetings! And yes, Steel City is my running club in Pittsburgh.

19. Dunkin Donuts. Really, my co-workers and anyone dealing with me before 10am thank you, but I do thank you for the deliciousness you bring to my world.

20. Mustaches. An item associated with much laughter in my life. Thank you to Wyatt Earp, Tom Selleck, and all the other mustached wonders for inspiring so many fun staches, as well as a Beard Team USA competition.

21. My Co-Workers. I am thankful that in my immediate office I get to work with great people who are just as ridiculous, twisted, and borderline inappropriate as I am. It makes going to work fun and never, ever dull.

Thankful my co-workers don't judge me when I get shake crazy!

Thankful my co-workers don’t judge me when I get shake crazy!

22. Michael Scott. I am thankful for Michael every time I drop a “That’s What She Said,” which realistically is about a hundred times a day.

23. December 26th. Also known as the day the Elf on the Shelf goes back to the North Pole. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

24. Grilled Cheese, Reality TV Shows, Ice Cream, Shoes, Sunflowers, Scarves, Country music, and Ridiculous tiny hats. All guilty pleasures of mine that instantly improve my mood. Where would I be without these things? I really don’t know.

One of my favorite scarves ever!

One of my favorite scarves ever!

25. My Hometown. Every time I see the exit sign on the highway, I become giddy. I love coming back to where my life started, and I love the simplicity of the town. I couldn’t imagine growing up anywhere else.

Always happy to see this sign!

Always happy to see this sign!

26. E-Cards. I couldn’t make it a day without referencing one. I am thankful for the creation of these funny items, and I am thankful I also found a site where I can make my own. Hello, inappropriateness!

27. Nans. Bananas are a staple in my life, and clearly, I refer to them as nans. I am thankful for their versatility.

28. Twitter. Thankful for the ability to tweet random rants and create even more random hashtags.

29. My diverse and intense love affair with music. I’ve discussed this frequently on my blog, but I really am quite eclectic. Those who look at my playlists probably ponder whether or not I am drunk during their creation or if I have been eating paint chips. The answer is NO to either. (Below is my song of the moment that I rap/sing excessively.)

30. This blog. I freaking love this blog so much. It started as just a creative outlet for me and has turned in to so much more. I am thankful for all of my readers who love it as much as me. Thank you for reading 🙂

Have a wonderful and safe Holiday! Remember, we should all be thankful every single day, not just today, because we all are very lucky individuals.

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

Yes, you read that correctly!

I AM WONDER WOMAN!!!!

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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.