Half Marathon Training - Week 3

Week three is in the books! Yahoo! it feels good to know I’ve been at work on this for 21 days…isn’t that how long it takes to build a habit? Or something like that… anyway! Yay! Let’s recap it shall we?

Monday: I ran outside with the dogs, was suppose to do 3.5 and kicked out 3.72… HELLO, I’M A RUNNING OVERACHIEVER!! Kidding, of course, but it was a good run and it was light out the whole time and that means Spring soon…right? 

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How To: The Perfect Red Pout

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Rocking a shade of red, or any bold shade for that matter, always gives me an instant pick me up! There is no easier way to add punch then with a sassy pout. Below are a few quick and easy tips to make sure you prep and set your lipstick appropriately! 

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Half Marathon Training - Week 2

If you’re still here reading about my half marathon training…thank you, we have 10 weeks left of these recaps. You can catch up on week 1 here. How is it possible that 10 weeks seems like forever but also way too soon to actually run 13.1 miles? I’m a wreck. Let’s recap the week!

Monday: I went to a gym to run my 3 miles… I walked in the door and they were serving pizza. FOR PIZZA MONDAYS. WTF IS THIS?! It took everything in my to get on that treadmill and run 3 miles and not eat pizza. I felt like not eating the pizza was accomplishment enough. I then STRUGGLED through those 3 miles while watching the treadmill time slowly tick by. When I got home I took my shoe off and my sock was totally bloody. I freaked, took a shower and went to inspect my exercise-induced wound. ONLY I COULDN’T FIND THE SOURCE. Mystery blood is no way to start off the week. 

Tuesday: I went to a body pump class… at another gym. This time - no pizza. Only free weights…which made me feel like a bro. The workout was HARD, I was invited  by my girlfriend and we rocked the weights to a lot of club music. I’m only doing yoga on my ‘stretch and strength’ days from now on. 

Wednesday: Back to the Pizza Gym. I joined as a member - it’s $10 a month…. I’ll just have to avoid the pizza. This run was MUCH better. A tempo run that was a breeze. I drank a cup of coffee before hand and stared at hot models in a magazine… boom, motivation.

Thursday: I ran my 3 miles outside…because it warmed up to a balmy 34 degrees. JP came with me and I was excited for a fun couple run. .25 of a mile from our house I ate shit on a HUGE piece of black ice, sliding for what felt like forever. He told me I went down gracefully (duh). At least I ran the rest of the way home - freezing, looking like i peed my pants.

Friday: I had an early client meeting downtown and an after work event right at 6pm - and just like last Friday, I skipped my workout. WHOOPS. I promise I won’t do it again - but standing for 3 hours in heels is a work out too, you know?!

Saturday: Long run day success! 4 miles down, it was early enough before the snow that I had a chilly but picturesque run down to the Westside Market and through St. Ignatius’s campus. The dogs slept the rest of the day (win!)

Sunday: Rest day was amazing. I literally spent the whole day in bed with the dogs. I only ate pizza and watched the entire first season of The Carrie Diaries on Netflix (because I’m secretly 12 years old). BOOM! 

Are you training? Tell me about your week. 

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To Make: Billionaire’s Shortbread

Guys. It’s FAT TUESDAY (like I need an excuse) but if you do, get down and load up on all the calories your body can handle by making this outrageously heavenly dessert.

I told you I was making this on Sunday, and I spent my 3 hours doing so - don’t panic, it was worth it. So, back to Fat Tuesday - there are two entire sticks of butter in this heavenly creation. Who cares, throw caution to the wind - eat it all. 

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Anyway - it’s from Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee at Food & Wine and she blows it up. This was a recipe affectionately referred to as Millionaire’s Shortbread, but Chef Jenny knows it’s time to TURN UP and brought the billions.

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So, the gist is this: homemade shortbread, homemade caramel (didn’t even know this was just burnt sugar, hello!), homemade dark chocolate ganache, and sea salt sprinkles. 

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*Also, my finished product is way uglier than the photos in Food & Wine..but whatever, it still tastes just as good. 

Here are the full details: 

SHORTBREAD

  1. 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

CARAMEL

  1. 1 stick unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 2 tablespoons water

GANACHE

  1. 9 ounces 70 percent dark chocolate
  2. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  3. Flaky sea salt, for garnish
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Kitchen Renovation - The Reveal!

I can’t believe it - but the house remodel is nearly complete! We’ve gutted the kitchen, installed new floors, and painted just about every wall or piece of trim in the entire universe.

If you’ve been following along, you know that JPC and I are took care of the reno ourselves…I’m not sure if you can call it DIY when you’re partner specializes in construction - but let’s go with it…since I cancel out just about any ounce of help with my klutziness. We started shopping and tearing up the place just after (or before?) Thanksgiving and completed everything just in time for me to host the ladies of my wine club (more on that later)!

I want to walk you through the updates room by room and figured I’d start with the most important room of the house - THE KITCHEN! First, let me say - I’m in love. One of my new year resolutions is to cook more for the people I love and this kitchen is the place where it’s all going to happen!

So, lets go! Let’s take a look at our ‘before photo' courtesy of the home listing before we purchased the house:

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Alright people - WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE. Holy cow, I can’t even believe it really looked like this. First off, I have to say we replaced the appliances the week we moved in: we bought a new stainless steel french door fridge as well as a new stainless stove/oven. Otherwise - this was our kitchen for a year. I can tell you this - galley kitchens are really really hard. I kind of hate them. I can also tell you that this kitchen killed my passion for cooking and baking. I hated spending time in it. I hated that I didn’t have a dishwasher even more.

BUT GUESS WHAT? With the renovation we got a dishwasher AND a microwave.

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AND we got a beautiful set of cabinets, counters, a sink and facet from IKEA. JPC built out an additional wall so we could add some extra cabinets. WE LITERALLY TRIPLED OUR CABINET SPACE with this remodel.

Finally, every wonderful kitchen gadget we own has a place. Finally, I have enough counter space to prep all sorts of deliciousness. Finally, JPC and I enjoy having nights in to cook and enjoy ourselves in our home.

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A close up of our sink and backsplash - we previously had a double-bowl and we opted for a single-bowl sink this time around. A few weeks in and I can tell you it was a great decision! I love how much room I have for cleaning and prep this way, I completely recommend it.

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At the end of the kitchen closest to the dining room we put in a bar with a few stools. JPC built the bar for us, as I mentioned above, this is his specialty and his business. He’s an amazing craftsman that I’m so lucky to have (check out his website here). Previously, we had our dining room table crammed in this corner and used the space as an eat-in kitchen. It kind of sucked. I’ll be unveiling the new dining room in another post.

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Above is the view of the same FREAKING FABULOUS kitchen from the other angle, as you can see the bar area is perfectly placed for quick meals or a cocktail while dinner is being prepped. Last but not least - can we talk about the floors?? The ‘before’ photo shows you the weird Floridian tile that was EVERYWHERE.

Seriously guys, I can’t get over this labor of love (mostly from JPC). I am so grateful that he took this on in addition to the rest of his work. Yes, I learned how to calk, paint, and grout…but if I’m being honest, mostly I just vacuumed. This would have never happened without him.

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Petra can’t resist a photo op, ever. 

So, the money shot - THE BEFORE AND AFTER COLLAGE, Apartment Therapy here I come:

The Details:

Grey Walls: Essential Grey - Sherwin Williams

Purple Wall: Exclusive Plum - Sherwin Williams

Stools: Carlisle Metal Stools

Rug: Rugs USA

Flooring: Pergo via Home Depot (ordered online with Ebates to get us more than $60 cash back! )

So, talk to me - what do you think? Do you love it as much as I do? Have you redone your kitchen or are you thinking about it? Talk to me. I want to know everything.

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Half Marathon Training - Week 1

Alright guys - Week 1 is in the books and today is my ‘rest day’.

I figured I’d give a brief update on how training is going now that my life is consumed by running (and more running). Since Sunday is a rest day and I don’t have to run - I have no idea what to do with myself, so… I’ll blog!

Until May 18th - this is where you can expect to see a weekly update on my progress and thoughts. Again, I’m using the Hal Higdon method and I’m already 2 weeks behind, so it will be interesting on how I make up that missed mileage before the big day.

So, here’s what we’re working with:

Monday/Tuesday: ?? can’t remember if I ran 2.5 on Monday or on Tuesday. Either way, it was only one of the days. I was suppose to run 3 miles, but miscalculated my distance and ran a really difficult 2.5 miles. I realized just how difficult it was for me since I *thought* I ran 3 miles. It was cold and my body hated me. The dogs however, loved it.

Wednesday: It snowed and I ran my intervals (about 1.6 miles) on the snowy sidewalks. It was hard. Running in the snow is like running on sand - who knew? Also, I was called ‘a white girl with a dog sled team' and cheered on by a flavorful neighbor. Again, the dogs loved it.

Thursday: JPC and I woke up and hit a 45 minute spin class at 6am. SUCCESS. We did arm weights to Rod Stewart - can you ask for anything more awesome as a kick off to your day?

Friday: I was suppose to wake up and run 3 miles before work. It was 1 degree outside. Instead I went back to bed. WHOOPS. I guess I need to get that gym membership since winter JUST WON’T LET UP. I did not run my miles at all, bad half-marathon trainer.

Saturday: I got up and ran my 4 miles with a pretty decent hangover. The weather was a balmy 35 degrees, the sun was shining and the pups were pleased. We ran steady 10 minute miles. I kicked my hangover and finished feeling awesome - the dogs slept for the rest of the day.

Sunday: (today!) Rest day! Whoopie! I laid around and read food magazines and plan to make this:

Because hello - I need to replace all these lost calories somehow ;)

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Running For The Finish

Guys. I’m two years until 30. In an effort to not squander what’s left of my youth, I’ve decided to take some serious measures. I’m going to run my first half marathon. I don’t even like to run all that much, and now I’m going to do it all the time. CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CRAZY I AM? 

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But seriously, in an effort to look like this or this when I’m old - I know I have to step it up. So, I’m running the Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon on May 18th. YAY? YAY! 

I have about 80 days until the gun fires and I’m already behind my training schedule. Again, CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CRAZY I AM? 

I’m using the Hal Higdon training schedule, recommended by my coworkers who’ve handled the 13.1 miles before. Does anyone else have any training tips? If you’re in the CLE area, I’d love to link up and get a running buddy or two!

I’ll be recapping some workouts and my progress here. I hope you’ll help cheer me on! Honestly, this blog post is what finally forced me to commit. See you on the road ;)

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Traveling Asia? Don’t forget a stop in Seoul

While in NYC I was able to catch up with some girlfriends I met when living around in Seoul, South Korea. We had a lunch in K-Town and spent hours reminiscing on our time in Asia. I thought it’d be fitting to offer some advice on travel to one of my favorite destinations. Seoul is a HUGE city of around 15 million people - it’s the most bustling city I’ve ever had the pleasure of living in. I highly recommend taking a visit. 
Fashion
From the moment you touch down at Incheon Airport visitors are greeted with the most insane shopping I’ve ever seen. The airport holds multiple stores for Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Burberry - just to name a few. High end shopping is a plenty, but budget options are also all over the place. I still have tons of clothes, shoes and accessories that I picked up in subway stations while running around the city. Some of my favorite pieces were snagged for the equivalent of $20 USD. 
Food
Korean food is fantastic - full of spice and flavor. If you haven’t ever had a Korean meal I recommend finding a reputable local Korean restaurant where ever you live. BBQ is a huge staple and kimchi is healthy and delicious. Koreans have a dish for every ailment and every celebration. For any foodie, it’s a dream come true. Since coming home, I’ve made it a regular staple of my diet…even venturing to cook a few things myself.
Nightclubs
Korean’s have some of the best work-hard/play-hard mentalities I’ve ever spent time with. Their main export of music, K-Pop is a huge sensation and the groups are irresistible. Nightclubs and bars in Seoul literally don’t close until every single person is ready to go home. I’ve walked into a nightclub and night and finally left when the sun is already up the next day. If you’re looking to party, the clubs are the best part. Check out this list of must visit locales
Gambling
The Paradise Casino Walker Hill is the biggest casino in South Korea. Modeled after Vegas casinos, the Paradise Casino Walker Hill is found in the South Korean capital of Seoul. Gamblers can expect to find table games with a variety of limits to please just about any gambler. Do not expect to meet local residents here as they are not permitted to gamble in the casinos. 
Ever spent time in Seoul? If so, I’d love a comment hearing your favorite things to do! 
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, all opinions and travel advice are my own
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NYC: Birthday Recap {part 2}

My long NYC weekend was too good for just one post! If you missed it, you can catch up on part 1 here. Every time I’m in NYC I spend my days walking and walking with breaks only for eating and drinking. You know what they say, shopping IS cardio - so in the end I hope it all equals out.

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Do: Soul Cycle 

I walked over to the West Village studio and rode with my college roommate and bff, Julia. Denis, our instructor is a total babe. We were hungover from too many champagne cocktails, but as soon as the lights went out and the sweat started pouring I knew it was going to be a great day! We crushed the 45 minute class before heading to brunch. You know I’m a big fan of detox for a retox. It was an amazing post-birthday treat with an amazing lady (Thanks Jules!).

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Eat: Laduree Masion de Macarons

Great news NYC friends and fans - Laduree just opened a new boutique/cafe on Broadway. We grabbed a few macarons to go and they sustained our shopping for hours. I freaking love this little place so much. The line for cafe seating wrapped around the store, but I’m sure it’s worth it. 

Refuel: Nespresso 

Leave it to Nestle to create an entire cafe/restaurant just aimed to marketing/selling their latest instant coffee machine. As a passionate marketer I thought it was genius, but JP thought it was a little bit odd/cheesy. Perfectly located around all Soho prime shopping - we popped in for a doppio and back to the main event (SHOPPING) we went. It was just the boost I needed, plus there’s lunch if you need it.

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NYC: Birthday Recap {part 1}

Traveling is one of my favorite things I could ever imagine doing to celebrate any birthday. This year, for my 28th birthday JPC and I jetted off to NYC to spend time with friends, shop and of course - EAT. 

Stay

We decided to go the Airbnb route for our stay. It’s much more affordable, and offers a real-life NYC experience. We rented a fab apartment in Greenwich Village - check it out here. It’s my favorite neighborhood, with beautiful town homes and fantastic little restaurants. Also helpful, it’s very close to the train and can zip you into Brooklyn in breeze. 

Do

Instead of heading to MOMA or some of the galleries that offer unbelievable exhibits, this time we decided to do something new. Specifically, the New Museum. We were able to visit 4 floors of unbelievable work from Polish artist Pawel Althamer.

His work spans across several mediums including video, metal work and sculpture.

The entire 4th floor included an interactive exhibit with a time-lapse recording taking place. Visitors were encouraged to create their own art in the space so Althamer could create a film from it later. While painting, drawing and coloring we were lucky enough to meet the artist himself. Naturally, he was lovely and I was quite starstruck. 

Just down the street from the New Museum is the wall space dedicated for the ever-changing Bowery Mural. Just a week before we came to town, artist Maya Hayuk painted a stunning color explosion that was exactly what the city needed with the Polar Vortex crap we’ve been dealing with. 

Shop

Of course, we spent most of our shopping time in Soho and the Meat Packing District. Scoop, Zara and Topshop are a few of my affordable favorites that we don’t have in Cleveland so I make sure to get some serious retail time here. I also love to check out Opening Ceremony and All Saints when we visit - they offer tons of trend foresight.

Eat

NYC ramen is top-notch. In the past we’ve enjoyed more than our own body-weight of Momofuko, but this time we made sure our first dinner came from Ippudo.

We lined up (in a blizzard) and waited with about 70 others for the doors to open. We were seated right away and I was able to slam some buns, noodles and sake all while jamming to 90’s hip hop. It was glorious and probably what Heaven actually looks like. 

Stay tuned for part 2, where I’ll share more doing and well, more eating! What are your NYC faves? It’s one of my new year resolutions to visit the city more, and I’m always on the lookout for recommendations 

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