November 16, 2015

My First Friendsgiving

November is out in full force and although I'm enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, I find myself being wrapped up into the holiday spirit more with each passing day. My friends and I decided to have our very first friendsgiving this year. And being the good halfway point that I am, I got to host the event at my apartment.

As the host I volunteered to cook the turkey--a task that can be seemingly intimidating. I went with a simple recipe for a turkey breast by Ina Garten and with Natalie's help we prepped the bird, popped it into the oven and crossed our feathers hoping for the best.

It turned out to be a big hit! I highly recommend the recipe!

Everyone brought something to share and our full spread included: turkey, mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, stuffing, rolls, and pumpkin cake and cookies for dessert. Whew!

We snapped a few group pictures before sitting down and digging into the feast.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's smack in the middle of what I consider to be the holiday season. It's always exciting to share a day of thankfulness and good food with people you love followed by anxious anticipation for Christmas.

We ate, drank, and laughed all night long and capped it all off by snuggling down to watch The Holiday as we drifted into a fat and happy sleep.

Luckily for me, I'd say that this counts as Thanksgiving and I can start embracing Christmas 100%.

October 24, 2015

Not Running a Half-Marathon

Last Saturday was a quick trip to Michigan to not run a half-marathon. Yes, not run. And I had the best time doing just that.

Detroit is the host of its annual, unique marathon. It is unique in the way that you have the option to run internationally. The marathon and half-marathon courses loop from Detroit, MI through Windsor, Ontario, Canada (they also have a domestic only half, option).

This year my aunt arranged a huge to team to participate and fundraise for the organization, Chances for Children. I've shared before my aunt and uncle's story and adoption journey which has led them to adopt 2 beautiful girls from Haiti. They have since continued their missions work and supporting efforts in Haiti.

I jumped at the chance to train for another half-marathon that would be enjoyed by so many of my family members all while supporting a great organization...and then life happened. It does that sometimes. I wasn't able to focus and commit to training like I wanted too, but I still wanted to be supportive of our team's cause.

So that's how I came to the point of not running a half-marathon over the weekend. I was a little bummed to not be participating, but being a spectator and getting to watch family, friends, and strangers alike complete a race of this magnitude was incredible.  Adrenaline, nerves, and excitement pump through runners as they prepare to start. Crowds form at every corner possible bursting with pride for their loved ones and enthusiastic encouragement for every single person who passes by.

I highly suggest spectating a marathon because it is truly just as exciting an atmosphere for you as it is the runners. The running community is so supportive and genuinely friendly.

My cousin Spencer ran his first half marathon in 2 hours!

If you're looking for a quality organization to support, check out Chances for Children.

September 27, 2015

Campfires + the Short North

Weekends are relished a little more with each passing week now that I am in the thick of things at work. 'Back to School' has been tucked away until next year and we are quickly approaching the end of first quarter.

My Friday nights are typically for catching up on sleep but this week I made an exception to hang out with Corey and his family at a local campground. It is prime campfire season and I'm not one to turn down an epic s'more. Or should I say, s'mOREO. That's right--toasted marshmallow and a Reese's cup all smushed between a golden Oreo. 

Before calling it a night, we kept ourselves entertained like children by tossing packets of flame colorant into the fire. I swear these pictures have no color filters!

Saturday morning after work (my part-time job) I drove to Columbus to visit the bestie, Natalie. 

She took me to my new favorite Columbus food spot, Arch City Tavern.

The parmesan truffle fries are an absolute must. 

We split an order of those babies and both went for sandwiches with a side of brussels sprouts. I had a cuban (the best I've ever had!) and Natalie had a salmon sandwich which was seasoned and cooked to perfection.

The sprouts are fried (but not breaded) and well worth the bump in price for a side item. I was pleasantly surprised at how incredibly delicious they were.

Afterward we grabbed coffee and browsed the Short North before hitting World Market, Target, and Ulta. I scored a new mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and a few makeup items. Side note: my bank account should be thanking me right now that I don't live near a World Market.

A day with my best filled with good eats and a little retail therapy was just what this girl needed. I'm off to one of my little's football games before going to see my family and spending the evening with my love. I hope you also enjoy your Sunday!


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