Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mini of the Month: September

We were so excited to find out the September Mini of the Month was Banana Pudding.  Yum!  Let's just say it didn't take long for us to venture over to Baked by Melissa to pick up this tasty treat!

Ingredients: Banana Cake, Vanilla Icing, Bavarian Cream Stuffing, and Mini Nilla Wafer Topping

Wow, we were impressed! We both really liked this one!  The topping totally made the cupcake.  It tasted exactly like a spoonful of banana pudding!  Baked by Melissa really hit it out of the park with this one!

Would you enjoy a Banana Pudding flavor cupcake?

Andrea :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

City of Conversation

City of Conversation was intriguing from the start.  A family drama surrounding politics and spanning multiple decades.  Not a particularly novel idea, but this play had lots of twists and turns to keep you entertained.  And a fair amount of humor as well.

via Google Images

via Google Images

We really enjoyed the show even though they did sort of call out Kentucky in the first act.  Wasn't too thrilled about that one as you can imagine!  Overall, the story was very compelling and really made you think about the priorities of work versus family.  Definitely recommend giving it a shot if you like politics and history!

Andrea :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Runners Tell All: My Race Bucket List

Within the past year, I knocked out three of the major races on my race bucket list so I'll start with some photos and the recaps of those.  Click on the picture captions below for the full race recaps!




All three of those had been on my race bucket list for quite some time before I was able to cross them off.  Hopefully these next few don't have to wait as long!

This one is in Washington DC so that it's just a matter of coordinating my personal life and getting registered for this one.  I've heard SO many great things about it!

I have heard wonderful things about both of these races.  And as much running as I've done over the past few years, I've never managed to sign up for a race in my home state of Kentucky.  That must change soon!

When I first heard about the Tunnel to Towers 5k I was so very intrigued.  Not sure why I haven't signed up for this one yet, but I know it would be a very emotional run for sure!

It should go without saying that I would also love to run a race or two or three in Europe.  That would be the epitome of fun!  Sightseeing on the go plus a t-shirt and medal...yes, please!!  Sign me up :)

What races are on your bucket list?

Andrea :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: The First Phone Call From Heaven

Mitch Albom is one of my favorite authors hands down.  I like his writing style and his stories.  My dad gave me The First Phone Call From Heaven for Christmas this past year.  Guess it goes without saying it has been a busy few months since I am just now getting a chance to read it.

The setting for the story takes place during the winter in Coldwater, Michigan.  Random people begin receiving phone calls from deceased loved ones without explanation.  Each person reacts in their own way, but these calls are oddly timed with Sully Harding's release from prison.  Skeptical Sully makes it his mission to find out who is making these calls before he receives one himself.

I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  I thought the story moved very slowly.  I also predicted the ending about halfway through the book.  Maybe I've just read too much Mitch Albom, but I thought this one wasn't quite as good as the others.  It didn't make me think like most of his other books.  I didn't find myself challenged like I had at the end of his other books.  Don't get me wrong though, I did like it.  It kept my interest, and I enjoyed it.  It just didn't measure up to all the others.  If you like small town mysteries, definitely give it a shot.  If you are looking for a Mitch Albom classic try The Five People You Meet in Heaven or The Time Keeper instead.

Andrea :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One Month...

I can't believe in just one short month, I will say I Do to the love of my life.  We are SO excited to begin this adventure together. 

And I look forward to letting you in on all the long distance wedding planning craziness and the excitement of the Big Day after we return from our amazing honeymoon!  For now, I'll leave you with a sneak peek from our lovely engagement photo session...

Andrea :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Race Recap: Pride Run 5M

The Pride Run took place on a ridiculously hot day at the end of June. 

I surprised myself by knocking out the run in 1:01:26 at a 12:18 minute mile pace.  I think it was mostly in an effort to get out of the heat!! 

The run had plenty of fun outfits and colorful characters.  But the best part was the rainbow popsicle they handed out as you crossed the finish line!  YUM!!

What is your favorite post-race treat?

Andrea :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cute Gender Neutral Baby Shower

Since my friend, Mary, is set to give birth any day now it seems like a good time to tell you all about the cute, gender neutral baby shower we threw for her back in early August. 

The parents-to-be decided they wanted to be surprised by the gender when their little one arrives in the next couple of weeks so we selected a book theme with lots of green - the mom-to be's favorite color!

As guests entered with their books to stock Baby Dening's shelf, we asked them to participate in a fun little gender guessing game.  We ended up having about equal guesses for boy and girl.  I'm SO curious to see which is right!

I was in charge of the games for the shower.  I found some great printables online for the traditional word scramble.  I also got a little creative making a Baby Jeopardy board!  And you know a baby shower just isn't complete without the yarn game.


Everyone had a great time celebrating Mary!  I was surprised by how competitive everyone was at the games.  Glad I got some good prizes for the winners :)  And of course everyone received lovely bottle and pacifier favors on their way out.

It has been SO exciting and a lot of fun getting to experience this journey to motherhood with Mary.  I am so happy for her and Dave as I am certain they will be phenomenal parents.  Mary is the first friend that I feel like I've really gotten to be around on a regular basis throughout her pregnancy.  It was always exciting to hear the updates and see the progress throughout the past few months.  It's down to the wire now to see whether they'll need more blue or more pink in the closet for their beautiful bundle of joy!  Can't wait!

Andrea :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My +1 Experience

As a part of the New York Road Runner Marathon qualifying 9 + 1 program, each runner must volunteer for at least one race throughout the course of the year. 

I was determined not to make the same mistake I made on my first volunteer effort in 2013 so I selected my race carefully.  I picked a short four mile race on the day after I ran the Healthy Kidney 10k.  I volunteered to be a Course Marshal and selected a spot roughly half a mile from the finish to monitor the course.  My main responsibilities were to keep pedestrians out of the areas sectioned off for runners AND to encourage the runners as they passed through my area. 

I actually had a lot of fun volunteering at the race this year.  I liked having a specific duty and area to manage.  I also really liked encouraging the runners as they ran by me.  So many of the runners were so grateful to have someone clapping and cheering them on. 

Have you ever volunteered for a race?  Did you have a positive experience?

Andrea :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bridesmaid on the Beach

It's hard to believe that summer is slowly turning to fall.  I still have SO much to catch up on here, but let me begin with my friend's beach wedding in mid-July.

When Chris and I arrived in Fort Myers to 100+ degree temps, I was a little nervous about how I'd hold up in the heat.  It was HOT!!  We managed to locate the Pink Shell Resort with no problem at all.  It was a really nice beachfront property with lots of fun pools and restaurants to explore.

We made it just in time for the rehearsal.  The food was super tasty!  The bride was so sweet to acknowledge my upcoming birthday at the dinner that night as well. 

After dinner, the bridesmaids showered the bride with some fun gifts and then hung out at the pool for awhile.  It was nice to catch up with several of the ladies that went to college with me.

The official wedding day festivites kicked off with hair and makeup appointments for all the ladies.  We had fun at the salon and then stopped off for ice cream prior to heading back to the beach!

The wedding took place right on the beach so I know the photographer must have taken some gorgeous pics.  We quickly took a few posed shots before heading in for the reception.  The sun set just at the end of the photo session making for some stunning photos.

The rest of the night we spent laughing and dancing.  It was a lot of fun. And it got Chris and I really excited for our upcoming celebration in October!! It's SO close now!!

Have you ever been to a beach wedding?

Andrea :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Race Recap: Portugal Run 5M

The Portugal Run was hands down THE most difficult race I've ever completed.  A total running time of 1:06:10 at a 13:14 minute mile pace doesn't even come close to painting the picture.

The day before the run, Chris and I had ventured to the cutest little baby shower a couple hours away in Pennsylvania.

I rested in the car on the way back to NYC and felt fine when I went to sleep, but about 3am I woke up with intense stomach issues.  INTENSE!  I was back and forth to the bathroom about every hour for the rest of the night.  I honestly wasn't sure I would be able to make it to Central Park, but I also knew that I didn't have many opportunities left to run the nine races needed to complete the marathon qualifying so I decided to push through it.

I left my apartment when the race was set to begin, but fortunately the cab got me there quickly.  I took off near the very back of the pack and didn't move too quickly at first.  I knew that I needed to find the first port-o-potty on the trail...and I ended up having to walk most of the way there.  The first mile ended up taking me something like 18 minutes.  It was torture.  Absolute torture.

I thought about just quitting and going home then, but I felt a bit better after the bathroom break and figured I was already 1/5 of the way to the end so I might as well just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I managed to run roughly 11 minute miles for the next three miles.  Nothing short of a miracle!  The last mile was a major struggle though.  The entire mile I alternated between walking and the slowest jog ever all while scanning the entire grounds for another port-o-potty.  I thought I was NOT going to make it...

My friend, Amanda, was waiting for me at the finish.  Unaware of my super uncomfortable condition at the time, she got some great photos of me nearing the finish line.  In the first, I am clearly scanning the area for a port-o-potty which Amanda promptly helped me locate as soon as I crossed the finish line.  True friendship at its finest folks!

Needless to say, I wasn't super proud of my time for this race.  However, I was extremely happy that I survived it without any accidents.  Sometimes it really is just about crossing the finish line.

Andrea :)

Monday, September 8, 2014


Each summer, my friend Mary and I make it a point to celebrate our birthdays with a fun broadway show.  Feel free to hop over to this post to learn more about the history of our fun tradition.

This year we wisely decided upon Aladdin.  James Monroe Iglehart (the Genie) had just won a Tony for his performance.  Not to mention, I'd heard the show was simply amazing.  Those rumors were most definitely true!  I loved this show.  The genie truly did steal the show, but in the best way possible.  It was a very fun night with one of my favorite ladies!

If you are in New York, this is a MUST see show.  It is perfect for any audience and quite funny.  I actually wouldn't mind seeing it again.  It was really fun to watch.  Go check it out!! 

Andrea :)