Yes, I’ve hopped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I ain’t getting off ’til Christmas! I love pumpkin and this year, I’ve branched out in my food findings. Here are some of my top five favorite pumpkin eats I’m having this October:
1. Pumpkin Yogurt
2. Pumpkin Oatmeal
3. Pumpkin Smoothie
4. Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
(Adapted from Chris Fennimore. Original recipe can be found here at Pittsburgh Magazine.)
5. Pumpkin Drinks
This last one isn’t a recipe, it’s a suggestion. The other day, I experienced my first pumpkin beer on draft, complete with a rim full of cinnamon. I highly suggest getting to the nearest place that sells pumpkin beer and trying it. Here’s a good read on pumpkin beer. Also, the most obvious pumpkin drink choice is a pumpkin spice latte, sold basically everywhere that sells coffee. (And if you don’t see it on the menu, ask! They usually have it.)
Five Ways to Make Your Mondays Suck Less
I don’t care how much you love your job, Mondays suck. Unless you’re a hairdresser or a profession that doesn’t work the typical “9-5,” Mondays are evil. Tell ’em, Lawrence:
Since you have five more days until the weekend, may as well make Mondays a little more fun. So here’s my top five tips to making your Mondays suck less:
5. Drink Alcohol
Do I really have to explain this? Going out for happy hour or having a glass of wine with dinner or while watching some Tori and Dean makes the end of the work day a little better. Just don’t drink during work. Pretty sure your boss won’t like it.
4. Take a mid-afternoon Starbucks trip
Yeah, we drink coffee in the morning, but taking a little mid-afternoon break to grab an iced coffee (especially on a sunny day) gives you some much needed caffeine and vitamin D. And when you’re in a box under flouresent lighting all day, this is critical. One thing I keep wanting to do is take a mid-afternoon trip to Sonic near my work and get a tasty limeaid or other drink from there. Sky rockets in flight…
3. Bust out the old CDs
There’s nothing better than busting out a CD from your sophomore year of college that takes you back to frat parties. Oh, those were the days. Listening to these on your way to work is fun. Also, I highly recommend listening to movie or musical soundtracks. My favorite? Aladdin, The Lion King, Clueless and Legally Blonde the musical. Oh, and Grease!
2. Have a fun post-work event planned
Yes, it could be something like happy hour, but other fun actiivities include going to a movie, out to dinner, a yoga class with a friend or bowling. Although my days are so long and I just want to curl up in my bed, sometimes having fun stuff planned for Mondays gives you something to look forward to all day. Not to mention, a lot of places have deals on certain days of the week like $5 popcorn and movie ticket nights and such.
1. Do work on Sunday night
Ummm…what did I just say? Yeah, you heard me. What’s the next suckiest thing next to Mondays? Sunday nights. So take that time to pack lunches for the week, make to-do lists and get ahead on projects. Carve out an hour and just do it. Once you roll into work Monday morning it will make things a little less stressful. Of course, I definitely don’t do this weekly but I try to get as organized as possible when I can.
What do you do to make your Mondays suck less?
Five Ways I'm Training For The Pittsburgh Half Marathon
On May 2, 2010, I will do something I’ve never done: Run 13.1 miles in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!
I’ve been an athlete all my life. Nothing hardcore, just have always participated in sports. From field hockey to gymnastics to softball and lacrosse, I’ve played nearly every sport. Lacrosse was the sport I kept up with the most – playing from sixth grade up until I graduated from college.
I’ve been running since about sixth grade when I began the running sports of field hockey and lacrosse. From gym class where they made you run a mile for the President’s Challenge (I have Bill Clinton’s autograph thank you very much) to required runs for sports, it’s been part of my life. In high school I started running outside of sports for exercise and just stuck with it. Last May, after some friends of mine ran the 2009 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I decided it sounded fun and in July 2009 registered to run the 2010 Pittsburgh Half. Now that it’s April 5, I am getting more nervous but I’m very excited to do something I’ve never done. Sure, I’ve ran a lot in life, but NEVER this far. I’m not fast by any means, but I’ve got the endurance to keep going.
So with that, the top five ways I’ve been training for the half marathon:
I first had shin splints in high school during one of the tennis seasons. I played tennis all four years and all that fast stop-and-go movement was recipe for shin splints. They went away but crept up again late last fall. Thanks to advice from Twitter friends @danahanzlik, @onlinerants and @MichaelSally, my shin splints have gotten MUCH better and are almost completely gone. The best thing I’ve done is ice my shins, stretch, and built more muscle in the legs. Then more ice. I go to bed icing my legs. Ice is my best friend. Ice, ice…baby.
Looking hot and listening to hot jamz
OK actually I probably look like a sweaty hog when I run (see above Homer photo) but I don’t care! Proper gear is more important than looking good. I invested in a great pair of ASICS that are great kicks and also helpful in combating injury like shin splints. I also love lululemon gear. On my ipod are songs that are fun and get me pumped, but also calming songs. Depending on my mood and energy level, a good song can make all the difference. I can listen to Nick Drake sometimes, but usually it’s more upbeat like Shots by LMFAO. Good jam. For a list of what I’m listening to, visit one of my last recent blog posts.
The great thing about social media is you can choose to tell your network everything or nothing. I try to not get too personal, but I have been letting everyone know I am running a half marathon. Same goes for my real life network of friends and family. This is great for encouragement and it’s great to share you just ran that 8 miles you never ran before. Plus if you don’t run, people will know. I’m even doing Tweet My Time during the marathon so family and friends can follow along with me during the race, even if they aren’t there.
Eating spinach like nobody’s business
Food is an important part of training. I’ve been trying to eat enough during the day (which is NEVER a problem) so I have the energy to run the 5 miles after work I normally run. I am a sucker for foodie blogs, and one trend in the food blog world is what they call Green Monsters (http://greenmonstermovement.com/). These babies are amazing. You put like 3 cups of spinach into a smoothie but the good news is you can’t taste the spinach and they are tasty. Plus you amp it up with Amazing Grass, which has so many health benefits and gives you energy. My recipe is the old standard:
One cup soy or almond milk
1 tablespoon flax oil
1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood
1 frozen banana
A sh*tload of spinach
Blend again, VERY well
Sticking to the plan
The most important thing I’ve done since I officially began training on March 1 is sticking to a plan of running and cross training. Skipping days just won’t work in making my body ready to run, so even if I am exhausted after work, I change into my running gear and get going. My training plan can be found here, compliments of Runner’s World. I only run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays so Mondays and Wednesdays are for my own version of cross training: YOGA. Fridays are for rest and I try to do some resistance exercises after my Tuesday and Thursday runs. Best thing you can do for yourself is do yoga if you’re a runner…or anyone for that matter. It really stretches and elongates your muscles and flushes toxins from the body. It also makes you super strong. I’ve missed a couple of Monday classes but made up for it by doing my shorter weekend run on Sunday and then taking class Sunday as well. Not sure how bad working out twice a day is for you if you’re training for a marathon, but my body is OK with it, and that’s what’s the most import part of training – listening to your body, stopping when you need to, and most importantly: having fun.
Follow me on Twitter for updates from the race that day. MAY 2 OR BUST!
Five Things I Can't Get Through the Work Day Without
In keeping up with the “top five” theme that’s been going on since I started this blog, I thought I’d keep it going with this next post. So without further explanation, the five things I can’t get through the work day without. What are yours?
#5 Day Planner
I tried putting all of my meetings, appointments, to-do items, etc. into my calendar electronically, but after many failed Blackberry to Macbook sync attempts, I decided that a good old fashioned day planner was the only way to go. It may be bulky in my work bag, but I can write down anything easily in there, and I can easily see the day and week ahead – never forgetting a thing. Plus, I LOVE to cross things out when I’m done with them and you can’t do that on a Blackberry. My 2010 planner is a time.mine from the dot mine group (it’s the pink one, duh).
Yeah, it’s cliché but it’s true. A little bit of caffeine in the a.m. (and sometimes in the afternoon) goes a long way. Usually I bring my coffee from home, but at least once a week I get my Starbucks fix. Usually a grande soy latte if you’re curious, however, this time of year I opt for a peppermint mocha.
As a PR professional, I need to know what’s going on in the news at all times. Not only that, but I need to network with my fellow PR pros and get to know journalists, so Tweetdeck is the mother ship for accomplishing all of this. Tweetdeck allows me to categorize and see people tweeting to me and around me, as well as allows me to handle multiple Twitter accounts I tweet for. Plus, I can check out people’s Facebook and LinkedIn status updates without having to log into several platforms. I just wish it was available via Blackberry and to access multiple Facebook groups I’m an admin for, but I’m sure it will be soon.
#2 Notepad and pen on-hand
At any point in the day, I can be given information that’s important to do my job. Whether it’s my boss or a coworker talking about a current project, a client calling me with an assignment or just a really good thought, it’s essential to have paper next to me. And I always have a scrap pile around so I can reuse paper. Save the Earth, people! Print on both sides and recycle!
Sitting behind a desk all day can at some times get a little boring, so that’s why I always need music to get me through the day. Yes, I love my ipod for the gym and car, but at work I’m all about Pandora. I have a lot of stations I like to put on random so at one moment I can have T-Pain blasting, then the next Ray LaMontage. If you want to know what stations I’ve been listening to and what I’ve bookmarked, check out my Pandora profile. I also love how you can tweet what you’re listening to! I recommend giving songs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down as often as possible because the more you do, the more Pandora knows you. It sucks because it only allows you to listen to 40 hours per month for free, but I’ve started paying the extra 99 cents per month when I max that out. It’s totally worth it because it’s the only online radio station that “gets” me.
I miss theme songs
Remember theme songs? I do. Once upon a time, I sat down to watch my favorite shows and I could always count on a little tune to make me excited my favorite show was about to come on. Nowadays, it’s talking. Jon & Kate’s show starts with them rambling about their lives with crappy background music. In honor of pre-reality show time, a list of my top-five favorite theme songs of all time. What are yours?
Five: Full House
Oh, Danny Tanner and your crazy cleanliness. Joey with your silly Bullywinkle voice and Uncle Jesse with your hair. I heart Full House and it’s simple theme song…even though Bob Saget is now creepy.
Four: Charles in Charge
This is the 1987-88 theme…the one before that in 1984-85 was that weird slow one, plus I was an infant in ’84 and didn’t appreciate a good theme song yet.
Three: Saved by the Bell
When that bell rang, you knew you were in for a 30-minute treat of high school antics. Tell me you don’t know all the words to this one.
Two: The Golden Girls
Thank you for being a friend. ‘Nuf said.
One: Salute Your Shorts
Is there any explanation for this theme song? This show practically defines my childhood. Enjoy this materpiece! Ug Lee, Ug Lee, Ug Lee…