Monday, December 27, 2010

My first giveaway - Love 2 Run Necklace by Jessica's Gifts!

I am very excited to announce my very first giveaway!!!  A while ago I was on etsy and came across some very pretty jewelry for by Jessica at Jessica's Gifts.  I loved it so much that I immediately contacted her and asked her if she'd be kind enough to donate one of her pieces for my first giveaway...and she did!

So here it is!  Jessica was kind enough to send my favorite necklace, the beautiful "Love to Run" necklace.  I love it because it's so delicate and simple with love to run.  I love to run for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because it makes me happy and leaves me feeling fantastic!

There are four ways to enter (please leave a separate comment for each):

1.  Tell me why YOU love to run
2.  Check out Jessica's Gifts on Esty and tell me what your favorite piece is
3.  Become a follower & let me know (if you already are, let me know :) )
4.  Post this on your blog and let me know!

*Giveaway ends Sunday, January 9, 2011 @ 3:00pm PST and the winner will be announced that same day.
Please note I can only ship within the US.

Good luck!!!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

May your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and joy!
Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

LA County Holiday 1/2 Marathon Recap

Last Sunday, Lisa and I ran the LA County Holiday 1/2 Marathon out in Pomona.  We had the absolute best time that morning!

It was kind of strange leading up to the race though...I kept forgetting I was running a half!  Earlier that week, Kristy and I went tutu supply shopping (she was making a tutu for her Santa to the Sea 1/2 Mary, and I am making one for the Walt Disney World 1/2 in Jan).  As we were walking through the aisles picking our ribbon and tulle while talking about her upcoming race, she looks over and says "Aren't you running one this weekend too?"  "No, mine's in January."  Kristy then says, "No aren't you running the LA one or a holiday one this Sunday?"  Ohhhh yessss!!!!  THAT one!!!!  With my recent engagement, studying my bum off for finals (first semester of my MBA program is now done!  woohoo!), and work, I had forgotten all about this run.  It didn't help that by the time the race rolled around I hadn't run in 2 weeks.  TWO weeks!!  That's a long time.

I called Lisa up Saturday before the LA County 1/2 and said I was planning on running/walking, probably mostly walking.  She was on board with that plan!  So I laid out my red sparkle skirt and hit the hay.
I woke up around 5am on race day, got dressed and cruised out to Pomona.  I met up with Lisa and her hubby David, and Lisa was debuting her brand new green sparkle skirt and it looked awesome!
The gun was scheduled to go off in about 15 minutes so we rushed to the restroom so we wouldn't have to pee along the course.  Of course the bathrooms at the Pomona Fairplex only had three stalls in the ladies restroom we were in line for, so the line was horrendous.  While we waited in line David picked up some free Minute Maid goodies for us.  Yep, I'm smelling this unfamiliar concoction and looking like a little bunny rabbit.  I'm a goofball :-P
We ended up missing the gun time by 10-12 minutes.  But we didn't care!  This was going to be a fun run for us and we were going to finish together!
This is one of the proofs so it's a lesser quality
We ran for the first 2 miles and I have to say, it was a little boring.  The course ran through the fairplex parking lot and it looked like an asphalt desert.  Not much to see.  Around mile 2 we ran on the race track which was kind of cool.
I started to feel fatigued around mile 3 and we slowed to a brisk 14:30 pace walk.  Man was I feeling out of shape or what?!  As disappointing as this could have been, I wasn't upset that it ruined my race.  Lisa and I had the best time together just talking and laughing.  We talked a lot about my wedding too (she's my maid of honor :) )!

Towards the middle of the course we ran by a beautiful park and lake.  We ended up running around the lake and it was gorgeous!  The water was so still and mirrored the crystal clear day we were having.  The course was pretty hilly, and for not having run in a while, it was a challenge.  Here I am conquering one of the hills by the lake:
We ended up walking most of the course, but we were still nothing but smiles.  David met up with us at mile 10, and snapped a few pictures of us.
Mile 11 and almost there!  We ran on and off more frequently at this point.  When we hit mile 12 we decided to run straight through.  Just before the mile 13 marker, I thought I was going to throw up.  I had been feeling nauseous since mile 8, but brushed it off as nothing.  But before mile 13 I lost my cookies a little bit.  I walked a minute, then pushed through to the finish line!
We did it!!!  And we HAD A BLAST!!!!!  It was a beautiful day (and ended up getting up to 92!) and a great wake up call for me to get my bum back in gear!  We got our free beers which tasted delicious, then cruised home.
On another note, I will be hosted my first giveaway soon!  Jessica at Jessica's Gifts has generously donated a beautiful running necklace, so don't miss out!!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Engaged! My Fairy Tale Proposal :)

Sean proposed!!!!  We're engaged!!!!!!!
 Last Friday Sean and I went to New York with our dear friends David and Lisa for what I believed to be David’s surprise birthday weekend.  Lisa and I had been planning for a couple months.  I suggested some fabulous restaurants, which we ended up making reservations at, for David’s birthday brunch and dinner that Saturday.  Turns out, I planned my own engagement brunch and dinner!

We arrived in New York Friday evening after flying FIRST CLASS!!  It was quite a treat, and I was told David and Lisa upgraded us all because of all their frequent flier points.  Not quite the case.  Anyways, when we got to NYC, we checked into our hotel which was located in midtown {strategically picked by my fiancé (I LOVE saying this!!) because of its proximity to Rockefeller}.  We had plans to go skating at the Rockefeller Center ice rink that evening which I was so excited before because I had never done that!  We were quite hungry though and all were craving NY pizza…delish.  So we stopped at Ray’s for a couple slices, then stopped at Lindy’s for NY cheesecake.  By this time is was close to our skating time so we cruised down to the rink.  With the “VIP passes from my roommate” we bypassed the line and immediately got skates.  We skated for about 30 minutes taking pictures and trying not to fall, while admiring the beautiful tree and all the lights.

Just before 10pm they announced that skate session was over and asked to clear the ice.  David told me the staff member said we could stay on a second longer to take pictures under the tree, so he and Lisa skated to take a picture of me and Sean then we were going to switch.  Again, not quite the case.  The ice was cleared, and while David and Lisa skated off, Sean told me we should skate a lap.  I was a little nervous a staff member would holler at us to get off, but Sean held my hand any worry melted away.  All of a sudden, our song started playing over the speakers (“Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional).  Sean looked at me lovingly and with a smile said, “Babe, I need to tell you something.  This weekend isn’t about David’s birthday.”  He proceeded to tell me that there were a lot of people in the crowd there to see me.  We skated and he told me how much he loves me and that he’s never felt this way about anyone before, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.  He pulled me to the center of the ice, kissed me, then got down on one knee.  He held out the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen and said “Maggie my love, will you Marry me?”  I almost made him fall over as I flung myself on him and kissed him!  “Yes!  Yes!  With all my heart yes!”  And he slipped my ring on my finger.  He stood up and we hugged and kissed.
All of a sudden I hear my name being shouted.  I turn to my left and it’s my parents and my NY god parents!!  My parents were in on the whole thing (and had been since August when Sean took them to lunch to ask for their blessing!)  Then I hear another “MAAAAGGGGGIIIIIEEEEEE!!!” and I turn around and it’s all my NY roommates and friends and Lisa’s parents too!!!  I screamed so hard with excitement as the tears glistened down my cheeks!  It was the most beautiful moment of my life thus far.  Everyone in the crowd was cheering and screaming for us.  It was like a fairy tale.  Sean and I skated our “victory” lap as a newly engaged couple before getting off the ice and enjoying our champagne compliments of Rockefeller Center. 

As we enjoyed our quiet champagne in Rockefeller Café, Sean told me the ins-and-outs of how he planned it and how long he had been planning it (for the past year since we were in NYC last December!).  After enjoying our moment together alone, we met up with my family and friends to celebrate!  It was a magical evening.
The rest of the weekend consisted of brunch at Bar Americain (fabulous!); Sean and I being upgraded to the Park Suite of the Hilton Club Hotel (seriously, bigger than some houses…it over looked Central Park, had a kitchen, bar, living room, dining room, bedroom, and two bathrooms!!); drinks in our suite with my parents, David and Lisa, and Lisa’s parents; a limo ride with the 8 of us to the speakeasy-style PEGU followed by dinner at Daniel Boulud’s Bistro Moderne (AMAZING!!).  It was by far the most memorable weekend of my life thus far.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of my fairy tale proposal.  And Sean, my fiancé, I love you more than anything!  You are my world and I couldn’t be happier than I am now to spend the rest of my life with you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NYC birthday surprise!!

I’m going to NYC this weekend!!!!  I’ve known about it for months now, but haven’t been able to say anything because it was a surprise.  Sean and I are going with our best friends David and Lisa.  It’s David’s big 25th birthday and Lisa wanted to surprise him with a weekend getaway in New York.  When she asked me and Sean to join the festivities, we shouted “OF COURSE!”

NY is my second home (I lived there for 4 years during college and go back several times a year for work and for fun to visit my roomies).  And Christmastime in NYC is absolutely magical.  The tree in Rockefeller Center is up and the entire city is decorated with lights.  One thing we’re doing, which I am TOTALLY pumped for, is ice skating in Rockefeller.  It’s always been a dream of mine, and I never did it when I lived there.  I suppose as a pseudo-New Yorker it was “too touristy and crowded,” especially to wait 3 hours. Lucky for us, one of my roommates knows someone who works there and got us VIP tickets – that means no lines!

One of my favorite things about New York is the restaurant scene.  I am a huge foodie and I love great food and wine.  We are beginning with Saturday brunch at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain. I love Bobby Flay and I’m really looking forward to experiencing this restaurant. When Sean and I went to Mesa Grill (a Bobby Flay restaurant) over the summer, it was one of the best meals we had.  Then that evening for David’s birthday dinner, we’re going to the fabulous Bistro Moderne. Chef Daniel Boulud is one of my favorite chefs and I absolutely love his other restaurants.  This is going to be a real treat :)

On the running front, I have a 2 hour long run scheduled for Saturday.  It’s going to be cold with a 44/29 (high/low).  Since I’ve never run in this kind of weather before I was unsure what to wear.  I used my handy-dandy Runners Ally iPhone app cleverly called “What to Wear” and came up with running tights, a long sleeve, a jacket, gloves, and a beanie.  Lisa is going to join me on the long run, so we’re shooting on getting an early Central Park run in before brunch.  It’s going to be quite chilly, but at least we’ll be running together!

Speaking of traveling and working out, a while ago I came across a quick and easy routine to do in your hotel room.  It’s simple and requires no equipment making it ideal for doing on the road.  You should be able to do three to four rotations of this in no more than 15 minutes:
25 jumping jacks
25 sit-ups
25 body squats
25 push ups
25 lunges

Have a wonderful weekend!