Friday, December 2, 2016

Coffee Talk - December edition

Happy Friday, everyone! My calendar got hit by a bulldozer this past week so I'm playing catch-up on blogging yet again.

I am linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five, and will be linking up with Coco and Deborah for the December edition of the Ultimate Coffee Date.
The Ultimate Coffee Date link-up asks, "If we were having [insert choice of beverage here] together, I would tell you..."

Here are five things I would share:

1) You are who your Facebook pictures say you are 
I enjoyed attending one of Adam's high school reunions with him last Friday night in Pittsburgh. At the event, the organizers had old yearbooks on hand to peruse. They also showed original video footage from senior prom, etc. It was a hoot to see how different the styles were back then! To sum it up in a single word:

MULLETS!!!!!!!!
Jaromir Jagr had a fantastic mullet!!!
Mullets aside - Adam has told me a lot of stories about his classmates, so it was great to put faces to names. On the opposite side, when I would introduce myself to others, I received a very consistent response. Almost all of Adam's old classmates would invariably say to me, "I've seen pictures of you on Facebook - you're a runner!"

WOW! I'm not sure which photos they all saw??? Obviously some are worse than others, as we already discussed.
YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!
The good news was that nobody ran away screaming and/or laughing (at least, not to my knowledge). So that was a relief. =)

In any event, I was both surprised and flattered at the consistency of the responses. I like being a runner, of course. (Incidentally, sometimes I like the idea of being a runner more than I actually like running - but that's a whole other story.) Through the magic of Facebook, I am happy to portray that image and be identified as such!

2) Weddings are fun
Last Sunday, Adam and I attended the wedding of his cousin, Matthew, to Matthew's long-time girlfriend Teresa. It was my first time meeting Teresa in person, and she is very sweet. She and Matthew are perfect together. I am very happy for them!

The wedding festivities took place at Adam's aunt/uncle's house in Maryland. Everything was a blast. It was the first time I'd ever attended a wedding and reception at someone's home, and I loved how personal it felt.

Here are some snapshots:
The ceremony
Bridal party
Adam and me
With the happy couple
Congratulations and Mazel Tov to Matthew and Teresa!!!!!

3) It's time to bake the doughnuts
I love doughnuts but rarely eat them since they are typically fried and not healthy. However, Kelly has talked a few times about making homemade baked doughnuts, and Amy brought homemade baked doughnuts to book club last summer. All looked amazing!
My ears perked up at the concept of being able to control the ingredients and bake instead of frying. Therefore, yours truly has invested in a doughnut baking pan!!! It arrived in the mail earlier this week. I hope to test it out over the weekend.
This is the one I bought
Homemade doughnut baking aficionados - if you have any recipes, suggestions, or tips, please share!

4) All points, all the time
Recently, some coworkers talked about taking nice vacations by opening credit cards to obtain new-account specials. For example, one colleague said she received two free nights at a 5-star resort during peak season just for opening up a hotel-branded credit card.

I was intrigued by the stories. I asked how they found out about these deals. The answer: Reading blogs that are specifically focused on them.
Since then, I started reading The Points Guy. I am a big fan! It keeps me up to speed on so many travel deals, and has taught me a lot about maximizing loyalty programs. Even for folks who don't travel a lot, it can be a real game changer! I really wish blogs like this existed back in the old days when I used to do a lot of business travel.

5) Next year
I am completely, thoroughly, 1000% enjoying not having to train for any races right now. I got a Groupon for another barre studio membership deal which I plan to redeem next spring. I also want to continue rolling with my strength-training momentum, which has made me extremely happy. Beyond that, I've got no specific fitness plans or goals for next year - and it's the best feeling.
Similarly, my race calendar is still a completely blank slate for 2017. I truly believe next year is going to be very much more about quality versus quantity (which is what I've long wanted to do but have repeatedly had trouble executing). I am considering trying to hit some more Rock N Roll destinations, maybe doing the Soldier Field 10 again since I will be in town over Memorial Day Weekend, and in a dream world running something in Hawaii. It'll be fun to see what ends up standing out!

32 comments:

  1. LOL! Loving the mullet pic!

    I've got a pretty clean training and race schedule right now, too, and I'm really enjoying it. For now, it's all about me and what I feel like doing each day. It's been nice to do what I want rather than worry about how NOT doing something will impact my training/race pace/etc.

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    1. Mullets for the win!!! =)

      Hurray for a flexible training and racing schedule!!! It's a wonderful feeling to determine each day's workout based on how you feel that day. It gets cumbersome to look at a training schedule and have to get yourself moving on something you may not be into, just because it's what is prescribed. Yes on avoiding the guilt of NOT doing something. For those reasons, I have evaluated never running a race that involves a training plan, ever again. =D

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  2. That wedding sounds awesome! We went to a friend's wedding this spring and they got married at home - it was so nice and cozy. Old yearbooks are the best!

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    1. Thanks Laura!!! There is something so special about sharing such a special moment in the warmth of your own home, indeed. Old yearbooks are indeed awesome, and I also love reading everyone's handwritten messages in them. =)

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  3. I still totally love that running pic of you... it's a classic! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachel. I've been thinking about making it my new profile picture. =D =D =D

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  4. Love the running pic! There's a reason I don't share too many race pics on social media...the good ones are great (the few that there are), but the bad ones? #blackmailquality I currently have two "paid-for" races on the calendar, but there are several others that I probably will do (just haven't officially registered for them...yet).

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly! LOL and completely agree on #blackmailquality photos. My strategy is to share them myself as a preemptive strike. =) Cheers to having race calendar flexibility coming up!!!

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  5. I am not training for any races at the moment and loving it too.
    How interesting to do a wedding in ahome, I can understand why it would be so personal. Fun !

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    1. Isn't it the best feeling? Just being able to work out the way you want to at any given point, no worries about squeezing in those long runs over the weekends. Ahhhhhh!!!!!

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  6. It is such fun to look back on the funny high school pics and check out the crazy hair and makeup. I know people are all over the baked donuts but I can't see how it is different from muffins? Thanks for joining the coffee date today great to have you

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    1. Yes on the crazy hair and makeup! It'll be fun to look back at today's styles decades from now and think the same thing, right? Good point on the difference between baked doughnuts and muffins - I think it's all about the fun shape, plus some variations in recipe ingredients. Thank you so much to you and Coco for hosting, as always!!!

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  7. I'm exactly the same kind of runner as you! "Sometimes I like the idea of being a runner more than I actually like running." Hahaha. I love being identified as a runner by coworkers and people on FB, but some days I do feel a bit like a fraud. Lol.

    I have a doughnut pan to bake donuts, but I haven't been extremely successful with them yet. They do sound good, though. I should give them another try. ��

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    1. Thank you for relating, Clarinda! I can't tell you how many days I've finished up a painful run and told myself I would never do it again, EVER. I often wonder why I push myself through the agony. But then a few days later I'm ready to do it again. I know you relate!!!

      Please do let me know if you learn any tips or tricks in your baked doughnut trials!!! I'm a complete newbie so this will be complete experimentation for me!

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  8. I love my doughnut pan! I haven't really made too much yet other than cookies & creme doughtnuts + apple cider dougnuts though. I'm also all ears for any sorts of recipes! I hope you have fun with barre! I've heard awesome things about it but haven't had a chance to try it out yet!

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    1. Cookies, creme doughnuts, apple cider doughnuts.... YUMMMMMM. I'm drooling just at the thought, I bet yours are delicioso!!! Thank you, Farrah!!! In my experience with barre, it's a super challenging strength workout but very uplifting, mentally!!!

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  9. So funny about the reunion comments! When I see an old friend I am typically met with similar comments.

    Ya know I don't eat donuts either but after a long bike ride the other week we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and I got a candy cane crunch donut. It was good but I didn't like all the hard candy on top. A few days later I was thinking what I could do to make that donut better if I made it myself..lol as if I would ever make donuts, but now I know that I possibly could! (okay, too long of a comment???)

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    1. No such thing as too long of a comment! =) YAY for us runners being recognized as such! I'm the same as you, I don't like hard candy on top of my desserts - I much prefer frosting. =) Yes, we can all become home doughnut bakers and make them exactly the way we like them!!!

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  10. I love the idea of a doughnut pan, but I am afraid I might love it too much! I love not having a tight race schedule- after a bit, it is fun to look forward to doing weights or random classes and enjoy a change for a bit- I agree! Checking out the point-guy now!

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    1. Likewise - I am also worried about loving the doughnut pan too much, too. =) Please let me know what you think of the Points Guy blog!!! Can you please share your contact info and blog URL if you have one? I'd love to "comment back" and connect in whatever way possible!!!

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  11. The mullet pic is seriously cracking me up! I have really been enjoying less running and more strength training the past several months as well. Although, I am keeping my fingers crossed that my injury will not linger too long into the new year as I am ready to get back to some decent mileage again. Good luck with the doughnuts!

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    1. Isn't the mullet picture hilarious??? The scary thing is that I remember so clearly when they were in vogue!!! I wish your ankle a speedy recovery. It sounds like you're doing very well in balancing out the types of exercise while you are trying to heal. Thank you so much and happy holidays!!!

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  12. I LOVE doughnuts. Does not matter that they're fried and unhealthy. :-) Have you made them using your new pan?

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    1. Aren't doughnuts the best? SO ADDICTING!!! Sadly, I did not get around to making any this past weekend - had too much other stuff going on. But it's on the to-do list and will happen VERY soon. =)

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  13. Omg! I love that donut dish! but the donuts I don't have to make, are the ones that taste best!

    That is an awesome running picture with muscular legs! It does feel great to be known as a runner, doesn't it?

    If you do any races in DC or Philly, let me know. We can meet up! Hershey half is a great race... *hint * hint*

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    1. LOL - there is definitely much to be appreciated about doughnuts made by the professionals who have had much time to perfect them. =)

      Thank you so much, Ana!!! I do love the image and strength the runner archetype is known for. Cheers to all of us runners for representing!!!

      Absolutely I'll let you know about races in DC, Philly, or Hershey! I would love love LOVE to meet up! I've never been to Hershey and would thoroughly enjoy getting to check it out!!! Likewise - please let me know if you do any races in the Chicagoland area, southern Wisconsin, NW Indiana, SW Michigan, too. It would be so fun to get together!!! =D

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  14. You'll have to let us know how your baked donuts come out! I love love love donuts, but have always wondered if they'd be any good baked. I hope they are! That'd be wonderful news!

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    1. Thanks Bethany!!! Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test out the pan over the weekend - had too much going on. But it's on the high priority list to happen VERY soon. =) Fingers and toes crossed!

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  15. Donuts!!! So excited that I helped inspire you to buy a donut pan. I like that they are healthier than real donuts but there is still the fun factor. Have you used it yet? I bought a couple mixes with mine but they are used up so now I need to find some actual recipes.

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    1. Kelly, the pictures you were posting of all your baked doughnuts literally made me drool over my keyboard/phone every single time I saw them! You have no idea! Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test out the pan over the weekend, but it's on the priority list of to-do's. I need to look for some of the mixes you mentioned using, yourself!!! It'd be an easier foray into pan usage than trying to make something from scratch the first time. =D

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    2. King Arthur is my favorite source for classic baking recipes, Just browsing through the doughnut section and found these...
      Classic: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/baked-doughnuts-three-ways-recipe
      Pumpkin: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pumpkin-cake-doughnuts-recipe
      Chocolate - Holy moly: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-fudge-cake-doughnuts-recipe
      Vanilla Chai: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/vanilla-chai-doughnuts-recipe
      I want to try them all...

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  16. Baking donuts sounds awesome! I bet you'll find lots of great recipes on Pinterest.

    It's pretty cool when you're known as "the runner", no matter how fast you are!

    I will have to check out The Points Guy...I would definitely like to pick up some traveling tips and tricks!

    And that looks like an absolutely beautiful wedding with a glowing bride!

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