We did some fun stuff.

We’ve actually been doing some pretty cool stuff lately, which is nice! I feel like we’re always “soooooo busy” all the time, but then people ask me what I’ve been doing and I don’t have a good answer. Which means I’m not spending my time very fruitfully.

I’ve been a big slacker about hitting the gym. I never did make my goal of hitting my one spin class for the week whenever that was, and I only got to the gym once last week. No good! I usually post my workouts on Dailymile, but they’ve been so underwhelming since the marathon that I haven’t bothered lately. They send a summary of your week’s workouts every Monday, and I was met with the dreaded “Your friends miss your training :(” Sad face. Sorry guys, I miss my training too.

Speaking of which, I finally got the custom insoles for my shoes and… THEY DON’T FIT. I went back to get them adjusted and haven’t tried them out yet. They were causing a lot of pressure and soreness on the arch of my right foot, as well as making my heel slip out of my shoe. The left one (for the foot that isn’t messed up, figures) is totally fine.

Now that the boring news is out of the way, let’s move on to the important stuff.

Nail news: I had time for a few manicures over the past couple of days, nothing too time-consuming or elaborate. Not that they ever are, but whatever. If nail art isn’t your thing, skip ahead to the BEER.

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First up is matte and gold. The burgundy is yet another mini from that old OPI set I have that doesn’t have any names on the bottles. I put 2 coats of Essie Matte About You on top, then dotted the gold over that (also from that OPI set). I had a hard time getting a good picture of it, but it looked pretty cool, minus, the parts that are outside of the lines (cleaned those up later). Unfortunately, like most matte manis, this started to chip pretty soon. Probably within 36 hours. Boo.

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Mani #2 was a modern twist on a classic French tip. I started with 2 coats of Maybelline Express Finish in Racy Red and painted the tips with two coats of Ciate’s Ladylike Lux. Topped the whole thing off with a generous helping of Seche Vite topcoat. Yes, it really was that shiny! It held up, chip-free, for several days. This is one of my favorite from my latest manis, and it was so easy.

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Big news! I made my first polish, hooray! I got my polish-making kits in the mail a while ago, but couldn’t really experiment with them until last week. I was aiming for something a little bolder and darker, but this turned out pretty. I need to get some little scoops to make adding mica to the base easier to measure. This is a combination of purple and copper mica, with a little bit of a dark gray mica that had a greenish-purple sheen to it.

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And official mani #3 [the previous one didn’t count, it was more of a swatch to show off my new color :)]. Two coats of Sinful Colors in Shock and Awe with a chevron pattern of Marc Jacobs in Petra on the tips. Love the MJ; it only takes one coat and sparkles like crazy with some Seche on top! This is the mani I’m currently rocking. I’m hoping it’ll last through Thursday.

Friday night, we went out to celebrate my brother’s birthday a few days early. None of the pictures turned out, given that it was really dark everywhere we went. That makes it sound much more scandalous than it was, though there was karaoke involved.

Saturday, Dan and I signed up to go on the SIP Club tour of the Schlafly Taproom.  Unlike at the Bottleworks, where they have tours regularly, tours at the Taproom are typically reserved for special events, auctions, etc. (or at least, that’s what the guide said). We went last year and had a good time, so signing up for 2013 was a no-brainer. We only RSVP’d for two (Dan and I), but the amazing Jeffery, a.ka. the nice dude in charge of the tours, looked the other way when he saw we had a third.

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Third wheelin’. Yep.

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Safety Dan, part deux.

After getting a short lecture on the history of the brewery and its surrounding area, we suited up with some fancy goggles and headed to the dungeon/basement for the good stuff. They had some Pi Common, a California common style of beer that can only be found at Pi restaurants, hanging out in the conditioning tanks. Wouldn’t you know it, it was ready to sample! So sample we did.

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Pours out of the pigtail.

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Dan taking a sample/talking shop with the tour guide. “Ooh, is this beer?” “Yes, this is beer.” “I like beer.” “Beer is good.” Something like that.

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More suckers in line for free booze.

There was some more beer talk, then we made our way to the back of the basement, where they house conditioning tanks that contain some of their big standards. Yum. History/trivia time: the logo on the far left was Schlafly’s original logo, which the marketing people axed once the company started to distribute to grocery stores. The rest of the logos you can see were designed by local tattoo artists and are variations on the fleur-de-lis.

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“Here’s some more beer.”

Next up was the cask room, where they ferment their sour beers. It used to house the boilers back when the building was a printing press. Now it’s the mad brewers’ laboratory.

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Potentially delicious science experiments in the making.

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“Take a picture of me in here.”

After all the boring stuff was over (just kidding…) it was time for SAMPLES. We had about 20 minutes to drink as much of the beer as we wanted. Within reason. Our options included the Hefeweizen, Tasmanian IPA, Old English Ale, the Biere de Garde, and something else I can’t remember. The TIPA and Biere de Garde were my favorites. There was also an assortment of cheese, toast, and cured meats.

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BEERS!

It was a really fun tour. If you’re on the fence about joining the SIP Club, just do it. For $25, you get a rad imperial pint mug, 20 oz. beers for the same price as 16 oz., 10% off store merch, and invitations to cool stuff like this tour. Come on, you know you want to. At the end of the tour, we each got a really nice sampling glass with the original dragon logo on it, a sturdy bottle-opener, and a Schlafly sticker. Not bad!

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The end!

All work, no play…

Well, you know.

This week has been all about work. I’ve been buried at regular work and with freelance work, so my days have been spent in front a computer or checking emails on my phone. Not the best.

I was so tremendously sore from lifting on Saturday that I took Sunday and Monday off from the gym. I hit it hard again on Tuesday (lifting from the New Rules) and now I’m so sore that I had to take today off. I’m going to force myself to do do some kind of workout tomorrow; I shouldn’t be this sore after a few 40 lb. squats (pathetic, I know)!

For dinner on Sunday, Dan and I combined forces to make some roasted red pepper ravioli stuffed with goat cheese. Dan made the dough and rolled it out;  I assembled everything. We don’t have a handy dandy ravioli tray – yet – so they looked a little wonky but tasted great! We dipped the finished product in store-bought marinara and in an olive oil/balsamic/herb mixture I cooked up. We rounded out the meal with spinach salads topped with feta, proscuitto, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette. Not bad for a Sunday night.

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Dry ingredients with roasted red pepper mixture.

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Let’s add a few eggs in there.

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Ball O’ dough.

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Pasta maker! Actually, that would be Dan. So, pasta presser? Roller?

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Sheets of delicious pasta!

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Sheets of delicious pasta being stuffed with goat cheese.

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Aerial shot of the pasta battle station.

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My handy work. I used a pizza slicer to cut them into squares.

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The finished product! We were going to try a few drizzled with honey, but we forgot. Maybe next time.

Last week, I ordered some nail polish making supplies that finally arrived on Monday! Unfortunately, I’ll probably be too tied up with work to be able to experiment much this week, but I hope to play around with them some time this weekend. Trust me, there will be (multiple) posts on that!

Spare time

Now that I’m not training for anything, it feels like I have all the spare time! Which I do, and don’t.

Frankly, I’m not great at being productive when I don’t have a schedule or plan. When I’m training for something, I have to map out my days so I can get everything done. When I feel like I have a ton of free time, I tend to put things off… indefinitely. It’s something I have to work hard at and be mindful of.

Dan and I were awful this week and only managed to hit the gym twice. Once on Monday, then not again until Saturday! I don’t know if we’re just super tired or what, but we managed to sleep through our alarms almost every day this week. Now that the time change has happened, I’m hoping the sunshine will make it easier to get out of bed.

At the gym Monday, I went to spin class for the first time in 4+ months. It was really intense. I’ve lost a ton of strength and anaerobic capacity from being so focused on endurance during marathon training. I was huffing and puffing like crazy; my lungs haven’t burned like that in ages. It felt good. Saturday, I got in a strength session and some good cardio on the bike and stair climber. Again, I am so weak! My lifts are nowhere near where they were this time last year, and I’m super sore from my (embarrassingly light) dead lifts.

I’ve been doing my nails a lot lately, trying to stay inspired. Here are 2 manicures from this week:

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Metallic burnt orange with fancy glitter.

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Flat greige with dark plum accent nails. Tried to do a zig-zag pattern with my Marc Jacobs polish. It looks cool when the lighting is right, but the colors are a bit too similar. It didn’t pop like I’d hoped.

I’m realizing I have a lot of blue/plum/gray type colors in my collections. My last few manis were all in the same color palette, so I wanted to shake things up and do something kind of fall/Halloween-themed, hence the orange and glitter. It’s hard to capture in a photo just how blinged out this manicure is, but the light really caught that glitter like crazy. I got a lot of compliments on this simple manicure, which is always nice! The glitter a Deborah Lippman mini I got from Sephora; they had it as their free birthday gift this year (I think). You can get the full size here. The orange is a mini from an OPI gift set. I have a lot of great colors from that set, but they didn’t bother putting the color names/numbers on any of them, and I threw out the packaging ages ago! Kind of frustrating.

I’m less in love with the plum/greige manicure. The sparkles just didn’t pop they way I thought they would; I had swatched the color combination on some paper before I did it, but it didn’t translate well on the nail. Oh well. Gives me an excuse to try something new later this week.

This morning, Dan and I were up bright and early to volunteer at the St. Louis Track Club’s Half Marathon. The volunteers in Chicago really made the race something special for me, and I wanted to give back to the community. It’s been a while since I volunteered at the race and I figured I might as well help out if I can’t run! We helped direct traffic on the course (the roads were open to cars), and it went pretty well for the most part. Generally people followed directions and were patient, but there are always a couple of jerks, including a woman who told us we really “fucked up” her Sunday and a cyclist who decided that stops signs didn’t apply to him and yelled at Dan for waving traffic on.

As you can see, Dan was thrilled to be up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday. We were running a bit too late to have breakfast and coffee, so things were a little rough at first. However, the crisp fall air and dazzling sunlight perked us up pretty quickly. We were out on the course for about 3 hours, and it really blew by. It was great to see so many runners tearing it up out there and having a great time. I’d highly recommend volunteering at a local race some time. It’s a really fun, easy way to give back to the running community and make someone’s day a little brighter!

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So excited.

In other exciting news, I get my custom shoe orthotics tomorrow! I’m really hoping that I’ll be back on track to start running again soon. This is my favorite time of year to hit the pavement, and sitting out has been driving me nuts. My foot soreness/stress fracture precursor is feels healed up, so fingers crossed!

Goal for this week: Hit spin class at least once, and do 2 lifting workouts. Get in some other kind of workout; maybe yoga or a long walk. Here’s to another week!