Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tap 'N' Run 4k

Our last evening in Nashville was spent doing the Tap 'N' Run! Jana is who I started my running journey with last year, and we are always looking for ways to get together and race! I discovered the Tap 'N' Run a few months ago, and I knew we had to do it! It is a 4k (2.5 miles) with four beer chugging stations. It sounded just ridiculous enough to be worth the road trip!
And it was totally worth the trip! People were in silly costumes (some were dressed like they were Amish, some were dressed as beer girls, etc), and everyone was just having a good old time. And yet again (like our whole weekend in Nashville), we just met the best people, including a couple who met at the Tap 'N' Run last year! What an interesting love story!
For my nickname on my race bib, I chose the name "Hofo." Which was my college nickname, I totally need to explain that one to y'all sometime. And Adam chose, "Mr. Jones", which is a character from one of his screenplays he wrote. When the race started, we all drank a beer, then there were two chug stations during the race, and one at the end. One of my favorite things about doing these events, is you get to see beautiful parts of the city, and this race was no different. We had some seriously beautiful views of downtown Nashville! 
After the race was finished, we topped off our mini vacation with dinner at macaroni grill, and we spent two hours of swimming in the pool back at the hotel. It was an awesome trip, and we can't wait to hang out with Jana & Austin again! Luckily, we only have to wait till next weekend.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Cara Box Exchange

This month I got involved in the Cara Box exchange! The Cara Box Exchange is hosted by Wifessionals!

The Cara Box exchange is an exchange where you get linked up with two people, one you send a gift box to and one you receive a gift box from. This month's theme was "Let's Go Regional." And we all know how much I love Alabama, so I was super excited for this theme. I sent my package to Trine Marie in Georgia! But she hasn't gotten my package yet because she is on a little vacation right now, so hopefully she will reveal the contents when she gets back.

The lovely Jill sent me this fabulous box from Tennessee! Don't you just love how she packed the box? I love the colors! I told her I liked photography, history, and things that smell good! So my favorite part of the package is definitely the historical photo book! I also love all the other little items she sent me. The rose bud salve is absolutely amazing.  She was so thoughtful!

I really enjoyed doing this exchange and getting to known two bloggers I wouldn't have met otherwise. I can't wait to do it again in June!  If you want to participate head on over to Wifessionals!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Grand Ole Opry

When I woke up on Saturday morning, after our night out in Nashville. I really wasn't feeling like doing much of anything. I hadn't stayed up that late on purpose in I don't know when, and I certainly hadn't drank that much since college. I had a slight headache, and the worst case of cankles in the history of ever. But we had booked a morning tour of The Grand Old Opry. So I threw on some sweats, and headed out the door in a hurry because we were running late for the tour-surprise, surprise. So far we were 0 for 2 for the weekend in the area of punctuality. But I just had to let it go and not freak out. Once again being late didn't kill me and didn't cause us any dire consequences either.

The tour started with a video of Blake Shelton, who narrated the history of the show. There were two of the sweetest older ladies in our group, going gaga for Blake.  When Blake said, "I'll see you backstage." They were like, "Will he be there?"  WE LOVED THEM. We started the tour by walking past the famed auditorium. But it was just a tease, because we couldn't stop and take pictures. Instead, they took us backstage. But I was impressed with it, and I loved that they had  used church pews for seating.

Backstage we got to see the golden name plated list of inductees, where the stars get their mail, and Minnie Pearl's shoes and dresses! But my favorite part was the dressing rooms. All of the dressing rooms are decorated differently, and some of them have special purposes. One dressing room is just for people being inducted into the Opry that night. One room is America themed, etc (The one pictured above just happens to be a dressing room featured on the show Nashville).

Next, we went to the family room. The family room is the place the stars can gather and hang out together before the show. It is a truly beautiful room, one of my favorite things about the room was the mural on the wall, showing the early days of the Opry. They also had a line showing of how high the flood waters reached in 2010. The flooding was massive  and destructive, and it is amazing that the Opry was able to recover afterward.

Finally, it was time to see the auditorium.  It was kind of overwhelming to walk on the stage, thinking of how many people have stood up there. Some people in our group even got a little teary eyed. Of course, we all had to have the chance to sing on the stage, so as a group, we sang,"You are My Sunshine".

After the tour, we did some shopping at Opry Mills. I ended up buying a ginormous box of nerds (not even kidding, check it out here). Which was really an impulse buy, so I ended up taking it to work and sharing it with my coworkers. And when I was eating them, one went up my nose! Worst feeling ever, hurts worse than coke up the nose! We grabbed some grub at Dave & Busters and played some games.

Although I was so not feeling it when I woke up that morning, and I looked like I rode the hot mess express into town. I'm so glad I toured the Opry, it was a great experience, and I loved getting to do it with our friends.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Music City Pub Crawl

Adam and I raced up to Nashville Friday night after work to meet up with our friends Jana & Austin and head out to the Music City Pub Crawl. We planned to get there early, and change into some nice going out clothes. Except there was heavy traffic in Nashville, so we were late. Like really late. And there is nothing more in this world that I hate than being late. And I'm almost never late. Being late makes me anxious, and maybe I get a little (OK, A LOT) witchy when I'm anxious. And I'll be honest, Adam and I were totally bickering (100% my fault) by the time we met up with Jana and Austin at the hotel.  But what I love about us, is we let it go really easily and are able to move on & have fun.
We got to Swinging Door Saloon about a half hour late and you know what? Being late didn't kill us (surprise, surprise) and no one was mad! So I was able to relax and enjoy the crawl. Now some people in our pub crawl group thought the crawl sucked. But I don't feel that way. But I will say this, if you are going on a pub crawl to get stinkin drunk, this pub crawl is not for you. Because we only went to 3 bars. But if you are looking to learn a little history, do a little trivia, and get a little buzzed, this one is perfect.
It is probably a little lame to say I didn't start the crawl with a beer, I made the rather unorothdoxed choice to go for a strawberry n crème shot. I don't know why, but it was awesome! After we finished, we walked through downtown Nashville in the pouring rain! And of course, I had brought an umbrella but left it in the car, but the rain wasn't cold, so even though we looked like drowned dogs, it was amusing.

Our second stop was an Irish Pub, Mcfaddens. The best part about Mcfaddens was the view! It included the river and 2nd street. I especially loved the "statue" of a leftover piece of a ride from the now defunct theme park, Opryland USA. And halfway through our time at the pub, the most beautiful rainbow appeared!

The last pub we went to was the British Pub, Fleet Street, located in Printer Alley. I think this was my favorite pub, with the London Phone Booth bathroom doors and all the British decorations. I am just a big anglophile at heart. But this is where we got to know the rest of our pub crawl group, and they were so awesome! They bought shots for the table, and we really started bonding. So much so that we decided to go to Wanna Be's Karaoke to continue the party! We drank and laughed and danced our butts off till midnight. I'm usually shy with new people, so it was cool that I could let my guard down.

Other highlights of the night include: doing the tootsie roll dance, doing a cha cha train around the club, being inappropriately danced on by a random guy (hey it's a compliment, right?), and having a random girl stop me and totally ogle over my top. And who can deny the greatness of greasy taco bell after a night of shenanigans.

 It was a totally epic night. And a great first part of our vacation.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

27th Birthday Weekend

I really had a lovely birthday week full of lots of fun surprises. My work family baked me some delicious cupcakes and gave me a card signed by everybody. My mom took me out to lunch and presented me with a bag full of goodies (and we were just out beboping around when a tornado hit not a mile from us, and we had no idea there was even a warning). Adam's family sent me amazon gift cards. And my lovely husband surprised me with a cookie cake and tickets to Disney On Ice! Yes, maybe Disney on Ice is aimed for children. But I love Disney and I love figure skating, so I couldn't help but be uber excited about it.  I'm just a big kid at heart anyway.
It was a good show too and we were on ice level. But Adam and I couldn't help but crack jokes. There was a moment in Tiana's story where I swear she says, "I can't marry you, I want to open a restaurant!" And Adam and I were like what, "Can't you do both?"  Who knew those two things were mutually exclusive. And after the show, we decided to go see Iron Man 3, which was awesome!
Does anyone else get a little sad when the birthday festivities are over? I know I do! It is just nice to be treated extra special for the day. But I'm just ready to see what this year has in store for me!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Last night, when I was lying in bed, I was overcome with the thought that when I woke up I would be 27. And I wouldn't say I was upset by that, but I think this is the first year it occurred to me that I'm getting older.  Of course, I've always been getting older, but it was the first time that this wasn't an exciting thing. Time is flying! I know everyone says that but it is painfully true!  How can it have almost been 10 years since I graduated high school? How can I have known Adam for 13 years? How can I have been married for four years? How is my oldest niece graduating in two weeks? Some days I feel like I just blinked and became 27.  I just don't want to blink and be 54.
26 was a good year that came with a lot of new experiences. For the first time ever, I'm not just working a job, I'm working in my chosen career path. Which is exciting, thrilling, difficult, and draining all at the same time. There are days I come home from work so talked-out, and I can't do anything more than sit on the couch and zone out in front of the TV.  But when I have those moments with a client when they finally get it, it makes all the headaches worth it.  
26 was also the year I started running, something I never thought I could do. And found out something else, I actually love working out, when I take the time to make myself do it! It was also the year of three 5ks, one 10k, and one 4k. I could barely do a mile in high school! And I hope I never quit.
26 is the year I actually starting to feel like an adult. The year we made some big decisions about whether or not to start a family and whether or not to buy a house. And the first year we are not living paycheck to paycheck.
I don't know what will happen in my 27th year. I hope we will be home owners, I hope that we can start a family. I hope that we continue to grow closer and stronger. I hope we have a ton of fun along the ways. And I hope I get to try some new experiences along the way.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Slow Cooked Grilled Chicken Philly Sandwhiches

Adam and I just got back from a weekend of fun & frivolity in Nashville (one of my most visited cites, and very close to my heart)  with some of our best friends, Jana & Austin. It was a totally epic weekend, which I can't wait to share all about. But because we partied all weekend long, and partying doesn't involve a lot of sleeping, I'm dog tired. Heck, I usually use some part of my weekend for catching up on sleep lost from the work week. Not this time. But a little crankiness tonight from being sleepy was oh so worth it. But can I say partying at age 26 (almost 27!) is more exhausting than partying at 20?
So I will be sharing a lot more about Nashville in the coming week, but for now I just wanted to share this quick, easy,  & delicious recipe that I cooked for my friends Thursday night! Grilled Chicken Philly Sandwhiches made in the slow cooker. The recipe is from this lovely lady.
Grilled Chicken Philly Sandwhiches
Makes 4-5 Sandwhiches
1. 2 tablespoons butter
2. 1 large sweet onion (sliced or cubed, I cubed mine)
3. 2 green bell peppers (Sliced or cubed)
4. 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
5. 2 tablespoons Steak or Chicken Rub
6. Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
7. Hoagie Rolls
1. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray, and start the slow cooker on LOW heat
2. Place butter first, followed by vegetables
3. Cover Pre-Brined* Chicken with seasoning and salt & pepper to taste, add to slow cooker
4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours
5. Serve on hoagies with cheese melted on top
They were tasty and a big hit! I would definitely make these again sometime.
*This is optional. I always brine my chicken first if I'm putting it in the crock pot,  otherwise my chicken seems to dry out. Here are some good directions for brining. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Whiskers Barber Shop

Spring is a celebratory season for us. We kick it off with our anniversary in April, and then both of our birthdays are in May. I absolutely love sharing a birthday month because the whole month (especially the first half) just feels so exciting.
Adam's birthday comes first on May 6th, and I am always looking for new ways to surprise him. I think I enjoy giving him a good birthday more than my own birthday. Which is crazy because I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY. We wouldn't have been able to do anything big on Monday because we both work, so I decided to surprise him today instead. I came up with the idea to take him to an old fashioned barber shop. I knew this was nothing Adam would ever think to do for himself. Heck, for years in California I cut his hair, which was always scary for me and sometimes disastrous!
I was hopeful Adam would like it. Getting him to the shop without letting him know where we were going was fun though because I had to convince him not to shower or shave without letting him know why. I told him I was beginning to like him with some facial hair (this is such a lie, he knows I'm not a fan of facial hair). And I parked in front of a pawn shop instead of the barber shop, leaving him thoroughly confused. He even jokingly asked, "Are we pawning our rings!?!"
But I finally told him what we were doing, and when we walked into Whiskers, we were impressed. It was very nicely decorated. It has plush leather barber chairs and each station had a miniature TV.  For an hour, Adam was treated to a hair cut, scalp/neck massage, hot towels, and a hot shave. And although he would probably have never done that for himself, he really loved it. He said it was the best haircut he ever had, and he really looks handsome.
He really loved this birthday surprise. Now all that is left is his birthday dinner on Monday, which is always his favorite dinner, spaghetti with chocolate cake and my homemade, semi famous, peanut butter frosting for dessert (recipe here).
So Happy 29th birthday to Adam. I guess we will see next year if Adam is 29 and holding!