Monthly Archives: May 2011

Beachin’ It for Memorial Day

Warm weather makes living at the beach so. much. fun.

Okay, yeah, I’ve lived in Virginia Beach for a year now, but this is the first summer I haven’t had to work holidays and weekends. And I finally live right by the oceanfront. So NOW I actually get to play on the beach.


Not that I’m psyched or anything.


And look who else showed her pretty face!

Our day started bright and early… Lisa-Marie and I stocked up the cooler and jumbo bigdog “I’m not messing around” cooler with some margaritas…

this thing’s serious.


We had some nice LisaRee and Alyssaloo snuggle time…


We deemed splits in the sand as underrated…


And we learned certain awesome green beach chairs don’t last three years. So sad.

We spent allll day on the beach. After beach activities came dinner and drinks on the oceanfront. Look how nice we clean up!

and look… the new Bud Light labels you can draw on!

all day beach activities make us sleepy…

My homegirl Ensley would have loved the awkwardness that was my encounter on the Virginia Beach strip.

Here we were, driving to dinner, and a young man approaches my window. Confused, I hit the button to roll down the window (is it still “rolling” down the window if you push the button?). He gave me a wordless 5 second staredown, reached across, and hit me with a flower he most certainly picked off the sidewalk.

And then I jumped out of my car, into his arms, and we skipped off into the sunset.

Singing Ke$ha.

But really, the first part really did happen. It’s a shame this guy didn’t end up on this season of The Bachelorette. He would’ve fit in so well with the rest of those clowns.

That’s a real poll on abc.com. Yes, I’m serious.

More weekend recaps to come later… and guess who I got to go visit? Here’s a hint.. she’s got dark hair, she’s become SO well behaved, and I was covered in slobber after I arrived to visit.

Wait, no… not her.

That one.

A Treadmill Not Built for Tall Kids

Jamie quit her side job recently, which makes me happy, cause I get to have more post-work workouts with her!

Yesterday, I decided it was time for my first run since the Run for the Dream Half Marathon. When Jamie mentioned she was wanting a short, easy run day, too, I skipped out of the office and drove to her house.

I tagged along as a “guest” to her new gym. I was anxious to check out this newer gym in town, since my membership at the Y just ended. I need a new gym membership stat.

But… check out the bar on this treadmill.

nice height for Jamie…

not so nice height for moi.

So, here I am, partaking in a nice easy run on this tread with the eye-level bar of death, trying to check out my surroundings.

This was my view.

Scroll back and forth from picture to picture. Now you know why I almost had a seizure mid-run.

Mean treadmills. I prefer the ones with the any view.

For obvious reasons, I think my new membership will be to this gym.

After our workout, I headed to Walmart to buy some Memorial Day party essentials. I was pretty attempted to snag this baby for only $300!

Who doesn’t want this baby in their backyard?

Whatcha think,  Dad  Mr. Landlord? ;)

And let it be known that Mariah has it COMPLETELY right. A smoothie comes out best when you take care to add ingredients in the right order.

In this baby…

- sugar free chocolate syrup
– just enough skim milk to get things movin’
– chocolate protein powder
– frozen raspberries
– xanthan gum for thickness
– 1 handful spinach
– 8 ice cubes
– 1 packet Splenda

Add the frozen fruit, protein, chocolate, Splenda, and a pinch of the xanthan gum first, followed by spinach, then ice cubes. Pour in skim milk and blend until smooth. Then, another pinch of the xanthan gum and blend again.

Chocolate covered raspberries in smoothie form? Is anyone else craving a Rita’s gelati?

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, ever’bady. We’ll be backyard partying to celebrate!

Sun Days > Snow Days

Guess who got the day off work yesterday?!

“MEEEEEEEE!”

That’s right. It was me. I know you’re sinfully jealous… don’t hate.

You see, Virginia Beach had a sicknasty storm on Tuesday that knocked out all the power at the school where I work. So, I got a call around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning telling me school offices were closed and I had the day off.

Fist pump!

This is why Sun Days are so much better than Snow Days.


From the comfort of my very own backyard, I can get a tan…


Read a good book…


And be super productive in the bLyss Designs department!

Hey, Colleen, the glasses for your bridal party are aaaalmost finished!

Royal blue and yellow with polka dots was Colleen’s request.
I made them all a little different from one another. :)

Three cheers for productivity! In the sun!


And check out my awesome view. The concrete in my driveway and back patio was dug up and is getting replaced, but in the meantime, I’ve got enough slop at my back door to have a nice mud wrestling tournament.

[And hey, that is not an activity planned for my Memorial Day backyard bash, friends... don't get your hopes up.]

And wanna know why I find it semi-pointless to photograph and report my eats on the blog?


Here’s my greek yogurt parfait.

In it? Fage 0% greek yogurt, honey, frozen mangoes and raspberries chopped in the blender, and Special K granola (obsessed).

Now, here’s the greek yogurt parfait served in the fashion that tastes way better.


See? It’s ugly.

And it tastes better that way.

So, there’s why I don’t photograph my eats and write ‘em on on here all the time. Thank me later for not making you look at my egg scrambles, black bean soups, and tuna and chicken salad all the time.

What else did I accomplish other than glass painting and video editing on my day off?

Williamsburg Run for the Dream Race picture-finding!


Post-finish and soo happy about it


Apparently, I angrily march to the finish. Hi ho, hi ho!


“Alyssa, did you just fist pump for a picture?
Or are you flexing? Way to advertize your Jersey roots.”

It’s a shame I forgot to look happy, huh?

I’m also STILLSTILLSTILL struggling to figure out how to download the darned WordPress.org. I just want some stinkin’ plug-ins, and I’m getting overly frustrated. Who wants to do it for me? prshwahblaugh!

What did you get done in your last super-productive day?

What are your Memorial Day planskis?

For Good

Oookay, who else from my high school choir got choked up when Glee sang “For Good” last night? It was our graduation song, and I still remember squeezing Maggie and Meim’s hands as we sang our last song before graduation. Oh, the good ol’ days. I miss my Jersey girls!

there we are… little babies graduating high school

The Bachelorette Season Premier

One thing that appears to not be “For Good?” Ashley H’s search for love on The Bachelorette Monday night. Honestly, who keeps a guy around who insists on wearing a mask over his face? Yeah, maybe he wants Ashley to see the “inside” of his heart, but honestly… if I were in Ashley’s shoes, I’d be more concerned about what’s going on in this dude’s head.

Ohhh, okay, I get it. It makes your eyes look beadier.
(source)

I really liked Ashley in the beginning last season’s Bachelor (lezzbehonest, I probably just identified with her Philly roots), but now she’s just annoying to me.

P.S. Ashley, I think (and this is me totally going out on a limb here) Bentley MIGHT be a bad guy if you’re already getting phone call warnings before you meet him on the show. Maaaaybe it’s a good idea to not go there?

If they say the guy’s bad, he probably is (P.S., cool plaid shirt).
(source)

Man.. it must be that really sexy plaid shirt he’s sporting. I can’t get over it. That’s some hot stuff.

Just sayin’.

Maybe I won’t be so critical when I go on the show mahself. ;)

Bridesmaids: [Not Me. The Movie.]

A.K.A., the best movie I’ve seen in ages. Lisa-Marie and I hit the theater for a 7:40 show last night, and we’re so happy we did.

Kristen Wiig absolutely stole the show, aaand I think I have a new favorite actress. Go see it. I’m serious. Guys, too.

The airplane scene: the best of the entire movie (source).

LM and I were also pretty psyched about her bridesmaid dresses
being much prettire than that little number they wore in the film.
(source)

Since we went to the movies on a whim, we didn’t have any dinner beforehand. So where did we head for dinner at 10 p.m.? IHOP!

good thing LM wore my scarf to the movies..
it was fa-fa-fa-freeezing in that place.

Try really hard to not judge us, okay?

P.S. Remember my friend Debbie Smith’s hilarious Bachelor recaps? Welll, she’s baaack! Go read her gold here. I’m behind from seeing the movie last night; I need to go read it now, too!

Today I have the day off due to power outages at the school. I’ve got some video editing and wine glasses to paint and wordpress plugins to install…

…but the sun may be calling my name. Our pool DID just open… 8-) I’ll figure out a way to be productive. ;)

We Ran for the Dream: Williamsburg Half Marathon Race Recap

48 hours ago, I had just finished the Run for the Dream Inaugural Half Marathon in Williamsburg, VA.


To everyone who hasn’t read my 29438 explanations, I have a shin splint in my right shin that has sidelined me from proper training for this half marathon. My physical therapist told me I was allowed to “run” the race, but not “race” it. The killer hills were going to be particularly rough on my baby injury, so I was supposed to take it easy.

AAAAND I did. And still feel like I came out with some okay results. :) I stopped and stretched three times and I didn’t sprint to the finish line like I generally love to do. My finish time was 1:49.

This doesn’t come close to my PR, but I figure with my gimpy leg, the hills, and the heat, I still did a-okay.

I’m a little jaded… it’s hard to feel like a rockstar when you know you can do a lot better. I’ll get ‘em next time. ;)


We got up around 6 a.m. to eat, stretch, and suit up in our awesome outfits. A shuttle drove us to the start line at 6:50 a.m. for our 7:30 start time.

If you run, you know what Robby’s trying to accomplish here.

“HEY! Let’s go run another half marathon!”

I was pretty psyched about the results of our awesome shorts. Hollie spotted me on the run, as did Brandi. And my friend Katie from college field hockey spotted me at the post-race bash!


Look how cute we were in college..

Tongue tattoos. You’ve gotta get creative
when you’re stranded in a Pennsylvania hotel room for
a field hockey tournament weekend.

If it weren’t for these two people,
I would never have run my FIRST half marathon, let alone my fourth.

Good morning, Williamsburg!

We were in Corral 1 and took off pretty quickly. The first few miles of the route were smooth sailing through Colonial Williamsburg, but then we hit some serious hills.

Honestly, that hill is nothing. I wish I could have captured the obnoxious rolling hills, but I really didn’t have the energy to turn the camera on and snap a picture. We were all like The Little Engine That Could.

“I think I can, I think I can…”

there’s my running twin!

Anastasia and I had a great chuckle out of the fact that about 80% of the compliments on our shorts came from men who were 40+.

Here’s a new trick: want people to run behind you? Wear shorts that ride up in the back!

look how happy we are!

I could say I liked the above scene because it was so pretty, but let’s get serious. I enjoyed it because it was finally a flat surface for a few yards.


The worst part of the hills was the bottom out-and-back portion at the bottom of that map. We ran out to the water, then had to turn around and tackle those same rolling hills all over again.

It was a ROUGH feeling seeing the rockstars in front struggling way ahead of us going the opposite direction. I would have preferred to not know the struggles that lay ahead of me.

After I finished, I captured Anastasia going for her last .1 of the race.


And I iced right away, just as my physical therapist ordered. :)

While I wandered around looking for some ice, Anastasia and Rob had a fantastic find. A medical tent with two sports massage therapists just chillin’.

And we were offered free massages.

How about… best post-race activity ever? Gimme that massage!

I think I apologized 14 times for how sweaty I was.

Then I ran around demanding that everyone provide me with food and beer.

Mission Accomplished.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that I hadn’t trained much for this race, if it was the heat, or if it could have been the hill exertion I’m not used to as a VA Beach flat land runner, but this was the roughest I’ve ever felt after a race.

Or maybe it was the chocolate cherry energy gel shot that made me want to lose my breakfast 6 miles in.

Gimme beer and sustenance! Or I’ll roll around in the dirt and pose for awkward pictures!

bee-yah and bar-bee-que.


All in all, it was a fun, laid-back race for the A-Team. Feeling victorious, we took our typical A-Team photo. See that A? You’re welcome for that.

I like to pretend my muscles are bigger than Rob’s.

These ladies were jealous our twin outfits were better than theirs.

I’m already planning my fifth half marathon… if one falls at a good time during our training for the Marine Corps Marathon, we’re gonna send it in for one last race before our first FULL marathon! AAAH.

On the shin front, I’m feelin’ good. I’ve been icing since the race like a crazy lady.

My quads, however, are in a fight with the rest of my body.

I need a leg massage. Bad.

Any takers? Anyone?

Before We Raced…

I know you’re all waiting for a race recap from the Williamsburg Half Marathon from yesterday. But since our fun run was captured on Anastasia’s camera, the real thang will be posted tomorrow.

Thankfully, I took some photos of our weekend pre-race. So you get to see those activities today. :)

We headed to Williamsburg for the whole weekend since Busch Gardens tickets came with our race bibs (seriously, in this race, we probably got the most we’ve ever gotten for our money).

Early Saturday morning, Anastasia, Rob, and I took a little trek from our (ghettt-tttooo) hotel to the Race Expo.

warming up those legs!

After grabbing our bibs (I was lucky #219), we grabbed some treats along with our T-shirts at the Expo.

Sidenote: We are so glad we checked at the Expo if there would be energy gels given on the race. Since there was no Gu provided, we each bought one of our own to take down around mile 6.

Sidenote 2: I HATED the cherry chocolate Cliff Turbo Energy Gel I snagged. I’m a serious chocoholic, but downing the stuff with almost 7 miles remaining made me feel really sick. I’m sticking to my favorite apple flavor from here on out.

It looked so promising… blech.

Of COURSE, this was the first half marathon we’ve run without our own spectators/cheerleaders. And at the Expo, they had a sign-making station.

Uh, we made our own anyway… obviously. Who do you think I am?

Go A-Team.

Since I was running this injured (and not allowed to “race” it, just “run” it, according to my physical therapist) and Anastasia was sick, we were making this a “Fun Run.” Our slogan was “Destined for Greatness. But we’re pacing ourselves.”

I included this on the sign. Just so everyone knew.

Anastasia wanted Robby to make her a sign.

And… remember a few weeks ago when I bought new Asics because I desperately needed them but HATED how they looked? At the Expo, I FOUND MY PERFECT PAIR OF ASICS AND I WANTED TO BUY THEM IMMEDIATELY.

cue the choir of angels.

But they didn’t have my size.


I pouted.

After the Expo, we bopped over to Busch Gardens to take full advantage of our free passes.

Since we’re 9 years old and all, we were pretty psyched.

“roller coasters, yippeeee!”

We used our $15 meal vouchers, we hit up a water ride, and we stood in line for almost an hour for one coaster, Alpengheist. We didn’t want to tire out our legs too too much before the race.

Rob also got in trouble for taking his shirt off.

Twice.


And again…

We’re nine years old.

Maybe seven.

After Busch Gardens and some showers, we went on a hunt for a nice pasta dinner full of lots and lots of carbs. I told Rob I was down for anywhere I’d be provided with garlic knots.

Caaauusssee… who doesn’t love some garlic knots?

I think we found the knots.

I’ve always said one think I miss about living up north is the food. The south simply cannot replicate Jersey’s Italian food.

No one does Italian like New Jersey does Italian.

(source)

Not quite what I had in mind.

…but THIS is. This was my pre-race dinner, and it was moneeeyyy. Proving that Williamsburg, Virginia can do Italiano. ;)

The restaurant was called Maurizio’s… and we’ve got big plans to return and completely stuff ourselves silly. I can honestly say this place served up the best Italian food I’ve had in years.

We may or may not have gone as far as to get some Dairy Queen for dessert.

But if we did, I got my fave… a mini chocolate double oreo blizzard. :-D


Whoops?

Look how genuinely happy ice cream makes us. I’d say it was the pre-race prep of champions.

Needless to say, after a busy day, we crashed after laying out our outfits and creating some awesome playlists for the next day.

Race recap to come tomorrow.. and just you wait. I ran with Anastasia’s camera. ;) And three different people spotted me because they recognized these shorts. ;)

Do you have a least-favorite energy gel flavor? Which one really gets ya goin’?

Which restaurant have you been to lately that made you want to high-five the owners like we did?

The World is Not Ending Tomorrow.

Because I said so.

And here are my reasons why:

  •  I have to run a half marathon on Sunday. Duh.
  • I refuse to end my life before partaking in a flash mob, making it on The Bachelor, raiding this season’s Semi-Annual Sale at Vic Secret, and learning how to do the two-finger whistle at baseball games.
  • I need to kiss Chloe goodbye, and she’s still at boot camp.
  • I haven’t properly taught my 7 year old nieces the words to “All I Do is Win.”

However, when my friend Jenna sent me “50 Reasons Why The World is Definitely Ending,” I couldn’t help but crack up. Well… maybe the world really is coming to an end.

According to this list, the world is ending tomorrow because:

- Snooki is a NY Times best-selling author
Ke$ha took a shower (hey, stop hatin’ on my homegirl swag).
Drugs are now in bath crystal form (seriously?)
Someone’s mom cried when the Biebs cut his hair (come on, now the kid is safe from the whiplash).
Gaga was spotted wearing jeans
There’s a new drinking game. It entails pouring vodka into your eyeball (WHO is playing this, and where do they live? Clearly they need me to arrive with my repertoire of “Thumper,” “Kings,” “Quelf,” and “Loaded Questions”).
A 19-year-old Mexican girl went on hunger strike in hopes that the Royal Wedding Party would invite her to their big day (wow, that girl sounds like a fun guest!).
Glee broke Elvis and The Beatles’ Billboard Hot 100 Record (don’t hate).
A lady is trying to sue a mall because she was texting and walking… and then did a faceplant in the mall fountain (text at your own risk, lady. Stop trying to swim in a mall. And if you’re wanting money out of this, maybe you should have picked up all the coins at the bottom and saved yourself a whole lotta paperwork).
Aaaand this one speaks for itself:

where did the chick on the right get that padded dress (shirt?!)? and does Snooki’s mom not know the dangers of earlobe stretching at the age of four?!

And look! There’s even a company who will take care of your pets if you’re not around after “Judgement Day.” I’m so glad to see Chloe will be in such good hands (wait, why will she be safe if I’m not?).

Have you heard of this “prophecy?” Apparently, at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, May 21, there will be an earth-shattering earthquake to signify “Judgement Day” has begun.

Nah. I have to run 13.1 miles on Sunday. Sorry, prophets. See ya Sunday.

If the world really did end at 6 p.m. tomorrow, what would you be doing beforehand?

See ya on the flipside of our Williamsburg half marathon “fun run.” Oh yeeuh.

Running Anxiety

When I was in high school, running literally gave me anxiety. We had to run a seeerious amount for my field hockey team, and if you weren’t up to par, you didn’t get to keep your starting position.

I’d stress all day at school remembering how I had to make it rain later on the field.

little baby high school field hockey player

don’t worry, I eventually grew some muscles to look
a tiny more intimidating for college field hockey.

Honestly? High school field hockey made me hate running.

…But I got over it.

After my field hockey career ended, I ran for me. And that’s what made me love running. After over 11 years of people telling me what to run and how to run it, I could follow my own rules and I could be my own boss.

I made a subconscious promise to myself to keep running fun for me. And that’s why I do it. It keeps me sane. It makes me happy.

It makes me feel like a BAMF? ;)

So, to make running fun, I quit the head games. I don’t get down on myself if I have a rough run, and I don’t set unattainable goals. I keep a laid-back, positive attitude, and I remember that I run simply because I like to. I run to stay healthy. I run because it’s a positive thing in my life.

And that’s how I’ve gotten through every half marathon easily and in good spirits. I don’t stress beforehand, and I’m proud of myself afterwards. Time doesn’t matter. If I don’t crush it this time, I’ll do it in the next race.

my first ever running medal.. good ol’ high school track.

So why am I feeling anxious for the first time for the Williamsburg Half Marathon this Sunday?

As it’s clear my shin injury and recent life events have put training on the “yeah right” list, I am the least prepared I’ve ever been for a half marathon. For my past three, I over-trained (I like to be prepared).

So… Anastasia are planning on bringing skateboards to the Williamsburg Half Marathon and scooting over the finish line on our butts. Wearing these shorts.

But really. I need to remember that this is a FUN run (uh, duh, look at those shorts) and that time doesn’t matter. This is for fun, and this is why I do it.

So… dear Alyssa, relaxo. And have fun. Cause that’s why you run in the first place. :)

fun run for the A Team!

Why do you run? Do you get caught up in your head too much when it comes to running?

THAT’S How Maryland Does.

…Remember when I said I have a problem.. and  the only prescription is more Wedding Crashers quotes? That was my title inspiration. ;)

My weekend in Maryland was a great one, save for a very sick day on Sunday. I spent the day in bed and ended up driving home on Monday. Ga-ross.

I went to Maryland, as usual, to stay with Anastasia, and to attend Jason’s goodbye celebration. Cue the tears; Jason moved to Kentucky. Waaah!

Before a nice Thursday morning sweat session at the gym (my physical therapist allowed me to do a SLOW 6 miles to gear me up for the joke that will be our Williamsburg half marathon this weekend), Anastasia and I bounced on over to Target to look for some matching race attire (since we are seven years old and must always be running twins)


Yeah… gems.

Speaking of gems, check out the shorts we will be wearing for THIS half marathon.

We figured since “my life” got in the way of training for this half (along with my shin… and Anastasia’s new job), we need outfits that make it very clear that this is a fun run for us. ;)

…Mission accomplished, I think.


Then it was time for some D.C. fun!

Katie worked with me last summer… and she broke my heart when she moved away from Virginia Beach. You may remember our last fun times in D.C. last time she met us out on the town.


Katie and her “tall man” boyfriend are pretty goshdarn adorable, are they not?


You’d think it’d be easier to capture a picture with both the tall man and some pretty tall girls. It’s not. Poor you, Katie, for being half cut out of every picture so you can fit Andy’s tall head in there.


“Maybe if we look really happy and point at him he won’t move!”


Lots of new friends and photobombs.


And pretty new shirts to show off (thank you, Dana and Abby).

THEN, after my sicky day on Sunday, on my drive home on Monday I realized I was passing right by where my good friend Kristin from middle/high school now lives.

…DETOUR!

I was SO excited to see her. She was one of my closest friends growing up in New Jersey, and I haven’t even seen her since she got married and had a baby (crappy friend award?)!

and from middle school to prom, I have so many memories with her. :)

AND I FINALLY GOT TO MEET HER BABY!

Meet Chase Michael.

Yes, he’s named after Chase Utley, and yes, that fact along with his big baby blues make him my new boyfriend.

AND LOOK. I was even gracious enough to take a “taking care of a baby is tough stuff” picture for you!

Seriously. I did my hair like that on purpose. Just for you.

So, Anastasia, Jason, Katie, and Kristin, thank you for yet another spectacular weekend on the road.

My next order of business this week? Knock out 15 bLyss Designs glasses, get my shin in gear to jog 13.1 miles on Sunday, and uhhh… be awesome.

Since my crazy weekend/sick day has left me out of the loop with EVERYONE, hit me with some highlights of your weekend, pretty please.

7 Years Old


Our mommy (and her sister!) got quite the surprise when she found out she was having not one, but TWO babies.

Seven years ago today, we came along with a whirlwind of excitement that hasn’t left since. :)

That’s right. Get ready for two of EVERYTHING.

For seven years now, we’ve been providing our family with lots of laughs,


lots of fun,

and a whole lotta of love.

And our auntie’s life would be a whole lot less bright if we weren’t around.

Happy 7th Birthday to Kylie Angela and Mackenzie Brooke,
the first little babies to ever call me Auntie. :)

You guys rock.