Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here's a sneak peak of my weekend...



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 28, 2011

OCTOBER FOLLOWERS FEST

Photobucket

Are you linking up with all the fabulous ladies hosting the 
If not,  you definitely should! 
This is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and talk about fall!

Some of my favorite things about fall are baking lots of cookies, 

going on drives to see all the pretty leaves,

and snuggling under the covers.

What do you love about fall? 
Except today it was 33 degrees when I got in my car 
after scraping tons of ice off it.

November Sponsor Swap

Starting this November, I'll be accepting sponsors on my blog!
 For now, I'll only be accepting a certain number of swap sponsors per month,
and your blog buttons can only be 200 wide, but email me if you're interested!
(Click the sponsors tab to find out more about what a swap sponsor is.)

I've already got a few of my lovely friends lined up,
but let me know if you're interested! 
You can email me at romaniello.amanda@gmail.com
with subject line "November Sponsor Swap."
Looking forward to hearing from you, otherwise have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday: My Number 1 Fan

I'm linking up with Rebecca at Southern Charm for Thankful Thursday again. I love doing these posts because I get to share with all of you how grateful I feel and am.


This week, I'm dedicating the post to my number one fan, supporter, and spectator: M. You see, he's amazing. I know that I'm the one hitting the pavement and treadmill to train hard for my races. And on race day, I'm the bundle of nerves, who usually cries (I didn't for the most recent race though) and is in pain post running 6.2 or 13.1 miles. But M has become a big part of this whole "Amanda is a crazy runner."
          Back in August, when I wrote my recap about the Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, I left out the most important part of the whole race. It wasn't that I had run another half marathon. It wasn't that I got a PR after running those 13.1 miles. It was that I had someone there with me, who I love so much.
          Recently, I wrote a response for Krista for her post "We Encourage - Featured Follower - Amanda", and I emphasized that running that half in Providence wasn't just about running a race. It was about M.
        I know I'm biased because I'm in love with M, and he is my boyfriend and best friend, but he truly is all the things I say he is. He's amazing, supportive, loving, caring, smart, funny, affectionate...you get the point? But sometimes, I forget that M goes above and beyond for me because of how much he loves me. So for that, I must say thank you.
         I am so thankful for him. I am thankful that he loves me so much that he'll always be there to support his crazy running girlfriend, even if that means getting up at 4:30 in the morning, on a weekend, rain or shine, to watch me cross the finish line.
         Running races isn't just about running for me anymore. Running races isn't just about reaching goals and accomplishing something. It's a shared experience. So when you pass all those husbands, children, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, friends, and fur babies, thank them. Thank them for their support and love and commitment to being there for you at the finish.
          I am thankful for M. Are you thankful for your number one fans?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#Happies on Pinterest

The term #happies came from Rissy. I think it means that you're just so happy that you can't simply say the word happy, so why not make it plural? I'm linking up with newly married Michelle from The Vintage Apple for "Oh How Pinteresting" Wednesday for lots of things that are making me #happies.

Things that make me #happies....

...sunflowers
Source: Deviant Art via Pinterest

photos of happy couples
Source: Flickr via Pinterest
corgi puppies
Source: Tumblr via Pinterest

dalmatian puppies
Source: PuppyFind via Pinterest

french macarons
Source: Brave Tart via Pinterest
happy quotes
Source: Pinterest

What are you loving on Pinterest? What makes you #happies?

And if you want, you can follow me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aromaniello


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Rock 'n' Roll New York 10k

Pushing myself at the end!
          To say that Saturday was an adventure is an understatement, but let's start at the beginning. Friday night I headed into the city to pick up my race packet. Unfortunately, the expo this time was not well organized, nor well prepared. I got my bib, but couldn't get a swag bag or t-shirt until after the race. I turned right around and got back on the train to hopefully meet M at home and carb load.
         We went to bed around 11pm and had a 4:45am wake up to make the train, however we missed the train. (That was my fault for not remembering the correct train time.) So, in order to make sure I got there for the start time, I would have to drive. In all my 23 years, I have never driven into Manhattan, nor do I plan on doing so. But, with the help of GPS, we made our way through Queens into Brooklyn, where the parking garages were full. We thought we were in an okay zone to park and were off to find a bathroom and the race start. (We came back to find a parking ticket on my pretty little car.)
        7am came and went. We should have been filed into our corrals by then, but nope. The disorganization continued. Finally, we were allowed in, and about 15 minutes after we were supposed to start, the gun went off.
         Luckily, based on my previous race time, I was in corral 2! So off I went. And I was doing pretty darn well. My first mile was 7:54, so I slowed down a bit. My second mile I hit 8:18, a little slower than I wanted, but I knew I could pick it up later. The third mile involved a very steep hill, so I ran at 8:28. Then, I pressed stop...on my watch. I didn't realize until about 3 minutes later, so I was off the rest of the race.
         The course was approximately two loops around the park. I kept trying to push through, but couldn't gauge when to pick up my pace. I wanted to walk at a couple points because my knee and hip started to hurt, but I didn't. I pushed myself, and I smiled a lot.
Almost to the finish and looking rough
         When I finally hit the 6 mile mark, I started to sprint, but it was too soon. And I almost puked. I slowed down to look for M. And I saw him!! This was the first time I passed by and made eye contact. I blew him a kiss and ran as fast as I could to the end. I watched the clock tick up to 53 minutes and pushed even harder. As soon as I crossed, I almost puked, but didn't. I stood up, grabbed water, and found M. 
           He gave me a kiss and helped me find the medical tent to get a little ice and Tylenol. I could tell he was tired and wasn't happy without his coffee.
Waiting in line for my t-shirt!
          Despite the ridiculous line for t-shirts and swag bags, he waited with me. (I paid enough money for this race, so I wanted my t-shirt.) I was also really excited because I knew I beat my last time already, I just wasn't sure if I had hit my goal. Per usual, M and I laughed our way through the line, and somehow managed to laugh on the 2 mile walk back to the car.

Under the sign on our long walk to the car
          After we got home, we napped and looked up my race time. Ready for it? 50:57! I PRed! My goal was to break 50 minutes, but I was super happy that I beat my previous time, by a significant amount.
          Would I run this race again? Maybe. Will I keep running 10ks? Yes! I'm already looking into one that's in November in my hometown. I mean, why not? As Christy said, it's too soon for my race season to be over this year.
         And thank you all to my fantastic blog friends for all the well wishes, good luck, and congratulations via Twitter, email, etc. I appreciate you all more than you know!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll New York 10k Sneak Peak


Registration for the race: $60
Train Ticket to NYC to pick up my bib: $16
Missed train to the race: $0
First time driving to Brooklyn: $10
Parking Ticket in Brooklyn: $45
Getting a PR on my race and having M there to watch: Priceless

Costs are insignificant when I accomplish a goal and have the guy I love there to experience that with me.
...full recap coming soon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dear...

So Chelsea wrote this post the other day, and it thus inspired the post you're about read. Wouldn't this be a fun link-up? Yea, I think so too. Chelsea, you should do it! (You could even call it the "Little Letters Link-Up")


Dear M,
I know I tell you all the time, but I love you very much. And I appreciate everything  you do for me. That's it. That's all.


Dear sinus infection/ear infections,
Would you mind dying now? I'm really not enjoying you being in my body. If you could just let the antibiotics win, I would really appreciate it.


Dear Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn 10k,
I'm going to kick your butt tomorrow, even if I'm not 100%. I can't wait to mark you as my second 10k because I know you are going to be a fun one.


Dear Father Time,
Could you make time fly during the week and slow down on the weekends? I would really appreciate more time with M. So do a girl a favor, won't you?


Dear blog friends,
Have I told you lately that you're awesome? I heart all of you like woah.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn 10K Prep

So as some of you may know, I'm running the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn 10K on Saturday. This will be my second 10K of the year (I ran the NYRR Mini 10K in June), and I'm really excited!
        I used the Run Less, Run Faster training program to try to hit my goal time, but after missing a week of working out (and skipping several of the longer training runs), we'll see if I can give a true analysis of it worked or not.
        I have a feeling that it definitely improved my stamina, but who the heck knows. All I know is that even though I'm still on antibiotics (and still have 7 more days to go), I'm going to run as best as I can. I know my body, so I'll do what I can, and if I don't hit my goal time, that's okay. There will be many more races.
        Any tips for running while still recovering from being sick? Anyone else running the 10K on Saturday?

P.S. Go wish Chelsea a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Randomly Pinteresting

I'm linking up with the newlywed Michelle from The Vintage Apple for "Oh How Pinteresting!" Wedensday. I'm keeping this short and sweet so that I can get back to reading blogs... So I'm sharing some random things I'm loving on Pinterest. You can find me on Pinterest here.

Some great quotes...
Source: Brown Quilts via Pinterest
Source: Patterson Maker via Pinterest
Some fantastic recipes to try...
Source: Macaroni and Cheesecake via Pinterest
Source: Annie's Eats via Pinterest
And some projects that I need to do myself...
Source: Craft Gawker via Pinterest
Source: Etsy via Pinterest
What are you loving on Pinterest? Are your picks as random as mine? Go link up with Michelle!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nachos and Chicken Fingers

As many of you know, one of my bestest friends lives out in St. Louis for her job. 
And I'm not so secretly hoping that her law school will bring her closer to home. 
We've been best friends for about 8 years now, 
and ever since high school, we had a tradition of going out to eat together 
and always getting the same meal.

The restaurant that we frequented was called Thataway Cafe.
Except now rumor has it, or it already has, closed. (Tear!)
We order chicken fingers and nachos every time
and the only thing that we will change up is our drink order. 
It makes me so happy to have this special meal with my best friend. 
And I think no matter where we end up in life or settle down, 
we will always have our nacho and chicken finger meals. 

Amazing Nachos - the plate is much bigger than it appears

Amazing chicken fingers with a wasabi honey mustard dipping sauce
Do you have any special traditions with your best friends? 

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Blogging from my iPhone!

Yup, I have crossed over from the crazy world of using a BlackBerry to this incredible Apple device. So without further ado, here's a few snapshots from my weekend.

Giada sitting in the FedEx box that held my new phone!



An instagramed version (yes, I made that word up) of one of my new head shots.



M and I went out on Saturday night and enjoyed some cider since it is the season for it!



Some mozzarella balls that were quite delicious...



Buffalo chicken bites that definitely could have been spicier.



M taking an afternoon nap in the fall sunshine yesterday.



And of course, Winston, the world's best corgi. (He turned 10 years old last week.)



I still haven't figured out how to work the formatting on this yet, so sorry if the spacing is off, but at least I can blog on the go now! How was everyone else's weekends?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five on Friday

Linking up with Kat from Living Like the Kings for Five on Friday! Ready for my five this week?

1. At approximately 4:30PM, my iPhone 4S will be arriving!
Source: Apple

2. This is the great cover that I purchased to keep my beauty of a new phone safe.
Source: Amazon

3. Yesterday was my first meeting in the city (we refer to NYC as the city), and it was great. One of the big projects I'm helping with at my new job is off to an excellent and productive start.

4. As I was writing this post last night, I was rudely interrupted, but for good reason. Giada caught her first mouse! It's kind of a running joke in our house that we have four cats and still have mice in the house. At first my mom didn't think it was a mouse, but it definitely was. She instinctively hopped up on her chair while I moved to close the door to the room and figure out a way to capture the mouse. With Winston barking in the background, Figaro intervened and stole the mouse from Giada though. She couldn't figure out where it went. Figaro became a possessive, growling kitten. Finally, we decided that I should put on our rubber dish washing gloves. So I stole the mouse from him, then walked it to the end of the driveway to set it free. The end.
Figaro being super possessive. Yes, I snapped a picture in the middle of all the chaos to share with you blog friends.

5. Is it 5 o'clock yet? I'm ready for a drink, a couch, and my boyfriend. And having my appetite back wouldn't hurt either. I miss being hungry!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's OK Thursday

Thank you for all of your sweet well wishes yesterday! 
You'll be happy to know that I've been medicated for a doozy of a sinus infection. 
Yes, I am going to be on antibiotics for 14 days
So I'm linking up with the fantastic Neely from A Complete Waste of Makeup and the wonderful Amber from Brunch with Amber for "It's OK" Thursday.



So it's OK...

...that I'm grateful for being given antibiotics.

...that I'm ready for the weekend. Being sick and a new job do not pair well. I want to see M and snuggle.

...that I'm not working out, right? Apparently being sick means resting and not running, spinning, or boot camping.

...that I have no appetite. I can't wait to be hungry again and eat the world!

...that I've gone to bed at or before 9PM every night this week.

Happy Thursday to all my fabulous blogettes!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Hump Day!

Thank goodness it's Wednesday already! I feel like crap. Cross your fingers that my doctor prescribes me some awesome meds today to make me back to my bubbly, chipper self. (Does anyone else hate not feeling like themselves?)
        Anyways, I just wanted to say a quick hello to you all and say happy hump day! We're half way through the week. Who else is ready for Friday mainly because their iPhone arrives?! (My cover came last night, and it was such a tease!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Encouraging Krista

I literally have spent the past five minutes reading the word encourage, and now it is sounding like a very strange word to me. Anyways, this blog world has lead me to develop some very strong friendships, and one of them is with Krista from b e h i n d t h e m o o n. (Yes, I did the spacing especially for you, Krista!)
          She contacted me last week about how she wanted to post about me and my blog as part of a link-up that I had never heard of before. It's called "We Encourage" from Jami at Call Me Blessed. So I sent over my favorite post and why, and now I can't wait to read the post to see what this is really all about.
          So instead of reading here today, go check out Krista's blog!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Confess I'm Crazy

So my very awesome bloggy friend Rissy usually does a confessional posts on Mondays over at Carissa Explains It All, but I expect that she's going to give us all a great recap of her weekend based on the post she did last night. Anyways, it's 6:33AM on a Monday morning, so I'm confessing because I think that's only appropriate.

I confess...that I've been a bad blogger friend lately. I have not been reading your blogs regularly like I used to, but I'm hoping that changes this week. (Last week was the start of the new job and even with having more time on my hands, I'm still trying to find a good routine.)

I confess...that I'm crazy. I know that I can be crazy for many reasons, but after waking up at 5AM today to go to boot camp, I really think I'm crazy. Who wakes up this early on a regular basis to workout? Again, I'm crazy.

I confess...that I've been really bad about taking pictures, specifically to post on my blog. I think I'm going through an anti-photo phase or something.

I confess...that laughing a lot on Saturday night with M's friends (mainly over our ridiculous use of the term YOLO) made me really happy. Oh and being with M didn't hurt either. Yeah, I love him.

I confess...that I want to go back to bed for 20 minutes, and I think that I might.

How is everyone on this chilly Monday morning?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Five on Friday

I'm linking up with one of my favorite Connecticut gals Kat from Living Like the Kings today! It's been a while since I did a "Five on Friday" post, so I think it suits me well to do that today! Ready? Aim? Fire! (I don't know where that came from, but maybe I'm just really excited that it's the weekend already.)

1. Thanks to Neon Blonde Runner, I made the switch to my own domain for my blog. I got wild and changed my URL to www.amandaromanielloblogs.com. Crazy, right? If you need instructions on how to do it, check it out here! And if you follow my blog via reader, please re-add me!

2. As some of you may know, one of my best BEST guy friends (J) works for vineyard vines, so I'm always on the up and up on the new fun stuff going on. Well, every year they host a sample sale in my hometown, and guess what tonight is? Yup, the sample sale! I can't wait to get my butt out of the office and head straight to shopping for great deals with my mom. This year I'm on the hunt for new work clothes for me and M. I'll be sure to post about all my good finds!

3. I'm finally selling items on eBay again. I did it a couple of summers ago and made tons of cash, so I'm hoping this proves to be a fruitful venture.

4. Have I told you all that I'm loving my new career? No? Well, I'm loving it!

5. I ordered the iPhone 4S! Finally, the days of the dingleberry...I mean crackberry...I mean Blackberry are over! Anyone else have an iPhone? Who wants to facetime with me as soon as it arrives? I know some of you do!

Happy Friday friends! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday: A Tribute to My "Rocks"

I'm linking up with Rebecca at Southern Charm today for "Thankful Thursday." I'm doing a different kind of post today though.


        You see, three years ago on Monday, I suffered a very great loss. But it wasn't only me who suffered this great loss, it was a fraternity of young men, a campus, a family, and too many friends to count.
        His name was Matt, but I called him Matty. He was my boyfriend at the time, and he suffered from SADS, which took his life at the young age of 20. This loss turned my world upside down, along with all of those who were close to him and cared for him. I don't want to go back through what happened right now, but I do want to share how eternally grateful I am for some people in my life.
        After Matt passed, there was a lot of crying, a lack of functioning as a regular human being and a struggle to want to go on with simple life tasks. During that time, I had an incredible group of friends, who I call my "rocks." They were a stable, strong, loving, caring and calm group of people who were there to help me get back to living, to laugh with, to cry with and would do almost anything for me.
         I am thankful for these rocks, who were not only on campus with me, but also spread out across the country. I am thankful for having a group of people who I will always be tied to. I am thankful for everyone who I checked in with on Monday. I am thankful for everyone who reached out to say they were thinking of me. I am thankful, very thankful.
         But I'm also thankful for the new people who have come into my life since then. I'm thankful for the newer friends in my life who I've felt comfortable enough to share this great loss with. I'm thankful for these people who care about me and know that October 3rd will always be a hard day for me. I'm thankful for the strength that I was able to find in this loss.
          And I'm thankful that I have opened my heart up to love again. I'm thankful for M. I'm thankful for how happy he makes me, how he loves me, how he makes me laugh, and how he believes in me.
          I'm also thankful for my parents, sister and family for all that they did during this time and continue to do for me. Sometimes life throws us some huge challenges, and it's during those times that we realize how lucky we are and how important it is to be thankful.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SO WHAT Wednesday

I'm doing a new link-up this week. I've seen my favorite gal Chelsea do it, so I thought why not give this a try. So I'm linking up with Shannon at Life After I "Dew" for SO WHAT Wednesday.


So what if...

...I LOVE my new job already, and today is only my second day!

...I've finally got the giddy feeling about going into the office back.

...I consider my blog friends real life friends even though I haven't met any of you in person yet. I still brag about you all anyways.

...I miss M a lot, even though I only have to wait a few days to see him again.

...I have been lacking motivation to hit the treadmill and go running.

...I'm spending a little extra cash to go to boot camp this month.

...I decided to be really productive on my day off this week instead of relaxing.

Oh, and thanks again for all your sweet comments and motivation yesterday. It made my day to check my emails to see your names come up!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Day of a New Career

Good morning friends! I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed because today starts a great new start for me! Your simple girl will be heading into her new career shortly and is quite excited!
          As much as I have a big smile on my face, my nerves are at a boiling point. You never know how first days are going to go, so even with my increased ability to go with the flow, the "what ifs" still run through my mind.
          Thank you for all your sweet and encouraging comments on Friday! They made my day and have kept me smiling, but now I'm asking your advice. Any good tips for first days or weeks at a new job? I thank you all in advance, and I can't wait to fill you in on how it goes!

P.S. A big thanks to my parents, M, and close friends for being so supportive throughout this transition!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Picking!


A tradition that my family and my mom's best friend's family has shared for over twenty years is apple picking. My mom and her best friend met in one of those baby groups. Her son, C, and I have known each other since before we were one and continue to be friends now. 

My very strong man 
        Even after we've graduated college, our families are continuing to keep up the tradition. Our younger siblings are still in college, so C and I represented, along with our parents, C's cousin, and M.
The whole gang
After we had too many apples to count, we grabbed some fresh doughnuts and apple cider. Recently, we've started having picnics post-picking. We bring wine, cheese, crackers, veggies and dip to chow down on before making the drive home. It's a great time had by all, and I love that M is now part of the tradition too!