Archive | February, 2012

Marvelous Mondays – February 27th

27 Feb

Welcome back to Marvelous Mondays! I am so happy to be on track with the blog, and get back to my regular writing.

This is going to be a great week, and there is a lot to look forward to.

Back in the GROOVE

After a getaway to Santa Fe, and an extremely busy week at work, I am happy to be back in the groove!

The groove I am back in includes a lot of things. Running, eating, blogging, reading, working.

I hate it when my groove is out-a-whack.

New Shoes

If you have been reading the blog, you know I LOVE shoes. Well this week I will be running in my brand new Brooks PureFlow shoes.

The PureFlow is a minimalist shoe, and I have been dying to try them.

If you have any tips for me to transition into the minimalist shoe, please send them my way. I ran 4 miles in them yesterday and I am afraid that over did it a bit…

Party Time

I was asked by my best friend Nicole to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding.

This title means so much to me, and I cannot wait until I stand next to Nicole when she says “I Do”.

But before the “I Do”, we have to party. And the partying starts this weekend with her Bridal Shower! A lot of our friends will be in town for the event, and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone!!

What are you looking forward to this week?

xo,

Ali

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MonaVie RVL Product Review

26 Feb

A few weeks ago, my friend Bev gave me a set of MonaVie RVL products to try out.

The RVL system is all about weight management in a healthy way. It is also about a lifestyle change, and ensuring that you can fit the products into your everyday life and follow the program without any added stress. See more in depth overview here.

The RVL System

The RVL system I got to try included protein shakes, vitamins, energy bars and acai juice.

Shakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried the vanilla shakes, and they were delicious. I would blend them up each morning with soy milk, frozen fruit and chia seeds.I would also mix them with water for a quick lunch at work.

One serving of the powdered shake had 180 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 27 grams carbs, 7 grams sugar, 12 grams fiber, 18 grams protein.

The shakes kept me feeling full for a few hours (which says a lot for me) and were very tasty. I was actually pretty sad when the product ran out.

Energy Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack consisted of a RVL Nutrition Snack Bar, split in half (half in the AM, half in the PM).

The Snack Bar I tried was berry flavored. It tasted great, and I didn’t mind it at all (and you know how gross some of these bars can taste….).

The serving size is half of a bar. Each serving contains 100 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 12 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 5 grams protein.

Supplements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dietary Supplements are to be taken twice a day. I took one at each snack time.

I only had three days worth of supplements, but I felt great when I was taking them.

Final Words

I loved the MonaVie RVL line. It was easy to add to my life, and tasted great also.

While on the RVL program, my energy levels were high and I felt amazing! I need plenty of nutrition to support my workout habits, and this line did the trick for me. I never felt like I was starving, and was never irritable because I was unfulfilled from the program (that happens to me 🙂 )

I would give my stamp of approval on the MonaVie program, and suggest that you should try it too.

Have you tried MonaVie? What did you think??

-Ali

P.S. Want to try MonaVie too? Comment or email me and I will hook you up with Bev!!

 

A Santa Fe Getaway

22 Feb

Good evening! I had to take a little hiatus from the blog, but it was for a really good reason. I was on vacation!

I had been looking forward to this little Santa Fe getaway for the past month. I was going with my boyfriend Zack, and we had not seen each other since Christmas (long distance relationships…wahh wahh).

So are you ready to hear about the trip? Good. Here we go!!

Thursday

On Thursday, I arrived in Texas to Zack’s lovely city he currently calls home.

We ran some errands, and packed up for our trip!

Friday

Around 10am, we hit the road and headed West.

It was about a 5 hour drive to Santa Fe, and a boring one at that. We decided to get an audio book to listen to, hoping it would help pass the time. Well, we got “Assholes Finish First”, by Tucker Max. I was actually the person to vote for this book, thinking it would be funny. It was funny…but also the most vulgar and inappropriate thing I have ever listened to!

At 3pm, we arrived in Santa Fe!

Cute little hotel.

After getting checked in the hotel, we headed out to walk around and get a little bite to eat.

Following our late lunch, we walked around the plaza so I could find some turquoise earrings (I wanted authemtic ones that Indians were selling off rugs in the plaza).

Success!

After our shopping trip, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed a bit.

Then it was time to hit the hotel bar. They had the most amazing cocktails at the bar, and I enjoyed this apple, lime, fruity vodka thing. Whoa.

Now this is vacation.

Dinner followed dinner at a New Meixcan style restaurant, then it was time to rest up for our big day on the slopes!

Saturday

The alarm went off early Saturday, and we started prepping for the day ahead. After getting bundled up, it was time to brave the snow.

A lot of people are surprised by the fact that you can ski in Santa Fe. For some reason they think it would be really warm there. Well, it is not. It is actually pretty chilly!

A lovely drive up the mountain.

We have arrived!

I had not skied in 12 years. I was terrified that I would forget how to do it.

The moment of truth happened coming off our first lift. Would I remember? Would I fall? Would I cry?

well…..

Terrified but ready!

….I picked it right back up! I was actually shocked at how easily it all came back to me!

Zack boards, so we would go our separate ways at the top of the mountain and meet back up when he reached the bottom.

Beautiful!

ahhhhhhh!

We had the best day skiing, and the mountain was so pretty and relaxing. We were exhausted after skiing all day, and it was time to head back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we rested and then prepared for dinner. Twitter friend Emily (@EmilyRatcliff) suggested an Italian restaurant, Il Piatto. Dinner was delicious, and such a cute and quaint little setting.

🙂

Sunday

Sunday morning, we ate at a cute little cafe and decided it was time to go to Church.

We headed up to St. Francis Cathedral. It was really lovely!

Very historic

I made an Indian friend.

This photo does not do justice!

After we wrapped up at St. Francis, we went to the Loretto Chapel to look at the famous staircase.

This staircase is a “Miracle” because it was made by an unknown little carpenter man, and doesn’t have a nail anywhere in it. It is such a cool story…google it!

So much character.

Incredible!

One last stop was required before we headed home. I wanted an authentic turquoise ring to go with my new earrings. Zack was quite the sport as I drug him up and down the street looking for the perfect ring.

This time was well spent, because I found a ring that was right at home on my finger.

I HATE the way my hand looks in this photo. Have I heard of lotion?

After I found my new ring, we headed back to Texas.

The trip home was more of Tucker Max, and that obscene book. But it actually got pretty funny during the second half.

Now I am back home in Missouri. The weekend was great, and I plan to visit Santa Fe again.

Chat soon!

xoxo,

Ali

 

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A Day of LOVE

14 Feb

In honor of Valentines Day, I decided to write a post focused on LOVE. Specifically, all the things that I LOVE about my life.

I LOVE….

My Family

Best Parents, brother, cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Granparents

My Friends

Loyal and faithful friends galore!

My Running Buddies

No way I would see all my successes without Stacy and Diana.

My Boyfriend

Far apart but always in my heart!

My Job

Where else can you wear awesome sweaters to the office?

My Shoe Collection

and this isn’t even all of them…

My Role as Aunt Ali (Awi,I E)

Reese, Bridget and Caden – always bringing me smiles and laughs.

My Running Ability

So thankful to have this ability come so easily to me.

All of these things that I love are what make my life happy and whole. They get me through bad days, and keeping me looking forward to the next day to come.

As the years go on, I expect this list to grow longer.

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentines Day, and is able to spend it with someone they love, or doing something they love.

XO,

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – February 13th

13 Feb

Happy Monday!!!

How are ya? How was your weekend? Mine was super busy, but pretty darn good! I love starting my Monday’s by coming off a great weekend. It really helps me to set the tone for the week, and I have a feeling it is going to be a great week.

Here’s why:

Snow

Kansas City finally got its first real snow of the season. You would think we were experiencing the apocolypse by the way our newscasters were covering this 2 inch storm.

Most people around here hate snow, but I happen to really love it. I think it is pretty, and so relaxing to look at. It is not very conducive to outdoor running, but I was prepared and ran a rockin’ 5 miles yesterday.

The Bachelor

Tonight on the Bachelor, The other girls help Ben to see what’s up with Courtney. And from the previews it looks like he is semi-perceptive to the conversations.

Dear Ben, "Butt cuts" are not stylish or flattering. Why would ABC allow this 'do?

But let’s get real. Ben is a guy and will continue to think like a guy. Which means Courtney will stay. I am saying it right now…this B is going to win the show.

Valentines Day

I love love. And I have always been a fan of Valentines Day. Even though I won’t be with my special someone on Valentines Day, I still get to reflect on our love! (awwwww, so freaking cheesy).

It would be really awesome if someone bought me some candy hearts, because I won't buy them for myself, but I really want some.

VACATION

The most exciting thing happening this week is a little vacation! I finally get to see Zack (It’s been since Christmas) this weekend, and we are taking a little road trip from his home in Texas to Santa Fe.

In Santa Fe we plan to ski. I think it sounds like a blast, and I am trying not to remind myself (or my boyfriend) that I have not skied since the 7th Grade.

This should be interesting…but I was a pretty stellar skier in the 7th grade. I went down a green slope fast. Surely skiing is like riding bike and I will pick up those pizza stops in no time.

Runsploration

In Santa Fe, I plan to take a little Runsploration. I haven’t been on one of these since my marathon in Dallas, and I pray I don’t get lost (that happened in Chicago once).

I also pray that I can convince my boyfriend to come with me…but I doubt this will happen because he is not a “distance runner”. Whatever. He just thinks I will beat him.

 

What are you excited about this week? Have any ski tips for me, or need my address to send me some candy hearts?

Have a great week, friends!!

Ali

 

8 Miles in 8 Degrees

12 Feb

This weekend, I ran in the coldest weather I had ever braved.

It was 6 degrees when we began our 8 mile run at 8am, and 8 when we finished. The windchill was well below zero, but the sun was shining bright.

Diana, Stacy and I had decided it would be fun to wear PJ pants on this insanely chilly run. The PJ pants were also a great idea because they were fleece and were easy to layer over tights.

Oh you know, just ready to rob a bank!

This run was NOT Miles with Style. We looked like fools, and didn’t match at all.

Diana was wearing fleece pants with turtles on them, while I was spreading christmas cheer with mine. Our friend Emily who took the picture had the best PJ pants…complete with robots! Stacy looked the best, donning a pair of navy blue pretties.

I always try to look my best when I run, however in 8 degrees it is semi-impossible to look fashionable. The number one goal of this run was to avoid hypothermia, and get in our 8 miles.

We ended up having a great run, and were so proud of ourselves for making it through. We were also quite proud of the dedication we have to this sport.

Ran in my huge glasses, and they really helped to protect my face!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend as well, and avoided the 8 degree weather!

Wishing you an awesome week ahead!

XO,

Ali

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Fashion Fridays – I Love Shoes

10 Feb

It is Friday again, and I want to talk shoes.

As most girls do, I love shoes. I love heels, I love flats and I love comfy.

Now keep reading to see just a few of my faves!

When I am not wearing these Tory Burch beauties…

Or these red-soled goddesses…

I am wearing these lovelies…

Flats are fab, heels are great, but the shoes that matter most to me are my running shoes.

I have been a huge fan of Brooks running shoes for quite a while.

Four years ago, I started wearing the Brooks Glycerin. I loved the support and the cushion. They were great.

This past fall I decided to try out the Brooks Ghost. Wow. These shoes are amazing, and I have never been so in love with shoes (and that is saying a lot!). In fact when it is time to get new shoes, I just pick up the exact same pair. Same color, same style, same everything. I am obsessed.

So what are your favorite types of shoes? And I am talking all shoes…flats, heels, running, whatever!

Let’s start this Friday off great. Let’s talk shoe talk.

xo,

Ali

P.S. Want to make me happy? Please “like” my facebook page! I think the only followers are me and my Mom 🙂

A Day in the Life of Ali

8 Feb

I thought it would be fun to document my day, and show everyone how I choose to spend my time. Enjoy!

5:30am – Run 5 miles

7:00am – Get my Josh Elliott fix on GMA. I love you, Josh!

7:45am – Ready for work, glad I get to wear jeans!

7:55am – Pack up lunch, fix my smoothie, leave for work

8:20am – Sit in traffic on 435W

8:30am – Arrive at work. Good morning, Digital Evolution Group!

12:15pm – Lunch at my desk. mmmm Turkey.

2:15pm – Refill water for the 3rd time

3:00pm – Snack time! Chobani yogurt with Kashi and banana.

4:00pm – Tea time

5:15pm – Leave DEG, head to boot camp

5:56pm – Make it to boot camp just in time!

7:05pm – Hobble out of boot camp

7:12pm – Arrive at Margo’s for weekly Bachelor party with the gals!

9:15pm – Come home, shower and setup my nighttime office

10:05pm – Set out running clothes for Tuesday morning hill workout

10:06pm – Set alarm (that extra minute past 5 helps), prepare for bed!

Wake up, and repeat 🙂

-Ali

The Story Behind NYC 2012

7 Feb

Last Friday, I received one of the most exciting emails. It was from NYRR (New York Road Runners) and it was letting me know that my application to run the 2012 ING NYC Marathon had been “accepted”.

I was overjoyed.

I tweeted it.

I facebooked it.

I stared at the badge.

And then I really started to think about it.

The New York City Marathon has always been on the top of my “dream list” of marathons. I love New York, and thought it would be amazing to run through this city.

For those of you who don’t know about the process to get into this race, it is a little complicated. The NYC Marathon is a “lottery” marathon because so many people want to run it. You submit an application to run, and then you’re notified whether or not you were accepted.

There are a few ways to get around the lottery, one of these is guaranteed acceptance using a half marathon or marathon time within the last year.

Based on the above chart, I needed to run under a 1:37 half, or 3:23 full to get automatic acceptance into the race. 2012 will be the last year that a 1:37 & 3:23 will be accepted for women, then the times drop a TON (seriously…the new times are insane).

I knew when I applied that my 1:37 half I ran in October 2011 should get me in, but I was still nervous. I waited to apply, and I feared that this would have a negative impact on my application.

Well, it didn’t. I found out one day after I applied that I was “accepted” into the race.

This is when I had my major “aha” moment.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I ran the St. Louis Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in October 2011. And if you read this recap blog post, you know that I was quite the cry baby over my performance in the race.

I wanted to PR that race, and run under a 1:34. But I didn’t. I ran a 1:36:37.

The day I ran that race, I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like crap the entire race, and my legs killed the entire time. It was everything in me to keep going and finish the thing as strong as possible. And it required pep talk after pep talk to myself.

At many points I thought about turning around and finishing with a friend I knew was a couple minutes behind me. But I didn’t. And not doing that ended up making quite an impact in my life.

Had I let myself slow down during this half marathon, I would not have made it onto the “guaranteed acceptance” list for the NYC Marathon. And quite possibly not made it into the race at all this year. I would not have received good news when I really needed some in my life. And I would not have been given a boost of motivation that I desperately needed as well.

Upon reflection of these things, it was confirmed to me that there truly are reasons why things happen. There was a reason why a voice inside my head was so strong the day of my half marathon, telling me “keep going”. And there was a reason why I did not give up and run 23 seconds slower.

I never would have thought this half marathon would have such an impact on my life. I used to look back on that race and cringe. Now I look back on that race and smile. That race got me into my dream marathon, and brought me good news when I really needed it.

After this, I will always remember that things are happening for a reason, and there is ALWAYS a reason to keep going and finished what you started.

XO,

Ali

 

Marvelous Mondays – February 6th

6 Feb

Great news to all my readers. Ali is back to her happy self!

I finally shook my mood from the past couple weeks and I am feeling normal again. Cheers to that!

Now let’s get excited about the week, shall we?

Nicole’s Birthday

Obviously today is marvelous because it is my best friends birthday!

Throwback pic from 2003! We were WAY too tan for February.....

Happy 26th Birthday, Nicole!!! I love you and cannot wait to be your maid of honor in 4 months!

Foggy Run

I had a stellar run this morning in the fog!

No, this isn't really from this morning, but it is such a cool pic!

It was a bit scary because it was super dark and super foggy, but I felt great and ran a good pace. Isn’t a great run the best way to start off your day? I think so!

Chocolate Ale

People in Kansas City have been crazy obsessed with this seasonal beer made by Boulevard Brewery. It is called “Chocolate Ale”.

After bar hopping with my friend Kim this weekend, we can now contribute to conversations about Chocolate Ale. It tasted like beer, with chocolate in it!

You would NOT want a glass bigger than this.

Sweet Baby Time

Yesterday I attended my first “play date”. My boyfriend Zack’s sister has two of the sweetest little babies, and they had a little date setup to play with their cousin Gia. I invited myself and tagged along!

I love these girls so much and see them every chance I get! Being Aunt Awi is the best thing ever.

Bridget drinks lots of water just like Awi!

Ummm, for real....look at that sweet face!!!!

So what are you looking forward to this week? Or did something great already happen that you would like to share?

Wishing everyone a happy, positive, upbeat week ahead!

xo,

Ali

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