Today’s #elf4health challenge is to “share my expertise.” Obviously, because I’m a Renaissance Woman, this is hard. I’m really good at many things, such as tripping up stairs, running into furniture, jam sessions while driving, spilling stuff all over myself and rocking second-day hair, but I didn’t think any of these were what Elle & Lindsay had in mind.
I tossed around a few other ideas.
So, back to the drawing board I went… and I came up with something really good–and super useful–to share with all of you and my fellow elves.
Yes. I am a not-so-secret photo–bombing expert. I realize that I’ve already written two posts on this, but what can I say? it’s kind of a big deal. AND, what better time of year to ruin carefully planned photo sessions with your loved ones than Christmas/New Year’s parties???
So, here is Noelle’s Notebook’s Photo-Bombing Refresher Course:
1. Pick your victims.
We all know THAT person. You know, the person who HAS to take the perfect photo… they need to stand “just so,” to hide their muffin top or do 2341354134135245 retakes until they finally look better than all other parties in the photo. OR, they have to document EVERYTHING (seriously, do you need to take a picture of Uncle Charlie eating a piece of celery?).
This person is almost always the one I pick…probably because sometimes I am that person (Farmer Ben can attest to this).
2. Plan your entrance.
Depending on the location, I have a few different approaches… at a party, I like to casually dance up behind the subject of the photo–slide to the left, you know? If the subject is sitting down, I prefer the walk-by… OR, I just quietly creep into the background. Your photographer is key to this step because if they so much as let out a chuckle, your cover is blown.
3. Find your motivation.
Are you the photo-bomber who tries to go unnoticed with the blank stare? Or do you go big–arms, eyes and all? I am typically the “make the most horrendous face possible” girl, but to each their own. The important thing is, once you figure out what you’re going for, you have to commit…
There’s no turning back in photo-bombing–you only have seconds to ruin the perfect photo.
Find the quickest way to flee once the camera flashes…this could be as simple as turning around with a sweet spin move, or as complicated as leaping over a couch. Just remember to plan ahead and act natural.
5. Have fun.
This one should be obvious but sometimes we forget. I realize that photo-bombing is serious business–Just remember why you’re doing it and the fun will follow.
Finally, because I love this photo so much, here is my finest photo-bombing moment (thus far):
To read Photo-Bombing Part I, click here.
To read Photo-Bombing Part II, click here.
Let’s chat! Are you an expert at anything? Discuss. What are some of your favorite photo-bombing techniques? OR are you a victim? Share your story.
Can we talk about how foolish I was when I believed that life would slow down after the marathon? Yeah, call me crazy. Regardless, life’s been pretty good lately. Also, confession: I started writing this post last week…and am just now publishing…fail.
Prepare yourselves, this is going to be RANDOM!
As you know, I am officially 26 as of a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t feel much different than 25, other than I didn’t have a birthday meltdown. I’ll call it a win! How did I celebrate? A margarita and nachos with girlfriends, of course! On my actual birthday, I woke up to a delicious breakfast of filet mignon, homemade hash browns and a fried egg. Perfection.
My excuse for being absent? I’ve been insanely busy at work and in spite of some major technology/communication issues, extremely productive. I’ve managed to finish some special projects that have been hanging over my head and am able to focus on other things, at least for now. As a result of this busy-ness, I haven’t even wanted to look at a computer outside of work/on my lunch break. My bad.
Also, does anyone else get completely weird with daylight savings? I just can’t get a handle on it. Hence my writing this post more days after Daylight Savings than I care to admit….
In other news, I’m super excited because my friend Tina is not only doing the Turkey Trot this year (AND, Vanessa, too–I think!), but she asked me to run the loop with her a couple of weeks ago. She may have thought it was a mistake when I made her run up the hills, but she was glad when it was all said and done. I’m still waiting for her invite to run the loop again…
Other than that, I did a race three weekends ago. My friend Kristy and I even went in costume…kind of. She did an awesome job of painting our faces. Read about it here.
Big news! Farmer Ben and I finally bought a new bed. Not only did we upgrade from a full to a queen, but we also went with memory foam, and let me tell you, I have not slept so well in a LONG time. We also got a ridiculously good deal.
In fact, between daylight savings and our new bed, getting up in the morning is damn near impossible!
Moving on, Farmer Ben made bagels. While cooking dinner. I know I’ve said this before, but how amazing is he?!
Breakfast was epic last week…
And dinner? Even better. What he made while making bagels:
In other food news, I’ve been craving greens lately. Greens and anything kind of related to tacos/nachos.
On the running front, I’ve been bad about getting out and running (shocker, I know), but I have a run planned after work (Hi Kristy!) and as soon as I finish this post, I’ll be updating my schedule to include workouts this week. I am still deciding if I want to a December half marathon for giggles… and I have it narrowed down to two races! One of them will be free if I can find a volunteer…any takers? It’s in Gloucester, MA…. The other is in New Hampshire…apparently I like torturing myself by running in freezing weather….
This weekend was marvelous. I slept in on Saturday, drove the hubby to work, came home, vegged out with a movie, took a nap, caught up on some reading and discovered an awesome new workout app. I’ll fill you in a little more on my next post, but I am still sore today.
Big shoutout to my friend Chelsea on her most recent 5k. She ran a kick-ass race and improved her time by about 9 minutes. 9 minutes!!!! Amazing!
Tell me, what’s your favorite breakfast? What foods are you craving lately? Any winter races on the docket? Give me a random update!
Hi Friends! Sorry things have been a bit quiet around here lately…life has been hectic and I haven’t been on top of my blogging game.
But I have some exciting news to share!
A couple of weeks ago there was a little race in my town… it’s actually something they do all over the country, but this was the first year I participated.
It was called the Great Pumpkin Prediction Race… I absolutely love the concept. Basically, when you sign up, you have to guess what time you THINK you’re going to run the course in. Whoever gets the closest to their estimated time wins the race. And of course, it supports a local charity.
How cool is that?
I love it because, even if you aren’t the speedy kid, you can still win prizes.
Anyway, the race was held at the local civic center. The start and finish were indoors and then you ran either a short (about a 5k) or a long (about a 10k) course on some nearby trails.
This was one of the most organized local races I have been to. I was impressed. And the swag was awesome, but we’ll get to that later.
My friend Kristy and I signed up a few days before and decided to dress up.
I headed over to Kristy’s house a couple of hours before race time (we had pre-registered so we weren’t super worried about arriving early) and she got to work on doing my face.
She did an amazing job…
But we weren’t paying attention to the time, so we ended up running late (no seriously, we were pinning on our numbers/signing our waivers when the gun went off!). Oops!
Anyway, we got ourselves situated and took off, sprinting after the group that had already started. Thank goodness I remembered to take my ENERGYbits!
It was cold and windy, especially being so close to the lake. I had neglected to ditch my sweatpants before we started running, but honestly, I was glad to have them on. It was drizzling out, but the rain held off until we finished, thank goodness! The course was relatively flat but interesting, we ran by the beach and even saw people on the lake! Crazies!
Kristy and I took it relatively easy, mostly because we both haven’t been running regularly, but it felt good to just run for fun and it was good to catch up and talk about random things (such as homemade laundry soap, facial toner, and all-natural makeup).
One of my co-workers happened to be taking photos that day, so he hooked me up with our finish photos. The last one is hilarious to me. (Photos courtesy of Jeremy Miller)
Do you like how we kind of match?
After we finished, we checked out our runner bags (a cloth Target shopping bag, black and red. I’ve been using it to carry my lunch/snacks ever since!). Inside was a pretty sweet t-shirt, a $10 gift certificate to Fleet Feet, a bottle of water, 6 raffle tickets to be used on our choice of raffle and a meal ticket. Yes, we got a meal, Subway, cookies and apples (it is the North Country after all). I’ve had worse.
Kristy and I meandered over to check out the raffles and our official finish time. We happened to notice that Kristy’s estimated time was wrong, so we let the race director know.
It’s a good thing we did because Kristy ended up winning the race! And guess who got second. This girl! Can I just say, I was ridiculously excited because I never win anything.
The prizes were awesome. Kristy won a pair of Merrell Trail Shoes (heck yes!) and I won a $25 gift card to Fleet Feet. In addition, we both got a pair of Vermont Darn Tough wool hiking socks and a $15 Road ID gift certificate. Awesome. Again, ridiculously excited because I never win anything!
After we received our prizes, we stuck around to see if we’d have any luck on the raffles.
Good decision. I won a coffee gift basket from a local café. It had a 1/2 pound of locally roasted coffee beans, five $1 off coupons on any beverage, coffee mugs (Farmer Ben was super excited about adding these to our already full glass/mug cabinet) and a hazelnut syrup (which Farmer Ben and I have already disposed of because the first ingredient was corn syrup). Score!
So, I’d say we did pretty well considering we didn’t even make it to the start line on time. I’m definitely adding this to my (ever-growing) list of races for next year!
The best part about this little race? It gave me the bug. I’m anxious to fit in a few more races by the end of the year. This time of year is usually when I want to crawl into my XL sweatpants and hide under the covers until late spring…but I’m feeling motivated. I want to get out there and run!
Kristy and I are already planning on doing the 10k loop of the Turkey Trot this year and I am scoping out some end of the year half-marathons…. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks to Kristy for doing the race with me! And thanks Jeremy, for the photos!
Best prize you’ve ever won at a race? Ever shown up late to a race? What did you do? Any end of the year races on your calendar? Which ones? Are you a winter runner or would you rather hibernate like me?!
So, here you are! Enjoy!
Noelle’s (Re-Updated) List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:
1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.
Not gonna lie, STILL haven’t done this… however, I have gotten some ambassadorships that are pretty awesome and feel like I’m moving in the right direction. (you guys get 25% with my code for Energy Bits!)
I also finally broke down and got Twitter and Instagram… not that I know how to use them very well, but it’s all about networking, right? (usernames for both are NoellesNotebook if you’d like to give a follow!)
I’d love to know what you, readers, would like to see content wise…I realize that this space has morphed into a different animal from what I originally intended it to be… but I’m okay with that… however, I want to keep it interesting for all of you…so I’d love your feedback!
2. Excel in my job.
Confession: I struggle with this one.
I feel like my “promotion” has transformed into something else… my time is filled up with special projects that seem to take over what I’m actually supposed to be doing. And honestly, I have days (or months) where I just wonder how I am supposed to get everything done… Does anyone else have this problem?
My boss tells me I’m doing well, but some days, I really have trouble believing that….but I just keep on going and I’m hoping that counts for something.
To be completely honest, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this particular aspect of my life, what’s to come of it, and what not.
3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year/7. Be more present.
I’m killing this one.
- Strides for James was amazing–we had over 200 participants and raised over $5,000 after expenses. We were able to reach our scholarship goal in less than a year and someone in our community is already benefitting from our group’s hard work.
- Farmer Ben won tickets to a Red Sox game. We went and loved it.
- The Hubby and I were in the bridal party/catered our friends’ wedding. Not gonna lie, it was exhausting but worth it.
- We got to do some hiking this summer! I cannot tell you how happy this made me!
- Just starting a new online class today.
- Farmer Ben and I just returned from a kick-ass road-trip and are craving more adventures. We drove to St. Simons Island, Georgia, then headed up to Charleston, South Carolina. I am ready to move there!
- On our road-trip, we ate Barbecue for 3 days. I’m not even a little ashamed.
- Ben finally got to meet my good friend Natasha who lives in DC and we visited (and by visited, I mean had a couple of drinks and crashed on her floor before getting up ridiculously early and hitting the road again) Liz–FINALLY! I even got to show him my old apartment.
- Also on our trip, we spent the night on a sail boat-a first for me!
- I also ran my first marathon.
- Spent more time with family
I think those are all of the big ones, but honestly, I feel so blessed this year with all of the adventures we’ve had and I am wondering what’s next!
As far as spending less time on my phone, I’ve absolutely cut down on this. I deactivated my Facebook account and haven’t looked back. I may re-activate it when I get back into the heart of planning Strides for James 2014… but for now, I am content to be in the dark about what that girl who was in my gen ed class, freshman year is doing. I’m learning to appreciate those around me and treasuring the time with people I don’t see every day.
Any suggestions to continue my “Yes” Year?!
5. Take more time to read.
Yes. Doing this.
I won’t bore with the entire list, but these are my favorites I’ve read this year (Not gonna lie, it looks almost exactly like the list in my last update):
- My Bible
- all three Hunger Games Books (twice)
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- The Girl Who Played with Fire
- Garlic and Sapphires
- The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest
- The Great Gatsby
- Pride and Prejudice
- Born to Run
- Eat & Run
- The Dirty Life
- The Beautiful & Damned
Any other reading suggestions?
4. Run a half marathon/6. Run 26.2 miles.
Half Marathon-I’ve run the distance but haven’t raced it. Can we call this one even? I may look for a race in the next month or two… just to check it off the list, but I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t get that race in.
Marathon-Done. One of the most difficult and worthwhile things I have ever accomplished… and I’m already planning to do another!
8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.
I’m getting closer.
9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.
I still haven’t been working on my burpees.
10. Do more food-ing.
I definitely went on a vegan recipe kick after reading Eat & Run. I’ve also been experimenting more with using different ingredients, especially when I was training for the marathon, I had to get creative with pre/during race foods because of some digestion issues.
We’ve also made an effort to eat at home more this year…and when we traveling, we try to eat at a local restaurant.
So, there you have it. I’d say for the most part, I’m doing pretty well…I definitely see areas where I can improve, but I am happy for now.
Now it’s your turn! How are you doing with your goals? Anything you’re struggling with? OR, do you have any advice to help me out?! Let me know!
September is flying by!
I realize it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Confessions” post… so here we go.
You may have noticed some new widgets on my sidebar:
I am super excited to announce that I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador, pink shoelaces and all!
For more info, click the image on the sidebar or check out the Fit Approach website.
Here is the Sweat Pink Mission, from the Fit Approach website:
We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick. We sweat pink.
Pretty awesome, right? I am pumped to be a part of this community!
I’ve mentioned ENERGYbits and how they have become part of my fuel for marathon training and life in general. They are an amazing company and doing great things….and I am so happy to be a part of it. The best part is that I can share a sweet discount with all of you (Use the code “NoellesNotebook” at checkout for 25% off!)! Also, if you’re interested in trying a sample, contact me and I can hook you up!
In other news, marathon training is coming to a close…less than 2 weeks until race day. I have to admit, I am sort of enjoying the taper, but my body is a bit confused.
I bonked a bit on my 20 mile run and had a minor freak-out about being ready…
After I calmed down from my freak-out, I analyzed what went wrong… I think a big part of my bonk was my food choices from the couple of days before my run, not drinking enough and the weather. It was hot. Really hot. And humid….and raining.
So what am I using for fuel?
I have decided on ENERGYbits (of course!), Island Boost–another great company–and various fruit. This will depend on what I can fit in my running belt…
I was going back and forth as to whether or not I should wear my camelbak on race day, but I decided against it. There will be water stops on the course and honestly, the camelbak is a lot of extra weight and extra sweat. It’s great for training runs, but I don’t want to worry about it on race day.
Thoughts on Marathon training:
Next time around (yes, I’m already thinking about next time! Let’s just get through the first one, shall we?!), I am only going to be working one job…and won’t be involved in as many real life commitments. Life happens. I got way too stressed out with training this time around because honestly, I skipped a lot of runs. Between trying to prevent/having an injury and just being over-extended, some days it felt impossible to fit in a run. I realize that there are people out there who do way more than I do (and I give them MAJOR props), but this time around, I had to make some sacrifices, and some weeks, it was my training runs.
I have a good friend (Hi Kristy!) who gave me some peace of mind a while back. She said that as long as you get your long runs in, it’s okay to skip some of your runs during the week.
Now, I am NOT in any way saying that you shouldn’t train for a marathon, because that would be moronic. But, sometimes life happens and things come up. And that’s okay, as long as you get back on track.
She also reminded me that as this will be my first marathon, I am going to PR. No matter my time, it’s going to be a personal record. Doesn’t that take a lot of the pressure off?
Again, I’m not saying that I won’t go out there and try and run my hardest, but…if I have to walk for a bit, I am still doing 26.2 miles in one shot. That’s still pretty hard-core.
With that being said, I’ve been having some really great runs lately. During and after each run, I have felt unstoppable…isn’t that the best feeling?!
Also, I purchased a foam roller ($15 at TJ Maxx for the win!) about a month ago… such a good investment! Luckily, Farmer Ben loves to torture… I mean take care of me and has been super helpful with working out the kinks in my legs. My recovery time has decreased significantly as a result…so thanks Farmer Ben!
On a totally unrelated topic, marathon training does a number on my digestive system. I’ll leave it at that.
Oh! I almost forgot, I need your help! I am deciding on whether to run with or without some tunage.
If I do run with music, I need to create a killin’ it playlist. What would be on your kicking butt soundtrack?!
Today, 12 years have passed from that fateful day. I still remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news. I think about how much our nation–and our world–has grown and changed, and I pay a moment of silence and remembrance to the past and those who were lost.
Anyway, those are my musings for today.
What about you?! What do you use for fuel during your long runs/race day? Any advice for a first time marathoner? What is on your killin’ it playlist?!
Ben’s sister and niece were also in the area this weekend. So, on Sunday, after church and a quick lunch, we met them just outside of Lake Placid bearing some of the best local cuisine…Clare and Carl’s Michigans (just google it).
After leaving my car parked on the side of the road, we headed up Whiteface Mountain…although I’ve lived in the North Country for quite some time, I’d never actually made this trip before, so I was pretty excited… unfortunately, I didn’t really think too far ahead and was not wearing the best outfit for being on top of a mountain ( a cotton dress and a pair of slip-ons)…luckily, I had a zip-up in my car.
Anyway, we drove up the mountain slowly, stopping to take a few pictures along the way…
When we reached the top and found a parking spot, we took the elevator to the top of the mountain (!!!!) and looked around…then we walked/hiked down to the castle and enjoyed our Michigans before hitting the road again.
Although it was a quick trip, it was really great to catch up and enjoy the view from the top.
After we got back to the car, Ben and I decided to head into Lake Placid to wander around, with a pit-stop for root beer floats.
Overall, it was a pretty awesome weekend and we are both thankful for the quality time spent with family.
How was your labor day? What’s your favorite local food? Ever taken an elevator to the top of a mountain?
Coming off a long weekend is really hard. It’s Wednesday, but my body thinks that it’s Tuesday…and my brain just really wants it to be Friday again! Combine that with the food hangover from eating…everything… yikes! See the dilemma?
Anyway, Ben and I were super blessed this weekend as we had family visiting. My dad and his wife and their good friend Gary rolled into town on Friday night. I picked them up on Saturday morning and we took a leisurely drive to Saranac Lake, NY…about an hour away.
You see, there was this amazing local food festival going on in conjunction with the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Market. It was the Farm 2 Fork Festival. Click here for more info. Basically, it’s a celebration of local growers and producers…and lots of delicious food, demonstrations and workshops.
It was $10 for a ticket and you got to try a lot of good food, made by locals–right up my alley! Unfortunately it as a bit of a dreary day, but that didn’t stop us from getting our localvore on…
Anyway, here are some photos….
Anyway, as you can see…I had a really good time strolling around the market, eating and hanging out with the family…but that’s not all that we did this weekend! Stay tuned for more scenes….
How was your long weekend? Any big plans for September? What did you eat this weekend?!
Today is not going well, friends.
I stepped out of my car this morning and immediately dumped my coffee all over the parking lot (and maybe the passenger side door of a co-worker’s car…oops). Needless to say, I was heartbroken. It was a full-to-the-brim, large coffee and there was a mere sip left after I scrambled to pick it up. I am almost ashamed to admit that I took that last sip– I had to!
I don’t know if I’ve told you about the coffee at my workplace…if I haven’t, I’ll fill you in: It’s awful. And, for whatever reason, there is only non-dairy creamer available (what is that anyway? Corn starch?! I don’t even know…) unless I remember to bring my own half and half…and when I do, I have to hide it in the community fridge because it tends to disappear.
This morning, I got out of the house early enough where I had time to go through town and treat myself…so I stopped at Stewart’s.
If you are unfamiliar with Stewart’s, it’s an upstate NY/Vermont chain…a gas station/mini-mart deal. They have good, no-fuss coffee, on the cheap.
So, you can imagine my disappointment, when, upon opening my car door, I immediately dumped my entire coffee all over the ground…granted, it was only a dollar or two, but still! It’s the principle of the matter.
And there I was, a coffee river at my feet and unable to process what had just occurred. So after entering the building, I went to the community coffee pot and filled up.
Heartbroken in Upstate NY,
PS. Luckily, I had some half and half stashed in the fridge…still not good.
Coffee Talk: Have you ever had a coffee heartbreak? Workplace coffee, good or downright awful?!
I should have posted this last week as we did the hike two Sundays ago…but …I didn’t.
Anyway, Ben and I were invited to chaperone a church youth group hike. Per usual, we decided the morning of that we would do it and threw a few snacks, the camelbak, some Energy Bits, and clothes in the back of my car. After church, we picked up some subs to eat for a quick lunch.
We were told the hike would be pretty easy… this was only half-true. The first three-quarters of a mile is flat… the rest is a nice little incline, the whole way up.
In spite of the steep climb, it was totally worth it. Interested in doing the hike?
Click here for more info.
Here are some views from the top….
Anyway, it turned out to be a great day for a hike and I am so glad we decided to go. This is definitely one of the harder hikes I have done, especially once we got closer to the top, but I felt good.
Hiking, yes or no? Favorite outdoor activity? Are you a last-minute person like me or a planner?
My sister took this little gem over the weekend. She wanted a picture of my brother wearing that shirt….I seized the opportunity.
Photo-bombing lesson: The element of surprise is key.
Any words of wisdom to fellow photo-ruiners?