Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What I did last weekend and some packing!

I mentioned things have been a little wacky round these parts recently. Last week at work was quite insane. A big part of the reason being that we finalized plans for me to go over to our UK office and do some training of their Associates!

I've mentioned before that I manage the junior sales people for my company but in my past life I was a Sales Trainer. Well, I created the program I use to train my people and the UK is adopting a similar set up. Guess who's going over to do the training?? Yep, this gal. Oh, did I mention that I leave on Sunday? AHHHHHH...

In addition to leaving for Scotland, yes, I'll be in Edinburgh for a week, Kev and I already had plans to head up to Pittsburgh to see a Steelers game. Yes, I go to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning, then Sunday fly to Newark then on to Edinburgh. A few days of training, a little sight seeing and on home I go! Oh, and when I get back I have 2 new people starting that day. I've got a lot of -ish to get done before I go.

This past weekend was spent getting a bunch of things together and trying to figure out what the heck to pack.

Friday night Kev and I went to Brasa, it's a Brazilian steakhouse where they bring round all sorts of meats on sticks. I'm really picky about my meat and only eat it if it's half a step above mooing. OK, not really a half step, it should moo. Most normal people want their meat cooked so I pass on a lot of the skewers and make the gauchos sad. They never know what to do with me. It's really simple, get your raw meat, run it though a fire for a minute and give it to me. It was really fine though, I had a 10 mile run in the morning and a belly full of last night's meat and a 2+ hours of running does not a happy Lara make.

I got up Saturday morning and was really concerned that it was going to rain. Thankfully it held off. I went with the run club and we did 10.16 miles. I guess it made up for being short last week but dangit, I like nice even run numbers. We even did an out and back, we could have turned around at exactly 5 miles but nooooo.

When I got to the store, I didn't have my Garmin. I left it at home... No lie, I almost turned around and went home to get it. I need to have a record of my run! Sadly my phone only had a 20% charge and the Nike app wasn't going to last that long. Instead I ran "naked".

The run was fine, a little wet but fine. We left from the North Raleigh store and that's my hood. Ran down Six Forks,m out the Greenway, turned around and back. It's the Greenway I run all the time so I knew exactly where we were which was really helpful.

Got home, showered and laid on the couch and asked Kev to bring me things.

The last few days I've been experimenting with milk and seeing if it gave me intestinal distress. So far so good! I tried the Graham Latte and I like it a LOT better than the #PSL. Non-fat, extra, extra hot and only 1.5 pumps of the juice. A grande would normally get 4 pumps which is insane. 1.5 is plenty for me.

What else,  went to Whole Foods (shocker) and got this peanut brittle. Take a closer look there... I see like 2 peanuts. 

I think there's a peanut in the corner by my nail.

Sunday was, you guessed it, errand day! and laundry day!!! One good thing about the Sunday after a long run, no pressure to work out. Nada.

I needed to go to Target and find a neck pillow (they were out) and to Trader Joe's to get some Kind and Quest bars. I need handy snacks just in case, while I'm at the office in Edinburgh. I'll be training most of the day and I'm sure they'll feed me during the day, but in case it's gross or something I can't eat, Kind bar to the rescue! Vega bars saved me at Convention when the lunch food was gross.

I started packing for my trips and that's about it! 

I'm going to work on getting some posts ready for when I'm away. I might be able to churn out a post or two while I'm away but yeah, don't count on it. lol. I'm going to enjoy my time instead of typing on a computer. 

See you all in a week and a half!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo

The Wednesday Showcase
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

GYPO Work Wear Challenge Recap

Yes, I can't stop doing fashion challenges. I swear, I really can't help myself. I actually think they're really good for me and I'll tell you why. It helps me target my shopping on a few things that I'm missing from my wardrobe AND, most of all, it forces me to put together things that I wouldn't think of wearing. win win win.

I do need to confess though, I'm terrible at capsule wardrobes in just one way, I won't wear the same piece 2x in one week, nor will I wear something kinda close together. Pants are one thing but tops? Ahhh nope. 

Before I took a 2 week hiatus I posted some of the clothes I put together for the challenge. Here are a few things I put together and wore during the last  weeks. 

OK, I know everyone is sick and tired of the horrible bathroom selfies but it's what I have access to. When we move, I swear I'll get a full length mirror and take my selfies there instead,

Red sweater, red and black polka dot top, black pants and leopard heels. Sweater and top are both from the Limited and old. pants from Macy's and the shoes from somewhere at an outlet mall.

Blue and white polka dot top from Banana Republic, skirt from Spiegle and thrifted.

White shirt and orange pants both from the Limited and leopard shoes,

Black blouse from Loft, skirt from the Limited (seeing a theme yet?) Those shoes are so, so old, I really might have bought them when I worked at Sears in grad school and that was a loooong time ago.

Black and white polka dot top from the Limited, green sweater from and pants from Gap, I can't even tell which shoes I'm wearing. 

Blue polka dotted chambray shirt from Old Navy, orange skirt from the Limited and tan flats with a gold skull on them. (for reals)

Gap sweater, Express tank, White House Black Market jeans and leopard loafers from Macy's

Patterned shirt from the Limited and burgundy pants from Macy's. Flats from Target

Shirt from Nordstrom, black pants, White House Black Market and boots from Macy's. Skull scarf from a store at the beach.

The last day was absolutely my favorite outfit, I FINALLY got to wear my new moto jacket. I thought for a hot minute about wearing my black puffer vest but realized I wold look like Han Solo if I did.

It still might happen because I'm on a quest to be as basic as possible this fall. Scarves and boots and lattes... I just need to stand in a pumpkin patch.

I think the biggest thing I accomplished this challenge was wearing scarves and a white shirt. I waited tables for far too long back in the day and had to wear a white shirt every. single, day. I might not have worn one since. Really, I haven't, until now, and I actually like it.

Scarves are the other big thing. I have a bunch of scarves and haven't worn any because I can't stand all the fabric. I think I finally found some I like though! 

There's just one more week before the Fall Challenge begins. You can STILL sign up here!! I've got most everything ready to go. What I'm going to do during this in between week with no one telling me what to wear, I have no idea.

Linking Up!

I do deClaire
Monday, September 28, 2015

Yes, I didn't blog last week. Or the week before.....

I started this post last Sunday after a week of not blogging. I had most of it done and thought I'd finish the last little bit at work before things got busy. Then -ish got crazy and my computer was down most of the morning while I was giving my hard drive put back in my laptop that just came back from being repaired. Then it needed 8000 updates and my day was shot.

So, what happened the weekend before last?

Well, it was sorority recruitment at NC State and I was at the house Saturday, Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday. I knew I'd be there for a few hours every day, on top of all of my regular work things. It was all worth it though, the chapter welcomed 54 brand new members on Weds!

They get younger and younger every year...

The theme was "Welcome to the Jungle" and every thing was animal print and super adorable. When I was in school, Welcome to the Jungle had a completely different meaning... I'm really kinda bummed that they don't play any GnR. I'm really not sure they'd know what I was talking about if  I asked them to.

They had some adorable cookies though.

Yea, All weekend and almost every day that week put a bit of a kink in my blogging plans. And now my internet connection is being wonky. This is super annoying. OK, on to the desktop where all the internets work.

Oh please Google Fiber. Please be soon, and thank you for the shirt. Everyone here is super excited to have you. Really, it's like waiting for Santa. 

OK, that weekend I went out with Fleet Feet and ran 9 miles. Except it wasn't 9 miles, it was closer to 8.67 which made me a little ragey. I mean really, I was mentally prepared to run 9 miles and I didn't and it was an odd number and by the time we finished I was so annoyed with the people in the group, I just wanted to leave.

I have never been so annoyed with a run club before. There were women in the group who were raging bi***es. I was so annoyed I wrote an email to the coordinator. It started with one of the ladies yelling at the mentors because she didn't cross the street soon enough. (They were getting their routes coordinated) then they were running much faster than the rest and kept catching up to the 12-13 min group and passing them. Then we'd walk and they passed us. When they passed us they complained because we were downtown Raleigh and the sidewalks are narrow. Then further into the run, a different lady yelled at the mentor for not crossing the street fast enough. Ugh, I thought run clubs were supposed to be places were everyone builds each other up instead of being ass hats. 

For me it was a really crappy run. The people in the groups started out really fast and I was trying to keep up. By 5 miles I was dead and still had 4 to go. 

Since I was downtown I knew that there were some delicious carbs in by future. I'd been following Boulted Bread on Instagram for a while and knew it had to stop.

I got this amazing bialy that had ham and cheese and awesome inside. I also got a morning bun that didn't get a a picture taken because I ate it too quickly. I swear to you, it was one of the top 5 best things I've ever eaten in my life. Sweet heaven it was good. I got Kev a croissant and a loaf of some sourdough bread. I cried happy carby tears, so good. If you're local, you MUST go. 

The rest of the day was spent on the couch, after I got a mani and pedi. Word of advice from Lara, when your feet are battered from running 9 miles, a pedicure seems like a great idea but it really isn't. I think the lady got a little freaked put when grimaced and screamed a little every time she touched my feet. 

Oh, Saturday night Kev and I headed to Raleigh Little Theatre and saw Spamalot. I've seen the Holy Grail movie several times and was pretty excited to see the show.

Hysterical. It was awesome and the cast did a great job. I definite must see.

And that was my weekend before last. Phew. At least I finished this blog post, so yay me!

Alright folks, have a great week!

Linking up with BLoved Boston!AND

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Trip to the Zoo

On Monday we decided to take a trip to Ashboro to North Carolina Zoo. Readers with really good memories and Kevin know that I won't stop bitching about wanting to see an octopus or a squid at a zoo/aquarium. I've been to 4 zoos in the last 2 years and can not see a dang squid no matter were I go. Kev might be getting a little tired of hearing me talk about it... but I'd stop if I could just see an octopus.

I did ask the front desk attendant if there was an octopus. He said no, Kevin let out a pained sigh and we walked in the zoo.

I thought it would be cool to recap some of the things I saw at the zoo on Labor Day. I have to tell you , the animals were really on point.

It's a bear! The last time I went to a zoo, all I saw were the backsides of the animals. It was awesome...

More bear!

Behold the majestic buffalo.

And the majestic elk

Not an actual picture but I did see several fanny packs at the zoo. Horrible, awful, unflattering fanny packs. I was told they were coming back in style and I didn't want to believe it. Top 10 least flattering things someone can wear.

This Grizzly Bear was HUGE. Seriously, that bear didn't play. While I was standing there, I overheard a dad not paying attention at all to what his 5 year old was asking him. I'm pretty sure this is how kids get traumatized for life. Here's how the conversation went.
Kid - If people fall over the ledge will the grizzly bear eat them?
Dad - Yes
Kid - If it were 3 people would the bear eat all of them?
Dad - Yes
Kid - Would the bear leave nothing but the bones?
Dad - Yes

Well played dad, well played.

We were walking toward the next exhibit and I saw a 60 year old woman lounging on a bench in these.

Except they were a white base and she had on a white button up shirt on underneath. It was Labor Day. I guess there aren't many occasions to wear something that spectacular. If you have to choose a day, why not Labor day?

Then we wandered into an exhibit of things in the desert and I saw these turtle / tortoises and their nice salad.

Seriously, that's a great salad. There might even be croutons in there. The salad I got at the zoo cafe didn't look nearly that good.

Moving on...

Lace edge bike shorts. I saw a woman wearing lace-edged bike shorts. I wore these in the 7th grade and they're back. Between these shorts, the fanny pack and the flag overalls, I might have stepped into a small time warp. 

Yes it is.

The lions and ocelots were sleeping. Kev was a little bummed and I told him that regardless of size, it's still a cat. Cats sleep all the time and have a tendency to be jerks. But look a that cute kitty face! Awwww....

Then we found some sleeping gorillas.

But the 'best' think I saw was a grandpa feeding a one year old sips of Mt Dew.

Seriously?!?!?! WTF are you doing giving a baby Mountain Dew??? Give the kid water or maybe even a juice, but the most awful of caffeinated, carbonated beverages full of noting but crap?? Ugh. I really wanted to slap it out of his hand. But then there'd be a fight and Kevin would have to hold me back... nothing good would come from it.

Instead I amused my self by looking at the elephants.

Peaceful, non Mt Dew drinking elephants.

The last stop was at the giraffes. There were 3 that walked by and there was a little boy standing next to me who asked a few times if that was a boy or a girl. I thought he was talking to someone else and then he said, "Hey, I'm talking to you". (He was maybe 6).

I told him this one was a boy because he was bigger than the others. I couldn't tell him it was because of his massive giraffe man-parts... But perhaps I should have since I'd never see the kid again.

And that folks was my trip to the zoo!

On a completely side note, I was looking up pumpkin spice memes for a team email and I felt the need to share my 2 favorites.

more hahaha

One more thing, Congrats to NANCY P. for winning my giveaway! I already emailed you, please send me your address and I'll get it in the mail to you.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Scenes from the Weekend - Labor Day edition

Hidey Ho people! Did everyone have a lovely Labor Day? Three days off was awesome, seriously, so crucial for my mental health.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to go off and run 7 miles with the training group. The weather was in the low to mid 70s, kinda humid but still glorious. The last 2 weekends I had really good long runs and after being kinda injured, I needed them.

I haven't talked about it but I've been having pain in my hips after running for a while, then the pain moved to all the time. I talked to my chiropractor and we've been doing a treatment plan of 2 visits per week for the last few weeks and it's helped so much. My lower back, which has been my nemesis for a while, was out of alignment and my hips weren't lined up properly. Ugh. It made my feet go numb while running and made me pretty darn cranky.

Thankfully I seem to be on the mend. I've been taking it easy and running intervals with the walk / runners. Saturday I went out with the 4:2 group and after a mile I found myself breaking away from the pack. Great for my self esteem but bad because I was leading them and had to pay attention to the directions. Following a map is for other people.... not me. My Garmin died 5 miles in and then I lost track of the intervals and by then we were running through NC State's campus and I lost the rest of the group. Oops. They were running a 13:30 mile and even though I'm kinda injured, I can still go faster than that. (not much, but some).

I finished and was pretty proud of myself for not having to pee behind a tree like I did last week, Yes, I passed a runner rite of passage last week and peed behind a tree. This is why I run on real roads instead of trails, because I have the bladder of a squirrel.

I might have thought about the Whole Foods breakfast bar for the last half mile of the run.

Breakfast for me and Cleo. Except the tots. Those are mine. 


After my run I went to get my hairs did. I asked for "Fall Hair" since it's September, I went a little darker with some red undertones. It looks good. I do wish I'd gone for more copper instead of red but I still look good.

Then it was time for dinner and Kev and I headed out for some sushi and a movie.

Mmmm. sushi. I do love me some bogo sushi. I swear, there's no need to spend full price on a roll when so many good places have bogo all the time.

After dinner we saw Straight Out of Compton. 

I can't even put into words just how good this movie was. It's the story of NWA and the early days of "gangster rap". Really though, it was one of the best movies I've seen this year.

Sunday morning I was up kinda early to get some groceries and start the laundry. I had to finish up early because we had some houses to look at in the afternoon.

We saw some real gems, let me tell you. There was one place that was immaculately kept but nothing had been updated or changed since 1975. Literally. 1975. We walked in and both Kev and I swore we'd been in the house before, then our realtor got confused and we said that it was just like every one of our friend's houses when we were growing up. (She doesn't get us sometimes) It had a downstairs basement that was made of painted cinder block walls and Kev and I swore it felt like every high school choir room we;d ever been in. It was freaky. Unfortunately it needed at least 60k of updating. 

My favorite gem though was THIS!

Those are saloon doors in the MASTER BATHROOM. and, and that's a plug for a land line phone on the wall next to the toilet! This house was before it's time. You could poo and talk on the phone long before the advent of cell phones. 

We actually did find a house that we loved. Of course ours isn't even on the market yet BUT we finally found something that we liked and would work for us. It gives me great hope. I was really getting nervous that we wouldn't find anything that met our criteria. This particular house had plenty of first floor bed rooms, a huge upstairs bonus room / office space, with a wet bar. A huge kitchen, screened in porch, fenced yard for Cleo and there was a chicken coop!! I would have chickens in a hot minute. But only like 3. I don't need many chickens and 3 sounds perfect. 

Definitely a successful house looking trip! 

On Monday we headed to the NC Zoo, but that's a post for another day!

Don't forget that there's a few days left in my giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking Up!
I do deClaire
Friday, September 4, 2015

Fifteen Questions Friday

Does that go? Five Thing Friday really has a nice ring to it but I thought it would be cool to answer some questions today instead. Not that anyone has asked me any of these questions, I just like to think there is a silent contingency of people waiting for me do a post like this. I know there isn't.

BTW - I totally stole this idea from Pinky

Here goes, the answers to questions you've never thought to ask. lol

What is your road trip essential snack? Pretzel Gold fish, grapes and Twizzlers. Don’t ask why, I don’t know, but I swear this is the best combo ever. I also love Mentos on a road trip. I also never eat these foods together, outside of a car ride. Kev also loves tiny sandwiched wrapped in tin foil. I think the foods you ate on car rides as kids are the ones that stick with you. 

What was your High School Jam? Oh Lordy… Grunge was just coming out and I hated it because it took away all of my glorious hair metal. Bon Jovi, Poison, a little Def Leppard.. yes, yes and more yes.

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or flawless face? Flawless face. I can work on my bum but you can’t do much with a busted face. And I can’t see my bum.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR? I’m actually not ashamed to admit it. PEOPLES COURT! I love me some Judge Marilyn Milian. Hell yea. I also watched endless episodes of Ice Road Truckers. Kev giggles every time they say "load". Which is a lot.

What's your ringtone? It’s actually the Doctor Who theme song. But my phone is always on vibrate so I never hear it. 

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
 I have one younger brother, I’m the oldest. (Like that wasn’t obvious).

What physical quirk were you born with? I can pick up things off the floor with my toes, like a monkey. I also have oddly short arms, like T-Rex arms. It’s dumb.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
 1991 Buick Skylark. I named it, “That piece of crap Buick”.

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
 5' 3" which I’m totally fine with. I wish my arms were longer, not freakishly long, but just a little longer. That would be awesome.

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out? I feel I have the skills to DIY everything but not the attention span. I need others to come do things for me if I ever want it to be finished. Also, I have a touch of OCD and I’ll spend hours with tiny brushes making things perfect. It’s best I don’t even get involved….

What do you eat for breakfast? It varies. I’ve been on a protein shake kick and I’m trying to finish off a bag of Shakeology. I don’t love it but that –ish was expensive and I’m gonna use it up. 

How frequently do you wash your hair? Almost every day. If I don’t, the front of my face and hair line gets greasy and I swear I can feel it. I can’t even deal with it and it has to be washed.

Will you leave the house without makeup? 
Nope. I need a little powder or mascara before I had out the door. It’s for the best.

How’s your cutting the cable cord experiment going? Well, we had DirecTv re-installed last week. The no football thing wasn’t working for Kev and they offered a $200 gift certificate and free Sunday Ticket. Yea… we caved.

Aren’t you having a giveaway? OMG, YES. Have you entered yet? Check it out below!

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Have a great long weekend!
Linking up with Amanda! and Liz
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GYPO Style Challenge - Work Wear Edition!

A few weeks ago I blogged about the upcomming GYPO Work Wear Challenge. I was  super excited for it, especially since I always have to make adjustments to the daily outfits to make them more work appropriate. 

Complete disclosure, I work for a software company, I could come to work every day in a super hero t-shirt and flip flops and would fit in with 45% of the office. Instead, since I have direct reports I feel that I should dress a little more professionally and I like clothes. A LOT. Always have, always will. Fat Lara, skinnier Lara and in between Lara, we all love clothes.

I was really, really excited for this challenge and then I got the shopping list. I owned every. single. item... Not gonna lie, I was more than a little sad about that. But it's a good thing, we need to save money and get our house ready to sell, Instead, I shopped from my closet, Kev, did you hear that? I DIDN'T BUY A THING FOR THIS CHALLENGE.

Some of the other challengers suggested that I splurge on a piece or replace something in my existing wardrobe but I couldn't bring myself to do that. I'm a little fluffier than I want to be and I don't want to get something in a larger size than I'd like. Another suggestion was to get additional pieces for more variety... yeah, that's not a problem either, You'll see...

Instead I went to the closet!

Blue oxford shirt, I'm using this chambray one from Old Navy. I don't really like button-up shirts on me, too much boobage, so it takes a lot for me to find one I like. 

The white tunic-y shirt is from the Limited Outlet, and I actually bought this a few months ago in anticipation of the challenge. :) It paid off!

We needed 2 cardigans and a patterned skirt. I have several cardigans but I think this burgundy one and the green will work well with the rest of the capsule. 

For the skirts, I have a polka dot one and a black and white stripe, both from the Limited, and there's an unpictured red skirt from the Limited as well. Not gonna lie, I have an orange Limited skirt too.

Next we needed a polka dot shirt. Yeah, I have a few, one is blue and red (or orange, I swear I can't tell), black and white and black and red. All from the Limited. Remember, I LOVE circles.

Black pants, grey pants, colored pants and jeans. Kinda boring but the jeans and colored pants are from the Limited, grey from the Gap and the black ones from Macy's. Hmmm... I have burgundy pants too. I might like those for fall a little better.

Black blazer I picked up for convention and actually haven't worn yet. Surprisingly I got this at Sears.

Unpictured is a plain black tshirt from Target.

For jewelry and accessories, we needed a long gold necklace, pearl necklace, chunky gold watch. I have my MK watch that I wear almost every day, a neutral Kendra Scott Necklace and a chunky pearl necklace I got from a while ago. I did skip the skinny belt because I look dumb in belts. 

Lastly, the shoes.... This is a small portion of them... We needed neutral heals, and I have pumps, shooties and flats, leopard shoes (I have flats too), a pair of red shoes that I've really had for 100 years and I had to brush the dust off them. 

Oh, also unpictured is the MK bag I carry every day. The challenge called for a neutral structured bag and I use one everyday.

And that friends, is my capsule wardrobe for this challenge. It's going to be a good one! Oh, don't forget my 10 years in NC giveaway! Check out the original post here!

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Linking up!

I do deClaire