Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New York City Marathon Tweet Up


Join us this Saturday in NYC at the steps of the public Library for an EPIC tweet up, hosted by #teamasics bloggers, Brian (@pavementrunner), Grace (@leangirlsclub), Chris (@cyktrussell) , Megan (@runlikeagrland ME (@irun4wine)!

We will have plenty of time to mingle, take amazing photos and talk about Sunday's race. Even if you aren't running on Sunday, we would love for you to come say hi! Following the tweet up, a few of us will grab coffee at a nearby location.

What: Tweet up with some of the #teamasics bloggers
Where: The steps of New York Public Library, 5th Ave at 42nd St
When: Saturday, November 1st, 9am

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Afternoon Tea in London, Hyatt Regency Churchill

During our honeymoon, we had one day to spend in London and were like crazed tourists. We were able to see quite a bit during our short trip which I will talk about more later, but first I wanted to talk about one of my favorite things to do, having a traditional English afternoon tea. My former job had an authentic London tea room located just around the corner. It was a weekly tradition for a group of us to have afternoon tea, most of time turned into champagne tea.
Photo from Hyatt Regency Churchill
If you are unfamiliar with the proper afternoon tea tradition, you receive a tiered plate with multiple finger foods. Traditional British sandwiches, warm scones are served with clotted cream, French pastries, fruit tartlets and mini desserts. All this is served with a pot of of tea of your choice.
Photo from Hyatt Regency Churchill 
We had Afternoon tea at Hyatt Regency Churchill who was awarded the prestigious Tea Guild’s award of excellence 2012. Gabe had never had an afternoon tea before and I watched amused as he stared in confusion. I ordered the champagne tea (duh) and Gabe got the traditional afternoon tea. The champagne tea came with a delicious glass of Pommery.
Our plate of goodies arrived without the hot scones. The reason they did it this way was so you could enjoy your scones fresh out of the oven. I knew the scones were coming out but Gabe didn't and he was under the impression that the afternoon tea consisted of the sandwiches and pastries we received. Even at that, he was talking about how much food was on the plate. Little did he know.....We started with the British sandwiches. Hyatt Regency Churchill changes their fillings everyday - but my favorite from the lineup went to the smoked salmon baguettes.
After we finished our sandwiches, we received the fresh out of the oven, warm scones.There were traditional scones and raisin scones.
Which were served with a generous portion of clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd. The scones and creams were absolutely my favorite part of the afternoon tea. Dreaming about them right now.....
The French pastries and mini desserts were barely touched after we tore the scones apart. However, they were pretty to look at during our meal! I made sure to save room for the mint chocolate macaron. I was so happy to take Gabe to his first afternoon tea. How we've been together for nearly 5 years and I haven't had afternoon tea with him prior to now is beyond me.
Following the tea, we headed out to continue our one day adventure in London. We exited the Hyatt Regency Churchill and I saw this cab, which I had to jump in for a photo opp with. I would have driven around in the Tory Burch car all day if I could!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicken Tikka Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers, Food & Wine Collection for GORHAM

I received product from Food & Wine for Gorham for review purposes. As always all opinions are my own.

Happy Halloween week! Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I was in the festive mood this weekend and decided to make Chicken Tikka Masala Jack-o-Lantern stuffed peppers! You can make this by using Indian leftovers or make your own at home version like I did. I got the idea to make my peppers into jack-o-lanterns from my friend Leslie a few years ago when she used hers as a bowl for tapenade.

Chicken Tikka Masala stuffed Peppers
1 jar of store bought Tikka Masala (found in the ethnic aisle)
Plain Greek yogurt
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
Basmati Rice
2 bell peppers (orange or red)

1. Combine 8 tablespoons of Tikka marinade and 6 tablespoons of yogurt. Dice your chicken into bite sized pieces then marinate in half of the mixture for a few hours, reserving the other half for later.
2: Preheat your oven to 400. Cook the chicken for 25 minutes.
3. Make your rice according to package
4. Carve a your peppers into a Jack-o-Lanterns with a sharp paring knife. You can have fun with this - make triangle eyes and noses, pointy teeth for the smile, or even a ghost face. Slice off the tops of the peppers, scoop out the seeds and cores.
6. Combine chicken, rice and additional marinade. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other.
7. Bake for 30 minutes
I know you are eyeballing my plates....we had guests over this weekend and before I could show them off, we received 2 compliments.  I was ecstatic to hear the news that the Editors of Food & Wine created a collection for GORHAM (exclusive to Amazon). The editors of Food & Wine have used thousands of dinnerware and cookware over the years. They knew what it took to create eye catching, comfortable and satisfying pieces for everyday use. They took this knowledge and created a gorgeous collection.

While we had our main wedding registry going towards our honeymoon, we also had a standard registry at Amazon. If this collection was around when it was time to register, we would have put quite a few Food & Wine created a collection for GORHAM pieces on our registry.
When I received the Food & Wine For Gorham Modern Farmhouse 16-Piece Dusk Dinnerware Set I was beyond impressed. What I love most about the set is that they stack, saving room in the cabinets. Gabe wanted to mention that his favorite aspect is that they have a lip - which is amazing for eating dinner while watching TV! The Modern Farmhouse collection is rustic in design but offers sophisticated colors. Dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and oven-safe.
I also received the Food & Wine For Gorham Ellery 20-Piece Flatware Set. This set is very nice - they are made from durable 18/10 stainless steel, has a modern mirror finish, and are dishwasher safe and tarnish resistant. The, Ellery collection has a classic shape with a narrow, slightly rounded handle.

Check out the entire collection of Food and Wine for Gorham. Next month, I will be giving away a set of the Farmhouse 16-Piece Dusk Dinnerware. In the meantime, there is a Dream Getaway sweepstakes, where you can have the chance to win a trip to Solage Calistoga Resort in Napa Valley worth $25,000! Click here for more info.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, as always, all opinions are my own.

Hi, my name is Megan and I have a problem....I hoard running shoes. If you were to go in my closet right now, you would find over 30 pairs of shoes including those I have retired. Although my closet is packed, there are only two brands I will run 13.1 and 26.2 in. One of those brands is Mizuno and  year ago this weekend, I ran my very first marathon in Mizuno's.
Mizuno recently released the Wave Rider 18 and I had the chance to review them. The shoes came in while we were on our honeymoon so I came home to a present! I excitedly opened the box to find beautiful tiffany blue, black and white shoes. I even used Tiffany boxes to prop the shoes up to show the color similarity!
The Wave Rider 18 weights 7.8 oz and has a 12 mm drop, making it a perfect neutral everyday running shoe. The shoes are very comfortable and felt broken in on my first run. I have a massively high arch (you can drive a car under it) and require a wide toe box. I found my toes going numb if I ran anything more than 3 miles. With that said, they are the perfect shoe for me if I want to do shorter runs and like my previous Wave Riders, these will be my 5K and under shoes.


Wave Rider 18 Colors:
WOMEN: The Wave Rider 18 comes in three colors for women, Blue Atoll-Silver; White-Fuchsia Purple; Black-Silver
MEN: White - Dress Blue; Chinese Red-Silver; Black-Silver

Wave Rider 18, what's new:
(I own the Wave Rider 17 and can say I am very impressed with the improvements)
Refined toe-spring delivers a smooth, effortless toe-off
Upgraded premium sock liner provides more rebound and resiliency at every foot strike
New outsole design with added durability and shock attenuation

Key Features of the Wave Rider 18: 
Lightweight with an ideal heel fit and secure midfoot embrace
The parallel Wave in the heel, lightweight U4ic midsole and optimal amount of forefoot flexibility all work together to make every stride smooth and flowing.

Price:
The Mizzuno Wave Rider 18 retails at $119.99

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our favorite day in Italy, Fiat 500 drive through Tuscany

We had a lot of amazing experiences in Europe. Memories we will cherish the rest of our lives. One day stood out above all others; a Self-Drive Vintage Fiat 500 Tour from Florence.  This was one of the first adventures we purchased in advance and got a free upgrade from the wine tasting to a wine making with a picnic lunch.
Gabe asked for two things when we planned the honeymoon and driving a Fiat in Italy was one of them. While in Italy, I really wanted to go visit Wine Country so this was a win win situation for the both of us.
We arrived at our destination and was introduced to our car. After Gabe received a tutorial on how to drive a double clutch, we headed out to the Tuscan Hills, following 8 other Mini Fiats. Friends, this was hilarious and breathtaking at the same time.
With our sunroof open, blaring Italian music from the 60's on a perfect day, what more can you ask for?
I loved that we were on a tour, yet on our own for a duration of the trip. We laughed so much, watching multiple people stall their cars. Luckily, we didn't have this issue towards the end of the trip.
We passed through multiple villages and saw the true beauty of the Tuscan countryside. We even saw a few castles!
After driving for two hours, we headed towards the Villa where we all met. Before we headed to lunch, we picked some grapes for harvest. We timed this adventure perfect, as the following day was harvest day and there were grapes everywhere. One day later, this photo would not have happened.
I was excited to learn we would be harvesting Cabernet. We even tried a few grapes right off the vine.
After we collected two huge buckets of grapes, it was time to head towards the villa. A picnic lunch and wine were in our near future!! The villa was breathtaking. Exactly what I imagined. Next time we go to Florence (there will be a next), I insist we stay some time in the countryside.
We had an Italian picnic consisting o pasta, meats, cheeses, salad and pate. We tried 5 different kinds of wine.
After lunch, it was time to go to work! Actually, we learned how wine was made and a few of us got to stomp grapes.
Wrapping up, I noticed that the wine bottle matched the villa and I had to take one last photo.
As we were leaving, we were told that the cars needed to be brought back too the front. We consumed a lot of wine.....and driving a double clutch car on hills? SURE THING, Gabe's got this! Our faces explain our every thought.........
As mentioned above, this was the best day of our honeymoon. It was fun and super relaxing. After days of go go go go go, this was much needed. If you find yourself in Florence, I strongly suggest doing a Fiat 500 driving tour.

Friday, October 24, 2014

ASICS NYC Marathon running outfits and announcing the winner of Gel Kayanos

Congratulations to Linda Allen on winning the ASICS Gel Kayano 21, 2014 NYC Marathon Limited Edition shoes from my contest!

I need a little help picking out my NYC Marathon outfits. Here's the problem - I am a FL girl and I have FL blood. If it is below 60, I freeze. However, I also know first hand, thanks to the 2013 NYC Marathon that layering is the best option because you will get hot and you will feel like you are going into hypothermia.

Currently, the 10 Day Forecast shows NYC with a high of 56 and low of 44 on race day. Sunny with 10mph wind.

Selecting my outfit feels like going to first day of school. One of the many wonderful parts about being part of the ASICS blogger challenge is that they provided me with many options to wear on race day. I never run in jackets or tights. In FL, arm sleeves and capri's are what we wear in the winter.

What outfit do you like best? Yes, everything is pink!

NYC Marathon Option 1
NYC Marathon option 2

NYC Marathon option 2

Recreating our honeymoon meals and a Target gift card #giveaway

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own. #TargetWedding #Sponsored


Deciding where you are going to register for your wedding can be very nerve racking. Target Wedding registry has in my opinion the best options for those looking for a traditional gift registry. We would have registered at Target but my husband and I took the non-conventional route by registering for our honeymoon in Europe.
On top of Duomo, Firenze (Florence) Italy

The reason did the honeymoon registry was due to the fact that we own everything a couple would typically register for. We have everything from a Dyson, itchenAid, BlendTec, Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker and more. On the flip side, Target has everything a couple needs to start their life together.
Shaved Truffle over Homemade Pasta and Olive Oil

One of the first gifts Gabe bought me when we moved in together was my beloved KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. He frequently jokes around that he created a monster by enabling my small appliance addiction (however, that addiction has been around since I was a teenager). The KitchenAid is one of the few items in the house that gets him to help  me in the kitchen. In fact, we recently purchased the pasta attachment this week with leftover honeymoon money! So technically, it's a registry purchase :)
Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Firenze (Florence) Italy

I am looking forward to recreating many of homemade pasta dishes we ate in Italy. It will be the perfect way to relive our honeymoon (although I cannot guarantee the quality of pasta will be the same). Since getting back from the honeymoon, we have done a lot of date nights in. We truly enjoyed our time in Europe but the trip was very rushed and we didn't have any downtime to relax. We are getting that time in now.

$25 TARGET GIFT CARD #GIVEAWAY!


Let me know in a comment below what the number one thing you want (or wanted) from your wedding registry. Even if you aren't engaged, what would the top item be?

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

ASICS, We are Marathoners

I received an email a week ago from ASICS, asking me to complete the following sentence:
You know you're a marathoner when...

I happened to be on the phone with my best friend Keri and she repeated a joke between the two of us "when you say your done running anything more than a 10K and find yourself registering for a race the following week". While running the runDisney Princess Glass Slipper Challenge earlier in the year, I exclaimed "I'M DONE!!!" halfway though the 19.3 mile adventure. Keri thought I was dropping out of the race, but I looked at her and swore off any distance further than a 10K from that point forward. A mere week later, I signed up for another half marathon. As of today, I have two full marathons and a half marathon on my calendar.

Did you know that less than 1% of the population completes marathons every year? 43% are women, 57% are men and the median age is 36. The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon of all time coming in at >50,000. To put that number into prospective for my runDisney readers, the Disney Marathon has 20,000 runners.


A few bonus Marathoner traits from the ASICS bloggers, including the quote I sent in. You know you’re a Marathoner when…

“You swear you’re done with full marathons and you find yourself signing up for more a week later.” – Megan of iRunForWine.net
“Your day consists of running, sleep and pizza.” – Gregg of NYCSweat.com
“You get called ‘crazy’ and it no longer phases you.” – Brian of PavementRunner.com
“You hear the word ‘bling’ and you think of medals, not diamonds.” – Grace of LeanGirlsClub.com
“You know that crossing that finish line is worth every minute of training, because there is simply nothing else in the world that compares to running 26.2.” – Megan of RunLikeAGirl.com

My new healthy addiction, Harvest Snaps and a #giveaway

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This Spring, while visiting my parents, my Step-Father introduced me to Snapea Crisps by Harvest Snaps. He warned me before I took a bite that they were addicting and he could easily eat a whole bag to himself in one sitting. A day later, we were arguing over the last bag - I wanted to bring it to the beach and he wanted to take it golfing. We compromised and split it. Ever since, he hides the Harvest Snaps from me when I visit.
Over Memorial Day weekend, we took a trip to North Carolina for my husbands family reunion. While at the grocery store, I saw two new flavors of Harvest Snaps, black pepper and Wasabi. I called Hank and bragged to him that I hit the gold mine.

What does a Harvest Snaps addict do? Buy two of every flavor and live off of them.  I already had my love affair going with the lightly salted and combined both the salted and pepper flavors, to find the perfect combo. The wasabi ranch weren't for me.


So when I was asked to try out new flavors of Harvest Snaps, along with hosting a giveaway, it was a no-brainer. Promoting a product I am already in love with? Sign me up please. I tore open my box and found LENTIL SNAPS!!!!

I tore open the Tomato Basil and didn't talk for an hour. I was obsessed. I didn't think anything could top my SnapPea addiction - the Lentil Snaps took charge. Then I saw the Ceser Snapeas....oh no.


Lentil had won my heart for a quick hour, only to be replaced by Cesar. Nothing and I mean, nothing, can come between me and my Cesar Snapeas. That is until another flavor comes out (although topping this will be highly unlikely).

Let's talk about nutrition. Snapea Crisps are made with 70% all-natural peas while Lentil Snaps are made with 65% authentic lentils. Each handful contains Vitamin B, calcium, iron, folate, potassium, protein and fiber. Oh, and they are gluten-free! 

Harvest Snaps has a series of Pod Squad YouTube webisodes like the Party Crashers one below.


WIN A BOX OF ALL 6 HARVEST CRISPS FLAVORS

Let me know in a comment below what flavor Harvest Snaps you would like to try! The winner will receive a box containing all 6 flavors shown above.
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