Thursday, October 29, 2015

ASICS meet-up for NYC Marathon #GoRunIt

Hello from Ireland & sorry for the most generic post of all time. I wanted to pass along info about New York City Marathon Meetup this Saturday, October 31; the largest selfie ever with ASICS & Mashable. If you are in NYC be sure to make it!! 


Mashable is teaming up with ASICS to host the #GoWalkItMeet in celebration of the New York City Marathon. Come join us for an Instagram Meetup this Saturday, October 31 from noon to 3PM. We're meeting at the corner of 30th St and 10th Ave to start the meetup with a walk down the High Line. We’ll head down the the scenic renovated train tracks to end at the Gansevoort Plaza where we’ll have access to the world’s greatest selfie stick.

And did we mention it’s Halloween? Come decked out in your best costumes for some even more amazing pics and healthy trick or treats! 

Event Details 
Date: Saturday, October 31 
Time: 12:00-3:00PM 
Location: Meet at 30th St entrance to the High Line 
#GoWalkItMeet #MashMeet 

Suggested Mentions & Tags 
@Mashable 
@ASICS  
#GoRunIt 
#WorldsBiggestSelfieStick 
 #GoWalkItMeet.  

Mashable staff will be at 30th St entrance to the Highline for check-in.  **Please be respectful of the Highline and surrounding areas when taking photos.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ji Ji Asian Kitchen Carnival Sunshine #Cruising Carnival

On the last night of our one year wedding anniversary aboard the beautiful Carnival Sunshine, my husband and I finally got to dine at Ji Ji Asian Kitchen. We attempted nightly to score reservations at this popular hot spot and very glad we did.

So far I have written about our dinners at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Cucina del Capitano. As I have mentioned, we chose the enhanced dining options the other nights and left very impressed. It was a little more intimate and we had incredible meals every night.

I would suggest booking at Ji Ji when you get on board, vs. what we did and attempting the reservation the day of. We tried three different days and could only select the final night at sea with an advance reservation. It was well worth the wait. Ji Ji's concept was featuring dishes from all around Asia, each unique in their own style. The cost is $15 a person and includes an appetizer, entree and dessert.

Appetizers

Slow Raised Pork Belly:
Caramel Chili sauce with black vinegar, Pomelo citrus fruit, Chinese chives with gorgonzola, spiced purple onions. I would eat this every single day if possible.

Nanjing-Style Duck:
Nanjing duck dates back over 1400 years. Carnival slow cooks the duck then flash fries it in a wok. It was served with mango fritters and was absolutely delicious.




Entrees

Singapore Chili Shrimp:
This was a take on the popular dish sold by Singapore street vendors. Shrimp in a sweet, spicy, chili sauce. It was full of flavor! We chose Himalayan Basmati Fried rice with chicken as the side to this dish.

Bo Kho Slow Braised Wagyu Beef Short Rib:
This was the fourth short rib dish we had on the cruise but I couldn't turn down Wagyu. This short rib was very good. I loved the watermelon radish and overall freshness of the dish. We chose Hakka Style noodles to accompany this dish.


Dessert

Rose Creme Brulee with ginger ice cream. I 110% fell in love with this creme brulee. It was incredible. The fragarant rose mixed with the spiced ginger were a perfect match.

We also had Fried Wonton wrapped lychee fruit with tapioca pearls and coconut milk. The picture turned out awful so I don't want to post it. This was Gabe's dessert (I am not a coconut girl) and he enjoyed it.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cucina del Capitano on Carnival Sunshine #CruisingCarnival

For our one year wedding anniversary, my husband and I went on the incredible Carnival Sunshine. This was my 11th cruise and my husbands first. However, all 10 cruises I had been on prior were smaller ships so this was my first time at sea with a multitude of entertainment and dining options.

There's one thing you wont do on the Carnival Sunshine - go hungry. I'm not talking about the buffets either. The first night of our anniversary, we were treated to dinner at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, which you can read all about by clicking here.  During our 5 night cruise, we only had dinner once at the main dining room. We chose the enhanced dining options the other nights and left very impressed.

Today I am reviewing the Italian restaurant on board, Cucina del Capitano. When you board the ship, I would strongly suggest you take a look at the specialty dining options and make your reservations early. Also be sure to ask for a seat overlooking the water!

Cucina del Capitano
Gabe and I ate at Cucina del Captiano on our second night at sea. It was a great place to carbload for marathon training on a cruise. This dinner came at a cost of $15 a person and you were able to each select an appetizer, an entree and a desert.


Starters:
Calamari Fitti:
Calamari rings, charred lime and sea salt
Il Capitano's Signature Arancini: Fried Risotto Balls, arugula, shaved Parmesan and tomato sauce.

Both were very good and cooked to perfection. I liked both of these dishes equally and would order them again.



Entrees 
Side of Spaghetti with Captain's Tomato Sauce
Brasato al Barolo:
Braised short ribs in a rich red Barolo wine sauce. Topped with crusted Almond's
Gamberetti Alla Pizzaiola:
Grilled shrimp with stewed mushrooms and peppers.

I had a difficult time selecting a entree. I wanted everything....Spaghetti Carbonara, Chicken Parmesean, Nona's Linguine & Meatballs. I have no idea how we ended up with the shrimp dish but it was a very good selection. The short rib was perfectly tender and full of flavor. The side of Spaghetti did not disappoint!



Dessert
Magic Tiramisu
Sicilian Cannoli

Both classic Italian desserts were perfect. I wanted to go back nightly for cannoli's. The Espresso was the perfect ending to this Italian meal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Packing for an international marathon #GoRunIt and a Coach Kastor twitter chat

You guys, we leave for Dublin in TWO days. If you saw my bedroom floor right now, you'd think my dryer exploded. I finally broke down tonight and built my packing list, referencing the one I built for runDinsey Dopey Challenge. PS using an excel Spreadsheet for your international packing list is your new BFF.

Pack for all types of weather. If there is one thing I learned from the NYC Marathon in 2014, weather can change at the blink of an eye. This doesn't mean I haven't stalked Dublin's forecast since the 10 day forecast came out. As of today, we are facing 70% chance of rain, a low of 40 and a high of 50. Yikes. However, that could very well change when I am over there so I do not want to pack for the rain. This means - I have 3 options of outfits.  

Pack for the unexpected
If you are overseas, you will want to pack for the unexpected to happen.
Band-aids of all sizes
Whatever protein bars you train with
Your favorite Epson salts for baths
Bio freeze
Tylenol for before and during; Ibuprofen for after
Instant Ice Packs
Ladies - tampons (you never know)
Compression Sleeves for post race flights or long drives
Anything and everything you need for race day. You have no idea if the expo has what you need. Be sure to have your energy supplements,
Water belt - something I am taking to Dublin. There are 3+ mile stretches with no water stops. I am accustom to a water stop every 1-2 miles.

If it's raining
I learned a hard lesson by running a half in the rain - do not wear long pants. The water hiting the bottom of my pants drove me bananas. Your socks will get wet either way. If it is a 70% chance of rain, I will wear capris and bring my storm shelter rain jacket, layering arm sleeves and a tank. In my suitcase sits a roll of trash bags to keep my shoes dry and a dry place to sit prior to the start (something I learned from NYC Marathon last year).
Dublin Marathon Option 1

If it's Cold and Windy
The 2014 NYC Marathon was record breaking wind. It was beyond cold for this poor FL girl and I did the smart thing by layering during that event. Although it was very cold, you warm up in 26.2 miles and need to layer. This is why I love arm sleeves - you can tie them around your running belt. You can do the same with a jacket. Be sure to have something to cover your ears!!
Dublin Marathon Option 2


If it's a beautiful day at 50 degrees
As a FL girl, I find myself layering in 60 degrees . I fell in love with the Fit Sana Jacket. The back has this adorable cut out with a mesh liner. It's got breathable windows all over. 
Dublin Marathon Option 3






TWITTER CHAT WITH COACH KASTOR TOMORROW! #GORUNIT

From registering online and taking the first step along your training run, to picking up your race bib before crossing the finish line, participating in a race is all about preparation and determination. No matter if you’re planning on tackling a 5k in the next month or the TCS NYC Marathon in a few weeks, ASICS wants to hear your helpful hints – everything from training tips to race day recovery ideas. And, since you may have questions of your own, we wanted to give you access to some of the seasoned-runners ASICS knows, who’d love to share their race-rituals.


On October 20th from 12pm – 1pm PST, join #TeamASICSNYCM 2015 along with ASICS elite athlete and coach, Andrew Kastor, as they share their race-prep tips and answer any training questions you may have.
Not sure where to start? Let us help! Just:
  1. 1. Save this event to your calendar so you don’t forget
  1. 2. Follow Coach Kastor and #TeamASICSNYCM 2015 on Twitter
  1. 3. Tweet your running questions to @ASICSamerica using the hashtag #GoRunIt
  1. 4. Join us on October 20th from 12pm – 1pm on Twitter using @ASICSamerica & #GoRunIt

Did we forget to mention – your participation in the chat could win you $170 in ASICS gear? Since we want to inspire you to #GoRunIt, one lucky participant who joins the Twitter chat on October 20th will be chosen at random to win a $170 e-commerce coupon code to redeem at www.asicsamerica.com (may we recommend trying on one of the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon collection shoes for size?).
Tweet this to share your running enthusiasm and RSVP to be a part of our #GoRunIt chat!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pace your race with ASICS in Frankfurt, Dublin, NYC and Florence


If you are racing one of these upcoming events, you can sign up for a personalized paceband through ASICS:
Pace your race with ASICS
Frankfurt Marathon 10/25/2015
Dublin Marathon 10/26/2015
New York City Marathon 11/01/2015
Florence Marathon 11/29/2015
I had an ASICS paceband during the 2014 NYC Marathon and it was extremely helpful helping me meet my goal. It takes a few minutes to fill out your information and you will get a personalized paceband for your upcoming event. What I really like about this version is you can select if you want your earlier miles faster or slower.
GOAL CHANGES
I had to make a few changes to my Dublin Marathon goal. I recently took on a traveling position for work and missed a few long runs. Life got in the way of my marathon plan. I am not where I wanted to be and know there is no way I will meet my goal time. However, I will not beat myself up over this. Running the Dublin Marathon is a once in a lifetime experience and I want to enjoy every moment of it. I am looking forward to running 26.2 miles through this amazing city, take tons of photos and take in the city, one mile at a time and drink plenty of Guiness at the finish line,
Click here for ASICS marathon race sign generator!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas #CruisingCarnival

During our one year anniversary cruise, my husband and I got to visit Half Moon Cay, the private island owned by Carnival. This was both of our first trip to Half Moon Cay and I had no idea what to expect.

We pre-booked the horseback riding by land and sea excursion which was our anniversary present from my parents and planned to spend the first half of the day relaxing on the beach. This was also the day we learned about Hurrican Joaquin's track to the Bahama's.
Upon arriving to Half Moon Cay via dingy, we found a piece of paradise that pictures will always remind us of. Half Moon Cay was absolutely stunning. The water was crystal blue and you truly felt like you were in paradise.
There were quite a bit of white caps in the water and the waves got rougher by the hour. Due to this, we were unable to go on our horseback riding by land or sea. I am still pouting a month later about this.... I want to ride a horse in the ocean (arms crossed, bottom lip out) but thankful that Carnival cared enough about our and the horses safety.
Throughout the Island, there are these alcoves - overlooking the beach but away from the crowd. I had my kindle, a bottle of beer and spent some time relaxing with an incredible view. My husband was pretty content as well.
After we had a BBQ lunch (no charge), we found a really cool bar - the Captain Morgan Bar, inside of a pirate ship. Honestly, when I saw this from afar, I believed it to be a playground. With a stage, DJ and a huge selection of cocktails, I guess one can call it a playground.
Although we didn't get to swim with the horses, we had an overall relaxing and beautiful day. We headed back to the boat a little early as the winds were starting to pick up and I was anxious to hear an update on the storm. With no line in site, we ate a second lunch at Guy's Burger Joint.....
We fell in love with Guys Burger Joint. Hand cut fries, a wide variety of toppings and delicious burgers. All at no additional cost. Guys is not open for dinner and closed everyday at 5:00. This was such a great addition to cruise food. Or as Guy would say, "Money".


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Runner Recovery Smoothie Bowl - Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System

Recovery nutrition is so important for runners. Smoothies are my go-to source for refuel, since they are easy to make, delicious and offer all the nutrition a runner needs. A few ingredients I always through into my smoothies (or smoothie bowls) are spinach, bananas, almond milk and peanut butter. It's necessary to quickly consume a mix of carbs and protein for muscle repair.

My typical go to treat after a run is a green smoothie but I recently had my first smoothie bowl and I am in love! I recently got the brand new Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System and it was the perfect device for making a Smoothie Bowl. I was introduced to this machine at BlogHer in NYC over the summer and was amazed at what it can do.
Ingredients:
(If using a Ninja, use the Nutri Ninja Cup and place the ingredients in order below)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/4 ripe avocado
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 medium ripe frozen banana
2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter (optional)
1 tablespoon of honey or agave

If you are using a Ninja, Place on the blender, select Smooth Boost, then Auto IQ Blend. If you are using another blender, use the Ice Cream or Smoothie feature.

Toppings:
Sliced fresh fruits (I used blueberries and strawberries)
chocolate chips
Chia Hemp Seeds
Honey
Other ideas:
Sliced almonds
granola
coconut
Nutri Ninja® Auto-iQ™ Compact System now includes Smooth Boost™ Technology, allowing you to truly customize your drink-making experience whether you’re using Nutrient Extraction* or High Performance Blending. Now you can choose whether you want deliciously drinkable nutrient juices or whip up an ultra-creamy frozen smoothie all at the touch of a button. With Nutri Ninja® Auto-IQ™ with Smooth Boost™ you can see, feel, and taste the difference.



One of my favorite features of the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System is that it is multiple devices in one. It's a food processor, chopper, grinder, blender and more. The precision processing offers even chopping, smooth purees, and perfect dough consistencies. Check out this video for the accessories available. I am 110% buying the coffee grinder to go with my Ninja Coffee Bar!

Another feature I LOVE is that the system included a double-walled stainless steel blender cup that keeps your favorite frozen smoothies colder for up to 4 hours. My Smoothie is made in the steel cup, I place the sip & seal lid on it and I am out the door.

Parts Included:
1100-Watt Motor Base
24 oz. Nutri Ninja® Cup
24 oz. Double-walled
Stainless Steel Cup
48 oz. Capacity Jar
(2) Sip & Seal® Lids

Nutrient and Vitamin Extraction:
Nutri Ninja® Cups can blend whole fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds & stems into nutrient-rich beverages in seconds! Traditional juicers provide little juice and remove the pulp which contains the healthy fiber, whereas the Nutri Ninja™ Cups provides complete juicing with the benefits of entire fruits and vegetables, not just the juice. These juices are bursting with health-boosting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements and plant nutrients!

Smooth Boost Technology:
Smooth Boost™ Technology is next level Auto-iQ&trade Technology - you can step up your smoothness with high performance blending and nutrient extraction for even smoother texture and consistency.


Auto IQ Technology:
Auto-iQ™ Technology is One-Touch Intelligence - Programs designed specifically for each jar attachment. These intelligent programs combine unique, timed pulsing, blending and pausing patterns that do the work for you! Great results every time with no guesswork required!


Retail value of the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System is $119 and available nationwide. I received this product for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 12, 2015

1st Year Wedding Anniversary Dinner at Fahrenheit 555, Carnival Sunshine

September 27th 2015 marked our one year wedding anniversary. My Husband Gabe and I celebrated by going on a 5 night cruise on the Carnival Sunshine. The Sunshine was unlike any cruise I have been on (this was my 11th cruise and my husbands 1st). There were so many bars and restaurants to choose from that we only ended up eating in the main dining room once during the 5 nights!
We departed on our anniversary and chose that night to do dinner at Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse. This was an actual restaurant on the ship which you pay an up-charge of $35 per person to dine at. It had a wonderful ambiance and was the perfect setting for our one year anniversary dinner. Farenheit 555 menu was a tough one to choose from. Our server brought out a tray of beef (literally) and we chose which cut we wanted.
I noticed many of the restaurants on the ship had incredible drink specials if you dined with them on the first night out. Fahrenheit 555 happened to speak to my heart - a free bottle of red or white wine OR 50% off any bottle from their amazing wine list. Plus you could buy more and take it back with you to your room. I hit the jackpot! We selected a bottle of Le Crema Pinot Noir for our meal and brought back a few bottles to our room.

STARTERS:
I started off with the Ahi Tuna Tartar, dices of Sashimi Grade Yellow Fin Tuna Belly. It was absolutely delicious and I devoured it. It was the perfect lite appetizer to a large meal.
Gabe started off with the Lobster Bisque with Vintage Cognac, Fleuron and Fresh Cream. He's a sucker for Lobster Bisque and this one did not disappoint.

MAIN COURSE
I ordered the Surf and Turf. Sure you can always expect to find this dish during Captains Dinner but that surf and turf is nothing like this. A Maine Lobster Tail paired with Grilled Filet Mignon. I had a hard time deciding between this or the larger filet. I made the right decision because that lobster was amazing!
Gabe ordered the Grilled Prime Cowboy Steak, 18 oz. Rib Chop. It was perfectly seasoned and grilled.

SIDES
For our side dishes, we chose a baked potato, sauteed mushrooms and creamy mashed potatoes. We also selected two sauces, Three and Peppercorn and BĂ©arnaise

DESSERT
Although I was full, I had to order the chocolate sampler; Bittersweet Chocolate Cake, Banana Pannacotta, Tiramisu and Chocolate Marquise. I kept going back and forth as to which one I liked better. I think Chocolate Marquise won.
Gabe ordered the Caramelized Washington Apples baked in a puff pastry dome. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
The night of our one year anniversary was also the night of the full Lunar Eclipse. We could see it from our balcony stateroom and we brought our bottle of wine back to the room, watched the eclipse. There was an eclipse party on board but we decided to take advantage of the balcony views. After, we headed to the Casino, where my husband found a new love for penny slots.

It was the perfect way to spend our one year wedding anniversary and I wouldn't change a single thing - except getting a photo together at dinner. Something I failed at. OOPS.

Bonjour Coureur! runDisney Paris Half Marathon Weekend Registration

Bonjour Coureur (or Hello Runner for those who don't remember High School French)! Tomorrow is the day that limited registration open for the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! Here is what you need to know!
Registration:
Click here for the runDisney Paris Registration Link. Travel Package registration opens for the the inaugural Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon Weekend today. This is the earliest way to register for the first international runDisney race weekend. Select travel partners will offer with Disneyland® Paris or by organizing your trip via a travel partner. Each travel partner has been carefully hand-picked to work in partnership with Disneyland® Paris and runDisney.

What's included in the travel package: 
Accommodation in a Disney® Hotel
Breakfast (Except at Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch)
Access to the Disney® Parks
One registration per room for one of the races (Half Marathon or 5K race)

runDisney Paris Marathon Weekend Prices:
Half Marathon $78
5K $33
Kids Races $14
Inaugural Party $89
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show $78; $61

Limited race-only registration (without travel packages) will open on January 12, 2016. This is how my husband and I are going to attempt to register.
runDisney Paris Race Weekend:
The inaugural race weekend in Paris will include fun kids’ races for children of all ages, a 5K course through Disneyland Paris and a scenic half-marathon course through two Disneyland Paris theme parks and the countryside villages that surround the Disney Parks.

runDisney Paris Health & Fitness Expo
Disney Events Arena®
Thursday, September 22, 2016 – 3pm-8pm
Friday, September 23 & Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 8am-8pm

runDisney Disneyland® Paris 5K
Saturday, September 24, 2016 7am

runDisney Paris Kids Races 
Saturday, September 24, 2016 From 10am

runDisney Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon
Sunday, September 25, 2016 7am

runDisney Paris Half Marathon Medal
Inaugural commemorative medals await runners at the finish line.

Castle to Chateau Challenge Medal
runDisney races go global with our first-ever country to country challenge race. Run any half marathon or greater at the Walt Disney World® Resort or the Disneyland® Resort and the Disneyland® Paris Half Marathon and earn the inaugural Castle to Chateau Challenge Commemorative Medal.

“We could not be more excited about the upcoming runDisney event,’’ said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S. “It will make Disneyland Paris the world’s third Disney destination to host this successful sporting series that offers a whole new running experience for the young and young-at-heart.’’

Friday, October 9, 2015

La Luce Food and Wine Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

A few weeks ago, I shared a little information about Food and Wine Weekends at Bonnet Creek. Want an elevated experience while you are in town for Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Here you have it. Food and Wine Weekends is a mutli-weekend event that is taking place at Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando every Friday and Saturday during Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

My husband Gabe and I had the opportunity to check out a few of the Food and Wine Weekend's experiences while on property. We had a delicious meal at La Luce, the Il Cibo Della Vita menu, where each weekend a new menu with exclusive offerings along with a wine pairing are unveiled. 
Wine Pairing: Each week, La Luce pairs three unique wines perfect for your meal. 

Soup: Roasted Pepper and Tomato Creme Fraiche. 
This was such a delicious soup that both of us finished it, and practically licked the bowl. I used a piece of delicious homemade bread to be sure not a drop was left.

Antipasti: Bruschetta; Pear, Gorgonzola Dolce, Prosciutto, Aged Balsamic
I adored this dish. Prosciutto, pear and arugula are one of my favorite combinations (amazing on pizza!). Add this to perfectly grilled bread, some gorgonzola and aged balsamic and it's pretty much perfect. 
Pizza: Grilled Zucchini, Red Onions, Sundried Tomato, Goat Cheese, Pesto
I am happy to report that the pizza at La Luce is LEGIT. The crust was a perfect combination of crispy and airy. It wasn't greasy at all. This is how Pizza is supposed to be. On a normal day, I would have never gotten Gabe to order this combo. End result: He loved it and may allow me to bring zucchini back into our diet!
Insalata: Warm Spinach Salad; Bacon, Pickled Red Onions, Wild Mushrooms, Gorgonzola DOlce, Balsamic Vinaigrette
I could smell the bacon before it hit the table. This salad was incredible. The thick sliced bacon mixed with the wild mushrooms were a perfect combo. Speaking of wild mushrooms......
La Luce gets their mushrooms shipped in daily. I have never seen a wild mushroom display like this in my life. I just sat in awe. The large mushroom on the right is called a lobster mushroom! It's a beast.
Pasta: Spaghetti alla Vongole; Roasted clams, tomato, chilies, toasted garlic, pinot grigio
This was Gabe's favorite dish of the night. The clams were not fishy at all and it had a perfect amount of spice to it. It was a very clean, light pasta dish. 
Secondi: Spedini di Pesce; Grilled Halibut Skewers, Saffron Fregola Ragu, Black Pepper Aioli
I will dream of this dish for years to come. The Saffron Fregola Ragu was unlike any pasta I have ever had. What looks like corn is actually a ragu. It was buttery, delicious and went perfect with the grilled halibut. I was so full by this time but couldn't stop eating.
Dessert: Torta di Cioccolato e budino; flourless chocolate cake with butterscotch pudding
This was such a unique dessert - La Luce's famous butterscotch pudding was inside of their famous chocolate cake. It was two desserts in one and we devoured it.

Overall we were very impressed with the dinner. As I mentioned above, Food and Wine Weekends at Bonnet Creek are the best way to elevate your Epcot Food and Wine Festival. No lines, incredible food and a better bang for your buck vs. the small plates you get at the Festival. It's a winner in my opinion!
Triple your points on weekend bookings at Hilton Hotels & Resorts