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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

weekly winners: thanksgiving edition

November 23-29, 2008

Turkey Chase

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran the Turkey Chase 10K. They offer a 10K race and a 5K run/walk. But before we got running, there was a mascot race. The Turkey was challenged by various restaurant and school team mascots in a short race.

Turkey Chase Mascots Get Ready

Turkey Chase Mascots Go

I thought the Turkey would be a sure-thing to win, it being Thanksgiving and all. He was the defending champion from last year.

But it wasn't meant to be.

Turkey Chase Mascot Cow

Turkey Chase Mascot Finish
No, they didn't run a 5K! They just borrowed the finish line.

After I got home, I showered and started cooking!


thanksgiving in the making
See our full feast over here!

Even before her turkey feast, Meadow was getting into the Thanksgiving spirit.

meadow's thanksgiving nap

Jeter also found a sunny spot.

jeter in the blinds

That's all for this week. Visit more Weekly Winners at SarcasticMom.com!

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

disturbing finds at rite aid

I was wandering through the seasonal aisles at Rite Aid today, and was confronted with something scary.

deranged girl?

Yes, it says she's "Glitzy Girl," but she looks kind of deranged, doesn't she? Creepy.

And just steps away:

street walking doll

The 32-inch Walking Doll. I can't help but insert "Street" in the name.

I had a "Walking Doll" when I was a kid. You held its hand, rocked it back and forth, and it would take small, slow steps as you walked. It was also quite tall, but shaped and dressed like a child. No boobs. No makeup. No nose studs. (OK, the blond girl in the middle is lacking a nose stud. She is also lacking the fishnet stockings worn by the other girls.)

What age child will play with this doll? I was probably five or six when I got mine. On the original version of the photo (I resized it when I uploaded), you can make out the age on the box. Four and up.

It's just wrong.

I'm sure there were others, but I didn't stick around long enough to find more inappropriate / scary toys.

I was too haunted by Glitzy Girl's stare.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

it's been a day full of leftovers ...

One day after Thanksgiving, and our feast has been repeated twice. There's still at least two-three more meals out of it. Just the way we like it!

I did do a little shopping today, but just downtown to look for a gift that has to be mailed soon. I wasn't about to go near the mall. I hadn't realized the tourists came out for Thanksgiving weekend, but it wasn't too bad.

Before and after my shopping break, though, I was planted on the couch. Still am. (Well, now I've moved to a chair -- more comfortable with the laptop).

It seems the TV has been stuck on SOAPnet's Kelly's Leftovers 90210 marathon, "celebrating the many men our girl Kelly loved and left behind over the years." Oh, they've skipped quite a few of them. I guess there are only so many boyfriends you can fit into 12 hours!

It was a little strange whenever they'd skip a few seasons between episodes ... but I've enjoyed revisiting Kelly's failed relationships.

And it's not like I've been unproductive all day ... I've gone through (and recycled) a lot of magazines and catalogs today!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

tofurky day!

This morning, I ran a 10K -- and had another good race. My Garmin says I tied with my old 2005 PR that I just beat last week, but the clock as I crossed the finish line was 10-11 seconds later. Either way, it's still only my third 10K under 58 minutes ever -- and it's a tricky course through gravel, pavement, trails and fields. I would have been happy breaking an hour; last year it took me 1:03!

After the race, I went home, showered, and got to work. I had a feast to prepare!

Pumpkin and apple

thanksgiving in the making
Tofurky, potatoes and stuffing


my feast
My feast!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

let the holiday weekend begin!

My office closed about an hour ago, and we're off until Monday. Hooray!

We aren't going anywhere -- years ago hubby and I stopped traveling for Thanksgiving. Instead, we spend the long weekend at home making way too much food and eating it for four days.

I can't wait!

I had initially planned to start cooking tonight. Some desserts could be made and the potatoes could be prepared. I found a great recipe where you bake mashed potatoes -- so most of the work can be done the night before.

But that won't be happening. I've got a performance lined up instead!

A very small subgroup of the chorale will be singing Christmas songs in a resort hotel tonight. We're going back again in a few weeks with some more people, but tonight there will only be six of us. Lots of folks have Thanksgiving plans!

We're leaving plenty of time and are hoping to avoid traffic, but we've got to travel towards DC. That can't be good ...


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

have you ever gone to the gynecologist and come home with a new pair of shoes?

Nothing like my trip for groceries. Only one pair. And it was actually a practical purchase!

Let me explain ...

I've been seeing my doctor for about 10 years now. When I first picked her office, it was right across the street from our apartment. And then I moved (twice), and her office moved, and it's a bit of a haul -- 30 minutes from my office. But worth it once you find someone you're comfortable with!

Anyway, right down the street from her office is a DSW. I have driven by this store countless times, and have never been inside. Really, it was a crime.

So when I saw a giant banner in the window containing both "$29.95" and "Blowout," I knew today was the day. Yes I had to get back to work, but my deadlines are under control. I could just take a quick look!

Turns out it was a $29.95 and up Athletic Shoe Blowout -- but that can be a good thing, too. I scanned the athletic shoes in the front of the store, and then took the escalator upstairs (!) to the women's shoes.

Since I wanted to be quick, I just scanned the boots and headed towards the sale section. I'm really only on the lookout for a few things, and I was being VERY GOOD.

And then I came across a pair of Asics 2130s -- the newer model of the running shoes I wore before switching to Nike. It's probably a good idea to rotate shoes, though, and I didn't really have a backup pair.

I wear a size larger in my running shoes, so I finished scanning my size and moved over a few rows. (Huge clearance section!) I ended up finding the trail version of the 2130s.

My friend has last year's trail model, and I know from her experience they were a bit more stable than the standard, and hold up better to water. Perfect for winter!

They were 50% off their sale price; I paid $45 after tax. Best deal I've ever gotten on running shoes!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

hey -- what happened to noblocleanmo?

I was off to a good start trying to do a little cleaning up around here. I was pretty focused ... for the first two weeks.

At this point I'm looking at complete failure.

But the month isn't over yet. We do have a long weekend coming up, so maybe I'll be able to get rid of a few messes here and there.

I've got a bit of an emergency situation going on in my closet. I've pulled out nearly all of my fall/winter shoes without storing the spring/summer ones. It just took me 15 minutes to find a match to one of my shoe options for tomorrow. (Yes, I have options planned. It is raining now, and tomorrow's weather will influence my decision.)

Did I clean up any shoes during my search?

Nope. Just moved them around.

See, I have an idea in my head to catalog all of my shoes. I want to build a shoe database. (Yes, I am a dork.) And I'll be teaching myself a new (to me) technology in the process.

What I'm teaching myself will be helpful for my job, so it's not just something goofy. But it will probably take a while to get a system in place. I've been putting off organizing my shoes because I want to build my database first.

I think it's getting too bad to wait, though. I may have to start with a spreadsheet!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

dead flowers, crunchy leaves and autumn skies

November 16-22, 2008

Summer is definitely over.

dead mums

dead flowers

dead flowers

dead flowers

dead flowers

We got a dusting of snow on Friday night, and a little bit was still around Saturday morning.

snowy leaves

snowy leaves


Finally, the sky was really interesting one night as I was leaving work.

night sky

Unfortunately, I didn't have any place to put the camera for a clearer shot ... other than the roof of the car!

night sky

Visit more Weekly Winners at SarcasticMom.com!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

no boots for me*

A few days ago, I placed an online order at Ann Taylor for these:

While I do already have a pair of tall high-heel boots, they're a few years old and starting to show their age. Also, I'm guessing with the original price of $228, these would have been much nicer. These are dressier, too, so I would still wear both until the old ones wear out completely.

They were marked down substantially and I applied a coupon to bring the final cost to $66 after tax. Amazing deal, right?

Well, it was too good to be true. I just got an email today telling me there was an "incident" with my order. The boots were sold out before my order was fulfilled.

Boo! Isn't online shopping inventory updated in real time? I've definitely had things sell out before I could place my order on a few occasions.

The note said my order was shipped without the boots. I really hope that was a mistake from a standard form-letter response, because that would mean there is an empty box in the mail for me. At least I got free shipping.

They didn't even offer a discount when they were "apologizing for the inconvenience" of screwing up my order. This has happened once before at Piperlime.com (again with the shoes!), and they sent a coupon.

I always have coupons, but it still would have been the nice thing to do.

I have quite the order history with them!

* Well, there should be some ankle boots in the mail from a recent Ann Taylor LOFT order. That one has already shipped, and I received no "order incident" messages, so I'm assuming the boots are in the box.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

it's snowing!


Well, maybe just a dusting ...


OK, fine. A single snow cloud sneezed on my back deck.


And in the hour or so it's been since I took these photos, most of it has blown away.

That's a good thing -- tomorrow morning will be my first run of the season in truly cold weather. I'll be much happier without snow on the ground!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

a few of my favorite things

I was inspired by Gretchen to share some of the items I'm loving right now. Also, I didn't have anything else to blog about tonight!

sea mistSunsilk Sea Mist from the Waves of Envy line.

My hair is naturally curly, but the curls don't behave well on their own. If left to air dry without any hair products, I'm left with a fluffy, frizzy mess.

For years I've been playing around with different products, and I've learned I need to use a gel/cream/mousse of some sort first, followed by a spray to keep the frizz away. The problem that always resulted, though, was crunchy or sticky hair.

The Sea Mist gives my curls definition, without the crunchy/sticky feeling. I do still like to put something else in first for some hold, but it can stand alone. And it's cheap!

cheese crunchiesTrader Joe's Baked Cheese Crunchies.

Uh oh -- we're almost out! Last time we went to Trader Joe's, we picked up three bags. I know I ate the first two. My husband had this last bag in the basement (aka his playroom) so I had to go downstairs to retrieve it.

Me: I need to borrow the cheese crunchies.

Him: You can take them upstairs before I finish it.

Me: I'm not planning on eating them. I just need to take a photo.

(I couldn't finish that sentence without laughing.)

laptopMy new laptop.
(Well, I bought it a month or so ago.)

Now I can blog / shop / attempt to make Google Reader stop saying I have 1000+ unread items while spending some quality time with the DVR!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

new real personal record!

As opposed to that fake one a couple weeks ago.

I ran a 10K on Sunday. It was a challenging course; one I've done many times before. In fact, just a week prior we did a test run.

The weekend before the race was a humid, rainy day. Not the best conditions to run a hilly course! But we did it, and I felt pretty good. We took a few walk breaks, and ended up finishing just over an hour.

My running buddy was thrilled since she hadn't been that fast in a while. We planned to run the race together as well. Her 10K record for this course went back to 2004, 59:22. My best time for this course was in 2005, at 59:09.

My fastest 10K ever, also in 2005, was 57:36. I joked with her that we wouldn't be trying to beat that one. We'd both have been quite happy under an hour.

I used to consistently finish 10Ks under the 60-minute mark. But the last time I did that was June 2006, at 59:54.

That was a month before I started running with orthotic inserts to try to help with knee and foot problems I'd been having.

I have been blaming the orthotics on my slightly slower pace, but I didn't fully believe it. Maybe I was just getting slower as I got older?

Maybe it has just taken over two years for my body to adjust.

That recent 5K would probably have broken a record, had the course been long enough. I finished a 5-mile race earlier this month about 35 seconds slower than my fastest from 2005, but 4-5 minutes faster than my 5-mile runs since then.

And the 10K on Sunday?


I beat my previous record by 10 seconds!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

running skirt review: skirtsports "gymgirl"

SkirtSports' GymGirl is one of my favorites.

skirtsports gymgirl

This style would make a good starter skirt for any ladies worried about running in a skirt. They are a bit longer than most others I've tried, and have shorts underneath for a little more coverage. Before I tried this skirt, I was concerned about the attached shorts instead of briefs. My first skirt (which I suppose I should review one of these days) has shorts, and it just isn't that comfortable.

SkirtSports version, however, felt fantastic from the first time I tried it on. The mesh shorts are breathable, soft and stretchy. The lighter colors are a bit sheer, so I wouldn't recommend them for yoga, but I wouldn't hesitate to do a downward dog in my black skirt (not pictured, since it's pretty much the same. Just in all black).

I love this skirt so much I'll even show you what's underneath!

skirtsports under skirt

The shorts don't ride up and are comfortable for long and short runs. During a 16-mile run I did have to pull them down a tiny bit. That's understandable -- on those really long runs you're going to be adjusting just about anything you're wearing!

My black skirt is a newer version with two pockets instead of one in the others. Both versions have a buttonhole on the side for your headphones so you can stow your mp3 player in the pocket. The black one also added some stretchy grip tape to the shorts, I guess to hold them in place better. I thought the others were fine without it!

skirtsports gymgirl snowflake

I love this Snowflake version (no longer available on their site, but Sierra Trading Post still has some). Yes, it is very shiny like it appears. It isn't really skirt weather during the holiday season around here, but I'll find a way. I've seen COOLMAX tights somewhere. I did run in it once last week when we had some mild weather. Even though I don't believe in decorating for the holidays until after Thanksgiving, I allowed myself to dress festive. There might not be another opportunity to run with bare legs until the spring!

skirtsports bikegirlI'm going to sneak one more skirt here that isn't a running skirt -- it's a bike skirt!

BikeGirl is basically the same skirt with a built-in chamois and silicone grips to hold the shorts in place. I used this a lot over the summer.

It's comfortable and cute. One time when I was riding, a woman opened her car window to ask about it while stopped at a light!

Skirts are growing in popularity. In the past year since I've made the switch, I'm seeing more skirted women each race.

What are you waiting for? Join us!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

my favorite fall photo

It's Greeblepix time again!

It was a tough choice this month, because I've taken quite a few photos that I love recently. Aimee, proprietor of Greeblemonkey.com, suggested the theme "Grateful" for this month's contest. My mind was kind of drawing a blank, so I decided to go with a fall theme.

I still think it fits. After all, I am grateful for the beautiful autumn day that let me snap this photo!

downs park leaves

You should go over to Greeblemonkey.com to check out the other entrants. There are lots of talented people hanging out over there!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

weekly winners: jeter has a rough day

November 9-15, 2008

Jeter has it rough this time of the year.

Cat owners probably know the quivering chirp that kitties are known to do when something is disturbing them, like a bug on the ceiling.

We have lots of windows, and Jeter gets agitated when the leaves start blowing around. He gets twitchy and chirpy on those blustery fall days. He will sit by the window and follow the movement outside.

jeter watching the leaves

jeter watching the leaves

jeter watching the leaves

jeter watching the leaves

jeter swinging his tail
(This one's not technically a "winner," but I think it's funny how his rapidly-swinging tail is just a blur!)

By night, those leaves don't bother him anymore. He and Joey were both giving me weird looks when I disturbed their nap for a photo shoot!

I think this is the only shot where Jeter wasn't either yawning or licking his paws.

sleepy boys

Visit more Weekly Winners at SarcasticMom.com!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

have you ever gone out for groceries and come home with four pairs of shoes?

Um, yeah. I have a problem.

This afternoon when I was running errands, I was proud of my restraint. I went to Old Navy to RETURN shoes. They were red heels that I loved, but just weren't going to work.

I usually need a 6.5 at Old Navy, but this particular pair did not come in half sizes. I ordered the 6 and 7 online and hoped one would work. The smaller pair squished my toes, and I felt like I was playing dress-up in Mommy's shoes with the larger.

So I went into Old Navy and returned the shoes, and didn't look at anything else. Except some on-sale jewelry, but I didn't find anything.

Next I headed to Ann Taylor LOFT to see if they had a jacket I ordered online in a different color. Online they didn't have my size in yellow, so I ordered it in red. But I really wanted the yellow.

Of course I tried on a few things. I almost bought pants, but I didn't love the way the pockets were laying. They weren't cheap enough to deal with poor pocket placement. I did find the yellow jacket, though. I made the exchange and left without spending a dime. (Actually, I found a dime in the parking lot!)

I even looked in Rack Room, because they had $19 red boots in the window. They would have filled the void of the red heels ... but they just seemed so cheap. Yes, they were cheap, but on sale from $39.99. They just weren't worth it.

I also left behind $12 red shoes on the clearance rack because they weren't really the style I was looking for.

After dinner, however, there was a little shopping spree. I headed to the grocery story to pick up a few things, but decided to stop in TJ Maxx first. Still looking for red shoes/boots. (Never mind the fact that I have two pairs of red shoes ... dress heels and casual flats ... I'm looking for a casual heel!)

I didn't find red shoes, but I did find these:

sofft heels
Söfft Gemma

Dress heels that are comfortable? I will be replacing an extremely painful pair with these!

I also found these, which I may or may not keep:

sofft flats
Söfft Seryn

They feel great, and actually might be comfortable for chorale performances when I'm standing for a long time. I couldn't decide between the two, but didn't really want to buy both since they weren't that cheap. But $34.99 is an excellent price for Söfft shoes!

After that (hadn't hit the supermarket yet!) I decided I should check out Famous Footwear. They opened in the same shopping center months ago and I hadn't been there yet.

I found these in the clearance section, buy one get one 1/2 off ... so I just had to buy two pairs!

etienne aigner
Etienne Aigner

me too
me too

This is not all I've purchased recently. There have been quite a few additions to my shoe collection the past month or two. I think I'm going to cut myself off for a little while.


I can stop anytime I want!

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