Monday, November 14, 2016

Blue Ridge Marathon.

I know, I know. It's been quite some time since I've sat down and made something of this space. I tend to do that though...oops. Forgive me. I do, however, have really exciting news to share and maybe this will keep me coming here.

So with that being said...

I'm excited to say that I am an Official Blue Ridge Marathon Blogger!

I ran the Blue Ridge Half Marathon a few years ago and it was my first ever half marathon. Not only was it the first half I completed, it was the first race over a 10k that I had completed. It was hard, it was brutal, and I had no idea that I would hurt as much as I did, but I did it and now I'm coming back for more!

I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to tackle the full marathon yet. To be completely honest, it scares me to death. It is after all considered 'America's Toughest Road Marathon.' The full marathon boasts 7,430 feet in elevation gain, which is more than the marathon's inception in 2010 with 6,140 feet in elevation gain. With all the elevation gain, there are three mountains to ascend and descend. These mountains, Roanoke Mountain, Peakwood Mountain, and Mill Mountain are the reason the Blue Ridge Marathon is famously known as 'America's Toughest Road Marathon' and while they provide quite the challenge, the views are ridiculously gorgeous and make it worth it!

So now you want to run? I knew you would! The 2017 Blue Ridge Marathon will take place April 22,  2017 in Roanoke, Virginia along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Race weekend offers multiple race options for those who aren't quite ready to tackle the full. The race options include the Foot Levelers Full Marathon, Foot Levelers Half Marathon, the Anthem Star 10k, the new official double marathon, and the marathon relay.

The Blue Ridge Marathon series was created by a non-profit known as Roanoke Outside Foundation whose mission is to make outdoor activity and environmental stewardship a core component of the region's lifestyle by promoting a 'conservation through recreation' philosophy. The proceeds raised by this organization go toward the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway and other local charitable organizations.

Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon - America's Toughest Road Marathon from Pete Eshelman on Vimeo.

I'm so excited to be a part of this awesome community. If you think you have what it takes to tackle America's Toughest Road Marathon, Half Marathon, or 10k, join us April 22, 2017! Use code BRMFRIENDS for 15% off any race distance! I hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Awesome Link Up

Today, I'm excited to be co hosting The Awesome Link Up with Ann from Love the Here and Now Blog! It's a pretty awesome (see what I did there?!) link up ;) This month I have so much that is going on and I fortunate to be able to stay busy, yet still have time to spend with my family. Not only am I crazy busy, but I've been working on a few projects that I can't wait to share!

This month, here are a few things I have going on:

1//Mandatory overtime at work. Kinda sucky, but the extra money will be nice and it's only two nights extra this month. Not too bad, it could be a lot worse. 
2//Birthday dinner for an awesome lady. I love celebrating birthday's and this one is no exception!
3//Beginning to up my running mileage. I have a love hate relationship with running, so this will be a good challenge for me. Let the long miles begin!
4//I'm putting together some financial posts for the blog. By no means am I an expert, but I thought that they might be useful and helpful to some. I've been doing a lot of research and reading in the whole 'debt free' movement and it has lit a fire under me to make it happen. Hopefully, it will help others too. 
5//I am working on going through a bunch of items I have that I no longer need. Let's call it an early spring cleaning of sorts...
6//Stashing more money into savings. Pretty self explanatory, don't you think?!
7//Choosing the perfect paint color for the living space. I have three shades of blue slapped up on the wall now to try and pick...and it's really hard to. I may still change my mind a pick a different color ;)

Honestly, between work and personal obligations, I don't have a whole lot of extra going on, but to me it's pretty darn exciting! 

An InLinkz Link-up
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blizzard Jonas

All I can say is holy cow. These past few days have been absolutely insane! I apologize for the lack of posts and what not, but this has been one of the first times I have been able to sit down and actually open up blogger...

As I'm sure most know by now, we got a little bit of snow this weekend. By a little, I mean, the snow globe was completely full. I had so much to do and get ready for the storm and most of Thursday evening and Friday morning were spent preparing for the inevitable snow. I packed clothes for myself and the girls because I knew once we left Friday, it would be a few days before we returned. We turned the water off and unplugged everything. I cleaned everything up and made sure that everything had it's place for when we returned.

I unfortunately worked all weekend. Crazy, right? The girls were with their father and grandmother, so they were safe had a blast in the snowy blizzard that was Jonas. The snow came down so fast and for what seemed like forever. Work was slow and rightfully so. Saturday morning when I got off, we (almost my entire shift) headed a mile or so down the road and holed up in the hotel so that we could make it back to work. We had to share rooms and bunk up together and we all made the most of it. A few people got stuck in the parking lot, but my awesome driving skills and four wheel drive made it through fine.

More less the same was for Saturday night and into Sunday morning. I couldn't sleep very well, but managed to get in a good workout and took my time getting ready Sunday afternoon. Getting off Monday morning was the harder part. I drove across town to Tony's parents house, which really wasn't too awful of a drive. I slept for a little bit and Tony and his dad decided to go check on our house.

I got a call from Tony and he said that our road hadn't been plowed. There was only one set of footprints coming up the hill on the road. Apparently the bull dozer that was removing the snow broke down and with three feet of snow, our neighbor's little tractor just couldn't handle doing the entire road. So lucky us, we weren't able to get home until Tuesday afternoon...luckily, everything with the house was fine and everything worked, but we have so much snow that I'm already over it for the year ;)

It certainly feels good to be home and sleeping in my own bed and not living out of a hotel and my car. The girls have been playing in the snow, making tunnels, igloos, and sledding down constructed sled trails. All in all we weathered the storm well and I'm hoping that this will be the last 'big' storm of the season. Let's bring on spring!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the Life366 Project Linkup!

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekends are for Fun

I won't lie. I really wen through it attempting to write this post. Honestly, it's not because I'm in a bad place or I have nothing to share because believe me, it's quite the opposite. This past weekend, we slowed down and enjoyed it. We had no schedule to adhere to, no plans what so ever, absolutely nothing. I know that I've said it more often than not because it's hard to not have a good weekend when I'm with the ones I love, but there's truly something about the slow hum drum of nothingness.

Why then, am I having a hard time with this? I think it's because my mind is in overdrive. I feel like I want more than what I'm getting and I have so many ideas and things running through my tiny brain. I'm always thinking of 'things' to better my family and right now, I have one big cluster in my head that I can't pick through. I just need to buckle down and pick through the pieces and make it all make sense...more on that late =)

Anyway, like I said, this weekend was pretty great. We spent Friday evening lounging around, watching movies, getting some laundry done, and sleeping pretty soundly. No alarm clocks to wake us up, and not a single plan for Saturday. We woke up late Saturday morning, ate some breakfast, cleaned, and headed to town. We were due for upgrades for our phones, so we finally got new phones (iPhone 6s Plus and yes, I LOVE it!) and finally decided to go to Tony's parent's house for a little bit. Keeping with the no plan of the day, Tony's parent's kept the girls and we went and saw The Revenant with Tony's sister and boyfriend, an impromptu double date for the win!

Let me just say this, wow. This movie was such a good movie, albeit pretty long and some what drawn out in some scenes, but an awesome movie nonetheless. Leonardo DiCaprio was perfect for the part. If you haven't seen it yet, go. Not to mention, the grizzly bear attack scene, was pretty crazy and if he doesn't win some kind of award for stripping down and sleeping inside a horse carcass to survive, I would be just a little sad.

Back to the weekend and how awesome it was...

Sunday was truly spent doing nothing, but whatever we wanted. We didn't leave the house. It started snowing and we had a nice dusting on the ground, we had our little fireplace on, made some waffles, baked a cake, colored in one of those awesome therapeutic coloring books, made some delicious dinner, watch football, and read a book. How's that for a Sunday? I'd say it was good. 

My sad attempt at one of those way cooler pictures everyone tries to recreate AND I just noticed you can see me in the reflection...ha.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  What fun things did y'all get into?!
Also, don't forget that this Thursday is the third week of The Life366 Project link up! Come back and share what you have been up to not just this weekend, but everyday!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

13 Favorite Blog Resources

Since starting Lola & Lane, I have been fortunate to be able to do some research on a few things that I had no idea about when it pertains to the blogging world. There are a few resources that have helped tremendously. Some of these resources, I use daily, while others have provided an awesome guideline to get things started in certain areas that I am still working on (i.e. newsletter, blog series, etc.) There are some great resources available and these are a few of my favorites. 

13 Favorite Blogging Resources

Email Newsletter Tutorials
Canva An Easy How to Guide


How to Create a Blog Series
How Guest Posting Can Help Your Blog

Scheduling Social Media Content
Media Kits 101

Money Making
Affiliate Marketing Basics Beginners Guide
Google Adsense for Bloggers
How to Create a Blogging Income
Google Analytics 

Do you have any favorite resources that you use daily or that have helped you?

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Friday, January 8, 2016

20 Minute Spicy Italian Tortellini

*This is a sponsored post by Ragu and their #simmeredintradition campaign. All content and opinions are my own!*

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with myself the other day. As I was brainstorming easy ideas for dinner, I was trying to think of ideas with things that I had already in the kitchen. I'm all about easy fixings and I know that always have pasta and sauce and while my hips may scream for me to lay the fork down, it's hard to pass up a good hearty meal that's super quick and easy to make.

Back to the brainstorming and being impressed with my little brain, I came up with this quick and easy tortellini dish that is absolutely amazing! If you like a little spice in your life, this saucy ensemble will have your mouth watering. I used some kielbasa paired with green peppers and onions added a little Ragu Spicy Italian Style Sauce and then mixed it all together with tortellini. That's it. Easy as pie, or pasta...

20 Minute Spicy Italian Tortellini

1 package Buitoni Sweet Italian Sausage Tortellini
1 jar Ragu Spicy Italian Style sauce
1 link kielbasa of choice
1 green pepper
1/2  onion
1 clove garlic
1 tespoon olive oil
Parmesan cheese to taste
Basil leaves for garnishment

Follow the directions on the package to cook the tortellini. Meanwhile, cut up kielbasa, green pepper, and onion. Add all cut items to a pan with garlic and olive oil. Cook until vegetables tender and add the Ragu sauce. Simmer on low until everything is heated through. Take the cooked tortellini and drain, return to the pot. Once sauce mixture is heated, and it to the tortellini. Stir until everything is blend. Add parmesan cheese and basil leaves if desired. 

This is one of the easiest recipes I have made. It's delicious and very filling and it's definitely on rotation in my house! For more easy recipes like this, follow the hashtag #simmeredintradition from Ragu for more inspiration.

What are some other recipe favorites that you use?!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Life366 Project//Week 1

The Life366 Project
Week 1
January 1-6

The girls must have had a long New Years Eve because this is them once I picked them up...

Our idea of date night. Last day of hunting season here in Virginia!

The little buck who we have seen a few times around the mountain made another appearance in our back yard.

Speaking of venison showing up in our back yard, I made some awesome venison tacos to take to work for lunch.

I picked Lyla up for gymnastics practice...she's so full of energy sometimes.

Maybe, just maybe we have a chance...

Well, there you have it. Week 1 complete! I can't wait to see how each of your week's went =)

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