Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Women of Washington Redskins: An Evening with Coach Mike Shanahan

Did you know that the Washington Redskins has a club especially for its female fans? It's called the Women of Washington Redskins (WOW), and I just became a member not too long ago. Shortly after Memorial Day, WOW hosted a special chalk talk with Coach Mike Shanahan at Redskins Park in Ashburn. The event filled up fast, and I was glad that I signed up. I had never been to Redskins Park so I was looking forward to it!

I had to hustle after work to make the event (traffic going that way is terrible!), but I was treated to some wine and appetizers to nosh on upon my arrival. Yum!

Notice the sleeve. You better believe I had to rock the burgundy and gold before I came.
The room where the chalk talk took place was also the same room where the actual team watches game film.

They even showed a highlight reel of last season to get us pumped up!

Larry Michael from Redskins TV did the introductions. He sounds the same in person as he does on the radio!

Finally, Coach made his appearance, and he was ready to answer some questions! Excuse the blurry pictures, I was still getting the hang of the camera on my new phone. One thing that's certain is that Coach looked really sharp in his light gray suit!

The ladies asked a wide variety of questions from player specific questions to which player they should choose for their fantasy team (aka: the Alfred Morris "sleeper").  Some ladies even asked what Coach got RGIII for his wedding. It was pretty neat that he was open to answering all of our questions... 

After the Q&A session, it was time for the tour of Redskins Park!

I thought the weight room was pretty cool. Everything was emblazoned with the Redskins logo.

And look at this 150 pound dumbbell! Can you imagine a linebacker curling these? They might as well curl me! ;)

We walked by the Players' Club, which is an area exclusively for the players. No coaches, media, or visitors allowed...

Then I took some shots of the Wall of Fame.  Apparently there is a replica of this wall on the club level at FedEx Field.

Sean Taylor!

Here's a shot of where they eat. As you can see, it's a basketball court converted into a dining area.

They had several display cases in the rear the entrance of the facility. Here is Slingin' Sammy Baugh's original helmet. Can you believe how thin it is?

And of course you can't leave Redskins Park without taking a peek at the Super Bowl trophies!

Me with the trophies. Photo bombing my own picture, LOL.

Overall, it was a great experience! I had a great time at Redskins Park, and I hope WOW does more events like this in the future.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Review: What's Hanging?

I think the theme of this blog post is "small victories." Although we have ton of stuff that we would like to do to our house (i.e.: kitchen backslash, refinish floors, etc.) sometimes you need some small victories in order to feel better about yourself/home accomplishments until you are ready to tackle the "big stuff." Justin and I spent the weekend hanging stuff up around the house. If you know Justin, he really hates hanging pictures, but he's a necessary part of the process, so there is no way for him to get out of it. Sorry babe!

One thing I realized that we needed was a key rack. Since we didn't have a key rack I made one out of the this University of Kentucky plaque that Justin got for Christmas. All we did was screw in a couple of hooks on the bottom.

Yes! It shows school spirit and is functional as well!

Hopefully, the key rack will prevent instances like this from happening!

LOL, Jo Koy cracks me up!
We also finally put up the Nate Berkus tortoise shell I got for Christmas in our bedroom. #goterps Excuse the improperly staged bookcase ;) House Beautiful or Elle Decor we are not at the moment, hahaha...

The major task of the weekend was actually putting a huge decal up. I ordered this huge decal from probably a year ago but had put off putting it up. The cylindrical tube that it was in was literally collecting dust so I figured it was about time that we put the darn thing up on the wall. After I picked a location (the upstairs landing), it was time to get started.

A couple of before shots...sorry for the poor quality shots but you get the idea...Justin mentally preparing himself for the task ahead, LOL...

Neither one of us had put up a wall decal before so we pretty much had to learn on the spot. Trust me, this is nothing like a fathead where you just plop it on the wall and you're done. It literally had a million little pieces that we had to put in the perfect place.

Here's Justin making sure the decal was in the right place. We broke up the design into several different parts.

Next we had to rub the design onto the wall. This task was really tedious because you had to make sure you rubbed hard so it would stick.

Some shots of the almost completed design...almost done!

Justin and Derby showing off the finished product!

I don't know how the heck I did it, but I created a gif of the frenchies in front of the decal. How friggin' cool is that? Kinda looks like Louie is inspecting the work!

There you have it--fancy gif and all. We are still not done putting stuff up on our walls (still have a gallery wall on our to do list) but I'm glad we were able to cross off some "small victories" off of our list!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Race Review: 50 Shades of Cray and the Baltimore Color Run

On May 11, my friends, sisters, and I ran the Baltimore Color Run. Our team consisted of the same crew that did the Lozilu Mud Run last year. I had never done a color run before so it looked pretty interesting. By the way, I use the word "run"quite loosely because this race is more for the fun aspect with it not being timed. I jokingly called it the "Color Frolic," but for those who don't typically run, this event just might be the gateway into more serious races, so I'm all for it. :)
Here's a before shot of our team, "50 Shades of Cray!" So fresh and so clean!

Here's a shot of the Beltrano sisters and our colorful socks! We all wore fun colorful knee high socks which was a nice touch!

N.J. made me a special shirt because it was my birthday. It says, "It's my birthday today! Wish me a colorful day." What made this a funny shirt was that a lot of people wished me a happy birthday while I was running the course and I didn't realize they were talking to me, LOL!

When the race was about to begin, there were a ton of people at the starting line, waiting to get the show on the road. Unfortunately, they were doing a wave start so it was taking FOREVER for to get started. Unlike the Nike Women's Half that I did a few weeks ago (where I wished there was more of a wave start), for a race of this nature, I didn't feel that it was necessary to make people wait to start running. After about thirty minutes of waiting, my teammates and I went "rouge" and broke through the barricades and started on the course, and many people followed suit.
After we got started, we made our way through the course, which was between Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium. 

One important thing to note is that in order to get really colorful, you have to run kind of slow through the color stations. That way, the volunteers can pelt you with powder, thus saturating you with color! Also, the sunglasses, while cute, also were functional as they protected our eyes from the colored powder!


The atmosphere was friendly and the crowds we're energized. I would also like to note that there was adequate water stations and port-o-potties on the short 5k course because I had used both within the first mile of the race! 
Thanks N.J. and T.H. for the all the cool photos!

Luckily, the rain stayed away for much of the race while we were running. Toward the end of the race, it did start sprinkling a little harder; however, we made it back to the car just in time. Although the beginning of the race got off to a rough start due to what I thought was an unnecessary wave start, it was a fun way to get my birthday started off right!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Race Review: Inaugural Nike Women's Half Marathon DC

Finally! I have a moment to write a race review for the Nike Women's Half Marathon that I ran a few weeks ago. I'll try to make it short and sweet. :)

First things first is the race expotique. The expo was at the Georgetown Waterfront the Thursday-Saturday before the race. Anticipating the large crowd size that Georgetown normally has over the weekends, I decided to pick up my bib after I got off work on Thursday. This move proved to be beneficial, as I didn't have to wait in line for anything. It's kind of neat how they set up this tent on the waterfront. You wouldn't even think that there was a fountain/ice rink underneath it.

Because this was my second time running the Nike Women's (having done so before in San Francisco two years ago), I had managed my expectations about what the expo was going to be like. Based on my prior experience, this expo is more of a "Nike Fashion Showcase", highlighting the latest and greatest of Nike design. If you needed your pre-race supplies, you would probably be better served at one of the many running stores located on M St. On the plus side, Luna had a great booth where you could create personalized signs, and of course they were giving away plenty of snack sized Luna bars. Yummy!

People getting their hair did...

Now on to race day! Because I was pretty much flying solo on this one, I had to take the extra initiative to make sure I didn't forget anything on race day. With no one to provide me reminders that morning, I forgot two things: 1) To eat (ack! I ended up eating a GU gel); and 2) I forgot my corral bracelet. The corral bracelet was just a colored bracelet (kind of like the ones you get at a bar to indicate you're of drinking age) that indicated which corral you were in. Unfortunately, I forgot mine and had to start the race in the very last corral (aka: with the walkers). wah wah. For future reference, I hope they begin putting the corral designation on the bibs, versus an extra accessory (e.g. bracelet) you have to put on/worry about on the day of the race.

Here's a shot of the crowd before the start. The race was well equipped with Luna bars (which I didn't eat while on the course, but just hoarded for later :), Nuun electrolyte beverages, Clif Brand Shot bloks (delicious, just like gummy bears!), and of course water. The entertainment was great and the crowd support was good too. One of my favorite signs said something along the lines of "Binders full of runners," LOL.

One more suggestion I would make would be to have more of a wave start. Each wave pretty much started one after the other consecutively, which caused major backups for the the first five miles of the race (nearly half!). Please remember that Haine's Point is narrow, so weaving in and out of crowds is not very ideal in this part of DC course.

At last I reached the end while shaving off nearly 15 minutes on my previous half marathon time. Woohoo! Here I am with the tuxedoed Tiffany's necklace deliverer, showing off my old necklace with my newly earned one in the box. 

Because I finished earlier than expected, Justin and Kos weren't ready to meet me at the finish line.  While I waited on the boys, I decided to get my face touched up at the Bare Minerals trailer. I just needed a little something to get the dried sweat off my face to make me somewhat presentable for brunch downtown. 

So that's my review of the Nike Women's Half! But here are some other fun things that happened that weekend!

Jill and I saw Kaskade for his "It's You, It's Me" tour at U. Street Music Hall. I've been listening to Kaskade for nearly a decade (!!) and for this tour he was playing all of his old school deep house tracks. The show was so good!

Bathroom selfie!

I couldn't get a decent picture of Kaskade in the DJ booth for the life of me...

But one of his Twitter fans shared this pic collage of him in this awesome t-shirt. Puppies FTW!

Also, Justin's friend from college Kos came to visit for the weekend.  The boys were out drinking the whole weekend, catching up and sharing memories of their "glory days".  Although Justin and I enjoyed his company greatly (we love getting out-of-town visitors), I believe the Frenchies topped us and soaked up all the attention they received from their Uncle Kos.  Below is a shot of the guys passed out after we came home from brunch, following the race.  After a full stomach, the Frenchies knew it was prime time to pounce and take advantage of some couch time.

As the picture above indicates, we had a so much fun that weekend, we had nothing left in the tank by the time we made it to Sunday night.  Unfortunately, the schedule busyness would not end there with the Kentucky Derby just around the corner and another trip to Louisville on that following Thursday.  Stay tuned for the details on our Derby weekend :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Review: I'm Feelin' 22

Hi Everyone! A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 32nd Birthday with a fun, event filled weekend. To kick off the festivities Justin and I dined at Rasika West End. Justin had never had Indian food before, but promised me that he would take me out for an Indian dinner for my birthday.  We figured that he might as well try the best Indian restaurant in the city. I started off our meal with the signature Rasika cocktail made with sparkling wine. Cheers to me!

For starters we ordered samosa (on the left) and the famous palak chaat (flash fried spinach). Both were delicious!

For our entree, we ordered an assortment of naan to share while I ordered the chicken adraki and Justin ordered the tandoori chicken.

We also ordered the vegetable biriyani. It's neat how it is filled with rice and prepared in a bread pot.

I then helped myself to another cocktail...I forgot what the name of this one was, but it had a spicy kick to it!

For dessert, our server came out with a tiramisu type of dish...on the house! You could definitely taste the Indian flavors in the dessert!

The next day, my sisters, friends, and I ran the Color Run in Baltimore. I'm sure you all saw pictures on Facebook, but I'll probably be reviewing the race in a separate post tomorrow. :)After the Color Run, we were starving so we headed to Fells Point to "attempt" to eat at the Blue Moon Cafe.  The wait for that place was so long (due to its small size), so we ended up going to Todd Conner's on the corner.

Although being our second choice, Todd Conner's didn't disappoint. I ordered the Monte Cristo (not as good as Bennigan's!), but still tasty and filling!

I ordered a horchata cocktail that tasted like chocolate milk and was given a complementary bloody mary since my sister's told them it was my birthday. Needless to say, I was on the verge of getting a little tipsy, but luckily I had filled up on the brunchy goodness to coat my belly.

That evening we traveled to our old stomping grounds (Arlington) to do some bar hopping. In true 22 year old fashion, we started out at Ricky's to get our pregame on! This was the first of many Patron shots. Was this one the coffee one or the regular one? I have no clue, but both went down smooth...

Who took this blurry picture? Judy?

Bottoms up!

The rest of the evening consisted of us going to a total of two bars (so much for bar hopping, more like a bar hop ;), and me not remembering much afterwards. Somehow, we ended up back at Ricky's apartment, ordering Pizza Movers (the saltiest pizza ever, with fake sausage that I like to call "snausages!"), and passing out everywhere. Luckily, we woke up bright and early enough for Jill to make it to work!

These days birthdays aren't as crazy as they used to be, but they are still fun. Event though my birthday is just one day, I still like to celebrate the entire weekend with good food, drinks, and friends!