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Creative Casey's Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Running Leaps and Bounds!

Woohooooooooo... I met my running goal this year! I started the year off with the goal of running 100 miles a month for the entire year.  Today "the last day of the year" I was able to successfully accomplish this goal. Whewwww...and I never want to do that again. :)

The spring was somewhat difficult because it was winter, the weather was cold, I was training for a half marathon while working full time and taking 2 graduate classes plus doing some private practice work.  I found it difficult to find the time to the long runs but the miles added quickly.  I was able to successfully run the half marathon and over the summer I continued to improve on my race times in all distances. I took part in all new races this year except for my one year anniversary run which was the Race4Music run.  Many of the runs were a lot of fun and more friends hopped in this year to also run these races.  I even raised money and challenged myself by doing the MS Bike-A-Thon this year which I wouldn't have been nearly as successful if I wasn't in such good shape from running.

I found May-September to be the easiest times to get in my miles and then bank some extra ones. It's lighter later making for longer days, better weather and I had a lot less on my plate from a work perspective. I love being outside so it was great to run, walk and bike everyday.  Oct. was a joke and a struggle. Glad I had banked some extra miles. Nov. was extremely challenging. Things were rough at work and I took time off from running more frequently than I should have. This left me with 8 days to run 50 miles over Thanksgiving week. Thank goodness for the support from my parents and the Walking Dead entire season I caught up on while doing many long runs!  December continued to be a struggle but not as bad. I was on vacation for a chunk of it and worked hard to run a moderate pace of 4.25 miles each day with a couple of days of longer 6-8 mile runs.  It still took me up until today...the last of 2014 to meet the goal, but I did.  1,200.50 miles!!!!

I've decided in 2015, I need to focus more on a healthier diet, running but less times a week and less miles a week while increasing weight lifting and getting back into yoga at least twice a week. We'll see what 2015 brings!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Books, books and more books

Here's an update on some of the books I've been reading.

The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds *****
In Time ****
Never Fade *****
Sparks Rise ****
In the After Light ****

Fall of Giants (the Century Trilogy) by Ken Follet ****

The Pines (the Wayward Pines Trilogy) by Blake Crouch ***.5

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Brainery Bazaar & a FREE Class

I had planned on stopping by the Brainery Holiday Bazaar http://rochesterbrainery.myshopify.comthis weekend specifically because I had scheduled to meet up with Amanda from Circuit Breaker Labs I had met her at May Day and asked if she took computer donations and she said yes. I turned in my old laptop to her brother who was running their booth when I got to the bazaar yesterday. I did this for three reasons, 1. it's good to recycle/upcycle 2. what better way to make sure no one figures out how to revive your computer with all of your important data on it then to have your hard driver cut up into small pieces 3. it feels good to help a local artist out.  I was slightly disappointed to only receive $10 store credit but hey a. what was I going to do with a dead computer and b. any credit is good credit.  I had been wanting to buy a piece of their jewelry for a while so I splurged and bought a bracelet (instead of earrings or a necklace) in the hopes of getting something different than I normally would so I would try to where something new.  I got the bracelet below for $15! Thank you Circuit Breaker Labs!

I had no idea the bazaar was going to be so large. It typically is only in one room at The Brainery but the booths were throughout the hallways surrounding the business and a lot of artists were crammed in the space.  Unfortunately I was rushing to get the free class that Yelp of Rochester offered as a co-host to this event.  Don't worry though because I had time to check out the rest of the bazaar following the class.

So Yelp of Rochester offered 4 great free classes you could sign up as cosponsors to this wonderful festive event this weekend.  This was the only class I had time to take:

Mistletoe mayhem has you stressed to the core? Join us for our essential oil class with DoTerra. We're making bath salts and bath bombs to melt away the stress the holiday season brings upon us. (They make great stocking stuffers too! Who doesn't love a handmade gift?)

Recipes we made:……

In conjunction with the Brainery Holiday Bazaar Presented By Yelp Shops Local:'re bringing you Yelp's Holiday How-To -- a series of classes that will take place during the Brainery Holiday Bazaar featuring local businesses. Holiday prep, we've got it covered from stocking stuffers to decadent dessert designs.

This ended up being a really fun class. I made probably about 9 bath bombs and one small jar of soaking salts.  These make cool and pretty easy gifts. I think it would also be fun to have a get together with friends and make these things.

So what was everything I got at the bazaar.  The circuit bracelet, a free grocery bag, bath bombs, soaking salts, a free bottle of vitamin water, the chance to make a screen printed holiday card, and they had the awesome photo booth from the same company that did the pics from the Photofinish race.  I got my pic taken on my own and they had festive gear you could wear.  I know pretty lame but hey you have to get into the spirit of the season and have fun whether you are with people you know or by yourself. :)

My goods. The wrapped packages are from Writer & Books. They were having a party for anyone with a Little Free Library this coming Monday but I couldn't attend so they let me stop by early and gave me some packages full of books for my LFL.

My bracelet made out of circuits.

Lame photo booth pictures.

My screen printed holiday card.

Home made bath bombs and soaking salts.

Here's a pic of the awesome book tree for the holidays that Writer & Books created from a fundraiser for Little Free Library's.

Winter Festivities & Postcard Update

So Friday night my mom and friends (Marcy, Amanda and Vi) all went to First Friday's as it was open later and had more than usual festivities going on as it was also their holiday bazaar.  We had a great time going to Anderson Alley and The Hungerford.  I think most of us found at least one unique thing to purchase. :)

Here's what my mom and I and neighbor Bob and his daughter (my friend) Stephanie went to last weekend:

It's A Wonderful Life In The South Wedge Holiday Festival & Parade 

When: Sat., Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 2014
The Annual "It's A Wonderful Life" Holiday Festival returns.Come down and get local with great specials in all local businesses plus all sorts of seasonal fun in Star Alley Park (next to Lux Bar), Kid's holiday crafts and games, visits with Santa, carriage rides, caroling with Resonanz (Rochester Oratorio Society), a concert and parade with The Buddhahood, food trucks, a movie tent, food & clothing drive, and Christmas Tree and wreath sales!
We started the day with the Wintercraft open house at Genesee Center fork the Arts They had different things you could make like print a card, make an ornament, get your picture taken, etc... after purchasing tickets for a $1 each. We made cards and had our picture taken. There was food of course and a craft sale.
Then we moved on to the South Wedge It's a Wonderful Life Festival. There was carriage rides, all of the unique electric shops we open (we bought some goodies), then visited Santa, all had pulled pork sandwiches at Beal Street and had a Carolers come in and sing while we were eating and then we came home and crashed. Oh wait, my mom and I hit up Savoia's Bakery and got some canoli's for breakfast Sunday!! Then crashed! (well I did).

Then we got our energy back and went to my friend Sarah's Holiday Choir Concert at a beautiful church.  They sing basically acapella and were amazing.

My mom and I got up Sunday morning and headed to La Tea Da for lunch. We've been trying to get there for a while now but it never worked out until today.  This is a neat little place set in an old beautiful house. Each room is crammed with a different theme and there are tons of hats that belonged to the owners sister.  They disinfect them daily and as guest you can wear a hat to enhance your tea parlor experience. Well of course my mother and I took this to a whole new level. Since we were one of the first customers of the day I felt safe enough to go on a hat modeling adventure. My mom was a little more reserved (aka grossed out and skeptical of the sanitary measures) but played along.  We ended up having a really good meal (homemade mac and cheese was awesome) and we both left there having had a great time without having any tea. Yes you read correctly...I had an amazing homemade hot chocolate and she had some coffee.

I have received a couple more of the postcards from the final community swap through the Art + Happiness Project.
Here they are:

                This one is my fav. The colors didn't show up good from my craptastic phone camera but it is simple yet sweet.

Arm Knitting for Beginners

During the winter fun festivities last weekend while at the Genesee Center for Arts my mom and I saw these beautiful scarves and talked with the woman who made them.  She wasn't much of a salesperson because she told us we could make them and gave us the information where she buys her yarn online, what type of yarn it is and that we can go on YouTube to learn how to arm knit.   So that is what I (we) did.

My mom and I got home that night and went online to Fabulous Yarn; and ordered enough yarn to make 4 scarves.  We shipped the yarn to my sister's and decided when we are all down there visiting over Christmas us ladies will sit down one night and arm knit ourselves a beautiful scarf.

The next day my mom and I made a quick run to Michael's craft store and they had bulky yarn on sale 2 for $10 instead of $8 each. So I picked up a couple of skeins and a couple of nights later watched this YouTube video Arm Knitting for Beginners by Michaels Store and arm knitted a scarf in 40 minutes!!!

Overall not bad for a first attempt. Because the yarn was so bulky this only took 5 stitches. It also ended up curling around the edges almost making it look like a tube.  After wearing it all week I've decided the scarf is warm and beautiful but a bit bulky for my style, it will stretch and need to go in the wash/dryer and hopefully shrink some and it let's off fuzz especially on black.

Can't wait to make the scarves with my mom and sister. Should be interesting!! Stay tuned for that post.

It's a Wonderful Life 5k Race

My friend Stephanie and I ran in the "It's a Wonderful Life" 5k race in Seneca Falls (the original Bedford Falls) last night.  I signed up for the race back at the beginning of September and then tried to avoid the thought of running in the winter cold until this past week when reality hit.  I was especially nervous when we had a winter storm that dropped 15" of snow in about 24 hours the week of the race.  Fortunately things started to warm up and melt a little the day before and on race day.

Beside the fee for the race we signed up to take the Fleet Feet buses which cost an additional $25 bucks. I wasn't to happy about forking out that much to get a ride that was about 1 hour long. However; this turned out to be well worth the money.  I thought it was going to be school buses but it was the luxury buses. Three buses full of Rochester runners went to the race and we had bus competitions on who's bus was the best the entire way.  I was on Bailey bus #2 and I think we had the best bus.  Before we had traveled 20 min. the festivities, treats, an assortment of drinks were passed around. Everyone was dressed up for the race and in good spirits.

Before the race I had had a tough week. My stomach wasn't feeling the best between what I suspect was from a bit of food poisoning earlier in the week on top of quite a bit of stress.  I hadn't done a ton of running and prepping for the race and hadn't raced in 2 months.  Then this week I barely got any running in because of feeling under the weather and spending hours shoveling heavy snow.  I talked to Stephanie about running more for enjoyment at a slower pace and she agreed as she has been sick all week.

What I wasn't expecting was 3,200 runners, amazing spectators and really pretty good race course.  The run started at the George Bailey bridge and ended pretty much there. The race was also at night and started around 4:45pm.  The actress who played Zuzu was there to kick off the race, which was cool (though I couldn't see her and wouldn't have recognized her if I say her later).  Stephanie and I had free Chiropractic adjustments before the race started. We both thought this helped us run better.  As soon as the race started I lost Stephanie and got caught up in the adrenaline of it all.

I was happy that I took time to enjoy all of the decorations, spectators and their music and fire pits all while running a pretty good pace. The biggest problem was that after the mile one marker there wasn't a mile two marker. I had briefly looked at a course map before the race began and ended up not knowing where I was the entire run.  So I felt really good running but didn't kick it in soon enough because I didn't know how far I had left to go.  My time was decent 23.51 but I totally think I could have done at least 20 sec. better if I would have known where the last 3/4 of a mile began.  Oh well.  I placed 262 out of about 3,200 runners. I placed 6th for my age/sex group and placed 68 out 2,000 women runners.

We had time after the race to go inside, get warm, eat some cookies and cocoa, go to the bus to put on warm non sweaty clothes and walk around the town checking out the stores and sites.  The bus ride back proved to me just as entertaining as the ride there and I slept wonderfully that night!  I would highly recommend this race and if you are from Rochester I would highly recommend paying the money to take the Fleet Feet buses.  Race results  Photos

My photos courtesy of Stephanie's cell phone!

downtown "Bedford Falls"

bailey bus #2

Bailey building and loans 

holiday swing music

The infamous bridge

yummy treats