Friday Afternoon Round Up


Invisible bikes.

Summer is almost over – drink your lemonade now!

Color by number lamp shade.

Next summer, I’m moving to the beach and selling these.

Even McDonald’s is classier in France.

Cute idea for school lunches.

I want this for my 30th birthday party!

Super cute packaging for delicious treats.

When can I move in?

These are some serious ice cream sandwiches!

Something on Matt’s “To Do List” that might actually enjoy doing

Winner Winner – Panera Dinner

I’m pleased to announce that I have a winner from the Panera gift card giveaway.

 

Drumroll please…

 

The winner is none other than my fabulous sister Abby!

I know, I smell a scandal too. But trust me, it was fair and square. I used fancy software to pick the winner and everything!* But let’s face it, even if I hadn’t – Abby probably deserved to win more than anyone else who entered and here is why:

1. She actually goes to Panera on a fairly regular basis

2. She is a swim coach (i.e. she could use the money)

3. When I visited Abby she brought me to Panera for breakfast 3 times in a row!

4. She visited me when I worked at Panera

5. She drive 5 hours each way to watch Matt compete in the Ironman

6. She brought Matt 2 12 packs of his favorite beer ever: Fat Tire

7. She looks just like me!

8. Her younger sister got married before her, she needs this people!

9. Her dog, Bexley is a big fan of the bear claw

10. She is trying to kick her Starbucks habit – what better way then to switch to Panera!

So in the end, Abby was destined to win.

 

*Full disclosure — after writing this, I was curious to re-read Abby’s comment to see what she said was her favorite thing to eat at Panera. I was shocked to see that she didn’t even enter the contest! I had added her name into the computer system because I assumed my ONLY sister would enter my first even blog giveaway! Talk about rigged!

Extreme Cruise Ship

Right now I am watching a show on Destination America (did anyone else know this channel existed?) titled “Extreme Cruise Ship.” The show follows the crew and passengers as they board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. I think the show is supposed to show the glamour and appeal of a cruise. For me, this is confirming that a cruise would be my worst nightmare.

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The ship first set sail in December of 2010 and has the ability to carry over 6,000 passengers each trip. At that point in time, the ship set the record for the largest cruise ship in the world. Unfortunately, the sister ship Allure of the Seas is a mere 2 inches longer, setting a new record.

Oasis of the Seas is definitely an impressive ship. It features two-story loft suites and luxury suites measuring 1,600 sq ft (double the size of my apartment!) with balconies overlooking the sea or promenades. The ship features a zip-line, a casino, a mini-golf course, multiple night clubs, several bars and lounges, a karaoke club, comedy club, five swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, theme parks and nurseries for children.

This is where things get weird… Onboard recreational, athletic, and entertainment activities are organized into seven themed areas called “neighborhoods”, sort of like theme parks. Below are descriptions of these seven neighborhoods.

  1. Central Park features boutiques, restaurants and bars, including access to the Rising Tide bar, which can be raised or lowered between three decks. It has the first living park at sea with over 12,000 plants and 56 trees. So in other words, nothing like the Central Park of NYC.
  2. The Pool and Sports Zone features a sloped-entry beach pool and two surf simulators.
  3. Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center features a spa for teens (really? a spa for teens?)
  4. Boardwalk features a handcrafted carousel, restaurants, bars, shops, two rock-climbing walls, and a temporary tattoo parlor. Its outdoor 750-seat Aqua Theatre amphitheater hosts the ship’s largest freshwater pool. As a kid, this sounds awesome. Now imagine spending an entire week here as an adult. Not so awesome anymore…
  5. Royal Promenade features restaurants and shops.
  6. Youth Zone features a science lab and computer gaming. Awesome, you brought your kids on a cruise and all they do is play video games. Talk about an ideal family vacation!
  7. Entertainment Place. I can’t find information on what this area includes. I bet it doesn’t even exist but no one notices cause the boat is so big.

While the idea of a cruise, to travel at night and wake up at a different location in the morning, sounds pretty good, I don’t think I can fully get over all of the other stuff that comes with cruises: being trapped on a boat, in the middle of the ocean, with families wearing matching “we’re on vacation” t-shirts sounds horrible!

I don’t think I am going to be able to sleep tonight.

I Think My Husband Is Trying to Kill Me

I used to trust my husband. But now, I am not so sure.

We are going on vacation next week to Colorado where we hope to do some mountain biking and hiking. Matt has done the majority of the planning for this trip (like most of our vacations) so I am not sure what to expect. Then today he sent me this video of a hike he wants to do.

As far as I know, Matt hasn’t taken out a life insurance policy for me but maybe I should look into that…

Keeping Up With Honey Boo Boo

I am embarrassed to say that I just finished watching the first two episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I am not embarrassed for watching it but that it took me so long to watch it.

Let me tell you – I am not keeping up with this family.

Honey Boo Boo (aka Alana)’s mom had her first daughter when she was 15. Now, that daughter is pregnant at 17. That means that Honey Boo Boo’s mom is going to be a grandmother at 32 or 33. So if I wanted to match that, I would need to have a baby like tomorrow, and that baby would have to have a baby when they were two years old. Not sure that’s going to happen!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the show:

“Elvis is Santa’s helper.”
– Honey Boo Boo

“We gonna put some paint on this old barn” (in reference to putting makeup on her face)
– First Mama, the Honey Boo Boo

“A bath, mud wrestling and water slide all in one. That’s how rednecks do it.”
– Mama

“I’ve not heard of forklift foot before. Apparently that’s when you got your foot run over by a forklift and it gets all mangled”
– Woman giving them a pedicure

“We love to get road kill. And we like to clean it, grind it up, process it and put it in the freezer. Then on the weekends, we like to grill it and have a good time”
-Sugar Bear (Honey Boo Boo’s Dad)

Even though the show was highly entertaining, I am not sure I can continue watching it. It one might even been too much for me.

Yah, I know. I am disappointed in myself too.

Friday Afternoon Round Up

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Giraffe Kisses!

How quickly can I learn Spanish and get botox so I look 23?

I’m all for art, but NYC doesn’t need more scaffolding.

Could being employed be bad for you? Not for me, I love my job!

I love Ikea! This is brilliant.

Oh the things you’ll find on Craig’s List

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child. You are an inspiration to us all.

Olympic bronze medal for sale.

Happy Feet

I got new sleepers today! That is certainly a “little thing” in my book.

I was wearing UGG sleepers, which were great, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay the 100 dollar price tag for slippers — which is funny since I wear my slippers every day and more than any other pair of shoes. I ended up going with a brand called “Old Friend” that I found on Zappos. They are comfortable and seen very durable. So while I loved my UGGs, these seem like a great, less expensive, option.

Here’s to happy feet!

10 Pounds Later

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Panera. In high school I worked here for about 6 months and to this day, it was probably my favorite job. Unfortunately, when I moved to New York, the closest Panera was over 6 miles away, outside of the city. As a result, whenever I would leave the city of go home for a weekend, a trip to Panera was always on my list of things to do.

So when it was announced that Panera was coming to Manhattan – I freaked. The first store opened earlier this year at on 7th ave between 28th  and 29th. This is about 15 blocks north from my office and 3 avenues west (i.e not very close) but that didn’t stop me. On opening day, I trekked over to the store for lunch. I was so excited I could hardly contain it – well, the fact is, I didn’t. After ordering a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a massive grin on my face, I announced to the cashier that “I used to be you! I worked at a Panera once. It was awesome.” I thought she would join in on my elated state however, she responded by saying “So does that mean, one day, I will get to be you?” Clearly she didn’t understand that I thought, by working at Panera, she was the lucky one.

While the experience of eating Panera that day was fantastic, I had to come to terms that it wasn’t going to become a daily experience. The store was just too far away.

But then, I saw they were opening another Panera in Union Square – a 2 minute walk from my work. Nearly every day for months, I would walk by the site and peer in the windows to see how far along the construction was coming. Sadly, with union protests the work was slowed. And I was denied my “fresh” bread, soups and sandwiches.

Last week, after returning to the office from a nice lunch out with some co-workers, another one of my colleagues asked me if I had been to Panera yet? I freaked out – not realizing that it was opened. I was so upset that I had already had lunch that day – for a second I thought about making myself throw up just so I could go and eat another lunch but then decided that wasn’t a good idea, not to mention gross.

The next morning, I happily left my apartment without breakfast so I could stop at Panera for a cinnamon crunch bagel and a caramel latte. I know, not the healthiest of choices, but boy did it make me happy. I practically skipped into work.

Needless to say, it was delicious and I can’t wait to go back. So in honor of the 10 pounds that I will inevitably gain from all of the food I will eat from Panera, I am running my very first Giveaway on my blog. Leave a comment with your favorite menu item at Panera and you will be entered to win a 15 dollar gift card to your local Panera! The winner will be announced on Monday.

Happy eating!

IronMatt

Please excuse my recent absence from the blogging world. Last week was a big one in the Englehauer household.

On Saturday, my husband, along with 24 other Robin Hood athletes competed in the US Ironman Championships held in New York City.

They don’t call it an “Ironman” for nothing—the race included a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson (that suffered from a sewage leak just days before the race), a 112-mile bike along the Palisades and then a refreshing 26.2-mile run that finishes in Riverside Park. Our athletes posted times ranging from 9 hours and 59 minutes to 15 hours and 48 minutes. All of the athletes were well ahead of the midnight cut off and all crossed the finish line with big smiles across their faces. Matt was no exception.

Matt posted a blistering swim split, 43 minutes, clearly channeling his days as a Bernal’s Gator. He then followed that up with a solid bike, averaging just over 18 mph for the 112 mile ride.

The marathon was definitely the most difficult part of the race – temperatures reached the high 90s, the first 14 miles of the course has an incredible amount of hills and just for fun at mile 17, there were stairs on the George Washington Bridge that you had to run up and down. And to make things even more difficult, Matt’s training consisted of short tempo runs and a 10 mile run in the Hamptons one weekend.

Matt overcame all of this to finish his marathon in 4:40 for a total time of 11:52 (well under his 13 hour goal!)

I was happy to cheer him on the whole way but there was nothing like watching him cross the finish line.

 

So while I am so proud of Matt and all he accomplished on Saturday – let’s not overlook all of the sacrifices I had to make to get him there.

1. For the past 3-4 months, Matt has used the Ironman as an excuse to get out of household duties. “I’m too tired from training to clean up the apartment…. I need to go work out, I don’t have time to cook…. I – I – I” While there is no “I” in team, it isn’t an accident that Iroman starts with the letter I.

2. To cheer on Matt on Saturday, my alarm went off at 3:00am. That’s early people!

3. We had custom-made Robin Hood cowbells for the race.

They were a big hit but I got a  blister from all the ringing. Looks like racing 140.6 isn’t the only thing that can lead to injury (this photo also brings up the fact that I didn’t have time to get a manicure this week with all of the running around I was dong for Matt).

 

So in the end, while I think everyone should be impressed with Matt I would like to ask for a little recognition myself. After all, I am an Ironmate!

The Big Easy

Remember this guest post from a few months back? Well everyone’s favorite guest blogger, Dan, and Aid Still Required are hosting an incredible event. If you are in the LA area I strongly encourage you to attend.

Tickets are $150 each, or you can buy a table for $2,000 (that’s a heck of a lot better than the $3,000 and $5,000  tickets to the Robin Hood benefit!) BUY TICKETS HERE

All tickets give you access to 3 open bars, a musical performance by Overstreets’ New Orleans Jazz Band and a chance to party with Mr. Big from Sex and the City. And the best part – all of the proceeds go to deserving programs in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.

Who doesn’t like to party when it is for a good cause?