I had 10 miles on the agenda for Saturday. At this point in marathon training, 10 miles is considered “short,” so I didn’t give it much thought. However, I was away in Elk Mountain, Pa., visiting friends of my boyfriend’s. Elk Mountain isn’t very runner-friendly, due to narrow and windy roads and lack of sidewalks, plus they still had a significant amount of ice.
So, my boyfriend offered to drive me to Scranton (about half hour away) in the morning, so that I could log my miles, and he could meet an old friend for brunch.
And then, instead of — I don’t know, looking up a route, or looking at a map and attempting to plan one — I decided to just “wing it.”
When I graduated college, I was very much looking forward to getting dressed for work everyday. Now that I’m more than a year in to “real life,” I must say I look forward to the task just as much. I’m well aware that not everyone feels the same way. I’m lucky to work in an environment that encourages creativity, and thus, can probably get away with wearing more out-of-the-box pieces than my friends who work in less creatively driven fields.
For example, a friend of mine who works in Pittsburgh is required to wear a uniform to her office job. We both said it was very much a rain cloud over her new-career parade. I was surprised at this as I typically think of larger metropolitan areas as boasting a more open interpretations of professional work wear. Another friend just moved to the Harrisburg area from Washington, D.C. As he told me, “Men’s style is all in small details: pocket squares, watches and shoes. We cannot do much else.” Much to his dismay, he was told that no one wore pocket squares here and that by wearing them he may intimidate his central Pa. clients.
Does the city you call home really dictate what you can and cannot wear? I hate to think that Harrisburg is actually intimidated by a man who sports pocket squares. After a year of observing what others wear to work, I finally asked my supervisor whether shoes could be considered inappropriate for the office. Obviously, I wouldn’t wear my spiked heels to the office, but does thickness of a heel come into play when navigating through work wear? What about open toe vs. closed toe, or material, heel height? The list goes on. And yes, I admit, I may have spent too much time thinking about this. I wish I could say I came to a final conclusion about how to tell whether an accessory is office appropriate, but I haven’t – except, apparently no pocket squares for men and no spiked heels for women (I didn’t have to try it out to know they weren’t for work).
Let’s chat: What do you wear to work? What is considered “appropriate” at your office?
Now under new ownership, The FireHouse promises to remain mostly unchanged from the classics you’ve long enjoyed. But keep an eye out for new Happy Hour deals and reasons to explore this capital city gem.
This week, you can enter to win a $50 gift card to The FireHouse Restaurant. To enter, leave a comment below.
For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:
I’m visiting one of my longest and best friends — what a wonderful reminder that no matter the time or distance, some friends are forever. We’ve been having a lazy weekend chock-full of catching up, pedicures, snacks and relaxing.
Last night we celebrated our birthday together (hers was Friday; mine, as you know, is in a few weeks) at The Cerulean, a lovely little restaurant on Winona Lake with a beachy feel and delightful menu. The cocktail list alone is impressive — and the bartender was kind enough to create a “mocktail” for my expecting friend.
Today’s agenda includes the movies and beauty face masks (we’re also hanging with a 9 year-old) and likely, much more gabbing and relaxing.
Before I left town, it was a busy week on the blog — check out all the opportunities, beer news and party info below:
I can’t even begin this post without drooling — Stouts are by far my favorite beer style. From their great roasted flavor to their smooth maltiness, what is there not to love? Those two components make stouts easy to love on their own, but throw in vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavors, and you’ve got yourself a deal.
This week, as part of my Craft Beer 101 series, we’ll explore the origins of my beloved beverage as well as why I can’t stay away from them.
Stouts are part of the ale family and originated in England in the 1700s. Stouts actually started as their distant cousins, porters, with the name deriving from what they were called: Stout Porters. This term was used to describe dark brown ales made with roasted malts but what differentiated the porter from the stout porter was the “strength” of the beer.
Usually these stout porters were a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) than the rest of the beers and had more flavor, which led to great popularity. These stouts also were popular with pub owners because they a) stayed fresher longer; b) became stronger in alcohol the longer that they were aged, c) were cheaper than other beers, and d) kept well in the heat.
Stouts first became synonymous with any “strong beer” and it wasn’t common to see a “stout pale ale” in the local pub. Over time, the term stout was replaced with “strong” in most cases, and it evolved into the beverage we know and love today. There are many varieties of stouts including English Stouts, Irish Dry Stouts, Oatmeal Stouts and Russian Imperial Stouts to name just a few.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out last night for HAPPY HOUR at MoMo’s BBQ & Grill. We had a great time, gave Miller Fortune a whirl (it’s not terrible?) and of course, had barbecue for dinner. It was so good to see everyone after so long! I’ll have a recap post by the weekend.
Anyway, because I didn’t feel there is enough snow here, I’m traveling to Indiana (THE STATE!) this weekend to share an early birthday celebration with one of my long-time friends. Fortunately, it *just* stopped being a blizzard zone, so I should make it unscathed.
I’m missing a lot this weekend, including Millennium Music Conference (my colleague Julia Hatmaker has a terrific list of the concerts, plus playlist), PA Garden Expo, 3rd in the Burg and the AACA Wedding Show, among others (see below).
Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout, ElysianBrewing Company (5.6% ABV)
Elysian Split Shot Espresso Stout at The Speakeasy.
From Julianne: “This medium-bodied stout combines coffee notes with a touch of sweetness from milk sugar. Magnum hops also add some bitterness to the brew, which uses coffee malt, black, roasted and chocolate malts and flaked oats, according to the brewery.”
My take: Tried this with brunch at The Sturges Speakeasy a few weeks ago. With a low ABV, it’s perfect for day-drinking and its likeness to coffee pairs it perfectly with brunch. Delicious and oh-so-easy drinking. Be sure to check out the “Bomb” version Tierney writes about on Stouts and Stilettos.
Citra Mantra, Otter CreekBrewing (5.75% ABV)
Julianne says: “This “India-style pils lager” is unfiltered and uses Citra hops with a lager yeast — allowing Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts to create a crisp, bready foundation, according to Otter Creek. Citra hops also add a citrus and tropical fruit character.”
My take: Tastes like a session IPA, refreshing and hoppy. Al Kominski told me he never would’ve known it was a lager; and my turning-into-a-hophead husband hogged much of the bottle for himself.
Cultivator Helles Bock, TroegsBrewing Company (6.9% ABV)
Troegs Cultivator, on tap at Ted’s Midtown.
From Julianne: “Coming out the second week of February, Troegs new seasonal will be around through April, said Jeff Herb, Troegs’ spokesman. The German-style beer is fermented with a lager yeast. Its flavor profile features a combination of toasted grains, fresh baked bread and floral hops.”
My take: Does Troegs do anything wrong? More perfection out of Hershey. This is a great everyman’s beer, not too much of anything – delicate hoppiness balanced by grain flavor. Gorgeous golden color, medium body. My husband loved it too.
Anyone else suffering from total treadmill burnout yet?
It’s definitely been a difficult winter for training. I sucked it up more times than I wanted to and climbed on that dreadful machine. I hate the treadmill because it makes running un-enjoyable for me. So, with the heat wave we’ve been having (temperatures in the 20s! WHAT!), I’ve been trekking back outside, and words can’t express how wonderful fresh air and sunshine have felt.
Kelly captured by PennLive photographers during a winter run last week.
Here are a few safety tips for when you’re running outside in the winter:
Invest in YaxTrax- Or if you’re handy enough, put screws in your shoes. I can’t stress enough how helpful YaxTrax have been for running through snow, ice and slush. You just strap the contraption on to your feet, and the wires create traction for you to get a better grip on the ground. While I wouldn’t recommend running all-out sprints in them, I think they’re perfectly suitable for other types of running.
Dress brightly – When it’s snowing out, drivers are more easily distracted and may not be able to see you as easily. Invest in a safety vest, and wear bright colors so you’re more easily visible.
Pay attention to your surroundings - This is not the time to be blasting Pitbull. I like to run with music, but I keep it low and only one earbud in. You’re responsible for your own safety, and if you aren’t aware of your surroundings, you’re putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Run against traffic – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people running with traffic. No! If you’re running on the road, you should be running against the cars. This helps you see cars, and drivers see you. However, when in doubt, move off the road. If it”s you vs. a car, you will probably not win. A couple of time this weekend, I was forced to dodge rapidly-moving vehicles. My life isn’t worth a training run. (Now a race? Maybe. Just kidding.)
Stay hydrated - I am so bad at this in the winter. In the summer, I fantasize about my next water break, and water is like a magical potion. When it’s 13 degrees out, I fantasize about being warm, and the thought of cold water isn’t appealing. Weigh yourself before and after a run to make sure you’ve consumed enough water.
Finally, here are some year-round safety tips:
Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back. (And no, “I have to run 18 miles, I will be home in four days isn’t helpful.”)
Road IDs are a cheap investment and can save your life.
Bring your phone with you. Not for selfies, but in case something happens.Any other safety tips? What am I forgetting?