Rednecks & Kitty Cats {MIMM}

Before we get to the marvelous in my Monday, I have to take a minute to address something that is not-so-marvelous.

My heart goes out to all the people that were hurt or otherwise impacted by what happened today in Boston. Although what happened today was horrible, I have to say it’s pretty marvelous to see the running community come together to support one another at a time like this.

(Happy birthday Katie!)

Marvelous is… My 22nd birthday is tomorrow! Actually it’s in 1.5 hours, I came in to the world bright and early at 12:30 AM.

Marvelous is… Joint birthday parties! My friend’s birthday is Friday so we had a joint party over the weekend. The theme? Rednecks and cats. No joke, we are a creative bunch.

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The rednecks.

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NASCAR-themed temporary tattoos may have been involved.

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Along with prop 40s you couldn’t convince any of us to drink. We try to keep it classy.

Cats were not well represented because cat apparel does not exist after Halloween, I did rock some Hello Kitty rings.

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Try not to be too jealous.

Marvelous is… beautiful weather and weekend hikes. A very muddy, but fun 5 miles.

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I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was worried about my camera landing in a pile of mud, which isn’t really ideal.

We did the Boone Fork Trail Loop, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the trail is the perfect combination of beautiful views, uphill climbs and creek hopping. My buns were on FIRE by the end, so worth it though.

Marvelous is… birthday cake.

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I used Betty Crocker’s gluten-free yellow cake mix for the base, and because we all know I can’t just leave things be, I added a 1/4 cup of peanut butter to the mix which was a very delicious choice. The frosting is just Cool Whip with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixed in. Easy, cheap, and trans-fat free. I can get behind that.

I made my own, which my friends thought was really sad I made my own cake (they did offer to make one for me, I’m just stubborn), but since I love to bake I actually really enjoyed it. Lame? Maybe, but I got to lick the bowl which was more than worth it.

And the gluten-filled cake for the gluten-eaters:

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My friend did a pretty impressive job on the decoration! I definitely scraped off the cat so I could eat it myself 🙂

Plus a few other party foods:

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Gluten-free brownies. AND my favorite part:

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Beer floats. Well, A beer float, no one else was feeling quite so adventurous but you better believe I went there. The combo was actually pretty tasty.

Marvelous is… Engagements!

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These two got engaged on Saturday! I’m so excited for them! Plus the ring really offsets her new dragon tattoo.

Marvelous is… Sunday school cookouts! We got together at our small groups leader’s house and had a delicious lunch. The carnivores had barbecue chicken sandwiches, but they were nice enough to cook up a few veggie burgers for me and the other vegetarian in the group. I didn’t take any pictures but it was a good time!

Marvelous is… look-a-like clay figurines. The couple that leads our small group has a very artsy 10 year old daughter and she made us all figurines that look like us.

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That little girls is seriously talented! My figurine is only about 1.5″ tall and the detail is pretty awesome. I’m adding it to the collection of drawing she’s made for me over the past few Sundays!

Marvelous is… Best Body Bootcamp Phase Two! I’m already sore from today’s workout! I’m already looking forward to the rest of the week’s workouts!

Marvelous is… 5 days until the Tar Heel 10-miler! Eep! I’m both super nervous and super excited!

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Are you a fan of themed parties? What’s the most ridiculous theme party you’ve ever been to?

What’s your favorite flavor of cake? I’m not sure that there’s a flavor of cake I don’t like, but red velvet and carrot cake are pretty high up there! Peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner too 🙂

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Black Saturday 5k and Weekend Shenanigans

Black Saturday 5k

Last Saturday I ran in Appalachian’s Black Saturday 5K. I had a 2-mile run on my training plan for Saturday so I figured why not bump it up another 1.1 miles? Good choice.

Bonus was the entry for the race was $10 for students. I like. My wallet likes too. Why aren’t all races $10?

The race went along with Appalachian’s Black Saturday. Even though I’ve been at App for four seasons of football I still don’t understand what Black Saturday is. All I know is that it’s a home football game and everyone where’s black, and usually at the end of October, except this year. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. So what do I where to a Black Saturday 5K?

Neon green, because I just can’t seem to play by the rules.

Going into this race I definitely wasn’t trying to PR, I just wanted to enjoy my run in get some miles in. Mission accomplished. It definitely wasn’t a speedy race, but it was still nice.

The race started at 8AM on a COLD Saturday morning. You should all know by now how much I hate the cold, luckily I warmed up pretty quickly as I started running, but I still like to be a whiney little wuss. I got to break in my new long sleeve shirt from Old Navy though, which I ended up really loving (and it had thumb holes!). FYI highlighter yellow/green wasn’t my first color choice, but I’m not picky when things are on clearance. Plus I won’t get hit by a car in it.

The course was a big loop around campus, aka the flattest part of this little mountain town I live in. It was a small race (like everything else in Boone), with about 150 people, so we were stuck running on sidewalks. I don’t usually mind sidewalks too much, except that race basically started on one, even in a small race that’s not an ideal situation. The first half mile was pretty congested, but after that the crowds started to thin out a little and it wasn’t too bad after that.

I always forget how much harder it is to run at elevation, especially compared to last month’s Triangle Run/Walk For Autism 5K.

I realized I need to start taking my phone with me when I run so I can snap pictures of priceless moments like having to side step a pile of hair extensions on the sidewalk. Someone had a fun Friday night.

I finished in 31:55 not at all speedy, but that’s okay! I was think back to a year ago when I ran my first 5K and finished in 37 minutes, so I’m proud that now I now consider a 32 minute 5K slow.

Weekend Shenanigans

My family came to visit this weekend and it was so good to see them again. It’s been about a month since I last saw them so we had lots of catching up to do!

They rolled into town around 11 and we headed out to lunch. A little early but I was hangry after my race. We had lunch at one of my favorite Boone restaurants, Coyote Kitchen.

 

I got an Isabella burrito: “Rice, black beans, sliced spinach, grilled tempeh, caramelized onion, pineapple, fried plantains, and chipotle cream cheese” with cranberry chipotle salsa, minus the tortilla, and sub sweet red vegan mayo for the cream cheese please.

This meal was so stinkin’ good. I mean, everything I’ve ever eaten at Coyote Kitchen is good, but this might take the cake. The combo of the sweet pineapple and plantains mixed with the spicy-ness of the salsa was AMAZING. I was so full afterwards but it was SO. WORTH. IT. I love you Coyote Kitchen.

After lunch we hit up the outlet mall, or basically the whole reason my mom came to Boone. We got some ridiculous deals at Gap and left with a 2 new pairs of pants (including a green pair!), a snazzy new cardigan, compression capris for $12(!!!) and a blue workout tank. I also got an early Christmas present of new boots (man-made, we don’t do leather over here) because for some reason all of my winter-appropriate shoes decided to fall apart.

Once we were thoroughly exhausted from out shopping adventure I took them back to my apartment to hang out for a little bit before dinner. Dinner was also a tasty meal, I took my family out to Black Cat Burrito (I’m sensing a theme here…) another of my favorite Boone establishments (which I’ve mentioned lots on the old blog, a quick search shows 8 different posts, can you tell I love Black Cat?).

 

I ordered a Satay it to Me Softly “tofu in a spinach wrap stuffed with broccoli, carrots, carmelized onions, a spicy thai peanut sauce, cheese & rice” minus the tortilla and cheese, one day I’ll go to a restaurant and order something off the menu with no changes. Some day. I’ve ordered this lots and it’s very tasty, I’m a sucker for anything with peanut sauce, and broccoli. I need to switch things up and try out some of their other burritos, but this one is so good, if it’s not broke why fix it? Variety is dumb. Kidding.

Sunday was pretty laid back. I put some air in my car tires because they were getting low, chores like this make me feel like such an adult, gross.

Sunday evening I had a meeting for the University Rec employees and since it was the last meeting of the semester we had a potluck to celebrate! Yay, I love potlucks! I made my mixed bean and sweet potato chili and these 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies because I’m an over-achieving potluck-er.

These cookies were scary good. Seriously tasty gluten-free cookies should not be this good. It’s a little criminal.

I’m happy to report people liked the food I brought! I’m never sure because my tastes are so different from most people so it makes me happy when other people like my food.

I spent the rest of Sunday night watching Breaking Amish with my neighbors. Not ashamed. Those Amish kids are crazy.

What did you do this weekend?

Do you have any races coming up? I also signed up for this 5k on December 1, and I’m volunteering for the High Country’s Girls on the Run 5K the weekend after that!

Does your school have any weird sports traditions? I think almost every school does!

Triangle Run/Walk for Autism 5K & New Running Shoes!

Last Saturday I ran the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism 5K while I was in Raleigh for fall break, and while I didn’t PR I came close!

The morning of the race made it seem like the race was going to be a total flop, but surprisingly I had a lot of fun. First of all it was fall break, I love running races back at home because they are much bigger and better organized than Boone races, they should be too because Raleigh is at least four times the size of little old Boone, but I was in full on fall break mode and waking early Saturday morning just made me wish I could sleep in instead. Secondly, I woke up with a cold and was not feeling too awesome. Gross. The cold was pretty much isolated to my head, so I was determined to still run.

I don’t know why I always have to take a selfie with my bib number, just go with it.

Luckily I sucked it up and headed out to the race. The race was held at Moore Square in the middle of downtown Raleigh, actually the start line was only a block away from the 8K I ran in March! I love downtown races because there is so much to look at on the course, and there’s something really awesome about getting to run down a street that is usually packed with traffic.

The weather was pretty perfect for running too, sunny and a little chilly. Warm enough for me to freeze because I am a cold weather wimp, but cool enough that I barely broke a sweat. AKA perfect.

The race started off great, The first half of the course (an out and back) was downhill so I pretty much just coasted the whole way, my legs were feeling really good and I probably started off faster than I should have, but I was feeling so good I couldn’t help myself (: I did start myself a little farther back at the start line than I should have. I’d rather underestimate how fast I am and weave through people, then over estimate and get trampled (an let’s be honest, passing people gives me a little ego boost), and I put myself especially far back since I wasn’t feeling too hot, so I spent the first half mile passing the walkers/kids/jogging strollers (except for one beastly mom who sped past everyone, good for her!), but I eventually caught up to people closer to my pace.

The second half of the race was a little tougher, the course was a gradual incline, nothing crazy but it starts to get to you have 1.5 miles, and the sun was out in full force. I definitely slowed down a little, but I was still feeling good.

I finished in 30:42, my PR is 30:41. I was 2 SECONDS from a PR! I feel so good about that time considering I had a cold. One day I’ll break 30 minutes! And I was greeted by kids with KIND bars at the finish line. Yes please.

I love that even though I’m running hardly ever, I’m able to keep up my speed and endurance. Maybe this will be motivation to go for a run more often? Hopefully. I still love running, but I’ve been craving some variety lately. I’ve got my eye on a race a the beginning of December so maybe I can manage a PR then? PRs are fun, but I definitely race for the experience, not the time.

And as bonus after I finished the race, my parents took me to buy some new running shoes! I asked for a new pair for my birthday, you should know that my birthday is in April, so they were a little late, but that’s okay. My current pair are pretty worn out, I wear them for everything (bad I know), and I’ve never actually been fitted for running shoes, so I knew it was time to invest in some good shoes.

We went to Capital Run Walk a specialty running store that actually sponsored the 5K I had just finished running, so I got a 20% discount (yay bargains!). I really loved this store, if you live in Raleigh and need anything running related check them out! The staff was so nice and helped fit me and shoes and was really patient with my indecisiveness.

I ended up with a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. They are comfy and purple and beautiful and I love them. I found out I was actually buying a size too small and that I pronate so I need a supportive shoe. I guess that’s why they say it’s important to get fitted for running shoes. I haven’t actually tested these guys out yet (I’m trying to save them for actual running instead of cardio classes) but I’m excited to try them out!

What’s your next race?

Mayview Madness 5K

Last Saturday I ran in the Mayview Madness 5K in Blowing Rock, NC.

It was one of the toughest races I’ve run, but also one of the most beautiful courses I’ve seen.

Take a look at that climb. The first 2 miles was uphill. Made me glad I didn’t check the race course before running (: But let’s back up some.

Saturday morning was cool and in the lower 60s, basically perfect running weather. I got my start times a little mixed up (I was super prepared for this race if you couldn’t tell), so after picking up my chip I got to watch the kid’s 1-mile run, I usually miss out on the kid’s run in most races so it was fun to watch one! Those kids are awesome, you could not have paid me enough to run a mile at that age. I think they all ran faster than me too, which is a little sad.

The 5K kicked off at 8:30 and I immediately wanted to give up. The course had a short deceptive downhill start before starting the 2 mile climb uphill. Ouch. I’ve been doing a terrible job of running the past couple months, I can probably count on one hand the number of runs I’ve been on since August. Not even an exaggeration. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it all the way through the run, but I was determined to try.

Mission accomplished.

I did have one gorgeous course to distract me though. The course wound it’s way through Blowing Rock (a tiny ritzy little town filled with rich retirees and HUGE mountain houses). Past lots of ginormous mountain houses and beautiful views of the mountains. I wish I ran with a cellphone or a camera so I could have snapped a picture

Just picture something along those lines. Gorgeous right?

Well I huffed and puffed my way uphill, and pretty much wanted to jump for joy when I saw the course take a downhill turn, except I didn’t have the energy for that. After the first part of the course I felt like I literally coasted the last mile to the finish line. Not a bad way to end a race.

And I finished in 31:55! Not fast, but given the course and my general lack of running lately, I’m dang proud of it.

At the finish line I was greeted with a table full of Stick Boy baked goodies and Bald Guy Brew Coffee. I couldn’t resist the Stick Boy spread of free cookies, scones and cinnamon rolls, but I was good and stuck to half a cranberry white chocolate pecan cookie because I was trying to be nice to my tummy. And you better believe I got my fair share of Bald Guy coffee (after hydrating with water first!). Free delicious coffee and baked goods? I think more races should follow suit (:

Overall it was a tough race, but I really enjoyed myself and I’m proud of how I finished! I don’t know if this is a race I’ll be able to do again (because I’m graduating this yearrr!!!), but if I get the chance I definitely would!

 

 

 

 

To say I’m a little sad it’s Monday is an understatement. My weekend was fantastic and I did not want it to end, and to top it off my Monday was kicked off with a test. Fun stuff. Back to the weekend!

Friday

I was late to my Friday class but my professor was late-er, best way to start the weekend. After class I went to a 45-minute spin class, which is the perfect length for a spin class because it’s long enough to get super-sweaty but not long enough that you are dead at the end. I also lifted some weights, gotta work on those guns.

Chobani and blog reading makes for the best recovery meal. Also sitting in the student union while you’re still super sweaty and kind of smelly (the gym is on the top floor of the student union). No shame.

Friday night my roommates and I made a late night fro yo run. It was glorious. It had been a month since I had fro yo. Major life problems right there.

Tart, peanut butter(!) and coffee flavored fro yo (the trifecta of amazing flavors) with raspberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter drizzle and Reeses cups. De-freaking-licious. I could have eaten like 3 more cups worth. Luckily I didn’t.

We made a quick run to the grocery store next door because one of my roommates needed to pick up some body wash and some how I left with this:

A box of Bakers chocolate and a bottle of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. I think the cashier was judging me a little bit. The pumpkin ale was super delicious and I was excited that Food Lion sells single bottles of beer because I’m incapable of drinking a whole six pack, it’s sad.

Saturday

Saturday started off bright and early with the Mayview Madness 5K

Look at that sneaky foam roller in the background.

The run was a ton of fun, but the first half was uphill and I’m still sore from it. Recap coming sometime in the next couple of days, pinky swear.

After my race I headed straight to the farmer’s market. Apparently I have no problem with public sweaty-ness/smelly-ness. I left with lots of delicious produce for the rest of the week. The farmer’s market is always the highlight of my weekend, I’ll probably break down in tears next month when it closes.

Saturday night my friends and I got together for a potluck/spa/girls night. We’re bad at pinning down specific plans, if you couldn’t tell. I got to break in my crock pot with a vegetarian chili.

Well I called it chili but it was really a find-what-you-can-in-my-sparse-apartment-cabinets-and-throw-it-in-the-crock-pot, but that’s a pretty long name. I used a can of chickpeas, black beans, corn and diced tomatoes, a chopped onion, green lentils, a diced poblano pepper, veggie stock and water with some pepper and garlic. It could have used more seasoning but the only seasonings I own at the moment are black pepper and cinnamon. College problems. My friends like it though and ate the entire crock pot’s worth so I’ll take it.

We also had green bean casserole, corn bread muffins, cheesecake and my roommate brought mojito mix. It was quite the spread.

We played Quelf, which if you’ve never played you totally should because it’s hilarious.

 

It involves things like singing, square dancing, story-writing, and hiding the box the game came in under your shirt. You know, typical board game stuff.

Then we made facials out of avocados, coconut oil and honey and painted our nails. Then learned how to wobble. I love pretending like I’m still 14, and now my nails are teal! Big deal since I haven’t painted my nails in like a year, I’m too antsy to wait for them to dry.

It was such a fun night, sometimes you just need some hardcore girl time.

Sunday

The weather on Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, so my roommates and I headed out for a hike that afternoon. My legs were pretty dead from Saturday’s 5K but the views were so worth it.

But a better recap of that is coming soon too. Man, I owe you guys lots of posts.

And now it’s Monday and that sucks a little bit (actually a lot a bit), how long til Friday?

 

What’s you’re favorite crock pot meal? I’m hooked on it. It’s my new favorite kitchen appliance, especially now that it’s starting to get a little chilly outside!

Do you like hiking?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayview Madness 5K!

Mayview Madness 5K!

It was tough but I finished! Recap soon!

Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure 2012 5K

This race was by far my favorite race I’ve ever ran. I have never felt so inspired and moved  in my life.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early at 5 am (ugh) for a 7 am race time. 20,000 people were expected at the event. Crazy. Luckily my mom (who is amazing and got up at 5 to go with me) and I got to the parking lot early and didn’t have to wait for a shuttle.

Got my pink on!

After checking in and picking up my number, my mom and I walked around to the different sponsor booths and picked up our fair share of free swag. The free stuff is secretly one of my favorite parts of racing, I can’t help myself.

The race started in front of Meredith University and looped through downtown Raleigh. The course covered several rolling hills, nothing crazy steep, but they felt pretty killer towards the end. Especially the last uphill stretch before the finish line. I was huffin and puffin up that baby.

The best part about the course was that the neighborhoods along the course had their houses decked out to support the cause. There was a house with balloon boobs and tree full of bras. I loved it. Every neighborhood needs a bra tree, just sayin. There was also lots of volunteers and spectators around every corner cheering us on and blasting music, so awesome for them to do that so early in the morning.

But the best part of the race was by far the people. The survivors, the amazing tributes to friends and family and celebration of life in general. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I felt so inspired and invigorated through the whole race because of it. Seeing 20,000 people come together for one cause is truly a moving experience. I even teared up several times, I’m a huge sap, but it would be hard not to find the whole thing very touching.

Stolen from WRAL

Oh and there was a man in a huge pink tutu. I would laugh but he was fast! I need to bust out one of my old ballet tutus at a race soon, that would be a sight.

And oh yeah, I PRed. Boom. My chip time was 30:41. That’s a 1:30 improvement over my last timed 5K! I didn’t hit my goal of a sub-30 5K but I’m happy with it regardless. I didn’t do any speed training (or much running in general) before this race, so hoping for a sub-30 was a little ambitious, but now I’m only 40 seconds away!

I would do this race again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to do it again next year. It’s definitely a new favorite!

Race for the Cure 2012

Race for the Cure 2012

Ran a 5k and helped fight breast cancer, all before 8 am. Great way to start the day!

Recap soon! Shower now.

NC Roadrunner’s Club Invitational 10k

This race went amazingly.

The weather was beautiful, the course was interesting (and shady!) without being too killer and my legs were feeling good!

I was up at 5:30 am (ouch) for a 7:15 start time. I had planned to get up at 6 but I couldn’t sleep, and the few hours of sleep I did get were spent dreaming that I over slept. I was fed up and decided to embrace the (way too early) morning. At least I tried to get my 8 hours.

My stomach was feeling a little iffy (thanks to all the samples from the NC Food and Wine Expo, recap to come!) but seemed to settled down as I started running.

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Making my way to the finish line (I’m in the tye-dye)

The course wound through Cary’s Umstead State Park passing by Crabtree Creek around mile four. Crabtree Creek was gorgeous to look at and took my mind off how tired my feet were getting. The course  had two out and back points, one at about 2.5 miles and one at about 5.5 miles. The 5.5 mile turn around was torture, I felt like I was almost done, then realized I had to run past the way I came before getting to the finish line, such a tease. There were also a few hills, a couple of which were a little intense but nothing too horrible.

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The finish line!

I took it slow and paced myself throughout the race. I had never run the full 6.2 miles before (maybe a dumb move, but that’s okay) so my only goal was to run the entire thing. With that in mind I was careful to not start too fast because I didn’t want to burn out at the end – I’m bad about doing this. My final chip time was 1:08:50, definitely not fast, but I feel accomplished just finishing. Plus it was my first 10K which means automatic PR! A 7, 10 and 78 year old out ran me, and I was getting passed by some of the half marathon runners (the half marathon started at 7), but I’m okay with that, it just gives me motivation for my next race!

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I’m ridiculously excited about this medal!

Overall it was a pretty fun race (and I got a medal!), and the entry fee was a very reasonable $25, I would definitely do this race again!

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I also got a sweet visor. I had to be a little ridiculous with it.

First Day

Of my internship today!

It went pretty well! I was nervous because I had no idea what I would be doing, but it all went quite smoothly. The company is letting me be really hands on with a lot of the projects and I can tell I’m going to gain a lot of great experience this summer.

I also got my gym membership reactivated so I will be hitting up the group fitness classes like crazy starting tomorrow. I can’t even decided which to take! Pilates? Yoga? 20/20/20? All sound amazing. I love group fitness classes, I feel so much more motivated when I’m sweating it up with other people. Plus my foot is feeling a little funky after my last couple runs, so I’m trying to cut back on the running some this week because…

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I’m officially registered for the NCRC Invitational 10K! I’m nervous because it’s going to be a big race, and I’m a slow poke, but I’m still super excited for it. 6.2 miles here I come! I’m cautiously optimistic about it after my fantastic run on Friday, even though my calves are still a little sore.

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My current position. I propped my calves up on my foam roller because I’m currently too lazy to roll them out, I figured this was better than nothing. I’m not sure it’s actually having any effect on my muscles, but I like pretending that it does. I also like that my camera phone is making my legs looking 20 shades tanner than they actually are. Thanks phone.

Let’s also ignore the fact that I haven’t finished unpacking my room yet. I hate unpacking. And packing. I would gladly pay someone to do it for me, and by pay I actually mean I’ll bake you cookies, because a dozen cookies is minimum wage right now isn’t it?