Monday, August 31, 2015

Favorite Summer Moment

I celebrated my parent's anniversary this summer!
Well, if you are reading this, my summer is officially over. Tomorrow is my first sub day, and there is no doubt 5:30 a.m. is going to come way early, and I will most likely be sacked out on the couch by 8:30 p.m. Today, I am linking up with Andrea to share with you some of my favorite Summer memories, and man there were a lot!

I loved going to Indians games this summer. My first one went great, and it was so much fun! My second one didn't go quite as well. (We're still waiting on our redemption tickets!) Even though it was a disaster, I can honestly say that I didn't mind spending 6 hours in the car with my parents. It gave us a time to talk, laugh, and cry. (That was me, I totally cried.)

I had a few chocolate milkshakes!
Another special time that I'll remember was guinea pig night at my Bubba's house. I would make a main dish, and she would fill in with side dishes and dessert. It helped me hone my cooking skills, and add some new recipes to my collection! I made the most delicious vegetable lasagna, honey balsamic chicken sandwiches, and chicken spaghetti (recipe coming soon!). I hope to continue these nights on the weekend, because I really enjoy cooking and sharing the recipes with all of you!

Spending the 4th of July up in the mountains was fun! I got to see a different part of the state, and ride a ski lift for the first time. I also got to explore the Mount Summit Inn, and Nemacolin Woods which were beautiful, and I can't wait to explore them more!!
Loved doing a Christmas themed 5k with my mom!

Bible school week was a great time as well! It was so great to see so many kids in our church sharing and receiving the love of Christ. I helped my aunts and grandma, and other church members with attendance and shared many a laugh! To this day, I still randomly sing our songs that we learned for the week.

As I have documented on this blog, June was a rainy month. My neighbor's lake overflowed. I will never forget that day.
Gave blood for the first time, and almost passed out this summer!

Went to a few flower auctions!
I hope you enjoyed this snapshot into my summer. I'm sad to see it come to and end, but there are some exciting things up ahead.

I'd love to hear about your summer memories! Leave me a comment and share them with me!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Well it is Friday. That's always a good thing! For me, I'm savoring this Friday because it is my last one of the Summer. I officially start subbing on Tuesday. Where did the Summer go?! I have a few fun things coming up in the coming weeks so I have those to look forward to. Here are a few of my favorite things for the week!

McDonald's hamburgers are a favorite for this fella! He always gets one after his bath as a reward for being a good boy!

I have been wearing my hair straight recently, and when it looks nice (like this picture) it is a favorite!

This quiche is a favorite! I will post a recipe soon, but paired with shredded hashbrowns it becomes even more delicious!

Those were just a few of my favorites! Savor those last remaining days of Summer!

Thanks Andrea for hosting this link up!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Owning It

Well, hey. It is time for another edition of "Owning It." You know, this is the post where I admit my level of crazy is way above average. Yours too? Okay, good. At least I'm not the only one. ;) We might as well get on with it. Here's my crazy.

When I eat ravoli, I cut each one into four pieces. This is something I've always done. Maybe I'm afraid of choking?! I have no idea, but I don't see myself changing anytime soon.

Every night after dinner I always eat the ice out of my glass. I have done this since I was was a little girl. There is usually no ice left in my glass to feed to the dog. (Sorry, buddy.) It doesn't even matter what the season is. I feel weird if I don't eat the ice.

I once had a COMPLETE meltdown over Bon Jovi. I wish I could say I was joking. I went specifically to Giant Eagle to get tickets from Ticketmaster. (Why I just didn't use the computer I don't remember.) I wait in line, and they were pulling section D. I was NOT going to sit in section D when I made a special trip to get these tickets. I was in hysteria! I cried, (sobbed was more like it) and my dad had to come in and actually kind of yell at me to straighten up. I was able to get better seats on my own. Luckily, we can all laugh about the incident today.

I have a odd way of eating my sunny side up eggs. First of all, I don't like them piping hot. Next, I eat all of the yellow first by dipping my toast in the yolk. Then, I eat all the white part of the egg. Finally, I eat what is left of the yellow on my toast. I'm a nut I tell you.

Well, that is enough weirdness for one post. Don't worry, I asked my parents for more suggestions and they had a WHOLE list of things. I'm not sure if I should be worried to hear what they had to say or not?!

I want to see you own your weirdness! Leave me a comment and let me know of some weird things you do!

Thanks, Christina for hosting this fun link up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Honey Balsamic Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Monday nights this summer have been called "guinea pig" night at my Bubba's house. Basically, I make a new recipe and try it out on my family at her house. If it was a total bust there was always pizza, but, it has been a real success! I've found recipes that I can add to my collection, and continue to hone my cooking skills while I'm at it. This one was a winner!

My Mom makes really, really great barbecue sauce. We really don't even buy it anymore. When I saw this recipe, it was different style of barbecue sauce, and I wanted to try my hand at making my ownI found this recipe on my BlogHer feed from Quirks and Twists. I made a few changes based on the ingredients I couldn't find, and it still turned out wonderfully! Here is the recipe, and as usual, my thoughts are in italics.

Honey Balsamic Chicken Sandwiches


1 pound chicken
1/2 C water
2 Tbsp garlic
1 bay leaf (I didn't use this)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C onion
1 C balsamic vinegar
1 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar
1/3 C honey
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper


3 C red cabbage
3/4 C mayo
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Mix all together and serve on top of chicken sandwiches. (I could not find red cabbage anywhere, so I just used a bag of regular coleslaw mix and used the dressing recipe. It was still as delicious, but I think that the red cabbage makes a much prettier presentation!)

Place chicken, water, garlic, bay leaf salt and pepper in slow cooker and set for 4 hours. (I did not do this. I placed the chicken breasts, water garlic and salt&pepper in a pan and boiled it until it was done.)

Before you shred the chicken, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.

Add remaining ingredients vinegar-hot sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and boil for 20-25 minutes until thick and syrupy. Shred your chicken and combine the chicken and sauce.

To assemble your sandwiches, spoon some chicken on a bun and top with coleslaw. Enjoy!

This recipe would be great for your next BBQ or even Labor Day! You can keep it warm in a crock pot!

If you make this, I'd love to know what your family thought of this dish! Leave me a comment and let me know!!

Thanks, Andrea for the link up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Birchbox Haul

Who doesn't love getting mail? Who doesn't love getting beauty products for virtually nothing? I answered yes to both questions! It was time for me to cash my Birchbox points in for some goodies. Usually, I agonize over and over on what to get, but this year I was pretty quick in my decision making. Don't worry, I was surprised myself!

My dilemma with Birchbox is this. I always love to get the most "bang for my buck" when I pick out items. I love a lot of products, but I don't want to use my points on a $34 bottle of hair oil if you know what I mean. I had 764 points, which means I had $70 worth of money to use! Two words. Yes. Please! So with this haul, I got a lot of products for my money, and I also got to try some new products too! Here is the haul!

The first thing I decided to get was a leopard Baggu Duck bag. I loved my first polka dotted one so much that I decided to order a new one! Leopard is always in style, so that is why I chose that one!

My next purchase was Amika Bombshell Blowout spray. I received a sample of this in one of my boxes and read where it was similar to Redken Pillow Proof which I love so much. It gives some added texture and lift to my otherwise flat hair with no residue.

I have wanted to try products from Laura Geller for a long time now. I always watch her on QVC and adore her personality. I saw this kit from hers, and into my cart it went! I received a baked blush, foundation, full sized mascara, brush, and hydrating Spackle primer. The foundation and blush are deluxe sample sizes, but big enough to get quite a few uses out of them. The mascara is full size. This kit came in a cute little laser cut wristlet. I will definitely get some use out of this kit!

The next item I purchased was a limited edition box. It was the Birchbox for CEW mass appeal box. It had several full size products included, which is why I was so drawn to the box! The first item was a lip crayon from Burt's Bees in Sedona Sands. At first I thought that this was going to be too light. It really isn't! I usually wear bold lip colors, but I don't mind a more natural lip. I also love that this is matte as well!

Also included was Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths. I don't use these to take my makeup off, but I have been needing some cloths to take my eye makeup off on lazy nights. Speaking of nights, another product that was in this box was Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. This is a Korean beauty product and it hydrates skin overnight. If I didn't happen to get my eight hours, I could use this next product! Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl eye cream. This has illuminators built in to brighten any dark circles I may have. Plus it firms the eye area. Yes! I like trying out new mascaras, and I am excited to try Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curve mascara. It has a twisted mascara wand and is said to not clump. I can't wait to try this one out! Lastly, I received Simple Skincare Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer. When the season's change my skin can get really dry. This moisturizer will be great to hydrate my skin and make my makeup apply more smoothly! I swatched this on my hand and it absorbed nicely, and make the back of my had so smooth! I can't wait to see how it does on my face!

Lastly, I added on a Zero Gravity iPhone case. Currently I have a Red Pepper case on mine, but I am starting to be over it. I loved the neon colors on this one, and I can always put my Red Pepper one back on when I get bored with the other one!

All together for these products I only had to pay $8.00! Not too shabby! What products are you most excited for me to try? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, August 24, 2015

LuLaRoe Haul

Well, I did it again. I went to another LuLaRoe (LLR) party, and bought more fabulous pieces. Don't know what the fuss about LLR is? Check out my first party experience here!

Another one of my Mom's friends was having a pop up shop at her home. Just like before there were rack and bins of maxis, skirts, t-shirts, leggings, and dresses.

One of the great parts about LLR is they only make 1000 of each print. Because nothing screams awkward than going to a party and seeing someone in a carbon copy of your outfit! Do people these days even know what carbon paper is?! They also don't have a catalog. If you like something...snag it ASAP because it won't be here for long! Anyway, let me introduce you to the pieces I purchased: the Randy, the Julia, and the leggings.

If you were to look at my closet you will notice these colors: pink, black, royal blue, and grey. So it came to no surprise that I purchased pieces that had those colors in them. First up, the Randy tee. I can best describe the Randy as a feminine baseball style shirt, It can be dressed down with jeans, or dressed up with dress pants. The style that I bought is different than my first one. My first one had the pattern on the sleeves, this one has the pattern on the shirt. Mine has a mix of pinks, oranges, yellows, and blues all mixed together.

Next, the leggings. Again, I absolutely did not want to take these off when I was trying them on. These are like butter! If LuLaRoe ever made sheet sets out of the fabric from their leggings I would never leave my bed! My pattern is like an Aztec print and shocking, the base color is royal blue. There are oranges and yellows, black, and lighter blues mixed in as well. For Fall, I'm going to pair these leggings with an orange top.

Lastly, the Julia. This was a last minute decision for me. I had been eyeing the dress all night and decided at the eleventh hour to try it on. I showed my Mom and Aunt, and they gave me their immediate "buy it now" seal of approval. The dress comes a little bit past my knees and is 3/4 sleeves. The base color is royal blue (again!) and had different shades of pinks and blue throughout the dress. This can be worn in early Fall with a pair of heels and a fun necklace OR, for late Fall/Winter with a cute scarf, boots, and a jean jacket. Let me tell you, it is like your favorite sleep shirt. So.Stinking.Comfortable.

All of these pieces scream Mandii. Trust me!

Agian, all of these pieces fit perfectly with LuLaRoe's motto of "Simply Comfortable." These pieces can be worn during any season, any occasion, and make you feel brighter and happier when wearing them.

So what are you waiting for?! Go find yourself a consultant and get to shopping!

You can find more info on LuLaRoe here!

What are your favorite LLR pieces? Leave me a comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you! 

As always, watch my Instagram account to see these pieces in action...I'm just waiting until Pennsylvania gets over this heat wave we've been having to wear them!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Who I was in High School

Thanks Andrea for the link up! 

Oh high school. Those awkward years from 7-12 grade. I mean my high school years were okay. I had some fun moments, some sad moments, and some interesting moments. To put things into perspective, I went to high school from 2000-2006. It absolutely stuns me that next year will be 10 years since I've graduated. TEN YEARS! How is that even possible?!

I went to a rural high school, there were probably 700 students from grades 7-12 total. We were the "country" school in our district. Does your high school let you drive your tractors to school the day before Prom? Mine does! (I wish I had pictures!)

6th grade graduation picture...getting ready for high school!
Homecoming dance...can we talk about my makeup?!
To describe me in high school would be this. I was a shy, rule follower. I was not an avid participator. I was in Marching, Jazz, Concert, and Pep band from 7-10 grade. Yeah, I don't miss those hot, sticky band camp days. I was actually sick on "Senior Skip Day" and I honestly thought people were going to think that I was participating in that day! I was actually feeling guilty, and I was home sick! I was the type of student who almost always did the homework, and got along with my teachers. I never received a detention. Ever. I was voted "Most Honest" by my class. (Thanks class of 06!)  I had an average high school experience, and didn't think I would cry at graduation...but I broke down after we threw our caps.

So in full disclosure, I want to give you some awkward high school photos. Yay...not!

High School graduation photo!
The day I got accepted into college!

Homecoming dance

A random 8th grade dance

Senior Halloween dance...oh brother!
I discovered Bon Jovi, and went to my first concert of theirs in high school!

I LOVED my senor prom dress! I got it down in Myrtle Beach!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

July Birchbox

First of all, sorry for the lack of photos. I cannot get the pictures from my phone, to my computer to put them on this blog. I had that problem before, and fixed it, but I wanted to get this blog up anyway. I'll update the post when I get photos! 

I feel like it has been ages since I have done a makeup mail call! I have still been getting my subscription service boxes, but I guess the "glory" has worn off on sharing them. Well, not today! I am going to show you what was in my July Birchbox!

I chose to get the box that was curated by Nicole Richie. I was not disappointed at all! There was a great mix of products, and some things that will get me ready for the last days of Summer and transition into Fall. Which is odd because we are experiencing a heat wave of sorts here in Pennsylvania.

Here are the goods!

Dr. Brandt| Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant: I have heard of this product, and never tried it. It has been a long while since I had a facial, and I love how my skin glows after. I am hoping that this can give me that same glowing skin!

LAQA & Co.| Cheeky Lip Stain: I received the color Humble Brag, and it is a pretty rose color. This can be used on cheeks and lips. It is a matte finish. I know that I love dual products!

OPI| Venice Collection: This color is a black color with dark micro glitter added. I can see myself wearing this around Halloween. This could also be a great Fall color as well.

Rene Furterer| LISSEA Leave-in Smoothing Fluid: This is supposed to protect hair from heat styling and tames flyaways and frizz. This will be perfect because I have been straightening my hair a lot, and I always dread what my flatiron does to my hair. Any extra protection will be greatly appreciated!

St. Tropez| Gradual In-Shower Tan: I am SO excited to try this product! It's a self tanner you use in the shower!! How genius is that?! Here is what I am going to do. I am going to save this until November/December when my tan has long faded and my pale body needs color. I will pull this beauty out and give it a try to bring life back into my skin!

So that was my box! What product was your favorite in your July box? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Favorites

Well it is Friday yet again! Where does the time go? I want to tell August to take a chill pill if you get my drift. I'm linking up with Andrea to share some of my favorites with you!

Seeing baby bunnies are a favorite! These cuties have been living in our garden. There are 4, and they are just so stinkin' cute!

Gerbera Daisies and Sunflowers are my favorite flowers. They just make me happy when I see them. Gerbera's are just so colorful. Love!

Fresh vegetables from the garden are a favorite! This was only a small haul, there's still a lot to pick!

Muddy Buddies are another favorite. So delicious, bad for the waistline. I could eat myself sick with those little suckers.

What are some of your favorites? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fall Fashion Inspiration

Ladies, I wish I could say I was all prepared for a What I Wore post this week. I just can't remember to take photos. I need to get better at that. So, I am going to rely on good ol' Pinterest for today's post. I am starting to think of some Fall clothing, I have a few items in my online shopping carts. I continue to question why I am thinking about Fall right now. This is what I am loving at the moment.

Workout Wear:

When you get the right workout gear you want to show it off! Go (work)OUT! Athletic workout apparelIt is widely known that I love the color pink. This workout gear would be absolutely perfect for me! That hoodie is so stinking cute!

Work Appropriate Style:

Cute work outfit - Burgundy pants, black blouse with cream polka dots, neutral heels This outfit is great because it shows off Pantone's color of the year, Marsala! Those shoes are cute, and I feel like I might be able to wear those! 

Casual Weekend Style:

Winter fashion wear for women: Perfect Fall Work Outfit. Layered button up with a gray V-neck sweater, jeans, and chunky jewelry This outfit screams casual weekend to me! I love the dark denim, the chambray shirt underneath the gray adds just a little pop! The statement necklace adds a touch of femininity. I feel like I could go apple picking or to a fall festival in this outfit!

I'm linking up with the Pleated Poppy today!

What are you loving for Fall? Leave me a comment and tell me some of your favorite looks!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Weekend Recap: The Indians Game that Never Was Edition

Perhaps you weekend was crazy like mine, or maybe it was more relaxed and low key. Either way, I'm thankful for weekends. Let's start at Friday shall we?

Friday my dog Cashew was supposed to get a bath. Right as my mom and I were getting ready to leave, my dad walks in with paper towels wrapped around his finger. He was trimming bushes and sliced his finger with the trimmer. Thankfully, it is just a really bad gash that probably should have had a stitch, but is healing slowly. So I bandage him up, and we are running late to the groomers. I called and told them that we were on the way, and find out that they couldn't take us. So we rescheduled. That should have been an indication of the weekend ahead.

This was prior to the madness!
Saturday I had bought tickets to go to the Cleveland Indians game. My parents always do nice things for me, so I wanted to repay them a little bit. The day was gorgeous! It was sunny, a nice breeze, and we hit absolutely no traffic until we got off of 77. We got off the exit at 6:09. Then the traffic hit. Oh, what's that heavy smoke from? At 6:30 we turned to go to our normal parking area, except we couldn't. That smoke? From a building fire across the street from the ballpark, and next to our parking spot! We drove around the city to look a parking spot. Except it took us 2 and a half hours to get back around to the front of the stadium. Guys and gals, it was pure madness, and awful. There was absolutely no place to park. AT ALL. So unfortunately, we decided to go home. I didn't see the game, no fireworks, and I didn't get my bobblehead. I was upset, but I guess the Lord didn't want us at the game for some reason. So it was 9:30 at night, and we picked up a pizza from one of our favorites, Wedgewood Pizza. We wanted to eat it there, but the dining room closed at 9:00. We got behind a slowpoke driver for a good 30 minutes. Then, we almost hit a deer on a road where we never thought a deer would be. By the time we got home, it was 10:30. I'm so glad that pizza was good. If I wasn't trying to get my girlish figure in check, I would have ate 4 pieces of that pizza. Ya'll, we had been in the car for 6 hours! SIX HOURS! That's halfway to Myrtle Beach, and I was going to CLEVELAND for crying out loud! I was thankful for my bed that night.

Addition: The Indians are allowing us to exchange our tickets for a new game! Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, I went to church. I felt refreshed and revived after coming out of the sermon. I wanted to update my workout playlist, so I search for some songs on iTunes. And more than half of my music was missing!! What?! Thankfully, I had all of the music on my computer. A quick Google search was all I needed to learn how to import it to my library. Then I had to get all the album artwork. So that was an hour of my time that was wasted dealing with that nonsense.

I am hoping for a much better week!

So, how was your weekend? Hopefully better than mine was! Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sharing My Heart

As fun as last week's post was, I felt the need to share my heart with you today. Last week, Satan was hounding me pretty badly. He was hounding me about life, love, and my blessings. He reminded me when I logged on Facebook and saw the weddings, babies, houses, and jobs people had. All I heard in my head was Satan telling me, "you're not pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough. You'll never have what they have. You're not enough." I felt awful, my mood was awful, and I knew that I needed to seek guidance from God.

I listened to this message from Joel Osteen, and had a breakthrough moment. (It is Message #660 if you can't find it!) I cried through the first 20 minutes of the sermon. (I rarely cry, so this was a big deal.) It was as if this message was meant for me, and me only to hear. Just because other people have received their blessings, doesn't mean He has given up on mine. The problem with me, is me. My blessings are my own, and if I can't celebrate other people's joys, my blessings aren't going to come.

Proverbs 19:21 came to my mind. "People can make all kinds of plans, but the only Lord's plan will happen." God is working on my behalf at this very moment. He is working in me so I can be fully ready to receive the blessings he has stored for me. Maybe He will put me in a career path that will honor Him and shine His light daily, or maybe He is preparing my future husband's heart right now. It will happen in God's time. Not when I want it to, but when I'm spiritually ready for it to happen. I woke up the next day with these lyrics on my heart, "It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others He'll do for you." I love when God does that. He will put the appropriate verse or hymn in your heart just when you need it.

I have come to really rely on these verses in Scripture: Psalm 31:19 "How abundant is Your goodness which you have stored up for those that honor You." Also, Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." These two verses has helped me ward off Satan when he has reared his ugly head, and he has tried. I don't know what your heart desires, or what blessings God has in store for you, but I do know that God will provide those things in due time.

So if you are waiting on your desires and blessings like I am, rest assured they are coming in God's time. We will celebrate our blessings together!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Favorites

It is Friday again! Whoo! I am pretty pumped because I am going to an Indians game tomorrow!!! So.Freaking.Excited!!! I love the "boys of summer!" Here is what some of my favorites have been!

1. When your food reads your mind is a favorite! Yes, I do love pizza.

2. Coffee dates with my Mom are a favorite! She loves the creme brulee from Sheetz, and I prefer the Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

3. Bird watching is another favorite. This little fella decided to make a pit stop on top of our air conditioning.

4. Gerbera Daisies are my FAVORITE flower! This color is gorgeous!

What are some of your favorites! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks Andrea for the link up!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dancing Through Life

Nine years ago, I was a shy 18 year old heading off to college. I had never lived with another person I didn't know before. I had never shared a communal bathroom before. I was not the type of child who went to sleepovers when I was little. I was, (and still am) a homebody. My parent's had tried to get me to stay home to save money, but I was adamant that I wanted to experience this "college life" and that meant staying on campus. (Luckily, home was about 15 minutes away!)

The first few weeks were really tough. My roommate and I got along great, in fact, I wouldn't let her leave my side. I'm being 100% serious! We went pretty much everywhere together when we didn't have class. We went to the dining hall, bookstore, movie nights in the auditorium. When she went, I went. We were cramped in our tiny dorm room so learning to live with another person was a big adjustment. There were several times where I said "Mandii, what exactly did you get yourself into?"

I prayed daily. Some things were funny, "Lord, please don't let anyone steal my stuff (while showering in the communal bathroom)." Other times, it would be asking for guidance over a particular issue. I stood true to my convictions and never went to a party or had a drop of alcohol. Luckily, I found friends who shared my beliefs.

I'm so thankful that I stuck living on campus out. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I grew as an individual. I made my own friends, got around campus by myself, worked my own problems out. Through it all, God was on my side. He gave me peace, offered me protection, and gave me signs that everything was going to be okay.

I will forever be grateful for my college years. I have made lifelong friendships. I was able to experience things and places that were new to me. If you are questioning if something is right for you, stick it out for a little. Give yourself time to adjust to this new lifestyle or habit. Pray about it. Step out of your comfort zone and just try it.

This post was inspired by Candace Cameron Bure’s new book, Dancing Through Life: Steps of
Courage and Conviction. Order your copy of #DancingThroughLife today!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Why Athletes Don't Want Me To Buy Their Jersey

I'm sure you have heard of the Sports Illustrated Jinx. Legend has it, that if you are on the cover of Sports Illustrated, you will have significant bad luck. Well, I'm no best selling sports magazine, but I have my own jinx: "The Mandii Buys Your Jersey Curse." Don't believe me? Let me convince you.

It all started with Brian Giles. He was a major player on the Indians 1997 team, and by far my favorite player. So how does a supportive fan show her love for her favorite player? You buy a jersey! Shortly after buying his jersey, he gets traded to the Pirates. I waited it out for a good while to see if he would get traded again. When he didn't, I bought his jersey, this time for the Pirates. Oh, and he got traded to the Padres shortly after that jersey was purchased. Jinx!

Einar Diaz (1999 was a bad hair year for me.)
I can honestly say that this next baseball player was one of my absolute favorites. Einar Diaz was a backup catcher to Sandy Alomar. His jersey was pretty much nonexistent, so I had one made just for him. My family and I traveled to Toronto, Canada to catch a weekend series in 1999. We just so happened to be staying at the team hotel. I saw Mike Hargrove in the lobby, Doc Gooden, and Jaret Wright coming in from dinner. One morning, we stepped out of the hotel and saw a big charter bus out front. We stuck around, and out come Tribe players. I'm off in the corner because I'm a shy kid and #famouspeople. My dad spies Einar and tells him the tale of my shirt, and how I'm probably the only fan with a Diaz shirt. My mom comes to get me and I get my picture taken with Einar. He could not have been any nicer! I spent the rest of the trip with a smile on my face, and kept repeating the phrase "he smelled so good" over and over. (I guess I thought they would smell sweaty off the field?!) After getting his jersey made, he was traded following the 2002 season. Jinx #2. (I might have cried when he got traded.)

Robbie Alomar
Next up was another Cleveland Indian that I loved, Robbie Alomar. Name me a more dominant infield than Omar Vizquel, Robbie Alomar, and Travis Fryman in the year 2000. Those three players earned a Gold Glove that year, that's pretty special. Again, showing my love for Robbie, I bought his jersey after that Gold Glove winning season. He was traded to the Mets before the 2002 season began. Jinx #3

Ryan Garko and I
Ah, Ryan Garko. Man did I love this guy! He was from Pittsburgh, He played first base. (You can find out how I met him here!) You couldn't find his jersey in the Indians Team Shop, so I had one specially made. Ryan's fandom started around 2006, and continued into 2007. I went to 7 games that year wearing my "Garko Girl" shirt every game. We were so close to going to the World Series...but we blew a 3 games to 0 lead on the Red Sox in the ALDS. Then, Ryan got in Eric Wedge's doghouse and his playing time decreased significantly in 2008. He was traded in 2009 to the Giants. Sensing a theme here? Met him, had a shirt made...Jinx #4

Now I know you are thinking, "Mandii, these are all about baseball players." Oh, you want other sports too? I have those covered as well!

Let's talk hockey shall we? 

I have been going to Penguins hockey games since I was a little girl. One year I sat behind the glass when the Pens were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Coolest.Experience.Ever. So when the Russian phenom Evgeni Malkin came into the Penguins organization, I knew I definitely needed his jersey. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009. My Aunt and Uncle gifted me Malkin's #71 jersey for Christmas in 2009. In 2011, during the second period of a game against the Sabres, he tears his ACL and MCL. Keeping count here? Jinx #5

My aunt invited me to a charity gala that had several of Pittsburgh's athletes in attendance. One of those athletes was James Neal who had just been traded to Pittsburgh from Dallas. After that gala, I knew that I wanted to become a fan of his. I rooted for him, and cheered for him at the games I went to. Now, I am full aware of the "Mandii Buys Your Jersey Curse" and refrained from buying his jersey, until he signed a 6 year contract extension with the Pens. I just couldn't help myself. The jersey came late in the 2012 season. I wore it once to a game in 2013. In 2014 he was traded to Nashville. What are we up to now? Jinx #6

Let's see, we covered baseball and hockey. Shall we talk about the NFL? 

Even though I am from the Pittsburgh area, I root for the New England Patriots. I like Bill Belichick, and I like Tom Brady. (Insert haterade here.) The year was 2006, and the Pats were playing the Peyton Manning led Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. Winner goes to the SuperBowl. The Patriots were dominating, up by 14 at the half. I say to myself, "Patriots are cruising to the Superbowl, I'm ordering a Brady jersey." I no sooner hit order, and the Colts start coming back into the game. As of course, my luck would have it, the Colts won the game and ended up winning the SuperBowl that year. When the jersey came, it went right into storage to be worn the following year. Yep. Jinx #7.

If I am a fan of you and your team, I'm all consumed. I root for you, go to games, post my love for you on social media, and well, buy your respective jersey. I have a list of players whose jerseys I want (hello Jason Kipnis, Trevor Bauer, JJ Redick, Sidney Crosby, JJ Watt etc...) but will refrain because of the "Mandii Buys Your Jersey Curse." This proves that I am putting "team" before myself.   ;) Now, this theory has only been tested when I buy a jersey, or have been gifted a jersey by family. Will the curse ever be broken? Who knows?

Did I convince you? Am I cursed? Has this ever happened to you? Please leave me a comment and make me feel better about my terrible luck. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Christmas in July 5k

On July 25 I participated in a Christmas in July themed 5k! Who doesn't love Christmas? I thought that this was such a creative idea for a 5k. The pamphlet said to dress up, so that is exactly what my mom and I did! I was Rudolph, and she was a Christmas tree. She came in second place in the contest!!

A Christmas tree and Rudolph!
During the beginning, they played Christmas music to get us in the spirit, even though it was 90 degrees outside. The race started, and I had a great pace. Mind you, I walked. Even if I could run, I was not running in the 90 degree heat. The course was a mix of hills, and cross country trails. I finished about 5 minutes ahead of my mom.

After the race they had breakfast for us. They had a local eatery prepare breakfast sandwiches, and had lots of fruit. They also had cookies, and blueberry bread. Luckily, they had lots of water and juices for us to re hydrate with!

After the race, so my makeup was a little smudged. 
I think that this race was one of my best 5k times. Whoo! I figured if you are going to workout, might as well get a t-shirt, and workout with your family!

I am going to leave you with some pictures of the event. What did you think of my deer makeup?

Have you done a themed 5k before? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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