Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | February 25, 2013

I missed blogging and am so glad to be back!

You know how sometimes you don’t know just how much you miss something until you don’t have it? That’s how I’ve felt the last couple of months while I have been unable to blog. Pretty dorky, huh?

To be honest though, I knew I was going to miss it, I missed it each week I looked at my blog and saw the same post over and over again.

My excuse is nothing creative, I just got crazy busy. More so than even over the holidays (and that says something) to the point that the few hours a week I had to myself were typically me falling asleep on my couch (ugh, pathetic).

I don’t have more time now, but I am rearranging my priorities to make time for my blog simply because it makes me happy. So, I’ll update you on what you’ve missed since it has been a packed with some fun events and trips as well as lots of work, but I’m getting right back into it with a Sunday post on my eventful weekend.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who has to get 10 hours of sleep a night and sleep late on the weekends. Actually, I do best on 6-7 hours of sleep and even though it’s hard, I like getting up between 7-8 in the morning on the weekends. It makes the weekend feel longer somehow.

I did not even get to touch my pillow after 6am this weekend though.

If you live anywhere around Tampa, FL you know that this past weekend was the Gasparilla Distance Classic. I didn’t run it though, I worked. One of my clients was exhibiting at the Health Convention and it was insane.


(Can you guess which client is mine in this picture?)

Thousands of people stopping by to pick up their free swag for hours on Friday and Saturday. I’m not even going to talk about what happened when we ran out of freebies on Friday – people get angry.

Yesterday, the convention opened earlier than ever for runners, kicking off just before the start of the first race at 5:30am. I can’t even tell you how displeased I was to see crowds of people at 5:30am yesterday. Trying to get through them to get to the Convention Center was even more… fun.


Needless to say after waking up early and working all morning, I was pretty useless. I think the biggest movement I made yesterday afternoon/evening was to walk from my couch to the kitchen and back (it was rough).

Oh, and did I mention we had a mandatory water boil go into effect Friday night through early this (Sunday) morning? Yes sir, we did. I think knowing I couldn’t do dishes, take a relaxing bath or even get an easy drink of water just added to my total lack of motivation yesterday.

Oh well, I thankfully had Sunday, today to be productive. And boy was I productive…

Nick was running in the half marathon race this morning at 6am. Thankfully the wonderful guy did not expect me to see him off, but I did want to be there at the finish line when he was done. So, my alarm went off just before 6am so I could wake-up, clean-up and get ready.

I toyed around with the concept of biking the 4-5 miles to the where the race finish line was on Bayshore Blvd., but at 7am, I opted for the much easier driving option (so much smarter).

I got to the finish line area around 7:30am (parking and walking took almost as long as just walking there!) and quickly planted myself beside the metal barricades right next to where the hospital volunteers and medical staff were waiting to catch runners as they collapsed crossed over the finish line. (It was such a good spot to see all the fainters and injured runners – which I found entertaining; don’t judge me.)


After about 20 minutes I saw a bright yellow shirt and glistening face of an exhausted, but happily standing Nick after he crossed the finish line. He made it!


And I didn’t even have to wait that long… or see too many people fall into the arms of the medical staff (darn it).

Getting out of bed early wasn’t necessarily fun, but seeing Nick finish his race and walking through all the racers and their support teams was pretty cool. Lots of energy and smiling faces.

After we had a quick spot of breakfast at one of our usual stops, Daily Eats, we went our separate ways and I left Nick at the convenience store ice-freezer so he could stock up for a post-race ice-bath (woo-hoo good times!).

I meanwhile went home to tackle my ultimate chore nemesis… laundry.

Give me bathrooms to scrub any day over laundry! I had the back-and-forth, waiting, hanging of wet delicates, folding of tangles of sheets and just general tediousness of laundry. The fact I don’t have machines in my apartment and have to share a community laundry room, just makes it all the more fun.

I usual stockpile my laundry for two weeks, but since Nick and I went camping last weekend and half of the laundry machines were broken before we left, I had a MOUNTAIN of things to wash.


The fact that I have to walk through the pool courtyard, lined with inviting loungers that are warmed by the sun, is slightly difficult.


I have to stop myself from tossing my bag of laundry in the pool and plopping down on a chair to stretch out and relax every time.

I managed to get through all five loads though, using the time in between switching loads to clean my apartment, do dishes (hooray, no more water boil!), workout and put together my meal plan for the week. See, I was very productive.

Meal planning is a re-found passion for me.

Not only does it help me to put a more effective grocery list together for shopping, but it allows me to get myself organized for the week so that no matter how busy I get, I know I’ll have good food to eat.

In fact, I’m hoping to share more of my meal creations and such on my blog!

People at work are always exclaiming how surprisingly “fancy” my lunches are, when really they’re regular food that I prepare ahead of time to have a good meal to enjoy for lunch. Being a non-meat eater (with the exception of seafood), means sandwiches aren’t really a good meal most of the time, so I’ve had to come up with other ideas.

This is why my meal plans are so important. I wouldn’t have the time to put everything together during the work week. So I use the weekend to plan and prep key things for my week.

This is my Meal Plan for this week:

  • Sunday – Pesto Shrimp on Baby Spinach
  • Monday – Orange “Chicken” & Broccoli
  • Tuesday – Pesto Veggies & Tuna
  • Wednesday – Veggie Omelet
  • Thursday – Grilled Fish & Asparagus
  • Friday – “Leftover” Quesadilla

You can tell I made a big batch of homemade pesto recently, right?


I also plan my breakfasts, lunches and snacks, but the breakfasts are only a few different things (one of which I’ll be sharing a recipe for this week) and my lunches are frequently leftovers or salads. I create my dinners so that I have leftovers that I can then layer onto a salad or just warm up for lunch the next day to be sure I’m eating all my food.

I’ll use the rest of my day/evening to prep some of the food items for the week to make things easier for myself – baking some sweet potatoes, boiling eggs, making pancakes and roasting up some vegetables.

Needless to say, I’m hoping to be in bed at a reasonable hour tonight. The early mornings continue on now for the work week!

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