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My Sunday Best(s)

Hello!  How has your weekend been?  I have had a great time exploring my new city, Nashville, this weekend.  There really is so much to do here and I know I've only just started, but I love everything so far!

I have been thinking about creating a post series called "My Sunday Best" for a while now.  I thought it would be a fun way to share some of my favorite things.  So, without any further delay...

All Mint Everything

I just love the color mint.  I can't get enough.  One of the main colors at my wedding (including the bridesmaid dresses) were mint.  Most of the clothes I buy these days end up being mint.  My sneakers that I'm wearing right now are mint.  My water bottle is mint.  It is definitely my favorite color right now.


I was at a coffee shop a few weeks ago carrying this water bottle and the guy at the counter asked me if I always match my water bottle to my outfit.  It was then that I realized I was wearing a mint dress.  I said no, I just match all my outfits to this water bottle.  #truth

I just got this new mint iPhone case today.  I had been eyeing this case for a while now but when I stubbled across the mint one, I was all in.  And don't forget, my mint chapstick.

Dog Covers Eyes During Rescue

I don't know why I torture myself with videos like this.  At least this has a happy ending..

This Bedding

I received this quilt as a wedding gift.  And then today, when I was out shopping, I saw that Anthropologie was having a sale on bedding so I got the matching shams to match!  I love it.  I just hope Darcy doesn't jump all over it with her muddy feet!


Dog Friendly Patios

For those of you in Nashville, the Nashville Guru has a great list of restaurants that allow dogs.  It is my new go-to list to find places to check out in Nashville.

Saturday, we tried out Crema, which is on Rutledge Hill in Nashville right next to downtown - slash kind of in downtown.  Their coffee was delicious and I loved their menu for brunch.  It was a lot of smaller/lighter plates.  Which was just right.


It is like a selfie but way cuter because there is a furry friend in the picture.  You should try it!


Fancy Cocktails

My friends and I went to Husk in Nashville this weekend, which is one of Sean Brock's restaurants.  It is in an adorable house on Rutledge Hill.  He only uses local ingredients so the food is amazingly fresh.

I was especially impressed with their original cocktails.  Our group did a great job of trying out a variety of their specialties.

What are you loving lately?

Not So Normal Race Recap

Hello!  How is your week going?  We've been pretty busy around here.  More information to come on that, but I wanted to check-in quickly to give you a little recap about the Not So Normal Run this past May in Carrboro!

Let me first just say how much I love running smaller local races!  You get all the excitement and adrenaline that you experience in any other race with shorter lines and less of a crowd.

The Not So Normal Run did not disappoint.

And the weather was perfect!  I'm so glad I got to experience their second ever race and their first time offering the 10K and the Half Marathon.

I participated in the 10K course which was at times confusing because the Half Marathon was crossing over it, but it was still a great course.  The event encourages you not to use any technology while running.  Actually, for the 10K, you couldn't win the race unless you ran without any tracking devices.  I knew I wouldn't win, but I figured it would be fun to participate.  It was nice to just focus on running and not think too much about my pace - but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that at times I really really wanted to know how my pace was...

The Half Marathoners had a tougher time with their course than the 10K.  Many of the racers ran further than your typical 13.1 Half Marathon due to confusion and missed turns on the course.  Not to worry though!  The 2016 Not So Normal Half Marathon is already mapped out and there will be no zig-zags!

The Not So Normal Race series comes back again next April 3rd in 2016.  This time, they will be offering a 5K, Half Marathon, and a Full Marathon!  I'm so excited for Jay and everyone who has put this event together.  It has been such a huge success and I hope it will continue to be an event that brings the community together.  Are you up for it?

Not So Normal Run

Hello!  It has been much to long since I popped in to say hi.  I apologize - things have been crazy around here.  I will definitely update you on things soon, but for now, I want to share a great local event that is coming to Carrboro this weekend.  It is called the Not So Normal Run.  I had the pleasure of meeting the race's founder, Jay, for coffee a few months ago.  I was able to ask him some questions about his race that I wanted to share with you!

How long have you been running competitively?

Jay started to Started running competitively back in September of 2013.  He started out with a 5K and was immediately hooked.  From there, he continued to sign up for local races.  They were mostly 5K races at first.

Later, he joined the Fleet Feet training program and trained for his first Half Marathon - The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Raleigh.  He loved the achievement of completing this race.  The only thing was that most of the money raised at this event was going to San Diego rather than staying in the community that helped raise the money.  This was a problem that stuck with Jay and helped motivate him to create his own race.

Jay enjoyed the camaraderie and enthusiasm amongst runners on race days.  He recalled one event in particular that really moved him.  At the Marine Corp marathon in Virginia in 2014, he was standing in a corral waiting for the race to start and made small talk with the woman standing next to him.  It turns out that she was a Boston Marathon runner from 2013 and had felt uneasy about getting back into a marathon after the tragedy that she had experienced that day.  Having overheard this, two marines came over to her and asked her if they could escort her to the start line.  She had marines escorting her for the majority of the race.

Ultimately, Jay’s goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and run it one day.

What motivated you to start running?

Jay had always admired people he saw out on runs.  He figured it looked like they were having fun.  He decided to give it a try.  He was tired of being at home and he wanted to get himself back out into the world.  Running seemed like the perfect outlet.

How do you train for your races?

Jay says that he trains for races “as best as he can.”  He tries to run about four days a week.  He incorporates recovery runs, speed workouts, and long runs.  He is always striving for quality runs rather than quantity.

Any special diets while you’re training?

Jay says he eats pretty clean to begin with.  Wine, of course, is his biggest weakness.  He tries to focus on protein and vegetables for dinner.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with running?

“Join Fleet Feet training program.  It will change your world.”  Jay says that he has never met a group more welcoming.  They have a great coordinator named Nora and the entire staff is just awesome.  Fleet Feet cares about their runners.

Recommend going to the gym and not just run.  You have to cross train.  Get your heart rate up a lot.  You get faster during your recovery.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are - it doesn’t matter.

Find what moves you.  Run for something.  Highly recommend running a military race - opens your eyes to things.

Supportive of Wear Blue: Run to Remember.  Team Red White and Blue are all veterans.  That’s what he wants - he wants everyone to be running for a non-profit.

What is NotSoNormal about the NotSoNormalRun?

Everything.  It’s getting not so normal-er by the day.  It feels like there is a 5K race almost every weekend.  But they are very myopic.  The whole event lasts 2 hrs but it’s not very inclusive.  It doesn’t feel like people coming together.  Jay wants people to come together.  

As Jay would say: Run Local. Give Local. Live Local.

This year, the race has been expanded.  There is a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon race.  So runners of all abilities are encouraged to find the race that is right for them!

Hope to see you out there this weekend!

Photos courtesy of Gameface Media.

Snow in North Carolina

Winter is officially here in North Carolina!  Over the past few weeks we've had a "dusting" or two and also a few snow days.

Last year was my first winter in the South and I have to say, when it snows here, it's a little scary.  Mostly because there is little to no precautions that the city can take.  They don't have access to a fleet of snowplows and sand trucks like they do in Boston.  In my opinion, it balances itself out though because in Boston, every year they will have a few massive snow storms that cripple the city even though they have all of the winter resources.  So in North Carolina, they have a few snow storms total but they all cripple the city because they don't have the winter resources. :)

That being said, it can still feel a little cramped and stuffy to be stuck at your house - even if it is only for a 24 hour period.  I try to make the best of it and enjoy my time at home with my little family.

Here are some of my favorite snow day activities:

  • Watch Darcy run around in the snow
  • Build a snowman
  • Read a great book (I'm loving this pinterest board of theSkimm's book recommendations!  so many awesome books that I've read on this list and so many more that I'm dying to read next!)
  • Sip coffee or hot chocolate
  • Make some crafts (this one makes a great gift)
  • Watch Frozen :)
  • Sledding
  • At home workouts

How do you like to spend your snow days? (Darcy wants to know)

Hope you all stay safe and warm!

What's New in Durham

The weather in North Carolina was pretty crazy this weekend.  We went from winter to spring in two days!  By Sunday, it was a high of 68 degrees.  Needless to say, Darcy loves that type of weather.  We were able to take her on a little trek around Duke Forest.  The beautiful weather had a lot of people out on the trails!  Which is different from what we've grown accustomed to over the winter months where we were the only ones out there (I guess we were pretty spoiled).

Darcy loves meeting people on the trail.  It's just a question of whether they love to meet her too. Mostly they do, but maybe a little less so after she's been swimming in the streams.

Today I wanted to share a few fun new restaurants in Durham for all of you Triangle area locals.  Two are actually new spots that have opened up over the past year.  One restaurant is just new to me but still I think it's underrated for how great it is.

First one up is Juju, which is over on Ninth Street in Durham in the same plaza/building as my true love, Pure Barre Durham.

Juju is owned by the same owner as Jujube in Chapel Hill (I've never been because I hear it is a little too pricey for me - but is supposed to be amazing) and Dos Perros (which I love love love - and not just because the restaurant's name is Two Dogs).  They opened at the end of last year.

Nate and I went a few weeks ago for a Friday night out.  First thing, if you want to plan a night there, definitely go for the Open Table reservation.  I made my reservation about a week out and had no issue.  When we got there, the place was packed with people waiting to get a table.  We were sat right away so I was glad I planned ahead.  Rather be safe on that one.  And also doesn't hurt to earn those Open Table points towards a free dining check.

Their specialty here is Asian style tapas.  Nate and I split 5 plates and then split a dessert as well.  Each dish was amazing.  I think you can't go wrong here.  I would love to go back again, but the price point has me a little hesitant.  I highly recommend if you're willing to splurge!

The second new spot opened a little less than a year ago.  I was talking about it during Restaurant Week in the Triangle - Harvest 18.  Nate and I were able to check it out during Restaurant Week and I was very impressed.  It has a casual vibe, which Nate liked.  The food is all farm to table and tasted incredibly fresh.  My favorite thing I had there was was their own twist of a Moscow Mule that was delicious.  I think we will be back even if it is not Restaurant Week.

Finally, I want to talk to you about Guglhupf.  This one I've heard of several times since I've moved to North Carolina, but just hadn't gotten the chance to make it over there.  Well, it kind of felt like we were the last to know, because it was PACKED.  We waited in a decent line to order our food at the counter.  Luckily, seating wasn't too bad and we got our food in a decent amount of time.  It was delicious and I loved all of the warm sandwich options.

You may think I am crazy but I'm not really into egg based breakfasts which makes the whole brunch scene sometimes a little difficult.  I usually feel like there is too much egg in whatever dish I have gotten so I end up sticking to an egg-less brunch option.  It was great that Guglhupf had so many other options that I didn't feel limited in my selection.

They also have an adorable outdoor space so I'm looking forward to coming back again when the true warm weather months come.

And that is about it for now!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  Triangle people, any other suggestions on new spots I should try?

Asheville Weekend

Hello!  How was your weekend?  We had a fun and eventful weekend in Asheville this weekend.  Our friend Brian was proposing to his girlfriend, and he coordinated for their friends and family to be there after for a weekend long celebration.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I had never been to Asheville before.  When Nate was trying to convince me to move to North Carolina, part of his argument for North Carolina was the beautiful mountains are only three and a half hours away.  It took us a little too long to get our act together and make it to the mountains but I am so glad that we did.

The surprise all went down on Friday.  Brian had proposed earlier in the day and they were out to dinner while we waited back at the cabins.  At dinner, the first surprise was that their parents were also both in Asheville for the weekend to celebrate with them.  Then, Brian made an excuse for them all to go to the parents' cabin where we were waiting.  Natalie opened the door there were about 30 people waiting with champagne.  We spent the evening partying and celebrating with friends.  It was so fun!

I love surprises but at the same time they make me so anxious.  I was worried to mess something up or say something accidentally beforehand.  But, it all went off without a hitch!

Saturday we started our day off with a nice and easy hike.  The air was so crisp and fresh.  We lucked out with beautiful sunny weather.

I love this picture because I am holding the pup. :)

Asheville has so many great trails to explore.  I think we are going to try to take another trip back.

After hiking, we made our way into downtown Asheville.

We went to a brewery called Wicked Weed.  We heard a lot of good things about this spot and it did not disappoint.  It had a fun outdoor patio with corn hole and picnic tables.  The vibe reminded me of places in Austin, TX.  Just a little cooler weather. :)

We took a quick little walking tour around downtown.  I was really loving the architecture with the mountains in the background.

We ventured to another brewery called One World Brewery.  This spot is kind of hidden down an alley close to the center of town.  Nate was loving all of their board games and bar games at this spot.  We were both really impressed by how reasonably priced everything was.

It was great to spend so much time with friends this weekend.  Now, we are trying to get back to real life as we prepare for our week and watch the Super Bowl.

Here is Darcy enjoying the game/cuddling.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, what is going on with the emotional commercials this year?  I'm wondering if some marketing group convinced everyone that emotional ads would be more effective so then everyone just went for it.  I think it is a little too much.  My favorite commercial is the Mindy Kaling one.  She is hilarious.

How was your weekend?  And, did you have any favorite Super Bowl commercials?

Catching-Up and Restaurant Week

Hello!  How have you been?  It was a tough week over here last week.  I ended up catching some sort of cold that really slowed me down.  I was able to take some sick time though and now I'm already almost as good as new.  The one bright side of being home on the couch all day is having a supportive friend...


Or maybe she was actually just hoping that I would share my popsicle.

Aside from not feeling my best, we still had a fun weekend.  We took things easy.  Darcy got in some dog park time and managed to get herself covered in mud.  Which is always fun.

Couldn't be happier.

For all of you who are in the Chapel Hill and Triangle area, this week is Restaurant Week!  I love participating in Restaurant Week.  It gives me the opportunity to branch out a bit and try new places.  It starts today and goes through this Sunday, February 1st.  Some of the greatest restaurants in the area have a special menu for 3 course dinners for $30!  It is a fun and affordable way to check out a spot that may not be affordable otherwise.

A few places I've been to in the past for restaurant week are City Kitchen, Bin 54, Parizade, and Piedmont Restaurant.  All were wonderful.  I think my favorite of these was City Kitchen.

This week, I'm thinking of checking out Harvest 18 which just opened in the South Point area of Durham last spring.  It looks like it is fresh, healthy, and slightly more affordable.  If I get the chance to check it out, I will definitely let you know how it is!  I also have the urge to go to Watts Grocery, which I've eaten at before but not during Restaurant Week.

For those of you who do not live in the Triangle, there may be a Restaurant Week near you!  Open Table is my primary resource for what dining events are in my area but you can also keep a look out in your local news and magazines or even just doing a quick google search.

What's on your agenda for this week?  Any special events to close-up January?  Have you stuck to your New Years Resolutions?

Darcy and the Mesh Shorts

Hello!  Hope you're having a great week so far!  Today I wanted to share a little story with you about my cute little pup, Darcy, and the Mesh Shorts.

A little background here: from day 1, Darcy has LOVED Nate's smelly clothes and shoes.  The first night when she was home with us, she fell asleep with her little face in one of Nate's shoes.  Nate said, "I always knew that someday I'd meet a girl who loved how my shoes smelled."


She knows what she likes.

On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of his smelly shoes.  He had one pair of shoes when we lived in Boston that I wouldn't let inside the apartment.  So I guess you can see why he was so excited to have someone "on his side."

Anyway, as Darcy got older, she got in the habit of stealing Nate's mesh shorts out of his hamper.  She would mostly do this while we were sleeping.  In the morning we would find them in her doggy bed.  One night, Nate just put a pair of mesh shorts in her bed before he went to sleep.  He figured he would save her the trouble in the middle of the night of finding them.  Well, in the morning, there were two pairs of mesh shorts in her doggy bed.  So there's that.

On occasion, she had no shame, and cuddled with the mesh shorts in the living room.


It was adorable.  I mean, how can you be mad at that face?

One day, when I was getting ready in the bathroom, I heard the little pup come into our room.  Then she quickly tip-toed pranced back down the hall.  That prance is a sign that she's stolen something she can't have, so I went out to the living room to check.  And I found this...

The rug pulled back with something underneath it and her little paw holding down the corner, trying to look as innocent as can be.

When I pulled the rug back, there they were.  Mesh shorts.

She knows what she likes!

Pet owners, does your dog have a favorite thing of yours that he/she loves to steal?

The New Year Resolution

Hello!!  Welcome back to Kat 'n' Dog!  We were on a little bit of a break there for a while.  The holiday season was crazy busy and blogging fell by the wayside.  Over the holiday, we drove from North Carolina to Boston with Darcy - which was fun and interesting.  We listened to the entire Serial podcast and I loved every second of it.  If you haven't yet, I would highly recommend listening - especially if you have a long car ride anytime soon.

So on the topic of New Years.  New Years Eve is typically my least favorite holiday.  It comes from a long history of parties/get-togethers that never quite meet expectations.  Which always makes me think about this scene from 500 Days of Summer...

I really wish that clip had more of the scene but you get the idea.  Basically, New Years Eve is like Senior Prom.  There's all this pressure to have the best night ever and therefore you're doomed to fail.  Or at least that has been my experience.

Nowadays I try to put a lot less pressure on the night overall.  It still doesn't stop me from saying it's my least favorite holiday.  Really.  Least.

The other part of the New Years Holiday that I have a little more fun with is coming up with Resolutions.  Usually I try to set goals for myself in general.  They may not be a 1 year time bound goal.  But it is fun to evaluate where you are and see where you want to be.  Some of my favorite past goals are:

  • Become a fitness instructor - Complete!  Although, when I originally said this I had always thought that Body Pump would be the class I wanted to teach.  Then Pure Barre came along and the rest is history. :)
  • Read all of the Harry Potter Books - Not yet.  I read the first three books when they came out back when I was younger and then just stopped after three.  I loved the stories but just never completed them.  I've been careful not to see any movies that were after the books I read so I don't know what happens.  All of you Harry Potter fans out there must think I'm crazy to just stop like that.  And I get it.  I am.  Hence the goal.
  • Run a half-marathon - Not yet.  Not sure if this is still really a goal for me.  I always want to be harder, better, faster, stronger - but this doesn't necessarily mean a marathon.  Or maybe it does.  It was a previous goal that I probably won't carry forward.
  • Learn to play piano - Not yet.  Maybe someday.  I haven't been able to make this goal a priority with all the other things I have going on but I don't want to give-up on it yet.

For the most part, I want to keep these goals in my back pocket.  They don't have to happen this year or next year even.  But they are just those special little stretch goals for me to continue to work towards.

I think the reason why a lot of New Years Resolutions fail is because people make general statements for their New Years Resolutions that may not be realistic or maintainable.  For example, "I want to get in shape."  That is a great goal but how are you going to lose weight?  And how will you measure your success?  Maybe you are going to work out a certain number of times a week and work towards running a mile under 8 minutes or bench a certain amount.

This year I tried to come up with some 2015 goals that are specific and measurable.  My 2015 resolutions are:

  • Run at least once a week - recently I lost my focus on running.  The only running I end up doing is in races.  It's the type of work out that I just don't prioritize.  I would rather go to Pure Barre or Body Pump or Yoga.  However, I feel like I'm missing out on a better variety by not incorporating more cardio.  So 2015 is the year.  More cardio.
  • Read at least TWO Harry Potter books - I bid low on this one.  Mostly because I want to be sure that I can succeed.  Two sounded good.  So two it is.
  • Blog at least twice a month - When I started this blog back in September, I was eager to write and have my voice be heard.  After a few months, I had a hard time keeping up.  Mostly I struggled with figuring out what to say or how to say it.  But I've thought a lot about it and I won't know unless I try.

I'm hoping to stick with it!  I don't know though.  Darcy is a little skeptical...

What are your New Years Resolutions?  Anything fun and exciting?  What are you going to do this year to stick to your resolutions?


Thanksgiving Recap, Duke Forest

Hello!  How was your Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend?

We stayed in North Carolina and spent the holiday with Nate's family.  It's nice to avoid the hustle of the busiest travel time of the year.  Sometimes I feel like I never stop moving so it is a relief to just take a break.

Well enough about my holiday weekend, let's talk about Darcy's holiday weekend.  The weather warmed up in North Carolina so we had a few puppy days.  We took the dogs out to Duke Forest for a hike.  Darcy loves to romp around with her boyfriend Jed.


And to swim around fetching sticks out of the stream.

And to ponder the beautiful forest.

And to run off into the sunset with Jed. :)

Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday!