Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chicago Running Blogger Christmas Meetup

Saturday morning I got up bright and early. Not for my long run, but to get things ready for our blogger brunch! Maggie picked me up and we rode together (picking up Christina on the way) all the way to Erin's place in the big city! We dropped off our stuff and headed out for the run (but not before taking a group photo).
Photo Credit: Erin

Since we ran through part of the UIC campus, there were quite a few "This one time..." and "I remember when..." stories to those I was running with (I just couldn't help myself). After we got back, it was time for a mug of hot chocolate (perhaps with a little liquor in it) and for me to start prepping my brunch contribution, blueberry turnovers. They are best fresh out of the oven and I have not had success re-heating them so I prepped what I could and took over the kitchen once I got there. Once the blueberry turnovers were complete, it was time for me to put on my Christmas attire.

There was a little contest and I was hoping to win. Last year, we got a Santa Snuggie in our Yankee Swap family grab bag. (Front and back shots below, because it was crucial to get both sides. Thanks for the photos, Maggie!)
CRB Holiday Party CRB Holiday Party

After tallying the votes, I was determined the winner (yay!!). It was pretty exciting (for me, at least) and I loved the swag bag of prizes that Maggie and Kim had put together. Now it was time to mingle, eat, and enjoy the party (and eat some more). I got to meet some bloggers I hadn't met before and put some faces to web addresses. It was really great to hang with so many other people that share the same interests (running, blogging, food)... I really couldn't think of a better way to spend my Saturday.

Next, it was time for the optional gift exchange. It was a yankee swap grab bag and there were lots of running themed gifts (shockingly). I got to see some products I have not yet tried. (Those Injinji socks are still on my radar.) I picked Maggie's gift (not really surprised by this one) and I got a few more Bondi Bands to add to my collection. I really like them for the winter because they can help wick the sweat under my normal headband. My gift contribution was some Picky Bars in a box with cats lifting weights design, along with some pineapple Gu and a Oiselle temporary tattoo. (Photo of the box contents can be found here, with the winner.)

After the gift exchange, we took a big group photo before some folks started to filter out.
From L to R, starting in the back:
Back Row: AnneKatieEmilyCaryLaurenMaggieBobbiCharlyn
Second Row: AmandaKatie, Me, AmyMarcia, Kim
Front Row: RiyantiEmilyLindsaySaraEricaErin
In the front-front: Kelsey
Not pictured: Christina

Maggie and I hung around with some of the other stragglers and discussed spring race plans. We also tried to think of our next big blogger race that we've been planning since Zooma. It was then time for Kelsey and I to answer the age old question: who has longer arms. We've discussed this on one of Kelsey's blog posts (Is it weird that I looked that up? I didn't think so either.) and now it was time to test our theory. If you were wondering, my arms are longer than Kelsey, even though she is taller than me. We measured these proportions several different ways, each one creepier than the one before. (Special thanks to Maggie for taking photos to commemorate the discovery)
CRB Holiday Party
Who's taller? 
CRB Holiday Party
Arms Length
CRB Holiday Party
Michael Phelps Wingspan
I had a really fun time and special thanks to Erin for hosting! I had an absolute blast and am already looking forward to the next event! They always end up being lots of fun, with plenty of inside jokes, and tons of delicious food.
I'm still waiting on that modeling contact.

Have you participated in a Yankee Swap event this year? I always do one with my family every year, and these types of grab bags seem to become more popular every year. Do you also notice the trend of these events becoming more popular? What is your favorite food to make around the holidays?


  1. The party was so much fun! I love your photo recap! :) Are all snuggies open in the back like that? Or does it zip up or something?

  2. I am doing so many gift swaps this year. One at work, our blogger one (the only "real" gift one), one with friends on Saturday night, and my extended family always does one at our Christmas gathering, although we may or may not be around for that this year. And sometimes my in-laws do one. I've been doing swaps for years, but this is probably the most I'm doing in one holiday seasons. They are always lots of fun though!

  3. Katie @ LivehalffullDecember 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Thanks for the cat weights!!! :)

  4. Yes, all snuggies are open in the back... They are meant to be worn while sitting on the couch. They are basically just a robe that you wear backwards without the belt. I don't get it, at all.

  5. I feel like I am also participating in a lot of gift swaps this year. It is always a fun time, especially if you get to swap out for a better gift! Lol! :)

  6. Robert will sometimes wear a snuggie "backward" like a robe ... which makes no sense as he has this really nice fleece robe that his mom made for him - it's super tall (like him) and has a hood. He's so weird.

  7. I did a yankee swap at work. Yes more popular, I had never heard of one up until a year ago. Favorite food: cookies!

  8. Love your Chicago blog meet ups, they look awesome. Such cute outfits. The gift exchange sounds fun, yay for run related gifts and new products. I haven't done a gift exchange in a long time. I've also never heard it called a yankee swap!

  9. Thanks! I'm really glad that we have a network that helps keep us all connected. I don't know where the Yankee Swap name came from but I know the exchange has a couple different names including Nasty or Naughty Santa. We just had one on Christmas Eve with my family!