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The Evolution of The Jogging Concierge

by Alaina on January 20, 2015 · 4 comments

May 2010 – I began training for my first (and to this day, only) marathon. I documented my training through my blog, Blissful Running. Sporadically I would also write posts at Confessions of a Concierge.

August 2010 – I decided to merge my two blogs and on August 22, The Jogging Concierge was born.

Late 2010 to early 2011 – I was writing up a storm. I enjoyed sharing my day to day life, as well as the adventures David and I went on. I wrote about my outings as a concierge and all of the running that I did. I was also starting to fall in to the trap of comparing myself to other bloggers out there. In addition to their popularity (which for some reason I thought I was going to achieve overnight), I was also comparing my life to them. They all looked so perfect and had the happiest lives. It caused a bit of turmoil in my relationship, but thankfully it was short-lived.

February 2011 and March 2011 – David and I traveled to Las Vegas in February as our last hurrah before he was being deployed to Afghanistan. His deployment was scheduled to last a year.

March 2011 to December 2011 – The absolute height of my blogging activity. I was running races, traveling (Texas to see David, Charlotte to visit Jen), and enjoying the company of family and friends. It was a tough year but I certainly wouldn’t have gotten through it without the continued support that I was receiving at home and through blogging.

December 2011 – DAVID CAME HOME! It was the best Christmas present ever.

January 2012 – David and I purchased our first home and got started on the plans to tear it down and build our own energy efficient home.

The rest of 2012 – This year was vastly different than 2011. David wasn’t working this whole year so that he could work on the house, and I was there to help out as much as possible. Since I was the main income for the year, as well, I was working if I wasn’t helping at the house. Blogging certainly took a back seat to everything else. Between April and October it was non-stop house, house, house!

January and February 2013 – David and I both got new jobs at the beginning of the year. We were finally on the same Monday through Friday schedule. I had high hopes that blogging would pick back up again considering my more predictable schedule.

The rest of 2013 – Boy was I wrong! My job took up 12 hours of my day (from commuting and working) and by the time I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was blog. My weekends were spent getting everything done that I couldn’t do during the week. The job was starting to put a strain on our relationship and I started looking for work back in hotels.

January 2014 – The year of races! I felt that since 2013 was pretty…blah…I wanted to spice up 2014. It was the year I was turning 30 and I decided to challenge myself to 30 races.

March 2014 – I was let go from my job. I was stunned at first, but soon realized that it was the best. Because I was terminated (rather than leaving on my own accord) I was able to claim some unemployment and actually enjoyed a nice little 2 1/2 month “vacation”. I was starting to blog more at this time and even considered looking for jobs that included work in social media.

June 2014 – I found my way back to hotels! I started off as a Lobby Ambassador/Guest Services and a few months in I was able to transition to the concierge: a job that is certainly meant to be my calling.

December 2014 – My 30 Races in 2014 Challenge was completed and I felt extremely accomplished, albeit a little sick of running.

Which I guess brings us to the present, January 2015. It’s been over 4 years since I started my little blog and right now I’m questioning its future. This has mainly come about ever since David and I started to work our way out of debt. I noticed that I was paying for a hosted website but was making no money from it. In 2011 I was hoping to be profitable and therefore purchased a domain. But lately it seems that my heart just has not been in it like it used to be. I’m not really running all that much now, and because David and I are so far from Boston, it’s rare that we come in that often for dinner or events. Usually it’s about once or twice a month. So when my domain subscription ends in July it’s up in the air if I want to continue it. Maybe I’ll just go back to a WordPress or Blogspot platform if I get the inspiration to write again.

My main concern though? Losing all of my writing! It’s become such a great journal and I like looking back on what I’ve done over the years. Any advice on how to back it all up? Will I still have that information available when I’m no longer with Bluehost?

All questions aside, it has been such a great journey with blogging. I’ve met some amazing people, attending amazing events and was introduced to a healthier (and fun!) lifestlyle. We’ll see what happens once July rolls around; until then I’ll just keep up with my sporadic postings. I do still get out and have fun every once and a while. ;-)

Here’s to a fun and prosperous 2015!!

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Night Shift Brewery

by Alaina on January 10, 2015 · 1 comment

As a birthday present for my dad (back in October) I extended an invitation to him to join me for a tasting at the Night Shift Brewery in Everett. We were hoping to take a tour at 3, but since they were understaffed that day (last Friday) they only had a 5 and 7 available. We didn’t feel like sticking around for that long, so we just enjoyed an hour of tastings and chatting.

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We decided to split a tasting flight to start. A flight includes 4 different beers for $8. I ordered the Whirlpool (Soft, juicy American pale ale loaded with Mosaic hops. Flavors and aromas of ripe peach and citrus) and the Salzburg (Vienna-style lager with a crisp, soft body and gentle flavors of almond, honey, and freshly baked bread). I absolutely loved the Salzburg. It was smooth yet still had a slight “grit” to it. I could certainly taste the bread. Winking smile The Whirlpool was tasty but a bit too sweet for my taste. My dad ordered the Embark (First brew on our new brewhouse; IPA loaded with New Zealand hops, tons of refreshing lime and grapefruit flavors) and the Taza Stout (Stout brewed with chicory root and ginger. Aged on cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate). The Embark was too fruity for him, but he seemed to enjoy the chocolaty taste of the stout.

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The tasting room only had about 8 beers to sample from, and since all the rest were fruit based, we decided to each get a Salzburg after we finished the flight. It ended up being the unanimous favorite.

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Night Shift Brewery doesn’t offer food on sight, so they always recommend to BYOF (bring your own food). On select weekends they do have food trucks outside that guests can purchase from. Otherwise, they only have Taza chocolate for sale. As for non-perishable items, they have a selection of t-shirts to purchase as well.

Overall, my dad and I enjoyed our brief afternoon in the city (well, outside the city as it is located in Everett). We were a bit disappointed to not be able to take a tour, but from our vantage point, we could see well in to the production room. Since my dad has some experience in brewing (and visiting other breweries) he provided his own commentary. Winking smile  We arrived right at 3 when they opened, and by the time we left at 4, the bar was packed and the picnic tables were filling up. It’s definitely a happening spot in the neighborhood, and one that I would consider visiting again. I’ll wait until they have other brews to offer, though, since their offerings on tap are rather limited. It is a small operation though (3 friends who started in 2012) so I certainly cannot fault them for that. It’s amazing how much they have grown in the last 2 years or so, and I look forward to seeing where the future takes them!

Night Shift Brewing is located at 87 Santilli Hwy in Everett, MA.

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Welcome to January, the month where resolutions start and hopefully continue through 2015. For me, running is not even on the radar. Perhaps to get out there and loosen up the legs, but no races have been planned and it’ll probably stay that way. This year I want to focus on strength workouts and yoga. Perhaps it’s time to dust off the ol’ P90X DVDs. And with this frigid weather upon us, I’ll surely want to get my sweat on, inside.

The Top 10 Workout Songs for January 2015

The highlight of this month’s workout music round-up is the balance it strikes between perennial favorites and relative newcomers. By veering between the two, the mix manages to send both familiar and fresh at the same time.

Starting with the hits, you’ve got a pair of collaborations uniting Jessie J with 2 Chainz and Wyclef Jean with Avicii. Continuing with the upstarts, you’ll find a song from Penguin Prison that could pass for vintage Hall & Oates along with a club track from Alesso & Tove Lo featuring lyrics by David Bowie.

The whole affair kicks off with AC/DC’s first new song in six years. The song’s beats-per-minute count (BPM) is slow enough to ease you into things physically, while its thundering riff gets you fired up mentally. If you need a power track mid-routine, press play on the fastest (and most popular) song of the month: Sheppard’s ode to taking plunges.

For most folks, the new year is a time for taking stock and making changes–mixing things that worked in the past with new approaches for the future. This month’s top 10 list does a little of the same–blending veteran hitmakers with promising, newer acts. To that end, it might just be the perfect playlist for the new year and your next workout.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

AC/DC – Play Ball – 119 BPM
Deadmau5 – Some Chords (Dillon Francis Remix) – 129 BPM
Penguin Prison – Calling Out – 124 BPM
Charli XCX – Break the Rules – 125 BPM
Wyclef Jean & Avicii – Divine Sorrow – 130 BPM
Mr. Probz, T.I. & Chris Brown – Waves (Robin Schulz Remix) – 120 BPM
Jessie J & 2 Chainz – Burnin’ Up – 124 BPM
Alesso & Tove Lo – Heroes (We Could Be) – 126 BPM
Sheppard – Geronimo – 142 BPM
Ella Henderson – Ghost – 105 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

As always, I have not been compensated for this release; RunHundred.com is always free to use.

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