Halloween, work edition

If I told you my Halloween fun (and stress?) stopped when I put my sparkly green Tinkerbell shoes away in the closet (to be worn again…when? No clue), I would be lying. When I realized I had very limited time left to snatch the opportunity to decorate the window at the store, I spent all day on Tuesday getting supplies, and all night after the track workout putting my plan into action. Each year I make a store pumpkin, and there was no way I was skipping it this year. Here’s an evolution of the pumpkins…I’m on year three:

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And a drumroll please for this year…

I should tell you that I added some glow-in-the-dark paint, and glitter, to this year’s pumpkin! So, what it lacks in creative paint design, it makes up for in luminescence. Clearly, I didn’t stop at the pumpkin this year. I got totally tangled up in fake spiderwebs each time I turned on the pumpkin lights (i.e., twice a day), and when I realized I hadn’t changed the mannequin’s top yet, but this window display was worth it. The result:

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Note: I wanted to put a black sheet on the ground, but to be honest, it would have put me over my budget.

The loose straw will inevitably cause my coworkers to give me some grief, but I assured them I would clean it up thoroughly. They responded with comments that reassured me the Styrofoam snow (from the Valentine’s Day window) was still on the top of the Meghan’s Messiest Projects list. In the clear. I think the green glitter (St. Patrick’s Day window 2012) is second, because there was some deja-vu-inspired outcries when my Tinkerbell shoes and sparkly shirt made their way into the store last week….

I contemplated dressing as some sort of inanimate object we sell for Halloween at work Thursday, but the thought of constructing something out of cardboard that would resemble the Stick or a foam roller made my head hurt after all the other efforts I had already put into this holiday. So, I decided that an inspiring female runner would be my costume. I actually started off in normal clothes, and had just thrown some things into my bag; not feeling like doing it after all after putting final touches on another costume and packing for New York the night before. Then I got excited about it, and a Grete Waitz costume was fabricated (appropriate for pre-New York City Marathon weekend):

Gosh, I love dressing up. So does the local high school cross country team, who ended up running past the store during their practice! One of the mothers gave us a heads up, so we had plenty of warning time to go outside and take a lot of pictures. I sent them in to a local newspaper the next morning on the train to NYC, but I’m not sure anything ever became of that…perhaps Halloween was already old news (never!). Anyway, they were pretty sweet.

phsxcWe had some trick-or-treaters stop by later in the evening, which was fun also. THge clock struck closing time and after taking out the trash still dressed as Grete (I’m glad it was 65 degrees and humid that day!), I transformed into a flapper/Great Gatsby-themed character via costume number three! I am a big fan of the book and movie…and the movie’s soundtrack! I went to see it before the official opening day this May, and my friend and I dressed as flappers. That was a subpar effort, however. Halloween night I tried to do a better job, but didn’t go all-out and make a dress with beads and such, as I thought I should do back in the spring (enough stress is enough…I’ve never had three costumes before!). Here was the movie outfit (May 9th):

I learned that day that my hair is not compatible with the traditional flapper-inspired headband across the forehead. It just doesn’t stay put. So, I bypassed that entire idea and embellished a traditional headband of my own with gems, feathers, and pearls. I wore heels, tights, a dress I already had, and a couple different necklaces attached together.

Getting ready at work as usual....

Getting ready at work as usual….

…and part of a mandatory photoshoot before these candle pumpkin bags are thrown out:

With “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” stuck in my head, I attended a party at a local bar, at which my friend won a $100 cash prize for best costume! Afterward, I watched Scream for the first time (CHECK, for all those who have as list going of the movies they cannot believe I haven’t seen), which was superb. Not even kidding. Just when I thought Halloween was over, it got better. Cheers to that!

A lot of people ran in Halloween-themed races…I have yet to run in a costume (the sparkle skirt doesn’t count); if you have, tell me what it was like! I hope you had a great Halloween!

Next up: My NYC Marathon expo experience, the basics from a work perspective…and probably all the in between the lines, cold hard truth stuff surrounding it which is bound to come out sometime.

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When running meets Valentine’s Day…

(First of all, pretend it’s still Valentine’s Day. Just for the sake of this post, of course. The extent to which I have been busy since that day is insane. I hardly have opened my laptop.)

One of the things I really enjoy about work is that I can be creative, particularly with the window displays. It might not be a big deal to us, since we work there and see it every day, but there are thousands of people who walk through downtown each week, and our store is in a prime location. The window is a chance to send a message, to invite people in if they like what they see, or maybe just to make them smile. I did not make a Valentine’s Day themed window display last year. This is probably a good thing, because if I did, it would probably have included black hearts, flames, and Adele lyrics. Who wants to see that, right? Anyway, I was in much better spirits this year, and though running is currently my only love interest, I decided to do something cute. About this love interest, obviously. I thought it would be clever to use the idea of Sweethearts candy and make them read things about running, in the typical format of their sayings.

love Sweethearts candy…but the old recipe was better! Especially the white hearts, which they apparently do not make anymore. 😦 So I packed some paint and other supplies and got to work last Monday afternoon. I would like to thank Tifosi Optics for sending us a new sunglass display, since the Styrofoam supplied me with the materials for my oversized Sweethearts running-themed candy.

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A big runnerdy mess.

It was…messier than I expected. I used cardboard for some hearts because I was on a roll with sayings. They got cornier and cornier. They just kept coming! It was so much fun. I posted this picture to Facebook and it got ten likes immediately – a good sign that my window would be a success! My coworkers thought I was crazy and probably did not enjoy working with me that day (when I painted some awesome hearts I would run out to the front and exclaim my enthusiasm), but I cleaned everything up and finished only a couple hours after we closed.

The finished hearts:

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So cliche…but why not?

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I changed Sweethearts’ “BE GOOD” to “RUN FAST”…sound analogous to you?

My phone camera went through a hard time after that night, I’m not sure what the problem was, so I resumed taking photos in the daylight at work on Valentine’s Day:

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Props to Becca for bringing this to my attention, and suggesting I include it in the window! I didn't have time to paint it, but dry erase is better than nothing.

Props to Becca for bringing this to my attention, and suggesting I include it in the window! I didn’t have time to paint it, but dry erase is better than nothing.

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I had to. Flip side: “U R FAST.”

And now, glitter passes off the crown of Messiest Craft Ever (I’ll keep it PG here, it sounds better…) to… STYROFOAM. Seriously, it is awful. Not only does it get everywhere because when you break or cut it lots of little balls come loose, it is extremely electrostatic and will cling to everything within a foot of it. That is, hair, clothes, carpets, furniture, windows…you get the point. Note that I was making the hearts in the back, climbing in the Styrofoam-fake-snow filled window in the front, and traveling back and forth. Biggest vacuum job I have ever done at work. On the bright side, I made use of all the Styrofoam…and it does look like snow, sort of. More like hail, actually. Thankfully the vacuum picked it all up just fine. Not that I have taken down this window display yet or anything.

This was, I must admit, the highlight of my 2013 Valentine’s Day. I did not even run that day, purposely, as a precautionary measure after the double interval workouts and my Achilles giving me a scare. Just making other people smile and laugh when thinking about running, and not take the “holiday” so seriously made my Valentine’s Day great!

Photo shoots are fun too!

Becca and me just advertising spring Nike clothing, that’s all…

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But in case you didn’t catch that…It was the corniest running V-Day ever, that’s for sure! Princeton City-20130214-01745Let me know if you want to call dibs on a heart when I take them all down!