Today is the Go! St. Louis marathon and I am so proud of all the runners who participated! I can't believe three years ago that was me, crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles through Downtown St. Louis. Looking back on those photos I'm inspired to get back into running.
While I've been doing really well with my workouts this year at Fitness Formula, we don't usually run more than a mile and a half and I realized that while I don't love to run, it's such a great workout. I've never been a runner (I used to try to fake sick on the day we ran the mile at school), but I found when I was training for the half marathon and running fun 5Ks like the Color Run, I actually had a pretty good time. The Color Run comes back to St. Louis on April 21 and I'm excited to use that as my kick start into running again.
If you've never done the Color Run, or even run a 5K, this is probably the best way to ease in because it's more about having fun (it's called the #Happiest5K for a reason) and they don't worry about times. Everyone wears white and throughout the race you get blasted with colorful dust and finish the race in head-to-toe rainbow. I am so excited to partner with the folks at the Color Run to offer up a chance to get a free entry into the race. Go here to sign up! or head to my Instagram for a chance to win (@alexiszotos).
My best advice for the race is to have fun, wear shoes you don't care about and put your phone in a zip lock baggie so you can snap all the pics without worrying about ruining your phone. I'll be a total slow poke at the race, but I'm excited to try to find the fun in running.
Well guys...I'm definitely going to let Matt do more planning for our weekends from now on. If you caught my last #ToDoInTheLou post, I mentioned how I was letting him plan the weekend. Well his plan included a staycation at the Four Seasons and dinner at Sidney Street Cafe.
Oh, and a proposal!
It was so perfect and I still can't believe we're engaged. Sometimes I find myself just staring at my hand and my beautiful ring he picked out and just can't believe I get to marry this man. Anyone else feel like that?
So of course everyone asks, how did he propose. We had just checked in at the Four Seasons and it was raining. He really wanted to take Ellie on a walk in Forest Park all afternoon (and now I know why - that had been his original plan). So at the hotel we decided we would go spend some time at the spa in the hot tub and just relax. As I was putting our swim suits in our bags in the room he apologized for the weather and then said something along the lines of "But it doesn't matter how gross it is outside, it's always perfect with you." Which I thought was sweet but I didn't know why he was saying it. And that's when all of a sudden he said "and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you," and proceeded to get down on one knee. I was so surprised that it was happening right then and there in the hotel room, all I could say was "oh my gosh, is this happening?!" I was laughing and tearing up. He was so nervous I could tell and I was just so surprised, I finally said yes haha and he finally managed to get the ring on my finger.
It was so perfect because it was just us. Our little moment that we get to cherish forever. Of course my mom asked if anyone took pictures of videoed it, but I said it was nice to have something not on camera for once in my life and have it be so personal and special.
We then proceeded to call our families and our best friends. Matt had asked my dad's permission a long time ago and did not let either him or my mom know this was happening (rightly so, since they would have 100 percent have given it away). It was so special to see the excitement on their faces on FaceTime and I don't think I stopped smiling for days. We celebrated with champagne at the bar at Cielo and we're so thankful the bartender came out to take a few photos of us (in the rain) on their rooftop. Dinner at Sidney Street was perfect and will forever hold a place in my heart.
The rest of the weekend was a blur of celebrations, and hugs and retelling this story. We went to brunch, had a couple's massage at the Four Seasons (which is the BEST) and went to Schlafly Stout and Oyster Festival. I can't wait to see where our life takes us and I know it will always be filled with adventure and laughter. This weekend was just the beginning.
Happy almost weekend friends! So if you couldn't tell by this weekly post, I'm a bit of a planner. I'm the one who always comes up with our weekend plans, usually picking out where we go to eat and what fun events we do. But this weekend...I'm going in blind. My boyfriend said he wanted to make plans, so I'm letting him. I did make sure he knew that we must go to one of my all time favorite events, Schlafly's Stout and Oyster festival! So stayed tuned to Instagram to see how I cope with putting my weekend agenda in someone else's hands...
Is Tuesday too early to be thinking about Sunday brunch? I think not.
Last month we got to check out the first beer brunch at Center Ice Brewery. It was a collaboration between the brewery, Coma Coffee and Chef Alex Salkowiski of Sydney Street. And they're getting ready to do another one this weekend and I'm here to tell you, go get your tickets. This was such a fun morning, filled with great food, full pours of some delicious beers and owner and brewer Steve Albers takes the morning to explain why certain beers pair well with certain foods. Walking your taste buds through the beer as you start with a fruit and cheese plate, explaining the flavors you get when biting into creamy brie verses tart blood orange.
We started off with the American Golden which was really delicious. It was refreshing with hints of citrus. But my favorite beer of the brunch had to be their coffee stout they made with my friends at Coma coffee. The brunch was held in the back part of the brewery where you can see their brewery equipment. And if you haven't been back there, the equipment is surrounded by a wall like at a skating rink. If you're a Blues fan, you'll definitely want to check out all their hockey memorabilia. The gorgeous bar is built from wood from the old arena. Even if you can't make the brunch it's a great spot to grab a beer before a game, with friendly staff. Normally the Midtown brewery doesn't serve food but you can order from neighboring Pappy's or Southern.
The next brunch is this coming Sunday and tickets are on sale. The menu isn't posted but they have teased ahead to a raspberry picker cream ale paired with a parfait made from local goodies. There will also be a new beer released. Find tickets here.
Grab your green and get ready for one of St. Louis' best parades! The Dogtown St. Patrick's Day parade is second only to Mardi Gras in my opinion. It's no where near the crazy of Mardi Gras, but it's always fun to see the local Irish families and of course drink some beer. Because St. Patrick's Day falls on Saturday, both the Dogtown Parade and Downtown parade are on the same day, so if you're feeling extra motivated you'll go to both, for me, I'll stick with Dogtown and finish the afternoon at Pat's!
Happy International Women's Day!
One of my favorite things to see is the incredible movement of support on social media and online. Let's be real. The internet can be a mean place. But recently there has been this trend of empowering and supporting one another. And I love it. You'll see women sharing their favorite Instagramers, the idea of collaboration over competition and T-shirts that say 'You CAN sit with us.' On Instagram people are competing for likes and shares just like in the real world we're all competing for jobs and promotions, but I think we can do that without tearing each other down.
I'll be the first to admit I was a bit of a mean girl in high school. Part of it I think stemmed from being bullied myself, but I've found being mean gets you nowhere. But being kind does. I try to take that mindset into the workforce where I still run into my fair share of mean girls. The news business is becoming more and more female (except maybe in management...) which is awesome, but it does mean there is that element of competition and even some cattiness. I am so proud to say that our newsroom at KMOV has so many incredible female journalists (many of which are my dear friends) and I think right now we are all about lifting each other up, helping each other make our stories better and working as a team.
While that hasn't always been the case, I know that I can only control my actions. It's hard when you see others getting the stories you want (or maybe for you the it's project or the promotion) and I think as women we have a tendency to take that personally. It makes us think 'why can't I be like her,' 'what does she have that I don't?' Those feelings are especially exasperated by social media where everyone's lives look so darn perfect. (Remember, Instagram is a highlight reel). But for me I have really try to squash down those feelings, both at work and while scrolling through Instagram. I know I can only work to make myself better, take chances that might get me those stories I want, and remember you can't have something unless you go for it. Instead of feeling down on myself or tearing down the person who has what I want, compliment her, seek her advice, support her. Because we won't get anywhere without supporting and collaborating together.
Usually I am off on Friday's but today I'm working a dayside shift for a co-worker. Feeling very sleepy this morning but happy to help when I can. This week seems like a blur. It went by crazy fast but I got a chance to do a story I loved (Maplewood restaurant boom!), take a hike with a friend and spent time with 8th graders at a career fair talking about why journalism is the best. Plus we saw sunshine and 60 degree days this week! And that in itself gives me smiles for days. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Well hello friends! Sorry I've been MIA. For those outside of the news business, February is the month of sweeps, or ratings. Basically it's when our ratings really matter because it bases what station is in what place. So it's always a crazy month for news people (so is May and November). And if you are in the news biz, well congrats on making it through the book! Normally today is my Friday but I'm working an extra day tomorrow, so that means squeezing all my weekend into one day, don't worry I will make the most of it. We plan to check out some newly opened spots including Brick River Cider and Wellspent Brewery which opens this weekend. Here's a look at some of the fun happenings around the Lou! Tell me what you're excited about this weekend?
Happy Valentine's Day friends! I hope it's filled with lots of love and of course chocolate. That is unless you are giving up chocolate for Lent. Because for the first time since 1945, the two fall on the same day, making this quite the dilemma for some. Now for me, while I was raised Catholic in the loosest sense of the terms, it is not something I practice, but I have always enjoyed participating in Lent. Partly because I think it's a good practice to give up something you love to see that you can. So this year, I'm not giving up my favorite food, but instead something even more important to me. My phone.
So now let's be real. I'm obviously not giving up my phone in totality. I can't even give up social media because of work. But where I can give it up is in the bedroom. If you're like me, you get into bed and instead of going straight to bed you scroll through Instagram or answer a few more work emails. In the middle of the night if I wake up and can't sleep, I always reach for my phone. And basically every study ever says the worst thing to do. Then come morning, my phone is alarm so the first thing I do is scroll through Twitter to see what's up, check my notifications and before I know it, I've wasted a solid 30 minutes. So for 40 days I am saying goodnight to my phone, allowing my bedroom to be a peaceful and phone free space.
I set up a little charging station in the kitchen a while back and already kept my work phone out there. (It would take something like the St. Louis Arch falling down for me to get called into work in the middle of the night and if that happened, well they'd be calling all my phones.) So I will put my ringer up on the phone in the case there is an emergency. I'm a pretty light sleeper so I think I will hear it in the kitchen (just ringer, notifications are muted at night).
I'm excited to take that time before bed and focus more on reading my book, snuggle with Ellie or simply going to be a little earlier. I do think it's going to be a challenge. I will be the first to admit that I am addicted to my phone. When I try to shut it off for an hour to get some work done, I get antsy and find myself constantly reaching for it. So I am hopeful this will help with that addiction and provide a little more balance in my life. Have you banished your phone from the bedroom? What are you giving up for Lent? Let me know!
Valentine's Day is a week away, and that means reservations are booking up for the romantic spots around the city. There's a lot to be said about Valentine's Day (yes it's a corporate made up holiday), but I've always been a fan of celebrating love. Whether it's with a significant other or a best friend, a sister or your puppy, why not spread a little love? Last month a friend asked for recommendations for a romantic night out for his girlfriend's birthday and I turned to my trusty friends on Twitter and got so many great responses, so I figured this would be a great time to share the list!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.