Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hi From Hartford!

Hello from the Northeast. 90 degrees here is sooo different from 90 degrees at home. I am thoroughly enjoying low low humidity and "cool" weather in the mornings and the evenings. And it's supposed to get cooler for the weekend, so our trip to Boston this weekend will have some great weather as well. Can't wait! 

I got a super pimp room this trip. It has two bathrooms! What does one person do with a hotel room (or suite) with two bathrooms? I have a living room the size of a regular hotel room, a kitchen, a separate bedroom - it's pretty awesome. And if that wasn't enough, at 9 o'clock on the night I checked in I got a phone call from the front desk telling me I had something being delivered to my room. They sent me a welcome basket with fruit and water and granola bars and popcorn. It was so nice! 


stay at this hotel every time I come here so I'm all like "yeah, I'm VIP." I then come to find out that everyone from our team who was staying at the hotel got the same thing, so I'm not as VIP as I think. Oh well. But I still have a room with two bathrooms. Pimp. 

I got to wear my awesome new pencil skirt yesterday. 


Love love love! And I got a ton of compliments because apparently I normally look like a slob when I come up here. I kid, but I never wear skirts so everyone was impressed. Today I'm wearing a dress. Blowing minds in Hartford with my style this week. Haha! 

Today is my last day of work. Hubs comes up tonight and then we're off on vacation adventures in Boston tomorrow. So excited! Have a super Labor Day weekend! 

How about you ... Have you ever been to Boston? 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Stitch Fix Review

I had fun filled afternoon last Wednesday.  I had a hair appointment and got my roots (and grays) taken care of, and then I came home and saw that I had a Stitch Fix box waiting for me!  Oh happy day!  And it was a good one too.  Here is the breakdown...

Laila Jayde Stratford Knit Top


This reminded me of a maternity top.  Wasn’t crazy about the style or the fit, but I did like the colors. Return.

Collective Concepts Salas Split Neck Blouse


As soon as I pulled this out of the box I knew I was going to keep it.  I’m into navy lately so this was right up my alley.  I paired it with light khakis and it was love.  Keep!

Market & Spruce Persia Geo Print Max Dress


I really liked this dress and it fit like a glove.  It wasn’t big and tent-y like most maxis, it was fitted and I liked it.  BUT, it was $78 and it looked like something I could find at Marshall’s for half that, so I had to say no, unfortunately.  Return.

41Hawthorn Carmelita Crew Neck Blouse


I loved the look of this shirt!  It was tailored and had polka dots on it.  Unfortunately it didn’t fit right.  The top and arm holes were way too big.  And the bottom part around my waist was too snug.  


Bah!  Return

Margaret M Christiana Pencil Skirt




I am not a pencil skirt kind of girl.  Or at least I didn’t think I was.  I’m curvy and the thought of a tight skirt just doesn’t seem appealing to me.  However, when I put it on I quickly realized why pencil skirts are “a thing.”  WOW!  It was just awesomeness.  My problem though - I never know what tops to pair with skirts.  So I went through my closet and found a couple of options and decided I had to have it.  Then I looked at the price tag - $78.  Holy geez!  But...it fit perfectly, I made an outfit out of it and it’s perfect for my trip up to Connecticut next week, so I splurged and kept it.  Because seriously, it was true love.

And that’s it!  So much fun.  Love Stitch Fix!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans

Hello! Happy Monday!  Today is a travel day for me.  I’m heading to Connecticut for the work week and then to Boston for the long weekend and I am pretty darn excited.

We had a super busy weekend, but all fun.  Thought I’d recap the shenanigans...

Home improvement


Did I mention that we’ve been moving some rooms around upstairs?  We made a guest room Hubs’ office and we’re currently transforming our loft into my office.  There’s been a bunch of painting going on, and we even tackled STRIPES!  I’ve seen this done on home improvement shows for a long time and always wanted to do it.  Our first foray into this was a super success.  I love it!

I’ll post an “after” picture later because it’s still a work in progress (because Hubs is OCD - hehe)

Running

Last week I had a couple of “OK” runs, doing 5/2 intervals.  I wasn’t feeling the 5/2 intervals and was just tired of running by the end.  So I decided to drop it down to 3/2 intervals on Friday and man, what a difference.  This is my happy zone for right now and it’s what I’m going to stick with for a while.  I enjoyed it so much, I woke up uber early on Saturday and did it again.  It felt great.

Jillian’s First Haircut at Disney




Jillian is 2 1/2, but she has the hair of a 5 year old.  Seriously!  It’s so long and beautiful.  I really wanted to just get her a trim, even the bottom out and even out her bangs (because right now my mom and I cut them) and so we decided that her first haircut had to be at Disney (naturally!).  They offer a “first haircut” deal where you get the haircut, a cool “first haircut” certificate, a box to keep a lock of hair in and Mickey ears commemorating the event.  FUN!  And you’d think it’s would cost an arm and a leg but it was $25.  Best deal at Disney!

The experience was so much fun and Jillian did great.  I was worried she’d be fidgety, but she was perfectly distracted by the various Disney toys they had to play with.  And after the haircut, she got her “My First Haircut” ears and then a styling complete with pigtails and pixie dust.




It was such a fun event!!  And afterwards we had lunch with a view.


Hurricane Erika

OK, so the hurricane never made it to us, but we did experience a ridiculous amount of rain on Saturday.  And of course we were out in the middle of it.  We had dinner reservations at Hollywood Studios on Saturday night and right about the time we made our way into the park is when the skies opened up.  Thankfully we made it to the restaurant without getting too soggy thanks to Mickey ponchos, umbrellas and towels and had a nice dinner.  After dinner we were hoping the rain stopped, but no.  So it was another soggy run to the car.  It was kind of crazy, but we made it.

Sunday

Sunday was spent packing myself for the week, packing Jillian since she is going to my parents house while we are in Boston next weekend, packing Jillian’s school stuff so Hubs doesn’t forget anything, etc etc.  Lots of packing and preparing and laundry and whatnot.  

All in all, great weekend!  

How about you ... How was your weekend?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Randomness - Barbie Edition

It’s FRIDAY!

Sorry I wasn’t too chatty this week.  Last week I was ON TOP of my blogging.  (I finally learned how to schedule posts – yeah, I’m really late to the game on that – so that made it easy)  This week … not so much.  It was a big, busy week around here with school starting and all that, so that’s my excuse.

Here’s what’s been going on and keeping me going this week.

Jillian’s new schedule – This week Jillian began a 2-day per week program that she goes to from 9-2.  With this comes a whole new morning schedule for us.  Normally on Tuesdays and Thursdays I work from home with her here with me, so it’s pretty chill (I normally leisurely work out, since I don’t have to rush and get to the office) and she usually hangs out in her room until 9am.  Now that she’s in school on these days, we all have to be up and ready by 7:30 and out the door by 8:15.  It’s an adjustment, but we did pretty darn good this week.  And I must say, the house is so empty and quite when she’s not here.  It’s so weird.  Preparation for when she eventually grows up and goes to school all day, I guess.  Sniffle.



Running – Since I knew that Tuesdays and Thursdays were going to be ix-nay on the running, I made sure to get runs in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and then a quickie bodyweight workout from Heather on Thursday morning - which I really dug).  They were all fine runs.  Nothing great.  Not really sure I’m going to be super ready for my next 5K on the 12th for many reasons.  A) I am traveling next week and will likely not be running much; B) we are on vacation Labor Day weekend; C) we are going to Night of Joy at Disney the night before the 5K and tobyMac – the only act we’re planning on seeing – doesn’t go on until 11:55 (pm - way after my bedtime).  Sheesh.  So I don’t have super high hopes for it.  But… I’m going to keep a positive attitude. 

Travel – Yes, I am traveling next week.  I’ll be up in Hartford for work Monday-Thursday and then on Thursday night Hubs is flying in and we’re going to spend Labor Day weekend in Boston!  I am super excited.  We’ve never been to Boston, and we’ve been trying to figure out where we want to go on vacay and it just happened to work out that I had to be in Hartford the week leading up to Labor Day, so it worked out great.  We’ll be doing all of the touristy, historic things and we’re lucky enough to be in town while the Red Sox are in town, so we’ll be making our way to a game at Fenway as well!  Can’t wait!


Cool for the Summer – I am OBSESSED with this song.  I’m not sure if I’m late to the game on this, but I’ve just discovered this tune and it is my currently my favorite jam.  I kid you not, I listened to it like 9 times in a row on my way home from work the other day.  It’s so catchy!  And I find Demi Lovato to be very talented.   She’s definitely the most talented out of that group of Disney girls who all came on to the scene around the same time (Miley, Selena and Demi).  And she’s a little edgy, not freakshow Miley edgy, but good edgy.  I seriously love this song.  OK, thank you.


Stitch Fix – I got my latest Stitch Fix yesterday and it was awesome!  I will do a post on it next week, but I have got to say that I am now a fan of pencil skirts – something I never thought I would say.  More on all that later, but it just beared mentioning.  Yay Stitch Fix! 


Barbie Rock'n Royals - I mentioned a few weeks ago that Jordyn (my step daughter) landed a super cool gig as the singing voice of a character in the new Barbie Rock'n Royals movie - which is awesome in and of itself.  Well, the movie (and soundtrack) is now available through iTunes (available on DVD Sept 8) and there are a slew of videos out on YouTube.  I must say it is surreal watching an animated movie and hearing the voice of your step kid singing.  I cried, not gonna lie.  #soproud  Every number that she's in (and there are bunch in the movie) is amazing and awesome.  Here are a couple to enjoy.

This one is all J.  She plays Courtney, the blonde princess/rocker Barbie.  (does that make me sound crazy?)


And another.  This is the song that comes out of her Barbie doll as well.  Hee.  


Go watch them!  It will totally make you want to see the movie.  Even if you are an adult!!

Weekend – This weekend we have some fun on tap.  Tomorrow is Disney day.  We’re doing Magic Kingdom in the morning because Jillian is getting her first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street!  So exciting!  Then later that day we’ll be making our way over to Hollywood Studios for another Disney dining date at The Hollywood Brown Derby.  Should be fun!  Sunday, I’m packing and preparing for being gone an entire week.  Yikes! 

That’s all I’ve got.  Have a happy Friday and a great weekend!


How about you … What are you up to this weekend?  Any Labor Day plans?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Day of School

Today I dropped my daughter off at school for the first time. 


I say “school” but it’s really a 2-day, mother’s day out program for a few hours a day.  Either way, Jillian has never been anywhere except home with us or family members since the day she was born.  Hubs and I are so incredibly fortunate to have family close (or relatively close) who is so willing and able to watch Jillian a couple of days a week.  Seriously, blessed.  And also we are fortunate to have jobs that allow us to work from home and have her with us – it’s tough, but it’s been working.

As she approached 2 ½ we realized that it was definitely time for her to get into a structured program where she could play with kids, learn structure, do fun things, make friends, etc etc.  We’ve actually been waiting a long time for this day to come.  We signed Jillian up for this program back in February (their schedule coincides with the regular school year) because I guess that’s how long in advance you have to sign kids up for things.  Crazy! 

So how did Day One go?  Everyone warned me about “the drop off” on the first day.  They said there would be crying on both ends, the kid might kick and scream and not want to leave you and you might cry for the rest of the day while she’s gone. 


(She requires a lot of stuff)

I can officially confirm that none of that applied to us.  I was not a basket case and Jillian ran into the classroom and never gave us a second glance.  It was perfection.  Phew!  It really helped that it was a classroom and a teacher that she was familiar from Sunday school, so that was a godsend.  Quite literally! 


The teachers said she behaved great, she only had one potty accident (ah well, at least it was only one), they said she kept asking to go on the playground (yeah, that’s my kid) and she didn’t nap (yep, my kid too).  But overall they said she was excellent.  It was at that point where I wanted to cry.  It was such a wonderful relief.  It just proved what I already knew…  Jillian is AWESOME.


So this is our new normal – school two days a week and much more joy and amazingness to come, I am sure!  We all cannot wait for her second day of school on Thursday!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Randomness - Milestones

Well howdy!  It’s Friday!  How does that happen so quickly?  

Today I thought I would just do a big brain dump of what's been making me happy and keeping my occupied lately ...

Potty Training - Potty training is no joke!  The weekend before last we started with our little 3-day potty bender and it went okay - a couple of hits, a lot of misses.  However, we had to abandon our plans when Jillian developed a stomach bug last Monday (if you catch my drift - icky).  So we picked it up again this week and I have to say it's going really really well.  



We spent a lot of time in our master bathroom on Saturday.  Jillian played with my make up I gave myself a pedicure, and she sat on the potty a whole bunch.  

Anniversary - On Saturday Hubs and I celebrated our 13 year dating anniversary.  Aww.  We celebrated by going to California Grill out at Disney at The Contemporary resort.  California Grill is on the 15th floor and overlooks Magic Kingdom.  And if you time it just right, you can watch the fireworks from your table.  Cool.  It was a nice night and the food was delish.  I will do a post on it soon.


Milestones - We had a couple of Jillian milestones this week.  She graduated from swimming this week.  Her first graduation!  We've been doing Safe Start lessons with her since June, and what is normally a 6 week program has turned into a 2+ month long process because of all of the rain outs we've had this summer.  (Here's a tip - don't do swimming lessons at an outdoor pool in the summertime in Florida - it rains like every night)  But I am happy to report that she now knows how to keep herself alive and afloat if she falls in a pool.  (God forbid)


Jillian and her teacher taking a graduation selfie.  (Her final swim was in "winter clothes", hence the reason she is in pants and socks and shoes and no shirt - I had already taken it off.)

Another milestone we had this week - her first "Meet the Teacher"!  My baby starts school next week.  I say "school," it's really a Mother's Day Out program that she'll be going to 2 days a week.  I am so excited and so is she after seeing her classroom and meeting her teachers.  She even has a cubby with her name on it!  


She will be surrounded by Noahs


Potties, graduations and meet the teacher?  It's all just too much.  And next week, she's getting her first haircut.  Eee, she's growing up so fast!



tobyMac - I have been listening to tobyMac’s new album non stop since I downloaded it.  So.  Freakin.  Great.  We get to see him in concert soon at Night of Joy.  YAY!




Tarzan - Here’s a weird one. The animated Disney film Tarzan was on TV on Saturday and I forgot how great that movie is.  I think all of the Phil Collins music makes it great. (Does that statement make me sound like an old lady?  I love Phil Collins.  OK, that does.)  And it’s such a good story too.  And I didn’t know it at the time, but Tony Goldwyn (Fitz from Scandal) is the voice of Tarzan.  Nice!



Snacks - Hubs and I have been eating pretty cleanly this week (go us!), so I have been trying out some new to me snacks to keep me on track.  


I'm not a super huge fan of just plain almonds, but these honey glazed ones are the bomb.


Didn't these used to be called "rice cakes"?  Now they are "oat crisps."  Whatever, they are freakin delicious.  The blueberry flavor makes it feel like I am eating dessert.  So good!


OK now I'm hungry, so I'm going to go eat something.  Hope your Friday is going great!

How about you ... What are your fave snacks?  What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I'm a Slow Runner, and It's OKAY!

As you know, I'm riding the 5K high right now.  I feel great about how I did on Saturday that I really just want to keep up that momentum.  I'm really glad I signed up for the Fanatic series this year because I know I have a race just around the corner almost every month until March.  


I flippin' love this shirt.

I love doing races because I feel like I'm surrounded by people who are like me.  And what I mean by that is this: reading running blogs and reading running magazines and books sometimes makes me feel like I'm an inferior runner, like I'm not even really a "runner."  



I'm slow.  Like, super duper slow.  I run probably a 13 minute pace, if I'm lucky.  Pair that with my walk breaks and I'm probably averaging 14 minutes per mile during a race.  (I'd have to do the math)  Reading about people who run a sub 2 hour half marathon or strive for a sub 3 hour marathon are so outside my realm of reality it's comical, but it makes me feel - and I know it shouldn't - a little inferior.  Like, "why do I run so slow?!"


I'm not sure why I run so slow - I'm in good shape, I'm not overweight, maybe I'm lazy?  I don't know.  But I'm just not build to run a 7 minute mile, or a 9 mile mile or even an 11 minute mile.  I'm just not.  I remember back in the 7th grade, we had to run the mile as part of some PE test and everyone was blowing past me and I was just taking my own sweet time and taking walk breaks, much like I do now.  I finished in 12-ish minutes (wow, fast!) and I was second to last (hey, not last!).  See, just not built for speed. 


And I'm okay with this.


The 5K this weekend (and really any race I do) showed me that I'm not alone.  There are tons and tons of people just like me out there who are doing their own version of running. Everyone is different, everyone has their own pace, and ya know what, it's all running.  I may never run a 2 hour half marathon (ha, or even a 2:55 half marathon, let's be honest), but that is OK.  At least I'm out there trying.  


Bottom line:  Run for YOU.  Run at your own pace, your own style and don't worry what everyone else is doing.  Remember, it's ALL running!  


And for those non-runners who feel like this:


I'm sorry.  I'll talk about something else tomorrow.  Hehe.

How about you ... Do you run?  Fast, slow, middle of the road, don't care to compare?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shirts!

I love new clothes.  So when I went to pick up my race packet on Friday for the Celebration of Running 5K and saw that I had not one, but two super cute shirts in there I was excited.  

As I mentioned in my last post, the logo and the race t-shirt for my 5K were really cute.  Usually race t-shirts are big, boxy, unisex t-shirts that I get in a giant size and never wear.  This race, however, had gender specific (is that the right term?) shirts.  I mean, c’mon, the ladies shirt had a cute v-neck! 


I love the color, I love how colorful the logo is, I loooove the v-neck and the fit is great.  Love this shirt!  

Also in my race packet was my Fanatic shirt.  Because I registered for the Fanatic series (6 races), I got some nice swag.  Coupons for Track Shack, a gift card to Seasons 52 and my new favorite shirt.


The Fanatic shirt is a Raw Threads bamboo shirt that is a really neat material (it’s bamboo, organic cotton and elastane).  It feels cool, and thin and I think it’s probably my favorite new shirt (did I already say that?) and I will be wearing it a lot.  

And the last shirt, I’m sure you’ve seen on people around the interwebs...


What am I looking at?

My Hungry Runner Girl  “I’m hungry because I run...I run because I’m hungry” shirt!  Love love love the style of this shirt.  It’s a tank, but it’s flowy and thin and just perfect for running or running around.  So glad I can support Janae and her awesome blog by wearing this.  

Yay shirts!  

How about you ... What’s your favorite type of running or working out top?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Celebration of Running 5K Race Recap

I did it!  


On Saturday I ran the first official 5K of the Track Shack Fanatic 2015-2016 series - the Celebration of Running. 



(The logo and the shirts were sooo stinkin' cute this year.)

The race was held near Loch Haven Park in downtown Orlando with Florida Hospital and the Orlando Science Ceneter as a scenic backdrop. 

(I apologize in advance for the terrible picture quality on some of these, I had to use my iPod to take pics at the race because I didn't want to carry my big honkin' phone with me.)

Completely unrelated and random fun fact: I interned at the Orlando Science Center my junior year of college. It was super fun.

Track Shack sponsored races, especially this race (since it's the first event of the year), are usually perfectly run. And despite some sound issues at the beginning (I didn't hear Carissa's familiar voice until after the race started) and some clock issues during the race (no biggie for me), everything went nicely. 

The course wound through the backroads of downtown Orlando and it wasn't terribly scenic, and it was mostly cobblestone streets, which had me in a panic (cuz I’m clumsy), but overall it was a fine course.  And it was HOT.  OMG, so steamy and muggy, it was just gross.  But you know I prefer to run in the heat, so it was all good.

So how did I do?  


(Pre-race selfie)

I did great!  I am very proud of myself.  Especially since my lack of training was worrying me a bit.  My goal was 5/2 intervals and I maintained that through a majority of the race (more in that in a minute).

The race started a few minutes late due to traffic and we were off.  As I crossed the mat I turned on my Easy Intervals app to alert me when to walk and when to run, and I turned up my awesome 5K playlist so loud I couldn't hear anything else (I know you're not supposed to do that, but it really helps me).  

I felt great during my first running interval and it flew by.  When it came time to walk I didn't really want to, but I knew if I wanted to keep up the pace I had to, so I did.  It felt like a long time to walk (later when I was really tired these flew by way too fast), but I stuck to the plan.  

About three running intervals in I was starting to get tired.  Most of my "training" (I use that term loosely) runs have only been 2 miles, so adding on a third mile proved to be a little tough.  (Mental note: do a couple 3 milers before my next race)  

Around the half way point, during one of my running intervals I got really tired and thought about stopping to walk.  After yelling "nooooo, you can do this, push!" in my head, a song came on my playlist that had the most perfect lyrics...

I am tired, I am drained
But the fight in me remains 
I am weary, I am worn 
Like I’ve never been before 


This is harder than I thought 
Harder than I thought it’d be 
Harder than I thought 
Takin’ every part of me 
Harder than I thought 
So much harder than I thought it’d be 
But empty’s never felt so full 

This is what love (this is what love)
This is what love 
Feels like 
This is what love (this is what love) 
This is what love 
Feels like 


Leave it to tobyMac to be a huge motivator during my race (this is from the song "Love Feels Like").  These lyrics helped push me to keep going and not stop, even when I sort of wanted to.  It was like one of those "aha" moments that came just at the right time.  It was pretty cool.  I know the song is totally not about running, but it was just so perfect.

I kept on chugging and got to the 2 mile marker (yeah all that happened before I even got to mile marker 2 - sheesh, I have some work to do!) and the clock said 20:21 as I passed it.  Wow, I was flying!  Har har har.  It was wrong by about 10 minutes or so, I'm sure.  

The rest of the race I kept pushing and with about .3 miles to go I literally had nothing left.  I was about 2 minutes into a running interval and knew I needed to slow down and walk.  I didn't want to, but I felt like I had to.  So I did.  I should have pushed, heck, I should have gone back to that song, but I was just so tired and so hot and I just really wanted to walk.  

So I walked for 5 seconds and then started running again thinking that that short burst would satisfy me.  Unfortunately it didn't.  So I walked a little bit more. (Did I mention the last part of the race was uphill?  Ugh, that should be illegal.)  I walked until my next walking interval (about 2.5 minutes or so) and started up again.  

At that point I was at the 3 mile marker and knew I could bust it out for the last .1 mile, I mean c'mon.  And then another song with awesomely perfect lyrics came on...

Y'all know what it is
Sometimes, 
You gotta push though all your obstacles
Nah’ I mean?
No matter what the options are
There is no lose, there is no fail
Let’s Go!

Seems like life go lightning speed
Slow it on down baby, just to breathe...


And then it goes into the most perfect chorus for the end of a race:

If the sky turns black, it don't matter
We know the sun, is coming up
Built so strong, it won't shatter
We-were-born-to RUN


Seriously, my music was awesome this race.  This is the song “Born 2 Run” from 7Lions, FYI.

So while lip syncing “we were born to RUN” I crossed the finish line.  Hooray!  

Got my medal, got my water, got my banana and I hung around for a while and just rested.  (and took another sweaty, blurry selfie)


This was a great first race.  I went in with little expectation and came out very proud of myself.  I wish I hadn’t stopped at the end, but I did and that’s something to work on for my next race (which is less than a month away).  Running a 5K is a huge motivator and just makes me want to get out there and work on getting even better for the next one.  

Word up!  

How about you ... Anyone running any races?  How do you stay motivated to push through and keeping running (or walking, or working out in some way)?