Thursday, February 28, 2013

Running Tips for the Non Runner

I run.

But let's clear something up right now:  I am not a runner.

I run because it's good for me.  I run because it gets me outside.  I run because I like the changes it has made to my body.  I run because it's something just for me.

But at this point, I would never consider myself  a runner.

I have completed some 5Ks, and I'm signed up for quite a few more in the upcoming months.  I certainly understand the desire to run a further distance than that, but for my purposes, I just have no real desire to do so.  I definitely beat myself up a bit after admitting that to's just part of my personality, the always wanting to be more and do more.  But right now, 3-4 miles is plenty for me.

In order for me to get out there and run, everything needs to be just so.  The clothes need to be right, the music needs to be right, and I'm pretty sure the moon needs to be in the seventh house.  Here's how the non-runner in me makes myself do it.

1.  Get comfortable.

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT.  There is NOTHING WORSE than socks that quit on you...the ones that get eaten up by your shoes and wind up in a big ol' annoying bunch just past your heel.  Do yourself a big big favor and invest in a pair of good running socks.  I learned this the hard way with a cheap set from Old Navy.

Make sure your shorts don't ride up.

Make sure if you have a jacket that zips up that it doesn't rub against your chin and give you a rash.

And if nothing else, find quality earbuds.  The worst run of my life involved socks that quit on me, a zipper that gave me a chin rash, and earbuds that kept popping out of my ears until I gave up and threw them in a random trashcan as I ran by. (Don't tell my husband.  They were a gift.)

2.  Find the right pair of shoes.

This took me a while because of my terribly flat feet.  I went to my amazing local running store and they set up me with a fabulous pair of Mizunos.  Now it feels like I'm running on two puffy clouds.  Or as close to that as I'll ever get.

3.  Find the right music.

Lots of online sites will give you suggestions for music that is perfectly paced to keep you on time.  None of that mattered for me.  To keep me going, I need songs that pump me up and make me want to sing along (even though I can't sing because I can barely breathe).  This is something I needed to try out and play with a little.  Even though I love Rihanna, she annoys me when I run.  (I'm dying here, Ri-Ri, and I don't have time for your cutesy half-naked nonsense!)  Some of my faves are:  Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION, My Body by Young the Giant, Lose Yourself by Eminem, and Circus by Britney Spears.

4.  Find your reason.

Why are you out there doing it?  To tone up?  To lose a few pounds?  To get active?  To get away from your kids for a while (perfectly valid reason)?  It doesn't matter what your reason is....but find it.  And make it your mantra.  For me, it was because I was tired of underestimating myself.

5.  Find the right motivation.

Can we stop all this "No Matter How Slow You Go, You're Lapping Everyone on the Couch" nonsense?  Seriously.  If you're taking out the trash, you're lapping someone on the couch. That's excusing mediocrity.   I'm not saying that being the fastest matters; in fact, I run a very slow mile.  But I want to be out there knowing that I'm pushing and working, not just moving. This motivates me more:

And, ok, this one motivates me a little too.  I'm shallow like that.

6.  Find Your Inner Cute

Not gonna lie.  This is the one that most often gets me out the door.  If I like my outfit and feel good in it, I'm more apt to go run.  Hey, whatever gets you putting one foot in front of the other.

Chevrun Running Skirt
source unknown

So, let's hear it!  What gets you moving?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spring Favorites

The daffodils are poking up through the mulch in my flower bed!  I don't think I've ever been this excited for spring.  It hasn't been a terrible winter here; there isn't any snow to speak of and we haven't even had the luxury of a snow day, but I am longing to be outside again, digging in the dirt and growing things.  And I can't wait to wear skirts again without needing layers and layers underneath.

Here are some of my favorite things for spring.

1.  Measuring Hedgies from Anthropologie.  $36. Because they are just so stinking cute.

2.  Placed Floral Silk Dress from Loft. $79.50  This one is on-trend with the floral design, but in more of a sophisticated way than some of the prints I've seen.

3.  I'm obsessed with shoe clips lately!  Such a pretty way to dress up a pair of flats or heels.  These are from here.  $12.

4.  I'm loving dipped wood. These are from Urban Outfitters and are $16.

5.  Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.  I love this stuff!  I use it as a primer and it immediately brightens my skin and makes me look awake.  I couldn't live without it. It's pricy, but a little goes a long way.  $45.

What are your must-haves for spring?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Last Minute Valentine's Day Ideas

I recognize this post is coming to you about a month too late.  Can we maybe look at it this way? You are SUPER prepared for Valentine's Day next year. :)

Here's a little roundup of some cute things that caught my eye.

I love these Aquanotes.  Just stick them in your shower and you and your sweetie can leave each other steamy love notes every day.  Or, you could remind each other to pick up milk or take out the trash.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think every gentleman should own a proper shave set.  Pair it with a traditional razor like this one and you've got yourself a great little gift.
Boys, you can't go wrong with this sweet little bangle.  It's dainty and lovely and goes with everything.

I've seen this idea floating around Pinterest.  Just buy some plain ceramic dollar store mugs, decorate with a Sharpie, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Voila.

And just look at these pencils.  I mean, seriously.  Maybe it's just the pencil-lover in me, but I can't imagine a more perfect gift.

These days, though, the best Valentine's day gift I can think of is to be left alone soaking in the tub for an hour with a good book. Fingers crossed.

Happy Monday! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Voice

Hello there.

It's been a while.  I hope 2013 has been treating you kindly.

Our winter has been a tangle of birthday parties and family outings and new nieces.  All good things, my friends. We're busy.

I had a conversation with a colleague lately that left me inspired.  He's always been a positive and encouraging person(the best kind of person to work with, in my opinion).  He encouraged me to do things that make me happy.  He reminded me to pursue what I'm passionate about.  And he gave me the best bit of cheerleading: he reminded me that I have a unique perspective and a strong voice that resonates with people. In short, I have a story to tell and something to say.  Don't you love him already?

I'm also lucky enough to have some terrific girlfriends who say things to me like, "I miss your blog."  So thanks goes to you too, ladies.

My brain is full of a million things I can tell you about.  First things first, however.

You must make this rice pudding.  You just must. It's the best basic recipe I've found.  Reminds me of my Nana, and what could be better than that?

Glad to be back to blogging, one of my first loves.  I hope you visit often.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{Free Printable} Mother's Day Card

I've been saving this Mother's Day Card printable since June of last year!  It's adorable (and rated PG-13), and from the amazing Ambrosia Creative.  Go download it to tell your guy exactly what you want!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day Wishes

Friends, I'll be brutally honest.  If I left my Mother's Day gift up to my husband, it's likely that I would never see a Mother's Day gift.  Or I'd see something like the $15 drug store steam cleaner that he bought me one year.  So I'm not at all subtle when it comes to what I want for Mother's Day, unless you think subtle is saying, "Honey, here's the link, here's a coupon, and here's my credit card."

This year, I'm gunning for this necklace.  My beautiful, stylish friend Heather was wearing it when I saw her a few weeks ago, and I shamelessly coveted it and wanted to call it my own.  I hope Michael picked up on the few (hundred) hints I dropped.

Are you looking for a Mother's Day gift?  Here are a few gifts that this Mom would love to receive.


My favorite is this Totoro one.  I love Totoro.

And if money were no object....

But honestly, the best gifts are the homemade ones.  Am I right?  This one was drawn by Charlotte.  She told me that it's what she's going to look like when she grows up.  That's some long hair, girl.

Happy {almost} Mother's Day!  

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY: Freezer Paper Stencil Custom Shirt

Well.  Hey there.

Just popping in to show this cute and easy shirt I made for Gavin last weekend.  (Wish I could stay and chat longer, but my report cards are due.  It's that time of year!)

We had a Sing-a-Long birthday party for the twins on Sunday.  They're going to be five on Thursday.  FIVE!  In my head, I still picture this all of the time, and count my innumerable blessings:

Thankfully, they fattened up pretty fast those first weeks in the NICU, and there's no end in sight.  (For those new to this blog, you can read old posts dating back to the early days to get a glimpse of what life was like with preemie twins.)

Back to the shirt.  Since it was a sing-a-long theme, and since a talented friend of mine was singing her original children's songs to entertain the kids, I wanted Gavin to have a cool shirt to go with the theme of the day.

I started with a cheap navy t-shirt from Old Navy and this free stencil from the Acire Adventures blog.

I photocopied the stencil to scale it down a little and traced it onto the flat (not shiny) side of good ol' freezer paper.  Then I used an exacto knife to cut it out, placed it shiny-side down on the t-shirt, and ironed for about 30 seconds until the paper stuck to the shirt.  Please excuse the iPhone photo.  I was charging my Nikon battery!

Originally, I was just going to use light blue fabric paint to stencil the design, but I went with a bleach pen instead.

I waited about 10 minutes, and then peeled the paper off like a big sticker.  To get the smaller, peskier parts of the stencil off, I had to use the tip of the exacto knife.

I immediately rinsed the bleach off of the shirt, and then washed it in cold water by itself.  I always worry about "stray" bleach getting on other clothes.

I think my birthday boy looked adorable.  And tall.

As always, thanks for reading!

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