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Friday, November 30, 2012

Looking a Little Puffy

One of the trends that I've been noticing this year is that of the puffer vest.  I'm all for being warm and fashionable, but I just don't know if I could pull one off without looking like a big puff ball. 

Here are a few that I think I could actually handle wearing:
{images via}

What are your thoughts on the puffer vest?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How It All Started...

A lot of you have been inquiring about how I got started into running and half marathon training.  So, I want to share a quick recap about when and where it all began...
In January 2012, I was searching for something that incorporated lots and lots of cardio in to my exercise routine.  I tried the elliptical for a while, but that just wasn't working for me.  So, I got the bright idea to start using the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone.  

Now, I knew I wasn't a real couch potato so I started training on week 4 and worked my way up.  In February, I ran my first 5K and I caught the running bug.

I then decided to conquer a 10K.  I downloaded the Bridge to 10K app, but it didn't work for me.  So, I gradually started increasing my mileage until I reached 6.2 miles (a 10K).  I had a specific 10K in mind, the Memphis in May 10K, so I tried to do one 5K a month leading up to the 10K.

After I completed a 10K, I had the bright idea that I could and I would do a half marathon.  I came across a road race series complete with a 5K, 5-miler, 10K, 10-miler, and a half marathon and knew I had to sign up for them.

I used the races as training schedule and then started using this and this half marathon training schedule.  (I used both as a guide depending on what was going on in my life that week)

Now, here I am two days away from my second half marathon and I can't believe this journey started in January.  I am a firm believer that...
Running has been my outlet and my therapist for so many things. I once heard that 20 minutes of running is better than any therapy!

Running has now become a passion and a lifestyle and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

This week, I've got a lot of love to spread around...

I'm loving the invisibelt!  My mom got me one of these as a Thanksgiving happy and I am in love.  It's great for wearing jeans with a long shirt and not having that belt pooch.

I'm loving this super cute tacky Christmas t-shirt.  If you've been following me on Twitter then you know I've been desperately searching for ugly Christmas sweaters for my upcoming run.  I've been to 4 stores and nothing.  Problem solved.



I'm loving these pace bands that Christin told me about for my half marathon on Saturday.  I haven't decided if I will actually wear one or let nature take it's course.
I'm loving that Corey and Topanga are coming back to tv!  Hello, "Girl Meets World".  Wonder if Will Freedle and Ryder Strong will join the cast?
I'm loving Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven"!  The song has been on repeat for days!
I'm loving that my birthday and trip are fast approaching!  I can't wait for a little getaway!

What are you loving today? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Family

 When you are a family of three and one of whom is a dog, it's hard to take pictures of yourselves.  And with Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to do a little something different for our Christmas cards this year, so I enlisted the help of one of my oldest and dearest friends and very talented photographer, Melissa

We spent one beautiful Saturday morning together taking all kinds of fun shots as a family at a local park and I'm excited to share with you a few of my favorites... 



 How funny is Knox in this pic?  
Now, I won't tell you exactly which picture we chose for our Christmas cards, but I will say that I am super excited and ready to send them out!

Monday, November 26, 2012

We're on Turkey Strike & Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  I know we did.  I think we're still stuffed!  

My Thanksgiving kicked off with the Turkey Trot 4-miler.  I set a new PR and burned some calories before stuffing my face full on Thanksgiving goodies.

Official Stats
Race Time:  32:50
Average Pace:  8:12
Division Rank:  47
Gender Rank:  18

After the race, my grandfather (since my parents were in the Bahamas) came over for a Thanksgiving lunch consisting of ham sandwiches, chips, cranberry sauce and my first ever homemade pecan pie
After lunch and a much needed nap, we headed to Fred's parents for their Thanksgiving feast!

While others were out until 4am doing a little Black Friday shopping, we were snuggled in our bed and didn't get out of our house until noon.  We headed to lunch, did a little shopping at a uncrowded Target and then headed to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 with our friends, Leslie and Sam.  In my opinion, this was the best movie out of the entire series.  

Saturday and Sunday were spent doing a little relaxing and Christmas decorating!  Here's a sneak peak:
Now, back to the grind...

How was your Thanksgiving?

P.S.  The winner of my Black Friday $50 Shabby Apple Giveaway is Laura @ Cowboy Boots and Baby Booties!  Congratulations! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

{Giveaway} $50 Gift Card to Shabby Apple

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

There's only one way to spend Black Friday and that's by shopping! 

And I've got the perfect gift for you to win today and start using on Cyber Monday...
Yes, that's right!  You could win a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple.  I just love their vintage dresses!  They also have great customer service complete with live chat, fit guide, style advice, free returns etc.  

There are for possible ways you can enter this fabulous giveaway: 

1. Leave a comment with the name of your favorite Shabby Apple dress 
2. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
3. Tweet about your giveaway 
4. Blog about your giveaway

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry!  This giveaway is only for US residents.**

Hurry, this contest ends Sunday, November 26 at 11:59pm!  Good luck! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

In celebrating this holiday, I realize, more than ever, I have so much to be thankful for. 
I am beyond blessed with a loving Heavenly Father, a husband who is my best friend, a family who loves me unconditionally, a pup who never sees my flaws, friends who always know how to make me smile, a job that I love, a roof over my head, the opportunity to pursue adoption, my health, and every other part of my life that I often take for granted.

Life is short. Remember to tell those around you how much you care about them. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to your's!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just Call me Martha...

Growing up, I never really helped anyone prepare a holiday meal. My uncle cooked Thanksgiving and my mom and grandma cooked Christmas.  I just ate.

This year, I will be contributing more than just an empty stomach to our Thanksgiving meal.  I'll be cooking!
Here are the items on my to-do list for tomorrow night and Thursday morning:
Chocolate Pie
and most importantly...

I'm bringing my favorite part of the meal....
What are you bringing to this year's table?

Did you know the average person consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving?  Wow!  I've already signed up to run the Memphis Turkey Trot 4 miler on Thanksgiving morning, so I can huff 'n' puff before I stuff!

Enjoy your time with family and friends this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm Only Half Crazy

This weekend was one for the record books.  Literally. It started off with us finishing painting the nursery and moving the furniture in, having family pics made, and my FIRST half marathon...

If you remember, I have been running in a race series and even though I missed the 10-miler, I still wanted to do the 1/2 marathon.  I didn't really broadcast that I was doing this race because I was nervous and not telling helped take some of the pressure off.  Like I said, this was my first half marathon.

It was a beautiful day for a run.  And I couldn't have imagined a better run.  For the first three miles, I couldn't feel my feet.  It was cold.  I powered through the numbness and I kept going.  Mile 8 felt like the forever mile.  Then when I got to Mile 11, it felt like my entire body was composed of cement blocks.  Miles 11 and 12 were basically uphill, but I kept going.

I finished with a time of 1:57:51.  I really wanted to be in around 2 hours, but I knew that getting it under 2:20 would be optimal.  I certainly surprised myself.
And as I crossed the finish line, Fred was there holding signs for me and cheering me on!
He actually made these himself!  My wonderful family, including Knox, was also there to cheer me on!
There were days that I thought this was a dream.  There were days when I didn't want to do this.  There were days when I hoped I wouldn't have to do this. Today was the day for my dream to come true.
I can't believe Half Marathon #1 is over.  Now on to the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon in 2 weeks! 

Official Stats
Race Time:  1:57:51
Average Pace:  9:00
Division Rank:  10
Overall:  224

Friday, November 16, 2012

Food for Thought

With the holidays fast approaching, my mouth has been watering for the taste of cranberries and apples.  And it's no secret that cranberry sauce is my absolute favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.   So, when I came across Leah's  recipe for Cranberry Apple Pork, I had to give it a try.

Cook Time: 8 hours 
Total Time: 8 hours 
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients:
1 (3 to 4 lb) boneless pork loin roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped (I didn't peel them and they were still delicious)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1.  Place roast in slow cooker; rub all over with the minced garlic.
2.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours. Pork should be about 160° when fully cooked.

Verdict:
This pork was absolutely delicious.  It had a sweet flavor and it just melted in your mouth.  I served it with mashed potatoes, green beans and blueberry muffins.  

If you're looking for an easy weeknight meal, give this Cranberry Apple Pork recipe a try!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Training: Is Training Making You Fat

Since my training for a 1/2 marathon is quickly coming to an end, I've really started thinking more about my food intake.  In the beginning and for the majority of my training, it's been about logging in the miles, but miles are only a percentage of how to properly train for a marathon or 1/2 marathon.
In conducting my own personal research, I found That’s Fit article asking, “Is Marathon Training Making You Fat” here and it helped put some things in perspective for me! The marathon training article uses Nancy Clark, sports nutritionist, as a source. When it comes to how you should fuel the day of a training run (and those days leading up to your race), Clark advises:
  • You’ll need about 300 to 500 calories for breakfast before the run. Think granola bar, English muffin, whole wheat toast or whatever you can tolerate before activity.
  • You need another 200 or so calories for every hour of exercise, depending on your size. This is where sports drinks and energy gels factor in. Though Clark says ‘real food’ is a good alternative to engineered foods which are essentially ‘sugar by another name.’ She offers dried pineapple, Starburst, Twizzlers and hard candies as alternatives. 
  • You should re-fuel after your run with a mix of protein and carbs. She suggests chocolate milk as a good post-run drink.
  • Lunch should be hearty. She also recommends a second lunch, which is essentially a more substantial snack.
  • Cut back on calories the rest of the evening.
I know that I'm the type who thinks if I just ran 13.1 miles that I can eat whatever I want, but really that shouldn't be the case.  Everything in moderation.  Do you eat more on the days you exercise a lot?  Do you have any tips for eating before, during and after the 1/2 marathon?
Just a FYI....I will be Bib Number 7242 at the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Readers Choice

In less than a month, this will be me...
{images via}
 I'll be sitting by the pool and/or beach in Costa Rica relaxing and reading books.  I can't wait.  But before I go, I want to put my reading list put together.  I'm notorious for reading 4-5 books while on vacation and not reading a single one throughout the year.

I've still got the Pioneer Woman's Black Heels and Tractor Wheels and I need to finish it...
But what are some other MUST reads I should get before we depart?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A 30th Birthday Wish List

I am less than ONE month away from turning the BIG 3-0!  Most people cringe at the thought of turning another year older, but I'm actually excited to see what my thirties hold.
And what better way to start the celebration than putting together a little "wish list" of items I'm hoping to open on this milestone birthday...

Tiffany Notes "I Love You" ring
a pair of Tory Burch Revas in black or nude

I know I'm about to be thirty and I still get all giddy when it comes to my birthday and presents, but it's still fun.  What are some things on your birthday wish list this year?