Window Shopping

So I've mentioned a time or two before how I'm such a list maker, for instance here.  I come by it honestly and there is no shame :)  Well I've had an ever growing "wants" list pretty much since I started keeping lists on my phone.  (I try not to be too materialistic, but hey, it happens!) Lately my wants list has been growing and I've been doing lots of window shopping (the free kind of shopping :)

For the half marathon, I'm in need of a few new things....

For starters some new running shoes!

I've also heard of these running socks!  They help to prevent slippage in your heel while running, have "moisture management" (aka help prevent sweaty squishy sock syndrome), and provide arch support!  Gotta get some.
When I run at the gym, my water bottle is right there and I can hop off the treadmill for 5 seconds to take a drink.  Well running outside, I'm not about to carry my water bottle with me!  So I need one of these...
That way I can have water attached to me!  It would be especially helpful in this HOT weather and once I start doing some longer runs!

I have a great Nike GPS app on my phone that tracks my run - the distance, my pace, & the route!  So right now, running outside I've just been carrying my phone.  It gets all sweaty and it's annoying to have to carry it!  So I need one of these...


I think I need the pink one :)

Moving on from running stuff....the blog world as well as my twitter feed has been lighting up about this website called erincondren.com.  She has the cutest stuff, including this life planner called "favorite things" I just ordered!
Of course I personalized it with my name & my list of favorite things :)  There was a coupon deal for her website recently on a site called Plum District.  (Similar to Groupon)  I only paid $25 for $50 worth of merchandise from erincondren.com!  Even if you can't get the deal anymore, the planner comes with the rest of the months of 2011 & all of 2012 so it's well worth it in my opinion!  I <3 a good planner!  It's just the teacher and list maker in me :)

Also on her site (I swear she's not paying me! haha) I found these...

cute, cute, cute address labels!!  There are all different style including seasonal ones!  B & I hope to buy a house next year, though, so I guess I'll wait til we get a house to order actual address labels :(  A girl can dream!

And how cute are these!?  

these I found on doodlebugspaper.com

I love the idea of gift and/or kitchen labels!  And giving the labels is a great gift idea I think, too (Mom, now you know what you're getting for your birthday ;)  I especially love the idea of giving these to a newlywed with her new last name!!  Very fun & something I think I need!

Since the new school year is quickly approaching, I want a few wardrobe additions!  Like these...

Dansko shoes!  Ask any teacher or nurse who is on there feet all day and they will tell you these are a must!  I've made it 3 years without any as they are very expensive!  But I think I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot thus I need much more supportive shoes for work.  So these puppies may be moving to the top of the "wants" list, even on over to a "need" list.  Guess I better start saving!

And we have 3 weddings coming up to attend!  One is this weekend & I already have a great outfit planned!  But I want some awesome gray pumps for the last 2 weddings!  Like these...

Or these...

But I also need to be able to walk in them and afford them.  Ho hum...back to dreaming (which is free, as is as much window shopping a girl can handle!)

Happy window shopping y'all!!


New Training & Midweek Randos

So I am 14.5 weeks out from my half marathon (we're definitely going with one in November!) and have officially begun training.....dun dun dun!! Although running outside now is still kicking my butt, I definitely feel like I'm burning off some goo and I like my new training schedule.  Once I'm 9 weeks out, I will begin to follow this schedule I found on The Runner's World.

2 miles. 5-7x1:00 AI, 2 miles
4 miles + 4 GP
3-4 miles
6-7 miles
19-21 miles
2 miles, 5-7x1:00 AI, 2 miles
4 miles + 4 GP
3-4 miles
6-7 miles
19-21 miles
2 miles, 2x[1:00, 1:30, 2:00] AI, 2 miles
4 miles, incl. 4x1:00 AI + 5-6 GP
5-K race
4-5 miles
22-24 miles
3 miles,3x[2:00, 2:30] AI, 2 miles
5-6 miles, incl. 4x1:30 AI + 6 GP
3-4 miles
7-8 miles
24-26 miles
3 miles, 3x[2:00, 2:30] AI, 2 miles
5-6 miles, incl. 4x1:30 AI + 6 GP
3-4 miles
7-8 miles
24-26 miles
3 miles, 2x2:00 AI, 2x2:30 AI, 1x3:00 AI+6 GP, 2 miles
5-6 miles + 4 GP
10-K race
4 miles
27-30 miles
3 miles, 2x[2:00. 3:00, 4:00] AI, 2 miles
6 miles, incl. 4x2:00 AI + 6 GP
5-6 miles
9-10 miles
32-34 miles
3 miles, 2x[2:00. 3:00, 4:00] AI, 2 miles
6 miles, incl. 4x2:00 AI+ 6 GP
9-10 miles
32-34 miles
2 miles, 4x1:00 AI
2 miles easy, 4 x GP
Half-marathon race

I'm not following it to a T yet as far as how much to run each day, aerobic intervals, gentle pick ups, etc, but I am following the run/rest recommendation.  In my old work out schedule I would run & weight lift about 5 days a week. By the end of the week I could always tell my legs and muscles were giving out on me and my runs seemed WAY harder by day 5!

So on "rest days" I no longer run, but still go to the gym to do my weight routines and first start off with 10-15 minutes on the stair stepper or treadmill at an incline to get my heart rate up.  Holy moly has this made me a happy worker-outer!  (That's a word, yeah?)  Now my workouts whether at the gym or running are about an hour as opposed to the hour and a half to two hours that they used to be with running and lifting all combined!

So now I feel like this working out....

Instead of like this....

Haha, you get the idea any way.  I used to get burnt out working out for so long and get in a rut!  So I think these rest days are the ticket.

I think I've figured out that while Benny may be a contributor to my allergies, he is not the main cause.  Sunday, while sitting in the airport for hours upon hours, I slowly went into an allergen fit!  Stuffy, itchy nose, sneezy, did I mention itchy?  For some reason when I travel I forget how to take my vitamins & zyrtec.  Weird.  So Sunday and Monday I paid for it.  But that means that Benson stays (ha, like him leaving was ever even in question ;)

Monday & Tuesday I think I had a massive allergy headache going on.  It was terrible, debilitating even.  But today I have been headache free all day long. Hallelujah!!

I FINALLY finished reading Water for Elephants.  I blogged about being excited to read it here and now, almost 2 months later, its read!  It took me a bit to really get into, but I love, love, loved it!!  Now I can't wait to see the movie!

Have you seen the trailers for this movie??

I picked up this book last week and can't wait to get started!  I'll be traveling with Brandon next week (making our way back up to Michigan) and will have PLENTY of time to read tagging along in the back seat of his car :)  Hopefully I'll be finished reading and ready for the movie when it comes out soon!

Happy hump day friends :) 


Jet Settin' Weekend

Thursday night, B & I jet setted off to Michigan for his company work summer party that weekend!  We got to the airport to discover a lovely surprise...

First Class!!!

Long story short, we had to switch our flights from Friday night to Thursday night, so a full plane left us with upgraded seats!  Woo hoo!  Our first and probably last time in first class, ha, so we had to take a picture!  Our connection out of Atlanta was delayed (due to late crew! Only the beginning of our travel woes!!) so we didn't end up in Grand Rapids with our rental car & checked in to our hotel til about 1245.  We were very tired!

Friday we planned to get up and work out, but when the alarm went off at 6 we quickly shut that off and went right back to bed!  Ha, good move :) Brandon had a work meeting about 40 mins away, so I went to le mall in the smallish town of Muskegon, MI.  Did a little shop liftin' and got mah nails did for that night!  Then I drove across the street to Barnes & Noble for a little coffee-relaxation-reading.

Friday night we headed to a dinner cruise on Lake Muskegon & Lake Michigan with a lot of B's coworkers.  It was a gorgeous night with a beautiful sunset!

Brandon summed it up well when he said, "This is when I miss Michigan!"  It was a little warm to begin with, but once the humidity left, it was really perfect!  That night we met a few of B's friends out for drinks and helped another friend celebrate her going away party!  Good times fo' sho'!!

Saturday morning we grabbed breakfast with Brandon's dad and then drove north about an hour to Double J Ranch for more Steeltech fun!  They served up some delish BBQ lunch and then were off to be first in line for the helicopter!

Brandon's boss gives helicopter rides all afternoon to those brave enough to go up :) I don't really do heights so much, so I thought the ride might scare me a bit, but it was really fun!!

After that we had some fun at the pool, went down the waterslide a few times, and met good ol' Frosty the Bull!

Saturday night back in GR we grabbed dinner with B's mom, sis & BIL, and his grandparents.  We didn't take any pictures :( but we did make some fun plans for when we're back up there in 2 weeks!!  Should be fun and we'll have a lot more time to hang out with his family and a couple friends and less work stuff even though it will just be a long weekend.

Sunday our flying woes continued....our flight out of GR at 830 was on time. Yay!  But our hour lay over and 1020 flight home arriving at noon quickly turned into a 3, then 4 hour lay over, then a CANCELLED flight altogether. 

GRRRRRR!!  Are you kidding me!?! Our whole plan of getting home at noon and avoiding a full day of travel was quickly going down the drain and our sweet kitty was still home alone :(

We were involuntarily rebooked on a flight to CINCINNATI at 525pm then finally on a flight home and landing in Charlotte at 845!  Mean Brandon was out!  Haha, I was just reading my book so I was only slightly annoyed, but about 330 when we still had 2 hours to wait, I started getting antsy!!

We ended up landing a little early and thankfully our bags were already there (weird how they could get all our bags here, but not us!?).  Brandon filled out a survey today asking about our satisfaction with our recent Delta flights and he let them have it :)  I would hope we might get a credit or some air miles out of this, but I won't be holding my breath!

I'm fighting off a cold or something so I'm off to take some nyquil & hit the hay!  Nighty nights y'all!


Midweek Randoms

  • I started this post yesterday when it was technically still the middle of the week....so I left the title as is!

  • After my run outside Tuesday night with Drea I very seriously considered taking down my last post, dumping the whole 1/2 marathon idea altogether, and pretending like I didn't just announce to the world (all of my three seven readers :) that I was determined to run 13.1 miles.  Haha

  • No but, really!  I don't know if it was the heat, the hills, actually running outside, me trying to run faster than normal (to keep up with Andrea....remember I noted she ran cross country in HS in my last post!)......but it was SO. HARD.  Like way harder than I thought it should have been.  I typically run 20ish miles a week....I should be able to run 4 or so outside, right!?!

  • Wrong....so I'm thinking I have slightly more training ahead of me than I anticipated.

  • Good news though!  I ran outside with my friend Lisa bright and early this morning and did a little better.  Ran a little longer before having to walk for a minute and ran more than I did Tuesday!  That's progress my friends!

  • So given my need for more training....I'm thinking of pushing back the half marathon to the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Savannah, GA on November 5th!  That would give me 2 extra months of training and waaaay less heat by then.  Plus my bro & SIL mentioned they were planning to run the Savannah 1/2 also.  So if they're serious about it, that would be even more fun!  

  • I'll give it maybe the next 2 weeks or so to figure it out so we can decide if we need to go ahead and sign up for VA Beach.

  • I realized upon coming home from the beach I may actually be allergic to this sweet thang...

....how can this be!?!?!  :(  I packed all my vitamins and my zyrtec for beach week but of course never even took 1!  Good job right!?  Anyways, I never once had an allergy fit like I sometimes do while traveling to new places.  So I just continued to not take my pills.  Well, fast forward to Saturday when we pick up Benson and are taking him home....we're in a packed car and he's riding up front with me climbing all over and I suddenly start getting itchy-nose-sneezy-allergy-like feelings!@#!@$@@!

  • I've never been allergic to cats or pets before....and I started to take the zyrtec before we even got Ben due to frequent flare ups as mentioned before when even in familiar places.  So I'm not positive he's the source of my allergies, but I definitely thought that was weird!

  • My sweet and loving husband informed me if I was in fact allergic to the furry creature living in our house, I would just have to find a new place to live =)  Did I mention he's so sweet!?!

  • Yesterday marked 8 months of marriage to that sweet, sweet man!  No really, he is awesome despite his sarcasm!!

  • Tonight we are jet setting off to Michigan for a weekend filled with SteelTech (B's company) summer work party fun!!!

  • So now I must finish packing...

  • I kinda like these bullet points.  Can you tell!?

  • That is all!

  • Happy early weekend y'all!!


Making It Blog Official....

Well blog world, I'm making it blog official.  I'm putting it in writing and out there for the whole world to see/know/read.....and that makes it feel much more official!  Now that its in writing, I feel held to a higher degree of accountability.  EEEEEK!  So without further adieu.....

In 6 1/2 weeks, on September 4th, Brandon and I will be running the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon!  Ahhhhhh!!!  Running a half marathon has been something I've wanted to do for a very long time!  I'm not exactly a born athlete (ask anyone who knows me haha), but I picked up running my freshman year of college to drop that sneaky freshman 20 15 that crept up and I've pretty much stuck with it ever since.

I've ran several 5ks, but comparing a 5k in my head to a 1/2 seems like a walk in the park.  :/  I can't lie.....I'm scuuurrred!!!  I'm sure I'll be nervous until I cross over that finish line.  But this is something I REALLY want to do and need to do.  For me, just to prove to myself that I can.  So I think I'm up for the challenge!  I've got my work cut out for me, though, because I normally run here....

and I need to be running here.....

to build up my endurance and stamina for 13.1 long miles outside!  I ran outside a little bit at the beach, but not nearly enough.  So I gotta get my rear in gear!!  I'm off to the greenway to run tonight with my friend Andrea. She ran cross country in high school and might be running the 1/2 with us in September so she's a good partner to run with...I'll just have to tell her to slow down a little :)

Here goes nothing!!



I lied.  Well I didn't lie...I just didn't follow through on my plan to blog at least once while on vacation!  I had every intention to, but amidst the 15 people, the fun, and the lack of quick internet, it just didn't happen!  In fact...I didn't even tweet, instagram, update my facebook, or pin any interests.  It was kind of a technology break if you will.

But guess what!?  Break is OVER!  I'm back =)  And with a VERY long post...you've been warned!  I completely understand if you skip til the end, ha.

So a week ago Friday afternoon, Brandon and I began our trek to Corolla, NC in the OBX with an overnight stop in Durham, NC for a Durham Bulls game!

Notice our over packed car!  Ha, we thought we needed sheets & bath towels in addition to our beach towels.  The former not so much needed.  Oh well!

The Durham Bulls Stadium is right next to a cool area called the American Tobacco Historic District.  It has many cool restaurants to choose from, so we chose Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom.  We grabbed a seat at the bar and got some good eats before the game!

As you can see, the weather was looking a little less than perfect for baseball.  We tried to remain optimistic, though  After all....its VACATION!  So I threw my hair up and we waited out the rain :)

The rain let up for a bit and we got to see about 3.5 innings of baseball before they called another rain delay :( We waited it out long enough to split a drink and then called it a night.  

The next morning, we set off bright and early (for real) for Corolla!  Early as it was, it did not prevent us from running into Outer Banks traffic!  Our GPS said we should be at the house by 11:02.  We we watched our GPS creep up minute by minute and we finally arrived at 12!  A whole hour added cause of fun, fun traffic.  The week was definitely worth it though. 

Here is a picture dump from my camera.  I'll add a few captions to narrate :)

Ashley & Richard
Ryan & Roen in deep conversation
Wells wasn't so sure about the sun screen application
Brandon: "Roen, I'm digging this hole to burry you in."  Roen: "Good!  I wanted to be buried!"
Roen & Jude cheesin'
Ha, Ro loved being buried!!  She stayed there for a good 10 mins.
Wells liked eating sand :)

Brandon's attempts at surfing!  He finally got up for a decent amount of time and I chopped his head off...whoops!  I have never, nor will I ever, claim to be a good photographer :)

Ashley schooled was a lot better than the boys!  Haha...as were my photography skills this time.

B & me catching some waves!  So much fun, you feel like you're 10 again!

Uncle Scott tryin' to catch a crab!  I do not have a single beach trip memory without Uncle Scott trying to catch a crab, sand critter, etc :)

The next pictures come with some background.....just north of Corolla, there is a wild horse preserve.  A fence along the beach as well as a few cattle guards keep the horses to a confined area in Currituck county.  Not until 1984 was there even a paved road all the way to Corolla, hwy 12 just stopped in the town of Duck, and the horses roamed freely in Corolla.  Well not too long after the road was built, several horses were struck and killed by cars.  So it was controversially decided to build the fence.

They allow you to drive onto the beach up there, though, and there tons of houses up there that you can rent as long as you have 4-wheel drive to get to them.  So one day, we packed the whole house and parked right on the beach. Its a little nerve racking with little ones, though.  Its like a road right on the beach and the ocean seems to drown out the sound of approaching cars.

We were enjoying the beach (the water was FREEEEZING that day!) and low and behold horses are just coming down the beach!!

It was SO crazy to see them up close, just walking around!  They would stop every now and then, its almost like they were posing.  And then one proceeded to poop and another peed, right on the beach!  Haha, mother nature at its finest I guess!  But still, very cool!

Each night at the beach, one family cooked!  We had some awesome meals (that fat girl in me lived it up :)  

-Josh & Callie made delicious Mexican beans & rice with all the fixins and chips and salsa, etc!

-B & I made turkey burgers with corn on the cob, sweet potato/tater tot/zesty fries, and ramen noodle salad! (It was a success despite the corn never actually boiling & a tater tot falling to the bottom of the oven and burning.  It all turned out somehow!  I'm still a relatively new cook ok!? Hah)

-Tuesday night we ate out and got sea food.  Ashley, Richard, and I participated in our own all you can eat crab leg challenge!  Pretty sure I ate about 2 and a half pounds of crab...and it was goood!!

-My Mom and Aunt Stacy cooked some deliciouso Italian food complete with meat ball marinara sauce, chicken alfredo, and shrimp alfredo!  Talk about stuffed!

-Rob and Gale made their awesome chicken enchiladas!  That's right, Mexican two nights in one week...one very happy fat kid :)  ha

-Friday, every one left!  Aunt Stacy & Uncle Scott and Brandon & I were the only ones staying the final night.  We ate at a restaurant called Sundogs and Brandon attempted The Pound and a Half Burger Challenge!  Compete with a mound of chili cheese fries and pickle spear and 1 hour to down it all for a tshirt & his picture on the wall of fame!  I only got these pictures on my iPhone so the lighting is a little funny.

He started strong!  Lickin' his fingers and everything!!
Even smiling...mmmm, tastes so good!!
35 minutes later....he's feeling it!

And after 45 minutes, he threw in the towel!  It was those dern chili cheese fries that got 'em!  He just couldn't put 'em back...but it was a strong, good effort!

The things I failed to capture this past week: nights on the porch, the big family dinners, crowded in the living room watching True Grit, the all you can eat crab leg challenge, naps on the beach, Wells being the ham of the family, the list goes on and on :)  It was such a great trip and a part of me always wants to cry leaving the beach and my family.  

Just as I posted to twitter and facebook as we left...So long OBX :( the pleasure was all mine!  Until we meet again....