Thursday, September 22, 2016

What I am looking forward to most this fall.....

It might not feel like it in most parts of the country, but today is the first day of fall. It’s time for football, soup, leather jackets and lazy Sunday mornings.

To me, fall signals a time for change & I long for it every year. It’s pretty much engrained in us when we reach school age: fall is when we got a new wardrobe, new teacher, new supplies, new things to learn and usually a few new friends!

Here are 10 things I am looking forward to this fall:

1. The changing leaves. One of the benefits of moving to Arkansas is the return of seasons. Central Arkansas is just on the cusp of the Ouachita Mountains, which means we have hills and rivers and trees that turn the most amazing shade of blaze orange.

2. Breakfast on the back deck. This is something we can’t enjoy in the humid summers in the south. The fall is a great opportunity to take advantage of the privacy our back deck offers and the green space that backs up to our property.

3. Game-Day Chili. Fall means football, and one of our favorite Sunday traditions is making a pot of hearty soup or our favorite chili.

4. Slippers. I love comfortable, loafer-style, fuzzy-lined slippers. Once the evening temperatures dip below 50 they come out of the closet and stay out as long as possible.

5. Boots, jeans and leather jackets. In my world, nothing is more versatile and classic than an outfit that encompasses these three things.

6. Quality reading time. I read year round, a lot. But there is just something about snuggling under a blanket and a good book that satisfies my need for comfort and feeds my imagination.

7. Decorating. October 1 might just be my favorite day of the year. It’s the day I clean out all my summer flowers, head to the nursery and get my fall blooms. I also swap out the mat on the front porch, pull out the pumpkins and light the apple pie scented candles.

8. Exercising outside. We don’t go out much in the summer months, but in the fall we hit the trails hard. I also have a marathon coming up in January so temperatures in the mornings should be perfect for training.

9. Organizing my fall wardrobe. I have spent September on a quest to find simplicity in my wardrobe and build a capsule from what I already have. I am finishing this task during the last 8 days of the month and can’t wait to wear my “new” wardrobe!

10. A new television season. I love the season and series premieres that come around this time of year. It’s like catching up with old friends or making new ones!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Training Season Begins - 2017 here I come

In 2015 I decided I was done running marathons. “A half is enough.” I said. A 7-10 mile training run is so much easier to squeeze in on a weekend morning than a 14-20 mile run.

Never say never, right?

I went home to Pittsburgh to run the half in May 2016 and realized a half just isn’t enough. It’s plenty for many, it’s too much for some. Every single person who finishes 13.1 miles deserves the medal, the free beer, the hugs and the celebration.

To me, not running at all was easier than running 13 miles. Maybe it’s because in May I clocked my worst time ever. Maybe it’s because I hate the half course in Pittsburgh, or because I felt like I let myself down. I am not sure of the reasons, but I am sure that in May 2017 I am all in for Pittsburgh.

Before Pittsburgh, though, I have to conquer the Walt Disney World Full Marathon on January 8.

A couple of weeks ago I realized I hadn’t run since May. I hit the treadmill to see what kind of shape I was in. 2 miles in I was done. The next day I was sore from hips to toes.

“How am I going to do this?”

This thought has been top of mind for the past 10 days. I needed a plan. It’s hard to achieve a goal without one.

I am not in running shape, but I am in shape. I exercise regularly at a vigorous intensity. I build exercise programs for people who are looking to do just what I am – run a distance race as a beginner.

It’s high time to put that skill to use for myself. This morning, I did just that.

My official training plan starts on Monday, October 17th - a little less than a month from today. Between now and then the plan is to run 2-3 days a week to get my body warmed back up to the idea of hitting the pavement.

From October 17th – January 8th it’s 12-weeks of nose to the grindstone training, 6 days a week, 1 workout each day. I can do this and do it well.

Will I get a PR? Probably not. But that’s ok, because I’ll get the finisher medal…and a weekend with an old friend.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wardrobe Challenge Update: Day 15

If you missed my earlier posts about my wardrobe challenge and my update on Day 5, you might want to visit those.

For today's update, I'm just jumping right in!

WTF was I thinking?
Idea was great, execution not so much. I would love to do this again, as in start over at September 1 with a totally different set of 10 pieces.

I have been researching A LOT as I try to build my capsule closet for Oct, Nov, Dec. I should have done all that research prior to committing to this 10 pieces thing. Here's why:

The Beyond Tee I selected to be my interest piece? It really only goes with 2 of my 4 bottoms; and I'm being generous here since one of my skirts is reversible. So in reality Beyond Tee + One Skirt. 

I am a blue-jean-shorts-and-t-shirt-to-the-grocery-store gal. When we go out on the weekends its to the farmer's market and maybe the neighbors to grill out. I have never in my life been one to get dolled up to go drink beer with the neighbors on their back deck. In the interest of full disclosure I've gone totally rogue on the weekends, with full support and blessings from 2 of my most trusted fashion consultants

All those blazers and scarves I thought I'd get tons of mileage out of? Apparently no one told mother nature that it's not supposed to be 100° in September.

What I continue to take away.
I like not having to think too hard about getting ready.

I am happy with the lack of color in my wardrobe. Of course my color palette has been the same my entire adult life, so this concern didn't actually pop up until some friends brought it to my attention!

40 pieces is probably my sweet spot - more dresses and skirts in summer and more pants and leggings in the winter. I am still working on my capsule and will keep you all in the loop.

I wear an XS in the striped tee I chose. Great time to find out since it's one of the more versatile of my 10 pieces.

If I could rewind time this is what I would do differently:
*I would have 12 pieces and eliminated scarves and blazers:

Bottoms (4)
*Grey and White Printed Pants
*Black ankle pants
*Mint pencil skirt
*Distressed denim shorts
Dresses (2)
*Black sleeveless dress
*Navy and Kelly green printed dress
Tops (5)
*White sleeveless
*Grey half-sleeve
*Striped tee
*Gelato top (see here)
*Graphic tee
Toppers (1)
*White blazer (yes it's after labor day, but with these temps no one actually realizes it yet)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Update: 10 for 30 Wardrobe Challenge

Originally posted on Tuesday, September 6 via Facebook

Day 5 Update of my 10 pieces for 30 days wardrobe challenge.
Getting ready is a breeze. Laundry, not so much. I wore a pair of pants for the 1st time Friday and already spilled on them!
I started moving all my items from the bed into the spare closet on Monday. I am obsessed with pants! Which is really funny because I rarely wear them. On the other hand I was oddly proud of myself because only 3 pair were jeans!
We've had a few extra events pop up for the month (a baby shower, a dinner/evening event) but I'm pretty confident my choices will get me through those.
I'm regretting the choice of including a reversible skirt as 1 of my 2 skirts. I thought it would add more versatility but really only looks good with 3 of the 4 shirts. And for this I need it ALL to work.
Weekends are going to be difficult. I should have dropped a shirt and included a pair of jean shorts in my 10. I am truly a "slap on shorts & go to the store" kinda girl on the weekends.
I am optimistic that I am going to be able to purge A LOT and simplify my purchases going forward.

When I posted last, I wasn't sure what I was keeping just yet - here is what I decided on. Excuse the graphic - I am no artist that's for sure!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Whole17

Back in April I did the Whole 30 and felt more amazing than I have felt in a long time - maybe ever.

I discovered a dairy & a soy intolerance that has helped me manage swelling and stiffness. It's been easier to keep my diet clean and it's made cooking fun.  I get to find new combinations for foods all the time!

I've decided to go ahead and do it again leading up to Michael's class reunion on the 24th of September. It will be a little different this time. Mainly in that I'm looking forward to it instead of dreading it.

I'm making some personal modifications.

The original Whole 30 eliminates:
  • Dairy
  • Soy (includes soy lecithin)
  • Grains (includes corn & quinoa)
  • Added sugar (includes honey, agave and pure maple syrup)
  • Legumes (includes peanuts, peanut butter, peas and chick peas)
  • Peanuts
  • Alcohol & Tobacco
  • MSG, carrageenan & sulfites

For my 17 I'll follow the guidelines above with the following exceptions:
  • natural peanut butter
  • Sun Warrior vegan protein [contains stevia & guar gum]
  • unsweetened chocolate almond milk [contains carrageenan]
So, here I go again! This time I'll share some of my favorite recipes with you as I go; even if you never go clean, it's easy to work it into at least one meal a day.

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