Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorites-The Run Home

If it wasn't so big and heavy, I'd be toting this baby around my neck EVERY day!
Lucky for me I found The Run Home. I'm in L-O-V-E, love with all their running bling! I came across this during my training and knew I HAD to have it!
If I can't wear my pretty, shiny race medal, this is the next best thing!

I'm a little superstitious so I waited until I completed the race before ordering it. I placed my order on Sunday and it arrived a few days later. I was so excited!!!

I love that it was all wrapped up. It was like opening a present FROM me TO me!

It even came with a polishing cloth so I can make sure it's always beautiful!
The length is adjustable so I can wear it with just about everything and you know I'll be wearing it ALL THE TIME! It went from the box to my neck in about 3 seconds!
There are so many different charms to choose from so you can design the necklace that's perfect for you. In addition to running, biking, swimming, you'll find ones for yoga, inspiration and family too. Check out their Etsy shop {HERE} and like them on Facebook {HERE}...and then do a little shopping for yourself! 

You totally deserve it!
*All opinions are completely mine. I was not asked to write about The Run Home or compensated in any way. I just love my new bling and wanted you all to see it!*

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Nap-Time Maxi Dress

Since this week is a recovery week for running, I took advantage of some "down" time and brought out my long lost friend and did some sewing! A few months ago I bought some fabric to make the girls coordinating maxi dresses for our upcoming trip to Cabo. All you have to do is Google "maxi dress tutorial" and you'll get a ton of results. I looked at a few and took bits and pieces from a each to make up my own "pattern." Since I was kinda making it up as I went along I wanted to do a trial run first. It was super-duper quick to make, it only took about an hour from start to finish. 

It's looking a little nightgown-esk for my taste, but with a few minor adjustments it's going to be the perfect maxi dress.
In the tutorial below I will show what I did in BLACK text, the RED text is any changes I plan to make on the dresses for Cabo. Feel free to shout out any suggestions or tips in the comment section yourself! (I also want to appologize for the tutorial pictures! It was a dreary day and the lighting was just awful!)

Here's what you need:
  • Old T-shirt - The perfect shirt is one that fits in the arms and upper chest area but is too short. Of course you can go out a buy a new one, but's it's always nice to reuse one you already have. Knit is best. Noa's shirt was more of an a-line/tunic style. Next time I would use a more straight-lined shirt. 
  • Fabric - For my practice fabric I let Noa pick out her favorite from the crafty closet. For their dresses for our trip I bought a nice light-weight, flowy fabric. You just want to make sure it's not too heavy or it will just pull on the knit top. 
First you want to cut off the bottom of your shirt. I measured from the under-arm area and left about 2 inches.
Then I measured the width of the shirt (from armpit to armpit) and multiplied it by 1.5. The length of the front of my shirt was a little over 12 inches. 12 x 1.5 = 18. This will be the width of your fabric panels. This was not enough fabric to give my dresses the flowy feel I was hoping for. Next time I will at least double the width.
After determine the width of each panel I needed to figure out how long I wanted it to be. I measured from Noa's armpit to where I wanted the dress to fall and subtracted the 2 inches that were left on her shirt. (I was planning on using the original edging of the fabric as the hem to avoid having to make a hem. If you are going to hem your dress just remember to add in about 1 1/2 inches to account for that adjustment.) Now you want to cut out TWO panels with the width and length you just calculated. Place them right sides together and sew up the sides.
I really wanted this to be a quick project so I didn't even bust out my serger. I just used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine and "serged" the edges old school!
At this point you should have a tube of fabric. 
Now you need to gather your fabric. For help with how to do a gathering stitch you can go {HERE}. Pull your threads until the fabric is the same circumference as your shirt.
Turn your shirt inside out and with right-sides facing, line up the edges.
Make sure to line up the seams on your shirt with the seams on your skirt.
Stitch all away around. Use a zig-zag stitch or serger to finish your edges. Turn right-side-out and bask in the glory of making a dress in under an hour!
As soon as the last stitch was in, the Lil' Monkey was adamant that she get to try on her new dress!
It's good for playing in the garden...

 ...and twirling...
...and smelling the flowers along the way...
She has declared it her new favorite dress and is wearing it today! I love that she loves it so much! She's already going through her old shirts looking for more that I can turn into dresses. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Long Run Diaries - Epilogue The Big Show

It's been a little over 3 days since The Big Show. I'm finally walking like a normal person and it's not taking me 15 minutes to get up and down (down is the worst) our stairs. I wasn't sure what to expect from my body post-race, but I'm surprised how little discomfort I experienced. 

I still am in awe of my new bling! Isn't she purdy?!?!
Overall the race went fabulously. I don't know how runners that blog can remember every detail about their races. Most of it is a complete blur. I tried not to focus on one thing too much. Five hours is a long time be alone with your thoughts and having the same thought in your head the entire time can be maddening! 

Not really knowing what to expect, I had 3 goals in mind:

  • Primary Goal-Finish
  • Secondary Goal-Finish in under 5 hours
  • Tertiary Goal-Finish in under 4.5 hours

I achieved #1 and #2 and came SO CLOSE to #3, but I am so proud of how I did that there is no way I'm disappointed! It just gives me a goal for next time and I can guarantee that there will definitely be another marathon in my future!

The stats
26.2 miles
10:24 pace
Overall Place: 528/738
Gender Place: 153/264
Division Place: 37/58

The start of the race was cold. Much colder than I would have liked. I couldn't feel my fingers or toes and had to wear gloves and my shell. None of that would have been a problem for a shorter race, but I knew it would warm up and I wouldn't need all those layers. Not what I was hoping for, but in the end it all worked out. I got up super early and went through my regular race-morning routine. Diet Coke, oatmeal, shower (Yep, I always take a shower before races! It wakes me up and makes the event seem more special. You wouldn't just roll out of bed the morning of a big job interview would you?), feed the baby, get dressed and use the bathroom about 800 times. Traci and her hubby picked me up at 6am and we were off. We parked hit the restrooms a few more times and then got in line with our other running partner Christy S. It was a much smaller race than I was used to. They had pace signs up so that people could line-up accordingly, but before the start they just asked everyone to scoot up. The 4:50pace group was ahead of the 4:25 group and we were all mixed up. There was a moment of silence for Boston that brought tears to my eyes, our National Anthem was sung and with the sound of a blow horn, we were off!
The first few miles were VERY quiet. I guess we had finally ran out of things to say to each other! A marathon is a long race, Carmel is not a very long city so there were LOTS of twists and turns. I'm a more an out-and-back runner so the twisting was a little annoying to me, BUT it gave the hubby lots of opportunities to see me along the course. He first popped up at mile 3 which was a huge and welcoming surprise! We gave a little wave and continued on our way! We stuck with our plan of walking every 4 miles. It had worked well on our practice long runs so there was no way we were going to change a thing. The first break came up quickly and we all shed our gloves and outer layers. I don't remember much of miles 4-8 but I do remember that for some reason 8-12 was one of worst stretches of the entire race. Each mile seemed to crawl along and I couldn't wait until mile 12 for a break. It was around mile 12 that Traci started having some trouble and it seemed like she wouldn't be able to keep up. Her husband was there too and he agreed to stay with her. That's the thing with the Big Show, no matter how much you prepare there's a lot of time for unexpected things to occur! 

By mile 13 I was feeling much better. My feet felt strong and my head was in the right place. Nate made another appearance and ran a tiny bit with me. We decided that I would need a little bit of company along the way so he went to his car to put on his running shoes and agreed to meet up with me around mile 18. I'm not sure when, but I started to pull away from Christy S too. I get like that sometimes. My feet takeover and my head is not really sure what is going on. I just know one minute she was next to me and the next she wasn't. At the mile 16 walking break I put in my earphones and Blink-182 was my running buddy for the next 10 miles. 

Around mile 18 Nate found me again and he ran with me for another 4 miles. It was so nice to have him there. We didn't do a whole lot of talking but having company kept me from thinking about how much further I had to go or how achey my legs were. It was funny to hear everyone cheer him on too. He got a lot of "you are looking FANTASTIC" and "You've got this, you're doing awesome!!!" People were so amazed to see someone looking so "fresh" so far into the race. Miles 18-23 had a little bit of trail running which was a welcomed break from the looping through neighborhoods. Nate left me around mile 23 so he could sprint to the finish line and cheer me on as I crossed. The last 3.2 were my own.

It was around  this time that my stomach started feeling a little barfy and my legs oh so heavy. Coming up on my final walking break at mile 24 I was a little torn. My main concern was not being able to start running again if I took a break, but if I didn't take a break I was concerned that I would need a break before the finish. I decided to take a short walking break. Just enough to get a reprieve, but not too long where my legs got comfortable. The last few miles were a little tough and it felt like forever before I could see the finish line, but there it was! 

With the finish line in sight I got my last burst of energy and a HUGE smile on my face. It was a fabulous finish. The hubby on my right cheering me on and my good friend Christy B on my left screaming my name (Christy had finished at 4:04 and was waiting for me!). I finished strong and happy! I can't wait to see my finish-line photos, I'm sure I have a Cheshire-Cat grin on my face!
I think it's true what they say about marathons, that it's just as much a mental race and a physical one. I knew that physically I was ready. I had trained hard and my body was ready. There was no doubt in my mind that as long as I kept a clear head, I would finish. I looked at the race in 4 mile increments. I can run four mile, four miles is nothing. I tried not to think about how far I had left to run and rarely looked at my watch. As long as I only thought of the current four miles I was golden. Like many other runners, I have my own running mantras that I've been using for years to keep me motivated, but Boston was my true motivation last Saturday. I just kept thinking of all the runners that had trained and prepared so hard and were unable to finish. My little leg aches were nothing compared to their heartache and loss. The only thought in my mind as I crossed the finish was BOSTON STRONG.

So I crossed the line a happy girl! 
I was crowned a marathon runner with my medal and my mylar wrap. I was rewarded with cookies, pizza, bananas, fruit snacks and hugs from Nate and Christy B. We headed back to the finish to wait for our friends. Traci's husband Eric came in shortly after I did. Traci finished in under 5 hours and earned herself a new PR. Christy S had some knee trouble along the course but she also finished in under 5 hours. One-by-one the day's goals were achieved. 

The hubby and I had our traditional Five Guys post-race meal. I knew I'd regret it later, but it was SO worth it! At home I got a shower and a little nap. Then Nate put on my 26.2 sticker that I had definitely earned and that I am super proud of!
The celebration continued with a glass (or 2...or 3) of my favorite bubbly. The hubby knows me so well!

That night I had so much trouble sleeping. My mind was going in a million different directions and I'm sure it was just way overestimated. I'm getting eager to start running again but my "coach" Hal says I have to rest. Tomorrow I get to start running/walking again. It's nothing compared to what I had been doing, but on Sunday I can run 8 miles and I'm so looking forward to it!

The next race is Labor Day weekend. Traci is going for an under 2-hour half and I'm hoping to help her do it. Our training "officially" starts June 10th but there will be lots of running before then! The next marathon is The Flying Pig 4-way in 2014. It'll be a 5k, 10 and a full marathon in the same weekend. I'll get 4 medals!!! 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Will Play Piano For Noodles

A few months ago the girls were given a wonderful gift! Their great-grandmother gave them the gift of piano lessons. I am so amazed at how much they have learned in such a short time! They are really enjoying their lessons and are having a great time practicing and playing on the piano. The studio where they take their lessons has a showcase twice a year. The girls had only been taking lessons for a month when their teachers approached them and asked them to participate. I was surprised that they felt they were already ready to preform in front of an audience. Originally we only signed Lo up, but Lil' Sis doesn't like to be left out and was adamant that she participate too. Both girls practiced and practiced and practiced. Their performance pieces had to be memorized. Since their pieces were short each girl was allowed to play a few. Logan had 4 short songs and Noa had two. 
The showcase was this weekend and the girls were so excited that Grandma was in town and could also watch them perform! The really cool thing about the showcase is that they have all sorts of performers. In addition to piano players, there were kids playing the violin and lots of singers too. There were quite a few families that had group performances as well. Not only was it a great experience for the girls to perform, but it also gave them the opportunity to see what the other students were practicing. Some of the kids were just amazing! 

They started with the younger kids, so Noa was one of the first performers. She gets extremely nervous when she feels like everyone is focusing on her. Most of her previous performances involved her hanging her head and not performing. We were a little worried about how her showcase would go! We spent a lot of time practicing how her part would go. Each child had to come to the stage by themselves, bow, play their pieces, bow and leave the stage. I knew it would be difficult for her so I bribed her gave her a little incentive. I told her that if she did a great job and walked like a big girl to the stage she could have a special treat, just her and me. She wanted mac 'n cheese from Noodles and Co. and I was happy to agree (they have some fab-u-lous mac 'n cheese). She had to be walked out to the piano, but she bowed, played perfectly and walked off the stage all on her own. 

She was so proud of herself!!! After the show she had the biggest smile on her face because she knew she had nailed it!
Between her fair skin, white hair and the stage lighting it's like a little ghost was sitting at the piano...
Logan felt very comfortable with the whole process. She practiced hard and was ready! She also loved watching all the other performers. I was sure that after the show she'd ask me for voice lessons! She hasn't asked yet, but her favorite performances were the singing ones!

The refreshments were a huge hit too!
I'm so proud of my little musicians! They worked so hard and did such a wonderful job! They're already talking about their next showcase so I guess they're hooked!
As promised, Noa and I went to lunch at Noodles and Co. the next day. She definitely had earned her ooey gooey, delicious mac 'n cheese!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pin-tastic or Pin-trosity Fixin' My Make-up

A few weeks ago I made a purchase with Groupon Goods. It was a HUGE make-up kit for a very reasonable price. I'm not a big make-up-wearer, my main go-tos are concealer (I have 3 kids after all), a little bronzer, mascara and lipgloss. This kit had WAY more than I needed but the price was right and I have a few formal events coming up so I may need a little more fanciness. Besides, my girls will have a field day with all the different shades of eyeshadow!

I was so excited when it arrived yesterday! My bubble was instantly burst when I opened it and saw this:

There was bronzer EVERYWHERE. It was a huge powdery mess! I made a few quick emails to Groupon (whose customer service was FAB-U-LOUS) and was given a full return. Sadly because of limited stock, they couldn't replace the kit like I was hoping. I almost dumped out all the broken make-up, but then I remembered that I had seen {THIS} pin on how to fix broken powder make-up and I thought I'd give it a try!

All you need is rubbing alcohol. Apparently the higher the percentage the faster it dries so I bought the one with the highest percentage I could find.
I soaked a cotton ball with the rubbing alcohol and squeezed it into the area where the broken makeup was. The instructions say all you need is a "few" drops of the rubbing alcohol, but I found that if you used too little it didn't work. Instead of sticking to itself, it just stuck to my finger so make sure you use a decent amount.
After I switched from "drops" to "drenching" the process went very quickly. The broken eyeshadows were super easy. I put a little of the rubbing alcohol on them and gently patted them down. They dried very quickly too. 

The big bronzer took quite a bit of the rubbing alcohol, but once I had enough it smoothed out pretty nicely.

It took the longest to try, but in less than an hour it was ready for use. 
Sure it's not as pretty as it was when it was brand new, but it's in much better condition than when it arrived! So glad I "pinned" this little trick! I'm sure I'll be using it again!