The happenings of my hectic and eclectic life!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The “Mandatory” Rest Week

Who loves a “mandatory” rest week?! I do! I do!

I believe in rest. Yes, this is coming from a lady who goes to bed every night at 9:30 pm and would nap every day if I could. But, I also love it from a workout perspective. I’ve trained for four half marathons while running only three times a week and cross training two days. It works well for my body to rest in between my running days. And I am convinced that I need to just sit on the couch every few days. That’s not only good for my body but my sanity as well.

After running my farthest distance in my running career I decided I need to make myself rest from running for the entire week. I still participated in my regular Mommy Movement Fitness activities ( so Kaleb and I went to Strollers in Motion the day after the race and then I have been attending Core Fusion on Thursday nights.

The rest of the time I’ve been doing whatever I want! As someone who constantly has a list of projects to start and in the works I was really looking forward to this week to tackle some things. This week I’m going to share with you the “mashup” of things I’ve been doing recently and during my rest week.

Lunchtime Vegetarian

My friend Emily turned me on to a vegetarian blog called Cookie and Kate ( and of course, I’m addicted to it! The recipes are fantastic and the pictures are beautiful. I highly recommend checking it out!

I’m not a vegetarian, but I started eating vegetarian recipes for lunch as a way to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I’ve been doing this for about three weeks now and it’s been really fun! Are you thinking, she’s got to be kidding? Who calls eating vegetables FUN?! But it’s been a great experience because it’s broadened my horizons. So far I’ve branched out to try brussel sprouts, butternut squash and quinoa and I’ve been baking with whole wheat flour. It’s been a great learning experience! I’m not gonna lie, I am kinda of enjoying hunting things down in the grocery store that I’ve never bought before.

Before you think I’m completely crazy, for me, having a healthy lunch with a 3 year old can be difficult because things get rushed and crazy and I tend to forget about myself. My system for awhile now has been to choose two recipes, make them both on Sunday and then alternate eating them throughout the week. There’s usually a day or two in there where I can mix it up with leftovers. But I’ve found it’s easy to make good choices when the food is already prepared and all I have to do is scoop it out and heat it up!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve picked two recipes from Cookie and Kate and also baked one item as well which I have used either as a side to my lunch or as an afternoon snack. From Cookie and Kate I have tried:

Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
Apple Oatmeal Muffins
Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili
Green Bean Quinoa Salad with Feta Spicy
Sun Dried Tomato and Broccoli Pasta
Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini
Baked Chiocciole with Brussel Sprouts, Apples and Blue Cheese
Sesame Soba Noodles
Pear, Raspberry and Goat Cheese Crostini

My favorite so far was the Butternut Squash Chili! I ended up eating half of the chili for two meals and then freezing the other half of the recipe. It froze nicely and then I ended up reheating it another week and finishing it off! Although next time I will be research how to take on a butternut squash cause tackling that thing was the hardest part of the recipe!

I also tried a great recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos. Delicious and super easy!

Time to Get Crafty

I got out my crochet needles for someone special….and whipped up this newsboy hat!

Turns out I haven’t crocheted anything in a year! I learned my lesson about cleaning up after myself because all of my crochet stuff was a total mess. But it was fun to get out a pattern and make something again. Thank you to my dear friend Shalyn for asking me to get back in the saddle. Turns out getting back into crocheting really was just like riding a bicycle (or a horse?!)

My next project was making a dinosaur costume for my little one!!  This is something that was near and dear to my heart because I have very fond memories of my Mom making all of my Halloween costumes. I loved going to the fabric store with her to pick out the pattern and fabric. My Mom is a fantastic seamstress and I was spoiled by her skills!

Here’s my Snow White costume my Mom made me when I was little. I told you she was fantastic!

My sewing skills are minimal, so I was ridiculously excited when I was able to create this for Kaleb! And I did immediately call my Mom to make her FaceTime with me so I could show her!  Yes, I was photographing a moving target aka Dino…  

Thank you Just Sew Sassy for this fantastic tutorial!

What Next?

I also spent part of this week thinking about what I want to do next. I love a routine. In fact I had a minor freak out the Monday after my race. I normally run on Tuesday morning so before bed I was talking to my husband about the morning routine. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that I wasn’t going to run in the morning and it completely threw me!

Doing the Johnston’s Half Marathon in April is already on my radar, but I don’t usually start training for that until February. I did my first triathlon this summer and there’s an indoor tri coming up at the YMCA in December. So I think I’m going to give another go! 

It’s time to shift gears and get going again! I hope you spent your week doing something you love and possibly even trying something new!   

Monday, October 15, 2012

The 3/4 Marathon

I guess in the back of my mind I kind of suspected this was going to happen.

The plan was to run my half marathon in the middle of my friend Amee’s full marathon OR miles 7-20 of the full Prairie Fire Marathon. I even went so far as to tell Amee’s Mom she needed to make me get into the car at mile 20. I might have gotten more suspicious of myself then.

So yes, race day I ran 19.25 miles. Or, as it’s now been dubbed, 3/4 of a marathon. 

But let me back up a bit.

This is Amee, my running partner.

For those of you who have serious running partners, you know exactly what I mean when you read the words running partner. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an irreplaceable bond. A true running partner is hard to come by. Someone you spend hours with, sweat with and discuss the good and bad (and really disgusting) things about running with. And mine’s the greatest!

I’ve had several people try to talk me into running a marathon. It’s just not for me at this point in my life. I’m a half marathon runner and that is just fine by me. For the last two years I’ve run one half in the spring and one half in the fall. It works out perfectly. By the time I’m finished training I’m over it and need a break. And when it’s time to start training again I’m more than ready. It’s been a happy cycle in my life. So when Amee thought about doing the full marathon, being the good friend that I am, I did my best to help talk her into it!

Thus began what I like to call “half-sies” training. The decision being that I would run half of all of her long runs with her. If she went 10, I went 5. If she went 20, I went 10 and so on and so forth. First, this was fine by me! I was coming off completing my first triathlon and was no way looking to get back in to regimented training schedule. So I really enjoyed saying “what are we running this week” for a change. Second, this also meant I could never complain. And if it crossed my mind at any time I reminded myself that Amee had already run twice as far as me that day so I better shut my mouth. 

All that training, talking about it and the day was FINALLY here!

Here we go!

Picking Amee up at the full marathon mile 7. That’s my little one, Kaleb, who wanted to be a part of the race so badly!

Being the official pacer. Thanks Candice for the Garmin!

These are the cute shirts I had made for us! Thank you Great Image Designs! Mine says “support crew” and Amee’s says, “Don’t mess with a girl who runs 26.2 miles for fun.” Amen.
Yep, there’s Kaleb again….

So, back to the beginning of the story. After some discussion around her mile 15, Amee thought leaving her at mile 20 with 6 more to go (or another hour of running alone) sounded like a long time. I agreed I would stay to mile 23 because that was still a convenient time to get picked up and make it to the end to see her finish.

But I just couldn’t leave her.

Several times she told me she was fine so I didn’t do it because she asked me to. There was something about me feeling like I belonged with her. All those countless hours of training together, talking about this day, planning the route….the outfits. I just wanted to stay with her.

Then at mile 23 that crazy runner inside of me took over and I wanted to make it to the finish line!!

What I did for her is something I simply chose to do to be a good friend. Yes, it’s the farthest I’ve ever run (and plan to run), but it compares in no way to the four months of training she did or her deep commitment to eating Chipotle once a week before each of her long runs. I consider myself lucky to have run 19.25 miles with her. I never heard her complain. She smiled the WHOLE TIME. I kept telling people during the week leading up to the race, “she’s a really tough cookie.” And while that makes me sound like an old lady, I really meant it. I knew she could do it. I never doubted her, even for a second. To say that I am proud is not even close.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your crazy adventure and congratulations to you, Amee! You are an amazing woman, strong person and someone I am not only able to call my very good friend, but my running partner!


The entire support crew!

My little finisher….

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fresh Faced and Fancy Free

Next month I’m celebrating my 5 year anniversary of my move to Wichita. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! Although my Mom says she feels like I’ve been gone forever…

Lots of things changed when I moved here. But one change is that the climate here is way different than it is in Milwaukee. I went from having extremely dry skin, to the point of putting body lotion on my face to fix the flaking to my having my make-up melt off in the humidity here. I also starting exercising more regularly and that caused another whole host of skin problems. In time I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. But for a product junkie like me, who doesn’t love to continue on the quest to find the perfect make-up?!

Before I moved here I wore bareMinerals make-up for about 5 years. I continued to wear it once I moved here, but eventually I decided to look for something with more coverage.

So I made the switch to NARS make-up. Some of you may have heard of the famous Orgasm blush that flatters every skin color, which is fantastic by the way! I’ve tried several of their products. I started with the Sheer Glow Foundation and then switched to the Sheer Matte Foundation. I most recently switched to their Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer that they launched this past summer and this is random, but my favorite part about the tinted moisturizer was the smell!


Although I do recommend NARS, there were a few minor problems. The coverage is so great that if got any kind of tan in the summer my face color no longer matched my neck color and we all know that’s a great look. But, I mixed the tinted moisturizer with the Laguna Body Illuminator and that solved the non-matching skin color problem. I also had problems getting the Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte foundation out of the bottle. I found it was inconsistent in how much would come out and then sometimes I’d get to much. No one wants to waste expensive foundation!! So I did prefer that you squeeze out the tinted moisturizer.

Time for a change

I can’t pinpoint what exactly made me want to go back to bareMinerals. I may have been enticed by the beautiful new store they just put in our mall. Yes, I can be enticed by anything with sparkles and glitter. Or just the fact that it had worked for me for so many years. 

Back in the day…ok 5 years ago…bareMinerals was such a big mess to apply. Yes, you can adjust to the fact that every thing came in a powder form. But it was still difficult to travel with. I’d pack it all and find that once I got to my destination something would get turned over and all the make up would be through the little sifting holes. BIG disaster. So, in the time I was “cheating” with my NARS make-up someone gave them the memo and major changes have been made. Everything comes in compacts now. Yes, you read me right. Pressed powders!

I never really could totally adjust to applying foundation with my hands, so I love that bareMinerals foundation is applied with a brush. And my timing was perfect because in September they introduced their new Hydrating bareMinerals READY SPF 20 Foundation. I’m also loving the new Precision Face Brush, which is shown below. It comes full size and in a retractable size to throw in your purse!

So far I’ve been very impressed! It’s taken me a bit to find my “happy place” in how much product to apply. But the girls as the store kept describing it as a “buildable” foundation and I would completely agree with that. You can start slowly and add as much as you need. The coverage is great! I’ve found it lasts for sure for 8 hours without budging. Also, I had a FANTASTIC experience at the store. The ladies who worked there were super helpful and not only asked my opinion in choosing between three foundation colors, but then when over different application techniques. I was able to go make-up shopping at an off time (7:00pm on a Monday night) so the girls were just hanging out and I think were entertaining themselves by helping me. No complaints there!

On a random side note, I actually dislike the tagline of their new campaign. I only bring this up because it bugs me every time I see it in a magazine. It makes me think they are saying, we don’t like profanity…but we use it anyways. 


So I had to do some research and according to ( “'We Don't Like Using the F-Word' aligns with the brand's innate desire to challenge the status quo while offering a unique perspective on what bareMinerals READY SPF 20 Foundation can do for the skin. No visible trace of makeup, no parabens or harsh chemicals, no dreaded line of demarcation — simply smooth, fresh, younger-looking skin.” Still not quite seeing the relation between that and using the “F-word” which does not make me think of the word foundation. 

My only other complaint is that all of the compacts look exactly the same. Since I use 5 different compacts to complete the make-up process I end up having to flip them over each time to figure out which product I’m looking for. I’ve now created a system for putting them to the side, product information up, so there’s a process of elimination in what I’m looking for next.

That aside, it is working wonders and I don’t see myself switching to another make-up line any time soon!

Two more new additions to my make-up routine! I purchased both at Sephora. I was “talked into” the eyelash primer. I’m giving it a try although I haven’t fallen in love with any make-up primer, I
kinda think all primer is a scam. But, if you have a favorite primer I’d love to hear!

Diorshow Extase Mascara ($28.50)
Dior Show Extase

Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($28)

Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum

The Lash Plumping Serum is applied before you put on your mascara and again at night. I’m loving both so far and a friend of mine told me my eyelashes are going “wah-bam” these days!

Freshening up your look can always be fun! So, take a chance and free yourself!