Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wedding: Hair & Makeup Trial

Hello and happy Tuesday! I hope you got to enjoy an extra day off. My long weekend kicked off late Friday afternoon when I left work to head with my mom over to Bend, OR. 

I had scheduled my hair and makeup trial for this weekend so we decided to go over the night before and enjoy Bend a bit. 

We got into town, booked a hotel on the drive over via Orbitz (saved $40!) and headed to Brother Jon's Ale House for dinner. It's one of my favorite restaurants downtown (often a shorter wait than Deschutes Brewery) and has a great menu + awesome ale options. 

The brown porter was the beer of choice for both of us. I ordered a BLTAvacado and mom had a portobello mushroom sandwich. Both were a-mazing!

Afterward, we opted to walk around a bit to enjoy the city and walk off our food bellies. It was such a pretty night and just chilly enough to wear a warm jacket. 

Love Drake Park

I was kind of infatuated with the bark on this tree (true Oregonian right there). 

The next morning, I woke up around 5:45 am and couldn't go back to sleep. I blame the wedding nightmare I had. So, what do you do when you're awake and in such a beautiful running town? You run of course, in 34 degree temps. 

The Deschutes River trail was just a half mile or so from our hotel.

I just took it easy and enjoyed the scenery, stopping to snap some photos here and there, finishing with 2.5 miles total. After all, I'm still rocking the reset and taking it easy. 

Why not hold chaturanga on the foot bridge??

After a quick change, my mom and I headed to a 7:30 am sweaty, fun yoga class at Groove Yoga. My mom did a great job and enjoyed the class. I love their classes because they are fast paced, warm and have great music that keeps your mind off the sweat dripping poses. 

And now, the makeup trial!

After breakfast and showers, we went to Lemon Drop Salon to see Annie for my makeup. I asked her to do it fairly natural, with browns and coppers for the eye shadow. While it seemed heavy close up, I know for wedding photos that it needs to be a little more dramatic than my normal routine. 

Same makeup, but a little pinker lipstick. Overall, I was happy with how it turned out.

Shortly after, it was time to get the hairs did!

Megan at Blue Star Salon took the few photos I brought from Pinterest for inspiration for some kind of side, semi loose updo. 

Trying to explain what you want without really knowing yourself is kind of tough, but Megan did a nice job. While the curls looked too tight and "put together" at first, I liked how they looked after a few hours of wear. 

After the few hour drive home, it was time for dinner, so the manfriend and I went out for Italian. I snapped another pic of the hair just to see how it had held up after 5+ hours. 

So yeah, we packed a lot into our short 24 hours in Bend! I'm glad we made the trip over now so I have one less thing to worry about in the upcoming weeks.

What was the best part of your weekend? 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yogic Breathing

Last night, I hopped into bed and immediately was overwhelmed by wedding brain. Basically, the immediate list of things I KNOW I need to do starts streaming through my head.

To calm myself, I started thinking about yoga breathing that makes me so relaxed. Along with that comes a number of phrases various teachers have suggested over the years.

The one I personally love, is something to the effect of...

Breathe in strength (or light or energy),
Breathe out what doesn't serve you. 

Sunrise at the top of Bolan Mt.

This has always resonated well with me and brings a lot of comfort. I like the idea of mentally dumping everything I no longer need that clutters up the important stuff in life. 

Happy Thursday!

Do you have a phrase that serves as your mantra when you're stressed or overwhelmed?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


First off, I know all of our hearts are in Moore, Oklahoma and with all those affected by the tornadoes. I can't even imagine. Natural disasters are terrifying to me as someone who likes to be able to have control over things in life. 

As usual, flowers brought to you by Trader Joe's

After a few weeks of crazy unusual summery weather, we're back to cold and wet here in Eugene. I've already busted out the puffy jacket a few times this week.

Now about that reset...
I'm telling you this because they say announcing things publicly makes us more accountable. Mentally, I've been planning for this, but sometimes doing as I say isn't allllways a reality.

Anyway, my goal for these last two weeks of May is to treat them as reset weeks. Why the reset?

I'm planning to start base building for the Chicago Marathon on June 1st. In order to be ready for this round of marathon training, I want to be mentally and physically fresh and excited for the journey.

I'm going to be exercising for my sanity, and to complete Best Body Bootcamp, but I'm not going to be worried about my mileage, calories burned, feeling sore, etc. What I'm going to focus on is easy. What does this mean?

Easy, short runs. Easy lifting (as part of BBB workouts). No crazy circuit sweat blasting craziness that I love. oops. YOGA. Chilling the heck out. And likely, lots of walking or casual bike riding for my sanity.

Speaking of sanity, two of my coworkers recently started the Insanity workouts and wanted to know what I thought of them, so I had to see what all the fuss was about. Last night I came home and did the fit test (8 intense workouts, each for 1 min straight w/ 1 min rest, as many reps as possible) and the plyometric cardio workout (warm up + cardio circuits + stretch).

I'll try the other workouts before I do a full review, hopefully in a few weeks, but suffice it to say, I was dripping sweat and my arms felt like jello afterward. 

Mind over body
After that bout of Insanity, I suppose I should treat this sort of like taper weeks where I find things to occupy my time and brain. Some of my favorite distractions during taper weeks include reading all the magazines I've neglected, meeting up with a friend, trying a new recipe, doing an at home pedicure, etc.

Luckily, I'm already pretty busy with work and wedding planning, but it's always amazing how choosing a different mindset ("yay, taper time" vs. "here we go, another tough training week") changes how I measure success. So often, I have a mileage goal or workout plan in mind that I want to achieve, but during a rest week, success = the days I'm laying low and sweating less.

What are your favorite taper/easy week distractions? Has anyone else tried Insanity?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Whoa, Week

Whoa, week. Where did you go?

The theme of my week was definitely exhaustion. Per the usual, I chugged on ignoring the signs of burn out. This weekend, I reminded myself again and again that it's okay to just be. But tell that to a brain that knows there's about 125 things to do for an upcoming wedding and it seems all I get is static.

Today, I finished a solid 10 miler during our local group run. I wanted to stick with a group who was running faster than my comfortable long run pace (7:50-8:10 pace), and I did for about 7.5 miles and then I let them drift off.

It was fine with me, I wanted to walk a few minutes here and there, but I know if I push just a bit, I can hang with that crew. With so many of my runs being solo, it's easy to just run the comfy pace I want to run.

I love neon orange. Sorry, I'm not sorry. 

This weekend, we finally finished the last of the invitation details - sealing, stamping, organizing. The manfriend even helped me this week to get everything stuffed and ready to be sent! 

Hard to imagine this is actually happening...

I also finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed in some kind of lightning speed (for me). Seriously, I was reading this by flashlight at night and could barely put it down. If you too are late to the Wild party, get on it already! But be warned: you may want to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail afterward.

Fashions of late

Colored cropped pants

Long sleeve: Gap, pants: LOFT, sandals: Bandalino

A wee bit casual, but it works.

Aqua + grey

Cardigan thing: LOFT, long sleeve: Gap, colored jeans: Old Navy, sandals: same as above, 
necklace: made by yours truly inspired by a Pinterest bib necklace

For whatever reason, I can't seem to find anything else to go with these pants. Grey and aqua seem to work, but nothing else in my closet really meshes with these pants. Luckily, I'm a fan of this combo. 

In the way of wedding, we also met with a flower person and I scheduled my dress fitting and alterations. Thus continues the never ending list of things to do.

In blog land, I enjoyed seeing all the posts and instagrams about Blend Retreat 2013 in Park City, Utah. After attending the Healthy Living Summit in 2011, I know that these kind of blog conferences are one jam packed weekend of learning, healthy eats and exercise, and awesome in person connections.

Tell me: Best thing you ate this weekend? And your favorite moment of serenity over the last few days? Sweet potato fries with my dinner out on Friday night. Windows rolled down, sun shining and the manfriend driving us to the local home improvement store for tomato plants.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Quest for Variety

Well, hello, Monday... 

Our Mother's Day feast at my parents' was quite tasty. The manfriend and I brought premade patties from our local grocery store (gorgonzola stuffed, cheddar/bacon stuffed and regular locally sourced beef) and some kettle chips. We also enjoyed tasty watermelon and a southwest quinoa salad made by Sabrina.

I brought my mom some peonies by way of Trader Joe's. Peonies and ranunculas tie as my 'favorite to look at' flowers, but unfortunately, they'll be out of season for our wedding. :(

I've been trying to find some more fun ways to include veg into my diet. To be honest, I'm pretty anal about getting in my appropriate daily fruit/veg requirements. Most days, I probably eat about 5-6 servings with at least two of them being veggies. 

Last Sunday, the manfriend and I went on a short bike ride to a nearby lake. After 20 miles, I was pretty hungry, but wanted to make sure the meal packed a punch as I was meeting Lindsey, her fiance Sonny and friend Katie at a winery for some sips in the sun. 

I scrambled up a few farm fresh eggs (holy $6 a dozen at the Farmer's Market!) along with some onion, mushroom, spinach and tomatoes. I put it all in a corn tortilla, but ended up not eating it all because it just masked the flavor of the inner goodness

In my quest for variety, I've also been blending up more smoothies these days. 

I have salads a few days a week for or with lunch or dinner, but honestly, sometimes they make me gag. Smoothies however, are a great way to get in all that spinach with less gag factor...

Saturday, I went to Costco for a quick restock (oats, Adam's peanut butter, NFCS strawberry jam, spinach) and came out with all of that plus this 5 lb bag of berries. While I normally pay $3-3.50 for a 1lb bag of organic blueberries or mixed berries, this huge bag was only $9.49! 

Monster bag o berries = monster smoothie 

Ingredients: ice, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup berries, 2 cups spinach, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 scoop Sun Warrior protein powder, 1 Tbsp peanut butter. Serves 2.

Blend for 3-5 minutes and serve w/ cinnamon, chia seeds and a little granola on top if you wish.

What's your favorite flower? Do you have super sneaky ways to add fruit/veggies that you don't always love into your diet?

Eeks! Yesterday officially marked our two months 'til wedding date. Thanks for reminding me, Crate and Barrel. Cue panic attack.

Foodie thoughts: I actually did pretty well at eating only when I was hungry this past week. I found that it's much easier for me to practice this on work days rather than the weekend where I'm always out and about or hanging around the house. Sometimes boredom or just doing something for the fun of it makes you forget that hello, you aren't actually hungry.

*Random note: today I bolded words or phrases that I liked the sound of, rather than their importance.  I don't know why, it just sounded fun. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you're out with your family or mom or simply enjoying the day. We're heading up to my parents' shortly for a BBQ with the fam. The weather has been pretty warm so we're definitely taking advantage of it!

I just wanted to pop in and share a few pics from my very first big time race adventure that my mom joined me on back in 2006 - The Nashville Country Music 1/2 Marathon. 

First of all, we both look quite a bit younger (I was fresh out of college) and secondly, this was my mom's first time on a plane since she was a young girl. 

When I see this photo, I understand what people say when they mention we look alike...

Hangin' with the gorilla at Rainforest Cafe

It was my first half marathon and I finished in 1:53:11! My mom and I fell completely in love with Nashville, being country girls at heart. I'm so glad my mom was there at the start of this crazy running adventure and the start of an addiction. 

Have a great rest of your Sunday!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Eating When Hungry

As you may recall, I signed up for Tina's Best Body Bootcamp again this round. Somehow, we're already on week five! It has been a great way for me to mix up my strength routines. I have the cardio thing pretty much covered between running and cycling, but I like to mix it up a lot in the weight arena.

It's always fun to open the workout on a Mon/Wed/Fri morning to see what kind of exercises we're going to do. What's nice about the eight week long bootcamp, is that every two weeks the workouts change so you don't get bored and your muscles continue to be challenged.

This Friday's workout includes a fun exercise that I tried for the first time last Friday - push ups with froggers! Go ahead, try them. I couldn't do them as fast as the girl in the video for 45 sec straight, but I could tell they were workin'!

In addition to bootcamp, I decided that for the month of May, I'm really going to focus on eating when I'm hungry. This may sound like a no brainer, but after several cycles of marathon training, my eating habits are on autopilot - breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, craving sugar, sometimes munching while making dinner, dinner, craving dessert.

This type of eating was perfectly acceptable when I was running 40+ miles a week plus cross training, but it's simply not needed with my current training. I do think it's important to listen to your body and know what it's asking for (i.e. Some days I'm really craving meat or bagels. I usually take that as a sign that my body is asking for more protein or carbohydrates). Of course, if I'm craving ice cream every night, that's not always a legit need my body has. 

Interesting Observations
What I've noticed the last few days is that at work, I often want a morning snack, but don't necessarily need it. Instead, I'm trying to keep my water glass full or grab another cup of tea. And of course, if I'm hungry, I'll eat! Another thing - if I come home hangry after a workout, it's likely I'll eat a big snack because I need food ASAP and then not need as much dinner.

For whatever reason, I'm lacking all desire to be creative in the kitchen so we're eating a lot of the same. Spaghetti with veg, rice and bean bowls, burritos, blah. Lately, I've been wanting to make homemade pad Thai so I really should get to the store and pick up the ingredients. I'd also like to incorporate a little more fish into our diet.

UP: We finally ordered our wedding invitations!
Down: Now for the whole addressing thing... Excuse me while I practice my calligraphy skills.

Currently reading: Wild, Tearing through it. Can't believe I waited so long to start it. And yes, now I want to go hike the Pacific Crest Trail, maybe for just a few days. 

I'm in search of some new summer sandals. Do you have a pair you're eyeing? Your random thought of the day? Mine is that I'm in need of a pedicure in a bad way. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday Scenes

Saturdays are probably my favorite day of the week. By noon, I've often done a few hours of sweating, had some decent time outside and downed some of my favorite carbs. 

Lately, I've lacked the inspiration or creativity to find a ton to write about here. I know that life (and creativity) goes in waves, so I'm okay with it, but sometimes the one thing I need to do is write and yet, nothing comes out. Anyway, it's Saturday, I'm well caffeinated and the sun is OUT, as in, it's going to be 80 freaking degrees today!

So, with that let's just celebrate the weekend, mkay?!

"Runnin' down a dream..." because it's all I could think about as I was running with the sun this morning. 

My love for neon clothing isn't going away anytime soon. 

View from the bike path

Pete's preparation for a 110 mile bike ride (crossing my fingers he's doing just fine)

And there he goes, pockets loaded...

Coffee walk post yoga


When I miss Saturday morning yoga, I'm always reminded the following week just how healing it is for the soul. I know that sounds all touchy feely, but it's true.

Kira's yoga class is one of the rare moments I let my body and mind truly appreciate the benefits of letting go, slowing down and accepting myself as I am. No matter what stress from the week I bring into that room Saturday morning, I feel like it's been poured out of me after 75 minutes.

Not only that, after 75 minutes, my hamstrings finally have a little bit of what they deserve - a serious stretch! Must. stretch. more. 

I'm excited for May and what it brings and am looking forward to being really proactive about crossing some more things off the wedding checklist (which seems endless).

Nearing the end of A Practical Wedding, I came across this quote from a bride she interviewed, which really resonated with me. "A wedding is not just 'your day,' it is a day to celebrate the lives you were born into, the ones you've made, the ones you continue to build."

The closer we get to {the BIG day}, the more important it is for me to be reminded that while yes, the details are nice, the details are NOT what this day is about. What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why You Don't Need a Gym

Eugene Marathon weekend was like one big party in Tracktown, USA. I still feel exhausted from the amazing weather (70s), running and beer. More than a few times I heard runners talk about how awesome Eugene is. I guess you really do take what you have for granted. And as always, I was inspired by the runners around me - at the expo, on the course and in conversation. 

I'm one of the first to say that I love the gym atmosphere. I enjoy working out around others and like having the choice to do a number of different activities on a whim.

However, in the last year or so, I ditched my gym membership (mainly because I wasn't using it enough) and have gotten along just fine without one! My gym consists of a corner of the dining room where I store the following: 3 yoga mats, 1 ab ball, 5lb, 8lb and 15lb dumbbells, a 10lb kettlebell, resistance bands, a jump rope and two foam rollers.

With a few solid routines, DVDs or creativity, you can get your strength and cardio on in the comfort of your home.

Actually getting my stretch on!

I typically do strength training M/W/F mornings, ranging anywhere from 15-40 min long. On those days, I also like to do some steady state cardio (usually running) for 30-45 min.

Some of my favorite strength workouts include:

  • Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones (Bought it for $10 at Tar-get)
  • Any of the Fitnessista's Summer or Winter Shape Up or ab burner workouts (Free) I can't say enough good things about Gina. I feel like she is my friend, part time trainer and fashion inspiration all in one. 
  • Tina's Best Body Bootcamp (Small fee, but great value for all that you get and the workouts change every two weeks of bootcamp)
  • Throwing my own workout together to include some of my favorite or most challenging exercises (burpees, lots of push ups, jumping lunges)
  • Lifeforce Fitness (yoga + strength training w/ cardio bursts)
I try to go to Lifeforce Fitness about once a week because I love the energy and the opportunity to do pull ups and other fun things in a group setting. I've found that this kind of class is more satisfying to me than pumping iron in a room full of gym goers or spinning away on the elliptical. 

Another major advantage to bringing the gym home, is being able to crank out your workouts in less time. Instead of wandering from one machine to the next, I simply grab another set of dumbbells and start going. Or, I drop the weights and start going to town on human X's or burpees. 

By throwing in some cardio bursts to my strength routine, I don't feel bad if I'm not able to get out for a run or bike ride later. While YES, at home workouts take some personal motivation, you'll be surprised what you can crank out in 20 min and how soon you'll have sweat dripping off your forehead. 

In my opinion, there's no better way to start your day than a little sweat. 

Do you have a little gym space in your home? Are you working toward any fitness goals, strength wise? I dream of having a room dedicated to it someday. But for now, our dining room does the trick!

*As always, check with a doc before trying out a new workout. Honor your body and any injuries you may have.