Monday, February 25, 2013

Rock n' Roll Marathon | Pasadena

Yay! :) I completed my first half marathon last Sunday and am still alive! I do blame the marathon for knocking me out for the entire week, but besides that I'm still feeling ecstatic from the run and overcoming a challenge that I never thought I could!

We got up at 5am to arrive at the Rose Bowl at 6:30am, and realized immediately that the cold morning was about to kick our booties. After robotically stretching and making vows to never do this again, we made it to our corrals and before we knew it, we were sprinting past the start line.

I seriously have never run as fast and of course as far as I did that morning. Adrenaline was truly my friend… until about the 5th mile when I realized that there was more than half of the marathon to go. A couple thoughts went through my mind throughout the run:

1. Wow, this first hill isn't bad!
2. Weave, baby, weave!
3. Hmm.. When is the next water break?
4. That gatorade tasted like rotten oranges.
5. Is that a man in a gumby costume who just ran past me?
6. Another…hill? D:
7. I think my toes are sword fighting.
8. Maybe should have passed on that last water break, where's the next porter potty?
9. I want my bed, I want my bed!
10. I wonder if that man in an Elvis costume running with a beer has another one that I could have?

Despite the pain harvesting in my toes and a couple mental challenges, Kimmy and I finished at 2 hours and 25 minutes (staying under our goal to finish under 2 hours and 30 minutes) :) We were SO HAPPY that it was over and were able to relax in the warm sun with lots of bananas, mini Jamba Juice smoothies, pretzels, gatorades and salt packs (to prevent cramping).

The best surprise was when we found out that we'd barely be able walk for about another 72 hours :)


Before & After | Finish line high-fives with Kimmy | Super smiles | Far East Movement performing

I know I made this experience sound fairly painful, but I highly recommend at least trying it once. Training for a marathon is one of the simplest examples of human satisfaction - you may not believe that you can run a 5K, 13.1 miles or 26 miles, but with preparation and even doing something like adding a mile or two to your runs each week, you'll be surprised where your body and mind can take you! Take it from me - the LEAST athletic person you'll ever meet :)

The guys and Kimmy were such a great group to run with and I couldn't have done it without them :) 

Also, special thanks to Vicki of Victory Carmichael and Friends, for your advice, support and kind words!

When's our next run? :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quick DIY Valentine's Day Presents

Valentine's Day is literally, tomorrow. And for those gals who don't have the time to make a paper mache life size heart to pop out of, I've got some quick DIY ideas for you! 

Whether you're in need of adding an extra touch to your gift, or want to keep it simple - here are 8 presents that won't take a lot of time, and will cost less than purchasing that shiny watch you want to surprise him with for his birthday.


Click through images for sources

1. Making dinner for your darling? Add an extra touch by making a dinner menu, with a little love note on the back! All you need is a piece of card stock and your pen of choice.

2. Beer tasting can possibly be a man's favorite thing to do. An excuse to drink beers and try new ones? Deal! Have some fun with your guy and pick up some single unique bottles of beers from a place like BevMo.

3. We don't need to wait for St. Patrick's Day to treat our beau to some Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Butter Cream. If your guy loves whiskey, this is a great way to incorporate a sweet treat with his favorite drink. Maybe, this time, we'll make the butter cream pink! 

4. Honestly, when was the last time you made your significant other a "mixed tape"? Choose some songs that bring back great memories for you both and use this free CD cover print out - or make your own!

5. Much like the beer tasting, whiskey tasting probably tops the list of favorite things to do for most guys. These mini bottles paired with some cigars can provide for a diverse whiskey adventure that your guy will love!

6. I know for many couples, date nights are almost non-existent. Bring them back with a date night jar! Take some popsicle sticks and start with some of your favorite date night activities, then add some new ones, some outrageous ones, and also leave some blank for him to add ideas of his own.

7. Can you think of 52 reasons of why you love your guy? I bet you can - and I bet you can do it in 30 minutes MAX! Take a deck of cards, get some stickers and write the reasons on the cards. You may also want to get creative with this as it can double on the other side of the card as a date night deck!

8. Every day there's a new reason (or a really good old one) for why you love your fella. Pick up the supplies for a DIY chalk board that he can place on his desk or in a shelf in his room that you can update whenever you've got a new reason as to why you adore him. 

What's your favorite Valentine's Day DIY?? :)

Happy Valentine's Day! 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Busy Busy Bee

T-Shirt: H&M | Skirt: American Apparel | Tights: Target | Shoes: Kohl's | Necklace: H&M | Jacket: H&M

I told you I can't get over stripes! This skirt is my favorite piece of clothing right now (I may have worn it at least twice this past week). It is American Apparel's Interlock Pencil Skirt and it is 100% cotton, which means, its like leggings, in skirt form. Haha, now I know that sounds like a nightmare for most of us, but the skirt is fairly thick, providing a rather forgiving and slimming look (the stripes also help - another win for stripes!) 

This past week was a bit crazy from working long hours and other fun things like getting my iPhone replaced due to water damage (Apple Care Plus saved my butt) and getting stung by a bee (it was my first time!). I lived off frozen dumplings, hot pockets, chai tea and Costco pizza. Now, those are typically some of my favorite foods - but I'm ecstatic that I now have returned to real life with vegetables, fruits and food that doesn't come from the freezer :) 

On that note, I have 6 days until my half marathon! Yikes, I am nervous but also can't wait to run my first half marathon with some good friends! Time flies - especially when you're supposed to be running outside 3-4 times a week :) Any tips for week of marathon training? 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a product made from pulverized apples which is then fermented into alcohol and eventually into vinegar. Known for it's various uses such as an ingredient in salad dressings to a number of home remedies, Apple Cider Vinegar definitely grabbed my attention - and I wanted to try it out!

Some more popular benefits include balancing your pH alkaline levels, clearing acne, treating warts, aiding in weight loss, use as an aftershave, teeth whitening and so much more.

Can you guess which two sounded great for me?

 I, am SO excited that my skin is actually more prone to acne now - long after I've passed my teenage years where I was blessed with rare cases of acne. I really don't understand it. Even after switching up my daily facial regimen nothing has really helped!

With weight loss, and understanding that with my height and my BMI - I need to be 10 pounds lighter to be at my ideal weight. With that said, I am by all means not expecting natural remedies like Apple Cider Vinegar to do the trick, but I figure that it can't hurt as a layer on top of a better diet and consistent exercise.

I wanted to share with you my journey so far with ACV. I bought Trader Joe's Organic ACV, and have also seen the majority of women use Bragg's ACV. The way I integrate ACV into my daily routine is by mixing:

1 tablespoon of ACV
8 ounces of water
1-2 teaspoons of honey or agave

I drink that concoction about 30 minutes before eating lunch and dinner. Everyone cringes at the thought of ingesting ACV, but honestly it tastes like sour apple juice. You do have to be careful in fully diluting the ACV with water or tea because remember - it is acidic and will burn going down the hatch.

I started this routine about 2 weeks ago, and for the first couple days felt slightly bloated, and seemed to need to pee more often. After that, I have seen my weight lighten up an average of 1-2 pounds, which may be due to the running I've been doing to train for my marathon (I hit 10 miles this weekend! :)) - BUT, I haven't made any changes to my diet. I'm going to keep at it for the next 2 weeks to total a month, and will let you know how this goes! :)

I haven't started using ACV as a facial toner, but think I will start. The general directions are mixing 1 part ACV with 2 parts water and dabbing it all over your face with a cotton ball.

Want to hear how else you can use ACV? Check out some articles here, here, and here.

Has anyone else had success with ACV? Please share!! I'd love to hear your experiences!

I do want to warn that as with any natural product, all of the uses are considered home remedies and you have to understand the risks of consuming anything in excess- so make sure to be safe with ACV 
and any product!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sea of Green, Splash of Pink

Jacket: H&M | Tank: Forever 21 | Skirt: Mossimo, Target | Tights: Target | Belt: Cotton On | Boots: Cathy Jean

After my inspiration post about some jackets on my mind, I may have checked in with H&M a couple times to find out when this jacket would available in their stores. I finally found it on the racks and haven't really stopped wearing it since (except today, when it was 80 degrees.)

I really can't believe it's already February! I'm still recovering from the holiday blur, and just put away my mini Christmas tree - which I slyly pushed behind the tv after the new year (though I could feel Snoopy's judgmental stare when I did it). 

On that note, with January flying by, it's just a reminder that we have one less month to reach our goals that we've chosen for 2013. It's time to get to it, and I'm excited to share some of my goals in my upcoming posts!


Come along with me:

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