Hey and Happy Wednesday! This week, I’m back to linking up with Jordon and Meredith for Wedding Wednesday! This week, I’m looking at all the little details that still need to be handled and getting myself organized! Make sure to check out Jordon and Meredith’s blogs – and all the other fun ladies linking up as well!
I am still working on:
- Invitations (final order being placed this week).
- Finalizing the flowers – I know what I want but haven’t decided how I’ll make it work and how much I’ll do myself.
- Choose hair / makeup vendor – I am hoping to do this soon because I’d like to do a trial the day we have our engagement photos (in two weeks).
- Any paper for the wedding (like programs, etc.). I think paper programs are unnecessary but I’d like to do some kind of chalkboard sign instead, I think!
- Choose songs for ceremony and first dances at wedding. I think K and I have chosen our first dance song, but there are many more to choose!
- Purchase veil / shoes / jewelry for wedding — I honestly haven’t even thought about these things yet. Time to get to it!
- Dress – I don’t need to get my dress altered (small miracles) but I do need to get a bustle put in.
- Purchase wedding bands.
- Purchase bridesmaids gifts -I have an idea of what I’ll do for these but not sharing on the blog
- Transportation for bridal party from hotel to venue.
- Pictures / etc. we want to display at the wedding – there’s an awesome mantel in the room where cocktail hour will take place and we want to have pictures up in there. We need to decide on which ones (some will come from the engagement shoot!).
This list feels long to me! Most of the items are small but I’m feeling a bit AHHHHH about all that is left. I’m also convinced I’m forgetting things, but I’ve got my fabulous MOH (and best sister ever!) on the case to help and basically keep me from losing it!
I know it’s Marathon Week (woohoo) but I still wanted to have Blogger Tips Tuesday so we could talk about creating pinnable images. Hopefully you are already utilizing Pinterest as a way to increase your blog’s traffic and reach. If not, get on that! If you are or if you are thinking about doing it, a time will come where you will tire of scouring the web for images and want to create some of your own. You may want to take a picture and add text or alter it in some way or you may want to create your own image from scratch. I’ll show you an easy way to do both using Picmonkey. Picmonkey is an online picture editor / creator and it’s fantastic. You can do everything I’m about to demonstrate with the free version, but I’ve found it to be well worth my while to pay $30 for the Royale (paid) version.
If you want to use your own photo:
- First head over to Picmonkey and click edit.
- Once you are in the edit portion of Picmonkey, you have TONS of options to play around with. You can add text, overlays (like the arrow I added above), change the background color, add a frame and SO much more. Play around with this and you will have so much fun – there are SO many options that it’d be impossible for me to list them all.
- When you are happy with your image just save and go!
If you want to create your own image:
- From the home page, choose design instead of edit.
- You have your choice of various shapes and sizes for your canvas — I always choose the square shape, but pick what works for you!
- Once you have chosen your shape, you’ll be taken to the same editing page. When I’m starting for scratch, I like to choose a canvas color and add a frame first and then add whatever text, overlays I need.
The best way to learn how to do this is to play around with it — picmonkey is pretty user friendly, and as I mentioned the free version works great!
What do you use to create pinnable images?
Well, it’s here folks! Marathon week is upon us and I am ready! While it still seems cray cray to me that I’m running 26.2 in less than seven days, I have put in the work and am so excited to tackle the monster that is the marathon. On Saturday I ran my last long run and worked on my mental strength. I focused on visualizing what I wanted to see happen during the race. So as I ran, I imagined feeling strong throughout the race, picking up the pace in the final miles, smiling as I came down the final stretch, high fiving kids cheering along the boardwalk and I imagined the number 4 on the clock as I crossed the finish.
This week I’m planning on running three times (including the day before the race) and just focusing on getting as much rest as I can. I’ve set my goals for this race and although I know very well that anything can happen in a marathon, I’m confident that I should be able to reach the goals I’m setting for myself.
A Goal (if everything is perfect and the stars align for me on race day): 4:45, which is a 10:52 average pace. I am physically capable of this but I will have to run a perfect race (for me).
B Goal sub 5 hours. This includes 4:59:59!
C Goal a personal record from Richmond last November. I would probably be devastated if I didn’t PR since that would basically mean I was injured or something.
So there you have it. I’m giddy with excitement and nervousness and working on positive affirmations and on staying calm (I realize that last sentence is an oxymoron!). I’ll be bringing multiple outfits, including extra socks (no wet feet this time around!) but more about all that later this week…since it’s marathon week!
Okay, who ELSE is running Shamrock? Shout it out!
You guys may have seen me post on Instagram recently that I was trying a new hydration product. I normally only run with water if I’m running for an hour or more (or it’s summertime and nasty), but I wanted to try out the Ultimate Direction Handy 10*. The Handy 10 is a part of The Jenny Collection — a special line of Ultimate Direction products designed by women for women. Y’all know how I feel about support women (ahem, my love for Oiselle, another female owned company – and I’m a graduate of a women’s college), so I was excited to learn more about Jenny and the collection.
Us Zooma Ambassadors had the chance to ask Jenny some questions related to health and fitness. Read on to see what Jenny had to say and see how I liked the Handy 10 (I’ll try the Meow belt out soon). Be forewarned it’s a bit of a long one, (and I only included a snippet of the questions – you can read the full q&a here) but I loved reading Jenny’s responses so much and I thought y’all would as well!
What do you use to hydrate on your long training runs? - Kristin from A Mom on the Run (http://www.amomontherun.com)
I use an Ultra Vesta with two 10oz bottles in the front and a non-hose Platypus bladder in the back with another 20oz of water.
- What is your typical recovery routine? – Lisa from Lisa Runs for Cupcakes (http://www.lisarunsforcupcakes.com/)
- Scott’s more the expert on recovery so I drink what he drinks which is 20oz of Clif Shot drink mixed with 15g of protein powder within the first 30 minutes after my workout. I like taking a Vinyasa Flow yoga class the day after a long race or a hard workout because it keeps me from getting too sore the next day.
- Do you participate in any other sports such as cycling or triathlon either as a method of cross training or to keep running fresh? – Landi from Preserving Pollyanna (http://www.preservingpollyanna.blogspot.com)
- Climbing is my only other consistent sport. I like to go for long rides and I swim, but not competitively or with any regularity. I lift weights and do kickboxing twice a week, too.
- As runners, we are constantly searching for ways to fit everything in. What tips do you have for balancing training and the busy schedules you and Scott have with family and life outside of running? – Jesica from rUnladylike (http://www.runladylike.com)
- Communication and routines are helpful. Every morning we wake up and discuss our schedules for the day before we head out for a run. We are big fans of errand runs where we will stop by the bank, post office, or grocery store on the way home to save some time. Whoever gets home first starts making breakfast and we try to function like a team.
- Do you have a favorite memory of a particular view during a run, or moment during a race, that has always stuck with you? – Cynthia from You Signed Up For WHAT?! http://yousignedupforwhat.com/
- I started trail running when I lived in Seattle so I have a lot of nostalgia for the Northwest. One of my favorite races was my fist 100 miler, the Cascade Crest 100, because it was in the Cascades and my BFF Krissy paced me for the last 45 miles. Just finishing gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself, in pursuing my dreams, and in life in general. It was a big moment for me.
- When you were conducting research to design the Jenny Collection, what was the most common complaint you heard from women about most distance running gear? (ex: chafing, bouncing, low quality, too heavy, poor fit, etc.) And how does the Jenny Collection address this issue? – Mary from Minutes per Mile http://minutespermile.com
- The biggest complaint I heard was about poor fit. An ill-fitting pack or waistbelt will bounce around and can cause chafing. I started the designs based on women’s bodies and curves and made sure there were plenty of adjustability options on the Ultra Vesta.
- What is your favorite fuel to store in your ultra vest for a long run? – Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC (http://eatprayrundc.com)
- It’s hard to choose just one, but anytime I have a Bearded Brothers energy bar it makes me happy. (beardedbros.com) They are all organic raw vegan and amazing! I also really like Margarita Clif Blocks, the saltiness is a nice way to break up all the sweet gels.
What are some techniques you use to get your head back in the game if you find yourself discouraged after not-so-great performances or injury/illness?-Jennifer http://runswithpugs.com
I wish I was better at this but I still get disappointed with myself and question if I could have pushed harder or trained better or whatever. But I try not to beat myself up and turn the disappointment into motivation for the next event.
Jenny sounds awesome and like a lady I’d like to hang with (maybe not on a 100 mile run, though!) Okay, so on to the Handy 10 – I loved running with this. I tested it out on a 3.5 mile run with my buddy Julie and it was great. So comfortable and easy to hold and with it fulled filled, it felt extremely light. I would use the Handy 10 (or 20) on shorter runs where I don’t need the 70 oz of water that my pack holds. Plus, it’s so super cute AND there is a hair tie attached on the inner pouch for when you need one on the run. So smart! This is a great handheld and I’m excited about using it on shorter runs!
Have you ever used a hand held?
*note: I was given a free Handy 10 and Meow as a part of my Zooma Ambassadorship but all opinions are my own as always!
Happy Friday, peeps! Can you believe that we are springing forward this weekend?? I am looking forward to the warmer weather that has to be coming, right? This week, Mar, Cynthia and I (otherwise known as your DC Trifecta) decided to celebrate spring’s soon to be arrival with a Spring Forward Friday Five. Maybe this will help usher spring along :) Note: our beloved Mar is celebrating a birthday this weekend, so make sure to send her lots of love!
Here are five things I’m looking forward to this spring:
- Running without gloves! This has been a brutal winter and training for my second marathon has been TOUGH. I’ve run in rain, sleet, snow and ice and I’m over it (just like everyone else). Bring on the sun!
- In that vein, I’ve got some fun spring races on the horizon. Besides the Shamrock Marathon March 16th (eek!), I’m running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Zooma 1/2 Marathon in Annapolis (note: if you want to run with me in Annapolis use code ANNAMB2 for a discount on either the Half or the 10K) and probably some shorter races after that. I think that my next goal will be a sub-2 half, rather than training for another marathon right now. Either way, I wouldn’t begin marathon training until mid-summer so I’ve got months ahead of me of shorter runs – woohoo!
- Longer days = I’m much more social. When it’s dark an hour or two before I even leave my office, I have a really hard time being spontaneous about plans. I want to go inside my house and hibernate. However, once it starts staying light outside longer, I’m all about the impromptu plans — yay spring!
- Going back to school. Yep, I’m going back to college. This year marks 10 years since I graduated from Agnes Scott College and I’m thrilled to head back down to Atlanta with some of my best friends. I absolutely can’t believe it’s been 10 years – I feel like I’m still 21 (just a heck of a lot smarter and less risk adverse LOL).
- Lots of travel. As I often mention, I travel quite a bit for work and this spring is no exception. I’ll be spending a good bit of time in New York and Miami (both favorites), but I’m really excited about an April weeklong trip to Seattle, mostly because I’ve never been (note: I’ll be putting out a call for guest posts next week, so hopefully some of you fabulous bloggers will be interested!). Closer to the trip, I’ll be taking suggestions, although I’m working almost around the clock so won’t have much time for independent site seeing.
What are you looking forward to this spring? Did you wish Mar happy birthday???
I travel quite a bit for work and between the travel and the winter that will never end, it’s been tough to get in workouts (other than running – I’ve been good about getting in runs) this winter. I decided to try Barre 3′s online workouts since I’ve enjoyed their in studio classes so much.
I was able to find a free trial code to use, but I have been loving this so much, I’m going to continue paying for it The great thing about the website is there are so many different videos to choose from — you can input what body parts (total body, upper body, core, pre-natal, etc.) you’d like to focus on and how much time you have and then get a range of options.
I’ve done the workouts multiple times at home and been able to hook up my laptop to my TV so I can have a big screen. This worked out very well and I enjoyed the challenge of the workouts (I did multiple 10 minute workouts back to back, which was fun). While there is nothing like being in a class of women, I found the instructors personable, friendly and easy to follow.
As you can see in the picture above, there are modifications given for users that are both more and less advanced. That was really helpful – there were times I followed the more advanced leader and times I dropped down and followed the less intense option.
I was also able to easily do the workouts in my hotel room this week — and I was in NYC, so the room wasn’t huge. Overall, I would rate the Barre 3 online workouts an A. Easy to follow, plenty of choices and challenging. I’m looking forward to keeping this as a part of my overall fitness routine!
Do you do workouts online? What are your favorites? Share in the comments!
Help! I am in desperate need of some new, fun recipes to try. I like to cook things that are healthy (for the most part) and don’t take too long. What are your favorite quick and easy weeknight recipes?
Here are a couple of mine:
30 Minute Healthy Fried Rice
Quick and Easy Mini Pizzas
Share your favorite quick and easy weeknight recipes and be sure to swing back throughout the day to check out everyone else’s recipes!
Hopefully by now, you all are well aware that on Fridays, I host a linkup along with Mar of Mar on the Run and Cynthia of You Signed Up for What. We call it the Friday Five and it’s really grown in the few months we’ve been hosting it. I thought for this week’s Blogger Tips Tuesday, I’d share how the linkup came about and some tips if you are thinking of starting your own.
In October, I put out a call on facebook for bloggers who would be interested in cohosting a Friday Five linkup with me. I’d already been doing a Friday Five for a few weeks, but thought that if I got a few more people to cohost it would improve the linkup and just be more fun. Both Mar and Cynthia reached out and through many many amazing email chains, the DC Trifecta was born. We’ve done a lot of trial and error while figuring this out and the great thing is it’s just been a lot of fun. The three of us are now each others’ biggest supporters and I’ve already blogged about how much I love having these women in my blogging tribe. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Choose your cohosts carefully. I got so lucky that two amazing women were interested in hosting with me. We are in pretty regular contact talking about the linkup, coming up with themes, sharing ideas and just chatting. I can’t imagine doing this with folks who aren’t awesome — so choose wisely!
- Before you launch your linkup, think of a few themes! Obviously, our broad theme is the Friday Five. However, we’ve found that folks really like more guidance than that and our best weeks have been when we’ve had a themed edition. It can be tough to think of themes on the spot (hence some of our Friday Fives with no theme), so if you can think of some ahead of time, that’ll be helpful and appreciated by your readers!
- Once you have chosen a theme, let the world know! Blast it on your social media feeds. When your cohosts post it, retweet and share their posts — get it out there so people can get their posts ready to link up!
- Make a point to visit and comment on each person’s blog who has linked up. Not doing so is totally bad blogger etiquette! I like to visit everyone and comment on their post that they linked up and thank them for linking up (if they are newbies).
- Visit other linkups and see what they do well to get some tips. I have been linking up with a Wedding Wednesday linkup and I love visiting other linkups to see fun things they do.
By the way, we use the site InLinkz to host our linkup and I recommend it — it’s super simply and I don’t know of any other site that does it better! Speaking of the Friday Five linkup, this Friday our theme is spring forward. Write about what you are looking forward to with spring on the horizon (it’s coming, I promise!), write about what you enjoy about spring, write about five spring races you are running, go crazy!
Do you host a linkup? Share in the comments so we can check it out!
On Sunday, I ran Potomac River Running’s Reston 10 Miler. I used this race in place of my long run this week. I signed up for this race on a whim, with the encouragement of my local run buddy, Julie. I knew this race would be hilly (I’d heard about it) and figured it’d be training for Shamrock. I was right in both aspects. My goal was to run the first 2/3 of the race and race the last 1/3 if I had it in me. Well, I kinda underestimated just how lengthy some of the hills were.
As you can see from the chart, these hills were legit. I find hills a challenge but usually I appreciate the change up in muscles being used. These hills were tough, but I felt accomplished every time I powered up one. There were three water stops on the course and while I had my camel bak and didn’t need them, I looked forward to them because I was ticking them off. I knew once we passed the third water stop, we’d be less than two miles form the finish. I ran right next to Julie most of the race and it was great to have a partner. We talked some (not on the hills) and tried to smile for the cameras:
I didn’t really have time goals for the race, but we really picked up our pace in the last mile and…spoiler alert, I just PR’ed! Yep. Pretty excited about that…new 10 miler PR is 1:45:30.
There were a ton of other local bloggers running this race (Sue of This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, Deb of Deb Runs, Allison of Life’s a Bowl and probably more that I’m missing) which made it that much more fun! Not a bad Sunday!
How was your weekend? Any big races or runs?
Happy Friday! Hope you had a great week. As usual, I’m linking up with my girls Mar and Cynthia to share five things about me that you probably didn’t know. Link up with us and share your Friday Five! Make sure you visit other blogs in the linkup to learn fun facts about your favorite bloggers. I can’t wait to learn more about y’all!
- I’m a leftie who does everything like a rightie athletically. Shoot basketballs, bat, throw, the whole nine. Anyone else?
- I can not go to sleep with dishes in the sink. No matter how tired I am, I just can not do it. I have gotten out of bed before to put those dishes in the dishwasher. Yes, I am extremely type A. I’m working on it.
- I think people who don’t use Gmail are odd. I mean seriously, yahoo? Who still uses yahoo?
- I still have Christmas Cards hanging in my house and there is no telling when they will come down. My tree would be up if I wasn’t concerned about recycling it.
- I failed my driving test the first time around because I jumped the curb while parallel parking. I mean, come on! I barely touched the curb and they failed me. Unfair!
So there ya go! Can’t wait to learn more about y’all!
Don’t forget to link up!