Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of 2011

I was watching the news last night and the story at the end was about waving 2011 goodbye and good ridance.

I didn't have the same feeling about 2011. I feel very blessed and happy about all that I've done and experienced this past year. Here are some if my favorites: (in no particular order)
1. Watching my son play hockey
2. Going to disney world with my family and parents
3. Going to 2 great weddings within 2 weeks of each other and watching Kate be a flower girl in both (Palmer/Diana and Mike/Abby thax for great memories)
4. Watching Kate dance at both weddings and dance the "kate"
5. Running with my BRB
6. Book club- we'll celebrate our 9 yr anniversary May 2012- love reading and love these ladies
7.staycation July 4th week Oswego
8. Running my 4th Chicago marathon
9. Spring break trip with cousins, sister and dad to Virginia
10. Joining the blog community in early 2011- it has been a great experience

So I leave you with some final holiday pictures- items in my in-laws home that makes the holiday environment so enjoyable. Have a great new year's eve.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Everygirl's Guide to Life

So I'm taking a break from John Adams for the week between Christmas and New Year's. I picked this book up at the library before our holiday's travel started. I don't know this lady, but I enjoyed her book. It was an easy read which I've needed. Although parts of the book were a little less helpful or applicable to my life (style, makeup and hair) others were more relavent (home organization, health, food, workout, friends and family). Here are some of my favorite parts of the book:

We must be open to what is possible in every area of our lives. Maybe it is possible to do all things you want and need to do with limited time and money. Maybe it is possible to change old habits. Maybe it is possible to learn new ways of doing things. Maybe it is possible to just live better, period.

Disorganization inhibits happiness and increases stress and chance for failure.

Stack And Attack
Designating one day a week (the same day every week) to do all chores and errands.

New Year Plan for myself:
Write out all of my goals for career, life as well as events/activities.

A good friend to me is:
-someone who is there for you when you need him or her
- someone who is a good listener
- someone who will defend you in tough times and yet has the courage to stand up to you and be honest
- someone who inspired you and helps make you a better person
- someone who wants to see you succeed
- someone who is respectful

Here are some books she also referenced in the book:
Letters to a Young Poet
The Nine Rooms Of Happiness
Domino: the Book Of Decorating
Use What You Have Decorating
The Find: the Works Books of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects and Vintage Details

Again easy read and introduced me to a Hollywood gal that seems pretty down to earth- refreshing read.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12 days to Christmas challene review

So Christmas has passed us by. I stuck with my goal to do some activity the 12 days before Christmas. I did everything from yoga, swimming, walking, running, weights and yes two days were my sit ups/pushup challenge. I can do 10 pushups which isn't bad but I'd definitely like to increase those reps. I found the goal easy and very doable. It got me thinking could I push it a little farther.

I got this challenge idea from Tall Mom on the Run blog. Her goal was a mile a day for the 25 days prior to Xmas. She did it. And like so many of us find that if you give yourself a doable goal many of us can go further. She did many more than 1 mile/day. I'm pondering taking/ stealing this idea to start my January off right. Some of you might remember past post where I showed you this past year's mileage per month- Jan 2011- 15 pitiful miles. If I followed my 1 mile/ day goal for jan 2012 I would at least double my Jan mileage. I'll let you know what I decide. I will definitely keep up with doing crunches and pushups on a more regular basis.

$14 worth of fun

So I have so many different posts I plan to send once the holidays are over and I have time to upload all our great pictures and memories. I feel so blessed to be able to have this week off and enjoy the holiday season in full.

Today my mission was to have an afternoon of crafting with my kids and my niece and nephew. We headed to michael's with papa fred to hunt some crafting deals. Well we found them. As you can see by the pixs we foud wood ornaments, wood statues, bird houses, paint, and 30 poster coloring holiday pictures. It was an afternoon of fun. Wish I would have bought myself a bird house to paint. 70% off Xmas crafts was helpful for the pocket too.

I even listened to my angel on my shoulder saying "enjoy your free time". I colored a masterpiece right beside my niece. It was self esteem boosting to hear her say "oh that's beautiful" when looking at my finished piece. I also enjoyed coloring a wooden ornament and putting glitter glue on as a finishing touch.

Hope you can find some "free time" and do something out of your norm, maybe even child like.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Mommy's project52: shopping

I have buyer's remorse when it comes to shopping for myself. The funny thing is I don't have it when it comes to shopping for others. I enjoy shopping but wish I could solve the buyer's remorse issue. It doesn't matter whether the purchase is big or large (ie lots of cash or little). Again this doesn't apply when I'm shopping for others. I know maybe I should just shop for others :).

There are so many forms of shopping: grocery, car, clothes, birthdays, etc. I enjoy shopping on the Internet but my success rate for buying clothes via net is about 50%. I like virtual window shopping and then finding the real item out in the real world. I like gro wry shipping only at 8-9 am and with a grocery list with meal plan for the week.

I don't consider myself a bargain shopper. I just recently started trying to do a better job diving into the racks at say TJMAX but in general I don't come out with the type of bargains my buddies seem to find.

My friends that are savy shoppers I think have had years of experience and in order to be like them I would have to put some major hours in. I do find shopping with these girls does bring me good luck. I'll keep buying for others with utter confidence and likely continue to have BR with my own purchases.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Got me thinking...

So the following are things that either friends have sent me or I've read recently on other's blogs I follow.  All of these I share with you, because they really "got me thinking"...

First- just today Another Mother Runner blog posted the following:   After I read it I decided I would make some edits and share with you my 26.2 reasons Why I Run- some I was totally in line with this edits in Blue

Kicking us off today is one seriously badass mother runner: Dorothy Beal. In Train Like a Mother, we included a short story from her about how she ran 13 miles pushing a triple jogger at a pace I’m not going to even print because I can’t run that fast even when I don’t have 80 pounds of cargo. (I hate jog strollers and can't fathom running with a triple- this lady has some you know what: Strength, Power, Determination) Takes all types, right? I would be intimidated, but I know she’s got a great heart to go with her fast legs. You can catch up with her at Mile Posts and on twitter @mileposts.
26.2 Reasons Why I Run:
1. I am an endorphin addict. I somewhat agree- I like the feel both mental and physical after running and I notice when I don't run I don't find I'm as good mental/physical
2. I want to be a strong, fit example to my three children. (subtract a child and I'm right with her)
3. I run to feel life deeper. To experience it one breath at a time. I want this- this would be a good running goal to focus on.
4. I want to be faster today than I was yesterday. Right on Sister!
5. I am a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend after I run. Absolutely, 100% agree.
6. I enjoy going on 20 mile runs with friends much more than driving 20 miles to a bar. I wouldn't drive 20 miles to a bar, but I do like my drinks with friends. So this is a flip of the coin with me coming out either way happy, because to run 20 miles with a friend can be the best therapy/time spent, but drinks with friends is memorable too.
7. I run to find my strong. I run to feel strong- not find it.
8. When someone talks about marathons I want to be the person in the room who has run the most. (I am training for #19 Marathon right now: Boston 2012, which I will be running with my mom who also qualified.) I like talking about my races, but more so as a conversation tool or a way for me to connect with other people, but I'm not about wanting to be the person in the room running the most.
9. I’m slightly obsessed with shoes. Running gives me an excuse to buy multiple colors in the Saucony Kinvara each year. It’s not my fault running shoes only last 500 miles. No for this one.
10. One day I want the number of marathons I’ve run to be in the triple digits. I don't care about the number I just want to be able to keep running marathons. 
11. I like the shocked look on childhood friends faces when they find out that this completely un-athletic shy girl they knew could now kick their butt in a marathon.Can't say I'm with her on this one- I like that the marathon/races/running has taken the place of how active I was in high school, and you know me I don't think anyone could ever call me shy.
12. I love the pure joy of moving through the air with nothing powering me but my own two feet. Yep this is a great feeling.
13. Running teaches me things about myself I never knew. Yes running is a great "life teacher".  Sometimes as a student I don't listen hard enough.
14. I love crying at the start of a marathon and fighting off tears after the finish. I have never cried at the start of the marathon, but tears were definitely with me when I finished my first one.
15. I want to be healthy enough to see my grandkids and be able to chase them around. Yes- totally.
16. I want my daughter to grow up and think that I’m cool and she would pick me as a friend if I weren’t her mother. (I hope my sons think this too.) Again couldn't agree with her more.
17. I like thinking of an outfit that I want to wear and fitting into it when I put it on in the morning. Not really me. 
18. I like having strong legs vs. stick thin legs. Yes mammy!
19. I love making new friends through a common shared love of the sport. Ditto
20. I feel like a super hero when I push my kids in my triple running stroller. Nothing else makes me feel this way. I will never feel this way because hate jog strollers and M and K are way to big to be pushed now :).
21. I run because I want others to. Yes, Yes, Yes
22. I run because, after 3 kids, I have the body I wanted in high school. Don't probably have high school body, but I feel good about the body I have.
23. I run because I am in love with tempos, track workouts, fartleks, long runs, slow runs, easy runs, and hard runs.  I need to diversify my running and I'm doing speed runs, long runs and easy runs, but the others aren't in my workout schedule thus far.
24. I run to feel closer to God. I think we are close to God at all times, so I don't run to feel closer, but maybe it allows people to realize God is there when they are focusing on themselves/tuning out the world.
25. I run to quiet the voices in my head that tell me I am not enough or that I am not worth it. I am enough. I am worth it. Running does a lot for your esteem, especially when you find others that have this same belief -which a lot of women runners who run regularly do.
26. It makes me happy, plain and simple. I’ve never regretted a run. Ever. Never thought about that, but yep never regretted a run, even after my face plant the other day when running- it gave me perspective that even when you have a bad run you learn something from it- "Look out for the darn little water spicket half on the sidewalk and half on the grass"  Those things are deadly.
26.2 I run because I cannot imagine my life any other way. I am a runner. I am a runner!

 Next: the following again stuck a cord with me.  No I'm not depressed, but find myself sometimes doing these things.  Again it "Got me Thinking" " I'm going to let this one speak for itself.

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
Great quoteAs Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Don't know who Maria Robinson is, but pretty inciteful Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing
You'll have to let me know if any of these above "got you thinking".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: cooking

So I'm not a gourmet cook, nor do I really like gourmet food or otherwise known in chatty language as "froo froo food".  I do like how meal planning makes my life easier, but sitting down and doing the meal planning is sometimes painful due to the time it takes.  I am more of a comfort food type of gal.  This is what I like to cook:

 Yep- a little Mac N Cheese does a WT food junkie like me good :).  No really I do get some comfort out of dumping a box of noodles into boiling water and then draining the noodles and adding the processed cheese.  Hubby, kids and I have decided that the character Mac N Cheese is now bypassing my all time fav of spiral mac n  cheese.  I don't know whether the cheese has changed, or what, but the character noodles have better flavor.  Besides Mac N Cheese I also enjoy pizza.  I have gotten pretty good at making pizza- my secret is to baste the dough before baking and applying sauce and toppings, with beer- yep just brush a little beer on and then add toppings and sauce. 
No Really- I wish I was like Giada, and I try to be, but I think me and  my cooking have a long way to go to become her.  

One of my favorite chattynatty "froo froo" dishes is an appetizer- baked brie, actually I enjoy any recipe that incorporates Brie in it.  
I really do enjoy cooking, but I am not a gourmet chef and I'm O.k. with that.  I would like to learn how to make my own homemade mac n cheese instead of the box kind.  I've tried several recipes, but just can't get the cheese consistency right. 

My kids both enjoy cooking and one of my favorite gifts to my niece and nephew was a recipe book in which my kids picked out recipes, made each recipe and I documented the process with photos. We then took the recipes and the photos and made a photo book out of it.  The kids really had fun.  My one wish would be to incorporate more vegetables into our dinners- so I will continue to work on that.  Cooking can be a double edged sword: total stress reliever (Sunday afternoon spending time making soup for the work week lunches) or total stress producer (driving home after picking up the kids late from daycare and wondering "what are we going to have for dinner" and at the same time being asked by two tired kidos "what are we going to have for dinner?".  I've learned those nights breakfast for dinner is a total hit.  I'll keep on cooking, but don't think it will ever be a passion of mine. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days to Christmas Challenge

Meant to send this out earlier than the day before the 12 days before Christmas begins, but I was sooo busy telling you all about my favorite Xmas movies last night that it is another day and so here we go.

With the upcoming holiday season upon us many of us are very busy and our normal work-out schedule/training may go to the wayside.  Some of the running mom/women's blogs I follow have thrown out different ideas to stay "with IT" this season- one is running 1 mile everyday before Christmas (the hooker is most of us don't go out and run just 1 mile, and so she is logging more than that on most days, but the 1 mile also gives you the out to just do 1 mile that day), one lady last month worked on upping her push up rep and so she went from 15 push ups at a time to 38 at a time.  This same person has moved onto trying to lengthen the time she is plank pose.  So here is my 12 days to Christmas Challenge:  Do ANY type of workout, activity, exercise on each of the 12 days before Christmas.  Here are some ideas I came up with, but you can think of your own:
1. Run ( a duh)
2. Spin Class
3. Yoga
4. Any workout video
5. How many sit ups, push ups can you do?
6. Wii- Fit or Just Dance
7. Weights

I don't think I'll set a time requirement for the videos, or yoga, etc, because what I want to focus on is being active through the holiday season.  Hopefully once I start I won't want to stop, but just like the 1 mile a day challenge, if I want to stop I won't feel forced into a negative workout.  Love to know if you come up with any other great activities during the season and if you end up taking the 12 days to Christmas challenge.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chatty's Fav Christmas Movies

Merry Christmas: Tonight the kids and I went and visited with Santa.  Kate stuck to her "Yoda Back Pack and Pillow Pet" request to Santa and Mason said "I don't know" which Santa preceded to say "life must be good".  Yep- life is pretty good Santa.  So Hubby is playing cards tonight with the guys so while I wrapped some presents I decided to pop in "Holiday Inn".  It got me thinking that I should share my favorite holiday movies. 
 In no particular order:
1. The Holiday- great movie with stellar actors/actresses: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law.  Great soundtrack!
2. Meet Me In St. Louis- Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with Margaret O'Brien brings tears to my eyes every time.  Another Great Soundtrack!
3. The Family Stone- A great take on "family" at Christmas and it is funny, yet dark comedy.  I know, I know, but I can't help it... great soundtrack!  Actually my favorite is the juke box scene in the bar with Sarah Jessica Parker and Luke Wilson- Sarah Jessica Parker is rocking out to Maxine Nightingale's "Get Right Back Where We Started From"... and it's alright and it's coming on we gotta get back right where we started from.
4. Holiday Inn- Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire- I prefer the black in white version.  Did you know this is the first movie Bing Crosby sang "White Christmas" in- not "White Christmas"- I just love the look of the Inn- I would love to go to a "Holiday Inn" for New Year's one year- would need to find this Inn first, dance and listen to live music with good food and drink. 
5. White Christmas- even though this isn't the original "White Christmas" song movie it still has a powerful cast and great soundtrack. 
6. Love Actually- don't think I need to say more than that.
7. Home Alone- I love the funny parts, but also think this movie has a great meaning of Christmas.  I love the part where he sets up the motorized objects in the window to make it look like he  is having a party.
8. It's A Wonderful Life- another movie that has a great meaning and is a good reminder to all of us how precious and enjoyable life should be. 
9. The Bishop's Wife- Carry Grant stars as an angel trying to help a bishop and his wife.  Great skating scene. 
10. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas- Jim Carey version- music, set, and costume/makeup is amazing. 
11. Christmas Carol- Disney version- Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto- enjoy the simplicity of Dickens told through Disney's eyes. 
12. Polar Express- the animation is amazing, meaningful story, and soundtrack is icing on the cake- my kids love "Hot Chocolate"!

Well I probably could go on, on, on, but will leave you with below picture of the kids.  Christmas is Magical!  Hope you get to experience a great Christmas movie this holiday season.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What to wear when it is 11 degrees outside?

The past week my buddy from work BN and I have been discussing what we wear to run.  He purchased a jacket that in the torso area has extra wind breaking protection and his sleeves are those cool go over your thumb length kind.  He asked me what I wear and I told him pretty much what I wore this fall, just a little extra with fleece zip up on top, hat, etc. 

Then this morning hits:  I check my Iphone weather channel and it is 11 degrees out.  Hubby went out first and when he returned I asked him if he was warm enough?  He said windy going into West and suggested I wear the blue neck scarf (kind of sock or ankle warmer but for your neck).  Since it was 11 out I figured I needed a little more than my norm, so here is what I put on (all found in the depths of my closet):
On my bottoms a pair of cotton Brooks socks (thicker cotton and not my thin weight).  Next a pair of my "cold weather football game cotton leggings".  These are the pants I put on under jeans for those cold Mich. football games we attend.  Next I put on my Nike tight running leggings.  On top, sports bra, technical long sleeve, and gray zip up fleece jacket.  The head I finished with my ear phones, neck warmer and hat, finally some cotton gloves for the hands and I was off. 

I think I look a tad bit scary hear, but the sunglasses were needed for the first part of the run very sunny.

The clothes I picked were perfect.  I was warm enough, but not too warm and still ended up getting sweaty.  I'm not quite ready to spend big bucks for outdoor running gear ( I want to make sure I'm actually going to stick with this).  However, I do think I will be looking into two purchases in the near future: running gloves.  My cotton wons just don't have enough to break the chill of the wind/cold and so I will likely break down and purchase a pair of those.  I will also likely be looking into something that allows me to continue to run in the winter on snow and i

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: folding

Me vs Hubby:
Yep that is what folding brings to mind.  I fold our bathroom towels a certain way. Hubby folds them a certain way.  Our way's don't match up.  So if he folds the towels before I get to them then I - yes you know what is coming- refold them.  No I don't have OCD I just want our towels to fit into the cabinet and closet easily.  The funny thing is really it is only the difference between one fold. I fold in thirds and he folds in half.  I told Matt about the topic of this week's mommy's project and asked him what came to mind when I said the word folding and he didn't really respond so I just gave him the me vs you finger point. He responded- that's going to be a fun one-. It is short, but sweet and so you now know our folding wars.  Really not a war though because I just do that "job" and fold in 1/3's to my heart's desire

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Year in Review Running:

"People judge others by their actions but judge themselves by their intentions."
Not sure who said this, but BRB told me this after our run this a.m. Thought it fit today's Post.

So what are my "actions" and "intentions".  Doing a little year in review- I know it isn't the end of December yet, but if I want to start looking at goals for next year I probably need to look at what it will take to accomplish those 2012 goals. 

Here is a what I've done over the last two years.
Running Month
2010 mileage
2011 mileage


So what does the above show me or tell me. 
1. I'm able to crank out miles when called to:  139.4 miles in September :). 
2. I must have a pretty good running base to go from 10.9 miles this past June (my injury month) to the next month running 84 miles.
3. I also have the ability to slack it off:  October 2010 19.5 miles, Jan 2011 15 miles- UGH!
4. If I want to look at setting the goal of 1,000+++ miles in 2012 I will need to increase my mileage.  Kind of overwhelms me to think about adding close to another 350 miles somewhere in the year, but you know me an my "crazy" ideas. 

1,000 miles in a year adds up to about 84 miles per month.  Obviously some months I'm able to accomplish that when training for the marathon or other races, but what about the months I choose to slack- won't be able to slack as much. 

I know not everyone is into tracking their workouts, and I'm really not  that type A- I use to write down mileage on a monthly calendar (one of those Target $1 bin finds).  I didn't really do a good job tracking time or weather or how I felt the day of the run, but using Daily Mile has helped me do a better job of this and it is easy to look at mileage over the year too.

Looking back I've run the following races this past year (don't think I'll be adding another one on the list for month of December).
"Get Moving" 5K- first run with Mason- August
Chicago Marathon- October
Florida 5K- November
First Annual Turkey Trot Family Run- November again ran with Mason
Due to injury I was unable to do the Oswego Triathlon, but hope to comeback strong in 2012.  It has been a good year of running and I feel so blessed to have been able to come back from my "fishtank injury" and run Chicago.  I also feel blessed for all my running buddies who have made training for races enjoyable and lastly so thankful for my family's support of my "craziness". I hope my "actions" match my "intentions" for 2012.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: styling

Last week I struggled to write about the Mommy's Project topic.  This week I could probably write and post pictures until my "style" had changed, which would take awhile.  I tend to lean towards the same styles over the years.  So I will highlight below some different types of styles I enjoy or wish I had. 

First up: Clothes Style
I in general like the clean/sporty look.  I am not a big accessory person and would rather have or wear the same classic pieces of jewelry day in and day out (hence why my diamond studs get worn at least everyday).  My favorite necklace is my Nashelle Initial necklace my mom purchased for me after I had my daughter.  Here is an example of the necklace-Nashelle Gold Initial Necklace they have much more fun jewelry including a bracelet that would match this necklace (Mother's Day Present :).
Here is another bracelet to go on my wish list: it is totally me and is a little eclectic, but I LOVE IT- another good Mommy's day Present :).  Golden Book Bracelet Yep- those are little Golden Books- you can request your favorite Golden Books.  She also has Vintage Movie Bracelet, Vintage Children's books.  You can find these great Style accessories at  We bought my mother in-law a vintage cookbook bracelet for her birthday- totally cute.  O.k. here are some of my picks for my clothes Style.

First two picks are from Title Nine- great sporty/clean/casual Style.

These two are from Antrhopologie- These dresses are fun!

This is another show on my Style where I would like to be.

The last two shots are from Athleta another great sporty/clean Style.  This last picture is a Natalie outfit.  The only problem is I find outfits for work, sport, dress, casual and I don't follow through on purchasing.  Another way I clip and file away in my dream file, but don't follow through.  I need to follow through and show the Natalie Style I dream of.
O.K. on to hair.  These are a few cuts I again LOVE.  I don't always go out on a limb with my hairstyle but I think the short cut I have now is pretty Stylish if I only bought the product to help it look like the below Styles.

Last but not least my house style.
The following pictures were taken from .  I have forever loved houses, and interior design.  Although, my own home, I feel is lacking the style I clip out of magazines and have highlighted below.  I have definite dreams, and like I said I "clip" and have an idea book for our next home, which will be our "forever home".  Some ideas are clipped from magazines/catalogs, however, now blogs and the internet give me even more access to what I'm interested in.  For instance, my dream kitchen is seen in "real life" in the movie "Something's Gotta Give".  The kitchen is in the Hampton Home of Erika (Dianne Keaton).  I love the white cabinets, the cottage-clean look, and the dark floors with black counter tops. The only thing I think I'd do different is the light fixtures.
 Here is her living room- LOVE the built in bookcases- again white.
 Here is another view of the living room- cottage/clean- LOVE IT
Who knows if any of my style ideas will come to fruition, but I do love to "clip" and dream.  It is definite way to keep those creativity vibes flowing.  So one day maybe I'll move from my "clip-dream" book and actually figure out this pinterest thing. Again could write and write more about my Style but I'm already late on posting this week's Mommy's Project so I will call it good.