Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crossing over

First up, I did run last night after the kiddos went to bed. It wasn't a great run & I wanted to take it easy since I have a longer run scheduled for today. I'm happy I did it, but it made me come to an ugly but inevitable conclusion. If I really want to put in the miles and run regularly, I either need to make it happen first thing in the morning (read - get up earlier), or in the evening. I can do the lunch time workout occasionally when my schedule permits, but that's more of an irregular occurrence & shouldn't be my planned workout time. Which will I choose? Getting up earlier & forcing my non-morning person self onto the treadmill? Or, hitting it after the kids go to bed? I'm thinking morning is my best choice, because by the time the kids are in bed, I'm ready to seriously veg out.

I had originally planned to wear a very spring-like Anthropologie skirt today with this outfit, but Michael thought it was "too much" for work. I was in a hurry & already had the tights & top on, so I went with the closest thing in my closet that matched. The result is much more fall-ish than I intended, but oh well. Michael took the pictures this morning, but be warned - it was very rainy & dark outside. :-)

Here's what I have on:
Black sweater with gold buttons - Jcrew
Purple short-sleeved top - H&M
Gold & black necklace - Jcrew outlet
Black wool skirt - Jcrew
Black tights - origins unknown, but they are my favorite & have a hole. Wish I knew where I got them, so I could replace them!
Black closed-toed booties - Ann Taylor Loft
Bad hair - hoping to get it cut on Friday!

I'm facing a mental block with my running/training. I can now run 30 minutes/3 miles without stopping. Not regularly, but at least a few times a week. I'm hoping to do a half marathon this summer, so I need to increase my mileage. A girl from work mentioned that she found it very helpful to focus on the minutes to start with, versus increasing the mileage. So, I was thinking of doing a 40 minute run today, without stopping. I'll admit - it intimidates me. How do you handle mental blocks when it comes to running? Pushing through to that next level or mile? Anyway, 40 minutes without stopping is my goal for my lunch time run!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things I'm coveting

First up, a pair of Cole Haan shoes, designed by Maria Sharapova. Who knew that she was a shoe designer?
picture of Air Jasmine OT Pump
Gorgeous. I'm also a fan of this pair (same collaboration):
picture of Air Lalita Flat Sandal
Now, on to running, or my lack of. Work has been crazy this week. I took off last Friday & I'm also out this Friday, so lunch time runs haven't been doable. And because I'm honest, I'm also going to throw out there that my motivation is a bit lacking, for yet to be determined reasons. I am going to get back on track, because my training plan calls for a run today. So, that leaves either after work or after I get the boys into bed. Neither of which are my favorite times, but I'll make do. I really, really need to start waking up early enough to run in the morning before work. *shiver*

Here's what I'm rocking today:

-World's dorkiest look - still there.
- XOXO, Gossip Girl headband - trying to keep my mangy mane out of my face. Jcrew Silver Rope headband.
-Silver & gray floral sweater - Jcrew outlet
-Gray tank top - Gap, many moons ago
-Seven Dojo jeans, dark wash
-Flats - Ann Taylor Loft

Question: how do you break through when you're not feeling motivated?

Monday, March 28, 2011


First things first. Michael was out of town on Friday night & I was bored, so for the first time ever, I watched Jersey Shore. Hello, crazy ridiculous, yet at the same time . . . strangely addictive. I watched it via OnDemand, so I watched three episodes from this season, but the season finale wasn't up yet. I'm anxiously awaiting it. Staying up late watching the antics of those crazy kids was fun, but not when I had to get up several times during the night with Nick (he was having bad dreams). The bags under my eyes are big enough to go on a trip.

Next up - my sister (mom of an 8 year old & a 6 year old boy), my best friend (mom of a 7 year old and 10 year old girl), plus myself (mom of a 4 & 5 year old boy) & my best friend's mom went to Great Wolf Lodge on Saturday & stayed the night. It was fun, but crazy & exhausting & I want a serious nap. Holy smokes, chasing after the kids up & down the water slides, around the hotel. . . Work is looking very relaxing today. :-)

I tried to make reasonably healthy food choices this weekend, but considering that there were few good options, the scale was not my friend this morning. I'm ready to eat well & get back to the gym.

Here's what I'm wearing today:
Bad hair - still going. I'm hoping to get it cut next week and minimize the frightening mess I have going on.
Black sweater - Ann Taylor Loft
Magenta top - Ann Taylor Loft
Jeans - Always Skinny from the Gap
Black flowered flats - Ann Taylor Loft (I know. I went through a huge ATL phase. I love how they remade their brand).

I have to tuck the shirt in, because it's very long, but looking at the pictures, I think it maybe gives me a muffin top. And, the jeans are riding a little low, which does not do my hips any favors. I need to rework this look. Love the shoes. They are comfortable & surprisingly, go with a lot.

I need to hit the gym today & eat a lot of produce. Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I took today off to do our taxes. Don't be jealous - not everyone can have as much fun as me today. However, I'm a super star and stayed up ridiculously late last night so I could enjoy most of today & wrapped up by 10 am. Smart. ;-)

One fiscal tip, if I could - don't go to Costco before a run when you're starving. You'll walk out having spent $165, and have a car full of surprises. I pretty much bought everything in a three aisle swath. Oh, and that organic tomato soup is my absolute favorite. I scarfed that down (with crackers & lots of pepper) after the run, plus a big bowl of fruit. Oh, and two Hershey's kisses that were calling my name. Seriously good stuff.

Today is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous again. Those of us who live in a rainy state do not take a sunny day for granted. Ever. I got oustide for my first run with my Garmin today, & I LOVED it. It was totally motivating to see my pace and how far I'd gone. At one point I even ran an 8 minute/mile pace. Not for an entire mile or anything wacky like that, but that's hands down the fastest I've ever gone. And it was so much fun to sprint like that. I forgot to turn my Garmin off before I went in the house to get a Gatorade & grab my camera, but I think my final time was 30:40 for 3.06 miles. I feel pretty good about that! My 5K is 4 weeks from Sunday, and my goal is to finish it under 30 minutes.

My teeth aren't really dinosaur-sized, not sure what's happening in the pictures.

Here's my outfit for today. I know that I look a little bit homeless, modeling in front of my bathroom mirror. But, I can explain. Last year, I paid someone to do our taxes, because after running the numbers through Turbo Tax, I fell on the floor in a state of shock & was positive that I must have made an error. So, I paid an accountant $800, and he saved us $42 over my Turbo Tax number. This year, I did it myself & I'm rewarding my hard work & the $800 savings by treating myself to a deep tissue massage this afternoon. The massage is to try & balance the pain of owing the IRS 5 figures. Sweet mercy. Hence, I couldn't wash my hair this morning (even though it needed it terribly) because I know it will get massage oil it in today. And, I didn't feel like springing for makeup just for my massage lady.

Goofy expression - still here.
Black & white striped tank - Express
Black open cardigan - Express
I am wearing pants (promise) - Seven jeans
Bad hair & overall homeless look - courtesy of not having to work today.

This weekend, my sister, best friend & I are taking our kids to an indoor water park/hotel. I'm scared. Hold me. There will be the three moms & six kids. Two of our kids are celebrating their birthdays, & this was their choice. I have a feeling I'll be consuming a lot of wine tomorrow night. And jiggling going up & down the lines for the slides. Chasing kids in a bathing suit is rarely flattering - I promise that in advance. Hope you have wonderful weekend plans!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why my hair is heinous

This is not running related, so if you're not interested in laughing at me or seeing scary pictures, feel free to skip.

This is a post best illustrated with pictures, but here's the story. Please, please, please, I beg of you - give me advice on what I should do next.

I had mega blonde hair growing up - the white blonde kind. As I got into high school, it darkened up a bit, but was still pretty blonde. In college, it got even darker & I started adding highlights. Fast forward to about five years ago, and I was adding lots and lots and lots of highlights to achieve the look I wanted. About a year ago I decided that I was sick of the grow out and the constant up keep, and I wanted a more natural look.

Step one - I went to my stylist and asked her to slowly blend in more of my natural color. That worked for about a week, but the previously bleached blonde color came back with a vengeance.

Step two - I went back to my stylist & asked her to color my hair with an overall permanent color that matched my natural color. That way, I would have no grow out, but wouldn't have a racoon hair situation going on. That worked for about 10 days. Until the blonde came out. Now things were worse because my hair was fairly dark on top, and seriously blonde on bottom.

Step three - I though perhaps my stylist was incompetent and went to a hard core professional hair color person (read: crazy town expensive & very highly rated) and had my hair permanently colored to match the natural color yet again. Same thing happened after about a week - that blonde was determined!

I've since given up & am just trying to grow it out. I currently am rocking three colors. On top - my actual, natural color. Mid-way down - remnants from either step two or step three. Can't remember. On the bottom - the blonde highlights.

I've cut it twice since the color debacle began (about a year ago), so should I hold on & wait to grow out the rest? Something else? I'm planning to cut it to about chin length in the next week or so, which *should* almost get rid of the blonde & leave with me with the other two colors. But, it might look tragically worse with a fringe of the mega blonde on the ends.

For context, my hair was previously VERY blonde:

Then I tried to make it a bit more natural:

Now I'm left with the current mess. Please help!

It's a beautiful day!

Wow - 62 degrees & sunny outside. I couldn't let an opportunity like that pass me by, given that spring in Washington is notoriously cool & cloudy.

First off, I conned Michael into taking a few pictures this morning before I left for work.:
He took this from a weird angle, but you get the gist.

A few things to note.
1) I'm the whitest person in the world. I use a moisturizer with a drop of self tanner on my face once/week, and I am ghostly on the rest of my body. No spray tan, rub on tan, etc has ever worked for me. And you can bet that I have tried them all. Check out my feet - it may look like I'm wearing white socks, but sadly, not.
2) I don't have time for much makeup in the morning. I have two small kids to get ready & we have to be out the door by 7:45. I generally stick to: eye liner, mascara, blush & lip gloss. Apparently, a hair brush is optional.
3) I have a longer post coming on why my hair is 3 different colors and heinous on so many levels. Promise.
4) I thought my arms were getting toned & shrinking down, but the tree trunks remain. I need to start lifting!

Purple sweater - BCBG
Black tank top - Ann Taylor Loft
Black City Fit Capris - Jcrew
Black patent ballet flats - Nordstrom

I hit up the office, wrangled a few meetings, & hustled home to run at lunch. So I could try out my new Garmin. Of course, it wasn't charged & I couldn't find the instructions. Fail. Not to let that stop me, I did two loops around a trail near our house, which is exactly 3 miles. Finished in 35 minutes. I ran 75% of that, walked 25%. All in all, today was by far the most relaxing & enjoyable run I've ever had. The weather was gorgeous, at times during the run, my body actually seemed to know what it was doing, & it was infinitely better than the treadmill. Success! If I had anyone to manage my small people tonight, I would totally try to get outside again. But, it's swimming lesson night, and another run isn't going to happen. C'est La Vie.

Post run, feeling good:
No idea why my headband is sitting that far back, like a crown. Clearly, not doing the job of keeping the hair & sweat out of my face.

I was so hungry after my lunch that I literally scarfed down cottage cheese, edamame, and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Yum.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Starburst & Ke$ha

First off, I ran my first 11 minute mile yesterday & I felt semi "fast". I know, I always use that word very loosely. Honestly, it felt a lot easier form-wise to run at that speed. My lungs/heart did not agree & thus I only did the first mile at that pace. I ran for a total of 1.5 miles yesterday & walked the rest. I wanted to run more, but I've been sore lately. Knees, ankle, shin, you name it. I know I'm a beginner & not only do I want to enjoy this, but I also don't want to push myself too much & injure myself.

So, I started today off like this:
Yes, looking dorky in the mirror.

Today I'm rocking:
-Navy Ann Taylor Loft sweater
-White Ann Taylor Loft tank
-Joe's jeans - Honey cut
-Black shooties that you can't see - Ann Taylor Loft
-Silly face & poor camera skills - returning for yet another visit

After last night's bad run, I thought for sure today's would be amazing. I would later be proven wrong. I started off with another 11 minute mile, and then did a .25 mile walking, then .25 mile at the 11 minute mile pace. And I was hurting. Again. I got off the treadmill & did 30 minutes on the elliptical, & called it a day. I was frustrated by my lack of progress, but I'm trying to be rational & figure out instead how to improve. I think I'm focused too much on running without stopping, & should instead be combining those runs with runs that have walking interspersed, thus building both time & distance. Is that correct? What am I doing wrong? Am I just impatient?

I really started to run mid-February & I was initially able to run only .25 mile without stopping. I've now done 3.1 miles without stopping, and various other milestones along the way, but I'm pretty inconsistent. Is this typical? I've also worked out every day in March except 2 times (so, 21 out of 23 days), because I'm trying to lose weight. I'm guessing I should be mixing up my activities more vs focusing so heavily on running? Now that I've started running, I love the way it makes me feel after, and I feel like it's by far the best calorie burner, so I'm trying to do it pretty much 6 days/week.

Also, Ke$ha, thank you for making me laugh at the gym today. Love those lyrics:
And now we lookin' like pimps
In my gold Trans-Am.
Got a water bottle full of whiskey
In my handbag.
Got my drunk text on
I'll regret it in the mornin'

And, in annoying news, I was frustrated after my run so I ate a bunch of Starburst. Now my stomach hurts. Ick. I should know better after the trail mix debacle of last week. I try hard to avoid sugar because in order for me to consistently lose weight, I have to stick to around 1400 calories/day, which doesn't really leave room for junk. Fail.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I like orange

I recently have discovered a love of the color orange, so today I made that love a reality by digging out a sweater from the depths of my closet:

I solemnly promise to work on my photography skills & save you guys from my terrible pictures.
Orange sweater - Jcrew
Skinny jeans - Chip & Pepper, circa 2003?
Black patent heels - Jcrew
Sexy security badge - all mine
Beautiful bathroom - courtesy of work

After digging through pictures, it appears that I've had a love affair with orange before. Oh, and also cake. Hellooooooo, cake. Yum. Two cake posts in a day - you can tell where my mind is at. :-) I made that cake for Michael's birthday six years ago, and now I'm craving it again. It is possibly a bit lopsided - please disregard that for a moment, if you would.

And, if I were going to restock my closet & make a fun spring purchase, I would consider this beauty:
Vintage cotton cowlneck tank
Jcrew calls it "modern red", but I think it's really orange. I think it would be super cute with capris or a skirt in the summer. . .

On to the running - I had such a great run last night, that I'm planning on trying it again tonight after the boys are asleep. I've previously dreaded evening runs, but my schedule totally variable based on meetings, events for the boys, etc, so I need to be flexible. The only problem is that I have to eat early & keep dinner very light so that I don't hurl while on the treadmill.

Goal for tonight's run:
Run 3.25 at a pace of 11 (this is fast for me)
.75 walking

Biking & cake

Here in Seattle we've finally been seeing a few days of sun, and we do not miss an opportunity to get outside when the rain stops.

The best part about having two extremely energetic kids? They are constantly in motion, asking to go outside, head to the park, ride bikes, go swimming, you name it.

It was cold but clear this weekend, so we took the boys to the park so Nick could ride his brand new bike!

And, my other cutie pie, Sam on his bike. No pictures, please.

After the park, we had a pizza party for Nick's birthday and a little cake & ice cream gathering at the house. Vast quantities of frosting were consumed all around:

Modeling his favorite part of the cake - the soccer balls were rings. :-)

Hope you had an equally enjoyable weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I ran a 5K

First off, I did it!! I ran a 5K on my treadmill tonight. I'm doing a 5K in April, & I'm building up to being able to run the entire thing. When I started running in February, I could only do .25 miles without stopping. I'm still not fast, but tonight for the first time in my life, I ran 3.1 miles without stopping! I'm crazy slow (it took me 33 1/2 minutes), but I did it. So excited! Now I can keep training & working on my speed & increasing my distance. Woo!!

I almost fell off the treadmill when I was getting off, my legs were shaking.

Here I am - victorious!

Please excuse how glamorous I look:

And, because it's Monday night & we all need a laugh, I thought I would share my darkest secret with you. I have terrible hair. Now, if the weather cooperates & it's not humid, all is well. My hair is naturally wavy but I can tame it with a straightener and product. However, if it starts to get a bit wet outside, things get crazy quickly. Enter the photo below. As context, we were on vacation together in Orlando.

Can you believe the guy married me anyway?

My hair on a normal day:

Now, whenever we go to the beach, or anywhere with the potential for humidity, Michael reminds me to bring a hat. . . so I don't scare anyone. :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Hope you have all had a fabulous weekend! My parents were in town yesterday & the weather was actually nice here. Loved it! Two sunny days in a row - life is good.

We took the boys to the park so Nick could ride his new bike, and we had a pizza party for his birthday. I'm very impressed with myself for getting up early yesterday & doing a fast walk/easy jog on the treadmill. Today I did 30 minutes running/walking (ran 2 miles, walked .75 miles). I wanted to do more, but my heart rate gets so high when I run in the morning. I basically can only run if it's been 90 minutes+ since I've had anything to drink. This is a huge problem when I'm trying to run first thing in the morning - I don't have enough time to hydrate well and give myself 90 minutes to avoid side aches & bladder issues. Anyway, I'm hoping this will get better with further training. I wrapped up my workout today with 30 minutes on the elliptical & stretching. My hips/quads were sore! I was loving the foam roller. I pretty much stuck to my eating plan for the weeknd, & feel great that I didn't go crazy with the various family events.

I am in the process of cleaning out my closet (it's really a month-long endeavor) & I was trying on various dresses. Michael doesn't understand why I keep a few things that no longer fit, but I consider those my "milestone" clothes. When I lose the rest of the weight, I want to try on the dresses & determine if things are in the same place as they were before, weight aside. Does that make sense? Kind of like skinny jeans, I suppose. Do you keep clothes that don't fit in your closet? Do you ever try them on?

I also have extremely fond memories of both dresses - one is a beautiful Trina Turk floral black dress. Michael bought it for me on vacation (which is totally out of character for him) & I wore it for several big events. The other is a printed Jcrew dress that just reminds me being on the beach in Hawaii. I have high hopes for that dress. :-)

Michael thinks it's ridiculous to hold myself to the same standard after having two kids, but a woman has to have a dream that eventually she'll get her body back into pre-children shape. . . I have a feeling that by the time they fit, the dresses will be completely out of style, but somehow, I can't give them up.

Since we're on the subject of clothes,  I'm not shopping for clothes, shoes, makeup, or jewelry in 2011 (with a few exceptions, like running out of foundation, new running shoes, etc). The reason for my shopping ban?Basically, I'm an all or nothing kind of a girl. If I go into the mall for a new top for work, I can easily walk out with four shopping bags stuffed with things I don't need. I'm trying to step back this year & lose the weight, clean my closet, & evaluate what looks best on me. When the year is over, I'll strategically add what I need back to my closet. 

Because I'm in self-imposed deprivation mode, I'm currently stockpiling a list of "wants". Speaking of dresses. . . . love, love, and love some more. Hi, and the shoes? All kinds of fabulous.

Ace Delivery Silk Dress

And, my boobs would never squeeze into this dress, but I covet it just the same:
Xscape Ruched Stretch Satin Sheath Dress

Diane von Furstenberg 'Italiana' Maxi Wrap Dress

Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Pleat Trim Strapless Sateen Dress

Laundry by Shelli Segal Jersey Blouson Dress with Back Keyhole

Lucky Brand Stripe T-Shirt Dress

BCBGMAXAZRIA Belted Woven Dress

I have nowhere to wear the vast majority of the above (not to mention the $ or the body to pull it off, but I can envision wearing this sweet little Jcrew number around town on weekends in the summer. With the sandals and a wrap. (It's Seattle, afterall - you always need a wrap).
Maritime V-neck dress
Or this (but so not with those shoes). And, the model looks terrified in the picture. What's up with that?
Levelette dress
Merino Edrina dress
Date night in Las Vegas, perhaps?
Silk organza starburst dress
Shoes, shoes, lovely shoes:
Quorra peep-toe booties
Collins suede platform peep toes
I'm always on the lookout for a good bikini. You know, one that will make me magically look like a model.
Trina Turk Triangle Top & Hipster Bottoms
Forget this suit, I like to call this one - "photoshopping gone bad". . . um, what the heck? Her waist is magically the same size as her neck?
Vitamin A 'Rio' Reversible Halter Bikini Top & Bottoms
MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Carla' Sandal
Stuart Weitzman 'Leostrutting' Platform Sandal
I think just putting this post together is a good reason why I don't allow myself to go to the mall. ;-) Plus, now I have more time for running. My dream job would be a personal shopper - hi, shopping all day & spending other people's money? Perfection!