Friday, September 30, 2011

IT List

Another edition of the "IT" List!

Happy Friday ladies!  
Explore some of these fabulous links to get your weekend off to a great start!
  • gs lillian says she is more comfortable in a dress or skirt than in jeans.  Are you the same? It's not hard to see why, she always looks fabulous in dresses and skirts! (find gs lillian on twitter!)
  • lex and learn makes a very delicious looking semi-homemade pumpkin bunt cake - get her simple trick for this fall treat! (find lex and learn on twitter!)
  • simply bold just snagged a gorgeous pair of leather shorts... check out how she styles them up for fall!
  • rachael, really looks absolutely adorable in her denim shorts plus knee high socks plus hunter boots!  What a fun combo! (find rachael, really on twitter!)
  • take me for a twirl is totally rocking this bright green blazer - I am loving these looks! (find take me for a twirl on twitter!)
  • little girl in a big world does a fall weekend on the beach - check out her trip and live vicariously through her! (find little girl in a big world on twitter!)
  • everyday mom style wears a great patterned top to work, but wonders... is the pattern too much!?!? I don't think so, I love it! (find everyday mom style on twitter!)
  • fabulously average shows you ladies how to layer even if you live in a warmer climate!  So cute! (find fabulously average on twitter!)
  • a spot of whimsy rounds up her favorite fall looks - and they are all just swoon worthy! Head on over and see her inspiration! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • the style dossier lists their top reasons why fall will rock - such a fun list! (find the style dossier on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style rounds up cozy and unique ways to add blankets to your home decor this fall!  These photos all look so warm and cozy! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • chic or treat finds these adorable velvet flats in several colors for such a steal! Stop by her blog to find out where to snag them! (find chic or treat on twitter!)
  • high heels and bubble gum puts together a fab outfit with white pants - yes, after Labor Day - that is perfect for fall! (find high heels and bubble gum on twitter!)
  • behind the dressing room door rounds up her top picks for Anthropologies recent 30% off sale! I am loving this gorgeous camel coat! (find behind the dressing room door on twitter!)
the IT list is produced weekly by jill of good life for less - for information on how you can be involved, click here!

I'll be back later with a post about my half marathon expo experience!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The BIG weekend!

Excuse me while I become a running blogger for a few days.

My half marathon is in two days! It's on Saturday night at 10:00 PM! I'm running the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon! I've been training for this since July, I've been planning for this since May, and I've been thinking about this as a goal since March. It's a LONG. TIME. COMING.

I am going to devour every second of the entire experience. Tomorrow we're headed over to Orlando to stay at the Disney Port Orleans Resort.
Before we head out for a carb-filled dinner, we'll go to the Wine and Dine expo, where I can assure you I'll be loading up on stuff. I'll pick up my packet, bib, and goody bag, and then I'll shop 'til I drop. So much of my money is going to running gear, and I absolutely don't mind it at all.

Then, we'll get up Saturday and hang out and walk around. To be honest I'm not sure how we're going to fill our time, since I know I'll be super antsy. I'll board a bus to Wide World of Sports from my hotel, and I'll say goodbye to Tim and my mom and head off to the starting corral area!

Then, it'll be 13.1 miles of pure joy. I can't wait. Here's the route:
How awesome does that look?! Running through three of the Disney theme parks! I can't wait.

And when I finish, on my 26th birthday none-the-less, it'll be time for the Wine and Dine finishers' party, where I'll meet back up with Tim and my mom to show off my new bling and take some tastes and sips. They have tons of pavilions and booths setup around Epcot, and the rides will be open too!
I'm planning on running with my camera, my iphone, my garmin, and a few shot blocks as fuel as I go. I'm trying not to be too too hard on myself with a finish time since it's my first one, at night, and at Disney. But, I can't NOT put out a goal. My safe goal is to go under 2:15.00, and my stretch goal is to go under 2:10.00. 

I've spent so much time training, but I generally take a stop break or two on my long runs in training, so I don't know what to expect really. I just can't wait.

Oh, and I've already signed up for my next one. I'm hooked.

So, Disney? I'm coming! See you tomorrow!
I'll be updating along the way!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Wednesday...

...but I keep thinking it's Thursday.

I had one of the worst days of late yesterday. It went down in the books. Between school, personal life, and little things, I was so frustrated and ready for the day to end.

But instead of dwelling on yesterday and its remnants, I'm thinking back to my weekend in Anna Maria. In particular, I'm thinking of riding beach cruisers along the deserted sidewalks. It was so relaxing, and it made me want to escape to a place where I could a bike could take me anywhere I needed to get.

And while I can't really escape to that kind of place today (or anytime in the forseeable future), I can delight in the little things that have kept me going through the last two days:

  • yesterday was two stamp Tuesday at the build your own yogurt place...this of course meant that I had to stop on the way home.
  • it's taper week for the half marathon that i'm running this weekend. that means 2 miles yesterday and no running today. sometimes it's nice to have a break.
  • my birthday is sunday, so i keep getting things in the mail to celebrate: so far i've racked up $15 to LOFT, a free drink at Starbucks, and $10 to Victoria's Seret. i'm just hoping for something from anthro.
  • my mom is officially coming to my race this weekend. i can't wait to see her and i can't wait for her to see my race.
  • i signed up to have my splits post to twitter as i'm running the race this weekend. i'm so excited to be able to share with some of the people that have been so supportive.

What's gotten you through the last few days? Fill me in!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

anna maria weekend

Tim was out of town Thursday through Sunday on a bachelor party in New Orleans (they go all out, huh?), so I took a little weekend getaway to Anna Maria Island with a girlfriend. We had a ball! I took quite a few pictures on my cell phone to have fun with on Instagram (and to link up with Ashley), and I brought my nice camera to snap a few more pretty pictures.
I know my friend Debbie through Tim. She's married to one of his best friends. We decided a while ago that while the boys were gone we needed to have fun too! We headed down to Anna Maria after work on Friday and stayed at a fun little beach hotel/condo called the Bali Hai. It was right on the beach and perfect.

On Friday night we went to dinner at a restaurant right on the beach called the Sand Dollar. My feet were almost in the sand while we saw a wedding on the beach, heard the music of the reception, and enjoyed frozen Pina Coladas and peel and eat shrimp. It was the perfect start to a getaway beach weekend in September.

On Saturday I really started taking pictures. After I headed out for an 8 mile run that turned into 5.25, we went to a fun shop and picked up iced lattes before renting bikes. Aside from our cute pink beach cruisers, we loved the parrot horns on the handlebars. I enjoyed it so much I bought one for my non-existent bike...and also made plans to make a pink beach cruiser mine one day soon. We were walking back to our car at the breakfast place when we passed the cutest boutique called Pink & Navy. It had everything from Milly dresses to more affordable dresses and tops--I loved everything about it. It made me dream of owning a fun boutique on a quaint island somewhere. And because of my happiness, I also bought two of the cutest dresses I've ever seen at great price points. The patterns are the picture on the top middle. I love that they're colored and patterned without going over the top.

After heading to lunch at a little tex-mex place, checking out some fun local shops (where the bird votive holders are from), and shopping a bit at the outlets, we headed back to the condo for some mojitos and cheese and crackers. It was so lovely to look out at the water, enjoy some drinks, and watch the sun set.

We went out to dinner at Martiniville and took the free island trolley so we could enjoy another beverage or two. My dessert key lime martini was delicious.

Sunday morning included more bike riding, iced lattes, and shopping before Tim and Debbie's husband got home. It was nice to see them again, and I enjoyed very much the thoughtful gifts Tim brought. I got a Cafe du Monde cup, some saltwater taffy, a magnet that shows the Andrew Jackson statue, and some Alabama beads (so very New Orleans).

It was a wonderful weekend, but all the enjoyment made it seem to go by so much faster.

What did you do? Do tell.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

"IT" List

Oh hey two posts in one day. I have two things I wanted to share.

Now that school is back in full swing and I'm regaining control of my free time, I'm getting back into my groove with blogging and reading others' blogs. I've also in fact found some new blogs that I'm loving. One blogger that I've found in the last few weeks is Jill, who writes at jillgg's good life for less. She posts outfits and inspirations multiple times a day, and her ideas always include at least a few things that are cute and affordable. 

Each Friday she puts out her "IT" list, so I wanted to share that with you to find some other fun blogs to check out as well as what's been going on in the blogging world this week. 

Happy Friday ladies!  This week's IT list has a decidedly fall feel!
Dig into these great links!
  • if I must say so is looking fall-chic in this chambray dress and Western booties - seriously, this is so cute! (find if I must say so on twitter!)
  • undeniable style is inspired by polka dots... see her inspiration and how she wears them! I am loving polka dots this season! (find undeniable style on twitter!)
  • gs lillian has a new series where she features a fun manicure style each week. I am so in love with this weeks design that she whipped up with these three polishes! (find gs lillian on twitter!)
  • a spot of whimsy continues her series "she" with another fabulous combo of eye candy and a quote.  Love this! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • simply bold takes a bad hair day and turns it into a good one... plus, I love this little belt trick! 
  • lex & learn has a gorgeous selection of fall scarves... check out her picks! (find lex & learn on twitter!)
  • little girl in a big world scores some great pieces for fall at Old Navy and Target... check out her finds! (find little girl in a big world on twitter!)
  • take me for a twirl shows off her favorites for fall... of course, coffee is at the top of her list - it's at the top of mine too! (find take me for a twirl on twitter!)
  • high heels and bubble gum is going on a shopping diet... but not before she snagged this super fun outfit! I love this layered tunic. Way to go out with a bang! (find high heels and bubble gum on twitter!)
  • rachael, really is sporting her new Hunter boots and looking fabulous doing it!  This outfit is so perfect for fall! (find rachael, really on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style shows off her new obsession... party bars. I too am loving these... especially this apple cider bar!  What a fun way to entertain. (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • behind the dressing room door has anthropologie's new arrivals for fall and I am loving these bright corduroy pants - how fun! (find behind the dressing room door on twitter!)
  • one hundred inspirations has this stylish Heidi Klum look for less. I'm loving these colors!
  • good life for less is talking blazers, blazers, blazers!  Check out her top picks and her favorite way to wear them! (find good life for less on twitter!)
the IT list is produced weekly by jill of good life for less! for information on how you can be involved - click here!

And don't forget to check out my other post today. I'm playing along with {av} for Friday's Fancies!

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Cozy for Fall Friday's Fancies

I love playing along with {av} for Friday's Fancies. It fits perfectly with my newfound understanding that I don't have to spend big money to get cute clothes, because it lets me shop for expensive items in my head, which I can then look for less expensive versions of when I'm actually shopping. 

I also really love this weeks theme, the cozy side of fall, because, while Florida isn't experiencing fall just yet, it reminds me of how perfect fall clothes are for lounging around and cuddling under a blanket. I would probably be a bit self conscious about lounging in clothes that cost this much, but it helps you understand my absolute and undying love for lounging around in leggings. I will sometimes even leave the house in leggings and a long top to grab yogurt or pick up takeout. Don't worry, I'm fully aware that leggings aren't pants...but that doesn't really stop me.

I absolutely love silk split front blouses for fall, and I will get my hot little hands on one in the next few weeks; this Vince one ($235) is perfect in length, quality, and color. These David Lerner leggings ($77) are lightweight and seem to have no seams. To accessorize a simple outfit I chose colors and patterns: an Etro cashmere and silk scarf ($430), JCrew Billy Buckle Boots ($325), a Chan Luu wrap bracelet ($245), and the Ray Bans ($120) that I really want and featured last week.

And while I would love to lounge around in my fall gear this weekend and watch college football, I'm actually more excited for my plans to have a beach weekend in Anna Maria Island with a girlfriend! We're going to enjoy some wine and cheese, spend a little time on the beach, head to the outlets, and just relax! I'm sure there will be some football mixed in...I mean Alabama's got a big game this weekend! But that's not the focus, and that's okay with me!

What are your plans for the weekend? What will you be wearing? Link up with {av} to play along with your dream fall outfit!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Walking the line...

So, like I mentioned yesterday, I really appreciated the comments on my candidness post. And between those and a few new blogs that I've found in the last couple of days, I'm inspired to share more about me and my life instead of sticking to just topic-based posts dealing with fashion, shopping, and running. So, I'm going to walk the fine I've been so worried about in blogging, and I'm going to share more with you about myself.

Don't get me wrong. I still will include those themes in my blog, and I'll still have posts that are themed and topic based intermixed. But, because my blog is my space, I'm going to talk more from my personal perspective and share things that are going on in my life. I've thought about how I'll do that, and while I'll end up changing and ebbing and flowing along the way, I think I'll end up being able to tell more stories that are more based on themes in my daily life; I'll stay mostly positive, and I won't walk about work. My blog won't change much, as you'll still hear the same things, but I actually think you'll like it better. I'm going to take more pictures and include those as well. I'm making this promise to you and also to myself. 

Will you read the next few posts and tell me your thoughts about my changes, if I stick with them, and maybe even what you'd like to hear or learn about me? 

My biggest fear in writing in this style is that someone will figure out that my life isn't all that exciting. Have I been good at disguising that up to that point? Will you still read my blog if I don't go out every Friday night or if I sometimes have a headache the next morning after two glasses of wine one night?

Because I don't (go out every Friday)...and I do (sometimes get headaches after two glasses of wine).

And sometimes the highlight of my day is getting something exciting in the mail or sitting on the couch knowing I have absolutely nothing to do.

But while I'm not all that exciting on a regular basis, I'm pretty proud of who I am and what I've experienced in my 25+ years (it will be 26 on October 2). I've studied abroad, I've lived in Africa for a summer, I returned to Africa after a number of years and found that while not much had changed, in fact quite a lot had changed (can that make sense?). I've moved to a new city by myself, I've made a life for myself in that new city, I've built up an 8 month emergency fund (Suze, are you proud?), and I've eaten more sushi and Mexican than I should admit.

And since I'm going to share more, why not start with a picture of little me.
Didn't I look exactly the same as I do now?
I still wear that dress.

Is this all okay with you?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WILW: So much!

I have so much that I'm loving right now, so I wanted to link up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Right now I'm loving...

...the comments I got on my candidness post. I'm loving the feedback I got about your similar issues, your suggestions, and your ideas. So, thank you to those that commented on that post!

...that I bought my own domain name! My blog address is officially new running shorts! I bought them this past Friday, and they're so colorful and match everything! (I'm not loving the chafing that occurred wearing them on my 12 miler on Saturday, but I think I figured out how to fix that for this weekend...)

...that Tim and I found out that there's a Cracker Barrel ten minutes from our house! I love their holiday decorations. We ate there on Sunday and I got a fun Halloween light for the kitchen! (Please don't ask why we didn't know earlier...I have no answer.) Garmin that Tim got me as my (early) birthday present! I wanted to get it before the big race to try it out, and I love love love it. It's great to know the pace I'm going at all times, and it helped me run a great 10k two weekends ago.

...that I've finally figured out I don't have to pay big money for cute clothes (oops...I'm late to this party). I've gotten some amazing stuff at Old Navy and Target that I'm so excited about!

...that my first half marathon is less than two weeks away (the Disney Wine and Dine)! My training has gone so well, and I'm ready to rock this race. Can't wait to get this medal.

...that I'm going to Anna Maria Island with a girlfriend this weekend. I'm looking forward to a relaxing getaway with a book, some magazines, and a little shopping.

My gosh I'm loving a lot! What are you loving this week?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Splurge or Save: Wedge Ankle Boots

I ordered a few tops from Old Navy, and my first shipment came on Saturday. I was thrilled with the quality and fit of all of them; I can't wait to get the second order. I haven't shopped at Old Navy in many years, but as I'm trying to save money and still look stylish, I decided now was the time to start again. While browsing the website, I found some cute wedge ankle boots that tie up that I surprised myself by liking (they're not the ones that I featured here). 

Then, in my online shopping fervor, I headed over to Aldo to look at more of their selection. Between Aldo and what is now available at Old Navy, I'm thinking about purchasing a pair of ankle boots. I just can't decide if they're really me. Since I live in Florida, full boots just aren't reasonable for most of the year, so ankle boots seem to be a better option. I found a pair at Old Navy and at Aldo that look somewhat similar, and I'm weighing the two. I saw Taylor do a Splurge or Save feature on transitional boots, so I thought I'd borrow her idea for these wedge ankle boots.

Which do you like better?
The ALDO ones are real leather, and there's more height to them, while the Old Navy ones are faux suede and don't have a wedge under the front part. At $110 versus $36.94, I'm not sure which I like better...

Do you own ankle boots? What do you wear them with? I'm trying to decide if they're too trendy to wear to work (as a teacher) or if they'd make a cute addition.

Do you have anything you're weighing to splurge or save on right now?

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Monday, September 19, 2011

please don't stop the music

I was growing tired of the same music I've been listening to, and I knew I had a big long run ahead of me Saturday morning. So Friday night, I found an 80's workout music list online and started downloading the fast songs on Spotify (if you don't know about Spotify, please go there now. You can pay $9.99/month and get as much music as you want, and you can put it all on your iPhone to carry with you). 

I downloaded songs like Video Killed the Radio Star, Borderline, Manic Monday, Jessie's Girl, and a bunch of others. As songs came on while I was running, they brought back different really vivid memories. Mind if I share a couple?

Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)
When I was little (like, in the 80's we're talking), I had this little black electric piano that I carried around with me and played (terribly I'm sure). It had a demo button that you pushed, and it would play Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go as though the person playing the piano was playing it. I loved to push the button and pretend like I was playing that song on the piano. And my parents would totally buy into it as though I was. And I mean I would rock out carrying that thing around to that song.

It's funny, because I would never have thought of that little toy piano had I not chosen that song to listen to Saturday morning.

Also, Eye of the Tiger.
I know this is a pump up song for anyone, but in high school, one of my school's mascots was the tigers. The football team would march out of the field house to the football field through a special walkway to this song before every home game. And because it was such a big song for our school, we swimmers (I swam competitively in high school and planned on swimming in college) would play it all the time. We added it to mixed CD's for state meet, we would play it when we were at finals at state and our relay was the top seed of the event.

So, when I think of Eye of the Tiger, I don't think about Rocky; I think about high school swim meets and the swim team. It's such a fun time to remember; I swam Varsity from 8th-12th grade, and while I loved to hate it at the time, I definitely think it made me who I am today.

And...thanks to this music and much much much more, I pulled out my longest training run leading to my half! 12 miles in just over 2 hours. I'm ready for this half! Bring.It.On.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Roll Tide! Go Bulls! Friday's Fancies Gameday

Alabama Gameday is one like no other. I adopt it as mine, because my college didn't have a football team. Since I was little, I've been an Alabama fan; my dad went there, my sister went there, and my parents have season tickets and don't miss a home game. If you want to read more about why, click here.

So, when {av} posted that her Friday's Fancies this week was about gameday attire, I was excited. I couldn't wait to share a classic Alabama outfit.
alabama gameday
alabama gameday by lttlegrlbigwrld

Between Mikimoto pearls, a Longchamp bag, JCrew boots, and a David Yurman bracelet, this outfit is the ultimate dream for any tailgater. And of course, you can't forget the houndstooth. I would obviously have a shaker as well, but I couldn't find a picture of one to add. 
As much as I would love to throw this on and head on up to Tuscaloosa this Saturday, I actually do have a tailgate of my own to attend. My fiance and I have season tickets to USF games. They're fun, because a bunch of friends go; we actually do tailgate before outside Raymond James Stadium. The tailgates are pretty casual, so a USF t-shirt, some shorts, and flip flops are a perfect attire for that. And, this year there's hope that USF will win the Big East!

Roll Tide! Go Bulls!

Who's your team? What kind of outfit would you put together for gameday!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's been a funky week for me. It hasn't been a bad week or a strange week or anything like that; I've just had some feelings and thoughts about life and some of the things that I have going on right now. And it made me want to write a blog post.

And then I realized that I really couldn't...

And it brought me to the thought of anonymity and being candid on the blog. If you've read my blog for a period of time, you know that I write a lot about what I'm liking at the moment, outfits, running, wedding planning, online shopping, recipes, and other topics as they come to mind. You know that I don't do a TON of posting about my actual life. Most of the time, it's because my life isn't exciting enough to really keep you interested, so I don't write about my grocery trip where nothing great happened or my day at work that was just like any other. But sometimes, it's because I don't want certain people (no one in particular in most cases) to read about close details or feelings in my life without me knowing that they have read it.

I've never really "publicized" my blog per se, but there's a link on my facebook and I know that some people at work know about it...I just don't know who really reads it on a regular basis. It makes me very conscious of what I choose to write and what I say about work, relationship, friendships, finances, etc.

I'm not suggesting that I'm not honest on my blog, because I'm nothing but. I'm just saying that I sometimes (or a lot of times) leave things out that I wouldn't leave out if I didn't have my face plastered across my blog or at any point a link on my facebook. I would feel comfortable being more open about important life decisions, feelings, my job, and friendships. I don't even really like to be vague about it, because I don't want people to assume stuff.

I'm so very happy with everything going on in my life right now, and I'm sharing so much of that greatness with you. It's just that sometimes when something doesn't necessarily go as right as I would like it to or when something is a bit off, I do wish that I could share it more to get opinions and ideas and hear about your similar experiences. I just want to know who is actually reading what I'm putting out there. Know what I mean?

So, I'd like to know. 
How do you decide what you write on your blog if you aren't anonymous? 
If you are anonymous, do you literally tell no one about your blog?
And lastly, do you know how I feel? Are there things that you would like to write about that you can't? 

I'm planning on writing more about my own life as I move forward; I'm just trying to decide what I want to share and what I don't...

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Normally I don't click on facebook ads, but when I saw a particular bracelet that look like Chan Luu, I went ahead and clicked. I love the look of Chan Luu, but I really don't like the prices (the below bracelet was $280 when available).

This ad brought me to the BaubleBar website, which had really cute jewelry at a really reasonable price. I really didn't think much of it, since I had found it from a facebook ad (is it just me or does that somehow cheapen things for you?). But I've seen it on a few blogs recently, and the Glitter Guide crew did an interview with the founders a few weeks ago; it made me go check out their website again. And again, I liked what I saw.

I like the way the founders describe their business ideas from the beginning and the adaptations they made to their model, and I understood their suggestion that many retailers view jewelry as an afterthought or an impulse purchase. After all, many of my favorite places to buy jewelry focus more on their clothing than their jewelry in marketing (think anthropologie and j.crew). Additionally, with their great appreciation of websites and retailers that highlight editorial trends (Net-a-porter and Burberry), I believe that this company is going to keep the consumer in style while also minding our budgets.

With that being said, here are a few of my BaubleBar favorites:BaubleBar
Go check it out. If you sign up for an account in September, they're giving $10 off your first order, which is a pretty awesome deal when you look at a lot of their prices.

What's your favorite piece? Have you heard of BaubleBar? If you want specific links to the pieces I posted, just click on the collage above. It'll take you to polyvore.

Sidenote: I received no compensation for this post, but I used an invitation link. If you decide to create an account with the website, I would love if you use that link so I earn a credit or two...whatever that means. Thanks!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

weekend recap + random

I have a lot of fun stuff to share, and I've found some fun stuff around the blogging world, so steering from normal tradition of picking a theme, I thought I would just do a weekend recap and random post.

This weekend was so so much fun! It went by wayy too quickly, but so much fun stuff happened that I can't complain in the least. 

My best friend came into town since she's up at UF doing part of her rotations for her last year in medical school for the month. She got here with her boyfriend, and we all went out to sushi! It was so much fun that I forgot to take pictures. She's one of my bridesmaids, and she shockingly had never met Tim. They stayed the night, and then we went to brunch at Datz.

Afterwards we took them on a driving tour of Tampa, and it made me realize how much cuter of a city Tampa is than I sometimes give it credit for. We showed off where we're getting married, Bayshore Boulevard, and Tampa General Hospital (since they applied there for residency). We had a great time!

After the left to go watch the Tennessee game at a local bar, Tim and I headed to Raymond James Stadium for our first USF tailgate! We had so much fun hanging out with friends getting ready for the first home game. Our seats were great again, and the stadium filled up quite a bit more by the time the game actually started.

The best? We won! By 30+ points!

I didn't partake in any adult beverages, because I was running my first 10k today! I ran my first 5k a few weeks ago, so I wasn't that nervous for this one. I was more excited. It was the exact place in my half marathon training plan that called for a 10k, and some others from work were running it too.

This time, I was number 914, and I ran a fantastic race. 

I was so thrilled with my results! For 6.2 miles, I was right around 55:30. I forgot to stop my Garmin, and I'm waiting to results to post online to find out what my actual time was. I'll update once it's posted. But, it looks like I held right around or maybe a little under a 9 minute per miles pace! I can't believe it! So happy!

Then, I stopped by and got a Pumpkin Spiced Latted and have been lounging on the couch since then. And, you all might think I'm a looney, but I didn't love the Pumpkin Spiced Latte. It was too sweet for me...will you still be my friend? I'm currently waiting to find out if I'm going to be able to make up a 25 point deficit to win my first week on a fantasy football team. It makes watching NFL so much more fun!

And...some random.

I don't usually post about giveaways, but this one is amazing; I just had to share. Yes, it got me an extra entry, and yes, that's how much I want it!

Just go here to enter.

And because I love creative posts and bright colors, I wanted to make sure you saw these super cute photos that Emily @ cupcakes and cashmere took. I love how she was able to find such close matches between shoes and candy. She's so creative!

Both images are of course from Emily. I love her posts. They're so clean, inspirational, and picture-filled.

I hope you had wonderful weekends! What did you do?
What are you looking forward to this week?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

i heart blogging

When I started blogging, I knew I enjoyed writing, I knew I wanted to share my thoughts with whomever would listen, and I know it would be fun to read about the lives of others.

What I didn't realize, however, is how blogging would really impact my life. It might sound a bit serious, but it is unquestionably true. I truly feel like I have begun to form friendships and become a different person because of the blogging world.

Here are only a few of the ways that blogging has made me a better person and helped me make connections and friendships with those all over the country:

{1} I knew I loved blogging the moment I realized there were other people who had bad days, good days, and experiences like mine.

Each day, reading blogs and interacting with others allows me to be me while also learning that there are others like me out there. 

{2} I've made friendships and kept up with people since I started this little blog. Amber was one of my first followers, and we still keep in touch through commenting and emailing to this day. We even did a link up together!

{3} I've participated in some really fun blog swaps and collected all kinds of great stuff. My absolute favorite item that I've received is either the wayfarer sunglasses or the PBTeen M that I received from Mama Ra.
I just took the pic. Forgive me?

{5} Because of that, I'm training for my first half marathon while staying in contact quite frequently with Kristin and anxiously awaiting the recovery of Kayla, who's also running her first half near mine. It's also nice to read the blogs of others who are training for firsts (Sonja, Lindsey, and Rachel).

{6} I experienced my first blogger meetup with Meghan in Chicago this summer. It brought blogging even more to life!

{7} And of course...
a. it's made me spend way more money than I ever would without it.
b. it's inspired me in any number of ways.
c. i've learned how to plan a wedding.
d. i've begun to understand that perfect relationships don't exist, but that relationships can be perfect in their own ways.
e. it's given me an ear to share my thoughts, ponderings, and questions.

{8} Most importantly to me, it's made me begin to understand more of who I am. It's helped me realize that my work doesn't define me (and to stop having anxiety about it), that I can make mistakes and live through them, and that I'm really my own individual person. Each of these I've discovered in my own posts and by reading yours (whether I post that day or not, and whether I comment that day or not).

{9} And through it, I'm so glad that I've found you and you've found me! There are so many more people than those whom I have named that I count among my blogging friends. These were just some of the things that I think of when I think back on this last year of blogging.

So to every single one of you: thank you! You have no idea how often your comments, emails, and blog posts themselves have made me smile, laugh, tear up, and say:
"what! you too? i thought I was the only one!"

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

can i get it all?

I've had Zara in malls around me for a while, but I've truly never gone inside to look with any serious intention of shopping. So, when I was blog browsing the other day and ran across this post from Megan at Across The Pond, I was shocked to find all the pieces came from Zara. My eyes were opened.

I knew, however, that Zara didn't have online shopping in the U.S., so I reluctantly went to their website to see if there was even the ability to view items online. Much to my surprise, when I clicked on United States, this message popped up:
FYI, that's tomorrow, and it's already penned in my calendar.

Because my favorite way to shop is online, I knew this would be a problem. Then, I started browsing and realized that it is going to be, in fact, a HUGE problem. The biggest problem of all is how I'm going to eliminate 3/4 of my desired items. I'm hoping they'll do some sort of special deal since they're just starting this, but I can only hope at this point.

...and I just found on facebook that if you sign up by 5 o'clock tonight you can preview online shopping at 6PM.

Here are only the items that I most love.

All images are of course from Zara's website.

Almost all of them are work and outside of work friendly, have a mature but fun look to them, and are not completely and outrageously expensive. 

What do you think? What are your favorites? 

Between this, Missoni for Target in a few more days, and the possibility of H&M online shopping coming next year, I really am going to have to learn a new level of self control when browsing the interwebs and filling virtual baskets and carts. 

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Monday, September 5, 2011

T minus 27 days (and counting)...

My first half marathon is 27 days away.

I ran 10 miles on Saturday. First time in the double digits...ever. I ran 25 miles last week total.

I'm doing a 10k September 11th.

Tim bought me a Garmin for my birthday present (a few weeks early), and I can't wait to get it!

I'm so nervous for the big day (October 1), and I keep reading race reviews from running bloggers and tearing up at their happy stories of their firsts (marathons, halves, etc).

I think I'll probably cry when I finish (shoot, I teared up when I started my first 5k).

I am so motivated on a regular basis, and I can't explain where it is coming from. But, to keep myself going, and to motivate are some wonderful thoughts:
Source: None via Han on Pinterest

Source: via Alicia on Pinterest

To those of you working towards a goal, you can do it!

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