No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


Reverse Christmas Tree Topper Tutorial

This week I'm linking up with an awesome lady whose blog I stalk over at NewlyWoodwards for the Dare to DIY Christmas challenge.

A few weeks ago I was thinking about Christmas decorations and how much I was dreading putting them up since it's not a holiday I have been looking forward to this year. However I found myself on Pinterest one day perusing the "everything" board and came across a tutorial on how to make paper stars. I am a bit of a crafting nut when something gets into my head and here is how it went:

That star tutorial is really cool, I love stars!

What could I make them out of? Ohhh, vellum, I love vellum!

Then what would I do with them? If they're vellum I should hang them somewhere!

Where to hang them...where to hang them...oh! I could make a mobile!

No...maybe I could hang them above the tree since my star always falls over...


So I did. And other than being covered in glitter for 24 hours and having to hone my fine motor skills to tie thin thread onto an embroidery hoop, it was pretty easy. It also got me excited about decorating which is good because my living room looks wonderful now and I am hating Christmas a lot less so mission accomplished.

Here's what you need:
-Paper of your choice (I used vellum because it's translucent and pretty and some thinner paper with gold accents, make sure it's not thick card stock or it will be difficult to cut)
-Thin thread or clear fishing line (I wanted fishing line at first but opted for a goldish silver thread for the sewing section at Joann's for a bit more sparkle)
-Embroidery hoop
-Paint brush
-Glitter (I used Martha's Stewart glitter in Copper)
-Tiny hole punch

First cut out your stars in different sizes. You can do any shape you want or cut them in any way you want (origami stars would be more substantial if you wanted that look). I used this tutorial.

Then punch a small hole in the top of each one using a small hole punch and tie thread through the hole in a knot (don't worry about the length because you can adjust it later).

Prepare your embroidery hoop by covering it with glue and then glitter. Get glitter on the cat for sure so you find piles of it when you go the bed that night. Let it dry for a few hours.

Tie the stars on in varying lengths. I fought with them getting tangled for a while until I had the genius idea of putting the hoop over the top of a lamp shade and tying them on there so they would stay spaced evenly and I could see what lengths I needed. I will have glitter on that lamp shade for life but whatever.

Glitter, glitter everywhere...

There are probably a million different ways to hang this but I just wanted it up so I just wrapped some thread around the middle of the hoop a few times and secured it to the ceiling with thumbtacks. Classy, right? You really can't even tell unless you're looking for them.

And that's it! The whole thing cost me maybe $10 and took about an hour total to complete. And I probably won't want to untangle the stars next year so I will most likely throw it away when I'm done with it. Or never take it down. Both are solid possibilities.

And here is my fully decorated living room!

The other thing I made this year was that garland which is just felt circles glued to baker's string. Last year I made the mason jars filled with glitter and trees and also the Christmas lights with ribbon (although I had to retie all the ribbon on new lights this year when the bun chewed the cord one too many times).

Trixie is still pretty ticked to find out there are no gifts for her, though.

I can only have a small tree on a table to discourage kitties and buns from ingesiting fake needles.


Don't google "rabbit toys". Just don't.

I ordered the bun's Christmas presents last night. Yes, I am one of "those" owners who gets their pets gifts. Judge if you will, I'm cool with it. Last year was Archie's first Christmas and she was so excited to have a little box to unwrap with treats inside. It took her 10-15 minutes to get it open but she finally managed it. Maybe I'll try to video tape it this year. Trixie is receiving nothing because cats don't care. Well, she does but here is how it goes:

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG A NEW CATNIP MOUSE!!! I am going to kick it and lick it and throw it and beat it and sit on it and ignore it and then attack it and love it and sleep with it and put it in my water bowl and take it out of my water bowl and shove it under the couch and then dig it out from under the couch and pretend I lose it but know where it is the whole time and cry until you retrieve it and OMG this is the best present eeeeeeever!!! *purr purr kick purr throw purr claw purr purr*

<Shortly thereafter>

Catnip mouse? Please. That is so 5 minutes ago. Fill my dish, servant. I'm going to go find a pair of your shoes to vomit in and then I will lay sprawled in the middle of your bed and hiss if you disturb my slumber.

Proof of this: asleep on the chair and ottoman with not one care.

And then she never touches it again. This is not a dramatization, she has been mine for 10 years and I know how she is so instead she gets a tiny portion of prime rib that I bring home for her from Christmas dinner and I tie some curling ribbon to some door knobs for her to attack and all is happy in her kitty world.

At the opposite end of the spectrum the bun loves everything new that I get for her and plays with it happily for week if not months. I ordered her a really cool looking enrichment toy that I found on Amazon that she has to figure out how to get the treats out of. She has one I got her on Etsy last year that she loves so I'm interested to see if she likes new one.

Anyway, this whole rambling boring business about my pets was really to just warn you of this: do NOT type in "Rabbit toys" to Amazon and then forget to select "pets and supplies" as a category. Do not. I am permanently scarred now.

Really, that's where I was going with that. I have no idea how to be concise. And I have had a migraine for a week so my brain is Jello (but really, we all know that has nothing to do with my rambling ways).


The Runner's World Running Streak Challenge I decided to start doing on Thanksgiving is going well. I missed a few days due to my back hurting pretty badly (just for a couple of days, in general it's doing pretty well) and then due to a (as of today) 7 day migraine but missing 3 days out of 18 isn't awful so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Running with a migraine can be pretty painful because of all the pounding and blood rushing around but I ran 6 miles this morning and am spending the rest of the day in bed to try and ward it off before the work craziness starts up. And it's going to be crazy! I am really liking the running challenge though, I didn't realize how much I missed a daily run until I started doing it again. I really miss having a treadmill in my house but I have a desk where it used to be and no other room to fit a new one so I might join a gym so that I can run at 11pm if I want. Which I do sometimes. I've been running a lot at the lake I got my start in running at and although I don't love it all the time, it's fast and easy and carries a huge amount of nostalgia with it.

My Curltember Challenge is going even better than the running challenge and I have not missed a day of that. If you remember from my previous post I am curling my hair daily in honor of one of my good friends who has breast cancer. I hate being so far from her during this and it's my way of keeping her in the front of my mind and letting her know that she's there. I will tell you this: Hot Tools Curling irons, Argon Oil and Kenra 25 hairspray are my BFF's right now. There's been some road bumps along this curly road but I'm getting closer and closer to hair that should be allowed out in public every day.

Is anyone else doing the running challenge? How about the "shop as much as possible without actually buying a thing you need for Christmas girfts" challenge? I made that one up right after Thanksgiving, too and I have been doing fantastically at it.


Christmas ideas for runners! (Aka stuff you can buy me)

I have a confession: I hate spending money on running gear. Hate it.

I will drop $100+ on a race and not think twice about it (hello, Nike Women's Marathon) but if you ask me to spend that much money on a jacket that I will wear daily for months it makes me want to cry.

Because of this I love Christmas because I can ask for whatever I want and then let someone else pick and choose what they want give me and I am truly happy with anything I get. The socks I wear are $10 a pair and even just one new pair makes me giddy. I mean, what better way to celebrate the birth of the messiah but with new shoelaces? Honestly.

Here are some ideas of things that I personally love that the runner in your life (or you!) might enjoy.

A good winter running jacket
If you live in a cold climate then winter running can be extrememly rewarding if dressed properly for it but they can be pretty expensive. I just got this jacket during my running store's Black Friday sale and while it was painful to fork over the money for it (I did get an awesome deal though) I have run with it every single day since and I have no idea what I did winters before this without decent outerwear. It keeps me warm but not too hot, water and snow run right off of it and it has a lot of reflective bits. I'm in love.

Winter running pants
During the sale I also picked up a great pair of running pants. I really like how light they are while still keeping me warm but not TOO warm. That's the key, not overheating. I don't know how these will compare to my beloved Under Armor winter pants (that don't fit right now so that is the last we will speak of them until they do) but in 30-40 degrees they've been awesome.

Running mittens
The worst part about winter running (in my opinion) is wet feet. The second worse is cold hands and the best way to prevent that it by some good mittens. The problem is that they are expensive. $30 for mittens is CRAZY so your runner might not want to buy them for themselves! But let me tell you what...they are worth every penny. Mittens allow your hands to stay warmer than gloves because they let the heat from your fingers combine instead of seperating them it to their own personal isolation cells where no heat can mingle. I don't have running mittens right now but that's probably changing this weekend before I find my fingers falling off in self defense.

Smartwool socks
Wet feet, you say? Get your runner some Smartwool socks. They are usually around $20 a pair which is enough to make me hyperventilate when I think about buying more than one pair at a time but a pair as a little gift would be perfect (do you need my address? Let me know). They are too much for me to run in in the summer but in the winter we are solid (they are all I wear to work in the winter, too which is classy when my dress pants ride up and you see my bright green knee high snowboarding socks but I won't stop wearing them  and you can't make me!). My feet do still get wet sometimes but they stay warm and pretty happy and the people running with me don't have to listen to me much...because I always whine ;) And other than the thick hiking ones that I wear snowshoeing I run in pretty much all of the other ones.

A subscription to Runner's World Magazine
This is one of the presents I have looked forward to getting for the last three years and my mom never lets me down, I love this magazine and have gotten so much knowledge from it that I would be sad without it. This year I am looking forward to my subscription running out so I can get it on my iPad and always have all the issues with me since I like to reference them. And by reference them I mean force people who could care less about running look at photos of what Kara Goucher eats post race (I have chocolate milk, in case you were wondering. It's the best recovery drink out there).


The Runner's Rule Book
This book is a really easy read but pretty comprehensive on what to do and not do in the running world and even better is that it's FUNNY. New runners will find lots of great info (don't wear all black unless you're a ninja, the other runner's will laugh at you) and seasoned runner's will probably nod their head a lot and get a good chuckle from it (no, you're not the only one making fun of that person wearing all black). 

The Runner's Field Manual
Written by the same dude who wrote the Runner's Rule Book, this is a bit more info on the running world written with the same ease and humor but in the style of a boy scout's field guide. I love this one equally as much as the first.

I truly love and appreciate anything that anyone gives me in relation to running because I rarely buy anything new for myself. There are tons of other things that you could give from big to small like:
-A running GPS
-Entry to a race
-A rack for hanging medals (check Etsy for some cool ones)
-A folio for storing bibs
-A handheld water bottle
-Gels or Shotbloks
-Get crafty and look up your runner's favorite race they've done (they probably talk about it a lot because we always do) and print a picture from the race and put it in a frame along with their race time and a spot for their bib. You can get the pictures and times just by using Google and digging a bit (but don't be googling my times because I am a tortoise right now but will still be fast enough to Mr. Miagi you in the face if you pick on my 10:30 minute miles ;)

So there you have it, I hope that helps someone!

Oh! And what am I hoping Santa will bring me this year?


The Garmin Forerunner 10. Isn't she beautiful? Fingers crossed!

What are you hoping for this year, running or otherwise?


Socks, shoes and a few challenges.

Here's what's going on: I sit down to write, I start to write, I get a paragraph in, I get distracted by something really important like Instagram or watching the bun trying to hide my socks when she thinks I'm not watching and then it's game over. Therefore, you are getting some bulleted business so that I can catch you all up and get back to this blogging thing because I miss it.

-My running is going really well. My base is at a solid 10 miles and I ran the best run I've had in two years last Sunday. It wasn't that I was faster than normal, it was that I felt amazing. I finally got in my running zone and when I was done I swear I could have easily done five more miles. You have no idea how good that felt, it's what I have spent the last 6 months working towards. My goal is to run at least one 5 mile run during the week and one 8-12 mile run on Sundays until February when I start half marathon training again in order to keep my base solid.

-That being said I have committed (in my own mind, which is all I need) to the Runner's World Holiday Running Streak where I need to run at least one mile a day every day until January 1. I'm not sure how it's going to go on days that I leave at 6am and get home at 8pm but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. You can read about it here: and I am wicked excited about it so I am sure I will check in a lot about it.

-I've finished several races since I last wrote: the Wineglass Half marathon in Corning, NY; the Empire Half Marathon here in Syracuse; and the Baldwinsville 10k Turkey Trot yesterday. Both halves went much better than I expected and I finished almost an hour faster than the half I attempted in March. I will try to remember to write about them. Hold me to it :) And if I don't here are a few pictures:

Wineglass swag! The medal is glass as Corning is known for the Corning Museum of Glass, one of my favorite places.
Empire bling

-I have found my holy grail of sneakers. They are Nike's and I have no idea what exactly they are but we are in love and I have no intention of cheating on them anytime soon. Well, not counting when I have to start wearing my winter Asics soon. Do you hear that faint sound of sobbing? It's my butt because they weigh about a pound more than my normal sneakers. But anyway, back to the Nikes. They are soft and squishy and amazing and don't give me blisters and they look cool and they don't really show dirt and even when I'm done running I don't want to take them off. All of these things are proof that we were meant to be.

My soul mates.
-I signed up for my dream race last week after waiting 8 months for them to announce the sign up and I will find out December 14 if I got in. Please cross your fingers, toes and pray to the makers of Cadbury Eggs for me (aka my version of Jesus) that I get in.

Yes, that is a picture that I took of my iPad with my iPhone while sitting in my car on a call on my OTHER iPhone. God bless technology.
-Enough about running, I have another challenge that I have put forth for myself and it's a little something I like to call Curltember. My goal is to curl my hair every working day from now until January in honor of one of my most amazing friends who had to shave her glorious curls recently for a reason that I have named Nipplegate. And that's all you need to know because it's her story :) I will tell you that my hair might not make it out alive but I'm doing it anyway out of 90% solidarity and 10% insanity because my hair is super straight and curl resistant and it will take an act of Ulta to get it to hold a curl consistently. I bought a Hot Tools curling iron today, a gallon of heat protectant spray and enough hair spray to turn Nutella into silly putty. Let's do this!

Also, that lipstick is my life right now. It's Mac's Creamsheen lipstick in On Hold and I'm obsessed.
-I went to my friend's baby shower recently and wore the amazing BCBG dress I wrote about a while ago (which, btw, is also an awesome date dress. It's an awesome everything dress) and my current favorite Nine West shoes. I still have no idea why anyone ever wears pants. I mean, I do sometimes but I don't like it. Not one bit.

I also ate cupcakes of the cookie dough variety and they made me not fit in my dress the next day.

-As for my back, it's doing ok. It was better, then it was way worse, then I found out I had a herniated disk, then I started back to work, then I started back to PT, then I got some narcotics, then I was told it isn't a herniated disk, then I got mad because I hate the human medicine world and that's where we're at. I maintain I have a herniated disk though and am just working around it accordingly. AND FOR THE RECORD: No one has told me that I have to stop running! Quite the opposite actually because the longer I run, the better my back feels (most days, some days it's not happy and I take it easier those days). It's funny how once you have an injury everyone magically has an MD and has an opinion about it which usually is 1) You need surgery and 2) You shouldn't be running. I do appreciate the concern but it gets a little frustrating after a while. It's been improving with PT though so I'm sticking with that for the time being and I have decided not to go for the cortisone injections that the unhelpful spinal doctor prescribed to me in my 7 minute visit, 3 of which involved discussing his cat. If I am not feeling better in a few weeks that I am considering a second opinion but only because I like answers. It amazes me sometimes how different veterinary medicine and human medicine is, it's not too often that a client will let you get away with "I don't know" in regards to their pet's health yet that seems to be a viable answer for my own.

/End rant :)

And with that I think you are all sufficiently updated on my life so I will leave you with a parting gift of the bun rearranging my socks when she thinks I'm not looking. The Smartwool ones are her favorite because they are more stiff than my Balega running socks and are therefore easier to throw. I think? Who knows, I'm not a bun.


I'm back! With a What I Wore Wednesday!

I'm back! Where have I been? Mostly on my living room floor counting strings in my area rug but that's another post for another day.

Last week was my first official week back to work and it was pretty exhausting. Aside from that I was ridiculously excited to wear something other than running pants, tshirts and Biofreeze (when the menthol smell starts to not even register in your olfactory senses then you know there's a problem) and last Wednesday was almost 80 degrees so I took advantage of it and wore a new dress that I am currently obsessed with. As in the first three days I owned it I had it hanging on the outside of my closet so I could stare at it. Should I not be admitting those kinds of things to the general public?

I first saw this dress at JCrew months ago but at 100% silk with a $200 price tag it was nowhere in a price range that I was willing to consider. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I happened upon it on massive clearance (it's been marked down for a while but it was marked down again) and that combined with an additional 30% off sale means I got it for $40. Heck. Yes. The necklace was a similar situation, I found it last week at a JCrew over an hour from me on massive clearance for $41. Tis the season for me to shop JCrew, it seems. Oh, and denim shirts? They are my official fall and winter jam and I wear them with almost every single outfit I put together. Good thing I own many.

Dress: JCrew
Denim shirt: Madewell
Necklace: JCrew
Shoes that you can't see: Black flats from Lord and Taylor

Today was Halloween so of course I needed to wear orange and black. I try to every year because not only is it festive, it prepares me for Syracuse basketball season when we eat, sleep and breathe orange. Yesterday I slammed two of my toes into my foot board of my bed and it was so bad that I hurled my phone across the room and almost hurled my breakfast. I think I just sprained them because today they are movable but painful and 5 colors but I can't fit them into dress shoes so sneakers it was. And how perfect are these sneakers for Halloween anyway? I get that it's not that exciting of an outfit but I ended up on my knees for hours cursing at a Netgear router so it worked out.

Sweater: JCrew
Shirt: JCrew
Pants: Express (the Columnist pants which are the greatest pants to ever happen to me)
Shoes: Vans
Earrings: Marc by Marc Jacobs

And just to spice things up I went out for a friend's birthday the other night and got to wear clothes that were neither for work nor running (a very exciting event in my life!). I also was able to challenge some unsuspecting guys to a pinball match because my favorite bar has a pinball machine and they thought they could own me. SO. WRONG. If you think you're good at pinball I officially challenge you. I might not beat you but I will definitely have fun trying :)

Dress: A small boutique in Syracuse
Jacket: Guess
Watch: Target
Shoes that you can't see: Nine West nude pumps

So how have you all been? I promise I will be back to blogging soon and will update you with all of the weekends I spent running half marathons and then lathering in Biofreeze. Oh, and I finally found my holy grail running shoes! I know you can hardly stand your excitement for hearing about them :)

Also, as always I am linking up with the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.


Glossybox vs Birchbox: September 2012

Well ladies, it's that special time of the month again. No, not that one! The one where I compare this month's Glossybox and Birchbox and I have to tell you, it's tough to tell which one is better this month.

First, a quick run down of what they are in case you were unaware.

Glossybox and Birchbox are both monthly subscription services where you get a sampling of beauty products to try.

Glossybox: $20/month
Birchbox: $10/month
Glossybox: Usually the last week of the month
Birchbox: Usually the second week
Glossybox: Higher end with one or more full sized products included each month
Birchbox: Mid to high end with deluxe samples and the occasional full sized product

After going back and reading last month's review I think that it seems like I like Glossybox over Birchbox which is not exactly the case. Glossybox has just been sending better items the last few months whereas I was getting frustrated for a while with what I was getting from Birchbox. Last month was getting on track to a better box and this month's was amazing! I was ridiculously excited when I opened this box and you will see why in a minute.


This month Birchbox teamed up with Vogue to create a box to "jumpstart your autumn beauty collection" (their words, not mine, but I still like it).

1) Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir perfume sample I am loving the smell of this, it smells like WASPy yacht club society ladies which I am putting in a request to be reincarnated as. I'm already planning on purchasing a small travel sized bottle of this as it's much heavier than my typical scents so I will only use it on special occasions but it's seriously delicious.
2) Color Club Birchbox Custom Color in Put a Pin in It I think I read that these colors were inspired by fall and Pinterest and although it's pretty I'm not into shiny nailpolishes in the least so I will probably stash it to use in a giveaway someday soon. 
3) Dr. Jart+ BB cream I haven't found a BB cream yet that will rip the Dior foundation that I worship from my hot little hands but I still give them all a fighting chance. Maybe this one will be the one? I'm not sure though because it's American made (see the Glossybox review below for more info on what I mean).
4) twistband hairtie I think these are really cute to wear around your wrist but they don't hold my hair tight enough because it's too straight and slippery and slides right out. It's good to keep in my work bag as a backup though (nothing is worse than needing a hair tie and not having one, am I right or am I right?). Plus the print is so cute so who cares if I look like a hot cheerleader mess?
5) Fekkai Essential Shea Shampoo and Conditioner This made me squeal in happiness a little. I know it's just a sample but I LOVE this duo and I always have some in my shower to use once a week or so just to switch things up (my daily combo is Redken Clear Moisture which I've used for years). It lasts about a year that way but last time I decided to change and I got the glossing version instead and I've been missing this one so I'm happy to get a wash or two of happiness out of it.
6) The Brushguard Variety Kit This was a lifestyle extra and I think it's supposed to hold the shape of your makeup brushes as they dry after you wash them. I'm pretty excited to try it on my Mac 188, it gets a case of Florida humidity style disco momma hair after I wash it and spreads out like crazy which is annoying. 
7) THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE BOX Do you see that little card in the middle? The one that has the magical word "Madewell" on it? Also known as ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORES OF ALL TIME?? It was a $25 off a $75 coupon code and I do mean was because I already used it. I'm also working on convincing my friend to give me her code too. I have no shame.

Overall this was my favorite box I have ever gotten from them and it may be because of the Madewell code. It's the little things, people.

This month's theme was also fall which is perfect because everyone knows that the fall in upstate NY is the best ever. Why else would we have droves of people flocking in just to look at leaves? If they knew what it was like to have to rake them day after day then they may change their tune a little but it means unlimited supplies of freshly baked apple cider donuts at the apple orchard near my house so whatever.

1) GKHAIR Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Are these boxes telling me something with the hair cleansing items? Because I swear it gets washed 1-2 times a day much to my stylist's dismay. Anyway, I've never heard of this brand but it smells amazing and it has keratin in it which is all the rage right now (for people with body and volume and curl in their hair, none of which I posses). There aren't any ounces listed on them but they are a decent size and they retail full size at $20.00 apiece.
2) Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water I am most excited about this because it looks just like Bioderma which I have heard great things about but can't get here in the states unless I order it from Amazon at an exorbitant amount. It's a water like makeup remover that (allegedly) leaves no residue and I am always on the hunt for something that won't tick my super sensitive skin off. This bottle is 3.38 fl oz which is a full sized product that retails at $13.00.
3) Kryolan for Glossybox lipstick in Glossy Pink I have known about Kryolan for year but have never owned any of their products. They were originally created as stage makeup I believe (I may be wrong and I'm too lazy to google it) but have gone more mainstream in the last few years. Seeing as I am getting old and inching towards my mid early thirties I have started liking lipstick so I am pretty excited about this. It is a full sized product and retails at &14.
4) Missha My Perfect Cover BB Cream I learned about BB creams a few months ago from an online friend who is obsessed with them. She has told me time and again that they were created in Asia and that while they have finally caught on in the US, our versions are nowhere near as good as the Asian ones. A BB cream is supposed to be a tinted moisturizer, foundation and SPF all in one and they are supposedly amazing. I have only used American ones but this will be my first Asian one as it is Korean made. This is a full sized product and retails at $29.99.

In total the amount of full sized products in this month's Glossybox totalled around $57, plus the shampoo and conditioner samples. I just got this box today so I haven't tried anything yet but I am excited to.
I am not sure if I have mentioned it before but not everyone gets the same thing in their boxes. The Glossybox is mostly the same (for example a friend got a mattifying lotion instead of the cleansing water) but the Birchboxes tend to be vastly different every month. When you sign up you create a profile that sends you products a little more tailored to your needs.

Oh! Also! I finally convinced a man friend of mine to sign up for Birchbox Man so look for Justin to be doing a guest post review of his Birchbox when it arrives! (and there will probably be some gratuitous bunny pics as he has two as well that I call The Bits).

As always, here is a link to join Birchbox if you'd like. Or if you are more interested in Glossybox send me an email to and I will send you an invitation. 

How were my pictures this month, any better? I will still be using my iphone until I get fancy and buy a real camera someday but I took them near the window on Trixie's kitty ledge and she wasn't too happy about it. She tried to sneak in to sit on top of everything and I caught her in the act.

My molding is not yellow, I swear. It's slightly off white. 


Hello again!

Friends, if I could give you one piece of advice about running it would be this: Body Glide. And don't forget to use it when you decide to run 13 miles. Or 9 miles as I did last Sunday and forgot it then, too. I'm paying for it now, that's for sure. I wore a new sports bra today and it rubbed spots raw on my collarbones which is miserable and I forgot to load my feet up on it too and got two massive blisters.

So anyway, if you caught that yes, I ran 13 miles today. I wanted to make sure I could do it before my race. Neither my running partner nor I were into the run today so it was slow going and even though I was mentally prepared for it my body draaaaaaagged. I hate those runs, they never make you feel good because you feel like you're fighting against your body the entire time. However last Sunday I ran 9 and it was an awesome run and I felt like I could go forever. I'm hoping I am that way next Sunday for my race.

I was still happy when it was over.

I apologize for being absent but once I found out I was out of work for another three weeks I got pretty depressed. Noah the PT and I talked about my running and I decided to cut way back to help my back rest and that's been upsetting. I really wanted my mileage closer to 30 miles a week at this point but I am only doing Sunday long runs, Tuesday training runs and then an easy run on Friday or Saturday which is hovering me in the 17-20. I also stopped with the massive cleaning of my house (most of it is done anyway) and spend most of my days laying on the floor of my living room. For those that think I am living it up while being out of work, I'm not. I've listened to my doctor and PT since the beginning and have done everything they suggested in order to heal sooner. Neither have ever told me to stop running completely since the initial 3 weeks I took off in July which I'm grateful for. Noah the PT is also a runner and he understands that I can't just stop without being insanely miserable so I've just cut back. Mentally it's still hard though, I am so used to going going going all the time and holding down the floor of my living room gets old fast. Thank goodness for Netflix and Youtube is all I can say.

The great news is that I am going back to work on October 1st *cue cheers and confetti*. I also have my MRI tomorrow so I will finally know what is going on which I am hopeful is nothing major. I will never understand human medicine and the idea that the answer of "I think" is better than "I know". I feel like I have to fight for diagnostics to identify the exact problem vs veterinary medicine where we want answers and we want them in 10 minutes. Such a different world.

In other news, Trixie has finally taught Archie how to play dead. If you see in this first picture, she has been working on it since Archie was very young and I think the bun finally has it perfected.

Look at how tiny Archie is trying to sit in her hay bowl! I die.

A pro.


Welcome to Miami. And by Miami I mean Destin.

Yesterday I took the bun outside for the first time. I thought she would be really excited about it but it turns out that for the second time in my life I was wrong (I won't tell you about the first time, it still stings). I thought I would put her harness on her, set her in the grass and she would do happy bunny leaps of joy (called binkies) and eat a bunch of grass. Instead she freaked out until I opened her crate at which point she ran in, peed in the corner and did 10 minutes of angry digging on her blanket. That will show me I guess.

Sitting on my lap is better than the terrifying grass, apparently.
Not. Happy.

I spent the better part of this week in Destin, Florida with an awesome friend of mine. We didn't do much except hang out on the beach and drink a gallon or two of wine and it was glorious. I also got a second degree sunburn but that's par for the course, there's no amount of SPF that protect my milk white self from speeding towards melanoma (for the record I was wearing SPF 70). Because of my sunburn that I got the first day there I didn't run at all and that combined with spending so much time relaxing means that my back feels better than it has in over a month!

If you're looking for a great hotel I highly recommend the Hilton Sandestin.
Despite the fact that the entire area was overrun with children (seriously, it was crazy but they all cleared out by Monday) the hotel was awesome as was the area of Destin. The beach was right out the back door of the hotel and there were two outdoor pools and one indoor pool. We rented an umbrella and chairs and sat by the ocean (that was so warm to swim in!) and at night we took the little trolley that the hotel shuttled people back and forth to the warf area with. There was shopping and restaurants there and lots of outdoor music. There are also quite a few shopping areas in the town and I finally found a black blazer that fit my abnormally small shoulers properly! I even got to go to my first Tommy Bahama which was a neat restaurant with fantastic sangria. We had so much fun and it was a great week.

I thought for sure that I would go to my recheck appointment at my doctor today and he would give me the green light to go back to work on Monday but instead he told me that he wants me out another 3-4 weeks. Womp womp. I understand his reasoning because over a month ago my back was feeling better and I went to work full force and reinjured it but that doesn't make it any easier to hear. The good news is that I bargained with him to let me call in a week to see how I am feeling and reevaluate so that I can maybe return sooner. I also have to go for an MRI which is never exciting, I usually do ok for the first 15 minutes and then remember that I am stuck in a huge magnetic tube and can't move and then I start to panic but I AM looking forward to knowing what exactly is wrong. I'm staying positive that they find nothing and it's all been psychosomatic ;)

I leave you with a shout out to my awesome hat that saved my face from getting charred on the beach, high five to JCrew.


August weight loss and running report

My August weight loss didn't go as well as I'd hoped (I wanted to try for 10lb lost, what was I thinking?). I "only" lost four lb but hey, that's 4 less on me! My measurements have gone down and that is better than the scale going down so I'll take it. I'm pretty sure I'm not losing weight as quickly because I'm not eating enough calories. I just don't eat a lot in general and when you take sugar and carbs out of your diet your caloric intake is almost non existent. At least mine is, unless I decide to eat bacon every single day which would be gross. I am not on that "OMG BACON IS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!1!1!" bandwagon. I mean, it's good with pancakes but I don't die over it. Except for the burgers at Nosh in Portland, Maine that have bacon ground into the burger meat and they're amazing. My September goal is 5lb, something attainable I think... I hope.

As for running my mileage and workouts were good for this week, here's the run down:

Sunday: 10 miles
Monday: Physical therapy (trust me, it's a work out)
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: Jullian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout
Thursday: 3.5 miles and physical therapy
Friday: Rest day (PT made me really sore the day before)
Saturday: 5 miles

Total mileage: 22.5! I'm finally past the 17 mile barrier I've been hanging out in!

I'll be missing my running group tomorrow and Tuesday so I am going to try and stay focused and get my miles in anyway. I've been rotating shoes between my old busted Ravennas and the devil Mizunos and I am getting less blisters. I'm still getting them but not as many and they're in different spots which is good. The ones that frustrate me (and hurt) the most are the ones that form right under and area that had one a day or two before. I am thinking of switching to Nikes for my next shoes, I keep seeing a lot of people wearing them and it makes me curious to see what they would be like. I haven't had a pair of Nike's since high school so I have an unbiased opinion of them. Plus I could create my own color combo online and they will make them for me, how awesome is that?? Here's what I came up with:

How awesome do they look? I mean, really. They're pretty amazing and I can even get my name on the tongues which is an A+ in my book, I like all of my things branded with my name so no one touches my stuff. Yes, I'm an only child. Why do you ask?

My back is pretty ticked at me when I run anything over 6 miles but I just need to work on getting it stronger. I haven't been showing as much improvement as Noah the PT would like so when I go to my doctor recheck on Friday (the one that determines if I can go back to work or not) he wants me to discuss with my dr having xrays and/or an MRI done. Awesome. Pttthhhhb. I'm trying to stay positive but I got really upset when he said that on Thursday and I almost became a blubbering mess so we only did an hour's worth of exercises vs 1.5-2. I'm hoping that I can regroup the next few days and rally to bring my positivity level back up because being a piss ant isn't going to get me anywhere.

Does anywhere out there run in Nikes? What do you think of them if you do?


What I Wore Wednesday: Wedding edition

Confession: If I am going to be honest I will tell you that I am sitting on my living room floor in a tshirt that says "I mustache you a question but I'll shave it for later" that an awesome friend gave me in my comfy pants doing back exercises so my What I Wore Wednesday would look more like I belong in an episode of Hoarders if I posted it accurately. Well, except that my living room is sparkling clean because I finished tearing it apart and putting it back together this morning. Therefore I thought it would be more fun to post what I wore to my cousin's wedding this weekend.

I know that I say over and over that Banana Republic, JCrew and BCBG are my three favorite places to shop but Ann Taylor really should be in there too. Their clothes are great quality and so classic that it's like we were meant to be together forever. Oh, and their petites fit me like a dream (except their pants, I will warn you that the length and fit can be questionable so always try them on). Their stuff can be pretty pricey but if you find something you like stalk it until you find a great deal.

This dress is a prime example of that because I had seen it on the website for months but $148 for a sheath dress isn't an amount of money I wanted to spend. Then last Sunday, less than the week before the wedding, all of their sale items online were an extra 50% off for less than 24 hours so I managed to snag it for $40. I chose regular shipping and prayed that it would arrive in time (and fit!) and it showed up on Wednesday! It's the first time I had ordered something online from them and their shipping was amazing.

In a 12P it ended up fitting perfectly (as I've mentioned before you have to try their petites, they fit great but I usually need to go up a size because I am currently a 10) and it was so gorgeous. This is how I styled it for the wedding (I also took a black cardigan in case I got cold) but for work I would pair it with a black blazer, nude pumps and maybe even a skinny nude or black belt. I just love the brush strokes on the dress so I wanted to keep it neutral and simple to really let the print shine. I'd even wear this out but I would probably put my cream leather motorcyle jacket over it which would be too amazing for words.

Dress: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Aldo (much more comfortable than they look, they're my favorite shoes I own)

Clutch: Ann Taylor (I got it on clearance a few months ago for $15!)
Bracelet: Ann Taylor
Earrings: Banana Republic

I just noticed something interesting, it seems that I tend to pair things from one store together a lot. I'll have to start paying attention to that more because I'm not sure why that is.

Make sure you check out the What I Wore Wednesday post over at The Pleated Poppy see some other great outfits!


Sunday Runday: I Saw the Sign

There were two conversations between my physical therapist and I this morning that disturbed me more than the fact that he likes to push on my hip flexors so hard that I start to think that I was exaggerating the pain of that one time I ran a half marathon on a stress fracture and what it feels like to get a tattoo on your ribcage. They went something like this:

Him: You really need to start cross training and strength training.
Me: I don't understand the question, did you just say I should increase my long runs?

Him: I really don't think it's a good idea for you to wear high heels.
Me: I don't understand the question, did you just ask me to stop breathing?

I don't think English is Noah the PT's first language because I have difficulty comprehending the things he is trying to say to me. Maybe I'll ask him about his homeland on Thursday.

Yesterday was Sunday aka long run day and my plan was to run 7 miles. Well, that's a bit of a stretch, my plan was to attempt to run 7 miles. I wasn't sure how far I could go because to be completely honest I have a hard time getting through 3 miles on my own because I wuss out every time. I "run" 7 miles on my own once a week or so but there is a lot of walking involved so I usually average 12:30-13 minute miles. When I got to the lake my friend that I have been running with said that she was planning on doing 10 miles because she is one motivated lady. I, on the other hand, had eaten my weight in dinner rolls and wine at my cousin's lovely wedding the evening before so I was aiming for 7 which was the distance that our coach had mapped out for us.

Another lady I have run with on occasion joined us and we talked and ran and when we got to the water stop at mile 2 that was where we were going to split. If you can see where this story is going then brownie points to you...I decided to try 10 miles. I figured why not? So what if I had only been running 4-5 miles as my long runs? I could do it right? Of course I could! I wasn't going to chicken out in front of other people! And I didn't want to be left behind!

And that right there is the entire reason I signed up for this half marathon training group, because I will always push myself a lot harder if there are other people around than if I am alone. And it turns out that I ran the 10 miles just fine. It was pretty slow, probably 11minute miles but so what? That means that more than a month before my race I am basically ready to run it and that makes me extremely happy. I wasn't even sore at all this morning (until Noah the PT beat the snot out of me so I came home and took a nap because everything hurt) which, combined with the fact that I have been running 4-6 miles with no issues for the last few weeks, means something awesome: my base is finally back! After a long summer of taking things slow and building it up I finally have a decent base and that, my friends, makes me ecstatic. To be able to run 10 miles with no real issues is exactly what I have spent the last 3 months trying to get to. I could cry with happiness.

And since I can't leave this post without a picture, here's the only thing that could make me even more ecstatic: seeing my babysitter, aka my other mom, and her husband at my cousins wedding. I don't get to see them nearly as often as I would like and I love them even more than I love running.


Glossybox vs Birchbox: August 2012

After the amount of questions I got from my initial Glossybox vs Birchbox post I thought I would try to do a monthly comparison between the two because that may help people decide if they want to join or not. And if not, they can still see what I got because hey, I like to look at other people's stuff that I don't have. It's probably one of my favorite past times *cough* Youtube haul videos *cough*

Of course I decided this last week about a week after I had ripped apart my Birchbox so the pictures aren't as great from that box. They aren't as great in general unlike my fabulous friend Bethany over at Rinse. Repeat who makes forks and half eaten muffins somehow look like the most magical thing in the universe. This is my first official go at this so I will try harder next month, maybe strap the products on the bun or something.

In case you didn't read my initial post (which you can find here), Glossybox and Birchbox are both monthly beauty sample subscriptions. Here's a quick rundown:

Glossybox: $20/month
Birchbox: $10/month
Glossybox: Usually the last week of the month
Birchbox: Usually the second week
Glossybox: Higher end with one or more full sized products included each month
Birchbox: Mid to high end with deluxe samples and the occasional full sized product

Onto the boxes!

Both boxes have a theme each month and Birchbox's August theme was Beauty School. It contained a really cute fold out pamphlet with all sorts of beauty tips and tricks on it. Because I just decided to do these posts it is long gone as I am in a cleaning frenzy but trust me, it was cute.

- Viva la Juicy Fleur perfume bu Juicy Couture
- Shu Umera hair oil
- Talika eye makeup remover
- Stila curling mascara
-Schick Hydro razor

I was most excited about that razor, not gonna lie. I got a free one of the same kind except for men a few months ago and it's amazing. I can't wait for a 10 blade razor someday at this rate. I was really excited about everything else too, the first time maybe ever because BB can be hit or miss with what the send. I actually own the original Viva la Juicy perfume so I'm excited to try this one, I've been using the mascara on my lower lashes because it has a teensy little brush that's perfect, I've become obsessed with Argan oil for my hair the last month so I'm all about any hair oil (if it won't weigh it down, that is) and I've been looking for a good eye makeup remover. Overall a good box!

My Glossybox arrived today amidst much anticipation because I had seen them hint at Illamasqua nail polish being in the boxes. Illamasqua is a brand that I often drool over at Sephora but have never purchased because it's $14 a bottle and if I am going to spend that kind of bank on nail polish it's going to be Butter London because they have such unique colors. However, the thought of one almost FREE had me in a tizzy so I was wishing and hoping and praying to the nail polish gods that it would arrive and not be the lime green shade and....

I GOT ONE!!! And in a gorgeous pink/orange color called Alarm. It was in a box but I ripped that baby out and painted one of my nails as soon as it was open.

-Illamasqua nail polish in Alram (full sized, retails at $14/bottle)
-Ellis Faas Creamy Lips lipgloss (full sized, retails at $35/tube)
-Touch in Sol Feel Like Honey Moon Skin Base (1.06 oz, full size is 1.13oz and retails at $20)
-Ole Henriksen Truth Serum face serum (0.5 oz, full size is 1oz and retails at $48)
-Biolage ExquisiteOil Hair Replenishing Treatment (sample size)

These iphone pictures are professional quality. Am I right or am I right?

Overall this box was amazing with three almost full sized products and many high end products which went along with their theme of Pure Luxury. The color of the lip gloss is almost a milk chocolate color which would look great on some people but isn't great on me and $35 a tube?? Crazy talk. I'm newly obsessed with the realization that I am 32 which is almost 35 which is right around the corner from 40 which is middle aged so I have to start taking care of my skin so I'm excited to try the face serum. The face primer claims to be a primer and moisturizer in one which I am skeptical of but I'm interested in giving it a shot and I love hair products so that one is a no brainer. If you add up the full (and almost full) sized products that makes this box worth well over $70!

And if you want to know more about the products including how I know how much each item retials for here is the card included with it (Birchbox has a description card as well but again, it's long gone).

So what do you think? It it worth the money to get a box if surprise goodies every month? Are you a member of either (or both) and if so what did you get that was different than mine?

If you would like to sign up for Birchbox here is a link to do so. If you'd like an invitation to join Glossybox just send me your email address to and I will send one out to you :)


Checking in

Life as a woman of leisure has been interesting. If you could see the utter chaos I am sitting in the middle of right now as I type this you would probably be horrified and never talk to me again but it's impossible for me to sit still and I am trying to get my life organized. I'm doing it within the confines of my back and am doing it slowly which means it looks like my house is throwing up on itself but I am hoping I will be done by next week (fingers crossed). For the record the only thing that really hurts is doing laundry but unless my doctor is doing to come make sure all my running clothes are springtime line dried fresh there's not much I can do. Anyway, I figured I would give you a play by play of the last week or so in my life because it has been so terribly interesting ;)

I spent feeling sorry for myself and not doing much after my PT. These things happen and sometimes you have to wallow in self misery for a while or, in my case, several days. I also spent a significant amount of the day trying to figure out my medical leave situation because it appears that these things are never cut and dry and I may not get paid again and be able to feed my cat and rabbit until 2013.

I woke up early and went for a seven mile run that seemed like a good idea but my back wasn't in agreement. After that I went to Ulta for a makeover by an Urban Decay makeup artist. A few years ago all I owned was Mac makeup and while I like it I've started to branch out the last year or so and have discovered that I really like Urban Decay. Their quality is really fantastic and my life wouldn't be the same without the Naked palette. It was the first time I had ever had my makeup fully professionally done (and definitely using all one brand) and it was pretty awesome. Well, other than the fact that she refused to put liquid eyeliner on me because I needed to "try something new", whatever that means. So here's my "after" face since I don't post nearly enough extreme close ups of my old lady face.

I would just like to give a shout out to all the Dior and Nars makeup in my life, this doesn't mean I love you any less, I was just doing something different for the day. I promise.

After that I packed up my car and headed to Boston. A friend of mine since high school (who I haven't seen since then) started running a while ago and asked if I would like to run a 5k with her months ago. Run a 5k no, run with someone new in a new city yes so the yes's won out. We went to dinner at a burger place when I arrived that had one of the biggest menus of burgers I had ever seen. My stomach was on strike and let me know just how unhappy it was to receive such a thing but my friend's boyfriend got a burger with Mac and Cheese on it and it was even more stomach clenching looking than my plain one.

After that we went to Hard Rock Cafe to a cd release party (aka the sort of thing that never happens in Syracuse, at least not at a big awesome place with Christina Aguilera's bra hanging on the wall) and on the way home we saw this. I don't think it needs any words, just know that it has entered the Top 10 Moments of My Life.

For the record, if I die in the next 10 years someone please make sure I'm buried in my white leather jacket. Thanks.

Race day and we ran the Tavern to Tavern 5k through Harvard Square. It was only the second year they have done it and it was by far the scariest race I have ever done because they didn't have nearly enough police on route for the full on intersections we were cutting across with cars trying to run us over. I went my usual snail's pace but instead of a 12:30mm which is what I have been pulling I threw down a solid 11mm race. Someday my 8mm will be back, someday...

After that we hung out for most of the day at the bar the race ended at. The longer we sat there the more stuff they kept giving away so in addition to my tech shirt and medal I came home with two glasses and another tshirt. Some people when home with 5 plus tshirt but let's be honest, I probably won't even wear the one I have let alone 5. The good news is I ate another cheeseburger (no carbs whaaat??) that didn't revolt against me and they had amazing Sangria which I am officially addicted to.

Did I mention that I had lost a bet with my Maine coworkers and had to run in a Red Sox shirt? If that's not love I don't know what is.

After we left I took a shower and then headed home a little (ok, a lot) depressed that I did not see one rat at the subway which is why NYC is 10 times greater than any other city. Rat spotting is the best game ever created.

Monday- Today
Monday I spent the day in bed feeling sorry for myself because my back hurt from all that driving and watching Youtube. I felt much better on Tuesday so I started ripping my bathroom apart to reorganize it. That night I had my training run where we played a game where we had to run out and back in 20 minutes and then do it a second time without looking at our watches to get as close to 20 minutes as possible. I came in at 19:23, curses! I sang The Final Countdown during the majority of the 40 minutes and I think everyone else was really excited about it. Yesterday I started ripping my living room apart (despite the fact the bathroom isn't 100% done) and really went to town on it today. I even bought new mini blinds and put up new curtains after I scrubbed my windows. AND I just watched the slipcovers on my furniture as the bun's hair will last through a nuclear holocaust despite how much I vacuum and lint roller. That's why I am sitting in total chaos though. Oh, and I ran 4 miles this morning and I got my base back! But I'll probably talk more about that tomorrow. Or the next day.

Tomorrow I get to go to visit Noah the PT and we'll see if my exercises I've been doing twice a day have helped. I don't feel any different so I'm not sure but the girls sure like to "help" me. When I do the ones on my stomach the bun sits right on the small of my back and takes a bath or chews my hair. After that I will probably go running again and then try to get this living room in order. Pray for me.

"Mom's on the floor, maybe she has treats!!!"
The excitement of my days is overwhelming you, isn't it? I completely understand, I'm downright exhausted.