Friday Favorites

What a week! I am feeling a lot better, but my stomach is still giving me problems! My sister (the nurse in training!) thinks that I have food poisoning verses a virus. In that case it can take up to two weeks for it to move out of my system. Oy!

At any rate it is almost the weekend so I think we should focus on the better things in life! It has been for-ev-er since I have done a ‘Friday Favorites’ post, so I thought that I would bring it back from the dead today. Here is what is rocking my world as of late:

Favorite Read: Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock

dancing on broken glass

This book, oh this book. The story, the characters, the prose. It captured my heart. From amazon:

“Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes—he has bipolar disorder; she, a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry.

Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work—and they put their commitment in writing. Mickey will take his medication. Lucy won’t blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, there are good days and bad days—and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.”

I finished this novel almost two weeks ago, but I keep thinking about it. I love when a story stays with you and you wonder what the characters are up to now. This is one of those stories!

Favorite Jam: Anything – and I mean ANY-THING! – by the Avett Brothers

They can do no wrong in my eyes. Every song speaks to my heart. Joe and I saw them live for the second time this month and the whole show was perfection. Each song is poetry set to the music of strings and amazing vocals. Besides that, those brothers are HAWT! The folky, hipster, banjo lover in me cannot get enough.

Favorite Eye Candy: Charlie Hunnam charlie hunnamI am still watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and I am almost done with season four, aka the season where Jax cuts of his hair. And just when I think that he could not possibly get any hotter. Does anyone else watch this show?! It’s gooooood. Someone please tell me that Clay gets what he deserves. No wait! Don’t spoil it for me!

Favorite Polished Paws: OPI Mermaid Tearsnail

A perfect shade for the Spring Fever that I have building up inside me!

Favorite Truth:run quoteFavorite Dainty Feet: Toms Crochet ClassicstomsI think there are two types of people in this world: those who love TOMS shoes, and those who think they are ugly. I LOVE them. Every Spring I treat myself to a fresh, new pair and this year that pair will be the crochet classics. Best part is they are giving free shipping right now if you use promo code: CROCHET13. I love me a good deal!

Favorite Bite: Baked Mac & Cheese with Kale and Baconwhitecheddarmacncheesekalebacon1-1

Joe and I are HUGE mac & cheese fans and once we can handle rich foods again I am so making this!

Favorite Mitten Love: Manistee Pure Michigan 

This is my hometown! I love that the beauty of my small town is getting a lil’ recognition!

Favorite Running Must Have: Diamond Roga Shortsdiamond-roga_5

How cute are these?! I so see me nabbing a Spring half marathon PR in these babies ;-)

Favorite Funny: Off the Leash Dog Cartoonoff the leash
This is my life! I have to laugh at this because it is so true!

Favorite A-ha: How to hang a sweatersweater

Let’s file this under ‘why didn’t I think of that!’.

Favorite Sip: Ginger Mint SmoothiesmoothieThis smoothie was the only thing that sounded (and tasted!) good to me this week. If your stomach is upset like mine was, ginger does wonders! Just sub more ice instead of milk and yogurt because dairy does not do wonders on a sour tummy. End result: Refreshing!

There ya have it! I am wishing everyone a happy, safe, and run filled weekend! I am kicking off mine with a Friday night wedding. Oh la la!

Tell me what you are reading, eating, sippin’, watching, or jamming to this week!

February Friday Favorites

Good morning blog world, happy Friday to ya! I la la love me some Friday. (Who doesn’t right?!) To start the weekend out on a positive vibe I have compiled my Friday Favorites for your reading pleasure…ENJOY!

  • The blogging community: To everyone who took time to read my post yesterday on pace, I thank you. I loved reading all of your encouraging thoughts and hearing what you had to say. Your support, knowledge, and positive comments never cease to amaze me. Thank you blogging community, I heart you!
  • Edy’s Frozen Yogurt: I feel so indulgent eating spoonfuls of this, but at only 100 calories a serving I have nothing to feel guilty about. And I wish they were paying me to say this, becuase I would shout it from the roof tops. SO GOOD! (This coming from a woman who does not have a frozen yogurt shop within a 100 mile radius. True sad story.)
  • Lululemon Run Pace Setter Skirt: I own nothing by the wildly popular Lululemon. I just can not justify the price. But I swear that my heart skipped a beat when I laid eyes on this skirt. It speaks to me. As in, “Amandaaaaaa, buuuuuuy meeeeee….” I am trying to be strong, but I can envision crossing a finish line wearing this baby.

  • Princess Charlie: My niece is on the road to recovery and rocking crowns! I can not even put into words how happy it makes me to see prayers being answered.
  • Fun. – We Are Young Featuring Janelle Monáe: This song is so darn catchy! On repeat in my world.
  • Mossimo Womens V-Neck Tee: I picked up this t-shirt at Target a couple of weeks ago and I love it. Super soft, comfy, and still looks great after a few washings (some Target clothes always get pilly or faded on me). Oh, and the price is only $10. I want to go back and pick up a few more.
  • Jelly Belly Sports Beans: I am a Gu girl, but a fellow runner let me try a few of her sports beans on a run this week and I really liked them! How could I not, they taste like candy! I am not sure if I would fuel with them all the time, but I might experiment with them some more.
  • This is How I Roll: This my friends is my favorite Pinterest find of the week. And the best part is that you can put it on a t-shirt!

Other Friday favs include getting my car back today! She has been in the shop since my fender bender last week and I am so excited to have a set of wheels again! (Yes, my car is a ‘she’. Her name is Sally the Stratus. What?! You don’t name your cars?)

Now your turn! Tell me some of your Friday Favs…what are you listening to, eating, reading, or wearing that you can’t get enough of?!

Do you name your cars?

They are here!!!

They are here! They are here! TOMS ballet flats are FINALLY here!

Be still my beating heart, I want them all. *Sigh*

But let’s get real. At $80 bucks a pop, that is not happening. I will have to choose just one pair. (This my friends IS the definition of first world problems.) I am thinking the leopard pair has my name all over it. Amanda, Amanda, Amanda.

I emailed the link to my husband with my shoe size. Do you think he will get the blinding hint?

In running news I am feeling much better this week than I was last. Energy levels are good. Motivation is there. And the weather? Oh, the weather. It has been unseasonably fabulous! It hit the 50 degree mark this week. In Michigan. In the WINTER. Amazing.

Monday night I ran 6 solo miles. I dusted off my iPod and ran around my neighborhood. I felt really good and kept it under 11 minute miles. Which is good for me these days. (Never claimed to be fast!)

Last night I met up with friends from my run group and we pounded out 7 miles. I loved our route which took us thru downtown Kalamazoo. It felt so nice to run on dry pavement and without a jacket. Perfect temps in the 40′s. This run felt so good that I wanted to bottle it up.

Tonight I am planning on doing 4 miles and then taking a rest day before my Saturday long run. On my ‘rest’ days I usually take my pup for a long walk and then do tons of stretching. I do not have access to a pool and I do not own a bike (I know. It’s a tragedy!) so what other form of cross-training should I do? Any suggestions?

What spring fashion are you lusting over? What is your favorite form of cross-training?

Friday (the 13th!) Favorites

Happy Friday!! I don’t know about you, but this week seemed extra long. Maybe because of the fact that it was the first five-day work that I have had in a while. That’s ok. I put my game face on and conquered it and now it is FRIDAY! Yes! And it is not just any old Friday. Oh no. It is Friday the 13th!

Yep. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this superstitious day.

But lets not get all doom and gloom on this notoriously bad luck day. No way! There are things to celebrate! Let’s get down to it, my Friday Favorites:

  • Charlie Rocking her Second Heart Surgery: My sweet little niece is still in the hospital, but she is recovering nicely. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support for my little peanut. We are hoping to bring her home soon!
  • Google Reader: Where have I been? Seriously. Why did I just now discover this gem. I set up my google reader account this week and my life is now so much better. And no, that is not an exaggeration. All of my favorite blogs and websites in one tidy place. Yes please!

  • Breaking Bad:  Again, where have I been?! Joe and I started watching this show on Netflix and we are smitten. Totally hooked. The show is about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer. With only a couple of years to live he finds a new sort of power and fearlessness. In hopes of securing his family’s financial future after he passes, he begins to cook and sell meth. This show is super addicting (no pun intended…ok, it was intended!) and I recommend. Highly (this time no pun intended, I swear!)

  • Brooks Utopia Thermal Running Pants: So comfy! I bought these pants with some gift cards that I got for Christmas and I love them. They fit great and I think that they would be perfect to wear over my leggings on the super cold days (kinda like the tundra of a day that I woke up to this morning).

  • White Wine: After a long day, a glass of white wine does this body good.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting: My husband and I are total dorks and when drinking said wine we like to watch movie trailers on-line. Gosh, we are exciting. Anyways, this trailer had us both laughing out loud...
  • The Denver Broncos: Choo, Choo! All aboard the Tebow train! I can’t help it. I am a fan. I was jumping on my coach, Tom Cruise style, when they won this past weekend. Best. Game. Ever.
  •  Toms Ballet Flats: Mark your calendars ladies, Spring of 2012, our beloved Toms are coming out with ballet flats. I can’t choose a favorite. I want them all! (Yes, I know that this is in fact the true definition of first world problems.)

Your turn? What is rocking your world this Friday the 13? Are you superstitious? 
Any new movies that you are looking forward to? Who are you rooting for in the Playoffs? 

Three Things Thursday: Shoes

Well, it’s still hot as all get out here in Michigan. All my husky wants to do is sit on the couch and pant:

 And all his Mama wants to do is avoid the heat at all cost. Which means my mileage is not what it should be this week. Blah.

While the heat is making me cranky, there is one thing that can put a smile on my face: SHOES! So in ‘Three Things Thursday’ style here are the shoes that I am particularly smiling about this week:

1.  Toms Ivory Women’s Glitters I have been eyeing these shoes ever since I became engaged, but my size was back ordered. Well they FINALLY came in! I am a huge Toms fan. My feet love them! And the best part is that for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a child in need. (Awesome!)

Oh, and they are super comfy. I plan on putting these on during my wedding reception to relieve my feet from my not so comfy heels. I mean, how cute are these?!

I love. I want to wear them now. Must not. I would have them filthy by September.

2.  Paris Hilton Women’s Suarey While with my ‘dancing shoes’ I went for comfort, my actually bridal shoes I went for style. I LOVE these heels. Are they comfy? Ummmm….no. Are they super hot?! You bet.

I’m so excited to rock these. I think that they are both classy and fun at the same time. I love.                                                                                                                                   

3. Asics Running Shoes Every runner has a ‘their’ brand or shoe they love. Mine is Asics. I love these shoes. This pair in particular trained many, many miles with me and helped me cross that half marathon finish line. 

So out of all the shoes I own (an embarrassing amount), these are my absolute favorite. I feel the most strong, the most powerful, the most kick ass when I am running in these shoes.

In fact, even though it is 5 million degrees out, I might go lace up these shoes now and hit the pavement.

Tell me: What’s your favorite pair of shoes and why? What brand or shoe do you like to run in?

My Four Mile Love Affair

I have not posted in a while because it has been a whirlwind of a week! I was very lucky to have my older sister and two beautiful nieces come stay with me for the weekend. I also had bridal shower number one (I will post more on bridal showers later!). I have had a crazy schedule and have made many excuses not to get any long runs in this past week:

  • My family is visiting….I can’t take off for an hour and a half just to run!
  • I have THE WORST cramps! Maybe I will skip running today…
  • It is flippin’ 94 degrees out…it is just way to hot to be running
  • I am just too tiered to run…I have not gotten any sleep lately.
  • My to do list is a million and one things long…I just don’t have the time tonight.

Seriously, I am THE QUEEN of justification. I can justify almost anything! Including not getting  my long run in this last week. But that does not mean I have given up on running all together. Oh no siree. You see, I am having a little love affair with the 4 miler.

There is something about a 4 mile run that I love. Maybe it’s the fact that I still feel as though I am getting a solid work out in, yet I am not over doing it. Oh, and the time factor. I can usually fit a four mile run in early in the morning before work or at the end of the day between dinner and my forever long to-do list. Anything over four miles I feel as though I need to find more time and schedule it in somehow.

The good news is that the past three nights or so I have mostly slept thru the night. I may get up once or twice, but I have been able to go right back to sleep. This is such an improvement over the last couple of weeks. I think one reason that I am sleeping a little better is that I have given up my other love affair:

I miss you!

It has been a few weeks since I have indulged in pop and I think that my body is FINALLY starting to adjust. Not that I drank a lot to begin with, but I did love an afternoon pick me up fountain Dr. Pepper. Two days after giving it up I started to get horrible headaches. Now those have past and even though I DO miss the wonderful sugar high of my favorite pop, I DO NOT miss the not so wonderful crash.

I also have accomplished a lot on the wedding front this week. The invitations are out and we have received lots and lots of compliments, so that has been awesome.

Oh, and my TOMS wedding shoes were finally restocked! So I ordered them today:

While some things are going better, some are not. My sweet niece Charlie had a doctor’s appointment today and is not doing as well as we hoped. Her cardiologist is very concerned because her oxygen levels are low and her growth has stalled . They may have to move her surgery up to August and they are looking into getting her a home nurse to help my sister out. Please continue praying for this sweet baby’s recovery.

Baby Charlie

Tomorrow is a new day and I may or may not have one last fling with the four mile run before I gear up for my Saturday morning Summer Safari run group. This week we are scheduled to run a 7 mile pace run. Next week we are up to ten miles, so whether I like it or not me and Mr. Four Miles will have to break it off sooner or later. *Sigh*

What is your favorite distance to run and why?

Lovely Day

I woke up this morning to sunshine, blue skies, 70 degrees, and a wonderful breeze….BEAUTIFUL! I am going to be so antsy at work today wishing I was outside to enjoy this weather. I am very much looking forward to my track work out tonight because it looks as if it is a perfect day for running. Not too hot like it was yesterday. I only put in two miles, but with the heat it felt like much, much more than that. Even my poor puppy can not stand all this humidity. He is shedding like crazy:

                                                              Just shave me!

I know that this break in the heat is not supposed to last too long (it is supposed to be back up near the 90 degree mark and muggy this weekend) so I am going to soak it in while we have it.

 You know what else makes me happy? Finding a super cute dress for my upcoming bridal shower. I can now officially check that off my TO DO list. I decided to go with this little number. I also got some super cute heels to match.
A new outfit and blue skies, could today get any better?  :-)

Rainy Days and TOMS

I have not ran since Monday. It’s Thursday. For the last two night I have gotten dressed in my workout clothes, synced up my GPS watch, and put my iPod playlist on “RUNNING” only to step outside to have it begin to downpour. This has happened TWO nights in a row! Trust me, rain I can handle. Lightening? Not so much.

Instead of throwing a work out video into the DVD player, I have used this time to work on my wedding invites and guest list. They are almost done! Just have a few finishing touches before they go out. Joe and I designed them ourselves, so I am very eager to see if our guest like them.

Speaking of the wedding, I think I found the perfect “Get me out of the heels and let me dance!” shoes:

Dancing Shoes!

They are currently out of stock, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be restocked before the wedding. I LIVE in my Toms Olive Canvas Classic shoes and want a pair in every color. Even their wedges are super adorable:

 MUST HAVE!

Maybe, maybe if I can reach some of my fitness goals, I will reward myself with some cute shoes! But first it NEEDS TO STOP RAINING! I really need to get a four mile run in tonight. Let’s hope that by the time I get out there, the rain has cleared up. Otherwise, I am going to have some explaining to do to my run coach on Saturday as to why I did not get my miles in. (I am not a dreadmill treadmill fan!) I guess I could just sing her this tune:

I Feel The Need For Speed – Cue The Track Workouts

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my goals for the fall half marathon is to shave off 8 loooooong minutes. I know that this is very attainable, but to do so I must work hard and that is where the dreaded track comes in. The track has always intimidated me. I mean lets face it – you do not run on the track for a leisurely run to take in the scenery. You run on the track for a workout and to have your butt kicked! Track workouts help you not only gain speed, but run faster longer. I did not do any track workouts prior to the Borgess Half Marathon and so I am very anxious to see how these workouts will pay off in the fall half marathon. Luckily for meTuesday track workouts are part of the Summer Safari training program. Hopefully this will hold me accountable and keep me motivated. Here is a great article from Runner’s World about the track:

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267–13152-1-2-2,00.html

My first track workout last night went much better than I thought it would. We eased into the track training with a 1 Mile Warm Up, 2 x 800 meter Cruise Intervals (CI) with 400 meter recovery, and 1 Mile Cool Down. Totally do-able and I felt great afterword.

One thing about the track – wowza! It’s HOT! Unlike running on a trail or by shaded trees, on the track I really fely the sun beat down on me. I am a lady who will use almost ANY excuse to buy new clothes and my excuse today is that I need new summer running clothes to help me beat the heat. Currently on my wish list courtesy of  Lululemon:

I am on a running skirt kick as of late. I can’t get enough! Not only are running skirts super cute, but they also rank high in the comfort department.

What are your favorite clothes or brands to run in?