Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bloggers just want to "shake it off"

One of favorite things about blogging is getting to be a part of a community. Sure, there's plenty of drama and there are always people who like to spread negativity, but I've found that to be such a small segment of the blogosphere that I really don't worry about them.  My four years of blogging in this space have been overwhelmingly positive.

As I've shared my life and followed the lives of others in their respective spaces, I've learned a lot and gotten to know some incredible individuals.  Some make me laugh. Some open my eyes to different perspectives. Some give me positive words when I need them most.

I have yet to meet one of my blog friends, but I look forward to that day.  Until then, I'll embrace the opportunities to collaborate with them on fun posts like this blogger lip sync. 

This is a pretty fitting song for the blogger world as well.  Enjoy!!

This is the second blogger lip sync I've been a part of (you can see the first one here).  Both were a blast to film, and the finished product always makes me smile.

Many thanks to Sar for collecting and editing the video.  Big high five to the other (and far more adorable) stars of the video:  Megan, Tamara, Veronica and Kevin, Neely, and Holly.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Music Monday: Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles - "Summer is Over"

Sometimes two of your favorite musicians collaborate.  And it's everything you want it to be.  This is a good example of that.

Yes, it's an older song, but it came up randomly on my iPod the other day and I was reminded of how much I love it. I also love the format of the video because it reminds me of "Pop-Up Video," which I used to watch all the time.

Also, since most people consider Labor Day the end of summer (even though it's not technically done for a few more weeks), today is pretty much the perfect day to share this.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekly round-up, Vol. 2

Yesterday, my office closed a few hours early for the holiday weekend.  Hungry and not quite ready to go home, I went to lunch with a few co-workers.  We had some much-needed laughs and I enjoyed a stout float.  You know, for when you can't decide if you'd rather have beer or ice cream.

In case you're wondering, yes, it was delicious!

Anyhow, let's get to these weekly reads so I can head out for a busy Saturday.

++ Monica at Run, Eat, Repeat is back with another well-timed post with some tips for a first-time half-marathoner.  Taking all of this in.  (I have a feeling she'll be in these round-ups a lot.)

++ Megan at Growing Up is Actually Kind of Fun welcomed her husband home from deployment last week.  The pictures in this post are amazing.  Cheers to Megan and B!

++ Bonnie at The Life of Bon received some unsolicited parenting advice. From talking to my mommy friends, I know this is nothing new.  I'm not sure how I would have responded in Bonnie's place.

++ Sarah at Venus Trapped in Mars pretty much nailed nearly all of the emotions I am bound to go through (minus the whole ranking expectations and wearing dresses to tailgate -- not a good idea) over the next few months with the 18 Stages of College Football Season.

++ I have a hard time keeping up with entertainment stuff, especially movies. Thankfully, Ricci at Imperfectly Ricci has listed some of the big movies coming out this fall.

++ Jen at Red lipstick and sneakers absolutely captured the mind games runners play.  Or at least I could completely relate.  P.S. Jen, if I'm a runner, you're a runner.

++ Cait at Fierce, Fabulous, and Fit just bought her first home with her husband and sweet baby girl.  She wants to know -- is registering for house warming gifts acceptable?

++ If you're looking to start a fitness challenge and want some accountability, look no further than the Create Your Own Adventure goal link-up which is being hosted by a few ladies already mentioned in this round-up as well as Steph at Not Entirely Perfect.

++ I love, love, loved that Holly at Hey, Hollywood went and told a kid to cry.  It's not what it sounds like from that description.  It's actually a good thing.  She offered some thought-provoking commentary on society's aversion to emotions and the expression of them.  Yes, yes, yes! Sometimes you just need a good cry. 

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Searching for the perfect race shirt

As I march through my training schedule for my first half-marathon, I'm both nervous and excited.  I've had some bad runs, and I've also had some really good runs.  I'm sure my actual race will be somewhere in between.

Beyond training and working on my nutrition, there's one other key race thing I'm thinking about -- my apparel.

I want to wear a fun or clever shirt the day of the race. I think I have it narrowed down to a few candidates, and I want my readers to help me choose one to wear.

[Etsy link]

[Etsy link]

[Etsy link]

[Etsy link]

[Etsy link]

Leave a comment with your favorite.
Voting will remain open until Sept. 12.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Another awesome 5-mile treadmill run!!
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: 6 sweaty miles on the trail.
Monday: Off.
Tuesday: 5-mile trail run with running club
Wednesday: Off.
Thursday: 4 miles on the treadmill -- no easy feat after a 12-hour work day


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Missing: My motivation

I have absolutely no drive or motivation this week.  The days feel long and I just look at everything I need to do and think, "nope, don't want to."  Unfortunately, I have to.  So I push through. 


Mentally, I'm just so checked out.  I'm kind of thinking it's because I worked at job number two over the weekend, so I didn't really have a weekend. I'm hoping the upcoming three-day break will help me get my head back in the game.

And now, let's get down to some confessions.

Vodka and Soda

:: I am a bottomless pit lately. I want to eat all the food.  All of it.

:: Over the weekend, everyone was tweeting about every Simpsons episode ever and the MTV VMAs. I wanted to join in.  But I don't have cable.

:: I'm supposed to do one of those ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos.  I think I've figured out the logistics of filming it on my own and I don't mind doing it, but I'm nervous about challenging people.  I don't want to annoy people.

::  I'm noticing lately that I have a lot of walls up. Just like Rome, they weren't built in a day.  And they're not likely to come down anytime soon either.  Just looking out for myself.

:: I've had a few invites for fun Labor Day gatherings, but I think I'm mostly going to lay low. Well, Saturday will be busy, but Sunday and Monday are going to be introvert recovery days.

 :: Speaking of Saturday, I'm very excited to welcome back college football!!

I guess I don't have a lot to confess this week.  How about you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A thought for today

I saw this quote on Pinterest and it just struck me.

It also reminded me that I need to pick up her newest book soon.  I loved her book about learning to let go and also the one about embracing the single life. Has anyone read "I've Never Been to Vegas But My Luggage Has"?  It's coming up soon on my to-read list.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Music Monday: Boyband rewind

This fall, one of my favorites, Todd Carey, will be hitting the road with O-Town on their reunion tour.  Naturally, that took me to YouTube finding some O-Town songs.

Remember this one?

I think we all know what they mean by "liquid dreams."  Eww.

How about this one?

And then I went down the rabbit hole a bit for a few of my favorite songs by what I would consider lesser-known boybands (anyone who wasn't 'N Sync, BSB, NKOTB, or LFO) ...

Well, that was a fun trip down memory lane.

Did I forget anyone?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly round-up, Vol. 1 ... plus a mini-rant

Last week, Allie wrote about the things we should be doing for other bloggers.  One thing she mentioned was sharing links.  It reminded me of when I used to do a weekly round-up of some of my favorite reads.  I decided it might be time to resurrect that and offer it up each Saturday.

So, without further adieu, here are some of the gems I read this week ...

++ Sar at Life of Love wrote about song lyrics she can't get behind.  
Yes!!  I've thought this during lots of songs that I liked or wanted to like ... but something in the lyrics kept me away.  For example, one day I was singing along with Katy Perry's "Firework," and I thought, "No, I have never felt like a plastic bag.  Couldn't she have found a better metaphor?!?!?"

++ Monica at Run, Eat, Repeat explains how you know you're ready for a half-marathon ... at least mentally. 
This one could not come at a better time.  I have had a lot of moments of self-doubt during my training.  I'm wondering if I bit off more than I can chew.  Reading her criteria, I'm back to believing I'm ready to take it on.  She also had a great vlog about running underwear (runderwear?).

++ I'm so busy these days, I rarely have time to make good meals, so it's a good thing Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats has me covered with 16 Easy 30-Minute Meals
I love love love her blog and have found so many good recipes there.  I'm only sad I missed her handing out free signed cookbooks at the Iowa State Fair a few weeks ago.

++ There's so much going on in the world right now, and I haven't been able to find the words, but Steph at Life According to Steph did with her Thursday Thoughts ... Interrupted.
She eloquently stated a lot of the thoughts I've been having lately but haven't been able to spit out.  Thanks Steph!

++ All my life I've been told I'm dramatic, so Allie at Allieology's post about a crazy customer service she witnessed hit me hard. 
I was appalled at the scene she described, but I laughed all the way through her own stories of being dramatic.

++ I've always been drawn to younger men, so I immediately clicked on this post from Simone at Skinny Dip about the things you learn while dating a younger man.
Now I'm thinking I don't want a younger man.  At least not a douchey one.  


And now, I'm going to end this post on a bit of a soapbox.

I don't usually argue with people on social media. Mostly because it's pointless.  I'm not going to change their mind, most likely.  But the other night, I'd decided I'd seen one two many status updates from people annoyed with "all those stupid ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos."  They rant, "Why don't people just give money instead of dumping water on their head?"  That's a valid point, but perhaps these ranters should do some investigating --- PEOPLE ARE GIVING MONEY.

The last article I saw said this campaign (which cost nothing to start --- a dream for any non-profit or even for-profit organization) has raised more than $53 million.  That's way above and beyond the $2 million that was raised last year during the same time period. Obviously, it's working.  And working very well.

I admit, when the videos started showing up, I was a little skeptical that people were donating and not just putting on a show for social media.  But the numbers have spoken.  And, you know what, I consider myself a charitable person, but I wasn't even considering donating until my office participated in the challenge.  I don't have a lot to give, but I was inspired to give what I could.  Clearly, the campaign is working.  So I'll shut up and let the videos fill my facebook feed.  I don't mind.  Not one bit.

The people complaining need to chill.  Let ALS have the spotlight for this little bit of time.  The cat videos, first day of school photos, Foursquare check-ins, Buzzfeed articles, etc. will still be there in a few weeks.

Thank you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

I might be a runner

I started running a few years ago, but I've had a hard time categorizing myself as a runner.  Why?

First, I'm not super competitive about it.  I only do a few races a year. 
Second, I'm not fast. I'm currently averaging about 11:30/mile.
Third, I don't "look" like a runner.  Yeah, I have it in my head that runners look a certain way.

But I realized recently that despite all these things, I might just be a runner after all.

Here are a few things that might push me firmly into runner status:

:: I refuse to spend more than $30 on shoes.  Unless they're running shoes.  I'm currently on my fifth pair of running shoes and none of them have cost less than $100.
Newest are on the far left, oldest are on the far right.

:: Last weekend, I had to skip a five-mile run. I was really disappointed about that.  In fact, I think I was as sad about missing that run as I was about missing a movie day with friends.

:: When I have a bad day, nothing clears my head better than pounding out a few miles on the trail.  Or the treadmill if I have to.

:: I hate paying full price ($10 or more) for a movie, but I have paid no less than $25 for any race registration.

:: I love talking to other runners about their gear, their rituals, and their accomplishments.  Stay tuned for a fun Q and A series with some of my favorite runners in the next few weeks.

Last week's workouts
Friday: Awesome 5-mile trail run!!!
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: Off. Had to skip a 5-miler because I was sick. :(
Monday: Off.
Tuesday: 4-mile trail run
Wednesday: 3-mile trail run
Thursday: My legs have been feeling kind of tired, so I found this 20-minute yoga sequence for runners.

I'm supposed to do five miles tonight, and between the humidity and the threat of storms, I guess I'll be hitting the treadmill.  (Yes, I still have a little gym time left.)  Yeah, so the fact that I have a Friday night date with a treadmill might also mean I'm a runner, right?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fifty questions

Back in the days of MySpace and email chains, I used to fill out surveys like it was my job.  So when I saw these questions answered by Allie and Juliette, I knew what my Thursday post would be for this week.  This is how I spent my one free evening this week (last night).  I know how to party.  

1. What are you wearing? 
Red tank top and underwear with polka dots.  What?  Don't look at me like that ...
I might need this sign for my place.

2. Ever been in love? 


3. Ever had a terrible breakup? 

Of course.

4. How tall are you? 


5. How much do you weigh? 
Less than I did four years ago but more than I did two years ago.  Sigh.

6. Any tattoos? 


7. Any piercings? 

Just my earlobes. I used to have my cartilage and belly button done, but I got bored with them.

8. OTP (one true pair, favorite fictional couple)? 

Marshall and Lily

9. Favorite show? 

I think this should be plural. Who has just one?  Parenthood, Nashville, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, Big Brother ... just to name a few

10. Favorite bands? 

Actual bands? Ingram Hill, Delta Rae, Red Wanting Blue, Maroon 5 ... just the first few that came to mind.  I have a crap ton of favorite solo artists though.  If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've been introduced to them.

11. Something you miss? 

"Friday Night Lights"

12. Favorite song? 

Ha.  This is harder than the shows/bands question.  But at the moment, I am enamored with "Headphones" by Matt Nathanson 

13. How old are you? 

14. Zodiac sign? 


15. Quality you look for in a partner? 

And now I feel like I'm online dating again. Blech.  I guess I'm looking for someone with whom I can totally be myself and feel loved and valued.

16. Favorite Quote?

17. Favorite actor? 
This guy's been my number one for a while now ...

... but this one has been slowly gaining ground over the last few years ...
I might have a type.

18. Favorite color? 


19. Loud music or soft? 

If I'm working, I want it soft. If I'm running, I want it loud.

20. Where do you go when you’re sad? 

Sometimes I'll go for a walk or run to burn off the feelings.  Other times, I just want to be alone in my apartment.

21. How long does it take you to shower? 

Around 10 minutes, unless I need to shave my legs, then add a few minutes.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 

I can go from pillow to ready-to-walk-out-the-door in about 40 minutes, and that includes publishing my blog post and making breakfast.

23. Ever been in a physical fight? 

Try again. I'm definitely not the friend you bring in case shit goes down. (This is Allie's answer, but I like it.)

24. Turn on?

Having a passion about something.  Not an obsession, but a strong interest and drive for something.  Also a great smile and good hands.

25. Turn off? 

Bad spelling and grammar. Someone who's inconsiderate.

26. The reason I started blogging? 

I was bored one day at work and knew it would take up some of that time. 2 years later, I'm still at it.

27. Fears? 

Driving next to semi trucks and pubic speaking

28. Last thing that made you cry? 


29. Last time you said you loved someone? 

Sunday at the end of my Skype chat with my best friend

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog? 

I guess I just wanted something that conveyed that I would always be honest and true to myself in this space.

31. Last book you read? 

"Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match" by Amy Webb

As an online dating veteran, I wanted to check out her experiences and insights.  I wasn't disappointed.

32. The book you’re currently reading? 

"Paper Towns" by John Green 
I loved "The Fault In Our Stars," and I'm anxious to read more of his writing.

33. Last show you watched? 

"Big Brother"  I loved the Zingbot appearance tonight. 

34. Last person you talked to? 

Vocally? Jaci.  Via text? Kam

35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? 

Good friends

36. Favorite food? 

Right now, all I can think about is fajitas, so we'll go with that. 

37. Place you want to visit? 
Every MLB ballpark.

38. Last place you were? 

Before I came home, I was at work. Very exciting.

39. Do you have a crush? 


40. Last time you kissed someone? 

Too long ago.

41. Last time you were insulted? 

To my face?  I'm not sure, but I can guarantee it's done behind my back plenty.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet? 
Ice cream - Vanilla
Cupcake/cake - almond/wedding cake

43. What instruments do you play? 
Flute ... and no, I never went to band camp!!!!

44. Favorite piece of jewelry? 

Two rings I got from my parents -- one for my 13th birthday and one for high school graduation.

45. Last sport you played? 

I ran earlier this evening. Does that count?

46. Last song you sang? 

I sang along with "Weightless" by Natasha Bedingfield during the cooldown from my run.

47. Favorite chat up line? 

I'm really not good at this.  <--- That's not the line, but it might as well be.

48. Have you ever used it? 

I'm guessing you're referring to #47, so .... obviously the answer is no.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone? 

Last week sometime.  I've been a busy girl.

50. Who should answer these questions next? 
Anyone who has a little time to burn.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another humpday = more confessions

Thanks to all those who agreed I should give up household cleaning after yesterday's post.  I'll have to see if my insurance will cover that.  Otherwise, well ... this girl's on a budget, so I might just have to suck it up for a while.  And just plan to get sick every time I clean.

Anyhow ... time for Humpday Confessions!

Vodka and Soda

---  The other night, I got a friend request from someone I haven't talked to or heard from in more than two years. And the last time we spoke, he ripped out my heart.  Now, I'm not saying I never forgive, but he could have at least sent a message explaining why he wanted to be in touch again.  Until then, this is my response to his friend request:

---  I realize yesterday's post was a giant whine session about being sick.  But this is my blog, so deal with it.

---  After such a good run on Friday night, I was really sad not to get to hit the trails again on Sunday.  Who have I become that I'm sad about not getting to run?

--- I have been itching to bake for weeks now.  Of course, now that I have time to bake, it actually feels like August outside.  But I don't care.  My co-workers were long overdue for some treats, which they're getting tomorrow. I still haven't decided what I'm baking, but baking will be happening.

--- This whole thing in Ferguson, MO, is unreal.  I've seen footage of the riots and I'm watching reports come out about members of the press being arrested for covering the events.  It all seems like something that happens somewhere else ... not in America.

--- I love having the right to vote and be a part of the political process, however I'm already sick of all the political ads on the TV and radio.

--- Sometimes I find myself driving without the radio on.  After spending a whole day on the phone and/or listening to all the chatter around my office, sometimes the quiet is a nice break.

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