Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday peeps! It's here again! 

What am I thankful for this week? I'm going completely basic this week. I am ever so thankful for my house. Yes. I know. Totally basic. But, this winter and the last wacky weather week has made me appreciate having somewhere warm to lay my head at night.

I admit, my bedroom does not have heat or air conditioning, but we're ok with this. We have adjusted (heated mattress pad/electric blanket in winter & fan in summer) and other than this year, we never had to worry about the lack. This year, I spent Jan. through early April sleeping on the sofa in the living room because it was just too darn cold!

But, you know what? WHO CARES???? I have a house. I have a place to put my crap. I have a place to rest my head - bed or otherwise. I have a place to eat. I have a place to house my adorable furbabies. I have a place to go when I need to get away. I have a place I can decorate and make my own.

I am lucky. There are many people who have no home at all. There are many people who want to own a home, but cannot. There are many people who would love to know where they are putting their head down at night.

So today I am thankful for my home. I am a lucky person to have the lovely place that I have. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who do you find beautiful?

We are bombarded by images of what is beautiful and what we should look like. I should be a size 0-2 with long blond hair, blue eyes, be 5'8", and have porcelain white skin. I can claim the blue eyes and fairly porcelain white skin (yea...I'm the lucky one who burns, then goes white again). I'm more of a size 16 (ugh), medium dark red (yea hair dye!), gray eyes (they can be blue, just depends on what I wear and my eye shadow), and 5'4". I'm not what you call the ideal woman.

Recently, I've decided who I believe is a gorgeous woman and someone who I want to emulate - Christina Hendricks. Christina Hendricks plays Joan Harris on the hit AMC show Mad Men.

Can I have this dress? Seriously. Can I?
I admit, I love this show. The writing is great, the costuming is gorgeous, and the acting a fantastic! Throughout the run of the show, I have been drawn to Christina Hendrick's character. Partly due to her attitude (and does she have it!), but also because of how they dress her. She is amazing and the costumers aren't afraid to dress her curves. Christina Hendricks has curves. And I think she is the first modern Hollywood star who flaunts them.

And this is why I feel I'm drawn so much to her. I have curves; I have an hour-glass figure big time. It's something I've always been proud of. One of the few physical features I've liked about myself as long as I can remember. And she makes curves look good.

Over the past few years I have gained more weight than I am happy about. Mad Men's fifth season started off this past Sunday and reminded me again of how much I admire Christina Hendricks and her body confidence. It is something I want to have.

Beauty isn't always model thin. It is confidence. It is knowing what looks good on you. It is feeling good about yourself. I learned this from both Joan Harris and Christina Hendricks. Which is why I am starting again to lose the weight. She is an inspiration and if I can look half as good as she does...well, then I can be a happy girl!

Who do you think is gorgeous? Who do you think sets a good body image example?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Motivational Monday

You know, this is so true. Unhappiness sucks. But, so much of it comes down to how we see a situation rather than the situation itself. How many times have we been sad about something, told a friend, and they didn't understand the problem? To us, it seems awful and cause for much teeth gnashing, but to others it's nothing.

We are all different - what I would be upset over might not upset you and vice versa. Of course there are those things that make us sad that we universally acknowledge as such and we (and others) allow for sadness and give sympathy. But, how many times does something make us sad that in reality, it's how we process it that is causing our feelings?

This week let's resolve to acknowledge our feelings about our situation, but determine if it truly warrants our sadness. Is it as bad as we think or will it be something that a week, a month, a year from now will not even be part of our memory? If we can recognize it's something that's fleeting, then maybe, just maybe, we can let it go without it ruining our today.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sole of the City 10k

Yesterday, hubby and I ran the Sole of the City 10k in Baltimore for the third time. We really like running in Baltimore, Charm City Run does a lot of races down there and they do a fantastic job! For the first time in our running "career" we had to chose between two races - Sole of the City 10k or Yuengling Lager Jogger 5k. We went with the 10k because honestly, there are fewer of them than 5ks.

We got up early to hit McHenry Row for packet pick-up. Our weekend initially was going to be crazy with a food truck event Friday night in York, then the race Sat. morning, then two Orioles games, but our tabby isn't doing well and we chose not to go away this weekend. Which means, we did packet pick-up morning of.

Parking was a bit dicey, but we found a spot not too far away and walked to get our bibs. We walked right into the store and up to the table. We had our bib and jackets within minutes - the ladies received the black jacket, the gentlemen the gray.

We dropped our jackets off at the car and put on our bibs and timing chips. Then we made our way to the start line. We took the obligatory selfie:

For a change, I got all of hubby's head in, but I missed my chin. LOL! Right after this, our friend Ada found us (we ran the St. Patrick's Day 5k in March with Ada!) and we got to see her and her friends before the race. The announcements were done - welcome, an introduction of Erika Brannock, a short speech by Erika Brannock (a MD runner who was seriously injured at the Boston Marathon in 2013), a fantastic singing of the National Anthem, then we were off!

This race is going to be hubby's last race until the fall as he will be having surgery on his legs next month. Within the first 50 feet he said his legs were hurting him. Uh oh. We kept going and thankfully it went away. We did a run half a mile/walk one minute interval. We were slow, but it was going well.

The race course changed from last year and took us through Fells Point and back. We really liked the Fell's Point area as we ran through and since it was Pirate's weekend, there was all sorts of stuff going on there! We debated stopping and just hanging out, but we continued on.

As an aside, we were running through Fell's Point and a gentleman had a sign saying "Ladies, run fast because Luke Bryan is waiting for you at the finish line!" I looked over and said, "Sir, I believe you are lying." He was quick with his response - "No, there is a Luke and a Bryan waiting at the finish line!" Touche sir, touche!

Hubby did GREAT! He ran further than he has since the last time we ran this race in 2013. I struggled during the last mile, but we came back to McHenry Row and ran across the finish line! Our friend Ada and her friends were there and were kind enough to give us bottles of water immediately. The temperatures were in the 60s, which is beautiful walking around being outside weather, but when you've trained in 10-20 degree temps all winter it was like running in an oven!

We chatted with our friends, then made our way back for some snacks...and beer. :-) We grabbed ourselves a pint of beer, a banana, bag of pretzels, and we had our waters.

And the obligatory post-race selfie...
From here, we checked out Charm City Run (because we are suckers) for buying running stuff after a race (and there was a $10 off coupon on the back of our bibs....). I grabbed a cute purple 5k shirt, while hubby grabbed a Baltimore themed shirt.

Since I want to run more 5ks this year, this will be the perfect shirt! It's soft too. I was able to get $10 off the shirt, so while pricey, at least it was a tad bit more affordable.

We headed home after our stop at the store and made our Saturday morning stop at Dunkin Donuts. We totally Earned Our Donuts yesterday!
I have a rule that I can only have an apply fritter when I run 5 or more miles. 6.2 completely allows me an apple fritter! So yummy!

Now, just a quick pros/cons from the 2014 Sole of the City 10k

Pros
  • It's a 10k (Not a common race distance around these parts)
  • The promo is a jacket (rare as well)
  • The course (all around Baltimore and loved the run through Fells Point!)
  • Start time (9:00 a.m. is helpful for those driving over an hour to get there!)
Cons
  • For this year only, the promo jacket was initially yellow but the color wasn't ready by the manufacturer in time. They replaced it was a black jacket for the women (the men's gray jacket stayed the same). My issue is in 2012 (the first year it was run) the jacket was black. Wasn't there any other colors available?
  • The course. Yes, I realize I am contradicting myself here. My issue is that for slow runners (like myself) when we ran by the Inner Harbor this time around we had to run through tourists. In the past, this part of the race (which I LOVE), had been at the beginning when there weren't a lot of people around. I would have liked this part of the race to be like it was the last two years, then head up to Fell's Point. Then when we return, run along Pratt Street, which is how we returned the last two years.
Outside that, this is a great race. Seriously. If you are in the Baltimore area or are looking for a racecation, this would be a great race for it. It's a 10k, which means it can be a challenging distance, but because it is a shorter distance you will be up to being a tourist afterwards. Baltimore is a great city for so many reasons and would make a great long weekend trip, especially since they do a day-of packet pick-up.

Did you race this weekend? Did you run Sole of the City 10k? What did you think? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Today's Thankful Thursday is a simple one. I am thankful for my bed. You may think this is silly, but no. In my house the bedroom does not have heat or air conditioning. In winter, we normally have an electric blanket and mattress pad, but this year we didn't get them on before the bitter cold hit. Then we dealt with two polar vortex, plus lots of cold weather and snow in-between. When that happens, my bedroom is like ice! For a good portion of the winter (January through April), I slept on the sofa in the living room. It was small when you add in two cats.

But, this past week I've been able to go back to my bed. I've been able to curl up in my soft bed under lots of blankets and sleep. It has been heaven! There is just something about sleeping in your own bed that makes going to bed that much better.

So today just sleeping in my own bed makes me very thankful. What are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Motivational Monday

Happy Motivational Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I ran the inaugural The Love Run in Philadelphia Sunday. I'll share more of that later this week. Today is all about keeping calm and just doing it!

Sometimes we get ourselves all up in a tizzy, overwhelmed by all we need to do or think we need to do.  I do this all the time. I think of all the things I need to do or all the things I think I have to do. I feel like I run around like a chicken with it's head cut off and have a hard time figuring out what should come first.

Today, let's put together two extremely well-known quotes - "Keep Calm and Bugger On" and "Just Do It." Putting them together reminds me that staying calm and doing the thing that needs to be done, then everything will get done, if I do them one step at a time. And by doing them one day at a time, I will not feel crazed or out of control. One foot in front of the other as they say.

Do you do this? Do you let things get you crazed? What do you do to calm things done and get them done?



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday again! This has been fun. I hope it is getting you thinking too!

This week I am very thankful for where I am in life. I am not where I would like to be professionally honestly, but I do have a job. Hubby doesn't like his either, but he has a good paying one. I am thankful that I can be picky at the moment about my employment, so I can work somewhere I like, rather than hating my job to pay the bills.

This past week (as you read about last night) I had to replace my laptop. While I did closely look at cost and wanted the best one I could for the least amount of money, I knew I could go out for a new one immediately. We have the finances to do that.

Since February we've been talking to contractors about building a deck in the backyard. We've lived in our house for 9.5 years and it was really something I had wanted when we originally looked at houses in 2004. I had to chose between land/price vs. a deck. The land/price house won out. But, this year we are investing in a deck. We will finance it, but we are in a place where we can.

I don't say this to be all "look how awesome I am that I can afford these things." I share this because I know as the hashtag says #firstworldproblems is really what I am thankful for. I am thankful that I am in a place in my life that I am fortunate enough to do them. I understand that I am lucky. Life could be so much worse than mine is.

And this is what I need to remember when I'm frustrated over not being able to do something or buy something. Because in reality, what I can't do or what I can't afford are all "extras." My basic needs are met. I so appreciate that this is my life.

What have you done recently that's really a #firstworldproblem?