Apr 14, 2014

Monday Musings

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  1. Incredible talent
  2. Fashion icon
  3. Cannot wait to try this
  4. Swooning over this kitchen gizmo
  5. Can't stop watching this
  6. Itching to try this -- anyone tried/use this? 
  7. The skinny on maple syrup
  8. Perhaps this will help with my "gut" issues
  9. Have you updated your resume lately?
  10. Who doesn't love a good plank challenge?

Know of any "must follow" blogs? I'm always looking to add to my list.

What are you musing about this Monday?

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Apr 11, 2014

Shine bright like a -- Pearl

Loathe to smile

You will never catch me wearing one

Ever. So last season.


 I smile like its my job to show the world every tooth in my mouth. 

You're welcome.

This guy showed up on my doorstep, and we all know how much I love mail.

Yes, I dance -- every time. Except for bills, they can keep those. 

I digress.

Oh, the hounds love mail too, in case you were losing sleep wondering


Which means no sticky-slimy stickers to wear on your teeth that make you gag. 

Maybe the gagging is just me, but those stickers are monstrous. 

I digress. Again.

Easy peasy to operate. 

Brush as you normally would with your toothpaste.

Turn dial at bottom of pen and apply gel. It takes only seconds to apply and adhere to your teeth. No waiting, no rinsing.

Store pen inside brush.

Sound too good to be true?

 Here is a tutorial -- I'm all about customer service round these parts. 

I did not use the toothpaste, I've got mad sensitive teeth and gums, but I'm sure it is fantastic like the brush.

Overall Thoughts: 

Pros: The toothbrush/whiting pen in one is brilliant. Makes for easy travel, especially since I over-pack and always forget something. I know, tricky. 

Cons: I'm OCD and the pen gets a little "messy" (read: its not pristine clean cuz I just cranked it ten times and shined my teeth and am too lazy to wipe it off), but overall snaps into the base like a champ.

Awesome, no? (hint: the answer is Yes.)

Say it loud, Say it proud #brushwhitengo.

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. The impressive pearly existence which are my teeth, and opinions on smiling, are of course, always my own. 

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Apr 9, 2014

A few of my favorite (things): March edition

food + drink

Baking cookies + home made cheez its, polenta pizza,  Irish cream cupcakes, brunch (here, here), blue corn tortilla chips, pancakes. All the pancakes.


Talk Dirty -- Jason Derulo

Can't Hold Us -- Pentatonix


DWTS, season 18

Escape Plan



My Story -- Elizabeth Smart


Attending an Oscars Party, National Pancake Day, Monday night group run (and my first visit to the Royale), seeing Pentatonix, running the Alton Half Marathon, beginning a Dale Carnegie course (more -- here), attending an "ok" nutrition clinic, only to get home and have an email from the company stating the class wasn't up to their standards, and offering me another one of my choice. Customer service slam dunk.

What are your March favorites?

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Apr 7, 2014

Monday Musings

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  1. Want, now
  2. After this, I can only imagine what will happen next (thanks for the link Jennifer)
  3. Finally, I know what this means
  4. If this is what we are headed towards to honor awesome people, count me in
  5. First marathon thoughts
  6. Siblings, demystified
  7. This magic is happening, again. So excited
  8. Latest literary gold from one of my favorite authors -- she's coming to STL (5/30)
  9. Race pacing strategies
  10. BIG thanks to HJ for the blog spruce, dude's got mad skills. 

What are you musing about this Monday?

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Apr 2, 2014

Cloudy with a chance of SEVERE head winds

After taper week is -- RACE day!

The realization is always met with mixed emotions. "Did I train/hydrate/fuel enough?" 

Carb loading? Nailed it. 

Especially considering I hit up a Chinese buffet for lunch the day before (race day) and proceeded to eat all the food, and all the soy sauce. By this point my pants didn't fit, even a smidgen, so I rocked leggings like they were the finest of cashmere. 

My friend A and I carpooled so I woke before sunrise to get on the road, which, was fantastic. We live about 40 minutes apart (an the race was 40 minutes farther) so I was able to have my coffee, a little something to eat, and start fueling on the way. Something I never do -- leisure time, on race day, unheard of.

Neither of us had ever raced this race, so we got there with plenty of time to potty/stretch.

The race was a 5k + Half marathon, and was very small. We lined up with no issues and we off. The race went down the main road (blocked from traffic) and across this bridge. It's worth mentioning it was about 35 degrees out with a 20-30 mph head wind. Yep. 

After crossing the bridge (back into MO) we headed down the access road to a turn around point. It must be mentioned that the bike pacers were super attentive  with checking in to each racer through the whole race and handed out Twizzlers each time they passed. Doing an out and back course wasn't as tough as I thought (sans head winds).

When we crossed the bridge again (into IL) we hit our first of three water stations. Super nice people braving those winds. After that we did a long stretch on the road again, leading to the entrance for the levee, which, must to my legs dismay, we climbed (still heads winds). 

At some point my right hand went totally numb and I made the mental note to keep checking it and if it turned blue I'd flag a pacer down and tap out. But it didn't so I keep pushing. <--- I fully understand how insane that sounded.

I started out the race steady, not too fast, but at a comfortable hard pace. The head winds were brutal. Running into the was miserable and discouraging, but pressing on, no matter how slow was more important than giving up because the race day conditions weren't "ideal". A and I paced one another at varying points which was great, and through the rest I focused on the basics: thanking volunteers, mental body check ins ("am I hurt", "can I push harder"), taking gels at each station (except the last one -- I always skip it), and rocking out to my race playlist. 

That was until mile 11 when my iPod crapped out and I panicked. At this point I had just surpassed any semblance of a PR so I put my head into the wind, sang to myself, and pressed forward. I learned many a race ago to empty my gas tank, and finish spent and feeling accomplished, even if there is no PR, but the sheer fact of persevering (great feeling btw). No regrets.

Saw the finish, dug deep and pushed as hard as I could against the wind, and crossed the finish line, proud of myself, the training I put in, and the effort I put forth.

Official time: 2:27:47 (results and photos -- here)

Bib: 995
Time: 2:27:47; age 21/24; gender 88/122

Grabbed my medal and H20, turning around to get a shot of A crossing the finish line. 

First race of 2014, done. 

Please excuse my haggard expression and man shoulders...

Checked my phone and saw this (and this) -- gah I love her...

Once in the car (heat on HIGH) I saw my hand. Twice its size and numb.  Awesome.  Took a full hour to regain full range of motion. But I attest to my stupidity in not bringing gloves because it was 35 at the start. Plus I still have my hand. Everybody wins.

After a shower M, a friend and I headed here for brunch. With cocktails. Mimosa first (always), followed by a Parisian. Which was a delightful detour from my wine/champagne norm. Even though it was made with champagne :)

I had the brioche french toast with a side of  "all the bacon", and we split the beignets. Look familiar? #iknowhatIlike

Overall thoughts:

Race was small (202 in the half), so the tiny details (address to start for out of towners), course map (only available by request), water stations only had water -- left a bit to be desired. Having said that, race support was friendly, packet pick was beyond a breeze, traffic was averted so I felt safe running, and it was (despite the severe headwinds -- which they warned us about) a race I'm glad to have the chance to run. 

Next up: ORFB2 and RNR Nashville!

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