Sunday, September 30, 2012

Warrior Dash Race Recap

I ran my first Warrior Dash earlier this September.  Sorry this post is so late!  I have to say it was one of the most fun races I've ever done.  I'm a big fan of the theme races with obstacles and the Warrior Dash did live up to my expectations.

The race event was the biggest I'd ever taken part in.  There were thousands of people there, live (loud) music, a beer tent, other stores/vendors, food, and multiple race start times.

The start was really cool.  Flames shot up over the start area and you could feel the heat as you ran by.  The crowd was loud and rowdy, making it a fun atmosphere.

The first mile was a lot of running and due to a few events this summer, I was having a hard time with it.  Running around a track faster than I'm used to to start took its toll on my asthma pretty quickly.

Before I knew it were at the first obstacle.  We ran through tires and over cars, then we ran through hanging tires.  We climbed up a rope ladder, walls with little rungs and even a flat wall with just a rope to climb up.  I was fearful I'd have to go around some of the obstacles but they were actually much easier than I thought.  The hardest part was hoisting myself up and over on a few accounts.  The course is harder the shorter you are.
This is right before we entered the muddy area.  We are still relatively clean here.

My first medal!  And I love the fast that the race number still has dirt on it :)

After the race and the mud fight!

Last obstacle...before going deep into the mud.  (It came up over my elbows!)

Fire pite!

There was one obstacle I fell off and into frigid water that was up to my neck.  I should have paid attention to how deep it was BEFORE I fell in!

There were two water stops and no porta potties ( I wished there was one!).  We ran up STEEP hills made of sand, through about a foot of mud, over a rope bridge, some more walls and we were at the end.  The last two obstacles are two small fire pits you jump over (really cool!) and a mud pit with barb wire over it.  While this looked fun and easy, it was harder than I thought.  I had to hold myself up off my knees to avoid them from getting cut up.

The mud was a funny type of mud that didn't come off easily.  We were hosed down with a fire hose and it still didn't come off.  Then we jumped in a lake and were still dirty, then I took a hot shower.  The clothes did come clean in the laundry though and the shoes don't look much worse for wear after a good run through the washing machine.

Yes, I was cut up and bruised at the end of the race, but it was some of the most fun I've had in a long time and doing it with my uncle was a blast!  We had a little mud fight and a lot of laughs!  I will do another Warrior Dash next year hopefully!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Craft A Day Part Four

I've still bee crafting!  I've done a few that I'm not going to share until after the holidays as they will become presents, but I'm shocked at 1.  How easy craft stuff is to get via Etsy now.  (The supply section makes it great!)  2.  How friendly people who craft are.  I've asked a lot of questions of other crafters on Etsy and as long as you don't want to sell their designs, most are willing to share tips and ideas.  3.  I belong to Amazon prime and for selected items I ca get free shipping.  I've been on a rotating schedule of making, selecting a new craft, ordering supplies and waiting for them to come in.
I visited Michaels today and have most of the supplies for two more crafts too!

Okay I've retaught myself how to crochet.  I used to do it a lot.  However, its been over ten years and things have changed.  I now live near a very nice yarn store and going in was like visiting a candy shop.  Everything was pretty and inspiring.  I got some organic, hand dyed cotton yarn for my projects. It was must nicer than the stuff I used to buy at my local Wal-Mart.  I love crocheting because you can throw it in a bag and do it everywhere, including while watching TV.

I made some bath scrub to use right now, while the weather is getting dry and my legs and feet are already showing it.  I following this recipe:  1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and essential oil. For a brown sugar scrub, try 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

I sugget adding a little more sugar until it becomes a little more "dry".  Put into ball jars and give as presents or keep for yourself!

I also made tee shirt scarves.  I had no hope for this one, but others who had tried it on Pinterest seemed to like it so I gave it a shot.  I visited Wal-Mart and bought two extra large men's tee shirts.  You cut the bottom hem off and set it aside.  Then cut strips 1-2 inches in width, going all the way to the arms.  Then, stretch the strips out.  Gather them together.  Use the hem that you set aside and cut  it so its one long strip.  Tie a knot around the other strands and then wrap it.  The scarf looks cute doubled up, single, etc.  These would be really fun for kids to make and can really come in any size you can find a tee shirt in!

Up next; glitter ornaments, beeswax candles and stencils ceramic ware.  More posts to come!  Oh and I bought the BEST glitter kit today!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Craft a Day~Beauty Products~Part Three

I've always wanted to make my own bath products and lately I've been experimenting with all sorts of cool things.  Some of these are old standbys for me and some are new endeavors.  I wish I had thought to take pictures while I was doing these things, but I was engrossed so I'm sharing the pictures I found on various craft sites.

The first thing is something I've done a lot over the years.  These are bath soaks and they are great for everyone, even those with jacuzzi tubs who can't use things with bubbles, etc.  They are super simple to make.  Mix 1 cup epsom salts with a little food coloring.  Any color will do, however, I used blue.  Put in a few drops of peppermint and mix.  Then form them into circular bath forms and let them dry.  You have to let them dry for a WHILE.  Longer than you expect.  Flip them over a few times if you can.  I bought the molds on Etsy but you can probably find them at a craft store as well.  The more molds you have the more you can make at once.  The one cup of epsom salts makes about two of the molds I have.

I also made lip gloss.  This type of gloss was super easy to make and took only a few minutes.  Kids would love this.  Take some Vaseline or some Alba non petroleum jelly and mix it with Crystal Light or Kool-Aid packets.  I bought specialty lip balm "pots" on Etsy.  Not only is this fast and fun, it tastes amazing!

I did make more traditional lip balm too.  I sourced everything from Etsy but now that I know what I need I could probably find things easier.  You mix four tea spoons of bees wax with four table spoons of sweet almond oil (you can also use coconut oil), sprinkle in a little coco butter and melt in a double boiler.  You can add some essential oils and even part of an old lipstick for color and you're done. Pour into the container of your choice and you're done!  Again, I used lip balm containers I bought on Etsy because they sealed well and I decorated with paper tape.

I made goat's milk soap bars and I was shocked at how easy they were.  Buy the soap base online (Etsy, Amazon) or even a craft store.  Melt in a double boiler, add some essential oils and food coloring and pour into molds.  I used a silicone mold made for baking, but it allowed them to cool quickly and then I could pop them out really easily.  I made lavender soaps (light purple) and peppermint soaps (pink) and both came out great.  They are really luxurious.  You can layer colors if you are more patient or even use glycerin so you have a clear base soap instead of a while base.

Finally, I made lotion bars.  Again, just mix all of this in a double boiler and then pour into molds.  (I really got my money's worth out of the silicone mold I bought!).  Melt a 1:1:1 ratio of vegetable shortening, canola oil and bees wax.  Add essential oils and pour into molds!  Super easy and really nice to use.  Just rub on skin!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Craft a Day Part Two

As promised, I have a few more crafts to share.

This one was super easy and fun....I downloaded some templates from Martha Stewart's site..and printed them onto plastic shrinking film.  (AKA Shrinky Dinks).  Shockingly enough, I had the plastic film in my craft drawer from a project a long time ago in a craft land far, far away.  They say that you can cut them right after you print them, but my printer ink took a long time to dry.  I let them sit almost all day.  I then cut, punched holes (Very important to do BEFORE you bake) and baked them.

For anyone who isn't familiar with shrinking plastic, its almost paper like before you bake and then becomes much smaller and hard during the baking process.  Its important that you can see them while they are baking.  They will curl up and then flatten out.  When they flatten out they are done.  Every oven is different so they don't give you a set time and temperature for the process.  I flattened them with a spatula once they were out and then let them cool.  Add key rings or ribbon and you're done!  These would also make great gift tags!

Something else I've done is to replace the sea glass and shells out of my table centerpiece.  I couldn't figure out what to do with it for fall so I tried a bit of everything.  I put some kraft paper on the bottom, added some candy corn, ghost Peeps, mini pumpkins and pine cones and voila, instant (and yummy) centerpiece.  The only thing I'm not thrilled about is the fact that I will have to rebuy the pieces every year if I want to recreate this.

I will post more about some of my crafts again soon!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Craft a Day

Okay lately I've been feeling crafty.  Combined with the upcoming holiday season, I've decided to start making some presents and some crafts.  I used to craft all the time and then I opened my own business. Let's just say life got in the way and I stopped everything for a long time.  Here are a few of the crafts I've made recently:

The first thing is a Cath Kidston bag.  The fabric came as part of a kit/book that a great friend bought me YEARS ago.  While the instructions were in "British" and it took me a bit of time and Googling to decipher, I think it came out great and I can't wait to use it.  Its adorable and I'm going to keep my doggie leashes in it :)

The second craft is a dog silhouette.  It was really easy to make and while I love the small version, I plan on making a bigger version to use as wall art.  It was really easy to make.  I took a side profile picture of my dog.  (This was the toughest part because she HATES her picture being taken.)  I printed it out on my regular printer in greyscale.  I cut that out (very carefully), and then taped it down (with removable tape) to a piece of card stock.  I did this backwards so that I could trace and when I flipped it over the lines wouldn't show.  I traced and then cut it out.  I mounted this to another piece of contrasting card stock and put it into a frame.  Easy and cute!  My husband loved it!

I've made about 6 pairs of earrings and other assorted beading projects.  I can't tell you much about them because they are holiday presents and they are still under wraps :)
However, I will tell you I love Fusion Beads and their inspiration site.  There are lots of great and inexpensive projects for everyone from beginner to advancer jewelry makers.

I'll go over some of my other crafts in a few more posts...stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!

This made me smile :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ruffles with Love Review

A friend of mine recently told me about Ruffles with Love's Etsy store and all of the cute tops in it.  I visited the site as fast as my fingers could take me there and I wasn't disappointed.  Their tanks and tops are adorable and have lots of cute, spunky and clever sayings on them.

Some of favorites are:
I don't sweat, I sparkle
Train like a beast and
Sweating for the dress (for brides to be)

The top I received says "Sweat now, rest later."  Its a motivational message every time I see the shirt in my closet.  The tops come in tons of colors and sizes so you can find one that's right for your, your sister, your girlfriend, mom, etc.  These make super cute holiday presents and they won't break the bank.

I haven't even talked about my favorite part of the shirt yet!  Its the racerback, knotted with a pink bow! Pink bows make everyone happy!

Take a peek at her whole collection here:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ultima Replenisher Review

I am bad at drinking enough water during the day.  Part of it is that I get to busy, but a big part of it is that I am not a big fan of water.  I recently had a chance to try out Ultima Replenisher and I love it.

Its a mix in powder that tastes like refreshing lemonade.  Its easy to mix and it tastes great.  Its not over powering and it doesn't take over sweet like some other powder mixes.  It actually mixes clear like real lemonade.  It doesn't have the artificial coloring that other mixes do either.

Ultima is a great alternative to other sports drinks.  It has less sugar, more elctrolytes and even fewer calories.  I love that it doesn't give you that sugar rush.  I'm hypoglycemic and so many beverages make me sick to my stomach or give me sugar issues for the rest of the day.

I also like that I can mix the drink myself.  The powder is easy to carry and I can turn any bottle of water into a sports beverage on the go.  Ultima isn't expensive and its easy to find too!

Take a peek at the Ultima website here:

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Leaf

Well I have a lot of goals this fall.....I know this isn't the normal time of year to make new goals and reassess things, but for me its a new beginning.  I had a rough summer and my training took a back seat.  I am learning a lot about myself and while I may have lost a little fitness this summer, I gained a lot of perspective and mental strength.

I know now that I need to take breaks in order to be more effective personally and professionally.  If I'm over tired and over worked, I'm not doing anyone any good, especially myself.

I've also learned not to sweat the small stuff and as the saying goes, its all small stuff.  The house will get picked up, the emails will get sent...all in due time.  I'm not saying I've become a slob and all of a sudden I'm not making to do lists, I'm just saying I'm learning to relax a little bit more.

So all of this had made me think about why and how I want to work on my fitness.  I do want to do some serious running this fall....its my favorite time of year and I love being out in the brisk air with the leaves falling.  I also love the decreased humidity and throwing on another layer over my tank top.  Oh and I love stopping for a pumpkin latte after my run :)

So this fall my goals are to enjoy my training.  Really have fun with it.  I'm not going to stress about times, or distances or compare notes with everyone I meet.  I am just going go out there for the LOVE of it.  I can choose to beat myself up over slower times, shorter runs, or feeling out of breath, but in reality, I do the bestI can every day and I'm only out there for me.

That being said, I'm running the Warrior Dash in a few weeks!  I'm really excited for my first obstacle race!  Oh and it has a MEDAL!  Silly I know, but I'm excited!
I'm also running a race near Halloween...which seems so far away but I know its close!  I need to decide if I'm recycling last year's outfit for getting a new one for this year...big choices :)

Anyway, I'm turning my back on being OCD about my running, yoga and training and truly turning over a new leaf this fall!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my amazing, funny, smart husband and best friend!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Camping Wrap Up

Now that I'm back in civilization, I wanted to take the time to write about our recent camping trip.  Sebago Lake in Maine is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  The smell of the campfires, the feel of the wind and water and the beautiful surroundings are all amazing and year after year, make me feel centered and whole.

This year was no different.  Despite having to leave the trip and arriving late, we made the best of our time there.  We sat in the hammock, read on the beach, swam, kayaked, sat my the fire (and made S'Mores!), laughed with family and just generally relaxed.

The thing I love most about camping is that you have no schedule.  You have no concept of time except for the rise and fall of the sun and feeling hungry from time to time.  I love not knowing what I'm going to do next and not having to complete any one task.

I'm not a beach girl anywhere else, but I love sitting o the beach, reading a book and looking out at the lake and hearing the sound of the waves.  I managed to read three books while camping!  My phone breaking at the start of the trip made it easier to put it down.

I did get a little work done and yes we have mobile internet, but mostly we hang out as a family, chat and go to bed ridiculously early.  We also eat a lot!  My in laws have a giant, elaborate camp kitchen and they cook these awesome meals starting with a BIG breakfast that anyone would love to start their day with!

There are some traditions that we complete every year; a walk out to the "big rock", having Jiffy Pop, biking around the "loop", hanging Christmas lights...etc.  The traditions change little and it amazes me that as I've changed so much over the years, this place in my life stays so wonderfully the same.

Here are a few shots from the trip:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

I have had the blessing of being married to my best friend for ten years today.  They say time flies when you are having fun, but I never know how quickly ten years would go by.  I didn't think I could love him any more than I did on our wedding day but I was wrong.  The past ten years have brought a lot of change, a lot of joy and like all families, a lot of difficult times.  However, together, we always find a way to laugh.  And while I celebrate our first ten years, I know its just the start.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Surf Sweets Review

I love candy.  There is no better way to say it.  I know I shouldn't eat it and I know it has no redeeming qualities.  However, I've recently had the opportunity to try out Surf Sweets.  While it is still candy, its candy you can feel good about.

It has no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, made with organic fruit juices, has 100% of your daily Vitamin C, made in a nut free facility and has no gluten.  Okay so with all of this, you'd think it would taste very good right?  That's where I was wrong.

I opened the package of jelly beans with my two little cousins around and didn't say anything about the candy being healthy or free some artificial colorings, etc.  I gave them each a few jelly beans and they were impressed.  They really liked them!

I then started to try all of the other varieties and there are a LOT!  There are Gummy Worms, Gummy Swirls (My personal favorite), Gummy Bears, Fruity Bears, Jelly Beans, Sour Worms and Sour Berry Bears.

You can buy their candy online and its available in a lot of different locations.  This holiday season give your friends and family some candy that you'll feel good about.  And trust me, you'll be addicted and always want a bag of gummy bears in your desk drawer :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Local Grocery

I thought this was neat.  Its so important to think about where our food comes from and the impact of all of our food getting to us.