Friday, June 28, 2013

Fitness Friday–June 28, 2013

It’s Friday yet again! Friday…Friday…and now I have that song stuck in my head. Thank you, Friday.


Here’s a look at my week

Saturday – 8 mile run with Kelli, Heather, and Rebecca followed by our End of the Season Party!
Sunday – Rest Day; Squats, Lunges, and leg exercises
Monday – 3 mile run before work
Tuesday – 5 mile run – I ran 2 miles before work, then 3 miles after work
Wednesday – Squats, Lunges, and leg exercises
Thursday – 2 mile run
Friday – Squats, Lunges, and leg exercises

I’m trying to build my weekly mileage up slowly to help prevent IT Band issues. I plan on running 10 miles on Saturday, which would make a total of 20 miles for the week. Not too bad!

I’m very pleased to announce that I was asked to be a Zensah Ambassador!

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My box of goodies arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to try out my new compression socks/leg sleeves!

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Even though I was only running 2 miles yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t help it – I wore the tank top anyway! It’s so soft and comfortable, I love it!

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I hope you all have a fabulous Friday! What are your weekend plans?

Disclaimer: I received free product as a part of the Zensah Ambassador program.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

27…I mean, 8 Dresses

Anyone ever find their mind wandering when they are out for a run? Ok, maybe I should rephrase that…RUNNERS, when you are out for a run, do you ever find your mind drifting? I know you do, I pretty much just answered my own question.

Just so happens, I was out for a run on Monday morning and began thinking of my guest bedroom closet and the work that needs to happen inside. It’s a disaster. As I began to categorize the items in my head, I got to thinking about my bridesmaids dresses and what to do with them. I kind of feel like the girl from 27 dresses, although my closet isn’t bursting open from them, and I was never in any crazy themed Vegas weddings. :0)

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I have, however been a bridesmaid 3 times and Maid/Matron of Honor 5 times. Add those up? That’s 8 weddings. Whew. Even though my closet is not busting open from tulle and fluff, one entire side is full to the max of dresses, shoes, and accessories!

I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane…just humor me, ok? By the way, I’m addicted to weddings. I absolutely LOVE wedding movies, weddings, wedding photography, and anything to do with weddings and one of my favorite movies is “The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez!

My first ever wedding was for my best friend Jane WAY back in 2001. We grew up together and I had the privilege of being her Maid of Honor!

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Jane’s wedding was in January and she chose grey as our dress color. Everyone’s design was different and all of the color tones were different. Yes, I was Maid of Honor but I had NO clue what I was doing. Thankfully, a fellow bridesmaid was a wedding pro – she helped out a LOT with planning showers and parties…THIS is when my addiction to weddings began!

Wedding #2 was for a friend and fellow nursing student, Amy!

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Amy and I met through her sister and became really close friends. We also graduated nursing school together and Amy served as a bridesmaid in my wedding! :0) Our dresses were all purple but again, Amy let us choose our style/design.

(Sorry about the quality of the above photos. Gotta love film cameras.)

The next wedding was quite an adventure! I was Maid of Honor in my friend Amy’s wedding (Amy #2) and we had a blast – she served as bridesmaid in my wedding, too! Amy also let us choose our own dress, as long as it was black (I’m sensing a recurrent theme here!). I know you can’t see it well, but mine was black with rhinestones down the front.

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Despite living in the south, Amy #2 was born and raised in Kansas/Oklahoma, so that’s where she got married. We travelled 14+ hours to reach her wedding destination and unknown to us,  headed straight into a blizzard! Despite it all, we had a BLAST and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world! The massive amounts of snow did make me grateful for one thing…I’m glad I don’t have to ice chip my way into my car every morning!

The fourth wedding I served in was for a very special family member, my brother and his wife Kayla.

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YAY for digital photography! Kayla allowed us to choose our own style of dress (didn’t realize how popular this option was) in the color she chose. I loved the pink/yellow combination! Very bright, colorful, and fun!

Wedding #5 was for Jason’s brother and sister-in-law, Amber.

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Jason and I stood up with them as witnesses and Jason’s niece was their flower girl. Isn’t she absolutely adorable?

The final three weddings came one after another, each only a few months apart! Whew.

The next wedding was for a very dear friend of mine, Jane!

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Jane’s wedding was outside at a local park and was vintage themed. Everything was beautiful and I thought the day was perfect. :0) I served as Jane’s Matron of Honor and loved every aspect of her special day! Jane chose navy as her theme color, then asked the bridesmaids to pick out their favorite style.

I still can’t believe I didn’t realize that the dresses from each of these weddings were all different until just now! Wow, Karen.

Wedding #7 was for Jason’s sister, Lacey.

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The ceremony was beautiful and despite a few setbacks, everything fell into place in the end! Lacey was also a bridesmaid in my wedding. Look…a wedding where all of the bridesmaids were dressed alike! Hah! Thinking back on it now, I’m glad I was able to choose the style/design that complimented me best on so many occasions.

My final wedding to date was for one of my good friends, Mackenzie. Kenzie and I go waaaaaaaay back and have always had a special bond! I just love this girl! :0)

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Mackenzie’s wedding is also one where she chose matching dresses for the bridesmaids. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you remember that we followed them on their honeymoon…strange, right? It was to Disney World, of COURSE we had to go! We had a FUN weekend!!

Know where all of these dresses except one came from? David’s Bridal! I also find it funny that no matter my measurements at the time, each dress seen here is the same exact size….from 2001 to 2012. At least I’m consistent…that counts for something, right?

That’s it! Bless you if you read through everything and made it this far! What crazy, fun times my friends and I have shared over the years…and I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it!

Have you been in a wedding? Were your dresses the same or did you have different styles/designs? What did you do with your old bridesmaids dresses? Have you worn them again?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Bit of Magic

Last night, my husband and I decided to have a very impromptu date night! We began at the theater with Monster’s University (which was awesome, by the way), followed by dinner, then FroYo.

During the movie, I realized something….I need a little happy in my life right now, so I’m thinking Disney thoughts and reliving fun memories. Follow along and answer the questions for yourself if you’d like!  By the way, this is my 500th post here on Just Me & My Running Shoes! I couldn’t think of a better topic to celebrate it by! :0)


Favorite runDisney Race

Hands down, the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I ran the Princess Half in 2012 and had a BLAST. I am registered for the 2014 Glass Slipper Challenge and I cannot wait! Besides, what girl doesn’t like wearing a tiara all weekend? (Especially if it’s a sparkly one!)

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What? A Glass Slipper Challenge? Yippeee!



Favorite Disney Movie

Goodness, I can’t pick just one. My favorite animated movies are Tangled and Lilo & Stitch. Favorite film movies - Princess Diaries and The Rookie.

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Favorite Disney Song


When You Wish Upon A Star
. This song really brings me back to my childhood and I love that the Wishes Fireworks show is centered around Jiminy & this piece of music!

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As viewed from the California Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort


Favorite Disney Park

I absolutely love love love Disney World, but Disneyland in California holds a special place in my heart as well. We visited Disneyland for our 1st Anniversary and there’s just a magic in the air I’ve yet to feel at any other Disney park. The sheer fact that Walt Disney himself walked down Main Street and stayed inside the park on occasion gives it an extra special feeling! I’m excited to return for Dumbo Double Dare in August/September!

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Favorite Disney Restaurant


Ohana. Why do I love Ohana so much? The food is good, but my absolute favorite is their dessert – Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Bananas Foster Sauce. Every time we go, I always ask for dessert first. (Which I then inform the wait staff that I’m kidding – even though I’m really not.) When it’s actually time for dessert, I always ask for my own portion….yes, I do share with others at the table, even though I really don’t want to!  :0)

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Heaven on a plate!



Favorite Disney Character


Mickey and Minnie Mouse are my favorites! I used to LOVE Eeyore back in high school, but as I grew up, my tastes changed to Mickey and Minnie as well!

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Have you ever dressed up as a Disney character?

Why yes I have! My Church held a “Cinderella’s Closet” event a few years ago. I dressed as Cinderella for the dress drive and had SO MUCH FUN! I also dressed up as Cinderella for a friend’s little girl’s birthday party. Her party was Cinderella themed, of course!

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Describe your favorite Disney Memory

My favorite memory from all of my Disney experiences is from my Honeymoon in 2007. I wrote a blog post about this incredibly magical moment here. Go check it out!

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Any additional random Disney fact you’d like to share?


You probably already know this if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, but I’m a BIG kid at heart and absolutely loved the Disney Channel growing up. As an adult, I still love the Disney Channel although I have to admit that I don’t watch it as much anymore. Anyway…Sonny With A Chance, Hannah Montana, Suite Life, High School Musical, Camp Rock….yeah, loved them all. I event spent my 28th birthday at a Camp Rock 2/Demi Lovato/Jonas Brother’s concert. Yes I just admitted that out loud. What can I say? My internal clock says I’m 16 years old and I would like it to stay that way! :0)

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Somehow, I also recently talked my husband into dressing up like High School Musical characters for a friend’s 18th birthday party. I still have no clue or idea why or how I got him to agree, but he did…and we were a big hit!

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What time is it? SUMMERTIME! Woooo!

I feel better now! A bit of Disney Magic was all I needed! :0)




Monday, June 24, 2013

End of the Season Party

I had a fabulous weekend, how about you guys? I spent a bit of my weekend alone because my husband spent time camping with friends. I enjoyed the quiet, but I definitely missed him! With him being gone, I was able to catch up on a few chick-flicks on my DVR and was able to rent Safe Haven (which I loved, by the way)!

Even though Saturday morning was incredibly humid, it was a beautiful one. The view from the lake was breathtaking..…or wait, maybe the humidity was making it hard to breathe?

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Well either way, it was a beautiful view! I met up with Heather, Kelli, and Rebecca - all of us ran different mileage but were running together at one point or another. I finished my goal of 8 miles with no knee pain, thanks to my coach’s advice of adding lunges to my foam rolling and icing routine! Yay!

After our run, Kelli and I changed direction from our usual post-run routine and enjoyed breakfast at Cracker Barrel!
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I’ve been hungry for French Toast lately, so that’s what I ordered. BOY did I get a ton of food! I ate half, then took half home for Sunday morning breakfast! :0)
As if I didn’t eat enough food at breakfast, I enjoyed even more at dinner! Our annual running group end of the year party was held at my coach’s house and we had a great time.

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I loved being able to see my friends and fellow runners in “normal” clothes. It was fun to meet their families as well! :0)

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These are the only pictures of people that I took at the party because I was too busy eating and talking the rest of the evening!

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I didn’t miss out on the chance to take pictures of my food, though. I had to laugh at all of the runners I saw who fixed hamburgers minus a bread bun! I was guilty, too. I chose to eat my carbs elsewhere…as in dessert!

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We had a great evening and really enjoyed spending time away from the roads with my friends and fellow runners!

How did you spend your weekend? Are you a part of a running group?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fitness Friday–It’s Summer!

Happy First Day of Summer!! If you are out and about this weekend, I hope you remember to wear your sunscreen! :0)



Here’s how my week looked:

Saturday – 6 mile run with Kelli
Sunday – Rest Day; Squats, Lunges, and leg exercises
Monday – 3 mile run before work
Tuesday – 4 mile run before work
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – Squats, Lunges, and leg exercises (I had planned on running but my grandfather is back in the hospital…it’s just one thing after another).
Friday – Hoping to make up Thursday’s run sometime after work

This weekend, I have very few plans (yay)! I’m going to run with my friends on Saturday morning. I also have plans to watch Safe Haven sometime this weekend.

Also, I picked up my Kindle again (thanks to my fabulous new cover that I LOVE) and am having a hard time putting it down. There’s nothing like getting yourself lost in a good book. I’m a huge book nerd and always have been so when I get involved in a book, I find it hard to tear myself away from it!

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Paisley meets Pink is my absolute favorite Vera print.

Yesterday, a classmate’s mother passed away. I attended a very small private high school and we were all very close and knew each other’s families very well. Her mother was young and had cancer. Absolutely breaks my heart.

Also, my grandfather is back in the hospital due to infection in the surgical site of his toe. It does NOT look good to me at all and after lengthy discussion with the primary physician yesterday, it doesn’t sound as if there’s much hope for his leg. :0( My poor grandfather has had one setback after another. His only desire was to get better so he could go home and now I’m not sure how realistic that request will be anymore. Our bodies are an amazing thing. During his time at the care facility, I’ve seen Alzheimer's patients who are not with it at all in their mind, but are able to walk around on their own and complete normal activities of everyday life. On the other hand, my grandfather is completely with it in his mind, but his body is failing him.  Breaks my heart to see such things. So sad.

OK I did not intend for this Fitness Friday post to turn into such doom and gloom! Regardless of the situation, we should be grateful for each day that is given to us, for we never know when it will be our last! My thoughts yesterday are what prompted this post on Facebook:

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So there you have it…enjoy each day because each day in itself is a gift! :0) Have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Slip, Slop, Slap…and Wrap!

Can you believe that Friday is the first day of SUMMER! Goodness, where has the time gone?

Here in Southwest Louisiana, our Spring said hello and goodbye within the time frame of a few weeks. It feels as if we went from Winter straight through to Summer without warning.

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If you followed my blog the past few weeks, I’m sure you noticed the stories of a horrific sunburn that I obtained while staining the deck in my backyard. I’m ashamed to say that I’m an Oncology nurse and I 100% know better. So, consider this your warning from me, the Oncology Nurse who doesn’t always follow the rules…ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN!

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected.

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The American Cancer Society also coined a cute phrase that might be helpful to remember when out in the sun for a length of time – “Slip! Slop! Slap!… and Wrap”!

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat.
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them.

While all four of these items are important individually, when used together they will provide optimal protection from the sun’s harmful UV Rays. Source: cancer.org

The most common form of cancer in the US is Skin Cancer and it accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. Risk factors for skin cancer (Melanoma and Non-Melanoma type) include:

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (sunlight or tanning booths)
  • Pale complexion (difficulty tanning, easily sunburned, natural red or blond hair color)
  • Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium
  • You or other members of your family have had skin cancers
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past
    Source: cancer.org

I’ve had the chance to speak with patients being treated for skin cancer over the past few years and each one has told me the SAME thing…“I never wore sunscreen and I used to spend HOURS in the sun as a child”…

While following the ACS Guidelines will help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, it is not a 100% guarantee. ALWAYS take extra precaution when venturing out in the sun. Many companies offer a “Sport” based sunscreen but when choosing sunscreen, read the bottle. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is best and you should slather sunscreen on at least 20 minutes before you head out so that your skin has time to absorb the lotion. Also, running early in the morning will help prevent exposure.

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Next time you are going for a mid-day run or even when having a fun day outdoors, remember
“Slip! Slop! Slap!… and Wrap”!


Do you wear sunscreen? I sometimes forget to apply before heading out the door – do you have any tricks that help you remember?

Anyone remember this “song”? I’m listening to the lyrics now and I realize WOW he had some good advice!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home Improvements

About a year ago, Jason and I began discussing the idea of updating the countertops in our kitchen. When we originally stumbled across our soon to be home, it was a spec and was halfway through the building process. We had a say-so in several things we wanted such as light fixtures, faucets, countertop color, etc. but weren’t able to install granite at the time.

Planning Stage

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On the right of this picture, you’ll see a small piece of texturized laminate – it’s what was installed in our home when it was first built. The big piece of granite on the left is what we replaced the laminate with. When I originally picked out countertops for our spec home, I found a huge slab of granite in a a local hardware store that I fell in love with. In turn, we searched out the texturized laminate that matched the granite and that’s what was installed in our spec home. When Jason and I began discussing the idea to switch to granite, the granite itself was a no brainer for me – I wanted the same exact thing I saw in the hardware store several years ago. Good news for us, we found it!

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We also determined that we wanted our edges to look like the edge pictured above.

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After MUCH deliberation, we finally decided on a backsplash pattern similar to the one above, with on exception - the tile blocks would be in a square, not a diamond shape.

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Picking out the inserts was relatively easy as well. We decided to accent our kitchen with fleur de lis d├ęcor and chose this insert which resembled a fleur de lis, but is not as strong of a fleur de lis as the ones you see in the background of the picture.

Before

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Here’s a before picture of our kitchen. Yes, I usually have drawers in the holes you see in the cabinets – and yes, my countertops are usually more crowded than what is shown. :0)

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See how the countertop and backsplash was all the same? I wanted to stray away from that look altogether this time around.

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My kitchen was scattered all over my breakfast area and dining room for the week!

Demo

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Here’s my kitchen in the demo phase. No more countertops, sink, or backsplash!

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This is when the dust started to accrue.

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The granite arrived! YAY!

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This is after the granite was installed, prior to the backsplash.

Finished

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Here’s the backsplash…

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Close-up of the tile insert.

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Stove side of the kitchen

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We also changed out the piece in our laundry room to granite.

Here it is….

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All done!

I can’t tell you how excited I am! I feel like I’ve fallen in love all over again - I could just sit in my kitchen and stare at it all day! Part of me can’t believe that we finally went through with this project and finished it. We’ve talked about it for so long, it felt like just a dream. I’m also grateful I’ll be able to cook food again – eating out for the week grew old pretty quickly! :0)

Have you ever done any home improvements? Were you happy with the outcome?

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