A JOURNEY IN RUNNING, LIVING, LAUGHING AND LOVING

Run Baby Run: Returning to running

Saturday, June 16, 2018


About a million years ago, I ran a lot. I signed up for a half marathon and decided to train - really train - for it. I started this here blog to track my running journey. So I ran a half. And then I ran another. And then I ran some smaller races. And then I ran just for fun. My fastest ever 5K was the Sunburst run in 2014 - I was pregnant, but I didn't know it yet! I also didn't know that would be my last race...

And then we had our first son. And when summer rolled around, he wasn't old enough to go in our jogging stroller yet, so the first year kind of passed with just a few quick runs. I started running again the following spring - maybe a run or two a week, but just a few miles here and there. It felt hard to find the time between the family, working from home, and fitting it in with my other workouts like Jazzercise and barre. And then LAST summer, I was newly pregnant and just did NOT feel like running. 

So fast forward to now. Our baby is seven-months-old, I finally feel like I have my bearings a bit (even though we still don't sleep all that awesome), and I'm wondering if now is the right time to delve back in to running. For so many reasons, it makes sense. I can do it whenever there's time with little equipment, and I don't have to go anywhere special to make it happen - all good things. 

Last weekend, I decided to get my first run in, and it just so happened to be at my husband's work. They have a great gym and a GREAT six-week yoga series they're doing on Saturday mornings, so we went in early to get some cardio in first. I ran two miles. And you know what I got? A runner's high? A desire to run all the time? My best time ever? 

Shin splints. I got shin splints. 

And like three days later, they still hurt like the dickens. Like I forgot that while running can be a great workout, it can also be a really painful. I started thinking back to the times when I hurt - when I would roll an ankle or got literal bumps and bruises along the way. After my first half marathon at Disney World, it took me so long to find my cheering squad (aka parents) that I forgot to stretch completely. Not even the longest ice baths fixed that one! 

My return to running is not without flaws, people, and I'm sure there will be more bumps along the way. But I do hope that this mild flirtation eventually turns back into a love - whether I run long or not, whether I race or not, I do hope running remains! Who wants to hold me accountable?! 

Navigating the internets: One momma's favorite sites and blogs

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Y'all. There are just not enough hours in the day anymore. They pass in a blur, and before I know it, my best intentions to do things like clean or read or rest have flown right out the window. And when I DO have time, I have to do the cleaning and the resting, so reading goes by the wayside. BUT, I also know that I need some entertainment in my life, so while I may not have time to binge read a novel, I DO have time to catch up on my favorite blogs and Facebook groups. And today, I'm sharing them with you! 

Living in Yellow 

So, I first started following Erin when she would guest write blogs on Stitch Fix's website, and when she started her online community, I popped in there for sure. I LOVE her style, and I love the whole vibe of Living in Yellow. A mostly fashion blogger with a little lifestyle thrown in, it's a light, good read that also just so happens to keep me fashionable and save me money. ;) 

Peanut Butter Fingers

Julie's blog has been my FAVORITE exercise blog for ages. She shares awesome workouts, fitness tips, recipes, and more. It's been fun over the years to watch her life change - first a momma of one, and now adding a new bambino to her family in the next few weeks. If you're wanting some quick fitness with a dash of family, check out Peanut Butter Fingers!

Ovia Parenting App 

This is a new find for me, and it's been a GREAT resource for our second babe. Despite having gone through all of these milestones the first time, I seriously forgot SO much - like when milestones happen, the ideal time to start certain foods, and so much more. So I LOVE the Ovia Parenting App - it gives me amazing updates and helps me keep track of all the things. 

Layered By Cake online community 

Gals. This one was a game changer for me (and so much fun!)! My friend Dawn introduced me to the incredible online fashion community known as Layered by Cake. Their tagline is "Style help for busy moms" and truly - I could use allllll the help with my style lately (since at the moment, my style is mostly spit up covered tanks and tees and not so much cutting edge fashion. The boutique owner, Shannon, is so thoughtful in picking out her pieces, and I LOVE all of the different clothing she showcases. I got the very best jeans from there, and my wish list just keeps growing! 

So there's my quick list of the sites and shops I've been loving lately. Where have you been spending your internet time? I'd love to hear! 

On Grit

Friday, May 18, 2018

As I've mentioned before, running your own business can be amazing - like, life changingly amazing. But it can also be difficult. Sales, motivation, morale - they all fluctuate, just like anything else in life. Motherhood. Being a friend. Just being, period. 

But. BUT. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about this little word: Grit. Four letters that pack a punch. Moral Fiber. Toughness. Resolve. Perseverance. Endurance. Guts, baby. 

A few weeks ago, one of my besties sent me an image of a presentation she was watching about grit. She said as she was listening to the presentation, she kept thinking about me and how I had it. And for some crazy reason, that totally turned my day, week, month around. There's something so powerful about someone else believing in you. 

So, I started to think back to when my grit was acquired, because as much as I wish it was something I've always possessed, I feel like it didn't really come to me until late in my teenage years. Some kids have it early on - the ones who fight it out on the sports fields or aim to be valedictorian. I was neither - but I worked hard. That grit - that determination - though, didn't come until my junior year of high school when I was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

That diagnosis was such a game changer for me in so many ways. My childhood subsequently ended as I shuffled, quite literally, back and forth to doctor's appointments. I took a heavy cocktail of prescriptions while filling out my college applications, staying on top of my homework, and having a normal 18-year-old life. I went through college on Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, so when most co-eds were fighting hangovers on the weekends, I was mostly just tired from my meds. At the time, I didn't really think anything of it. But looking back, I realize how much that really set me up for success in life. Because grit, baby. Never giving up, not giving in, and continuing to push forward even when it was an uphill battle. GRIT. 

So if you've been struggling, in any aspect of your life, dig deep. Find your inner grit. Channel it. Harness it. And push through. Because baby, the other side of this struggle is so, so sweet. 

Stitch Fix #29: Pops of color and the PERFECT jeans!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

It's finally, FINALLY, spring here in northern Indiana, and for some reason, as soon as the weather turns, it makes me want to wear ALLTHECOLORS. I love a good pop of color, so this month, I'm on the hunt for a great spring purse. 

So OF COURSE I had to order a Stitch Fix to see what Serena could find for me! 

If you don't know about Stitch Fix (<--Referral link!), let me give you a little rundown. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service, and you decide how frequently, or infrequently, you'd like a shipment. You'll fill out a detailed style profile about your sizes, style preferences, and budget (and it's super fun to fill out the profile to see what your style preferences are!). Not only does Stitch Fix offer clothing, but they have accessories, bags, and even shoes now! They style both men and women, and they offer extended sizes. You pay a $20 styling fee that gets applied to your purchase, but right now, if you sign up for your first /fix through my link, your first styling fee is waived. Zero risk! And, if someone signs up through your referral link, you get a $25 credit to use toward your next purchase! (And let me tell you, that adds up to some awesome free close!) The BEST part of Stitch Fix? It comes directly to my door which means I can try it on in the comfort of my own home, pair it with things already in my wardrobe, and not have to take my brood into a dressing room with me. So much winning! 

You can see previous Fixes here:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #7
Stitch Fix #8
Stitch Fix #9
Stitch Fix #10
Stitch Fix #11
Stitch Fix #12
Stitch Fix #13
Stitch Fix #14
Stitch Fix#15
Stitch Fix #16 
Stitch Fix #17
Stitch Fix #18
Stitch Fix #19
Stitch Fix #20
Stitch Fix #21
Stitch Fix #22
Stitch Fix #23
Stitch Fix #24
Stitch Fix #25
Stitch Fix #26
Stitch Fix #27
Stitch Fix #28

This month, Serena pulled some SERIOUS winners... and it makes me wonder if I should keep the whole Fix! So I DEFINITELY need you to weigh in, y'all! 

1. Sole Society Nera Crossbody Bag, $59 
My first thought when I saw this purse was "There's no way my life will fit into this." But, the more I thought about it, my life probably SHOULD fit into this! I still carry a diaper bag, so it's easy enough to start stashing our snacks in there. And I do LOVE that it's crossbody and easy enough to throw on while still having hands free. I LOVE the coral color, so I'm totally torn on this. Can I be a small bag kind of gal? 

2. Market & Spruce Ezide Textured Print Top, $58 
This top, y'all. On the hanger, it just looks like a normal top. BUT, when you put it on, ohmigosh! It has just the right amount of stretch, and hugs all the right places. I love the little bit of texturing on it, and it looks effortless to throw on with jeans and some cute accessories. 

3. 41 Hawthorn Dawney Scallop Trim Blouse, $54
Either Serena knows me well (she does!), or she's noticed a huge trend on my Pinterest fashion board. I LOVE a good subtle scallop detail! I think it's so sweet and makes an ordinary hemline far more fun. The pattern on this top is so cute too - a little floral goes a long way, and this is definitely a pattern I can get behind. 

4. Emory Park Kaley Open Kimono, $34
5. Liverpool Elizabeth Super Skinny Jeans, $78 

This is a trend I've been seeing everywhere lately, and I ALMOST purchased something similar about a month ago because I love this style for easy access for nursing! This one, though - AMAZING! The colors are so, so pretty, and I love the pattern of it too! I feel like this is an absolute winner, especially since it's something I've had my eye on lately! (Ironically, this was the piece that my husband said he wasn't crazy about! Ha!)

And, let's talk jeans. It's like, impossible, to find great jeans. Post-baby, I was really hoping to get back into my pre-Harrison jeans, but with eight pounds to go, I finally had to cave and buy new jeans. And I REALLY liked them. So then I got a second pair of jeans. And now, THESE. You guys, these fit like a GLOVE. They're so, so soft, and the wash on them is perfect! Bonus - no button or zipper - they're a pull on waistband (seriously, WHY is this just now becoming a thing?! This should have been around decades ago!)! And I'm actually wearing them in all the photos. But they're $78. So do I bite the bullet and buy them?! To be completely honest with myself, most of my pre-baby jeans are probably slightly worn or outdated (oh hi, bootcuts). Do I make that a determining factor here? 

So that's it for Fix #29! What DO I do?! 

Spoiling mom: Gift ideas for Mother's Day 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Ever since I've become a mom, I've realized how much my own mother has done for me. I know we all feel like our mom is the best ever, right, but my mom it truly the most selfless, giving, incredible human being on the planet. Plus, she can cook and bake and sew and do all the things. She makes me strive to be a better mom. 

So I struggle each year when it comes to Mother's Day. How could anything I ever give her measure up to ALL THE THINGS she's done for me? Truth be told, the gift probably won't. BUT, I can definitely choose something that shows her how much we all love her. And that's my plan this year! I've compiled a list of some of my favorite things for mom this year just in case you're needing some shopping help too! 

Take her out for a meal
I know that seems super simple, and it is, but it's also SUPER appreciated. Take mom out for brunch or dinner - somewhere nice, where she can sit down and eat a hot meal. If she has littles, hold them for her so she can enjoy said meal! If you're local to South Bend, Tippecanoe Place has the most amazing Mother's Day brunch, and Bistro 933 is our fave hidden gem for dinner! 

A KEEP Collective arm party
Has she bought anything for herself lately? Maybe she needs something new, just for her! Enter the KEEP Collective arm party stack! It's no secret that KEEP is one of my absolute favorite gifts because of it's totally personalized nature. Snag her something with her kiddos birthdates, initials, or birthstones, and I guarantee she'll love it (and you!) forever. And if you can't think of what the perfect pieces would be for her, you can check out and customize our best selling bundles - it takes the guesswork out of whether or not the pieces will look perfect! 

Personalized Wall Art
I'm constantly wanting to find the perfect pieces for our house - for above our bed, our couch, our coffee bar. So when I stumbled onto Minted's heart shaped photo collage, I totally fell in love! I love that this piece can pull in all the people, places, and things she loves, and you can choose the size to best fit your needs and budget! 

Farmer's Market Mother's Day Bouquet
I'll be totally honest and tell you I haven't used this site before, but, you guys, the arrangements on Bouqs.com are seriously gorgeous! They seem reasonably priced, and I'll tell you, there's just something special about having flowers around in the spring time (to be fair, it's typically our anniversary weekend too, so flowers make me all sorts of sentimental about our big day!)!

Joanna Gaines anything
Let's just be clear about this. Moms sort of LOVE Joanna Gaines. I don't think I've met one mom that's like, "Oh her? Ehh, she's okay." She's just real and down to earth and adorable. And so is her recipe book. If the recipes are half as awesome as she is, it's a win! 

A fun Graphic Tee
Mom's gotta have something to wear, right? Snag her a new graphic tee that she can wear while chasing kiddos or running errands (like this adorable Instant Mom: Just Add Coffee piece. It's perfect for mom. Or me. Or whatever. 

So now I have to know: What are YOU getting mom this year? Share on Facebook or in the comments section below! 

Stitch Fix #28: His and hers Fixes!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April is such a strange beast when you live in northern Indiana. On Tuesday, it snowed. On Thursday and Friday, it was in the 70s, and we spent almost the entire days outside. Spring is a tricky, but pretty little season. Adding to the strangeness, a sweet little family of foxes decided to build a den right underneath our shed, and three kits emerged this week with a momma not far behind. It's made for some awesome nature watching from our house this week! 

And as the actual seasons change, so do the seasons in our family life! I'm not typically one to brag on my husband via my blog. But, here I am, bragging on my husband via my blog. In December, Dan and I started seriously talking about moving. His job was 45 minutes away from our house on a good day, and we were losing FAR too much time with him each day. So we decided that we either needed to move closer to his job or that he needed to find something down here. And, as luck would have it, he found something closer to home! He started his new job on April 2, and he's LOVING it! We're loving having him home more during the day, so it's a win-win for all of us! 

I tell you all of this because when I realized my Stitch Fix for my 35th birthday was coming up (THIRTY-FREAKING-FIVE, people!), I decided Dan needed to get some new work clothes too so that we could get our Fixes together! 

If you don't know about Stitch Fix (<--Referral link!), let me give you a little rundown. Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service, and you decide how frequently, or infrequently, you'd like a shipment. You'll fill out a detailed style profile about your sizes, style preferences, and budget (and it's super fun to fill out the profile to see what your style preferences are!). Not only does Stitch Fix offer clothing, but they have accessories, bags, and even shoes now! They style both men and women, and they offer extended sizes. You pay a $20 styling fee that gets applied to your purchase, but right now, if you sign up for your first /fix through my link, your first styling fee is waived. Zero risk! And, if someone signs up through your referral link, you get a $25 credit to use toward your next purchase! (And let me tell you, that adds up to some awesome free close!) The BEST part of Stitch Fix? It comes directly to my door which means I can try it on in the comfort of my own home, pair it with things already in my wardrobe, and not have to take my brood into a dressing room with me. So much winning! 

You can see my previous Fixes here:Stitch Fix #1Stitch Fix #2Stitch Fix #3Stitch Fix #4Stitch Fix #5Stitch Fix #6Stitch Fix #7Stitch Fix #8Stitch Fix #9Stitch Fix #10Stitch Fix #11Stitch Fix #12Stitch Fix #13Stitch Fix #14Stitch Fix #15Stitch Fix #16 Stitch Fix #17Stitch Fix #18Stitch Fix #19Stitch Fix #20Stitch Fix #21Stitch Fix #22Stitch Fix #23Stitch Fix #24Stitch Fix #25Stitch Fix #26

Stitch Fix #27

Let's start with the man of the hour, shall we? 

1. Save the Duck Military Style Jacket, $148
Can we all just take a moment here to appreciate Dan's face? He told me it was his model face. Dan liked the jacket, but, it does seem a little seasonally inappropriate to get it in April. And while it fit well on the top half, it seemed a little lose around his waist. He does love the feel of the coat, though, and it's definitely a style he would go for! 

2. Free Nature Grasso Heavyweight Flannel Shirt, $50
3. Sperry Striper Lace Up Leather Sneaker, $75
4. A Frame Contemporary 5 Pocket Slim Fit Pants, $59
I've decided that taking pictures of my husband while he tries to display clothing is my favorite thing of all time. "Am I smiling?" Yes. You're smiling. I pretty much love this outfit on Dan! The pants fit well, and the shirt is right up his alley. Of everything he got, this definitely looks the most him. The shoes are a maybe, only because he's not sure he'd actually get the use out of them, but they are a super nice pair of Sperry's. 

5. Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt, $48
As flannels go, this one's not the crowd favorite. The pattern seems - old - and again, heading into spring and summer, flannel just seems a little bit odd! 

For my Fix, I gave Serena very little direction. Instead I asked her to pull some fun pieces for me that would push me a bit out of my style comfort zone. I feel like 35 is a good reason to try something new, right? 

1. MIA Alina Laser Cut Flat, $49
2. Renee C Lidia Printed Swing Skirt, $64
3. Market & Spruce Durness Off the Shoulder Knit Top, $48
So this little number is a departure from my normal fashion choices, but I kind of loved that it was so different! I LOVE the color of the top and shoes, and the skirt is such a gorgeous piece. But, I honestly don't see myself wearing the skirt. I feel like it hits me in a weird spot, and I don't know if I love that. The off the shoulder top is beautiful, but this would be my fourth one, and I don't know that I'd wear the style THAT much. And the shoes are great, but I have a lot of flats. Do I need any of these pieces?! 

4. Mo-Ka Ebele Faux Leather Jacket, $78
This jacket, y'all. I kind of love it! The color and style are so fun, but I just don't feel like it fit me right. I'm pretty sure I've already talked myself out of this one! 

5. Lux & Co Fonda Knit Maxi Dress, $54 

This DRESS! It's so, so, so pretty! Dan and I agreed that this picture doesn't do it any justice, unfortunately. But, I'm pretty sure it's a for sure Keeper! Now, who's getting married this summer or fall? I need to wear this beauty somewhere! 

So those are our Fixes! What do we think?! Favorites? Least favorites? Weigh in, friends! 

Stuff I'm Loving April Edition: Whiplash mascara, Santa Clarita Diet, facials, and so much more

Saturday, April 7, 2018

April, how I love thee! Spring is on the horizon, and all things good seem to be in abundance. Lately, I've been finding lots of new things I've been loving, and I wanted to make sure I shared them with you! I'd love to hear your favorites right now too, so make sure to share them in the comments or on Facebook. 

Whiplash Mascara
So, there are very few things that keep me looking awake. With a toddler, a baby, and a business I love, sleep and time are both at a minimum. I've had a love affair with Ever Skincare for about two years now - they're a sister company to KEEP Collective, and once I was gifted a jar of their Smooth Balm, I was hooked. I've been looking for cleaner makeup for a long time, and just a month ago, wish granted! But you guys, it's so much more than just clean mascara - it's AMAZING mascara! My eyelashes have never looked this long or full before, and it makes me look so awake! This was a game changer for me! 

Santa Clarita Diet
Okay, I'll be the first to tell you that I am NOT a zombie fan. I don't watch The Walking Dead, and I don't read zombie lit. So when I saw several friends posting about the Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet, I was intrigued, but didn't think I'd be interested, like, at all. But the hubs and I decided to give it an episode or two just to see what we think. And oh. My. Gosh. I haven't laughed out loud at a tv show like this in a LONG time! We literally cackle! Drew Barrymore is hysterical in it, and it's nice to have just a fun show to watch! Highly recommend it! 

Express Facial 
Confession: While I love pampering, facials always scared me. I figured they'd hurt and I'd walk out with my skin all red and blotchy. I avoided them at all costs. But if you're local to South Bend or New Carlisle, I have the most AMAZING skin lady (the Healthy Skin Lady, in fact!) - and an express facial with her feels like a mini vacation. Literally my favorite 30 minutes, and nothing like I thought they'd be! 

KEEP's new stretch bracelets and engraveable wrap
The KEEP Collective Summer Collection dropped this week, and I'm so, so, SO excited about this line! It's got pops of colors, perfect pieces for your patriotic side, and the most GORGEOUS romantic pieces I've ever seen! My two favorites are our Inspo Stretch Bracelet in rose gold and the Howlite Beaded Voyager. And wearing them together is the BEST. COMBO. EVER! I'm seriously in love! 

Jennifer Weiner's Who Do You Love
Pre-kids, I used to read a ton. Like a ton. And then kids happened and working from home happened and free time went by the wayside, so the only time I really read now is when I'm traveling. Enter this book that I picked up to take on my trip to Cabo in March. I started reading this on the way home and got completely enthralled! Full disclosure: I haven't finished it yet (insert head slap here), but I get to read it every once in awhile on the elliptical, so someday, I'll totally finish it! 

Rose Gold Hair
I saw this trend pop up on Facebook a few weeks ago and immediately reached out to my hairstylist to see if this was a real thing. Once she assured me it is in fact a real thing, I decided this has to happen to my hair because I am obsessed with all the rose gold things. 

So tell me, now that spring is on the horizon, what are some of the things YOU'RE loving right now? 
 
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