Saturday, May 31, 2014

Run for the...wait...why am I running again?

That's right. Two weeks ago I started running, and of you know me personally, you know that is not my thing. I might jog to the fridge. Or into Starbucks. J. Crew even. But running? Nah. Jason is an avid runner, with many a 5k, a few half-marathons, and a couple marathons under his belt. We've tried to run together but that's a no-go. I'm so competitive I hate to suck at something as "simple" as running and clearly I hold him back. It's not a good situation for either of us. But since I've moved to Alabama, out for the summer, and with a super nice park with a 3-mile trail, I decided I'd give it a shot.

My Dad was sweet enough to buy me a new pair of running shoes because I'd gone a few times at a park at home with terrible shoes and then hurt my ankles fairly badly, as in, felt as if I had crushed them and was literally unable to walk. Gross. But the shoes, Brooks Adrenaline's, are awesome. I stuck some sole inserts in and bam, perfect. It's rare I can wear an athletic shoe which I actually use for athletic things without putting an insert in them. 

Back to running though, I've "run" 6 times in the last two weeks. Run-walk actually. Maybe I'll do a post on my schedule later. But today, I ran my trail in a race. Jason signed us up two weeks ago. That's right, before I even started running. I'm proud to say however, that I did it and beat my best time by about 3:30! I ran 1.3 miles without stopping at a 9:33 pace, which is a huge deal for me, considering I've only run 6 times! I even ended up with a trophy haha; keep in mind that there were only about 50-60 people in the race. But hey, I did it, and I wasn't last!

Walking up to the registration table this morning, I was still unsure if I was even going to run. Then I remembered that commercial where the man comes across the finish line as they're taking the signs down and cleaning up. Yes, I realize that's just a commercial, but still. If he could do it and be proud, so could I. I had also been praying last night and even during the race that I could just make it through without getting hurt or my shoulder cramping as it did during my last run. If He would just hold off the cramping till the end. I also repeatedly thanked Him that it was cloudy, which is huge when the humidity is 98% at 8am. The Lord brought me through it and faster and better than I've done. It wasn't the training, the shoes, or the commercial, it was him. He knew I needed shoes and my Dad gifted them to me. He knows I need encouragement, he gave me Jason and the thought of that commercial. He knew I had struggled the run before with the sun and humidity and made it cloudy. He knew the pain in my shoulder and as soon as I finished, bam, shoulder cramp. That's all I asked and He heard me. He gave me strength. All thanks be to God! I'm also super proud of Jason for finishing second in the race with his own 5k PR of 20:17! Go us! 

I proud of myself for looking for God's answers and encouragement, something I need to be better at. He answers are prayers, but are we watching for the answer? I realize not all prayers are answered so clearly and quickly, but let it be a lesson in watching. I can't wait to see what's ahead, hopefully I can get back into the flow of running after we get back from Seattle! Just get ready for more running posts. Maybe. Haha. 

Golden Mason Jars

Mason Jars are literally everywhere now, but if you're from the South, this isn't a new "fad," it's a way of life.  I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for ways to use/reuse them and sometimes I don't want just a plain old jar. I've done a post on "glittering" mason jars, now I'm showing y'all how to paint them with little effort! 

What you need: 
Mason Jars
Painter's Tape
Spray Paint 

I went for a Rust-oleum spray paint since it's good for painting pretty much anything, and a 1 1/2" painters masking tape. 

I also like that it's a "paint and primer."

Tape the mason jar in whatever design you like, just make sure to cover any parts you don't want sprayed! The bottom of the jar will get paint on it as you spray so make sure you've got something to set the jar on after you've sprayed it to dry. I used an old extra floor tile we had lying around since it didn't matter if paint got on it. 

Follow the directions on the spray can, this paint recommends at least two thin coats of paint. I accidentally sprayed one a little heavy and it globed and ran a little. 

I decided to give this guy a try. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy getting the tape in the shape of a T. Lots and lots of teeny tiny pieces of tape. There are obviously better ways to do this, but I figured I'd give it a shot!

The finished results! 

The vertical stripe is probably my least favorite, but I really love the horizontal stripe, half, and fully painted jars. Don't get me wrong, I feel like my T turned out pretty well considering, it would just look better with, paint? Umm, be right back, heading to the store for navy paint. How I use my jars coming soon! 

Which is your favorite? What design would you try? 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Favorites

This Friday is all about staying stylishly organized! Enter, Lilly Pulitzer Agendas! Yep, it's that time of year again...almost. You can now pre-order your agenda and it will come sometime before the end of June! There are several sizes and prints to choose from; here are some of my favorites!

Small Agenda in Jellies Be Jammin 
This guy is perfect for your purse and appointments or a schedule at only 4 1/2" by 6 1/2". 

Medium Agenda in Tusk In Sun
If you need an agenda for your purse but need just a little more room to write, this size will be perfect at 5" by 8 1/4".

Jumbo Agenda in Biggest Fan
This guy is not for toting around in your bag, unless it's a big bag, but is perfect for your desk and writing everything down in. Assignments, details, blog planning, this guy is for you! I might even invest in one of these for lesson planning when I get my own classroom! Weighing in at a hefty 8 3/4" by 11 1/4". 

Large Agenda in Trippin And Sippin 
The most popular size and perfect for carrying with you while still being able to write down what you need.  I've purchased this size the last two years and I love it! It was the perfect size for writing down my assignments and schedule, even my blog schedule! I can totally see myself getting this size, particularly this fab print, again, just for blog planning! 

Which one is your favorite? Which size is perfect for you, what would you use it for? 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hunting for Hunters

On the hunt for some rain boots? Specifically super stylish ones? Well, you're search has come to an end! Not only are Hunter boots the best rain boots I've ever had, they're incredibly cute.  They fit my legs perfect and for a bird-legged girl like me, they're perfect.  Made with real rubber, you can bet the rain and giant puddles don't have a chance against these guys.  But best of all, Hunter is currently having a SALE! Yay! Normally $140, you can snag a pair for $98! And free shipping! Sweet! 

I love these Original Tall Rain Boots in Lipstick

These Original Tall Gloss Rain Boots in Violet 

The Original Stripe Rain Boots in Navy/Lipstick

The Original Packable Tour Rain Boots in Blue Lily (I got these for our trip to Seattle!) There's also an adorable pair of yellow boots, but I thought they might look funny with a matching bright yellow rain jacket haha.

These guys are perfect for travel they fold right up and even come with a Hunter bag to pack them in!

These are actually kids boots, and if you're a lucky size 7 or smaller, you can totally wear them! They're just slightly bigger in the foot and shaft height than the adult Original Short Rain Boots, and not only are they regularly cheaper at $75 compared to $130, these guys are on sale for only $53! Love these in Yellow too! Very Madeline-esque. 

Will you be indulging in the sale? Which boots are your favorite? There are tons more styles on sale on the site, plus Welly Socks and apparel! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's for Dinner?

Buying groceries can get expensive. Quick. Especially when you walk in hungry and without any particular meal in mind. NEVER GROCERY SHOP HUNGRY. You will die. 

So how do you make it in and out without breaking your budget? I'm sure you've heard it a million and three hundred and seventy-two times, but make a list. And not just any list, a list of planned meals for the week. Know what you're going to cook and on what days. If you plan on eating out one night, make a note of it. This helps you stay focused on what you need and can help give you an idea of how much you can/need to spend. 

Buy fresh. Not only is it healthier for you, but having fresh foods makes you feel obligated to fix before it goes bad. You'll often find that you can make more meals with fresh/non-processed food which in the long run saves you money. I say this because it seems like Lunchables and Healthy Choice meals are less expensive, and they're great every once in a while, but let's get those good habits and recipes started. 

When I say write it down, write it down! Preparing to cook a meal makes actually cooking it 1849% more appealing and likely to actually happen. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up eating a lunchable because by the time I thought of something to cook, I was too tired or over it to actually cook it. 

Make your list fun, not just for you, but anyone you might be feeding! My mom always said, "What do you think this is, a restaurant?" Well I don't run a restaurant either, but I am going to let you know the menu for the week! *subject to change at management's discretion. 

There are tons of ways you could do this, but a lovely friend from back home in Kentucky gifted me this as a going away gift and not only does it fit perfectly in with the style of the house and serve this awesome purpose, I'd been looking for the perfect chalkboard forever. Perfect. 

What are some strategies you use to stay on budget or help you stay on the weekly meals track? 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cheesy Grilled Corn Quinoa

Keen-wah. Quinoa. Keen-wah. Why can't it sound like it's spelled? Right? Oh whale. It's super deliciousness makes up for it I guess! I love trying new things, especially foods, more specifically, healthy foods, and quinoa was next on my list. I've looked up tons of recipes but for a first try, I decided this one would be best! I really had no idea what to expect, I'd never seen the stuff anywhere except on tv. It came in this tiny bag and was like, $5. I thought, this will probably be a one time thing, who can afford to eat it all the time?! But I got it anyway, yolo, right?

I found the recipe through and article on Brit + Co. Seriously, it's the best new thing out there, like Pinterest, but better, because it's all in articles with original sources and explanations, but I digress. It's probably one of the easiest dishes I've ever made too! I made adjustments from the original recipe, so here's mine! 

What you need: 
Quinoa (1 cup, uncooked)
Cheese (4-6 oz. shredded)
Corn (3-4 ears, you could use a can instead)
Chicken Broth (2 cups, or 1 can) 
Butter (2 tablespoons) 

*warning, 1 cup of quinoa turns into about 6 (or so it seems) after it's cooked. This recipe totally allows you to make adjustments according to taste, just make sure to measure the broth accordingly. 

First, pour the chicken broth in a pan, and add quinoa, set on high, till it starts to boil, then turn it down and cover it so that it simmers for about 15 minutes. 

When it's done, it should be kinda like rice, all soft and stuff after fluffing it with a fork. 

While the quinoa is cooking, grab your corn (if using ears) and shuck them. Turn your grill on and let it heat up, I turned mine on about medium heat. You can put some Olive oil on the ears along with some salt and pepper if you like, but leaving them plain is fine too. Stick them on the grill, turning them every few minutes. If some of the kernels get charred, it's fine, you just wanna make sure they're at least mostly cooked. If you like crunchier, cook less, soft, cook more, totally up to you. 

When they're done, (the quinoa should still be cooking) let cool for a few minutes, or use an oven mitt or something to hold the corn when you cut it off the cob. Cut the tops of the kernels off with a knife, then turn the knife over, raking the juices and pieces of kernel left on the ear off. 

When the quinoa is done, add the cheese, butter, and corn immediately and stir till all the cheese is melted, and you're done! It's super and incredibly delicious. It's also really great leftover! Seriously, I've been eating it for lunch for like 4 days and it's better than it was the day I cooked it. Yummy. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product alone, but I did grab one of the finished plate, bourbon salmon, avocado corn salad, and homemade placemats included. 

Quinoa is like a healthier, little bit nutty tasting, substitute for rice. I'm certain you could literally put anything in it and it would be delicious. I've even seen breakfast recipes, and I would much prefer quinoa over oatmeal! Have you tried quinoa? What's your favorite recipe?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Today is the day we've set aside to remember those who have fought for this great country of ours, making sacrifices, even their lives. From the days of our Founding Fathers freeing this country from foreign rule, to freeing others from oppressive rule in World Wars and the Middle East, we've been proud to be Americans and proud of all the men and women who have, and do fight for us. I'm so proud of my family's rich history, grandfathers serving in the Army and Air Force, as POW in Germany, great-grandfather in the Navy, and ancestors buried on our family farm who fought in the Revolutionary War. Remember the fallen, those who have sacrificed, and those who are willing to die for this country I love so much. Thank them. 

I don't think there's another country on earth with the patriotism and nationalism that we Americans have. I hope you're wearing your red, white, and blue proudly today, and wear it often, I know I am! God bless America! 

tank: Rowdy Gentleman // shorts: Krass & Co. // sandals: Jack Rogers // headband: Target 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Style Sunday

I just can't get enough of navy and white stripes, especially on an American holiday weekend during which we remember those who fought for this very country under the Stars and Stripes, proudly defending us, purchasing our freedom with their lives!  Not to mention, I die over dresses with pockets. Double whammy.  

On Me: dress & belt: The Limited // cardigan : J. Crew // wedges: Target // sunnies: Old Navy 

On Jason: shirt: Ralph Lauren // pants: J. Crew

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Patriotic Stripes & Anchors

I can't get enough of stripes and anchors especially in my favorite colors. Navy, red, and white! Perfect for the holiday weekend! And the nautical anchor broach my mom got me in Memphis is perfect with this outfit!

Again, Jason looking pretty snazzy! 

"I don't know what to do with my hands."

On me: shirt: (old) // pants: Old Navy // blazer: Gap // wedges: Target // bag: Michael Kors 

On Jason shirt & shorts: J. Crew // shoes: Sperry Top-Sider // belt: Fossil 

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