moms in training

Oh running. We have this love/hate relationship. I hate lacing up my shoes or scheduling in the time to run but absolutely love when I finally get myself out the door… and the after effects have me lifted for hours. My friend and I call it running out the crazy. That being said, I was presented with an opportunity to run with other moms. I usually run by myself and listen to a book (try it. you’ll love it.) but this is a new year! I’m a mom. Why not?

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosts a moms in training program which is an awesome trifecta; meet moms, raise money for a great cause, and get into shape/back into a running routine after a baby. Plus, I’ll be scratching another item off my 33 before 33 list! Awesome.

Here’s an informational video that brought me to tears thinking of my own baby, Jack, and the many people diagnosed with cancer each day.

We’re the very first chapter in North Dallas and our team is pretty small, but I’m overjoyed to be part of this amazing team of ladies, moms, powerful women, and worthwhile organization. My goal is to raise $750 – $1000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, all while challenging myself physically. I’ll be thinking of those moms and babies fighting hard and hoping there will be a cure in the near future for these cancers. If you would like to donate, I would absolutely love your support!! Just click – I’m a Running Mama – to help me reach my goal. I’ll be updating you with my training along the way and then after/on race day. We collectively will be running a marathon on March 23rd (as a relay – 6 miles each) and I can’t wait!

Hug your babies a little tighter tonight and pray for all those people waiting for a cure!

resolutions

MIzzou Game

2014 has been a bust thus far. The first ten days of 2014 have consisted of sleeping, sitting on the couch, and lots of tissues, gatorade, and orange juice. Our household has had the flu. But on the positive, I did get homemade chicken noodle soup (maybe you’ll see it on the blog)…. 

Chicken Noodle

We managed to shower and put on smiles with tickets to The Cotton Bowl, and a Mizzou win.

Cotton Bowl

But then back to bed as the illness took back over; more sleep, coughs, sore throats, and runny noses…. lots of snot around here.

Luckily, it has finally left our household, and we’re enjoying the idea of 2014 again.

Resolutions

1. Invite more people over. It always gets so busy, and easier to meet people out, but I love to entertain and make meals. I need to start doing that more! At least once a month.

2. Four blog posts a month; Jack, House, Food, Misc. GO.

3. Try to finish all of my 33 before 33 (besides traveling to Portland and Europe)! It’s the BIG 33, already!

4. Lasik eye surgery. This makes me super excited and nervous. I want to get the surgery, so I can accessorize with glasses for fun not for need. Plus, the image of not having to poke my eye in the morning on a daily basis sounds phenomenal!

5. Listen to music. My day used to be filled with music at all times of the day. Morning. Noon. Night. Discovering underground bands and just listening to a whole album in one sitting. I would like to get that back.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous 2014!

mini herb garden

Cover Herb

I finally did it and took off another 33 before I’m 33 item in the process, with building a mini herb garden. I was at Lowe’s the other weekend picking out plants for the house (with my mother-in-law’s help) and decided to pick out three herbs to start a mini herb garden in my kitchen window. I looked for fun pots to put them in but settled for terra-cotta pots and saucers. I wanted to make them a little more fashionable, so I used Better Homes & Gardens‘ idea of painting the pots. It was a fun and easy way to bring a little personal flare to the pots and the window sill.

material

  • large rubber bands
  • terra-cotta pot and saucers
  • small paintbrush
  • primer
  • acrylic crafts paint or wall paint
  • aluminum foil
  • masking tape or blue wallpaper tape
  • spray shellac
  • craft knife
  • herbs or plants to pot

To start, stretch a rubber band around the base of each pot, positioning one side higher than the other to form a smooth curve.

Rubberband

Paint the saucers and the bottom section of each pot and saucer with primer right up to the edge of the rubber band. Let dry.

Primer

Paint each saucer and pot below the rubber band with craft paint. I did two coats of Benjamin Moore rockport grey, not craft paint and it worked well. Let dry.

Rockport

Wrap the top of each pot in aluminum foil, leaving the painted area below the rubber band exposed. Use masking tape to conceal any uncovered terra-cotta between the foil and the rubber band.

tape

Turn the pots upside down in a well-ventilated area. Following the instructions on the package, apply two or three coats of shellac to the painted portions of the pot and saucer. Let dry. I used Valspar’s clear sealer in satin which worked great!

Primer

Use a crafts knife to score the paint along the bottom edge of the rubber band. Cut off rubber band. Then plant your plants! I also got these herb markers which I bought on Etsy, and I’m in love with them!

herb markers

source

She has a variety to choose from and worked with me only wanting three! I highly recommend Paulova Ceramics! She has some other fun items like a salt and pepper cups that are on top of my list, too!

Final Herbs

colorado

Breck
I have to back up a couple of months and tell you about our fabulous vacation to Colorado. I needed to wait a little bit to post because I couldn’t explain why I didn’t actually get to go snowboarding until after our trip. I was 12 weeks pregnant on the trip and my OB strongly discouraged me from snowboarding. As I said in the past, we honestly didn’t think we would get pregnant for awhile, so why worry about booking a trip in January?!? Well it happened.

Even as I was talking to my sister-in-law about the inability to snowboard, she said, “It’s totally worth it!”

I replied “Is it really? I’m going all the way to Colorado and can’t snowboard!?!”

I wasn’t happy about my first trip out west to snowboard, and not actually snowboarding. It was really hard. There might have been tears. Instead, I made the best of it by scheduling all my OB appointments, catching up on reading, scheduling massages, manicures, and pedicures, and shopping in town. Plus, the hubs stayed in two days, so I wouldn’t lose my mind. It helped a lot. The weather wasn’t the greatest that weekend (-8 degrees during the day and -12 at night), so I was okay with staying in.Downtown BreckLuckily, the hubs found a fabulous cabin for me to nest in while everyone was skiing and snowboarding. It was SO cute and cozy, and we had great nights and mornings sitting by the fire.
Breck HouseWe did have a couple adventures with our Texas drivers in snow! It was pretty funny to watch and interesting to try to coach them through the icy hills, until Paul and I had to take the wheel and show them how it was done. One night (without the hubs and I), they resorted to leaving the vehicle and making the trek up the mountain to our cabin by foot. They were not excited about the climb when they came in and apparently neither were the people who owned the house where they left the car. When Paul and I went to get the car that next morning, we were greeted with this. Ha ha.
Bad SpotBreckenridge was a wonderful location for both skiers and snowboarders… and pregnant snowboarders. Our favorite places to eat that week were Fatty’s and Ollie’s. Ollie’s has their own bloody mary mix which was wonderful, which I got with extra pickles; this prego was in heaven.
Breck Eats & PeepsEven though I didn’t go snowboarding, I’m still counting it on my 33 before I’m 33 list. I hope next time I go, I’ll actually be able to snowboard, and I can’t wait for the day we have our little bambino in a snowsuit racing down the mountain!

Happy Travels to all!

french workbench

FWB Front View

Some girls want clothes, some want shoes, some want purses… Okay, I like all those things, too, BUT boy have I had my eye on this gem for a LONG time. The husband and I moved to Texas in 2010 and at least one Friday a month I would walk through The Whimsey Shoppe in Dallas and drool over these French workbenches among other things. I always wave to the owner Susan, while sucking on a Tootsie pop she puts out for her customers, and would dream about putting a French workbench into our house. Through the years, I’ve seen a bunch of work benches come and go. Long ones, skinny ones, ones with vices, ones without vices, ones with draws and others without. I love them all for their unique character and charm.

French WorkbenchIt was a usual Saturday with husband, and an unusual stop at Whimsey that brought my dreams home. We walked into the shop; I had already discovered my favorite French workbench a day earlier and showed yet another workbench to the husband. The hubs asked if I really wanted it. I said the usual. Of course! But there are WAY many more things that should take priority. He then said let’s see how much I can negotiate the price. I literally left the scene. I hate negotiations, I get all sweaty and nervous. So, I walked through the shop (grabbing another tootsie pop) and crossed my fingers Susan and the hubs would come to an agreement! Needless to say, Susan knew me well, my love for antiques and her shop. She was willing to work with us… or my husband at this point because I was too nervous to listen. She sliced off a pretty nice chunk so I could be the rightful owner of a French workbench!!!!! I don’t know if it was the excitement built up after three years of looking or pregnancy hormones, but I hugged Susan and fought off tears of excitement. It was delivered that next Monday!!
FWB HomeThis early 1800’s bench comes with more than just that story. It comes from Normandy, France near the shores that were stormed on D-Day. I tend to wonder what this bench has seen in its life. The bloodshed and victory of that day and the hands of the craftsman that worked in the local town. It’s pretty magical.

FWB Close-Up

FWB Side View

I smile ear-to-ear each time I walk into this space, and I don’t think the luster of this purchase will wear off for some time. I know it’s just a material possession, but it’s a pretty neat one…and I hope guests will love it as much as I do.

dining room

Full DiningOur dining room feels a little like a real dining room since the addition of chairs thoughout theses last weeks. I know I talked about a couple of different options in this post and wanted you to see the completed collection.

Side Dining

We matched our bench with the table and went a little different with the high-back West Elm chair in elephant leather. I love them and think they are rather comfortable, too. FYI, if you want anything from West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, I suggest getting on their email list. They have weekly specials and if you’re patient, your item will come up 15-30% off. I never pay sticker price for these big ticket items.

Table Top 1On the other side of the bench, we found these two Village Grigio side chairs at Crate & Barrel in a clearance section of their floor models. We bought them both with cushions for cheaper than we could buy one chair without a cushion new! I was in. It matched the elephant leather of the West Elm chairs, and if I didn’t like them, I wasn’t all in with a high price tag! Score. Luckily, they worked perfectly.

Table Top 2

The center piece is a collection of old and new things. My white everyday side plates, a french wine bottle from The Whimsey Shoppe, the birds were from an estate sale (my favorite past time), and the table runner is from Pottery Barn which I purchased for $9.00. What can I say, I like love a deal! One of my girlfriends actually got this same table runner as a bridal shower gift the other weekend, and I was in love with it! It’s subtle but works well in the space!

Bench Dining

I think the whole space looks wonderful, and I can’t wait for my father-in-law to come down and help the hubs put a little light on my beautiful subject! I’ll keep you posted!

resolution 2013

New Years Resolutions

Source

My resolutions this year are simple ones. No climbing Mount Everest on this list, just strengthening and adding some elements of health and function into my world. I know it’s already 1.23.2013, so as long as I start prior to 2.1.2013, I’ll be happy! P.S. I don’t know what it is about 2013, but I’m loving it!

  • Walk the dogs AM and PM – since moving into our house, sometimes opening up the back door sounds like a better plan than getting dressed for the elements and walking our boys. But I and the dogs are both disappointed in this decision. We both get less exercise, and the boys really enjoy it.
  • Workout – The husband started a new job and his new work schedule leaves me time after work to go running outside AND shower before he walks into the door! So, I need to pack my workout gear or wear it to work, so I have no excuses not to head directly to the gym after work! My hope is to do this 2-3x/week. The other days I have tennis or kickball.
  • Make meals – Planning is the hardest part of making meals. I love to cook when I have the supplies. 4x/week, make our meals at home.
  • Focus on the future, put away the past – I’m a dweller. Would’ve. Could’ve. Should’ve. I need to embrace the now! Because it goes by so fast.
  • Pay off debt (cc and student loans) – I took on working a couple Fridays a month to have more income to help pay off any debt we might have and to buy a couple new pieces of furniture!
  • Wash my face at night – This may seem easy to most. But I’m dead tired when I go to bed, and I’m lucky if I take out my contacts. That needs to change, I’m not a teenager anymore and need to make that a routine!
  • Go to church – Like a good workout, it feels great every time I leave church. We have, count them, four. Four different services to choose from each Sunday. 8:30,9:45,11:00, and 5:30. We must find one that will work with our schedules.
  • 8:20 am – get to work. Last year my resolution was to get to work by 8:15, and I can count on two hands when that happened. So, 8:20 it is. I can totally do that!
  • Continue 33 before my 33! It’s such a fun process and my ultimate resolution/buckle list!

dining table

Dining Table

We went mainstream on our dining table…. Yep, feel like I sold out. BUT all the people, places, and websites we visited that had or made dining tables, we just weren’t impressed. They just didn’t fit our style or well, looked too cheap or too rustic for the space. We kept going back to this one at Pottery Barn.

Our gift to each other for Christmas this year was a couple pieces of furniture, so we finally pulled the trigger on this piece after months of back-and-forth. It’s light wax pine makes a fun contrast to our dark hardwood floors, and we feel with kids (someday) in our future, it will be durable. It’s dull enough that the scratches we put on it won’t really change the look like a shiny gloss finish would. We actually (encouraged by the manager) took a fork to the table at the store to make sure it would hold up or at lease add to the rustic feel.

Dining table top

detail table end

detail dining table

I’m already getting excited for the table centerpieces and have visions throughout the year of fun collections!

Dining CenterpieceOur plan is to buy the matching bench, and I need to find some fun end chairs and two other dining chairs. These are the ideas I have in mind but nothing is set in stone.

PB Bench

PB Bench

West elm high back (for the head of the table).

WE Chairs

West Elm

Mid century modern – idea for chairs opposite the bench.

Hvidt Dining Chairs

I’m just really pleased to look out from our galley kitchen and see a dining table in there. I’m excited to sew table runners for seasons to come and hopefully have our families down to share a holiday together! Thanksgiving 2013?!? Maybe!! ;) Plus, this chalks off another 33 before I’m 33! Yay!

bikram

Wow, a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Groupon with a friend for Bikram yoga! I was on a mission to cross another item off of the 33 before my 33 list and maybe enjoy it enough to do it again and again.

I walked into the studio with mixed emotions.

1. I was really excited to try and ready to have this experience.

2. What the hell am I thinking? I’m not a yogi! I’m 5’11” with minimal stretchability. These people look intense and they’re wearing next to nothing! Eek!

We walked into the class and immediately the smell hit us! A mix between old over-used sauna and rugs drenched in sweat. Yum.

Then, the crazy instructor started – no drinking water between poses, put your mat this way, breathe weird, like this! Lots to think about while your sweating just standing there.

I made it through the session. Sitting during some poses, but felt great when I finished. Like most exercising, it was starting that was the hardest.

Honestly, I wish I loved it and really wanted to use my whole Groupon (for 30 visits!) but I don’t know if I’ll go back? It’s sweaty and intense and well, I feel stupid. But we’ll see. Pilates anyone?

spa week


Last week Dallas celebrated Spa Week! It’s a whole week of deals, from massages to chemical peels. You can try the latest-and-greatest or just schedule your favorite services at half the price! Yep, half off!! I wasn’t going to standby while these celebrations were going on and deals were being had! So, I called our local spa to schedule my services that would cross off another item on my 33 before I’m 33 list!


I first scheduled the hubs and I for a massage on Tuesday night after work. It was so soothing to meet up at the spa after a long day of work. We both needed it!

Then on Friday, I came back for a facial and manicure/pedicure (check!), to finish out the spa celebrations! I picked a fun fall color, dark cider pumpkin, at least that would be my description on the polish, but O.P.I. has other ideas… which I love all the same.


It was such a relaxing experience! I absolutely recommend a facial to anyone and everyone! It feels SO amazingly wonderful, especially when it’s half the price! Score!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!