This Weeks Eats 3.31.13

If you live in the Seattle area, I hope you also enjoyed the fabulous weather we had this weekend.  We spent a lot of time in the yard and at a local park on Saturday.  My husband and I capped it off with dinner out for Tex Mex and margaritas.  There's nothing better than margs, chips and salsa on a warm night after day spent in the sun.  

In addition to enjoying our yearly Easter tradition at Jump Planet, I tested out a new scone recipe for breakfast and these went over quite well.  

Happy Easter!

Our Easter tradition of Jump Planet has got to be, outside of our Christmas rituals, our favorite family tradition.  For the fourth year in a row, we worshipped at the altar of inflatables, and a great time was had by all.




Friday Things

What a gorgeous day in Seattle!  It's been a perfect day with a long run, lunch with the family (husband had a half day today) and some time at the marina feeding the ducks.  And now it's 'quiet time' for the kiddos while I drink coffee, write and read.  Ahhh.

OK, many have asked about that Brooks Outlet truckload sale I mentioned yesterday here are the deets: they are located at 22627 Bothell-Everett Highway,  Bothell, WA 98021 and the sale is next week Friday through Sunday (April 5-7th). Store hours are Friday & Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 10-5. Be there, or be square.

Speaking of shoes (oh, but they do have more than just shoes at the outlet, just so ya know!), now that spring is upon us, I've been in the market for some casual warm-weather shoes.  I hate that I must soon put away my favorite Kamik boots.

me and baby girl on a fall day

I searched high and low for a comfortable slip on shoe that wasn't too fancy (as most of my ballet flats are) or too sporty (like all of my Privos by Clarks).  Aaaaand I caved to a pair of TOMS.  Are they totally out of style now?  Never were in?  Well, if they're wrong, I don't wanna be right.  

I got 'em in a nice obnoxious orange, too - mwhahaha.

I mean, they're not as bad as Crocs, right?  It's hard resist the allure of these versatile, casual, suuuuper comfortable shoes.  I don't know if I think they're the prettiest style, but I at least went with a fun color for my first pair.  Yes, I say first because I know I'm buying more.

Here's something that made me laugh quite a bit this week.  If you're a dog owner, you can probably relate:

Photo: ha, I bet all Dane owners can identify with this!

Passion Pit's Little Secrets came on while I was doing some hill repeats earlier this week and the lyric kept me inspired: lots of "higher and higher!"  Love Passion Pit.

Happy weekend all!  And if your celebrating Easter, have a lovely holiday!

2013 Playlist
Sovereign Light Cafe by Keane, remixed by Afrojack
Clarity by Zedd
Years by Alesso
Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club
She Wolf by David Guetta, featuring Sia
Alive by Krewella
Illmerica by Wolfgang Garnter
Drowning by Armin van Buren
Give Me Your Hand by The Ready Set
Language by Porter Robinson
Cry for You by September
You Are My Diamond by Tiesto - featuring Kianna
Arguru - Deadmau5
We Are by Jus Jack & Oza, featuring Aeone


My Fitness Closet

I had to link up to Pavement Runner's #fitnesscloset post because I love, love, love taking a peek into other people's stuff.  One of our favorite things to do when we were city dwellers was to take our Pug on nighttime walks and peek in all the lit windows.  Anyhoo...

Here's a look into my #fitnesscloset, which is really a drawer that's a wee bit over capacity:

This post is pretty much an ode to Oiselle and Brooks, with a few odds and ends thrown in:

Oiselle 50/50 tees are my favorite things to wear all the time.  All day. Every day.  
Just a sampling...
Not just for running!  Today's outfit brought to you by bird head lady.

When it's a bit cold out, my second favorite thing to wear all day/every day is the new Lux Layer.  I've already expounded upon my obsession here.

Everyone's wearin' Lux! Jenny, Me, Dawn

and a very close second favorite long sleeve is the Rundelicious.  

Rundelicious makes me a HAPPY runner.

Rundelicious, along with being fun to say, has a wee zip pocket on the back.  And it's on SALE right now!

Tanks, tanks, tanks!

And for warmer days, or  for layering, my Winona tank (on the left) is my new fave. Same super awesome fabric as the lux layer.  Although, the stripey simplicity tank (in the middle) holds a special place in my heart, as it directed me straight to the Oiselle website a little over a year ago and made me love all the designs.  And on the right is the mesh tank; they are light as air and will get me through the summer feelin' breezy.

As for bras, I normally wear the Champion Double Dry Seamless sports bra. 

photo via www.championusa.com

But, I'm breaking in the brand new Lesko Oiselle bra and, so far, so good! For those of you that are size A-C, I highly recommend checking out all of the beautiful Oiselle bras.  Let's not use deductive reasoning to figure out my size, 'kay?  Moving on...

I've been wearing my arm warmers quite a bit lately with my 50/50 tees, as it's that kind of weather that starts off feeling chilly but ends up being too warm for long sleeves.

What makes these arm warmers special?  Thumbholes!

As for bottoms, Lesley Knickers, as seen during the Valentine's Day Dash, are my go-to pretty much all year round.

For those two months it gets rather warm in Seattle, I'm always in my beloved Long Rogas or Bum Wrap.  

Violet Rogas with my mesh tank.
It's not a skirt! It's a wrap! This was my fastest race to date, so, the Bum Wrap's got SPEED.

I do have some compression calf sleeves from Zensah and Pro-Compression socks.  I mostly use them for recovery, but I'm thinking of wearing the Pro Compression ones to run Eugene...

Also for recovery, since most of my aches are in my hips/hamstrings after running, I got a pair of Aspaeris Pivot shorts awhile ago and really LOVE wearing these under my Time Out Sweats after a long run.  They're like a hug for sore muscles.

Gen2 Women's Black Aspaeris Pivot Shorts™
photo via www.aspaerispivotshorts.com

I happened to throw a pair of Thorlo Experias onto the counter at Nordstrom one day and, whoa, I love these socks.

I can thankfully put my gloves away for the season.  But when I do wear gloves, I put on these awesome Head SensaTEC running gloves I picked up years ago at Costco and they're still going strong.  The palm side is lined with grippy material and they have that handy SensaTEC material on the thumb and forefinger so that I can utilize the touch screen on my phone.  And if my hands get too warm, I can clip them together and thread them through my Amphipod or armband.

Any run that I do over 4 miles, I bring along my Amphipod.  I love how the Hydraform Thermal Lite contours to fit my hand and has cushioning around the bottle.  

photo from www.amphipod.com

Until I get that Bia Sport watch this fall, I still rely on my phone apps for tracking my mileage.  Tune Belt is my trusty arm band.  I know, I know.  I'm probably the only runner I know without a Garmin.  

Photo via www.amazon.com

In addition to the millions of Goody hair elastics that seem to regenerate all over my house (yet, I can never find one when I need one), I have a nice little stash of Bic Bands.  Love these headbands (they do NOT slip) and that they always donate a portion of the profits to different charities.

If there's even the slightest chance of rain, I usually like to wear hats.  So, yeah, I wear hats a lot.  I love the new Oiselle superfly cap that should be available on the website soon.

Look! Ducks!

And I also love the Brooks Nightlife Hat.

Nightlife Hat
photo via www.brooksrunning.com

Speaking of Brooks...  They're my go-to for all shoes:

I started running in Adrenalines (on the left) years ago and they're just the most comfortable on my feet.  Also, the Gore-Tex line of shoes (center) have been essential during the super rainy winter.  I can splash through puddles and my Thorlos stay dry.  They're also the trail version of the Adrenaline, a little bit stiffer, so I'll use them during the summer for my foray into some trail races.  Versatile!  Just recently I took the plunge on the Pure Project line and LOVE my Pure Cadence (on the right). LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.  I was worried about aching calf muscles, etc. because of the low heel drop, low profile shoe - but, again, Brooks and my feet = match made in heaven.  I wore them to one bootcamp for about a mile's worth of running and just decided to do my run the next day in them.  Six miles later, my feet and legs were nothing but happy.  Does this mean I'm not a terrible heel striker?  Even my one stubborn toe that always seems to get rubbed the wrong way in any shoe was totally cozy.  Why, oh why, did I wait so long to try these??  I want to buy 10 pairs. 

PS - local yokels, I'm pretty sure the Brooks outlet is having their Truckload Sale next weekend (April 6-7)!

Okay, what's in your closet?  I wanna see!  Go link up with Pavement Runner! And don't forget to enter my Oiselle giveaway for a chance to add to your collection.


Oiselle Giveaway! (winner announced)

Thank you all for your kind tweets and comments on yesterday's post - you're all just validating the awesomeness of the internet!  So, in honor of the blog anniversary, it's time to host a most fitting giveaway.  Oiselle has graciously offered to giveaway one Start Line Tee (if you've not tried the famous 50/50 tees, now is the time) AND a Green Lake Hoodie to one lucky winner!

Image Oiselle Women's Green Lake Hoodie
Photo from Amazon

Photo from Oiselle

To enter, in honor of the tee, tell me in the comments below - what is the furthest distance you've raced?  And I'll throw in a few more extra entries for this giveaway; please leave a comment for each one for a total of four possible entries per person:

  • Follow me on Twitter so that I can get to know you :)
  • Follow Oiselle on Twitter so that you can be in the know on fabulous deals and other giveaways!
  • Tweet this giveaway (ex: I'd love to win a @Oiselle hoodie and tee from @mrshallberg!)
I'll announce the winner (using random.org) on Wednesday, April 3rd.

Good Luck!

This Giveaway is Closed - Hopefully I'll do another Oiselle one soon!


One Year

I started this blog exactly one year ago.  I told myself that I'd give it a year and, if it was something I didn't enjoy by now, I'd stop writing.  Enjoyment it is a vast understatement of what this blog has meant to me over the last year.  It's been an outlet, a place to learn and gain advice, a place to share the minutiae of my life with far flung family (I love a good alliteration: far! flung! family!), a way to stay connected with friends, and (by far) meet SO MANY new ones.  I have so much gratitude for the women at Oiselle for embracing me into their fold.  It was just over a year ago that I got the email from Kristin welcoming me to this team of crazy awesome women.  There is so much love and an overwhelming amount camaraderie among this group (teammate Rachelle explains it better than I can here).  Without them, I probably wouldn't have thought to start a blog in the first place.  And, of course, I named it after a beloved Oiselle line of tees

 I could never have imagined what a social outlet the 'blogging world' (gah, I wish I had another phrase) would be.  And it couldn't have come at a better time in my life.  

As this hilarious Huffington Post article points out, mom friends can come and go pretty easily.  I had pretty much lost touch with a bunch of them over the previous year with our kids going to different schools.  Life happens and it's certainly not the first time circles of friends have shifted in my 38 years.  Yet the hole it left in my life felt a little deeper, because most of my friends that I have outside of being a mom (my college friends and my closest and dearest friends who've known me since the goofy and insecure Junior High days, those pick-up-right-where-you-left-off-friends) live oh so far away.  

20 Year HS Reunion with my three besties.  We hadn't seen each other in about two years! Looking at this pic makes me so happy and also makes me weepy.  blargh.

Having made connections with others through running has filled a large part of this space I have in my heart and I couldn't be more grateful.  My running friends see me through a similar lens as those that 'knew me when' - me for me, and not my kids.  I feel super close to my 'mom friends' - especially those that go through the same struggles I do and parent in similar ways.  There's a real intimacy that forms when you see each other almost daily and your kids are all in the same boat.  I miss that and need that; I guess I need to go to more PTA meetings - kill me now...  But, at the end of the day, I think that they all still sort of see me (or each other) through the lens of how we are as parents and not the girl who would always get a burrito from La Bamba with you at 2 a.m. or that will talk about tempo vs. fartleks for an hour.  I forgot how refreshing it is to have these kind of relationships, too.  

So thank you friends, one and all: my family (even my cousins read the blog! not just my mom! holla!), my oldest friends, my knew-you-in-the-trenches mommy friends, and of course, my Oiselle, twitter and blogging friends.  It's been a wild ride and I'm looking forward to many more years of commiserating.


This Weeks Eats 3.24.13

Yay for sunny Seattle weekends!  And yay for chopping off hair!  I seem to go through a three year cycle of trying to grow it long, then cutting it mid-length, then trying again only to end up chopping most of it off after about 2-3 years. We'll see how long this cut lasts.

Sun! Chopped Hair! Sushi! Shopping! It was a good day.

We took a trip to the aquarium with the kids today and, yes, they picked out what is now their annual stuffed sea creatures.  A cutesy little blue octopus for baby girl and a shark for big brother.  Not nearly as entertaining as the toys from last year, but still fun.

I'm so stuffed from having a Red Robin burger for lunch and I'm contemplating not eating dinner tonight.  But man, that Whiskey River BBQ Burger is worth it.

  • Monday - Pizza
  • Tuesday - Satay Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Peanut Sauce
  • Wednesday - Southwest Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries (just throw lots of chili powder, cumin, minced garlic, chopped jalapeno, cilantro and some breadcrumbs into ground turkey) 
  • Thursday - Thai Ground Beef with Veggies and Brown Rice
  • Friday - Date Night!  Our babysitter is home on Spring Break!
  • Saturday - penne with vodka sauce
  • Sunday - chopped salads with romaine, grilled chicken, bacon, red onion, avocado, blue cheese and champagne vinaigrette


Friday Things

Most of Seattle woke up to a view like this today:

I had planned on an easy 6-8 outside; alas, I bagged it for this view:

Blargh, I hate doing any more than 5 miles on the treadmill.  I managed to get through about 6.5 before spotting a friend at the gym and promptly called it quits to do some chatting.  Although, since discovering new podcasts, the time went by a bit faster than usual and they've become my go-to almost exclusively on long runs.  I always listen to the latest from Another Mother Runner, it's like having girlfriends along on a run.  I love how they go on tangents and I'm always nodding my head in agreement or laughing along.  My new discovery?  Alec Baldwin's "Here's The Thing" - he interviews all sorts of interesting people while being his funny and witty self.  My favorites so far are the interviews with Kristin Wiig and Brian Williams.  Highly recommend!  If anyone has other good podcast recs, I'd LOVE to hear about them.

My run was also a bit of a slog because I'm having some major delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for the cool kids) from yesterday's bootcamp (you can read more about my bootcamp class here and here).  There were lots of plank exercises, squats, lunges and about 10 different donkey kick type exercises that we don't usually do, much less in a tabata style format.  Speaking of bootcamp DOMS, Rachelle of Livin the Sweat Life joined me last week in class and a similarly good workout; check out her thoughts here!

Apropos of nothing, as usual with Friday Things, this website is the best and I visit it quite often:
www.calmingmanatee.com so calming, so funny

On to music - I love it when some of my favorite non-running music gets remixed for a more running friendly version.  My favorite last year was Tiesto's remix of Youngblood by The Naked and Famous.  Now I'm loving Afrojack's remix of Keane's Sovereign Light Cafe (original on the Strangeland album).

Sovereign Light Cafe by Keane, remixed by Afrojack

Enjoy and happy weekend!

2013 Playlist
Clarity by Zedd
Years by Alesso
Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club
She Wolf by David Guetta, featuring Sia
Alive by Krewella
Illmerica by Wolfgang Garnter
Drowning by Armin van Buren
Give Me Your Hand by The Ready Set
Language by Porter Robinson
Cry for You by September
You Are My Diamond by Tiesto - featuring Kianna
Arguru - Deadmau5
We Are by Jus Jack & Oza, featuring Aeone


Endorphin Warrior Bracelet - Winner!

Thanks to all who entered!  And the winner is:

Congrats Tracy!  Email me at: agibson60657 at yahoo dot com with your selection, size and shipping info.
If you didn't win, fear not, I'll be doing another one next week to celebrate the anniversary of my blog and (to give you a hint at the giveaway goods) my Oiselle anniversary...


This Weeks Eats 3.17.13

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  Leprechauns did visit our house and took some of the 'gold' we put in the trap:

He asked me to write 'Gold for Leprechauns' just in case they didn't know..

But they left their 'flashlights' behind (clover shaped glow sticks).  Also, the green cake turned out rather good!  Spinach works well as food coloring and hidden nutrition.  WIN.

If I make this again, I think I'll use vegetable oil instead of olive oil - I didn't think it jived 100% with the sweetness of the cake.  Also, drizzle a scant amount of oil over your spinach to get it to puree more easily. 

OK, on to this weeks eats:

  • Monday - Pizza
  • Tuesday - buffalo chicken salad with creamy avocado ranch dressing (trying this recipe from Annie's Eats)
  • Wednesday - spicy Thai peanut noodles with veggies and chicken (trying this sauce from allrecipes)
  • Thursday -  chicken with artichokes, tomatoes and mozzarella 
  • Friday - steak fajitas (carne asada skirt steak from Trader Joes with all the fixins)
  • Saturday - rigatoni with arrabiata sauce (in a dutch oven, saute 1/2 pound Italian sausage with onion/garlic in olive oil, deglaze with some white wine once it's cooked and add 28oz can crushed tomatoes, an 8oz can of sauce and a can of tomato paste - let it simmer for at least 30 minutes to an hour)
  • Sunday - minestrone (trying a Barefoot Contessa version)

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for an Endorphin Warrior training bracelet!


Friday Things

Y'all, my Pug is ten years old today!  Happy birthday Peeps!  I shall now kill you with the cuteness of ten years ago:

lookit those wittle claws! I die.

not even as big as my husband's forearm.

starting a long career of couch snuggling.
which one's the dog and which are the toys?

And here's a more recent pic; one of my favorites from Christmas.

Even though he's getting a bit gray in the muzzle, he's still pretty spry and the world's best snuggler.  Love that dog.

I was thinking of having a family birthday celebration with a green cake tomorrow: two birds, one stone.  Apparently now I have to get into the whole 'hiding Leprechaun' spiel with my five year old since their music teacher read them a story about catching Leprechauns and making a trap.  Did you know that this was a thing?  Just check out this Pinterest search on the subject.  One of my girlfriends from college gets into it every year, making a trap, leaving green food dye in the toilet (the Leprechaun used the potty!) and it's hilarious.  But, it's been her thing forever and, um, not really my thing.  I don't get into the whole Elf on the Shelf bizness and the like; I think our advent activities along with all the school ones are enough.  For, me, it all just gets to be a bit much.  I feel like every teeny tiny holiday lately is such a massive to-do with the kids: crafts, gifts, treats, etc.  We decorated a shoe box today and put our 'gold' in it and I'm not sure what's going to go down on Saint Patrick's Day morning.  Maybe I'll leave them some gold coins next to their beds/green dye in the toilet and call it good...

I suppose I'll have some time to think it over, as I'm aiming to go for a long run tomorrow - maybe 10, we'll see.  And here's what I've added to the playlist this week:

Clarity by Zedd

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for an Endorphin Warrior training bracelet!

Happy weekend!

2013 Playlist
Years by Alesso
Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club
She Wolf by David Guetta, featuring Sia
Alive by Krewella
Illmerica by Wolfgang Garnter
Drowning by Armin van Buren
Give Me Your Hand by The Ready Set
Language by Porter Robinson
Cry for You by September
You Are My Diamond by Tiesto - featuring Kianna
Arguru - Deadmau5
We Are by Jus Jack & Oza, featuring Aeone


Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet Review & Giveaway!

Yay!  My first giveaway!  I was so excited to get a training bracelet from Endorphin Warrior to review, since seeing all the Nuun Hood to Coast teams sporting them and having giveaways on their blogs over the summer.  I'd already picked out the 'STRENGTH' bracelet for an imaginary shopping spree months ago.

One of my go-to mantras for when things get tough in a race is: You Are Stronger Than You Think.  I love the idea of having something to remind me as I look down at it during a tough run.  I've yet to sport it in a race, but I did take it out yesterday on my first real tempo run MONTHS. 

after a mile warm up, my 3 mile tempo went rather well and I was hitting my old tempo paces by the LAST mile - huzzah!

Aaaaaaand, I really haven't taken it off since.  The sweat dries instantly and I've also drenched it while doing dishes (I mean, that's how I spend at least 40% of my day, easily) and it's held up nicely - just let it dry out overnight. 

Post tempo workout

I'm not the kind of gal to wear jewelry when I work out, other than my wedding rings and my watch.  But the Endorphin Warrior bracelet is so comfortable it truly feels like I'm wearing nothing at all.  It's been a long time since I've worn any kind of leather jewelry...

Yep, I wore my leather, beaded, adjustable necklace for my HS graduation picture.  And a spiral perm - didn't EVERYONE?

... and I'm really loving the leather now!  It's a nice neutral that goes well with other bracelets I wear, and layers easily.

Not only is it a great talisman for running, but for mothers of young children: I've looked down at it often whilst doing homework, or other hard hitting negotiations with my five year old, and I'm reminded to be strong and persevere.  Maybe I'll get a 'persevere' bracelet, too...

If you'd like to get your hands on one of them, Endorphin Warrior has offered to giveaway one bracelet of your choice!

To win:
  • Go to their website, check out the goods and leave a comment here telling me which bracelet you'd choose.
  • Bonus entry: since I love Twitter, tweet a link to this giveaway and include Endorphin Warrior's and my Twitter handles (I want to win an @EndorphnWarrior bracelet from  @mrshallberg) and comment here letting me know that you did :)
I'll pick a winner using random.org on Tuesday March 19th.  Good luck!

Also, during the month of March, Endorphin Warrior is giving away a FREE Dog Tag/Key Ring to anyone who places an order on their website.  They are also donating $1 from each order during March to support a local youth running club for lower-income kids.  More info here: https://www.endorphinwarrior.com/Articles.asp?ID=284