A Brand New Cowgirl

Ever since I made the move to self-hosting in the spring I’ve wanted to revamp the blog a bit. I’ve even gone so far as to reach out to a few people about a custom blog design, but I wasn’t 100% certain if I wanted to spend the cash necessary for a total redesign. I also didn’t want a template that would be the same as a hundred other bloggers out there.

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So I went with a wordpress template, spruced things up a bit and waited.

Anytime I went to a site where I loved their template, I’d click on over to the design site.

Sometimes I liked the designs, sometimes I didn’t.

I really didn’t click with any design until I was checking out Danielle’s blog (after meeting her all too briefly in Vancouver) and I messaged her to ask who designed her blog.

Enter ShinyMagic. Such an adorable Etsy site with both Blogger and WordPress templates for a fantastic price.

I messaged with Lynsey a bit before purchasing (and also had Ann and Heather weigh in on their design choices) and I’m super happy with my purchase!

I had her create custom Facebook, Twitter and Google + templates for me, as well as business cards because I feel like a blogger should have business cards, right? Probably?

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I feel like at $125 for everything it was a steal of a deal.

So far only the site is live and I’m freaking loving it. I think it’s captured a much more mature site and it’s exactly how I want it to be.

I cannot wait to see my headers and business cards as well.

What to you think of the new design?




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Link Love: 8/31

I had the best intentions to post this on Saturday before heading down to my mom’s, but life happened and it’s going up now :)

I think it’s been about 2 months since I last did one of these. I’m going to call it my Summer BreakSince kids weren’t in school, I didn’t do my link round up posts, that makes sense, right?! No? Not really? Oh well :P

Truthfully, I’ve missed these posts – this summer really has felt all over the place, so I’m hopeful I’ll be getting myself back into some sort of a routine soon. I still have a ton to do to organize my new place, but it’s feeling less scattered, so I’m calling that a good thing!

Happy weekend!

link love august 31

SeaWheeze

Since I know a ton of bloggers go to SeaWheeze each year, and registration is way early for 2015, I wanted separate out the race recaps for anyone thinking of signing up.

SeaWheeze 2014 <– Me.

Lululemon SeaWheeze 2014 Race Recap via Eat. Spin. Run. Repeat. <– I cannot believe this girl woke up at 3:45am to hit up  the store!! Although, judging by her amazing picks, it might be worth it next year (only if I can nap after!)

Marathon Monday: SeaWheeze 2014 Edition via Work It Wear It Eat It

Marathon Monday: SeaWheeze 2014 Half Marathon Recap via The Athletarian

We ran, we climbed, we ate. And ate via Work It Wear It Eat It

2014 SeaWheeze Half Recap via Also Ran Again

Popular and You May Have Missed…

FYI Friday: Sports Supplements by Pretty Little Grub

Treat Yourself Tuesday by Strive to Stride

Run Streaks by Run Salt Run

Confessions… 

Link Love

How to pick a marathon training plan via Run To The Finish

Not Cool: Vegan Blogger Bullied After Changing Her Diet via Hello Giggles

The Blonde Vegan blogger comes clean about her eating disorder, orthorexia via Celebitchy

Orthorexia: An Interview With The Balanced Blonde via The Busy Bod Blog

I’m sharing the above  links because I’ve been there. I’ve had rules upon rules of what I can and cannot eat and have even had an anxiety attack over not being able to eat my “okay” foods in the past. I believe (through assumptions, mind you) that orthorexia is far too common-place in the HLB world, which is why if you see me posting about food, it’s food that is good. Good for me, or good for my soul. You’ll probably see a lot more junk than healthy food, and I’m okay with that. It’s only a snapshot of my world and it isn’t my whole world.

12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up via Marc and Angel Hack Life <– I loved every one of these. #7 is how I try to live my life.

In every tough situation, kindness must be attempted first. – People may make ugly comments.  The airline carrier may lose your baggage.  Another driver may cut you off in rush-hour traffic.  These situations will happen daily.  The question is: How are you going to respond?  Although your first response, like many others, will be to get upset, why not try a different approach?  Anger in these situations never solves problems.  People are far more likely to respond aptly to kindness.  And you can be kind and be firm at the same time.  Get your point across without sacrificing your integrity.  It’s the only response you will not regret later.

 Training Your Brain: 6 Tips for Getting Strong in the “Mind Gym” via rUnladylike <– back in the day I wanted to be a sports psychologist. Even now I love pondering about how an athlete’s mind works. I’m also adding Mind Gym to my reading list.

The Eye Opener via Two Thirds Hazel <– I’m just going to leave you with the below quote. Then I’m going to tell you to read her post and really think about it.

 Is your workout causing you to gain weight? via Run To The Finish <– some really great information about corisol for athletes

8 Tips to Implement Speed Workouts and Beginner Workout Ideas via Run To The Finish <– such a fabulous post on speed training!!

10 Toxic Habits That Drain Your Energy via Marc and Angel Hack Life

From Hobby to Job – Taking Your Blog to the Next Level via Running with Spoons <– I can’t say if my blog will ever be more than a hobby, but even for a hobby blogger these are fabulous tips!

27 Things I Learned in My 27th Year via Live Half Full <– I love these kind of posts!

9 Comical and Peculiar Running Mistakes, Plus How to Avoid Them via Run To The Finish

You Don’t Have to Be the Best,You Just Have to Be YOU via Lift Me Up Fitness




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Scenes from Southern Alberta

I’m lucky to have my mom about 90 minutes south from me in beautiful Southern Alberta.

I grew up among the oceans and mountains, but I think I’ve always been a bit of a country gal at heart (but I truly am a city mouse) because I’ve never really missed the ocean or the mountains.

I’ll take every chance I can get to go to Vancouver, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but I truly love Alberta.

Driving to my moms is endlessly beautiful.

This evening we went for a walk and I think we timed it perfectly for the sunset.

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PS – I really really like my new camera.




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All or nothing?

I was picking away at a rambling post earlier when I saw this Tweet come up in my timeline.

BAM!

Instant inspiration!

(I love it when that happens!)

Before I dive into my thoughts on this…

Do you agree or disagree with the above?

Me?

I disagree.

But it’s not as clear-cut as it may seem.

See, some days I don’t have 100% of me to give. Some days I’m tired, or I haven’t had enough to give, or I ate something that didn’t agree with me, or I have plans, or I’m feeling lazy.

You know, life things.

So maybe I can’t give 100% of what I have to that work out.

What I can do is make the decision to still run/yoga/gym/walk/whatever it is I have planned for that day.

Sometimes I think by saying Give it 100% or nothing at all some people will quit before they’ve even begun.

Don’t do that.

Something, anything, is better than nothing.

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Some days I can only manage to fit in a 5k run when I have 10k (or more!) on my schedule. You know what? That’s good enough.

Something is better than nothing.

Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I’ve struggled with giving up before I’ve even begun.

Well, I know I can’t fit in the full 10km, so what’s even the point?! I’ve already failed, so I’m just going to sit on the couch instead.

Probably not the best decision, but I know how easy it is to get in that mindset.

Aside from fitness, it’s easy to get in this mindset at work

I know I can’t finish this project today, so I just won’t do anything

or at home

There’s no way I can put all the boxes away tonight, why bother?!

I’ve definitely felt myself falling into the all or nothing trap over the past few weeks and I’m determined to step out of it. I’m determined to be the best me I can be in any given moment, even if that means a shorter run or a quick cleaning session.

Something is better than nothing.

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Do you fall into the “all or nothing” mindset? How do you snap out of it?




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Confessions….

Lately I’ve been struggling for structure in my posts (see a lack of a post yesterday). I think a lot of this is because I’ve lacked structure in my life since moving. I still feel all over the place and hugely disorganized and it’s creeping into all areas of my life.

Since I’m feeling disorganized, I figured I might as well ramble a bit today :)

Bigger isn’t always better

I’m slowly learning that just because my new place is bigger, it doesn’t make it better than my old place. It may be bigger, but I have half the storage and it kinda sucks.
I was really hoping to be all unpacked and organized by now, but I’m really struggling with where to put things (my winter tires are currently in a corner in my office/den area because I don’t have a storage locker or a parking stall. This is what happens when you have two weeks to find a place to live, friends).

I’m not sure why I didn’t google this before

My lovely friend Heather sent me a link to this fabulous mug this morning.

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Which then raises the question, why did I not think to put crazy cat lady clothing in my web browser before today. Seriously, that’s a valid question.

Also. Onsie.

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So, if anyone would like to, say, send me the mug and/or onsie that would be amazing.

I have writers block

Seriously. I sit and stare at my computer and have no freaking clue what to post about.

I’ve lost my blogging mojo and it makes me a little bit sad :(

I have a (hopefully) relaxing weekend planned at my mom’s so I’m hopeful some time to relax, take pictures and think of posts will get me back on the wagon.

I’m sprucing up the blog

Earlier this week I made two awesome purchases to help make this space more awesome (provided I can actually come up with content!).

My first purchase was a new camera and my second purchase was a new template/design for the site. Since I’m still waiting for the final template, I’ll keep that quiet for now, but I’m hopeful it will be up and running next week :)

I’m still exhausted

Remember way back in June when I was commenting that I was tired and going for blood tests? Well, it turns out my hemoglobin is normal, but I’m still freaking exhausted, so back I go next week for a thyroid test.

This shiz needs to get figured out because being tired is affecting my ability to blog and unpack. Wait, did I just figure out why I’m so stinking unmotivated?! Looks like I did. Bam!

I have a super cool work trip planned

Wait for it……

I’m going to Lima, OH for work.

I know, I know, I’m so amazingly lucky you can’t even stand it.

What do you have to confess today?

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Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud today




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Perception vs Reality

I’m going to look like the biggest copycat ever for this post, but I super don’t care. I loved Susie’s post, and I totally danced in my seat for her when Danielle wrote a similar post and linked to her post :)

It’s very true that it can be easy to hide behind a screen and show only certain parts. Now, I do my best to be real; however, that’s not always the case.

Perception: I’m good at following an exercise schedule and eating well.
Reality: ha! I went grocery shopping two weeks ago and didn’t even know what to buy because it had been so long since I’d purchased groceries. No joke. I also haven’t written my training plan for Ragnar, which I’m told is on 12 weeks. So…..yeah.

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Now that we’ve established I’m pretty much the worst healthy/running blogger out there, let’s talk about some more things you may not notice on the blog.

I can be hard on myself and second guess a lot of things. Some days I also give zero fucks. You can imagine the internal battle that goes on there. I also swear more in real life than on the blog.
I’m actually slightly terrified of unintentionally offending someone or hurting feelings.

I’m Type A, but I’m also lazy.
Since moving, I’ve elected to lay on the couch instead of unpack more times than I care to admit because unpacking involves getting off the couch and? No.

I don’t consider myself athletic or coordinated at all. Like, nope. Anytime a friend compliments me on my physical ability, I look around to make sure they’re talking about me.
Sure, maybe I am discrediting myself, but I just feel like I’m being me.

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I’m ridiculously competitive, but only about certain things.
For example, if someone challenges me to something, I’m hell-bent on winning, even if I know I’m unlikely to win. This usually results in my doing stupid things like arm-wrestling and push-ups. This is also likely to occur after having a drink, or two, or six.

I think my cat is really freaking awesome.
Wait you probably DO know that. What you may not know is that I’d take him with me everywhere if he weren’t so timid. He’s affectionate around me, but hides when he’s in an unfamiliar place. I even suggested/threatened Ann that I’d bring him as my plus-one to her wedding. I think she thought I was kidding?

I have a hard time telling if I’m being cute, annoying or endearing in certain situations.
I just assume it’s cute/endearing and move on.

I like to travel.
Yes. This is true. However, anytime I DO travel, it’s always all at once. I CRAVE balance and stability in my life and this really fucks my shit up (#sorrynotsorry) because 1) I’m not home, 2) I miss my cat.

I’m hugely introverted.
That doesn’t mean I don’t like people or hanging out with people, I love time with my friends, but too many days with plans means I want to spend time alone so I can recharge. I have no problem spending a weekend at home and only having conversations with my cat.
Shoot, that makes me sound like a crazy cat lady, doesn’t it?!
If you’re good-looking, single, can tolerate cats, and can fake an interest in running, please ignore that last part ;)

 

What are some things people may not know about you from your online persona?




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SeaWheeze 2014

Before I dive into my SeaWheeze 2014 recap, SeaWheeze 2015 will be happening on August 15, 2015 and registration open on September 10. That’s just 16 days away, so if you’re considering it, you better get planning because it’ll be here before you know it!

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With that out-of-the-way, let’s chat about SeaWheeze 2014……Overall it was a really great weekend. 

I’ll be completely honest and say there were some parts of the weekend that I wasn’t thrilled with, and I needed to step back and think about why I wasn’t thrilled with them before I wrote my recap, because I didn’t want to be negative if it wasn’t warranted.

Friday

My weekend started off with my flight being delayed an hour, so instead of landing at 11pm, I landed at midnight which meant I didn’t get to bed until 1am, which was 2am for me. That’s old for this gal who goes to bed at 10pm :)

Friday we were up around 7am (ouch, yes) and left to go downtown to the store around 9am. After throwing our bags at the hotel we took off to the convention centre. Rumour has it the line for the SeaWheeze store had formed around 1am which meant that by the time we made it into the store (around 11am) a lot of the items were sold out (but you can now find them on eBay. Grrrrr).

I have to say my biggest complaint is that the store is not limited to runners only on the Friday. I know last year I saw a lot of people in the store who weren’t runners (it was easy to tell from the wristband) with piles and piles of clothes. I understand lululemon wants the store to be open to everyone in Vancouver, but I’d like to see it limited to runners only on the Friday and open up to the general public on Saturday. We’ll see if that happens in the future; however, if I plan on shopping next year, I think it’s best to get down to the store as close to 7am as possible (I’m not crazy enough to line up at 1am to spend money!).

Even though there were slim pickings I still managed to find some super cute clothes (hopefully I’ll show them off to y’all tomorrow – if I remember to take pictures!!), so it truly wasn’t the end of the world.

After shopping I was absolutely starved so we walked across the plaza to the Cactus Club where I managed to shovel a massive plate of spaghetti and meatballs into my face-hole and I don’t regret that decision one bit.

We debated standing in line for tattoos and hair braiding, but they didn’t seem to be moving much, so off we went to the new lululemon store on Robson to spend more money. Heh.

By then it was about 3pm and we’d all been on our feet since 8am, so it was off to the hotel to rest for a bit before heading back to the Convention Centre for volunteering and yoga. We did a bit of a fashion show with what we had purchased and sat. Oh man, sitting felt fabulous!

Since we missed out last year, we really wanted to take part in the tattoos and hair braiding, so we headed won around 4:15 in the hopes we’d be able to take part before our volunteer shift started at 6pm.

And? We were disappointed. The manicure people had already closed shop, the hair braiding line was shut down and they were also closing down the tattoo line :( Major bummer. It was at this point that I honestly debated if it was all worth it.

I was also functioning on very little sleep and had been standing in lines all.freaking.day (or, that’s what it felt like). I may have also Tweeted something a bit snarky, which totally doesn’t reflect how I felt about the race overall.

In the end, we got our tattoos (but no hair or nails!) and some gelato before I turned into a Yoga Ninja. 

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It turns out a Yoga Ninja spends a lot of time packing up furniture and moving things and not a lot of time helping out with the yoga, so after two hours of moving things, I decided I needed a date with my yoga mat and hopped in to join the class. 

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Oh man, my body was so, so thankful I did that, it really needed to stretch after standing and walking all day on Friday. Per my FitBit I logged nearly 7.5 miles on Friday….maybe not recommended the day before a half marathon?

After yoga it was time to lay out my clothes and set my alarm for bright and early Saturday morning.

Saturday

It’s a darn good thing the fabulous ladies I was rooming with set their alarms because I set my alarm for 5:35am on weekdays – not especially helpful on a Saturday!

I donned my running gear and headed downstairs to meet Lexie. I was meeting up with some Flock gals for a picture at the Olympic cauldron before hitting up our corrals for the start. It was so awesome to see some Oiselle ladies in Vancouver!

After a quick stop for a nervous pee, Lexie and I waited in our corral.

And waited. 

And waited some more.

There were five minutes between each wave of runners, which was both good….and bad. Good in that it allowed for lots of spacing, bad in that we spend 25 minutes just hanging out until it was time to cross the start line.

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With over 10,000 runners the field never completely thinned out, but we were able to dodge and weave pretty well through the crowd throughout the run. (Except when there were 3 gals walking and taking up the entire pathway and I may have hollered at them and told them if they’re walking they need to move right because there are runners behind them. This was met with a “Wow” #sorrynotsorry).

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We started off in the 2:15-2:30 corral as Lexie was hoping to beat her PR of 2:40 from Disney earlier this year. It was a gorgeous, but warm morning (not that I’m complaining about the heat!!) so I was super thankful the course is so well supported with 8 water stations over the 21.1km course. Every station had water, Vega Sport Hydrator, Vega Gels, bananas and oranges. Unbelievable and very awesome.

Of all the races I’ve done, I have to say the SeaWheeze course is by far my favourite. Few things beat running in Vancouver and that we have the opportunity to run along the entire Seawall is pretty freaking fabulous.

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While we were on the Seawall we were lucky enough to have Lindsay spot us, so we ran with her and her friend Krystal (who was running her first half marathon!!!!) for part of the course. I looooove running with friends, it’s the best :)

^^borrowed from Lindsay’s instagram ;)

Lexie had a bit of a rough race with a side cramp and breathing issues, but I’m so happy that she was able to PR the race! Yeehaw!!!!!!!

Once we hit the finish, it was pretty crowded in the finish line tent, so it took a bit for us to get our water, coconut water (soooo perfect after a long race!), Runner’s Reward from Saje and our fabulous hats from Lululemon!

Our original plan was to wait in line for the brunch, but the line was crazy long (and we’d waited in a lot of lines on Friday) and Lexie wasn’t feeling too hot, so we went inside to lay down and drink first. We then made the executive decision to head back to the hotel and shower and then head down for waffles before they closed at 1pm.

That decision bit us in the ass, as when we got back down at 12:45 they were already packing up the food :(

Not all was lost, as the Vancouver Convention centre has quite a few restaurants around and we were able to find a restaurant with brunch and beer (my requirements after a race) and I happily chowed down on my eggs Benedict and a beer. It was wonderfully satisfying.

After food (and gelato. Again) I decided I needed a time out before getting ready for my dinner with Vega. I went up to the hotel to chill out and lay in my bed. 

Come 5:30, Lindsay and I hopped in a cab to head to Heirloom to meet up with Vega and some other amazing and fabulous bloggers.

Although I ended up missing the yoga and the concert, I’m soooo glad I went to the dinner. It was so nice to finally meet Christina and Angela after reading their blogs for years and to put faces to names at Vega. (Although I do wish I’d had more time to chat with them – it’s always hard to get to know people when seated at a big long table).

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Plus the food was unbelievably amazing. I desperately wanted to lick the sauce off my plate, but I’m told that’s not appropriate in public settings. Hrmph.

I was so bagged by the time dinner was done, I went back to the hotel and put myself to bed for 10pm. I was also falling asleep in the middle of sentences. Oh yes, I was exhausted.

Sunday

Sunday dawned early, but I had planned ahead and made a brunch reservation for Lexie and I at Heirloom because it was just so good.

Not pictured? The mimosas we enjoyed because Sunday and running.

The breakfast also didn’t disappoint and I’ll be back for breakfast after RnR in October.

All-in-all it was an absolutely fabulous weekend. Despite a few hiccups that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth at the time, the value of the race is fantastic and I’ll 100% be back next year!

If you ran SeaWheeze, link up in the comments so I can feature you in my link love post on Saturday!

Linking up for Marvelous in my Monday because this weekend was truly marvelous!




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Negative Nelly

For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit negative. And grumpy.

I used to be a really negative person. I think I partly thought it was funny to snark and made comments, but over the past year and a bit I realized it was showing the state of my heart. And well, my heart was pretty dark. I’ve spent a lot of time working to be positive and reframe things that woudl normally put me in a bad mood.

However…..

Since moving and working a ton, I’ve felt myself falling back into a negativity pit.

Complaining about things that don’t matter.

Rolling my eyes.

Sighing.

Grunting.

Generally just being an all-around brat and negative person.

Well, I’m over it.

It takes a heck of a lot more energy to be negative than it does to be positive and I’m sick of being a black hole.

I’d much rather be a smiley, happy person than someone to harps on things that, really, don’t matter.

This is part of the reason I started my #augustinspiration pictures on Instagram – a quick and fun way to bring some more light into the world.

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When you’re feeling negative and grumpy, I challenge you to take a deep breath and smile. It really will make your day better.

What do you do when you find yourself in the pit of negativity?




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Guilty Pleasures

The lovely Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars and Helene from Helene in Between host a super fun monthly link up. The best part is you can participate on Twitter or Insta, using #GuiltyTotalSocial.

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Since I have a blog, I figured it’s a wonderful time to share with you. Sadly, they aren’t totally scandalous, but I’m not a terribly scandalous person :)

1. Staying home on a Friday night

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Seriously. I know, we’re supposed to want to go out, or something, but me? Sweats, TV, glass of wine please and thank you.

2. Bad TV

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After I moved I added on Slice and E! to my TV package so I can watch all the bad TV whenever I want.

3. Reality Dance Shows

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I’ve watched SYTYCD since it started and I don’t ever think I’m going to stop. I eat up the routines, cry, cheer for the dancers and will sometimes text Ann because OMG.

Heck, sometimes I’ll even pretend like I know how to dance.

4. Celebrity gossip sites

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I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t check Celebitchy or Lainey Gossip. Sometimes I’m offended if someone knows celebrity gossip before I do. I know, it’s sad. 

I’m borderline obsessed with Bey and JayZ right now. Married? Divorced? What?!

5. Pitch Perfect

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I feel like this doesn’t need much of an explanation. It really is the best movie ever. I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to watch it whenever it comes on TV.

What’s your guilty pleasure?




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I have a race this weekend

…and I haven’t really ran since, oh June.

Umm, whoops?

I don’t try to make not training for races a regular thing, but as I mentioned before, my brain and body needed the break. I was also so dang busy (I realized that since July 19 I’ve had 3 days off. Three) I really didn’t have much time to run.

So. Enter a race.

I’m relatively confident I can finish the race without 1) dying or 2) causing harm to my body.

I offered to pace two of my girlfriends on Saturday, so we’ll be running a 2:15-2:30 depending on how we feel throughout. I’m super excited to take on the role of motivator/cheerleader this weekend. I just hope my fancy Garmin actually decides to work.

I went out for a run on Sunday and it tracked time just fine, but said I ran 0.03 meters. Right, yup, 30 meters in 28 minutes. Ugh. I was not pleased. (I plan on restarting it and trying again later this week, there was a lot of cloud cover, so maybe that was it? I hope so).

SeaWheeze this year will be more than just a race for me. I’m rooming with four other girls, and have numerous other friends in the city.

I’m also very excited to say that I’ll be meeting up with Angela, Christina, Deryn, Lindsay, Victoria and some wonderful people from Vega for dinner on Saturday. It’s like a runner/blog dream dinner!

(Unrelated: Vega has generously provided some fuel to my Ragnar team for November, so a huge shoutout to them (specifically, Andrea)  for being amazingly awesome!!)

Hopefully I’ll remember to 1) take pictures of the run and 2) take pictures of the dinner to share with you all.

After this weekend I’ll be resting for a few days and then revamping my training plan because, I, uh, have a Ragnar relay coming up in just a few months.

Yikes!

PS – If you’re coming to SeaWheeze, look for me on Friday evening. I’ll be a yoga ninja directing traffic for all the runners/yogis in town.




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