Posts Tagged ‘Winter’
March 9, 2014
Hey there! I hope you all had a great weekend.
We are close to wrapping ours up over here, and since I am pretty certain nothing more than a long family walk and possibly a movie in is happening, I figured I would go ahead and share some of my weekend happenings.
Two main highlights are in the title of this post, but just for fun, I’ll include some extra shenanigans too.
Snowy Trail Run with Roadie
After being well into what everyone living north of Tennessee has admitted to being the worst winter in over twenty years, it is a serious breath of fresh air when the temperature rises above thirty. Pair that with the wind dying down and the sunshine making an appearance, it all equals up to the best day I have seen up here since October! Sad, but so unfortunately true.
Obviously, I needed to take advantage of the “warm” weather and decided to do so by taking an overly anxious pup out for a little afternoon run in the sun Friday.
Holy geez, was he excited! When we reached our normal winter turnaround spot around the mailboxes (around a quarter mile), we started jogging straight instead. I think this is when he realized we were taking our chances on a run outside together and he started sprinting like Seabiscuit.
I was more than down for a challenge, but when we made it to the two mile mark, I became a bit discouraged to try out our normal path home through the trails. Surely people don’t actually run them when there is this much snow out right?
Wrong. As soon as I snapped this photo, a runner darted right past us and proved us wrong. (You get on after it, ambitious neighbor friend!)
All right… I guess people do run trails in the snow. Knowing this, I did what a lot of you would do and tested the concept out for myself.
(We got this!)
At first, it was really fun and reminded me of running in the sand. I didn’t mind the extra challenge, and Roadie seemed to be equally okay with it.
After a half mile passed and I started getting thrown off by tracks and dips in the snow. Then it seemed a little more annoying than running on the beach. Plus my feet were getting damp, which always makes me crabby.
Whenever I thought one of us (or even our ankles!) needed a break, I stopped to take pictures of the winter views.
These sights right in my back yard around this time of year really are stunning, and I know I don’t always give credit where credit is due up here.
As the sun started creeping it’s way down, I knew that was my cue to head back to the house. Without even looking at my distance until I made it there, Roadie and I knocked out 5.27 miles together! I was so proud of him!
Upon our arrival home, I dove into a heaping serving of blue corn tortilla chips and salsa, showered, and got ready for dinner plans with Scott. We went to Bar Louie, a fun dinner and night spot we used to frequent in Orlando with plans to see a movie right next door afterwards.
We ended up meeting a friend there and all split a hummus plate to start.
I ordered the Chop Chop salad for my entree and added grilled shrimp to it for extra substance.
Shrimp, iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato, avocado, carrot, blue cheese crumbles, onion, garbanzo beans, egg, cucumber, tortilla strips, house dressing.
It was even better than the last time I ordered it and for the extra cost for shrimp, I justified having enough leftover for an entire additional meal later.
We had plans to see a movie, but both Scott and I agreed it might be a waste of money with our drooping eyelids. Instead, we made a quick stop at the grocery store and then went home to turn in.
Saturday in Downtown Detroit
February through April is Scott’s busy traveling months, so it isn’t out of the ordinary for me to spend a weekend alone here and there. Thankfully, this is also when my friends intervene with my “me” time and take me out or stay in with me to keep me company! Particularly this one.
Around 10:30 a.m., Alex arrived at my door to take me to brunch in Downtown Detroit. Before moving here, I already ruled Detroit out of my options of places to spend the weekends. Growing up, I had heard horror stories about how unsafe the city is, and while that is true in some areas, Alex is determined to show me it’s not true in all areas.
She had a Groupon to use at Good Girls Go To Paris, an adorable crêpe place in Midtown.
She mentioned this spot a while back, and I was excited to finally check out more areas in Detroit besides the Boardwalk and Greektown.
Wanting a combination of sweet and savory, we ordered one from each category and split them along with two side salads.
The Allison: hummus, spinach, herb de provence, hot sauce.
The Katie: apple, brown sugar, caramel, salted butter.
They weren’t quite as filling as the ones Scott and I experienced in Paris, but hey… that’s pretty rough competition!
With content but not overly full bellies, we were on our way back to the car and passed a great vintage apparel and boutique en route. I believe it was called the Peacock Room, but their website alludes to being mostly women’s apparel and accessories, which is not exactly how I would describe the store.
The funny trinkets is what drew us in, and as soon as we started reading things we both labeled this shop unexpectedly hilarious.
I mean… you just can’t keep a straight face in here!
With a few small purchases in hand, we left the store in a great mood and drove back to our part of town to get ready for bible study. I have really been enjoying getting together with some of our team in a small group setting on the weekends!
The discussions are always relevant to our lives and there are always more than plenty of snacks to go around.
After our session ended, we hung around and chatted the night away. For being a Saturday night and having the next morning off from practice, we all joked that we should be out doing something fun. Eh… apparently that meant a cleaning sleepover at our house instead.
Channeling the complete inner grandmas/dorks we are, Alex and I cracked open a bottle of wine, cranked up the *NSync Radio and cleaned our entire condo. We finished the night off with face masks and it really was the most fun I have had in a long time.
Sometimes you just need those relaxing nights in!
Today flew by, and I spent the majority of it doing laundry and preparing for the week ahead. It was chilly, but also sunny again outside, and I am getting really pumped that some of the piles of snow are slowly melting down.
I was about two seconds from going on another afternoon run outside, but took a clue from my extremely sore shins to back off. Maybe tomorrow!
Tuesday, I am off to New York City for an exciting trip I can’t wait to share more about with you. With a lot of dance reviewing to do and posts to plan, I’m also off to pack.
See ya in the morning!
February 25, 2014
… and posted about it right away? Sure.
While pulling into my driveway late this afternoon, I saw this month’s StitchFix (<- affiliate link) box sitting on my front porch just waiting for me.
You would have thought I just won a new computer or something. I was so excited! In a hurry, I pulled into the garage, grabbed the box from the outside and couldn’t wait to open it the second I got inside.
For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, I first blogged about this online styling company in January and explained exactly what a StitchFix “fix” entailed.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up and complete a style questionnaire, schedule a date to receive your fix, open your box of goodies to review your items, try everything on, then decide what you want to keep and send back what you don’t. Make sure to check out online and include notes about why you didn’t like certain items!
This box actually came unexpectedly. I originally scheduled my fix to arrive mid-February, and I did – in fact – receive a fix at that time. The problem, however, is that I received a fix that clearly belonged to someone else.
Immediately after opening it, I noticed bigger sizes and styles that wouldn’t fit my clothing profile. When I opened the style guide, I found all of the items I was supposed to get and was super bummed I didn’t see any of those pieces. Obviously, there was a mix up in fixes.
Right away, I emailed the company explaining what happened. I returned the items I received and checked out online, just like I would normally do.
This time, however, I made sure to include why I returned every item and expressed my interest in receiving the fix I was originally supposed to get. The items looked right up my alley and I didn’t want to miss out!
I hadn’t heard back from the company and was actually going to try to connect again with them today. Instead, I opened my fix, got credited the $20 styling fee, and found the exact pieces and sizes meant for me!
While I was less than ecstatic about my experience a few weeks ago, today I became very much impressed that they corrected it to the tee. (<- literally?)
So here we are. My official third Stitch Fix shipment.
Some of you might have already seen a sneak peek via Instagram, and by request here is a detailed list of all of the pieces.
From left to right:
• Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank (Olive) – $48
• 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan (Navy) – $48
• Dear John Kelli Slim Bootcut Jean (Teal Green) – $68
• Collective Concepts Gilda Abstract Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse – $28
• 41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse (Dark Green) – $48
Since I had already seen the style guide, I knew I would love every item and thanks to a collection of store credit (thanks guys!) I decided to keep every single item.
I was back and forth on the Abstract Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse, because of the loose fit. I then got the idea of wearing it tucked into a pencil skirt or even adding a solid skinny belt around my waist and voila, problem solved. Instead of saving the $28, I decided to work with it and keep every item to receive the “Buy All Discount” of $55 off my total.
Plus, I need more blouses like this in my wardrobe.
I have heard mixed reviews from you guys on your own fixes and thought I should include some advice. I have received emails raving about the service, but also comments expressing disappointment in some fixes. If you are one of those feeling less than thrilled about what you received, make sure to include why in your notes upon your return!
Are the items too expensive? Tell them! Want to change up your style? Edit your style profile. Need more blouses and less dresses? Be overly specific in exactly what you are looking for and they will be more than accommodating!
My biggest concern with my fixes is affordability. It’s hard for me to justify purchasing something more than $50, just to get it. In this case, however, the slim bootcut jean is something unlike anything else in my wardrobe. I literally have no other jean in this color, length, or cut. So, I said yes to the extra cost.
While there was a little bit of a hiccup in this month’s fix, I am still very happy with my overall StitchFix experience. I really look forward to opening my surprise box of fashion goodies every month, and know I can always return anything I don’t love.
Thanks for fixing my fix, StitchFix!
Note: Although I included an affiliate link at the top, this post was not sponsored in any way. I pay for my service and the clothing on my own, and wanted to share the company with you to help spread the word. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine!
February 21, 2014
Good morning! Is today really the twenty-fifth week of Friday Favorites? Holy wow does time fly! But I guess that’s nothing new.
Hopefully your week was filled with plenty of fantastic and funny moments or things you are dying to share at the bottom of this post! And if not, then it can only get better with the weekend creeping up on ya, right?
Anyways, it is my favorite time of week where I share my random finds with you and display them in a traditional bullet point fashion. (Because I am a blogger and that’s what we do.) Happy Friday Favorites!
Friday Favorites #25: Week of 2/21
• Meyer’s Clean Day soaps and surface sprays
I have been using this line of cleaning products since I first discovered it years ago. While I would love to purchase the entire line, I cut down on cost and only buy three main things.
I swear, I clean more when this stuff is at my house. It all smells so, so good!
• PUMA invisible no show socks
I received these bright PUMA gym socks as part of my Secret Santa presents during the holidays. They came in a pack of three with neon yellow and orange from Home Goods and I fell in love with the fabric right away. Who knew cotton could be so cushy?
I love the look of low gym socks, and I don’t have a problem with them slipping down too much. They also have to be one of the most comfortable pairs I own! I feel like I have just been constantly washing and rotating them since I first put them on.
• Ross’s spray tanning fail
This gem was brought back into my life from a twitter conversation about what kind of spray tans I get!
— Heather Hesington (@hwglamour) February 20, 2014
Man, I love that show.
• Health Magazine subscription
I haven’t had a subscription to a magazine since college! My mom ordered me Health for Christmas and I have really enjoyed having it sent to me every month.
(And thanks, Mom!)
• Amy’s Vegetable Lasagna
If you have followed the blog for a hot minute, then you already know I have a thing for Amy’s Kitchen products. It is an all-natural, non-GMO, vegetarian, and organic brand that has saved me many a times!
My most recent obsession has been over their gluten and dairy free vegetable lasagna.
I would bet at least twelve of you cringed reading that. I tend to buy gluten and dairy free products every once in a while and I promise that half the time you don’t even know the ingredients are missing. At 300 calories, it’s not the most filling lunch in the world, but it perfectly curves any lasagna cravings I run into!
Yesterday I enjoyed it with an apple and a handful of wheat crackers.
• Twenty minute walks
I mentioned going on a long walk as part of a tip to help you stay motivated yesterday. Considering this weather has been less than stellar lately, I feel like I am doing good to even get Roadie to use the bathroom outdoors.
A few hours after pressing publish, I took my own advice and finally got the motivation to try a “long” walk with the pup again. Of course, as soon as we got outside it started raining/snowing, but I forced us to take the walk anyways. I bundled up and couldn’t help but take pictures of the gigantic snow piles and slush around our neighborhood.
Miserably wet weather and all, I still enjoyed our time outdoors and am really, really looking forward to a few months from now when I can get back to getting out there every day!
• This video on toilet posture Scott posted on my Facebook wall.
Informative, yet questionably inappropriate to draw attention to me from my husband via social media. Whatever. I did my part in sharing the info with you!
• wood wick candles
Scott seems to find and bring home some unique candles! While on a recent grocery shopping trip to Meijer, he stumbled upon this Wood Essence Afternoon Tea candle made of wood wicks.
The company is called WoodWick (<- I think?) and the wicks actually crackle as they burn! The first time we lit it, we couldn’t figure out what sounded like it was “cooking” for a good bit. I have been loving the sounds and smells in the kitchen this week!
And finally… (for my barre peeps out there!)
• the hilarious (but serious) truth about barre workouts
I miss that burn in my life on a daily basis. “If you’re shaking that means you’re doing it right!” was my go-to line when I taught classes. Ha. So great!
February 18, 2014
Hi friends! Today I have something kind of random to share that I thought some of you might find interesting.
While driving home in a serious snow blizzard last night, I started thinking about all of the things I have learned while living up here. For those of you who are new to the blog: I am a Florida native, born and raised in Orlando, who just moved up to Michigan under a year and a half ago.
Last winter was considered “mild” and this one is off the charts unbearable. I guess it is comforting to know that locals are even saying it is by far the worst one they have seen in over twenty years!
If I can survive this I should be just fine from here on out. Or so I think!
• The four seasons do exist.
I often joked with my Florida friends that we could only tell what season it was by the Starbucks flavored lattes available. It’s fall because there’s Pumpkin Spice right?
Since moving to Michigan, I have found a new appreciation for the changing of the seasons and it is something I really look forward to as the months pass by.
Seeing the autumn leaves and spring blossoms puts me in the best mood. Ahhh I can’t wait!
• Winter clothes are expensive… but you can build a (cute + warm) wardrobe by investing in a nice piece (or two) of winter apparel per season.
Check out the outlets and look for the essentials during the off-season. I have been calling our local North Face outlet asking them for a specific coat I have had my eye on for a year now! I refuse to pay over $200 for it but need it in my closet, so I am being patient. This one is second on my list.
That’s also where I got my one pair of versatile snow boots I wear almost every day.
• Layering is key.
If you live in cold enough climates where it snows, you need to layer. And I’m not just talking about an overcoat and gloves here.
If you are going to be outside walking around in frigid and windy conditions, throw on a tank top, an extra pair of socks, and tights under your jeans. Also, bring a spare pair of socks in case yours get wet from the snow. I learned that one the hard way!
• Cider mills are the ish.
Any time somebody plans a visit, we try to get them to come during cider mill season. Generally, they only open the weekend after Labor Day and close the weekend after Thanksgiving.
If you haven’t ever tried freshly pressed cider (and cider mill donuts!) I highly recommend you put that on your bucket list. YUM.
• Nobody says ya’ll. You might as well go ahead and replace that with yuh guys or eh.
When we first moved up here everyone said I had a Southern accent. To me, I have a regular accent, but doesn’t everyone say that?
Our friends thought Scott had an extreme Southern draw (being from Arkansas) and say we both over-pronounce our words. Actually, people just combine words up here. This article nailed the Michigan accent right on the head.
• You have to really need that gallon of milk.
After our first snowfall, I finally understood why people get real friendly with their neighbors around here. Running to the store down south seems like a breeze compared to the process you have to go through to pick up that one grocery item during the winter months up here (i.e. October through April) Eek!
(Get bundled up, warm up the car, scrape the windshield, drive extremely slow, walk in the cold wind into the store, un-bundle, get your item, re-bundle and do the same process all over again!) Sigh.
• Goodbye, humidity.
Coming from someone who grew up fighting the humidity and frizzy hair that followed, I am extremely grateful that is now a thing of the past. It doesn’t rain that often in the Greater Detroit area, and when it does the humidity doesn’t even compare to a “low humidity” day in Florida.
It may sound weird to some, but this does wonders for my hair washing and styling schedule. Spray a little dry shampoo in your hair, throw on a cute hair accessory (ear warmer headbands are becoming my fav!) and you’re good to go for days!
• Basements are also the ish.
When looking for a place to rent or buy, the basement doesn’t even count in the square footage. All of the ones I have been to up here are fully furnished with carpet, paint on the walls, and even some furniture. Ours serves as my home office slash home gym slash entertainment area.
The best part of it all is if you have people over you don’t have to worry about it getting loud. Take the party into the basement and your neighbors will never know!
And the last few are specifically related to driving in the snow… because it’s a real struggle.
• Slow and steady wins the race.
Before attempting my first drive in the snow, “slow and steady” is all I heard. I didn’t realize it meant actually drive 20 m.p.h. on the highway. Also, I have learned that you should drive “where it makes sense” as opposed to in the real lanes. If there is a tire track, follow it.
Also, another huge tip is to only stop when it’s absolutely necessary. Breaks tend to disappear in the snow and ice and it’s not the most comforting feeling.
If you ever find yourself in this position, give yourself more than enough time to stop and more than enough room to do so. Try to follow tracks to avoid getting stuck, and NEVER slam on your breaks!
• Rear wheel drive is ridiculous.
Both Scott and I moved up here with rear wheel drive cars. In Florida, if you purchase an all wheel drive you’re just wasting money. If the car you want even comes in all wheel. Up here, rear wheel drive vehicles get sent right back down south.
My first time driving in the snow (in my rear wheel) was awful. My breaks jumped ship, I was slipping and sliding all over the place, and I ended up turning around right outside of our neighborhood to have Scott drive me. I replaced my tires the next day, but even with brand new grips the experience of driving with rear wheel power is scary. Always go for the front or all wheel option!
Other than driving and freezing my butt off for more days of the year than necessary, I have enjoyed living in the mid-west. Fall runs are my favorite way to break a sweat and I really want to check out more hiking trails when the snow melts.
I love having the excuse to enjoy a warm beverage at any (or all) time(s) of the day, and sitting by fireplaces. I adore the copious amounts of running leggings I now own that I could never pull off wearing in Florida, and I learn something new about handling the cold temperatures every single day.
I have to admit, however, that I am really ready for spring to get here already. Until then, I’ll just keep bundling up and think of more things to share with you!
I’m hoping to check back in with a soup recipe before I need to get ready for tonight’s home game. Stay tuned!
Question of the Day
• Have you ever relocated to an extreme temperature difference? How have you/did you handled it?
• Any tips for this Southerner turned Northerner?