RockMyRun – Our Favorite Running App

One of our favorite things to do on the blog is share products that we love. Let me introduce you to RockMyRun.

This is hands down one of my favorite running apps.  I have a lot of music on my iPhone but sometimes I just want to mix it up.  This is where RockMyRun comes in.  They have millions (maybe not that many) of playlists featuring every genre imaginable.  You can filter by genre, time, BPM and length of workout.  I am totally motivated my music so having upbeat fun songs to listen to helps me push myself a little harder.  Plus it gives me access to songs that I wouldn’t normally purchase.

Here are some of my favorite mixes.

Girls Night Out

Runchat Fan Mix

Fight to Fit

Best of 2013

Mixes are available for streaming if you have WiFi or unlimited data.  Or you can download them to your phone and have access to them whenever you want.  They have two different levels of membership.  Here is the explanation according to their website. 

RockMyRun offers two tiers of memberships: Standard (free) and Premium. Standard memberships have access to standard mixes, get 1 download of any standard mix per month and unlimited listening to standard mixes in the RockMyRun app.

 

Premium memberships come in 3 lengths: monthly, quarterly and annually. With a premium membership you get access to ALL the mixes available at RockMyRun. You receive a number of downloads based on the length of the membership: 3 downloads per month for monthly, 9 downloads per quarter for quarterly and 36 downloads per year for annual. These downloads do not roll over to the next month – they are use or lose.

If you happen to be looking for some new jams for your workout, you may want to check out this app.  If you see me dancing as I’m running down the street, you’ll know what I’m listening to.

RockMyRun didn’t pay us to say nice things about them.  We just dig the app and thought you might too.  

 

Valentine’s Day Outfit

oday, I am lazy. And I have no witty words or clever thoughts. So all you get is outfit inspiration. But, Valentine’s is coming up (it’s my least favorite holiday, I’m not even going to lie to you guys). And I know a lot of people actually really like this holiday—which is so beyond my understanding, but there you have it—and since a lot of people actually like this holiday and since a lot of people actually probably have plans for this holiday, a lot of people will be wanting to know what they should wear. So I’m here to help. Valentine’s Day Outfits.

(Personally, on Friday night, my Valentine’s Day outfit will probably be me in sweats. On the couch. And if we do go out, it’ll probably be to a movie with friends. In which case, I’ll stick to my trusty jeans and cardigan combo. It’s never steered me wrong before! And if we don’t go to a movie, we’ll probably just decorate cookies. Because if I have to celebrate this holiday, why not do it with mass amounts of sugar intake! That’s what I say. And I just want to also say that I’m not against love. I love love! I just don’t think we need a holiday to celebrate it. Let those of us who have love celebrate in our own way, every single day of the year. No need to rub it in the faces of people who don’t have love. Nobody wants to watch the Glen Coco’s of the world swoon and coddle over each other. It’s really just rude to the rest of people who aren’t Glen Coco. And also, I’m just not overly fond of pink…)

Anyway, even though I may not be all that thrilled to celebrate on Friday, I do love all of these outfits. I found some spectacular skirts on Asos and decided that if one needs to do a Valentine’s Day outfit, one should do it in a skirt! And all of these are perfect.

Outfit One

The shoes from this first outfit are numero uno on my shopping list once I’m off my shopping fast (a story for another time, if at all). I can’t not have them in my life! And that leather skirt, so in right now. Swooooon.

Valentine's Day Outfifit
Blouse // Necklace // Clutch // Shoes // Skirt

Outfit Two

Metallic is so huge right now, and I love the pops of pattern and color in this outfit. The bright pink earrings are perfect for Valentine’s Day. But mostly I’m dying over that skirt. It has POCKETS! Insert 6 heart-eyed emojis here.Valentine's Day Outfifit

Earrings // Blouse // Skirt // Clutch // Shoes

Outfit Three

What a cute idea, to wear heart earrings and a “love” necklace on Valentine’s Day! I’m sure I’m the first person to have thought of this…

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Top // Earrings // Necklace // Clutch // Shoes // Skirt

Outfit Four

Gosh, I am seriously dying over this skirt! And the sequin top. And the snakeskin shoes. Mostly, it’d just be great if I got up right now and walked into my closet and this outfit was there. Maybe if I had this, I’d actually want to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Maybe.

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Top // Earrings // Clutch // Skirt // Shoes

Outfit Five

I have a grey tee almost just like this and it’s one of my favorite shirts. So whenever I can incorporate it into an outfit, I’m a happy camper. Especially when I’m able to dress it up, like this outfit does. Super fancy and trendy lace skirt, with metallic heels, a sequin clutch, and a plain grey tee. Perfect.

Valentine's Day Outfifit

 

Necklace // Tee // Clutch // Skirt // Shoes

Outfit Six

And of course, I had to include at least one cardigan. My go-to. My favorite. This outfit is perfectly girly. And even though it’s heavy on the pink, I’d still wear it. And you better believe I’d rock it.

 

Cardigan // Top // Skirt // Clutch // Shoes

I’m That Mom

As moms, we all have some days that go better than others.  We are more aware and critical of our own shortcomings than anyone.  A couple weeks ago Hey Megan texted me and said, “Oh, I have a post for you today. I completely embarrassed myself.” Then she proceeded to leave me wondering for 2 whole hours!!!  So, if you need a little post to reassure you that you are not the only one that is THAT mom, take a second to share with Megan (one of the best moms we know) what happens when things don’t go quite as planned. 

 

 

I am THAT mom.  No not that mom.  Not the one with perfect hair and makeup at 7:00 in the morning.  Not the one that makes darling lunches using Bento boxes and and food art.  Not the one that has the BEST ideas for crafts and activities for school parties.

 

I’m the other THAT mom.  The one sitting next to that perfect mom.  The one who probably didn’t take a shower yet today (see Tracey’s post on that).  The one who walks her kids to school in her pj’s.  The one who let’s her kids do their school projects all by themselves using stuff from the recycling bin (and you can tell!!).  Yep, that’s me.  You know that movie Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock and Harry Conick Jr?  And Sandra Bullock brings her daughter her lunch at school dressed in an ugly robe and total bedhead?  Yeah that’s me–like every day.

But today was especially priceless.  So, in my defense, it has been an especially crazy week–per my own making, my husband would remind me.  I had 2 middle of the night visitors last night so I was even MORE tired than usual (and I am usually pretty darn tired).  I decided to let my kindergartner sleep in (since he was one of those middle of the night visitors and I just couldn’t tell if he was getting sick or sleep walking).  So, thinking I am totally ahead of the game, I drive my older two kids to school.  Just as they jumped out my daughter asked if I could walk them in.  I thought “Sure, I’m totally ahead of schedule now and it will be just a minute.”  

Ugh, fatal mistake–ever thinking I am ahead of the game.  As I walk out of the school my friend texts me and says “are you at the meeting already?”  WHAT??  I have a meeting??  Oh man.  This is a meeting for the parents of the gifted and talented children in the school.  Seriously.  My kiddo is obviously naturally gifted and talented because anyone can see I’m not helping that situation!  I trudge into the classroom with about 60 other parents–all dressed perfectly because, you know, they are the gifted and talented parents.  

Let me paint you this picture.  I AM IN MY PAJAMAS!!  I pulled on a fleece jacket (courtesy of BazzarVoice–seriously) but everything else is pajamas.  I have not brushed my teeth–I’m not sure I have even opened my mouth yet.  My hair is…well it’s my hair.  Not sure there is a huge difference between when I do it and when I don’t.

 

I sit in the back hoping no one will sit next to me.  Tender mercies–my awesome neighbor Jen comes in and plops down next to me–looking gorgeous.  But she sees me like this all of the time, so I am good.  She gives me an up and down look and gratefully keeps her comments to herself (although somewhere that day I remember her commenting that it wasn’t so bad since it’s only a small step down from the running clothes I normally wear all day).  Well, thank goodness she is sitting there, I not so tactful cover my mouth and beg her for gum or a breath mint.  Thank goodness she has 2 cherry flavored cough drops!  I threw one in my mouth and she did the same (probably because my breath was so bad that she had sympathy bad breath or something!).

 

Just when I think things couldn’t get worse, it happens.  Guess who sits next to me?  That mom.  You know the first “that” mom I was talking about (yes, you Michelle).  Perfectly put together, has 3 kids, is the PTA president, etc etc etc.  And she is sitting next to me.  Well, at this point I have given up on finding my child’s special binder (yes the other parents found their child’s binder but Alex is related to me so…the binder is lost).  The presentation begins.

 

And it’s hot.

 

And it gets hotter and hotter as more and more parents pile in.

 

 And I am in a fleece jacket!  That I can’t take off!  Because I am in my pajamas!!  (and who sleeps in a bra?  not me–not that that would matter except that I have nursed four kids!)  So now I am SWEATING and very smelly because I have not taken a shower.  And no kidding, after several attempts for me to contact my husband BEFORE the meeting starting to let him know he had to bring the remaining 2 children to me, he finally calls back.  So, now I have to get up, during the middle of the meeting, and weave my way through the parents to the hall to tell my husband to look at his texts!!  Jeesh.

 

Finally the misery is over.  I walk out of the meeting and in comes the other two kids.  Jack is stimping his pigeon-toed run and yelling “Mom, Mom I made it!”

 

Yes if people hadn’t seen me yet, they now all turned to look at me.  I just smiled and said “awesome”.

 

I’m pretty sure I will never be motivated to wake up early enough to avoid all of this.  I am a procrastinator–see previous post.  But my kids are awesome.  They never seem to be embarrassed by me..yet.  Maybe it’s because they don’t know any better or maybe because they are just awesome.  So, thank you Sophia for holding my hand the whole way to your class.  And thank you Jack for yelling at the top of your lungs, letting everyone know that this mess in front of them is your mom.

 

Valentine Printables and The Importance of Proofreading.

Once upon a time, I decided to paint a wood sign for my Valentine mantle.  I was so excited about the prospect that I even made some Valentine printables to share.  For the quote I chose a line from a song that Ben and I listened to a lot while dating.  Here’s a little video of the song.

Anywho . . . after lots of time formatting and getting the sign just right I got to work painting it. Then I sent this shot over to one of my besties.

Valentine Printables Mantel

She promptly pointed out a spelling error. After I had painted the sign.

This is what I get for not sending it to Erika for proofing.

You’ll be happy to know that after a little bit of sanding and painting the sign is correct and darling. And lucky for ya’ll. I was able to fix the spelling error on the printable.  So here’s a little valentine gift from us to you.   Print and enjoy some valentine printables on us.

Also!  Be sure to take out childcare survey!  We want your opinion on babysitters, your expectations and what you are willing to pay!  We will be sharing our results next week. Thanks! http://bit.ly/1n1oK3v

Valentine Printables Block Valentine Printables Script

 

Is It Spring Yet? Rainboots!

Is it spring yet? Remember how last week I talked about them winter blues? Well. It’s snowing in Denver again. So I guess, really, the answer to my question is a most definite “no!” It is just not spring yet. So I decided to start counting down. I’m going to count down to blue skies and warmer temps.  Then I’m going to count down to bright colors and tulips. I’m going to countdown to all sorts of Cadbury Eggs. After that, I’m going to count down to baseball and summer vacations. And I’m going to count down to April showers, the quintessence of spring. The moment when the cold snow finally turns into oh-so-welcome, little drip-drip-droplets of soft, cool water.

Oh Bambi.

Anyway. What better way to count down to April showers than by shopping for rainboots? Rainboots are to April as April showers are to spring: the quintessence. (Too much to use that word twice in one post? Eh, I’m leavin’ it.) So, I have scoured these internets high and low for all sorts of different rainboots for you! That is, if you’re in the market. Which, you probably should be. Because, spring and April showers and rainboots and Bambi!

Our Favorite Rainboots

Is It Spring Yet?? Rainboots! #hunters #target #lace #tartan #spring #rainboots #ankle boots #leopard #floral #snakeskin #polkadots #metallic:

001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006 // 007 // 008 // 009 // 010

 

011 // 012 // 013 // 014 // 015 // 016 // 017 // 018 // 019

I want ALL these rainboots. I have included all sorts of different rainboots to choose from, you’re welcome. If you’re looking for some brand name/splurge rainboots, try #1, #2, and #19 (Hunters), #4 (Ugg), #7 (Valentino), and #9 and #10 (Sperry). If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, but still good quality, try #3 and #17 (Target), #15 (Kohl’s), and #11, #12, and #14 (DSW).

What style of rainboot should I buy?

I tried to include a variety of trends. Ankle boots are huge right now. I have a pair of knee-high Hunters, which are always practical and never go out of style. But really, ankle boot rainboots (#4, #10, #11, and #19)? I mean, seriously. I am seriously dying over #11 in particular. With the bow!! And the #10 rainboots are fur-lined! Sperry, for the win!

Anything tartan or plaid is also very trendy right now. The tartan Ralph Lauren rainboots (#13) would be the perfect way to incorporate this look into spring. Metallic is also big, so why not add some metallic to your rainboots? I submit to you that I cannot think of one good reason not to. Sperry’s got Metallic rainboots down (#9 and #10). Plus, I mentioned above, fur-lined! Helloooo! If you like the lace trend, try lace rainboots (#4, #7, and #8). And then, of course, anything printed. Printed rainboots are soo fun! We already talked about the tartan and lace. There’s also polka dots (#12), snakeskin (#16), leopard (my fav! – #17), and floral (#18).

Aaaand, I think that just about covers it for rainboots. Check back next week for the second edition in my countdown to spring… what will it be, what will it be? Oh, the suspense! 😉

OCD: Grocery List edition (free printable)

 

So this ecard perfectly describes my life. Every single Sunday evening, I plan the meals for the upcoming week. Then, I take an inventory of everything I have and everything I need and smash all the items I need onto one very unorganized grocery list. Theeeeen, on a separate, clean sheet of paper, I write out every needed item based on where it is in the store.

 

And WHAT a hassle it is. It is quite a process, let me tell ya. I swear, I waste precious moments of all my Sunday nights going through this same routine. Each and every week. Then not so long ago, Tracey and I were chatting, and I hesitantly told her about my OCD tendencies. Mostly I was hesitant because I knew she’d judge my weirdness and call me a freak. But then, oh gracious gods of grocery shopping, she said she does the same thing! As long as I’m not alone in my OCD, then it’s alll gravy, baby.

 

But still, what a hassle! So we decided we needed a list to make things easier for us. A ready-made grocery list, with the categories already separated out into line-items based on where things are located in the store. And because we are in the business of giving our opinions freely and putting them where they don’t belong, we are giving you our grocery list. And 2 different versions of it. We know.

 

And, here’s a fun disclaimer: I do my grocery shopping at Walmart. Now, I know there are lots of people who are mortally and morally and whatever else against Walmart. If you are that people, just hear me out before you go and get your panties in a bunch. I am a poor newlywed and Walmart has the cheapest groceries I’ve found anywhere, by a long shot. I personally can’t afford to buy all my groceries from Whole Foods (or as my husband calls it, Whole Paycheck. Am I right? Seriously, break my bank, why don’t ya!). Walmart is very practical for my budget. Therefore, that’s where I buy my groceries. However, I will say that produce and deli at Walmart, almost always generally sucks. So. I go elsewhere for those items, unless I’m in a colossal rush. So anyway, what I was going to say is these particular grocery lists are in an order by which most Super Walmarts abide. If you would like a customized grocery list, in the order of whichever grocery store you shop at, leave a comment with the order you’d like, and we’ll try to get it over to you just as soon as we can 🙂

Last Call: Winter Coats

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! January is almost over, which means we only have a couple months of winter left, which means Spring! Which then means Summer! Not that I’m counting down the days or anything… except, OK, yes I am. Summer and me, you guys, we are friends. We get along. Summer and me, we have a great relationship. So, it’s no surprise that I’m excited for it to get back into my life.

But until then, I will finish using my snowboarding season pass – gotsta get my money’s worth – and I will keep drinking as much hot chocolate as my tummy will let me and I will keep washing my car after every snowstorm and I will keep my winter coats in the forefront of my closet. As should you… as should you.

So (and my summer-loving self is saying, ‘thankfully!’), this is the last call for winter coats. A winter coats roundup of sorts. And if you’re in the market for a new winter coat, now’s just about the best time that you could be looking! Winter coats and jackets are starting to go on sale to make way for all the spring items that stores are getting in stock, but it’s still cold enough in most places that there is still a good variety to choose from. And the best part (or worst part, depending on how you look at winter) is that you still have a couple months to wear them, depending on where you are. But then, they won’t be so worn that you can’t get use out of them next year too.

LastCall

A couple of things you may want to remember when shopping for winter coats at this time of year:

1) Search for a sale. If you find a coat you like, but it’s not quite on sale yet, either search somewhere else for a similar one or just wait for the one you like to go on sale. Odds are it is on sale somewhere or it will go on sale soon. After all, like I said above, spring is quickly approaching (yay!) and stores are going to want to get rid of their winter coats sooner or later.

2) Keep in mind the season… after all, it is still winter for just a bit longer. Try to find jackets that are versatile enough that you can wear them to finish off this winter season, but that maybe you can keep wearing into spring – you know, maybe something that’s not too dark or too heavy – and that you can, again, wear when winter inevitably makes it way back into your life.

Below, quite a few options of winter coats – several of them are on sale or clearance – to get you started. We aim to please, mostly is what this post is.

(Also, let it be written, let it be known that my love for the Target clearance section surpasses my love for most other things. Just to throw that out there.)

Denim

Dark (Clearance) // Light // Dark (Splurge)

Wool

Gray (Sale) // Maroon (Clearance) // Hooded // Melange // Blue (Sale)

Trench

 

Tan (Clearance) // Tan // Red (Sale)

Stripes

Black & Grey (Clearance) // Red

Rain

Blue // White (Splurge)

Quilted

Navy // Teal (Splurge)

Plaid

Red (Clearance) // Black (Splurge/Sale)

Peacoat

Red (Clearance) // Grey // Striped (Sale)

Parka

Maroon (Clearance) // Red (Splurge/Sale) // Blue // Green

Military

Green // Blue (Super sale!)

LeatherSleeves

Fur-trimmed Black // Funnel-neck Black (Splurge)

Leather

 

Black // Pink // White

Random

Leopard // Biker // Blazer // Camo // Floral

 

Rules of Running for Non-Runners

Remember how Sarah talked me into doing Couch to 5K last spring?  Remember how I did it and then actually ran a 5k? Yeah, that was pretty big. So big that I thought, “I ran a 5K. I have reached my running pinnacle. Why on earth would I ever run more than this?” It was the pinnacle of running for a non-runner like myself.

Well . . .now, I’m running more than that. In fact, last week I did 8 miles. Next week I’m supposed to do 9.5 miles. In the middle March I’m going to go a full 13.1 miles, in public, with a whole bunch o’ strangers and maybe even get a (participation) medal.

How did this happen? Like it did for Megan, it just kind of happened.

We moved and now there is a beautiful running trail right behind my house. My new home also happens to be in a place where I know virtually no one and I can’t reasonably call anyone I love until 10 am because of the time difference. To top it off, my kids are early risers and the men in my house leave at 7:00 am. Little miss and I had to find something to do. So we ran. Then we ran farther and farther. Then it started getting easier. Then I thought, “Hey, maybe I can actually do this thing.”

Through the course of the last couple of months I have learned a few things. Things that have helped my body that is still working to shed another 50 pounds. I would like to share a couple of very unqualified rules on running for non-runners.

Running for Non-Runners

1.  The first 1.5 miles are rough. Like really rough. I still feel this way every day. Each time I head out, I think, “Maybe I shouldn’t do this. My body hurts, this is unnatural, and I hate it.” Once I excepted the fact that I was going to be uncomfortable for at least a mile, things got better. Now, by the time I hit 2 miles I’m in my groove. I’m breathing better and my body seems to have decided that I’m going to keep going whether it agrees or not. Now I’m to the point where I want to run at least 3-4 miles on a normal day because I know I’ll feel good at the end.

2. Ignore your pace. Not everyone will agree with this statement. If you have speed goals, by all means, keep track of your pace. However, if you are like me and you are just trying to make running happen, look for your own rhythm. As you continue, you’ll get faster. When I ran with the jogging stroller, my phone was mounted right where I could always see my pace. It was too much pressure! I worried that I was too slow. I constantly tried to run a negative split or maintain a certain pace. Once I let go of that (by putting my phone in my pocket), I found that my speed was much more natural and I enjoyed it a lot more.

3. Vary your route. If you always run the same route, the scenery will get boring and your body will get bored. Mix it up.

4. Keep your chin up. Mentally keep your chin up. You can do this. Physically keep it up and your form will be better. Stop looking at your phone, feet, stroller, or whatever. Enjoy what is around you. Be aware of your surrounding. It is safer, more relaxing, and a lot more fun.

5. Bring a buddy. Find a running buddy. This can be a friend, spouse, child, or simply a friend on the phone. I’ve found that my long runs are a lot easier if I have someone to chat with. On my last long run, I spent 3 miles talking to my friend Shannon. Not only did it take my mind off the mileage, it helped me maintain a reasonable pace so I wasn’t gasping for breath while talking. If anyone would like to sign up to be a phone buddy during my half, I’m taking volunteers.

6. Walk when your body needs it. I am a HUGE fan of the Jeff Galloway run/walk method. I find that I can go farther and I enjoy it more when I take walk breaks. My body feels better during and after my run. I’m not competing with anyone but myself so as long as I get the miles in, I’m happy.

7. Go hands free. My form is better when I’m not carrying something or fiddling with my phone. See #2 and #4. Plug that single head phone in and let your smart phone do what it is designed to do. I have Runkeeper set to give me my total time and distance at half mile intervals. I don’t have it tell me my pace (even though we all know I quickly calculate it when I hear easy even miles). It helps me be more aware of my surroundings as well.

8. Make a goal with consequences. For me, that was shelling out $100 bucks for a half marathon. Now I have to do it because I don’t want to tell Ben that I wasted the money. Do whatever works for you.

9. Realistically schedule it. I am not a morning person. I say I’ll get up and run a six but my body and brain aren’t really on board. Run when it works for you. Look at your schedule and find the right time. It might be during lunch or after work. Maybe it’s running around the park while your kid is at soccer practice. Find the time that WORKS and put it on the calendar.

10. Do it for you. That means doing it your own way at your own pace. You don’t have to run the same distance or pace as your spouse. Ben runs faster but I run farther. Accomplish YOUR goals. Do you want to be able to run a whole mile? Great! Are you like Erika and want to see how far you can run during an episode of Grey’s Anatomy? Perfect. Maybe you just want to be outside for 30 minutes a day. Do that. Figure out what you need and grab it. Whatever you do, just know that if you are running at all, then you, my friend, are a runner.

Now, I have a toddler to wrestle into a jogging stroller so she can yell at me for the next 45 minutes.

6 Days Last Minute Gifts – Leatherette Leggings

6 Days Last Minute Gifts – Leatherette Leggings

Last Minute Gifts - Leatherette Leggings

 

If you need a last minute gift for the fashionista in your life, our friend Shannen insists that these leatherette leggings are the perfect gift.  We tend to agree.

Remember when Erika put out the idea of pairing a tartan sweater and leather pants for your holiday party?

outfit3

 

Well, one of our favorite readers, Marilee, asked about some leather stretch pants for a stretch comfy waistband for the holidays.  She may have been half kidding (Although leather sweat pants would be awesome.  Nearly as awesome as Kanye’s leather jogging pants) Nevertheless, we deliver.  And by we, I mean Shannen.

Shannen says, ” Perfect way to get the look without the knee wrinkles caused by waxed jeans or leather pants!!”

Just remember, they are leatherette leggings when you pick your top.  There are rules people.

You can pick up some leatherette leggings for yourself at Nordstrom (the store that has everything good) for the price of $44.99 and look smashing at your holiday parties this weekend.  Oh, and give one as a gift too.

6 Days of Last Minute Gift – SIGG Water Bottle

6 Days of Last Minute Gifts – SIGG Water Bottle

Last Minute Gifts - SIGG water bottle

 

Our next last minute gift comes from the hubs.  Ben love his SIGG water bottle.  Ben researches things to death before he buys anything so I can personally vouch for the research that goes into giving a SIGG as a gift.  Here are the key points according to him:

They are indestructible.

They can be taken anywhere.

They hold a lot of water.

They weigh almost nothing.

(And my favorite reason) They look cool.

SIGG comes in a variety of styles, colors and sizes.  So if you need a last minute gift for someone who is always trying to drink more water or has a New Years Resolution to give up soda (Erika) this might be the perfect gift for them.

And they’re available on Amazon Prime.  You’re welcome.