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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
So dieting….. am I right?? Just to give you an idea of how it is going, I may or may not be sipping on a Dunkin Donuts Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and munching on a chocolate donut. In my defense, they were hand delivered to me at my office on a rough day by a sweet friend who knows how much I adore sweets (and also how much I hate diets). How could I possibly turn that down? Am I supposed to let the poor defenseless donut die a sad death in the trash can?
I’m sure you can tell my mindset and dedication is wavering, but let me fill you in on how I got here, and really exactly where I am.
Week one was pretty darn hard, as you could tell from my first post. Day 6 was my cheat day and I took it pretty easy. I ate off my meal plan and just added in a few cheat items, like a roll or two, and a cookie or two, and a Diet Coke or two. You know, the important things!
But after going 6 straight days without sugar or dairy or carbs at all, my body didn’t handle itself very well after cheat day. I felt ill. But my cravings became harder to curb. And my will to live became less and less. So I cheated more. If we’re being totally honest, I can’t quite call it cheating if I’m still consuming way less calories than I normally should be, you know?
On Day 14, I was down 3.5 pounds. I felt good. I was halfway to my goal weight. And the best news of all was that we got new meal plans. With more calories. And with normal food. No more chicken and spinach!! Everyone at the gym was super excited. And I have to say that I’m pretty happy with the new plan. It’s the Mexican Food meal plan and it includes things like cheese (gasp) and tortilla chips (double gasp).
The only problem is that I misjudged just how stressed I would be at this time of year. Am I the only one who hates January??? I’ll post more on that later, but I have been turning to food to make me feel better way too often. And wouldn’t you know it, the stars aligned and I found a bakery that makes some amazing Triple Berry Tres Leches Cupcakes. Don’t ask me how I got there. I’m not sure I can recall. Bakeries must have magnets or something that force my car in the parking lot and my person through the front doors. And did I mention the Girl Scout cookies on every corner?? I mean….
So today is day 21 (of 56). I haven’t lost any additional weight this week. But I’m counting that as a win. Maintaining is just as important as losing, right? And I totally have the maintenance thing down… as long as I can keep my donut trips in check. But it was really good and totally worth it. Just sayin’…
Obviously I still have some work to do if I ever plan to give anyone qualified advice on dieting.
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 CadburyEggs. 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.
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!
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! 😉
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 🙂
I want to be somewhere tropical right now. Somewhere that the white sand is almost too hot to stand on barefoot. Almost too hot, but not quite. Somewhere that a colorful beach towel is perfect for taking a nap in the bright warmth of the sunlight. Somewhere that I can take a couple of steps and end up in the cool, bright blue, salty water, looking for turtles and fishies through a snorkel mask. Somewhere that a line of tall palm trees casts the perfect amount of shade and breeze.
I want to be somewhere that my only care is that my piña colada is going to melt too fast. Or that the sun is going to set too soon. Or that a coconut just might fall on my head. Or that my skin might maybe get a little too red.
Instead, I’m sitting in my tiny apartment. In the middle of suburban America. In the middle of a snowstorm. Where the space heater humming at my side isn’t quite warm enough and the sun has already set and there’s no hope of wearing a swimsuit any time soon. And my cares instead include worrying about what to cook for dinner this week, and when I’m going to finish all the piles and piles and piles of laundry or go grocery shopping, and wondering what bills will make their way to my mailbox tomorrow.
Instead of a piña colada and a suntan, I’ve got the Winter Blues*. In years past, I have cured my Winter Blues with some really fattening foods, as many chick flicks as I can handle, and a healthy dose of a patience, just waiting for longer, warmer days to find me again.
But this year, mostly for the sake of the blog and having something to talk about, I’ve decided to put together a list of 10 things, besides chick flicks and binge eating candy and cupcakes, that can help me through my Winter Blues. And luckily, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna let you use these ideas too. Gosh, we’re nice, huh.
1) Keep Up on Your Resolutions — Odds are you had some resolutions you made a couple weeks ago when the New Year rolled around. And what better way to keep up on those resolutions than by trying to defeat your Winter Blues? Exercise more. Eat healthier. Work out a budget/get out of debt. Write letters (actual snail mail letters, people) to loved ones. Whatever your resolution may be, winter is a great time to try to achieve them, especially if you’re trying to defeat the Winter Blues. Instead of using winter and the cold and the shorter days as an excuse to get you out of your resolutions, use winter as a reason to actually accomplish those things. Find ways to motivate yourself. It will be worth it, I promise you.
2) Start a Recipe Group or Book Club — Get some friends from the neighbor or from church or from your kids’ schools and plan a time once a month or once every two weeks (whatever fits everyone’s schedules) and get together. Share recipes or read books together. It’s a great opportunity to get out of the house, socialize, meet new people.
3) Be IN Winter — Go out in winter. Don’t let winter keep you inside. Find an activity you enjoy despite the cold outside. Go snowboarding or skiing and snowshoeing. Go sledding or snowmobiling. Go ice-skating or find some ice castles. Go to the zoo. Just make sure to bundle up reaalllyyyyy well.
4) Learn a New Hobby — If you’re too afraid of #3 (understandable if you’re anything like me… I despise being cold more than anything), then stay in your house and learn a new hobby. Learn to sew or cook or bake or scrapbook. Take a class online to help you learn photography or web design or graphic design. Learn how to draw or write calligraphy. Pretty much anything. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do but just haven’t found the time, why not start now, while you’re sitting in your house feeling sorry that it’s just so darned cold outside.
5) “Spring” Cleaning — Why not get a head start on cleaning your entire house? That way, once spring does actually decide to roll around, your house will be spic and span and you’ll be ready to go outdoors and enjoy the fresh, warm weather!
6) Binge Watch a Show — This is one of my favorite things to do, I admit. It’s bad. I really should do something more productive with my life, but when it’s cold outside and I just wanna curl up under a blanket, Netflix becomes my best friend. Sign up for Netflix or Hulu or even buy a season of that show you’ve heard is soooo good, but you just never had time to watch it.
7) Write in a Journal — I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Write about whatever you’d like. Things you’ve done. Goals you have. Ideas you’d like to share one day. About how much winter sucks.
8) Create a Photo Book — Websites like Shutterfly, Mixbook, or Snapfish are great tools to help you organize your photos into cute, personalized books. Make a book of your last family vacation, or what you did last summer, or what you did over Christmas break. I guarantee looking through all those pictures will chase those winter blues right away.
9) Serve! — Volunteer at shelters or food kitchens or nursing homes or even your kid’s school. Go by yourself or with friends or with kids. Seek out people who may need your help. I know from experience that the best way to keep you from thinking about yourself is to help someone else in need.
10) Plan a Trip — If all else fails, and you happen to have some money you’ve set aside for a rainy day (or in this case, a snowy day?), go on a trip. Take a staycation for a weekend somewhere close. Take an extended weekend somewhere slightly further away. Take a weeklong trip somewhere you’ve been dying to go. Go somewhere warmer than where you are if that’s what your heart desires. Or go to the mountains somewhere and lock yourself up in a cabin and do any of the ideas above.
Let us know what your favorite things to do to cure your Winter Blues are. And if none of the 10 ideas work for you, just appreciate how beautiful winter can be. My husband took this picture with his iPhone after a snowstorm earlier this month. Whoooaaa. Good job, Kent!
*Winter Blues in its most severe form is sometimes referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a real thing. This post is not meant to belittle or demean that condition or anyone who suffers from it. We are not doctors, and our advice/opinions are not meant to imply that we are. We merely want to share our very unqualified opinion about some things that help us brighten up our own dark winter months.
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.
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.)
First of all let me start by saying thanks for not giving me the look of death when you noticed my family sitting behind you. I appreciate the fact that you didn’t make any comments regarding our presence or expressing your hope that they would sleep through our flight. I realize that three and half hours with two kids five and under isn’t super desirable on an early morning flight. I’m their mom and I don’t relish the idea.
Lucky for you my kids are both great travelers. We drown them in treats and juice to keep their mouths occupied. We also bring six different electronic devices along to keep them entertained. We really do try as parents not to leave an impression on our fellow passengers. As part of our mission we do our darnedest to make sure they don’t kick the seat in front of them. Just call us the “Feet Police”.
However, when you, the lady with the neck pillow, decides to recline your seat, it makes my job even harder. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice that I was holding a 21 month year old directly behind you. I know you did. You aren’t sleeping. I can tell because you’re taking photos out the window of the plane. Do those few extra degrees really provide that much comfort? Because let me tell you, it makes a HUGE difference to the lady wrestling a squirmy toddler behind you.
I, for one, would like to propose a collective agreement among humanity to keep your seat upright on any flight that isn’t a red eye. You aren’t going to sleep comfortably. It’s a plane. Your best bet is to sit next to the window and lean over. A reclined seat isn’t going to help.
Be kind to the families sitting around you. Give the kids a chance to be good travelers before you make snap judgements. Chances are the parents were frazzled by the time they dropped off their baggage. We won’t even talk about the nightmare known as security. We paid for our seats just like you and we probably paid even more in terms of our mental health. Believe me, if I could reasonably drive from Raleigh to Salt Lake City, I would. But I can’t so we are in this together.