Friday Free-For-All – 06/28/19

Friday Free-For-All

Happy summer vacation to us! We just finished the first full week of Ben’s break, and we have been seriously getting after house projects. We cleaned the basement AND the garage, and finally got our garden going. Yay!

If you’re looking for some new running bottoms, check these on AmazonMy girlfriend Nikki swears by this brand, Baleaf, and got me a pair of the compression shorts for me birthday. All of their shorts, capris, and leggings have side pockets. The fit great too; no sliding down my butt or riding up my thighs. And the shorts are only $20! I can’t wait to get some leggings and capris too.

Baleaf Shorts

Photo from Amazon

I’m on a running hiatus at the moment. Remember how my left heel was hurting me after the VCM relay? I took a full week off and it seemed to be doing better, but it’s been up and down ever since. It never hurt WHILE I was running so I was reluctant to take another break, but I’m trying to be responsible and take care of myself. So no running for a week or two, and then we’ll see where I’m at. In the meantime I’m very busy with prep for Vera’s first birthday party (!!!!!), and I’m doing hip/glute exercises with my resistance bands every day, and rolling my feet and calves.

Vera’s first birthday is this coming Wednesday and I’m having ALL the feelings. It feels like this year had absolutely flown by and I can’t believe my baby is about to be a toddler. Frankly, I don’t really miss the newborn baby stage. Vera’s early infancy was very hard. Nowadays, she’s so much fun! I’m very excited to explore the toddler stage with her. I’m also very excited because both my and Ben’s entire immediate families will be in attendance–his sisters are coming in from Prague and DC, and one of my three sisters is making the trek in from Detroit (the other two live here in VT). We don’t have a theme or fancy decorations, and we’re not buying a smash cake. We’re focusing on a simple celebration with good food and plenty of adult beverages. Because honestly? The first birthday is more of a celebration for us having kept a kid alive and not killed each other for an entire year than anything else, haha!

Did you do a big, blowout party for your child’s first birthday?

Friday Free-For-All – 05/31/19

Friday Free-For-All

Injury update: My foot is feeling better, thank goodness. I’m planning to give it a full week of rest before attempting some easy runs, just in case. I suspect that it’s something to do with my Achilles tendon and/or tight calves, so I’ve been doing lots of foam rolling and mobility stuff.

I’ve been on a sourdough baking kick. In fact, I’ve got some in the oven as I write this post! I’ve been working on getting sourdough “right” for a while now. I tried several different recipes and methods, and it just never turned out well. The resulting bread was perfectly edible, but it wasn’t the sourdough I was going for. Finally, I got serious. I bought myself a kitchen scale and started following Jen’s recipe and instructions at Peanut Butter Runner. She gives step-by-step instructions with videos, which were SO HELPFUL. Most of the recipes I followed just said something like “shape the dough into balls.” OK, but HOW??? Using Jen’s instructions has yielded perfect bread each and every time, and I will never go back to store-bought bread.




We are counting down the hours to summer break. It’s been a tough school year for Ben, and we’re all starting to feel the stress. Thankfully, the end is in sight now; the last day of school for teachers is June 18, and we can’t freaking wait. Vera is just at such a fun age now, and I want Ben to be able to experience it too. Plus, we have so much still to do around the house and yard, and so much fun stuff on the docket this summer.

What’s one thing you’re excited for this summer?

Friday Free-For-All 06/29/18

Friday Free-For-All

Our well water is finally safe to drink! The initial water test before we bought the house came back as no good, so the seller shocked the well. But because the well cap was still open, bacteria was likely still getting in, and a second test was still no good. We closed the well cap and then let it go for a while because inertia. We’ve been buying bottled water for drinking since we moved in, which has been kind of expensive and less than ideal. Two weeks ago Ben did a really thorough chlorine treatment, and our third water test this week came back with “Acceptable for human consumption”! Hooray! Just in time for us to bring a baby home. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh?

It’s supposed to be brutally hot this weekend. Like, in the mid- to upper-nineties, and I am SO not here for it. Our house usually stays pretty cool, but that’s still quite warm, especially for a preggo, and especially for a preggo who was already heat-sensitive to begin with. Is it bad that I’m hoping to go into labor just so we can be at the hospital with air conditioning? If not, we may need to find a swimming hole. That is, if I can fit into my bathing suit…

We recently started feeding both cats prescription food. Rocket has been on a special diet since his urinary blockage back in the winter. Because it’s more expensive than regular food, we were continuing to feed Creemee the “normal” stuff. But she would regularly try to steal Rocket’s prescription food, while he would try to eat hers, so we had to constantly watch them during meal times, which was getting old, fast. We checked in with our vet, and since there’s no harm in eating the food if a cat doesn’t need it, we’re just feeding them both the same kibble, and life is a lot simpler now. Both cats are happier and eating better, and we don’t have to constantly police who’s eating what. Sure, it will be more expensive in the long run, but I think our time is worth it. Speaking of cats…

Our cats have been catching mice in the house like gangbusters. I think we’re now up to a grand total of six adult and three baby mice that have been either caught (and subsequently removed by me or Ben) or killed by our kitties since we moved in. While I’m glad that the cats are doing their job, it’s kind of gross. We need to do some reconnaissance to see if we can find where the mice are coming in and block up the hole. It can be pretty damn difficult to make your home completely mouse-proof, but the evidence seems to suggest we could do a better job. Considering that we live in the middle of a gigantic field, mice are always going to be a challenge for us.

Cat owners, do your cats do a good job of pest control?



Friday Free-For-All – 06/23/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I’m off to San Francisco! I’m taking a half day from work today and flying out this afternoon. I probably won’t be posting much here, but you can follow my adventures on Instagram. I’ll be back home some time on Tuesday night.

I’m a packing ninja. I bought United “basic economy” tickets, which means I don’t get a free carry on bag for my flights. Because buying last-minute tickets was already so expensive, I didn’t want to pay the extra $25 per flight for a bag. This means that I packed everything I need for a 3 day, 4 night trip to San Francisco in a backpack. Are you impressed? Cause I know I am!

Today is Ben’s first day of summer vacation. And he’s such a good husband, he got up early to drop me off at work so I wouldn’t have to pay for airport parking. While I’m madly jealous of his summer, I know he worked is ass off this school year, and deserves the break. Now, someone remind me of that later this summer while he’s gallivanting around Prague and I’m stuck here…

If you’re interested in a sneak peek at Dogfight the Musical you’re in luck! Stowe Theater Guild’s promotion team is killing it this year, and they made a great little video, which you can view by clicking right here. It’s our first time running through Act 1 with the accompanist so it’s a little rough, but many of you have asked for more video of me in action, so here you go!

Do you tend to overpack for trips? I usually do, but this time around I had to FORCE myself to pack light.

Friday Free-For-All (Six)

Welcome to the Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  Sometimes, it even makes sense!

This is the first time I’ve scheduled a post to go up when I’m out of town.  Woo, fancy blogger, right here!  Usually I just don’t worry about posting while I’m away, but I wanted to get back to my regular schedule, and I haven’t done a Friday Free-For-All post in a while.  On a related note:

I’m traveling again this weekend!  It’s Ben’s annual family reunion in Warren, ME.  We’ll be tenting out on his cousin’s farm and enjoying lots of home cooked food, beer, seafood, cornhole, and swimming.  I think it will be a much more relaxing trip than the breakneck pace of SF last weekend.  And it’s always good to see Ben’s extended family.  They’re pretty awesome 🙂

Confession:  I haven’t run since the half two weeks ago.  At first, it was because I was trying to rest after the half.  Then, it was because the pain in my right foot that surfaced a few months ago, then went away for a while, has mysteriously come back.  It’s not severe, I’m just being paranoid careful.  This week, it’s mostly because I’ve been busy.  A whirlwind weekend in San Francisco, four busy days at work, and another weekend away.  I’ll try to squeeze in a run this weekend, but if I don’t, I’m not worried.  Taking a break has been really nice.  However, I know I’m ready to get back at it, because every time I’ve seen a runner out and about the last few days, I’ve been SUPER jealous.

Click for Source

Click for Source

I really need some more supportive non-running shoes.  I think part of the problem for my injured foot is that when I’m not running, I wear crap shoes.  My everyday work shoes are sandals that are 100% flat–no arch support, no cushion, no nothing.  When I’m not wearing those, I’m wearing flip flops.  Most of my flats have really flimsy soles and not a lot of cushion.  I may explore some kind of inserts for my flats, and I need to find more comfy work shoes.  I’m hoping that will solve the foot problem going forward.

#100happydays.  My friend Krissy (the one from SF), cajoled me into jumping on this bandwagon.  I was hesitant about the commitment, and her words were, “Duh, it’s supposed to be challenging, that’s the point–find happiness every day!”  OK, fine.  I’m in.  I’ll be posting my pics for the #100happydays challenge on Instagram and Twitter if you’re interested 🙂

So there you have it–my weekly brain-dump.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I will 🙂

Do you travel a lot during the summer?

When was the last time you “took a break” from running?

Any suggestions for inserts/supportive sandals?



Friday Free-For-All (Five)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  Sometimes, it even makes sense!

#FlatsFriday:  Hosted by the super awesome Susie at SuzLyfe.  These are my favorite flats–they’re by Toms.  Super comfy and durable!

Photo Jun 20, 8 46 15 AM

Ben:  This has been an exciting week for Ben.  He finally (thank god) got a summer job, doing construction.  Monday was his first day, and it seems to be going well.  He gets along with the guys, and enjoys working outside, doing hard labor all day.  He’s going to be so jacked by the end of the summer!

Hehe, I couldn't resist!

Hehe, I couldn’t resist!

Also, he has been accepted to the Teacher Apprenticeship Program he applied to– he’ll start in August.  He’s already hooked up with a mentor teacher and everything!  I’m so excited that he’s making this career shift 🙂

This weekend will be the first in several, and the only for a while, that Ben and I are both home and don’t have anything planned–no road trips, no races, no vacations, no nothing.  I’m really excited to just relax around the house for a while, maybe do some cleaning, and bust out our window AC unit–it’s getting hot and humid in New England!  And do my FINAL LONG RUN BEFORE THE HALF of course.  Holy crap.

Trouble in paradise.  Ben and I are living with my sister.  We’re currently having a financial dispute that will most likely result in either her or us (or both) having to move, and that’s a logistical and financial nightmare that I can’t even begin to consider right now without a major panic attack.  I’ll probably talk more about this in the coming week, but it looks like we’ll probably be moving back in with his parents…

What are the rest of you educators up to this summer?

Have you ever lived with a sibling (not in your parents’ home)?  How did it work out?


Friday Free-For-All (Four)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  Sometimes, it even makes sense!

#Chewsday Challenge Check-In:  This week was tough.  Ben and I are a bit short on funds at the moment, so we didn’t make it to the grocery store.  For the most part, I stuck to my rules–no booze during the week, one treat per day, protein at every meal.  The only one I didn’t do well with was veggie or fruit at every meal.  We are fresh out of fresh produce, so I didn’t have anything for breakfasts, but I was able to get some in for most of my meals and snacks, so all in all, I’m feeling good.  Hopefully I can continue these habits through vacation this coming week.  I think a large part of that will be buying my own groceries.

I got this super-spiffy, super-expensive tote bag fo’ free!  This is a custom-designed Timbuk2 Tartine tote that my coworker’s daughters gave her.  Online, the color looked like a nice coral, but in person, it’s screaming orange.  Since orange is not Lori’s color, and is so totally mine, she gave me this tote bag, brand new with the tags still on.  This will be my new summer tote/beach bag, and I’m super psyched.  Lots of pockets and a wipeable TPU lining means easy clean-up.  The best part is, this tote is versatile enough that it can replace two other tote bags, which helps me clear out some clutter!

Photo Jun 02, 2 17 37 PM

Purple polka dots!!

Purple polka dots!!

What is it with racer-back everything for women?  I’m in the market for some new running tanks, and it seems like everything available for women is racer-back.  The sports bras that I’m currently using (lululemon tata-tamer) are not racer-back, so if I wear a racer-back tank, my bra straps are hanging out, which I really don’t find attractive.  Do any of you have suggestions for tanks that have a normal back?  I found some ones that look nice by C9 at Target, but I don’t have a Target near me and I’m hesitant about buying clothes online.

Busty girl running problems.  I desperately need some new sports bras.  The ones I’m currently using, lululemon tata-tamers, just aren’t cutting it.  I could actually feel my boobs bouncing and they hurt a lot during and after my 8 miler on Sunday.  I am a 32G, and sports bras my size are not readily available.  I can’t spend a lot right now, but I would really like to get something before the half on June 29.  Any other busty runners out there?  What do you use?  Help a fellow busty girl out!

I AM SUPER EXCITED FOR MY VACATION!!!  As of 4:30 pm today, I will be in vacation mode.  This is my family’s annual trip to Cape Cod, and it couldn’t be coming at a better time.  I need a few days off from work and some time with my family.  I’m looking forward to early morning runs, lots of reading, working on my tan (with sunscreen, of course!), swimming, and shopping.  I’ve already planned out a 3 mile and a 5 mile running route, so I’ll hopefully be able to get my first double-digit run in at some point.  I’ll try to post a couple of times, but no promises.  And I’ll try to keep up with reading and comments.  And of course, I’ll be doing a recap post when I get back 🙂

Catch me right here all week :)

Catch me right here all week 🙂

Do you have an annual family vacation?  Have you ever been to Cape Cod?

Manic Monday – 06/02/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out goals for the upcoming week.

Overall I feel really good about this week.  Now that my bike is back on the road, I’m incorporating a lot more cross-training without even really trying, and I did all of my scheduled runs, including an 8 mile long run in the summer-y heat.

Monday (Scheduled cross-training day)
We were still in MA for Memorial Day weekend, and this is the day I did my kick-butt track intervals, for a total of 3.2 miles.

Photo May 26, 10 48 44 AM

Tuesday (Scheduled run day)
Since I ran on Monday, I took Tuesday as a rest day, other than walking to and from work (~4 miles).

Wednesday (Scheduled cross-training day)
Ben and I got up early and did 3.2 miles before work, and I biked to and from work (~7.4 miles).

Thursday (Scheduled run day)
I decided to just bike to and from work (~7.4 miles).

Friday (Scheduled rest day)
We were house-sitting for Ben’s parents for the weekend.  Ben and I spent the evening hanging out and drinking a few beers while I prepped for my friend Aimee’s baby shower on Saturday.  We may or may not have had a German techno dance party in his parents’ kitchen…

Saturday (Scheduled long run)
I threw a baby shower for my friend Aimee.  The theme was orange and gray and foxes.  It was a nice, small gathering with good food and good people.  I felt really great about doing something nice for my friend.  I intended to run after the shower, but since I had nothing but soda and sangria to drink for about 5 hours, I decided it wasn’t a good idea.

Photo Jun 02, 9 34 16 AM

Sunday (Scheduled rest day)
After a delicious home-made omelet with mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers and onions, I headed into town to babysit my friend Emily’s daughter, Molly, while she and her hubby Scott did some home improvement projects.  It was a beautiful day, so Molly and I took a long walk along the bike path, and then hung out outside.  Unfortunately, I got a bit of a sunburn, and a huge spider bite on my back 😦

And then I went for an 8 miler in the sunny, summery heat.  I was supposed to do 10, but I wasn’t sure I was well hydrated or fueled enough for that (one glass of water and a handful of Cheeze-Its over the course of 5 hours doesn’t really do much).  It was about 77 degrees for the duration of my run, so I made sure to just take it slow.  I ran about a minute per mile slower than my usual long run pace, but I never felt dehydrated or nauseous at all, so I feel pretty good about it.  I’m trying to acclimate myself to running in warmer weather since there’s no predicting what the day of the half will be like.  In Vermont, it could be 50 and overcast, or 80, sunny and humid.

Photo Jun 01, 9 04 18 PM

Goals for this week:

  • Keep riding to and from work (weather permitting)
  • Exercise moderation while on vacation next week.  My family is headed to Cape Cod starting Friday, and it’s usually a week of excess.  I need to get in a long run on Saturday (hopefully double digits), and at least one other short run, in addition to some walking.  I’m hoping to enjoy myself while not going totally overboard on the food and booze.

How do you stay on track while on vacation?

Have you been to a baby shower recently?

New Workout Clothes

I am so excited about my new workout clothes!  I’ve been spending WAY too much money and time lately on getting myself properly equipped, but I don’t care.  With summer coming, loose-fitting, breathable clothing will become a wardrobe staple, so I’m hoping to be able to fold these clothes in with my normal summer wear.

I’m OBSESSED with these tanks from Old Navy.  They are lightweight, breathable, and fit beautifully–not too tight, but not super baggy.  I got the purple one in store for $8.99, and the yellow and orange are on clearance for $5.00 at!  I can totally get away with wearing these tops for non-running activities too, right?



I also got these fun compression capris.  I love the subtle design at the bottom!



My new plan with workout clothes is to get all black bottoms and all colorful tops, so I don’t have to worry about matching.  That way, I can just grab and go, and I’ll always look cute.  Or at least, as cute as I can sweating my butt off!

Next up on the gear purchasing horizon will be a foam roller, followed by a hydration belt since I’m coming up on higher mileage over the next few weeks.  A new sports bra is becoming more of a necessity by the moment (I’m a busty gal, so good ones are hard to come by).  I also need new shoes eventually, but I know that’s going to be a big cost, so I’m delaying a bit.  Later in the summer I’ll probably hit up our local New Balance store to get properly fitted.

What’s your favorite running gear?  Have you bought anything new lately?