Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beach Essentials

We've got a beach trip planned with some college friends in July (!) and I've been slowly getting my beach essentials together. Here are the things I absolutely cannot spend a week at the beach without:

  1. Good books -- Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (#2 of the All Souls trilogy, out July 10); $17
  2. A good pair of sunglasses -- particularly my Ray-Ban New Wayfarers; $129
  3. Takeya glass water bottle -- for staying hydrated in the sun; $16
  4. Sun hat -- I love my J.Crew summer straw hat; $35
  5. Lip balm with sunscreen -- Say Yes to Carrots lip butter in Sweet Fig is perfect; $3
  6. Beach towels -- oversized ones are best; $20
  7. Sunscreen -- Blue Lizard is the best there is; $14
  8. Umbrella -- we love our Sport-brellla; $50

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dollar Shave Club:

Came across this service called the Dollar Shave Club. It's a subscription service that sends you razors for a low monthly price. I kind of get disgusted at the price of razors at the drugstore. And who needs a razor that vibrates? No one, that's who.

With this service, you get a cheap razor (plans start @ $1/month) that only does one thing: shave. And you don't have to worry about remembering to run to the store whenever you run out. I'm thinking about getting this for Andrew. It's one less thing we'll have to worry about.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Morning:

Having a little trouble getting started this morning after a three day weekend so enjoy this video: a golden oldie that never fails to make me smile.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day:

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I am so thankful for this day off from work to play and relax. What are you doing today? I'm thinking of going for a bike ride and packing a picnic. And maybe sneaking in a nap or two. It's going to be delicious.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Weekend:

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! What are your plans? We're going to a friend's wedding Saturday night and we've got a few runs (one especially long one) planned. And our pool opens this weekend (!) so a lap swim is in our immediate future. The weather outside tells me that it is officially summer in Arkansas, no matter what anyone else says. And I'm dreaming of lazy days spent outside reading books under a tree, snacking on fresh fruit, and drinking lots of pink lemonade.

Have a lovely one, guys. See ya Monday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let's Shop:

So, in case you didn't know, shopping is one of my very favorite things. But I rarely get out there and do it. I do online shop every day of my life though. And while I usually don't buy anything, it doesn't hurt to be aware of what's out there. And this brings us to what I like to call pretend shopping. There are only two rules of pretend shopping: 1. money is not an issue and 2. it doesn't have to be a sensible purchase or go with anything else in my closet. The point is to have some fun. So, today I will be pretend shopping my favorite store of all time, J.Crew. Let's get shopping:

The beauty of my pretend shopping trips is that I'm able to see what my buying patterns are without actually spending any money. For example, if left to my own devices, I will buy a ton of red. I can use this knowledge while doing actual shopping to go for other colors that I wouldn't normally consider. And that, my friends, is how you get a well-rounded wardrobe.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I love:

I am kind of majorly obsessed with these sunglasses! And only $20 (here)?! Yes, please!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Real Techniques:

Pixiwoo is a team of makeup artists in England. And they're sisters. They have a blog and post videos on YouTube. And they just came out with their own line of makeup brushes. And I love them. They're fabulous. 

Their brushes are the best I've ever used -- 100% cruelty-free synthetic and really easy to use. I can't get ready in the morning without them.

Click here to find out more about the brushes
Click here to watch their YouTube channel
Click here to check out their blog

Monday, May 21, 2012

Color Run:

So, in August we are doing the Color Run in St. Louis! So excited to spend some time with family and get all crazy colored in our favorite city! We're on a team with A's sister, Maggie. Go RGB Warriors!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Weekend:

Happy Weekend everyone! This week, for some reason, seemed about a year long. But we made it through and we're ready to enjoy our two days of freedom.

I joined a running club and am going to their first meeting Saturday. And on Sunday, I'm joining them for a long run in the early morning. I've also got a trip to J.Crew planned and I've been wanting to check out our new Marshall's that just opened, so we're going to do that as well. And we've got (maybe) dinner plans with one of our most favorite friends (that's you, Schuck!).

Hope your weekend is as fun-filled as ours.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New reads:

It's been a while since I shared what I'm reading so here we go. This week it's Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann and it goes a little something like this:

"Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamann's Anthropology of an American Girl touched a nerve among readers who identified with the sexual and intellectual awakening of its heroine, a young woman on the brink of adulthood. A moving depiction of the transformative power of first love, Hamann's first novel follows Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, New York, in the 1970s through her early adulthood in the moneyed, high-pressure Manhattan of the 1980s.

Centering on Evie's fragile relationship with her family and her thwarted love affair with Harrison Rourke, a professional boxer, the novel is both a love story and an exploration of the difficulty of finding one's place in the world. As Evie surrenders to the dazzling emotional highs of love and the crippling loneliness of heartbreak, she strives to reconcile her identity with the constraints that all relationships -- whether familial or romantic, uplifting to the spirit or quietly detrimental -- inherently place on us. Though she stumbles and strains against social conventions, Evie remains a strong yet sensitive observer of the world around her, often finding beauty and meaning in unexpected places.

Newly edited and revised since its original publication, Anthropology of an American Girl is an extraordinary piece of writing, original in its vision and thrilling in its execution."

I read an review where someone said "If J.D. Salinger and Jane Austen had a love child, it would likely have been Hilary Thayer Hamann." As I have very strong feelings for both those authors, this statement intrigued me.  After reading it, I do not think it is quite that good, the author is nowhere near the level of my beloved Austen, but I can see where the reviewer might think that.

I'm almost done with it and so far, I like it. It's different than some of the other stuff I've been reading lately and I can appreciate the differences. Plus I'm a sucker for any coming-of-age story.

I identified with Evie because even though I'm technically an adult, I still feel sometimes that I'm stuck on the brink of adulthood and I just can't quite figure out my place in this world. But I think that's a problem a lot of people struggle with. I'm not alone. And if you ever feel that way, you'll probably feel something of a kinship with Evie as well.

As for my goal of reading 56 books this year, here is where I stand:

  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  2. Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume
  3. The Sweet Far Thing
  4. Interview with a Vampire
  5. The Tales of Beetle the Bard
  6. Spud
  7. The Secret History
  8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  9. A Discovery of Witches
  10. Death Comes to Pemberley
  11. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
  12. A Week at the Beach
  13. Little Bee
  14. Naked

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We love:

We've had our iPad for about a month. I think that's long enough to be able to give a fair assessment of it. So, since we've had a few people asking about how we're liking it, here it is:

For the most part, we love it. We're not Apple fans. Everything we own does not have that damn piece of fruit all over it. Actually, we try to steer clear of most of it. It's a fine line between being appreciative of good technology and being perceived as an Apple hugging hipster. And lord knows that's the last thing we want. So I got rid of my iPhone. And I'm so glad I did. I really hated it (see more on that here). We have an old iPod that we use for running. But we don't own any other Apple products. Since I travel a lot, I was in search of something that was compact and discreet but large enough for me to actually see what I was doing while away from home. I hated checking email and using the internet on my phone and won't lug our laptop around because it has a 17" screen, weighs about 20 pounds, takes forever to boot up, and gets overheated easily. Enter the iPad. For me, it's the perfect combination of elements from an iPhone and a laptop. I really enjoy using it. And since we keep ours in a dodocase (see here), it's almost undetectable as a piece of technology.

Originally, I was interested in the Kindle Fire because I could see the benefits of having an e-reader (for trips mostly) that also let you use the internet. But I finally decided on the iPad because it can do all of the things that the Kindle Fire can do plus about a million other things.

Here's what we love most about it:

  • it's small so it's easy to carry it around, but not so small that it's difficult to see things on the screen
  • it's so much faster than the iPhone so streaming videos and movies is easier (which we do a lot of)
  • playing games with two people is so much easier than it has ever been, even on a PC
  • the front camera lets us video chat from anywhere with ease
  • the screen resolution really is fantastic
  • the battery life is pretty long, letting us surf to our hearts' content
Here's what we don't like:
  • it's an Apple product. We're still struggling with this one
  • apps run in the background and unless you remember to close them, they run the battery down
  • it doesn't have a word processor (and the one in the app store is expensive)
  • sometimes the touch keyboard messes up (this can be fixed by purchasing the keyboard accessory)
  • we had some problems with it randomly unlocking itself, staying connected to our wi-fi connection (this may be a problem with our router), and then just shutting itself off altogether. We took it into the Apple store to have diagnostics run, and since it was still under warranty, they just gave us a new one 
Here's a list of apps that we are currently using (all are free -- we refuse to pay for an app):
  • The Weather Channel -- to check the weather report every morning
  • Dropbox -- the coolest thing ever. Check it out now.
  • Kindle -- great for reading e-books
  • Lose It! -- to help keep me on track
  • Skype -- helps me keep in touch with friends and family
  • Netflix -- stream movies and shows instantly
  • Epicurious -- perfect for cooking and recipes
  • IMDB -- answers those questions we always have when watching TV or movies
  • Map Draw -- to plan running routes and calculate distance
  • Pandora -- listen to streaming music
  • AP Mobile -- Associated Press, for news
  • Games: right now we're loving Solitaire, Angry Birds, and anything by Big Fish
  • YouTube -- of course. Andrew might die without YouTube
  • Speed Test -- lets you test the speed of your internet connection

I'm glad we have it. It makes searching for information easier, it's more convenient, and keeps us entertained. We've got a couple trips coming up and I'm sure it will come in very handy. It already has. But I don't think we would have gotten one if we loved our iPhones or had a laptop that was easily portable. I don't think I could have justified it. 

So if you don't have a smartphone (or hate yours like we did), are unhappy with your laptop, or are just looking for an alternative portable device, I would recommend looking into the iPad. It may just be your perfect fit. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Green Grilled Cheese:

So, I am on a pretty restricted diet. And when you're counting calories, why is it that you always come across the most delicious food on the planet? Food that you, most definitely, are not allowed to have.

Today I came across this recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich called the "The Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich." And it looks absolutely amazing. Like I seriously want to stuff it in my mouth right now.

It does have some pretty healthy things on it, sure. But all that cheese can't be good for you. Maybe if I run a few extra days this week, I can treat myself this weekend.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Warrior Dash:

This weekend we ran the Warrior Dash with a few people from work. And. it. was. fun. Crazy, yes, but fun.
Check it out:

We had a blast. And let me just say, I was worried for nothing. The entire thing was so much easier than I thought it would be. I pretty much just breezed right through it. Guess I'm stronger than I thought.

Oh, and we helped raise over one million dollars for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, so I feel pretty good about that.

Now that we have our first mud run under our belt, we're looking at having a go @ the Tough Mudder -- a 10-12 mile run with an obstacle course designed by British Special Forces. It's coming to Poplar Bluff, MO in October. Anyone wanna form a team with us?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday everyone! What are your plans for the weekend? 

Tonight, I've got a video date with some of my favorite people in the world: the Order. I am really looking forward to it. Since we're scattered all over the globe these days, this is the only way we get to spend time together. 

Tomorrow, we are competing in the Warrior Dash. I am nervous and crazy excited. It's going to be fun. Here's hoping we get insanely muddy and disgusting. The forecast is calling for rain, so there's a good chance we will be extremely dirty (!)

It's also Mother's Day on Sunday. I'm planning some fun surprises for my mom. So get out there and show the mothers in your life some love.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Run From Hell":

The Warrior Dash is this Saturday. And I have to admit, I'm getting a little nervous. Last night, I stalked their website,, for a couple hours.

And then I got to work and read this article in this week's Sync:

Sync: "Run From Hell"

I think I'm going to be fine. But just to psych ourselves up, let's watch the video again:

We'll be sharing our experience and photos from the event next week. So be on the lookout for that.

And wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Goodbye iPhone:

A few days ago, I finally did it. I broke up with my iPhone. I've been unhappy with it for over a year but couldn't decide what I wanted to do about it. Recently, I decided it was time to pull the plug. Actually, we got rid of both of ours. We went to AT&T, picked out two really simple non-smart phones, got them set up, and had them deactivate the crappiest phone alive. And I feel the most incredible freedom. Goodbye frustration, goodbye constant crashing. Good riddance to that piece of crap that has been plaguing my life for the last two years. I am most definitely better off without you.

Hello to only paying for the two services I need from a phone: calling and texting. And hello to shaving over $100 off my phone bill.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Knitted Blanket:

I've been working on a knitted blanket for a while now. Like, since December. When I started making it, I calculated that if I could knit on it just a little bit every day, I could be done by June. But I'm telling you now this will probably not be the case. It is very slow going. I need to make 100 squares. And so far? I have about 40. But it's going to look great when it's done. Check it out:

Maybe in about 20 years I'll have some photos of the completed project to share with you. But don't hold your breath.

Monday, May 7, 2012

MacArthur Park 5K:

Oh these? These are just my feet. Looking awesome after getting done with the MacArthur Park 5K. We killed it. Like you expected anything less.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Weekend:


It's Friday! Hooray! What are your plans for the weekend? We are running a 5K tonight (!) and are thinking about taking my nephew down to Magic Springs to ride some roller coasters. My parents have three tickets left over from a company picnic that they aren't going to use. And there's nothing we like better than getting something awesome for free.

Have a good one! XO.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Finally got my butt over to Kat's salon and got this mess I call hair cut. It only took me about 5 months. But look how pretty! Kat always does a great job. Love her!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I like:

These are the new things I've welcomes into my life over the past few weeks:

one: No. 2 Pencil Skirt $89.50; two: Leather Flat Sandals $33; three: Jacquard Dot Popover $88; four: Sephora Sun Safety Kit (out of stock); five: Tank with Penguin Print $37; six: Straw Fedora $27 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We made cookies:

Oh man, last week I found this cookie recipe and literally couldn't stop thinking about it or talking about it all week (just ask Andrew). So this weekend, I decided to try them. The recipe is called "the only chocolate chip cookie I will ever need to know how to make for the rest of my life". And they weren't kidding. They are seriously amazing. I had to freeze half of the dough to keep from eating all of them in one weekend. So if you are on a diet or watching your calorie intake for upcoming races and beach trips (like me) then stop reading right now. I'm serious. Get out of here. Because you won't thank me for what you're about to see.


Mouth watering yet? I thought so. But don't get too excited. These cookies require patience. Like 36 hours worth of patience. So even if you marched out right now and got all the stuff to make them, you wouldn't be able to eat them until mid-week. But trust me, so worth it.