Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! Got any fun weekend plans? It's been so cold and gloomy out and it's supposed to rain again this weekend, but I'm hoping for even just a few hours of sunshine and warmer temperatures.

I've got a long run on Saturday morning. I sort of injured my leg at the race last weekend and I've been taking it easy since then, but I'm really anxious to get out there and work it out. Hopefully, things go smoothly. We've got another race coming up in a couple of weeks and I've got my eye on the prize.

Have a great one. XO.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I want to go to there:

The weather this week has been so miserably cold and windy. What happened to Spring? It has me severely depressed and crabby. I think the weather is also to blame for the reason I've been feeling so tired lately. I need the sun!

So, let's go on a pretend vacation, shall we? Today we will be visiting Cinque Terre in Italy. Andrew and I are actually planning an Italian trip (not in the immediate future) that includes a stop here because I am dying to spend an afternoon floating around in the cool, crisp water.

Here's what I will be bringing on our imaginary trip:

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight

Now join me in daydreaming about warm sun on your shoulders, eating cold gelato, and dipping your toes into that deliciously refreshing water.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I'm starting an experiment: I'm going dairy-free for a few weeks/months. I read an article the other day about dairy and how it aggravates some conditions. I'm wondering if this is the case with me. So, I'm going to cut it out of my diet for a while and see how things go.

And as is the case with most things (here is where my need to research things to death has come back to bite me), I read some blog posts (here, here, and here) and it kind of grossed me out about milk.

I've been looking into alternatives to milk but am unsure which road to take. Almond, soy, cashew, and now sunflower. I've tried almond milk before but wasn't that crazy about it. And in my experience, it doesn't mix that well in tea, which is one of the major ways I consume milk. Has anyone had any success with any of these?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We love:

Kate Spade recently launched her new line, Saturday. Needless to say, I am in love. It's the preppiness of Kate Spade that you know and love with a bit of laid-back, airy casualness, don't you agree? The pieces are really lovely. I cannot get over that abstract floral print!

Go to their website to see the entire collection. It's cute. Kate Spade always has such great site design.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Music:

Happy Monday, everyone. Having a little trouble getting started this morning? Allow me to help. My gift to you on this Monday morning is a really fantastic playlist created by one of the blogs I love to read, Note to Self. Enjoy:

May it help you ease into your work week. And it's totally okay if you end up listening to it until Friday. I am probably doing the same thing. Right now. Because it's that great.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday! Could this week feel any longer? Seriously, there was a point when I felt like it was infinite; that the weekend would never get here.

But here it is, so what are your plans? I'm running in a 5k tomorrow morning with my running club's Grand Prix team. And then I'm headed out of town to spend the day with an old college friend who lives out of state. And we're eating at Rolando's -- my favorite restaurant! Sunday is my mom's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) so we'll be celebrating with a family get together.

Our week's highlights:
  1. Got a muscle in my leg pulling on my sciatic nerve -- super annoying and frustrating.
  2. I celebrated the first day of Spring by wearing shorts while running! Finally!
  3. Green Cuisine, our favorite food truck, is back in business!
  4. Registered for 4 new races over the coming months.
  5. A's got some pretty exciting job opportunities. We'll see what happens.
The weather's supposed to be gross this weekend -- rainy and cold. I'm taking a page out of Jackie O's book and hunkering down with my trusty trench and wellies; although I won't look half as glamorous as she does. 

Have a good one. Stay warm and dry!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New makeup:

Disclaimer: This is a post about makeup, so all you guys out there may just want to go ahead and scroll on down.

For the past few months, I've been using Urban Decay's Naked foundation. I've been pretty happy with it. No real complaints. I liked that the company had such a firm stance on animal testing. And then I did some research (my need to research things to death is the source of all my problems, I'm convinced). Apparently, when China passed the law requiring cosmetic companies to undergo animal testing in order to sell products in their country, Urban Decay decided to jump on the bandwagon. And then the rest of the world got super upset. So they rethought their decision. And things were good for a while. But I just read that they were recently bought out by L'Oreal -- a large cosmetic company that uses animal testing. And it just bummed me out.

I still had about half a bottle left though, so I just decided to wait it out -- until my bottle fell off the bathroom counter, broke, and leaked out all over the floor. Suddenly, I was in the market for foundation again. I did tons of research (about 1.5 weeks of it, actually) before I finally landed on La Bella Donna Ultimate Pure Perfection liquid mineral foundation. And here's why:

  1. They don't test on animals
  2. It's made with natural ingredients like fruit extracts (cucumber, fig, etc.) and spices (thyme, rosemary, etc.), so I can feel good about putting it on my skin
  3. It's got aloe so it's very moisturizing and gentle
It's a little pricey ($58 for 1 oz.) but a little goes a long way (for me at least) so one bottle lasts for a while. And it covers so well that I don't really need to use anything else. It really sinks in as opposed to just sitting there on my face so it feels like I'm not really wearing anything at all. And I like that. I hate the feeling of wearing makeup. And the glow. Oh, the glow. I love a good glow and this stuff does not disappoint.

I've been wearing it for a few weeks now and have started to see an improvement in my complexion, even when I'm not wearing it. I breakout less. I have less hyper-pigmentation. I'm not sure if it's the new makeup or not. It may just be a happy coincidence. But I'm pretty happy.

La Bella Donna is available at DermStore, if you're interested. And they offer free express shipping and a 100% color guarantee, so you really can't lose.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh, Wednesday:

Real talk: I'm having a bad week. You know the kind. I'm in a funk. My patience is nonexistent. I'm tired and grumpy. People are exceptionally irritating.

When I get like this, I like to throw myself a bad week party complete with overindulging in ice cream, sweat pants, and spending an embarrassing amount of time on the internet looking at semi-emo images and graphics. A sort of internet therapy, if you will. I swear it helps. Pretty soon you start to laugh. And then you put down the spoon, change into your running shorts, and get your butt out there.

This has happened to me this week. Twice. And it's only Wednesday. Maybe this is that kind of week for you too. Maybe you need to lay down on my therapist's couch, take a look at these*, and feel better:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let's Shop:

It's been a while since I've done a pretend shopping trip. So let's get back into the swing of things, starting with Madewell.

Let's review the rules first, shall we? You can pick whatever you want, no matter how over-the-top it may seem. Forget the price. Forget the fact that you'd probably never even wear it in real life. This is all about those pieces that initially catch your eye. I like to do this kind of internet window shopping when I can't (or don't want to) shell out funds for new clothes. Or when I'm having a bad day because sometimes, you just need to look at pretty things for a while.

Ready? Here we go.

See the breakdown after the jump!

Monday, March 18, 2013

We love:

Okay, so I'm fast becoming a clothing snob. I didn't plan it. I don't even particularly like it. It just happened.
A few months ago, I read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (more on that here). I really enjoyed reading that book. And it really opened my eyes to the choices I was making when it came to clothing and how I was voting with my money.

Since then I've been a lot more careful about what I buy. I do a lot of research. I ask a lot of questions. I don't buy as much as I used to but, when I buy new, I spend more on each piece. I look at it as investing. I want certain things from my clothes and I'm willing to pay more to get them. What do I want? I want pieces made with high-quality fabrics, in low quantities, by skilled seamstresses (who are paid fair wages), made right here in America. I want to support those designers that have the same values as I do. I don't mind paying a little bit more to get these things in my clothing, but sometimes it just seems a little too high; a little ridiculous. Can't I have both good quality and decent prices? Is that too much to ask?

Not anymore. Enter Everlane. Everlane is an online clothing company that offers goods through their website; they have no physical stores. The low cost of operation allows them to pass those savings on to consumers. Their products are more cost-efficient. There is less mark-up than traditional retail stores.

They do not outsource. They do not over-produce. They make small quantities of each item using the best fabrics available at their headquarters in California. They focus on making each shirt/bag/belt the best it can possibly be by paying close attention to the small details (and if you know me, you know how important those details are).

And their clothing? Amazing. Their tees are so soft. I only have one of the v-necks but I want to live in it (I'm wearing it right now). And the best part? They don't cost an arm and a leg. Their women's tees are $15, silk blouses $80, and cashmere sweaters $120-130. Those prices are completely reasonable. Better than reasonable, really. They're really low. High-quality silk blouses usually run upwards of $200.

I love their entire collection. I want it all. The Spring scarf. The weekender bag. The essential belt. The French terry sweatshirt. The silk blouse. The cashmere crew sweater. Seriously, all of it. Even the men's stuff. I'm ordering Andrew some tees for Spring. I know he'll be as obsessed with them as I am.

I really love their stuff. And their website is really cool. I like how they break down the cost of each item so you see what you're paying for. Check it out here. And buy some stuff! You won't be sorry.

Now, Everlane, please make shoes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday! We made it to another weekend!

What are you doing with your days off? This whole time change thing has really thrown me off. I've been exhausted all week so I'll probably try to squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep. And I get to do a lot of not-so-fun-but-necessary stuff like getting my oil changed, filing my tax return, and going through clothes to donate. But maybe I'll be able to treat myself when I'm done.

Have a great one. The weather's supposed to be amazing. Do something fun for me.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

We love:

[photo by Ben Sever]
Andrew's brother, Ben, took this photo in Memphis. Cool, huh? I feel a little like a celebrity, having our name on the side of a building.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lamp update:

Remember when I talked about shopping for new bedroom lamps here? Can you believe that was September? I am a master procrastinator. Well, no more because I finally got on that:

In the end, I went with glass. I just really liked the idea of not taking up a lot of space, visually, and glass is really versatile. I can move these around from room to room and not have to worry about it looking weird.

When researching ideas (I put way too much thought into this), all of the pictures I was drawn to were really mismatched pairs -- different materials, different sizes, etc. I liked the idea of playing with proportions. So I went with one West Elm Glass Jug lamp and one smaller glass lamp from Target. I looked for vintage/thrifted   first but just couldn't find anything that would work.

So, this is the current lamp situation. I'm still not sold on the smaller lamp shade. I think it needs an upgrade (maybe something taller) so I'm still trying to play around with that. But other than that, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Best picture ever:

I came across this photo comparison of Tina Fey as Liz Lemon and her daughter, in her first (and last) 30 Rock cameo. She played a young Liz Lemon during a flashback scene in the wedding episode. Apparently, this is the birth of the classic Liz Lemon eye roll. But oh my god, look how perfectly she nails it.  I literally cannot stop laughing.

Now feel free to go back and watch that episode to see it in all its glory.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Books:

We hit up the library book sale this weekend (Thursday night, Friday afternoon, and Saturday afternoon). About 3 or 4 times a year, the Central Arkansas Library system has a used book sale in the basement of the main library downtown. Paperbacks are $0.50 and hardcovers are $1. The library also has a used bookstore downtown, Rivermarket Books and Gifts, that sells books year round, with the proceeds going to the library. During the book sale, all books at the bookstore are 50% for Focal (Friends of the Central Arkansas Library) members. I always go and I always score massive amounts of books. This weekend was no exception:

31 books and 6 records for $40!

See the entire breakdown after the jump.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! We made through another week!

What are your plans for the weekend? There's another library book sale this weekend. I'm hoping to pop over there sometime today to pick up some new reads. I usually score pretty big -- enough to hold me for a few months, at least.

Here's a look at what's going on in our neck of the woods:

  1. Clinic started this week!
  2. I ran my fastest mile ever! 8:38!
  3. Dinner with the girls totally made my Thursday.
  4. We scored some great new vinyl records to jam to.
  5. We hit the dog park twice in one week. Tillie loved it.
The weather is supposed to be nice. Like, crazy nice. It finally feels like Spring! Get out there and enjoy it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We love:

Let me start by saying that I am really into organization, okay? I ask for things like label makers and embossers for Christmas. I get ridiculously excited about things like accordion files and expandable drawer organizers. Spending a Saturday at the Container Store is my idea of a good time. Okay, so I'm kind of a nerd about this kind of thing. Everyone is a nerd about something and for me, it's organization.

So, I bet you can imagine how excited I got when I stumbled upon the Doxie scanner:

Scan photos, receipts, documents, and anything else you can possibly imagine. Get rid of that stack of paper that you never really know what to do with. Clean out all that paper mess that keeps cluttering up your counters and drawers. You don't even need a computer. Store it all on an SD card and access it at any time with pretty much any device. Sounds like heaven, right? 

I desperately need one of these in my life. Now the only question is which model do I want? The Doxie One or the Doxie Go. The One's a little cheaper, a little lighter, and uses an AC adapter. The Go has a rechargeable battery (so it can go anywhere!), can scan legal-sized documents, is available with wi-fi, and scans in 600 DPI. Decisions decisions.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Reads:

This week I'm reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. As part of my book club at work, we decided to read this book in addition to our other novel. We're reading it in thirds. 

Here's what it's about, in case you were wondering:

"In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power.

England is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII want to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and Catholic Europe oppose him. The king's quest for freedom destroys his advisor, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and creates a years-long power struggle between the Church and the Crown.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell, a wholly original man, both a charmer and a bully, an idealist and an opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: Cromwell is a consummate politician, hardened by years abroad and his personal loses. Implacable in his ambition and self-taught -- it is said that he can recite the entire New Testament from memory, knows Europe's major languages, and speaks poetry freely -- Cromwell soon becomes the country's most powerful figure after Henry. When Henry pursues his desire to marry Anne Boleyn, it is Cromwell who breaks the deadlock and allows the king his heart's desire. But Henry is volatile; one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition -- Thomas Moore, "the man for all seasons"; Katherine the queen; his daughter the princess Mary -- but what will the price of his triumph?

Witty and persuasive, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, in which individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. Employing a vast array of historical characters, and a story overflowing with incident. Wolf Hall turns Tudor England into a compelling piece of fiction. Mantel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairsbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death."

I'm only a third of the way into it. It's going to take me a while to get all the way through it. It's a pretty impressive piece of work. The beginning is particularly hard to get through because of all the story set up. And there's no real character explanation. I had to read an English history textbook and a wikipedia article about Thomas Cromwell before I could actually start the novel.

It's good though. Interesting. I'm sure I'll enjoy it. And if this kind of thing is your thing, you will too. Give it a shot. Just hang in there through the beginning. It gets good.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Emerson Fry S/S 13

Emerson Fry's Spring/Summer line is finally out! And I am obsessing. Seriously, I want all of it. Most especially:

See more of my faves after the jump!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our first half:

Yesterday, we ran our first ever half-marathon. I finished in 2:07 -- a personal best! Andrew finished in 2:18 (also a personal best). It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. The training schedule I've been on has really helped. And running with my group of girls really made all those miles not only bearable, but enjoyable and something I looked forward to each week.

See more after the jump!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! Celebrate! The weekend is here! And with it comes March. You know what that means: Spring!

This is it, you guys. It's here. Race weekend. I've been training for this since October. And I'm ready. 13.1 miles. I'm running my ass off come Sunday morning. Andrew too. So say a mental cheer for us and send good thoughts our way. And check back here for photos next week. Because you know we will be documenting the mess out of this milestone.

What have you got going on this weekend? Anything big? I'm taking today off to check out the race expo and taking a mini road trip with the girls. And then I plan on carb loading for the next two days and laying low. And eating anything and everything I want. It's going to be sweet.

Have a good one!