Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's FRIYAY! Some weeks tend to drag while others tend to fly... This week was actually the latter... It was probably because last weekend I took a quick road trip to Phoenix with friends, ran the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half and then had a ton to catch up on during the shortened week (with MLK Day on Monday) so the days flew by. Thankfully I still had the time to get together a list of some of the things I have been loving lately... Hopefully you may love some of them too!

Parks Project + Mokuyobi Collaboration

I'll be honest, I don't think I ever rocked a fanny pack before, but when I received an email from Parks Project late last week with the collaboration they were doing with Mokuyobi and included a picture of their new fanny pack I told the hubby I "needed" it. The pattern of this new line is UBER CUTE! Apparently the hubby has known about Mokuyobi for a while now, but I am just finding out about their AWESOMENESS now... Better late than never I guess!


lululemon 40|80 Challenge

This was the second year I participated in the lululemon 40|80 Challenge hosted on Strava. For those of you out of the loop, it was a virtual running challenge where runners attempt to hit 40 or 80km (approximately 25 or 50 miles) within a two week time frame. This challenge was actually what got me to sign up and start using Strava last year!

I saw this the morning that I ran the #RnRArizona Half

The info mentions folks who complete the challenge will receive "badges" on their Strava account for the different milestones, but last year lululemon also hooked us up with FREE GEAR (a tee for those who completed the 40km or a tee AND shorts for those who completed the 80km). Since I'm in the middle of marathon "training" (I've got the Phoenix Marathon in February, the Los Angeles Marathon in March and the Boston Marathon in April), I was easily able to hit the 80km {I actually got it done in the first 6 days}. The hubby even signed up for Strava and hit the 80km mark!

1,863 out of the 116,000 participants?! I'll take it! 

So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong UNITED

We've been singing this song at church for a while now, but I heard it for the first time on the radio last week and remembered how much I loved it. I know that I may not push my faith down your throat (or at least I hope that's not how I come across), but hopefully I live it out enough that it is noticeable and encouraging to you. One of my favorite lines in the song is - "if you gave your life to love them so will I" - and it reminds me that ALL people are God's creation and if God was willing to send His son to die for them (and me included), the least I can do is love others in His name.

Brooks Running Canopy Jacket

I ordered this jacket a couple weeks ago when I saw it went on sale (wait, what.... you don't stalk your favorite brands' website?! weird-o!). I thought it would be a great lightweight jacket and boy oh boy was I right. I wore it on a sunrise run last week and it was perfect! (It was about 48* and foggy, which means soggy, and the only thing that got sweaty {in case you were worried about overheating} were my elbow-pits... but those tend to be the first thing that sweat on me and it happens no matter the weather or what I wear.) The reflectiveness of this jacket is AMAZEBALLS, but there are other awesome features if you prefer one of the other colors as well. It's breathable, packable, water and wind resistant, has hidden thumb holes and a headphone anchor in the zipper pull. No detail was too small to be overlooked in this jacket!

LA Landmark Ride

This is the official bike ride at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. Cyclists will ride 26 miles on the marathon course, hours before the runners start. Ride through LA's historic neighborhoods, past countless iconic landmarks, with zero cars. It's the ride of a lifetime, a chance to experience a famously auto-centric city cleared of traffic. I think this is such an awesome idea, seeing as the course is already set up. Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I haven't heard of something like this before, but think it is an AMAZING alternative to running the course (if you may be injured, not fully trained or if running just isn't your jam)! And you'll be raising money for life saving cancer research at the same time because each rider must raise a minimum of $300 for City of Hope (one of only 47 comprehensive cancer centers in the US {which is the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute}). If you're interested, check it out sooner rather than later because space is limited and who knows when you'll be able to bike this so safely again.


What are you loving lately?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Momentum Ambassador (& GIVEAWAY)

Slowly but surely I am updating my ambassador badges in the right hand column of my blog {once my official contracts go through with the brands I am working with}. The most recent badge I updated was for Momentum Jewelry!

And now YOU can apply to be an ambassador with Momentum Jewelry! Applications are being accepted on January 19th and 20th for the 2018 program (with this small window, you better set a reminder before you forget and it's too late!).


Momentum Jewelry Ambassadors are eager to share a message of strength and positivity. They work hard every day to change the world by encouraging others to live more active, healthy, and inspired lives. Are you a person who strives to inspire & motivate others? Do you love it when fitness and fashion combine to create a product that helps to promote a healthy lifestyle? Do you have a strong social media engagement and are interested in sharing Momentum with your community? If YES, then you should TOTALLY apply for the AWESOME Momentum Ambassador Program!


A Momentum Ambassadorship is a 12-month commitment. Your level of social media engagement and degree of influence in your community is an important determining factor in the ranking of your application (but just because you don't have a million followers does not mean you shouldn't apply - everyone is welcome to submit an application!).


As a Momentum Ambassador, you will receive:
  • a generous Momentum Gift Card.
  • special coupons that you can use (or award to someone else). 
  • priority consideration for sponsorships, partnerships, and features.

In return, they ask that you:
  • post a minimum of 1 unique photo across all of your social media channels once every 2 weeks for the duration of your Ambassadorship. 
  • interact with Momentum via their social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). 
  • tag @momentumjewelry in social media posts when relevant.
  • and most importantly, interact with others in a positive, supporting, and encouraging manner, in alignment with Momentum's message and mission.

If this sounds like something right up your alley, GO APPLY! Applications will only be accepted for TWO DAYS ONLY!
And even if you don't want to apply for the ambassadorship, I still have an AWESOME Momentum giveaway for everyone!


The new Momentum Technical Trucker Hats (by Boco Gear) will be on sale soon, but because I love you so much I thought I'd give you the chance to WIN IT before you can buy it! Momentum will have TWO trucker hats (navy or stripes) available - and I have one of each up for grabs! There'll be two winners (the first will have dibs on which hat they prefer).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will run through Sunday, January 21st at 11:59pm PST. The winners will be contacted via the email address on their Rafflecopter account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize (make sure your information is up-to-date and you check your email regularly). US Residents only. All entries are verified, so make sure to do whatever the required action for the entry is or it will be disqualified. I would hate for you to miss out on winning due to a technicality, so if you are going to click the option, make sure you do whatever it asks or a new, random winner will be selected in your place.

Some of the entries are available daily so I would highly recommend entering early and often if you'd like to get your hands on one of these hats before they are made available to the general public! Best of luck to everyone who enters!

PS Their BUDDY BOGO SALE starts TODAY! Running January 18th through the 31st, it's buy-1-get-1-half-off for all standard saying Motivate Wraps, Single and Duo Foot Notes, and SPARKlets! No coupon required - the discount will automatically be applied in your cart. Stock up for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, your BRF's birthday or even Christmas!

If you could be an ambassador for a brand, which brand would you pick and why? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MudLOVE Custom Sale

You know how much I love MudLOVE, right?! {They were the brand behind Day 10 of my #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas, so head there to hear me sing their praise if you need a refresher.} Not only are their products AWESOME, but they're doing AMAZING things for others! You see, every product purchased provides one week of safe, clean water to someone in need. All of this is made possible through Water for Good and their continual work to transform one of the world’s most neglected countries, the Central African Republic. So, the decision to shop MudLOVE is really a decision to change lives.


When my contact reached out and asked me if I would be willing to spread the word about their upcoming sale I didn't even have to think twice - HECK TO THE YES I WILL! Not only do I love to support brands who give back and are making a difference, but if a brand also supports me I will do just about anything I can in my power to help them succeed.


For the month of January, the "Mud of the Month" (aka the awesome deal MudLOVE is offering to you) is on CUSTOM products! All custom orders are on sale (and cost the same price as the classic items)! The custom bands are normally $14, and you can score one for $10. The custom mugs usually cost $28, but for a limited time you can grab one for $20.



And because MudLOVE is AMAZEBALLS, they even offered to send the hubby and I a few custom pieces which was totally NOT necessary, but always much appreciated! They offered up a couple mugs and bands - how awesomesauce?! 


The hubby and I both got to select a custom saying (and glaze color - which they have recently added new options) for our hand-tossed mugs. I decided to go with "mcdot" in light shino and the hubby went with "Mug Life" in steel gray. I absolutely love how they turned out! I am not a big coffee drinker (although the hubby is), but with the cooler temps I'm stoked to fill up my new mug with some hot cocoa (and will totally use it for ice cream in the warmer weather #RealTalk)!

The hardest part was picking what to put on the bracelet. There are already so many awesome classic bands, but I wanted something original and personal. I even put a call out on social media, asking folks to describe me in one word.


Also, trying to boil inspirational quotes down to one or two words can be darn near impossible. I would have loved to use something like "Nevertheless, she persisted", "To live will be an awfully big adventure", "They tried to bury us, they did not know we were seeds", "She believed she could so she did", "Do small things with great love", "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud",  etc, but with the limited amount of space, it was hard to make them fit and still get the point across.

Source: Left / Center / Right

I think the bands I finally decided on are pretty perfect if I do say so myself (let's be real, it took me DAYS to narrow down the infinite possibilities and decide on the ones to order). I cannot wait to start rocking them around town!

PS I'm pretty sure I will wait to wear the "boston <3" band until the marathon in April!

Like I mentioned, the current sale consists of all their Custom productsbands and mugs — being the same price as their Classic products (what a steal!). Custom bracelets are $10 instead of $14, and Custom mugs are $20 instead of $28 (almost 30% off each!). These prices will only last through the end of January, so make sure to place your order NOW! PS They make amazing gifts {whether you're treating yourself or stocking up for different holidays}, so grab them today!


What is one or two words that you would put on a custom mug or bracelet?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon Race Recap

SURPRISE! I ran the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon yesterday! It was a spur of the moment decision, but rocked it!

When you are the third wheel of this TWINNING duo ;)

I am not sure that I mentioned it on here yet, but I was selected to be a part of the 2018 Rock 'N' Blog crew for a third year in a row - WHOOOO HOOOO! One of the many perks that we receive from the relationship is entry to Rock 'N' Roll races (this year we get up to 10 free registrations)! {But, as hopefully you are well aware by now, this will NOT effect my recap.}

A couple weeks ago I asked two of my friends what they were up to on January 13th and 14th. As luck would have it, their schedules were free (and one of them lives in the Phoenix area) so we decided on a quick road trip (that would include me slipping away for a couple hours on Sunday morning to run a half marathon - I mean, why not?!).


We made our way to Phoenix Friday morning (it's about a 6 hour drive, plus we lose an hour with the time change). I figured we'd hit up the Expo when we got into town so we'd have all day Saturday to do whatever we wanted. Like most race expos, I was in and out in no time flat. I grabbed my bib and participant tee (another one to add to the stack for my next Project Repat quilt), said "HI" to a few friends, then made like a banana and split. FYI: Parking at the Phoenix Convention Center (where the Expo was being held) cost $12 to park so my friend drove around while I quickly ran in.

#BadBlogger... The only picture I snapped at the Expo was of
the new Rock 'N' Roll Exclusive Brooks (I mean... TIE-DYE!)

Saturday was full of fun (hiking Camelback Mountain, hanging out at the hot tub, watching old episodes of The Office, etc), but it was finally time to hit the hay and get ready for Sunday.

Yes, yes, I did wear a St. Patrick's Day headband (with two bouncy leprechaun hats
on it) for the entirety of our hike ;) Would you expect anything different from me?!

 I based this race outfit around the new #StateOfMind PRO Compression socks (since they were MADE for Arizona!).
Arizona PRO Compression socks, red Handful bra, royal blue Sparkle Athletic skirt, tank from GracedByGrit, red Sparkle Athletic cape,
red and blue QALO silicone wedding bands, blue and yellow Momentum Jewelry wraps, #WeRunSocial thingamajig, black RoadID,
Nathan handheld, PROBAR BOLT chews, Arizona hat (I made), my Garmin Fenix 5S, and Brooks Ghost 10 (with lightning bolt Shwings).

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona seemed to have a later start time compared to other races, but maybe that's due to the sun not rising until later in the morning. Either way, I was appreciative to have a couple extra minutes to rest my sleepy head.

Yep, not sure if you see the time at the top, but we were
up way too late chatting in bed before going to sleep... 

When I got to the race start it was pretty perfect. While most of the country had recently been dealing with a major cold front (Mother Nature can be so rude sometimes), the southwest seems to be sitting pretty with near ideal temperatures (one of the many reasons I am willing to pay such a high sunshine tax to live in SoCal).

Pretty AWESOME that my Fenix 5S shows the current temps!

After finding parking (which was relatively easy thanks to the free lots!), it was time for the #WeRunSocial meet-up!

PS There was also a meet-up for the full marathon as well since the two races
started at different locations, yet at the same time.

Source@procompression's Twitter feed

Source@werunsocial's Twitter feed

The game plan for the day was to have fun with Pavement Runner and Bling Whore and check out a new-to-me race. (I have run the Phoenix Marathon three times, and will be running it again in about 6 weeks, but I've never done Rock 'N' Roll Arizona before). Thankfully FUN is always on the agenda when it comes to running with Brian and Richard! Races are always better when you run them with friends, and these two guys are some of the best!

Source@blingwhore's Instagram feed

I was pretty stoked because this was the first Rock 'N' Roll race of 2018. With it came the introduction of the all new 2018 experience. This is where everything you love about running comes together in sync - where miles of music motivate you, where beats drop and drums pound, where bands and cheering fans line the course, just for you. For over 20 years, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. In 2018, they have reset their focus to deliver best-in-class running events, where music is core and their community encourages you to feel like you are something bigger than yourself. Whether you’re a loyal fan, new to the family or convincing your friends to join you... you won’t want to miss running Rock 'N' Roll in 2018.


Some of the updates/ improvements include:
  • New corral markers – they're lit, easier to see and pretty legit!
  • Improved pacing – better visibility of pacer signs, plus pacers with Jammy Packs (speakers in a fanny pack)! 
  • A new mobile app with participant tracking 
  • New and improved band stages so you can rock out to music on course
  • A Marathon Zone – those with Marathon Bibs can enter a super special area with pizza, massages, etc!
  • SnapChat Geofilters (available at the expo, start, and finish areas) !
  • New mile markers!
  • Aid stations with awesome and clear signage (Gatorade and water will be clearly marked with pretty signs)!

I've been running Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series events since 2013 and was stoked to see how they'd enhance the experience. Don't get me wrong, the races are always a HUGE party, but if they can get even bigger and better, why not?!


As I mentioned before, this was a new-to-me race, so I didn't have a prior experience to compare it exactly to, but I'll be honest, it wasn't the most scenic or beautiful course I've ever run... The majority of it was pretty industrial. It seemed like in most areas we were running on a five lane road with traffic using the outer two lanes (runners using the middle three lanes and one lane in each direction for vehicles).

For running in the desert (which you'd assume would be flat), there was a somewhat steady (although very gradual) incline for the majority of the race and a decent climb the second half of the course. It wasn't anything too dramatic (probably about 200 feet of elevation gain), but since it was later in the race I figured I'd mention it... especially if you're expecting a flat-as-a-pancake course. The downhill to the finish was definitely appreciated!


The course itself ran through a few different areas. I'm not super familiar with the area, but nothing really stood out to me as in way of landmarks or natural beauty. I actually wish we would have been able to run along the Salt River (although there were a TON of dead fish floating in it - sadness!), but I guess beggars can't be choosers.


Although a race is definitely more than a time on a finishing clock, the guys had mentioned that they would like to attempt a sub-2 half marathon so we had that in the back of our minds as we were pushing through the miles. I'd say the course wasn't overflowing with spectators, which tended to make the excitement level plummet a bit, but the additional bands (we noticed many of them were right near the mile markers) was much appreciated.


We were able to cross the finish line with our heads held high, smiles on our faces and with a sub-2 in the bag - BOOM!

I think the idea of having the "guitar pick" as the medal for all of the
races this year is a pretty fun (and consistent) idea for 2018!

The two girls I was spending the weekend with were even able to come down to the finish line and watch us run it in! (I was not expecting them to want to come cheer us on so I was stoked to have them show us some love!)

The ladies ROCK MY SOCKS!

All-in-all I would say this was a decent race but definitely not one of my favorites in the series (San Diego and Las Vegas currently hold those top two spots for the time being). If I was in the area I'd do it again, but I don't think there was anything too special about it that would make me "need" to have it on a future race calendar.

What has been the most scenic race you've ever run?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 2

Sunday, January 7th – 16 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, January 8th – 8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, January 9th – 4 mile run with the hubby, 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, January 10th – 8 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, January 11th – 14 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, January 12th – 5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, January 13th – Hiked Camelback Mountain (4.2 miles) with friends

A 55 mile week?! I'll take it! The mileage may be a little more of "quantity over quality" right now (meaning no hard workouts... more just logging miles on my feet), but I'm stoked with the distance I have been able to consistently put in without my body taking too much of a beating. I love that I have been able to join the hubby on his journey to while training for his first full marathon (which is now less than 6 weeks away - holy cow... where did the time go?!).

How were your workouts this past week?