Monday, February 20, 2017

#WeRunSocial Mesa-PHX Marathon Meet-Up

This weekend will be my THIRD time heading to Arizona to run the Mesa-PHX Marathon (although, in the past the race was simply called the Phoenix Marathon - Recap: 2015 & 2016).

Apparently I have a signature pose... Finisher picture from 2015 on the left and 2016 on the right

The 2015 Phoenix Marathon is actually where Pavement Runner's brain-child, #WeRunSocial, was born. I was lucky to be involved from the get-go, so when Brian asked me if I wanted to help host the meet-up for this year's race you know I had to say HECK TO THE YES!

Some of the crew after the 2015 race

I will be tagging along with two of the heavy-weights in the running community - Pavement Runner and RunEMZ (I don't know why they would want little ol' me to help out, but I am all about it) and we want YOU to join us!

The hosts for this year's meet-up

If you will be in the Phoenix area on this Friday afternoon you should totally come hang out (even if you aren't running in any of the races). We will be meeting at the PRO Compression booth at the the Mesa-PHX Marathon Expo (which is open to ALL) starting around 4pm. Stop by, say "HI", selfie it up and meet some AWESOME runners (who also happen to be overall AMAZING human beings).

I have a box of goodies to bring for giveaways, so just in case seeing our bright and smiling faces isn't incentive enough, you could win some goodies so should definitely put this event on your calendar!

Who will I see this weekend?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 7

Sunday, February 12th – 3 mile run with the hubby

Monday, February 13th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 14th –  5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 15th – 4 mile run (1 on my own followed by 3 with the hubby), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 16th – 8 progressive mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 17th –  Rest Day

Saturday, February 18th – Rest Day

Instead of Christmas gifts, a group of my girlfriends and I do a trip. I think it was planned PERFECTLY because it was during taper - which meant it gave me something to focus on rather than the fact that I wasn't running, along with the fact that I didn't mind the extra couple rest days (and lighter suitcase because I wasn't packing running gear). I was still sure to get in all of my runs pre-trip and decided that any of our exploring would count as my 'cross-training' workouts.

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

As you read this I am enjoying a girls weekend in San Francisco - WHOOOO HOOOO! (Some friends and I do a trip instead of Christmas gifts, and this was the weekend of our adventure.) Along with LOVING a few days away and girl time, below are a couple additional Friday Favorites that you all may be interested in checking out for yourself!

Target Swimsuits

I never thought I'd put "bathing suits" on a list of favorites, especially because bathing suit shopping is probably one of the worst things that I can think of voluntarily doing... but it happened! When the hubby and I were going through our purging phase a couple weeks back I got rid of all my old bikinis. They were ill-fitting, faded and old, but I kept them because I never wanted to A. spend the money to replace them or B. go shopping for bathing suits. I figured that if I got rid of all my two piece bathing suits it'd force me to buy a new one (or be left with a really white belly all summer long from rocking my one-piece). Low and behold I was at Target the other day and figured I'd take the plunge. To my surprise I actually found a suit that I liked! I think it's probably because it was similar to my Handful bras, but that's okay. I appreciate that you can mix and match tops and bottoms (especially for women who aren't a straight size across the board). I was able to pick up a top and two bottoms (one for laying at the pool and another for being active). Normally I'd wait until they went on sale, but I knew it was now or never so I bit the bullet and actually paid full price!


If you don't know what this is A. you probably don't follow me on Instagram (but you can HERE if you'd like) and B. missed my blog post about it. It's okay, I won't hold it against you. Anywho, not only do I like posting my finds, I LOVE when other people "play" along and post theirs as well. But this is about neither... The other day I received a notice in Facebook that I had been tagged in a post. A friend shared about her experience "treasure hunting" and I couldn't help but smile. Not so much because of what she said, but that she sees me as a positive person, someone who looks for the good, and someone who was actually making a difference in the world (no matter how small it may seem). With that, I just wanted to challenge you to keep doing good, spreading kindness, finding reasons to smile - you never know who you may be impacting, but you ARE making this world a better place!

Take It All Back by Judah & The Lion

I think I like this jam so much because it reminds me of a folk-y version of my main man Eminem. Obviously the hip hop artist from 8 Mile doesn't rock out on a banjo or mandolin, but the lead singer's voice definitely has a little Marshall Mathers feel to it (or maybe that's just me). I also love what they had to say about the song in a Red Bull interview, "It's our way of saying that our successes do not define us as people. We would give up everything we do to have the things that matter most to us: love, friends, family, ice cream."

DIY Cards

I feel like I used to be so much more artsy and creative... but I got to rectify this a bit earlier this week. For Valentine's Day, the girls in my small group decided to shower our leader in surprises throughout the day (his wife passed away two years ago from cancer and we wanted him to know he is still deeply cared for). Along with a near botched flower delivery that I made at 6:20am, I also made a homemade card. And while I was at it, I decided to make the hubby a pop-up card as well. They might be a little corny, but I had fun (and they at least acted like they appreciated them ;)).

What are you loving lately?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Our Engagement Story

Today marks NINE YEARS since Ry and I got engaged, so I thought it'd be fun to share our engagement story. I'm not sure if I've told it before, and was too lazy to look before I started typing, so I'm sorry if this is a re-run for some of you ;)

This is one of the pictures from our 'engagement' photo shoot
(that we did with a tripod & a point-and-shoot camera w/ a timer)

As some of you may know, the hubby and I started dating our sophomore year of college. I had 'noticed' Ryan because he actually liked the girl who lived across the hall from me freshman year and was always hanging out over there. Fortunately for me, she didn't like him 'like that' and I was able to swoop in ;)

There's the stud I thought was so dreamy... and artsy... and skater-ish... and God loving... and so unlike anyone I had dated before

We both went to Orlando with our college campus church during the summer between our freshman and sophomore year as part of a leadership training program. As part of the program, we were required to work full-time jobs. Universal Studios had a 'deal' with the organization that they'd hire as many of us as they could - so instead of hunting for our own jobs, the majority of us decided to work at the theme park for the summer. Ryan and I carpooled every day to and from work and got to know each other. Love blossomed and we started dating the beginning of our sophomore year.

Not sure if you can tell, but we were secretly holding hands behind Ryan's leg... Yup, young love ;) 

We look like BABIES! This was 14 YEARS ago! WE WERE BABIES!

Let's stop right here and mention a few things. First, before Ryan and I even started dating, I told the girls in my summer small group that I could see myself marrying him (apparently it would take a little more convincing for Ryan to believe it for himself). Next, it is MY PERSONAL OPINION that you date someone to decide whether or not that is the person you could spend the rest of your life with. Okay, now we can proceed.

Halloween 2006

At this point in our relationship (February 2008), Ry and I had been together for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. We had dated while living in the same dorm, while living across the country from each other, while moving across the country from everyone we knew but still living in different cities, etc. I felt as though we had dated through just about every phase and I still knew I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life... WHAT WAS TAKING HIM SO LONG?!

Celebrating our birthdays in 2007 (they are 3 days apart)

Although I am NOT a Valentine's Day celebrator, I thought that this would be a decent time for Ryan to propose, but alas, he did not. I remember being so frustrated with the situation that I called my mom and told her that I thought I was going to have to break up with him because obviously the relationship was going NOWHERE. She tried her best to calm me down, to tell me to 'stick it out' and reminded me how much I loved him. (Little did I know he had already called and asked my parents for my hand in marriage and she was trying her hardest not to spill the beans just days before.)

Ryan's sister and her hubby were in town that following weekend, visiting San Diego, so we were planning to head down to spend some time with them. On the way, Ryan thought we could do a little geo caching. (If you don't know what geo caching is, it's sort of like high-tech treasure hunting. You use coordinates and GPS to find caches that could have tradable items or just a log to sign showing that you found it. It was something we enjoyed doing because it helped us discover areas we may have never found on our own. Being in a new city and state, it was a great way to adventure.)

A picture of us geo caching from 2007... I thought RC Pirates was the perfect name for
us because R = Ryan, C = Carlee & Pirates look for treasure like geo cachers!

We stopped at Kate Session's Park to grab a couple caches before meeting his sister for a little sight seeing downtown. When he was ready to pop the question, he called me over (normally, once we got to the location we would divide and attempt to conquer, looking around to find the cache) saying he had found it, and had the ring in his hand.

I always poke fun at him because he was down on both knees, but really it was such a cute proposal, and so US, that he could have been standing or speaking Spanish and I still would have said YES (or maybe sí).

Thumbs up for love

And how fun is it that two of our friends ended up going to the geo cache we got engaged at after our wedding and grabbed the coin we left?! (PS We got married 6 months to the day after we got engaged - note the dates in the log.)

And now you know ;) It might not be uber romantic or what little girls dream about when pondering the way their prince charming asks to spend the rest of his life with her, but it was PURE PERFECTION for me and the man of my dreams!

How did you get engaged?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K

Once again #TeamSparkle is running So Cal Ragnar in order to raise awareness and money for Rett Syndrome and Girl Power 2 Cure. This terrible disease has trapped almost half a million girls in their bodies, leaving them unable to speak, walk, or even use their hands. #TeamSparkle is running because these girls can’t, but we believe someday they will!

I am HONORED to be running on the team for a third year in a row! And I promise my running abilities are slightly better than my
synchronized jumping abilities ;) 

We will be running 200 miles for 200 girls (dedicating each mile to a specific girl) during our #Ragnar4Rett adventure. But just because you aren’t running the Ragnar Relay with us doesn’t mean you can’t participate. This year we invite YOU to join #TeamSparkle and participate in our #Ragnar4Rett journey by signing up for the THIRD ANNUAL #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K (and yes, all profits will be donated to Girl Power 2 Cure).


Participating is easy:

1. Sign up for the #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K. Registration is open NOW until it sells out.

2. Run/ walk /roll at least 3.1 miles (5K) anytime between now and Saturday, April 8th, 2017. However, we’d suggest you complete the 5K the weekend that we are running Ragnar So Cal (April 7th-8th). This year is the first year that three different options are being made available. No matter which route you go, you will be receiving a real, actual race bib and a beautiful, sparkly, die cast, 2017-edition #TeamSparkle medal. And then, depending on whether you 'upgrade' to one of the other packages, you could also receive a special edition #Ragnar4Rett shirt and/or a limited edition GP2C Dream Big Running Skirt. Everything will be shipped the week of March 27th.


3. Share your pictures with the rest of #TeamSparkle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtags #Ragnar4Rett and #TeamSparkle. Post pictures of your #FlatSparkle (the clothes & gear you are rocking), your medal, your run, and anything else you want to share. Although you may be racing virtually, by posting your pics to our Facebook page, or using the hashtags on Instagram & Twitter – we can cheer everyone on!

Have you ever participated in a virtual race before?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brooks Run Influencer (& GIVEAWAY)

If you were to ask me which running brands I would LOVE to work with, the list would be {somewhat} short and sweet:
* PRO Compression
* Garmin
* Sparkle Athletic
* Handful Bras
* Sparkly Soul
* Brooks
I am lucky to say that I have been able to work, in some capacity or another, with all of the brands on my "love" list. {PS If we expanded the list to companies outside of the running realm I would definitely add an airline and hotel chain to this list so I could make more racecations happen without making my wallet cry for mercy.}

I have been honored to be a part of the PRO Compression ambassador team for the last four years, have been working with the Garmin crew for almost three, have been a Sparkly Soul ambassador for over two years, have been repping Handful Bras as an official ambassador for the last year and have have actually been working for the Sparkle Athletic ladies for a little over six months now.

Although I have been lucky enough to work with Brooks on a few campaigns, nothing has been official... UNTIL NOW! Yup... If you couldn't tell from the title of the post, I have been asked to be a Brooks Run Influencer (think of this as an ambassador role if you will). Let's just say when I got the email asking if I wanted to be a part of this squad I did a little happy dance. In the past this role has been reserved for elite runners and coaches... of which I am NEITHER! So to find out that they opened up the team to "regular" runners AND asked me to be a part of it, I was OVER THE MOON!

From one of the Brooks campaigns I was lucky enough to work on

I've been rocking Brooks since around the time I first started running. (My first pair of shoes I was fitted for by my local running store was a different brand, but after that I've been consistent in my Brooks love.) I currently have five pairs of Brooks Running shoes and four pairs of Brooks Heritage shoes, along with some of their apparel in the closet (and that doesn't include the five pairs of "retired" Brooks Running shoes I recently donated at the Carlsbad Half Marathon Expo).

Just a few of the Brooks Running shoes I have had over the years... I would say the number is in the upper twenties...

And what better way to cap off this announcement than with a GIVEAWAY?! If you didn't know, one of Brooks' slogans is "Run Happy"... uh DUH! I mean, if you know me, you know that this relationship was meant to be, right?!


And not only is it one of their sayings, it is THE saying on the hat that I've got up for grabs! Today I have one of the Brooks Running Run Happy Sherpa Hats (in white) available for one of YOU! The Run Happy Sherpa running hat shades as well as it protects. Constructed with DriLayer® fabric, this stretch-woven material wicks moisture away from your skin, while an interior wicking headband keeps you extra dry and comfortable. Use the adjustable back to find the perfect fit, and run happy and safe with reflective detail that will help you stay visible in low light.

Entering is easy, use the Rafflecopter widget and put your name in the hypothetical hat (in case you're confused... the giveaway hat is NOT hypothetical, it's definitely real, the hat in which you are "throwing your name in" is just a saying).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway runs through Monday, February 20th at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Rafflecopter account and has 24 hours to claim their prize. All entries are verified, so be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected (I don't want you missing out due to a technicality).

Good luck to everyone who enters and remember to enter early & often as some of the options are available daily!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 6

Sunday, February 5th – 10 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, February 6th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 7th –  5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 8th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 6 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 9th – 5 mile progression treadmill run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 10th –  Rest Day

Saturday, February 11th – 12 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Another week done! 38 miles in the bank (and SUPER STOKED that 22 of them were logged with my fave running partner, the hubby)! We are entering "the taper" (cue the scary music), but thankfully I have plenty to keep me busy and occupy my time of the next couple weeks!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

I apologize for the lack of posts this week (especially for those of you who check in on a regular basis and felt like you were left hanging). In case you didn't know, Walt the Wiener Dog had to get one of his back teeth extracted on Wednesday. Let's just say that a sad, drugged pup has taken over my life for the past couple days... but thankfully it seems as though he is on the mend and hopefully we can get back to normal life. And one part of the routine is BLOGGING! So, without further ado, it's time for my Friday Favorites!

Kelly Roberts' Podcast

If you don't follow Kelly on the social media platforms you are on, you are truly missing out! She is a REAL inspiration (the creator of the #SportsBraSquad and I am honored to be part of her #BadAssLadyGang)! She tells it like it is, no if's and's or but's about it! Well, she just started a podcast and it's AMAZING! I have to be honest, I am super non-tech savvy, but I was able to click on a link and listen to them... so if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT! At the time I am writing this post there are two episodes available, but continue to check back (or SUBSCRIBE) to keep up-to-date!

New PRO Compression Socks

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, I am on the PRO Compression Ambassador squad for a FOURTH YEAR in a row {WHOOO HOOOO}! They have been releasing some great socks over the past couple weeks and in case you haven't seen them, I wanted to give you a heads up (especially since most of the sell out PRONTO - like the Valentine's Day, Sundae and Wings socks which are all GONE!). We've got the Neon Bolt (which is the February Sock of the Month), the Pink Camo (which correlates with the City Camo released last year), the Dark Side (for all of you running the WDW Star War's races), and the Wool Grey (for those of your running in the frozen tundra). Morale of the story? If you see socks you want, GRAB THEM! Sometimes the sold out models will make a second run, but sometimes they don't and you would HATE to be left out, right?!

From Left to Right: Neon Bolt / Pink Camo / Dark Side / Wool Grey

**UPDATE: As of 2/11/17 the Wings and Sundae socks have been restocked! DO NOT MISS OUT! Order NOW!**

From Left to Right: Grey Wings / Mint Wings / Sundae


The hubby and I went to see Dashboard Confessional earlier this week. We had a BLAST (and I swear, it's like Chris Carrabba hasn't aged since the last time I saw him - which was at least 10 years ago). It's been a while since I've been to a show and I forgot how much I enjoy them! In high school I used to go to punk rock shows ALL THE TIME! Now that I remember how much fun live shows can be, I am hoping we can make it happen a little more frequently (in fact, I've already penciled in the New Found Glory show on the calendar for late April).

One of the many videos I took from the show (if you follow my IG stories you probably saw plenty of them)

New Sparkly Soul Headbands

I received an email a couple days ago from Sparkly Soul about their new line - The Hero Collection. Not only are the headbands cute and sparkly, but a percentage of all sales from The Hero Collection will be donated to local Law Enforcement, Firefighter & EMS Foundations from purchase made between 2/9/17 and 2/16/17. The headbands are available in wide and thin options (I love the wide, but stacking multiple thins is also my jam).


What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

REVIEW: The Mitten State

Although I've lived in the San Diego area for over 10 years now, my heart will always belong to Michigan. Shoot, I love it so much I even have a outline of the state (along with a banner that says "Smitten") on my bicep.

With that said, one of my favorite Michigan clothing brands, The Mitten State, reached out to me to try out their new women's shirts (they partnered with a well know designer in Michigan to create the world's best women's tees and wanted to get the opinion of real ladies wearing their gear). Well, after the shock that they would be reaching out to little ol' ME wore off I jumped on the opportunity!

I was STOKED to open the mailbox and find this box!

You see, not only does my heart and ink reflect my love for my 'home', but my clothes do too! What can I say? 

These are just a few of the items I have in my closet from The Mitten State... not to mention the ones the hubby owns!

The Mitten State sent me two of their new tees and, as you could have guessed, I'm IN LOVE! They're super soft and comfy. I normally order men's tees because I like the fit better, but was thrilled when the female shirts fit well. I loved the length, the subtle hourglass shape and even though I normally don't buy "scoop neck" tees, I was pleasantly surprised!

It's great to be a MICHIGAN WOLVERINE!

My contact joked and said that since it's in the twenties not very many people would be bearing their arms for a while and was thrilled to get my thoughts before the warmer temps made an appearance back in Michigan. And although ladies may not be rockin' these tees out and about in the Mitten quite yet, once they do, THEY WILL LOVE THEM!

What is your 'home' state and do you love it?