Friday, January 31, 2020

January Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 201777 in 2018 and 67 in 2019!) has morphed into this passion for books. As you can see, my reading has slowed a bit, but my love for books has not! In the past couple years I've added longer distance races (which means more time running/ training and less time reading), we've remodeled our condo (I think it legit took us six months to finish the whole thing... DIY seems to take twice as long {and cost twice as much} as you originally think it will), and I've added another part time job (which means I'm now working 40ish hours a week, cutting down on my reading time). Even still, I love getting my read on whenever I can.

Truth be told, I was never much of a reader when I was younger (CliffsNotes were my best friend when it came to books), but recently I fell in love. Although I may not read at the same speed as I previously did when I first caught the reading bug, I still want to keep the hobby going (and what better form of accountability than to post a list of the books I finished at the end of the month?!). I don't have any set number of books I am shooting to read this year, but hopefully a lack of goal doesn't mean a lack of books completed. So, without further ado, let's jump into everything I read in January!

  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - If you ask me my favorite book I'd have a hard time pinpointing one... In fact, a few weeks ago someone has asked a similar question in a Q&A post and I think I ended up narrowing it down to about 15, haha. But, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is definitely high on the list. When I saw she was writing a sequel (well, I wouldn't say it is a sequel in the sense of a continued story per say, but it has the same setting as the original, and is set 15 years after the story of Offred), I had to read it. I was on the wait-list at my library for a few weeks but once it became available I had to run over (literally) and pick it up. I'll be honest, I never really have high hopes for sequels (whether it's a movie or a book), but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. {I feel like much of the negativity I've seen around this book is due to the extremely high expectations put on it, but since I went in expecting less than amazing, I really enjoyed it. I didn't go into it thinking it'd be The Handmaid's Tale Part II and maybe that's why I wasn't disappointed as some other readers have been.} As with The Handmaid's Tale, I couldn't put it down. At first I was having an issue trying to keep the different story lines separate (at least of the two younger girls), but once I realized the chapter notations referenced the "writer" of that portion it got much easier. I wouldn't say that this book sky-rocketed into my top ten books of all time, but I definitely will be purchasing it for my collection. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Letters to the Church by Francis Chan - This was one of the books I grabbed on my Hoopla app in December but didn't get around to listening to it until after the beginning of the year. I didn't have any insights on the book when I downloaded it, other than the title and it was on the popular page in my app. I appreciated many of the points Francis raised in the book. I'll be honest, more often than not I like to look at God as "a father" rather than the all powerful entity that He is. I'm not sure if I am explaining it right, but in my mind I tend to think of all the relational aspects of His character rather than focusing on some of the characteristics that it is hard for me to grasp. With that said, I will be the first to admit that I don't necessarily stand at His feet in the awe and amazement He deserves. Francis raised some great points throughout the book, urging us to consider not what others want or need out of church, but what God desires and requires out of church. I did feel as though there weren't a ton of "take aways" from the book, but it did raise some interesting points to ponder. I also appreciated the viewpoints from churches and leaders outside of the US. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • Full Circle by Andrea Barber - If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you may have seen a picture or two of me with my friend Andrea... although, you may know her as Kimmy Gibler. You see, I met Andrea a few years back when she was getting to know (and then started dating) a friend of mine. Of course I knew she was on a famed show back in the day, but when I met her I met her as a fellow runner. Don't get me wrong, whenever we've been out together you can tell she's a "celebrity" (in the sense that people notice her, want to get her autograph or snap a selfie with her), but she has always just been Andrea to me. With that said, once her memoir went up for pre-sale you know I had to get my hands on a copy. These last couple weeks have been chaotic (starting a new job, having family in town for two weeks, the holidays, etc) so I didn't have a ton of time to sit down and read her book, but once I had a free day that is exactly what I did. I realize I may be bias because I am her friend, but I can't rave about this book more. Andrea bares her soul in this book and I couldn't be more proud. This isn't your typical celebrity memoir, but that's probably because AB isn't your typical celebrity. She shares about growing up as a child actor, about becoming a wife and mother, about her mental health, about returning to "the big screen" after twenty years of being "out of the biz", about REAL LIFE! Like I mentioned, I might be bias, but if you haven't read her book yet, I would highly recommend it (even if you weren't a Full or Fuller House fan, the realness and rawness of it all is something we need more of in this world of picture perfect Instagram posts and curated captions). I would give it a 10 out of 10.

  • Minimalism: 2 Manuscripts in 1 Book: Minimalist Living and Minimalist Home by Joshua Bell and Joshua Hill - If you've been around these parts of the InterWebs for a while (or have noticed my constant "closet clean-outs" on social media), you may know that I appreciate a minimalistic life. I'll be honest and say things don't hold much value to me. I don't attach sentimental value to many items. It is easy for me to let things go, especially because I feel much lighter and calmer having less. This isn't necessarily the case when it comes to the hubby, but we're working on it ;) When I saw this "book" (it's actually two books put together in one audiobook) on Hoopla I thought I'd snag it for my walks to work. I have to say, I enjoyed it. I won't be buying a paper copy of the books, but I did grab a couple golden nuggets out of the pages. Minimalism is not just about downsizing, but about cutting down on the things that don't matter in your life so that you can spend your time and energy to focus on the things that are most important. This includes removing relationships that don't serve you, spending habits that don't align with your beliefs, social media that suck your time and don't give you anything back in return, etc. I appreciated that the book went into further depth than just getting rid of clothes you don't wear. Minimalism isn't just a one time thing (cleaning out your cupboards of expired spices) and moving on, it's a lifestyle. The one negative I had about the book was the reading of it. I'm used to "professional" audiobooks and this one felt a little amateur. The reader would screw up his words and they left it in. It wasn't a huge issue but it was definitely a distraction and something that stood out to me. If you are looking to transition into minimalist living, this would be a great resource (or at least a place to start). I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall - I was sent this book by the publisher a while back and finally got around to it this month. I'm not sure why it sat on my shelf for so long before I picked it up, but I am kicking myself for it now. It is the story of a family rescuing a donkey (Sherman) from a hoarder and eventually "giving him a purpose" by training him to run in a burro race in Colorado. If you are a runner you may be familiar with the author, who wrote the best-seller Born to Run. The story of Sherman is such an inspirational one. It tells of over overcoming obstacles, coming together as a community, persevering, finding purpose, etc. I'm not going to lie, there were times in the book where I thought that the hubby, pup and I should pack up and move to a farm in Amish country because it sounded so awesome. Although the main character in the book was definitely Sherman, there were a few detours along the way to give background and context to the burro racing phenomenon (okay, the author didn't necessarily call this sport a phenomenon, but I have run a couple races with a 23 pound wiener dog and had a heck of a time wrangling him for ONE MILE, so the fact that athletes run long distances roped to half ton "stubborn" animals is mind-boggling to me!). The book was easy to read and kept me entertained. Originally I was thinking I might gift it to a friend after I finished it, but now I'm thinking it has earned its place in my library collection. The only negative I have was I felt like there was so much build up to the event and I wanted more from the race (or life after the race). It seemed like there was 300 pages about the training, the people, the adventure (including the trials and tribulations) of getting to the race and 20 pages of the event and then "the end". I felt like it ended abruptly and I wanted more of a conclusion (or maybe I just didn't want the book to end, either way, I was left feeling like the ending wasn't given as much thought or attention as the rest of the story). I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Happy Trail by Daisy Prescott - This is another audiobook I "checked out" via my Hoopla app. The synopsis intrigued me (although, it also made me slightly nervous because it was considered an "adult romance" and I didn't want it to turn into a XXX listen). The story is about a park ranger who works on the Appalachian Trail and went out to clear the trail before a bad storm rolled it. A solo female hiker was supposedly still on the trail, so he had to track her down and accompany her to safety. As I'm sure you could guess, the two get stranded due to the storm and eventually fall in love. I know, I know, it sounds a little cheesy, but I promise I was all in. I also appreciated that there was only one sex scene in the whole thing, hehe (if you've read some of my past book recaps, including December's, you may know I can be a bit of a prude when it comes to that sort of thing, which is why I tend to stick to the YA genre to start with ;)). Anywho, the characters were strong, interesting and had a ton of depth. I felt as though I was along for the journey with them (and, yes, it may have nudged me into wanting to hike the AT at some point in my lifetime... cray-cray, right?!). And, as luck would have it, apparently Daisy has some other books about some of the characters that were in this story (and they're also available on Hoopla), so it sounds like I found my next few books to "read". As a novel and entertaining read, I would give it two thumbs up. This would be a perfect pool-side book while you're on vacation (or a great audiobook to keep you entertained on a long drive). I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The RBG Way by Rebecca Gibian - I love me some RBG (in fact, I was even tossing around the idea of getting a tattoo of RBG at some point ;)). When this book came up in my Hoopla app I checked it out right away. I have read quite a few books on Ruth, but this was different. This one focused on the secrets of her success - like her dear hubby, Marty, the people who came before her and allowed her the opportunities that she had, her friendships and how she isn't just friends with others who believed the same things as her, etc. I'll be honest, I feel as though I know a lot about RBG and her career, but this was a little bit of a self-help type read and I loved it. It included tons of great advice from a life well lived (and is a rather quick "read"). I put it on my Amazon Wish List so I remember to get a physical copy for my collection. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LaBaron - This was the final audio book I grabbed on my Hoopla app for January. I didn't know anything about it when I "checked it out" other than the title, but was intrigued. Along with Young Adult books, memoirs are a close second favorite genre. I didn't realize this was technically considered a Christian book until later into the story (probably over half way through the book), and even still, I wouldn't say it was in your face. The story itself is so insane it is almost unbelievable. Anna, as the title suggests, grew up the daughter of a polygamist who was the leader of a cult member. What she endured as a child, at the hands of those who were supposed to protect her, is gut-wrenching and unfathomable. It takes courage to tell your story and I can't even begin to believe how hard it'd be to tell a story like this. I listened to this over the course of a day and a half (while walking the dog, cleaning the house, walking to work, etc). It was captivating and having the author read it made it that much more impactful. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, January has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

Thursday, January 30, 2020


Today was supposed to be a day of celebration... Today was the opening day for the application period for the TCS New York City Marathon... But instead of it being a day to commemorate my hard work and dedication, it's a day of heartbreak.

As some of you may know, I have entered the lottery to run the TCS New York City Marathon three times before... and have been denied each time. For 2020, I figured I wouldn't leave it up to chance, but I would put in the work to claim a time-qualified spot. The time-qualifications are even more stringent than for the Boston Marathon, but thankfully they allow you to qualify with a half or full marathon time. (I knew I wouldn't be able to run a fast enough marathon time, but if everything lined up on the day of my half marathon I figured I could squeak out a fast enough race to get me in.)

In November I ran the REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon and was able to finish with a time of 1:32:50. As you probably could see from the chart above (I'm a 35 year old female), I had to run a sub-1:34 and I did it. I WAS STOKED! It isn't like the Boston Marathon where the faster qualifiers register first and so there's a possibility you have to run even faster than the standard to actually qualify... If you run faster than the requirement, whether it's by an hour or a second, you can register.

I even wore blue and orange to bring me NYC luck...

Well, as long as there are spots left available... And, as I'm sure you can guess by now, when I went to register all of the time-qualified spots (that occurred at non-NYRR races) had been taken. I literally could NOT believe what I was reading...


You see, as soon as I ran my time-qualifying race I put the date of registration in my phone so I would not forget. I looked last night to see what time today it would open and didn't see anything specific so set my alarm for 5:30am, thinking there was a possibility it would be at 9am EST. Instead of a 9am opening, they went for a noon (on the east coast) opening... Which normally would have been totally fine because I am off on Thursdays, but my boss asked me if I would help her at a local elementary school jog-a-thon... So when registration officially opened I was cheering on fourth and fifth graders as they ran laps around their playground trying to raise funds for their art and physical education programs.

I got home by 11:30am and jumped on the computer immediately. There was a queue that you had to wait in before they would allow you access to the site due to the high number of folks hitting the InterWebs. While I waited I read the fine print and noticed all of the non-NYRR time-qualified spots were GONE! In fact, a friend told me that they had all been claimed within FIVE MINUTES of registration opening (I haven't seen that stat verified yet, but I can absolutely believe it).


Like I mentioned at the jump, I am heartbroken. I know, I know, #FirstWorldProblems, but I think in the back of my mind I never thought I wouldn't be able to claim my guaranteed spot. I was already looking at hotels to stay at and the hubby was putting together an itinerary of what pizza places he wanted to hit up while we were there. Sure, I can enter the lottery for the FOURTH time, but seeing as this is the 50th Anniversary race I'm assuming the odds will NOT be in my favor...


I guess I will use the next two weeks (since the lottery is open until February 13th) to decide if I want to throw my name in the hat for a fourth year or if I want to do something else. PS Isn't it weird that runners think "winning" a lottery means having to spend $295 AND having to put their body through the grueling work of running 26.2 miles?! #WeBeCrayCray


Do you think I should enter the lottery?

Monday, January 27, 2020

Please, Let Me Finish

Let me preface this post by saying I tried my hardest not to come across rude or ungrateful, but I know, at times, we can read something and not hear tone or intent. With that said, if you read this post and get the sense I'm being disrespectful, bratty, etc, please know that is NOT my desire. And, now, with that little caveat out of the way, let's get onto the post ;)

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in ninth grade (holy crapoly, it's been over TWENTY YEARS ago now - WOW!). I had fractured a couple vertebrae in my back due to a cheer leading stunt and the pain never went away. After countless doctors appointments, seeing my fair share of specialists, trying what seemed like a billion routes of treatment, they finally landed on fibromyalgia (which, at the time, was seen by many medical professionals as either a catch all for something they couldn't quite put their finger on {since there was no test to run and fibro presents differently for different people} or "all in the patient's head" since all of the tests run come back "normal"). I'll be honest, at the time I was a little relieved that there was actually a name to go with all of the pain and symptoms I was feeling, but, on the other hand, distraught that there wasn't an easy or clear fix. I was told "you won't die from it, but you will die with it". I'm not sure if that was supposed to be reassuring or not, but let's just say that reminding a fourteen year old of her mortality wasn't very comforting.


Without going into the nitty gritty details of fibromyalgia, you can take my word for it that it sucks. The Mayo Clinic defines it as "a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues." See, like I said, a catch all of craptastic symptoms and issues... I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.


Although living with fibromyalgia isn't a walk in the park (actually, walking in the park can feel like an insurmountable challenge some days), what I wanted to talk about in this specific post is FIBRO FOG.
Fibro fog: A type of cognitive dysfunction reported by many people with fibromyalgia. Also sometimes referred to as brain fog, its symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion. The reason for the changes in brain function with fibromyalgia is not clearly understood. [via MedicineNet]

Have you ever experienced what some call a "brain fart"? Where you're trying to think of a word/ phrase/ idea/ memory/ etc and it feels like it's just out of reach? The wheels of your mind are turning but they aren't spitting out the result you're looking for. Well, I experience that, thanks to my best friend worst enemy fibromyalgia, more often than I care to admit. 
I'm an intelligent woman. Not to toot my own horn, but I graduated in the top fifteen students in my high school class, went to one of the top ten public universities in the United States and graduated with an Economics degree while maintaining a GPA of 3.68 and working 20-30 hours a week. I'm an analytical thinker, dependable, a problem solver, self-motivated, a hard worker, etc... but at times I can't think of the word "apple"... you know, that red thing in the tree we like to eat... 
Let me say, fibro fog is no joke. Yes, the physical pain my body is in 24/7 sucks, but I can't even explain how frustrating it can be when you're trying to have a "simple conversation" and your brain seems to be fighting against you the entire time.
And, here is where I might ruffle some feathers... Not only is it incredibly frustrating to not be able to get your mind to work the way you want it to, but when your friends/ family/ loved ones/ random strangers you are speaking with try to "help", it can be infuriating. Say, for example, I'm talking to the hubby and my fibro fog rears its ugly head in the middle of a conversation about the beach. I may be stuck on trying to come up with the word "sand" and the hubby, bless his heart, senses my frustration and starts tossing out words he thinks I'm trying to say. "Oceanside" "fire pit" "towel" "sunshine" Again, I'm not trying to come across as ungrateful, but throwing out words that one thinks I'm trying to say is not helpful. In fact, it makes me feel dumb, ashamed and even more discouraged. When this happens, at least with the hubby, I look at him, try to take a deep breath, and say "Please, let me finish". If it happens with someone I don't feel as comfortable with, I may just shut down and say something like "oh, never mind" because I want out of the feeling as quickly as possible. 
I know, this may seem like a trivial thing, but to me it's huge. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the idea of help, but the fibro fog already makes me feel like I'm fighting a never ending (and un-winnable) battle, and, at least personally, if I can't think for myself I'm losing a huge part of myself. I realize not everyone with memory issues may feel the same as me, which is absolutely okay, but for me, I don't want to feel dependent on others to form thoughts or coherent sentences.


The reason I am even taking the time to share this is because I realized, if I don't voice how this "help" makes me feel then I can't expect people to read my mind and recognize it is something that can make me feel slow and stupid. Maybe it is something I need to work through and "get over", maybe I need to accept the assistance with a smile and a grateful heart, maybe I will get there eventually, but, for now, I want to be able to process through these brain farts on my own.


Thanks for trying to alleviate some of the frustration I'm feeling when I can't get my words out, but, please, let me finish.


Is there something that bothers you but you don't mention it when it occurs? 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 4

Sunday, January 19th – 10.35 mile run

Monday, January 20th – 8 mile run

Tuesday, January 21st – 6.2 mile run

Wednesday, January 22nd – Rest Day

Thursday, January 23rd – 14.14 mile run

Friday, January 24th  10.25 mile run

Saturday, January 25th – Rest Day

Another week where I opted for a second rest day instead of a ride on the bike. These last two weeks I've picked up an extra weekend shift at the running store because one of my co-workers has had car issues, which means more time on my feet (and less time to run/ workout). Even on days where I take a "rest day" I'm still walking over 7 miles throughout the day and am on my feet for at least 8 hours, so although I'm not clocking a workout I'm not technically resting with my feet up. From the looks of it, things should be settling down to my new normal now, so hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things with a cross-training day (and, shoot, maybe I'll even add foam rolling and stretching back into my daily habit... maybe ;)). But, even with the two rest days I was able to get in almost 49 miles while starting my taper so I'll take it!

How were your workouts this past week?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 3

Sunday, January 12th – 10 mile run with the hubby

Monday, January 13th – 6.2 mile run

Tuesday, January 14th – 6.2 mile run

Wednesday, January 15th – Rest Day

Thursday, January 16th – 20.20 mile run

Friday, January 17th  10.10 mile run

Saturday, January 18th – Rest Day

Technically I guess I "should have" done a ride on the stationary bike either Wednesday or Saturday, but since I had to work open to close at the running store both days an extra rest day was totally fine with me. I'm still getting the hang of fitting in all of my runs with working 40+ hours a week (this week was extra busy because we added the Carlsbad Marathon Expo last minute so I offered to work a couple extra shifts I normally wouldn't have had to work), but as long as I'm getting in all of my runs I'm stoked. And now I technically have a couple of "taper" weeks before the Mesa Marathon (even though that race will just be another long run in my training for the LA Marathon and Old West Trails 50K ;)).

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday Favorites

Like I suspected and mentioned a couple weeks ago when I shared the news about getting my new job, the blog has taken a bit of a back seat. With that said, I'm thankful you have stuck it out and continue to check back for new content. I promise I won't leave you for good, but I'm still getting the hang of juggling everything I've got on my plate and I'm sure once I get a better handle on things I'll be able to post regularly again. Anywho, enough wasting time trying to justify my absence and sharing "excuses", it's time to get the show on the road and share some of the things I've been loving lately.

National Parks Are For Lovers Box

Just in time for Valentine's Day (although, #RealTalk, the hubby and I don't celebrate it, but I still love the idea of the box and could see me getting it for him any day of the year), Parks Project released a National Parks Are For Lovers Gift Box and it's pretty fan-freakin'-tastic! The hubby loves "collecting" mugs so this would be right up his alley (not to mention his love for socks). Parks Project will even fill out the Valentine's Day card for you and include it in the shipment! Oh yeah, and just in case socks and mugs aren't your jam, this Polaroid camera is AMAZEBALLS!


Sending Cards

Okay, a few times on here I've shared some requests to mail a card or two to someone. Well, here's another request. This 104-year-old Vet is asking for Valentine's Day cards. Um... YEP! I don't have any Valentine's Day cards in my craft closet (I normally keep cards for most occasions on hand so it's easy to drop them in the mail whenever needed), but I do have plenty of blank note cards so I'll make something. If you want to join me in sending this sweet man some love, please do!


Puppy Adoption Photos

Let's be real, Facebook can be the place of a lot of hate, divisiveness and drama, but I'm only there for the positivity (which can be few and far between) and puppies. I came across an article with 30 pictures of shelter dogs after hey had been adopted and I wanted to squeal seeing them all. These pups all looked thrilled and I pray that their lives (along with the folks who rescued them) are that much more rich now that they have a loving home to call their own. #AdoptDontShop


Buffalo Plaid

I'm not sure about you, but I love the lumberjack look of buffalo plaid. It feels cozy and warm (not sure a pattern can really evoke those feelings, but that's the sense I get). I don't think I can pull off the flannel look per say, but a little of the plaid on say a Mitten State sweatshirt is super cute if you ask me! Not to mention the special color way on the Ghost 12 shoes!

What are you loving lately?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 2

Sunday, January 5th – Rest Day

Monday, January 6th – 8.88 mile run

Tuesday, January 7th – 6 mile run

Wednesday, January 8th – 6 mile run

Thursday, January 9th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike

Friday, January 10th  12.12 mile run

Saturday, January 11th – 8 mile run

Here's to a cutback week - WHOO HOO! Last week my back-to-back long runs consisted of a 20.20 mile run and a 10.10 mile run for a total of 30.30 miles over the course of two days. This week my back-to-back runs only hit 20 miles (which was shorter than my long run in a single day last week). My legs appreciate the break (especially now that I'm getting into a routine at work and have 4 days of working open to close), although, to be honest, they're still tired, but that's what you get when you're standing for 9 hours at a time... But when it's important to you, you make the time and make it work!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, January 10, 2020

Friday Favorites

I know, I know, it's been a hot minute since I've posted a Friday Favorites (and I'm sure you're tired of the excuses so I won't even bore you with them), but I'm doing my best to get back into a routine and hopefully this is step one. And, with that, let's not drag out the intro any longer than it needs to be... Here are some of the things I'm loving lately.

Upcycled Puffy Tote from Parks Project

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it recently or not, but I love me some bags. I do my best to live a minimalistic lifestyle, but bags (as well as water bottles) are a weakness of mine. When I saw Parks Project release their newest bag, which is made from old puffy jackets, I was in love and have been trying to figure out how I could justify its purchase (and trying to decide on green or black). (As of right now I'm just loving it from afar, but hopefully one day I will be able to make it mine. Honestly, I think the only thing saving my wallet right now is that the bag doesn't have a zip closure. If it did, SOLD!)

I mean, a pocket for my water bottles... GENIUS!

Momentum Jewelry Sale

Momentum Jewelry is currently running a New Year Fresh Start Sale. You can score BOGO on Motivate Wraps and Footnotes, $15 Motivate Packs and $15 mini SPARKS. If you follow me on social media I'm sure you've seen your fair share of my arm candy and my favorite stuff normally comes from Momentum. Whether you are buying yourself something to keep you motivated or stocking up on gifts from friends and family members, you do not want to miss this sale. No coupon required (the discount will automatically be applied). This sale runs through Sunday so get your shop on!


ROAD iD Ambassador Program

2019 was the inaugural year for #TeamROADiD (the ambassador program with ROAD iD). Apparently we did a good job because they're bringing the program back for a second year - WHOO HOO! (Don't worry, you can save your applause until later ;)) If you love ROAD iD and are interested in applying for the 2020 team, you can fill out the application HERE. (FYI: The applications will close on January 20th, so don't delay. Everyone will be notified by February 7th of their status.)

Okay, this picture has nothing to do with the ambassador program, but isn't it super cute?!
Source: @roadid's Instagram feed

REI Co-op Cool Trail Pack Cooler

The hubby and I LOVE REI. We received an REI gift card for Christmas and have been eye-ballin' a ton of gear (honestly, I think if we won the lottery we would buy almost the entire REI and Patagonia stores... but then we'd have to play the lottery to begin with ;)). When we were in our local store a few weeks back we saw this cool backpack cooler combo and I had to share it. Inside the pack there is a leakproof cooler insert, which holds 10 pounds of ice to keep 20 cans cold for up to 40 hours. And when you aren't using it as a cooler, you can remove the insert and use it as a roomy pack for day hiking. What a stinking awesome idea... And the colors are AMAZEBALLS! (Like I said with the first find, bags are my jam!)

Dear Mother Nature, Starring Pattie Gonia

I found out about Pattie Gonia through a few REI Instagram posts and recently watched the 30 minute video they made on YouTube. Wyn Wiley (he/him), aka Pattie Gonia (she/her), has made waves over the past year as an environmental advocate drag queen. REI follows Wyn as he travels to Hawaii to see first-hand the impacts of careless consumption and plastics on Mother Nature (or as Pattie says, "Mother Natch"). Wyn meets with scientists, non-profit leaders, volunteers, then rallies the Pattie community to lead a beach clean-up. Ultimately, Wyn partners with sustainable fashion designer, Angela Luna, to create three dresses that personify the plastics crisis. If you have the time, you should definitely watch it. Not only are Wyn and Pattie AWESOME, but we absolutely need to think more about our plastic consumption... like NOW!

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