Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Favorites:Lancome Defincil's Mascara

I'm not able to pull off super thick mascara but I do like to use a little and I really like it to stay put. So my choice is Lancome's Defincil's Mascara.  This stuff ain't cheap ($15-$20) and I'd love to find something more budget friendly but I haven't yet.  I'm able to wear this while working out without getting raccoon eyes and it also does a good job of individualizing each lash.  I go for the dark brown, water proof version.

Here's a quick one this week.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Product Review: Firmoo Glasses

My sunglass kit
I was really excited to be contacted by Firmoo Glasses recently since I've really been looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear when I run.  Firmoo is a really cool service that lets you browse their website of frame designs and then input your prescription and desired lens choice to totally customize your specs....and they are cheap!  Graciously, Firmoo offered me a pair of glasses to try so I could share my experience with you all.  As I mentioned, I really wanted a pair of athletic sunglasses and was a little disappointed when I looked at their sunglasses collection and didn't see anything that was really athletically minded.  BUT, their great customer service support recommended to me that I choose a pair of regular frames and at checkout choose to add a tint to the lenses effectively making them sunglasses.  This was a great hint and broadened the number of choices dramatically, the only downside to doing this is that your prescription cannot be added to the tinted lenses. I ultimately chose the SD2303 frame with charchol lenses.  After placing my order online (super easy by the way) my glasses came in the mail within a week.  They arrived with a bunch of useful sunglass parafanaila like soft and hard cases a cleaning cloth and a eyeglass repair kit.  To be honest, the hard case is too narrow to be useful, but the other items are nice.  The glasses themselves are nice and will certainly work as sunglasses with the tinting I chose.  However, they are too light weight to wear while running and are a little to wide for my small head to be very flattering for me (sorry no pictures of myself with them on since I just had some permanent makeup done on my eyes and I look like I've been crying for weeks).  I think ultimately I will be using these glasses as a backup to my prescription Vera Wang sunglasses.
SD2303 with clear lenses
Buy Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses Online, Reading Glasses, Fashion Eyewear on I really like the idea behind Firmoo and in the few weeks since I chose my pair of glasses they've expanded their collection and I see tons of new frames I'd love to try out as hip additions to my wardrobe.  So call your Eye Doc and ask for your prescription then head over to and choose a couple pairs of trendy and fun frames for a bargain.  It's lots of fun and easy to do.

Firmoo has provided this link to some FAQ's below for those who might be interested.

I was provided a pair of complimentary glasses from Firmoo for purposes of this review.  This review and it's contents are of my own personal opinion.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yoga Monday : Full Boat Pose

Full Boat Pose: (Paripurna Navasana)

Since I'm finally back from my hiatus and ready to start strengthening my new abdominal muscles I thought I'd share a pose that is great for the core.  As a bonus it helps with digestion and is a fairly simple pose.  Check out the instructions here if you'd like to try it yourself.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Favorite : Jergens Natural Glow

Jergens® Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer
Jergens® Natural Glow +PROTECT Daily Moisturizer with SPF 20It is now officially spring and here it Texas it is shorts weather.  Just because I could actually wear shorts year round here, I can't seem to keep the bronze glow that looks best with said shorts.  Enter Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizers.  I tried this self tanner a few years ago and could not stand the smell of it. But this year they've created a new product that does not have the same strong odor.  I can still smell it a bit so I use it before bed each night so that my nose doesn't wrinkle all day long(in all fairness, I dan't stand fake fragrance of any sort so I may be more sensitive to this than most).

In an attempt to get a smooth even tan I started using the foam version as opposed to the lotion.  I actually think the foam is less effective but I don't have any areas that are too dark because I forgot to get a spot rubbed in well enough.
This tan in a bottle will never match the actual kiss of the sun but it's a nice way to spruce up the pallid skin tone of winter.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Recipe for Chocolate Milk

Since chocolate milk now seems to have a cult following among fitness enthousists and children alike you can imagine that it is typically a staple in my fridge.  While I know the ratio of sugar, protein and carbohydrates make this drink ideal for post work out recovery and the taste makes it yummy but the ingredients in some of the store bought versions are well, yucky!
I did a little research and found plenty of recipes online for making my own version but they either required too much sugar or some other ingredient that was not a staple in my house.  So I smashed a few recipes together and came up with the one below.  It's been a hit at my house and since the syrup recipe makes so much I can make it once and get 2 gallons of milk out of it or several hundred swirls of chocolate sundae syrup.

Chocolate Syrup:

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 c. water
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Stir the sugar and cocoa together in a saucepan over low/medium heat and whisk in the water.  Continue heating and whisking until it boils and for 1 additional minute after.  Stir in salt, cinnamon and vanilla then let the syrup cool.  Once cooled pour into a jar and use as chocolate syrup for chocolate milk, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, coffee, whatever floats your boat!

Chocolate Milk:
1-2 Tbs Chocolate syrup
8oz milk
Shake rattle & roll.

I like to expand on this recipe and make a gallon at a time.  I pour the milk into a large bowl and eyeball about half the syrup from the above recipe then use an emersion blender to whiz the whole thing up.  Getting the milk back into the jug can be a challenge but a funnel helps.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Exercising and Cancer. A guest post.

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I am very excited to share an excellent article with you on the value of exercise for cancer prevention and treatment. I have a dear friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 30 years old and pregnant with her 2nd child. When Melanie contacted me about this article I was delighted to share it here. Just more proof of the value of exercise.

"Exercise to Improve Prognosis of Cancer Patients
by Melanie Bowen
Exercise is an essential part of any cancer treatment program. When cancer patients exercise, the immune system grows stronger, and it helps patients fight cancer. Exercise is recommended to improve the prognosis of patients and is excellent in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence. Here are some of the other benefits of cancer.
Exercise Renews Energy Balance
Exercise helps to renew energy balance in the body. Many cancer patients are fatigued from treatments and the wear-and-tear on the body’s immune system. Cancer can deteriorate the immune system and cause free radicals to be released in the body. If the patient is malnourished and anorexic from a decreased appetite, the patient may feel fatigue. Decreased B complex vitamins and iron will cause cancer patients to become fatigued.
Many patients may also become anemic with cancer. Though exercise is difficult with anemia, patients must exercise when they can to boost their energy levels. Some recommendations include walking for three to five hours per week to improve energy balance.
Exercise Increases Survival Rates in Cancer Patients
Research indicates that patients who exercise are more likely to survive than those who are sedentary. Exercise can help to ward off other conditions related to cancer including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Insulin and lepitin levels are regulated with exercise.
Exercise Will Improve the Mental Health of Cancer Patients
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins improve mood and the mental health of patients. Cancer patients report that they feel better after exercise, and their outlook on life improves also. When cancer patients feel better, they heal faster because cancer-causing hormones are not released, and they are more receptive to treatments.
Exercise Improves the Health of Vulnerable Populations
When vulnerable populations exercise, the risk of cancer is reduced dramatically. The most common vulnerable populations that show improvement with exercise include rural communities, obese people, African American women, working poor populations, and cancer survivors. Exercise combined with healthy eating will decrease the likelihood of cancer cells spreading.
Exercise To Improve a Cancer Regimen
Exercise should be integrated into any cancer regimen. People should determine how much they can exercise for their specific condition, whether it is breast cancer or mesothelioma. Consult with a doctor to devise your exercise regimen. Add exercise to your regimen to heal faster and prevent further growth of cancer cells in the body. "

You can find out more about the author, Melanie Bowen and her work at The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yoga Monday : Feathered Peacock Pose

Feathered Peacock Pose (Pincha Mayurasana):

This pose is really cool.  It's one that takes some practice and requires a sturdy wall.  It will help with stress.  If you want to give it a try check out the instructions here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Running away

Friday afternoon capped off a very long spring break week for me.  By the time my husband made it home it was very evident that my frustration and irritability were swelling. He once again kicked me out of the house for a walk.  After a few minutes of strolling along the music on my ipod shifted to to my playlist for running and the music had me picking up the pace.  After not too long I was jogging.  This is still technically 10 days earlier than the doctor has recommended that I do any serious exercise but I'm not sure if I can consider running a serious exercise any more.  It's more of a lifeline.  It felt GREAT.  This was actually more of a jog than a run at the slow pace I was taking but I'll count it.  I took a few strides to get used to my new body.  The implants were definitely noticeable at first but after a short while I forgot about them.  I was acutely aware of my hip flexors as the fresh scar on my hip bones rubbed against my shorts.  I felt good and never had a lick of discomfort.  In fact I considered going further but became annoyed with my abdominal brace shifting around so much that I took it as a sign to slow down a little.  It's nice to back on the path and to get myself back into a fitness routine.

For 2 years now I've been asked "how do you handle twins?"  My stock answer has always been "with a deep breath and a smile."  And while this is still the technique I use to get me through those tough moments I think I've found that the true answer to that question is "physical exercise."  The few minutes to several hours that I take to sweat myself exhausted somehow makes me a better mother and a little more tolerant.  Lets hope that as my routine returns the tantrums of the twin two year olds will subside.....otherwise I will be booking a room at the loony bin!

On a fun note:  I will be sharing a guest post on nutrition and cancer therapy and have a fun new product test/review coming around the bend.  Stay tuned and don't forget to follow me so you don't miss out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

If you've taken a moment to follow me on Pinterest (you can do so here) you know that I have a board dedicated to my Fitness Gear Wishlist (check it out here).  These are products that I am lusting after and hoping someday to add to my possession.  Since I don't actually own these items I can't speak to their value in my life but for one reason or another I've deemed them drool-worthy.  To fill the pang of want I've decided to add a series here highlighting one of my tried and true favorites each week.  I figure this will serve as a reminder to me of all that I have and perhaps give someone else a true account of a product that they may be wishing for.

This weeks Friday Favorite are YOGA TOES!

Years and years ago my mom gave me a pair of these to help with some ugly bunions that I had started to earn from my hours of daily high heel wearing.  I was very skeptical at first but figured they wouln't really hurt.  I felt some relief at the time and was grateful.  As time went on however, I stopped using them with any regularity and forgot I even owned them.  Then about a year ago, when my running really picked up I ran across my floppy pink Yoga Toes in my closet and thought I'd give them a shot.  My feet were aching pretty bad from the miles I was putting on them and I was losing toenails and adding callusus' and blisters.  The Yoga Toes honestly helped to relieve some tension and pain in my feet.  Just before bed each night I wear these goofy little guys for 10-20 minutes and am thrilled with the affect.  They are worth a try for sure!

*This review is entirely of my own opinion.  I received no compensation (monetary or product) for my thoughts or views.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Everything I touch.......

What is the deal this week.  I swear, I am afraid to touch anything anymore.  It started on Saturday when my sewing machine decided to lock up and become useless.  Now let me say, that my sewing machine is one of my staple appliances here in the house.  I use this thing several times a week so it does get a lot of wear and tear, but it's only 15 months old and should last longer than that! I'm off now to take it to the repair center but I honestly don't know if it's worth it.  I suspect we'll be buying a new one.  BTW if you want some fun fabric check out my designs on                                                                          
Next on the list of broken items is my dishwasher!  Which decided it was too tired to actually complete a cycle on Monday. Yes, this family of 5 is without an automatic dishwasher right now (it's been replaced by me for the time being).  This appliance has given us fits for the past 3 years and we've finally decided that this is the last straw.   It's a Kitchenaid dishwasher that washes really well but it's also 12 years old and has had to have a good deal of parts replaced recently which I'm tired of.  We made a decision yesterday to replace it with a Bosch model at Lowe's that had a great sales price along with some rebates.  Well naturally the Lowe's closest to our house was out of stock on our model and my poor husband had to run around town late last night to find one in stock.  Now we are just waiting for the delivery/installation.  

Next, I've had several items of clothing this week become ruined for one reason or another.  Ok this might just be because its spring and I'm looking for a reason to update the closets, but I still feel like things are unraveling at my touch! 

Thankfully nothing of necessity has actually broken; I can live without a sewing machine and I am capable of washing dishes and our closets are not empty but I'm really starting to wonder.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Yoga Monday: Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose: Savasana

Yes another quiet and still pose due to my healing body.  I don't honestly believe you need a guide for this pose since it's simply laying flat on your back and letting go, but since we seem to have such a hard time doing this perhaps naming the pose give it more value.

When you are in this pose remember to not only focus on relieving tension on your outside but also on your inside.  Bring awareness to your internal organs and let go of tension by unclenching your jaw and letting your tongue go limp.  Enjoy!

For detailed instructions on this pose visit here

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finding some motivation

I've put together an idea of some races I'd like to hit in the next few months.  I've decided not to actually  sign up for any just yet since I don't technically have medical clearance and I need to see how my body is performing.  None the less, putting a schedule together of races to train for has gotten my focus out of the dumps and to the future.  I plan to start slow and with a race that should be easy and encouraging with the Thin Mint Spring 5k on March 23rd.  I then hope to revisit a race that tore me up last year, the Austin 10/20, 10 miles on April 14th.  This race may be a stretch but I'm putting it out there because I feel like I have something to prove this race. Our life then takes a twist as we are scheduled to spend an extended period of time in Dallas.  This change in scenery is exciting and I'm hoping to take in a race or two while we are there inculding the Disco Run 10k on May 19th and then the Wounded Warrior Half-Marathon on June 9th.  That brings us back to Austin and into the blazing heat so I'll break from racing for then.  But I'm still shooting for a fall marathon if I can find one in the area.  I feel spirited just thinking about these races, wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Hubby!

I know, the posts are coming in a flurry today.  Too many good things that must be shared!

Today is my husband's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY) and thank goodness it's finally here.  For 3 weeks each year I am 1 year older than he is and for those 3 weeks he LOVES to remind me that I am an old woman!  This year, in the midst of my recovery I might agree with him that I am shuffling around like an aged lady but I'm still ready to level the playing field again!

To celebrate we are off to San Antonio for a quick little trip.  My husband will still be doing some work during the day, but the girls and I can enjoy the great amenities at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch.  Of most importance to us all, are the evening s'mores!  Who doesn't love a smokey, gooey mess?  I'm excited for a change of scenery and the girls are excited to see some horses.  Should be a great break for the whole family. 

Sharing a post from Brooks Running......

It's no secret that I am in love with Brooks Running (ok I also admit I had a mad crush on a boy in high school who shared the same name so maybe that fuels some of my passion....shhhh).
Their blog today has a great guest post from Stephanie Schultz, a fellow runner, and I had to share.  Be sure to check out their website too for some awesome running gear.

Retiring Shoes
The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.
The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.
The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.
These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy
where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:

Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mental Health

It seems that one of the most frequently asked questions of a runner is "why do you run?" A question posed by both runners and non-runners alike.  For those who don't run it seems to be asked with dismay or even disgust, for fellow runners it seems to be asked as inspiration.  I think for most of us there is a general list of reasons; cardiovascular health, self exploration, fitness, physical appearance, self confidence, competition, pride, mother nature, friendship, demon defense, stress relief and mental wellness.  We all seem to have a unique mix to our own recipe of this concoction that drives us. For me I can say that my recipe is as follows: A heavy dose of mental health and stress relief, 2 parts physical health and well being and a dash of physical appearance, and competition.  I have learned over the years that being physically active is my best source of stress relief and mental well being and overall tolerability.  Which explains my exaggerated irritability this past weekend!
Yep that's me, the short one!
I am a stay-at-home mother of 3 small children (ages 4 and 2(twins)). A job that I realize is light on the impact of its stress. I'm aware that my daily actions and responsibilities will not impact the world or a corporation or shape science or industry.  Generally my impact is localized to my family and children (whom I expect to be the future leaders of our world!) but that doesn't mean that I don't find moments in my day where I feel my stress response kicking in.  Yes, it's usually over something trivial like sticky hand prints on the fridge,  rogue legos or refereeing a tantrum but it still gets my blood boiling to the point that I need a break.  This is where physical fitness, namely running, have become so important to me.  I know when my attitude is turning nasty when my husband asks if I've run lately, it's his innocent way of saying that I need to let off some steam.  Since I've had 3 weeks of stagnation I'm deftly in need of some stress relief.  On Sunday, since he couldn't ask me about going for a run my husband told me I should take a walk.  I knew what he meant and I obligingly took up his offer.  I spent 45 minutes lamely walking, reflecting, deep breathing and just being quiet.  I admit it was helpful but not quite enough.  There is something about falling deaf to the sounds of your own rhythmic heavy breathing, laboring heart and dripping sweat that is cathartic and I miss it.  I plan to head to the gym tomorrow for some easy work on the recumbent cycle and light resistance training.  It won't get my heart thrumming but it will get the blood circulating.  

Yoga Monday : Yogic styles

In light of my surgery and subsequent hiatus during recovery I thought I'd visit some yoga basics.  There are several styles in yoga practice and below are some basics on each one provided from lululemon.  Generally, I prefer Vinyasa since it flows the moves together while still putting focus on the restoritive value of each pose.  But whatever style you practice I believe the results to be invaluable.

  • Antigravity: Fluid, acrobatic yoga... in a hammock.
  • Anusara: Playful. Expect to laugh and go upside down.
  • Ashtanga: Athletic and vigorous.
  • Bikram: Consistent poses in a very heated studio.
  • Hatha: Foundation for many yoga styles. Great for beginners.
  • Hot: Make sure to bring a towel -- or two!
  • Iyengar: With a focus on structure, usually uses blocks, straps for support.
  • Kundalini: Focused on meditation and breathing.
  • Power/Flow/Vinyasa: An athletic and physically challenging style.
  • Pre- and Post-natal: Gentle Hatha yoga is ideal for pregnant women to help lower stress.
  • Yin: A slow class that will take you deeper than you've ever gone.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

Oh The Places You'll Go!  Who could've known a simple children's book could be so profound?  This book, along with whole host of known classics like Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat (Le  Chat au Chapeau in our house since I'm working on passing along my 2nd language of French to my daughters) have become essential to my children's library and I hope to yours too.  Today Dr Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) would be celebrating his 109th birthday if he were still with us. 
 So I wish you all a very inspiring tongue twister of a day and perhaps some green eggs and ham for breakfast!