Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday's Threads: Birthday Suit

Hahaha! Just kidding. You didn't really think I'd bare it all on my blog did you? No one wants to see that! But it IS my birthday, so I'm wearing my favorite color, both for running and for work! MINT!
Here's today's ROOTD:
I won't show you everything since there are lots of repeats (shoes, tights, bracelet, watch). But here are closer looks at the top and the skirt:
Top: Champion
This one is nice and fleecy inside which was perfect for this morning's chilly run. Seriously, WHEN will it be above 40 in the morning?!
Skirt: Fila
This is probably my favorite skirt. It has mint stitching, so obviously that's a huge factor. But also, it fits really well. I was worried when I bought it because it doesn't have a draw string. But it stays in place nicely. The built in mint tights fit well too, no chaffing!

And now... Birthday outfit!
Pastels for my birthday! If you've been around awhile, you know I love mint. And lavender. And pink. And pretty much all things pastels. (And also neon, but that was yesterday.) Clearly I'm a child of the 80's. Jealous? You should be.

Top: Pink Rose
I forget where I found this one, but I'm guessing it was probably TJ Maxx or Marshalls? I wish it was a MD instead of a large, but I do recall it being the only one. And it's sort of cropped, so I like that it's a bit longer being a large. Love the basket weave stitching on it, and of course, the color!

Pants: DKNY
I don't know why these look gray in the photo... but in the picture above you can see that they CLEARLY are lavender. Those of you here from the start of Amateur at Large may recognize these. They were featured WAAAAAY back in one of my very posts. That makes these babies two years old. And I still love them. They're a bit tighter than they used to be... But I think they still work! (Please don't tell me they don't. I'd rather not know.)

Belt: C. Wonder
I'm not sure why this always looks upside down in photos. It's not, I promise. I have two of these belts and two buckles. This belt reverses to navy and the other one I have is black on one side, brown on the other. The other buckle is just gold toned, no color in the center. I can switch the buckles around making just two belts and buckles into endless combinations! So fun! Plus I got them on sale both times, so obviously a huge win!

Shoes: T.U.K.
Why yes, those ARE unicorns on my shoes. So kind of you to notice! I love all things pony, and since Unicorns are fancy ponies, obviously I love them too. I found these beauties on Modcloth. And while I may have overspent on them, I feel they were totally worth every penny. I mean, mint, pink, and lavender? WITH UNICORNS?! What's not to love? Oh and they're actually comfortable too.

Arm PARTY! And boy is it a party today!
I was a little ridiculously overboard with the matchy-matchy today, but it's my birthday and I can do that if I want to. Here on lefty are a few of my favorites from BaubleBar. Purple and mint spikes! Feminine, yet a little bad ass. Plus my trusty watch of course. I almost wore my mint watch... but honestly I forgot to swap. Can't go wrong with a gold watch anyway!

I just couldn't make decisions this morning, so I wore all the pretties. ALL THE PRETTIES! I can't remember the brand on the first one up there... but it's mint, purple, and gold, so definitely one of my faves! I had gotten that one before Little Black Bag went away. Next is another from LBB, this is by ETK which I'm pretty sure is a division of Ettika. The other two are both from Ettika. So much love for these mixed media bracelets! I'm so glad it's the season to break them back out!

What are you wearing today? Are you dressing up like a five year old like me? I hope so!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday!

Holy Moly! I've had a torturously busy week at work. I leave exhausted, go home and ride (and get more exhausted), do stupid grown up things like clean the house and pay bills, and then go to bed exhausted. Wake up (exhausted) and do it all again! Waaah. But that's the life of a grown up I suppose. And it's not always so hectic. And I get to do it again EVERY DAY! We lost a close family friend today to cancer, and it put my crappy day right back into perspective. Cheers to tomorrow friends! (Also, tomorrow's my birthday. Extra grateful for tomorrows this year.)
Here's what's up this Wednesday!

 It was kind of a slow week for us. Lots of wind which made for exciting, yet not very productive rides, and also lots of rain which meant days off for the ponies and/or a soggy horse and rider. But we're plugging away, doing our best to regain some fitness. Jampy even jumped some little bitty jumps yesterday! I also earned a few extra dollars with a braiding job Friday and Saturday night (8pm-11pm both nights- no wonder I'm exhausted).

Moved the jumps around on Sunday

Rio's birthneigh cake!

Braiding clients

Ducky getting his roll on

Jampy scratching his back

Rio showing them how a real horse rolls
I'm SLIGHTLY more motivated this week to get my runs done. I ran with Vanessa and Pepper again last Thursday. We ran 3 miles, at a slow comfortable pace. It's so nice to have some company and good conversation for a morning run!
Sunday I went for a long run. And boy was it long. At least it seemed that way. I decided to run intervals right from the start, and I'm not sure it was my best plan for me. I felt like I got tired faster, but also I ran more hills, so it's tough to say for sure if it was the terrain or the intervals. Regardless, I ran 4 miles, and then stopped for a water and gu break. Then I ran four more. I gave up on intervals for the last mile and just decided to run the whole thing. I actually didn't feel terrible, and I think I may try longer running portions for my intervals and see how that goes next time.
I was pretty sore after my 8 miler, so I skipped Tuesday's run. Feeling guilty I planned to do a couple miles today, but instead only had time for 1. But I did it! 1 mile in 9:45! Woohoo! Making a comeback.

8 miles! Ugh.
I'm thinking about taking Artie running one of these days. I think he'd enjoy it, and with his less squishy face, I think it would be safe for him. Just short distances! P will stick with walks.

That's about it from here. Horses and work are taking up most of my time, and running the rest of it. But I'm hoping to find some time for bracelet making one of these days. And maybe even socializing! Haha... we shall see!
What's up with you today?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Truthful Tuesday

Today's confession: I love virtual road races. I love that I can participate in them when it's convenient. I love that I can pick my own route. And I especially love when they send medals! For the most part I've been really good about actually completing them too. There was just one that I flaked out on. Not too bad really!

My favorite virtual run to date was the Virtual Pug Run, which you can read about here. Proceeds went to helping needy dogs, and I got the most amazing medal. EVER.

There are three virtual races I have my eye on for 2015 (so far at least). But they aren't super cheap so I'm dragging my feet with registering. They all come with amazing bling though, so it's totally worth it... Right?
First up is the "Do you believe in Magic Dash" from Agent Outerware. Race dates May 30 - June 7. This is the medal:

Obviously I need that in my collection. Duh.

Next up is the Beat the Blerch race. This one is both a real race held in a few different locations AND a virtual run. The closest actual location to me is New Jersey. And it's really not that close. It comes with TONS OF SWAG! Race date: September 12

I'm a sucker for all that useless crap.

And last but not least, A Christmas Story 5K or 10K. This one is also both an actual race AND a virtual run. Obviously I'm not going to Ohio for this one, but I would love to run it virtually. Race date: December 5th. They haven't revealed what the medal will be just yet, but here are some past years models:

I need in on that for sure.

How do you feel about virtual races? I don't think they replace the experience of being at a real, in-person race, but I do love them none-the-less! Do you have any upcoming races your excited about?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boot Comparison: $1000.00 versus $289.00

Regal on the left, Parlanti on the right. Breeches by Annie's USA

 First, I am sorry my photos are dark. I really hoped I could do a great comparison for you all, but I only had time at night to take photos, and well... it's dark at night. But I will post them nice and big so hopefully that helps!
If you're a horse person who shows hunt seat, you've likely heard of Parlanti. They make both custom boots and an off the rack version. They're kind of the IT BOOT right now. They run around $1000 for off the rack and $1400 for a basic custom boot. The shoe on the right in the photo above is the Parlanti pair. The boot on the left is the Regal from Tuffrider. It sells for $289.00 and is available only as an off the rack shoe.
My Parlanti boot is the off the rack version. It is a size 36 (US 6), extra tall, and extra wide. I find it odd that I would wear an extra tall boot, being 5'2", but I think it relates to the size of my feet which are small. The extra wide is less surprising! Haha!  Sturdy legs. The Regal boot is a size 6 standard leg. You'll notice the Parlanti boot is a touch taller. Now that you've read all the details, let's see some pictures!

The Regal came with inflatable boot trees which for photo sake looks nicer. The trees I put in the Parlanti's are making them look wrinkly and flat... try to ignore that. So at first glance these boots really look very similar. And I have to be honest they kind of are! The Regal boot has grainier leather, and clearly is a lesser quality. However, it is also a lot softer and will be much easier to break in. The tab on the top that holds the zipper in place, is a bit smaller and more refined (aka: attractive) on the Parlanti boot also.


Is it just me, or is the Parlanti more photogenic? The Regal photos all look a little blurry! Neither boot is blurry in real life, I assure you. The boot tops are pretty similar. As mentioned earlier. I think the tab on the Parlanti boot is a little prettier, but still, very similar. In this closer photo, you can really see the difference in the leathers.


Ok, I take it back. Clearly, I'm just a bad photographer... The Regal is less blurry in the foot photo! I really should have looked at these photos before blogging. Good thing I'm an amateur.
Again you'll notice that the Regal boot is very grainy, while the Parlanti boot is smooth like butter. The sole is heavier on the Parlanti suggesting they will be more durable. I do prefer the punched toe on the Regal boot though. The Parlanti toe cap is plain. The spur rest on the Parlanti boot is higher, and again I have to give my preference to the lower one on the Regal boot. But that is just my preference. Others may disagree. The ankle on the Regal is more generous which will be more comfortable for the break in process, but I did find them too loose. I tied the elastic laces to tighten it up, before I realized the boots also came with regular laces. I will likely swap them out. The Parlanti's did not come with extra laces, but the ankle is quite snug. I almost wish they did come with normal laces as I would like to loosen it up for breaking them in, which I can't do with the elastics. I may purchase a set of laces next time I'm at the tack store and swap them out.
One more look at the feet, this time from above:

Regal Left, Parlanti Right
 From this vantage point, I MUCH prefer the Parlanti foot. It's more narrow and structured looking than the Regal. But I do still prefer the punched toe cap.


The elastic strip on the back of the Regal boot is SUPER STRETCHY! Hence why I can wear a regular width calf. The Parlanti elastic is slightly narrower and has less give. Hence my needing the extra wide version. I have a feeling in the long run, the Parlanti elastic will not stretch out as much, leaving these boots fitting well far into the future. The Regal boot may stretch out and become loose down the road. Hard to say at the moment, we'll have to investigate in a few months when they've both been worn quite a bit!
Parlanti left and Regal right
Both boots are leather lined. The Parlanti boot has a tongue by the zipper while the Regal boot does not. However, I have another Tuffrider boot, the Sport Boot which does. And honestly the tongue can get uncomfortable depending on where your breeches end. Perhaps that's why these newer boots don't have it.

Regal on top, Parlanti bottom
I think the soles are nice enough on both boots. They each have enough tread but not so much you'll get caught in your stirrups. I think the Regal has a little more traditional look to it, but it doesn't much matter. You never see that side anyway!
So now I'll just post a bunch of photos of the boots on me:




Parlanti Left, Regal Right

It's of little consequence really, but Tuffrider gives quite a few little extras that Parlanti does not. And at the price points I find that surprising. The Regals came with the inflatable trees, extra laces and this nice boot bag pictured above. All packaged in a sturdy box. I was not able to take the box for my Parlanti's because they needed it to ship a pair of boots. Which was actually fine as I couldn't fit that box in my suitcase anyway. They gave me a bag for them, but it was just a large nylon bag. It didn't have compartments for each boot or anything. No boot trees, no extra laces. You would think for all that money they would come with something!
Until I've really tested them both in the saddle, I can't say how each will hold up. I do think based on a few things, (leather quality, elastic give, etc) that the Parlanti's will hold up better. However, enough to be worth the $700 difference? I'm not sure.
My take away initially is this: If you want to be super stylish and you show often on the A circuit, I would go with the Parlanti's. Especially if you're tough to fit as they have many more options. But if you show only occasionally, and mostly B and C shows, I think the Regal boot would more than be sufficient for you. So far, they break in a lot more easily too!
Also, if you're in the market for some fun schooling breeches, click on over to Annie's USA. I love this Tiffany Blue pair!

Thursday's Threads: Rio's Birthday Edition

First things first... Today is Rio's 19th birthday! A day to celebrate for sure. Sadly, his cake isn't arriving until tomorrow... but what can you do? That's ok, Friday's are better for celebrating anyway.

Ok, now we can get down to business. Since I ran this morning, I'm going to share my running outfit AND my work outfit again. Let me know in the comments if you enjoy seeing both, or if you prefer one or the other....
Also, I feel it's important to note (no it's really not, but I'm going to anyway) that it was 38 degrees for this run. Where is spring?!
I feel like this crazy outfit hides my chub. I'm not sure how, but I'll take it!
Wait till you see those tights up close!

Top: American Eagle
Admittedly, I bought this in the wrong size. It's an XS and really I could have used a small. But it's not too tight, so I don't mind. I love that little stripe of turquoise along with the herringbone pattern. Definitely not your typical running shirt!

Shorts: Champion
Charcoal gray = they go with everything! Definitely was a good find.

Tights: Justice
Why yes, I DID buy these at the little girl's store. So what, they fit! And they have PUGS ON THEM!!!!! Best tights ever. Well... tied with the french fry ones anyway.

Sneaks: Mizuno
Yep, totally recycled the photo. My phone is out of space. I still love these shoes. So glad I have another pair for when these retire.
Obviously when running you should have some ID and also it's nice to have a gps to track your route and time. So here's my running arm candy:
 Watch: Garmin
 My brother gave me this watch a few years ago as a Chanukah present, and I love it! I do wish they had a better plug, it's tough to get all four prongs lined up just right to get it to charge. But other than that, it works great, and I'm happy with it. As you can see, we took our time and enjoyed the company on today's easy run.

ID Bracelet: Endvr
This is my second ID bracelet from Endvr. I also have a navy and pink one. I took a survey and got a 70% off coupon so figured I'd treat myself to this pretty one. The bracelet is a little different than Road ID in that it has a QR code on the underside. Anyone with a QR reader app can scan it and find out your necessary information. I like that I can record my allergies and my insurance on my profile so if something were to happen, I could be treated readily even if I wasn't able to communicate those things. And it's pretty! They have a few different styles, this is the most pricey. Check out the website if you're interested in one of these!

Work outfit:
In honor of Rio's birthday today I decided to wear a horsey theme. Though it's hard to see in the photo below, you'll see better in the close ups.

P decided to go naked today. Nudist.
Top: Express
What's cuter than a pony print button down?! Um... Nothing. Nothing is cuter than that. Well, not much anyway. This was a Chanukah gift from one of my friends this year, and I've been dying for it to warm up enough to wear it! Today's the day!

Pants: Rue 21
These are oldies, you've seen them before. They're a bit tighter than I recall though... Must be the dryer. Ha.

Shoes: J Crew
I want to love these pony shoes. And I do... Just not wearing them. They're totally uncomfortable. But one must occasionally suffer for the sake of the pony.

Arm candy:

These don't really go with the outfit exactly... but I wore them for Rio's birthday! First is a pretty gold horse shoe from House of Harlow. Next is my Rio bracelet. This one has his name in black and gold beads, and all the clay beads mean something about him. Cookies and apples because he loves them and ribbons because he's a winner! Next is a stone bracelet that reads "Ontario" in gold letters. Ontario is Rio's registered name. And last of course is my watch.

Righty is a little classier. First is my one and only actual Chan Luu wrap bracelet. I love the chain on this one, so pretty! Next is the Rebecca Minkoff snap bracelet that my sister-in-law gave me for Chanukah. Definitely one of my most favorites!

That's what I'm wearing today! What are you wearing? Don't forget to let me know if you like seeing two outfits, or if I should keep it to just one. Happy Thursday!