Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End.

Of 2013! Hahaha, you thought I was going to quit blogging huh? No, no... don't fret! I'm just playing :)
But as I'm sitting here on New Year's Eve, I thought I should take a few minutes to reflect on my year.
2013 really was great to me. Seriously. So many changes this year, and I think ALL for the better. You can't ask for more than that. Let's recap, shall we?
Last February I received a call while I was shoveling poop in my barn one weekend morning. Long story short, there was a very cute little gray horse in need of a home right in my town. And thus, I welcomed Ducky to Winthrop Corner.

And then there was snow... SO MUCH SNOW:

Thankfully that eventually melted, and the boys all got to work. They really brought their A game this year. I think this was one of the best horse show years I've had in a long while. My boys are the best!

Thanks to some great people in my life, I kept up with my running this year too! I ran 2 half marathons and I don't know how many 5K's, even earning a PR in the 5K distance in the spring time!

4 on the 4th

The Neon Morning Running Crew

Hogsback Half

Run Local Read Local Halloween 5K. Best costume winner!

Turkey Trot 5 miler

The Ugly Sweater Run

South Florida Fair 5K, Andrea's First 5K!

NYC Half Marathon
I was soooo lucky to get a brand new kitchen. Ok, it was kind of by accident. It was only supposed to be a new counter and a new to me stove top but things got a little crazy. I'm a very lucky girl!



In August, amidst the renovations, running, and horse showing, I welcomed ANOTHER new family member. You all remember Artie:

He and P are getting along great! I think she's happy to have a buddy.

I also became an Aunty! I don't feel like I should post photos of other people's kids on here, but I can assure you, she's adorable. And very smart. Watch out world!
And that pretty much sums up my 2013! Did you have a good year? Anything special happen this year? Anything you're planning for 2014?
Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holidays are the time for... Running?

There's nothing like a good gorge fest to guilt you into getting back out on the road. Seriously. Thanksgiving was not kind to my mid section. Moooo. I did however take some precautions in an effort to counteract the gluttony that is Thanksgiving. (My family had five pies for dessert. Yep. FIVE! And yes, I sampled them all.)
Every year on Thanksgiving there is a 5 mile road race called The Turkey Trot that takes place about 20 minutes from where I live. It was my second race ever a few years back when I started running, and I've been attending every year since. It's not so much that running five miles is super fun. It's not really. Especially this year since it was barely above freezing. But it IS fun to meet up with your friends on a holiday morning and burn off some of that meal that's coming... Plus I love a good chance to wear something ridiculous.
Katie from Running a Ragnor and our friend Vanessa made these awesome ear warmers for our run. They MADE them! How crafty right? I often search the interwebs for cute ridiculous things to wear, but rarely make them myself. Not only were they fashionable (ok, ok, maybe not fashionable) but they were also functional in keeping the ears warm in the cold and wind.
We started out running all together since it was very crowded, but gradually the faster ones went on ahead. I didn't mind at all though, as I was somewhat undertrained and definitely overdressed. (It takes a few cold runs to remember how to properly layer for these things!) Overall though, it was a great race, and I was pleased with my performance despite the lack of training.
I tried to stay motivated after the Turkey Trot, and did manage to go out for a 3 mile run the following weekend. Good girl! But then alas, the cold, dark mornings got the best of me, and I didn't make it out again during the week. Vanessa and I had signed up for the Ugly Sweater Run this past weekend, but with it being only a 5K I figured I'd make it through without much training in between. If there's an Ugly Sweater Run in your area, I suggest you attend. Seriously. It was so much fun! And I've never in my life seen SO MANY ugly sweaters.
Instead of making hideous sweaters which was our first plan, we decided to do some good and ordered ugly long sleeved t-shirts from Stand Up to Cancer. I like the idea of making my outfits charitable. As it turns out the shirts are really cute, so we decided to take the outfit too far with matching leggings, skirts, and socks. We topped the whole thing off with some snowman antennae and the hat they gave out at the race.
Amazing right?
The race itself was very nice. They released us in waves of about 500 so it was never too crowded. I think that was great planning. I hate dodging flying runner elbows. There were a lot of walkers in the early stages that were a little tricky to maneuver around, but not awful. The race was untimed and I forgot my watch, so I have no idea how well we did or didn't do. But if I had to venture a guess, I think we probably ran around 28 minutes and change. The course was adorable, with giant inflatable arches striped liked candy canes at each mile. They also had snow blowers and giant inflatables along the course. The water station was equipped with both water and hot chocolate, though we didn't stop for any. They had the same amenities at the end of the course so we didn't miss out. Our FAVORITE part of the race? The photo ops!

Alright that's it for my running stories for now. I don't have any races planned, but I do have a lot of eating in my future, so I do intend to keep up the fitness. We'll see how it goes... Best laid plans and all that.
Have any of you run any fun races recently? Silly race outfits, yay or nay?

More Presents!

Presents for me... I mean, SOMEONE needs to spoil me, might as well just do it myself right?? With the cooler weather, I'm riding less and spending more time spending money... I'll start behaving right after New Year's. Back to the gym and I'll let the credit card hibernate for a little bit.
You all know already that I am semi-addicted to Little Black Bag. You can scroll through the blog to see what it's all about. Let me know if you want to give it a try, and I can give you a link for 25% off. Disclaimer: should you sign up via my link, I get a free item. Just so ya know ;) Alright on to the fun stuff!
I got my box today while I was home at lunch time feeding all the four leggeds. Thus I didn't have time to go through it properly, but I did brag on the LBB chat about the gorgeousness that is my new favorite Deux Lux tote bag. I promised to do a post tonight with photos of my gorgeous new bag... Meet Luna:
Forgive the tissue wrap on the handle hardware,  forgot to remove it before photos.

She's enormous, and purple, and sparkly... And I love her. I don't really know when exactly I will have a use for her. But I love her none the less. And we will be best friends. The photos don't really do her the justice she deserves, as it's night time and indoors. But I think you can get an idea of her brilliance.
I really like when things match. All of my horses wear identical blankets. Seriously. And thus, I felt Luna needed some accessories of her own. I may or may not have a few more en route in my next box... Try not to judge. But I DID ship a couple items with the bag. First was a Deux Lux card case in grape. It's the same material as the bottom of Luna. I often use these instead of a wallet if I don't want to carry a huge bag.

I also shipped a cosmetic case. Not so much to keep makeup in, but it's nice to keep your smaller items in something like that so it's not lost in a giant bag like Luna. I have this in another color as well. They're nice little bags, with a zipper across the full length on top. This one isn't a perfect match to Luna, but it does match the sparkly strip on the card case perfectly. I forgot to get a photo from above, but you get the idea of what it looks like:
Here are some family photos:

I shipped several other items in this bag as well, but I'm having a terrible time getting my photos to upload. If there's interest I can do another post with the jewelry items, Steve Madden beret and the shoes I received in my box (yep, more shoes. I may be a shoe hoarder. But they were having an amazing sale!). Leave a note in the comments if you'd like to see more!
Have any of you found a bag you love recently? I know it's horribly materialistic, but you know, if it makes you happy (and you have the means), DO IT!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Break time!

I read a lot from runners, crossfitters, etc about always pushing for more. Always striving to go faster, harder, further. I read this stuff, and sometimes I get irrationally angry. Maybe it's because I don't have that much drive? Maybe because I hate running? Maybe I just hate being told what to do? But then when I really stop and think about it, all of it, the writings, running itself, etc. I realize, maybe I just need a little break. Not necessarily stop running entirely, but a break from it being something I HAVE to do.  A break from feeling like I have to keep up with everyone else. Everyone who can run faster than me. Everyone who's ten years younger than me. Everyone who's been running ten years longer than I have. Everyone who actually ENJOYS running. Yep all of them.
So this past week, I didn't run. I ran Saturday (a week ago today)

and then did not lace up my shoes for 7 whole days. That's right! SEVEN DAYS! It wasn't planned. But for some reason, I could not drag my lazy self out of bed this week. Not one morning did I awaken before 6:30 to get my run in. Not for lack of trying either. Every single morning I set my four alarms. (Yes seriously, four of them. I'm not a morning person.) And every morning I did not get up. Monday I thought it was pouring. Although I'm not entirely sure it was. Tuesday was below my cold allowance (less than 30 degrees). Wed my dog snuggled up and cuddled with me. How do you get up then?! You don't. And by Thursday, I was like, eh.. I'll just wait till the weekend. Now, I also have a gym membership. But the thought of going to the gym was even less appealing than getting up early. So I didn't do that either.
It's even been tough for me to want to ride the horses. I LOVE riding horses. Most of the time anyway. But this time of year it's not easy. When I get out of work it's dark out. It's cold. And the deer are wandering around the back of the property. It's been quite windy too. All of these things make for very fresh, and mildly terrified, equine partners. Not much gets accomplished. The entire ride is spent first trying to keep the horse's attention, and secondly trying to stay on since step one is rarely fully achieved. By 9 PM when they've all been ridden, fed, and tucked in for the night, I am exhausted and hungry. And it's still cold and dark out. Booo.
This week I rode Monday, didn't ride Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday I lunged them all figuring Friday would be warm enough to ride, but they'd be crazy having not worked for so many days.

It was a good choice since they were all semi well behaved Friday evening. As in no one died, and I stayed on. Success for a cold, dark, windy night.
Which brings us to to today. Break time's over day. Because I don't have to work, it's light out, and moderately warm. Of course it's windy... but you can't have it all! My helper took care of cleaning the barn for me this morning, so I slept in till 8. It was glorious! I decided to be a responsible runner and fuel up properly. So I made some breakfast:
I then put on my winter running clothes. And whined inwardly about how badly I didn't want to go. I reasoned with myself though saying that once I got it over with I didn't have to do it again till Tuesday. That was inspiring! So off I went. It turned out to be a rather nice run. I decided to just keep a comfortable pace (slow) and try to enjoy it. The sun was shining and really despite the wind, it was a gorgeous day. Oddly enough, the 3 miles passed quickly. I felt pretty good even! When I looked at my watch and saw this:
Fastest three I've run since the cold weather arrived. Weird right? And this my friends, is why sometimes a break will serve you well. Even a short one.

Do you all take a break from time to time? Be it running, the job, or maybe even the family?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sometimes I waste money on pretty things...

Hi Readers! It's been awhile since I've posted about anything fashion/shopping related. Who am I kidding? It's been awhile since I've posted at all!  But I love pretty things, that's no secret, so I figured it was time to share some of my new pretties with you! If you prefer to read about running and horses, I hear ya! Feel free to skip this post, no hard feelings... BUT if you love pretty things too, read on!
I know I've posted before about Little Black Bag. I would link you to said post, but I can't find it right now... I know it's here somewhere. If you want to check the site out, leave me a comment and I'll email you a referral link. Anyway, I figured I'd do a little review of my most recent delivery.
I don't want to spend too much time talking about how LBB works, but long story short, you pick an item you want to buy as a bundle, and you get your item along with one or two other items picked by the website for you. You then have a week to trade with other users for different items. I cheated a little with this bag as I had returned two items, so I was able to get a LOT of stuff! Wanna see?? Sure you do!
Let's go!
I opened with the Pink Cosmo All Over Stars Hobo:
It was really hard to get a photo as it's super floppy (which I love!). Anyway, it's black "faux leather" with little metal stars all over one side. At first I was disappointed they're not on both sides, but actually they might catch on knits, so I think it makes sense. Generally, I don't like fake leather products. But this is actually really soft. I LOVE it! It can be worn as a crossbody or as a tote since it has both handles and a detachable long strap.  Here it is on (forgive that my outfit doesn't go with my new stuff...):

Next I'll show you my two exchange items. First is another tote, the Nila Anthony Chain Handle Tote in green:
I wanted this one to use for my paperwork when I go to horse shows. My farm colors are green, tan, and brown, so green and gold fits right in! This one is "faux suede". Not my favorite material, it's a little stiff, but I love how it looks and it will be perfect for what I had planned for it.
My other exchange item was the Ivanka Trump Aviator Sunglasses. This is the only item I think I may send back. On the website they looked really sturdy and super high quality. While I don't think they're poor  quality per se, they are lighter feeling than I wanted. Also I'm not sure I like how they fit my face.

This is my "I'm not so sure about these" face
During Halloween, LBB had a fun little promotion/game. They had a staff member with an open bag making crazy trades. I was one of the lucky ones she chose to trade with! Yay me! I offered an $18.00 friendship bracelet for a super cute pair of $70.00 booties. And she accepted! Woohoo! I was a little worried they'd be too tight as they were a half size smaller than I normally wear. But my mom has slightly littler feet than I, so worst case, I could pass them along to her. (Chanukah gift perhaps?!) I was super excited to check out the boots. Here they are, Wanted Charger Booty:

They are fabric uppers with shiny gold heels and zippers. Very cute! And the good news... They fit! I'll have to wear nylons not heavy socks. Not a bad compromise for a great deal!
The last four items were all bracelets. In case you've forgotten from previous posts, I love a good arm party!
First is a stack of bracelets from K.Kreative. I was interested to see what color these would be. The title on the website said purple, but they looked navy. Either would make me happy! They are in fact navy, though they appear kind of black in the photo:

I really like these! I have tiny wrists, so I wouldn't have minded if they were a little smaller. But they won't fall off or anything. Very cute!
My last three items are all from the brand Lydell. I was soooo excited to be able to trade for them all, as I can't wait to wear them together as a stack. First is the Bow Cuff:

It's a little tough to get pictures of at night in the house, but it's really cute. Delicate, but I think made well enough not to break right away.  It seems pretty sturdy at least. It's a nice size for me, but I think could be stretched bigger if you needed. Love this one!
Next is the Bow Pull Tie Bracelet:

Both bow bracelets have gray colored rhinestone accents so they match each other really well. I like how this one is adjustable, it will fit almost any size wrist comfortably. It's also very delicate, but still sturdy enough to wear around.
The last one is the Spike Pull Tie Bracelet:

I was a little surprised at how tiny these little spikes are! Not disappointed, just surprised. I thought it would have been a little larger, as it has a retail value of $31.00. I love the bracelet, but would never spend that much on it. It's very well made though. I'm definitely really happy to have it!
And as I'd hoped, they stack together fabulously:
So that's my bag! I think it was one of my favorites so far. I really love everything except the sunnies. What do you all think? Keep them or send them back? Have any of you tried Little Black Bag? Find any great bargains lately? Or an amazing splurge? Do share!