Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Truthful Tuesday

Ugh. You guys. I've been eating the worst food! I started coming down with a cold Friday night, which was impeccably bad timing given I had to run 5 miles in a road race on Saturday. It's a pretty annoying cold too, lots of nose blowing and coughing and general I-want-to-do-nothing type of malaise. And I've been using that to my full poor eating choices advantage. You know what they say right? Feed a cold, starve a fever. Since I have a cold and no fever, clearly the answer is eat all the things.  So Saturday after the race my running buddy and I met back up for a quick lunch and I was fairly well behaved. I had a bagel and lox, which is perfectly acceptable post race food. It's dinner that was the real problem...
I went to Five Guys. And our Five Guys isn't your typical Five Guys either. They opened it up right down the street from Way Back Burger. Way Back Burger is actually pretty decent and has some unique menu items from your typical burger joint. They offer fries of course, but they also have house made potato chips (yum!). Additionally, they have a pretty incredible selection of milk shakes. Thus, Five Guys knew they had to something a little different here to compete. They left the potato chips alone, but they have a small selection of milk shakes on the menu. Most Five Guys don't offer them. Five Guys has the better burger though, for sure, so that's where I went Saturday for my dinner.
AND I got a coffee milk shake.

Cause Moo. I mean, I ran five miles (with a cold... and IN the cold!) so clearly I deserved to eat like I'd run a full 26.2. Right? Sure.
But it doesn't stop there. Nope. Sunday was a nasty day, and I chose to spend it doing very little and snacking on everything bad. I'd say it was a success, you know, if eating crap all day is successful. Since I vowed not to leave the property that day, I had no actual food to make lunch come Monday. So what did I pick up? A Happy Meal. Yes. A Happy Meal. I mean, they are putting My Little Ponies in them this week, so it was totally justified. I got the Mighty Kid Meal which has six Mcnuggets instead of 4 because 4 nuggets does not a meal make my friends. Last night I stopped at the store after riding so I can at least turn things around for the rest of the week. We can just overlook the doughnut I had this morning... They had them for Halloween here at work, and one does NOT turn down a free doughnut. It's some kind of law I think in Connecticut.
Do you have anything you need to get off your chest today? Any poor nutrition choices made this weekend? Or better yet, did you make a  frivolous purchase? Something else entirely?!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday's Threads plus a bonus breeches review at the end!

Outfit Day! I got an adorable new sweater I was hoping to wear today with the most perfect shoes for it... but alas, it's raining, and I didn't want to ruin those shoes. So I went with a more cozy look today instead.
It's been in the 70's and even hit 80 over the weekend, but today's high is only 59. So sweater weather has arrived I guess. Bummer.

Sweater: Seventh Avenue
I am fortunate to belong to a private shopping group (my credit card may disagree with that fortunate part...) that sells end of stock items at wholesale prices to the public. I grabbed this sweater from one of their sales a little bit ago, and it's PERFECT for a day like today. I like the little fringies at the bottom! Makes me feel like I'm wearing a blanket. (In a good way!)

Belt: J Crew
I found this belt at the J Crew outlet in the clearance bin about a year ago. It's elastic, and I think has an equestrian feel to it with the leather and brass closure on it.

Jeans: Mavi
Nothing too exciting about these jeans, but they are SO comfy. Lots of stretch to them and they are really soft.

Shoes: Sperry TopSider
TopSiders are obviously the perfect choice for a rainy day. The reason this style is called a boat shoe (or a deck shoe) is because they were designed originally to be worn on a boat. They have non marking soles, and can get wet without getting ruined. The non marking rubber sole keeps you from slipping on a wet boat deck too. (A little history for you all today!)

Arm Party!
Lefty is wearing a little cuff bracelet from Kate Spade that has a rhinestone hashtag on one side and the word bestie on the other. I like to think of this one as Rio's bracelet. The other is my hashtag bracelet from KJ Creations which says #backyardbarn

Righty is trying to be all fancy and showy with this matching Hermes stack. I love that the two bracelets are the same exact shade of taupe. Not an easy feat!

That's what I wore to work today, but I have a riding outfit to share too!

And yes, it's green again. Maybe next week I'll wear some other colors! Only time will tell.

Helmet: Charles Owen AYR8
I think this one needs no introductions.

Sweatshirt: Ugh, sorry, bad blogger. I forget the brand on this one
I actually got this second hand from Poshmark for $5. How could I not get a tan sweatshirt with green ponies on it? It looks like it's barely been worn, so it was definitely $5 well spent! I think the hood cords are pretty cute with the wooden beads too.

Belt: Ralph Lauren

This is another Poshmark find. It's an older belt and seems fairly well worn, but I loved that snap for the closure.

Breeches: George Morris Collection Add Back Knee Patch Breeches
I have so many opinions on the George Morris Collection.... I love the clothes actually, and I REALLY want the show shirt with the green on the sides. But I think it's pretty silly to be named after George since I'm pretty sure he hates colored breeches, and to have a freaking crown for the logo. Like he's a king? On the other hand, I love me a pretty princess crown, so I'm happy to sport that logo. Such conflict... Anyway, keep reading to the end as I'll have more photos and some opinions about these breeches below. Clearly I love the color scheme here though!

Socks: Dreamers and Schemers
I think the patterns from Dreamers and Schemers are SO FUN! But I'm also really cheap, so most of the time I just order the matching derp socks which are socks with minor blemishes in the pattern. Usually I can't even find the error. I really wish their socks were more like nylons though. The cotton kind of stretches out funny, but they do go back to normal once you wash them. I was really excited when I got these as a derp pair though! Green bits! Definitely a favorite.

Boots: La Mundial
I haven't worn these in awhile. I thought they were still not very broken in so I've been ignoring them. But they felt great to ride in this time, so maybe we're there now? They don't match the breeches as well as I thought they did. But whatever, close enough!

Spurs: Centaur and ColorTack
Spur straps: Mane Jane
The spurs you've seen before. I still love them. I kind of want to get more of these particular spurs colored and then maybe sell my regular ColorTack ones... Maybe this winter if they have another sale. Awhile back I saw Mane Jane post a pair of spur straps with these gold crowns. I had a silver pair already, but really didn't love the silver with my green and gold set up here. So obviously I caved and ordered a gold pair. SO GLAD I DID! They're so pretty. And sparkly.
Ok, as promised, let's talk more about these breeches. The George Morris Collection is from the parent company JPC Equestrian. They are also responsible for TuffRider, Equine Couture, and the Baker Collection (though they weren't the original Baker creators). This particular pair is the Add Back Knee Patch Breech.

As you can see, it's not the most forgiving fabric. The pockets are visible through the pants as are my tucked in shirts (not to mention my cellulite) which you'll see in the rear facing and side view photos below:

But, they are pretty true to size. I'm generally somewhere between a 28 and a 30 depending on the brand. I've been mostly getting 30's because I prefer them a little big to a little small. Plus, sometimes they shrink in the wash (looking at you ROMFH). These however did not shrink at all. The legs fit me pretty well despite showing my lumps and bumps:

The waist is a little loose for me, but that's kind of normal in my world. I have a larger bottom half than top half. With the nice wide belt loops and waistline, a belt helps the gapping so it's not really an issue for me.

I'm happy with the details on these breeches. I already mentioned how I think a crown is silly for GM, but I love crowns. So having like five of them on these pants is just fine with me! There is one on the big back belt loop, one by each pocket (embroidered on one side and hang tag on the other), and one by each ankle. Maybe overkill with the crowns... But I like them. I REALLY love the tan trim on these green ones too. Obviously since that makes these pants exactly my barn colors!
While I think a pretty tan knee patch to accent the piping would have been super fun, I'm starting to really like the grippy gel patches, so I don't mind these knee patches not being tan.

I've washed them twice so far and the gel is holding up just fine. Oh I forgot to count those little crowns on the gel! My bad. You don't see those once your boots are on if that concerns you.
Lastly, these have sock bottoms which are definitely one of the best things to happen to breeches since stretch was added.
I kind of wish the breech was a little shorter to allow for more sock bottom, but they stay put just fine as they are.
Overall, for the price, I like these breeches a lot. I wish they looked a little nicer on me, but if you're not especially lumpy and bumpy, they're just fine. I would never wear them in white though!
I think the sizing on these is more true to size than some of the other JPB brands. I find Equine Couture and sometimes Tuffrider to run a little small, but these are more generous in my opinion.
They are available in eight colors: white, navy, gray, green, cornflower blue, rust, wine, and tan. There are two other styles in the collection as well, but I have't tried those yet. I would consider adding another color or two to my riding closet in the future though! Retail on these seems to be right around the $95-$100 range depending where you get them. I got mine through Victory Canter, and they usually have a coupon code for 10-15% off on any given day. I had some Canter Cash and also used the coupon code so mine came in around $80 plus I got free shipping.

And that's finally the end of this very long Thursday's Threads! Have any favorites from today? Thoughts on the breeches? Have you tried them? What are you favorite breeches?

What's Up Wednesday

I have SO much to talk about this week! And I've had a few glasses of wine at book club tonight, so this may make zero sense come morning... but hopefully it will be entertaining if nothing else.
We've reached the point in the season where weeknight rides are all in the dark, so we haven't been doing much jumping. But I had plans to get my Halloween jumps put together this weekend and have a little jumping fun with Jampy. Originally I wanted to change the whole course, but that would also mean re-dragging the ring, and there just weren't enough free hours in my weekend to do all of that. So I settled on just redecorating what was already out there. Before I could do any of that though, I had a 5K to run!
I'm really the worst runner. As you know, I ran two 5K's last weekend, but then I didn't run at all during the week. Not once, not even a mile. Nor a half mile for that matter. But still, I was registered to run another 5K this past Saturday. I've turned into one of those "runners" that only does races I guess. This 5K is really fun for several reasons. First, it's one town over from me, so it's less than a 10 minute drive. It's also in the town that my brother and his family lives, so I got to have a cheering section:
Good at cheering, bad at standing still however.
A little more than one of these 3.1 miles takes place on a mostly uphill narrow trail through the woods. It's gorgeous in there, so despite my complete lack of fitness, I was looking forward to that part. And the last reason this race is super fun is that costumes are encouraged. They used to always have costume awards for best individual and best team. My friends and I won best team I think four years in a row, and a couple of times I won best individual costume. I was super excited to run as a storm trooper this year:
So I meandered through the 5K which was my slowest yet at 36 minutes and change. I actually thought I might be last, but I wasn't. There were about 30 or so people slower than me. I was 7th out 13 for my age group, so hey, I'm about average! Ha. Anyway, I hung out through ALL of the awards waiting for the costume awards (which were on the advertisement by the way). I felt pretty good about my chances, because obviously my costume was awesome and also there were only maybe 4 other people dressed up. But you guys! They didn't give any costume awards! Lame. It's cool though, because they were trying to give away the leftover apples and bananas so I stocked up for the ponies. At least someone made out with a prize!
Since this is a small race, they don't give finishers medals, BUT I double dipped and used this race to also count my virtual Pug run that I run every year. This year the medal had a Game of Thrones theme, but they called it Game of Bones. Punny!

I was pretty pooped after struggling my way through the woods, but I didn't have a lot of time to think about that. Instead, I got changed and headed right out to the barn to get to work on the jumps. I had fun Halloween themed fill for two of the jumps.  Let's start with my favorite:

Dinosaur bones! This one isn't really all that Halloween specific. I think I can leave it up year round. It's a paleontology jump! I made sure the dinosaurs were turned off. Their eyes flash red and they roar if you leave them on. Pretty sure that would get me sent to an early grave... Speaking of, the other jump had a graveyard theme:

Those bat stakes actually have little plastic chains connecting them but they're hard to see in the photo. I was really disappointed there weren't enough to do both sides of the jump, but the other little fencing looks pretty neat too. I was especially happy that I was able to shove both in the "stone" flower boxes. Maybe they'll actually stay up for awhile this year! The cats from last year are still more or less intact and finish this graveyard off perfectly!
While I was constructing, Jamp was preparing himself:
I like to set things up that I think might have a chance of getting me killed at least a day in advance of actually trying to jump them, so Jamp had it easy Saturday. Both horses had a pretty easy flat because I had dinner plans with an old friend. They were both unsure about the dinos at first. But it's funny how different their reactions were. Jampy refused to move, held his head in the air and started hyperventilating (as one does)
Rio, on the other hand, snorted and walked himself right up to them to give them a sniff and tell them he's alpha.

After all the dinosaur/equine introductions, I rushed to feed everyone and get ready for dinner. About a month ago this friend of mine lost her 30+ year old horse (she got him when we were in middle school!) and I had commissioned a drawing of him for her. We had a lovely dinner at a newish restaurant in the area, and I told her not to open her gift until she got home.
She loved it. You guys don't know him, but this is a pretty accurate depiction.
Sunday came early as I had a bunch of things I needed to get done. I hosted book club this month and had decided to hold it in the barn with an autumn theme. Thus, I clearly needed some apple wine for spiking hot apple cider. And OBVIOUSLY, I had to get that from the steam powered cider mill about 40 minutes away. You know when the best time to show up there is? Not during a pressing that's for sure. And when did I get there? Right when they were starting that. I had to park a ways down the road, which was probably for the best. It meant I would have to show some self restraint in how much wine I bought since I'd have to carry it all back to the car.
Once I had my wine and had trekked back to the car, I planned to stop by the newly reopened tack store to pick up my raffle prize. Unfortunately, they don't open until noon on Sundays (it was around 11, and the store was only a few miles away), so I took a detour and got more coffee. Got there right on time, claimed my prize (a pair of winter Horze breeches!) and headed in the direction of home. Then was my infamous trip to Walmart which we talked about yesterday. I finally got back to the farm around 2.
I spent a few minutes rigging up a new holster for my phone so I could document Jamp's reaction to jumping dinosaurs and graveyards.
It's not fancy, but it works!
Then I went out and made the jumps tiny so I could trot them the first time. You guys. He didn't care. Not even a little. He's such a weird horse. He's terrified of everything, but I'm pretty sure he'd jump a live dino if I asked him to. He wouldn't canter around or past it, but he'd definitely jump it. So here are some not exciting photos of him jumping the new jumps:

I had to include this one over the cavelletti because it's the only one with his ears up. He really didn't care at all. Maybe next week we can actually put them up a little. So anyway, you know what did freak him out? The old jumps that I didn't change at all, not even a little. The first time I jumped through the combination, he ran through it like it was actually on fire. (It wasn't, I swear.)

Thankfully, by the third time he went through, he acted like a mature adult.

Well sort of. He jumped through quietly and stayed in the middle, but he also pouted. So I guess just semi mature. We quit there because I was pooped. Between the 5K the day before, the Walmart excursion, and stopping the runaway train after the combo, my body was DONE! But I made it ride Rio too, because Rio. And also because when it's late October and 80 degrees, you ride all the horses. Too bad I only have two at home these days!
The boys both flatted Monday which was also exciting. There was an accident or something going on down the road a bit. My property is a corner lot, so while it was down the road, the flashing lights from the cops and the fire trucks were lighting up the ring. Jampy was surprisingly good about the whole thing, and Rio just ignored it. Good boys.
It's been raining sort of torrentially since Tuesday, so no riding the last two days. Worked out ok though so I could get ready for hosting book club and didn't have any guilt about book clubbing instead of riding tonight. The barn was the perfect setting for our meeting since it was pretty warm out (for October). The barn was still 67 when I turned the lights off tonight. I would love Autumn if it was always like this!

It was pot luck, so I just had to supply the wine and a cheese plate. That definitely made it easier to get things ready. Jampy loved having everyone in the barn, and he spent the evening being a total ham. Rio just ignored everyone. He's gotten less social in his old age.
And that's what's up this Wednesday Thursday. How was your past week/weekend? Do anything fun? Show? Run a race? Have a lesson? Jump any dinosaurs?! (Cause I mean... Jampy and I did.)