Making time 

Lately I have been trying to be more mindful.

To be honest, it’s a struggle for me.

I’ve talked before about my perfectionist tendancies. I have trouble letting things go. I have trouble settling for anything but my very best – whether that’s at work, on a race course, in an exercise class or even during a sewing project. After 35 years of being like this (14 professionally) I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not sustainable.

It wears me down. It affects everything from my self-confidence and my relationships. And it doesn’t improve my performance.

So I’m trying to create some new habits.

I’ve been trying to take deep breaths when I find myself getting overwhelmed.

I’m tucking my phone away when I get home so that I don’t obsessively check, recheck and recheck email all night.

I keep my personal email closed at work. I give myself timed social media breaks.

I’m trying to avoid most social media altogether. I was finding that a lot of the posts on Facebook had to do with politics, and since I’m operating in the news sphere for most of my day it was just too much.

I’m trying to make time each day to either work out or do something creative. Personally I find sewing and knitting immensely rewarding – making small progress towards a project I can hold in my hands. Sometimes this helps tremendously when I’ve had a day at work where I feel like I haven’t gotten a lot done.

The working out part has been interesting. To be honest – over the past few years I’ve gained a bit of weight. Some of this probably has to do with my metabolism. Some of it probably has to do with my less than stellar diet. I’ve also had a different relationship with running. I used to LOVE running. Last year, while planning my wedding my training felt a lot like another stress. There’s nothing like trying to answer lots of questions, keep family happy, and make sure that the wedding matches your “vision” to really take up your time. Trying to run 50-60 miles per week while also working a time consuming job during an election was just not in the cards. So I dropped out of my half marathon, downgraded to the 8K and ran that with little to no training. After that I pretty much dropped off working out. J and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon- which was amazing…once I got back, I wanted to get back into the workout mix. I started by doing lots of yoga. I went every day for 26 days straight. It was amazing for the mindfulness. I wanted to incorporate something that might help with getting me moving a bit more so I signed up to do OrangeTheory. It turns out it’s just the right mix of running (still love it), rowing (my high school sport) and strength training. I’m frequently sore, which is a great thing. I’ve also noticed improvements in my fitness over time. I can do multiple burpees in a row. I can row 500 meters and then do 20 jump squats. And I’m pleased that they are becoming a little easier.

Working out (even when I feel like I am too tired) is something that’s always helped me feel better. I feel like I am making little bits of progress to a larger goal.

Do you have a workout you love?

What do you do to de-stress/become more mindful?

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Friday Round Up

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Once again I’m sharing with you some of the things that caught my eye this week.

 

Did you guys see the Jimmy Fallon Stranger Things Barb sketch? NSFW (bleeped but, ya know) Holy cow I was laughing!

These anchors’ expressions MADE MY DAY.

I need some help with my office lunches. Luckily for me Food52 has given me some inspiration.

Carrots and Cake has this bananas recipe for no bake Chex protein bars. Must make this weekend!

Brown Sugar Bacon Breakfast sandwiches? Budget Bytes is speaking my language.

Another awesome Food52 round up – the best deals at a restaurant supply store, and what to buy elsewhere.

Fubiz linked to this tutorial on cheaper ways to animate your photos.

I *might* have treated myself to this Moop bag. (I seriously LOVE their bags)

I’m on the hunt for a cute pair of booties for fall. This pair is a top contender.

Reading this letter from a freed slave to his former master was amazing.

The New York Times profiled a WWII female fighter pilot who was recently laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetary. I might have cried reading this.

I’m always looking for ways to entertain out of town visitors in DC. This gives me some off the beaten path suggestions.

This Buzzfeed post reminded me that it’s the little changes that gradually amount to something big.

Swissmiss pointed me to this great TED talk about why relationships are so hard.

 

Have an excellent weekend!

 

 

 

 

Pressing Pause

Last week, I vowed to press reset.

And I tried, but pressing reset wasn’t enough.

I was on track to crack 40 miles this past week – the week that I would be a month out from my wedding – and week 4 of working an overnight shift.

I had some amazing runs – Friday I ran 6 glorious miles, part of it around my prized Teddy Roosevelt Island. The weather was perfect.

Sunday was also gorgeous. I so wanted to run my 14 mile long run and cap off a great week. But my body had other plans. I was just SO tired. I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been trying to cram it all in – the final push of the wedding, spending whatever time I can cobble together with J, sleeping, and running.

On my run yesterday, J reminded me that it just might be too much and training hard for a half marathon just isn’t in the cards for me right now.

So I’ll run 2-3 more races – and by early October, I’ll be done for a little while. I need to recalibrate.

I plan on running now and then for fun. I also plan on spending more time on my yoga mat, and on the reformer machine.

As soon as I allowed myself to take a break, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder. I am still a bit sad that I won’t be running Richmond, but I am excited for what the future holds.

 

 

Friday Round Up

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We made it through another week! That’s ALWAYS an accomplishment worth celebrating in my book! Here are things I’ve been craving, noticing, and pinning this week!

The earthquake in Italy is just so sad. But in case you haven’t read about the history of pasta all’amatriciana, please do! Food52 had a great write-up and it includes a recipe so you can make your own at home. I’m going to go ahead and declare GUANCIALE is the new bacon.

Kitchn had a great list of easy make ahead breakfasts. These come in so handy when you are pressed for time, or if you work overnights with limited access to appliances!

Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has a recipe for Potato, Leek and Chard Frittata. Let’s do this!

My friend Rebecca made me salivate when I read her post about  Mexican potato nachos. I repeat, MEXICAN. POTATO. NACHOS.

While we’re talking potatoes – how about Pinch of Yum’s Loaded Mediterranean Street Fries?

My wedding is only a few weeks away (just about 4 to be exact) so I’ve had a lot of wedding stuff on my brain.

Remember Loving v. Virginia? (Hint: It was the Supreme Court case that struck down laws against interracial marraige) Well, the Lovings’ marriage license is on display! I think I have to go see it.

I know they’re a staple of weddings (although we won’t have any at mine) the Kitchn’s history of the mason jar was an interesting read!

Make up alert! I’ve yet to pull the trigger on a Glossier purchase, but I read this profile of the company with great interest.

Also I loved Damsel in Dior’s favorite drugstore beauty products!

Since I’m still a bit of a sewing newbie, I am still assembling my must have tools. I loved this post from Closet Case Files rounding up 13 sewing tools to splurge on.

Who is YOUR podcast soulmate? (Mine was Ira Glass.)

Buzzfeed pointed out this guide for what to do when you see Islamophobia. I’ve yet to run this by my Muslim friends, but it piqued my interest.

And for my friends running the Marine Corps Marathon, they’ve announced some route changes because of Metro’s SafeTrack work. What do y’all think?

I’ll be back on Sunday with my training roundup – so far, so good this week!

 

Training Recap: When Things Don’t Go According to the Plan

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Welcome to another week!

I’m posting my training recap, but I’m going to do things a little differently here. I’ll post what I was supposed to run and what I actually did. Why? Well…I’m a perfectionist. When I don’t do everything right, when I don’t hit my training paces/distances perfectly I tend to get down on myself. Sometimes I get REALLY down on myself. I am trying to take a step back and be more forgiving. It is, to put it mildly, hard.

I suspect I am not the only one. And I think perfectionism can be complicated on social media – where friends might be achieving or going beyond their goals, or where you might just see people living perfect, happy lives. But we all deal with struggles. We all have trouble balancing life – whether it’s work, school, family obligations, running, and the things we do to keep ourselves sane.

In the interest of keeping it real here, I admit that though I strive for perfection, I am not perfect and I am slowly trying to be okay with that. So without further ado…

 

Monday – day off – I took this day off seriously and I tried to get caught up on sleep.

Tuesday – Plan: 7-8 miles, Actual: 8 Miles – I ran very, very late at night, because again, I had trouble sleeping during the day. I ran some of my 8 at 5K pace, which felt fine even though I was secretly worring about that.

Wednesday- Plan: 4-5 Miles, Actual: 4 miles plus Solidcore class – I went to solidcore in the morning, slept some, and then ran again late at night. I was able to do 4 miles before they started shutting the gym down. \

Thursday- Plan  6-7 miles plus strides, Actual: 0 – I was accidentally locked out of my apartment for a bit. I went to walk the dog, J went to leave and poof! Door was locked and I didn’t have a key. I panicked a bit and ended up forcing my way back in. I don’t recommend this method, because it means a repair man will have to come fix things and that’s tough to do when you’re a shift worker. I was up till 4pm trying to fix this … so I did not run.

Friday – rest/cross-train : I rested, although I had high hopes of making up my run here. I was still kind of exhausted from the lack of sleep the day before, so I just chilled out and napped for about an hour or two after work.

Saturday – Plan: 4-5 miles, Actual: 4 miles – Saturday is my day to get everything done that I tend to neglect during the week. So I had a lot on my to-do list plus some wedding stuff. I also woke up at 4am (this happens some when I’m working nights) so by 5pm I was feeling pretty tired. I still managed to motivate enough to go to the gym and get in 4 miles. I ended up staying up super late (till midnight) finishing up some tasks and getting some time to spend with J, since we really didn’t see much of each other all week.

Sunday: plan: 9-10 miles, Actual: 0 miles – Missing this run made me feel awful, but I was so tired, and really feeling the effects of a rotten week of sleep that I just couldn’t get myself going. I started getting very stressed about going on my run, and I was experiencing a lot of negative self-talk so I decided I needed to push the reset button and call it a loss for the week.

I had some pretty bad sleep this past week, and it is AMAZING how much that can affect mood. I am going to prioritize sleep this week. I’ve got 13 weeks till Richmond, which is plenty of time to drill down and focus on that goal.

I think sometimes it’s easy for me to forget that running is supposed to be a stress reliever, it shouldn’t add stress to my life. Pressing my reset button to retrain myself to see it as something enjoyable, something that allows me to get outside and test my physical limits is a real gift. I’m looking forward to getting back to that this week.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Round Up

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Happy Friday!

Another week in the books, and I am one week closer to my wedding! Just 5 weeks to go. Here are some of the things that caught my eye this week:

Anne over at FANNEtastic Food has this recipe for Watermelon Rosemary Popsicles that I must try. (We registered for this cute popsicle mold!)

Gina of SkinnyTaste had my mouth watering with her Blackened Chicken Fiesta salad.

And Closet Cooking’s Greek Foil Lemon Roasted Potatoes is something that would be perfect for a summer dinner party.

Did someone say pizza? No? Well, flatbread is the next best thing, especially when we’re talking burrata. Love and Olive Oil has a great plum & burrata flatbread recipe.

One of the things I have loved about getting ready for the wedding is finding fun dresses to wear for various occasions (bachelorette party, shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding!) If I were doing it all over again, and had unlimited funds, I think this dress would be on my list.

It’s getting cooler here in D.C, which is a relief to the running side of me. I have been living in this dress from Taylor Stitch lately. It’s a wool/linen blend.  The cut is perfect for an athletic gal like me. I always get compliments on it.

Buzzfeed gets a lot of flak for its listicles, but how could I say no to 20 Highly Rated Face Masks You Can Buy on Amazon?

I love the tutorials on A Beautiful Mess. They have one for achieving the perfect bold brow that I really want to try.

I dream of having space for a desk. (We just don’t in our tiny 550 sq ft apartment.) Someday I’ll be able to put these Ikea hacks to use.

I love calendars. We have a wall calendar on our fridge. Poppytalk has a roundup of lovely calendars for 2017.

Do you struggle like me to find birthday presents for certain folks on your list? Apartment Therapy has a helpful list that I am bookmarking for future use.

Nerd Fitness had a Nerd’s Guide to Anxiety – which speaks to me now that I am working nights. Sleeping during the day = more anxiety for me. But knowledge is power, right?

This piece on what it’s like to finish second to last in the Olympic Marathon was amazing. Sarah is a teammate and a glass ceiling shatterer. Total Lady Hero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BuJo Peek

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Hi Everyone!

Let’s talk productivity! As I’ve mentioned before, my Bullet Journal helps keep me on task. It’s THE place where I jot down my to-dos, keep my calendar, make lists, etc. If you haven’t heard of the bullet journal before, I encourage you to read about it here.

Basically, it’s a way to keep track of appointments, tasks and goals and it’s easily customized. I always struggled with traditional planners because they either felt bulky and yet somehow not enough space to write, or small and efficient and not enough space for me to capture my thoughts.

Trust me when I tell you that searching Bullet Journal (or #BuJo) on pinterest or instagram will lead you down the most amazing rabbit hole, if you’re like me and you have a kind of obsession with office supplies and organization.

I’ve recently changed up my BuJo. I’m now using a traveler’s notebook from Red Pen Travelers.

Traveler’s notebooks are essentially a notebook shell with some elastic on the inside that will hold 3-4 soft back notebooks. They come in a variety of sizes. The most famous is perhaps Midori, and JetPens has a wonderful write-up on them.

So why make the switch from a traditional hard back notebook to a traveler’s notebook?

One, my Leuchtturm notebook was getting badly beat up and the traveler’s notebook is made of leather which is definitely more sturdy.Two, I love the idea of being able to change out notebooks, and sectioning off notebooks for different purposes.

Here’s my notebook from Red Pen Travelers.

I bought this myself, and I cannot say enough positive things about Toni’s craftmanship. I love being able to look at my home state (with my hometown starred). Plus she’ll add your initials to the bottom of the notebook. She also includes a binder clip so that you can attach a pen to your notebook AND she gives you a red pilot G2 (my favorite gel pen). Get it? Red Pen Travelers?

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I now have a notebook devoted to my calendar. (This can be purchased from Yellow Paper House on Etsy)

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And I have a daily tasks notebook. (Standard Moleskine cahier). You can also see my little bookmarker. You can get your own from RhMohler’s Etsy shop here.

I have a nifty little pocket that slips in to hold cards, tabs, etc. I bought this off of Amazon.

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In my first notebook (you can see the brown cover behind the pocket) I have my daily tasks/running week set-up. I love devoting half a page to my running week so that I can see a week’s worth of appointments/workouts before me. Then I devote the other half of the page to my daily tasks and reminders.

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I got some of these cool binder clips and some amazing stamps (not pictured) at niconecozakkaya’s Etsy shop. This shop specializes in Japanese stationary. That’s not everyone’s thing, but I sure like it.

Behind this notebook, I have 2 others. One is dedicated to lists. I LOVE lists. I’ve got a birthday list, travel bucket list, books to read, projects to sew, projects to knit, recommendations from friends …you get the picture. I find having all of this in one notebook makes things really easy. I indexed the front of it so that finding any of my lists will be a snap. With my old notebook, I would have my lists interspersed with my daily task pages and I wasn’t great at keeping up with my index.I found myself flipping through to try to find things and it was a bit of a mess.

Again, I’m a BuJo traveler’s journal amateur. There are so many great resources online. And the great thing about Bullet Journaling is that you jettison things that aren’t working and try something new as often as you want!

One thing I am hoping to add to my repertoire is some lessons on handlettering. I’ve been working on teaching myself when I have a few spare minutes to practice. Some people have lovely handlettering and it gives me such BuJo envy!

**All of these products written about above were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own. **