Three of the four race shirts. My 2012 shirt is MIA.
It’s race weekend again! Yep, two races in March. I’m living dangerously or I am just making up for not having a race in February.
You may already know this but Rock CF Rivers is one of my favorite local races! I have been participating in the Rock CF races since it started in 2011! You can’t read my 2011 recap because that occurred before I started blogging. You can however read my recaps from 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Rock CF offers a half marathon, a half marathon relay and a 5k all of which take place on Grosse Ile. Chris and I will both be doing the 5k. I have run the half course once and that was in 2012 where I set my half marathon PR. I love the half marathon course, it is very scenic and obviously a great place to PR BUT this time of the year is hit and miss weather wise and that is my main reason for running the 5k every year since then. I don’t like running in the cold and especially not long distances in the cold. I’m weak. I know.
Another great thing about Rock CF besides their awesome course, great shirt, amazing medal and the best post race food that you will find at any race is that it helps raise money for the Rock CF Foundation to help those with Cystic Fibrosis. When B was little it was suspected that he had Cystic Fibrosis but fortunately lots of testing determined that he is a carrier of the disease (something that he will need to consider when he is older if he decides to have children of his own). Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary disease that results in the over production of mucus which causes damage and blockages inside the body. To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and the Rock CF Foundation click here to go to the Rock CF Foundation site.
Le sigh. Here we are again talking about me being in between jobs. I’ve reached the two month mark and although there are things that I have enjoyed about not working I am definitely ready to find THE job.
First let’s talk about the things that I have enjoyed about not working! I have been able to spend a lot more time with B! I get to take him to school and pick him up, which both of us LOVE! Recently I volunteered to be a mystery reader in his classroom which was a lot of fun and I probably would not have been able to do it if I was at my previous job.
I’ve also been able to spend a lot more time on my blog which I have enjoyed as it is something that I really like to do.
The interview with the newspaper was very much out of my comfort zone as I am not used to coming up with answers at the drop of a hat while trying to make them sound like something that is worthy of printing. It was an exciting and nerve wrecking experience all at the same time.
Shortly after the interview with the newspaper I decided to do something else out of my comfort zone and that was to record and upload my first ever YouTube video! Eeek! The video is an unboxing of the PopSugar Resort Box that I just got as I thought that would be a good way to ease myself into doing videos. Want to check it out? Here you go!
As you may have been able to tell I was pretty nervous and uncomfortable in front of the camera. I honestly was scared to even post the video. But I finally did post it after a lot of coaxing from Chris. Chris has a great YouTube channel (click HERE to check his out) and he has been a great resource for me! He told me that they way I talked in the video is not how I talk in real life. Which is somewhat true. I guess I was being a bit more proper and enunciating everything more than I do normally. So in my next video I will work on being more natural in front of the camera. I can only get better, right?
Now on to the downside of being in between jobs. I am going to come right out and say it….job hunting is not fun. It’s frustrating. Every single day I look for jobs to apply to and most days, it is just the same jobs reposted. On top of that, being a single parent presents its own layer of difficulty when it comes to looking for a job. Although B’s Dad is involved in B’s life on the weekends, his Dad will not help me during the week with B so that means I have to find a job that allows me to drop him off and pick him up from latch key. This has caused me to not apply for certain jobs that I was interested in due to scheduling conflicts and even remove myself from the interviewing process of several positions once I realized that the required work schedule was not conducive to my responsibilities as a Mom.
Despite my frustrations, I do still believe that the right job for me is out there. And I am going to find it!
Did you check out my video? What did you think?
Have you been unemployed before? Share you experience with me!
It’s been a while since I have done a Nadine West review! Not because I haven’t been receiving the Nadine West pink packages but because I haven’t received anything worth talking about. The last Nadine West review I did was this one, in October and I didn’t keep anything that month nor did I keep anything from any other subsequent month…until now.
Recently I received an email from Nadine West talking about their new MyChoice program.
As you can see from the email I was able to log in and select two items for this month’s Nadine West shipment. Here is a look at the options I was given when I logged in.
For my shirt selection I chose the Sedona Sunrise Tee because I tend to gravitate towards brightly colored pink tops and I thought that one was cute. As far as the necklaces go, I really didn’t like any of them but I ended up picking the Sand Treasure Statement necklace.
I like the idea of the MyChoice program only because I had not been getting anything from Nadine West that I liked. The downside to the new program is that it does take part of the surprise element away from the whole subscription box idea which, for me, is part of the fun. Although in my shipment I did receive one surprise item, so for some people, maybe it is the best of both worlds.
Ready to take a look at everything that came in my Nadine West shipment?
Let’s start with the two pieces that I was expecting.
#1: Sedona Sunrise Tee
I think this tee is cute and the colors are a lot of fun. I paired the tee with a pair of skinnies that I got from Stitch Fix and a pair of flip-flops from Old Navy. I think the top would look cute with a pair of legging and boots as well!
#2: Sand Treasure Statement Necklace
I actually ended up liking the necklace in person although when I selected it online, I didn’t think I would be wild about it. It will definitely be a cute accessory for the Summer!
#3: Marvelous Medallion Studs
I wasn’t wild about the earrings. They are not bad, just not something I would pick. I ended up keeping them only because Nadine West was offering 20% off this month if you kept everything and since I was keeping for the first two items the earrings ended up being free.
Overall this month’s Nadine West package was much improved over any other shipment I have received from them. Whether I will keep getting them or not is another story as there are other subscription boxes I am interested in trying and I can’t try them all. I figure I will wait and see what the selections are for the MyChoice program next month and make my decision based upon that.
As a side note, although Nadine West is dubbed as a monthly subscription service I do believe that their schedule according to them is every 4-6 weeks although I feel that the time in between my subscriptions is much longer.
To try out Nadine West for yourself, use my referral link by clicking here.
Take a look at what I just got in the mail! The PopSugar Must Have Special Edition Resort Box!
You may remember that back in January I got my first PopSugar Must Have Box which was also a Special Edition box. It was the Fit Fresh Fun Box that PopSugar did with Target and it was full of awesome fitness goodies perfect for a fitness fanatic like me. Since I liked that box so much, I decided to take the plunge when PopSugar offered their next Special Edition Box, the Resort Box.
The Resort Box appealed to me both because I had a good experience with my first PopSugar box and also because I love to travel and I do a lot of traveling both for running and non running purposes.
Ready to find out what I got in the box?
Item #1: Stephanie Johnson White Dot Train Case
I love everything about this case! From the textured outside to the hot pink inside! This definitely speaks to the giryl girl side of me and I know that I will get a lot of use out of it in my travels.
This case in particular is a PopSugar exclusive so I was unable to verify the retail price listed on the product card inside the box but based on similar items on the Stephanie Johnson website I would have to believe that the price of $60 listed by PopSugar is accurate.
Retail Price: $60
Item #2: Jane Iredale Warm My Steppes Makeup Kit
I already knew that I was getting this item in the box because PopSugar released several spoilers prior to the box shipping and I was SO excited to get this item. Again, another perfect piece for my travels and such a space saver in my suitcase as it has two lip glosses, a blush and a bronzer! I love it even more in person!
Retail Price: $58
Item #3: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
I am not necessarily a fan of receiving skin care items in subscription boxes because I am pretty particular about what I use on my face. I had not heard of this company before but they seem to get good reviews on not only this product but all of their products so I am looking forward to giving this a try!
Retail Price: $80
Item #4: Lele Sadoughi Half-Moon Pendant
This isn’t a style of necklace that I would normally pick out for myself but I do like it. It is also a much higher quality item compared to the necklaces that I currently own which is a plus!
This is another PopSugar exclusive so it is hard for me to confirm that retail price listed on the product card but I feel it is probably accurate.
Retail Price: $110
Item #4: Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Sea Salt Cocktail Salt
We don’t make a lot of cocktails at home so I think this will be an item that I will gift to someone who will appreciate it more!
Retail Price: $14
Item #5: Sloane Stationery Passport Holder
I actually do not have a passport but I still like the holder and will hold on to it for when my travels take me overseas. Perhaps one day I will cross visit Greece off of my bucket list and this will be the perfect travel accessory! It is well made and I like the bon voyage printing on the front! Very cute!
Retail Price: $48
Overall I really liked this box and I will get a lot of use out of several of the items! Most especially the Train Case and the Makeup Kit! The box was also a great value as I paid $100 plus shipping for a total of $106 in comparison to the retail value of the box which is $370!!!
I think PopSugar did a great job with their Resort themed box and I look forward to seeing what other Special Edition boxes they come up with next. I will also be getting one of their normal monthly boxes for the first time next month, just to see what I think of it, so stay tuned for that!
To get your own PopSugar Must Have box, click HERE to use my affiliate link to sign up or to get more information!
In related news, I just did my first YouTube video and it was an unboxing of this PopSugar Resort Box! Being in front of the camera is a bit out of my comfort zone but that was the point of doing it. I will get better with time, right? I hope you check it out and follow my channel!
Did you get the PopSugar Resort Box?
What did you think of it?
Have you received any other PopSugar Boxes? Tell me about them!
Did you all hear the news about Absopure and Running Fit? Absopure Water is the official water sponsor of all Running Fit races!! How great is that?!
I said it before and I will say it again, as much as I love Absopure’s water and products, I love their involvement in their local community and most especially the running community even more!
As you all already know, I recently partnered up with Absopure and they have provided me with some of their great products including an in-home water cooler and the use of their at home delivery service. My experience with their products and their company in general has been AMAZING!
As a runner and a Mom, I love having Absopure water so readily available for my workouts and for the kids to drink. Not to mention, every person that I have encountered with Absopure has been so nice, friendly and attentive to my needs. Absopure is truly a company that cares about their customers and their community.
Prior to my partnership with Absopure I was not aware of their involvement with Running Fit but coincidentally, I already had several Running Fit races on my race calendar for the year! And now thanks to Absopure I am adding one more Running Fit race to my race schedule….The Martian Race!
You may remember that last year I was planning to run the Martian Meteor 10k but wasn’t able to because I ended up being sick. Chris was sweet enough to bring home my medal to me but it felt like a medal that I didn’t really earn. (You can read Chris’s recap of the Meteor 10k here.) Now thanks to Absopure I can go back and redeem myself!
Chris and I will both be running the Martian Meteor 10k thanks to Absopure. They do have other distances in addition to the 10k including the Meteor 5k, the Martian Half Marathon, the Martian Full Marathon and the Kid’s Marathon.
In case you are not familiar with the Martian Races all distances receive a tech shirt and a sweet finishers medal. To learn more about the Martian Invasion of Races click here to go to their site.
Do you want to run one of the Martian Races too?? Well thanks to Absopure I have TWO race entries for the Martian Invasion of Races to give away to TWO of you! The race entries are good for ANY of the Martian Races so you get to choose which one is the best fit for you. Keep in mind that the Martian Races take place in Dearborn so you would want to be local to the area or willing to travel to Dearborn in order to participate in the race.
To enter the giveaway, just use the widget below. Good luck!
I feel compelled to respond to your ignorant and hateful comments about children born through IVF (in vitro fertilization) both because of the insensitive remarks that you made and because you are now back peddling and excusing your hate speech by flashing your right to free speech card.
And while I could artfully craft a post about how wrong you are on the subject of IVF and implore you to realize that children are children no matter what path they took to get into this world….instead, I give you this.
A very real picture of myself and my son.
Can you tell by this picture that he was born through IVF? Can you tell by this picture that my heart broke into a million pieces during the two years it took for me to finally get pregnant with him or that while I carried him inside of me I was scared to death that I would lose him? Can you tell by this picture that I was once afraid that I would never become a Mom but that the miracle of IVF finally made it a reality for me?
Thanks to IVF my heart lives outside of my body as my son every single day.
And he is very real, very loved and very wanted.
And while I will always stand up for the right to freedom of speech, I will never stay sitting when hate speech is dished out in a little box with a shiny ribbon labeled free speech attached to it. We need more love and inclusivity in this world and less of your out of touch and harmful rhetoric.
Not to be the bearer of bad news but Winter is not officially over yet. Not here in Michigan anyways. I know, I know. We have had a bit of warm weather lately but have you looked at the forecast for this weekend? There is snow in it. Need a hug after hearing that? Me too.
The runner in me is especially sad to see that cold weather and snow is heading our way again. I prefer warm weather running and I’ll even take hot weather running over Winter running any day. But I am determined to not let the weather get the best of me.
Recently I received a Ninja Balaclava (<—-affiliate link) from Be Free Gear to review and it is AWESOME! Once I got past the part that not only did I look like a ninja but also a potential bank robber I was able to appreciate the perks of the balaclava. First and most important the balaclava kept me warm when running outside in the cold. Second I liked that I was able to use the balaclava to cover my mouth and nose when needed or push the fabric down under my chin for when I didn’t. I also liked that the balaclava came with a neck warmer for those times when you need a little extra warmth around the neck. And while I used the Be Free Gear balaclava for running, it can be used for so many other outdoor activities!
Want a Be Free Gear Ninja Balaclava for yourself? The fine folks at Be Free Gear have offered up THREE of their Ninja Balaclavas to give away to three of you. Just use the widget below to enter. Winners must be based in the continental US. Good luck!
Not familiar with the DailyLook Elite box? It is a monthly subscription box filled with clothing and accessories picked out just for you by your stylist. It is very similar to Stitch Fix but instead of getting just 5 items, you actually get 6-8 items. There is a $20 styling fee each month (although they have a 3 month free trial offer right now) and that styling fee is deducted from the total cost of any items that you decide to keep. Unlike Stitch Fix there is no discount for keeping all of the items in your box but hopefully they will change that in the future. The best part of the DailyLook Elite box, in my opinion, is that you have 7 days to decide if you want to keep any or all of the items unlike Stitch Fix where you only get a few days to decide.
You may remember my review from last month where I was less than impressed with what I received in my first box. Some of my disappointment was due to size issues and some of it was due to style and quality issues. After I received my first box, I updated my profile with new sizing and left specific feedback about what I liked and didn’t like about the items that I received. Ready to find out if those changes helped? Let’s take a look at what I received.
Item #1: A-Line Pleated Midi Skirt
When I first saw the skirt I was very excited about the color! I love bright fun colors and this skirt definitely accomplished that. The skirt fit me well but I am not a fan of midi length skirts on me because I am so short. I just don’t think that length is flattering on me.
Item #2: Gauzy Oversized Tank
At first I was a bit disappointed to see that I get a basic tank in my box but once I tried it on I immediately changed my mind. It is so soft and comfy and I could see myself wearing it a lot in the Summer. It is definitely very sheer but I think I will still get a lot of use out of it.
Item #3: Venetian Lace Skirt
I was excited to try this skirt on! I love the color and the detailing and I am also a sucker for a great pencil skirt. Once I tried it on I knew that it would be the perfect skirt to wear to one of the weddings that I will be attending this year.
My stylist Scot recommended that I pair the skirt with the gauzy oversized tank. I am not sure about that look though. What do you guys think?
Item #4: Wrap Bodice Bodycon Dress
I immediately loved the color of the dress because as you probably already know I like blue and I tend to wear a lot of blue. The dress fit me well but I just wasn’t a fan of it. I didn’t like the shoulder pads (they still put shoulder pads in clothes?) and I also didn’t care for the feel of the fabric.
Item #5 Cardinal Midi Dress
This is another item that I loved the color of but didn’t like anything else about it. It reminder me of a really bad prom dress or a bridesmaid dress. I didn’t care for the fabric of the dress either.
Item #6: Dunder Mifflon Vegan Leather Tote
I was so excited to see that I got a handbag in my box! I love purses and clutches and if you were to ask my boyfriend he would say that I have too many. (Like that is possible.) This bag however is a bit too big for my tastes and I did not like the gold hardware. I did however like the red color and the bag appeared to be of good quality.
I was definitely much happier with this Elite box than I was with the first one. It was so nice that everything fit me! Yay! And I was happy that there were two pieces that I ended up keeping. There is definitely still room for improvement with my next box but I feel confident that my stylist is getting closer to understanding my style and what I like.
I should note that there was a discrepancy in pricing on the tank between the collateral in my box and the amount that I was actually charged when I checked out. I was billed $5 more for the tank than I was expecting to be and while it was only $5 I still decided to reach out to the DailyLook costumer service team to see if they would credit me the $5 back. I haven’t heard great things about their customer service team and this will be my first interaction with them so we will see what their response is.
If you want to try out DailyLook Elite for yourself, click HERE to use my referral link to sign up.
Have you tried the DailyLook Elite box? What are your thoughts?
Now that you know how I spent my Sunday, let me fill you in how I spent a portion of my Friday this last weekend.
I was invited to a blogger event at Gayle’s Chocolates in Royal Oak for a wine and chocolate tasting! Naturally this was an opportunity that I could not pass up as I LOVE chocolate. In fact, I even talk about chocolate on my about me page here. I may be very into health and fitness but I truly believe that a balanced and happy life includes special treats and Gayle’s Chocolates was indeed a special treat!
I am almost ashamed to admit this but prior to the blogger event I had never been to Gayle’s Chocolates. From my first step in the door of Gayle’s store, I knew that this was a chocolate store for me! The decor is very fun and very pink and the store is full of the most delicious high quality chocolate.
And as you may have guessed there is in fact a lady named Gayle that started the store. She and her husband shared her story with the group about her starting her business in the basement of her house 34 years ago. She eventually relocated her chocolate making to the store that she is at today where all of the chocolate is still homemade and made in small batches.
As I mentioned there was also a wine portion to the event. I am not much of a wine drinker but I did enjoy trying out all of the wines and deciding which wine went best with each chocolate. I also enjoyed listening to Elie from the Elie Wine Company talk about the wines.
I really enjoyed meeting all of the other bloggers and sampling the chocolates and wine but for me the best part of the night was listening to Elie and Gayle talk about their passions. I love listening to people who have found their calling and have dedicated their lives to something that they believe in. I took a lot of energy and motivation from their talks with the group about their chocolate and wines.
Gayle was nice enough to send all of us bloggers home with a goodie bag of chocolates (which I am hiding from the rest of the family and eating in small portions to savor the for many days to come btw) AND she was nice enough to let me give away a chocolate Easter Bunny to one of you! Yes, this giant one below!
The chocolate Easter Bunny is a whopping 2.5 pounds and the winner can decide if he / she wants it to be milk chocolate or dark chocolate. And do not worry, if you are not local to me you can still enter to win as Gayle ships her chocolate all across the continental US. And believe me, this is chocolate worth having shipped to you! Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. Good luck!
Happy St. Patty’s weekend! Hope yours was good! I spent a portion of mine at the Cork Town 5k race on Sunday. You can read a bit more about the history of the race in my preview post here.
As I mentioned, this was my first time running Cork Town so I was super excited to see if it would live up to all of the hype. On Sunday morning Chris and I left our house at 8:30am which we hoped would give us plenty of time to get down to the race area and park before the 10am start time. Don’t you love races with late starts! Such a luxury!
We had already picked up our packets and we only live 30 minutes from Cork Town but we had heard that parking would be crazy due to the race and the parade. And they were right. Parking was indeed crazy. We didn’t start running into traffic until just before the exit to get into Cork Town. Once we made our way through that, our previous plan of where to park went out the window because it seemed that everyone else but us was already down there and parked. We did end up finding a pretty close spot on a street that I am pretty certain wasn’t meant for parking on but other people were doing it so…..we joined in.
One of the neat features of the Cork Town Race is that it starts and finishes just outside of Michigan Central Station which is an old abandoned train station.
Unfortunately, I am sure that these types of buildings are what those of you who live outside of the Metro Detroit area are accustomed to seeing as a depiction of Detroit. And while there are areas in Detroit that look like this there are many other areas that are vibrant and prospering. With that being said, I still thought it was neat to see the train station up close. Such history in that building!
Since the Cork Town race is so large there are several corrals to help ease the congestion. Chris and I were both in the green corral which crossed the start line quite a bit after the official race start. It was chip timed of course, so nothing for us to worry about as our time didn’t start until we crossed the start line.
The first mile or more of the race was very congested. It was hard to keep a steady pace and an added challenge was that a good portion of the street was brick paved so it was not a flat surface. I saw a several people take a tumble in the bricked area but luckily I did not. Phew!
See all the bricks?
Chris and I ended up separating during that race as we figured that we would but we both had our phones with us so that we could reconnect at the end of the race.
The race meandered down Michigan Avenue so our view along the race route was a lot of big buildings. I actually really enjoyed that and it was reminiscent of when I did the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago. Road races are not typically my race of choice but when I do road races, I prefer a city view like the one in Cork Town versus running through a typical residential neighborhood.
Another great thing about the race, of course, was the costumes! Pretty much everyone had on something costumey and something green which was highly entertaining to look at while running. I also enjoyed the energy of the other racers and the crowd!
I was enjoying the race so much that I almost didn’t want it to end but I found some solace in the awesome medal that I was handed when I crossed the finish line! Every year on social media, I would see people post their pics of their Cork Town medal and I would always feel a tinge of jealousy. But not this year! This year I have one of my own.
After collecting my medal I also rounded up some post race grub which was a great selection for a 5k, in my opinion. And guess who was the supplier of water for the race?!
My friends at Absopure, that’s who! As you may know, I recently partnered with Absopure and have written a few posts about them. Some of you may have wondered what motivated me to partner with Absopure and part of my interest was because of their involvement in local races. I love companies who are involved in the community and most especially those who are involved in the local running community. Not to mention they are a Michigan based company as well! (I should note that they did not pay for my entry into this race but they did hook me up with some water which I appreciate!)
Shortly after I got through the food area, Chris and I found each other and made our way back to the car. It took FOREVER to find our way out of the Cork Town area. So many streets were blocked off for the race and the parade and our GPS was not wanting to reroute us. We were not familiar enough with the area to navigate around it on our own but after many wrong turns and turning around a few times we eventually found our way out and back home.
Oddly enough before running Cork Town, I thought that this would be a one and done kind of race for me. I typically like my races to be smaller, trailier and muddier. But I have to say that I really enjoyed this race. It was very well-organized (very important for its size), the course was great, the medal and shirt were both top-notch and the post race fuel was more than you would expect for a 5k. I would definitely like to do this race again!
Anyone else run Cork Town? I want to hear about it!
Not from the area? How did you spend your weekend?