Monday, July 24, 2017

My Workout Must Haves


Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for a new week. I've gotten a lot of questions recently about where I get my workout gear and what my favorite brands are. To be honest, I've never been a person who cares about brand names. When I workout I want gear that will move with me, wick away sweat, and not get in the way. 

This year I have invested in a few more quality pieces and it has been so worth it. None of the pieces have broken the bank and some of the stuff I have been so happy with that I've bought it in another color or style. Here are eight of my workout essentials, and no I'm not paid by any of these brands to promote their products. These are products I use every single day and I genuinely love. 



I've tried countless workout tops over the years, but this is by far my favorite. Baleaf tanks and tops actually pull sweat away from my body and keep me cool in a way no other brand has before. These are my favorite tanks to run in because even when I'm running in 90F degree heat with 100% humidity the tank will be drenched by the end of my run, but I won't feel super sweaty because it's been wicking. You really can't beat the price for $9.99 (free shipping for Amazon Prime members), plus it comes in a variety of really pretty colors. 



This tank is another favorite of mine because it also does a fantastic job wicking away sweat, but it's great for workouts on really hot days when you sweat a ton because it has antimicrobial technology so you won't smell all sweaty. I have both the blue and white (I'm hoping to get purple soon), but my only beef with this tank is the sizing runs pretty large. I normally wear an XS, but the XS is still a bit baggy on me, but I love the shirt and wear it all the time so the sizing doesn't deter me. As an added bonus this tank is currently on sale for $25.99 at Dick's.



Hands down the BEST running shorts I've ever owned. Period. I am beyond picky when it comes to running shorts, especially because I chafe so easily, so I'm very fussy about what I buy. I spent years looking for a decent line of running shorts and I will never again buy anything but Calia running shorts. They wick away sweat, keep me cool, move with my body, have a nifty pocket to put a key, ID, etc., and honestly they're so comfortable I forget I'm wearing them. I've had Calia shorts since January and not once have I chafed with them, that's including running in extreme heat, humidity, rain, and a slew of other chafe inducing conditions. Do yourself a favor and buy these shorts, you won't regret it, plus they're currently on sale for $29.99 at Dicks. 



These are the exact same shorts as above, but just a printed version. I bought these as soon as they came out and I get compliments on them all the time. The colors are gorgeous, they're incredibly comfortable, and honestly you can do any sport in them- run, bike, lift, yoga, etc. The shorts are a little pricier at $45, but it's most definitely a worthwhile investment not to chafe and the quality is really fantastic.



Good sports bras are hard to find, especially if you're lacking in the boob department. Finding a bra that's comfortable, doesn't squeeze, but still offers support has long been a struggle. Sometimes I think sports bras are all designed by men because simply offering small, medium, and large really does not work for most people. Anyway I digress. While this sports bra does come in the standard sizes, I've found the sizing to be spot on. It supports me in all the right places, doesn't squeeze me to death, and the adjustable straps make it much easier to customize the right fit. Currently it's on sale for $21.99, which is an AWESOME price for a sports bra. I'm sure others can relate to the struggle to find a good sports bra.


6. Calia Low Cut Socks

Before you say I'm crazy for paying $12 for three pairs of socks hear me out. I've tried numerous other brands of sports socks but most of them left me feet so hot. I've even had socks that were so uncomfortable that they've caused blisters. What I love about these socks is they are incredibly light and super breathable. For the first time in I have no idea how long I didn't feel like I was overheating while running in these socks. I promptly made a return trip to Dick's and bought a second (and maybe a third) pack of these socks. Definitely worth the investment, plus they're great overall socks for everyday use too.



I don't like sweat dripping down my face or in my eyes when I workout so I use a headband to catch it. I tried cotton, which made me way too hot, and the ever popular Bondi Bands, which was so thin it didn't catch anything so it was promptly returned. I came across Heliacal headbands on Amazon and I haven't looked back. I have them in four color and absolutely love them. I've even gotten a few ladies at the gym to start using them too because they were unhappy with the cotton ones they were using. The headbands come in a variety of colors, but most importantly they actually wick away sweat and stay in place! The bands cost $6.49 for one, but it's the best headband I've ever owned so I have no complaints.


8. Garmin Forerunner 235

So this isn't clothing, but this is another essential for me when I workout. It tracks heart rate, steps, and if you're a runner/cycler/swimmer this watch is a MUST. I love using it for running because after I log a run I go into the Garmin app and it will break down the run. Of course it tracks all the usual stuff like pace, elevation, etc, but it also tracks cadence and so much more. All of the information is really fascinating to me and it's helped me reach my target heart rate zone during runs and stay in that zone for the duration of my run. You can also plan runs so you can hit a target pace or mileage. Everything about the watch is customizable to you and your body and the battery life is fantastic. I only have to charge mine about once a week. The watch will set you back over $300, but if you're serious about training then it's a worthwhile investment. I wear mine all the time and if you go with the black or white color it will match everything.

What are some of your workout essentials? 
Is there one brand of workout gear that you really love?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Physical Therapy and Summer Heat: Thinking Out Loud #46

Happy Thursday! The past week has felt like a giant blur, especially since a few unexpected thing happened in my family. It partly feels like I've just been going through the motions for this week, but after Friday things should (🤞) calm down and I'm am looking forward to some much needed downtime. However, in the meantime let's jump into this weeks thinking out loud


1. It's been over a week since I've been allowed (or able) to run and a small part of me feels dead inside. I LOVE running and I LOVE my morning runs, but I also know how important it is to rehab this injury and give my body some rest. I go to physical therapy three times a week for over an hour each time and it's hard! Luckily, I work with a really amazing therapist but everything feels so much harder than it should be. I've been working on standing on just my left leg, which is the injured one, and I last about five seconds before falling over. It's frustrating because I know I have good balance and I can do this, but in my current state I can't. I just want to run again and be pain free but I know it's a process- and a much slower process than I'd like.


2. To say I've been down in the dumps about not being able to run is kind of an understatement, but I got the absolute best surprise last Friday. I was out getting a few things done and I came home to this beautiful edible arrangement from my boyfriend. He's a runner too so he understand my frustration, but I was blown away by his sweet gesture. The whole thing might have been devoured in less than three days...no shame😋


3. Over the weekend I spent some time with my mom and she wanted to stop at Bath and Body Works. I haven't been in that store in a long time, but she needed some lotion and I had a buy one item get another item free coupon. Because of damage to my sinuses there's very few things I can smell, but I smelt this lotion right away and feel in love😍 It smells like Hawaiian tropics sunscreen and it's AMAZING! I snatched it up and have been loving the smell ever since, I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a summertime lotion. 


4. It's been SUPER hot here, like in the 90's with a heat index of 100 every day this week. Cora has basically lived in the water. I limit her crazy playtime outside because I don't want her to get overheated, I make sure she's drinking tons of water, and of course she spends a ton of time swimming and cooling down in the lake. She got a new floating water frisbee and she's in love with it. I had to physically get her out of the lake yesterday, I swear she's half fish🐠


5. Is anyone else one of those crazy people that when it's still super hot out they turn on the oven and bake?🙋 sometimes I need a break so I'll bake, even when it's crazy hot. This week I whipped up a batch of s'mores brownies for a community picnic and then another batch for a friend. Anywhere I take them they are always devoured and I get tons of people asking me for the recipe. They're super easy to make and people of all ages love them so it's a win win. If you're interested here's the recipe.


6. Tons of funny dog pictures have been flooding my Facebook feed recently, but I have to say I think this is my favorite. The dogs expression just kills me and I literally laughed out loud😂 Dogs are the best and I will never understand how people don't like them. I've fully accepted the fact that I'm going to be that crazy lady with seven million dogs when I get older. My boyfriend isn't so crazy about that idea, but let's be real dogs>>>boyfriend any day😜


7. I saw this quote this week and instantly loved it. People are so quick to raise their voices to argue, but carefully choosing your words should be WAY more important. My parents always taught me growing up that arguing gets you nowhere and it's true. When two (or more) people are just yelling at each other nothing is going to be accomplished, but if you take a moment to collect yourself and sit down to have a civil conversation so much more would get accomplished. 

I'm going to end things there this week. Have a great rest of the week🎉🎉🎉

What is your favorite summertime treat?
How do you deal with the crazy summer heat? 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Disappointment and Running: Thinking Out Loud #45

Happy Thursday! This week has been a tough one both mentally and physically and I'd like to say I'm ready for the weekend, but I'm not. I'll explain that more later, but for now let's jump into this weeks thinking out loud

1. The week started off on a frustrating and disappointing note because I got six solid miles in on Saturday, although it wasn't at my goal pace, but I hadn't gotten a really solid run in since the 4th of July so I was incredibly frustrated. However, Monday was just one of those days where nothing was going right. I had to go off a medication that was causing side effects, but now the side effects from going off are even worse, I was having lupus complications, and I was getting ANOTHER blister on my foot. I have this one section of my foot that it just total blister. I've tried taking time off, band aids, moleskin, you name it I've tried it. It was a storm cloud of crappiness that had me feeling pretty frustrated and down. 

2. Thank goodness for puppy cuddles because I swear I'd go insane without a dog. There's been a lot of thunderstorms recently and in the past year Cora has developed an extreme fear of thunderstorms so she's been more cuddly than usual. She's been by my side all week, to which I have no complaints about because she's been giving me lots of extra loving. In between storms we've been making it outside to play frisbee and just to let her run because she has a LOT of energy. 

3. I've said it before and I'll say it again I'm seriously blessed with the most AMAZING group of friends. Watching this guy get up on the wakeboard Sunday was the highlight of my week and I was so incredibly proud of him🙌 He had tried to get up on the 4th of July but he couldn't quite get it, but one try on Sunday and he was up. Learning to balance and maneuver will come in time, but he did awesome I was so excited for him! 

4. Yesterday, after an incredibly crappy morning one of my best guy friends (the same one wakeboarding above) asked if I wanted to go The Cheesecake Factory. It was an immediate yes from me because I love the food and I'd get to spend time with him before he moves across the country😭 I got my favorite item on the menu the lettuce wrap tacos. They are so good and I'm working on creating my own at home. It was nice to hangout, laugh, talk about old times, and just enjoy each others company because our time together is limited. He's been one of my best friends and a rock for me since we met the first day of sixth grade and while I'm sad to see him go I'm happy for him to have such a great opportunity. Be prepared for a visitor in CA😬

5. I shared this quote on instagram, but really it was a reminder to myself. Three miles into my run on Tuesday my knee started hurting so I slowed my pace and at the four mile mark I stopped and stretched it out. At the five mile mark I was in so much pain I could hardly stand on it and I was still a mile from my house. I stopped, rested it for awhile, and started hobbling home. I started feeling semi ok so with 6/10 mile to go I slowly jogged toward home, but when I got home I knew something was very wrong. It was beyond painful to stand and I really couldn't put any weight on it. I immediately iced it and tried to keep off of it for the rest of the day. Wednesday morning I called my doctor and they got me in right away. After some basic stretching she did that had me crying out in pain I was told I had a lateral meniscus sprain that was made worse by lupus. Yay...not😫 She wanted to be extremely aggressive in helping me heal properly, especially since I run so much, so she referred me to a physical therapist and I have my first appointment this afternoon. To say I am crushed by this is an understatement. I was going to run a half marathon on Saturday and it's something I've been working for for seven weeks now, so not being able to run and celebrate all the work I've put in is beyond devastating to me. I try so hard to not let lupus get me down, but this one really got me. I'm going to work my butt off in physical therapy so I can get back out running ASAP and I WILL run a half this year. If anyone has tips on how to heal or take pain away I'm all ears!

I'm going to keep things short this week and end things here. Have a great Thursday and an amazing weekend! 

How do you handle a big disappointment? 
What is your go-to pick me up after a hard day/week?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

4th of July and Lake Days: Thinking Out Loud #44

Happy Thursday and it's a few days late, but happy belated 4th of July🎉  I hope you had a great long holiday weekend and got a chance to relax. The weather was absolutely perfect and I got to spend time with my three best guy friends, so I really couldn't have asked for a better 4th. It's been a full week of running, lake time, and beautiful summer sunsets so let's jump right in to this weeks thinking out loud


1. My recent go to has been a fruit infused water bottle one of my friends got me for my birthday. The only thing I drink is water and sometimes I just need something with some flavor so this water bottle has been an awesome present. I've been mixing up all sorts of fruits for flavoring, but so far strawberry and lemon has been my favorite combo🍓🍋


2. Saturday was a very long and hot day of working outside. I spent the day cleaning out the boat, getting it ready to be launched, and launching it because there are fireworks over the lake every year. The boat was in just in time for the fireworks and I got to enjoy fireworks on the lake surrounded by some of my very best friends. I always feel like a little kid when watching fireworks because I LOVE them. I love all the colors, shapes, sizes, and it just brings back some really great childhood memories of watching fireworks on the lake with my family.


3. Sunday I spent all day outside cleaning up and doing various yard work. I finally got around to inflating the donut tube and I'm in love. It's such a cute tube and so much fun! It's been a hit with my friends and family in addition to Henry the swan.


4. Cora has been loving this summer weather. We've been spending the days outside playing in the yard and in the lake. While cleaning out the shed I gave her some old basketballs and various other toys that were rather old and you would have thought it was Christmas with how excited she was. Now when she's inside she sits at the door crying to go outside and play with her new balls.


5. The 4th was one of the best 4th of July's I've ever had. I started the day off with a six mile run since the gym was closed and my pacing was AWESOME🙌 I didn't intend to run as fast as I did, but all my miles were 20-30 seconds faster than I planned on going. 


6. After running I had to make a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few things since my three best guy friends were coming over for a lake day. I picked up the usual BBQ items, beef burgers for the guys and turkey burgers for me. My friends and I aren't ones who drink a ton, but every now and then we like to have a few drinks. I picked up a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade and I didn't want any of the glass bottles to clink together and break on the way home so I strapped them in with a seatbelt. A guy next to me pulled in and was staring at me, but I didn't mind. Safety first right?!😂 And because I'm going to get hated on for sharing that I bought a case of alcohol I had ONE bottle of Mike's that's it. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with drinking in moderation. The last drink I had before that was in February.


7. The 4th of July wouldn't be complete without some time out on the water. We spent time teaching one of my friends how to wakeboard and then we went tubing. I'm not sure when I last had so much fun with my friends and just genuinely enjoyed the moment. I hardly touched my phone over the holiday weekend, but it was great. I enjoyed living in the moment and just being with my friends. These guys have been in my life for the majority of my life so just being able to hangout and enjoy each others company meant a lot to me, plus you're never too old to go tubing😃


8. Talk about the perfect ending to the perfect day. We watched an absolutely beautiful sunset over the lake at the end of the day. I couldn't have dreamed of a better weekend. Nothing beats being surrounded with amazing friends, laughter, making memories, and living in the moment. I live for days like these because those moments are the ones that make me happy whenever I think about them💜


9. Lastly I want to say a big THANK YOU for all the emails, instagram DMs, texts, etc. that I have gotten about my last post. It's never easy to be so open and vulnerable, but the amount of love I have gotten has been overwhelming. I am so incredibly thankful for the amazing community I have been able to connect with and the friendships that have been made. I didn't write this post for attention or any such reason, I wrote is simply because it was on my heart and I thought others could relate. There's so much stigma around mental health in the world and honestly it's really ridiculous. It's perfectly fine to say you're not ok. You are not forever stuck in a place of not being ok. I really do encourage you to talk to someone whether it be a friend, family member, or professional because keeping things bottled up is not good. I'm not a professional but I am always here if you want to talk so please do not hesitate to email me, I'd be happy to listen. 


I'm going to end things there, but have an amazing weekend and I hope you get to enjoy some beautiful summer weather☀️

Do you have any 4th of July traditions? What's your favorite way to spend a summer day?