Friday, December 12, 2014

0 comments

What I Wore {post 59}

Hey hey Happy Friday!  Time for a what I wore!  

* Bold Print Shirt & Navy Pencil Skirt *

Hellooooo outlets!  I bought this bold printed blouse at a clearance sale at the NY & Co. outlet a few months ago.  I loved the print and I loved the under $10 price.  It looked super cute with a navy suit skirt I already owned.


* Emerald Printed Top, White Cardigan, Black Pants *

Here's another outlet find.  I got this top (which is an emerald sleeveless shirt with white pictures of Parisian scenes) from the Banana Republic Outlet for about $7.  I paired it with a lightweight white cardigan and black pants.  And a new Dalmatian print belt (banana outlet $11).


* Black Peplum Top & Burberry Skirt *

You've seen these pieces in prior What I Wore posts.  I wore them together recently.  This skirt is my favorite.  Amy has one very similar so I either text her that I'm wearing it or clench my teeth and hope she doesn't show up wearing the same thing when I wear it.  I paired it with my black peplum top for a feminine look.  And my black patent mary janes topped off the outfit.


Have a great weekend of merry making and yuletide cheer!  I'll be with my kiddos ice skating, watching the Nutcracker and soaking up as much holiday magic as possible.

See you swoon,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

0 comments

Stairwell Gallery: Done!

Another project in the books! This one is my stairwell gallery.  I am so happy with the end result!  I started this project a few months ago and posted about my initial progress here.  I had all of my frames in place and needed to fill them with photos, prints and kids' artwork.  It took a little while, but I finally did it.


Normally I gravitate toward black and white photos, but in this case I felt color photos and prints was important because of the wall color.  The wall color in my house is white but with very prominent blue undertones.  So, the walls look almost blue.  But a sad depressing blue.  It *kills* me that this awful color is all over the house.  And rather than spend the time and money repainting it, I figured I would try to work with it and at least minimize it.  I knew if I used black and white photos, the blue would look even bluer.  But if I added pops of color, it might make the wall read a bit more white than blue.  I think it worked!

I apologize for the iPhone photos, but that's how I am rolling lately.  Here are some of the other walls. 

First, the lower wall.  I used a mix of photos, paintings, prints and kids' artwork.  I tried to keep a unified color scheme, and coral, yellow and pink seemed best.  


I even made my own new art.  Just some simple brushstrokes on canvas. Easy and inexpensive. 


This is the lowest wall.  I had my Ironman medal, race number and photos professionally framed. I am so glad I did (but wow it was a splurge).  I also have a multi-photo frame and a framed picture that Little Girl made.  I love it all.  




Finally, the upstairs wall is a mix of more coral, gold, turquoise and pink.  I did another mix of photos, prints, art and in this case mirrors.  I love walking up the stairs and checking out my hard work.  


Yes! Done!  And with that, I've completed almost all of my 2014 Home Resolutions!  A big recap post is on the way soon.  

See you swoon

Monday, December 8, 2014

1 comments

Happy Birthday Dear Shanna ...

Happy Birthday to me.

Today is my 39th birthday.!?!!..

I'm not really sure how to punctuate the sentence, so I struck it all out.  A lot of attention is paid to the milestone birthdays: 30, 40, 50, etc., but I think the 9s are much more emotional.  There is something about knowing that you are in your last year of a decade that is a mix of bittersweet, excitement, anxiety and trepidation.  You have not yet left the decade so there is still time to accomplish whatever you think you need to accomplish before moving on to the next phase of life.  That is a hell of a lot of pressure.  And when I look back at my 30s and what has gone down in the last decade, I can't say I didn't squeeze every last bit of life out of my 30s:  I birthed two beautiful, amazing children; I became an Ironman; I qualified for the Boston Marathon; I came into my own at work; I turned a corner in my life toward true happiness.  What more can I do in one year to cap off the 30s?

Honestly, I don't know. And for the first time in my life, I'm not going to try to guess.  Instead, I'm going to take lessons from my little kid self and make her proud in my last year of my 30s.

Try New Things

I'd like to try something new in 2015 before I turn 40.  Yoga? Hiking? Snowboarding? Hip Hop dance lessons? Disco? Tango? Sailing?  I don't know.  But I want to open myself up to a new experience and new adventure.  Much like I was doing with my little plastic rolling horse.  Giddy yup. 


Laugh More Belly Laughs

Need I say more?  I look at these pictures of myself having real, true belly laughs and honest to goodness smiles and it's contagious.  I want to laugh more, laugh harder and laugh longer.  And try really hard not to pee my pants while doing so.  



Do Not Settle

I like who I am and I'm not going to settle.  That is so easy to say.  But I've come to realize (and it's been reinforced by friends who love me), that I should never, ever, settle in life.  Much like I didn't like the blue dress or the white purse in these pictures, I promise that I'm not going to settle for second rate anything in my life.  



Feel all of the Feels

I have a predilection for minimizing my own feelings at times.  When I'm upset or mad or sad or angry, I tend to hide that and put on a smile and motor on and let the world and those around me think that everything! is! awesome! when it is really not awesome at all.  I want to be more real with how I am feeling, ask for help and let more people in when things are not awesome or wonderful.  


Rest

I need more rest.  More down time.  I tend to GO GO GO GO GO until I crash and burn and the crashing and burning is pretty epic. I'd like to just take it easy a bit more.  There is part of me that needs to be doing something productive at all times, and frankly, it is a big part of who I am.  But I also think I need to take some time where I just don't do a darn thing and enjoy the blissful experience of rest and doing nothing.  


Be Bold

I want to make my inner Wonder Woman proud and to speak up and be bold and ask for what I want and do what I want.  Life is way too short to sit by idly waiting for things to happen.  I'll rustle up my golden lasso and invisible jet and make things happen for myself.  


Dance and Be Joyful

I grew up dancing to ABBA and other similarly awesome music, and I continue to do so.  Life can be hard and challenging and sad and rough, but through it all, I want to remember the joy in it.  I want to remember what it felt like to twirl around in ballet shoes to "Chiquitita" or to run in a circle to "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)".  And while I can't say I'll be donning my ballet shoes and leotard and jamming out to ABBA in my living room (though, if I'm being honest, that sounds pretty amazing), I can recall that joy I felt when I used to dance around and be mindful of incorporating that kind of emotion in my life.  Joy should not be left to children alone.  I want to experience more joy in my life. 


So there it is - a happy birthday wish to myself.  I have plans with friends, dinner with my babies at the hibachi grill (their choice) and definitely some cake.  Life keeps getting better and sweeter with each passing year.  Here's to another! 

See you swoon,

Monday, December 1, 2014

0 comments

Race Recap: 2014 Philadelphia Marathon

Hello!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And week before Thanksgiving.  Today I'm recapping the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon!  I paced my friend of 33 years - Heather.  She did it!  


I wanted to recap this race last week.  I hadn't planned on taking a week off of the blog, but a funny thing happened after I ran the Philadelphia Marathon last Sunday: my body completely shut down.  As in ... shut the heck down.  Over and out.  No fighting.  Just shut down.  I am usually the Energizer Bunny, but this is what happened:


I guess once I crossed that finish line, I knew that all my goals were met and I could finally rest. Ironman? Check.  BQ? Check.  Pace Heather at Philly? Check.  A few days at home with my family made me feel so much better.

And now I can recap the race!

I've watched Heather as she began running years ago.  She started with the couch to 5k program.  And then ran her 5k.  She decided at that 5k that the next year she would do the half marathon at that same race.  And she did.  She's gotten faster and stronger and has fallen more and more in love with running as the years went on.  She and I talk often (and a bunch about running of course) and she was toying with the idea of doing a full marathon. We agreed that for her first full, I would run with her on race day.  I helped her develop a training plan that was about 4-5 days of running per week: one long run, one day of speedwork and some other runs in between.  We also decided to adopt the Ironman marathon training plan that my coach used: rather than run the whole thing, we would do 9 minutes running/1 minute walking repeat.  Heather trained for months and come race day, she was ready.  And so was I!


Race day weather was picture perfect, especially for late November. It was in the upper 30s at the start at 7:00 am, and gradually warmed to the mid-50s later in the race.  Sunny but not hot.  No wind.  No rain.  A runner's dream.  

We got to the start pretty early (but that's better than the alternative) and used the bathroom in the Four Seasons for a bit.  Around 6, we worked our way to the start and found our corral.  We had some time to kill, so we do what runners do: we found the porta-potties and got in line.  The porta-potties said to make a line in front of each unit, but the people in line did not do that and had created this long snakelike line.  The women next to us decided to go rogue and start our own line, arguing (with good reason) that if we actually paid attention to the signs and made lines in front of each unit, the lines would move faster.  We followed those rogue women and used the porta-potty after them.  Yes. 

We got in our corral and waited and waited and waited.  Finally, the gun went off at 7:00 am.  We finally hit the starting mat around 7:15.  And we were off!  

The first few miles were pretty non-eventful.  We took it nice and easy and controlled in the beginning, which is always difficult.  We agreed to stop at the second sets of porta-potties,  Unfortunately, the line for these was pretty long, but it moved quickly.

With that out of the way, we ran/walk/repeated for a few more miles.  On South Street, some guy with an enormous American flag passed us. It was surreal because the flag was waving all over us.  We were like ok dude, it's cool that you're running with a flag, but the flag is invading our personal running space.

We were really looking forward to mile 7 on 16th & Chestnut Street, as Heather's family was there.  Unfortunately, we were looking on the wrong side of the street for them and because of how busy that area is with spectators, we missed them entirely.  We were both pretty bummed, but my boss/friend Sandy was waiting at 19th & Chestnut Street, and we easily spotted him.  His high five gave Heather a huge boost.

After Chestnut Street, we hit 34th, which is around Drexel University. This area is a lot of fun: tons of college kids are out cheering (and drinking ... and offering drinks to runners).  It's also a pretty prolonged but not too steep hill.  And it is also the scene of what I like to refer to as Bonk Breaker Gate.

Heather's choice of fuel for her long runs is a Bonk Breaker, which is a bar.  Heather had cut her Bonk Breaker into small pieces and had cut just enough for the race.  I could use words, but I like pictures.  Here's what went down. 

First, I heard Heather say "ARE YOU SERIOUS."


I turn around and see what happened.  The Bonk Breaker was in the middle of 34th Street because some dumb woman bumped into Heather and knocked it from her hand.  Imagine the below is on the street.  


The woman who bumped into Heather was all ...


And Heather was like ...


And I was like ... 


The offender ran away but Heather really wanted to do this.  


Snafu aside, we had a real problem.  Heather had just enough food for the run, and when the woman knocked that piece out of her hand, she was one 100 calorie bite short.  Not good.  We agreed that she should keep eating and at the end, we would deal with the nutrition. We said bad things about the woman who knocked the bar out of her hand too.

We knew at this point that at mile 10, once we got to the top of the huge hill by the Please Touch Museum, that we would see Amy and Bill, who were volunteering at the water stop up there.  We saw them ... and they were another huge boost to Heather.  Amy jumped up and down so we could see them, and Bill ran along side of us for a little bit and it was funny and fun.  Bill and Amy later showed up at the finish line with Sprites for us.  Yes! And thank you - we didn't even ask for the Sprites.  I am blessed with great friends.


After the water stop, we were nearing the half way point.  We found Heather's family, which she absolutely needed. Her kids were so excited to see her and she was so excited to see them.  We stopped a moment and then ran past and headed out on Kelly Drive for the second half of the race.  About a mile on Kelly, her dad and step-mom were there cheering for us, which was a huge surprise!

We saw some amazingly funny signs at this race.  My absolute favorite was this one:


I saw it and was like ZOMG I LOVE IT.  It literally took all of my self-control not to steal that sign.  So clever. So cute.  So kitten.  There were also a ton of pictures of just cats.  I liked them too.  Some other signs that I enjoyed:

* You're my heroine. And by heroine I mean inspiring woman, not that I want to inject you and then listen to jazz

* Smile if you're not wearing underwear (with a pair of enormous cheetah print underwear tacked to the sign)

* Tired? Blame Obama.

The miles on Kelly ticked off pretty fast, just as they always do.  We hit my least favorite part of the race - the weird out and back on the Falls Bridge. Heather didn't mind it that much.  I did.  The best part of this segment was the music that was playing - Will Smith and House of Pain.  Thank you!

Heather and I headed into Manayunk and she was struggling a bit.  We talked about what was happening, and I suspected she needed some food.  As usual, the folks in Manayunk were handing out oranges.  Heather took one and instantly perked up.  We grabbed more and she felt a lot better.  The oranges gave her fuel and boosted her blood sugar a bit.  That was just what she needed.  

Once we got out of Manayunk, it was the usual four mile slog back to the end.  I have to say - this went so fast!  I was really surprised.  We were walking a bit more, so I made up for it by having us run longer intervals.  When Heather was running, she was nice and strong, so I rationalized that the running would be fine.  

At some point around mile 24, a woman was there alone with a cow bell.  A little down the road, a group of women were cheering.  One said, "You get a medal! You get a medal! You get a medal!" a la Oprah and the cars:

On an otherwise very quiet part of the course, this was such a huge boost.  We finally hit mile 25.  I knew at that point that things would turn around fast.  Heather was feeling just like you should at mile 25: tired.  She said she just wanted to finish strong and happy.  I knew she would ... we just had to get closer.  We saw Boathouse Row and then the crowds picked up.  We finally hit the Art Museum and then could hear and then see the finish line.   



Heather's entire face changed and the tears started.  She increased her pace to the mid 9:00s and beamed and smiled through that finish line.   Our final time was 5:28:19.  




Her family was so proud.


With good reason!  She did it! 


Running by her side for 26.2 miles was amazing.  It was truly inspiring and wonderful to be with someone as she reached her dreams and did something that she once thought was impossible.  I was, and am, so proud.  


We went through so many emotions and moments on that race - highs like the start and the finish, lows like Bonk Breaker Gate and Manayunk ... and every mile and every step in between.  We laughed and cried together.  We yelled at each other (in an encouraging way).  We struggled and persevered.  And in the end, we did it and crossed the finish line side by side.

Heather is still on a high from the race and is super happy and proud of her experience there.  I hope that whenever life gets lifey and hard, she can look back to that day and remember that she can, and will, do anything.  I am so, so proud of my friend.  

See you swoon,

Friday, November 21, 2014

0 comments

What I Wore {post 58}


Hooray for Friday!  Hooray for marathon weekend! Hooray for the last weekend before Thanksgiving! Hooray for an Ironman Lake Placid Camp happy hours where I get to see my camp friends and coaches over many beers and treats!  Look at me getting all baby deer on you.  Here are a few recent outfits to celebrate cooler temps and fun weekend plans.  

* Flannel Shirt, Black Sweater, Skinny Jeans *

I wore this to work on a casual Friday.  The flannel is just a regular flannel shirt from LL Bean.  I hated the fit, but I loved the print, so I bought it and took it to a tailor who made it much more fitted and flattering and not lumberjack.  I wore it with a fitted black sweater, my skinny jeans and riding boots.  Oh and a fun statement necklace.  I liked this outfit a lot.


* Mustard Dress, Navy Cardigan, Fuchsia Tights *

This outfit was a bit of a risk and I ultimately loved it.  I wore my mustard knit Anthropologie dress from a few years ago.  I regret not buying this a size down. It's a small and I am most certainly an extra-small in it.  I make do by layering.  This time, I wore my navy blue cardigan (the $5 steal from the Gap outlet) with a brown belt and fuchsia tights and my brown riding boots.  A very fun Fall outfit.


* Red Wrap Dress *

I am pretty sure I've shared this on the blog in the past, but t's a favorite.  And so easy and simple.  I just wore my red wrap dress with my nude patent heels and a long chunky gold necklace.


Done!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  

See you swoon,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

© 2010-2013 Swoon Style and Home. All Rights Reserved. | Custom Blog Design By Penny Lane Designs