August 2, 2015

Super Simple Starfish Bunting

Somehow today, I managed to find the few moments I needed to put together this project that I been planning for a couple of months now. I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long to do it. Writing about this project will take longer than actually completing the project did. Actually, I think waiting for the glue gun to heat up was the longest part of the entire project!

Besides being super quick and easy, the cool thing about this project was that I already had everything that I needed for it.

Here's what I used:

-About a foot and a half of a thicker jute*
-8 four inch pieces of thin jute (or 2 for each starfish)
-4 starfish
-Glue gun
-Command strip hooks
 *I only needed about a foot and a half of the thicker jute because of the width of the window I was going to hang this bunting from. If I had more starfish and space, I obviously would have made it longer, so you would have to personalize the measurements to your specific space.

I started by cutting about 4 inches of the thinner jute. My starfish were relatively small, so I ended up trimming a lot of extra jute off at the end, but having the extra length just made it easier to work with. I put a strip of glue along one of the arms of the starfish and just started wrapping the jute around the arm until it looked and felt the way I wanted it to.

Then I put another strip of glue along the same arm over the jute I had just wrapped, and laid a new piece of jute straight across the length of the arm. I added more glue to the top if it just to give it extra hold.

I tried to do one a little differently bu laying the straight string first, but surprisingly, the hold wasn't as good, so I continued on with my original pattern. You might want to play around with it and see what works best for you.
After those all dried, I took the other end of the string and tied it to my thicker length of jute. You can be precise about it, but I didn't really feel the need to be. My starfish ended up pretty evenly spaced anyway!

Once that was finished, I snipped off all of the loose ends on the ties. Then I made loops on either end of the long jute, hooked them around my command hooks, and hung those hooks to the back of the window frame I decided to hang it from.

Voila! Super easy, super fast, super cute!

Little Mermaid Running Costume

Now that I have established my love/hate relationship with running, I fell compelled to inform you of my love/LOVE relationship with Disney. I've always liked Disney. I grew up watching the movies, I knew all of the words to all of the songs, and as a So Cal kid, I had my fair share of Disneyland trips.

Then I married into a Disney family, got an annual pass, and now I think it's fair to say that I'm obsessed with Disney. But you'll hear more about that later.

This year I discovered something as my two worlds collided... Disney races!

In January, I did the inaugural Star Wars 10k with my brother.
My daughter even ran the kids race later that morning.

 It was a really fun day, and it got me all sorts of excited to participate in even more Disney races.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to Disney races. Two pretty major cons, actually. First of all, the races are relatively expensive. And as if the entrance fee itself weren't expensive enough, the races start at 5:30 am, so unless you live really close by or don't mind waking up at like, 3:00 am, you would probably want a hotel room. Also, the registration doesn't include park entrance, or even a discount, so if you wanted to go into the parks, you would also have to purchase a ticket. All that adds up quickly.

Second, they're amazing. That, in and of itself is not a con. But because they are so amazing, they are wildly popular and they sell out quickly. The shorter races like the 5 and 10k's usually sell out within an hour. They're are challenges which (on the West Coast) combine the 10k and the half marathon. So also sell out within the first day. Race registration opens up on Tuesdays at 9:00am Pacific Standard Time. That means you should know what race you're going to run, have you're account info ready, and be sitting a computer with high speed internet and the rundisney website open at 8:55. I am not exaggerating. Side note: During the last Disney race I tried to sign my family up for, I was in the website and logged in to by 8:58. I signed myself up, my husband up, and my daughter up, in that order. By 9:08, I went to sign my son up for his kids race. It put me on hold, but said not to worry, being on hold doesn't mean it's sold out, spots could still be open. I sat and refreshed and tried over and over, as the website instructed, but I was still on hold. It opened up for a second and I jumped at the opportunity, but before I could even submit his info, the screen changed. The race had officially sold out. Within a half hour... the kids race! 

That being said, as soon as my first Disney race ended, I knew I wanted to do the next one. The next one happened to be the Tinkerbell race in May, during Mother's Day weekend. And of course, it had already sold out. Then I learned there were still openings through various charities that participate in the races. I decided to run the Half Marathon for the Special Olympics of Southern California, and I became part of an awesome group that fundraises for the SOSC.
Keeping in Disney race tradition, I dressed up in a race "costume." Even though a large majority of the runners dressed at Tinkerbell and other fairies, I had been dying to dress up as Ariel. So I did. :)
Some people like to dress in actual costumes. I like to err on the side of comfort while I run. Especially in longer races. So I opted out of a mermaid tail. Instead I went for green compression socks, a green Sparkle Athletic skirt, and a purple tank top from Target. My mom helped me add some leftover sparkly fabric to the top to form clam shells. Then I painted a couple of starfish, stuck one between my clam shells, and the other on a clip to put in my hair. Easy!

As you can tell from the pictures above, the weight of the ensemble made the clam shells start to droop a bit throughout the run. Fortunately, my boobs do not reside in the middle of my stomach. But other than that, I got a lot of compliments and I loved my outfit!

Some perks along the way:
*Start line anticipation! It's one of my favorite things about racing, and Disney does it better than   
anyone. Fireworks, cheering, Mickey and Minnie...
*Captain Hook giving out hook bumps (like fist bumps) along the course.
*Running through the castle decorated for the Diamond Anniversary celebration.
*Tinkerbell sighting (no time to stop for pictures, I'm not fast enough to make up that time!)
*Brian catching me and giving me a mental health boost along the 7th mile!
*A couple of little kids throwing pixie dust on people... adorable and the only time I will ever enjoy someone throwing glitter at me!
 *High five from Mickey at the finish line!
*Breakfast with Goofy immediately following the finish!

It was such a fun morning and I'm gearing up to run my next Disney race in about a month. I will be doing the Dumbo Double Dare- 10k on Saturday and a half on Sunday- that means 2 costumes! Stay tuned!

August 1, 2015

My Love/Hate Relationship

This is my first post on this blog and I'm just going to jump right in with a quick back story. 

A couple of years ago, I was in really good shape. Not like, amazing shape, but good shape. As an example, that January, I decided to run the LA marathon in March. Then I proceeded to not train. And then I ran it. Well, I didn't run the entire way. I walked a great deal of it. I'll save myself the embarrassment of posting my finish time. But I finished it. And, I wasn't even last. <--Those were my two goals, by the way. :)  I also completed my first half and my first (and only) triathlon, all within a couple of months of each other, all without any sort of training aside from the group exercise classes I was taking at the time.

Then I got married, had two babies, and spent the next 3 or so years watching a lot of Netflix and cuddling.

At the beginning of this year, I decided 2015 is the year of running. The first half of the year was dedicated to running. Nothing major. A couple of 10k's, a handful of 5k's. But I was running almost every day at work, racing about twice a month. and feeling like I was getting back to normal.

The thing is... I HATE running. I hate being out of breath, I hate feeling my butt cheeks jiggle every time I take a step (TMI, but true, sorry!), I hate cramping up.

But I love it. I love how accomplished I feel once I've reached my goal, I love the anticipation on the morning of a race, I love the comradery between runners.

I unofficially took the summer off from running. I didn't consciously make that decision, it just sort of happened. You know, being off of work (and the track), 90+ degree heat, vacations, kids at home, lots of work being done on the house- it all just didn't make for the perfect running environment. And of course, I HATE running. So there's that.

But school is starting again soon. And my next race is coming up in about a month...