Five things Friday March 27

Today I’m linking up with Clare at www.fitting-it-all-in.com for Five Things Friday. What I’m sharing today are my five favorite pieces of running gear and five songs I’m liking this week.Five Things Friday Link Up via Fitting It All In My five favorite running accessories include: 2015-03-20 08.23.33 1. Garmin Forerunner 210 watch – It tracks my calories and pace, and keeps a history of all my runs so I can track my progress. I also like the white and green color. 2015-03-20 08.20.52 2. Brooks Ghost running shoes – I’ve worn this type of shoe for the past four years. I like that it has a wider toe box and has lots of cushion. 2015-03-20 08.25.13 3. Jelly Belly sports beans – These give me energy and are easy to stuff in a pocket. Plus they taste like candy! 2015-03-20 08.24.30 4. Brooks sleeves – I like the fact that these cover my arms when I’m chilly at the beginning of my run yet are easily removed once I warm up. I can just pull them down or off without having to stop and take off my armband holding my iPhone. 2015-03-20 08.21.23 5. Balega Hidden Comfort socks – These are super cushiony! And the five songs I’m liking this week are: 1. She Don’t Love You – Eric Paslay 2. Broken Together – Casting Crowns 3. I Lived – OneRepublic 4. Cuts Like a Knife – Bryan Adams 5. Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 What are some of your finds this Friday?

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Antiquing a flea market table

I recently purchased a not so cute looking half-moon shaped table at a local antique market. It was a light brownish-red shade of wood with a glass inset on the top with a brass colored or gold stripe surrounding it. It was only $40 so I picked it up to try my hand at chalk painting along with a crackle finish.

Here is what the table originally looked like. I forgot to take a picture before I started painting so took it as soon as I remembered.

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I failed to read the directions on the bottle of the Amy Howard Cracked Patina finish and would have saved myself some steps and some time if I had. I’ll explain that later.

My first step was painting the entire flea market table with Amy Howard Windsor chalk paint. I really liked this color and would like to one day find something to paint in this shade.

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After letting that dry for about an hour, I painted over that color with Amy Howard Linen chalk paint. Again I let that dry for about an hour before I put on a coat of the cracked patina finish.

2015-03-02 12.58.492015-03-02 13.56.02The owner of the shop where I bought the paint and crackling medium said I would be able to see it starting to crackle as it dried. Well that wasn’t happening so that’s when I decided to read the directions for the finish. I was supposed to put on the cracked patina, let it dry for 2-3 hours then paint with my first color. After letting that dry for about an hour then I could add my second color for a layered look.

So I let the crackling medium dry then painted with the Windsor (again), let that dry for an hour and painted with the Linen (again).

2015-03-02 15.39.562015-03-02 18.27.24This time I did see some type of crackling happening. I liked the way the old flea market table turned out although it’s not the type of crackled look I was envisioning. Still, I like it much better than before.

I searched Pinterest for some ideas on how to decorate the table and settled on a large glass jug with one floral piece in it, a custom made Landry Family tin sign, and a German weatherhouse like my grandmother had when I was a kid.

2015-03-10 07.30.43There’s also a bottom shelf to the table where I put a couple hardback books with an old wooden shoe mold on top of them.

I’m really liking the way it all turned out! Not bad for an ugly $40 flea market table!2015-03-25 10.51.262015-03-25 10.49.50

Linking up with:

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The Pin Junkie

WeekendBloggyReading

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Planning for summer 2015: Grand Canyon

WeekendBloggyReadingSince we finished our summer vacation last year, I’ve been thinking of where our family would go this year. Last year we spent a week in a gorgeous lakefront home in Lake Rabun, Ga., swimming, tubing, boating and hiking to waterfalls. It was wonderful and we were all in agreement that a trip to another lake house would be great. But I like to change things up a bit so I tossed around the idea of going to the beach in Destin, Fl. (which we’ve done many times), taking the kids to the Bahamas, visiting Disneyworld and Universal Studios in Orlando, or even Gatlinburg, Tn. When my husband suggested the Grand Canyon, I knew that was definitely our place this summer.

I love planning trips and got right to the task. My sweet 16-year-old daughter informed me that it’s much more fun when her cousins come with us on vacation so we extended an invite to my sister, her husband, her 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son. We also invited my mom and step-dad, so as of now the 10 of us are headed to Arizona for a week in July.

I always begin my planning process by choosing some accomodations. Since all the lodges at the Grand Canyon were already booked, I looked at nearby hotels. There were some hotels and they were okay but we usually prefer to stay in a modern and spacious 4 or 5 bedroom home where we can sit around to visit and talk, and cook and eat together.

I’ve been successful in the past on www.vrbo.com so I began my search there for this size home with certain amenities like a hot tub, internet, cable television and great views. There was nothing really near the Grand Canyon and there were a handful in the town of Williams which is about an hour away. Flagstaff and Sedona, both about two hours from the Grand Canyon, were options as well. Once I researched each of these cities, I quickly realized the red rock views in Sedona were just what I was looking for. Luckily, everyone in the group felt the same way so I was able to narrow down my search to that area.

I found a few available homes on that site however we chose to go with a 5 bedroom rental named “Sedona Hideaway” through Red Rock Realty in Sedona. The home is located on 2.5 acres and has views of Chimney and Lizard Head Rocks as well as Boynton Canyon. It contains walking paths along the property and features a hot tub and several outdoor patio and seating areas. The kitchen includes modern appliances and the living room has comfy leather sofas and a large screen television with surround sound.

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Now that I’ve found us a place to stay I’m in the process of planning our activities.  The problem is that there is so much to do and see that I’m not sure we’ll be able to fit it in. My husband, kids and I are flying into Phoenix on a Friday and staying at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort. It has a waterpark and looks like it will be fun for the kids. My sister and her family as well as my mom and stepdad have decided they are driving (21 hours!) and will meet us in Sedona on Saturday.

Sunday – I’m figuring that after two full days of driving they will be ready to relax so Sunday may just be hanging out at the house and whoever is interested can go out and about exploring. I want to tour a Hopi Indian Reservation with a guide so if no one else interested in this – may choose this day for that. If not, will do later in week.

Monday – Grand Canyon. Drive around the south rim, walk a few trails, stop to take photos, eat picnic lunch and possible dinner at El Tovar lodge if I’m able to get reservations. I’d also like to see the sunset as I’ve heard it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before so I’m in the process of finding the best spot for that – maybe Yavapai Point. I’d also like to do a half-day Colorado River float so am contemplating coming back another day to do that.

slide rock

Tuesday  – Sedona. Hiking at Devil’s Bridge, Doe Mountain, Fay Canyon or any other of the red rock country trails. Swimming at Slide Rock State Park where the rocks form a natural water slide! Maybe Pink Jeep tour in the afternoon or horseback riding.

lake powell

Wednesday – Lake Powell. We’ve rented a 44′ pontoon boat with water slide and bathroom aboard to spend the day out on the lake. We are considering renting a powerboat and tube for a few hours to pull the kids.

Thursday – Jerome. Visit what is know as America’s largest ghost town and have lunch there. Then go on an African bush safari at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in nearby Cape Verde.

Friday – Sedona hiking and sightseeing again or back to Grand Canyon for the half-day float trip. If everyone is interested, this could be day we do Hopi Indian Reservation with tour guide.

Saturday – Head home.

Seems like a busy trip! I’m really excited though and hope to get to do most of these things.

 

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Five finds Friday

Today I am linking up with Clare at www.fitting-in-all-in.com for “Five Things Friday.”Five Things Friday Link Up via Fitting It All InMy five things today will be five races I would like to do by next year at this time. These include:

1. Great Smoky Mountains half marathon on September 12. My birthday is September 15 and I think this would be a great way to celebrate. The course runs through the woods just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It begins near in the Hubbard Community outside Maryville and ends at the visitors center in Townsend. There is a 364 foot elevation gain on this course and that’s what concerns me!

2. Cajun Cup 10k in Lafayette, La. held annually either the first or second Saturday in November. I couldn’t find the date for this year’s race but this is one that I do every year since it’s local.

3. Kaiser Realty Coastal half marathon and 5k held on November 28 in Orange Beach, Al. I’m always up for a beach trip and this one is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving so it’s a great way to burn off those extra calories. My kids won’t have school so we can make it a long weekend for the family. This course winds along paved trails in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and the Gulf State Park “back-country.” All but one-third mile is along the back-country paved trail system.

4. I’m thinking of doing another marathon and the one I’m considering is the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 17, 2016. I’ve checked out their website and think you may need to qualify to register so might have to come up with a Plan B for a marathon. Definitely somewhere out of state.

5. Zydeco half in Lafayette, La. in March 2016 because I had such fun at the one I ran last Sunday.635616948535535845

 

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Zydeco half-marathon = mission accomplished

After all the obsessing I did over the weather last week, it turned out to be a great day for a race. It did not rain and the temperature was in the 50s. I liked the fact that there were aid stations and water stops at nearly every mile, plenty of bathroom stops and lots of people cheering along the course. For me, seeing people along the course is a great distraction!

For my pre-race dinner, I cooked shrimp scampi since it’s a light sauce but is still pasta. I was also concerned about having to wake up so early the morning of the time change so I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. I was actually tired and surprisingly slept until my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. (which was really 3:45 if the time had not changed).

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I got up, drank a half a cup of coffee then ate a banana and half of a bagel with peanut butter. I had picked out my outfit the night before and had even attached my race bib to my shirt, so getting dressed didn’t take much time. After I dressed, I decided my aqua and orange shirt did not match my red headband so I changed into a green shirt. I put on some sunscreen and a little bit of makeup (I wanted to look somewhat cute in my race pics!), used the bathroom, brushed my teeth and left home for 6 a.m.

Once I got to the starting area for the race, I met up with my Training Wheels boot camp group (there were about 50 of us!) and we took a quick picture before heading to our race corrals. Nicole (my friend I trained with for the half) and I decided we should use the bathroom before beginning the race so went to the back of a really long line – there were about 20 people ahead of us. We were still in line when they sang the national anthem and announced the start of the race. I was going into panic mode because I thought we were going to be late to the start, however, we were in the 10 to 11 minute group so made it to our corral in time.

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The energy we had was amazing and we just cruised along with no problem – talking, laughing and running. We actually started off quicker than I thought we would and I worried that we may have gone out too fast but it all worked out. Our breakdown each mile was:

Mile 1 – 9:59

Mile 2 – 10:08

Mile 3 – 10:08

Mile 4 – 9:55

Mile 5 – 9:54

Mile 6 – 12:46 (bathroom break and there was a line)

Mile 7 – 9:39 (had to make up time we lost for bathroom break!!)

Mile 8 – 10:08

Mile 9 – 10:11

Mile 10 – 10:18

Mile 11 – 10:29

Mile 12 – 10:31

Mile 13 to 13.1 – 10:36

Looking at those stats, I’m thinking next half I train for I would like to do a couple more longer runs to try and maintain a pace closer to a 10 minute mile.

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Smiling for the camera!

 

 

 

My husband was there around mile 7 to cheer for me along with other members of the Training Wheels group who were not running the race.

Crossing finish line - don't think I saw that camera!

Crossing finish line

Once I crossed the finish line and posed for a couple pics we headed to the after race party where I ate a bowl of jambalaya and drank a beer before heading home.

Me and Nicole right after finishing.

Me and Nicole right after finishing.

Another post race pic

Another post race pic

 

It was also my son’s 14th birthday so we took him to eat hibachi then had red velvet cake! Great ending to a great day!

 

Post race and birthday celebration

Post race and birthday celebration

Happy Birthday Justin!

Happy Birthday Justin!

 

 

 

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Zydeco half-marathon: The week before

This has been an easy week as far as my running is concerned. I’ve only run twice – 3.5 miles Monday and three miles Tuesday. I was only supposed to run two miles Tuesday, however I had really bad shin splints for those two miles. I was wearing a pair of shoes I bought a couple weeks ago so I decided to change into my older pair and run an extra mile to see how that would go. No problems with those shoes. Although they are both Brooks Ghost 7’s, I guess the newer ones are just not broken in yet. Therefore, I will be wearing my older pair Sunday.

I’ve also been obsessed with the weather forecast this week. To be honest, I’ve been checking it at least four or five times per day. And I started checking it Sunday! It’s gone from 100 percent chance of rain to 20 percent to 90 percent to 60 percent and now back to 20 percent. Temperatures will be anywhere between 40 and 60 degrees.

Just to be safe, I bought myself a windproof/waterproof jacket. I also researched tips for running in the rain and found some useful information. Just as when you sweat you will experience chafing and blistering, the same will happen with moisture from the rain.

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Some tips I found useful were:

1 – Coat your entire body in Aquaphor. This includes your feet, even between your toes, and anywhere else your clothing rubs and blisters you.  This could be the band of your sports bra or, if you’re wearing shorts, where your shorts end.

2 – Bring extra pairs of socks with you to change out of if your feet get too wet. This is helpful especially if the temperature is chilly.

3 – Protect your phone if you will be using it for music. Rain canget into the phone from the headphone opening even if it’s in a case. Wrap it in a Ziploc bag, seal it then place it in another Ziploc bag with the seal on the opposite side. Seal that bag and place it into your armband case. (Not sure if this works but I will try it).

4 – Bring dry clothes to change into after the race. This one seems most important to me.

So, I’ve got my new jacket, some Aquaphor lotion, a pack of sports beans and a new pair of socks! I think I’m ready. I’ll let you know next week how the race goes!

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