Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Brooks to Asics...

Sunday afternoon Elle and I went to Fleet Feet to get myself a new pair of running shoes. I am a die hard Brooks girl and have been since I went and had my feet fitted for the RIGHT running shoe (if you run and have not done this - spend the money and do - life changer).

I have been running in Brooks for about 2 years now. I have also had nothing but the Brooks Adrenaline and love them. I am currently training for the marathon next week (eeek) and have noticed that I get bruised on my foot right where the laces sit - post-run, this bruising lasts for days. I mentioned this, along with the back left knee pain I get after longs runs to the woman who was assigned to help me. Apparently the toe box with the Brooks runs small and this can cause that bruising (ah ha...) - she checked my arch again and it is very high, I had yet to invest in the inserts... 

She came out with Brooks Trance for me to try first - it felt nice (and it felt good running in them) and with the new inserts it felt REALLY nice... then she did some contemplating with the other employees and brought out the Asics Kayano and slid them on my foot. They fit perfect and the toe box felt RIGHT - we put the inserts in and I did a little running. SOLD!!! They were not as clunky as the Brooks and for the shape of my foot it felt like I was running on air. 

Once we got the shoe in check, we then touched on my back knee pain and guess what? I need to roll. I have NEVER foam rolled or rolled anything - EVER... so I picked up The Orb Deep Tissue Massage Ball and have been rolling at night. It hurts so good;) 

I then proceeded to get some socks and this adorable Brooks "Run Happy" hat - I am a hat girl and I felt bad selling out to my Brooks so I had to invest in them a little;)

I am excited to run in the new shoes and to get myself used to the inserts. With my marathon being next week I am doing one run with the inserts, one without, and taking them OUT for my long runs and for the marathon, until I get used to them. The marathon is just too close to change things up that dramatically right now.

After we got home I found these beauties from Elle... My bay bay....




Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday 
I will be back on Monday for marathon week
  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Where you be at....

I joined a gym last Wednesday... I haven't been IN a gym since 2005ish. It used to be a part of our daily routine (pre-kids). Work, Work out, eat... It was just sort of a "part of our day" and I LOVED it. After kiddos, we bought all this equipment to make our basement a "gym" and it has been wonderful - honestly we use it all the time.

I love going down to my basement and getting my sweat on BUT... the temp is not right - it's hot in the summer, freezing in the winter, there is NO light, and then I saw spiders, a vole (google that sick thing), a mouse or two, and just about the time I was ready to give the basement one last chance, I noticed the big brights lights at the brand NEW gym next to Elle's dance school. SOLD...

Wednesday, K9Bish and I dropped the girls off at dance and walked in to sell our souls to the muscular people in the community;) Signed ourselves right up, made our appointments with the trainers, and hit the treadmill... It felt GOOD!!!


So I caught the gym bug... BAD... I missed having a place to go and workout/run. I missed being around other people who were there for the SAME reason. I missed the people watching. I missed the salty smell of sweat everywhere, germs flying around like mad. I MISSED THE GYM! So I took advantage this weekend and went EVERY SINGLE DAY. HA....

Last week's run schedule - all on the treadmill:
Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Friday - 5 miles
Saturday - 5 miles
Sunday - 12 miles

Total = 30 miles

I haven't incorporated any weight training yet - as I am tapering for the next few weeks before the marathon on December 7th. I have my appt on Wednesday morning with a trainer and they are going to "show me the ropes", then after the marathon I will be hitting up weight training again and I am VERY much looking forward to it.

P.S. - I bought new running shoes and they are NOT Brooks - post tomorrow on my shoe shopping experience and why I switched.

Happy Monday

How was your weekend? Gym goer? Any good booty moves for me?

Friday, November 22, 2013

30's are where it is at...

Look I am not shy about disclosing my age - I am 33 and although I could probably be some of your all's mom - the 30's are where it is at.


Here are a few things in my 30's that I have learned:

My kids are older. I did the baby stage and was home bound for years - now they are older they can go WITH me and/or are old enough that I "think" they can handle being at g-ma and g-pa's for a bit. Insert more freedom.

With age comes confidence (at least to me). Confidence in knowing who you align with, who you don't, where you want to go, etc... Making time for those that matter and things that matter - and realizing the other stuff is just "fluff".

Not letting things pass me by. If I want to do it - I am going to do it. I am only on this planet once and have come to realize - no one or nothing is going to stop me from being happy. I want to LIVE life and I will.

Wanting to give back. It wasn't until I hit my 30's that I realized how important it is to give back. Now I try to give back every chance I get.

Allowing myself to not "worry" about what other's think. I used to focus on this so much - now, as long as I am happy, my family is happy, and life is moving along swimmingly - I let it roll off. Everyone will have their own opinion and I believe it is ME who can allow their opinions to hurt me - I choose not to.

Standing up for myself. I use to shy away from confrontation - that changed after I had my children. I will fight for them and now I learned that I am worth fighting for too.

30's you get your MOJO back... you know what I am talking about;) well maybe that is just me.... HA

I am no longer the youngest in the work place - that boosts some confidence too.

I am an example for 2 little impressionable beings living in my household - my goal in life is to show them that life is good - make it what you will - be who you are - don't let life pass you by - be kind - be humble - and reach for the stars.


If you love Tarjay like the rest of us - get on over to check out Holly's give-a-way - who doesn't love $75.00 buckaroooos...

WEEKEND ON

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A little fashion... a lot of love...

Happy Thursday my loves....

You know I am NOT a fashion guru by ANY means, but I do love looking stellar... I tend to buy items that can be versatile for many occasions. For instance, a little black dress you can dress up, down, all around, etc...

You also know that I am a HUGE fan of Kiki La Rue, Sugar Love Boutique, Macy's, Nordstroms, etc... but I also love shopping online at ModCloth. So let's do a little shopping, Mel style...

Here we have a our staple dress - the Coach Tour Dress in Noir


Now let's accessorize... all from ModCloth


Bottom Middle: Whim and Vigor Scarf (wrap around your shoulders when cold)


You know me - I like it low key... Simple, Classy, yet Sassy... 


What are some staple items in your closet this fall? Any trends you are digging? Any you are NOT?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Randomville

Okay I am all over the place today - so this post will be too...

Go check out People today (like that isn't our first site we check each morning, duh?!?!?!)... Adam Levine is the Sexiest Man Alive... AND... your welcome... You know that term "some get better with age" - Beckham it is...


Are you wanting to, or are planning on running the GO St. Louis Halloween Run next fall - if so, save yourself some skrilla...


This.. .This is my new "go to" mascara. In love. period... Spend the moolah, get yourselves some... Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara. 


I am on the hunt for the families Christmas outfits. Elle is donzo (of course;)... I need the rest of us... I want to wear all cream... So here are some choices... This years theme shall be all cream and black... hahaha - who would of thunk it? LOL



Tonight I JOIN A GYM!!! Yes you heard that right... After the marathon I am back to lifting weights and hitting up the gym... 2014 shall be about toning up - not "muscle ball mama" - just soft muscle.. My love for running will continue but it's time to switch it up a bit... I "might" even enlist a trainer to teach me a few things... NOT!!! You know that isn't budgeted on the spreadsheet;) 

And... finally... want a good song to jam out to... *disclaimer: not for the faint of heart or ears...


Wednesday OUT
Go to a gym? T-Pain lovaaaa? Break it like Beckham?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vaseline is my friend... and marathon tips?

Well this post will be running related and if you are not into hearing about (@)(@)'s you might want to shy away... (no pictures so don't be alarmed...)


Flys in the vasoline, we are
Sometimes it blows my mind
Keep getting stuck here all the time


Not a Stone Temple Pilots fan? Oh I am.... STP FOREVA!

Low down... running past 13 miles has becomes my bbs worst enemy. I chafe like a MUG. I know everyone talks about the Body Glide, but if you know me - I never do what I am "supposed" to do.. I just "go with it". Right underneath where my bra sits, I get burned bad... and.. here is the kicker... wait for it... NIPS - they get rubbed RAW... and they hurt for like 2 weeks. So... being the rebel I am.. I used Vaseline - cheap, easy, and in my pantry...

Before my 20 miler this weekend, I took that stuff and slathered from head and toe and had ZERO chafing. WINNING!!! It worked. I can go to work and not walk around screaming "ahhh ewww ahhh" every time my bra touches what's underneath. Vaseline - the well versatile product...


On that note - I need marathon tips? Please, please, please... if you ran a marathon before or are versed in marathon tips - GIMME GIMME GIMME!!! I am getting my game plan together this week and need a few weeks to let it all sink in... Help a sista out? Please & Thank You.

P.S. if you are interested in a good linkup today - head over to Holly's page for her "Mom Fails" linkup... I know this is going to be a good one;)

Happy Tuesday (worst day of the week) - thought I wasn't going to say it, eh?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mice, Looms, 20 miles, and Betsy Freakin Homemaker...

Happy "week before Thanksgiving". If you don't know, I host Thanksgiving each year for around 30 people. Time to get my birds and booze;)

Weekend Recap...

Friday night...
I taught Elle to loom. Pulled the box out, read the directions, and wanted to put it in the trash - BUT... I kept at it. I made the first two - FAILED... they fell apart when I took them off the loom. The third one was a success. Using this hook to pull tiny rubber bands through one another - BARF... I taught Elle - and basically her last words were "so you are staying at the party to loom, right?". Both her and my attention spans are about ___ that big...


After cleaning up 7 gazillion rubber bands and hitting the loom against my counter multiple times - I had to stay up finishing a paper that was due on Saturday AND... take my midterm. Fun times...

Saturday...
Woke up bright and early and met Holly and K9Bish at Grants Trail for my big 20 miler. I had planned on doing 22 BUT... that was crazy talk... The first 15 miles felt great. I had plenty of water, my swedish fish fuel was kickin in nicely, conversation was fantastic, the weather was SUPERB... a tad bit cool and overcast, my body felt great... Mile 16-17 I got a second wind - I felt FANTASTIC so I played on how my body felt and sped up a bit - hey when it feels good - go with it, right? - but then I realized I was out of water and the drinking fountain to get water was about 1.5 miles away - so I booked it to fill up my bottle and guess what? The fountain was NOT WORKING... sooooo I knew.. here comes mile 18 and bam... the side cramps. I slowed A LOT, my sides ACHED, but I didn't stop.. I kept telling myself "2 more miles, 2 more miles". I was a thirsty camel with an aching rib cage - but I DIDN'T STOP - I MADE IT!!!! 20 miles and not ONE stop. Victory in my book;) I got to the car, drank my face off, and shoved a banana down my throat... 20 Miles - Run and Done...


I didn't have much time after the run - so I headed home hopped in the shower and got myself and Elle ready for the "rainbow loom" b-day party... I wanted comfort as my feet were tired. So I put on my favorite burgundy fleece leggings from Kiki La' Rue and my new tucker sweater from Sugar Love Boutique - bliss...


Grab the loom, Elle, and off we go... Get to the party.. walk in and guess what "NOT A LOOM PARTY"... Oh it's a fairy party - I have parties mixed up - the loom party is THIS weekend. So I have 9 girls and 4 parents asking me why I brought a loom? Awesome... #onlyme

Saturday night, off to the mouse races... What's a mouse race, right? Well, you bet on these little mice to run from one side of a board to another... anyone laughing yet... if you know me you might be... Corona Light and White Castle's were my best friend that night,,, and the 50 bucks I won from "Secteri-rat" during "mouse roulette" #winning!

Sunday...
I had envisioned waking up tired and super sore from the 20 miler - but I wasn't. My body felt good and my legs were NOT sore at all. Procompression socks FOR THE WIN! SO... I got in the Holiday spirit and put up some of the Christmas decorations, made homemade broccoli cheddar soup, and hung with the family all day. Here is sampling of the decorations - I am not done yet...


Weekend was good, productive... I am feeling more confident about the marathon in 3 weeks and I still am not into the looming. I might not be a craft mama - but I can make a mean meal. FOOOOOOD!!!

Monday Out
Holiday decorations up yet? Corona Light your go to? Runs this weekend?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five on Friday

I haven't linked up in a bit - so I think it is about time, and I miss Darci from The Good Life Blog... So here are five things this week...

One...
The kids sent off their lists to Santa this morning. It was so cute, until Elle couldn't find her black fur finger-less gloves AND... all went to hell from there. Yes we are STILL having clothing troubles even WITH an uniform. I was, however, so proud of Elle for printing her list on her own. She is growing up so fast. 


Two...
I went for the FIRST time EVER to have my makeup done. An opportunity came up and I jumped on it... a little too fast I must say. I came out looking like a needed ripped fishnets and my own standing room at a brothel. Not a fan. Not a fan. The left side is all natural - the right is hookie Mckhookerson. I mean I just don't wear THAT much eye make-up. Sorry the first pic is inside the second is outside lightening. BOO:(


Three...
Rainbow Looms - nuff said... Oh... FYI... I still don't have one yet. I told Elle I was on a mission this afternoon to get one and she responded "Your staying at the party to make these looms, right?". Like mother like daugther - NOT CRAFTY and dare I say, I have never been interested in being either.


Four...
Running. I am running the longest run of my LIFE tomorrow - I will IG it after;) @missmel_joy -  I love running.period. I love running for ME. It makes ME happy. It is a part of me that I know was meant to be. It can get tough training, it can take up a ton of time, but I do it because I love it - not because I get a medal at the end or to say "I ran a marathon" - but because I truly enjoy it.


Five...
Finishing up my mid-term and analysis paper. High Five for heading into the 5th week of my SECOND class in this masters program. I am doing this - I REALLY AM!!! School is Cool;)

For real - don't do this - it isn't cool... 

Now get to linking up with Darci... and have a great weekend...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Challenge to get "Real"...

Well.Well.Well... Erin from She's A Big Star has challenged us all (on twitter - what? you think I don't read every one's tweets - well I do... HA) to get real with our posts and you know I love a good challenge and some Erin... Mwah!!!

We all know the "getting to know me" posts, "questions and answers", etc... I am going to let you all in on a little secret about me and then I will give you the many example's of what I have done to portray this... feel free to chime in friends - as you all know... I AM HARD TO PLEASE...

Yes, I am hard to please - I don't make it easy on anyone when they come into my life. I have a HUGE heart and will be the FIRST person to tell you how wonderful you are, but... sometimes I forget that each person has their own way of expressing emotions and/or showing their feelings... AND that my way isn't always the "right" way.

Examples...

I received roses once and they came to me in a vase... they weren't in a box... Not a huge flower fan and if I do get flowers I like a box, so needless to say, I wasn't thrilled. Hard to please.

I ask for one thing - but mean another, just to see if you will "get it". Hard to please. 

His night of fun = the "mouse races", I want to turn the night into a casino filled hotel slagging extravagance. Hard to please. 

You want to invite me to your candle party to sit, sip wine, and girl talk, I want to show up, blow out the candles, and take everyone out for sushi. Hard to please. 

"Oh that looks good on you" while I am thinking "my left saddle bag hangs loose out the side of the shorts". Hard to please.

"Look at this green velour jump suit I got you from VS". I think I would of liked the hot pink one better or maybe something with less material. Hard to please.

You give too much, not enough, it's the wrong time, right time, not "my" right time, yada yada yada... I will admit it I AM HARD TO PLEASE... I need to learn to let go of this and just be happy with what is... but's its soooooooooo dang hard... I like roses in a box, sushi, non-revealing shorts, lingerie, and MY TIME!!!! See...

Okay being honest... I need to work on this - 2014 I will;) I am already making my resolutions - are you?

There you have it...

Thursday Out

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rainbow whaaaaaaaa?

I walk in the door on Saturday night, and sitting on the counter are two invitations to birthday parties for Elle to attend. The invites looked so sweet with cakes, fairies, balloons, etc... then I notice something on BOTH invitations... Not only are these just birthday parties thrown in the comfort of some one's home - with balloons, pizza, cake, etc... this is something called a "Rainbow Loom" party. A whaaaaaaaaa?

Okay I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I had learned about these "looms" a few weeks when I so graciously volunteered to help with Elle's Halloween party at school. Background: I get off work early the day before Halloween and head to Elle's school (in stilettos, a high waisted skirt, and a black blouse) to help all the teachers and "room mothers" put on a fun Halloween party for both kindergarten classrooms. They have stations sent up - bean bag toss, throw the ring around the witch hat, make a ghost out of tissue paper, etc... Guess which station Mrs. Black Sweater Stiletto Kotte gets? Oh the station where you put powdered sugar donuts on yarn and the kids limbo and try to eat the donut off the string without using their hands - fun? Mwah ha ha... Do you think my station was planned the minute I walked in the door - UM... HELLO??? Anywhooo... I had fun, Elle loved I was there, and yes I rocked the donut station in the stiletto's like this heel wearing mama should:) 

Back to the topic: at the party the kids had on these bracelets and/or necklaces. I told a few kids how cute they were and asked who made them - to each replied - duh, Mrs. Kotte - me! It's the "rainbow loom" - the whaaaaaaaaa? I let it go - later on that night I asked Elle about the "loom" and she said she heard of it but had no clue... So... here we sit... 2 weeks later, 2 invites in, and no loom? Guess what I will be doing during lunch - hunting down a dam* rainbow loom for her party this Saturday... and in the evenings I guess I will be teaching myself and ELLE how to use this darn thing. Oh... midterm you are going to have to wait - I have to learn to make a "Rainbow loom" ensemble. I heard Youtube is your best bet - WHAT? Ain't no-one got time for this... This is for the girl who STILL doesn't have her IPOD Shuffle set up... 

Guess what's on every one's Christmas list this year? I hope you like rubber band accessories!


Check it out HERE

Sianara
What the heck is this loom thing? Can I learn this in a day? Powdered sugar donut fan?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coming back from Cali...

It's Tuesday (the worst day of the week) and it holds true this week. I am SICK... like someone punched me in the sinuses sick. I can't breathe and it feels like 75 people are pushing on my chest. Fun I tell you...

I left for Cali last Wednesday and returned on Saturday. My flight was delayed so I didn't get in until midnight. Oh... and I got sick on Friday - so flying home with a head cold is probably in my top 3 HELL moments - right up there with birth and listening to people "baby talk".

San Diego is beautiful - I am not lying... not just beautiful - it feels like home to me. When I get there I feel a sense of peace and when I leave, I immediately go into depression (I am still there...). We stayed in Gaslamp this time and it was hopping... Wednesday evening was a "Meet and Greet" and then some shenanigans afterwards... Thursday and Friday were conferences all day - and I presented on Friday - went swimmingly. And those evenings - more shenanigans... Here are a few highlights...

We stayed at the Palomar Hotel   - it is a pet friendly, quaint, and unique hotel. It's fun to meet new friends in the uni-sex bathroom... Hey.Hey.Hey...

Hey boys and girls;)
San Diego view from my room at night
Meet and Greet attire on Wednesday night...
Day 1 of the conference in my fav Gemma Earrings from Kiki La'Rue
Oh hai... Pent House...
This was not our room, but we had a few conference goer friends who scored the Pent House - with 4 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, loft, kitchen, dining room, and living room for the TWO of them;) Of course you know we spent some "quality" time there - LOL...

You know I didn't leave Cali without a few purchases - insert new skirt... (earrings and bracelet not pictured;)
Honestly - I didn't go picture crazy this year... I was busy at the conference and the evenings came and went quickly. Here are few places we ate at along the trip...

Azul in La Jolla - dinner
Elephant & Castle Pub - lunch
de Medici - dinner
Cafe 21 - brunch
Saltbox - late night foods

With all the excitement, Friday I started feeling terrible by Saturday I was ILL. Flying home was horrendous and getting in around midnight - was not my idea of a good time. I also came home with this beauty... How? Who knows?



So I am back - under the weather - and missing the beautiful weather - but I missed my babies so much and I could not wait to snuggle their faces. I think they would like San Diego... I *might* be planning a summer trip there with everyone. It's time they learned to love the Salt Life like their mama...

Tuesday Out
How is everyone? What have I missed? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Outskeeeeeeez....

I am out... ready to hit up beautiful sunny San Diego - the "mothership" of the U.S. in my opinion. Beautiful... I am presenting at the conference and I adore public speaking - so really looking forward to it.


Yesterday, Christine reached out to Holly with this story and it tugged at my heart. I must share - please take a moment to read and visit the page...

A 4-year old girl, Jenna, went to preschool one day & was complaning of a stomach ache. They called her mom, Sheilah Readmond, because she lost motor function; long story short, they found out within a matter of hours that Jenna has a very progressive type of brain cancer. They are still in the testing phases, hoping to start treatment soon. This happened about 3 weeks ago; Jenna has been down in Grand Rapids (about 4 hours away) for most of those 3 weeks. She's continuing to have seizures, mostly under control for now, however the tumors are growing very quickly. You can read the full story & updates here:
 

I hope everyone has a great week and I will be back on Monday with the running link-up and details about my FIRST 20 miler... 

Surfs Up

Monday, November 4, 2013

18 Mile Run and POTM

Hey everyone - it's Monday and I am swimming upstream - so this will be quick. I have class tonight - just finished up mucho homework - and leave for San Diego Wednesday morning at 6:30 AM - my head is spinning...

First - I am going to make the POTM link-up for Mondays, starting next Monday... This week we only got in about 3 days so next week I will have it up and running. I will have the button made up and starting next Monday, November 11th - we can chit chat about our progress during Monica's  November "Pile on the Miles" challenge.

Second - I ran the longest I ran EVER in my life - 18 MILES - on Saturday morning. K9Bish and I met at one of our favorite trails at 5:00 AM - we started out in the dark for 2 hrs with nothing but her head lamp to give us any light. Yes... I might have thought sticks were snakes and screamed like a banche, Yes... we saw spiders flowing down from the trees, and Yes... I may have jumped at every sound around me. Here is the low down on the run. Mile 1-9 good easy pace - ate some Gu Chomps (mile 8) - mile 9-13 good easy pace - ate some Lemon Head and Friends (mile 13) - mile 14-16 good easy pace - mile 16-18 faster pace but my body was ACHING! I ran WITH my trusty hand held water bottle and it was perfect, I ate toast and a piece of fruit pre-run, and I DIDN'T STOP ONCE!!!!! I made it 18 miles - NO STOPPING!



I wore my procompression socks during my run and for recovery - it helped so much. FYI... the cute argyle one's are on sale 40 % off right now with the code NOV... I swear by them. I took a bath (still can't imagine an ice bath) and my legs,hips, and knees were feeling it by the end of the night - but today I sit here with no pain, except some bruising feeling in my feet, but I need new shoes... so that's my fault.

This weekend I have a 20 miler IN SAN DIEGO!!!! I mean come on - can it get any better than that;)

Third - speaking of San Diego - I leave bright and early on Wednesday - so I will be MIA on the blog Thursday and Friday - but I will be BACK next Monday for the link-up! You can keep track of me, if you so wish... on IG @missmel_joy

Monday OUT...

How is training going? Long run this weekend? Any San Diego peeps want to run 20 with me?

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Day After...

Halloween 2013 has come to a close. It was a good one filled with candy, craziness, a few melt-downs, and no school today, however I do have to work. Womp.Womp.Womp... So here a few pics to recap. Elle was supposed to be a witch - but then she wanted her hair like the girls in "Teen Beach Movie" so the hat wouldn't fit - she improvised. Wes was Superman - of course!!! He never stopped flying through the house - so I only got one pic of him. Lightening speed, I tell ya...






I hope you all had a great Halloween. Remember Pile on the Miles starts today... It's November, baby!!! I have a ton of catching up to do on emails, comments, etc... Bare with me... Hugs to you all...

Weekend ON