Bucket List Update: Marathon. Check.

I’m a little late here but… I’m officially a finisher of the Chicago Marathon!

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Pardon my language, but I made that 26.2 miles my bitch! It’s not like I posted a record time or anything, but I ran every step of it (OK, maybe you could argue that I had to walk through some of the hydration stations, but whatever) and came in 10 minutes faster than my goal time. And most people say for your first marathon, your goal should really just be to finish. Well, done and done.

I guess those four-plus months of training paid off because I also wasn’t very sore in the days after. (I swear by ice baths!) The marathon was last Sunday, I took Monday off (though really I didn’t need to) and by Wednesday, I felt ready to workout again. But I didn’t. Instead, I let myself eat and drink whatever I wanted for an entire week, and now today, I desperately need to get back on the bandwagon. After feeding your body a bunch of quality food and working out about five days a week, straying from that kind of makes you feel like crap.

I don’t really know how to work out now though. I had definitely plateaued because I noticed toward the end that even if I was running  like 30 miles a week, I was gaining a little weight. (Though apparently at some point, I “lost” my boobs, as a male friend so rudely pointed out to me last weekend! WTF?!) I guess I’ll have to try something different, but it makes me a little sad only because I already really miss the mental aspect of a long run. As much as I sound like a cheesy workout shirt, running really did became my therapy.

It’s also kind of a weird feeling to devote your life to something for months, have everyone ask you about it, finally accomplish that thing—and then really not having anything to show for it. Sure, I can say I ran a marathon, which is a feat in and of itself, but I somehow feel like my life should be different… but it’s not. It’s the same as it was in April. No wonder professional athletes are terrible with their money—I bet they try to use it to feel the void! Am I just getting sentimental? Any other runners out there feel the same way?

On a more upbeat note, I have to thank everyone who encouraged me in this endeavor. There were so many sweet Facebook messages and texts, and I’m sorry I didn’t respond to every one. I was telling my parents afterward that I’m not sure I could do a marathon where I didn’t have any fans out on the course—it really did mean the world to see my friends and family, if only a fleeting glimpse! xoxo

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Design Inspiration: Macy’s Wedding Display

I am not one of those people that has a secret Pinterest board of wedding ideas for a date (oh right, and fiancé) that I don’t have. Honestly, the more I hear from friends about everything that goes into planning weddings, the less excited I get about the whole thing.

But I happened to be near the wedding registry at Macy’s the other day – I was stopping in the home department to check out the exciting selection of bath mats, woohoo – and stumbled upon this cute fall wedding display:

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I have a strange attraction to warm colors used together. Like I would never think to mix pink, orange and red, but it totally works here. Plus, I’m a huge sucker for all those gold doilies…

Now how do you convince guests to only bring gifts wrapped to match the theme?

On My Mind: September Edition

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.45.49 PMYes, I know it’s already October… But I missed out on September’s On My Mind, so I’m cheating a bit.

1. You guys, HGTV has come to Netflix. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited this makes a non-cable subscriber like me. I’m literally watching Love It or List It right. now. YES. (Just a quick rant: I hope deals like this, Netflix original series and the like will come to mark the beginning of the end of the cable provider monopoly. Down with the man! I frankly refuse to pay $75/month for a crappy package that really only includes two or three channels that I actually watch.)

2. Is it acceptable to wear white after Labor Day now? I’ve noticing a lot of girls still rocking their white jeans. And I know there’s all this talk of “winter whites.” (I don’t really see the difference, but that’s me.) How do we feel about breaking the rules?

3. Speaking of, right after Labor Day my family started asking for my Christmas list… It’s four months away! But I’m not complaining because I come from a family of pretty fantastic gift givers. I asked for the new Adore Home book, a North Face backpack and Maddie the Coonhound prints. Have you started thinking Christmas? What’s on your list?

4. But before we jump to winter, can we just talk about how awesome fall is? Crisp air and changing leaves, flannel and riding boots. I LOVE it. We took a little road trip to Coloma, Mich., last weekend to go apple picking (the pic above) and even stopped in at a distillery on the way back. Now all I can think about is making Apple Cider Bourbon Punch. Yum, yum!

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I Want That Wednesday: Silver Ridge Studio Prints

I’ve coveted this print for, quite literally, years…

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I can’t even remember where I first ran across it at this point, but I think it’s so beautiful. I love the colors and her freckles. And I’m crazy envious of her voluminous ‘do.  I guess I haven’t snatched it up only because I’m not sure where I’d put it right now. But you will be mine some day, Rosa. You will be mine.

And maybe some of your stylish friends can come too…

Watercolour prints by Silver Ridge Studio, $35-$250/each, Etsy.com

(Images: Etsy)

Trolling Craigslist

Sometimes all you need is a good Craigslist troll to return balance to your life. OK, balance may not be the word I’m looking for here. Tranquility? No, that’s far too deep. It’s more like that feeling when you have a long day at work and come home and just flip on some bad reality TV… You know there’s something better you could be doing with your time, but your brain just needs a break.

That reality show is my Craigslist. It’s like the most interesting random catalog ever. I love it. I’m not really looking to acquire anything – in fact, I’m in purge mode right now! – but it’s just fun to see what’s out there. Here’s a few gems I ran across:

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Two Mid Century Bucket Chairs, $350 – It makes me a little nervous that the description of these chairs says they’re “rust orange”… but I’m hopeful it’s actually a warm cognac leather. I picture them in a space like one of my favorite Pins of all time.

Bookcase, $40 – The price is certainly right if this is solid wood! Imagine the styling options… But it’s also very practical with the two storage areas. It kind of reminds me of my bar.

Set of Vintage Chairs, $100 – Cane and bamboo? Well, I’m sold. These obviously need to be reupholstered (I’m picturing the palm leaves motif I’m seeing everywhere), but I’m absolutely loving the details.

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Large School Chalkboard, $160 – I know the chalkboard paint trend set sail awhile ago, but I’m kinda still on board, especially when it has a fun vintage schoolhouse feel.  Get the price down, and this could be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

(Images: Craigslist)

 

A Weeklong Rewind

Last week got away from me. Every week I think, “OK, this week will be a nice, relaxed, obligation-free week…” but instead it blows up with events, drinks, long runs… and, in this case, hot dogs. So. Many. Hot Dogs.

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But it had to be done. Hot Doug’s, a Chicago institution, is closing in less than two weeks, so we were left with no choice but to go wait in the ridiculously long line and eat a ridiculous amount of encased meats. For the record, we arrived at 8:30 am, were third in line, and got our food about 10:45. It was definitely the breakfast of champions. Also for the record: These were all mine.

Just keeding. I ordered two: a classic Chicago-style dog and a ham sausage with spicy pineapple salsa. Both were fantastic.

And what goes better with hot dogs than baseball? This was my first trip to Wrigley Field all season! I guess the summer also got away from me. I really need to re-up my love for the Cubbies. I’ll be a better fan next season, promise. Well maybe, ha.

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I rounded out the week with drinks with a college roommate, another successful alumni association event…

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And—this is a big AND—a 20-mile run! That’s the most I’ve ever run at once in my entire life. It’s the longest run I’ll do before the marathon, but it actually went really well! I think I’m officially ready.

Now let the tapering begin! Thank goodness.