Friday Favorites.

Hello friends! The sunshine is glorious in North Carolina, and I hope it is just the same wherever you are. I’m loving a lot of things this week, so I thought I would share them with you!

First up, Bow and Drape! My friend Carly tagged me in a photo on their Insta this week. It was a sweatshirt that said “Hair on fleek” (I’m not really sure what that means, but apparently it’s what the kids say these days) and had sequined TROLL DOLLS on it. I immediately fell in love. Turns out they customize sweatshirts and clutches. I’m counting down the days until my gray and black “Goal Digger” sweatshirt arrives. 🙂

Second, we have a water bottle by Ashley Brooke Designs. I’ve been coveting her coffee mugs for a while now, but being that I have a coffee mug for every day of the week, I can’t bring myself to buy a new one. However, this sassy water bottle that says “I Like the Way You Work It” is calling out to me.

Third, the fact that Run the Quay is next weekend and I’ve been consistently running 5 days a week. Crazy talk. Here’s to breaking an hour on my time!

Last but not least, Dr. Pepper. My one true love.

dr pepper

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arm party.

I lead a conflicting life. I really love my fitbit, but I really love having an arm party. What’s an arm party? Well, that would be a stack of bracelets that create joy every time you wave your hands erratically while talking. Oh? You don’t do that in every conversation? Me either…..

Anyway, I switched from a fitbit flex to a fitbit charge HR at Christmas. I was so excited for my new shiny fitbit, but I was bummed because I saw no point in wearing my fitbit and a watch. Furthermore, there was no way of disguising this thing as something other than a fitness tracker.

So after months of meticulously trying out new things, I have found a solution.

fitbit

 

That would be three parts Alex + Ani bracelets, one Is it or Isn’t it cable bracelet, an 8 year old Tiffany’s bracelet, and my newest addition: a silver and rose gold Pandora bracelet.

I feel like the mixture of metals with the sporty band of the fitbit is a good mix. Or is that just me?

Happy fitness tracking!

You can quote me on it. 

I love to read…blogs, books, magazines…give me all the words. I love it. This quote is something I need to be reminded of daily. 

It’s like He’s saying not only, “Hey, I made you,” but, “I am at the helm of this whole thing and every season I bring you through is only to polish you up and refine you even more. There is no time to ask why right now. Don’t ask why. There is only time to do. You don’t want to miss what is going on here.”

 That is from page 151 of If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher. It will make you ugly cry and feel like you’re wrapped inside a warm hug all at the same time. 

the woman i want to be.

There’s a quote by Diane von Furstenberg that goes, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become.” I think I stumbled upon that quote right as I was launched into the adult world after undergrad (thanks, Pinterest!). It struck a chord in me, and it’s always been in the back of mind. It doesn’t matter what I do career-wise or hobby-wise, as long as I become the woman I want to be. That woman is a blend of Audrey Hepburn, Kate Spade, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, my mom, and my grandmother to name a few. Someone who oozes joy  but understands there are bad things in life. Someone who sets high goals, but admits there are moments when you have to cut yourself some slack. Someone who walks (and works out) with grace, but knows it’s kind of fun to laugh at yourself when you fall down.

As I’ve been meandering through adulthood, trying to figure out how to cook the perfectly portioned meal for one, how to not be awkward in every day life, and how to pay my bills without complaining, I’ve slowly noticed a change. I feel myself becoming more confident, more joyful, more outgoing. I find myself needing less validation from my peers, and I’m learning how to make efficient decisions and not saying “maybe” when I really mean no.

But I didn’t realize this change was visible. Well, my friends, I think it is. 30LeahWhitt

 

The girl in that picture is exactly who I want to be. This picture was taken at 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday. That day consisted of getting up at 5:00 to go to the gym, working an eight hour day, stressing out about an event that was happening the next day, changing my outfit twice, laughing with my sister, and greeting 5 dozen women to an event that was all about them. But that day felt so full of things that I love to do. I mean, yes, Ashley  (of Story Photographers) is so incredibly talented it’s not even funny, but when she sent me that photo I felt beautiful. She’s taken my picture plenty of times before; family photos, my sister’s wedding, selfies for instagram, and with a boy….but that picture. That picture of me tied to nothing else made me feel whole. I felt like relieved because I finally feel like I match my interior (to paraphrase Elphaba in Wicked).

Every girl goes through an ugly duckling stage – but I have felt like I have had an identity crisis in my looks. First, my hair was too long and crazy and overwhelmed me. Then I learned I had to wear glasses every day, so I went with rimless ones so people wouldn’t immediately notice them. Then I cut all my hair off. Next, I decided to grow my hair out and learn how to use a curling wand. All of these little exterior changes never really made me feel like myself. But I think I have figured it out. My hair is never going to be perfect and I’m always going to feel naked without my glasses. I’m never going to master the smokey eye or remember to put lipstick on after I brush my teeth. But I am always going to remember that happy girls are the prettiest girls and I’m always going to know how to make an Old Navy dress look like Kate Spade. I’m going to know that my heart shines through more than I know, and that my brown eyes will captivate the right person.

So, thank you life (& Ashley), for showing me that sometimes it’s not about living the life society pushes on you. It’s about becoming the person you want to be.

sleepytime.

Friday nights for me are my nights to decompress. Lately, it seems like my week nights consist of an hour at the gym, working for Story Photographs, and/or meeting my run club for 3 miles and a drink. So Friday nights I like to do absolutely nothing. Case in point, tonight I came home, ate some dinner, set up the present I bought my apartment (an Amazon Fire Stick), and watched 3 episodes of Drunk History. I followed that up with putting freshly washed sheets on my bed and watching an episode of Parks & Rec. Clearly, I have adulthood figured out.

Anyway, I was hunkering down for the night when I got a message from my sister saying, “FYI I check your blog every day for new material.” Yeah…she’s at the beach with her best friend and she’s worried about this little space of mine on the interwebs. I promised to write something this weekend, then made a few notes of what I could write about and put my phone away.

Then it hit me. I should share my sleepytime playlist with you. You mean you don’t have a sleepytime playlist? Well…I cannot go to sleep without mine. I’m sure it’s completely psychological, but I can’t remember a time in recent history (college years to present day) that I have slept well without music in the background. Heck, I even slept with earbuds in at Disney and sleeping with earbuds in is not the most comfortable thing in the world. I blame my parents for this. I remember being little and knowing they were going to bed because I could hear the Bose radio fire up from my room and Delilah (of the “love someone tonight” fame) was playing love songs that sung my parents to sleep. The only exception to this was when we were at Myrtle Beach for our summer vacations and it was Leah, the country version of Delilah that was patching up the hearts of listeners who called in.

Without further adieu, I present to you the carefully curated sleepytime playlist:

https://open.spotify.com/user/l_whitt/playlist/7HRirAeTY1TFMPSxAgTKRX

(I will embed this code later. Spotify is being extremely difficult at the moment and my computer hates me. What I thought would take 20 minutes has now taken an hour and I’ve fallen asleep in the process twice…whoops).

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe February was over. It seemed to have flown by in an instant, didn’t it? Between training for the race, hosting Galentine’s Day for my girlfriends, snow days, and traveling to Disney, it was in and out of here like a gust of wind.

For March, I want to set some realistic goals . Now that my half-marathon is over, I feel a little lost. All throughout that process, I had a date I was excited about. I was working towards that goal with every mile on the treadmill or adventure through a local park. Now that it’s over, I still want to run but I have a tugging at my soul to do something. Set another goal.

I was talking to my friend Carly last night and we both have Lara Casey’s Make It Happen on our bookshelves to read right now. I was sharing with her that I have tried to start reading it multiple times, but I just don’t know what I want to make happen. It’s like I have all of this energy built up and nothing to spend it on. While I was dating, I guess I put that energy towards being a great girlfriend. Now there’s a void, and the trouble with voids are that it takes so long to figure out what actually fills them. I know shopping feels great, but it won’t solve the problem. At the end of the day, I would just have all of this stuff and a super long credit card statement. Eating probably would feel like filling a void as well, and I’ll admit, I can be a bit of an emotional eater (pass the Papa John’s breadsticks please), but that wouldn’t help either.

So why am I sharing all of this? Because I’m hoping inspiration strikes. I hope that I will figure out what the tone of my blog will be. I read so many about fashion, beauty, and exercise, but I don’t really know what my “expertise” is. That’s where my March goals come into place. This month I want to wholeheart things instead of half-assing them. In the words of Ron Swanson:

So I am currently working on setting my March goals, what are yours?!

Life Lessons from a Half-Marathon

Y’all – I did it! I am a half-marathoner. I have a hard earned medal to prove it. Getting here was interesting to say the least. Throughout this whole process, I learned so much about myself. I’m still learning, but I thought I would share a few things that I didn’t know 7 months ago.

medal

  1. You don’t have to follow a training program to the mile. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal. For example, I restart games over all of the time if I don’t do something perfectly. In my world, I’m either 100% or not doing it. So when it came to my training program, I hit every mile assigned to me consistently for four weeks, then I hit a wall. I just didn’t want to run that week, and I struggled with feeling like I was failing. That I wasn’t really a runner if I couldn’t get all 310 miles of my program in. Then I cut myself some slack. I went from not exercising at all to volunteering to run 13.1 miles at once, so it was okay if I didn’t want to run every day. That was a big moment for me. I realized that I don’t have to live and breathe by a training schedule, but I need to listen to my mind and body. I also have learned to determine the difference between exhaustion and laziness.
  2. Listen to your body. It knows what’s best for it.
  3. Running is cheaper than therapy (including retail therapy). The more time you spend hitting the pavement, or treadmill, the less time you can shop online.
  4. You don’t need fancy things to get started. Just a decent pair of running shoes and determination. A planned running route wouldn’t hurt either.
  5. There’s no such thing as a “runner” body type. I saw all kinds of ladies and gentlemen out there getting their run/walk on. Don’t think because you aren’t currently a runner that you can’t accomplish something as significant as a half or full marathon.
  6. Foam rolling is as amazing as they said it would be. Once you learn how to do it, that is. It took me a few months to learn proper techniques, but I found a helpful little video that covers IT stretches, calf stretches and a neck roll.
  7. Like most things in life, you get what you put into it. I got a little discouraged going into the last leg of this journey. I didn’t follow my training program, I got lazy with the cold weather and snow, and I let my insecurities get the best of me. But when race day came along, I realized that I had been dedicated and determined and I knew I would finish, even if I had to walk the whole way. And I finished 10 minutes faster than my goal time of 2 hours 45 minutes.

The most astonishing thing I learned was how much I learned about who I am through this whole process. I mean it really shouldn’t surprise me being that running is spending quality time with yourself (and putting one foot in front of the other). I’ve learned that I need time to process things – or more accurately put, obsess over things until I’m tired of thinking about them. I’ve learned how to motivate myself and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting my butt out of bed or off the couch. I’ve learned that if I can sing-dance while running, I’m a lot happier. I’ve learned that I’m good company even on my grouchiest of days.

castle

Thanks for joining me on this journey! I can’t believe it’s already over. Now onto my next adventure!

week 11

Race day is one week away!! Oh my goodness – I probably should be packing instead of writing this. (I will not over pack. I will not over pack. I will not over pack.)

This week was a modified version of the Nike+ Running program. Mainly because I was listening to my body and because it was friggin’ cold this week. I was not made for this mess.

I found a running club on MeetUp this week, and joined them for a 10k run on Saturday morning. It was so awesome! There were six of us, and while on the surface we had nothing in common, we all started out at the same pace and got it knocked out in just over an hour. I’m looking forward to joining them for more runs in the future.

Monday – 4 miles (1.5 in the rain)

Tuesday – 4 miles (killed it on the treadmill)

Wednesday – worked instead of ran

Thursday – rest day

Friday – 2 miles

Saturday – 6.2 miles

Weekly mileage: 16.2

Yearly mileage: 143.7

race day gear.

I have spent countless hours pinning and researching what other runners wear on their runDisney race days. I’ve read about gels and GI issues. I’ve read about costume malfunctions and chaffing. I’ve read about socks and tennis shoes lost in airline baggage mishaps.

That’s all well and good, but I’m a new runner. I don’t own a fancy GPS watch or use a hydration belt. What am I supposed to run in?

race outfit

I’ve decided to stick with what I know. Above you can see what I’m planning on wearing on race day!

  • lulu lemon running capris
  • gray old navy ankle socks
  • black long-sleeve semi-fitted top
  • flipbelt for my chapstick, starbursts and phone
  • asics
  • hello alyss crown hair piece
  • Not pictured: Disney Birthday Button!

Maybe one day, when I’m an experienced runner, I’ll look back and laugh at my affinity for old navy socks, but I swear they are my favorite things ever. I have them in black and gray, and I always feel like I run better when I wear the gray ones.

That’s what I plan to wear when I take on my first half-marathon. I’m curious to see what my future race gear will look like.

what i’m reading

I love to read. It’s always been a hobby of mine. Is reading considered a hobby? I’m going to go with yes. I was that kid who waited at midnight for the release of the next installment of the Harry Potter series, then I would devour the book in days. Well – except for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – that one scared me for a solid 2 weeks before I picked it up again.

Anyway, I thought I would write a short post on what I’m reading currently or planning to read in the next few weeks. As you can see here, my dresser has turned into a make-shift bookshelf. That’s mainly due to the lack of space on my nightstand. I do, in fact, own a bookshelf, but I’ve gotten into a habit of picking up (or ordering off Amazon, let’s be real) books and starting them all at once. It’s my intention to finish at least 2 of these by the end of February.

Make it Happen – Lara Casey
My friend, Carly, and I went on a trek to Barnes & Nobles a few weekends ago for this book and I didn’t really know much about it. She was intent on reading it and told me she would let me know how it was. Then I met the author the very next day at a bridal show I was working. It’s a small world, after all.

One Plus One – Jojo Moyes
Ever since I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I’ve been entranced by her writing and the way she tells a story. I would also recommend The Girl You Left Behind – so good.

The Empathy Exams – Leslie Jamison
It’s rare that I pick up a book that’s non-fiction, but the description of this one grabbed my attention. It’s a collection of essays about the human experience and how we express empathy towards others.

Tiny, Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
This one stays on my current rotation. It’s a collection of advice columns (questions and answers) from Dear Sugar, also known as the best-selling author of Wild. Every time I have something frustrating in my life happen or my heart breaks, I reach for this one.

A Book of Sunshine
My Meme gave me this book in September of 1998 (it says so on the inside cover). I just came across it a few months ago while moving, and it made me immensely happy.

booksfeb15

Not shown here is the book I’m actually reading at the moment. I’m currently working my way through The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes. It’s on my kindle and I’m enjoying it so far. Now if only I could read all day instead of work… 🙂