Things We Love: The Work Life, Home Life, Fun Life Balance

Hello, 2018!  I absolutely love the start to a new year or the start to my birthday month. Both of these occasions give me a chance to look at where I’ve been, where I’m currently at and where I’d like to go.  Instead of resolving to stop doing a million things, I just think of what are the things that might be holding me back, what are the things/strategies that will make my life a bit happier, and how can I be a better wife, friend, teacher, runner…you name it.  While this strategy may not be for everyone, my hope is that as this blog rolls out through the year that I can play a small role in making your life a tad bit more awesome.  With that… Happy New Year & let’s get started!


Lifestyle Obsessions:

Remember how I mentioned strategies that will make my life a little bit happier?  My work life, home life, and fun life are a delicate balance right now.  When one of these life parts gets out of balance the Type A in me gets quite nervous… and I don’t like it one bit.  Several years ago, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Gretchen had this little gem of advice, and let me tell you – It’s. Freaking. Life. Changing.  Ready?  Follow the One Minute Rule.

“The one-minute rule says that anything I can do in less than a minute, I should do without delay. So I don’t postpone hanging up my coat, printing out a document and filing it, glancing over a letter and throwing it away. What this does is it gets rid of that scum on the surface of life.” – Gretchen Rubin

For real… try it.  Since implementing this rule this year, my house is way more picked up than ever before (My husband says if leaving glasses of water or shoes about was an Olympic event I’d be a gold medalist, but NOT ANY MORE!), there is less trying to remember what person I forgot to email back, and it’s even helped me remember to jot down a note in my Believe journal each day.  Gretchen has some other tips for “getting happier” which you can check out here.  If you are a podcast person, you might even enjoy her podcast.

Some of you may say that Pinterest is a bit old school, but when one is in the midst of a home remodel or is looking for how to style a new article of clothing, Pinterest is a game changer.  And let’s get this straight… I don’t have many Pinterest fails because when it comes to making all the fun things… I don’t.  I head over to Etsy, or Wayfair, or Joss and Main, or Target and buy said item.  Remember… work, home, and fun balance.  One other advantage of Pinterest is that part of the data collected makes it easy to determine the trends for the new year.  Because I like fashion, I was pretty excited to find Refinery29’s “Top 2018 Fashion Trends According to Pinterest.” On the list I have to admit that I’m most excited about the berets (French fashion is so classy… love it!), logos (#guccibelt), slit details on clothing (The puffy sleeve and I did not get along.) and embellished shoes (I may already have purchased a pair.)  What trends are you looking forward to rocking in 2018?

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Even my mother-in-law is into the 2018 trends!

Fitness Faves:

For the last year or so I’ve had a subscription to Jasyoga and I don’t think I could EVER let it go. Jasyoga is yoga by athletes, for athletes.  Their mission is to help athletes (especially runners) achieve their goals.  Even better would be that the subscription costs $9.99 a month – less than the cost of a single yoga class – and it’s kind of like those pick your own adventure books.  There is literally a video for whatever your body is craving.  My personal favorites include 5-minute Hip Reset and Sunday Reset.  There are some videos that you can try for free on the site, but once you take a look around you will likely be sold on the spot.

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Let’s get real now… sometimes…okay… often – runners smell.  I’ve been on a mission to find a deodorant that doesn’t leave marks, smells fresh and well… works.  I thought I was pretty content with Lavilin due to it’s 72 hour staying power, all natural ingredients and fresh scent, but at $15 for a roll-on I wasn’t totally sold.  Insert new ads for Dove Invisible Dry Spray and an Allure Best Beauty award and I was intrigued.  I scooped up a bottle of the Sheer Fresh scent and put my Lavilin on the shelf for a bit.  I’m sold!  This stuff held up through a day of work, a run and a Bodypump class, even followed by a grocery store run.  While it isn’t all natural like the Lavilin, it had 100% of the other qualities… and it was way cheaper and didn’t leave a mark on a single piece of clothing.  And… at $5.49 there’s extra cash for more items to appear in the Target cart… at least that’s the way I see it.

Here’s to continuing to slay all the days in 2018!  The Santa Cruz She. Is. Beautiful 5k and 10k is coming right up on March 17th and I know many of you will start making plans for this amazing race and the adventures that surround it.  For February, my intention is to make a list of some of my favorites in and around Santa Cruz.  If you have a particular question, shout it out and I’ll find an answer.


Until next month…





Things We Love: Making 2018 The Best Year Yet!

How did we get here already? Several times this month I’ve heard people state, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Never before has this seemed so true, and while there’s still a lot of livin to do in 2017, it’s never too early to start preparing for 2018. This month’s post will highlight some of the gems just might make 2018 the best year yet!


Run Loves:

For 2018, I have signed up for the She.Is.Beautiful Mileage Club.  In past years, I’ve started a journal and put forth a good effort until a day or two would pass, or there’d be a string of bad workouts that I wouldn’t want to write down.  Instead, I would just trust my trusty Garmin and let that be my record keeper.  This year will be different.  With the SIB Mileage Club, I’ve set the goal of not just running 1,500 miles, but I also have a goal of jotting a note about each run as well.  My coach has asked that I work on some positive self talk to decrease that whole “When the going gets tough, the tough… settle.”  Not in 2018.  NOT. IN. 2018.  There will be no settling.


As part of SIB Mileage Club, each runner receives the Believe Training Journal in the welcome packet.  Remember how I said I used to start journals and dump them?  I’ve had a few Believe journals in year’s past and these seem to be the ones that keep my attention the longest.  The journal, co-authored by the amazing Lauren Fleshman (#fangirlsohard), is an undated training log with room to not only track your running, but spell out goals, jot some training notes, and envision long term goals.  With Lauren’s running experience (along with co-author Roisin McGettigan-Dumas), the journal is jam packed with practical advice, secrets of the the run trade, and small tidbits to help crush goals all year long.  While my ultimate recommendation would be to join the Mileage Club since there’s power in numbers, if that’s not your jam, head on over to a bookstore before the year ends cause you need this journal in your runlife.

If you want to make it through 2018 injury free, might I suggest strength training?  Running is a cardiovascular activity so the heart gets stronger for sure, but what about all those other muscles?  Beginning runners may see some strength gains in the initial phases, but it doesn’t take long before those gains taper off and injuries can creep up.  Strength training will decrease injuries and improve performance.  This is great news and what’s even greater is that there are so many options for strength training.  Each week I teach two Bodypump classes, but now that I’ve been doing this for a while, my body is saying, “MIX IT UP.”  I’m listening and stumbled upon the Strong Workout Tracker Gym Log app.  This app has changed my life in the gym.  I used to go into the gym with a loose plan and would get sidetracked or miss exercises.  I would never show up at the track without a plan so why would the gym be any different? With Strong, you can add your own custom exercises, or choose from their lists of exercises to build a workout..  After building the workouts, simply follow along.  There are options to track weights and reps so it’s easy to see growth.  This app is free, but there is an option to subscribe to reep even more benefits of the app.  Oh… and it syncs right to an iWatch so you don’t have to carry your phone around the gym… unless you want to.



Lifestyle Loves:


I’m going to keep rolling with the journal theme here, but we’re going to one-up the journal and combine it with a planner.  Despite the fancy phones so readily available, there’s just something special about writing things down in a paper planner.  As we enter into 2018, let me introduce to you the Passion Planner.  Let this graphic break it all down for you:


With this planner you will find a spot for all your thoughts, dreams, goals and appointments with just enough positive energy to keep you going among the chaos of life.  Oh… it’s also beautifully made and comes in two sizes to fit your style.  Really, this is one tool that will make 2018 not just the best year ever, but also the most organized year ever.

By this point, you have tips for crushing running goals with the Believe Journal, an app to help you get Strong and a Passion Planner to organize this beautiful life.  What could possibly be missing?  Oh… yeah… food!  I come from a long line of women that know their way around a kitchen, but I still wonder… how in the heck did they do it?  Life is hectic and it seems like cooking is one of the first things that gets tossed aside when carry-out is so accessible.  I find that there is much more success for healthy meals when I “batch cook” or meal prep on a Sunday.  I wanted to introduce you to a few of the websites that bring the joy back to cooking.  Check these out:

  1.  RealPlans – This is a meal planning site that seriously fits EVERY need.  There are plans for vegetarians, Paleo, Whole30, AIP diets, Keto… everything really.  Oh… are there allergies in your home?  Just check that you only want recipes that exclude the allergens.  Once you choose a plan, you choose how many meals you want to cook during the week, and then… poof… the system has a meal plan, grocery list and tips for what you can prepare in advance for the week.  Another bonus?  You can also choose your level of expertise from “I’m learning to boil water” to “Just give me the Michelin star already.”  This is a paid service, but there are always deals for a one month trial.  Just go to the site and there will be a pop-up for the current deal.
  2. Skinnytaste – This website has endless meal plans and recipes to fit many different tastes.  The meals are healthy and take real life into considerations.  If you choose a meal plan a shopping list will be generated. I have a tendency to choose a few recipes at a time, and my favorites happen to be the Instant Pot and one pan meals… cause… cooking means clean-up and that means time… which means I may defer to carryout… and I don’t want to do that.  I’m sure you are thinking this all sounds pretty great, but let’s make it even better cause Skinnytaste is FREE! **Free is always good, but if you want to eliminate the allergens, Real Plans adds this step for you.  On Skinnytaste, you need to do some of your own research.
  3. DIY Smoothie Packs – :  I’ve been ordering from Daily Harvest so that we have smoothies on hand, but I gotta admit… these can get expensive and when I really look at the contents I have to think… I can do this.  After some research this weekend, this is exactly what I’m going to do.  Seriously… check out these 11 frozen, healthy smoothies from Self Magazine.


Reflecting on 2017, it’s been a pretty good year.  At the start of each year, I try to make a list of what I’ll do more of versus making a New Year’s Resolution that goes out the window by month’s end.  Soon, I’ll list those intentions on my blog… I’m still prioritizing these, but more DIY Smoothies and sunscreen will definitely make the list.  My hope is that some of the above favorites help you find ways to do more of what you love with a little less sacrifice.  May your holidays be bright and may 2018 be full of everything you love and more.  xo

Don’t forget to follow Leslie’s blog: lapslungesandleather (you won’t regret it!)

Things We Love: Fall In Full Swing

Boo!  Just like that the end of October has snuck up on us and the holiday season is soon to be in full effect.  If I had to pick a favorite holiday, it would have to be Thanksgiving so while I hate to see all things pumpkin spice take a backseat to all things Thanksgiving… it’s all good because… pumpkin pie!  Thanksgiving is also a time that we can reflect on all the people and things that we are grateful for.  The items that are in this month’s blog post are sure to fill your heart with gratitude.

Let’s begin in the RUN department.  Very soon, we will be setting the clocks back (November 5th, BTW) and welcoming the dark with as much love… and light… as we can.  Each September, I follow my husband to Interbike for two reasons.  First, if you recall, it is the Birthday Month and all birthdays require a long weekend of poolside mojitos.  The second reason that I go would be for all the samples, freebies, and meeting all the people whose voices bombard my living room during conference calls.  Because cyclists require lots of the same nutrition and some of the same gear as runners, I pretend that this is a run expo without people completely nerding out on running.   This year, I stumbled upon the Nite Ize booth that had a light for any activity you could imagine.  There were lights for your dog, your home, camping – you name it… but most importantly, there were many for keeping one safe during workouts in the dark.  I’m a child of the 80’s and if you were too, you may remember the slap bracelets that were ALL. THE. RAGE.  Now… put a flashing light in that bracelet and you get some childhood nostalgia and a pretty cool way to alert drivers that you are getting your fit on.  Here’s the beauty, the SLAPLIT, which I picked up at the show.  Even more exciting…  I even picked up an extra for one lucky reader.  Stay tuned… the SIB crew will put the light up on Instagram and one lucky individual will be sporting a new light.  Check out the Nite Ize site to order, or if you are in Santa Cruz, West Marine has them in stock.


Next on the list would be this amazing Orange Mud Wrap.  I’ve had one of these for a long time and it’s makes the most appearances once the temps drop and the seasons change.  Going for a run and sloshing through some puddles makes for some great run fun… until you get back to the car and realize what a mess you are.  Don’t fear…. with the Orange Mud towel you can zip it up and put it over the seat and muddy legs ain’t nothing but a solved runner’s problem.  The other run scenario that comes around this time of year would be the wet sport bra woes.  We’ve all been there… you finish a run; your pals want to have coffee; one quick errand calls your name and then… the freeze session sets in because that wet bra is bone chilling.  Once again, the Orange Mud towel comes to the rescue because it also transforms into a private changing room.  Seriously… this thing is amazing.  You need to get one, and while you are at it… grab one for a friend and knock a holiday gift off the list. Of course you can likely find these at your local running store (#shoplocal), on the great big world of Amazon, or if you go straight to the Orange Mud site, you will get a prompt to save 10% if you put in your email.  (Side note… if you get a new Gmail account just for sale emails you can still reap the rewards, but not have to see these in your normal inbox everyday.  Try using “salesfor” in front of whatever name you like and you’re good to go!)

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Moving on… Let’s talk about some current favorite things in the LIFESTYLE department.  It seems like once Halloween comes and goes that the holiday season is in full effect.  My husband and I don’t have a single relative in California and we don’t have any children, yet I still feel the stress of the holiday season.  With that being said, the enormous task of doing it all with an extended family and little ones to mix into the holiday loop I can only imagine the stress.  To add to the stress, work parties, cocktail hours, Friendsgivings shrink the time bank even more.  But wait… the house still needs cleaned, the kids’ activities still exist and Amazon has yet to get Whole Foods to deliver groceries straight to your door.  Stop the insanity!!!!

Not that long ago, I was having a really hard time prioritizing things in my life.  It seemed like every little task was a mountain and I had much anxiety over making a decision for fear of making somebody else upset.  Fortunately for me, I stumbled over a little gem of a book in a friend’s car (That friend was none other than @trainwithmary BTW).  Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Give a F*ck is seriously a book you need to grab ASAP.  The book will honestly CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE.  (Warning: If you’re not down with the F-word I will caution that it’s in there quite a bit.  But…. Since many of you are runners, you can change it to the other F-word… Fartlek).  This book has 5 lessons that are guaranteed to help you move through the “Season of Joy” with just that… JOY!  Vogue had a really good clif notes version, but do yourself a favor and get the book.  In cases of emergency, feel free to have a downloaded copy of the “Should I give a F*ck” flowchart stashed in a purse, diaper bag, glove box, etc.


At the annual Las Vegas birthday extravaganza, there is the tradition of going on a little shopping trip to pick out the perfect birthday gift.  Not only did I find the perfect birthday gift, but also when passing through the malls in Vegas I stumbled into a Zara.  When I’m looking for a timeless piece, I’m happy to open the wallet and spend a significant amount.  If the item is going to be around for a while, it’s worth the investment.  However, trends come and go and this is where Zara gives you a big bang for the buck.  During this trip I stumbled across some pants that had a moto edge to them, and had the ability to be dressed up for a sexy date night or they could be incorporated into the everyday conundrums of life.  At $39.90 it was a no brainer to buy a pair in a few color ways.  Check out the three pairs purchased and look at the different ways to style them.  Side note:  If you are ever in a bind for how to put something together Fashion Stylist Google can lead the way… most often the stylist will lead to Pinterest, but hey… the holidays are coming up so your likely to find inspiration for more than just style.

The three pairs purchased…


How to Style: Day Look & Date Look


Last, but not least, if thoughts of bringing a new side dish to a holiday dinner seems exciting then this Butternut Squash Gratin will not disappoint.  P.S. Buy the pre-cut vegetables. You’re worth it!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings!  Until next time… eat, drink and be grateful!




For more from Leslie, visit her blog:

Things We Love: First Taste of Fall

Do you have one of those friends who alwayScreen Shot 2017-09-13 at 10.33.13 AMs recommends the greatest new thing? We do and her name is Leslie. We want to share some of her favorites with you! Each month we will share with you her favorite items of the moment.

Leslie Haverstock is a special education teacher by day and a lover of all things running, fitness and fashion… all the time.  She has a super rad husband and the world’s greatest dog.  Leslie’s blog, Laps Lunges Leather, explores all these loves with a bit of humor, some tears, and fantastic tips and tidbits.

It’s not a secret, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but Fall is my very, very favorite season.  Maybe it’s because my birthday month is in the Fall, maybe it’s the change of the weather that makes boots and sweaters come out of the closet, maybe it’s ALL THE PUMPKIN SPICE, maybe it’s the slower pace after the hustle and bustle of summer fun, and maybe it’s simply because I was born in the Midwest and Fall is just incredibly beautiful there.  Now that I’m living in California the seasons don’t change as much, but the calendar says it’s Fall so it’s time for all of the Fall Favorites. 

As the season change, it’s time to share some Fall Favorites of mine.  Honestly, this list could go on and on and on, but since the SIB team said I could be a regular on their blog, I was able to narrow my favorites down to two things… actually four because if you follow my blog at you would find that there are some big loves in my life which includes all things lifestyle and all things running (and some cross training since all runners need some fine tuning to keep us doing what we love).

In the category of LIFESTYLE you know that I can’t escape adding something pumpkin into the mix.  I always find myself in a rush and know the importance of a good breakfast or replenishing my body after a run.  With that being said, let me introduce you to the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.  Yep… it tastes like the real deal and it is simple and quick. Picture1

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or any milk of your choosing)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder**
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 T almond butter (you can leave this out, but it adds some good fat)**

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and drink up!  **If you don’t have vanilla protein powder, use ½ t vanilla extract.  **If your almond butter is unsweetened and you would like the shake a bit sweeter, add a splash of maple syrup, coconut sugar or Stevia (or whatever little packet you like).



The other sign that Fall has arrived would be Opi’s Black Cherry Chutney nail polish.  For real, this has been a staple in my life, and the life of many friends F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  I’ve had manicures from so many different salons and it’s a pretty sure bet that they have the color in stock.  It’s kind of hard to describe, but it’s a bit purple, a bit of shimmer, a bit of black red… I know that’s hard to imagine so check out the pictures.  Try it for your next manicure (comes in gel and regular polish)!


Now that we have you eating well and looking fine, it’s time to chat about my favorite RUN goodies this month.  I know that I just shared how much I love Fall, but there is one little thing that I’m not a fan.  What could I not love about Fall? The DARK!  With the days getting shorter, morning runs have brought out the headlamps, but Oiselle just upped their game with new reflective gear.  I seriously can’t get enough.  There are two items that are must haves in my closet.  Check out these beauties…

KC Knickers

These beauties come in a gorgeous blue and black. Not only is the new reflective print a winner, I like that there is a bit of compression and a bit of a higher waist.  The higher waist with the pocket plus compression makes stored items feel secure. 

Roga Shorts

If knickers aren’t your thing or your climate is warmer, check out the Roga Shorts.  They come in 3 different lengths with the Mac being the shortest and the Long, obviously being the long ones.  The ones shown are right in the middle.  The one thing I will warn about the Rogas is that the pockets aren’t in the greatest of places.  If you don’t carry much on a run, then these are the perfect shorts.  They are a top seller for a reason!

DISCOUNT ALERT… Using the code FIRSTFLIGHT will save you 10% on your Oiselle order.  You have to sign up for an account (don’t worry… they actually send emails you will want to read) and to use the discount you will need to be signed into the account.  Sorry… discount only applies to new accounts. 

And now… my final favorite thing for this month would be sunscreen.  Picture7Just because there is less sun in a day doesn’t mean our skin can go without coverage.  Running with sunscreen can be a real bummer when it runs into your eyes or makes you look like a ghost.  The one that has been my summer staple and will roll right into Fall would be Coola’s Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber.  This stuff goes on light, doesn’t smell like a chemical sh*t storm (Did you see cucumber in the name?  Yeah… it’s smells so fresh), leaves your skin feeling soft and a bit dewy and… it’s 70% organic.  At $32 a bottle it’s okay to be a bit shaken, but I promise… a little goes a long, long way.

Honestly, I could pull out a hundred other favorite Fall Favorites, but we would be here all day.  So we’ll leave it here with Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, OPI nail polish, Oiselle’s reflective clothing, and Coola’s sunscreen.  Okay, okay… I’ll add one more… ALL THE PUMPKIN SPICE!  What are your Fall Favorites?


Want more from Leslie? (Who wouldn’t?!)

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Blog: Laps, Lunges, and Leather

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