Nashville + Chattanooga

We survived our first trip as a family of four!

This trip was planned shortly before I knew I was pregnant with Ava. My older sister, got engaged and chose a wedding venue in the beautiful mountains of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Of course when I found out my due date March 23rd, I was relieved it was exactly a month before the wedding and not on E’s actual wedding day. The timing was perfect, but my whole pregnancy I was mentally preparing to travel with a one month old.

~ NASHVILLE + CHATTANOOGA ~

Ava’s first vacation started on Friday, April 20, 2018. She was 4 weeks 6 days old. We made is through our first flight on South West Air. Of course we had tons of luggage, no minimal packing here. We hauled a toddler, an infant, a stroller, 2 car seats, 3 bags, a diaper bag, and a tuxedo, MOH dress, and flower girl dress. ~ PRO TIP: Have the hubby drop you, the kids, and the luggage at the front of the airport, while he parks the car. We learned the hard way the first time. Two year olds are painfully slow while walking from the parking lot to the front. And no one could carry her with all of the luggage.

Another thing that made traveling through the airport 100% easier was babywearing. Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of babywearing. I alternate between my Solly Baby Wrap and my Sakura Bloom Ring Sling.

On this trip, I loved using my Solly Baby Wrap while exploring the Aquarium, Zoo and the different parts of Nashville because it was easier to shade my baby’s head from the sun and the rain.

I pulled out my ring sling for babywearing at the wedding because it was a little fancier.

Both are cozy and share the same baby wearing benefits. It is also a preference, some babies and mamas prefer one over the other. I choose mine depending on what I’m doing. My babies seem to be comfortable in either one. For more information on babywearing and it’s benefits, read this.

Once we got to Chattanooga, we were super busy. I was the MOH, but also did E’s wedding hair and makeup.

Although, non stop busy – just call me, mommy, MOH, hairstylist/makeup artist, or Sister of the Bride – we had a blast celebrating Emily and Ryan at their wedding with family and friends.

It was really amazing seeing everyone, and all of the hard work and plans came together so beautifully.

(wedding photo by Lindsay Campbell Photography.)

~ PRO TIP: just leave the baby and two year old with a babysitter and enjoy date night with the hubby. Zoe was suppose to be the flower girl, but honestly it was just too much for her. Good thing my mother-in-law was there as “babysitter” and came to the rescue!

Chattanooga is a really great area, which had tons of fun restaurants and shopping. Our favorite part (besides the wedding), was visiting the Aquarium.

I would love to go back to Chattanooga and explore a little more. The hiking trails are suppose to be incredible.

Once all of the wedding festivities were completed, we headed to Nashville. A couple of years back I ran the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. So Nashville wasn’t new to me.

However, the food scene was pretty amazing and I had more time to explore some other neighborhoods.

When it came to the food, Hot Chicken and BBQ are the specialties of the area, however there were tons of juice bars. Some of my favorite things were the Thai Peanut ice cream and the donuts from Five Sisters.

Nashville also has some pretty incredible street art. We went to “WhatLifts You” wings by Kelsey Montague.

And the “I Believe in Nashville” street art posted above.

We enjoyed a little bit of the music scene by walking around in down town Nashville. And on our last day, we took a family trip to the Zoo.

All in all, we love both Chattanooga and Nashville! You’ll always hold a special place in my heart for being Ava’s very first vacation spot! She is such a great little traveler at just a month old.

What’s your favorite thing about Nashville? Have you traveled with an infant… what’s your pro tip?

Traveling with Zoe and Tips for traveling with a baby.

This last weekend I had a work trip to Miami, so I brought Zoe and my husband with me. I had to… Showing Zoe Sobe was a must. Plus, when I went to training, Zoe had daddy/daughter time.

On the 2/19 Zoe turned 6 months old and had a lot of first moments.

It was her first air plane ride.

She did really well on the plane. Once the plane started moving she started to dose off. She slept stretched out on my lap for the first full hour. For the next hour, I kept her entertained by standing her up, playing with toys, singing her favorite songs.

She went to Sobe and took her first ever beach nap. 

 

It was just a short cat nap, but the salty breeze felt so good. I definitely have a beach baby on my hands.

She felt the sand in between her toes for the first time. She loved it. 

 

“Let’s walk the beach.” “Whatever this stuff is, it feels good.”

She saw the ocean, for the first time. 

 

It is a very special thing to see things again for the first time through your baby’s eyes. Zoe looked out at the ocean, all the way to the horizon, so big and mysterious. She felt the wet sand between her toes as salty waves crashed at her feet. I’m hoping she’ll love the water.

She is sitting up better and better. 

  
She slept in a hotel for the first time. 

 

Because we do NOT cosleep with Zoe, I later transferred her to a crib the hotel provided. We have the lotus bassinet¬†by guava family. It is a travel bassinet, however my husband didn’t want to bring it. I was nervous at first that she wouldn’t be comfortable in the hotel crib, but she had no problem at all. She was so busy during the day that once she got in the crib she crashed and slept through the whole night. Zoe is a really good sleeper and can fall asleep anywhere. She is use to using different cribs because my mom has a crib at her house and we have her crib at our house, and she easily sleeps in both. So that may be another reason why she had no problem with the hotel crib.

She went in a swimming pool for the first time. 

 

She was a little unsure about the pool. She never cried though, so I take it as a success. I want to get her in the pool more often so she gets use to it and thinks it is fun. I learned how to swim at a very young age. I actually don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to swim. I want that for Zoe.


The pool and sun was so relaxing it put sweet Zoe to sleep.

Zoe’s first trip was a successful one. However, there were some things that we learned about traveling with a little one. So if you are traveling for the first time with your baby consider these tips, learn from our mistakes.

1) The airlines may not be consistent from one airport to the next.

We flew with American Airlines. On the way to Miami, we were at DCA, they checked our bag with no additional charge and they let us bring our stroller through security telling us to check it at the gate when entering the plane. We had no problems.

When we left Miami, heading home, the nightmare began. Our bag was 7 lbs over weight which meant we had to pay $150 to check it. Wow, so my bag basically needed a plane ticket. Then when we went to go through security, TSA told us we had to check our stroller at the counter because it was a running stroller and weighed over 20 lbs. We talked to a supervisor and they sided with TSA. So we checked our stroller for free and I baby wore Zoe in her Sakura bloom ring sling, praying and hoping our stroller would make it to our finaldestination in good condition. It also took up a lot of extra time. Thank goodness we arrived at the airport early.

2) Packing: If you are going to check your bags, consider bringing two separate bags or one bag with and additional carry on bag tucked inside to use later in case the bag is over weight. 

I always check my bag, always. I hate lugging around a bag through the airport. I also hate worrying about my hair products, skin care products, and make up being the proper size.

So now that I have a baby, I’m carrying her diaper bag, so there is no way I want additional bags at my side.

However, we brought one big bag that held my stuff, my husband’s stuff, and my baby’s stuff. The thing we didn’t consider was it being over weight on the way back. Next time we are planning to bring a carry on bag tucked inside so that if we are over weight we can remove some items and put it in another bag.

3) Stroller: If you do not have a smaller travel size stroller, be prepared to check your running stroller. And if you check your car seat and don’t have a travel case for it, wrap it in a trash bag to protect it, (it could rain or just be handled poorly.)

So we only have one stroller. We have the BOB running stroller and I absolutely love it. I use it for everything. However, that is my personal opinion. I have friends who have purchased a smaller stroller for everyday errands and only use the Bob for walks, runs, and hikes.

I never knew that American Airlines would make us check our stroller because of its weight and size. And although it is free to check, when checking it you risk the chance of it not getting to the destination or getting damaged. I also was lucky that Zoe is only 6 months and I could easily babywear her, so we didn’t absolutely need the stroller.

4) When traveling with a baby always arrive to the airport earlier than you think you should.

I was very thankful we got to the airport 2 hours earlier. Even though we had a problem getting through TSA with our stroller and had to back track to check it. We never felt rushed and we had plenty of time. Always leave enough time, babies can be unpredictable.

5) Always travel with baby bottle and milk/formula. 

If you are traveling with breastmilk or premixed baby formula, TSA will test the liquid to make sure it is what you say it is. However, the best thing for baby’s ears is swallowing milk at take off and at landing. Zoe uses a pacifier so the constant sucking helped her ears as well.

6) Always bring baby carrier, wrap, or ring sling. 

I am all about baby wearing. I brought my solly baby and my sakurabloom ring sling. It was fun to baby wear Zoe through  out the airport, and whenever Zoe is in her sakura bloom she falls asleep-sleepy dust.

7) Bring you baby bag with all the necessities. Especially- change of clothes, extra diapers and wipe, extra milk/bottle, extra pacifiers, pacifier cleaning wipes, books, toys, favorite blankets. Zoe loves blankets, so we brought her favors ones. Air planes can be very cold, so blankets keeep babies comfortable and cozy warm. Books and toys are important to entertain your baby when they get bored. We used lots of pacifier cleaning wipes because Zoe’s pacifier kept falling on the floor. Always being an extra set of clothes just in case your baby gets wet or dirty.

Anyway, I’m pretty impressed at how well Zoe did on our first trip. I hope what I wrote above will help you when you travel next with your baby. And always remember because of society we have a fear of being the parents with the crying screaming kid, but sometimes we don’t give our babies the credit they deserve and they end up pleasantly surprising us.

My hope is that the more I travel with Zoe the more use to it she’ll be, and it will just get easier for the both of us.



Happy Mama, happy baby, happy travels!

Do you have a fun travel experience involving a baby?

What is your favorite travel tip? 

©  2016 sweat1xdaily

The prefect vacation.

Last year was full of busy trips. Our trip to Asia where we explored Thailand intensely. Then flying to the west coast twice, once to finalize wedding plans and then to actually tie the knot. So busy.

After an extremely cold winter we were desperate for a change in pace. We were in a much needed trip, where we could just relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

So a week ago, my husband and I headed down to South Florida, for some summer like weather. It ended up being the most relaxing vacation ever.

sand

We visited with my husband’s relatives for two days in Del Ray Beach. Del Ray Beach is north of South Beach, Miami. It is a beach town, with beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and tons of shops. It is known to be artsy. We actually went to a wonderful Art festival the day we arrived.

After two days of visiting with relatives, we headed to an ocean front hotel, Sands at Del Ray Beach. This hotel was awesome.  The set up was quite nice. They had valet parking. The pool and restaurant overlooked the ocean. Every morning, we would wake up and head straight for the beach. The hotel provided towels, chairs, and umbrellas. There was also a server that would come around to take your order, and bring you whatever you needed. I was pretty obsessed with the lemonade.

del ray beach

The beach was gorgeous. It was 85 degrees most days. The sun was shining, but there was a refreshing breeze so I never felt sweaty. The water was calm and cool, but not cold at all.

erik del ray beachHowever, after a couple days in the sun, our skin felt like it needed a break. So we took the 2 hour (long way) drive to South Beach, Miami. On the way down, we saw tons of ocean front mansions and expensive cars.  Once we were in South Beach, we shopped on Lincoln, and then walked two miles on the beach to Collins- where we did more shopping. After shopping my husband found an amazing Cuban restaurant, for us to eat at. It was delicious.

Then back to Del Ray Beach we went.

Although, we spent most of the time relaxing soaking up the sun, I also was productive, skimming magazines, finishing reading my first baby book, and starting my second.bump books

I skimmed through Fit pregnancy, and started registering. I finished the book, The kindmama, by Alicia Silverston, and started, Tales from another Mother Runner. Very productive indeed.

What is up with all the mom books? Well because my body physically will not allow me to¬†hide it anymore… I’m excited to finally share a secret I have been keeping since November. Yep, you guessed it… I have a baby bump!

bump selfie

I love my itsy bitsy teenie weenie polka dot bikini at almost 23 weeks pregnant!  Thanks Рto my husband Erik, for the most relaxing vacation aka babymoon.

© sweat1xdaily 2015

…because I am missing Thailand.

Sorry, I haven’t written much this month, I have been having the winter blues. However, exactly, a year ago today, I had finally escaped the cold winter by traveling to the oh so exotic country of Thailand. The minute I got off the plane, I could feel the heat. It felt so good, and because I long for that same hot Thailand air, ¬†I have decided to publish this blog post. ¬†I found this post waiting to be published in my draft section on my wordpress dashboard. I remember writing these words, when I first started to explore Thailand. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by.

Bangkok, Thailand (February 2, 2014)

Yesterday, was my first day touring around Bangkok.

We woke up and relaxed on Elissa’s balcony taking in the view and getting familiar with our new Bangkok neighborhood. Shockingly the city was quiet in the morning time.

20140204-154943.jpg

Once we got ready, we headed for breakfast. My friend, Elissa new an amazing brunch place.

20140204-155616.jpg

I ordered a savory crepe with egg, spinach, mushrooms, onion, and feta.

20140204-155133.jpg

We sipped on coffee and drank down fresh juices. I got watermelon juice of corse.

20140204-155423.jpg

After breakfast, we headed to the embassy to convert some American dollars to Thai baht. While Elissa was converting the money Erik and I hung outside strolling down a side street that were lined up with street food vendors (similar to our food trucks minus the truck part.) Everything smelled amazing but we ended up getting refreshing bubble tea. Of corse I went with Papaya.

After our tea time we headed for a pedicure while Erik got a massage. The pedicure I got is the best I have ever had. Next time I might go for a massage.

20140204-155826.jpg

After our spa services we headed to the Jim Thompson house. We took the BTS which is their metro system. It was packed so we had to squeeze in.

We saw a rally of protestors on the way.

20140204-160056.jpg

The election happened on the day we arrived, so the protesting has significantly died down. A lot of people back home were scared for my safety because of the protesting and political issues in Bangkok. But it wasn’t out of control.¬†

Anyway we made it to the Jim Thompson house and it was gorgeous. Jim Thompson was an American architect who fell in love with Bangkok, later making it his permanent home.

That’s all from that post.

Anyway, I hope this blog post finds you happy and healthy. I hope it gives you a little warmth to dream about on this cold gray winter February.

xo  ~ M

Don’t you wish you could drink that watermelon juice?!

Other blog posts about Thailand…

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Because of you, I am Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

10629696_10102142272306176_8344747294329488648_n

This year I am Thankful for so many things…

but just to name a few…

I am thankful that I got the opportunity to travel to Thailand. It was a trip of a lifetime, which I shared with Elissa, Mariana, Chis, and Erik. I am beyond lucky that finally I got to experience that part of the world.

I am thankful that I had the courage to create this blog. Blogging gives me the freedom to express myself and oppinons with words. I am thankful to you, my readers, who I hope I inspire everyday to run, lift, eat, and live a healthy lifestyle.

I am thankful for my clients. To me it is not just cutting and coloring your hair. It is all about creating a customized look for you, so you look and feel your best. Thank you, for letting me create. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. But most of all, thank you for trusting in me. Seeing you feel confident is the ultimate satisfaction.

I am thankful that I can run. I am thankful that I live in an area with such an awesome running community. They organize awesome races of all kinds. I am thankful for the races I ran this year, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Parkway Classic, ATM, and today’s Turkey Trot, and although, it wasn’t a race Running on my Wedding day was unforgettable!

But most of All (saving the best for last) I am thankful for Erik my husband, and our beautiful wedding day. We are forever thankful to everyone who came to our wedding. We made such great memories. It was the best day ever!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below!

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Island Running in Thailand

I woke up early, right when the sun began to rise. As my fiance peacefully slept, comfortably sunken in a bed, hidden by blankets, I snuck out as quietly as I could. Tiptoeing around the hotel room, grabbing my iPod and garmin. Heading to the beach isn’t hard when your resort is ocean front.

20140309-214306.jpg

After spending five days in Bangkok and four days in Chiang Mai where I struggled to get a workout in, my legs were craving a hard run. I couldn’t wait, finally it was time.

20140309-215011.jpg

When I was on Ko Samui, I ran three out of the four days I was there. The first two days I wore my Newton shoes. The third day I didn’t have time to run because we spent the day deep sea diving in Ko Tao. The fourth day I ran barefoot.

The beach was not a long beach like you would find on the East Coast of the USA, where you can run for miles and miles. Instead it was very unpredictable. When I ran to the right of my resort there were times when my beach disappeared and just turned into deep water. However, when I went the opposite way I was able to get more than 2 miles in before I turned back. My runs were short and fast.

Because it has been such a snowy brutally cold winter, here, in The States it took me a little bit of time to get use to the heat.

20140309-224823.jpg

However, once I got use to it, I loved it!

On the last day on Ko Samui, I saw the cutest thing.

20140309-225803.jpg
It was so early in the morning that I saw a couple dogs sleeping on the beach. As I went over to snap a photo this one began to wake up – all sleepy eye with sand on his nose. If I were him, I would sleep on the beach too. What a beautiful, peaceful place.

Once we left Ko Samui, my fiancé and I headed to the beautiful Island of Phuket. There we met up with my best friend, Mariana, and her husband Chris. I was very excited when they both agreed to run with me. They are new to running, but open to the idea, so we met up and ended up doing a total of three morning runs. I alternated running barefoot and with shoes. We mainly ran on the beach but there was a time we ran on a street that went along the beach. I was proud of Mariana and excited she was so interested in running.

20140309-231424.jpg

In the end, I really enjoyed running on the Islands of Thailand. It was a beautiful place to run. It was peaceful running along the beach totally alone in Ko Samui. I had good company running on the Island of Phuket and was happy to inspire my good friend to begin running. Phuket was also full of other runners it was fun seeing us take over the beach in the early morning. Not all the runners on the beach were human.

20140309-232108.jpg

20140309-232228.jpg

I’ve already missed the feeling of running barefoot in Thailand. As I deeply inhaled the salt water air, sweat dripped down my tan skin. The wind blew through my hair. Waves crashed at my running feet. Sand stuck in between my shoes. I was quickly reminded how lovely it feels to run barefoot in shorts.

20140309-232446.jpg

Are you ready for some Thailand foodporn…

Okay lovelies! I am finally home from Thailand. My plane landed in the States last Saturday. Although, I have been home for a whole week, I was jet lagged, and just had to take some time to get back in gear. However, I have plenty of posts that I wrote while I was in Thailand, that I wasn’t able to post because of lack of wifi. So I will be updating you now!!¬†

I’m writing this blog post on a choppy motor boat from the Indian Ocean. So far on my trip to Thailand I have spent days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and now I am in Phuket visiting the Ko Pi Pi Islands and Monkey Island. I have stepped foot in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

If you have been following my Instagram and Facebook pages you have seen everything I have been currently doing. Unfortunately, wifi here is really slow so it has been hard for me to blog. So I apologize for that and promise I will update you.

So let’s talk about my two favorite things food and fitness. The food here in Thailand has been absolutely amazing. However, I will admit I am feeling a tiny bit fluffy, (maybe I’m not actually fluffy, but I feel that way.) It may be water weight that I have been holding on to, because the food is so salty, heavy, spicy. This is definitely a love hate relationship I am having with Thai food. Don’t get me wrong I love it, but I hate that I have to eat out for every meal. I also hate that I am not able to eat 5-6 small meals a day, like I had been doing at home. I am on vacation in Thailand so I am enjoying my meals, and pretty much eating my way through Thailand. But hey, it’s only three weeks of my life, and I need to take advantage of being in this foreign land, because the opportunity may never arise again. With that being said, l am definitely not feeling as lean as I normally feel when I am back home. Let me explain why?

There are fruit stands with fresh fruit and juice bars everywhere. I love it and have been drinking tons of watermelon juice. (But too much fruit means too much sugar.)

20140218-113147.jpg

Yummy watermelon juice!

I have been hydrating with mainly coconut water straight from the coconut, bottled water, and tea, lots of tea. This isn’t making me feel fluffy. But although it is fun to drink coconut water right from the coconut, I will have to admit it taste exactly the same as Vita Coconut water.

20140225-152505.jpg

20140218-121932.jpg

Also I have come to the conclusion that most locals get their meals by eating street food. The street food vendors literally line the streets like sardines in Bangkok.

In Chiang Mai, our taxi driver grabbed lunch from a random street food stand on the way to dropping us off at an Elephant camp – yes I played with elephants I’ll tell you more about that later. Also Chiang Mai is known for their night markets. They are every night, and are full of street food vendors. One vendor made us Pad Thai right in front of us. Other vendors already had their food prepared. It tasted amazing, but was a tad cold.

I love authentic street food, the only problem I have is that I don’t know exactly what is in it, what they use to cook with. Where the food came from. This is a major problem. How am I suppose to count my macros? Plus, I love to cook and prepare my own food. I am really starting to miss cooking a home cooked meal. By cooking my own food I can control what is in it. In Thailand I let go, took the risk, and just trusted the restaurants and street food vendors.

20140225-152750.jpg

As an American, we are told while traveling, never drink the water and never eat the street food. However, Thailand is known for it’s street food, and they take great pride in that. So I trusted the street food vendors, plus all of the locals eat it. Many locals have their favorite street vendors, and become regulars, just like we have regulars in local bars in the the States.

In Bangkok, it has been very difficult to communicate. This shocks me because it is such a huge city and I expected more people to speak English. Turns out the island areas are more touristy where most locals speak English and speak it well. In Bangkok, it was even hard to ask for a knife. It took a lot of hand gestures and pointing to pictures or names of meals on menus.

Food in Bangkok

Although, the Islands are very close, I would have to say Chiang Mai is my favorite place in Thailand, and it has the best food by far. Although, there were tourists, these tourists were very bohemian, (I saw tons of dread locks.) Chiang Mai has a very authentic vibe. There were tons of locals driving mopeds. The restaurants were so authentic that at one of them the owner through on apron and cooked our food barefoot in her kitchen. She also teaches Thai cooking classes.

This photo is by far my favorite photo I took while in Chiang Mai. It just reveals how authentic and beautiful Chiang Mai is. Look at the street food vendor grilling corn on the cob. I captured her smiling. Look at the local traffic in behind her. Mopeds speeding on by. Look at the beauty of the gold Buddhist temple in the back ground. This defines Thailand.  

Chiang Mai corn ladyThese photo belongs to me. Do not use or repost with out my permission.

Chiang Mai street food

Above is a photo of the night market in Chiang Mai. It is crowded and authentic. People selling art, food, etc.

Food in Chiang Mai

On the Islands, where we are staying, beach front, it is less authentic and more touristy so there are more bars and restaurants and less street food vendors.thailand island meat lady

Also surprisingly, our hotels have had really amazing breakfast. So I have been waking up and eating a pretty big breakfast everyday. This is way different from my eating habits at home. At home I am not a morning eater. Normally, I’ll have a hard boiled egg, latte, protein shake, possibly oatmeal, occasionally a greek yogurt, maybe a piece of fruit. I always have a latte every morning the caffeine helps jump start my metabolism. Here in Thailand I have only had coffee twice, and I have been here for almost 3 weeks.

Breakfast in Ko Samui, Thailand, resort The Blue Lagoonthailand islands breakfastBreakfast in Phuket, Thailand, resort The Malisa

Food on the Islands

The cool thing about Ko Samui is that there was a larger variety of different types of food. We went to The Larger, which was owned by a British guy or Aussie. We also went to an Italian restaurant which was owned by an Italian guy. There were restaurants like these where the owner loved Ko Samui so much that he eventually moved to the island and opened a restaurant.

So there you have it, that sums up what I ate on my three week vacation through Thailand. I am excited to say, that I also  brought home some Thai spices and curry pastes, so I can play in my kitchen and make some of my very own thai food.

I am also proud to say that the DC area has some pretty good Thai restaurants. I don’t think our restaurants are too Americanized.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you been to Thailand?
  2. What is your favorite Thai dish?
  3. Do you cook with Thai spices?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

The Cool Impossible

I am in the Phuket airport waiting to head back to Bangkok. Unfortunately, my access to wifi has been almost nonexistent, so it has been really hard for me to blog, while I have been in Asia. I have so much to say, write, update you on.

But you probably want to hear something about running, since I am a runner and so are you.

And let me tell you…

I have been having some amazing beach runs during my three weeks in Thailand. I even inspired my non runner friend to do some short runs with me. I’m going to write a more detailed post about that later.

In the meantime, I am excited to share with you, The Cool Impossible, the new running book I have been reading while on my travels. I am obsessed! This book is a must read.

20140220-184433.jpg

You may have seen this book on a previous blog post I had written back in the summer. I started this book then, but because I was in the beginning of training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I took the author’s advice and stopped reading it until I had adequate time to complete the 5 month program.

The author, Eric Orton, is a running coach and natural barefoot running expert. He has experience with the Tarahumara (from Born to Run.) He also coached Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run.) Helping McDougall run a successful ultra marathon. He helped McDougall transition into a natural barefoot stride. And with proper running form, curing his bad running habits and healing him from pain from numerous running injuries.

I would have to say I am very impressed with Eric Orton. The way he writes makes you feel like I am actually in Jackson and he is coaching me in person. I also feel like I can relate to him. A lot of the stuff he says in this book is stuff I already know. But I am definitely learning some new stuff too.

“We need more than endurance to run well for long distances; we need to be strong and fast. “

The quote above is from the book. it is promoting strength. Strength is what a good portion of this book is about. Being strong will benefit you in every way. I agree with this 100%. It is refreshing to have someone finally promote strength to prevent injury, instead of finding a new type of shoe, or product to sell you, claiming it is magic. When in the end it is cheaper and more efficient to make your body stronger and healthier. Trust me it is that easy.

For years every running plan and running magazine talked about only running, not strength training. Burt honestly, the truth is the more you strength train, the stronger you will become, the less injuries you will get. The stronger you become the further and faster you will be able to run. Trust me it is that simple.

I use to be that girl who only ran. But since switching to a natural barefoot running shoe with a low heel to toe drop, I have been weight lifting for about a year now. My form has significantly improved. And after only 8 weeks of weight lifting and 6 months on perfecting my running form , I began to not only see my body change to a more fit physique, but my race times significantly improved. I set a new PR in my half marathon, shedding off 9 minutes. And I set a new PR in my full marathon time, shedding off 11
minutes.

I am excited to finish this book, and start the 5 month program. I will blog about my experience along the way.

Although, my form has improved over the year since weight lifting, and switching to a natural barefoot shoe – it is not perfect. There is still room for improvement.

If you are in natural barefoot shoes and you land on your forefoot, take the time now to see the wear and tear at the bottom of your running shoes. Noticing where the wear and tear is located on the bottom of your shoe can tell you a lot about which muscles need to be stronger. Or which muscles need to actually start being used.

By the wear and tear at the bottom if my shoe, I know I need to strengthen my feet and my gluteus medius.

So when I get back to the US this will be the running program I will start. I am also excited about learning more about Heart Rate monitoring and Heart Rate Zones. This will be part of the program as well.

Along with this program, and because I have completed another round of the LiveFit trainer, I will be starting the Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad. I have been doing Livefit for a while know and it’s time to switch things up a bit. Can’t wait!!!

I’ve missed my gym weightlifting sessions since I have been away. I have tried my best to run and stay as active as I can, but I still really miss my intense gym workouts.

20140221-181207.jpg

Above is a burpee challenge I did in Bangkok…

Future Workout Plan
for when I am back home

1) 5 month running program by coach Eric Orton from The Cool Impossible

2) The Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad 3 week program, followed by the Clutch phase 1 and 2.

Both plans talk about nutrition. I will be following Ashley Conrad’s clean eating nutrition plan.

What running plans are you following? What weight lifting plans are you following? Has anyone read The Cool Impossible?

Jim Thompson’s House in Bangkok, Thailand

I am writing this post while sitting in traffic in Bangkok. Wow, and I thought DC traffic was bad. But this is comparable to LA, but honestly it may be worse.

So here we go…

Yesterday, was my first day touring around Bangkok.

We woke up and relaxed on Elissa’s balcony taking in the view and getting familiar with our new Bangkok neighborhood. Shockingly the city was quiet in the morning time.

20140204-154943.jpg

Once we got ready, we headed for breakfast. My friend, Elissa new an amazing brunch place.

20140204-155616.jpg

I ordered a savory crepe with egg, spinach, mushrooms, onion, and feta.

20140204-155133.jpg

We sipped on coffee and drank down fresh juices. I got watermelon juice of course.

20140204-155423.jpg

After breakfast, we headed to the embassy to convert some American dollars to Thai baht. While Elissa was converting the money Erik and I hung outside strolling down a side street that were lined up with street food vendors (similar to our food trucks minus the truck part.) Everything smelled amazing but we ended up getting refreshing bubble tea. Of course I went with Papaya.

After our tea time we headed for a pedicure while Erik got a massage. The pedicure I got is the best I have ever had. Next time I might go for a massage.

20140204-155826.jpg

After our spa services we headed to the Jim Thompson house. We took the BTS which is their metro system. It was packed so we had to squeeze in.

We saw a rally of protestors on the way.

20140204-160056.jpg

The election happened on the day we arrived, so the protesting has significantly died down. A lot of people back home were scared for my safety because of the protesting and political issues in Bangkok. Protestors and political issues are not scary to me (I’m from Washington, DC – I can handle politics.) It is strangers that are too kind, that make me suspicious. ( I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.)

Anyway we made it to the Jim Thompson house and it was gorgeous. Jim Thompson was an American architect who fell in love with Bangkok, later making it his permanent home. His home was right off of the canal. He had beautiful traditional Thai decor and gorgeous gardens. Here are a couple things I found unique about Jim Thompson.

20140204-175108.jpg

Later we ate in the restaurant there on the property. The curry was very good.

20140204-175219.jpg
Erik and I also got to drink his favorite Thai Iced Tea!

20140204-175349.jpg

Tonight we are heading to the night market. Because of the Jim Thompson house I am inspired to find some silk yarn.

Goodbye DC, Hello Thailand

I am writing this post in the Airport waiting to board my plane. This will be a long 24 hours of travel.

Over the last week, I have had many people ask me what am I going to do for workouts while I am away for three whole weeks.

Well first of all let me just say that taking a 2-3 week break from working out and running can be healthy for an athlete who is in good shape. This rest is sometimes needed to avoid burn out. It is healthy physically and mentally.

However, emotionally, passion kicks in and you crave a good workout or run. Or if you are someone trying to loose weight taking a 2-3 week break can really hurt your weight loss progress. And for runners more than two weeks of no training can really set you back.

So before you decide to take a 2-3 week break from your workout routine on your vacation evaluate to fitness level and future goals.

What I’m going to do…

20140201-095353.jpg

Yesterday, I worked out hard. I worked shoulders, arms, and chest. I did different circuits for each, 3 rounds, 15-20 reps of each exercise in the circuit. This was the last 3 days of the Livefit trainer. I have officially completed the Livefit trainer 2 times. The second time customizing it to my body.

As for working out I am going to enjoy my time away- so none of my workouts will be intense. However, I did bring my running shoes (newton distance u) and my garmin. I am hoping to get in some runs. It will be 80-90 degrees which will be super hot compared to our bitter cold winter we’ve been having in the USA. It will be interesting to see how fast my body can adjust to the heat. With that being said I am looking forward to getting my sweat on.

My goals are to try to run through the chaos of Bangkok. Run the mountains of Chiang Mai. I may do some barefoot beach runs. To maintaining girl muscles I will do some body weight exercises such as a variety of planks and push ups. I am also hoping to do some yoga, if possible find a class or retreat. Although, (I ended up not bringing them,) bringing a jump rope and resistant bands are easy items to pack while traveling.

So I’m off! See ya in Thailand!

20140201-103238.jpg

Looks like someone wanted to come with me!!! xo

What a runner reads while traveling…

This Saturday, I start my travels to Thailand.

I am looking forward to escaping this cold brutal winter. ¬†I am looking forward to spending my February basking under the hot sun, in 90 degrees Thailand. I am excited to endure the chaos of Bangkok, shopping at the night markets, seeing the skyline view at Sky Bar. I am ready to breath in the beauty and zen energy of the Buddhist temples. Oh and I can’t hardly wait to visit the elephant sanctuaries of Chang Mai or to island hop the Thailand coast.

Although, all of the above, sounds lovely…

there is one thing I am dreading…

The 24 hour flight I will have to endure to get to my destination – tropical paradise.

It definitely will be interesting…

The longest flight I have ever been on was a 13 hour direct flight from Brazil to the USA. This time I will be flying for 12 hours, switching planes, and flying for another 12 hours. Ugh, sounds dreadful… but well worth it.

I guess I will have to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that in the end, I will get the chance to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And  who would pass up playing with their own personal elephant in Chiang Mai?

So my game plan to keep myself busy while traveling for 24 hours is to read and knit.

Yep, read and knit.

Because I have been so busy: running, working, holidays, planning this trip, and others for the year, I haven’t had much time to sit, relax, and get my knit on. Sadly, I have only completed one project this winter, fingerless mittens.

So I have a really fun knitting project to work on while traveling. It is called the Laura Loops: Salt and Pepper Cowl.

This is found on the Purl Bee website. I chose this project because everything about this piece is small, so it will be easy to throw in my carry on bag.

When it comes to reading, I have tons of books stored on my iPad. However, the books I have planned to read on this trip are all on running.

  • The Big Book on Endurance Training and Racing, by Dr. Philip Maffetone.

51SABPCkQDL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

 

  • Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time, by Hal Higdon51-b-NMsSQL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

What running books are your favorite? What do you do while traveling?

© 2014 sweatdaily

My Fitness and Nutrition goals for 2014!

2013 was an amazing year! It will be hard to beat. However, if there is a year to beat it 2014 is that year. A lot of big, exciting, special things are happening. Two of the biggest include…

  1. I will be traveling to Thailand with my Fiance!
  2. Later in the year, we will be getting married!

I am calling our trip to Thailand our premoon, since it is going to be an amazing adventure taking place before my fiance and I get married. Thailand has always been on the top of my list of places I desire to visit, and now that two of my best friends have moved to Asia, It seems much more doable.

Our trip is planned out according to where in Thailand we are going to be on which day, but from now until we leave, I will be reading up on Thailand as much as possible.

I have also found Pinterest and Instagram extremely helpful while planning this trip. Surprisingly, Pinterest and Instagram have become little tour books on theirc78f233e7abc2a0286ba0f215f5e42a2 own.¬†I have now started a Thailand pin board based on what I want to see while I am there. This is going to be an amazing adventure, and because I am a crazy runner girl, I am bringing my running shoes too. ¬†Honestly, I don’t know how much running I will be doing, but when I do go on a run, I will be sure to blog about it. I am not going to be too hard core, because vacation is about relaxing, plus I have been working out pretty hard in the gym lately, and it may be nice to have some time off. But one of the best things about being a runner, is that you can run anywhere in the world. So my newtons will be in my carry on.

Now that we are on the subject of running, it may be a good time to reveal to you my Future Race Line Up and RUNNING GOALS for 2014.

019fc47d160999745b8be8b6af03cae7

As of now I am registered for three races.

  • The Four Courts Four miler, scheduled for March 15th. During Christmas I had won a free race entry for this race. It is a fun run I have never ran before so I am excited to run it.
  • The Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for April 6th. This race is the first race I ever ran, 6 years ago. It is also one of my favorite races. I was very lucky to get in considering it is a lottery.
  • The Parkway Classic 10 miler, scheduled for April 13th. This is a race I run every year. It is my favorite 10 miler in the area.

SO OBVIOUSLY I AM LOOKING TO PR IN THESE UPCOMING RACES. And, because of the extreme cold temperatures that we have experienced over the last week, I actually have been doing HIIT on the treadmill. I have been averaging a 7:30 min/mile but at some points running between a 6:00/ 6:30 min/mile. By doing sprints like this I am working my fast twitch muscles. I am planning on continuing to do different types of speed work at least 2x a week in order to improve my speed, so I can PR in these upcoming races.

I am not sure which other races I want to run yet. I definitely want to run a couple half marathons, and I am back and forth on whether I want to run a full this year. Full marathons are a huge time commitment for me, so we shall see.

RUNNING GOALS 

  • Run 2014 miles in 2014. Lets see if I can do it, or how close I can get.
  • Read The Cool Impossible. This is the next book following Born To Run. I started it, but put it down because of my marathon training. I am ready to really read it, and use it to improve my running.
  • Learn more about heart rate and how using a heart rate monitor can improve my running. I have been using a heart rate monitor while lifting heavy in the gym. I have found it really fascinating seeing how in some exercised my heart rate stays consistent and how in others it raises and lowers. I have a heart rate monitor for running, so I want to learn how to use it to improve my running.
  • Subscribe again to the magazine Runner’s World. Lately, I have been reading Runner’s World and I feel like it now caters to the beginner runner. However, although the information is stuff I already know, there is also a lot of great inspiring stories in it. So for motivational reasons I want to subscribe again. Plus I buy it every month on the news stand.

As you all know, last year I got really passionate about weight lifting. I think it is very important to do along side running. It makes me a stronger, faster, injury free runner.82ae592f4275b619c540ce05d348e388

WEIGHT LIFTING GOALS for 2014

  • Start and complete two rounds of the clutch transformation. Start and complete the clutch cut. This will be a total of 12 weeks of clutch. Start in March when I return from Thailand.
  • At one point this year I want to be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups. I can’t even do one at the moment.
  • I want to be able to do a handstand. I am always in awe of all the cool yoga poses I see people doing on What’s Beautiful, and on Instagram, and most of them are handstands. Handstands are so healthy for you, and they make you very strong.
  • I want to see some abs. Nothing too crazy. But some baby abs would be nice to see.

Because I want to see some abs, and everyone knows abs are made in the kitchen. So here are my Nutritional Goals for 2014.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS for 2014

  • Be more strict about eating veg.
  • Meal prep weekly.
  • Continue to cook more. Eat out less.
  • While doing clutch follow clutch diet and supplement plan.
  • Read all my cook books.
  • Continue to stock my kitchen with the tools I need.
  • Organize my recipes so they are easy to find when I need them. Maybe in a recipe box.
  • Subscribe to vegetarian magazines. This will help me stay on track and motivated to cook more.

*Make and inspiration board and change it often. This way I stay up to date!*

And saving the best for last, Getting Married!!

Best wishes from me to you for 2014!!

What are your 2014 goals? Where are you traveling? Which races are you running?

Articles you may like…

© 2014 sweatdaily

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

75324_10100908125820626_791747282_n

I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

733772_10101072250478496_1470751665_n

I went to Vegas for the first time.

972071_10101227542566906_147498669_n

I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

1174543_10101303111670816_1073708834_n-1

Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

20130101-104435.jpg

© 2014 sweatdaily

Running on Martha’s Vineyard

So now that you all have heard my exciting news– that happened on Martha’s Vineyard. It is time to reveal to you some of my favorite places to run on the Island.

20130910-165619.jpg

East Chop, located in Oak Bluff, is by far one of my favorite places to run. It is about a four mile run, two miles down hill, turn around, two miles up hill.
However, you can make your run as long or short as you want.

On this vacation I ran East Chop a couple times. I did a 10k by adding an extra two miles easily. After running down East Chop I made a right heading towards Vineyard Haven, then turned around after I ran the bridge. During this run, I felt amazing. It is crazy what a difference cooler weather can be.

Now the reason why I love running East Chop is because the scenery is breath taking. You get the opportunity to run right along the water. You are so close to the ocean that you can hear waves crashing. Most days there is an ocean breeze.

Also the beach houses along East Chop are beautiful and full of character. Although, there is also the famous East Chop light house, which gets attention from tourists, this running route is never too crowded. You won’t feel alone, because you most likely will see a few other runners.

20130910-175833.jpg

Another awesome place to run is the Oak Bluff harbor to Edgartown. Let’s explain. I ran this a couple times. There is a sidewalk that runs along the beach with spectacular views of the water and boats coming in. The harbor leads you to a bike path that takes you to Edgartown. On your way to Edgartown you will pass Jaws Bridge. Jaws Bridge is a fun place to pass because it is the famous bridge people jump off into the water. At this point it has been four miles and a great place to turn around, if you are trying to fit in a nice 8 miler in. The last time I ran this the sky was overcast, on the way back the sun came out. I remember running the last couple miles fast to get home in time to hit the beach.

So if you are looking for fun places to run on Martha’s Vineyard make sure you check out these routes. And while you are at it, jump off the Jaws Bridge!!

Where is your all time favorite place to run?¬†Have you run on Martha’s Vineyard?

© 2013 sweatdaily

The Proposal

It is saturday morning, August 24th, 2013, Erik and I are on a flight to our traditional end of the summer beach trip. The pilot jokingly chuckles in a Boston accent, that in 20 minutes we will be approaching our final destination, landing in the “Harba of Martha’s Vineyad.”

This is the first time that Erik and I had the opportunity to fly directly from Washington, DC to Martha’s Vineyard. Unlike our normal 5 hour trek, this was such an easy 90 minute flight.

Erik’s parents are sitting there patiently waiting in the small airport’s quart yard waiting for us to arrive. From Saturday to Tuesday morning we spend our Martha’s Vineyard vacation with them, but then on Tuesday they leave for Florida on business. They will be back Friday afternoon, and we head home Friday night. This is perfect timing, allowing Erik and I to finally experience the Island just the two of us.

We end up being blessed with some amazing beach days. The photos speak better than words.

On Thursday, we wake up to the typical New England overcast sky. The air cool and crisp Рit feels like fall. There is a breeze Рas if a storm was coming, but it never pours. Erik and I decide to go shopping in Edgar Town and walk around the harbor.

Later that day, we decide to head to Menemsha and Gay Head…

Menemsha is a beautiful beach that is known for its spectacular sunsets. Many photographers come to take photos. Others come for the view and a seafood picnic. It is easy to get seafood here because fishing boats park near the harbor, with fresh sea food. They have kitchen shacks where they will steam you a fresh lobster right from their boat. Many times there are pots of clam chowder and lobster bisque simmering.

Because the sky is smothered with gray clouds, seeing a sunset would be impossible, so last minute, Erik change our plan, and we start to head to Gay Head instead.

Gay Head is a beach known for it’s spectacular clay cliffs. There are cute shops on the top of the cliff. ¬†Previous years, I have been in the shops and on the top of the cliff looking down on the beach – but never walked the beach.

So Erik and I decided to head on down…

Of corse I am taking tons of pictures along the way. We follow the trail down to the beach.

The beach is as spectacular as everyone claims it to be. Waves crash wildly along the coast. The cliffs are made from red clay. They stand tall but unstable as heavy rocks fall from them. The sand feels like a clay facial mask for your feet.

In Martha’s Vineyard, it is rare to find your typical sea shell, instead the beaches are covered with sea glass and unique rocks. Many stores sell rocks with inspiring words on them, some with art painted on them. It is not uncommon for islanders to collect these rocks. So as we walk the beach, we are looking closely for unique rocks especially ones with halo rings around them.

Damn then, my phone dies… I guess I was taking too many photos.

I ask to barrow Erik’s phone so I can take one last photo of a wanna-be sand castle made from rocks. (You can see it in the last photo above – I thought it looked cool.)

All of a sudden, I hear Erik calling my name.

“Meggie… come over here.”

He starts crouching down.

I am really clueless of what is going on… maybe he found a cool rock, I thought.

“I have a question to ask you…”

He pulls out a red box that was hidden in his hands.

“Will you marry me?” he asks very quietly, as he opens the box.

Everything happening all at once.

I try to stay focused on him, but my eyes are hypnotized by the beauty, the sparkle of the ring.

“Yes,” I say…

And suddenly, I feel Erik putting the ring on my finger.

“Sorry, it took so long…” he says… “I love you.”¬†

We hike back up to the car and head over to Menemsha, to grab a lobster dinner.

On the car ride over, I stare at the ring, excited, shocked, pinching myself to see if this is actually reality.

The next morning we head to the beach one last time, before we have to pick up Erik’s parents at the airport. It is then that I decide to text a photo of the ring, to some close family.

1174543_10101303111670816_1073708834_n-1

I have been getting a lot of questions about the stone. This ring is a rare natural black diamond. There are a lot of interesting facts about black diamonds. But one of them is…

“The Karloff Noir diamond is believed to be the world’s largest cut black diamond at 88 carats, and legend has it that when touched, it endows the person with good luck, fortune and happiness.”

Now I have my very own black diamond which only means one thing… I get to spend a life time with Erik.

Summer is coming to an end.
When something ends, new things begin…
On thursday, August 29th, 2013 on the Island Martha’s Vineyard- I got engaged!

© sweatdaily 2013

Running the Vegas Strip

Hello lovelies!

For the last week I was in Vegas! It was a really busy, fun, non stop, sleepless, crazy, weird, hard working, inspiring, motivating, sun-kissed… trip. I will have to admit it was hard to keep my clean eating plant based diet on point. It was also a struggle to find time to get my workouts in.

Let me explain…

The diet: 

  • FAIL: One of the biggest points of eating clean, is to eat 5-7 small meals a day in 2-3 hour intervals. This did not happen.
  • FAIL: While eating clean it is best to prepare your own meals. This did not happen. I ate out every meal, sometimes pretty late at night.
  • FAIL: Although, I do not label myself as vegetarian, my regular diet consists of mostly plant based food. In Vegas, most of the food included some sort of meat, and all of my meals were loaded with salt.
  • FAIL: I definitely did not drink enough water. The heat is dry there, and I felt dehydrated most of the time.
  • FAIL: I drank way too many vodka pineapples.
  • FAIL: Although, most of the food I ate were not considered organic or clean, I am a foodie, and enjoyed trying different restaurants.
  • GOOD: I did find an amazing juice bar, and had a green juice, that consisted of kale.
  • GOOD: On the way back to the East Coast, I randomly found a 2 Mom’s in the Raw granola bar in¬†blueberry.

The workouts: 

6276_10101216329338306_617596903_nMy boyfriend came out to Vegas with me for the first four days. While I was with him I put it in my mind that these days would be my rest days. He was considering this a fun vacation with me and I was not about to be selfish by choosing the gym over him. It is okay, to skip a workout every now and then, when there are other plans scheduled, such as grabbing a morning coffee and bagel with your boyfriend while on vacation in Vegas. It is important to find a healthy balance.

Once my boyfriend left, I switched hotels, and started my work training, I was 20130718-153853.jpgable to find a routine, of waking up early and hitting the gym, at the Hotel/Casino before work. The gym was small and surprisingly very busy. Two days in a row I was able to lift and do some running on the treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill, and most of the time I don’t even consider my workouts on the TMill runs. However, this time around I did some HIIT, which was a really intense workout. Because during HIIT you run for 30 seconds at a sprinting pace and then jump off standing still for 30 seconds, then 1006287_10101225210181026_908292256_nrepeat, it is NOT boring. This type of running gets your heart rate up and then down, which can help you become a faster runner. I was shocked that at one point I was sprinting between a 6:30 and 7 minute mile.

I also went out a couple times at night to go dancing. Dancing is a really good work out as well. I sweat my but off, and worked my legs so hard I should have called it leg day!

Running the Vegas strip:  Finally, the last day, I woke up early so I could do a short run outside before I headed to the airport. The main reason I wanted to get an outdoor run in was because I wanted to compare the dry heat of Vegas to the humidity of DC. I have heard mixed opinions of which one is better to run in.

Dry heat:¬†The dry heat felt like a sauna. The sun felt like it was burning me. My throat was dry. My nose was dry and congested. In Vegas, there are areas where they manually spray mist. This is a good way to get water into the dry air, but it wasn’t enough. While I was running, it felt effortless, but I noticed I wasn’t even sweating. It wasn’t until I actually stopped running when sweat began to pour from me.

Humidity:  When I got off the plane and stepped outside into the Washington, DC air, I felt like I was walking into a steam room. I was so happy to be back in the humidity Рit felt amazing. Never thought I would say that. But because I am born and raised here, I am so use to the humidity that I never even noticed how much moisture is in the air. After being in Vegas and coming back home I could really tell a difference.

The one thing that I like most about running in the humidity is that you immediately start to sweat. Sweating is important because it helps your body detox and cool down. The good thing about running in dry heat is that if it is 100 degrees out, it feels exactly like 100 degrees, unlike in humidity where it normally feels hotter.  However, whether you are running in dry heat or humidity, you still need to drink a ton of water and stay hydrated.

The Strip:972071_10101227542566906_147498669_nI began my run at around 7:00 am. At that time, there were people out, but it wasn’t busy. Finally, I found a time when the Strip was quiet, almost peaceful. There were tons of other runners out too, however they were all tourists like me, no local runner would be running the strip. Also the strip is full of elevated crosswalks which means I ended up running tons of stairs. ¬†If you haven’t had a chance to run the Vegas Strip, I highly recommend it.

Questions For You…

  1. How do you stay on point with your diet while on vacation?
  2. Have you ever run in Vegas? If so where?
  3. Which do you prefer, dry heat or humidity?

© sweatdaily 2013

 

The search for the perfect “brazilian” Bikini…

Spring has arrived.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been experiencing some serious spring fever – meaning I am ready for things to heat up! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say that Spring in the Washington, DC area is the best time of year here. The famous Cherry Blossoms have come and gone, and if you have never experienced spring allergies you will if you come here.

Anyway, last weekend I escaped the DC area, which was undergoing the winter/spring transition, and instead I headed down to Miami. It was there, in South Beach, that I got a sweet taste of summer.

733772_10101072250478496_1470751665_n

I am definitely a beach girl. And so far, I have had the privilege to visit some pretty amazing beaches, including ones in Brazil, Barcelona, Greece, Turkey, California, Martha’s Vineyard, etc, and now I can include South Beach, Miami to the list.644653_10101076014355656_2139329044_n

Because summer is approaching, the average women uses spring to become beach ready. Being a hairstylist, I advise my clients to start growing out their bangs, and add some sun-kissed highlights, to brighten and refresh their darker locks. Some people hit the gym, while others try the latest trendy diet, in order to shed those extra pounds they gained during their winter hibernation. Most longing to look fabulous in a bikini, this leads to the hunt to find the most flattering swimsuit.

It has been interesting visiting international beaches and comparing their people and beaches to our very own. When I was Barcelona, I was able to observe, Australians, French, Spaniards, Italians, Japanese, and many more. Then when I went to Brazil, I observed Brazilians, and while in Greece, the Greeks. I came to the conclusion that most Europeans and definitely all Brazilians, are more accepting and more confident regarding their bodies. French, Spaniards, and Italians, all go topless, regardless of their age or body type. The Brazilians, do not go topless, but they are known to wear teeny tiny bikini bottoms, (side note: not considered a thong.)  But the majority of Brazilians wear these tiny bikinis, even when their bottoms might not be.

As for me, I am an American, who always wears a brazilian bikini. I can thank my best friends for that one.  My bff is brazilian, who ever since we became friends  fourteen years ago,  she has been bringing me back brazilian bikinis, every time she visits brazil. In 2006, I finally was able to travel with her, to Brazil. And again we shopped for more brazilian bikinis. So as you can see, I have a pretty big collection, of these colorful, skimpy swim suits.

Purchasing bikinis in brazil is much more affordable, and it use to be impossible to find brazilian bikini companies that would ship to the USA. However, times have changed. Brazil’s economy is booming. And now some, not all, but some of the best brazilian swimwear is available to purchase online in American dollars.

So since I was heading to one of the sexiest beaches in the USA, South Beach, Miami, and because I have trained so hard doing the Livefit trainer, it was time to treat myself to a new brazilian bikini.

I was a little nervous purchasing a bikini online. But I felt safe going with one of my favorite brazilian bikini brands, Lenny. While I was in Brazil, I was lucky enough to have had purchased two of them, and knew exactly how they fit. (Side note:  Sizing is definitely different in Brazil.) Why was I so lucky? In Brazil, I was able to get two of these bikinis for a little over $100.00. Now, this brand is a major splurge, costing me a hefty $230.00 for my new bikini.

brazil 3

So after I had purchased my Lenny bikini, I continued my search. Not because I was dissatisfied with my choice – I am actually in love with my new Lenny bikini and wore everyday while I was in Miami. But I continued my search simply because I was curious about what other brazilian bikini companies are available to the USA, and if I could find a new more affordable favorite.

During my search, I came across Midori Bikinis. This is a small company who makes affordable Brazilian Bikinis, and ships to the USA. They too were tired of paying $70 plus for 12 inches of material. They were founded on the believe that everyone deserves affordable high¬†quality swimwear. They have a variety of thong and brazilian bikini bottoms, including my favorite, the¬†“Kailua Classic.”

Our collection of unique Midori Brazilian Bikinis are especially designed for comfortable beach & surf wear. T‚Äčhey feature Extra Life Lycra which allow our suits to be¬†10x more durable than normal swimwear material¬†and¬†10x more resistant¬†to fadingA variety of skimpy backs provide some coverage- but by no means are they meant to hide those cheeks!” – quoted from their website.

Their website also says that Midori Bikini sells its own line of swimwear imported directly from Brazil and they ensure the highest quality.

TIP

So let me give you some advice… I came across this company by searching the keyword brazilian bikini on INSTAGRAM. Yep, that is right, Instagram is not just for your own personal photos. It can also be used as a fabulous place to seek knowledge and discover new things. I highly advise you to follow this company Midori Bikinis on Instagram. By following them on Instagram you will be the first to receive updates about what they have in stock, and when they receive or upload new shipments of merchandise. Also, because this is a small company, but a fabulous one, when they upload their new merchandise it is gone quickly. And when I say quickly, I mean it. Do not wait a day. Trust me, with in hours all items become sold out.

I was lucky to be quick enough and was able to purchase two tops and one Kailua Classic bottom.  My total was under $100 for these three items. And to my surprise the delivery was quick, and they were waiting for me at my front door, way sooner than I expected Рa couple days.

brazil 2

brazil

 

Another interesting thing that I realized when researching Brazilian bikinis was the models they choose to use. The models used for Brazilian bikini companies normally are curvier or more athletic. While the American companies that sell Brazilian bikinis use very skinny models. I remember seeing one bikini that when seeing it on a model chose by a Brazilian company, loving it. But then seeing the same bikini on a model chose by an American company and hating it. Ladies- Strong is the new Skinny.  See for yourself.

Brazilian Inspired –128 9

santorini-maui santorini-maui-b-1

American Inspired –¬†

ACAC-WX77_V1-1 ACAC-WX77_V2-1 ACAC-WX76_V123932031_028_a 23932031_028_b

 

Questions for You…

  1. Which beach is your favorite?
  2. How are you preparing for spring/summer.

© 2013 sweatdaily

To Snowboard or To Ski?!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

As long as I can remember I was a skier. I was that little girl in a puffy pink onesie, snowplowing (aka the pizza), fearlessly and poleless down the mountain. My parents got me on skis at a very young age, even my girl scout troop went on annual ski trips.

When I was 16, I went with my high school, to Seven Springs, a ski resort in Pennsylvania. It was there that on my second day of skiing I decided to trade my skis in for a snowboard. I have been on a board ever since.

I am definitely a better skier, than snowboarder. However, I enjoy snowboarding because it is a challenge for me, and I always love a good challenge. When I first got on a board I realized how truly different it is compared to skiing.

THE DIFFERENCE 

In skiing, each leg is attached to it’s own individual ski. While in snowboarding both legs are attached to one board. In skiing, it is a lot of hip action. While in snowboarding it is distributing weight on to your toes and then on to your heels. This creates an S shape in the snow, called carving. ¬†In skiing, you have poles to push you along on flatter services, or to help create speed. On a snowboard, you have to unbuckle your back foot. This freed foot can go in front of your board or behind your board, in order to comfortably shuffle your way along on flatter services. Most snowboarders choose their stance, goofy or regular.

Maybe it is because I have been skiing longer, and learned to ski before I learned to snowboard. But because of the obvious, having both legs attached to one board, compared to having legs individually attached to their own skis – skiing is more freeing and I feel much more in control.

As a child, I grew up going skiing a couple times a year during the winter season. But as an adult, I begin to get to the resort less and less. So last year, I decided I was going to make more of an effort to get to the mountain. Because of this, my bf and I both bought each other snowboards, and we have made it a tradition to always go snowboarding on my birthday.

THR GEAR

This Christmas, I was one lucky girl. My bf ended up getting me the rest of my snowboarding equipment.  This included: boots, gloves, pants, socks (made from merino wool, my favorite), and a helmet.

Growing up we never wore helmets, just a goofy hat. But honestly, a helmet keeps you so much warmer, and safer. Plus all the expert skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets, so you just look like an ammature if you aren’t wearing one. WEAR YOUR HELMET!!

551446_10101001273252426_1651255721_n

 

** I love my new helmet, and it is my favorite color. Thanks baby, for an awesome Christmas present!!**

RESORTS

I am an east coast girl, so unfortunately I have only had the opportunity to ski of the east coast – maybe my dream will come true and I will find time to go out West to Vail or Jackson Hole.

In the past, I have gone up to Vermont a couple times, to a resort called Mount Snow. However, most of the time when I go skiing or snowboarding I am either in Pennsylvania or Maryland. The good resorts in Pennsylvania that I have been to are Seven Springs or Blue Knob.

There are some resorts down in Southern Virginia. Winter Green is the better out of the resorts down there. Massanutten aka Massanothing, has been taken over by college kids that attend JMU, and parents love to bring their kids because of the indoor water park.  There are some resorts in West Virginia. The most popular one is Snow Shoe.

Anyhow, over the last three years, my bf and I have gone skiing at White Tale, a resort right passed Hagerstown, MD. We have chosen this resort simply because it is the closest to get too. However, the resort itself is pretty simple, and small. The only food option is their cafeteria, and the county is a dry county – so no bar here. They do have an awesome fire pit, which warms you up after hours on the slope. The last couple times we have gone, though, it has been really over crowded. The chairlift lines were super long, and the slopes were over packed with kids.

So this year, my bf and I decided to try a different resort. Although, up north got dumped on with snow, we haven’t gotten any in the DC area. So our main concern was finding a place that had some snow. My mom suggested Blue Knob. She had told me that I had been as a kid, but honestly I had no memories of the place.

BLUE KNOB

Blue Knob is the resort located in Pennsylvania, on the highest mountain top. It is about a 3 hour drive from the DC area. When we looked at their website, they claimed they had snow, and all trails were open. So it was go time… we aren’t picky at all when it comes to snowboarding.

We headed up Friday night, spent the night in a hotel 30 minutes from the resort. Woke up early, and we were on our way. The ride up the mountain was beautiful. See for yourself…snowtrees

Driving to the resort was all up hill, or rather up mountain. The reason why is because unlike other resorts where the lodge is on the bottom of the mountain, at Blue Knob, the lodge is located on the very top of the the mountain. Instead of first having to wait in line and ride the chairlift, automatically you get to ski or snowboard right from the lodge Рwhich I loved.

21687_10151437679639660_613762191_nAnother awesome thing about Blue Knob is that the trails all intertwine with each other. You’ll see black diamonds in between green slopes. There are lots of trees, so you feel like you are skiing of snowboarding through the woods – very nature like.¬†76058_10151437679914660_1887698425_nAnother thing about Blue Knob, was that it was not overly crowded. It was a Saturday, but I rarely had to wait in lift lines. I pretty much had the slopes to myself. This could be because the resort is very secluded compared to the other resorts. It also could be because they have a lot more trails, and all of them were open with really great snow.¬†285689_10101001271495946_517169163_n** His and Her Burton Boards.**

When I had decided I was going to buy my bf a board. I started to research Nitro Snowboards.  The company seemed really good, and the board designs were visually pleasing. However, they were really expensive and hard to find. I ended up buying a Burton Board for him, and he bought one for me. I love my Burton Board. 

**My next post will be about tips for purchasing your first snow board, so stay tuned.**

THE LODGE

The food at Blue Knob was not bad, of corse it wasn’t the healthiest. They had a basic grill, where they could make you anything you wanted, from breakfast sandwiches to burgers. They also had soups in bread bowls, and other snacks. They do have a bar, and there was a band playing live music when we were there.

A GREAT WORKOUT

Of corse we went to hang in the lodge for lunch, and to warm up and grab a coffee. But for the most part, we were on the slopes, 9 am-4 pm. Seven hours of snowboarding is an amazing work out. But where I felt the most sore was my inner thighs, and my arms. I think this is because the shuffling movement on flat services works the inner thighs, and the constant being on the ground and then pushing yourself up works the arms.

IN THE END…

I highly recommend trying snowboarding or skiing if you haven’t already. It is tons of fun, and a great work out. If you are on the East Coast, I highly recommend Blue Knob resort. ¬†Although, it is March, the season isn’t over yet. The Mid Atlantic has just been issued a ¬†Snow Alert. So get out there and enjoy the snow, the winter, while you can.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?
  2. Where is your favorite ski lodge located?
  3. What kind of board do you have?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

Falling in love, with NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras!

404920_10100987015544986_1815435523_n

Last year I was so¬†privileged to have the opportunity to head down to New Orleans for a week long celebration of Mardi Gras… and I fell in love.

This is how it all began….

One of my close family friends, EW, ¬†had gone to college at Tulane. She loved New Orleans so much that she continued to live there for a couple years after she graduated. Because now she relocated back in the DC area… I had always deeply regretted the fact that I had never gone down to visit her and the lovely city while she lived there. I thought I had missed my chances. But turns out, for my birthday present she hooked me up with a plane ticket, and told me we were heading down to New Orleans, aka, NOLA for Mardi Gras. I was beyond excited.

As the weeks came closer and closer to our departure date, EW tried to prepare me.

“You know how people say New York, is the city that doesn’t sleep?” She asked.

“Yep. Everyone knows that. “

“Well they are wrong, it’s really New Orleans.” She told me.

She was so right about that one. There were nights in NOLA during our week long Mardi Gras celebration, where we got home by 6am and was leaving the house again by 10 am.

She explained, “A drink will never leave our hands.”

“Ok,” I answered

“Always remember though this is a drinking marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.”

This was a great thing to remember, and because I am a runner I could totally understand this metaphor. You won’t get sick or throw up if you slowly drink. You won’t ever be hung over, if you are still drinking.

So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…

NOLA is beautiful. ¬†I love to create beauty and be surrounded by it. The architecture in NOLA is outstanding. There wasn’t one house or building that didn’t have character. Some places had a lot of Southern influence, while others had Spanish and French influences.

NOLA taste good. The food was amazing. I ate grits and shrimp, po’boy sandwiches, cajun spices, fries deep fried in goose fat, gumbo, jambalaya, a craw fish bake, oysters, and beignets. Nothing taste bad,¬†I even tried frog legs.

IMG_0165

NOLA quenches your thirst. You don’t have to chug your beer here, because you can ask your bar tender for a to go cup. Drinking in the street is totally legal. There is a bar called BullDog, who lets you take your pint glass home with you. It is a popular place among the locals – I highly recommend it. Hurricanes are NOLA’s signature drink.

IMG_0047

NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.

IMG_0214

NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.

IMG_0393

NOLA wears costumes.

IMG_0235

NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…

IMG_0174

sometimes South Park toys…

IMG_0260

NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…

IMG_0179

IMG_0289IMG_0136IMG_0332IMG_0474

NOLA is highly influenced by the Catholic traditions, which is the whole point of Mardi Gras anyway. Live it up today, for tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

There are so many amazing things about NOLA and it made me a little sad today, that I wasn’t down there, this year celebrating. But I am so happy, I experienced it last year, and was able to share my memories with you.

Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…

© 2013 sweatdaily

2012 Highlights

This is one of my favorite times of year. It is a New Year. A new beginning. It is your opportunity to have a fresh new start. But one of my favorite things to do, durning this time is taking a look back on the year that has just ended. My yoga teacher would tell me not to dwell. Do the pose, now let it go, forget about it, and then move on and do the next posture. This is great advice, but sometimes it is nice to look back, I highly recommend it.

It is funny how people starts New Years resolutions, ¬†and then they feel bad when they do not stick to them. Then time goes by and maybe you can’t even remember what your New Years resolution was in the first place. Or maybe you are the total opposite and you set your New Years resolution and you stick to it and it totally changes who you are. For example, maybe you are that girl that looses a 100 lbs, and ends up on the Today show… it could happen… right?

But do you really need to set a New Years resolution? ¬†As I take a look back on my 2012 year, I notice a lot of amazing things went down. Most of these amazing things had nothing to do with my New Years resolution. I have noticed that my New Years resolution isn’t very significant at all, because I am self-consciously¬†always setting small goals for myself, in every aspect of my life. ¬†Plus life itself is pretty amazing. It sends us opportunities and challenges, that are unplanned and out of our control.

So with that being said,  in hope to inspire you in some way, I will share with you my highlights of 2012. Enjoy!

IMG_0428_2ART: In January 2012, I started the winter session of my drawing class at The Torpedo Factory. My teacher Tanya is amazing. She taught me that our eyes will isolate things, but as an artist you must see the full picture not only looking for the positive space, but also the negative space.

What is an object, if it has nothing you can relate it to? Everything is about relationships. In order to determine, size, shape, depth, tone… you can not isolate objects, you must relate them to other things. The most interesting thing about this class is that because I am a hair stylist I was able to relate everything to haircutting and color. It definitely made me more creative at work. ¬†The winter session starts up again, next week. I can’t wait!

TRAVEL: I use to always travel internationally, with a passion for Europe and South America.  However the past couple years I have had the opportunity to explore some different parts of the USA. Trust me, when I say this, our country is beautiful, and we have some amazing places to see.

So in February 2012, I traveled down to New Orleans. I had never been that south before, so I didn’t really know what to expect but New Orleans is overflowing with culture. The architecture is a mix between southern, but also has a lot of Spanish European influence. The food is a mix of cajun spices, but they have some of the best seafood as well. There is a spooky feeling, that hangs over the city. All of the graveyards are above ground, and voodoo dolls are sold at the flea markets. However, because of the Spanish European influence there are a lot of gorgeous Catholic Churches.

I went down there for Mardi Gras, with a friend of mine who use to live there, and later, while I was there, I met up with an old friend that I went to grade school with, who lives there now – So I was in great company. We did as the locals did- A drink was always in my hand, even while walking in the street, to the next bar/parade. The whole city pretty much closed down for the week, and everyone of all ages were partying in the streets.

I made new friends.

I made new friends.

I met up with old friends.

I met up with old friends.

I drank a lot!

I drank a lot!

I ate a lot!

I ate a lot!

I wore a green wig!

I wore a green wig!

In June 2012, I went out west, to explore Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. The best parts of this trip were, Boise, The Shoshone Waterfalls, Idaho Falls, Yellow Stone National Park, Jackson Hole, and Craters of the Moon. Meeting, the fitness model Jamie Eason, in Salt Lake was pretty cool too.

horses in Idaho

horses in Idaho

The Shoshone Falls

The Shoshone Falls

bison in yellowstone

bison in yellowstone

Yoga in Montana.

Yoga in Montana.

Caving

Caving! Craters of the Moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In July 2012, it seemed like I was on a plane every week. My Grammy, had surgery and could not recover. I flew to Massachusetts/ Connecticut to visit her in the hospital on her birthday. A couple days later I went to Los Angeles, California for intense hair training with Sebastian Professionals. During my few spare minutes I went running on the beach in Santa Monica.

Sebastian girls in LA

Sebastian girls in LA

After my trip to LA, my Grammy passed on, so I went back up to Massachusetts for her funeral. She lived a wonderful 84 years, and although she is gone, she has helped form me into the lady I am today. She will always live on through me and the others who love her.

In September 2012, I again headed to Massachusetts, but this time to Martha’s Vineyard.¬†¬†I ran the coast of Martha’s Vineyard almost everyday I was up there. I also went fishing and caught my first fish. We ate tons of my favorite, Lobster.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

I'm so happy, I could kiss you!

I’m so happy, I could kiss you!

In September, I went to New York City for a Sebastian Pro Hair Show. I also had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite yarn shops Purl Soho.

tumblr_matuddG1U21rrnjzco3_500

So that sums up my travel, I got around…

RUNNING: I ran a total of 7 races in 2012.

IMG_0547April 1, 2012, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in 1:29:26. 8:56 min mile.

April 6, 2012, I ran the Crystal City 5K in 26:26. 8:30 min mile.

IMG_0590

April 22, 2012, I ran the Parkway Classic in 1:28:05. 8:45 min mile.

576866_10100747687225856_912276774_n

 

August 26, 2012 I ran the Annapolis 10 miler, in 1:33:23. 9:20 min mile.

L and I at the start of the ATM

L and I at the start of the ATM

October 21, 2012, I ran the Army 10 miler, in 1:30:16. 9:01 min mile.

531093_10101179463806880_1613697534_n

November 22, 2012 I ran the SOME Turkey Trot in 24:34. 7:54 min mile.

429524_10100868123605386_418749121_nDecember 1, 2012, I ran the Annapolis Half Marathon, in 1:51:21. 8:29 min mile.

By not running a full marathon in 2012, I was able to focus on running form. I began to experiment with a natural running shoe (Newton), and was able to successfully change my stride.

YOGA: Through out the year I was able to continue my Bikram yoga practice.

L and I at Bikram.

L and I at Bikram.

KNITTING: This year I knitted up a storm. I really began to think of knitting as a form of art. And now I have become a ‚Äúyarn snob,‚ÄĚ guilty of having an obsession with high quality yarn. I love natural fibers such as merino wool, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, angora, silk, cotton, and linen. Here are some of my favorite projects of 2012.

tumblr_m9sw1h1KQo1rrnjzco2_1280In March, I made a yoga bag.

IMG_0562In April, I finished my first Sweater.

bandana cowl

bandana cowl

White Caps Cowl

White Caps Cowl

15112_10100860364479736_778132713_nI hand knit the Super Soft Fluted Cowl.

my latest Chunky Knit!  Hand knit by me.

my latest Chunky Knit! Hand knit by me.

I hand knit the herringbone cowl.

150626_10100912681930146_132839178_nMy latest piece. My second sweater. The Short Row Sweater. Pattern by Purl Bee. Yarn from Purl Soho. Hand knitted by me.

HAIR & Photo Work: I did three photo shoots.

426646_10151031819157903_414240402_n

 

© 2012 Do NOT use photos

© 2012
Do NOT use photos

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 Do NOT use photo!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

© 2012 DO NOT USE PHOTO!

At the end of May 2012, last but not least, and the most exciting thing of all is that my boyfriend and I moved into our very first home! We are home owners.

So as you can see 2012 was a very busy year for me, full of exploring new places, learning new things, and challenging my body to its ultimate fitness level. Now, that I looked back, I can move forward. I am very excited about 2013, but topping 2012 will be hard to do.

Questions for you…

  1. Does looking back help you move forward?
  2. What was your most exciting thing that happened to you in 2012?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Fritter

20121019-093209.jpg

This is not a HEALTHY post. But for all of you, that love and know Martha’s Vineyard, you will a
appreciate this half eaten fritter from, Back Door Donuts. For those that don’t know Back Door Donuts, I’ll tell you about it.

Back Door Donuts is a bakery on Martha’s Vineyard. The one I usually go to is in Oak Bluffs. They make the best Fritter and Boston Cream Donuts. The cool thing about this place is that they start baking their donuts at 7:30 at night and continue making them until 2:00 am. The amazing smell of donuts baking fills the evening air of Oak Bluffs. The best part is that although the front of the bakery is closed for the night you can run around the back to the backdoor and they will serve you there. So you can eat any donut you want fresh at night.

The only downside is that as the summers go by this bakery gets more and more popular, so be prepared to wait in line. However, although, the line goes down the block it does move pretty fast, and is totally worth the wait.

Oh and also take note, this place is really good after a night of drinking.

Sunsets at Menemsha

glowing beach chairs

Yellow

 

Fishing

Watching the Sun

Chairs

Audience

Menemsha is the beach spot in Martha’s Vineyard where everyone comes in the evening to watch the sunset. There are tons of cool lobster kitchens along the beach so you can have a casual lobster dinner while watching the sky turn orange.

© 2012

 

Beach BBQ in South Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

This summer was a pretty good summer, a very busy summer, but the one thing I wished that I could have had the opportunity to do is run barefoot on the beach. However, in Martha’s Vineyard, the only really long stretch of beach is South Beach and it was located 20 miles away from where I was staying. So instead, we went to South Beach to have a Beach BBQ.

A simple photo, but a beauty. Sky, water, sand.

Tons of amazing food!

In the photo above I ate Arugula salad with Beets and Watermelon topped with Grilled Scallops. We also had, corn on the cob, eggplant layered with tomato and basil.

Finishing up and reviewing Natural Running. I had a breakthrough guys.

Walking the beach.

My Boyfriend and I walking the beach.

You can drive your truck right on the beach.

The beach BBQ was really amazing. I have never had one before. I am a beach girl, but I am also a minimalist. So normally when I go to the beach, I just bring a towel or blanket and lay there on the beach all day, nothing else. My boyfriend’s family came prepared. They had everything and went all out. They pulled their truck on to the beach, opened the back, and started pulling out, tables, coolers of foods and drinks, a grill. It was quite fancy and the food was really good, gourmet.

Questions for You

  • Have you ever had a beach BBQ?
  • What is your favorite beach food?

© 2012

 

 

 

Fishing in Martha’s Vineyard

MARTHA’S VINEYARD

I got home Wednesday night, from a five day getaway from Martha’s Vineyard. Before we left I spent all of Friday getting everything in order. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about a long list of things I needed to get done when I got back. Because of this, I was able to really let go, and relax. Actually my vacation ended up being so relaxing, that I felt refreshed and ready to head back to work on Thursday morning, that rarely happens.

So let me start explaining from the beginning, for those of you that are not familiar with Martha’s Vineyard – Martha’s Vineyard is an island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. ¬†To give you a visual, it is the island that the movie JAWS was filmed on. Anyway, my boyfriend’s parents have a house there. When they first were talking about buying a beach house I assumed that they would buy one more local, but my bf’s stepmom is originally from New England. Also her sister owns a B&B there, and her grandfather was buried on the Island so she wanted to be there too. But let me tell you, it is a little bit of a hike to get there. We have to take a one hour flight to Boston, jump on a bus for two hours, then take a one hour boat ride until we finally arrive in Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Right after we got off the boat and arrived in Oaks Bluff, we dropped our bags off at the house and then went fishing. This was the first time I actually held a fishing pole and caught a fish. What a difference it makes to be fishing and not just there for the boat ride. I had a lot of fun.

Taking the raft out, so we can get to the fishing boat.

Me, Heading out to the boat, to go fishing.

This boat is the boat from the movie JAWS. They left it here. These are the remains.

 

I spotted cool birds, on the way to our secret fishing spot.

 

Yep, you are not seeing things. Those are cows.

My first fish!

I’m so happy, I could kiss you!

My sexy man. He caught some fish but nothing worth bringing back.

I found a hermit crab!

At the end of the first day, we were exhausted. It was fun but traveling, fishing, soaking up the sun on the boat, made us ready to turn in early. My bf’s dad scaled my fish and put it away so it would be ready to smoke later that week.¬†¬†Maybe it was beginner’s luck, but whatever. I am happy I caught a fish that big, and can’t wait to go fishing again.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU

  1. Have you been to Martha’s Vineyard?
  2. What’s your favorite beach town?
  3. How big was the biggest fish you have caught before?

Stay tuned. I have a lot more to say about Martha’s Vineyard and photo’s too.

© 2012

 

 

Peace and Beauty after the Storm

Grammy,

When I left MA it was storming, but I knew you were in a better place, because then the sky suddenly lit up with color, making it peaceful. Thank you for showing me beauty, honesty, sweetness, strength, bravery, courage. You will forever have immortality, because you are a part of me and all of those who love you.

xoxo

love, Meg

 

Craters of the Moon

CRATERS OF THE MOON

On our way back to Boise from Idaho Falls, my boyfriend and I contemplated whether we should stop in Sun Valley or hit up Craters of the Moon.  This visit was suppose to be a quick stop, but this National Park was so impressive, we ended up spending four hours there.

Craters of the Moon is a National Park located in Idaho. It is known as Craters of the Moon because the old volcano lava that makes up the park resembles Craters of the Moon. It is also very popular because Hollywood uses the space to film any type of planet or moon scene.

We spent our time hiking through the park. When hiking I felt like I was hiking through a desert. It got really warm and there were not many trees to provide shade. The lava rocks were gray and black so the sun really heat them up.

We also explored two of the caves. I was nervous at first to go caving because we had to get a permit and sign a release form. I didn’t really want to see any bats, but we ended up only exploring the two caves that had natural light streaming through both sides, because the other caves required flashlights and we didn’t have that resource. It felt really refreshing inside the caves because they were significantly cooler. The caves also had that musty dripping water, which is just the way I pictured it.

Even though the park is made from lava rock, there is actually a ton of Wild Life that lives among the rocks. We saw this little guy, not quite sure what you would call him, but boy was he quick.

Wild Life living among Craters of the Moon

Happy hiking through Craters of the Moon.

In the end, I was happy we went caving, and hiked through Craters of the Moon. I guess next time we will grab lunch in Sun Valley.

Winter Wonderland

This will be my last post about Yellowstone, I promise. I know it seems like I am obsessed, but maybe I am a little. Anyway, my boyfriend and I were browsing around one of the gift shops in the Old Faithful Inn, and we came across a series of photography books, one done on each of the seasons. While looking through them, I came to the conclusion that my favorite images were taken during the winter months.

My boyfriend and I later talked about possibly planning another trip out to the west. We are thinking of going to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of these winter seasons, to snowboard, and then take a day trip to Yellowstone, so we can experience the park in the winter.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the books or the name of the photographer from the books that I saw in the gift shop. However, I did search online to show some examples of what the park looks like during the winter.

*none of the photos are mine. I found these at Nature Photography Adventures.

Bison covered in Snow

Wolf eating Ribs

Snow

Lonely Bison

Water

Old Faithful Geyser

 

 

©2012

I’LL TAKE A lil bit of this AND a lil bit of that…

BEACHES

I am a total beach bum. I love running barefoot on the beach, it is my favorite kind of run. I love swimming in the ocean, floating on my back, hearing the waves crash. I love boats. I love laying in the sand soaking up the sun. I love the warm tired feeling I get after a long day at the beach. I love eating seafood, especially lobster, crab, and recently raw oysters.

on the beach in Barcelona

Boats in Barceloneta

Beach bum… in Barcelona

Nemo and Coral in Barcelona

Island of Kos, Greece

Island of Kos, Greece

Mermaid Statue on the Island of Syros, Greece. In Honor of those lost at sea.

Boats in Bodrum, Turkey

Storms in Myrtle Beach, SC USA

good morning Myrtle Beach, SC USA

sun, waves, sand

sisters, sun-dresses, beach, Myrtle, SC USA

rainbow

A day at Bethany Beach, DE USA

Beach Yoga, Bethany Beach, DE USA

Camel on the Beach. Bethany Beach, DE USA

Brazil

Best Friends in BrazilThe Christ Statue in Rio.

Santa Monica, California

Hermosa Beach, California

OBX 13.1

finishing up a run on the beach in the fall in OBX, NC