Loving Lately (1): TOLT

Today for Thinking Out Loud I’m simply going to share with you some of the things I’m loving lately. While this may come off as a sales pitch, it’s not meant to be. I love reading about stuff other people love — and as was the case with Wendy’s recommendation below a few paragraphs, sometimes it’s something I end up loving too!

b31517essie
Pretty nails without a lot of fuss

Essie Treat, Love & Color Polish
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now. It’s a lot simpler than regular polish: two coats and you’re done and it kind of looks like your nails are buffed or almost like a french manicure. It’s kind of a translucent, slightly glitterly nail polish (yes, I totally made up glitterly).

It doesn’t dry immediately, but I do it a couple of hours before bed (after changing into my pjs) and it doesn’t smoosh.

It stands up fairly well to a week of housework, too (and I’m not wearing gloves). You can find it here at Target (not an affiliate link).

A weekend at home
Seriously, it’s been so long since I wasn’t driving to my parents on the weekend. Even though this weekend will be super busy getting ready for my racecation, I’m stoked to not have to drive three hours one day.

b31217coloniepark
No need for a hat, either!

My thermoball
Thanks to Wendy @ Takingthelongwayhome, I bought a North Face Thermoball (Amazon Affiliate link) a couple of years ago. If you run hot, it’s probably not for you, but despite our mild winter (which is kind of hard to type after having 2 feet of snow dumped on you in one day), I have had several occasions to wear my Thermoball this winter.

It’s how I managed a feels like negative numbers 12 mile run last week — Mr. Judy ventured out for a small amount of time to do a chore, and he couldn’t believe I was out there running . . . for hours. Of course, there’s a vast difference between standing out there in that arctic blast and running in it.

I’ve found them at a good price at 6pm.com, too.

btoughchick3517
These toasty tights saved my knees!

My toasty tights
These toasty tights are perfect for cold, windy days; they’re from Skirtsports (I’m an ambassador, but I don’t make any money if you purchase through my link). I’m pretty sure they also saved me from a bloody knee when I fell last week — although even they couldn’t save me from a bruise, but really, I’m fine (the bruise I got on my finger on the treadmill yesterday actually hurts more).

These tights are a bit stiffer and more compressive around the middle than the normal Skirtsports tights, but I got them in my regular size (small) and that’s been fine for me. They also have a pocket on each leg, which I love.

They have heavier panels on the areas that tend to take a direct hit from the wind, although I find that sometimes my hamstrings and thighs get pretty cold. And that’s where the toasty cheeks skirt comes in (which is not the skirt pictured above, by the way).

180 Wind Gloves
I don’t feel the need to wear two pairs of gloves with these on, even on the coldest days; and I’ve never felt the need for hand warmers, either. You can find them here (not an affiliate link).

I got them on sale a few years back, and they’ve become my go-to cold weather running gloves.

Trader Joe’s Organic Ginger Turmeric Tea
No caffeine and full of anti-inflammatory ingredients. Does it help with the aches and pains? Who knows. But it’s very soothing. You can also buy it on Amazon here (Affiliate link).

Adding dark chocolate covered crystallized ginger to my overnight oats
One of these days I’m going to write a post on the benefits of ginger. I’ve actually got it started.

I’ve been adding a little ginger to my overnight oats for a long time. It already has some chocolate chips in it (of course). And I have some dark chocolate crystallized ginger on hand. So one day I decided to chop it up and add it also. The chocolate just melts into the overnight oats, making them even more chocolatey (another made up word that should totally be in the dictionary!).

I’m not sure I’ll continue with it, but I’ve done it a couple of times now and I do like it.

uvmraffle

You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

b31417bandit
Bandit doubles as a laptop shelf

No news is good news
Not so much going on in Bandit-world. There’s a chance he could be getting a new furry friend in a month or so. Not a dog. That’s all I’m saying right now.

b31317lola
Lola mugging for a treat at the vet; notice her underbite

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

What are you loving lately?

What is the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever put into oats?

What’s your favorite cold weather clothing item?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Putting on your oxygen mask: TOLT

I sit down here at my computer, with no freakin’ clue what I’m going to be Thinking Out Loud about today. A smart blogger would probably just move on to polishing her Friday post, which is about 75% written. I never claimed to be a smart blogger.

My blog is stuck
I would love to grow the blog more, although I won’t be getting up to any shenanigans to do so. I guess I’m just not a shenanigans type of girl.

If someone offers me something to give away — something I like or believe in — I’m all too happy to pass that on to you. But not too many companies will look at a blog my size and offer me stuff. Obviously a few have, and I’ve also reached out on my own.

I won’t be buying you gift cards on my own dime to give away, either. I want to attract people who either get something out of my blog or feel a connection to me. I know I love building connections with other bloggers!

I’m not quite sure why my blog remains where it is. New people stop by. People still follow it. Yet it seems stuck. Maybe it’s because I am usually fairly busy during the day — the time most bloggers are stuck at work (and therefore blogging), or the fact that I’m not a night person, another prime blogging time, or the fact that I’m busy with my furkids and parents (or the fact I write about the furkids and the parents), or even the fact that I’m still self hosted.

Anyone with constructive insights, I’m all ears.

A little spoiler alert
I’ll be writing about this in my weekly wrap, too, but different folks read different posts. Last week the running was so good. Hard, but good. It’s my peak week this week, with my half just two long runs away.

I wouldn’t say I’m struggling, but it definitely started off feeling a lot harder this week. The wind? March is definitely blowing in. I’m so over wind, but wind ain’t done with me. The cumulative time and miles of training hard? Juggling all that training and the demands of everyone else around me?

Don’tcha hate when that happens?
I took out my credit card and put it in a coat pocket after my tempo run on Tuesday. When I got to the store, it wasn’t there. Or anywhere else that I could see (luckily I had more credit cards with me).

I ransacked my bag, my coat, and my car when I got home. Twice. I couldn’t find it. I informed Mr. Judy when he got home, and he had the typical male reaction, to which I naturally reacted with such grownup attitude (not — we all have  our breaking points).

Then he went to look in my car and found it immediately. He thought I’d blow up at him again — I was just super grateful that he found it — I think that is a male vs female thing (in general).

Putting on my oxygen tank
You know what they say about oxygen tanks on planes. I’ve been trying to practice a little more self care lately. It can be hard to squeeze in, but it really is so important.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Try to use my footspa at least once per week (really shooting for twice)
  • Moisturizing my hands more often
  • Trying to use my massage chair a few times a week
  • Meditate daily
  • Do my nails (because pretty nails do make me smile)

Some things take only a couple of minutes; some things about 10-20 minutes. Don’t tell me you’re too busy to take a couple of minutes a day for you. You don’t have to do what I do — do what’s soothing to you.
uvmraffle

You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

bbandit3717
He’s a little camera shy

He loves me, he really loves me
One day Bandit was trying to jump into my lap, and I tried to help him up — the same exact maneuver that got Mr. Judy nipped the day we met Bandit. He didn’t nip me, but he sure let out a yelp and ran away. Later I made sure to pick him up a different way — he’s not super fond of being picked up, but he’s okay once you get him up.

bgizmobandit317
Look very closely for the Bandit photobomb.He loves hanging out there, looking out the Bay window.

Then during our “adult conversation” on Tuesday, I accidentally stepped on Bandit’s foot. Another yelp. And then he proceeded to climb into my lap when I sat down to check him out and try to lick me. Don’t you just love that about dogs?

Do something to hurt a cat and they’ll run away and hide. Hurt a dog, and they’re likely to try to cuddle up with you (if you have a good, established relationship). Don’t get me wrong, I love both cats and dogs pretty equally — dogs need a purr, for instance.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Cats, dogs, or both?

Is there anywhere in your life you feel stuck right now?

How do you show yourself a little love?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Chagrined Furkids: TOLT

Last week when the weather was so nice, and we actually saw the sun, I took some time and took some photos of all the furkids. Who apparently all looked chagrined — both Lola & Gizmo actually like the camera — a little too much sometimes — but apparently this particular day that’s all I could capture.

Don’t worry, I’m Thinking Out Loud about other things today, like congrats to Amanda on the her cookbook coming out!

My half is a bit more than three weeks away
And yet I have already added the city to my weather app. Not so much to stalk — not yet, anyway — just out of curiosity.

That might not have been the best idea. 86% humidity — and there is still three weeks to go? I told Rachel @ Runningonhappy that I wanted to train for a PR, although I absolutely do not expect one. First off, I know that all the stars have to align for a PR and that doesn’t happen often.

I also know that it can take way more than a couple of months of training. And that I don’t do well in humidity (do I really have to show my ZOOMA Annapolis picture . . . again?

I’m not giving up, though. You never know, there could be a miracle like there was in FL. I’ll continue to train hard and look forward to meeting up with Tricia and Mary Beth again.

I understand the purpose of a tempo run, but . . .
. . . as I was doing it this week, the thought crossed my mind that the real purpose of a tempo run (when you have a coach) is to feel so hard that when race day comes, you are happy to run at an easier pace. If racing can ever feel easier!

An unexpected compliment
There I was, just laying face up on the chiropractor’s table when she asked me if I strength trained in addition to my running. And proceeded to tell me what amazing arms I have. I won’t lie; it totally made my day. I don’t think anyone has ever complimented me on my arms.

I know the muscle is there, but it’s mostly hidden under fat and saggy skin from gaining and losing a fair amount of weight on more than one occasion. So while I know it’s there, I rarely see it when I look at pictures of myself. Especially when I’m standing next to Darlene, who has great arms naturally (and from playing tennis).

You know her from Running with Spoons . . .
. . . and the Thinking Out Loud Thursdays. That would be today, obviously. But if you’re not a regular reader of Running with Spoons, did you know that Amanda has a cookbook out? She does. Flourless bars, muffins, and cookies — get it here (Amazon Affiliate link).

Amanda is such a genius at creating tasty recipes that are healthy, too. I can’t wait to dive into her creations (and no, I did not receive a review copy, womp womp).

uvmraffle

You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

bbandit3217

He has no shame

Bandit, Noooooo!
Actually, this one is kind of humorous. So we let the dogs out, and we’re chatting, and Lola squats to do her business. We were actually discussing the fact that Bandit stalks Lola much when she’s getting ready to pee, just like Chester did. And we were disagreeing (of course) — Mr. Judy saying he wasn’t as bad as Chester, me saying most of the time he is.

And the next thing we know (Bandit has been stalking Lola while we’re discussing this, naturally), Bandit lifts his leg right next to poor Lola and for all the world it looks like he’s peeing on her. And she doesn’t even flinch.

blola3217
Apparently neither does she

Apparently he didn’t actually pee on her, but it sure looked like he did!

bgiz3217
I think he was just looking for treats

Bandit is doing pretty well, though, and just the other day I told him when it’s warmer, we’ll take him to Guptils (local ice cream place). The humans were enjoying some Halo Top, which the dogs can’t have because it has sugar alcohols (not good for them; not really great for humans, either, but a little bit occasionally . . . ).

Although we got Bandit last summer, we never took him. Because, you know, we were afraid of him attacking little kids and random strangers.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do your furkids get ice cream?

What is your favorite hard workout — you know, the one you love to hate?

What body part are you proudest of?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Crispy, new tricks: TOLT

I don’t have any crispy new tricks for you, that was just my way of Thinking Out Loud and trying to lure you in. Did it work?

Just give me crispy!
Apparently if a menu item has crispy in the description — sweet or savory — I’m all over it. I love my sushi with “crispy” in it (that would be panko flakes).

My new favorite treat at the chocolate shop? The Peanut Butter Crispy Bon Bon. Swoon.

Except fried foods. I’m not really a huge fan of fried chicken, for instance. It’s not that I don’t like it — it’s that it’s not worth it to me. Give me some nice roast chicken any day.

If I didn’t run, I’d have more time to bake
Except if I didn’t run, I wouldn’t be able to consume as many baked goods! Just another of life’s little ironies.

And speaking of life’s little ironies
I really do enjoy learning. And yet sometimes learning new stuff makes my head feel like it will explode. And the thought of going back to school? There are interests I think sometimes I should pursue, even if only for my own knowledge.

Yet I feel as though I already have more than I can handle. Of course I also know if you want to get something done, you give it to a busy person. Just another irony.

uvmraffle

You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

bbandit21617
Bandit gets comfortable

By Jove, I think he’s got it!
Down, that is. Chester learned down very quickly — although we did have a problem with him and cold floors initially. That dog would do most anything for a treat.

It took Lola a while. No dummy, she wasn’t quite as quick as Chester, and of course she was older, too. Well, Bandit is a lot older than either one of them was when we started to train them. Down has been hard for him, too.

He learned it — as long as you were luring him with a treat. He had to see that treat, too. But this week I got him to actually do it, without a treat in my hand (although nearby) not once, but twice.

We’re teaching an old dog new tricks.

And just yesterday when the UPS truck drove up, and I told him to stay in his bed, he actually did. Of course I went down to the door before the UPS guy had a chance to ring the door bell, but it’s still progress!

And if you like cute cat videos (and who doesn’t?), check out the one I posted to Instagram (follow me here) of Gizmo eating with his paw.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

How do your furkids react to the doorbell?

Have any of them ever reacted to a doorbell on the tv?

Is there a certain food texture you love?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Run the Utah Valley Marathon with me!

uvmraffle
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post (read it here), I am so excited to have the chance to run the Utah Valley Half Marathon on June 10, 2017 (disclaimer: I was provided a free race entry from the race organizers).

What’s almost as exciting? Being able to share my good fortune with one of my readers! Because I have one free entry to raffle off to one of you, too. It’s good for any of the race distances (marathon, half marathon, or 10k). Click here for your chance to win an entry.

A few details about this race:

  • Finishers will receive a 10th anniversary jacket
  • The race is a fast net downhill course
  • The course begins in Provo Canyon and ends in front of the Provo Tabernacle
  • There will be music along the course
  • Massages will be available post race
  • And, of course, the scenery will be stunning!

The Giveaway Details
You can enter to win a free entry into any race at the Utah Valley Marathon by clicking this link. Doesn’t cost anything to enter, and you have until Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 11:59 pm (ET), to enter.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 1 winner will be selected via the Rafflecopter widget. Open to anyone 18 years of age or older as long as you are able to travel to Provo, UT for the race on June 10, 2017. Winner must have a valid email address. Winner will notified via email (if available) and/or blog post, and will have 24 business hours to claim prize. If original winner does not claim prize within 24 business hours an alternate winner(s) will be selected. Contestants must enter on the Rafflecopter widget in order to win. All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn. Chocolaterunsjudy is not responsible for any cancellations or changes made by the Utah Valley Marathon.You have until Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm  (Eastern Time) to enter. The winner will be selected Thursiday, February 2, 2017. The code for the winner’s free entry will be provided by Chocolaterunsjudy.