Thursday, October 23, 2014

MO' Cowbell Half Marathon Wrap Up

I did it!!! Finished my sixth half!!! It was quite an experience, we got rear ended on the bridge on the way there and I had to take my first 'pit stop' ever during a half...  but, I finished strong!!  at 2:15! Not my best time, but I'll take it! It's sti
On October 5th, I ran my sixth half marathon! Here I am at the end with the cow! I hate recapping this race 2 weeks later as everything isn't fresh in my mind... but, it has been a busy month! This was the first time I had ever run the MO' Cow Bell and I had heard that it was a scenic and flat course. I really did good in this race, but I made a couple of BIG mistakes that I think prevented me from achieving a PR. However, I know I can't PR every time, so I am not being too hard on myself about it (not). 

My mistakes:
#1 - I didn't get up early enough and we were rushing to get to the race which was 45 minutes away in St. Charles. The race started at 7:30 a.m. and we were in stop and go traffic at 7:00 a.m. trying to get over the bridge... when, BAM! Someone rear ended us in yes... stop and go traffic. I actually got my car back today and being that it is a 2007 and it already had some dents and scratches, it actually looks better then ever. Thank you, State Farm! However, I really could have done without the fender bender before my big race!

#2 - Due to being late... I saw the lines to the Porta-Potty and decided to skip it. BIG MISTAKE. I should have used it and started the race late. I landed up stopping at mile 7 to use the Porta-Potty and it cost me BIG on time... 6 minutes! AND, it added stress to my race when I realized I wasn't going to be able to catch up... which resulted in me losing focus for the PR, because I knew I wouldn't cut it with that kind of time loss. In order for me to PR in a half, I can't be stopping for a bathroom break. This was the first half where I actually had to use one... and, well... that's life, right? I can't beat myself up about it now.

#3 - I started near the end of the race, NOT in my coral. In other words, I was starting the race with people that were WALKING before even the 1 mile mark!! Kudos to all of you walkers out there that walk most of a half marathon, but it was REALLY hard for me to maneuver around all of you... I was NOT happy with my pace for the first mile... AND, I saw one lady fall down! I've seen people trip during races, but I have never seen someone completely fall flat on their face... it was a horrible sound and sight, but she did get back up. It was crowded, people were trying to run around walkers and it was a mess! UGH, NEVER AGAIN will I start a race in a slower pace group!!!

#4 - THERE WERE NO PACERS running the race!!! UGH! I have a Garmin and I log my time, but usually they have people running these half marathons with signs held up high that tell you what pace you are at in the race while you're running. I usually start near one of them, or catch up to the one I want to be at and I do not let him out of my sight (or I make sure he stays behind me) the entire race. Since I started so far back, I figured I would catch up to my pacer person... but, no... NO pacer... no support group to run with. It was a total bummer.

#5 - There were 3-4 grated bridges they wanted us to run over with holes in them large enough to fit the entire front of your shoe on... during these parts of the race, I had to maneuver over and run on the sidewalk. I did run over the first one and I had to slow down and practically walk over it, like mostly everyone else... because it was a sure way to fall or trip! Again, not sure WHY they chose a neighborhood with grated bridges? I'd rather run on cobblestone or gravel!

Ok... as you can see, the main issue was I got to the race late and it sort of caused a domino effect.

But, would I run this race again? Probably... It was a beautiful spot, even though some of the neighborhoods that we ran through had grated bridges, they were GORGEOUS... the houses were beautiful, pumpkins out everywhere, a beautiful lake and lots of horses were to be seen. We even got to run through a pumpkin farm, which was rather cool... and, a lot of small roads with corn fields on each side. I PR'ed with a 2:06 at the Go! Half last Spring, which was AMAZING since it is a pretty hilly race. And, the MO' Cow Bell was not completely flat as they said it'd be... but, it seems how it always goes... there was quite the hill right around mile 10... right when you want to die, ya know?! ha!

I also think perhaps my view on the race would be different if I had PR'ed... but, that's just me being honest. :)

In all honesty though, I finished at 2:15:17 and that isn't all too shabby... I mean, I remember when I would have killed to have this time when I first started. :) So, bathroom break and all, I'll take the 2:15!

Here are my stats:
Finished: 2:15:17 (my best half time is 2:06:51 from the Go! Half last Spring)
Overall: 1,392 out of 2,870
Female: 717 out of 1,895
Age Group (Female 35-39) aka Run Away from 40!: 146 out of 346

@moderncamelot requested a #stopdropandselfie - right now I am hydrating myself before my sixth half with a route 44 Cherry Limeade... I am trying to decide on which two gels to use... Bought salted caramel, root beer and salted watermelon. They also had
I always like to share a photo of the race shirt... the race shirt was from Brooks (my running shoes are Brooks), which I love! The root beer and salted watermelon are new flavors to me, but I have always enjoyed their salted carmel. Another flavor that is new (to me) that I really like is the espresso.

I now have SIX of these sparkling medals... goodness, I am crazy. I am going to move on to a FULL marathon this Spring... the St. Louis Go! Does that make me even crazier? I really don't feel I'll ever be ready for a full, so I am making myself do it... just ONCE... because, I'm not crazy enough to do it twice. I just want to cross full marathon off my bucket list and then I'll be a happy camper. :) 

I have a 10k this Saturday, which is one I have never ran before... and, then I plan to look for a wintery/Santa sort of run this winter... after that, it'll be full marathon training! I plan to blog a lot about my full marathon training 'adventure' so stay tuned for that!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Wives Wear Link Up #25 - My Pumpkin Picking Outfit

Welcome to the
What Wives Wear Link Up!
Week 25

Today I am going to share my pumpkin picking outfit with y'all. But, just to forewarn you... these pictures were not taken at the pumpkin patch. We had church in the morning and while the kids were in Sunday school, Brian and I went to the park near the church and he took some photos of me. I was really glad we did this, because the pumpkin patch was PACKED and it would have been impossible to keep an eye on the kids and do outfit pics... plus, the sun was really intense by the time we got there... in other words, NOT good lighting for photos!


This is a really small park, but it has a lot of trees and a little bridge... perfect for a little photo shoot, I'd say! I really love the light peaking in from the trees in this photo.


The weather was cooler last Sunday and I wanted to wear something that I could get away with for church AND pumpkin picking. I also wanted to be comfortable and I didn't want to ruin a nice pair of shoes in the dirt at the pumpkin patch. I wore this oversized sweater that is a cream color with some black leggings. I paired it with a solid orange scarf and some brown riding boots. When it got hotter at the pumpkin patch, I tossed my scarf in the car with the pumpkins. It was a cool day, but the sun was just beating down, which made it seem warmer.


Whenever I wear leggings, they have to be a little thick and I have to wear something with them that is long enough that my rump is covered! I like to think of leggings sort of as if they are tights... but, a lot thicker and warmer!


When I was having Brian take my photo on this bridge, I was thinking about ALL the different bridges we saw when we were in Central Park in NYC last summer. This park only had one little bridge and it was just perfect for this shot.


I have three Essie colors that I am loving this fall... the color I have on is 'fierce, no fear', but I am also loving 'haute in the heat' and 'skirting the issue'. What are your favorite Essie colors this fall? I wore a couple of my bracelets from Charming Charlie and I have on the initial ring handed down to me from my great aunt Carrie.


This infinity scarf is the only scarf I have in a solid color, but I purchased it just for these fall months. I pull this scarf out a lot around Thanksgiving, it is just such a perfect orange for festivities that go around that holiday.


I purchased these riding boots from the Gap Outlet on my day date with Brian. I love that these boots don't have a heel and I can wear them easily for errands or when I am running the kids around. I have another brown pair, but they have a wedge on them, so I reserve them for dress up. These boots don't have a zipper on them, so I do have a bit of a hard time getting them on and off. Does anyone have the same problems with their boots that are zipper-less? I still love them and they fit comfortable once they are on.

This sweater is perfect to wear during transitional weather like we are having. As you can see in this close up shot, it is breathable and I wore a neutral colored tank top under it for when we visited the pumpkin patch. You can make this sweater warmer by adding a turtle neck under it in the winter.


Here are the deets on this outfit:
Infinity Scarf - Shade
Sweater - Shade
Leggings - Gap
Riding Boots - Gap Outlet
Bracelets - Charming Charlie
Nail Color - Essie (fierce, no fear)

God Life Happy Wife

Hosted By:                          
Sherri@God Life Happy Wife

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What Wives Wear Link Up is a place for wives/moms 
to express their own personal style. 
Link up your favorite outfit post of the week. 
Get inspired while inspiring others!

We will meet and link up every Thursday

Each week the hosts will choose the Top Two looks 

to be featured for the next weeks link up.
Join us each week and we may just pick you!

Courtney is wearing a western poncho which is 

perfect for any fall day. 
She matches it with dark denim skinnies and
brown heeled booties. 

Her double strand tiered drop necklace looks

great with the poncho. 

Shauna is sharing an all black look with a 

classic dress, long jacket and heels.
Her jacket with leather accents gives this
outfit an edgy look.

Her cutout open toe heels and checkered 

clutch finish off the outfit. 

Courtney@Dainty Darling

Shauna@Lipgloss And Lace

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm Co-Hosting at Fluster's Creative Muster Link Party!

Fluster's Creative Muster #94
Always full of great ideas and inspiring links!

Carrie from Curly Crafty Mom has done it again, inspired me to bring the ordinary to a new level. Apple pie is my most favoritous pie on the planet, warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes all of my fluster's just melt away. I have to say though this Candy Apple Pie might top the list of my all time favorites!

By linking to this party you are giving Fluster Buster and co-hosts permission to use your images in features on our blogs and social media sites.

Robin @ Fluster Buster

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom

Fluster Buster

I've decided to do something a little different here at Fluster's Creative Muster in order to give you more exposure. In addition to pinning all of my favorite links on my Creative Muster Favorites board I'll also be sharing my top 20 favorites on a different social media site every week.

This Weeks Top 20 is on Instagram
To see if you made the top 20:
Follow me on Instagram and use the hashtag #creativemuster 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Porch and Home Tour - 2014

Today I am excited to share a Fall Home Tour with you! I feel as though every year our home looks a little different as I add new pieces I've purchased or crafted. I also arrange my fall pieces differently around the home each year for visual interest. 

Every fall, I enjoy planning out how to decorate our front porch. I feel this is the part of the home that EVERYONE sees, where only a select few friends and family members (and all my blog readers!) get to see how I decorate the inside of the home. This year I added some colorful and personalized throw pillows to our bench, added more color to the chalkboards (thanks to colored chalk!), made a candy corn tassel for the chalkboard easel (see post HERE) and I found a small rustic wheelbarrow at our local grocery store and painted it white.

The colored chalk really adds some richness to the leaves on this chalkboard.

I have been wanting to add some throw pillows to our bench to spruce it up and these personalized pillows have really done the trick! They are made out of a really thick and resistant material and I can remove them from the insert and wash them easily.

I got this wagon during the spring at a grocery store by me for $12. It was sort of an ugly green color and I repainted it with white paint. I really love how it has chicken wire on the sides, metal wheels and a metal handle. I purchased the mini hay bales at Hobby Lobby for it and placed a small pot of mums and some pumpkins in it. The jack o' lantern pot I purchased last year at a local farm called Eckerts. 

I only used white chalk on my chalkboard easel last fall, but I am in love with how I drew candy corns on it this year to go with the candy corn tassel garland. 

You may or may not remember my DIY ombre fall door mat that I made last fall (see post HERE). Are you ready to come in to see the inside fall decorations of my home?

On the door that opens to our kitchen from the garage, I have hung this candy corn felt wreath. I took a photo of it on the door, but the lighting is better in this photo. You can see the DIY instructions for this wreath HERE.

I created a new centerpiece for our coffee table this fall by purchasing a gold mirror tray from Hobby Lobby and adding ceramic pumpkins that I spray painted in white and gold to it. I also added a burlap banner that says fall in white stamped letters. See the entire post HERE.

I bought this new sign while I was out shopping on Main Street in St. Charles with friends. Isn't this just me all over?! ;) And, I put a mini burlap candy corn next to it.

I don't have a mantel in my home, so I always decorate the buffet rack for the holidays.

We went apple picking really, really early this fall and I decided to make a fun collage with the photos. I put all my favorite photos on this 5x7 easel collage from our apple picking adventure.

This is another purchase from Main Street on St. Charles. As I have said in other posts, I have a big candy corn crush this fall. I really had to have this candy corn brush tree!

I also put up a Halloween tree every year! The tree was clearances down after Halloween from PBK and the ornaments are store bought and hand made. And, I KNOW... I put presents under it this year. My kids are so spoiled! I must add that Grandma helped add to the present pile under the tree... I didn't buy all of those presents for them! ;) I already had the black wrapping paper with white polka dots downstairs from when I did their Mickey Mail a couple years back and the purple paper was old, too. I made up the bows from leftover ribbon and burlap that I had on hand. I really love making handmade bows for presents when I have extra time in the day!

I decided to make a new bow with this plaid ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. I love how it turned out! All I did was wrap the ribbon around my fingers several times, then I tied it in the middle with a piece of matching ribbon. That's it!

We still haven't made our homemade ornaments for the tree yet this year (every year we make a new ornament for it), but this metal ornament from Tiny Prints is new to the tree this fall (see ornament HERE). I personalized the ornament with a photo of the kids on one side and a photo of me and Brian on the other side. It came with a red ribbon, but I decided to use the plaid ribbon that I had used on the tree's pot for the ornament, too! 

I also love to have fresh flowers around the house, here is a shot of some fall flowers that I had on our table, complete with a cutting of some fall colored leaves.

I also decorated our fairy garden in our bird bath in the back yard for the fall. Here is a ghost holding a pumpkin next to the fairy house.

Little candy corn stakes.

And, a tombstone!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our home! I also enjoy decorating for Thanksgiving and have an entire bin of Thanksgiving decor to put out once Halloween is over... I know, I just love holidays! I hope you are enjoying the fall, too and I wish your family many cool crisp nights with lots of hot cocoa and s'mores!

See our 2013 Fall Home Tour HERE.

Linked up with:
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Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Worthwhile Wednesday
Moonlight & Mason Jars
What You Wish Wednesday
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Balloon Glow and Meal Plan Week 32

On our way to the balloon glow with friends!
SO, almost a month ago we went to the Balloon Glow in Forest Park (can you tell I am a little behind on blogging about our fall outings?). It was a beautiful day, in the eighties and I am not sure WHY I decided to wear a scarf, I guess I was hoping I could wear my fall clothes in September... but, September was a H O T one here in St. Louis and that scarf was taken off quickly. I still haven't felt it has been cool enough to wear a scarf here and it is now October! We always take the Metrolink to ride to Forest Park, because it is almost impossible to find a parking spot during the Balloon Glow. While at the Metrolink station, we ran into my moms neighbor.

Nathan with Brian

Here they all are again outside the train. It was funny, because we ran into them again on the way home from the Balloon Glow. Small world!

The Balloon Glow is held the night before the Balloon Race, they play music and have food... and, all of the balloons are lit up! You also get to see them put the balloons away and there are fireworks later in the evening. We usually leave before the fireworks to avoid huge lines at the Metrolink. Don'tcha just love the Goldfish Cracker balloon?!

Here are some more balloons, including the Shane Co. balloon... where my rings are from :)

We always buy the kids some sort of overpriced cheap toy junk, this year they got light up wands.

Some of them will let the kids in the basket. You can feel the heat from the flames, too!!

Dark selfie of me and Brian :)

We had a great time at the balloon glow, except it was REALLY crowded this year due to the nice weather. I am not sure if we will keep this up as a tradition every year, it would be neat to go and see the actual race on a Saturday morning sometimes instead of the balloon glow that takes place on Friday night. We'll see what we're in the mood for next year.

Here are some balloon glow recaps from years past, it is always fun to look back and see how much the kids have grown. I don't think we went in 2012, because that was the month Brian and I were planning our wedding... so, we had our hands full that year! ;)

Balloon Glow 2013
Balloon Glow 2011

Are you ready for the meal plan for this week? The meal plan isn't the most exciting this week, mainly because I thought Brian was going to be in Seattle for work... BUT, they canceled his trip last minute. I was really happy to hear he'd be at home, but it kind of threw a wrench in the meal plan that I had already planned and shopped for... ;) Anyway, quick meals aren't all so bad, right?!!

Menu Plan for Week of October 19, 2014:

Sunday - Order In
We are going to church in the morning and then the pumpkin patch... so, we will probably order something in and watch it with a relaxing movie. Maybe we'll find a nice Halloween flick to watch?

Monday - Swedish Meatballs, recipe HERE 
This will be an easy, easy dinner... because, thanks to my freezer stash, this one just needs to be thawed and warmed up!

Tuesday - Frozen Pizza
I thought Brian was going to be out of town for several days this week, so it kind of messed up my meal plan for this week... so, we are going to eat a frozen pizza tonight that I have in the freezer.

Wednesday - Spaghetti and Meatballs 
We have dance tonight, SO... I am going to keep it simple with spaghetti and meatballs. I had actually planned on having this last Saturday, but we landed up eating out. SO, it is on the meal plan for today.

Thursday - Red Chicken Chili (my favorite chili!), recipe HERE 
This is my absolute favorite chili (after my pumpkin chili), hands down.

Friday - Chili Leftovers
We have Trunk or Treat tonight, so leftovers will be perfect!

Saturday - Dinner Out

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