Another little home update…

Hi all! I know I’ve been terribly MIA lately but we’ve been staying pretty busy! I thought I would share a few little home updates we’ve done the past couple of months. Slowly but surely, we are getting there!

We finally got around to finishing painting all our eaves that were replaced with our roofing job right after we closed on the house at the end of May. It was a thankless job – a lot of work and hours and I’m guessing nobody except us will notice. But it got done before the weather turned so that’s that.

While the weather was decent, we also updated our front door! Originally, it was the same color as the house but we wanted something bold and welcoming so we went with Primary Red and it totally makes a statement!

Continuing on the painting bandwagon, we repainted our entryway/stairwell/upstairs hall. It was a deep purple that was just too dark for my taste but we liked the idea of having a pop of complimentary color there so we picked a toned down purple (Gothic Amethyst) to paint on just a couple of the walls then a neutral (Creamy) for the rest. I also spray painted the yellow sconces white (though they are still yellow when they are on) and we have big plans for a large DIY bright canvas artwork on that big white wall when you walk in the front door.

Painting the entryway was a HUGE change. There is a skylight there so the lighter walls really brightened up the area. We still need to paint all the doors and door frames to finish off the upstairs hallway though.

And our latest painting endeavor (are you seeing a trend with our improvements yet?) was adding subtle, high gloss stripes to the dining room. Huz did most of the leg work by taping everything off for a few hours. The painting went really quick. We are planning to add some bar shelves above the buffet. I’m really excited to see that come together.

The table is also “new”. It replaced our small, glass table I’ve had since I graduated college. This one is a hand-me-down from my grandma to my dad to me and is quite the improvement but definitely not the end goal.

And last but not least, we finally got some things hung up! Not much but I’m happy with it – all new pieces purchase with this house in mind. And I’m in love with m y new owl light from TJ Maxx. Hoo!

It’s a little hard to believe that we’ve been in this house for 4 1/2 months already! I feel like we’ve knocked out some big projects but the list is still endless! Welcome to home-ownership, I suppose! We’ve barely paid any attention to the upstairs and are just focusing on the main living areas for now and saving up for some big purchases like a new couch!

Sorry the pics aren’t great – just cell phone pics. Once things really start to look more finished, I’ll probably do a tour!

Electric Run Portland

Monday’s are especially hard to get through after you’ve had a great, busy, exhausting weekend!! My husband and I headed down to Portland with my friend, Ellen, for the weekend. Our main agenda item was to run the Electric Run 5k but of course we had to squeeze in a few other fun things!

We arrived on Friday evening after battling some serious traffic. After a quick packet pick-up and dropping our bikes off for a tune-up at River City, we met up with some of Ellen’s friends for dinner at Deschutes. We’ve visited once before (last December) and knew we’d enjoy it. I had the gluten-free elk burger with a side salad and a couple saison’s which were very tasty.

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Afterward, we went to Green Dragon for another beer but alas, were too full to enjoy their amazing tater tots we gorged on last time.

Saturday started off bright and early – Jodus and Ellen wanted to get in a long run so we headed into the city (from her parent’s house). While they ran (for 2 hours!), I enjoyed a coffee, read a little, and wandered the streets a bit as stores started to open up. I am totally in love with this town. ImageImage

We enjoyed a late brunch at Mother’s, complete with huge mimosas! I had the wild salmon hash with 2 eggs over medium. Zero complaints. That place is bomb. (But it is no La Provence…)

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After brunch, we wandered around the Saturday Market for a bit before heading back to get ready for our main event! At packet pick-up, we were told that parking was going to be a nightmare and to arrive at 6pm (for a race that starts at 9:30pm!). They sounded pretty serious so we took their word for it. We grabbed sandwiches to go and got there around 6:30 with NO parking issues. As we ate and people watched, we monitored parking and traffic. You were definitely fine for parking until maybe 8 or 8:30. So irritating but whatever. The people watching, including ourselves, was priceless.

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The entire premise of the Electric Run is that it is a “Run for Ravers” so lots of lights, lots of neon, lots of loud music. Everyone was totally decked out in neon, glow sticks, body paint, etc. I was even rocking glow-in-the-dark nail polish I bought just for the occasion.

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We managed to be at the very front of the starting corral by chance and I was glad that we were. We were right at the front of all the action and got showered with goodies the entire time! If you ever run an Electric Run, I highly recommend getting there early to be in the front. The entire thing is very high energy and they totally amp you up as the sun goes down! (Also, a tip for those planning on running Electric Run – standard glow in the dark stuff like my nail polish and make up stick doesn’t work that great but glow sticks, LED lighted stuff, neons, and black light activated stuff works amazingly well!)

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The course itself was fine – a little rough terrain (some gravel, some dirt, some grass, some paved) but they did a good job of starting in waves so it wasn’t too crowded even though there were 9,000 runners. The lights along the course were fun but honestly, I was kind of expecting more of them. There were a few long stretches without anything which was kind of sad. But it was definitely fun.

I guess I should add that I really haven’t been running much at all. 10 miles in June, 14 in May. I’ve been “injured” and focusing on weight training instead so I wasn’t really prepared for this run but managed to do ok and my body held up but it definitely made me nervous to be out there. There were a lot of walkers on this course though (unsurprisingly) so I didn’t feel too bad about being a little pokey on this fun run.

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At the end, they had a dance party. A DJ, lots of lights, lots of dancing and music. It was really fun and I could have probably danced the night away, hopped up on a couple free Rockstar Energy drinks!

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We ended up back at Ellen’s parents house a little before midnight, wired! Tried to settle my mind and read for a bit but it was definitely hard to fall asleep after so much energy!

The run was definitely about the experience more than the running. Sunday morning, Ellen’s mom asked me if I would do it again. I thought about it for a minute and said, “No.” It’s an experience, and I’ve experienced it, and now I’m ready to move on. It was my 3rd night run (Firecracker 5000 on 4th of July and First Run on New Years) and they’ve been a good time but I’m ready for something new! Most likely, no more running events for awhile until I can figure my body out. Good luck with that, right?

This Friday is Ragnar Northwest Passage. For the first time since I started running, I’m not running in it. Jodus will be. And some other friends. But I’ll be on the sidelines this year. I’m volunteering the first day with my friend, Shannon, then we are spending the rest of the day in Bellingham then meeting up with our team for the finish on Saturday. It is definitely bittersweet… I’m having a little bit of a hard time with it since they are down a runner this year (again) and part of me just wants to jump in and help out but I know that isn’t wise. So I’ll be their #1 cheerleader instead.

Working It Out – Drop Two Sizes

My latest exercise endeavor: Drop Two Sizes by Rachel Cosgrove

The cover? Blech. The model? Meh. The title? Horrendous. (All of which Rachel has addressed here.)

The workouts? Killer. The meal plan? Good. The results? Worth it.

I picked this up after her husband, Alwyn Cosgrove, co-author of the New Rules books that I love so much, recommended it to our NROL4W Facebook group for fat loss. I was definitely hesitant but I’m glad I went for it. As a result, we created a separate facebook group for those interested in her program and it has been so nice to have a support system!

The workouts are tough! They focus a lot on mobility, complex movements, a lot of off-loaded weights, balance stuff. It’s deceptively challenging. Especially the weekly metabolic sessions.

The diet is mostly common sense stuff – lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, some complex carbs, a protein shake daily, and limiting yourself to 2-3 “splurges” a week (which is my biggest challenge). There is a little bit more to it than that but that’s the gist. Nothing crazy here! It works out to be about 1800 calories a day for me.

I doubt I’ll actually drop two sizes (as my diet is not squeaky clean) but I’d be really happy with one. I’m halfway through the program (almost) and can actually button jeans that are 2-sizes-too-small though they are NOT comfortable or flattering. Hello, muffin top!

I love that Rachel is a proponent of ignoring the scale – something I am seemingly incapable of doing. Most women gain weight (~4 pounds) on the plan. But lose 2 sizes. I’m on track with the weight gain, that’s for sure. But these jeans don’t lie. Something is going on with my body composition!

But there’s a problem. I’m essentially no longer running now (thanks to my hips) and now, my knees are acting up again these past couple weeks. My current internal debate is whether to continue on as is, modify the program to ease up on my knees, or stop completely. I have an appointment with my physical therapist in a few weeks and we’ll see what he says. In the meantime, I’m going to dial it down a little.

Going Green

Well, we’ve been in the new house for 6 weeks now – kind of hard to believe! Some days, it still feels like we just moved in and others it feels like we’ve always been here. In any case, we are due for an update.

We moved in on Sunday, May 26th. It went off without a hitch. My dad and a friend helped and we were done by (late) lunch time. The first major project was getting a new roof (that we negotiated during closing). We still  have some work to do ourselves on that – painting the eaves that had been replaced due to rot. It’s quite the chore! We spent a day and a half already and only have about half of them primed. It’ll be an ongoing summer project.

The project of highest importance (for me) was painting our living/dining room. It was red. Really red. And it was just too dark for me. Huz didn’t mind it but I complained enough that he caved pretty quickly.

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After having 100 paint chips on the wall, we narrowed it down to 5 swatches which we painted in 3 different spots and finally decided to go with Sherwin Williams Recycled Glass, a lovely green.

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I’m pretty shocked at the transformation – the entire room seems bigger, definitely brighter. I’m very happy with the color though it was a pain in the butt to cover up the red! 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, and taping off all that trim. It basically took us 3 full days of work (and the help of a friend for one of those days). So that’s how we spent our long 4th of July weekend.

Obviously, there is still a lot I’d like to do but I’m so relieved to have the fresh, updated look. Now I feel like I can actually hang things and make this place our own. A new couch and dining room table is on the wishlist among countless other things. It’ll be a constant work in progress.

(And I owe you all a tour, I know!)

Putting Down Roots

After years of renting and having to move every single year, we’ve rather impulsively decided to put down some roots.

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Last month, for fun during a family visit, we hit up some open houses.

And we fell in love.

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Buying a house wasn’t even on our radar at all. But the timing was perfect, the price was right, the location is primo, and it checked all of our boxes. So we went for it. And thus the most stressful month of my life began.

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Yesterday, we closed. This weekend, we move and begin our lives as homeowners.

Martini Monday: The Dirty Girl Scout

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A month ago, my friend, Ellen, had a birthday. And we I celebrated it pretty hard. After weeks of being bombarded by Girl Scouts on the city streets, in front of grocery stores, and at work, and being gifted a box of thin mints, I went for it. In drink form.

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After googling some recipes and doing some taste testing, we came up with the following recipe:

2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce dark chocolate liqueur
1/2 ounce Crème de Menthe

You know the drill. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake that bad boy up and pour yourself a Dirty Girl Scout. Garnish with a thin mint.

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Note on the garnish – our cookies were frozen and shattered when we tried to cut out a sliver. I also think it would be bomb to crumble them up and rim the glass. Next time, friends. Because there will be a next time even though 3 of these suckers (and a couple vodka cran’s) gave me the worst hangover in years).

Seattle Hot Chocolate 5k

Oh man, I’ve been terrible. I know. It’s been brought to my attention by multiple people. No update since January? Gah, sorry guys. In general, things are basically the same as they have been – still struggling with some hip issues, still doing physical therapy, and trying to be more well-rounded with my exercise. Running has been scaled back, biking has increased, and I am even trying to swim once a week.

Last month, I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k in Seattle. It wasn’t my best, thanks to my hip, but it went well. I ended up finishing in 32:53 (PR 31:33 in December 2012).

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I had actually registered for the 15k initially with my running bud, Ellen, but scaled it back thanks to the reduced mileage I’ve been logging. Mostly, the weekend was about hanging out in the city with friends. We went over the day before, did some serious shopping and eating, and had a grand time.

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Ellen and Nicole both ran the 15k so I headed out on my own for the 5k, bright and early. It was a FREEZING morning but it was cloudless and beautiful. The race organization was great, the course was fine (with some good hills), and the best part was the post-race cup of chocolate and fun dippings. It was hard to eat because it was so cold but it was worth it. And the hoodies are awesome compared to the typical race t-shirt. I highly recommend the Hot Chocolate series to anyone and plan to do it next year! Maybe the 15k next time.

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Some other random things to note:

Future running endeavors – the only thing I have lined up is the Electric Run in July. I’ve actually opted out of Ragnar this year and am not really running more than 3-4 miles at a time, 1-2x a week. Probably won’t be registering for anything else for a while, thanks to the impending furlough. *grumble*grumble*i-hate-politics*grumble*

I’ve started trying to commute to work on my bike. Roundtrip, it is 15 very hilly miles. My goal right now is 2x a week when the weather is decent enough. I managed to do it twice this week and boy is my butt feeling it. I’ve been doing spin class 1x a week for the past couple months but it really doesn’t prepare you for riding outdoors, especially in our area with all the hills and rough roads. Rain is in the forecast all next week so I’m playing it by ear. It takes a lot out of me and I’m pretty slow but I love the fact that I’m getting exercise in, saving on gas, and contributing to an overall better environment.

This past weekend we went to my dad’s in Port Townsend and took the kayak’s out for the first time! It was a gorgeous day and we had a blast. I cannot WAIT for summer to do more kayaking and hiking and soaking up that Vitamin D!

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In the more near-term future, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law are coming to visit towards the end of the month and I’m very excited about that. I’m hoping the weather will be decent enough to do some fun things but we’ll have a good time regardless.

Ooh! And I saw Lady Gaga in concert (courtesy of my darling husband) back in January which was rad. She puts on such a good show!

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And for your viewing pleasure, Pippin is still being a dog and hanging out, though she is starting to show her age and can’t hang with us quite like she used to.

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That’s all for now, folks. Peace out.

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