Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New YEAR!

Hi Kids,

Well we made it through 2013!!! I hope it was a beautiful year for you. If it wasn't know that we all have been there. Truly.

Getting through bad days...

I know it is cliche but a New Year can mean a lot to people. I know you can start over or begin a new habit(s) any time of the year, month, week or even day but I think there is something beautiful about making new commitments to ourselves.

A few weeks ago I made a bucket list of all the things I wanted to do before I turned 26. I said that list was different than making resolutions but in all reality it really wasn't. Making promises to ourselves is what it is about.


To be honest I haven't really kept up with my bucket list & sure there is shame in that but I like reading that I had high hopes. No matter if we fail or I fail at completing my list I think it is amazing I tried. To get up and TRY to make your life better is brave. I guess what I am saying is that we won't always finish, complete, & win everything we attempt but if we are really trying...if we really want better, sometimes that is enough.

I like being that person who can forgive myself when I fail but always get back up and make more promises and goals. I never give up and I think that is a victory.

So I hope you are kind to yourself with your resolutions. I hope you think through them like I will and try to think up some really meaty ones. Get some really hard ones on that list!! I think it will help too if we all just agree right now that we may not achieve perfect success but if we set out on a journey we are bound to learn something and grow.


Well with that I am going to go get one last run in for 2013 :)

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!!!

Happy New Year! | Fellow Fellow

P.S. Stay tuned for updates from San Francisco!!! We leave tomorrow and I cannot wait to get some sun!!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

back at it!

Gosh I never know how to feel after the holidays are over. I go into a funk... and then I remember my Birthday is right around the corner and it brings me back to a happy place.

I guess I shouldn't say that the holidays are over because we still have some celebrating to do on Saturday with Jacob's family!

& then on Sunday we are doing THIS.

My husband cried on Christmas morning. Cried. I wish I could say I was the fabulous wife that bought these for him, but it was all my parents.

Jacob has never been to a professional football game & he is a football FANATIC...that probably isn't a cool word. He will make fun of me as soon as he reads this. Anyways he is a fantasy football freak & I cannot wait for Sunday.

SO Christmas was great and that gift was a major highlight!!! Here are some more pictures from the week. A holiday photo dump if you will....

If you have read "My Running Story" post you know that I used to ice skate competitively. I only have a few moves left (it is kind of depressing) but this is the second Christmas Eve we have spent at an outdoor rink & I like this tradition very much!

Christmas morning brunch was delicious for EVERYONE! Emma got a real bone (safe for dogs) from the butcher. It smelled up the whole house like beef jerky. She was in heaven.
A necklace I had been eyeing on Etsy. My husband listens! The leaves both have a J on it. 
I have been asking for something like this forever! This one is from Williams & Sonoma. It is a milk froth-er. Perfect for half & half for my coffee or hot milk chocolate. I think if you live up north you need one of these.
We ended Christmas day at a huge snow hill. I seriously don't know why we aren't there everyday. It was a ridiculous amount of fun. 

Then we came home. Played scrabble and I drank wine from a juice box! (have you seen these at Target??? the wine is actually delicious!)

Oh and a little more snow fun before bed. I started to embrace it.

snow angel
I hope y'all  had a wonderful holiday with 
your families and friends!!! 
What was your favorite gift??? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Happy Day before Christmas Eve!

I hope you are not stuck at work today like me (Actually that is a lie. I am bitter and I really hope that you are being tortured in a cubicle and we can bond over our pain.)

I have to work a few hours on Christmas Eve too. I am trying to just remember at 4 pm tomorrow I will have a little over 24 hours to drink, eat and be merry with those I love. I won't lie though, it is SO hard to be nice and think nice thoughts when everyone else and their mom has off the whole week... oh and they let you know it via Facebook every half hour.

Whoa, whoa, whoa- I am wheeling that Grinch back in just give me a second...

I forgive you though if you are reading this and you are one of those Facebook celebrators... I would do the same if I were you.

So even though I don't get the whole week off let me bore you with the details of our holiday plans cause I am sure you are dying to know!

Tomorrow Jacob and I will be hanging out at work together. I am making him tag along even though he doesn't have too. I just KNOW I will be in a better mood if he is bored WITH me. In case you haven't heard, misery loves company.

Then we are officially celebrating Christmas Eve just the two of us. We are going ice skating at an outdoor rink and making dinner at home. We are letting each other open one gift and hopefully sneaking in a few Christmas movies.

Christmas Day will be at my parents' house. Lots of champagne and being lazy. I am hoping to get a nice long run in too.

Then two painful days of work and a whole weekend at Jacob's parents' house for more Christmas!!!

& in all honesty I better get my act together about being such a complainer because next Wednesday I am off to San Francisco to see two of my most favorite people in the whole wide world! Jacob and I will be spending 6 days with our friends who just recently left cold, depressing Milwaukee to live in beautiful California.

I am only a little bit jealous.

More to come about our trip.

Before you all disappear though, into your food comas and hangovers :) I wanted to wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! From the bottom of my heart, I hope that you have a wonderful holiday filled with love & a lot of laughs.

Made on Zazzle.com

What are you doing for the holidays??? Seriously, I really want to know!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Emma wanted me to tell you...

Lets start today with a confession. 

Hi. My name is Jessica & I am obsessed with my dog. 

Thankfully, in blogland it doesn't seem like I am alone so I know most of you reading this feel the same way. 

I think everything my dog does is wonderful. She has her flaws... sure, but hands down my life would not be the same without her. 

Thankfully!!! when Jacob & I are lucky enough to be traveling somewhere fun, one of Emma's grandmas takes good care of her. Only once have we had to board her and although I liked the place very much, I still don't like it as much as when Emma is free to run around like a maniac and sleep snuggled up next to the people she loves. 

However I think we found an AWESOME solution if we EVER are in need of someone to watch her again when grandma is not available. 

DogVacay.com noticed how cute Emma was on the blog and reached out to me. After looking at their site and watching this video not only do I think it is a GREAT option for us to board Ems, but I think it is something that Jacob and I would lovvvvvvvvve to do to make some extra $$ if life ever slows down! 

Watch this video!

So the coolest part is no matter where you live DogVacay is probably there too! Just take a second to search a city near you. Click here.

As part of this post, Emma wanted to participate in their latest campaign!

DogVacay asked Miss Emma to show her support of her favorite sports team. I don't know if I ever told you but Emma takes her Halloween costumes very seriously...

...so this was NO different. She thought long and hard about what shirt she wanted me to order her & it finally came in the mail!

We love the Chicago Bears in this house!!!

"This Girl Loves The Bears"

Have you heard of DogVacay.com before? What do you do with your pets when you travel? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


(This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own.)

So for about the last year I have toyed with the idea of signing up for Birchbox...and similar subscriptions (has anyone seen/ordered the Barkbox for your dog???).

If you have absolutely, no idea what I am talking about, you probably live under a rock but that is okay because normally I do too Birchbox specifically, is a box that you get in the mail each month with makeup and beauty products that are chosen with your interests/needs in mind. The fun part is you have no idea what you are going to get and it will most likely be stuff you already need, but you would never pay full price for.

Well about 75 percent of the girls in my office receive it and I felt left out for the longest time. It was almost enough to make me join but I came to the conclusion that I know what works for me and it comes at Target prices so I realllly do not need to be tempted by higher quality  higher priced products.

Well the long and short of it is I caved. Not for Birchbox though. I signed up just last week for Fabletics.

I just innocently clicked on an AD for Fabletics because I was curious about what they sell. Originally, I thought it was like a Zappos for workout clothes and in sorts it is. They put full workout outfits together- sometimes even up to three pieces- and if you are a VIP member you get the whole outfit always for 49.95.

Each month they will pick out a few outfits for you that match your interests (running gear for me) and if you select an outfit, then it is shipped to you & you are charged only 49.95. If the month comes along and you are broke like a joke (i.e. every other week for me) or you just don't like what they have that month, you can skip, but you need to do so by the 10th of the month. No charge. No penalty. Returns are supposed to be easy as pie too!

Here is why I signed up. Now that I work out more, I understand the need for quality work out clothes. I love that Fabletics compares some of their styles to the top name brands like Lululemon. I haven't yet received my first outfit (it is on it's way!) but I will be sure to give a full review when I do.

my outfit- coming soon
I just don't have the money all the time for 100.00 leggings and although on most months 49.95 is even pretty expensive, I can bet I spend that anyways and at the least I am getting two pieces of gear (25 a piece is not bad, especially when it retails for at least 40 percent more!) PLUS I can skip with ZERO penalties.

& GET THIS! Your first outfit is only 25$! How can you beat that?!??! I just couldn't say NO.

Last but not least, Kate Hudson is the co-founder and I am pretty positive we would be best friends in real life, so I hope she doesn't let me down.

Let me know if you check the site out! Thoughts about subscriptions????

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a weird Christmas story

So this will make zero sense but I feel cursed lately.

Not in a terrible way. Nothing crazy, but there have just been a lot of weird/annoying things happening... One could say I just need to get my shit together and stop breaking/ dropping things, but saying I am cursed makes more sense, so lets go with that. 

Here is proof...

I am really great at getting Christmas presents early. If I see something I know someone will like in the middle of July, I buy it. We have a huge box in our guest room closet & I put all the presents we buy in there so I don't lose them, forget where I put them, or even that I bought them in the first place. This habit is a great one to have because it puts less pressure on your wallet come December... but not so great is pulling a present out and finding it completely broken. Yep that happened on Sunday. 

Then within a matter of hours I stepped on another present and broke that. 

...I was pretty frustrated at this point, so I did what I do best,  I poured myself a big glass of wine (you thought I was going to say go for a run, didn't you?). I turned the Christmas music up and continued to organize and wrap the rest of the presents, trying not to think of the money I just wasted & that my perfect gifts were in the garbage.

Finally, I started to accomplish some gift wrapping and I am feeling a little better when I find a beautiful mug we bought as part of a gift for someone. It had the perfect quote for this person on it, but because it had been in the box for a month or two, the OCD girl in me thought it would be nice if I washed it before I wrapped it. I kid you not, within seconds I am standing in front of the sink watching the letters from the mug wash off and go down the drain. 

ARE you serious?

This was not hand made people. I bought it at Macy's. It was so bizarre that I thought maybe it was just the wine going to my head?!

I was pissed. I decided not to touch another gift & I finished the bottle of wine. 

********* PART DEUX

Since this is obviously a Christmas themed cursing, I will leave you with the tale of why my whole office thinks I am a lunatic now. 

We have a huge Christmas tree in our office. About a week ago Jacob and I came back to the office because I forgot something at about 10 pm. Because the tree is on the other side of the office I hadn't seen it yet. 

I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into the dark office and I didn't have to fumble around to find the switch because the huge Christmas tree was all lit up. It looked really nice and I made a point to tell Jacob. I even said something like, I wonder when we put it up because I didn't hear anyone talk about it.

Well just this last Friday, the awesome co-worker (who also thought up the squat challenge) ordered pizza for everyone and we all helped decorate the tree. 

While we are putting ornaments on, I notice the lights on the tree were off. Someone says, "Wouldn't it be funny if the lights didn't work after we do all this." 

As you can imagine my response was, "Nope, the lights were on the other night." I tell them about how I showed up late and I didn't have to fumble to find a light...blah, blah, blah. 

After we are finished, I go to plug the tree in and there are like 5 different plugs hanging. WTF? Two co-workers come over to help me and one of them says that she totally forgot but the lights went out last year and they tried to figure out which strand & that is why 5 cords are hanging. They gave up and she totally forgot. 

Everyone starts laughing hysterically because now I look like a big loser. 4 days later and I am still getting heat. Awesome. 

I won't even lie. I am still spooked by this one and if someone at work was playing a trick on me I am telling you that it would have already come out. 

                                                 Scary Elf On The Shelf

I am hoping that starting today Christmas stops being so spooky and my weird curse is lifted.

Please note that these are only two of the strange things that have happened, but as your reward for reading this weird post I will stop here. 

Do you ever feel like the universe is just totally messing with you!??!?! 
Or have I just gone bat sh** crazy?!

Friday, December 13, 2013

FIVE on friday

Linking up with Darci again to bring you 5 on Friday.

1. I had a different post planned today but it didn't work out. **major sad face** There is always next week though! So stay tuned. It has to do with Emma & a new site we found so I know you are just sitting on the edge of your seats. Try to control yourself. 

2. This morning I had two of my most favorite people send me these articles at basically the same time. 

I don't talk enough about my friends on here. They probably think it is just the right amount, i.e. not at all, but I seriously was laughing out loud reading both versions of the article & thinking about how lucky I am to have such good friends.

Maybe send it to your best friend to brighten her day. It sure brightened mine : )

3. At work this month we have been doing the 30 day squat challenge. 25 of us girls put a dollar in. Once the whole thing is done & if you have completed everyday, your name will be tossed into a bowl for a 25 dollar Target gift card. 

I can bet some other office has thought up the same thing before, but I am just so proud of my co- worker who did all the work to keep us accountable and send the emails out. She even put time on all of our calendars at 3:00 pm and everyone who can make it squats together in our kitchen. It is HILARIOUS. I actually look forward to it because we are talking and laughing the whole time & I barely notice what I am doing.

I don't know if you work somewhere where you can do something like this but it is totally worth it. We have already started thinking of what challenge we can do in January because it has been so much fun!

Here is the plan we are following: 

4. Remember when I told you about 2 Vagabonds! Well the girls have one of my favorite necklaces on sale right now for $11.00!! It is so beautiful. I love the wood clasp in the back & they have it in a few colors. 

5. Only a few more weeks till the Bachelor starts. Who else canNOT wait to waste 2 hours a week (sometimes 4) on this mess of a show? I won't lie. I thought Juan Pablo was a terrible choice at first, anyone else? He always said the same thing over and over on the show. I just don't seem him opening up.


If you haven't seen the official preview, click here.

You're Welcome.

Have a great weekend, beautiful people!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Even if you don't run, you would probably agree that running is a current trend, especially with women. If anything, you could say it is trendy right now to be a runner. Just look at this statistic from Runner's World.

Ok so you know what happens when a whole bunch of women like the same thing/want the same thing??? If you don't I highly recommend standing outside a coach outlet store before a big sale... 

They get competitive and they compare every detail. 

I have tried really hard not to fall into that trap but I will say it doesn't mean I haven't felt pressure. Pressure to get faster. Pressure to buy nicer running gear. Pressure to sign up for more races. The list could probably go on & on, but no one cares. 

Basically what I am here to tell you is that I ran in four half marathons this past year (basically 5 after my last indoor race debacle) and some little voice keeps telling me that this is all great and good but you should run a marathon. If you run a marathon you will be a real runner. 

So guess what? I fell victim to that voice and I picked one out. I did my research and I decided I would sign up. I got on the site today, printed out a training plan and thankfully before I pressed submit I took my calendar out. I realized that two very vital weeks in my training would be spent on a cruise with my family in February. 

I totally intend to run while on vacation. I will run on the track, in the gym, and back and forth through every buffet. Initially it sounds like no big deal. I could probably fuel and run happily, but do I want the PRESSURE to do so. NAhhhhhh. It's not worth it. 

Honestly this will be the last time Jacob will see the sun and we have money to go on vacation till after law school. My dad will probably kill me if I am wasting pool time and/or falling off the side of the rock wall with him to get in another few miles.

So right now I am here to say it won't be worth it. I am not running a marathon in the spring of 2014. Oh well. 

The only pressure I will be feeling is to down another margarita with my family. 

So... Cheers! : )

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

bad habit & a challenge

This post came to me while brushing my teeth this morning.

I don't know why I felt it was important for you to know this but I thought it was a good place to start this post : )

So I feel burnt out.

Normal feeling during this time of year, right? Sure.

But honestly I don't think my dilemma really has to do with the holiday season.

I think I say "yes" too much.

Yep. I over exert myself and I sign up for more than I can handle and then it back fires and I am in bed at 6pm with two rows of oreos and a bottle of wine with a straw. I skip working out and I am super crabby. Anyone else?

Look, here is what I am saying, we all feel obligated to do things. I feel dragged in different directions and there are things I dread going to. Networking events @ work or a workout class I felt I could make two days earlier but then 99 other things happened and trying to still make it destroys my day, & so on & so forth.

I forget 98 percent of the time that I am a grown up. No one is going to yell at me if I skip out on something. You decide your day. If you know you will enjoy something once you get there that's one thing, but if you are concerned that an appointment, or party, or any other type of plan is going to screw up your attitude and mood, say NO.

Bahahaha. I am seriously laughing out loud right now because I am crazy I realized this post just became an advice column to myself. 

You guys, I never do this.

I need to do this and I am wondering how many of you struggle with realizing you are in control of your life???

Why do we let guilt and other people dictate our happiness? I am done doing this.

Today I have exactly one month left of being 25. YAY birthdays!

I have decided here and now that I am making a bucket list of things I want to accomplish before I turn another year older.  


1. Do something active for 20 minutes everyday.

2. Clean out my closet. Really clean it out (shoes and purses included) & donate or sell what I can. I have too much and I need to eliminate what isn't necessary.

3. Get up 10 minutes earlier than I do and make a commitment to plan to be places 5 minutes early. Being late is the worst habit ever. I know it would bring me more happiness to be on time. Not to mention I would be less stressed.

4. Use coupons 3 times at a the grocery store. I am so bad at this and I want to start being better at saving money. I think starting to cut and use coupons might be a good place to start.

5. Get a massage. My husband alwaysss tells me to schedule one but I never do. I guess I think spending the money on it is selfish, which is a joke because it is also selfish that I online shop like its my job. However I know mentally and physically it would probably do great things for me. I am really hard on my body because I run so much and showing it some extra love after a long run would probably be more beneficial than I could even imagine.

6. I watched this video today. Love it. Watch it. A plus size model talks about her experiences and she gives such wonderful advice. She says that she tells herself everyday "I love my body" and it works. She says since she has said it more, she believes it more. I am going to tell myself the same thing everyday. First thing in the morning, looking straight in the mirror.

Anyone want to join me in this experiment? I will be sure to let you know on January 11th how it is working
: )

7. Last but not least I am not going to let the word YES jump out of my mouth till I actually think about what I am saying yes to. I will ask myself: Is it going to cause me more stress? Does it actually fit into my schedule? Will it bring me happiness or make me feel good?

Cool. I think that is it. I feel good about that list.

I can bet a lot of you don't have a birthday coming up, but the New Year is just around the corner...

Instead of creating New Years resolutions, what are some things you want to accomplish before the New Year starts???? 
Ready. Set. Go. 

New Years resolutions

Monday, December 9, 2013

My 10th race this year. DONE.


I am frozen.

Dear Weather Man, I don’t know where you get your information from. It FEELS LIKE -20. 

Anyways I hoped by showing you what it is like here you miraculously feel better about wherever you are : )

Yesterday I ran in my very last race of the year & thankfully it was inside !!!

The race was held on a track that wraps around our local ice skating rink. I was nervous for some reason about running on a track. I didn't run on a track in high school and since picking up running I honestly have never stepped on one. I figured I would go faster because I wouldn't be fighting hills, wind, and snow but we still went on Saturday for a trial run.

Let’s just say this.
It is better than the treadmill but it wasn't great.

I did seven miles on Saturday. I took it really easy but it didn't really feel easy. 7 miles was 25 times around that damn circle and it sure felt like it. I left feeling great about what I accomplished but all I kept thinking was I had 45 laps to do the next day. I was hoping that the enthusiasm of race day would pull me through because I can honestly say I didn't feel excited at all. I can usually find a positive but it is a different kind of mind game to go around and around like that.

Well there were two heats for the race. The first one started at 8:30 am and the second at 11 am. The first heat’s cut off was 2 hours, the second heat’s cut off was 3.5 hours. Back when I signed up I thought for a second about joining the second heat but I have finished all my half marathons in less than 2 hours and this was about a mile less, plus again, no hills and no wind so surely I could get under two hours, right?

When I got to the track on race day, you could just feel how experienced these runners were. I immediately regretted running the first heat. Jacob told me to just breath and let the people around me inspire me. I tried and for the first seven miles I felt okay. I did just over 7 miles in 60 mins & then it happened. I past Jake, asked what lap I was on and he gave me a puppy dog face & said nothing. Next lap I came around and asked again. He said that the computer was frozen. They had missed a few of everyone's laps. He didn't know.

good thing this is blurry. it doesn't look like I am having much fun.

Instantly I regretted AGAIN not going with the second heat. If I had more time... sure! I could slow down, get in a few more miles, whatever!! but I was running with Olympians basically. I was barely going to finish the 20K in 2 hours anyways and now I had to run extra!!! I just knew I was going to get kicked off the course. Cool. Talk about a major hit to my ego.

So finally I hear the announcer say 5 more laps for me. I do the five. I am coming in and I cross the finish line and the announcer says my name again and that I have two laps left. UMMM hell to the no. I was done. No thanks. I know I did 45 laps, probably closer to 50. Math is not my strong suit but I know how to count, especially to 5.

What lesson did I learn, you ask? This race proved I put too much weight on numbers. I think I was miserable on that track because my Garmin didn’t work and I lost count of the lap I was on, faster than you can say the word lap. Then when the race officials broke whatever they broke, I was ready to scream! I guess I just wanted to know and have the satisfaction of knowing that I ran a 20K. Likewise, I wanted to know the official time it took me, but so what! It happens. 

Mistakes happen and what matters the most is that I wore 10 bibs this year. I crossed 10 finish lines and I worked really hard on myself in the process.

Running continues to challenge me and change me. I wake up every day with the ability to run. That’s pretty awesome.

On Sunday I got to run along-side some really, really great runners and even though I felt like an amateur : ) I was brave to stick it out and not let being one of the last three people on the track get to me.

I didn't get a medal but I got a big smile and a huge hug from my sweet coach of a husband….oh and this...
went in NO snow, came out to almost 6 inches.

Please tell me!!! Has anyone else ever ran a race on a track? Do you train on a track? What do you like/hate about it?!?!

Friday, December 6, 2013

photo dump & some pinterest

Well I have about 286036405 random things to tell you today so lets get started with a photo dump 
from my phone.

So Saint Nick came. He brought me some of my favorite things. I will be under six blankets all weekend making these treats disappear. After my post yesterday I can't even believe how many people haven't heard of Saint Nick's day!!!!
So glad I could share a new holiday with everyone : )
Last Saturday, after consuming about 63604925 calories, I finished off my night with two glasses of a new wine.
Funky Llama. It was delish! I need to find it right now. This experience proved that you should actually pick your wine based on name. 
This is by far the coolest picture I have ever taken on my phone. Jake's brother was balancing on a stump while Christmas tree hunting so I took a picture. Come to find out the stump is completely camouflaged and it looks like he is floating! I want to submit this to some kind of contest.
Look at this beautiful table.
Just look at it.
This was one of  the food tables after our Turkey Trot last week.
This race obviously set my standards high.
Frosting and running. Perfection.
Jacob and I painted pottery the other night. Seriously I can't think of a better date night activity.
Plus the place we go serves wine and beer. I would really like to open one of these ASAP ...so if anyone is game my email is under {CONTACT} : )
our hot plate masterpieces  
Ok so now that we got that pointless photo dump out of the way, here are some of my favorite things on Pinterest lately & if you aren't following me you should : )

Upcycled Beer Bottle Cap Christmas Ornament
DIY Beer Cap Ornaments
I want to make these as present toppers!

thumbprint reindeer - Great Idea for homemade christmas cards
DIY thumb print art
I don't know what I would do this on and why but I thought this was really cute.
Maybe on a card?
Peppermint Ice Cream and Cocoa Affogato
hottttt chocolate poured over peppermint ice-cream! GENIUS. 
Love wide legged pants!!!
I think I might bring my flare jeans back.
It has been awhile.
S'more Mini DippersI am thinking of making these for my co-workers for the holidays.

Stay WARM and have a great weekend, friends!