StitchFix Shipment No. 13 Review

IMG_7351

After scoring a cozy cowl-neck sweater for winter from StitchFix no. 12 (read about it here), I requested some bright spring pieces to help lift me out of the dreariness that is Portland right now.

Thanks to weaning and half marathon training, my body continues to shape-shift. But I went ahead and asked for form-fitting pieces because I’m feeling fitter than I have in months — and so ready for warm weather already.

New to StitchFix? Read all about how it works here

So let’s take a peek at what showed up in this month’s box…

IMG_7356.JPG

First up was the Coffeeshop Aerin Hooded Cargo Jacket. I have yet to jump on the cargo jacket bandwagon, which makes me wonder if I’m too late to the party at this point?

The fact that this jacket came in a different color than the usual army green was intriguing, though. But I’m just not sure how practical it is, considering how much rain we get here…

IMG_7354.JPG

Next was the 41Hawthorn Portar Fitted Pullover. Stripes? Check. Bright spring accent colors? Check. Chic French flair? Check.

The only thing that gave me slight pause on this one was the length (maybe a tad too long?), but I’d have to see it on before making the final decision.

IMG_7352.JPG

Third was the StateSide Kirsta Knit Top. And there was only one thought in my mind when I laid eyes upon it: A glorified SWEATSHIRT that I can wear out and not look like a total slob?! Yes, please.

I can’t even begin to describe how soft the fabric is, too. Even though the price made me shudder, it’d have to look pretty horrible on for me to be able to send it back.

IMG_7353.JPG

After that was the Tolani LeeLee Silk Maxi Dress. My stylist said she’d seen a number of maxi dresses on my Pinterest page, which was the inspiration behind this pick.

I just couldn’t get past a few things, however: First, it’s waaay too bohemian for my taste. Second, it’s soft but thin and unstructured. And, third, it’s $200. So unless it looked absolutely fantastic on, it’d be going back.

IMG_7355.JPG

And last but not least was the Papermoon Annebel Cross Front Knit Top. At first glance, this one only registered as “meh” to me.

But then I took a closer look at some of the details — the collar, the soft fabric and the longer length in the back, in particular — and figured I should withhold judgement until trying it on, as well.

So what did I end up keeping? I’ll give you a hint: Two pieces.

IMG_7365

Give up?

Well, the jacket and top in the photo on the left both left me wanting more when it came to fit; the jacket flared out oddly at the waist, and the striped shirt was just too long for my figure. And the dress…it was ok, but I just don’t like the style — I prefer a lot more structure.

So the teal and light purple knit tops were the clear winners this round. Not only am I excited to wear some pretty pastels for spring, but they meet my criteria for part-time-working-mom-on-the-go criteria: Cute and comfy.

My next fix is scheduled for early summer. I haven’t put in my request yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll be looking for something fun to celebrate the warm weather!

Want to try StitchFix? Use my referral link to fill out your style profile and get started.

Disclosure: This is *not* a sponsored post; I pay for StitchFix on my own, and since I love the service, it’s fun to share my experience. If you sign up using my referral link, I’ll get a credit…so thanks in advance for fueling the next fix! 

Recipe: Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Gnocchi

IMG_7313

Homemade gnocchi on a weeknight? Yep, and we’ve got Olympic steeplechaser Emma Coburn to thank for it.

I spotted the recipe on her Instagram Stories; not only is it simple to make, but it’s also got a subtle sweet flavor that makes these little pillows of dough just delicious.

Not too shabby for something she whipped up using a combination of recipes and ingredients already in her fridge, as she told me via Twitter.

Emma Coburn’s Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup sweet potato, roasted & blended
  • 1.5 cup butternut squash, roasted & blended
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 cups flour
  • Pancetta
  • Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Using flour to coat hands, roll into ropes & cut.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes in small batches.
  4. Toss with pancetta, top with Parmesan & serve.

Bonus: It’s excellent fuel for this week’s half marathon training!

Less Talking, More Doing

postrunjan17

That’s my resolution for 2017. Simple and to the point.

Because hopes and aspirations are all well and good. But in the end, results — not desire — will get you to your destination.

First up: Finding myself in the midst of motherhood by getting back in touch with running.

It’s been a constant in my life for the past 20+ years, although pregnancy recently wreaked havoc on the relationship. What previously felt great was uncomfortable, and where I once was confident now filled me with self-doubt.

As a new-ish mom, taking time for yourself feels incredibly selfish. But after almost a year at this gig, I’m a believer that happy people make better moms, so it’s imperative not to lose touch with your passions. Even if a current one is scrolling through baby pictures after you put your little one to sleep at night.

So after stepping back from training and racing for the better part of a year, I’m making good on my intention above and am back at it. Knowing that I thrive on having goals, being on a schedule, pushing myself and checking off a to-do list made the decision a no-brainer.

Gut instinct told me that 26.2 is too much at the moment, so I’m focusing instead on the 13.1 distance. And now that training is officially underway, I can say that it feels good to prioritize self-care again…even if it’s just for a few minutes a day on the treadmill during naptime.

There’s also something different this time around: I hired a coach. Getting certified recently as a running coach myself makes me appreciate a more tailored approach to training, plus he came highly recommended from a college friend who successfully juggles family, career and racing.

His task? Helping me (safely and conservatively) get back in the game. I especially appreciate not having to overthink workouts; based on my feedback, he adjusts paces and mileage, so all I need to do is just trust the process.

Which leaves me more time and energy for paying it forward via Portland Women’s Run Club where I’m helping other women find themselves through running, as well. We fill the void for ladies who want to step up to a challenge, whether it’s getting out of a comfort zone, achieving a personal best or making an impact on their community.

That’s my challenge to you, as well, with whatever your intention is for the year: Don’t talk, but act. Don’t say, but show. And don’t just promise, prove.

So far so good, 2017.

A new addition for 2017…

pwrc_launch_pageNo, this isn’t a pregnancy announcement (sorry, grandmas) but if you’ve been wondering why things have been a bit quiet around here lately it’s because I do have a new “baby” in the works…

I’m thrilled to announce that 2017 will be the inaugural year for Portland Women’s Run Club!

Sadly, LUNA is winding down their local teams’ program. So even though Team LUNA Chix Portland Run will technically be no more, the company will still remain as a sponsor and support us as we transition into a team with a local focus.

What does this mean? Well, a few things (all of which are really exciting):

  • A brand new name, logo and website, along with social media accounts (give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!)
  • Team-based, run-specific workouts led by a certified running coach (yep, I’ve been making the most of the off-season)
  • Partnership with a Portland-based charity (to be announced soon!), allowing us to make more of a local impact, as well as donate our time along with money raised
  • Dedicated walk captains, so we can truly offer something for every ability and level at each workout
  • Team races, which we will be working toward throughout the season, plus training plans for non-PWRC practice days
  • Awesome branded club gear, so you can show your team pride both during workouts and when racing!
  • All the usual seasonal swag for our regular participants – including attendance rewards and other fun surprises
  • Special discounts and perks at local businesses with whom we’re partnering for the upcoming season
  • Additional workouts for people interested in co-ed sweat sessions, group long runs, trail running, as well as rotating locations
  • Social events, clinics, charitable opportunities and much, much more!

And last, but certainly not least, our workouts will remain FREE for everyone. Adulting is tough enough; we want you to just show up, get after those goals, make some new friends and be able to give back to a good cause without having to dig into your wallets.

So if you’ve been wanting to nab that new PR, attempt a new distance or simply start from square one and see where it takes you, now’s your chance to be a part of Portland’s fastest-growing running team.

Don’t miss out – sign up here to get our latest updates as we prepare for our 2017 season!

We’ve got big things in store for 2017, and we’re looking forward to get faster, stronger, better – together.

5 Secrets to Banishing Post-Workout Breakouts

nrm_1410296008-pimple

Rigorous sweat sessions can often be a double-edged sword: While workouts do wonders for our bodies, they can wreak havoc on our skin.

We’re more susceptible to breakouts after hitting the gym due to the clogging of pores that occurs after sweating. Not exactly that “healthy glow” you were going for, huh?

Well, the good news is that there are some easy ways to stay “skin-sational” this spring. Dr. Ronald Moy, a board-certified dermatologist and one of the leading cosmetic and facial plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, has five tips for keeping both your complexion and your body in peak condition.

1. Keep it simple

Ladies, it’s a treadmill not a runway, so leave the heavy artillery at home. Slathering on a thick layer of makeup will only mix with sweat and get stuck in pores, increasing your chances of blackheads and cystic bumps.

2. Refrain from touching

You pick up a veritable smorgasbord of bacteria every time you grab dumbbells, grasp treadmill handrails or manhandle that elliptical control panel. Keep hands away from your face, and you’ll not only help prevent potential breakouts, but also avoid that nasty virus making its way around town.

3. Remember to cleanse

Even if you’re in a hurry, don’t skip this step. “Cleansing can help prevent some clogging of pores,” says Dr. Moy, who recommends products that contain a mild glycolic acid coupled with naturally-derived, sulfate-free cleansing agents to remove dead skin cells and de-gunk pores, respectively.

4. Brush it off

Exfoliating ensures there’s no dead skin lingering around to clog up pores. Try a gentle scrub, or invest in a face brush, which utilizes a sonic frequency to clean skin and remove more makeup, dirt and oil than manual cleansing alone.

5. Hydrate, inside and out

The body loses water through sweat, so it’s important to replace lost fluids throughout the day to keep skin soft and supple. And don’t forget to moisturize every morning and evening — not only can it soothe irritation and help keep wrinkles at bay, but it also wards off excessive dryness, which keeps your oil glands from going into overdrive.

What’s your post-workout skincare routine? 

This Spud’s For You: Health Benefits of the Humble Potato

11041718_10206006379141634_3895849945146121144_n

I used to avoid potatoes like the plague because, well…chips, fries and vodka. But then Ben and I did our Whole30 experiment at the beginning of the year and developed an entirely new appreciation for the tasty little tubers (particularly the sweet variety).

Their association with famine and high starch content aside, potatoes don’t deserve such a bad rap. Sure, when fried to a crisp or drowned in butter they can be less than healthy, but when eaten in their whole, unprocessed form they’re actually quite the nutritional powerhouses.

And popular, too — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States and the fourth most-consumed crop in the world (behind rice, wheat and corn).

Yup, we each consume an average of 55 lbs. of frozen potatoes per year, 42 lbs. of fresh potatoes, 17 lbs. of potato chips and 14 lbs. of dehydrated potato products.

So whether you’ve always been a proponent of the potato or you’re learning to love them all over again, I found a handy little guide (below) to help you make the most of this versatile veggie.

You say poh-tay-to; I say bring on the phytonutrients and fiber!

Reasons to Love the Humble Potato
“Reasons to Love the Humble Potato” on Health Perch

What’s your take on taters? 

“Get me across the finish line” half marathon training plan

Note: I had drafted this post before the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, but held off running it because it just didn’t feel right making light of crossing a finish line when so many didn’t get the chance this past Monday. But now that the second bomber has been captured and is in custody, it’s time for the healing to begin. So let’s run…for Boston. 

A friend of mine just signed up for a half marathon this fall. The best part? It’s her first post-baby 13.1-miler, and she’s doing it along with her sister, who will be tackling the distance for the first time. You go, gals!

My own sister has also been a willing guinea pig participant in both the Rock n’ Roll Chicago and the Detroit Free Press International half marathons with me, so I thought I’d share our favorite training plan below.

It’s loosely based on Hal Higdon’s training program, but I tweaked it a tad for our individual schedules and fitness levels – i.e. sometimes I’ll take an extra rest day or swap a cross training session (elliptical, bike, rower, stair stepper) in for one of the mid-week runs to help aid in recovery and prevent injury.

Check it out, and let me know what you think (and if you use it for a race, I’d love to hear your results)!

FinishLineHalfMarathonPlan