March 31, 2012

It's Coming to ALABAMA!

The Color Run is coming to Birmingham, AL. 3 days before my birthday... I'd like to call it fate. AND I've got some friends that wanna do it with me and we are making a team, ahhhhhh. So excited. Watch the video, try not to smile and then please go sign up for one near you. You can walk, run, crawl, wheel or whatever. It's a happy race!!! Totally awesome!

March 27, 2012


force (n) : Strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement

This word has been on my mind lately. Not in a negative way, but in a way that has made me look at how I handle life. I've always gone after what I've wanted with force. I've always had a high amount of energy when it came to something I wanted. 
-Moving from last chair to first chair in my saxophone section. 
-Wanting to be drum major of my high school marching band.
-Chasing after boys I wanted to be with.
-Getting back to a healthy weight and losing 40 lbs. 
-Starting my own business in my dorm room.

I dive head in. I don't look back. And I give it my all. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I've failed. I've gotten back up and pushed forward. I'm not saying every time I want something I get it. Not the case at all. Mostly when it comes to relationships or any other situation that involves someone other than me. I'm that person that takes over the whole entire group project (with force) because I can't handle letting someone else have control over my success or failure. 

This is who I am. I'm messy with my emotions. I am sometimes that obnoxious control freak. And I do try a little too hard sometimes when it comes to guys I'm crushing on. But I'm realizing, as I am with most aspects of life, it's all about balance and choices. There are going to be times I need that strength or force to go after a dream... or just to get me through a day from hell. As well as, a time when the best thing I can do is sit back and allow things to unfold. 

You cannot stop the forward motion. But you can control the force in which you take things on.

March 25, 2012

A Custom Order

I've had two custom card inquiries over the last few days, and lucky for them I am home near a printer and could play around. I've been putting off making the across country custom cards because I wasn't sure how to go about them. This custom order pushed me to get reacquainted with photoshop and I'm excited to get these options into the shop for everyone.
I'm home for two weeks, so if you have any custom cards you'd like me to play with let me know. Once I leave I won't be able to print words on the cards like I did in the one above. Next I'm working on some cayman islands and afghanistan cards :)

What are you up to this beautiful Sunday?

March 24, 2012

Spontaneous Adventure

Long story, but I'm off work for two weeks. I arrived back in Alabama last night and this morning I woke up wanting to do something I've never done in my own stomping grounds.
I decided to go over to Oak Mountain State Park and hike some trails with Parker. It was the most beautiful day... honestly perfect weather. We hiked about 8 miles total and I was very proud of him. He led the way the whole time and never really seemed tired.
It was exactly what I needed. Some time to myself to think and be back in the place I love the most... the woods. For sure going back at least two more times before I head back to work :) 

What are you all up to this weekend?

March 22, 2012

Parker Pants

Having Parker down here has been amazing. Minus the hotel calling me and complaining about his barking... he isn't the best at adjusting, haha.

I've had him for almost a week and we've been to the dog park, gone for runs around the lakes, doggy day care and the most epic trip to Petsmart.

It's so different having to plan around his needs before mine. I really like it though. I'm not ever lonely in the hotel room anymore and I have a reason (someone licking my face) to get up in the morning. I love love love Parker. More change is in the air, but that's for tomorrow's post :)
**Parker is 2 years old. He is half Wheaton terror and black lab. Right now he has a summer cut, but usually has longer hair**

March 20, 2012

What's In My Bag // Edition 1

 My very first... what's in my bag post. I've decided that the contents are pretty much spot on for how random my life has been lately. I'm enjoying the chaos.
Purse - Ecko Red. Daily Planner. Cell phone. Tissues. 3 Lip Blams, Esos and Burts Bees. Foray Pen. Flash drive with all 3 Hunger Games books, Hair Clip, Fossil Wallet, Yurbud Ear Phones ... seriously amazing for running. One earring from my shop, other is still missing. $.99 sunglass. Yogurtland spoon. Hair cut coupons. Table number from a special night out/ I can't throw it away because I have an obnoxious crush on someone that was at the dinner. Empty target makeup... using it for the mirror.
After doing this post, I've decided a better version would be for me to do a "What's in my Car" ... because I literally use it as my self storage unit. It's really embarrassing that I have so much stuffed in the trunk. And now I am ranting on about my car... ahhh. I hope you all are smiling.

March 16, 2012

The Best News Ever!

See this face ^^^^^ ... well guess what!! He is coming to Baton Rouge BABY!!!

Parker is finally getting to come live with me!!! AHHHH! I finally got it worked out with my job to get moved to a pet friendly hotel :) And I found a doggy daycare place for Parker during the day. I cannot explain to you how excited I am. I'm finally going to be a real dog owner, with real responsibilities. I absolutely cannot wait. It's hard for me to even wrap my head around the fact that I'm going to be fitting him into my little routine, but he is going to be so good for my soul. I've needed him down here lately.

My Mom got Parker for herself, but he is too much dog for her right now. I've been in love with him since the first summer I spent with him. We've had a bond like no other. I've always joked that all the animals loved my Mom more than me, but with Parker there is no question I am his girl. We are going to be good for each other. He is going to get me out of the bed earlier than I'd like, but also push me on my runs. I am going to flip his routine upside down, but he is going to love the extra attention and interaction.

I honestly have the most amazing mom in the world. She has spent and invested so much into Parker, and definitely got the harder years. It means so much to me that she is passing Parker on to me. She knows how much I love him and how much I've wanted him. She is truly selfless. I love you Mom!
So let the countdown begin till this blog becomes a shrine to Parker. Okay I promise I won't make it that... but I do already have a great post planned on dog allergies and some homeopathic remedies for a dog's itchy skin.... okay honestly how do I have readers???

March 15, 2012

and just like that.

and just like that... things are looking so different. one little change has put the biggest smile on my face. the fact that I wrote this post just a few days ago just reminds me that life is never certain and you just have to have a little faith. some faith that things all happen for a reason, serve a purpose and you won't get pushed further than you can handle.

and just like that... I've realized my patience has paid off. And as I'm typing this, that I need to apply that to the current confusion that I have in my life. Just let it play out. Don't force it. Just let it develop. That I don't have to go full speed ahead after it... and that it will mean more if it wasn't forced. I have time and I'm tired of forcing things.

and just like that... I've typed one of the most cryptic posts on this blog.

March 14, 2012

Spin Class // The Basics

Before 2012, I had only heard of spin class. I knew it involved a stationary bike, but I wasn't very interested in finding out more. I was very intimidated by the classes that had been offered at the gyms I've belonged to. I would always see these tiny little machine people (complete with funny shoes) going in and out... and I didn't feel like I belonged.
January 2012... I stepped out of my comfort zone. I went to a Saturday morning class. I was so nervous. I had no idea what to do. I just sat on my bike... without adjusting anything. I literally was too embarrassed to ask the instructor for help. Then I started watching what others were doing to adjust their bikes. I fiddled with mine a little, but then the class started and I just went with it. That first class was SO fun. I know I wasn't adjusted right and my butt felted bruised... but I had FUN! Fun working out for 60 minutes. Fun burning 600+ calories. Fun trying something new.
Since then I've been addicted. When I was training for my half marathon I lived for my rest days from running so I could go to spin class... crazy I know. There was just something totally freeing about that bike, the music and being able to leave everything behind. The classes go by so quickly. Some days I just enjoy the class as break from my running, but other days I really push myself. I crank up the resistence and I pedal faster than I thought was possible. I love leaving a puddle of sweat underneath my bike. I love leaving behind everything that has been holding me down during the day. I love 60 minutes of "me" time. I love spin class.

**And my 2nd time I did have the courage to ask for help adjusting my bike**

March 12, 2012

A Race a Month // March

Race for the Cure - Baton Rouge : 3.1 miles
Before: I've had exactly 4 weeks between this race and my last, the half marathon. I took about two of those off and barely ran at all. These last two weeks I've really just been working on speed intervals and I wasn't too confident I could shave off any time from my last 5k back in January. My goal going into the race was 25:36, which would be 30 seconds faster than my personal best 5k. My coworker Eileen agreed to come down to the race and take photos!! I was so glad she did. I also met up with another Northland College graduate who lives in Baton Rouge. Basically, I had some motivation to kick butt!!!
1st Mile: There were only a few hundred of us that had timed chips, the rest were just running for fun. We got to be up at the front for the start. My watch kept telling me I was running around a 8:40 -9 minute mile and I was pretty discouraged. I knew I needed to be running 8 minutes. I was also getting passed a lot... but I just kept telling myself that the race wasn't over. **I actually ran a 7:34 mile**

2nd Mile: Passed a water station and got a little pep back in my step and my music got me pumped up to take on the rest of the race. I stayed with this girl that had been trying to pass me and I totally sprinted off once we were on a hill. We passed by this sorority house that had all their girls on either side of us cheering us on... it was amazing. 

3rd Mile: I couldn't believe I was almost done. A half marathon to a 5k felt amazing. I just told myself I only have one mile left... I can do this. It went by very quickly and before I knew it I could see the finish line. I sprinted to the end. 
After: I couldn't believe my time!! 25:07 ... 59 seconds faster than my 5k in January. And 30 seconds faster than my goal time. I was so excited!!! It felt amazing. It still feels amazing. 

Time // 25:07 - 8:00 minute pace average
Results // 4th in 20-24 female  -- 23/259 total women -- 120/488 total runners

March 10, 2012

The Battle of the Hotel Air Conditioning Unit

Background: It looks so innocent, so simple. Do not be fooled by this little white box... it tricks you into thinking you control your own air flow, but oh no you most certainly are not.
Round 1: The white box has a sidekick... meet the unit. Looks like a normal air conditioning unit... haha think again. This bad boy has a jet engine inside that likes to kick in right when you're about to fall asleep... or better yet when you're trying to listen to anything at a socially acceptable hotel room volume. Honestly, I've almost peed myself when it has kicked on some nights... it sounds like grinding metal mixed with a very annoying teeth chattering.
Air Conditioning 1 : Samantha 0
Round 2: Okay so now you are numb to the constant teeth chattering sounds and jet engine blast off... but this unit isn't playing games. You know you've set the unit for 68 degrees. You hop into bed feeling cold, you bundle up and start to dream... THEN BAM! It's an African desert in your hotel room. You wake up wondering if you've wet the bed or if you just broke a record fever. Then you realize the teeth chattering has stopped... no metal grinding sounds... and the jet engine is out for the count... You discover that this simple unit only stays on for a few hours before going to sleep itself. HAH! What's the point of an air conditioning unit you have to re-activate every three hours?!? IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?? Now picture me having to sleep in barely anything... actually don't picture that... this is a PG blog. Moving on.
Air Conditioning 2 : Samantha 0
Round 3: Starts with me googling the actual air conditioning unit to figure out what the F is going on here. Setting the unit for 65 before bed has only resulted in me going to be dressed for Everest and waking up in a bikini... still sweating.... So after hours, read 15 minutes, I find the secret weapon.... a bypass function. MWAHAHAHA. You are going down air conditioning unit from a popsicles nightmare. And just like that I restored order to my first floor room. So bring on your jet engine sounds and your teeth chatterings... I'm sleeping in PJ's again... like a boss.
Air Conditioning 2 : Samantha SLEEPING LIKE A BABY

March 9, 2012


sometimes I worry about the people that get put in the rooms around me. because most nights I end up laughing at funny text message conversations. some online video clip that isn't really that funny, but it reminds me of something else that I actually find funny. or the fact that I've spent the last 25 minutes balancing a flashlight on my shoulder so I can make shadow animals on the walls of my hotel room.... yes, yes, I feel so sorry for the people next to me. But I'm seriously having the time of my life over here.

March 8, 2012

random thoughts.

Today I've had a lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head. thoughts about balance and life... and what I really want out of this next year. My job makes it so hard to plan, which is hard but also liberating. The first few months on this job I would literally work myself into a hot mess over not knowing what I'd be doing. I had no plan. No structure. No schedule. It was like someone had taken my world and flipped it inside out. My planner became more of a journal. I could only write in it after the fact. It was torture.

But then around mid August, I just let go. I let go of having to know exactly what the next five months would look like. I told myself I could make it to December without a plan. I realized how incredible it was it have no actual plans... this was new to me. I've been planning everything in my life since I can remember. However, I was happy and I loved my job and that's all that really mattered.

Now nine months later, I'm still not sure that one extreme is better than the other. I'm over the honeymoon stage of this whole "just go with the flow". Reason number one... I need goals. I need to have something to aim for, something greater to go after, to drive me. Reason number two... I'm not sure I should accept living in a hotel room for more than 12 months. June 21st will be one year of hotel living, and I want to end it there or before.

And so yea, that's what's going on in my head. Work is slowing down and I'm dreaming up big things, new goals and adding in some structure. I can't control my work situation, but I can control how I use my free time and making the most out of it. This post is seriously just a bunch of ramblings, but they needed to be put into words... mostly so I can reflect back on them in a year and laugh at myself... because things will work out and I'm going to make the best of whatever is thrown at me.

March 6, 2012

My New Favorite Workout

Jillian Michaels has done it again!! I saw this DVD at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and picked it up. I was drawn to the idea of adding some strength training into my running workouts. Plus with bathing suit season fast approaching my butt could use some toning, haha.
I'm on week two right now and I've done the workout 4x so far. It's 45 minutes and I still am on level one, but there are three total. I'm aiming to do each level ten times before advancing.
I've already noticed how much easier the exercises are getting, there are lots of balancing and stability moves. I'm also way more flexible... thinking it might be the integrated yoga moves and lunges. I can't say enough about how awesome this DVD is.

It's not as physically/cardio based like her others, it concentrates on contracting the muscles slowly. That doesn't mean you won't feel the burn during or the day after... I've never felt so sore in my life after that first day.
So there is my two cents on the new Killer Buns & Thighs by Jillian Michaels... who is my personal fitness hero :) Plus it's only $10... I mean come on!!

March 1, 2012

March // I AM

I am happy.
I am powerful.

Using these two statements to propel myself into the next month. Lots of goodness to look forward to in March. Next race is on the 10th, family reunion on the 17th and 3 weeks of Jillian Michael's Killer Buns & Thighs DVD.

Really loving what healthy eating and fitness has done for my mind and my spirit. I'm so much more positive and I don't find myself listening to Snow Patrol and eating my feelings as much, haha. Going to actually set some goals this month.

-List 5 new items into the shop!
-Decide on /Prepare for an April Craft Show
-Find a pair of running shorts I love!