Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Monthly Archives: March 2013
Can we just talk about how calling this recap training for The Relay is getting embarrassing because there is no actual running happening? Yeah. I’m gonna have to reconcile that somehow soon but tonight is not that night.
Do you ever have those days where every single thing you try to do in an effort to be productive ends up foiled? And then, in your failed attempts at productivity, you actually end up creating MORE WORK for yourself? Yes, well that is how today has gone. And how this week has gone actually. And how this training plan is going.
I am not feeling positive about this, if you can’t tell. If you have a pep talk inside of you, I am ALL EARS.
Anyway, here are my workout breakdowns this week:
1 Shoulder Press
3 Push Press
5 Push Jerk
(45, 55, 65, 75, 85 lbs)
AMRAP in 4 minutes:
10 jumping pull-ups
200 m run
Rest 1 minute
AMRAP in 4 minutes:
10 ground release push-ups
250 m row
Rest 1 minute
AMRAP in 4 minutes:
10 toes to bar
Overall Score: 7 rounds
*This was my day to do a double workout and I flaked and took a nap instead. Yep, just being honest.
Spend 10 minutes working on your pistol squats or ps progressions – Hey, guess what? I don’t even need 10 minutes to show you how bad I am at pistols. UGH
800 m run, then
5 Rounds of:
10 hang power cleans (95lbs)
then run 800 m
Time: 16:48. This workout was awful and I loved it.
Rest day if you are testing 13.4 the next day. And apparently this was right where this week went downhill.
I tested 13.4 and I already told you how CRAPTACULAR that went. On top of completely failing to do Toes to Bar AGAIN, I ripped my hands open which royally sucked.
Nancy was on the menu at the gym, which for some strange reason is my FAVORITE workout. My hands were totally screwed up but I decided scale the weight and see if I could do it anyway.
5 Rounds for Time
Run 400 m
15 Overhead Squats (65lbs)
I did the first round at 65lbs and then realized my form was all crappy because I was holding the bar funny with my ripped up hands. I scaled to 45lbs, but mentally my heart just wasn’t in it. My hands hurt, plus it was just me and 3 super speedy dudes doing the workout together which was just enough to make me feel like I was failing at life. (Spoiler Alert: I was not. I was just being melodramatic. But melodramatic at high intensity does not a pleasant workout make.) I finished the workout in 21:45, which is like 2 minutes slower than my old PR (and my old PR is lifting 20 lbs heavier!) so I was basically annoyed.
Saturday and Sunday
We were supposed to be driving to Monterey to see my family and celebrate my cousin Sara’s 30th birthday; however, on Friday my Grandma was checked into the hospital for digestive stuff. I woke up on Saturday feeling stressed, defeated and bummed and also in EXCRUTIATING PAIN from a pinched joint capsule in my neck, which I’m sure was caused by 1 part stress, 1 part exhaustion and 1 part crappy overhead squat form. I’m super lucky that my uncle is a retired chiropractor so he hooked me up with some 911 adjustment, but I was basically immobile most of the day. I woke up this morning feeling slightly better, though still not 100%.
Obviously there was no running or exercising or enjoying life at all really. There was lots of icing, eating ibuprofen and lying supine. Needless to say this, uh, “training week” hasn’t been a high five for the log books. I hope next week has good stuff in store.
Can we talk about some really simple things are making me happy this month? Yes! Let’s do it.
1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend Beauty Balm
It is ridiculous how much this little product has changed my skin for the better. It is healing, smoothing and just generally awesome – once you get over that it smells a little bit like butter and lavender. While we are talking about how awesome Green Pastures is, I think the fact that I’ve been taking their Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend since November has really helped with my gym recovery. Is that crazy? Maybe. But I wasn’t sore at all after 13.3, and a year prior when I did that workout, I couldn’t walk right for a week. BOOM: Inflammation Be Gone!
2. Fresh Tulips
Seriously, fresh flowers make all the difference in the house! I’ve been picking up a bouquet a week at Trader Joe’s (so cheap!) when I do my grocery shopping and it’s making my house feel so fancy!
3. Bath & Body Works Candles
I love these 3- wick candles, and I wait until they go on super sale (they always do – right now they are 2 for $22) and stock up on seasonal scents, just like I do with all of their hand soaps, and then my house seriously smells festive. Add that in with the tulips and I am already celebrating spring!
4. Dream More
I’ve been having a little bit of a 90s revival musically (oh god, it is hysterical) which made me want to buy a replacement for one of my favorite GAP scents. I picked up a body spray at the Outlet recently and it’s just crazy how nostalgia is so tied up with scent and sound. If you put orange blossom in a perfume, I WILL BUY IT.
5. Trader Joe’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Oh you guys, this is one of those things that TJ’s only has *sometimes* AND IT IS BACK AND I AM GLEEFUL! It’s so convenient to have on hand to saute up with ghee and shallots or toss in a little warm bacon vinaigrette or to make a fresh salad with (I like to add apples too.) YUM. YUM. YUM. and YUM.
6. Banana Boat Airbrush Color
The sun is out so it’s time to spray down my SUPA DUPA WHITE legs. The problem with me and self-tanner is I’m usually one false move away from looking like an Oompa Loompa with stripes. This Airbrush self-tanner has been super reliable, easy to apply and natural looking and to me, that says a lot considering that even those “Build a Tan Slowly” type lotions turn me orange. I highly recommend it! I’ve already gone through 2 cans!
What is rocking YOUR world lately?
HOLLA! Things are getting back to normal! This week I logged 6 workouts (and even a few that had me running) with no knee pain at all. ::::knocks wood:::: I think we are through the worst of it! I also tried something new at the beginning of the week that I think will be helpful moving forward over the next couple of weeks. DOUBLE DAYS! HA…let me tell you about it.
I woke up and worked out at 6am Monday morning, which reminded me how much I LOVE morning workouts! It was as follows:
Overhead Squat: 3-3-3-3-3 (75-85-95-105-115lbs)
3 Rounds for Time
400 m Run
25 KB Swings (35lbs)
50 Air Squats
Finished in 16:47.
Then, because I wanted to start thinking about what it will feel like to run on tired legs (and this was DEFINITELY a leg tiring workout) I went back at 5pm and did the workout again after sitting at my desk all day at work.
It definitely affected my lifting — in the afternoon session I only lifted 65-75-85-95-95 lbs. But I was surprised that during the metcon portion I was only slightly slower….physically. I finished the second one in 17:53, so about an extra minute. But let me tell you, MENTALLY, that shit was rough. So I think it’s going to be a good idea to do that a bit in the coming weeks, just to prepare myself.
Weighted Pull-Ups + Ring Dips (I worked on strict pull ups and dips with the band.) I had another very vivid dream about doing a pull up a few nights before. Unfortunately it didn’t manifest in the gym. 🙂
I was aiming for under 8:47, since that was my previous PR. Unfortunately I got caught up on my double unders during the 40 round which really slowed me down. I finished in 9:47. Super Boo.
Wednesday’s are mandatory rest days at the gym if you are testing the Open WOD on Thursday, so I was happy to oblige.
13.3! I already covered how I performed but let me just underscore again what a GOOD WORKOUT this is!!! It’s only 12 minutes, but man it is a killer! I almost wanted to do it again!
I planned to workout this morning but I woke up and was really tired. Miraculously I wasn’t sore from 13.3, but I was super sleepy when my alarm went off so I just went back to bed! 🙂 Friday afternoon I was doing happy hour at work with my team so I didn’t end up working out at all, which was fine.
Rest and Relaxation Day!
Logged a very easy 2 miler with the pooch and Garrett at the park. It was gorgeous, there were tons of people and dogs out and Buster loved it. Then we came home and Garrett and I did a face off of 100 Kettlebell swings for time with our 53 lb Kettlebell. Garrett won. grumblegrumbegrumble But only by 25 seconds! 🙂
This is the first week in more than a month that my body has just felt like my own. It’s performed when I pushed it and just generally felt really good. I want to keep up that momentum this week and maybe increase the running…so that’s the unofficial plan!
A peek into our closet
I read a great post on Wardrobe Oxygen this weekend about Honing Your Personal Style Through Closet Organization and it struck me that this is *exactly* how I taught myself to get dressed. I am an organization JUNKIE, and it was actually a closet organizing technique that spawned my desire to think more about my personal style.
A decade ago I loved having a closet FILLED TO THE BRIM with clothing. The more shiny, crappy, polyester clothing options I had the more abundant I felt. During a closet organizing whim one day years ago, I decided to try this little trick and I realized what I was REALLY wearing. I consistently wore clothes that were comfortable, well-fitting and were in similar colors and styles. I am no minimalist and I’m certainly not advocating owning one pair of well fitting jeans and fiver shirts in different colors, but when I did that exercise I realized that there was a method to my dressing madness, even when I thought there wasn’t.
Unsurprisingly, what was happening was that I was consistenly wearing the clothing that made me look and feel good, and ignoring the large majority of my shiny, glittery, “fun” wardrobe. It was clear that I was living in fantasy land when I shopped, but in reality when I got dressed. There was lots of lovely clothing (ok and some that wasn’t so lovely) but for one reason or another, the stuff I wasn’t wearing just wasn’t a fit — for my shape or for my lifestyle. And it was a wasteful disconnect that made me want to start building a more intentional wardrobe. (I say start becuase it is an on-going process.)
These days, even though I deal with a much smaller and more specific wardrobe, I feel much more abundant. Part of that on-going process is that every few months I clean out my closet to remove things I’m not wearing or just generally not digging, and then twice per year I do one BIG closet switcheroo based on the seasons. I try to only keep two seasons worth of clothing out at a time (Spring/Summer clothes and Fall/Winter clothes.) Despite the fact that my closet can accommodate all of my clothing being out at once, the hanger exercise taught me that when my visible wardrobe is a little more tightly curated, I seem to feel more creative. (Strange, but true.)
Perhaps you like to look at all of your clothes at once, and that is okay too! But I thought we could talk about where one would start when they want to build an intentional wardrobe; which to me, is a wardrobe where the clothes that fill up your space are the clothes that you actually WANT to wear. Revolutionary, it is not. But despite its simplicity, it actually took me a while to get the hang of. In case I’m not the only person who learned this a bit late in life, I thought I’d share some of the steps I took to get there and some fun resources that might help:
1. Define YOUR Signature Style
As with anything important, there must first be a vision, right? Your clothing is reflection of who you are in your life, whether you are are making an effort at it or not. I want to look nice, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about it. It has been helpful to pick a mission statement for all of my clothes and stick to it. They must be classic and comfortable, but with a little bit of flair. For me that ends up being simple prints, bright colors or dramatic accessories. It helps me to have a checklist in my head to walk through so I can say “No Holly, despite the fact that you think it is beautiful, you don’t need this white lace dress with 900 buttons, even if you do have just the place to wear it!” (Uh, except I don’t. haha)
Related Reading: How To Find Your Personal Style
2. Determine Clothing Staples That Work For Your Body
I am attracted to so many different styles and types of clothing just because I think fashion is creative and artistic. But I don’t need the analysis paralysis that comes with buying an entire closet full of artsy clothes. I’ve learned through trial and error the silhouettes that do and don’t work for my body – and honestly, taking daily photos of what I’m wearing helped that immensely. Now that I know what works well and what to AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, I try and keep things in that arena and buy variations of those. It may sound boring, but these days there are a million different pencil skirts out there, so knowing that this is a flattering cut on me doesn’t actually make my wardrobe boring it actually helps keep focused so I can seek out the most fun versions
3. Start With a Capsule Wardrobe
I’m sure you have heard this advice a million times but if you are just beginning thinking about style I absolutely think a capsule wardrobe is a must. Of course you can expand on this idea once you get comfortable, but start with a small grouping of versatile, well-fitting items that you can mix and match and you will be amazed at how many outfits you have.
4. Buy Clothes That Fit You Well Regardless of Their Size
I currently have 4 different sizes in my closet and shockingly: THEY ALL FIT. Clothing Manufacturers have no regulation about sizing and sometimes the sizing within the same store can be weird based on the style of clothing or place the clothing was made (I’m looking at you, Old Navy. The store where I own clothing all the way from Medium to Extra Large — what???) As a consumer I will acknowledge that this is totally annoying, but being flexible an unattached to the size of your clothing often allows you to access to better fitting clothing. And more styles! I often hear people saying “Oh I just can’t wear skinny jeans, they don’t fit me.” Well they wouldn’t fit me right either if I bought my regular size. But sometimes if I go up a size (or two!) they end up looking AWESOME!
Related Reading: What Size Are You Really? The Truth Behind Vanity Sizing
Hopefully that has given you a few ideas for creating a more intentional wardrobe. I’ve found it to be so helpful for getting dressed! You don’t have to have a huge budget, or an innate knack for what looks great. Also you don’t have to shop at a million stores. Find what you like, what looks good on you, and then (here’s the big secret) BUY THOSE THINGS! It will make shopping and dressing a more creative and satisfying experience. If you have any other awesome tips to share, please do so.
A Few More Fun Resources:
*A handy dandy flowchart showing How to UnF**k Your Closet.
*A Guide on How To Set Your Wardrobe Budget
“My father is the standard by which all subsequent men in my life have been judged.” – Kathryn McCarthy Graham
During the summer of 1998 my dad gave me a small book of quotes and poems called The Love Between Fathers and Daughters. He signed the inside of it, I put it on my nightstand and beyond that, I’m not sure I gave it much extra thought. I was 19, I had a lot going on at the time — my friends and boys were very important — but even at the time I did think it was a sweet gesture.
In August of 1998 he passed away and it became the last note he ever wrote to me that I kept. It goes without saying I pay a lot more attention to it now. I see how our handwriting is similar and it reminds me that he was always thinking of me. His only child, I was always at the center of his universe, and there was a comfort that I carried with me daily because of that relationship we had that I didn’t even realize was there until it was gone.
It’s been 15 years since he’s been gone and today he would have turned 59. There is part of me that mourns his loss a bit every year on this date, and this year will certainly be no different. But also today I find myself thinking more about how grateful I am for the bar that he set in my life. He was a spectacular athlete who made a successful career in the NFL when everyone told him it was impossible. He was a family man who never let a day go by without telling the women in his life that he loved him. He had the kind of smile and infectious laugh that you could hear from all the way down the street and he was willing to share it with anyone would listen. He was a loyal friend and the type of guy you could count on no matter what because he believe at the very core of his being that one should always do what they say they will do.
Also: He was my dad.
And while I didn’t realize it at the time, the book that he gave me about the love between fathers and daughters did capture something incredible. Some of us experience that love for many years, and others of us get shortchanged. But if you are lucky enough to still have it in your life, hold that close to your heart today, because I will tell you what, it is something that I have yet to find anywhere over these last 15 years. It’s irreplaceable. And while there is a part of me that feels sad about it, I know that who he was lives on inside of me every single day of my life. And for that, I really do feel grateful. Some days I am so grateful that it hurts.
I had such a fun weekend (that did stick pretty closely to my To Do List — LAME) and I don’t have a single picture of green beer to show you! Ah, how times I have changed. I have this one though, which may be a close second.
I highly recommend crappy Blueberry Odwalla and Champagne. Speaking of times changing, my Timehop for Saturday made me laugh out loud.
Anyway, drunk celebrities aside — we crammed a lot of things into this 48 hour period.
Including buying a car!
We weren’t really planning on picking up a car (though we definitely could use one, both of our cars are OLD!) but I have a friend at work who just got a promotion that included a Company Car so she was selling hers, and well…it just seemed like too good of a situation. A single owner and a well cared for car for a great price. What’s not to love? Plus, it will be a great car for us over the next few years when we do the whole Expanding the Family thing, ya know?
I think it looks cute in our driveway! Plus, do you want to hear something crazy? This will be the first summer that both Garrett and I will have had working Air Conditioners in BOTH cars in about 5 years. Crazy, right? Especially crazy when you learn that summer here includes MANY days where it is over 100 degrees.
I also had time to pour through some cookbooks on Saturday and make a fun meal plan. It’s been so long since I’ve really had fun in the kitchen — I’ve mostly just been getting dinner on the table, which is sooooooooo different — so I’m excited to get back to making some new things this week!
Sunday was pretty leisurely — I thought about retesting Wod 12.2 (for about a second) but in the end I’m okay with my score. I ended up doing 219 but afterward I felt like I probably should have shot for 250. Aw well…live and learn! Instead I decided to go for a walk with the dog over at the park by our house.
We ended up actually running most of it and I was SO DAMN GRATEFUL to be running. It felt so good to not have any knee pain and just be out on the trail and trying to keep up with the dog. Yep, Buster can run a little faster than me when he gets rolling…how sad is that? ha! That’s my next goal, outpace my little dog! 🙂
He came home all tired out and we spent the rest of the evening lounging and then chowing on some Corned Beef and Cabbage. It may not have been like one of the wild St. Patty’s Days of Yore, but I’ll tell you what, it was a good one.
Did you do anything wild and crazy this weekend?
When we last left my Relay Training Recaps it was Week 3 of my 13 Week Training Schedule and my knee was killing me! This put a major damper on my training and obviously the recaps, but I am finally :::knocks wood:::: making some progress so I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on. After Week Three I decided to try and push through the pain and see what happened. It didn’t feel like a serious injury, but it was also uncomfortable so I decided to do things that didn’t hurt my knee and NOT do things that did. Sounds simple enough, but the problem was I would do things that felt fine and then go home and walking would be painful. UGH!
Here’s what happened and how I am resolving it:
I couldn’t run at all this week because my knee was just re-DONK-ulously sore. I went to CrossFit on Tuesday and the workout was full of Cleans and when I got home my knee was feeling awful. I iced and elevated and decided that this would be my week of rest. It actually came at a good time too because that was the week I got my new job and I’ve been telling you for weeks how crazy that week ended up being with regards to work, so it was no big inconvenience to just come home and collapse on the couch without running or working out. That Saturday there was a 3 hour Oly Lifting Seminar at my gym and so I did do that. My knee didn’t feel great afterward, but nothing like it had that Tuesday so I felt like things were on the mend.
Of course as you can see they did NOT end up being on the mend. I pushed a little too hard on Monday’s workout, had to rest Tuesday, tried again Wednesday and then spent Wednesday night feeling really sorry for myself about my knee because it was really hurting. This was what was so annoying: I would be in the gym doing just fine, but then an hour or two later I would get up to walk somewhere and be practically limping. It was frustrating!
But then that night I picked Garrett up from the airport after being out of town FOREVER so that brightened things up! But I didn’t workout the rest of the week. Also: I finally took the plunge and made an appointment to see a Chiropractor who does Active Release Techniques. It was clear that I was not going to be able to just walk this off, so I since I had been wanting to find a good local chiropractor anyway (my uncle is one and retired, but he lives far enough away that I don’t see him regularly for adjustments, just occasionally) so I finally bit the bullet.
It was the best decision EVER! He ran me through a bunch of tests and did an examination and found that my right hip and right calf are really tight. Like CRAZY TIGHT. It was something I could feel to the touch even but to have someone point it out just based on a movement examination they had done was awesome. As he explained it to me, it made sense that I was having the pain I was having and where I was having it because those two muscle groups really contribute to the stability of the knee joint. So it was no wonder I was having pain after the fact and couldn’t pinpoint why in the moment. Repetitive motion with muscles that aren’t stretched properly will cause pain based on how hard I go and how much hip and calf function I’m using. Lightbulb!
So I committed to doing a serious amount of hip and calf stretching, preparation and recovery and things have only looked up since then! But as you’ll see I was still taking it a little bit easy.
I had 2 ART appointments this week so my workouts were limited, but mostly I felt great! Except the first workout of the week involved 70 burpees and WOD 13.1 involved MANY burpees, so it was clearly THE WEEK OF THE BURPEE. But my knee survived. And I dragged myself out for a slow 3 mile jog and it felt GREAT! Which gets us all caught up and up to this past week, which was GREAT!
I still only did 3 workouts, but I mostly had NO PAIN. My knee area felt a little tight after Thursday’s workout, but I iced it and have had no bother since. I even went for a run with the dog on Sunday. It was slow, but we both felt great when we finished!
My Goal From Now On
So here we are, tomorrow starts Week 8 of training, and the truth is with only 6 weeks left and no desire to go SUPER HARD on my knee, I am probably going to be undertrained for this event. But I am lucky my legs are only 4 miles, 6 miles and 6 miles respectively so I think it will be manageable. This week I want to focus on good workouts in the gym and easing back into mileage outside. I think it’s going to be integral to keep up my stretching and recovery routines and looking forward I want to find some strategies during the event to remain really focused on good fueling and stretching…which could be a real challenge when you’re just hanging in a van.
I’m a little bit scared, to be honest, but I’m still going for it (I’m committed!) and I’m going to do my best with the cards I’ve been dealt. It’s a real mind game when your body betrays you, and I have lots to say about injuries and how WOW — the physical part is only half the battle! But this week I’m putting one foot in front of the other, getting myself to the gym, fueling with good eats, and hopping on a treadmill or a trail to work out some of this Spring Fever! Hopefully I’ll have good stuff to report next week! Wish me luck.
As always, click any of the links below for details about all the items I’m wearing and where they came from.
1. Failing at Stripe Rehab, 2. Turquoise Pants!, 3. Super Bowl Party, 4. More Stripes. Crap., 5. Cold., 6. Layers, 7. Color Happy, 8. Friday, casual., 9. Saturday Afternoon, 10. Pink Shoes!, 11. Polka Dots, 12. Linen, 13. V-Day ❤❤❤❤, 14. TGIF, 15. Monday. Un-Creative, 16. Yay Jeans!
So hey, I’m a little behind on this, but I thought I’d revisit how I got dressed in February. If you remember, my goal was to wear less stripes than in January.
What I’m Currently Loving
It shouldn’t be a shock that I’m still loving scarves this month. It was February and it was COLD! Also I was feeling a dark palette with just a little bit of color. (Not a pop! Down with the expression POP OF COLOR!) I get this way every winter, February especially, but I just want to wear cozy black things and leggings. Obviously I had to spiff up that concept a bit for “business casual” attire, but it was definitely what I was feeling.
Tights + Leggings 4 EVA!
What Inspired Me While Getting Dressed
The first half of the month was me trying to back off on the stripes and honestly getting layered. It was cold outside, it was cold in the office, and layers were a serious necessity but I didn’t want to look like a bag lady. I got offered my new job mid month, so honestly I didn’t even take outfit photos for a few days because I was inspired mostly by the concept of “Just get dressed and get to work.” Not that fun. Towards the end of the month it was beginning to feel like spring so I got slightly more colorful and I will keep that up. I love color! (And polka dots, apparently.)
This was my favorite outfit of the month. It’s not super exciting but it had all my favorite elements: scarf, simplicity, black, comfortable but not boring. And um, leopard shoes, HELLO.
This was my lease favorite. I think busted out the linen a little too early. It was super springy day, but by the end of it I just wasn’t feeling “light and bright” clothes yet. Also: I hate how that sweater hangs every time I wear it. I should really just get rid of it. Maybe it’s time to do a Shop My Closet cull again.
So that was my February closet! March should bring some more spring-y looks and some new jeans. I had to throw away my FAVORITE jeans this month (my 1969 Gap Boyfriend Jeans) because…uh…well after owning them for forever the thigh area sort of…uh, gave out. WHAT? Shit happens. My thighs touch. THIS IS REAL LIFE STYLE, Y’all. 🙂