S’well Time

I mentioned many, many moons ago that I had found some stuff that I really loved and wanted to share with you all. I’m not trying to shill anything, pretty much anything I post about is something that I’ve bought and paid for with my own monies, not given to me by a company. I just love and adore it so much I feel like you must know about it.

With that said-let me introduce you to the most awesome (in my opinion) water/beverage bottle on the face of the planet.

Photo from swellbottle.com

Photo from swellbottle.com

The company is called S’well and they make reusable metal bottles that come in three sizes (25 oz, 17 oz, & 9 oz) and a ton of different color and style options. I originally looked them up after seeing them referenced on one of my favorite Instagram accounts I follow and I had to see for myself if the claims were accurate.

Claims such as-

  • Keeping cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours
  • Doesn’t condensate
  • Keeps fizzy beverages fizzy

And you guys-it DOES!!!

I have filled my bottle with ice and water and left it in my car on a hot summer day for hours and it will still have ice in it the next day. These bottles are legit!

I have three, two 25 oz bottles that I use for water and one 17 oz bottle that I usually use when I want to have coffee in the morning before/on my way to work. I loved these so much that I bought my sister and sister-in-law bottles for Christmas.

Rumors have it the 25 oz bottle will hold an ENTIRE bottle of wine. That’s right. The whole bottle.

Now, I know the price point is a little scary to think about, because the biggest bottle runs $45, but the website typically offers free shipping, so that helps. Plus, these bottles are an investment.

They won’t condensate and leave water rings everywhere or get stuff wet if you toss it inside your bag. They are super durable because they are made out of metal. The cap vacuum seals to the bottle to prevent leaking. Most ice cubes will fit through the opening, but the opening isn’t so big that you will spill all over yourself trying to drink out of it. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all had that moment where we tip our water bottles back a little too far and splash ourselves with whatever we are drinking at the moment.

Also, they are stylish. And they have bottles that help support charities and such. Right now the Pink Champagne bottle sales are giving 20% to support breast cancer research for the month of October.

Honestly, I seriously love these bottles and I highly recommend them to anyone who uses a reusable water bottle on a daily basis. Or even if you are looking for something you can take on a picnic or something. Plus, with the holiday season fast approaching (yeah, I totally went there), this is a great gift item for you to put on your list or to give to someone!

Mo’ Cowbell Half Marathon Race Recap

I managed to survive my half-marathon yesterday! I even managed to beat my previous year’s time by 20 minutes, so there’s that!

I spent the extra $50 for the VIP upgrade, and it was totally worth it for the simple fact that there were several heaters in the VIP area and it was misting and fairly chilly that morning. Actually I was pretty chilly for the entire race!

I wore my Brook’s Cascadia trail shoes for the race, even though it was on pavement.I also wore compression socks, lulu tights, a tank top and a long sleeve pull-over. I never took my pull-over off, because even though I was fairly sweaty, I was just too cold to deal with it.

Looking at my splits, I did pretty good at holding pace until about mile 8, then I slowed down a little. Mile 9 was rough because my right leg started hurting from my hip to my knee area, but I managed to soldier through that. Right before mile marker 10 there was an aid station that I literally had to elbow my way through the “volunteers” to even get to the table to attempt to refill my water bottle. The station was manned by a dance/cheer group or something like that and they were more interested in pouring the drinks on the ground and playing football than actually handing runners/walkers a beverage when they passed. I understand that we were some of the final runners/walkers, but we deserve the same treatment as the faster people. YOU signed up to volunteer, no one made you do it. Have a little respect! I know it’s boring but come on!

I walked mile 11 because I was trying to give my leg a break and see if it would feel better. It didn’t. So I started to try to run again and had to take several walk breaks each time, which sucked for the last two miles. Going down the steep incline in mile 13 felt like MURDER on my poor quads!

But, I managed to finish, and felt pretty good for most of the race. I got to see my friend Carla and her dogs, Coober and Greta, around the half-way point, so that was big boost in morale! I’m sure I looked like a maniac yelling out the dogs names when I turned the corner :) But it was fun! I obviously wish I hadn’t forgotten about the half and prepared a little better, but I’m still fairly happy with the results and the fact that I didn’t burn myself out too quickly by going to hard in the beginning.

Now I’m ready to relax a little before figuring out my next races. I’m also shopping for compression tights/crops because my calves and shins feel just fine today, but my quads are screaming at me every time I get up and sit down!

Yeah, So, Uhh…

Apparently I have a half-marathon on Sunday. Totally slipped my mind. I knew it was coming up in October, but some how it didn’t fully dawn on me that hey, October is THIS WEEK until last Friday or so. And my running (“training”) hasn’t been exactly spot on recently. Obviously, since I haven’t been posting anything. Although I did have a pretty fantastic trail run a few weekends back. I’m not un-prepared, or prepared, perhaps just under-prepared. But probably better of than I was attempting the same half last year. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

We met with the architect about our house plans. Hopefully, next week we will get the preliminary floor plan. It will be exciting to see it all drawn out with exact dimensions of rooms and with the adjustments we wanted made. Then comes the hard part, the nitty-gritty details part, where we have to pick out the floor and the wall colors and cabinets and shit. That’s the scary part. Well, next to finding out exactly how much it will all cost to build it in the long run. So it’s the second scariest part of the whole process. I thought it was nerve-wrecking trying to put together a small kitchen. Now I have to put together an entire house!

I’m heading back to the vet for a third time to drain yet another aural hematoma on Kaycee’s ears. I’m not certain exactly what is causing them, although I think it’s playing with certain toys that have knots in the “arms”. But who knows? It’s not like she can tell me. Which sucks.

So another round of antibiotics and steroids are most likely on the horizon. Fun times. She’s pretty good about taking meds, though. She’s a very tolerant dog.

I’ve been out with my bow a couple times, but haven’t seen anything other than signs of deer activity. Being out and hiking around through the woods is beyond peaceful to me. Except for the occasional spider-web to the face encounter. Totally makes me miss being outside so much. But I’m getting there. Bow hunting in September is very different from rifle hunting in November. One thing is I’m not wearing 87 layers of clothes to try to stay warm. Another is seeing all the signs and tracks from all the animals before the leaves cover them up. Number three is bugs. Those aren’t typically out in the cold of November. Didn’t really think about that one. But so far I’m really enjoying my outdoor time. Wishing for more of it. Knowing that it’s just about taking the time to make that happen.

Holidays are fast approaching. I have no clue what I’m getting anyone for gifts. I guess I have a little bit of time to think it through. Make my lists of things. Try to figure out what I want. It’s always a challenge to come up with stuff when I need to make a gift list, like all the things I’ve been wanting just leave my brain.

Well, I suppose the next time you will hear from me will be after the half on Sunday! Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

Nailed It

This weekend was pretty awesome.

Saturday I woke up and enjoyed a cup of coffee while watching M push down some trees to make room for our new house. Then I put the dogs up and headed to yoga class at Blue Bird. It’s been a hot minute since I did any yoga (about two months!) so I was looking forward to it in a very big way. The class went really well and I even managed to get up a nail my tripod head stand, which I haven’t been able to do since I was maybe 15? Or at least that’s the last time I can clearly remember doing one. So that was pretty exciting!

Then I hit up Picasso’s for a smoothie and a green tea with mint. It was shaping up to be a pretty fantastic day weather wise, so I was looking forward to enjoying it. Next up, I headed to my allergy doctor appointment and to get my allergy shots for the week. I typically get them on Fridays, but since I’ve been dog-watching all day at work, I couldn’t make my usual Friday time. After a quick check-in with my allergists, it was time to do some shopping with my birthday money.

I stopped by Le Creuset and picked up a new baking sheet, a tart dish, some high heat knob/handles for my existing cookware, some handle grabbers, and the cutest little pasty brush! I can’t wait to use my new tart dish, and to really cook something other than bread on my baking sheet. I love my cookware so much! Totally worth every dollar!

Then I quickly stopped by the jewelry store to pick up my necklace that had been repaired before heading home for lunch with M.

After lunch, I went to a birthday bbq for my cousin and hung out with family for a while and then headed up to the fairgrounds to help pour beer for the rodeo for a bit. Then I went home, realized I may be getting a bit of a cold, and decided it was time for bed.

Sunday wasn’t quite as action packed, but we did take a trip to Cabela’s to get the stuff that M ordered for his bear hunting trip, as well as a few GoPro accessories and I got some lighted nocks for my arrows to hopefully be able to find my arrow after I shoot it when hunting! Then we stopped by the grocery store and later had a couple little visitors looking to sell some pizzas for school. Then it was dinner, down time, and an early bed time because we are both battling slight colds.

But other than that, it was a weekend of fantastic proportions!

Here’s to 31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. I am officially “in my 30’s” now! Scary!

But not really. It certainly doesn’t feel all that different.

We had a really nice dinner out at Stony River steak house, which is in Chesterfield. If you want a good steak dinner, that’s one place to go! I got a new laptop and an iPad, beautiful earrings and flowers, and then some monies for my birthday. So pretty successful I’d say.

Since I pretty much suck at the whole New Year’s resolutions thing, I decided I would pick three goals I want to focus on in my 31st year of life.

#1-Finding out my passions in life.

There are tons of things that I love to do. TONS. But what am I really, truly passionate about in life? I think they top ones would be being creative, cooking, photography, animals, the outdoors, and being active. Even though I look like a couch potato! So, I’m hoping and planning to explore all these things more in-depth and really start living through them more.

#2-Making myself a priority.

This is something that I’ve started to do a little bit already this year. But I will be honest, I don’t always take very good care of myself and tend to let people get away with saying and doing things they shouldn’t. I don’t really take the time to make time for myself everyday and I should. So that’s going to be a bigger focus this year as well.

#3-Getting the debt situation under control once and for all.

I made a few big steps towards this yesterday, and I can finally feel a little of the weight being lifted off my shoulders. With building the new house coming up, I want to try to reduce any other stressors in my life and taking control of my finances is a big, big part of that. Plus I have my Italy trip coming up next year, so I want to be able to enjoy that without worrying about my bank account and over-spending!

So those are my three goals/focuses for the next year. I’m planning on using this blog to really help me with each of these things, so be prepared for more posts (plus I count this blog as one of my creative spaces, so it is going to be getting a little more attention!).

Life Update

I can’t even believe that it’s been over two months since I last put up a post. I didn’t realize that it had been that long at all! I’m going to work on posting more regularly, so hopefully any readers I’ve had haven’t abandoned me!

I’ve been doing things, but I guess I haven’t really thought that they were necessarily blog-worthy topics. July was a pretty busy month as far as life goes, between my sister’s birthday, then my parents party, and then getting ready for the week of the fair (or as I like to refer to it, hell week). This year I actually didn’t have much going on for fair week since Dockdogs wasn’t asked to come back, so for the most part I help with photography and the parade. I also got to judge the BBQ competition, which was fun (and pretty tasty too!).

Then it was a week of nothing but working and trying to clean up my house because we were getting ready to leave for our yearly lake trip. I managed to at least get the kitchen cleaned up, which was my main goal, before we packed everything up and headed to the Lake of the Ozarks. It was a nice vacation, mostly relaxing. I got to spend some time with friends that I only get to see a couple of times a year and we went horse-back riding. Or at least attempted to go riding. We went from one field that had been burned down to one that hadn’t and there was a massive buck hiding in the waist-tall grass that spooked the horses and we both got dumped on the ground. It took me probably a good three weeks to really recover from that. I landed mostly flat on my back, but I guess the right side of my body took a bit more of the impact, and I had a pretty sensitive/sore spot right above my bum for a long time.

I took running stuff with me on vacation, but no running happened. As a matter of fact, no running, yoga, or biking has been happening at all since June! Which is a total pile of crap. I just haven’t been making the time to do any of that, then dealing with my fall, and now it’s time to get back on track. My eating has been not too bad, and I’ve managed to not gain back a ton of the weight that I’ve lost since the beginning of the year. But I honestly feel better when being more active and I need to make this time for myself. Adulting is honestly hard!

A few exciting things have been happening in my lovely life though. Earlier this month we closed on the property we’ve been trying to purchase for the past nine months. So now our total property it up to about 3.5 acres and includes an orchard! So I’ve been researching a bit about fruit trees and what I need to do to get that back into shape. We’ve also been looking at architects and house plans and I think we have both of those more or less picked out! So stay tuned for some crazy house building nonsense as all that approaches. This is the first time I have ever had to deal with any of this stuff, so it’s kind of intimidating all the decisions that have to be made!

I’m also looking forward to getting out there more with my bow, since archery season is fast approaching as well. This will be my first time bow hunting and I’m pretty excited/nervous for it. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Well, I think that about covers it as far as current life updates go! I promise I will be making an attempt to blog more frequently and I do have some fun stuff I want to share with you all!