Happy girls are the prettiest girls


An open letter to Running Revolution

Dear Running Revolution in Campbell, CA,

You are amazing. I absolutely love your store. I came to RR in the spring of 2010, after scouring the Yelp reviews of local running stores. I needed a gait analysis, I needed new running shoes that fit correctly, and I needed expert guidance to figure out exactly what sort of shoe would be best for me. I found all of that on my very first trip in.

Asia was my sales person, and she immediately diagnosed some issues about my old shoes, mainly that I needed a half size bigger, in a wide. She put me on a treadmill, video taped me running, and then let me know what my issues were. She then picked out 5 pairs of shoes for me to try, mixing and matching a left and a right until I found the pair that felt best. At that time, it happened to be the Asics GT2150, which I eventually had two pairs of, then moved to the newer model 2160's for another two pairs. I really like Asics shoes, having only run in them for the last 5 years or so. They fit my feet well, and offer so many options for cushioning, stability, racing, etc.

This summer, I realized my shoes were wearing thin, and I felt that maybe they just weren't right for me anymore, so of course I came back to RR, where Chris conducted another video taped running session, and realized I had a few new problems to work out. Mainly, my right foot likes to do a little less pronating than my left, and my 2160's weren't helping anymore, but were making it worse. I toyed with the idea of a minimalist running shoe, but realized I like my cushioning too much to switch, so I bought a highly recommended shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS which had some motion control, strike guidance, and plenty of cushioning.

My first run in the Brooks left me disappointed. I had new Achilles tendon and calf pain, and the shoe just didn't feel right. Toe and ball of the foot blisters were also a new issue I ran into. I have spent the last month training in them, hoping to break them in and feel more comfortable, but alas, I couldn't. I knew I had to get a new pair of shoes, and after less than two months, that's a hard thing to swallow, but I was willing in order to get a shoe that was perfect. Sometimes even highly recommended shoes aren't going to feel right.

I wandered back into the store, spoke to the owner Chris once again, and we brainstormed for what would work better. See, my feet do contradictory things. When I stand in socks, my arches fall in, making it look as those I'm an over pronator, but when I run, my feet under pronate on the strike, and roll where they are supposed to for the takeoff. Weird. Thankfully, Chris knew what I needed, a neutral foot bed to let my feet work out the kinks on their own. He brought out two pairs of Asics, my favored brand, and let me run around in each, noting the differences. I loved the Landreth7 for their soft cushioning, neutral foot bed, light weight, and interesting heel wrap design. The Nimbus 13, though great, were heavier and more rigid, forcing my stride more than I wanted. I decided to go with the Landreth 7 as they just felt right. Walking around in them for my errands after leaving the store, I can tell they are going to be a nice fit for my runs. I did a little research on the Asics website, and realized that indeed, the Landreth is exactly what I was looking for.

The best thing about Running Revolution? Chris wouldn't let me leave with my Brooks on, insisting he take them back as they were definitely not the right shoes for me, and letting me know there would only be a small difference to pay for my new pair. I was blown away! Though I tried to refuse, saying I had put a lot of mileage already on the Brooks, and I had no problem buying a new pair, he wouldn't hear it. That sort of customer service is the walk behind the talk. I bought a new visor, and pair of Yankz laces too, hoping to give them a little more revenue off my trade. It certainly made me appreciate my favorite local running store that much more!

I will of course continue to bring my business to the Running Revolution, as well as refer new customers your way. The prices are right on with online vendors and other retailers, the shoes I want are always available in my size, and there is so much knowledge and assistance from the staff. Only issue? The website is sort of out of date, showing links to runs from 2007, and no updated info on their current offerings, such as the Tuesday night group runs followed by free beer and appetizers at Rock Bottom.

Your devoted customer,

Running inspiration

I've been slacking a little on letting you know how my training is going, or even what I have been doing in that respect. Well, I've been slowly rebuilding my base, endurance, conditioning and mileage after my doctor advised three weeks of no activity. Going into the 3 weeks off running, I had been up to 7.5miles, and was consistently seeing 8:15-45 minute miles. I was extremely proud of myself. After my 3 week vacay from my running shoes, I struggled to run my "short" 3 mile loop. My breathing was all whacked out, and I just didn't have it in me. Thankfully, my body is remembering that it is indeed a runner, and I am rebuilding steadily. I did over 5 miles on Monday, and it wasn't too ridiculously hard for once. 

My goal of running the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in December is still valid, I just might not run the whole thing, given that I will probably be coming off another 3 week no activity spree from my next egg donation cycle. Heck, the race is paid for, and so is my hotel, so it would be a waste to just not do it. 

I've been collecting motivation through photos and quotes lately, so I thought I would share!
Found this quote, and added it to the photo, because day-umn! she fly.

"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
-Jesse Owens

10 day challenge, day 7

Day 7- 4 books
Playing catch up? Check out the first 6 days by clicking on the links below.

Day 1-10 secrets, Day 2- 9 loves, Day 3- 8 fears, Day 4- 7 wants, Day 5- 6 places, Day 6- 5 foods, Day 7- 4 books, Day 8- 3 films, Day 9- 2 songs, Day 10- 1 photo of yourself

Oh Lord, this is going to be difficult. I LOVE reading. Books are like my best friends. I read so much that my favorite book changes all the time, so narrowing down the search to just 4 that I want to share is ridiculous.

1} Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. Yes, it's a series of 7 books, but there you have it. HP is something I've loved since high school, when I was already out of the target market for the books. I've always read stuff outside of my age range though, so it's no surprise. Magic, friendship, the epic battle between good and evil, discovering your talents, family, love, death. Harry Potter is a great saga, and will forever be one of my favorites.

2} The History of Love, Nicole Krauss. Such a poignant, beautifully written book about the transcendence of love through the ages, death, life, and strangers. I can't even begin to describe this book, because it's so complexly wrapped up together, that to tell one thread would be to start unraveling the whole story, so I say READ IT!

3} Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini. Ah, another young adult novel! Starcrossed is the first in a trilogy, though the second won't be out until May 2012. I read this 500 page tome in two days last week, and was distraught when it finished, wanting more already. A wonderful blend of Greek Mythology, family feuds, fate, power, and love set on Nantucket island make for a fascinating read. I dare you to not like it, but really, don't tell me because I loved it!
Via Diary of a Book Addict, review here
4} Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton. I couldn't give you a book list without including a vampire series!! I know, I'm cheating again by not picking a single book, but with any good series, how do you single out one book to give you the entire idea of the series? Anita has grown, changed, discovered new powers, reckoned with her own personal monsters, and collected lovers in the last...19 books! Any fan of paranormal romance and vampires or shape shifters will enjoy this series.


I love...

...my bloggy friends!!
Thank you all for the support and sweet comments on my photo shoot post from the other day. I was feeling really weird about posting the pictures, but I was so excited to share, I couldn't not post them! You gals made me feel so loved and even more excited to have had the photo shoot experience. True, my big fat ego head still won't fit through doors, but I'm working on it.

Remember this post, about how badly I was feeling right after my egg retrial? Well, funny enough, the very next day I got a call from the fertility clinic, telling me I had been matched with another recipient! I will be starting my 3rd cycle next month if all goes according to plan. I don't have my dates set yet, but it looks like I'll be donating eggs in mid November :) I will keep you all posted with how this next cycle goes. Oh, and cycle #2 recipient did not get pregnant with her first implantation, and has already had a second group implanted, so I'm crossing my fingers that an embryo takes. Send some prayers this way for her!

10 day challenge, day 6

Day 6- 5 foods

Playing catch up? Check out the first 5 days by clicking the links below.

Day 1- 10 secretsDay 2- 9 LovesDay 3-8 fearsDay 4- 7 wantsDay 5- 6 places,  Day 6- 5 foods, Day 7- 4 books, Day 8- 3 films, Day 9- 2 songs, day 10- 1 photo of yourself

Oh, boy, FOOD! I love me some food. The hardest part of this post will be narrowing down my choices to only 5.

1} Chocolate chip cookies. The last batch I made was this recipe from Hello Miss Chelsea, and they were a real hit! Doesn't matter too much where the cookies are from, I don't discriminate. I will eat stale store bought, fresh homemade, just meh, and fabulous. I also have a very hard time stopping after just 1. Or 10. Billy calls me the cookie monster, and it's safer to not have any cookies in the house at all. 
from Chelsea's blog
2} Cupcakes. This one is obvious, as I seem to post a cupcake picture in every other blog post, but seriously. Cupcakes are lovely little handheld bits of happiness in a neat package that allows for eating without a fork or plate. The last cupcakes I made were for my cousin's baby shower, and they were adorable.

3} Chicken Parmigiana. Probably one of my favorite chicken dishes, it covers all prerequisites for yumminess:  breaded, flavorful, cheesy, saucy, and tastes good baked or fried. I used chicken tenders the last time I made this dish, topped them with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and laid them out on a bed of orzo, served with garlic bread and a salad. Divine! I've posted a recipe for almost-parmigiana before, and it does the trick when you aren't into the frying.

4} Mac and cheese. It doesn't have to macaroni pasta, anything works really. Preferably my creamy mac, chicken and cheese, that is too decadent to eat on a regular basis, but so, so very good!

5} Panini sandwiches.  Ooey, gooey, warm cheese, buttery grilled bread, and any sort of filling you want! I usually make a chicken, mozzarella, tomato, basil, and balsamic panini that is BOMB. Pesto, other meats, grilled veggies etc. make wonderful panini filling too. I think I have a thing for warm sandwiches. Cold sandwiches, not so much, but I'll still eat them. 
Via Williams-Sonoma

Almost done!! Finally, right? This 10 day challenge is turning into a 10 year challenge, and is hard for me to continue, what with my ADD tendencies and all :)


Narcissism at it's finest

I may have forgotten to mention that I had my very first photo shoot last week. 

One where I wasn't just doing hair and makeup or standing behind the camera. 

A photo shoot where I was the subject. 
And dressed rather sexily. 
I have cropped some of the photos to share with you, so don't worry, I won't be offending any of your sensibilities. Is  that the right phrase? I took a few melatonin half an hour ago, but wanted to share, so I am here anyway...loopy and all. 

I have known this particular photographer, Reija Bolwell, of Studio R Photography in Santa Cruz, CA, for about a year now. We met when she was a second shooter on a photo shoot that I had done the hair and makeup for last December. Funny enough, when she arrived, she thought I was the model, and seemed very disappointed to find out I wasn't. Rather heart warming, yeah? I swear my ego gets inflated more often than is good for me to admit. Anyone have a pin to pop my big head?

A few months back I received an email with photos from the first shoot Reija and I had done together. 8 months after the actual shoot ;) She mentioned that she now had a beautiful studio, and hoped to work with me again. I of course wanted to work with her again, said so in my reply, and also only briefly mentioned possibly wanting to be a model for her. As small a mention as I made to modeling, she picked up on it and wanted to arrange a date as soon as she could. Eager beaver, I tell ya. So we did. Arrange a shoot, that is. 

These are a few of the shots from that shoot. I hope you like them, but don't tell me too much, because my head can barely fit through the door as it is. I have to turn sideways and shimmy my way in. It's beginning to be a burden. Yes, I did my own hair and makeup. Those are clip in extensions giving my shoulder length locks some luster, and those are strip eyelashes fattening up my lash line. I might just do a post on the makeup, as it turned out better than I hoped, thank you Make Up For Ever HD foundation!


10 Day Challenge, day 5

Day 5- 6 places
Playing catch up? Check out the first 3 days by clicking the links below.
day 1-secretsday 2-lovesday 3-fears, Day 4-wants

Day 1- 10 secretsDay 2- 9 LovesDay 3-8 fearsDay 4- 7 wants, Day 5- 6 places,  Day 6- 5 foods, Day 7- 4 books, Day 8- 3 films, Day 9- 2 songs, day 10- 1 photo of yourself

1} Home. It's where the heart is, wherever that may be. Usually it means anywhere near Billy, as sappy as that sounds. Burrowing my nose into his neck, arms wrapped tightly around him, pressing as much of me against him as I can is as close to home as I can get. Geesh, I know, I'm a total sucker romantic mushy mess. Sorry!

Now onto other, more tangible places!

2} Costa Rica. I want to visit and experience la pura vida for myself. It's what I consider a "tropical paradise"

3} Italy! I have a hard time narrowing it down to particular cities, so I just picked the whole country. I want to eat my way through the country, experiencing each regions cuisine, breathtaking beauty, and culture while I'm at it. 

4} New York City. There is just something special about the big apple. I know it's dirty, people are rushed and can be rude, but I would love to visit. I want to be all touristy in my I <3 NY shirt, snapping pictures of the sights. 

5} Puerto Rico. Billy's family is from PR, and all but his immediate family still lives there. I would love to visit and meet his extended family, see the gorgeous island for myself.

6} Hawaii. I know, I know, another tropical destination, what can I say? I like to lounge around, enjoying the sun, surf and sand!


Nifey Designs Giveaway Winner!!

Woo hoo, the day is here where one of you lucky readers will win any item from the Nifey Designs Etsy shop!!

Using random.org I picked a winner!

And then looked through my comments to find:

Congrats Adrienne!! 
I'll send your contact info to Jennifer at Nifey Designs and she will get in contact with you to send you the item you like. 


Giveaway ends tomorrow!

Pssssst!! My Nifey giveaway ends tomorrow, have you entered yet?? 

You can pick any item in her shop if you win! 

Like this:

Or this:

or this:

or even this:

Check out Nifey Designs on Etsy for more of what you could win by entering my giveaway!


It's Friday already?!

Holy smokes loves, this week has FLOWN BY! I've been a busy girl, so you're going to get a quick recap of what's been going on in this happy girl's life.

First run in three weeks. I was on doctor's orders to not bounce around or exercise while my ovaries were enlarged, so this was my first time out. Let's just say three weeks of no activity KILLS any built up endurance and conditioning, effectively putting me back at zero. Practically. I dragged Billy along on his bike, but only managed to do 2.75 miles. I also made Mr. B snap a photo of me pretending to run, because that's how I do. I had a froyo and taqueria date with my friend Holly after work. It was so nice catching up with her, seeing where we have both been this summer. Holly is actually the person who got me to become an egg donor, and has been a donor herself 4 times already, with 2 more {and final} cycles coming up in October. It's great to compare out experiences and see if what I went through was normal. 
12+ hour music video shoot for YouTube sensation Kina Grannis' "It's Love". Kina is such a sweetheart, I had a great time doing hair and makeup for her, then assisting on set, all day. To sum up the video: scrap wood, video screen, enough down feathers to choke on, chipmunk voices, and sore arms from using a binder to waft feathers around. I was dead tired by the end of the day. 
Here are some photos I snapped on set!
Second run. Better than Monday in both time and distance, but my breathing was still out of control. I miss the effortless 6+ mile runs I was doing a month ago. I made Chelsea's girlfriend cookies, which were awesome! I have a similar recipe that uses pudding also, but I've always added it to the dry ingredients, while her recipe has you cream it into the butter and sugar. I have got to say, her recipe was way better, with such a simple change! Billy loved it, and I've had to send him to work with the leftovers to avoid eating the lot myself!
Day off!! I ran a bunch of errands, did some shopping and experimented with some turkey sliders. I ended up putting gourmet burger seasoning in the ground turkey, splitting the pound in half, and adding 3 tablespoons of jarred salsa to half, and 3 tablespoons of jarred pesto to the other. It turned out great!! I was really impressed with the pesto turkey burgers, great flavor and not dried out like usual. I also wrapped half in bacon for Billy.
Third run this week, trying to get back into my running schedule. The weather was perfect- 60 degrees and sunny with a breeze. Unfortunately, that breeze was a head wind, which made the first half of my run extra difficult. I opted to turn around 1.25miles, instead of going the 1.50 I was planning on, so my run was only 2.55 miles, which is fine for the first week back to running. I have a lunch date with one of my besties, Sarah, to catch up since it's been at least a month since we have hung out, shame on us! 

There you have it, my week in a nutshell. Hopefully I get back on track with blog posts, and I hope to post more of the 10 day {or post, in my case} challenge too!


Nifey Designs product review & giveaway!

Guess what lovelies?! I have a great giveaway for you!

I know, best blog friend ever right? haha I kid, I kid

I recently found a fantastic Etsy Shop called Nifey Designs, which sells gorgeous handmade jewelry, and I am in love with the piece I bought. I even used the leftover July code to receive free shipping! $22 is not a bad price to pay for a gorgeous necklace. 
The necklace came to me in this cute little package!

I really love my new necklace! It's sweet, simple, and just enough to draw attention without being over done. I had imagined the largest circle being smaller, and the chain being short enough for the circles to sit a little higher in the hollow of my collar bone, but the real deal is just fine.

I chose to review my new necklace on my own and was not compensated in any way. I just wanted to share it with you all in anticipation for my Nifey Designs giveaway!! I can't wait for another lucky reader to enjoy a hand crafted piece of jewelry like my new gold necklace! Jennifer the shop owner, has graciously agreed to allow our lucky winner to pick any item in her shop, can't beat that!

How to enter:
1} Mandatory: be a Happy Girl follower
2} Check out Nifey Designs Etsy shop, and leave a comment on this post telling me which item you would love to win. 1 entry

For additional entries: 
{please leave separate comments for each}
3} Like Nifey Designs on Facebook, say hi and let her know you're coming from Happy Girl, and leave me a comment letting me know you did for additional 1 entry
4} Visit Nifey Designs blog,  follow her, leave me a comment letting me know you did for additional 1 entry
5} Write a blog post about this giveaway and leave me a comment with the URL for additional 1 entry

This giveaway will run until next Wednesday, September 21st,  when I will randomly choose a winner through random.org and inform you all in a blog post. 

Good luck ladies!!

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