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About a week and a half ago I got to participate in a Color Run when it came to a nearby town. I had a great time, and I thought I would share a few Color Run tips to have the best experiment possible.

1. Register with a group. We had 12 ladies sign up as part of our team. Not only was the team option $5 cheaper than registering as a solo runner, it was much more fun! We had quite a few groups (running only, running with some walking, run/walk intervals, all walking) out of our group, and everyone who wanted one had a race buddy. One group member picked up bandanas and ironed on a patch with our team name, and another girl made tutus for those who wanted one (we paid her for materials). 20140414-145901.jpg

2. Bandanas and sunglasses are your friends. The Color Run uses food safe corn starch for their color, which means it is safe if inhaled. However, they do suggest that pregnant women (I was 12 weeks pregnant during this race) wear bandanas when they pass through color stations. I was really, really glad I had a bandana as the color makes a huge cloud, and is almost impossible to not inhale. Sunglasses were also great eye protection (and wiped clean easily with a baby wipe). Even with a bandana, I found putting my head down when the color-cloud got really think was helpful. I’m sure that would be a help if you don’t have a bandana.

3. You may have to walk. I did some walking (probably a 7 min run, 1 min walk, on average), but we found we always had to walk through the color stations. The color is thrown or squirted on you by volunteers, and people will stop to get extra color on them or to take pictures, so these areas get pretty crowded.

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4. This is not the race for a PR. The great thing about the Color Run is that it really encourages first time 5K-ers, walkers, children, and strollers. They are all about getting out, being active, and having a great time! There is no time clock, and no chip timer. That’s not to say you can’t run the entire way, but because it is a popular race, and because it encourages walkers, it is a crowded course, and you won’t have an “official” time.

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My running buddies and I in the start chute.

5. Get to the start chute early. I thought we were there a little early, but we were in the 5th start wave. I have no idea how many waves there actually were, but I saw via Facebook afterwards, that some of the stations ran out of color at some point during the race. Being at the start chute so you can start early guarantees the color stations are well stocked, and could also mean a less-crowded course.

6. Bring baby wipes. They don’t get all your color off, but they helped clean me up a good bit before I got in the car. Regular soap and scrubbing with a washcloth got everything off in the shower (a team member said she found conditioner worked best for her). Be sure to check the inside of your ears!

Some of our group post-race.

Some of our group post-race.

If I had the opportunity, I would do the Color Run again! It really was a great experience, and a lot of fun to do with a group of friends who had never done a 5k before. I’d love to take my kids some time; because the color is thrown by volunteers, it wouldn’t be too hard to keep the color-free if that bothers them. I highly recommend you go, should Color Run come near you!

 

 

 

 

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  • We just got back from a family trip/vacation to Williamsburg. We had a great time visiting Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, the outlet mall (okay, I might have been the only one who enjoyed this), and visiting our condo’s indoor pool. My husband had a whole week off of work, and it was really very nice to just enjoy being a family together, uninterrupted, for such a stretch of time. Colton’s favorite part of the trip? Going to the playground with Daddy. He’s bummed Daddy has to go back to work now because who will play machines at the playground with him?
  • I’ve been run/walking in preparation for a 5K on Thanksgiving. My church has a “Pew to 5K” group (like Couch to 5K, but we have a completely different training schedule). My run/walk group runs for two minutes, then walks one. With less than a month to go, I’m feeling good about where I am. I had a really hard time on our first, mile long run. Now, I’m running over two miles in our hilly neighborhood and not dying.
  • My run won’t be in an actual race since a Thanksgiving Day race doesn’t work for us, but I signed up to run on my own, so I will still be an “official” part of the 5K, but won’t be running in a race setting. I really want that race experience, so I think I’m going to sign up for another 5K a few weeks later.
  • I’m still pumping away, closing in on my 6 month goal. I have lots of thoughts/feelings surrounding making it this far, so I’ll probably post on that at some point.
  • I’ve read a good bit about people who have done the Whole30, and I’ve always thought, “no way I would ever do that.” But I’m having a super hard time loosing my baby weight this time around, and have been feeling like I just can’t break some bad food habits I fell into at the end of my pregnancy and in the early stages of lactation. Claire’s posts and experiences with it gave me the push I needed to really consider doing a Whole30 of my own, and forcing my husband into with me. I ordered the book, and while we were on vacation, my copy of “It Starts with Food”¬† came. I’m only a few chapters in, and wholly cow! I never thought a book on nutrition would be fascinating (and a little scary), but it is so good. And its really motivating me, encouraging me, and making me feel like I CAN change the way I eat and see tons of benefits to it. I’m not planning on doing my Whole30 until after Christmas, but I’m already feeling motivated to start planning, making trial meals, and start feeling better.
  • We went to my cousin’s wedding in the middle of October. It was a wonderful ceremony, and I really enjoyed getting to see my family. I was the only married cousin, and I think it will be fun to have another married cousin, and for my husband to have someone else who married into my crazy family to talk too. And, just last week, her little sister got engaged! I’m so excited for another family wedding!

 

  • I bought red skinny jeans in Williamsburg! I was on the fence about them, but couldn’t get them out of my mind, and realized I had lots more than I originally thought that would work with them, so I went back to get them. They feel like a purchase I would make back at my pre-baby size. I really struggled with not feeling great about myself after C was born, mostly because I wore ill-fitting clothes or baggy t-shirts, and I really wanted to try to avoid that feeling this time. This purchase, while it makes for only my third pair of pants that fits, makes me feel like I’m not just waiting around to be smaller. And while loosing the weight is a struggle for me right now, having something that makes me feel more normal, is really great.

On Saturday (sorry for posting this again, but I love it and it's the best photo from the day I have).

On Sunday.

It’s been one crazy winter.

Back in November, I went to Richmond to hang out with Sarah, Caroline, and their sister-in-law, Theresa. Colton and Joseph were along for the ride! Now, Colton first “met” Joseph back when he was two months old, but Joseph was a whopping four months old, and could do amazing things like hold his head up and sit propped upright. All Colton could do was eat, spit up and poop all over his clothes. Then, Colton and Joseph were together again in May, but Colton wasn’t walking yet.

This time, the playing field was even. Colton never spends time with boys his age (everyone I know, go to church with AND Bible Study with has girls Colton’s age. No boys.). Now, Colton loves hairbows and can play baby dolls with the best of them, but that testosterone has given him an innate love for rocks, trucks and tractors. I was super excited for him to play with Joseph and find a kindred spirit in all things boys love. Instead, I found a study in all the ways Colton and Joseph are complete opposites.

Joseph wanted to feed Colton "crackers" (Chex), which was really, really cute. And sweet.

Except Colton wanted nothing to do with Joseph's sweetness. He's covering his mouth with his hand so Joseph has no chance of sneaking that cracker in.

But then! A beautiful moment when Sarah busted out her child-hood doctor's kit.

Dr. Joseph checked out Colton's throat and gave him a clean bill of health.

Sarah also had a great train set. Joseph was about building the tracks.

He also was great at putting the trains together (they were hook and eye attachments, and not very easy to put together). Colton thought, "hmm...I don't think you're going this right Joseph."

"Here Joseph, let me sit in your lap and show you. These work much better as projectiles!"

Colton and Joseph were both in agreement that our fun birdseed craft was icky...

...but Colton grew to like it and the patting it required.

Joseph decided cake balls were more his style.

The boys were both crazy about pushing this bucket of flour all over the house.

They both also thought running through this net was awesome!

Until Colton tripped and fell and stayed down saying "Fall. Fall. Faaaall," until we all properly ackowledged his fall. Joseph just looked at him like, "what on earth are you doing kid?" My son the drama queen.

Still, they agreed this truck was fun, and that the steering wheels needed to spin!

Still, I think they had a great time together. The jury’s still out as to whether or not Joseph likes me, and since I attempted to wipe his nose, I think it’s leaning more towards not. I had an awesome time with the girls (Theresa is especially hysterical) and can’t wait to get together with them (and their babies!) again soon!

Colton has recently been super into his “Bible”, which is the pop-up story of Jesus’ birth. So, we’ve been looking at it a lot and talking about Baby Jesus and how God sent him to Earth as a gift for everyone.

I wanted to know how much of what I was telling him he was retaining, so when he asked for his Bible one day I said, “Colton, who is the Bible about?”

“Daddy.”

Obviously, he is learning so much.

Right before nap today, Colton wanted me to read books to him. He seemed interested in his lift-the-flap Bible, saying “biple,” so I had him bring it to me so we could look at it together. He was the most interested he’s ever been, spending a few minutes with each page.

I was feeling like an awesome mom. Not only had I done laundry, but my baby and I were sitting together, reading his Bible! I decided to talk about one of the stories with him. So, as we looked at the Israelite being chased by the Egyptians, I asked, “God’s people were stuck, so they asked God to help them. Do you know what God did, baby?”

“Waffles,” was the astute reply.

Maybe we need to read our Bible more. Or maybe Colton believes manna tasted just like waffles.

  • Sleeping until 6:20. Daylight savings threw Colton for a loop, and he’s been waking up at 5 am. Combine that with a day where he took a 45 minute nap, 6:20 feels like HEAVEN.
  • Target’s Shawl Collared sweatshirt. Soooo comfy, but still cute (and I can wear it multiple days without a wash). I want more.
  • Crazy 8’s kids’ clothes. I spent less than $50 last night for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for Colton, plus jeans, 2 shirts, leggings and a skirt for my friend’s two kids. Jeans are $12.99 when you buy two or more, you can save 25% on your order right now, and shipping is only $5. Plus, I’ve found the clothes hold up super well, and you can’t beat $2.99 shirts.
  • This photo from our recent shoot with Caroline. I don’t think there’s one thing about this photo I don’t love.
  • Panera’s Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. It’s my all-time favorite salad, and Hubby picked one up for me today since we forgot to defrost our meat in time for dinner. But, I found two different recipes for making your own via Pinterest.
  • Pumpkin bread and apple cider in the evening with Hubby.

We’ve just waded through the two biggest months for weddings, which means we just completed the two months in which you’d most likely to purchase a wedding present, which makes this post a little late to the party, but better late than never!

For one of my best friend’s wedding, I wanted to select a gift that wasn’t from her registry and was personal. She did this for me, and I love what she selected for me. (No offense to registry gifts, they are totally fabulous, but in this case, I wanted something different.)

I saw a design from etsy seller lala Design Studio on pinterest, and was immediately reminded of a necklace my friend wore throughout college. After consulting with our mutual friend (and fellow bridesmaid), I selected the two lovers custom necklace.

Gorgeous, no?

I am super, super impressed with this piece. I opened the box to check it out before I wrapped it and have decided I need one for myself. And, there are lots of great occasions to give a gift like this: Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, to a newly engaged friend, etc. My personal favorite part of this gift is that it’s small. My friend is still in law school, and her now-husband has been telling her they won’t be able to take all their wedding gifts back to school with them. Since this is so small, it’s definitely going to school with them!

Over the weekend, Colton and I took a trip to Richmond to hang out with Sarah, Caroline and Joseph (and the respective husbands/fathers). After a drive with some minor hiccups (pulling over on the side of the interstate due to vomit after someone decided they really hated their carseat, a stop to clean up and calm down, and some very serious rain), we made it to Sarah’s house! Caroline and Joseph arrived shortly thereafter, and we had a very tasty dinner, cooked by Sarah’s husband, Rob. Then, Colton and Joseph enjoyed a nice bath together.

Colton never hangs out with other boy babies, so I think hanging out with Joseph was a new experience for him. They seemed to grow on each other too, especially during Mass Sunday!

Saturday, we were up and ready for the Goodwill Outlet! (We did hit a few yard sales prior, but the pickings were slim.)

Check out those prices!

At the Goodwill Outlet, everything that didn’t sell in a certain time period in Goodwill stores is put in bins and you simply dig through them to see if you can find something worthwhile. It may be hard work, but the prices make it worth it. I came home with two long-sleeved shirts, a reversible puffy vest, overalls and a large plastic firetruck for Colton, and five books for $4.58.

Searching for great things!

We also went to another Goodwill, which was much more like a retail store than the outlet store. Alas, I only found an orange t-shirt from J. Crew (I needed it, but more finds would have been okay by me!).

Of course, in between our trips we had to break for baby naps.

Thrifting is hard work!

And play breaks. Sometimes thrifting is boring for little boys, after all.

I’m very happy to report that Colton fell deeply and madly in love with Sarah almost from the moment we walked into her house. He loved playing with her!

Colton loved playing the "I lay my head down, you lay your head down too" game.

He would also get upset when she left the room or played with Joseph.

See the arm? That arm says "This is MY Sarah. Hands off."

I had a FANTASTIC time eating Rob’s tasty food and hanging out with Sarah and Caroline. And Colton had a blast with them and Joseph!

Colton and Joseph dancing on the sofa.

Caroline, as always, took  fantastic pictures of the weekend (all of these pictures are hers) and of Colton, which I will be sharing with you later. Seriously, if you ever get the chance to have her take your pictures, jump on it!

Thanks for a wonderful weekend ladies; I can’t wait for the Yard Crawl!

Right now, there are several things that I adore (or am maybe borderline obsessed with). They include:

  • CoverGirl Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisture – I love this for days I’m just going to be around the house or run to the store. It’s easy to put on, gives pretty good coverage and has SPF 15 sunscreen built in. It has revolutionized my make-up life.
  • Luna Bars with Protein – I don’t eat lunch until 2 o’clock. This is insane, but I just love sitting down and eating while Colton’s napping, so I have a nice 11:30 snack and I’m good to go! These bars are perfect because they’re chocolatey and tasty, easy to eat one-handed while doing other things, keep me full, and off-limits to Hubby because they’re just for women!
  • Potato and Ham Soup – All other soup recipes pale in comparison to this one. It meets all my cooking requirements too: delicious, easy, quick, and not a lot of clean up.
  • Strawberries.
  • My new e-reader! (more on this later, but after only one day with it, I am a big fan.)
  • Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.