Winter Running.

It’s 5:27 pm and I’m drinking wine. What else is there to do when it’s 15 degrees outside? Welcome Mr. Winter. I like your snow but this ice and cold crap…if you could please get rid of that, that would be the bee’s knees.

So I noticed today, I have a real obsession with Mrs. Myers soaps. OMG. They smell like Christmas and they rule. I currently have Peppermint, Pine, and Orange Clove. And I’m not even mad about it. They smell so good and are always on sale at Target…so why not buy them all.

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Speaking of Target, as I was fulfilling my soap needs yesterday, I came across a cute planner for 2018. It’s always exciting coming upon a new year. It’s a good time to make plans for things you may want to accomplish over the next 365 days. It’s a good time to set goals such as saving every $5 bill you receive…it’s a great time to get excited, motivated, and drink more wine.

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Moving right along…today’s main topic…running in the winter. Us Minnesnowtans got a dose of winter this week. Monday morning it was a balmy 55 degrees and by the time I went to bed (yes, at 8 pm) it was freezing rain/snowing and about 20 degrees. Now it’s like a frozen tundra with lows in the single digits and wind chills in the below zeros. But I’m not here to tell you about the weather.

How does one continue to run in these frigid temps? I’m not going to lie, I ran on a treadmill twice this week and did the stair master for 20 minutes and it’s no where near as exciting as running outside but sometimes road conditions make it unsafe to run so better to have a boring cardio workout than fall and break your legs right? I think so.

But I will tell you, when it’s this cold, I keep runs slower and make sure to bundle up. I say slower because the ice makes it tricky to grip the pavement. I know some people use spike and special shoes but I really like my current running shoes and am not really a spikey person.

Now, layering is key. Think sweat pants (I tried Lululemon wunder unders the other day and they did not keep me warm so I tried my sweats today and those did the trick), hoodies, hat, gloves, vest, and warm socks. You’ll probably look really silly but again, who freaking cares. It’s not a fashion show (or maybe it is a winter running fashion show?). I really could care less what I look like as long as I can feel my limbs it’s all good in the neighborhood.

Running is the only way I can get my dog outside in the winter so we’ve been bundling up after work and heading out for 10 minute runs…that’s about all she will handle before she sits down and gives me those puppy dog eyes to go home. Then we go home and she gets right into the warm bed.

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Have fun with winter running. Yesterday I did a 4.5 mile run while it was snowing and it was so pretty. I felt like I was inside a snow globe and it literally made me so happy. I wanted to dance down the sidewalk while tossing snow in the air all to the tune of Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by NSYNC…I mean I didn’t…maybe…but seriously if you can, get outside. It will make you happy and keep you active. Maybe you’ll even make friends with a magical snowman.

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My IT bands have also felt like absolute shit lately so I brought my Lacrosse ball to work and have been rolling out the bands, hammies, and glutes while sitting at my desk. Yes, I probably make some ugly faces but dangggggg does it feel good. I like to tell myself it helps with recovery too. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still kind of fun and keeps my antsy self occupied during the day.

Now I must leave you to watch the Polar Express and snuggle with Ruthie who currently has her head resting on my shoulder while I type. Stay cool people. Christmas is just 18 days away. Be with your friends and family, smile at a stranger, give an extra $ to the Starbucks barista…be kind.

XO

-Hales

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You Say Sunday, I Say Funday

Sunday’s rule. They are really my most favorite day of the week. Most people probably love Saturday or even Friday but I’m like, “nah, give me Sunday every day.” Again, most normal humans probably never set an alarm on Sunday and spend half the morning nestled in bed. I beg to differ.

Sunday’s are another day I set my alarm (while not for 4:30 like m-f)…usually for 5:30 or 6:00 am. I pop out of bed, pop my gummie vitamins, and head for the gym…usually I get it all to myself…SCORE.

Today was one of those morning’s I kind of sort of wanted to throw my phone at the TV when the alarm went off but then I told myself, get up, it’s Sunday! Any workout is better than no workout. Plus, today’s workout is one of my faves…I drove the mile to the gym, did a little warm-up, then got down to business. It looked like this:

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In the workout above, normally I’d do the 5,10, 15 200 m run for 10 or 20 minutes but today 10 felt too short and 20 felt too long so I did 15. Again, you rule your workout so go with what you want/how you feel. I did 3 strict pullups without bands and eked out 2 with a band and it felt great! That’s a great way to work on your pullups at the gym…grab a resistance band, loop it through the pull up bar, put one foot in the band and let it help you get your chin up and over the bar. It’s not cheating, I promise.

It’s also been fun using the BOSU ball recently. You can pretty much do anything on it…I like to do bent over rows standing on it, squats, deadlifts, push-ups…it’s a cool way to add an extra element of balance to any workout. Get creative, it really makes working out fun.

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After the gym, I usually grab some iced coffee and breakfast from my refridge then grab the pup and head to my parents house. They live by a State Park and Ruthie and I love hiking there with my mom and dad. There are a ton of different routes we take but recently we’ve been doing a nice 5 mile trail. It’s a great way to see my parents and tire out the dog (she will literally sleep the rest of the day after a big hike and fresh air…gosh I love her).

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Grandma D made Ruth new PJ’s!

Today was also a blast because after the hike, I headed to my gal pal Laura’s to decorate Christmas cookies. This is the one thing that truly makes it feel like the holidays. I loveeeeee frosting and decorating so much. Almost as much as eating the broken ones 🙂

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The rest of the Sunday usually consists of some football watching/listening while meal prepping for the week (this week is egg bake, sloppy joe, and roasted veggies), vacuuming (my favorite chore), more coffee, laundry (hello fresh sheets), pup snuggles, a Hallmark movie or 2 (because it’s Christmas, duh), then hopping into bed around 8PM and getting ready for the week ahead. See, what’s not to like about Sunday? Sam usually works until 7PM Sunday night which is why he is not involved in many of these Sunday plans…sadness. But sometimes he’ll come home with fast food and we watch Sunday Night Football which is a real treat…moderation people.

Cheers to Sunday, December, and a cold (hopefully snowy) week ahead.

Bye!

-Hales

Welcome to New York

Hi there-it’s been a few days (maybe even weeks) since last time and I’m truly ashamed. But, it’s that time of (the month) the year when everyone and their mother is busy rushing around or doing all things holiday. So I apologize but also not. You probs didn’t even notice I’ve been gone…

Just like me, Thanksgiving is also gone. That flew by per usual. It’s probably my first favorite holiday too and it comes so fast, then says “Cya next year…same time.” Ugh, sad. But, this year’s Thanksgiving was extra fun and cool because I had the pleasure of spending it on East coast at my brother’s new home! Hey New York, wassup?

TBH I’ve never been to the East Coast…never even touched foot in New York City…so this was exciting. My parents and I (sadly Sam stayed home with the pup and worked his butt off on our bathroom reno) left Minneapolis last Wednesday (OMG already a week ago!) and arrived at La Guardia around 7:30 pm Eastern time. PS La Guardia is a shit show, I would not recommend it.

My brother picked us up, and zipped us upstate to his lovely home in the cutest little town on the Hudson River. Let me tell you something, New York (upstate) is a crap ton hillier than I expected. It was beautiful. And I loved it. (the actual city…not so much but more on that later).

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The Hudson River

The weather was everything and more.  It was probably one of the more relaxing vacations I’ve been on in a while. Never once did I set an alarm (which for me never happens). I went for a few runs, did some push-ups, and that was it. A lot of chatting, game playing, and wine drinking was done and I’m not even mad about it.

On Friday we visited Lyndhurst Mansion and it was gorgeous. It was all done up for Christmas (my second favorite holiday) and just so festive.  The tour took about an hour and we learned a lot but I’m not going to spoil the fun for you. If you’re in the area, check it out…very worth it.

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The Dining Room-I’d like one please

Saturday night we went to a Hibachi grill and that was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. The food was insane (I had chicken and shrimp), the Hibachi master was hilarious, and the company made me so happy. Can’t wait to go back and do it again.

Sunday morning came and we packed up and got ready to head into the actual city. Our flight was leaving early Monday morning so my daddio snagged us a hotel room in Times Square. Have you been? I was excited but by the time we got to the hotel I was overwhelmed and annoyed…maybe I was Hangry?

The city is huge, loud, bright, and full of people that don’t know how to walk down the sidewalks (I got smacked by on-coming traffic people about 20 times before I put on my football face and stood my ground).

Anyway, we tossed our bags in the room and headed off for the 9/11 memorial. Highly recommend doing this. It took us a good 4 hours to get through but it was amazing. I didn’t know if I should cry, be pissed off, feel proud to live in the U.S. or many other things. I would say it was a very emotional but incredible thing to see/experience.

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After the museum it was time for dinner (hello hamburger and fries) and a walk around NYC. My dad found this article that had a walking tour of all the fancy Department Stores and their “holiday” store windows. The article said it was about a 4 mile walk and would take 2 hours. First off…it felt like a 10 mile walk.

Second off, it took us around 3.5 hours and we’re fast walkers. I also don’t think the walk was worth it…out of the 5 store windows we saw, I only really enjoyed 1…the last one of course…Macy’s. It was the only one that was really Christmas-y. The other’s were too high fashion and artsy and made me feel inadequate in my leggings and homemade hat.

By the end we were tired, sore, and I was getting a ‘tude so we turned in and went to bed. The morning came, and it was time to head back to MSP…a city I have a much greater respect for after seeing NYC.

One nice thing about returning from vacay…getting back in routine. I worked out Monday for the first time in like 5 days and felt like a freaking slug but w/e, my body enjoyed the rest/wine. I’ve also been into the rower (as you might already know) and have been doing a fun row interval workout at the end of my workout a 1-2 times a week. It goes a little something like this…Row for 1 minute then rest as long as needed to catch your breath. I’ve done it for 10 working minutes and 11 working minutes and LOVE IT. It’s a good way to get in rowing/build up endurance/have a fun time. Play around with the time intervals, the options are endless.

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Okay, enough rambling from me….you see that’s what happens when one disappears for a little bit…there’s just so much to catch up on. I appreciate your readership and wish you a fantastic last day of November.

Toodles!

-Hales

 

Jingle Holly-Jolly Day

For some reason I’m just in a really happy mood right now. It could be the Christmas Music blaring from my speaker (favorite Holiday song…go!), it could be the fact that Thanksgiving is a week away and I get to visit my bro and sis-in law in New York, or it could be the egg nog scented candle slowly burning in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter, it’s just a really nice, warming feeling to have.

It’s not even 5PM (well by the time this post is finished it might be) and I’ve got a pie in the oven (pumpkin DUH), I took the dog for a super fun walk, I vacuumed, AND have a load (make that 2) of laundry going…I tell ya, getting done with work at 3PM is the greatest gift of life.

Can we talk about pumpkin pie fast? OMG isn’t it the easiest thing to bake? It takes about 3 minutes to prep and then your handy oven does the rest…and it makes your house smell insane. The only thing is the pie crust I bought may have been a little small. As soon as I poured all the pie crap in, it totes overflowed and pumpkin pie leaked onto the floor.

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Thank God for paper towels and pine scented Mrs Myers cleaning spray. PS right now my house smells like pine trees, lavender, egg nog, and pumpkin pie…Sam’s gonna be like “Did Christmas poop on our house?” when he gets home. Secretly he likes it.

Anyway, whilst I was baking said pie, I was also listening to my Holiday playlist that I made last year on Spotify. It’s a mix of NSYNC, Mariah, Pentatonix, Johnny Mathis, Bing, and a handful of others. It brings a smile to my face and a rap-tap-tapping to my toes. Everyone thinks I’m weird so I took a video of me trying to dance with my dog while baking my pie. She shot me down which just goes to show I am an odd human…but you know what? I’m SO okay with it. As long as I’m having fun, that’s all I care. You can call me weird…it won’t offend me 🙂

On to bigger and better things now. Tomorrow is give to the max day here in MN and I am for sure giving to Underdog Rescue. This is where we got Ruthie and I am forever grateful to them for giving us the greatest thing I’ve ever gotten. I would love to help in more ways but for now, donating is better than nothing right?

So that’s really all that’s going on in my world today…my legs are supa tired/ sore from life this week so I’m gonna take a salt bath then eat some pie.

Bye bye!

-Hales

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Likes

Hello! Monday Funday. Yesterday was Sunday. My sister was in town which meant it was a sad Monday because she went home yesterday. Boo. But, we had a swell time hanging out with our puppies and parents over the past couple days. My mom needed to make some crafts for a work meeting so we did some craft shopping then got down to business crafting these adorable holiday gnomes.

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I’d highly suggest getting together with some of your gal pals and having a craft/baking day soon. You all know how fast the holiday season flies by. Next on my weekend holiday bucket list…cookies!

Now one update since last post…push-ups. I’ve been doing 3 sets of 10 push ups every day since last Tuesday and you know what? They still suck…but I do feel like I’m getting better at them…My first couple days I was doing 5 from my toes and 5 from my knees…the past couple days I’ve hit 7 from my toes and 3 from my knees. Cool. If you aren’t good at something, my advice is to make a plan, and stick with it. Small steps will help you stay on track. For me, these push ups literally take 5 minutes out of my day and make me feel like I’m accomplishing something…even if it’s something small. Practice makes you better. Do something to get you closer to your goals.

So, I just feel like sharing some fun things I’ve come across lately.

First, these donuts. My mom, sister, and I popped into Sur La Table Saturday afternoon and found some fun things…these donuts were on sale and a super fun treat. I whipped them up yesterday afternoon and might have already consumed 4 or 5 of them…oopsie. But it’s hibernation season so who really cares if I snack on a few extra donuts.2017-11-12 041179631854..jpg

Next…red boots (and fun socks). I almost felt like Rudolph in these…except not because he had a red nose, not boots. But you get it. And, I got them on clarence so extra funsies.

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Thirdly (is that even a word?)…sports Epsom salts. YEAH BABY. I’ve been working on my squat form along with the push-ups, running and rowing and have been SORE. I found these as an add on Amazon and had to get them. They smell amazing and make me feel really good and happy.

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Nextly, holiday anything but mostly, these candles. THEY SMELL SO GOOD I COULD EAT THEM. But that would be dumb and then I’d probably end up spending the holidays in the hospital so I will try not to. There’s an Egg Nog, Evergreen (Christmas Tree), and Holiday Kitchen scent and I love them all. I also got these on Amazon and highly recommend purchasing ASAP.

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Abercrombie and Fitch. Haven’t even looked at their website since probably 2010 but I’m obsessed. They have the best looking sweaters, vests, jeans…everything. And almost everything is on sale. Take a peek and treat yourself?

Lastly, this dress from Target. I love Christmas. This dress is Christmas. Holler.

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Now it’s almost my bedtime (yes I’m 28 and go to bed by 9PM), so TTYL!

Toodles!

-Hales

 

Push-Up

I have a confession. My lunch today consisted of iced coffee and 2 oatmeal m&m cookies fresh out the freezer. Don’t judge me, I’m an adult that has been very lazy in the cooking department lately. Plus sometimes it’s fun to do whatever you please. Like eat cookies for lunch.

Except I’m lying because I haven’t been that lazy and I did make a really delicious chili on Sunday. My alarm didn’t go off this morning and I didn’t have time to pack said chili for lunch so I grabbed the cookies and jumped down the stairs and into my car. The chili though is fantastic. It’s Sam’s grandpa’s recipe and uses a full half cup of chili powder and steak instead of ground beef and warms me right up on a cold wintry day.

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Speaking of cold wintry days, all I’ve wanted to do lately is decorate for the holidays. I’ve been lighting a candle, turning on Hallmark (you know my obsession is real) and browsing home decor websites like Amazon, Target, Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc. I ordered some festive candles from Amazon and before getting some Christmas pillows got distracted by Jet.com where I continued to order Christmas scented dish soap, toilet paper, glade plug-ins, and laundry detergent. I’m a marketing person’s dream I think. Throw something scented like pine trees and wrapped in red and green bows and I’ll buy it.

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Now that’s it’s colder I’m also into treadmill sprints. Yesterday I did 4×400 with a 60 second incline walk in between intervals and it was fun. I’ve also been running outside which has been way more fun than I can ever remember winter running being. I think it’s because I’m not training for anything. I can just go wherever as fast or slow as I wish. Because I’m in control and you can’t tell me what to do. I’ve been aiming for a few 5 milers each week and then some shorter runs with the dog. Coolness.

And while we’re at it, can we talk about something. How many of you out there enjoy push-ups? Gosh, I like to think of myself as a pretty strong human BUT EFF YOU PUSH-UPS! I used to be able to do them well to very well but then I hit 28 and everything went downhill. I can do 5 maybe 10 push ups from my toes then have to drop to my knees. It’s fine or whatever but I want to get better at them. I also videoed myself doing them today and my form was horrendous. I looked like a worm.

So, here’s what I’m thinking…the only way to get better at something is to practice at it right? My goal this week is to do  3 sets of 10 push ups every day. 30 push ups a day sounds v doable. Then next week, maybe I’ll add 5 push ups a day. IDK if it will help but it can’t hurt? I did my 30 pushups already and it was fun to pretty fun. I tried them all from my toes but did have to do like 3 from my knees.

Maybe you’ll join me in working on the push-ups? Lets learn to love push-ups together.

Off to pick up the pup from the dog spa, chow!

XO

-Pushing Up Hales

Get Down on Friday

Gooooooood freaking morning! Happy Friday to all and to all a good day (I haven’t even had coffee yet).  

I woke up at 4:30 am and am just so ready for today. Not only is it FRIDAY (loud cheers) but it’s also girls weekend at my favorite sister’s house up in Duluth, MN. My mum and I are peacing outta the cities at 2. Word on the news says they’re supposed to get snow so that means we will be snuggling up inside with her doodle Teddy, drinking wine, crafting, and baking. Yahoooo. So excited I could pee or poop.

So like I said, I woke up early, went to the gym, and did a super fun workout. My legs feel very tired but idc because I sit at a desk all day so I like getting physical (hehe) before the day truly begins. Here’s what I did, maybe you’ll try it, maybe you won’t. I’d recommend you do. I got sweaty. And ended up rowing my furthest distance of 1500 m.

Now on a more serious note, something has been on my mind lately. Wants. How many times a day do I find myself wanting something…new hair color, new shoes, more puppies, bigger biceps, a better house, a vacation, an unlimited Whole Foods budget… the list goes on. Sam always yells at me for this. He says, be happy with what you have, you have it pretty good. And he’s right, but I keep wanting. 

I’ve tried making lists of what I want most but that doesn’t help…I just keep adding more things. The point is, I struggle with being happy with what I currently have. There I said it. Don’t they say the first step is admitting you have a problem?

I mean I am incredibly happy in life but the things are where I become a shitty human. It sucks and I know I shouldn’t want more, but something inside me keeps online window shopping daily. Delta, Free People, MN Pitbull rescue…the list grows and grows by the minute. It’s awful, sad, and makes me disappointed in myself. But I’m working on it.

My goal this month is to find ways to not want more. Maybe that means cleaning my boots from last year so they look brand new. Maybe that means saving my weekly budget so I can take a fun trip to Whole Foods once a month. Maybe I will re-organize my closet and find a new outfit combo to wear…like the one below. It’s going to be a big challenge but my name is Haley and I like a good challenge. 

So here’s to embracing what we have, being happy, and not caring if our shoes are last years model. You rock and don’t need new things to make you happier.
PS New Maroon song “Wait”…it’s fiyaaaa. OK, that’s all.

Cheers,

-Hales 

Row Row Your Bod

HELLLO! I wrote that in all caps because once again it snowed today and my insides are bursting with frosty happiness. It’s not sticking but it sure is purdy. On my drive home from work, I was contemplating how to get Ruthie outside in this weather. She’s a bbbbbig diva and doesn’t like the rain, snow, wind, or basically anything that isn’t sunshine (My goal is to get her to love the snow).

She normally goes a few steps then plops her butt down and won’t go forward. Last weekend I thought it was because she was cold so I tried putting her sweater on…fail. So, I started running with her. If she was cold, running would warm her right up, right? I think it might be working! Last night we did a 1.5 mile run and tonight, in the blustery, snowy, sleet, we went 2.5. She’s kind of a crappy runner (as in she sporadically slams on her breaks to sniff a mailbox making me crash right into her), but practice make perfect so…we’re going to keep trying. She’s fast AF though so it’s good fun.

Last thing about my dog, she turned 3 yesterday and got a super fun Birthday bone, doggy ice cream (maple bacon, yum), and a pink chew toy which she has already torn to shreds. Note to self, no toys next year.

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Birthday Treats!

So, I get home from work at 3:30 pm which rocks. People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I start work at 6:30 am. But I LOVE it. It’s one of my fave things about my job. The city is asleep when I drive in and it’s very peaceful. I’m a morning person anyhow so I figure why not get work out of the way then have like 5 solid hours after work to hang. Tonight for instance, I ran, did laundry, vacuumed, had a snack, and watched a Hallmark movie all by the time most people are just leaving the office. See why early in early out is kind of neat?

One thing that most people would find a drawback of working so early…how does one get a workout in before work when you start at the butt-crack of dawn (LOL it auto-corrected butt-crack to nutcracker)? I’ll tell ya!

You just gotta set your little alarm clock for 4:40 am every day and DO IT. You also must know you’ll have the entire gym to your self(ie) so you can use any machine you want when you want. You also don’t have to listen to anyone grunting. Awwww yeah. Oh, and you can sing out loud, dance in circles after getting a PR, and you don’t have to wear matching workout clothes. Sign me up. JK I’ve been signed up for years. Side note, I used to not be able to sleep at all so I’d get up even earlier…now that was crazy.

Let me tell you something…=it actually super stresses me out to go any other time than 5 am. I get like gym anxiety or something. I’m afraid people will stare at me and roll their eyes…maybe even laugh at my colorful socks or something. IDK I’m weird. But if no one else is going to use the gym at 5, I might as well.

So lately at these early morning sessions, I’ve super duper gotten into the rowing machine. No, I can’t do it more than 6 minutes at a time but I’m slowly working on getting better/stronger. Rowing is freaking hard. I’ve done sprint workouts (row as far as you can in 5 minutes), intervals (30 sec on, 30 sec off), and my fave: row 1000m as fast as you can (time cap 6 minutes), whatever time you have left complete as many burpees as you can. That’s a little burner at the end of your workout whoo wee.

Also, now that the temps are dropping, I’m probably going to start incorporating more treadmill sprints into workouts…maybe something like run 400 m, 25 push-ups, 25 air squats, 25 situps…on repeat for 15 minutes. I love having a blank canvas. I never thought of myself as an artist but I guess coming up with different workouts kind of classifies me as creative? Cool, I’ll take it.

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I HATE SELFIES but I took one (TBT to blonde hair)

In other news, I made the best dinner ever Sunday night. Pork loin+ garlic mashed potatoes+canned cranberries+m&m oatmeal cookies. OMG. My hubby Sam said it was his favorite meal I’ve ever made…I think the homemade gravy really thrilled him. It almost tasted like Thanksgiving. PS how do you feel about canned crans? I’M OBSESSED. Sam hates them. More for me I guess.

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October snow showers bring November Turkey’s 

Oh, going back to the whole waking up early thing…that means I have the joy of packing all my clothes, food, drinks, shampoo, shoes…basically my entire life, the night before. This process usually starts at about 6PM and ends at 7PM as I get easily distracted.

I usually pick out my outfit (which I’ll most likely ask myself why I thought that was a good idea the next day after dressing), grab some shoes, and stuff my toiletries in a bag. That all gets placed right next to the door so I don’t forget anything in the morning rush.

Next up, the food. I pack breakfast, lunch, coffee, and snacks. I usually have an entire re-usable grocery bag full of food. Lately I’ve been into overnight oats which is a super easy breakfast to make the night before (DUH). I also make iced coffee so that’s easy to grab in the morning. Lunch is most likely left-overs from that nights dinner placed into a tupperware with some sort of fruit or veggie. I always make sure to have something sweet for after lunch. Don’t forget the snacks: hard boiled eggs, pretzels, veggies and hummus, fruit snacks…the options are endless.

Yeah, I eat a lot. But whatever, gotta keep that booty growing (girlllll).

Now I’m hungry so TTYL.

XO

-Hales

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY RUTH

It snowed on Friday and I’m thrilled. It was so pretty and magical and I hope it stays forever. Except it won’t because it is now raining and I’m sadly watching each flake disappear from my front yard.

Since Friday, I’ve watched 6 Hallmark Holiday movies…I’ve seen them all already before so I kind of half watched them while doing chores/baking/re-arranging stuff, but gosh, I love them so much. I think one of my *secret* dreams  might actually be to star in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Here’s what I’d hope for…I’d like to be in like the town of Cookieville. I’d like my name to be Holly, or Joy, or even Rudy (like the reindeer). I’d like one of those cute houses they always have with every Christmas decoration imaginable, real snow, and of course a dog. A girl can dream right? Hallmark, when you’re ready, hit me up.

So real fast update on running. It’s been a week and a day since my trail half and I feel pretty good. I did a 5 and 4 mile street run last week and it felt super nice to just run. No time goals, no distance goals…just run as far as you feel good. I also feel like every workout I did last week involved air squatslunges, and push ups. I’m V sore but I like it. I like it a lot. This week I really feel like rowing and running sprints so trying to think of a fun workout to do with that. My Alchemy membership ends Tuesday and I’m very sad but also excited to do some stuff on my own.

Ok, enough about that. Lets talk about my dog.

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Just the cutest snuggle monkey

She is currently sleeping on my feet after a 5.5 mile hike with my mom at our favorite state park in Wisconsin. Ruthie’s Birthday* is this coming week and I’m so excited to celebrate her. I say that with a * because sadly, we don’t know her exact birth date. She was a rescue and so we guessed the date based on her adoption date age. I picked October because it’s my fave month obviously. So October 31st is her Birthday.*

Let me tell you something, before Ruthie, I didn’t really like dogs. I never grew up with one, and to be honest, they scared me. I have no idea why because I never had a bad experience, I just had an aversion to them. That all changed once Baby Ruth came along. Out of all the dogs we could have rescued, we chose a Pitbull. And you know what? It’s the best thing that ever happened to me (well besides being borned, getting married, and a few other items).

I know, everyone thinks there dog is the best so I’m going to hop on that train and say my dog is the best. She’s kind, she’s caring, she loves to hike. She’s fast AF. She’s a little bundle of muscle. She’s strong. She’s cute. And my fave thing about her…she’s a snuggler. I think that’s why I love her so much. She nestles right into my big spoon at night and it’s just the cutest thing. She keeps me warm. She gives me hugs and kisses. And she makes me feel so loved.

I feel so happy to have little Ruthie, monkey, poop monster, baby girl, little cutie as my pup child. She’s showed me what it means to truly care about something (obvi besides friends and fam) and has made life a whole helluva lot more fun/adventorous/happy/love-filled.

Hopefully she’s reading this post on her new pup-cell but Baby Ruth, I love ya so darn much. Happy 3rd (21st) Birthday. Stay fun.

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Snug Monkey
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Must be close 

XO

-Hales

TRAIL RUN YA

I’m sitting on the floor. My feet are asleep. But there is a  mug of hot apple cider (or sea-dar if you’re fancy) nearby, a pumpkin candle is burning, Ruthie is snuggled up behind me snoring cutely, and there’s snow in the forecast. HELL YA. I have been telling people how excited I am for the snow and they look at me like I have spiders crawling out of my eyes. I love fall, I love winter. I love snow and want feet of it this year. I’m hoping to get some cross country skis and try skijoring. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

So, enough about snow, lets talk about something that won’t freak people out…the weekend! Oh it was a stellar one. Like I said last post, my gal pal Katie and I were set to run a trail half marathon Saturday morning. That meant Friday night was spent watching Hocous Pocus, drinking water, and going to bed at 8 PM. Yeah, I like snow and I go to bed before most grandmas. I think it’s cool. You can judge me, IDC.

I woke to my alarm at 5AM Saturday morning, jumped out of bed, pulled back the curtains and shouted “It’s gonna be a great day!” But in all honesty, it was gonna be a really tough day. The sky was cloudy and rain was set to start falling right around race start. Oh well, no one ever died from being wet…at least that I’m aware of.

So we set off for Duluth at 5:45 am after a tiny detour due to my poor navigation and made it to our destination around 8 am. The bus picked us up at 8:30 on the nose and took us to the start of the race…Spirit Mountain.

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View from Spirit Mountain
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View from Bayfront Park

Now let me tell you something about this race…it was called the Harder N Hell Half Marathon. I kept asking myself, why the heck did they call it this? It started at the top of a ski hill which meant it would be all downhill right? hahahahaha NOPE. I couldn’t have been more incorrect.

The race followed the Superior Hiking trail from Spirit Mountain up and down and all around to Bayfront Park. AND IT was hilly AF. LIKE holy hills. Of course, right as we started it began to rain. Rain+dirt trails=MUD. The trail was full of leaves and mud puddles. In the beginning it was pretty easy to get around the mud and stuff but as the race went on and the rain continued to fall, the mud got slicker. The rocks got slippery. There was one point on a downhill I couldn’t stop. Thankfully there was a tree I was able to snag which stopped me from tumbling down the hillside. I did get a sliver but better that than a broken limb. At some points it felt like we were ice skating along the mud rather than running. But you know what? This might have been one of my most favorite runs ever. The conditions made me focus on my every step which kept my mind off the burning sensation in my lungs, the tightness in my hammies/hips, and how tired I felt.

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Mud Girls
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The best views

Yes, it was one of the hardest runs ever but it felt like an adventure. I think at one point I said to Katie, “I feel like I’m Pocahontas or a pioneer, just out here discovering the land.” The race was capped at 150 runners for obvious reasons and we were pretty much on our own the entire time. The views were insane. There were wooded areas, open areas, waterfalls, streams, pretty leaves…ugh, what’s not to love!?

Oh and did I mention the snacks? There were 2 aid stations for the half (oh yeah, there was also a 50 and 100K…those crazies!) and they were stocked full of the best foods. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, gummy bears, licorice, pickles, ginger-ale, granola bars, chips…I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

Something I’ll remember for next year…bring a hydration pack. I got so freaking thirsty and with only 2 aid stations, there were not a lot of opportunities for grabbing hydration. And yes, I did say next year…already looking forward to running this race again, training better/harder, and finishing faster than 2:59. Shoutout to Katie for putting up with me when I got tired, sore, thirsty, and sassy. Couldn’t have done it without you.

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Girl Power

And one last thing…instead of a finisher’s medal, we got soup mugs. How cute is that!? I always just toss my medal in a drawer so it’s nice to have something I’ll actually use.

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So tired, so thirsty

After the race, we headed to the bathroom to try and wipe off some of the mud on our legs, then headed to the Duluth Coffee Company for a hot beverage, changed our clothes and probably left trails of mud behind us, then hit up the Duluth Grill for a late lunch. GET THE ONION RINGS, that’s all I’ll say.

After we refueled, we were on the road and home by 5PM. I took a salt bath, read some Harry Potter, and fell asleep at 7:30. Goodnight.

It was a very busy, cold, tiring, exciting, fun, amazing, adventure-filled day and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I’m still on an endorphin high from the race and my hunger level is still that of a 12 year old boy. GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD. I love trail running.

Ok, that’s all. Peace, love, and snowflakes (hehe). BYE!

-Haley the Snowflake