Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Mishmash - All Things California!

The fun has continued all week.  This morning we will relax and energize with another yoga class (strange that it does both, but trust me, it happens), work on perfecting our outfits for the Big Sur race (would you expect anything less?), and then go watch Theresa perform a Capoeira dance with her class, followed by packing for Big Sur (we will be spending the night before the race in Monterey) and then a nice dinner out at the Crow's Nest - another jam-packed day!


Speaking of fun, I had the pleasure of meeting Janelle and Bella on Tuesday afternoon!  She pulled up to Barbara's house in her convertible VW Bug, with Bella standing on her back legs, poking her head out the window - what a happy greeting!  We went to dog beach, where Bella had a blast running around, swimming, and surprising sunbathers with puppy kisses, while Janell and I got to talk.  It was like we've known each other for a long time - we pretty much just continued our last email conversation, only this time it was in person.  Love that about meeting blogger friends - the connection you make online really carries through in person.

Janell is such a caring mama to Bella - here she is giving her girl some water:
And here we are, back at Barbara's house, after the beach, a trip to See's Candies (yum, chocolate!), and a lovely chat sitting outdoors at Zizzo's Coffee while Bella greeted her many admirers:
Stealing Janell's caption:  Shelley, Belly and Janelly

Of course, the first attempt at a picture with Bella wasn't quite successful:
Hey, at least we got her ears in the picture!

Also, look at this face...I think Janell shows remarkable restraint in not posting a gazillion pictures of Bella:


Speaking of the beach, Barbara and I took a walk on Wednesday morning - it was low tide, so I had the brilliant idea to go stand on some rocks and have my picture taken:
A lovely day at the beach
Wait for it, wait for it...
 Don't let your eyes deceive you - I was NOT attempting the "warrior" pose from yoga - this was the "stay upright" pose when a wave comes in!

We were at Capitola beach - the favorite hangout from our high school days.  One difference?  When we were walking back through the sand, I was watching where I was stepping, to avoid hurting my feet on any sharp driftwood or other debris.  Back in the day?  I would have been watching the cute surfers!  Funny how priorities change...
Barbara and I, out getting our Vitamin D the natural way!


I'm hoping to get a Mini Cooper in the distant future.  We decided to pop into the dealership in Santa Clara (at Kiely and Steven's Creek Blvd., where I believe the old Smythe Buick dealership used to be - this really isn't of import to anyone but my parents who bought a car there long ago but I thought I'd mention it) where I hopped into a convertible for a quick picture:
Not my color, but it was fun to check it out.  I left with a "wish book" catalog - hey, a girl can dream, right?


And now, it's time for Fashion Friday!  As usual, we've been shopping like crazy.  Theresa has been an excellent helper and picked out several items that we actually bought!  Plus she's a great runner to go get different sizes when we're in the dressing room, and she also is a handy price-checker, using the self-scanner to see what the sale prices are for us.

First up, one of her picks:
I really liked how this blouse fit me, but was hemming and hawing about buying it because it was a little more than I usually spend (read: over $10) on tops.  Theresa liked it so much on me that she offered to "kick in $5" - how sweet was that?  Of course I bought it.  And I made her give me the money.

Next up is a fun shirt that we all had to try on:
 The Three Musketeers!

Theresa and I bought the top - she paired hers with some white leggings and a white cami and looked adorable.  I wore mine with jeans and looked adorable fine.  The sides are slightly longer than the middle and I love that style, but very few tops like that work for me - they are usually too long.  This was a petite, so that must have made the difference in the length.

Another day, more dressing room fun - this was at the Ann Taylor Loft outlet (pardon the washed out look - the sun was bright in the dressing room (strange, I know)):
We were working on an opposite look - If the green sweater had been really cheap, I would have bought it for the few instances each year when that bright color would be fun...but it wasn't.  I liked the ruffled top under it (the better to camouflage my belly!) but just wasn't completely sold on it.  Barbara did buy the printed shirt under her purple sweater - she had a purple sweater at home so didn't get the one she was trying on, although the ruffled edge was super-cute!  (and while I'd like to blame the use of that phrase on hanging around a 9-year-old, I sadly have to own it)

While we were at the outlets (Gilroy Outlets, to be exact), we had a good time at the Van's store:
Theresa got the lace-ups and I got the pink, white and black plaid slip-ons, while Barbara was a party-pooper and did not get the pink, purple and black plaid shoes.  What can I say - I think I'm a teenager when I come out here! 

Another day, we shopped for swimsuits.  Barbara is going to Hawaii in June and needed some new suits, and I was hoping to find a one-piece that provided a little better coverage so I could swim my laps without having to wear a rash-guard over it.  That might not look strange normally, but my gym's pool is indoors, so wearing something to prevent a sunburn looks a little strange.  We tried on A LOT of suits.  There were no tears!  There was some laughter, and some horror, but we both found great suits.  No dressing room pictures - I'm not crazy!  But this is what I got:
I found this at a real swim store - a Speedo suit, a teal pearlescent swim cap, and some swim gloves that I wanted to try - these should give me more resistance when I swim, which I'm hoping will help strengthen my arms and propel me through the water better.


Hope you all have a wonderful weekend - sorry I haven't been able to keep up with your blogs.  Thank you for continuing to read mine while I'm off gallivanting around in sunny California!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - California Edition!

Shopping counts as a workout, right?  The walking, the arm strengthening as you carry hangers and hangers of clothing, the contortions (stretching!) as you try to shimmy into and out of certain items (sports bras are especially challenging), the bending down to try on shoes - it all adds up to a workout when you shop like Barbara and I do!

We also wiggled into these Vibram Five Finger running shoes:
Now THAT was a workout!!!  Honestly, I'd think twice or even thrice before deciding on wearing these, even just for everyday and not running.  These are not easy to get on, not at all!  But it was fun to try them - we were at the Fleet Feet in Aptos, and the store owner was very welcoming and nice, so we gave these a test drive.  Well, Barbara gave them more of a test drive than me - she actually got both feet into them.  I gave up after one foot - that about did me in!

Getting back to workouts, though - I actually did something new, something that I've been curious to try but not brave enough to do it on my own - we went to a yoga class on Tuesday!  And you know what?  I liked it.  Luckily Barbara gave me a little lesson the night before, so I understood when the instructor would say things like "curl your toes under" and "child pose" and other mysteries...that really helped me keep up.  Also, I gave up trying to inhale and exhale at the correct moments as I was doing the poses and just concentrated on getting the pose down, and that worked for me.  Breathing will come later. ;)  By the way?  I broke a sweat in that class, and it wasn't because it was hot yoga - it was intense!  We are planning on going to another class on Friday...should be fun!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gel-Bot Winner and Pearl Izumi Streak II Shoe Review

The winner of the Gel-Bot is:

Congratulations!  Send me an email ( with your contact info and I'll pass it on to my contact.


One of the perks of blogging is that sometimes you somehow catch the attention of certain companies, who offer you free stuff in exchange for a review.  And as we all know, free is my favorite price.  Still, there are some things that I decline, either because I don't (or wouldn't) use them myself, or I can't get behind the product enough to endorse it to you.  I had a bit of an internal struggle with accepting Pearl Izumi products for review, and although in the end I obviously did, I'd like to explain why.

Pearl Izumi markets their products to what they consider "real" athletes.  To them, I'm not a runner.  I've seen their print ads in magazines and, rightly so, was offended by them - to the point that I wouldn't look twice at any product once I realized it was made by Pearl Izumi.  They don't consider me a runner?  Fine.  I don't consider them worthy of my money.  There you have it.  Hope that ad campaign appealed to someone out there, because it certainly wasn't me.  Actually, no - I hope that even the famous runners - Kara Goucher, Dean Karnazes, Paula Radcliffe - were offended by those ads...I mean really, why would you want to exclude anyone from your sport?

So. I'm reviewing these Pearl Izumi  Streak II shoes that I received for free.  Still feel like I sold my soul for them, though.  But it's not like I ever would have tried them on, much less bought them, with the attitude I have toward that company.  And what if they were the magical shoes that did the trick in helping me to run better?  What if my ankle pain miraculously disappeared when I wore them?  (it didn't)  I was willing to give them a try.

The shoes came via UPS.  I didn't know what to expect - Scott at Outside PR had asked for my size, nothing more.  Imagine my delight to see these pink and white beauties:
Now, if you know me, you know that I was instantly captivated - I loved the colors, and the shoes would go with so many of my running outfits - woohoo!  I took a picture of them and sent it to Jeff, who was out of town.  His reply?  "Good thing they are pink or I would take them" - I'd say he's getting cocky since he absconded with my sunglasses!

I have to tell you that these shoes are shockingly lightweight.  So much so that I actually got out my kitchen scale and weighed them, and then compared the weight to my other running shoes.  Here's the stats:

Pearl Izumi Streak II - 6.8 ounces
Brooks Defyance 4 - 8.8 ounces
Newton Terra Momentus - 9.9 ounces

Back when I had my glorious two weeks of running, before I was so rudely denied by my orthopedist, I tried the shoes out on a few runs.  As I was just starting back up, there were no long runs, so I don't have that to reference, but I did try them on both the street and the track.  I liked them ok, but I definitely felt the ground through the sole.  Which, considering how minimalist these are, is normal.

I also wore them at the track for sprints during our speed work - they felt fine for the sprints that I managed to run.  I appreciate that I can put these on - a brand new pair of shoes, and run in them with no blisters or issues like that.  I usually wear a size 8.5 for my running shoes and these fit perfectly.

Pearl Izumi describes them as a racing shoe - "your new go-to PR shoe."  I might wear them in a 5K race, but I wouldn't expect the shoes to give me a new PR.  Still, when I finally get back to running, I'll wear these for shorter runs, and, of course, when I want to complete my running ensemble!  More examples of that below:
Super cute shoes - they also have a lot of reflection on them which will be nice when I run early in the morning.
I loved this outfit - and having pink/white and black running shoes that matched my skirt was the icing on the cake!  Paco still isn't too fond of the shoes, though - I had to hold him to keep him still for the picture!

When the shoes first arrived, I took them outside to get some pictures.  I always shoot several  - and died laughing when I uploaded them and saw this one:
Paco ALWAYS manages to get in the shot!
Kip had to check them out, too:
"Why you get so excited about shoes, lady?"

The Pearl Izumi Streak II shoes retail for $110.  Thanks to Scott at Outside PR for arranging the try out for me - hopefully I haven't blown doing any future reviews from him - but at least you know that when I review something, I'm completely honest!

FTC:  Really?  We gotta go there?  It's pretty obvious.  Free shoes, honest review.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick Easter Recap

Having a blast here in California - as usual, Barbara and I hit the ground running and have been busy!  We slowed down a bit yesterday...relaxed at home during the morning (ok, one of us got up and went to Zumba - here's a hint: it wasn't me), then Barbara's husband Dave started to teach me how to play the piano, and her daughter Theresa took over.  We played Ode To Joy - even did a duet with that one, and also played a little something else that I can't remember.  Fun, but at the same time quite challenging for me.  After a while we all got dressed and drove over the hill to Santa Clara, where we had our Easter meal at Barbara's sister's house (hi Sandi!).  I did fine with my eating on the meal but the desserts were quite tempting and I enjoyed everything I ate - no regrets!

And now for some pictures:
 Barbara's mom Norma, sister Sandi, Barbara and Theresa - my other family. :)
 Hello my lovelies!  Dessert table - Portuguese sweet bread was in the basket, apricot pie (leftover from Barbara's birthday party), fruit tart, cupcakes - all homemade by Barbara's mother, plus a strawberry cake was in the fridge.
 My precious!  See's Candies!!!  Janell, I thought of you when I ate some. :)
 Barbara slicing the apricot pie - her family has apricot trees, so there is always yummy 'cot items around - along with the pie, there was homemade apricot jam for the sweet bread.

After we ate, Sandi had an egg hunt for Theresa, where she had clues to find each egg.  She did great and ended up with some fun items in her basket.  Then Barbara and I took a walk - let's be real here...we weren't going to burn off the calories from our meal, but at least we moved a little.  Plus it was reminiscent of all the walking around town we did as teenagers, although this time we didn't walk by the fire station to look at the cute firemen.
So glad I got to spend a beautiful spring day with my friend! 

One thing that I always appreciate and love about northern California is the beautiful landscaping - the weather is so conducive for growing plants - it's a noticeable change from Texas.
These pink flowers were growing on a tree - don't know what they are, but boy were they pretty!

We walked through Sandi's neighborhood and ended up on the outskirts of the Carmelite Monastery - this has been in Santa Clara for nearly 100 years - it's a huge compound surrounded by pink walls, and cloistered nuns live there.  I'd never been on the grounds, but they are open to the public, so we went in.

The grounds are quiet and peaceful...
 Barbara walking ahead on a path that ran alongside the chapel.
 Chapel - note the bell tower behind it.  Sandi can hear the bell ringing at her house, and we heard it later that afternoon!
 Neat old gate that was at the entrance to a covered arbor.
 This little shadowbox held religious items that people left behind.
 Barbara walking in the covered arbor...
 Another shadowbox at the other end of the arbor.  I find the mementos left behind fascinating.
 Sign at the end of our walk.  I'm grateful that they do allow the public to walk around - it's a peaceful oasis right in the middle of town!

After our walk, we went back to Sandi's house, where the Easter bunny had an unfortunate accident:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Mishmash

Happy Birthday to my best friend Barbara!  I'm out in California (got here last night) to help her celebrate the big one - that's right, she is 50 today!!!  I'm glad you were born, my friend. :)


Speaking of being in your 50s, when I visited the orthopedist for a second opinion the other day?  He walked into the room with his nurse, introduced himself and asked me to tell him how I hurt my ankle.  He interrupted me partway through to ask "how old are you?"  I said 47.  He said again "how old ARE you?"  I said "I'm 47."  Then he said "what is your birthdate?" I told him, and that's where his confusion came from - the paperwork had my birth year as 1953, not 1963.  He said "I thought you looked AMAZING for 57!" - so of course I had to ask him "How do I look for 47?"  LOL - he was nice and said I still looked good for 47, but ever since then, Jeff keeps telling me that I look great for 57.  ::rolleyes::


I am LOVING all of the prom dress pictures so far - keep 'em coming!  I'll do the post in a couple of weeks so you still have plenty of time to scan them and send them in.  I want to show you part of the email my mother sent me after reading the post Monday morning - she cracked me up.  Here it is:


I do believe her sarcasm came through loud and clear, lol!  And there I was, thinking I did such a good job of hiding that part of my senior year!

P.S.  I used to throw "going away" parties for my parents on the weekends that they would take my pesky little brother and go camping with our sailing club...after they had left, of course.
P.P.S.  The suitcase in my closet stored the leftover bottles of booze from parties.
P.P.P.S.  In the Senior Wills section of our school newspaper, one of my friends willed me a bigger suitcase. :)

I don't drink anymore - I like to say that I finished up my lifetime allotment early.  Same could be said about desserts but I'm not ready to go there just yet!


During Tuesday's speed workout at the track, I did plank holds on the grass while the group was running around the track.  Shades of burpee bruises from long ago...look at my arms after several planks:
Ouchies!  Next time I'll bring a mat for some cushioning!


There's still time to enter my Gel-Bot giveaway - go here to enter!  I'll announce a winner on Tuesday.

Recommended reading:  Tina Fey's "Bossypants."  I LOVED THIS BOOK!  She is so funny and insightful and just wonderful.  The only thing I did not love about the book was the cover - I'll link it here - but it disturbs me in the way of the wrongness of baby corn and human teeth on dogs.  I removed the dust jacket so I wouldn't have to see the cover - but I'm telling you, go read her book.  There were parts where I was laughing so hard that I was crying (see chapter titled "The Secrets of Mommy's Beauty").  I wanted to send Tina (I can call her Tina, right?  we're friends in my mind) a fan letter but couldn't find a good address for her.  What's with that?  I had no problem getting the address for the last person I sent fan mail to...of course that was Betty Ford after her appearance on the Mary Tyler Moore show back in the 1970s, and she was living at the White House, but I digress.  Except...she answered me back!!!  I still have that letter - I'll have to scan it and show you.  I guess I was hoping that I could add Tina's letter to Betty's.  Of course Tina would write me back - we're friends, right?  And it's not like she's busy writing a book anymore.  Just her TV show (30 Rock - another winner!), and after reading her book, I see she has writers for the show.  So yeah, she could send me a letter.  Hmmm.  I hope it would actually be written by her and not one of the show writers. 

Wow, this took quite the turn.  Welcome to the inner workings of my brain.  Any case, go read "Bossypants" if you haven't yet.  I think you'll love it.

No Fashion Friday  today as I've been living in my swimsuit or shorts this week.  But, seeing as I'll be spending the next two weeks with Barbara, you know there will be some fun fashion shoots coming up!
Alright everyone, have a great weekend, and send me your Prom pictures!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - the "S" Word Edition

If it hasn't become apparent to you by now, I do things in my own little unorthodox way.  Take the concept of diet AND exercise.  Did I do both at the beginning?  Oh no.  One thing at a time...I have to ease into stuff, and yes, most of the easing is mental.  High hurdles in my mind, I have them.  And all along my journey (to fit!) it's been suggested that I try swimming for exercise.  While out loud I politely demurred, in my mind I was all "hell to the NO" - swimming is so far out of my comfort zone that it has a different zip code.  No how, no way...oh hell no.

And why would I need to swim, anyway?  I had my group workouts.  Then I had running.  Then I did not have running.  But I could still walk!  Except that then I was advised against that.  And I paid good money for that advice, so I probably should heed it.  Plus, I'd kinda like to get my stupid ankle healed and get back to running.  My doctor suggested swimming as an alternative.  Of course I instantly dismissed that suggestion.

Cut to my running club's new cross-training schedule - since we (they) are training for a shorter distance race, cross-training has been added - core and strength, biking, etc...and swimming - just a few times, but Coach Joni wanted to get those who were interested exposed to the benefits of swimming.  I was not interested.  Until pretty much every workout option was taken away from me.  Then I grudgingly bought a pair of goggles and joined the few brave souls who showed up for the first swim session last week.  And, as I wrote in Friday's Mishmash, I survived.  Yay.

So here's where it gets interesting.  Last week we swam at a public pool - paid our $3 each and went in.  Since I didn't drown it went so well, I considered trying this "swimming" thing out, only I don't belong to a gym that has a pool. gym was just bought out by another gym here in town, and for the next two months, I have privileges at all four locations - including the one that has an indoor pool!  It's like the universe is trying to tell me something.  I asked Coach Joni, who willingly swims a couple times a week, to meet me at the pool gym and show me the ropes because I am a huge chicken I was not familiar with the pool gym.  Monday morning, she met me there, showed me around, and then we swam!  She did her thing while I did what passed for swimming in my world, and then we ended the morning chatting while kick boarding up and down the lanes for a while.  All told, I spent an hour in the water, and I was beat.  Who knew that swimming - heck, even just kicking - the length of the pool was such a cardio workout?!?

Anyway, I went back again on Tuesday morning.  By myself.  I KNOW!!!  Who am I?!?  And I'll be back there again this morning.  Then I'll take two weeks off while I am out gallivanting around in California - but once I return home, if I regularly swim for the rest of May, then I'll *gulp* pay the extra money and up my gym membership so I can keep swimming.  Please pick yourselves off of the floor now.  I can't believe I wrote that sentence either.

Also?  My shins are a little scraped up from climbing out of the pool when I'm done.  Which is pathetic, because I can't do the "place palms on edge/lift and twist body/end up sitting on edge of pool with legs in water like normal people" deal - I tried it on go.  While I was doing my thang in the pool on Tuesday I saw an older woman do it, so I told myself "if that old lady can do it, you can too."  Guess what?  That old lady could probably kick my a$$ in a lot of things, apparently.  So I do the awkward helf/scrabble/flop exit.  Why, you must be wondering, why don't I just go over to the ladder and climb out that way?  Because by the time I'm done, the Gray Panthers are doing water aerobics in the two lanes where the ladder is.  And they do this funny walking forward and backward thing in unison and I can never time my escape quick enough that I don't think they will overtake me before I get to the ladder.  Yes, leave it to me to have the most stressful part of this whole "swimming" thing be getting out of the pool.  But I guess if that's the worst thing that I have to deal with while I swim, then I guess I'll be OK.

P.S.  Pool etiquette.  There should be a real list posted, not just the "no running/peeing" one. For clueless morons like moi.
P.P.S.  Bonus - the lazy in me says "hey, you got wet, you combed your hair - no need to take a shower once you get home" - that is a WIN in my book!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GU Winner and Gel-Bot Review and Giveaway!

The winner of the GU promotion pack is:


Congratulations!  Email me ( with your contact info and I'll pass it on to Scott at Outside PR.


And now, I have yet another product to tell you about and stay tuned, because there's a giveaway at the end.

I was sent the Hydrapak Gel-Bot to review, and I have to tell you, I took one look and was skeptical.  The concept is good, in theory - it's a water bottle with a reservoir to hold an energy gel, so you don't have to tear open the gel package while you're running or bicycling.  Because the gels (or GU) are super concentrated, it's recommended that you drink water when you take them.  OK, again, good concept.  Plus, when I was running in the cold, cold temps of early January, my gloved fingers had a hard time tearing open my GU.  You would take care of this ahead of time.  Except that on my 10 mile run, I needed two energy gels - so what would be the point of this bottle - it's not like I'm going to stop and refill the gel reservoir mid-run.

So yes, you can see that I went into trying this out with a large dose of skepticism.  And as I can't run, I took one for the team (ok, I also wanted to try the Espresso Love GU flavor), and decided on a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  First surprise?  After squeezing the GU into the reservoir, it became obvious that it can hold at least two energy gels.  Well, that was good.  Second surprise?  How well it worked, especially considering I didn't even do everything right - but apparently the bottle self-corrects?  Anyway, I put in the GU, filled it with water, screwed on the lid and popped the top of the squeeze bottle all the way up, and drank some water.  Then I pushed the top all the way down, and sucked out some GU.  Hmmm.  That was easy.  Traded off drinking water and taking the GU - worked better than I thought it would.

After I tested it out, I went on their website and discovered that you are supposed to squeeze the gel out, but what can I say - I sucked it out like you would if it were in the packet.  You are also supposed to push the plunger of the reservoir up, if you only put in one packet of gel, but like I said, I didn't, and it worked perfectly.  It was easy to clean - I just popped the everything into a sink of hot water for a few minutes, rinsed, and it all came clean.

The only thing that I would have an issue with, if I were taking this on a run, is that I use a water bottle with a handheld strap/carrier.  This is a heavier bottle, so I'd definitely want that - I swiped the Nathan carrier that Jeff has been using for his water and this bottle fit into it perfectly.  So that would be my recommendation, if you're a runner.  This bottle would fit into the bottle cages on bikes, which would be nice if you bike long distances and need some quick fuel mid-ride.

At a retail price of about $14, it's not bad...but you can win one, which would make it free, and that is always the best price of all!  To enter, tell me what you'd use this for - do you have a race in mind, or a long training run, or a bike ride?  Heck, is there another sport that I'm missing that this would be perfect for?  Just leave a comment telling me what.  If your name is not linked to a blog, please be sure to leave me an email address in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.  U.S. and Canada only (but don't fret, Fran - I'll be having a giveaway in a few weeks that is open to everyone!) - prize will be supplied by Outside PR and Hydrapak.  I'll announce the winner next Tuesday (providing I remember to draw a winner - I will be on vacation, after all...but I'll do my best!).

FTC disclosure:  Outside PR provided me with one Gel-Bot for review and will provide another one for the winner of this giveaway.  The opinions expressed regarding the bottle are mine, all mine!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Call For Entries: Prom Dress Pictures

I read a lot of blogs - some weight-loss, some weight-maintenance, some running, some just because they're hilarious. One of the running blogs that I torture myself by reading - really, I don't know why, because the blogger is probably my oldest son's age, has the body that I never had nor will I ever get, and runs a gazillion miles a week with seemingly no injuries or pain - anyway, she recently asked her readers to send in pictures of them in their prom dresses, so they could make fun of their crazy fashion style. Well. Lemme tell you - these pictures are all from just a few years ago. These girls have bodies that, again, I never had...nor, if I'd had that body, would I have exposed it like they did in some of those dresses. Yes, I realize that I'm sounding like a cranky old lady, but honestly? I can't relate to those prom photos.

So I'm asking you, my readers, more of whom are probably over the age of 24, to send me your prom pictures and we'll have a REAL fashion show. I want to see the awesome dresses of the 70s and 80s and even the 90s - let's all take a trip down memory lane and look at the fashions, hair styles and how good our bodies looked, even if we didn't appreciate it at the time.

Email your pictures to, and in a couple of weeks, we'll have our own prom fashion throwdown - old school style!  Just to get you in the mood, here's a few from my prom - this was my senior year, also known as the only year Shelley ever went to any formal dances (everybody:  awww!). 

Formal picture - and hello, could they have done less with the photo background?  The potted plants look half dead.  Where is the balloon arch?  Where is the tasteful Grecian column?  Funny how I never noticed until now, though.  This was May, 1981:
 We both wore glasses but took them off for the picture.  I loved my lavender dress, but it took me years to realize that it is not a good color for my pale skin.

Sigh.  Those arms.  How I miss them.  And that flat stomach.  If I could have only seen into the future.
My boyfriend's father owned a jewelry store, and set a large amethyst into a necklace to go with my dress for the Prom.  I think he also let me pick out a ring to wear, too.  And no, I didn't get to keep either - boo!
 I'll have you know that I worked hard with my curling iron to get those flippy curls.  The blotchy skin is thanks to a day at the beach a week before the prom, trying to get tan.  I got burnt instead - story of my life.  

OK, and here's a picture of the after-prom party.  They didn't do lock-ins like they do now.  My sons had an alcohol-free after-prom bash.  We had our own bash - can't remember who's house we were at, but I'm sure their parents didn't mind.  Also?  It was definitely not alcohol-free.
Incriminating Polaroid - fun times, fun times.

OK, it's YOUR turn.  Send in the pictures!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Mishmash - Paco Speaks Edition

There is a blogger, Running off the Reese's(warning - don't go there if pictures of candy and baked goods will set off cravings) who is quite funny, and she does these captions on her pictures that crack me up.  The other day she talked about the site she uses to make these (, and of course I had to give it a try.  I'm not even close to being as funny as she is, but playing with the captions is very entertaining, and so now you all have to suffer through what I made for today's mishmash.  I apologize in advance...


First up is where I tortured Paco by swaddling him, thanks to reading this hilarious post, and later, a dare from Helen to do it.  Poor dog didn't stand a chance.  Of course, I no longer own any swaddling blankets, thanks to my children being twenty-somethings, so I had to use an old towel, but Paco didn't seem to mind the difference:
Then he copped a 'tude:
Then, the swaddling worked, and he took a nap:
Just as an FYI, it's harder than you might think to swaddle a dog with long legs.  I seem to recall torturing swaddling our dachshund, Jackie, a long time ago and it was much easier.  Take note, Debby - Queen Sophie might like this.  Or not. ;)


I made Marisa's coleslaw the other day and boy was it good!  Take a look:
 This meal sure beats drive thru!

It has dried cranberries, green onions, coleslaw mix, apple cider vinegar, honey, a tiny bit of olive oil, and salt.  We loved it - click here for the exact recipe.  Thanks, Marisa, for coming up with this - I'll be making it again for sure.

I walked (gently) to Academy to buy some swim goggles, and took the long way back.  Found a dime, which brings my walking money to close to 50 cents (woohoo!) and a student ID:
Through the magic of Facebook, I found the owner (of the ID - I'm keeping the dime!) and contacted her - she had already gotten a replacement, so the question now is...can I pass for a college student and get a discount?  There must be something it's good for!  Nah, I'm kidding - I tossed it.

Also on my walk home?  I saw a horse.  He was right by the fence - I could have petted him, had I not been a scaredy cat.


Speaking of swimming, I survived Wednesday night's workout.  Luckily Coach Joni is used to giving swimming lessons to children, because that's the level I was at.  That whole "kick/stroke/breathe" thing?  That you're supposed to do all at the same time?  Much harder than it looks.  But, I got in the pool, and that was a big step for me.  More on the swimming next week.

And now for Fashion Friday.  It's kind of a repeat, but I haven't been dressing in much other than workout clothes.  Although I did take myself shopping twice this week - sometimes just trying on clothes is a big help in reminding me that I like my new size, which in turn helps me to choose healthy foods and not coconut M&M's, which I haven't had in nearly two weeks.  *high five!*  Never fear, though - I fly to California late next week, and you KNOW Barbara and I will be hitting the stores!  I'm hoping to come home with a pair of white denim capris or bermuda shorts.  Fingers crossed I find them!  OK, onto the photo shoot:
It's like he KNOWS where the camera is pointed!
Someone sure has thinks it's all about him, haha!

I just realized that I'm wearing all Ann Taylor Loft pieces - the cardigan and ruffled tank under it were bought last summer when I was visiting Barbara, and I bought the jeans last February when I was visiting my mom.  How funny - obviously, their clothes fit my body - now if only there was a Loft in my town, I'd be set.  This was what I wore to the orthopedist on Monday, right before he dashed my hopes of any springtime running.  Had I attempted this picture later in the day, you would have seen black mascara running down my face from all the frustrated crying I was doing.  But I'm much better now - mentally, anyway.

Oh, and look what I got last night:

The shirt from last season's running club!  Coach Dale had a devil of a time with the supplier, and I believe he had them redone about four times - the sizing was way off.  But it was worth the wait, as they look fantastic!  I took this picture at night so it's hard to read, but the top says "Together, one band of runners" and the words making up the runner's bodies are all of our names.  Love it.  Am already planning my outfit for Saturday - and wouldn't you know, I just happen to have a pair of socks that match the shirt!  Ahhh, things like this ease the mental pain of not being able to run with my group.  Plus?  Coach Dale treated those of us who showed up to get our shirts to frozen yogurt - yum!  Thanks, Coach! :)


Hey, don't forget to enter my GU products giveaway - I'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday, so you still have time.  Have a nice weekend - hope everyone gets to enjoy some nice sunny spring weather!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - The Truth

So I haven't been exactly honest with how my running has been going since I started back up with it.  True, it did not hurt at all when I ran that 3K race the end of March.  I was so relieved - that must mean I was cured, right?  Ignoring the jabs of pain here and there, oh and also the burning pain that came after I did my walks...I ran once without pain so therefore I was OK.

Except that it kinda kept hurting.  Not horrible, mind you - not like it did that day in January when I had to stop running because I couldn't put any pressure on it.  But it hurt enough to keep me downing Motrin and icing it a lot.  Still, I was running!  And that was good!

So I decided to be a responsible adult (who, me??) and get a second opinion on my ankle.  Mind you, I'd stayed off of it the amount of time the first orthopedist recommended.  But since it was still hurting, I figured I should double-check...and hey, if there was a surgical option, I might just go for it, because wouldn't I feel like a fool if I'd blown all these months waiting around when I could have a magical fix and be back, good as new?!

Well, the news was not what I wanted to hear.  After x-rays were taken, and the MRI was once again looked at, the new orthopedist said that the injury is still alive and well.  Tissue is still inflamed, blah blah blah.  And there is nothing to do but wait it out - time will heal it - time without running, because that pounding is just aggravating it.  He even discouraged walking because depending on how fast I walk, that will contribute to the pounding.  He likened the injury to having whacked my ankle with a big hammer, only instead of hitting it once with a big hammer, I basically hit it a million times with a miniature hammer.  That's what the pounding of running decided to stress - not my knees, not my achilles, not my shins, not my IT band - just my ankle.

So that is frustrating.  To say the least.  And there might have been a few tears shed in his office - I mean, COME ON...this is getting to be ridiculous.  A broken ankle or a stress fracture would have been CURED by now.  And how will I know when my ankle is healed?  He said that it will gradually improve, and one day I will realize that it doesn't hurt anymore...and that's when I can start back up with the running.  He did not give me a time line.  I honestly don't know if I will lose the next couple of months, or the entire summer.  I repeat - this is ridiculous.

And now I'm facing the same old gym crap that quite frankly, I am not thrilled with (as if you couldn't tell by that sentence).  I did go to the track last night with my running club, and worked out with the advanced group - Coach Joni has them doing exercises in between their sprints, so I did three sets, each consisting of 20 tricep dips, 15 push ups, 30 crunches, 15 squats and 20 hamstring lifts (in place of walking lunges, which put too much pressure on my ankle).  That was hard, but it was great to be pushed like that.  My legs felt like jello afterward, and I welcomed that feeling - haven't had that since I left my workouts with Brad and Linda.  I walked on the track during the 10 minute warm up and cool down, too.  Tonight, I'm going to step waaayyyy out of my comfort zone and go to our first pool workout.  Did I mention how far out of my comfort zone that is?  So it remains to be seen if I go a second time.  But at least I'm trying it.

So there it is - the truth.  It hurts to accept it.  But at this point, I don't have any other choice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ReNew Life Winner and GU Review/Giveaway!

The winner of the ReNew Life giveaway is:

Congratulations!  Email me ( your info and I will pass it on to my contact at ReNew Life.  


And now, my new GU review (sorry, I couldn't resist) and giveaway!

 GU Gels, Chomps and all kinds of Brews!

I like it when the UPS man brings me a package - lately, I never know what's inside.  A few weeks ago, I hit the GU bonanza, thanks to Scott at Outside PR.  Quite honestly, I never knew that GU made so many products, and if you will remember, I had an unwarranted prejudice toward GU because of the texture...not that I had ever TRIED it, mind you - I just was skeeved out by the thought.  And, in this post, I ate crow and apologized to GU, because I discovered that it was yummy.  I was hooked on their Chocolate Outrage energy gel, or as I call it, "melted candy bar" - the cool thing about doing long runs is that you neeeeed to replenish your glycogen stores mid-run, and GU is an easy way to take care of that.  The candy bar part is just a happy bonus.

I love having all the different flavors of GU gels to try - I've been wanting to test out their Cherry Lime Roctane, because it reminds me of a Sonic cherry limeade.  Instead of having anything else to eat one morning before a run, I tried it - pretty tasty...probably would have gotten the total Sonic experience had I chilled the GU beforehand.  They seem to do the trick in giving me the energy I need to keep going on a run, so I plan on continuing to use the GU energy gels during my workouts and long runs.  I'm even going to take some with me on my 10.6 mile walk portion of the Big Sur marathon on May 1st.

GU makes several different types of Brew, which is their version of an electrolyte drink.  The fizzing electrolyte tablets were far and away my favorite - kind of like an Alka-Seltzer for your water bottle.  Just drop a flavored tablet into a cold bottle of water, let it fizz up and dissolve, and there you go - sodium and potassium all mixed up in a tasty way, at only 10 calories per tablet!  So far I've tried the Peach Tea and Lemon-Lime flavors and have liked them quite a bit.  The regular, 140 calorie Brew, that you mix up into a larger amount of water?  And has the same amount of sodium and potassium as the fizzing tablets?  I don't like it all that much.  It's pretty mild in the flavor department, and I guess for 140 calories, I expect more bang for my caloric buck.  I'm sure the overall lightness of the drink would be great about 6 or 7 miles in on a long, hot run - nothing to weigh you down.  But I'd probably opt for the (much) lower calorie tablets. 

I was also given an orange/pineapple flavored packet of the GU Recovery Brew, which is their protein drink.  I have to be honest here - both Jeff and I did not like it.  Not one bit.  I thought it was bitter; Jeff just said it was awful and he refused to drink more than a couple of sips - and Jeff is my human garbage disposal, if that tells you anything about how much he didn't like this product.   

The other product in GU's line is their Chomps - kind of like their gels, only in a chewable form about the size of a gumdrop.  And yes, it's another form of sanctioned candy, which of course I love!  I've liked all the flavors so far - my favorite being the slightly tart Cranberry Apple.  Only thing about these is that they are a little sticky, so your fingers end up sticky - just a heads up on that.

And now for the fun part - the giveaway!  For your chance to win a mix of GU flavors and products, just leave me a comment saying what flavor GU gel you like, or would like to try - go HERE and HERE to see all the flavors...if anybody picks the "Just Plain" flavor you have to explain it in the comments, because I do not understand WHY you would choose that over Chocolate Outrage.  Just sayin. ;)

This giveaway is open to both U.S. and Canada - woohoo, eh?!  Winner will be chosen by and announced next Tuesday.

FTC disclosure:  I received a bunch of GU products to try.  Opinions expressed are mine, all mine.  Giveaway will be fulfilled by Outside PR.