This guide was commissioned for a company that is still in the works. I’m not posting the whole thing here but just my favorite parts for those who might need some ideas in creating their own branding guidelines. There are some lovely guidelines out there but it does take some good google-sleuthing to find them!
I created this motivational quote because I love the quote. It’s true! Running has taught me so much about life. It’s a great quote from Mark Lauren’s 2012 book entitled “Body by You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide to Total Women’s Fitness”.
One of my resolutions for 2015: spend more time knitting. In several years (years!) of knitting, I have never knitted myself anything but washcloths. Well, that ended Christmas Day 2014. I was able to quickly knit up this gorgeous slate-putty-charcoal-colored squishy 100% baby alpaca yarn (Baby Alpaca Grande from Plymouth Yarn, color 2878) into a super soft and stretchy beanie for me to wear on runs, walks or around the house. I’m cold. I’ve absolutely been wearing this around the house!
I’m so excited about this beanie and having finally knitted something for myself that I am even posting pictures without makeup and after a run. Yep. Au naturel. It’s SUCH a cute hat. And super-soft. I highly recommend this yarn and can’t wait to work up my other 5 skeins into a scarf, mittens, earband, headband, and perhaps even a hat to give away.
If you’re interested in knitting, too, head on over to Ravelry and we can connect! I’m addicted and you should be, too.
So a few months ago, I started writing articles and designing daily inspirational quotes for runhaven.com. I also helped with their style guide. It’s a new site from a new social media company out of Australia called MOKO Social Media. I think they’re going to go places, so be sure to check the site out and I hope you feel, well, inspired!
So excited to announce a new venture with RunHaven as a writer AND designer for their site. Here’s my first graphic that I did for them. I’m only showing 2 of 4 formats here but you get the idea (one for each specific social media size). Be sure to pop over to their site and check it out!!! Background image: halfpoint/Bigstock.
I remember a couple of these signs from Brooks’ running ad campaign around 2008/2009 — when I was in Omaha and hitting the gym regularly and running on the treadmill. I love to run outdoors, too, but I don’t mind 9 miles on the treadmill at all, either. It goes so fast with an mp3 player or a tv (if you want that!). While I prefer the right kind of tunes and no television, I enjoy the treadmill because you can pace yourself. Intervals is my idea of a good time!!! I love sprints on the treadmill. Crazy, I know. But I do enjoy the perspective of running outside — and there are days in the spring and fall when I would not trade outdoors for anything. This morning was a perfect example of one of those days!! Hooray for running! Hooray for design! Any mix of the two gets an A+ in my book.
It’s almost better than reading books and much more instantly gratifying: Pinterest. I love this site. It’s the new method of flipping through magazines for ideas and putting them all in one place: quotes, decor, motivation, design ideas, garden ideas, etc. Now if I could only get OFF pinterest and start working on my own abode…I’m still planning, okay?! This is everything I love all mixed in one.
Having 4 boys, I’ve been through a few strollers. My friend, Kathleen, is on the lookout for a double stroller and asked my advice (isn’t she sweet?). Anyway, her provoking question led me to reminisce about my favorite strollers and reconsider what I might do if I needed to do it all over again.
I can tell you that my favorite stroller HANDS DOWN is the one we bought 13 years ago when Cole was born – it was a single jogging stroller made by Kool-Stop called the Kool-Stride. It was purple and on clearance for $399 (I know, I know – it didn’t feel like clearance to me, either). This company has replaced the sun shield, the wheels when they got a new easier-to-install feature and the basket for us, as well as two soft grip tubings for the handlebars. It has held up extremely well and it is still my stroller of choice (and still looks great to boot!). I have loaned this stroller out while I needed a double and even now, I still regularly use this stroller to walk, jog, run or even go to the zoo with Ben. If you visit their website, here, they also have strollers for seniors/handicapped and started as a cycling company. They’ve been doing strollers, though, since at least 1996!
My second favorite stroller was my Kelty Deuce Coupe. I used this stroller for Gabe & Jack when they were both small and I needed a double. I remember the day I bought this clearly – blizzard conditions and I spun out over the median near Oakview Mall in order to get it but it was worth it (nobody was hurt!). Zany Brainy was going out of business plus I had a coupon and I got this stroller for somewhere in the mid $200s. When we were done with the double jogging beast, I sold it on ebay for a small profit (low $300s). It was wonderful – great colors, the elasticized net pockets held a ton, easy buckles, great for a tall person, and I did learn how to squeeze it through doors – with my kids still riding in it. I didn’t ever like stadium type double strollers (can you just imagine the hair pulling, candy sticking incidents?). I prefer side-by-sides. We loved this stroller and there have been a few times I’ve wanted it back. Kelty does make a very similar one now and it sells for around $400.
My current garage holds two strollers: 1) the original Kool-Stride and 2) a Peg Perego Venezia that I bought for Ben. It was also expensive (low $200s) but it had a pram option for a newborn and I keep this in the car for places where I know my jogging stroller won’t fit. It has worked well and held up, too, though little things have gone wrong like the logo sticker coming off, snaps no longer snap, and I can never figure out the straps. I do love how you can switch the handlebar to face toward or away from you so the baby can look at you or forward. I also love the swivel wheels but sometimes it’s hard to steer and I don’t like to lock them. We took this out on the ice at Chalco a few weeks back and had to ditch it roadside – it’s pretty much a city stroller. I wished I’d had my Kool-Stride with me then! I would consider Peg Perego for a double but only if I never, ever had to go over a curb or dirt.
Some strollers I’ve had and did not like: Graco, Evenflo. They fell apart quickly and wheels were not sturdy at all. I had liked the infant seat combo convenience but it’s really only necessary for such a short while. I never have liked the Duo Gliders – so many friends say they’ve fallen apart. I think you do get what you pay for! If I had to do it over again, I would like to try Phil & Teds. Maybe a Bugaboo – but I don’t see any of those in double. Maclaren is supposed to make great double models. I would buy another Kool-Stride in a heartbeat – although I did try a double of this stroller that I bought on Ebay and, although it worked, it was mammoth and hard to maneuver. The front swivel wheel on some of the new strollers intrigues me but I don’t think I’d like one for actually jogging (knowing how much I hate the swivel on my Peg Perego). I would buy the Kelty again and would consider a single jogger, too from them – if I still didn’t have mine from thirteen years ago!
p.s. Here’s a link to Cookie Mag’s top strollers – see what they have to say!
I’m having a slow morning. Can’t think of anything to write or recommend — in fact, I’m kind of on an anti-shopping kick right now. I read a quote yesterday something about ‘everything I have is all I need’ and I couldn’t help but agree. Since I don’t have any good shopping to recommend, I figured I’d share with you a line from a funny article from one of my favorite writers, Pam Houston (you know, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness and Sight Hound, to name just two books), from this month’s Women’s Adventure magazine. There were a couple of passages so funny that I had to read them out loud to my husband (apparently men can also enjoy women’s adventures, well, at least I think he did!). One of my favorite lines from the article is, “What treatment naturally follows an exorcism in a health-and-wellness plan?” You simply must read Pam Houston’s past articles here. I don’t think the current one is available but probably will be after the next issue is published. I think I would really like her sidekick, Cindy. If you’re interested in the mag, you can subscribe here. Don’t forget to check out the giveaways here, too!
Last week I woke up mad. Mad at my own lungs. They aren’t working right and it is very frustrating to dream that you can’t breathe and wake up gasping for air. I never had to use inhalers until my last pregnancy. Since then, I use them intermittently, for exercise, or when my lungs are tight. Well, it seems like every September and October (for 2 years running, anyway – literally) I become heavily dependent on two different inhalers. The step back in my running is not a pretty one. I hate taking medications. I get even more frustrated because it becomes highly difficult for me to run even a half an hour at a very easy pace where I’m used to running an hour and pushing my time or doing intervals to increase my speed. I have this terrible paranoioa that it might never get better. It is so tiring to even walk across the room when you can’t breathe. My stupid lungs. I was feeling this way and even cried a bit until I realized…hey, wait! Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago I said I would be grateful if I could even run a mile? And another thing — 37 years ago, way back in 1971, I was born premature, at 26 weeks (very early for 1971!), weighing 1 lb 15 oz, with hyaline membrane disease and my lungs were good to me then. They pulled me through against all the odds and I know they can do it again. I have good lungs. They have been good to me when so much could have gone wrong. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself as I know there are millions of people with lung cancer or lung issues much worse than mine. These ARE good lungs and I am thankful for them. Maybe another set – or even a normal set – wouldn’t have pulled me through. These lungs have allowed me to do many great things. I’ll go and be thankful now – one breath at a time.
Update yesterday: I went for a good hour long run this morning and had to use my inhaler beforehand but was happy with the results. I’m not feeling so anxious about it. I read up on some interesting asthma theories, including the Buteyko method for controlling asthma. There are so many valid medical studies on this – it’s incredible! If you haven’t checked it out, go here for free information. The rate at which this can reduce medication is incredible – I have tried it and it helps almost instantly (it worked especially well during the night) but I still need my inhaler to run. What I find most fascinating is the theory behind why it works. Interesting!
Hooray! Two new magazines being published and I like the looks of both of them. Let’s hope the STITCH magazine from Quilting Arts can stay fresh (the other magazines looked a bit old fashioned to me but this Stitch one has potential – I’m definitely going to check it out!). 10% discount on this subscription if you order soon.
Another new magazine: Women’s Running. Can’t wait to check this one out, too! I just love to flip through magazines – snippets of info you can keep one in the car without getting the least bit upset when it’s crumpled and smashed by kids and/or dogs. FREE (actually cute) t-shirt when you subscribe.
What a great idea! I had another post prepared for today but ran across this news item this morning and thought it was worth sharing. Time to clean out closets and gather up shoes – now that I know what to do with them! I know my kids, especially, grow out of shoes quickly. This is even better than donating those old shoes to Goodwill. Of course the rattiest ones should go in the trash but those that have just lost their cushioning for high impact running (as mine do) would be great to donate (since they’re still in great shape for everyday wear). The article here gives many other resources, too, such as shoe recycling by Nike. Check it out!
…is not coming to my home anytime this year. This afternoon, Don came back from a business trip to Houston. He hasn’t traveled for work in about 7 years so I was completely unused to the 24/7 single mommy routine. I went to Target for milk with all 4 boys the other night (quite late which I try to never do with kids) and came home with probably $100 worth of items – most of which was chocolate. When will I ever learn that doesn’t solve anything? Surprisingly enough there was no chocolate left anywhere in the house today – I was sure to share with my four chocoholics. Who invented Cocovia chocolate? I’d like to go back in time and erase that invention. I think it’s the Dove chocolate people – way too creamy. Plus Chocolove candy bars. Why did there have to be a clearance sign over by the chocolate candy??? Also, cereal was eaten for many meals. Hardly any vegetables in sight. All the rules were broken. Good thing he only travels once every 7 years or so or we’d be in serious health trouble. We’re going to have veggies with every meal from now on just to make up for it. In my defense, at least $20 was actually for milk and another $20 went to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith DVD so there couldn’t have been more than $60 in chocolate! Oh, my, that sounds even worse…I’d better give up now. How much running will it take to burn off this week? I don’t even want to know although I probably need the stress relief. I think a good, long run is in order for the morning. Perhaps I really should buy those socks that have “Run. Chocolate. Repeat.” embroidered on them. They sound right up my alley…