Thursday, January 28, 2016

Providence Marathon Training Update #1

As I announced in my Winter/Spring 2016 Race Preview post last week, I'm training for my fourth marathon, the Cox Providence Marathon, which will be on May 1st. I wanted to do some periodic training updates for you all to share my experience of juggling marathon training with all of my other commitments and document what it's really like!

Marathon training is off to a slow start this time around. I've found that I get very bored with the repetitiveness of my training program at the very beginning, and I'm now enjoying my long runs a little bit more. (I mean, I've only gotten up to 7mi so far so it's not that far quite yet, but still.) I've been having a lot of knee pain lately, so I'm often resigning myself to the elliptical which isn't the best option for training, but it's better than the treadmill that tends to put me through a lot of pain. 

Of course, I still definitely prefer getting outside than heading to the gym to get my miles in, but it's usually dark before I leave work and I'm the actual worst at waking up in the morning, so during the week I'm confined to indoor running. We do have an indoor track that I like to utilize when it's free and my run is short (a shortened indoor track means 3mi = 24 laps.... yikes), so at least I can put that in the plus column! I'm trying to stay outside for my #SundayRunday long runs if I can help it.

Overall, I think I'm off to a positive start. Runs will progressively get tougher, of course. This weekend I have 9 miles on the schedule which I haven't run in *forever* (not since Colt State in November, I'm pretty sure) so we shall see how it goes. Regardless, I just got a running wardrobe update (thanks to Brett!) consisting of the most awesome leggings you will probably ever see. If that's not motivation enough to wear them around to show them off, I don't know what is!

Bear Leggings | Yoda Yoga Leggings (no longer available) | Space Leggings | Light Saber Leggings (no longer available)

Looking forward to continuing my marathon training journey for the fourth time.
It's going to be a great experience and I'm hoping it's my best marathon yet!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Etsy Wishlist {January 2016}

Though I don't have a ton of disposable income (insert obligatory complaint about student loans here), I have developed quite the addiction to perusing Etsy over the past few months and obsessing over all of the cuteness that is that website. If you start going through the site and favoriting items and shops, the site draws you in by recommending similar items and shops, which you then in turn favorite more items and shops, then it recommends EVEN MORE items and shops... it's just a vicious circle. An adorable, handmade, vicious circle. Ooof. Here are the items that I'm eyeing lately (and if I'm honest with myself will likely be purchasing in the near future #noselfcontrol #whatretirementfund).

I've fallen back into a bit of a FauxDori/traveller's notebook obsession and I blame all the fabric FauxDori creators on Etsy. I'm particularly fond of the shop MelonJournal - they have so many designs for covers, and they will customize the hell out of your notebook! You can add pockets, pen loops, charms, etc. I'm really tempted to buy one for the traveling I'll be doing in the coming weeks! (As if I need MORE journals and notebooks....)

I first saw these on FiloAlly's Instagram and instantly fell in love! Shopsomebunnyy makes these hilariously awesome cutouts of characters from The Office as well as a few of my other favorite shows like Parks & Recreation and New Girl (which unfortunately are all sold out at the moment... D:). I love that every single one has a bow on it to make it "kawaii" - a little playful poke at the kawaii stationary trend! These are so silly and awesome and I want them all.

Speaking of FauxDoris, LyraandCo makes the CUTEST inserts! A step away from the plain-Jane covers, this shop offers inserts with all sorts of cute patterns on them. I'm particularly fond of the fox insert (shown above) and the citrus fruit inserts that are in the shop, but there are just so many to choose from. I have a feeling that I will be spending lots of my play money on this shop. So, so cute!

When I put in a sticker order from LemonPaperCo. on Black Friday, a sample pack of these adorable planner stickers was thrown in with my order and I LOVE THEM! I totally need to purchase more as the sheet is almost gone, but they are so adorable and the perfect way for me to note when it's time to sit down with my planner and plan out the week. These also come in a daisy design which I am, of course, in love with as well.

Kind of straying away from the stationary theme... How cute is this little plush?! This came across as a recommended item for me and Etsy was *dead on* - I love this little guy! He's so cute and would make a great addition to my desk at work or my bookshelf at home. I'm always looking for cute and interesting new items to spruce up my environment and this is something that I feel would always make me smile. :) Those gap teeth and the ice cream? Come on. Way too adorable.

Do you use Etsy? What's your favorite online shop?
Let me know in the comments!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter/Spring 2016 Race Preview

I'm not sure what's worse - winter running or summer running. This winter I will be training for a Spring Marathon for the first time which means many, many cold runs are in my future. Cold weather is definitely not my fave, but at least it's easier to breathe! I'll be running a few races leading up to the big day in May, so I thought I'd share them with you all!

It was really difficult for me to find a race that falls on the weekend I need to be running a half marathon for training, so I opted to go virtual. This is a virtual race hosted by Will Run for Bling and Charity and it goes to benefit the American Humane Association - a charity that works toward the protection of children, pets, and farm animals from abuse and neglect - something I can of course get 100% behind. I'll be going for the Half Marathon option on this race (you can also opt to run a 5K or 10K if halves aren't your cup of tea) and am planning to run it on February 21st (which just so happens to fall during the time I'm planning on being in Southern Florida - wahoo!!!). I'm excited to see what running a virtual half will be like!

Organized by the same company that puts on the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and the Colt State Park Half Marathon, the Moose on the Loose Half Marathon & 4K is something I'm hoping to participate in in April! This race is pretty close to my marathon date, so I'm not sure if I'll go for the Half Marathon or if I should play it safe and stick to the 4K (maybe find a partner and run the relay?) but regardless, this race was close to my parents and I thought it would be a fun way to spend the day together!

And here's the biggun'. I will be running marathon #4 in state #4 on May 1st - the Providence Marathon in Providence, RI. I will be turning 26 a few days after the race, so what better way to celebrate my 26th year of life than to run 26 miles? >_> I'm pretty sure my good running buddy Louie will be joining me for the fun as well! I will be giving periodic updates on how my marathon training is going right here on FivEleveNinety, so stay tuned for that! I'm looking forward to another marathon experience and to run in a city I've never run in before! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mixtape of the Moment #3

I recently got back into listening to Spotify (I feel so weird and out of touch saying that - everyone uses Spotify). I was really into using this platform for my music in college, but when I moved to Dean in 2012 the wifi blocked Spotify for some reason, so I started to rely on creating YouTube playlists in order to collect the music I was really into at any given moment and kind of forgot about it. Now that I'm on my own wifi & work wifi, I'm remembering how amazing this platform is and I'm re-obsessed! :)

I'm a big fan of making seasonal playlists so when I want to look back and see what music I was into at a certain point in time, it's all collected right there! For today's Mixtape, I'm going to share my Winter 2015-2016 playlist that I've created on Spotify. I'm sure I'm going to add to it as Winter moves forward, but as I add to it, it will update! Right now I'm getting right back into some EDM and Electro-funk. The sounds on these songs are so interesting to me and I need to listen to them several times a day! And of course, I have the token New Found Glory song on there found on their deluxe edition of Resurrection. They're just. so. GOOD.

Give it a listen, and let me know what music you're currently into in the comments! <3

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Links {#18}

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a great week so far. I'm surprised it's already Thursday. I thought I'd start each "favorite links" post with a bit of a brief life update so you're note totally out of the loop. These posts go up usually once a month, so I think that's a good amount of updates for you all (my life doesn't change all that much month to month, so why not?) For weekly life updates, make sure you're subscribed to my channel. I'll be posting weekly vlogs every Monday! Also make sure you're following both of my Instagrams for daily personal and planner updates! /endshamelessplugging

Orientation has started at MHC and all students will be back next week - where did winter break go?! But I've been having fun this week so far - I was able to see my friend Brittany at her place in Boston and we decorated our planners (because we're huge nerds), I'm still on board the Winter Warrior challenge (even when I have to walk outside in the rain after dark), and spending time with the colleagues in my office always makes going into the office in the morning so much easier. My goal of being more positive in 2016 has been going very well so far, but my goal of getting my butt out of bed in the morning is still a bit of a struggle. Oh well, we're only two weeks into the year so we can't judge too much!

Anywho, I hope you all enjoy the links I'm sharing with you all today. It's a real hodge-podge of things so you can definitely see where my brain is at latetly.... f-ing everywhere. I thought you were supposed to start New Years with a clear mind?! It's definitely been opposite for me. Oh well. Enjoy!

The Queen of OMG Cakes

This Buzzfeed post pulls together some of the coolest posts from Katherine Sabbath's Instagram account. Sabbath is a baker and cake decorated who owns an Australian cake shop called OMG Cakes and it's so colorful and adorable and you really just want to eat everything that she posts. I don't know how anyone can resist giving her account a follow once they see these images! If you like fun, colorful baked goods, I highly recommend checking this awesome link out!

As I was perusing the internet for some fun New Year desktops to adorn my work computer with, I found that each image preview I was drawn to linked me back to this awesome blog, DesignLoveFest. This blog is a cool collection of awesome fashion, quirky design, and downloadable freebies, and the author (Bri Emery) posts multiple times a day for some serious inspiration. I love seeing her posts pop up on my Feedly to see what she's into on that particular day, and to see what downloadables she's created for her readership.

There's Another Steven Avery Special on the Way

If you been anywhere on the internet over the last several weeks, you've probably heard of Making a Murderer. Brett and I watched it within 2 days and I'm pretty sure I looked like the eyes emoji the entire time. (Actually this video is a pretty accurate representation of all of our reactions throughout the series.) Now that the series has skyrocketed in popularity, there's been a ton of speculation about what evidence had been omitted from the series and if the series concentrated too much on the defense and Avery's innocence. Now there will be a new special released that will hopefully give the audience an idea of what might have been missing from the series. I'm excited for this becuase I've been Googling NON-STOP about this series ever since I finished it!

Philips Wake-Up Light

My friend Jeff showed this to me - it's an alarm clock that simulates a sunrise! He said it helps him wake up easier in the morning (he's a teacher so he has to get up early AF) and you all know that this year, I'm all about trying to wake up easier! This is such a cool product because it not only beeps at you but makes your room lighter when it's time to wake up, making it harder to sleep. I'm all about it. These are a little pricey, but I'm definitely considering investing in one of these if it means it will be easier for me to wake up in the morning.

Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Conan Help a Student Driver

Lastly but certainly not least is this video. Brett shared this with me on my wall and it. is. hilarious. I love when Conan does these web-clip type bits on his show, and this one is so great. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube get in on the fun as well which is always a wonderfully hilarious addition to his web-clips. I was laughing through this entire video and I'm sure you will too. Give it a shot if you need a pick me up!

What are your favorite links of the moment?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Planner Update 2016!

It's the most wonderful time of the year - PLANNER UPDATE SEASON! :D This is the time of year when YouTube and the blogosphere are renewed with planner walkthroughs and set-up explanations and I am in love. Of course, it also means that it's time to update you all on how I've been using my planner! I haven't sat down and given you a true update since July, so that time has come!

This year I'm using three planners - not something that I would have ever thought of myself as doing, but it's happening. I have my master planner with everything in it, a planner specifically for staying on top of my blog, YouTube, Etsy shop, and other social media, and a traveler's notebook specifically for work. Right now I'm really enjoying this system, but to be fair I've only been using it for a short time so I'm not entirely sure if it will stick. I'm going to do my best to give you a run through of each planner, but to see everything *in action* make sure that you check out the coordinating video at the end of this post!

Work Planner
FoxyDori Wanderlust (Regular Extra Room in Espresso with a Mint Band)

Traveler's notebooks have been fascinating to me since the first time I discovered them on YouTube. I tried my hand at making one on my own and I loved it, but when I used it as a supplement to my regular planner (I moved a budget and fitness section out of my planner and it just ended up splitting my attention which I wasn't a fan of), it just didn't work out. I did still really like the idea of traveler's notebooks, though, so I thought that perhaps using it as a *notebook* instead of a planner, I would be able to stick to it a bit more! So, for my work notebook this year, I decided to snag a FoxyDori from the Foxy Fix because they are gorgeous. I ordered this on December 26th, it shipped on December 31st, and it was in my hands on January 4th - not too shabby!

I ordered my FoxyDori in Espresso with a mint band. This color combo always reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream which is one of my faves, so I definitely enjoy the color scheme. I also really like the way traveler's notebooks look when they're stitched around the perimeter, so I had them add some white stitching to my cover as well.

Right now I have 4 inserts in my FoxyDori, but I'm only using 2 of them at the moment. I'm sure I'll think of a way I can utilize the other two soon, but I'm still getting used to it! Right now I have a monthly calendar insert from YellowPaperHouse, two lined inserts (one with a blue cover and on with a purple cover) from Growing Up Goddess, and one multicolored grid insert from YellowPaperHouse.

My first insert is the monthly calendar insert from YellowPaperHouse. I'm using this insert specifically to write in when student events are. For whatever reason, my brain works best in monthly and daily views, so when I'm thinking of the big picture of the semester, the monthly view is what makes the most sense to me. I don't color code in this planner too much as it all pertains to my job. The only thing that is coded is that if the event is fully registered it will stay in ink, and if it's not it will stay in pencil. I've also written times I will be away from the office in a purple Flair pen (purple is my fave color!), so I'll know when something needs to be covered when I'm away.

The second insert is the lined insert with a blue cover from Growing Up Goddess. I'm using this for meeting notes, and I'm attempting to use a bullet journaling system for this in order to keep my notebook more organized. I want to take my time with my notes (which can be hard because I consider myself to be a slower writer when writing by hand), but it's worth it if I can find the information I need quickly and am able to understand what I'm writing down!

The last two inserts are currently blank and I'm note entirely sure what to do with them quite yet. I'm considering making one a "brain dump" (likely the purple lined insert) because my brain likes to often remind me of things mid-meeting that have nothing to do with what we're talking about, so having a place that doesn't have any rhyme or reason to just write down my thoughts as they come to me will be helpful. I'm not sure what the last insert will be but I'm sure that I'll think of something!

Social Media Planner
Kate Spade Wellesley (Black)

I was able to get my hands on a Wellesley this fall and I am in LOVE! I'm not really a personal-sized planner girl, but I wanted to use my Wellesley for something because it's just not a planner you can keep on the shelf. It's dying to be used! I thought that because I would like to grow my followership on both my YouTube channel and my blog, it would be a perfect social media management planner to keep me on track with my posting. It's been working really well to help me brainstorm and visualize the things I want to record and write about on a schedule that makes sense with my work and life schedule as well. It's the perfect size for this purpose, and it looks so sleek and professional. It basically screams "GOAL DIGGER" all over it! :)

Deer, Panda, & Fox Clips | Donut Dashboard | Felt Cupcake Clip | Believe Tag | Green Cupcake Clip from a planner swap | Page flags & pen from Target One Spot | Animal page flags from eBay | Rainbow page flags & Dog clip from Staples

Though I only use this about once or twice a week to make sure I'm on track with my posting schedule, I still wanted to make it cute with plenty of motivational quotes that encourage me to keep at my goals and make it fun to look at. You need to want to look at your planner in order to keep you coming back, so any way you can make that happen is a bonus! I, of course, decked it out with cute paperclips, page flags, and dashboards to make me happy every time I open it up!

The first section has a "this agenda belongs to" page (with my contact info in case it ever goes missing), a year at a glance calendar, my color code (of course!), my posting schedule (which goes into a bit more detail than the one I shared with you all last week, and a few pages designated to jot down video and blog post ideas. Just your basic "how to use this planner" pages that we all like to create for ourselves!

We then move into the calendar sections. Again, my brain works ideally in monthly and daily view, so I really like to plan my ideas out on the monthly view to make sure the schedule makes sense to me. I then move into the weekly spread to add in when I need to record, when I need to edit, etc. I definitely spend more time looking at the monthly spread, but it's helpful to have the weekly spread as well to get an idea of when things need to be accomplished in order to ensure things go up on time.

Boss B*tch Dashboard | Clothespin Clip from Michaels

I don't really use much else of this planner, but it is very nice to have a separate space to really plan out my posting plans. It doesn't muddle up my master planner and I feel much more on top of everything. My only complaint is that it currently does not lay flat. I'm not sure if that will change over time as the leather wears out, but I'm hoping that it well. Any tips on how to get a Wellesley to lay flat would be much appreciated!

Master Planner
Kikki.K Perforated Personal Planner (Large in Mint)

Last but certainly not least is my master planner - my Kikki.K! This was my Christmas present for myself as my Saffiano was starting to look a little rough, and I knew I wanted to try out a Kikki.K for quite some time. I was leaning towards buying the Ice Blue, but then they re-released their popular Mint color (one of my favorites), this time with a perforated spine! I knew I had to snap it up before it was discontinued again. This is my daily planner that holds, essentially, my entire life in it. From work, to blogging, to fitness, to personal life, it has all of the details I need in order to stay on top of everything.

My dashboard is my favorite - this is a dashboard that I purchased from HelloPaperCat and it's the great Tina Belcher from Bob's Burgers, one of my favorite shows. It makes me smile every time I look at it, so I knew I had to put it front and center of my master planner. I also have a few other cuties lining my inside pocket - the dog clip is from Staples (I got a pack of these amazing clips in the fall and have basically been putting them on everything), the dino and the donut are from HoweCute4You on Etsy, and the Dunk's cup is from LittleMissDaisyRose on Etsy! The purple note is a note Brett wrote for me on my graduation day this past May (<3) and I also have a glittery gift tag tucked into the same pocket for an extra sparkle. I really wish that there were more pockets on this planner, but that's only a minor complaint. I've kept the two notepads that come with the planner at the top of the secretarial pocket for now, but I may change them out in the future.

In the first section after the dashboard you'll find my color code, personal information page, and a top loading pocket that came with my Saffiano. In the top loading pocket I keep the stickers I use on a regular basis (like grocery, weight lifting, and running stickers), some moveable page flags from Staples which I love, and some Forever stamps.

Next up is the main event - my calendar section! This last year I was mainly using the Filofax weekly spread that has hourly slots for appointments, but there was no real space for me to write what my day truly looked like and couldn't write down as many details as I wanted to about each day. So I switched back to the system I know works best for me - monthly spreads and day on a page!

...I forgot to take a photo of the monthly spread (#dummy) so make sure you check out the coordinating video at the end of this post to take a peak!

 (P.S. I'm not severely dehydrated, just bad at writing it down when I drink water!)

I love these day on a page inserts. I couldn't really find inserts to purchase that had everything I would want available to me when I am planning my day, so I actually made these on Word and included the sections that I felt like I needed! I have a section with half hour appointment slots from 8AM to 7PM and an "early morning" and "late night" slot for the occasional off-hour events, a note section for random thoughts, a section for to-dos that includes a "top priorities" and "personal section" as well as a "hydrate" section to track water! These inserts have been so helpful and really suit the way I need my day planned!

This next section is mostly personal pages - account numbers, passwords, contacts, online orders, etc. This is mainly information that I want to keep with me that I need to reference on a semi-regular basis. I've also created a alphabetical reference system with my Staples page flags. I don't use the entire alphabet, so I keep the page flags of the unused letters attached behind the divider so they're ready to use whenever I create a new section!

After my personal section comes the finance section. I don't use a finance section all that often but every now and then I'll want to sit down and plan out my budget. I designated a section filled with notepaper for whenever I get the itch to budget. We'll see how often this section gets used over the next few months!

Then the last section is my notes section. Again, this usually doesn't get used too often in my planner, but every now and then I find myself without a notebook near by and need to jot something down , so havig a section full of blank note paper is always super helpful!

And that pretty much does it for my planner set up in 2016! I'll be doing an update at some point mid-year to report how well things are going with this system,but I'm excited to be using this to keep everything in my life organized!

Make sure you check out my coordinating video below for a flip through of each planner!