Work Out Wednesday – 1/16/19

Happy Wednesday! I am linking up with The Blended Blog for their style prompts and today is workout wear. I am pretty excited to share mine, not because it is anything fancy but because I have a few items to share.

Even though I love my workout gear, I love the people I workout with more.

Running and taking classes with my friends makes the working out so much more fun. Sometimes I need to pound the pavement alone, but usually I prefer a buddy – girlfriends or my boys.

On to the workout gear…

On top, I can usually be found wearing a Fellow Flowers tank top or shirt. I love my FF tops.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mel from Fellow Flowers at Zooma Florida. She prints the Fellow Flowers shirts and most of the Zooma shirts too I think. Mel picks great shirts! They are soft and fit just right!

On the bottom, I have 2 options. If it is hot, I am wearing a Skirt Sports running skirt. I wear the Gym Girl Ultra skirt the most. I have a few Hover skirts, a Vixen, a Jaguar, a Jette, and a Lotta Breeze skirt. I love the compression shorts. They never ride up or fall down, never ever! And they have great colors and super cute prints!!

If it is cooler, I am wearing 7/8 leggings. I just discovered 7/8 leggings this fall and I am over the moon for them. I have short legs so most full length leggings are too long for me and capris hit me in a weird spot. These 7/8 leggings are the perfect solution! I have tried the leggings from Target and Under Armour. I love them for running, taking classes, and running around town.

I love the high waisted Target C9 version.

I’m hoping to get my hands on some Gap or Athleta or Lululemon 7/8 leggings sometime soon.

These are my most favorite socks – Feetures! I have a pretty high arch and these socks hug my arch perfectly. They cushion my feet and keep them feeling good on all my runs!

I am heading out for Run Streak Day 746 tomorrow in some version of all those tops and leggings! I hope you get out there and join me!

Have a super Wednesday full of sunshine and books!

I am also linking up with Lindsay and the Welcome Wednesday girls.

Tuesday Talk / TBB Asks – 1/15/19

Happy Tuesday!! I am linking up with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk, a chance to talk about anything and everything.

I am also linking up with The Blended Blog to share my favorite local or small businesses / boss babes. I love shopping small or local businesses. My dad is a small business owner, my grandfather was a small business owner, and Jeff’s dad was a small business owner so we really appreciate small businesses. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t love Amazon, Nordstrom, and Zappos, but I really do try to support my local businesses whenever possible.

Most of the small businesses I love are located on our town’s Main Street. Sykesville Main Street is a great place to shop and hang out. The businesses work together to bring a bunch of fun events to Main Street.

My most visited local business is A Likely Story Bookstore. Debbie, the owner, and her team are doing amazing things for our community of readers! They bring a bunch of authors to our county and the schools! I was just there on Friday night to see Sarah Pekkanan and Greer Hendricks for the second time. They said our bookstore was so incredible that it was the only stop on their tour that they were revisiting. Now that is saying something! Debbie has book publishers come to talk about new books, holds nights for educators, hosts 3 book clubs a month, gives schools, teachers, and students discounts on books, hosts story times, and partners with our local library! She is pretty much a book superhero!! (The picture is from Elin’s instagram. She loves my little bookstore too!!)

My second most visited local business is Headmasters. This salon for men is the only place I will take my boys for a haircut. We absolutely love Ms. Gisselle, the owner. She has such great rapport with Jack and Luke. They love going to get a haircut! Giselle remembers what the boys like, does a great job cutting their hair and helping them find a style that we all can agree on, and is so kind to everyone. Headmasters is designed for men only and the boys feel like manly men when they are there. It is so cute!!

Another shop on Main Street is A La Mode Boutique. I love this place and cannot walk out of there without picking up something! I love the Simply Southern long sleeve T-shirt’s. I especially love to size up one size so I can wear them with leggings (hello weekend uniform!). They also have fun, inexpensive earrings and necklaces. I picked up a little P necklace and a big S necklace in the past few months. Last summer they had a design your own stainless steel tumbler and I love mine! They also carry some Lilly Pulitzer accessories, my favorite!!

Revive & Company is another small business on Main Street. They are my go to spot for housewarming gifts. They sell my favorite tea towels around. Twisted tea towels are so funny! They are all really funny, but some of them aren’t so appropriate for my kids to read so I limit myself to towels like these. I also found a great apron for my mom at Thanksgiving in there too! Revive & Company also sells PiperLou stainless steel stemless wine glasses that say “Real Housewives of Eldersburg” and “Real Housewives of Sykesville”. I just love all the cute household items I can find there!

Tri-Sport Junction is a running, biking, swimming store on Main Street that I also love. It is another small business and is my go to for race prep. They always have a variety of Sport Beans, gels, Gu, and other energy items to use on long runs. They carry Skirt Sports, my most favorite running skirts, and lots of swim accessories. It’s so nice to have a store with friendly people who can give good advice for this runner!!

That’s not all our Main Street has to offer! They have First Friday events every month. We enjoyed a First Friday this summer after an afternoon at a winery. There was live music, yummy food and drink vendors, and lots of fun!!

We went to the Cider Stroll this fall and it was packed! I love to see all the shoppers in our Main Street small businesses! I am really looking forward to the Cocoa Crawl next month!

I have some other small business gals that I frequent.

My friend Jamie started a Stella & Dot business. I love to support my friends, especially when it means I get to add to my jewelry collection at the same time! I am so proud of how Jamie has grown her business this year!! The new spring line is out and there are some great pieces! There may already be one heading my way šŸ˜Š. Head on over to her Stella & Dot website if you want to find a few treasures for yourself!

My friend Allyson has a screen printing and embroidery business, Seal Stitchery. She does great work!! I’ve gotten a few monogrammed hats from Allyson for myself and as gifts. I have a great bag that I’m using to hold my knitting but I’m thinking I’d like to switch it out so I can take it more places. I just love it! Allyson also made the uniforms for Luke’s indoor soccer team and the tank tops for our half marathon last April.

My friend Kelly has a Magnolia & Vine business and I love her jewelry too! Check out her website here. The piece I wear the most is the badge holder. I love that I can change out the snap so my badge matches whatever I am wearing that day. I also got a long chain with a snap pendant that is perfect for just about every outfit!

These are my favorite small businesses to support!! What small businesses do you love?

Have a great Tuesday full of sunshine and books!

Hello Monday – 1/13/19

Hello! Happy Monday! Writing this on Sunday night, we already have a 2 hour delay with re-evaluation this morning for the 5+ inches of snow we got on Sunday. I’ll be happy with a 2 hour delay or a snow day. I am linking up with Heather and the Hello Monday girls to share our weekend fun!

On Friday, I had the chance to go into Jack’s PE class. They were playing with an Omni-ball. There was a lot of teamwork, fun, competition, and muscles working during the game.

After the boys had swim team practice on Friday, we hurried home because my parents were coming over. My mom and I were meeting my friend Kourtni at our local bookstore, A Likely Story, to see Sarah Pekkanan and Greer Hendricks. They are on tour for their second book, An Anonymous Girl. It is a psychological thriller and it was good! If you haven’t read The Wife Between Us, their first book, go read it now. Get that book and read it! Then, pick up An Anonymous Girl and read that one too. I am a big weenie when it comes to scary books, and these aren’t scary. They are suspenseful and make you alternately gasp and hold your breath. They shared that The Wife Between Us is most likely being made into a movie and An Anonymous Girl is most likely being made into a tv mini-series! I can’t wait for both! At the end of the book talk, we went to have Sarah and Greer sign our books and they remembered me!! Greer also mentioned that I asked great questions! I was totally giddy!! I really love meeting authors and talking to them about their books, process, and what they are reading!!

We headed up the street to meet Erin and Sandra for a glass of wine and had the greatest time. Market Tavern is a great spot for a yummy snack (we had a charcuterie board) and a good glass of wine or beer. It’s locally owned and pretty small so it makes for a great grown ups night out! Bonus: it is a favorite of Sarah and Greer. We recommended them including Market Tavern in their next book!! Fingers crossed!

On Saturday morning, Luke had his First Reconciliation. He was pretty excited to receive his second sacrament. The concept can be a bit daunting, but he did a great job! He was so sweet talking to the priest. I wish it was acceptable to take pictures because his sweet face was an image I want to remember forever! We did snap some pictures afterwards and he had a very sweet glow to him.

Luke requested Noodles and Company for lunch and that is where we saw the most exciting news!! Grocery pick up is coming to our Walmart!! I may not have to give up that hour to shop each week for much longer!!! That orange writing in the parking lot made us so happy!!

We opened up a game that Santa gave our family for Christmas. It is Trekking the National Parks. Jack is super interested in the National Parks right now. As a fourth grader, he gets a free pass into all the National Parks for himself and his family. We have been planning our summer vacations and other little trips to take advantage of this and show our boys more of America’s beautiful land! Any 4th grader can get a pass at the Every Kid in A Park website. Parents can print them out and see everywhere the pass works (national parks, federal lands and waters, etc.)

Jack had a basketball game Saturday afternoon and Luke’s soccer team was parading on the field of the Baltimore Blast game. The Blast are a professional indoor soccer team. Luke watched his brother do this twice and was pretty excited to have his turn! It was an exciting game and we walked out to snow!

It snowed all night and the kids were pretty excited to go sledding on Sunday! We reached a major growing up milestone during this snow storm. Jack and Luke pretty much got dressed, went outside, came inside and put their snow clothes in the dryer all by themselves!! Confession: I stayed in my pajamas until 4:45 pm!! It was amazing! I cleaned out the pantry, wrote a blog post, meal planned, made a grocery list, and generally enjoyed a quiet day at home!!

Luke was so excited that he and Jack found the shell of our pumpkin that we threw into the field a few months ago.

The boys wore themselves out in the snow and were happy to build some legos and watch playoff football in between sledding sessions.

We had a delicious chili dinner. I usually make it with ground chicken and substituted ground beef and ground deer meet that I had in the freezer. I was a little nervous but the flavor was wonderful! After the pantry clean out and a freezer clean out, I am really working hard on shopping our freezer, fridge, and pantry to feed our family to cut down on waste. I am also applying the same concept to my closet. I am trying to shop my closet and make better use of the clothes and shoes I already have. It’s going pretty well. I’ll let you know more as the month and year goes on.

Please join me tomorrow. I am joining The Blended Blog to share my favorite small businesses and boss babes. I am sharing some great shops and great friends!

Have a great Monday full of sunshine and books!

Friday Favorites – 1/11/19

Happy Friday!! This has been quite a week! We are most definitely back in the swing of things with our first 5 day week of 2019. This week was full of religious education, basketball practices, golf camp, swim practices, baseball practice, and two evening meetings for me. So needless to say, this Friday Favorites is brought to you by the need for some sleep (see favorite 4).

I am linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share my favorites.

Favorite 1: DINO READERS!! I love our school-wide book club. This year we are reading Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. Every family gets a book. The students are staff all read the book together and this leads to so many wonderful conversations all around our school!! In the past we’ve read The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney. They were all great reads for our whole school!!

Favorite 2: MORE BOOKS!! I shared my Jolabokaflod books on Wednesday. There were some great picks there. I loved Seven Days of Us. I am looking forward to reading my running books, The Glass Ocean, and the two books I gave my mom and sister.

Favorite 3: SWIM MEETS!! I spent 12 hours on the bleachers at a pool last weekend and it made me so happy. I was so warm as I read, organized my calendar, and most importantly cheered Jack on!! He swam so well and had so much fun! He’s really been working hard in the pool and improved all of his times!

Favorite 4: SLEEP AND PJS!! On Christmas Eve, I gave my mom Lands End pajamas and she gave my sister, the boys, herself, and me Lands End pajamas. They are so cozy and lead to good sleep!! Mom, Annie, and I ended up with two pairs of matching pajamas!! It is wonderful!!

We have lots of fun planned this weekend: Luke’s First Reconciliation, both boys have basketball games, and Luke’s soccer team is gets to parade on the field of the Baltimore Blast game. We are also getting ready for a possible snow storm on Sunday – I’ll be sure to have those cozy pjs ready!

Have a great weekend full of sunshine and books!!

Books, Books, Books – 1/9/19

Happy Wednesday!! Yesterday was a day full of my favorites: sunshine and books!! We kicked off our school wide book club by distributing over 350 copies of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to every single family in the school. It was so much fun to hand out the books and see the excitement on the students’ faces when the book was finally revealed!

Those carts are double sided and pretty full!! We’ll be reading for the next two months and discussing everything that happens at school! This is a great book for elementary and middle school aged kids if you haven’t read it yet!

And, the sun was shining for my run this afternoon! It was wonderful!

I also wanted to share my Jolabokaflod books this year. I really think I nailed it!!

To recap, Jolabokaflod is an Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve and then taking some time to enjoy your books. You pronounce it yo-la-bok-a-flot. It’s pretty fun to say and celebrate! What could be better than giving the people you love books?? Last year, I had a couple of misses but not this year! These books are good!!

Jeff: This year was a little cheat for Jeff. He told me he wanted this book. I had another one in mind but I’ll save it for next year. Jeff’s a HUGE Beastie Boys fan. We’ve seen them in concert a bunch of times. He listens to their music all the time. One of the first songs Jack recognized was Paul Revere by The Beastie Boys because Jeff played it for him so much. šŸ˜Š

My Dad: I was so excited about my dad’s book this year. My dad is a huge golfer and Pinehurst holds a special spot in all of our hearts. My grandparents retired there and we have so many great memories there. Willie McRae is a famous caddy from Pinehurst and this is his story. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of the book!

Jack and Luke: The boys got the same book. Dog Man #6 came out on Christmas Eve so it was a no brained to pick this one. Jack and Luke love the Dog Man books and they devoured this one.

My Mom: My mom is a tricky one because we talk so much about books and she usually reads everything I do. She reads a bunch and is a critical reader. I usually like everything I read, but Mom is a little tougher on books. That means if she recommends something, I run out to read it immediately! I found a book that was booktalked as “like JoJo Moyes, but better and set in the French countryside. The cover is beautiful and I can’t wait to hear what she thinks.

My Sister: This book came to mind as soon as I started thinking of books for Annie. She loves chic lit and from what I’ve heard this is right up her alley. I haven’t read it yet, so I am hoping she reads it before I see her again so I can borrow it back. šŸ˜‰

Me: Jeff picked out two books for me. He decided to go outside of my normal reading genres and I can’t wait to read them. I am over 2 years into a run streak and am always looking for ways to become a better runner. These look funny and interesting!

šŸ“š Jolabokaflod Book Clubs šŸ“š

I decided to try something new this year. I picked two books that I would read with the recipients.

I gave my mom and sister Seven Days of Us. I thought it was soooo good. My mom just finished it and we’ve been texting about it. I can’t wait to talk to her about it face to face on Friday! It’ll be the first annual meeting of a Jolabokaflod Book Club!! Annie hasn’t finished it yet but I think a triple FaceTime will be in order when she does!

I gave Jeff’s mom, Karen, The Glass Ocean for another Jolabokaflod Book Club. I have been wanting to read it since I met Beatriz Williams last summer. I am going to start that one as soon as Karen is ready.

I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of their books! We’ve got some good reading to do! Happy reading to everyone, everywhere!!

Linking up with Lindsay and the Welcome Wednesday girls.

Hello Monday – 1/7/18

Happy Monday! We are definitely feeling like the Soul II Soul song, “Back to life, back to reality…” over here. Christmas is all put away. We have a 5 day school week with no snow in sight. All our regularly scheduled events are back after Christmas break (sports, religious education, meetings, and work). I am linking up with Heather and the girls to say hello to Monday.

I haven’t shared much about our Christmas break, so I decided to do a Top Ten post. I am doing it in chronological order because it is all pretty great!

PRE-ONE

The boys and I spent the Sunday before Christmas baking cookies with my mom and sister. Jeff stayed home while the boys’ new loft beds were being installed. We decorated and baked cookies for a few hours before heading over to the movies. The new Grinch movie was super cute! We loved it!!

That night, Jodi and I ran a Christmas lights run with the local running group. It was our first time joining them and we had a great time! We had light up necklaces and hats, but totally forgot flashlights. Oops! Live and learn. We’ll definitely bring flashlights next year.

ONE

We started the tradition of going to Jeff’s parents’ house on Christmas Eve morning a few years ago. It is always so much fun! Jeff’s mom makes a delicious breakfast and we all have a great time together. The kids make something gingerbread, usually houses or trains. This year it was houses and everyone was able to independently decorate! Woohoo!! This gave all the grownups time to talk. We also exchange gifts on Christmas Eve morning. It’s a fun kick off to Christmas for everyone!!

TWO

Christmas Eve dinner is probably my favorite dinner of the year. My mom always gets a delicious roast and we cook potatoes around the meat. It is amazing!!! The other part of Christmas Eve dinner that is so much fun is our present traditions. Ever since I was a little girl, my parents (mom) have given us new pjs and an ornament that signifies something special from our year. She also picks out a Nutcracker for the boys. I added Jolabokaflod to our Christmas Eve traditions last year and am thrilled with my book selections this year!!

THREE

Those pjs my mom picked out this year were matching for my sister, mom, the boys, and me!! I loved it!!! It made Christmas morning pretty coordinated!!

I made sticky buns for the first time. It is our family recipe that my mom has been making as long as I can remember. I made a gluten free version and they turned out pretty good. I’m going to make a few changes the next time I make them, but I’d call them an overall win!

FOUR

We abandoned Christmas dinner last year and haven’t looked back. We have appetizers all day long. It’s so nice because no one is in the kitchen all day and we aren’t really that hungry after a big meal the night before. We dress in comfy clothes, play games, and enjoy each other’s company. Jeff’s parents and grandmother and my parents and sister were at our house for the evening. It’s pretty great!!

FIVE

Jeff and I spent the day after christmas building dressers. IKEA dressers that took ALL. DAY. LONG. To build! But it’s totally worth it. The boys needed new dressers and they love them. The dressers look perfect with their new loft beds.

SIX

We decided to go to Top Golf on Thursday morning. We’ve all been, but not as the four of us. It was so much fun to watch the kids hit the balls and aim for the targets. I came in last a few times, but not every time. It was a perfect family activity for the Parsons!

SEVEN

We recently joined the gym and I tried a bunch of classes over break. It was fun to workout whenever I wanted to and to have some girlfriends join me. I have tried barre, pump, flow, cx worx, and PiYo. I’ll probably try some others, but I am not a fan of cycling so they probably won’t make my list.

EIGHT

I read a few books over Christmas break. I didn’t pick anything too heavy and I really enjoyed them all.

NINE

Jack had a basketball tournament over break. They played some tough games but played hard. Jack had fun and that’s what is important! I learned how to do a basketball stats book and may have gotten myself a job as the back up score keeper for Freedom 4th grade.

TEN

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with some good friends! We decided to stay up until midnight and the kiddos’ excitement was totally worth being tired the next day! Ringing in the new year with great friends and my family by my side is the best!

I am pretty willing to try new things, but I have a rule that I don’t eat anything east of Italy. I made one exception to the rule, fried rice at the hibachi restaurant, but that is it. However, at the New Year’s Eve party I tried something new. I tried sushi for the very first time!! And the second, third, and fourth time!! I am very excited to announce that I liked it!! I had shrimp and avocado, crab and avocado, shrimp tempura (I think), and RAW SALMON sushi!! Holy cow! I cannot believe I broke my own rule! A few of the dads offered Jack $5 to try a piece of sushi and he tried it too! Jack isn’t a fan but Jeff and I are looking forward to trying sushi again soon!

Sushi buddies!

That just about sums up our break. Lots of fun with family and friends! It was pretty wonderful! I hope everyone has a great Monday full of sunshine and books!!

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Iā€™m Back! Friday Favorites – 1/4/18

Well, hello there! I am back! I totally didn’t plan on taking a break from blogging, but we were either busy out having fun or I fell asleep too early to get a post done. Whatever the reason, I am back! Happy New Year!

I am joining Andrea to share my favorites today. Be sure to come on back next week. I am going to recap some of our fun break adventures and share some hopes for the coming year.

Favorite 1: FAMILY!! We spent so much time together over Christmas break and it was wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I did figure out that I need to build in some alone time, but the together time was great!

Annie came home for a few days over Christmas and it was so good to see her!

Favorite 2: RUNNING & CLASSES!! I reached 2 years of running every single day on December 31st. I plan on keeping my run streak going this year so if you see me out on the road running, be sure to wave! Since we joined the gym, I have been taking some new classes to get stronger. I’m loving them! Some of the timing is a little tricky with swim team, but I’m making it work. So far, I’ve tried BodyPump, BodyFlow, Barre, PiYo, and CXWorx.

Favorite 3: BOOKS! We adopted Jolabokaflod last year as part of our Christmas Eve traditions. This year I decided to give my mom and sister a book that I wanted to read. I also bought it for myself so we could all read it together. I started it and just couldn’t stop reading it. Seven Days of Us came highly recommended from the publishers at Penguin Random House and they did not steer us wrong. I can’t write too much because Mom and Annie haven’t finished it, but you should definitely read it!! I loved it! ā˜€ļø ā˜€ļø ā˜€ļø ā˜€ļø ā˜€ļø

Favorite 4: GOLF!! You know we are a golf loving family so we had a great time at Top Golf. I can’t wait for one to open a little closer. Traffics wasn’t bad because of the Federal government shut down, but it still took over an hour to get there. Jeff and I are looking forward to a couples outing to Top Golf this year. Even if you aren’t a good golfer, which I am not, it’s still so much fun!

Favorite 5: SEX AND THE CITY!! On a whim, I decided to rewatch Sex and the City from the beginning. I watched it religiously when it first aired. I am so thrilled to say that I still love it. In two evenings, I may have binged 8 episodes. Even though I know what’s coming, I am still excited to watch each episode!

That’s it for this week. I hope you have a great day full of sunshine and books! We have a busy weekend full of basketball and swim meets. I’ll be back next week to share some of our Christmas break and plans for this year.

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