Wednesday, September 17, 2014

the elusive big, beautiful curl

I'm so sick of seeing articles on beauty blogs and Pinterest that claim will help you achieve effortless beachy waves and make you look just like a Victoria's Secret runway model. Wrap your hair in pieces of fabric before going to bed, pin your hair to your head and let it air dry, use a straightening ironI've read them all. I've also tried several of these hair tutorials and have had luck with exactly zero of these methods.

So I came up with my own tutorial.

And guess what? It TOTALLY works. 100% guarantee!

Step 1.) Have naturally curly hair. 

The end. 

Try it and let me know how it works!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How I buy running shoes

(If you don't care how I buy running shoes, sorry.)

I'm not going to lie to you, running is not a cheap hobby. You'd think that going outside and just moving your body wouldn't come with a high cost, but if you have any interest in racing, avoiding blisters and preventing chaffed nipples, a monetary investment is required.

I'll never advocate that you need to spend oodles of money in order to participate in the sport. In fact, I gave up on buying namebrand-only gear a long time ago and a large chunk of my workout clothes are from the clearance rack at Wal-Mart or Target (I'm disgusting and can wear out a t-shirt with my sweaty armpits in a matter of months, so why drop a ton of cash just to have a white swoosh above my boob?)

However, there is one area of running that I physically cannot afford to skimp on, and that's shoes.

A girl and her shoes, am I right?

I have wide feet. A childhood injury left me with a sensitive big toenail that can't handle too much pressure or shock. I get shin splints very easily.

Any ol' pair of sneakers will not do.

I ran my first half marathon in $30 Adidas gym shoes. Those shoes served their purpose well, but they didn't last much beyond the race and I still hobbled away from my first 13.1 with a severely bruised toenail (that later fell off and made me a social pariah during sandal season). Not wanting to constantly refresh shoes and spend more money in the long run (and admittedly, to look as cool as the other runners did at the race), I started gathering more information on running shoes and what I should be looking for in order to purchase a durable, long-lasting shoe.

During my running career, I have worn both Brooks and Saucony. I'm loyal to Brooks only because they were my first pair of "legit" running shoes (my use of the word "legit" coming from the fact that Brooks is my first experience with running-specific sneakers and not just cross-trainers). When it's time for new shoes (every 500 or so miles), they're the website I visit first.

However, they tend to be pricey and to me, you don't have to break the bank for high-quality shoes. Unless they have rockets on the bottoms. If they have rockets on the bottom, snatch that shiz up FAST.

So my strategy? I find a model I like, then I buy the previous year's model. And I know lots of runners who do this, too.

Yes, models do change from year to year (so I always check out reviews), but in my experience, a shoe model doesn't change enough from one year to the next to make a huge difference (to me). I've never had an issue with fit or feel.

I fell in lust with these Brooks Glycerin 12s last month. They are, hand's down, the prettiest sneakers I've ever seen.

But I've never run in Glycerins. I don't know if they'd work for my feet. I've tried Brooks Defyance, Adrenaline and most recently, Launch, but not these. (Seriously, who comes up with shoe names? Probably someone who makes WAY more money than I do.) I'm not willing to risk $150 if they end up being a terrible fit for me.

So until I have the time (i.e. until I make the time) to seek out a shoe store in town that carries Glycerin 12s so I can try them on for size, I'll go with something I already know works for me.

And something I know I can find on the cheap through an discount online retailer.

These are my new kicks (I hate myself for typing that). These are the Kinvara 4s.

You might recognize a similar pair of shoes in this photo of my crushing my first full marathon last November:

They're difficult to make out, but those purple and hot pink shoes are Saucony Kinvara 3s. It's kind of funny because when I was shopping for these 3s, I was lusting after the 4s I just bought last week. At this time last year, the 4s were the new, hot model that I didn't want to drop a lot of cash on and the 3s were the previous year's cheaper model.

So this means that I have a good year to go out and try Brooks Glycerin and hopefully next fall, the above Glycerin 12s will be on sale.

Us runners do what we can to get by! :)

I haven't taken the new Kinvara 4s for a test drive just yet. I had a 10 mile run on Sunday and decided to squeeze out as many extra miles in my current Brooks Launch as I possibly can!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
— President Obama, in a 2011 radio address

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Everything old is new again

I'm delaying cleaning Kevin's cage and writing a blog post for tomorrow instead (that will actually be "today" by the time you see it) because ... poop. I don't want to touch poop.

Right now, Kevin is cruising in his plastic orange ball and exploring the house while Joey trails curiously behind him. Every so often, Joey will nudge Kevin's ball with his nose, sending Kevin upside down as the ball picks up momentum and rolls furiously down the hallway. All the while, Kevin's little chinchilla poops are rotating in his ball with him, making him sound like a maraca.

And I probably haven't stopped laughing for a solid 5 minutes.

If you want continuous entertainment in your home, do yourself a favor and get a chinchilla. You and your beagle will not regret it.

Could Joey BE ANY CUTER?!!!!! Check out Joey's garden pics:

Our tomatoes took a hit in some of the bad summer storms, so I unfortunately had to clean out our garden boxes early. However, we still have our mini pumpkin patch going strong!

 Look! I grew something!

And truthishly, Joey is just happy to have his garden boxes back for beagle digging adventures.

I hope some people got that Family Guy reference.

In other Courtney news, I ditched the ombre and went back to my roots ... literally. Clayton was very polite when I first lightened the ends of my hair, but I know it wasn't his favorite look for me. Last week I asked my stylist to get back to my natural color (with some lowlights for dimension) and was in shock when she was done! I mean, I've had dark hair my whole life, but my hair had been lighter for almost a year and it was such a contrast to what I'd been seeing in the mirror all these months, I didn't recognize myself. It almost looks black to me! I was really nervous that darker hair would make my light, I-didn't-make-it-to-the-beach-this-summer skin look even pastier. And it does. But in a weird way, it makes my complexion look better.

I was feeling sassy after my teeth-cleaning at the dentist this morning and snapped a selfie to show my readers the new me (that's really the old me, but whatever). I'm pleased as pie to proudly announce that I did absolutely zero editing to this photo and for once my skin just looks decent. Which is hilarious because I actually have a horrendous PMS breakout on my chin right now that luckily didn't show up in the photo (I attribute that to the dreary day natural lighting).

I think I'm ready for fall!

If you could dye your hair ANY color (regardless of your profession, lifestyle, etc.), what could would it be? I'm pretty sure a lot of you could rock pink highlights!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

So apparently blender pancakes are a thing

I love pancakes. HARD. I love pancakes HARD. The only time I'd ever turn down a pancake is if someone offered me a waffle instead. And if you cover either of those 2 things in whipped cream? It's over for me. I will die a carb-y, whipped-creamy death ... and rest assured, I will die happy.

That being said, if we all ate whatever we wanted to all the time, we'd all have diabetes and be unable to fit in normal sized pants. That's just a fact. All of the best things in life are fattening (and this is coming from a hardcore veggie lover. Even I can acknowledge that I'd rather have a pizza 99% of the time. It's called having will power ... and kind of hating yourself.)

So I rely on the chefs and health nuts in the blogging community to take my favorite sinfully-bad-for-you favorites and find healthier, almost-as-delicious alternatives. The other day I randomly found some article about the best blender foods (which I initially thought was a collection of recipes for people without teeth) and skimmed through until I saw Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Pancakes.

You had me at "pancakes" (never mind all of the words in front of it). I had to give it a try.

Luckily, this was one of those recipes that I happened to have everything on hand for except for fresh nanners, so Sunday night I decided to give the pancakes a whirl and made them with a side of turkey sausage for dinner.

Like your mom, This recipe is easy. 

You simply combine the above ingredients and pulse in a blender. My blender crapped out on me a number of years ago, so I just used my food processor. Pulse until ingredients resemble a fine smattering of breastfed baby vomit and fry on a well-oiled skillet, flipping the pancake after about a minute.

I wish I could say we loved these pancakes, but we didn't. Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Pancakes aren't terrible, but they really don't have much taste. While the texture was similar enough to that of a pancake (maybe a bit mushier), anyone who knows what real pancakes taste like would probably get pissy if they were served these. Even covering them in butter and syrup didn't do much for the flavor. Honestly, Clayton and I had a few bites and then I just made French toast instead.

As much as I wanted to love this healthier take on a classic, decadent breakfast food, I just wasn't a fan. Whole wheat pancakes I could eat for days. These? Not so much.

Sorry, blender pancakes.
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