Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Thoughts After the Disney Princess Half Marathon

I am sitting down this afternoon to write down a few thoughts that keep running through my mind.  Today it is cold outside with a little snow.  My kids are out of school so our house is busy and loud.  My laundry room has been in constant motion today as I play catch up from the weekend away.

Since July of 2014, I have been anticipating, with my 2 friends, Feb 22, 2015, The Disney Princess Half Marathon.  We signed up just an hour or two after registration opened in July.  The race filled up so quickly (something like 6 hours or so).  It is so hard for me to believe that it is all over.

Today I am sad.  I know that sounds funny.  But if you are a distance runner, I think you will get it.  Or if you have ever set out to accomplish a goal, trained for months, completed it....and then sat still the days after....there is somewhat of a sadness in your heart.  One of my running partners said, "I keep thinking what am I going to do now?"

I keeping playing back in my memory the days after the 2004 Disney Marathon (my one and only one to run)....and I vaguely remember this same feeling.  And I think I even shed a few tears back then as well.  My running days started with a wild ambition to run a marathon.  I was not a distance runner.  I had never run a 5K or a 10K but I trained and ran a marathon.  Eleven years later, I can not even believe it, and man do I feel every bit of 11 years older.  These past 11 years have held some pretty big milestones: falling in love, marriage, dogs, birth of 3 children in 3 years, moving, new jobs, new church, new friendships......

I really never dreamed I would run distance again.  I didn't know if I had it in me.  I didn't know when I would find the time.  I didn't know how I would run all of those training runs where I live (I mean the area is full of hills)!!!! And I sold my treadmill last spring, so I definitely would be forced to run EVERY training run outside.

And then came a text from a friend who wanted to train for the 2016 DPHM, and I being the crazy one, said how about 2015?  And the rest is history.  There is something about the challenge, something about the drive, something about the runner's high, something that just keeps calling me back to the distance.

And so I sit here today thinking....what is next, because I can't imagine stopping now or having to work back up to this level.  Last night I pulled out my marathon medal and put it around my second child's neck.  I pulled out my 1/2 marathon medal and put it around my first born's neck, and then something inside of me said...."now you have to go get one for the baby"!!!  Who says that?!  I guess someone who has fallen in love with running, with the challenge, with the willpower, determination, fight, thankfulness that embodies running.

I know running is not for everyone....heck for me....I laid it to rest for the last 11 years.  But, I know deep inside everyone of us is a desire to accomplish something.  To crush it! To defeat it!  To be able to say.....I did it!  I hope this post will challenge you and encourage you to RUN WITH IT!  Whatever it is....RUN WITH IT!  Chase your wildest dream.  DEFEAT what you never thought you could.

There is NO WAY,  I could have met this goal on my own.  I owe insurmountable thanks to my husband who changed his schedule in crazy ways to watch our kids while I ran.  Some nights they would play at the park while I ran the loop over and over again.  Some nights we would eat sandwiches or breakfast for dinner because it was the easiest thing to do after a long run.  On my last training run....it was 24 degrees outside, snow was falling, the wind was racing at 20mph and the trees were coated in 1/2 inch of solid ice.  I was nervous to run by myself.  My husband sat in the parking lot just so I would know someone was close.  The last mile was the hardest mile I have ever trained....my face freezing the wind howling and the snow rushing in like a blizzard.  I just kept telling myself over and over and over again  "Quitters don't get a medal!" "You have birthed three babies naturally....this is nothing!"  "I am a Mighty Warrior!" "Do NOT RETREAT!"  "Crush it!" "Defeat it!"  "Run it for everyone who wishes they were healthy enough to run it!"  "Be Thankful!"

And so I sit on this side of it today, a little sore, thanking God for the fuel, the drive, and the opportunity...and greatly anticipating......THE NEXT!

Here are a few of my most favorite things for running!

Nike+ App (perfect for tracking run, shoes, training plans, track friends.....)
Sweaty Bands (my friend told me about them....I can't do bands they slip.....these DO NOT)
UnderArmor ColdGear (run with this in below freezing weather and stay warm with thinner layers)
UnderArmor HeatGear (run with this in the hot Georgia summers!)
UnderArmor Infared Headband  (husband bought one like this for me....I NEVER had cold ears ever)
YurBuds (best invention for those of us who iPhone ear buds won't stay in! LOVE!)
Tune Belt (if you can't run with an arm wrap this an awesome belt for your phone, etc...)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Green Well Salad

This salad is a MUST MAKE!  Last year I read Shana Niequist's book Bread and Wine and I posted a tiny little review here.  I have made this salad several times for friends and it is ALWAYS a hit.  Please invite some friends over and make this!  They will think you are a cook whether you are or are not!

(via: incourage.me)

1 pound mixed greens 2 onions, thinly sliced 1 T butter 2 sliced pears 2 cups of red grapes, halved 1 cup dried cherries 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1 4 oz container crumbled goat cheese
Maple vinaigrette:
1T maple syrup 1T Dijion 1/4 c balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste
Begin by caramelizing the onions. Slice them thinly and cook them on medium-low heat in a tablespoon of butter until rich, dark brown, about 45 min.
For the vinaigrette: add all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shake it up! Taste and adjust for seasoning.
For the salad: Toss the greens with half the vinaigrette, then add the rest of the ingredients, the rest of the dressing, and toss again.
If you like a more substantial main-course salad, add 2 cups or so of sliced cooked chicken. All I did to season my chicken was sprinkle these things on the chicken: sea salt, white pepper, black pepper, oregano, parsley and then bake.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DIY Book Page Wreath

I posted this photo on @thetealegg on Instagram right about the first of the new year.  And I got several comments on the book page wreath on the far wall.  There are HUNDREDS of book wreath tutorials out there.  I mean HUNDREDS!!!  I think that I made my first one 3 or 4 years ago.  But, here is what I know.....they are TIMELESS.  They are always beautiful.  And I NEVER get tired of them.

They are pretty cheap to make and don't take long at all.  In fact, I made and took all of these tutorial photos while watching an episode of FixerUpper on HGTV.  Do ya'll know about FIXERUpper?!?!!!!!  If you don't just trust me and GO watch it whatever way you can get it.  It will make you want to move to a TEXAS and live on a ranch in a big old farm house!

Anyhow...as promised....

1 Straw Wreath (mine was 10")
1 package of silver straight pins
1 old book (bought mine at Goodwill for $2)

 1.  Rip all of the pages out of the book 

2.  Roll a page up from bottom to top (not side to side, unless you are going for another look)

3.  Fold the rolled paper almost in half (but not quite)

4.  Push a straight pin through the folded paper and into the straw wreath 

5.  I start at the inside of the wreath and push paper in all the way around around 

6.  Then I start a second row and continue the pattern all the way around 

7.  I start a third row and really try and fill in any gaps along the way.  And if you need a fourth row...by all means do it and fill that bad boy in. 

The fuller the wreath the better it will look completed!
ENJOY and tag @thetealegg on Instagram if you make one of these and post.
I would love to see how your's turned out.

And in case you would like to see this in video form...
Click Here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Favorite Beauty Products

I don't have a ton of time to spend searching for the perfect "beauty" products.  But there are a few things that I have stumbled upon over the last several years that have become staples in my bathroom.

|| LUSH Dream Cream ||
{It's their #1 BEST SELLING product}

I have posted about LUSH before.  It is one of my most favorite stores ever!
Everything is handmade and made out of real stuff.
There has not been one product of their's that I tried and did not like.
And I say that with the utmost honesty.

I am a nurse and my hands are always super dry.  
The number of hand washings and foam that I use on my hands in a 12 hour shift
is sometimes out of control.  My hands suffer greatly from this mandatory practice.  
But not only is this cream great for hands, it is great for dry skin all over.
It does have a bit of a smell.  Not sure what to call it.
To me it smells clean.  And full of yummy goodness.
It comes in this large sized pot that will last you a good amount of time.
Because a little goes a long way.

|| Bobby Brown Shimmer Brick ||
{in Rose}

My mom and sister have been spoiling me with this little treat for years.  
I am not sure who found it first.
I can tell you it beats out all of the drugstore competitors.
It is well worth the $50 price tag.
And it lasts a long time (mine last up to a year, at least)
Just a really pretty way to add a slight shimmer to your cheeks.
The one I use is the rose one.
Just. Beautiful.

{Radish Scent}
I know it is not really a "beauty" product....
but.....it is my soap. 
Mommy's soap.  
It sits on my kitchen counter and no kids are allowed to use it!
Sometimes it is just nice to have something to call your own 
when you share everything all day long with 3 little peeps.
The radish scent is BY FAR my most favorite. 
I love clean scents....probably because I rarely feel like my house is clean all at once.
It makes up for the shortcomings=)

You can purchase this product and scent at Target.
I'm sure other stores carry it as well. 
Target is just where I grab mine. 

{facial moisturizer}

If you can believe this, I don't wear makeup most days that I am home. 
I really only wear makeup when I go to work and church. HA!
Or a date with my husband or if I need to go to something and not scare everyone!
I would say I wear makeup 3 out of 7 days a week.
It is only since having multiple children that I became okay with this idea.
Honestly, most days I just don't have time to get it on and out the door.

But this moisturizer....I AM TELLING YOU is THE BEST!!!!!
A small little pot of it was given to me at Christmas by a very thoughtful person.
I had never tried it before.  I am not sure she had ever tried it before.

So I stopped by lush and found out that a little bit larger pot is $89.00
YES, you read that right.  BUT I am telling you....This stuff is amazing.
Feels like a heavy moisturizer when you first put it on but then it transforms into this light weight amazing stuff.  It is like your skin just drank in a TON of moisture.

I didn't purchase the pot that day...I decided to come home and save my pennies.
And use sparingly what I have until I can go back and make the purchase.
This would be an awesome Valentine's gift to ask for from the hubby.

The lady at LUSH tells me that an $89 pot should last 3 months.
And while I know that is a lot of money,
I am telling you....your face will thank you.
Especially if you are makeup less most days and it needs some protection from the elements!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Favorite Cleaning Products for a Fresh Start on the New Year!

It is UNREAL to me that I have not written ONE entry on this blog since August of 2014.  That truly is because my shop www.etsy.com/shop/thetealegg has taken off!  I am enjoying creating fun festive banners, garlands and more there.

I thought I would start off the new year by letting you in on a few of my favorite cleaning products as of lately.  My kids have been gone for almost a week and there has been a TON of cleaning in our house this week.  Christmas came down earlier than I have ever taken it down before but I knew I have to move while the little ones are away.  Does anyone else think it is hard to clean with kids in your house?!

So here are my favorites in no particular order......

Honest Company Multi Surface Cleaner
I use this to clean my kitchen counter tops.  A little goes a long way.
The smell is clean and non-offensive.
The trigger puts out a great amount of product.
It leaves my counters feeling crumb and sticky free!

Method Wood Cleaner
I do not like wood cleaners that are oily and leave a greasy film on my furniture.
I decided to take a risk on this product last month and I LOVE IT!
I have used this to clean all wood furniture surfaces in our house.
A little goes a long way.
The smell is fresh.  
Honestly you could just spray it in the air 
and you would feel like your entire house had been cleaned.
This one has a great trigger as well that puts out a great amount of product.
No greasy residue left on my furniture and no streak marks either!

BONA Wood Floor Cleaner
I have definitely posted about this product before but I can not say enough about it!
It does not have a smell....so your house won't smell clean.
But, it is so safe for your little ones and pets who are in close contact with your wood floors.
Costco had a sale on it last January and I was able to get a HUGE bottle and refill for right around $10.00 (which depending on how often you clean your floors....could last you up to 1 year).
This cleaner leaves my floors clean, beautiful, rejuvenated, and feeling awesome to bare feet!

There you have it! 
 My VERY FAVORITES right now!  
It just feels good to start off the New Year with a clean slate!  
Happy Cleaning!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Is She Prettier Than Me"?

It has been a while since I posted.  Not because I don't have a ton of thoughts running through my mind, but because my shop has been busy lately!  I am so thankful for those of you who have made purchases and those of you who continue to help me share my shop The Teal Egg.

A few weeks ago, we spent the weekend with a family my husband knows better than I do.  We had a great weekend with them.  My daughter was in heaven because one of their children is a little girl the same age.  These girls were so cute together!  They played "Anna and Elsa" like there was no tomorrow.  I wish you could have seen them!!!!

My daughter is super extrovert.  She LOVES people.  She is extremely animated and lives to reenact Disney movies.  She met her match that weekend because our friend's little girl was just as extroverted, just as loving, and just as animated!

There was one time during their play that my daughter came to me and said, "Mommy, am I as pretty as she is?"  I have to tell you, in that moment, my heart sank.  All these thoughts came rushing into my my mind.... "Have I ever made this comment in her presence?", "Has she read my mind when I question this in myself?", "Have I passed along this terrible insecurity to my daughter?", "God, please don't let this be a struggle in my sweet precious baby girl's heart!"

She really stopped me dead in my tracks with this question.  And my heart, literally ached.  Of course my immediate response was, "You both are beautiful because Jesus made you both beautiful."  She smiled and seemed to accept that answer and went back to playing with her new friend.

But over and over and over again, those words played them self to me again on repeat, "Am I as pretty as she is?"  No one had to teach my daughter to ask that question.  But where did it come from?  Is is just a curse on women?  Do we all struggle with this question, whether we admit it or not?  Have I exposed her to something in her everyday world that would cause her to ask this question?

Why must this thought enter my baby girl's mind?  Really and truly if I am just down right honest, because of the broken state of man.  Because of sin.  Because we have been shattered.  That is why it is there in her mind, in my mind.  We wrestle with comparison because our society teaches it to us, shoves it in our face, and serves it up on a silver platter.  BUT, we accept it.  I accept it and I allow it to captivate my thoughts.  I allow it to lessen the relationships with those around me.  If I don't take it captive....it will destroy me and jealousy will breed.

It's ugly, I know.  But what I know to be even more true is that it is a struggle for us all.  In every woman, there is a wrestle "Is she prettier than me?"  "Is she smarter than me?"  "Does she have it more together than me?"  "Is she a better mom than me?"  "Is she a better wife than me?"  "Is she a better _________ than me?"  Whatever it is for you....it is there.

I want my daughter to know, I want myself to know....

God created man/woman in His image and His image is BEAUTIFUL!  Don't cheat yourself out of relationships with other women.  Satan desires to steal, kill and destroy all that is a gift from your Heavenly Father to you.  Friendships with other women are a sweet joy given to you, have several of them.  Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Find the best in other women and tell them to their face what you see as their best!  Allow Jesus to fill ALL of you and the question "Is she . . . ." will become less and less in your mind.

I've been thinking a lot these past few weeks about my daughter's question.  And, the best way I know how to smother this thought in her mind is to continue to teach her about Jesus, confirm the best qualities I see in her, and lead her in speaking words of encouragement and life into the lives of girls she comes in contact with.  

This has to become my practice too because how can I lead her if this is not true for my life as well.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Engage With Your Kids

Summer is coming to a close.  We are soaking in the last few days and weeks in our house.  Yesterday I spent 30 minutes playing play dough with my daughter.  Today we spent the entire day in a wet swim suit at the water park.

The list below came from our local library.  I love it so much, I decided to post it here.  All of these things can be done throughout the year with your children.  Life with our children doesn't just have to happen during the summer.  Sometimes I find myself striving to check of the "summer fun list" but the truth is my children and I need fun throughout the year.

One of my sweetest friends said these words to me one day regarding her four children.....

"I'm going to make their childhood magical if it kills me"!

Those words stuck with me.  They made me laugh right out loud.  And they echo in my mind when days are hard.  I only have an allotted amount of time with my children.  Why wouldn't I work my hardest to make it magical?!  Magical doesn't have to be big and extravagant and over the top at all times.  Magical can be as simple as the list below.  I believe magical happens when I ENGAGE with my children.  When they know they have MOMMY present 100%.  Those are the moments I believe they will remember as magical.  I have enlarged my most favorite in the list below.  

Visit the library
Play blocks with your child
Read wordless books with your child
Make animal noises together
Look at a picture dictionary together
Sing songs about your day
Talk about the weather with your child. What kind of days do they like best?
Sing counting songs, such as “One, Two, Buckle my Shoe.”
Visit the grocery store with and talk about the many colors you see
Read a nonfiction book with your child
Talk about what is going on around you
Ask your child many questions
Read a story about your child’s favorite animal
Share a story about your childhood
Make a snack together by using a recipe
Do fingerplays and action rhymes any time
Let your child make music with various kitchen items
Read your child a bedtime story
Count with your child as you drive in the car
Make an alphabet book
Collect leaves together and sort them by size and color
Put a puzzle together with your child
Go on a color walk together and point things out that are red, green, etc
Sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” together
Dance with your child