Monday, November 19, 2012

The Color Run report

First off, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  Ours was....decent.  It started out really well with the run and a soggy, colorful trip to Ikea.  But then it took a turn as my youngest got sick.  Also, I had to finally go through our scary attic.  On the bright side though, the boy's fever is gone and it's just a regular cold now, plus we have a clean attic and I can actually SEE every box in there!  I'll call those both wins.

Now onto The Color Run!  First of all, let me say that this is the first time I've ever gone into a race of any sort with a jogger.  And I had the big mamma jamma double jogger, too.  I was mostly expecting to get rude stares, but it wasn't so much the case.  Sure, there were a few, but it was mostly people smiling and saying that we were "cool parents" for bringing our kids.  I agree, we rock!  The kids both have ongoing colds, so we dressed them like they were in the arctic and I also put the wind cover over them.  It was actually quite perfect because it kept out the wind and the mass amounts of colorful powder thrown on us.  So if you're a parent and you're thinking about doing a Color Run--take the kids!  Our daughter ran across the finish line with us, and we saw lots of other strollers and running/walking/eventually carried youngins out there.  Do it, it's a great family event!

The race itself was an absolute blast.  We ran in a winding circle around the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is cool in it's own right, plus there were multiple color stations to go through.  The race was coordinated into three waves scheduled 45 minutes apart, but since it wasn't actually timed, they just did random jump-in-whenever waves every five minutes.  Which I thought was absolute genius.  The only problem is that the runners will come up on the walkers from previous waves quite quickly, but seriously, the race isn't timed and we got over it quite quickly.  Plus everyone wants to slow down for the color bombs anyway, and it's just fun!  The color bombs were about every half a mile, in this order:  blue, yellow, pink, orange, green.  At the end of the race, we took out our color packets that we got in our registration bag (we also got white shirts and headbands that we could wear for the race or save).  The "party stage" was right by the end, and every 15 minutes they did a group color bomb.  They counted it down and everyone threw their opened packet of color into the air.  For an instant, we actually lost view of the sky and everything went purple.  It was fantastic.  Well, until my daughter spit purple on my face.  But still worth it.  (Note--close your mouth and eyes for color bomb). 

We enjoyed the post-race snacks of granola bars and large bottled waters, and we also liked that we could wear our race shirt AT our race.  That's usually a faux-pas, but I found it refreshing that it wasn't this time.  I also really liked the vibe that was going on, it was very friendly and non-competitive.  I never felt like I put anyone out with my beast of a stroller, and there were plenty of other families participating. 

I also really enjoyed AND didn't enjoy that there were plenty of running/fitness newbies out there.  I think it's a wonderful place to start, and loved seeing all of them trying, even if they were walking.  It's better than sitting on the couch!  But with newbies also comes people who don't know race repertoire.  Example:  A group of girls must've thought they were missing their heat, so they jumped the entire line, including us.  Because I have a tendency to be a mouthy bitch outspoken individual, I confronted them.  Their solution was to move farther in the line and get away from the scary mom.  But I got my revenge on the first hill, as I ran past them while pushing a jogger and ever-so-delicately gave them the finger.  I think I smiled for the next mile.  And my favorite funny newbie moment was seeing a man at the start with a GU.  Yes, a GU for a three mile, untimed, not even hot outside run.  I think if he took it at the beginning he MIGHT feel it by the end, just in time for some wild color throwing!  Please note that I'm not trying to be mean.  I still would rather have seen all those people (yes, even the line cutters) trying at this event than to know they were home not doing anything.  We all start somewhere!

After our awesome experience at the run and the afterparty, we decided that our next step was to barely wipe down and then head to the perfect place for being completely filthy--Ikea.  It was right down the road, and we hate driving to that side of town just for that.  Fortunately, there were lots of other Color Runners there and we didn't look TOO insane.  Plus I think I managed to clear the way in a few crowds, with my purple-covered face.  Win!

So yeah, if you ever get the opportunity to do The Color Run--jump on it!  They cost slightly more than your average 5k (I think it was $45?), but it's so worth it because it ISN'T your average 5k.  It's soooo much cooler.  Just be cool with the newbies, they're doing their best.  Unless they cut your family in line, then you can get Jersey Shore on them.
Directly after the race, all smiles!

After the color bomb

Color bomb!

Family shot

Dance party

I love them

All he cared about were the damn granola bars

Purple and orange

Partying like a fool         

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Things Friday, Mostly Funstuffs

1.  I would've posted yesterday, but it was a bit completely and utterly insane busy.  The kiddo has had a cold and it culminated into a snotty, coughing ball of gross yesterday.  So of course, there was no sleep the night before and no school yesterday.  I had a lot of chores to do in the morning, and then we had to head out to our home design meeting!  The kids stayed with my fantastic neighbor, which is a good thing considering they may have completely destroyed that place.  So hubby and I (and our awesome realtor) spent 4+ hours in a very overwhelmingly crowded room, deciding every last detail of the construction of our house.  By the end, I was hangry (hungry + angry, my realtor taught me that term) and ready to hibernate.  We came home to crazy sick kids, put them to bed, and promptly drank decompression beer.  It was glorious.  I'm still a bit mooshy, but we'll have a dang fine house!

2.  I'm excited about tomorrow--our entire family is going to The Color Run!!  It's a 5k, but not as much of a "race" as an experience.  The onlookers throw colorful powder all over the runners, making one big chaotic rainbow of fun!  We're plopping the kids in the double jogger and heading up the rear in anticipation for some colorful craziness.  I'm putting the kids in their shittiest cold weather clothes (I hear that stuff stains) and bringing an arsenal of sunglasses and a rain cover in case it's too overwhelming for them.  We're the final wave, so hopefully we can get there early and throw color onto the previous runners.  I'm too excited!

3.  I'll sandwich my downer in between the fun stuff--my giveaway here isn't going too well.  I still don't have that many entries, and it's probably because everyone is busy with pre-holiday stuff.  Still, I'm only slightly offended and can get over it.  BUT if you haven't entered yet, you should!  It may "just" be Chapstick, but it's actually pretty decent stuff and it's FREE.  Do it.  It'll make me feel accomplished, and I'll smile.  Yay for smiling!

4.  Back to good stuff.  I have two pretty awesome races on my radar right now for this winter.  The first one I've already signed up for, and it's the Carolinas Spartan Sprint.  It will complete my Trifecta (one of each distance race in a year), and I'll get a bad-ass medal for it that day!  Not only that, but I'll be doing their Hurricane Heat, my very first one!!!!  It's before the light of day Saturday morning, a grueling 4-ish hours of teamwork and buttkickery.  I'm scared and stoked.  Mostly scared.  The other race I'm even more scared of though.  And honestly I'm not sure yet that I'm doing it, so I'll just leave you with that.  These next few weeks I'll be buckling down and seeing if I think I can muster it up.  Then, IF I register, I'll tell you all about it.  I hope that's not too ambiguous, I'm just afraid of mentioning it and then failing.  We'll see.

5.  This one is craft-related.  My kids have been doing some really adorable things lately, and I just wanted to share.  We've been in the Thanksgiving spirit, starting with our Thankful Tree.  Every day, my daughter writes one thing she's thankful for on a "leaf" I made from construction paper, and we tie it to some branches we have in a vase on our dining table.  Today she is thankful for her teachers.  I haven't done any suggesting at all for her daily choices, which is probably apparent when you look at them (one of them is money, haha!)  We also made some cool things when my husband was out of town and the weather was bad.  And the kids were sick.  Because all of those things seem to go together, right?  Like one big poostorm.  Anyway, here's what we've come up with:
A turkey and a Thanksgiving flag.  I only helped a little.
We've made a few other random, completely from-scratch things, and I'm kinda loving it.  I usually try to go into every craft (and especially seasonal ones) with an idea and a goal in mind.  But lately I've been so overwhelmed with in-my-own-head home designing, my creativity comes up blank for kid crafts.  I can't even sew a simple project right now, my head just spins with other random ideas.  But that's okay, because chaos is fun!

So--what projects are you working on right now?  Do you have any races coming up soon or even this winter that you're really looking forward to?  Is there anything about anything you feel like mentioning?  Tell me, tell me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chapstick Review, and a Giveaway!

Contest is over!  Brittany is the winner, congrats!!!

Holy heck, is it almost Thanksgiving break?!?!  Where has the time gone?  I don't know about you guys, but I've had about 1,529 things I've wanted to accomplish before the end of the year, and I've only maybe gotten 4-5 of those things done.  So I'm going to just suck it up and put this one out there for you before you all have to run off and eat gross amounts of turkey!

A little while back, I was asked to do a review for Chapstick, in particular Chapstick Sport Ready and Chapstick Raspberry Creme.  I'm not usually a big fan of non-sparkly stuff on my lips, but I took the challenge in hopes to be pleasantly surprised.  Well....I actually was!  I remember back in the day as a child when I'd get a tube of Chapstick in my stocking and think "Man, what a cop-out, gimme some candy!"  But I honestly would be pretty darned happy to get some of this stuff in my stocking now.

When I first got the package, I did my normal routine of opening it with the kids hovered around because they love to see what kind of goodies Mommy gets.  Even though the goodies are usually totally lame to them.  But this time the big kid was ecstatic.  She loves absolutely anything that can be put on lips, and I (not literally, don't call CPS) had to fight her for the Raspberry Creme.  So we made a deal--I'd review the Sport Ready first while she took a go at the Raspberry, and then I'd take hers back just long enough to review it.  Oh, and she also managed to snatch the cute little pink and white zippy bag that it all came in.  What can I say, she's too damn cute to say no to.

Fun, huh?  Yeah, expect your daughter to take it.

Gratuitous cute photo so you understand why I can't tell the kid no.

  Anywho, I was excited to put my Sport Ready right on my keychain and put it to good use.  I love that it can clip directly onto the keychain and not have to go in a bag pocket that I have to try to find later.  Because honestly, I'm not a fan of pockets or finding things.  My only complaint about the design is that the lid doesn't have some little plastic latchy thingy (yes, that's the technical term) that holds the lid to the tube in case they come apart.  Because they did.  Not immediately and not easily, but days later when the boy found my keys and I found the tube on the bathroom counter later.  But then I realized that an even simpler and much cooler use for it would be to latch it onto my gym water bottle.  Which makes WAY more sense with the name Sport Ready anyway, right?

So simple, even I can keep up with it!

 Now another downside--If you look above at the yellow latch, it's not very big.  So I had to use a carabiner to attach it.  Which isn't actually a big deal because my house has about 400 of them sitting around just waiting for a use.  And the clip will go onto a keychain, belt loop, or zipper just fine on it's own, so it's still quite a bit more convenient than carrying that floating tiny tube in your gym bag.  And since my lips are dry when I run, this works SO well!  I honestly don't know why no one invented it before.  Not to mention, they've added SPF 30 in there for those long runs (even in the winter you need SPF!), and it's water resistant.  The water resistant part is a huge plus also, since you don't want to reapply it after every gulp of water.  Like I said, impressed.

So next thing, I moved on to the Raspberry Creme.  Which I of course have no photo of it in use because my daughter has claimed it for her own and has only let me try out a handful of times.  Well it was more like this:  I tried it, she got sick, I stopped trying it.  But I did get enough to know that it smells super yummy.  It has an SPF level of 15, which is perfect for a normal day outside.  And they also make it in Green Apple and Vanilla Mint too, which is making me hungry as I type.  My favorite part though--My little girls thinks she's stylin' without me having to share my sparkly grownup stuff or spend more than $2 for it!

There you go, my review of Chapstick, 2012 version!  To summarize, the pluses:  Easy to keep up with, moisturizing, water resistant, contains SPF, kid-approved, and vastly improved flavors for a great price.  The minuses:  If you are a spaz with your stuff (or give it to your spastic kids), the tube may get lost from the lid.  But heck, that happens with every tube of lip anything I've owned since having kids anyway, so I don't see it as anything abnormal here.

Now that you've heard about the stuff, I'm going to give one of you some of it!!  I have up for grabs:

1 tube Chapstick Sport Ready
1 tube Chapstick Raspberry Creme
1 cute little Chapstick brand zippy bag
1 Chapstick full-sized towel (an excellent gym shower towel, in my opinion)

This package will go to one randomly-drawn lucky winner that I'll pick a week from today on Tuesday the 20th promptly when I wake up.  You can get one entry per thingy below, and don't forget to leave a comment for each one!

1.  Follow my blog (required people, do it now!)
2.  Follow HipFitFam on Facebook, leave me a comment here
3.  Follow Chapstick on Facebook and tell them that HipFitFam sent you, then leave me a comment here
4.  Follow HipFitFam on Twitter, and comment here
5.  Tweet/Facebook/blog/put up a child-drawn poster, I don't care, but however you feel inclined to mention this giveaway to others, do so and leave me the link in the comment below.

Like I said, I'll draw a winner via next Tuesday morning!  And then we'll all have fantastic Thanksgiving weekends, try not to drink too much whilst dealing with in-laws, shop til we drop, and I'll come back the week after with ANOTHER GIVEAWAY.  I'VE GONE MAD LIKE USED CAR SALESMAN IN TENT SALE!  Ahem, or something.  Yeah, go win some Chapstick people, it's getting cold out there.

(Disclaimer--The Chapstick product, information, and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.  But neither of them told me what to say.  My goofy opinions are all my own.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday--Running, Crafting, and Seasonal Changes

1.  Okay, so seasonal changes first.  I don't know about you guys, but every time I begin to really feel a seasonal change, I go into a state of complete disruption.  My gears shift for a bit and I have a hard time figuring out how to adjust my life to it all.  Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I tend to structure things around what I'm feeling in my environment.  When summer hit, I didn't want to run outside so much because I wasn't used to the heat (nor were the kids).  Instead we started going to the pool and using the gym a lot.  It took at least a month until I was really back into my previous fitness schedule and we started hiking more and running outside with the jogger.  Now that it's cooling off, I'm feeling the need to do holiday stuff such as crafting and (yes, it happens at times) baking.  I'm also doing a lot of working on the house and holiday planning.  My fitness schedule got thrown for a loop right after I got it where I wanted it, and I'm just now really getting back into the groove.  That seems to be the story of my life, though.  I need to just realize that I never actually have this "groove" people speak of.  Thriving on chaos is more my thing.

2.  So now that I'm working on my running again, I'm hoping to pick up some speed.  The cold will bring more treadmill runs at the gym, especially since the boy has decided that he absolutely lives for the Y "Kid's Club".  With Daddy off to work and sister at school, it's his "thing" and he needs it to feel accomplished.  So I'll start taking him there for the full two hour allowance, picking up some speed on the treadmill so I can get off of it faster, doing some HIIT, and whatever time at the end I don't work out will be spent studying for my ACE course.  So far it's working out okay and I'm running sub-9 min miles for up to 5 miles.  I'll take it!

3.  I'm going a bit nutty with the crafting lately.  House-buying is expensive, and we're trying to save in every little way possible.  I love the challenge (and beauty) of making unique gifts for people!  I have some awesome ideas so far:  the kids are getting nap mats and handmade belts (for which I've made no pattern yet), the boy is getting a Star Wars apron for his birthday, and the kiddo's teachers will probably get some patchworked potholders with matching tea towels.  I'll also be working with the kids to do a lot of ugly weather, inexpensive, at-home holiday crafts.  Today we'll make an adorable pumpkin bird feeder!  If you want some fabulous ideas for handmade holiday gifts, check out the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog--every November they do an entire month of "Handmade Holidays" and you can look through their archives for more fun ideas.  I make at least one thing a year based off of their ideas!  And for other fun kid crafts to pass the time and/or decorate your house for the season, look at my Pinterest page and follow me.  I've become a bit obsessed with it lately and have made about a third of what I have pinned.  So--it works!!  Save some money, avoid the holiday shopping lines, and have some fun at home with all of it.  It'll make the season much more magical again, just like childhood.  I promise!
Voting kids, and the boy's new made-by-me dragon hat!
What's been going on for you lately?  Have you gone straight into the colder weather without a hitch, or have you switched some things up?  And what are you making right now?  Whether it's faster miles or pumpkin muffins or quilts or anything in-between, I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday--Halloween, Thrifting, and a Big Announcement!

1.  Halloween was awesome!  Yesterday morning was probably the easiest school wakeup I've ever had to do, the kiddo basically catapulted out of her bed in anticipation.  She had a Halloween party at school yesterday, and the boy and I did all the last-minute costume preparation.  I was a lazy mom and waited until late to get him his Darth Maul lightsaber, and it bit me.  Apparently they don't make the props in 2-year-old sizing and the only one I found was 5 feet long!  I didn't feel like having to repair half of our house and other people's cars, so I decided against buying that and went with the old duct-tape-on-giftwrap-roll idea.  It was perfect and cheap!  I also make the kiddo a Lightning Girl prop, which was a wand with a lightning bolt so she could electrocute bad guys.  I made it with a painted dowel rod and some felt, easy peasy!

Promptly upon her getting home from school, I gave them their Halloween "baskets", which had a few things like their painted trick-or-treating bags and some stickers and such.  They got dressed, and we headed out!  First we went to the local grocery for their little trick-or-treating shindig, which was fun and wet their appetites for the real deal.  We came home, at a junky but quick dinner, and set out into the neighborhood.  Now we're loaded with tons more candy than we'll ever eat, and I'll probably trade most of it in at the local Earth Fare for some healthy treats today!  If you have a health food store nearby, they're probably doing the same sort of deal.  And the coolest part--they usually send all that candy they collect to troops overseas! 

Lightning Girl and Darth Maul, ready to battle for candy!

2.  I've been thrifting a lot lately.  I've always loved it, but I'm going nutty now.  I love the idea of getting quality older furniture/home decor with lots of personality at a much lower price!  And I ain't scared of some clothes/shoes thrifting, either.  I got both kids their winter boots for under $20 total, and they look brand new AND are name-brand!  But my favorite find lately is from ReStore (a super awesome store in Charlotte sponsored by Habitat for Humanity):

Two perfectly-maintained, old-school, super comfy green tweed chairs!  I flipped over them when I saw them, but I often question my own taste and had to ask some people before I bought them.  I also thought they were too good to be true, honestly.  Well, they are now awesome and rockin' in my living room!  I'm picturing them with a dark brown sleek leather sofa, which leads me to number 3....

3.  Yesterday we SIGNED TO BUILD OUR NEW HOUSE!!!!  We knew that we were finally ready to settle in and buy a home, and after looking at the local market for both preexisting houses and new builds, we decided to go with the new build.  We wanted to stay within our school zone because our daughter loves it (not to mention we've relocated the poor kid more times than her age), and we literally looked at every single neighborhood in town.  We finally found a great house plan on a great lot in a nice, quiet neighborhood.  We signed the paperwork yesterday morning, and we're still in shock!  Neither of us have ever lived anywhere longer than two years since high school, and as a family we've never lived in a place longer than one year.  We don't really know how to "settle down" or if it's even for us, but we're ready to try.  It's going to be so cool making this home into our own self-designed dream and watching it literally come up from scratch!  We'll be down there weekly to show the kids how it's progressing, and we're expecting to close on it in six months.  Until then, I'll be obsessed with all things home decorating.  I'll also be obsessed with penny-pinching, which is now a necessity to get through the holidays and the home-building/mortgaging process.  So my new goal is to furnish our home, cloth my kids, take care of the boy's 3rd birthday, and get through Christmas with as little money and as much thought as possible.  Which means two things:  lots of homemade and even more thrifting!  I'm pretty excited about both.  Unfortunately it means less time to exercise.  But I'm still going to force it in there, probably with more running for fewer miles and a lot of short HIIT workouts.  I'll let you know how it all goes as it's happening!

He's doing a little jig in front of our future home.

So--tell me about your Halloween!  I'd love to hear a bit about your upcoming holiday plans/goals too, if you're willing to share.  Happy November!!!!