Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

November 24, 2020

Small Businesses and Organizations to Support this Holiday Season (in Maryland and Beyond)

I don't know how many times it can be said in various clichés, but 2020 has been a doozy. I'm trying hard to support small businesses and local businesses because I know this year has been extra tough for them. No shame in buying big box because sometimes that is just easier and/or cheaper, and I know it has been an extra tough year. However, I'd like to use my corner of the internet to promote some small businesses and organizations in Maryland (and beyond) that might not get as much notice during the holiday season. Just a reminder that there's other ways to support small businesses besides being a patron-spreading the word, sharing their sales and events, joining their email list, and sharing on social media are all helpful. 

Also be sure to check out my update Holiday Gift Guide for Runners (Under $30) post if you are specifically looking for gift ideas for you or a special runner in your life. 



To keep this list flowing, I'm going to share the link to the store, a brief description, and any important highlights. Most are Maryland, Baltimore based (all the local love from me always), but all are shops that I have personally purchased their products and/or plan to support this holiday seasons. Obviously there's lots of overlap between categories so please click around the entire list. I plan to add to it over the next few days (I have so many businesses I want to highlight!) Feel free to comment with another small business that I should check out! 

Maryland Makers

Also be sure to check out the Charm City Craft Mafia Holiday Heap 12/4-12/6 that is going virtual this year-it's a great opportunity to discover new local makers and purchase unique gifts for loved ones. 

WhitePaws Run Mitts: A favorite local business I'm always sharing that makes the WARMEST mittens for running and beyond as well as this year's new hot items-face masks and gaiters!

Rachel Mulherin: Stunning jewelry self-described as "bohemian glam vibe" that specializes in geode statement earrings. I own the butterfly necklace and evil eye pendant necklace which I adore wearing for special occasions and everyday. 

KSM Candle Co: Before the pandemic this year I attended an in-person candle making class which was a really fun experience. I have since purchased multiple soy candles in unique, natural scents. The shop sells their soy candles as well as other goods including DIY candle kits. 

Caddington Clay: Handmade polymer clay earrings from Megan in Silver Spring, MD. She started making polymer clay earrings in June this year and has grown in her business and skill so much. I love how fun her earrings are-making a great gift for someone else or yourself this holiday season. Last day to order for Christmas arrival is 12/16.  

Maryland Mercantile: A local maker offering Maryland-themed gifts and goods including cards, mugs, and kitchen towels. The MD Little Christmas Ornament is a personal favorite gift to send to friends out of state. 

Etsy Shops

AmyScripts: A custom calligraphy design shop that has lots of cute goods featuring calligraphy including kitchen wear, cards, masks and stickers. I have my eye on a few ornaments to gift this holiday season including her 2020 collection inspired by 2000s pop punk/rock music that speaks to my high school self. 

The Broken Plate: This shop by a Baltimore local offers handmade upcycled and repurposed jewelry made from broken china. You can send Juliet your china and she can turn it into custom jewelry. Check out her shop on Etsy and her website for more selection. 

Oak City Crochet: A shop based in Raleigh, NC offers accessories and home decor that are fun, unique, and all handmade by Megan including hand-dyed scrunchies and crocheted stocking ornaments. 

JamiCreatesThings: Jami sells whimsical doodles as t-shirts, stickers, prints, and more. I love her "Be Kind, It's Free" tees and totes as well as her beautiful stickers. 

SouvenirAndFar: Really cute shop with "retro-inspired apparel for down to earth babes". I love their affordable,comfortable cotton tie dye masks including the Philadelphia Eagles tie dye mask (retails for only $6)!

Baltimore Boutiques

Pandora's Box Boutique: My go-to boutique (located in the heart of Federal Hill in Baltimore) for one-of-a-kind statement earrings, home goods, and accessories. I recently bought a sequined mask there that is absolutely fabulous.  

The Codex Club: A boutique with clothiing, home goods, gifts and more from 50+ local artists. It's the perfect place to grab a Baltimore-centric gift or support local makers. 

Brightside Boutique: A go-to local women's boutique for when I need a small gift. You can shop in person at their various Baltimore-area locations or online for trendy clothing from nationwide brands sassy home wear, jewelry and more. 

Arrow Clothing: Trendy and affordable women's clothing and accessories from an online boutique. 

Poppy & Stella: Shop online or in-store at this boutique that is known for it's fantastic collection of footwear but also carries unique apparel, accessories, beauty products and more. 

Mint+Major: Local women's boutique (shop online or at their store at Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, MD) offering a unique mix of apparel, home decor, accessories, and more. 

Gifts for Her

Erica Sara Designs: Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry for the strong woman in your life including beautiful runner/race-specific jewelry, unique sound-wave engraved pieces, and custom jewelry engraved with your loved one's handprints, footprints or PAW prints (just melt my heart right now!). Order online by 12/14 for domestic delivery by 12/25! 

Food & Drink

Reminder to support your local restaurants and breweries this holiday season. Gift cards always make a great gift. If you have some fellow beer lovers in your family, a 6-pack and some brewery merchandise (t-shirt, hat, etc.) from a local brewery makes a great gift. 

Mouth Party Caramel: Delicious, small-batch caramels (free of nuts, gluten, soy, high fructose, and trans-fat) with yummy varieties including additions like sea salt and Old Bay.

Gundalow Gourmet: Check out their location in Whitehall Mill in Baltimore or shop online for yummy treats (HIGHLY recommend the chocolate chip cookies), gourmet goods, cooks' tools, and more.  

Cane Collective, LLC: Their Cane Mixers are a way to bring craft cocktails right to your own home-just add your liquor of choice! The mixers include varieties such as Guava Tiki Punch, CA(n)E Southside, and the seasonal Cinnamon Cider Punch. These would make the perfect virtual party gift!   

Services to Gift (To Others or Yourself!)

Dietician Jess, LLC: Jess is a dietician based in Pittsburgh, PA who offers nutrition counseling and wellness programs. I met her through running (what else?!) She is launching her next nutrition group program for runners in January (schedule a free discovery call here.) Gift yourself a head start on crushing your goals for 2021. 

Bushelers of Baltimore: Bushelers of Baltimore is a local tailor that offers alterations and reapirs of garments as well as garment personalization/customization. They now offer e-gift cards which could be a great gift for someone to alter or repair a piece that is special to them for a perfect fit or to custom a jean jacket to make it all their own. 

Maryland Non-Profits to Support

I love supporting my local community so I encourage you to find similar organizations to suppor that may be in your area. There are plenty of amazing national organizations out there who deserve support including:  ACLU, Crisis Text Line, Environmental Defense Action Fund, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Water.org, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Hope for the Warriors.

Sharp Dressed Man: This Baltimore organization has been around since 2011 and partners with local organizations to provide men enrolled in training programs with recycled suits for job interviews. Clothing is an important resource for someone who has been struggling and is working to obtain employment, not only necessary for the task but also extremely important in building confidence in someone. Sharp Dressed Man has provided suits to over 7000 men in the last 5 years alone.

United Way of Central Maryland: During the holiday season, this non-profit which helps local families achieve self-sufficiency accepts donations to ensure local families involved in their housing programs are able to celebrate the holiday season including gifts of clothes, books, and other items.

Maryland Food Bank: Due to the effects of the pandemic, more Marylanders are in need of food this year. The Maryland Food Bank provides more than 40 million meals to Marylanders each year and 93% of their resources go directly to their programs. I know this is a larger organization, however I feel that especially this year it is important to ensure that no Marylander goes hungry. 

House of Ruth Maryland: House of Ruth provides services and resources including food, shelter, legal help, and counseling to survivors of domestic abuse and their families. You can donate in many ways including donation of necessary items on their wish list.

Maryland SPCA: Animal organization out of Baltimore offering pet adoption services, education/outreach, humane care, and veterinary services with 99% of their budget coming from donations and program fees. This is not the organization from which I rescued my furbaby cat this year however I know many people who have adopted wonderful pets from the SPCA so they definitely deserve extra support during a year when so many have added new furry members to their family. 

Debriefing the Front Lines, Inc: A non-profit in Baltimore offering a variety of emotional support services for registered nurses and healthcare professionals across the US including the Heal the Healers Project and the Heal the Healers Daily Communication Initiative (appointments available here). The Daily Communication Initiative is where my friend and registered nurse Tara sends an originally authored daily text message of love and support to healthcare workers before their shift, opening up a conversation for the participant. Donate and follow along on social media. Tara inspired me to highlight non-profits in this post so sending her some gratitude. 

What is a small business you are supporting this holiday season? 

November 30, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide for Fit Friends {$30 or less!}

Disclosure: This gift guide is not sponsored. Any ambassadorships or complimentary products are mentioned. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I know, another gift guide. So original. However maybe like me, all the things you bought during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend were for yourself, and now you actually need to buy gifts for others. I actually have bought or want to buy most of the items in this gift guide! I've compiled some of my favorite gift ideas for your friends or family members with a health and fitness theme. That could be a runner/gym rat/yogi or maybe someone who has a fitness goal for 2019. Inspire someone! 

I've kept things under $30 because I usually am not spending much more on gifts, besides for my boyfriend. Based on some of these gift guides I've seen, people spend more on gifts or have some nice loved ones, right?! Cheers to the holiday season and keeping things fun, stress-free, and festive!


Holiday Gift Guide for Fit Friends {$30 or less!}

1. Oh Look Wine!-Travel Wine Tumbler, Sarah Marie Design Studio ($27.50)

I have been eyeing up buying this tumbler for myself!! This cute travel wine tumbler is the perfect gift for the runner or wine-lover in your life! It's stainless steel and double-walled so it provides perfect insulation. It also comes in three bright colors. It is definitely something that is perfect for all year round. 

These are also available in store at Charm City Run in Locust Point if you want to shop small AND shop local in Baltimore. 

2. Kudos Coaster Plus, Kudos ($20)

I received a complimentary Kudos Coaster Plus to review and liked it so much I'm including it as great gift! It's a customizable display coaster with six colored inserts that allows you to showcase race medals or any other favorite memory of the year such as artwork and photos. You pop open the coaster, add your treasure, add in enough inserts to make it flush with the top including the colored insert you want displayed on top, and then simply pop the top back on. Right now I'm displaying my favorite medal of the year which I get to see every time I have a drink. I like it because you could give it to a friend to display a race medal or just pop in a photo or inspirational quote to make it a personalized gift! 


3. Inspirational top, pictured is Boss Tank Top from Adidas ($25)  

For any friend, gift them a top with an inspirational saying or quote. For your favorite boss babe, I love this Boss Tank top from Adidas along with some other empowering female shirts on their website. I was asked to check out their website, which I had not been on since buying some Boston Marathon gear earlier this year. I think a top with a motivational quote is a great way to inspire a loved one for the new year as well as gift them some apparel to work towards their goals in. I'm a big fan of mantras and inspirational quotes all over including on my jewelry and written in my planner so why not on a shirt staring back at ya in the mirror? 

4. In-Stitches Holiday Lily Trotters compression socks, ($29.99, limited edition) 

I'm a big fan and ambassador for Lily Trotters compression socks, but they really are a great gift for the runners and fit friends in your life as well as anyone who spends most of the day on their feet such as healthcare professionals. They are even great for anyone travelling this holiday to keep the blood flowing during long flights or car rides. Lily Trotters compression socks provide support as well as keep your legs and toes warm all season. These limited edition holiday socks are green, white, and red making them oh so festive for the season. 

There are lots of other cute options starting at $39.99 on the website too and a mystery 3 pack for $60 all holiday season, but you can save 15% anytime with my code "BREATHEDEEPLY" 😄

5. Copper Motivate Wrap, Momentum Jewelry ($20.99)

I told you I loved mantras and inspirational quotes! I seem to always mention Momentum Jewelry as gift idea because it fits so many occasions, not just because I've been an ambassador for them for years. They are beautiful, unique, and customizable gifts perfect for that person that inspires you in your life. I love the look of the copper motivate wrap which looks stunning! You can choose from one of the options for an inspiring phrase or customize with your own special phrase. I've gifted one of the motivate wraps to a friend running her first marathon as well as my sister with a Disney-themed phrase on it so these truly are a gift that can be for so many different people! 


6. Women's Pom Pom Beanie, BOCO gear ($27.99)

BOCO gear makes my favorite hats, including their technical truckers for runner which I am obsessed with. I recently purchased a BOCO gear Pom Pom beanie from Charm City Run (they customize hats for brands & businesses) and besides getting so many compliments on it, it is SO warm and comfortable! This fair isle beanie is perfect for winter weather or this chunky knit beanie is a more chic-looking option. Either way the beanie is a quality hat for any outdoor activity making it a great holiday gift. 


7. Christmas Ornaments for Runners, Run Ink ($14.99)

Once I saw these in my email, I was smitten with these marathon Christmas ornaments from Run Ink. I have a Run Ink customized race map with my PR from the 2016 Chicago Marathon and just ordered myself a smaller Berlin Marathon print to hang up next to it. They are unique and beautiful reminders of races.These ornaments are the perfect gifts for the marathon runner in your life who has completed or is dreaming of the six World Marathon Majors or the Marine Corps Marathon. For $4 more there are versions of the ornaments that can be customized to include a race finisher's time which makes for a really special gift that can be hung on the recipient's tree each year. 

Be sure to note that the last day to order for Christmas delivery is 12/9!


 

8. Sugar Plum Thin Sparkle band, Sparkly Soul (starting at $15)

Sparkly Soul headbands are my favorite way to add a little sparkle to my workout outfit. And also distract from my tired eyes and sweaty face, ya know. They are elastic all the way around and do stay on my head. There are a ton of widths, designs, and colors to match the personality of your gift recipient. My favorite are the sparkly thin headbands including the pictured Sugar Plum Thin Sparkle band which is gold and fabulous. There's even fun collections of headbands including bridal, Star Wars, and unicorn headbands! 


What is your gift idea for a fit friend? Do you have or have you gifted any of these items?

June 15, 2018

Last-Minute Father's Day Baltimore Gift Guide

Disclosure: I was invited to visit Hammer & Nails and received a complimentary service for my boyfriend as well as a gift card. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 


Just a heads up, Father's Day is this Sunday. Yes, we are already in the middle of June (HOW?!). Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what to get for my father but know that local Baltimore eats, spirits, or golf balls are always a great option. Have no fear, if you still have not picked up a gift for your dad, here's a list of 5 great options that are all available in the Baltimore area. 


Last-Minute Father's Day Baltimore Gift Guide

1. Sagamore Rye, Sagamore Spirit ($45)

If the father in your life enjoys whiskey, pick up a bottle of local Sagamore Rye from the Sagamore Spirit Distillery. It's a smooth rye that is super drinkable. I gave a bottle to my dad for Christmas, and he loved it! You can find it in many local stores-check out their locator for the retailer closest to you. 

2. The John duffle, Treason Toting Co. ($100)

Treason Toting Co. is a Baltimore company that makes durable and classic bags for "the travelling craftsman." Their The John duffle bag is made from water-resistant canvas with brass hardware for a classic look perfect for any adventure. Let's also put a Treason Toting Co. bag on a list of gifts people can give to me as well. 

February 12, 2018

5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts in Baltimore

Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affiliated with or sponsored by any of the aforementioned brands or businesses. I work for Charm City Run and CorePower Yoga, but the thoughts in this post do not reflect those of the companies. 


With February being a shorter month, I find that the days and weeks just fly by. That means that Valentine's Day is also in just two short days! If you have completely forgotten, do not fear! I am sharing a list of 5 easy, last-minute Valentine's Day gifts for the special people in your life from local businesses. Despite my dislike of the pressure of this one big day and the hiked-up prices of prix-fixe dinners for the holiday, I do really love having the holiday as a reminder to spend some time with your significant other or Valentine. I keep it pretty low key, with a Galentine's Day brunch the weekend before and a nice dinner with flowers from my boyfriend for the actual holiday. Pro tip-surprise your valentine with a gift or dinner the day before or after to avoid the rush and prix-fixe menus! In a busy world, sometimes we need a silly holiday to remind those special in our life how much we care about them. 

As you know, I love supporting small businesses, especially when there are so many amazing businesses right here in Baltimore. Here are 5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day gifts for your Valentine, Galentine, or anyone who could use a little love in their life. 

5 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts in Baltimore

1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Berries by Quicha

What says "I love you" more than chocolate-covered strawberries?! I planning on stopping by Berries by Quicha right here in Federal Hill in Baltimore to grab some of their amazing and unique chocolate-covered strawberries. They have flavors such as Reese, Bacon, and even a Ciroc-liquor infused chocolate-covered strawberry! Besides sounding tasty, their strawberries and special holiday packages look beautiful. 

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Berries by Quicha
{Source
According to their Facebook page, TODAY is the last day to pre-order for guaranteed selection for the holiday either via their website, store (920 Light St), or by calling at 410-440-3239. 

November 22, 2017

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Runners (Under $50) 2017

Disclosure: I am Lily Trotters and Momentum Jewelry ambassadors and receive complimentary & discounted merchandise from both brands. I love both brands and did not receive any compensation for inclusion in this post. I also am a coach at Charm City Run. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. 

So I've got lots to update the interwebs on, like how I ran the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. Say what?! This week on the agenda I just have some rest, recovery, Thanksgiving and leftovers eating, and of course holiday shopping. Can you believe it's already that time of year again? I have been resisting getting into the holiday spirit, but really we only have 5 weekends until Christmas so the time is now! Here's 10 awesome holiday gifts under $50 for the runners in your life (::hint::hint:: to all the special people in my life). 

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Runners (Under $50) 2017

10 Awesome Holiday Gifts Under $50 For Runners

1. Runner X4 Pint Glass ($10) and 6-pack of beer (recommended: Union Craft Brewing Duckpin Ale, price varies)

Union Craft Brewing Duckpin Ale

This is a perfect gift for that fellow runner and beer-lover in your life. Grab this super cool pint glass for $10 (that I was lucky enough to receive during the RW Half weekend) and a 6-pack of your favorite local beer. 

2. Pair of Lily Trotters compression socks ($48)

February 14, 2017

10 Ways to Show Yourself Self-Love

So today is Valentine's Day, and while many people are haters on the idea of the holiday with all its commercialization. I have always been a fan of the holiday as a day to tell the people you love how much you care about them, in case you haven't always been finding the time to do so lately.  That means my friends, my mom, my siblings, and my boyfriend. I am spending my Valentine's Day in school, doing homework, and maybe treating myself to a run and some dessert.  

It is also a nice reminder to practice self-love and show yourself that you care.  Here are 10 ideas of how to show yourself self-love today and any day!


10-ways-to-show-self-love


1. Take a bubble bath. Maybe you're like me and have a few Lush bath bombs sitting in a drawer, waiting to be used so break them out and treat yourself to a bath and some quiet time. If you don't like baths, maybe it is as simple as taking a nice, long, and relaxing shower.  

2. Have a 30-second (or longer) dance party. Turn up your favorite song or put on a Spotify playlist playlist and sing or dance. Music has been shown to boost your mood and dancing makes me really happy. 

January 3, 2017

2016: A Year in Running & Beyond

Welcome to my 2016 year in review blog post. I know it's a bit cliche, but this is a really fun way for me to reflect on the year. I always forget all of the amazing adventures I went on, the races I ran, and fun I had this year.  It's nice to scroll through the photos on my computer and really spend time thinking about the past year before jumping into the next. I'm sharing a couple fun things that happened each month in 2016 running, fitness, and beyond!


2016: A Year in Running & Beyond

January
Snowzilla hit Baltimore in January bringing the best snow on record for the city. It was crazy.  I also started coaching at Charm City Run which was definitely challenging with lots of snow and ice on the ground!

baltimore-snowzilla-2016-blizzard

I also spent plenty of cold mornings running and working out with November Project Baltimore, which celebrated it's second birthday. 

november-project-baltimore-2birthday

February
Besides a lovely Valentine's Day dinner in with my boyfriend and some more running, I ran the Nuun Year Dash with a group of fellow Team Nuun runners and some cool people from Harlem Run. It was great to spread the Nuun love and run the FitFam virtual race in person! 

December 19, 2016

8 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Fitness Fans

I seriously can't believe it's the week of Christmas. SERIOUSLY. Between moving, bouncing around between doctor's and physical therapy appointments, plus finals, this past month has moved crazy fast. Luckily I have done some online shopping plus braved the crowds at Target this weekend so I only have a couple gifts left to purchase.  

If you have been mostly shopping deals to buy presents for yourself and now need to finish all your shopping in T-7 days, here are some great last-minute gift ideas for you! 


holiday-shopping-myself


I shared lots of products that you can purchase on Amazon because I'm an Amazon Prime addict with that free 2-day shipping. You can't beat getting things in 2-days if you are short on time!  Check out some of my favorite items for runners, yogis, and any other fit fans in your life. 


8-last-minute-gift-ideas-fitness-fans

8 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Fitness Fans

1.  Believe or Complete Training Journal and Believe Logbook

I have been using the Believe Training Journal for the past two years to record my weekly workouts, log my miles, and write down my goals and progress.  I love that it includes articles on different topics like goal-setting and nutrition. This year I was given the chance to review the Complete Training Journal and Believe Logbook

believe-training-journal-compete-logbook


The Complete Training Journal is a souped-up version of the Believe Training Journal and focuses more on competitions and tracking progress towards goals and races more in-depth. The Believe Logbook offers an open and customizable, minimalist workout logbook with an annual calendar. 

All three are also available on Amazon with Prime shipping: Believe, Compete, Believe Logbook

2. Namast'ay in Bed candle

The Brooklyn Artists and Fleas Market is open Saturdays and Sundays in Williamsburg, BK and carries this cheeky 100% natural soy wax candle from the 125 Collection. The candle is hand-poured in NY and features one of my favorite quotes-perfect for the yogi (or sleepyhead) in your life.  
namastay-in-bed-candle-brooklyn-flea

If you're not near Brooklyn, you can order the candle from the store's Etsy site

November 23, 2016

Things Runners are Thankful for

On a serious note, I'm beyond grateful each day for my health, my family, my ability to go to graduate school and work, as well as all of the opportunities and amazing things in my life. 

Despite currently not being able to run (#bootlife), I am also so thankful for the sport of running and all that it has given me. 

Remember to not only eat lots of delicious food today but also to appreciate what you have and donate to a good cause this holiday. I plan to donate to the LiveUp Programs and Planned Parenthood this holiday season and have already donated some coats, hats, and scarves to a local collection in Baltimore. 

On a funny note, here are some things that runners are grateful for: 


things-runners-are-thankful-for

Things Runners are Thankful for 

1. BodyGlide because chafing is THE WORST. 

2 Cold beers after races because if you drink beer, a cold one after a race tastes amazing. 

3. Race volunteers These wonderful people who help out at races, work at water stations, and cheer for runners early in the morning are awesome.  

4. Public bathrooms I'm looking at you, Starbucks. 

5. Port-a-potties (that actually have toilet paper!) 

6. Free race photos because aren't race registrations pricey enough? 

7. Water fountains which are amazing during those hot & humid summer long runs. 

8.  Friends who will meet you for a 5 AM run and give you an extra push to get out of bed to get in some miles before the sun comes up. 

9. Carbohydrates  -a runner's favorite food group. 

10.  Foam Rollers because it hurts so good. 

11. New running shoes which always make me happy. 

12. Race discounts Because things are getting priceyyyy. 

13. Washing machines When your hamper is 90% workout gear. 

14. Well-marked race courses because no one likes running extra or getting lost during a race. 

15. Earth for offering so many beautiful places to see and run! 

Oh and pie. Pizza pies and sweet pies. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you a safe and happy holiday. 

What are you thankful for? What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving? 


February 5, 2016

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}


I love muffins and banana bread so whenever I have some overripe bananas lying around that is always my go-to way to use them up. I buy bananas every week because they are my favorite pre-run fuel and afternoon snack of choice which means I often have overripe bananas! This week I made these honey banana muffins which have a nice flavor from the cinnamon and sweetness from the Nektar Naturals honey crystals without an overpowering banana flavor. I know I'm not a food blogger, but I do like sharing some yummy recipes!

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}

The muffins are are also healthy and can be tailored to your dietary restrictions. I used almond meal and almond milk to make them dairy-free and wheat-free, but you can use whatever flour and milk you prefer.  

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}
It was my first time trying Nektar Naturals which are just all-natural granulated honey crystals. It comes in packets or an easy to pour bottle so I could use honey in baking or in things like my tea, without the sticky mess. It found it really helpful for baking these muffins since I didn't have to measure out a bunch of sticky honey.  You can order Nektar Naturals online or pick up some at your local Walmart. 

Just in time for Valentine's Day Nektar Naturals is selling these delicious-looking chocolate-covered pretzels dusted with Nektar honey on Amazon which would make the perfect gift for a friend. You can also go to their website and send a  free honeygram or little love note & sample to someone in the mail on/before Valentine's Day. My friends should look out because I already sent a lot of free lovenotes to people!





Speaking of Valentine's Day these muffins would be a great addition to breakfast in bed or a way to share some love with your friends. I also have a fairly low-key Valentine's Day which usually includes going out to dinner with my boyfriend and exchanging small gifts. I love to bake something from scratch and have made cake, cupcakes, and other sweets in the past so I might just be making these again next weekend! 

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}

January 4, 2016

Year in Review 2015 Linkup

Quick plug: If you are looking for a fun virtual race to keep you motivated after January, check out the Nuun Year Dash through Fitfam-registration closes today!

I am a big fan of self-reflection and taking the time to process experiences and events. The end of a calendar year is always a great time to look back on accomplishments, fun, and challenges from the past 365 and also a time to make new goals.  I am linking up with Dani and Smitha for their Year in Review Linkup-go read some other peoples' reviews and get inspired to take on 2016!


year-in-review-2015-graphic

2015 was a pretty good year of running. 
It included: 
4 5ks
7 Halfs
1 full
1 Boston Qualifying time
1 overnight relay

Overall 2015 was a pretty great year: 

-Was featured in Women's Running Magazine as the Blogger on the Run

December 28, 2015

Why Being Home for the Holidays is Marvelous

Don't forget there is still a couple days to enter my lindsay.withlove Instagram giveaway

I finished my last final for the semester on last Tuesday and then it seemed I spent every night for the rest of the week going out for drinks or dinner. I'm not complaining-I had a lot of catching up to do from the semester when I had no free time. In a blink of an eye after surviving the semester with good grades (WOOHOO) it seemed I was catching an early morning train to Philadelphia to head home. Being home for the holidays with no work and no schoolwork and no obligations was really weird after being all GoGoGo for 4 months . However doing absolutely nothing and spending lots of time with my family was oh so marvelous

-getting my first present on Christmas Eve which was these amazing fleece Princess Leia onesie pajamas my mom snagged from Target. Once it gets cold, this will be my hanging out the apartment uniform. 


princess-leia-onesie

-It has become a holiday tradition for my sister and I to decorate a gingerbread house every year. It came out pretty great this year!

gingerbread-house-2015

-My family went out of town for a night so I was in charge of Elf on the Shelf for my mom and sister. I had a whole rainy day with nothing to do so I worked hard on these, haha.

First was Hotline Bling Elf  with Noelle 

drake-hotline-bling-elf-on-the-shelf

December 21, 2015

Celtic Solstice 5 Miler 2015 Race Recap

I'm FINALLY done with my first semester of grad school! I survived ::does little dance:: This week included lots of eating out and beers and whiskey and even a a few good runs. I'm really excited to celebrate the holidays, and then finally get back to a really solid running and training schedule. Things have pretty much been off the rails since after the Chicago Marathon with lots of missed runs, late nights, and many cups of coffee. I know this little winter break will fly by so I'm trying to enjoy every second!

This weekend was the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler, a fabulous race put on by Falls Road Running which was mentioned in Runner's World a few years back and is famous for still being held in 2009 when there was a freaking blizzardIt always has a fantastic premium. with this year it being a really nice and cozy Brooks Running half zip which I picked up earlier in the week. For packet pick-up you grab your bib (and if you ordered it, the premium) and then get your timing chip at the race start.   

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It's a race I love and hate all at the same time. I mostly "hate" it because I sign up months in advance tempted by the premium or peer-pressured by friends and because it's around the 2nd week of December it's always freezing cold or snowy or both.  In the end I always have fun, mostly because of the awesome post-race party. 

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Despite being in the 50s and 60s last week and now this week, the weekend was a little taste of winter with the temperatures around the low 40s. 

Now, Friday night was my work holiday party with lead to stopping at a few bars afterwards with co-workers and in short, I didn't get to bed until 2:30 AM. Yikes. So I woke up the next day, surprisngly feeling okay, and chugged a big glass of Nuun Energy lemon-lime  and ate a Yummari bite before bundling up.  

The weather said it was 32 degrees outside. I wore Under Armour cold gear tights, festive holiday socks, Feetures! socks, an Under Armour short sleeve shirt under a turtleneck, ear warmers, NP buff, gloves and a Bondiband plus my Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 shoes.
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They have a big tent at the start at Druid Hill Park with pre-race coffee so I tried to stay warm for a while before heading out to the start line. This start line is always crowded so I tried to get as far up as I could. The race starts with a procession of bagpipers in kilts, which I love.  

I manged to find some November Project friends right before the start of the life. As is usually the case, my feet were so cold I really couldn't feel my feet for the first two miles.  I had my iPod and used a friend as my rabbit for the first couple of miles. I was surprisingly feeling pretty well and holding my pace just faster than 7:30 min/mi according to my Garmin. There were a few little hills along with a larger one around 2.5 miles, but after mile 2 I definitely felt like I had fallen into a nice rhythm.  

I haven't been running as much or as fast as I'd like lately and had a rough half marathon a couple weeks ago due to a tight hamstring so having a good run was an awesome surprise. Since the weather has been so mild, it also took me some time to get used to breathing in the cold air while running. 

December 18, 2015

BGB Secret Santa Gift Exchange Reveal

One of my favorite things about blogging is the people I meet through various networks associated with my corner of the Internet. A newer community I've been a part of is the "Bloggers Gonna Blog" or BGB community. It's a group of food and healthy living bloggers who support and share with each other lead by Georgie and Christina that initially started as a Facebook group. It's grown to Instagram (#BGBcommunity) and while I haven't participated in discussions as much as I want (#gradschoolproblems) I love all the support and positivity of the group so definitely join their group on Facebook if you're a blogger or follow the hashtag (#BGBcommunity)! 

BGB had previously held foodie swaps so they decided to do a blogger Secret Santa gift exchange that 40 bloggers ended up participating in.   I LOVE Secret Santa gift exchanges because it's always a fun way to find something new about someone you know or don't know.  


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What I Sent

I was paired up with one of the BGB co-founders, Christina of A Blissful Balance, actually and you can go over to her blog post to read all the details. Christina is a twenty-something healthy living blogger like me, except her blog is way bigger than mine, and she creates amazing recipes. You should also check out her gorgeous Instagram with all of its drool worthy food photos.  

I had followed her Instagram but hadn't read much of her blog so it was cool to go through and read about her and some of her posts. Once I found out she was also a runner it made gift-buying easy! I sent Christina LOTS of LesserEvil popcorn (which doubled as bubble wrap!) along with a running shirt from Reebok, adorable Vera Bradley hair ties, Nuun singles, and a lip gloss. 


What I Received

Kellen of A Cup of Kellen was paired up with me. I had recently started following her on Instagram so it was great to receive a gift from her. She sent a lovely long note which included how when she started reading my blog for ideas she realized we have SO much in common but just happen to live on opposite coasts of the country! She also loves craft beer runs, is a Nuun ambassador, and ran the Chicago Marathon this past year with the same Garmin I have. So we were pretty much twinning at Chicago and didn't know it. We're totally destined to be friends, haha

Kellen sent me an adorable festive beer open (because she couldn't ship me an actual pint of beer!). Although I will hold her to a beer rain check for the next time I make it out to San Diego.