Monday, April 14, 2014

Gabby Rose Wears...

I love fashion, but I don't have time most mornings to put together a stylish, well-accesorized "outfit."  Although I would consider myself more of a morning person than a night owl...most days I still only manage to give myself about 45 minutes to read my Bible, shower, dress, pack lunches and be at work by 8 AM.

I wouldn't blame anyone else for picking out a pair of pants and a top and calling it a day, But for me, that does actually pose a slight problem.

Here's why: I actually have tons of clothes, tons & tons of accessories and tons & tons & TONS of shoes.
Like seriously - a TON. We not-jokingly-at-all call our spare bedroom "Gabby's walk-in closet."
I love shopping. It's one of my oldest past times. I even love shopping for other people. (In another life I think I'd make a great personal shopper). And I don't want to brag per say...but I'm also kind of a pro at finding good deals. With the exception of my running shoes and a couple other pairs of "sensible shoes" pretty much every other article of clothing/shoe/accessory I own cost me somewhere in the $15-$30 range.

Therefore, in an effort to be more purposeful about taking advantage of my closet, I'm going to work on planning outfits before bed, and maybe, maybe, waking up a few minutes earlier.

Here's what I wore to work today:
Red chiffon tee from Nordstrom Rack - $10.99
Drapey Crop pant from Old Navy - $25
Steve Madden Sandals via TJ Maxx - $16.99
Both Necklaces from Forever 21 - $4.95 each
Outfit Total: $63
Each piece is very comfortable and keeps me cool on this lovely 80 degree  So Cal Spring day. I was a little worried the pants might look like pajamas, but the cinching at the bottom helps with that (I think?) I also purposely paired it with two necklaces to "dress it up" a bit.

Questions: How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning?
Do you prefer to own fewer "quality" pieces? Or lot's of inexpensive items?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paper Flower Tutorial

If everyone's okay with this, I'm going to start doing some tutorials on here for the various crafts and DIY's I make. (My most popular blog posting still remains the Travel Themed Party I threw for my friend Stephanie) Crafting is probably my next biggest hobby after running, and I find myself crafting even more these days with all my extra non-running free time.

This is actually a project I did for work, but am definitely planning on using for future parties and gift wrapping.

The Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial
It's actually incredibly simple and goes pretty fast.  I made about 30 flowers of varying sizes in about 2 hours.

What you'll need:
Lot's of tissue paper
Stapler (ideally one with a long reach)

1. Stack your tissue paper at least 8 layers thick.  More than 8 is ideal - but 8 will work.  Most of mine were between 10 and 12 layers. Make sure you cut the stack of paper to a square (roughly) This will give you a rounder flower (vs. an oblong flower)

2. Staple the stack in the middle and free draw a round flower shape with petals

3. Cut out the flower shape

4. Fluff each layer one at a time.  I found that squeezing and scrunching each layer as I went made it stay better and look "fluffier"

5. When you get to the bottom layer - you're done! Just fluff a bit more until you're happy with it.

Easy-peasy right?
There are a ton of things you can do with these little (or big) guys. We used them for bulletin boards, but I love the idea of the flower as the bow on a gift too!
Via Lia Griffith: Handcraft Your Life
 Try it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Palm Springs Planning

There isn't a lot of running happening over here in Gabby Rose Runs Land. Physical Therapy is plugging along.  My hip is getting better... but it's not completely healed.

In the meantime, here's something completely unrelated...

I know a lot of people are getting ready to head to Indio for Coachella pretty soon.  I'm not really into that whole "festival" scene - but I do love me some Palm Springs desert vacationing.  We're actually going to Indio for a week in May and being the Type-A over-planner that I am, I'm already scheduling our trip and planning out what we'll be eating/doing/shopping/seeing etc.
If you've never been to Palm Springs I'd highly recommend taking a trip.  If you're living in the Los Angeles area - it's a great weekend destination. It's about an 1.5 hour drive, and if you don't mind the heat (everything is air conditioned) there are some great deals to be had in the summer months.
We got a suh-weet deal at the Hyatt Regency in July last year
My husband and I both grew up vacationing in Palm Springs, and next month will be our third trip there together.
Dinner at Lulu in 2011 (pre blog)
Marilyn Statue last July
My grandparents gifted us a week using their timeshare points so we're staying at the WorldMark Indio with some friends.
We're definitely planning on tons of relaxation time at the pool (can you say, Lazy River??)!
Reading by the pool with clear skies, warm breezes and gorgeous mountains.... ahhhh
But because we're staying for 4 nights and I can't handle vegging all the time, here are some of our plans for the week.

Starting with the drive in...

Finally stopping at the Cabazon Dinosaurs
This is one of those places I've always seen and known about, but never actually stopped at and went to, ya know?

I'd also like to try a date shake from Hadley's. Another place we always see... but the timing never seems to be right.
Since we're staying in Indio, which is about 30 minutes past Palm Springs, we'll spend most of out time out there and then just make a couple day trips back out to actual Palm Springs.

I'm all about fun brunching (it's the Angeleno in me I suppose) and I've read lot's of good things about Cheeky's. A flight of specialty bacon? Watermelon agua fresca? Um, yes please.

Since we'll be spending the day in Palm Springs, I'd also love to check out some antique shops I've read about: Sunny Dunes, Dazzles and Victoria's Attic to name a few.
I've also never experienced the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which is definitely pretty "touristy" but I'm okay with that.
One of the most random things we'll be doing brings out the total kid in me... We're going to Wet 'n' Wild Water Park!!
 I know, I know... we're adults without children, but hey, we're trying to find fun outdoors-but-try-not-to-die-of-heat-exhaustion types of adventures :)

I'm sure we'll end up spending a ton of time at the pool and just hanging out in the condo - but do you have any suggestions of other places/things to check out?  We're always looking for more ideas!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Injured Runner Problems

I mentioned in my last post that my hips have been an issue lately.  I finally went to a physical therapist and have been meeting with him twice a week.

In my diagnostic test he found that although my flexibility is really good for a runner (yay - I've got to take my wins when I get them) my hips are pretty weak.  He can tell that's there's definitely "something wrong" with the top of my quad/lower hip- but it's mainly just because you can't pound out double digit runs regularly with such weak glutes... go figure right?

It's been good because I can feel myself getting stronger, but it's also frustrating not running.  He had me run for 10 minutes on the treadmill on Monday and it was the first time I've run since LA Marathon with just "discomfort" instead of pain. It was like "yay I can run for 10 minutes... now how about 4 more hours??"
ha! I wish
It's pretty common for runners to have weak glutes because we don't focus on strength training like we should.  Here's the exercises I'll be doing twice a week (I originally accidentally typed "weak" which is actually a pretty good pun) to make sure I've never sidelined this long again...

Here are some links to help with the unfamiliar exercises...

Side Step with Resistance Band (I couldn't find a video for this one so here's a photo from Vega Sports)

Resistance Band Abductor Pull
Resistance Band Standing Kick Backs 

Clam Shell

Single Leg Sit to Stand

I hope you find these exercises as helpful as I have been!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Am a Marathon Finisher!

I did it - I ran my very first FULL marathon! It was harder, slower, more painful and more emotional than I ever anticipated - but I did it!
The LA Marathon is a perfect "first marathon" race.  No question, hands down - it's just a great race to experience and be a part of. Everything went smoothly, there was tons of race support and aside from the traffic getting out of Santa Monica - I didn't have a single issue or problem with the race itself.
Ryan Hall on the Asics Treadmill outside the Expo
The day started out beautifully with a cloudy magnificent sunrise...

One of my training buddies Julie
But that cloud layer burnt off by mile 10...

Los Angeles is known for year-round sunshine, but also year-round "unexpected" heat waves.  It just happened to be a record-breaking heat day and that definitely affected how I was feeling.  Volunteers were spraying us with hoses and I kept dumping water on my head, but mostly, there was little relief from the heat.
My sweet tan lines
I had to readjust my goals the warmer it got.  I think I walked all of mile 16 and mile 22 because everything was just hurting.
Not my finest hour...

I've been battling on and off again hip pain since the 20 mile training run a couple months back. I went into the race very nervous about my hips and those nerves ended up getting to me mentally, more than anything else.  I didn't go into the race believing I could do it, it was more of a "I hope I can do this." I just hadn't prepared myself mentally and so early on, I was already doubting myself. By mile 10 I wanted to abandon my 5 min run/1min walk ratio and I forgot the ever-important saying "Talk to yourself, don't listen to yourself." I just dwelt on the pain, instead of rallying and digging deeper.  Mentally, I was just off and lacked the confidence I needed for a strong race.

But I'm really trying to focus on the good and one of the race highlights was running with the Pasadena Pacers. Over 100 of us ran this race together and it was great seeing familiar, encouraging faces along the route. I ended up running with several different Pacers at different points along the course which definitely made the miles pass quicker.

It was also such a relief to get to the mile 20 marker and be met by a volunteer who 'ran' me into our Pacer tent filled with water, snacks, and Dr. Smith to rub out cramps. I nearly cried when I saw the group of people in red cheering for me and waving me over.
Thanks Erika! You LITERALLY saved my life
But, even though at the time I was hating myself and swearing off all of running for eternity, by Monday I was already plotting my next race.  I do need to take care of my hips though and work on strengthening my glutes better before next time.
Despite all the race disappoints, pain and frustration, at the end of the day - I am a marathon finisher and that makes me pretty darn happy. And, since it was my first full I still PR'd! Annnnnd.... since my time was downright pitiful... it's almost guaranteed that I'll PR next time too :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sant to the Sea Half Marathon

On December 8th I ran the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon. It was my 6th and final half marathon of 2013.
I ran with my friend Lindsey and because I'm in LA Marathon training, I wanted to keep it at a comfortable pace.  She wanted to finish in under 3 hours and I was happy with that, so we decided to stay together.

It was 37 degrees at the start and we got there pretty early so we stood around and shivered for a good half hour.

Lindsey's husband drove us, so we kept our jackets until mile 4 where he met us and grabbed them.

The race starts in inland Oxnard and ends at "the sea."  It was probably the most diverse scenery I've experienced in a single race so far.

We started at a giant Santa between the freeway and a mobile home park...  Definitely not the most scenic race start ever, but we were quickly into newer residential areas, then on to older residential areas, then farming land, and then finally to the beach-y Oxnard area I had anticipated when signing up for this race.
First time racing in Pacer red!

The course was super flat and definitely has the potential for being a fast race.  There were maybe 1,000 people there, so it wasn't tiny - but it wasn't crowded either.

We ended up finishing in 2:53. Lindsey was pretty spent but happy with her time.  It's the first time I've tried to "pace" someone - and there were definitely moments where I think she hated me... but I guess that means I did my job correctly.

It was a solid run and a great way to spice up my long run for the weekend.

Lindsey was anxious to get to the car, so we didn't spend a lot of time browsing the finish line festivities but it looked like they were offering fresh local fruit and some other goodies.  It was a little unusual because none of the post-race refreshments were offered in the shoot...they were all a good distance away, even water.  I guess it was to keep it from getting log-jammed? But we didn't end up with anything because of it. Andrew brought us water though, and we grabbed lunch nearby though, so we were fine.

Bottom line - this race was a good price, and easy to do. The race shirt was also a v-neck which I personally, appreciate. I would definitely run it again in the future, and maybe create a more elaborate Christmas costume if I have the time.

Last race of 2013 is in the books with my sights set on on the LA Marathon in March!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Arctic Zero Low Calorie Frozen Desserts!

A couple weeks ago, Arctic Zero contacted me about sampling some of their frozen desserts.  Naturally, I agreed.

To my giddy-ish delight, this box arrived in the mail a couple days later...
I was stoked!

I had tried Arctic Zero before, and actually blogged about it here when I first sampled it at the Redondo Beach 5k. But they have a ton of flavors I hadn't tried yet.

Basically, Arctic Zero desserts are low in calories, low in fat, low in sugar, and have lots of protein and fiber. Their bars clock in at 80 calories, and the entire pint of their "ice cream" is a whopping 150 calories! The pints are also "lactose intolerant friendly" and gluten free!

I can handle that.

I also really like that it's not sweetened with any artificial sugars.  From their website, "Arctic Zero is sweetened with a proprietary blend of monk fruit concentrate and organic cane sugar. We do not use artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols of any kind."

What is monk fruit? You ask...
"One of the sweetest melons in the world, monk fruit concentrate is 150 times sweeter than sugar and one gram replaces 40 teaspoons of sugar."

So bottom line.

It's healthy. Don't go in expecting Baskin Robbins.  Go in expecting a low calorie dessert and you will not be disappointed. I particularly liked the bars which come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and orange. (strawberry and vanilla were my favorite) and for the ice cream flavors, I really liked the Vanilla Maple, strawberry, cookies 'n' cream and mint. Ok... so that's basically all of them. The peanut was probably my least favorite.

They recommend that you let it sit out for 5-10 minutes before eating because they are pretty hard. (you can see my over-anxious bite mark in the photo of the bar).  But when they soften a bit. the texture is definitely creamier.

Again - it's not normal ice cream... but it is still very satisfying. Donny has helped me with most of it (there was a ton!) but it's definitely something I'll purchase in the future.
They sell it at my local Vons Pavilions and I think at a Ralph's nearby too.

I'm definitely someone who prefers to eat larger portions, so knowing I can enjoy the whole pint makes me happy.  I'd much rather eat a pint of Arctic Zero, than 2 bites of some rich decadent crap. FWIW...

Disclaimer: Arctic Zero provided me with samples of their desserts. All opinions are my own.