Heart And Sole 26.2 book review & giveaway

Who’s doing the Friday dance with me?  What are your plans for the weekend?  I have no idea what we’re up to, but I’m looking forward to bumming around with Mike and making fun of him.  I’m a peach.

Let’s kick off the weekend with a book review and giveaway, shall we!


And yes, I read in the tub, doesn’t everybody?

I was contacted by a representative for author Melinda Hinson Neely to do a book review on Heart And Sole 26.2 how 26 ran their first marathon (and you can too).

I’m not much of a reader unless it involves magazines, and don’t plan on running a marathon anytime soon, but this book is all about running.  And we all know running’s my favorite and I’m so happy I took the time to dive in.  It’s a fast read for folks like me.

I thought it was a fantastic read for runners of all levels, especially beginners.  I loved reading how 26 non-super human normal people like you & I trained their butts off, overcame injures, battled weather and pretty much anything training throws at you to cross the finish line of their first marathon.  You will definitely be inspired!

The other really cool thing about this book is that Melinda offers relatable, useful tips along the way from her expertise and experience.  She has multiple marathons under her belt and is also a Boston qualifier.


Bam wants you to know that he enjoyed reading it too but wishes they would have suggested a belly rub, a nap in the sun and some cookies for recovery.

I really enjoyed the book and thought you guys would too, so I asked Melinda’s team if they would be willing to do a giveaway.  I was stoked they agreed!  So one lucky winner will score signed paperback copies of “Heart and Sole” and Melinda’s other book, “Eat In, Not Out”.  Plus a 30 minute consultation to do an assessment of a your one week “healthy diary” (e.g., food/fitness/etc).  How cool is that!?

All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your best running tips and/or advice!!

Extra entries if you share this giveaway with your social media friends, blog or write it in the sky.  Be sure to hop back over here & let me know.

**Edited because this blonde is clearly under caffeinated and forgot to add the giveaway will end Tuesday August 13 and the winner will be announced the following day.**


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Finding the new normal and visiting The Farm

One of the cool things about relocating is finding new running routes.  I see so much more on foot than I do driving around so it’s been fun exploring. 

In the past I never drove anywhere to run, but this time I’m driving a bit to find my new favorite route.  Well with the exception of yesterday – I didn’t have much ground to cover.


It’s been awhile since I did any strength training so yesterday I jumped back into it.  Man it felt so good to be back!  I try to strength train 3 to 4 days a week.


Sperry’s are totally the new cross training shoe of choice. 

Let’s be real, I was too lazy to change shoes. 


And ended the workout with a wall sit.  My quads were on fire at the end – I love that feeling!




Yesterday’s adventures took me through the countryside (shocking, right!) to a place called The Farm.  I saw it from the freeway when we were looking for a place and knew I had to go check it out.


The Farm is 100% certified organic and they grow a wide variety of fresh produce like strawberries, several types of lettuce, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins and a lot more that I can’t remember.   



I didn’t pick up anything as I just went to the grocery store the day before, but I can’t wait to go back.  Fresh picked produce is one of my favorite things ever.

I’m sure Mike would love to spend his Saturday picking flowers with me.  Winking smile  Maybe they should consider offering beer and a man chair.  Hah!


The field of flowers to choose from is a dream!


I’m off to do some more exploring and unpacking.  Yeah, there are still several boxes staring at me but having fun is more of a priority these days and that’s just fine with me.

Do you drive to run or just stay around your neighborhood?

How do you feel about organic foods?

I tend to spring a little more to buy the “dirty dozen” organic if possible.  Though I think some things like bananas are not worth the extra price tag.

I’m just throwing this out there –  are there any regulations on distance between conventional farms and organic farms?  We have only lived out here for a little over a week and have seen several crop dusters flying around and who’s to say the wind doesn’t carry the pesticides to another field? 

Just my thought for the day.


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Scents that take you back

Good morning!  I hope you are having a wonderful, sunshiny week.

Yesterday the sun came out, so naturally Bam & I had to soak it all in.  It doesn’t come out as much as we’re used to so we enjoy it when it does.


I did actually do a little work too.  I love planning and organization but the move cramped my style a bit, so I’m playing catch up.  Thank you so much for hanging in there with me during the transition.  Smile


Bam & I decided to check out the fruit trees in the 2nd backyard.  Okay well one of us only cared about hunting for gerbils and sniffing cactus.  We have an acre to explore so there are lot’s of adventures to be had.


I saw several fruit trees: oranges, lemons, apricots, apples, tangerines & nectarines. 

I’m not sure what these little guys are.  Figs?  Does anyone know?  


And these too?  Apples or pears?


Then I decided to hit up the grocery store for dinner, Nob Hill which we call snob hill since we are 4. 

I took the back roads through wide open spaces and farmland with big beautiful mountains in the background.  I’ll never forget that drive today.  I felt so free…free as I’ll ever be…

I had the top down to take it all in.  My hair blowing in the wind, not a care in the world for the first time in a very loooong time. 

I caught a whiff of peppers that instantly took me back to my grandma’s old house that was torn down years ago.  I practically grew up there and spent countless hours playing in her yard.  I can’t believe it was the same exact scent I remembered as a kid from her house.  Part of me misses those days, even when I was board.


Be still my country loving heart.


Gosh now I miss home and grandma even more.  It’s a good thing we live even closer now.

I am also digging these coastal trees.  I love how they grow in the direction the wind blows.   


What scent(s) remind you of something or someone?

City, country, coastal, mountains-pick one!

A nice warm, sunny beach.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home?


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I need your help & the best butterscotch cookie recipe ever

Um, so it’s August and I’m wearing hoodies & Uggs.  Pretty sure this is a first.


This weather is going to take a lot of getting used to.  I am a sunny, summer girl so I expect this move to build…character and maybe round my corners as my dad would say. 

But it’s perfect running weather!  I set out for a 5K but got lost in my new neighborhood so it was a little longer.  I am totally okay with this.


The sun eventually came out and called my name so I sat out back and watched gopher hunt 2013 take place.  And what do ya know, not a single person yelled at him for I don’t know, being a dog.  Winking smile


Then I decided to be domestic.  I’m not a fan of cooking, but baking, oh baking I freaking love.  I wanted to welcome Mike home from his first day with his favorite butterscotch cookies. 


I told him they were made with a lot of love and butter.  He definitely approved!

They were nice and chewy on the inside and a little crunchy around the edges.  Just the way I like ‘em.


I followed this Toll House recipe but only made half of a batch and added a little extra salt & vanilla.  


In other news I was really looking forward to giving our new Cuisinart Coffee Maker Grind & Brew a great review, but we’re really not a fan. 


We thought there was something wrong with our first one as it would stop brewing half way through and we had to fight with it to work again.  So I exchanged it and now the new one is doing the same thing.  The only way we can get it to brew without suddenly stopping is to rig it like this. 


And you know that’s a major coffee crisis in this house.  We would surely die without coffee.  <-you think I’m joking.

That leads Mike to think there’s a design flaw in the lid sensor. 

Plus there are quite a few parts that need to be cleaned after every brew cycle.  #notfun


We really like the taste of the coffee as it’s brewed at a higher temp than our old cheapy coffee pots, and doesn’t require a paper filter, but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.

So we are now accepting coffee maker recommendations.  Please let us know if you have one you love.

What is your favorite dessert?


Do you enjoy having seasons or would you like the weather to be consistent year round?

I think I like having seasons, but I’m looking forward to giving the more consistent weather a shot.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Exploring my new area, baking and getting ready for the holidays!  Eeek how many of you did I just freak out by saying the “h” word?  Winking smile


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Exploring Monterey & a Mermaid Series coupon– promo code for you!

Hey there!  Welcome to a brand new week.

Exciting news!!


Girlfriend’s coming back to racing!!  Yup, I’ll be doing the Mermaid Series Duathlon in October.  I participated in it last year and it was hands down one of the most scenic, beautiful courses I have ever seen.  So to say I’m a little excited about doing it again is a definite understatement. 


It starts in the laid back & charming downtown Capitola (just south of Santa Cruz), goes along the coastline with stunning views and ends right on the beach.  My kinda race!


They also have a couple triathlon distance races the same day if that’s your cup of coffee.

If you’re interested in joining me, use coupon / promo code SKINNYCHICK10 {all caps} for 10% off and let me know so we can meet up and I can harass you. 

You think I’m joking.  Winking smile


Mike goes back to work today so things are slowly getting back to normal around here.  We still have some unpacking to do but figured it could wait so we explored Monterey yesterday.


We knew the touristy spots were going to be packed, but decided to brave it anyway.  Cannery Row has a lot of charm.


We walked around for a bit and decided to have lunch at Bubba Gump’s.  I’m not a huge fan of fish, but that’s probably because I’m afraid of ordering it and not liking it.  #firstworldproblems  So I stuck with chicken which was awesome.  But I’m easy to please.



Since I have every single Starbucks location I’ve ever visited filed away in my brain, I already knew where the nearest one was.


We met Ryan, who totally ROCKED!!  He is a fan of my beloved Double Shot which means he knows how to make it (!) and even made it with the Clover.  My life is now complete.


Ryan gave us the best customer service we’ve ever had at a Starbucks.  Yeah I went there.  Winking smile  We could tell he is passionate about his job and making us happy. 


So if you’re ever on Cannery Row, stop in and visit Ryan for one incredible coffee experience. 


We jumped in the car, put the top down (it looks cold but it was in the 60’s) and drove along the coast from Monterey to Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and back to Highway 1. 




Before I forget here’s a shot of the new fur.  Which is probably the last time you will see it actually done.  Winking smile


What’s your next race?  What distance are you running?

How do you explore new areas?  Take a drive, run, ride etc.

What are 5 things you want to accomplish this week?


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SLO, Paso & one of the most beautiful roads we’ve ever been on

Good morning friends!


We got on the road early yesterday morning so I didn’t have a chance to put a post together.  I am sure you missed my free entertainment, no?

Friday I went for my first run around our new ‘hood.  It felt so great to be back at it again.


I’m looking forward to finding my new normal here.  Whatever that is.  Ha!

Yesterday we took a day trip to San Luis Obispo to get my fur did.  Does anyone else kick their feet up on the dash to stretch out and warm up?  It’s seriously one of my favorite things.


We got there early and dropped Bam off at the pet resort.  Mike found Thousand Hills pet resort last April when I ran the SLO half marathon.  It’s a mentoring program for young people and Bam loves it there.  A win-win in our book.

Then we drove to our favorite sandwich shop ever-Stacked in Grover Beach.  Every time we’re in town, we always stop in. 

They use high quality ingredients and everything is so fresh.  I usually get the Tree Hugger.   


After lunch we hit up Starbucks for the 2nd time.  Yeah, we need an intervention. 

Then to Jackie so she could work her magic and make me look a little less homeless.  There’s nothing like fresh color & a trim.  AmIright?    


I’ll post an after pic soon but I am so happy with it per usual! 

After Mike dropped me off, he went for a drive to explore around.  That boy always finds the coolest stuff.  So after my hair appt, he took me down the coolest road he just found.


If you’re ever on the Central Coast, Pecho Valley Road in Los Osos, CA in Montana De Oro state park is a must see! 



The views of the ocean, Morro Bay, Morro rock and the 3 smoke stacks off in the distance are killer!!


Dang, I really need to put together a Central Coast guide soon.

After enjoying the gorgeous views we picked up Bam.  He had a 4:30 bath & pawdicure and was looking rather handsome when we got there.  He has a ruff little life yo.


Then we stopped into downtown Paso De Robles for dinner before heading home.  We both absolutely love the entire Paso-Pismo Beach area.  It is our dream to live there someday.


I kinda love this guy almost as much as I love coffee.  Winking smile


We had dinner at Pappy Mc. Gregor’s Bar & Grill which was a winner.  Mike had blackened chicken mac & cheese and I had a chicken salad that was the size of my face while enjoying the warm sun on the patio.

Our new home is a little more inland from the coast and I’m hoping it’s going to be a bit warmer and sunny but so far it’s been cool and overcast, so I soaked up the sun as much as possible. 

We walked around for a bit and headed home. 


Pet resort success.


What is the most beautiful road you’ve ever been on? 

This is one of them along with Highway 1.

How often do you get your hair done?  Do you color it?

Every 3-4 months, but I really should work on going more often, but sitting still for 3 hours is really tough for me.

What is your ideal climate?

Sunny & in the 70’s & 80’s.


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One happy Jack

Happy Friday!! 

Bam sure is one happy Jack.  He’s been running around the backyard chasing birds and eradicating gophers for hours.  By dinner time, our buddy is wiped out. 



We took a break form unpacking.  We figured we have all of the basic stuff put away so we did a little shopping.  We hit up Costco for lunch and a couple things we were low on.    

As we were walking into Marshalls, I saw this!  I “need” this plate!!


I already loved these folks without meeting them. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m craft inept, but I can take pics of stull that catches my eye.


I adore the stars below but think they would be so cute made out of wine corks.  Guess we better start drinking…


Just so these peeps know, SC waz in da house.  Smile


I better get to work since our stuff doesn’t have legs to put themselves away.  We’re off to San Luis Obispo tomorrow morning to get my hair done.  Hopefully I’ll look slightly less homeless. 

What are 4 things you plan to do this weekend?

What’s your home style?

Beach, reclaimed wood, Starbucks theme-so I guess eclectic?  I also like different textures.

What would your personalized plate say?

Apparently mine is taken.  Winking smile


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Type A heaven

Good morning friends!!  How’s your week going?

The only workout I’m doing right now is moving & unpacking.  I’m really seeing the appeal of CrossFit-tossing tires and such.  I’m hoping to get a run in very soon, but I’m not pushing it since I’ve been on my feet a lot this week and they are a little sore. 

I finally feel like we’re getting settled in our new place.  It’s a long slow process but I love unpacking and finding homes for things.

The day after we moved in I was taking a break on the patio.  I looked over and saw the same flowers Mike gave me on our wedding day!


Then I yelled at Bam not pee on them.  Figures, right!?

There’s a lot of work to do, but I have the kitchen & my bathroom put together, so how about a tour?

The kitchen…


Where Mike promptly destroyed it making our first home cooked meal in.  I’m totally okay with this since salami & cheese sammiches are no longer cutting it.


He made a chicken stir fry in case you were wondering.

This is the most spacious house we have ever lived in.  I may never want to leave.


Our little coffee bar.


Stocked with our favorites, Fabiano’s French Vanilla & Philz Jacobs Wonderbar.


And a behind the scenes shot for the fun of it.


Moving on to my bathroom.  For the first time ever, we have 2 bathrooms!  I won’t even tell you how long I spent organizing & cleaning it last night.  Let’s just say I was in Type A heaven.



I have never had a whole drawer dedicated to makeup so this is a real treat.  I always just stored it in a travel bag.


I’m looking for a way to hang my headbands on the side wall, so if anyone has an idea, please let me know.


Looking in from the hallway. 


So much space…so many activities.

I’ll have to hit up Home Goods or Marshalls for a super cute chair soon.


There’s also a sink on the other side with a sink and more storage.  Whoever designed this house is a storage & space genius. 


Where do you store your makeup? 

Any other Type A friends out there?

Tell me 5 things that made you happy this week!

Our new {to us} home, finding a Trader Joe’s, a ton of space, seeing those flowers & watching Bam run around and explore his new backyard.


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How elite runners eat

Good morning friends! Since we’ve been super busy doing the moving thing, I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I did awhile back. I’m always interested in how my fellow runners fuel too, so feel free to leave your secrets in the comments.
I’ll be back to normal blogging soon. Have a great day!

Skinny Chick Blog

Good morning friends! Since we’ve been super busy doing the moving thing, I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I did awhile back. I’m always interested in how my fellow runners fuel too, so feel free to leave your secrets in the comments.
I’ll be back to normal blogging soon. Have a great day!


Let’s talk about food.  Well not in the sense that I know how to cook, but about how elite runners fuel.

Nutrition is really interesting to me, especially to see how others eat so this is right up my alley.


Shalane Flanagan tweeted about her diet the other day, which I found interesting and gave me the idea for this post.


Here’s what makes it on her usual grocery list:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Asparagus
  • Almond butter
    (My favorite indulgences…

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Organized chaos

Hello from our new home!  And welcome to my current blogging location.


With my BFF & this furry face by my side.  Smile


Thank you guys so much for all of your sweet comments, tweets & IG love about our transition.  Mike & I have read every single one of them and dig your excitement for us.  So, thank you!

Here’s the condo right before the movers came.  Do you spy Bam Bam?


Bam has to be in on the action.  He’s bummed he doesn’t have thumbs because he wanted to help.


I was surprised we had the condo all loaded up in less than 2 hours.  We will be heading back to shampoo the carpet and pick up our other car today.  After that we are officially done!


We made it to our new house when Mike opened the door and stared at his failed makeshift clothesline.  Hence the broken piece of wood at the top right.  Ha! 


I found a sweet lady on Dog Vacay that Bam got to hang out with while we unloaded and got settled a bit.  It kinda made me sad when he just went with her and didn’t even look back at me.  He was like hi, my name’s Bam, I’m your new dog, are we going to the dog park, I like to chew on bones, ooh is that a squirrel…

Dang Bam, I love you more than you love me.  Little punk.

A million thanks to the awesome Maren for hooking us up with two guys to help unload.  She’s from the area and has been incredibly helpful-I call her my “human Yelp.”  Winking smile

Anyway, I stayed in the back of the truck and moved boxes to the edge and the boys brought them in.  It worked out really well, plus I got a killer workout in.  I am so sore today and I’m loving it!

Mike had them put most of the boxes in the living room in rows so we could walk between them.  So it’s basically…organized chaos. 


Mike got his man cave set up.  Well kinda, Comcast really sucks and isn’t working.  Shocking.  <-I hope you are sensing my sarcasm. 


We unpacked the basic necessities: coffee stuff, shower stuff & the bed. 


We have a million things to do today so I better get to it.  I hope you have a great day. 

Do you like feeling sore after a workout?

Since I am more boring than usual, tell me something you are excited about! 


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