Deep Thoughts With Brittany

I think that life got the best of me the past few months (times a few more months). It seemed that at points I was not in control of anything I did. Not at work, my free time or even with my friends and family. Going along with the flow can be fun… but it ultimately led to questions of “do I even like what I’m doing?” or “do I really belong here?” It took me a while to realize this, but I was not happy. It was time to make some changes and focus on what I like to do and what makes me happy. I needed to declutter my mind and my life.

One of the most helpful things I’ve done for myself is take two weeks of between my old job and my new job that starts next week. Changing jobs alone was a scary step for me but I needed new people and experiences. Two weeks off has given me time to have some quality time with myself and really put my priorities in order and get my life organized. Oh, and I got a massage today, that helped as well!

So, maybe this wasn’t as deep as I thought, but I’m getting back to what I love which includes accounting, baking, running, crafting and then all oversharing it on the internet for the world to see. So here’s to starting fresh, starting over, and being what I want to be.

Talk to you SOON!

IMG_0789

IMG_0790

See ya Sunday

I’ve been a bad blogger. Note to self: don’t try and take a CPA exam… During tax season… While running…. With blizzards…. And blog. So, the good news is the biggest pain on that list will be over with. Saturday, At 1:30 I have an appointment to take my exam and then I can move onto doing more than studying every waking moment. I have a lost of so many great topics and ideas to post about I can’t wait to get started!

So. Since it is Monday, I will leave you with some jokes (I really need these at this point)

IMG_0159-0

IMG_0160-0

IMG_0161-0

Be thankful I just didn’t tell you five different ways to depreciate an asset or how to tell if goodwill is impaired! See ya Sunday!

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

I’m not sure where this adventure Brittany came from… but I like it. I think. A few years ago, if it was anything beside a bright clear day outside, you wouldn’t catch me running at all. Lately, I’ve really been embracing the cold and snow. I only have a chance to run outside during the weekends, so I really feel bad missing the opportunity.

Snow storm running is quickly becoming my new favorite activity. I like to try and come out with a serious “ice face” yesterday’s flurries were on the warmer side, so I went with the “ice feet” instead.

IMG_7948

Today, the windchill was a little more extreme. It involved multiple layers. My house was also feeling the wind gusts as well, so I plopped everything on my heated blanket before I got dressed. I went with my Lulu brushed speed tights, Lulu think fast long sleeve, Lulu neck warmer, my Nike headband that is as old as the hills but I can’t find anything that comes close to replacing it, a simple Nike dry fit long sleeve, PRO Compression marathon socks, and a jacket from T.J. Maxx that I received as a Christmas present.

IMG_7958

I was plenty warm! The only thing that suffered a little chill was my thighs. I could have used an extra leg layer for sure. I alternated having my neck warmer on and off which was good temperature control since in the shade felt about 20 degrees colder than the sunny spots.

IMG_7959

The wind was causing these snow drifts on the side of the road. It almost looked like sand dunes. It was like I was on a tropical island (I had to keep warm by these thoughts…).

IMG_7962

As you can see, my town is really good at plowing and sanding….

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned while cold weather running:

1.) You aren’t going to get fast times. It’s 100 times better (and safer) to go at a comfortable speed than risk slipping and sliding and breaking an ankle. Go slow.

2.) Layers are key. If you really get too hot, you can take a layer off. If you are too cold, you aren’t going to find extra layers hanging around on the side of the road.

3.) Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you don’t need to be hydrated. You are still sweating, your body still needs water. The end. Rookie mistake on my part.

4.) Wear shoes with good traction. Trail running shoes work well. You can also buy add ons for your sneakers or put some hexagon screw in them for a cheaper alternative.

5.) Be aware. Especially if you are running while it is snowing. There is no bigger day ruiner than getting hit by a snow plow. More snow also equals no shoulders to run on. Make sure every car going by can see you. It’s a lot safer for you to jump off the road than it is for a car to swerve off of it.

So if you live somewhere warm and never see snow, you really are missing out on a good adventure. Also, you are pretty lucky that you are missing out at the same time. It’s a toss up.

So if you are faced with a snowy climate, remember; there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Happy Running!

Scenes from a NH Christmas

I’m clearly not over the fact that Christmas is over. While I had a busy five days off, they were full of good food, gifts, and trees. Something about Christmas didn’t feel as Christmas-y as it did in the past. Maybe it was the lack of snow on the ground. Or may it was the fact I use to be on break from school and now I study through the holidays to try and pass my CPA exams. Regardless, pictures prove that my house was in fact Christmas. In fact, it looked like Christmas threw up all over it.

IMG_6995

We have an artificial tree. We have floor heating and animals. This way we avoid a house fire and a sick dog.

IMG_6996

For some reason in my house, having a variety of wrapping paper is important. There is everything from tractors to owls. We cover all grounds and colors. All things glittery and shiny included.

IMG_6997

The red with bows was my favorite this year. It got glitter everywhere. It was awesome.

IMG_7002

Christmas morning breakfast took place in the middle of opening gifts. Cinnamon rolls, fruit and Pannukaku (Finnish pancake). The spelling on that is entirely questionable, google even told me five different ways. It’s pretty much an egg, milk, and flour based dish that has an eggy pancake texture and you bake it until it puffs up. We serve ours with maple syrups or powdered sugar. Custard. It has a custard texture, that’s it.

IMG_7009

Oh my yum.

IMG_7011

Between breakfast and lunch I took my new shoes out for an adventure. It was unusually warm for Christmas in New Hampshire and it felt good to get outside. We had had rain and clouds for almost a week so the sun was a Christmas miracle.

IMG_7016

 

Our family’s dinner contribution was green beans that are cooked with sesame oil, soy sauce, onions, garlic, and topped with sesame seeds. It has crunchy green beans and can be served warm or cold.

IMG_7021

Since we’re in New Hampshire, a flannel shirt was extremely appropriate for this holiday. I glommed mine up with a little sparkle.

IMG_7022

I found this tank online. I died. I do not lift weights. I think Santa only saw that I run.

IMG_7023

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the best chocolate cake ever. Chocolate cake. Chocolate frosting, Chocolate shavings. Chocolate win. Nap.

IMG_7025

And another tree. This one more festive than the first. Here, disney paper was important.

IMG_7026

So now looking back, my Christmas was actually pretty Christmas-y. Just the way I like it 🙂

 

Maggie Vessey’s Track Fashion

I came across this Runner’s World article today featuring Maggie Vessey’s on-the-track fashion.  She collaborated with designer Merlin Castell when New Balance did not renew her contract this spring. I definitely have mixed feelings of it. I like the general idea and incorporating fashion into a sport that typically has consistent looks, but the practicality of running in some of these designs does not seem comfortable to me. Then again, I’m not going to question it since Maggie is one speedy lady and it seems to work for her.

colorfulback

Maggie was inspired to put stripes on the back of this one piece when she realized spectators usually see a lot of the back side. Makes sense. I would actually wear this one (provided that I have a body like hers and can run that fast in another life).

highneck

This one looks like it is just going to ride right on up there. This is probably why she started testing out her race attire before the actual race day. Also, when I first see the top, I think of stiff formal dress attire. I have a hard time imagining these race outfits in the high tech fabric they actually are in. She set a PR wearing this in the 400 meter with a time of 52.82. Needless to say, she rocks the look.

aviators

She ran a 2:00.17 in this piece. It was designed knowing that it was going to be hot that day. I think it looks like it hits in all the right places.

bwstripes_0

This was her evening inspired look for a night time race. I’m not sure how I would like the bow flopping during running, but I must say she does look like she is about to go walk the red carpet. Nice added touch with the pink shoes.

longsleeve

Vessey designed this pattern herself because her love of Native American history. The blue piping makes the outfit really pop and stand out… along with the long sleeves which are rare for the track. I definitely dig the pattern, but am a little confused about the top of the bottom piece. I can imagine having rock hard abs helps keep everything in place.

opener

Seeing singers wear one piece bodysuits on stage was the inspiration for this one. I think this might be my least favorite, only because it doesn’t look remotely athletic and does remind me of more stage wear.

I feel like I actually have no right making opinions on Maggie’s race attire since I have no idea what it is like to be that talented of a racer. Me and her are on completely different running planets. Universes. Galaxies.

So for running around New Hampshire and doing track workouts in town, these pieces are absolutely ridiculous. I mean I can’t even get myself to wear a running skirt. But for running national races and kicking ass on the track, these are perfect. I would love to even have my simple Nike running shirts in colorful patterns or the back of my tanks have bright ribbon patterns. I want like the “Maggie for Target” version of her runway look.

I wouldn’t be surprised if she collaborates with a big name brand to bring out a line of whimsical running clothes for us basic runners. Or if high end designers catch on and start making athletic apparel for track stars. There are so many possibilities. And maybe the sport of running needs things like this to draw people in. I mean, I would watch one her her races just to see these outfits in motion.

 

Source for all images and information about Maggie Vessey.

 

Homeless Animal Awareness

Monday being over = 50% through my work week! I’m lucky enough to get Wednesday through Friday off this year for Thanksgiving. In the past, I barely got any days off between working at a busy coffee shop while on break or going into J.Crew for Black Friday madness. Needless to say, I’m going to enjoy every second.

Today I didn’t even consider waking up for a run before work since it was raining, humid, and I wanted to have a break after yesterday’s race. However, when I got home it would have been perfect running weather… except for the fact that it was pitch black. How do people run in the dark?! The thought is terrifying. It’s not even that I’m worried about getting hit by a car or running off into a ditch, it’s more like I live in rural NH and who knows what animals could be lurking out there. Just last night, as I was going to bed, I could hear some pretty upset wildlife being attacked outside my window. Not the most comforting.

Speaking of animals… I can across this video today:

 

I then looked up some facts about homeless animals:

  • Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
  • Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
  • About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.

Source

…Then I went and adopted all the dogs in the world. Just kidding. If I could, I would! It’s so sad to hear about kill shelters and the poor animals that are found abandoned… I can’t help but think of all the love I could give them. Even though I can’t commit to a new furry friend at the moment, there are still a ton of ways to help! Local animals shelters and humane societies are always looking for donated blankets and bowls. So clean out your linens, buy some fresh new fluffy towels for the cold months ahead, and donate the old ones! You can also visit the ASPCA site and learn how to get involved.

IMG_6540

 

If only all dogs were treated as well as Coco. I mean… she has taken over this entire couch for the most part.

So as the holidays approach, let’s all make sure we take some time to help make a difference out there. Animals shelters, soup kitchens, churches, and schools are always looking for help and donations all year round (and especially during the holidays). It feels just as good to give back as it does to receive gifts, I promise!

Early Mornings, Snow, and Holiday Spirit

Being one of those people who needs to be busy every second of every day is (as you would guess it) exhausting. Every second of everyday needs to have some sort of propose. Even planning out sitting and watching TV can be a task (I wanted to make sure I was done by run before Ellen came on today).

Busy days turn into quick weeks which turn into months that will fly by in what feels like ten seconds.

Before we know it, Christmas will be here. Don’t worry, Christmas shopping has already made an appearance in my planner a few times this month. One of those times I picked up this little reindeer (or bear with antlers?) that plugs into your computer and changes colors. Festive. Festive for sure. Christmas music has also been playing in my office. If that is what makes formatting financial statements enjoyable, you bet that’s what I’m going to play!

IMG_6439

He definitely needs a name… Hmmm, need ideas. Help!

Last weekend Christmas spirit started in full force making these sparkley mason jar candle holders. There were a few trial and error runs, but we got some good ones! This could make an appearance with its own post, beware.

IMG_6461

I’ve also been into making lattes every morning since it’s time to say goodbye to iced coffee. My lattes don’t get too exciting these days. I use to make a lavender and vanilla once using Monin syrups, but the other day I discovered that the vanilla one had mold in it. So that ruined that for me. I keep it simple most days. I make a few shots of espresso and steam some almost milk. If I’m feeling wild I’ll drizzle on some chocolate syrup. My latte art is impeccable:

IMG_6486

Here’s just a picture of Coco. She doesn’t have a busy life (she may beg to differ).

IMG_6493

Running with this time change has been challenging. I either have to wake up super early before work when the sun is coming up or run in the dark. I don’t want to run in the dark around here since there are no street lights so I start my mornings around 5:30. Around 6:00 is when I leave and the sun stilllll isn’t fully out. Around a mile into my run the sun will pop out and I regret wearing three layers. The plus side of this schedule is that I get to work around 8:00 having already ran, showered, and commuted 40 minutes. My main motivation for getting up and out of bed while it’s still dark out? These Pro Compression socks:

IMG_6426

They are nice and fitted and I have yet to have seen any blisters appear from them. They also come up at a good heigh to make sure there is no gap between my socks and tights which is necessary on these cold mornings. It’s been so cold lately that this morning there was snow on the ground:

IMG_6505

Yup, after this morning I’m officially ready for a snow storm. Too bad I can’t wear these boots in it:

IMG_6507

I was so excited to get them all week and they finally arrived… and don’t fit. They are wide enough for about half my foot. It’s really sad… but at least it saved me some money? In mourning of the boots I will be returning, I did what one must do in a time like this:

IMG_6510

Yup, I made brownies. From scratch. I’ve never had good luck from scratch… this time was no different. They were by far the best from scratch brownies I’ve ever made… but Betty Crocker isn’t going to be turning them into a box mix anytime soon. I guess I’ll just have to keep practicing!