Practice grace with yourself…

As I sit here after working out and feeling very discouraged…I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I always preach…and that is not comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.  It’s a hard thing when we know that we are capable of more but just aren’t back there yet.

Maybe something in life has made you have to step back and take a break or maybe you just got burnt out. For me, it was taking three months off to recover from a surgery.  I went from running half marathons to barely being able to run a ONE mile.

Whatever it is…we have to try and remember that this is only one little speck of our life…your stamina will come back…the squats won’t always hurt…you won’t always be winded…just keep pushing to do YOUR best and remember to practice a little grace with yourself…don’t be so hard on yourself and know that this is your best right NOW!

Local Spotlight: Cassandra Erin

There is absolutely…positively…nothing better than strolling down Historic Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri, walking into a shop and falling in total love with everything your eyes fall on…

And that is exactly what happened to me a few years ago when I stumbled upon a little gem of a store called Cassandra Erin.  Cassandra Erin specializes in handmade one-of-kind works of wearable art…you will find no piece alike…they are all different and special in their own way!  Her “From The Heart” line lets you take handwritten words or even drawings and transfer them to the jewelry…making a memory that will last a lifetime.  The quality of the pieces are also wonderful.  Most of the pieces you will find are made using high quality Argentium silver, although the artists use a wide range of different metals.  Overall though, the best part about the jewelry you will find here, is that it’s extremely versatile…it’s casual but can be dressy also depending on what outfit you pair it with.  This jewelry is literally the only jewelry that I wear other than my wedding ring!

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 Cassandra Porlier is the owner, designer, primary metalsmith…and overall mastermind behind Cassandra Erin and you can feel the love she has for her shop and her craft every time you step thru her shop door!  She spends her days crafting and designing right there in the shop.  You can browse the store and sneak a peek at the work in progress also in the open workspace.  I feel it’s a huge plus to be able to see the artist making the jewelry in person…It really brings the pieces to life.

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Wanna know what else makes this shop special?  Cassandra Erin is made possible by four generations of strong women who are family and making this business what it is.  Cassandra’s grandmother works in the shop keeping their books and also has paintings for sale there as well.  Cassandra’s mother, Teri Sallee, is her business partner, as well as she creates her own charity line of jewelry called “The Mustard Seed”.  Partial proceeds from the sales of this jewelry line goes towards Christian Orphanages in India which helps feed, give medical attention and build wells for the orphans in India.

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In addition, Cassandra’s daughter, Kate, has also started designing her own line of jewelry called KW that has literally become my favorite pieces to wear. Who wouldn’t love this??

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Family is obviously important to these gals and that is AWESOME to me!!

 It’s also not just me that loves this little shop…others all over the country have fallen in love too!  Numerous celebrities and professional athletes have also made these works of art their own.  I highly recommend that you get in on this also and come check them out and while you are there, you can check out some of the other local artists that they feature in their shop.  You can catch them at 112 South Main Street in Historic St. Charles.  Their general hours are Monday – Friday from 10am – 5 pm and on Saturdays by appointment.  They are closed on Sunday.

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So come on…go grab a coffee and your comfy shoes and come explore Historic Main Street in St. Charles and stop by Cassandra Erin while you are here!  You won’t regret it!!!

Would You Rather…. Running Style Edition

We are going to keep it light and fun today with an awesome survey!  I see these floating around the blogosphere every once in a while and love to read them!  One of my favorites is by Laura at Fit Running Mama.  She always has a great blog and if you want to check her out…I say definitely DO!  Go here to read about her running style!  Trust me…you will love it…plus she posts some awesome recipes!!!

Before you go though…check my survey out!  I promise…it’s not the MOST boring thing you will read…and if it is…well then I’m truly sorry 😉  Here goes nothing…

  1. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm?

Thunderstorm all the way….I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..i despise the cold!!

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2.  Would you rather breathe through your nose or breathe through your mouth?

Well since I’m allergic to everything that grows in this lovely State of Missouri…and I mean literally everything…I’ve been tested! 🙂  Wait…where was I…oh yeah…I haven’t been able to breathe thru my nose since those first few seconds after I escaped my mother’s womb so really the answer to this question is BOTH!!

3.  Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 crunches? [Now take a break and go do them 😉 ]

Am I a sadist if I say both?  There is just something about the burn you get from a good exercise and you will for sure be feeling the burn after a 100 reps of either of these bad boys!!

4.  Would you rather have a baked good for dessert or an extra serving of your favorite entrée?

Baked goods…hands done…final answer…ALL IN!!!  I’m one of those awesome people who needs a little something sweet to round it all out!

5.  Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour?

A few months ago I would have said the same street block because I’ve done that…I’m used to that…and it’s not so bad if you have a great playlist and a wondering mind (which I have both of)!  However, in the last few months, I have had to get on BFF level with the old “dreadmill” and have actually completed a 13.1 training run on it…let’s just say I got a few weird looks at the gym after I had been running for over an hour and a half 🙂  It’s really not nearly as bad as I used to think…especially if you have a great playlist and a wondering mind (see a theme here?)!

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6.  Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch?

Jeez…neither choice is good but if I have to choose….I’d say a side stitch.  At least with that, you have a chance that it will go away.  A headache (at least for me) always feels worse with each pounding footstep…shoot…it’s making my head hurt just thinking about it!  Let’s just say that a headache makes for a LONG run and not in a good way…

7. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off?

For sure a work day.  I’m so mentally exhausted after work, that it’s always hard to go do that run when I get home.  I have to immediately change and head out or it just does not happen.  I’m NOT an early riser AT ALL (I blame this on years of bartending and working until 2AM) so evenings are where the magic has to happen.

8.  Would you rather be a race director or a race volunteer?

As a MO’Bassador, I’ve seen bits and pieces of the crazy world that our race directors for the MO’Cowbell Run live in!  With that said, my final answer is VOLUNTEER!!  I give mad props to Kerin & Kelly!  Those two women do a HELL of a GREAT JOB!

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9.  Would you rather spend your money on running gadgets (HRM, GPS watch, headphones, etc.) or running shoes?

Shoes, Shoes, and…wait…I really do love those gadgets also!!  What’s a girl to do with a choice like this?  A new pair of shoes are pretty awesome but because of my weird feet (flat-footed with a large toe box), I’m limited on what shoes I can get.  So you know all those awesome bright-colored shoes in neon yellow and hot pink and cheetah print…yeah…well I can not wear those..which totally isn’t fair.  I usually have one or two colors to pick from since I use the same brand and style of shoe each year.  Not that I don’t love my Brooks Adrenaline GTS15’s but I have to get them in Wides…and that my friend is what limits me.  So with all that said, I’m going to say gadgets because I love me some awesome new headphones or that bright new fancy running watch (Thanks! Nike+)…and don’t even get me started on all those fun Bondi Bands and HippieRunner Bands!!

10.  Would you rather run in a relay or do the run portion of a distance triathlon?

I’d do either to be honest.  I’m not a distance snob and am open to trying new types/distances of races…except those obstacle races that involve barbed-wire and fire…those scare the bejeezes out of me!

So there you have it in a nutshell!  Now it’s your turn!  Answer any of all of the questions in the comments!!!

Celebrating 5 Years for MO’Cowbell

If you know me at all…then you know that I have MO’Cowbell Fever!!!  And there is only one cure….

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I’m crazy about this race and I’m not afraid to say it!  In fact….I’m downright proud of it!!  I mean who wouldn’t be ecstatic about being an Ambassador again this year for a race that has a very Ab-tastic mascot!!

Hellooooooo Chuck!!

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Chuck & I at the Ex’MO – 2014

2015 is the year that YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!!

2015 is MO’Cowbell’s 5th Anniversary and I’m super pumped to be a part of it!

And you can be too!!  Once again, MO’Cowbell will be offering a race for all skill levels.  You can pick from Marathon, Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and 5K!

And if you want to walk and not run…well you go right on ahead and do just that!!  (They do ask that everyone maintain a 16-minute mile pace)

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This year the MO’ Cowbell race will take place on Sunday, October 4, 2015. You will start and finish in the gorgeous Frontier Park where you can enjoy Runner’s Village.  With your registration you will receive a long-sleeve tech-shirt, a race-themed cowbell, top-quality finisher’s medal, 26.2/13.1/Relay/5K cowbell car sticker, runner’s bag, a virtual goody bag, access to water stations, baggage check, course entertainment, post-race food & beverage, medical stations, massage therapy, and of course, cheering neighborhood crowds and volunteers clanging cowbells.

1529689_626311514083432_2138987065_o  I promise to you that you will get an amazing race experience as your run thru the streets of Historic St. Charles, past Herman’s Farm Orchard; where you will experience the ever-famous High-Five Zone, thru the very unique New Town, up the memorable hill on Little Hills Expressway and back down thru Historic St. Charles.  Plus, you will also get to be a part of the original flattest, fastest course in the St. Louis Region and as the final kicker…it’s a USATF Certified Course.

(For a complete turn-by-turn of each race, go here)

I would be crazy if I thought that everyone felt the same way about running as I do…It’s not everyone’s THANG!  But guess what…you can still get involved with MO’Cowbell!  You can volunteer…be a sponsor…or just be the coolest spectator around and clang your cowbell and cheer the runners on!  Trust me…we runners LOVE the spectators that yell and cheer us on!  And here is a little secret…WE LOVE THE SIGNS!!!!  Like these cuties that were found in New Town!

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 In addition to this kick-butt race…MO’Cowbell also hosts an incredible 2-day Fitness Ex’MO where you will pick up your race packets (packets can also be mailed for an extra fee).  The Ex’MO is also open to the public so anyone and everyone can come check out the exhibitors and vendor booths from various companies and organizations that promote fitness and healthy living.  Want to be one of those fancy vendors…well check out how right here!

So come on…come join me in what I think is the coolest race around!

You can register right here!!  But don’t delay…Prices go up on May 1st so sign up before then!!

Want to win a little something extra…well use my MO’Bassador code at registration for a chance to score some spectacular Official MO’Cowbell race swag!!

Code:  JENWCB16 (this is the new 2016 code)

Note:  Code can be used on all races:  Full Marathon, Half-marathon, Half Marathon Relay & 5K.

“Toast to Spring” with the Jaycees’ & Me

This post is sponsored by Ruth’s Chris and Midwest Influencer Network.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s that time again!!  You know…the one where we get to crawl out from under all the many layers we have thrown on in an attempt to NOT freeze or tooshies from freezing off!  It’s really my favorite time of the year really!  You see…winter and I…we don’t get along…we are NOT friends. But right now is it!  It’s warming up and the sun is shining down on me most days warming me up and making me smile!  The birds are chirping and kids are playing outside (BONUS!)…the skirts and strappy heels & sandles are coming back out and the patios are opening up!

It’s a wonderful thing…Spring!

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And what better way to celebrate?!  Come join me at the “Toast to Spring” St. Louis Jaycees’ Wine Tasting!  If you only listen to me this once…hear this…you DO NOT want to miss this amazing event!  Trust me…you don’t!  On Friday, April 24th from 6-9 pm, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and the Hyatt Hotel Downtown are co-hosting this event to celebrate the St. Louis Jaycees’ 100th Anniversary.  You will get to sample more than 30 wines (proudly provided by Glazers) and an awesome spread of Ruth’s Chris signature specialties.  I mean who doesn’t want to chow down on crab cakes, chicken skewers, shrimp voodoo, Kobe beef slides and much more!

Something for everyone!!

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If you want a little something extra to go with your tasty wine and tantalizing goodies, you can partake in the silent auction table.  You never know what you might win…take a chance and bid…bid…bid!  No let’s get to the best part of this….tickets are ONLY $50/person of which a portion will be donated to the Jaycees’.  For more information, call 314.259.3200.  Grab your gal/guy for an amazing date night or grab your pals for girls’/boys’ night out!  It’s going to be a spectacular evening and who would want to miss out on that!

Not muah…so come join me!!

This post is sponsored by Ruth’s Chris and Midwest Influencer Network.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s time to SHINE, SHINE, SHINE!!!

It’s our year to SHINE!!!  Want to come SHINE with me??

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Come join me for The Color Run again this year!!  If you know me…then you know that I’m a HUGE fan of The Color Run and have run in many over the years!  This race NEVER lets me down and always provides me with an AMAZING TIME!!!

I’m never disappointed on race day when The Color Run is involved 🙂

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Let’s start with what we already know about The Color Run

  • It’s known as the Happiest 5K on the planet (and I agree…Hello!!)
  • It’s a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality (Yes…you can wear that unicorn outfit if you want!)
  • It is now considered the single largest event series in the world since their debut – they hosted more than 300 events in 50+ countries in 2014. (The Color Run thanks each and every one of you that made that possible!)

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This year though…we are going to SHINE!!!  The Color Run is introducing a few new FUN things this year to help us do just that!

 This year EVERYONE in 2015 will be receiving their very own LIMITED EDITION Shine Tour Participant Kit!  This AMAZING kit includes:

  • Custom Race Tee
  • Gold Finisher’s Medal (for all us BLING lover’s)
  • Tricolor headband w/silver stiching
  • NEW Shine packet (in all it’s glittery-ness)
  • Shiny Tatoos (don’t worry mom…they come off!!)

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And that’s not all!  The Color Run is also blinging out the 5K course and finish festival also!  There will be an exciting Sparkle Zone along the route and don’t forget the awesome photo ops (say Cheese!).  And to finish it off, get ready for massive clouds of color and shimmer as well as confetti cannons!

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So come on…you know want to!  Get on over there and sign up!!  You don’t want to miss out this year!!   I will be running at the St. Louis event on April 18 but there are SOO many other cities to choose from!  Check the list out here!

Wanna save some moolah??!!  Use the code below to save $5.00 on your entry fee!!

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Valentia Skin Care: Organic Rosehip Oil Review


**Disclosure: Valentia Skin Care provided me complimentary product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.**
Okay…so I’m not usually one to make crazy claims but I was sent this awesome product to try out for review and I’m serious when I say that I’M IN LOVE!!!

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It’s called Organic Rosehip Oil from Valentia Skin Care and it’s a 100% natural anti-aging facial treatment.  In addition to the rosehip oil, it also contains Vitamin C & A which are great for your skin and body!  This oil is a great product because it literally heals your skin.

I have been using this product for a month now and my face is seriously glowing!  I’ve noticed that not only do I have a glow to my skin now, but I also can tell a difference in the fine lines on my forehead and around my mouth (I’m a serious worry-wort so I’m constantly scrunching my forward up in thought causing MAJOR lines).

Rosehip Oil can be used for so many things…it’s a major POWERHOUSE of goodness!  Some of the amazing things it does when used properly is:

  • Reduce fine lines & wrinkles
  • Reduces scars & burns
  • Rehydrates skin
  • Evens skin tone
  • Strengthens hair & nails

Want to check it out for yourself?  Go to the Valentia Skin Care website and check out what they are all about!  You can also purchase it on Amazon at the following here.

Trust me though on this one thing….you WANT this product!!  Go see for yourself!