Archives For September 2013

Well, here we are gang: the last stretch of the September 30-day challenge! I must say, I’m QUITE excited about some of these looks–or maybe it’s how I see myself in these looks, but either way…

It was still a bit warm this past little bit, but I still managed to create the looks I wanted, even if I was a tad warm traipsing around Dublin. I’m really liking the layered look! It’s not really something I’ve ever done, probably because in the Southern US it  literally goes from summer to winter over night.

I won’t say much more! I (very proudly) present, my week (+) in outfits: the last haul; Sept. 22-30.

Day 22: Say What?: Camel layering tank, leopard blouse, black drape sweater, & black skinny jeans

Day 22: Say What?: Camel layering tank, leopard blouse, black drape sweater, & black skinny jeans

Day 23: Dazed & Confused: Black layering tank, grey cardigan, & black leather mini

Day 23: Dazed & Confused: Black layering tank, grey cardigan, & black leather mini

Day 24: Hit Me With Your Best Shot: White button down, grey cardigan, & black skinny jeans

Day 24: Hit Me With Your Best Shot: White button down, grey cardigan, & black skinny jeans (Yes, I’m in the middle of the road. Good thing South Dublin traffic is quiet at certain times of the day!)

Day 25: Grand Canal Lunch: Black layering tank, grey cardigan, & red pencil skirt

Day 25: Grand Canal Lunch: Black layering tank, grey cardigan, & red pencil skirt

Day 26: Arthur's Day: Black & white striped top & black skinny jeans (Do I look like a pint of Guinness? I should!)

Day 26: Arthur’s Day: Black & white striped top & black skinny jeans (Do I look like a pint of Guinness? I should! I drank enough of them to celebrate…)

Day 27: Snakes on a plane: White button down & dark blue skinny jeans

Day 27: Snakes on a plane: White button down & dark blue skinny jeans

Day 28: : Into the Jungle: Polka dot blouse, black drape sweater, dark blue skinny jeans

Day 28: : Into the Jungle: Polka dot blouse, black drape sweater, dark blue skinny jeans

Day 29: Oh heeeeey: brone cropped sweater, white button down, & dark blue skinny jeans (my FAVE look!)

Day 29: Oh heeeeey: bronze cropped sweater, white button down, & dark blue skinny jeans (My FAVE look! I don’t often say I look amazing, but here, I LOOK FREAKING AMAZING!)

Day 30: I'm in Image Magazine!: Grey cardigan, white button down, & black leather mini

Day 30: I’m in Image Magazine!: Grey cardigan, white button down, & black leather mini

And this concludes my September 30 day challenge, but I promise you I have a summary post forthcoming to showcase all 30 days of outfits with my thoughts and opinions on this challenge. Stay tuned!

XOXO-K

Recently, I took the hubby to Scotland for his birthday. His heritage is Scottish so I thought it would be great to get to see and experience the country & culture for a few days.

To say that movies do the country justice would be a lie! The architecture in Edinburgh & the scenic countryside on our day trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness were simply stunning. Here are a few of our favorite photos from the trip!

Arthur’s Seat
Where you want to be for the best views of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. It is quite a hike up, but once you reach the top you understand why it is a MUST.

Arthur's Seat as viewed from Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat as viewed from Edinburgh

Hiking up Arthur's Seat -- it was quite the haul!

Hiking up Arthur’s Seat — it was quite the haul!

View of Edinburgh City Center from atop Arthur's Seat

View of Edinburgh City Center from atop Arthur’s Seat
View of the Firth of Forth from atop Arthur's Seat

View of the Firth of Forth from atop Arthur’s Seat

Edinburgh Architecture
There is so much history in Edinburgh! The Gothic & Neoclassical architecture is absolutely beautiful. I understand why J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Harry Potter was THIS city.

St. Mary's Cathedral - the flagship Episcopal church in Edinburgh

St. Mary’s Cathedral – the flagship Episcopal church in Edinburgh

Inside St. Mary's Cathedral

Inside St. Mary’s Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral

The Scott Monument

The Scott Monument

Scott Monument Detail

Scott Monument Detail

Edinburgh City

Edinburgh City

Scottish Highlands
If you want to relive the “Braveheart” moments, take a trip up to the Highlands. The country side is so peaceful. It was probably my hubby’s favorite part of the trip and we were actually quite close to where the Davidson clan originated way back when.

Glencoe in the distance (can you believe I took this one out of a window of a  moving bus?!)

Glencoe in the distance (can you believe I took this one out of a window of a moving bus?!)

Glencoe

Glencoe

Glencoe

Glencoe

Glencoe

Glencoe

Loch Ness
When we arrived at Loch Ness, there were a few white clouds against the backdrop of the blue sky and the sun was shining down on us. As we boarded our “Monster Cruise” the craziest thing happened! The dark clouds rolled in out of no where and really set the atmosphere for our cruise up and down the Loch! We managed to snap some really AWESOME photos because of this.  Strangely enough, once we were back on land after the cruise the clouds cleared and the sun reappeared!

The Loch itself is HUGE. It is twenty three miles of fresh water and at its deepest point is 755 feet deep. The water is COLD and DARK — you certainly wouldn’t want to fall in! (At least I wouldn’t because I have an aversion to frigid water thanks to the movie Titanic…) We might have even seen Nessie 🙂

I found Nessie!

I found Nessie!

Loch Ness atmosphere - unbelievable!

Loch Ness atmosphere – unbelievable!

Loch Ness

Loch Ness

A crescent moon of sunshine over Loch Ness. If you look closely Nessie is swimming behind us and creating quite the disturbance in the water! ;)

A crescent moon of sunshine over Loch Ness. If you look closely Nessie is swimming behind us and creating quite the disturbance in the water! 😉

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Holyrood Palace & Abbey
No trip is ever complete until you see the Palace right? Residence for Queen Elizabeth when she visits Scotland, this palace itself is neat, but the Abbey is where it’s at!

Holyrood Palace & Abbey

Holyrood Palace & Abbey

Holyrood Abbey w/ Arthur's Seat peaking out of the left corner

Holyrood Abbey w/ Arthur’s Seat peaking out of the left corner

Inside Holyrood Abbey

Inside Holyrood Abbey

Of course, we took over 500 photos, so trying to pick and choose which to post was a difficult task indeed! I hope you’ve enjoyed the ones I chose and I hope you’re checking flights to the great place that is Edinburgh! It is a magnificent city that you simply must see!

And, that’s a wrap! XOXO – K

It’s no secret that I love pink. I might even have a few posts out there about it, maybe. 😉

I met a friend for a quick drink last Friday night and she was sweet enough to hand over a goody bag she had put together for me. In this goody bag were a few items, and the first showcased item is this week’s nail color: Catrice’s “Fuchsiarama”.

Catrice Nail Polish in "Fuchsiarama"

Catrice Nail Polish in “Fuchsiarama”

The second I put the first swipe on the first nail I knew this was the PERFECT pink. It’s not too bright to be in your face, and yet it’s not too pale to go unnoticed. It’s just, perfect! Side note: I actually think I own a pair of shoes in the color — but those shoes are sequestered in my closet in the states.

The Catrice polish glides on with ease due to the wide, flat brush and leaves little to fuss over in terms of reapplication. I actually only applied one coat! I think this color may be my new go to color and the Catrice brand may be a new go to brand while I’m abroad.

Have you  tried any Catrice polishes or other products? What did you think?

XOXO-K

Saturday, September 21, 2013: RACE DAY!

7:45 AM
The alarm is singing, but I swear I just fell asleep! My husband has caught my awful cold and snored me out of the bed and onto our tiny couch about 1 AM. I tossed and turned, never really getting comfortable and I’m fairly certain I stared at the clock until at least 4:30 AM. Then, wouldn’t you know the stupid alarm is going off and it is officially race day. I don’t even bother hitting snooze and I’m up and at ’em.

I find the clothes I laid out last night and get into my gear, sans long-sleeved shirt as it is warmer outside than I anticipated. Orange top, to support my Vols as it is also Game Day, and black compression crops with pink details–because everyone knows pink and orange are two of my favorite colors!  I throw my hair up and put on my headbands. I put my Garmin on my wrist and then I wander into the kitchen to toast a bagel, despite having zero appetite. I force down half of the bagel along with 500 mL of water. The banana will just have to wait; I simply can’t stomach anything else.

8:30 AM
I fill up my handheld water bottle with Gatorade, ensuring I have my Stingers in the zippered compartment, grab the banana, and put a handful of trail mix in a bag. My husband is stirring and I have him snap a few quick photos before I grab my bus card and head out the door at 8:47 AM to make the journey to Phoenix Park.

Race Day!

Race Day!

9:18 AM
I’m beginning to get nervous — not about the race itself, but about whether or not the bus is actually going to make it to the park on time! We have stopped at EVERY single stop thus far and hit EVERY single red light. Why is it that when you are in a hurry this always happens? If I had caught the earlier bus I would’ve been to the park in 10 minutes! But because I waited for the later bus, it’s a 40 minute journey–super frustrating given there is no traffic at this hour in the city!

9:43 AM
I finally make it off the bus and haul tail into the park. Luckily the half a mile walk warms up my legs so I can get some pre-race stretches in. I make sure I target all of my muscles, not just my legs. I think some people make the mistake of thinking they ONLY run with their legs. I’ve been running long enough to know that your arms matter too, just not as much of course! After the stretches, I make my way into the masses. The race will have three waves. I find my wave, the 120 min+ wave and get ready to start the race!

Crowds - 7,000 strong

Crowds – 7,000 strong

Approx 10:15 AM
The first two waves have begun their race and it is finally my wave’s turn. The moderator sends us off and I hear the “beep” of my timing chip as I cross the start line. Queue Garmin & ITunes Race Day playlist. “Thanks for the Memories” carries me out of the gate.  The first mile is a pretty packed mile, but the runners in front of me are keeping pace with my music, so I don’t bother to start dodging in and out of people as I know it will begin to thin out eventually. We are running on a footpath that is fairly densely covered so the sun (you wouldn’t know it from above, but the clouds cleared out QUICKLY!) is not beating down on us, but I am already sweating buckets thanks to the 92% humidity level! At about 1.5 miles we leave the footpath and hit the main road, Chesterfield Avenue, in the Park and make a turn towards the zoo. I see my friend, Alison, who has come out to support me and take photos during the race and it gives me a boost of energy. I wave like a crazy lady at her, tell her a quick hello as I pass, and keep running with the rest of the group.

Approx 10:40 AM
I’m running in the road, and there are no trees anywhere around. The sun is HOT and it is definitely heating up outside. (It’s probably only 18C/60F, but when running in full sun, it’s much warmer than that!) I’m nearing the 3 mile mark and between the sun and humidity I’ve almost convinced myself I’m never going to make it to the finish line and should just go ahead and give up. Water stop number 1: Squirt a few sips into my mouth and dump the rest on my head in an attempt to cool off. I suppose it helps as I take a quick tenth of a mile walk break in the process. I’ve now realized there are about 5 ladies, 1 single and two groups of two, keeping a similar pace to me so I focus on staying close to them for the next little while. Luckily we are on a pretty flat stretch and I know if I just keep running that we’ll find shade again eventually. I lose myself in my music at this point.

Approx 11:45 AM
I really don’t recall what happened between about mile 4.5 and the half way mark. I know I had to stop to tie my shoe once, but I must have been so focused on singing to myself and keeping one foot in front of the other that I lost those two miles. Not all bad, right? At mile 7.5 I hit the second water stop. Because I had been in the trees for so long, I had cooled back off so I actually chose to enjoy this water! And it was also a Lucosade stop, but I still had half a bottle of Gatorade so I opted for just water. About a half a mile later, I saw Alison again. She kept saying how I was still all smiles and I was leaning back to tell her I was only smiling for the photos — so she got quite a goofy angle out of it, but I love it!

All smiles at mile 7.5!

All smiles at mile 7.5!

Approx 12:27 PM
I got a burst of energy about mile 8.7, and after looking at my watch and seeing that I was actually still on target to hit my 2:30 time goal, I used that burst of energy and had a sub-10 minute mile for the next mile and a half. Then I hit the water stop at mile 10.5. I was out of Gatorade at this point so I refilled my handheld bottle with two bottles of water from the stop and set out again. I had been dreading this moment since the start of the race! I began the incline up, the incline that almost killed me in the 10 miler I had done a month before. Why the race organizers wanted to torture us and leave the hills for the last 3 miles I’ll never know, but… I carried on. I apparently used too much energy between mile 8.6 and 10.5 and ended up walking up the first hill, along with everyone around me. My thoughts at this exact moment were this: “As I look around me, everyone is walking. We are the people who are determined to finish this race, but are also the people thinking to ourselves how much we just want to give up right about now. Yet, we are looking at all the others and know they are in the same boat and so we keep going. Grab your fishing lines, reel past those struggling more than others, and JUST KEEP GOING.” Unfortunately, there was a lady being tended to by the medical staff about mile 11.5, and I can only imagine it was dehydration. But it still breaks my heart every time I see runners on the side of the road and I always send up a little prayer for them!

Approx 12:45 PM
Mile 12. This is when I would normally tell myself ONLY ONE MORE MILE. But my body had already given up and I ended up walking the first quarter of the 12th mile. Then, we rounded a corner, and you couldn’t see the finish line just yet, but more and more people were lining the streets and the energy and support picked up. Queue the internal motivation. I began running again, trying to convince my head to tell my legs they were OK and we were so close to being done! My power song chose that moment to come onto my phone (see, I told you they were perfectly placed!) and I got into my rhythm again–“Rocky Top, you’ll always be, home sweet home to me. Good ‘ole Rocky Top. (fist pump!) Rocky Top Tennessee.”

Then, with four tenths of a mile left, the finish line came into sight. I didn’t even have to tell my head at this point because my heart took over. RUN LIKE THE WIND! I could hear Alison cheering for me and I powered across the finish line!

Unofficial Time

My Unofficial Time

Approx 12:58 PM
I stopped my watch at 2:36:07, but my official race time was 2:37:57 (the difference likely that I stopped my watch to tie my shoe at mile 6!). My heart was still pumping, but I all-around felt great! To my surprise, my legs weren’t jello and I wasn’t actually sore–big shock to me given my state of affairs after my first half marathon! Alison came running over and gave me a great big hug–despite my being completely soaked from head to toe in sweat. I cannot tell you how much having someone there to support me meant to me, but I’m confident it had every little bit to do with coming so close to my goal time, despite a whole week of illness and a serious lack of sleep the night before the race! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Running Quote3

Second half marathon in the books! And what a difference a year has made. After my first half, I could barely walk and hurt something awful for a solid week. I even ended up in physical therapy for a foot injury. After my second half, I only have a small amount of soreness in my thighs, but was out on a 2 mile recovery run just yesterday. I think this might be my “defining” moment as a runner: I AM A RUNNER. And though I might be cutting back on distance runs for a bit, to work on strength training to avoid a knee injury, I’ve already set my next goal: a full marathon. 2014 will be the year!

Thank you to all my friends and family for your support over the last 12 weeks as I trained for this race! Your words of encouragement carried me for those 13.1 miles. XOXO – K

Last week was a strange weather week, even though I barely made it out of bed/off the couch for most of it. It was quite chilly earlier in the week but warmed back up nicely–what the Irish like to call “Indian Summer”–by Friday.

Since my cold knocked on my arse, literally, for so long, I wasn’t able to get out and take photos actually wearing all my looks around town. But hey, that led to a fun Friday night photo shoot in my living room! I threw my duvet cover up as the background and had my husband play photographer as I styled a whole week’s worth of outfits for you.

It should be noted that Day 21 was an extra special day, so, it is actually outside the realm of the wardrobe challenge, but I’m proud of my accomplishments, so I wanted to include it in this post.  I’ve done both a collage and a slideshow already, so I think this week we’ll just post the photos one by one with a little commentary this week.

So, here you have it: My week in outfits. The September 30-Day challenge, Days 15-21: An outfit a day…

Day 15: Business Class: Camel layering tank, black drape sweater, and leather mini

Day 15: Business Class: Camel layering tank, black drape sweater, and leather mini

It’s a fun, yet stylish travel look, don’t you think? I’m not smitten with the polka dot hose, but, it my legs had to stay warm!

Day 16: Red Makes the World Go Round: Polka dot blouse, red blazer, dark skinny jeans

Day 16: Red Makes the World Go Round: Polka dot blouse, red blazer, dark skinny jeans

I’m not sure I’ll ever own another piece that I get so much use out of! I just adore this red blazer. The blouse adds a little fun and color contrast. Works well with the jeans, don’t you think?

Day 17: A Day in the Office: Red pencil skirt, black casual top

Day 17: A Day in the Office: Red pencil skirt, black casual top

I’m not ever actually in an office setting anymore, but I think I’ve shown you that even a casual top can be business appropriate if you style it accordingly!

Day 18: The Hangover: Black tank, black drape  sweater, black skinny jeans

Day 18: The Hangover: Black tank, black drape sweater, black skinny jeans

I would’ve rather been hung over than sick, but, the outfit works for both occasions. Hide your watery/sleep deprived eyes behind those sunnies and meet your friends for lunch.

Day 19: The Classic: White button down, black drape sweater, black skinny jeans

Day 19: The Classic: White button down, black drape sweater, black skinny jeans

You can polish off any, and I mean ANY, outfit just by throwing on a white button-down blouse. It is probably THE most versatile shirt in your wardrobe. And I love a good, layered look. (Cuff your shirt sleeves over your sweater for extra pop)

Day 20: My Inner Air Hostess: Black tank, red blazer, dark skinny jeans

Day 20: My Inner Air Hostess: Black tank, red blazer, dark skinny jeans

This look wouldn’t actually scream air hostess if I had the scarf tied a different way, but, I really dig the look. And if it works for me, well…

Day 21: Half Marathoner meets Football fanatic

Day 21: Half Marathoner meets Football fanatic

I told you Saturday, Day 21, was special. The day of my half marathon and a big day for my team in football — the dreaded rivalry of UT/UF. Of course, they’ve pounded us for 9 straight years now, but, SOME DAY, we’ll be the comeback kid. I will always bleed Orange, win or lose, so I never leave the house without game day colors on game day!

So, that’s my week in outfits! I actually have the rest of the month planned out as well, which takes a big burden off my “what to wear today” issues. Come back next week for the final full week of looks. And, Happy Monday!

XOXO-K