How Do You Wear Winter Boots?

Hi Legally Fit readers…I’m Cynthia from It All Changes.

Katie is enjoying her time with Brian while he’s on leave and asked me to guest post.  My dad is a former military man so I was happy to oblige so she could enjoy ever second!

It’s a bit chilly here in Western Massachusetts and everyone has donned their winter boots.  Boots in all sorts of styles were seen on celebrities, fashion runways, magazines and in the mall lately.  However normally they aren’t talking about boots that actually keep your feet warm.

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They are cute but when I look out my window and see the snow my feet instantly start to freeze.

When you live in a snow zone – right now that means the usually sunny south as well – you need a good pair of winter boots.  However warm boots does not need to equal ugly boots.  You can rock your winter boots and not have to change in and out of them 10 times a day.
To start, you need the right boot.  This is different for everyone.  Some people love Uggs and others love Cole Haan

To pick your right boot, they need to be:

-In your price range.  I love Cole Haan but I also love food.  $300 of food goes a lot further than a pair of boots.

-Versatile.  Pink is a fabulous color (note my coat), but does not match most of my wardrobe.  Opt for a pair that you can wear with what you already own.

-WARM!  You are looking for winter boots after all.  Cute doesn’t mean squat if you feet are frozen the second you step outside.

From there you can get creative.  These are the boots I purchased 2 years ago at the end of the season – Discount! – and wear almost daily.


They are perfect! 

For work:  If you run in and out of the snow for errands, meetings, etc. your boots are great to wear under your pants or with a nice skirt.  I wear a uniform to work – I’m a Salvation Army Pastor – so mine had to be black.  They are comfortable enough to wear inside and out.

For fun: With skirts or dresses, throw on a funky pair of tights with your boots and go. 

With a quick change of tights you can change an entire outfit.  The boots and tights are what most people see peeking out from under your winter coat.
In the bitter cold running tights can do double duty under dresses.  Throw them on with warm wool socks and your boots and no one is the wiser…I think.

With pants you have two options.  Skinny pants or jeans fit inside your boots just like tights and your are ready for the day.

With wide leg pants, just the toe of your boot peaks out.  If this is your preferred method make sure you like the toe shape because that is all you’ll see.
Even when you purchase your rocking new winter boots don’t throw out your traditional winter boots.  They are perfect for getting in a great workout in the snow.  Hike, snowshoe or snow ball fight.  And somebody has to shovel the sidewalk!
Just remember keeping your feet warm in the winter doesn’t have to sacrifice your style.  In the immortal words of my style guru, Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”

What is your favorite way to wear your winter boots?

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Looking for a New Recipe??

Hey everyone! My name is Courtney and I blog over at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

When the lovely Katie asked if I would be interested in guest posting for her while she’s off spending some very quality time with her hubby, I was stoked! However, since she left the guest post options very open-ended, that left me a little bit perplexed…

I need boundaries! Limits! SOMETHING!

Well, after speaking with Katie again, I decided that I’d like to share one of my favorite things about my blog with you all…recipes!

With the new year upon us, perhaps you’ve decided that you’re going to start cooking more? Maybe try to entertain with friends or family? Either way, I’ve got you covered!

**If you’re planning a Brunch with Company, try:

**If you’re headed to a Potluck Get-Together, try:

**If you’re need to entertain with a quick, easy Dinner Recipe, try:

**If you feel like firing up your Slow Cooker, try:

**If you’re looking for a quick, simple way to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, try:

**If you’re in the mood for some Cookies or Cupcakes, try:

Hopefully now you’ve got some ideas, so what are you waiting for…? Get into that kitchen! 😀

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Filed under Guest Posting, Sweet tooth Court

Stuck in a Meal Rut?

Hi friends!  I’m currently spending some long overdue quality time with my husband.  😀  One of my fave blends, Emily, graciously agreed to write a guest post on a topic I’m sure we can all relate to- getting out of a meal rut! 

Hi everyone! My name is Emily and I blog at finding a new life through food.

January is usually a month filled with resolutions for people to become healthier and exercise more.  Since it is still early, you can still jump on bandwagon to a healthier 2011.  One of the most difficult things with healthy eating is getting out of a “meal rut.”

I define meal rut as eating the same foods over and over.  This for me usually leads me to make unhealthy decisions when I want to break out of it and eat something I think is more exciting.  Unfortunately, those unhealthy decisions can pack on the pounds!

Here are a few ways to keep yourself out of the meal rut in 2011 and still keep your tastebuds excited 🙂

1. Plan Ahead!!!

I cannot emphasis how important this is in order to stay out of a meal rut.  Find a day of the week that is the best for you to plan your meals. I’m lucky, and mine happens to land on Sunday.  Look at your week, and figure out what you’re going to be doing on what days.  Are you working late one day? Do you have a little extra time at home one night?  Are you planning on meeting some friends for drinks one night?  Take all of these into account and plan your meals accordingly!

2. Go Grocery Shopping for Specific Meals.

After you figure out your meals, make sure you go grocery shopping for any ingredients you might not have.  Unless its fresh produce for a meal later in the week, I try to make sure I have everything ahead of time.  Nothing is worse than reading a recipe when you’re just about to cook it and realizing that you don’t have one of the ingredients.  You can almost guarantee that it will turn into a take-out night 😉

3. Stews and soups are your best friends.

If you have time on the weekend, make a big pot of stew or soup! They freeze wonderfully, and are an amazing way to have a healthy meal in a pinch. Pick up a whole grain bread on the way home to dip in your stew or soup.  Another great way to make a stew or soup is use a crock pot.  You can come home to a warm and delicious meal without having to do more than ladle it into a bowl.

4. Look through cookbooks for inspiration.

If your like me, I’m sure you have a plethora of cookbooks scattered throughout the house.  I tend to use the same recipes over and over, and often the other 75% of a cookbook never ends up being used by me.  Sometimes trying something new often leads to a new favorite flavor or new favorite recipe to cook.  So wipe the dust off those old cookbooks and take a peek through them!

5. Indulge every so often.

Nothing is always going to go according to plan.  Some nights you’re just not going to want to cook, and that’s okay! If you’ve cooked every other night of the week and decide on a Friday to do a little take-out, let yourself.  Hindering all of your cravings is one of the worst things to do, and often will eventually lead to a binge out session and another meal rut.

Do you ever find yourself in a meal rut? What do you do to get out of it? What are ways you avoid meal ruts?

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Filed under Emmalina Violet, Guest Posting

Pardon the Interruption…

But as of tomorrow evening, I’ll be spending the next two weeks with this handsome guy 😀

I have a few guest posts coming up from some lovely ladies too. 

So, say you haven’t seen your husband in over seven months.  What would you wear to the airport? 😀 😀 😀

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Filed under Uncategorized

Staying Healthy on the Road

Morning friends!  Thank you for all of your encouragement on my 2011 goals.  I am really really excited!  The next few weeks are going to be a wee bit loco for me- I’m heading to Syracuse for work (also known as the land of Tim Horton’s and Wegmans.  You bet I will be stopping at both places!) and then at some point I will be spending some time with Bri while he is on leave 😀  YESSSSSSS. 

Since I am busy traveling around the state, I figured it is a good time to discuss how we stay healthy while on the road!  If this topic looks familiar, it’s because it was also posted on Linzi’s blog (who JUST got engaged- head over and say congrats!  Yay Linzi!). 

Anyway, I travel quite a bit for work and before my (currently deployed) husband and I were married, I put 40,000 miles on my car in the course of a year and a half making the nine hour trip from New York to Virginia, where he was stationed.  I’ve definitely picked up some tips and tricks on how to stay healthy along the way!  When we are out of our daily routine, it is easy to throw healthy living aside.  However, a little bit of planning goes a long way.

Exercise

If you’re like me, you have your workouts planned in advance- for instance, I’ll run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, attend yoga on Wednesday and Saturday and do whatever I feel like on Sunday.  If you’re traveling, this throws a bit of a wrench into the whole system.  Here are some things to consider:

  1. Does your hotel have a fitness facility?  If so, make use of it!  I’ve stayed in hotels where I’ve had to pay a daily rate to use the gym, and I paid it because I had to get a run in and wasn’t comfortable running around in an unfamiliar city (Louisville, which is a super cool city but the area surrounding the hotel was not runner-friendly).  Hopefully your hotel won’t charge you to use the gym.  I was recently in Boston and made use of the (free) facilities to get a speed workout in on the treadmill- there were way too many cars and people to get a run in outdoors!
  2. Don’t feel like working out indoors?  Ensure that the area surrounding the hotel is safe and get out and explore!  This past winter I was down in Garden City, a quaint village in Long Island.  I was training for my first 14k so I called my friend that lives in the area to get the scoop on the “runnability” of the place.  She told me the area was very runner friendly so I packed my cold gear and hit the pavement.  It was a really neat way to explore the village! 
  3. No fitness facility in the hotel? No problem!  If you find out that your hotel doesn’t have a gym, call concierge and ask them if there are any gyms in the area.  Most of them will likely offer a day pass!  Another no-fail solution is to bring the gym with you!  All you need is your laptop, a workout dvd or an internet connection.  I’ve been known pack 8 lb dumbbells to use with my 30 day shred dvd and to substitute a bathroom towel for a yoga mat to get a yoga workout in.  If you don’t have a laptop, work with what you have (that being your body weight!)  Pushups, planks, squats, lunges and core work are easy, effective ways to get some quick strength training in.
  4. Make sure you pack your exercise gear! This one is pretty self-explanatory 🙂

Eats

It is easy to fall out of our normal eating habits when we are in unfamiliar territory, be it staying in a hotel away from home or being cooped up in a car for hours at time.  Here are some tips that have helped me:

  1. Plan ahead.  I’ve made the nine hour drive to Virginia so many times that I had my snacks down to a science.  Make sure to pack enough snacks to keep you going throughout your travels!  You want food that will give you energy and keep you awake (besides coffee, although that comes in handy too).  My default healthy snacks for the car are luna bars, apples, granola bars, mixed nuts and lots of water!
  2. Drink lots of water.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but I drink a lot of water during my trips, even though it ensures I will probably have to make two bathroom stops.  I stay hydrated and if anything, it’s nice to get out and stretch my legs after sitting in the car for so long! 
  3. Go grocery shopping!.  If you are traveling for work, it is often a requirement that you eat out a restaurants, since you likely don’t have a kitchenette to cook in.  My advice- go to the local grocery store!  I’ve stocked up on peanut butter, apples, larabars, greek yogurt, granola, pre-chopped veggies and other no-cook items in order to ensure that I at least eat a healthy breakfast and snacks.  Oftentimes grocery stores will have pre-made meals and salad/dinner bars that will enable you to make healthier choices, which is helpful if you’ve been loading up on rich restaurant food.

Are there any tips or tricks that you have for staying healthy while traveling?  Have a good one friends, I’ll see you on Friday! 🙂

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Filed under Luna bars

My Goals for 2011

One of the many benefits of having a blog is that it presents a place to document your goals and allows you to hold yourself accountable.  It was really beneficial to look back to my 2010 goals post and evaluate what I set out to accomplish.  I have some big plans for 2011.  Let’s get to it:

Katie’s 2011 Goals

Fitness/Health

  1. Run a Marathon.  I am SO excited for this goal.  I never ever everrr thought that I would want to run a marathon.  I told myself that my body wasn’t capable of combatting this distance.  You know what, though?  If I put in the training, I CAN and WILL conquer this distance.  On January 19th, Bri and I are signing up for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.  Well, at the very least Brian is- military peeps get to register a month early.  If I can’t register early, I will be registered to run this race on February 23rd!  😀
  2. Run a Half-Marathon. I am really excited to run a half-marathon again.  I LOVED my first half experience.  I plan on signing up for the More/Fitness Half in NYC that takes place in early April.  Training will start in early February.  I have a few time goals in mind, the main one being to beat my previous time of 2:13:33.
  3. Continue My Hot Yoga Practice.  A sub-goal of this is to master the standing head to knee pose.  I have a very hard time keeping my knee locked on my standing leg in this pose, which just means that I need to work on strength.  When I’m training for a big race, I want to attend hot yoga 2x/week.  In the off-season, I want to attend a minimum of 4-5x/week. 
  4. Eat Only Grass-Fed Beef.  After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I went pescetarian for the month of December (I’ll get into that in a different post).  Now that January is here, I do think I will introduce meat into my diet.  I will not, however, purchase or eat any meat that comes from a factory farm.  The only meat I will buy is going to come from my local co-op.  I f a restaurant menu indicates that the meat is grass-fed, I will consider ordering it.
  5. Continue to Try New Recipes.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with new recipes and different types of food in 2010 (quinoa, anyone?).  2011 will bring even more fun recipes!

Personal/Professional

  1. Wake Up Earlier.  I love my sleep.  However, I need to give myself more time to get ready in the morning.  It would be nice to arrive at work fifteen minutes early instead of 9:00 A.M. on the dot. 
  2. Blow Dry My Hair More.  Odd goal, right?  My hair is very fine and straight, which translates to wash and go.  It is great for convenience factor but at the same time, it probably isn’t good to walk outdoors to a coffee shop and walk inside with your hair frozen (this happened to me last week 😉 ).  Plus, it will help me feel more put together.  On that note:
  3. Accessorize More.  During my 30 Day wardrobe challenge, I was forced to think outside of the box with my ten articles of clothing.  This led to increased accessory use, which led to a lot of fun and different outfits.  Accessories can really tie an outfit together.  Plus, I have a lot of fun new necklaces to wear from my lia sophia party.  Woohoo!
  4. Get My Financial Act Together.  I used to be obsessed with personal finance blogs.  Obsessed!  I tracked my finances down to the penny (with pearbudget, love them) and knew where all of my money was going.  I have fallen off of this financial accountability wagon and while I’m not a big spender, I need to be more cognizant of where my money is going. 
  5. Continue to Improve My Public Speaking Abilities.  This one is pretty self-explanatory 😉
  6. Blogging- Finish What I Start.  I have a lot of posts in draft that I just need to write.  A review of Born To Run, my Wardrobe Challenge Recap (from August!), my review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, etc.  If I say I am going to write something, I need to just write the damn thing!
  7. Blogging- Become Self-Hosted.  I am on tap to go self-hosted at the end of the month, with the help of Savvy Julie.  Very exciting!

Well friends, those are my concrete goals for 2011.  Whatcha think?  What goals have you set for yourself this year?

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Hangover Half 3.5 Mile Race Recap

Happy 2011!   My year is off to a great start 😀  After a hilarious hot yoga class last night (the room was done up like a disco and the instructors were a weee bit tipsy on champagne), I headed to SUNY Albany this morning to run the local running club’s 3.5 mile race.  In addition to the 3.5 miler, there was a hangover half marathon going on- a few of my blogging buddies ran the half (and did awesome!) and it was great to run into them before the race. 

To me, SUNY Albany’s campus has always been a bit imposing.  Maybe because the only other time I’d been there had been to take the LSAT (shudder).  Anyway, driving onto the campus I had no idea where I was going.  I saw a car that had a 26.2 marathon sticker on the back of it- I figured that driver was heading to the race so I just followed them.  The cars in front of them all had running stickers on them too!  Gotta love runners 🙂  If you are lost getting to a race, a good tip is to just follow the 13.1, 26.2 or tri stickered vehicles :p

I got to the race about a half hour before the start and it was BANANAS!  I wasn’t expecting it to be so crowded.  In the lobby I saw all of my fellow CDNY bloggers- I quickly registered then headed back to the gang to get in the obligatory group shots 🙂

Jen, Me, Melissa, Cynthia, Heather and Erica

I especially love Melissa in this photo.   Thanks for the photos, Jen!

You can’t really go wrong with the price of this race- a mere five dollars!  If you are a member of the local running club (I believe $15/year), the races are all free!   I think I’m definitely going to join. 

The girls and I headed to the start, marveling about the unseasonably warm temps.  It was around 45 degrees and I was wearing my running tights with my new coldgear top and I felt great.  No gloves, no ear warmers- I wore heavier clothing in Virginia Beach at the New Year’s race last year!  I’ll take the nice weather though 🙂

Heather snapped a pic before we started- without fail, I always have the same goofy expression before a race:

Jen, Melissa (looking down), me and Cynthia.  Cynthia, love the expression!  Too funny.

Before the race actually started, Jen and Melissa were talking about time goals.  Jen said she wanted to finish in under 33 minutes.  “YOU DO??”, I asked, thinking that it seemed fast.   Then again, Jen is super speedy.  I learned this after she smoked me in the squirrelly six mile trail race 😉   Originally I wanted to finish around 35 minutes- a nice ten minute mile pace.  I decided to just run as fast as I could. 

The race started and we were off!  At certain points the path was narrow but there was no bottlenecking.  It was a fairly hilly course, which I wasn’t expecting.  The hills were rolling and not too tricky, with some nice downhills here and there.  At certain points on the course we were running against traffic coming towards us a few lanes over, which was interesting.  I pretty much played this song on repeat during the race, interspersing it with “Run this Town” a few times.  I tend to find songs I like and play them to death until I can’t listen to them anymore.

Before I knew it there was less than a half mile left!  The half-marathoners continued on in the race and the  3.5 mile peeps made the turn to get in the final mileage.  As I approached the finishing chute the time clock read 32 minutes with change.  Sweet!  I kicked it into high gear (seriously- my fastest pace during the last half mile was a six minute mile pace- holy!) and crossed the finish line in 32:37, giving me an average pace of 9:15/mile.  YAY!   As the runners came in, a race volunteer gave us a numbered slip of paper to fill in.  I was the 113th person to finish the race.  I saw Melissa and Jen (they finished just under 31 minutes- speedy mc speedersons!) and headed inside to drop off our time slips and get some water.  For a five dollar race, I am INCREDIBLY impressed with all that was available after the race.  Water, soda, pizza, orange slices, vegetarian soup… I couldn’t believe it! 

I grabbed some water and an orange slice while Melissa and Jen went on to run 3.5 more miles (overachievers 😉 ).  Before the race I was thinking of joining them; after not so much.  I called Heather and Cynthia- they both ran an awesome race!  We grabbed starbucks (caramel brulee latte, I love you) to kill some time before meeting up with Melissa and Jen at Cafe Madison

Cafe Madison was outstanding!  It was my first time there and I will definitely be back.  The service was phenomenal and the food was delicious.  I had a Tuscan omelette but snagged some of Melissa’s strawberry almond stuffed french toast- heavenly!  We stayed and chatted for about two hours.  I love getting together with other bloggers- there is never a lack of things to talk about! 

All in all, it was a great start to the new year :D.  The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club put on a great event and it was nice to meet up with my blends to race and share delicious food. 

How was your New Year’s eve?  Did you participate in a race today?  It’s a great way to kick off the year 😀

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Filed under Blends, Race Recap, Running