Friday Five: 5 Random Things that Remind me of my Childhood Summers

friday five - random things that remind me of childhood summers

Happy 2nd (official) day of summer! 

For most of us, we're already in the throes of it with heat, humidity, and kids home from school, but today the calendar says it's summer (in spite of what the weather has already been telling us).

I love summer - the extended daylight, the balmy evenings, the more relaxed schedule. And it brings about a nostalgia for me that doesn't happen much with other seasons. Summer reminds me of all the fun I had when life was filled with more running wild than responsibilities. 

And in keeping with my nostalgia, I thought it would be fun to write a blog post about the random things the remind me of my childhood summers. Sure, there were beach trips and days spent at the pool, but those are typical summer nostalgia. My list includes some other, less common, things.

Ready? Here we go.

1 - Making jewelry

I spent summers making friendship bracelets and clay jewelry. Art, in general, was a big part of my summers, and summers are what instilled my love of creativity. These days, I don't have nearly as much time for those things, even though they feed my soul.

jewelry sketches

But this summer, I'm making some changes. In hopes of getting myself into gear to start moving toward some longer term goals, I enrolled in a formal, online jewelry design program. Some of the things I already know, but now I'd like to learn some new things, refine my techniques and ideas, and kickstart things by forcing a schedule.

I'm hoping this is just the beginning of a new jewelry journey for me. After this, I want to keep moving and learn additional things like CAD (which is also in line with my industrial design goals).

 Jewelry sketch

Jewelry sketch

It may seem like a crazy time to take on yet another class or endeavor, especially when I have some other classwork going on, too (related to my day job and consulting business), but the truth is, there is never going to be a good time. Life will just get crazier and busier, and if not now, when?

Wish me luck chugging through this! I haven't been this excited about taking classes since I was in grad school!

2 - Caboodles

They've made a comeback, you guys! I had several Caboodles - some filled with makeup (as I got a little older) and the rest stuffed with supplies to make jewelry. Since my summers were filled with making jewelry, it's not a stretch to see why Caboodles remind me of those summers.

 Caboodles in my office

Caboodles in my office

I recently bought myself two small Caboodles and filled them up with new jewelry supplies. One of my hobbies is also collecting supplies, which is a completely separate hobby from actually doing anything with said supplies.

3 - Watching Saved by the Bell reruns

No seriously. I loved that show. I have no idea why. Looking back, it's absolutely cringeworthy. These days, I can get my fix on the Zack Morris is Trash Facebook page. If you haven't heard of this, you really need to check it out. It's hilarious and each video breaks down an episode and exposes Zack Morris for the jerk he was. 

4 - Magazines

Specifically, fashion magazines. My tween/teen years were spent reading YM, Teen, Seventeen, and Sassy (in my 20s and 30s, my favorite was Lucky). I spent tons of time reading these magazines (and getting inspiration for jewelry designs). And I kept all of them. For years. My mom finally threw them away (against my will, by the way!) when she moved into a different house and didn't feel like lugging them around. 

Those Lucky magazines, though? Oh, I still have every single one. And my husband has just loved lugging those around for our many, many moves over the past decade or so. In our new house, I have them in bookshelves in our upstairs loft where I'm also in the process of creating a cozy reading nook (which, let's be honest, will double as a dog lounge).

5 - My hometown

Summer in Lancaster, Pa. is a little bit magical. Sure, there's no beach, but there are fireflies, lively music, fun events, and the weather, while still humid, is so much better than here in swampy Charleston during those summer months. 

 A street in downtown Lancaster, PA

A street in downtown Lancaster, PA

Even as an adult, I loved sitting in the sunroom of our house downtown with the sliding doors open, listening to the summer sounds of the city. For me, it's comforting. And I always love going home for visits in the summer.

And Lancaster just keeps getting better and better! We have a trip coming up in August and I can't wait for B to experience this vibrant city again.

 Queen Street in Downtown Lancaster during a street Festival

Queen Street in Downtown Lancaster during a street Festival

For me, summer reminds me of a simpler time in my life where I didn't have to worry about anything but having fun. This year, maybe I'll recapture some magic with my jewelry design adventure. And maybe I'll find some time to reread some of those old Lucky magazines, too.

What reminds you of your childhood summers? What season is your favorite?

Weekly Recap: Training Reboot Week 12 (6/11-6/17)

weekly recap

Back on schedule (kind of)

This week was all about playing catch-up. I love vacations, but in many ways, they make things more stressful when I get back home. 

I spent the week catching up on work, and trying to get my workouts back on track. While I didn't quite get in all of my miles and I came up short with how many days I wanted to work out, I did get in four runs and two strength workouts, which is basically the minimum workouts I want to to do in any given week.


Workout Summary

Monday Off
Tuesday Run: 3 easy miles at 9:02 pace
F45 strength class
Wednesday Off
Thursday Run: 3 miles at 8:31 pace
F45 strength class
Friday Off
Saturday Run: 3 miles at 8:24 pace
Sunday Long run: 8 miles at 9:07 pace
Totals 4 runs/ 17 miles
Total workouts: 6

A brief recap

Rather than go day-by-day, here's a summary.

It's hot. So hot. So humid. And dew points are consistently out of control - up in the high 70s. This is almost unbreathable. 

But! In spite of all of that, my pace picked up a little this week. I think the effects of the antibiotics are out of my system at this point, so my strength is returning in general.

But this heat. Oh boy. My Sunday run was just miserable. Equating it to running with a hot, heavy wet blanket wrapped around my entire body (including my face) is probably the most accurate description. Disgusting. 

And some news...

My big news this week is that we added a new family member to our pack. Miss Ruby Skye Beagle came to live with us this week. We weren't specifically looking for another dog, but she caught my eye at a local rescue group and I knew she was ours.

So here she is! (I'm convinced that Meadow Beagle sent her to us.)

Here's a picture of her being adorable (I'll post an intro post of her later because she deserves it!). 

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And that was my week! In spite of coming up a little short in miles, I'm not doing too bad in general. I'm consistently hitting higher mileage more often than I have in the past during these maintenance weeks. Once August arrives, I should have no trouble ramping up training. 

These next few weeks are shaping up to be pretty crazy for me as well. Not only is B's birthday coming up and we have family coming into town, but I also have some intense work schedules (and an unexpected freelance project that I need to crank out quickly).

I'm hoping I'll still be able to maintain my workout schedule, because really that workout schedule is what maintains my sanity during times like this.

How was your week? Does working out help you get through stressful or busy times?


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As always, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap series.


Healthy Summer: Activia Two-Week Challenge

This post is sponsored by Activia but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It's no big secret around here that I've had some crazy health issues over the past few years. And the most recent one had me on a buffet of antibiotics that really wreaked havoc on my system. 

And on top of that, between all of my obligations - full-time job, side projects/my consulting business, being a mom, and trying to maintain hobbies, a workout schedule and training for races - life gets ridiculously crazy. And the first thing to slide when I'm busy is me and my health. Then I'm stuck in a vicious cycle of being generally unwell. It's not good, you guys.

In addition to missing important health-related appointments, I also end up with completely random (and not-so-good) eating habits that leave me with less energy to take on my crazy life. And I need energy.

Clearly, when it comes to eating habits, I need things that are easy for me to keep up with or it just won't happen. 

Enter: Activia Dailies

After heading to Walmart to pick up my Activia Probiotic Dailies, I took the Activia Two-Week Challenge where I had 2 of these yogurt drinks per day. It made it really easy to have a healthy snack whenever I needed one. 

It was also perfect timing since we were on our Outer Banks beach vacation for the first week of the challenge. I'd go for a run or bike ride in the mornings, and then grab one these right after my workout to refuel and head straight across the street to the beach.  

After two weeks, I'm feeling good and I'll keep these in rotation as part of my routine. Prior to the challenge, I already had been eating regular Activia Probiotic Yogurt and I'm generally on board with probiotics (and take additional supplements as well), but these drinks are nice change up from that.

You can take your own two-week challenge and get a discount on Activia Probiotic Dailies (or yogurt) from Walmart.

Have you ever used probiotics as part of your overall plan to stay healthy?