Turn of Fortune

I got an email last week from David Yurman announcing a new line of 5 mm stacking bracelets.

Here they are:

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Photo from David Yurman

The rose and yellow gold ones are pretty spendy, but the silver ones (I like the tarnished one) are well-priced.

I’m really not in the market at all for another stacking bracelet, and I was a bit soured on David Yurman after two events last year.

Event #1: A bracelet that I’d had less than a year went AWOL. After ripping the house apart, interrogating the children, wondering if someone stole it out of my locker at work, searching high and low in my office, and inquiring at the gym lost and found, I just came to a place where I secretly thought I probably didn’t fasten it quite right and it carelessly slipped off, leaving some incredibly lucky person as a finder on the street. 

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Sniff.

 

 

I moved on, not in the best way (this is me, after all), by buying an exact replacement.

Plus a few new friends for it.

Event #2: One of those new bracelets was a huge impulse buy. Huge. And in my excitement, I decided to wear my new bracelets right out of the store and forego any and all packaging, requesting that the store email me my receipt.

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Except they didn’t.

I had the bracelets, but no paperwork. No problem, I thought (cue foreshadowing).

About four months after this spree, the impulse bracelet broke at the hinge. I wasn’t even putting it on or off; I just looked down and it had fallen apart.

I was too stunned to cry, and I wasn’t sure what to do. My luck with David Yurman was starting to become pretty lousy.

Spouse kindly did the legwork and sent the bracelet off to an official David Yurman repair center. It was gone for four months but came back fixed, and for free! Worth the effort.

Fast forward to last weekend: Trixie (6) was digging in my jewelry box, as she tends to do. She brought out a small box that holds a pin belonging to Spouse from his college days on the crew team. It’s a pin for being a letter winner in the sport, and since Spouse is not a jewelry guy, it’s lived in that box for, oh, nearly twenty years.

I was folding laundry on the bed and she emerged from my closet with the box, saying “I have a little pin and a bracelet.”

A quick glance seemed to confirm that she’d put the replacement bracelet in the box.

Me: “Hey, look out. I already lost one bracelet exactly like that and I don’t want the new one to get hidden in the box so I can’t find it.”

Trixie: “Umm, well, this one was in there already and I may have put it in there a long time ago.”

Could it be? It was!

Lost bracelet found.

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Twinsies

I was so happy that I couldn’t even be mad about the whole ordeal.

But I will have my eye on her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pixie Dust Challenge Recap

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Yesterday – Mother’s Day – I completed the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, a two-day, 19.3 mile event from Run Disney.

Event one was a 10k on Saturday morning, followed by a half-marathon on Sunday.

Earlier this year (February, to be exact), I did a similar thing in Florida, so I felt like I had the drill down.

Just like Florida, Saturday was colder than Sunday, less crowded, and overall, I liked the 10k courses better than the half-marathons.

It’s easy to see why, though: by the time you realize you’re running, you’re well into the 10k, and then it’s over before you know it. Since the course is shorter, there’s also much more running time within the theme parks than in the surrounding streets, which of course is a lot of fun and a great distraction.

I didn’t check my official time yet, but my watch said my 10k time was 57:29, which is pretty typical for me. I could have gone a bit faster, but I was nervous that I could flame out on Sunday if I went out too hard on Saturday, so I held back a bit.

Here’s a shot from the starting area at 5:30 AM Saturday, plus a post-race nap I took in front of a fire in the lobby of the Grand Californian hotel (20 minutes of heaven).

 

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On Sunday, I felt better than I expected. The course is honestly a bit boring in the middle and I’d planned to take a short walk break around mile 8 if I needed it, but I didn’t.

Soon I saw miles 8, 9 and 10 tick away. When I got to 11, I knew I would be done in less than twenty minutes, so I kept moving forward.

Again, I didn’t check my official time, but my watch said 2:05 when I crossed the finish line. I felt strong.

And on to the bling!

I actually got four medals this weekend, but you can only see three above. I left the 10k one in my hotel room. After finishing the half-marathon, I got the medal for that (far left), one for the Pixie Dust Cahllenge (middle), and then a Coast to Coast one (pink, on right), for completing half-marathons in both Florida and California in the same calendar year. The middle one was my favorite!

But, the truth is that while I loved participating in these races and felt strong – which I think is really critical to share with my kids – I missed them terribly. I made a mistake in not bringing them with me, especially since it was Morher’s Day. That fact was poignant and I was envious of other women whose kids were cheering for them and hugging them in the reunion area. I’d like to rectify this next year, if possible.

I couldn’t get home fast enough.

P.S. I bought this rainbow unicorn hoodie from Raw Threads because, well, it’s a rainbow unicorn and totally hilarious. Also, I was cold!

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Mother of the Year

Well, I’m giving this post that title with more than a little sarcasm, since my overall mothering has been pretty sub-par as of late.

If you’re keeping up at all, I’ve been on three trips in three weeks, most recently coming home from California for less than 24 hours, only to turn around and go back to a different city in California (San Francisco —> L.A.).

The first two trips were for work, but the last one was definitely for fun. I decided to participate in the Disney Tinkerbell half marathon for the fourth time, and this year there was a new race: the Pixie Dust Challenge, a 10k on Saturday and a half-marathon on Sunday. Total: 19.3 miles.

The first three years of this race, it was held in January. Year one (2012), the race was two days off from my 39th birthday. I can’t even remember how or when I decided to do it this way, but I traveled alone for a long weekend, and I had a blast. I stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, which is a beautiful, sprawling property with immediate access to Disneyland. It was my first trip to Disneyland and I felt like a kid. The course was fast and fun, and the whole thing was so great that I had to do it again.

Through a weird twist of timing, the race was pushed back one week the second year, and so I ended up being 39 twice when I ran it. Year two, since I was heading into 40, I decided to celebrate by doing a Coast to Coast challenge, which nets you a special Run Disney medal on top of the regular finisher’s medals.

For leg one, I ran the Disney marathon in Orlando (my third time on that course), and then – less than a week later – turned around and headed to Disneyland with my family, as well as my sister’s, to complete my second annual 39 year old Tinkerbell half-marathon. There were eight of us for a long weekend, and it was a great trip. We stayed again at the Grand Californian and spent Saturday and Sunday (post-race) at the parks. My kids loved hanging out with their older cousins (my sister’s two sons), and it was absolutely awesome to have someone cheering for me at the finish line, which almost never happens since most of my runs are solo.

Last year, I came alone again and couldn’t get into the Grand Californian (full), so I decided to stay at the Park Sheraton (about a half mile away) and collect some Starwood points as a bonus. The hotel was a lot less expensive than the Grand Californian and while it wasn’t as nice or as convenient, it was ok.

This year the race was moved to May.

Now I feel this weird legacy to the Tinkerbell half-marathon, and I had it in my head that I wanted to compete five years in a row, if possible.

So here we are in year four.

Getting to Anaheim was also a challenge this year; the flights would only work for me to be able to pick up my race bibs if I came in on Thursday night, so I did.

But that meant the sub-24 hour home visit before heading out.

Both kids pleaded for me to stay home. Heart officially broken.

I was already 99 percent sure I would cancel and live without my stupid self-imposed Tinkerbell streak, but Spouse stepped in and said Everything Would Be OK, and I should go.

So I did.

I’ll post about the races later, but I’ll stop here to officially thank my Ever Patient Spouse, who really is Dad of the Year. Thank you for this Mother’s Day!

Ipad artwork from Trixie:

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Cocktail Menu

I rarely drink cocktails, but I’m intrigued by the whole artisanal cocktail culture.

Unfortunately, though, I often can’t think of a single thing to order if I’m somewhere cocktails are being served.

This is actually harder than it sounds, as your drink of choice says something about you, and I feel compelled to strike a balance between lame (Red Bull and vodka) and douche-y (ironically, also Red Bull and vodka, although small-batch vodka with hand carved ice).

Entertaining at home is also a stressor: what to serve? We don’t have any liquor at our house right now, so even setting up a basic bar would require an investment.

Yesterday I had a long wait by myself before lunch, and I snapped a few pics from the restaurant’s bar menu in case I ever felt inspired.

This banana martini is a liquid dessert. Yum.

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Here’s lunch when it finally came:

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Egg and Avocado Toast

I’m wrapping up a work trip to San Francisco – waiting in the airport as I type – and had to post about the most fabulous breakfast ever.

On my last trip to SF two years ago I stumbled upon a local mini-chain called The Grove (www.thegrovesf.com, adding links is wonky on my mobile device, sorry!).

This place was right around the corner from my hotel and serves EXACTLY what I like to eat, no matter what time of day.

Fast forward to this trip: different hotel but same neighborhood, and being a creature of habit, I went back to The Grove every day I was in town.

Yesterday I had to do a work event (book signing; did I mention my group wrote a book?) and give a lunchtime talk for an hour and a half, which meant my usual morning routine of just coffee wasn’t going to cut it for most of the day.

I headed to The Grove for some breakfast fuel and had goat cheese and basil scrambled eggs with a side of rosemary potatoes, and it totally hit the spot.

Today I squeaked in one more visit before my cross country flight home.

But.

Decisions, decisions!

Should I not mess with success and have the scramble again or branch out to something new?

This menu item caught my eye:

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What made me hesitate is that while I am overall a lousy cook, I make a decent avocado toast and didn’t want to be disappointed.

I ordered it anyway.

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Within one bite, I knew that this avocado toast forever shamed my version. It was heaven.

The sourdough toast was rubbed with olive oil and lemon, topped with avocado and then finished with two perfect poached eggs and those fabulous Rosemary potatoes on the side.

The whole thing was easily smashed into a delicious mess.

I ate every bite.

P.S. Here’s a picture of the inside of the restaurant, which is funky and charming.

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Homeward bound!

Skin of Norway

Confession: I’m a pretty serious skin care junkie.

I want to be one of those people who sticks to a consistent routine and is dedicated to one great line, but   I’m much more of a dilettante.

A few months ago I discovered Skin of Norway (www.laila.com) when my sister and I unexpectedly met its creator, Geir Ness.

I tried and liked the face serum and daily moisturizer, and when I discovered that there was a new complete set of products available, I decided to replenish my supply.

Here’s the set, which comes in its own travel bag:

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What’s inside:

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There’s cleanser, face toning mist, eye cream, serum, moisturizer, two different masks, and two bonus samples of a men’s and a women’s fragrance.

I’m excited to try everything!

Travel Snacks

Right now I’m trying to avoid airport/airplane and otherwise bad-for-you travel food whenever possible.

This takes some planning, but with multiple trips back-to-back, I need to buckle down on healthy eating.

Here’s the latest crop of snacks that made it into my carry-on.

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Mary’s Gone Crackers. These gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan crackers come in seven varieties.

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Go Macro bars. Stats: 260 cals, 9g fat, 10g sugar, 10g protein, 1g fiber. The fiber is the weak link here, but I’m ok with this as an overall meal replacement.

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The Think Thin name kind of throws me off (seems a bit too Slim Fast-y for me), but I was attracted to the low sugar content of these bars – only 2g! 

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This 22 Days bar was an instant favorite. Although I’ve only tried this bar, I’m intrigued by the company’s manifesto. Vegan home delivery meal service? I would actually love to try that.

Other staples: plain water, mineral water (I almost entirely gave up soda six months ago), and my old friend, coffee with a splash of milk.

While it’s still healthier to make your own food and eat at home, I still figure I’m better off with these choices than, say, the Panda Express at Gate 75.

 

 

EPCOT Flower and Garden Expo 2015

The past week and the upcoming two are chock-full of travel. 

Last weekend found me in Orlando for the third time this year.

Ok, I am a total dork and love Orlando, so this is fine with me, even though I feel like this guy:

I was ostensibly speaking at a conference – which I did, I swear! – but Sunday was a down day for me.

Since I was staying near EPCOT Center at one of my favorite hotels, I decided to walk over to EPCOT for the afternoon.

Turns out, the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival was happening while I was there, and I have to say, it was totally charming.

Numerous topiaries are created for the event and scattered throughout the park:

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This one was my favorite:

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Miss Piggy, one of my fashion inspirations

 

You can even buy a form to create your own at topiary at home:

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Many of the other areas in the park were bedazzled with plants and flowers:

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Special food and drink offerings were also available at many outdoor kitchens during the event.

Since I’ve been on a sugar/alcohol/gluten detox for the past month, I didn’t want to blow it by indulging, but I did enjoy some cucumber and mint spa water from the Urban Kitchen stand:

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Since it was about 90 degrees with 90% humidity, this hit the spot.

And Disney being Disney and all, there were merchandise opportunities:

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Astroturf Ears

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This was an unexpectedly fun day. It was great to stumble upon an event like this.

One last snap of EPCOT at night:

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