A big day for me + ‘everybody gets a trophy’

Today is a big day. Mike took the day off to drive me to San Francisco to see a specialist, who is supposed to be the best around. Apparently when you invent hip arthroscopy surgery, you’re so good, you don’t have to take insurance. I have high hopes.

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Sorry if I’ve come across a little on the grumpy side lately, I haven’t been running much. At this point, it’s a miracle the world around me still exists. I should probably apologize to Mike for telling him he is not allowed to retire. Ever. Even if there’s a fire.

It’s both embarrassing and ridiculous how many times I’ve been injured this year. So I’m crossing my fingers for some answers. And hopefully good news.

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I want to thank you guys for all of the awesome comments on yesterdays post. It was a great conversation. Mike + I enjoyed reading your comments. We loved Tempie’s thoughts:

“So many kids these days seem to have such a sense of entitlement. The whole “everyone gets a trophy” thing drives me nuts! I was taught that you worked to get the things you wanted in life. If you didn’t win, you didn’t get a trophy. That way, you learned to work harder to be better next time.”

Girlfriend nailed it. She reminded me of a bit George Carlin did titled “Every Child Is Special.” Just be aware there is some profanity. It’s the best kind of profanity, the truthful kind.

We are leaving right after I hit publish, so if you have any recommendations on restaurants or places to see, please leave them in the comments. It’s quite a hike, so I’ll be able to check my phone on the drive up.

If you don’t have any recs, tell me something stupid/funny/ridiculous. K, thanks. Bye.

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Navigating the land of opportunity

Over Thanksgiving, Mike + I were talking to Lu about her future. We’ve always encouraged her to dream big, go after what makes her happy and generates a decent income to support herself. Then we were talking to some friends and I realized some folks just don’t really know how to do this. It sounds so simple, but there is a lot of soul searching and hard work involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we know what’s best for you. We just know what works/ed for us and I want to share our personal experiences with you. We genuinely like to help folks who want to help themselves. We have the same 24 hours every day just like everyone else.

We have come a long way, you may read this post I wrote earlier this year to get a feel for how our choices have shaped our lives today. Spoiler alert: It was 100% PURE, HARD WORK. There were no handouts, just hard work and folks who helped us help ourselves. So, I feel like this post is our way of paying it forward.

I grew up in the ghetto in Fresno, CA. I was literally ghetto fabulous. My parents struggled every day to put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads. Sometimes we couldn’t afford new school clothes or shoes, but we always had enough. When I look back now, I thought everyone had to constantly struggle and that was just part of life.

The truth is that the need to struggle goes away with making hard choices and harder work.

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Here are a few ideas:

  • Before you do anything, go to the Mike RoweWORKS site and read this. Take your time, I’ll wait.

    “The goal of Profoundly Disconnected® is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don’t close it, it’ll swallow us all.” – Mike RoweWORKS website

    Are you back? Cool!

  • Take what you just read and apply it to your life. That’s an excellent start.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to college, but it’s not for everyone. I don’t have a college degree nor do I wish to obtain one. But I am genuinely happy with my job. It’s something I am passionate about and I make more than a lot of college educated folks. The key here is happiness and everything else falls into place.
  • It’s never too late for a career change. Mike started a brand new career at the age of 42 and is happier than ever. It was not an easy transition. It took a couple years and a lot of disappointment but he NEVER gave up.
  • Take the crappiest job if you have to. You’re not better than any job. Make it appear glamorous, be happy about it, work you ass off knowing it is a stepping stone closer to your goal. My first job was mopping floors at McDonalds. I was 16 and happy to be making a little income and you can bet those floors were spotless. Bottom line, find any job and start working. Then work on getting promotes or finding a better job.
  • Stop thinking the world owes you. With that mentality you are doomed for failure. Take responsibility for yourself and work for what you want.rp_2014-11-03-15.19.10-610x343.jpg
  • Don’t be afraid to relocate. Friends + family are a big part of our lives. I totally get it, but don’t hold yourself back because of them. Of course there are exceptions, but think about the big picture and if it makes sense go for it.
  • Stop making excuses for why you can’t. This is a no brainer for me, but I am surprised at how often I hear excuse after excuse.richkidrags
  • If your dream job doesn’t exist, don’t be afraid to create it. A friend of mine who did my hair when I lived back home is crazy talented and recently launched her own brand. She became a mom and decided to become an entrepreneur. Again! She came up with a design, tried it out on her kiddos, developed a super cute website, snapped some amazing pictures of the product in use and marketed it on social media. And boom, she is now a 2 time business owner. (She still does hair.)

My best advice is to WORK HARD and don’t stop until you are happy & passionate about your life. Realize it may take months or years to get there, but it is SO worth the effort.

Ha and you expected to come to SCB to read something dumb or some vague Elf movie reference! Sorry, I’ll come up with something idiotic and mind numbing to write about tomorrow. Deal?

Any other tips?

Share your struggles + success stories. I would LOVE to hear them.

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I was born in the wrong generation + “four survey”

I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning our house. Mostly because it’s been far too long since I did a deep clean, but more so, we now have room for a Christmas tree. Bam + I were in negotiations all afternoon on where it should go. Thankfully he took one for the team by agreeing to move his bed (1 of 3!) and toy box temporarily.

He better not pee on the tree.

I even made dinner, spaghetti squash with meat marinara sauce and sliced mozzarella. No pic because how do you make that look good? It was my first time trying the squash, is it supposed to be on the crunchy side? Anyway I didn’t love it or hate it, not sure I’d have it again…

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Then I cracked open a bottle of wine, turned on Frank Sinatra and admired my nice clean house. What is it about clean floors that make me so happy? And yes, I am convinced I was born in the wrong generation.

I saw this four survey on Caitlin’s blog and enjoyed learning more about her so I decided to tweek it + include it here. Feel free to join in on the comments and/or your blog!

Four things I prefer not to eat

1. Mayo

2. Rosemary

3. Lamb

4. Ginger

Four places I’ve been to

1. Reno

2. Disneyland, duh

3. Vegas

4. Sequoia National Park

Four places I’d rather be right now

1. In my bed watching a Christmas movie with coffee in hand

2. Right where I am, on the couch with the boys

3. Running in the rain that is coming down right now

4. Hiking with Bam in the rain

Four of my favorite foods

1. Bananas

2. Chips

3. Dips + sauces

4. Mikes homemade marinara meat sauce

Four favorite movies

1. The Elf

2. Home Alone

3. High Crimes

4. A Christmas Story

Four names people call me

1. J

2. Jackie

3. Yak (I talk a lot)

4. Jacqueline

Four jobs I’ve had

1. Starbucks barista (now my coffee addiction makes sense, uh?)

2. Server at Applebees

3. Sprint (I managed 30 indirect stores and don’t miss it)

4.  Pebble Beach Golf (best.job.ever)

Your turn!

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I need your recommendations + this picture cracks me up

Happy December & Cyber Monday!! Has anyone found any schweet deals today?

Yesterday I was grumpy mc grump pants but thankfully today I woke up feeling refreshed and excited. I feel like I’ve lost a little excitement for life lately, so my new mini goal is to slow down and enjoy the season. Anyone wanna come over for a gingerbread house/Christmas movie party?

I started some meal prepping last night which helped jump start a brand new week and when I’m done writing this post I’m going to crack open my planner. Ooh speaking of that, do you have a planner you love? I have one from Erin Condren, though I really like it, I’m a typical chick who loves options. And I kinda miss having actual lines to write on each day. #firstworldproblems

Dang, guess I’m feeling needy today. Hah

Lets back up to some adventures at grandmas house. We were picking oranges + lemons from her trees when Lu snapped this candid. It.cracks.me.up.

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I pretty much grew up at her house, so I’ve always had orange + lemon trees. Store bought fruit doesn’t have anything on the fresh picked stuff.

One day when I am rich, I will ship you all some so you can experience the huge, delicious difference.

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We did pick extras to share with some friends in Monterey, so if you’re a local, holla!

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Her winter garden is looking amazing. I think there is spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens + green onions. I put in a request to have greens with bacon for Christmas supper.

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Everything is organic. Grandma was organic before it was cool.

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Then we went inside to play with rubber band balls she made. Any guesses on how this ended?

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Well it’s time to wrap this up and do something productive. Like refill my coffee cup.

I hope you have a wonderful week!!

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Thanksgiving 2014

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing weekend with those you love. Ours was super busy, but fantastic. We packed in a lot on this trip, so I’ll break it into a couple posts so I don’t bore you. And my fingers don’t fall off typing so much.

Our Thanksgiving morning drive to grandmas house went kinda like this…

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We made it without hitting traffic with plenty of time for Mike to carve the bird. He always get’s the honor and that is the face of happiness with a side of sarcasm.

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It’s a family tradition grandma cooks Thanksgiving lunch. She is stubborn and will not let anyone help, but we do anyway. And when I say help, that means I eat all the food so she doesn’t have to put it away.

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Yes, that is a lemon I put on my turkey picked right off grandmas tree 32 seconds before cutting it.

My cute little date for the affair, was my niece Blair bear. Girlfriend is fancy pants with OJ in a plastic champagne glass and a bendy straw. Proud aunt right here!

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Always first in line at the desert table.  Haha!

We went to her house the day after Thanksgiving and she told me she had pecan pie for breakfast and chocolate pie with redi whip for lunch. Yah, my grandma is cooler than yours. ;)

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My sister + her husband are opening a restaurant in Fresno soon, so we had to be taste testers. We took this job very seriously.  This Meiomi Chardonnay is a definite winner.

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Then it was decided the girls were way too clean, so we had to fix that.

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Bam even took some time off from chewing his butt to chase squirrels. He wishes his secret power was climbing trees.

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The evening ended with R coming to hang out with me at the hotel and Mike going to our friends house to prepare for zombies.

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Photo borrowed from here.

How was your Thanksgiving? I want to hear all about it!

Do you have family traditions?

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Throwing lead down range + “the best Birthday I’ve had in years”

We woke up to rain yesterday. Not sure why I didn’t expect that even after reading it was on the way. Being a blonde is so hard sometimes.

Mike has been working a lot more than usual, so it was nice to finally have some time off and a free day to play. We have been talking about going to the gun range for awhile now, so I woke up and excitedly told him that’s what I wanted to do. You know the boy was stoked!

I have a Smith + Wesson .38 revolver Mike picked out for me because the boy said “I’m not mechanical enough for a Glock.” Ha! Guess what my new life goal is now?

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It was one of our friends Birthday and the rain cancelled their outdoor plans, so I invited them along. Turns out, everyone had a fantastic time throwing lead down range!

Mike has several other “mechanical” {pun totally intended} pieces we got to fire, including his beloved Beretta 9mm he’s had for forever. The man can’t miss a target with it.

I choose this evil bunny to target practice with, while they chose a wild, evil turkey.

Um, yah he gone.

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After we headed out to celebrate our friends Birthday at Cannery Row Brewing. It’s one of those places that every time we drive by, Mike always says he wants to go check it out, so this was a perfect choice on our buddies part.

The food was amazing – the boys loved the pork chops and we got to watch the Bruins game to cheer them on for Emily. Girlfriend is a big time Bruins fan.

Since this going out to dinner thing is a rare occasion, and lets be real, I actually did my hair, it had to be documented.

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Okay well, we tried. I guess growing up is still not a high priority for us yet. Or ever.

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After we invited everyone over for after dinner drinks, Scotch for the boys, wine for the girls and watched 2 episodes of Lillyhammer. Oh my gosh it’s a great show!

While Bam enjoyed the extra love + snuggles. He thinks he is human, I am sure of it.

As they were heading home, our buddy said “this was the best Birthday I’ve had in years!” My heart is so full. It makes me SO happy to see him happy. <3

How do you spend a rainy day?

What show are you currently watching?

Any fun plans for today? 

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Thought I might die

No blog post yesterday because I woke up with another migraine. Actually I went to bed with it, got woken up by an earthquake, realized I felt better, then woke up at 4am in so much pain I told Mike my eyes were gonna explode. His response: cool!

Ha I love that man.

My doctor is also a close friend of ours, so he got this text…

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If you have never had a migraine, you are one lucky duck. I can not function with one. It’s like a headache on steroids with a pretty gnarly lack of concentration/brain fog. Walking takes a lot of effort and concentration.

A couple injections later I was starting to feel a little better. It took several hours even with the drugs to feel somewhat normal. I figured lunch would help so I went to Chipotle since the boy wasn’t there to veto it. Sometimes his life decisions are just sad.

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I was feeling better little by little and spent the afternoon buzzing around the house. The plumbing is finally fixed so I was able to get the kitchen back together. Not that I plan on learning how to cook anytime soon, but at least it’s clean.

I worked the other day and was blown away by this Pebble Beach sunset, post rain. I had to stop on my way in to snap a couple pics to share with you.

 

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It blows my mind they pay me to come here. It’s quite humbling.

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In other, far more uplifting news here are a couple inspirational things that caught my eye from social media.

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Is there a restaurant you love, but your significant other/friends/family do not?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

Fill me in on your Thanksgiving plans.

We are going to my favorite person on the planets house. Can’t freaking wait!

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Random trip to San Francisco + have I not learned anything?

Welp, we kinda sorta randomly ended up in the Bay Area. I haven’t been back since we moved over 16 months ago. It’s crazy to think it’s only an hour away, but feels so much different than the Monterey area. Traffic has a lot to do with that statement. And theres no Pebble Beach there.

We stopped in for lunch at our favorite Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Burlingame just like old times. It was a quick trip so we didn’t wander too much after lunch, just to Starbucks for some iced coffee for the road. Coffee is a necessity.

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While we were walking I couldn’t stop blabbing about the Lululemon store since I remembered there was one there. (We don’t have one in the Monterey area.) Mike pointed across the street and said hey J, look at that!

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I looked and walked right by my beloved Lulu. Fine, I’ll just pop in on our way back to the car, I thought. With Starbucks in hand, Mike led the way back to the car a different way without me even realizing it. What a punk!

I am more disappointed in my poor life decision to actually listen to that boy. After 11 years with him, have I not learned anything?

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Anyhoo we ended up going to San Francisco which was another random thing but fun. Kinda. I’ve said it before but I am really not a huge fan of The City. Please send all hate mail to yourlifeissadyoufeeltheneedtoemailmeaboutthis@gmail.com

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The skyline really is so beautiful though.

Until you get a big fat welcome to traffic. But at least there is so much to see, it really doesn’t matter where you are, it’s rich in history, people watching and ornate buildings.

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Going over the Golden Gate Bridge was a lot of fun too. They don’t have people in the toll booths now, it’s all done online which felt so weird just driving through.

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Then we took Highway 1 from SF to Monterey and my mind was blown. We’ve done that drive before, but really it never get’s old. If you have ever thought about doing that drive, DO IT then feel free to send me love letters and coffee.

What was the last random thing you did?

Ever been to SF? Favorite thing you did or if you haven’t been there yet, what would you like to see or do?

Does your significant other distract you like Mike did to me?

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How to handle a crisis…or not

I was going to tell you about pool running at 6am, cheating on Starbucks with Peets Coffee while killing an hour for TJ’s to open, but life happened last night. And that is FAR more entertaining so here ya go.

While cleaning up after dinner, {potato soup from the Skinny Taste cookbook in case you are wondering} I tuned on the garbage disposal. After turning it off, I heard a not so peaceful waterfall esq sound. I looked down to see water flooding out of the cabinet under the sink.

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Son of a nutcracker.

After standing in shock for like 4.4 seconds, and lets be real who wants to touch yucky, filthy sink water? You bust open the doors, knock cleaning products out of the way {oh the irony} and found the nearest yucky water catcher. The crockpot that I JUST freaking washed happened to work just fine.

Then pace around the house yelling son of a nutcracker along with other obscenities while dog enjoys a peaceful REM cycle on the nice, CLEAN comfy couch. Don’t expect sympathy, help or even a slight head elevation. No treats or dog park? Not gonna happen.

Towels that were just washed and put away? Sure, why not? Onto the floor they go to sop up the yucky, filthy sink water.

Call the husband, calmly + cheerfully say hi honey, how are you doing? Are you extremely busy? Okay not to stress you out, but the kitchen sink just leaked water all over the floor, under the stove + trash can. BUT don’t worry, it’s all under control.

Pull out phone, take picture, post it on social media, enjoy folks who can laugh with you over life. Then text BFF since you’ve done all you can and just thinking about the gazillion germs covering the kitchen, floors, etc is enough to make you want to drown your anxiety with a bottle of cheap wine or take a couple Xanax. Maybe both. At the same time.

Approximately 12 minutes later husband arrives. The scene does not look near as bad as wife made it out to be {does it ever?} because she cleaned it up faster than a murder who committed the crime. And lets face it, she is possibly a germaphobe.

Check on dog, find him chewing his butt. Typical.

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Husband pulls out a flashlight because he ALWAYS has one in his pocket to examine + assess damage. Tightens some white pipe {technical term, keep up yo} turns on the water + disposal. Watches sink fill up on both sides, says don’t touch it I gotta go back to work.

10-4 rubber ducky.

Sit down and write a dumb blog post because the idea of taking a bubble bath and going to bed at 6:50 pm is sounding like one of the best ideas you’ve had in a looooong time.

Check Insta, find out you lost a follower over the REAL LIFE post, laugh your ass off and say good riddance, you humorless cotton headed ninny muggins.

Hours go by, decide to throw the white flag up and take a bubble bath and head to bed. As soon as you slip into comfy, warm bed husband comes home. Typical.

Pours entire container of Draino down sink, doesn’t work. Eats dinner while wife watches Christmas Vacation and goes to sleep.

Wake up, sink is empty, but not fixed.

Crap.

Make a giant cup of coffee, sit in living room. The kitchen is dead to you.

Based on a true story.

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Race face

Good Monday morning!! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I sure did!

Yesterday I met up with Mike & Heather at the Big Sur finish line to cheer our fellow runners. If you are lacking motivation to run, just head on down to a race. If you leave still feeling unmotivated, you have prolly major problems.

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We had a great time cheering, and seeing the many race faces. Some were gigantic goofy smiles, some looked side to side to measure up their competition then turned on the jet engines. Others looked like they were about to lick a window, or digging deep and bringing it, others looked like someone just killed their dog, a few were doing the walk of pain.
It was both inspiring and entertaining.

After, we met up with the running bums, Sergio + Morgan. It’s been years in the making as Morgan works for SMACK! Media (pretty much the only PR company I work with + LOVE) chatting via social media and email but SO worth the wait to finally meet these two!

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L to R Heather, Mike, knucklehead, Sergio + Morgan.

It’s really cool to meet folks you connect with online and they are exactly how you would picture + imagine. They are down to earth, genuine and super speedy. I think Sergio ran the half in 1:07, placing 7th (3rd American) and Morgan ran the half a strong 1:22 and placed 4th in her age group.

Of course we had to check out the post race digs. The Treadmill which is a super cool local running store, had what I lovingly referred to as a self torture tent. I saw these space looking compression leg things – a super scientific name for them I’m sure. I also spotted a bucket full of foam rollers and other self torture devices. The only thing missing was a red solo cup, right Heather? ;)

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Man, I can’t even explain how much I miss the race atmosphere. The running community really brings it leaving you with a full heart and the desire to throw down some serious miles.

I headed home to up Mike. We ate lunch then grabbed coffee because I couldn’t handle walking around with this number on my phone any longer.

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After we wandered around downtown and the Old Fishermans Wharf. We popped into a restaurant at the very end which was new to us for a drink. It turned out to be an awesome spot to people watch. Major points for super cool bartenders.

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It’s kinda fun being locals at a tourist spot. We met a lot of folks from all over the world and were able to direct them to some ‘must see’ points of interest like 17 Mile Drive and Carmel By The Sea.
Fun idea for you guys!!

I think it would awesome to poke fun at our race face pics. After all, if we can’t make fun of ourselves, who can?

Any takers? Send your race face pics, name blog/social media handle to skinnychickblog @ gmail .com and I’ll do a feature on the ole blog. Come on, the world wants to see your race mug!

How do you motivate yourself to run or workout when you are not feeling it?

Fill me in on your weekend!

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