Just do it.

It shouldn’t take a new year or a birthday to revisit your goals or vow to make changes in your life. My friend sent me this 30 Challenges for 30 Days post as inspiration to create a better tomorrow. Well, challenge accepted. I’m starting off with one3785018f9e447e5904acec31a1ec7a89 of the “intermediate” tasks, though I’d label it as nearly impossible. *sleep*

EARLY RISER. *jazz hands*

Ever since I got into running, morning runs have been a special treat. The streets are quieter, the weather is breezier, especially in this summer humidity, and it’s a boost of energy to start the day. Unfortunately, my desire to wake up early for these runs and my ability to actually drag myself out of bed and out the door in time to make my run worthwhile has come across some obstacles, namely laziness. Not only for fitness, but waking up early allows me to get a head start on the day, more time to get ready in the morning, watch the news, read a book, inhale coffee, etc.

I’ve bookmarked article after list after video on the benefits of early mornings and how to become apart of the elite group of people who start their day before sunrise, yet here I am. Still in bed at 8 a.m.

Well, that’s changing. My goal is to wake up by 6:30 a.m. every weekday for the month of August. Any tips, morning phone calls, words of encouragement are welcome.

Monday Reminders: 6/23

500f2eb2e21e6b610afbe0611011da0eThis week is all about living in the now and not waiting for the “perfect” anything to do what you want. Go out and tackle Monday!

  • Stop following the path of least resistance.
  • “The secrets to the majority of your future successes are waiting outside your immediate network.”
  • You will never be this young again.
  • You cannot reach the finish line unless you start running.
  • Stop being afraid to say yes to more things.

Brunch Queen takes Shaw’s Tavern

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but I’ve become obsessed with brunch, a connoisseur if you will. Mimage (2)aybe it was the lack of food options for morning-after recaps in a college town that forced us to pick breakfast or lunch for the admittedly indecisive. And sometimes, eggs just aren’t what you need. But, it’s the best, most pointless meal ever and DC has capitalized the hell off of it. And I have gladly given dozens of restaurants my money for the experience. So, I guess I’ve kinda become a guru on places to brunch in DC but there’s still so many to try. My one rule: I never go to the same place twice, because why? I have a whole city to explore. So this is the beginning of many brunch reviews. While I love a good bottomless, great food conquers all. IMG_8607 This past weekend, one of my best friends from college came into town and what better way to catch up than waffles, burgers and mimosas. I took her to Shaw’s Tavern. I was curious about this lowkey spot that I ran past a few times and wanted to learn more. Happy to say it was totally worth the trip. The mimosas were served in these tall skinny glasses and my glass was never empty (anything less automatically results in a drop in ranking from me). We came in the early afternoon, so the mimosas had wayyyy too much pulp for my liking and didn’t taste very strong. I’m a little weary of the champagne to orange juice ratio. I always err on the side of clear mimosas, but as you can see, Shaw’s Tavern wasn’t as generous. But, they made up for everything with their menu and food. Never heard or even thought I would encourage someone to order cphotoornbread waffles, and my curiosity paid off. It’s the perfect match with crispy breaded chicken. I almost want to go back, just looking at it, but I’ll probably try to copy it at home. And the open faced burger with ketchup hollandaise… I could go on for the rest of the post about how well it was cooked. A little messy, but it didn’t take away a bit from it’s deliciousness. And the hashbrowns had pieces of pork in it! Such a nice surprise.

It’s definitely a spot worth checking out for either brunch or happy hour, though I recommend going early for brunch, unless you like a little bit of champagne with your pulp. Sad to say they didn’t have the comedy show like promised on their schedule but it’s definitely a place I’d recommend as a quieter brunch venue with a great patio made for people watching. You won’t get the crowds of U St but it’s a 10 minute walk away if you’re looking for a turn up.

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P.S. General brunch tip, if anyone tells you to go to Tap & Parlour, they’re not your friend and don’t want you to succeed in life.

#BloggerScene in DC

I had the pleasure of attending #BloggerScene hosted by @AshleyinDC and @NatalieandErika at Mari Vanna (such a cute space) this past week. As a newcomer to this world, I was totally amazed by the sheer number of bloggers in DC and I left feeling inspired and energized by their encouragement. Between the panel on managing and monetizing your blog to knowing your worth to creating your own business, these ladies are on top of it. Pictures from the event are below and I look forward to connecting with these fashionable ladies on the regular.

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I came, I saw, I conquered.

10311033_720522231348065_251176739_aCan’t believe I actually did it. I put this on my bucket list as a ‘complete by 25’ but on Sunday, April 27, I completed a half marathon. I signed up with only two months to train and ran the hell out of those 13 point 1 miles around DC and accomplished my goal. Two hours and two minutes of nonstop running.

Now that the utter disbelief is subsiding, here’s a few lessons learned:

  • It’s all mental. You’re capable of anything you put your mind to (as if you haven’t heard that before).
  • Honey stingers (or any type of energy chews) are your best friend.
  • If you want a quick way to make a lot of friends, join a run crew. Everyone comes in at varying levels of speed but the great thing about running is that everyone’s on an equal field as long as you just keep moving forward.
  • For my personal goal, I kinda set a time that I wanted to come in under, but my bigger goal was to never stop running, and that says more about my growth than any time on a clock.
  • Don’t go to the first water station and don’t take the first cup at any water station. It’s a lot less crowded near the back.
  • Ahhhh push it. Ahhhh push it… Move that dope. When that came on around mile 10, I grabbed an honey stinger and pumped my arms. Whooo good music will keep you going.
  • Finding the right shoes (flyknit lunar 2 for me), socks, outfit, arm band, hair style is so key. One small item of discomfort can throw off your entire run.
  • Look down and miss the view. In terms of posture, confidence and not getting ran over by speedy gonzales times 10.
  • My dad always taught me you should have enough energy to run up hills and run to the finish. Make sure you hold some reserve for the key moments that make you feel like chopping off your legs.
  • The spectator signs were definitely my favorite part of the race. “You run better than healthcare.gov” takes the cake for me.
  • FOAM ROLL. FOAM ROLL FOR YOUR LIVES.

I kept telling everyone how stupid I was for signing up for a half with such little time to train plus the fact that I have never ever been a runner. But I didn’t know my decision to start running could motivate so many others. Now I have a lot of friends telling me they started running because they saw I could do it, asking me how to train for a half, and saying they feel like they can accomplish their fitness goals, too. I hope my small victories can make you see that nothing is really impossible, it’s only a matter of deciding you can do it and putting that plan into action.

Monday Reminders: 3/31

Trying something new here because Monday’s suck. No matter how fun-filled or relaxing your weekend. Or how much sleep you got the night before. Or the exciting things you have planned for the week. It’s a constant struggle to get to Friday, and then the cycle repeats. So here’s a little something to keep you going today, and every Monday.

  • You don’t have to be the victim.
  • Determine your own version of “Lean In.”
  • What you want is never a thing.
  • How to be assertive, and not passive, at work because I’m not bossy, I’m a boss.
  • “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Make today count!

#RoadtoNikeDC

So, I signed up for a half marathon. With two months to train. Did I mention I’m not, nor have I ever been, a runner. Yeah, pretty stupid.

It’s an item that’s been on my complete by age 25 bucket list, but the decision, or rather whimsical thought, that I could do it this year was clearly not well thought out. But, it has brought clarity to the notion of trusting the process through my training and fitness journey, overall.

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First 8 mile run ever in life.

My impatience for seeing flat abs, strong legs and toned arms has always been my downfall for turning a New Years resolution into a routine. If there’s one thing these past few months have taught me, it’s to appreciate the in-between time. To treasure and appreciate the time it takes to achieve your goals because while it can be frustrating and defeating, it also builds a tremendous amount of strength (speaking physically, mentally and spiritually here). And God knows exactly what he’s doing because if I had long hair and flat abs tomorrow, you wouldn’t be able to tell me nothin as I run around in a sports bra and shorts, but I digress.

So, I’m practicing patience (for the first time in life). Embracing the “getting” and celebrating the little wins. Because really, there’s no end to my journey, only a higher level of achievement.

So, while I can’t wait to cross the finish line on April 27 and receive a Tiffany’s necklace, I’m already looking ahead to my next race.

“It’s not the having, it’s the getting.” – Elizabeth Taylor