Vacation.

 

I know I said I’d resume regular blog posts today, but…I lied.

Christmas is over and I’m in this post-holiday lull. My friends are making New Year’s Eve plans, planning impromptu trips before real life resumes, hitting up the holiday sales/returning things. And I’m just kind of hanging out. I have no desire to make NYE plans or go anywhere for that matter. I want to blog, but my inspiration is lacking. I barely feel like running. And I have absolutely no money to shop.  And I’m totally fine with that.

I’m going to spend this week relaxing. I want to use the rest of this week to reflect on 2011 and plan 2012. I have so many goals to accomplish, so many things to change and so many things to do/see. But they’ll all have to wait until January 1st.

Because this girl is on vacation until then.

 

Merry (Late) Christmas!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since last Thursday! Between the last-minute shopping and about 12 family meals in the last 5 days, I’ve barely even looked at my computer in days. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have enjoyed spending time with your family and friends. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and didn’t let anything get in my way….not even running.

My Grandma and my Aunt Ertie. Love these little ladies!

Sadly, yesterday was my first run since last Wednesday. I had some weird flu-like symptoms (chills/headache) over the weekend and decided to skip my 7-miler on Saturday just in case. When I went out with Coach yesterday morning, I felt great until the halfway point. I still haven’t figured out this nutrition thing. Some days I can run for an hour without having eaten much before and other days I feel like I might collapse after only a mile. I had a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and an orange before the run and it simply wasn’t enough. I had only planned to do 30 minutes but ended up stopping at 2 miles and walked the rest of the way. I was disappointed, but I’m just glad I ran. I missed it.

 

I have 2 weeks left of Winter Break and I’m planning to relax as much as possible. My days will be filled with running, writing, sleeping and playing with my new Canon Rebel t3!! Yayy for better blog photos!

via CanonUSA

I promise to get back to regular posts tomorrow! I’m not doing a recap for last week because it’s actually embarrassing how little I ran. Like less than 10 miles. During half-marathon training. Who does that? But I’m determined to end 2011 on a great running note so I’m already looking forward to Week 4’s recap. And I’m still doing the Closet Love Challenge. I hope you all are too. It’s a lot harder than I expected, but I’m making it work. Look out for an update soon.

Let’s all make this last week of 2011 a great one!

Closet Love.

Between running 5 days a week and studying nonstop, I have been looking pretty…bummy lately. Sweatshirts. Leopard print pajama pants. Juicy Couture knee socks (THE best!). And if I put something other than Uggs on my feet, I must be going to church. And let’s be honest…I wear Uggs to church sometimes too. But now that I’ve completed my last final (!!!), I’m ready to get back to my old self. I need a little glamour in my life.

Source: dogeared.com via Jerrell on Pinterest

 

As soon as I finished my Con Law final last night, I went to Cusp and bought this Dogeared Light as a Feather necklace using a gift card I’ve been saving all semester. I fully believe in rewarding yourself for hard work. I was tempted to buy clothes instead, but I realized I already have SO many clothes that I’ve been neglecting. I rushed home, “shopped” my own closet and ended up with a rack full of Fall goodies, most of which I forgot I even had.

I’m challenging myself to spend the next month creating, mixing and matching looks from my own closet without spending any money on new clothes. I think this is the perfect way to get out of my fashion rut, to appreciate what I already have and to remind myself of the essentials that I’m missing. When I start shopping again, I’ll know exactly what to look for. I already know one thing I’m missing: COLOR. I love my neutrals/blacks, but as you can see, I need a little more color in my life.

I hope you’ll all join me in this Closet Love challenge! I’m starting today, December 20th and going to January 20th. Feel free to join at any time! I’ll be posting pictures of my daily outfits on tumblr and I’ll do a weekly round-up here as well. I’ll also post my outfit inspirations on Pinterest (obvi my new obsession). I’d love to see your looks as well. Tweet/Facebook/Email them to me (jerrellreneeblogs{at}gmail{dot}com) and I’ll post them here in my weekly round-up!

I’m off to catch up on the stack of magazines I purchased and never got to read this semester. That’s my idea of the perfect way to start this Christmas Break!

make our house a home.

I love both of my parents dearly. They are amazing. And I love spending time with them. They’re always available when I need to talk and they’re both SO silly so we’re constantly laughing around here. There is one major thing I don’t love about my parents though: living with them. Ever since I moved home from New Orleans, we’ve butted heads constantly. I’ve learned that 25 (for me) is just too old to be living with my parents. I have officially tasted the blissful freedom of having my own space and I need it again. As soon as possible.

Thankfully, my cousin Erika works in DC and is ready to move out too, so we’re moving in together! Yayy for friend/cousins! Erika has taken the lead on the actual apartment hunting since I’ve been busy with school, while I’ve been mentally decorating our yet-to-be-found apartment. I have all of these great ideas for color schemes and ways to make the apartment feel more open and spacious. I want this place to feel like home for us. I’m hoping we love it and stay there until one of us buys a house, or gets married, or both. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for decorating/space saving ideas and I just had to share some of my finds with you. I might be cheating on fashion with home decor!

Quotable.

“You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning.

It’s a way of life.

Without it you’re nobody.

…and I’m not talking about a lot of clothes.”

“I’m terrible on facts. But I always have an idea.

If you have an idea, you’re well ahead.”

“The only real elegance is in the mind. 

If you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”

*all images via Pinterest

Diana Vreeland

1903-1989

Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Editor (1937-1962); Editor-in-Chief of Vogue (1962-1971)

What’s Happening Wednesday: Resolutions.

We’re a little under 3 weeks away from 2012 which means most people are already planning their New Year’s Resolutions. For some, those resolutions might have to do with goals they have for their lives: get into grad school, become more organized, etc. For others, many others, those resolutions are health and fitness related. (In the Pilates class at my gym, we all keep joking about how we should enjoy the space now because come January, our mats will be on top of each other.)

I’m really hoping that some of my readers are planning to become runners in 2012 and today I want to encourage you to start now! I’ve never had any luck with resolutions. I always start them and give up by February 1st. But running was different. I started running in November 2011, and I’m still running 13 months later with no plans to stop. Ever. I think that starting early gives you the momentum you need to keep it going after the New Year has come and gone. Here are a few simple tips to get you going…

1. Purchase a good pair of running shoes.

Please please please. If you never listen to anything else I say, hear this: go to a running store and get fitted for the right running shoes for your foot. At a good running store (try Potomac River Running if you live in NoVa), they’ll put you in a neutral pair of shoes and have you run on a treadmill while they analyze your gait. I had lots of IT band pain before I did this, but ever since I purchased the right shoe for my foot (Asics GT-2160), I haven’t had any injuries or pain. And here’s a tip: once you find the right shoe for you, stock up. I found 2 pairs of the 2160 on sale for $60 right after I bought my first pair and scooped them right up. When it was time to switch out my old shoes (which you should do every 2 months or so when you’re training), I didn’t have to worry about buying any.

2. Purchase key winter running items.

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You don’t have to spend a ton of money on these items and you only need a few things. It’s quality over quantity when it comes to Winter running. I’d suggest purchasing a winter running jacket (wind and water resistant is a must), running tights (love my Nike tights!), running gloves (mine are from The North Face), one or two long-sleeve technical shirts (Nike and Lululemon make the best ones), and a hat or headband that covers your ears. I bought all of these items and have found that I’ve never been cold during a run and I actually enjoy running in the cold now. So weird.

3. Find a plan. 

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You’ve heard the saying a thousand times: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I’m not saying that if you don’t follow a plan you’ll fail as a runner, but I do think that having one will make the process a lot easier to stick with. Often, new runners lace up their shoes, head outside and try to run as fast and as far as they can. Unless they’re already in shape, and sometimes even if they are, they’ll find that after a few minutes they’re gasping for air and stopping to walk. A program like C25k (which has an iPhone app now!) will ease your body into running and will help you gain endurance. If you don’t like C25k, try the Nike+ Coach’s Walk to Run program or try Hal Higdon’s 30/30 method. You can also try searching the Runner’s World website for articles/training plans geared toward beginners (which is what I did).

4. Take it easy.

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As a beginner, you shouldn’t be running all out. I’m not a running coach or a fitness expert so I don’t know how to explain this scientifically or even eloquently, but I’m going to try. When I first started running, I would run hard during my run intervals and then walk superrrr slow during my walk intervals while I tried to catch my breath. I finally got to where I could run an entire mile, but I would have a cramp immediately after and would have to go back to my run/walk intervals for the remainder of the run. I was so frustrated because I wasn’t seeing enough progress. It wasn’t until I started running at an easy, conversational pace that I was able to run for longer periods of time. My body learned how to perform at that speed for more than just a few minutes and now I’m ready to teach it how to perform at higher speeds. If you want to grow as a runner, you have to start slowly. Focus on steadying your breath without walking, even if it means slowing way down. Trust me, it works. Try running with a friend. If you can’t finish a sentence without sounding like you’re running up stairs, you’re running too fast.

5. Enjoy the run.

So many people have told me that they want to run like me, but they just hate running. I used to hate running too. That was when I thought of it as a means to an end. Running was just a way to lose weight and get in shape. Now, running is a way to clear my mind. It’s a way to explore a new city. It’s a moment in life that belongs to only me. It gives new meaning and beauty to places and things I’ve seen a hundred times before. It makes room in my head for an epiphany. It has brought me a sense of pride and accomplishment I’ve never felt before. Burning 300 calories in 30 minutes…that’s just a bonus.

Don’t wait for January 1st. Start today. Start right now. Make yourself a runner.

Behind the Blogger part deux.

In case you missed it, here’s part one.

11. I love New York City and have been wanting to move there for the last 5 years. I’m still holding on to hope that it’ll happen when I graduate, but for now, I try to visit every chance I get. Just thinking about running the ING New York City Marathon with Fred’s Team there next year gives me chills.

12. Last May, I was so desperate to get out of New Orleans as soon as finals ended that I drove myself all the way home alone. That’s a 17 hour trip. What’s really strange is I loved every minute of it. I listened to my favorite songs, ate the healthiest foods I could find (Thank God for Smoothie King!), I stopped in Atlanta to visit my sister and nephews and I thought about the amazing year I had at Loyola New Orleans College of Law. At that point I was still in shock that I had even gone to law school in the first place! It was one of the best road trips of my life. Just me and my little Prius.

13. I’ve talked about this before but there’s no way I could give a glimpse into my life without mentioning it. During my sophomore year of college, I lost my grandfather to lung cancer. I’ve been extremely close to my grandparents my whole life and without a doubt my grandpa is to blame for creating my lifelong sweet tooth. He would bring me a box of Bazooka Joe gum every week and when I would spend the night at their house, he would wait until my Grandma went to sleep to ask me if I wanted an ice cream sandwich. When he got sick, I was the only grandchild he would ask to drive him to his doctor’s appointments or the hospital. I’m not sure if that’s because he thought I was a better driver than the other grandkids who could drive at the time or if he just knew I could handle it. When he died, those moments were the ones I held onto knowing that I had soaked up every second with him.

14. Besides sweets, my biggest indulgence is wine. After a few years of craziness in college, I have come to terms with the fact that I’m not a big drinker. Shots are my worst enemy and I just don’t enjoy the taste of liquor. And call me crazy but I just can’t get wrap my mind around drinking something I don’t like only to feel sick later. Wine is a different story. I love the taste of it and am completely satisfied with 2 glasses. When I first became a wine drinker, I could only do sweet whites, but I’ve recently started trying more reds and have been pleasantly surprised.

15. After posting a picture of my race bib from the Hot Chocolate 15k, I realized I should probably offer an explanation of my name. My real name is Jarrell. It was supposed to be a mash-up (Glee word!) of my parents names, but it ended up being Darrell with a J. After a year or so, my parents realized that everyone kept pronouncing it that way (sounds like Jarel) so they changed the spelling to Jerrell. Just not legally. Which is why every time I register for anything using my legal name, it looks like I don’t know how to spell my own name. I’ll change it eventually, but sometimes I actually like it spelled with an A. Weird. (p.s. the new spelling didn’t help the situation at all.)

16. I have twin cousins. That sounds weird. I have 2 cousins who are twins. Their names are Lindsay and Kelly. I prefer to think of myself as their younger triplet. The three of us have been inseparable since I was a baby. We would have sleepovers every weekend and I always had to sit in the middle of them (in the car, at the dinner table, on the couch) so neither felt like they were being left out. As we’ve grown older and started our own lives (one’s married, one’s engaged, i’m in a tumultuous relationship with law school), we’ve kept such a strong bond and I am so thankful for that. Bonus: I got Lindsay and her fiancé to sign up for RnR USA as their first race! What a great way to start their new lives together!

17. I have a crazy obsession with The Biggest Loser. Like…watch it every week. Watch old episodes daily (not an exaggeration). Follow my favorite contestants on twitter. And I obviously cry during every single episode. My parents get so sick of hearing the contestants and I weep when I watch it on my iPad while I eat dinner. I don’t care though, that show is instant motivation for me.

hands down…favorite/funniest contest ever: Hannah Curlee (Season 11)

18. I can’t dance. Shocking, I know. I can follow choreography. I can jam my butt off in Zumba. Take me to a club, and I feel like the most awkward human alive. I probably look like I have an attitude problem at parties because I just stand and people watch, but it’s because I refuse to make a fool of myself. There are 2 situations in which the above doesn’t apply: 1. when any reggae music is played (all you have to do is move your hips) and 2. when any Beyonce song is played. Because if all else fails, I know the choreography from the video. (half kidding.)

19. I have a family family and a football family and together they make up the most vital people in my life. My dad had been playing for the Redskins for 3 years already when I was born. My first friends in life, besides my cousins, were his teammates kids. Our godparents are all former teammates and their wives. We’ve all grown up and some of us have moved away, but they are still some of my favorite people in this world and lifelong members of my family. So now if you ever hear me refer to NFL Live’s Mark Schlereth as “Uncle Mark” and you get confused because he’s clearly white and I’m clearly not, you’ll understand why. I’ve been calling him that since his daughter, Alex, and I were choreographing dance routines to Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.”

I will never not love this picture.

20. My family needs a reality show. My parents’ house is completely out of control. At any time you could walk in our front door and find a 5 hour (intense!) Monopoly game happening, my dad might be having a full-on jazz jam session in his room at 1am, or maybe my sister and I are in the kitchen teaching our 6 year old cousin Cullen the lyrics to “All I Do Is Win,” and there’s a 75% chance you’ll walk into a house full of women drooling over Honesty bracelets at one of my Mom’s Posh Parties. Or you could just find this…

No matter what day it is, my house is the place to be. And although I cannot wait to move back out, I’m pretty sure I’ll swing by once a day just to make sure my parents aren’t too miserable without me.

behind the blogger.

In an attempt to give myself a mental break from law school and the 4 terrible finals looming over my head, I’ve been catching up on some of my favorite blogs. One of my new favorites, Pace of Me, featured a 21 Pieces post on Monday. I loved reading it and decided to do my own. Here’s part one:

1. I am extremely emotional. I cry at the drop of a hat. The first time I watched Marley and Me I cried like someone ran over Prime and Brody. I once cried during the graduation episode of Laguna Beach. That was a low point. I cry when I’m sad/happy/mad/PMSing. It is what it is. I cry. Whatevs.

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2. I am a compulsive shopper. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for my bank account, I don’t discriminate. I love high end fashion and I love vintage. I would spend an entire paycheck on these (if I could fit my “athletic” calves into them), but I’d also spend it in Target. A lot of people think this is a problem, but I guess I’m still in the denial phase.

3. At the risk of sounding like a woman stuck in the 1950s (and not caring at all if I do), my biggest goal in life is to become a mother. I was babysitting before I could even drive. I struggle with feeling like I’m behind. As a kid I thought I’d be married with kids and a white picket fence by now, but I know it will happen in God’s time. And for now I just pretend that my nephews and cousins are my kids.

this is a really old picture but it’s my favorite one of them!

4. My favorite movie of all time is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Before law school took control of my life, I would stay home on Friday nights to watch it with a glass of wine and a stack of magazines. I should totally bring that Friday night ritual back.

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5. Speaking of movies/television, my cousin Kelly and I are the craziest Sex and the City fans you’ll ever meet. If someone listened to one of our conversations, there’s a 100% chance they’d hear one of us say, “like that time when Carrie….” One time my friend Janna quoted a Carrie line on twitter and I knew the name of the episode off the top of my head. That’s not normal. In case you were wondering who my SATC alter-ego is, I’m a Charlotte/Carrie hybrid.

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6. When I was little my dad introduced me to Florence Griffith-Joyner. I can still remember staring at her long nails when she signed autographs. Maybe that was the day that the running seed was planted. It just took 20 years to grow! I know I’ll never be the next Flo Jo, but I can still make her proud.

7. The best weekend of my life was the second weekend of August 2008: the weekend my dad was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Practically everyone I know traveled to Canton, Ohio for a four day nonstop party. I have never been more proud to be his daughter or to be a member of my family. I can’t wait to take my great-grandkids there one day. I’ll make them replicate this picture:

8. I don’t believe in ever taking my shoes off at a party/wedding/social event. I see these girls on the dance floor barefoot and I cannot even fathom why anyone would do that. Like Carrie said “this is an outfit!” At my line sister’s wedding I did the entire “Move Your Body” dance in a pair of platform Louboutins in order to comply with this rule. If Bey can keep her shoes on, so can I.

9. I’m not really big on expensive jewelry unless it has a meaning behind it. I have plans to buy my future husband and I matching Cartier love bracelets as a wedding gift (is it normal to plan your wedding before you’re engaged?). I’ve always loved friendship bracelets/necklaces and the message of this bracelet is so special. Plus, he can take a wedding band off easily, but he’ll need a screwdriver to get this thing off! I just hope I can wait that long to buy myself one.

10. Since I don’t have any control over my dream of becoming a mother, I’ve started focusing on another dream of mine: to become an amazing cook and hostess. I basically want to be the next Gwyneth Paltrow. I’ve already started practicing on my friends and family and so far it’s been going well. I have a huge list of new recipes to try when finals are over and I cannot wait, but this week I’m going to make EatLiveRun’s Chicken Tortilla Soup again. Seriously. Just make it now.

Look out for Behind the Blogger pt.2 next week!