New Digs.

 

2011 brought many amazing things into my life and this blog is definitely not the least of them. It has been so amazing sharing my passions, running journey, and general musings with all of you and I’m so excited to carry it forward into 2012.

Because of that, I’ve decided to move to self-hosting and completely re-design the blog to give it a more personal look. So please bookmark my new “address” JerrellRenee.com! Please remember to re-subscribe so that you can keep up with my daily posts! Just click the box on the right of the page, enter your email address and click “add me!”

Thank you so much for reading my blog! It truly means the world to me and I promise to make it even better in 2012!

xoxo,

Jerrell

 

p.s. In case you don’t get enough of me here, you can also find me on twitter, facebook, tumblr, another tumblr, and Posh Boutique’s blog column every Tuesday and Thursday!

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!

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!

DIY Christmas.

Yesterday, I talked about homemade/edible Christmas gifts and I hinted that I had a few DIY (do-it-yourself) projects for you to try as well. I’ve always wanted to be that creative girl who makes all of her own jewelry and copies every major runway trend, but I’ve honestly never even tried. I’m making a change this Christmas! Here are a few great ideas I found on some of my favorite blogs…

If you’re making something for the girl who loves jewelry and accessories…

via Jak & Jil. Friendship bracelet tutorial here.

via Honestly…WTF. Braided Hex Nut bracelet tutorial here.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and creative gift to bring your host/hostess, try this…

Wine Bag Kit sold here. Tutorial here.

For the girl/guy who is addicted to Instagram, try framing a few of their favorites or making an Instagram photo collage.

photos and inspiration via Girls on the Style and Because I’m Addicted.

If your gift recipient has an iPad (or is getting one for Christmas), save them some money and make them a bright and bold iPad case.

via P.S. – I Made This. Full tutorial here.

And for the girl who likes to stand out…

via Just B. Full tutorial here.

There are so many other great DIY projects online. If you do a little research, you can find instructions to make pretty much anything you want. These are the ones I’m thinking about making for my family members…and myself. If you do end up making something, please post it on my facebook page or tweet me a picture of it! I’d love to see how they all turn out!

i love your style: Elizabeth Olsen

I’m a little over a month younger than the Olsen twins and as a kid, I adored them. That adoration continues to this day. I die for 75% of Ashley’s wardrobe. But lately, their younger sister Elizabeth has stolen the spotlight. I love that her personal style shines through in everything she wears whether she’s at a movie premiere, a party or just walking down a NYC street. She knows how to build a look around one statement piece and her style is pretty much the definition of effortless chic.

New York Times

Wonderland Magazine

Wearing Calvin Klein at Elle’s Women in Hollywood Tribute

Wearing the Louboutin Mikarani flat.

With MKA at a NYLON party.

a person’s airport style says as much about them as their party style.

In Cannes promoting her film Martha Marcy May Marlene

Statement necklace at the HFPA Luncheon

I die for Missoni.

Thirsty Thursday: Homemade

I’ve warned my entire family that everyone will be receiving homemade gifts for Christmas because I’m a poor law student who can’t afford anything else. Plus, my last final is 5 days before Christmas and I can’t put myself through the stress of last-minute shopping this year. I just can’t do it.

I found some great DIY project ideas that I’ll share soon, but I was reading Cupcakes and Cashmere yesterday and got some great ideas for edible gifts as well. For example, homemade Peppermint Marshmallows! These would make such a great gift for anyone with children. I’d pair it with a Hot Chocolate mix and put it in a cute box or basket.

source

For a more grown-up gift, try making jalapeño and pineapple infused tequila. If your gift recipient isn’t a fan of tequila, play around with different flavors/liquors (there are other flavor/liquor combinations at that link). Strain the infused liquor into a pretty jar or bottle. And don’t forget the jingle bell!

source

I’ve always found that I’m amazed by even the simplest homemade gifts. Tell someone you made it yourself and it becomes an instant hit. Which brings me to my next idea…

Since I won’t be wowing anyone with my designer gifts this year, I should probably try to wow them with a looks-really-impressive-but-is-actually-super-easy dessert. Enter The Barefoot Contessa.

source

When I first started cooking, I downloaded a bunch of old Food Network episodes and my absolute favorite one featured a Holiday menu by Ina Garten. She made a simple stuffed chicken breast, roasted carrots and parsnips, pasta with truffle butter and finished it off with a gorgeous red berry trifle.

source

I’ve been waiting for the day when I could attempt this recipe. I will definitely be making this for Christmas dinner. You can find the recipe here and a short video recipe here. The video doesn’t include the pound cake recipe, but it’s included in the full recipe. I also recommend downloading the full episode on iTunes and making the entire meal as a pre-holiday dinner for your family, friends or boyfriend. It’s called Perfect Holiday Dinner from Season 2 of Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.

Let me know if you have any other homemade gift ideas and/or recipes and stay tuned for a DIY:Christmas post coming soon!

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.

source

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. 

source

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.

source

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.

Christmas Gift Guide: Winter Runner

It’s Saturday and, although I’ll be in a final exam this afternoon, I’m guessing most of you will be out Christmas shopping. I’m super behind on my shopping, and by behind I mean haven’t even started, so during my study breaks I’ve been online window shopping. You know what that means! You’re getting your very own JerrellReneeRun’s Gift Guides! Starting with (what else?) a runner’s Christmas list.

A Runner's Christmas List

 


Nike activewear
$50 – nordstrom.com
Every runner needs a pair of warm-weather running tights this season. Besides Lululemon, Nike is my go-to brand for running gear because it lasts forever and always delivers.

Nike activewear
$175 – nike.com
Nike keeps sending me emails taunting me with this jacket. It’s pricey, but it’s wind and water resistant (you’d be surprised how many running jackets aren’t), it has thumbholes and hand warmers and a thermal lining. I hope you’re reading this Mom!

It’s no secret that I love this shirt. I have it in 3 colors and I want 13 more. It keeps me so warm and this pink color will keep me looking cute even when I’m freezing.

Equipment sports activewear
$25 – lululemon.com
I just love all Lulu water bottles. This one says “I love running…it makes my calves look good in heels.” This is a cute stocking stuffer for the runner in your life.

I’ve recently fallen back in love with yoga and it has become essential to my half-marathon training. I think every runner should try a yoga class at least once a week to get a good stretch and with this mat, they’ll have no excuse not to go.

Nike shoes
$100 – nike.com
I’ve been wanting to try out a pair of barefoot running shoes for a while now, but I didn’t want to risk an injury while I was building my training base. Now that I have my training calendar and noticed that I have lots of easy mid-week runs, I think now would be a good time to test them out. These have a shield so they stay dry in rain and snow.

I already have 2 Garmin watches (remember that compulsive shopping problem), but I’m still interested in this watch. Not only does it track your runs using GPS like the Garmin watches, it syncs with Nike+. I use a Nike+ app on my phone and I’ve become obsessed with logging miles and winning challenges. It’s such a great motivation tool.

These Nike gloves were all over the Hot Chocolate 15k expo last weekend. I love that they have fleece on the inside because I’ve noticed that during long runs, my hands stay chilly through the entire run. I need these in my life as soon as possible.

First of all, this headband is super cute. Second, it covers your ears. Do I need to explain anything else? I didn’t think so.