I Got the Golden Ticket! ( and a vlog)

For the past several summers I have been in need of some new summer clothes. Of course I keep putting it off because I feel like if I'm not going to work, then why do I need "good" summer clothes. I usually just hang out in running clothes anyway.  Anyone else feel like that?   Oh, and another big obstacle is that I hate to shop for clothes.  Yes, I am a Fashion Columnist that hates shopping for clothes, go figure. ( I love to online shop but physically going to a store stresses me out)

Well I've decided that little by little I need to put myself together. As luck would have it, this is where Golden Tote enters. Have they been following me? Do they too think I need to get myself together?   Well in any case, they contacted me about reviewing their Totes and since I was currently wracking my brain about what to write about for my next column, I said "Sure"! 

So let me explain, Golden Tote is a subscription clothing service sort of like Stitch Fix (but with more options).  Their founders are Clothing Designers from LA.

First you will log on to the GoldenTote site and create a profile for yourself including your measurements and your likes and dislikes.

Then you pick the size Tote you want. Mini Tote (2 clothing items, $59), Surprise Tote ( 3 clothing items, $89), or Golden Tote (5 clothing items, $149). If you choose the Mini Tote or the Golden Tote, not everything in your tote will be a surprise. In the Mini Tote you will chose one item from the website that you want for sure and the stylist will choose a "secret" item for you based on the profile you filled out.   If you choose the Golden Tote, you will pick out 2 items for yourself and the stylist will surprise you with three additional items that she has chosen for you.  New items are available on the site the first Monday of every month. So I guess it pays to log on early so you have more choices because stuff does sell out. 

The tote I received was the Golden Tote  with 5 items.  You can see my "reveal" and my honest to goodness first reactions to these items in this video below.

Watch the vlog here.
If you watched the video, you can tell that I learned a few things since my horrible vlog about Stitch Fix. O my how I wish I could change that one. I should have never stood in front of an open window and that bedspread (which came from Disney's Grand Floridia by the way) was just WAY too loud. What was I thinking?????

As I mentioned in the video, I was really leery about the sizing. I even took my own measurements and still wasn't sure.  One thing that helped was that each item that was shown on the Golden Tote site included the measurements of that item and even included the measurements of the model who was wearing it.  Seeing a model who is 5, 10" and wearing everything in an X-small doesn't really put things in perspective though.  I did a lot of Google searching for other Golden Tote reviews from bloggers who were more my size.

Now that you saw my reaction to the clothing. Here is what the 5 items look like on.  Items are in the order that I opened them up in the box. I am including sizes as well for anyone who maybe doing a search like I did.  You may notice that some of my thoughts after trying the items on may have changed since seeing it right out of the box.  I love that all of these items (except for the shorts) I can wear to work.

Les Amis Floral Top with Chiffon Back- Small.  Love it and fits perfectly. (shorts from Banana Republic)

I spy a wet lab.  Miss Baylee was just getting out of the pool as this picture was being taken.  I hadn't even known she snuck in for a quick swim.

Potters Pot Mini Skirt with Neon Detail - Small. I probably would have never picked this but I am so glad the stylist picked it for me. It is SO comfy and could be dressed up or down.  I have it paired with a black top from Banana Republic.

Skies Are Blue Dress with Embroidered Neckline- Small.   I love this dress! They first sent it to me in a smaller size but we easily made an exchange! It is light weight but completely lined.

Puella Splice Swing Dress- X-Small.  This is the first item that I chose from the website so this was no surprise. Like I mentioned in the video, the dress did look more teal online and this dress is clearly green. I am not one bit upset though because I love it anyway. I don't have anything green and now I do!  Now, normally I would not have ordered a dress in X-Small but I went over the measurements of this dress with a fine tooth comb with width and length and realized that it being a swing dress that it would be more flowy and therefore an X-Small would work.   This one that can be dressed up or down. I am pleased. (White flower belt from New York and Company)

Cuffed Denim Shorts - Small.  This was the item that I had my doubts about. Turns out, they fit just fine. And I don't think they are way too short, do you? They are also available in a blue denim too, which I think I would like a lot!

  Technically, each item comes to about $29.80 each which really isn't a bad deal. But like any subscription service (whether it be food or clothing), it is often a gamble as you don't know what all you are going to get for your money. Just know that you need to be open for surprises. -M

Click HERE for more info and to sign up for the Golden Tote Newsletter!

*Golden Tote recently updated their return policy which allows you to keep the individual items you want and return the ones you don't.



What Your Massage Therapist Wants you to Know

I knew that something was "off" with my hips since hiking Ricketts Glen last Tuesday.  I kept meaning to foam roll but my attempts were sad to say the least. I finally made a massage appointment.  My appointment was yesterday and sure enough my Piriformis muscle was pretty angry.  I just adore my message therapist so I wanted to revisit some tips for those of you who are first timers to make sure you have the best experience possible.

The Gingerbread Girl : Running Book

This week's topic for TOTR is Scenes from my Summer.  My Summer is not nearly over yet so I'm just going to give you a peek into something I've done this summer and really enjoyed.


Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread man girl!

The Gingerbread Girl is a book by Stephen King that I've been wanting to read for over a year now.  The only problem was that I could never find it! Apparently it is only available on audio.


Weekly Wrap: July 24, she's WAY too fast!

Hey all, are your surviving the heat?  I admit I am loving it but it certainly does not make for great running weather. That's okay because I didn't get that much running in anyway.

Monday was the only day I got a real true run in, followed by some gym time. Tuesday I did a challenging 4 mile hike through Ricketts Glen so that pretty much put me out for Wednesday and Thursday. I had some pain in my knee and hip and thought it better to just rest for a few days.  On Friday I went to the Rail Trail to do a run/walk  I was SO frustrated by the time I finished on the rail trail and this is why........

I should start off saying that the reason I do most of my runs at the Rail Trail is because I feel safe. I don't have to worry about traffic.  Now that doesn't mean I don't have to watch for cars every now and then because on the entire stretch of trail there are a few country roads that intersect it.

More times than not I encounter very nice drivers (like the gentlemen I saw in the black sedan) who slow down as they approach the intersection of the Rail Trail. They didn't have to, but they came to a complete stop and motioned for me to go across. I was doing a walk at that time so I just waved them to go ahead. We both did a little wave of understanding and he motored on ahead and I finished my walk.

On Friday I also encountered a driver that was just the opposite of the one I described above.  Now this time I was actually running but knew to stop as I approached the intersection. Even though I was stopped I felt like my life flashed before my eyes and my heart dropped. A white haired grandma type lady in a silver Toyota went zooming by. I'm not sure what the speed limit on that road is but she was certainly exceeding it by MANY miles.  Oh this had me in an outrage and I was fired up for the duration of my time on the trail. This trail is highly used by runners, walkers, bikers,  and even children.  I was doing a run/walk so I wasn't really into my rhythm of running, but I know there were plenty of others on the trail that day that were.  The driver was coming SO fast that she would have completely taken out a biker or runner.

2.5 miles later I was walking back towards the parking lot where my car was and low and behold I see a silver Toyota pull in and out walks a white haired grandma type lady. She headed into the Hearing Aid center. Oh boy I thought, apparently she needs more than a hearing aid. She needs to go to the eye doctor too.   When I was done with my run/walk I plopped myself down in the grassy area by my car and did my stretches as I finished up a story I was listening to on my ipod.  I admit I was kind of hoping the lady would come out because I was going to ask her if she recently drove up Johnson Mill road. Yes, I was going to approach her, nicely.   Turns out, she didn't end up coming out while I was still there.   As I drove away the situation still weighed heavily on my mind. -M

                           We will be linking up the HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.

5 Scenes from Ricketts Glen Hike and Waterfalls

Earlier this week I took another hiking adventure. I really enjoyed my time at Bushkill Falls so decided I would try to tackle hiking the falls at Ricketts Glen.

Well let me tell you,

What's on the Plan Stan?

To be honest, I am tired from a certain adventure yesterday and I wasn't going to post today. But then I saw Deb's word of the day was "Pragmatic" and thought that it really described how I've been feeling lately about my training.

It Happened On An Ordinary Monday

A while back I wrote a post about when an ordinary training run turns into a memorable one. You know there are runs that are just your average 4 miles (10 mile or 20 mile) run (depending on who you are). You run it, and then the following days, weeks or even months there isn't one thing that can set that run a part from any other 4, 10, or 20 mile run you've completed. And then there are those runs in which something happens that you'll never forget.  I have quite a few of those that come to mind, my first snowy 22 miler on the trail and my deer encounter at the island.

I only have a few places that I run, so all of my good and bad memories are mostly associate with the same trails.  The other day I headed out to my favorite rail trail since the first time after Baylee's "accident".  I have to tell you that as soon as I got out of the car I felt a pit in my stomach and my heart felt heavy. I could vividly remember how I felt during that afternoon and how frightened I was. All these emotions came back to me and I wondered if I would ever see this trail as a happy place again?  Well, This is the best running trail I have so I needed to just shake it off so to speak and get down to business.  I put my music in and off I went.

My only goal was 4 miles. 2 miles up and 2 miles back.  I was feeling good.  By the time I got to mile 2 my calf was hurting (but that's been nothing new lately), and I felt I sort of needed a potty break.  (There is a public restroom at the library near the end of the trail so my goal was to finish the 4 miles and then head right there since I wanted to get a book anyway.)

I think that third mile I was like lightening because I just couldn't take it any longer. I NEEDED to get to the end of the trail ASAP.    At the end of mile three I did a walk run and then just a plain old walk. I even thought of going off the trail into the trees. Okay, now I hate to ask businesses to use their restrooms when I know they are probably not public and I am not a customer but this was an emergency.  I knew there was a Health Food store off the side of the trail so I was going to cut through the trees and run down to the store.  So I did.

 Turns out my direction was a little off and the building off to the side was Allergy Partners building. I didn't care, I was going in.  My gosh I was just hoping I didn't wet myself as I stood in the lobby.  OH no! There was was a sign that they were on vacation!!!!!  Okay, so I ran to the next building along the highway, it was a rug outlet.  I got to the front door and saw that they didn't open till 9:00 am.  Okay so I run to the next place which was finally the Heath Food store, but they weren't open either. This is getting serious now.  My only option was to just run back to my car and hope that one of the business in the parking lot where I parked was open. The first one I came too was a Hearing Aid place and she graciously let me use the facilities!

Okay, so why did I tell you all that? Well I think it's Gods why of giving me a laugh. That event certainly didn't erase the memory of what happened with Baylee on the trail, but it definitely kept my focus on something else. Yes, this run became quite a memorable run and I can add it to my collection of ones that I will remember for a long time.  And to add to the funniness of it all. I only needed to run or walk a mile back to my car and because I deviated off the trail to find a restroom I ended up going about a half mile out of my way anyway!  Oh, and the entire time I was running/walking I kept thinking how fortunate I was that this kind of stuff never happens to me during a real race!  Fingers crossed!  -M

Tell me I'm not the only one this has ever happened too?

                                         We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Things to know about Hiking Bushkill Falls

This week we took a mini vacay to the Poconos in PA.  One of the things I wanted to do there was visit Bushkill Falls.  I first heard of Bushkill Falls (which is a beautiful collection of Waterfalls in the Pocono mountains) when I was in college.  A girl who lived on my floor had a picture of her and her boyfriend in front of a waterfall and I was amazed that such beautiful waterfalls could exist in Pennsylvania.

So finally after a decade or so, I made the trip to the Poconos to see these falls.  Was it worth it? oh heck yea!  If you'd like to go visit these falls and make a day of it, here are some things to know.

Please Entertain Me!

I just recently started to get back to the things I love doing and one of those things was reading.  I know I've made a goal to finish each of my running magazines for the month BEFORE the next month's issues arrived in my mailbox. I think that last oh, maybe two months.

The Playlist for 30-Somethings

I always thought that I need my music to run. To be honest, I never thought I would be able to get through a long distance race without it.  I mean come on, running 13.1 or even 26.2 miles without my music would be pretty boring if not awful. But somehow I've managed to do it not once but several times.  Of course these were during races where I was running with someone else.  During races where I am running on my own I DEFINITELY need my music. 

Weekly Wrap....July 10

After completing the 8k on the 4th of July I didn’t run the rest of the week. I thought I would just take it easy. I have had many late nights, which results in sleeping in the next morning. By the time I get up it is already 90 degrees out. As much as I love running, there comes a time when I just have to say not today.  

Is Hello Fresh food subscription worth the cost?

Since I have been working very long hours, my eating has not been the healthiest. I will grab whatever I can find at the time because I am starving, even if it is means going through a drive through late at night, because I am too exhausted to make anything when I get home.

food subscription service

4th of July 8K...Running on fumes

This past weekend was a busy one due to the holiday. Saturday I went into work at 11:00 am and didn’t get out until 12:30 am. The following day I went in at 3pm and worked until 11:30pm. Earlier in the week my running buddy asked me if I wanted to run a 4th of July race on Monday morning. I told him I couldn’t commit because of my work schedule and not knowing what time I would be getting done the night before. I didn’t think I would be up to running a race because of working such long hours. 

But after finishing on Sunday night I kept thinking about the race the following morning. I have come to the realization the FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. So I rolled out of bed the next morning to meet my friend for the race. 

4th of July 5K race recap

On Monday I ran the July 4th race that was being held in a neighboring town. I've been wanting to run this race for a few years now but have never been home to do so. I heard this race was a pretty big deal and there is always a large turn out. That was absolutely true!

Consider these things for your next race

What do you look for when picking a race? What is important to you?  Do you sign up for every race that comes your way? There are so many races out there which is a good sign that racing has become very popular. You could probably find a race every weekend if you wanted to.  How do you narrow it down?

Personally, the things I look for has changed from time to time.

Destination: I use to look for races that were in a destination that I wanted to visit and then I looked to see if they offered a distance that I was willing to run. I'll pretty much travel for all distances if I feel it would be a good race.  Destination races are larger in size (so I was certain I wouldn't come in last...lol). There is usually some other event going on, the swag is cool (usually a great tech race shirt and a fancy medal), and they end up being a long weekend getaway with just the girls or a family affair. I usually don't care too much about the price for a destination race because I consider it a mini vacation.  For a destination race I DO want to make sure it includes a medal but I don't really care what it looks like. I prefer to be surprised at the finish line but that rarely happens anymore thanks to social media.  A few of my favorite destination races include Disneyland, Rock n Roll Las Vegas, Disney World, and races at the Beach!

Now that I've pretty much done all the destination races that I've had any desire to do I want to cut back for a while until something else sparks my interest. In the mean time these are some things that I look for in NON-Destination races.

Weather/Time of Year:  Because I hate being cold at the start line of a race I make it a rule to not do any races north of the Mason Dixon line during the winter months.  One exception to this is if it's a 5K.

Race Course: I like to stick with fairly flat course. I'm not big into challenging course for a local race, although I totally missed the mark on this one recently.

Cost: I don't like to pay a lot for a local race, especially when it is a course that I could normally run for free. I also like to see what is offered for the cost. The last few locals I did gave great tech shirts and the money went towards a great charity so it was a win-win.

Events: I like to do races that are associated with a larger event or festival. It's nice to be able to hang out afterwards and see what else is going on, maybe grab a bite to eat, etc.  I don't like crossing the finish line and then heading right back to the car.

                                          We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

4th of July Prep

 Good Morning and Happy 4th of July! I hope things are fabulous where ever you are spending your day!

Weekly Wrap brought to you by the weather and critters...July 3

 Now is a great time for me to reflect upon my week of workouts!  

We are linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.  Here  we go!