Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Operation Sparkle: Training slumps and new Challenges

Morning runners.

So I have two very important things to report: the first is good. The second not so much.

So firstly, I've signed up to run another half marathon. It's a sickness, readers. I tell you, A SICKNESS. They wave shiny objects in front of me and free t-shirts and I become:
No, really, this is basically what I say

I'm not only signed up for a half-marathon, I'm signed up for another challenge. In January of 2015. This one is a 5K Saturday and a 1/2 on Sunday. I did it for two reasons (besides the bling). 1) I wanted to use it as a sort of "dress rehearsal" for the Glass Slipper Challenge. I wanted to be able to take some time to see what recovering from one race to run another is going to look like before I get to Disney so I can do my best to enjoy my race-cation. 2) It fit PERFECTLY in with my training runs for that weekend, so I really had no excuse. I'm excited. And nervous. And excited. And nervous.

Now, for the not so good item. I think I'm entering a bit of a training slump. And I blame school. I'm heading into big conference season, and I have to get my first paper out before Christmas and most days when I get up in the morning, I think about how I have so much I could be doing if I got to school early.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to come to school, start an experiment and then go running. Thankfully, the weather has cooled off enough down here that I don't have to make it out first thing in the morning. Hopefully that will help me do my work and get my runs in.

Until then, I lace up and carry on. In the meantime, I'm also working on running in compression socks. The good news, I've found a form that doesn't cause me pain, but my quads don't have the strength built into them that my calves did to be able to go fast or sustain my run so I've made two major decisions as far as my training goes. The first is to restart my Glass Slipper Challenge training a little bit. I'm doing this so I can start building my distances in the socks with this form. The second is to start cross-training a little bit to build my leg muscles. I'm choosing squats and lunges to target my quads.

Hopefully this works. Keep racing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Operation Sparkle: Running a PR and a new Blog Series

Morning runners,

Two big things happened this past Saturday, and I realized this morning that I have yet to tell you about either! Oops!

The first is that I ran my second 10K this past Saturday. I came out of the gate way too fast (ran a 10 minute mile, which was nice only to know I could do it), which kind of screwed me up for mile 2. It was slow. I couldn't breathe. I got a side cramp. And I really wanted to just sit down in the middle of the road and wait for someone to come take me back to my car.

But instead I kept going. I met and conquered a large hill and then around mile 4, I had a lovely time running the downhill of that hill and managed to cross the finish line at almost EXACTLY the time I was hoping to run (32 seconds over, but that's not too big in the grand scheme). So I had a new time to submit to runDisney, which allowed me to use their new webform to do the submission. I really like it better than the prospect of emailing someone. It even gives you an updated estimated finish time for the 1/2 from your entered time. I know I won't be in the end at the very least.

I am registered for 3 more 10Ks and I think that will be it. One is in October and I want to try and shave 15-20 minutes off my total time and then two weekends in a row in November. We'll see what October's time is before I set a goal for those.

Now onto the second big thing that happened Saturday...I began a new running series over on The Main Street Mouse. You should check it out...though it's things you mostly already know. I'll be sure to link you up everytime a new one is published.

I didn't run Tuesday as I was still kind of sore from pushing so much on Saturday (and almost maybe sorta breaking one of my toes on Sunday), but this morning I was back out on the road and did 2 easy miles. Managed to keep a 12 min pace while wearing my compression socks. Running in them is definitely getting better, but I still need to work on it.

That's all. Keep running junkies.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Operation Sparkle: We run on...

Morning Junkies-

I know it's been a long time since I wrote. When I last updated you on this journey, Mom had decided to come along. That hasn't changed (and probably won't since she has plane tickets and we have hotel reservations and whatnot), but since then a lot and not much has happened. And that's why I've been MIA.

The week after I posted that, I was frantically trying to get out a paper to my committee (fun reminder: I'm in grad school) and then I had to work on my slides for the public defense of that paper. Then the defense got rescheduled unexpectedly.

So I went to a friends house and we went to Six Flags and I made the one ADR mom and I wanted for Princess weekend (Breakfast/Brunch after the 10K at Akershus). And then I came back to school and did my exam and AM OFFICIALLY A PHD CANDIDATE.

That was great: I made it through the first week of classes and that Saturday I ran my first ever 13 miles...and I did it in 3:15, which is 15 minutes less than Disney's time limit, which gave me a great confidence boost.

But I quickly deflated. After I got home and showered and ate my post-run Mac n Cheese, I got a phone call from my dad.

My grandmother had passed away Friday night.

My world went into a tailspin. This is the first close family member I've ever lost. I literally had no idea what to do. Do I stay here and keep going to school? Do I go home for the funeral, miss a week of school and a race I've been registered for since June?

In the end, I went home and I missed the race. And it was the right thing to do.

But I kept lacing up my shoes and hitting the trails. I've got a race to train for, and grandma would never forgive me if I gave up for her.

I've started the training program for the GSC, which is about 4-6 weeks before I should have, but I need the buffer time for sick weeks, injuries, and travel I have coming up. I also have another 10K this coming weekend. I'm hoping for a new PR and really need to kick this respiratory thing I've had since my trip home. I've also started running in compression socks. Saturday was my first go in them and it didn't go well, but I think it was a combination of a lot of elements...hopefully, I can give them another go this week and decide whether to integrate them into this race or keep training and put them on for a race I'm registered for in November.

I'll let you know how things go. Until then, keep running.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Operation Sparkle: Running with someone to chEAR you on...

A very large development occured in Operation Sparkle this week: my mother decided to come along. She says she wants to be there when I cross the finish lines.

How did this happen? Well, it all started Wednesday night...I logged onto a FB group I'm in (part of The Main Street Mouse, this awesome Disney site I'm a part of...highly recommended for all your Disney info) and someone was talking about the best time to book a flight. I had intended to wait and try out that 60 day rule you read about on the internet. But just for curiosity's sake, after reading that FB thread, I went to check out the cost of my Princess Weekend ticket...and it was the lowest I've ever seen any airfare from my home airport. I needed to wait until morning for a payment to post and when I got back on, it was still the same price. So I screwed the 60 day rule and pounced.

Then I posted to FB about scoring a great deal. And Mom started texting me. When was my trip again? What time were my flights? If she wanted to come, could she?

Readers, you have no idea how exciting this made me. I'm so happy to share this with my mom. She's getting registered for some of the commemorative stuff and a chEAR squad package to support me every finish line. She made us some hotel reservations and we officially have a trip scheduled.

Now for the hard part - I'm in charge of planning all the FastPasses...ugh. This is more difficult than you could think it would be...because things I like to ride and things Mom like to ride couldn't be more different. She's told me she doesn't care, but I still want her to have a good time. Luckily I have 130 days to figure all this out before they can be booked.

Bought some fabric for my running costumes today. I am so excited about it. I had intended to wait, but the fabrics I had my eye on were on sale this week so I decided to bite the bullet and get the deal. Plus this gives me more time to figure out what I'm doing exactly with them.

The heat in Texas is getting even more intense and I'm not looking forward to my 14 mile run this coming Saturday. But Catie told me to worry about the miles under my feet and not the time. It will be hard for me to do but I'll do it.

193 days to reality. I'm more excited now than I knew I could be...and I was pretty effing excited before.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Operation Sparkle: This may just be okay...

So, there's this episode of "How I Met Your Mother" where Marshall is training to run the NYC marathon and gets hurt so Barney takes his spot without training to prove to Marshall you don't have to train to run a marathon. Barney completes the marathon with an unbelievable time, but then gets stuck on the subway because his legs stop working.

I lead off with that anecdote, not because I recently started rewatching HIMYM on Netflix (which I did, because I finished watching The West Wing for like the fourth or fifth time and I don't feel ready to watch Lost over again yet), but because this morning, I ran 11 miles.

And at the moment, with my buns, knees and feet so sore you'd think I just walked a theme park in flip flops, that's the mental image that popped into my mind. Barney on a subway not being able to make his legs work. Stairs are hard. Flat surfaces are hard.

But honestly, I'm so proud of myself. Because I ran 11 miles this morning. In a time I wouldn't want to be permanent, but totally workable...totally acceptable for 6 months from the race.

For the first time since I undertook this whole endeavour...since I decided "I'm doing Princess Weekend 2015", I actually believe I can do this.

Added the Princess 5K to my weekend agenda this weekend, which means it's a 5K, 10K and half in 3 days. So excited. I can't believe I'm actually going to do this. It's going to be such an amazing experience.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Operation Sparkle: Battling the Elements...

And Body parts I didn't even know existed. That should be the rest of this title.

First the elements. Two weeks ago, it rained ALOT here in Texas. Which let me tell you, is a welcome thing. Except that it, like, flash flooded. Which left lots of standing water around town. Which allowed for the breeding of Nature's own F-You to summer...MOSQUITOES.

Tuesday I went out for my 30 minute, 2.5 mile run and came home with about 9 mosquito bites. I thought I was dying that night. So Wednesday I went on a new natural mosquito repellant regiment. So far, it appears to be working and if it continues this way, I'll be sure to write about it in the future.

Saturday, I was due to run 9.5 miles. I didn't get started until about a half hour later than normal and after about an hour and a half, I had to call it quits after only 5 miles. It was hot. I was super slow. I was walking most of it. And I wasn't happy. I knew continuing was futile. So I went home and felt a bit crappy for the rest of the day. Then Sunday I went out, got my 4 miles in at a more normal time and thanked the gods for cloud cover.

But then yesterday, I was having some pretty bad knee pain. Turns out, I've apparently strained my IT band with the consecutive runs. Which is a part of my body I didn't even know existed until yesterday when Catie suggested that that's what it was.

So I went to WalMart and got a roller and a stretching rope and let me tell you...stretching has made it hurt soooooo good. To be safe, I skipped my maintenance run this morning. I hated to do it, but I know that injuring myself further would be worse than missing one maintenance run.

A week from tomorrow is registration day for Princess weekend. And at this point, injury is my worst fear. Hope with me that I can continue stretching my IT band and get back at it.

I've got a 4 mile run Saturday. Hopefully I'm at least back at it by then.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 10: Last Place>Did not Finish>Did not start

Well, good afternoon!

Yesterday was a momentous day...I RAN MY FIRST RACE! A 10K to be exact. I didn't finish in the time I wanted to, but given where my long runs have been, my overall time was respectable. And I was practically last. But as Catie told me when I called her, Last Place is better than Did Not Finish which is better than Did Not Start.

I got up at 4 am to drive to the location (news flash: it's reeeeeally dark at 4 am) and got there a little after 6, which was my goal. I wanted to be there for packet pickup as close to 6 as I could since this was my first race and I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, there were a bunch of other people there and I could just kind of look around and see what they were doing with their bibs and chip timers to figure out what to do. I mean, the bib was obvious...but the timer on my shoe lace? Less obvious.

Found the bathrooms, had my granola bar, and then started milling around the parking lot. I tend to have a quarter mile walking warmup before my training runs, so I figured walking around would be a good substitute so that my body would be ready to start right away. And I'm glad I did, because that's when I made a new friend: Alysha. She was taking a picture of a sign and I offered to take her picture with it. She was from near where I live and had recently moved there and was there a lone too, so it was nice to have someone to talk to while we waited for things to start (and stare at the reeeeeeeally intense guys warming up in the parking lot).

Finally, it was time to start the race and we played the National Anthem and then we were off! The pack pretty much took off without me, but that was okay. I was expecting them to, and determined not to let the pack's pace dictate my pace. I knew what I was and wasn't capable of and I felt pretty confident that there were still people behind me when I checked.

Now, the one thing I was not prepared for: HILLS! There are no hills on my training routes. Possibly on purpose ;)
But there were hills on this course! I didn't notice the first one because it was within the first mile, and, well, ADRENALINE, but I noticed the one between miles 2 and 3. And I noticed the first one on mile 4 (the course was done twice by us 10K-ers) when my legs were tired.

I forgot to eat until about 40 minutes in. Eating is something I only do on runs that are more than 4 miles, and it's not something I've been doing until I kinda forgot I was supposed to until it was too late. Miles 4-6 were hard fought. I don't know where I found the strength to keep going...probably in the part of my brain that knew stopping in a strange neighborhood far away from my car wasn't a good idea. And in the part of my brain that wants to go to Disney. Because Miles 4-6 there was DEFINITELY part of my brain questioning whether this whole "run 22.4 miles in one weekend" thing is the best idea we've ever had. But then I could see final turn...and as I turned onto that final quarter of a mile stretch and I could see the finish line, I started running again, not letting myself stop until I crossed that finish line.

I crossed the finish line determined that I had finished last...but I was handed an ice cold water and got some granola bars and bananas and found Alysha and saw that I had finished before awards had started (something I'd been worried about) and sat down and ate and drank and started to feel better. Because even if I HAD finished last, I'd finished. And according to my tracker app, I'd finished at a pace I felt proud of.

Alysha actually finished 2nd in our age group. I finished 12 of 12. But we both met the goals we had set. Hope to see her at a future race.

So overall, I'm pretty proud of myself. As a friend of mine commented on Facebook yesterday, I did something not everyone can do.

And I'm convinced this is a I'm about to sign up for another race for between now and February. At least I have a time to beat now.

I used to think runner's were nuts. Maybe I'm just nuts now too.

Oh, and I actually DIDN'T finish last. So there's that.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 9: Consistency isn't all it's cracked up to be

I seem to have found a summer pace. The problem's slow. Consistent, but slow.

Part of my trouble the past week or two has been solved...I think I've been slightly underhydrated. I've been taking water with me on every run and I've noticed when I drink more, I'm better.

I ran another Magic Mile today and it was very consistent with the one I ran two weeks ago, with my overall pace being comparable as well. That made me feel pretty good, especially since I was able to run, what felt like, longer stretches, but I must have been at a slower pace.

My maintenance runs this weeks were not as nice. They were slower than I wanted. Now, admittedly it is getting hotter, and therefore I should be going slower, but there is still that part of my brain that wants progress that isn't happy with that. I'm going to approach them from a slightly different place this week, so cross your fingers for me. If it works, I'll clue you in next weekend.

Speaking of next weekend, a week from today is my 10K. I'm getting a bit apprehensive about it, to be honest. I'm scared I'm not going to wake up on time to drive to where the race is (about an hour away). I'm scared I'm going to get lost on the course since I'm running in a place I've never been. But, most of all, I think (and it's something I've been apprehensive to tell anyone when I talk about next weekend)...I'm afraid that I'm going to be disappointed in my time...that it won't be worth it for the proof of time that I need...or that I somehow won't finish.

Catie keeps telling me to trust my training. (Catie is the friend who got me into this to begin with and who I will be doing Princess Half Weekend with). And I know I need to do that.

Maybe the change of scenery will actually be good. Who knows.

All I know, is you'll get a full report when all is said and done. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 8: Going farther, getting slower

Patience is a virtue...but it was not a virtue I was blessed to possess on some things. And progress in my training is one of the areas where I have no patience. I want results. I want to see something encouraging, especially as I get closer and closer to registering for my Princess Half weekend and the 22.4 miles I'm going to be committing to that weekend (5K, 10K and half marathon) and my 10K that is in less than TWO WEEKS (aiyiyiyiyi) that will serve as my proof of time.

My long run was 8 miles this past Saturday. I started at sunrise to try and avoid the heat of the day and was about a minute and a half slower than the 6.5 miles I ran two weeks ago. Still under pace for Disney (yay!) but not nearly where I'd feel comfortable being come race time. I know I still have 8 months left. And that I have to start making measurable progress eventually...especially once I get through summer and the weather cools off and I can start going faster. My brain knows this. My brain knows I will get faster. That I just have to stick with it. And by no means am I giving up. I'm too invested in all this to give up now.

I just want to see some progress. I want consistent times...consistent runs.

I know that part of my problem is pacing. I can't seem to find a good stride sometimes...I'm either too fast or that's something I have to work on.

Maybe I'm just overly critical. Got two more maintenance runs and then another Magic Mile this week. Maybe I'll see some progress.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 7: The first of many Magic Miles

Well readers...I've done the first Magic Mile my training dictated. And it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. I ran a 10:02 mile, which translates to an ideal 13 min/mi pace for my race. Which is about where I've been running in my normal maintenance trainings and where I'm trying to get on my long runs.

So, it gave me a little bit of confidence. Now I have two maintenance runs this week, where I'd like to do a 12 min/mi pace (I've been doing a couple here an there in my splits on my runs, so I know I'm getting there) and then I have an 8 MILE run this Saturday. That I'm not looking forward to. Because 8 miles is a long time. And it's gonna be hot. But I'm shooting to keep it under 14...13 if I can help it.

Registration is about a month away. And there's only 19 days to my proof of time 10K...EEEEEEk.

In other local friends have dropped out of racing with me. Thank goodness I still have Catie and her mom...otherwise I'd have to give all this up.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 6: The days get longer and the heat more intense

I'm sorry to those of you who keep hoping for craft updates. At the moment, I'm working on a quilt for a friend's wedding and until that is finished, I won't be stitching.

 The days are getting longer here in the south. And with them, the heat is getting more intense. And I'm getting slower. I've read enough to know it's all connected. I know that for every 10 degree increase above 70, you should lost about a minute of time. But I'm training. I'm completing my workouts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to make myself stronger and faster so that come February, I can stop and have a picture or two taken on the course without worrying that I'll suddenly be over the 16 minute/mile pace and in danger of getting pulled from the race I've trained so hard for, looked forward to so expectantly, and paid so much money to get to. I want the shiny objects at the finish line. And to be losing time with each run I'm going not be able to run my full distance...having to stop and walk's discouraging. It's frustrating. It's annoying.

A runner friend of mine gave me a piece of advice this morning: Keep training through the heat because come fall, I'll be faster for it. And in the back of my mind I know that's true. But the rest of my mind wants to see progress, not backwards sliding. Especially since I'm registered for my Proof of Time 10K at the end of next month, when, barring some weather anomaly, it will be at least this hot if not hotter. So my Proof of Time will be slower than it should be (which, given that I'm getting it more than 6 months in advance, I should hope that is the case).

I guess, all in all, I'm just still not convinced I can do this. Idk. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Maybe I just don't want to count my chickens and all that. Maybe I just don't want to let myself get too excited.

But I know one thing - Saturday I'll be back out on the trail. With a water bottle for hydration. For 6.5 miles, whether I have to jog, walk or crawl.

Until next time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Operation Sparkle update 5: the glory of a good run

I love this quote...but I want to modify it just a little. Because let's be honest, that first mile is a tiny bit physical. At least for me still. Every morning when I set out, the end of that first mile is me convincing my body that I'm not trying to kill us. Which I guess is mental...but physically you have to be able to run that mile. 

Now the second mile? That second mile is all mental. You can keep going. You can make it to that lamppost, to that street corner, across the street (no cars coming, right?), to that fire hydrant, to that speed limit sign...oh, it's been another mile already? 

The mental game is the one I've been struggling with lately (except Monday's run...Monday was all physical. Hopefully I'll be able to find myself a lighter water bottle to run with this weekend). I just haven't been able to mentally make myself keep going after that first mile. My legs hurt, my breathing is off, I'm tired...i just can't go on. 

But today, today was a momentous day. Because for the first time in a long time, I managed to run from the end of my warmup (the bridge of 'Let it go' -the second song on my playlist) to my cool down point on my route...which is about 2.5 blocks from home. And it was glorious. And I felt amazing. And most of all, I was so proud of myself.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update: I've lost count

Hola readers,

It's been a while. I know. I'm sorry. But it's been CRAZY around here. And so...things have fallen away. Like keeping up with this blog.

But I wanted to take a moment to update Operation Sparkle. Because it's been a while and I have thoughts.

I've started my first training schedule for the Princess Half and so far, it hasn't been terrible. Granted, I've done about a week of that's not saying much. At this point it should have been two weeks but last week my allergies knocked me down for about 6 days. I've only just regained the ability to breathe through my nose and not feel the need to constantly take medication/constantly blow my nose.

Tomorrow I hope to pick it back up. Hopefully a week of couch potato-ing hasn't ruined the progress I'd made. Because I'm feeling a little pudgy at the moment. This week I'm hoping for a total of 9 miles. I've made this goal before, so I see no reason as to why I shouldn't this week. As long as my nose cooperates.

Other than that, life remains busy. As summer approaches, life at grad school gets busy and I'm worried that a looming August deadline will be more than I can handle. But at least I'll have the run to get my anxiety out.

More later.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

RDP SAL Week 16: "How does she know you love her?"

This week's princess is one of my favorites because it was the first time Disney made a movie where they appeared actively aware of some of their more ridiculous traditions.

It's Giselle, from Enchanted!

A couple of pattern notes:

  • I thought about doing her crown of flowers as I have others and satin stitching it, but instead I chain stitched it to give it a different look than the rest of her. You can do either.
Okay, so that was one pattern note. 

Hope you all enjoy stitching her! Hope to be back next week with a fierce lady. I am going to be gone the start of the week so I hope to get a lot of stitching in today on her.

Until then - Happy stitching!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Maybe I boasted too soon...Operation Sparkle Update 4

So....I may have spoken too soon last week...two bad runs (Saturday and today) have me pretty down. I had some trouble breathing in both instances...Saturday the air was wet and heavy and today my legs were sore and I lost my breath a couple times. My sinuses have been acting up the last few days and I'm blaming that.

A very wise friend of mine said you have to take the good runs with the bad...and I guess she's right because you don't really have a choice otherwise. The good runs empower you to keep going...the bad make you mad enough to go and try again.

Right now I'm sitting on 2-3 miles and can't really make it much further. I have 350 days to change that.

I guess I just need to decide that I'm up for the challenge.

The same friend posted pictures from her Princess Half weekend this year today...and it makes me decide yes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"God Help the Outcasts" - RDP SAL Week 15

Good morning stitchers!

This week we have another not-quite-a-Princess, but still a complete and total badass, in my opinion. Like many before her, I didn't really appreciate her movie until I saw it in my 20s, but I think it's ambitious, underrated, and an important message for kids about tolerance in turbulent times.

It's Esmerelda!


Hope you all have a great week! Next week we have another more traditional Princess (at least in title)...if I can get her done this week. 

I leave you with one of my favorite Disney songs ever...especially as I get older and see the injustice "different" people feel everyday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

If this is what bad weeks lead to, maybe I don't mind them so much...Operation Sparkle Update 3

This past weekend was the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Which means there is one year until we can do this thing we have undertaken.

You may recall that last week after my Monday run I was less than convinced I had it in me. But then my Friday run became a Saturday run and with the help of my friend Lauren, managed to run 3 miles at 13:30 min/mi. Which is a new personal best for me and 2 minutes off of what I ran 3 miles at 3 weeks ago. And I actually managed to finish all 3 this time.

And then this morning I ran 2.3 miles and managed to maintain that 13:30 pace (or thereabouts).

So needless to say, I'm doing much better with this whole thing...I don't know what I changed or what changed in me, but being able to do this has given me a renewed confidence.

I can do this. I will do this.

We will Sparkle.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"And then I was saved by a flying man in a loin cloth!" - Week 14

Good afternoon stitchers!

This week in the RDPSAL we have another non-princess. But I find her hilarious and I think this movie is entirely underrated.


Next week we have another non-Princess from an underrated movie. You'll never guess so I'll just leave you with some videos.

Stitch on!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Operation Sparkle Update 2: Kicking butt...or having my butt kicked, I haven't decided.

There are 366 days until Operation Sparkle. That seems wrong, but it is what it is. Some days it seems totally plausible that in 366 days I'm going to be able to run 13 miles.

 But then there are days like today, where I could barely make it through the runs on my run/walks. And I think "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

I know that I'm doing good for myself. I feel healthier. I look fit. But the length I still have to go seems more than 366 days long.

In other news, I should get to start running outside again soon. Today, my windows are open, I'm in short sleeves and my chacos and it feels glorious outside.

Too bad I'm stuck inside.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Then maybe I don't want to be a princess anymore..." - RDP SAL Week 13

Good morning Stitchers!

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday...I meant to, but had to go buy food and then got caught up working on a baby gift for a friend. But I'm here now. And I only have one more pattern in the reserve so I'm going to have to get stitching this week!

So, the 13th princess in our stitch along is not one of my favorites, but I like her movie enough. It's Princess Jasmine!

I love the music in Aladdin, but growing up it wasn't among my favorite favorites because it was a little more of a "boy's" movie. But I'm really looking forward to hearing how the Broadway show is! It opens next month!

From my first trip to Disneyland
Have a great week stitchers!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Do you swim? - RDP SAL Week 12

Good Evening stitchers!!!

Week 12 is here and it's a lesser known "princess"...Kida from Atlantis!

I always forget how good this movie is until I watch it, so I'm excited to use her in this pattern set. I hope you enjoy stitching her, and don't forget to send me your pics!!!

Next week, we get a little more classic princess...well, new-age classic.

Until then - Stitch on!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What I did last fall

I made Disney aprons for Christmas. That's one of the reasons the RDP SAL was on hiatus.

I also made some Doctor Who themed ones.

And I made this awesome wall hanging for my big bro.

As promised, this has been me showing off my Christmas crafts. Happy belated Christmas. 

Operation: Sparkle - Update 1

I've decided I want to blog about this thing I've decided to do. My girl friends who are doing it with me and I have decided to name it Operation: Sparkle.

Here's the short of it: We're training (and saving) for the Walt Disney World Princess Half marathon weekend in 2015. 

I'm hoping to blog about it once a week to keep a running update (no pun intended) for myself but also to try and inspire others and just share some general thoughts.

I have never been a runner. I've always thought runners were a bit nuts to be perfectly honest. But then, I started working out last summer because I noticed my pants were getting a little tight from just sitting at my desk all day or working in the lab. So me and a couple friends signed up for aerobics at the university. And it was great for the summer, when my schedule is a little more free.

But then the Fall came and the classes were no longer at a feasible time. But I knew I needed to stay active. So I went to my friend Lauren, who was a college athlete and already ran, and asked if she could help me run. And we began the C25K program. It took us the whole semester to get through it, but I found myself really enjoying it by the time we broke for Christmas. So after Christmas break, we started C210K. But I announced a new goal: to RunDisney...specifically the Princess Half. 

And so we did. And we've pulled our friend Bekah in with us. And it's been great. I find myself looking forward to my run days with great longing and anticipation because of the great release of stress I feel from them.

I hope this continues. And I hope you'll come on this journey with me. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Friends call me Meg, at least they would if I had any friends... - RDP SAL Week 11

Good morning stitchers!!!!
Though my computer acted slower than molasses this morning to scan this pattern, I've got it here for you now!

I proudly present, in the return of the Run Disney Princess Stitch Along, MEGARA!

Megara has always been a favorite of mine because, like the entire movie "Hercules," she is a sassy little minx.
And she gets this great song.

See you next week...oh, it's good to be back. 
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Run Disney Princess SAL continues the race THIS SATURDAY

That's right, stitchers, you read that right. I'm finally coming back to you, with a slightly different format.

We're going to return to our regularly schedules programming by bringing you a pattern EVERY SATURDAY until the deed is done. That starts this Saturday, February 1st, with everyone's favorite sassy Greek.

I'm hoping that a Saturday updating schedule will help me stay on task since I don't have to be at work by a certain time on Saturdays.

There are currently 2.75 princesses in the queue and I hope to make that a solid 3 by let's get back at this.

At some point, I promise, I will show you all the fun projects that kept me from the princesses...maybe this weekend or sooner.

Until then, keep stitching!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

They shut the door on "Paradise"...or I'm still not over the Cancellation of "Bunheads"

With the return of "Switched at Birth," to ABC Family, I've had some old feelings reawakened. I don't watch a lot of ABC Family shows. As a matter of fact, the only one I watch now is SaB, because they cancelled the best show they've ever put on the air - "Bunheads."

I should probably preface this with a disclaimer: I've seen the full series of "Gilmore Girls" at least 6 times. Translation? I'm a huge Amy Sherman-Palladino fan.

When I heard that ASP was bringing a show to ABC Family, I was overjoyed. It had been 5 years since I had been able to enjoy new hijinx from the the quirky characters she creates and I didn't realize how much I needed more than the residents of Stars Hollow. And then to find that it was starring Broadway's Sutton Foster and was going to be about dancers...I was ecstatic. 

The series began and it was quirky and charming, and the end of the pilot was completely unexpected but took the show to a completely different emotional level and I was in love, so much so that I made my house watch it every Monday that summer while I was living in California for an internship. 

After 10 episodes or so, it went away, as all ABC Family shows do (they run such weird seasons over there), but I knew it would be back. It was charming and hilarious and Sutton Foster was a shining star, so how could it not? And I was right, when it returned in January with my other ABC Family favorite, "Switched at Birth."

It took me through spring and the quirky, lovable characters had their ups and downs and I tuned in every week anxious to know what was up with the residents of Paradise. And then the spring finale came and I knew it would be back for season 2. It had to be. It was witty and charming and better than most the shows they had on air, so how could it not?

So I waited. And summer passed with no news of renewal. Pilot season passed without any of those cast members able to do anything. And then in the fall, I got the most unbelievable news: "Bunheads" had been cancelled by ABC Family.

Surely this was some sort of mistake. This is the network that had a show on the air for 5 or 6 years about teenagers getting pregnant in high school that made me question if I had the wrong kind of secret life as a teenager. The network that has a show about pretty little teenagers that have been lying for longer than I can remember about who knows what. Surely they didn't cancel the brilliant, witty, sophisticated show they had on air.

But they did. And they replaced it with an edgy show about a lesbian couple raising their foster kids, all of whom have troubled lives for one reason or another that I'm not quite clear about. And now every time I watch ABC Family, and I see a commercial for one of their insipid programs, I wonder what ever happened to those lovely girls in Paradise and their crazy ballet teachers. 

And sadly, I'll never know.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

" did he do it?"

One of my friends from college and I email back and forth pretty regularly. Mostly to discuss various British shows we watch on PBS. At the beginning of the month, he began basic training for his new job in the Army band, which meant he wasn't going to be able to watch the new seasons of "Sherlock" and "Downton Abbey" because of his lack of TV and internet. 

Now, Thomas has been crazy theorizing how Sherlock survived the "Reichenbach Fall," but that had been pushed aside in our recent emails for more Downton-centric discussions.

So, when I got a letter from him I got really excited. Then I opened it and it only had six words: " did he do it?"

I was already excited to see the return of Sherlock. I've been actively avoiding spoilers since the season aired in England (because I've already accidentally spoiled the past two seasons of Downton and I can't do that again...). But now, I was watching with a purpose...I couldn't let Thomas down.

But at the end of 90 minutes Sunday night I was left with a major dilemma...what was I supposed to write him???

My pen was poised from the start and I almost started taking notes on what turned out to be ridiculous Anderson being ridiculous. But then the episode began, and I was enthralled by having my favorite functioning sociopath back on my TV and wondering how long it would take me to find a "I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes" t-shirt. (The answer? Not long. The BBC themselves cashed in on that one)

By the end of the episode, though, I still had nothing to write Thomas (mostly because I'm convinced what he admitted to Anderson is still a lie)...and I found myself raising my fist in the air and screaming "MOFFAT!!!" through my teeth. 

Now, I'm a Whovian...this was not something new for me to find myself doing...but it was new for me to be doing it to Sherlock. My brother always tells me that one day he looks forward to saying "I told you so" over my lack of enthusiam for Steven Moffat as the head writer of "Doctor Who". And I used to think he was right. After all, there was promise in the one-off episodes he wrote under Russell T. Davies. And then, with Sherlock, he seemed to be firing on all cylinders...after all, he only had to write 3 episodes a year! How could he screw that up?

Well, you could argue he did. Because he didn't deliver on unspoken promises (yet again, I might add...exhibit A: The first half of Doctor Who series 6 v. the last half). He didn't answer the most impossible cliffhanger given to TV audiences since someone shot JR!

But I think, and it pains me to say it because I hate it when my big brother is right...I think he did the right thing. For two years, people have been postulating how Sherlock did it...just like Anderson and his crazy "Empty Hearse" club. And let's face it - any explanation Moffat gave wouldn't live up to whatever theory you had decided was the truth. 

So...he did the right thing. As much as it pains me to say. He left it up to us to decide and hopefully he will keep it that way (no spoilers, please). Even if he left me nothing to write to Thomas. 

In the end, I wrote him the story Sherlock told Anderson, in case you were wondering. I had to give the man something. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Run Disney Princess Stitch Along is returning soon!

Mark your calendars stitchers! I've given myself the goal to get the RDP SAL up and running again (no pun intended) by the end of the month. I'm giving myself this lead in time in an effort to get ahead in my stitching. Right now I'm aiming for the 31st of January.

We'll return with everyone's favorite sasser, Meg from Hercules.

Stay tuned.