Monday, September 30, 2013

This Weeekend's VIP ~ Merrell Gortex Hiking Shoes

This weekend we went out and enjoyed this beautiful weather with an amazing hike! The leaves are beginning to change colors on the trees, we love this time of year!

I have had my Merrell Siren Sport Gore-tex Waterproof Women Hiking Shoes for about a year now and I love these shoes!! 



I wear them hiking, camping, backpacking, etc. They are very light weight but also very protective.These shoes are very comfortable yet stable and provide the support I need hiking up rocky terrain. The laces are great, no slipping, and my feet always stay dry which is a must!! I have narrow feet and heels and these hug my feet nicely! They have wide width options as well. I love the way these look too!! They look great with all my cute hiking clothes ha! 

These shoes have hiked flat paths, rocky paths, root covered paths, they have made their own paths, they have climbed mountains and crossed creeks. They are the perfect outdoor shoes!

They are also the perfect shoes to kick back and relax in ;)



I can't imagine hiking in any other shoe! My Merrell's are This Weekend's VIP!


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Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five for Friday

1. My Wedding Dress has arrived!!!! I am so excited!! I tried on about 15 dresses, this dress I would have never selected for myself but my bridal consultant suggested it, I thought I would hate it so I tried in on first just to get it out of the way. I LOVED it and so did my girls that went with me! I tried on all the others that we selected but they all paled in comparison. I couldn't wait to order it and now I can't wait to go and pick it up!! The big reveal is set for October 4, 2014!! (This is not at all what my dress looks like just an image I found online, it's a surprise so I am not giving any hints!!)




2. The new Jack Johnson CD is out!!! And it's AWESOME!!! 



3. Loving the perfect weather, not too warm, not too cold and loving sleeping with the windows open :)



4. Grey's Anatomy's Season Premier was last night! My guilty pleasure.



5. I hit a PR this morning!!! 3.2 miles (farthest run non stop so far) in under 30 minutes!! I think I may knock out these two upcoming 5K's and shoot for a 10K in December... Gonna keep working on distance and speed. I think I can, I think I can... 


We hope you have had a wonderful week and wish you an even better weekend!!!

Come hang out with us socially :)

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Camping... There's an app for that! (Coming soon in 2014)

Here's "The Dyrt"



Sarah Smith is a bit like us in her search for camping adventures. She found that there was no real good way to research a camp site in advance of a trip. Short of stumbling upon someones review by chance or having a friend recommend somewhere they have been you are kind of on your own when it comes to camp sites.
We have stayed many places where it would have been great to be able to know ahead of time what to expect and it would be great to be able to find a site that could provide some new and exciting recommendations. Now we will be able to do both! In a Press Release in June of this year Sarah said “I wasn't able to see the ground-level view of a campsite and couldn't tell what it was really like. I wanted to make the entire experience pain-free, enjoyable and effective. I've also found that some of my favorite camping spots have come from friends’ recommendations and The Dyrt will provide a forum for that.”


The Dyrt will be a campground mobile app that will allow you to research campsites prior to you embarking on your trip. You will be able to see ground level pictures of the sites, read reviews and even view a 360° video of the campsite! The App will launch in 2014!!



We are super excited to have shared the first three documented campsites in North Carolina!! We look forward to sharing even more! 

Where are you camping? Tell us about it on The Dyrt!!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeling neutral!


Great news!!! I have a neutral stride!!! I know you've just been worrying yourself sick wondering about this ha ha!


Well you might not have been overly concerned about my stride but I have...

When I started running I picked a shoe based on what someone recommended and went with it. It didn't even occur to me that my foot alignment might be different and thus I could require a different type of shoe.

As you know I have dealt with a few injuries so far in my running journey and I finally decided to have my gait checked so I would know if these issues were related to the type of shoe I have been wearing. 

I went to a specialty running store this weekend and did a little runway walking and treadmill running. (I have been before but was unable to get a full assessment due to ankle swelling at the time.) I am neutral and my shoes are just fine!! Yay me!!! 




Now I can focus on my form and my technique and stop worrying about shoes (although a tiny little part of me was hoping I'd walk away with an excuse to shop for some new shoes lol).

If you haven't been to a running store to have an assessment you should, it could be vital to your ability to go the distance!


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Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday

1. Super fun camping trip, yeah yeah you heard all about it already but it is still a high five, just look at this place!!



2. Rest... I took a few days off from running this week with a "twinge" of some sort in my foot, I am feeling better and hit the road again yesterday morning and this morning. I had to be reminded this week that rest is a very important part of training. Glad I took the time to give my body a break and glad I am back on the road now :)




3. I was able to get in a few "date nights" with my girlfriends this week! Had a girls night in on Monday night and a girls night out on Tuesday!!



4. I just can not express how happy I am that October is almost here!!! It's one of my very favorite months! The air is becoming cool and crisp, all the leaves on the trees will start turning shades of red, yellow and orange and the smell of the season as my Nana's Molasses Cookies are baking in the oven!



5. PUMPKIN K CUPS... enough said...



Happy Happy Weekend!!!

This has been such a good week and as always we are looking forward to the weekend!!! Looks like rain so who knows what we will get into...


Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Loving the Buff!!

I was super excited to receive this Buff last week in the mail and was able to try it out over the weekend on our camping trip



My Buff is the Women's Slim Fit Messina and I LOVE it!!

The material is super light weight, breathable, moisture wicking and quick drying making this great for year round use! It will keep you warm in the colder months and cool in the warmer months! This is a very versatile product!

I really wanted one of these primarily to keep my neck and nose warm during camping. When I get cold my neck tenses up and my nose turns into an ice cube. 

We fully expected temperatures to drop through the night this past weekend and it did get chilly!! I started out wearing the Buff as a neckerchief in the early evening, the transitioned to the neck gaitor just before sun down, then by late evening I was wearing the face mask! The Buff kept me so warm! 

I also slept in the Buff overnight, as a neckerchief, and loved how cozy it made me feel! I was tucked in my super warm sleeping bag with the Buff keeping my neck covered. I felt all tucked in all night long! 

There are so many ways you can wear the Buff, here are the ways to wear from their website:


In addition to taking my Buff on camping trips I am looking forward to seeing how well it will work on those cold morning runs. I feel certain the the face mask will come in handy when I am pushing through the frosty air of winter! 

Buff USA offers lots of different options in the way of material selections, style as well as other products that will also come in handy. You should check them out! I have seen these available for sale at some of the outdoor outfitter stores locally, at REI and you can also buy directly from Buff USA!

These are fairly inexpensive and would make great gifts!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Julian Price Memorial Park

One of our favorite places to "car camp" is Julian Price Memorial Park. It is a beautiful spot located off the Blue Ridge Parkway and our favorite camp site is nestled up perfectly beside the lake.

   


There are several great spots located along the water and other great interior spots too! All the campsites are surrounded with trees which help create a more private setting. 


This 4,200 acres park lies at the foot of Grandfather Mountain located at mile post 297 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park is part of the National Park Service and is open for camping generally Mid May to the end of October. They have tent and RV sites available. The sites are first come first serve but can also be reserved in advanced. (The camp ground does have a restroom facility which our girls appreciate.)


There are several trails accessible from the park. You can walk around the lake and also access the Boone Fork and Tanawha Trails which are a couple of our favorites! Many breathtaking views can be witnessed along these trails!  



We take our kayaks with us when we go and enjoy paddling with the beavers that live in the lake! They also have rentals available.



Each Tent Site has a tent pad, picnic table and a fire ring with a fold over grill.


360° video view of our site:


Price Park offers lush natural landscaping, breathtaking scenery and an abundance of wildlife.



There are not many things more peaceful then sitting fireside watching the moon glisten over the lake by night...


Or waking up to the sunrise peeking over your tent as you prepare you morning coffee.


We enjoy car camping just as much as we love backpack camping. We try to get in a little of each all year long. Price Park is the first place we camped as a family and we have made this an annual trip since then. 

If you find yourself winding through the Blue Ridge Parkway, look up Julian Price Park and pay it a visit. We love this place and all it has to offer and we are sure you would love it too!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Partners in crime... I mean RUNNING!!! ;)

So far in my running journey I have had the privilege of running with a partner! It was my girl friends who got me into running to begin with and I plan to keep running with my running buddy as long as I can.

We have had our moments, rather injuries, which have resulted in some solo runs and while solo runs are good, just you and the road and there is a peace that goes along with that, I prefer running with my partner.

Running with a partner motivates me to get out there and run. Making a commitment to someone else keeps me committed to myself as well! “When I say I'ma do something, I do it” (Quote from one of my running jams, Not Afraid by Eminem lol). When we say we’re meeting to run we do! Having my partner makes me accountable!



I feel challenged when I run with a partner! I think we challenge each other. We set a goal for how far we want to go and go for it! Neither of us wants to be the first one to stop so we push through all the way to the end! Without a running partner I would never have gotten to where I am now!



Running together helps me keep pace! It’s easy to start off running faster because your pumped about the run and you want to get going but if you don’t pace yourself you will hit a wall. Running alongside someone helps you keep your stride in check, as you work through your run keeping pace with each other which ultimately helps you go the distance.



I feel encouraged with my partner; we talk about our runs often and encourage each other when we need it!

We keep each other in check when it comes to injury too! I think we have self-diagnosed ourselves with all sorts of pulled this and that, strains here and there and talked about the stretches we need to do. We have also suggested that we get actual medical advice when needed and we have worked through those pains and strains together.

Running with a partner is safer, especially for women. We run early in the morning and it is darker. There is strength in numbers!

I wouldn't be a runner if it weren't for my partner and I am so happy we did this together!


"There are friendships that have been forged by dedication and by pain, by defeat and by accomplishment, by mud and by sweat, by laughter and by tears. Friends who have seen each other when we look our worst and when we look our best, when we feel like we could collapse and when we've won our biggest victory. Friends who encourage us when we want to stop, stick with us when we're about to fall, and run beside us not just in races but every day. These are the types of friendships that don't fade with time and don't dwindle with distance. These are running partners." -Ellen Gass

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Monday, September 16, 2013

This Weekend's VIP ~ Alite Monarch Chair

We finally went camping!!!!!!! It's been several weeks and we have been in withdrawals!! The weather is getting colder, the air just a bit more crisp and it's the perfect time to find a camp site and build a fire! This weekend we went "car camping" to one of our favorite sites and had a wonderful time! 

Our Weekend VIP has to be our Alite Monarch Chairs! We have four of these and LOVE them!! We started out with two of these for the two of us on our backpacking trips and then purchased two more so the girls each would have one too. We bought our first two at REI and bought the other two on The Clymb during a sale! 










The design of the chair is a similar concept to a tent design, the poles collapse in tent pole fashion, the seat or "sling" is made from rip stop nylon. The total weight is 21 ounces!! In addition to being super light weight they also pack up super small, 12" x 4.5", into a matching stuff sack making them the perfect size to fit into your pack!


Alite has other chair options (and other cool stuff too) but the Monarch is our favorite so far, the two legs allow you to sit back, relax, rock (I love to rock) and enjoy the trip. It's so comfortable that both James and I fell a sleep a time or two sitting fireside this weekend :)



Even though we initially purchased these for backpacking we take them when we car camp too! Being so easy to pack and super light weight they are easy to toss in the car! Some how when we go backpacking we manage to get everything we need into two packs but when car camping there isn't an inch of space left (even with seats down in the SUV Extended Cab (aka mini van)). I can not imagine trying to get all that car camping gear and four standard camp chairs too! (We also take them other places too like the REI Garage Sales... Gives us somewhere to sit while we wait for the doors to open and since they pack up small I can fit them into my purse while we shop around.)

These Monarch Chairs are hands down a worthy investment! We wouldn't camp without them!

Friday, September 13, 2013

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday the 13th!! Any Friday is a good Friday, we are not scared (although I did have a black cat cross my path during my morning run yesterday...) :) 


Our high five are:

1. We had so much fun throwing this baby shower for a friend last Sunday, camping themed of course!



2. My daughter got her license. The day of was a highlight for her, not so much me (a bit emotional) but now I am somewhat enjoying being a bit relieved of my taxi duties :) (On the first day I totally followed her to school... lol)



3. I have signed up for my first, second and now third 5K. I have pushed myself hard this week and have run farther than ever before! Maybe I will change the third race into a 10K... We will see :)
4. We received a Buff in the mail to try out!! I am so excited!! I think I am going to LOVE this not only for camping but for running in the colder months!! YAY!!



5. We are finally camping this weekend!!!! I feel like we have been on hiatus. Tis the season for camping now and we look forward to exploring some familiar and some unfamiliar camp sites this fall!



We hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with adventure!!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday


Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/deanneandjames


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