As I sit here reflecting on my Surf City Half Marathon experience, I must give the race organizers a big high-five for such a well-oiled machine. This is a great race for first-timers and has spectacular ocean views. Compared to the previous three marathons, this race set the bar. If only my iPod synch worked properly and I wasn’t missing five of my new songs so I could have beaten that girl with the pink tank and shorty shorts! But I digress…
Check-in at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, the host hotel, was a breeze with no line even though the hotel was completely sold out. The hotel’s renovation was just completed and the rooms were very nice with beachy modern décor, and great views of the ocean. We were able to walk to the Race Expo, which was located right across the street, and picked up our race packets with ease. The start & finish lines were located right in front of the hotel, so we were able to walk out, start running, and walk right back after getting our medals and goodies, still basking in our accomplishment! No worry and stress about missing the race because the shuttle driver doesn’t know where he’s going. No getting stiff in the cold waiting in line for a bus back. No frustration and hassle trying to pick-up your belongings.
Dining and shopping were convenient as well with the hotel being two blocks from downtown Huntington Beach. After the race we showered, walked to lunch, shopped around and were back in time for the Superbowl pre-game show. I even had time to join the Havaianas flip-flop following with a pair of polka dot ones that are so lightweight and comfortable - the perfect remedy for my blistered feet!
All in all, this was my favorite race so far, and sets the bar very high for all races to follow!
Pictured: Mary working her stripes, skinnies & boots!
I've always loved fashion, clothes and most of all shopping, but being a curvy girl, I've always thought I was limited in what I was allowed to wear. Trust me, I've heard it all. Everything from "You can't wear stripes" to "You can't wear pleated anything", and my favorite, "You can't wear leggings or skinny jeans". It was because of these opinions that during high school I shied away from anything that would show off my curves, correction - my amazing curves. However, once I started college, all of that changed. I have gradually become more comfortable in my own skin and started breaking the rules when it comes to "curvy girl fashion".
My every day attire during high school was my fav pair of jeans and a t-shirt that was at least one size too big - not very exciting I know. I wasn't much of a rule-breaker or risk-taker when it came to fashion; however, once I moved to Chicago I started to reinvent myself. I was tired of hearing that leggings and skinny jeans only looked good on thin girls and that curvy girls shouldn't wear them. I took a risk and bought my first pair of skinnies and instantly fell in love with them. And amazingly, I received tons of compliments when I wore them. After that, I started doing research on body shapes and what looks best. I always thought I had an hourglass figure, but quickly learned that I am what they call a "Botticelli Babe". This woman has great curves, but her proportions may not be as defined as an hourglass figure. Once I figured this out, I really started to venture out of my fashion comfort zone. I started experimenting with different styles, and started wearing leggings a lot more. I even started wearing shirts that fit my figure, which made a huge difference when it came to my self-esteem and confidence.
The one thing I would tell any curvy girl is don’t listen to the myths and the rules when it comes to fashion because they aren't always right. And I want to encourage you to experiment, wear what you feel the most comfortable in, and don't forget to embrace your curves!
Thank you to Guest Contributor & Photo Editor - Mary Schultz.
2. Soy is sustainable: Unlike paraffin, which is derived from oil, soy is a renewable resource.
3. Soy is better for your health: Soy burns cleaner and produces as much as 90 percent less soot than paraffin, reducing the amount of indoor air pollution produced.
4. Soy won't ruin your walls: The emissions from paraffin candles build up on walls, staining the paint in your home. They also build up in upholstery fabrics and in carpets, affecting the air quality in your home.
5. Spilled soy is easier to clean up: Soy is biodegradable so if it spills on your tablecloth or clothing, it's a lot easier to clean than paraffin.
6. Soy helps U.S. farmers: The United States is the number one producer of soy in the world, so when you buy soy products, you're supporting American farmers.*
Photography by Mary Schultz.
*Check out TLC's "10 Reasons Soy Candles Are Better For Your Holiday Feast"@ http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/reasons-soy-candles-holiday.htm for these and more.
Happy New Year!
2013 was filled with wonderful ups like experiencing Thailand & Vietnam, going to Japan with Kula Grandma, running two half marathons and finally getting a puppy! Of course this came with not-so-wonderful downs like Wailuku Grandpa hitting a few bumps in the road and the challenges in retail, but the downs help us appreciate the ups right?
For 2014, my goal is to continue working on designing a life I love. It is so easy to get caught up with all of “the stuff” – family stuff, friend stuff, work stuff – that we forget about taking care of ourselves. My dear friend Sheila put me on the right track when she called to say: "write a new blog post or take it down." She then gave me a deadline and threatened to not play Words With Friends with me until I finished. We all need that one friend who will kick us into gear.
Here’s to us all remembering to design a life we love.