Wednesday, July 23, 2014

11th Anniversary Vacation - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our anniversary weekend vacation.  READY?!  Let's GO!

Day 2 starts off with that amazing breakfast at the Real Food Cafe.  After that Mr. J and I headed into town. He had decided to take a brewery tour and the brewery that he chose only did 2 tours on Saturdays and it was limited to how many people could go. Well by the time he found out and looked online they only had 1 opening. I told him to go anyways and that I would find my way into the city and have some alone time! We parked at the brewery and it was less than half a mile to town so I had a nice walk.  We didn't realize that there was a bike race in town that weekend. A lot of the streets were blocked off and it was a little hard to get around but that also meant there were a lot of people around so I never felt lonely or unsafe. 

Since we had visited the GRBC the night before we had asked out waitress about where to go in town. She mentioned that they had a $4 bloody mary bar on Saturdays. Well I knew how to get to GRBC so back there I went for my alone time and a little drink!

So the premise is that you get to pick your spirits then they send you over to the bar to doctor up your cup of ice & liquor. There were 2 kinds of bloody mary mix (spicy & regular) and then about 20 different things to put in it! This one I choose jalapeno clilanto vodka, a spicy bloody mix, and then started in with the toppings. Blue cheese olives, a pickle, chunks of cheese, a stalk of celery, a strip of bacon, and a splash of olive juice! Sounds crazy but it was DELICIOUS!

I sat right near the window and enjoyed watching the cyclists go by. The bartender was an awesome girl and we chatted about life and kids several times. I also enjoyed being alone and taking thoughtful selfies. 

After our afternoon in town we went back to our hotel to rest and take a soak in the hot tub. We also called and made a reservation for dinner for 8 pm.  Yes I said 8 PM! We got real wild and crazy! We decided to go to a very nice restaurant as a treat since we didn't do presents other than the trip. We chose Ruth's Chris because Jason had heard good things and we knew we would love it. We got there early and decided to sit at the bar to have a drink until our table was ready. I had a wonderful gin martini and we took a few selfies.

For dinner I had the filet mignon with shrimp and we shared some garlic mashed potatoes. Both were VERY good.  I also had a Cesar salad that I am STILL dreaming about! It was insanely good salad! Our waiter, Kyle, was very nice and very helpful in choosing our dinner. I have to give Ruth's Chris a big thank you because they had an entire page of gf options, including dessert, in their menu!  That was very very helpful in knowing what I could & couldn't have. 

After our meal they brought us out this gorgeous dessert plate!  It was a great night to talk and reminisce and just appreciate how far we have come in 11 years and how thankful we are to God for bringing us together and keeping us that way! 

On Sunday it was time to check out and head home but not before breakfast.  Here is where my story is going to get a bit crazy.  I am not gluten free because it's trendy or fun or will help you lose weight.  I'm gf because I have an intolerance and will get sick if I eat it. But I have found a digestive aid pill that you can take when you are going to knowingly eat gluten or after you accidentally eaten gluten that will help your body digest it better.  I keep these pills in purse for the times that I get accidentally glutened.  I don't usually take them before and knowingly eat gluten. BUT on this day I took 4 (yes it takes my body 4 pills to feel ok) and ate most of this cinnamon roll.  Yes we went to Real Food Cafe two days in row.  And Yes we waited nearly an hour on Sunday because the place was packed! And yes it was worth it because the food was AMAZING! So while I don't condone taking pills so you can eat gluten because it still isn't good for my belly, on the rare occasion that I find something I'm going to eat it! We left Real Food cafe so stuffed we could barely walk!  It's a MUST for anyone living or visiting Grand Rapids!

On the way home we also stopped at Cabela's and they had these creepy looking wolves right inside the front door.  These were right about my eye level and it creeps me out to think about being that close to a real wolf. After we walked around Cabela's we headed towards home. 

We had a REALLY awesome weekend away.  It's so nice to get away just the two of us and recharge our batteries. It's important to make our marriage a priority and this is a great way to do that.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who watched our kids so we could do this.  It was a GREAT weekend!

Love, Lacey

Monday, July 21, 2014

11th Anniversary Vacation - Part 1

Have you ever noticed that when I go on vacation my recaps are multiple parts?  I take a TON of pictures and don't want to overload you! 

A few weeks ago Mr. J and I went on a long weekend. We decided to go up to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I had read that it was a great location to go for breweries. When we got our guide it said "A great place for a beercation"  We loved that.  So we loaded up the truck & set out after my morning run.  We didn't really have an agenda other than we knew where we were staying on Friday night. We decided just to head towards our hotel and see what we found.  We found a great little western wear shop just off the highway in the middle of nowhere. I don't remember what it was called or where it was located (blog fail!) but we had a really fun time! 

Mr. J & the big letter J!

He probably won't appreciate that I posted this BUT he was having fun trying on boots and this is the pose I got when I told him I wanted to take a picture.  I love this man!!

Our first stop was the Grand Rapids Brewing Company (or GRBC if you are a local). We weren't very hungry but thought we would grab a drink and sit down and relax while.  Since I'm gf (gluten free) drinking beer is out of the question but most places have either cider or wine and I will gladly drink either! I got a wonderful blueberry cider from a local company and Mr. J got a flight of assorted beers. It went from light to dark and even a couple were fruity.  It was a nice way for him to try a little bit of what they offered without ordering an entire beer.  And the wood carrier was too cute! He enjoyed almost all their beers (he isn't a fruity beer fan) and even said how nice the brown ale was! 

Next we went down the road to HopCat Brewery and decided to have dinner. I unfortunately didn't take pictures of our food?! I don't know how that happened other than I was just SUPER hungry.  Our waitress was AWESOME!!  I asked her about the gf drink options and not only did she drink me out an entire different drink menu (with TONS of cider!) but she also pointed me away from the things on the food menu that were NOT gluten free.  That is really helpful because I didn't want to spend my vacation sick! I also wasn't sure which cider to order, as I had already tried the blueberry I didn't want that or just a plain apple again, she pointed me towards this "Totally Roasted" cider by Vandermill Ciders. She described it tasting like candied pecans with a hint of cinnamon & vanilla.  I said "You had me at candied pecans!". I thanked her several times for the information.  This was an AMAZING cider! It reminded me of the German roasted almonds that you get at the fair.  YUM! It was awesome!  I also ate an olive burger with Swiss and blue cheese (thankfully the blue cheese didn't bother me). Obviously I ordered it without the bun and with a salad on the side since their fries were beer battered. It was AWESOME! Mr. J had a bacon cheese burger & the fries and said both were lovely. I don't remember what he had to drink but I'm guess some kind of beer! They actually run a special that is beer & a burger for $7! What a great deal for a giant burger and tasty beer!

The next morning we needed a good hearty breakfast because we were going to be busy during lunch. Before we left home we looked on Yelp to find a good local eatery.  We searched our hometown first to make sure that it would pull up a good one and the top restaurant was one of our favorite local breakfast places so we decided to trust it when it told us to go to the Real Food Cafe.  It was in a very residential area about 10 min from our hotel. And from the outside it didn't look like much so we weren't sure what to expect.  Let me tell you! This place is AMAZING!!  They make everything from scratch! The bread was fresh from a local bakery, they had fresh local baked goods including cinnamon rolls the size of your head (a post about that coming soon!). I ordered a southwest scrambler.  It had eggs, onions, tomatoes, and fresh made chorizo. This was the best chorizo I've EVER had!  It was super fresh and the taste was not harsh or too hot.  Just delicious.  This plate was empty when I left!

So far out vacation was off to a great start! Especially after I saw this Michigan sculpture! It was made of wood & metal and was just beautiful.  I asked Mr. J if he could get one for our house but he didn't seem too excited. Oh well.  Up next is day 2 & 3 of our vacation.  Stayed tuned because we get a little crazy! Ok, we don't, we are old but we did make a dinner reservation for 8 pm!  YEP!  We stayed out LATE! 

Love, Lacey

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Running Recap 7/14 - 7/19

Hello!!  It's time for my running recap of the week!  I'll share some pictures and maybe a few stories!  Here's how my week running went!

I always run 4 miles on Monday with Kellie! Unless someone is sick or one of us is out of town we will run together!  It's a standing date and I love it.  It started raining as I was pulling into her driveway this week so you know what we did?  We got wet!  We set out for 4 miles and it rained for about the first 2.  And it actually felt pretty good! 

On Wednesday I asked Mr. J to come home from work on time, since he has been working late on a job, so that I could run.  I set out for between 4 and 5 miles and around mile 4 I felt really good so I just kept going and finished 5 miles right as I passed our house! I ran a little path through our subdivision and saw about 10 rabbits.  One was the cutest baby bunny EVER!! 

Have I ever mentioned how I am NOT a morning person?! I literally had to drag myself out of bed this morning for my run.  I made some gf waffles and ended up burning them.  Thank goodness not bad enough for the smoke alarm to go off, which happens regularly in our house, but they had a nice char on them. At least I had coffee! You can tell by my face how excited I was to get out there.

But then I got there! The first mile wasn't great! I kind of drug myself through it.  But then I found my groove and started to really settle in and get the miles done.  Before I knew it I was at the turn around to head back towards home. I had such a great morning of praying and just checking out the beauty around me.  One house I ran by had a rooster out in the driveway telling everyone to wake up.  I wanted to take a picture but I was worried he would try to chase me. If you don't know roosters can be very mean! But he was really pretty and it was fun to hear him crow as I ran. I have to give God the glory for giving me the ability to run.  And the ability to see the beautiful earth around me. 

I hope you got out there this week!  Did you run?  How many miles did you get?!

Love, Lacey 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag July 2014

It's time again for me to share with you what I got in my Ipsy bag this month.  If you don't know what Ipsy is, it's a monthly subscription service that is $10 a month and each month they send you a little make up bag with 4-5 products.  If you are interested here is a link

Let me start off by saying this has to be my LEAST favorite bag that I have gotten.  I have been subscribed to Ipsy for just over a year and I don't always love everything but I normally love most of it or at least a few things.  This time I am not a fan of most of it and I am disappointed!  I will share with you what I got and tell you what I think so far!

Here is the make up bag that all the products came in this month.  It is actually a very bright neon pink color. It feels like a water resistant fake leather.  It's a good size bag. It would be perfect for in your purse! I do think I will be using this again. 

First up I got the Pur-lisse pur-protect essential daily moisturizer with spf30.  This product is nice.  It has a  nice consistency. It smells slightly of sunscreen but it isn't overly strong. The only reason I'm disappointed with this product is that I received the same product minus the spf two months ago.  I'm picky when it comes to moisturizer so I'm not sure I will even use this. But to get the same thing not far apart kind of upset me.  Otherwise this is a nice product.

Next up is the Faith aromatherapy anti-oxidant body lotion in the scent citrus/ginger.  This lotion is horrible!  It's one of those cheap lotions that when you rub it in it feels like water. The scent isn't bad but it's a bit strong. The bottle is cheap plastic and reminds me of the lotion you would get in a hotel bathroom. I'm not a fan!

This product intrigued me! It is the Tints & Sass lip & cheek stain by Elizabeth Mott. I have never tried Benetint by Bennefit but I thought this would probably be similar.  I tried it both as a lip and a cheek stain.  The lip color was gone after about an hour. I was eating and drinking but with a product called a STAIN I would expect it to last through eating and drinking.  The cheek color is still going strong at about 3 hours. So I'm happy with that.  The color is called cherry and is a very cherry red color so using it on my cheeks was a bit tricky.  But it blended well and I'm curious to use it of a morning and see how long it lasts through the day. 

I always love trying new nail polish and I was excited by this Models Own nail color in Red Sea. First, the smell of this polish is VERY strong.  It reminds me of nail polish remover. It is very strong & offensive. Second, the color is so shear that I can't imagine actually get a good full coverage color of this on my nails.  It also has some glitter flecks in it that might be pretty but I can't get any to come out.  I'm thinking I may paint my nails a red color or another light color and then using this as a top coat and seeing how that goes. But otherwise I don't think I'll be using this on its on. 

Last and least is the bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB advanced performance cream eyeshadow.  This is a very small sample of a liquid style eyeshadow. The color is a very dark brown taupe. It blends out pretty easily and I think that it will be pretty on my eyes. I'm excited to see how this lasts throughout the day. I have a feeling it will crease and fade but we will test it out and see.

Well other than this being a slight disappointment I'm hopeful that next month will be better!

Do you guys like these posts? Is there a different subscription I should try?

Love, Lacey

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My 5K PR 07/12/14

For the last few months I have been working my booty off (literally) trying to train to run a sub 30 min 5K (3.1miles).  For some people this is easy.  For some people this is hard.  I am in the later group. I have been running off and on for 5 years. Running does NOT come easy to me. I'm not very tall (around 5'4") and have short legs. I struggle with mental toughness.  I can talk myself out of a run faster than you can sneeze!  Mental strength is something that I have really focused on.  I have used visualizing and positive self talk and just basically tried to keep telling myself that I AM strong and CAN do it!

Saturday the 12th was race day.  It was a nice and early start time of 8 am! My last race (which you can read about HERE) I ended up eating a gf cupcake & drinking a coffee on the way since we had to drive about 45 min. Well guess what?! I had a great race! So I thought you know it was a good breakfast last time so I'm going to try it again.  On Friday afternoon I went to a local bakery that always keeps gf cupcakes in stock (HALLELUJAH!!!). They had cherry, vanilla, and chocolate. I bought a cherry & a chocolate (I figured I'd better eat one the night before, you know, carb loading!) and went on home.  In the morning I got up early, made my coffee, and left the house. On the way to the race I ate my cupcake, listened to Fancy by Iggy Azalea (warning it has naughty words!) and got myself pumped up to race. 

Kellie and I took a couple selfies cause that's what you do before a race! We walked to the starting area and talked to some awesome runner friends of ours.  I think that is one of my favorite things about running. The running community is amazing! Everyone encourages each other and pumps each other up! So Kellie and I talked to a few of our friends and just got ready to run! I kept telling myself, I CAN do this! They had the elites and FAST runners (under 24 min for Women and 21 min for Men) lineup up front and then the rest of us.  We lined up, I closed my eyes, and said out loud "I CAN DO THIS" and off we went!

I found a great girl to pace with for the first mile and half or so.  She had a great pace and so I just kept up. I haven't been listening to music this year and so I have been praying my way through my runs.  It's a great time of quiet and time for me to just pray for people I love, other runners, and just talk to God about what is going on in life. That is me in the middle (pink shirt) looking like a hot mess! I swear I look like death when I run.  I love to run but I look like I'm in agony! HA HA HA  Oh well.  That's me coming down the straight away to the finish line! 

And there ya go! Those are my results! I finished in 29:02!!!!  Not only that but I finished in the top 20 in my age group!! I'm really happy and really proud of myself.  I haven't run a 9:22 mile in a race EVER! It gives me more confidence in my half marathon training (which starts soon!).

Work Hard!  Believe in yourself! Dream Big & Pray Hard!

Love, Lacey

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

100th Post?!

"Hello?! Is it me your looking for?" Well probably not but I have been missing!  I'm very sorry.  I let life just get in the way.  I was training for a specific 5k to reach a goal time and between running, kids, summer, husband, cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping . . . well you get the idea.  BUT I'm BACK!!!!! I wish I had something really cool to make this 100th post special but it's just another post about life!

Life is good.  God is stretching and growing us in a new and scary exciting direction. I will share more as time goes and He starts revealing His plan and provisions for us.  But for now, just know that life isn't always about you.  It's not about things. It's not about money. It's not about staying in your bubble. It's about breaking out of your comfort zone and trusting Him.  He knows what is best for you.  A friend from church offered me the opportunity to serve in a capacity that I wouldn't normally see myself in and it would stretch me outside my comfort zone.  I told her "I really am nervous but what if my blessing is outside my bubble?  I will never know His full blessing and won't be obedient if I don't ever break the bubble."  So in a few different areas in life I'm breaking the bubble.  I'm trusting Him!  Now that doesn't mean I'm going to sit back and do nothing.  NOT EVEN CLOSE!  I still need to get out there and do my part.  I need to do my best.  But it also means that I'm going to rely more on him and less on me.

I heard on the radio today an acronym that I hadn't heard before and I think it's worth knowing and sharing!  It's an acronym for FAITH!

That is how I want to live my life!  Forsaking all!  From the outside I think that situations can look vastly different than they are. If you want to truly know someone, their situation, and reasons for what they do,  you have to go deeper. So in order for me to truly trust God I need to go deeper and talk to him and get to know His heart.  I'm trusting Him!

Love, Lacey

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June empties 2014

How can it be the end of June already?! Didn't I just do May empties?! This year is over half over and it is absolutely FLYING by!  So here we are to looking at my trash from this month!

Maybelline the falsies volume express in blackest black. I have had this mascara FOREVER! I finally used it up this month or it dried up?! Either way it's done! I liked this mascara.  The color was definitely blackest black and the brush was nice.  It gave me good volume and length and I liked the formula. I would repurchase this again. If you want a mascara to give you natural looking lashes this is NOT it! It's called falsies for a reason.  But I would recommend if you like long thick lashes! 

I received these wipes in an ipsy bag awhile back.  I had read other reviews that weren't good but I always like to give things a try for myself. I threw these in my travel bag and have used them the last few trips that I went on.  I can tell you I would not repurchase these EVER!  The smell is odd.  I don't know if it's the flavor/scent I got or if they all smell overly fruity and something else.  I can't place the scent but it is not good.  As far as actual cleansing power they did ok. I use facial wipes to get my eye make up and foundation off before I actually cleanse my skin so I'm never really worried about how clean my skin is, just want to get the make up off so I can cleanse. I would NOT recommend these or repurchase! 

It's a little hard to read but this is Tom's simply white toothpaste. I had heard some good reviews on Tom's and specifically the simply white. So I decided to try it! I thought it did a pretty good job.  I wouldn't say it made my teeth any whiter or brighter. My mouth felt fresh and my teeth felt clean. But as far as anything special I didn't think it was.  It's a bit on the pricey side at around $5 a tube because it is supposed to be more natural and better for you. If the more natural toothpaste is what you are looking for this is a great option but if you just want something to do a good job I would stick with a crest or colgate or whatever you use. I probably will not repurchase this product. 

The Blackhead clearing scrub from Walgreens is a WINNER in my book.  It not only has a gentle exfoliate but also salicylic acid so it really cleans your face.  I bought this while I was trying to find the best drug store face wash and I will say I'm sad I ran out of it. I'm currently trying something different and I'm not as impressed.  This is a great all around face wash. It's gentle enough to use morning and night but strong enough to really get your face CLEAN!!  I bought mine at my local Walgreens for around $4!  I thought this was a great product and I'm sure I will be repurchasing it again!

Last but not least are these makeup removing wipes! These are the Up & Up brand cleaning towelettes.  They are comparable to Neutrogena Make-up Remover wipes.  I thought these were pretty good.  They were gentle and didn't sting my eyes. They seemed to get all my mascara and eyeliner off pretty easily.  They were around $5 or $6 at Target and I would definitely repurchase these! 

Question of the day!!
What product did you use up this month that you LOVED?! 

Love, Lacey