Embrace the Hill Again

Embrace the Hill Again

Embrace the Hill Again

I’m still not training just yet, so I’m still running what I want to run.

And the other day, I wanted to run hills.

Which is crazy, right? (Answer: Right!)

Less than a half mile from my house, the Perfect Hill exists. Once upon a 2012 and a 2013, I didn’t find the hill to be so perfect. Training for the Pittsburgh Marathon last year taught me to appreciate it just a little more.

I worked hard to make it up just one time without stopping.

It felt brutal at times.

I didn’t always make it. I frequently needed to pause, to catch my breath, and as the weather warmed, to cool down. Hills make me overheat more than usual.

And so I didn’t really know what to expect this past week when I ran off in the direction of the hill. I made it my goal to make it up just once without stopping. With all the extra strength work I’ve been doing over the past two months, I felt like my legs might be strong enough to make it.

And they were!

I ran that hill, slow and steady, all the way to the top.


To say I felt proud is an understatement. I kind of did a fist pump as I turned and ran back down the hill. Yes, I decided to run it again.

But first, I decided to run out the country road a little bit to cool down. I felt warm despite the cool temperatures, so I didn’t want to run the hill immediately. I knew I would overheat.

Out the country road I ran, enjoying the sunny day and the light breeze and the unleashed dogs… oh dear. They noticed me before I noticed them. These dogs were the ones the local mailman warned me about as he gave me his pepper spray one day. I took another couple of strides toward them before I realized they were moving in my direction.

So I turned around and ran back the way I came.

They followed.

I ran faster. I ran really fast. I outran the dogs.

And found myself at the foot of the hill totally out of breath and totally overheated—exactly what I didn’t want to happen. I paused and rested for a few minutes to allow my breath to return, and then I started up the hill.

I paused once mid-hill, still overheated, but then took the rest of the hill very slowly all the way to the top. I finished my run with the knowledge that I can embrace the hill. I can still do hard things, run long distances, beat big hills.

I can and I will.

Embrace the Hill Again



The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

January Dandelions

Dandelion Sweatshirt

It’s no secret I love dandelions. I’m still working on my dandelion tattoo, but I like incorporating dandelions into both my jewelry and wardrobe. They remind me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes; that what one views a weed, another views as a precious flower.

But can you wear dandelions in winter? Aren’t they more of a spring or summer type of thing?

Nope! These five dandelion pieces prove that belief wrong—in beautiful and unique ways.

1. Dandelion Leggings

Dandelion Leggings

Okay, these are dandelion inspired leggings, but they’re still fabulous, bold, and fun. You could pair these with a number of long sleeved tunics, long sweaters, dolman tops, or come spring, short sleeved tunics.

2. Gray Dandelion Scarf

Dandelion Scarf

I just discovered scarves, so I’m all about them. I know, scarves have been a “thing” for quite some time, but it took getting two as gifts for Christmas to experiment with how I might wear them without feeling like someone was choking me out. It took a few days, but I’m officially hooked. I love this soft gray and white dandelion scarf. It would go with a lot of my wardrobe.

3. Gray Dandelion Knee High Socks


Dandelion Socks

Apparently no one makes winter dandelion workout gear (someone should get on that), so a pair of knee socks to throw on over running tights (or capris if it’s a bit warmer) to keep those cold wins off your calves would feel just right. I love these gray dandelion socks like whoa. I’d wear them all the time!

4. Gray Dandelion Sweatshirt

Dandelion Sweatshirt

I love this gray dandelion sweatshirt because it’s not your typical dandelion design. I like different plays on dandelion design and art, so this one wins for a different take on things. Good job!

5. Show of Dandelions Dress

Dandelion Dress

ModCloth always comes through! A long-sleeved, beautiful black dandelion dress?! I’m in love. Absolute love. I probably need this one (and it’s 50% off right now!).

And so, yes, you can wear dandelion prints in the cold of January. Good job, dandelions!


I Like Shiny Things: Chloe + Isabel

As you may know, I sold jewelry with a company that ended up closing last month. I immediately started researching new companies when we found out the old company was closing for a number of reasons.

1. I like jewelry. A lot! #shiny
2. I like the direct selling party thing. I like eating Buffalo Chicken Dip.
3. I like having a back-up plan. I refuse to put all my financial eggs in one basket.

After a few weeks of research, I ended up signing with Chloe + Isabel. Another direct selling jewelry company with a bigger and better online presence, it feels like a fit for me. They make and sell both statement pieces, the Chloe side of things, and simple, classic pieces, the Isabel side of things.

And, here we are. My first Pop-Up store will be at my house this weekend. Additionally, my Boutique is open 24/7, so if you find yourself without a gift and need it before I have a party closing, you can shop whenever you want or need.

Last week I received my starter kit, another shipment of jewelry I thought would work well for my local clients, and then again today, two new pieces from both the Palm Royale and the Take Heart collections. Those latter two collections just launched on Tuesday and are amazing. Since I now have all this new jewelry, I sat down to play with my Pop-Up layout today.

And here’s how things look.

Chloe + Isabel: Turquoise Convertible Necklace, Pressed Paillette Long Necklace and Take Heart Pendant Necklace, and Sunset on the Seine Statement Necklace

Lots of Chloe + Isabel Bracelets

Lots of Chloe + Isabel Bracelets

Chloe + Isabel: Gilded Reeds Aventurine Long Pendant, Paillette Single Drop Earrings, Pear; + Crystal Drops Long Necklace, Pearl + Crystal Floral Filigree Earings


Chloe + Isabel: Multi-Strand Chain Bib Necklace, Ocean Lace Drop Earrings, and Ocean Lace Flex Bracelet

Chloe + Isabel: Minaret Three-Row Convertible Necklace, Minaret Blue Jade Teardrop Earrings, Three Row Paillette Graduated Pendant, Crystal Pave Hoop Earrings

A Chloe + Isabel Branch Necklace (Merchandisers Only), Interlocking Double Teardrop Necklace, Bird Pendant Necklace

Chloe + Isabel: Little Bird Stud Earrings, September Birthstone Earrings, Turquoise Stud Earrings

Chloe + Isabel Beautiful Pop-Up Display


(Two of my pieces didn’t make it into the display: I was wearing the Sculpted Feather Pendant Necklace and left the Pressed Paillette Toggle Bracelet on my nightstand!)

I’m also pleased to announce that 50% of my profits from the month of January will go directly toward my Our Clubhouse fundraiser through the Pittsburgh Marathon. I’m thrilled to kick off my new business in 2015 by helping support families facing cancer. Our family lost both of my Grandmothers to cancer in 2014, so this means a lot to me.

If you want to stay up-to-date on my Chloe + Isabel sales, Pop-Ups, fundraisers, and fun, “Like” my Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser page on Facebook. I’ll also occasionally tweet information and share shiny things on Instagram, but most of my c+i talk takes place on Facebook!

Now back to shiny things.