DIY Easy Easter Mani

Don’t laugh at me. Y’all know I love to paint my nails, but I am not artistic.  I browse Pinterest boards for easy ways to liven up my fingers, but I am usually saddened by the amount of talent and time it takes to paint frilly designs.  I really wanted something different for Easter, so I came up with the simplest idea ever.  If I can do this, anyone can!

1.  Gather these supplies:

Easter Mani Supplies

CND Vinylux in Gotcha #116 (pink), Cerulean Sea #171 (blue), Lush Tropics #170 (green), and Weekly Top Coat
Striping Tape
Two fine nail art brushes

2.  Paint your entire nail Gotcha #116 and let dry completely:

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3.  Apply striping tape to every nail, in the pattern you desire:

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It is very important that you stick all the tape on before you start painting.  The striping tape can be frustrating, and you don’t want to be fooling around with it while your polish is wet.

4.  Paint the Cerulean Sea #171 and Lush Tropics #170 stripes with the fine nail art brushes and immediately remove the striping tape.  It is very important to remove the striping tape while the polish is still wet.  Let me repeat, complete one nail at a time!

5.  After you have striped all nails, apply CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat.  This stuff is magic.  This polish really lasts a full seven days.

Ta-da! You’re done.  I know my results aren’t perfect, but this is my very first attempt and I had John David crawling all over me during this process.  I’m happy with the results.

Easy Easter Mani

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Writing a Living Epistle {Center Stage}

20140415-161951.jpg Adrienne Gilbreath – Writing a Living Epistle
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Adrienne is a native Oklahoman living in the heart of Arkansas Razorback country and married to one too, no less.  She has been married for ten years to Bart, an electrical engineer who tells horrible jokes.  She is currently living her dream as a stay-at-home-mom to her (almost) two-year-old daughter she calls Ladybug, a sweet and loyal Lab/Golden Retriever mix named Dorothy Gale they adopted from a rescue in Kansas, and a sweet but crazy princess of a Golden Retriever named Lucy they purchased in a K-Mart parking lot before they learned that’s not a good way to get a dog.

She is a child of God first and foremost.  She considers a new Bible every year to be the best Christmas present.  She secretly wishes she could be a mixture of both Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker.  She has been called blunt, and was once complimented in college for being “really real,” but is learning that sometimes it is better to have a softer tongue without being false.

Are you are morning or night person?
I’m more of a mid-morning to late evening person.

What are your favorite hobbies?
Photography, reading everything from classic literature to trashy fan fiction, listening to music, studying history, watching college sports, and enjoying spending time doing things with my family.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
We are planning to visit Prince Edward Island this summer as a tenth anniversary trip, because I fell in love with it reading the works of L. M. Montgomery, especially the Anne of Green Gables series.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
Some day I hope to write a grand historical novel spanning an American family throughout history.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
Cheese and chocolate.

What is that one thing which makes you different?
My horribly crooked nose?  No, honestly I would say my sense of humor.  I manage to find humor in almost every situation.

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
The hope and promise of Jesus Christ.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day and why?
I just want to be myself.  I’m happy with who God made me, and honestly wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Pay off our house, and get one that is somewhat bigger.  Other than that, tithe and put in savings.

What’s your favorite album to listen to over and over and why?
Steven Curtis Chapman’s Deep Roots.  I love listening to all of the songs I heard growing up in church.  I also love listening to Ladybug sing “How Great Thou Art” with it.

Would you like to know the day you’re going to die ahead of time? Why or why not?
I don’t know.  I think it’s best we can’t choose.  I lost my dad suddenly when I was ten years old.  That was horrible and a shock, but I would hate to live my life just waiting for that certain day to come.

What one thing are you most proud of?
My daughter. I can say that honestly.  We tried for almost four years to have her, and she’s becoming an amazing person.  That I am having a part in molding her is the greatest privilege of my life.

What is your favorite way to waste time at work without getting caught? (we won’t tell)
Back in the days of working in an office, I would read horrible Jane Austen based fan fictions when things were slow.  They were often slow.

You were just given a yacht. What would you name it?
Schrodinger’s Cat.

If a movie was being made of your life and you could choose the actor/actress to play you, who would you choose and why?
Oh, I don’t know.  Natalie Portman?  We’re close in age, and I like her hair most of the time.

What do you keep in the trunk of your car?
A first aid kit, baby wipes, and reusable Walmart bags.

Tell something that nobody knows about you.
I sat on a pair of scissors in the eighth grade, and they lodged in my backside.  I had to pull them out on my own.  Then I passed out.  The rest is a blur, since it was twenty years ago.

Name the most famous person you’ve had a face to face encounter with (“brush with greatness”).
Oh, that dude with the gray hair who won American Idol serval years ago….  Taylor Hicks.  Oh, and John Oats from Hall and Oats.  I met a great many people during my five and a half years working at a local TV station.  I honestly can’t remember most of them.

If you could be any animal in the world for 24 hours, which animal would you be? Why?
I would be one of my dogs, because they live a very posh life.

What is your favorite quote?
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” A. A. Milne

What’s your favorite sport?
It’s a toss between college football and college baseball.  Then there’s curling.  I really like curling.  Bart and I learned all the teammates on the 2010 Women’s Olympic team.

If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?
Again, we’re going to Prince Edward Island this year.  That’s pretty ultimate for me.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would you meet and why?
The list is too long.  There’s Theodore Roosevelt, because I think he’s just about the most interesting president we ever had.  Richard III, because I want to know what happened to the Princes in the Tower.

If you could meet anyone from the Bible who would it be and what would you ask them? (Besides Jesus)
Hannah.  I prayed Hannah’s prayer many times.  I would just ask her to tell me about Samuel and watch the joy in her eyes.

What is the craziest (or stupidest) thing you have ever done?
You read the thing about the scissors, right?

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
All the queso and chips I could possibly eat and fried ice cream.

Idle Speed {Wordless Wednesday}

Idle Speed

Back on a Training Plan and the Womble Trail

Sorry to be posting this on a Sunday, but we just returned from another weekend on Lake Ouachita.  After the Little Rock Marathon, I’ve been kind of lackadaisical regarding my fitness, but never fear, I have finally gotten back on a training plan.  Well, I signed up for a marathon on the 25th of May and a 50k on July 12th, and I don’t want to be embarrassed, so I have to prepare. I used my recent 10k time to calculate all my pace times for this round of training.

Sunday, I completed 30 minutes of yoga.

Monday: Easy 3 miles at 11:00 minute pace.

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Tuesday, I completed 30 minutes of yoga.

On Wednesday, I had a 6 mile tempo run. 1 mile warm up, 4 miles at 9:24 pace, and a 1 mile cool down.

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It was also sunny, and I got my first running tank top lines.

Thursday was absolutely beautiful and I rode 15 miles around Lake DeGray.  I am totally a fair weather cyclist, but I really do love riding.

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Friday, was a complete rest day.

On Saturday, I fished the morning away and set out for a run after I ate lunch.  I ran down the road 4 miles and then ran/power hiked the Womble Trail.  I was supposed to do 12 miles, but you know, trails are hard.  I was tired.

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The Womble Trail is awesome.  It is very scenic and challenging.  At some points, my HR was in the 170s walking up the inclines.  People mountain bike this trail, and I cannot imagine how hard that is.

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Here are some of the scenic views:

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The Ouachita River is down there.

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I passed several markers along the way that were placed by the Forestry Service. Wouldn’t that be an awesome job!

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Let me spend a moment talking about running unfamiliar trails alone. My husband knew exactly the route I was taking, and he knew he should start looking for me after 3 hours.  I carried plenty of water and food just in case I got stranded or hurt.  I also carried my cell phone and when I had service, I would text location updates to narrow a search area if one needed to be conducted.  I also carried a small pistol and pepper spray in my CamelBak. You never know what could happen and it is best to just prepare for everything.

Please do not saunter down a very remote, challenging trail on your first hiking or trail running experience.  Pick something easy, that is heavily traveled.  I am very familiar with the geography of this area and have spent weeks in these woods.

So anyway, I had a great fitness week. What about you?

Heather Parday {Center Stage}

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Heather Parday - heatherparady
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Heather is a photographer in central Arkansas. As a small business owner she hopes to inspire others to “quit making excuses” and run after their dreams.

What would you like to be remembered for, after your death?
being fearless

Are you are morning or night person?
Morning!! I actually wrote an e-book, “How to be a Morning Person”

What are your favorite hobbies?
I absolutely love to travel. I plan to travel the entire world. I also love boosting people’s confidence. People are starving to hear, “You can do it!!”

I also enjoy running. Sometimes.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
Australia.

Because I need a tan.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
I want to be responsible for hundreds of start up businesses. I think people have great ideas and just need an extra little “boost”.

I want to be that boost.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
Oh my…..I would say baby food. My kid eats a lot.

What is that one thing which makes you different? I get to the point.

We have enough “fluff” in the world. If I have something to say that I believe has some value ..I just say it. People are busy and don’t need to sort through a bunch of adjectives to get to the root of a message.

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
Coffee. It gives me courage:)

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day and why?
I would love to go on Oprah. No reason other than I like her and being on TV would be cool.

What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
I feel very inspired after watching, “The Pursuit of Happiness”.

I think that one.

What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Invest it. A million is not that much, so I would be thinking about how to make a million ….two million.

What’s your favorite album to listen to over and over and why?
Anything by Coldplay. I am friends with Chris Martin. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Would you like to know the day you’re going to die ahead of time? Why or why not?
Oh my. Who is coming up with these questions?

I would say yes. It would light a fire.

What one thing are you most proud of?
My daughter. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

What’s the kindest act you have ever seen done (either to/by you or another)?
When I was a teenager I was running at a nearby park. There was this really old couple there walking and holding hands. They had to be in their 80s. The old man bent down reallyyyyyyy slowly and picked a little flower off the ground and handed it to her.

It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

What is your favorite way to waste time at work without getting caught? (we won’t tell)
Ehhh. I am OCD with my time. Social media is probably my weakness. So I avoid that unless its for business during working hours.

You were just given a yacht. What would you name it?
Zachary

What do you keep in the trunk of your car?
A running stroller and camera equipment. I think their are some angel wings at the moment too (picture prop).

Tell something that nobody knows about you.
When I was younger I got the words “fetish” and “phobia” mixed up….

And went around church telling people I had a “foot fetish”…

Name the most famous person you’ve had a face to face encounter with (“brush with greatness”).
No one……YET!!! But did I mention I might be on Oprah one day?

What is your favorite quote?
“People will laugh at first, then they will follow”

What’s your favorite sport?
FOOTBALL! Only if i have someone to watch it will though…and some brownies.

If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?
Backpack Europe…..

If you could meet anyone from history, who would you meet and why?
Joan of Arc…she was pretty hardcore.

If you could meet anyone from the Bible who would it be and what would you ask them? (Besides Jesus)
Eve…….”WHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!?????”

What is the craziest (or stupidest) thing you have ever done?
Climbed a mountain barefoot.

Don’t ask.

If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)
Sell everything I own. Be free. Travel.

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Oh man…that’s depressing….WHY DID YOU END WITH THAT QUESTION?????

Something poisonous. I don’t want to be electrocuted:((((((

Yippee! Spring is Here! {Wordless Wednesday}

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2014 Capital City Classic 10k {Race Recap}

Well, have you ever run a race, have a blast, and as your driving away think: “Poop, I didn’t take any pictures. How am I going to blog about this?” Oh, only me? Thankfully, the super awesome Arkansas Outside took a bunches of photos and posted them on their Facebook page.

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Me on the way out. Contrary to the picture, I am not pregnant. I was wearing my fanny pack under my long sleeve shirt.

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Almost done!

It isn’t surprising that I forgot to take pictures, I forgot a lot of stuff on this morning.  We all left the house at 5:30 and I dropped Aaron off at the hospital, for his shift, at 6:30.  I drove to my parent’s house, dropped the boys off, and then drove quickly to the race.  When I arrived at the race, I had to park a million-billion miles away (really only .75) so I had a nice warm up run to pick up my packet, before the table closed.  I got my packet and my new Spa Pacer singlet with about ten minutes to spare. Oh and I also forgot to eat breakfast. I was hungry. Perfect.

I have never run an official 10k, so I just treated it like a training run.  I ran around a 9 minute pace for the entire race and finished in 56:31.  I felt good and enjoyed the new scenery.  I did get kind of bored because I didn’t have anyone to talk to.  Everyone around me was running seriously and I respected that, so I left them alone.  I did start whistling about 4 miles in, but I realized how annoying that probably was, so I stopped after one verse of “Everything is Awesome,” a song from the Lego Movie my kids are singing on repeat.  I started humming at this point, it was a nice distraction and I don’t think I bothered anyone.  I’m rambling, sorry.  Let me wrap this up. The Capital City Classic 10k is a great, flat race and I highly recommend the event.  Afterwards, there is free marathon quality food, soda, and beer.  El perfecto since I was starving at this point!

I knew this race was flat, so I had an ulterior motive for running.  I needed a comfortable 10k pace to plug into my pace calculator for my 50k training.  My 50k is 14 weeks away, and I needed to set my plan in stone and quit fooling around.  I’m ready now and excited since I’m healthy!

Did you race this past weekend? How’d it go?

Find Joy in the Smallest Blessings {Wordless Wednesday}

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A little grace…

I spent seven days camped in a very remote location on the northwest shore of Lake Ouachita.  There was no electricity or running water, and after turning from the highway, four-wheel drive had to be engaged to prevent the truck from being stuck in the red clay.

I enjoyed the week of simplicity and escape.  On every adventure into the wilderness: I learn, I allow my mind to wander, and I embrace the nature surrounding me.  I usually reflect on life situations and make clear plans, but this year was different.  I experienced a life changing moment the day after returning home.

It felt nice to shower and blow dry my hair for church.  The sunlight was  streaming in from the high windows above the mirror.  I was admiring ow well behaved my hair was being after being confined to a high bun for a week, and then something caught my eye.  Directly on top of my head, a solitary strand of silver glistened.  I discovered my first gray hair.

I yelled for Aaron and my affect confused him terribly.  I was smiling. Was I happy? Was I proud?

Yes and yes!

I have earned the beautiful metallic highlights and I plan to embrace them the same way I have loved my fine lines.

You see, I have spent most of my life in a pit of self loathing mire.  I have only grown to love myself in the past few years.  I have finally gotten to the point where I don’t want to change myself or try to be something that I am not.  I am totally cool with me and how my body is changing over time. I can look in the mirror: smile, appreciate my body for what it has accomplished, and admire the  wrinkles, silver hair, and scars.

I feel like I am finally a real woman.

Now, if you have a standing appointment for hair coloring and botox, I’m not judging you.  This is about me, not you.  Go be offended somewhere else.

Spring Break!!!

We are venturing into the Ouachita Mountains for seven days, so I am taking a blog break too! I’ll be back with great stories and pictures to share next weekend!

There will be no cell service, no electricity, and no problems. I am taking a notepad and plenty of books to keep me occupied when I’m not hiking, running, or fishing.

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