House Tour!

It’s about time I finally took you all on another tour of the place since we’ve done a bit of updating over the last few months. Let’s get right to the photos!

We’ll start with the master bedroom which really sold us on this place as it is a true master with plenty of space and a walk in closet.  It’s definitely a work in progress in terms of design: it needs a floor mirror, lots of artwork and a rug.  But I really do love the space (how did I live for 30 years without black out curtains?!)

Bedroom 1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom 4 Bedroom 5 Bedroom 6 Bedroom 7

Next we move down the hallway towards the rest of the apartment.  The door on the right leads to our service porch with washer & dryer (and absolutely NOTHING to see.)

Hallway 1

This little clock gallery wall was inspired by a recent episode of Fixer Upper.  Jefe saw a version in a kitchen Joanna designed and LOVED the idea.  We started with the bottom 3 clocks and are just adding as we find unique and interesting ones to include.  Smaller 3 clocks are from Target, silver one is from Ikea.

Hallway - Clock Gallery Wall

Through the doorway on the left is the second bedroom/office.  This room has changed the most recently and we’re really happy with the way its turned out.  It is a great, comfortable space to work from as both Jefe and I do a fair amount from home.  And despite this really being Jefe’s domaine in terms of aesthetics, I can’t wait to finally get a reading chair in here!  It gets the perfect amount of light all day and is arguably the quietest room in the house.

Office 1 Office 2 Office 3 Office 4 Office 5 Office 6

Continuing down the hallway, on the left is the kitchen.  This room is probably the closest to being done.  There’s a few small tweaks yet, like covering the black cord of our new, much needed pendant light and finding a few small items to hang on the wall.  But otherwise I’m calling this space COMPLETE (or until I find something new and decide to rearrange my open shelving).

Kitchen 1 Kitchen - Island Details Kitchen 2 Kitchen 4 Kitchen 3

We’re going to skip the super pink tiled bathroom for the moment (until I can clean it enough to be presentable for photos!) and move on to the dining room.  We’re still on the hunt for a sideboard under the windows (from this perspective you’re back is facing them), but we really have only been purchasing items to a) replace our worn down Ikea pieces and b) that we plan to keep for the long haul.  Nothing has really struck my fancy so far that I don’t think I’ll hate 5 years from now so there’s no need to rush a large purchase like that; I’ll know it when I see it.  So the space is what it is for now.  Nice, spacious and simple with plenty of room for dinner parties where I can get my Martha on.  Artwork is by my extremely talented cousin!

Dining Room

Lastly, we move in to the room where we spend the most time – our living room.  It’s really cozy and perfect during the cooler months.  We’ve been working to really incorporate meaningful pieces in to the space – each of our home state flags, photos from my hometown, a few tchotchkes from our trips.  Not much left in here to do design-wise but hang some more artwork, a mirror by the front door and a mirror to hang up blankets on by the floor lamp.

Living Room 1 Living Room 2 Living Room 3 Living Room - Bookcase Detail 1 Living Room - Bookcase Detail 2

So there you have it for now.  Our little home.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Office Space

I’ve been keeping a not so little secret.  I teased it earlier this week but it’s time to confess: we revamped our office… in January.  Jefe had been working from home a lot and apparently had been really discontent with the state of our office.  So on MLK weekend, he sprung on me that he wanted to redo the office.  I hadn’t even gotten to finish the plans I had for the office and we were already redoing it!  Luckily what he wanted was in line with the overall plan I had for the space.  But with all that said, we spent our holiday off work driving all the way to Torrance for a coveted desk we had to have…

As a little refresher, here’s what we were looking at last fall:

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

And thanks to Jefe’s impromptu redecorating request, here’s what we’re looking at:

Updated Office Plan

We had already purchased the rug from Pottery Barn over Christmas thanks to their annual sale and that desk is the major purchase from our day of impromptu shopping.  It required contacting no less than 5 local World Markets to find the one we really wanted (the floor model we saw was just too wobbly and beat up to consider taking it home).  So we drove the 45 minutes to Torrance and got the only one left in the greater Los Angeles area.

During the redecorating discussions I also convinced Jefe to examine and remedy our currently too-short cord situation so that we can shift over the Expedit with the TV to accommodate an armchair by the window and floor lamp; his girlfriend needs a reading nook!  While at World Market we spotted this chair and I’m pretty anxious to add it to the soon-to-be vacated corner.

Charcoal Oscar ChairNow, let’s talk desk chairs.  The day we went shopping, after we had secured the desk, we made a quick stop at Target.  Much to our surprise they had a gorgeous grey linen dining chair with nailhead trim for $85.  DONE.  I was stoked to find something so beautiful within our price range.  I thought it was too good to be true.

Target Camelot Nailhead Dining Chair

 Fast forward two months and our desk is going strong (minus a small nick that I’ll cover DIY solutions for in another post) but our desk chair, not so much.  Apparently you get what you pay for:

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 3

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 2

Neither of us have any idea how or when that happened.  Needless to say I insisted on returning it.  Jefe was skeptical as it had been two months and he didn’t have his original receipt.  But I insisted.  One quick trip to Target later and we had our $85 back.  Lesson: never doubt the Target return policy… but be weary of their furniture!

As the chair was DEFINITELY an impulse buy, we hadn’t checked the reviews, which turns out, are quite mixed.  So I did a little digging and after some inspiration from Ellen’s Design Challenge, I decided to give Wayfair a try.

We really had liked the look of the nailhead chair but also knew it had to be sturdier than the Target version, have a slightly larger seat (as the one we returned was admittedly a little small) and have a chair seat height of 19″.  That’s a LOT harder to find than you might think.

But after a full week of research, I landed on this beauty which we are currently awaiting delivery:

Hudson Nailhead Dining Chair

I can’t wait to finally see it in the space.  My only hesitation is that it might be TOO close to the Oscar arm chair we want.  So we’ll just have to wait and see.

For now, we’re still using one of our dining chairs at the desk until the new one arrives.  Not ideal, but it will do for now.

Office Revamp Preview

So what do you think?  I’m really loving the vibe the office is giving off.  A traditional, masculine study with a few feminine touches.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year friends!  I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing holiday.  I’m still nursing my second cold in the last 3 weeks so it’s been slow going on the restart here at Chez Sledge.

What is it about the last 2 Decembers that they just flew by?  Another holiday season, I blinked, and next thing you know Jefe and I are hauling our sad, dry skeleton of a Christmas tree to the curb for recycling. We had all sorts of plans this year, most of which we accomplished.  It did, however, leave little time for blogging.  So here’s a little recap of the Holidays with Sledge:

Black Friday – Jefe and I continued our tradition for the 5th year in a row of braving the masses at Disneyland.  It truly is the happiest place on Earth and best place to start getting in to the holiday spirit.  Everything is covered in lights, ornaments and general festiveness.  This year we decided to try out a few new restaurants as we’ve done all of the rides so many times.

After watching CHEF, we were craving beignets and heard raves about those shaped like a Mickey at Cafe Orleans.  Our lunch was delicious, especially Jefe’s Croque Monsieur, but we were left so full that there was no room for beignets.  Sad Mickey :-(.

For dinner we trekked over to California Adventure to Carthay Circle.  It looked like something you’d find in Beverly Hills in the 1920’s.  Just a stunning combination of art deco meets spanish mission.  And the food was good enough to rival any trendy restaurant in Weho.

Disneyland - Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disneyland - Jefe & Sledge

 

The next day we piled in the car and headed to our favorite tree lot to pick this year’s winning Noble Fir.  After little deliberation, we decided on the fullest pine tree I have ever tried to decorate.  He stood about 7 feet tall.  We debated whether we could have gone taller, but the 8-9 foot Firs were not looking nearly as Noble.

Chauvet Farms Tree Stand - Culver City

The Noblest of Firs

We invited Jefe’s parents over that night to help decorate and quickly realized that next year, we can definitely go with a taller tree thanks to our 9-foot high ceilings, but I’m still more than pleased with this year’s selection.

Holiday Coffee Spread

 

A holiday coffee spread to invigorate for tree decorating!

So the next 24 hours we spent decking the halls.  The only new addition to this year’s festive artillery was a $2.99 traditional star tree topper from Ikea and a few ornaments from Disneyland.

Morning Coffee Done Right

Hines Ward Ornament!

 

Xmas Tree 2014

Stockings

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Nutcrackers!

 

More Nutcrackers

 

Nutcrackers!!!

Holiday Cards

 

Little Village

The following weekend Jefe and I jetted off to New York to celebrate my birthday and decorate tree #2, Jefe’s brothers.  We did it last year and it was so fun to be able to continue the tradition this year.  I also managed to drag Jefe to the ballet for the first time to see “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center, did some holiday sight-seeing, did an awesome #museumhack tour of the Met and caught up with my high school friend Beth!

The Met

NY Public Library Lions

Rockefeller Tree

The ballet!

SM #1 and #2

This brings us to mid-December already!  After 5 months of living in our new place, we finally decided to host a housewarming / holiday / birthday party.  Things were a little harried prepping for guests so I didn’t manage to get any photos but I can say that Trader Joe’s can make a mean appetizer.  You really can fool anyone in to thinking something was homemade when it’s fresh out of the oven and artfully displayed on a Santa platter.  I’m pretty sure 95% of the food we offered came from TJ’s.  Seriously, it’s the best way to host – no cooking, just artful arrangements.

Falalala

Falalala sign courtesy of Oh Joy!’s line at Target

By the following week, Jefe and I were packing our bags to head back east.  Within the span of 7 days, we slept in 5 beds and traveled via UBER, plane, train and mom’s automobile.  We made merry in Los Angeles, Lancaster and Tyrone, PA and New York City.  It was quite the whirlwind.

Family Cousins

Cousins reunion in Tyrone, PA

Jefe & I Xmas Eve 2014

Jefe & I on Christmas Eve

Casey & his Elf

My brother Casey and his “elf on a shelf” (our nephew Raylen)

And here’s a little tour of my mom’s place all decked out.  I get the Christmas love honestly…

Mom's Dining Room

No fireplace means stockings go on the chairs 😀

Mom's - Dining Room

I love me a good tartan tablecloth!

Mirror on display

I love this old window-turned-mirror.  Wouldn’t be Xmas without some lit garland though.

Mom's Xmas Tree 2014

Excuse the lack of focus.  This was prior to 9am and I hadn’t had ANY coffee yet….

And some of Christmas in NY (Jefe was so bummed he missed the Met #museumhack tour, we went again!):

The Met - Again!

30 Rock

Time Warner Center

And then I caught the plague which had me laid up on my mother’s couch for the next 5 days.  New Years Eve was spent with my family, one good friend who braved my contagion thanks to a hearty dose of antibiotics, and a piping hot mug of green tea.  No champe this year for the Champe Champ.

Then Jefe and I headed back to LA where we undecked the halls and dragged our poor tree out to the curb.  Nothing makes me sadder than seeing Christmas trees on the side of the road.  Their time is so short….

Packing Up

Leftover Candy Canes

We have a lot of candy canes to get through in January….

Boy and his toys

Jefe got distracted from un-decorating by a Christmas present…

And to wrap it all up, one final shot of our beautiful tree of 2014:

Christmas Tree 2014

Beauty Rest Bedroom

So now that the kitchen is looking good (pending some artwork decisions), it’s time to move down the long hall to our master bedroom.  Our big challenge right now is furniture – although we’re fairly content with the quantity of storage our current dressers provide, they leave quite a bit to be desired in the quality and aesthetics arenas.  And now that I have my rich, wood-toned nightstand, we’re anxious to get the rest of our room up to snuff.

Here’s what it’s looking like these days (excuse all poor iPhone photos – its the first time I felt up to blogging in a while and i was motivated to get it DONE!):

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The first piece we’re focusing on is a new nightstand with storage for Jefe.  His side of the bed is currently rocking the matchy-matchy black Hemnes I purchased 7 years ago when I moved to LA.

Hemnes Nightstand

Since I got so lucky finding my nightstand at the Rose Bowl, we’ve been focusing our search at the flea market.  So far we’ve struck out twice there and once at the Long Beach Flea Market where we ventured for the first time last week.  Frustrated, I started branching out to the usual suspects to see what new pieces retailers like Pottery Barn, West Elm and World Market had to offer.

Pottery Barn has this great Branford Bedside Table in Mahogany that would be perfect, but at $529 ON SALE, it’s not really in the budget.

PB Branford Nightstand

The next option I found was from World Market – the Sara Double-Wide Nightstand in a beautiful shade of grey blue.  With a price of $119 and by adding some more sophisticated hardware, I could totally make this work.  Then I remembered it would be sitting in front of NAVY curtains, next to NAVY and white striped duvet, and I’m planning to lay down an INDIGO rug….. Just too much blue (I didn’t know there was such a thing!)  But the minute they sell this table in a wood tone, it’s MINE.

483546_SARA DOUBLE-WIDE NIGHTSTAND

Target had some interesting pieces including this more rustic accent table, but there was nothing I liked that was tall enough.  I really hate the low-sitting bed trend.

Threshold Mixed Material Side Table

For now, I’m just going to keep looking.  We live 1 block from the Melrose Trading Post and have yet to venture over, so I think that’s where I’ll be headed this Sunday to continue the hunt.

The other pieces we’re looking to replace are our 2 existing Hemnes dressers and eventually our Hemnes bed frame.  Out with the matching bedroom suit, hello perfectly-curated eclectic mix.  We’re definitely looking to go vintage on the dressers so we can get something of real quality which is so much more important for those types of larger pieces.  I’d love to just pick up an antique back in Pennsylvania next time I’m home, but the shipping alone would break any budget we set.

For the bed frame, I’ve had my eye on a variety of slightly curved, nailhead trimmed headboards and Crate & Barrel just released the bed of my dreams.  I was lusting after the similarly styled Colette, but it wouldn’t allow for a box spring and sat too low.  But the Curve Queen Bed in Napa Camel is absolute perfection. Now if I could just scrounge up enough change from the couch cushions to actually afford it….

Curve Bed in Napa Camel

 

To soften things up, I’m dying to lay down this indigo Empire Scroll Rug from Pottery Barn over our hardwood floor.

PB Empire Scroll Rug

In terms of accessories, I’m still toying with that, but I think we’re going to stick with black and white photos for artwork.  We already have two great pieces hung, but we really need something for over the bed.  As we’re in earthquake country, there is very little Jefe will let me hang over our heads, but he has agreed to a lightweight canvas of some sort.  I’d like to find an image one of us has taken and get it blown up and printed on canvas by Shutterfly.  Hats off to Brooklyn Limestone for turning me on to the plethora of new home decor options they offer!

Now that I’ve racked up the costs for this “little” redo, I think we’ll stick with our current bedding, which I think will fit in quite nicely. Here’s a quick recap of the plan:

Master Bedroom Revamp Mood Board

I can’t wait to get started!  Now excuse me while I go rob a bank.

 

February Lust List

February has arrived.  And unfortunately for many of  you loyal readers, I hear Punxsutawney Phil prescribed a LONG winter yet to be had.  (To which my Jefe lovingly asked “who is Punxsutawney Phil?!” and I immediately whipped out Groundhog Day.) So while you’re bearing the inches of snow  and blustery wind Mother Nature is still sending your way, cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and Bailey’s and do a little window shopping with me!

Here are some of my latest design crushes:

February Lust List

1)  West Elm Hexagon Mirror – I’ve had my eye on this puppy for my hall entryway for quite some time and it’s now reduced from $149 to $79.  I may have to convince Jefe that we need to pull the trigger…

2)  West Elm Elton Settee – Although we are not in the market for any sort of love seat, I’m in love with the subtle curved lines, traditional tufting, yet overall modern feel of this piece.  And the blue fabric is to die for!

3)  Nate Berkus Lamp – I can’t believe this beauty will soon be available at Target.  Yet again, Nate Berkus knocks it out of the park with this modern piece of glam.  Look at those lines!  The inner shade’s lining!  GORGEOUS.  Also reminds me of the little Land of Nod lamp I used for my Dorm Room Decor Round Up!

4)  Lulu & Georgia Print – Is there anything Jenna Lyons isn’t right about when it comes to design?!  Now about the $300 price tag of those calf hair leopard flats I want….

5)  Nate Berkus Hexagonal Wood Tray – I’ve already seen this piece explode across the blogosphere and I am totally jumping on the band wagon.  If it had handles, it would already be in my apartment looking for a permanent place to live and corral things.  And after having seen it in person, I honestly was astounded at the quality of the piece for the price.  Bravo, Mr. Berkus.

6)  Sam Edelman Cheetah Loafers – So about those JCrew shoes… I’ve found your younger sister and my wallet loves her so much more.  I happened to see a coworker wearing these with a simple, jersey knit heather grey dress and it was the perfect mix of comfortable chic for the office.  I must have.

7)  Baublebar Slim Bow Pendant – I’m obsessed with costume jewelry lately.  And Baublebar has such fabulous sales (and credit for purchases made) that I never pay full price.  This one had me at hello so I snatched it up for $10.  It’s the perfect accent against my favorite emerald silk blouse.

8)  Magic Carpet Yoga Mat – Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I’ve been wanting to get back into my yoga practice and this is the PERFECT incentive.

9)  Baggu 13″ Polka Dot Laptop Sleeve – Last weekend I was at the Apple Genius bar for a tune up for the old laptop.  This adorable case caught the corner of my eye.  Five minutes later I was walking out with it.  It also happens to PERFECTLY complement the Baggu I got for Christmas (and yes, I actually kept and have been using the iPad case too!  It’s a perfect little set, although a little tough to get the iPad in and out).

10)  Baggu Small Leather Pouch / Gold – So I’m a little Baggu obsessed right now. But as my wallet won’t fit in my new Kate Spade purse, I need something to corral my cards and (small) amount of cash when I’m on the go.  This gold little pouch would be perfect!

Well there you have it, February’s Lust List.  What are you lusting after these days?

Gobble Gobble DIY

As promised last week, we’re going to do a little time traveling here on SWS and travel back to the days of yore – holiday season so that I can recap some of my fabulously festive projects for you.  Today I’m sharing with you the little last-minute DIY burlap runner I whipped together in the few days before Thanksgiving.

Threshold Trellis Runner

This idea came to me when I realized that my new, lovely fall-themed Threshold runner from Target probably wouldn’t make it through Turkey Day unscathed.  It also didn’t look like it would hold up well through a cycle in the washer, so I decided that I needed an alternative runner option for our holiday table.  Enter free burlap fabric I had stashed in a drawer for the last year.

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I knew I wanted something Thanskgiving themed and after seeing more than my fair share of “Give Thanks” signs across Pinterest, I decided to make my own.  As my painting skills are seriously sub-par, I headed to Michael’s for some stencils provided by the god of craft, Martha.  Her stencils are pricey, so I searched for one with the highest likliehood of reuse, whipped out my coupon via iPhone, and dolled out $31 to the cashier (note: this was for ALL supplies purchased).  Now, I realize that this is $11 more than I paid for the finished runner I purchased at Target, but I really was looking for a one-of-a-kind piece that I made myself and the supplies I can reuse for many projects to come.

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Had there been more time this holiday season, I would have attempted to hand-make most of my gifts included a few of these bad boys for family members, but as we all know, December was a BLUR this year.

So, down to the nitty gritty.  First, I took one look at my burlap and knew it needed finished edges.  I used this tip (and overall DIY as a base) from Inspired By Charm and for the first time managed to cut a clean edge with the this type of fabric.

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Then I whipped out my handy no-sew hem type (who has room for a sewing machine anymore?!) and really cleaned up those edges.

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Half-way through I also realized I *might* want to iron the rest of the fabric – just keeping it real folks.

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And it wasn’t until I had already done 2 corners that I realized I should be paying a *bit* more attention to detail, and decided to neatly fold the ends to give them a more finished and professional look.  (Did I mention it was VERY late at night when I finished this?!)

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Once I had the finished edges, I decided on my stencil design which I didn’t want it to look like a stencil – I chose to use a small brush to connect any lines.  When planning the spacing, laying the stencils out side by side left too much space between the letters in particular.  So I traced them on to a piece of paper with the desired spacing and laid them out.

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The blue painters tape represents both the horizontal and vertical centers of the burlap.

With that done, it was time to pull out the paint.  I kept the pencil tracing versions for reference and moved VERY slowly.  We don’t want this looking like a craft project, now do we?

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Once I had the middle painted, I decided it needed just a little more punch, so I pulled out another stencil to finish the ends.

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(Ignore the pulled thread in the middle of the fabric.  A casualty discovered too late in the game to stop crafting…)

After a few hours dry time, I had myself a new table runner!

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On Thanksgiving Day, I was a bit preoccupied cooking an entire dinner for Jefe’s family to do much decorating, but I did manage to throw together an acceptable table setting.  At the time I was so busy and decided that ironing the table cloth was not worth the added fuss, but now that I see these pictures, I’m quickly regretting that.

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Kudos go to Momma Sny for the turkey place card holders courtesy of the Dollar Spot at Target.  Dishware is Ikea 365 (5+ years old) and the napkins and water glasses were new from World Market.

The menu included a brined, 16 lb.  turkey (World Market’s Turkey Brine has done me well twice now), Momma Sny’s sweet potatoes, some mashed potatoes with a touch of garlic, stuffing, Jenny Hobick’s Bacon Green Beans, homemade cranberry sauce, my grandmother’s secret recipe apple pie and 2 pumpkin pies from Magnolia Bakery.  We capped it off with some fabulous wine and some VERY tired feet on my part.

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(secret Snyder family recipe apple pie, before baking)

So naturally the next day I did what any sane person would do after spending the previous day on her feet, cooking a meal for hours on end: ventured to Disneyland for Black Friday!

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Back In the Saddle Again

So turning 30 was kind of a big deal for me.  I made the ridiculous mistake of placing all sorts of arbitrary professional and personal deadlines upon myself that were not entirely within my control to make happen.

That said, the day came and passed without the world ending or me spontaneously combusting.  I came out on the other side with more realistic goals and outlook on life truly as an adult (what is it about hitting the big 3-0 that makes us feel like a “grown-up”?!)

So with that in mind, one of my goals this year is to get healthy.  As they say, it’s only downhill from here, so now’s the time to seize the day: lose the weight, gain muscle and finally conquer a 5K.

Yesterday I went back to my first Weight Watchers meeting in months.  I got a new weigh-in book and am starting with a clean slate.  I ventured over to Target and picked up some healthy snack options along with some stylish new workout gear (it’s all 40% in store right now)!  I swear by these pants, which I own FOUR pairs of:
C9 Champion Reversible Capris
Then I snagged one of these guys as I didn’t want my running sneakers to be the only thing with a pop of neon:
C9 Champion Pullover
And in an effort to drink more H20, I grabbed one of these Camelbak Water Bottles.
Camelbak

As I plan to be spending more time in the gym, I knew I needed some new tunes to pick up the pace.  I’m LOVING Lea Michele’s new single “Louder” and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us”.

Lastly, I used the remnants of my holiday bonus to pick up a pair of new sneakers from Sports Authority.  They’re the exact same pair that I already own, but chose a another fun color combo to spice things up.
 Nike Dual Fusion Run 2 Sneakers

So this is me, putting it out there – I’m motivated, am back on plan and know that I can do this.  It’s one of the few things I can control right now and look forward to sharing results.

And if anyone is up for joining me for a 5K this summer, I’d love to find a running buddy as I’m a bit slow for my Jefe.