WHAT'S IN A NAME

When I first decided to rename my blog to "TEDDI, SET, GO!" I was training for a half marathon, and I had all these grand aspirations of becoming a running guru.

Well, WRONG! While that race was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had and I will hold it close to my heart for as long as I live, I am NOT a runner. It was likely my first and last half marathon. 

I wanted SO BADLY to love running. I wanted to want to lace up my sneaks, trot through Central Park, and clear my head. I figured it if I wanted to love it enough, I would. But that's just not how it worked. Running didn't agree with my body or my mind. I've recently upped my strength training game, and once I've built up a bit more strength, I think I may give it another go. But for now... running is not part of my repertoire. 

I wondered for awhile if the "Ready, Set, Go!" suggestion was misleading. After all, it signifies the beginning of a race... and I'm not a runner. But I've realized that running - and in particular, the starting line - is a metaphor for so many other things in life. You've probably heard, "It's not about the destination; it's about the journey," and "Life is a marathon, not a sprint." The starting line is symbolic of any new journey, any new marathon. 

Here's the thing. There's not just one beginning, one starting line. I like to think of myself as crossing the starting line to a better, brighter life quite often, actually. Every time I make a new choice for myself (incorporating more strength training into my workouts and cutting WAY down on desserts/added sugars, to name a few recent changes) I picture myself catapulting over that symbolic start.

My favorite quote/life motto has long been, "Go the extra mile. It's never crowded." I repeat it to myself silently when I'm amidst a tough workout and feel like giving up. I think of it when I'm doing something that I know I could do better. It reminds me to be the very best version of myself I can be. To go that extra mile. 

Funny enough, I never made the connection between going the extra mile and TEDDI, SET, GOING until recently, when I was thinking about all of the things I'd like to put into motion for 2015 and what I want to accomplish in the next few years. It reminded me that this "title" has a purpose, and that we're all running our on lives, whether or not we're walking, jogging or wearing a race chip.

Just a little food for thought on this lovely Friday. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

 

GIFT GUIDE FOR... THE WRITER

These days, the term "writer" can have so many different meanings. When I graduated college and moved to New York City to be a "writer," it was hard to get others to take me seriously. (It still is.) Back then, it was a term that didn't mean much and certainly wasn't associated with gainful employment. But with the surge of technology, editorial websites and blogging, "writing" has taken on a whole new meaning. And while I'm now studying to be a health coach and perhaps, someday, a fitness instructor... I'll always be a writer first. No quotes necessary. :)

Phrases pen set. For doodles, deadlines and daydreams. (I have at least one of these pens with me at all times!)

Seize The Day notepad. A sweet little reminder to kick writer's block to the curb and just keep going. (Also here.)

Meri Meri mini notebook set. Too cute.

Samsung WB350F Smart WiFi Digital Camera. I got this on Black Friday and I love it. Ever writer needs a portable camera. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Hugo Guinness for J.Crew mug. Because every writer needs coffee in an ironic mug.

Kate Spade gem erasers. Erasers that are cute enough to keep out on your desk.  

Custom monogram letter flat notecard set. I ordered thank you notes from this Etsy shop and they received rave reviews on Instagram. Perfect for the modern gal with a penchant for snail mail.

Elsa Peretti ballpoint pen. My mother-in-law-to-be surprised me with this recently and I think it's such a beautiful, classic gift for any appreciator of the written word.

Kate Spade newspaper canvas tote. Perfect for toting around magazines, manuscripts and notebooks in style.

DO GOOD DECEMBER

Many moons ago, I posted a list of goals at the beginning of each month in an effort to hold myself accountable to my desired accomplishments. For whatever reason, now feels like a good time to give that theory another go.

Here are some good things I'd like to do in December...

            Quote on the wall at one of my favorite smoothie bars. I always love reading this.

            Quote on the wall at one of my favorite smoothie bars. I always love reading this.

Hold a plank for five minutes. It was my goal to do this in November, but I only made it to four minutes. I'm determined to hit that 5 before the year is up.

Try on a wedding dress. Truthfully, this is an activity that I'm really not looking forward to for so many reasons. But the time has come, and I really do need to try on at least one wedding dress this month, if for nothing else than to get that initial experience over with.

Tone up and slim down. I can't think of another way to word this, so I'm just going to go with it. Right now, gaining muscle is a priority for me. However, I know my body well enough to know that I'm a few pounds above where I could and should be. So December is the month that I really start to incorporate strength training into my exercise routine. I have an appointment with one of my favorite personal trainers next week and I can't wait to get started!

Clean out my closet. I'd love make a big clothing donation before January 1.

Print and frame new photos. I'm supposed to get the pictures from our engagement party back this weekend. WOOHOO!

Get CPR/AED certified. Time to get 'er done.

Tip 100% for good service. 'Tis the season!

What good things do you want to do this December?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

GIFT GUIDE FOR... THE YOGI

I love gift guides. I love reading them, and I love making them. And while "for him," "for her," and "under $50" are all fine and good, I tend to think the really fun finds are in the more specific spreads. Shopping for your favorite yogi? These are a few of my favorite things.

lululemon city tank. This yoga tank goes way beyond the studio. Would be fab with skinny jeans, booties, and a blazer!

Emi-Jay leather bow hair tie. Keep your hair out of your face during inversions with this super chic pony-o.

Satya Perfect Alignment pendant. I love the subtle branch design that symbolizes grounding, balance and tranquility.

"LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE" water bottle. My life motto on a water bottle. Perfect!

Patagonia Serenity leggings. Fair trade certified pants that are comfy and won't break the bank.

Manduka eKO travel mat. I recently learned that planking on hotel carpet is rather unpleasant, and promptly used a gift card to treat myself to one of these babies upon my return home. Can't wait to use this for my upcoming 10-day vaca!

Outdoor Voices sports bra. The keyhole detail is so cute.

Yummi Yogi cookie cutter. Because yogis love cookies, especially ironic ones.

"FREE YOUR MIND" tank. A fun top for less than $20.

CYBER MONDAY

This year is the first time in a long time that I didn't have all of my holiday shopping done by October. I usually like to get a jump on things as holidays tend to creep up on me, but the past few months have been a blur and somehow it's December 1 and I am completely unprepared. 

Thank goodness for Cyber Monday! I'll be checking everyone off my list today.

Favorite sales:

 J.Crew is offering 30% off full-priced styles and an extra 40% off sale with code MONDAY. Love their GIFTS UNDER $50 guide, especially these plaid shearling scuffs and this heart bookmark.

J.Crew Factory is offering 50% off their entire site, plus an extra 10% off and free shipping with code YOUVEGOTSALE. I picked up this gorgeous cashmere sweater for myself. What a steal - and it fits beautifully!

Kate Spade is offering 30% off their entire site with code CYBER30. I'm still in love with the bluetooth wireless headphones and these emerald cut studs are so fun.

Old Navy is offering 40% off with the code CYBER. (Same deal at GAP & Banana Republic.) Gifts aside, if you're in the market for a new sweater dress, I own and love this cowl neck sweater dress.

Spiritual Gangster is offering 40% off everything with code CM40. Their stuff is pricy and they rarely offer discounts, so this is awesome. (What yogi wouldn't want this pullover? #need)

Tory Burch is offering up to 30% off with the code LUCKY. I'd love to give (or receive) the baby cosmetic case and the lipstick case - such lovely little luxuries!

Victoria's Secret is offering free shipping on $50 with code SHIP50FREE and $20 off $125 with code 20OFF125. Without fail, year in and year out, one of my favorite gifts to receive for Hanukkah is new sleepwear from VS. I love the Fireside Long Jane Pajama and the Pillowtalk Tank Pajama.

Have you started - or finished - your holiday shopping yet?

Happy December!

THE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR

First and foremost, an amazing 29 years with my mom. I ache for her everyday, and it's hard to imagine this ever not feeling like hell. But I am endlessly thankful that she was my mother and for the time we did have.

My dad. He is my rock.

My sister. Our parents spoiled us silly but she's the best gift of all.

My fiancé. He is my everything.  

My extended family. For their unwavering support and love. 

My friends. They make me feel lucky. (AEV, MHM, SGG & JH... Thank you for being on my side and by my side. You know what I mean.) 

My lot in life. This year I faced my greatest fear: the loss of a parent. Watching her health unravel before my eyes is something that I know will haunt me for as long as I live. Despite all of the tragedy my family has suffered this year, I know we are fortunate in so many other ways. We have food on our tables, roofs over our heads, and good friends and family to endure life's joys and sorrows with. As terrible as this year has been, I've never forgotten that things could be much worse. 

My health.

My tenacity. 

My outlook. 

All of you. 

Thanks for reading. 

Thanksgiving 2014. Grateful to be with our wonderful family.

Thanksgiving 2014. Grateful to be with our wonderful family.

WEDDING WEDNESDAY WITH WEDDINGTON WAY

Try saying that five times fast! 

When Weddington Way asked me to enter their November Style Challenge, I said yes immediately. My mission: give one of their bridesmaids dresses a life beyond the wedding. Having been in six weddings myself, I've racked up my fair share of frocks. I am all too familiar with that, "Will I ever wear this again?" sentiment.

I personally think lace is a totally underutilized material when it comes to dressing bridal parties. I know when people hear "lace" one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is "bride" but I happen to think this delicate, feminine fabric is a chic and unexpected choice for bridesmaids. Shades of purple and gray took center stage at my parents' wedding in 1980, and that inspired me here. I think it's such a glamorous, regal color combination.

In styling this particular ensemble, I envisioned an outfit that could be worn to a luncheon, an office holiday party, or dinner with the in-laws. Since this dress has a defined waist, it'd work well as a "skirt" with a top over it. I love the mix of rich textures - lace, cashmere and leather - and how the muted grays really allow the purple lace skirt to shine without looking too "bridesmaidy."

How many weddings have you been in? Do you - or would you - re-purpose the dresses?

DRESS SWEATER | SHOES | EARRINGSCLUTCH | GLOSS | POLISH

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. :)

P.P.S. To see other entries/follow along, check out WW's Facebook page.