January 15, 2013

Sprigs Winner!

Brrrr!  It's cold here in Chicago!  When I checked the hourly forecast last night and saw that it would be only 11 degrees at 4am (Tuesday is my early running day usually), I decided to sleep in instead. :)  I know I'm trying to have a "Just do it" mindset, but cold + 4am = yucky.  Anyways.  This kind of cold calls for a winter accessory winner!  Thanks for entering my Sprigs giveaway!  The winner is...

Sarah, email me at juiceboxesandcrayolas AT gmail DOT com by FRIDAY to claim your prize!!  

Didn't win?  Check out Sprigs.com to get yourself a little something--you deserve it! :)

January 12, 2013

Chocolate + Peanut Butter = Bliss.

Happy Saturday!  Just a reminder to enter my Sprigs giveaway, ending at midnight tonight!

The past two Saturdays in Chicago have had weirdo weather!  I was really lucky both days though because I headed out for me run, ended up running in beautiful weather, only to have it turn cold and crappy later on in the day.  This morning is was in the upper 40s!  Shut the front door!  I even pulled a pair of capris out of the back of the drawer!  (Okay, I lied, I pulled them out of the bottom of the hamper, and they were super sweaty and gross after being worn to hot yoga the other day...what, like you never re-wear workout clothes...)

Anyways, I pounded out 9 miles on one of my favorite trails this morning, loving the weather and loving the high school throw back music I loaded on my ipod last night, including some blink-182, third eye blind, and something corporate.  Some days I crave the silence of those long runs in the forest preserve, but today I was literally grinning when some of those old favorites were blasting in my ears!
Tonight I am camped out here, on the floor in front of a pile of grad school hw (and the TV watching Parenthood, my new favorite show!).  I know you are all super jealous of my crazy exciting single girl Saturday nights.  At least I have tea.

And chocolate with peanut butter.  Yum.  Is there possibly a better combination?  I think not.  I have been ravenous all day post-run, and I'm not going to lie--I ate half that bar in 2 bites and will for sure come back for the rest after publishing this post.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Do you ever re-wear workout clothes??  Be honest...

What are you up to this weekend?

January 9, 2013

Do I have to? NO! You GET to!!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win one of Sprigs's awesome winter products!  Giveaway ends Saturday at midnight!

It's been a long day, folks...same as yesterday, and same as the day before come to think of it!  This first week back from break is always a killer.  Thankfully the kiddos have been great, but I am EXHAUSTED!  In the hopes of staying on top of things, I've been making a point to keep my bed made, my sink empty of dishes, and my workouts happening this week.  I even used this pretty memo board my friend made for me for Christmas to plan those workouts out...
On the schedule for this evening was a 1000yd swim + 1 hr hot vinyasa yoga.  I packed my bags last night, but as I was pulling out of the school parking lot, all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap!  I caught myself thinking,
 "Ugh, do I HAVE to go workout???"  

But then I remembered a technique I use in my classroom.  I teach using Quantum Learning, a brain-based style of teaching that is kind of similar to whole brain teaching, but the it also involves a lot of management techniques and techniques for rephrasing the things we commonly say to kids.  One switch I made this year was that instead of saying things like, "Next, we're going to practice the Partial Quotients strategy..." or, "Tomorrow, we'll be taking a quiz on electricity..." I say, "We get to ________."  The change is SO simple, but so powerful.  "Today, we get to take a quiz on electricity and celebrate our learning!"  "Next, we get to practice using Partial Quotients!"  It's no longer Powerful Teacher telling Powerless Students what to do.  Tasks are a privilege suddenly!  Simple, but awesome.

Anyways, back to the workout that almost wasn't.  When I caught myself thinking, "Ugh, do I HAVE to go workout???" I stopped and reframed my thoughts, instead thinking, "Tonight I GET to go swim and go to a yoga class.  I love swimming and yoga, and taking the time to practice both tonight is a wonderful thing.  I am lucky to get to do both of these wonderful things I love."  Just by rephrasing my thoughts, my attitude completely shifted.  And sure enough, the swim and yoga were wonderful--even though by the end of the class my arms were shaking like crazy in my side planks, and I had to rest in child's pose a few times...still awesome :)

Side note: After class, a middle aged man that was practicing next to me came up to me and said, "Thank you for your practice tonight.  I really enjoyed practicing next to you."  I can't decide if this is creepy or sweet...

How do you stay enthusiastic about training and working out after a long day?
Sometimes I try to visualize a goal I am working towards--either a finish line of an upcoming race or seeing my goal finishing time on my watch post-race.  Holding these pictures in my mind usually gives me a little motivation when I'm having trouble sticking to my training plan!

January 6, 2013

Sprigs Winter Gear Review + GIVEAWAY!

Have you checked out Sprigs.com yet?  I LOVE this company.  Their Banjee wrist wallet is one of my favorite running accessories, and I absolutely love my yogi arms and cotton infinity scarf.  I am super pumped to have the opportunity to review some of Sprigs's winter accessories.
Banjee Love!
Attempting Crow Pose in my Yogi Arms!
One of the items I got to try was Sprigs's fleece Texting Gloves.  These gloves have little flaps on the thumbs and index fingers of both hands that you can pull back.  The idea is that you can text and use your phone without taking the gloves off.

The gloves work great with a smart phone or touch screen device.  There are a lot of gloves around these days that let you use a touch screen with the gloves on, and I haven't tried any of these gloves so I can't say if they're really better or worse than the Sprigs gloves.  However, there are a few perks to the Sprigs texting gloves.  They can be used for a non-touch screen keyboard like on a blackberry or my dad's qwerty phone as seen below... 
I also was totally loving these gloves when I was taking the train downtown last week.  The train was capital-F-FREEZING, so I kept my gloves on, and I could turn the pages of my book by peeking my index finger out of the gloves.  Cold weather reading WIN!  Olivia loved them too... 
I also got to try Sprigs's Organic Bliss Stitch Hat.  I love the stitching on this hat--it matches my Sprigs yogi arms!  Super cute.  I wish that the hat were a tiny bit bigger so that it covered my ears a little better--I'm gonna admit it, I have a kind of larger than normal head...seriously, I do.  Plus I have about three times the amount of hair as the average person, so hats can be tricky.  I think this hat is super adorable though.  It's not super warm, but it's a nice in-between hat.  It'd be a great spring or fall accessory.
My absolute FAVORITE product, though, is the Winter Infinity Scarf.  This scarf has been my FAVORITE accessory this winter!  This scarf is super warm and cozy, plus it's really soft.  According to the Sprigs website, it's made of acrylic knit yarn.  I hate wool and all things woolen make me sneeze, so this scarf is perfect.  I usually wrap it around twice in two loose loops, but it can be wrapped three times for a super warm fit.  I've been wearing it nonstop since I got it, and I seriously want one in every color!

Do you want to win one of these three Sprigs items to warm your hands and heart this winter?  (If you're a midwestern girl like me, you desperately need them!)  Sprigs has generously offered to let me give away a hat, scarf, or pair of texting gloves to one lucky reader!  Here's how to enter:
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry--7 possible chances to win!)

  • Be a follower of Juice Boxes and Crayolas and leave me a comment letting me know! (Mandatory)
  • Visit the Sprigs website and check out these winter accessories.  Leave me a comment letting me know which of these three items (and which color!) you'd most like to win! (+ 1 entry)
  • Like Sprigs on facebook and leave them a comment saying "Amy from Juice Boxes and Crayolas sent me!" (+1 entry)
  • Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, or twitter (+1 entry each)
  • Leave a comment letting me know why you need a little extra warmth this winter!!! (+1 entry)

EDIT:  Whoops, I forgot to post an ending time for the giveaway!  This giveaway will end at midnight on Saturday, January 12th.  I will choose a winner using random.org and post the winner on Sunday!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a hat, scarf, and pair of gloves from Sprigs in exchange for writing this review.  I did not receive any additional compensation, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

January 3, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I'm going to make a semi-embarrassing confession: I suck at making coffee.  I seriously don't know what my problem is, but at least 50% of the time my coffee tastes yucky.  I've cleaned the coffee maker with vinegar, tried other brands, tweaked my measuring...who knows.  This week, though, I broke out an appliance I bought a year ago and never touched--a French Press!  I'd always heard that the french press made the best cup of coffee, but when my purchase didn't really come with any instructions, I let it get dusty sitting on top of my fridge.  When my brother was in town for Christmas last week and craving coffee, I gave him the task of figuring out the (shockingly simple) French Press.  Sure enough, it made AMAZING coffee!  Today I actually tried it on my own, and I am definitely hooked.  It's a little more time and effort than using the drip coffee maker, but it makes the perfect amount (about 6 cups) and seriously tastes so much better.

2. I have a love/hate relationship with winter running.  It is SO HARD to get out there and do it, especially when your bed is so warm and snuggly and the temperature outside is so cold!  Buuut there are some definite perks.  First, I feel justified in waiting until noon or 1pm to start my run since it's the warmest part of the day!  Since I'm being a lazy teacher this week and soaking up every second of relaxation I can, that meant I had an excuse to lay in bed reading and reading blogs until after noon yeseterday before getting out on my 8 mile run.  Obviously I could have gotten up, been productive, and THEN gone running, but that's just not as fun!
Pre-run: All bundled up!
I also love how empty the trails are on cold winter days.  (Running in the middle of the day midweek may have had something to do with that too!)  It's just so quiet and peaceful.  I even saw 6 deer yesterday!
Post-run: Awful picture, but my philosophy is that if you still look cute after 8 miles, you didn't run hard enough!

3. After talking about doing it for the past few months, I finally bit the bullet and booked a cleaning service to come scrub down my apartment Saturday afternoon.  I live in a one bedroom tiny apartment that in theory I should be able to keep clean, but let's be honest, I'm more of an "organizer" than a "cleaner."  Very different thigns.  I do a little surface cleaning here and there, but my kitchen floor needs a good scrubbing, as does my stove, base boards, and shower.  At this point, I don't care what it costs--it will be worth it!  Growing up, my family was by NO means wealthy, but my mom would always splurge on a professional house cleaning before holidays, back to school, etc.  I swear those cleaning ladies have magical powers, because no matter how hard I worked to clean, it would never look and feel as amazing as when they are finished!  Cannot. Wait.

(I'll spare you a picture of my dirty kitchen floor and dusty shelves...)

4.  I'm sneaking in a 4th thing!!  It's a short one tho--this is my school bag:

It hasn't moved from where I dumped it almost two weeks ago after getting home from school on our last day.  Guess I should probably open it and start cracking on my LENGTHY to-do list, huh???  Maybe tomorrow..

Winter running--love or hate?

January 2, 2013

New Year, New Goals!

I'm not much of a resolution girl, but I love the idea of setting goals for the year.  I just looked back over my goal list from 2012, and out of 11 goals (school, fitness, etc.), I accomplished 7.  I did the triathlons, set the half marathon and 5K PRs, embraced the early morning workouts.  The exit slips I commit to using in math every year never happened, and neither did the budgeting or the cooking.  Oh well!

Anyways, here goes...In 2013 I will:

~Finish grad school & become a licensed reading specialist

~Stay uninjured (minus this lingering ITBS) and foam roll like a crazy person

~Run a race for charity

~Apply to have a Girls on the Run site at my school for spring 2014

~Spend less and save more (totally vague and broad, but I'll figure out a more specific plan soon!)

~Blog more :)

~At least try to find a bigger apartment that doesn't break the bank

~Donate my hair to Locks of Love for the second time

And last but not least, the big one...

Do I look scared?  Well, that's cause I AM!  

My 2013 race calendar...
February: Disney Princess Half Marathon
May: Chicago Spring Half Marathon
June: Esprit de She Sprint Triathlon
July: Schaumburg Duathlon
September: Apple Cider Century series 37 mi ride
October: Chicago Marathon!

I am super duper terrified about even ADMITTING that I want to run a marathon.  See I'm not a big fan of admitting I want something that is really far from my reach with the possibility of failing at it.  On my 8 mile run today, I couldn't help but think, "How will I EVER be able to run 18 miles MORE than this?!"  But then I shut down that thought and reminded myself that just a few years ago, I never ever thought I'd be able to run 8 miles.  This time last year, I never thought I'd be able to swim THEN bike THEN run.  But I did!  That's what training's for, right?  Anyways, this should be an eventful year, and I can't wait to share my journey with you.  

What are your big scary goals for 2013?
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