5.31.2016

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington

If you look up the book Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington here is the description you will find: Breaking Busy helps women get unstuck and live with confident calm. Even though our lives are packed full of more: doing more, achieving more, acquiring more, why do we still feel like we’re missing something? Discover how “the more” might be the very thing that keeps us from living out our true purpose. 

I LOVE that brief description. It really is a great summary of the book. However, if I were telling a friend about this book in casual conversation, I would tell them it's a book for women that feel as if they are striving to do it all yet making it nowhere (so basically all women, right?). I would tell them that this book will bring some peace to that nagging need inside of us that tell us we always have to be doing more, more, more. I would tell that friend this book is for them, regardless of their life stage, age, relationship status, religion, or political affiliation. If you haven't caught on already, I really enjoyed this book.

I appreciated Alli's writing style the most. I can sometimes get tired of christian female writers because they tend to be too fluffy, but Alli is really a breath of fresh air. She is relatable, humorous, and real. She's also no-nonsense which I appreciate. Alli encourages her readers to first seek God instead of the other things that are constantly pulling for our attention, and that's a message I can always get behind. She offers advice for the times when we know that's what we should be doing yet are struggling to do it. Her advice is practical, helpful, loving, and biblically-based. She also throws some research in, which I love.

All of that to say, go read this if you haven't already. You can find me and more of my favorite books over on Goodreads!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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5.30.2016

United Relay Update (and Review!)


 Disclaimer: I received a  free entry to United Relay as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I am so excited to be talking about United Relay again and recapping my wonderful experience! FIRST- a HUGE thank you to everyone that helped me fundraise. I exceeded my goal and I could not have done it without you. If you want to learn more about United Relay, you can read up on it HERE.

My first stage was May 20th at 1am. I knew I would be running on the Katy Trail which has some pros and cons. Pros are that it's flat, I know the course well, and it was likely to be safe. Cons are that it's dark as HELL, there are really no access points between the start and finishing line, and there are CRITTERS everywhere. We were well prepared with a bike lamp (Matt rode alongside me) and headlamps.


We met Richard Reed, the Red Team Leader (HEY RICHARD!), at the start line. He was really great and asked how he could support us. He was well aware that my route had few access points but was more than willing to help us however we needed. We snapped a few quick pictures and set out for my first 9 mile stage.


We had a really great time. It was dark and really late/early but we put on some tunes and just cruised. There was a chance of severe thunderstorms when we set out and we both prayed fervently (like, seriously) that the rain would hold off. Remember when I mentioned earlier that there were no access points on the trail? Well, that's because one side is cliffs and the other is the Missouri River. We knew it could be bad if we got caught in a bad storm so we prayed. Thankfully, we only got a few raindrops and the weather was actually awesome! Richard was waiting for us at the end of the stage and we grabbed a few more shots before heading back to the start line to get our car and head home.

I slept in (until... 8am) the next day and went into work for a few hours. I was feeling good physically but was really tired from the night before. I was sure to stretch and roll out a few times. I also focused pretty hard on getting enough to eat and drink.

That night around 6pm we hopped in the car and drove an hour and a half to my second stage (11 miles) of the relay. This one started in the middle of nowhere Missouri at 7:40pm. This time we were greeted by Richard and Ben Conway (the other Red Team leader). They were really excited and already had a plan for meeting us at various locations along the route since this stage was more accessible. Richard let us both try some Aftershockz wireless headphones which were AWESOME! We grabbed a few more photos and were on our way.

I felt pretty good for the majority of this stage but around mile 9 started to get pretty tired. I really liked that it was light for the first half of the run because it was a really great distraction. Richard and Ben caught us at various points along the trail and snapped some fun photos of us and cheered us on. This definitely kept me going the last few miles. Plus, like I have said before, running for charity is one of the BEST motivators!


I officially completed my 20 miles around 9:30pm that same night. I was really happy with how my fueling went but knew my legs would be destroyed the next day.  Regardless, it felt really awesome to finish and I'm so grateful to have been a part of United Relay. What an experience! Thank you so much to everyone that supported me financially, in prayer, and in support the day of (cough cough, my husband).

I would highly recommend signing up for a stage if you are anywhere in the eastern part of the United States. The relay is still going strong and still in need of some runners. You won't regret being a part of this, I promise! If running isn't your style (no judgment), you can follow along with the relay via the live map!

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5.26.2016

#CatsForFreedom

Today I have teamed up with Tipsy Elves (they were on Shark Tank!) to bring a bit of fun back to the blogosphere. We all know the election can stir up lots of tension and emotions, so instead we are hoping to stir our patriotism in a different way: CAT CAVES!


Are you confused yet? Don't worry, I'll catch you up.

Tipsy Elves has a fun line of patriotic tops that are awesome and perfect for the upcoming July 4th holiday. Until May 31st, they will be donating 10% of all orders using the checkout code ‘CATS’  to the San Diego Humane Society, which provides cats of all ages the resources to live freely. Hence, CAT CAVES.

What is a cat cave you ask? Watch this short clip:


Tipsy Elves sent me THIS top to use in construction of my cat cave. Hilarious right? Here are my favorite cats chillin' in their cave. We are a big fan of adopting animals (you can probably tell since we have quite the collection) and one of these lucky cats is from our local humane society.






I urge you to consider supporting the Sand Diego Humane Society by purchasing one of these fun shirts with the code 'CATS.'

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5.19.2016

SPIBELT H20 Venture Series

Disclaimer: I received a SPIBELT to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! If you're a runner you should apply to be a Pro! Runners of all paces are welcome!

The SPIBELT H20 Venture Series is a bounce-free hydration belt that includes two 8 ounce bottles that can be placed anywhere on the belt or left off the belt altogether! It also includes two loops for energy gels, a reflective trim, and a pair of race bib toggles for easy race number attachment. It fits waist sizes from 27" to 48".

I have taken the SPIBELT on a number of runs so far. I really like just using the belt for short runs as it keeps my phone in place comfortably. I like to put the pouch on my backside since it feels a little more comfortable to me, however, it can be worn on the front as well! The pouch is huge and at one time I was able to fit my phone, nutter butters (don't laugh), some gum, and my car key in it all at once.

The first long run I look my SPIBELT on was a little rough because I couldn't get the bottles to stay in. I was running on gravel and they kept bouncing off the belt. However, once I was able to find the right adjustment, they stayed in place. I talked with SPIBELT about this and they said that it's pretty normal until you figure out the positioning for your body that works best. Since I figured that out, I have taken the SPIBELT on a 9 mile run without any problems!

SPIBELT is different from other fuel belts in that it really is bounce free and stays in place. I really like how adjustable it is because it allows you to find the fit that's best for you. The water bottles are great because they have squirt tops meaning you don't have to open the cap or anything!

I highly recommend SPIBELT to any runners looking for the right fuel belt. Use the code "cassie10" for 10% off plus FREE shipping!



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5.11.2016

Blogger Reintroduction



Today I am teaming up with some of my favorite ladies to reintroduce ourselves and have a little fun in the process! Let's start with me:

For those of you that haven't already figured this out, my name is Cassie. I was born in California, where I lived until I was 13 and then I moved to Arizona where I attended high school before moving up north to Flagstaff for college. I currently live in Missouri where I am pursuing my PhD. I am in my mid-twenties but feel much older most of the time. I love reading, running, cycling, and wine. I have been married to my wonderful husband for two years. We are both passionate about the outdoors, the gospel, and ministry. We own two cats, Helo and Florence, and one dog, Aspen. They run things around this place. In our free time we enjoy traveling, being Airbnb hosts, and watching trashy reality TV (oops).

We have also come up with some fun questions to answer as a part of the reintroduction. Read on to see mine and those of the other gals involved!

Where was the last place you traveled to? The last place I traveled to was Las Vegas to see Elton John perform. It was so amazing!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you'd want with you? (1) My iPad so I could read my bible and books on books on books, (2) sunscreen because I paid way too much for my tattoos to ruin them in the sun, and (3) my klean kanteen because it keeps water cold for DAYS.

When was the last time you tried something new, and what was it? This is ridiculous but I tried nutter butters for the first time last week and they were SO GOOD. They're not oreos but I probably still shouldn't have them in my house.

If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow? I'm not sure I'm ready to honestly answer this one on the blog, so I'll chat about my second thing. Move to a different country!


What is your earliest memory? Ha! This one is slightly inappropriate. I remember my cousin giving me a bath probably around the age of 2.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? SUSHI.

Do you like your first name and why? If not, what would you change it to? My full name, Cassandra, feels a little pretentious to me, but I don't mind Cassie so much.

If you could give yourself one gift, what would it be? FREE MASSAGES FOR LIFE.

Would you rather be the person asking the questions in a conversation or the person answering them? I’m a complete introvert and have been told that I don’t talk about myself very often, so I guess that implies I would rather be the person asking the questions in a conversation.

If you had to live in a place where only one season existed year-round, what would that season be? Fall. The weather isn't too warm or too cool and the days are still long!

If money was no object, what would you do all day? HA! Probably ministry.

Keep reading to learn more about some of my favorite bloggers! Be sure to hop on over to their blogs to get to know them all better! You won't regret it.

ANNE: Love the Here and Now
If you could give yourself one gift, what would it be? Without fail, it would be self-confidence. I constantly second guess decisions and choices and don’t attempt new things because of a fear of failing or judgement.  Truth be told, I could fail and be judged and I would be ok.  Self-confidence would give me the edge I need not to care about those things and would enable to me to live free of doubt, fear, and feelings of inadequacy.
REBECCA: The Adventures of Bug and Boo
Where was the last place you traveled to? San Francisco! In February I took a long weekend to visit my BFF from middle school, and meet her new baby. It was my first time on the west coast and I fell in love! San Francisco is so different from NYC and London (both cities I lived in for a while) but it’s an awesome city in its own right. And the FOOD….I will definitely be back!
AMANDA: Knock on Wood
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? I would totally be cool with eating pizza for the rest of my life. You can switch up the toppings and essentially have something different each day. Plus you still get all of the food groups!

P.S. my husband took that adorable photo of Amanda and her husband!
EMELIA: Dream Big and Buy the Shoes
If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow? I’ve always had the dream to be a wedding planner, but I would love to work with all types of events. I have a love of details and creating beautiful memories, so I would give it all to be an Event Planner and have the opportunity to make special moments for other people.
EMILY: Ember Grey
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you'd want with you? A notebook, pen, and Sun-In. (Obviously.)
KELLY: Southern Komfort
If you could give yourself one gift, what would it be? I would have to say the gift to be able to travel (no worries about money, who would take of the pups, boring adult things). I would love to travel all around the nation and the world, just meeting people and doing life with them.
MEAGAN: All the Joys
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three materialistic things you’d want with you?  A camera with unlimited memory, chapstick and a Kindle preloaded with hundreds of books.  (too much?)
CHRISTINE: Christine Everyday
If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow? I would go skydiving! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and if I knew for sure that I wouldn’t crash-land, I’d totally sign up.
If you knew you could not fail, what is the one thing you would do tomorrow? I would do web development/design. It is a dream of mine, but I'm struggling to find time to study and perfect it!


















5.05.2016

Zensah Well Rounded Shorts





Let's talk about running shorts for a minute. They're nearly impossible. Seriously, I haven't found a pair of running shorts I love in so long that I have basically given up. Most ride up, don't fit right, or result in chafing which might as well be the spawn of the devil. When I was asked to test out the Zensah Well Rounded Shorts, I was skeptical.

However, I have ended up really loving these shorts. I prefer to run without undergarments and these shorts don't make that uncomfortable. Actually, they're intended to be worn that way. They're incredibly lightweight, super comfortable and stretchy, and stay really dry during runs. Most important, however: THEY DON'T RIDE UP DURING RUNS! It's a running miracle (amen?). The shorts don't have seams either which eliminates the chafing problem. They're basically the whole package.

I have always been a big fan of Zensah compression gear and these shorts were no different. I know some people feel self-conscious about wearing spandex-like gear, but I really didn't feel too exposed in these. They were just long enough to not feel skimpy.

I highly recommend these shorts! Use the code ZENBIB15 for 15% off a pair of the Well Rounded Shorts!

Want to be a BibRavePro and get free gear + race entries?! Apply today and let them know I sent you! Runners of all levels are welcome!

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