September 2015

Fall Porch Decorating Under $100

Since we are officially in the autumn season and Halloween is right around the corner, I wanted to share how I put together a festive fall entryway for less than $100!



After browsing the gorgeous photos of fall porches on Pinterest, I was quickly inspired to recreate a look for my own entryway. One thing I loved in my inspiration photos were the rich colors of fall, so I knew I had to incorporate the burnt oranges, crisp reds, and golden yellows into my decor.

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Marathon Training Recap Week 10

How was everyone’s Mondays?? I’m laying in bed early tonight and catching up on a little bit of work…Doing a little brainstorming for some new posts and ideas!


Week 10 of marathon training was fairly uneventful, compared to week 9’s half marathon. I took a few recovery days after the half and our bike ride Sunday. Somewhere over the weekend I pulled a muscle in my back that was only exacerbated by sitting in a desk chair for awhile Monday morning. And it still hasn’t gone away. Super fun.

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10 Miles, Football Food, and a Newbie’s Guide to Bike Gear

We’ve been getting all the gear for our bikes that we need as we build up to higher mileage and longer rides. You do not want to be caught without some gear or too far out without water and food. So here’s a little list for newbies (like me!!) of bike gear you’ll need if you’re just starting out!

Newbie's Guide to Must Have Bike Gear

  • A Good Helmet
    • You’d think it’s a no brainer, but you’ll want a lightweight, protective helmet. Both Brian and I have them and as dorky as I feel, I know if anything happens I’ll be protected. I had been on Brian to wear his and he’s gotten into the habit now…which is especially helpful when he took a tumble a few weeks back.  ? Hi honey! 
  • Water Bottle
    • Most of the time when you purchase a bike and bottle cage, they throw the bottle in for free. We have a ton of the plastic bottles that fit easily into the bottle cage, and they come in super handy! The water stays relatively cold but it’s important to stay hydrated! I plan on buying this insulated Nathan bottle, which also fits in the bottle cage.
  • Bike Repair Kit
    • This is SO important! You do not want to be caught without the supplies you need if something happens to your bike. We don’t have this exact version, but I wish we did! We picked one up at our specialty bike store and paid like triple the amount for way less in the kit! I might stock up on this one to have on hand as well. A bike pump, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc. are all essential in case of emergency. They buckle right under the seat, so there’s no excuse not to have one! We also stash some money, our keys, etc. in it as well, so this little pouch is super handy.
  • All the Bells and Whistles
    • Just one or the other really…This is really for a courtesy for other athletes while you’re riding. There is nothing worse than sneaking up on a pedestrian who isn’t expecting you and having to scream LEFT making them nervous. A sweet little blow on the whistle is courteous as well as safe. Athletes can hear it from farther away, so you aren’t sneaking up on anyone, plus no crashes for you!
  • GPS Tracker
    • A tracker is essential for logging miles, routes, pace, and more. I use the MapMyRide app for iPhone and love it. I have a mount for my phone on my bike so I can see my MPH, calories burnt, miles, etc. and it’s straightforward and easy to use. My hubby has a Garmin Vivoactive, which is an awesome 24/7 activity tracker with GPS, that techies love. One is on my wish list, though I really don’t need it, but they are really cool. Either way, make sure you get some kind of tracker to see your progress!

Brian and I have been loving our Sunday bike rides. We squeeze in a couple nightly rides after dinner, but the weekends we try to do 10+ miles. This past Sunday we set out to try a new pedestrian trail in a nearby town…they day after I ran a half marathon!

We started out a little later than we like and had some full sun. It was like 85+ degrees Sunday! But the trail was pretty shaded and while you do work up a sweat biking, there’s a cool breeze that follows you when you go fast!

biking, trail, workout, fitness

Read on for more about our ride + yummy football foods!

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Marathon Training Recap Week 9

Happy Football Sunday! As I sit here watching the Pats game (they won!!!!), and type, I’m chugging gatorade, sporting my compression sleeves, and trying to rest up after 13.1 miles Saturday and a 10 mile bike ride this morning. I’m honestly feeling a bit rough this afternoon. I think I am really dehydrated, so I just feel blah. Anyways, I am another week closer to 26.2 miles and another week into marathon training.

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This week I want to talk about self doubt.

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Sunday Funday Bike Ride

Let me say it is intimidating picking out a new bike! I’m by no means heading to the next Ironman, but a sprint tri is on my bucket list. I was honest with the guys at the specialty bike shop we went to and they helped me pick out the perfect bike. I went with the Trek hybrid that is perfect for maintaining a strong fitness level, cross training, and one that I could work up to a small tri on.


After testing out my new Trek hybrid bike a couple times in the neighborhood, my husband and I planned a long ride for Sunday at a local trail. It’s taken me a couple quick rides to get the feel for this bike. I have an adorable beach cruiser complete with an attached bottle opener and cup holder, so this type of hybrid bike took some getting used to. Learning to switch gears and getting used to the bike seat took a couple rides, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now!

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2 Ingredient Healthy Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin lovin’ is in full swing here in the Gill household and I couldn’t be happier. While I love the occasional pumpkin cupcake smothering in cream cheese frosting, I try to keep my pumpkin treats on the lighter side. I came up with this super easy two ingredient pumpkin dip based off a yogurt dip I make frequently during the summer. I figured why not make it a seasonal treat and try it with pumpkin?

2 ingredient

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Marathon Training Recap Week 8

It’s crazy to me that I already have 2 months of marathon training under my belt! What?! Where did the time go?? Things are picking up in training…weekday run times are increasing and weekend mileage is picking up, just in time for this week’s half marathon! ?

Week 8 long run day!

So, how did week 8 go?

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Decorating a Bar Cart

Ever since I laid eyes on my cousin’s chic bar cart in her super hip and cool Boston apartment, I knew I had to have one too. After searching Pinterest, Instagram, and lots of home decorating sites, I stumbled across this tutorial for a DIY cart that was easy to do, inexpensive, and really cute.

Decorating a Bar Cart

The assembly was easy, but finding the perfect decorations took some thought and creativity. Read on to see how this DIY project came out and the easiest way to make it your own.

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Marathon Training Recap Week 7

Week 7 flew by! How am I almost two months into training?!? I’m feeling really good about training, but my confidence is a little shaken. I am logging the miles but am having the hardest time running straight through the mileage. I’m having calf/achilles pain that has been getting better, but nags me during my runs, plus the heat and humidity has been a total buzzkill. I’m hoping that as we get into fall and the weather gives us some relief, I’ll be able to better power through. This time last year I was breezing through 5 miles and looking forward to my long runs. Now, I can barely get through 3 miles.

Week 7 in photos:

I have my first half marathon of the season on September 19th and I am really worried about it. I’m meeting up with friends for the race who have been training harder than I have and I hate the feeling that I may get left behind. I actually hate that that’s how I look at it, not the whole picture that I’m doing my 8th half marathon. I’m so nervous I won’t be able to keep up…I wish I didn’t always focus on that, but I have a really hard time with it. Until this race my goal is to keep up my runs and work on my confidence. I have to remind myself that everyone runs their own race and I have myself to focus on.

Somewhere along the way I lost my training plan that I was (loosely) following, so I decided to find a new one that fit my progress a little better. Though I’m an experienced runner, I am not with marathon distance, so I found this beginner plan online. I’m starting on week 8 this week, but the previous weeks have been comparable to what I’ve completed. I like that this plan goes by time vs. mileage, which can be really beneficial to marathon training. I’m looking forward to switching it up, especially since I’ve been so hung up on my times. I think this style of training will help me in the long run….pun intended 😉

Happy Labor Day everyone! Make it a great week!