MMM: Spring/Summer Short Races & {A WINNER!}

Happy Monday! Another weekend has flown by too fast! As they say, time flies when you’re having fun and to say I had fun this weekend is such an understatement! Recap on my trip to Bama to come tomorrow! As for today, we need to start the week off with a little motivation! I’ve got running on my brain today…

Last Week’s Workouts
Monday: 3 mile run (8:40 pace)
Tuesday: 3.5 mile run (8:12 pace)
Wednesday: 100’s Workout
Thursday: OFF
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Yoga (60 minutes) & 40 minute walk
Sunday: 4.7 mile trail run

This week I want to talk about Spring/Summer races! Aside from the heat, this is some of the best running of the year! Why you ask? There are SO MANY RACES! Quick and easy 5Ks and 10Ks that you can use to increase your speed or casually run with friends!

For my fellow Houstonians, you can take a look at the site Houston Running Calendar.


A few other options for those of you around the country/world are:
– Google: 2012 Races in _____ <– Enter your City here!
– Go to Runner’s World Race Finder: you can type in your city of choice AND select the race distance of your choice!

Here are some of my tops reasons to love Spring/Summer racing:

1. Like I said above, shorter distances can help to improve your speed on long distance runs!
2. You can choose to train or just run! Training for these shorter runs allows a runner to keep up with a schedule and have a goal in mind. You can also just go for it! Training with a goal keeps you in year long training/goal mode if that’s what you need. Just going for it gives you a training break!
3. Charity Runs: Many of these smaller races raise money for great causes. Can’t complain too much if you get a workout in and you’re donating to an excellent cause. Whether it be for MS, Cancer or Children’s groups, you know your money is going somewhere its needed.
4. In Houston, it is HOT in the summertime. Let’s be honest, it’s already been pretty hot for the past month. These shorter runs are manageable in the heat and it gives you a reason to get out there, run and skip the excuses!
5. FOR FUN!!! There are so many fun runs out there; it’s a great way to be active and do something different with your friends on the weekend.
Now what you’ve all been waiting for…time to pick a winner! Drum roll please…..
And the winner is…

Emily from Life with Emily!!!
Congrats girl! Please send me an e-mail {} with your contact information and we’ll get everything you need to pick out your perfect summer tumbler!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I feel incredibly blessed to have so many new readers! I’ll be sure to get a solid, new About Amy post up for my new friends! Hope everyone has a happy Monday!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

Back to Bama!

Happy Friday lovies! We’ve almost made it to another weekend! Yippie!!! I was really hoping this week would  fly by because in just 12 short hours (I’m writing this at 7:30am) I will be hopping {or I suppose walking…but I will be excited so a hop or two may be involved} on a plane and headed to Huntsville, AL to visit one of my favorite people in the world, ANDREA SOULE!!!
You may remember our adventure from Pittsburgh to Houston just before Christmas. We pit stopped in Huntsville, AL to see Andrea, one of my best friends and roommate from college! We’re kind of attached at the hip and this whole living in different states after graduation after living together for 3.5 years is not easy! We have a bit of separation anxiety and are required to see each other roughly every 2 months. 
Two months after graduation {February 2010}, I went to visit Anne for her birthday!

We did super fun stuff like shopping {aka spending too much money and loving it}, going to a Huntsville Havock Hockey game and seeing A Chorus Line which is one of my fave musicals!
Luckily Anne was back in Houston for my wedding in April and then again for the 4th of July! Come August, it was clearly time for me to be back in Bama!

This time around we went to go visit Jack. Jack Daniels that is. Oh and his distillery. Pretty sweet I must say!

We also went to a real, live Piggly Wiggly. I thought those were just in children’s books!

We also spent a lot of time up in the mountains hiking and running the trails. And of course there was PLENTY of shopping involved.
By November, Anne was back in Texas for our annual San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll half marathon!
The longest that we have ever gone without seeing each other was when I moved up to Pittsburgh and I didn’t get to see her until APRIL! It was killer, but we got to see each other  A TON that year. 
April in Pittsburgh
August in Vegas
September in Philadelphia
November in College Station
December in Alabama!!!
Thank goodness we took a detour on our 25 hour car trip straight into Huntsville! Who knew that Huntsville is pretty much right in between Pittsburgh and Houston. Technically, it’s an hour closer to Pittsburgh…who knew!?

This trip we did a little yoga {JP just watched TV, though it would be entertaining to see him attempt yoga!} and as always, a lot of shopping…hello right before Christmas sales? It was only a quick pit stop, but COMPLETELY worth it.
I have exactly 48 hours in Huntsville this weekend and I know it will be a blast. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so I know we’ll be spending a good chunk of time outside…my favorite! 
I can’t wait to see you Andrea!!!
What are your plans for this weekend? Anything exciting or just a relaxing weekend at home?

Lastly, don’t forget to enter my giveaway! You have until Monday morning! And…go enter Shanna’s giveaway! It’s for a gorgeous Derng gunmetal bracelet! Do it!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

Honey Do List

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how much I love lists? My husband may not be loving my list making skills after this past weekend. My honey do list was long, but we got so much accomplished! It wasn’t all bad though!

Paint kitchen pantry door red – Check 

Go to Ikea for bookshelves…and picture frames…and kitchen ware…and other knick-knacks…and cinnamon rolls…what? – Check

Build bookshelves from item 2 – Check

Eat Mexican food outside in City Center on a beautiful day in Houston.  Okay not technically on the list but I insisted and the hubs obliged 🙂 – Check

Clean out and organize pantry – Double Check

Paint downstairs half bath – not yet…

Buy cupcakes…yes, very necessary – CHECK!

Celebrate Kathy’s birthday with yummy drinks – Check

    So when it comes down to it, we really got A LOT accomplished last Saturday. I mean, look at those cupcakes and cocktails. Hello yum. They just scream productivity!!! Seriously though, we really made some progress and I’m just loving our home. Now that the kitchen is just about complete, I’ll have to clean it up and do a before and after post on it! I just need one more thing to make it perfect…

    It’s Springtime…any Spring cleaning or decorating on your Honey Do List?

    Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! You have until Monday morning to win!

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Pinterest Party

    WOW!!! I am completely blown away by all of the visitors from KC&CO and all the entries for my giveaway! A super huge thanks to Katie for letting me guest post 🙂 Gotta love this bloggy world!
    The hubs and I are hosting a little Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby Party…obviously on May 5th 🙂 Here is some of my Pinspiration for this flamboyant affair! Needless to say, I am SO PUMPED!

    It will involve a little Mexican flair!
    Bright colors are a necessity!
    Source: via Amy on Pinterest
    Probably won’t make these, but how neat are these Pinata cookies?
    Margarita Cupcake? Yummmm
    Source: via Tina on Pinterest
    Many of these will be consumed…duh!
    To add to the fun of Cinco de Mayo, we have to throw in a little Kentucky Derby action!
    Classy finger foods are a must!
    Derby decor will be mixed in with the Mexican flair!
    These will likely make an appearance.
    Classic Mint Juleps and Old Fashions.
    Amazing hats and fancy clothes are a must!
    Source: via Adelle on Pinterest
    Unless you would rather where one of these of course!

    I’m super excited about our Cinco de Derby party!!! Any other thoughts on things that are a must for the combo of these two fantastic affairs? I am completely open for suggestions!
    Don’t forget about my awesome giveaway! You have until Monday at 8:00am Central Time to try and win!
    Hope y’all have a wonderful Wednesday…happy hump day y’all! 
    Don’t forget to link up!

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    It’s time for a…

    Ahhh I’m so excited to be hosting my 2nd giveaway on this little blog of mine! I am just shy of 100 followers and to be quite honest, I didn’t want to wait any longer 🙂 I’m also hoping that since I’m guest posting over at Katie’s blog: Keep Calm and Carry On, more of you will join in the fun!
    Hopefully y’all are all itching to know what I have in store!

    First up…

    this gorgeous clutch! And can you believe it’s from Target? Best. Store. Ever!

    …don’t forget the necklace…
    Fun statement necklace for day or night!

    …and we all need a special cup for summer fun!

    Tumbler will be your choice of color and font! I’ll send you the font, color and style choices once you win! There are so many to choose from!
    {Just a few other options to get you excited!}
    To top it all off, there will be a few other goodies thrown in just for fun. Are you as excited as I am???

    Here’s how to win! 
    {Leave separate comments for each entry}

    Follow A Glimpse of the Gouglers on GFC!
    Leave a comment with your #1 Spring/Summer necessity!
    Follow @AmyGougler on Twitter
    Follow acgougler on Pinterest
    Tweet and/or blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL! {For 2 additional entries each!}
    That’s a total of 8 {EIGHT} chances to win!
    Good luck 🙂

    **Winner will be announced on Monday, April 30th**
    Great ending to the month of April!

    Don’t forget to stop by Katie’s blog: Keep Calm and Carry On! She’s one of my favorite bloggers and one of the first blogs I started reading outside of friends and family!

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Making Mondays Motivational: Kettlebells

    I don’t know about y’all, but Monday morning came way to soon. After a simply gorgeous and productive weekend, going into the office wasn’t really on my list of things to do…and yet I’m here. Whatever pays the bills I suppose. Oh well, it’s going to be another beautiful day and I don’t have too many things on my plate, so that’s the bright side.

    Well let’s just get down to it! Today I’ve got some awesome kettlebell exercises that will help you tone your entire body! After my Friday workout, my hamstrings and shoulders were killing me…in the best way possible of course!

    Last Week’s Workouts
    Monday: Golfing in Nawlins
    Tuesday: 4.5 mile run (8:24 pace)
    Wednesday: 3.5 mile run (9:08 pace)
    Thursday: OFF
    Friday: Kettlebell workout
    Saturday: 3 mile walk/jog with Maggie
    Sunday: 10K or 6.2 miles (8:24 pace!!!)

    What is a kettlebell?
    A kettlebell is a cast-iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. (Thanks Wikipedia…learn more!)

    Why I love kettlebells…
    While running is my passion, I truly enjoy weight training. Experts often encourage runners to cross train and weight train. It helps to improve your strength {obviously}, tone your muscles and improve your overall physical performance. Kettlebells offer an overall toning workout for your body. Exercises focus on multiple muscle groups and are far from boring! You can find a kettlebell at Target, Wal-mart or your local sporting goods store {Academy, Dick’s, Sports Authority, etc.}.

    Kettlebell exercises:
    Kettlebell Squats {aka Kettlebell Swings}


    Clean Push Press


    Side Step Single Arm Curl


    Upright Row


    Windmill {aka Twist}


    You can also do many of the exercises you would do with regular hand weights:

    – Bicep curls
    – Shoulder press
    – Lateral raises
    – Rows {Side and Upright}
    – Abs {Hold kettlebell while performing exercises}
    – Lunges

    Here are a few other exercises via Pinterest!

    Have you ever used a kettlebell before? Are you interested in tying it out now? I highly recommend it! Just as an FYI – I use a 15 pound kettlebell and I also have a 5 pound. I think that 10-15 lb is ideal for a woman looking to tone up. Let me know if you have any questions about kettlebells or if you want a workout suggestion! I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve!

    {Side Note} I have a super awesome surprise in store for tomorrow, so don’t forget to come back!!! 

    Now get to it! Happy Monday, let’s start the week out right!
    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Life’s a Picnic

    Ah sweet Friday…we meet again. It’s finally time for another weekend and another Friday Fancies with Alison at {long distance loving}! I’m trying something a little bit different today. I’m taking an outfit I have {and wore this past weekend} and adding to it for FF! 
    Below is what I wore last Saturday evening for dinner and Bourbon Street. I think it is a great spring time picnic dress!
    Dress – Franchesca’s; Shoes – Old Navy; Watch – Fossil; Necklace & Earrings – Kay Jewelers
    Here’s what I would add to the dress to make it picnic perfect!

    1. Esma Braided Flat Sandal: The perfect sandal for a sunny day. Plus they’re only $15 and come in multiple colors!
    2. Marley Lilly Floppy Hat: Want this and it matches perfectly with my dress above!
    3. Kabrio Wine Basket: You can’t have a picnic with out a picnic basket and you certainly can’t have one with out wine! This wino picnic basket is the perfect addition to a sunny day outdoors.
    4. Target Wayfarer Sunglasses: It’s impossible to be outside on a sunny Texas day without sunglasses! Well, you can do it for a little bit, but everything is so much nicer without squinting!
    Now I want to go outside with a lunch bag, blanket, bottle of wine and my hubby! Don’t forget to link up!
    Hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,


    Nawlins, NOLA, The Big Easy, New Orleans. Whatever you want to call it, that’s where the hubby and I spend Saturday through Monday celebrating us! I’m going to bombard you with pictures and hopefully limit the number of words…yeah right, I’m so bad at that!
    It all started bright and early Saturday morning. I convinced JP that we needed to be out the door by 6:00am and we did it! We really wanted to be in NOLA by lunch time and with a 6 hour drive ahead of us, the earlier we got on the road the better. After a quick pit stop at Starbucks, we were on our way!
    We made great time and arrived at our hotel right around 11:45am. Just enough time to drop our bags and meet up with Tyler and Ashley for lunch at Acme Oyster House. Then we headed out to explore the French Quarter Festival!
    1. Acme Oyster House – I didn’t have any oysters because I think they taste like boogers, but Ashley did!
    2. Fried Crawfish Tail Po-boy with a side of Jambalya
    3. First drink in New Orleans…Screw Driver at the FQF from Pat O’s
    4. Enjoying Day 1 with the hubby!
    1. After lunch we headed straight over to the French Quarter Festival for drinks and jazz music! So much fun!
    2. We stopped by to explore the St. Louis Cathedral in the square to escape from the sun and wind for a bit. It was absolutely stunning. The first church site was build in 1718 then expanded and rebuilt in 1850!
    3. Later we wandered over to Harrah’s Casino to try out luck. Ashley and I tested the slot machines while the boys took on Black Jack. No one came out a winner, but we got free drinks for Ashley and I were happy!
    After a while, it was time to head to our separate hotels to get ready for our fancy dinners. {Tyler and Ashley were celebrating their 3 year anniversary!} JP and I dined at the Palace Cafe, recommended to me by my boss who lived in NOLA for several years. It was amazing!
    1. Ready to celebrate 2 years of marriage!
    2. Appetizer: Crab Claw Bordelaise…so yummy!
    3. My entree: Grilled Tuna Panzanella with spinach, eggplant and tomatoes!
    4. Cheers!
    We wrapped up the evening walking along Bourbon Street and hanging out at Howl at the Moon to watch the dueling pianos! Someone paid $50 to have them light the pianos on fire!
    1. Day2 started off with breakfast at Cafe Du Monde. It was yummy and I’m glad I had it once, but I don’t know if I’ll go back. Fried foods don’t sit well with me…
    2. We went to the National World War II Museum! A definite MUST SEE. I am a history buff and love learning about wars, so this museum was a wonderful pit stop.
    3. JP posing by a replica of a crashed WWII Glider (aka Flying Coffin)
    4. Found this little guy while walking along the water to get to the museum!
    1. The iconic WWII poster!
    2. Lunch after the museum at Mother’s. My seafood gumbo was delish and JP had the traditional must have from mothers…ham and roast beef po-boy!
    3. Hanging out at the FQF again after lunch.
    4. We’re awesome 🙂
    1. Tyler & Ashley at the original Pat O’s!
    2. Me being super cool. This was towards the end of the night and JP was embarrassed of me.
    3. Drinks at Pat O’s
    4. Natchez Steamboat
    5. Ashley & I Tebowing it on Bourbon Street…no big deal
    6. 2 words…hand grenades. Did you know they make skinny one’s now?! Yes please.
    7. JP during dinner at Desire.
    8. The hubs and I at Pat O’s!
    Have I overwhelmed you yet? I didn’t want to leave anything out! We wrapped up our trip with a golf outing on Monday morning! We made it through 14 holes before the rain came…and completely soaked us.
    After a quick wardrobe change and filling our bellies, we were on the road again headed to Houston! Such a fun trip that I didn’t want to end!
    I will leave you with this…it’s amazing what God does to captivate us.

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Love & Pinterest

    Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m so glad it’s already Wednesday. Weeks go by fast when you take Monday off 🙂 Today I’m linking up with Jamie and Michelle to share with you a random collection of things I am currently loving and Pinterest!

    I’m loving 3 day weekends and short weeks! Too bad they stop here…until Memorial Day weekend at least!

    I’m loving this little face! She’s still at her grandparents {aka my parents house} getting spoiled I’m sure!

    I’m loving our beautiful weather in Houston! Low 80’s and sunshine…doesn’t get much better than that!

    I’m loving that I got started on painting out kitchen pantry door last night! Before and After pics of the kitchen coming soon!

    I’m loving that the 2012-2013 football schedule was announced yesterday! I am SO ready for the Packers to play the Texans in HOUSTON!!!

    I’m loving the yummy recipes I’ve been trying lately. My favorite right now is a baked sweet potato with grilled balsamic & garlic bell peppers (all colors), onions and mushrooms!

    I’m loving all my recent, random finds on Pinterest!

    Source: via Amy on Pinterest
    Thank you! This pin is beautiful in so many ways!
    I want these for my birthday…please and thank you. It’s only 5 months away 🙂
    Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix…sounds like an alternative version of Puppy Chow! I’ll be making this for my daddy and brothers to test out for sure! Get excited dad 🙂
    TONS of healthy breakfast recipes! Breakfast is my favorite!
    Can’t remember if I’ve pinned this before, but this baby is too cute!
    Remembering this for when I decide to re-do JP’s old dresser
    Want and Need This!
    I <3 Texas!

    I’m loving my amazing husband of two years! I can’t wait to spend 100 more years by your side!

    Another sneak peak from this weekend! Happy Wednesday! I’ll be posting about our trip tomorrow!

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Happy Tax Day

    …NOT! Well happy to all the accountants who will have their free time back and happy for their spouses who will finally have their husbands/wives back. Happy for those who are getting refunds. Not so happy for those of us that were bumped up a tax bracket and owe a bunch of our hard earned dollars to the government. I could have bought a beautiful new dining room table with that money…but no…it’s just going to disappear. **Sigh**


    Oh well, we’ll survive 🙂 In case you couldn’t tell, the hubs and I are back from our adventure. Which means…back to work and back to reality. Good news is that I get another 4 day week! Here’s to hoping it flies by!

    I promise I’ll get all my pictures uploaded and edited this week so I can give y’all a recap. For now, you’ll have to just take a look at this sneak peak!

    …We stayed here…

    …Had our first meal here…

    …And had several of these over the weekend!

    We had such a great time! I can’t wait to share more fun pictures! Have a great Tuesday 🙂

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,