Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner! Today’s your lucky day because today you’re getting three posts in one. I’ve got quite a bit to share, so I’m throwing it all together in one ginormous post- I hope you enjoy it all: a running clothes review, recipe and quilting update.
1. Running Clothes Review
I buy almost all my running clothes online from Runningwarehouse.com because they have a huge selection, the best prices and free two day shipping. But, the one thing that’s a drag about buying your clothes online is the missing tactile experience- you can’t feel the fabric, try it on for fit. Luckily, Running Warehouse also has a sweet return/exchange policy, so on the rare occasion something hasn’t worked out it wasn’t a big deal to ship it and swap it. So I would recommend the site 100% to anyone.
That said, I am in love with my most recent purchase and I thought I’d do a bit of a review in case any of my running buddies out there are looking for a good piece of winter gear. I bought the Pearl Izumi Women’s Infiniti Windblocking Hoodie in pink & black. Here I am modeling it (giving my best snooty modeling face):
All the pink is a wind-breaking softshell. I really like the feel of it and it’s been keeping me pretty warm in this 20 degree weather we’ve been having. This hoodie is tiiiight, and I don’t mean snug- it has some really awesome details in the design. Notice how nice and high the collar zips up?
It has a protective wind-flap behind the zipper and at the top so the cold doesn’t seep in.
The sleeves are nice and long AND they have these extra cuffs with thumb holes that you can stretch OVER your gloves for ANOTHER seal against the wind.
This is showing the muff-pocket in front, which is sizeable and there is another equally spacious pocket on the lower back. This is perfect for me because I insist on carrying my cell phone when I go running and all too often designers only include a pocket big enough for a key.
But, wait, here comes the BEST PART!
The hood! Brian tells me I look like someone straight out of TRON, but who cares?! This hood blocks the wind and STAYS ON when I run. But- it gets EVEN BETTER!!! Check this out:
Yep- you are seeing right- there is a pony tail slot in the hood. I really, really like this. It just goes to show that they really thought it through and thought about WOMEN when they were designing this hoodie. I hate it when I see “women’s” winter running hats that have no ponytail hole, when they’ve just taken a men’s hat made it pink and marketed it as specifically designed for women. Well, Pearl Izumi, you got this one right. Be still my geeky running-gear obsessed heart.
Isn’t it amazing how much clothing it takes to gear up for a winter run?! I swear, our washing machine has been running 24/7 and that’s without any running clothes coming from Brian. 4 more weeks until he can run again. Maybe he’ll be so out of shape that I’ll challenge him to a race! HA!I My chances of winning that are slim to none. Here’s my progress on the 1,000 mile challenge:
We ate this last week and I’ve been meaning to put the recipe up. Say Hello to Jerk Chicken Salad a la Mindy.
This was super-yummy! Here’s what it includes (enough for two salads):
1 can rinsed black beans
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped mango
1-2 sliced scallions
Sprinkling of Sunflower Seeds
1 stove-grilled chicken breast marinated in Jerk (marinade recipe & Jerk seasoning from The Spice House)
This was so good because I’d been feeling like we’d been eating nothing but cheesy casseroles for two weeks. So fresh in the middle of winter without being wimpy. I’ll definitely make this again.
3. Quilt Is a GO!
I finally chose a pattern for all those pretty fabrics I showed you! It was though finding one because some of the fabrics have a large print. I found an inspiration pattern on Etsy, but decided to just figure it out myself because it’s just a bunch of simple squares. The pattern I found is here. I also didn’t buy it because I want to make it bigger than the sizes Lulu offers, so I figured why buy it when I’m going to have to re-figure it all anyway? My mom suggested I take out the white sashing (in the inspiration pattern), and I’m debating that. Luckily I don’t have to decide until I get all my blocks done.
So far I cut up the fabric and put together two blocks.
I decided to fussy-cut the centers for SOME of the blocks, but not all. I think it’ll look good- now just to get to work putting all the blocks together! I’m going to make it bed-sized to fit the bed in our guest room, so I’m going to make 49 blocks, I think. A 7 column by 7 row square quilt. Another thing to figure out when it’s time to add sashing or not!
Since this will be only the 3rd quilt I’m piecing on my own, I’m still learning. One thing I have to work on is being more precise in my 1/4 inch seam allowance, so I marked it on my machine by taping down a bright ribbon.
This makes it really really easy to keep my seams straight and even because the raw edges of my fabric butt up against the ribbon. Hopefully this little trick will pay off and help make all my blocks the same size.
Phew! I’m excited to really get going on this quilt. I noticed all ladies on the quilting blogs I follow name their quilts (NOT like “oh, I’ll call this one Megan”, but names like “Peppermint Twist” or “Modern Meadow”). These names usually have something to do with the quilt-top pattern, fabric line, or colors. I like this idea- kind of like naming a crayon color, so I think I’ll try it. I’ll have plenty of time to think about it while sitting at the machine…