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Monday, October 26, 2015

Road Trippin' with my Sweet Spot® Skirt

Have you ever gone on a road trip where you had a set destination but no designated route or definite stopping places along the way? I just got home from a road trip of this sort, and it was a blast! If you’ve never taken this kind of road trip, I highly recommend it! I took this trip with my aunt, who also happens to be one of my best friends, and our final destination was the “Something Wicked This Way Comes” Letterboxing event in Reno, NV. Even though it’s only a 9 hour drive from Salem, OR (where I live) to Reno, we left two full days before our event to make sure we had plenty of time for craft store stops and letterboxing along the way. So we left Salem on a Thursday morning and finally arrived at our hotel in Reno at about 10:30 Friday night!

The letterbox event we attended was Halloween themed, with an emphasis on zombies, witches and ghosts, so I decided to wear my new Red Cauldron athletic skirt by Sweet Spot® Skirts, because it has a great zombie-ish feel to it. (I especially love the troll leg umbrella stands in the print!)  My Sweet Spot® Skirt was a perfect choice for this event; not only did I fit right in with the other zombies there, I felt comfortable and unrestricted enough to easily transition from hiking the trails to bushwhacking through the undergrowth. The event was a huge success! We had an awesome time out on the trails, meeting other letterboxers and decoding clues. Some of the highlights from the event include my aunt and me doing the Thriller Dance for the sheriff from The Walking Dead (thankfully no one got that on video!), watching Harry Potter and one of the Ghostbusters engage in a multi-fandom duel, and getting “slimed” by Slimer! Like I said, we had an AWESOME time!
 Sweet Spot® Skirt production manager, Dianna and Slimer

When the event was over, we headed up the mountain to spend the evening in Virginia City, where we did some more boxing in an old cemetery, and had our pictures taken at the famous Bucket Of Blood Saloon (again, my Red Cauldron athletic skirt by Sweet Spot® Skirts fit the theme!)

Just like we allowed ourselves two full days to make the 9 hour drive to Reno, we allowed ourselves extra time to make the drive home, so that we would be able to make some stops and do some exploring along the way. By the last day of our trip, my suitcase pickin’s were getting kind of slim, so I decided to flip my skirt around and take it for a second spin! Oh the beauty of the reversible skirt!!  We made a stop in the Lassen National Forest in California for a little spelunking at Subway Cave and Lava Tubes. The cave was a lot of fun, and my skirt kept me warm enough in the subterranean chill (46 degrees year round!), but maybe next time we’ll think to bring a flashlight! The flashlight app on my aunt’s iPhone was ok, but about the time we reached the middle point, Lucifer’s Cul-de-Sac, we started worrying about the cell phone’s battery life!
Spelunking the Subway Cave and Lava Tubes

What an adventure! From letterboxing to cave exploration; midnight crafting to early morning Starbucks runs, we had an amazing time. I can’t wait to start planning our next road trip…

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hate Treadmills? Here is a Solution

Treadmill running is definitely NOT my favorite form of working out! Nothing about running in place is inspiring to me; no matter what’s playing on the 25 TVs hanging on the wall of the gym or what tunes are pumping through my headphones, it’s just plain boring! But once in a while the treadmill is inevitable. Maybe it’s the weather: it’s too hot or too cold, too wet or too windy. Or maybe it’s the time of day: too late at night, or too dark. Whatever the reason, I do find myself running in place about once a week, so I decided to look online for ways to make this stodgy run more exciting, and what I found is a great 20-minute incline training from Popsugar.com!
For me, just hearing the word “incline” is enough to make my shins twinge (I HATE hills!), but I love this treadmill workout! Not only do you increase your speed at two minute intervals, you also increase your incline, beginning at an incline of 1.0 and maxing out at 6.0. This routine is a great way to get the sweat flying and the calories melting, without being so tedious that you’re at risk of falling asleep while running in place! Check it out here: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/20-Minute-Treadmill-Workout-29833808

*Just a little tip: consider writing the routine out on an index card to place on the screen on the treadmill, and avoid messing with your phone while you run!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Name the Sweet Spot® Skirts Car

We just bought a "new to us" car, wrapped it and put it on the road.  Now we need help naming this cute little girl.  
Here is the story on how we acquired the little Smart car, just in case it matters when choosing a name.  

Meet my friend George!  He is the owner of Yellowstone Valley Brewing in Billing MT.

He decided to sell his car to Sweet Spot® Skirts.   George was sad, but once I wiped his tears away he was ok.  LOL

Debby (one of our fabulous seamers) flew out with me to Billings,  MT to pick up the car and drive it back.  What fun such a great journey and Debby is a fantastic road tripper.  

Meet Debby!  We wore our babushka's to keep the wind from wrecking out hair.  YSAG!  **stands for You're Such A Girl.  LOL our new saying here at Sweet Spot® Skirts.
You can see the transformation in the pictures below.
When we first parked the car at the ranch in Roberts, MT everybody laughed at it.  #samesizeastheATV
Debby rode a horse for the first time in her life.  The horse is about the same size as the car.  
We had some issues learning to park.  LOL 

 Bella loves the convertible!  #sweetspotskirtsdog  #wannarun #canihaveaskirt
Now for the transformation photos. 

Fall + Sweet Spot® Skirts = FUN, FLIRTY & PRACTICAL

Fall is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! I love Fall more than any other time of the year. I love the colors and smells of. I love the cool, crisp air. I love Fall foods (Pumpkin Spice Latte and candy corn anyone?), and above all, I love my Fall wardrobe! Boots and scarves, sweaters and hats, bring on the warm, cozy clothes! 

When it starts getting chilly, I love to wear my Sweet Spot® Skirts with leggings and tall boots. Add a sweater and scarf and I’ve got a look that works for anything from morning coffee with my girlfriends to afternoon PTA meetings.  PS.  Don't forget they are reversible so you can change your mind and flip to a different color if you want. And for the inevitable trip to the pumpkin patch, all I need to do is swap my leather boots for a pair of rubber rain boots and I’m ready to go!   And for all those fun Fall/Halloween runs coming up, we have several new Halloween print athletic skirts available, like Monster Mash, Red Cauldrons, and Spooky Night. Personally, I’m planning on sporting Red Cauldrons for the run I’m signed up to do on Halloween morning! 
Keep Running, 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Twelve of My Best Years

The last picture of mother and daughter before she died.  

Sharon Lee Parker was a fabulous mom, outstanding teacher and caring wife.  She endured losing her hair, removal of both breasts and horrible chemotherapy.  All while planning care for her 12 year old daughter as her imminent death loomed.  The fight with cancer ended her life way to early.  Cancer treatments in 1976 were primitive and archaic, even the best doctors didn’t have many answers.  Over the last 39 years we have raised awareness for self breast exams and pushed for early detection with state of the art mammography.   It has been a rough 39 years without my mother, but it has made me strong and she would be proud.  
Sharon (1946) on the left and Stephanie (1972) on the right.
Fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

Mother had style and great glasses!

I have always been a biker.  This photo was taken with my fabulous Shawn Cassidy hairdo, my favorite bike and my dog Ginger.   My mother got sick with cancer in 1974 the year this picture was taken. 

Not sure the year, but my mom was a happy girl!

Both mom and daughter have blue jean style just their own.

Not that I love this picture of my mother, but I have the same haircut at 5 years old.
Plus, the dress she is sporting is fabulous.  #everythingisbetterwithabow

Same outfit just change the glasses.  My motto... is same outfit just change the SKIRT!

This is the most beautiful picture of my mom.  January of 1964.  I was born in September 1964
so chances are good that I am also in this picture.

I want to use the Sweet Spot® Skirts platform to help fight this ugly battle against cancer.  Lifestyle changes make a big difference.  If you get out and exercise, control your diet, limit your alcohol intake and choose not to smoke your chances of getting cancer are greatly reduced.   You don’t have to run a marathon, climb a mountain or complete an Ironman...just a simple 30 minute brisk walk would be a great start.   Get an accountability buddy and get moving.  We hear stories all year from our skirt family about how they have started this journey to become healthier.  Let’s celebrate those women!   If just one person reads this and decides to start one of the lifestyle changes listed above, I will have done my job in honoring my mother.  
Life is short, make it count! 
This blog is for you Sharon Lee Parker, you left a legacy in your little daughter and I know you would be proud.  
ps.  If you know of a woman struggling with breast cancer, we can honor them and bring a bit of Sweet Spot comfort to their lives.   Here is an example of the "Sweet Shenna" program.  http://sweetspotskirts.blogspot.com/2015/02/sweet-shenna-quilt-lovingly-presented.html

From Kristina: K5K Recap

The Kristina 5K/Linda’s Loop is over and it was phenomenal! I had so much fun mingling with the crowd, talking to woman about their journeys and sharing the excitement of the evening before the run started. It was awesome seeing so many women supporting and encouraging each other, and looking fabulous in our Fast & Flirty running skirts! We had about 90 woman participate this year…90 woman all dressed the same, running through the streets of Vancouver and having a blast! 

I offered myself up as a running buddy to anyone who needed one, and had the honor of running with a young lady named Katie. This was Katie’s first 5K and she came to the run alone. We chatted a lot while we were running and I learned that Katie had never run before she met her boyfriend. She said everyone in her boyfriend’s family runs and that she just decided to give it a try. We talked about our struggles with weight; about losing a few pounds and then gaining a few more back, and she said she finally decided “No more excuses”.  Katie told me she’s working towards being able to run an entire 5K without taking any walking breaks, but for now she’s just happy to be able to do what she can, and our first mile was her personal best! It was fun having a running buddy; someone to encourage and cheer along the way, and someone to encourage me, too!

I love the feeling of this event. I love the camaraderie and the feeling of acceptance when a group of woman get together to support each other! Runners are good people, but woman runners are the best! 

I want to thank everyone who came out to run with me. It was a wonderful evening and I can’t wait to do it again! I also want to say thank you to everyone who helped get my daughter safely across all those streets when I couldn’t keep up with her. Can that girl run or what?!

Monday, September 21, 2015

9 Words Can Change your RUN

                                                      K5K:   Perspective 

I went for a run this morning, my last run before the K5K, and it was emotional! Summer was very hectic for my family, and because of the chaotic life we were living, two bad habits emerged: first, I got out of my work out routine; I stopped going to the gym on a regular basis and I seriously cut back on my running. The second bad habit was using the fast food drive thru way more frequently than I really want to admit! There were days when we were on the go so much that it was Starbucks for breakfast, McDonalds for lunch and by the time we got home for dinner I was too exhausted to cook, so we’d grab pizza. As a result of this hectic lifestyle and poor choices, the cute shorts I bought at the beginning of the summer don’t button any more. (sad face)

So I was running this morning and really beating myself up about how slow I was going and how hard it was and how sore I was getting and how those sudden extra pounds where really weighing heavy on my, and the tears started flowing. About then I passed a middle aged woman who was heading to her car and I finger-waved at her (that’s all the extra energy I could spare!), and she said “Good job honey! You’re way braver than I am!” I don’t know if she saw my tears and that’s why she cheered me on, or if she just assumed the rivers running down my face were sweat, but those 9 words from that stranger changed my run. 

It was brave of me to get out and run this morning when what I really wanted to do was eat a pack of chocolate Pop-tarts for breakfast, take my daughter to school in my pajamas and go back to bed! It was brave of me to get out there and run when I knew I wouldn’t be able to go as fast or as far as I use to be able to go. 

There was a time when I was running 5K’s in about 27 minutes; today’s 5K took about 34 minutes. But that’s ok because after I met that woman I started thinking about perspective, and realized that whether I ran a 9 minute mile or an 11 minute mile, I ran a mile!! And because I was running slower today, I got to spend 7 extra (guilt-free) minutes outside enjoying a beautiful day and doing something I love! And even though I was running slow, I was running faster than all my friends who were sitting at home in their pajamas eating Pop-tarts! And the 34 minutes I spent running this morning did way more for my body and mind than hours on the couch would have! 
When I got home from my run, after I wiped off the sweat and caught my breath, I went to the 
Sweet Spot Skirt online store and ordered a running shirt that says “Run Happy, Run Grumpy, Run Speedy, Run Slow, Run A Little, Run A Lot, Just Run”

Where ever you are on your fitness journey, whether you’re a seasoned runner, or you’re just starting out; if you’re running at your top speed, or like me, you’re trying to get back to where you use to be, enjoy it! Take a minute to access and change your perspective if you need to. Just run!