Friday Favorites [& a Giveaway!]

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m hoping to get back into regular blogging again. I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump – I’ve been preparing meals, but haven’t been creating anything particularly noteworthy but I have high hopes that’ll change soon. Plus, now that I’m back to running I’ll hopefully be able to talk about that more, too! That being said, let’s kick off my attempt at getting back to blogging with some of my current favorite things. I also have a giveaway for you at the bottom of this post!

Kate Spade Saturday + New Balance Collaboration Cross Training Sneakers

When I saw these badboys on Instagram, I knew I had to have them. I run in New Balance 1400s (I currently have three pairs of v1’s stocked in my closet and ready to go) and I absolutely love Kate Spade. Since becoming a runner, I never really spent time to buy myself sneakers other than ones I planned to run in – I’d usually just use older running sneakers when cross training or needing to throw on a pair to go outside for something quick.


Now that I’m trying to be better about cross training (hello Refine) I knew I should have a solid pair of sneakers to wear – not just a pair of old running shoes (that are developing holes in the upper). They had quite a few different prints to choose from, and while I was first drawn to the floral print as well as the all-over stripes, I eventually settled on a pair of black 810’s with stripes on the soles. I figured they were still fun, but in an unassuming kind of way. I’ve worn them twice now since getting them on Tuesday and I absolutely love them. They manage to be both lightweight and supportive, and I love the funky soles!


Hindsight is a new TV show on VH1, and I’m obsessed with it. As soon as I saw the previews for it I was excited to watch, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It’s based on a woman that grew up in the 90’s and is suddenly transported back in time right before her second wedding. She’s given the opportunity to live her life again knowing what she does about the future.


Getting to relive some of the trends and things that were “cool” when I was growing up is so much fun. And it makes me really glad most 90’s fashions are no longer a thing.

Good Eats in Rochester, NY

This past weekend I had a chance to visit my sister in Rochester, NY thanks to a flash sale from JetBlue for $32 each way tickets. Everyone always says that I’m such a great cook and so creative, but my little sister is seriously impressive. You name, it she can make it… and a lot of times without a recipe! So in addition to her awesome cooking, we made sure to get some good eats out too, because Rochester has a really impressive food scene!

Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!
Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!

When I first visited my sister in Rochester back in 2011, we went to Sticky Lips BBQ. Even though I’m a vegetarian, their fried pickles and vegetarian Sticky Icky Plate were two of my favorites, so I insisted on going back this visit. My sister also discovered a new yoga studio not too far from her apartment that in addition to yoga classes, they have an awesome boutique and juice bar. While my sister doesn’t practice yoga, she does enjoy smoothies and juices, so she took me there for breakfast on Sunday before the Super Bowl. I got a smoothie with peanut butter, dates, bananas, and almond milk, and it was SO delicious. I just wish there was a cute little yoga studio like that near me!

Yoga Challenges

Quite a few people I follow on Instagram are really into yoga and do challenges frequently. So when I saw one for arm balances in January I figured I’d give it a try. I quickly realized that there were a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I just couldn’t do. But there were also a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I could do!


I’m trying to get better at having a more well-rounded approach to my fitness and running (hello Refine Method), so doing yoga at least once a week has been on my to-do list. The challenges have helped me try things I wouldn’t normally try, and it’s an extra opportunity to practice patience (which I am not so great at) and perseverance. I definitely want to keep working on my yoga – I know that it’ll help me get my core stronger, which I’m constantly reminded is so important.

SEPO Sauce

I’ll be the first to admit that I love condiments. I’m always looking for something to use as a dip or spread – and I’m not ashamed of it! You can usually find me spreading dijon mustard on my sandwiches, hot sauce on my pizza, dunking my french fries into BBQ sauce, and more. So when I was contacted and asked if I’d be interested in giving SEPO Sauce a try and doing a giveaway with it, I couldn’t resist. The sauce is creamy with a hint of garlic and horseradish, and it reminded me a lot of Caesar dressing, only better. I’ve used it on a bunch of different sandwiches (grilled cheese, egg and avocado, etc.), as a dip for french fries, as well as with salad. My jar is almost empty… and I want more!


Luckily, I have a jar to give to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me something you’re loving lately. I’ll randomly pick a winner by Tuesday 2/10 at 9pm EST!

Update: The giveway is closed! Thanks to the winner of the SEPO Sauce is commenter #7 – EMG!


Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 17

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

In 2013, I’ve run 13 races (with another one or two on the schedule before the year ends), and I’ve PR’d in almost every distance I’ve raced (5k, 5 mile, 10k, half marathon) all wearing the same sneakers – my Mizuno Wave Rider 15’s. I got my first pair of Mizunos in July 2012 when I was in the middle of training for the Chicago Marathon (which I also PR’d). I fell in love with them, and immediately ordered 2 additional pairs to have available for when I ran through the others. I always hear horror stories about re-designs to a runner’s beloved shoe that makes them unwearable, and I was afraid of that. By the time I got through my three pairs of Mizuno Wave Rider 15’s, it was almost time for the 17’s, which I had only heard wonderful things about. Still, I was skeptical. So when the opportunity to give them a try presented itself, I knew I had to. I’ve run in the Wave Rider 17’s three times now (4 milers each time), and while I’m sure my thoughts on them will continue to evolve over time, I do have some initial thoughts and opinions about them. 

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 |

The first thing I did when I received the sneakers was to compare them side by side with my Wave Rider 15’s. The first thing I noticed: the weight. They feel significantly lighter than my 15’s! A big contributing factor is the updated and seam-free forefoot, similar to the Wave Sayonara that launched this past summer. Other than that, they seemed to be similar to the 15’s in that they didn’t feel wildly different when I put them on. I did notice that I had more room in them than with my 15’s. I’m typically a size 8-8.5 in regular shoes and generally size up a half size to a full size in running sneakers depending on the brand and their fit. I’ve worn a 9.5 in all other Mizuno shoes I have, but I think I would be better with a 9 in these (my feet seem to kind of slip around a bit).

Wave Rider 15's on the left, Wave Rider 17's on the right
Wave Rider 15’s on the left, Wave Rider 17’s on the right

So how do they feel on the run? Great! All of the things that I loved about the Wave Rider 15’s are still there, but in a lighter version. I noticed that I felt closer to the ground when I was running, which is something I like, as my main gripe with the 15’s (aside from their weight) was that I sometimes felt a little disconnected from the ground. I’ll admit that I wasn’t really a fan on my first run – they felt stiff, I didn’t tie them right, and I just had that “but I want my old sneakers!” feeling. But now that I’ve worn them three times, they’re growing on me. I’m looking forward to logging some serious miles with them!

Bottom line (for those of you tl;dr):
– Lighter than the previous Wave Rider versions
– Runs a little bigger, so you likely will only need to go up half a size from your regular shoe size
– Awesome color options
– Great light neutral running shoe (you can do everything from a speed workout to a long run in them)
– They’re available as of December 5th, so get to your local running store to check them out!

Tell me…
What’s your favorite brand of running shoe? 

Are you wary of model updates like I am? 

Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

I first fell in love with Mizuno running shoes about a year ago. I headed to my local running store with every intention of simply replacing my worn down Brooks Ghost 4 with the 5’s. Instead of just grabbing the shoes and leaving, I decided to do a gait analysis and let the sales associates make some suggestions. I had felt like a Brooks loyalist, but was open to trying new shoes if it meant a more comfortable ride. I was happy that the Ghost were among the shoes suggested to me, but so was the Mizuno Wave Rider 15. I put them on and was immediately sold… I didn’t even have to jog around the store like they encourage. Here I am a year later on my third pair, and I’ve even added a pair of racing flats (Wave Ronin) to the mix. So when the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the Mizuno Wave Sayonara became available through Fitfluential, I immediately signed up and crossed my fingers. I received the shoes about 2 weeks ago, and have been running in them more and more ever since.

Wave Sayonara

Admittedly when I started running I didn’t know anything about running shoes, and I’m far from an expert. I ran my very first race in a pair of year old Nike Shox; thinking about that now makes me cringe. As I’ve gotten more and more into running, though, I’ve learned to appreciate the importance of a good shoe, and come to understand what different types of shoes can do for different types of running. I also like the idea of being able to switch it up throughout the week – putting the same shoes on day after day isn’t much fun anyway. While I’m far from a serious shoe hoarder (I’ve seen pictures of some of your closets!) I have no problem keeping quite a few pairs of good shoes in rotation.

Now onto the important stuff: the shoes. I wanted to take my time with them and try a few different runs over the course of the two weeks I had them in order to get a good feel. The Wave Sayonara feels very much like my Wave Riders, so it was easy to put them on and just start running, even though they’re almost a full two ounces lighter. The Wave Riders are 9 ounces, while the Sayonara are only 7.1 ounces of awesome. I am picky when it comes to the upper of my sneaker because my feet are sensitive and too much “junk” up top can leave my metatarsals and phalanges sore. These definitely embrace the less-is-more mantra and are minimal when it comes to fabric and material on top (which I love). They also have textured laces and notches on the shoes themselves which help keep them in place. The soles have awesome traction (I took them out in the rain and didn’t feel like I was slipping at all), and the colors are nice and bright just like all of the Mizuno shoes. I tried to come up with a Pro and Con list, but could honestly only come up with one negative; the laces are on the shorter side which can be tricky for a double knotter (like me).

These sneakers have been worn on easy runs, long-ish runs (10 miles), and tempo runs… And also video-ing runs, as you can see from above. They’ve been great, and everyone that I’ve talked to who also has a pair seems to love them just as much as I do. In fact, fellow Mizuno obsessed runner Ashley and I decided to put together a little speed workout to celebrate the Sayonara launch. We figured strides would be a quick, fun, and easy workout for anyone and everyone to do. The whole point of a stride is to add some quick turnover work, that can really be done at any point within a workout, and even after any kind of workout. What do I mean by that? I mean that at the end of a 10 mile run, in theory, you should still have enough energy to throw in a few strides. This particular workout is stride-specific, meaning you’re really just focusing on those sprint bursts with an easy mile on each side. I’ve found that in the event you aren’t on a track, simply starting off easy and picking it up to a full sprint for about 30-40 seconds total will get you about 100 meters, give or take. Feel free to take a few seconds rest in between each stride, but you shouldn’t need more than 15 seconds or so.

Sprints Workout | &

So the bottom line is that yes, these shoes were sent to me to review, but I would absolutely spend my own money on them. I’m a Mizuno fan that had high hopes for these shoes, and these definitely didn’t disappoint. They’re available as of July 5th, so go and check them out!

Do you wear different sneakers for different kinds of runs?