Made By Nike...


images from here

So I may have done something a little stupid, crazy, and downright impulsive today... yea those three words sum up my actions quite nicely actually... but all in a good way!!! Ive been thinking about it... day dreaming and fantasizing about it... it's even on been on my 30 before 30 list (I'll have that updated soon!) for quite a few years and is why I started applying to half marathons in the first place. What in the world am I talking about?!? Running a marathon!!! So after four halves and other smaller races under my belt, I decided to jump in the deep end and sign up for the Virgin Atlantic Marathon 2013!!! I decided I wanted to make 2013 THE YEAR and will try by all means possible (ie. ballot and/or charity place) to make this happen... I mean 30 is only 3 years away so...

And the delicious eye candy accompanying this post is from Made By Nike. Have you checked it out yet? It's a great way to showcase their current season's line while also highlighting some very inspirational and gorgeous women... Nike, if you are listening... I'd looove to pose for you all! ;)

***Today I am thankful for this burning feeling inside me that is helping me push forward and carve my own path... it's full speed ahead and you are either with me or stepping out of the way!!!***


A Birthday Outfit...


cardigan: express | belt: bottega veneta | dress: the gap | tights: target | socks: kmart | boots: urban outfitters | bracelet: mint julep | lipstick: m.a.c.


Happy 27 Years Of Life!!!


Hello, hello love bugs! So my birthday week (yep I insisted on a week this yr!) came and went... and Ive been doing a lot of soul searching, figuring out ways to be a wiser and a better self... with another year comes new responsibilities right? Been laying low and planning things out for myself... life, career, goals, running/fitness, etc... but I'm back and extra eager to share my birthday festivities!!! For those of you that don't know, I am a designer and obsessed with buttons!!! I made this really cool corset for my senior collection that was sheer and was completely covered in hand sewn buttons, covering the ta-tas and then trickling down... a time consuming and heavy masterpiece if I say so myself! Another fun fact about me... I like the idea of discreet, slightly hidden tattoos for me. For my 24th birthday I got a tiny dress form behind my left ear. And so after years of yearning and trying to convince hubs (he's not too keen on tats), the sweetheart surprised me with my button tattoos as my gift... best gift ever by the way!!!

I had it all planned out... I knew exactly the style and where I wanted them... it had just been a matter of doing it! We headed to Prick, where the lovely Adam and I exchanged ideas and thoughts. To anyone looking to get some tattoos done in London, I would highly recommend this place! A lovely hidden shop with some of the best artists Ive seen and great customer service. Adam and I struggled on placement a bit and played around with a lot of options (thanks for being so patient!) but I figured if there was ever a time to be picky, now was it! Once that was figured out, the pain began... and I mean pain like Ive never felt before! I had heard the foot was a painful spot because of all the bony areas but omgoodness... by far the most painful out of my other two. There were two levels of pain... just about bearable... and then as soon as I was getting used to it, he would start a different area and the pain level was kicked up a few notches! I remember silently thinking to myself "you can handle the pain, you ran a half marathon when you couldn't even do a mile in the past... and you want to run a marathon in the future so suck it up!" Just gotta be a little hard on myself sometimes ;)

After all that was done, I hobbled out of there with hubs and continued celebrating. We met up with friends in Camden that had thrown together a surprise little shing ding for me!!! In hind sight, maybe tattooing my foot on the same day that we had planned to salsa dance into the wee hours wasn't the best of ideas, but that didn't stop me! At The Cuban, we drank some delicious cocktails and I danced to the music of my Abuelo's roots. It was perfect! Everyone was really impressed with hub's dance moves too, and by the way he was teaching the other guys, you would have thought he was a pro! True, he did pick up some Latin dance moves back home this past xmas, and the boy has got some serious rhythm for a white boy! I remember my mom saying "he can roll his r's and move to a beat, he could have been Hispanic in another life". And if all this wasn't enough, I got some pretty amazing gifts, cards, emails, calls, tweets, and facebook messages... definitely felt the love from all over the world!!! So here's to another year... I am feeling unusually optimistic about the future (truth be told, I had originally planned to turn 25 for the rest of my life) and have realized I need to take control and make things happen for myself!!!

***Today I am thankful for such a great hubs, family, and friends that truly made my birthday feel special... I felt the love from near and far!!!***


A Week In Instagrams 4.19.12


Hi lovelies! Hows everything going? Good I hope!!! Well just wanted to let you guys in on a little secret... this week has officially been declared my birthday week... by me... because it's my birthday on Sunday... and I can!!! Didn't now you could do that hu? Well I did and it's official too. It's been all over Twitter... well my feed anyways. Here are a few ways the week (starting on Monday) has been special so far... 

1. free furniture... who doesn't like that?!? 2. coffee in bed made by hubs... made with love too! 3. reorganizing my career/life goals and feeling confident about it again... time to grow up! 4. reinstating the domestic goddess in the kitchen... aka my alter ego when I cook 5. booking my flight to Boston to see little k graduate... celebrating for sure 6. physio making me feel good about my running again... scheming some new running goals that may include track! 7. treating myself to a little dark chili chocolate... bitter and spicy! 

So there you go guys... and it's only Thursday so I can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store. Oh and if anyone wants to send me presents, I love pink, sparkly, and diamonds... 

p.s. I live in London!

 1. happy friday indeed!!! 2. good evening camden town 3. oscar milo ladies night 4. a sushi feast at hi sushi 5. pre dinner snack at vintage emporium 6. cake doctor's lovely launch party spread 7. sunday walk home 8. my shadow knows me best 9. st. leonard's shoreditch church 10. yummy sampler at mason & taylor 11. hubs & the bright blue sofa 12. sitting in the sun 13. banned from shoe buying 14. mushroom stuffed with shepard's pie 15. giddy up coffee 16. it's coming!!! (the olympics) 17. home sweet home... less 18. shrimp quesadilla inspired by maraferreira

Awkward- Feeling surprising cheery and full of energy on Friday the 13th... I mean who said it was an unlucky anyways?!? The service at Hi Sushi... sigh, it was such a lovely ladies night... the food and atmosphere were superb... and then the waiters had to go and mess it all up... RUDE to say the least and I would add them to the boycott list if not for the fact that I haven't found many good sushi places in London yet so I'll give them another chance... but only one more! Writing a cover letter from a totally new angle... if you haven't heard yet, I'm available for work and will work for peanuts!!! The weather... omgoodness it's been nuts over here! April showers with mixed sunshine, grey skies, crazy winds, and drastic chills... Spring... are you out there?!? Moving furniture into our building... from across the street... a two-way street with lots of traffic... Rearranging our flat with our lovely new furniture thanks to hubs! Man oh man we must have tried a bunch of options (even did a paper cutout version) till we found the perfect setup... and it only took all night and caused one fight! Missing a RDC session, firstly to catch up on work and secondly because I can't run yet... sad times... Physio... but only because it was my first time... ever... and I didn't know what to expect... but it was fine =)

Awesome- The Oscar Milo ladies night reunion we had!!! It was the past, present, and future shop girls... so much was caught up on and just as much was gossiped about... all over scrumptious sushi and drinks of course... Coffee and cake dates with hubs... I have to say of all the things that have become a ritual of sorts in our marriage, I think that one is my favorite!!! Speaking of cake... the delicious cakes Cake Doctor had to offer... I tried at least five different ones and liked them all... and I don't even like cake normally! Not to mention getting to mingle with some RDC characters... The lovely walk I enjoyed on Sunday and because I was by myself, you know I stopped and took pictures of EVERYTHING!!! An improv double date that led us from pub to pub... great conversation to more great conversation... perfect all in all... Our new set up!!! The flat looks cozier and homier than ever and I just have to snap away so you guys can see... maybe I'll make it it's own post... Oh and added bonus, we got the new stuff for free!!! Who doesn't love free stuff?!? The new graffiti spotted around the hood... always brings a smile to my face... Physio (I know I also said it was awkward) because now I actually know what's wrong with my foot and what to do to improve it... to prevent injuries in the future... and when I can (roughly) run again!!! So it turns out I have weak calves... And officially declaring this week MY BIRTHDAY WEEK because it's MY BIRTHDAY on SUNDAY and so I can... and because I'M AWESOME!!!

***Today I am thankful for physio... man what wonders a little sports massage and exercise can make... I'll be running stronger in no time!!!***


Just Dreamy...


images from here

Always on the hunt for inspiration in one form or another, I literally stopped in my tracks when I came across these dreamy pictures!!! Just the perfect sort of visuals for this grey and gloomy, rainy London day. I really love how colorful while still subdued Amanda Pratt's first images are. They really do remind me of the bubbles and rainbows. The last couple of images have a more rich, saturated feel to them while still being fairly muted. Basically I couldn't get enough and just ended up scrolling through her entire portfolio... possibly pinning way too much... but all in the name of sharing! An added bonus, she does children photography too!!! Check out my favorite eye candies on my other blog, chi.qui.ti.tos but beware... there is an overload of cuteness going on over there!!!

***Today I am thankful for such great inspirations such as these lovely images... take that rainy day blues***


Coachella Inspired...


So it's no secret... I seriously heart Coachella... and thanks to the wonderful powers that is the blogging world, twitter, and instagram, I feel like Ive been able to enjoy it all the way from London!!! Well not quiet the same as actually being there but you know, certainly the next best thing. I mean talk about non stop greatness overflowing all of my social media feeds... everything from dreamy music, hippie style fashions, and yummy celebs... cause who doesn't like spying on celebs! It has been some serious stimulation overload... in a good way! Seeing some of my favorite artists on the line up sheet has convinced me to add a music festival of some sort (preferably Coachella) to my list of 30 before 30. But for today... I close my eyes to the grey rains and hail outside... listen to my Coachella inspired playlist... and imagine myself somewhere far, far away... dressed cutely and soaking up some serious sun... you can join me too!

image from here

my fave 10...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful for music... cliche I know but I just couldn't live without it***


I Would Run To You...


Because I love running (sometimes)... I love Nike (always)... and I love commercials that tell a tale of romance and include some sort of singing (yes really!) Here's to a happy Sunday, enjoy!

***Today I am thankful for ads like these... both girly and athletic... making me feel good***


Rainy Day Walk...


Nothing makes me happier than long walks with hubs... well except for maybe long walks in the rain with hubs... by the train tracks... with a bright fuchsia umbrella and my camera... oh happy days!


***Today I am thankful rainy days and long walks with hubs... both peaceful and romantic***


Greene King IPA Crafted For The Moment...


my styled look for the ad with fake glasses...

Some of you guys may know this... some of you may not... but hubs works in advertising. What this means for me you may be asking? It means I should add being an "extra" on my resume. Remember back last September I shared with you guys my adventures on the Clover Ad set? Well now you can see the final ad (hub's mom is in a peach top reaching for a crumpet!) So I had made it all the way to the final cut when the clients decided to take me out as I was "too pretty and not believable"... can you believe that?!? I mean I am a real person, I'm not a model, and I do eat butter... I was left speechless the way only a backhanded compliment can do. So it seems I'm more believable as a beer drinker and I think I like that better anyways! You can spot hubs and I kissing in the new Greene King IPA ad and if you pay really good attention, other snippets of us throughout. So about the kiss... well let me just say it's really awkward to kiss... over and over again... on demand... without drinking (did I mention all the "props" were non alcoholic!!!)... while everyone is watching... camera men and directors in your space... and me not being able to stop laughing. Yea, I'm pretty relieved that the final shot looks natural and real. Oh and Ive got a little secret... I have footage of a version that didn't air with me chugging my beer in the end but not sure if I'm allowed to release it... will find out since I don't want to get anyone in trouble... and if I'm cleared, you guys will get to see an exclusive one!

***Today I am thankful for the stylist that took one glance at me and said "perfect" as she placed these large tortoise shell glasses on my face... it was the last sign I needed to take the plunge in buying some over sized glasses***


A Week In Instagrams 4.13.12


I know I owe you guys a Berlin Race recap... and it has been in the works for about two weeks now! Ive got the pictures picked out and the layout ready to go and then I go to write and... well to say I get overwhelmed each time is an understatement. The thing is that the whole Berlin, Run Dem Crew, race, trip, etc. has been one of the best experiences in my life! And easily a highlight of life since moving over to London. So the post will come people... just be patient and somehow I'll find the words to express with you every last detail. For now enjoy the picture recap (because editing that was sooo much easier!) and enjoy my lovely week in instagrams below.

1. welcome to the family berlin medal!!! 2. rdc youngers 2012 photoshoot 3. mentors & youngers 4. my mentor stride 5. youngers on set 6. personal bio pictures 7. bus bound home for easter 8. lilly is sick!!! 9. oh dear ive caught it!!! 10. at the elm tree 11. the beale siblings 12. the non beales 13. successful easter egghunt 14. rosie & daddy in pink 15. it's the little details 16. walk in the rain 17. why hello there duckies! 18. domestic goddess is back!!!

Awkward- Forcing myself to rest and not run after Berlin... running on an injured foot, not the smartest but had to be done! Continuing to run on an injured foot post race, well that would be silly of me wouldn't it?!? Seeing how many medals Ive acquired... well not really awkward at all and pretty amazing except I can't help but think "I ran all these??? Me??? Who am I???" If you knew me back when, you'd understand... I hate(d) running... Seeing my face in the mirror after the makeup artist went to town on me for the shoot... looks natural in pictures but in person it was enough makeup for a week! Even more so was going to the pub with hubs after... with all the makeup still on... and in my running gear... I mean who seriously goes to the pub after a run?!? Oh and the fact that I am such a light weight (again) after not drinking during training months... That moment when my niece refers to hubs as "Jackie's friend"... when she's more related to him than me (secretly love it though!)... Sticking written on napkin pieces on our foreheads... with beer... at the pub... That feeling you get after having devoured your entire body wait and then some in Easter chocolates... Oh and the post race blues... seriously it's a real condition...

Awesome- That I can pretend to be Flavor Flav or Mr. T with all my medals around my neck while prancing around the flat saying things like "I pity the fool that has less medals than me"... but truth be told, I might have developed a slight medal addiction!!! The opportunity to be a mentor in the RDC Youngers program... I mean, me... mentoring... and on running of all subjects... the day has come when I must embrace my inner runner and help lead the way!!! That the youngers said I look like a runner... RDC, Nike, and RWD for making this project filled with running, photo shoots, writing, creativity, and growth possible!!! Easter weekend at the Beales with almost the whole family (minus James)... speaking of awesome, James cycling across the UK with End to End for charity is beyond amazing!!! Playing with my lovely nieces that are growing up way faster than I'd like... but then there's always chance of another one right Jess?!? The traditional Beale Easter egg hunt in the back garden... these guys take it pretty serious with some of their hiding spots! Rainy walks and chats with hubs... especially when we huddled under a very fuchsia umbrella... followed by spur of the moment style shoots... Baileys in my coffee... cause who needs flavoring or sugar really... The races Ive got planned for the upcoming months leading up for yet another half... I know!   

***Today I am thankful for long bank holiday weekends... not for me but hubs which I get to spend more time with because of***


Recipe: Sugar Cookies...

Ingredients: 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp.baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 3/4 granulated sugar, 1/4 cup packed lt. brown sugar, 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 cup unsalted butter, & 2 large eggs.
*How to make your own colored sugar & cookie cutter posts.

  1. I used this Martha Stewart recipe with a few tweaks for my cut out cookies. I substituted the 1 tbsp. of lemon zest for 1/2 tbsp. of vanilla extract. I also doubled this recipe since I wasn't sure how much dough I would need for my little guys. I ended up making 60 cookies with left over dough. Preheat oven to 176 C (350 F) to start and I found I had to lower it to 160 C (320 F) towards the end as my oven got too hot.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine all of your sugars and vanilla in a separate bowl, making sure to mix well. Add your slightly melted butter and keep mixing until pale and fluffy. One by one, add in your eggs followed by the lemon juice. Mix, mix, mix!
  3. Gradually start adding in your flour mixture. Dough should start turning thicker and sticky as you mix. If mixing by hand (like me!) think of this as an arm workout and get rid of as many bumps as possible. Transfer dough into a seal-able tupperwear and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to help harden for easier rolling. You can even leave it over night if you want.
  4. Once the dough has chilled for a couple of hours, take a few hand fulls out at a time to work with, leaving the rest in the fridge. Covering your work surface with flour also helps dough from sticking down. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into 1/2 mm thick sections and start cutting out your shapes.
  5. Put your colored sugar a small dish and place each cookie shape onto it to coat with sugar. You can lightly press down on the back with your fingers to help the sugar stick. Feel free to repeat this multiple times per cookie depending on the amount of sugar covering you want.
  6. Place your cut out and sugared cookies on baking trays lined with grease proof paper. I was able to reuse my grease proof paper which helped cut back on mess and time! Bake cookies in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and width of your cookies.
  7. Let your cookies cool down for 5 minutes on just the paper before transferring them to wire racks. Let cookies cool completely and then store them in your mouth, I mean tupperwear! Cookies should be good for about a week... assuming they last that long! You can also store the refrigerated dough for a couple of weeks.
  8. Ta-da... my Run Dem Crew inspired cookies!!! What do you think? Not bad hu?
***Today I am thankful that I still have left over batter in my fridge... might make me some more sugar cookies later!!!***


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