In The Spirit of Spontaneity

Spontaneous isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself. I’m generally a person who likes to ‘follow the rules’ and act on safe, benign impulses. Like picking a crazy color of nail polish. (I am struggling to think of the last time I was brazenly impulsive before this weekend!) But these past few weeks have been hit with streak of spontaneity.

Last weekend, after (not much) peer pressuring, I found myself at a tattoo shop getting my nose pierced.

Spontaneous // lgsmash.com

A photo posted by lynne petre (@lgsmash) on

I’d been considering getting my nose pierced for quite some time but wasn’t sure I was gutsy enough to actually follow through. After hearing that it doesn’t really leave a mark on my nose if I decided to take it out in the future, I was sold. Heidi, Paige and I stopped in a local shop in Boulder during the Blend Retreat and Heidi and I walked out with new jewelry in our noses. (A true ‘safe’ spontaneous decision = if I hate my spontaneous nose piercing, I can take it out with limited repercussions.)

Following up that spontaneous weekend decision is another slightly spontaneous activity! This weekend, we’re dropping Philly off at her favorite kennel, leaving work early and hitting the road for Salt Lake City! Our good friend Alex will be checking out the city as a potential future home so we decided a quick 8 hour drive to spend a few quality days with our friend was the right choice. It’s a long drive but I’m excited about the micro-advenutre (despite the rain in the forecast in SLC).

Catch ya later, Denver!

#ORInsightLab Review: Women’s Ferrosi Hoody

Disclosure: I’m participating in Outdoor Research’s (OR) #ORInsightLab to help test gear and offer feedback. This shell jacket was provided to me at no cost but, as always, opinions are my own. You can find my other OR Insight Lab reviews here.

The past few weeks have been unusually gray and rainy in Denver. While many people are grumbling about living in Seattle, I’ve enjoyed the change of pace and know our state could use the rain (but wonder why this moisture couldn’t have graced us a few months earlier for ski season!). I’ll admit it’s a bit weird to be 45* a few days before Memorial Day but summer will show up soon.

The misty rain has given me a great opportunity to put the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody to the test with wet pre- and post-work running in Denver.

#ORInsightLab Ferosi Hoody // lgsmash

The first thing I noticed about this jacket is how lightweight it is. At only 11 oz., this jacket is super light and incredibly comfortable to wear; it also fits into the tiny little spaces in a very full pack for a climbing or backpacking trip.

I also really love the stretch and flex this jacket has. I expected the nylon/spandex body to be flexible but I really appreciated how stretchy the jacket actually is. While it’s been too rainy to go climbing, I’m really excited to climb outside in the coming weeks with this jacket

ORInsightLab Ferosi Hoody //lgsmash.com

This weekend at the 2015 Blend Retreat in Boulder, I wore the Ferrosi jacket on 2 day hikes – first, in the morning when it was a bit chilly as the sun warmed the air and second, when it was windy on top of the Flatirons trail as weather began blowing in. In both instances, I appreciated how the Ferrosi performed, keeping me warm but not overheated – the Ferrosi jacket is super breathable!

The upcoming weeks (er, weekends) bring with it exciting adventure plans – a road trip to Salt Lake City, Colorado rock climbing and 14er peak bagging – all of which are perfect for this lightweight, durable soft shell jacket. Count on an end-of-summer update for this jacket, too, when I’ll share exactly how this jacket held up.

Cairn Jumping // lgsmash.com

Overall thoughts? Really digging this lightweight softshell jacket. The breathability of this jacket to help keep you from overheating when exerting effort in windy or rainy weather is much appreciated!

Buy it: Women’s Ferrosi Hoody / outdoorresearch.com (or at REI here) <– not affiliate links

And, just for fun, a jumping gif in a cairn field in Boulder.

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Sponsored Post: No More Smelly Gear With HEX Performance

You know that really funky smell your athletic gears acquires – sometimes even after you’ve washed it? In our apartment, we have lots of smelly outdoor and athletic wear that, despite washing with a name brand ‘sport’ detergent, we can’t shake the funk. In particular, I had a pair of putrid synthetic climbing shoes in desperate need of a wash that truly rid the shoes of their smell. (I promise I don’t smell in real life…that much!)

HEX Performance reached out recently to ask if I’d be interested in trying their new suite of cleaners and I readily opted in. Per the brand, HEX Performance has developed the first and only system designed specifically to clean and protect today’s performance gear and apparel. Products include: Ultra+Dual Action Gear Wash, Power+ Laundry Detergent, and On Demand+ Spray and Go. HEX was developed by major league lacrosse player, Drew Westervelt, a professional athlete who knows first-hand how tough it can be to get those odors out of apparel and gear; you know if a major league lacrosse player can get a funky smell out of his gear, the stuff is legit.

HEX Performance // lgsmash.com

I’ve only used the Power+ Laundry Detergent thus far but already I’m impressed with the output. I washed a load of towels Philly sleeps on and bath towels that have that ‘old towel’ smell. One load later and the towels came out smelling…clean! Not like the febreez-y smell of the detergent I use now, there was a noticeably absent scent at all.

Next, I decided to go big or go home; I washed my climbing shoes. Because they are synthetic and not leather, I felt comfortable throwing these in the washing machine with cold water and Power+ detergent. When I pulled the shoes out of the machine, I was so excited to have clean, not smelly climbing shoes! Success!

I’m excited to experiment with the other products too, especially the On Demand Spray. This will be perfect to ‘spot clean’ and treat my climbing shoes after a morning workout or yoga mat after a particularly sweaty class. I’ll provide a more comprehensive review once I’ve used all products a number of times.

Wanna try HEX for yourself? HEX Performance will be at all Targets in Colorado and Georgia this weekend demoing the product and handing out samples and discounts. Swing by your local Target on Saturday, 5/16 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. to check out HEX in person!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and provided product by HEX Performance. As always, all opinions are my own.

Currently… (May)

Currently (May) // lgsmash.com

…working lots of hours; rewarding hours but lots of hours, nonetheless

…feeling very sleepy in the mornings this week (almost enough to consider drinking coffee again. Almost.)

…drawing on my snapchats

…snuggling my puppy who has decided to start hopping up on the bed (yay!!)

…learning how to use a fancy pants camera!

…(trying) to meticulously plan out my summer (what do they say about ‘best laid plans’?)

…loving being part of a book club (keeping me accountable to *actually* finish a book)

…hitting up the REI Anniversary Sale to buy myself beautiful new climbing shoes

…looking forward to hanging out with some of my favorite BLENDS this weekend

Thoughts on Hosting Visitors

Echo Lake, Mt. Evans // lgsmash.com

This weekend, my father-in-law scheduled a long Denver layover on his way out to San Diego for work and we spent 2 full days with him. Alex and I stressed about the right activities to do, wanting to make sure his visit was THE BEST as it was his first time out to see us and his first time to Denver as a visitor – he’d previously only traveled through Denver for work.

We ended up spending 2 terrific days just being together. We showed him our favorite restaurants, the parks we love, the gym where we climb, our old apartment, where our offices are. We ate great food and marveled how much construction is happening around Denver (SO MUCH!) and drove into the mountains to just be in fresh, mountain air for a few minutes before dropping him off at the airport.

So often, we forget that visitors don’t care about DOING ALL THE THINGS! They just want to spend time with the people they love, glimpsing into the lives we live in a city far away.

In a season of chaos and uncertainty in my life, it felt grounding to just BE and not DO. To just soak in the slow time together, catch up on hilarious stories and share our city with family.

FMS Screening at Therapydia Denver

[DISCLOSURE: Therapydia offered me a free Functional Movement Screening (FMS) in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts below are my own.]

It’s no secret that with my job change last year, I found myself with a lot less free time and a lot less motivation to get out and exercise. In recent months, I’ve made it a high priority to fit in a work out – climbing before work, a run at lunch or after work, longer walks with Philly. When the fine folks at Therapydia Denver reached out and asked if I was interested in a Functional Movement Screening to assess current limitations or deficiencies to avoid injury, my interest was piqued. I know I’m not in prime fitness shape so I was interested in an analysis of where I could focus on improving.

I scheduled an appointment and visited Therapydia Denver before work on a Wednesday morning. The office is located just outside downtown proper (Lincoln and 8th, for the locals) and is nestled inside a gym.

FMS Screening - Therapydia Denver // lgsmash.com

When I arrived, I met Casey McNitt, Clinic Director, and Josh Hardy, Physical Therapist. I sat down with Casey for a few minutes before we started the screening to chat about my background, his background and what makes Therapydia different.

The first thing I loved about Therapydia is that both Casey and Josh are active – Josh even climbs at Movement, like I do! Because they’re active, they understand the passion athletes and active people have for recovering from an injury or getting stronger/better in their fitness.

Casey has also worked with NFL and NHL teams in preventative and rehab roles – so he knows what he’s talking about! Both Casey and Josh have significant experience but talk to patients in language we non-medical-world folks can understand. Through my many knee surgeries over the years, I’ve definitely encountered my faire share of PTs who did not speak in easy-to-understand lingo so Casey and Josh’s approach is much appreciated.

After our chat, it was time to start the screening!

The objective of the FMS screening is to identify potential areas of concern that could lead to injury. The whole process took 20 minutes and involved me doing a series of movements while Casey recored my ‘points’ based on how cleanly I was able to perform the movement. These movements measured flexibility and strength of key muscle groups; the lower the points I earned, the more prone to injury I am in that muscle group.

FMS Screening - Therapydia Denver // lgsmash.com

As I completed the movements, Casey explained the points I earned for each and recorded it in the FMS online system. At the end of the session, Casey reviewed my results with me on his iPad, highlighting exercises I can do to improve a few key areas (glutes and back/core strength, overall flexibility) and let me know that I’d receive detailed results through an email.

FMS Screening - Therapydia Denver // lgsmash.com

I’ve definitely made it a point to start incorporating the exercises after a run and I’m focusing on stretching before and after any exercise where I usually jump straight into the activity and jump straight out when I’m done.

For me, the FMS reinforced my need to make strength training – no matter how minor – part of my regularly scheduled fitness routine. I’m not as spry and bendy as I used to be and doing the same ol’ same ol’ exercises won’t yield effective results. I need to build and maintain a muscular base if I expect to get any better at climbing/running/backpacking/etc.

If you’re a Denver athlete or fitness enthusiast, I’d highly recommend the FMS screening with Dr. Casey and the Therapydia Denver team to learn about where you can improve your strength and flexibility.

Currently…(April)

…sharing a Day in the Life video I made with SnapChats! Sadly, the time stamp did not save on the video clips so I had to settle for two different fonts.

…trying on bridesmaid dresses getting excited about upcoming weddings!

…setting aside time to read pages of a real book each day.

…planning a summer road trip with my most favorite person to a few really awesome places.

…making 30+ ‘active’ minutes every day a high priority (thank you, FitBit!)

…remembering my One Little Word of 2015 and years past (light! focus! perspective! Funny how these previous words still weave their message into my life).

…eating donuts for Friday breakfast.

…smiling.

 

Local Love: Stonewear Designs + Stem Cider Event!

Calling all Denver local ladies!

Next week, one of my favorite Colorado companies, Stonewear Designs, is hosting a fun night of shopping and cider at Stem Ciders next Tuesday!

Stonewear will be showcasing their new Spring line that is SO COMFY and super flattering as well as raffling off prizes and giveaway. And did I mention ciders are $2 for 10? Yum!

If you plan on stopping by, let me know! I’ll be there and would love to say hi!

Stonewear+Stem-Ciders-Flyer-FINAL

Some Things I’ve Learned From My FitBit

I recently bought myself a FitBit Flex for a number of reasons, namely not prioritizing exercise, failing to take good care of my mental or physical health, gaining a few pounds, among others.

When people ask me if I like it, I’m quick to say that I have a very love/hate relationship with it. I love that it’s forcing me to think about moving more during the work day but hate that I know know I don’t move nearly often enough. (Although, I love that it’s inspired small changes in my daily routine to negate the not-moving-enough part.)Things I've Learned From FitBit // lgsmash.com I’ve only been wearing this little guy for just over a month but I’ve learned some things in this short time.

1. 1000 steps is a lot farther than I thought.

2. Flights of stairs are a lot harder than I remembered.

3. The Friends list on my FitBit dashboard is a lot less fun when I’m constantly stuck at #12 or 13 of 15 people.

4. Long lunchtime walks are best done NOT in flats (hello, blisters!).

5. But wearing gym shoes with jeans? Too much pride.

6. We’re walking to dinner nearby rather than drive (embarrassingly, we’ve driven to dinner at restaurants definitely within walking distance. A long walk, but still a walk. I’ll argue it was winter…)

7. Non-walking activities (hi, climbing and yoga) don’t count for steps but do count for ‘Active Minutes’ – which is great…but doesn’t help me move up on my friends list! (see #3).

8. Philly loves the extra long walks as much as I do. Morning or evening, I’m finding the time extremely valuable for my mental health – either as solo thinking time or an opportunity to call family or friends.

9. Knowing how few steps I walk in a workday has kicked my butt to get up before work and move because I sure as hell have a hard time doing it after work.

10. You have to define your own success. I can see how easy it would be to get wrapped up in the numbers and rankings to mentally unravel and feel dissatisfied and hard on oneself. I know 10,000 steps is really hard for me during the week so I aim to get 7,000 steps in – a goal I can hit and still HUGE increase from the 1,500-2,500 on a ‘normal’ workday. And as much as I don’t like seeing my low ranking amongst my friends, I know that yoga for an hour or climbing with my friends or biking to work is just as important as walking for an hour. And some days will just suck and 10,000 steps (or 7,000) is unattainable. But that’s fine. The world will go on and the FitBit will buzz at 10,000 steps another day.

Homemade Funfetti Birthday Cake

Most years, I make my own birthday dessert. I may not enjoy cooking but I really enjoy baking. When Alex offered to make my cake this year, I was giddy thinking about what I would pick for him to make! I took my sweet time mulling over my decision and eventually landed on a funfetti cake with chocolate frosting. If funfetti caked doesn’t scream birthday, I don’t know what does!

Little did I expect that my husband would dive into birthday cake baking head first and make a funfetti cake from scratch! He used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and the cake is delicious.

Homemade Funfetti Cake // lgsmash.com

Homemade Funfetti Cake // lgsmash.com

Homemade Funfetti Cake // lgsmash.com I won’t post recipe details because I had nothing to do with the making of this cake! I will say that if you find yourself in need of a funfetti cake, my first time cake-baking husband recommends this one as its easy to follow and his wife found it really tasty.