Archive | January, 2012

Training Plan for the Zooma Run Annapolis Half Marathon

26 Jan

I officially registered today for the Zooma Run Annapolis Half Marathon, and if I wasn’t already excited for the race, I’m super pumped now.  Remember earlier in the week when I laid out my own made up training plan?


Well guess what?! I didn’t have to do that, because one of the added bonuses for registering for this race is that THEY GIVE YOU ONE!  And it’s awesome.  Just look at the sign index and first week’s plan:


Yes, they’ve included a coffee cup as a symbol for “bail if you need to” That alone let’s me know that this is the kind of plan for me!  That and the title of the plan is “Finish the Race” because that’s my main goal!

It’s like Zooma knows me already!

Remember to click here: and use coupon code ANNCON3 to save $10 on the half marathon nad $5 on the 10K.

And by all means, share this code with your girlfriends!  Who’s running it with me?????



Zooma Run Annapolis Discount Code Coupon

23 Jan

June 2nd is 18 weeks and 5 days away which means I need to get a training plan together ASAP. I’ve never followed an actual plan written out by someone else, like Hal Higdon or joined one of the awesome groups at Charm City Run. Instead I’ve talked with my two favorite trainers in the world, both of whom have run several marathons, Stephen Holt of 29 Again Fitness and Melanie Thomas of Fit Mom Circuit Training.  And I’ve looked at the Hal Higdon plans and talked to other friends to what works best for me.

I like to work backwards from the race date to plot out my calendar and run my farthest distance two weeks prior to race day. I try to follow the 10% rule and increase my mileage around 10%, except I round up. I usually go 1 to 1.5 miles further each week for my long run and then I try to do 1-2 other runs each week that range in distance from 2 to 5 miles.

So for this half marathon my plan will look something like this:

Week of March 4th: Run 2 miles, Run 2 miles, Run 3 miles

Week of March 11th: Run 2 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles (Maybe Run the Shamrock 5k????)

Week of March 18th: Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles

Week of March 25th: Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles

Week of April 1st: Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 4 miles

Week of April 8th: Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 5 miles

Week of April 15th: Run 3 miles Run 3 miles, Run 5-6 miles

Week of April 22nd: Run 3 miles, Run 3 miles, Run 6-7 miles

Week of April 29th: Run 3 miles, Run 4 miles, Run 7-8 miles

Week of May 6th: Run 3 miles, Run 5 miles, Run 8-9.5 miles

Week of May 13th: Run 3 miles, Run 5 miles, Run 10-11.5 miles

Week of May 20th: REST WEEK so no more than 3 miles 2x’s

I’ve spread it out over 12 weeks and it’s a gradual increase that I am comfortable with.  And I start with just 2 miles.  Trust me, if I can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!

Over the course of the last 18 months I have learned that I am not a speedy runner.  At the height of my training I pr’ed in the Shamrock 5k with a 28 or 29 minute finish.  Which means I ran like a 9:30 or so mile.  For most of my running friends, that is what they consider a relaxed run. And this my friends is why I like half marathons, because my sense of pride and accomplishment comes not from running fast but from running far. 13.1 miles is a lot farther than most people run on a regular basis and so it makes me happy to know that I can do that.

I was athletically challenged in high school, never made a varsity sport and certainly didn’t pursue any sport in college.  Discovering my love of running my early 30’s is the first and only athletic accomplishment of my life.

Running through streets while crowds cheer, knowing that I’m doing something that many people chose not to, makes me proud, and makes me feel like an athlete. I love it!

Come on jump in, race and train with me and see why I love it! Also I’ve got a coupon code for the Zooma Annapolis Race, so you can save $10 when you register!!  Just go to and enter ANNCON3. 

Seriously, if you don’t run, now is the time to start and if you do run, please join me for this race! Let’s see how big a group we can get together!

The Perfect Bag has Been Made!

21 Jan

I’ve been on a quest my whole life to find the perfect bag.  But what makes up the perfect bag is always changing so I’ve never found it.

Until now!

I’ve been collecting ideas on Pinterest. And making test bags and scouring my books, like Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, One-Yard Wonders, BurdaStyle , Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, and looking at my Sweet Harmony Handbag and Tote pattern to gather pieces.

Requirements for the bag were as follows:

  1.  have a long cross body strap
  2. involves the Premier Prints ZigZag Yellow/White Fabric  from the Spring Chevron Coat
  3. exterior pockets to hold phone/keys/chapstick
  4. interior pockets to hold little things
  5. have pink somewhere on the exterior
  6. large enough to carry kid junk
  7. fit my ipad
  8. square or vertical rectangle shape
  9. not look dowdy or frumpy
  10. not be too large

Originally I thought more of a messenger bag style was what I was looking for but after creating the test bag, I realized that I wanted the bag to be able to be carried over the shoulder or on my wrist as well.  The cross body style is great for when I’ve got my kids b/c it’s easy to keep on while holding them.  But sometimes I just want to grab the bag and go. Also I needed smaller exterior pockets to hold the little stuff that I need to grab quickly without rooting through a whole bag or a deep pocket. As such, a complete overhaul was needed and I looked for some fresh perspective.

The lightbulb went off when I found this bag on Pinterest.

The Elessa bag from Milloo, image from Milloo on Etsy


It’s larger than I wanted to but the shape was right and the idea of side pockets instead of front pockets was perfect.

I had made side pockets with the Oliver + S Messenger Bag, and I had seen a pleated bag called the Folklore bag in One Yard Wonders. And so that pattern was the basis for my bag creation.

I added a zipper instead of a magnetic closure, and another interior pocket as well as exterior side pockets.  But the piece de resistance, was my brilliant (if I do say so myself) upcycling of the handles from my JPK bag! That gave me both of the handle lengths that I was looking for and added an element of pink.  To tie them in, I piped the yolk and pockets in pink as well.

The downer to the JPK handles is that the shorter handles have such thick leather that I had to hand sew them on, and the long, cross body handles are SCREWED into the fabric, so I had to do a little handiwork to affix them to the bag.

The Folklore pattern itself, was a BREEZE to sew.  There were only 4 pattern pieces plus the pocket to work with.  (If I had followed it exactly, I would have had to cut the straps too) And the pieces were all EASY PEASY to cut out.  The directions were clear as day and I bet I could have cut and sewn the exact purse in well under 2 hours.  Even with my additions it wasn’t very time consuming.  The zipper and the hand stitching were the hardest parts.

Now I can move on to MY own Spring Chevron Coat, I think I am going to take the Amy Butler Sandlewood Jacket pattern and turn it into a mid thigh length trench.  Either that or a collarless mid thigh coat that has 1 row of buttons.   What do you think?



The Lisa Tote

19 Jan

I worked my tail off on my first paid project and it paid off.

Lisa, my cousin, and I met at the store where she selected the fabrics and told me what she was looking for in a purse.  She wanted a large tote, with a zip closure and lots of pockets on the inside.  Per my recommendation, Lisa selected an indoor outdoor fabric for the outside and a duck cloth for the interior.  She wanted a little something on the outside, so we added one pocket and trimmed the tote and pocket in bias tape made from the interior duck cloth.

I based my construction on the Lands End multi-pocket tote and set to work. There were lots of things to think about especially the order in which each piece would be sewn. The pieces included, an interior bag, and exterior bag, interior pockets, exterior pocket, straps, trim, and zipper closure. In the end, I sewed the exterior bag and pocket first then the interior bag and pockets.  Inserted the interior into the exterior bag, sewed on the trim, then affixed the straps and finished with the zipper construction and sewed it to the bag.I used triple stitching on most of the bag to make sure that any amount of wear and tear could be handled.

The finished bag is 8 inches deep, 17 inches wide at the base and 22 inches wide at the top.  It is 12 inches tall and has 8 interior pockets and one exterior pocket. The straps are 36 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.

It is perfect for Lisa’s needs and lifestyle.  She’s a busy mom on the go who Nannies for an infant baby and is always there to lend a hand with her many nieces and nephews.


When I showed it to Isabelle she told me that she thought it would be perfect for a mom who has kids and that she thought that Lisa would give me a great big hug when she saw it. That’s approval enough for me and I hope Lisa is as happy with it as Isabelle thinks she will be 😉

Her wallet is the same as the wallet I made for myself, except that I used the fabric from the tote for hers 🙂

It’s got 6 card pockets on the curved side, and then two large pockets and a zipper compartment on the other side.  I’ve found that I use the card pockets for all of my cards, business cards and my cash ( I fold the cash into quarters).  Then one large pocket is for receipts and a tube of lip balm, the other pocket is for my checkbooks, and the zipper holds my change.  It works great, not just as a wallet, but as a clutch as well, because I can slide my phone into one of the large pockets or just between the two sides and the elastic closure holds everything in place.



My Serger’s in the Shop and Other News

18 Jan

I feel like a piece of me is missing. My beloved serger, hit a snag in the road when I sewed layers upon layers of midweight fabric together around the collar of the Spring Chevron Coat and so I took it into the shop for a little tuneup.  Sadly, I will be without it for at least a week.

Not all was lost though because, my shop is located with a Joann Fabrics store and so I took some time to do a little bargain hunting.  I cam home with 5 patterns that were only 99 cents a piece and a bunch of remnant material that was 70% off!.


I got this gorgeous embroidered light weight white cotton fabric that’s going to make a gorgeous peasanty O Tunic dress with a square neck for one or both girls.  And almost a whole yard of some heavier weight white linen as well as some navy and white poly knits to play with when my serger comes home.


That patterns are all for me! Like Simplicity 2702

image from


And this is going to be my adult version of the O Tunic: Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2147

Plus this way cool dress that I love for so many reasons, not the least of which is the oh so lovely maxi version!
Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2363



And finally, a Lisette pattern to try! Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2059


I’ve got big plans for these patterns!!! And the remnants!

Oh and I’m working on my first order EVER! Someone (my cousin, but still) is actually PAYING ME to make something! It’s a custom designed tote and wallet in fabrics that she chose! It’s really fun to do and I’m hoping to be able to finish it and share it by Friday!


Here’s a peek:







Chevron Coat for Spring

17 Jan

Thanks to Pinterest, I now know that zig zag stripes are officially called Chevron. And I’m obsessed with them. So when I saw this coat in Old Navy, I knew I had to make one in a yellow and white chevron print for my girls.


This required two things, a pattern and the fabric.  Not only did I find the fabric, but it was also in a heavier weight which I wanted.  It’s from Premier Prints on  And the pattern I found at the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop, it’s the Oliva Pea Coat. The only change I made was to add the hood.  I traced a hooded sweatshirt and used that for sizing. It’s just two head profile pieces sewn together basically.

I’m in lurve with the coat!  And look, my photo skills are improving! As are my photoshop skills, which is equally important!

My Favorite Dress Ever from the O Tunic

16 Jan

I am soooooo excited!! I went on a fabric buying bender right before Christmas and I had a specific style dress in mind for one of the fabrics.  When I found the O Tunic from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, I knew it would be the right pattern.

The fabric is Hoodie’s Collection Bistro Menu and I love it!

I made a few changes to the pattern: I made butterfly like cap sleeves, I added a kangaroo pocket to the new front of the dress and I added 6 inches to the original pattern. I got inspiration for the pocket from Pinterest of course.

Kangaroo pocket dress from Pinterest


Lelia’s pretty happy about how it turned out too and Isabelle wants one of her own, but in reverse.  I’ll take pictures and make a little how to when I make hers to show you how to make it yourself.  And next go round, I think I’ll add more fabric to the dress to make it a little more flowy and full.



Shiny button on the back of Dress


Butterfly/Cap Sleeve


Kangaroo pocket