Recently Read: Reunion

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I loved this book. The characters and story sucked me in right from the beginning. It was funny, honest and raw.

Kate, a thirty-something screenwriter facing marriage and debt problems, returns home to Atlanta after her estranged father commits suicide. She’s joined by her two siblings, who struggle with their own issues, and eventually, their multiple step-moms and half-siblings.

Experiencing this difficult life moment together triggers Kate and her two siblings to confront their situations and get their lives back in order. Set over a four-day weekend, comical, painful moments ensue.

Sound familiar? This dysfunctional family reunion reminded me (in a good way!) of This is Where I Leave You. Both are two of my favorite books.

J. Crew New Winter Arrivals

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There’s a lot to like in J. Crew’s holiday catalog this year: comfy staples, cozy classics and a dash of bold party wear. Here are my favorites:

J.Crew garment dyed t-shirt

garment-dyed t-shirt (made in the USA!) // $45

J.Crew slim quilted sweatpant

slim quilted sweatpant // $98

J.Crew fair isle mountain socks

fair isle mountain socks (made in the USA!) // $16.50

J.Crew lambswool fair isle sweater in forest

fair isle sweater // $98

J.Crew midweight flannel shirt in stewart plaid

midweight, plaid flannel shirt // $79.50

J.Crew bowery slim pant in black watch cotton

plaid dress pants // $88

J.Crew ludlow shawl-collar blazer in velvet

navy velvet blazer // $328

Get 25% off your purchase with promo code SHOPTOIT.

P.S. I’m putting together full holiday gift guides for everyone on your list,   so stay tuned…

5 Key Fob Options

Like most people, I carry my keys (+ my phone and wallet) pretty much every where I go. Which means, it’s a good idea to invest in a nice key fob. Here are my favorites, including some made in the USA options:

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Which one is your favorite?

Beach House Blues

I love everything about being at the beach. Spending the days (which quickly blend together) laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean and sitting on the porch. Lots of bonding time with family – cooking dinner together, catching up on family news (i.e. gossip), and playing games at night. In my mind, the best beach houses exude these feelings and are bright, fun, and relaxed.

I thought it might be fun from time to time to feature beach houses I’d love to live in here on the blog, as well as maybe get some inspiration for my parent’s Sunset Beach, North Carolina home.

Cortney Bishop beach blue

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Corntey Bishop beach blue 8

Design: Cortney Bishop

Location: Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

My First Half Marathon

Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon

Two weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon: the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. It was tough, but a lot of fun!

I finished in 2:01:58, running at a 9:19 min/mile pace. I had a goal to finish it in 2 hours, but just missed it after having to stop a couple times to stretch because of a bad leg cramp. I’ll reach it next time!

Training

I trained using Hal Higdon’s 12 week Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Program. I would definitely recommend it.

At the beginning of the program, I printed a calendar template and filled it out according to the program. I marked down how much I was supposed to run each day, and which days I was supposed to rest or cross train. I followed the plan pretty consistently, except for the last two weeks when I skipped some due to achilles pain. Despite that, I felt prepared for race day, although a bit nervous.

The Race

The race began with a wave start at the Inner Harbor and looped around the city (including my favorite, a run around Lake Montebello), and ended with a downhill run through Camden Yards with a finish line in front of M&T Stadium.

There were a lot of hills throughout, something I was not fully prepared for. I knew it was hilly, but wasn’t expecting so many. Most were gradual and slow, while some were steep and quick. Luckily, the last two miles or so were mostly down hill, which made for an enjoyable finish.

The crowd was great. The half marathon joins the marathon at around the 3 mile mark, so there were lots of people watching and cheering throughout the race. The crowd waved funny signs (“If Donald Trump can run, so can you”), played loud music (including two guys dressed up as tigers dancing to “Eye of the Tiger”) and handed out lots of drinks and food (shots of Natty Boh, swedish fish, water etc.). It made the whole course enjoyable.

BRF time

Overall

Despite my leg cramping at the 10 mile mark, I really enjoyed my first half marathon. I definitely recommend Hal’s training program and the BRF race. I felt prepared for race day and especially because I was nervous, appreciated the fun atmosphere and how well organized everything was. However, make sure you train for the hills!