Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! How was your week? Mine has been pretty relaxed, with the exception of filing my taxes (always a soul-crushing experience). In other news, if you haven’t seen this hilarious video of two guys tricking their little sister into thinking the zombie apocalypse has arrived, you need to watch it right now. I’ll wait. Pretty good, right? Now, please enjoy a few of my favorite links from the week!

Friday Favorites

1. If you have a vacation coming up, check out Grace Atwood’s travel tips. This girl is always on a plane to somewhere awesome, so she knows her stuff! (The Stripe)

2. These are the 20 most popular places on Earth, according to Instagram’s geotagging. How many have you visited? (Refinery29)

3. Working out is the worst, but some of these unique fitness classes look really interesting. I’d totally try underwater spinning! (Glitter Guide)

4. Whether you’re plagued by redness or undereye circles, there’s a perfect concealer out there for every possible skin concern. (A Girl, Obsessed)

5. I desperately need this glorious tomato, peach & burrata salad in my life. (Two Peas and Their Pod)

Have a wonderful weekend!

♥ Mil

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, lovelies! How was your week? It’s finally starting to feel like spring around here, and I love it. Work has been crazy busy for me lately, so I’m excited to do some serious lounging in the sun this weekend and not much else. Well, there will probably be a brunch in my future, who am I kidding. Anyway, I hope you have an equally relaxing and sunny weekend ahead of you, and enjoy this week’s links!

Friday Favorites

1. I have a major weakness for anything involving pineapple, so of course this Hawaiian-inspired burger is making me drool. (The Pioneer Woman)

2. Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for: a guide to working out without leaving your bed! This is totally going to revolutionize exercise. (Into the Gloss)

3. This DIY room spray would look soooo pretty on my bedside table. (designlovefest)

4. Beauty devotees, check out this roundup of the most influential women in the industry, past and present. From Essie Weingarten to Michelle Phan, the gang’s all here! (Refinery29)

5. After watching the internet lose its collective mind over Hamilton for the past eight months, I’m happy to report that the Broadway smash will be making a Seattle stop on its national tour. (Seattle Times)

Have a fantastic weekend!

♥ Mil

Mini Yoga Moments

yoga poses for waking up relaxation and abs south by northwest seattle blogger

It’s taken me a long time to come around to yoga. As someone who typically likes high energy workouts that leave you transformed into a sweaty ball of pain, it always seemed too slow, too boring. The Shavasana pose? Basically an excuse to publicly nap and call it exercise.
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When I moved to Seattle, my friend Rachel introduced me to her hot yoga studio and I discovered that yoga was not only relaxing, it was also re-energizing. I loved the feeling of the heat soaking into my skin and the burn from holding a position too long.
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Recently between work, making dinner, walking the dogs, and the rest of life’s minutia, I’ve been pretty bad about regularly attending class. However, I have found myself leaning on a few key poses throughout the day to help me better align my body with my mind.
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First Thing in the Morning
Waking up is hard for me! It’s usually about 30 minutes before you can even attempt to have a conversation with me. I’ve started doing a few minutes of the Cat/Cow poses first thing in the morning and it’s really helped me get my head in the game (of life). Here’s a short explanation of how to do the poses. I always exhale as I move from the cow position (concave back) to the cat position (arched back).
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cat cow

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Stress Relief

I carry a lot of my stress in my body, which is pretty common. My body actually gets stiff with tension. I used to just let the tension build and build, but yoga has helped me learn how to release it through breath and stretching. One of my favorite poses for a mini-moment of stress relief is Viparita Karani, or the Legs Up the Wall Pose. It’s a bit hard to use at work, but I often do it right when I get home for about five minutes. It feels great on the neck, back, and the back of your legs. Here’s a link to a quick explanation of the pose.
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Viparita Karani legs up against the wall yoga pose

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Before Going to Bed

At night, it can be hard to unwind. The blue light from staring at my phone messes with my body’s rhythms or I can’t stop thinking about a project that’s in the works. Child’s Pose helps relax my back and quiets my mind. The pose, illustrated below, is incredibly simple with a couple variations explained here. I’ve also started using the 4-7-8 mindfulness breathing technique, but I’ll save that for another time.
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child's pose yoga

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Tightening Up Those Abs
The season of swimsuits and crop tops is quickly approaching, which has most of us thinking about our abs. While I love soft and curvy look of a feminine body, I also think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to tighten things up a bit. Whatever makes you feel confident, go with it! My go to pose for working my abs is the Forearm Plank. It’s great because it works the full range of your abs in addition to several other muscle groups. Again, you can get the gist of the position from the illustration below, but just in case I’ve linked to a short video.
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forearm plank yoga pose

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Do you have any go-to stretches, moves, or mantras you lean on to keep you going? It’s always helpful to hear what others do to de-stress. My friend Erica just joined a meditation studio which she is loving. If you don’t have any strategies yet, I hope you enjoy incorporating some mini yoga moments into your day as much as I have.
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XOXO,
Jules
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Image sources: 1/2/3/4

Weekend Adventures: Beat the Blerch

running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

This past Sunday I ran my first half marathon in more than three years! I was nervous, but it actually ended up being my best race experience yet. Beat the Blerch is a race offering 5k, half-marathon, and marathon distances. The race experience is themed around an Oatmeal comic about running, written by local author Matthew Inman. The comic theme brought a sense of humor and fun to the event that sometimes feels missing from other races. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the race.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The starting line tells it like it is. Let there be agony and in my case copious amounts of knee pain.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The course had people in Blerch costumes running around and lounging on couches. Hilarious. Also, “motivational” signage was posted along the course. Why yes, I would like a nap. Thanks for asking.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The pre-race refreshment spread included Poptarts, bacon covered marshmallows, and all your Halloween candy favorites. Zappos sponsored the treats and they did a bang up job.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The course itself was beautiful. The route was along a tree-shaded trail, which would have been greatly appreciated had the sun been out. Unfortunately it rained the whole time. What else can you expected when running a race in Seattle?

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Costumes and accessories were strongly encouraged. The bacon and hot dog at the back of this pack were two of my favorites. The group carrying the American flag was part of a military affiliate group. It was kind of inspiring to see their flags waving along the course.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Refueling after pushing through all 13.1 miles. I showed some restraint by not gorging myself, but did enjoy a couple bites of birthday cake and a Nutella sandwich. That icing was banging.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Check out the finisher medal. Definitely as cool as the Tinkerbell medal I’ve been eyeing. This is for sure going on this year’s Christmas tree.

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Do you have any races planned for this fall? If you’ve never run a race, I strongly encourage checking out Beat the Blerch. The environment was fun and very accepting of ever ability level. They actually offer the race in a couple locations across the country. Check here to see if  there’s a race planned near you.
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The next race on my list is one of the Disney half marathons, as evidenced by my medal research. The course goes through the park and Disney characters make guest appearances along the route. So fun!
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XOXO,
Jules

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