The Golden Bow Shop

Girl's Bows - Toddler Bows -  @semibalancedmama

Girl's Bows - Toddler Bows -  @semibalancedmama

Growing up I was somewhat of a tomboy, sure I had my pink stage and my shiny red shoes that my mom used as leverage on more than one occasion, but for the most part I enjoyed comfort over frills and bows. Fast forward quite a few years later to us welcoming Cecilia and discovering that it really is fun to dress miniature females, bows and all. The endless rows of girl clothes can overwhelming compared to the tiny boy's section next-door, not to mention the plethora of accessories that are offered for the girls, but so far she is rather loving her new closet.

Living in Okinawa, you would be surprised at how many places do not ship to our post office. Even though it is on base and the cost of shipping is the same as stateside, just add on that pesky customs form of course. So when I found The Golden Bow Shop and realized she was local, I could not have been more excited. Hannah makes the cutest bows and her prices are so affordable. Shipping costs can really determine whether or not I shop local, so I was thrilled to find out that Hannah offers no tracking option that is under $1.00 or an option to add a tracking number for just a small bit more. So affordable! She can always take custom orders, too. I have already sent in my request for a special homecoming we have soon, can't wait to show you all! 

Cecilia does OK leaving bows on her head, but I am also super concerned with her being comfortable. Insert the nylon headband bow. These stretch so nicely and seem to be much more comfortable on Ceci's head. I also have gotten a lot of people saying they love the look because of how skinny the nylon actually is. Is your little girl ready to start wearing pigtails? Have no fear, she offers pigtail bows too in the same patterns. 

Hannah just released her Fall collection and to celebrate we are doing a giveaway (giveaway is now closed)! Head over to my Instagram to enter for your chance to win your very own set of bows for your little! Follow the instructions on the pictures and make sure to follow Hannah at The Golden Bow Shop over on Facebook to get all the latest news about shop specials and new releases. Giveaway is NOW CLOSED! 

Girl's Bows - Toddler Bows -  @semibalancedmama

On a side note this is not a blog where the babe is somehow perfectly posed and calm for pictures. How do they do it? Seriously, Cecilia is on the move 24/7 these days.

Girl's Bows - Toddler Bows -  @semibalancedmama
 Girl's Bows - Toddler Bows -  @semibalancedmama

While I may need some time to warm up to the bell bottoms and the bows the size of Texas, I am having fun being a little girly and dressing Cecilia in all of her cute new bows. Bring on the bows, frills, and occasionally white tee, because honestly babes look so cute in those simple shirts! 

Honolulu Marathon Training Month 1 Recap

Hello! Oh, how I have missed you all! Thank you so much for those of you who are still pinning, clicking and commenting on my older blog posts. It means the world to me that you are all hanging around during this whole "hiatus" season. Since moving to Okinawa and welcoming our second child, I have been trying to decide where to take the blog and what sort of content I want to bring to all of you. I have some exciting things in the works and hope to be up and running in the next month or two, with lots of  new posts. Until then be on the look out for a few giveaways and special posts here and there. Also make sure to catch me on Military Moms Blog and over on OkinawaHai!

Being pregnant and recovering from Cecilia's birth really drove home how much I love running. I was not able to run throughout my pregnancy, but I did keep up with physical activity and other workouts. The entire time I really, like really, missed running. Right after having Cecilia the Okinawa Marathon took place and the start line was literally right out our front door. We took the kids out and cheered on all of the runners and the entire time I was sitting there, wanting to join in. I missed the feeling of training for a race, I missed the butterflies that happen while in the start line and I really missed the satisfaction I got when I completed a run. That day, I registered for the Honolulu Marathon.

Now, let me back up here. I have only ever done one half marathon and it was a trail half. An extremely hard trail half, you can fund my race recap here, and after that I took a much needed break from running races. Then I got pregnant. So, it had been well over a year since I was doing serious mileage or training for any sort of race. But, the thought of completing a marathon within a year of having Cecilia was something that I knew I wanted to do and something I knew would be difficult, but so rewarding. Now you may be thinking why Honolulu? Well, there is no time limit to the Honolulu Marathon which makes it a popular race for first time marathoners. Most races here on the island and mainland Japan are timed and strictly timed at that. Also, Honolulu is relatively easy for us to get to from the island since there are constantly flights to and from. Ryan and I discussed this runcation and knowing that he would be ready for dose of America we decided to make it a family vacation. Knowing my Uncle loves running and was actually the one who helped fuel my love for running, I invited him. He responded by saying he would think about it. A few weeks later, he was officially in. I can not not tell you how excited I am to be doing a race with him.

The dreaded Trail Half Marathon that was maybe the hardest thing I have ever done.

Me, next to my Uncle (and our team) after completing my second Dances with Dirt. 

So, I set off on finding the right training plan. With Ryan being gone for the first half of my training, I knew I wanted to give myself some extra weeks and was leaning towards a 26 week plan. I was starting with very little mileage, so I needed a lot of time to build up. The best laid plans always go awry, am I right? I started the 26 week plan while back in Ohio visiting family, and a week in my kids and I got seriously sick. Like, sick for over two weeks, sick. There was not much running happening during that time unfortunately. So, I moved on to a 22 week plan. So far, so good. I did take a week off due to us flying back to Okinawa. I knew with the flying and adjusting to the time difference my long run would be nearly impossible to complete that week.

So, here we are, one month into my training plan and things are going well. Let me start by saying the weather right now is less than ideal when it comes to running. We wake up to hot and humid and we go to bed to hot humid. There is not much relief. I try to get out early for my stroller runs and the stroller has not one but TWO fans for Cecilia. When Lucas bikes with us, we stop for water breaks a lot and usually have more than one rest stops in the shade. I have been utilizing a babysitter for my long runs. These typically start around 9AM due to Cecilia's schedule. She is still exclusively nursing and not wanting to take a bottle or a sippy cup, so even though she can go a few hours in between nursing sessions, I try to work with her nap schedule as much possible. Starting a 8 mile run at 9AM when the temperature is already near 90 degrees is hard, but I am making it work. Lots of fluids and just taking it easy is my game plan. I have also decided to utilize the run/walk method for this marathon. More on that in a later blog post, but basically I wanted to give the method a try and thought my first marathon was a good starting point.

Training for a marathon with a jogging stroller and sometimes a 4 year old on a bike is hard. Don't get me wrong, there are days where there is bribery in the form of an ice cream cone to get the run in, but we are doing it. Not only am I checking these runs off the bucket list, but I am being active with my kids and that is so important. Sure, sometimes I shave off a mile or two if I feel it is too hot, but I am feeling stronger and more solid with each long run. I wanted to breakdown my miles so you can see how I am running them.

Total August Miles - 58.14
Stroller Miles - 32.45
Bike and Stroller Miles - 14.6

Isn't that amazing? Lucas rode almost 15 miles this month. I let him know this impressive stat and he laughed and said, "Well, ya we love running and riding my bike!" I hope to update you all through this journey, including recapping TWO half marathons I doing, one of which will be my first local race.  Okinawa is an amazing place to run. There are always so many people out and about, and the views are absolutely breathtaking.

Need some motivation to run while you are parenting solo? Need some motivation to train for your next race? Let me know! I love chatting strategies with people.