Brave Magnolia

[love full. live wild]

To a new year!

Last week I celebrated my 27th birthday. Now, I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I was kind of apprehensive about it at first- not that I could stop it from coming but because of all the “you’re so  close to 30 now!” jokes that I heard. I think the worst part is that I don’t really have any fears or issues with getting older, but for some reason all the jokes made it seem like a bigger deal. Then I got to thinking about this year- y’all, I truly think the reason birthdays don’t bother me is because every year lately has brought new adventures. I’m not saying that there aren’t times when I wish for something different but i do feel that my “old age” ūüėČ is bringing me some wisdom about enjoying each season!

Looking back to one year ago- my 26th birthday. I spoke out a crazy dream about running a full marathon before my next birthday, 26.2 at 26. I told people, I wrote it down, I put it on the internet (ūüėú)! Here is where I can honestly tell you that I expected to fail. I’m not sure why I had this thought but it wasn’t until I was a few months into training that I really decided I could- no, I would- do this. Well, If you have ben following along, then you know that in April, I succeeded. You can read all about that here. I am also excited that I didn’t quit after the marathon although I did switch my training. I am currently focusing more on strength (I’ll post a workout update soon!) 



Another huge item this year was that on my birthday last year we were staying at my parents while looking for a house to purchase. Well we found that house about a month after my birthday! We closed in September and spent 2.5 months gutting the house and getting it livable.  Now we are still working through projects and decorating (as is always the case with being a homeowner-or so we’ve been told) but we have throughly enjoyed this labor of love! You can check out those pictures here or filter through the site to find individual projects!

And finally, we took a BIG vacation this year. It was my Father-In-Law’s 70th birthday so the whole family took a camping trip together in Ouray, Colorado. We drove out so our dog could go and spent a whole week camping! We had so much fun and I can’t wait to share pictures!


So those are some of the big adventures of the last year- I am not sure what the next year looks like yet but I am excited to enjoy it all!


House Updates: Photo Gallery

Mirror makeover

A while back my cousin texted me about this great deal she was offered when she went to buy this giant window- $20! Now, I’m not sure how familiar this crowd is with DIY and Pinterest lately but windows are the thing… and expensive- usually a simple 4 or 6 frame window runs at least $20 so this was a bargain. Without any idea what I would do with it or where in our house I would hang it, I said yes!

I would love to say that I immediately went to work on this craft but the truth is that it sat in our garage for quite a while- I even messaged someone else to see if they were interested in buying it off me. After letting it sit for a while, and buying new (to us) bedroom furniture, it finally hit me what would be the perfect fit- a bedroom mirror! 

First time using this Krylon looking glass spray and it was awesome! I ended up using 2 cans at roughly $8.50 each.

¬†Paper towels and a spray bottle of water- using this tutorial¬†, I was able to figure out how to antique the mirror- I knew that I didn’t want a solid finish.

Waiting to dry!

Hanging in the bedroom! (special thanks to the Mr. for his awesome work hanging the mirror!)

Sofa Table with love

I enjoy coming up with fun projects for our home. I always have regardless of our living situation- townhouse, apartment, rental house. All of my old projects were done with a temporary mindset. , But now. Now, we are home. I want to create and create well. I want to learn the skills needed to make things that will look great and be loved in our home for years. I want to have stories.

I am still learning how things fit in our home. I enjoy rearranging and figuring out how to best use our space. So when I came across this picture on Pinterest, I thought it would be a great addition to our living room. We have some space behind our couch where Abram has a play area and our patio door is. We needed a place to color pictures, plan menus, and occasionally eat without going to sit in the kitchen. I also loved that it would be extra seating when we have people over (which is my new favorite thing).

My first matter of business was to get in touch with my amazing, talented (and amazingly talented) cousin. He is an artist on so many levels and has helped with many projects around the house. So I asked if he had any great reclaimed wood for the top of my table. When we started going through his workshop he said he had a great idea and he pulled out this beautiful piece of wood- it was perfect!

Let’s back up here. When my paternal grandmother passed away, my grandfather asked anybody if there were items in the house we wanted. I wanted the piano, my grandmother’s piano, the one I first learned to play on and spent many family gatherings toying with. We got it down to TN and I was ecstatic- as was the Mr. We soon found out that it wasn’t in the best condition and would completely break if we tried to tune it. I was sad but we allowed it to stay in the (rental) house as decoration….then we were moving… to an apartment…on the second level. ¬†The broken piano couldn’t come- I was devastated. My cousin had the foresight to keep some of the larger pieces of the piano in the hopes that he could make a shelf or something for me. Then, just this past December, my grandfather passed.

So, naturally, this piece of wood my cousin had saved was the only option for my table- in fact it was even the right size!

We found pre-cut legs at Home Depot and John attached them for me.

I stained the legs a bit darker to match the floors and other tables in our house.


*please excuse that my sofa covers are off- washing day!
I am crazy about this table. I can’t think of a better way to honor my late grandparents than by sitting at this table and playing with my son.


Goal Accomplished!

After almost seven months of training, it was finally time to run my race! Now, if you know anything about Nashville then you know that spring is a time of unpredictable weather. We could have multiple seasons in one day and there is absolutely no planning ahead for it! The first year that I ran the half marathon it was extremely hot- we’re talking like 90 degree weather by 8 a.m., the second time I ran it was in the 40s with heavy rain, and the third time was another hot one. This year they were calling for rain and storms and/or extreme heat…yeah, Nashville. All of the weather discussion had me nervous, on top of the whole running 26 miles. The race ended up delayed by almost an hour- so even more time to be nervous!

My friend Magan came to run Nashville with me! (before the race)

Just joining 30,000 of our closest friends for a long/early run!

We got to run through the new baseball stadium!

  On my way to the finish line!

My biggest supporter! It has been a long few months of training and spending more time out running than with him. I am so thankful that he goes along with my crazy dreams!

Magan and I rocking some new bling! (After)


Bling and a Finisher Jacket- You can bet I’ll be rocking that around town!

Hugs, kisses, and a mouthful of CARBS!!

hills, hills, and more HILLS!


I’m not going to lie y’all- this was hard! Even after all my training. There are so many unpredictables that happen in racing and all I could do was prepare myself to the best of my abilities. I finished in 5:06:25 and I know that may seem slow to others, but as a race where finishing was my goal- I am so thankful to have accomplished all ¬†I set out to do. The Nashville Marathon is notoriously hard due to hills and weather so I was often told that I was crazy for making this my first marathon. I guess I figured if I could run in Nashville then I could run anywhere…so where should I run next?

Coffee Please!

While working through renovating the house, I have come up with a few things that I wanted to use to decorate. I’m also really really really cheap….so I had to get creative. I have been collecting coffee mugs for a while and I hate to have them all match. I love when they have stories and when my guests get to pick a cup that draws them in. I wanted a way to display these mugs to make it easy to choose. I loved this idea on Pinterest, but found that they can run at least $50.00. My mom has a ton of pallets from work for free so I set out to make my own. Overall, the project cost about $15.00 to make (for the hooks), most everything I had on hand!

1.Sanding and cutting the pallet down



2. Priming




4.Distressing & Adding Hooks


5. Adding Words


6. Final Product



So who wants to come over for a cup of coffee?

Weekly Workout Recap (2 weeks) 2/15-2/28

As always, life is unpredictable and busy so I have had to choose between blogging or running. I have done my best to keep up with my training schedule but over the last 2 weeks, I have missed 2 runs- the first was my long run (12 miles) but we were busy working on house projects with my cousin and I couldn’t tear the time away. The second was a short run (5 miles) but i ended up working an odd job every day and by the time I carved out time I thought it would be too close to my long run and I didn’t want to injure myself.

Monday 2/15: Core workout (30 minutes)

Tuesday 2/16: 4 miles (40:13)


  Wednesday 2/17: Rest

Thursday 2/18: 8 miles (1:24:18)

Friday 2/19: 5 miles (53:27)

Saturday 2/20: Rest

Sunday 2/21:Rest

Totals: 17 miles (~3 hours)


Monday 2/22: 4 miles (38:46)

Tuesday 2/23: 9 miles (1:29:34), foam roll/stretch (15 minutes)

Wednesday 2/24: Rest

Thursday 2/25: Rest, foam roll/stretch (10 minutes)

Friday 2/26:Rest

Saturday 2/27:Rest

Sunday 2/28:18 miles (3:10:23), foam roll/stretch (30 minutes)

Totals: 31 miles ( 5.5 hours), foam roll/stretch (55 minutes), Core workout (30 minutes)


I am still limiting my workouts in between runs but definitely not giving up on my cross-training. I am also less than two months out from the marathon and I am feeling it. Sunday’s (2/28) long run at 18 miles was the longest run of my training so far and I can honestly say that it was the hardest run ever. In fact, when talking to the Mr. afterwards I simply said, ” I don’t want to talk about it.” Now, I am learning not to say that it was a bad run or good run- I have days where I see progress and days where I seem to be out of my comfort zone. Sunday’s run was just that- the wind was ridiculous, my gear felt off, my diet and hydration hadn’t been on point- but I did it. I refused to make excuses because at the end of the day I knew I could do it. I wanted to quit with every footstep that I took- I was achy, hungry, blah blah blah…. you get the picture. I just kept thinking about how six months ago, I would have never thought I could run the miles I am now, I knew that if I chose to quit I would have a hard time moving forward with training. I decided that I didn’t care how I finished as long as I did, so there was a lot more walking than I would have liked, I had to stop to stretch multiple times, and I finished. So now I have a 14 miler coming up this weekend before attempting a 20 miler next weekend!

Weekly Workout Recap 2/8-2/14

I had a pretty uneventful week here- another high mileage week in training. I did set another distance Personal Record (PR), 16 MILES!! I am noticing that I am seeming more consistent with my pace which is great, also I have eliminated intervals. I’m not saying that I won’t do them again but for the moment I am feeling pretty strong in my distances. Here’s what my week ended up looking like!

Monday: Rest Day, foam roll/stretch (15 minutes)

Tuesday: 4 miles with stroller (40:17), Yoga (25 minutes), Foam roll (10 minutes)

Wednesday: 4.71 miles (47:11)

Thursday:Rest day

Friday: 4.3 miles with stroller (44:22)

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: 16 miles (2:37:52), stretch/foam roll (20 minutes)

Totals: 29 miles (4:48), yoga (25 minutes), Stretch/foam roll (45 minutes)


As you can see my mileage is increasing and in this portion of training, I am trying to make sure that I don’t get injured by not putting my body through too much. I have cut back on my circuit training/workouts so as to truly give my body time to rest and recover in between runs. This means doing more yoga and stretching/foam rolling.

I’m also working through what my schedule can be arranged to look like as I went out with a running group on Wednesday. The problem is that Wednesdays are usually my second longest run ~8-10 miles at the moment but the group only runs 2-5. So if I want to keep meeting up with them I may have to adjust my schedule while still spacing my runs out enough to recover/rest in between. I really enjoyed meeting up with the group though- it definitely makes the miles go by faster when you can converse with others!

Have you ever run with a group? Do you prefer to run with others or would you rather do solo miles?

Winter Running Gear

As I talk more and more about my running schedule I thought it might be nice to digress for a bit. Here is a list of my favorite winter running gear. I’ll be honest, the socks last through all seasons but the taller socks sure help add an extra layer for leg warmth!


1.Nike aeroloft 800 vest

2.Nike pro combat dri-fit tights(I couldn’t find these, similar pair here)

3.Pearl Izumi Barrier Headband¬†( the link says “men’s” but it has the ponytail hole)

4. Merrell Bare Access Ultra-Road Running shoes

5.Swiftwick compression socks ( I vary the heights based on distance run)

6. Under Armour Fleece Running Glove

What gear do you find you can’t live without in the winter?

What gear are you looking forward to using in warmer weather?

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