Life As Rachel: July 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Mud Run Prep/Tips

If you follow my blog, you know I love some good dirty mud runs. I run in quite a few during the year. They are my favorite runs. They are fun, no stress and you can go at your own pace without worrying about the stress of your time and medals. So here are some tips from me that I believe everyone should read!

1. Read what they email you. Make sure you read the e-mail you are sent before the race because it tells you the important things you need to know. EX. parking, your waiver you need to sign, what to wear, what not to wear, what to bring and what not to bring. 

2. What to wear for a mud run. DO NOT WEAR something you will miss. I always wear old running pants and a cheap tank. Nothing to fancy because I know at the is going to be ruined. I always re use the same clothes for other mud runs that I participate in throughout the year. No need in throwing it away. It washes out fairly easy and typically does not stain.

3. No Cleats! Wear sneakers! Yes the cleats can help you through the mud but on some obstacles you are not allowed to have them .Wear old sneakers. Typically there is a shoe donation at the end if you don't want to take them home with you. 

4. Pack extra! Pack extra towels, flip flips, clothes, and trash bags for the ride home. They are places to get some what clean and you can change into clean clothes before you make the drive home. Unless you like being muddy and that's your thing. I typically make my backseat a changing room with extra towels. 

5. SIGN YOUR WAIVER. You can't run without this and some places charge for a extra copy of one.  

6. Bring ID. They won't know who you are from Jo blow! (also you can't drink after with out it)

7. Run with a team. As you go on some obstacles, you will find some that are hard. Some that a push up one something would help. I always run with 3+ people on these. You help each other out the entire course. 

8. Run. Yes it is a fun run but you need a little training. I also run before hand and try to eat somewhat healthy. 


Any tips I left out? Let me know below!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rugged Maniac +discount! Coming to Virginia again!

If you have been a reader of mine for more than few months, you will know how much I love 5ks and obstacle races. Coming up in Virginia, on October 10, there is one of the best ever obstacle races you can run. It is called Rugged Maniac! 

Now I ran this race the last time it was in Virginia, in May. I was in no way prepared for how tough but awesome it would actually be. It has 25 epic obstacles, a 5k run and 1 amazing party afterwards!!! You get to climb towers of shipping containers, rocket down a MASSIVE water slide, crawl through underground tunnels, leap over FIRE, and they have some of the biggest trampolines!!! Then after you run your butt off and work so hard you get to go to one of the best day-long festivals with all the other runners! You get a free beer, a racer medal, and a awesome tight fitting tee! 

I had a complete blast at the race. I think it helps to be with a team. You need help sometimes getting over obstacles and a push up over a obstacle is amazing when you feel like you can't do something. Be prepare though to get messy, dirty and be completely sore the next day. It is all worth it!

Now if you don't believe me about how awesome this race truely is, watch the below video!

Now if you are wanting to sign up and run this beast, I have a code for you! Use code: LARBLOG to get a 10% discount off the purchase price.

Just click the picture below to be taken directly to the site! Also be on the lookout for my own video after I run in it May. I have started a team and if you want to join it, let me know! We can all run together! I am running with a few friends and you can join our team. We are team the Suck It Up Cupcakes!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Blogger Resources for Free!!!

I have been blogging for a few years and every now and then I get the blogging bug and sometimes, I hate my blog and never want to see it again. I have found that some of these resources are amazing and have really helped me with growing my blog, making it look better and just having fun with it. Also..anything free makes it that much better because lets be honest, it can get pricey after you buy a blog design.

1. Bloggers. Other bloggers are your best resource. I have a few select few that I talk to on a typically regular basis. If I ever have any issues or questions, they help me out and are always there if I need some blogging advice. Some will even give you a blog critique for free which is nice to get someone else's view. 

2. Pic Monkey If you need to edit a image, add text to something or even add a nice border, use this site. It is free and they have a lot of good apps that go along with it. There is a paid part of it but who needs that??

3. Photoscape. I suck at editing images most of the time but this has really helped me. I am to cheap to actually buy photoshop and this is free. I have used it a ton and actually have made some really cute printable items that I have at home in frames.

4. Freerangestock. This is the best place to get free photos for your blog. I use them some and it never hurts to throw a photo into a blog post. 

5. Free Fonts. When I downloaded Photoscape, I needed some fonts to play with, so I went to 1001 Free Fonts. It has some of the cutest and fun fonts as well as more scripty styles. 

6. Free Blogger Template. I had my layout custom made BUT for the longest time I had a free template until I finally broke down and started paying for mine. Blogger Candy has some of the best free templates.

7. Grooveshark. Want to throw a song on your blog for a post? Grooveshark is free. Some post I have done in the past are filled with music and I love it. It breaks up the blog and gives some diversity to it. 

What are some things you have found that are free and help you with your blog??

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Miranda & Blake

If you have read my blog for awhile, you will know my slight obsession with Miranda Lambert. I have seen her in concert 4 times and every time it is amazing. She can really put on a show. She motivates and inspires woman and young girls. She is a good role model and idol to have. The first time I ever saw her, I was just entranced and was like YES girl power! Let's do this! When I left the concert, I left a super fan and have never looked back. I go see her every time she performs near me, no matter what. 

I was so thrilled when she married Blake. Now...they are divorced. I was very shocked at first, then when the shock wore off I was all like WTF is going on?? I love both of these artist, they are perfect together. What happened?? The world needs to know. I think and still do, believe they are the perfect couple! What could of went wrong with our modern day Bonnie & Clyde?

 But then I realized something. It is not my business. It is not your business. It is Miranda and Blake's business. I am pretty sure it is careers as she is never home and always traveling but it is still sad. I wish the media would respect peoples decisions and let them deal with these things privately BUT with them being celebs that is almost impossible. 

I still find that this sucks, but if I put myself in Miranda's shoes, I would want people to go AWAY! Leave me alone and let me deal with it. I am still a huge Miranda Lambert fan and always will be. I am super sad to hear about her divorce but hey, Blake, your loss. Miranda definitely won't let you ride in her little red wagon now. No one is perfect and there is no reason that we should hold these two, to that standard! 

Okay I am jumping off my soapbox! Have a great Tuesday! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Catch Up

The last week and a half have been a complete blur for me. My brother in law passed away and I got a new job that I start in a few weeks. With everything going on, I took a few days off from blogging. I needed a break and a little time to not stress over the blog. Thank you everyone who is still here and did not quit on me when I stopped for a few days. 

This past weekend I had my niece and her friend over. My niece has been thru a lot. She has lost her brother and now her dad. I am pretty sure I am spoiling her way to much but hey, she deserves it. I took her to the local fair Saturday with her friend. (When did the fair get so damn pricey??) She rode and rode rides until my head was spinning. I did not get on a single one. I decided to eat ice cream and cotton candy.

Saturday we went to eat at Panera and grabbed some Sweet Frog before heading to help one of my sisters move. She moved back to the area and I am so glad. I will get to see her so much more now. The biggest problem from the move was they picked the hottest day of the entire summer to move. It was so hot that some people that were helping (i.e. the hubs and the sister) both got sick from the heat. Later that night we decided (or the girls decided for us) to make smores. It was so hot and we made a bon fire. Something is not right there! We grilled hot dogs and made smores and then got into the nice air conditioning in my house. 

Sunday was spent lounging about, playing the Wii and dealing with hormonal teenagers who get mad over the littlest things. I saw my sister, Becky, and her family. They came over on Sunday for dinner. They just moved here and are settling in. I hate moving and I know how it is when you get there and everything is chaotic. 

On another good note, I start my new job in a few weeks. I can not wait. I am going back to the department I used to work in. All of my co workers there are amazing and I am so excited to see them and work with them all again!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hair Love

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will know I have changed my hair so much that you never know what it will be in some of my pictures that I post on here. I am in that awkward stage where I am growing my bangs and hair out. I am trying to not using a flat iron on it at all. I am trying to just round brush it straight. So I wanted to share my favorite hair products. 

1. Not Your Mother's-Way to Grow Leave-In Conditioner.
This stuff is great. I swear by it and I my hair feels much healthier since I have been using it. I swear it is helping it grow too!

2. Tresemme-Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray
This has really helped protect my hair from damage when I use the blow dryer or when I feel like flat ironing on the off chance but I try not to do that. I keep a extra of this one at the house at all times because I do not like to run out.

I do not try to put more than just 2 things in my hair a day and typically these are my favorite. I find, that with my hair, adding to much product makes it disgusting and oily before the day is even over. I also get all of my favorite products at Ulta. That store is amazing and addicting.  What are some products you swear by and love?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

When I Finally Found My Blogging Voice-Guest Post

Hey everyone! I am taking a few days off due to a family death but I wanted to share some of my favorite bloggers! Check out Ashley who blogs over at A Silver Twig

When I Finally Found my Blogging Voice From the day you start blogging people are constantly telling you to “find your niche.” It’s EVERYWHERE. Find your niche. Develop your niche. Know your niche. It used to kill me. I didn’t have a niche and I was happy with that. I write a lifestyle blog and I was convinced that meant that I didn’t have a niche. I wrote about life, life is all-encompassing, therefore my blog was all-encompassing and thus, I didn’t have a niche. I was content. Now, I’m backpedaling a little bit. A little bit. See, I still don’t think I have a niche, but I did find my blogging voice and honestly, I think that should be our focus.

I found my blogging voice when I sat down one night and told my husband, "I am thinking of starting another blog."  He looked at me like I'd suddenly sprouted three new heads. "Another blog? What's wrong with the one you have?"  I went off on this long diatribe but basically the short version is this, "I don't feel like I can write about what I really want to write about on there. I want to write about what I know and what I'm good at which really is corporate life and balancing the crazy long to-do list I have. The problem though is that people don't want to read that stuff so I need another blog."  He just said, "Just write that stuff on your current blog."  When I moaned about how I'd lose followers he shook his head and just said to me, "and you'll gain new followers. If you don't like what you're writing, write something new. If you don't like what your blog has become, change it. Don't start over, just evolve."  It was that conversation that led to my a-ha moment.  Blogging isn't about finding your niche, it's about finding your voice. It's about looking deep down inside and finding who you are, then sharing that with the world. I'm so much more than A Silver Twig used to let me be. I had written myself in a corner by trying to conform to a niche or trying to appeal to a specific audience. Somewhere in there I'd lost my voice and I stopped caring about my blog.  My life consists of working a corporate career, running my own business strategy company, spending time with my husband, being a fur-momma, struggling with infertility, etc.  Somehow over half of me was lost when it came to my blog. My husband helped me find my blogging voice. I still may not feel like I've found a 'niche' but I've found a voice that personally, I think that's far more important. What about you? Do you have a niche or a voice? Does your blog reflect who you really are?

Monday, July 13, 2015


Over the weekend I lost another family member. My brother in law, Dax's father. I do not really have much to say and right now life is pretty tough. I just ask you keep my family in your prayers. We need all the prayers in the world right now. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why I Chose Online Schooling

I have had a few people say stuff around me about online schooling. They criticize it and talk about it as if it is not a legitimate thing. It really bothers me so I figured I would share my education background and how I have obtained all of my degrees. 

Right after high school I attended a physical campus and received a A.A.S. in legal studies. I went to school year round and ended up finishing in a year and a half. I was completely happy with just the A.A.S. but my husband (then boyfriend) encouraged me to go back. I was working full time and was not able to go back to a physical school. Luckily the college I attended the first time had an affiliate online school. I attended Kaplan University for the next 2 years and received my B.A.S. in legal studies. I worked all day and then every evening come home for class work. It was long, tiring and I am glad it is over. 

After a few years though I wanted to broaden my education background and decided to get a few certificates. Twice now, I have enrolled with the University of Florida and I have taken 2 business classes that have given me two business certificates. I would not have them if it was not for online education. 

Online education is just as good and sometimes a bit harder. I did not have a professor who I could go visit. Everything was over e-mail and chat. I had to figure out a lot of things on my own. I feel like the test were harder and the assignments were just as hard. In a regular college environment, I did not participate in discussions in class as much but online, you have to. It is part of your grade. I feel like a good bit of people do not take someone serious when they tell them they got their degrees/certificates online. Those degrees and certificates are just as good as any other school out there. All that matters if that you went and got an education. I have student loan debt just like everyone else. The only difference is I got to sit at home and work on everything and not drive to a college campus. 

I understand that some feel that big major state Universities offer more and sometimes I wish I would of went to WVU,UVA or VT. I feel like I did miss out on a lot of college experiences by not attending a big campus and also finishing online. I did make friends long friends from when I got my A.A.S. I cherish them and I have no idea where I would be today without them. 

My big thing about this entire post is it does not matter how you get your education. All that matters is that you get one. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Weekend Recap-July 4th

This weekend was one of those weekends that was amazing, fun and went by way to fast. I was off work for 4 days. I slept in, I ate bad and I loved every bit of it! We went to Canaan to see family. I did not take pictures like I should have. Whoops! I also fail to do that. I have way to much fun and forget the pictures, plus my blog is secret to the family so they would get a little suspicious if I took to many! 

I ran a 2k on Saturday morning in the rain. I ended up running 1.50 miles instead of just the mile. I went the wrong direction and when I corrected I was a little behind. I finished 5th. I am not sure how many people were there but it was not a lot. This was my best finish though, placement wise that is. I am happy with it and excited to improve on it. The worst part about running races in West Virginia, the hills. Why do they need all of those hills? Lets get rid of those.

The family went and played mini golf. I suck at mini golf-just for the record. My score was 77 I believe which I have been told is BAD. We even had small bets on who would win. So of course I lost all of my money I had bet on it. It was also a small, rusty old course but it was fun. It does not matter where you are or what you are doing, as long as your family is there, you will have a good time. 

We came home early yesterday due to a sick dog. Itsy has really bad food allergies. This weekend there was 6 dog total all together at the house. She got into the other dogs food any chance she could which resulted in her eating grain food. She is allergic to grain and has to have special food. We did not think much would come of it, but she ended up pooping in one crate, throwing up in another and just feeling bad the rest of the day. 

On the up side of things we came home early and got to pick a few things in the garden. We had so many cucumbers! We will be canning these and making home made sweet pickles and dill pickles! Watch out Martha ain't got anything on me!! 

I hope this week is a good week and it goes by fast!! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th America!

I hope everyone has an amazing July 4th! Stay safe and don't blow yourself up!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Last night I had an amazing dream. I had a little girl and life was amazing. Then fast forward to 6:00 a.m. and I wake up and realize it was all a dream. That is like a punch in the gut. We have been TTC for a year now. I thought this was going to be a easy thing to accomplish. I thought that just stopping my birth control and within a few months I would be pregnant. Nope. Not the case. I have tried so much stuff. I have counted days, download apps and use them, used fertility strips and even took my BBT. 

My last regular cycle was in February. Since then I have only had one and it was due to a pill I was put on to get it back. I got some lab work done then and it all came back fine. I sit in my car after all of that and just cried. I even cried when they took my blood because of how frustrated I am getting. I am going through the same thing again. Once my cycle decides show up this time, I get to go have a ton of testing done to see if I have PCOS. PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It affects hormone levels, periods and ovulation. It does not mean I can't get pregnant, but it will take more work and time. 

I am at the point of giving up though. This should not be that hard. I get so mad when I see people who already have 4-5 kids and they keep having more and sometimes they don't want them. I would give anything to have a child of my own and to be able to take care of it. To have someone call my mommy and love me unconditionally just because I am there and I take care of them. It kills me that I am not pregnant yet and now it is worse. I blame myself and feel horrible. I am worrying whether we can even have kids and that is driving me insane. I pray we can and that it happens soon. I know all things happen in time, have patience, do not stress out, etc. It is much easier to say than to actually do. I have had so many people tell me these things and others tell me how easy it was for them to get pregnant. Well guess what...It is not for me. I do not want to hear how easy it was for you. That does not help me and it makes me feel worse. 

I know I am ranting and venting but this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I pray that the testing gives me the results that I need and we are able to go from there and make a plan.