Posts Tagged ‘ summer ’

Running Wisdom


Saw this picture from and had to repost it here. So true! Let’s go for a run!

Happy Running 😀

Summer Running – Beating the Heat, Part II, Gear

Part of staying cool during summer runs is dressing right. My running gear has morphed through the years (and will probably continue to as running gear continues to change and improve) both through the new products that come out/that I discover and my knowledge of what gear works best for my body when I run. Aside from the water bottles/hydration belts that I’ll comment on below, I could easily see myself becoming one of the women who wears their workout gear to Starbucks instead of just during a workout simply because my running wardrobe is that comfortable.

Head to toe (including accessories, minus undergarments) here’s a list of my favorite summer running gear:

  Nike Zoom Vomero 6 – I’ve tried several different types of shoes and this is the shoe that I’ve found works best for my gait – I supinate, ie. my foot tends to roll out when I run. The Vomero is designed for us supinators and has extra support on the outside to keep me injury free.

  Smartwool Lightweight Socks – I am in love with all things Smartwool. As a runner you quickly realize the difference and importance of having socks that keep your feet cool, comfortable, cushioned, and blister-free. There are a lot of running socks out there each one promising you the best comfort, but I’ve always gone to Smartwool simply because I’ve never had any issues with them. Long runs, in the heat, pounding asphalt, can really put your socks to the test and my feet have come through happy and blister-free.

  Nike Women’s Running Shorts – These shorts have great wicking material that keep the sweat away. They’re loose enough to not be baggy but give plenty freedom of movement. They also come with built in pockets which for me is a must as I often drive to my favorite shady trails to run and need a place to store a car key and a gel pack.


  Nike Fast Pace Women’s Running Tank Tops – I just discovered these shirts this year and love, love, love them! It’s hard for me to find running tank tops that are wicking and not super tight and these fit the bill perfectly. Not only do they keep the sweat away, but they hang loosely, not baggy, and are longer than a typical women’s tank top. Not to mention I love wearing bright colors and these come in a variety of cheerful (Hey, look there’s a runner!) hues.

  Sweaty Bands – It’s important to keep my hair out of my face as I run. I tend to sweat, a lot, especially in the heat and humidity of summer, and need something that will not only hold my hair back but will stay securely in place so I can focus on my run instead of fixing my hair every two miles. I’d heard great things about Sweaty Bands and ordered one to see if they were worth all the fuss. They are. I have a few now that I rotate through and they’re great. They can be also be rinsed in a sink, but I don’t put them in the washer as they tend to get stiff when they dry.

  Nathan Sprint Water Bottle – So here’s my disclaimer for these last two items: I am horrible when it comes to drinking and running unless I’m in a race. I drink water non-stop whenever I’m not running and while I’m well hydrated, I should drink more on my runs, especially in the heat. To confess even further whenever I’m doing a long run in the heat I make my girlfriend ride her bike and drink her water. Ha! It’s ridiculous. That being said, this water bottle and the hydration belt below are the two items I plan on buying this season. First, Nathan makes great products for runners and from the ones I’ve looked at in the store, this seems to fit my hand the best without being too constricting or hot. Best for runs when you don’t need multiple water bottles.

  Fuelbelt Hydration Belt – I tried this belt on recently and think it will work perfectly for my long summer runs. The breathable, padding makes it fit comfortably on my waist without moving around and chafing. It also has a removable race pocket that’s perfect for keys, cash, and gel packets. Fuelbelt also makes a four-bottle option as well.




Happy running! 😀

Summer Running – Beating the Heat, Part I

  First day of summer and the weather responded by climbing into the 90s replete with humidity. Lovely. I’m much better at running in cold weather than I am in heat. At least in cold my body gradually warms up to a point where I’m comfortable running. In the heat, however, it’s easy for your body to overheat and that can be dangerous if not fatal. Yikes!

Here are some tips I’ve gleaned over the years and try to implement throughout the dog days of summer:

1. Run early in the morning – This tends to be the coolest part of the day before the sun has baked the world all day.

2. Dress smart – Wearing light colors that will reflect the sun’s rays away and loose fitting clothing that breathes as you run. Also, fabrics other than cotton that will wick away sweat and keep you cool are a great idea too.

3. Water, water everywhere – Drink. Water. Lots of it. Your body craves more water more in the heat and the more hydrated you are the more your body will function as it should without shutting down. Shutting down bad. Water good!

4. Choose your path wisely – Asphalt radiates heat in the summer and while you probably won’t endure the sneaker-melting stories that you hear from the Badwater Ultramarathon it definitely will make your hot runs even hotter. If you know it’s going to be a hot, muggy day and the only time you can run is after work, choose a trail instead of hitting the road. You can find shade and running surfaces that reflect more heat than they absorb.

5. Protect your skin – Don’t forget to wear sunscreen whenever you go out. Sunglasses also help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

6. When all else fails, run (egad!) inside – Treadmills are often not the best friend of the outdoor runner, but when the mercury rises and the humidity envelopes you like a blanket it might be the smartest choice.

Remember your safety is your top priority. Training is key, but training smart is even better. Stay cool and happy running! 😀

Guest Post: Author Alissa Grosso’s New Book Release Ferocity Summer

  I’m delighted to have Alissa Grosso here today as my guest. She’s an amazing writer debuting her first novel last year, Popular, and her second, Ferocity Summer releasing May 8 of this year. To check out her sweet Ferocity Summer trailer click HERE.

Here’s a little taste of her incredible new YA novel:

Scilla Davis is haunted by a horrible accident that she was involved in last summer—a drunken, reckless joyride that ended in tragedy. With a big trial looming, life seems empty, unreal, and utterly hopeless. It’s especially painful watching her best friend, Willow, slowly destroy herself with pills and booze. Yet Scilla can’t seem to wrest Willow—or herself—from a path of self-destruction.

But there might be a possible escape from this nightmare. As a dangerous new drug called Ferocity sweeps the nation, an FBI agent asks Scilla to turn narc and help locate the Ferocity kingpin. In exchange, she could avoid conviction for her role in the accident. All she has to do is deceive and betray people she’s known all her life.

 Summer Jobs
I’m currently on a Blog Tour Road Trip to promote my new book Ferocity Summer, which is now available. Don’t forget to read to the end of this post to find out how you can enter  a drawing for your very own summer survival pack, which includes a signed copy of Ferocity Summer.

Summer jobs are pretty much a rite of passage for teenagers. From experience, I can say that some are awesome and some are awful. Scilla Davis, the main character in Ferocity Summer, has one of the awful variety. She is stuck working behind the counter of the local convenience store. I’m relieved to report that I never had a summer job quite this bad, but I’ve had a few interesting ones.

Like many teenage girls, my first “job” was babysitting. Lucky for me, I was the only teenage girl in a neighborhood that had a lot of families with younger kids. So, I had pretty steady work. I’ll admit some kids were more fun to sit for than others, but thankfully, I don’t have any babysitting horror stories to report.

When I was in high school, my father started his own law practice. This meant that one of my summer jobs became working with Dad. I did typing and some miscellaneous secretarial things. My father used to put in long days. This meant we left the house when it was dark out and returned about when the sun was setting. Keep in mind, this was during the summer when the days can be pretty long. I have to say, the work tended to be pretty boring, and if it taught me anything, it was that I didn’t want to work in an office when I got older.

My next job was not so much a summer job as it was a weekend and after school job. I worked at an outlet store near my house. This was not one of those nice, clean outlet stores that are pretty much just like a retail store. This was a warehouse style bargain basement outlet store. The deals were very good which meant people would wait hours in line to check out or have fist fights over merchandise. Then there were the customers who didn’t think our prices were low enough and would try to rip us off by switching the tags on items. Suffice it to say, it was an interesting job.

My last summer job was working at Waterloo Village, a historical village near my house. It was the sort of place where employees dressed up in costume. When I first started, I was a tavern wench. Later, I moved up to being a costumed tour guide. This historic village had a bit of an identity crisis and was also a well known concert venue. So at nights, I ditched the costume and put on my official event staff polo shirt to be ticket taker, usher and later on the “Queen of Merch” aka the girl who sold the concert t-shirts. By the way, Waterloo gets a mention in Ferocity Summer with a concert that takes place at the Waterloo Concert Field.

That photo of me in an inflatable boat headed down some stairs? That wasn’t from a summer job, but it was one of my favorite full time jobs, working in the children’s department of a library. This staged photo was all part of a summer reading bulletin board display. If you’re trying to find the perfect job, you owe it to yourself to at least look into library work.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and enter to win Alissa’s Blog Tour giveaway. Open until May 20, 2012. No residency restrictions.

Five Spring Beers To Try

I am a big fan of good beer, so when my seasonal favorite come around I must share my love. Here are a few of my yearly favorites not only for their flavor, but also because they remind me that winter’s over and warmer months are on their way. So grab your favorite and meet me on the porch!

Ruthless Rye has been a staple grain for millennia—sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor. Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors—combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to spring. Sierra Nevada Brewery


Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the “Light Dinner Ales” brewed in England throughout the 1800’s right up until the 1940’s. They were also called “luncheon ales” or even “family ales”, because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma, resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition.

  Garde Dog Biere de Garde is a French farmhouse ale. Biere de Garde means “beer for keeping” and was traditionally brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months. Consider it your official release from winter’s grasp. Flying Dog Brewery


Flying Fish Brewing Company, Farmhouse Summer Ale is a tribute to the highly drinkable “every day” beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.

Dogfish Head Aprihop is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts. It’s massively hopped — in the continuous fashion, of course! — and the flavor is complemented by the addition of apricots. Dogfish Head Brewery

Enjoy these seasonal brews and remember to drink responsibly!

Garden State

  For some reason New Jersey gets a really bad rap from the rest of the U.S. Not sure how that originated, but I must admit that I definitely have laughed at NJ jokes before. I still think it’s funny that NJ gets mocked, but now I give more of a “hey, NJ really is a great place to live” response.

But one of the things I enjoy most about NJ is that it really is the Garden State. Everywhere I go there are farm stands and fresh “Jersey Fresh” produce. When you’re in NJ you have your pick of any kind of fruit or veggie that strikes your fancy. Most are way better than the shipped in, chemically bland, glossy produce that lines the bins of the local supermarket, so for me it’s like hitting up the candy store and having my pick of whatever flavors I want.

The other day my girlfriend and I stopped at one of our favorite farm stands only to find it closed. Bummed but knowing that there were stands aplenty in the area we drove around until we came to a farm we had passed many times but had never stopped at. (That’s a picture I snapped on the left.) Despite it’s advertisement for produce galore we had never seen anyone working there or any visible produce. But, desperate to find fresh legumes, we drove down the long gravel driveway and parked in front of their barn. Tiny donkeys – including an adorable baby donkey complete with a bedhead – grazed to the left of the barn. When we walked inside the barn our eyes feasted on bins of green peppers and eggplants and onions and corn. Containers of brightly colored tomatoes were stacked on the shelves next to tiny cloves of garlic. Large glass fridges lined one wall and were stocked with fresh jams, tomato sauce, eggs, and greens.

Talk about vegetarian heaven!!!

After we wiped the drool off our chins, we looked around for someone to pay. On an old wooden table stood a jar filled with coins and bills to make change as visitors paid through the honor system. So of course we loaded up with as much as we could carry, paid, and left knowing we had found our Produce Nirvana. 😀

Summer’s the New Fall

Summer is the new season for debut shows and premieres for returning favorites. Fall can no longer bogart the rights to all the TV fun. 🙂

So if you are enjoying a staycation this summer and don’t feel like trekking out to see the latest blockbuster, check out these shows instead! (And for even more, check out the June 17 issue of Entertainment Weekly.)

As these first four display, I’m a little SyFy crazy…

  Eureka – a small town sheriff has to deal with the daily science-related mishaps that happen in the unusual place that is Eureka. A fun blend of the bizarre and the dramatic.





  Haven – When agent Audrey Parker arrives in the mysterious town of Haven to investigate an strange crime, she discovers a lot more. This refuge for those with supernatural afflictions keeps Agent Parker, whose past is shrouded in mystery, searching for answers.




  Warehouse 13 – Imagine all the relics of the world locked in one secret government facility and you’d have Warehouse 13. Agents are assigned to the warehouse to protect its secrets while searching out artifacts throughout the world and bring them to the safety of the warehouse.



  Alphas – This new series follows a group of highly gifted individuals as they are called upon by law enforcement to fight crime and find bad guys. A kind of X-Men meets CSI show.





  Rizzoli & Isles – A TNT drama based on the best-selling books by Tess Gerritsen featuring the same characters. The first season was fun as it sought to find its footing in a world of pre-existing murder dramas. I think the second season will be even stronger than the first (which I already liked). 🙂




  The Closer – Another great TNT cop drama. The aspect that really makes this show different, in my opinion, is snappy, Southern-belle Brenda who charms while seeming innocent – right before she swoops in for the kill and the perp never knows what’s coming!




  Expedition Impossible – Survivor meets the Amazing Race as contestants perform death-defying acts in order to stay in the game. Sounds good to me!



Plus many, many more! It’s going to be a busy summer for my DVR. 🙂 What shows are you excited to watch this summer??

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What’s In Your Beach Bag?

I posted last week about things I was excited about this summer, including going to the beach. I live in a place where the beach has always been iconic and has become even more so with the debut of Jersey Shore. All summer long people are “going down the shore” looking to party with their friends or stroll down the boardwalk with their families.

But whether I’m packing my bag for the beach or laying on a chair in the sun it’s all about the book. As much as I love being active, I can just as easily lay in the sun for hours if I have a good beach book. My ideal beach book is one that is fast-paced, page-turning thrillers and mysteries that generally don’t require great amounts of thought.

I’ve been tearing through my stockpile of Kathy Reichs paperbacks as I bask in the heat of the summer. What books are in your beach bag??

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My Summer Top Ten List

  There are so many great things about the summer, here are the top ten things I’m looking forward to (although it was hard to choose only ten!):

1. Reading (so stereotypical I know…)! At the beach, at the pool, on the porch, I have a whole pile of fluffy paperbacks waiting for me to tear through.

2. Road trip to Boston. Good friends of ours are getting married in Beantown so my girlfriend and I are packing our bags in a few weeks, hopping in the car, and enjoying a long weekend away from home. I haven’t been to Boston since I was little, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the sights and playing the tourist.

3. Day trip to Brooklyn. I’ve never gotten to experience all that Brooklyn has to offer. From everything I’ve heard it’s filled with art and green spaces and museums and fabulous places to eat. I want to see Prospect Park (they have a disc golf field there!), the Botanical Gardens, and the Brooklyn Art Museum. A perfect day. 🙂

4. Summer TV. Summer is the new Fall for TV series. My nerd SyFy shows like Haven, Warehouse 13, and Eureka begin in July. My favorite dramas The Closer and Rizzoli and Isles fill the absence of my usual favorite dramas like Bones and Grey’s Anatomy. Can’t wait!

5. Summer Blockbusters. As a fan of all things superhero, I’m looking forward to the HUGE line up of great movies that’s coming out this summer like Green Lantern, Captain America and X-Men First Class. Oh yeah!!

6. The beach. I totally heart the beach, although my Jersey shore experience is nothing like the TV show (thank goodness!). I love laying in the sand, reading under a beach umbrella and swimming in the surf.

7. Playing outside. As an avid fan of all things outdoors I love it when the days are long and sunny giving me plenty of time to enjoy my favorite activities.

8. Ice-cream. I love ice-cream but rarely eat it unless it’s 90 degrees or hotter outside. There’s a great homemade ice-cream shop by my house and I’m already dreaming of sitting on a bench and eating that double-scoop.

9. Catching a game. The local minor league baseball team, the Somerset Patriots, is about ten minutes from my home. Tickets are less than $10 and there’s a ton of fun games, food and fanfare to be had. A great way to sit in the sun without breaking the bank!

10. Write, write, write. What better time to work on my writing then the summer?? Grab my laptop and a cool glass of strawberry lemonade and head out to the porch where I can type for hours without feeling that I’m missing out on the gorgeous summer weather.

I’m so excited for the summer. What are you looking forward to this summer?

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Summer Contests

I love winning prizes on book blogs. It’s so exciting to open my mailbox and see a perfect, book-sized package waiting for me. I’ve won a few this summer and it’s been so much fun! I’m like a little kid on Christmas morning opening my presents.

I wanted to say a big THANKS to the bloggers I received my most recent wins from:

Sheila @ Book Journey sent me this:

  And James @ Book Chic Club sent me this:


I can’t wait to read my new wins! 🙂

One last note – CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!!!! 

I will be hosting a series of contests for fabulous prizes starting in August. Stay tuned to find out the details and enter for your chance to win! 🙂