Archive for July 2011


Taming an overrun yard...
that was our challenge last weekend and so far, the backyard looks 10x better. 

Here is a little glimpse at all our hard work. 

Backyard, Pre-close

During cleanup


We basically cleared almost 99% of everything out. With poison ivy and other nameless weeds growing, we wanted to start fresh and get ready to design our backyard with a clean slate. Although, I did find a huge patch of fresh mint! It smelled amazing when we were working and made me crave a mojito. 

So... I know you want to see the sexy beast who did most of the grueling work. :)

We had these huge ugly shrubs and trees in our front yard that Zach took a chainsaw and ax to. 
I was busy tearing down wallpaper, but came out to get a glimpse of my man at work. 

These vines are all over the fences by our house. They look pretty cool, but are about the hardest things to remove! I like how they appear to have little "feet" wherever they grow. 

The hands of one of our hardworking helpers...Momma.

Lots of work was accomplished last week, but there is still so much to do...tad overwhelming at times.
I'm hoping to finish painting and lining the cabinets of my pantry today and get started on spackling the downstairs walls. There are so many holes & divots in the walls!
Stay tune for more before and after pictures.

-Kate Lainey

Feel free to follow me on Facebook & Twitter see more pictures and hear how the renovation is going.

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It seems like it has been forever since I've done an outfit post!   
Probably for the best considering that my weekend & evening outfits have consisted of dirty work clothes and sweaty running garb.  Even though it's only been a week, I've learned that I can't keep constantly working on the house, for the burnout will quickly approach.  So you all get to see an outfit and I get a much needed break so I can gear up for this weekend. 

Summer isn't my favorite season, but I have been enjoying the chance to be outside and soak up the sun rays that have been on and off here in Grand Rapids.  Only downside is the humidity that has reeked havoc on my hair and makes me feel greasy when stepping outside for 2 minutes. Oh well, better than over 100 degree weather!

Top: Megan Nielsen, Shorts: Target, Belt: Thrifted, Shoes: Forever21 

I usually don't wear this short of shorts at work, so they make an appearance on the weekends or weeknights.  I love how perfectly they fit and the rich green color.  I purchased this Midday sample top from Megan Nielsen's beautiful Spring 2011 collection. I adore the peter pan collar and how light it feels on. Keeping it causal, I threw on my new favorite sneakers that I found in San Francisco.  

So, in other news... I'm anxiously awaiting my new camera that I recently bought. I was getting pretty frustrated with the quality of photos that my current camera takes and how slow the functions are. 
So stay tune for better photos! :) 

Alright back to packing, we have so much stuff in this little apartment! 

-Kate Lainey

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Beet & Arugula Salad

With the sun beating down upon Michigan, being extremely busy with the house, and having no desire to turn on the oven; I've been taking full advangtage of all the fresh produce from the Fulton Street Farmer's Market and using it as a reason to not cook as much these past two weeks.  Salads are by far one of the easiest meals to make, so I took inspiration from the Roasted Beet Salad at the Reserve Wine Bar for this night's dinner. Since Zach and I never get full from just a salad, I quickly microwaved two sweet potatoes, mashed them up and sprinkled just a tad bit of brown sugar on them. 

As for the salad, I boiled the beets till I could easily push a fork through them and removed the skin. 
Adding the fresh arugula from the market onto a plate, I sliced the beets on top, sprinkled with walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. Done. 

If I could solely shop at farmer's markets for all my food, I would. Reading this article from Mlive about the Fulton Street Farmer's Market makes me über excited about the possibilities of having a year-round market!  Do any of you have a special market where you frequent a lot?  Is it just food or crafts as well? 

I hope everyone is enjoying there week.  
At work we are gearing up for our huge sidewalk sales, so it has been pretty hectic. If you are interested in running or lifestyle apparel and shoes, you should check out Gazelle Sports

-Kate Lainey

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Running with Perseverance

Recently, I've had several readers ask me about my passion for running and my general lifestyle when it comes to exercising and staying healthy, so I thought I'd dedicate this post to delve into that topic.

When did you start running?
I actually have been running since middle school.  I received a call from the cross country coach; who was looking to recruit more ladies. I decided to give it a shot...and hated it. For some reason I stuck with it and ended up running cross-country and track all the way into college. My competitive drive, delight for the outdoors, and love for my running buddies have all been major reasons why I've stuck with this sport for so long.  I really don't ever seeing myself not running, unless I physically can't anymore. 
How do you train for races?
My training varies greatly depending on what race I'm running, how far it is, and what season I'm training in. I usually try to go off of a plan from a running coach; such as Hal Higdon or Jack Daniels, but when it comes down to it, it's mostly by feel and what my body deems is "enough."  I like to train properly for every race I run, but if I feel sick, fatigued, or just overworked, missing a day or two isn't going to kill me.  I also am a big believer in cross training your body. Just because you're training to run a race, does not mean you can't bike, swim, do yoga, or any other activity one or two days out of the week. Cross training has so many benefits; it allows you to work different sets of muscles while still getting a cardio workout, changes up the monotonous of running everyday, and lowers your risk for injury! 
Do you have any advice on how to get back into shape to start running again?
You first have to want to get back into shape and run again.  Find a buddy that will hold you accountable or run with you! Start off slow, you don't want to burn yourself out in the first week. Plan goals for yourself! If that means signing up for a race in a couple of months or attaining a goal weight; then go after them.  Joining a local running group is one of the best ways to stay on top of your training; along with meeting tons of new people.  I'm fortunate to work for an amazing company that puts on many races and training groups each season. For more information, check out Gazelle Sports' website!

How do you stay healthy and maintain your weight?
I firmly believe that everyone is unique, therefore each individual will respond differently to exercise and dieting.  Personally for me, staying healthy is a lifestyle, one that I take very seriously.  During my training seasons I usually try to run or cross train 6-7 times a week.  In the off seasons sometimes I don't run for weeks, allowing my body to recover from my last race.  When I don't feel like running, Zach and I enjoy playing a variety of sports and love our walks together.  As far as what I eat, that has changed greatly since college. Over the past 2 years I've slowly started transitioning to a plant-based diet.  The last 10 months I've felt amazing and have started to realize the huge significance eating this way has on my body, the economy, and the environment.  

Any tips on how to stay motivated?
I love reading blogs and running books about athletes or fellow runners. They always seem to make me want to lace up those running shoes right away! Make sure to reward yourself when you do accomplish your goals. I tend to reward myself with a new running outfit right before a big race. :)  I also recommend logging your miles or workouts online. I've used Flotrackr and DailyMile and both have been great resources to track how well I've been progressing in my training.

I hope you all enjoyed my running post!  Feel free to shoot me an email or Facebook message if you have any more questions. I love talking about exercising and eating healthy.

Anyone have great plans for the weekend?
 I'm anxiously awaiting to close on our house tomorrow and start the major overhaul on it! Yippee!!
Have a lovely weekend.

-Kate Lainey

pictures via Pinterest

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Closing Time

You'd think that after getting married we'd have a little down time... haha no such luck.
Well good news is - I like staying busy and we are set to close on our house this Friday! 
I've been so anxious these past couple weeks as we awaited to hear when they'd have all the paperwork finalized.  Zach and I drive or run past the house every chance we get and let the ideas flow on what we'd like to do with it. Let me tell you, lots of sweat equity will be going into this house.  It is a 1910 American Four Square home with original woodwork, stain glass windows, and 9' ceilings...but is in dire need of renovating.

Here is a glimpse of my favorite room in the whole house...the butler's pantry!

We've pretty much wrote out a plan for the next year of what we'd like to get accomplished....
It doesn't look like much, but we'll be lucky if we get half of it done. 

Landscape and add trees & garden
Paint interior and put up drywall if necessary
Fix exterior issue with brick/concrete stairs
Refinish all the woodwork (there is tons of it!)
Convert the fireplace to gas and remodel facade
Remodel the kitchen and bathrooms
Paint the house

And that is just scratching the surface. 

We really wanted a fixer upper, something to work towards and truly make our own. I'm so stoked about the potential for this house and excited to blog about our future progress!
 Finally a place that we can settle down in and call home. 

Here's to hoping that we do close on Friday and that there will be no more delays!
If anyone is experienced with remodeling houses, please let me know. 
I'll be needing all the advice I can get. :) 


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Tying the Knot - Wedding Photos

This week I had the joy of getting a glimpse of our beautiful wedding photos taken by Bryan and Mae!  They put together two amazing blog posts of our wedding day and it instantly took me back to June 25th. The raw emotion and timeless memories were instilled within each photo and I can't express how happy Zach and I were with these. I'm only going to post a few of the photos that are on facebook; you'll have to check out the rest here and here! Seriously, it's worth a look. :) 

I'm so stoked to see the rest of this goodness. :)
What do you guys think? 


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Honeymoon: Big Sur

The last part of our honeymoon trip was spent hiking in Big Sur, which is just south of Monterey. 
The sun shone so bright the whole time we were there; it finally warmed up enough to sport shorts! 
We ventured into Los Padres National Forest for some mountain climbing...or rather attempted mountain climbing.  I'm extremely afraid of heights so Zach was pretty proud of me for getting about half-way up the mountain before chickening out.  It was about the time when the trail was the same width as my body that I started to freak out! Yikes! 

Heading up to Mount Manuel...unfortunately this was the last picture I took during the hike. I was too busy staring at my feet to make sure they didn't fall off the side of the cliff! 

By far, my favorite view from the entire time in California! 

Of course Zach had to pose for the camera. :)

This last picture is the view from the restaurant, Nepenthe, where we ate before heading back to the hotel. It is located right on top of a huge cliff overlooking the ocean.  Even though it was pretty dang expensive ($35 for a veggie burger & glass of wine!) we couldn't pass up the chance to eat our last dinner in California looking at this beautiful coastal view. 

One last video of the crazy fog on Highway 1. 

I hope you all enjoyed looking at our honeymoon photos! Zach and I had a blast and are ready to tackle the next project together as husband and wife...our house renovation!  We are hoping to close on Friday, but the underwriters are taking their pretty time. 

Stay tune for some amazing wedding pictures to appear on the blog soon!!!!
I cannot wait to share them with you all!!


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Honeymoon: Monterey

Driving south on Highway 1 to Monterey, we couldn't help but pull over to the side of the road countless times to catch glimpses of the breath-taking coastal views. Every turn around the mountain gave way to more sights; never ending cliffs, pure blue waters, and foreign vegetation.  Zach and I both agreed that if we ever came back to California, it would be spent biking these roads and hiking the mountain side. 

One of the coolest things about this area was the abundances of farmer's markets and just fresh fruit and veggies in general. We scored on a basket full of goodies that lasted the remainder of the trip! 

The Lone Cypress on 17 mile drive

Monterey Bay Aquarium
The jelly fish were amazing to watch! 

Exploring Pebble Beach

I wanted very much to swim in these was sunny in Monterey, but not nearly warm enough for beach bathing.  Another time.  Has anyone else been out to the Monterey area?

Stay tune for one last honeymoon post from our short time in Big Sur!


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