Free Beautycounter Samples

I finally feel like I am getting back in the swing of things, which is always a good feeling! After a week showing my sister and brother-in-law around Alaska, I hardly had any time to update the blog, stay on top of social media, and share the new things Beautycounter has come out with. So let’s get started with a Beautycounter update!

I love that Beautycounter is constantly coming out with new products! There are new products that have recently been released, some that have been restocked, and others that were brought back. There are also new products that are slated to come out soon! (As consultants, we sometimes get a preview, but we can’t share until they are actually released!)

This month, the big highlight was that the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion is back in stock! When it was first released, it sold out in 24 hoursthat’s crazy! This moisturizer adapts to your skin and gives moisture where it needs it and doesn’t where it doesn’t. (That was more confusing than it needed to be.) Anyway, just know that this is an amazing product that you can also be assured is safe for your skin!

Secondly, Beautycounter brought back the Rejuvenating Face Cleanser. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this product and can’t wait to try it once I run out of my Nourishing Cream Cleanser. I love the Rejuvenating Night Cream, which stems from the same line. This cleanser foams, soothes, and leaves your skin moisturized. A win-win-win in my book!

This Bare Shimmer Lip Gloss used to be a holiday-only color, but now it is available year-round! I definitely like a little shimmer in my lip gloss color, and this is going on my ‘want’ list right now.

The Protect Sunscreen Stick is also back in stock. You can’t go wrong with safe sunscreen this time of the year. I am learning about all the toxic ingredients that are in lotions and specifically sunscreens. Beautycounter uses anon-nano zinc oxide that is safe and blends well into your skin without the white residue. This article has more about how harmful the traditional ingredient in sunscreens: oxybenzone is for humans and the coral reefs.

I don’t know about you, but I love free samples and for the remainder of the month, I’m offering up to 3 free samples of various Beautycounter products with your purchase through the end of the month. (You don’t have to purchase the products I featured aboveI was just highlighting some of Beautycounter’s new products.) Feel free to buy whatever you would like, and if you need advice, I’d be glad to help!

A Beautycounter purchase of any amount = one sample

$75 Beautycounter purchase = 2 samples of your choice

$100 Beautycounter purchase = all 3 samples

*These totals are before taxes and shipping costs.

**Only available to those in the US.

Sample option #1: Charcoal Cleansing Bar

Sample option #2: No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil

Sample option #3: Rejuvenating Radiance Serum

Purchases must be made by Monday, July 31. This is a promotion I am doing myself, so these won’t appear in your cart when you check out. Make sure you are shopping under me as your consultant and under the July Blog Social! Comment below on which sample(s) you would like!


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Kristy & Nick’s Alaska Trip

I had been looking forward to Kristy (my sister) and Nick’s (my brother-in-law) trip since they booked their tickets last fall. I was anticipating their arrival so much, and now I can’t believe it is already over. I didn’t know a week could go by so fast.

We ran, hiked, camped, fished, explored much of south central Alaska, and bonded during our adventures.

Craig, me, Cullen, Kristy, and Nick hiking Portage Pass Trail in Whittier, AK

As you know, our first full day together (Sunday), Kristy and I ran the Her Tern Half Marathon and tied for second place. Afterwards, there was no time to rest, we were off to Whittier for the afternoon.

Craig and I really like bringing tourists to Whittier because it is not your typical destination, so they get to see a part of the state most people don’t go to. There isn’t a ton to do, but it makes for a fun afternoon.

We first hiked the Portage Pass Trail. Somehow I got stuck carrying Cullen in the backpack up the mountain, even though I just ran a half marathon that morning! After our descent, we went into town to Swiftwater Cafe (the best place to eat in town) and had halibut, clam chowder, and salmon cakes. So good!

Monday morning, we had breakfast, got packed up, and then headed north to the Willow area to my in-law’s cabin. This is a pretty bare-bones cabin, but the big news is that they got running water in the cabin . . . .just cold water, only one faucet, however still no indoor plumbing.

We chilled the rest of the day, I attempted to take a nap with Cullen, I went for a second run, and then had s’mores around the fire. I don’t love s’mores; it’s more about the nostalgia.

Tuesday morning we slept in, Kristy and I went for a run, and then we headed to Talkeetna for the day. We stopped at a lake and threw rocks into the lake (One of Cullen’s favorite pasttimes.) with float planes around us. We then headed into Talkeetna. Tourist note: if you want a taste of some real Alaskan-ness, head to Talkeetna.

We had lunch at the Denali Brewing Company, and I had THE BEST salmon ever! I’m kind of over salmon, but if this is how salmon was prepared every meal, I would not get sick of it. It was perfectly done with an incredible rub/seasoning on it. The rest of the salad was awesome as well.

We walked around Talkeetna, checked out the shops, threw more rocks into the river, and then headed back to the cabin for the night.

Wednesday morning we drove back to Anchorage, unpacked, did laundry, repacked, and then headed down to the Kenai Peninsula for a few days of camping and fishing.

We camped in Soldotna and fished in the Kenai River for salmon. Kristy was successful and caught one fish! Nick helped her net it.

On Friday everyone went on a halibut fishing charter, however, we didn’t know how Cullen would do on something like that, so I drove down to Homer with Cullen and met up with Whitney at the beach, had a bit to eat at Two Sisters Bakery, and then did a little shopping. It was a gorgeous day, and Cullen had so much fun he didn’t want to leave.

Saturday we had to head back to Anchorage to take Kristy and Nick to the airport. Before we left, Kristy and I did a 21 mile long run with the last 3 miles at 6:50 pace. I didn’t hit the 6:50 pace, but it was still a successful run in my book. It was a warm, sunny day, and I wish we hadn’t had to spend the second half of the day driving. But at last, the trip had to come to an end, and we dropped them off at the airport.

Come back soon!!

Her Tern Half Marathon 2017 Race Recap

I don’t think words can express how happy I am about this race! I literally could not have asked for it to go better, and it was everything I secretly hoped it would be!

Eight months ago, my sister, Kristy, and her husband, Nick, made plans to come to Alaska mid-July. I convinced them to come for the Her Tern Half Marathon, which is my favorite race all year! By the grace of God, I overcame my hip injury, and we were both able to be healthy for this race. (This has not always been the case; often times one of us is injured.)

Training leading up to the race went really well for me. I’ve been running mileage in the 50s and 60s and topped out at 67 miles one week. But then I had a 7 mile workout just two days before the race where I was supposed to run 3 x 2 minutes at goal half marathon pace, which Nichole said was 6:40-6:45 pace (1:27-1:28 finish time). This pace-for just 2 minutes-should have come very easily for me, but I was majorly struggling! The 6:40/6:45 pace felt so hard, and I kept thinking, How am I going to run this pace for nearly 90 minutes in two day?!

But you do what you can, and put your best foot forward. I knew I was capable of a 1:27/1:28 finish time, but I also secretly hoped that I could run 1:26-something. This was my ‘A’ goal, which I usually don’t share with anyone. I tried to rest as much as possible on Friday and Saturday, but it was hard because I was getting ready for my sister and brother-in-law and their trip here to Alaska: cleaning the house, doing laundry, prepping food, while watching Cullen all day.

Kristy and Nick flew in the day before. I ended up spending more time on my feet than I wanted to with coaching the training group in the morning, working at the Expotique that morning, and then getting ready for their arrival. Finally, after dinner, I put my feet up and tried to give them a break. I also took an ice bath Saturday night, which I am definitely going to be keeping in my pre-race ritual.

Sunday morning, I got ready, had half of a bagel with vegan cream cheese for breakfast. I never eat anything before running in the morning, so it is hard to get myself to eat something on race mornings. I also had a few sips of decaf coffee with non-dairy creamer, my Generation UCAN pre-workout drink mix, and a GU right before the race started. Kristy and I left for the race and had about 40 minutes to warm-up, which was the perfect amount of time because I felt ready to go by the time the gun went off.

Kristy and I had strategized quite a bit before we ran the race. We decided we were definitely going to run the entire race together. We have run a handful of other races together, but we have ended up running them at our own paces: Twin Cities Marathon and Boston Marathon. We could only think of 3 other races we have done together and all 3 we weren’t as competitive because either I was doing it as a workout or one of us was injured. We talked about what pace we were aiming for, the course profile, running the tangents, how much we were going to talk, etc. So when the gun went off, we pretty much knew the plan, and now we just had to execute it. Starting out, I felt really good (unlike Friday’s workout!), so I was optimistic I could maintain a pace closer to 6:40.

One of the faster girls took off from the start leading the rest of the way. (By the way, she is only one year postpartum and is wicked fast! Congrats Mandy!) That left Kristy and I in 3rd and 4th place behind another runner. We followed her for about 5 miles. I kept trying to read whether or not she was going to be able to maintain this pace or if she was going to drop off. I wanted to be competitive and pass her sooner, but I knew that wasn’t smart, so we stuck with her for about 5 miles. We finally gained a little ground, but I knew she was still hanging on. The turn-around is at mile 7, and she was still on our tail at that point. I kept thinking I needed to put more distance between us and try to lose her for good. (In the nicest way possible!) Luckily I never heard her behind us again, so I knew we had 2nd and 3rd place secured.

The majority of the race is out-and-back, so on the way ‘out’ there isn’t much else going on, but on the way ‘back,’ we get to see all of the other people racing, which was fun because I was able to cheer for friends or for ladies from the training group. (Sometimes all I could do was smile or wave though because I was too out of breath.) It was also encouraging to get cheers from other people running.

The way ‘back’ is every so slightly downhill, and I can always feel it. By the last few miles, my legs were pretty beat up, so they appreciate this decline. However, then last half mile of the course is a gradual uphill to the finish with a steep one-block hill the last 0.1 mile. This is when things get really tough. I hit the bottom of that hill, and I had to tell Kristy to wait for me because my legs were beat. I felt like I was walking up that last hill, but then I saw the clock-1:36:xx, and I knew I had to book it to get under 1:27 because it was about to turn.

Kristy and I stayed side-by-side (and even stride-for-stride) through the finish line and tried to cross at exactly the same time. I glanced down at my watch and saw 1:26:56, and I was so incredibly happy! I had gotten my ‘A’ goal!

I knew the computer would have to pick one person to be 2nd and one to be 3rd, so when I saw I had beaten her by one one-hundreth of a second (0.01), I burst out laughing and told her I would split any prizes with her because really we had tied for 2nd place.

I think it’s funny that it looks like she beats me in this photo, but from a different angle it kind of looks like I inched her out.

Other notables:

Throughout the whole race, I think Kristy and I exchanged a total of 10 words. Of course we weren’t going to do much chit-chatting since we needed to conserve our energy for running, but she told me she doesn’t like it when people talk to her when she’s running, so I kept quiet. It was fine because we have ESP, so we pretty much could read what the other was thinking anyhow. I pushed at the beginning a little more than I know she would have, and I could tell by her breathing she was struggling a little, but I also knew she would hold on. Then I felt she wanted to pick up the pace at mile 10, but I didn’t have much left in the tank, so she hung with me.

We saw 2 moose right off the trail during the race. Luckily they are pretty used to people, so they didn’t bother us.

I didn’t take any energy gels while running. You have enough glycogen stores for 90 minutes, so I know I don’t need anything. More recently my half marathons haven’t been much more than 90 minutes, so I haven’t been taking an calories in mid-race, and I haven’t felt a dip in my energy while racing. I think the Generation UCAN really helps me have sustained energy throughout the race.

Local newspaper (Alaska Dispatch News) article HERE.

I am still on cloud nine from this race, and I am so glad Kristy was able to run it with me!

Monday Miscellaneous

Happy almost 4th of July!

I know many of you took an extended weekend and have been celebrating already. I worked on Saturday but had Sunday off, so I spent the entire day cleaning the house. Not exactly the most exciting thing, but the weather was rainy anyhow, and I love the feeling of going to bed with a clean house.

Let’s highlight a few things on this Monday!

Running

Running has been going really well for me! I started working with my coach, Nichole, again, and I am loving having someone else plan every workout for me. I hit 67 miles last week that included a pretty tough interval workout, 13 mile tempo run, and a long run of 19 miles. You can read more about my workouts in this post.

Still my favorite running shoes.

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Nutrition

We have been whipping up some really good meals lately.

I finally caved and bought some Copper River Salmon from Costco. Since visiting Cordova, AK two summers ago and meeting the fishermen/women who fish the Copper River Delta for fresh salmon, I’ve always wanted to buy some but the price deterred me. I finally decided that the cost ($10/pound) was worth the fact I knew I was getting fresh, high-quality salmon.

I made this salmon in my Instant Pot, and it turned out perfect! Not too dry, perfectly done, and the best partno bones because the pressure cooker cooked them at the high enough. A perfect summer meal paired with a spinach salad as well as a quinoa salad.

The other meal that turned out fantastic were the High-Altitude Bison Meatballs With Simple Marinara from my beloved Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook. I’m usually not a big meatball person, but these were so good! I will definitely be making this meal for my next race.

And if you missed it, I posted a recipe for my Healthy Mocha Protein Smoothie that I have been making in the afternoons when I’m craving something cold and refreshing.

Alaska

On Instagram, I had said I wanted to make it my goal this summer to take Cullen to a new place each week. So far we have succeeded! Our adventures have included a lot of new parks, new places to hike/walk, and one afternoon we had lunch with Craig at Lake Hood to watch the seaplanes take off and land.

Fashion

There is an awesome sale going on right now at Loft. I purchased these 3 items recently, and I love all of them. They are all additional 60% of the sale price. They are too good to pass up!

Sweater $16

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Dress $24

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Top $16 (in a different colorthis color is sold out)

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Beautycounter

I just got the Rejuvenating Radiance Serum in the mail over the weekend, and I am excited to start using it! I’ve heard a lot of people use this and rave about it, so I’m hoping it helps improve my complexion as well.

I will also be having a fun promo later this month so stay tuned if you like free samples!

Have a happy and safe 4th or July!