Running a 5K{Tips to Getting Started}

I have had several people lately ask me how I got started running.  The weather has been gorgeous here.  Not too hot and not too cold.  So it is the perfect time to lace those shoes up and give it a try.

I think people ask me for two reasons.  1.  Because I have not always been a runner.  It’s different for people who haven’t spent much time running in their life.  It’s new.  It’s scary.  It’s painful.  And in the midst of all that, you can’t see the other side.  The side where running is enjoyable and rewarding.  It’s there waiting, but it’s impossible to see when you first start.  And 2.  Because I haven’t quit yet.  It’s hard for me to believe because it seems like I just started, but I began running 4 years ago.    It was hard and slow at first.  And there have been ups and downs, but I am still at it.  It’s part of me now.  I can very confidently tell you that I will not quit running.

I suppose this is where I tell you that you should not start any type of physical activity without consulting your doctor first.  If you haven’t seen your doctor in over a year, I strongly encourage you to get a checkup.  Especially if you’re old like me.  It’s good to know what’s going on with your body.

Now, on with how I got started.  It’s super complicated.  Ready?  I downloaded the Couch25K app on my iphone.  If you’re not familiar with this app.  It is a running program that will have you running a 5k in 8 weeks.  It helps you build strength by alternating between running and walking.  The thought of running 3 miles was so overwhelming that I didn’t even know where to start.  That’s what the app did for me.  It gave me a starting point.  And I followed that thing to a tee…for the first few weeks.

Then all of a sudden I felt like I could run longer than it was having me, so I decided I would do just that.  I started just running as long as I could.  Then I would stop and walk until I caught my breath and then I would start running again until the 30 minutes were up.  Don’t be afraid to veer from the plan if you feel like you can.

Here’s the truth.  It’s painful.  The starting part where you’re completely out of shape and you feel like your lungs are on fire.  And deciding to run sounds like your worst idea ever.  But then you get through that run and you feel the tiniest bit of accomplishment.  Like you did something good.  And you want more of that feeling, so you run again another day.  And you get that same feeling and you keep going and going until you get the ultimate feeling.  That moment when you run 3 miles without stopping.  It’s that runners high.  Knowing you have worked so hard for something and kept going through those difficult times and  you did it!  I recommend signing up for a race.  Sometimes it is the extra motivation you need to get your foot out the door.

The app has you run 3 times a week which is a great plan.  But I live in real life and I have kids and a family and there is not always 3 days a week where I can set aside time just for running.  So here’s my secret.  I would run whenever I could.  I would run to the softball park to watch my husband play ball.  I would take the kids to soccer practice and run while they were there.  I would run to the church or to the school when I had meetings.  It wasn’t always 3 miles.  Sometimes it was 1 mile.  Sometimes it was 2.  Sometimes it was 4.  But it was something and that’s what matters.  Don’t get down on yourself if you miss a day or if you can’t get a full 30 minutes in.  Do what you can because it’s better than nothing.  And eventually those small pieces will turn into more.

I promise you all the pain and sacrificing is so worth it.  You’ll be healthier.  You’ll feel better.  You’ll be more in tune with your body.  And I bet, if you give it a fair shot, you’ll love running too!

Running Tips

1.  Get checked out by a doctor.

2.  Get the Couch25K app(or another app).

3.  Don’t be afraid to veer from the plan.

4.  Sign up for a race.

5.  Fit your runs in whenever you can.


Cottage Collective Preview

We will be at the Cottage Collective sale again this weekend. The sale runs Thursday evening-Saturday. Check out the Cottage Facebook page for more information. We hope to see you there! We have many new signs and a few Easter goodies. We are also excited to announce our new tshirt line! These will be available this weekend at the sale or you can email us directly at if you are interested in purchasing. We have already almost sold out of some styles just by posting on IG and Facebook, so if you want one and we are out of your size/style let us know and we you can preorder one for our next shipment. We will have more styles in the months to come but have released just these to start with.



Here is a sneak peek at some of the handmade signs we will be have at the sale as well. If you aren’t local or can’t make it to the sale but are interested in a piece please send us an email  for details and prices.


 Hope to see you there!

Donating Hair

Porsha has been growing her hair out for years now with the hopes of donating it so that little kids with hair loss can have  a wig.  Every time we talked about it she would say, “Just a little longer.”  Then a couple of her besties chopped their hair off and they decided if Porsha would do it then they could all be triplets.  So she decided she was ready.  Here she is before with her long beautiful hair.


The stylist put several small ponytails in so it would be easier to cut off and it would stay together to be mailed.

And then it was gone.  I think she was more ready for it than I was, but she still looks beautiful.  Her dad said it makes her look older.  Nooooooo!!!!  Not what I was hoping for.  I’m so grateful for a daughter that is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She has a heart to help others and she’s not afraid to make some sacrifices to do it.  We decided to donate it to because they are a nonprofit organization that give children wigs at no cost.  Several of the other places we looked into still charge the recipients or have very strict guidelines in order to be eligible for a wig.  Children With Hair Loss only requires 8 inches to be able to donate, so that was part of the decision also.  I would encourage you to research before you donate.  I don’t think any of them are “bad” but they all have different guidelines and recipients, so if you want to be sure the people you want actually get the hair you donate, it is worth the extra time.  Children With Hair Loss even email you a certificate for donating.

Here she is with her new do.

Porsha's Short Hair



Donating Hair2

Marriage Monday::Spending Time Together

Marriage is something so near and dear to my heart as I believe it is meant to be the most rewarding earthly relationship we have. I have been thinking more and more about marriage as Jason and I’s 10 year anniversary approaches. One thing I have found that has really helped us over the years is finding common interests we can do together. It seems that Jason and I naturally share more common interests than some couples so that makes it a little easier for us, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done if you and your spouse’s interests don’t naturally correlate. It just means it may take more work. I must also include that I do believe it is just as important to have your own individual interests too. That is what makes us man and woman. We are different beings. It also strengthens us as individuals and gives us something to be our own which is healthy in any relationship. However, finding some common interests helps you spend more time together which will help your marriage and relationship grow. When I hear of failed marriages the common ground seems to be a lack of communication and a lack of quality time together. Making each other a priority is huge. If you can find things you both enjoy together it makes it easier because you are getting to participate in a hobby or activity you love while getting to spend time with your spouse too. I have found over the years that my favorite activities are even better when shared with Jason because he is truly my very best friend. Who doesn’t want to do things with their best friend? It makes everything that much sweeter. My most fun memories are ones shared with him. My challenge to you is to sit down together and think about things you like to do and things your spouse likes to do and see where those lists match up. If there are few matches then look at each other’s lists and agree on a couple of items that you are each willing to try out from the other’s list. Not only will this broaden your horizons, but will also give the two of you more time together. By no means am I suggesting doing everything together. Remember, some individual time and/or time with friends is a necessity too. I just think building your life together more than apart will do wonders for your marriage. Most importantly, have fun!


A few ideas of things Jason and I enjoy together:

-snow skiing

-water skiing/boating




-watching movies (we take turns on who gets to pick)

-coffee date nights

-sporting events


And….a few things we keep separate:

-crafting for me

-hunting for him

-shopping for me

-golfing for him



March Craft Night


Check out the springy craft we did for our March Craft Night.  We had a smaller crowd than usual because of Spring break going on, but we had a blast with the ones that were there.  I even got to do the craft this time.  Usually one of us does the craft ahead of time and then the other one never gets to because we are so busy.  I was so glad I got to do it because my door is in dire need of some springy color!!

sami craft

Once you got the hang of rolling the paper, this craft was really simple.  Lots of paper and lots of hot glue were used but the result is beautiful.

susan craft

We had some make it in turquoise too and it looked great!


There are kits available for $20 if you are interested.  Very simple but delivers a huge pop of color!  The ones that came walked away with some awesome giveaways too.


bunnyBoth of these will be for sale at the Cottage Collective sale next week.  Can’t wait until next month.  We will announce the craft for April soon.  Be on the look out!