Summer Runnin’

23 Jun


I am NOT going to lie.  Summer running in this humidity is pretty awful.

But it is not snowing.  I don’t have to layer clothes to not freeze to death while also sweating like a pig underneath so that the sweat freezes to you.  If I’m too much of a wimp to run outdoors in the winter, then I sure as heck can’t also complain in the summer that it’s too hot.  So, running I must do.

My tips:

Become a morning runner.  Running after work was just not working.  It was just too hot.  Since I’ve switched to the morning running life has been a lot better. If morning doesn’t work, check the weather in advance and see what time of day will be the coolest. Try to schedule your runs for the coolest part of the day, or even during or after those afternoon rainstorms (obviously, not if there is lightning!)

HYDRATE.  Being that I’m getting up so early means I don’t have a full day to hydrate, so I have to be hydrated all the time. If I drink a full 100oz. every day I feel so much better. I don’t really carry any water with me on my run so on really hot mornings I make sure I run past a public facility that has water fountains in the lobby for a quick water break.  This same facility also has sprinklers watering the grass some mornings.  I’m not ashamed to say, I run right through these to cool off.

Hat or visor are required.   Keeping the sun off your face and the sweat out of your eyes is really important!

Cool down slowly. Cooling down too fast gives me a headache! I cool off with some stretching on the front porch before I go inside the air conditioned house. Then after I’m inside I’ll drink some water I stashed in the freezer before I left.  After that – I’ll jump in a cool shower.

I have pinned several million articles on this topic (ok, maybe slight exaggeration)and I’ve shared some of them for you to find more tips!

Run To the Finish

Runners Connect

Mommy Runs It

Running With Ollie

Have you joined me in #1MillionMinutes for #SweatPink?

Love yourself!

Sparkle on,


I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Monday Motivation: One Million Minutes

22 Jun

 This summer the ladies at Fit Approach are working on ONE MILLION MINUTES of fitness.  As a Fit Approach Ambassador, I’m asking YOU to join us!  Help us #SweatPink all summer long by logging your workout minutes here.  

Each week there will be an email sent with prompts for you to share  your workout minutes on social media to get your friends to join you.  Ladies, this is a chance to get your girlfriends moving.  We all do so very little for ourselves, getting sweaty thirty minutes a day should at the top of our lists, for our own health!


Here are this week’s challenges:

Monday: share your goal for #1MillionMinutes!

Tuesday: show us what living an active life means to you!

Wednesday: try a new move, class, or workout!

Thursday: share your favorite “hack” for staying active when life gets super busy!

Friday: FREE Friday! Get moving, and get happy!

Saturday: show us your healthy weekend activities!

Sunday: Get yo’ bliss on. Show us how you chill out, pamper, relax.

From now until August 21, the goal is to inspire and encourage everyone to get moving. So sign up and track your minutes along with Sweat Pink – and, of course there will be some fun prizes along the way for a little extra incentive.

My goals for this week are

Monday: Playground workout (45 minutes)
Tuesday: Run 2 miles
Wednesday: HIIT workout
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: Run
Saturday:  Women’s 4 Miler Training Program (2 mile warm up then follow training program)
Sunday: Rest

So, what are your goals for this week?  Join me in #1MillionMinutes for #SweatPink?

Love yourself!

Sparkle on,


I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Friday Five: Happiness

19 Jun

Thinking out Loud.  Maybe we found Love Right where we are.

Thank you, Ed Sheeran, for those beautiful words. There is just so much hate and sadness in the world right now that I am very happy that today’s Friday Five Linkup topic is Five Things That Make you Happy so that I can share what is currently making me find love.  (Thank you for hosting the Friday Five link up  Courtney,  Cynthia and Mar and the Fitness, Health and Happiness Friday Jill).

Currently this is what is making me happy:

UVA Baseball

The ‘Hoos have a chance to make it into the finals of the College World Series this weekend.  I’m a nervous wreck.  Do you not like sports, college sports, baseball?  Ok.  That’s cool and all (we probably can’t be friends, but it’s cool). But these kids have heart.  You should root for them.



Summer Sitter

The summer sitter is AWESOME.  The kids are doing their chores (or she’s doing them for them. I don’t care, they are getting done!)  The kids are reading.  The kids are active and out and trying new things (Geocaching? OK!) But most of all – the house isn’t a wreck, the kids think she’s awesome, and they’re not fighting at bedtime so that means they are tired.  HOORAY!


That’s right.  I’m loving my training runs! This schedule I put together is really working out for me.  Yes it was hot and humid and I finish looking like a drowned rat, but that is OK.  My times are coming down.  I was averaging 16 minute miles back in April and now I’m doing runs in the fourteen minute range.  I am doing hill work and “speed work”.  Don’t get me wrong, my “speed work” is someone else’s slow – but THAT’S OK.  I’m starting to love running and just in time – I’ve got twelve weeks to go until the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler!



Summer Gardens

Remember that episode of Friends when Joey tells Phoebe that there are no selfless good deeds?  Yeah, this is THAT.

We live near the kids elementary school and through a lot of hard work of one parent, all the teachers, the school PTO, an amazing administration and the City Schoolyard Garden program we have a really great garden right in our back yard.  I’m not ashamed to say that I signed up for us to water the garden a couple of times throughout the summer solely for the purpose of not feeling guilty when I harvest some of the vegetables!  I spied some tomatoes that were turning red this week and got a little giddy.




Support and Love

Earlier this week I posted a very personal and painful account of my life.  (Missed it?) The love and support I received after sharing it overwhelms me.  From DOC, friends, fellow bloggers and fellow women who hear the Little Voices of self-doubt, pain and hurt – I thank you all for your love and support.


In a week where the world looked a little crazy, where pain and sadness were everywhere, I’m glad I had the chance to choose happiness in my own life.  Hug the ones you love close and stand up for what is right.  For me, everything in this world does not make sense right now.

Only Jon Stewart does.


Make it a great weekend.  Love one another.

Sparkle on,


I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!



17 Jun

I supposed EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion. The fact is, everyone has a different view.  People have their own lens through which they see the world which is far different than the person standing right next to them.  Or, in the case of this story, the person riding right next to them.


Craziness has erupted in our small Virginia town. Here you go.  Check out this  NBC 29 Story.  I’ll wait until you’re back.

I am a car driver.   I drive out into the country to take the family out on hikes or out to Vineyards in our area so I have seen the cyclists and I have had to maneuver around the cyclists.  I have ridden a bike, but typically in a neighborhood, never out on a windy country road. In fact, I typically run either on sidewalks, trails or through neighborhoods but, unless in a race, I’ve never run out on windy country roads because I’m terrified of getting run off the road or hit by a car or truck. I have been a fundraiser for a very large event centered around cycling and have driven the SAG wagon (support and gear vehicle) for cyclists on training rides.  There was a cycling event out this woman’s way on Saturday and Sunday so I assume this might be why she felt so moved on Saturday to post her petition.  (And after seeing this story last night I assume someone felt so moved to start a petition to remove her from the roads. Ok, this got me laughing, I’m not going to lie.)

I’m not sure why this woman feels entitled to the roads. The fact that 530 some people agree with her blows my mind.  And the people commenting on the story.  SMH.  Bless.

I get it.  Maneuvering around the cyclists is a challenge.  You must slow down, watch out, and carefully move around them.  When the cyclists are breaking the rules and riding two abreast you have little chance to move around them.  But back off, honk and they’ll move to the side to let you by.  I promise.  The cyclists don’t want to get hit anymore than you want to delay your day.  We have some narrow country roads in Central Virginia.  We have cars and huge SUVs.  We also have tractors.  Let me tell you how many times I’ve wanted start a petition saying that a farm vehicle can’t be on the road from 7:30 am – 9:00 am because it’s delayed me from getting to work!  But that’s his work and I can’t fault a man for making his living.  Just as we can’t fault a person for wanting to breathe fresh air into his lungs, and pump her legs and get healthy in a way they enjoy.  All it take is making a little time and space for one another.

We all live in this world together.   Cyclists.  Motorists. Runners.  Walkers.  Couch sitters.  We need to give one another just a little space.  A little time.  Stop rushing.  Stop texting and driving. Stop riding two abreast.  Follow the rules. Make space.  Take care of one another.  Let’s just stop starting petitions and start working together to come up with solutions.

Love one another.  And quit feeling so damn entitled to your piece of the road.  We’re all using it together.

Sparkle on,


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Little Voices

16 Jun

Just Us. 2000.

Why do you even care? I love YOU.  I love how YOU look.  

These are the words my husband says to me.  My sweet, strong, smart, sexy husband.  The man I crushed on, HARD, the minute he walked through my apartment door fifteen years ago.  My gorgeous husband that my friend described as looking as though he’d been cut from gold.

If I didn’t think you were beautiful then or beautiful now, would I be with you?  I think you are, so what does it matter what you think?

Each night after the kids are gone to sleep and we can enjoy a tv show or laugh at the train wreck of The Bachelorette (don’t judge our guilty pleasure) he wraps his arm around me and inevitably he touches my stomach and I try to squirm away.  And each time my shirt rides up I pull my shirt back down.

Why do you do that?  I love you.  All of you.  Stop covering yourself. I love looking at you. 

He’s been here for fifteen years.  Pregnant belly, hungry belly, drunk belly.  He’s loved them all. ( I mean, maybe not hungry Aimee.  Hangry Aimee is a wicked witch.) And I’ve hated every last one of those bellys, and my thighs, bum, arms and legs too. Because of the little voices. Those little voices have been around for forty years and his love of fourteen years can only quiet so much.

Does every woman hear them like I do? Those little voices that whisper to me “suck it in”, “don’t wear that”, “you don’t deserve to eat that”,  “cover yourself at the pool” “no shorts for you”.  They are the voices of others who I have loved and I’ve trusted who have said to me “you’re so smart, how did you let yourself get this big”, “you don’t sweat much for a fat girl”, “oh, you’d be so much prettier if you’d just lose ten pounds”,  “are you sure you want to eat that” called me “thunder thighs”, “fat ass”, “wide load”, and shamed me with “you have no will power”, “you can’t”, “you won’t”, “mooooo”, and “you fat fucking pig.”

How can I help but want to pull my shirt down?  Cover my shame?  Covering my lumps and bumps and curves is a way to protect myself from having another voice in my head saying you are not worthy of being loved because you are not beautiful enough to be loved.

If you hear the voices, if your past pain won’t stop whispering in your ear, you know this struggle.  You know the true struggle of quieting the self hate and finding the self-love. I know this man loves me. I know that he loves all the curves and lumps and bumps.  What he doesn’t like is a wife who finds it hard to love herself. Rebuilding confidence after a lifetime of shame is hard.  Besides parenting, loving myself is the hardest work I’ve ever done.  I’m so thankful I have DOCs love to silence the voices.  But this is my truth.  The truth is every day I have to silence my own voices and to love myself enough to be loved by him.  Love myself enough to eat better, move more, and to not beat myself up every day.


Just Us 2015

Every day is a struggle. This is a challenge I’m fighting to overcome. This is all part of the Evolution of Mrs. Aimee C.

Love yourself.

Sparkle on,


I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Motivation Monday: I’ve Got Goals

15 Jun

Last Friday I talked a little about total fitness and how I feel like my cardio has improved but my over all fitness is missing. I want to start strength training however, I am also committed to training for our area’s Women’s 4 Miler.  This will be my third time running the race and I’d love to improve on my time.  The first two times I finished in just over an hour and basically walked with a friend.  I’d love to finish this year under forty five minutes.  In order to not lose fitness and to build my strength as well as increase my speed I will be doing a mix of running, balance and strength training.


2013 Women’s 4 Miler

My training goals for this week include

Monday: HIIT training at home

Tuesday: 2 mile run

Wednesday:  HITT training

Thursday: 2 mile run

Friday:  HITT Training

Saturday: 2 mile run plus Women’s 4 Miler Training Program

Sunday:  Rest

The HIIT training will include a half mile warm up walk/run and then 20 minutes of body weight and core exercises (shoulder taps, planks, lunges, squats, dips, etc.)  I’m starting out with simple body weight as a I build up some strength.




Help hold me accountable?  I’m posting my workouts onto Instagram and Facebook so call me out if you don’t see me working on my goals!  What are your goals for this summer?

Sparkle on,



PS – Head over to The Weekly Chase hosted by Molly and Mindy and see what other people are sharing about their weekly goals and accomplishments.

I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!

Loving Day

12 Jun crop family

This blog started as a way for me to talk about the struggles of motherhood and share our lives and changed over the years to talk more about our families changes as I started on a wellness journey. While I’m on an Evolution to a healthier happier me, our family hasn’t changed — we’re still a biracial family living in the south. We’re still navigating the life as two working parents and trying to be the best parents we can when sometimes our world looks a little different than the families around us.

Therefore, I’m taking  a break this week from the Friday Five linkup topic and Fitness Friday to wish you a Happy Loving Day!  An interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving fought versus the Commonwealth of Virginia for the right to marry in 1967.  Thirty-five years later we were married and began to build our family.

From our family, Just Us Four Carters, thank you Mildred and Richard Loving for your fight that allows us to be a family.

crop family

For more on the Lovings and the case Loving v Virginia visit

NPR from today and in 2007Loving Day and HBO.

Make it a great week.  Love one another.

Sparkle on,


I would love to see you on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!


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