Sunday, December 21, 2014

Memories Over Messes

I've always been more about making memories than making a mess of wrapping paper and bows and ribbon. Spending time with a person rather than with a plastic toy has and always will be more meaningful and memorable to me.

Last year I took K to see the Nutcracker Ballet and it's a night that we still talk about from time to time. The tutus and music and dancers are topics of conversation that bring smiles to our faces and words of "what a fun night that was" out of our mouths.

So this year we floated around ideas for our "night out" and decided on going to the Denver Zoo Lights, dinner, and a sleepover (which she was ECSTATIC about). I heard great things about the zoo lights so I was looking forward to our night just as much as she was! 

I didn't take any pictures of the lights but if I had to pick one word for what they looked like, it would magical. I felt like I was walking around a Hallmark Christmas movie with all the twinkly, pretty colored lights, music playing and signs for "Hot Cocoa This Way" every few steps. 

I never knew a little girl could change my life the way that K has. I count my blessings every night that I get to spend time with her everyday. The opportunity to see her grow into such a mature, responsible, charming young woman has been a gift in and of itself and something that will forever be engrained within me!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You Sick?

I'm on day 4 of riding a roller coaster of sickness. I stayed home Friday from work and watched, what I thought, was every Hallmark Christmas movie possible. On Saturday I started feeling better, despite a newly sore throat and smokers voice to follow, so ventured out of the house and ran errands until I had to sit down at the grocery store because I felt faint and hot, so back home to the couch it was. I woke up Sunday feeling the best I've felt in a week so went to church, cleaned the condo, and did some laundry. I had all intentions of going to work today and I have my packed lunch in the refrigerator to prove it. I got as far as putting on my mascara before I had to sit on my bed because I was seeing stars and both my ears were throbbing.

This bug that is sticking around is a sneaky one as I've felt better a number of times and then…BAM…it bites me again. So how do you know you're sick?

1. When you always start your morning with coffee so when you can't even finish a cup…you know you're sick.

2. When you use your hair as an eye mask because the thought of getting off the couch and getting yours in the bedroom seems too daunting of a task…you know you're sick.

3. When you have watched so many Christmas movies that you begin to see that they are all the same actors, just cycling through the different movies…you know you're sick.

I see you Candace Cameron.

4. When you have also watched so many Christmas movies that you know the plot before the first actor appears on screen. A snobby, high-profile woman is engaged to an attractive business man until she is plopped in some remote location due to whatever circumstance and falls in love with a kind-hearted mountain man who happens to run a children's shelter or is a volunteer firefighter…you know you're sick.

5. When you are bored enough to make a list like this…you know you're sick.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Dip

I brought this dip to my work Christmas party last night and it was a total hit! After taking one bite, everyone was asking me what was in it and how to make it. 

With simple ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make, this is the perfect appetizer to bring to any party or occasion. Bonus points: 1/4 cup is only 117 calories!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday Scramble

1. I've been wanting to write up something similar to this after completing my marathon back in September, so when I recently read Lisa's from Running Out Of Wine, she hit the nail on the head and took the words out of my mouth. I agree with them all!

Why Everyone Should Run a Marathon

2. #Elf4Health has been such a fun holiday challenge. My partner is wonderful and I am connecting and forming friendships with other women participating, too. Last week, one of our challenges was a buddy workout. I knew K (girl I nanny for) would be my "buddy" so I created this workout for us to do. She loved it! 

3. I received my Blue Apron box yesterday and you would have thought it was Christmas morning at my house. The meals for the week sound delicious and I can't wait to start cooking them up! Will post a full review about it all at the end of the week. 

4. Thursday night I was needing a sweaty workout (they just feel good, right?), so I put together this 45-minute interval treadmill gig. Don't let those 4mph intervals fool you! Walking on an 8 incline is no joke! 

Happy Saturday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bolder Bands Review (+ G I V E A W A Y!) CLOSED

Congratulations to the newest Bolder Band owner…JENNIFER! 

Please e-mail me by Friday so I can send you your headband as soon as possible! Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway - more in the future! Stay tuned! 


I don’t know about you but I personally can’t stand hair in my face. Whether I’m working out or working, my hair is either bobby pinned back or in a ponytail. I'm not usually one for headbands but when I was sent a couple to review (and giveaway!!) from Bolder Band, I was more than willing to try one out and see if they would change my mind.
I wore mine to Turbo Kick yesterday morning and after adjusting it a couple times, I found a "sweet spot" that was comfortable. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn't too tight, something I HATED when wearing headbands as a little girl because it would give me headaches. The Bolder Band can be adjusted in width for different looks and comes in a variety of colors and sizes, too! 

Now it's time for another G I V E A W A Y ! 

How to enter:

1. (Mandatory) Browse through the Bolder Band website and leave a comment telling me which one of their products you would love!
2. (Brownie Points) Follow me on twitter (@p_s_wywh) and retweet my tweet (say that 10 times fast) about this giveaway!

I'll choose a random winner on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd. so make sure to check back here to see if you're the winner!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


‘Tis the season for holiday diet challenges! Want to fill your plate with one green bean and carrot per day? How about drink only tea (with peppermint because ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’)? Who needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you can skip all 3 and munch on seaweed chips? Oh come on, guys! I can’t think of a better way to spend one of the happiest times of the year other than starving yourself and making multiple trips to the bathroom thanks to your tea intake!

I don’t know about you, but if I go more than 3 hours without eating, I turn into a wicked version of the Grinch. So yeah, holiday food challenges aren’t for me and realistically, they aren’t for anyone. When I came across Elf 4 Health, I was immediately drawn in because it was more than eating healthier during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Elf 4 Health is a 4-week health challenge with a twist. The challenges fall into 4 categories: Food, Fitness, For You and For Others. What’s one fun twist? You are assigned an elf to support and encourage you! As an elf (which you also become one yourself), you are expected to motivate your assigned buddy to reach their goals and finish their challenges. You are asked to do this through e-mail and social media outlets, as well as reach out to others doing the challenge and spread your “Elf-abilities” to them, too! Each week the creators of this wonderful idea, Lindsey of The Lean Green Bean and Elle of According to Elle, will be awarding prizes provided by sponsors for this years challenge! 

If you think this is something you would like to participate in, deadline for ROUND 2 of signups is Friday, December 5th. Follow this link to do so! If you wish to follow my Elf adventures:

Instagram: @carriestav
Facebook: Carrie Stavenger

Twitter: @p_s_wywh

P.S. If you are participating in this challenge, is this your first year doing so? If not, what is one thing you took away from the last time you did it? Comment below!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Tips for Runners

1. Dress comfortable or be miserable. The other day I wore a tight tank top to the gym. I hate wearing tight things and so why I thought that day would be different is beyond me. I couldn't go more than 3 seconds without looking in the mirror; pulling and tugging at the material to make it stop suctioning to the areas of my body that make me insecure. I spent so much time thinking about what I was wearing that it took away from the workout itself. Wear things that make you feel unstoppable, comfortable, and confident!

2. H2O is the way to go. Think of water as your best friend. You wouldn't go longer than 60 minutes without paying attention - texting - to them, would you? Even if you're not thirsty or don't think you need water, you do! Your body is exerting sweat (losing fluid) so you must replenish with water to keep you from staying dehydrated. According to LiveStrong:

"Aim for 17 to 20 ounces a couple of hours before your workout and then 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you start. When in motion, plan for 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise and then cool down with 8 ounces within at least 30 minutes after a workout. Investing in a water bottle with measurement markings can help you ensure that you're drinking enough."

3. Set (realistic) goals for yourself. There is a time and place to pretend you're Superwoman, but when it comes to your fitness, leave your cape at home. Disappointment and failure lead to resentment!

4. Since when did walking get such a bad rap? I use to think that walking during a run was an excuse to give up and take the easy route, but that mindset changed when I was halfway through my marathon training. I began to walk every so often to a) stretch b) catch my breath c) drink water or d) take a mental break. I noticed that my time didn't slow down at all because when I started running again, I felt replenished and kept a steady and at times even faster pace. It also broke up the run into smaller increments, making it mentally easier to push through - "In 2 more miles, I can walk for 1 minute." 

5. "It's really important for players to participate in other sports - whether it's indoor lacrosse or soccer to baseball." - Wayne Gretzky. We've all heard that you're suppose to "listen to your body", but personally, my stubbornness usually speaks louder to my ears. It's a challenge but so important to both cross train AND take rest days. Maybe your body doesn't need it, but your mind does. Find an activity that you enjoy doing (other than running) and add it to your weekly workouts. Need ideas? Here are 16 Cross-Training Activities for Runners!

6. Time/Distance. If you're getting burnt out and starting to dread longer distance runs, switch it up and focus on time. For example, instead of saying "I have to run 6 miles today", set out and run for 60 minutes. This puts the pressure off of mileage and let's you set your own pace and mindset.

7. Sir Mix-Up-Your-Routes-A-Lot. While I love routine, I also love switching it up every now and then to stay somewhat sane. Whether it be searching the internet for new trails in your neighborhood or hopping on the treadmill for an interval workout, being flexible and open to new ways and places to run is quite refreshing and exciting (especially if you live in an area with scenic views!). Pinterest has plenty of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) plans but I've created one for you, too!

I had fun putting together (and testing) this workout, so if you try it and enjoy it, let me know! Maybe I'll start creating more?!

8. Schedule that Double Cheeseburger and Fries for after your run. If you want to stay away from bushes/gas stations/or porta potties, think smart about what you're eating prior to a run. A balanced and nutritious diet can determine the type of run you have. Think about greasy food moving around in your stomach while you pound the pavement. If your nose is scrunched up and the thought of it makes your stomach hurt, then there's your confirmation to plan out your "cheat days" around your runs.

9. "Fast Five" and keep them close by. Write down five reasons why you run and post them in a place you often pass by. This could be on your bedroom door, your bathroom mirror, in your planner, or even on the dash of your car. Seeing these multiple times a day will help keep you motivated and on track to meet your goals!

10. Pump and eat iron. Without going into much detail, marathon training did a number of things on my body, causing doctor appointments after doctor appointments with still no answer to a current problem I currently have. It is VERY common for runners to have an iron deficiency but is something that we must stay on top of. Low iron causes fatigue and other serious health problems so if you are experiencing a change in your body, see a doctor immediately so you don't do any further damage to yourself. Also, don't forget to pump that iron! It is essential to pay attention to and build up your muscle so they are able to properly support your bones while running.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

PRO Compression Giveaway Winner

Revised 11/18/14: Congratulations to the new winner, TONI! Please e-mail me by 9pm tonight. 

Revised 11/17/14: Jill, you have until 9pm tonight to email me or else I will be announcing a new winner.

Congratulations to JILL, the winner of the PRO Compression socks! 

Jill - please email me ( as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

PRO Compression Socks Review (+ GIVEAWAY!)

When I was presented with the opportunity to try PRO Compression socks, I jumped right on it! I have seen a growing number of them on runners not only at races but also around neighborhoods and parks, as well as read rave blog reviews about them, too!

The second I put these on, my initial thought was that they were tight but felt GOOD. They weren't heavy or air-constricting (our feet need to breathe!), and how could I not get a little extra "cheerful" when I looked down and saw neon green staring back at me?! 

Here are some additional facts and info according to the PRO Compression website:

1. True compression improves blood flow resulting in less fatigue and faster recovery.
2. Support critical areas, muscles and tendons, and help reduce inflammation, swelling and soreness.
3.  Non-slip design, even hours after on your feet.
4. Made in 'MERICA!

While they're a little pricey, PRO Compression was kind of enough to let me host a giveaway as well as give my readers 40% off any sock or sleeve item from their website using the code BLG14.

To enter for a chance to win a pair of these snazzy socks:

1. Leave a comment below (with your name) telling me what your favorite workout or exercise is these days! *Mandatory*

2. Like PRO Compression on Facebook -

3. Follow PRO Compression on Twitter -

4. Follow P.S. Wish You Were Here on Twitter -

5. Follow me on Instagram - @carriestav

Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, November 14th, and will be announced via blog post so make sure to check back and see if you are the lucky one!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do You Have A Runner's Body?

When people ask why or how I run, they usually follow it up with one of these: 

"I wasn't born a runner."

"My legs weren't meant to do anything other than walk."

"I can't run."

"It's not in my genes."

Thanks to my friends at RunHaven, you can read through their article to see if you have a "runner's body". Get ready - you may be shocked to see what kind of body you do have!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Recipe: Turkey Apple Meatballs

There really is no need for an introduction to this post other than MAKE THESE AS SOON AS YOU CAN!

Turkey Apple Meatballs


2 tsp. olive oil 
1 medium onion, finely chopped or minced
1/2 small apple, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tsp. parsley
2-3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. tomato sauce
1 egg, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and apple for 3 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool. 

3. Mix together the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan and tomato sauce. Stir in the sautéed onion, garlic, apple, and beaten egg to bind. 

4. Form the mixture into meatballs (or burgers) and line up in rows on the baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly brown and internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Allow to cool and enjoy!

For original recipe, click HERE.

Why This is Going In My Recipe Book:
  • Ingredients are familiar and easy to prepare 
  • The apple adds the perfect amount of sweetness 
  • You can make a batch and freeze them for whenever you wish to chow down 
  • The smell that lofts out of the oven is one that Bath & Body Works needs to recreate in candle form STAT!
  • Versatile - add to salads, pasta, make and eat as a burger with your choice of toppings, etc. This week for lunch I paired mine with spaghetti squash and avocado! 

P. S. Let me know if you make these and what you think! Comment below.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I Spy

About a month ago, I had the honor of standing next to my best friend on her wedding day. It was a weekend filled with friends and family, love and happiness, Coors Light and Wine. For everyone involved in Brianna and Chad's wedding, I think we can all say that it truly was a beautiful event that we are all fortunate to have been apart of! Let's play a little game of "I Spy", shall we?

I  S P Y...

Morning Necessities

Curly Locks 

Tools & Accessories

A Beautiful Woman

A Beautiful Dress

A Mother's Love

The Beginning of a Love Story 

Ladies Ready & Waiting

Unforgettable Moments


One Nervous Maid of Honor

An Extremely Valued Friendship

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recipe: Oven Baked Chicken

I'm always on the prowl for a quick chicken recipe that calls for few ingredients or ones that I already have in the kitchen. I came across this one today so decided to give it a go!

Oven Baked Chicken


Chicken Breast Cutlets 
Olive Oil
Poultry Seasoning


1. Place chicken in Ziploc bag.

2. Add Olive Oil (however much you desire) and seasoning of your choice. I used Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend.

3. Seal the bag and toss around the chicken in your hands so that they become coated with Olive Oil and seasoning.

4. Place chicken on an aluminum-foil lined baking dish.

5. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes.

P.S. What seasoning do you like to add to your chicken?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Denver Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Alternate Title: My most dreaded race ever. 

About six months ago, a group of friends asked if I wanted to run the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, so I signed up and didn’t think twice about it. I figured since it was a month after my Marathon, I would be trained and 13.1 miles would be a breeze! Wrong. So, so wrong.

Ever since my Marathon, I’ve had such “bad vibes” towards running and truly miss doing it for enjoyment and not because I have to in order to finish a race without crossing the finish line looking like a panting dog. I was a complete Negative Nancy this past week and told my friends repeatedly that we should bundle up and cheer on the runners while holding a nice, big cup of coffee! They agreed to disagree and reminded me that we didn't spend an absurd amount of money on the race entry for nothing. True. So, so true. 

The course had more hills than I was expecting and with each new one on the horizon, I let out an "OH MY GOD!" because that made it a little easier for .3 seconds. By mile 10, I was beyond checked out and began praying for a freak blizzard calling for an immediate cancel of the race. You think I'm kidding but I'm not. 

But, like all races, the finish line appeared and I crossed that baby with a smile on my face and an eye on the free chocolate milk ahead of me! 

7 Half Marathons now in the rearview mirror!

As much as I was dreading these 13.1 miles, it was a great morning for a run alongside two of my greatest friends! 

From our first race (10k) together in 2010 to a handful of Half and Full Marathons later! Can we take a moment of silence for our "running apparel" in the top picture? My eyes are burning at the sight of our cotton shirts and soccer shorts. Bleh!

The rest of the day looked a little something like this...

…and I welcomed it with open arms.