Saturday, July 26, 2014

On YA Runs a 5K

Last Saturday, I did something I never ever thought I'd ever do in my life: I actually participated in a 5K Color Run! It was seriously one of the most fun experiences I've had in a long time, even though I was completely exhausted afterwards. Somehow, the entire thing motivated me to want to get more fit -- and to want to do more of these events!

The reason I signed up for this Color Run? I wanted to support YA Runs a 5K

Anyway, Elena & I took a train down to meet up with Jamie on Friday! Once we'd dropped our stuff off, we grabbed dinner at Earth (which has amazing pizza; my favorite is the mac and cheese one!), and dropped by Whole Foods and Target to complete some errands. We ended the night just chatting away in Jamie's apartment.
Elena, Jamie & I (photo c/o Jamie)
Mac and cheese pizza. YUM!
The next morning, we were up bright and early to get race ready! But honestly, this is when Will (Jamie's husband, if you don't already know this) was really our best influence. Without him, we would have been lost and late. He was seriously awesome to have around, and I'm super grateful he was willing to spend his Saturday ferrying around Jamie and her bookish friends and waiting for us to finish our 5K experience.
on our way! (photo c/o Jamie)
Do I look official?
Will was the one who got our butts in gear! 
silly faces (photo c/o Jamie)
jump! (photo c/o Jamie)
kaleidoscope (photo c/o Jamie)
We got to the check-in area early, and breezed through the line to claim our registration goodies. We hung around and explored the area as we waited for the others to show up! Once we'd joined them, it was a blur of hugs and his and introductions. Before we knew it, it was time for us to join the group lining up to start the 5K experience!
gang's here! (photo c/o Jamie)
Honestly, it wasn't too bad, all in all, especially because I walked the entire thing. If I do it again, I might try to do a bit of running, since I think I could have managed a few sprints here and there! But it was kind of just fun to walk, and chat, and observe all the people around us. [PS - The leg pains started kicking in as I was riding the bus home.]

It was so cool to see everyone out in full force! There were adults, teens, kids and even people in wheelchairs, with strollers and even a guy in crutches. Another thing I would probably do next time is get even more dressed up with a tutu or a headband or something fun!

Personally, it was even cooler to see such an eclectic group of bloggers, authors & publishing people (and friends and family) gathered together to support such a great cause! It was really great getting to hang out with Jamie & Elena. Plus, it was a treat to see Sasha, Ellie & Lindsey, as well as being reunited with Susan & Sarah! I also met Blair, Kim, Katherine, and saw Melody and Eric again too.

The one disappointing thing? I was honestly expecting a lot more color for this Color Run. I did get a healthy dose of color thrown on me (as you'll see below), but I kind of wanted more too! I mean, that was probably the one thing I was really looking forward to for this whole race.
#weblueourselves (photo c/o Tiffany Schmidt
it's always a good time (c/o Elena)
Tiffany, Sarah, Elena & I (photo c/o Elena)
Sarah, Elena & I (photo c/o Elena)
(SERIOUSLY, HOW DO YOU STILL LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS SARAH?)
post-race color (photo c/o Jamie)
Ellie & I (photo c/o Ellie
Sarah, Susan & I (photo c/o Elena)
hanging out post-race (photo c/o Jamie)
Basically, YA Runs a 5K turned out to be one of the most fun things I've done this year! I felt accomplished at having walked so far, and enjoyed all the color and chaos that came my way. I would most definitely do something like this again (and might actually get to)!

Friday, July 25, 2014

SS&D Surprise Party || 3 Questions with Susan Dennard

Rachel of Hello, Chelly and I have teamed up to bring you a full week of posts to celebrate the release of Strange & Ever After, the third and final book in Susan Dennard's amazing Something Strange and Deadly series. Come and join us in the celebration!

It breaks my heart a little that we've come to the end of this week's surprise party for Susan Dennard in honor of her Something Strange and Deadly series officially coming to an end with the release of the third book, Strange and Ever After this week. It's been so much fun to celebrate this amazing series, and we're so grateful to every single person who's joined us, whether it's by contributing to a post or just commenting and sharing the love. 

We're so honored to welcome the creator of Eleanor, Daniel, the Spirit Hunters & this amazing series - Susan Dennard onto our blogs today to answer a few interview questions. See three of her answers here, then go and visit Rachel's blog for more!
Of the three…Hmmm. I loved Philly because of the Centennial Exhibition. I loved Paris because of that uniquely romantic Parisian vibe (and the catacombs!). But I think Egypt was the most fun for me in terms of really getting to explore and use the environment for the story. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t love mummies and pyramids!

The verrrrry end (Chapter 20), during which Eleanor forays into the spirit realm. It’s an emotionally charged chapter, and I felt everything Eleanor felt. In a single chapter, she has to finally step into her own power and make the hardest choice so far. It was not an easy choice for her to make, and it was not easy for me to write.

I adore Oliver. I mean, the relationship he has with Eleanor is so complicated, confusing, and heartbreaking. Plus, he’s deeply filled with a sense of longing and self-loathing—there was a lot of story-tension to be mined there. So just as Oliver challenges Eleanor to grow, she in turn challenges him. Every scene I had with them together just poured out so easily.


ICYMI, don't forget to check out our posts from the past two days (and enter the giveaway!):
Rachel's Why I Love This Series + Giveaway
Alexa's Strange and Ever After review
Rachel's Strange and Ever After review
Alexa's To Susan, With Love post
Rachel's To Susan, With Love post
Alexa's What to Wear in Egypt post
Rachel's A Day in Egypt post

Thank you, again, to everyone who joined us & participated in the
Something Strange and Deadly Surprise Party!
We hope you had fun reading our posts!

And to Susan,
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for writing such an epic series.
You're such an inspiration, and just an awesome, amazing human being.
Much love <3

Thursday, July 24, 2014

SS&D Surprise Party || What To Wear in Egypt

Rachel of Hello, Chelly and I have teamed up to bring you a full week of posts to celebrate the release of Strange & Ever After, the third and final book in Susan Dennard's amazing Something Strange and Deadly series. Come and join us in the celebration!

In Something Strange and Deadly, the stage was set in Philadelphia. In A Darkness Strange and Lovely, our beloved characters found themselves in Paris. And for Strange and Ever After, they head to Egypt for the final part of their journey. Last year, I created a post about Philadelphia, while Rachel wrote one about Paris. This year, we're teaming up to bring you A Day in Egypt! Rachel's in charge of planning a modern day date, while I get the honor of dressing all the main characters.

Now, each of the characters I'm including - Eleanor, Daniel, Joseph, Jie & Oliver - has a very distinct personality. I did my best to make sure that their clothes matched their characters, all while making sure to keep the warm, dry weather in Egypt in mind.

Eleanor's Look

Daniel's Look

Joseph's Look

Jie's Look
Top || Pants || Boots || Backpack

Oliver's Look
Oliver's Look: Tank || Shirt || Shorts || Shoes

So, this is how I'd dress all of my favorites if they were in modern-day Egypt!

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