Wine Catch-Up: January 2018 (Llamas Always Included!)

Let’s call this a wine catch-up, shall we? I’m drinking my fave, La Crema Chardonnay, what about you?

If I’m being honest, this week was incredibly tough. I did Christmas with my dad last week, and while I was grateful for him, and gifts, and life, it was so painful doing this after having been through the holiday season. It was so painful to not have my mom there. Then, I had a conversation with a friend about some mom stuff she was going through. I really thought I was as at peace with my mom dying as I could have been when I lost her; this chat brought up a lot of the stuff I wish I’d worked on more in my relationship with her. (Nothing major, honestly/thankfully, just ways that I wish I had handled my end better. That low kind of compounded some of the struggles I’m having as I make my way down my new career path and am just feeling very uncertain about life in general.

Erica Sara Necklace

After every marathon, my mom bought me a marathon necklace from Erica Sara. At the time, they were special because they were a physical commemoration of an accomplishment. Now, those six necklaces my mom bought me are treasured memories of her watching on the sidelines as my #1 cheerleader, and special memories. She and Erica used to talk every holiday season about just how my necklace would be personalized that year. My dad buying me this necklace (I mean, he’s a man, I sent him the link ;)) feels like a special connection with my mom. And because Erica is The Best, she wrote the most amazing personal note that she enclosed with the necklace. I started sobbing as soon as I read it. I’m constantly amazed and surprised by how deeply caring people can be.

My dad also listened well and bought me this Lilly llama top, which makes me just as happy as you’d imagine. 

Passion Pit

On a happier note…the next night, I went to see Passion Pit! And…got in for free. It was a last minute decision and I was going to buy a ticket from a scalper (the show was sold out), and when I came back from the ATM, I heard him trying to buy a ticket from someone else to sell to me. Thankfully, an amazing security guard overheard the whole exchange and just waved me in with my friend. HELL YES!

I’m not going to pretend this post isn’t all over the place.

I also found The Best Bra Ever, ladies. Journelle is having a huge sale, and I went on a friend’s recommendation. This bra is comfortable, but more importantly, it is SO. FLATTERING. I feel like I look like I lost 10 pounds the second I put it on. It just kind of sucks everything up and out. I’ll say that the sizing is super weird; I am usually ~36D, and I took a 36DDD in this one. 

J. Crew Sequin Scottie T-Shirt

The same day I discovered The Most Amazing Bra, I also got this shirt.

Like I said, I was having a TOUGHHHH week emotionally, but! I recorded an episode of Ali’s podcast. Unsurprisingly, I talk a lot about grief (and also how running helped it.) I also talked about my not-at-all linear career path, and basically we were sarcastic asses for an hour and a half or so. It was so. much. fun! I hope you listening think so too 🙂 (It will be out next week-ish.)

IMG 8831

I think I mentioned I’m working with Uplift on their social media. (So please go follow @upliftstudios on all platforms THANKS!) We had a photo shoot today to get some ~content~ for social and marketing purposes, and I got a snazzy headshot. And, um, a butt shot.

(Pants | tank | sports bra | sneaks)

Just as a heads-up, since I linked to Victoria’s Secret there — they are doing the $55 for sports bra + pants again! That’s an amazing deal. (I posted about that a few years ago.)

NYJL Wellness Day

And tomorrow, two of my fave things in one: Junior League + wellness.

If only my tummy would behave…it’s been acting up again and basically hasn’t been right since I got back from my trip. I’m trying to eat clean and take my probiotics again before I see a doc…but this is not the way I wanted to lose weight 🙁 

A few more random asides…

1. I’m running the NYC Half to raise money for ovarian cancer support and research and need your help! Any help appreciated.

2. My baby cousin is selling Girl Scout Cookies if you are so inclined to order…

3. There is an amazing post on the Uplift blog about post-partum fitness and being really and truly gentle with yourself. As someone who’s obviously never had a kid, I still thought it was a beautiful read. 

What have you been up to/loving/what are you doing this weekend?

2018 Goals

Cathryn lavery 67852

I’m not going to lie, traveling has me totally thrown off with dates. I’m not complaining, I just keep thinking it’s the first week of January when it’s almost the third! Time is weird.

So that means that this goals post is coming to you later than most other bloggers’ but it’s also given me time to think through what my goals are.

I love the idea of a guiding word or two for your year — and I’ve arrived on gentle and focus.

Gentle: I’m so hard on myself in a lot of ways. Watching my mom get diagnosed and die of cancer (in addition to all the other crap that happened to me in 2017) was obviously a lot on me emotionally, so I’m trying really hard to be gentle with myself.

Focus: After spending basically two straight years worrying about and then/now grieving over my mom, I let a lot of my own goals fall to the wayside. I know I can be a little gerbil-like, though — I have so many things I want to do!! — so I am attempting to focus down to a few.

1. Get my personal trainer certification. 

Omg, I’m sick of me saying this too — I’ve been saying it for years. But I finally have the test scheduled for late February. I just need to sit my ass down and study, and luckily my BFF is a physical therapy professor, so she’s going to help me with the anatomy. (I also bought this anatomy coloring book per a recommendation from Heather’s blog.)

2. Develop my business(es?)

Right now, I really want to be self-employed. My job gave me a lot of flexibility when my mom was sick, and even though that was for a crappy reason, I came to value it. Right now, my ideal work situation (please refer back to gerbil comment) is doing a few things: social media/blog consulting, freelance writing and running/fitness coaching. (Shameless plug: I’m at if you need running coaching or social media/blog help! You can learn more about run coaching here and my social media/blog consulting here.)

3. Write, write, write.

After living solely in the short-form (hello 140 characters!) game for quite a few years professionally, losing my mom and my job has  helped me re-embrace my identity as a writer. I have three writing goals.

3a. Write. every. damn. day. I consider myself half morning person. I’m so much better than I used to be, and I certainly get up earlier than I used to, but I still hit snooze every day (I know, I know) and am useless until I get my coffee (don’t you dare say a word about giving it up.) So, I try to write in the morning…but it’s usually shit. That said, I want to write nearly every day to stay in practice, and because I never know what will come up that I might want to come back to, either for myself or to try to get published.

3b. Which is a great segue to these next two goals. More bylines! I want to increase the names in my portfolio. Should you happen to be an assigning editor reading… I write about health and fitness, most specifically running and mental health, and also grief. (Write what you know, or something.)

3c. Write a damn book proposal. I have wanted to write a book my entire life and have been scared of writing a proposal. I’ll never get rejected if I don’t try it, right? Well, after all the shit that happened in 2017, what’s a little rejection? (If you’re reading and an agent…) I’m doing the free Blogger to Book ecourse to help me narrow my focus.

4. Lose ~15 pounds.

If I look on my MyFitnessPal graph, I’ve gained 15 pounds since my mom got diagnosed. (What’s emotional eating?!) I would love to get back to the weight I was when she got sick, but more importantly, I want to be able to fit into my clothes and feel more confident in my body again. I’m giving myself all year to reach this goal. For now, what that’s meaning for me is eating closer to Paleo (that’s what’s worked best for me in the past) and doing what a friend calls “Damp January.” So, not Dry January…but less boozy. I’m also focusing more on strength training in conjunction with my running — going to both Uplift (disclaimer: free because I’m working with them on social media) and Orangetheory.

5. PR in some race distance.

I’d love for this new focus on strength + running to result in a PR. Ideally the half, but I know that’s pretty ambitious right now, so I’ll take any distance. (Maybe 15K or 10-miler; that’s my slowest-paced race PR right now.)

Y tu? What are your goals?