This is 40 - The Rugged Maniac Edition

Listen, it was on my bucket list (or my 40 List as I’ve been calling it).  It sounded like a really great idea when I signed up for it. I am so glad I did it, but listen.  Don’t do what I did, sign up for it and do it 2 weeks later with zero preparedness.

If you’re going to do it, plan better and here’s what you need to do:

1.       Cardio, cardio and maybe another day of cardio.  The race in KC was at Snow Creek (ya, know, snow creek where people ski and therefore there would be ski hills to climb).  I read that part, but didn’t really pay attention.  Not only was this race at Snow Creek, it started by climbing a ski hill.  Like, that was the start. Like, before all obstacles. Like, right out of the gate. Like, it almost fucking killed me! There were several hills through the whole damn race, so, do your cardio!

2.       Buy some trail shoes.  In my head, I was never doing this again, so I thought I would be fine wearing my old shoes and donating them at the end of the race(which I did and they do wonderful, charitable things with them).  My old tennis shoes did not have nearly enough grip on them and the see-saw obstacle, I couldn’t even climb on without slipping and face planting. So, if you’re going to do it, hop over to Amazon and pick up a pair of trail running shoes, they’re like $20.

3.       Do it with a friend or maybe even a group.  Some of the obstacles you will likely need a boost, so having a strong friend is helpful. A group would be even better to help pull, push and encourage you too. 

4.       Sign up for an early time.  The earlier, the less tracked through the course is, the weather maybe a little cooler.  I went at noon – dumb, don’t do that. It was hot and there were some deeper holes from where other people had already run.  Not the end of the world, but ya, know just trying to make it easier (and I am being very loose with the word easy).

5.       Where tight fitted clothing and quick dry material if you can.  If you’re a girl with curves, a pair of pants with a drawstring to keep them up, also helpful.  Because when you’re waist deep in mud and getting your ass caught on barbed wire, you are going to at least want your pants to stay up.   I’d say a tank top, so your sleeves don’t get caught on barbed wire or other obstacles, but if you’re afraid of getting scrapped, maybe long sleeves, but also maybe you shouldn’t be doing this race.

6.      You need to Pack: bug spray, sun screen, Advil (there will be pain, there will be bruises) and allergy medicine! Not sure what I encountered, but it sent my outdoor allergies into hyper drive! Towels, wipes, change of clothes and shoes.  If I had been thinking, a disposable camera would have been fun, but they provide a ton of free photos from the pro-photogs along the course. 

All and all it is something I am glad I did at least once.  It did not turn me into an addict and leave me with this burning desire to do it again and again, but I would consider doing it again with a group of people or with couples…that would require me to have a boyfriend and friends that have boyfriends/spouses, but I digress.

I did feel strong and capable and accomplished when it was over.  I was impressed with myself crawling through the muck, because if you know me in real life, I don’t do dirt and mud for real! The biggest take away for me in this race is it restored my belief in humanity. Odd to say of a mud run, but it really did. Perfect strangers helping others and cheering each other on.  When I climbed the tall wooden wall (not sure what it’s called) I freaked.  It was way taller than I was prepared for, it was shaky and I climbed to the top and could not talk myself down the other side – enter Captain America.  Not really Captain America, but he was wearing the shirt and that’s what I called him.  He climbed up and said you can do it, you’ve got it – here, I’ll help you, let me help you! I mean, I could have just cried right there, but that wouldn’t be very maniac like of me! He (and other random strangers) were just so kind and encouraging and we could all use a little kindness that right there is reason enough to do the Rugged Maniac.

My Wardrobe Capsule #Project333

In staring my new job (and not being able to be so casual), I’ve was feeling stressed.  Not sure why, since I’m not big on keeping a lot of stuff around, but my closet was becoming the exception to that rule.  So much stuff, but nothing to wear!

I discovered:

Project 333

3 months 33 items of clothing

Yes, really.  I thought it was extreme and then I started to pair it down. Before we talk about how I got to my 33, take a look at the some descriptions:

What is a ‘capsule wardrobe”: In the 1970s, London boutique owner Susie Faux coined the term "capsule wardrobe" to describe a minimal wardrobe composed of 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items that will meet your needs for a given time amount of time.

*Helpful hint: when using google to get some inspiration for your wardrobe, be specific.  If you just google “capsule wardrobe” you will likely get the 20-something fashionista version.  That will include short shorts, hooker heels and dresses for clubbin’…etc.  None of those things work for my life, so google capsule wardrobe and include your age or occupation or curvy or winter or all black…that will point you in a more realistic version. 

 

The Basics of What the 33 items are: (Taken from BeMoreWIthLess.com)

·         3 accessories: tote, sunglasses, scarf

·         5 shoes: (might drop this to 4)

·         6 outerwear/layering (raincoat, long sweater, jacket, vest, blazer, zip up sweatshirt)

·         3 dresses

·         5 bottoms (jeans, leggings, pants, shorts, skirt)

·         8 tops (2 long-sleeved, 6 short-sleeved)

·         3 pieces of jewelry (2 necklaces + 1 bracelet)

The Basics of What it is not:

·         What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)

I started with my t-shirts.  I do love a good t-shirt, I have been known take them from friends and buy one at every concert and out of town trip. But there are some that just needed to go.  I had (literally) 25 tshirts from my gym.  In my defense, I work there part time and need a logo shirt for work, but 25 is probably a little much.

I created my donate pile when I really needed to do laundry.  Why? Because the things I truly wear every week are in the laundry basket.  The stuff in my closet, I clearly haven’t worn all week, maybe not all month.

I gave away the just in case I gain weight clothes, I gave away the just in case I get really skinny clothes and the shorts I bought on vacation that I never planned on wearing again and every other piece of clothing that was in bad shape (torn, missing buttons…etc). After that, turns out I didn’t have as much as I thought I did.

I started today (September 1st) and will document my outfit daily. I’m curious to see if anyone notices, I doubt they will, seeing as how I wear the same things all of the time anyway.  To make it a bit easier to start, I’ve decided to go with the seasonal plan, since I’m in Kansas and the weather can change by the hour.  Here is a Head-To-Toe Wardrobe Capsule Guide from The Refinery (http://www.therefinery.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/head-to-toe-wardrobe-capsule.pdf) it helped guide me in my choices.

I already feel less stressed about what to wear tomorrow for work and if nothing else, it’s worth this current peace and contentment that I feel right now.

There’s a ton of people already doing this, you can see their stuff by searching or using the Hashtag: #Project333

Here’s to not stressing on what to wear for the next 3 months!

Free Summer Acvities!

Our summer break starts Friday and before you hear “I’m bored” about a million times. Here’s a list a free stuff to do in Kansas City to pass the time!

Parkville Nature Sanctuary: The kids and I visited this weekend and had so much fun.  You can hike trails, see the waterfall and play in the low line creek.  There are several benches to stop and rest or read a book or have a snack. The city of Parkville is adorable and there are several places for lunch, ice cream or mini-golf if you want to make a whole day of it.  Here's a list of events and rules to plan your visit:

Hours: Open every day, sunrise to sunset Rules: NO dogs or other pets allowed on the trails, Stay on trails, Put trash in proper receptacles, No unauthorized vehicles (including bicycles, skateboards, etc.), No fires, No hunting, fishing, or trapping, No picking, collecting, or digging, No firearms, No camping, No weddings

  • Ongoing through 2018: There is a monthly amateur photo contest for images taken at the Sanctuary FLYER

  • June 6-8: Nature Day Camp for students entering 3rd through 5th grades in fall 2018 (9:30am-2pm) FLYER

  • June 18-20: Youth trail maintenance volunteers 6th through 12th grades (9am-noon) FLYER

parkvillenature.jpg

Ride the Street Car! You can catch it any of these stops:

streetcar.jpg

Cool Off at a Spray Park:

Here is a list of spray parks, be sure to check the recommended safety rules for each park before you go. Kansas City Missouri Spray Parks:Harmony Park: E. 10th St & Agnes Ave., Jacob L. Loose Park: W. 52nd Terrace & Summit Ave.(Closed Wednesdays.), Sunnyside Park: W. 83rd St. & Summit Ave., Longview Tract: 7107 Longview Rd., Golden Oaks Park: N.E. 46th Street & N. Antioch Rd., Garrison Square: E. 4th St. & Forest Ave., Central Park: Linwood Blvd & Bales Ave., Nelson C. Crews Park: E. 27th St & Michigan Ave., Douglass Playground at Grace Williams Nicholl Park: 2632 Jarboe St.

Independence Missouri Spraygrounds: McCoy Park: 24 Highway & N. Delaware,  Rotary Park: 24th & Hardy

Grandview Missouri Spraygrounds: John Anderson Park: 4701 E. 135th Street

Liberty Missouri Spraygrounds: City Park: 970 S. Highway 291, Ruth Moore Park: 401 N. Morse

Kansas City Kansas Spraygrounds: Eisenhower Park: 2901 N. 72nd St., Heathwood Park: 10th & Parallel Pkwy, Pierson Park: 1800 S. 55th St.

More Free Activities:

  •  Marble making demo and Moon Marble Company. The kids can even learn how to shoot marbles and take a few home. Demos are usually given Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 or 10:30.
  • Cabela’s: A retail showroom, is a 180,000 sq. ft. hunting, fishing and outdoor gear store. Visit the 11,500 square ft. Mule Deer Country Museum with the world's largest collection of life-size trophy mule deer in their natural surroundings, including two world records and numerous state and province records. This retail store includes a laser arcade, archery range, art gallery, furniture department, gun library, restaurant, general store, fly fishing store, bargain cave and gift shop.  Kids will enjoy exploring the exotic animals in the African Diorama and coming face-to-face with giant catfish in the Aquarium
  • It goes without saying that the Nelson-Atkins Museum is a KC treasure and it’s free! It is closed Monday/Tuesday. Wednesday 10-5. Thursday/Friday 10-9 and Saturday/Sunday 10-5.
  • Scheels Mega Sports store in Overland Park. 16,000 gallon aquarium, Ferris wheel and games that cost $.25 to play.
  • Kidscape at the Johnson County Museum. 6305 Lackman Road. Kids can play dress up, be mayor for the day and see the suburban streetscape design.
  • Kalidoscope is always free, but reservations are recommended visit www.hallmarkkaleidoscope.com for times.
  • The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank is an experience that even your teen will like. It is also free and open to the public. Here you’ll watch millions of dollars in currency being processed at KC’s Federal Reserve Bank and see an impressive collection of coins. Walk-in and guided tours are available and all guests undergo a security screening. If you are over 18, you’ll need to bring your ID. Call 816-881-2683 for more information.
  • The Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center has over 36 acres of wildlife and native plants with walking trails, wildlife habitat, pond and a small cave for kids to explore. Amazingly enough, it’s in the middle of the city. Location: 8701 E. Gregory Blvd. Hours: 9 am to dark every day. The Nature Center is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday. The Center is free, but small donations are accepted.
  • Attend a free family fun night at Mahaffie Stagecoach:
  • Take a tour of The Roasterie and learn about coffee. This is great for the pre-teen set and I did it on my last birthday and it was fun and I learned a lot about coffee!
  • Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center.
  • Visit the free National Archives of Kansas City and explore their free exhibits.
  • Build a free project at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Both offer free workshops on select Saturdays.
  • Explore the Central Branch of the Kansas City Library, because any library with a parking garage painted with classic books has been named one of the coolest libraries to visit in the country!
  • Take a free class at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
  • Imagine you’re in the Wild West at Antioch Park in Shawnee, Kansas with an old town set up.

Be sure to check your city website.  Each city is full of summer activities, concerts and movies.  New to Lenexa this year is the Public Market.  Check out their website for a full list of fun things to do there: http://lenexapublicmarket.com/

 

Enjoy summer break, they will be back to school in no time!

How To Start Your Blog

1.       Pick a name.  Sounds simple, it is not.  You need something that is catchy and unique, but not so unique that people don’t know how to spell it when they are looking for you.

2.       Start with finding your niche.  I am a Lifestyle Blogger and that has evolved over time.  I started as an organizing blogger, then crafts, then added fitness and now lifestyle that encompasses more topics.  To start, you should decide what you are most passionate about and want to write about the most.

3.       Pick a host. I have used almost all of them and Word Press and Square Space are both very easy to use, especially for beginners.  The themes are great, easy to choose and edit yourself. They have options to sell products if that's what you plan to do, as well as connect all your social media channels. 

4.       Buy your domain name.  It’s always more professional to have mikitaburton.com instead of mikitaburton.wordpress.com (for example).  Domains are easy to buy through your host (word press or square space or whoever you chooses).  They are usually about $20 per year.

5. Make sure your blog is in line with your social media.  A lot of bloggers have personal pages, as well as business pages to keep their message consistent.  I am my own brand, so my personal and business mix well. 

6. Start writing.  As a general guide, I would have 3 - 5 post ready to go before you launch. 

7. Be consistent.  Honestly, it is still something I am working on. You want to write quality post as often as you can. 

8. Sign up for blogger reviews.  Staring out, you will need to write in exchange for product or tickets or exposure.  You won't get paid post right away, you will need to build a following and audience. 

9. Promote yourself using hashtags.  I've been accused of using too many hashtags and that's not a thing! Hashtags are how brands find you, how people find you when search for your niche. USE ALL THE HASHTAGS! 

10. Go! “They blew out a breath and did the thing all heroes must do—they took that terrifying first step.” 
― Chloe NeillMidnight Marked

So, This is 40?!

 

I will admit, I have definitely been having a whoa is me pity party.  This is not the life I planned or where I saw myself when I turned 40. 

I could not have predicted that, I'd be a divorced, single Mom of three, working 2 jobs, writing a book, publishing a blog and having zero love life(more about that in a future blog).

I thought I'd still be married, I thought maybe I'd be doing more TV, I knew I'd be working full time, since all the kids are in school and my stay at home mom life would end, I knew I'd have a kid graduating and 1/3 of the nest would be empty. Other than that, I hadn't really looked that far past the big 4-0.

Now that I'm here, it is time to forget about the life I planned and start making the most of the life I have. 

Most people do a vision board at New Year's, but I have always started my vision board on my birthday. To be honest, I already started planning my 2017 in September. This year of 40 will the best decade yet, at least that's what all my friends have told me. I will say, I do feel the most comfortable in my skin. I am not sure if that is age or the work I've put in on being fit,  healthy and doing things on purpose. 

My vision board includes a ton of things,too many to list,but some of them:

Tops on that list- travel. There are lots of places I want to go, but first on the list is a beach. Maybe back to Cali or Hawaii, but the beach is definitely calling. 

Next - saving. Since, I'm getting older retirement is on the brain.  If it wasn't on my mind because of this birthday,  we can just say seeing Luke Perry on the cover of AARP cut like a knife! 

Do this splits - again. I used to be able to drop down and do the splits with ease. Those days are gone, but I'm still pretty flexible and plan to be able to do them again this year! Of course, there will be social media post when that happens! 

I won't bore you with too many more,but lastly - alone time.

There is just not a lot of it to go around. I know it won't always be this way, that kids do grow up and soon my nest will be totally empty. I also know that you can't pour from an empty cup,so taking care of me is on the list.

So, this is me - at 40. Ready to begin a new decade and excited for all the new dreams and promise it brings with it. 

 

All Things Mikita

Today, I launch my new blog. In a lot of ways it is perfectly me and in others it is what I aspire to be. This blog is a fresh start. A clean slate and a canvas to create exactly what I want. 

 I have started over a time or two in my. Well, 5 or 10 if I'm being honest and there is always a peace that comes with a fresh start. In my quest to reset, I started doing some research and study. I wanted to know how and why people start over. A googled, I asked some of my most deeply spiritual friends, I read and I meditated. 

One of the cleansing rituals that spoke to me was smudging. The practice of burning sage to "smudge" or clean a space. 

I won't lie, when I started this re-brand my whole damn life needed to be smudged. 

I figured could not hurt and maybe I'd learn something in the process. I Googled where to buy my smudge stick (found it at whole foods) and I began. 

I opened my windows, turned on my fan. 

Lit the smudge stick, then blew out the fire. Watched it smoke (much like you did with incense back in the day).

Walked through my room and set my intention for my space. 

Waved it over my lap top and said my intention for my blog. 

Finally, I cupped the smoke and pushed it around my body and said my prayer for myself. 

 

I know, it sounds way left. Total hippy and weird. I don't know if it was the quiet, the smoke or saying my intentions,but I immediately felt calm. Settled. Ready to open this new chapter. 

I'm not telling you to go smudge, but I will say, your words, prayers and thoughts have power. It is my goal to be intentional in my words for this blog and I think the smudging was a perfect start.

 

This blog will of course have the product reviews, weight loss tips, a giveaway or 2, beauty and fashion stuff that most blogs contain. It is also my hope that some of my words inspire you, provoke your thoughts and maybe motivate you to pursue your passion. 

 

Welcome to All Things Mikita. 
AllThingsMikita

AllThingsMikita