Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Giveaway from Laura Elaine Designs

I am so excited to introduce you to Laura Elaine Designs.  Laura Elaine creates beautiful running pages and scrapbooks.  I'm pleased to tell share with you that Laura Elaine is offering a Giveaway! First, Let's get to know Laura Elaine Designs.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 30 year-old wife, mom, runner, scrapbooker, and part-time physical therapist. I love to be creative, I love to be outside, and I love to be active.
2. How did your Etsy shop get started
I heard about Etsy from my cousin last winter. I had been making my scrapbooks for a while and just selling them at craft fairs and giving them as gifts. I was so excited to find Etsy - it is the perfect way for me to be creative and sell my scrapbooks!
3. What are you currently training for
Currently, I am not training for any race, but have still been running about 3 times per week. I am taking the fall off from a big race, mostly because my husband is training for the NYC Marathon. With our crazy schedules, and a 2-year-old, it makes it difficult for us both to have a big race to train for. I have an upcoming 5k next weekend, and will more than likely do a Turkey trot on Thanksgiving. My next big race will be next spring - possibly Boston's Run to Remember again. It's a half marathon that I did last year and it's an awesome course through the city.
4. Advice for running moms or those wanting to get started running
My best advice for those wanting to get started is: ANYONE CAN DO IT!!!! I was not a runner in high school or college; I was a gymnast. Being a gymnast meant that the longest that I had to be active for was 90 seconds. I can remember having to run a mile and a half for conditioning in college and we complained the ENTIRE TIME and felt like puking at the end.
Fast forward to 2006: My husband and his best friend (both previously non-runners) made a bet that they were going to be bandits at that year's Boston Marathon. Long story short, we all caught the running bug! Hubby has completed 4 marathons (two of them Boston, running for Children's Hospital) and I have completed 4 half marathons (Boston 1/2 and Philly 1/2 before I had my son, and NYC 1/2 and Boston's Run to Remember post-partum).
There are a ton of training plans out there (the Couch to 5K is an awesome beginner one!) that help beginners lace up their sneakers and get out there.

5. What inspires you
My son is my inspiration. Our family lives an active life - hiking, biking, traveling, skiing, swimming, and of course running! It is important to me to set a good example for my son on how to be healthy, active, and take care of himself. When I put on my running shoes and put them in the stroller to go out for a run, he is learning the importance of exercise and taking care of his body.

Now for the GIVEAWAY! Laura Elaine is offering a $10 Gift Certificate to her Etsy Shop!
Here's How to Enter!
Leave a comment for each separate entry! Please leave an email address or Etsy shop name in each comment you make! Otherwise we won't know how to find you if you win!

1. Mandatory Entry: Visit Laura Elaine Designs and browse around her shop -leave a heart if you are so inclined(not mandatory)! Then return here and tell us what you like!
2. Follow Laura Elaine's Running-Scrapbooking-Being a Mom Blog at and leave a comment that you did so.
3. Follow this blog,  Prairie Wind Notions and leave a comment that you did.
4. Become a Twitter follower of PrairieWind Designs or Like me on Facebook.  (1 Entry for each - leave a comment!)
5. Tweet the following:
 #Giveaway from LauraElaineDesigns ends 10-3 #running #scrapbooking
and leave a comment with the link to your tweet. You may tweet once a day for an extra entry.
6.Post about this giveaway on your facebook page. Leave a comment with a link to your facebook page.
Giveaway starts Wednesday, September 22 and ends at midnight on October 3rd. Winner will be determined by
Good Luck!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I went shopping today while my daughter was at preschool. I was feeling so grateful for two hours to myself to stock up on groceries for the next week of meals. I zoomed that big cart around the store, loading up on family favorites and making sure we had the necessary essentials to run the house. As I was waiting to check out, I was marveling at how little time it took me to complete the list, but becoming frustrated at how long the check out was. Why don't they call another checker to the front of the store. Just then I felt a tap on my elbow and an elderly lady was standing before me, asking for help. She explained that she just had back surgery and had not fully recovered. Her current predictament was that her shoe was untied and would I mind terribly to tie it for her. Of course I didn't give it a second thought - I even made small talk about how many shoes I tied in a day. I did, however, give pause. How easily it is to take for granted the ability to tie my shoes, to be in good health and bend over to pick up my child. To be given the ability to tie my daughter's shoes without the obstacle of a disablity. My grattitude began to grow. As I helped the lady load her groceries in her car, she commented to me how happy she was to live here - everyone was so nice and helpful. It was just the best place to live. She had been an army life and lived all over the world. As I loaded my groceries into the car, I began to wonder if everyone felt the same way - that where they lived was the best place as you could always find a helpful person.
My challenge to you this week is to make your neighborhood the best place - the place where people in need are not afraid to ask for help, and when they ask, they will recieve help without pause. I also challenge you to take a moment to be thankful for the things we so easily take for granted in our daily routine.  So the next time your toddler is dancing around while you are trying to tie her shoes as you are already running late, be thankful for the ability to do so. Before you know it she will be tying her own shoes.
This photograph a lovely reminder of the gratitude we should show throughout our daily routine. Get your own copy from StephanieMoors.  Stephanie just opened this Etsy shop and I'm sure she would love for you to stop by and give it some love.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This Labor Day Weekend my family said farewell to summer with a trip to the Route of the Hiawatha This portion of the Olympian Hiawatha route has been called one of the most breathtaking scenic stretches of railroad in the country.  It is no longer used by the railroad and has been converted to a 15 mile bike path.  There are many ways to bike the trail.  We took the most common, starting at the top and biked downhill, then had a shuttle bring us back to to the other end of the tunnel and we road back through the tunnel to our car. The St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel (pictured above) is an 8,771 foot tunnel.  Yes, that's about 1.7 miles! Biking through this tunnel gave new meaning to the phrase "the light at the end of the tunnel" to me.  It is a feeling that is hard to describe, traveling through a dark tunnel, with only the light from my small headlamp. 
The sound of water running past and dripping down on you sporadically from the ceiling can leave one with an uneasy feeling.  1.7 miles seems like it could take forever, like my pedals were turning ever so slowly, yet my confidence in my bicycling skills would not allow me to pedal faster.  I was never so relieved to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  When we finally made it through only to have the sun shine down on us and be greeted by a beautiful waterfall.  And this was just the beginning of our day! 
We went through a total of ten different tunnels, and the 1.7 mile Taft Tunnel twice.  The trail took us over seven high steel trestles.  The views were absolutely stunning!  The trail offered several places to stop and take in the views while learning some history of the railroad and the fires of 1910.  There are stories that when people were evacuating on the train, the trestles (then made of wood) were burning as the train went over them!  All in all the day was incredible! It was a  great outing that the whole family could enjoy! My seven year old did the entire trail with no complaints.
The Rails To Trails Conservancy is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.  Stop by their page to find a trail near you! I highly recommend  looking for a trail near you! Take the whole family and a picnic lunch! Spend the day and breathe in the fresh air.  The day inspired me to make a new version of my reusable sandwich bags.  They will be perfect for a ride on the trail or add some personality to school lunches!