Monthly Round-Up: Rose & Thorns – August 2021

August Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced throughout each month.

Rose: Running Faster Than Ever

The Florida temperatures are ungodly hot in August, making running less than ideal. But here I am, running around the neighborhood like I’m training for a marathon. For the record, I have no ideations of preparing for or attempting to run a marathon. I’m content to stick with my four-mile run (for now).

This month, I could see actual progress in my physical and mental health on the days I went running versus the days I wasn’t able to. I never thought I would say this, but I look forward to going outside and completing a run. Afternoon showers have put a damper on some days. Many times, I have found myself running in the rain and dodging lightning because I thought I could outrun the storms. I’ve gotten faster, but I’m not that fast. 


I’m primarily running for the exercise, not to become Usain Blot*, but I did run four miles in 40.31 minutes this month. The couple passing by on their afternoon walk probably thought I was crazy as I jumped with a resounding “YES!” after I saw the time. 

The temperatures aren’t expected to drastically change anytime soon. However, running a consistent ten-minute mile in a feels like temperature of 101° F, gives me hope that I will be able to meet my goal of running four miles under forty minutes this fall. 

*Editor’s Note: I know Usain Bolt isn’t a long-distance runner. Google says that title goes to Eliud Kipchoge who ran a marathon in 2:01:39. That’s faster than me driving 26 miles somedays on the Florida Highways. 

Rose & Thorns - Running faster than ever.

Thorn: Post Popularity Phase 

In July’s Rose & Thorns, I wrote about the SEO God’s blessing my Sequoia National Park – One Day Hiking Itinerary. I never experienced so much traffic through one post. Well, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Things have settled down significantly this month. I knew this streak of popularity wasn’t going to last forever. More than anything, it has motivated me to keep moving forward. I met with a website consulting company to audit and make suggestions on changes I can do to show more personality and retain readership. That meeting was highly encouraging to help me to start planning the next steps for All Things Karissa


Thorn: More Dead Plants On My Hands

You know how there are different degrees of murder; first being the worst, third-degree is still not great but you may get out in forty years? Well, I’m on the verge of getting life in plant prison if I kill one more plant. This month I managed to kill a cactus. That’s right. The easiest, most worry-free plant out there flopped over and died.

If you’ve been here a while, you’ll recall the DIY Cactus Planter I made from oven-baked clay. The planter has held up great. The one mistake I made in creating that planter was not poking holes in the bottom for water to drain. Rookie mistake, I know. Not only that, but I also forgot to water the cactus for the longest time and then over-compensated for my neglect by overwatering. Not to worry, I’m going to learn from my mistake. So far, the replacement cactus is thriving in its new home. We won’t tell it what happen to the previous tenant. 

Rose & Thorns - dead cactus

Rose: An Update to the Patio Update

This month I revealed my long-awaited Thrifted & DIY Summer Patio Makeover. Since its completion, I have truly enjoyed sitting out on the patio while it rains in the afternoon. I made one small unintentional update this month. It all started with me taking out the trash. I walked to my building’s dumpster and found myself blinded by the reflection of the sun coming from a mirror. It’s not uncommon for people to throw out large items next to the dumpster. When I was finally able to see again, I saw this beautiful mirrored side table. The only thing missing was the small drawer. The sides of the table were in perfect condition. I ran back to the condo, carefully trying not to blind myself again as the sunlight bounced from the mirrored panels. Aside from the overall coolness factor, it was the perfect replacement for the stool I had on the patio before. There have been a few occasions I needed to use this stool, and moving the plants on and off was a pain. Now I have a cool table for my plants and free access to my stool. Win-Win! 

Rose & Thorns - patio makeover update

Favorites of the Month

Matching Workout Set – Working out is more enjoyable when you feel good in your outfit. Before getting into running I didn’t really care what I looked like. I figured I was going to be sweaty so what was the point? This set was bought on a whim, just to see if I would like being matchy-matchy. I liked it so much I’m currently deciding what other colors I need. The only downside is the pants do not have pockets. I’ll have to wear a running belt to hold my phone. But the overall material and fit are spot on. 

August Favorite - Matching set

CeraVe Retinol Serum – I’m dipping my toe into a skincare regimen. This is the first product I’ve tried. I’ve been religious with using it every night for a full month and my skin has been so happy. Aaron has been encouraging me to start caring for my skin. He said it will take several months to see full results, but my skin has been noticeably clear and smooth in just a month of use. 

Ashwagandha – This supplement came as a suggestion from my friend, whose doctor told her it would help with stress. I started taking these at the beginning of the month. While it’s not magic floating on clouds, everything is a rainbow kind of pill. I do think it has helped reduce the small everyday stress. I feel less affected by small irritations that would normally annoy me. 

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