Saturday, April 22, 2017


I’ve been taking a break from running for over 6 months now. A big part of this break is due to a nagging pain in my back that I just can’t seem to figure out. But a larger part of this (that I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with) is that running stopped making me happy and started to become emotionally destructive. 

When my dad was really sick a few years ago running gave me a way to channel all my devastation and heartbreak into something that gave me hope. Running made me feel strong emotionally during a time in my life when it would have been really easy to just crumble. Right after my dad died, marathon training was the thing that got me out of bed every day, it gave me something to focus on that wasn’t my own grief. The marathon I ran 5 months after my dad died was my strongest and fastest ever. It made me happy - I felt proud and I felt good and I did it all for him. But after that, my relationship with running began to fumble. I kept pushing myself the same way I always had, but looking back on it now I realize that wasn’t what I needed at all. I continued grinding it out through another marathon training cycle because it's what I had come to know as normal, except this time things weren’t clicking. I had this nagging pain in my back that wouldn’t go away, and I started doubting myself as a runner even though I was running faster than I ever had before. And then it was time for Boston 2016, the marathon I had been dreaming of for years and years. In the days leading up to Boston my gut was telling me something was off, but I ignored it. Every training run over the past 16 weeks had been perfect, so what could be wrong? I remember putting Greg & my brother's phone numbers on the back of my bib just in case something happened to me during the race. And I came up with a plan in my head of what I'd do if I DNFed along the course (DNF - did not finish). These were things I had never considered leading up to races in the past, I think because previously I had been in the right mental state; feeling confident and ready to race. Then race day happened and 10 miles in I crumbled. I was perfectly hydrated, perfectly fueled, perfectly prepped - but the heat got to me. And honestly, my own emotions got to me. My mind just wasn’t in the game and my body reacted to that. I finished Boston 2016 with the help of medical tents, my friends & family on the sidelines, and my intense fear of failure. But I wasn’t proud of myself, I was actually really ashamed. My finish time was exactly 4 hours, the slowest marathon I have ever run by a long shot. I was trained to run a 3:10 marathon easily and 4 hours was straight up embarrassing - that’s not the kind of runner I am. I don’t run to just finish a marathon, I run to excel. Running a 4 hour marathon was like putting my guard down and letting everyone around me see all my weaknesses, all the cracks in my armor, and that made me want to run away and hide. Everyone around me was telling me that just finishing a marathon while experiencing heat stroke is an incredible accomplishment and I should be so proud. I smiled and agreed and told them all I was feeling proud, but honestly I wasn’t feeling that at all. And that’s when I started to understand that even though running has brought so much positivity into my life, it had now morphed into something emotionally destructive. 

The years of grinding it out nonstop with marathon training and with running a business all while trying to process the illness and eventual death of the most important person in my life had caught up to me. Running wasn’t helping me deal with the loss of my dad anymore, it was just masking it. The thought of going out on a run just because it made me happy had become so foreign, it wasn’t even an option I gave myself. Every run had to be taken very seriously, had to be structured and intentional. And then I realized that I wasn't allowing any room to be easy on myself, to give myself a break. So I stopped running. Honestly, it’s been really really good. I am going on walks instead of runs, I am letting myself stay in bed a bit longer in the mornings, and I’m reading books instead of stretching for an hour every day. With the help of some wonderful friends and a really great therapist I’m starting to understand what life looks like without my dad. I’m trying to figure out what makes me truly happy and fulfilled and I can’t quite say what that looks like just yet, but I know that I’ll only figure it out by giving my heart and mind the space to heal and become healthy again. I know that running will forever be a part of my life and running a 3:10 marathon is still something I think about almost daily. But I want to approach running again slowly and be sure that the most important part is feeing happy and fulfilled, remembering the reasons why running changed my life for the better in the first place. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


A few photos from our weekend away at a super cozy cabin in the Berkshires. I'm working on a new travel blog where I can better document all these cabins and getaways, so stay tuned! 

Friday, December 16, 2016


I was honored to create a collection of one of a kind bags for select cast & crew of the new WWII movie Allied using WWII era materials that were all very thoughtfully chosen to correlate to the movie's time period. This was an incredibly fun project to work on and I feel very fortunate that I got to put all my old canvas nerdiness to use. And be sure to go see the movie, it's brilliant!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


This holiday season you can find Forestbound bags at two great local shops. A selection of Forestbound Originals are at Olives & Grace in the South End (if you haven't been there yet go immediately! Trust me, you'll want to/need to buy everything). 

And you can find ESCAPE Bags at Loyal Supply Co. in Union SQ Somerville (right around the corner from the Forestbound studio!). 

I've decided to not do any in person events this year and instead just focus all my efforts on the online shop. So if you need a few last minute Forestbound gifts in Boston check out these two great shops! 

Friday, November 25, 2016


I holed up in this secluded cabin for two days earlier this week. It was the perfect bit of calm after a month of taking zero days off and before another month of zero days off. I love what I do, but jeeze the months leading up to Christmas are just so so busy. A good book (The Nightingale - have you read it?! I can't put it down), a nice bottle of wine, and long mornings in bed were just what I needed to power back up and get ready for the holiday madness that is now upon us. 

Speaking of holiday - the 2016 Black Friday totes sold out in 2.5 hours! I think that may be a new record. Thank you so much! 

Right now I'm offering free shipping on all orders over $125 and stay tuned for lots of other fun sales over the next few days and weeks. I feel so so so thankful to have all of you out there as customers, followers, friends and family. Hope you had the best Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2016 $50 TOTE BAG

Hard to believe it's already the holidays! But that means our annual $50 Black Friday tote bag sale is only a few days away and here's the design I made for this year. Doing my best to put as much peace and kindness out there into the world, and since making bags is what I do it seemed appropriate to put that message on our 2016 tote. Hope you love it!

The bags will be available starting at 7am EST on Friday morning on our website. Like always, we only make a limited quantity of them, so act quick! They normally sell out in a few hours. 

I'll be running a few other sales over the weekend as well, so make sure to sign up for our mailing list to get all the details!

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Happy to welcome a new color to the ESCAPE Bag family - hi navy blue! 

Also happy to constantly be collaborating with such inspiring people, always keeping me on my toes. Many thanks to Dana for the photos and Dayna for modeling.