RWS Features #30

 

Happy weekend! We are at my parents this weekend because we have a wedding to go to tonight! My college friend Christy is getting hitched in NOLA and Bobby and I are going to go celebrate with the happy couple at their nuptials tonight. We also have a long run planned for tomorrow morning, as well as a 4th of July party at my cousin’s house! Stay tuned for lots of fun photos!

DSC_0712

I heart the 4th of July!

I want to introduce you to Mellissa! She blogs at www.afitandspicylife.com and you can also find her on Twitter at @fitnspicy. Mellissa started blogging as a way to document her trip to Italy, and then she got hooked. Oh, she also happens to be a dog lover!

Spain and Portugal-435

1.) How/Why did you start blogging?  I was heading on a big trip to Italy and really wanted to write about all the experiences on that trip.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences: A Midwestern girl and her love of fitness, food ,travel and wine.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging? I love being a part of the community and hope to continue to blog because I love it. Sharing my passions makes me so happy.

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment? Working out 3-4 times a week for 10+ years!

Thanks Mellissa! Please be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

QOTD: If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?

Friday Favorites: Food Edition

 

Good morning! Another weekend is upon us! We have some fun plans including a wedding to go to so I am stoked! What are you doing this weekend? I haven’t done Friday Favorites in awhile so I thought it would be fun to bring it back with a bang, vlog style! Enjoy my rambling!

 

In case you are curious about any of the products I mentioned in the video, here are the links:

Wild Harvest <—— Healthy Living Summit sponsors, you won’t want to miss them, so get a ticket while you still can!

WH

Cascadian Farm: Great company, sweet people, yummy food.

photo (17)

Archer Farms: I love Target. Enough said.

Swanson Health Products*: The prices on this website are amazing yall, on everything! They also have so so many different products. Go check it out.

photo (16)

Fit Frappe: easy and convenient and packed with protein!

*I was provided free product in exchange for my thoughts and opinions expressed on my blog, however, they are my own.

QOTD: What foods are you loving this summer?

Cruise on the Magic Part 4: Pirate Night

 

AAARRRGGHHH! We left off with part three at pirate night aboard the Disney Magic.

DSC_0651

hehe.

DSC_0654

Dinner was at Parrot Cay again, with a pirate menu of course.

DSC_0662

The food had a Caribbean flare, and after we were done with dessert we headed up on deck for the party.

DSC_0664

The actual party itself is more geared towards kids, we walked around another part of the ship and then waited for Mickey to come in and save the ship from those blasted pirates!

DSC_0669

DSC_0674

Then, it was time for fireworks at sea! Being the smart kids that we are, we had already positioned ourselves on the correct side of the ship at the railing for the best viewing.

DSC_0677 DSC_0678

DSC_0680 DSC_0682

Right as the fireworks were ending we did something else because we are veteran Disney cruisers and smart kiddos…we started heading down a deck to the pirate buffet! (Like we hadn’t eaten enough at dinner!) Bobby loves this part most because they have whole turkey legs like you can buy in the park, of course these are included in the price of your cruise!

DSC_0668

There were two different stretches of tables, one of “real food” and one of desserts. They had tacos, crepes, turket legs, fruit, cake, chili, it was wonderful.

DSC_0683

DSC_0684

We took our plates back to the adult section and found a table. They had started playing one of the Pirate’s in the Carribean movies on the big screen outside at the family pool and it was loud and very busy over there with all the tables set up. Word of advice, don’t wait until the fireworks are over to get in line. The lines got SO LONG, SO FAST. When I was on the Fantasy they had the buffet in Cabanas where they have buffets every day so it wasn’t bad, but on the Magic and Wonder they have had them on the pool deck and it’s chaos.

DSC_0685

The happy boy with his turkey leg

DSC_0687

We waddled back to our rooms with very full bellies. Why do they make Pirate night right before Castaway Cay day when everyone will be in their swimsuits? I was feeling QUITE bloated the next day! My next installment will be Castaway Cay day!

Remember, I am a Disney travel planner. I have been on all four Disney Ships and would love to help plan your next vacation! It is no additional cost to you to have me book for you! e mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for more details.

QOTD: When heading for a buffet such as this, would you head to the “real food” table first or the “dessert” table?

Vote for Your Park


Ok, here is your friendly reminder to vote for your favorite park!!! Remember when I wrote that Coca-Cola’s Live Positively campaign is giving away FOUR grants to lucky parks all across the country? The program is still going on, and your parks need your votes!

It’s so easy to vote. It literally takes about 15 seconds. You just type in the zip code or city/state of your park, click the one you want, and vote! If you really want your park to win, you can vote multiple times, and if you check in via Foursquare through the special link, your vote counts as 100 votes!
Last time, I shared with you that I have been voting for Fort Maurepas State Park in Ocean Springs, MS. This is a favorite meet-up spot for me to run, and then a great spot after that to cool off, eat a picnic lunch, or get in some extra exercise with my family. I know this park can be even BETTER, though, and I’m sure you feel the same way about your park.
.
Running on the beach in front of Fort Maurepas Park.
So, what can you do besides vote? Become an advocate for your park! Use the Facebook and Twitter badges on the site to get people talking on your social media outlets. Go to the link provided and click on “campaign for your park.” On that tab you will find resources you can use to get your park noticed and voted for.
There is even a park flyer, brochure, and tips to get involved. They include:
Start Online
Vote at LivePositively.com/parks from now until July 15, 2012. After you vote, share with your social network by simply clicking the Facebook or Twitter icon. Set up a Facebook page to spread the word and rally everyone around your park. Share regular status updates on how your park is ranking on the leader board.

Gather Together at the Park
Get active in the park. Bike, run, rollerblade or play games with your friends and family. And while you’re there, encourage everyone to vote! Each Foursquare check-in from the park earns your favorite 100 more votes.

Get Out the Vote!
Use the toolkit found on LivePositively.com/parks to help organize your community and
empower others to get involved. Send emails, letters and tweets to community leaders, park groups, local celebrities and more telling them about the campaign and why your park is so special. Print out the flyer found in the toolkit and post it all over your park. Ask park-goers to use their smartphones to cast a vote on the spot!
Don’t forget:
The park with the most votes will win a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola
Live Positively initiative and the coveted title of “America’s Favorite Park.” What’s even better is that more than one park will win! Second- and third-place parks will receive $50,000 and $25,000 grants, respectively, and one lucky park will be chosen, at random, from the remaining top 25 spots on the leader board to win a $15,000 grant.
QOTD: What is your favorite thing to do at the park?
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant. To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit www.LivePositively.com/parks. Void where prohibited.

Beat the Heat + My Race Ragz Rocks!

 

I was honored to be asked to be the featured blogger in the My Race Ragz newsletter this month. Some of you who already get the newsletter probably saw my face in your inbox yesterday morning, but in case you missed it, you can see the write up here.  By the way, if you would like to sign up for the monthly newsletter, it’s so easy, just go here and enter in a bit of information!

raceragz

In my little interview, I was asked about ways to heat the heat during summer running. This is so appropriate being I live one of the hottest, most humid parts of the country so I kind of have these tips mastered! Here are the tips I gave:

Tips for staying safe while running in the summer / heat.

Running in the heat is no joke, and it is important to stay safe and pay attention to the weather. My best tips for running in the heat include:

  1. Run early in the morning or late at night to avoid the hottest and sunniest parts of the day.
  2. Hydrate hydrate hydrate before, during, and after your run.
  3. Slather on the SPF, and I always wear a visor to keep the sun off my face in the summer months.
  4. Put a wet washcloth in the freezer, and then carry it with you on your run to keep you cool
  5. Be sure to replace not only water, but salt and electrolytes. Gatorade, nuun, and coconut water are my favorite go to’s.
  6. Be realistic. Your pace is going to drop, and that’s ok! Have realistic goals for your summer runs
  7. Most importantly, listen to your body. If you get dizzy or lightheaded, stop running, and find some shade ASAP. Better to be safe than sorry!

I was also asked about some races I am running this fall and my goals for them:

Meet Heather from Running With Sass.  She’s an avid runner and now a My Race Ragz sportin’ fashionista. 

Here’s what we asked Heather:

What are your racing goals for 2012?

I have a couple of race goals for the rest of 2012. I would love to run a sub 2:00 half marathon for one, but I also have a goal of staying injury free. I have struggled with several running injuries that have hampered my ability to reach my goals, so I am trying to take really good care of my body so that doesn’t happen! I also also have a goal of having FUN with every race. Running is a privilege and I don’t want to take it for granted.

What races are you signed up for over the summer / fall?

 

Living in the deep south, there are not many races going on in the summer. I am signed up for the Disneyland half marathon in September, the Gulf coast half marathon in October, and Disney’s Wine and Dine half marathon in November. But my “big race” is goofy’s race and a half challenge in January of 2013! Running a half marathon Saturday and a full on Sunday is so scary to me, but I am excited!

THANKS My Race Ragz for featuring me in your newsletter! (In case anyone missed my review of the awesome shirt I got from them you can check it out here).

QOTD: Do you have any other tips for staying safe while running/beating the heat this summer?

When Choosing a Running Route…

 

Whether you subconsciously do it or not, a lot of thought goes into planning a running route. People have preferences depending on training run, time of day, traffic, amount of people, and so on. I wanted to go into a little bit of detail about some of these options to help you (and myself!) plan the best running routes for your enjoyment and safety.

2011-03-02144712

no matter where you are running, you can always take self portraits while you workout!

1.) Type of run:

This will weigh heavily on some of the other things I mention so I thought I would bring it up first. A long run or an easy run may take you anywhere on any terrain at any time, but for a hill workout, for instance you need well…a route with hills! So point being, take these suggestions with a grain of salt and adjust them according to the needs of your run for that day.

2.) Safety:

This is way important. Please don’t be one of those people who say “it will never happen to me”, because that thought alone makes you vulnerable. If you are running alone, you need to REALLY consider running:

-in an area with a lot of people

-out in the open (not on a trail in the woods)

-carrying a Taser, pepper spray, your cell phone

-when the sun is up and the area is well lit

-with reflective gear on to make yourself visible

Bobby refuses to let me run out on the highway or on the trails by myself, and I totally understand why. Even if you live in a “safe area” bad things can happen. Being observant and not playing your music too loud so it drowns out approaching people or animals can be a hindrance.

2011-04-30_11.49.40

I run along the beach during the day when there is a lot of traffic and other people out on the path. I always carry my cell phone and wear my road ID.

3.) Weather:

The biggest weather concern where I live is the heat and humidity. A lot of thought goes into my weekend long runs due to glaring sun. Running early in the morning or late in the evening is something I try to do (when Bobby is with me of course). We also try our best to find well shaded areas, areas without a lot of traffic, and areas with water fountains, or a turn around point where we can pass by the car for extra fuel, etc.  Trails are a great option for the heat, if they are shaded but you may need to bring along your own water bottle depending on the location.

DSC_2196

these trees don’t provide much shade.

Running in the rain is ok (as long as it’s not lightning) but be careful running on roads, as they can be slippery and cars may not be able to brake as well. We don’t get a lot of cold weather, but when we do we bundle up and hit a sunny route to keep us warm, and try to stay out of the wind as much as possible.

4.) Distance/scenery

I will be the first to admit I get pretty bored on long runs. having somewhere new to run can be a great change and make things more interesting. Depending on the distance you need to go, you can plan to run a loop (not as boring) or an out and back (way boring!). I prefer to run at the beach, or where there are a lot of people so I have different things to look at. Also, to keep boredom away, try running your usual route backwards. I have different places I run depending on how far I have to go. (3 mile loop, 6 mile loop, anything longer I hit the beach or break it up with half outside, half treadmill run).

d0241852

The lakefront in Louisiana is a beautiful place to run.

It may be a slight inconvenience to drive somewhere to run, but if it will help me run faster and be less bored, I am willing to drive a bit to get the job done.

2012-02-04 10.27.07

beach running is fun (but so tough!)

The same goes for picking races. I try to choose ones in fun cities, or somewhere scenic. I ran an out and back race that went through this boring road with no houses one time and it was 13.1 miles of torture!

562025_631860400148_61700476_32300575_1108471544_n

races along the beach are a lot of fun

2012-02-26-07.31.15_thumb

So are races in Disney World!

Bottom line, with a little bit of planning and effort on your part, you can make running more fun and not as “boring”. If you are stuck in a training rut, try to make sure you are having the best experience based on the weather, times of day, your safety, scenery, and the type of run.

QOTD: What other factors go into deciding your running route?

Weekly Recap: June Week 3

 

Hi! It’s a bright and beautiful (albeit hot!) Sunday around these parts. My parents came into town for something yesterday and spent the night, and are heading out this morning. It’s been a great weekend so far! Yesterday morning, Bobby and I ran the nine miles from hell. It’s so funny to me how you can have a great run one weekend and the next weekend have one that’s absolutely miserable. We didn’t get started until after 8:15, and our plan was to do our usual six mile loop, then head home and go into the gym (it’s in our neighborhood) and run three miles on the treadmills.

This is how I looked before the run…

running1

aannddd this is how I looked after…

photo (15)

no. no…I can assure you these were taken on the same day. I started with the pigtails because my hair is getting so long now I can’t stand it when it sticks to my back when I un in just a sports bra. About .20 miles in, I said “that’s it!” the braids were driving me mad, and the hair went up. Them when we made it back to the gym I put a shirt on and ditched the hat. What a crazy run. It felt like the sun was literally zapping us with every step. When we got to mile four it felt like we had been out there FOREVER. We made it back to the gym and got on the treadmills for three before walking home, showering, and collapsing for a two hour nap!! Our pace was a full minute per mile slower than it needed to be, but we were really just trying to survive out there. Here’s how the rest of the week went:

Sunday: rest

Monday: easy run, 3 miles 11:06 pace, 45 of weights

Tuesday:  45 minutes of weights, walked the dogs 15 minutes

Wednesday: tempo run, 3 miles, weights 20 minutes

Thursday: rest

Friday: 3 mile easy run

Saturday: 9 mile run

————————-

running: 18 miles

cross training: one time

weights: x’s 3.

Not as good as last week for the weights and cross training, but I was proud I stuck to my training plan, even with an unscheduled day off Thursday. Running for the win!

QOTD: What are you most proud of this week?

RWS Features #29

 

Happy Saturday! It’s been a bit crazy for me. if you read my post yesterday you know I was in Louisiana with my fam for a day, but I got back into town last night. Bobby and I ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and this morning we have 9-10 miles on tap. I felt good after the eight we did last Saturday, so fingers crossed this is a good run as well. Yesterday morning I ran an easy 3 at my parents house, it was nice having an easy no pressure run where I wasn’t running my guts out as fast as I could go! It was still very hot and humid, even with my visor sweat kept getting in my eyes!

photo (12

While I am out sweating it out in the heat, stay indoors (after your workout of course!) and read all about my next featured blogger, Heather! (Of course she has an AWESOME name!) Heather blogs at Just a Colorado Girl, and has some breathtaking photos on her blog!

Heather

Case in point. Gorgeous photo! Check out her answers to my questions below and then be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

 

1.) Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in 2005. I had sold all of my belongings and was taking off for an undetermined amount of time abroad. I spent 13 months backpacking around South and Central America, and I knew my friends and fam back home would want to keep up with my travels. Thus, the blog was born!

 

2.) Describe your blog in a couple of sentences

Just a Colorado Gal details my adventures, Colorado-style! I’m a lover of outdoor sports and international travel, so I’m usually writing about one or the other. I also enjoy running and triathlons, so my training for those is often detailed in my posts.

 

3.) What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

I love all the new people that I’ve met through blogging! It is such a huge network and there are so many awesome people out there!

 

4. What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

My biggest healthy living accomplishment/challenge is probably when I cycled across the United States. Before heading to South America, my ex-boyfriend and I decided to ride our bikes from Colorado to Miami (After all, plane tickets to Ecuador were cheaper from Miami than Denver!) We slept in tents, showered occasionally, and in the end, covered 3,893 miles over the span of a few months. It was the first time I realized what I was physically capable of and I’ve been pushing my limits ever since.

Thanks Heather! I admire you so much for your adventurous spirit. I think I am way to chicken to do some of the things you have done! Be sure to check Heather out at Just A Colorado Gal or on Twitter: @AColoradoGal

QOTD: Have you ever been backpacking/hiking for more than a day? Spill! Would you like to if you haven’t? Where would you go?

-Be sure to vote for your favorite park to win a $100,000 grant thanks to Coca-Cola!

Family Time

 

Sometimes it’s just nice to go home by myself (with the pups) and see my mom and dad. I had somewhere to be in my parents hometown yesterday, so me and the girls drove in for one night. Good for my mental health sometimes. I got to hang out with my parental unit, and they took me to dinner at Longhorns for a good steak. Yum! This steak had white cheddar and bacon on it. Holy yum! It was amazing. (We had a coupon, too which always makes food taste better!)

food

mom

I look just like her don’t I?

After dinner we did my favorite thing to do in my hometown, get snowballs! I got wedding cake cream. My favorite.

photo (12)

My dad always gets ice cream cream. Oh, and we always fight over who is going to ride shotgun. Like…running through the parking lot to be the first one at the car. Mature adults what?

snowball

We sat outside and enjoyed our desserts then headed home for a night of vegging out (and blogging for me!) Today I am going for a run in my parents neighborhood and then mom and I are going shopping before I head back home to enjoy the weekend with Bobby. Sometimes it’s just nice to go home, even if just for 24 hours.

photo (13)

Also, a huge thanks to the folks at Cascadian Farm. They sent me an awesome care package in the mail for being one of their blogger friends, I may or may not have already opened some of these boxes…So so yummy! My favorite is the chocolate chip granola bars. If you haven’t tried these, run…don’t walk to your store and get some!

photo (14)

QOTD: Thoughts on going “home?” Anyone else feel the way i do? Where is home for you?

Wine and Dine Coast to Coast

 

So I did something a little wild yesterday….I signed Bobby and I up for Disney’s Wine and Dine half marathon! If you will remember, I ran this race last year and worked the expo for Running Skirts. I had a blast the whole weekend, and I also ran the Halloween 5k.

309323_2090505982875_1251990882_31999473_1909081267_n

317551_2090770149479_1251990882_31999688_1256716448_n

DSC00021

As fate would have it, Bobby and I will already be in WDW with my parents and were departing for home TWO DAYS before the race. It really stressed me out that we would be there so close to the race but not get to run it. Especially when it would be Bobby’s only chance to get his coast to coast medal. (I will be getting mine in Disneyland because I ran Princess.)

DSC00253

So, Bobby and I decided to stretch our trip out by a couple of days so that we can run the race. We will be staying at Port Orleans Riverside (my favorite moderate) in the new royal rooms! I am SO EXCITED! One of my favorite resorts with ROYAL decor? Yes please!

Royal-Guest-Rooms

(source)

shower

This is going to be a very laid back trip, hanging at the resort and running the race. I am all for it! Last year, while we had a BLAST taking photos with every single character, it took us awhile and we got to the post race party a little late and didn’t have a lot of time do do things, so this year I plan to hurry us along a bit more (while still having fun of course!) so we can enjoy the after party as well. Don’t forget, this race doesn’t start till 10:00 at night, and you can still register! Hurry while there are still sports left!

Remember, I can take the stress out of booking for you, at no extra cost to you! I also know how to get you the best deal for your stay. E-mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details, and join my Facebook Fan page for Travel With the Magic for Disney photos, updates, and discounts

QOTD: Would you stay in a royal room? Have you run Wine and Dine or would you like to?