Archives for September 2013

Tower of Terror Race Weekend

It’s officially the week of the runDisney Tower of Terror ten mile race weekend! I have never run this race, so I can’t wait to experience it for the first time, it’s been on my race bucket list!

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The race takes place the night of October 5, 2013, and starts at 10:00 at night. After the race is the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash until 4:00 in the morning. I am excited to see what this is all about, but I doubt I will be staying out until 4:00!

The health and fitness expo takes place Friday and Saturday (12:00-8:00 and 10:00 to 4:00) and will feature booths from many great companies and official race merchandise.

You can find a course map, final race instructions, race waiver download link, and spectator info on runDisney’s website.

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If you will be at the race, be on the lookout for me, I would LOVE to say hello to you! I will  be live posting on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook during my trip so be sure to follow along!

There is a lot going on at Walt Disney World during this event such as EPCOT’s international Food and Wine festival and Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween party (we are going Sunday!)

*You can still sign up for the kids races and the Villains Hollywood bash!

Weekend Ramblings: September Edition

It’s College football day! I will be spending the day in front of the television preparing for the LSU game. I can’t wait! I hope you all have a great weekend, here are a few random ramblings for you:

1.) Verizon sent me an external battery for my Blackberry, and it’s so convenient! It is especially great when I am out somewhere all day or on a trip and I am using my phone a lot. I hate doing the “conserve battery” thing so it lasts all day, and now I don’t have to, woo hoo! They sent me the Power Pack Slim 2000:

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2.) Bobby and I leave for another trip on Wednesday to run runDisney’s Tower of Terror ten miler, so we have been busy cleaning, packing, and doing last minute things like getting the mail held and checking in with the house and dog sitters. I think I am going to just start living out of my suitcase since I seem to do so anyway. If you aren’t following me on Instagram you will miss all my trip photos as they happen!

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3.) The winner of my Under Armour sports bra giveaway is Carol Couvillion Landry. Please email me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize! Don’t forget you can order things from UA by clicking the link on my right sidebar.

4.) I cooked potato soup last night and forgot how much I love it. (I just can’t stand cooking it in the summer when it is so stinkin hot). I have the recipe here, as well as some other good ones.

5.) I am in need of a handful of guest posts for next week. if you are interested please email me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

QOTD: What college football team do you root for?

Blackberry.

Disclosure: I am a Verizon Wireless ambassador and was given a phone, accessories, and free service. However, all opinions are my own.

Sociercise

Good morning! Today I wanted to share with you something that has been in the works for me. I have taken on the task of working with a great company called Sociercise. I will be running things for them on the social media and ambassador side of things, and wanted to share with you a little bit about them because it is an AWESOME concept and phone app!

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What is Sociercise?

Sociercise is a way to exercise socially or a form of social exercise. It consists of the website and the FREE Sociercise Real Time Running Races app for iPhone (Android coming soon) that allow individuals to compete in real time races and virtual charity races.

What does Sociercise Include?

*Real Time Running RacesUsers can run in a real time race against other users from any location. In these races participants can track their progress in real time against other real runners. They can hear audio prompts when they get passed and they can see their course through integrated Google Maps.

* Virtual Charity Races –  Through virtual charity races organizations can raise money through an athletic event without the risks, expenses, and difficulties associated with hosting a traditional 5K or fun-run. Plus the Virtual Charity Races on Sociercise allow participants to collect pledges for each mile that they complete as well as minimum and maximum donations through our Fun and Fair pledge process on our website. As an event occurs virtual charity race participants can run anytime, anywhere, and as often as they want to log miles using our iPhone app. At the conclusion of the multi-day racing period our system will calculate and process the donations based upon the pledges per mile and the distance completed by the runner. Also, there are PRIZES for different categories like most miles run and most money raised.

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Awesome running shoes are one of the prizes for the next race!

*Individual Workouts– So you aren’t in a competitive mood but you still want to run…No problem with Sociercise you can go for an individual workout, set your goal distance or do a free run and the app will track your time, pace, and distance as well as your course on a Google Map.

*Workout History and Goal Setting – What good is a great running app without the ability to set goals and track your progress?Sociercise created several ways to track your progress from graphs for each distance, a complete history log, and a goal setting process that allows you to set and track goals for time, distance, calories, and weight loss.

Want to know more? Here are some videos that show some more about Sociercise:

http://youtu.be/ANh1p2mGuoU

http://youtu.be/rxtgs9vcYds

As you can see, it’s a great concept and an easy way to raise money for charity without having to travel or worry about meeting super high minimums just to compete. You race from home over several days! The charity we are currently working with is the Wounded Warrior project. Won’t you come and support these soldiers? it’s easy to sign up and tell your friends about it via social media and collect pledges!

Want to follow Sociercise on Facebook and Twitter? We would love to hear from you!

QOTD: What are your thoughts on running a virtual race for charity via a phone app? Will you sign up and help us raise money?

Disneyland Trip 2013: Sunday-Wednesday

I left off my recap with our dinner at Blue Bayou Saturday night. Sunday morning, we got up and completed the Dumbo Double Dare by running the Disneyland half marathon. After the race, we showered, ate breakfast, and headed out to Disneyland park.

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Not gonna lie…it was REALLY hot outside, I was exhausted, and pretty miserable. After walking around a bit and realizing the lines were long for everything, we decided to go grab some lunch, take a nap, and go back to the parks that evening. We ended up in Downtown Disney at Naples and got some pizza.

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We were both really dehydrated and drank a ton of water. I felt better after eating, but we still decided to go take a nap which was glorious. We relaxed in the room and the lounge before heading to dinner at Steakhouse 55 with Karen and Jason.

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After dinner, we never ended up going back to the parks. I was falling asleep just walking through Downtown Disney, so we decided to call it a night.

Monday morning, I felt much more like a human again, and we headed to California Adventure park to take advantage of the extra magic hour. We headed straight for the single rider line of Radiator Springs Racers, and walked right on twice, and were even in the same car.

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Bobby rode California Screamin a couple times, and we also rode Toy Story Mania twice.

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We then headed over to Disneyland before it got too crowded.

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Why hello, Dumbo!

We discovered the petting zoo, and hung out with the goats for awhile. They were cracking me up climbing up on the barrels. They all had on collars and had really cute Disney names like Bolt and Pongo.

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We went back to the hotel after that to meet up with some friends from the area. Allen and Grace are somewhat of runDisney royalty. Allen is a perfect 20 WDW marathoner, and we actually met them after this year’s marathon, and they told us when we came out to Disneyland to let them know and we would go have lunch. Well, we stayed in touch over the last few months and actually made it happen!

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Allen and Grace with Alice

They picked us up at our hotel and took us to eat lunch, and out for amazing dessert while we heard all of Allen’s past Disney marathon stories, and about how cool it is to live so close to Disneyland. We had a great time and hope to see them again at the marathon next year!

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After we got back to the hotel, we relaxed and got ready for an early dinner at Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure park. We ate outside and ran into Kat and her husband again (we saw them a couple other times that day!) before riding a couple of rides.

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We got to see the lights come on in Cars Land before heading over to Grizzly River Rapids.

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Last year we were stuck on this ride for a very long time, and luckily that did NOT happen again. We went back to the room which was SO close to the ride, super nice being able to walk right over! We changed and walked over to Disneyland where we had preferred seating for the fireworks at the train station.

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I enjoyed them, but Wishes is still my favorite show. It was bedtime for us after this, and we had one day left before going home.

Tuesday we had breakfast and went back into the parks one last time.

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Bobby had never been on Dumbo before, so I thought it was appropriate for us to ride, and there was NO line.

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We rode some of the other Fantasyland rides, as well as Indiana Jones and Pirates before eating lunch outside at Café Orleans.

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We also ran into this cowgirl with no line. I’m telling you, the day after Labor Day is the time to go to Disneyland!

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We wanted to spend some time at the pool, so after lunch we took the trolley back down Main Street and went to the pool at the resort.

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I love the lounge chairs at the pool, they are HUGE with giant cushions on them, it’s like being on a bed. We lounged for a bit  before getting ready for dinner at Napa Rose at our hotel. But first, we hit up the lounge one last time.

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We were given a cute little table in the corner by the fireplace at Napa Rose, and had a great server along with amazing food.

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We took our time, as we didn’t have anywhere to be until World of Color later that night. We even had time to go ride Radiator Springs Racers one more time.

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I LOVE this show, it is my favorite show in Disneyland. It’s so unique and hard to explain to people who have never seen it.

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It was a great way to end our trip, and I am glad we saved it for the last night. If you ever have the chance to go to Disneyland, don’t miss World of Color. They even have fastpasses for it!

Thanks for reading along about my trip, can’t wait to share the next one with you!

QOTD: Do you prefer parades or fireworks?

Want me to help you book your magical vacation? Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com to get a free quote, or visit our website to fill out a quote request form, just be sure to add my name on it!

Running on the Wall Tank Top Review

You may remember awhile back I posted a review of a really cute medal display that Running on the Wall sent me. They contacted me again, this time to try one of their running tanks. They have a ton of great sayings on these great tanks, and they are new to their website!

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I am wearing a medium tank in these photos. I really like the thin fabric and feel of these tanks, they are super soft and not too tight. I ran three miles in mine yesterday, and had no chaffing, riding up, or other issues. This tank is getting me excited about running my first Tinkerbell half marathon in January. Everyone could use a little motivation!

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There are other Disney inspired designs on the website (one for princess that is cute too!) and this could be great inspiration for your training.

Running on the Wall has WEEKLY Facebook giveaways, so be sure to like their page to get in on the fun. Their website has a lot of other great running items like arm sleeves, jewelry, and stickers. (Love this one!)

They also sent me this super cute necklace that I have gotten plenty of compliments from. The prices are awesome, too!

QOTD: If you could get anything from their shirt shop, what would you get?

Disclosure: Running on the Wall provided me with product for this review, however all opinions are my own. 

 

Disneyland Trip 2013: Thursday-Saturday

I have recapped my races during the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare weekend, but not my time doing other things in the parks, so I thought I would do a couple of quick recaps of the rest of our trip.

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We flew in to California on Thursday, and arrived at the hotel in the mid afternoon. We used the Disneyland resort express and had to wait forever for a bus (45+ minutes), so I was a little frustrated by the time we got to the Grand Californian.

Luckily, our room was ready,  and it was on the fifth floor overlooking the beautiful pool and Grizzly Peak.

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grand californian room

We headed to the concierge lounge for a snack before meeting Karen and Jason for dinner. it was warm out, but there was low humidity and I was pretty excited about the fact that I could breath outside.

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mmmmm cheese.

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We had reservations at Storyteller’s Cafe which was at our hotel. We also celebrated Karen’s birthday which fell a few days earlier. We always laugh a lot when the four of us get together, and this night was no different.

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We were pretty tired from the day of travel and time changes, so we headed to bed early. I woke up before the sun was up for the runDisney meet up, and afterwards I met Bobby and we headed over to the expo for a couple of hours. We decided to not go to the parks that day since we had already been on our feet a lot, so instead just rested and went to dinner with Karen and Jason at Tortilla Joe’s.

I had never eaten there before, and was pleased with the food. After that, I headed over to the House of Blues to meet up with some other bloggers and runDisney staff members before turning in for the night. The next day was the 10k race, and we went to the park after and hung out with Karen and Jason.

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We rode some rides (Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Pirates) and had lunch with them at the Carnation Café. They have really good potato soup that I highly recommended.

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We then attended at tweet up hosted by some blogger friends, and had fun meeting other runners. There was a lot of picture taking.

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Bobby and I headed to California Adventure afterwards and rode Radiator Springs Racers via the single rider line (much shorter)!

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We met up with Karen and Jason again for dinner at Blue Bayou, and ran into our friends Crystal and Mary.

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Remember this picture from January? Sad we didn’t have matching shirts this time though. Smile

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We love Blue Bayou, and had a great time there. But, we had to run a half marathon the next day so we headed off to bed after dinner. I know. Such an exciting young couple, no?

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Up next: Sunday-Tuesday, our last days in Disneyland.

QOTD: What do you usually eat the night before a race?

Want to take a trip to Disneyland? I would love to book for you! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com or go to Travelwiththemagic.com and request a quote. Just be sure to add my name to it!

Disney MagicBands Review

Last week when I was in Disney World for the Earmarked conference for authorized Disney vacation planners at Disney’s Contemporary resort convention center, I had the opportunity to test out the new MagicBands that are currently in the testing phase.

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They work in conjunction with the My Disney experience phone app which I KNOW all of you have downloaded onto your phones. Smile You can also use your account on a PC if you don’t have a Droid or iPhone.

I have gotten several questions about the bands, what they can do, how they work, etc. so I am hoping to answer those questions here, and of course if you have a question that I don’t answer please ask in the comments, it may be a question someone else has, too!

1.) What do they cost?

Nothing! The magic bands will be standard issue for all Disney resort guests once they go live. You will receive a box in the mail with your customized bands once you order them through my Disney experience. You can customize them up to six days prior to your stay and get the customized bands at check in. Even if you don’t customize them, you can still get them at check in, but they will be grey bands.

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Beautiful box your bands come packaged in, straight to your house!

2.) What do they do?

Oh my friends, they question is what DON’T they do! You can attach your theme park tickets to your Disney MagicBands so you tap your band to get into a park, into your hotel room, through a fastpass line, or when paying for food or merchandise, it’s amazing! If you are using Disney’s Magical Express service, you will also use them to get on a bus to go to your resort. So convenient, but be sure to pack them in a carry on! Since the bands are still in the testing phase, I was also given a regular key to the world card as a backup to get into my room.

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Me testing out the MagicBand at the earmarked conference

3.) You mentioned fastpasses….how does this work?

There is a new system called Fastpass+. You can go into your Disney account online and set up three fastpasses for the day at one park. No more running to the fastpass machines at park opening, or leaving your family in line for one ride while you go get fastpasses for another. You pick your rides and times online, and show up at your designated one hour window and tap your band to go through the fastpass line. Super easy! ***Edited to add that now once you use all 3 of your fastpasses that you schedule, you can go to any kiosk in the park or park hop to another park and add  more fastpasses one at a time!***

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Fastpass+ to get on Soarin.

4.) Shopping? Food? How! This seems so easy!

When you check in, you will be asked to enter in a pin code that you will use during your trip to make purchases on your account/credit card that you provide. When you go to a store, at checkout you simply tap your band and enter your pin, that’s it! Same thing at restaurants. Servers have a small portable device you tap your band against.

5.) Fastpass+ sounds awesome, are there other things you can use it for besides rides?

Yes! You can use fastpass+ for parade and fireworks viewing areas, as well as character meet and greets. Disney is going to be adding many more experiences to fastpass+ in time, so be on the lookout for these experiences. Also, I was able to attach my annual pass to my band so I can reuse it if I wanted to on my next trip.

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Kelly using her MagicBand to enter EPCOT

6.) I saw you posted a photo on Instagram of some charm looking things on your band. What is this?

These are called bandits. Something fun for you to collect and personalize your band with. There are also fun covers called sliders, so many options and ways to personalize. Also a great way to tell bands apart if your kids order the same color (their names are also on the underside for identification if you customize ahead of time online). You can buy accessories at the resorts where the bands are being tested.

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7.) My family is really active, will we have to take the Disney MagicBands off to get in the pool or what if we get sweaty?

The bands are waterproof and do well in heat, so they won’t melt or die at the waterparks or in the pool. The only thing I noticed is I did get a little sweaty on my arm wearing mine on a hot day, but I imagine if I had a slider on it it would help.

8.) Fastpass+, customizing bands, this all seems overwhelming, HELP!

Absolutely! I would love to book your family vacation for you an walk you through this new process as it rolls out. You can email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote, or go to travelwiththemagic.com and request a quote. Just be sure to put my name on there so it goes to me. Smile

Want to see what resorts are being included in the testing? Check out this link on Travel With the Magic. 

QOTD: Thoughts on the Disney MagicBands? Any questions?

Weekly Workout Recap: September Week 3

This month is flying by. Granted, I haven’t been home for very much of it, but wow! We are now in my favorite season. I love fall, and can’t wait for some cooler temps to on down to the deep south.

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Since I was gone at a conference until Friday of this week, I didn’t really do much working out. We were up early and out late every night, so I only worked out once while I was in Florida. However I did have a really great long run yesterday!

Sunday: 2 mile treadmill run in Disney

Monday: rest

Tuesday: walked around parks, 3+ miles

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest

Saturday: 8 mile long run in 1:17

*The winner of the Raw Threads Giveaway is Stephanie Hospodar. Please e mail heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize!

QOTD: what is the longest run you do before a race? (the distance of the race, shorter, longer etc.)

Tutu’s for a Cause

Awhile back, Lesley contacted me and told me she was raising money for Girls on the Run. I just happen to LOVE Girls on the Run. When I ran the Rouge Orleans relay race a couple years ago, our team raised money for them and they were just so sweet and thankful. Well, Lesley had the great idea that not only could runners get the satisfaction of giving money to charity, but they could get a really fun product in the process!

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-Between now and October 6th, she will be selling adorable running tutu’s for $20 and 100% of that will go to Girls on the Run. Shipping is included in the USA. Shipping is $5 outside of the USA.

-To purchase you just need to send her an e-mail at greaterfitnessblog@gmail.com From there you will discuss your custom design and how to pay.

-All tutu skirts and headbands are made completely by hand-no sewing machines. Therefore, each piece is unique!

Who is running runDisney’s Tower of Terror (villain anyone?), Wine and Dine, marathon weekend races, Tinkerbell, or Princess races? There are so many events coming up, so getting a CUSTOM handmade tutu for $20 including shipping is an AMAZING offer. Lesley is super creative and can help you come up with a design of your choosing. I just so happened to want to be a villain for he Tower of Terror….so Lesley made me this amazing Cruella de Vil tutu for me. I love it!

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Excuse the wrinkles, I was so excited to take photos I didn’t fix it just right from being shipped, but will for the race!

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Hidden Mickey on the back, adorable!

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I have some other outfit “components” but I want them to be a surprise so you will just have to wait and see. A huge thanks to Lesley for making this for me, and I do hope you will choose to support Girls on the Run with Lesley!

QOTD: What character would you have a tutu made after for a race?

Oops.

Good morning! Driving back home today, excited to see hubby and the “kids” after a great week in Disney.

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I just realized I never did an update on my August goals, nor did I give September goals. Oops. That’s what happens when you go out of town over the beginning of the month. I will be honest and say my goals didn’t really get accomplished…oops again.

Nothing big to report today, but I will get back to my regular blogging soon, sorry for the delay, I am exhausted. Thanks for hanging in there!

More to come, I can’t wait to share about my trip soon!

QOTD: Have you had any “oops” moments this week?