Archives for December 2013

Disney Golf: Fun for All Ages

While on one of my recent trips to Walt Disney World, I had the privilege of visiting Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course and speak with Michael Schlager, Arnold Palmer Golf Management’s PGA Director of Instruction, as well as some other wonderful folks passionate about Disney and golf.

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Before touring the course, I spoke with Michael about something he was really excited about: youth camps. Did you know you can come to Disney on summer vacation and send your future Tiger Woods to camp? Camps are a week long (ages 8-13) and campers not only learn the techniques of the game, but are also taught about teamwork and having good sportsmanship. There are contests during the week, and prizes like medals, trading pins, and the like can be won.  To end the week, there is even a fun tournament.

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Since it is Disney, fun surprises like watching a Disney movie during lunch are also common at camp. (Lunch, drinks, and clubs are included in the price of the camp). At the end of the five days, each child is given a training program, and a way to get in touch with Michael if they have questions or just need a little encouragement. I absolutely love that fact that just because the camp ends, it doesn’t mean the support goes away. Michael was so genuine and excited to talk about his camps, and seemed proud of the fact that there were a lot of repeat campers.

One day camps are also offered year round for kids ages 8-17 that are visiting Disney at other times of the year. As I closed my time with Michael, he mentioned wanting to start a competitive camp for the summer of 2014.

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After our chat, I hopped on a golf cart with Kristina Cullison (Director of Sales and Events) to take a tour of the beautiful course. I learned that the Disney courses are management by Arnold Palmer Golf management, and that the Palm course recently received an Arnold Palmer redesign.

The first thing I noticed was the amazing cart we were riding in. It had a color GPS screen in the front giving you information about each hole.

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There are even signs at the beginning of each one with a “memorable moment” for that hole. I loved reading all the history!

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The highlight of the course was seeing the Mickey bunker! I loved how there were subtle Disney touches everywhere on property, including the golf course.

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The course was in great shape, had gorgeous views, and a peaceful atmosphere.

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We also drove our cart by Disney’s Oak Trail, which is a 9-hole walking course. So many options for Disney golf!

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We headed back to the Pro Shop, where I learned even more about the course, and was given great information for folks wanting to come play the course. A great tip is that you don’t have to worry about bringing your clubs and gear with you on vacation. Save that precious suitcase space for souvenirs! TaylorMade Rocketballz clubs and Adidas shoes are on hand for you to rent at all Disney golf courses.

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You also don’t have to worry about renting a car, as there is complimentary transportation to and from your Disney resort, just ask about it when you call to set up your tee time. (Note: These courses are also open to the public).

I have yet to play on a Disney course, and the whole time I was touring I kept thinking “I have got to get my husband and dad out here!” I know they would have a blast, it is Disney after all.

To learn more, visit Disney’s Golf website, or call (407) WDW-Golf (939-4653).

QOTD: Have you ever golfed at Disney? Do you like to golf?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Extras

Everyone knows that runDisney is about well….running! But, did you know there are other fun events you can participate in during the race weekend?

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Let me give you a few examples for marathon weekend that is coming up in less than TWO weeks!

Race Retreat: You can be pampered by signing up for the VIP Race Retreat for before and after your runDisney event. Before the race, stay warm and dry inside a private tent where you will enjoy a pre race breakfast, coffee, water, and PowerAde. There is also a private restroom area and your own bag check. Stretch out before the race on the padded stretching area or lounge around on the comfy seating. After the race, come back to the tent to check your results on the computers, enjoy brunch with hot and cold beverages, and reunite with family and friends. There is even a changing area and a self treatment/first aid station. Have some sore muscles? Enjoy a 10 minute massage for just $10. This is especially a good idea if it’s COLD outside!

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Even more exciting is that this years VIP Race Retreat has a Mary Poppins theme! You will also receive commemorative socks and a towel, special character meet and greets, and access to a live video feed of the finish line. You must sign up for the race retreat at runDisney.com, space is very limited, so hurry! (Fees apply). I had the opportunity to go to the race retreat once before a couple years ago for the Princess half marathon and it was a great relaxing atmosphere. Recommended especially for first time racers that are a little nervous.

Pasta in the Park Party: Carb up before the race at the Pasta in the Park Party. With your ticket you will get exclusive access to EPCOT as well as a pasta buffet (and dessert!) followed by a special viewing area for Illuminations. You may also run into Minnie, Mickey, and other guests while you party the night away with a live DJ and face painter. When I attended, it was a great time for special character interaction. I got to stand and talk to Rapunzel for at least five minutes. (Rumor has it Dopey will be making a special appearance!)

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Breakfast: Are you participating in the family Fun Run 5k or the Walt Disney World 10k? You can have even more fun by purchasing a ticket for the special Monsters Inc. themed breakfast at the finish line at EPCOT. (Did you know I LOVE Monsters Inc.? This sounds so, so fun!) This event is from 7:00-9:00 am the mornings of the 5k and 10k.

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Cool Down Party: After all the magical miles have been run on Sunday, it’s time for a celebration! Head to the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney. Party with your best running friends, eat, shop, and enjoy special discounts at select stores by presenting your finishers medal. Admission is open to runners, their families, and the public.

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ChEAR Squad: If you are not running but still want to spectate the races, you can take part in one of three levels of ChEAR squad packages. More information and to sign up can be found here.

Want more info on runDisney races and “extra” events? Check out runDisney.com.

Weekly Workout Recap December 2013 Week 4

Good morning! My last weekly workout recap of 2013! Crazy right? I am so, so close to Dopey (and so, so freaking out!) Ok, time to be real. I have had several people ask me if I was still running Dopey because I hadn’t said much about it. Weellllll there is a reason.

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Why yes, Snow White. That IS nervous laughter. Your 7th dwarf is going to be the death of me.

About three weeks ago I was seriously considering deferring Dopey. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you may remember summer of 2012 when I had to get a cortisone shot in my foot for my morton’s neuroma diagnosis. I did well after that, and recently had a flare up in October. My theory is a did a lot of shoe swappin’ around that time and that’s when it hurt like the dickens to walk on hardwood floors barefoot. I limped my way through Wine and Dine, and put some custom shoe inserts in a tried and true pair of running shoes, and it has really helped a lot! I had a minor setback Thursday because I wore heels all day on Christmas which made the problem worse, but at least now I know that with ice, ibuprofen, and my inserts it’s much more manageable and I have very very little pain when running (even with no meds).

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Here is where the problem comes in: The inserts (or more likely the change in my running form due to the inserts) causes right hip pain. (Neuroma is in the left foot). I literally had to get off the treadmill and stop it was hurting so badly on Friday after 6.2 miles. My plan of attack: Foam roll, KT Tape, ice, Ibuprofen, repeat up until Dopey. Oh, and pray like heck that does the trick! I’m not going for any PR’s here, I just want to finish, and I am confident I can do so, but not confident it will be pain free. Fingers crossed! Let’s take a look at this week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 3.5 mile run

Tuesday: 30 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 7.5 mile run

Friday: 6.2 mile run

Saturday: rest

QOTD: What are your best remedies for hip pain?

Christmas 2013 in Pictures

I had a wonderful Christmas holiday, full of fun, family, and food! I hope you had an amazing one as well, and I hope you made some new memories that will last forever! Here are some of my favorite moments from Christmas.

My house decorated for Christmas

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My parent’s tree

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3.5 mile run on Dec. 23rd

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We visited my grandmother and uncle, he gave us the most amazing chocolates from this cute shop in New Orleans.

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Christmas eve was all about baking and cooking! Not sure why my dad is pointing a knife a the camera. DSC_0013

Snickers cookies for the 12th year!

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Christmas eve church service

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Jack Frost adult beverages with dinner.

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Then it was Guestures by the fire

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We laughed and laughed!

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Christmas morning!

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I have the most generous parents.

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I also have the sweetest husband.

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At my cousins house, we had lunch with extended family, aunts, uncles, etc. I finally got to hold this little guy. This is Colton, my 14 week old cousin! I think he likes me. Smile

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Merry Christmas!

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Christmas 2013

Christmas is also my mom’s birthday, so that night we celebrate! Fun fact: Her name is Mary, and her mom wanted it to be spelled “Merry”, but the nurse messed up and spelled it “Mary” (thank GOODNESS!)

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QOTD: What was your favorite part about Christmas?

***Winner of the Smile Brilliant Giveaway is Julie M comment 95! Please email heatherslookingglass@gmail.com

 

Merry Christmas 2013

From our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas, and remember why we celebrate, the birth of Jesus! Luke 2:1-20

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2013 Post Look Back

Good morning! I am with my family celebrating Christmas, so I will be kind of scarce on social media etc, so I thought it would be fun today to share my top viewed posts of 2013:

runDisney Princess half marathon tips

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runDisney Castaway Cay 5k 2013 (and tips)

Disney Magic Bands review

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Tips for running a runDisney race

Palo Brunch on the Disney Fantasy

Still Running With Sass <—- First post with my new blog name

Enjoy the look back into 2013! Have a great day!

QOTD: DO you ever look back at old posts on your own blog or someone else’s?

Weekly Workout Recap: December 2013 Week 3

We got home from our trip on Monday, and I desperately needed to workout (hello, cruise food!) So we went to the gym that afternoon. I eased back in, then completely shocked my body with a long run on Wednesday!

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This counts as working out, yes?

It has been an interesting week, and I’m not sure if my long run made me feel more or less confident about running 4 races in 4 days next month. Crossing my fingers and hoping my body behaves!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 30 minutes stationary bike, legs

Tuesday: 20 minutes elliptical, upper body weights and abs

Wednesday: 16 mile treadmill run (yes, you read that correctly)

Thursday: rest

Friday: 45 minutes stationary bike, upper body weights and abs

Saturday: 4 mile run

I’m hoping I will get a few workouts in next week even though we will be with family. I need to run an 8-10 miler as I tape for marathon weekend. Hope everyone has a great week!

QOTD: Does taper madness get to you?

Smile Brilliant Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have tried several different teeth whitening systems over the years. I have bought them online and at the grocery store, and have never been thrilled with the results. When given the opportunity to try smile brilliant, I was curious to see how this system measured up.

The LED teeth whitening system by Smile Brilliant is perfect for those who want great tooth whitening results but are on a budget. The LED system is reasonably prices, especially in comparison to other brands. It is far more effective due to its 22% carbamide peroxide tooth whitening gel and high strength LED light which accelerate the whitening process. 008

In the package I received whitening gel in a tube, a “mouth guard” of sorts, and an LED light with a battery already installed (bonus!) What you do is twist the gel pen until the gel comes out, brush it on your teeth, put the mouth guard in and bit down on it, then insert the LED light in your mouth after you turn it on.

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I keep mine in for thirty minutes, and the website says the pen has enough for seven applications, but I have been able to do more than that. The mouth guard (lip and cheek protector as they call it) helps t keep the gel in place and from creating a mess.

Treatment times vary based on tooth sensitivity (I recommend doing 20-30 minutes the first time to see how you feel). You can technically leave it on as long as two hours, but honestly I can’t really do that because it is kind of cumbersome to hold the thing in your mouth. I typically do 30-45 minutes.

My thoughts: After 8 treatments of 30-45 minutes each, I would say my teeth are definitely whiter. They aren’t so white that people notice, but I can tell a difference. Are they as white as they would be after a professional whitening session? No, but it also doesn’t cost as much as one. My husband can tell a difference as well. How long will the treatment last? That is yet to be determined. However, if you are looking for a  fast and inexpensive way to brighten your smile for an upcoming occasion, this could be for you.

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Who wants to win a treatment packet of their own? Simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below and maybe you will have a bright new smile to kick off 2014!

*Want to win a $125 Disney prize pack? Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Back to Back Cruising

I have had several people ask me how this Disney Cruise Line “back to back” cruising works. It’s a neat concept, and has it’s perks and downfalls.

First, let me explain. We went on two separate Disney cruises recently: a 4 night Bahamian sailing and a 3 night Bahamian sailing, back to back. Why do this instead of just a straight seven night cruise? For us, adding the 3 night was a last minute decision as we had already booked the 4 night with friends. Another perk for us was two stops at Disney’s private island: Castaway Cay. We love it there, and each sailing made a stop so we got two full days in our favorite place.

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Also, once you sail on a Disney cruise you become a member of what is called the Castaway Club. If you have completed 1-5 cruises you are a silver member, 6-10 is gold, and then platinum. Each level has different perks like gifts in your room, different booking windows for bookings excursions, and platinum cruisers even get a free meal at the adults only restaurant Palo, as well as the ability to board the ship with boarding group one. So, for us, doing two cruises instead of one “counted” twice and my next cruise, I will be platinum.

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It’s also fun to get on the boat before everyone else and get to your room first on the second cruise. Let me explain how it worked. The last night of our first cruise (the four night cruise) we had a letter in our room explaining the process. If you are staying in the same room, you can leave you luggage etc. in your room, and debark the ship by 9:15. If you are changing rooms (like us) just pack up, leave everything in the room, and the stateroom host will bring your bags to your new room for you. perfect!

The next morning we ate breakfast and were in no hurry to get off the ship. We actually stayed on closer to 10:00 because people were still getting off. We relaxed in the adults only coffee shop checking emails and doing work while we had a day in port (another perk to a back to back, ability to get on the internet halfway through your trip).

We got off, breezed through customs, then turned and went right back up the escalators to check in. The port wasn’t even open yet, so it was empty. We checked in and were given a special green ticket, and were told to go sit in the concierge/closed off area in the back of the terminal.

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We sat there just hanging out until 10:45, when a cast member led us through a side door to get back onto the ship. (to the right of the Mickey ears is the closed off area we sat in while waiting to board).

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It was weird being on the ship early (boarding usually starts around 11:45ish) because people were still cleaning and scurrying about getting things ready. The next perk was a big one, getting to our rooms early. The letter that was left on our bed started that our stateroom would be a top priority to get cleaned, and it would be ready by 11:30. FYI, for everyone else that gets on board, you can’t access your room until 1:30. We were able to get into ours just before 11:00, and our luggage was already in there, it was awesome.

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We unpacked, called our families, and hung out in the room until the lunch buffet opened at 11:45, and we were among the first to eat, and we simply went back to our room after, changed, and went to the pool. Normally we have to lug our day bags around, change in the public bathroom, etc. So this was a very nice perk.

Another fun thing was Disney kept us with our same dining room team, so it was nice to have familiar faces at dinner, it made it seem like a 7 night cruise.

We enjoyed experiencing the back to back, but I don’t know if we will make it a habit of sailing on them. One downfall is they only go to Nassau and castaway cay, so if you are looking to go to other ports this may not be for you. However, we use Nassau day to stay on a near empty ship anyway, so we didn’t mind. You lose a few hours on the day you get off and back on, having to get off then wait to get back on etc., but other than that we enjoyed ourselves!

If you have any questions about the process please let me know!

QOTD: Would you ever consider a back to back cruise?

January Jump Start

Ah, January. It is sadly upon us. Christmas will be over, and everyone will start looking towards 2014. I know the big things people start talking about in January are health, fitness, and weight loss. People struggle with yo-yo dieting and plans that don’t realistically fit into their schedule. It doesn’t have to be this way! Join in the January jump start challenge and feel better by the end of the month.

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The January jump start is a 24 day Advocare challenge. The challenge runs from January 6-January 29.

So why would you want to do this? How about some cash prizes!

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Also, there will be other prizes given away, for a total of over $1200 in cash and prizes.

What are my thoughts on the challenge? I was on vacation during mine so I didn’t have any dramatic weight loss, but oh my goodness the increased energy is amazing, and I am more toned than before. Also, who goes out of town for 8 days during a challenge and still loses 4 pounds at the end of the month? The products also taste great (I love spark!) so it’s not a chore to take them.

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When you sign up for the challenge, you will receive 24 days worth of advocare products along with a nutrition guide and challenge planner/checklist. the products include the 10-day herbal cleanse complete with probiotics, herbal cleanse tablets, and the fiber drink, 14 meal replacement pouches, two boxes of spark energy drink, 56 MNS pill packs for the max phase, and a bottle of omegaplex to last the entire challenge. basically, it’s a lot of product. at a cost of less than $8 a day, it’s a deal and a sound investment for your health and happiness.

The meal guide that comes with the package is just that, a guideline. You can customize your meals to fit your likes and your needs, just follow some of the basic what NOT to eat principles given in the booklet and make the menu your own.

On top of these great products, I am here to support YOU! You will be able to email me anytime to get tips, advice on products, etc. I will give you as much support and encouragement as you would like, and even give tips on workouts etc. to accompany your challenge.

Here are before and after photos from my sponsor Janeetha. She is the one hosting this challenge and she is great! This is a photo collage of someone who participated in her previous challenge. How amazing are these results?

 

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Who is ready to have more energy, have more productive workouts, eat better, and look better?

SIGN UP HERE BY PURCHASING THE 24 DAY CHALLENGE!

Once you have received your confirmation email from the purchase, forward it to me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com and say you are IN for the January jumpstart! i will add you to the group email list and you will receive further instructions as the start date approaches.

Also, you want to be sure to have your products in time for the January start date. Advocare does NOT ship outside the USA, and all MUST start on Monday, January 6 to participate.

Also:

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There are companion products that are available to take while doing the challenge. They are not required, but a great addition. I take catalyst and carb ease and love them both! The thermoplus is a fat burner. the catalyst is a BCAA that helps support and promote muscle tone. The carbease plus blocks the absorption of carbs and is taken before your starchiest meal of the day. After you join and forward me your email, tell me which companion product you would like.

SIDE NOTE.. if you have any interest in becoming an advocare distributor like me, email me before signing up for the challenge! There is a small fee to become a distributor, but, distributors receive 20% off the product initially (and can work up to a 40% product discount.)  if you decide to become a distributor rather than simply ordering the challenge by itself, you are STILL eligible to participate in January jumpstart and receive all the benefits and will be entered to win all the prizes! I would love to tell you more about it!

**all participants will send in their day one photos Monday, January 6. challengers will also weigh and/or measure and write that down for day one (optional but encouraged.) after day 24, challengers will take photos and also weigh and/or measure again. all participants will send in final photos and any changes in weight and inches to me along with any notes about how the challenge affected you. we will use this information to select three winners. these photos will be kept completely private unless your consent is given to share.

A HUGE thanks to Janeetha for hosting this challenge!