Archives for January 2015

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Expo 2015

After we attended the tweet up and Feed the Children charity event, we were dropped off at the convention center to pick up our bibs and explore the expo.

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Packet pickup was very organized. We went at kind of an odd time of day towards the end of the expo so it wasn’t very crowded.

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After we got out bibs, we were funneled out into the official merchandise area.

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They had plenty of things to choose from, and some fun photo ops that we didn’t feel like standing in line for ha! About that time, Karen texted me asking where I was, and I told her we had just arrived. We were able to meet up for a quick hello. I hadn’t seen her since my baby shower in July!

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I also got to meet a couple of blog readers and chat with them for a bit which was fun! We took a look at all of the heavy medals for Rock ‘n Roll, and WOW they are so cool! Way bigger in person than I imagined they would be!

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I had some friends working at some of the booths so we stopped and said a few hellos, and also picked up our VIP packets at the VIP booth.

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About that time I was feeling a little shaky, and I realized Ii t was 2:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet! We decided to go ahead and leave and get some food.

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We walked the length of the convention center (which is a LONG way!) out to the front where the Riverwalk is. We went inside and grabbed a late lunch before our early dinner, bibs in hand and ready to go!

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Final thoughts: I’m not sure what it was, but the expo seemed a lot smaller and not as exciting as in years past. There was no stage or speakers which bummed me out, and it just had a bit of a different feel than in previous years that I can’t quite explain (anyone else that was there feel the same way?) It also felt kind of dark in there, was it just me? Don’t get me wrong, it was very well organized and had it some great vendors, but I didn’t leave feeling as excited about the race as I have from other expos I have worked or visited in the past. I do hope next year the expo is larger and that they have a stage/speakers!

***Use code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on ANY US or Canada Rock ‘n Roll 2015 race! Share with your friends!***

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about race expos?

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Tweet up and Charity Event

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday.

But first, let’s backtrack. I slept over nine glorious hours Friday night, sans-baby, and woke up to a gorgeous chilly day in the French Quarter. Bobby and I decided to leave early and walk around for a few minutes before the tweet up. We were just a couple of blocks from all the action!

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Our first stop was Jackson Square.

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Some of the paintings were so beautiful.

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We still had some time so we passed up Café du Monde and walked down to the French Market.

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After a quick walk through, it was time to head back down to meet up with some bloggers and some of the Rock ‘n Roll team!

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We saw a couple of friends who didn’t see any of the Rock ‘n Roll crew anywhere. So I went inside and spotted Dan who was trying his best to hold down tables for us (it was VERY crowded!). Soon after others began to trickle in, as well as the food!

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I knew to wear white, powdered sugar gets everywhere!

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Bloggers and beignets, so much fun!

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PR guy Dan forgot his phone charger. I of course came to the rescue with my pink charger!

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Had so much fun meeting more of the Rock ‘n blog crew and some of the Competitor group employees.

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After photos, we split up in multiple vehicles to head to the Feed the Children charity event.

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Giveaway

As a new mom, I drink a fair bit of coffee (and wine) to keep my sanity. This is good for me mentally, but not so good for my teeth. When Smile Brilliant contacted me about trying out their teeth whitening kit, I was really excited, especially since I couldn’t whiten my teeth while I was pregnant.

They mailed me the kit right away, and I was to make a mold of my top and bottom teeth to send off to have my custom trays made.

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The directions were very easy to follow and the whole thing took about ten minutes. Getting custom fitted trays made really adds to how well the treatments work!

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They even sent me back my molds (which they don’t typically do) just so I could show yall how much work and precision goes into making your custom trays.

 

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I used the trays about 8-9 times (you use until you stop noticing a difference) and my teeth are definitely whiter than they were before! Please note that the kit is designed to remove surface stains to restore your teeth to their natural color. It doesn’t actually bleach your teeth. You can continue to use the product once a month for maintenance. Everyone has a natural tooth color, but stains over time cause the teeth to turn more yellow. This product helps remove those pesky stains to restore your natural smile.

I put the trays in for 45 minutes – one hour each time, and hardly noticed they were there. Well worth the effort if you ask me!

Before:

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After:

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This picture was after drinking coffee…and they are still whiter!

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***How would you like to win $139.95 in store credit which is equal to the Teeth Whitening Trays + 3 whitening gel syringes and 3 desensitizing gel syringes or the Teeth whitening Trays + 6 whitening gel syringes? All you have to do is enter here. It’s really easy and takes about ten seconds.

Additionally, my readers can get 5% off the entire product list at Smile Brilliant. Just use coupon code “lookingglass5” when you checkout through this link. This discount is good through February 28!

QOTD: Have you ever used teeth whitening products before? Did they work?

Emma Kate: Month 4

Four month update! Emma Kate seems like such a little girl now instead of a baby. It’s crazy to see how much she changes so quickly. She is getting to a more fun age where she interacts a lot more and understands more.

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Everyone things she is much older than 4 months because her hair is so long! I swear it’s going to be down to her waist by the time she is two! Just like I said in month 3, EK is definitely a dramatic tiny human. When she decides she is ready to eat/sleep/do something else, she can turn on the waterworks in two seconds flat.

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This month, Emma Kate Loves:

-Trying to sit up. Homegirl wants to sit by herself SO badly, but always ends up slumping over to the side. She gets so angry and is mentally there but her body just won’t let her just yet.

– Gnawing on her hands. They are always in her mouth, and she is chewing away.

– This girl loves to giggle and things everything is super funny. I have been able to finally capture some on video and they are fun to watch.

– Talking, talking, talking. I just wish I knew what she was saying! She also loves when people talk and sing to her.

– Jumping in her rainforest friends jumper

– Being up high. On daddy’s shoulders, sitting on the counter, anywhere she has a better vantage point

– Sophie the giraffe is a new favorite for chewing.

-Eating. nonstop. I swear this girl is always hungry.

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She does NOT like:

– Being ignored

-Naptime

-When you take her bottle away

– Getting her fingernails clipped (OMG. awful.)

– Her carseat

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Knock on wood, our baby is still a great sleeper. I had to wake her up yesterday morning after she had been asleep for 13 hours. About once a week she will wake up around 2-3 am and want to eat, but I’ll take it! Naps are still very short. She naps for 30-45 minutes four times a day. We have tried making her stay up a little longer, but she gets super fussy after she has been up for two hours.

We started sleep training a couple of weeks ago and EK caught on very well and very quickly. I am considering doing a whole post on this if anyone is interested? It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and has really helped free up some time for Bobby and I.

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Emma Kate is busting out of 3 months clothes, and is in 3-6 months except for sleepers, she is so long she is now in 9 months in  those. We are in size 2 diapers, and eating around 30 ounces of formula a day.

She had her 4 month check up and shot yesterday and did so well. Didn’t even flinch for the first one, and fussed for maybe 5 seconds for the second one but no crying of screaming. I was so worked up for no reason ha.

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We discussed her spit up issue (as in she spits up a TON all the time and gets fussy about it sometimes) and decided to try her on some Zantac to see if it helps with the acid.

Her official four month stats: She weighs 15 pounds 10 ounces (77%), is 25.5 inches tall (88%) and her head is 42 cm (85%).

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We started Mother’s morning out twice a week at church, and it’s been a little rough. She’s not used to sleeping with all the noise and light, so I’m hoping she gets used to it because she has been really cranky and overtired. But, it’s the only time I can get work done at home.

Also, I joined the gym and have brought her to gym childcare twice…but I will be honest I really don’t like it. It’s very overcrowded and has kids of all ages. I had a 2 year old pelting me with wooden blocks when I brought EK in, and it was just pure chaos, so I try to use it as a last resort.

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We left baby girl for the first time last weekend while we went to New Orleans for two nights for a half marathon. It was great to recharge and hang out with adults and I slept for 9.5 hours the first night! Grammy and Grandpa watched her and she was a good girl so I didn’t feel so guilty. Smile I missed her but realize the importance of getting away, too. When I can recharge and travel a bit, it makes me a better mom, so it’s a win for everyone.

We plan to start solids after we get back from Disney at the end of February. She will be just over five months old then. We don’t want to start before we go out of town because it will just make things more complicated for the mine and Bobby’s mom who will be watching her.

I remember thinking back when Emma Kate was born that if I could just get through the first couple of months things would get better, and they have. Each stage has it’s own challenges, but she’s becoming more of a little person every day. I love my little nugget!

QOTD: When did you start solid food with your baby?

NOLA Weekend

We had an amazing weekend in New Orleans running the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon! A fun race, great friends, and could not have asked for better weather. I will have full recaps on the blog later this week, but I just wanted to share a couple of pictures for now. I was so tired when we got home last night the last thing on my mind was writing a lengthy race or weekend recap! Soon though.

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Have a great Monday! Today I take Emma Kate for her 4 month shots and checkup. I can’t wait to see how much she has grown (but I’m not too excited about the shots!)

QOTD: What has been your favorite destination race or “racecation”?

RnRNOLA Tweet Up

It’s finally here! My post baby half marathon debut at the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon! I can’t wait to have some fun with this race. I am not in shape to PR, but this race is all about proving to myself that I can do this distance again.

Bobby and I leave for New Orleans tomorrow afternoon. We are dropping Emma Kate off at my parents house outside of NOLA, then heading to our hotel for the weekend! Now for the fun part: Saturday we are having a tweet up at Café du Monde! There will be several Rock ‘n Bloggers there, and beignets, of course, so who can resist that?

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If you or anyone you know is running, come to this event, then walk over to the expo after, it’s not far! We will be answering questions about the race itself, chatting about other RnR races, Tweeting, and taking lots of selfies! We would love to meet you, even if you just stop by for a few minutes!

WHEN: Saturday at 10:30 am.

WHERE: Café Du Monde, Decatur Street

WHO: Everyone!

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If you have questions you can ask them here, or find me on social media and ask. When talking about the event be sure to use #RnRTWEETUP and #RnRNOLA so we can chat back at ya! Hope to see you Saturday morning.

QOTD: Have you ever been to a Tweet up?

Mommy’s Future Running Partner

Gone for a RUN sent me a cute baby shirt and hat for Emma Kate  before she was born. They are still a little big on her, but I thought it was time for her to try them on so I could tell you about them!

The shirt is super soft and of a really nice material and it washes well. It’s a little bit on the boxy side for my long, lean baby, and the sleeves are a little long but I’m sure it will fit her better soon.

Gone for a RUN has a huge line of baby shirts and gear with adorable sayings on them. (Thing socks, hats, onesies, bibs).

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Speaking of hats, the hat they sent me is adorable and stretchy and great for chilly stroller runs. All of the items they sell are at a great price point, too!

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I can’t wait to start bringing Emma Kate to races and putting her into more cute running related clothing! Speaking of bringing EK out to races, the weather here has been great and Emma Kate rode in the stroller for a walk the “right” way for the first time the other day!

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I can’t wait until I can run with her sitting up like this! It’s going to be fun!

QOTD: Does you baby own any running related gear/clothing? Do you plan to buy them some when you have kids?

runDisney Princess Half Runner Meet and Greet

Since I posted a photo on Instagram about some tips for the runDisney Princess half marathon yesterday, I have had several people ask me if I would be hosting a meet up like I have done before.

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The thought has crossed my mind but honestly, I have been so busy with the baby and work that I haven’t had time to put much thought into it. I know that not only is it a race, but a lot of people’s vacation, so taking time out to go to a meet up can be hard, so I am actually planning on two things, hoping to get to meet some of you! You can of course come to both, but I wanted to give a couple of options where you can meet some other bloggers or just other runDisney lovers and we can chat, take some photos and get excited about the race! I may have a couple of giveaways at the meet up as well. Smile

Here is what I am thinking:

Saturday, February 21st

Downtown Disney, outside of Ghirardelli Ice Cream 6:15ish.

I figure this is a good spot since there is no park ticket required, and it’s early enough that you can still get to sleep early for the half the next day. Besides, who doesn’t love a little pre race ice cream? Delicious! I will wait outside until 6:30 to give everyone a chance to get there, then we can head in and get some pre race fuel.

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Karen and I getting ice cream in 2009. We look so young! She will be at the meet up, too!

Sunday, February 22nd

Pre race 4:15/4:30 am, outside of the Race Retreat tent

I will be there at 4:00 (hopefully haha) to take a team runDisney photo with my friends from the Facebook group, and I will be hanging around afterwards in the area in front of the race retreat tent until time to go to the corrals. I would love to see everyone’s costumes before the race and say good luck to some new friends!

If you have always wanted to meet some like minded runners and Disney fans, this could be a great way to get to know some folks in a small, non intimidating setting. (If you are nervous you can stand back and watch and see that I don’t bite, then come join the fun when you are ready!)

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Also I will be at the expo Friday afternoon (not sure on exact time) if anyone wants to meet up for a quick hi! I will be posting to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook during the week so I will post when I get to the expo and the other meet ups!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a meet up with other bloggers or runners? How did it go?

Weekly Training Recap 2015: Week 3

Now that I have at least four races I am training for, I think it will be helpful for me to go back to posting my weekly workouts here on the blog. It will help me hold myself accountable as I go forward. I have added a lot of distance since having Emma Kate, but my times are not where I thought they would be almost four months postpartum, so I need some accountability! I get in a trap of getting the miles in but they are “junk miles” a lot of times.

Races planned:

RnR New Orleans

rnDisney Princess Half Marathon

LA marathon

Crescent City Classic 10k

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This is what I did last week:

Sunday: Off

Monday: 3 mile treadmill run

Tuesday: 4 mile treadmill run

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4 miles on the treadmill

Friday: 35 minutes stationary bike, arm weights

Saturday: 7 mile taper run, Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon is next Sunday!

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This next week will be toned down quite a bit since my race is on Sunday, but after that I have to get going again for my next three races!

QOTD: What is the next race on your calendar?

Do People Know?

Do other people know you are a runner? How would they know? Do you advertise it? I always find it interesting how I can spot a runner at the grocery store, an office, etc. Here are some ways people may know you are a runner. Do you do any of these things?

1.) Car stickers: I have stickers on the back of my car for different distances I have run. (note: it’s a year later and I still haven’t put my Dopey sticker on. Oy.) I remember being SO excited my first half marathon when I got to buy a 13.1 sticker.

2.) Clothing: Sadly, I have way more workout clothes than “real” clothes. I work from home, so this problem is even more compounded. I live in yoga pants and race shirts. If you see me out and about, you will most likely figure out I am a runner due to my “I did it” shirts, race visor, or KT Tape.

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Out and about in Disney World. This is my “dressed for going out in public look.”

3.) Work space: Have you ever been to someone’s office or cubicle? You can learn a lot about their hobbies and family. I know people who decorate their office with finish line photos, bibs, and medals. Maybe it’s you?

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My workplace happens to be at home, but I display my medals proudly!

4.) Social Media:  If you have a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account, your friends and acquaintances may know you are a runner by your posts. Always retweeting training tips and articles? Posting about being at the gym? Yup, dead giveaway.

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5.) Plans/Free time: Your coworkers ask you to go out for drinks Friday night, and you decline because you have 12 miles on tap for tomorrow morning and need to be hydrated and rested. You are late for your family reunion because you had a 10k this morning. Hey, it happens, and definitely let’s people know you are a runner.

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This may sound odd (or maybe it’s normal?) But when I “spot” a runner out and about, it’s like we are instant friends. It’s this special “knowing” between us that I can’t describe. Anyone else? This is why I love race expos, all like minded people together. It’s pretty awesome!

QOTD: What are some ways that people around you know that you are a runner?