Archives for September 2015

The Instabreaker

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OtterBox has saved my phone many times and has asked me to share my experiences while telling you about their awesome cases. All opinions are my own.

I will admit it. I am obsessed with my mobile phone. It’s constantly in my hand due to work commitments, and I am on social media a lot. Due to the sheer amount of time I spend holding my phone, it should be no surprise that it has also been in a few….accidents. Most of my accidents have to do with two things: running, and my baby. First running:

For safety purposes alone, I always run with my phone. I also like to listen to podcasts, and occasionally music. I am not a fan of armbands, so I usually just hold my phone (this annoys my husband to no end, he cannot fathom holding something for an entire run.) Anyway, my hands get sweaty, and my phone has been known to let’s say…jump right out onto the pavement. Luckily, my OtterBox has saved me on MULTIPLE occasions.

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Secondly, I have an eleven month old baby who thinks my phone is the coolest thing ever. She also thinks putting things in her mouth is the coolest thing ever. So, a lot of times my phone ends up covered in drool, or getting thrown at the dog. As you can imagine, this is not good for the life expectancy of a phone.

OtterBox has not only saved my phone several times, but they have also come up with a fun quiz to let you know what your phone wrecker style is. Also, if you share your results, you can will get 10% off a case of your own. Me? According to the results, I am the Instabreaker which seems fitting!

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Here is a little bit more info about OtterBox:

Most of the OtterBox cases are easy to carry around (the defender being the exception). This is huge because the last thing I need is something big taking up space in my purse or in my hand. They also have some really adorable designs and are quite fashionable, and allow for some self expression!

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The MySymmetry series is a clear case with inserts that you can customize. They are really slim, too and have great pocketability. Again, this is a huge plus to me!

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I encourage you to go take the Phone Wrecker quiz for yourself, I would love to see your results in the comments below! Also, OtterBox is hosting a Twitter chat on September 16th at 9 AM PST. Be sure to join in, you could win great PRIZES!

QOTD: What type of phone wrecker are you? Share your Phone Breaker quiz result via social media or email and receive a 10% discount code to use on your next order at OtterBox.com! The coupon cannot be combined with any other special offer.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OtterBox.

5 Things Friday

1.) September 11th. Where were you? I was a junior in high school and I still remember sitting in class, and another teacher came in and whispered something into my teachers ear. I will never forget the look on his face, it still makes me stomach turn. Let’s continue to pray for the families of the victims, and for our country as a whole.

2.) Fall decorations. What is the “rule” in your house on when you decorate? typically I decorate labor day weekend/beginning of September, but I haven’t yet. Emma Kate’s birthday party is the 19th and I don’t want the house to look cluttered with fall décor + her party decorations, so I may just wait until after that.

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3.) The treadmill boost. I ran on the treadmill yesterday, and my time was way better than it has been outside (air conditioning plus running on a belt changes many things!) What are your thoughts on this? I know running outside is totally different, but I really needed the confidence boost of running in the non 100+ degree heat to see what I could do.

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4.) Recipe help. I need some new, EASY and QUICK chicken recipes. Help a sister out. I’m getting tired of the same old stuff. I have a great enchilada soup recipe I will start once it gets cooler!

5.) Gorgeous clothes. Check out my new Fabletics outfit. Isn’t it gorgeous? I am loving the romantic print and deep purple. I will post a pic soon of me wearing it. We are supposed to have cooler weather this weekend so maybe I will run in it!

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QOTD: Where were you September 11? Any links to easy chicken recipes? When do you decorate for fall?

Disclosure: I was provided with this outfit by Fabletics, however all opinions are my own.

Celebrating Your Birthday in Walt Disney World

My mom turns 60 on Christmas day. Her one wish was to have a fun girls trip in Walt Disney World. Since her birthday falls on the day it does, she has NEVER gotten a lot of”” “hoopla” for her birthday. Sure we know better than to wrap her birthday gifts in Christmas paper, and not get her a red and green cake, but let’s face it, everyone is so busy with the holidays it’s hard to focus on a birthday other than that of baby Jesus!

Anyway, when she told me she really wanted a quick girls trip to Disney to celebrate her birthday, I sprang into action to plan for the most FUN birthday bash ever. After all, she totally deserves it as the most selfless giving person ever! When I started making our October plans and doing some research, I got frustrated trying to think of things and having to hop all over the internet to find different things, so I thought I would come up with a list of fun birthday things to do in Walt Disney World for adults (kids at heart, right?) Hopefully this list will be helpful to some people looking for fun ways to celebrate!

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1.) Mark your reservations: Be sure when you book your vacation that you mention there is a celebration going on. That way, it can be marked on your resort reservation and your dining reservations. There is no guarantee, but resorts and restaurants have been known to sprinkle a little pixie dust for birthday guests.

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2.) Birthday button (and hat, shirt, etc): Stop by city hall at the Magic Kingdom (or at guest relations at other parks) or ask when you check into your Disney resort for a birthday button. Wear it with pride and watch the magic happen! Cast members and guests alike will tell you happy birthday and make you feel extra special. The button is a freebie, but if you want to pay for a little something extra, you can purchase a birthday ear hat or have a shirt made at Downtown Disney letting everyone know it is your birthday.

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3.) Cake: Let me tell you, Disney makes some AMAZING cakes. You can call the cake hotline and have a customize cake made and delivered to your resort or at certain restaurants around property. I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of several cakes throughout the years thanks to my fellow cake fiend Jen, and they are so worth it, and such a fun surprise!

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4.) Spa treatment: There is a spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, and also at Saratoga Springs resort. Jen and I actually had pedicures done on my birthday one year, and it was so fun! They have a full spa menu if you are looking for some extra pampering.

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5.) Fireworks dessert party: Disney knows how to light up the night sky, and they have been wise enough to pair their amazing fireworks with dessert parties, fireworks cruises, and the most recent addition, the Ferrytale Fireworks dessert cruise during Wishes. So many fun things to choose from (book well in advance for these events!)

6.) Guided Tour: There are a plethora of tours around Disney property, ranging from a behind the scenes Magic Kingdom tour, to a wild Africa trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I think most people would be plenty excited to get to take part in a special tour on their special day.

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7.) Recreation: A lot of people don’t realize there is so much more to do at Walt Disney World than go to the parks. A birthday is a perfect occasion to do something special. Some examples are: play a round of golf, rent a boat at one of the many marinas, parasail, rent a surrey bike, or take a horse drawn carriage ride.

QOTD: Have you ever celebrated your birthday in Walt Disney World? What did you do?

Time to Refresh

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that not only do I have a passion for fitness and social media, but I also have a love for encouraging and helping others. At the end of October, I will be heading out on a solo road trip to Tennessee for a couple of days. I was presented with an amazing opportunity, and I hope to see some of you there (hurry only a handful of spots left!)

That’s right, I will be attending (and speaking at!) Refresh Summit South at the lodge at Deer Run!

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My friend Bobbi has done an amazing job with Refresh, and I am stoked to be a part of such an amazing weekend where I will get to learn, grow, speak, listen, be inspired, and hopefully inspire others. my faith is so important to me, and sometimes a weekend away to reconnect and listen to God speak is needed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me and all the crazy things going on in my life!

I will be leading a workshop sharing from my personal experiences with social media, but not in the sense that you would think. I am going to be sharing my heart about the ups and downs social media can cause. The pitfalls, the comparisons, the haters, and how I handle it all. I by no means have it all figured out, but dealing with the damaging side of social media is something that has been on my heart for awhile now, and cannot wait to share what God has been teaching me.

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As I mentioned before, there are NINE spots remaining for the summit, and I hope you will consider going. We will be up in the beautiful mountains in Tennessee, working out together, eating together, learning and worshiping together, and having a lot of fun! Be sure to check out the website for all the important details. I hope if this is something that interests you that you will pray about it and consider coming!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat similar to Refresh? Do you love the mountains?

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

Let’s be real here. There are some days that I wake up and the last thing I want to do is go for a run. I have a million excuses I have used, ranging from the weather to a busy schedule to not feeling well. However, nine times out of ten, my excuses are not legitimate, and I just need a little push to get out the door. Below are eight ways to motivate yourself to run that have helped me over the years when I am having a hard time getting motivated to run for whatever reason.

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1.) Buy some new gear: Running in new shoes or wearing cute new capris always makes me feel lighter, faster, and happy. Try wearing something new and see if it motivates you to get out the door.

2.) Find a new route: I have the attention span of a gnat. I am constantly jumping from thing to thing, so as you can imagine, running on the same roads over and over again gets really boring to me. If I know I am going to be bored, it is so much harder for me to lace up for a long run, so I try to pick different neighborhoods to run in to keep things interesting.

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3.) Start a training plan: If I am running aimlessly without a goal in mind, I will quickly lose focus and purpose. I am not one of those people that can just go out and run thee miles four times a week with no end goal. Finding a training plan where I am running different distances and speeds every time helps to keep me form slacking.

4.) Sign up for a Race: I don’t like to waste money. If I pay for a race, gosh darn it, I’m going to run it, so I may as well train for it.

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5.) Join a running club: This has been a more recent development for me, and I have done several runs with our local Fleet Feet. It keeps things interesting, and the idea of prizes and free drinks at the end of a run is very motivating!

6.) Tell everyone: I love this one, because it is the whole reason my blog got started! I started it as an online accountability journal while I was getting ready for my first half marathon. I knew if I put it “out there” on the internet that I was running a race, I would have to actually train!

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7.) Reward yourself: I personally don’t like using food related rewards, but something fun like a pedicure or a new running top could be a way to reward yourself for sticking with your training plan for a week or a month. Try it!

8.) Learn about yourself: Sometimes I “think” I know myself, but turns out I was wrong or that my preferences have changed. Are you hating your runs because you are trying to do them all at night, but you are a morning person? Try to learn about yourself and see what the underlying problem is as to why you don’t want to go on an individual run and see if it’s something you can fix or change.

QOTD: What is your best tip for motivating yourself to run?

Disney Magic Photos

I have really been missing cruising lately, and as I was going through some photos on my computer earlier this week, I came across these from when I sailed on the Disney Magic right after it was refurbished a couple of years ago. Disney went to great lengths to update this ship, and while it is still lacking in some areas, it looks much better than it did before.

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One thing I love about the Magic is how cozy it feels. Bigger isn’t always better!

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Now that I have a little one, I have been paying more attention to photos of kid areas.

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Yes, I went down the slinky dog slide!

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Superhero fun anyone?

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I did NOT go on the new waterslide!

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Disney made the rooms all look like the staterooms on the Dream and the Fantasy.

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Something a lot of people didn’t notice was that Disney added shaded areas over some of the pool chairs. Definitely needed!

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Also don’t forget there is an all new restaurant that took the place of Parrot Cay.

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Who is ready to sail on the Magic? Have you been on this ship, or any of the Disney cruise line ships? Which is your favorite? I would love to book your trip for you, it doesn’t cost you anything extra! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

QOTD: What is your favorite cruise line or port that you have stopped in?

Getting Over Gym Fear

A lot of people really don’t like the gym, but I’m sure you already knew that. I totally get it. A lot of gyms can be intimidating, especially if they are large, or full of super star looking athletes throwing weights around and grunting loudly (not knocking superstar weightlifters, but you have to see how it can be intimidating to some folks), or are filled with perfect looking young women who don’t look like they have an ounce of fat on them, and are always in the most perfect gym outfits.

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My parents are some of those folks. They are 60, and want to stay fit but don’t fit in with heavy lifters, or young moms in spandex shorts taking classes or playing tennis (again, nothing wrong with those things, but it intimidates a lot of people!) They used to go to a very large, fancy country club type health club simply for convenience (it’s right across the street from their house), but they slowly started going less and less because they just didn’t feel comfortable working out there. This made me really sad, and I am really glad my parents did some research and found the type of gym that works for them.

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That’s the great thing about the gym industry and it’s growth right now, there are so many options! Something for everyone! There are 24 hour gyms, country club type gyms, crossfit boxes, Koko fit club (where my parents go) among other things. So what if you don’t have a lot of options? What if you have one gym to go to, and you just have to make the best of the situation, then what? Below are some of my best tips for getting over any fear or anxiety you may have about going to your gym.

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1.) Schedule some time with a trainer: One of the biggest reasons people don’t use machines at the gym is because they don’t know how to use them and don’t want to look stupid if they can’t figure something out, or are using a machine wrong (this used to be me before I started strength training!) A lot of gyms will give you a free hour with a trainer or employee to get you familiar with all the different machines, and help you to know how much weight you should use, and how many reps you should do. This is a great resource!

2.) Go with a friend: When I first started lifting, I would go with my husband and he would help me get going. Not being there alone really helped to build my confidence in the beginning.

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3.) Avoid busy times: Early in the morning and after work are very busy times for gyms. You may not have a choice, but if you do, try to go in an off peak time so there will be less people in the gym to make you feel awkward.

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4.) Mentally prepare yourself: Remind yourself that there are probably other people nervous to be at the gym, too. Remember that most likely no one will ever even know you are having any anxiety about being there. Also, most people are so busy and into their own workouts that they don’t even notice other people (I don’t notice most people at the gym, I’m in the zone!)

5.) Suck it up: You have to decide what is more important to you. If getting to the gym is your top priority, then you just have to do it. Most likely, the more you go the more comfortable you will become and soon your fears will be gone. Take a step out of your comfort zone and just do it, one time. The second time should be easier, so it’s just taking that first step. You can do it!

QOTD: Do you like going to the gym? Were you ever intimidated by going?

Looking Forward…

Today is September, yall! How, how how? Christmas is less than four months away (yyeesss!) and cooler weather is right around the corner. Well, it’s probably already arrived for some, but we are still waiting down here in the land of insane humidity. Now that we are getting into fall, I started thinking of all the things I am looking forward to with the changing of the seasons.

1.) FOOTBALL! Yes my friends, it is finally back. It’s such a magical time of year.

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2.) Cooler weather- Ah, this one has many, many wonderful things about it, but most of them have to do with running. I cannot wait to do long runs in the crisp fall air.

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3.) New clothing- When I say new, I mean “been in the back of my closet since February”. Jeans, boots, sweaters, long sleeves and cozy warm things. Not that I don’t love my tank tops, but let’s face it, they see the majority of the year around here.

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4.) Fall TV- I am excited about the return of some favorites i.e. The Walking Dead, but also excited for some new shows coming out. Quantico looks interesting. What else looks good?

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Scared of walkers outside of Dale’s camper at Universal.

5.) Pumpkin everything- I am a sucker for decorations. Fall décor then leads to Christmas décor, so that means September is the beginning of my favorite months of the year. So much festiveness, as well as yummy pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin coffee creamer, and well, everything pumpkin.

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QOTD: What are you most looking forward to about fall? What TV show are you most excited about?