Archives for January 2016

A Day in the Life: January 2016

I realized I haven’t done a day in the life post since the summer, and things have most definitely changed around here! Let’s take a peek into what a day looks like when Emma Kate is home with me, which is 4 out of 7 days of the week.

7:00 AM: Emma Kate has been in a REALLY good night time sleep routine lately (knock on wood). She wakes up at 7:00 or a little after most days, which is totally fine with me. I get up, throw on my workout clothes, and go get the now very unhappy toddler who wants OUT of her crib.

7:05: Diaper change, outfit change, hair done, milk. I take the dog out and feed her before I forget, which has happened, not gonna lie.

7:20: We usually watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or some other variation of Disney Junior show while she drinks her milk and I suck down some coffee. Bobby is long gone, he gets up at 5:30 to be at the gym for 7:00, so we are on our own. Emma Kate has been doing this adorable dance to the hot dog song every time it comes on, so I rewind it a few times to watch her moves. She cracks me up!

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7:45: We play in the living room with toys, the dog, and sing songs.

8:00: Little bit is getting hungry, so I fix her some breakfast while I eat a quest bar. I try to hide that I’m eating, because she is in the stage where she wants whatever I have, and I want her to eat her breakfast, not my quest bar. She eats (typically yogurt and cheerios, or fruit, waffle, etc.) and I get her diaper bag ready for the gym. Snacks, sippy cup, diapers, wipes, all there.

8:20: I fill up my water bottle, put on my shoes, fix my hair, and finish getting ready for the gym while Emma Kate tries to open every cabinet in the bathroom. I put her shoes on, bow in her hair, and we head to the car.

8:30: We are finally out the door and on our way to the gym. I left a little early, but I have been late the past few times, which I hate, so I left extra early.

8:45: Get Emma Kate to child watch at the gym, put my stuff away in a locker, and get ready for boot camp.

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9:00: Boot camp! I get my butt kicked for an hour. It’s fun. Sort of.

10:00: Go into the locker room and grab a quick shower. If I don’t shower at the gym while EK is in child watch, I won’t get a chance until naptime, and that’s just gross.

10:20: Get Emma Kate from child watch. On this particular day, we went to the store to go see Bobby, but some days we go straight home, go to the park, or run errands.

10:30 Surprise Bobby at the store, and I let Emma Kate run around while I help get the shop ready for opening.

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11:00: we decide to grab a quick lunch together before I take Emma Kate home to nap, so we walk across the street to McAlisters after a diaper change.

11:50: EK behaved well at lunch but was ready to be out of the high chair. If it wasn’t so cold and rainy I would have taken her to the park for a few minutes to burn off energy, but at least she got to run around the store for a bit before lunch.

12:00: I drive home, and Emma Kate falls asleep in the car, which is always tricky. Sometimes I can successfully transfer her to her crib without her waking up, but the majority of the time…she wakes up.

12:15: We get home, I carefully move her to her bed, and success! She fell right back to sleep. Whew. I take the dog out and immediately get to work. My time is precious as I have a lot of work to do and if I don’t get it done now, I will have to work after Emma Kate goes to bed which I don’t do well because my brain is fried by evening. I email some clients, start working on a blog post, and do some social media postings. I don’t stop or even look up and just keep trying to get in as much as possible.

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1:00 I hear crying on the monitor. Darn it. Sadly, this is pretty typical for her. She sleeps so great at night, but naps are about 45 minutes, an hour tops. I give her a few minutes to see if she goes back to sleep, but it’s not happening.

1:10: I save her from her room, change her diaper, and give her a snack. She is loving graham crackers and goldfish these days. I finish up a couple of emails while she snacks.

1:30: I follow Emma Kate around as we play. She goes from her room to the living room to my room, destroying everything in her wake. I don’t even bother to pick up after her, because, really what’s the point? We play a game where I chase her around the kitchen counter and she laughs and laughs, and it wears me out! Oh to have the energy of a toddler. We snuggle on the couch for about five seconds because she doesn’t know how to sit still, and it’s back to following her around while she plays. She is really into organizing things and stacking them all in one place these days.

3:45: Bobby is home, yay! He takes Emma Kate upstairs to play with toys in the bonus room so I can get some more work done. I do some quotes for clients, answer emails for my blog, and schedule some things to go up the next day.

4:45: Time to start diner. I’m making chili tonight because it’s so cold and dreary and that’s the best time to make it, plus, honestly, it’s easy and I am not feeling like doing anything gourmet…not like I EVER do anything gourmet, but you get the point.

5:30: I call upstairs to Bobby telling him it’s time for dinner. Emma Kate LOVES beans, so I put a bunch on a plate for her, which she promptly dumps out onto her high chair tray. Ok. Whatever floats your boat kid. We all sit at the table and eat.

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5:45: We know EK is done when she starts throwing her food on the floor to the dog. I clean her up, get her down, and she plays by herself while Bobby and I finish eating.

6:00: We all hang out in the living room playing, talking, watching TV just unwinding, not really doing anything in particular. I remember I haven’t fed the dog (oops) so I take care of that and let her out again.

6:30: Bath time! Emma Kate LOVES bath time and I am pretty sure she could sit in there for hours if we would let her. We put her in a laundry basket so her toys won’t float away, and she plays and splashes.

6:50: With some protest, I get her out of the tub, and we tag team getting her into her PJ’s. We have a nice system down that works for us. Then it’s bottle (we are trying to get rid of this but haven’t been successful yet), and relaxing before bedtime.

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7:15: Bedtime! We say prayers, rock her for a minute, and put her down in the crib. She fusses for about two minutes and is out. I guess that 45 minute nap is catching up with her. I finish up a few things hanging over my head for work, and call it a night.

8:00: I grab a snack and head to the bedroom to veg out and watch Hulu. I chat with Bobby for a few minutes, and he goes to play video games as he has no interest in watching the Bachelor, and well, that’s fine with me.

9:45: My eyes are getting heavy. Since I have been doing boot camp four days a week plus my running, I have required more sleep. Tomorrow is a daycare day, so after boot camp I will be at my computer working the majority of the day, so I know I need my sleep.

10:00: lights are out, time to sleep so I can get up and do it all again tomorrow!

QOTD: Do you watch TV at night? What time do you go to bed?

ASICS fuzeX Photo Contest

When you think about your running shoes, it’s interesting to think about all the places they have been, and the things they have seen. If my shoes could talk, they would rave about running through Cinderella Castle, on the peaceful trails near my house, and up and down the Hollywood hills for the LA marathon. Running shoes can literally take us anywhere, so that is why ASICS came up with the all new fuzeX shoe.

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This shoe is being touted as a “shoe for any distance,” and will retail for $110. This shoe is for underpronators to neutral runners, and is more lightweight than most of my other shoes with seamless construction and an adaptive fit. It contains fuzeGEL™, a fusion of GEL® property and foam for the ultimate rearfoot shock absorption that transfers to the forefoot during takeoff.

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It is comfortable, the colors are adorable, and not the least bit heavy feeling or clunky. The shoe is just now launching, and a great contest will also coincide, beginning in February.

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So I have already mentioned where my shoes have been, but what about asking yourself where do you WANT your shoes to take you? Check out this awesome photo contest.

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1. Navigate. Go to ASICSamerica.com/fuzeX-contestdetails to find a participating retailer near you
2. Try fuzeX™ shoes. Head to a retail location and try on a pair of fuzeX™ shoes.
3. Share. Tell us where fuzeX™ shoes will take you:
a. In the try-on area at the store, find the floor mat featuring the fuzeX™ shoes arrows.
b. Place your foot wearing the ASICS fuzeX™ shoes onto the floor mat
c. Upload your photo or “shoefie” to Instagram or Twitter and complete the caption “fuzeX™ shoes will take me____” paired with the ‪#‎FuzeXplore ‬hashtag.
4. Win: Be entered to win a pair fuzeX™ & a grand prize trip!

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Pretty fun huh? I hope everyone participates and tries on the new fuzeX! If you can’t wait until February 1st to get started, share your excitement on Twitter or Instagram now. Take a pic of you getting fit in your favorite running spot and share where fuzeX™ shoes will take you using the hashtag #fuzeXplore for a chance to win the latest shoe!

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QOTD: If you could go anywhere, where would you have your running shoes take you?

The winner of the Disney park map leggings giveaway is Erica B! Erica, please email me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize. Don’t forget you can use coupon code LOOKINGGLASS through the end of February for 10% off orders of $25 or more.

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 1

Hey friends! So two weeks later I finally recapped the runDisney marathon weekend expo, race, blogger meet up, interviews, and marathon weekends at Bonnet Creek. Whew! So much to say for just being in town for 24 hours! Anyway, it’s time to move on to something fun, the cruise! I plan to only post a couple of these a week until I’m done so they won’t be back to back to back or anything. But let’s start with after the race on Saturday:

We got a ride back to our hotel from a friend, we quickly showered and checked out, and our car was waiting downstairs. We had a private transfer scheduled from Southern Elegance. They do an amazing job, are on time, handle your bags for you, and everything. it’s top notch and our favorite way to get to the port. We were SO exhausted from the race plus our 2.5 hours of sleep that as soon as we started for the port, we CRASHED in the back seat. I woke up about ten minutes from the port, so it was great to get a little power nap in before getting on the ship! We got out bags to the porters, got through security, and waited in line to get checked in. It was 12:30 and I decided I really like checking in at this time of day. There was no waiting for your number to be called or anything, we just walked right on at about 12:45, which was amazing.

Our name was called as we boarded the boat and the crew clapped and cheered for us. I was so ready to start a fun week of relaxing and cruising! The first thing we did was head to get our dining assignment changed to early dinner, and snag a Palo brunch reservation. Once that was handled, it was time to eat! Up to Cabanas buffet we went. After lunch, the rooms were ready so we went to put our stuff down and check it out.

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We had a great aft location on deck nine, and I would totally get this location again. We were two flight down from the pool deck and buffet, and I much preferred the aft elevators because they weren’t as busy as mid ship.

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We spent some time wandering around taking pictures and enjoying the ship before the muster drill. We had been SO go go go the past 24 hours, that it was nice to just finally sit and relax.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that this was a special cruise. It was the first of the Star Wars day at sea cruises, but more on that later.

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After the muster drill, we got ready for our 5:45 dinner rotation. For those not familiar with Disney cruising, they do this cool things called rotational dining. There are three main dining rooms you rotate between, and your servers stay with you the whole cruise so you can get to know each other. it’s really great, so we were excited to meet our servers and table mates!

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I will admit, I was a little nervous about meeting our table mates, It’s totally luck of the draw, and on previous cruises we would do the late seating to get a table by ourselves. However, since we are now old and go to bed early (haha) we wanted early dinner which meant sharing a table. I have heard some people have amazing experiences and some not so much, so we went for it, and ended up making new friends!

We ate at Royal Court that night, and I had TWO desserts. I deserved it right? I did run a half marathon that morning…

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Usually we go to the adult clubs for a really fun game show that they have the first night, but I was SO exhausted that I fell asleep at 8:00. EIGHT YALL! I ended up sleeping for twelve hours. I guess my body really needed it!

Up next time: Our first sea day.

QOTD: Mickey bar or Mickey ice cream sandwich? Have you ever been on a Disney cruise?

Don’t forget, as a Disney travel planner, I can book your cruise for you at no extra charge! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details

Interview with Aaron Diaz and Laura Flores on runDisney and Cigna

During marathon weekend, I was asked by Cigna if I wanted to interview two celebrities for my blog…well heck yeah I do! So I had the pleasure of meeting with Aaron Diaz and Laura Flores before the Cigna blogger meet up that Friday. These two are very, very famous in Mexico, I found out just HOW famous thanks to a little Google search…and I admittedly got a little nervous to interview them after that. However, my fears were forgotten because they were both SO warm and friendly, so check out what we talked about:

I was greatly intimidated when I checked out Aaron’s Instagram account. He has almost a million(!) followers, and has done some pretty cool stuff. Not only is he an actor (and not to bad to look at, if I do say so myself), but he is also a designer and singer. He has also two adorable daughters, one is around Emma Kate’s age, so it was fun to talk toddlers!

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Aaron talked about running the 5k with a girl named Julia, for Girls on the Run. He had great things to say about the organization and what they stand for. He said he had a blast at the race, and that he would be back to run a longer distance! He loved the message that Girls on the run brings, and had high praise for Cigna for getting him involved.

Let’s read some direct quotes from the interview:

Heather: so tell me, how was the 5k? Did you have fun?

Aaron: It’s the first time I’ve ever raced, and seeing the atmosphere and the energy of the people, it gives you good energy.

Heather: You got spoiled running a runDisney race as your first race, this is like the race of all races! They aren’t all this nice.

Aaron: I know! So now I won’t be able to go to any others except for these…..wow, if this is what it’s like to run, I want to do it all the time!

Heather: What was your favorite part of the race?:

Aaron: Getting to the finish line, because the atmosphere there, and seeing everybody so enthusiastic and outgoing and cheering waiting for them, you know it’s like a party at 6:00 in the morning after you exercise, which makes you feel a lot better.

Moving on….I asked Aaron how he stays healthy and fit with his busy schedule.

Aaron: Luckily for me, I got into a habit of exercising and playing sports since I was a kid. Now that I’m a father….you know you want the best for your kids obviously, but it’s very important to teach them to eat well and to exercise, because those are the two most important things that are going to keep you healthy for the rest of your life, so if you can get them into a habit from when they are little, you are going to have an easier time than trying to change their ways when they’re adults.

Heather: What advice would you have for someone wanting to get into the entertainment business?

Aaron: First of all, they have to want to get into that business for the right reasons, because it’s their passion. I didn’t get into this business until I was 20, and I never thought about being in this business before that. But when I really got to know what it was all about, I felt really passionate about it, and then I started learning and going to acting school, and it’s a hard career, just like any other…but if you are doing it for the wrong reasons, you aren’t going to enjoy it. People who do what they love to do, are blessed…..if that’s your passion, then go for it.

Aaron graciously took a picture with me, I felt like a HUGE dork asking for a picture, but I had to, of course. All for the sake of the blog…right?

I also got to interview with Laura, check it out:

Laura Flores is an actress, singer, and also a mother. If I hadn’t already known she was a mother, I would have figured it out instantly after meeting her. The way she spoke to me was so kind and sweet, you know, the way moms do. She was so gracious and humble and gave great answers to my questions.

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Laura ran the 5k the day before with the Girls on the run, and then ran the 10k that morning. But, before we even got into the race, she wanted to know about my blog (and even wrote down my URL so she could check it out, how sweet!) and she told me she admired me for blogging, that she knows I am exposed to criticism in putting myself out there. I knew I was going to like this lady! Let’s dig into more of the interview:

Heather: Did you enjoy the race?

Laura: I did, it was a great experience! I like to run but I’m not really a “runner”, but I just workout. I run 3 miles every other day and combine it with yoga, but today running the 10k, I never stopped. I thought I was going to faint in the middle, but I said ok I committed, let’s do it. But once it’s there, you see all those human beings, and you are going to follow that crowd, it’s just amazing.

Heather: What did you think about the costumes?

Laura: I loved them! I didn’t wear one, I wore my Cigna outfit because I am representing Cigna, but I loved the creativity of the people. I loved the cheering and the “you can do it, keep going”, I could feel how my legs really responded to the cheering. The fact of having the nice people next to you giving you water. I mean what time did they have to wake up to be there for you? That’s amazing. All of these people doing this for once cause, which is celebrating life. I really appreciate being a part of this.

Heather: What is your fitness routine, and how do you keep up with it in the middle of your busy schedule?

Laura: Well I have kids, so the mornings are for them, to wake up, go to school. Sometimes I get up earlier to go running, but sometimes when I get back I am in a rush for them, so it all depends, but usually after I drop them at school I park my car at school and I go jogging. I also do yoga, I love yoga.

Heather: Do you do active things together as a family?

Laura: Yes my daughter just called me to congratulate me on my race! My daughter will be here for high school cheerleading nationals next month. She is on varsity, and I am so proud of her. My little one too, into baseball, basketball, gymnastics.

Heather: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into the entertainment industry?

Laura: I think this country offers a lot of choices, so that is amazing, and if you get ready and prepare yourself, I think that’s the only way you can do it. Go to the right schools, go to the right places. Also, if you are going to study acting, make sure you go to the places where all of the talent searches are. You have to think smart and think business, but I say go for it.

A HUGE thank you to both Laura and Aaron for taking some time out of their very very busy (and more important than my) schedules to chat with me for a few minutes about runDisney, acting, Girls on the Run, and Cigna. I enjoyed meeting you both and hope you had an amazing experience. Please come back and run again! I will happily run with you. Smile

QOTD: Have you ever met anyone famous?

runDisney Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 1:45. I had only gotten about two and a half hours of sleep, and I knew I would pay for it later. But, it was time to run a half marathon!

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I stumbled around the hotel room, thankful I had laid out my costume the night before, and started getting ready. My amazing tutu came from this great Etsy shop. She does tons of Disney characters, so be sure to check her out for your next runDisney race! (You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.) I knew just where to find the best shirt to complete my outfit, Raw Threads. They always have a great booth at the runDisney expos as well. I ran in my new ASICS Meta Run shoes, they are so comfortable and the black goes with any costume.

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We were running a little behind, but thankfully Hilton Bonnet Creek had multiple buses to take people to the start, and we had plenty of time to grab some food and get onboard. Once at Epcot, we realized we were really early and still had a lot of time to kill, so we got in line for a character picture, which we usually never have time to do.

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Daisy told me Donald was getting ready for the race, but he wished us good luck.

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We used the bathrooms, and then headed to the corrals as soon as they opened. We made it to the front of F, and took a seat on the ground to wait. It was truly amazing watching all the people try to sneak into the wrong corral. I mean dozens and dozens of people. Those volunteers have a TOUGH job. People were trying to hide their bib under a sweatshirt, put their finger over part of the letter to make it look like a different one, begging and pleading because their best friend wanted to run with them, you name it. I am glad we had tough volunteers who didn’t let anyone in that wasn’t supposed to be there!

Before long, it was our turn to be at the starting line. Since we were in the front, they kept pushing us up closer and closer to the start line…and then I got a text saying I had started the race (I was tracking myself). NO! I had NOT started the race, they had made us squish up so close to the line that the official tracker started! It wasn’t until about a minute later that we were sent off, so it was a bit frustrating starting the race already losing 60 seconds!

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The first few miles were pretty uneventful. It was cool but not freezing, but SO FOGGY and very very humid. I soon started sweating pretty badly, and made a stop at a medic tent for some body glide. We kept a steady pace, and made it to the Magic Kingdom sign.

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After a couple more miles, we went through the TTC, and then the Magic Kingdom was in sight. I was stoked that the still had the icicle lights on, because I had not yet seen them this year, or the year before actually, so I was really happy to run down Main street towards the gorgeous castle. Bobby snapped the below picture of me and I love it. I think it really captures all the feels of running down Main Street!

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The crowds were great as usual, and I heard a couple of people shout my name and I waved in the general direction of the noise, so if you were yelling to me and I didn’t see you, I’m sorry, but I did hear you!

I knew I wanted to stop and get a pic in front of the castle. It was so foggy it barely came out though, but I think the castle looks kind of cool.

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I had told Bobby before the race that I didn’t care how long the line for the Queen of Hearts was, that if she was out, I wanted a picture. We saw her just past the carousel in Fantasyland, and even though the line was about 13 deep, we stopped anyway.

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We made it to the back of the castle, and had to stop for a shot of these guys. Imagine how long the line would be if they were on the ground! I also wanted to get a shot of Bobby by the castle but it didn’t come out too well.

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We sadly came out of the Magic Kingdom, knowing the most fun part of the race was over. We wound around by the Grand Floridian and Wedding pavilion, and I was thankful the road opened back up again. At about mile nine my lack of training started to get to me, and I was mentally done. Once we hit mile 10, we started counting down saying things like “it’s just a 5k left”, and that seemed to help.

We made it to the turn that kills my IT band every time, and Bobby wanted a picture with our green army man friend.

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Once we were on this new road headed to EPCOT, I knew we were getting close and didn’t even want to stop for water, I was just ready to be done. It was also about this time I told Bobby I was SO GLAD we weren’t doing Dopey again this time! I may have cried if I had to run a full the next day.

We made it up the last bridge, and down into EPCOT where I saw my favorite sign….”run like Steve Harvey is trying to give your medal to Miss Colombia”. I died yall, love it.

We made it around the EPCOT ball, and were finally in the home stretch! This last part is always hard because I get excited I’m “so close”, but really have more to run that I think, and I try to kick harder way too soon and I die out. Whoops. I heard the choir singing, and knew we were REALLY close.

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Wwweeee! Finsih line in view! We made it!

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Our official time was 2:25:07. Not bad with the stops, humidity, the timer starting before we were running, and (totally my fault..) lack of training. I still have a long way to go, but the goal for this one was to enjoy it and have fun, and I’m glad we didn’t take it too seriously.

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I got to cheer runners on as they approached the finish which is one of my favorite things to do ever. I also had a little chat with Mr. Galloway, and got to see part of my favorite announcer team.

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All in all a successful race and a successful day. We got a lift back to the resort from a friend, and showered and our car arrived to take us to the cruise…where we promptly fell asleep in the back seat! (See, I told you it would catch up to me!) Another great runDisney race weekend was over, another shiny medal to add to my collection, and many many more memories to hold on to forever.

QOTD: Has humidity every changed your race goals? Favorite costume you saw from marathon weekend?

Love 2 Run Virtual Race

Hey guys! I know, posting on a Saturday, whoa! But I wanted to share with you some info about a new virtual race I will be participating in, so you have enough time to register!

We all know February is the month of LOVE, so why not a 2.14 mile race about your LOVE 2 run? When you sign up, you get a medal, shirt, bib, and of course, some candy hearts.

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The medal is really special though, because it has a removable magnetic cover, like a box of candy with candy inside. How cute! The coolest thing of all though, is the charity that this race supports. A percentage of all registrations goes to The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which is a non-profit that helps children battling pediatric cancer.

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The cost for this race is $32, and there are additional add on’s you can purchase such as a tutu, magnet, socks, or a shoe charm.

I will be participating in this race, and hope you will, too! It’s not a long distance, so it would be great for a beginner runner to get your first virtual race medal. Please let me know if you have any questions, and visit Gone For a RUN for more details.

QOTD: Have you ever run a Valentine’s Day themed race?

5 Things Friday IX

Happy Friday friends, it’s almost the weekend! Yall, we are supposed to get SNOW today, here in central Mississippi. Please note that no one here knows how to drive in snow. The low is around 28 so not sure how long it will stick around (pun intended). See what I did there? Anyway, I haven’t done a 5 Things Friday in awhile, so figured it was time to bring it back. Don’t worry, my runDisney half race recap will be up Monday.

1.) 4 Magical Miles Virtual Run Recap: I participated in the Gone for a RUN 4 Magical Miles virtual race this month, and loved the great cause it supported (Give Kids the World). My run was pretty uneventful, and I was thankful it was only four miles because I have been hitting boot camp hard and my legs are really sore! Having just run the Walt Disney World Half I am still on a bit of a Disney high so it was fun to run a “magic” themed virtual race so soon after coming home. I can’t wait to share with you about the next race I will be doing in February!

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2.) Enter my Giveaway: Yesterday I posted about a giveaway I am hosting for some adorable Disney park map leggings. Be sure to enter, they are so fun!

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3.) Bath time Life Saver: Poor Emma Kate loves bath time, but HATES when I wash her hair/get water in her eyes. It was getting so bad that she would cry every time I came near her with a cup of water during bath time because she didn’t want me to wash her hair. I did some Amazon searching, desperate to try anything, and found this contraption called the Lil Rinser Splashguard  (affiliate link) that works LIKE A CHARM. Seriously, if you have issues with this like I do, this baby is a lifesaver, and very inexpensive! No more bath tears, and I’m wondering why I didn’t think to invent something like this. I want to be on Shark Tank.

4.) HEAT class: Has anyone heard of this or attended one? My gym just started doing this, and I went to a trial class on Wednesday. Basically everyone wears a heart rate monitor and you can see everyone’s zones up on the screen, and you have to hold your HR in different zones all through the class, so you work REALLY hard and it’s a great workout…and you can’t “cheat”. Ha. I liked it a lot, but my gym is charging $20 for a drop in rate, and that’s just not in my budget right now, so I will be sitting it out, but I’m curious to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this type of class?

5.) Carnival Season: This time of year I really miss home. Mardi Gras is such a fun time in Louisiana, and I miss going to parades, seeing the decorations, eating King Cake, and drinking my favorite coffee drink: King Cake Velvet Ice, from PJ’s. Fun fact that I’m fairly certain I share every year, but you get to hear it again… but growing up I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. Really. It wasn’t until I was in about 6th grade that I realized it wasn’t and that not everyone got out of school for it! Please note this is before I had internet access and people on Twitter to tell me that I was sadly misinformed. I felt sad for the rest of the world. You really are missing out.

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QOTD: Have you ever had king cake? Do you kids hate water in their eyes at bath time?

Marathon Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

I had the privilege to stay somewhere new the night before the runDisney half marathon, somewhere I honestly never thought I would stay. I am a Disney loving “stay at a Disney hotel” kind of girl, so I was a little reluctant to try out Hilton Bonnet Creek, but I am So glad I did!

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I hope to have more info for you on the actual hotel and all the activities and food and things there at the end of February, but for now I want to specifically talk to you about Marathon Weekends.

Hilton Bonnet Creek has put together a special rate for those staying for runDisney race weekends, and it comes with some great extras that are not offered at Disney owned hotels. There was also a runner’s concierge in the lobby, and they could answer questions for us, get us signed up for the bus the morning of the race, and they also had a goodie bag for us. (Note that to ride the bus to the races you have to sign up ahead of time and are given a wristband as a “ticket” for the bus to and from the race.)

Hilton Bonnet Creek is actually inside the gates of Walt Disney World, so it is super close to the parks and other Disney activities. Check out the balloon at Disney Springs you could see out my room’s window!

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Those staying with the special marathon weekend rate are also given a card that saves you 10% on hotel food and beverages during your stay. They have so many restaurant options, and even special carb loading menu items for runners.

The real magic however came on race morning, where we were greeted in the lobby with signs and our own personal cheerleaders! The music was loud, the DJ was getting everyone pumped up, and it really helped to wake me up since it was, you know, 2:45 in the morning.

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They also provided a continental breakfast for the runners. It was nice to hang out in the warmth of the lobby, chatting with other runners (and using real bathrooms!) before heading to the race start.

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I ate a protein bar, a banana, and grabbed some water. (I had brought some food with me also since I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel like eating). I was told that the reasoning behind the certain food items was that they wanted to provide things that would be easy to eat in the corrals or walking to the corrals. Smart thinking!

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We took some photos out in front of the bus and were cheered on as we boarded. It was EARLY, yall, so it was such a nice touch!

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Oh, something else I didn’t mention, all runners staying for Marathon Weekends get a late 2:00 pm checkout, how cool is that?

Please note that at this time, there is no official transportation to the 5k and 10k races or expo which was a bummer, but the runner’s concierge can help you set something up if you would like. We grabbed a cab to come back from the expo and it was quick and easy. There is also  Mears shuttle you can take to and from the airport that cost approx. $21 each way when booked online.

They also had a runners reception at the pool with rum runners at noon after the half marathon, but sadly we had a boat to catch and were not able to stay. Next time!

I give Hilton Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends a thumbs up, and would definitely stay here again for a race weekend!

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The enthusiasm, the little touches, the breakfast, and the proximity to other Disney activities really swayed me. I think they have a good thing going here, and I sadly just learned about it last year! If you have any questions about marathon weekends, let me know and I can get the answer for you.

QOTD: Did you know this existed? What do you think about the early morning cheerleaders? Who wants to stay here now?!?

Disclosure: I was provided a free stay to check out marathon weekends for myself, however all opinions are my own.

Disney Park Map Leggings Giveaway

Good morning my friends! I have a fun giveaway for you today! I was shopping around on Etsy like I tend to do (It’s a time suck!) and I stumbled across these AMAZING clothing pieces from Rainbow Rules. I knew I had to have the leggings, and I decided to try a tank top as well. I got my items in the mail, and they are seriously a Disney lovers dream. Any Disney lover can spot the oh so familiar park map design a mile away. So unique and fun for pants!

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First up I ordered the Magic Kingdom Park Map Capris (also come in full length, and also come in fleece lined). These capris are thin but very stretchy and so adorable. (Note, you can’t wear your leopard print under things, but they look just fine with a neutral color underneath.) I can’t wait to wear these bad boys to WDW. They are really comfy and stretchy, and I have been asked a million times already where I got them.

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Next up I decided to try one of the tank tops, and went with the Disneyland design. It is made of the same material as the capris, so it’s really light and soft/stretchy.

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Yall, this is just the beginning. She also sells, shower curtains, dresses, skirts, clutches, scarves, cosmetics cases, etc. all with different park maps! I have been eyeing up the pillow cushion and door mat, how adorable!

The best thing about this stuff is her prices are great. Please note, turnaround time is about three weeks, so if you are wanting some park map leggings to wear to the Princess half, you need to order NOW! Also, you are in luck, because I have a discount code for you to use that is good for 10% off orders over $25 through the end of February. Simply enter the code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout.

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Be sure to check out all the other cool items in her shop, too.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky reader will get their choice of park map leggings from Rainbow Rules. Please follow the directions in the rafflecoptor widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given product to review, however all opinions are my own. 

Marathon Weekend Cigna Blogger Event

I mentioned yesterday in my expo recap, that I had a very bust 24 hours in Orlando. As soon as we landed in Florida and hopped a shuttle to our resort, I hoped in Megan’s car and we headed to EPCOT for the Cigna blogger event. For those that don’t know, Cigna is the title sponsor of the runDisney marathon weekend! We were tight on time, and of course ended up having to park the furthest out in the parking lot.

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Cigna had asked me to interview a couple of TV stars from Mexico right before the event, so Megan came with me to meet up with them (more on that interview later, it gets its own post!) We had time for one quick photo before running over to the meet up.

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We booked it over to the Odyssey building, and they had the doors roped off, so naturally I jumped over them and tried to go inside, where I was immediately yelled at by a lady with a light saber saying this was a private event. Once we gave her our names and tried to explain we were supposed to be AT the event but were late, she finally let us in.

The super sweet Cigna people helped us get lunch (everyone else had already eaten) and found us seats so we could eat and join in the fun.

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Basically each table was a team, and through various games, each team got coins for getting correct answers (all related to health and fitness of course!) I scarfed down my food and watched at first, but it looked like my team was already doing great!

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The games were all super creative. I mean, check out the concentration I used during this one.

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Our hosts did an excellent job as well.

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One game involved holding the tree pose as long as we could, and you all should already know how unsuccessful my yoga practice has been, I think my face says it all.

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I really can’t remember what was going on in this one, but it appears I am having fun! (Dancing? telling on someone cheating? who knows!)cigna4

In all honesty, not only was the event super fun but it was really informative. I sadly didn’t get all my questions right, but learned a lot! For instance, did you know that 25% of adults with diabetes don’t know they have it? Or 65% (!) of adults are overweight or obese, but only 18% realize it and are trying to lose weight? Crazy stuff yall.

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Our team didn’t end up winning, but we had a blast, and that’s what counts, right? (Or that’s what I told myself as I cried in the corner. I kid).

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After the event, we got to meet and take photos with two very important folks, Minnie and Mickey! They loved our ASICS Gel Quantums!

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Cigna put on a great event (and even gave us sweet swag bags at the end!) and I was thankful to be a part of it. I am going to leave you with this info graphic they created about training for a race. Enjoy!

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Be sure to follow #CignaRunTogether to check out other posts from the event, and follow Cigna on Twitter.

QOTD: Best running tip you have even gotten?