Archives for May 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

I know I usually do my weekend recap on Monday, but because of the holiday I decided to lump it all into the “weekend” even though I had to work yesterday.

Saturday morning I got up and went for a run in my favorite neighborhood. When I arrived there were SO many cars and I forgot it was the weekend of the triathlon! Bobby did this one last year and we had a lot of fun. I had to figure out some logistics so I wouldn’t get in the way of the race, but I ran 4.5 miles. I realized very quickly that I am going to have to start running much earlier. It was super hot and humid at 9:00!

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As soon as I got in from the run, Bobby told me our employee (who was supposed to be at work in 30 minutes) called in sick. I told Bobby I would go in, so I jumped in the shower and headed to the yogurt shop. Saturday afternoon we hung around the house, and Sunday morning we went to church. Also, big girl wants to sit in a regular chair now which has made mealtime interesting.

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We only had one service at church because of the holiday, and I swear everyone in my town was at the beach. The preacher even made a joke about it! Longing for the sand and waves, I put on my swimsuit and played outside in the water with Emma Kate. It’s the same thing, right?

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It was really hot and I ended up in the shade. Don’t worry, we both had on sunscreen!

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Sunday evening Bobby grilled some chicken and we made enough to eat Monday, too. Monday morning, I got up and went for a three mile run before going into the shop. I again volunteered myself so I could get out of the house for a bit.

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Monday afternoon I did some super fun exciting cleaning, work on the computer, and blogging stuff. I know I am going to be all thrown off this week with what day it is! Have a great TUESDAY everyone.

QOTD: What did you do this weekend? if you went to the beach, just don’t answer. Smile

IT Band Stretches and Photos

IT band pain is a topic I am quite well versed in (unfortunately…) and so I wanted to share some of my favorite stretches. Here are six things I try to do several times a week. My IT band is currently behaving, but that can change so quickly, so I choose to be proactive. I hope these IT band stretches help some of you who have been struggling!

IT Band Stretches:

Stretch 1: If your RIGHT IT band is the problem, stand with your right foot crossed behind your left and lean towards your left with either your arm in the air or your hands on your hips. Hold for 15-20 seconds, repeat. (follow this rule for all stretches mentioned)

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Stretch 2: If your LEFT IT band is the problem, sit on the floor with your right leg straight. cross your left leg over your right, and twist your body to the left, pushing against your left leg for resistance.

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Stretch 3: Yoga has really helped me, especially the pigeon pose. If your RIGHT IT band is bothering you, put your right leg underneath your body with your left leg out straight behind you. use your arms to balance, and try to sink down as far as you can. Hurts so good! (By the way, I am finally getting slightly visible triceps, which is hard for my long muscles, yay!)

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Stretch 4: Find something sturdy you can lean against, and put your hands on it. if your RIGHT IT band is bothering you, use your left leg as the stabilizer leg, and slide your right leg out to the left behind your left leg and push/sink as far as you can.

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Stretch 5: this involves a Foam Roller (and if you have IT band pain you DEFINITELY should own one of these anyway!) Lay your hip/leg on the side of the pain, put your other leg out in front to stabilize, and ROLL until you find a sore spot, then sit on that spot for several seconds.

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Stretch 6: lay on the floor on your left side if your RIGHT IT band is bothering you. Put your right leg behind your body and hold your foot. Put your left foot/heel by your right knee, you should feel a deep stretch.

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A few key things to keep in mind if you are suffering with IT band pain and looking to do IT band stretches. (This is based on my own personal experience, if you are having pain go see a doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc.)

1.) REST. I took 6 full weeks off of running when mine was at it’s worst. It won’t get better if you keep running through the pain. Trust me on this, I tried, and it wasn’t until I took some time off that I truly felt better.

2.) Foam roll like it’s your job. It hurts, it sucks, but it will help loosen you up. Or, be proactive and use it a few times a week to keep problems at bay. A tennis ball works, too.

3.) Ice. Icing helped alleviate my swelling, especially at first when I was not being smart and was still running.

4.) Massage. I know actual sports massages are expensive, but if you can swing it, do it.

5.) Of course, stretch. A good stretching routine is something you should be doing anyway! (As I look in the mirror and tell myself…)

6.) Use resistance bands. < —- These are the resistance bands I personally use to help strengthen my hips and glutes to prevent a flare up from occurring again. They are inexpensive and totally worth it! I use them while I watch TV.

If you are looking for a way to track your daily fitness routine and goals, check out my FREE set of printables! 

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QOTD: Have you ever suffered with IT band pain? Do you do IT band stretches? Any other helpful hints you can think of?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links

5 Things Friday XVII

Happy Friday my friends! It’s going to be a hot and sunny weekend here in Mississippi. Big plans include staying indoors and avoiding the sun and humidity at all costs. For those that get a 3 day weekend (sadly not me) enjoy your day off! Here’s five things for Friday.

1.) Running Skirts compression socks: Running Skirts sent me a pair of their adorable new compression socks (check out the tiaras in the hearts!) I have been a fan of their socks for many many moons, but these are just icing on the cake! My new favorite for sure. Easy to get on and off and give just the right amount of compression. They wash and hold up really well. They are not only great for running, but I wear them after long runs for faster recovery and happy legs!* Also, today is the LAST DAY of their epic moving sale. AMAZING prices on skirts (like $26.50!) click my link above or in my sidebar to shop!

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2.) Bella the old lady: On Monday night, Bella jumped on our (very tall) bed and hurt herself. She wouldn’t eat or drink and didn’t want to walk but we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. We took her to the vet and found out she has a bulging disc/inflamed vertebrae/possible pinched nerve in her neck from the jump, and needed muscles relaxers and a bag of IV fluids because she was so dehydrated. She’s a happy girl on her pain meds but I’m supposed to “keep her confined” which isn’t going too well…

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Poor baby. As you can see, she wouldn’t even eat my popcorn, which is insanely odd for her!

3.) Boot Camp part 2: A new two month session of boot camp starts on Monday and runs through the end of July. if you are local, this is the perfect time to jump in and see what it’s all about! I would love to chat with anyone that is interested. I did my body fat test this morning, and while I have lost a little weight and gained a little muscle, my body fat % is still not where I want it to be. Back to tweaking what I eat!

4.) Smells like Disney: I stumbled onto these candles in an Etsy shop (Etsy is ssooo dangerous!) and knew I had to try one out. All the scents are based off of Disney scents, either places, rides, or food! I got the Floridian scent, but there are many more I would love to try! I bet Main street bakery is amazing!

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5.) Emma Kate does Disney: Speaking of Disney, guess who finally had dates to go see the mouse for the first time? Yes my friends, the long awaited day! Emma Kate will be going to Disney World with us (and my parents). We will be staying at Saratoga Springs at the end of October. My folks are new DVC members and have invited us along to stay in their villa. Let the planning commence!

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QOTD: What is your favorite WDW smell? Ever had a pet hurt their neck?

*Disclosure: As a Running Skirts ambassador, I received these socks for free, and I get a small commission if you order through my link above. However, I would never recommend something I wouldn’t use myself and don’t love! Thank you for supporting my blog!

How to Paint a Table in One Day

When Bobby and I got married, we were gifted with my parent’s old dining room table. This table has been around for awhile, and I’m thinking was the “hot” item from the late 80’s because I have seen said table and chairs SO MANY TIMES over the years.

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We were very thankful to not have to purchase a table as newlyweds, and it was still in great shape (aside from a stain form when I was 7 and my dad spilled shoe polish on it trying to clean my white church shoes. (I told you it’s been around for a long time!)

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Since we moved into our current house almost two years ago, I have been itching to paint the table. I scoured Pinterest for instructions and before and after photos. Everyone seemed to say something different, and I got a little bit confused. I put the idea out of my head because the past two years have been super busy, but decided for my Mother’s Day gift this year I wanted the table painted. I figured it would be a lot cheaper than getting a new table, and I decided to enlist the help of my dad who is a great painter.

They came into town last weekend, and my dad and I headed to Lowes. We had an idea in out heads, and confirmed with the guy in the paint department before purchasing.

We went home, put an old sheet in the garage, brought the table out, and did a little bit of sanding.

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Then, it was time for primer.

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This primer dries really fast, so we were able to paint two coats fairly quickly.

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We waited a couple of hours until we were sure it was dry, and then started with the paint.

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This paint is really nice and goes on very smoothly and covers well. We still decided to do two coats, but it was plenty.

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We finished off with a couple coats of a sealant. This isn’t 100% necessary, but because it is a dining room table that will be used daily, and we have a toddler, we decided it would help the table to hold up longer.

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We decided to change out the rug with the one we had in front of the couch, and take the leaf out of the table to give more room in the dining room area. I am so pleased with how it turned out! It feels like I have a whole new dining room and we only spent about $50. I bought the chairs from Wayfair.com a few months ago. They were on sale and have free shipping.

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If you have any questions about what we did shoot me an email or leave a comment here. Good luck!

QOTD: Have you ever painted furniture?

Tips for Running on Vacation

Jeff Galloway has been around the block a few times (pun intended) and has some great tips for running while on vacation, no matter what your destination may be!

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The best, more efficient workout when you’re at the beach…
Running into the dawn: In Summer, it’s best to run before the sun rises above the horizon.  Since it’s common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach.    Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point.  Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.
When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.
On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.
When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.  Many of the hotels in areas like Disneyworld, have designated areas for running.  In some cases you can run to the parks.  Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes.  Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day.  This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run.  As you mention how you are planning your run, you’ll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

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When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.  Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there.  Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes.  When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide.  If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.
A home-based vacation.  If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run.  Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids.  Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs.  Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.
Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at www.JeffGalloway.com

QOTD: What is your best tip for running on vacation?

A Petting Zoo, Painting Project Kind of Weekend

This weekend did not suck. We were again blessed with great weather, and my parents decided to come into town Thursday afternoon. We picked up Emma Kate from daycare and went to the third week of Swing into Summer.

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Except this week trumped all, because they had a petting zoo.

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Animals?!? WHERE!

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Girlfriend went CRAZY. She petted, talked to, squealed at, and played with all the animals. She was so overwhelmed she didn’t know which one to go to, so kept hopping around from one to the other.

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One of the workers handed her a brush so she went around brushing the animals. She is FEARLESS and walked right up to this guy. II t was adorable.

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Bobby got her (after a few failed attempts) to feed the animals out of her hand and she kept wanting to do it over and over.

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This little goat was only 7 weeks old. It still drank from a bottle and every time it made noise EK jumped and squealed. I think we would have stayed all night if it were up to her.

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My parents had fun watching her interact with the animals, dance to the music, and attempt to eat a snowball.

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It may or may not have ended up all over the ground.

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I’m sad we only have one more week of Swing into summer, we have been having a blast!

Friday morning I went with my dad to Lowes and we bought some paint. I have been wanting to paint my dining room table for YEARS and since my dad is a really good painter, I signed him up for the job without his knowledge. Thanks dad!

Apparently I am NOT a good painter because after helping with the first coat for primer, he said he would finish the rest by himself. Sad times. Anyway, this table is old yall, like I ate off it when I was a toddler. Despite it’s age, it was in good shape. I was not about to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new one when this one was plenty sturdy, but I was willing to buy $45 worth of paint to make it look brand new.

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It turned out GREAT, and we decided to leave the leaf out to make the room look bigger. I plan to do a full post one exactly what we used because people have been asking me, so stay tuned! I’m super happy with how it turned out, the room looks so much brighter!

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Friday afternoon my mom and I did a little shopping and stopped at Starbucks for a pick me up.

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We went back home to pick up EK and the boys before heading to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Papitos, for dinner.

Saturday morning I ran some errands with my dad, and then we sat outside and played in the water with Emma Kate. The original forecast called for rain all weekend but the weather was awesome.

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Saturday after lunch, my parents and I went and looked at a few of the parade of homes houses. A bunch are really close to my house so we were able to check out several before they had to drive back to Louisiana.

After they left, Emma Kate played in the water again and we just enjoyed the evening at home. Sunday morning was church and more relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Temperatures are getting up to the upper 80’s this week so this may have been our last cooler weekend until fall (nnooo!)

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Another great weekend in the books. So glad I have my blog to keep track of these great memories!

QOTD: What did you do this weekend? Ever painted furniture?

10 Tips for Running in the Heat

As the weather warms up, it’s wise to take a few minutes to think about how this will change your runs. If you don’t plan ahead, you may be setting yourself up for failure (or heat stroke!) so be careful and make sure you are prepared. Here are my best tips for running in the heat.

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1.) Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen! Also, for really long runs, I reapply after an hour.

2.) Wear a running hat or visor. I always feel so much cooler not having the sun on my face. Plus it will help fight against wrinkles and sun damage.

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3.)Hydrate ahead of time, and bring water with you. I have a small insulated cooler I pack my drinks in with an ice pack so I can grab them at the car as needed. I also like Gatorade because I sweat a lot and need to replace some electrolytes. Nuun and coconut water will do the trick as well.
4.) Wear loose fitting moisture wicking fabrics. Cotton is never your friend as a runner, but particularly when you are sweating a lot. Running Skirts actually has a tank top that cools you down as you sweat. It’s awesome! It’s called the “keep it chill” racerback.

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5.) Try to run early in the morning or after the sun goes down at night. Between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM is when the suns rays are the worst. It was still be very warm but when the sun is down it feels nicer!

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6.) Pace yourself. Don’t expect to have an awesome training run in which you PR at noon in July. Stop or slow down if you need to. Be realistic about your expectations!
7.) This goes with number 6, listen to your body! If you start to feel overheated or dizzy/lightheaded, walk, or find some shade and take a break/sit down. One run is not worth your health.

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8.) If you must run in the heat of the day, run shorter distances or use these days for easy runs.

9.) Put a wet washcloth in the freezer, then carry it with you on your run. it will keep you nice and cool if you put it on your neck.

10.) Keep drinking water after your run. Sometimes if I don’t drink enough during a really hot run, I get a bad headache and am more exhausted later in the day. Be sure to take care of your body AFTER you run, and not just during!

QOTD: Any tips I forgot for running in the heat? What has helped you?

Blogger and Social Media Influencer Resource List

As a blogger and social media influencer who has been at it for several years, I feel like I have learned a lot. It’s kind of comical to look back at those first couple of years worth of posts (and cringe a little bit) and also think of the time wasted because I didn’t know about certain tools to help me to do things more efficiently, quickly, or professionally. I know TIME is so precious, and for most people, blogging or using social media is a hobby or job in addition to a “regular” day job. If you are like me, you don’t have time to waste trying to figure everything out on your own. That’s why I created a resource list.

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I used to try to edit photos in Paint (bless it) and didn’t even know what a plugin was and didn’t dare touch any of the settings in my dashboard. I posted long long long links on Twitter taking up all 140 characters, and my sentence structure was sometimes hard to read (and still can be when I don’t take the time to sue certain tools to help me!) Writing a single post plus editing photos and writing out social shares used to take me hours, but now I have it pretty streamlined into a more focused effort.

I have learned that having great photos, and making sure your page is optimized for SEO is so important. As is checking that links aren’t broken, and making sure my writing too hard to read. These may seem like little things, but they can make the difference in a reader coming back to your site again, or not. Or it could make them choose to give you a “like” or “follow” or not.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, so I have put together a resource list of ten tools that I use as a blogger and social media influencer that will help you with posting, photo editing, and social sharing. You have heard of some, all, or none, but even if I just teach you one new thing it will have been worth it for me!

Sign up in the box below, and I will immediately send you over a copy of 10 of the resources I use on an almost daily basis. Let me know if you have any questions!

RELATED: Free Social Media Manager Checklist

Parading Through the Weekend

Happy Monday all! We had a “cool front” come through and it made for a GORGEOUS weekend in the 70’s. Unheard of for Mississippi in May, but I’m not complaining.

On Saturday morning, I got up at 5:15 to go run 6 miles. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, but when I was done I was so glad I got out early ahead of the warmer weather. Also, my view did not suck.

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I hurried home to pick up Bobby and Emma Kate, as we were meeting some of his workout buddies and their families for a workout at the local high school track. The kids all entertained themselves while we ran/worked out. I didn’t do all the workout with them but I did run another 1.5 miles for a total of 7.5 for the day.

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This weekend was our local parade of homes, so since bobby’s mom was in town we asked if she could watch Emma Kate while we spent a couple hours looking around, I LOVE looking at new homes so I had a blast. There are some gorgeous houses out there yall!

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We grabbed a bite to eat after and came home in time to put EK to bed.

Sunday morning was church, and a baby shower for our friends in our class who are due in a couple of weeks!

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One day he will learn to wait until I’m ready to take the pictures…

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After Emma Kate took a VERY short nap (she is killing me with the short naps!) We loaded up and looked at some more houses on the parade of homes that we didn’t get to the day before. There are some gorgeous, very expensive homes in the area. Way out of our price range but it was fun to dream!

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We spent some time outside in the afternoon playing with Emma Kate’s new water table we got on sale at Sam’s. She had a blast and played for over an hour before dinner.

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I love that it has an umbrella because our backyard is very sunny in the mornings.

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I wish I could bottle up the awesome weather we had this weekend and bring it back in July!

QOTD: What did you do for the weekend? Is there a parade of homes where you live?

5 Things Friday XVI

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! You’re welcome. Bust day of workout and work ahead of me, but the sun is shining and it’s Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Catch ya on social media until Monday.

1.) Running Skirts has come out with a new ADORABLE compression sock with tiaras on them! Love! Even better, right now you can get these socks with free shipping. This probably won’t last long so I would jump on it.

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2.) Last week I spoke of loving the chocolate chip Complete Cookie. That was until I tried the birthday cake flavor. Holy cow, this is good stuff friends! If you like cake flavored things you should check these out. I love that I can get a box of twelve because Bobby keeps stealing them.

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3.) My child loves ducks and is not afraid of them. There are some pretty aggressive ducks at one of our local parks that will come right up to you if they think you have food. My kid is like “whatevs, I just want to hug them.” I love that she is obsessed with animals. Sweet baby. Now I just hope she doesn’t get attacked by one and scared for life.

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4.) Does anyone have any experience with this particular water and sand table? I saw it at Sam’s for a great price but haven’t heard reviews on this one. Thoughts?

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5.) As a Rock ‘n blogger, I get fun things from time to time like the Eagle Creek gear I made a video for last week. This week I got this great training journal and book about proper eating for athletes. Can’t wait to dive right in! Thanks Velopress!

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QOTD: Any experience with water tables? Any scary duck stories? I have been bitten several times. Favorite Complete cookie flavor?