Tampa Tuesdays: Cooking With Cabot + A Giveaway

It’s time for another Tampa Tuesday post! As stated when I started these, not all posts would be specifically about Tampa, but would include things I do and experience in the surrounding areas. Today is one of those days, as I talk to you about a special Cabot Cheese event I attended in Orlando a couple of weeks ago. When I arrived at the beautiful East End Market in Orlando and headed upstairs to the APEX room, I was greeted and immediately pointed towards a delicious looking create your own parfait bar, Olde Hearth Bread Company muffins, Lineage Coffee Roasting coffee, Divine Chocolate,  Florida Milk, and all the Cabot cheese I could eat. Yes please!

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We ate breakfast, got to know each other, and just had a nice relaxing few minutes to hang out before we were introduced to some of the Cabot team.

One of my favorite things we discussed was the department of gratitude. Did you know that Cabot uses reward programs to thank those that do goof. You can log your volunteer time for different events . It’s pretty cool!

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We then got to meet our awesome demo chef for the day, Jimmy. I particularly liked him because he grew up in Mississippi. We all huddled into the kitchen and watched him make some delicious food! First up was cornbread. Now we are speaking my language! This southern girl was fascinated by the fact he put sweet potatoes in the cornbread! Of course we all got to taste before moving on to the next thing.

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Anyone who knows me well knows that mac and cheese is one of my favorite things ever. This one definitely did not disappoint. You can check out the recipe here.

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Jimmy also showed us how to make taco shells out of cheese. I will for sure be trying this out. They were so easy to do and delicious. I may have eaten a shell by itself. Don’t judge me.

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After all the cooking (well, Jimmy cooking!) we did a little self care with Candace. She talked to us about stretching, and taking time for ourselves. She knows we are on the computer a lot as bloggers, and we need to MOVE! So we did just that with these fun drumsticks. Candace is so passionate about healthy living, it was fun to hear a like minded fitness lover talk to us!

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Soon it was time for lunch, which was such a treat. As if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we were brought outside to enjoy the courtyard and beautifully decorated tables.

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I may have found a new favorite thing: Lemonade with lavender. It was so light and refreshing, I may have had two glasses.

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The rest of the food did not disappoint either, and hit the spot! We had grilled cheese sandwiches by La Femme du Fromage made with Cabot cheese of course, Houndstooth Sauce Company’s tomato basil soup, salad with apple slices, and the Skyebird lavender lemonade.

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We even were “treated” to an adorable and rich dessert from Gideon’s Bakehouse: Pistachio Toffee Dark Chocolate cookies. So amazing. Then we headed back inside for our competition.

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My friends know I am one of the most competitive people alive, and so of course this was no exception. We were divided into teams (my team was called “seriously sharp”,) and given a basket full of goodies and told to create a cheeseboard. The best board would win a prize, so we went straight to work. (We only had 30 minutes!) We decided on a Valentine’s Day theme and just kind of went with it. I may or may not have used my fingernails to cut out hearts from cheese. It was totally worth it, because…we won! Isn’t our board beautiful?!?

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The winning team with Candace.

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We all said our goodbyes and were given a great goody bag (as well as one to pass on to someone else). It was overall a great day, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Cabot, meet amazing bloggers, and just generally connect with more people in my new state. A huge thank you to Cabot, Isabel and Sunday Supper, and everyone else who helped with the event!

Cabot, being so generous, offered to host a giveaway on my blog! One lucky reader will receive this box as seen below. This is their legacy gift box, and it’s amazing! To enter, please follow the instructions below. Winner will be selected Monday March 20th and announced on the blog next Tuesday. Good luck!

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5 Things Friday XXIV

I actually only have three things for you today because two of them are kind of long (and one is a giveaway!!!) Have a great weekend everyone.

1.) First of all, a huge thank you for all the congrats on the news of our big move. I haven’t had time yet to go back and respond to all the comments but I have read them all! I can’t wait to start a new adventure!

2.) Women’s Health magazine reached out to let me know about their RUN 10 FEED10 program which I thought was really great. Basically, you run a 10K, and feed 10 people in your neighborhood. Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist, hosted the New York City event over the weekend and spoke to Women’s Health Magazine about how she sees running as part of her fitness routine. Check it out below:

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“Running is a weekly, maybe bi-weekly part of my fitness routine. I think everybody is different. Every body reacts differently. But that’s the beauty of this. It’s something you can train for and make a goal of. That’s what so cool about this event. You’re benefiting yourself, but you’re also greatly benefiting your community.”

On the hunger problem in America:

“I’ve done plenty of stories – a lot of environmental stories, a lot of food stories. We know that there’s a problem with hunger right here in the United States, right here in our back yards. It’s easy to forget about when you’re going to the grocery store and you can pick up whatever you need. That’s not the case for everyone. And that’s not the case for people directly in your community. This is one of the only events where I can say the money or the funds and the activity raised goes straight to people that live right next door to you. That’s the most special part of this to me. There are so few charities where you get to say that. You don’t know necessarily where the money goes. This one you know where it goes – it goes right next door.

On running the RUN 10 FEED 10 race:

“I’ve been with RUN 10 FEED 10 now for four years. I can’t believe it. The number of meals served keeps adding up. It’s the most fun event of the whole year, really, as far as fitness goes. That whole time I’m running, every step I’m thinking about the people I’m serving. It’s a great, almost meditative, moment.”

Prior to race day, Women’s Health, along with Macy’s President Jeff Gennette, Ginger Zee, and FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren, lit the iconic Empire State Building red to raise awareness for the fight against domestic hunger. <—How cool is that?!?

If you would like to participate, I have a discount code for you! Enter this at checkout: WHPR50OFF. Register now through November 29, 2016 at RUN10FEED10.com.

3.) I am hosting a GIVEAWAY here and on Instagram sponsored by RunningSkirts.com. There will be three winners. I will pull ONE winner from the blog giveaway and TWO from Instagram, so feel free to enter to both! One person will win a Keep it chill tank, one  the arm sleeves, and one the gaitor.

Keep it Chill™ cooling technology racer back sport tank has Xylitol infused Hearts that activate when they get wet (think: hot sweaty run) to provide a long lasting cooling effect. When you sweat it starts cooling or you can dunk it in water to get an immediate cooling effect. This really works yall! Running in the southern summer heat is brutal, and having a tank that makes me feel cooler is awesome. The gaitor around my neck in particular really cooled me off. I dunked it in water before I ran and it helped cool me off and keep the sun off my neck.

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The Keep it Chill cooling sleeves have with thumbholes, hand garage and exterior pockets. The sleeves are great for sun protection and cooling. The pocket is large enough to fit something like chap stick, a Gel, or car key.

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The  Xylitol infused hearts Keep it Chill cooling neck gaitor is designed to be versatile and can be worn in many ways…around the neck, on the head, or as a tube top etc. I have worn mine on my head and on my neck and it’s also great for wiping sweat out of my eyes mid run.

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All three pieces come in Azure blue or white. I am wearing a size medium tank in the photos. To check out the full line, click here and go to “new” and “keep it chill collection”.

To win one of the three items, follow the instructions below. I will be posting the Instagram giveaway something this morning so stay tuned. The giveaway will run until September 27th.

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5 Things Friday XXI

1.) runDisney Star Wars: Next Tuesday at noon EST is the official opening of general registration for the Star Wars dark side race weekend in Orlando next April! Bobby is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and we have yet to do this race, so I am excited to say we will be signing up! Anyone else?

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2.) Book Buddies: A LOT of people helped me spread the word about my book, and I just wanted to give some of them a huge shout out today! Be sure to stop by their blog or social media pages! Amy, Melissa, Lindsey, Lisa, Jenny, Amanda, Rachel. (If I forgot you let me know! There were so many helpful people!)

3.) Kids kitchen: I want to get Emma Kate a kids kitchen for her birthday. Thoughts on the best ones? I really don’t want to spend $400 either. Just something simple but fun for her, and I would love your recommendations?

4.) IG giveaway: I am hosting a giveaway on Instagram through tomorrow for some running gear! You can check it out here.

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5.) Olympic Mess?: Have you guys been seeing the news? All the talks of the crazy things going on in Rio? The crime, the Olympic village not being finished, the body parts and human waste in the water, etc? It sounds like a huge nightmare. I’m fascinated by all things Olympics, even the buildings, etc. that are built specifically for the games, the housing, and all the inner workings. Have you heard about any of this? What are your thoughts?

QOTD: Answer one of my questions above!

5 Things Friday XIV

It’s Fri-yay! I hope you are all having a great day, and enjoy the weekend. We are having beautiful spring weather here (sorry you folks up north in the seasons that are very confused right now). Here are your 5 Things Friday!

1.) Giveaway: Today is the LAST DAY to enter my Shabby Apple gift card giveaway. I will announce a winner tonight, so hurry and enter!

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2.) Family fun: My parents are in town for a couple of days so I may be a little absent on social media, but I still love yall, don’t worry.

3.) Get Your Hair Did: My poor sweet Bella got groomed yesterday, and instead of giving her a clean shaven face, they left her a little beard so now she looks like a sad old man. Poor baby.

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4.) Halloween?: Yesterday Emma Kate decided what she wants to be for Halloween. At least a ghost costume is easy? And yes she did this by herself, and yes she walked around running into things, and yes, I let her. Come on, a parent has to have a little fun.

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5.) Running Skirts: In case you missed my blog post yesterday (shame on you) I kid…sort of… then you may have missed that I am now a RunningSkirts ambassador! If you have any questions on skirt related things, let me know. (the above link is an affiliate link).

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QOTD: What are you doing this weekend? Favorite Halloween costume?

Spread Cookie Joy Giveaway

Confession: I am not much of a cook. I work a lot, and by the end of the day, I usually just throw together whatever is the easiest, quickest thing I can make. However, there is one exception to this, and that is baking around the holidays where I love to spread cookie joy! I grew up making Christmas cookies with my family, and hope to continue the tradition with Emma Kate.

Baked goods (cookies more specifically!) make great gifts as well, and I have made them many times as Christmas gifts for family and friends. spread cookie joy

Krusteaz brand cookie mixes are not something I have used before, but when I saw all the delicious flavors, I knew I had to try them! I made some of the Snickerdoodle cookies for Thanksgiving, and then decided to make the butter vanilla sugar as gifts for some sweet friends. I knew I wanted to put icing on them, so I knew the butter vanilla sugar would be my best bet for decorating with red and green icing and sprinkles. spread Christmas cookie joy

I used the recipe on the back of the box for the cookies, and for the icing I used a tried and true simple recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar

2.5 tablespoons 2% milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 drops of neon green food coloring

-Stir until smooth, and decorate!

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I love wrapping gifts, and knew I wanted a cute and fun way to package my cookie creations. Zazzle has some adorable options and I ended up getting some cute little boxes, stickers, and personalized name tags.

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I love how everything turned out, and I can’t wait to spread cookie joy with my very sweet and deserving friends.

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If you are looking for more baking and gifting tips and Krusteaz prizes, a #SpreadCookieJoy Twitter Party will be held on December 14th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET. I hope you will come!

The kind people at Krusteaz have offered a GIVEAWAY for one THLG reader so you can #SpreadCookieJoy with your friends, family, or neighbors. Giveaway includes everything below EXCEPT for the ball jar, so you would get:  two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie; an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters and frosting pen.

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To enter, simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

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Disclosure: I was provided with baking supplies and my own prize pack, however all opinions are my own. 

Morning Commute Made Easier + Giveaway

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This post was sponsored by Contigo®, however there is a GIVEAWAY at the end, and I truly think this product is really cool and something many of my readers can relate to/find helpful in your daily lives, so read on!

My morning “commute” looks different than it may for some people, but I rush around getting everyone ready and in the car just those people that are heading to the office, except first I am usually headed to the gym, and then back home to my home office.

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I am a believer in the power of coffee, and am not coherent or of any help to anyone until I have had at least a few sips. A lot of mornings I don’t have time to finish my coffee before it’s time to go, so I have to drink it on the run. This is always a problem, because I cannot stand cold coffee, and with my other travel mugs, cold coffee is what you get.

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Not only cold coffee, but coffee that sloshes all over you and your pants as you try to get your bags and your child’s bag into the car. I started using the Contigo® Meta travel mug, and things have gotten way less stressful around my house when it comes to my morning commute.

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The first thing that drew me to this mug is the length of time it will keep your drinks hot or cold. This bad boy has double-wall vacuum insulated Thermalock™ technology, so drinks stay hot for up to five hours, and chilled for up to TWELVE hours!

My other favorite feature is the fact that it is pretty much impossible to spill my drink on myself while juggling bags plus the baby. The  AUTOSEAL® patented technology seals up the drinking spout in between sips when you press one button, so no spilling!

For those of you who commute daily on public transportation, the Meta travel mug would be perfect because you can seal your drink in between sips to keep debris, dust, people’s sneezes, and the like with the commuter-inspired CleanGuard™ spout cover that rotates to close off the drinking area when not being used.

In addition to Contigo’s AUTOSEAL® Metra Travel Mug, I was also sent the AUTOSEAL® West Loop Travel Mug. to try out, and I love it, too!

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The awesome folks at Contigo® have offered to host a GIVEAWAY so you can win one of these amazing travel mugs for yourself! Simply follow the Rafflecoptor directions below. Good luck! (Please note, the giveaway will be open from November 30th to December 8th and is sponsored by Sway Group. One winner will be selected to receive a Contigo® AUTOSEAL® Metra Travel Mug. Sway Group will select a winner on December 10th which will be highlighted in the Rafflecopter.)

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Oh, another fun side note: There will be a Twitter Party on Tuesday, December 1 at 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST. I hope you will join me (@heatherslg) for the chat!

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

New Naked Juice and Giveaway

Mornings in my house can be pretty hectic. Everyone is trying to get out the door to start their day, and especially on days when the baby goes to daycare I don’t always have time to sit down and eat breakfast. As a multi tasker, it works better for me to gets things done WHILE making sure I get some breakfast, so grabbing a Naked juice before I jump in the car works for me a lot of mornings. DSC_0048

They are also a great and refreshing mid morning or afternoon snack. I like to make sure it is good and cold and then enjoy one as I cool down from a run, especially in this summer heat we have been experiencing. I have been drinking Naked juice for years, so I was really excited to learn they had some new flavors coming out. As a lover of almond milk and berry flavored things, I knew I would be all about the new berry almond nutmilk flavor, and I was correct. It. Is. Delicious. DSC_0055

Each bottle of Berry Almond Nutmilk contains: 26 blueberries, 8 blackberries, 2 raspberries, 1 strawberry, 24 almonds, 1 3/4 apples and 1/3 banana. Berry Almond Nutmilk is gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free. This non-dairy smoothie blends together fruit, almond milk and soy protein to deliver 11g of plant protein per bottle.

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Naked Juice has a deep tradition of goodness. Since its founding in 1983, they have been committed to creating the most nutritious beverages. Naked Juice has no added sugars or preservatives, and is perfect for on-the-go active individuals who know it’s important to incorporate fruits and veggies into their diet, but doesn’t always have the time to chop, slice, cook or blend. (hello, this is me!) I admittedly have problems getting in the correct amount of fruits and veggies in a day, so, if you can’t eat ‘em, drink ‘em! DSC_0062

The kind people at Naked gave me some coupons for FREE Naked drinks and smoothies so I am passing them on to you guys for a giveaway! THREE people will win TWO coupons each so you can try the new flavors for yourselves. Please follow the instructions below to enter: Naked Juice Giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Lorna Jane Fit Challenge: March Recap (Giveaway)

Another month of the Lorna Jane fit challenge has come and gone! Now that my marathon is over, I feel like I have more time to devote to this. As we get into the home stretch, I really want to focus on some of these strengthening exercises! I have been trying to get outside every day (except the rainy ones) and do something active, and do a few sets of the recommended workouts. I don’t always get them all in, but at least I feel accomplished doing something.

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Oh, and I kind of ran a marathon last month. Huge accomplishment for me!

Now that the weather is getting nicer, I have been trying to walk my dog a few times a week and I have been walking Emma Kate at the park at least once a week for three to four miles. It feels nice not having to log so many running miles and to have more freedom with my workouts!

For the “nourish” eating part of the challenge, I will admit I didn’t try any new recipes this month. However, since I know my sometimes unhealthy eating is my downfall, I plan to make that change this month. Excited to try something new!

I really want to encourage and motivate my amazing readers to be active this spring, and I feel like one of the best ways to do that is to keep a journal and calendar so you can write down all of your upcoming and completed workouts to help you keep track. So, I will be giving away a Lorna Jane 2015 diary to one of you! I know we are part way through the year already, but you can still use the rest of the months to record everything in this amazing book. It also has tips, recipes, and other motivation inside.

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All you have to do to enter is follow the prompts below. Open to US residents only. Good luck!

Lorna Jane Diary Giveaway

Something Sweet and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

I have always loved the taste of sugar, candy, and delicious treats. As I am now 6 months post baby, I am really trying to focus on making more healthy choices and small changes that can add up to help me on my health an fitness journey. A big weakness of mine is flavored coffees and creamers. I can’t stand to drink coffee black, but as a new mom I am throwing back way more calories than necessary because I need something sweet in my cup… or multiple cups a day. Please tell me I’m not the only sweet coffee addict?!? IMG_3343 (2)
I recently realized this was an issue, so I was excited to learn about Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener. This stuff has been a lifesaver because it tastes good and is better for my post baby weight loss efforts by not adding a ton of extra calories to my multiple cups of coffee. (One packet is equal to the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar). IMG_3339 (2) Zing™ is made with only real ingredients, extracting the sweetness found in Mother Nature’s stevia plant.  It has zero calories, and is easy to sprinkle in your coffee.  Or, you can sprinkle it on some fruit, even in a smoothie or in some tea. (You all know how much I love sweet tea!) I have always ALWAYS had a serious sweet tooth, and while I know it can lead to major temptations, it’s just something I have always struggled with. I can work out all day long, but when it comes to sweets I tend to overdo it. But as I’m trying to make small changes like this one, it will help me cut back on calories and still enjoy the sweet flavor I love.

Want try new Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener for yourself? Visit www.zingstevia.com to request a Free Sample of Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener, plus a $1.50 Coupon. You can find Zing™ in the sweetener aisle at mass merchandiser and grocery stores nationwide.
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Now for the fun part! Answer the following question below in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card:
Which one of your favorite beverages are you most excited to mix Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener into first?

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/25/15 – 4/21/15.

Be sure to visit the Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Heart Health Recap and Fitbit Giveaway

Two giveaways in one week? Heck yes! It is Friday after all, so why not? You may remember I posted at the beginning of February about heart health and some goals I had for the month. I had some great tools form Staples to help me try to reach my goals, and while I didn’t reach them all, it was fun trying!

1.) Take time for myself every day

2.) Delegate- Eh. Still need to work on this one but getting better.

3.) Let things go- I had a couple of things happen this month to upset me, but after the initial anger I chose to let them go and I feel so much better not dwelling on the stress or haters.

4.) plan ahead- We went on vacation and I had to do a LOT of planning ahead to make sure things were covered at work, at home, etc. and everything went smoothly!

5.) run 100 miles- I only ran about 55 miles last month. I realized picking the shortest month of the year for such a  lofty goal probably wasn’t the best idea! Also, I was dealing with a hip injury so I was actually running less. Oh well! I will have to try this one again.

Something that really helped me stay active every day this month was my Fitbit One. I aim for 10k steps a day, and like to check in during the day to see where I am and if I need to do some more moving around. It’s been a great accountability tool!

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Staples has agreed to graciously give away a Fitbit One to one of my lovely readers! Just follow the instructions on Rafflecoptor to enter. Must have an address in the US. Good luck!

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