Archives for October 2015

5 Reasons to Take a Racecation

I have taken many racecations over the past few years. I know in a lot of people’s vocabulary, the words “vacation” and “running’ just don’t mix, but hear me out, it can be a LOT of fun!

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1.) See new places: With the popularity of racing, you can now find races pretty much anywhere. You can even sail on the Disney Cruise Line and run a 5k on Disney’s private island in the Bahamas! There are websites like Running in the USA that can help you find races in every state. It’s fun to sign up for a race and then find fun activities to do afterwards with your family!

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2.) Hang out with other runners: Most races have an expo, so it’s a lot of fun to hang out with other like minded people at the expo and get excited about the race with other participants. I love having meet ups and tweet ups to meet up with other online friends as well.

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3.) Keep weight in check: Everyone always jokes about gaining weight on vacation, but you are more likely to keep things in check in the days leading up to your race, and then of course you will burn calories actually running, so there’s another bright side, no dreaded post vacation bloat!

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4.) Run in different climate/elevation: Running here in Mississippi can be pretty monotonous. It’s not particularly pretty, and it’s fairly flat most of the time. I love having the experience of running in low humidity on a beautiful course, something I could never get from a local race!IMG_3572 (2)

5.) Bond with your family: A lot of races have made things a family event. runDisney has kids races and a family fun run 5k, and the Rock n Roll series often offers 5k races with their half and full marathon weekends as well. These make a great opportunity to involve the whole family in being active, as well as teaching kids healthy habits. Or if they just prefer to spectate, you can work together on some really fun signs to hold up on the race course, or go sightseeing post race.

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QOTD: What is your favorite thing about a racecation? What is your favorite racecation location?

Photo Dump Fall 2015

My phone has yet again given me the evil eye. You know, when it tells you that you are out of storage space on it? Time to dump some photos! I thought it would be fun to share some that didn’t make it onto the blog or on social media.

I love Operation Christmas Child, and decided to put a display up at the store with brochures to raise awareness and hopefully get some folks to fill shoeboxes!

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Emma Kate decided she wanted Cheerios. All the Cheerios.

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Sweetest little cheerleader ever. (and biggest box of diapers ever behind her.)

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Strawberry Greek froyo with nuts and fruit. My lunch multiple days of the week.

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Sweet girl loves to climb into her rocking chair and sit.

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Clapping with daddy on a pretty day.

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Her pigtails. Bless it.

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Me playing kickball. See, I’m running so fast to second base you can barely see me.

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My dad giving Bobby a big hug…not sure why…Bella also recognizes that this is odd.

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We got Emma Kate a fun tunnel and Bobby decided to walk around wearing it one night. He was completely sober, too!

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QOTD: Do you often run out of phone space?

PS- I am looking for GUEST BLOGGERS for when I am in Disney October 24-28. Must be original content never posted before. If you are interested, please email me at [email protected]

How I Organize My Day

I have often had people ask me “how do you fit it all in?” when they find out I work three jobs (Orange Leaf and blogger) and Emma Kate is only in daycare three days a week. Well first of all I will say, I DON’T fit it all in! Things are constantly having to be taken off my plate, because I am just one person and when I work too much I get sick. That being said, I am able to pack a lot of things into a day by keeping a schedule and trying not to have too much idle time perusing Facebook or playing on my phone. I decided to write a blog post with some general guidelines I follow in hopes it might help someone get organized.

1.) Get a planner: I know a lot of people are into google calendars and such these days and while I loosely use that for some things, I really prefer to have something I can physically write in. It helps me remember to remember things better I think when I write them down and see them all working together in blocks for the days and weeks of a month.

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2.) Use the monthly blocks for “big” out of the ordinary things and the daily blocks for more mundane tasks. Let’s face it, the blocks in the monthly calendars aren’t that big, and no way could I fit everything I need to do in a day in them, so I use the monthly space for things like doctors appointments, Bible study, events at church, community events, dinners with friends etc. Then I go back and use the daily blocks to write in things like my workouts, going to the grocery store, etc.

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3.) Download the Any List app. We stumbled upon this app a couple of years ago and I LOVE it. Bobby and I have a shared list on it, and we use it for grocery shopping. No more losing your list in your purse or leaving it on the kitchen counter, and no matter where you are you can add to it, and it will show up for the other person as well. We add to our list whenever we think of something we need or if we run out of something, and then I will also text Bobby when I am on my way to the store and tell him he has ten minutes to add anything to the list. That way he can’t say “oh but you forgot xyz!” if it’s not on the list, it’s not my fault for not buying it. It has worked really well for us and makes grocery shopping a breeze. We also have a hardware store list, and you can make a list to share with some of pretty much anything you want. It’s a great way to stay organized on your phone when multiple people are involved.

4.) Don’t get sucked into social media. I know. It’s SO HARD, especially when you need to be on social media for a living. I have learned to limit my time during the day because a 30 second scroll can turn into a 30 minute rabbit trail. Don’t say you have never done it! How I combat this is by getting on social media for about 10-15 minutes every morning to see what I missed and to check on my blog, etc. Then after that, I try not to get on again until I’m eating lunch or going to post something, and even then I don’t linger. I have known some people who set timers for themselves. I have yet to have to resort to this. In the evening when I’m relaxing or watching TV, I allow myself to search and browse all I want. This way, I don’t get hung up during the day because I know I can “catch up” later that night.

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Bella likes to help vacuum the rugs. Not. She is terrified of the thing.

5.) Have a chore list. Ah, the ever messy house. It’s so frustrating, especially when you clean your kitchen from top to bottom in the morning and by the evening it looks like a bomb went off. Why even bother right? I have just started doing something that is helping me not be overwhelmed by the big/monthly tasks and keeps me doing some housework every day, but not all. In the morning I try to:

do dishes, make the bed, and do one load of laundry along with one daily chore. In the evenings, I do dishes again, clean off counters, and pick up toys.

The daily chores I do in the morning are one per day 5 days a week, and you could always double up if you have extra time. Monday: sweep/vacuum. Tuesday: bathrooms. Wednesday: dust. Thursday: mop. Friday: Anything undone like extra laundry, extra baby messes, random picking up, changing sheets.

On Saturdays I do a monthly chore such as: baseboards, clean windows, clean microwave and stove, trim bushes outside, wipe down cabinets, etc. I try to do 2 of these on Saturday if I can.

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6.) Plan a time to workout. If I don’t do it, it won’t get done, and since I much prefer to workout in the morning, I look at my week first to see what kind of workout I need to do that day (gym or home) and then decide how to plan things based on the “big things” on my calendar. For instance on daycare days for Emma Kate, I can change into my clothes before I bring her to daycare, then either head straight to the gym or back home to run. This way it’s done and out of the way and I already feel accomplished fairly early in the morning. It also gives me energy for the rest of the day. If I don’t add it into my daily schedule. IT WILL NOT GET DONE. I know this about myself so I PLAN AHEAD.

7.) Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are absolutely times my daily chore doesn’t get done or I skip a workout, and that’s ok! I just try to make it an EXCEPTION and not a habit. There are a lot of days I got to bed with my house a mess, but just knowing I have some guidance in place for the next day helps keep me on track. I like structure, but loose structure. I could never plan out my day hour by hour, because some things just take way longer or shorter than expected and I think I would stress out if I got off task, so my loose plan works for me. Good luck!

QOTD: How do you organize your day? Do you use a day planner?

PS- I am hosting a GIVEAWAY with some other fabulous bloggers on Instagram. We are giving away a Kate Spade purse, bangle, and $100! Enter before tomorrow!

Five Things Friday IV

Friday again? Already? This week flew by! We are insanely boring so we have no plans for the weekend but football and church, however the next three weekends will be crazy so this will be a nice rest before the madness! Here are this week’s five things Friday:

1.) I went back to the outlet mall with a friend yesterday thanks to a huge sale at Banana Republic and bought another pair of jeans. I need more than one pair, right? I may or may not have also bought some other things….but 70% off, come on!

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The shorts we $4.50. Seriously.

2.) Today we are taking Emma Kate’s one year old pictures. It’s our same sweet friend that took her 6 month photos, I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

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3.) LSU was supposed to play South Carolina at SC this weekend, but due to the recent hurricane madness the game will be played in Baton Rouge. The LSU band decided they wanted to learn to play the SC Alma Mater and fight song so they could play it at the came since the SC band cannot come. Love my Tigers.

4.) Bella got a haircut yesterday. It was getting bad, poor girl couldn’t even see her hair was getting so long. I love that she doesn’t shed, but wow grooming is definitely expensive. It’s a good thing I get my hair cut maybe once a year to offset the cost. I’m hair-low maintenance like that.

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5.) Two weeks from today until we start the trek to Disney for my mom’s girls trip for her 60th birthday. I’m glad her one birthday request included me. Excited for the surprises I have planned for her while we are there.

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QOTD: How often do you get your hair cut? Do you shop at outlet malls?

Faster than Boo

It’s time for another virtual race from Gone for a RUN! What makes this one even better? It’s Halloween themed, and the medal is really, really cute. Tell me more you say?

This one is the “Faster than Boo virtual 10k”. How fun is that? Check out the great medal. He is wearing a sweatband and holding a water bottle. I love it. Boo also glows in the dark. What?!?

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There are two options for this race, the basic package and the premium package which includes knee socks.

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This race will take place October 29-October 31, so why not make it a fun costume/themed Halloween run with your friends? You must register by the 19th to get your race package in time, which includes shirt (tank for women, tee for men) race bib, and SPINNER MEDAL. You can run, walk, or crawl your 6.2 miles (and be sure to share photos on the Gone for a RUN Facebook page).

This race will also be giving back as well, so a portion of your entry fee will be going to a good cause:

By running this race you will also be supporting an amazing charity. A percentage of your race entry will be donated to Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation has enriched the lives of over 600 children and their families battling with pediatric cancer. Please read about Jaclyn’s story and the great success of the foundation athttp://friendsofjaclyn.org/jaclyns-story.

GoneForaRun is proud to provide runners both a great virtual running event that promotes fun and wellness as well as giving back to a very worthy cause to help others in need. A big thank you to our community of dedicated runners for their support!

To enter, simply go to Gone for a RUN’s website and sign up, super easy!

QOTD: Are you running any Halloween themed races this year?

Disclosure: as a Gone for a RUN ambassador, I will be racing for free, however all opinions are my own.


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A Small Victory

When we moved into our house last August, I was very very pregnant. We unpacked the entire house prior to Emma Kate’s arrival, because I knew if it didn’t get done then, that it wouldn’t get done for a looonngggg time. We did a good job, and pretty much everything had a place.

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After the baby was born, the weather turned cold, and I knew there was no way I was going to fit into my pre baby blue jeans. I hated the thought of spending money on clothes that I would hopefully not be wearing for long, and I kind of felt like I was “giving in” to being a bigger size, but I also knew I couldn’t wear leggings all winter (or could I? hmmm). I was finally convinced to buy just ONE pair of jeans, I refused to get more than that. They served me well, and spring came and I never had to wear them again.

This past weekend, we had our first “cold snap” down here in Mississippi, and I busted out my jeans to go to a fall festival. I put them on and immediately realized there was a problem. It was a GOOD problem to have, but still a problem. I could literally pull my pants down over my hips without unbuttoning them. I wore them to the festival and was constantly pulling them up. As soon as we got home, I went in my closet to look for all of my pre baby blue jeans…..I looked, and I looked…and I looked some more. Huh. I looked under the beds, and even dug through every. single. box. in the attic. NO JEANS! What the heck!

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I still have no idea what happened. I really really hate the phrase “they got lost in the move”, because seriously, how does that happen? You put boxes on the truck, you take them off the truck…but there is no other explanation. I’m pretty bummed because I had about 8-10 pair, including my all time favorites of course, but unfortunately my only other option is to buy more jeans. We have put ourselves on a pretty strict budget lately trying to get things going with the yogurt shop, so the last thing I wanted to do was buy unnecessary things, but I guess at this point it is necessary? Anyway, I’m rambling.

So yesterday I went to the outlet mall, because no way I’m paying full price for jeans I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE BUYING, and actually hit a really good sale on jeans and snagged a pair at a great price. I’m still in denial and hoping the old jeans magically appear so I just bought one pair, but the best and important part of this story is that I FIT INTO MY OLD SIZE! They are a little bit snug, but YAY! I honestly wasn’t even sure what size to bring into the fitting room so I brought three different sizes in. I was surprised, and really really happy! 

Why did I take 500 words to tell you this? 1.) because I am still aggravated about all my jeans and just wanted to tell someone (you’re welcome), and 2.) I wanted to tell you all that it’s OK if you don’t reach your goals in the timeframe you initially set for yourself. it doesn’t mean you give up, KEEP GOING! Would I have loved to reach this goal in the nine month timeframe I had set for myself? Of course! But life sometimes life gets in the way, and things take longer than anticipated.

Quick fixes and fad diets that claim to work super fast usually don’t work, and even if you get temporary results, it’s so easy to fall back into your old routines and gain weight back. Slow and steady has worked well for me, even if it was a lot slower than I would have liked. I don’t do well with crazy restrictions or a lot of change at once, so it was literally me just slightly, ever so slightly turning my ship a little at a time until I got on the right course. I’m still not finished or where I want to be, but this is the first time I have really seen tangible results that surprised me since having Emma Kate.

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Don’t give up. Keep going. I know it’s hard. I know some days you go backwards. It’s ok. Small changes add up to big results. You can do this.

QOTD: Have you ever lost anything when moving? Have you ever been surprised by a small victory like mine?

A Day in the Country

It’s Fall yall! Well, it was fall for the weekend…today the high is 84 and we are somehow back to summer. What a tease. Anyway, we had great weather temperature-wise all weekend (never really saw the sun though). On Saturday we had a birthday party to go to, and then we decided to go to a fall festival we have heard about for years but for one reason or another never actually went to. It’s called a day in the country, and had a ton of adorable craft booths, music, food, games for the kids, a silent auction, and petting zoo among other things. After snagging a great parking spot (ah, the things we get excited about), we headed over to check out all the craft and food booths. I just say, some people are just so darn creative and crafty, I am quite jealous.

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We didn’t buy anything, but Bobby sampled some different dips and salsa.

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There was a sad little petting zoo that contained a pony in a tutu, a spray painted goat and pig, and some unfortunate looking chickens. I felt kind of bad for the animals, but at least they looked well fed. The poor pony was pathetic looking.

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Emma Kate was a trooper all morning at the birthday party but got a little cranky in her stroller after awhile at the festival.

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We are brave to wear our LSU gear amongst everyone else in their Ole Miss and Mississippi State gear!

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Bobby got some red beans and rice to eat while we checked out the silent auction.

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Little bit had enough of the stroller, so we found a grassy area and let her practice her walking. Is she not the most adorable little cheerleader that ever was?!? I’m dying.

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By the way this outfit is a size 2T. Girlfriend is big. At least I am getting some arm muscles lugging her around.

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I LOVE this picture of my two loves. They are twins.

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We were quickly encroaching on nap time and decided to call it a day. We went home and watched football the rest of the afternoon/evening and I went to bed early. The weekend was rounded out by church, a nap, a little work, and more football. I hope you had a good weekend, too!

QOTD: Any fall festivals where you live? How did your football team do?

5 Things Friday III

Happy Friday! Time for 5 things Friday, I hope you have a great weekend!

1.) Emma Kate had her one year old check up yesterday. Girlfriend is still a big kid! 23 pounds 5 ounces (91%), 30.75 inches long (93%) and her head is 90th%. She got 4 shots and wasn’t too happy about it. Mama got a shot, too (flu shot).

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2.) The fun blog news just keeps on rolling this week! I will be back this coming year as a blogger for the Crescent City Classic 10k, a SUPER FUN race in New Orleans over Easter weekend. Seriously, this is one of the most fun races with an amazing after party. Start planning NOW so that you can come, it’s a blast!

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With that being said, I have some news for you, the CCC has announced it’s official charity partners for the March 26, 2016 race. As Charity Partners, the select 14 nonprofit organizations will be part of the “Run For It” Program, the Official Charity Program of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic, now in its fourth year.  After successfully generating $500,000 for local charity and nonprofits in 2015, the Crescent City Classic has officially raised over a million dollars for nonprofits benefitting the city.

  • 1. Boys Hope Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans
  • 2. Covenant House New Orleans
  • 3. Feed the Relief, Inc. DBA Kelly Gibson Foundation
  • 4. Girls on the Run New Orleans
  • 5. Kickin’ Parkinson’s, in support of Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research
  • 6. Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals DBA Louisiana SPCA
  • 7. Make It Right
  • 8. NO/AIDS Task Force
  • 9. Operation Homefront Louisiana/Mississippi
  • 10. Second Harvest Food Bank
  • 11. Team Gleason
  • 12. The New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation / The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic
  • 13. United Way of Southeast Louisiana
  • 14. Youth Run NOLA

3.) Fall weather! Finally! We are having temps dipping into the 50’s overnight this weekend, maybe I can finally wear jeans and boots, which are my favorite. I actually just ordered some new boots and I can’t wait to wear them!

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(please note this picture is a couple years old!)

4.) Yesterday was the 44th anniversary of the day Walt Disney World in Florida opened. Fun! I will be there THIS MONTH! Sadly not for a race, but still Disney fun!

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5.) Garage Sale. I have yet to have a garage sale as an adult. In my neighborhood, you can only have them on a set date twice a year, and tomorrow is that day. I’m selling a lot of baby items, and I am kind of “eh” about the whole thing. I hope it’s worth the time I put into pricing everything. I for some reason have a feeling it’s going to be more trouble than anything. We shall see!

QOTD: Have you ever had luck making money at a garage sale?

ASICS Ambassador

Hey guys! As you can guess by the title of this post, I have some great news! I have been selected by my favorite brands ASICS to be a 2015-2016 ASICS ambassador! It’s been hard keeping the secret for a month but I am finally allowed to spill it!

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There are going to be some exciting things coming up this year with ASICS that I will be involved in, and I will share them as they come, but think product reviews, giveaways, I will get the chance to go to events, etc. Right know just know I AM SO EXCITED!

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ASICS was the very first shoe that I bought when I got fitted for running shoes back in 2010.

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I tried other brands throughout the years, but ended up with many different foot and leg injuries. Why on earth I thought it was a good idea to mess with a good thing, I will never know.

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I think I have worn about every color of ASICS shoe there is, and I love all the options!

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I have a high arch and I slightly over pronate, but I also need a bit of a wider toe box. I guess I have high maintenance feet?

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I am currently LOVING the Gel Quantum 360’s!

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ASICS not only has amazing shoes, but they have other great workout apparel as well.

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I had the privilege of running the LA marathon with team ASICS this past March, and while it was a tough race in 90 degree weather, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I may have only been just a little over 2 months postpartum when they emailed me asking if I wanted to run, but I of course accepted! I was on a high for days. I couldn’t believe the brand of the shoes that I was already running in wanted to work with me. I had reviewed shoes for them in the past, but this was big.

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I felt so blessed to meet some of my running heroes and hang out in LA with such an amazing and generous brand.

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I think one of my favorite things about ASICS is that they “get” bloggers. I have worked with many different brands over the past almost six years, and some did a great job at relating to and working with bloggers, and some not so much. ASICS seriously knocks. it. out. of. the. park. It has been my pleasure to promote them, it makes me want to work hard for them because they have done so much for me. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store, but I know that no matter what it will be epic with ASICS.

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Check out my fellow ambassadors and their blogs!

1.      Eric Rayvid – Dirty Old Sneakers

2.      Heather Montgomery – Thorough Heather’s Looking Glass

3.      Megan Wood Copello – I Run For Wine

4.      Rachel Steffen- Running Rachel

5.      Megan Lee- Run Like A Grl

6.      Toni Church – Running Loving Living

7.      Katie McFarland – Moms Little Running Buddy

8.      Gelcys Castaneda – Runner Unleashed

9.      Linzie Starr- Sharp Endurance

10.   Julie Weiss –  Marathon Goddess

11.   Ryan Falkenrath – Triathlon Training Daddy

12.   Lisa Gully – Workout Mommy

13.   Grace Kim – Lean Girls Club

14.   Angela Simpson- Eat Spin Run Repeat

15.   Sadie Sabin – Simply Sadie Jane

QOTD: Have you tried different brands of running shoes over the years? Did you end up back with the brand you started with?