Archives for July 2016

Fall/Winter Race Schedule 2016

Hey friends! As you probably know, I live in the south where it is currently in triple digits weather wise. Running is more like swimming, and I lose about 4 pounds every time I go for a run. Unfortunately I gain it all back later that day, but I digress. It seems odd to start planning for fall races when it’s so dang hot! But, I have to start training to be ready for said races, so I came up with a plan that I can hopefully (loosely) stick to doing. The problem is, I don’t want to give up boot camp, but I can’t run 5 days a week and do boot camp, so I am planning to run 3 days a week.

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I know it will be difficult to get faster this way, but at this point in my life I would much rather be strong than fast, so we will see what happens. This is a very tentative schedule. The only thing I am actually registered for is the runDisney Princess half in February, but I plan on signing up for some others very soon! I’m going to start with a couple 5k’s because it’s still dreadfully hot here in September. Our half season doesn’t start until October, and sometimes that is even a little early, but hopefully it will cool off earlier this year!

September 17th: Run, Rock and Roll 5k (Mississippi)

October 1st: A Day in the Country 5k (Mississippi)

October 16th: Mandeville Half (Louisiana)

February 5th: RnR New Orleans half marathon (Louisiana) (Use code LOOKINGGLASS16 for $15 off registration)

February 26th: runDisney Princess half marathon (Orlando)

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My plan is to do one easy run, one long run, and one tempo run each week, plus 4 days of boot camp. I will probably run Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We do legs on Tuesday at boot camp, so Wednesday will probably be my easy run day because I usually can’t walk well after leg day. I’m excited to get going again but nervous about how it will all fit together. I don’t want to get burnt out. Again. It happens, but fingers crossed I can make it all work!

QOTD: What is on your fall racing calendar? Have you started training yet?

Excitement

Ok y’all, so there is a lot of negativity going around the social media world right now. I can barely stand to get on Facebook because it makes me so sad. Because of this, I felt like doing a fun not so serious post today to remind me of all the happy and excitement that is still going on. Maybe you can take a quick break from reality with me today. Get excited!

1.) Olympic Fever: I can’t even begin to put into words what a HUGE Olympics nerd I am. I will be glued to my TV the entire time. it really doesn’t matter what sport it is. I just can’t get enough! That being said the two I am most looing forward to are Women’s Gymnastics, and all the volleyball action. I have been deleting things from my DVR to make sure I have space to record all the things.

4.) Birthday girl: Recently my mom asked if I had started planning Emma Kate’s 2nd birthday party. Uhh….no? I can’t believe her birthday is in two months, so I need to get busy. What do you think would be a good theme for a 2 year old?

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Photo from her 1st birthday party

3.) News this week: I would really appreciate your prayers on Thursday. We are finding out some information that could be a huge deal for my little family on that evening. That’s all I can share right now, just know it could be really good, or really disappointing, so I’m going to think positive!

4.) 3 months until Disney: Three months from TODAY we will be checking into my happy place for five days of fun! This will be Emma Kate’s first visit, and I can’t wait to see Disney World through her eyes. So much planning still to be done! You can bet there will be some matching shirt action happening as well. Oh just wait my friends. We are so going to be “that family”.

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5.) Affiliate fun: The launch of my eBook is going well, and I would love to offer up something to anyone who is interested. I am opening up an affiliate program for my eBook, where you would earn 35% of every book sold through a unique link I would set up for you. If you are interested, please email me at [email protected] and put the word “affiliate” in the subject line. I would also provide you with some photos if you would like to set them up on your blog or use them in social media posts. Let me know!

QOTD: What Olympic event are you most looking forward to watching? Any party theme ideas? Anyone heading to Disney this fall?

5 Things Friday XX

 

1.) I launched my eBook this week! I can’t believe I actually did it. It was always something I wanted to do “one day” but seemed too big and scary. So crazy to me that people are buying something I wrote. You can purchase your copy here.

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2.) On Wednesday night when I got to Bible Study, my tire pressure light was on, and sure enough I had a huge nail in my tire. I was able to put air in it at the gas station so I could get home, and thankfully a friend was able to come by yesterday morning and put air in it again so I could get EK to school and take my car in. Spending almost 2 hours at the tire place wasn’t want I had in mind for my day, but it happens. The weird thing is, this is the second time in 2 months I have had this happen!

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3.) Did you get tea at McAlister’s yesterday for free tea day? I missed my workout at the gym because I was at the tire place, so I did some pushups after getting my lunch at McAlisters. Double win!

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4.) My friend Melissa is hosting a Ballet body bootcamp. It’s a 6 week online bootcamp that combines ballet with traditional fitness. It’s a great way to do something different and mix up your workout routine, learn something you’ve probably never learned before, and increase your flexibility while building lean muscle. Ballet works very different muscles than most workouts, so by combining the two you’re going to hit every muscle in your body. The program also includes a suggested grocery list and free meal planning guide, and I will add clients to my online support and accountability group. Check it out, it sounds cool!

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5.) I completed my first run of the RnR virtual run series yesterday, it was the guitar solo. So much fun!

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Have a great weekend everyone, see ya on Monday!

QOTD: Have you done a virtual run? Ever had a nail in your tire? Have you checked out my eBook?

Average Girl’s Guide Launch Day!

It’s finally here! It’s Average Girl’s Guide LAUNCH DAY! That means if you buy my new eBook RIGHT NOW, then you will get a link in your email at 9:00 am so that you can begin reading!* Heck, you can theoretically have the book read by tonight and get going on making some awesome life changes. I can’t wait to see what y’all think of it!

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I don’t want anyone to have to feel the things I did in the not so distant past when I felt like my world was falling apart. I appeared to have it all together yes, but inside I was miserable, stressed, and feeling sorry for myself. How was I ever going to get out of this pit and reach the goals and dreams I had for myself? Maybe it was too late for me?

Thankfully, I realized it is NEVER TOO LATE and I got my rear in gear. I have by no means arrived and still have some hard days, but I have been able to do so many hard things I never thought possible with just a few quick tips and motivation at the right time. I was so changed that I want to help YOU get there, too. You CAN lose weight. You CAN organize your home, you CAN reach your goals even with a family, and you CAN change the world!

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I am so excited to finally be sharing what I have been working so hard on for the past few months. It’s terrifying to put yourself out there like I have done, but my hope is that it can help, even just one person, to reach for the stars.

I also have some other exciting book related news to share hopefully next week, so stay tuned. My VIP’s on my email list will be the first to know however, so be sure to get on that list so you can know first, too! I hope you all enjoy my eBook!

QOTD: What is something you have always wanted to do but were too scared to try? What ended up happening?

*Please be aware that there may be a few minutes of a delay before the link to my eBook hits your inbox. It shouldn’t be long though!

5 Tips for Starting a Blog

Good morning! I have been getting a ton of questions lately about starting a new blog or how to improve your current blog. One of the main questions I get is “can I even blog?” The answer is YES! That’s what is so great about it. Anyone can blog, it’s YOUR words, your stories, you make the rules. You may know my blog started out as a training journal for running and morphed into so much more. I am by no means an expert, but as a 6+ year blogger, I do have 5 tips for starting a blog I wanted to share with you.

5 tips for starting a blog

1.) Don’t pigeon hole yourself with your domain name. My blog started as running only, so the name “Running With Sass” completely fit. However, after three years I was itching to branch out and blog about other things, so I had to go through the painful process of switching everything over to Through Heather’s Looking Glass which was quite a pain! If you know for a fact all you will ever blog about is running, or crafting, or whatever it is that is getting you to start a blog, then that’s fine, however…six years ago I didn’t think I would want to blog about other things, so it *may* be a good idea to do a  semi-generic domain/blog name to give you more freedom.

2.) Pick a platform. I started out on wordpress.com (My blog was runningwithsass.wordpress.com) I soon paid the extra money to have the “wordpress” part taken off, and after a year of blogging I went self hosted on WordPress.org. This allows me to be a part of blog networks, get paid for posts, etc. Some people use and love Blogger, but I am definitely a WordPress gal and think it’s very user friendly, and it is not very expensive. I am NOT great with technical stuff, but was able to easily navigate WordPress.org, and use Bluehost for my web hosting, and WordPress through Bluehost is FREE, and they offer technical support.

Click the picture below to check out Bluehost.


3.) Get involved on social media So you didn’t realize that starting a blog also meant juggling social media accounts did you? Of course, you don’t HAVE to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, but they will greatly help grow your blog. Not only do I suggest joining them, but be ACTIVE on them, and don’t just talk about yourself. Actually interact. Also, comment on other people’s blogs. No one likes “that girl” who gets tons of comments but never interacts with the audience. It makes you seem un-relatable and not a real person. (Note: I’m not saying you should have to respond to EVERY comment, but some interaction is nice!)

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4.) Don’t compare. This is a biggie. A lot of new bloggers will look at blogs that have been around for years and immediately want to be like them, with the same number of followers, pageviews, etc. Very few people became an overnight success, so put in the hard work and your blog will grow, evolve, and change. You are at a different part of your journey, and everyone has to start somewhere.

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5.) Use Live Writer. I am a PC gal, and this is not available for Mac, but I use Windows Live Writer to draft and upload all of my posts. I remember when I first started using it, I was so mad I had been wasting so much time actually composing posts in WordPress all that time! Picture placement and adding links is so much easier in live writer, and then you can publish or schedule a post to go straight to your blog. Super easy, and a great blogging tool.

Want more of a step by step guide to setting up your blog plus more tips? Enroll in my FREE e-course now! 

QOTD: New bloggers- did you find this helpful? Veteran bloggers: What would you add?

Congrats to the winners of my eBook giveaway! (Please email me at [email protected]) You can see who it is on the Rafflecoptor widget on my birthday blog post.  If you didn’t win, you can go pre order my eBook now! You will receive the eBook on Wednesday.

5 Things Friday XIX

It’s here again! Happy Friday my friends. I hope you all have an amazing weekend. Here are five things for you, and I will see you all on Monday!

1.) eBook pre sale: My eBook pre sale started on my birthday, Wednesday, and the official launch is next Wednesday! I have been so encouraged by everyone who has bought books so far, and I hope you will consider checking it out, too. You can get a free sample chapter here.

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2.) 31 is fun: as I mentioned above, Wednesday I turned 31. A huge thanks for all the comments, messages, texts, and phone calls. I felt like a very special girl. Turning 31 was way less scary than turning 30, by the way!

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3.) Princess again: Speaking of birthdays, I have an amazing and generous friend. Because of her, I will yet again be running the runDisney Princess half marathon! Now, to come up with costumes. Who will I see at the race? (As of 7/14 there are still spots!)

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4.) Run virtually: I am a big lover of the Rock ‘N Roll marathon series. I was super stoked to see that they are now offering a virtual series! You can choose from the 3 races, or do them all and get an extra medal. More bling? Of course! (PS: Don’t forget you can use my code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on most races. This includes Vegas (limited spots) and even New Orleans 2017! Woo hoo! So be sure to sign up for an actual race, and then sign up for the virtual run series!

5.) I’m boring: I’m boring and I have no 5th thing today. So instead come up with your own thing and tell me what you want me to know in the comments. Brag, ask a questions, tell a story, go for it!

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It’s My Birthday & a Giveaway

Hola friends. It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday! Birthdays have always been big in my house. Cake, presents, and even eating out of the special birthday plate. (What, you don’t have one?) Today is a VERY special birthday though, because my baby, my eBook that I worked super hard on (and may have cried over a few times) is starting it’s pre sale today, like as in you can pre order it RIGHT NOW!

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ok…. so what are you waiting for? I’ll be here when you get back.

A couple of notes about the pre order just to make sure we are on the same page (pun intended). 1.) Your card/account will not be charged until the 20th, which is when the book will be delivered digitally to your inbox. 2.) The price of the book will go up on the official launch day which is the 20th of July. So don’t miss out on pre sale pricing!

This is my very first digital product, so I will admit I am a little nervous. I really hope you will love the eBook and will be able to sense the effort, time, and love I put into each chapter. I feel that my blog is a platform I use to reach others, and I hope to encourage, inspire, and motivate with The Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life.

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I wanted to give the opportunity for two of you to get the eBook totally FREE, since it’s my birthday and all. (Please note, don’t let the giveaway stop you from pre ordering. If you win and have already ordered, I will refund your money via paypal!) Please follow the directions below and good luck! The contest runs from now through July 16th. I will announce the winner Monday morning here on the blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The technical side of this eBook would not be possible without two very special and encouraging people. Katy built my landing page and sells a host of products and services that any blogger would find helpful. Abby (and Donnie) created the Book Boss program that made me feel like I could really actually do this, and I can’t believe it’s finally here. be sure to show them some love!

QOTD: No question today, just go check out my pre sale page and have a great July 13th! It’s a pretty good date if I do say so myself.

My eBook Pre Sale Starts Tomorrow!

Hey guys! Sorry I have been MIA, but let me tell you, getting an eBook launch together is no walk in the park. My eyes started to cross I looked at my laptop screen for so long yesterday! So, get excited, because not only is tomorrow my birthday (which you should of COURSE be excited about!) but it is the launch of my pre sale for The Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life.

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So just in case you forgot, the way things will work is that you can start pre ordering for $9.99 tomorrow morning. This pre order will last a week. Then next Wednesday, the official launch day, is when the eBook will hit your inbox if you pre ordered, but also it is when the price will go up. So take advantage of the pre order week! (Make sure you understand that when you pre order, you will NOT have access to the book until the 20th, but are getting in on the lower price). I will be posted on the hashtag #AverageGirlsGuide tomorrow, well, and all week really, so if you want to see what is going on be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

I am PUMPED and cannot wait for you to read. Some of you may have checked out my landing page last week, which is where you will be able to pre order the eBook tomorrow, but I also wanted to share with you a sample chapter if you would like to kind of get a handle on the tone of the book and how things will go. If you are already on my e-mail list, then you should have gotten an email this morning with instructions on how to access the sample chapter. So, go check right now. If you are not on my list (shame shame…I kid!), you can still get access to the sample chapter for FREE, below:

Average Girl’s Guide Introduction

If you have any questions about how the pre sale will go tomorrow, be sure to ask away!

PS: You may want to come back to my blog tomorrow because I will be GIVING AWAY two copies of the eBook for my birthday. But don’t worry, go ahead and pre order. If you win the giveaway, I will refund your pre order money via paypal!

QOTD: What is your favorite birthday gift you ever received? You can get me a gift by buying my eBook. See what I did there?!?

4th of July Weekend 2016

I know it’s been almost a week, but I realized I never recapped my 4th of July weekend! We decided since we would be with family, to go ahead and celebrate my birthday early (it’s not until the13th). I picked up EK after lunch from daycare so she would nap in the car on the way to Louisiana. When we arrived, my parents had bought her a fun pool toy that also sprays water (it comes out of the top of the palm tree and comes down the “waterfall” where the blue streamers are). Sadly, the “slide” on the pool isn’t really something you can slide on, but she still had fun.

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We BBQ’ed and then had cake and ice cream. Check out my cake with LSU colors! I had my favorite of course, chocolate doberge cake (it’s a New Orleans thing, Google it. It’s delicious.)

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Saturday my dad and I went to buy Emma Kate a small slide so she could slide into the pool. We ran a couple other errands and visited their neighbors dog. Look how sweet she is holding his hand!

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My parents have a nest of babies, well, one baby and two eggs, right outside their house that we visited as well.

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Then that afternoon it was more pool fun, this time with an actual slide. She must have gone down it 100 times and she slept 13 hours that night!

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Sunday morning I decided to go for a 6 mile run. Little did I know the “feels like” temperature was 108! I didn’t know this until I was done. I just thought I was out of running shape because I haven’t been doing it much lately. it was brutal and I had to take it slow the last two miles in particular. Of course I wore my red white and blue stars running skirt.

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In the afternoon we went and got snowballs which was perfect for such a hot day. I had wedding cake cream of course.

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That evening, my buddy Jen and her family came over to eat with us and play in the water. The kids played outside for a long time! Look how adorable these friends are. They were holding hands and hugging!

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It was great to see them as always. We realized after that we didn’t take a picture together! Next time.

Monday morning we played at the house, ran a couple errands, and then loaded up the car to head home after lunch. One of these days we will be able to get everyone in a photo, but here are the Montgomery girls!

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We got home and we needed to water the grass. Of course Emma Kate used the opportunity to play in the water…again. As if she hadn’t had enough of that over the weekend.

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I think we were all wiped out after such a fun weekend. Can’t wait for the next one!

QOTD: What was your favorite part of the 4th of July?

Tech Toys Then and Now

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I will admit that I am kind of a tech nerd, and I really hope to have passed on some of my nerdi-ness to my child. My mom tells me that when I was growing up, I always wanted the toys for Christmas/birthdays that involved batteries, moving parts, and “life like” characteristics. I had a dog that really walked next to you on a leash, (go go my walkin’ pup anyone?) as well as a baby that cried and you could feed her a bottle. I also have a PJ Sparkles, and when I was a pre teen the very first Game boy came out. Let’s just stay we had a healthy supply of batteries in our house for all of my toys. I still remember when the JC Penny Christmas catalog would come out every year and I would spend hours circling the toys I wanted. All tech toys of course. Much to my parents dismay, these toys were also the most expensive since the “real life” tech toys were so new.

Of course, “tech toys” have changed a lot since the early 1990’s, but I am still intrigued by them and was excited to introduce Emma Kate to the Code-a-pillar.

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This toy was created by Fisher Price, and is available at Best Buy. The premise behind this little guy is that you can hook all of his pieces together in any order you choose, and make him crawl in different directions all around your house. He also lights up and really cute music plays as he is “working”, and Emma Kate loved chasing him around seeing which direction he would go next.

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My favorite feature is the fact that the Code-a-pillar has endless possibilities. It really makes the kids (and adults!) think about which way they want him to go, and what arrangement of pieces you would need to make him end up in a certain spot. For example, you can set up an “obstacle course” and see what configuration you would need to make him go under a chair, around a table, and to the other side of the room without running into anything. It’s a lot of fun!

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I would definitely recommend this product for anyone who loves gadgets, and for those wanting to help teach their kids about problem solving, coming up with solutions, sequencing, and using their imagination (which should be EVERY parent!) Even though Emma Kate is still young, she was so curious and engaged and even helped me take apart the pieces and put them together in a different order (they are really easy to plug into each other).

This toy encourages experimentation as well as problem solving. Each section lights up as the action is happening (when he turns right, the “turn right segment lights up and blinks”.) It is designed for children ages 3-6, but Emma Kate still enjoyed this toy even though she isn’t three yet. I can’t wait to see how she changes the way she plays with is as she grows.

QOTD: Do you think this is a cool toy? Did you like tech toys when you were growing up? What was your favorite?