Archives for 2016

Marathon Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disney Park Map Leggings Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Marathon Weekend Cigna Blogger Event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Our hosts did an excellent job as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QOTD: Best running tip you have even gotten?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo 2016

Hello friends! I am finally back home! I still have a lot of unpacking and catching up to do, but I wanted to let you guys know I am still alive, and I have a lot of fun recaps coming your way, plus a giveaway so hang in there. Today I thought I would tell you about the race expo, then I still have to recap the blogger meet up, an interview I did with some famous TV stars from Mexico, the race, the cool hotel experience I had, and of course the cruise!

We were actually only in Orlando for 24 hours, but a LOT happened in those hours. First after landing Friday I ran over to the Cigna blogger meet up with Megan, and then we went to the runDisney expo to get our packets for the half the next day. We had dinner at California Grill at 5:00 so sadly I didn’t get to spend near as much time at the expo as I would have liked, but I still got to soak up the runDisney magic and see some friends.

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First we picked up our race packets. It was weird “only” doing the half, since last time we participated in marathon weekend we ran dopey!

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Ready to run! or something like that (wait, we have to run? I haven’t really trained!)

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LOVE my new rundisney ears! They don’t give me terrible headaches like the ones from the parks. Maybe I just have a large noggin?

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We of course had to take the obligatory instagram photo before heading over to check out the merchandise. The guy asked how we wanted to pose and we said “something funny” and he just looked at us like we were crazy. No worries! We shall come up with something on our own!

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Hello expo floor, oh how I have missed you!

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A closer look at the shoes, and I dig them.

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I made my way to the Raw Threads booth (adorable stuff yall, go check them out!) and had a quick chat with my buddy Bobbi! Was great to see her again.

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I also ran over to my favorite running skirts brand and said hello to my former colleague and the sweetest girl in Minnie ears ever, Michelle!

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We literally flew through the official merchandise, I got an I did it shirt (I always get one) and a shirt for Emma Kate that says “future runner, catch me if you can” SO stinkin cute). and unfortunately we had to grab a cab back to the hotel so we could change for dinner.

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I wish I had gotten to spend some more time shopping and saying hello to other friends working expo booths, but there will always be other races, and hopefully for those I will be in town more than 24 hours!

QOTD: Is there an item you buy at every race expo?

You Don’t Look Like A Runner

Today’s guest post comes from Brittany. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

You don’t look like a runner.

How many times have you heard that? For me it is always the first thing people say. Thanks… I guess. The next thing they say is “Did you win”. Why yes! Yes, I out ran ten thousand other runners. It is these silly statements or questions that gets you thinking about how you got started running. How did you get started running? Is it a story you like to tell? Let me tell you how I got started.
It all started with a friend. A friend that has been my friend since high school. She emailed me one day and said the normal thing you talk about in emails..”Do you want to run a 5k with me?” My first response I am sure was something like “Umm no thanks”. Fast forward to googling The Color Run – IT. LOOKED. AMAZING. I mean you wear white, run 3.1 miles and get color thrown on you. What is there not to get excited about? So of course I said yes, after her having to talk me into it.

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Here is the part were “training” comes in. Let’s use that word loosely because we might have got together a handful of times to “train”. I mean we ran around the track a couple of times and I said to her “This isn’t hard”. I did not want to over train for a little ‘ol 5k. How hard could it be? Let me tell you, I ate my words. It was hard. Harder than I ever thought.
Let me just mention that the course started on a hill. My hometown is what we call “fast and flat”. I was not ready for that hill. I ran up that hill and walked the rest of the way. No shame in walking, but it was not what I had in mind. I finally finished that race, along with my Mom, after all my friends had crossed the finish line way before me. My confidence was hurt. That did not keep me down though. I had cheerleaders at the finish line cheering me on. Crossing that finish line, hearing people cheer other people on, that is why I run. I love it. It has helped me gain all kinds of confidence that I never thought I could have before!
2013 was my first 5k. I ended 2015 with a handful of 5ks, two 10ks and my first half marathon.

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I started 2016 with a 5k, hoping I can finish with 4 half marathons. I am just like everyone else, still learning as I run. Here’s to a new year, many more miles and maybe a shiny new PR.
Happy Running!

runDisney Marathon Weekend 2016 Facts

Hey guys! I fly out to Disney TOMORROW for the runDisney marathon weekend! Bags are packed, house sitters at the ready, waivers printed. This one is weird for me because I am just running the half marathon. Last time I was in Disney for marathon weekend, I ran all the races…AKA the Dopey Challenge, so it’s odd to me that when I arrive Friday half the events will already be over! None the less, I am excited to get to take part at all in the weekend that started it all for me as far as distance running goes.

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Anyway, I wanted to share some fun facts with you all so you can follow along with the fun for the race weekend! I will be posting photos on my social channels and I am hoping to sneak in a periscope or two if I remember. (@heathersLG) Also, I will be attending a blogger event with Cigna, the title sponsor for the race, on Friday around lunch time, so be on the lookout! I will be live posting there as well. Also, I will be doing my costume reveal on social media Friday night. So much fun coming up!

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I am a numbers geek (aren’t most runners?) and love seeing all the “stats” on marathon weekend. How cool is it that there are more female runners than male, and check out all the countries represented! Crazy to think for the inaugural Dopey in 2014 I was one of those nutty 7,500 who were attempting something never done before in runDisney history!

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Also of noteworthy news are some of the cool people that will be attending this years event. One very important one being U.S. retired Master Sergeant Cedric King, a decorated war hero who lost both legs during combat while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He has earned both the purple heart and bronze star, and will be running the MARATHON! Cigna CEO David Cordani is running too, in addition to Olympian Paula Radcliffe (5k, 10k, and half), and actors Uzo Aduba, Aaron Diaz, and Laura Flores (5k).

The fun starts THIS MORNING with the 5k, and the 10k will ne tomorrow, with the half and full being run on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

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Also something really cool going on tomorrow is that runDisney is hosting a “state of the sport” forum and race director series. Check out the press release for more info. it sounds like it’s going to be really awesome!

“…Nearly 100 of the most highly-respected names in the global running sector – major race directors, media executives, industry influencers and former Olympic runners – are expected to attend the Jan. 7 forum, making it perhaps the most significant gathering of running industry leaders ever assembled.

The event, staged at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is being anchored by a panel discussion featuring race directors and executives from the world’s top running events – Peter Ciaccia (TCS New York City Marathon), Tom Grilk (B.A. A. Boston Marathon), Tad Hayano (Tokyo Marathon), Hugh Brasher (Virgin Money London Marathon), Carey Pinkowski (Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and Juergen Lock (BMW Berlin Marathon). The panel, moderated by Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey, is expected to tackle several key industry topics, such as the evolving demographics of runners, the impact of the upcoming Olympics, increasing runner participation and other best practices.

Additional speakers expected are Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger, B.A.A Boston Marathon race director David McGillivray and Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Other special guests will be reigning women’s world marathon record-holder and four-time Olympic distance runner Paula Radcliffe and former Olympian and runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway.

The State of the Sport forum kicks off runDisney’s new Race Director Series, which affords race directors from around the country with behind-the-scenes experiences during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. More than 40 race directors and race management personnel are expected to take part in the series that gives them special access and insight into various aspects of the four-day event operation, plus the Race Director Challenge, a light-hearted competition duringSaturday’s Disney Half Marathon race.

The State of the Sport forum aligns with runDisney’s goal of broadening participation in road running and encouraging people to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Next year, Walt Disney World Resort will once again become the center of the running universe when it hosts the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The annual conference brings together industry experts for sessions on best practices, panel discussions, industry awards and more.

Hosting the 2017 conference and this weekend’s forum build on runDisney’s growing stature as one of the leading running series in the world. In the last few years, runDisney has experienced extraordinary growth and popularity with the launch of four new race weekends – including its first international event, the 2016 Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend – and frequent race sellouts at events at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.”

Thoughts? How cool to have so many well known race directors in one place!

Good luck to all the runners out there running any of the distances, especially to the first timers. runDisney is such a special place for a first race, and for that reason marathon weekend will always hold a special place in my heart as my first half marathon back in 2010. Above all else, have FUN, you are running in the happiest place on earth, so celebrate fun, friends, health, and life!

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QOTD: If you could run with any celebrity, who would it be?

New runDisney Costume Guidelines

Good morning friends! Ok, so today’s post is one a lot of my runDisney friends have been waiting on even since Disney decided to make some hard and fast rules about costumes in the parks. Well, to be fair, some of the rules were always there but not really enforced as they will be now. Honestly, I saw this coming and none of it surprises me and I think they are fair rules. runDisney costumes are very popular, and some people are SO creative, but there have been new guidelines set.

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So, if you are going down to Orlando for marathon weekend like I am or if you are heading out to Cali soon for Star Wars, please keep the new rules in mind when planning your costume. It’s for your safety and the safety of the runners around you. (seriously, no one wants to trip over your Jedi robe at mile 12 of a half marathon. ‘Aint nobody got time for that.) Honestly, I feel like when race costumes became all the rage, it was (and still is) a lot of fun, but now people are trying to one-up the “regular” characters and be creative which is totally cool, but it can sometimes come at the expense of your (or others around you) safety, which is most important!

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The first set of rules are ones that I am pretty sure have always been in place. Here are the highlights:

No sharp objects, weapons, signing autographs posing as a character, and must be family friendly. Kids 13 and under can wear a mask as long as it doesn’t cover your whole face and your eyes are visible.

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Next are the REALLY new rules, and I shall paraphrase for you:

No layered costumes that could possibly conceal a weapon (like a Jedi robe), no big props that surround the body (like the house from UP) may be worn, you can’t wear a dress that reaches or drags the ground (but seriously, wwhhyyy would you want to do that anyway? It’s hot. It’s hard to run in a full length dress…but I digress.) Capes must be no longer than waist length, Themed shirts, sweatshirts, and hats are fine, wings, toy swords, light sabers, and tutus are fine (whew). NO MASKS OF ANY KIND.

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Also note that you can’t wear your costume into the park after your race, so bring a change of clothes if you plan to stay (but really, please go back to your room and shower, mmmkk?)

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Please remember, that there is a bag check/security screening upon entering the race staging area. Also, selfie sticks, strollers, walkers, crutches, scooters are not allowed. In other words, use common sense and you should be A-Ok.

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I know these are last minute in light of marathon weekend and I am sure that can be frustrating for those who have already created a stellar costume and I hate that for you, but it is better to know now than to get pulled off the race course, right? I’m sure everyone can still come up with really creative costumes within the parameters!

If you have a question, it’s better to be safe than sorry…or pulled off the race course. Please contact [email protected] no alter than 90 days in advance of a race.

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If you want to read the full post from the mouse himself, click here.

QOTD: If you could dress up as any character for a race, it would be____________.

New Year’s Eve Weekend Recap

Hi friends! Here we are in the thick of the first week of January and I realized I never recapped the holiday weekend. Whoops! Not that we did anything super exciting, but anyway. I didn’t even make it to midnight on NYE, but did enjoy watching some football. On Friday, I took down the Christmas tree and all the other decorations around the inside of the house (sad panda) aannddd I did it like this:

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KIDDING! although, how flippin awesome is that?!? Genius. If I didn’t enjoy the putting on of the ornaments so much, I would consider it. We stayed inside that day because it was pretty chilly. I moved Emma Kate’s table and chairs into the living room and she is really enjoying it.

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Saturday was another cold day, but I needed to run 6.2 miles, so I left Bobby home with EK during her nap time and headed out. I swear the cold weather makes me run faster so I can get. it. over. with. I ran a super hilly course and ended up running less that two minutes off of my 10K PR!

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Also yall, seriously, I am going to have to go back to braiding my hair when I run. It’s getting longer and is so thick…When I started my run, my ponytail was super tight and ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD. Check out it’s ending location. Whomp whomp. #HairDrama.

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Later that afternoon, we all needed to get out of the house, so even though it was 44 degrees, we took Emma Kate to the park. I thought for sure we would be the only ones there and I would be shamed for brining my child out into the frozen tundra (don’t laugh, I have lived in the south my entire existence), but I had to laugh when the park was FULL. Then I remembered, kids have been out of school. For two weeks. Parents are losing their minds. Everyone, let’s go to the park!

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Emma Kate LOVED this cool slide. She went down it about ten times. Little daredevil.

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She is so sweet. I love it when she has a good time.

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After we were sufficiently frozen, we went to Chick-Fil-A where I got what will most likely be my last Peppermint milkshake of the season. More sad times. Emma Kate wanted to try it, and thankfully she loved it, unlike her daddy. Shame.

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Sunday morning was a little warmer, and we headed off to church before watching the Saints win their final game of the season.  How adorable is Emma Kate’s dress?!?

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We went for a family walk (Bella included) in the afternoon, took down outdoor lights, and just hung around Sunday night, because we have a really great social scene here in Mississippi yall.

That’s about it! I hope you had more excitement than us, and that you don’t still have your tree up. Seriously, it’s time. Have a great day all!

QOTD: How long do you leave your tree up after New Years?

January 2016 Goals

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Is it just me or is it hard to tell what day it is in the week between Christmas and New Years? The only reason I was forced to remember days was because Emma Kate has her 15 month check up and I knew I couldn’t miss it. Anyway, I’m really glad I decided to bring back my monthly mini goals. It helps keep me on track during the year and reminds me to accomplish smaller tasks each month. So, here we go!

1.) Read a book: I LOVE to read, but I have a really hard time relaxing without feeling guilty. If I am at my house, I am constantly looking around seeing things that need to be done, and just can’t settle in to really get into a book. Since I will be out of town for a few days I am hoping that it makes this task a little easier!

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Relaxing? What’s that?

2.) List baby items for sale: Right now, half of our garage is full of random baby items that Emma Kate no longer uses as well as some of my clothes, and I need to list them on our local garage sale Facebook page, but I just haven’t gotten around to taking photos and getting them listed with the madness that is the time frame between Thanksgiving and New Years. The clutter is making me batty, they have to go. I know I probably won’t SELL them all by the end of the month, but I at least want them listed.

3.) Go to boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: Boot camp starts back up TODAY! I am so excited. We have been on a two week break, an dI can’t believe I am saying this, but I totally miss it! The last one was only a 6 week session but this one goes until the last week of March. I can’t wait to make some more gains in my strength and speed! Boot camp is offered 5 times a week, but since I also want to run (see #4 below) it’s more feasible for me to go 3-4 times a week. I’m aiming for four but won’t be mad if some weeks I only make it three.

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4.) Run twice a week: We do plenty of cardio at boot camp, but I still would like to get in one longish run a week as well as a short distance faster run. January and February are chilly and I’m a huge wimp in the cold, so this will be a feat for me!

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5.) foam roll after long runs: We do a really good job of stretching and foam rolling after boot camp, but I have been slacking on doing it after my long runs and I can tell a difference. I ran 6.2 on Saturday and my right hip started to ache a good bit the last mile. Fingers crossed it behaves during the half next weekend!

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Well friends there you have it. Hopefully I will be able to stick with these for January and set the tone for the rest of the year. Have a great day everyone!

PS- I am looking for 3-4 guest posters for next week. If you are interested, please email [email protected]. Thanks!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for the month of January?