Archives for July 2017

I’m Cruising With Carnival!

Disclosure: Our cruise fare is being covered by Carnival, however all thoughts, posts, and opinions are my own.

The other day in my Instagram story, I eluded to a surprise I was sharing today. Well, today has come and I’m excited to tell you Bobby and I are going on a cruise! We will be going on an eight night Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Vista this September.

The Carnival Vista departs Crete, Greece. The largest and most innovative cruise vessel in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, Carnival Vista measures 133,500 tons, 1,055 feet long and has a guest capacity of almost 4,000 passengers. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line

Bobby and I haven’t been alone on vacation together since January of 2016 (another cruise) so we are excited to have some time away just the two of us. Emma Kate isn’t quite potty trained yet (almost!) and we would hate for her to get upset that she couldn’t use the pool, so she is going to have to sit this one out.

WaterWorks aboard the Carnival Vista features a number of slides and other water attractions. 

Anyway, I have so many exciting things to share with you, and I can’t wait to invite you on our trip with us via the blog and social media. The Vista is Carnival’s newest ship, and it looks so amazing. First of all it’s huge, it has tons of dining options, entertainment galore, and we will be stopping at some new to us ports, check it out:

We leave from Miami, have 3 sea days, and 4 port days in San Juan, Grand Turk, St. Kitts, and St. Marteen. Has anyone been to these ports? I would love suggestions. There are so many great things about the Vista I can’t wait to share with you, like SkyRide (pictured below), specialty dinners, the Serenity adults only area, and the fitness center.

Guests onboard Carnival Vista participate in SkyRide, an opportunity to pedal hanging recumbent-like bikes around an 800-foot-long suspended track some 150 feet above the sea. 

I can’t wait to share with you how you can have an amazing cruise on an awesome ship for a lot less money than you think. I will post more as we get closer, but I just wanted to let you in on my surprise.

QOTD: Any tips for what to do in our four ports? 

Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips

Do you have a hard time staying on track with your workouts in the summer? I do because it is just so dang hot in Florida! I lose my motivation and easily get frustrated with my paces. Jeff Galloway has provided some great tips to keep you motivated during this sometimes difficult period:

Use a Journal for Motivation:
Runners tend to run more when journaling. A journal can help with accountability and motivation. Giveaway alert! Win one of the NEW and updated Jeff Galloway Journals by joining Jeff on  Facebook! Join Jeff and enter now.

Want to know how fast you can run?
The Magic mile has been the best predictor I have found.  Use this link for information about the Magic mile and to compute your current pace potential. Compute my potential.

Do you need salt when it’s hot?
While most cramps are due to muscle exhaustion, you need to replace the salt you lose in sweat during hot weather.  It is rare to be low in sodium, but if so, try a buffered salt tablet during/after workouts that involve prolonged sweating. Get more information at NUTRITION FOR RUNNERS.

Jeff’s latest clinics are touring California!

Saturday, July 22 @ 8:00 am

  • Hosted by and starting from Fleet Feet 111 Third Street in Santa Rosa
  • A run and walk with all of Sonoma County Galloway’s groups
  • This event is open to the public

Sunday, July 23 @ 2:00 pm

  • Hosted by Heart and Sole 900 4th Street in Santa Rosa, CA
  • Jeff’s Running School
  • This event has a fee and is open to the public
  • Contact [email protected]for more information

Monday, July 24th @ 6:00 pm

  • Meet and Greet at Sports Basement in Santa Rosa located at 1970 Santa Rosa Avenue
  • 6 pm – 8 pm with Jeff speaking at7:00 pm
  • Free snacks and drinks and 20% discount on purchases given to all who attend

Tuesday, July 25th @ 6:00 pm

  • Healdsburg Running Company @ 333 Center Street in Healdsburg, CA
  • Fun Run followed by Free Clinic with Jeff
  • This event is open to the public

Birthday Recap 2017

I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my birthday! I had a great one for my first year in Florida, and felt so much love from my family and friends, including online friends! Here is a quick recap of all the festivities from the week:

On Tuesday my parents took me to Disney for the day. I mean, why not? Yes it was SUPER HOT but we only stayed until after lunch then headed out when it got unbearable. I am so thankful to get to live close to the magic that we can do things like this!

We rode a few rides, had lunch at the Plaza restaurant, and then went over to the Polynesian to get Dole Whip floats, my favorite! Very refreshing on such a sunny Florida day.

dole whip float

On Wednesday, Megan took me out for a special birthday meal at Ulele. I had never been and really loved the outside atmosphere. I will have to bring Bobby this fall when it cools down some.

Ulele

Then on my actual birthday, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a new class at a new to me gym. I was so nervous but of course everything was fine.

After class, I was a sweaty mess so I took a shower then headed to Starbucks for my free birthday drink.

I went to the outlet mall to shop for a little while before I was to meet Megan at the pool. I came out of one of the shops and it was POURING rain! So much for the pool. I went to the PDQ drive thru and headed home to eat and get a little work done. Then my mom and dad came over and hung out before it was time to go get Emma Kate. There were babysitting for us so Bobby and I could go to dinner at Grillsmith. We decided we would probably be back late so we sang happy birthday and did cake and ice cream before Bobby and I went to dinner. The two of us just didn’t eat any yet.

Around 6:00 Bobby and I left for dinner, and then went to the AT&T store to get my birthday gift, a new iPhone! I’m super excited to be able to take better photos and also have portrait mode. I had the original iPhone 6 which will be three years old in September so it was time. I no longer could hear people on the phone and had to constantly use speakerphone which wasn’t ideal in public places, heh. Also can I just say i’m super thankful they have an affordable monthly payment plan? Anyway, it was a great birthday, and I’m thankful to be here for another year, and to be healthy. However, there is still one more celebration to be had. A few of my local blog friends and I are headed to dinner and a movie to celebrate my birthday on Saturday. We are seeing Girl’s Trip and I can’t wait to laugh and have a good time.

Again, thank you all for the birthday wishes, it meant a lot to me. I am thankful for each of you.

 

 

 

 

Painting With a Twist (of fun!)


Last weekend, my mom and I had the unique opportunity to attend a class at my local Painting with a Twist. I have done a similar class before, but it has been many many years. My mom had never done anything like this before, so I knew it was going to be fun for a mother daughter night away.

We easily signed up online after finding the nearest location (ten minutes from my house!) and were sent a conformation and some instructions. I was excited to see we were allowed to bring wine/beer and snacks, and was hopeful it would make my painting skills better? Ok so maybe not!

We arrived a few minutes early to get our aprons on and get set up at our table. The instructor had already placed our names in front of our canvas and poured our paint. Meanwhile, I poured us some wine and we chatted with our classmates before we got started.

The instructor was so nice and had a very relaxing voice. She went over the rules and calmed everyone’s fears. She wanted to make sure we had FUN no matter what, and really took the pressure off. She explained that she would be painting along with us and helping us as we went. She had on a microphone so it was easy to hear her, and she was up on a stage. I like that they also had a completed painting next to her so we knew what the finished product would look (or should, ha) look like.

She was sure to explain the steps several times, telling us what colors to use, how to do our brush strokes, etc. Slowly but surely, my painting came to life. After about an hour we took a 15 minute break to stretch, walk around, and let the first part dry (and of course take a few sips of wine).

Then, it was back to it and we finished everything up in two hours. I was skeptical, but can’t believe I did the whole thing so quickly! Now, I’m no artist, but I had a really good time and I think my painting turned out pretty good.

Painting with a twist

I would definitely do this again. I think it would be super fun for a girls night, date night birthday party, or family event. You can even do private parties! I’m so glad I got to have a stress free, phone free, couple of hours and experience this with my mom. Now I have a painting at home so I will always remember it.

Be sure to check out their website to find a location near you. What I love is that you can check their calendar and see what paintings they will be doing on each day, so you can pick your favorite and sign up on that day!

Lion King Memories on Disney Junior

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Disney Junior, however all opinions are my own.

I grew up as a Disney kid. I loved Mickey and Minnie, and owned all the motion pictures on VHS (I’m really aging myself here!). There are certain Disney movies that bring me right back to my childhood, and all the happy memories I had engrossing myself in the worlds of the characters, playing make believe with my friends, and singing along to cassette tape sound tracks. A year or so ago when the new show The Lion Guard came out on Disney Junior, I was super excited to watch it with Emma Kate. The Lion King was in fact one of my favorite movies (and I may or may not have had a crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the voice of young Simba, too!)

It was so nostalgic for me watching the Lion Guard as grown up Simba now has his own son who is running around Pride Rock—causing trouble of course! I love that I can share in that world with my daughter, and I love that Disney is generational, and truly never goes out of style!

In fact, a few days ago my mom was cleaning out a drawer and found a bunch of cards that were mine from many years ago. I had not thought about them in a very long time, but as soon as I saw them I was brought back to my childhood, and remember playing with them (and collecting them) often. I decided to give them to my daughter to play with, and she has had a BLAST showing me each card and telling me what character is on it. It makes my nerdy Disney loving heart so happy to hear her, at two years old, identifying the characters that I grew up with.

We have played games with the cards, made choo choo trains, guess the card, and all kinds of other fun simple things that have kept us both entertained for hours, just from some little old cards found stuffed in a drawer and forgotten about for twenty years.

This is one of the reasons we are super excited about the new episodes of some of our favorite Disney Junior shows, including the Lion Guard, coming on TV Fridays this summer. All-new episodes of Disney Junior’s hit series’ are coming to Disney Channel FRiYAY mornings throughout the summer! A new episode will be out on Friday the 14th, and I can’t wait to see what kind of a predicament the Lion Guard gets into this time!

Want to know how you can watch these new episodes with your family? There are two places to look! First of all, The Disney Channel:  During the morning block (usually 6-10am), Disney Junior shows will air first on Disney Channel.  Usually new episodes will air here FIRST so tune in to catch the premiere! Check out the schedule for the rest of the summer below:

FRiYAY, 7/14– All-new Lion Guard starting @ 8am followed by all-new Mickey & The Roadster Racers and Puppy Dog Pals
FRiYAY,  7/21 – All-new Lion Guard @ 8am followed by all-new Sofia The First and Elena of Avalor

FRiYAY, 7/28- All-new Mickey & The Roadster Racers @8:30am followed by an all-new Puppy Dog Pals
FRiYAY,  8/4 – All-new Sofia the First @ 9am
FRiYAY, 8/11 – All-new Lion Guard @ 8am followed by all-new Mickey and the Roadster Racers  and Puppy Dog Pals
FRiYAY, 8/18 – All-new  Sofia The First @ 9am followed by an all-new Elena of Avalor

I hope you can catch some of the episodes with your little ones and reminisce about the times you were a child watching your favorite shows. Thanks Disney Junior for reminding me of so much fun!

QOTD: What was your favorite Disney show or movie growing up?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior.

Tampa Tuesdays: Carnival Goes to Cuba

Last week, Megan and I were invited to a special celebration aboard the Carnival Paradise at the port of Tampa. This celebration was marking the first of twelve special voyages to Havana, Cuba over the next year.

La Nacional Hotel, Havana, Cuba

The celebration on board the ship was as colorful as Cuba itself, with the largest Cuban Sandwich at sea,

delicious drinks,

 

Cuban food,

and a big check donated to the Ybor city museum!

We danced with Senior Cruise Director John Heald, and got super excited for everyone onboard sailing off to Cuba that afternoon.

Sadly, we had to disembark the ship, but I saw some wonderful photos already from the first voyage! (Search #CCL2Cuba or #CarnivaltoCuba for great shots on Instagram!)

Each cruise is four or five days in length, and includes an overnight stay in port, giving travelers a rare glimpse into Havana at night. Also, some of the itineraries include a stop in either Key West or Cozumel. What is there to do in Havana you ask? So much! Carnival can help connect you with local guides familiar with the food, music, and history of Cuba. With 16 shore excursions, I’m sure you will find something to do for the whole family.

On top of visiting Havana, you will be on board the Carnival Paradise. A Fantasy class ship holding 2,052 passengers (the largest to ever sail to Cuba) with fun on board activities like a water slide, Seuss at Sea kids activities, Spa Carnival, and the Serenity adults only area.

Sailing dates are July 13, Aug. 14, 24 and 28, Sept. 7, 21 and 25, Oct. 5, 9 and 19, 2017, as well as May 3, 2018. Be sure to find a sailing that fits into your schedule before they are gone. What a great opportunity!

Cuba

QOTD: Would you be interested in sailing to Cuba? 

Disclosure: I was invited to this special day by Carnival, however all opinions are my own. 

Social Media Day Recap 2017

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to experience my first ever social media day! it takes place nation wide on June 30th every year, and Tampa celebrates in style! I got to be part of the 6 car blogger caravan thanks to Reeves VW, and travel around to different locations in the city before coming back for the party that night at Fergs Live. Our social media handles were even put on the cars. So cool!

Or first stop was Viking Fitness. None of us were dressed to workout, but that didn’t stop me!

After that we headed to Hazel and Dot. They have the CUTEST stuff. I could seriously buy anything from there and be happy!

Next was a delicious stop at the Mini Doughnut Factory. I had heard of this place before but never had I experienced it…and it was quite the delicious experience! So many choices! I could have tried many more flavors!

Also, have you ever had a doughnut shake? Yeah, well you need to try one.

Our last stop was Chef Inspired Popcorn in the Hyde Park area. I love me some good popcorn so I was excited about this one. They have so many amazing flavors and we got to sample several. They do all kinds of catering and events so be sure to check them out.

Finally it was time for us to heard back to Fergs Live for the VIP hour and party following. We ate, we drank, there were so many people there! I of course love a good photo booth.

It was so exciting to see so many locals that enjoy social media, too. I met some new people, hung out with friends, and generally had a blast. I can’t wait for next year!

QOTD: Did you celebrate social media day, or even know it existed? 

 

July 2017 Goals

Happy July! This is the bets month of the year, because it just so happens to be my birthday month! I can’t believe we are halfway through 2017, and on the downside to 2018. Makes me want to work quickly to achieve my goals! Speaking of which, let’s look at my June list and see how I did.

1.) Get my pre-sale for my new course up and running: C My course isn’t finished yet, but I made some great strides this month and am confident it will be ready by the end of the summer. I need to do better about setting aside blocks of time to work on it. I had a lot going on in June and it got pushed to the side.

2.) Read a book: D I did not read a book…however I did start one, and I read a magazine, so that counts for something, right?

3.) Make at least two new brand connections at BlogHer17: A+ Woo hoo! I crushed this one. I made about 5 brand connections at BlogHer and I can’t wait to see what comes of them!

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Moving on to my July goals…..

1.) Work on my e-course at least 4 hours a week: I know just saying “work on my course” is not a measurable and actionable step, so I am going out on a limb and saying 4 hours a week. So one hour a day 4 days a week, and I will be keeping track. At that pace, I should be on track to finish by the end of the summer!

2.) Workout 4-5 times a week: It’s been SO hot, I have been slacking. I go to Orange Theory twice a week, but other than that I have only been working out maybe one other time because the heat is unbearable. I need to either suck it up and just go even though my runs will be slow, or find another form of exercise. I’m working on it.

3.) Clean up extra room: My parents brought over some furniture that will eventually be Emma Kate’s “big girl” bedroom set, and I need to make room for it in one of the extra rooms upstairs so we can get it out of my garage!

Looking for a great way to keep track of your goals? Sign up for my free goal and fitness tracking printables at this link. Have a great July!

QOTD: What are your goals for July?