5 Things Friday II

Happy Friday! Today is a very happy Friday indeed. We have lots of stuff going on this weekend, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s dive right in to 5 things Friday:

1.) My parents are coming in town tomorrow because…Saturday is Emma Kate’s first birthday party! Oh. my. gosh. This year yall, it’s just flown by. How do I have an almost one year old? I can’t even. but whether I like it or not, it’s coming, as are a lot of people to our house tomorrow! My guest bedroom has been the “staging area” for the past few weeks and I am hoping to get everything set up today while EK is at daycare. I will be glad to have this room back to normal and not looking like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse threw up in it.

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2.) KT tape is hosting a photo challenge through September 21st at 11:59 PM PST. All you have to do is use a sharpie to write a motivational saying or doodle on your tape, post it on Instagram and hashtag #KTtape and #MYkttape to win some tape of your own! I sported my “finish strong” tape on my run on Wednesday.

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3.) Now that EK is almost walking, we have a lot more fun at the park than we used to. We met a friend and her daughter there yesterday and the girls had so much fun! I see a lot more park visits in our future. I also got to run 5 miles with another friend and I pushed EK in her stroller. Man my calves were burning! Oh, we also took the babies to Orange Leaf. Emma Kate was not prepared for how cold the froyo was going to be.

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4.) I am playing in my churches’ kickball league, and my life group (Sunday school class) has it’s own team. We are having a BLAST! We played a group of high schoolers on Monday night who called us OLD TIMERS! Oh, we ended up beating them. Ah, sweet victory! I have been bringing Builder’s bars to the games as a team snack and everyone loves them.

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5.) We still have some hot days ahead of us (in the mid 90’s tomorrow for the party OF COURSE) but it is slowly starting to cool off in a general sense. I busted out my pumpkin Yankee Candle and bought a couple pumpkins for the front door. That plus football has me so excited for fall. Now, if Kroger would just get it’s act together and put out some pumpkin spice coffee creamer I would be a happy girl. Speaking of pumpkin spice, I just got some Advocare meal replacement shakes, they are SO GOOD! You can order some of your own HERE. Tastes like fall!

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QOTD: Do you like pumpkin spice coffee creamer? Do you use KT tape? any exciting weekend plans?

Body After Baby: 6 Months

If you will remember in my 4 month update, I said I was skipping the 5 month update and would re-visit this at 6 months. Well, time sure is flying, I realized this weekend I was a week late with my post! So, here is what has been going on with me since I last checked in. (Side note, I know these types of posts are not loved by everyone and can be a trigger for some, so feel free to come back tomorrow if this isn’t your thing.).

When I found out I would be running the ASICS LA marathon, I was super excited about the opportunity, but also a little worried because I always gain 3-4 pounds when I train for a full marathon. One reason is because I spend all my time running and don’t cross train or lift weights because I have NO TIME (especially this go around with the baby!) and the other reason is because I admittedly eat all the things when I am training for a full. I expected this though, so it didn’t shock me when the scale went up instead of down. However, I am happy to report that two weeks post marathon,I have already lost 3 of the 4 pounds I gained while training for said race. So I am a pound or so away from the lowest I have been since the baby, and about 6-7 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight.

Honestly, all I have done differently is stop eating as much junk food. I have been drinking a lot of smoothies and have reigned in the night time snacking.

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The main difference I can still tell is in my stomach. I haven’t really been doing ab work so I’m not sure why this surprises me, but I still have this bulge that seems to be the last thing to go away. It seems most of the other spots have shrunk down except this one.

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Another big thing I have noticed is that my hair has FINALLY stopped coming out in huge clumps. This has a down side though…it has started to grow again and now all around my forehead I have these short little “sprouts” of hair coming up that are driving me insane. Mamas, please tell me I’m not the only one and that you know exactly what I am talking about!

I am still drinking Advocare Spark, and taking Fibo-trim before most dinners and Catalyst before I workout for extra endurance. FullSizeRender (16)

Since I ran the marathon, I have only run three times. I have a 10k this weekend and have just been trying to let me body recover from such a hot and difficult race, and I’m not concerning myself with my time at the 10k and am just going to have fun.

I have however started cross training again and weight lifting! I lifted twice last week, and hope to lift twice again this week. I am going super slow and taking it easy because I don’t want to be so sore all of the time that I don’t want to do it anymore. Easing back in has been good for me so far.

I am also still doing my PT exercises and stretches. Admittedly I am not doing them daily, but 3-4 times a week would be a safe bet. Knock on wood no knee or hip pain yet, and hopefully the addition of more lifting will further remedy the problem. That’s pretty much it, nothing too exciting I know, but hopefully I will have more good news in 2 month at my 8 month update!

QOTD: If you are a runner, are you diligent about cross training and strength training?

Body After Baby: Four Months

Hey guys! Sorry this month’s update is a little late, but I wanted to get it written. After this month’s post, I will skip month 5 and do a 6, 9, and 12 month update. Progress is much slower month to month now, so there isn’t as much to say, but here we go!

I am now 4 months postpartum, and January was a tough one. Coming off of the holidays not really losing any weight, and the cold made for slow progress. Also, I dove head first into marathon training, and when I do lots of long runs, I eat. When I marathon train I typically gain a little weight because I am hungry ALL THE TIME, so this has been a tricky balance.

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I joined the gym, but am not happy with their childcare situation, so I’m not sure what to do about that one. So, because of this, I haven’t gone as often as I would like. I have been going on Tuesday and Thursday when Emma Kate is at daycare for part of the day, but then that cuts into my time to work so it has been difficult. I try to make it at least one more time, whether it be when Bobby comes home from work or on Saturday when Bobby can watch EK, but, I also need to long run on Saturday so again, haven’t really found a balance yet.

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My weight fluctuates a lot, but I am pretty sure I only lost .5-1 pound this past month. I’m not sure what to think of it, except hopefully it will be easier once the marathon is over and I’m not running so many miles. Since I have such limited time to workout, I have really only been running. I run 5 days a week as opposed to my ideal which is to run 3 days a week, and cross train/strength train 2-3 days a week.

I still feel much “thicker” in the middle, and have about 9-9.5 pounds to go to be where I would like to be. I feel like my body has shifted where my weight is held, and I am just shaped differently now. I would be lying if I said looking back on old photos didn’t irritate me a bit.

I successfully ran my first post baby half marathon, and am looking forward to running the runDisney Princess half marathon at the end of this month. I am running with Jen, and we are running for fun/stopping to take lots of character photos etc., so thankfully there is no pressure.

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I am still taking my Advocare products, the Catalyst and Spark seem to give me an extra boost in my workouts so I don’t feel as tired, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to eat all the things after. I have recently started taking another one of their products, called Fibo-trim, that will hopefully help with my portion control.

I FEEL good which is really important to me, and I have been sleeping well, but I know if I can get a few more pounds off it will help my running and my confidence. I can finally fit into my old runningskirts.com athletic skirts (they are cut a bit bigger than the running skirts) so that was a nice surprise, I was able to wear one under my tutu at my race in New Orleans. I have a ton of cute workout clothes I am dying to get back into, so hopefully soon!

Be looking for another update at the end of March for my 6 month progress, and hopefully I will have more to report by then!

QOTD: When you train for a race and log a lot of miles do you eat more/feel more hungry?

Body After Baby: Two Months

I know I am a little late, but better late than never! I can’t believe another month has come and gone and it’s time for another update. I know these updates aren’t liked by all, and that’s ok. For me though, I found body after baby posts SO helpful when I was pregnant. If I had not read what other bloggers had to say, I would have had very unrealistic expectations of what to expect from myself. I wouldn’t have known that a lot of weight comes off at first but then slows down or stops completely. I wouldn’t have known that it would take a long time for me to feel like myself again physically, and I would have felt very alone.

I take my workouts seriously, and while some people think I should spend every waking moment staring at my new baby and not worry about running, the reality of it is I NEED to workout to get out of the house and get away from her for a bit. #KeepingItReal. I have only been running 3-4 days a week, so I have plenty of time and days to spend with her, but mama needs some alone time, too. Smile

So, it is my hope that maybe talking about my progress and struggles will help someone else going through the same thing.

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Just over two months. Also the day after Thanksgiving. Not the smartest time to take a photo!

I still have a belly pooch, but I feel like last month it started up at my ribs and went down to my hips, and this month it is just above my hips. Progress, people!

Month two’s progress was a lot slower than month one. The scale says something different every day, but I think it’s safe to say I lost around two pounds this month. This puts be about 7 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight, and about 10-12 from my happy weight. It’s a really difficult time of year to try to get back to the way I was! I have not joined a gym yet because they don’t have childcare until the babies are six months old, but I’m thinking in January I will join anyway because I really want to start firming up again.

My running has been going pretty well. I am up to six miles as my longest run, and I will bump up to seven tomorrow. I’m still behind where I wanted to be by now as far as mileage, but as long as I can complete Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans, I will be happy. There won’t be any PR’s but that’s ok. I have been struggling a bit with my IT band and the neuroma in my left foot, but I am managing with foam rolling, KT tape, and ibuprofen.

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I haven’t been very strict with my eating because of the holidays, but I figure as long as I am making progress and taking baby steps then I am happy. I did the Advocare fiber cleanse, and I have been taking Omegaplex, Catalyst, and spark. (You can purchase any of these products from me here.) The spark is especially helpful in giving me energy when I REALLY don’t feel like working out.

Other post baby changes going on with my body are not so fun. My hair is falling out in HUGE CLUMPS! Luckily I have super thick hair so I’m not worried about it getting too thin, but it’s really weird and there is hair all over my house. Also, my face that was so smooth and clear during pregnancy is now breaking out like I’m 13 again. My linea nigra is still there but fading, but I am overall feeling more like myself.

Confession: I still cannot fit into any of my pre baby jeans/pants, so I pretty much wear yoga pants every day. Thank goodness it’s winter so I can wear tights and long tunics as well. Smile

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My goals for this next month are to make it through Christmas without gaining a bunch of weight, and to keep upping my running mileage. Also, injury maintenance is a must. I am doing more stretching and foam rolling to help my body recover well. I am pleased with my progress, and it’s neat to think that just two months ago my body did something really amazing and now I am out running longer distances again. I am quite proud!

QOTD: Did you have a reality check post baby as far as weight loss or workouts? How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

January Jump Start

Ah, January. It is sadly upon us. Christmas will be over, and everyone will start looking towards 2014. I know the big things people start talking about in January are health, fitness, and weight loss. People struggle with yo-yo dieting and plans that don’t realistically fit into their schedule. It doesn’t have to be this way! Join in the January jump start challenge and feel better by the end of the month.

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The January jump start is a 24 day Advocare challenge. The challenge runs from January 6-January 29.

So why would you want to do this? How about some cash prizes!

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Also, there will be other prizes given away, for a total of over $1200 in cash and prizes.

What are my thoughts on the challenge? I was on vacation during mine so I didn’t have any dramatic weight loss, but oh my goodness the increased energy is amazing, and I am more toned than before. Also, who goes out of town for 8 days during a challenge and still loses 4 pounds at the end of the month? The products also taste great (I love spark!) so it’s not a chore to take them.

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When you sign up for the challenge, you will receive 24 days worth of advocare products along with a nutrition guide and challenge planner/checklist. the products include the 10-day herbal cleanse complete with probiotics, herbal cleanse tablets, and the fiber drink, 14 meal replacement pouches, two boxes of spark energy drink, 56 MNS pill packs for the max phase, and a bottle of omegaplex to last the entire challenge. basically, it’s a lot of product. at a cost of less than $8 a day, it’s a deal and a sound investment for your health and happiness.

The meal guide that comes with the package is just that, a guideline. You can customize your meals to fit your likes and your needs, just follow some of the basic what NOT to eat principles given in the booklet and make the menu your own.

On top of these great products, I am here to support YOU! You will be able to email me anytime to get tips, advice on products, etc. I will give you as much support and encouragement as you would like, and even give tips on workouts etc. to accompany your challenge.

Here are before and after photos from my sponsor Janeetha. She is the one hosting this challenge and she is great! This is a photo collage of someone who participated in her previous challenge. How amazing are these results?

 

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Who is ready to have more energy, have more productive workouts, eat better, and look better?

SIGN UP HERE BY PURCHASING THE 24 DAY CHALLENGE!

Once you have received your confirmation email from the purchase, forward it to me at [email protected] and say you are IN for the January jumpstart! i will add you to the group email list and you will receive further instructions as the start date approaches.

Also, you want to be sure to have your products in time for the January start date. Advocare does NOT ship outside the USA, and all MUST start on Monday, January 6 to participate.

Also:

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There are companion products that are available to take while doing the challenge. They are not required, but a great addition. I take catalyst and carb ease and love them both! The thermoplus is a fat burner. the catalyst is a BCAA that helps support and promote muscle tone. The carbease plus blocks the absorption of carbs and is taken before your starchiest meal of the day. After you join and forward me your email, tell me which companion product you would like.

SIDE NOTE.. if you have any interest in becoming an advocare distributor like me, email me before signing up for the challenge! There is a small fee to become a distributor, but, distributors receive 20% off the product initially (and can work up to a 40% product discount.)  if you decide to become a distributor rather than simply ordering the challenge by itself, you are STILL eligible to participate in January jumpstart and receive all the benefits and will be entered to win all the prizes! I would love to tell you more about it!

**all participants will send in their day one photos Monday, January 6. challengers will also weigh and/or measure and write that down for day one (optional but encouraged.) after day 24, challengers will take photos and also weigh and/or measure again. all participants will send in final photos and any changes in weight and inches to me along with any notes about how the challenge affected you. we will use this information to select three winners. these photos will be kept completely private unless your consent is given to share.

A HUGE thanks to Janeetha for hosting this challenge!

2013 Runner Christmas Gift Guide

The most wonderful time of year is upon us! For some, it is also a stressful time of year, because you don’t know what to buy for your loved ones or what to ask for yourself.

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If you are a runner or have to buy for a runner, I have a little gift guide that may help you out! These gifts range from stocking stuffer ideas to that “big gift” so there is something for everyone. Check it out below, along with a GIVEAWAY for one of the items on my gift list! Happy shopping!

1.) Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones:

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I received these headphones to review from Staples. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on headphones, but yall, these are worth it! You can wear them while cross training, weight lifting, and of course traveling to and from races. I am weird about things being tight on my head, but these babies are super comfortable, adjustable, and cute! They have some really cute colors to choose from and I of course picked purple. Powered by a pair of AAA batteries, the noise cancellation feature in a pair of stylish Beats Studio headphones amplifies the music as it blocks out noise, giving you consistently powerful and intense sound. It’s awesome.

2.) Dexas duel chamber hydration bottle:

 

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Dexas sent me one of each of the below water bottles to try. I was very impressed, and what a genius idea! One side for water, one side for Gatorade, or one side for water and one for protein powder, pre workout, etc. These babies are easy to clean, easy to grip, and don’t spill. The one with the straws is great for when I am lifting weights, on the elliptical, or just at home trying to get more liquids in for the day. There is a nifty handle for carting around, and they come in super fun colors. The other one with the caps is great for mixing, shaking, etc. (add some ice and it acts as a shaker ball for protein powder!) Each chamber stays sealed off individually, I love it! (Check them out on Facebook, too!)

My favorite way to use the two chambers would be out running because I alternate between water and Gatorade but who wants to carry two bottles around? This is a great solution! For post race or post run I would love to have chocolate milk in one side and protein powder to mix into the other. SO many options!

3.) Under Armour cold gear infrared:

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Ok, so it doesn’t get freezing cold here, but we have had some really chilly mornings in the 30’s the past couple weeks, and I was so glad I had my Under Armour Cold Gear Infrared. It keeps you warm with no extra weight or bulk. The pattern inside the clothing helps absorb and retain your own body heat. How cool is that? Not to mention, I’m a sucker for thumb holes. There are tons of styles, colors, and price points to choose from. I want them all!

4.) Runner Calendars

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Runners are obsessed with calendars and dates, so we can plan our races of course! I was given two products to try out from http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/ The day by day calendar is really cute and a fun gift to put on your desk at work. It’s a fun, daily calendar featuring humorous quotes, the best signs seen on a marathon route, and tips throughout the year.

The running log is very useful. It allows you to log, track, and write about your runs and even has some little stories here and there throughout the book. This best-selling calendar provides a year’s worth of tips to keep you motivated throughout the year. I will definitely be utilizing both of these in 2014! I think it’s so important to keep track of your runs so if you get injured or hit a plateau you can look back and see what you were doing.

 

5.) Advocare Rehydrate Gel:

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This is Advocare’s version of fuel or a GU for running. They are only 80 calories, and encourage optimal performance through electrolyte balance. They also allow for immediate sustained energy and help facilitate hydration. Great stocking stuffers!

6.) Sport Hooks:

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It’s no secret I love my bling, and what a better way to display it than to hang it up on the wall? Sport Hooks has some amazing designs (check out the new painted ones, adorbs!) and prices to fit every budget. They have special Rock n roll designs as well as Boston and Disney displays!

7.) Gone for a Run bibfolio:

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I wrote a post about this product awhile back, and think it would make a great gift for any runner. Who doesn’t want a place to store all of their memories and bibs to look back on? Mine is sitting in the living room on the coffee table and is a great conversation piece. I love it!

TWO of the above companies have agreed to do giveaways so you can win one of these items for Christmas!

Dexas is giving FOUR THLG readers a hydration bottle of their choice, and two people will win running calendars! one will win the training log and one will win the daily calendar. So that’s six chances to win! See the TWO rafflecoptor widgets below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

December Goals 2013

Ah the month we all panic because we haven’t reached our New Year’s resolutions. Always makes me giggle. More on that NEXT month, but for this month I have a few small goals I would like to accomplish.

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Bella and I last Thanksgiving

1.) Read 4 magazines. This sounds so silly but y’all, I have a HUGE pile of unread magazines in my bedroom, and it’s starting to get on my nerves. Must. read.

2.) Slow down and enjoy the season. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I think a lot of us struggle with moving through it so quickly and not slowing down to enjoy it or remember the true reason we celebrate. I don’t want that to be me!

3.) Don’t go crazy with the bad food. I just finished the Advocare 24 day challenge, and despite going to Disney for a week AND celebrating Thanksgiving, I managed to lose a couple pounds and a few inches. I also have way more energy and feel better! I can’t wait to try the challenge again next year when I don’t have holiday or trip distractions. I know it’s hard during the holidays to just give in and eat anything and everything, but I am going to try to be mindful of what I eat.

4.) Send out Christmas cards by the 17th. I love sending out cards, but I can tell I will be behind this year because I haven’t even ordered them yet! I need to get moving today.

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Last year’s card

Also wanted to mention, I am hosting a CYBER MONDAY sale today with Advocare products! These products do not normally go on sale, but I am personally discounting them. ALL product is 15% off, and the challenge bundle is 20% off! If you would like to place an order, email me at [email protected], do NOT order from my site. However you can visit www.advowithHeather.com to see what products you want!

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QOTD: What are your December goals?

New You Before the New Year Challenge

I mentioned on my blog a couple of weeks ago I am now an Advocare distributor.

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Before you roll your eyes and click off this post, I challenge you to scroll down and look at the before and after photos of REAL PEOPLE who participated in the October challenge held by the advisor above me, Janeetha. Below you will fins her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners who won CASH PRIZES after completing the Advocare 24 day challenge. I think you will be as in awe as I was.

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These amazing folks saw drastic changes in less than a month, and you can jump in as well and be healthier before Christmas. Want to know more? Ok. Here are the details:

Purchase the 24 day challenge from my website. Once you purchase I will send you a welcome email. You can email me ANY TIME for questions, help, or support during the challenge.

-You will be put in a private Facebook group with other challengers where you can share ideas, recipes, and encouragement to hold you accountable.

-There will be the chance to win GIFT CARDS along the way, plus a grand prize of AT LEAST $100. I may even throw something else in of my own if one of my challengers wins. Smile

-You can complete the challenge anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so go ahead and order NOW so you have it ready to go at your house. (order the bundle with MNS 3 or C NOT e).

-Before you start, take your measurements, weight, and before photos (front, side, and back). At the end of the challenge, you will send them to me. Please note your pictures WILL NOT be shared without your permission, and if you decide in the end not to give them that’s ok too, but you will want to, trust me!

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I am in the 2nd half of the challenge myself and already seeing great results, I have TONS more energy, and my workouts are more productive. My appetite is under control as well, and I can’t wait to see the end result. Who is ready to join? It’s easy, just visit AdvoWithHeather.com/24DC and order your bundle pack to get started!

*You can also purchase optional products to go along with the challenge to make it even more effective. I take these two:

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Carb Ease Plus

*Interested in getting a % off your own products and making money from buying Advocare or selling to others? Email me about becoming a distributor BEFORE you buy your challenge pack. If you decide to become a distributor, your 24 day challenge bundle will be 20% off! [email protected]

Tip: If you love chocolate, the chocolate shake is yummy!

QOTD: Any questions about the challenge? Who has some goals to reach by Christmas?

Happy Halloween 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I cannot believe it is here AGAIN! (I also can’t believe how many Christmas commercials and items I have seen. Good grief). We don’t exactly have exciting plans, but we will spend the evening handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, carving our pumpkin, and watching one of my ALL TIME favorite movies: Hocus Pocus. Can you believe that movie came out 20 years old? This makes me feel very, very old. However, I watch it every Halloween and Hope I always do.

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Halloween 2012

I will be hiding the candy after tonight, because tomorrow I start the Advocare 24 day challenge. I have been using certain Advocare products for awhile now, and I love them so much I have decided to start selling them. More on that later though, but just know you can order through this link: www.advowithheather.com

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Bobby and I are going to my parents tomorrow because he needs a haircut before our trip and only trusts one lady to cut his hair and she lives by my parents house. Also, I need to do some research for a blog post while we are there as well. I will be around though, so shoot me an email or message on Facebook or Twitter if you need me.

Have a great Halloween, stay safe, and be smart….and scare as many children as possible. I kid…sort of.

QOTD: Do you have any fun plans tonight?