Princess Time

 

Good morning! I am in a fabulous mood, I leave for my parents today, then early tomorrow morning for DISNEY! I can’t believe it’s finally here. Karen and I have been planning this for a year. I finally got my schedule from run Disney, so I thought I would share with you some of the fun things I will be doing for the next 5 days.

Thursday I fly in, check in to the Animal Kingdom lodge (a room to myself for the night!) Then will probably hit the pool or one of the parks. We don’t have to be anywhere until our welcome dinner that night.

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Friday morning we have the Tweet up and run with Jeff Galloway through EPCOT. Then, we have some free time before heading to the Expo and picking up our packets and doing some shopping. I told Juli who will be working the Running Skirts booth I would swing by and help her for a few minutes. Then my mom, Karen, and her mom meet me there and we go check in at the Grand Floridian and relax, aahhhh. Then that night it’s Pasta Party time in EPCOT!

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Saturday morning will have an early wake up call for the 5k, also in EPCOT. My mom is the only one not running this one so she will meet us at the finish. We will hang at the park some then I have to zip over to the kids races for a bit then I have more free time. My blogger meet up is at 3:00 at the Grand Floridian, then I have a special dinner with the runDisney folks at Via Napoli.

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Sunday morning is a REALLY early wake up call…I have access to the race retreat before the half, then me, my mom, and Karen will run the Princess half marathon. After the race, the official runDisney part of the weekend is over, but we are staying till Tuesday! We will go to the parks Sunday and eat dinner at 1900 Park Fare.

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Monday, we will hit up the parks again and then we have dinner at ‘Ohana, before we drive home Tuesday morning. WHEW I am exhausted just reading all of that, but I can’t WAIT either!!!

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Oh, also I plan to reveal my costume for the half on Thursday or Friday so stay tuned, and be sure to say hello if you see me!

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I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but a couple weeks ago I was sent to the YMCA when they were filming for a news segment. Our facility is brand new, so the news was profiling it, so I “worked out” on the elliptical during the segment. Here it is!

haha.  be sure to check out the other time I was on television.

QOTD: Have you ever been on TV? What for?

Princess Pampering

 

I warned you all on Twitter and Facebook yesterday that I had some exciting news to share. Some of my fellow bloggers have already shared so I figured it was my turn, too. As most of you know, I am running the Disney Princess half marathon next weekend. Well, I found out yesterday I was selected as one of a few lucky bloggers through FitFluential to be pampered like princesses all weekend long!

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WOO HOO! I will be coming in a day earlier than planned (flying) and staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge before I switch over to the Grand Floridian to be with my mom, Karen, and her mom. I am so excited about this opportunity. I am also going to be running the 5k.

Don’t worry, I will be tweeting and updating my little heart out, so you won’t want to miss any of it! Be sure you follow me on Twitter and my Facebook fan page.

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I don’t have an exact itinerary yet but will be sure to share with you when I do. All I know is I am so blessed, and I am going to have a blast. Not to mention, I get to hang with my mom, Karen and her mom until Tuesday, we are going to have so much fun, this is just the icing on the cake.

***Bloggers, this does NOT change our Saturday meet up, it is still at 3:00 pm at the Grand Floridian. Please feel free to link my post about the meet up on your blog, Twitter, etc. We are going to have some great GIVEAWAYS so you won’t want to miss this networking opportunity!***

QOTD: If you were really a princess for a day, what would you do?

Princess Meet Up Plans

 

Hello everyone! I can’t believe Christmas was a month ago! (Please tell me you have taken down your decorations…)

If you are running Disney’s Princess half marathon, I hope you are as excited as I am that we are about a month away! You may remember awhile back I put a poll on my right sidebar asking what day and timeframe will work best for everyone for a blogger meet up.

Unfortunately, I cannot please everyone (unless there is interest in doing a second meet up at another time if a good number can’t attend the first.) So, I really hope all of the bloggers out there who are running the race will be able to swing by for a few minutes and hang out!

Here are the tentative plans:

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2012 @ 3:00 pm (I picked this time because it won’t interfere with lunch or dinner plans, and hopefully everyone will have had time to hit up the expo by then.)

WHERE: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa , outside of Gasparillas quick service restaurant, in front of the marina (with a great castle view!) I chose this spot for a number of reasons. 1.) It has a castle view, duh. 2.) There are a lot of outside tables and umbrellas for us to all hang out 3.) If there is inclement weather, we can just go inside of Gasparillas and meet up at their indoor tables 4.) If someone wants food or a snack they can run into Gasparilla’s and grab a drink or what not. Also, the Grand Floridian is on the monorail, so anyone coming from or going to EPCOT or the Magic Kingdom before or after the meet up will be very close by.

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WHY: Blogger meet up! There will be pictures, giveaways, and a chance to network. If you have a blog business card, BRING IT! Bring a whole stack, hand them out, and make new friends. Who knows, you may even meet someone who lives near you. You may even find a running buddy for the race the next day!

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Tables and chairs by the marina

If you are staying on property, the best way to get to the Grand Floridian is to take a bus to the Magic Kingdom then hop on the monorail. If you are at EPCOT, take the monorail to the TTC and switch to the resort monorail. If you are at another park, then just take the Grand Floridian bus.

If you are coming from the monorail, it will let you off on the 2nd floor of the lobby. Take the stairs or elevator to the 1st floor of the lobby and go out towards the back left down the hallway (the Gardenview tea room will be on your right) Go straight out the doors next to the Grand Floridian café and follow the covered porch/walkway to the left and you will see the Marina and Gasparillas.

If you are coming from a bus, it will let you out next to the lobby. Follow the covered walkway through the main entrance and then follow the ground floor directions above.

-If you are driving: Self parking at the Grand is across the street. Park in the lot, cross the street and stay on the walkway until you get to the main entrance/ building then follow the ground floor directions above.

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The yellow X above marks the spot!

If you have any other fun ideas for the meet up please e mail me at [email protected]. I would love to hear them! I wanted to go ahead and get a day and time out there so people can start making plans.

*If you have not yet booked your travel for the race yet please e mail me at [email protected]. My services are totally FREE and I would love to help you plan your trip!

*Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

Beyond the Parks Part 2

 

In my last installment of beyond the parks of Disney world, we discussed golf, working out/spa, waterparks, water craft, afternoon tea, and bike rentals. Today I will discuss a few more of the hidden fun things to do while vacationing in Disney World beyond the standard theme park rides (which are still great by the way!)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

I wouldn’t have known this existed if I wasn’t a runner. This is where Disney holds the expos for their races. There are plenty of events held here such as Pre-season training for the Atlanta Braves and the Tampa Bay Bucs. SO, depending on the time of year, you could hit up one of different sporting events! WWOS is also home to the Playstation Pavilion. They have 17 PS3 systems, wi fi, and more. It costs $5 to play for thirty minutes.

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Characters in Flight: This hot air balloon located in Downtown Disney will take you a soaring 400 feet above the ground (tethered to it, of course!) for the best views of Walt Disney world. You get to enjoy your view for 8-10 minutes flying high in the sky. Weather permitting, hours of operation are 10:00 am to midnight.

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Fireworks Cruise:

You can board a boat for the Wishes or Illuminations fireworks in Walt Disney World. Price of the wishes cruises includes snacks, and you can even have Private dining whip you something uo to eat onboard. What a great way to enjoy the show from the 7 seas lagoon!

For the illuminations cruise, you can also have private dining have food for you, as you cruise around the water in EPCOT watching the show.

Another option is the Grand 1 Yacht at the Grand Floridian. It is a 45 foot boat staffed with a captain and deckhand. Ride the lagoon in Grand style as you enjoy the Magic Kingdom Fireworks.

Lastly, there is the Pirates and Pals Fireworks voyage. You are provided snacks before your voyage, where you can watch the electrical water pageant and Wishes fireworks. Captain Hook and mr. Smee may show up for photos, before you sail the lagoon, docking nearby to watch the fireworks. You may even get to see Peter Pan as the voyage concludes.

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Horse drawn carriage rides:

At Fort Wilderness, you can take an old fashioned horse drawn carriage ride, first come first served. The ride lasts 45 minutes and departs from Pioneer hall twice nightly. During Halloween, you can book a haunted 25 minute carriage ride through the woods. Spooky! There are also Holiday “sleigh rides” that you can book in advance.

There are also regular25 minute carriage rides at Fort Wilderness and Port Orleans Resort.

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These are just a sampling of the many, many fun things to do in WDW. This is one reason we keep going back. We do new fun things every single trip, and have a blast! If you would like more information on any of the things I mentioned above, please contact me at [email protected] and I would be more than happy to help you plan your vacation AT NO COST. Our services are free for our clients!

Be sure to click on the Free Disney Travel Quote tab on my menu bar for more info and current offers!

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I ran 3 miles in the treadmill last night. my first three miles since the injury! It was really hard (and slow) but I did it! Next run on Thursday I will go for 3.5. Movin on up, yall! Thanks again for all the support and encouragement!

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QOTD: If you had Disney world to yourself for a whole day what would you do?

Catch Up

 

Happy Monday! Catching up from the weekend? here’s what you missed:

How it All Began: Have you ever wondered how/when/why I started distance running? Here’s the story!

RWS Features #6: the next installment in my series

Five Years and Counting: Bobby and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary!

On Friday morning, I had the privilege of having coffee with Sarah. If you aren’t following her blog or following her on Twitter, you should! She is so inspiring, and was in town to run TWO marathons in two days in preparation for her 100 mile race coming up. Holy cow! I first met Sarah when she came to say hi at Rock N Roll St. Louis when I was working the Running Skirts booth, so I was thrilled to see her again!

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I was given some new running shoes to try out by Running Skirts, and I can’t wait to see how I feel in them. They have a zero drop in the heel and a wide toe box so your feet can spread out. After I break them in I will do a review! (P.S. did you know you can buy certain brands of running shoes from Running Skirts, including Newtons?)

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Speaking of Newtons, Saturday I ran two miles in mine. My calves were a little sore, but once again I am being proactive and stretching and foam rolling a lot so it hasn’t been as bas as I imagined it would be. This week I will move up to a 3 miler and 4 miler and see how the foot does. So far so good!

I have still been lifting weights 4-5 days a week and I am getting some serious arm muscle! I love when I can actually see a difference. I will have to post a picture for you soon. I have guns now! Bam!

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I am brainstorming ideas of locations for the Princess blogger meet up, as well as ideas for door prizes, or any other fun things to do at the meet up. If you have any ideas, leave a comment or e mail me at [email protected]. I am thinking OUTSIDE of a park would be best since not everyone will have tickets or park hoppers. If you are a blogger attending Disney’s Princess half, please vote on the right side bar of my blog on a day and time for the meet up.  I have also started brainstorming for my costume for the race!

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Bella still hates her sweaters. It doesn’t help that we torture her a little when we put it on her.

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Do you remember when I did a Christmas post on my favorite things to buy for gifts? One of those gifts was Clocky, the alarm clock that runs away. Well, my husband read said post, and bought Clocky for me! I can now say from personal experience, the little joker does indeed run away from you…usually underneath your bed where you end up trying to whack him with something to get him within your reach to turn him off.

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QOTD: Do you get up as soon as your alarm goes off, or do you hit the snooze?
*I added frop down menus to some of my menu items across the top of my blog, under my header. Take a look around, I added some sub pages, and more to come!

How It All Began

 

Funny story before I tell my story. Last night, my husband asked me if I planned on doing more vlogs for my blog. I told him of course, and told him about a couple of the ideas I had for some fun ones. I then told him about the post I was going to publish for Sunday (today, the one you are currently reading.) I thought since the buzz this weekend is the Disney marathon, I would take a trip down memory lane and tell the story of how the WDW marathon weekend will forever hold a special place in my heart, because that’s where my running journey began.

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He asked if I had told the story before and I said that yes, I think I had in parts, but that you get new readers all the time so it’s always fun to tell an important story like that again. So I turn on my computer yesterday, save the pictures into a folder from my race recaps that I want to use, and go read some blogs before I write my post, and lo and behold, Karen had the exact same idea! Great minds think alike I tell ya. Be sure to go check out her story, as it is very very similar to mine. Smile

Let’s rewind to January of 2009, shall we?

I had been a part of a message board for Disney brides and honeymooners for a few years. Several of us had gotten very close, and decided to have a “meet up” in WDW. A couple of the girls were running the marathon, so we thought it would be a great weekend to go. Karen and I had never met, but our plan was for her to drive to my parents house, fly to WDW with me, share a room with me, hang out for the weekend, then fly home. I must say, I was a bit nervous having never actually met the girl!

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Our first picture together. Oh how there would be many, many more in the following years!

This was also the first weekend I met Jen and Crystal, both also a part of the message board. How could I have known some awesome lasting friendships would come of this?

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One of the most fun weekends of my life. These people are a blast.

The morning of the actual marathon, Karen and I staked out a spot in front of Hollywood studios to watch the race…no particular reason for this spot. Keep in mind I was NOT a runner at this point! We waited for our friends to pass. The place we were standing was around mile 24. We somehow missed Jen and Jeff, but managed to catch Crystal! As all of the people passed by, and as I watched everyone cheering them on, all of the sudden I got really really emotional. I thought of the hard work and dedication these people had put into their training for this race. I didn’t know them, but I was so proud of them as they all passed me by. I cheered my little heart out, and decided I COULD do this, I HAD to do this! Fortunately, Karen had the same thought as me, and we vowed we would be back to run.

Fast forward to January 2010.

Bobby, myself, my mom, and sister drove to WDW for marathon weekend. 17957_532225199888_61700476_31352426_8226839_n

Jen, Bobby, me, and my sister outside the race expo

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Dinner at Narcoossees

We had trained for this race, our very first half. Our goal was to finish in one piece and to have fun. If you are familiar with marathon weekend, you know this was the year of the freeze and the sleet. Yes. It sleeting during the half, and neither Bobby or I had the proper cold weather gear. Thankfully Jen had a bit to spare for me!

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We did make it in one piece, and it felt so good to cross that finish line! We did it, we were officially half marathoners!

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But we had not yet reached our goal. What? That’s right. My goal was the Disney full marathon.

Fast Forward to January 2011.

It was a tough training cycle. I was struggling with an IT band injury, and Bobby and I were not even living together (he took a new job and I lived with my parents while our house was being built, and he lived in our new town with his employer.) It was tough training basically on my own, I was under a lot of emotional stress. But, we made it to Disney! Karen ran the full with Bobby and I, and it will forever be one of the best memories of my life. We had SO MUCH FUN with the race, stopping and taking pictures with every character, goofing off and enjoying the race.

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I remember very distinctly when Karen and I ran by our inspiration curve outside of Hollywood studios. I got really choked up remembering where it all began two years prior. I could not believe I was about to accomplish my goal, and finish the race.

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“inspiration curve”

Crossing the finish line was amazing, we finally did it. Two years later, we accomplished what we had set out to do, and it felt wonderful.

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Fast forward to January 2012.

Yup. sitting on my couch. Smile I didn’t make it to marathon weekend this year, because Karen, myself, and my mom are running the Princess half in February! Oh, and I have my sights set on just ooonnneee more teeny tiny Disney goal.

Goofy 2013, I’m coming for you!

In case this wasn’t enough fun for you and you want MORE, you can read the individual race recaps for the Disney half and full marathons that I ran, as well as this year’s Disney Wine and Dine race and Halloween 5k:

Disney Half Marathon 2010

Disney marathon weekend expo 2010

Disney Full Marathon 2011 part one and part two

Disney Halloween 5k 2011

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

QOTD: Can you remember back to what inspired you to start running or become healthy? What did it for you?

Beyond the Parks Part 1

 

I go to Disney World a lot. During my many visits, I have been fortunate enough to experience the different sides of Disney. Sadly, some families go straight from hotel to theme park and back again, and miss out on some of the most entertaining and exciting parts of Walt Disney World. I want to share some of these tips and activities with you in hopes to make your Disney vacation even more unforgettable! There are so many things (and I won’t even be including them all!) so I am going to break this up into two posts. I will post part two in a few days.

What to do in Walt Disney World Beyond the Parks

Waterparks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are Disney’s two waterparks. If you have an annual pass, you can save $4 on admission. Or, if you purchase a package with your vacation, you can add on the “waterparks and more option” so you can hit up both waterparks! I have been to both more than once, and don’t really prefer one over the other, they are both fun for different reasons….and both have great lazy rivers! They are open from 10-5 seasonally.

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Miniature Golf (and regular golf!) I have played mini golf in Disney, but not regular golf. My dad has and had a great time though. Disney has two mini golf courses and four championship golf courses. I think golf is one of those great things to do when the parks are super crowded, and it’s also just plain fun!

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Water craft: You can rent watercraft from certain resort marinas throughout WDW. You can rent Sea Raycers, sailboats, SunTRACKER® pontoon boats, Boston Whaler Montauk boats, pedal boats, kayaks and canoes among other things. The marinas you can rent them from are:

  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Downtown Disney Marketplace

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Afternoon Tea: Sometimes it’s nice to just relax and unwind after a long morning in the parks. One of my favorite ways to do that is by going to afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian in the Garden View Tea room. Tea is offered from 2-6 pm and reservations are suggested. And, if you have a little girl on your trip ages 3-11, you can take her to the Perfectly Princess Tea Party held at the Tea room. Contact me for more info on this fun outing!

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Fitness Centers/Spas: If you will remember my post on the gym shared by the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, you will know that working out on vacation/hitting up the gym is something I love to do! Not only can you get your sweat on at a lot of the resort’s in the gym, but you can also get pampered at the spa! The Grand Floridian has one (currently being refurbished) as does Saratoga Springs. I have been to both and only have good things to say. Book a massage, it is vacation after all!

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Bike and Jogging Paths: I have also done a post already about the jogging path’s between the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian resort. I love running in Disney World, and s lot of the resorts have great places to run. If you stay at the Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club, you can run around the Boardwalk and all the way to Hollywood Studios. If you stay at Wilderness Lodge of Fort Wilderness, there are beautiful wooded trails connecting the two…which brings me to my next point, BIKES! There are several places you can rent bikes throughout WDW. I have rented bikes from the Wilderness Lodge before, and it was a really fun activity on a day when the parks were really crowded.

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Ok this post is getting really wordy so I will save some more fun activities for next time, so stay tuned!

QOTD: What is your favorite “overlooked” Disney activity?

I am a Disney Vacation Planner with Travel with The Magic. My services are FREE for my clients! E-mail me at [email protected] for a quote. There are some discounts out that you could be taking advantage of!

Cruisin’ With Mickey

Afternoon friends! I hope you are getting through your Monday without too much despair. At least most people probably have a short work week, right? Anyway, I thought since it’s a depressing Monday I would share some of our cruise pictures with you of the sunny Caribbean!

You may remember we got a great deal on a 7 night Disney cruise the week after Thanksgiving. It went to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay which is Disney’s private island. I will try to do a series of posts so I won’t share all of my pictures at once. Smile

Here are some of Key West:

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Really cool trees that were everywhere!

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famous Duval street

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Ok, so it wasn’t exactly SUNNY that day, but you get the idea!

Today I am going to cross train, I haven’t done that in over a month! Tomorrow will be a short run, Thursday will be a middle distance run, and Sunday will be a long run!

Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: have you been to Key West? What was your favorite part?

Almost that time…

well, tomorrow is the day we leave (well, kinda today) We head to my parents today, then drive the rest of the way to Orlando tomorrow morning at 3:30, yes, 3:30 am! I am starting to get nervous. As I was standing out in the cold this morning, I thought to myself… “it will be colder than this the morning of the race.” BBRR!!!

My hip is giving me a little trouble this morning, so hopefully that isn’t a bad sign for the race.

For breakfast I had some almonds, a glass of milk with some protein powder, and a granola bar. I need to start taking pics, I am still new at this thing!

On a happy note, I think some of my Christmas weight is slowly coming off….I was hovering right at a certain weight for like…3 weeks because of all the junk I had been eating, and I have been trying to avoid all that junk and so I am starting to go back to what I was before Thanksgiving…slowly…

by the way, in case anyone cares, I am a HUGE chocolate fan, sweets fan, oh yes. i cannot live without sugar. So do not be alarmed when and if I list any foods I had if I list some not so healthy things. I try to have a balance, but I must have sugar in my life!!!