Friday Favorites: Newtons

 

Since I was cursed with a stress fracture in my foot back in November, I have been doing a lot of research of running shoes. I knew I had poor form due to scoliosis and rotated hips, and that I was a heel striker. I am also fairly confident that these variables had something to do with my stress fracture (on top of running three half marathons in 22 days.).

I knew a good bit about Newtons since Running Skirts sells them, but I did some more digging and decided these were exactly what I needed to slowly train myself to run properly. Under doctors orders, I was to gradually add back my mileage, so the timing was perfect since you are supposed to gradually add mileage in the Newtons because of the low heel drop.

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Huh? Ok, let me back up. Regular running shoes have a cushioned heel. When you run, your calf cannot fully extend in them. they push you forward then you arch your back (typically) to compensate. Newtons have a much much lower drop so it is more comparable to barefoot running, but with the sole of a regular shoe. They also have lugs on the forefoot that stick out further than the rest of the shoe that practically force you to run more on your forefoot.

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Because my calves can now fully extend, I have been experiencing some (normal) soreness but it has gotten better. I have run 4.5 miles as my longest run in my Newtons and will up the mileage each week until I feel comfortable racing in them. So far, I really like them and while I have to concentrate to run properly, I can already tell a difference in my form. I don’t feel as if I have to put as much effort into each stride to get the same result (pace).

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You can purchase Newton’s through the Running Skirts store. They have racing, stability, and trail shoes in a variety of colors and styles. Be sure to get on Running Skirts mailing list so you can be alerted when new arrivals come in and when sales are going on!

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QOTD: If you could design your own running shoe, what colors would it be?

*Enter my Ultra Immune giveaway!

Passionate

 

You can tell when you are reading an article or blog written by a person passionate about their subject matter. The joy and excitement overflow onto the page, and is woven into each sentence or idea. Having a desire to share, motivate, and inspire is evident in their work, making each new story exciting to read.  It’s not just about writing, but about the fire that burns within the author, desiring to get their point across to help inform and share with others. Running With Sass is my baby, and I deeply enjoy sharing stories, tips, and motivation with my readers everyday. To be able to do so on an even larger scale would be a dream come true.

True, I am just an average girl, but that is part of my draw. I attract a lot of readers that are new runners, bloggers, and those just starting out on their fitness journey. I have received countless e-mails from readers thanking me for being real and honest, and for showing them that anyone can be fit and healthy.  They enjoy my message of not having to be the fastest, the strongest, or the best…but just striving to be the greatest version of themselves.

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Growing up, I played multiple sports, and even moved on to coaching after college. I have coached basketball at the middle school level, and volleyball at the high school varsity (6A) level. I am very knowledgeable of both sports, and fitness in general. Running is my most recent passion of three years, and I recently have added weight lifting and yoga to my always growing fitness practices.

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My job allows me to travel to several races throughout the year, so I believe having a fresh perspective on the health and fitness of different cities would be a great benefit to readers. Not only have I learned a lot working at health and fitness expos, but also in partnering with several companies to review and share their products.

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Other passions of mine include putting a stop to childhood obesity, and furthering cancer research. I shared my thoughts and experience in a vlog last month on the matter of childhood obesity. As a former teacher, it broke my heart to see so many children struggle with their weight and be bullied by other students.

Don’t forget about my 6 second “fail” that went along with the above vlog. Oops! At least I can laugh at myself, right? (I’m saying “fail” at the end of the video).

I also love social media, and spend a lot of time each day interacting on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, as well as several forums, message boards and other blogs. I have a large twitter following, and a fan page for my blog on Facebook as well as a personal Facebook page. Participating in Twitter chats and social media conversations is something I really enjoy. Meeting new people, reaching out and making friends is an encouragement and inspiration.

My mother is a stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. She is an amazing woman with a lot of fight, and a great inspiration to many. I have learned so much watching her, and as a family we have all taken steps towards a more healthy lifestyle to help prevent certain types of cancer. My husband and I ran a half marathon this fall with Team in Training benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to be a part of raising money for cancer research and treatment.

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In closing, I think the name of my blog says it all. Yes I run, and yes I try to live an active, healthy life…but I do it all with a touch of sass. Who says healthy living and fitness have to be boring and bland? Spicing up your fitness and health as well as your life in general, can help you to be a success story. I have faced obstacles, criticism, injuries, mental defeats, and trials. Through it all, my husband and I are dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle, against all odds.

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Below is a video I put together last summer documenting my healthy living journey. I hope you enjoy following along.

QOTD: What are you passionate about?

Ultra Immune Giveaway

 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at Ultra Immune about doing a review and giveaway of there product. I was intrigued as I have been seeing ads for it all over the place. Plus, with the weather here going from hot to cold, I usually get pretty sick this time of year. Very willing to try an herbal supplement to boost my immune system, I was on board! Not to mention…a RWS reader will win a two month supply for themselves! ($72 value!)

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First, what is Ultra Immune?

Ultra Immune is an herbal supplement designed to support the natural function of your immune system…..

“Ultra Immune combines the best in Eastern and Western philosophies, crosses centuries of practical use and focuses exclusively on well-researched and regarded herbal and botanical extracts.

In addition to combining ten select ingredients, we also work hard to ensure that the original sources and suppliers of those ingredients follow best practices (including sustainability) and deliver the highest quality possible.”

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The basics:

  • Strengthen Immune System.
  • Safe for Continuous Use.
  • 100% All Natural. Vegan.
  • 10 Compelling Ingredients.
  • Gluten & Preservative Free
  • Minty flavor

My personal review:

In the mornings before I eat anything, I put a dropper full under my tongue. The flavor is fine, and it’s easy to take. We will see how I do over an extended period, but so far, no sickness and I feel great! A lot of supplements are not safe to take for extended periods of time, but I like that this one is. As an athlete, a strong immune system is very important to me, especially this time of year. I think a product such as this is great for anyone busy and on the go, and I am happy with the results so far.

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GIVEAWAY:

You can win a 2 month supply which is worth $72!!! Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, January 28th at 8:00 PM and announced the following day. There are three ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1.) Check out their Facebook page and tell me you did so

2.) Tell me why YOU need a healthy immune system (busy mom? athlete? race coming up? wedding?)

3.) Tweet about the giveaway (must include link to this post in your tweet and @runningwithsass)

9 Foggy Miles

 

Good morning! Catching up from the weekend? Here’s what you missed:

Saturday in Pictures and Workout Recap

RWS Features #8

Tour of The YMCA Vlog

Remember yesterday when I posted about my workouts for the week, I mentioned I didn’t get to long run Saturday because of our service project? Well, just my luck, my friend and Rouge Orleans teammate Kristyn texted me yesterday morning asking if I wanted to long run with her that afternoon. YES!

After church, we ate lunch, took a quick nap, then I drove down to the beach to meet Kristyn….and the fog.

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I promise the water is there…somewhere…..

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It was a little creepy and so so humid!

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I waited for Kristyn in the parking lot.

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We decided to head out in one direction from the bathrooms then turn around, grab some fuel/water then head in the other direction.  Within a half mile of running, I was soaking wet form the humidity, it was like swimming! My hair was soaked, my eyebrows, it was insane.

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I started out in my Altra’s but an so glad I also brought my other shoes because I got a bad blister at mile two and had to walk/hobble back to the car. We headed out again in the other direction and ended up running nine miles! I took it really slow…I was nervous in jumping my mileage from 5-9 in a week, but I think taking it slow and taking walk breaks made it much more bearable for me, and gave me a little confidence I can do the distance again.

Also, congrats are in order…this was Kristyn’s FIRST TIME to ever run nine miles. WOO HOO!

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Sorry it’s blurry Kristyn…not sure what my problem was there! The miles went by so much faster having a friend to run with, I hope we get to do it again soon!

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So, I took it really slow amping up my mileage for three weeks, and now am at nine, which boosts my confidence for our relay that is coming up in just a few short weeks!

QOTD: Would you rather run alone or with a friend and why?

Tour of the YMCA Vlog

 

Hello friends! I am back to my vlogging today, and this time it’s not just me staring into the camera. Well…the first part is but that’s ok. Below you will find three videos. The first is the introduction to what I am doing. The second is a video explaining our running trails and village green area. The third is a tour of the actual YMCA in my neighborhood.

I am sure you are aware that my state, Mississippi, is the most obese in the nation. However, there are plenty of active and healthy things to do here if you look hard enough. I am going to start showcasing these things, and thought my neighborhood Y would be a good place to start.

(check out the site before the building was built)

Intro to what I am planning to do and why:

Village green and running trails:

YMCA tour: I decided to go in right when they opened as not to disturb gym goers. The only people working out were the other employees, and I got their permission.

Thanks for watching!

QOTD: If you had to do a vlog to share a healthy location in your city, what would you vlog about?

Making Friends

 

When you were a kid, you made friends at school or in your neighborhood by sharing a swing on the playground, or biding bikes down your street. Now that we are adults, we still need to interact and make friends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t swing all that much anymore, but one thing remains the same…sometimes you have to put yourselves out there to make friends.

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I have gotten a couple of e-mails from new-ish bloggers asking me how they can make more friends online. Some people feel like they aren’t in the “club” and want to know how to get “in.” First of all, as far as I know there isn’t a club, so good news! The reason why it seems some people are always talking to others more often, its because they are putting themselves out there. Everyone wants to be talked to, or else they wouldn’t be on social media sites, so take the first step and start talking! Where? I’m glad you asked!

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I realize a lot of this is old news to a some of you, but think back to what you knew about social media when you first started blogging…you probably didn’t know a whole lot. So let’s get some newer folks involved so they can continue on their journey to health!

Twitter: This is the biggie. This is where you will make the most connections and “talk” the most. (At least I do!) When I first got my twitter handle (@runningwithsass) I didn’t really understand how it worked. I had to do a lot of googling and just get out there and start tweeting. It was a little confusing at first as a Facebook only user, but I quickly caught on and now love it!

Pinterest: This is something I recently joined, and just like Twitter, I wasn’t sure how it “worked” but with a little research I figured it out and now it is the biggest time suck for me! You can “pin” photos, motivational quotes, blog content, etc. on a number of boards that you create and friend people so they can “follow” your boards. Find my pinterest profile here.

Stumble Upon: This is a good way to get exposure for your blog. You can friend people and see the sites that they “stumble” (like) and see who shares common interests with you, etc. It’s also a good way for you to find other sites and blogs that will help you make friends and learn more on your fitness and health journey. My profile here.

Facebook: This is definitely not a must, but I personally enjoy having a Facebook fan page for my blog. Fans can “like” my page and I post content on there like my workouts, blog posts, fitness questions, etc. It’s a great way to interact with other bloggers and my readers and get feedback. My running with sass fan page here.

LinkedIn: This is more of a professional connections site, but still a great way to meet and connect with people in your industry, location, etc. You can find connections and friend people on here as well. My profile here.

Daily mile: Daily mile is a place to keep track of your workouts, and it’s more than just running! You can track cross training, weight lifting, and a variety of other things. People on Daily Mile are great accountability partners, and it’s also a great way to track your workouts. There is even a phone app so you can add workouts on the go! My daily mile profile.

Healthy Living Blogs and FitFluential are two other GREAT places to meet people!

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Bottom line, if you wait around for people to talk to you, it may not happen. If it does happen, it will probably happen slowly. If you really want to make friends and be involved in social media, do just that GET INVOLVED! Join in twitter chats like #runchat or #fitblog. Retweet other people when you like what they say. Just like a lot of things in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. Blogging and social media are a lot of FUN. Blogger meet ups are great, and new friends are amazing. Dive in and see how encouraging and open healthy living bloggers can be!

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QOTD: What is a site I didn’t list that you use? What is your favorite way to make new friends online?

Things NOT to do as a Newbie Runner

 

I started my distance running journey three years ago, and to say I have learned a lot my be the understatement of the decade. As I have mentioned before, I sometimes take for granted all of the knowledge I have gained about the sport, and forget that I , too, once was a newbie and all of this info didn’t just transfer into my brain overnight by osmosis.

With that being said, I would like to save you from some embarrassment by giving you some tips on things NOT to do as a new runner. Please keep in mind these tips are my own personal opinion, so if you don’t agree, that’s ok (or maybe you just need to re-evaluate things haha).

Don’t stop moving at the water stops: No lie, this is the best. story. ever. Probably because it involves making fun of my husband, but yall I laugh to this day thinking about it. We ran our very very very first race spring of 2009. It was an 8k out and back. I am of course a long way back from Bobby, but I can see him up ahead. I watch as he gets to the water station at the turn around, gets a cup, stops dead in his tracks,  hand on hip, drinks the cup of water, throws the cup in the trash can, and then starts running again! I wanted to die I was laughing so hard. Later, when I approached him about this, he said “I was wondering why I was the only one stopping to drink water…I had no idea you were supposed to drink on the go and then throw the cup on the ground!” I die.

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however, it is ok to stop during a full marathon to slather biofreeze on you knee.

Don’t wear new clothes for the first time on race day: I know it’s tempting to buy a new outfit at the expo and show it off during the race, but please refrain. You could be chafed in places you didn’t know chaffed, end up running in a shirt that’s ill fitting, or shorts that ride up, or shoes that give you blisters. Save the new outfit for the next race after you have trained in it.

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Don’t eat new food the night before or morning of: Especially if you have a sensitive stomach. You don’t want to be barfing on the side of the road, or stuck in a port-o-potty at mile 1 because some unfamiliar food didn’t sit right with you. Practice eating what you want to eat on race morning when you are doing training runs.

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I like to eat pizza the night before a race

Don’t start out to fast: I admittedly still struggle with this one. I just get so darn excited at the beginning of a race, and I feel so good, I can’t help myself! I know it’s tempting to take off and stay with the lead pack, but don’t. It’s much better to finish strong then to start off too fast and have to crawl across the finish line, trust me.

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dying at the finish line

Don’t dress to warmly for cold weather: Once you start running, your body will warm up, and you may wish you hasn’t worn those gloves and that heavy sweatshirt you now have to tie around your waist. Yes it sucks getting out the door in the cold, but it will be better once you get started, and may make you run faster!

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Don’t run in place at a stoplight Ever see those people at crosswalks jogging in place waiting for the light to change, well, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s really not necessary. As long as the light isn’t some crazy length of time, you will be perfectly fine to just stand still while you wait for the light to change.

Don’t schedule too far of an out and back: Nothing will make you look more lame than setting out on an out and back run that is too far for you, and you lose all your steam before you get back home…and then you are stuck two miles from home and feeling like death. If you aren’t sure you can cover the distance, do two shorter out and back loops so if something does happen you won’t be as far from home.

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Don’t forget to plan a family meet up area: Let’s face it, some races are HUGE, and it can be tough to reunite with family and friends at the finish line, especially if you are about to pass out from your race. Have a pre determined meet up spot so you can easily reconnect and celebrate afterwards.

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and my biggest tip for newbies (which irks me the most)

Don’t wear the race shirt to run the race: Personal opinion, but I think it’s bad luck to wear a race shirt during the actual race, unless your luggage got lost, or your baby threw up on your other shirt, or something of that nature. The shirt is stating that you completed said race, so how can you wear it when you HAVEN’T finished it yet? I’m really not sure why but this one bugs me!

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My Centrum ProNutrients winner is KIM from Living Domestically! please e mail me with your shipping address and which ProNutrient product you would like.  congrats!

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Yesterday I ran 5 miles, did weights and 25 minutes elliptical. I’m coming back baby!

QOTD: What tip would you tell a newbie runner, something for them NOT to do?

RWS Features #7

 

Good morning! I am at my parents house this weekend. The Saints play today and I am so excited! Here in the suburbs of NOLA everyone is going crazy getting ready for the game. Since I will be busy screaming and losing my voice, I thought you would enjoy another RWS feature!

But first, a little update. I ran 3.5 miles on Thursday and lifted weights, and this morning I ran 4.5 miles with my mom. (She is running princess with me and Karen.) We are going to lunch, then watching football!

Megan and I have been friends for a year. She started reading my blog as she was starting hers, and we learned we have a lot in common, and I can’t wait to meet her at the Disney princess half in February! Megan is also  fellow FitFluential Ambassador!

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1. How/Why did you start blogging?  I started blogging in January 2011 as a way to stay accountable as I began my running journey. I knew that getting my mileage past the 3 mile mark wasn’t going to be easy! After reading many other blogs (including RWS!) I felt this was a good step to take – and was excited for where it would take me!

2.  Sum up your blog in a couple sentences: Running Toward The Prize is a glimpse into my running journey – with a little gluten free living, Disney and life thrown in – all while focusing on the TRUE prize! (Philippians 3:14)

3. What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging? My biggest goal in blogging is to inspire others. I hope that my journey helps others focus on their running goals – whether it be their first 5K or their 50th marathon! I also love the support and encouragement from other bloggers and the running community in general – and I’m proud to be a part of it!

4. What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment? To date, my biggest healthy living accomplishment was running my first half marathon! It wasn’t easy, but I was so proud as I crossed that finish line! And, I’ll admit it, I’m hooked and can’t WAIT to run more!

Be sure to follow Megan on Twitter: @RunningToPrize

Thanks so much Megan for participating in my features series! Be sure to visit her blog!

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A local West Virginia man named Jamie Summerlin is conducting a cross country run to benefit the Wounded Warriors project.  He’s looking for not only financial support, but running partners along the way. Be sure to check out the link if you are interested in helping!

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QOTD: What two teams do you think will play in the super bowl?

*Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! anyone can enter, you just need an e mail address!

Centrum ProNutrients

 

Good morning! The generous folks at Centrum provided me with some products from their new ProNutrients line to test out, and to offer YOU a giveaway! My husband and I have taken Centrum products for years so I was stoked to have this opportunity.

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ProNutrients is a new line of dietary supplements launched by the makers of Centrum multivitamins, and is formulated to naturally work with a multivitamin.

I was provided with 4 different products to try:

Centrum Specialist multivitamins with specific benefits includes Prenatal, Vision, Energy and Heart.

*I chose to get energy. Heck ya! Who doesn’t need more energy? I feel like I have more, too!

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ProNutrients Fruit & Veggie each MiniTab of  harnesses the power equal to a serving of a blend of fruits and vegetables. It is 100 percent naturally sourced from grapes, blueberries, raspberries, plums, carrots and tomatoes.  It also helps support cell protection and general health.  The retail value for the 50-unit package is $11.99, and the 100-unit package is $19.99.

*I was very excited about this one because I sometimes have a hard to squeezing in all of my servings of fruits and veggies during the day.

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New ProNutrients Probiotic is a unique blended powder containing two of the most scientifically studied probiotics.  The individually wrapped packets are designed to ensure the bacteria arrive active and ready to work in the digestive tract.  They also help support immune health and digestive balance.  The retail value for the 14-unit package is $18.99, and the 28-unit package is $29.99.

*Since my scary ER visit, I have been taking Proibotics every day, so I was glad to see this in my mailbox!

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New ProNutrients Omega-3 provides two of the most scientifically studied Omega-3s.  Since the MiniGels are smaller than the sizes of most brands’ softgels, they are easy to swallow. They help support heart health, brain structure and eye structure.  The retail value of the 50-unit package is $12.99, and the 100-unit package is $19.99.

*I didn’t know much about Omega 3’s before reading some info sent to me on them, but health, brain and eye structure are definitely important and I will continue to take these!

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This part is really cool! Did you know that you may be lacking a vital nutrient? Don’t worry, you can find out what, if anything, it is. Centrum is part of a new website called NutritionPossible.com that offers trusted information from health sources, nutrition experts AND guided information through a unique self-assessment tool – for free!

TAKE THE ASSESSMENT! It’s fun and easy (under create your plan) and tells you what products you may need and foods you need to eat more of. Obviously, mine said I need more veggies and Omega 3! (I don’t eat seafood.)

As I said before, Centrum is kind enough to giveaway one Pro nutrients bottle OF YOUR CHOICE to a lucky RWS reader! Please be sure to checkout the giveaway rules. Ok, so how can you win? There are two ways!

1.) In a comment, tell me which Pro Nutrients product you would choose is you win

2.) In a separate comment, Take the assessment and see if you are lacking in any area, and if so tell me what your results revealed, and how you plan to remedy this! (the assessment is under the “create your plan” menu tab)

If you don’t win, don’t worry! You can visit the Centrum Facebook page to find out how to receive a $5 off coupon for any ProNutrients product as well as valuable supplement information, so check out the     $5 off coupon

You have until Monday, January 16 at 8:00 CST to enter. I will choose a random winner and post results the following day.

I am participating in a Centrum ProNutrients campaign hosted by One2One Network. I received nutritional product and compensation. While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about Centrum ProNutrients as a product or it’s effectiveness.

Did you know today is my half birthday?!

A Day in the Life 2012

 

I have gotten a couple of questions of the past few months about what I do during the day. It’s pretty obvious I’m at home when I tweet about watching Desperate Housewives on Hulu (So addicting by the way!)  and going to the gym in the middle of the day.

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But I am far from bored or relaxing all day long! Granted my days vary a LOT but this is a rough outline of what a day in my life looks like:

7:10 wake up, go downstairs and take the dogs out and feed them Chat with Bobby for a few minutes until he leaves at 7:25. Make coffee

7:25 See Bobby off to work, turn on the computer. Check emails, twitter, Facebook, blogs, start working on Disney quotes, etc.

8:30 Daily devotion/Bible reading and prayer time

9:00 Breakfast. usually either a protein bar or greek yogurt with granola, blueberries, etc.

9:30 More e mail checking, work up Disney quotes and running skirts orders

10:30 Head to the gym or for a run outside (or grocery store, or running errands, etc)

11:30 come home, shower (or put away groceries, etc.)

11:45 do some light cleaning. Put a load of laundry on, pick up around the house, unload the dishwasher

12:15 take the dogs out, eat lunch (soup, sandwich, etc.)

12:30 clean the bathrooms, or dust, or vacuum, or file papers. Whatever the most glaring things are that day.

1:30 take a break. Watch TV or Hulu, surf the web, play with the dogs, call my mom or Bobby to say hi

2:30 prep my blog for the next day, set it to publish the next morning. Work on Disney quotes and running skirt stuff. Feed the dogs

3:30 work on more Disney quotes, answer blog e mails, chat on twitter

4:30 Bobby calls and says he is on his way home, will be here around 5:10. I then go start cooking dinner. Take dogs out.

5:15 ish Bobby gets home, we eat dinner

5:45 sit outside or on the couch and chat about our days, let our food settle

6:15 take the golf cart to the gym with Bobby, lift weights

7:15 come back home, shower, check blogs again, answer questions about Disney or running skirts, check twitter, and Facebook

8:30 hang out with Bobby, watch TV together, get ready for bed , take dogs out, etc.

10:15 ish go to bed, get ready to do it all over again!

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So, as you can see, my day is slightly random but very full. One thing to note is that I don’t have “work hours.” With my jobs, I am constantly answering e mails 24/7. It never stops, so if I plan a vacation for you and you get an e mail at 9:00 at night, you know why. I get bored easy so I try to not stay seated too long. I could easily say “I am going to work on quotes and orders from 9-2” but I would go crazy, so I break it up and work on things as they come. Some days I DO sit still and work on things for 4 hours at a time because I am so busy, but other days I have more time to clean, run errands, etc. It really just depends. Also note when I say “check blogs, get on twitter, etc.” this is partially work as well, I am tweeting about my jobs, doing research on current offers, or trying to get more exposure for my brands.

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doing laundry is way more fun in my red washer and dryer!

So, there ya go! I do love my work because I have a lot of flexibility. I can go visit my family for the day and just work into the night when I get home. Or I can meet a friend for coffee and get up early to get work done before I go. I am constantly checking my e mail when I am away in case a client from either job needs me. I take pride in my work and doing things well.

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I love to run at the beach when the weather is nice!

 

QOTD: What is your favorite part of your day? Do you like to buckle down and work all at once or sporadically throughout the day?