Birthday Bash Day 3

Even though we didn’t get to bed until well after midnight after the Halloween party, there was no rest for the weary, because Debbie had to leave that next afternoon and we had to see as much of EPCOT as possible in a few short hours. We ate breakfast and walked over to the transportation and ticket center where we hopped on the monorail to EPCOT.

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We had fastpasses for Spaceship Earth and Soarin’, and at 11:00 we headed to the World Showcase for lunch.

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We ran into this lady on the way and she had a very short line so we jumped in for a photo opp. I told her all about how I wore her yellow dress with lights in it to the Halloween party, and she didn’t seem all that impressed. I must have not explained the lights and the tutus correctly, because clearly it was an awesome costume.

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By the way, anyone else think her eyebrows are a bit much? Something just didn’t look right? (In my own little world I am convinced I would play the best Belle, so maybe that’s why.) We hit up a couple of food booths and headed back towards France because I really wanted my favorite drink and they don’t open until noon.

Hello Grand Marnier Slush, we meet again.

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I didn’t eat lunch with the others because I had plans with this fellow. Haven’t seen him since February and it was great to catch up!

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My mom and Debbie had already headed back to the resort to catch Debbie’s magical express bus, and judging by the time I figured I could make it back to see her off, so I hustled to the monorail and made it back to the Polynesian just in time to say farewell.

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Now it was just me and mom for a day and a half. Mom wanted to organize her things and shower before our dinner at Citrico’s, so I spent some time with another favorite family of mine at the pool.

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After catching up, I got ready for dinner and mom and I hopped on the monorail once again. No way she looks 60, right? (This hopefully means I won’t look 60 when I am 60!)

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Dinner was just “ok”. We have ebbs and flows with Disney signature restaurants, and there were a lot of screaming small children running circles around the tables this time around. (Note this is a white tablecloth restaurant, we were just a little surprised at the Chef Mickey’s level of chaos.)

It was here that I told my mom I had another SURPRISE for her after dinner, but we weren’t leaving until 8:30. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling great and was SO tired, and kind of wishing I HADN’T planned said surprise, but I would later end up being SO GLAD I didn’t bail because it was one of the highlights of the trip, and it deserves it’s own blog post!

QOTD: Favorite food and wine festival food? Favorite signature restaurant in WDW? Favorite menu item at a fancy restaurant?

5 Top Moments from Refresh Summit

Hello friends! I am back! I had every intention of having a blog post written Sunday night to go up Monday, but I did NOT intend to catch a bad cold and feel like crap when I got home Sunday night! I think I am getting better thankfully. What timing, huh? The sickness didn’t stop me form having a great time in Tennessee for Refresh Summit.

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We spent the weekend at the beautiful Deer Run retreat center just outside of Nashville.

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Instead of recapping everything we did, I just wanted to share my 5 favorite moments:

1.) 80’s glow in the dark Zumba party: OH MY GOSH so much fun. Zumba has never really been my “thing”, but this was a BLAST. Since it was Halloween, we had an 80’s theme. We turned out the lights, donned a ton of glow in the dark jewelry, and danced our booties off to 80’s music. It. was. amazing.

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2.) Sharing my heart in my workshop: I had the privilege of leading a workshop twice, sharing my heart about social media, the negative side of things, the comparison trap, and having a healthy view of social media. (I fully intend to make this into a blog post at some point, so hang tight.) I had forgotten how much I enjoyed speaking and sharing what God is and has done in my life, and it lit a fire in me to do it more often, so hopefully I will have the opportunity!

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3.) Chatting with friends: Old friends and new alike, I enjoyed each and every woman I met at the summit. Everyone had such a unique story, and I am so happy to have met them all. I will admit, at first I felt a bit like the odd man out since a large portion of the people there had attended last year and all knew each other, but it didn’t take long to jump right in and get to know everyone. That’s one thing I loved about this particular retreat, we got to have some down time to get to know each other instead of just GO GO GO non stop.

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4.) Meals: Ah, the food. We had some amazing meals at Deer Run put on by the staff, then we also had a breakfast sponsored by Love Grown, and a lunch sponsored by Chipotle! Both were delicious. So many good eats all weekend long.

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5.) Worship time: We have several times where we sat and sang/worshiped. and we had the privilege of being led by the wonderful Rhyan Shirley. She wrote the song “You Are” that you may have heard Colton Dixon sing on the radio. She did a great job and I truly enjoyed her music and guitar playing. unnamed (55)

All in All, Refresh Summit was amazing, and the hosts put in so much hard work to make sure it was a great experience for all, and I was grateful for their hard work, and blessed in so many different ways. If you have a chance to go next year I highly recommend it! There will also be one out in California in April if you live on the west coast.

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QOTD: have you ever gone on a fitness or women’s retreat?

Fall Fun

Happy Monday! We had a fun filled weekend with amazing weather down here in Mississippi, and I’m so sad it’s all over. I wish the temperature would stay like this forever! On Saturday morning, my dad drove up here early to hang out with us. There is an annual car show here in Madison, and we decided to sell Orange Leaf frozen yogurt from a booth this year. Bobby left early to set up, and my dad and I arrived later with Emma Kate. (My dad came up for this same car show last year so it was fun to do it again!)

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This was only our second time at the car show, but apparently this was it’s 12th year. There were a lot more cars that had awesome access systems than last year, so apparently it just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

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Yes, this is an old blue truck with a corvette engine in it.

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Transformers?

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Emma Kate decided to practice her walking skills.

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Dad and I walked down to McAlisters for lunch with Emma Kate just like last year. It was so fun to do the same things as last time but this year Emma Kate is walking!

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Below is a picture from this same weekend last year. Crazy how big she has gotten!

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After lunch we headed to the store to get grilling supplies for our BBQ that evening. We had a great time relaxing on the back patio grilling and eating and Emma Kate was such a trooper the whole day and didn’t get fussy until just before bedtime.

Sunday morning, dad left right before Bobby and I headed to church.

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After church we hung out at the house before attending our church’s annual Fun fest. It’s like a big carnival with jump jumps of all kinds, games the kids can play and win candy, food trucks, puppet show, photo booth, a clown, etc. It’s free to the public, they just ask that you bring some canned goods for their canned food drive.

All the kids dress up in their costumes, and it’s just a really fun family time.

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We watched the puppet show, then let Emma Kate practice her walking skills and she thought she was hot stuff walking around the festival. It was so cute.

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I had a delicious hot dog from a food truck, and capped off the night with a cheesecake caramel apple. I don’t know about you, but the fact that they will slice it for you at no extra cost is amazing. I haven’t had a caramel apple in years because they are just so gosh darn messy, but this, this I could deal with!

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The festival was over at 7:00 so we left a few minutes before since Emma Kate’s bedtime is 7:00 and she was fading fast. She had a very full weekend but was such a trooper. We are loving this new stage!

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QOTD: Do you go to any fall festivals? Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Body After Baby: 12 Months

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow. I have an exciting announcement for that post!

Well, here we are. I had a baby a year ago. Today is actually my due date, but we all know Emma KAte was a week old by the 30th last year!  The excuse of “I just had a baby” can no longer be used. trust me, I milked it as long as I could. Honesty moment: I always used to roll my eyes when people said they can’t get rid of the baby weight. I mean really, it can’t be THAT hard right? Well, it IS hard, but it is also doable. I have realized you have to really want it more than those chips and queso, and honestly, sometimes I just really want the chips and queso, yall.

In the beginning, the weight came off really fast. I got cocky, and thought I would be back to my old weight in no time. I think I lost something like 17 or so pounds in the first few days. (I gained right at 30).

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One month postpartum

I stopped breastfeeding after a month, and I know that didn’t help matters. Between November and March I actually GAINED weight while marathon training (I always gain about 3-5 pounds marathon training), so that was really frustrating.

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end of March 2015, 6 months postpartum

I looked at myself in April/May and was not happy with my progress and knew I needed to get serious if I wanted to see changes. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself after I got back from Disney in May and had gained weight again. I was 8/10 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 15 pounds form my “happy weight.” I knew it was my eating, because I was working out plenty, but I also knew I wasn’t doing the right kinds of workouts.

I decided right then that I was going to be more mindful of my eating . There have been some ups and downs since then, but overall my attitude towards food has greatly improved. I thought when we bought Orange Leaf, that I would gain a ton of weight eating frozen yogurt every day, but I actually LOST weight because in the beginning I was working 13 hour days at the store 3-4 days a week, running back and forth, on my feet all day, with no time to snack. So yeah, froyo was my lunch some days, but there was no mindless snacking all day long. However, because of my crazy work schedule, I have only been working out 3-4 days a week since August. My half marathon training plan got completely derailed, and I started just kind of floating through the weeks.

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September 2015, almost 12 months postpartum

My new plan is to continue running 3 days a week, but I am also going to sign up for a special 6 week HIIT class at my gym that starts the beginning of November. I think the accountability will be good for me and just what I am needing right now. Between now and then I plan to do some strength training on my own 1-2 days a week as time allows. I don’t really have much of a “plan” other than that right now. We have a lot of personal things up in the air at this moment so I feel I’m not in the best place to make concrete plans far out in the future. I know  I’m rambling a bit, I guess I’m just lacking focus an direction at the moment, but I know it is just part of it, and that it will come back to me.

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12 months postpartum

With that being said, I am currently ONE POUND away from my pre pregnancy weight. Of course I would love to be AT my pre pregnancy weight, but close enough, right? However, when I got pregnant I was about 5-8 pounds over my happy weight, so I still have a little bit to go, and I’m hoping the HIIT class will give my body a nice shake up and be just what I need. I want to gain MUSCLE and be STRONG. (PLEASE note, that I understand it’s not all about the scale. I could stay at this exact “weight” but have muscle mass and fit into my clothes better and be perfectly happy, I am simply giving a range based on the past.) I am happiest with myself when I feel strong, and I think that is what I have been missing since having Emma Kate. Sure my arms aren’t that bad from picking up my 24 pound child, but I feel quite flabby. I’m not after being skinny, I’m after being ripped! I think that will help with my running, too.

So, here we are, one year later. On the right path, but not there yet. I plan to “check in” again in a few months, maybe 3, maybe 6, I’m not sure yet, to check on my progress. I hope you will follow along with me. I have a lot to learn and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m excited for it! Time to get stronger and faster!

QOTD: Have you ever been in a fitness rut? Do you struggle more with food or working out?

Meatless Monday Night

Ah, football season. I have waited six long months for you to come back! One thing I was NOT looking forward to though was being tempted by all of the unhealthy snacks that come along with watching football. I have really been trying to watch the unhealthy snacking while in front of the TV. I hate feeling sluggish the next day when I am working out or running because I ate poorly the night before. I knew I needed a challenge to help me get through it, so enter #MeatlessMondayNight!

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While I was trying to think of something I could snack on during a football game that was semi healthy and meatless, I knew one of my main problems would be finding something I could eat “mindlessly”. You know how it goes. You are watching the big game and your hand is constantly in the chip bowl and you don’t even realize it. Or, your team goes into overtime and you keep nervously taking sips of that sugary margarita because you don’t know what else to do. I happened to look at the back of a carton of Silk almond milk, and that’s when it hit me…a smoothie!

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Not only are smoothies meatless (ew that would be weird) and yummy, but it’s something I can mindlessly sip on during a game without the guilt. I decided to whip up one of my favorites instead of a big bowl of cheesy and bacon dip like I normally would make. Check out the recipe below:

Meatless Monday Fruit and Protein Smoothie:

  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • half of a banana
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend well and enjoy!

This smoothie recipe is also great fuel pre workout as well, I love it! Silk is lactose free, plant based, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors.

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Hits the spot! I also have recently been thinking a lot more about milk because Emma Kate is ONE today! How crazy is that? I know she will be needing some good whole milk in her diet, and we love Horizon Organic whole milk! If you aren’t an almond milk fan, you can add this to your smoothie instead. Yum!

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Be sure to check out Silk’s website for tips and recipes for your #MeatlessMondayNight, and to win a giveaway! I hope you will join me! Have fun watching the big game!

QOTD: What is your favorite meatless football watching snack?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

5 Things Friday

1.) September 11th. Where were you? I was a junior in high school and I still remember sitting in class, and another teacher came in and whispered something into my teachers ear. I will never forget the look on his face, it still makes me stomach turn. Let’s continue to pray for the families of the victims, and for our country as a whole.

2.) Fall decorations. What is the “rule” in your house on when you decorate? typically I decorate labor day weekend/beginning of September, but I haven’t yet. Emma Kate’s birthday party is the 19th and I don’t want the house to look cluttered with fall décor + her party decorations, so I may just wait until after that.

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3.) The treadmill boost. I ran on the treadmill yesterday, and my time was way better than it has been outside (air conditioning plus running on a belt changes many things!) What are your thoughts on this? I know running outside is totally different, but I really needed the confidence boost of running in the non 100+ degree heat to see what I could do.

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4.) Recipe help. I need some new, EASY and QUICK chicken recipes. Help a sister out. I’m getting tired of the same old stuff. I have a great enchilada soup recipe I will start once it gets cooler!

5.) Gorgeous clothes. Check out my new Fabletics outfit. Isn’t it gorgeous? I am loving the romantic print and deep purple. I will post a pic soon of me wearing it. We are supposed to have cooler weather this weekend so maybe I will run in it!

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QOTD: Where were you September 11? Any links to easy chicken recipes? When do you decorate for fall?

Disclosure: I was provided with this outfit by Fabletics, however all opinions are my own.

New Owners

It’s official! Yesterday was our first day taking over the Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop here in  Mississippi. It was a very long very overwhelming day, but it went pretty well. Bobby and I were there from 9:00 yesterday morning until 10:00 last night working. Whew.

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We have a LOT of work to do and changes to make to how things were run before, but the store has a lot of potential. We have access to the store cameras on our phones, and were watching two nights ago and already see some issues that need to be addressed. I know change is hard, especially for the teenagers when they could do whatever they wanted at work before with the old owner, but that won’t work with us. Hopefully all the employees get used to the changes soon and everything is smooth sailing! So far so good!

If you are local to the area, please come by the Madison store and say hello!

QOTD: What is your favorite frozen yogurt flavor?

Easy Honey Broth Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

Please enjoy this yummy recipe/guest post by my friend Lesley!

Before I get started on the recipe I want to say a huge hello to all of Heather’s readers, and a big thank you to Heather for the opportunity to share a guest post with y’all!

Heather and I have been “blogger friends” for a couple of years. We finally got to meet at runDisney’s 2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

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I blog about weight loss and running (among other things) at greaterfitness.wordpress.com Stop by the blog or say hello to me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! My username is @greaterfitness

An old friend of mine actually shared this recipe with me a few years ago. I cook it pretty frequently because it is now a favorite of mine, and it is super easy and not too bad for you. Because of its simplicity, this recipe is definitely one you can get your kids involved with. The leftovers are great as well! I suggest using any leftover chicken to toss in a salad or thinly slice the chicken and put it on a sandwich. The best part about this recipe is that it only requires two ingredients that you probably always have in your kitchen:

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Yep, that’s all you need! You’ll need 1 cup of honey and 2 cups of chicken broth.

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of the broth and ½ cup of honey. In an oven-safe dish, combine the remaining ½ cup of honey and 1 cup of broth. Stir both.

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Set the saucepan aside. This will later become a sauce. Place chicken breasts or tenders in the oven-safe dish with the honey and broth mixture. This will cook in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes. You’ll know it is done when the chicken has a tender, white center. Once the chicken is done cooking, let it cool. While it is cooling, put the saucepan containing the remaining honey and broth mixture on medium heat. Cook until it just begins to boil and then back the heat down to simmer. Once you are ready to serve the chicken, spoon the sauce over the chicken. This keeps the chicken very moist and gives additional flavor.

I actually prepared the side of roasted potatoes before the chicken. They will cook at the same temperature, but will need an additional 15 minutes. I will usually get them ready and in the oven then start to prepare the chicken. Once the chicken is ready to go in the oven the potatoes have already been cooking for the extra time they require. This way both foods are done at the exact same time. You can use any type of potato that you like.

Simply clean the potatoes, cut into small bite-size pieces (I leave the skin on for extra flavor) and spread onto a baking/roasting pan. Liberally coat them with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Put them in the oven and you are all set!

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Usually I serve the chicken and potatoes with a salad. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any lettuce when I made this recipe last week so I steamed some green beans as a substitute.

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This meal is so yummy yet so simple to make. I hope that you give it a try and like it just as much as my family does!

QOTD: What is your favorite way to cook chicken?

Weekend Happenings and a Surprise

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend over here at the Montgomery house. Where to begin! Friday, Bobby had to have a minor surgery to get rid of a bone spur in his thumb that was causing him a lot of pain. We ended up at the surgery center the better part of the day which wasn’t too fun, but hopefully now Bobby won’t be in pain!

Friday night we hung out at the house, and early Saturday morning my parents came into town for Father’s Day. Our plan was to BBQ for lunch, so my dad and I went to the store to pick up some things. He also had me drive him around through his old neighborhood for the longest time, which was weird. We got back to the house, and…

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Surprise! My birthday isn’t until July 13th, but this was the only weekend my parents and Bobby’s family could come into town, so they threw me a little 30th birthday party. I also had a sweet friend from college and her family come. We had a lot of fun! We had delicious BBQ, and of course, cake! My favorite New Orleans cake, doberge cake.

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My friend brought her baby who is about 3 weeks younger than Emma Kate, and they had so much fun playing together!

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It was so sweet of Bobby to organize the fun, it was a great afternoon. That night we went out to eat and watched my favorite movie, Weekend at Bernies! It never gets old, my friends.

Sunday morning we all hung out and relaxed before mom and dad had to hit the road back to Louisiana. Happy first Father’s Day to Bobby!

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Good times were had, and sadly they had to leave all too soon. Sunday afternoon we had lunch with some friends from church, and then we just hung out around the house. I got a little work done, since 2016 Disney World packages come out today, I am going to be a busy bee (email me for a quote! [email protected]).

I hope everyone had a great weekend and got to celebrate with loved ones. Luckily I will get to see my parents again in two weeks. We always have a great time!

QOTD: Did you do anything special for Father’s Day?

New Naked Juice and Giveaway

Mornings in my house can be pretty hectic. Everyone is trying to get out the door to start their day, and especially on days when the baby goes to daycare I don’t always have time to sit down and eat breakfast. As a multi tasker, it works better for me to gets things done WHILE making sure I get some breakfast, so grabbing a Naked juice before I jump in the car works for me a lot of mornings. DSC_0048

They are also a great and refreshing mid morning or afternoon snack. I like to make sure it is good and cold and then enjoy one as I cool down from a run, especially in this summer heat we have been experiencing. I have been drinking Naked juice for years, so I was really excited to learn they had some new flavors coming out. As a lover of almond milk and berry flavored things, I knew I would be all about the new berry almond nutmilk flavor, and I was correct. It. Is. Delicious. DSC_0055

Each bottle of Berry Almond Nutmilk contains: 26 blueberries, 8 blackberries, 2 raspberries, 1 strawberry, 24 almonds, 1 3/4 apples and 1/3 banana. Berry Almond Nutmilk is gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free. This non-dairy smoothie blends together fruit, almond milk and soy protein to deliver 11g of plant protein per bottle.

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Naked Juice has a deep tradition of goodness. Since its founding in 1983, they have been committed to creating the most nutritious beverages. Naked Juice has no added sugars or preservatives, and is perfect for on-the-go active individuals who know it’s important to incorporate fruits and veggies into their diet, but doesn’t always have the time to chop, slice, cook or blend. (hello, this is me!) I admittedly have problems getting in the correct amount of fruits and veggies in a day, so, if you can’t eat ‘em, drink ‘em! DSC_0062

The kind people at Naked gave me some coupons for FREE Naked drinks and smoothies so I am passing them on to you guys for a giveaway! THREE people will win TWO coupons each so you can try the new flavors for yourselves. Please follow the instructions below to enter: Naked Juice Giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.