#OpenFun With the New Carnival Horizon

If you haven’t heard, the all new Carnival Horizon, the sister ship to the Vista (which we just sailed on) will be ready for you to step foot on her in 2018. In anticipation of the new ship, Carnival wanted to get everyone excited in these dreary winter months by sharing scents from the ports the Horizon will be visiting. They created adorable soda cans fulled with scents from around the Caribbean, and trust me, they really DO smell like the tropical paradises from which they came, and will make you want to take a cruise asap!

 

Did you know that scent is very much tied to your memories, specifically vacation memories? That’s why Carnival is having a fun event in NYC where you can get a whiff of the Caribbean in a can today and tomorrow in Greely Square Park!

Don’t live in NYC but want to join in the excitement of the new Carnival Horizon? Carnival is hosting a sweepstakes on it’s social channels from December 12-16 where you could WIN A FREE CRUISE on board the Horizon! 

All you have to do is share what scent inspires you to vacation with the hashtag #OpenFun. The Horizon may still be under construction at a shipyard in Italy, but the fun starts now!

Did you know that the Horizon will offer the first ever Dr. Seuss-themed water park? It will also be home to the new Smokehouse Brewhouse with BBQ favorites from Guy Fieri, and the line’s first teppanyaki restaurant.

The Horizon will begin in Europe, then make her way over to the USA for a summer tour including stops in Bermuda and eight day cruises our of NYC before moving down to Miami in September of 2018. Start the fun now by searching the #OpenFun hashtag and share you favorite vacation scents!

Residence Inn Clearwater Beach

Over the weekend, Bobby and I were in Clearwater for a local beach festival, and were invited to stay at the new Residence Inn Clearwater Beach. If you follow me on social media, you may remember we attended the ribbon cutting for this gorgeous property last month. I was so excited to get to stay here after seeing the spacious rooms and pool at the ribbon cutting!

Our studio king room did not disappoint. It was HUGE and had a full kitchen plus living room and sleeping area with a very modern but cozy vibe. Plenty of room for a family to spread out.

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. There were even bar stools at the counter if you wanted to sit and enjoy a meal.

There was plenty of space going into the bedroom area, and the television swiveled so you could view it from the living room or bed. (Not going to lie, we may have eaten dinner in bed while watching football!)

My favorite has got to be the modern bathroom. It has a huge shower and ample space for storing your things. There is even a little hallway going into the bathroom with drawers and a counter to put your things (or your suitcase) on, as well as a closet. it was nice and bright and we had plenty of towels, which is always a bonus.

The best part about this property is the proximity to the beach. We were a block away from the sugar white sands, and we could even see it from our room! No need to use your car, it’s so walkable here to everything from shops to restaurants to of course, the famous Pier 60.

Residence inn clearwater

Something special that this hotel offers is a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool overlooking the bay. What a set up!

I could stay here all day.Residence inn

There is also a free breakfast, a fitness room, conference rooms, and valet parking. Everyone we encountered was so friendly, and we had a great stay. I hope to come back and visit this hotel soon, so I can enjoy it and all that Clearwater Beach has to offer.

Disclosure: I received a free night stay for my review, however all opinions are my own.

Carnival Cloud 9 Spa Stateroom Tour

Disclosure: I sailed on this cruise as a guest of Carnival, however all opinions are my own.

Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to sail on the beautiful Carnival Vista for six nights as we visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Our trip was amazing and exciting, and we were even more pumped to find out we were staying in a Cloud 9 Spa stateroom. Immediately I did some research to see what this would entail.

Cloud 9 spa

First of all, the overall color scheme of the room is different than the other staterooms. It may be cliche, but it was very “spa like” with calming greens and blues. The room was so bright but also cozy, it was hard to leave some days!

Another perk of these rooms are some upgraded amenities such as spa toiletries, and the use of bathrobes and slippers in our room. The toiletries were replenished as much as we needed during the cruise which was a nice touch.





The proximity too the spa itself was definitely a bonus, as we were literally just steps away from the relaxing hallway leading to the treatment rooms, thermal suite, fitness room, and more. We were also very close to the adults only Serenity deck which is where we hung out often. It was nice not having to go far!

Guests staying in these staterooms are also given a special spa discount. When you purchase three treatments, you will get a discount on each, 20%, 30%, and 40% respectively. Not to mention, we had access to the thermal suite which included the amazing heated tile lounger, whirlpool, saunas, and more. We also got our own body scrub and sponge to use there!

We wouldn’t hesitate to book one of these special Carnival Cloud 9 spa rooms again, we were definitely spoiled! Be sure to check out my video tour of our stateroom below. (Room 14217).





Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Expo 2017

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend two course challenge. I have not run this race since it was at night time, and since it added a 10k, so I was pumped to get to experience a new to me race.

I love race expos, especially runDisney race expos. Amanda and I went after lunch and it wasn’t bad/crazy at all! We got out bibs and shirts and did a little shopping. There was still plenty of merchandise left (it was Friday) but I know some sold out by Saturday.

I will say I missed the memo that the race merchandise would be where you pick up your bibs, so we did have to go BACK over there to do our shopping. However it was nice that they had more room and could spread out more!

I didn’t take a ton of photos, however I did take some video, so be sure to check it out below!

 

5 Things Friday XXIX

Happy Friday friends! It’s been awhile since I did a 5 things Friday, and I thought it would be a fun way to “catch up” with you all.

1.) A cruise redo: Remember when my husband and I were supposed to go on a cruise with Carnival in September and it got cancelled due to a little thing called hurricane Irma? Well we were finally able to reschedule! It’s a 6 night western instead of an 8 night eastern, but still on the gorgeous Carnival Vista and we are pumped to leave in just over two weeks! You can follow along with me on social media (@heatherslg) and the hashtag #CruisingCarnival.

(I just bought these towel clips so our towels won’t blow away on the ship, I have meant to do it for years!)

2.) Finally fall? Y’all, we had to put our heat on last night! It dropped down to 50 and this girl was cold, but I’m not complaining! We have had record breaking heat this October (90’s!) so I was thankful to get to wear pants and a cozy sweater today. I’m busting out my boots tomorrow! Unfortunately it’s not staying this way, but maybe now we won’t be reaching the 90’s anymore until May? One can hope!

3.) Wine and Dine: I announced on Instagram stories a couple weeks ago that due to the generosity of a sweet friend I will be running the two course challenge! Yes I’m under trained and I have no costume (help?) but I am running both races and am PUMPED! I haven’t run this once since 2013 so it’s time.

4.) Giveaway: Head on over to Instagram because I am hosting a giveaway, a gift certificate, and if you like athletic apparel you need to check it out. It closes in a couple days so hurry.

 

5.) Webinar and pre sale: In case you aren’t on my email list or follow me on social, you may not know my pre sale for my e-course: Social Side Hustle, 21 days to becoming a social media manager, started yesterday. Not only can you get my course at the lowest price now, but you can sign up for a FREE webinar all about getting social media clients. Also if you would like to get on my email list here is the link for that.

I know I just gave you a ton of links and information, but y’all are sharp, I know you got this. I hope everyone has a fabulous fall weekend, has great weather, attends at least two pumpkin patches and three trunk or treats (no seriously we have a really busy weekend!)

QOTD: What are you or your kids dressing up as for Halloween? 

Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs

Disclosure: I was offered a free weekend stay at this property for a review. However, all opinions are my own.

Fall is one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World, and my husband and I were in need of a quick weekend getaway. So, when the opportunity came up to stay at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs, which is an official hotel of Walt Disney World® on Walt Disney World Resort® property, I jumped at the chance!

I had read that this resort was very close to Disney Springs, and I LOVE Disney Springs so I was really excited about that…however what I was NOT expecting was for it to be literally across the street. I could see it from the parking lot of the hotel, it was that close. Now that Disney Springs has added on so many new shops and restaurants (more than 150 total!), it makes this hotel a prime location for people who love visiting there.

Before arrival, we had requested a king room, and our request was granted. We were on the third floor with a lovely view of the gardens/courtyard with the pool int he distance. The third floor was also the floor the lobby was on, so it was super convenient to go to the gym, grab a cup of coffee, or walk over to guest services with questions. Our room was spacious and I loved how homey it felt with the coffee table and sofa.

We had a flat screen television, and there was plenty of lighting but natural and with lamps.

There was a door you could slide shut to close off the sink area of the bathroom, and the the shower area had a door to close as well. This is great if you are an early riser and don’t want to wake up the rest of the family while getting ready in the morning. Speaking of not waking anyone up, the bed and pillows were super comfortable. I’m not sure if it was the bed or the fact I wasn’t listening for a baby monitor, but I slept SO WELL but nights we were there!

Our room was to the left of the below photo behind the tree, so we looked out over this beautiful garden, which had concrete flooring in the shape of a Mickey head!

After checking in we walked down to the huge pool area. They have a cute little restaurant called the Oasis Bar and Grill (left in the below photo) as well as a really cool looking kids play area, rock formation/waterfall and a hot tub. There was plenty of room for everyone and it looked so refreshing.

We then headed over to the lobby to check it out, and we found this little marketplace and coffee shop. They had a lot of food food offerings, and my only qualm was the price. They had one of those larger bottles of water for $5.50 which I thought was pretty steep, and the sandwiches were pricey as well, but in a pinch, you have to do what you have to do! The Joffrey’s coffee did look delicious though.

The lobby was really big and welcoming, with tons of seating, and hallways leading to different meetings and conference rooms.

Of course, there was a Disney gift store to pick up those last minute gifts to bring back home.

One of my favorite features was this kids play area near guest check in. It had a TV as well as lots of books and pint-sized furniture to entertain the little ones while you check in or grab some coffee.

Bobby spotted the fitness center first, and we used our key card to get in. They had towels and water, as well as some machines, free weights, and cardio equipment.

I was very surprised to see that on certain days you can even attend a character breakfast at the hotel. Good to know in case you can’t get into any character meals in the Disney parks. Be sure to call for availability and pricing.

Wyndham Garden

Want more fun details about this property? They offer shuttle service to all four Walt Disney World theme parks. YES! Huge plus! They also have lighted tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a basketball court. They have self and valet parking, as well as a car rental desk on site, bellman services, and guest services.

They also over over 25,00 square feet of meeting spaces accommodating groups from 12 to 1,200. They do everything from weddings to family reunions to corporate conferences. How convenient to stay and play right in the middle of the action, so that you have easy access to the fun as soon as the conference is over. I would definitely attend a conference there.

My overall experience was very positive and I would stay at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs again. The prices are great to be so close to Walt Disney World, and the amenities are worthwhile for you next family vacation.

Cabot Fit Team Weekend Part 2 + Giveaway

Disclosure: A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity to go to Narragansett, Rhode Island with Cabot Cheese and their fit team. We did a lot of fun fun like run a 10k, visit a farm, and have a cheese tasting. This trip was sponsored by Cabot, however all thoughts are my own. 

*If you missed part one, be sure to check it out here.

We left off in my last post with our tour of EMMA Acres farm. After the tour, we drove over to a historical site, the Towers, and had lunch during a super fun trolley tour of Narragansett. There is so much history in the town so it was fun to hear all about it.

How adorable is our trolley bus?

This is one of my favorite homes we passed along the ocean:

After the tour we walked around inside the Towers and saw them setting up for a gorgeous wedding!

We briefly walked out onto the balcony before the storm hit. See the beach in this picture? That’s where the 10k would end the next day.

back to the Inn as it started to rain. This was the perfect opportunity to dig into my bag of snacks from Cabot and take a nap. Rainy days are perfect for that!

Soon it was time to walk to dinner (Have I mentioned how much I LOVED being able to walk everywhere?!?) at Trio. It was delicious, and a great pre-race meal at that.

After dinner we called it an early night since we were running the Ocean Road 10k in the morning! (You can read that recap here.)

After the race, we walked back to the Inn, grabbed showers then walked down to this cute little outdoor restaurant. It happened to be it’s last day of operation until spring. It was so wild to me that so many places “close up” for the winter, when it’s currently still in the 90’s in Florida.

The weather was absolutely perfect and we all enjoyed a light lunch and some girl talk before walking out onto some rocks for an impromptu photo shoot.

Then you guessed it, time to WALK (I love it!) again to a bed and breakfast where Cabot was hosting a cheese tasting for us. Yall. This place was gorgeous, and also for sale!

It was the perfect day to enjoy the tasting in the beautifully manicured backyard.

Although I have to say my favorite part of the house was the screened in porch. I could sit out there for hours!

We learned a little about the different cheeses and the aging process before trying everything ourselves. I learned a lot, I had no idea some of the processes were so long, and also how many different varieties there were–not to mention all the different pairings!

That evening we walked to dinner at the Coast Guard House for our farewell meal. It was right on the water and had gorgeous views.

It was a great way to recap the weekend and enjoy each other’s company before we would say farewell the next day.

Clockwise from bottom left: Sara and Caisil from Cabot, Christy, Brittany and Diahnn, Nellie, Sandra, me, Aggie, and Amee.

It’s amazing to me how quickly I got to know these sweet girls, and how hard it was to say goodbye after only knowing them for a couple of days. I hope to see them again soon. I learned a lot about Cabot, and have a new respect for the farmers, families, and workers that make my dairy eating experience so effortless and amazing! I also fell in love with Narragansett, although this southern girl wouldn’t want to be there in the winter!

A huge thanks to Cabot for their generosity, knowledge, and love. It won’t be forgotten. Now for the giveaway! One reader will win:

$25 Cabot Gift Box
1 Dopper Water Bottle
1 Guac-Lock
1 Cabot Beewax Wrap
Badger Products

$100 value give-a-way

Please follow the directions in the Rafflecoptor widget to enter. Winner will be announced next Friday. Giveaway open until Thursday night at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cabot Fit Team Weekend Part 1

Disclosure: A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity to go to Narragansett, Rhode Island with Cabot Cheese and their fit team. We did a lot of fun fun like run a 10k, visit a farm, and have a cheese tasting. This trip was sponsored by Cabot, however all thoughts are my own. 

I arrived in Rhode Island on Friday afternoon after a long morning of flying with a layover in D.C. I was so happy to finally be there! Another fit team member, Aggie, and I shared a cab to the Ocean Rose Inn where we were staying, and were pleasantly surprised to see it was right on the water!

We checked in, and got settled into our rooms. Mine was in the building behind the Inn and had been refurbished. I loved the simple clean vibe, and had a great view of the ocean.

Check out the retro refrigerator and phone!

The bathroom sink area was adorable as well.

I had a couple of hours until dinner….so I took a nap. It was glorious. Nowhere to be, perfect weather outside, the ocean, it was bliss for this tired mama. Soon enough we met up with everyone in the lobby and had drinks and dinner at Turtle soup, which is the restaurant at the inn. It. was. delicious.

We called it an early night because we had a big day on Saturday, we were going to visit EMMA Acres farm! Unfortunately we woke up to cold, wind and rain, but that didn’t stop us. We grabbed our rain jackets, and headed out.

So for those that don’t know, Cabot is a co-op owned by farm families in New York and New England (more on Co-ops here). I loved getting to talk with the family that owns EMMA Acres and learn the process of milking the cows and all that goes along with it. These people work SO HARD every day, rain or shine. We even learned about birthing cows and got to see some adorable babies!

We even got to see the milk tank and where they do the milking, which happens twice a day. Very early in the morning and at night. The cows know exactly where to go and are such creatures of habit!

Did you know a cow gets stressed in heat over 70 degrees? They had fans in the room where they are milked for the summertime! (I don’t think they would do well at my house in Tampa!)

This farm is a smaller farm, but equally important to Cabot (and as consumers, should be to us, too!) A huge thank you to them for spending part of their busy day educating us and letting us love on their cows!

 

 

 

Ocean Road 10K 2017 Race Recap

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to fly to Rhode Island and have a weekend of fun, fitness, and learning with Cabot and the Cabot Fit Team. We traveled to Narragansett (and it took me all weekend to remember how to pronounce it!) visited a local farm, ate tons of great food, stayed in an adorable inn, and ran a gorgeous 10k. It was action packed but still restful which I loved. I will be sharing more on the rest of the weekend in another post, but this one is strictly about the Ocean Road 10k race.

I haven’t raced since February due to a nagging quad injury, so I was really excited to have this opportunity. I really love the 10k distance and thought it would be a good chance to test out my leg while racing on a beautiful course. The race was held on Sunday morning, and it was so fun to be able to watch the sun rise over the ocean. The sun comes up way earlier in Rhode Island than it does in Florida, so when I woke up at 6:15 it was just about to peek over the horizon.

I got dressed, ate breakfast in my room, and headed to the lobby to meet my teammates. This is when I realized it was 43 degrees outside and was thankful I had packed accordingly. We all hurried into the team van and off we went to the starting line. We made it to the runner drop off area, which just so happened to be by the water, so of COURSE we had to take a group photo.

We were cutting it pretty close, the race started at 8:00 and it was nearing 7:45, but we were just having too much fun.

We finally got our act together and walked to the start line, only to discover there were VERY few port-o-potties and a line well over 100 people long. I decided I was just going to have to hold it, as they were lining people up and then singing the national anthem before I could really decide what I wanted to do. I hurried and turned on my Garmin and got Pandora working, and then we were racing! I was cold, but I have run enough races to know that I personally warm up very fast even when it’s cold outside and hate being miserably hot at a race because I overdressed, so I opted to wear a skirt, compression socks, and a throw away jacket over my team shirt, as well as something to keep my ears warm.

I started off too fast (shocker) and realized my thighs were completely numb. I just kept moving and was hitting them making sure my legs were still there, it was the oddest feeling. I got in the zone and just listened to my music and soaked in the gorgeous surroundings. They don’t call it the Ocean Road 10k for nothing. You literally run right along the ocean for much of the course. We passed gorgeous homes, beautiful tree lines streets, and rolling hills. I ended up throwing off my top layer at mile 2 and was so glad I didn’t overdress. My face was hot but my ears were cold, so I was again glad for the head wear.

I didn’t take many photos because I was just soaking it all in. I did take a few Instagram stories but didn’t save them to my phone. I kept a pretty good clip the first three miles considering I didn’t really train. I run 3 miles twice a week on the treadmill at Orange Theory, and I ran one four miler and one five miler prior to the race and called it a training cycle. (Hey, life is crazy right now ok?)

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting any kind of PR, I was just curious to see how my quad would do. Mile one was a sub 9:00 mile, and two and three were low nines. That’s where the wheels came off. At about mile 3.5ish, my leg started to get tight. I have not been training on up or downhills (I live in flat Florida!) and I foolishly thought it would still be OK. I had a goal to not walk, so I just kept on trucking even though my pace slowed down.

I made it to mile 5, and we were soon heading down a hill right out onto Ocean Road and past the inn where we were staying. This was my favorite part of the course.

I saw mile six, and knew I was close, but unfortunately didn’t really have any “kick” to give, so I just kept on at the same pace, taking in the beautiful sites. I finished it just over 59 minutes, not a PR, but I was super proud of my pace all things considered.

I found a couple of my teammates who had already finished, and we cheered on the rest of the girls as they came in, then we all walked down to the beach to take pictures of course.

ocean road

we took off our shoes, dipped our tired feet in the freezing water, then walked back to the inn. It was an amazing morning and I was so happy to have had the chance to run in such an amazing place. I quickly fell in love with Narragansett, and hope to return someday.

The race is in it’s fifth year, and if you live nearby (or not!) I highly recommend running it. We got lucky with perfect weather and it really was the cherry on top of a great race.

Disclosure: I attended this weekend free of charge thanks to Cabot, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not asked to write this post. 

 

Weekend with Cabot

Hey guys! I can’t believe it snuck up on me so quickly, but I will be flying out to Rhode Island tomorrow morning to hang out with Cabot! I have a layover in D.C before heading to Providence, where I will meet up with the rest of the team at the Ocean Rose Inn, which is where we will be staying for the weekend. It looks like such a fun and interesting place, and apparently the town is pretty walkable. I can’t wait!

We have dinner at the Inn tomorrow night, then Saturday we are going to visit a farm and learn all about how Cabot works with the farmers. Don’t worry, I will be doing lots of Instagram stories.

Then we have an early dinner followed by an early bedtime, because Sunday morning we are running the Ocean Road 10k.

The fun doesn’t stop there, we have a cheese tasting (duh), and another fun dinner before departing on Monday morning. I hope you will follow along with the fun! I will be using #CabotFit on all my posts, so you can always find me that way. Have a great weekend everyone.