Archives for May 2018

Fun is on the Horizon

Disclosure: Both trips discussed in this post are hosted by Carnival, however all opinions are my own and I was not asked to write this blog post.

You may remember that back in November I had the privilege of sailing on the Carnival Vista, their newest ship, for a trip to the Caribbean. (You can read all about it here, here, here and here.) now, the Vista’s sister ship, the Horizon is ready for sailing, and thanks to Carnival I get to see her not once but twice in the next month! Check out the details:

First up, I leave TODAY for New York City for the naming ceremony on board the Horizon. I will be spending the night near Times Square tonight, then boarding the ship tomorrow afternoon and spending the night on her in a balcony stateroom.

Queen Latifah is the Godmother, and she will even be facing off in a lip sync battle with Jake Elliot from the Philadelphia Eagles. Cannot. wait. It’s a quick trip and I will be flying back home on Thursday, but thankfully I will have another opportunity to explore the Horizon in June when I sail on her for a four night press trip to BERMUDA from New York, and Bobby gets to come with me!

Accommodating almost 4,000 guests, Horizon is then to sail from New York throughout the summer and arrive in Miami in late September to begin year-round 6- and 8-day Caribbean voyages. 

Neither of us have ever been to Bermuda, and I have never sailed out of New York so we are super excited for the opportunity. I don’t have a lot of details on that one yet, but I will let you know when we get closer to sailing so that you can follow along. For now, be sure you are following me on Twitter and Instagram because I will be posting there today through Thursday and doing Instagram stories live.

4 Tips to Stay Sane and Healthy This Summer

Disclosure: This post was created by myself and sponsored by Personal Trainer Food. However all opinions are my own.

It’s that time of year again. Kids are getting out of school for summer, which would make you think things are slowing down, but often the opposite happens. Between camps and work and the pool and trying to keep our children busy, things can end up being more hectic than the school year, leaving little time for yourself, and more importantly your health. I have compiled four quick tips (you know, because you are already too busy for like, 17 tips) to help keep you sane and healthy this summer.

1.) Schedule “me” time into your day (learn to say no): We want our families to be happy, and a lot of times we equate that with busyness and activities. However, this can end up running us ragged and leaving no time for a little peace and quiet, or for a run or yoga class. Your health and well being are important, so don’t be afraid to say no to a social activity or pool play date every once in a while so that you can have some downtime yourself. I promise your kids won’t be scared for life!

4 tips for staying healthy this summer, including personal trainer food

2.) Get outside with your kids: Summertime is a great time to get outside and lead by example and show our kids the importance of being active. Thankfully in our day and age, there are some amazing ideas for fun outdoor activities on Pinterest. I have seen everything from outdoor Twister to water balloon fight ideas and more. Not only is this healthy, but can be a great bonding experience for your family.

4 tips for staying healthy this summer, including personal trainer food

3.) Wear sunscreen and sunglasses: After the bleakness of winter, if can be hard to flip the switch and remember that you are now wearing tank tops and shorts and not long sleeves and pants. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply, even on cloudy days. Also, be sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses or a hat, even for the kiddos. If you are in the water or sweating a lot, be sure to reapply more often than normal.

4.) Try Personal Trainer FoodEating properly is at the core of our health, and it can be so tempting to grab fast food or processed snacks when you are busy in the summer, but don’t be tempted! Especially to have a good start in the morning, you need a filling healthy breakfast to keep you going during the day. Enter Personal Trainer Food.

4 tips for staying healthy this summer, including personal trainer food

Talk about QUICK on the go meals, I can have a delicious (seriously tastes really good!) omelet and maple sausage cooked and ready to eat in 90 seconds! And I don’t even have to dirty up a pan or use the stove. It’s such a  time saver, but that’s not the only plus. These meals are proven to help aid in weight loss, as they are high in protein, have good carbs in them as well as healthy fats. They are flash frozen so they keep their natural flavor and freshness which is awesome.

4 tips for staying healthy this summer, including personal trainer food

Their meals also either contain very low or no gluten, and have no fillers or hidden sugars. They just show up at your doorstep, go in the freezer, and then I just grab one in the morning and throw it in the microwave. Worries about not liking some of the food? Don’t! There are seriously so. many. options. on their website, which makes it easy to mix up every week or keep the same favorites. Their prices are fair and there are no hidden fees.

Personal trainer food

A lot of times I end up staring at the fridge not feeling like or having time to cook for my family (hello that would involve going to the store, meal prepping, cook time, etc.) and now I don’t have to worry about it. I can use that extra time to go for a run, or play a game with my family so it’s a win win for everyone. They even have quick on the go snacks you can order like cheeses, nuts, and seeds. Now I have literally no excuse for eating healthy, even when I’m super busy. Give them a try this summer, and I have a feeling you will be using Personal Trainer Food even after the next school year starts!

Easy Blueberry Protein Smoothie

This post is sponsored by Wish Farms in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

Recently I had the opportunity to go just outside of Lakeland, Florida with Wish Farms to visit their organic blueberry farm, Misty Organics, and learn more about the process of growing blueberries. We also got to see a packing plant and exactly how they go from farm to table, which was SO cool. We also ate at some delicious local restaurants who all used Wish Farms blueberries in special meals made for our group. Everything was so delicious and fun! It really got me in the mood to do more meals with blueberries. Since it’s getting HOT here in Florida I decided to create my own Blueberry protein smoothie that I could have before or after a hard workout. It’s super simple and fast to make with just a handful of ingredients. Great for busy on the go parents (or your kids, too!)

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

But first let’s back up so you can see exactly where these delicious blueberries come from. We visited Misty Organics, Wish Farm’s organic blueberry farm, and got to see the cool way they pot the blueberry plants and use tunnels to control the temperature of the plants. healthy blueberry protein smoothie

We learned that blueberries like water but don’t like to “keep their feet wet”, so the pots drain to help keep that from happening. I also learned that there are so many different varieties of blueberries. I had NO idea there was more than one. We got to taste several different varieties, and I could definitely tell a difference.

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

We also learned that NOW is the time to buy Wish Farms southeast blueberries! This covers Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

After being treated to yogurt and blueberry parfaits (of course!) we headed over to the packaging plant to see how the berries go from farm to packages to the store.

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

It was so cool to see the blueberries go up on a huge conveyor belt, get sorted by machine and by hand, and then weighed and put into packages. It truly is a very efficient process and I could have watched all day!

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

It was a great, eye opening trip that made me want to support these farmers and make even MORE things with blueberries! As a busy mom on the go I don’t have time for elaborate recipes, so this super easy smoothie recipe is not only fast to make, but you can take your smoothie with you anywhere.

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

Ingredients:

-1/2 c vanilla greek yogurt

-1/2 c Wish Farms blueberries

-1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protein power (I use Lean one)

-1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

-1-2 tbsp honey for desired sweetness

-ice cubes for desired thickness

healthy blueberry protein smoothie

Directions:

Add all items to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

For updates, be sure to follow Wish Farms, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube

 

SOLO: A Star Wars Story Giveaway!

The newest Star Wars movie SOLO: A Star Wars Story, comes out SO SOON, so in preparation, myself and a few other Disney loving bloggers decided to host a giveaway!

This prize pack is worth over $300, and there is no purchase necessary to enter.

YES!!!! One (1) WINNER will receive a SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY inspired gift pack, with new collectibles and toys from Disney / Star Wars. The STAR WARS gift pack giveaway includes:

GET EXCITED! This is hosted by The Positive MOM and Disney Mom guide, as well as myself and…

Co-Hosts: The Momma Diaries, The Jedi Father, Mom Start, Dangerous Cupcake Lifestyle, Living One Full Life, Life Food Family, Life In Pumps, Two Married Geeks, Thirty Mommy, See Lindsay, WhollyART, Raising Three Savvy Ladies, No Guilt Life, Centered Mama, Heather Lopez Enterprises, My Mommy Style, Picturing Disney, The Healthy Mouse, Fancy Shanty, Classy Mommy, Ottawa Mommy Club, Southern Family Lifestyle, The Farm Girl Gabs, Susan’s Disney Family, 3 Decades 3 Kids, and Dellah’s Jubilation.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters on May 25th and you can now get tickets now! Check out the trailer below:

Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Trailer

Watch the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story and see it in theaters May 25.

Ok, on to entering the giveaway. Just check out the Rafflecoptor widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

6 Tips for Running the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend is definitely a favorite of mine because I love to eat, and naturally love EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. This is also a great time of year to visit Walt Disney World as it’s starting to slowly cool off, and Christmas decorations are starting to go up!

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

Since this race has switched to a daytime race, I decided to update my tips post so that it makes more sense for the current race weekend situation. Here are my best tips for running the Wine and Dine half marathon.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

1.) Hydrate in advance: Don’t wait until the night before to decide to start drinking water. The race will be HUMID and you will sweat a lot. Carry a water bottle with you days in advance, at the expo, to the parks, etc. Also hydrate on the course. There are plenty of water stops. I take one cup of Powerade and one cup of water at each stop starting with the second one. (I typically run through the first one).

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

2.) Prepare for before and after the race: If you are checking a bag, make sure you don’t put any valuables inside as runDisney is not responsible for anything stolen. If I’m driving I put my car key in my bag as well as a phone external battery and charger and a jacket because I always get cold quickly after a race. If you are meeting someone at the finish line, make sure you have a plan as to where you are meeting because cell service may be spotty with all the people in one small area.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

3.) Watch your footing: runDisney does a great job of lighting up the roads, there are still some dark spots early in the morning and I have seen people trip and fall on the reflectors in the middle of the road! Also, running through Animal Kingdom will be tight, and has some uneven pavement so pay extra attention running through that park.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

4.) Watch your food intake: Do not eat any news foods the day of or before the race. I know the unique foods at the Food and Wine festival are tempting, but save it for after the race and at the after party! As far as on course calories, there will be either sport beans or gels, so make sure your stomach can handle it, or bring your own fuel.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

5.) Read the official race program: Be sure you know the course, where the aid stations are, and what time to get on a bus. Be sure you get to the race in enough time to go to the bathroom and check your bag. A good reason to know the course: real bathrooms! You will be running through the parks, so I always try to take a bathroom break if needed in a “real” bathroom. There is also a map showing you the set up of the pre race area and where to go to get in your corral. If you are in corral A in particular, they close it off early and start moving them up around 5:00. I have missed my corral before and had to weave through a lot of people to get up to A because they had already moved to the starting line. Not a fun experience!

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

6.) Enjoy the after party! If you registered for the half marathon, you get automatic entry into the party at EPCOT on Sunday night. It starts at 10:00, and be mindful if you get there early that they shut everything down from 9-10 to clear out the park so you won’t be able to get food or ride anything during this time. Take lots of pictures, enjoy the food booths and a park with less people in it. Congrats on a great race!

To get excited about the race, be sure to check out my past two Wine and Dine race recaps from 2011 and 2012! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

QOTD: Will you be running this weekend? Do you have any tips to add?

Looking for more info on runDisney races? be sure to check out their website for more information!

Star Wars Days LEGOLAND Florida

Disclosure: I was provided with free tickets to LEGOLAND Florida, however all opinions are my own.

May is a very special time at LEGOLAND Florida, because there is the amazing added bonus of Star Wars days! This year, Star Wars days are happening the first three weekends of May, and all the fun is included with the price of admission. If you or your kids are Star Wars fans, then these weekends are a must! We had the privilege of attending the first day, May 5th, and Emma Kate had an amazing time.

There are lots of cool things to experience on these weekends such as character meet and greets, costume contests, the Lego Miniland display, fun Star Wars themed food and music throughout the park.

 

As we entered, we were surprised at the amount of meet and greets, with little to no lines! Emma Kate got a ton of photos, so many that I can’t even post them all! The characters were all super great with her, too.

 

We headed over to Miniland, and really loved the life sized characters built out of Legos as well as the amazing scenes from some of Bobby’s favorite Star Wars movies.

 

Some of the displays had moving parts which Emma Kate thought was awesome. I can’t imagine the amount of hours it took to do all of this!

 

On top of all the Star Wars fun, we also enjoyed the regular attractions at LEGOLAND, and even spent a little bit of time at the water park. The highlight I will say was as we were headed out, Emma Kate wanted to ride the carousel. As she was getting on, so were some of the Star Wars characters! She got to ride next to a Storm Trooper and you couldn’t pay her to wipe the huge grin off her face!

Star Wars Days

Star Wars days at LEGOLAND Florida will only be around for two more weekends, May 12-13, and 19-20, 2018 so be sure to get over there soon. Remember, all the fun is included in your price of admission! There is plenty to do, we ended up spending the entire day there, even despite a few rain showers. Here is a quick recap of the special Star Wars offerings:

  • Join us as we unveil the newest addition to MINILAND with the LEGO® Star WarsThe Force Awakens MINILAND Model Display! This giant new display, made out of thousands of LEGO bricks, features memorable moments from Episode VII of the popular Star Wars saga enhanced with lights, sound effects and animation.
  • Meet LEGO® Darth Vader and a new LEGO® Star Wars character – announcement coming soon!
  • Dress up as your favorite Star Wars character for a chance to win LEGO prizes
  • Hands-on building activities and much more!

Also be sure to follow LEGOLAND Florida on Twitter and Instagram.

The Ultimate Blogger Guide for Working With Brands

I’ve been blogging a long time. Back when I first started over eight years ago, I had no idea it was something you could make money doing. Working with influencers was still a new term, and brands were hesitant to open their wallets to pay a blogger to advertise for them. My my how times have changed, and it’s so exciting to see most brands embracing online influencers and acknowledging that they are an integral part of making sales. We already have an audience that knows and trusts us right? Plus it’s way cheaper to have bloggers post for you than pay millions of dollars for a print or television ad!

The Ultimate Blogger Guide for Working With Brands

So we “know” that money is being exchanged and floating around out there, but so many people are still at a bit of a loss on how THEY can get a piece of that pie. It can be downright frustrating to see huge bloggers get massive contracts, but don’t worry, you can make money too! You may not get a 20K contract to start out like the big guys do, but there is a way for you to make money via your blog or social media profiles as a full time career, or just a side hustle to help out your family, and I can show you how to do it.

After seeing the plight of so many bloggers, and getting tons of emails on the topic, I decided to create my own guide specifically for frustrated bloggers who were ready to take it to the next level. Maybe you have already worked with brands before but in exchange for product only, or maybe you want to work with brands but just don’t know where to start, or how to get your blog “ready” for such a thing. (I mean after all, the brands are going to LOOK at your stuff before they hire you, right?) Maybe you are a stay at home mom who has been blogging as a creative outlet but would love to also make some money from it to contribute to the grocery bill or mortgage payment, or for that summer vacation to the beach.

That’s why I created the Ultimate Blogger Guide for Working with Brands. It’s concise, it’s no frills, and it has no pretty fonts or extra printables. It’s all text, ready for you to absorb so you can put it into action ASAP.

See, I feel there is a mix of issues going on here. One is lack of self confidence, and one is fear of putting yourself out there/not knowing where to start. Well, if you have been following me for any length of time you should know how I feel about fear. Punch it in the face! Be afraid, but then DO IT ANYWAY. Sometimes we just need a little nudge, and I hope my guide is the nudge you need to feel confident when it comes to:

-creating a media kit

-approaching brands

-pitching brands

-writing your posts

-making sure the brand wants to work with you again

PR people talk my friends, so you want to make sure you have a good reputation of doing good work. Your blog and social profiles are kind of their own “resume”, and you have to decide what story you want them to tell.

Ultimate blogger guide for working with brands

My guide is priced very fair, starting at only $15 (price going up in a week!) because I know you may be short on cash since you are looking to make money, right? I feel ya, trust me I do. I have been there, and I want to help pull you out of the black hole as quickly as possible, so you can do things like I did this morning, like draft a Facebook post where I am making over $100 just for that one post, or replying to a shipping email on the $250 worth of product I am getting to review and will make $800 total for. Y’all this is REAL money and it’s REALLY possible, I promise!

So head on over to my sales page and grab your copy. It could make for some great weekend reading, and then come Monday, implement, implement, implement! You can do this my friend! Holler if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

Summer Movie Excitement

WOW there is a lot going on these days in the movie world. I’m sure you have all seen the excitement over how well Avengers Infinity War is doing in theaters, and you all know about Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out at the end of this month. I wanted to share a few little “extras” with you that you may not have heard about or seen, so let’s take a peek!

First up, Disney Nature’s all-new film PENGUINS is coming out just in time for Earth Day next year, and a trailer has been released! Check out this synopsis and the trailer below:

Disneynature’s all-new feature film PENGUINS is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family.  None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after.”

Disneynature’s Penguins Official Trailer

Watch the all-new trailer for Disneynature’s Penguins, coming to theatres Earth Day 2019! Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family.

I know Infinity War is on everyone’s minds these days, I men how impressive that it is breaking all the records! This movie was ten years in the making, and I wanted to share a great new featurette that talks about the Avengers going to Wakanda. Check it out:

 

Wakanda Revisited | Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War

“We don’t fight for one life. We fight for all of them.”

Lastly, I have a trailer for Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, which opens in theaters everywhere on July 6th. Check out the story line below:

“From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.”

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp – Official Trailer

Real heroes. Not actual size. Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp is In theaters July 6. ► Subscribe to Marvel: http://bit.ly/WeO3YJ Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪https://twitter.com/marvel Like Marvel on FaceBook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/Marvel For even more news, stay tuned to: Tumblr: ‪http://marvelentertainment.tumblr.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvel Google+: ‪https://plus.google.com/+marvel Pinterest: ‪http://pinterest.com/marvelofficial

So. Many. Things.

So. Many. Good. Movies.

So much to look forward to in the next couple of months! Which movie are you most excited about? Have you seen Infinity war yet?

 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap 2018

When I ran last year’s runDisney Star Wars half marathon, I had no idea I would be running again this year. Thanks to the generosity of Raw Threads, I was able to do the challenge and I had a blast! I ran both races by myself and just had fun (and yes my lack of training was disturbing) but it didn’t matter, I was in my happy place.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

My alarm went off at 3:15, and I had no idea if it was raining or not. (Before I went to bed it was looking like it was going to be a soggy run.) I got dressed and headed out to my car, and there was no rain! I drove the easy drive over to EPCOT, and sat in my car and ate breakfast before walking over to the buses. I again went to the bathroom here as opposed to at the Magic Kingdom (DO THIS. Lines were INSANE at MK parking!) I got on a bus around 4:35, and made it to the start of the race and into my corral at 5:05. I really liked not having to wait so long in the corral, and didn’t mind driving to EPCOT at all. It was all pretty relaxed!

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Soon corral C was moving up, and I got a shout out from race announcer Rudy before the fireworks went off and we started the race. I try not to do a ton of “thinking” at the start of a half marathon because I can easily psych myself out. Mile one hits and you think “crap I have to do this 12 more times!” The first several miles were boring and dark (and smelly, running by one of the plants) with a few characters scattered about. I stopped for one, this little guy.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Soon  we headed into Animal Kingdom. I had a cut on one of my toes from the day before, and my band aid came off around this time and was in my sock driving me crazy. So when we got to Pandora I took my shoe and sock off, stopped to do an Instagram story, and also went to the bathroom (no rushing for me haha!)

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

I enjoy running through Animal Kingdom I think because I have run through it the fewest number of times. Something I really liked about this race that I now remember from last year are the abundance of character opposites. So. Many. Characters. As we were leaving Animal Kingdom, there were literally about 10 different photo oops, so I just got in line and started taking selfies (not posting them all because there were so many!)

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

As I was standing in line, I spotted someone familiar right in front of me. Dave! Back in the day Dave and I ran Wine and Dine half together. Maybe 2011, 2012? I Hadn’t seen him in years so it was great to catch up for a minute!runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

This one was kinda creepy but fun! About this time it started sprinkling on us but thankfully never turned into a full blown rain.

 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

After spending about ten minutes taking photos, I decided to move on because I knew the longer I was on my feet the more it was going to hurt!runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

I was then back out on the road, headed towards Hollywood Studios. These couple of miles were pretty boring, but I took some sport beans, some Twizzlers from a stranger, and lots of Powerade to combat the humidity and trudged on. I made the turn into Hollywood Studios, took more photos with characters (not posting them all, again there are so many!) and knew I was getting “close” and at least the rest of the race would have interesting things to look at. runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Almost as soon as I came in, I was out of the park and on the Boardwalk. Thankfully I had stayed enough ahead of the masses that it wasn’t bottle necked yet. I did stop for this fun photo around that time though.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

By this time I was ready for it to be over and said I wasn’t stopping anymore (I ended up stopping for two more pictures!) I mean I couldn’t resist this guy.

Now I was in EPCOT and int he home stretch. I enjoy this part of the course because we go all the way around World Showcase like at the end of the full marathon.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

I stopped one last time in front of the EPCOT ball for a quick picture and then came on home. Actually, there was one more stop right before the final turn. I just couldn’t run by when there were no lines haha! I videoed the finish for Instagram as I ran through, and I finished around 2:45. I got my half medal and challenge medal, and headed to the car. No photo taking this time, I wanted to get off my feet and out of my soaking wet clothes.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Yes it was humid, yes it was hard being untrained, but I had so much fun and am so glad I decided to run. runDisney will always hold a special place in my heart, and I don’t see myself turning down any of those races anytime soon!