Star Wars 10k Race Recap 2018

Thanks to my friends at Raw Threads, I was able to run the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge this year. First up, my recap of the 10k race.

Since I was staying off property, I woke up at 3:15 then drove my car to EPCOT and hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. It was super easy and not stressful at all, plus I got to sleep later than normal so I was fine with it. I got in B corral at 5:00, just as they were moving A to the starting line and preparing B to move in behind them.

I had no goals for the race really. I was very under trained, but thought I would try to run hard and just “see what happened.” I knew I was going to stop for photos the next day during the half so I didn’t really worry with it for the 10k. I tried to get as close to the front of the corral as I could, and just took off when the fireworks blasted above my head. It was dark. Really dark. I couldn’t see my Garmin so I just ran by feel. The first three miles are really boring because you just run straight down World Drive in the dark. I would glance at my Garmin every now and then when we went under a light and I was consistently running in the 9:00’s but I don’t know what I was running when I wasn’t looking in the light so I just wasn’t really sure what my overall time was going to end up being.

It was super humid and it started to get to me about halfway through, as did my lack of training. However I only stopped one time and it was to take a GU and drink some powerade. We finally made it to Hollywood Studios and things got more fun since there was a lot more to look at.

I made it across to the Boardwalk, and there were several people out cheering. I got into EPCOT, and that last mile was tough for me. I wasn’t looking at my Garmin (still dark) and honestly I didn’t want to know. I was pushing pretty hard, not I’m going to throw up hard but I was giving it a good try. I crossed the finish line in straight up 59 minutes, about 30 seconds slower than my PR. Of course I wanted to PR but was proud of my effort and how close I got!

After I got my medal I stood in a couple of character photo lines since I was by myself and didn’t really have anything else to do. Plus I knew the lines would be a lot longer the next day.

Aside from the boring first couple of miles, I definitely enjoyed the back half of this course. There were a lot of characters out for photo opportunities and it’s a must for any Star Wars fan!

5 Signs of a Great Leader

It is also often said about other people: “well she was just a born leader.” While I do think some people have personality traits that lend them to being leaders a little bit easier, it doesn’t mean you CAN’T be a leader or be successful if you don’t naturally have those traits.  I would like to think of myself as a leader. I like to be in charge, and I like to help people. I was always in charge of the group projects at school, captain on my sports teams, a coach for volleyball and basketball, and well you get the idea. I like to direct and guide people. I love to teach. That’s why my blog is such a passion project, I have the opportunity to “lead” in a sense and help others be successful.

One of the best ways to develop leaderships qualities within yourself is to first recognize some of the basic qualities of a good leader. In this post, I am going to share five. There are of course others, but I feel that these are important and can cross over to whatever field or niche you are in.

A great leader…

1.) Leads by example: You have probably heard the phrase “do as I say not as I do?” We say it as a joke sometimes because it’s not the way to do things. In business its so easy for me to just spew off information and be like “this is how you start a blog” or “this is how to make money in your small business”, but if you can’t see me actively doing or striving for those things myself and leading by example, then I’m not being a very good leader. Ok so that’s number one,  you have to lead your people by example. Out in the open, walking the walk.

2.) Is decisive: This is a big one because I have talked about risk and reward before and about letting go of fear and jumping in right? Well that all comes back to being decisive and making decisions for yourself, for your team, for your business, for your family, for whatever it is you are doing. If you are a fence sitter and never actually commit to doing anything, then you are going to just be ok at a lot of things and not really great at any one thing because you can’t be decisive and stick with your decision. So what I want for you is for you to not be a fence sitter. I personally like to push people off of the fence, it’s one of my favorite things to do, and you know why? because that adrenaline rush people get from being pushed off the fence is contagious. It makes them feel awesome, it makes me feel awesome, and I love helping people realize their full potential and kind of “wake up” if you will and do something awesome in their lives.

3.) Not afraid to ask questions or for help: Ok guys so you cannot be a good leader and refuse to take criticism or advice from other people. Some leaders see asking questions as a sign of weakness guys but it’s so not true. We need to be continually learning and growing because there is always someone out there smarter than you. So learn, read, grow, ask questions, get better, do better, be better. It’s not a sign of weakness to not know it all.

4.) Has a positive energy and attitude: Do you respond better to positive energy? I know I do! How many of you would like watching me do Facebook videos or Instagram stories if I talked in a monotone voice, didn’t smile, and didn’t really seem confident in what I was saying. NO! You probably wouldn’t watch for very long right? Energy and excitement is contagious! Have you ever sat in a really boring church service, and literally almost fell asleep because the preacher is just speaking I such a monotone voice. I mean, its hard to get excited about Jesus in that situation am I right? So you have got to have a positive attitude and bring energy to your business, to your team, to your family, to your blog, to whatever it is you are doing. People like to follow charismatic people right? So why can’t you be that leader? Drink some coffee, eat some sugar, whatever you have to do before talking with your team to pump them up.

5.) Is surrounded by great leaders: Lastly, the number five mark of a great leader is someone who is surrounded by and learning from other great leaders. The team I am on in my new business venture embodies all of these qualities I have just talked about. They are excited and ask questions and they have a positive attitude and they make decisions and they lead by example. Its contagious and it has made me want to be better in my business and the excitement has spread and has helped me grow.

It is possible to be a great leader, even an online leader in an online business with people from around the county. So stop being a fence sitter and decide for yourself that you want to be a great leader today, and go out and do it. You will never get better by sitting on the sidelines. Go out and experience things, take risks, and try things that scare you. Go forth and lead! You got this!

An Incredible Sequel

My daughter is a huge fan of the Incredibles. We have about 3-4 movies we watch on repeat currently, and this is one of them. Thankfully it’s one of the ones I enjoy! She loves the action, the laughs, and the good guys vs. the bad guys.

 

When I told her a new Incredibles movie was coming out this summer, she was super excited and now asks me all the time if we can watch it yet (I guess I didn’t think that one through. Three year olds don’t have the best concept of time.) Anyway, I did explain what this new movie was about, and I thought I would type it out for you all, too:

“In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.”

Aahhh I can’t wait! Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think!

 

 

Incredibles 2 is coming to theaters June 15th. Will you be going to see it?

Be sure to check out their pages on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more.

Declutter Your Home and Life

As women, I think (at least I do) we often times feel like we are pulled in so many different directions, and it can be hard to keep everything organized and stress free in our homes. This is a problem, because I want my home to be a sanctuary. Somewhere I can go to NOT be stressed out and frazzled and feel cluttered. I know there are a lot of resources out there that can help me achieve this, but I’m never sure where to start, and purchasing a bunch of courses and guides can be really expensive.

On top of that problem, a lot of women want to be able to work from home, make their own schedule, and help with the family finances. What if I told you that you could get resources on organizing, de-cluttering, working from home, cooking, minimizing, faith, etc. all in one bundle that is over 98% off list price? What if I told you it was under $30?!?

What if I told you this bundle INCLUDES my online course, Social Side Hustle: 21 Days to Becoming a Social Media Manager? (retails at $197) 

All of these are part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundlea collection of eCourses, eBooks, printables, workbooks, membership sites, and more! There are over 100 resources total!

Now, I get that it’s a HUGE number, but here’s the thing… even if just a handful of products apply to your life right now, it’s well worth the investment. You can always go back later and look at the other resources that may pertain to your life at a different time, because…this collection is yours to keep. It isn’t going anywhere.

So whenever you decide to focus on a new area (a work-at-home business, educating your kids, meal planning, a new printable planner, outfit ideas to freshen up your closet, etc.) you’ve got resources ready and waiting.

Everything in the bundle can be yours, but only if you buy it before it goes off sale on Monday at midnight!

You’ll also get bonus offers worth more than $180 from companies like Bookroo, Scribd, Orglamix and more!

Oh, and to sweeten the deal, I am also offering a bonus of my own. Buy through my affiliate link, and you’ll get a FREE copy of my ebook: The Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life. You can redeem your bonus by emailing me a copy of your receipt after you purchase the bundle and I will send you a coupon code for the ebook.

Sound good? Click here to get everything you need to create a home and life you love.

P.S. If you’ve been trying to decide whether to get it or not, you might want to know they’ve got a 30-day happiness guarantee! Try it out and if you’re not satisfied for any reason, just ask for a refund within 30 days.
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

 

When Someone Gets It Right

I have been blogging for a long time now, and have had the privilege of working with a lot of what people call “big brands.” Like many bloggers, I have a list–yes a literal physical LIST of “dream brands” that I have wanted to work with. As my blog has evolved, so has my special list, and I have always worked hard towards making contacts and connections, networking, and doing all the right things to get noticed by brands.

Why is my list what it is and why are there certain brands on it? Well, a few reasons. Let’s break them into three categories. First, some brands on my list are brands I just absolutely adore and would love to experience their product, service, or destination. Next, some brands are on the list because it’s a status thing–I mean let’s be real here. We can all say we aren’t competitive and that we don’t care when we get passed on an invite to an event or for a sponsored post, but it can be hard to not take things personally…so yes, some of the brands on my list are there simply for the sheer fact that when you get invited to work with them you KNOW it’s a special honor. #SorryNotSorry

Then there is a third category. A category that isn’t as glamorous or high profile to most. This category has brands in it that sure, you have heard of, but maybe you don’t know much about. You know that they work with influencers, and you are intrigued, but that’s about as far as it goes.

I’m going to be REALLY REAL with you right now. Before this past week, Kia fell in that little forgotten third category for me. The only thing I knew about Kia was that when I was a kid, people used to make fun of how crappy of a car it was. Literally, that. was. it. (I know, I’m so embarrassed to even admit that y’all.) So no, they weren’t on my special A list and I wasn’t constantly obsessed with reading tweets and recaps about the brand, desperately trying to make a connection. It wasn’t like that for me, but boy do I feel silly now, because it SHOULD have absolutely been like that for me now that I know what I know.

Do you ever get that really warm fuzzy happy feeling where you just can’t stop smiling, and you aren’t even sure why? That’s how I felt for the less than 48 hours I was in San Diego last week spending time with the amazing folks at Kia. My misconceptions about the brand quickly did a 180, not only as a blogger, but as a consumer.

I had no idea that nearly 40% of all Kia vehicles sold here are assembled in the U.S.A.

I had no idea that Kia is in the top 6 best car brands based on road test performance and reliability.

I had no idea they are in the top 3 in reliability according to Consumer Reports.

I had no idea they have been #1 in initial quality for two straight years according to J.D. Power.

Y’all, that’s just the basics. There is so much more that I learned when I actually got behind the wheel of the Stinger and the Sorento. Super classy, luxurious, and techie, these vehicles truly blew my expectations for the brand out of the water. I love a good underdog story, and I feel like Kia has a great one to tell. They were at the bottom, like the bottom of the bottom as far as car brands go, and just look at them now. I have only been in their “family” for a short time but I can’t help but burst with pride at how far they have come.

Now back to being an influencer. I tend to go off on tangents.

As I said, I have worked with a lot of brands over the years, and have been a part of a lot of different influencer programs. I have had some good experiences and some horrible experiences. I don’t talk much about it on the blog because I am a proper and classy southern lady, but I have had promises broken, contracts negated, and lies told to me by brands. It’s sad but true, and being taken advantage of is never fun. (especially when it’s online and you just want to reach through the screen and throat punch someone…Wait, what?) In the short time I have worked with this brand, I quickly learned that they truly treat everyone like family, and all of the Kia team I met are freaking amazing humans that I am lucky to call “my people.”

It truly is magic when a brand gets it right. Right with their influencers, and with their consumers. You guys, this brand has knocked both out of the park. I am one of those people that has had the same type of car since I was in college just because that was the “reliable brand” my family always bought. I never bothered to learn or explore any other options, and it’s a darn shame. For someone who thrives on reading and doing research for a living, I’m not really sure what I was thinking.

What I do know, is that I want my next car to be a Kia if at all possible. I am quite sentimental, and I tend to attach emotions and experiences to inanimate objects, and you bet I’m going to attach every little bit of amazing experience and emotion felt with my new Kia family to my next vehicle purchase. From the car karaoke, to the Krispy Kreme donuts and warm hospitality, I will remember it all.

Like I said, I’m quite the lucky girl to have gotten to work with a lot of brands on my dream list. It’s fun and a little surprising when one sneaks up on me and adds itself to my list without me even realizing it’s happening. That’s Kia for you. Stealing hearts, and being unforgettable. Keep it up y’all. You are doing an excellent job.

Kia is a brand that I never considered a dream brand to work with or purchase, but all that changed on an influencer trip to San Diego.

Ppsstttt: Are you heading to Mom 2.0? Kia will be there so MAKE SURE you go say hello. Tell them I sent you. I wish I was going, but unfortunately it’s not in the budget to fly across the country, especially when I have to save up for my new car. 😉

kia sorento

Disclosure: I was provided with flights, meals, and hotel accommodations for my trip to San Diego to experience Kia for myself, however all opinions are my own.

runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge + a New Trailer

Happy Monday everyone! I am back from a crazy week of traveling just in time to share something exciting. (yes there MAY be an entire LARGE bookshelf of Star Wars books in my house, and I MAY be running the runDisney Star Wars dark side challenge in two weeks…so there’s lots of Star Wars love going on in my family!) Photo below from last year’s race:

Ok so I may or may not be slightly under trained…my longest run is 7 miles but I’m hoping to get in ten this weekend, but anyhow, I have something even more exciting than the race to share with you!

I wanted to show you the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters everywhere on May 25th!

star wars

 

 

Check this out:

“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes….The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.”

Woody Harrelson? Emilia Clarke? (My Game of Thrones heart can’t take it, yall!) I am pumped for this one.

star wars

Watch the official trailer below and tell me what you think. What is your favorite part? What are you most excited about in this movie?

PS: My husband claims if he can get a full Chewy outfit he will run in it with me in the race. Bless his little Star Wars loving heart. Enjoy!

Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY site: http://www.starwars.com/films/solo

Emma Kate: 3.5 Years

Well we now have a child halfway to four years old, which blows my mind! on March 24th, Emma Kate turned three and a half and we baked a cake to celebrate and she LOVED it. I just wanted to take a moment to catch you up on our little girl.

Eating: Girlfriend LOVES to eat. She can still be pretty picky, but she loves large quantities of food, and I have grown to hate the word “snack”. She loves fruit like peaches and blueberries and strawberries, and also is a big yogurt fan. She even likes broccoli which is shocking to me. She eats a lot of turkey and chicken, and tries to get us to let her have candy whenever she can (all these holidays are killing me.) She still drinks a lot of water, and isn’t a huge fan of ice cream/cold stuff, but LOVES cupcakes!

Sleeping: We moved her to her “big girl bed” a couple weeks ago and she has been doing great and she loves it. She sleeps great and hasn’t fallen out (yet) and stays in her bed until we come get her in the mornings. Nap is hit or miss, if I let her sleep too long in the morning she won’t nap at school, but I would venture to say she sleeps for an hour 3-4 days a week at school and 85% of the time on the weekends. She goes to bed at 7:45 and usually lays there until about 8:00, and is up anywhere between 6-7 in the morning, but on school days I make sure she’s up at 6:30 so she will nap!

Clothing: She wears 4T and 5T now exclusively, and is quickly outgrowing several 4T things, which makes me so sad. She’s in a size 9 shoe but I feel that will be changing very soon as well.

Potty: She hasn’t had an accident in FOREVER, and has been dry for a week straight at night, and is always dry after nap. I think we are super close to not needing a pull up at night. She is doing awesome in this category!

Emma Kate says the funniest things and cracks us up on a daily basis. She loves to sing and dance, and has been watching movies like Aladdin, Trolls, Moana, The Incredibles, and Monsters Inc. She still loves big bows and lets me pick out her clothes most of the time (thankfully!)

She has been doing this thing where she doesn’t like when Bobby and I talk to each other so she will interrupt us and then she has nothing to say. it’s pretty annoying, any tips for breaking this habit?

She loves to have us sing with her at night int he rocking chair and she says her own little prayers which is so cute.

I don’t have an official height and weight but I’m thinking close to 40 pounds and 39 inches tall? I will have to measure her later!

We had our first trip to the ER on Easter Sunday, she jumped off the bed at Grammy and Papa’s house and hit her head on the rocking chair corner and there was blood everywhere and she had a deep gash, so she ended up with three staples. I nearly had a heart attack. She is fearless and independent and brave.

We switched schools at the end of 2017 and she is doing SO well at the new school because they have a pretty strict curriculum and I feel like she is learning so much. She recognizes most letters, counts to 20 something, and is writing with her little left hand.

She loves her “sister” Bella, wrestling with daddy, and putting together puzzles (shes REALLY good at puzzles!) We love you sweet bug and this has been such a fun half year!

5 Delicious Dishes To Try at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended an event at Walt Disney World for the 25th anniversary of the flower and garden festival, however all opinions are my own.

The 25th anniversary of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is in full swing, and I was fortunate enough to get to taste some more delicious dishes at an event last week. (If you are not yet convinced you want to go to the festival check out my other post after reading this one!)

5 delicious dishes to try at Disney's EPCOT international flower and garden festival this year. So many outdoor kitchens for the 25th anniversary!

As I mentioned, this year marks the 25th year of the festival, and it was wonderful to get to hear from people who have been around since the beginning, and hear all about how the festival has changed over the years. Fun fact: Did you know that an artist used two cast members to “model” as Anna and Elsa in order to design the topiary for their characters? The poses we see are ones the girls came up with. How fun is that?!)

Ok, so let’s get down to business. Like I said, I had the opportunity to try more of the festival offerings at the outdoor kitchens, and these are my (and Bobby’s, he added in one!) collective favorites from our sampling at the event:

1.) Spicy hot dog with pineapple chutney and plantain chips from the Pineapple Promenade. This is a fun twist on an old favorite, but be warned, it is quite spicy, so if that is not your thing, you may want to skip this one. I do love how the chips gave it a nice crunch!

 

2.) Local wildflower honey-mascarpone cheesecake with orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses from The Honey Bee-Stro: This dessert was DELICIOUS and I may have had two. The cheesecake was so creamy and light, and the ice cream tasted amazing. I even loved the meringue kisses and I’m typically not a meringue kind of gal. Do not miss this one.

3.) Pulled pig slider with coleslaw from The Smokehouse: This was probably my favorite non-dessert food that I tried. It had excellent flavor, and don’t worry, you can get it without the coleslaw! 

4.) Spicy blackened shrimp and cheddar cheese grits with brown gravy and local sweet corn relish from Florida Fresh: This is one of Bobby’s contributions since I don’t eat seafood, but I did try the corn and grits with gravy and they were good! Bobby said the shrimp tasted fresh and we both said the corn/gravy had a little kick to it but it wasn’t unbearably spicy.

5.) House-made potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smokes salmon tartare from Cider House: Another one that was all Bobby, but he said he enjoyed the mix of the flavors of the biscuit and the salmon together. I tried one of the biscuits and it was delicious enough just to eat by itself!

flower and garden

There are so many more things to taste at the outdoor kitchens, this is just a sampling. The flower and garden festival is bigger than ever and running longer than ever, and they have pulled out all the stops for the 25th anniversary. Be sure to make a visit before it’s gone May 28th. You can thank me later!

LEGOLAND Florida’s Newest Attraction: The Great LEGO Race

Disclosure: I attended a press event for the ride opening and was given four tickets to LEGOLAND Florida, however all opinions are my own.

I love theme parks and I love technology, so when the two are combined, you know I’m going to be excited about the possibilities! LEGOLAND Florida has come up with an amazing new ride concept called The Great LEGO Race, which is now open. “This ride combines roller coaster thrills with virtual reality (VR) technology to put guests in the center of an action-packed road rally where the laws of physics and aerodynamics only loosely apply” How fun is that?

 

Legoland Florida has a new ride, the great LEGO race, with virtual reality technology@

 

“Wearing optional VR headsets, riders will experience the action from every direction while riding the roller coaster – up, down, forward, backward and all points in between  in a dazzling environment where everything is made of LEGO bricks. Check out two of the screenshots from inside the race below.”

Check this out:

“The wild and wacky race pits guests against a LEGO pirate, wizard, surfer, trendsetter and pharaoh driving brick-built vehicles like a rocket-powered windsurfing rig, a stylish scooter fueled by espresso and an ornately canopied bed (called a “litter”) carried by mummy servants.”

On opening day, we got to see an adorable show followed by the ride being officially opened to the public. 

We even go to take photos with some of the heroes of the ride itself. Emma Kate was partial to the pirate, of course. She’s not quite tall enough to ride, but I know one day she will love it. 

Here are some “stats” on the ride itself:

-You must be 6 years old and at least 48 inches tall to wear the optional virtual reality headset.

-You must be 42 inches tall to ride, and must ride with someone at least 14 years old NOT wearing a VR headset for supervision purposes.

-headsets are cleaned in between each guest who rides

-It took 2 and a half years to develop this ride

-The ride is just shy of 400 meters in length

-You drop at speeds of 35 mph during your ride

Who are the LEGO minifigure competitors?

  • Pirate Captain; Team Pirate — He steers a dinghy with a turbine-powered sail.
  • Pharaoh; Team Pharaoh — He rides an ornate canopied bed (called a “litter”) carried by mummified servants.
  • Surfer Girl; Team Surfer — She rides a rocket-powered windsurfing rig.
  • Trendsetter; Team Trendy — She rides an espresso-fueled scooter with a sidecar for her tiny dog.
  • Wizard; Team Wizard — He drives a dragon-themed hot-rod.

 

Be sure to check out the LEGOLAND Florida website for more details.

 

 

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Trailer

So I know I’m a few days late guys but GUESS WHAT? There is a new trailer out for Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR! 

 

I cannot believe the opening date is sneaking up on us so quickly. (Opens everywhere April 27th!)

Ok so watch the trailer then see my takeaways below.

WOAH! So much packed into just a couple of minutes. In the trailer did you spot Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Patriot, Dr. Strange, Gamora, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Captain America, Black Panther, Okoye, Shuri, Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Thor, Groot and Loki? I love how there are going to be so many character interactions and relationships, it’s going to be a blast. I can’t wait to see everyone all in one place.

Did you know this is the  19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? So crazy and awesome at the same time.

Here is the premise: “Two years after the Avengers were torn apart during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Thanos arrives on Earth to collect the Infinity Stones for a gauntlet that will allow him to bend reality to his will. The Avengers must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him before his onslaught of destruction puts an end to the universe.”

Cannot. wait.

Be sure to follow Avengers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @avengers.