5 Tips for Working out on Vacation

Ah, vacation. A great time to connect with family and friends, eat amazing food, and go somewhere new. Luckily, you can do all of these things and also not forget about your health and your workouts. Here are 5 tips for working out on vacation that have worked for me over the years. I leave for a trip in less than two months, so I’m gearing up for my workouts while I’m away!tips for working out on vacation

1.) Don’t Stress out about it. You are on vacation! If you don’t work out as hard or as much, it’s ok! Just do what you can, when you can.

2.) Take advantage of your new surroundings. One of the reasons I love working out on vacation is that it’s somewhere new to run, with new scenery and places to visit. It makes the workout go by faster!

                                          

3.) Mix it up: If you have access to a pool, swim or tread water while your family catches some rays. Or, you could go for a walk and explore a new city, your resort, or the beach. Surf or snorkel in a tropical paradise. Play golf on a new to you course, or make new friends and play beach volleyball.

asics shoes


4.) Check out the hotel gym. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised at the nice equipment or a great view out the windows. It makes a difference!

5.) Workout early: Get your workout done before your day starts so then you have extra energy and don’t have the thought of exercise weighing on you all day. Then you can just focus on your family, friends, and creating memories.

QOTD: What is your favorite vacation workout?

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 4

In case you missed part 3, jump back and read that first!

We left off last time at the end of our Key West Day. The next day was to be Castaway Cay, and let me tell you I was PUMPED.

Castaway Cay is my favorite place on earth, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Emma Kate. I had been talking it up big time. We woke up and I thought it odd that we weren’t pulling into the island. They said something over the speakers about a late arrival, and I couldn’t really hear the rest. Come to find out, we had somehow lost a generator in the night. Never fear, we were still getting to the island just a little later. However, I had a huge pit in my stomach and a bad feeling. The water was a little choppy (I’ve seen much worse) and it was gloomy and windy. The captain tried twice to get us docked, to no avail. It was one of the saddest things to be standing on the edge of the ship, with all the workers standing on the island waiting to greet us, and we inched closer and closer and closer, only to get aallmmosssttt there and then have the captain pull away. I will admit, I cried.

See, I have kind of a sour history as of late with Castaway Cay. In 2016, my husband and I sailed for the first time since 2013. We were SO excited to be going back to the island….only to have bad weather that made us not able to dock. I was so so so upset. Them last January I went on a girls trip, and while we were able to dock, it was FREEZING and super windy. The sand was pelting people in the face and they closed down Serenity bay it was such terrible weather conditions. So this year was going to be my redemption year. Having not been to the island since 2013, I was sssooo ready to be in my happy place…and then to have it happen again was just crushing. Maybe one day we will get to take Emma Kate to Castaway. (silently cries in the corner.) ANYWAY, moving on. The staff did their best to keep us happy and upbeat, adding in character meet and greets and activities. Emma Kate had fun, and I guess she just didn’t realize what she was missing which was probably a good thing at this point.

I honestly don’t remember what we did the rest of the day. I’m guessing we ate lunch at the buffet, and put EK in the kids club. Bobby probably went to the gym, and I probably took a nap (heh.) We did go to a Disney Jr. dance party but EK wasn’t really into it so we walked around the ship instead.

That night was also pirate night…and PALO night for Bobby and me. We took some cute pre dinner photos before dropping Emma Kate off and heading up to the adults only restaurant.

PALO was lovely as usual, a highlight of the trip. It’s just a great time to slow down, relax, and eat a nice meal in peace. Our waiter was amazing and we ate #AllTheFood

We went to bed quite full, watching Elf yet again, ready for a day in Nassau that was coming up next.

Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for questions about Disney Cruise Line!

Healthy Choices for A Fast Paced Life

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Healthy Choice

My days are pretty hectic, with multiple jobs, a house to keep up and clean, a four year old to take care of, errands to run, and the list goes on and on. One thing I do NOT have time for is recipes that take forever. I am pretty health conscious when it comes to my eating choices, so I want something with lots of nutrients that will help keep me full and energized through my day.

Lucky for me, Healthy Choice launched four morning Power Bowls to help with my exact meal time predicaments. I love the bowl format, and they are quick and easy, and taste delicious to boot. Each of the bowls contain purposeful ingredients for a good for you meal of leafy greens, proteins, ancient grains and steel cut oats. (yum yum!)

I tried the Unwrapped Burrito Scramble, which is made up of turkey sausage with egg whites, black beans and vegetables served on top of steel cut oats, farro, buckwheat and red quinoa with a spicy tomatillo sauce. I normally wouldn’t have thought to combine all of these ingredients, but it had a great flavor that kept me full until lunch. It had a bit of a kick to it, but I liked it a lot. I was running late one morning (what’s new) and knew I didn’t have time to cook a big meal before an appointment, so this was a great way to fill up with a quick protien breakfast and it fit perfectly in my on the go lifestyle. These would also be perfect for someone who works at an office to take along with them and heat up for a nutricious lunch!

Healthy Choice also launched vegan and vegetarian Power Bowls with bold and exotic flavor combinations, including 10-16 grams of protein and 7-16 grams of fiber in each bowl. Personally, I struggle to get enough protein in my body during the day, so this was a great way to add some in!

I tried the White Bean & Feta Salad – white kidney beans with kale, chard & spinach served on top of brown & red rice, red quinoa and black barley with a red wine vinaigrette topped with feta cheese, dried cranberries & roasted pepitas. Each flavor features a combination of vegetables, legumes and whole grains. A great option for my vegan and vegetarian friends looking for on the go meals packed with nutrients and flavor! I really liked the feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette. Yum yum!

I love that each ingredient matters in Healthy Choice Power Bowls, and all of the bowls have a base mixture of whole grains like red quinoa and whole grain barley, leafy greens like kale, chard and spinach, and proteins.


A Word for 2019

You may have noticed over the past few days people have been talking nonstop about their “word” for 2019. Several years I have “tried’ to have a word and would just come up with one on my own I thought was a good idea, but then I would forget about it and honestly, I can’t even remember what any of those words were.

This past year has been a very trying time for my family, more so than any other year of my adult life. Therefore, I have found it necessary to find things I can cling to, to give me hope that things are going to be ok.

This year, instead of coming up with a word on my own, I decided to pray about it and see if I felt led to a word. A word did come to mind pretty immediately, but I dismissed it and kept praying and “searching” for another word…but that first word kept coming back. Finally after a few days, a few scripture passages that talked ALL ABOUT THIS WORD, I got the message. (I admit I can be a little hard headed sometimes…ok all the time.)

This word is actually one that has been in my face over and over during the hardships of 2018, and some days I was really great with it and some days I wasn’t. (More often than not it was a wasn’t, but hey I’m trying here.) That word? Trust.

Trust in myself. Trust in others. Most importantly, trust in God. I’m a bit of a control freak, and like to be in charge. In a lot of ways this is helpful, but not when it comes to my relationship with God. I have such. a. hard. time. letting go and trusting that what is happening to me is for my good.

Do I believe God is ultimately good? Yes. Do I believe God can do anything? Yes. My issue comes with believing that God will do good for ME in my personal situation. Sure I have seen him work miracles in others and of course in the Bible, but my “realism” struggles with my faith time and time again and I have a very difficult time being positive when going through a hard season. Can anyone else relate?

Or, I will believe good things are coming, but then push God to do the things I have on my agenda and in my time table. Yup. I make the plan then ask God to bless it. Friends, that isn’t the way God works. True trust and true surrender are about giving up OUR wants and desires and trading them for what God wants for our lives. So it ultimately boils down to…do we trust Him or not? Do we believe all things will work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to his plans? If we can really honestly say that we DO trust him, then opening our hands and giving up the time table and the “way” in which He chooses to work things out shouldn’t be a struggle. We shouldn’t have anxiety over the future or fear any outcome.

Keep in mind I type all this as I repeat it back to myself because it is a daily, sometimes hourly, and sometimes minute by minute struggle in my mind and heart. I often pray “I believe, help my unbelief!” as I inch closer to trusting in His faithfulness.

Does trusting God in a situation mean we are to sit around and do nothing? Absolutely not! There are things we can do in the trusting and waiting to prepare us for what is to come. Prayer, Bible reading, actively seeking Godly counsel, and listening for direction all come to mind. If you aren’t sure what God is telling you to do, then do the last thing He told you to do. Not sure what God’s will is? Do this instruction from the Bible until you are told further by Him:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

This verse often gets misquoted. Note that it does NOT say “give thanks FOR all circumstances.” Of course it would be silly to thank God for a car accident, a lost job, or a sick loved one. The point here is DESPITE whatever we are going through, we can trust God has good planned through it, and we can give thanks to Him anyway. It’s a hard choice, but a choice non the less we have to make every morning when our feet hit the floor.

So again, boiled down in it’s most simple, basic form, I ask my question again. Do you trust God? Out of habit you may say yes, but do your actions prove otherwise? If you are anxious, fearful, or stressed out, those are all tell tale signs that you are not trusting God in that moment. Don’t be hard on yourself if you worry or have anxiety about something. Just stop right when you start to feel those feelings, surrender them to God, and remember the verse from above: Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.

Keep persevering my friends. Don’t give up if you are in a hard season. In the words of Charles Stanley, the dark moments of our lives will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us. 

So this year, I am working on trust. His will, His timing, His way. And while I wait, I will be rejoicing, praying, and thanking Him as I go. Have a great 2019 my friends. I love you all.

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 1

Back in December, we took Emma Kate on her very first Disney cruise. I found a good last minute deal, and we decided instead of spending a ton of money on Christmas, we would take a family vacation. We sailed on the Disney Wonder, and were to make stops at Key West, Castaway Cay, and Nassau.

We arrived the night before and stayed in a hotel so we would be near the port first thing the next morning. Emma Kate was so amped up that night and it took forever for her to go to sleep (ok, so I was excited too.)

That morning we walked around to burn off some of Emm Kate’s perpetual energy before driving the 10 minutes to the port.

We got the bags dropped off and the car parked, and we checked in. We got in line for a photo with this guy, and before you know it there were calling our group to board.

We immediately went to guest services and were able to snag princess meet and greet tickets as well as character breakfast tickets. Then we went to stand in line to see about changing our dining time (we had late which is WAY late for us) and to get PALO brunch reservations that were sold out online. We were able to get brunch, but they said they didn’t know about the dining which made me nervous. A downfall of booking late I guess, but I know there was no way Emma Kate was going to eat dinner at 8:15 when her normal bedtime is 7:45! We went up to the buffet to eat lunch, and then explored the ship. I loved seeing the Wonder all ready for Christmas!

At this point, Emma Kate still didn’t quite understand that the boat was going to start moving and we would be on it for a week. Oh well. She figured it out soon enough after we pulled out of port ha!

It was time to check out our room, and we went to drop off our carry on bags. We had an oceanview room on deck 2. At first I was a little bummed to not have a verandah, but honestly it ended up being great because 1.) The weather wasn’t great so I doubt I would have spent a ton of time out there, 2.) I didn’t have to worry about EK jumping off the balcony and 3.) We were midship, and the lobby is deck 3, so we were one quick flight of stairs to the lobby, restaurants, guest services, character meet and greets, and more.

We met our stateroom host, dropped off our things, and headed up to show Emma Kate the kids club. I was SO pumped about this because I knew she would love it. Heck I love it!

She was obsessed with the slide and went down about 100 times.

Don’t worry, I plan to do a whole post about the kid’s club, there is so much to say! After we left, we went back to the room for a minute before the muster drill and noticed DCL had left us a beautiful cheese tray. (Anyone who knows me knows that cheese is the way to my heart.)

We had a quick and delicious snack before the muster drill, and then it was time for the sail away party. It was at this moment that I teared up. Being up on the deck, about to sail away for a week, my daughter on my husbands shoulders singing and dancing and squealing at her favorite characters. I had waited so long to take her on her first Disney cruise and here we were. It was surreal and perfect.

We went to the front of the ship to watch us sail away, and then Emma Kate finally realized we were moving!

We went inside as it was getting close to early dinner time, and we still didn’t know what seating we had. Bobby decided to call the dining line, and just see where we were on the list and what we should do. He explained we had a small child that went to bed early, and they gave us THE LAST TABLE at main dining. Yall, I was so so thankful. They said there were 27 other families that had a request in as well, so I don’t know if it was because we called to follow up or what, but whatever it was, we were seriously breathing a huge sigh of relief. The only thing was…it was 5:25, and dinner was at 5:45! We hurried around getting dressed for dinner and made it to Animator’s Palate just in time.

I love this menu, and was excited to have it the first night. We met our super sweet server, Dee, who has been with DCL for 12 or 13 years! She was so great with Emma Kate and was from Thailand. Emma Kate did ok at dinner…she got a little antsy so we had mickey bars and other dessert and then brought her to the kids club for the first time alone.

This gave Bobby and I a chance to walk around and see more of the ship, grab a snack, and relax. We got a text that Emma Kate wanted us and we were so confused because we had just dropped her off! We ran up there and discovered that she just “wanted to tell us the slide was closed.” Seriously. That was it. Emma Kate has been going to daycare since she was a baby and has never before had to power to “summon” us while at school, so I think she liekd the idea, but I did not. I kind of wish she didn’t know that she could haha.

Pro Tip: After this happening a couple of times (and nothing was wrong), we asked the workers to put a note in her file to not text us unless something was really wrong (hurt, crying, sick, etc.) and to not text us just because she wants to tell us something.

We went back to the room and had another sweet surprise from DCL! Cheers to a great first day!

More coming up soon!

If you would like help booking your next Disney Cruise please email me, I would love to help you! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Merry Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery Family! I pray your holiday is merry and bright, and 2019 is everything you want it to be. Never forget the reason for the season. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Holiday Traditions Revisited

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I am really big on traditions, especially around the holidays. So big, that one year at Christmas I cried hysterically because my family decided to “change things up” and go somewhere else for Christmas instead of my grandparent’s house per usual. I was devastated. Now that I have a child of my own, we have started some of our own traditions, as well as continuing a few from when I was a girl.

One thing that is different from…well I won’t say what year, let’s just say “way back when”, is the technology. Technology has made connecting, learning, and entertaining that much easier (and more fun!) and I love that there are options for Emma Kate. One of our favorites is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet. This tablet is the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and comes with a kid-proof case. (My child is quite the dropper!) It also includes a two-year worry-free guarantee—meaning if it breaks, just send it back and Amazon will send you a new one without asking you a bunch of questions.

How do we incorporate this device into our holiday traditions? Easy! For example, we love to read to Emma Kate, especially Christmas books. It’s been fun to read titles right from her Fire HD 8 Kids Edition like Winter, Cold and Snow, and also listen to books audibly like The First Christmas Tree and the Great Sled Race.

For a lot of people (and usually for us, except for this year,) Christmas means traveling, which also equals bored kids in the car. Emma Kate loves it when we pre-download books, games and videos for her ahead of time to enjoy in the car.

There are even kid-friendly cookbooks available in Amazon FreeTime on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. What is Amazon FreeTime? Each tablet comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving you access to over 20,000 books, videos, Audible books, educational apps, and games. There are also over 1,000 Spanish language books, videos, educational apps, Audible books, and more.

Another thing I love about this device is the Parent Dashboard. By using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime, parents can set time limits, adjust age filters, change web browser access, and turn on or off in-app purchasing. (That one is huge. Emma Kate is always trying to buy stuff!) You can also review the things your kiddos are using and seeing in FreeTime, and even remotely adjust your child’s FreeTime settings.

fire hd 8

We are all about education and learning games, so I love how the technology of the device allows Emma Kate to have fun and learn at the same time. (ssshhh don’t tell her she is learning!) It’s also something we can do together as I guide her, read with her, and watch alongside her. It has been such a great and fun addition to our holiday traditions this year, and I can’t wait to see how they evolve next year!

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful day. This year has thrown us quite a few twists and turns, but we still have so. so. so. much to be thankful for.

Psalm 9:1:  I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

8 Tips for Running in the Rain

Update: This post originally appeared in August of 2011 and has been updated for October 2018.

I have run several races in the rain, including the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Providence half marathon, where there were torrential downpours the entire race. I definitely did some things wrong in that race in regards to running in the rain, but I learned some lessons and tricks to help you survive a rainy run.

8 tips for running in the rain

Remember, it’s just rain. It won’t kill you, so go running anyway! (Unless there is lightning or a tornado…then you are on your own!)

8 Tips for running in the rain:

1.) Wear a hat. This will help keep your head drier and help to keep water drops from pelting you in the face. Not getting water all in your face will make it not so bad.

2.) Waterproof your phone/iPod. No, you don’t have to have some expensive special case, a ziplock bag will do! I kept my phone in my Ziploc the whole race and it was fine afterward! Also, I could still type on the touch screen through the bag.

3.) Body Glide.  Even if you don’t normally chafe or blister, use Body Glide anyway. I don’t normally chafe badly but I did under ONE arm and on the outside of the leg  where the pocket was I kept my phone in. I heard people saying they usually don’t get blisters but because of squishy shoes, they did during this race.

4.) Wear moisture wicking fabric/clothing. Honestly, you should be doing this ANYWAY, but it will help keep you from chafing more than cotton will, and it will keep you more dry.

5.) Dress warmly. The rain will most likely make it a few degrees cooler than you anticipated, so take that into consideration when planning your race day outfit.

6.) Get out of your wet clothes ASAP! Prior to the race, use the gear check if there is one available, or run back to your hotel to shower and change, but don’t stay in your wet clothes! You need to dry off and get the chill out of your body.

7.) A garbage bag makes a great poncho. Seriously. Been there done that. Even if you don’t run in it, it can at least keep you dry while you wait for the race to start.

8.) Evaluate and possibly change your expectation. If you were thinking you were going to PR in said rainy day weather you still can, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t. There are other things to consider besides the actual rain that can slow you down. For instance, in Providence, at times it was raining so hard the drains in the streets couldn’t keep up with it, so there was standing water RUSHING over the street knocking your feet out from under you. Also, there were puddles everywhere and I couldn’t tell how deep they were, which could have caused me to twist an ankle. I treaded a lot more lightly than usual because of this. There were also several steep downhills I was afraid of slipping on in my wet slippery shoes. Take precautions and watch your footing. There will be other races! Think of it as an experience, and as a “mental PR!”

tips for running in the rain

QOTD: Do you have any other rainy day running tips?

Related: 5 Tips for running when you travel

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you purcahse through my link.

4 Easy Tips for Choosing a Running Route

Update: This post originally appeared in the summer of 2012, and has been updated for October 2018.

Whether you subconsciously do it or not, a lot of thought goes into planning a running route. People have preferences depending on training run, time of day, traffic, amount of people, and so on. I wanted to go into a little bit of detail about some of these options to help you (and myself!) plan the best running routes for your enjoyment and safety. Here are my tips for choosing a running route:

no matter where you are running, you can always take selfies while you workout!

 

1.) Type of run:

 

This will weigh heavily on some of the other things I mention so I thought I would bring it up first. A long run or an easy run may take you anywhere on any terrain at any time, but for a hill workout, for instance, you need well…a route with hills! So point being, take these suggestions with a grain of salt and adjust them according to the needs of your run for that day. Also, I get bored pretty quickly and would rather run a loop somewhere as opposed to up and down the same streets over and over. Example: My parents live in a big neighborhood with a clubhouse in the middle. When I visit, I park at the clubhouse and put water and fuel there, then run in one direction and back to my car, then the other direction and back to my car. This way I don’t get bored on the same streets!

2.) Safety:

This is way important, especially in light of things happening to people on running trails in the news over the past couple of years. Please don’t be one of those people who say “it will never happen to me”, because that thought alone makes you vulnerable. If you are running alone, you need to REALLY consider running:

-in an area with a lot of people.

-out in the open (not on a trail in the woods).

-carrying a taser, pepper spray,* your cell phone.

-when the sun is up and the area is well lit.

-with reflective gear on to make yourself visible.

-ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Bobby refuses to let me run out on the highway or on the trails by myself, and I totally understand why. Even if you live in a “safe area” bad things can happen. Being observant and not playing your music too loud so it drowns out approaching people or animals can be a hindrance. Wearing headphones that still allow ambient noise is something I would highly suggest if you must listen to music.

2011-04-30_11.49.40

I run along the beach during the day when there is a lot of traffic and other people out on the path. I always carry my cell phone and wear my road ID.

3.) Weather:

The biggest weather concern where I live is the heat and humidity. A lot of thought goes into my weekend long runs due to the glaring sun and high temps. Running early in the morning or late in the evening is something I try to do (when Bobby is with me of course). We also try our best to find well-shaded areas, areas without a lot of traffic, and areas with water fountains, or a turn around point where we can pass by the car for extra fuel and water. Trails are a great option for the heat if they are shaded but you may need to bring along your own water bottle depending on the location.

DSC_2196

these trees don’t provide much shade.

Running in the rain is ok (as long as it’s not lightning) but be careful running on roads, as they can be slippery and cars may not be able to brake as well. We don’t get a lot of cold weather, but when we do we bundle up and hit a sunny route to keep us warm and try to stay out of the wind as much as possible.

4.) Distance/scenery:

I will be the first to admit I get pretty bored on long runs. Having somewhere new to run can be a great change and make things more interesting. Depending on the distance you need to go, you can plan to run a loop (not as boring) or an out and back (way boring!). I prefer to run on a beach or Boardwalk, or where there are a lot of people so I have different things to look at. Also, to keep boredom away, try running your usual route backward. I have different places I run depending on how far I have to go. (3 mile loop, 6 mile loop, etc). Also, don’t count out the treadmill to mix things up! I have done 10 mile long runs, half outside and half on a treadmill when it gets too hot outside.

d0241852

The lakefront in Louisiana is a beautiful place to run.

It may be a slight inconvenience to drive somewhere to run, but if it will help me run faster and be less bored, I am willing to drive a bit to get the job done.

2012-02-04 10.27.07

beach running is fun (but so tough!)

The same goes for picking races. I try to choose ones in fun cities, or somewhere scenic. I ran an out and back race that went through this boring road with no houses one time and it was 13.1 miles of torture!

562025_631860400148_61700476_32300575_1108471544_n

races along the beach are a lot of fun

2012-02-26-07.31.15_thumb

So are races in Disney World!

Bottom line, with a little bit of planning and effort on your part, you can make running more fun and not as “boring”. If you are stuck in a training rut, try to make sure you are having the best experience based on the weather, times of day, your safety, scenery, and the type of run.

QOTD: Do you have any other tips for choosing a running route?

Related: 5 Tips for running when you travel

*Some links may be affiliate links, meaning if you purchase from it, I get a small commission.