Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

RUNway Gear and Giveaway

I don’t know about you but I like to wear cute athletic gear when I work out.  One of my favorite things is running skirts.  I like to feel like a girl, even when sweating.  Plus, the skirts cover up my, um, backside.  Those of you who know me also know that I love theme races so I can run in costume.  That’s one of the things I like about Disney races.  As soon as I’ve registered for a race that lends itself to a costume, I get to planning.  Here is where my friend Vicky comes in.

RUNway Gear

RUNway Gear

Vicky has an Etsy shop called RUNway Gear, and she makes the most adorable running costumes.  If you can dream it, she can do it!  Some of the things she has made in the past include Mrs. Potato Head, a cowgirl, Jessica Rabbit, coronation Anna from Frozen, Dopey, and a NASA space suit for the Spacecoast Marathon, just to name a few.

Bettina as Mrs. Potato Head

Bettina as Mrs. Potato Head

Vicky in her NASA space suit ready for Spacecoast Marathon

Vicky in her NASA space suit ready for Spacecoast Marathon

Bettina as a Cowgirl

Bettina as a Cowgirl

Dopey

Dopey

She also makes super cute skirts either for racing or just training.

Love this cute skirt from RUNway Gear

Love this cute skirt from RUNway Gear

She sources out the cutest fabrics, and if you are looking for something in particular, she will stop at nothing to help you find it.  And yes, the fabrics she uses are suitable for athletic wear so no worries there.  She also makes headbands and can even customize them for you.  She can use the same fabric as she uses in her skirts if you like to be matchy-matchy (me) or she can embroider most anything you’d like on them.

Vicky can embroider what you want to make a custom headband for you or your team.

Vicky can embroider what you want to make a custom headband for you or your team.

I can see this working out great for cheer and dance teams, too.  She even makes other things runners would like such as lounge pants (hello comfort after a cold run), dish towels, and coffee sleeves.

Comfy lounge pants

Comfy lounge pants

Kitchen Gifts for the runner

Kitchen Gifts for the runner

Coffee Sleeves

Coffee Sleeves

Check out her Etsy shop here.  She also recently launched her Facebook page so be sure to check that out here.

Vicky has been generous enough to offer up one of her headbands for one of my readers.

One lucky ready will win this headband from RUNway Gear.

One lucky ready will win this headband from RUNway Gear.

You can enter by clicking the Rafflecopter link below.  Sweepstakes is open to US residents with a US shipping address only and is void where prohibited.  All entries are subject to verification.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 8 and there are daily entries available.  Good luck!

Disclosure:  Vicky is a friend of mine and is providing a headband free to one reader.  I have not been provided any products for free nor have I been compensated in any way.  As always, all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Weekly Recap

Happy Sunday!  It’s a rainy one here in Memphis!  So I’m spending today catching up on things inside, such as housework, cooking for the week, and watching some things I’ve recorded on DVR.  I also plan to get an inside workout in today, T25.  What are y’all up to today?  Anything fun?

In case you missed it, here are this week’s stories from the blog:

  • I shared with you my recap of the Navy 10 Nautical Miler in my Navy 10 Nautical Miler Race Report.

    I was thrilled to earn my anchor!

    I was thrilled to earn my anchor!

  • I recapped my latest trip to Walt Disney World and the Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event with How to Survive 24 Hours in the Magic Kingdom.

    Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event at Magic Kingdom

    Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event at Magic Kingdom

  • I shared my experience at a benefit held at Whole Foods and presented by Blackberry Farm in Whole Foods Market Salud Blackberry Farm Dinner.

    Me with the chefs

    Me with the chefs

  • I shared some of my thoughts regarding the success of Frozen and announced my Coppertone Clearlysheer giveaway winner in Random Ramblings About Frozen.

    Disney's Frozen

    Disney’s Frozen

  • And finally, if you are a follower of my Facebook page, I gave you a hint of my next giveaway, which starts tomorrow, so be watching the blog for that.

I hope you all have a great week!

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Random Ramblings About Frozen

I’m pretty sure most people would agree that the Walt Disney Company employs some pretty creative geniuses.  If they don’t have all the ones they want, they just buy the company they work for (i.e. Marvel and Lucas Films).  Being a life-long Disney fan, I’m often excited by the new things they come up with, but I’m rarely surprised.  I’ve come to expect cutting edge technology, engaging (even if not always original) storylines, loveable characters, and top-notch marketing to draw me in.  But I have to say that I think Frozen takes it to a whole ‘nother level!

Disney's Frozen

Disney’s Frozen

Of course there’s beauty and artistry above and beyond what we’ve seen before.  The costumes are just gorgeous!  Of course the music is beautiful and catchy so that we’ll sing the songs around our houses and won’t be able to get them out of our heads.  There are so many versions of “Let It Go” out there that I don’t even try to keep up with them.  Of course it’s star-studded.   And with any new Disney film, there comes merchandise.  This time, it is a doozy!  They can’t keep it on the shelves, even now, coming up on 7 months after the release of the film!  Even I spent 2+ hours in the Disney Store one Saturday morning securing the elusive Elsa dress for my niece.

I spent more than 2 hours at the Disney Store to get this dress for my niece.  Aunt of the year, right here!

I spent more than 2 hours at the Disney Store to get this dress for my niece. Aunt of the year, right here!

Then there are the characters.  Wait times to visit with Elsa and Anna have been as high as 3 hours!

Wait times can be as high as 3 hours to see these 2 in the park.

Wait times can be as high as 3 hours to see these 2 in the park.

However, none of this is really all that surprising to me.

So if it’s not all of this, what is it that makes it truly genius, in my opinion?  It’s that little snowman Olaf!

Olaf

Olaf

Here’s the thing.  It’s a movie, released just in time for winter, about a perpetual winter.  So of course it was going to be appropriate for the holiday season.  However, it’s not particularly Christmas or holiday themed, so it had staying power throughout the winter.  Then just as winter was wrapping up, the DVD came out, carrying it through the spring.  Still not too surprising because most blockbusters get that second surge as the movie is released on DVD.  Here’s where Olaf comes in and does what no other movie has done before (that I know of).  Olaf is a snowman who loves summer!

Olaf loves summer!

Olaf loves summer!

He is all about it!  So now Olaf is taking it past the DVD surge, giving the movie yet even more longevity, and taking Frozen into pop culture phenomenon territory.  Also, what the creators did with this character never even occurred to me while I was watching the movie.  Sure, I thought it was cute that a snowman loved summer.  I just didn’t realize that we, the consumers, were being set up for more Frozen saturation 2 seasons into the future.  This just hit me this week, the first week of summer, and now Olaf and Frozen are popping up in full force everywhere again.  Since the hype never really died down, it seems as though it’s actually gaining strength with this 3rd push.  Do I think this is an accident?  Absolutely not!  I think it’s pure genius!

I can just imagine the planning sessions the creative minds of Frozen had in the early stages of development.  One person pops up and says, “I’m not so sure about this guys.  It’s a winter movie and no one’s going to care about it in the summer.”  See, another thing Disney does very well is they create stories that they can use any time, in all of their platforms.  Parks, merchandise, dining, attractions, even Disney Cruise Line and their luxury destination travel arm, Adventures by Disney, get in on the action.  Another guy or gal chimes in with, “What if we take this little snowman here and make him have a love affair with summer?”  The room is silenced as everyone looks around at each other.  Finally, someone says, “How would we do that?”  Yet another person drops in with, “Let’s put this little song and dance number in about summer.”  There ya go!  Problem solved!  I bet they are all on a beach somewhere, smoking cigars, grinning and high-fiving each other, sitting on their Olaf beach towels.  What will they think of next?

I bet this is what the Frozen creative team is doing right about now.

I bet this is what the Frozen creative team is doing right about now.

 

Congratulations to Katie Hughes, for winning my Coppertone Clearlysheer giveaway.  Now, just think of all the fun you’ll have, in summer!

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Whole Foods Market Salud Blackberry Farm Dinner

This past Saturday night, I attended a special benefit for the Cooper Young Farmers Market here in Memphis. Whole Foods in Memphis celebrated the grand opening of their new Salud cooking school with this event presented by Blackberry Farm.

Blackberry Farm cookbooks

Blackberry Farm cookbooks

Salud at Whole Foods

Salud at Whole Foods

If you’ve never heard of Blackberry Farm, it is one of the nation’s best luxury hotels and is a working farm in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. I had the pleasure of staying there several years ago and found it to be the most glorious place on earth I’ve ever experienced.

The dinner was done as a demonstration where the chefs prepare the meal in front of you and you eat what they have prepared. I knew because it was Blackberry Farm it was going to be special so I was so excited to attend. I arrived about 15 minutes early since I really didn’t know what to expect. I saw chefs in the room making lots of preparations for us but we weren’t allowed in just yet.

Let me in!

Let me in!

After most people had arrived, they invited us over to a section they had blocked off with tables for a sort of cocktail party type experience. We had our choice of Chardonnay or Merlot, which they explained were available at the store. Wait! What? Wine available at a grocery store? In Tennessee? Yep! They sell it through their Cork and Carry program, a loophole to the Tennessee liquor laws making wine sales in grocery stores illegal. Because they have the BBQ Shack restaurant in the store, they can sell wine by the bottle, but you have to drink some of it before you can take it home with you. Sounds logical! (insert sarcasm)

Wine at Whole Foods

Wine at Whole Foods

Along with the wine, passed appetizers were available. My favorite was the grilled cheese made with Benton’s bacon, Blackberry Farm Magnolia cheese, and Blackberry Farm apple and onion jam.

It may not look like much but this Blackberry Farm Grilled Cheese was a fave!

It may not look like much but this Blackberry Farm Grilled Cheese was a fave!

It was delish! I was also happy to know many of the Blackberry Farm products are available at Whole Foods so I can make this sandwich at home if I want.

Blackberry Farm's line of products is available at Whole Foods.

Blackberry Farm’s line of products is available at Whole Foods.

I also enjoyed the Blackberry Farm deep-fried bread and butter pickles with their J & S sauce as well as their buckwheat pancake with fried sunny side up quail egg and their own salami.

Deep fried bread and butter pickles with J & S Sauce

Deep fried bread and butter pickles with J & S Sauce

Buckwheat pancake with sunny side up quail egg and salami

Buckwheat pancake with sunny side up quail egg and salami

After we had all had our fill of the appetizers, we were invited into Salud for the remainder of the meal. At each place setting was a nice take-away for us, a jar of one of Blackberry Farm’s delectable spreads and a measuring spoon from Salud.

Gift for me

Gift for me

Our chefs for the evening were Josh Feathers, one of the head chefs at the farm, Ryan Burger, the cheesemaker at the farm, and Cameron Roszkowski, also a chef at the farm.

Cameron Roszkowski, Josh Feathers, and Ryan Burger, all chefs at Blackberry Farm

Cameron Roszkowski, Josh Feathers, and Ryan Burger, all chefs at Blackberry Farm

Most of the cooking demos I’ve been to involve the presenter showing a few steps of the dish while servers bring out pre-made and pre-plated versions of the dish. So, you are never really sure who made it. Not here! The chefs actually cooked and plated the courses right in front of us so we knew we were eating their food.

Chefs plating one of our courses

Chefs plating one of our courses

These were highly talented, well-educated, well established chefs, and they were right in front of me, cooking for ME! The food geek in me was elated!

The first course was a vegetable “pasta”, in quotes because the “noodles” were actually strips of veggies.

Vegetable "pasta" in cheese broth with mushroom spread on toast

Vegetable “pasta” in cheese broth with mushroom spread on toast

They were presented with a cheese broth, which was surprisingly not cheesy at all, just very flavorful, and a toast with their mushroom spread. It was so delicious! This course was paired with a Pinot Grigio. Next was the fish course. Baked salmon rubbed with kale pesto, raw kale mixed with a lemon olive oil, carrot puree, and salmon caviar was presented.

Kale pesto rubbed salmon

Kale pesto rubbed salmon

As you can see, I hated it!

What was left of the salmon

What was left of the salmon. All of my plates looked like this.

The salmon was paired with the Chardonnay. Up next was braised short ribs with a fried fingerling potato, tomato relish, sautéed kale and a balsamic reduction.

Beef Short Rib

Beef Short Rib

The chef spent a great deal of time explaining how the tomato relish is made. Their treatment of the most simple foods, their respect for food, and their passion for it really turns it into something special. It was insanely delicious! This was paired with a red blend. Finally, dessert was presented. A ball of their own soft brebis cheese rolled in candied pecans, served with a berry consomme and figs ended the meal perfectly.

A perfect fruit and cheese dessert

A perfect fruit and cheese dessert

The candied pecans were the star! They prepared them by boiling raw pecans first, then mixing one part powdered sugar with 2 parts pecans, THEN deep-frying them for about 5 minutes. I could have eaten an entire bowl of the pecans themselves.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and with that, the night was over. But not before I snagged a few pics with the chefs!

Me with the chefs

Me with the chefs

The women in their lives are some lucky ladies!

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How to Survive 24 Hours in the Magic Kingdom

Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event at Magic Kingdom

Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event at Magic Kingdom

On May 23, Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort was open for 24 hours, from 6 am to 6 am on May 24, for the Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event.  A little more than a month before, I decided I wanted to go.  So some of my Princess Posse girls and I got to planning.

Me, Heather, Aimee, Katie, and Heather's daughter Hailey

Me, Heather, Aimee, Katie, and Heather’s daughter Hailey

I’ll be honest, when I first started talking about it, I had no intention of staying for the entire 24 hours.  I thought I’d be there for rope drop (the Disney term for park opening), head back to the hotel for a nap and maybe the pool in the middle of the afternoon, then head back in the evening to shut it down.  It didn’t take long for my Posse peeps to convince me otherwise.  I realized pretty quickly that I needed a strategy.  So, I came up with a plan, and it worked beautifully!

  1. Pack a bag.  Spending 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom is like a sleepover, only with no sleep.  You need stuff.  How much stuff is a personal preference.  I took a backpack full of 2 changes of clothing complete with undies and socks, flip-flops, my glasses, contact solution and case, deodorant, wipes, tooth paste and tooth-brush, hair brush, hair spray, and head band.  I used every single thing in there.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Aimee only took a robe and sleep mask (Tinkerbell ready for bed) and deodorant spray.  Katie was somewhere in the middle.
  2. Take resort Transportation.  Sure, you could drive your own car if you have one there but there is really nothing more convenient than resort transportation.  They were well-prepared for the crowds and even though the bus line was super long at our resort, it moved quickly, and there were plenty of buses to move us all. 
    The bus line--ack!

    The bus line–ack!

    We headed down to the bus stop a little before 5 and made it right on time for the 5:45 opening show.

  3. Divide and Conquer.  This is especially important if there are multiple things your group wants to accomplish at the same time.  We wanted some of the special merchandise and since you never know how well stocked it is, it’s always best to go right away.  We also knew that there might not be enough lockers to go around so that was a priority, too.  Katie and I went to get the lockers (we ended up getting 2 and sharing) and Heather, Aimee, and Hailey went to get the merchandise.
  4. Pace yourself.  24 hours in the Magic Kingdom is not easy.  You cannot go full speed ahead and expect to make it through.  Well, maybe YOU can, but I knew I couldn’t.  Be realistic about what you will be able to do and prioritize.  Do you want to ride everything? Do you want to get fun character pics?
    Fairy Godmother loves us!

    Fairy Godmother loves us!

    Glad we had fast passes for this one!

    Glad we had fast passes for this one!

    Pinocchio

    Pinocchio

    You may have to choose because as long as 24 hours seems, there is not enough time to do it all.  We tried to find a good balance.  We got some great character pics and rode some of our faves.

    Will I ever get 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin?  Not this trip!

    Will I ever get 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? Not this trip!

    We even rode the new 7 Dwarfs Mine Train before it was officially open to the public!  We also were able to do many of the special experiences just for that day.

  5. Use social media.  It was a special day so bloggers and media were out in full force, both official and unofficial.  While Disney released a lot of the deets during the weeks leading up to the event, they didn’t spill everything.  If it weren’t for social media, we would have never known about the Mine Train being open.  Ok, to be fair, we probably would have figured it out, but not until much later in the day when thewait was insanely long.
    Nope!  We didn't wait 3 hours!

    Nope! We didn’t wait 3 hours!

    There were also food and beverages we wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for social media.

    Special drink mug I found out about through social media.  Also, I thought I was smiling!  I was tired!

    Special drink mug I found out about through social media. Also, I thought I was smiling! I was tired!

    There was even a live webcam on Main Street, and some of our friends who couldn’t make it were able to see us.  How did we coordinate this?  You guessed it!  Social media!  Oh, and if you are going to use social media, this also means you will need to bring your charger and take advantage of the many charging outlets throughout the park.

  6. Hydrate. Y’all it was hot!  The heat index was over 100 during the hottest part of the day.  Dehydration is not magical!  I drank about 6 of the 20 ounce sized bottles of water throughout the day and Diet Coke, too.

    I drank 6 of these throughout the day.

    I drank 6 of these throughout the day.

  7. Don’t forget to eat.  You need fuel to make it through 24 hours of non-stop fun.  And yes, it is possible to have so much fun you forget to eat.  We only had one dining reservation, and that wasn’t until 10:45 that night.  We also had planned a 2 pm Dole Whip meet up so we could easily meet up with everyone we knew who were there.
    Hailey tried to get my tiara at the Dole Whip meet up.

    Hailey tried to get my tiara at the Dole Whip meet up.

    We found Maryanne at the Dole Whip meet up.

    We found Maryanne and Kelsey at the Dole Whip meet up.

    Other than that, we had to remind ourselves to eat.

  8. Get into the spirit.  Walt Disney himself once said he doesn’t make movies for kids.  He makes movies for the kid in everyone.  The same is true of his theme parks.  This was the first time in history that the Magic Kingdom allowed adults to dress in costume during regular operating hours.  They do allow kids to dress in costume all the time, and they allow costumes during the fall special ticketed Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and other special events.  However, adults in costume during the day is unprecedented, and some people went all out!  I had 2 outfits for the event and pajamas for over night.  Aimee wore a full-blown Tinkerbell costume and got lots of attention.
    Tinkerbell Aimee

    Tinkerbell Aimee

    Also, characters love it when adults want pics with them.  We even got pixie-dusted in Bibbity Bobbity Boutique!

    Pixie Dusted

    Pixie Dusted

  9. Keep your eyes open.  Even if you’ve been to Magic Kingdom dozens of times, when it’s a special day, special things sometimes happen.  Cast members were handing out buttons to promote the new Maleficent movie.  Also, around 1 am, we were approached by a cast member who handed us special passes for an exclusive meet and greet with Maleficent from the movie.
    We got special tickets to an exclusive Maleficent meet!

    We got special tickets to an exclusive Maleficent meet!

    I met Maleficent!

    I met Maleficent!

    Aimee and Katie were able to get their pic with Pain and Panic from Hercules because they were paying attention.  No joke, that line had been 4 hours long earlier in the evening, but around 5 am, they saw the line was nonexistent.  They were able to get several other great photos, too.  About this time, I was sitting on a bench resting, not sleeping, resting!

  10. Stop and smell the roses.  Not literally, unless you really want to.  24 hours in the Magic Kingdom has only happened 2 other times so there aren’t a lot of people who can say they’ve done it.  We watched the sun rise in MK 2 days in a row and never left.  That’s pretty epic!  The energy of the day was electric!  From the opening shot of fireworks to the characters waving goodbye to us in their pajamas, it was truly an amazing day!

It was certainly a day I’ll never forget and to be able to spend it with some really amazing ladies made it even more special.  Were you there?  Share some of your thoughts!  I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite photos from the day.

We found Betsy on Main Street!

We found Betsy on Main Street!

I, Aimee, and Katie made it for the entire 24 hours!

I, Aimee, and Katie made it for the entire 24 hours!

Heather and Katie staked out great seats for Festival of Fantasy.

Heather and Katie staked out great seats for Festival of Fantasy.

We found Maryanne and Jennifer after wishes!

We found Maryanne and Jennifer after wishes!

Middle of the night silliness

Middle of the night silliness

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Navy 10 Nautical Miler Race Report

A little over 2 weeks ago, on June 8, I completed my first distance event since physical therapy, and it was awesome!  Well, the event was awesome!  My performance was a different story, but that was expected.

This is the only road race sanctioned by the US Navy.

This is the only road race sanctioned by the US Navy.

I went into the event almost completely untrained, and logic would say that I probably shouldn’t have even done it at all.  However, I wanted to do it, and so I decided to throw caution to the wind and went with the school of thought that it’s better to be under-trained and healthy than be over-trained and injured.  I decided I would run/walk as far as I could then just walk the rest.  I was confident I could finish without further injury by using this strategy, and I was right.

Before going forward, I will say that I don’t recommend this.  I don’t want anyone reading this thinking to themselves, “if she can do an event untrained then I can, too!”  Please keep in mind, I have trained for and completed several half marathons so I know how to hydrate, fuel, and pace myself.  I do think this is more than half the battle.  Training is more than just getting yourself physically ready.  It’s also practicing and experimenting with hydration and fuel so you know how to keep yourself going.  I know what works for me because I’ve spent a lot of time figuring it out.

Now about the event.  I really wanted to do this event last year.  Unfortunately it was cancelled due to the government sequester.  It is presented by the Navy, just like the Marine Corps Marathon is presented by the Marines.  While I don’t know all the details, the government cutbacks meant last year’s event had to be cancelled.  So, I was thrilled to learn it was on for 2014!

On Saturday, June 7, I went to packet pickup, which was held in the gym at the Navy base in Millington, TN.  I was expecting a normal packet pickup but when I got there, I found more of an expo set up.

I expected a small packet pickup but found an expo instead.

I expected a small packet pickup but found an expo instead.

There were several vendors and swag was plentiful!  Just from the vendors I got a tech shirt (not the race shirt), a fan, a pocket notebook, a thing to hold small items and hang around your neck, a plant, and a sweat towel.  Also, this does not even put a dent in all I could have gotten, but I only picked up things I thought I would use.

Freebies from vendors

Freebies from vendors

The official race swag came in a reusable tote, which contained my race bib, race tech shirt, event sticker for my car, koozie, cup with race logo, hot/cold pack with race logo, a motivational book, Gu, KT Tape, and Biofreeze.

Official Race Swag

Official Race Swag

This was by far the most generous goody bag I’ve ever gotten from a race and really set the tone for the rest of the event.

On Sunday morning, I left my house at 5 am for a 6 am start.  We had to line up 15 minutes early so the Captain could address us.  He explained the significance of the event, which I could create an entire story on.  The short version is that this event is the only road race measured in nautical miles (10 NM = approximately 11.5 land miles).  At sea level, 10 NM is the distance to the edge of the horizon.  Also, 10 NM is the distance the Allied Forces traveled on D-Day.  The first Navy 10 Nautical Miler was held on D-Day in 2010.  After the National Anthem and the Captain’s address, the wheelchair division got their start.  Before long, we were off, too!

The weather was gorgeous, mild and overcast.  It was a perfect day to run.  The course was beautiful, too.  We went around a golf course, through some rural areas, residential areas, and through the base.  I saw horses, and even a live skunk within spraying distance.  Luckily, it left me alone.  Course support was plentiful!  They had water and Gatorade at every nautical mile.  There were orange slices at 2 of the stops, and about halfway through, there was even a beer stop (not official).  In the residential area, neighborhood kids had their water guns, giving sprays to whomever wanted one, which was a fun touch.

It definitely took me much longer to finish than it would have if I were well-trained.  I walked most of it, but I did finish in relatively decent shape.  I was so excited to get my finisher medal!

I was thrilled to earn my anchor!

I was thrilled to earn my anchor!

I had been waiting a long time to earn that anchor.  I was also handed a cold towel, fresh from the cooler, right after getting my medal.  I think that was the most refreshing thing I’ve ever felt!  The post-race party got high marks from me, too.   Food was plentiful!  Beer was freely flowing, and water and Gatorade were in abundance!  I also saw chocolate milk available, too.  Food items I saw included chicken and biscuits, macaroni and cheese, breakfast potatoes, pizza, waffles, and Krispy Kreme donuts.

Overall, this was one of the most well-run local events I’ve done.  I enjoyed every aspect of it, and I hope to have the opportunity to do it again next year and redeem myself.

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Weekly Recap

Happy Sunday, y’all!  It’s the first Sunday of summer and it’s a hot one here but I love it!  How are y’all spending your day?  I made my award-winning peanut butter pie for a friend to take to a party today.  I’ll share the story of why it’s award-winning one of these days but for now I’ll just leave you with a pic.

My award-winning peanut butter pie

My award-winning peanut butter pie

In case you missed it, here are the things I covered here this week:

I got back into the swing of things on Tuesday after about a month and a half hiatus and gave a few deets about upcoming stories with I’m a Bad Blogger.

My parents celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, which inspired 47 Years.

Dad and Mom on the Disney Dream last year

Dad and Mom on the Disney Dream last year

And finally, I kicked off summer a day early on Friday with a giveaway still in progress with Coppertone Clearlysheer Review and Giveaway.

One lucky ready will win these!

One lucky ready will win these!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, y’all and have a great week!  Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway.  You have until Friday and there are daily entries available.  Just click the link above.

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Coppertone Clearlysheer Review and Giveaway

I am so excited because it’s almost summer and I love it!  I love being in the sun and lazy pool days!  I love cold beverages, hot grills, and cool, breezy dresses.  Unfortunately, summer can really do a number on your skin.  I, like so many people, didn’t really give my skin health the attention I should have during my teen years.  I’ve always hated the way sunscreen feels on my skin, and even when I forced myself to apply it, I usually wouldn’t reapply throughout the day.  As an adult, I really try to do better, but I still have a hard time finding a sunscreen that doesn’t feel greasy and sticky.  So I was really excited when BzzAgent gave me the opportunity to try the new Coppertone Clearlysheer sunscreen.

I was sent both a spray and a lotion to try, also different SPFs, one was 50 and the other was 30.  Right away, as soon as I opened them, I noticed the light, clean fragrance and loved it.  When I applied the lotion, I noticed it soaked right in and did not leave my skin feeling oily at all.  I noticed the same thing with the spray.  I liked that they gave me options.  I preferred the lotion on dry skin because it made me feel like I was getting good coverage and had more control over where it went.  I enjoyed the spray for reapplying, especially on damp skin, and for applying to those hard-to-reach places.

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

Here are a few things that stood out to me in the product information they sent me:

  • It absorbs in seconds for a clean and light feel.
  • Its moisturizing formulas help leave your skin soft and smooth.
  • It won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, and it was even clinically tested on acne prone skin.
  • Its matte finish is perfect for use under makeup.

I also have some other exciting news!  They sent me some to share with y’all, too!  So one lucky reader will recieve a generous sample of both the lotion and the spray.  To enter, click on my Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be announced on 6/28/14.  All entries will be verified.  This sweepstakes is open to US residents with US shipping addresses only and is void where prohibited.  Good luck!

One lucky ready will win these!

One lucky ready will win these!

Disclosure:  The product and coupons were sent to me free to try and share because of a partnership with BzzAgent.  I was not compensated or required to write this blog post.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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47 Years

Today is my parents’ 47th wedding anniversary!  47 years!  I called my mom this morning and wished them a happy anniversary.  She said, “We get to throw a big party in 3 years!”  Yes, yes, they do!

My parents, the night before their wedding 47 years ago

My parents, the night before their wedding 47 years ago

In a world where failed marriages are getting to be the norm rather than the exception, I am so incredibly proud of them and the example they set for me and my sister, not only as we were growing up, but in adulthood as well.  At 47 years in, they continue to show me what love and a healthy relationship is like.  I’m not saying they or their relationship is perfect but if I could have written my own book for my life, I would have wanted it to be very similar to theirs.  I’m still hopeful that someday I can be just like them when I grow up.

Dad and Mom on the Disney Dream last year

Dad and Mom on the Disney Dream last year

Dad and Mom in the Bahamas last year

Dad and Mom in the Bahamas last year

So Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!  I hope you do something fun to celebrate.  Mom and I will get started soon planning that party. 

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I’m a Bad Blogger!

I guess you’ve noticed by now I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Sorry for that!  Have you ever felt totally overwhelmed with life in general to the point that you can only focus and complete what absolutely has to happen at that particular moment and everything else gets put on the back burner?  That’s been me lately.  Between work, a huge list of things around the house that need attention, and my running woes, I haven’t really had the mental capacity to fill you all in on what’s been going on.  I’ve been doing some fun things that I’m sure you all would love to read about, and if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram you might already know about some of it.  However, when it comes time to share after the fact, I’m already in the mentality of handling what’s next on my it-has-to-get-done-now list.   I deeply apologize and hope you’ll stick with me while I catch you up.

So, here are a few of the things I’ve been doing this year (I do plan to write more in-depthly in the coming weeks about these things).

  • I took a semi-last minute trip to New York in January with a girlfriend of mine.  It was my first time going!
  • My family booked our third Disney Cruise Line trip, which will be coming up next year.
  • I once again registered as a St. Jude Hero for the Memphis St. Jude Half Marathon.  To support me, visit my fund-raising page here.
  • Over Memorial Day weekend I spent 24 consecutive hours in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World for the Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Event.
  • I also took some extra time to enjoy some of the special things happening during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • I finished my first distance event since being injured–the Navy 10 Nautical Miler.
  • I’ve been working with a company called BzzAgent and will be bringing you a Coppertone product review and giveaway soon.
  • I’m also working with a company called Influenster and will be reviewing their Spring Fling Vox Box.
  • I’ve also had a request from a reader to share exactly how I went from couch to half marathoner.  I’ve touched on my story a little bit but I never really shared what happened between point A and point B.
  • Finally, I have developed a summer slush recipe that my family loves and I hope yours will, too.

So, what story should I tackle first?  What are you most interested in?

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