Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Lauren’s Glass Slipper – My Blog Writing Process

Last Friday I was nominated by the lovely Meranda and Lacey of Fairytales and Fitness to write a little bit about the ‘behind the scenes’ part of this blog – my writing process. But before I get started I want to thank you both very much! I know you could have chosen many other writers, and I am honored to have been picked!

What I must do

- Acknowledge the blogger/blog that invited you to the Tour.
– Answer some questions about your blogging process
– Choose 3 bloggers to plug, give a short bio of the blogs and link to their sites.

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The Questions

1. What am I working on?

An interesting question – what am I working on for this blog, or in my own life? I’ll just answer both!

While I am not working on any one thing in particular for my blog, I am brainstorming how I want to format a series I’d like to begin that shows how I balance clean eating and food budgeting. I am also working on putting together my last couple posts regarding the end of my physical therapy sessions and run gait analysis for my ITBS injury. I feel as though since I have been through it, I would like to share what I have learned to maybe help someone avoid this situation in the future.

As for my life, I am just working on creating balance. I have extensive career aspirations as well as fitness goals, but always want to make sure that I put my family first. I also want to make sure that I do not pass up opportunities that come my way. Sometimes I have a fear of change; it’s not the ‘change’ itself but the uncertainties of how it can affect mine and Robert’s life. But I have a bigger fear of looking back in 5 or 10 years wondering ‘what if’ so to put all fears aside and truly go for something great is what I always hope to have the courage to do in my life!

2. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

There are a lot of people who write about their trials and tribulations with running and even their love of runDisney. The way my blog may differ from others is how my own thoughts are turned to words, and the fact that nobody will ever have the exact same journey in life, training, and races that I do – I think the following quote sums it up!

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3. Why do I write what I do?

I have a few passions in life – two of which are running and Disney. I began this blog with hopes of creating the very thing I wanted when I began my running career: information and first hand experience. While I was training for the 2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon (my very first long distance race), I desperately wanted all the information I could get about this race weekend to help me plan and put to rest the nervousness that came with anticipation. After running, I realized that I could contribute to the blogging world to help others find what they needed/wanted to know about running and training! It has morphed into even more though – while I enjoy writing about my journey in life and running, a huge part of what keeps me here is reading about each of your journeys!

4. How does  my writing process work?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really have much of a process. If I ever get an idea of something to write, I text it to myself or put it in a title in Live Writer as a reminder to write about it when I get my thoughts and inspiration together. When I begin writing, I’ll type little notes as a basis of where to start and go within the post itself (kind of like an outline) then write and edit once or twice. Sometimes I’ll have Robert go through my posts just to make sure he doesn’t see any changes that need to be made as well.

My Nominees

There are so many of you that I would love to hear from, but alas, I can only pick 3 – my nominees are: Michele @ A Pace of Balance, Courtney @ Running for Cupcakes, and Rebecca @ Press On and Run!

QOTD: Pick one of these questions and answer it in the comments section below!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Recap 7/21/14 – 7/27/14

Hey everyone! Sorry about the lack of post last Friday. I had a race expo to work in Dallas this past weekend and decided to drive up a couple days early to spend time with my family! So I was quite disconnected from the blogging world for a few days, but a break every now and then is refreshing.

Running this week was so nerve racking. I had my run gait analysis which went very well – I will be doing a full recap soon. Spoiler alert: I left with a lot of knowledge as to ‘why’ and ‘how’ muscles work together in running. I admit I only ran once after that analysis during the week though; coming off an injury is terrifying. I don’t want to overdo anything but I want to get into training. Right now it is very important that I find that balance before my training officially begins for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Dopey Challenge!

Speaking of training, I found the perfect (and most delicious) post-workout snack! Behold these Chobani yogurt mixes:

1. Almond Coco Loco (left): Coconut low-fat yogurt with dark chocolate & honey roasted salted almonds. It has 240 calories and 12g of protein.

2. Peachy Pistachio (right): Peach low-fat yogurt with pistachios & dark chocolate. It has 220 calories with 13g of protein.

3. Key Lime Crumble (not pictured, but will be tasting this upcoming week): Key lime low-fat yogurt with graham crackers & white chocolate. It has 200 calories and 12g of protein. I didn’t notice this one the week before but I have one in the fridge for this week after a workout. I can’t wait to try it!

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So I have some really exciting news – well exciting to me! I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods this weekend to shop with my mom and she found this Running Skirts brand skirt on sale for $20! Say WHAT?! She has some kind of incredible sale shopping gene (which did not get passed on to me haha, I can never seem to find as good as deals as her)! But I digress. Anyways, I have always wanted one of their skirts but they are usually priced a bit high for my taste! After trying it on, I can see why though. They are so incredibly comfortable. Needless to say, it is now mine! I love clearance events.

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In other news, I decided to chop my long hair off. I feel lighter and more stylish now! I’ve been going to the same hair stylist for about 6 years now. She always does such a great job!

My Workouts The Past Week:

Monday: 1 Mile Run (run analysis), IT Band Stretches & Strength Exercises, Squats, Push-ups & Sit-ups

Tuesday: IT Band Stretches & Strength Exercises, 30 minutes Cycling, Foam Rolling/The Stick, Push-ups & Sit-ups, Squats

Wednesday: Travel Day to Dallas – Push-ups & Sit-ups, IT Band Stretches & Strength Exercises, Arm Exercises with Dumbbells

Thursday: 2 Mile Run/Walk with Dad, Push-ups & Sit-ups, Stretching & Foam Rolling

Friday: Stretching & Foam Rolling

Saturday: Worked Bondi Band Booth, Stretching & Foam Rolling

Sunday: Travel Day to Houston – Push-ups, Stretching & Foam Rolling

Monday Motivation!   image

QOTD:  Have you ever had to overcome a fear of running after an injury? How did you get past it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to {Military} Basics

It’s no shocker that there are tons of exercises from which to choose when trying to build up strength. There are so many machines at the gym, dumbbells and kettle bells of various weights, resistance training options, and more. Where do you start? How do you know which is best?

Ever since my injury, I have had to face the fact that my muscle strength is, well, not good. In my 26 years of life, I have never put together a strength training regime. I always just kind of did random gym machines or followed what the class instructor told us to do. I’ll plan race training all day long, but I’m lost in trying to figure out the best way to tone and strengthen my muscles. Now knowing far more seriously how important it is to keep up with non-cardio exercises, I decided to just pick a starting place.

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Coming from a military family, I knew that the basic training physical fitness test consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, and a two mile run. So that is where I began – about two weeks ago I started incorporating push-ups and sit-ups into my daily routine. In just those two weeks alone, I have noticed a HUGE different in my core and arms. It is astounding how much stronger I feel in such a short time period. The military chose those workouts for a reason!

Now that I am cleared to use more legs more strenuously again (gradually of course), I have incorporated weighted squats into my daily workouts to help with glute strength; core/arms aren’t the only things that are important! Sprints/speed work will help with that as well when I am able to do so comfortably again. I love how these few exercises work so much of my body and make me feel like I am making progress! When I first started, doing 3 sets of 5 push-ups and 2 sets of 25 sit-ups was very difficult – definitely a wake up call. Now I am doing 3 sets of 15 push-ups and 3 sets of 30 sit-ups! I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in another two weeks!

If you are looking to gain more strength in your core/arms and you don’t know where to start, try doing some push-ups and sit-ups. They don’t take much time out of your day and they can be done pretty much anywhere!

Proper form is Key: Set your hands at (or slightly wider) than shoulder width with your hands even with your shoulders. Stay on your toes and engage that core!

And although I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, here is a video of me demonstrating form:

QOTD: Do you have a set strength training plan, or do you ever feel lost when trying to figure out which exercises are best?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Recap 7/14/14 – 7/20/14

Hey y’all! Guess what? I am officially DONE with physical therapy for my ITBS! Today I have my run analysis and I cannot wait to share the details. I have run/walked on the treadmill for one mile the past few times at PT which has gone very well. On Thursday my interval even increased to 1 minute walk/2 minutes run with no pain! I am (and will be going forward) being consistent daily with my IT Band stretches and core/glute strengthening. I learned my lesson and hope to never go through this again. I have also added push-ups and sit-ups to my daily routine. Just those two exercises alone have made my core so much stronger already! Yoga and cycling are a part of my regime as well, and I am looking forward to adding more running, and even some swimming.

Speaking of swim/bike/run, I have chosen my triathlon for this year! I will be participating in the Oktoberfest Triathlon here in Houston! As much as I would love to do the Olympic distance, I am going to play it safe since I am coming off of an injury and will be registering for the Sprint distance instead (I think I even talked Robert into doing it as well)! I am also considering registering for the Towne Lake Triathlon (another local event) which takes place on Labor Day. That would give me an entire month to train for the Sprint distance which I don’t think would be too difficult, but I am still deciding. What do you think?

Another piece of very exciting news – I got in to the 2015 Big Sur Marathon (which is the race’s 30th anniversary)! I am SO excited. I used to live in Monterey, CA and I just loved it and I can’t wait to go back and show Robert all my old favorite spots and check out new places.

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This past weekend was so much fun. Before I go into details though, I have MORE exciting news (must be today’s theme or something haha)! Robert and I rescued a little 6 year old poodle-mix last week. She is adorable and fits right in to our little family! We named her Lily.

Over the weekend Houston hosted The World Series of Dog Shows, so we took the pups to check it out. It was so much fun, and super busy! I loved watching people show their dogs, have them do the agility course, and even perform their Frisbee routines! Here are a few pictures.

Can you believe there are dog treadmills out there? So hilariously adorable!

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My Workouts The Past Week:

Monday: Yoga + 20 min cycling + IT band stretches/strength exercises + push-ups & sit-ups + arm exercises with weights + foam rolling

Tuesday: PT – Ultrasound therapy + massage + IT band stretches/strength exercises + KT Tape + 10 min elliptical (forward & backward) + 1 mile walk/run + ice

Wednesday: Yoga + IT band stretches/strength exercises + push-ups & sit-ups + foam rolling

Thursday: PT – Ultrasound therapy + The Stick + I

T band stretches/strength exercises + KT Tape + 1 mile walk/run + ice & foam rolling + push-ups & sit-ups + arm exercises with weights

Friday: Yoga + 25 min cycling + IT band stretches/strength exercises + push-ups & sit-ups + arm exercises with weights + foam rolling & ice

Saturday: IT band stretches/strength exercises + 20 min cycling + push-ups & sit-ups + foam rolling & ice

Sunday: IT band stretches/strength exercises + push-ups & sit-ups + arm exercises with weights + foam rolling & ice

Monday Motivation!  image

QOTD:  What did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Race Day Man Crate

Any ladies out there have trouble finding gifts for the men in their life? I know I certainly do at times; shopping for my husband, dad, and brother can be difficult! Well, today I have the answer to all your gift shopping troubles! A couple weeks ago, a company called Man Crates contacted me about their products. Their company essentially eliminates the need for shopping; they have crates containing different types of items men would want! They have options available for all personality types and interests, ranging from outdoor enthusiasts to gamers to food lovers.

They asked me to create one of my own with all the items that I would put in my ideal Man Crate. What? An excuse to get creative you say? Sign me up! After looking at the website, I knew I wanted to do something running related. While they do have athletic crates available, I think a race day crate would be the perfect gift for all the runner men in our lives!

In order to create a crate, I can choose anything I want as long as all the items can fit in a 2ft x2ft wooden box. I began by looking at items men who run would both need and want. I asked my husband what his ideal crate might have. After compiling a list of possibilities, here are the items that I would put in my “Race Day Man Crate”.

If it is deemed good enough, it may even show up on their website for people to purchase – so if you love this idea, please share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

imagePhoto Credit 

1. Sweat wicking shirt from ‘One More Mile’.

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2. Assortment of sweat wicking headbands by ‘Bondi Band’.

image                                      Dig Deep                                 will run for BEER                              Solid Royal Blue

3. Compression sleeves by ‘Bondi Band’.

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4. Beer Mug by ‘Gone for a Run’.

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5. Sprint Pack by ‘Apera Bags’.

6. Assortment of Nuun electrolyte tablets.

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7. Honey stinger energy gels.

8. Clif bars (pre-race and post-race).

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9. Camelbak Groove (filtering water bottle).

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10. Nipple Guards and Body Glide.

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11. Runner’s World magazine subscription.

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12. SPIbelt race day fuel, accessories, & bib holder with water resistant pocket.

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Make sure to check out the Man Crates website, Facebook page, and blog!

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Disclaimer: I was not compensated at all for this post, I just did it for the fun of it!
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QOTD: What do you think of my Race Day Man Crate? Would you add anything else?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY: Animal Rescue Kit

Today I welcome you to a post that is completely unrelated to running/fitness/healthy eating, but such is the life of an injured runner. On last week’s "Very Inspiring Blogger" post, I mentioned that I always carry around an animal rescue kit so that if and when I see a stray dog (or cat) I am able to help right then and there! I had planned on doing a blog post on this eventually, but due to the overwhelmingly positive response I received about it, I decided to write this post sooner than expected. I love that I have so many readers who are dog/cat lovers!

After finding a stray Labrador a few months ago (who went to a wonderful home!), my mom graciously decided to put this rescue kit together for me so that I can always have it with me in the trunk of my car. Here are some of the essential (and a couple ‘just in case’) items she included in it so you don’t forget anything if you decide to put one together for yourself.

I have a large “Hefty” container in which to keep all the products

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Item 1: Towels (Quantity of 2-3)

Item 2: Blankets (Quantity 1-2)

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Item 3: Portable dog kennel

Item 4: Cargo car mat

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Item 5: Fresh water (essential!)

Item 6: Water bowl

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Item 7: Assorted dog & cat treats

Item 8: Assorted dog & cat food

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Item 9: Collar

Item 10: Leash

Item 11: Waste pick-up bags

Item 12: Wet ones wipes

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QOTD: Would you add anything else to your animal rescue kit?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration

Today at 12 PM EST, one of the most iconic and popular runDisney races opens to the public for registration. The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes place February 19-22, 2015 and consists of a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Glass Slipper Challenge (when you run the 10K & Half Marathon).

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The 2013 Princess Half was my very first long-distance race, and I can say from personal experience that this race weekend is nothing short of incredible! The medals are gorgeous and straight out of a fairytale! I cannot wait to attend this race weekend again in the future!

Last year’s medals

My blog posts related to the Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

2013 Recap Part 1 (Arrival/Expo/Downtown Disney)
2013 Recap Part 2 (Magic Kingdom/Pre-Race)
2013 Recap Part 3 (Race Recap/EPCOT)
Tips for Running the Princess Half Marathon
Tips for Attending the Princess Half Marathon as a Spectator

Here is all the info you will need for pricing and scheduling:

Schedule of Events

runDisney Health and Fitness Expo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM on Thursday, February 19, 2015
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM on Friday, February 20, 2015
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 21, 2015

Disney Princess 5K
Epcot
6:15 AM on Friday, February 20, 2015

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast
Epcot
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM on Friday, February 20, 2015
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM on Saturday, February 21, 2015

*Princess Breakfast Pricing includes
Breakfast Buffet
Disney character meet & greets
Opportunities for photos and autographs with Disney Characters

runDisney Kids Races
Epcot
Friday, February 20 – Saturday, February 21, 2015
Dashes – 8:45 AM
1 Mile Run – 9:15 AM

Pasta in the Park Party
World Showplace Pavilion Epcot
Friday, February 20, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
6:00 to 8:30 PM Buffet Dinner
9:00 PM Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

Disney Enchanted 10K
Epcot
5:30 AM on Saturday, February 21, 2015

Disney's Princess Half Marathon
Epcot
5:30 AM on Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney
4:00 – 10:30 PM on Sunday, February 22, 2015

Entry Fees & Deadlines

Disney Princess Half Marathon
$170 by September 1, 2014
$185 between September 2 and October 21, 2014
$200 on or after October 22, 2014

Disney Enchanted 10K
$105 by September 1, 2014
$120 between September 2 and October 21, 2014
$135 on or after October 22, 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge
$295 by September 1, 2014
$320 between September 2 and October 21, 2014
$345 on or after October 22, 2014

Disney Princess 5K
$60 per participant by November 25, 2014
$70 per participant on or after November 26, 2014

runDisney Kids Races – Dashes
$15 per participant by November 25, 2014
$20 per participant on or after November 26, 2014

runDisney Kids Races – 1 Mile Run
$30 per participant by November 25, 2014
$35 per participant on or after November 26, 2014

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets
$54 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
$30 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
Children Under 3 are free

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast
$39 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
$26 for Children (ages 3 – 9)

ChEAR Squad
Bronze – No Charge
Silver – $39 per package
Gold – $65 per package
Platinum Half - $120 per package

Race Retreat
Disney Princess Half Marathon – $120

Proof of Time

If you plan to finish the half marathon in less than 3:15, proof of time is required.

A valid proof of time provided at the time of registration must include the following:

  • Name of Race, Date, & Distance (race must have taken place after February 1, 2013)
  • City, State
  • Finish time

If you do not have a proof of time to submit, list "N/A" at the point of registration. You MUST have a proof of time submitted by December 1, 2014, or you will be put in the last race corral.

Submit all Proof of Times to: disneysports@trackshack.com.

**IMPORTANT**: You cannot bring proof of time to the Race Expo to change your start corral anymore.

Registration Policy & Deferrals

  • All race fees are non-refundable.

  • You may NOT transfer your registration to another participant.

  • All races are subject to capacity limits and may close at any time.
  • Deferrals: You may defer your registration to the 2016 Princess Half Marathon subject to availability, on or before February 5, 2015. There is a $45 fee if completed by January 8, 2015, and a $70 fee is completed between January 9 and February 5, 2015 (no deferrals for the 5K or Kids’ Races).
  • The deferral link will be available September 15, 2014.

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QOTD: Will you be running any of the Princess Half Marathon weekend races?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly Recap 7/7/14 – 7/13/14

Happy Monday everyone! It is officially my LAST week of physical therapy for ITBS, and I will be scheduling my run gait analysis for next week – I am so excited to get back to running!

I had a very fun and busy weekend, which included finally getting my first Triathlon suit. Robert and I went to Luke’s Locker on Saturday just to see what they had, and I ended up finding a super cute and comfortable Pearl Izumi two-piece suit!

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After that I was inspired to do a bit of bike shopping, and while I did not purchase one this weekend, I did find one that I really like! I went to Bike Land and talked with one of their sales reps who was really nice and very knowledgeable. He asked me a few questions and measured me for what size bike I’ll need, and recommended that I get a road bike rather than an actual triathlon bike. Not only are they much less expensive, but they work just as well as for people who do sprint triathlons all the way to full Ironman races! I am going to shop around and research a little bit more, but so far, I like this one. Now to figure out what races I will be doing!

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In other great news, I ran/walked another full mile in PT on Tuesday, and have been keeping up with my IT band stretches and strength exercises. Also, I went to get a sport’s massage on Sunday and my masseuse said my IT band feels much looser than last time – score! I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for my injury recovery!

My Workouts The Past Week:

Monday: Yoga + 20 min cycling + IT band stretches & strength exercises + arm strength exercises with weights + push-ups & sit-ups + ice & foam rolling

Tuesday: PT – Ultrasound & laser therapy + IT band stretches & strength exercises + The Stick + KT Tape application +  1 mile run/walk

Wednesday: Yoga + 20 min cycling + IT band stretches & strength exercises + foam rolling

Thursday: PT – Ultrasound therapy + IT band stretches & strength exercises + The Stick + KT Tape application + 10 min elliptical (forwards & backwards) + ice & foam rolling + push-ups & sit-ups

Friday: Yoga + 20 min cycling + IT band stretches & strength exercises + arm strength exercises with weights + push-ups & sit-ups + ice & foam rolling

Saturday: Rest Day – did some foam rolling

Sunday: 30 min cycling + IT band stretches & strength exercises + push-ups & sit-ups + ice & foam rolling

Monday Motivation! 

QOTD:  Do you have a road bike brand that you recommend?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

First of all thank you to Sara @ Life Between the Miles and Kristy @ Runaway Bridal Planner for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger AwardI am so grateful and honored! If you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, you definitely should!

The Rules

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

Seven fun facts about me

1. I have moved 11 times in my lifetime – I grew up in a Navy family, then moved for college, then again a couple of times for work. I LOVED moving and experiencing new places and meeting new people. Through Facebook, I am still in touch with many of my childhood friends!

2. I have my APICS Certification in Products & Inventory Management (CPIM) – My major in college was Marketing with an Emphasis in Global Supply Chain Management. I took the supply chain route right out of college and did that for nearly 4 years (it took me one year to get my CPIM while I worked), but recently made a career move to sales, and I LOVE it!

3. I always carry a dog rescue kit in the trunk of my car – I actually plan on doing a full blog post on this, but I love to help animals, especially dogs. My mom put together a dog rescue kit for me a couple of months ago just in case I ever pick up a stray dog (Robert and I each already have in the last few months and found homes for both of them).

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4. I’ve been skydiving – it was nerve racking and AWESOME! You can clearly see my nervousness and excitement in the video (below)!

5. I want to do a Half Ironman – I am still deciding which one, but I want it to happen in the next 2 years. Part of me wants to do a local one so my friends and family can come to support, but part of me also wants to swim in a gorgeous ocean and make a vacation out of it! Thoughts?

6. Magic Kingdom is my favorite Disney Park – Robert proposed to me there at Cinderella’s Wishing Well, then a Disney Cast Member who saw it took us to the front of a VERY long line to meet Rapunzel – she was so much fun (this is actually one of the reasons I dressed up as Rapunzel for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon)! The cast member then gave us a voucher for free ice cream sundae’s!

7. The Little Mermaid makes me cry – I guess you could call this a Disney confession? haha Even though this movie is one of my favorite Disney films, I rarely watch it because the ending makes me cry (when Ariel says bye to her dad). I can, however, still recite the movie line by line, just ask my husband! :0)

My 15 Nominees

Karen @ Just Me and My Running Shoes
Jamie @ Cocktails & Carseats
Lauren @ HALFway to the CASTle
Lesley @ In Lesley’s Corner
Rebecca @ Press On and Run
Courtney @ Running for Cupcakes
Jennifer @ The Final Forty
Patty @ My No-Guilt Life
Denise @ Healthy Disney Family
Meranda & Lacey @ Fairytales & Fitness
Kim @ Confessions of a Domestic Goddess
Jess @ A Little More Each Day
Erin @ A Storybook Life
Michele @ A Pace of Balance
Monica @ Running Happily Ever After

QOTD: Tell me one fun fact about yourself!