Makes Me Happy Mondays IV- Race Edition

Popping in for a quick post!  Before I start on my latest installment of “Makes Me Happy Mondays,” I’d like to give you all a brief update!

I was able to participate in the Wine and Dine half marathon this past weekend at Disney.  My foot held up just fine, some achy pain, but nothing affecting my race.  However, due to the less than ideal weather (the skies opened up just prior to the start and continued the entire race) and being a klutz, I managed to tweak my hip in between miles 3 and 4.  I ended up walking WAY more than I would have liked to, but managed to start running again after mile 9 and finished!  Albeit about an hour over my usual half marathon time, but I finished!  My full recap will be coming soon with lots of photos!

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On to Makes Me Happy (race edition)- (warning, some blister/chafing chat ahead, but nothing too bad, I promise!)

I decided to dress up a bit this year for the race.  I chose Sparkle Athletic products due to their back story of being running women and for my fondness of According to Kelly‘s blog and instagram posts :)  I went with a purple sparkle skirt, pink arm bands and (later purchased for the rain) purple visor!

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I loved how lightweight the skirt was (didn’t even feel like I had it on) and that I could wear my own personal choice of capris (or shorts/pants) underneath.  The armbands I was a bit nervous about.  I ended up buying too large a size a couple weeks ago, but they were FANTASTIC about exchanging them for me at the expo since I had never worn them!  They stayed up the entire race, even in torrential rain!  I normally do NOT like running with anything more than a ponytail holder on my head, but when the forecast called for lots of rain, I knew I needed something to keep the rain off my face.  So, in order to match the rest of my ensemble, I purchased a visor at the Wine and Dine expo!  It was great!  Kept my face dry and held up wonderfully in all the rain!  I already ordered pieces for my next race from Sparkle Athletic!

Body Glide has always been my go-to for preventing blisters and chafing.  I am prone to blisters on my heels, under my big toe, and the side of my “ring” toe.  Being a curvier girl, I never wear shorts running without pre-treating with BG.  I started Googling running long distances in the rain to look for tips to make the race as pleasant as possible.  I treated my toes, problem foot areas, around EVERY seam in my outfit- along the inseam, bottoms and top of my running capri tights, all around my sports bra line, the top and bottom of my armbands as well as the inner seam of those, and around where my arms could rub on my shirt.  I then coated my feet completely with Aquaphor as recommended.  The consistency was a bit greasy, but it’s more absorbent than regular petroleum jelly and allows the skin to breathe a bit better.  I only suffered 1 blister and ZERO chafing after running 13 miles in the rain.  I was prepared for the worst when I took of my shoes to discover that one of my formerly pristine white socks was now pink, but luckily it was just a tiny hole on my the side of my toe!

  • CoverGirl Mascara and Revlon Eyeliner

I pretty much NEVER run with any sort of make up on.  My face is SUPER absorbent as it is and I do not need to add to my skin issues (seriously, I have more breakouts now in my late 20s than I ever did as a teen!).  However, I have light eyelashes and if I don’t have anything on, I look tired/sick/sad (or any other comment that people make when you aren’t wearing make up, lol).  Since I knew I wanted lots of pictures this year, I decided to try to wear some make up and if it ran off in the effort of running of the race/washed away with the rain, oh well.  HOWEVER, it stayed nearly perfect!  I couldn’t believe when I got home and looked in the mirror and it still was there, not running down my face!

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I used CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara (in waterproof) and Revlon ColorStay Eye Liner (the crayon type, not liquid).  As far as mascaras go, CoverGirl makes most of my favorites!  They are super affordable (especially with sales and coupons) and hold up as well as many that are more expensive!  I discovered Revlon ColorSay liners when I was looking for a waterproof liner a few years ago.  I have really watery eyes so I was always on the lookout for something with some staying power.  Enter Revlon.  The eyeliner goes on smoothly, has a built-in sharpener, and comes in LOTS of colors!

What are some things that make you happy?  Anyone else run swim the Wine and Dine Half this weekend?  Any other races?

Playing Tourist! And a WILD Trek!

I mentioned yesterday that I have had multiple family members visiting Disney lately.  Being somewhat experienced in what Disney has to offer, I was MORE than willing to play tourist alongside my family members to ensure we all had a great time.  I even got to experience something BRAND NEW to me at Disney!  Let’s get started…

My mom’s cousins have started coming to Disney almost yearly since Charlene adopted her daughter, Amy.  Amy is at that perfect age to really enjoy many of the things that Disney has to offer.  She is also NOT shy, haha.  She loved meeting the characters and starting conversations with anyone who would talk back to her :P

(From L to R) Charlene, Amy, and I in front of the Castle!
(From L to R) Charlene, Amy, and I in front of the Castle!
Amy entertaining a Small World CM :)
Amy entertaining a Small World CM :)
Amy and Princess Sophia
Amy and Princess Sophia

Soon after my cousins went back home, my dad came to visit.  I had made plans for him and me to do Disney’s Wild Africa Trek months ago (call it a belated Father’s Day/Birthday present for him), and we finally set the date.  We did an afternoon trek and with our luck, the weather forecast looked PRETTY grim… I’m talking 100% chance of thunderstorms all day long.

BUT somehow, we made it through (almost) the entire day without a drop of rain!  After we were fitted for our gear, we started off the tour by walking down the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

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We were hoping to catch sight of one of the new baby gorillas, but no dice.  However, one of the males beat his chest to impress some ladies :P  It was SO much louder than I would have thought it would be!

We continued along for a little while, then went through a “secret door” and were met with our harnesses for the trek!  After gearing up, our first stop was the hippo lookout!  While one of the hippos couldn’t have cared less that we were there, the other one was all to happy to be fed!

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I think they are SO adorable… and it’s so surprising that they are responsible for more human deaths than any other large animal!  This was also our first family photo op:

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We then trekked through the woods to get to the infamous bridges!

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Unfortunately, the crocodiles were not in their pens today, but it was still a thrill to be walking from up that high and on a bridge with missing beams!

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It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be.  My advice?  Step on the center of the beams.  I channeled my former-gymnastic self and was able to keep my balance really well with little to no need for any hesitation or missteps!

We then boarded our private truck and headed out to the safari!  Some of the giraffes were being stubborn and wouldn’t get out of the road, which was fine by us!  We got some great photos!

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We headed over toward the elephants next…

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And then it was chow time!  Unfortunately I don’t have any images from lunch, but it was SO yummy! My dad had the meal as prepared.  I had special ordered mine since I have a bell pepper allergy.  The only changes made were plain hummus instead of the roasted tomato-flavored hummus, no veggies with the salmon and dill roulade, and some type of sauced chicken instead of the tandoori shrimp!  I couldn’t believe how tasty everything was!  We also had some great photos from the boma!

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We then finished up our trek through the safari!

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We had a GREAT time!  I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat!  We lucked out with the weather and it wasn’t deathly hot like it can be on a September afternoon in FL!  We learned a LOT while on the tour and had wonderful guides!

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Have any of you done the Wild Africa Trek?  What was our favorite part?  Have you done any of Disney’s other tours?

She’s BACK…

To say my foot injury has been a damper on my training would be the GREATEST UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY.  Seriously… It’s been torture trying to come back and every day is still a struggle.  Some days, I barely notice it, but others I can barely make it through a mile without hobbling for two days after.

Because of this, I had to make the decision to skip the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  Devastated party of me!  BUT in order to give myself the best shot at running (or at least run-walking) the Wine and Dine half next month, I knew I shouldn’t push myself.

What else have I been up to? Well, school rules my world, with a side of work (at Epcot during Food and Wine to add to the crazy excitement) and a dash of a social life.  My parents have been travelling a LOT so I have also been on doggie duty!  While I love the silly pups, I miss having my (small) apartment to myself, lol!  They are very people-oriented and quite the Velcro dogs, especially when there is only one person to follow around!

But I know the second I’m away from them, I miss them like crazy!

In order to combat the drastic drop in my activity leading to weight gain, I am also partaking in the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  I have been posting on my Instagram account daily and encourage you all to join in!  It’s a great way to start (or finish your day) with a boost of fruits and veggies!  Some recipes have been better than others, but I enjoy trying new things, especially when I have access to my parents’ Vitamix :P

So later this week I will be posting on some of my “tourist” days at Disney!  I had family in town a couple times in the last month and have some great photos and experiences to share!  I hope you are all doing well!

Oopsies… Can I blame it on finals again?

So… It’s June.  Almost July.  And I have not blogged in 2 months…. yeah.  That’s pretty much how life has been, lol.  I decided to take summer classes and let’s just say that a 4+ month Bachelor’s course crammed into a little more than a month has been NO fun!

I also took a trip back to Jersey!!!  One of my best friends from back home got married and it was WONDERFUL!  I hadn’t been back in two and a half years so it was MUCH appreciated.  Note to self: do NOT go that long again without visiting!!!

I also have not felt motivated to post because I have been struggling with being “fit fit.”  I injured my foot (being clumsy, of course) and bruised a bunch of tenons along the arch of my foot.  While most shoes continued to fit no problem, the insole of my running shoes all hit right where the majority of the pain centered.  The inability to run on the regular without pain combined with the stresses of school and work have also wrecked havoc on my diet.  

17 Things People On A Diet Are Tired Of Hearing

I gained back more of the weight than I thought I had (stepping on the scale… ouch!) and while not completely back to square one, I feel discouraged and even less amped to run or work out.  

I am hoping by posting today and airing my faults (we all have ‘em!), I can move on and get back on the right track!  

FINALS

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!!  I will be back next week to my regularly blogging self, since this week is ALL CONSUMED with Finals!!!  Be well :)

My First Stitch Fix!!!

Okay so I mentioned yesterday that I would be receiving my first “fix” from Stitch Fix, and I was SUPER excited about it!  I already highlighted the basics in my previous post, so no need to rehash :P

Let’s dive into the box!

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So first of all, how cute is the pattern inside the box???  I loved the little details and personal feel of what I received.

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I had a note written from my stylist talking about how to pair the items and why they were picked for me!  I received two tops, one cardigan, one pair of jeans and one dress.

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  • Tulip Top

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So this piece got me the MOST excited when I went through the box!  It’s a cheerful, bright yellow with a subtle white tulip print.  While it did look nice on, the stitching on the arms made lifting them at all quite difficult, let alone when I tried to take the top off (it would have made a great YouTube video, lol).  The other thing I did not like about the top was the seam going right down the middle of the shirt!  If that was in the back, I probably would have kept it, but alas, it’s going back!

  • Blue Tank

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This top made me cringe.  I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried it on, but no dice!  I did NOT like the pattern or the overly SOLID trim around the neckline.  It also completely hid whatever semblance of a figure i have and gave me a boxy shape that made me look SUPER flat-chested.  No thanks!

  • Coral Dress

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I REALLY wanted to like this dress, but it just did not fit me right.  Too tight in some places, too loose in others.  And I have a longer torso and where the band hit me too high accentuated my hourglass shape in a really strange way.  I loved the color though, out od nearly all the clothes I have purchased in the last year, probably half are some shade of coral, haha!  Sending back!

  • Skinny Jeans

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I have a really tough time finding any jeans that fit me well, let alone skinny jeans!  These were SO comfortable and the perfect color, but did not fit well.  I had them pulled up (like to almost Steve Urkel proportions) and the crotch still was low!  Not to mention the length-they could have doubled as socks since they covered more than half of my feet, lol!  The one plus was that they did fit my hip area, but the rest (upper thigh through the ankle) were baggy.  Maybe next time?

  • Striped Cardigan

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Living in FL, we are subjected to scorching hot temperatures outside while business counteract with artic temps inside!  I always have some sort of cover up when I go out- scarf/wrap, cardigan, sweatshirt, etc. so I was happy to see one in my fix!  This sweater is super lightweight and a great color that can go with almost anything!  I love that I can leave it draped in the front (it lays really nicely!) or wrap it around more!  Needless to say, I kept it!

Overall I was pleased with 4/5 of the picks for my fix, but unfortunately only 1 piece fit well enough to keep (but my wallet was happy, lol).  I already am set for my next fix to come (right before my birthday!) and hope that my feedback will translate into an even better fix next time!

I signed up for Stitch Fix on my own and was not compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own.

Makes Me Happy Mondays III

It’s time for the third installment of “Makes Me Happy Mondays” :)  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Since Mondays are like my Saturdays with my work schedule, I often find myself quite busy on them, but am super thankful that I am able to share things that are making me smile in the hopes that they make you happy too :)

  • My curling wand

I purchased the Remington Pearl Ceramic Curling Wand almost two years ago and before this month, probably used it a whopping 7 times.  However, I found a pin on Pinterest showing a quick “lazy” way to curl your hair in less than five minutes… Let me just say, IT IS AMAZING!  Simply put your hair in a SUPER high pony (like almost at your forehead).  Set the wand to a high temp (make sure you protect your hair with some sort of spray/serum made for heat-styling).  Now the next part depends on how much hair you have/how tight you want your curls- seperate your hair into 5-10 sections and curl, wrapping the hair away from your face.  Hold until the thickest part of the wrapped hair is heated through.  Repeat until all sections are curled, then spray with hairspray of your choice.  Take out the ponytail, shake and spray again.  Finger-style as needed.  Here’s my (second day) result:

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My curls lasted TWO DAYS!  On the second day, I simply combed through my hair with a wide-toothed comb and was ready to go!

 

  • Stitch Fix

I have read several blogs about the company Stitch Fix. Basically how it works: you answer a series of questions about your age, sizes, and proportions, what you like/dislike in terms of style, and what types of pieces you like, and a personal stylist puts together pieces like tops, dresses, etc. (a “fix”) and sends them out to you for a price.  You then evaluate what you like in the fix and either choose to keep or send back any/all pieces.  They will apply what you paid to be styled towards the piece(s) you want to keep!  I will receive my first fix today, and I am SUPER excited!!!  Look for my blog post tomorrow for a recap and on Instagram for photos!

 

  • My Fitness Pal

I have been struggling lately with my diet, fitness routine, and merely staying motivated to run/work out.  A big part of that is holding myself accountable.  I have tried in the past to use calorie counters etc. but always trail off after a few days.  Almost two weeks ago, I decided to make a commitment to stay with it and I re-downloaded My Fitness Pal to my phone.  My first week was GREAT, but last week I struggled with my diet.  Between a stressful work week (Spring break at Disney (YIKES) and block outs for the discounted tickets (DOUBLE YIKES) have not made my days easy) and the final push towards finals with school, I have not been eating well.  I am a stress-eater, and I was guilty of overindulging the past few days :/ But, today starts a new week!  I am proud that even when I was eating the extra calories, I didn’t “forget” to log anything like I would in the past.

 

  • Darcy Chronicles

It’s probably the understatement of the century when I say I miss my dogs.  As much as I love my old man Leo, Darcy has wormed her way into my heart.  My baby girl tends to be a bit of a troublemaker, but she’s so darn cute that she can pretty much get away with anything, lol!  My dad has taken to text me photos and stories every couple days so I can keep tabs on my girl!

Darcy playing with a puppy!
Darcy playing with a puppy!
Darcy "helping" with the laundry!
Darcy “helping” with the laundry!
Darcy decided she no longer wanted her toys/the lining in her toy basket :P
Darcy decided she no longer wanted her toys/the lining in her toy basket :P
Darcy and her bestie (a big Doberman!)
Darcy and her bestie (a big Doberman!)

 

 

So what is making you happy this Monday?  Have any of you tried Stitch Fix?  How do you hold yourself accountable with your diet/fitness?