Saturday, December 31, 2016

Some Highlights from 2016

Well Hello!!!!!

I know it has been quite some time since I have posted anything. With work, life has been super crazy and FINALLY, finally I am able to sit down with some time for myself and relax and unwind. This holiday time frame has been truly cooko!! But we made it through and it was a good one actually, probably my best holiday with Things Remembered. So the long hours and craziness of the store made it worth it in the end.

Today is New Years Eve and I thought a perfect time frame to look back on some of the highlights I had from this year. Its funny, this year was a weird year for me. It was up and down and a little bit of everything in between, but for me it wasn't a horrible year, but it also wasn't the greatest of years. I was trying to think of some highlights from this year and I thought at first nothing really great happened to me BUT  A lot actually did.

It is those little moments that really make the impact. So here are a few of my favorite moments of the year...

My family came to Florida!!! Poppy, Uncle Kevin, Uncle Keith, and my cousin Savanna all came and spent a week with me Florida with James. We had the best time too. We did tons of touristy things and I got to spend lots of one on one time with my Poppy. It was great to show them where I lve and everything I do and spend time with them in a new environment then our typical format. Plus they got lots of one on one time with James too which was great.

I went to the St. Pete Pride parade with my Uncle Keith. My Uncle Keith is gay and while they were down on vacation the Pride parade was being held. This also was a week or so after the shooting in Orlando of the gay club, we were of course nervous to attend because being are crazy. But my Uncle Keith, my Uncle Kevin and cousin Abby all went. And it turned out to be the best night. The parade was super long but so much fun. We got so much free stuff and just had a blast. It was one of those moments I would never get back again BUT so happy I got to experience it.

I bought my car in January. After and unexpected turn of events with my old car, it literally just died one morning, I had to go and buy a new car. The moment was not that I was buying a car, it was I was doing it on my own and I had budgeted and saved enough to put down a good down payment and feel comfortable with it. This moment was also tough because I was giving up my old car and that car was my everything. My dad bought me that car. I had my white Ford Focus for almost 10 years and I ran it until it just had enough. I loved that car because my dad specifically went to the dealership and bought it for me. But times were moving on and I needed a new one and I got my white Chevy Cruze.
And I know my dad would have been proud.

I really became apart of the Tampa Bay Bloggers. Nanci had recommended I join this community of awesomeness to grow my blog and my followers and honestly to meet new, exciting and super driven people. And it has been the best thing for me. While my blog this year hasn't always been exciting, sorry about that, that will change in 2017, being a part of this group and community has helped me in so many ways. I am trying new things, learning so much and having tons of fun along the way. The opportunities have been incredible and I can not wait to continue and grow in the new year.

James coming home to NY with me. James and I have been together for close to 8 years and neither of us have been to each others hometowns for a lengthy part of time. I have been to his for just a day or two and he had never been to where I am from. Well that changed in October when we went home for a wedding together and he came along, FINALLY. I was sooo excited to show James where I grew up, the memories I had and show him where this little girl started. It was so neat showing someone the beauty of where you lived, even if you never saw that beauty in the beginning. He loved where I was from and we had an absolute blast, it really was a special weekend and moment.

Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots concert. Boy was this a night to remember, even though I don't remember most of it. Nanci and I went to the concert and had an absolute blast, so much fun, mixed with a lot of drinks, but a great time none the less. I love Bobby Bones and the Bobby Bones show and the concert was the icing on the cake for me. The drinks we had before and during were a lot but it made for a girls night out like no other!!

My 100 day running Streak. Yup I forgot this year I did a lot of running. I really, really got back into my groove with running for just fun and I made it interesting starting on May 1. My friend Jen, was doing a run streak of her own, she started to do a year long one from Nov. until the following Nov. which by the way she ran 365 days, every single day for a full year and is still currently going, she is my running Goddess!!! I started May 1 to run at least 2 miles every day just to see if I could do it. Just to get out there a little bit out of my comfort zone and well I finished in May and figured, okay I'll go to my birthday and do at least One mile a day. Well then that came and I figured lets just go to 100 days of running. It was tough and it was hot and some days it was more of crawl then a run a but I completed it. I ran my final mile in PA when I was visiting Lea. It was bittersweet But one of the best things I did. I will do a run streak again, the discipline and determination lit a fire in me like no other.

Being there for Lea in her most time of need. My best friend, Lea, lost her husband this past August to cancer. Tony fought for so long and so hard and passed away too quick. While this is not a highlight or moment of happiness this year, it was a message to me that life is too short. I love my best friend with everything I have, seriously no one understands and gets my like Lea...and when she hurts I hurt, literally. So I changed my work schedule, with out even giving it a second thought and I flew to PA to be with her. There was nothing that was going to change or hold me back from that. I needed to be with her no matter what, even if I was just in the same room, it didn't matter. It hurt me to see my best friend, hurt so much, BUT God that girl is Strong. I couldn't imagine what she was feeling, but I held her hand and cried with her and I was there. And I will continue to be for the rest of my life.

And then there is Sherman. Sherman is the most loving, sweetest and happiest thing that has come into my life this year. Sherman is my best little buddy, our friends dog. James works with a guy who lives alone and has a dog. Well I feel in love with the dog when he brought him over one day. I have been begging and begging James to get us a dog. He isn't a fan of animals and constantly says NO, or tells me when we get a house some day. I am coming to believe that day is never coming. Well insert Sherman and it has been the best replacement. I dog sit Sherman, while Greg, his dad, is at work and I am off of work. The schedule works perfectly and it is a serious winning combination. I love  his dog like no other. He makes me insanely happy. We go for walks, snuggles, car rides and sleep and play all day long. He never wants to go home and I spoil him like crazy when he is here. This dog seriously has opened my heart even more and it could be the best highlight of my year. The best part is by  having Sherman over so much, James has broken down and loves on Sherman too and has agreed to get me a dog!!!! More to come on that one.

So all in all 2016 wasn't horrible. It had some great moments with friends. James and I did more. We went to a Dierks Bentley concert for my Birthday which was amazing. We made some new friend and kept the old. We actually went out for some nights too. My family and I had a lot of exciting things going on, as 3 of my cousins had babies this year. My Poppy's health was better this year than in the past. My running was great this year. I was able to go to a work trip and event and learned a ton. I did 2 half marathons, I ran a bunch of virtual races and got back to loving the pavement again. Even though I am suffering through some hip pain, it will be all okay.

I have some good goals set up for the New Year...but we will have to see that for tomorrow!!!

What was a highlight from 2016 for you???

Friday, December 16, 2016

McDonald's Newest MacFamily & A Giveaway!!!

Disclaimer: As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given a gift card for my participation with McDonald's but all opinions are my own.

If there is one sandwich that defines McDonald's for most people it is the Big Mac. As to my boyfriend James, it is the best hamburger you can order thru a drive thru. And here is a little secret of my own, I have never had a Big Mac.

Yup! I have never ordered one. Mainly because of oh you know the whole weight loss issue thing I have. Ughhh, why can't good things be less.

Well, my prayers were answered because McDonald's introduced for a limited time, in Florida, the Mac Jr. Yes, a littler version of the Big Mac with all the same taste, minus one burger.

The Mac Jr. has a single layer beef patty with out the middle bun. It gives all the same great taste of the Big Mac, it just a smaller size. I sampled this one and I was loving it!! I 100% get why the Big Mac is such a huge hit and I prefer this smaller size. The pickles and the special sauce, the right amount of lettuce. It was so good. James who prefers something bigger, even enjoyed it. 

Now for James his appetite is a little bit bigger than mine and McDonald's also introduced the Mac Daddy of all Big Mac, we are talking a BIGGER BIG MAC. And they call it the GRAND MAC.. This burger is just that, it is HUGE. 

The Grand Mac is all the same of the Big Mac but with one-third pound of Beef!! It is a monster. It has all the same taste and love of the Big Mac, with just more. The Grand Mac comes in a cardboard container and the weight of it gives you the sense this is going to be huge. James took a look and was stunned, we both were with just how big this sandwich really is.

It is practically bigger than my head. It tasted great. And I can say James ate that whole thing lol. He came hungry for sure. While that Grand Mac is a bit much for me, I will happily stay with the Mac Jr.

Grand Mac!!!

McDonald's has been really listening to their customers lately with changes to their food and introduction of newer products and it is awesome to see and taste. The Mac Family is through early 2017 in Florida. It has not been introduced to the rest of the chain just yet, which will launch next year. McDonald's is really hitting a home run with this one by taking something that is so good already with the Big Mac and getting people to try new and bigger.

When I was sitting at the tasting, the GM mentioned how much he enjoyed this introduction especially for those growing up now. Some kids do not even know the Big Mac and now is a chance to take on a new generation of Mac lovers with new choices. It is a great thing. I am sure I will be eating a Mac Jr. in the future again for sure.

Another fun promotion that McDonald's is doing is a jingle contest around your own personal rendition of their famous Big Mac jingle. Follow here to enter...
  • Upload YOUR rendition of our Big Mac Jingle - - for a chance to WIN $100 & Big Mac sandwiches! #MyMacJingle #Sweeps

BUT that isn't all, I am ALSO giving away a 20.00 Gift Card for McDonald's that way you can try the new Mac Family for yourself!!! To enter is easy, peasy, just head over to my Instagram Account,
@Runchewsparkle and simply like the picture showing the McDonald's gift card !!

Yup it is that easy and I will choose a winner on Sunday!!! Good Luck and if you have the pleasure of trying the Grand Mac, the Mac Jr. or the Big Mac, let me know!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Christmas Songs

 It's beginning to look a lot like....

It's Tuesday, it's December and it is Christmas time!!!

This week I am listing my favorite Christmas Songs. Let me start off with saying there is something so magical and special about Christmas songs am I right!! Christmas songs just give me a sense of peace but also can change my day in an instant. Thanks to my bestie  Nanci, she found me the Christmas station on the radio and now on my drive home from work, after a stressful day, I can unwind a little bit more with the sweet holiday sounds. 

Okay so here we go...

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10. The 12 Days of Christmas the MUPPETS version!! Growing up my mom had the Muppets Christmas carols record and I listened to that over and over, I even tried to find it on CD later on and had some luck, but the version they sing of the 12 days of Christmas always makes me laugh.

9. The 12 Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers. So funny and so true. Especially the parking at the mall lol.

8. White Christmas- Bing Crosby. My little cousin, who is not so little anymore, would only fall asleep to this song and you had to sing it to him. It was the sweetest thing ever and I remember laying on the couch with his little head on my heart singing this too him, while it snowed outside. One of my favorite moments and memories.

7. Where Are You Christmas? Faith Hill. This song is from The Grinch, the newer one with Jim Carrey and I absolutely love it!!

6. Must Be Santa- Mitch Miller. Another one I was brought up on. I was blessed to be raised by my grandparents and they only had a record player, but the best records around, especially at Christmas and we would sit and play this over and over. I can still hear it now...

5. Christmas Without You- Kenny and Dolly 

4. Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon. This was my Dad's favorite Christmas song and I absolutely love it. "So this is Christmas and what have you done, another year over and a new one just begun."

3. Jingle Bell Rock- I love the beat and the rhythm and it reminds me of just being excited for Christmas as a kid.

2. Santa Claus is Coming To Town-Bruce Springsteen. His voice and the laugh he does in the middle of the song, well you will understand.

1. All I Want for Christmas Is You- Mariah Carey. Her whole Christmas Album is the best of all time, but this song of course tops them all.

I have plenty, plenty more, but what is your favorite???

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Runner Themed Gifts

Happy Tuesday!!!!

This Tuesday as we are unwinding still from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, we are gearing up for our Christmas Shopping. Santa should be checking his list at least twice by now, as our lists of gifts are piling. I know I have quite a long one compling already and today we are going to help a bit with those in your life who is a runner. Being a runner myself, this list might just be my wish list also lol. So here are some of my favorite runner themed gifts.

10. A FitBit, Garmin, Polar or Apple Watch. I own a FitBit and a Garmin, I use my FB primarily and seriously I got one last year and it was life changing. I love LOVE it. It keeps me accountable but also tracks my miles and calories for all my activity, you can link your running app to it also and it will transfer to the app and keep track. I love anything that keeps you motivated and the Apple Running Watch, does just that also. It even asks you if we are running today.

9. Clothes. As a runner it is always super motivating to get out there in a cute or new pair of pants or shorts and a new shirt. Wearing a new outfit and showing it off is always fun, but new clothes just makes me feel more confident.

8. Runner's Calendar. I have a runner's calendar that is a page by day one and I love it. It has funny quotes and motivating quotes. Each day  it is something new and I have saved many of the pages to use later on.

7. Bluetooth headphones. Seriously your runner will love these. They are life changing. Freed up from cords and great quality. Research them to find the best one for you.

6. Virtual Runs. I think the gift of a virtual run would not only be motivating, something that you can do together but also a great way to keep running and you get a medal from it. Choose one for kicking off the new year right. I highly recommend

5. Running themed jewelry. One thing runners love is showing off some bling and we love to wear it proudly. Milestones Sports Jewelry is a great place to get your runner some super cute bling to help motivate and congratulate each of those milestones they accomplished and want to forever remember.

4. Running Planner. This probably could go in the same as calendar, but a fitness planner is awesome for a runner, especially those who are very visual. Documenting those special runs, not so special, miles for the weeks and months. Something they can use to look back on and even help learn from.

3. Running safety gear. These make awesome stocking stuffers, so as reflective gear, to make sure for those early morning or dark  nights your runner is safe and will be seen by those driving.

2. Medal Holder or Bib Holder. They ran the race and earned the medals, now lets display them. Medal and Bib Holders can be custom or by one predone, but they are so nice and look great with all those unique and special moments.

1. Make it personal. My biggest runners themed gift idea is take a picture of them finishing a race, one that really changed them, one that had the biggest influence on their running, print the picture and frame it, believe me it could be the best gift all year.

Happy Shopping. Make sure to check out my Running Sole Sister Nanci too and see her suggestions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: What I'm Thankful For...

Happy Thanksgiving Week!! Holy Moly I can't believe that Thanksgiving is in two days!! Two days. I remember at work we were counting down since August and then it is finally here.

So this Top Ten Tuesday Nanci and I are counting down our Top Ten What We Are Thankful For. Which wow narrowing down to Ten is hard, but here we go....

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10. My DM Jen. I am employed by Things Remembered but my District Manager is my Boss, Jen. Jen and I have been working together now for 7 years and I can not even begin to explain how thankful I am for her in my life. She has given me motivation, inspiration and guidance like no other. She is a mentor to me in the store and also in life. I am truly blessed to have her as a boss, and leader but mainly has a huge influence on my life.

9. I am thankful for TR. Yes I am thankful for my job. My job is something I never thought it would be. It is challenging and fun and yes this time of year, it sucks a whole lot because it is busy and customers make me crazy and teammates leave and the hours are long. But in those moments, you really understand team work and drive and leadership and I love that. Plus NOT all customers are nasty.

8. My mom. I am thankful that I have my mom still around. My mom is my biggest supporter and she can by my biggest headache haha. But I love her all the same. She is truly amazing and she is funny and crazy and she makes every day special. I wish she lived closer but it makes our visits even more special.

7. My best friends. I have many friends but my two Best Friends, my ride or die friends per say mean the whole to me,  LeaAnn and Nanci. Lea and I have been best friends for over 20 years and Nanci and I have been friends for the past 2 years. Nanci and I honestly hit it off right away and you would have thought we have been friends forever. I am grateful that have had my same BFF since I was younger. I am truly blessed to have these two women in my life now and forever.

6. Speaking of friends. I am so grateful to have all my friends in my life. Each of my friends bring something special and unique to my life.

5. Running. I am so thankful that I took on this activity. It really has changed my life for the better and it continues to do so.

4. Coffee. I know it seems silly to say that, but come on it is my life saver. Coffee keeps me sane and well balanced.

3. James. James and I have been together for 8 years and yes he drives me crazy and we love really hard. I can not imagine my life without him. He is my best friend and I love him more and more each day and year we are together. I am so thankful for him and being in my life for this crazy life.

2. My Blog. My blog has brought me so much happiness. It has brought me love and escape and a lot of opportunities I never thought I would have from this blog. It allows me to be myself and fun and really connect with people.

1. My Poppy and Family. My Poppy is my lifeline. He is my heart and I love him so much. I am so thankful to have him as my grandfather and the many years we have had together. I can not imagine being brought up by anyone else in my life. He is my biggest role model. My family is combined because I wouldn't be who I am without my family....

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Favorites

Good Tuesday Morning!!!

I missed last weeks Top Ten Tuesday because life is crazy. So I am back on schedule with today's top ten and today we are talking about Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the tradition, the smells, the food, but I mainly love what Thanksgiving does for family and friends.

Here is my Top Ten Things I love about Thanksgiving.

10. I love running the Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is probably one of my favorite races all year. There are 1000's of people, it is usually chilly and it is 3 miles of fun along a local neighborhood and a great way to kick off the day.

9. Turkey!! Seriously I love turkey and we eat it all day long on Thanksgiving. We usually go to James's grandmas for lunch because they start dinner around 12 and then I put a turkey in the crock pot and let it cook all day so we have left overs all weekend long.

8. Cranberries. I love cranberry sauce on a good piece of turkey and it tastes amazing on a sandwich afterwords too.

7. Black Friday newspaper. I am not a fan of Black Friday, because well I work it all day long BUT i do love the newspaper that comes with it. The paper is huge that day and filled with all the sale flyers, I just love reading through them.

6. CVS Extra Bucks. I know this sounds crazy but on Thanksgiving CVS has the best deals on extra Bucks. I love me some CVS and I use the EB's so I can buy wrapping paper and etc. I like to plan ahead.

5. Stuffing. I mean enough said on that  one. Everyone should love Stuffing lol.

4. A day to be spent with family. Unfortunately my family is in New York, so I don't get to spend the holiday with them but I do get to spend  most of the day with James and his and it is nice to just be with the ones you love.

3. Pumpkin Pie.....yes an excuse to eat it.

2. Macy's Day Parade. I have watched the parade since I was a little girl and I still do. Once I am home from the Turkey Trot, it goes on and I am watching it until Santa Claus comes down the way.

1. It kicks off the holiday season for me. It brings the start of my busiest and profitable time of year, sure it is  long and hard and crazy but it is 4 weeks of non stop fun and I am ready for it begin.

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving??

Friday, November 11, 2016

Five Friday Fun Facts

Good Friday Morning!!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a post about myself. So I figured once in awhile to give you some fun facts about myself.

5. When I drink from any form of a can, I always take the tab of the can and move it over the mouth part. I have no clue when I started it or why but I do lol.

4. I still sleep with a teddy bear that I have had since I was younger. It is almost the size of me and when I am feeling sick I lash right on to it.

3. When I start a new show or series and I really like it, I become obsessed with it. I research the characters and the actors. I become so involved in the show inside and out.

2. I am an only child and always wanted to be an only child. I never wanted a brother and sister. I was never lonely or felt left out.

1. I don't wash my hair every day. I love when my hair is a little bit dirty. It makes it easy to straighten and style.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday- Excitements of November

Good Morning!

Happy Tuesday and more importantly Happy 1st Day of November.

We literally have two months left of the year and then 2016 is in the past. Holy crap when did that happen!!

November is the start of craziness for me but also there are a lot of fun and little things that go on in November too!! 

So this Top Ten Tuesday, Nanci and I are talking about some of fun and exciting things we have going on this month to kick off today!

10. First up for me is James's Birthday. I love LOVE when loved ones have milestones or events going on and I am able to celebrate it with them. Not sure what we are doing just yet, but of course plan on spoiling him a bit.

9. I am a HUGE Bobby Bones Show fan and the Raging Idiots and Nanci and I are going to see them November 19th, I am soooo excited!!

8. Cooler weather coming through in FL starts this month, hopefully. This morning there was a slight chill in the air, maybe it will last maybe not, but so far so good. It just makes me want to be outside more and run farther.

7. Election time will be here and I am just so ready for it to be over, so I can respect people again on Facebook and sick and tired of hearing the same thing over and over.

6. Hiring for my staff, doesn't seem like a huge thing to get excited for but it means I have more people in the store with me and it sometimes makes my life a little bit easier.

5. Christmas music starts. I work retail and Christmas drives me crazy just because my job is so crazy BUT I love Christmas music. I have many playlists and Pandora stations. And lets throw in some Christmas movies.

4. Back in the Christmas theme, putting up my tree!!!!! I am one of those people who will have my tree up asap, not this week but next week because I work all crazy hours during December, so I want to enjoy it as much as possible.

3. I get my last full weekend off this month and cant wait!! It means a ton to have those back to back days off.

2. I love pumpkin BUT I REALLY LOVE PEPPERMINT TOO. And everything is minty and mixed with chocolate is my favorite.

1. TURKEY TROT. Probably one of my favorite runs ever. Just the best way to kick off the holiday and holiday season.

What are you most excited for???

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Scary Movies


It is Tuesday again and to keep with the upcoming holiday next week, today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about scary movies!!

I love scary movies. I love the thrill and the suspense. I think it is more of the gore and blood but the suspense leading up to it to make it scary for me. James on the other hand, does not like anything scary, but on Halloween we get to watch one scary movie hahaha. Gotta pick a good one this year!

10. Deliverance- This movie is not only scary but disturbing!!! That pig scene, still freaks me out.

9. Exorcist- Geez I remember watching this younger and I was terrified. It is so old school now but when her head spun around and green puke, oh hell no!!!

8. The Shining- YES this movie is all kinds of good and scary and suspenseful. I love the hotel vibe and well Jack is crazy. I had never seen it until a couple of Halloweens ago. I didn't realize how long it was and fell asleep but RED ROOM!!

7. Candyman- Say his name 3 times in the mirror and he will appear. Haunted me forever and STILL many many years later, I still can not look into the mirror when I get up to go to the bathroom at night!

6. The Blair Witch Project-  This was scary because I grew up in the woods, I am from the country and this was my fear. Even though it turned out to be all fake it was still so scary at the time and had me hooked.

5. Sleepaway Camp- This movie is so old but I remember renting it as a kid at the local movie place. The 80's camp and murder was so cheezy but still had that killer suspense feel.

4. Scream- I feel like this movie brought on a whole new generation of scary. The first one was always the best and the babysitting scene made me never want to answer the phone when I was home alone.

3. Halloween- I mean this is a scary movie classic gem!

2. Misery- Kathy Bates did amazing in this movie, AMAZING! She was scary, suspenseful and all kinds of insane. I still turn away with the bed scene and that mans poor legs.

1. The Ring- The scariest part is after this movie people wanted to dress up like her for Halloween. NO! When she crawled out of the T.V., NOPE!!!

What should be the movie I watch this year????

Monday, October 24, 2016

My First Yoga Experience

Yesterday I had a pretty amazing morning.

I am a runner and I work out at the gym. Half the time I don't know what I am doing when I am at the gym but I try, each and every time. Yesterday I tried something that was 100% out of my comfort zone and different for me.

My bestie Nanci invited me to join her over in Tampa at the Epicurean Hotel to do Yoga with a Twist on the rooftop. Well the twist part was you get a free alcoholic beverage at the end. I mean how could I pass that up, especially when you are able to do it with your bestie. The weather in Florida  has finally broke through a bit too and it felt like fall. I was all in!

But a part of me was super nervous....

I am not comfortable in a class atmosphere...

I don't like making a fool of myself. And when I am not familiar with it, I get even more nervous. This is crazy but I have only done one exercise class and it was taught by a friend. So this was new to me but I knew I wanted to do it.

I was just being self conscious of my body. My rolls and fat moving all over the place. But then I just said whatever took a deep breathe and just went with it.

And I ended up having an amazing time.

In the beginning of the class, I had a hard time just unwinding. My mind was all over the place. I was having trouble getting into the poses. I literally didn't know what I was doing but I was getting there. I was very aware of my body flaws and movements, which was different for me.

But then something happened mid way. We are just being still. The instructor was chanting and letting us just let go. Taking the time for ourselves. They put a cool cloth with lavender over our eyes and I just melted. All the stress and weight I felt just let go. I became aware of all my troubles and felt relaxed. It was pretty amazing.

At the end, I sat up and I was emotional. I mean my whole body felt emotional but I felt light at the same time. I had tears in my eyes and so amazing. Honestly no other way to explain it....

The whole experience was wonderful. At the end we did a champagne toast and then had brunch downstairs in the hotel...

Cheers to amazing Sunday morning with my bestie. Cheers to my first yoga experience and understanding the practice . Cheers to being one with my body. Cheers to acceptable my flaws and loving and appreciating them. Cheers to the friendships I have in my life. Cheers to spending time with the love of my life. Cheers to life in general. Cheers to me taking time out of the day and ignoring work texts. Cheers to learning new things and enjoying them. Cheers to my fun, wild and crazy life.

 Large Namaste Yoga Quote Decal for Living Room by ZestyGraphics, $48.00 | Come to Clarkston Hot Yoga in Clarkston, MI for all of your Yoga and fitness needs! Feel free to call (248) 620-7101 or visit our website for more information about the classes we offer!:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Races

Good Tuesday Morning!!!

This Top Ten Tuesday we are talking about our Top 10 Running Races.

Man this one is a tough one because I have loved every race I have run and have found some special and unique in each and every one.

But let's give this a shot

Iron Girl Race Series Half Marathon and 5k, Clearwater
I have ran each of these two race events when they came to Florida. I have done the Half Marathon 3 times and the 5k twice. The 5K was my first ever 5k race I had ran back in 2012, it is actually my first ever race. I love both races so very much, each very challenging as you are going over bridges and it is always hot, but regardless always such a great time

9. Gasparilla Race Series, Tampa FL.
Gasparilla Distance Classic is a today event. On Saturday you have a 15k and then a 5k. On Sunday you have 13.1 and then a 8k. I love this race series, it comes around every February. I have been attending it since 2013, in some race form or another. This year I ran the 15k. The year prior I wasn't able to attend because I twisted my ankle at work but I had planned to run the 8k. The year prior I ran one of the challenges. I did the Saturday races back to back and then on Sunday ran the half. It was the most rewarding challenge. I got 4 medals, 4 shirts and a jacket and miles and miles of memories. And the year before that I ran the half. This year I am hoping to do all four races, if I make it off the waiting list and my hip feels better.



8. Rock and Roll Half Marathon St. Pete
This one was extra special because it was my first ever half marathon and it was practically in my back yard. You will never forget your first half marathon and this was the race that gave me the bug to push myself further and further...

7. Women's Running Half Marathon, St. Pete Fl
This run was amazing. It was my best half marathon and I just made it at 2:30. I had a great race, great training and loved everything about this run. I still strive to have this great of a half again. It was an all woman's run and right in downtown St. Pete where I train for all of my runs. They didn't come back again and I really wish they would have.

6. Color Me Rad.
The Color Me Rad race series are such a fun, non competitive type of 5k race. You run or walk at your own pace and get colored powder thrown at you. It is so much fun and you are laughing and just enjoying the time while doing it. I have done this race 3 time and each time was more and more fun, and even better when you do it with a friend.

5. Turkey Trot, Clearwater Fl
I run the Turkey Trot every year. It is probably my most favorite race. There is no medal, you get a shirt and bib and the best run of the year. I run it just to be around 1000's of people, seriously the place is a mob zone and just so much fun. And what a great way to kick off Thanksgiving and for me in retail the most crazy time of the year. I try to get festive each year running it. My friends run it also and it is just a great time, some years it is super cold and others hot, but despite the early morning and all that jazz, best race.

4. Hippie Run, Gulfport FL
This was my first time running this race, but it was in an area by me I really like and wanted to run the race. It supported the Goodwill and this race turned out to be a great race for me, I ran the whole thing without any walk breaks. WOOHOO. I usually follow the Jeff Galloway method and I decided to say the heck with it and just went for a run and had an amazing time.

3. Best Damn Race Series, Safety Harbor, Fl
Best Damn Race is so much fun because I get to run with my friends, especially Nanci and Jen. I ran two of these races this year alone. I ran the half marathon in February, which was not a good race for me, I had a lot of issues with my legs and my mind and then ran a 5k in June, which was a fun one with Nanci. BDR does races right, huge, blingy medals, awesome finish line parties and just a great positive upbeat environment. I am hooked on this race series and will be doing one every year now.

2, Race For The Cupcake 5k- St. Pete Beach
This was a race held by a local running store called St. Pete Running Company. This race was so much fun because you were running on the beach in the middle of February. I mean what could be better than that. It was a little chilly but I mean running on the sand with the water right there, sun shining, it was magical AND you got a medal and a CUPCAKE at the end with fruit on the side. The most perfect race!!

1. Steamtown Marathon, Forest City-Scranton, PA
It was my first marathon, enough said :0)

What is your favorite race you have ran or walked or participated in???

Friday, October 14, 2016

Let Me Introduce Myself...

USo I have had this little piece of Internet heaven for awhile now, almost 3 years and it has grown and I have grown over those 3 years. I have branched out my blog a bit, and it is a work in progress for sure. But I noticed as I have changed, maybe readers have changed and I wanted to take it back a bit and Introduce, Well RE-Introduce myself, its been awhile since you found out who I am!!!

Alright, let me introduce myself, my name is Angelina. I always introduce myself as Angelina, items on documents, my name tag at work, when I am new to meet people it is Angelina, BUT I prefer being called Angie. Angelina is only when I am in trouble :0) And when you really get to know me Ang.

Funny story about my name. I used to hate my name. I am not sure why, I mean it is a name but I guess growing up it seemed so formal. So when I was in 5th grade we had a D.A.R.E graduation thingy. I told my teacher, please announce me as Angie Allerton, not Angelina. He didn't question it and I was happy. After graduation I ran over to my parents, beaming with pride that I graduated and my Dad looked at me and said, Congrats but you are to NEVER have someone introduce you as Angie. You are ANGELINA Allerton, that is your name and it should be said that way always.

I forever remembered that. So for every graduation or introduction I am Angelina. Funny how those little moments stick with you.

Okay, back to Re-Introducing myself. I am planted here in St. Petersburg Florida. Yup living in the Sunshine State for 7 years now. I am originally from Upstate New York from a little town called Catskill, which is roughly 30 miles south of the state capital Albany. I lived there my whole life, up until 18. I love where I am from. Small town America is what I knew and loved. I am never ashamed of where I came from, it wasn't hard or I had a bad life, I just knew after High School I was going to move away. I have a wandering spirit I believe.

I went to college in PA, more importantly NEPA (North East PA). In another small area called La Plume, which Keystone College resided. LA Plume is near Scranton and to be honest it is way easier to say that. Yes, Scranton where The Office took place, but not took place, joys of Hollywood. I went to college for 4 years and graduated with my BA in Communications. I wanted to be a journalist.

I worked all through High School and College. Working various jobs, Eckerd, Macys as a Floater, Aero, Piercing Pagoda and Kay Jewelers. I stayed in college for 4 years and it was the best 4 years of my life. Seriously going off to college, even though it was a small town, it was the best experience. I met some of my very good friends there and made unbelievable memories and actually learned a ton.

After college I stayed in the Scranton area for a little bit. Not sure if that was where I wanted reside forever. I stayed for a full year and then moved to MA with a high school friend. I loved the Boston area, I needed a change and she needed a roommate. I took that song from Augustana called Boston to heart you could say.

I loved living outside of Boston but honestly I wasn't in a great place in my life. My roommate and I were good friends, but living together was a bit difficult and she was super busy with school and life and I was working and adjusting. It was expensive to live there and cold. Boston or Quincy actually gave me my independence and showed me I can back and move and go anywhere. It also got me closer to my now boyfriend James. He had moved to Florida after college to be closer to his dad and I moved to Boston.

We had been friends with well we can say some benefits and now we were miles apart but talking all the time. It was nice. I decided I wanted to visit with him in Florida. I ended up visiting 3 times in a year and on the last trip which was in April around that time, I decided I was moving to Florida and starting over, Again.

So I went  home and my family kind of already knew. I would stay in my apartment until that August and then move. James looked for an apartment for me in Florida, I searched for jobs online and I was ready to go.

I moved in August of 2009 and I haven't looked back. James and I have taken our relationship obviously since then to a whole new level. We have been living together and together for probably 8 years. We are NOT getting married, so need to ask when we are. We are happy being together just as us. We live in an apartment and looking for a house next year.

I work full time and then some you can say as a store manager for Things Remembered. We are the store that engraves gifts and yes you pay for the engraving and we do it there. It is a lot of work being a manager and it is tiring but it is rewarding and I love my job. I am also a district trainer and working towards being a DM someday.

I have a pretty great life. I love to read, drink coffee, drink wine, naps are a given on my day off for me, I love sleeping. I love to be positive and uplifting and read books that help self growth. I watch way too many shows, but I am sucker for new series. I love going to the beach, even though I don't get to go as much as I should living in Florida. I love wine and bubble baths. I love being Organized and have a Planner I use, even though I haven't been great with it lately. I am forgetful and thoughtful. I am super bubbly and outgoing. But I have my moments when I am shy.

I work really hard in my weight loss journey. I used to follow Weight Watchers and with there help I lost 70 pounds and have successfully kept off 60. Yes, I have gained around 10 pounds over the last 3 years, but it goes up and down. I LOVE RUNNING. Seriously I started around 5 years ago and it was the best thing I could ever have done. I have run 13 half marathons, tons and tons of 5ks and other miles in between and I ran my first FULL marathon 2 years ago, pretty proud of how much I love running, considering I HATED it growing up. I mean hated it.

Funny how you change over time. Yes, people change AND can change for the better. I am that PERSON.

I love to eat healthy, but yes I do choose processed food at items. I do snack on non healthy things, BUT I make really good choices 80% of the time and the other 20% is fun.

I don't judge on food choices.

I started this blog as an outlet because I love to write. I love to sit down and just talk. I post about my running. I post about books and life and cooking, even though I have been bad with posting about food lately. I have fun post with the Tampa Bay Bloggers and my bestie Nanci. Sometimes I post about events and products, but I can promise it is 100% all me!!!

I love this blog and all I talk about and I hope you do too.

So that is me, the person behind Run.Chew.Sparkle :0)

Hope you come back and stay awhile!

And you can find me on Instagram @runchewsparkle
Twitter @Angelina718
Facebook page is RunChewSparkle
Goodreads Angelina Allerton
snapchat Angelinaa1888

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Marathon Anniversary: Believe Me It's a Thing

So two years ago at 8:00 on a very cold, fall morning, I stood at the starting line in Forest City, PA, anxiously awaiting the cannon to go off to let me know the marathon was beginning!!

26.2 miles later, missing a sweat shirt and gloves, no more fuel in my pouch and with very tired, sore legs and arms, yes arms, 5:55 minutes under me and my family and friends off to the side, I crossed the finish line to my first FULL marathon.

One of the biggest and hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. Seriously, nothing compares to that moment, I still get chills thinking about it...

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It was hard and it was long. Not just the marathon, that bitch was crazy, but the training that lead up to it was even harder. I trained for that marathon for 6 months and the 6 hottest months in Florida. I learned a lot from that marathon and I changed in more ways than one. My weight went up and down, my legs got a lot more toned, my waist got a bit smaller and my confidence and my belief in myself got stronger.

I knew no matter what I was going to finish that marathon. There was not a doubt in my mind, even if I walked the whole thing and it took me 17 hours, I would get it done. I was never giving up and never stopping.

Two years later, I still have that drive and determination. Despite how achy my body feels or hurts right now. Today I went out for a 2.62 mile run to remember my marathon and I still cant believe I did it. Today, I struggled to get to those short 2.62 miles and really I walked the .62 part because my hip was hurting. It is amazing a lot can happen before, during and after a marathon.

My love and running routine is definitely different than two years ago too. Two years ago, I was running for training and running to accomplish a  marathon. Today, I am running to keep myself sane, because I love to run and to continue to lose weight and exercise. Two years ago, I didn't suffer from pain, just little aches here and there and today, I feel like my hip is holding me back.

I might always look back and think, how the heck did I do that. How did I run for 26.2 miles, but the awesome thing is I can look back and say I DID THAT.

I actually ran 26.2 miles and each year I am going to run 2.62 on that anniversary for the fun of it!!

Will I do another one???

Believe it or not, I just might....

Not anytime soon, but I wouldn't count it out just yet!!

But for now, I will look back at my first one and remember the huge accomplishment I faced and completed for always.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday- Halloween Favorites

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about the holiday of this month, HALLOWEEN!!! I love this time of year and Halloween is such a fun holiday. I have always really loved Halloween and everything thing that comes along with. So here are some of my favorite things about Halloween.

10. Candy!!! I mean lets kick it off with something fun right? Halloween candy is pretty much the best candy out there. While I don't eat a lot of it, because I really don't have the control, but the small size candy pieces make for great portion control.

9. Carving pumpkins. There is something about carving a pumpkin into a Jack O'Lantern that just makes it all come together.

8. Hocus Pocus. Yup probably one of my favorite Halloween movies. I have watched it all my life and to me Halloween is not complete with out at least watching twice and the same goes for....

7. BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE!BEETLEJUICE!! By far my favorite Halloween movie. Only really comes out this time of year but I love LOVE that movie. Favorite memory of mine is eating chocolate covered cherries, the ones with the liquid inside and laying on the floor with my mom watching it.

6. Decorations. I love seeing other people hang up decorations. It makes for fun runs in my neighborhood. I love when people go all out, I had in the past but this year decided to just keep it simple, But growing up I had this decoration that was a door mat and when you stepped on it, it screamed. It was awesome

5. I love dog costumes this time of year. I don't have a dog but lots of my friends do and seeing them post their pets in little costumes is the cutest thing ever.

4. T.V. shows doing Halloween themed episodes. YES! My favorite, Modern Family usually does a really funny one and I loved themed shows anyway.

3. American Horror Story usually does a Halloween themed one too and it is usually the scariest one of the season. Speaking of season, this one is the craziest one yet. am i right??

2. Halloween themed terms this year have been big and too funny. Here for the BOOS on wine glasses, etc.

1. Halloween parties. While I have not been to one in a really long time, costume parties are so much fun!! One day I will host one, but hey if anyone is having one, I am free and have lots of great ideas.

I guess the one thing about Halloween I really love is the concept of being someone different for one day or night, not caring and eating candy and just taking in the fall holiday!

One of my most favorite Halloween Memories is trick or treating. My dad would take me every year. He loved driving me from house to house and walking with me up and down the streets. He would wait while I ran up and pack an extra bag for me so I could get even more. It didn't matter if it was raining or cold, he was always right there with me. 

What is your favorite Halloween memories or Halloween Favorites??

Make sure to check out Nanci's over at This Crazy Life of Mine too!!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Earth Fare: The Healthy Supermarket

As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given access to tour Earth Fare before their new grand  opening in Semionle FL and given a gift card for my participation but all views and opinions are my own.

If there is one thing about me you may know, well probably more than one thing right now is that I love healthy items and shopping. And when you put the two of them in one place together and it will help benefit me, the community and keep me on track with my lifestyle, than it is a pure win win.

Earth Fare is a Healthy Supermarket....


A new location opened in my area in Seminole Florida. Earth Fare prides are providing lots of local flare to the shelves, being organic and high quality. You can tell in each every corner of that store they mean business and want to provide you with an amazing shopping experience and help you stay healthy and strong.

Starting with the bulk portion of the store, numerous and numerous varieties from granola, nuts, rice and mixed variates and even a portion for candy. The toffee granola we sampled was to die for. In the bulk section there is also a liquid bulk section with you can pour your own honey and balsamic vinegar. And there is a NUT Butter area where you can grind your almond, cashew or peanut butter. I love bulk because it allows you own to try new things  you would not normally, it is fresh and you can portion out just the amount you want or need.

Each area of the store is broken up with bright white colors. The Seafood department offers many variates of seafood, and they will fillet anything to your liking. There is a cheese section, with a whole cooler filled of varieties of cheeses  you can sample as many as you like to find out just what one you are looking for.

And if you are pairing it with some wine for a date night or a girls night or heck just because it is Monday, there is an aisle just for Wine...

Next to the wine is coolers filled with LOCAL beers. Earth Fare strives to sell local companies in each of their locations and not to seem Bias but Tampa has some amazing local companies. From coffee to beer and a little bit of everything in between.

You can find the Local love sign on the shelves in red, showing it is a local item. I found this to be the sweetest and nicest touch.

And when you have a sweet tooth, the bakery is right where you want to be. Everything fresh, organic and even gluten free options and all made from scratch daily.

With all every day deals on bread items. Such as a huge loaf of artisan bread for a 1.49 each and every day.

The deli section is probably one of my most favorite sections in all grocery stores but in healthier grocery stores the hot and cold bar sections are my favorite. The have a salad bar which was not set up when I went there for the tour but I did go after and the colors of organic and fresh veggies was very impressive. Even cut up diced chicken breast to go on your salad. The deli section offers your typical deli items and then lots of ready to go meals for on the run or something different.

Also daily deals for each day of special items, will have you coming back for more.

The juice bar is a nice place to start or end your trip. I prefer to take the juice home with me and they sell bottle fresh smoothies on the go or you can get one right there. I heard the Kale Lemonade is to die for so I went back to try it and man was it good. Kale, cucumbers, apples and lemon and ginger gave it  nice kick and I felt great drinking it.

Earth Fare also has a Healthy Rewards Card.

Make sure you sign up and join. Lots of awesome deals. 

The location in Seminole opened and I went to check it out fully stocked and I have to say I was so impressed. I found lots of goodies and the prices were great. Yes, prices change from location to location but compared to other "healthier" grocery stores, I found them to stand above the rest.

While I do find Earth Fare to be similar to Whole Foods or Fresh Market, I think what allows them to stand out is the customer service. They mentioned if there was anything you wanted to try or taste before they would happily open a package, cut it up, sample and make sure you are getting the very best. Customer service is huge and I could tell that even when I went back. The feel of Earth Fare is very different also, it is brightly lit and open and very welcoming.

I sometimes feel intimated walking into Whole Foods, like I am a healthy food outcast but Earth Fare, I felt like it is my local grocery store upgraded. I was very impressed with the store and will  be going back. They have numerous locations in Florida and elsewhere, the Seminole location is the only one in the Tampa area. 

Make sure to check out their website at and spot the big tomato and find one near you.

And if you are local, please go ahead and check out the one in Seminole, you will be very happy!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday-Pumpkin EVERYTHING 0:)

Hey Ya'll its Top Ten Tuesday Time and today we are talking about PUMPKIN!!!!

Image result for pumpkin obsession

Seriously, I am a sucker and a lover of Pumpkin EVERYTHING. It can come Spiced or non Spiced and I will throw that bad boy in the cart, or order it from a menu or make it home. I have no clue why I love everything pumpkin but I surely do. And now that it is October and fall time, well for most of the areas, minus here in Florida, Pumpkin Season is in FULL swing.

So lets talk my top Ten favorite Pumpkin items...

10: PSL! Yup lets kick it off with the most "basic" item there is, the famous, yes famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, most popular from Starbucks. The PSL is a staple this time of year, that spice taste, mixed with a little extra caffeine and I am in heaven. Starbucks has also interested this time of year, one you can make at home...

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I picked this up from Target, it actually comes in 9 and these are really really good. I take one with me to work and it is a nice little jolt and pumpkin love and honestly half the price and calories. I love me some PSL.

9. Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Swirl Iced Coffee- Probably my FAVORITE pumpkin coffee drink. While yes I love the PSL, DD is always the best for me. I get it iced and with skim milk and splenda. I heard this year that there was a sugar free version but none of my DD carries it. I am hoping when I am home this weekend they have it up north. The swirl is a sweeter version and seriously I wish they carried it year round.

8. Pumpkin Spice Cake- This a 2 ingredient cake mix recipe. Where you take a box of cake mix and mix it with canned pumpkin. Mixing it with a Spice Cake mix and you can create your Pumpkin Spice cake or muffins or cookies, however you divide it up. Quick, easy and a little bit of fall there for ya.

7. Pumpkin Spice Morsels-

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These are awesome for anything really. I add to ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal and baking or sometimes one little teaspoon goes along way.

6. Pumpkin Fluff- Nanci over on This Crazy Life of Mine, posted about this and 1. we are besties so it is no surprise that we both have this on here. 2. I forgot how much I LOVE Pumpkin Fluff and I want to make it again. I saw and heard about it originally at a Weight Watchers meeting. Super simple and delicious to make, One Can of Pumpkin, one box of sugar free jell-0 i use vanilla and a tub of fat free cool whip, Nanci mixes her's with some things different, which I am so going to try, I LOVE the butterscotch idea. Then you mix it all together and chill. I believe 1/2 of cup and you are good to go for a serving. I have served with those morsels above.

5. Pumpkin Shaped Candy Corn- Okay while they don't taste anything like pumpkin, I freaking love that they are pumpkin shaped and I love candy corn, I just can't have it around or I ended up eating it all and lets be honest, the pumpkin shaped are the best.

4. Fiber One Pumpkin 90 Calorie Bars- These are limited and seasonal and found I believe only at Target. They are fantastic. They have the perfect amount of sweet and spice. My Favorite Fiber One bar by far.!

3. Pumpkin Yogurt- I try any Pumpkin flavored yogurt. Seriously I love it all, I really don't have a favorite and haven't found one I don't like yet. The Dannon Light and Fit Greek one is really, really good and only 80 calories and protein so that is a win win.

2. Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer- Both International Delight and CoffeeMate make Pumpkin Creamer, I get one each year, sometimes both are in the house. I prefer the sugar free and fat free versions, that way if I measure a bit more in my coffee, I am not cheating too much. I currently have the Pumpkin Pie I.D. sugar free one and it is really great. I can enjoy it with really any flavor of coffee, a weird combo that works, the creamer mixed with Blueberry coffee. Believe it or not, it is fantastic.

1. Special K Pumpkin Spice Crunch cereal- Holy crap guys, this cereal is the BOMB.COM. Yup being totally corny on this one because it is sooo good. This is new this year and limited and I had to get it. I love the Special K Apple one last year and well they hit a home run with the pumpkin. I believe it is only at Target. I don't eat cereal a lot but when I have a craving I want something I know I will really enjoy and this is year.

Image result for special k pumpkin spice

Make sure to check out Nanci's post on everything pumpkin too, she has some really tasty ones are there!!!

So what is your favorite pumpkin item??

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book Review: Szen Zone

Most recently I was given the opportunity to review a really fantastic book by the author Gary Szenderski called the Szen Zone. I was given the book for review all opinions are my own.

I am not familiar with Gary Szenderski but when I was contacted to read his book about finding and reaching a positive change, I knew it was something I really wanted to read.

In the last year alone, I have really been getting into books that reflect living a happy, healthy and positive life. I have been reading books that help you achieve a positive outlook on life and how to make your own life more rich and fulfilling in a positive state.

I could not wait to read this book. I was ready to feel inspired and take some really good positive moments. The book is broken into 8 Chapters and each chapter is touching on a particular topic. Inside of the chapters are short stories within and then a meaning behind it.

It sort of reminded me of Fables. In the sense we read the story and then there is meaning to it right after. Rather than a fable there is Szenippets which round up the story or paragraph or meaning.

I loved this idea. It made the story come to life and I found myself highlighting and dog-earing page after page. Some of the stories were taken from Gary's book files and other were his accounts.

I found many stories and meanings that related to my life and one in particular was, The Human Baton. I was so moved by not only the story but the meaning it gave, I used this story on my Friday morning conference call in our district meeting because I just felt I had to pass it on.

To sum it up and not give away the story was it was about how the energy we bring into our lives, the lives of others is perceived and  how our body language and attitude reflects our lives, even if we don't see it. The story was about a woman who was driving so in her rear-view mirror a girl singing and dancing in the car. It made her laugh and smile and she loved how happy and joyous the person behind her was. So at her next red light she did the same.

I related this to my own experience at my job. I work in retail and I am a store manager. My energy and positive has a huge impact on my day, not just with giving the customer a really awesome experience but making sure that my team does the same. My energy reflects if they want to do good also. The story rang so true that when we bring really great energy then really great things will come from that.

I am going to to quote the book....

It is taken from Chapter 7 Taking Chances on page 170-171

Szenippet: What's in our heart always bubbles up to influence the way we act, look and are perceived. There is no denying the power or promise to turn any moment into a new journey.

I took that and read it over and over and it couldn't have been more true. When I am ALL IN, and all into the day and making the sales goal and passionate about our process then my whole team feels and feeds after that. When I come in with a goal in mind and high energy and having fun, then they find it easy to get after it and do well too.

I feel like this rang true with anything in life. In friendships and relationships and even just bringing that same mind frame into doing well in working out and running for me too.

This book was really great and so many great ways to achieve and keep a positive state of mind. I highly recommend it and it is a great book to pay it forward with because when you create your own positive state of mind, others should too, pass on the knowledge you learn and let's all grow and be better together.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Good Reads and you can check out more about Gary Szenderski and his other books, which I have been requesting at the library now too.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Love Letter to Coffee

Let me tell you about my best friend...

It comes from a plant..

It is brown, little bean...

When roasted with water, it transforms into this magical liquid called...'

Coffee Brought to you for your enjoyment by Has your coffee maker ever malfunctioned, overflowing coffee and grounds onto the counters making a big mess? manufactures and sells a specialized platform that sits beneath your Coffee Maker. When an overflow occurs the liquid is captured in the Just in Case Deck.  Brought to you by

Coffee is my best friend and today we celebrate it on National Coffee Day!!

Yup, today is National Coffee Day, so like any other Holiday, lets celebrate a bit of my favorite thing in the world, well besides running.

Dear Coffee...

My favorite cup of a coffee is one where I can sit down and just relax, most of the time, I am running out the door with my cup of coffee in my hand, or I am getting to work and ordering it from Starbucks or DD. So the mornings when I can just unwind and take small sips they are my favorite.

Other times I love coffee, after a run. Something about that sip, really wakes you up and gives you that perfect jolt to go along with your runners high. And it is my favorite way to enjoy coffee with my bestie after we have completed some miles.

Coffee is my favorite way to meet up with people and friends. "Lets go for a cup of coffee" My cousin actually had his first date with his future wife over a cup of coffee, a pumpkin spice latte to be exact.

Coffee is the morning is the nice way to welcome the day. At home, when I visit, it is my favorite moments with my Uncle, as he is getting ready for work, we talk and chat over a cup of coffee. It is a great way to bond.

I remember growing up watching my mom and grandparents all talk over coffee, coffee was brought out at dessert for a night cap with some cake or pie or cookies. I never understood then, but now I get it.

I enjoy coffee hot or iced, depends honestly on the day or mood I am in. I can drink iced coffee year round with the joys of living in Florida, but in the morning that first cup, should be hot.

I drink my coffee home, usually flavored. I LOVE flavored coffee and I love seasonal or limited edition flavors too. I love buying those different kind of flavors too. I will try any flavor for sure, right now I am of course loving pumpkin spice. I love having a flavored creamer at home. I tend to buy sugar free or fat free, but the regular ones, if they have a fun flavor, I will pick that up too. I use Splenda and I don't want to hear anything about it.

I used to drink my coffee with milk and sugar, light and sweet or Extra Extra, depending where you lived and how to order it. Then I lost weight and wanted to keep it off, so my ordering became different, but my love of coffee still the same, if not more.

I prefer, Dunkin Donuts over Starbucks, mainly because that is what I was brought up on. Dunkin Donuts was in my home town and I have found memories of getting coffee or going there with my mom, etc.

I collect coffee mugs! Seriously I try to get one from every where I go. I have NO room for them in our kitchen but I still love them and pick it up all the time, it drives James crazy, but I can't help it. I probably use the same one over and over, but it doesn't matter, they each reflect who I am.

Growing up I always wanted to get to that stage in life where you drank coffee, from seeing it portrayed on T.V. like on Dawson's Creek, which at the time, showing them drinking coffee was a big deal. Then I wanted a coffee shop life like on Friends, I think everyone wanted that. Or I wanted those big moments, little moments, diner moments like in Gilmore Girls.

I, basically, 100% have a love affair with coffee and the beauty is you can find it everywhere and never be without it. I can have it in the morning, a mid afternoon pick me up, it helps me survive Christmas Craziness and I can even enjoy a cup at night and still get to sleep.

Call me crazy, or obsessed but I am okay with my love of coffee!!

Thank you coffee, for making me sane, happy and for being the one thing in my life that I can control and always know is there and I promise to continue to give you the love and respect you deserve!

Love, your highly caffeinated lover,