Saturday, December 30, 2017

Catching Up and Lots and Lots of Rambles on 2017


Remember when I used to write and blog and post really fun and exciting things. I would talk about my life, my love of running, some new foods, etc....Yeah....

So LIFE got in the way. IN a BIG way and some things in my life had to take a back seat and unfortunately this was one of them.

Life is seriously messy sometimes and complicated and all over the place and mine just kept getting that way.

BUT I am making a GOAL going into 2018, to get back into my little piece of blog on the Internet and DIVE back in again. I seriously have missed sitting down, explaining the SPARKLE moments of my life, writing about the different eats and CHEW and gosh do I miss my RUNS.

Okay, so since the last time I have posted, let me see if I can catch up a little bit...

Lets start a little bit with running....or I shall say lack there of...

Running took a big hit for me this year. From late last year and into this year, I was struggling through a LOT of calf pain and knee pain. I mean it was seriously so bad, that even going for a walk at times, seemed to be unbearable. The half marathon I did in Nashville was TOUGH. SUPER TOUGH. I was in some pain and then I took it easy for most of the summer.

I would run a few miles here and there and then go to the gym. Oh yea back in July I joined a gym which was close to my job. And I really do love it. It is still a little different to me, but I am trying. That is a HUGE goal in 2018 to get back into that again. I joined Planet Fitness and the machines are so scary to me, I feel like I have no clue what I am doing. BUT I am not scared, they are just scary. I have Pinned a lot of different exercises to do and I am READY this year to kick butt.

Let me be honest, a lot of fitness took a back seat. I seriously let life and excuses take over me. I would go good for like 3 days and then work would throw me off, or plans came up, or I was tired, or I was in pain from a run, or I had a toothache or or or or, the list goes on.

It wasn't that I wasn't motivated, I wasn't DISCIPLINED!!!

And it crept up on me. I totally gained weight this year and then stayed the same. I haven't put on a TON of weight, but enough I can feel it and I DON'T like it. I have not been as active as I have been in the years past, which is my release and it has definitely taken hold over me. Its funny how the most MOTIVATED people, sometimes just go through a RUT.

Well not anymore in 2018. I am so pumped and ready to jump in, honestly it is like a breath of fresh air.

Okay back to running because working out fits that. IN November I had originally signed up for the half marathon in St. Pete. Well with some serious leg pain, I knew it was not smart for me to do it. So I took my ticket and signed up for the 5k instead. I was ready, I was excited. The race came and I was ready to go and .60 miles in, I had to stop and walk. I was in so much pain behind my right knee, I couldn't even put my leg down or full extend. I was truly hurting. I had tears in my eyes, but I didn't turn down a side street like I wanted to do and just leave, I finished the race, walking the whole time, got my medal and went home.

My pride and heart was hurt. I have never had to walk a whole race before. I follow Jeff Galloway and do run walk run, but this was a whole other level. I was in pain. So from that day forward, I knew I just had to sit out some races, which included my beloved Turkey Trot. I was tired of being in pain and going to races and being upset, so I had to sit it out. Sometimes you have to know when to just call it quits and know when enough is enough.

So for over a month now I have not ran and I have not really been in the gym. Because then work became super crazy. I was BUSY every day and last week alone, I worked 72 plus hours. So I was beat. BUT not anymore....

Goal for 2018 in the Run part of my life is simple, just get back to running. Get back to doing it weekly and LOVING it again and PAIN FREE. So I am going to take it slow and steady, like I did when I first started and enjoy the miles. I don't plan on doing any half marathons until LATER in the year and just do some fun 5ks here and there. No pressure, no expectations just running and the love and high and drug I get from it.

And with that said that means putting some love into the gym too. I need to tone up. I am flabby in all the parts and my body needs some toning. I need to get back to being nice and healthy and fit again. While I track my food everyday through My Fitness Pal, I snack and pick on things I shouldn't and I don't track those. Like last night after we went out for a few drinks with family I had two cookies when I got home, an oatmeal cookie and a sugar cookie and had a bite of some chips. BECAUSE of the drinks I was hungry and from not being in a routine earlier in the day.

And because I was home. That too had a lot to do with it. But I have done that a lot this year, not even realizing. Making bad choices here and there, that don't really seem like a lot, but they added up and made a difference. I am not mad or sad. The main thing is I know what to do to be better and do better.

So I guess that is the Chew portion of my life. More real foods and less picking is in the works for me!!

Okay now the Sparkle! Geez the Sparkle portion took over a lot. I did a lot of traveling this year, Nashville and Maryland and New York. Nashville TWICE. I was asked to be in a wedding in January for one of my few best friends. I have met two new girlfriends, Erica and Jen and with our friend Megan and Tara, we have started a monthly girls night, which I Never knew how much I needed in my life until then. It has truly changed my world.

James and I moved into a bigger place and while it has taken some to get used too. I truly Love it and making it more of our home. James and I are in such a good place right now in our lives, it is so good. We have finally gotten over that little rough patch we were experiencing and moving forward. I can not imagine my life without him. In the summer it was scary and I wasn't sure where we were headed but we talked and worked out some things and he is my best friend and the True love of my life and we have been better ever since.

And then there is this year was a weird point for me. I had lost a bit of my love for Things Remembered, mixed with a lot of other things and I knew it was time for me to move on and start looking for something new.

And I FOUND IT! This was my last Christmas with TR and I will be starting with another company come January 7. I am so excited to start the New Year off right and fresh and exciting. This is the first time I have been the new person in over 9 years!!! BUT I am ready, this is just the new path I need in my life. New job, new outlook, new me.

I know that whole new year, new me, stuff can get old, but DANG!!! I am ready and willing for it.

Okay so now that I have taken up well over 15 minutes of your life, here I am!!

This year was crappy for sure, it was different BUT it had some truly amazing moments, I mean it was really good BUT I am ready to tackle 2018 with some serious force!!! This will be my comeback, going forward year for sure AND you will see more and more posts from me!!

So cheers to the end of 2017 and HELLO to 2018!!

Happy NEW YEAR!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Am Still Here

Holy Moly has it been awhile since I have actually sat down and wrote something. Life has been a roller coaster ride of a little bit of everything. Seriously all kinds of stuff going on.

The last time I wrote was back in June.

Life has been great actually.

I have joined a gym with Planet Fitness and absolutely love it. I try to get there 2-3 days a week and then run or do a walk or something the other 2-3 days. I try to take 2-3 rest days, depending what I have going on that week.

Work has been okay. My DM and mentor Jen, left the company and it was really sad for me. She has molded me into the SM and person I am today and it was really sad to see her leave our enviorment BUT she is and went on to bigger and amazing things. I am so happy and proud of her.

Social life has been amazing too. I have made some new friends at work and really found a great group of people in my life with James's friends and friends I have made. I have been living in FL for 8 years now and FINALLY have a close knit family of friends.

My best friend Erica, took me to see Sam Hunt on my birthday and it was amazing. Seriously the best concert. He really only has like one full CD, but he rocked the heck out of it and threw in some other awesome hits and it was truly a great concert. As was Dierks Bentley the month prior.

I turned 32 and I have to say 32 has been great so far. I mean really great!! Getting older really isn't all that bad and I am feeling better than ever!!!

Okay so let me get back to blogging...for some reason blogging has taken a back seat for me. A lot has been taken a back seat, such as curling up with a book and relaxing. BUT I need to get back to it.

I promise I will get back to it. I need to get back to it. I miss sitting down and just explaining my life and what I have going on with running, life and food.

So I am not done with my little blog just yet, just taking a little break for a few weeks to make sure I can make this better than ever!!!

Thank you for continuing to follow along and reading!!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Perfectly Imperfect

Hey Friends!

So yesterday I had kind of realization, I am not perfect!

Wow shocker right!!!

Duh no one is perfect. Believe me, NO MATTER what Instagram shows, no one is perfect. Despite how many awesome fitness food and work out posts are out there, NO ONE IS PERFECT.

Heck I am lucky to have my shit together 50% of the day. Umm lets limit that 25% of the day and that is being generous to myself. Gotta pat my back sometime.

And you know what that is okay.

 I am imperfect. I make mistakes. I fall down a lot. I pick myself up and I continue on. Sometimes I make bad choices and sometimes I make really great one. Sometimes I sneak a piece of garlic bread and then have carrots as a snack. Sometimes I order the margarita, with the salt and I lick the whole rim of the glass and then wave the bartender down and order another.

Sometimes I lay on the work out mat and just lay there for a good 5 minutes, with no motivation to continue on with my work out and walk out of the gym. Yup that happened on Saturday. I did a lot work out on the bike and went to do a plank and just laid there. I had no motivation to continue, I was distracted and let emotions take over me.

I didn't give up because at least I was there. But I did call it early.

I am being honest and real with that one.

And that is okay.

I also binged watched the new Orange Is The New Black in 2.5 days. I let a sinus infection/migraine take over my life and leave me feeling funky and blue. I took rest to a whole other level and just did that all weekend.

Then last night when I got home from work, I put on my running shoes and banged out a mile and did the ABS I didn't do the night before. And killed my work out.

I am not perfect. I am far from it. I make a plan most weeks and really try to stick to it.


But I try every day to be better. I try every day to pick myself up. I continue on even if I have a bad day or a bad meal or didn't get my work out or run.

I understand and recognize when I am not perfect. I recognize and work hard to change it and be better.

In point I am Perfectly Imperfect....

& I love that about me.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Currently June

Good Tuesday Morning!

It has been awhile since I have posted with a Currently to update some things in my life, so I thought what a perfect time frame to do so, then the start of June!!!

Current Book:

Geez this one is sad because I have not been reading as much as I should be. Life has been super distracting, meaning I am not unwinding and sitting down with a good book, like I should be. I need to take more time to just do that, rather than chores, or looking at my phone or binge watching whatever is on T.V. These are bad habits I have fallen into. BUT I am reading the Nicholas Sparks book, Two By Two and I have to say it is a bit slower than his others, so it is taking me a bit to get into it and I think too thats why I have not been reading. BUT I am not one to stop a book midway so I am in to finish it.

Current Music

Everything Country Music!! Seriously from being back from Nashville, I have a whole new respect for music in general, not just Country Music. I am getting super excited because concert season is upon us right now and we have some really nice line ups coming our way, such as Dierks Bentely on the 16th. Sam Hunt next Month, John Mayer and Jason Aldean the month after, Chris Stapleton in November, FGL in October and I believe Zach Brown Band in September. Between some fun running races, this is how I want to spend my money, watching live music.

Current Drink

Dunkin Donuts S'mores Iced Coffee. Seriously enough said. It is my favorite new flavor. I mean Pistachio from last year is still my MVP choice, but it is really good and I find myself wanting it every day!! Even if I am not really wanting coffee, I want the S'mores iced coffee.

Current Food

Honestly, nothing has been different for me with food. I am still eating my favorites, but dang if you put something limited or seasonal on it, I AM going to buy it no matter what!! It never fails for me haha. Also if you have lime or avocado on your menu, I am going to order it haha.

Current Show

Well now that all my shows I watched religiously are on the summer break I am watching Netflix and Hulu shows and sometimes doing some binge watching, such as just finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Highly recommend it. I have been watching The Golden Girls on Hulu, because I mean why not and Gosh that show is hysterical, I forgot how funny they were. Seriously I wish I had the humor of Dorothy all the time. But this month brings back Orange Is The New Black on Netflix and The Ranch, both favorites of mine. And then in July Game of Thrones. Can NOT WAIT!!

Current Indulgence

Besides the S'mores Iced Coffee, I guess my indulgence would be, something about this time of year, I always want to order a margarita, with salt on the rim. haha. Weird but it is an indulgence of mine because I hardly drink anyway.

Current Links

It is not much of a link, but an App I am loving right now. I sleep really well at night, I can fall asleep basically anytime but sometimes my mind just won't shut off and I have been using the White Noise app. Basically it is a bunch of sounds that are calming to distract your mind and lull you into a sleep and man is it working!! I put on Beach Waves Crashing and then a Rain Storm and within minutes I am falling right to sleep. I am usually a quite noise person to fall asleep with but this has been really great. I fall asleep quickly and quietly. You can also set an alarm to when it should shut off. I usually do around 2 hours and I am good to go.

Current Mood

Pretty Dang Happy!!! I am off today, it is a rainy kind of day but I plan on heading over to Tampa to go to Sprouts to use a gift card I had won, a while back, so going to do that and just really take the day as it goes, get my work out in later on and relax.

Current Goal

So for the month of June, I have set a goal for myself to consistently commit and work out. I am only going to have 2 rest days a week and getting myself to the gym and working on my mile pace. I really want to bring it back down from 13:00 per mile and I have figured to divide it up each month to do so. So for June I am working on the mile time frame. I am consistently also working out in the gym, working on my arms and legs too. I am really focusing on not making any excuses or reasons to why anymore. So I started the month of June with a 12:20 mile and lets see if I can get that down the end of the month.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Little PSA on The Run-Walk-Run

I have a little bit of a rant right now...

Which by the way HI!!! I know it has been quite some time since I last posted. Life has been a bit crazy and super busy with work. Seriously I feel like all I do is work, sleep and eat haha.

Oh and fit in some work outs here and there, which this week I have been on point, despite Mother Nature came and I was on a mini vacation with James.

Okay so here is my rant...

The other night after work I decided to go for a run. I do not run in the gym, I always hit the pavement around our neighborhood. Seriously I know each direction and the miles they will give me. I love my neighborhood, so many things to look at and at times lots of people out doing the same thing as me. People will honk as I am running on by, smile and wave, it is extra motivation I need.

When I first started running I was nervous people would make fun of me, or see my jiggly thighs or if my shirt rised up a bit, how embarrassing. But then I got over that fear because I realized,  running was my escape and I LOVED it and I still do.

I have always followed Jeff Galloway, Run-Walk-Run. Meaning Run for a certain amount of minutes, then walk a min or .30 seconds and then Run again. It is the way I learned how to run and how to run long distance and my favorite way to run. Even if I do not have my GymBoss beeper on, I still use the run walk run. I used it with all my half marathons AND with my FULL marathon, the whole dang time.

When I ran my first race, I was so nervous people were going to get mad at me for walking. But then when I got in the crowd, I heard people using their beepers too, and running and walking and I felt amazing. I felt like I was apart of this super awesome job. In Nashville, dang everyone was walking the majority of the time. See even though we weren't running for that minute, DOES not mean we STOP. We are STILL Moving, so slowing it down a bit.

Here is where I get a bit mad. I was out running the other day and my run became a walk. A guy at a stop or turn signal rolled down his window and with a smile, motioned me to not stop and keep going, like I was being lazy for walking. He looked at me, like I was giving up, like I was stopping to give up!!! Which I was not. I was transitioning into my walk, he had seen me running and thought it was too hard for me, so I stopped and wasn't going to keep going.

I gave him a half smile and continued on, fuming inside, which in turn made my run a bit better. Thank you random stranger. But it got me thinking, why is it an issue for the walk?? Why when I start walking does it make people seem like it is not okay, that is the universal sign of all done??? When in actuality it is FAR from it. The walk break is a break, a quick way to regain composure a bit, a water break and it helps with injury. PLUS it allows me to love the run.

There are so many intervals and apps and articles on the benefits of run walk run, but why do we still give the assumption that when someone is walking while running they are giving up. Sure, the guy thought he was being motivating telling me to keep going, but I WAS keep going and I kept on going for 3 more miles.

I guess this is more of PSA than a rant, or heck a little bit of both. BUT when you see someone out running and walking and maybe even catching them doing both, how about congratulating them. Yell out good job! Yell out keep going or simply smile!! Honk, even though that scares me. Because that walk does not mean they are struggling or maybe if they are, they are STILL moving. The body is still in motion and they are NOT giving up, they are still putting one foot in front of the other!

And maybe when you are out running and walking and if you follow the Run-Walk-Run, someone will remind me to keep going too!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Running Nashville: The Great, The Funny, & A little Ugly

It has taken me a week to just sit down and do a quick recap of Running Nashville. It has been a whirlwind of my life since getting back from Nashville and I have not really been able to relax all week.

First off want to say that Nashville is an amazing city. It is so awesome, I seriously want to go back and vacation there again for much longer and it would be a city I would consider moving too, if I ever had to move.

The city is filled with music after music, after music. Musicians start playing at 11:00 in the bars and go to the early morning. Each bar has at least 2-4 floors and on each floor there is another bar and live music on that one too. It is like getting 4-5 bars in one bar. Crazy I know but the coolest thing. And each level will have a different variety of country music playing, with a little rock and maybe some pop mixed in.

We instantly loved Nashville once we went downtown. The downtown life is not only filled with bars but museums and fun atmosphere to do so much. For Thursday and Friday we literally walked around Nashville all day.

We took in all the sights that downtown had to offer, such as The Bridgestone Arena, The Ryman Auditoriam, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Johnny Cash Museum, we walked up and down Broadway and found different roads that lead to more and adventures. We seriously got some major steps in those days and we were tuckered out at the end of the night, which was great because it made for some great sleep.

I have to admit I was super nervous about all our walking because my leg and calves were feeling really tight and having to run the Half Marathon on that Saturday, I wasn't sure how I would feel. Then I just said the heck with it and had fun anyway...

Friday night I got ready by laying out my flat Angie and had James do some last minute foam rolling and stick action. My right calf was driving me absolutely crazy and was so tight...

I knew it was going to give me a bother, but I tried my best anyway.  I was going to show up and run the race anyway no matter what. I was not ready for this race physically. I have to admit I felt super fluffy, thanks to Mother Nature and it was throwing my whole mental game totally off. I didn't feel like the super confident person I am when it comes to races. And my leg was bothering me, making that even harder to concentrate. But I got up that morning with some super pep in my step, I had slept really good the night before and I was ready to take on the run.

Nashville was going to be my first real destination race. Okay, well my Marathon was my first real destination race, in PA. But I went to college and lived in that area, so it wasn't that much of a destination because I knew everywhere I was running. Nashville was a whole new world to me, cue Aladdin song!! But I was so excited, nervous and seriously could not wait to get running.

Okay so instead of breaking it down I am going to break it down into some highlights with The Great, The Funny & The Ugly...

The Great

1. I signed up to run this race with St. Jude to be a St. Jude Hero, meaning I raised money to run and I got an entry fee for free for doing that. Being a St. Jude Hero was so rewarding. It was actually really amazing. But even better there were so many people doing the same thing and knowing I was apart of that and raised a ton of money for a great cause, made this race probably my favorite. There were St. Jude stops all along the course and at the end, St. Jude people were there cheering you on the loudest.

2. The volunteers and spectators along the course were AMAZING!!! I mean the best I had ever been at. Every water station had people high living, spraying us down with water because it was very, very hot and unlike those high temps this time of year there. While I was used to hot weather in Florida, running a long race like that, later in the morning, made it really difficult. They also had salt packets along the way too.

3. The spectators were giving out candy, water, fruit and even popsicles. Yes popsicles.

This was at mile 10 and I thankfully was not passing it up. Usually on races I am so concerned with my pace or the miles and this time I just wanted to have some good old fun. So if a mom and her kids are giving those out I am going to run and eat it at the same time. And it tasted amazing and gave me the perfect amount of jolt. 

4. Pink Starburst and pretzels. Like I said these people know how to treat runners!! I had taken my GU with me and I had one or two, but when it is hot, dannnnngg it does not taste great. So I was happy with the sugar and the salt.

5. The views along the way were amazing. We started running right down Broadway which is the big area in Nashville, with all the cool bars and Country Music Hall of Fame, we ran Music Row and I saw where Bobby Bones broadcast from, we ran past recording studios that all Country Music stars record and signed with. We ran past colleges and ended at Nissan Stadium and walking back from the race we had the best view going over the Cumberland Bridge. The views were amazing on this run. Everything was so exciting and new.

6. The expo for this race was so much fun. Lots of stands, no lines and I got to get a coffee mug to come home with AND you could exchange the size of your race shirt. Mine was way to small because race shirts suck sometime and you could actually exchange it right there. YES! And it was sponsored by Brooks, my running shoe.

7. The music was great. Rock and Roll Marathon series have live music along the miles and there were some really fun, high energy performers. It was so great. I paused my headphones at every live music station.

8. There was food before which was great because I was staying in a hotel and they didn't serve breakfast that early. So a mini bagel and banana. Also my LYFT driver was phenomenal, got me there super early and was very encouraging. 

The Funny

1. The funny was the signs people made. There were so many good ones that I forgot to take pictures. but the best was the one That had a picture of Donald Trump and it said I thought it would have been easier. If you watched the news that week that make perfect sense.

2. At mile 5 there was a live band that was dressed up and singing and dancing and blowing. bubbles. They made it so much fun.

3. I was just having so much fun that I didn't even care that my GPS was totally off or I was running a 15.00 minute mile. I was more concerned with the 30,000 people around me. I was dancing in the street, looking at people dressed up and having a blast.

The Ugly...

1. Well the really really ugly was all the hills. I knew Nashville was going to be quite the hilly race BUT I was in for a really big surprise, like really big. The WHOLE race was elevation, seriously there might have been one area at was flat. Here is the thing, running in Florida is FLAT. Sure we have some bridges and some change in elevation but nothing like this. EVEN my marathon wasn't this hilly. It was just constant up and down.

2. Lots of people walking. Which wouldn't seem all that bad right, well it messed with my head a bit because when I saw other people walking then I felt I had too, even though maybe I didn't need too. The idea of running the hills got in my head and when they walked them so did I. Which slowed me down but I never once quit.

3. Chaffing. Seriously it was horrible because of the KT tape I had wrapped practically my whole body in and my legs and well it was hot. I know TMI but it is the real deal when you are running and I was hurttttiiiinnngg. Seriously couldn't wear jeans for days.

4. Headaches. I didn't have any caffeine except for my Spark in the beginning of the morning and later that night, I had the worst headache all night long. I was having withdrawals from caffeine.

But this race was truly my favorite race. James was at the finish line taping me as I was coming in and I was so happy to see him. It is so awesome having him on this journey with me and smiling and waving at me as I go by. He was so close to the finish that I was able to run right to him and high five him.

The end of the race was great. They gave you wet towels, water, Gatorade, pretzels, beer and cookies and a live band that was out of this world good. We opted for my beer, a picture opt and then I went and got a Big Old Burger and a nap.

I highly recommend running Nashville because it is a HUGE race, there are so many people and it makes for quite the experience. It gave me the confidence of running more destation races in the future.

We are even considering Savannah, GA next..until then....

#10 is in the books!!!

Friday, April 28, 2017


Good Friday Morning!!!

This Friday is extra, extra amazing because I am in Nashville, TN!!!

Which means I am on vacation and running this weekend at the Rock and Roll ST. Jude 1/2 Marathon!

James and I arrived yesterday morning at 8:00 am. Our flight was out of Tampa at 7:00 and got here at 8:00 and it was an 1.5 hour flight. Yup we time traveled :0)

I forgot that TN is in a Central Time Zone. It was so funny to see on our ticket that time change, it didn't dawn on me at first.

We were so excited to be here. James and I have not had time off together in a really long time, definitely not back to back time off and we haven't had vacation since October  when we went back home for the wedding. We NEED this time together, believe me. I know it is the trip to get us back to US.

Not realizing we couldn't check in early at our hotel, even though online it said you could, we decided to grab some breakfast, they let us leave our luggage and then we got a LYFT and went downtown in Nashville to check it all out.

We had no clue where we were going and we turned a corner and BAM, all of downtown Nashville right in front of us. It was amazing. There are so many bars, restaurants and Boot stores. The bars advertise live music every single night and as we were walking by, many were walking by with their guitars and ready to get there music on.

The city totally has that country music vibe right away. And it seriously is like you are transported to a whole other area in the world. We walked all over downtown, just finding different places and taking pictures. I was thrilled to have James out walking with me, as you know he is not very athletic, so to get him out and going was fantastic and boy did we get our walk on.

After walking around for over a hour we went to the Expo to pick up my bib and packet for the race. I raised 600.00 dollars for St. Jude and I am so unbelievably happy that I chose to do that for this race. It makes this race even more special.

I decided to be a St. Jude Hero because I believe in St. Jude and what they do for children who are fighting cancer and the families fighting right along with them. Plus I lost two very special people in my life to cancer, my BF's husband Tony and my Nanny. Cancer f-ing sucks and destroys so many lives and little babies and children have an even harder chance of fighting it, but St. Jude fights along with them and I wanted to help out anyway I could.

So with the help of 13 amazing people in my life who donated I am running this for them, the children, my family and friends and everyone fighting with cancer. Each person that donated I am running a mile for them.

Mile 1- My mom <3 font="">
Mile 2- Elizabeth Ruiz
Mile 3- Aunt Donna
Mile 4- Natasha Romano
Mile 5- Uncle Keith and Abby
Mile 6- Aunt Margaret
Mile 7- Sarah Lavoie
Mile 8- Susan 
Mile 9- Nanci
Mile 10- Lea Ann and Tony
Mile 11- Uncle John
Mile 12- Jen, Ben and Paige
Mile 13-13.1- Poppy

At each mile, I will think of these selfless people in my life that donated to get me to the starting and finish line.

We decided yesterday after pick up to just go back to the hotel and rest for awhile. We had been going  since 3:30 in the morning and we were exhausted. Like super exhausted, so we checked in and literally crashed in to the bed and we each took a nice lonnnngg nap and James NEVER naps so it was super nice.

We showered and then went back downtown to get dinner, listen to music and check out the scene. There was A LOT going on downtown, there were concerts, LOTS of people out and music playing everywhere. It was hard to choose where to go because there was so much great music playing. We went to somewhere that was still serving food and a little more chill. Two guys were playing some cover songs and they were amazing. Seriously everyone we have heard have been outstanding!!!

We ate, took in music and then went back home and crashed again.

Day 1 was a true success and today we are doing some of the touristy things ;0) and I am on my Quest still to meet someone, ANYONE from the Bobby Bones Show and find someone famous along the way also.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sustaining Energy In Your Day....

It has been a week....

Yup and it is only Tuesday AND we had a Holiday on Sunday..

Crazy right, how one day can make it seem like it has just been all over the place crazy.

When I am having a rough or bad day, a work out sometimes can be the last thing I want to do right?

You just want to curl on the couch and just veg out, your energy from the day is drained and you are feeling all kinds of crappy.

When I lack energy,  nothing, and I mean nothing seems fun to do or appealing. BUT I know I need to get out there and get a good work out in.

And I know it isn't the bad day that is making me not work out, but it is what I choose to eat earlier in the day that has just made me feel icky. Good food choices through out the day make for better work outs and allow you to handle stress much better.

So when you are having a bad day, do not go for chips, grease, fat, candy, cookies. Yes they seem sooooo good in the moment right. The sweet taste of a victory!! BUT it will not help you in the long run.

Grab for something healthier....

Cut up some veggies for that crunch rather than chips.

Grab and apple, strawberries or grapes for the sweet craving. Fruit has natural sugar, that will give you that boost that sugar does, but it won't back on the pounds, nor give you a serious crash.

Or even better for some carb options that don't include a loaf of bread. I know I have been there before, especially at Panera, gosh that smell. Grab a banana and cut in half and spread some Peanut Butter or Almond butter on top and you have some carbs, protein and GOOD fat. Even sprinkle some mini chocolate chips, its okay, you have to splurge sometime.

Grab some protein! Protein is a HUGE factor for me when my energy is feeling low. I usually keep some quick protein around me at all time to make sure I can sustain my energy through the day and night. For lunch I try to pack some chicken and tuna and cheese sticks are my jam.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Keep yourself hydrated, it is so very important. Some days when I am feeling dragged down, it is because I was not hydrated through out the day. I started with my coffee, which I will not give up and that was it. And realized I had not drank anything else. I grab some water and bam, color is back in my skin and I can feel my energy going back up.

Start your day with a multivitamin or a vitamin of choice.  Vitamins pack a lot of nutrients in one tiny pill or gummy, to help you sustain energy through out the day.

Try one of these Go Macro Bars to help keep your energy through out the day too. These Go Macro bars back some serious energy in a clean and healthy way. They are one of the only protein and energy bars on the market that are gluten, organic, vegan and soy free. So you don't feel that heavy after taste of a big bar, you have energy to take on the day that sustains through out your crazy day AND energy to take on a your work out.

I grabbed one of these before one of my long runs and man the energy I got from this bar was perfect. I was logging some serious miles that morning and I needed some to just keep me awake and going but before a long run, heavy foods to not sit well with my stomach, if you know what I mean... But this bar kept my energy good through out the whole run. I know stash these in my lunch bag, for my ride home commute, allowing me to feel good, awake and energized to take on some work outs when I get home.

Fueling your body with clean food makes for a better day and a better workout, which leads to a better life down the road.

What is your favorite food to help you sustain energy through out the day and workout??

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Doggie Days of Summer Treat

Recipe ALERT :0)!!!
So I have a part time job.

Well it isn't really much of a part time job, I don't get paid for it.

Except for in big wet, sloppy kisses and snuggles from this handsome guy...

This is Sherman and he is my part time job on my days off!!! I watch him during the day for one of our friends while he is at work. Sherman has become my favorite part of the week and he is an absolute treat and blast to hang out with. He seriously makes my heart full with love and joy, I couldn't even express before. He has been the stand in puppy until the day James and I get our own. 

Which seems forever away... 

But having Sherman around has opened up and entertained the idea to James more and more of us getting our own dog. It has only taken 8 years!!

One of my favorite thing to do with Sherman is going on walks and runs. He LOVES being outside and lucky for him, as do I. We go for long walks downtown and around our neighborhood, or even sometimes we find a special new place to check out. Our walks can go for a quick mile or up to 3 plus miles, depending on how many squirrels he wants to try to attack and catch and how hot it is.

Pets react different in the heat than humans, so keeping Sherman cool and hydrated is a big priority for me when we have our adventures. The minute we get back inside, it lays on the cool tile floor with his water. I wanted to give him a cool treat to enjoy after our walks for being such a good boy.

I went on to Pinterest and found a really quick and easy recipe with ingredients I had already and made these...

Excuse the coffee cup in the sink, I am still working on my great blogger photography skills. Just #keepingitreal.

Okay so these little treats are so easy

Dog Days of Summer

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup of Natural Peanut Butter
Some water to have more a consistency to it to pour into the ice trays

Mix together. Pour into ice trays and then add a like dog bone as the stick.

Pop in the freezer for 1-2 hours. 

They are a bit hard to get out of the ice trays at first, so I ran a knife down the sides and they popped right out.

Look how cute these are!!

And someone absolutely loved them...

These will be in my freezer all the time now.

And minus the dog bone, or you can if you want, these would make a nice little treat for humans too haha.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Current Favorite Country Songs

Happy Tuesday!!!

I know I am late in the day but man was today a crazy day. It was the Mondaiest of all Tuesdays.

Yup that is a thing...

But one thing that is getting me by is the fact we are going to Nashville in 18 days!!! I am so excited, seriously like so excited. And you know what I am most excited about, besides the half marathon I am running, is all the country music all the time.

I LOVE LOVE Country music. It is practically all I listen too anymore. So in honor of my trip to Nashville, I am doing my Top Ten Tuesday on my favorite Country songs currently!!

10. Jason Alden- Any Ol' Bar Stool

9. Kelsea Ballerini-  Yeah Boy

8. Billy Currington- Do I Make You Wanna

7. Brother's Osborne- It Ain't My Fault

6. Zac Brown Band- My Old Man

Makes My Heart just swell...

5. Something' I'm Good At- Brett Eldredge

Follow him on SnapChat he is hysterical

4. Body Like A Back road- Sam Hunt

3. Hurricane- Luke Combs

2. RaeLynn- Love Triangle

Pulls on all the heart strings for me

1.  Better Man- Little Big Town

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Autism Speaks Walk Tampa

Did you know that April is World Autism Month?

Did you know you can wear blue in support of Autism for World Autism Month?

Did you know that there is a Tampa Bay Walk to support Autism Speaks??

If you are unfamiliar with Autism, Autism is described...

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.

On April 22, The Autism Speaks Walk is being held in Tampa. 

This walk is a beautiful way to donate, raise awareness and support those with autism and families with autistic loved ones. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization and to learn more about what they do check out their website here, Autism Speaks. 

Also if you have any questions about early Autism, how to screen your child or just some simple steps and answers to your journey of concern, Autism Speaks has all those answers and outreach for you.

You can walk as a team, or as an individual. This is a fundraiser walk, with a minimum raised amount of 20.00. You can sponsor the walk and volunteer also to the cause and the walk. Volunteers are needed for the Tampa Bay Area walk and you can check out how to register to be a volunteer here.

I highly recommend you check out the website to see all that you can do or just to provide yourself with some information on the walk and Autism. If you do not live in the Tampa Bay Area, there might be a walk happening close to you.

I am proud to be an ambassador this year for the Autism Speaks walk here in Tampa Bay and hope to see you along the way.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April Goals and Excitements

I am so excited for April to be here. I have so much fun going on this month, like so much fun!

okay lets talk excitements...

Iron Girl 5k is this coming Sunday. Iron Girl is a special race for me, it was my first race I ever signed up to do and this will be my 5th year doing it. I would have loved to do the half but I am sticking to the 5k. I always get emotional at this race and this year I am running with Nanci and Corina again and we have a blast each time.

Sherman's 2nd Birthday. This one is excitement mainly for me. Sherman is the doggie that I dog sit on my days off occasionally. He is the dog of one of my friends and I absolutely love this dog. I am going to spoil the heck out of him too. I have already started with some toys and snacks.

Easter. I love Easter not only because it is a holiday but because it is a full day off from work, the mall is closed, it is nice. Plus it is a day I can spend all day with James.

The biggest excitement of the month is NASHVILLE!!!! James and I are going to Nashville, April 27-May 1. I am running the St. Jude Rock and Roll Nashville on April 29. I am so excited to run the half marathon and mainly to be in Nashville. We have so much fun things planned, like Country Hall of Fame, touring all of Nashville, checking out some bars, I am going to find Bobby Bones and I am running which is my favorite thing to do. Seriously I love everything about Nashville and can not wait to check it out in person.

Goals for April..

My goals for April are pretty simple. I am planning to track every day. I need to increase my water intake. Running is amping up more this month and completing the Half Marathon. I am starting the half marathon and completing it no matter what. I am only going to weigh in once this month and taking pictures for progress. I am running at least 3 days during the week and doing more XT and rest too because my half marathon is this month and I really want to do well with it.

My goals are simple and everything I have been doing this month I have been. I have been feeling really great lately, not bloated and I have been noticing my clothes fitting better.

Read more and lay out at the beach and pool more. I need more sun and I really need to read more again. I have been slacking on that like crazy. Trying to do it more at night and on my days off.

What are some goals you have planned for this month?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Random Things I am Loving

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Gosh it has been awhile since I have done a Top Ten Tuesday post. But you are in luck because today I am bring it back with a little bit of randomness!

I live my life pretty randomly with my taste of music, food and life in general. Nothing is never the same and neither is my taste. So I figured to kick back off the Top Ten Tuesday, I was going to do the Top Ten random things I am loving right now!

Sound good??

Good, lets go!

10. Seltzer Water. Seriously this seems crazy, like duh everyone loves water, but Seltzer water is my jam!! I grew up with my Poppy and he drank seltzer water all the time, it is actually the only thing he drinks, besides coffee and milk occasionally. He drinks it just plain But I prefer the flavored kind. I find myself searching out for flavored water more than ever, and when it is sparking or seltzer it is a win win for me.

9. Spark. Spark is an energy enhancement that is made through Advocare. You can buy it in a tub or get the single serve packets, which is what I get. It gives you great clean energy. I usually take it before a workout or running and practically every night after work so I don't go home and fall right to sleep. My favorite flavor so far is the Watermelon, but I am on a quest to try every flavor to see which one really is.

8. Wake Up Wrap from Dunkin Donuts. So there is this magical breakfast sandwich that is packed with some low carb and high protein. It is called an Egg and Cheese Wake Up wrap from Dunkin Donuts. Seriously it is kind of small but it is a perfect snack or for the morning. I practically get one every time I am there. It is just an egg patty with a piece of cheese on a tortilla wrap, melted goodness. I could make it at home but come one. It is only 150 calories and I freaking love it. It gives me some quick protein and goes perfectly with my coffee. They have other with sausage and bacon, I always just get the egg and cheese for less fat and calories, try one next time.

7. Big Little Lies on HBO. Big Little Lies is a book by Liane Moriarty and now is a mini series on HBO. Holy crap is it a good show and it is just like the book in my opinion. Staring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, it is amazing, even James loves the show. The finale episode is next Sunday but if you have HBO catch up now!! The book was a great and the show does it very good justice.

6. Bark Box. Okay so this is a subscription box for dogs and it is the cutest thing ever. I signed up for a free one to try for the puppy I dog sit and he loved the box. It comes with 3 treats and 2 good sized toys for him. He loved each toy so far and the treats have been tasty for him. It is 25 a month and I think I get more excited for the box than he does. You can cancel the subscription at anytime too. It is worth trying for one month for sure.

5. Protein Cake Bites. 

These things are AMAZING. Birthday Cake with Sprinkles, Chocolate Covered Cherry and Red Velvet. The Chocolate covered cherry is my favorite. 3 come to a pack and they are packed with 20g of protein and taste really great for only 240 calories. I picked these up at GNC.

4. Little Buff Bakery. This is an online only company that makes a cake mix that is protein packed and the whole cake you make is less than 300 calories. It is amazing, a whole cake. You can use the cake mix to make muffins, bread, etc. I have tried the chocolate and loved it and I just got the vanilla one so I can use it for other than cake. Recipes and reviews will be coming soon. They come with a small packet of sprinkles too! And a recipe for how to make a frosting to go along with it. Check them out.

3. Elightened Ice Cream.

This ice cream is protein packed and low calorie. You can eat the whole pint and not feel bad about it, or at least I don't ;0) The reason I am loving this so much is I can finally find it in Florida. They are now being sold at Winn Dixie. I found the peanut butter chocolate and red velvet there. Which the red velvet is heavenly with cream cheese swirled inside.

2. Halo Top

Another great protein packed ice cream. I have mentioned before that I love Halo Top. And now not hard to find either, sold at Whole Foods and Publix here in Florida. The S'mores flavor is fantastic and so is the sea salt caramel. Check out the website where you can find it!

1.  Foam Rolling. This is crazy for me to say that I am loving this but I really am. I foam rolled last night and I woke up this morning and my knee and IT band were not hurting as bad as it has been. I mean that is a HUGE change for me. It hurts a lot foam rolling and I think I literally saw stars at one point, but dang it does hurt so good. I have been using my foam roller and then also using the stick. I have the Nashville Half Marathon in 32 days and I am nervous because the pain has been bad. I know I can run it but I want to run it not crying or in pain. So I am foam rolling literally every day now.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Winghouse's New Limited StripTease Menu

If there is one thing that I love is when restaurants introduce new food options and spice things up a bit or in the case of Winghouse, Strip it up a bit. Strip you ask, what the heck does that mean. Well Winghouse, has a new limited time only StripTease Menu, featuring some really fun, new, exciting items.

On Tuesday night, I was with partnership through The Tampa Bay Bloggers was able to experience, drink and taste the new menu, let me tell you, I can not wait to go back just for the Deep Fried Twinkies alone.

We will start with Dessert...

Yup they went there and have on their dessert menu a Deep Fried Twinkie, that comes hot and drizzled with raspberry sauce. Being a healthy living guru type of person, I wasn't sure if I would eat it, but I mean when it comes to something as a Deep Fried Twinkie, you kind of have to try it AND it definitely did not disappoint. It is fried to a golden brown, and then oozes the minute you crack into that shell. It was worth the calories, 100%. It is the perfect cheat dessert and James was with me and loved it. Even if you are not a fan or have ever had a Twinkie before, you need to go and try this dessert. It should be on your food bucket list at least once.

To start off your meal or if you are going to just be at Winghouse for drinks, they now carry Flip Flop Wine, that comes in a can. They are fizzy wines and have a great flavor to them. They come in 4 flavors, Fizzy Chill Red, Fizzy Crisp White, Fizzy Moscato and Fizzy Pink Moscato. You can drink them right out of the can or for the sophisticated drinkers, a glass is provided, lol.

Two new limited starts or apps, are the Cheesy Broccoli Bites and Fresh Potato Chips, that can be ordered just as chips with ranch dip and Winghouse Cheese Sauce, fully loaded or with cheese and bacon. We had the pleasure of trying both ways and all delicious all the way around.

The Cheesy Broccoli Bites come with this sauce that is out of this world, which typically comes with Winghouse Onion Rings and I would order them again and again.

The potato chips are an awesome alternative to nachos and they had a light and crisp, salty taste to them. I liked them as the fully loaded because it came with blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes and onions, jalapeƱos and hot sauce.

Shrimp and Chicken combo is perfect when you want to have the best of both worlds with land and sea, thats fried. They are both seasoned with Winghouse seasonings and it is so good. It comes with ranch dressing, but I would ask for the sauce that comes with the broccoli bites or onion rings, it is so good.

3 New Sandwiches are also on the menu....

The StripClub is served on a Marble Rye bread, which gosh I can not even tell you the last time I had marble rye bread. I was really impressed with the choice of bread and it made a world of a difference too. The StripClub was my favorite. It has chicken, bacon, ham and Swiss cheese with lettuce and tomato and the wing house signature sauce. Tons of protein packed into that sandwich, meaning it will keep you full. Seriously the sandwich is packed to the gills and tasted amazing. I wasn't sure how I would feel about chicken with ham and bacon but all the flavors complemented each other so nicely and with the toasty bread. I will be ordering this the next time I go, it is served with chips and a pickle.

The StripCheese is also served on the marble rye bread with fried chicken strips, pepper jack cheese, bacon strips and tomatoes. James really enjoyed this one also. Served with chips and a pickle. Again the marble rye bread really gives it a nice taste and kick.

The Bacon Ranch Chicken Wrap, has fried chicken strips, bacon strips and zesty ranch. This one is tightly wrapped in a chipotle wrap. While I love wraps usually, this one didn't surprise me too much. It was very  hearty but I would go with something else instead to kind of cheat with. If I am going to Winghouse I want to have something I normally wouldn't purchase. The zesty ranch does give this a little zing and also served with chips and pickle.

The next time you are at Winghouse, of course order the wings and then try something new from the StripTease mean, you will not be disappointed.

Don't miss out it is only for a limited time!!

Check out Winghouse here to find a location near you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Work Out That Challenged Me...

Okay so this might seem like a  bit of a rant but the beauty of this blog, is well I can write and say what I want haha. Last week, I was home in New York, spending the week with my family. While I was home I wanted to get some workouts in, besides my running, because I was still having some leg pain and there was a blizzard, so the roads were covered and that wasn't happening.

I had reached out on Facebook and asked my friends and family members to let me know of some places that offered free passes, classes for work outs, rather a fitness class or a gym or yoga. I got a ton of responses and was quite pleased to see my small town had so many different options. 

On Thursday, I looked up a place called 9Round. I had driven by it many times and it was in a plaza I was very familiar with. A lot of my friends from back home had recommended going there. It looked like something way out of my comfort zone. 

"9Round is a specialized fitness center for people who want an unique, fun, and proven workout that guarantees results. 9Round offers a kickboxing themed fitness program that incorporates a functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer."

I looked up the classes and watched some videos online and it seemed really cool and different. Remember I am usually just a runner, or some stuff in the gym and yoga, so these work outs are new but exciting to me. When you go to the website, it offers a free work out. I knew that this was franchise and I remembered seeing a new one open up here in Florida too, quite close to me also. So my thought process was I will do the free workout, burn some calories, get my endorphins going and if I really loved it I would consider down here. I knew I wasn't going to join back home in NY, I only come home 2 a year, if that and it wouldn't be worth the money, BUT FREE is for ME.

I signed up for the free work out and chose to the do the later class, mainly because I figured no one would be there. I get embarrassed very easily when I am working out. I can run with millions of people but jumping around and doing stuff I am not comfortable with, makes me kind of anxious. 

I know weird.

All day I thought about the work out and I was exited. It is a kickboxing atmosphere and dang I have never attempted that before. So when the time came, I got in my car, in my work out gear and headed over. When I walked in there was a young guy there and no one else. He nicely asked what I could be helped with and I explained I had signed up for a free work out online and was going to check it out. I also explained I was visiting from Florida and wanted to just sweat a little bit. He said okay and then quickly ran down the process.

I was a bit taken back because he didn't walk me through anything, he just jumped right into it. He didn't even tell me where to hang my coat or put my things. Remember I had NEVER been there before. He explained that there were 9 stations and each one, he will show me what to do, I will do it for 3 minutes and 30 seconds of active rest. Okay I got this I thought. Thank goodness I knew the active rest idea and the concept, not so lucky with the attitude.

The rest two stations were based around strength. They switch the work outs each day to something different, so he told me to not pay attention to the board, I would just do what he said. He gave me a jump rope and told me to jump for 3 minutes. Ummmm okay, I hadn't jump roped in like 20 years. Dang I felt good at first. I was skipping and moving and getting into it. Then the rope hit my pony tail and I was thrown off. But I kept going. He yelled out something, Maybe like 30 seconds and I stopped but he told me to keep going. Already station 1 and I was confused and INSTANTLY I could tell he could care less I was there. He was walking around, he did put on some music, but that was it.

No conversation. nothing. My groove was instantly off. I groove off of other peoples vibes and he was giving me that last customer, get out vibe. Station 2 did not include kettle bells, dumb bells, medicine balls or anything like the website included. I did jumping jacks for 3 minutes. My attention span was shot. 

Our 30 sec. active rest was jumping the line. Which he said so quickly, before I knew it, it was over. Station 3-8 was where the kick boxing came in and I was done for. He gave me some gloves to put on, pink ones of course. I punched some bags and then kicked some. Let me tell you, I suck at kickboxing. He showed me the moves I was suppose to do. Didn't explain much, okay. honestly at all. 

This was the part where I felt really defeated. I wasn't getting it. I wasn't punching correctly or kicking. I hated that I wasn't getting it. I instantly felt stupid and well less than. And I thought for sure the trainer would step in and try to help me. Build up my confidence. I tried to make a joke and say man I must be the worst person, he said no we have had worse.

Dannnnnggg. Build me Up Buttercup, why don't you. If it wasn't for the sweat dripping down my face and the satisfaction I was feeling inside I would have given up there. I felt like I was an incipience. He even went and changed into his jeans while I was attempting to kick the bag. The last station was station 9 and that consisted of 3 minutes of a plank and then push ups as the active rest and burpees. Oh joy!!

That plank was hard. Planking and me don't get along much anyway and then add 2.5 more minutes than I normally do and well disaster zone. He was walking around telling me to not drop down, 30 seconds, generic type of messages. I tried to do a side plank or add some push ups to make up for the plank I was not doing and he was telling me to suck it up. At the end, of the work out, finally, he said alright your done. 

He didn't say great job or job we'll done or even what did you think. He made it clear he knew I wasn't coming back and that was it. I grabbed my coat and left. My legs were shaky for the work out and my arms too, I was sweaty and I felt good, but I also didn't feel good. I felt judged right away that he knew I wasn't coming back and that I was new. It was a different feeling. I didn't like it. My comfort zone was slowly closing in on me. I was upset at the experience but glad I did it.

I can tell you, I liked the work out and realized I needed to add more of those routines and work outs to my life for sure. I am a runner and that is all I really do, so I need more endurance, Clearly I don't have. I would try it again if I had a better trainer.

The moral of this story was a bad work out is still a Good Work out! I got out of my comfort zone and I tried a class I would NEVER had done before and I did it on my own. And I didn't give up. I didn't sit in my car and cry either. I looked at myself in the mirror and said you are better than that and great job. I gave myself the support I needed in that moment. And heck I burned some calories and you know what I am still a bit sore from that work out. So that is a plus. 

My advice is try something new. Do something that scares you and when it doesn't work out how you had planned, its okay, don't let it discourage you or get you done, pick yourself up and try a new one again.

I plan on doing beach yoga next :0)