Friday, December 15, 2017

2018 WDW Marathon, Planning, Packing and the Party at the Finish

Source:  GIPHY
Give yourself a HIGH-FIVE! 

Not only have you made the commitment to run a MARATHON, but YOU have made it to the end of your training! If you are anything like me, you've probably had some challenges along the way. 

In my opinion, challenges are a part of the Journey to the Marathon, and it is how we respond and how we keep going that will prepare us for the Marathon!  So, here's to YOU! 

Source: GIPHY

Now that we are less than 20 days away from the Walt Disney World Marathon, I thought I'd share some of the things this Florida native is doing to get myself prepared. 

RunDisney Forms & Information
I am sticking close to the RunDisney website, Facebook, and Twitter for any and all information I can gather. I like to have as much knowledge as possible BEFORE the race weekend, simply because the race is SO huge and SO overwhelming that I don't want to miss out. 

Here are a few KEY things you will need before you head to the Expo! 

Forgetting to print out your waiver is not  the end of the world, they will have computers and printers available at the Expo for you to print out, but you might want to go ahead and take a look at the waiver because printed on the bottom you will find your much-anticipated BIB NUMBER

2. Bib Number 
Your Bib Number helps you understand where you will line up and begin on race day. You as a runner, want to be as close to the start line as possible, this gives you an advantage because there are fewer people on the course. So, once you've gotten your bib number head on over and check out your CORRAL PLACEMENT

3. Corral Placement
In order to keep some kind of order on the course, RunDisney separates all the runners into Corrals. Each Corral represents a predicted pace. This is why it is crucial to submit a proof of time by the deadline, you might remember my fail of an attempt for a proof of time from earlier this fall (Refresh your memory

For the 2018 WDW Marathon, my POT landed me a spot in the G corral, so if you are in my corral - say Hi! 

Find out your Corral Here. 

You might always want to check out the Event Guide to see where your favorite vendors will be and start following them on Social Media. The girls over at Sparkle Athletic are amazing on Social Media and are always giving away prizes, so make sure you follow along! 

Sparkly Soul has also been known to host a giveaway or surprise sale to their social media followers! 

Now that you are RIDICULOUSLY excited for the weekend, let's talk PACKING! 

The weather in Orlando during the months of December and January are awful to predict, but here is what I can tell you based on the last couple of years of following along with this race.

In 2015, when I ran the Goofy Challenge with my husband Orlando was hit with a crazy cool front, that put the runners of the 5k, 10k and Half Marathon under FREEZING conditions at the start. I'm not talking, "freezing" for a Floridian, I'm talking actual freezing, in the 20's weather! 

The Half Marathon was so cold for this Miami girl, that I actually ran the entire race in Sweat Pants!

2015, 5 months pregnant with Baby # 2 

In 2017 my sisters were scheduled to run the Goofy Challenge, but when torrential downpours happened on Friday night and into Saturday the race was actually CANCELLED and on Sunday it was absolutely freezing for the Marathon. 

It is still too early to do a weather watch for the 2018 Marathon weekend, but typically about 10 days prior you can start to see what you might expect for RACE DAY!

So, how should you pack for the WDW Marathon Weekend?

Pack in layers for all types of weather.

Here are some of my favorite race day options to stay warm before the race!*

You've done the training, you've prepared yourself as much as possible for the festivities of the weekend, now it's time to Party!
Source: GIPHY

Now is not the time to be stressing over anything, except how much fun you will have! If you've been training and putting in the work to the best of your abilities than now is the time to sit back and enjoy the experience. There is truly nothing like running a Walt Disney World Marathon! 

Read all about my first WDW Marathon here.

Sharing is caring... 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas with Toddlers, How we are doing things a little differently this year.

Christmas is such a loved season, by so many people - myself included. I love it so much, I had a Christmas themed wedding and got married on the Saturday before Christmas 9 years ago.

Now that we have children, it's a whole new level of excitement.  Everything from the candy canes, Christmas Stories, Meeting Santa, and Decorating Gingerbread houses is exciting for them, and because of their excitement, I am also more excited for Christmas this year!

But even more than the fun of the season, I wanted my girls to see Jesus in the season. I wanted them to know the reason why we celebrate Christmas, and I wanted them to love Jesus. 

So, how do I foster of love for Jesus in an over-commercialized holiday? We talk about him, and the reason every, single, day. We read about the nativity story, act out the Christmas Story, and play with the nativity scene.  We also decided that this year, my husband and I would not purchase gifts for our two older girls (3 and 2). Instead, we have decided to let the girls pick our gifts for each other. 

It's been such a treat to listen to them talk about it, and honestly, there is nothing I could buy that would excite these sweet girls as much as the much-anticipated trip to Target.  

Additionally, we have been counting down to Christmas using an approach inspired by Esther over at Story of this Life, She wraps a gift for her girls each day in December and has them open it and they read the scripture verse together. Our family started on Tuesday, December 12th, by reading the passage and playing with the piece of the nativity scene. So far the girls are really into it, and I am so thankful that Story of This Life made a printable so I could easily do this with my family and so can you! - Get yours on their Blog! 



Monday, December 11, 2017

Raising Kind Girls in a "Mean Girls" World

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, and quickly approaching the season of life known as "2 under 2" I was given plenty of "advice". I was told things like...

"all they will do is fight, from birth to adulthood"

"it's really too bad you aren't having a boy, 

girls are too competitive with each other" 

Um... Thank you?? 

I'd often be in tears while talking with my husband about the things people would say to me and then, I gave up listening to the "advice" of the people who seemed feel as though the relationship of my two children would be strained from birth.  

Why am I going to let other people's opinions shape my expectations of how my two children would treat each other?
Didn't God give these girls to MY husband and I to raise? 

So, when our Zuzu-bug was born I made a conscious effort to guide their friendship, and help them to learn from a young age to work things out together and no matter what, to always love and support one another!

Do I have two perfect daughters who never fight or disagree? 
No, I don't. 

Do I have two girls who love each other fiercely? 

So how did I encourage kindness with my girls? 

1. Model.

Our children are like sponges. Literally, EVERYthing we do, they see. For example, my husband has a cough and is in the practice of coughing into his elbow. What did our 1-year-old start doing when she developed a cough?

Yep. She's coughing into her elbow like a little grown up. 

If we want our children to be kind and respectful, we need to check ourselves and be sure WE are being kind and respectful to our spouse, our children, and those we come into contact with. 

2. Define it. 
Children look to adults to learn the meaning of words, it's so important that we help them understand the meaning. If I want my children to "show kindness" I better be willing to give them concrete examples in their daily life. 

For instance, we can say things like thank you for helping your sister clean up the toys, that was very kind of you. 

Any time you catch your child doing something nice or kind for someone else, TELL them!  

Let praise and compliments fall off your tongue and

 watch their confidence grow! 

There is always a Reason to BE KIND. 

Let's get real for a moment, shall we? 
Do my children constantly show kindness? No, again. They are young toddlers. However, there are moments when they surprise you. Like the time at Disney when my oldest who was two at the time ran ahead as she saw two employees emptying a garbage can. She stopped, sang the cleanup song (from Barney) and said "thank you for cleaning" The smile on the cast-members face melted my heart and in that moment I knew we were on the right track! 

How can you show kindness to someone today? 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gift Ideas for the BIG SISTER or BIG BROTHER to be!

Being a Big Sister (or Brother) is a pretty exciting new chapter in a person's life. I remember when we welcomed my little sister into the world, it was a big deal. Of course, I was 5 years old so I have more memories of the time than I think my 2 and 1 year old will have, but nevertheless, I think it's important to honor them as their place in the family shifts.

Since I was induced for all of my pregnancies, I made sure to pack lots of items to keep the big sisters occupied while they waited for their baby sister to arrive!
Coloring Books! 

I packed the girls gifts in a small backpack, I used one found at the Target Dollar Spot, but something like this would probably be better quality. 

Inside the backpack we had the following:
  • New Pajama's 
  • Books
  • A new outfit
  • Bubbles
  • Coloring Books and Crayons!
  • Big Sister Button 

My girls were so excited to receive their gifts and absolutely adore their baby sister!

Question of the day: What would you include in a gift bag for a big sister or brother?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Quick, Easy, Frugal Friendly Sugar Scrub Recipe

One of my FAVORITE places to go to in Disney Springs is Basin.  I just love all the unique fragrances, hydrating scrubs, and Magical soaps!  One of my favorite products is the body scrub, I just love the way it makes my skin feel. Since adding a couple of princesses to our family, we don't get to shop in Disney Springs or visit Basin very often anymore. That's okay though, because did you know that you can make your own body scrub with just a few simple ingredients? It's true!

Basin sells a jar of their body scrub for around $35.00, but you can make your own with just three ingredients that you might already have in your home! 

Today I am going to share the recipe I recently used to create party favors for my sister in law's baby shower. This recipe was SO easy that my three year old tried to completely take over!

DIY Body Scrub
Some of my favorite essential oil scents to try. 
  • Lavender
  • Lavender and Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Peppermint and Lavender
  • DoTerra Serenity 
Why Fractionated Coconut Oil?
Fractionated coconut oil has been processed to remove the coconut scent, and also will not harden in cooler temperatures.  

Can I use regular olive oil or coconut oil for the scrub? 
Yes. You can certainly use olive oil or the coconut oil for the scrub, I have. However, please be aware that the scent of the oil can be overpowering.

Where I buy DoTerra Essential Oils
I purchase my DoTerra essential oils directly from my mom who is a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. She has used EO's for many years and has a lot of information on improving health and well-being through the use of EO's. I'd encourage you to connect with her to purchase some oils of your own.

Purchase Oils Here! 
  1. In a mixing bowl add a 50/50 mix of sugar and coconut oil. 
  2. Add 10-15 drops of essential oils
  3. Stir until you have created the consistency you prefer
    1. If the mix is too wet, add Sugar
    2. In the mix is too dry, add oil
  4. Store in a glass container and enjoy! 
These make wonderful gifts for teachers, friends, or even party favors!

Disney Tip: 
Basin can be found in two places on the Disney World Property.
1. In Disney Springs
2. The Grand Floridian Resort 
I love to go to the one inside the Grand Floridian as it is a much smaller store, and never as crowded as the one in Disney Springs. You'll also get a chance to check out the beautiful Disney resort! *Pay attention to the floor in the Grand Floridian Lobby, you might spot some Disney Pals in the tile designs.  

Get into the Holiday Spirit with this FREE Disney Experience

Want to Experience some Disney Magic this Holiday Season, but would prefer not to pay the hefty price tag for a park ticket? Check out the Christmas Tree Trail in Disney Springs!

November 10, 2017, through January 7, 2018, experience 
this festive holiday experience 

Where to park
The Christmas Tree Trail is located in the Market Place, very near to the Days of Christmas shop. However, there parking on that side of Disney Springs can be quite hectic and often full. Instead of parking on the Marketplace side, park in the Orange Garage and either walk or take the short boat ride to the other side of Disney Springs. The boat ride drops you off just outside the exit to the trail, so this option is especially great if you are traveling with any young children. 

The Christmas Tree trail features 25 trees beautifully themed after a Disney Character or one of your favorite movies.  You will also experience festive holiday music, snow and can even make reservations to see Santa Clause himself.  More details here

Each tree was beautifully themed, with intricate details about either the movie or character so you can either take a long leisurely stroll through the trail exploring each detail or just walk through enjoying the ambiance.  (Full Walking Tour on our Youtube Channel)

Whether you are leisurely walking through searching for Hidden Mickey's and Secret details or chasing your toddlers through the trail, take a look at the tree toppers, each one was so unique and so beautiful. My favorite was Miss Piggy on the Muppet Tree! 

For an added treat to the Disney fan, pay attention to the signage around each tree. 

This Disney Magic experience is sure to get you into the Holiday Spirit! 

If you are traveling with older Children, or adults only check out Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt. This FREE Scavenger hunt through Disney Springs. Ask a cast member for your guide, and head on a tour through Disney Springs. If you complete the hunt, you will be eligible for a surprise! This activity could absolutely be completed with babies and toddlers but might be a little more challenging. 

If you are looking to add some FREE Disney Magic to your holidays, check out these two great Family Friendly Experiences in Disney Springs! 
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! 


Add to the Magic with these Fun and Festive Products!*

*Amazon Affiliate Link. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

What's in my Lunchbox? Family of 5

Need some lunchbox inspiration? Look no further! Here are the items that I pack for an afternoon at the Zoo, Park or Theme Park with my family!

  • Sandwiches 
    • Peanut Butter only for the girls, cut into fun shapes!
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly for my husband and I
  • Nuts (for mom and Dad)
    • Almonds have been my favorite right now 
  • Fruit (pick 2)
    • Apples
    • Grapes
    • Clementines
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
  • Veggies (1 or 2)
    • Grape Tomatoes
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
    • Peppers
  • Cheese
    • Cubed
    • Cheese Stick
  • Yogurt
    • I like to freeze them, they are the perfect temperature by the time we eat lunch 
  • Something Crunchy (1 or 2)
    • Granola Bars
    • Puffs
    • Cereal
    • Pretzels
My current favorite lunch box is one that I purchased from my friend Deanna who is a Thirty-One consultant. 

The Around the Clock Thermal is perfect for packing lots of snacks for your day at a theme park, the local park or zoo. Some of my favorite features include a long strap for cross body carrying, front zipper to carry hand sanitizer and a small trash bag. 

Current Price: $30.00

Get yours from your local thirty-one representative or from my friend Deanna

Let's support as many small shops and small businesses as we can this Holiday Season. Let me know in the comments below, what are some of your favorite small businesses? 


2018 WDW Marathon, Planning, Packing and the Party at the Finish

Source:   GIPHY Give yourself a HIGH-FIVE!  Not only have you made the commitment to run a MARATHON, but YOU have made it to the en...