Monday, July 31, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon Training, Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of Marathon Training! If you want to read all about my treadmill fail, head on over to week 4. ;-)

Sunday, July 23
Monday, July 24
  • Rest Day 
Tuesday, July 25
  • Outdoor Running
    • 1.89 miles
    • 26:07
    • 13:49 pace
Wednesday -  Saturday
I stopped focusing on my Marathon Training and focused on prayer. Saturday I ran two prayerful miles while listening to hymns.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
 But the Lord is faithful.
 He will establish you 
and guard you against  the evil one.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Host a Tangled Party on a Tiny Budget! - Part 2

I recently shared about our daughters Rapunzel party, and how I did the whole party on a TINY budget. I thought I'd take some time to go over the DIY's we did, and how we saved some money during the process.

DIY Sun Stencil

When hosting a Tangled party it is impossible to skip over the detail of the sun. The image of the sun is painted throughout the movie, and I wanted it to be a part of our party. I thought about ordering a cookie cutter of the sun that we could use as a stencil and then make cookies. However, we decided to create a stencil by using a printed out image of the sun, glued it to card board and then used an exacto knife to cut it out.

It worked out well and we made lots of different banners with our simple stencil.

DIY Wanted Posters

Another detail I wanted to incorporate into the party was the Wanted Posters.  For this, we simply purchased white and brown paint poster pant. We used a car seat box for the signs, and then set up a photo booth. It was a lot of fun to see all the photos at the end of the party.  

DIY Hair
We hosted the party in my in-laws beautiful back yard. Ever since the pergola was completed, I couldn't wait to decorate it for a party! Rapunzel's hair was the PERFECT thing to do just that.  

Originally I thought I would purchase several yellow table cloths and braid them into a long piece of hair. However, the longer I thought about it, the more complicated that seemed to be. So, we purchased a large roll of yellow plastic table cloth and cut it into three strips. 


  • Unroll the Table Cloth 
  • Cut into three strips
  • put a rubber band around one end 
    • have 1 person hold the end 
  • three people will then braid the hair loosely 
    • much like in the film 

More Hair

We also incorporated Rapunzel's hair into the food and beverage table. At my local walmart, yellow yarn was only .50 a package, so I purchased several packages and made several braids, and wrapped the yarn around baskets and then I hot glued a three onto a picture frame as additional decoration.  

Tsum Tsum's

I found several Rapunzel Tsum Tsum's on clearance at a Disney outlet store a few months before the party, so I just pulled them out of the toy bin and placed them around the party for additional decoration. 

Cake Topper
My sister in law's wedding theme was "Best Day Ever", and she was kind enough to allow us to use her cake topper for the wedding - it was such a beautiful touch. Instead of ordering a speciality cake, we just picked up a simple cake with flowers from the grocery store. 

As you can see, the party was put together with very simple materials but, in my opinion looked beautiful! 

Happy party planning! I'd love to see photos of your party, be sure to tag me on instagram so that I can see them! 

_ _ _
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Monday, July 24, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon Training, Week 4

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. 

Charles R. Swindoll
Week 3 - Marathon Training 

Month 1 of Marathon Training is DONE!
Are you kidding me?  I simply cannot believe how fast it's going, and one month in I'm still feeling excited about it! (Hallelujah)

Here is a recap of my workouts from Week 4 of Marathon Training

Sunday, July 16, 2017
  • PIYO Upper Body 
    • 20 Minutes
Also, there may have been some extra sweets enjoyed... 

Monday, July 17, 2017
  • Rest Day 
I am really enjoying Monday as a full rest day, I find it is just what my body needs after the weekend.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
  • Family Walk
    •  40 minutes
    • 1.81 miles
  • Family Swim
    • 20 minutes
  • Training Run 
    • 20 minutes
    • 1.40 miles
    • 14:17 Pace

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

  • PIYO Scuplt
    • 26 minutes
  • Yoga 
    • 10 minutes

Thursday, July 20, 2017
  • Yoga 
    • 20 minutes
  • Training Run
    • 18 minutes
    • 1.15 miles
    • 15.39 Pace

Friday, July 21, 2017

  • Rest Day 
    • Took the girls to Story time at the Library and Explored a New Park! 
A post shared by Erin 💃🏼 (@storybookerin) on

Saturday, July 22, 2017

  • Treadmill
    • 2 Miles
    • 14:43 MM Pace
  • Elliptical 
    • 3 Miles
    • 16 MM Pace

I intended to run outside, but I just didn't get up - So I took advantage of a quiet house and slept until 8:30 a.m. (completely unheard of in my house) and then went and did my run on the treadmill. Around mile 2, I was running faster than the treadmill belt and I hit the emergency shut off switch by mistake and got flung into the front of the treadmill. 

So, I decided to finish off on the elliptical. 
"I can be beautiful, lovely and fair Silvery voice, long purple hair La la la la, la la la la la La la la la la, la la la la la la But it's only skin deep For, zim zabberim zim I am an ugly old creep The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" . FUN FACT: I was mad madam mim for the 2014 Tower of Terror 10-miler! It was also the weekend we shared with our family that baby #2 was on the way. Did 2 miles on the treadmill, 3 miles on the elliptical today. I was having trouble with the treadmill (kept turning off on me). ☹️ . . . . . #theswordandthestone #madmadammim #disney #disneyig #disneymom #motherrunner #fitmom #werunmiami #flrunner #postpartumrunning #postpartum #magickingdom #marathontraining #wdw #wdwmarathon #wdwmemories #costumerunner #tuturunner #tutu #teamsparkle
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Thoughts on the Week
This was a rough week for me, I didn't feel well and my knees were hurting. I'm going to take it easy for a couple of days and do lots of stretching and perhaps some foam rolling so I can stay strong and injury free. 

Looking forward to week 5!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to Host a Tangled Party on a TINY Budget.

The Setting 
It's two weeks before your daughter's third birthday, and you have spent months planning all the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DIY's you are going to do for your daughters birthday. The last thing to do is buy the supplies and your daughter a cute new dress.

You log onto with your daughter to pick our a Minnie mouse dress and she asks "Where are the Rapunzel dresses for my Rapunzel party?"

Um... What?

Yes, that actually happened to me and I literally had 1 week to switch gears, and get my daughter's Rapunzel party pulled together on a budget!

Step 1: Set a Budget
If you want to host an amazing party on a lower budget, it's important to SET a budget with your spouse or co-party planner. It's crucial to have open communication about the budget and keep track of your spending.

Step 2: Head on over to Pinterest!
I spent a few hours one-afternoon pinning ideas and writing out a shopping list.
Check out our planning board here.

Step 3: Know your DIY limitations
I got really inspired on Pinterest and wanted to do so many things. However, we were on a budget and short on time so I really had to pick and choose. As much as I wanted to make lots of lanterns and hang them on the pergola, I knew I couldn't get it done. So, I spent my time braiding yarn and making lots of banners with our stencil (made from cardboard).

Step 4: Simplify.
There are SO many wonderful and adorable ideas out there, you could host the same theme party every year until your child turns 18 and never have the same decorations. That's the beauty of Disney, there are so many ways to create a beautiful party.

Don't get overwhelmed. Simplify your decorations, and only emphasize one or two things.  For our party, we emphasized Rapunzel's hair and the color of her dress (purple).

Step 5: Relax and Enjoy
Don't fuss over what could have been different or better. As soon as your child see's the party all put together, I invite you to embrace the moment. Make the day special and beautiful for them. My daughter absolutely LOVED her party, and spoke about it for months after!

Embrace the moment, capture the smiles and give the gift of your PRESENCE.

Wishing you THE BEST DAY EVER as you celebrate the Tangled Fan in your life.

If you are interested in the details of how we accomplished the DIY's, I'd be happy to go into more detail! Just let me know. 

Read PART TWO Here! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: Training Week 3

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. 
Sunday, July 9

  • 17 Minutes, Rockin' Body with Shaun T 
  • 20 Minutes, Yoga and Pilates Routine
  • 30 Minutes, Family Swim 
Monday, July 10

  • Rest Day / House Cleaning

Tuesday, July 11

  • 30 Minutes, Treadmill
    • 2.10 miles
    • 14:17 MM Pace 
Wednesday, July 12

  • 16 minutes, Rockin Body with Shaun T! 
Thursday, July 13

Friday, July 14

  • 25 Minutes, Lap Swimming / Family Swim Time
Saturday, July 15

  • 45 Minutes, Stroller Run
    • 3.13 Miles
    • 14:20 MM 

Thoughts on the Week
I had a pretty good week, my goal is to be active at least 6 days a week. I just find when I am more active on non-running days, I am more motivated to actually train! I've been really struggling with being hangry.... so for week 4, I am going to do some better meal planning for lunches!

Disney Bounding
Since I am running the Walt Disney World Marathon, I have decided to dress up for all of my training runs! Follow along in real time over on my Disney Instagram page!  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Is Aaptiv worth the investment?

I was so thankful for the opportunity to preview the fitness app Aaptiv for a few weeks. The timing was ideal as I just started Marathon training, and am always in need of motivation.

What is Aaptiv?
We founded Aaptiv with the goal of bringing an elevated workout experience to a global community. We use technology to make that experience accessible anytime, anywhere – whether you’re working out at your local gym in LA or running outside while traveling in London. - source
Aaptiv provides audio classes for you to listen to right from your own home or gym. These classes are hosted by a professional trainer and incorporate motivational music throughout.  There are many classes to choose from, no matter your fitness level or how much time you have to squeeze in a fitness routine there is something for you. 

Classes Include: 
  • Core Workouts
  • Running
    • Outdoor
    • Indoor
  • Running Training Plans
    • 5K
    • 10K
    • 1/2 Marathon
    • Full Marathon
  • Walking
  • 7-minute Quick Hits
  • Elliptical
  • Strength Training
  • Indoor Cycling
  • Stair Climber
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Meditation
  • Programs & Challenges
  • NEW Maternity 
    • Prenatal Classes
    • Stroller Workouts

Benefits of Using Aaptiv

I really enjoyed the trainers, and the coaching. Especially for treadmill runs. I am not a fan of treadmill running. However, it is so hot right now in Miami, that I have to do my midweek training runs on the treadmill. So, having a coach cheering me on, playing great music is a HUGE motivation, and it actually keeps me on the treadmill. 

Now that I've played around in the app, and taken quite a few classes, here is a quick list of benefits I found with using Aaptiv
  • Portable
  • Access to Trainer Bio's
  • Current Music
  • Motivating Trainers
  • Ability to Favorite classes
    • set reminders
  • Ability to share workouts with your favorite social media accounts
Things I didn't LOVE about Aaptiv
Overall, I was very happy with the app. I was really motivated by the trainers, and even found my running speed increase through the help of the app. However, I like to share my honest thoughts with my readers and felt it important to share a few things that I personally didn't love.
  • Calorie Tracking / Mile Tracking
    • Since you don't put in your actual weight nor GPS location, there is no proof that you actually kept pace with the class. Therefore, your app will day "ran 2.0 miles" but in reality you may have only ran 1.5
      • not a huge deal, but for someone who likes to keep records of miles and pace, it can be a little frustrating.
  • All Audio / No Video 
    • Since this is an Audio App, there is no visual demonstration of moves. Obviously, it's an Audio app. However, I felt like because of the lack of visuals it could be a little intimidating for someone who was new to working out. For example, I listened to a couple of the *Newly Launched* prenatal fitness routines with my sister in law, who is currently expecting, and she had many questions on the moves.
How much does Aaptiv Cost? 
  • Monthly Fee 
    • 9.99
  • Yearly Fee
    • 99.99
  • Lifetime Membership
    • 399.99
Is it worth it?
I go back and forth on this question, and ultimately I think it is a good investment for someone who is looking to have access to classes and coaches without re-arranging their lives to attend the classes. This would be ideal for someone who is in college, or lives in a neighborhood and has access to a gym with many types of equipment but lacks the motivation to get on a machine and workout. 

If you have the money in your budget, and have made a commitment to yourself to workout - I say YES, YES, YES!! This app is absolutely a great thing for you to have. However, if you are more on a budget, or just getting into fitness and learning the lingo this might not be the right time for you to invest in this program.  

Interested in checking out the classes, or the NEWLY LAUNCHED MATERNITY WORKOUTS, go here for a FREE 7-day trial! 

Some of my favorite classes included:

  • Yoga / Stretch  
    • Prepare of Sleep
    • Runners Stretch
    • Chill Vibes, Evening Stretches
  • Running 
    • Move, Dance, Run It Out
    • Drip Drop Hills

Monday, July 10, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: Training Week 2

The label of "marathoner" has, from the beginning, been awarded to those who went the distance under their own power, whether they ran, walked, crawled or tiptoed. When you cross that finish line, you've entered an elite group. About one-tenth of one percent of the population has done it. Don't let anyone take that great achievement away from you. 
 Jeff Galloway 

It's so hard to believe that week two of Marathon Training is already over, last week I struggled with motivation, but THIS week I am bursting with excitement to get out the door for my runs! I know I won't be this chipper about running every week so I will be sure to take advantage of the energy. 

Sunday, July 2
  • Pilates, 3 minute routine 
Monday, July 3
  • Yoga, 9 minutes of stretching 
  • Stroller Workout, 10 minutes
Tuesday, July 4
  • Yoga, 16 minutes of stretching 
Thursday, July 6
Friday, July 7
  • Rest Day
Saturday, July 8
This run was really difficult for me, but I'm proud of myself for getting out the door. But, thanks to the support of my loving husband I got out the door! You can read more about the details of my morning over on my main instagram!
I knew Marathon training with 3 kids 3 and under would be difficult, but today... it seemed like everything was against me. Hungry baby @ 2 Awake toddler @ 5 Awake baby @ 5:15 Finally at 6:15 I took the toddler to daddy, finished feeding the baby (who was wide awake) and got the stroller out. 3 flat tires. 3!!!!!! Couldn't get the pump to work 😒 Had to wake daddy AGAIN 😩 He got me on my way, and about 1.5 miles away from home it started to POUR! 😰 I don't share this story to make anyone feel anything but motivated to get some exercise in - it's not easy, sometimes everything seems against you, but it's worth it! . . . . . . #runhappy #rundisney #teamsparkle #unsupermommy #stroller #strollerrunner #bob #wdw #wdwmarathon #motherrunner #threeunderthree #momofthree #momlife #werunmiami #miami #flblogger #floridalife #miamiblogger @bobgearus #bobgear
A post shared by Erin 💃🏼 (@storybookerin) on

Looking forward to week three!

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

MOM HACKS: Postpartum Hair Loss & Regrowth!

Remember when you were pregnant, and everything seemed to glow? 

If you, like me, find yourself sweeping up enormous amounts of hair from you floor, or constantly cleaning your shower drains and vacuum cleaners, fear not. 

You are NOT alone. 

Our hair goes through different cycles. There will be times when your hair is in a state of rest, and then will shed. According to what I've read, when you are not expecting, you loose about 100 hairs a day. However, once you become pregnant, your body slows down the cycles. Thus, keeping those 100 hairs nicely on your head.

Once your beautiful baby is born, and your hormones start to go back to normal... the cycle returns and your hair begins to fall. With all three of my pregnancies, this happened between 3-5 months postpartum. It's quite unfortunate that just about the time I was feeling like a human, and getting the hang of motherhood my hair started falling out.

Now that I've gone through this process three times, I thought I'd share my tips and tricks for handling the postpartum hair loss chapter in your journey through motherhood. 

1. Embrace it. 
  • My mantra for this season of motherhood, is you are not alone. As with many of the unfortunate side effects and experiences with giving birth, this is just for a season. You are not the only one to deal with it, and even though when you look in the mirror you feel like you are going totally bald, just think of the precious child you brought into this world and know you are amazing and to that little one, you are the most perfect and beautiful woman they've ever seen. 
2. Brush Gently. 
  • Treat your hair very gently. Yes, the hair is going to fall - it's part of the cycle. In my experience, my scalp was very sensitive and using a brush just seemed to make the hair fall worse and it didn't grow back any faster! So, I used a wide tooth comb and only brushed it when it was completely dry. 
3. Soft hair styles. 
  • You may find that putting your hair up in a pony tale or bun with elastic or bobby pins pulls on your hair and causes discomfort. So, my go-to hair style in the midst of my hair loss was very loosely clipped into a bun, or loose braids.  This seemed to help me not feel like I was going bald, and that I made an effort on my appearance. 
4. Stimulate your Scalp 
  • After my first daughter was born, I used a shampoo infused with tea-tree oil and other oils that are great for stimulating new hair growth. It was one recommended to me at the Salon and I did find that I noticed a tingly sensation, and my hair began to grow back pretty swiftly.  After baby three, I turned to essential oils once again and have been seeing success with them.  I've been using what I refer to as my "Rapunzel Blend" and have been seeing lots of new hair growth! 
Recipe for the Rapunzel Blend
20 Drops Rosemary Essential Oils
20 Drops Lavender Essential Oils
10 Drops Peppermint Essential Oils

The Rosemary and Peppermint are excellent for stimulating the scalp for new growth, and the lavender is a nice calming gentle oil that helps keep your scalp healthy. 

How to Apply the Rapunzel Blend
  • Add a few drops to your shampoo and massage into the scalp
Pro-Tip: I like to wash my hair in the evening and find that the aroma of peppermint and lavender assist with relaxation and tension. 

MOMHACKS: Styling New Hair Growth 

Let's face is, new hair growth can be awful to try and style. Here are my favorite tips for feeling put together when you have crazy baby hairs! 
  1. Wear a hat - This is my GO-TO option for play dates and going out doors.
  2.  Coconut Oil - just a TINY little bit smoothed onto the new baby hairs will give them some moisture, and help put them into place without use of product
  3.  Gel and Water
    1. After baby number two the regrowth was CRAZY, I would put a a tiny little bit of gel in my hands, rub it together then add some water and plaster those baby hairs to my head. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: Let's chat about Week 1 of Marathon Training!!

It's not quite midnight so there's still time right? 

I can't believe week one of Marathon Training has already ended, and I am SO excited for January!! My husband was traveling at the beginning of the week, so I really wasn't able to get any workouts in until he returned.

Monday - Wednesday - No formal exercise

Thursday: 25 Minute Hill Repeats on the Treadmill
I felt really good during the workout, but the next morning I was pretty sore. I think It will be really important for me to work in some bridge and hill training for all those overpasses on the course!

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 3 Mile Run
Since it was week one, and I really haven't done much running since January I was sure to take it easy. I also knew we'd be walking around the zoo most of the day with our girls so I wanted to be sure I had some energy for that.

After the zoo we went swimming for a little while, and it was a beautiful Saturday and close to week 1 of Marathon Training!!

In case you missed it...
I'm running the WDW Marathon January 2018

What to do in the Everglades with Children

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