Friday, February 28, 2014

Loving my new Apera bag, perfect for athletes who travel

I recently received a new Apera Tech bag.  For those of you who know me, you know I love pink so I couldn't resist picking the fuchsia color!
You are going to love this bag, as much as I do!  Let me tell you many reasons why.

When I travel, I rarely if ever use check-on luggage. Generally, it's just my carry-on suitcase and a smaller bag.
But the truth is, last time I flew my bag caught on one of the corners and tore.  Which is why I chose the new Apera Tech bag as my new travel replacement bag.

Also, Apera bags are considered healthy bags.  They have a special Antimicrobial Product Protection in the material.  In other words, it resists bacterial odor.  (Is that not perfect for athletes and their clothes or what?)
Plus, the material can be easily wiped down if you need to clean it up.


This past week, I've been using the bag in my daily life, home, business and my job.  It has so much space and storage that it can be used in many ways.  Let me show you a bit more.


There is a large back compartment, that is nicely padded.  Perfect for tablets or even a large laptop like the one I put in it pictured to the right.  You won't have to worry about things getting damaged, because of the protective thick padding on both sides.

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My Apara bag also has this easy access front zipper pocket.  (pictured left) Which I have found is the perfect size to store your ID, cash funds, or tickets.  There are nice quality zippers so you won't have to worry about anything falling out.

Additionally, there is another smaller pocket along the top of the bag.  This pocket is also padded for protection.  (pictured just below)
Personally, I think this is a great place to store your tunes or smart phone.  You won't have to worry about damage to it, since it is in a protected area.

Runners or other fitness enthusiasts will love these next features.  These bags have a healthier approach to their design.
The shoe compartments are separated from the rest of the compartments, so that you won't have to worry about a smelly shoe smell getting onto anything else.
Plus, say you just worked out and had to throw them in the bag real quick to go.  They also have these nice individual air vents build into the shoe pockets, so your shoes can actually begin to dry out while you are on the go.   They are also deep pockets, so your shoes fit easily into them. (I told you, you'd love this bag.)




The largest compartment on the bag is great.  If you are heading out for a quick weekend race, and only needed to pack for a day or two plus your running gear, you could totally just pack everything into this bag and not have to worry about lugging around a separate bag!





The best part is, this tech bag also comes with a removable washable insert.  So if you headed out for a race weekend and didn't want to pack your stinky race clothes in with the rest of the bag.  Just put them into the insert bag and keep your dirty items separate from the rest of your packed items. (Pictured right.)



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On each side of the bag you will find a place you can hold a water bottle. However, I also found that it can also fit a book.  I was easily able to put a water bottle on one side, and my book on the other.  This way they were both quick and easy access.




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If you are taking off for a bit longer, and you plan on taking a carry-on roller suitcase.  You'll notice the pass through on the back of the bag, that allows you to easily slip the handle down through the bag.  That way you can tote it around and keep everything you have together.

You may also notice in the picture the air vents on the back straps, I've already decided this is a great feature if you plan on carrying the Tech bag around or take it hiking.  You'll know even if it's hot, you'll be cooler than you would with other bags!

In fact I can't wait to take this bag with me on my upcoming trip in a few weeks in the Caribbean.  I've already tested it out, and it is going to be perfect to not only use as a carry-on at the airports.
But when I am visiting the different islands, I plan on taking my Apera bag with me, so I can keep all my beach gear, running shoes, sun screen, camera and diving gear all in one place.





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Apera has several bag styles to choose from, so different athletes can find the design that fits their needs best.  Additionally, Apera gives the Special Olympics one bag for every three bags they sell.  Isn't that incredibly generous?
Additionally, they offer free shipping and no hassle returns.  With that in mind, you know you can't go wrong with these bags!
These bags were designed specifically for the athlete in mind.  Visit their website to learn more, and share the news of these awesome Apera bags with your fitness friends.







Disclaimer: Apera provided me with a complimentary bag of my choice for a review.  I was not required to write a positive review, and I was not compensated to do so.  All thoughts and opinions above are my own.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Are you a runner? Can I spotlight you?


If you read my blog, you probably know that each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.  I decided to take this particular Thursday and see if any of YOU my blog readers are interested in being spotlighted.

What kind of a runner do you have to be, to be spotlighted?
ANY KIND!  Runners come in all shapes and sizes, all speeds and distances, beginner or expert.  You could have just gotten up yesterday and went out for your first run of 10 steps today, or ran your 100th marathon.

I believe every runner has a great story, something inspirational about them that might inspire others to find their own motivation within to begin their own fitness journey.
Even if you don't think you have something special to offer, let me spotlight you and prove you wrong!  Because I truly believe everyone has something super special about them!

Haven't seen my runner spotlights and want to know more about what is involved?
You can visit this page HERE and click to see past spotlights that have been done.
If you have a few minutes check a few out, there have been some amazing spotlights done!

What is required of you?
It actually quite easy, I provide you with all the questions you will need.  You can answer all of them, or just the ones you want to answer.
Then you just take a few minutes when you have them, and enjoy answering the questions.  Have fun with your answers, or be as serious as you want, the choice is entirely up to you.
When your done, you'll send them back to me along with up to 6 photo's that you'll allow me to use in the spotlight.  (However, if you don't want to send a picture, you do not have to.)

How do you get a spotlight date reserved?
I only do 1 spotlight each Thursday and I run them on a first come basis.  So when I get your answers back I will email you the date of your spotlight.  Depending on how many I get at a given time, your date could be a few weeks to a couple of months out.
But don't worry if you forget about it, I'll send an email the day before it runs to remind you to come check it out, so you can share it with your family and friends.

My only rule to my spotlights, you just can't put down any other type of runner/speed/distance in any of your answers.  If you do, I reserve the right to remove that portion when I am putting your spotlight together.

Other information you might like to know: 
* If you have a blog I will add a link to it on the spotlight.  (But you don't have to be a blogger.)
* If you want your Twitter or Facebook pages linked to in the spotlight, consider it a done deal.
I actually also try to copy you on Facebook and Twitter when I do my daily social media mentions about the spotlight.
Don't worry about personal information.  I won't link to personal facebook pages (Unless you ask me to) and I only include your FIRST NAME in the spotlight.  You can mention where you are from if you'd like, or if you'd rather, you don't have to.

Have any other questions?  
Just shoot me an email, or ask me in the comments below and I will get back to you!

So what are you waiting for, let me take a Thursday and turn it into YOUR day.  You are unique and you never know who you'll inspire by sharing a bit about why your a runner!

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For those interested, its simple.  
* Just send me an email.
* Subject line: RUNNER SPOTLIGHT
* If you are a blogger, send me a link to your blog and I'll do my best to personalize a few of the questions for you.  But if you don't, don't worry I have lots of fun questions that fit runners of all kinds!

MY EMAIL: 
runawaybridalplanner(AT)hotmail(DOT)com
You will need to add the @ and the . to the email address.  I wrote it this way to keep spammers away!

If your interested, I would absolutely love to spotlight you!  Send me an email at anytime, and I'll get back to you between 24-48 hours with your questions.  You can take your time and get them back to me when you have them finished!




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Payback in Panama - By Noel Hynd - Book Review

When I first decided to read this book, I actually didn't know it was the final book in what is called The Cuban Trilogy.  However, I actually didn't notice until I set the book down and glanced closer at the cover.  Although it intrigues me to want to read the rest of the series, I will say it was a great stand alone book for someone like me who didn't know.

Alexandra Lacuca is a U.S Treasury Agent, from the beginning of the book she is thrown into important decisions and plots against her.  She's been working on a case against a dangerous cartel, The Dosi Cartel.  She wants them out of the picture for good, and they want her dead.

She's also dating one of Hollywood's most loved actors, and as her relationship deepens she is torn between a job she loves and the man she loves.  Her boyfriend Eric is worried that one day she'll leave on the job, and never return and he won't ever know where she was or what happened.  Alex is torn between telling the man she is falling more and more deeply in love with, the truth about her situation and where she must go and what she must do.  Or playing by the rules of her job, and giving no explanation.

As the situation between herself and the Dosi cartel escalates.  She is questioning her own life and where is going more and more.  So much so, that she may be putting herself and her life at risk.  Alex begins calling up some old contacts, getting their help and opinion on the situation.  Left with a moral dilemma on what to do, she chooses a path that feels right, but could very well be her last.

Payback in Panama by Noel Hynd is fast paced and filled with enough suspense and intrigue to keep you flying through the pages.  This book is Christian faith based, and clean and appropriate for any age reader.  However, because of the content and types of conflict I believe is would be more enjoyed for ages 18 and up.  Like I mentioned above, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.  I put this one on my highly recommend list of books!


Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Updates - Blog Hop Sign Up

This past week, I got over my illness.  I've felt better and better each day.  So I took advantage of it, and started up my daily workout routine again.
I am really excited even if a bit apprehensive for this week.  If everything goes well, I should get my first actual running workout in a bit later today.
I only plan on doing as the Dr. and PT recommended and starting out with 20-50 meters of running, preceded and followed by walking.
That may not sound like much, but its a start to a long process of getting back into it all again.
If no pains, or re-pulls on the injury, then I will likely do it again Wednesday at either the same or just slightly more.  Possibly by Friday working up to 100 meters.
So fingers crossed, as long as the injury doesn't act up then I will consider it a success and my slow start to getting back to running again.

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As for my weekly weight loss progress, I only lost 1/2 a pound.  But I actually consider that a huge success.  Because after loosing so much weight while I was sick, I was sure I'd gain a good portion of it back when I started feeling better and got my appetite back.
But I really went strict with my diet this week so I could avoid that.  I cut my calories back to 1,000 - 1,200 a day.  I did a 50 minute workout each day, even on the ones I still wasn't feeling the best.  Although I won't lie, I wasn't perfect I did have what I would call 2 cheat dinner meals this week, and on those days I couldn't resist having a Pepsi to go with them (no one is perfect:)
So all in all, I am pretty happy with the week!

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I want to give a little mention of the Spring into Fitness Giveaway Blog Hop coming up in a few weeks.  
A blog hop is a group of blogs that join together for a fun giveaway link up.  Each blog hosts their own giveaway, and at the end of their giveaway will have a link to the rest of the blogs in the hop.  Its a great way to discover new blogs, and find new blog followers.

There is still 2 weeks left to decide if you want to join up with us.
If your interested, need more information.  Make sure you CLICK HERE and read all of the rules before signing up.
After you've read the rules, if you are interested we would love to have you join our growing list of bloggers in the blog hop.





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I wish I had more to report, but rather than bore you with mundane details, I think I will just keep this week's ME post a little on the short side.  If you have a blog post today that you want to link up, you can link it up right below.  Have a great week everyone!!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Boost Your Blog in 100 Days Challenge

I am excited to be a part of this challenge.  I haven't ever done anything like this before, but I am looking forward to getting to know the other bloggers involved at the 100 day challenge goes on.
boost blog 400 host Why Thaleia choose 100 Days? Well, to be honest I am a very, very busy mom of 4 children 11 years and under. I do not have extra time to spend laboring over by blog and Social Media. I want results and habits that can transform the limited time I have into something incredible. Spreading out 10 challenges over 10 days each just sounds better to me. Spending just 10-15 minutes a day versus an hour or two makes more sense to me. Easing into each new challenge should help create a habit a little easier. This will also give you a better understanding of why a particular challenge should be done daily or weekly and how it has helped you. Quick clarification- anyone with a blog CAN participate. I did seek out an initial 100 bloggers to help promote this series in exchange I am using their blogs to direct people to during the 10 days of Comments Challenge. Hope I have not confused anyone. You may do one or all 10 challenges at your own pace or join in daily.

Meet the Hostesses:

honey 400 Honey Rowland blogs at Honeys Life about homeschooling, family life and green living. With a passion for self sufficiency and natural, special needs parenting you'll learn about everything from natural, local foods to essential oils and homeopathy to gardening and farm life. Honey has also turned the constant 'talks too much' report card comments into a home business. She runs social media while obtaining new sponsors and advertisers for herself and other bloggers. So whether you're curious about chickens or children, ask...'cause she's dabbled and babbled in just about everything   Michelle Simplify Live loveMichelle Marine blogs at Simplify, Live, Love where she shares down to earth tips for the thoughtful mama. Michelle. along with her husband, 4 kids and a bunch of animals, lives sustainably in barn on 5 acres in rural Eastern Iowa. Michelle is an avid gardener and from-scratch cook of real food; she cans produce, homeschools, and teaches community college classes in addition to blogging. Her husband is building their forever home to the German Passive House standards and they plan to live off grid yet still enjoy modern conveniences. Simplify, Live, Love chronicles their attempts to live sustainably and strives to remind people to live simply and frugally yet still enjoy life.   MartielMartiel Beatty from Amazing Success Academy specializes in helping artists build online businesses and blogs. She is a fiber artist, expert blogger, author of Blog Notes, and GIMP Wizard. She is also the founder of Sewmantra and started the Academy because she couldn’t find an affordable, knowledgeable and effective program that supported handmade, indie-artists. Find out how she can help you build your business today. Learn More Now!     lisa family Lisa Nelson from The Squishable Baby focuses on creating positive learning experiences through everyday life. I believe that learning about – and respecting diversity, different religions, other cultures, charity, and our environment – through play, through crafts, through lessons, through giving – will not only produce more empathetic children and adults – but will put a child on a path to a love of lifelong learning.

  Thaleia 300 lightThaleia Maher blogs at Something 2 Offer where she is generous in giving advice and helping others find free resources that meet their needs; be it for homeschool or life! She is a BIG researcher who wants to encourage families on their homeschool journey. Wife to high school sweetheart. Mother of four (including 2 little reds!), Sister, Daughter, Christ-Follower, Talkative, Creative. Hoping to figure this whole life, blogger, social media thing out! So be sure to keep tabs on her journey of life.   Days 1-10: Leave 100 Comments with Thaleia begins Feb 15. Days 11-20: Grammar Mistakes Bloggers Make with Michelle Days 21-30: Using Twitter with Honey Days 31-40: Topics for 100 Blog Posts with Martiel Will reveal more soon! So stay tuned! Want an email reminder when a new Boost Your Blog challenge goes live ? Sign-up! We are all working together over the next 100 days to improve our blogs.

Don't just sit there: tell your friends, tweet about it, share on Facebook, pin this post, add it to your !


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Friday, February 21, 2014

Circuit training and soon to be back to running

Originally I had a 6 week plan.  I was going to work out 6 days a week, and do a circuit training program DVD by Jillian Michaels.  However, just as I started doing it, I became ill and well lets just say my 6 week idea, has now turned into a 4 week idea.
Why 4 weeks?  Well my original plan back in January was to drop as close to possible of 30 pounds before I took off on my cruise.

If your wondering why I picked the Jillian Michaels DVD, well with just a few minor alterations on a few of the jumping moves.  I am able to pretty much do all the rest, with allowing my work injury to not re-injure.  It's a 40 minute circuit training program and judging from how sore I am this week, works my body pretty much all over!  It also combines cardio and light weights, so you get the benefits of fat burning and toning at the same time.

So my goal is like I said above to do the entire workout 6 days a week for the next 4 weeks.  I am happy to say, with only tomorrow to go.  I have made it through this week.
I also am happy to say, I am sore!  I love the soreness, I haven't been able to have this feeling in over a year now, and it feels incredible!
I am so excited to see my results in the coming weeks! 
In addition to the daily circuit training, I have also altered my diet significantly.  I have dropped my daily calorie intake to around 1,200.  I no longer drink Pepsi everyday.  In fact, I haven't in over a month now.  I also rarely eat out, and have improved my diet in the healthy standards to a level I am far more pleased with!  I do allow one day a week that I call my cheat day, this is the day if I am going to eat out, or if I do want a soda I will have one.  However, the healthier I am becoming, the less and less my cravings for cheat foods are.  Which is why as of earlier this week on Monday I'd lost 16.5 pounds so far (Since Jan 5th).

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Now onto my other news.  So for about 14 months now, all you've heard me talk about is the stupid work injury.  Well, after many visits with Dr's and Specialists, numerous X-Ray's and MRI, several months in a boot up to my knee, lots of Physical Therapy appointments, as well as lots of in home Physical Therapy. 
I am happy to announce that it has finally been mending and showing incredible signs that it is healing nicely.
It allows me to walk up to 3 miles a day at times with no additional pain or flare ups.

Also, when I started Physical Therapy back in I believe it was September.  For those who read my blog, may know that I could not even go up on my tip toes even once.  In fact, I had zero muscles there so I literally physically could not do it, and trying to do so brought on lots of pain.
Well, it's taken many months, and even up to a month ago I still struggled to go up on my tip toes more than 1-2 times.  But I am thrilled to announce, I can now do it double leg going up on my tip toes well over 30 times in a row.
Additionally, I can do it single leg style up to 10 times, all without any pain!  (I might be able to do more, but it's a gradual process so I haven't gone beyond that yet.)

So what does this all mean, it means that its a definite possibility that my body may be ready to start running again.
Doing so will be a slow process I may only be able to run 20-50 meters at a time or a day.  With a couple day's break in between to watch for flare ups.  But it's a start, and I have had to go at this whole injury thing slowly anyway so that I could be certain I would be able to run again.  So I guess you could say patience has been forced upon me, and I can handle the slow build back into running again.

Now this part may sound incredibly crazy to you.  But even as bad as I am itching to get back into running.  I have to say, I am actually scared to death to do so.
I know weird huh!
Let me explain, this injury has been so long, and I've had so many setbacks and restarts on recover that there is a part of me that is terrified that if I start running again, even as little as it may be.  That it might bring on a flare up and set me back again.
But then there is this other part of me, that deep inside knows it's time to move onto the next phase and incorporate running back into the recovery process again.

As for when, well I am actually planning on giving it a try on Monday.  If things go well, then I will try again either on Wednesday or Thursday.  So we will see what happens.
I've learned a lot going through this, so I know to stop at any sign of pain and I will force myself not to go to much.  So we will see what happens.
Hopefully, by next Friday I will be thrilled to announce that Runaway Bridal Planner is finally getting back to running again....  Wish me luck!

I know I have a lot of runner friends heading to Disney this weekend, I wish you all the absolute best of luck!!!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Runner Spotlight - Let Me Introduce Stephanie

Today is Spotlight Thursday

This week I'd like to introduce Stephanie.
I asked Stephanie several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her 

Stephanie Blogs At:
CatLadyRuns

After Stephanie PR'd last November

How long have you been running?  Or when did you start running?

I’ve been running for about 6 years. I wrote about why I started running in this post


What has been your favorite race and distance you have ever run?  Tell us why?

My favorite distance is probably the half marathon. I feel like its far enough to keep me training and make me feel accomplished but doesn't consume my life like marathon training. At the same time, when training for a marathon I tend to lose weight while still eating ALL OF THE THINGS! That honestly makes 3 or 4 hour training runs pretty worth it :-)


Do you enjoy running in the spring, summer, fall or winter the best?

I LOVE running during the winter because that’s when the weather is finally less humid and the temps are comfortable. I should mention that I live in FL so from February-October its basically 90% humidity and hot. Always so hot…Its basically bikini season already.
Tell me what goes through your mind when you cross a finish line?

The first time I finished a half marathon I started crying because it had been such a hard race and I honestly couldn’t believe I finished and how far I’d come in the few years since I’d started running.


Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of?  Tell us about it.

I’m so proud to have finished my first marathon recently- it was a life changing experience.  I can’t wait to run another one…especially because my dad and husband are planning to be by my side in 2015!


After you run a long race, what is your favorite type of meal to indulge in after?

After races, I treat myself to celebratory mimosas. Its a fun tradition I look forward to when a race gets hard.


Do you listen to music while you run?  Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist.

I love music on my run and some days its most definitely necessary. Kesha’s “Die Young” (or really anything Kesha) has such a good beat and is fun music. Icona Pop’s “All Night” is also a current favorite.

What is your must have running gadget, or item?

I love my Garmin. It really allowed me to take my training much more seriously knowing how far I was running and how fast and made training for races much easier.


In your spare time What other hobbies or sports do you love do?

I also love to read and am finally sucked into the Harry Potter series (only 15 years late!) I also enjoy writing and am trying to write more seriously. I usually can be found with a cup of coffee in hand. Its my favorite beverage by far. I’d much rather go to a coffee hour than a happy hour!


What type of things motivate you and push you towards success in life?

I am a very Type A person and internally driven. I feel like I always have a ton of ideas swirling around in my head and there’s never enough time in the day to accomplish everything I want to do. I think this is a typical characteristic of a lot of distance runners- we’re internally motivated to beat ourselves and have a lot of drive to keep going mile after mile.


Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running?

I wrote a whole post on tips for new runners! http://catladyruns.com/2013/12/08/tips-for-new-runners-a-giveaway/


You have a beautiful cat in your blog page picture, what is his/her name?

The cat in my blog pic is named Cuddles. He was our family cat through my teenage years and missed me so much when I started college that he came with me. We have a special bond because his favorite thing is to cuddle in bed with me - hence his name! It feels pretty special to literally be his favorite person in the world! I have 2 other kitties, Aedan and Sophie who make frequent appearances on the blog, as well.


What are a few of your dreams or bucket list items?

A few of my dreams would be to write and publish a book, run a Nike Women’s race (so excited I get to do this soon!) visit Europe



What is my guilty pleasure? 

I absolutely love watching Bravo reality shows. I become so involved with the story lines and look forward to new episodes each week- its probably the only reason we still have cable!
 



You can find Stephanie Blogging at:

She's also on Facebook:

You can find her tweeting at:



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth


Allegiant is the 3rd and final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth.  My review will not be a spoiler for Allegiant, but if you haven't started the series and would like to (which I recommend) reading my review before reading Divergent and Insurgent will probably spoil a few things for you.

Fortunately because I didn't start the Divergent series until last year, I didn't have quite as long of a wait as others who read it sooner.  But for me, it was worth the wait.  In all honesty, it wasn't what I expected at all and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
I fell in love with the main characters Tris, the girl who chose her own path and has lead quite the action packed year.  Four who is strong and confident, yet has had so many hidden circumstances from his past that has led to him becoming the man he is.

Just like the other books, this one picks up right where the last book left off.  Except the book quickly throws us a twist, as Tris and Four decide to take up with the new Allegiant fraction and set out to see what they can discover.
But the author at this point decided to really throw us a huge twist in the story.  Everything we thought, everything Tris and Four believed was a lie.  There are more ties into this lie than either could have imagined and it really puts both their love and their lives to the test.

What I love about this series is, there aren't any messy love triangles that you already know what is going to happen in the end.  These are two characters with a powerful bond and love, and we get to watch it unfold and be tested time and time again.
Like the rest in the series Allegiant is fully action packed and quite suspenseful, you'll have a hard time putting it down as it throws you for loop after loop.

I would love to dive more into it, but I absolutely hate reading spoiler reviews, and I mentioned long ago I will never write a spoiler review.  So I hope this review still gives you enough to know if you want to read the series or not.
The ending was not at all what I had thought it would be, and after I thought about it, I am very much okay with that.  There is a deeper hidden meaning behind it, that I believe I understand and because of my adoration of the love between Tris and Four I really did like how it all ended.

I put this series on my highly recommended list!  With that said, I am looking forward to the movie, but I still have no idea how they will be able to do the books any justice.  Likely it won't, but it should be entertaining enough for the book lovers of the series!
This is a YA book, but I will go on the record that the entire series has a lot of violence.  Other than that, it is pretty clean.  I do recommend this book for anyone 16 and older who enjoy action packed suspense and great strong characters!


Disclaimer: I was not asked to review this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own after reading the series.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Hiking Saint Mary Falls, Glacier National Park


This week for Travel Tuesday I am taking you on a beautiful hike in Glacier National Park - Saint Mary Falls & Virgina Falls.  To get here, you begin on the Saint Mary Fall's Trailhead, about 10 miles west of St. Mary on the Going to the Sun Road.

The hiking trails are easy, and you can easily do an out and back on this hike in an hour or two depending on if you want to stop and relax near the falls.  It's only about a 3 mile round trip hike if you go to the end.


You'll be hiking in lush forests, along this beautiful river.  You'll see lookout spots, like this one I pictured above.  I took this particular hike around the 4th of July.  This picture is the river merge between St. Mary Falls, and Virginia Falls.


As you take this hike, you won't want to stay exactly on the trail at all times.  A few ventures off just a tad can bring you beautiful views like this above.


The above picture is Saint Mary Falls.  A beautiful double white water waterfall.  There is a bridge that goes across the river below the falls, so you can stop and relax on the rocks and enjoy the spray of the falls, or take a picture like above.


Then if you'd like to keep going, just continue on up the trail.  You'll be back in and out of the beautiful pine tree forests and along the edge of one of the other water tributaries from Virginia Falls.


If you hop off this trail a little and walk down the rocks toward the river, at times you'll see a few other falls, as you are making your way up.


In the distance you'll see the falls coming up, but you'll still have a ways to go and a bit more climbing to get there.


Above is Virgina Falls, at this particular time of the day the falls were in the shade.  I had a heck of a time grabbing a shot from this point because the water spray was a bit all over the place.  Sure it felt good to have the ice cold water sprayed on me, but not so good for the camera.  I had to clean the lens off a couple of times before turning around quick to grab the shot, before the lens was covered in water again:)


Although this is a short hike, there is so much beauty in it, its one I highly recommend you do if you visit Glacier National Park.  The best part, is you can do this hike and several other short hikes on the Going to the Sun road in the same day!

IF YOU GO:

* You'll have to pay the Glacier National Park entrance fee
* Grab a map, so you will know where the trailhead begins
* Bring water & a camera
* If hiking alone or with a quiet group on a slow traffic day, you may want to carry bear mace, or wear bells while you are walking.  It is rare to have a bear encounter, but if the bears hear you, there will likely be little problem spooking them while on your hike.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Me Monday's - What I'm loving - Weird Facts


I've been pretty sick the past 2 weeks now.  Not so fun at all!  I'm hoping an end is soon in sight!  So I apologize for not being able to get around to all my favorite blogs as much these past few weeks.  Hopefully all of you have been able to stay a bit healthier than me and free of illness!


So I still don't have much new stuff to report, other than I hope to be well again soon, and I am really really looking forward to my trip that is now less than 4 weeks away.
Originally, my goal was to try to drop 30 pounds before the trip.  As unrealistic as it sounded, it was a good goal to at least shoot for.  Personally, I would love to tell you I have lost the weight entirely from working out, and eating healthy.  Part of it was from that, but the last 9 pounds have really all been lost because of being sick.  I only hope that when I am feeling back to myself again, I don't go and gain it all back when my appetite returns:)  So even though there is a chance the weight will go back up a little, I'm still posting the current weight loss to date.  Because there is always a chance it won't go up and I will be able to keep on losing:)

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THINGS I AM LOVING RIGHT NOW


The Olympics, I have pretty much watched every single event NBC has aired in the evenings since they have begun.  I'm loving them, and I think it is really awesome that so many US medals won have been by Utah athletes!  We have a pretty awesome group of athletes who call our state home!!  But in all honesty, anyone who made it to the Olympics, medals or not is pretty awesome in their own right:)
I'm just from Utah, so I get to be a little prejudice, right:)



I recently received an Apera bag to review, and although you'll be able to see a full review in the coming weeks.  I just have to say, I am loving my new bag and a adore the color!!!  This great tech bag is going to be coming with my on my trip in a few weeks too!
When I received it, I knew it would be an absolutely perfect flight carry-on companion.  Additionally, I plan on taking it out with me on the islands so I can keep my hiking and beach equipment with me when I am out exploring!




I am still loving my Fitbit One, even if I haven't been able to use is as much as I had hoped (darn sickness!)

When I do use it, I enjoy beating my previous day's steps and so on.  Sadly it's spent way too many day's sitting on the nightstand the past few weeks, but that will surely be changing soon!







WHAT I LEARNED THIS WEEK


I like to learn weird facts, and things from the different books I see at the library.  So I thought I'd share a few interesting but yet true facts that I learned this week.  Because if you are like me, you can never get enough useless information to fill your brain with!

* Did you know Gatorade can be used to clean your toilet?
*  In Taiwan garbage trucks drive around blasting music to remind people to quickly come bring out their trash.
*  Did you know, more people have visited the moon, than seen the bottom of the ocean?
*  Did you know, if you have a fear of spiders, studies show that they will look bigger to you than they will to people who don't have a fear of them?
*  Did you know if your an American you are more likely to win a million dollars in a lottery than getting struck my lightning?
*  Did you know the & (and) symbol was actually once a letter in the English alphabet?
*  How many LIVE chickens do you think the US Postal Service has to mail the week leading up to Easter???  Over 800,000... Seriously!
*  Next time you visit NYC, remember that there is a legend that a huge pirate treasure is buried near the Statue of Liberty!
*  One of the items found buried with King Tut in his tomb was a board game!
*  Schools of Atlantic Herring fish sometimes form fish schools the size of NYC
*  Did you know each human body contains a tiny amount of gold?  Its true, Google it if you don't believe me!
*  Speaking of Google, did you know it was originally called Back Rub!!!  Yup!

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Last: If you are a runner, and you will let me Spotlight you on my Thursday Runner Spotlights.  I am currently looking to fill my March Spotlight Spots.  

If you'll let me spotlight you, I would love it if you'd shoot me an email with the subject Runner Spotlight.  My email: runawaybridalplanner(at)hotmail(dot)com
You can fill in the @ and the . 
(FYI, you can be a runner at any speed or distance to be spotlighted anything from you just took your first few steps out the door, to running every day, or even elite!  All runners are welcome in my Spotlights - If you haven't seen them before and want to see more of what I do first you can visit HERE to see past spotlights!!!


So have you learned any weird but true facts that you can help me fill my brain with?  Even if you haven't, if you have a fun blog post that myself and others should make sure to stop by and read feel free to join up in the blog link up!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Runner Spotlight - Let Me Introduce Colleen

Today is Spotlight Thursday

This week I'd like to introduce Colleen.
I asked Colleen several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her 
Colleen Blogs At:
Life Free and Run



What distances do you like to run?

I have run everything from 5k to 26.2.  Half marathons are my favorite to run, but the feeling at the finish line of a 26.2 is my favorite! 
5k is my least favorite because it's so painful...it's a full out sprint for 3 miles!

How long have you been running?

I ran high school cross country, but really got back into running after having my daughter.  We were gifted a BOB and long walks turned into walk/run combos and I was determined to do a 5k, so I used the Couch to 5k app.  I reviewed it on my blog because I really wanted to share it with everyone.  I credit for my success! 

What has been your favorite race and distance you have ever run?  Tell us why?

It would be a tie between Nike Women's Half Marathon DC and Marine Corps Marathon but for completely different reasons.  For Nike I loved the motivation and Girl Power aspect of it and MCM was just so emotional paying homage to Marines who have been wounded or killed in service.  I cried while running that race! 

If you could run any race in the entire world, where would it be and why would you pick it?  

The Kaui Marathon!  I absolutely love that island. 

Do you enjoy running in the spring, summer, fall or winter the best?  

Fall for sure.  The temps are great and the air is dry.  The leaves are gorgeous! 

Have you experienced any trials/injuries/health issues that you have had to overcome?  Tell us about them.  

I had a severe strain in my quad.  It was originally thought to be a stress fracture.  It was hard.  I couldn't run for three months.  I had so much fear in my head that I would lose everything I had worked so hard for and have to started at ground zero again.  Luckily, it came back quickly!
 
Tell me what goes through your mind when you cross a finish line? 

"I am on top of the world!  I can do anything right now!"

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of?  Tell us about it. 

Running two fulls in 2013!  I never thought I could even run one!

Do you have a funny running story to share?  Or funny experience while running?  

On the course of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in DC there was a couple dressed as Ketchup and Mustard cheering on runners with a sign that said, "Runners are beating you, Go Catch Up!"....I yelled to them, "I get it!" and the Mustard yelled back, "Relish the moment!".  I ran a few hundred yards before it really sunk in and I giggled....I got that one a bit late! 

You run as a family, do you find this brings you closer together?  

Absolutely.  I love runs with my family. 

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group?  

I like to mix it up.  Usually just me and my tunes, but occasionally I like to run with a friend and chat. 

Do you listen to music while you run?  Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist.  

"Lucky Strike" by Maroon 5 and "Can't Hold Us" Mackelmore

What is your must have running gadget, or item?  

I love my Garmin 210.  So easy to start and start for stoplights, etc. 

In your spare time What other hobbies or sports do you love do?  

I am a mom, wife,  kindergarten teacher, spin instructor, blogger and health/nutrition is a huge hobby of mine!

Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running?  

Start small and do it for you.  Don't compare yourself to someone else....comparison is the thief of joy. 

What are a few of your dreams or bucket list items? 

I will definitely run another full marathon and I have added a triathlon to my race schedule.  That scares me!  Especially as someone who isn't a fan of getting their hair wet! 

If you are a race ambassador, give a shout-out to those you represent?  

I am a race ambassador for Zooma Half Marathon series.  I am very excited because I really like women's only races.  I feel like the playing field is evened and they offer so many great things pre and post race! 




You can find Colleen Blogging at:

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