Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson - A Book Review

This is actually my second Tracie Peterson novel in just a few months.  I really like this author, she does a great western.  A Sensible Arrangement is just that a great western with an adventurous romance.  I loved this story, and it was another one of those books that captured my attention and I pretty much read it cover to cover.

Marty is living in Texas and has had much pain in her life and she is ready to leave it all behind.  So when she sees an advertisement in the local paper for a man looking for a "Lone Star Bride" who is willing to move to Denver.  Marty decides to throw caution to the wind, and answers the ad and agrees to be his mail order bride.  With one stipulation, that it is an agreeable arrangement with no strings of love attached.

Jake has also had much heartache in his life.  He's been burned by women in his past, and has no desire to fall in love again.  However, with a job as a banker in a high society standing.  He soon realizes he needs to find a woman to wed, who would be willing to stand by his side, with nothing more than a marriage of convenience between the two.  When he receives Marty's reply, he feels it is the perfect arrangement.

Marty's arrival into town becomes quite unexpected as she becomes a heroine in an attempted stage coach robbery.  Jake takes an immediate extra liking to his new bride, proud of the much stronger woman that she is, than he could have ever hoped for.  Even if a gun slinging woman isn't exactly what will help Marty's social standing in the community.

Marty does everything she can to accept this new life.  As a woman who previously worked a ranch, she finds it difficult to be idle and allow servants and others to do everything for her.  But she is bound and determined to make this arrangement work, and be the wife Jake needs.  Even if that means attending social events and boring tea parties with the elite women in the community.  Whatever it takes to keep her here, and from having to go back to the heartaches of Texas.

Jake, is finding it more and more difficult to ignore his feelings for his new wife.  This marriage of convenience isn't very convenient for a man who is falling in love with his wife.  The only problem is, he's been burned before, he's not sure if he is ready to let even his wife into his heart.

Marty's past of secrets begin to catch up to her, and when her own feelings start getting thrown into the mix she isn't sure what to do.  When the economy starts collapsing, and the banking business looks to be a sinking ship Marty and Jake realize they may just need each other more than they ever knew.

If you enjoy a lighthearted American western, filled with adventure and romance.  You'll love A Sensible Arrangement.   I look forward to more books in Tracie Petersons Lone Star Brides series!  Written for adults, this is a clean christian based novel, appropriate for any age.


Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing for my review.  I was not asked to write a positive review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dunns River Falls, Jamaica



If you ever find yourself a tourist in Jamaica, and happen to be on the Ocho Rios side of the island.  I highly recommend taking a morning or afternoon and hiking the falls.
Just a word of note, I do not believe they allow you to hike this on your own.  You could look into it, but from what I saw the locals pretty much have this as a tourist attraction, so yes you will have to pay to do this.  However, if you get the chance it is worth it.




Dunns River Falls is a 600 foot set of several waterfalls.  You actually start on the beach next to the beautiful blue's in the carribean waters.  From there you hike up with your guide (and group) up the falls.



Now when I went, they made us hold hands.  Yes, I thought this was a little kindergarden, but it is what it is.  I believe they do it because some people may not have a great sense of balance, or strength.  So by holding hands maybe you can help those people out more.  I personally found it to be annoying and actually made it harder for me.  (Granted I was trying to protect an injury from getting worse.)  I wanted to go at my own pace, and place my footing carefully.  However, this isn't really an option holding hands because you have people on both sides of you pulling in opposite directions.



I'll be honest at times I just let go of the person behind me's hand.  The guide yelled a few times for me to take hold again.  But the girl behind me actually didn't want to hold hands any more than I did:)

(Left)myself and my (right) friend - Normally I would never allow a no make-up swimsuit picture
of me on my blog (LOL).  However, this one didn't turn out too bad.

It's a beautiful set of falls in lush tropical bush and tree's.  The water is actually a little cool, it is rain water after all.  However, after you are in it for a few minutes you hardly notice.



I only noticed a couple of really slippery spots.  To be honest most of it was easy climbing.  There are even railings along part of the way.  Not that most need them, but you never know.



IF YOU GO:

*  You'll need a pair of water shoes.  You can either bring your own, or if you don't have them they allowed me to rent a pair for $7.
*  You can bring a water camera, but I wouldn't recommend bringing any other camera there is too much chance of damage.
*  The guides film you and take pictures, and they wanted $40 for this.  Which in my opinion was outrageous.  However, if you have a large group and you split the cost it might be worth it.  But they don't actually take many pictures of you, so that is why I recommend bringing a water camera.




Monday, April 28, 2014

Me Monday's where you hear a little about me, and share a little about you

This past week has been pretty crazy busy, but then I enjoy busy so that is good.  I had another wedding that turned out absolutely beautiful.  I did this fun new glowing ruffle cake table design, which I absolutely loved.  It looked stunning!  I haven't stopped getting compliments on it, now almost a week later.  So I am thinking it is a definite keeper:)
I'll be sharing the pictures with you on the 2nd Wednesday in May.

I decided I wanted to show pictures at least once a month of one of my favorite past months weddings, and I want to be more diligent about this.  The remaining monthly Wednesday dates will still be for book reviews:)


RUNNING 

Well I don't have much news to share on this.
I sort of over did it with running around at weddings.  Can you believe a medium wedding day set up, I walked more than 8 miles.  Most of that would be carrying items around.  So it's not only cardio, but strength workouts setting up a wedding.

I love this little Fitbit for that, I had no idea how far I went, I just always knew I was exhausted by day end.  I still think a large wedding will be closer to 10 miles, guess we will see.

Anyhow, I was in a little pain.  So I have laid off running a few days, so I can get the inflammation down.  However, I am happy to say a little rest has done the trick and I'll be back at it today!

Also, I was spotlighted as a runner on the Blog Fitful Focus last week.  If you didn't get a chance already, you can check it out HERE.


I want to do a quick shout out for the Shape Up for Summer Giveaway Blog Hop.
If you haven't linked up with us, what are you waiting for?
There is only 1 week left to sign up to join us.
It starts on May 9th.

Its a great way to discover new blogs yourself, and have even more people discover your blog.  If you'd like more details, visit the information page HERE.

I'm also including the sign up below.  If you already know the rules, you can just add your blog to the list.  If this is your first time thinking of joining us.  Make sure you visit the information page first and are okay with the rules and details!




RUNNERS SPOTLIGHTS

I'm also looking to fill my May Runner Spotlight dates.  If your a runner of any kind, any distance or pace.  Then I'd love to spotlight you!  Send me an email at: Runawaybridalplanner@hotmail.com with the heading RUNNER SPOTLIGHT and I will send you over some questions.  (FYI: You don't have to be a blogger to be spotlighted!)



That's it, it's been a pretty uneventful week I guess you could say in the exciting news factor.  So tell me; whats been going on in your life?
Any spring races you've recently ran or coming up?  As always, feel free to leave me a link to a post you want me to make sure and check out in the Comment Luv section!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Join your blog with us for the Shape Up for Summer Giveaway Blog Hop

Now is the time to join your blog up with the rest of us for the Shape Up for Summer Giveaway Blog Hop.


If you haven't joined up for the fun with us in months past, let me explain what a Giveaway Blog hop is.  Each blog hosts their own giveaway May 9th - 25th.  At the end of your giveaway post, you will insert a code (which I will provide you with) that code will contain the list of all the other blogs in the hop.  So after someone enters your giveaway they can hop on over to the next giveaway on the list.

How does this benefit you?  The idea behind it, and how we've seen success in the past hops: one blogs followers will enter that particular blogs giveaway, and then they will see the link to the others and visit your blogs giveaway.  So the chance to quire lots of new followers who may not have found your blog otherwise is there.  Additionally, it is a lot of fun to be linked up in the hop with all of the rest of us.

Shape Up For Summer Giveaway Blog Hop sign up will run now through May 5th, 2014. 

The Giveaway itself will run May 9th - 25th

Hosted By: 
Runaway Bridal Planner
Co-Hosted By:
Fit Running Mama

Item(s) you decide to use in your giveaway should be somewhat fitness related, gift cards are also okay!

Below is the list of simple rules for linking up with us and joining the hop.  PLEASE make sure you read them first BEFORE signing up.  Then make sure you can AGREE to ALL of them!  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!!!





MY 10 SIMPLE RULES FOR JOINING THIS HOP:

1.  FIRST, Make a note on your calendar so you don't forget you signed up.

2.  Giveaway item needs to be relevant to the type of hop.  Anything health or fitness related - gift cards are okay.  You can do a package and add other items to your giveaway that are not fitness related.  You can even do more than 1 giveaway on your blog for different things.  Just make sure 1 of them is fitness related.  The choice is entirely yours!

3.  Hop Image WILL be required to be at the TOP of your giveaway post.  This image helps others participating in the hop know they are in the right place. (You will be sent the image on May 5th along with all instructions.)

4.  REQUIRED at the bottom of your giveaway post, will be the LINKY that has the link to all the other blogs participating in the hop.  It is a hop, so this is required!  We strongly recommend you try to do this!  If you do not know how to insert an HTML LINKY, it will be a requirement to link to the Hosts Giveaway Post - The links will be emailed to you May 5th, so you can prepare your post in advance.

5.  You are welcome to have no entry requirements, or requirements for entries, the choice is all yours!  For the hop we ask you limit it to only 1 Mandatory entry, and ONLY up to 10 total possible entries.  (Example: You can ask them to follow your blog as their 1 Mandatory entry then offer them other options to follow you, twitter, facebook, leave a comment etc...)  The simpler you keep it, the more entries you are likely to receive!

6.  Your post must go live by 8AM EST on May 9th, 2014 and run through midnight May 25th.  Everything is up to you on how you design the rest of your giveaway, but it must be kept family friendly, and appropriate for all audiences, any pictures visible on your blog page during participation in the hop should also be appropriate for any age audience.  Anyone who doesn't comply with this will be deleted.

*If you are hosting a giveaway in the hop, YES YOU CAN PARTICIPATE in all the other giveaways in the hop - we recommend it.*

7.  I will send you 2 reminder emails to post your giveaway, along with the Linky and Image for your post - Add my email (runawaybridalplanner(at)hotmail(dot)com to your contacts, so your reminder emails will not go to junk. (Instruction email will go out on May 5th - Final reminder will go out on May 8th.)  Your email will only be held and used for this hop only.

8.   The rest of the post and how your do your giveaway is completely up to you.

9.   You will be responsible to ship the item to the winner - all shipping costs are your responsibility.  If you are using a sponsor, you will be required to work with the sponsor to have the item shipped to the winner.

10.  Anyone who is not following the rules, may be deleted from the hop.  It is important to follow the rules so the hop can be the most successful for everyone participating!

** If you sign up and cannot participate, please let me know and I will remove you at anytime.

***Feel free to Email me or comment below with any questions.

*** If you are interested in co-hosting a giveaway with me, reach out to me via email, I am currently looking for future co-hosts - (To be a co-host you'll have to be willing to help me get the word out about the hop, I can provide you with more details if you are interested.)

Runawaybridalplanner(at)hotmail(dot)com - you'll need to add the @ and .  I left this off to keep spammers away.  (NOTE: I accept co-hosts on a first come basis.)

I'm always looking to make these hops bigger and better.  So if you have any idea's, I welcome you to share!



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let me introduce Nicole - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Nicole.
I asked Nicole, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!


When your done, stop by her blog.  We decided to both spotlight each other today. 

Nicole Blogs At:
Fitful Focus




Tell us what distances you like to run?

Half-marathons are probably my favorite race distances, but if I'm not in training mode, 4-5 mile runs are perfect energizers in the mornings.

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

I started running the summer after I graduated college (2010).  I couldn't afford a gym membership and was looking for a good way to stay in shape.  A friend of mine encouraged me to come running with him.  He pushed me and helped me get from barely being able to run one mile, to running 5ks!

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

I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon back in January and it was UNBELIEVABLE! The energy of the other runners, the enthusiasm from the crowd, and being able to hang out with all the characters was so cool! Plus, it was my first marathon, so it something I will never forget. Crossing that finish line was my biggest accomplishment to date.

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

I have a whole bucket list of races I want to do around the globe! Running is such a great way to explore a new city and get in a healthy vacation.  

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

Probably the fall. I love running in about 50 degrees – not too cold, but not too hot either! Plus, fall in NYC is surreal; the changing leaves and the crisp air are amazing.  

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

Luckily, I haven’t experienced any injuries or healthy issues due to running (unless being couch-ridden after long runs counts haha). Hoping to keep the streak going!  

Tell me what goes through your mind when you cross a finish line? 

Amazement. It’s the best feeling in the world, knowing that months and months of hard work have paid off. I can never stop smiling!  

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

I’m proudest of running my first marathon. I also ran my first half in 2:02, which was pretty great for me. I’m looking to beat that in my second half coming up in April, though!  

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

I was running through a Brooklyn neighborhood one morning when I saw a little boy (4 years old or so) wearing a super hero cape. He saw me coming, stood in the middle of the sidewalk, held out his hand (as if to stop traffic), and gave me and intense stare. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to use his magic powers to make me stop or go faster. I sped past him with a  smile, and said, “Thanks for the speed boost!” I hope that’s what he was hoping for!  

Are you racing for any charities or special organizations you'd like to talk about? 

Not in the races I have coming up, but I ran my first half for Team Hole In The Wall, an organization that creates amazing summer camps for children with serious illnesses. They are an incredible organization that create unforgettable experiences for children who would otherwise be stuck in a bed or in a hospital.  

Have you run races in any other countries before? 

Not yet, but it’s on my bucket list!  

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

It really depends on what type of run I’m doing. If I’m doing an interval run to try to increase my speed, I like to go solo. If I’m looking for a slower pace run at a chattable pace, I love having company!  

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

Sometimes I go with podcasts, but music is my go-to. There are so many songs that pump me up, but Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix) and The White Panda’s Midnight Life Mashup are two of my favorites.  

What is your must have running gadget, or item? 

My running shoes!  

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

Writing for my blog and cooking are my favorite hobbies! In terms of other sports, I also love yoga, spinning, and strength training.   

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

Two things motivate me the most: the feeling I get after a good workout and my mom. The first is pretty self explanatory. As for my mom, after battling with her weight and health issues for 15 years, she dropped 70 pounds at the age of 53! She is so supportive of everything I do (in terms of running and life in general). hope I will be as strong at 53 as she is!   

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

Get a good pair of sneaks (not those ratty ones from high school) and take it slow! Don’t try to run a 5k right out of the gate. Run/walk your way up to a mile, and then slowly start to take away the walking before you up you distance.  

Any goals you are currently working on, that you'd like to share? 

I’m currently training for my second half marathon and a PR – under 2:02!  

On your blog you promote and maintain a healthy living style.  What is one of your best tips for someone who knows they need to change their diet, but doesn't know where to start? 

Find healthy alternatives! If you absolutely love potato chips, give flavored kale chips or roasted chickpeas a try. Love ice cream? Try making “ice cream” using frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and a little almond milk. Find things that taste similar and have the same texture, but are packed with nutrients instead of calories, bad fats, and preservatives. That way, you get to have your favorites without the negative impact! 

Do you have a great accomplishment you have achieved in life?  Do you mind sharing? 

My greatest accomplishment is crossing the finish line at my first marathon. A lot of blood, sweat, tears (and money!) went into that training, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience or prouder of myself for doing it.   

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

See question 4!  

Tell us something unique about you. 

I recently shared some fun facts about myself on my blog. Here’s one of my favsWhen I was young, I had a very systematic way for naming my stuffed animals. Its first name would be whatever color it came in. Its middle name would explain what type of animal it was, and its last name would repeat the type of animal, in case someone didn’t catch it the first time or couldn’t understand just by looking at the animal what type of animal it was. For instance, if I had a purple bear, its name was Purple The Bear Bear. Sometimes I got a little more creative, like a white dog named Snowy The Dog Dog. I also had a classic brown teddy bear named Teddy. How I became a creative writer for a living I do not know.

My favorite post-run snack? 

I tend to go with fruit and protein smoothies with an extra helping of peanut butter. 


You can find Nicole blogging at:

She is also on Facebook: 

And on Twitter:


Like I mentioned above, Nicole and I are spotlighting each other today.  Which I think is fun because even though I do spotlights on many different runners, I have actually never been spotlighted myself.
So if you want to check out the Runner Spotlight she did on me. 
Click on THIS LINK and you can read two spotlights today:)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda - A Book Review

I came across this series a few years ago, and it immediately grabbed my attention and sucked me in.  Yes, its a Vampire novel.  But it is nothing like the Twilight series.  In fact it's an entirely different spin on Vampires and this will sound crazy to those who have been reading the series, but I didn't even realize it was a Vampire book until after I had almost finished the first book. (Don't ask me how I was that clueless, but I was...)
Anyhow, I have been eagerly anticipating the third and final installment in this series.  After reading, it lived up to every expectation I had and then some!

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda takes off right where the last book The Prey left off.  Gene, Sissy and the others have escaped onto the train, where the destination is unknown but it was all they could do to avoid death like all the others left behind.

They are constantly hoping for a break, but as the train pulls up and they have only a minute to exit and move on, or die.  They have no choice but to follow the voice on the intercom speaker.  Eventually they arrive where other humans have been living.  Not in exactly ideal surrounding, they are more like in caves and underground tunnels.  Before they even finish orientation with the others, the sound sends everyone scattering for their lives.

Gene and Sissy already know they are the origin, but they are taken from the tunnels by the scientists and explained more detail on this.  The scientists hope to use their blood to create a new weapon that will change everyone back to a human state.
However, like everything in this series nothing is as it seems.  Things change quickly and Gene and Sissy are eventually thrown on their own to kill Gene's childhood friend Ashley June, in order to save himself and a few of his friends.

What happens next is a thrilling ride, and a lot of suspense that seriously kept me reading and turning the pages as fast as I could.  Just as I thought I understood the direction the book would end, author Fukuda throws us for another thrilling spin.  If I say anymore, I'll give too much away.  But let me say this, I absolutely loved the ending.  In one of the previous books when I was pondering the answers to a few questions, I had come up with an idea that was similar to the ending Fukuda picked.  But I'll be honest, I loved his much more.  This isn't one of those dystopian's that leaves you hanging, you really get an ending and I think you'll love it!

For those who loved Divergent, The Hunger Games or other great action thriller dystopian books.  You will love The Hunt, The Prey and The Trap by Andrew Fukuda.   If you are like me, you'll find any one of these books extremely hard to put down because the plot is creative and so original.
Its a Vampire series and there is a bit of death and gross nature that comes with creatures of that kind.  But these books are weaved so creatively you'll just want to devour them!
These are Young Adult, however in my opinion they are more written with adults in mind.  So my recommendation is for anyone 16 and older.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Iao Valley State Monument, Hawaii - Travel Tuesday



If you find yourself in Maui, Hawaii and you are looking for something other than playing around on the beaches.  May I suggest taking a drive to Iao Valley State Park.  There you can get out and sight see, do a little short hiking.


As you can see in the shot above, you are a bit more inland for this.  However, when you hike up to the top views, you can still see the Maui Valley and Ocean in the distance.


There are lots of beautiful lush mountains surrounding you as you walk along the trails, you can stop and take different pictures at different view points.  Helps give you a different perspective of Hawaii than just warm sand and beaches.


Above is the Iao Needle.  This was carved by erosion, and rises 1,200 feet from the valley floor.


This is a fun spot to visit, if you want to spend half of a day doing something different and unique, but still see lots of beauty.


There is also a botanical garden in the lower area's.  This will give you a chance to see some of the beautiful plants that the Hawaiian's brought when they first settled here.


If you get hot, just sit under a shade tree, or stick your feet in a nearby creek to cool off.  The main trail in this area is just over a half a mile long, so it doesn't take much time at all.  Which is why you can actually take your time, and enjoy the beauty before moving onto the next thing.


IF YOU GO:

*  There is not any drinking water here, you will have to bring your own.
*  They didn't charge me an entry fee, however they do collect a parking fee from tourists, although I believe it is free for Hawaiians.
*  You climb about 200 feet.  However, the trails are well maintained.
*  I'd suggest bringing a camera:)
*  You can easily see everything you'd want to in about 1-2 hours.  However, if your going with friends or family you may want to stay a couple of hours and take your time, relax, pack a picnic and enjoy.


Monday, April 21, 2014

My Official Blogiversary

Officially 3 years ago yesterday I started this blog.  However, it was only about 1 year ago that I actually started "blogging" rather than just writing an occasional race update post to share with my family and friends.

I was racking my brain with what I wanted to do for this post today.  I think the type of readers who come to my blog have changed much over the past year, and new readers probably don't know my past.  So I thought I would share with you first why this blog is called Runaway Bridal Planner.

First, I am a wedding planner/decorator.  I own a wedding and event decoration company, it is one of my favorite jobs!  Even though I am planning to scale back on the amount of weddings I do in the future (to make room for a new career).  I will always have wedding and event planning and decoration in my life!
*In the coming weeks I'll explain everything on that.*

Second, I am a runner.  I love to run!  So much so that I have been working on running a full marathon in each of the 50 states and D.C.  (32 states finished so far.)  I may have already finished with this goal, if not for 16 months ago when I was working at the library and was injured at work.  (Yes I said library.  You can laugh, I do now a little!)  But eventually I will get back to it, and those last 19 states will be conquered!


Originally early on in the foot injury I was still running, as it didn't bother the running.  But eventually things got worse, and long story short I eventually had to quit walking for 3 weeks, then wear a boot for several months, then in physical therapy all winter.  Fortunately, a month ago my foot muscles were built up enough to slowly start running again.  I currently can run in 100 - 200 meter increments.  I'm up to 1/2 mile a day of running, but I have walked up to 8 miles in 1 day.  Slow, but it's progress!

________________________________________

So what are my favorite parts of blogging?

All the new online friends and fellow bloggers I have met.  Some of them, I feel like I actually know them and if I ever met them at a race or somewhere in real life I am absolutely sure we would become great friends!

What have I learned most about blogging?

It takes time, a lot of time and you really need to use your time wisely!  I have a full-time job, and a part-time job and I try to blog regularly and regularly visit other blogs.
One particular blogger Fitness blogger Carla (Real Into), occasionally shares blogging tips, and how to's on social media.  Do's and don't's when accepting sponsors/advertisement/paid posts etc...  I have to share her blog with you all because I have gained so much amazing advise from reading her blog.

There are a few other bloggers who inspire and entertain me too:) Who have supported me or offered many words of encouragement while I have been going through my injury.  Or who have allowed me to follow their running careers and let me live vicariously through them until I can get back into racing myself.  (Okay, they may not know that part, but now they do:)  I wanted to share their blogs with you today.

Fairytales and Fitness - This blog is written by 2 sisters, they are both runners but also very different personalities.  They give a fun spin on different topics, and you won't be disappointed if you stop and check their fun blog out!
Striding Strong - Hailey has a fun running blog that I love.  She's one fast little runner too (All American) and I really think of all the people I know, she has the greatest shot of making the Olympic Qualifying Marathon Trials one day in the near future!  I can't wait until she does so I can tell everyone, I know that girl:)
Jill Conyers - Jill writes an amazing upbeat fitness blog.  She also hosts the 14 in 14 challenge that a lot of runners participate in.  She writes on a wide variety of topics and share's a fun positive outlook on life that you are sure to enjoy like I do!
Lauren's Glass Slipper - I discovered her blog a few months back, she is a bit of an adventure seeker like myself, which is probably what drew me to her blog.  But she also writes a fun running blog and her adventures with it.
Run Mum - She's my online friend from downunder, and has a great family fitness related blog while sharing her racing journeys, and running/hiking adventures.
Losing The Glass Slippers - Karen is an amazing photographer, so you always get a great treat of beautiful pictures with her posts, she's also a fun runner who is passionate about life.
Long Haired Runner - Fawn's blog is all about family, fitness and running not to mention uplifting!  She's also very honest and real in her posts, a great blog to check out!
Jen B's Journey - Jen shares her fitness journey, she's has a great family friendly blog.  I always find fitness tips and idea's when I read her upbeat posts.
Life Between the Miles - Sara's been through a lot, and I discovered her blog late last year.  She's been training her way to Boston, which is today actually and I wish her all the best of luck!!!

______________________________________

So what's the future of blogging hold for me?

I hope a lot more of what I have already experienced and a lot more great experiences!

Monday's for now will remain "Me Monday's" where I share a part of my life with you.
Tuesdays are going to stay "Travel Tuesday's" I love sharing my travel adventures with you all.
Wednesday's will remain Book Reviews or Wedding decoration pictures.
Thursdays are going to remain "Spotlight Thursdays" as long as I can find individuals who will allow me to spotlight them and share their inspirational stories and journey's with you all.
Friday's - When I have time to write on Fitness Friday's and do blog link-ups with you all!

Additionally, I have my fingers crossed and I am working extremely hard to get back to marathon running.  I hope that by this fall I can start sharing a few race re-caps with you all again.


Additionally, I have found a lot of fun in running these Giveaway Blog Hop Link-Up's.  They have been a fun way for several blogs to link up, host their own individual giveaways and get more traffic than normal because each blog brings their own set of followers who hop around to the different blogs and enter the different giveaways.

In case you were wondering we have one starting up in a few weeks.  So if you haven't already take a minute and consider joining up with us in May.

 Click Here For Official Blog Hop Rules & Link Up Here.

(If you are ever interested in co-hosting a future giveaway hop with me, just send me an email and I'll explain more and answer any questions you may have on it.)

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I believe true motivation can really only come from within.  However, one thing I have learned with blogging, inspiration can come in many different forms.  Some day's I read others blogs and I have the thought; I needed to read that today.  

I blog because I love it.  I enjoy sharing my imperfections, successes, adventures and trials.  I appreciate all of you who stop by and read what I have to say.  You've been as much a part of this journey as myself.  It is hearing from you on what you like or don't like that have helped me transform this blog into what it is today.  Thank you for all your support!





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let me introduce Lauren - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Lauren.
I asked Lauren, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

Lauren Blogs At:
Breathe Deeply and Smile



What are your favorite distances you like to run?

I race in distances 5K-13.1 regularly with a marathon thrown in there. 5Ks are fun because you can include so many "non-runner" family & friends and have fun. I really like the half marathon distance. It's long enough to be serious, get tough, and need some recovery but also doesn't leave me wrecked afterwards. 

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

I started running 3 years ago to first get in shape and ran my first 5K Oct. 2011! 

Have you ever run a race in costume?

I have worn tutus before for half marathons and races. It's silly, but I think it can make races fun, and you get lots of extra cheers when you are dressed up! 

What goes through your mind when you cross a finish line?

I get pretty emotional during some races so it may be relief. I usually am super happy or smiling. I always try to push it and run fast through the finish line! 

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

Running a marathon was something I never thought I could do. I ran my first last October and ended up getting my goal time of 3:45 even though my legs were strangely tight and it was painful, especially on a hilly course. I think it's pretty fast for a first time marathon and has given me to drive to only improve and continue to dream big!

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

It depends on my mood. I definitely love running with friends and groups, especially when I've got longer miles to tackle.  I love running solo for the way in which I can think about things through, work through a bad mood or day, and relieve stress in my life.  

Do you listen to music while you run?  If so, what are the top 2 running songs on your playlist.

I sometimes listen to music when I run-I love songs I can sing to and anything with a great beat or rhythm! My top 2 running songs on my playlist are "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine & 

What is your absolutely must have running gadget, or item?

Nut butters-my pre-race fuel of choice with bananas and cinnamon raisin bread. I'm not kidding! Also Nuun for hydration and my Garmin has been amazing at helping me train and learn to pace myself! 

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

I'm most motivated about by my dreams and happiness-isn't that what everybody is working towards? Honestly, I am pushed by how I keep surprising myself by doing things I never thought I would or could do. One of my mantras now is to "dream big".

What is one of your favorite tips to give someone who tells you they may want to start running?

One of my favorite tips-after getting fitted at a running store and buying some quality running shoes is to just have fun! I think it's really .

Any goals you are currently working on, that you'd like to share?

A super long term goal is to qualify for the Boston marathon, like a lot of runners. I think I have 8 years left in my age bracket to shave 10+ minutes off my time. I believe I can do it!

What is your favorite cheat food you love to indulge in, and you do it because you know you can just run the calories off, or you earned it?

I have a major sweet tooth so anything chocolate or involving ice cream. Also I'm a huge pizza fan. After races I feel I've usually earned an enjoyable meal, but day-to-day just write off anything that is a "cheat" as fuel for the next day's workout!

What are a few of your dreams or give us a few top "one day" bucket list items.

A big running dream, like many, is to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I never thought I'd run a marathon, but ran my first last year and am planning my second for the fall! There are so many places I want to travel-in the U.S. and in the whole world! 





You can find Lauren blogging at:
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