Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Be a runDisney Princess!

Monthly Challenge

Virtual Coast 2 Coast Step Challenge!

Star Wars Weekends

A galactic experience for the whole family!

Fan Girl Favorites

Enjoying Star Wars, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Disney and all things Geeky!

Running With A View

Running, trails, biking, challenges, nutrition; it's all things I care about and love to do.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fit For Disney: The Journey Continues with Star Wars Weekends

Fitness at DisneyThis past February, I went to Disney World and shared my FitBit and MyFitnessPal experiences over the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  It was really amazing to see how much activity you actually get on vacation and how many calories you consume, too!

As with everyone, keeping up with fitness at home is hard, and being on vacation, can make it seem impossible!  But in order to balance having fun with keeping to my fitness goals, I needed to have a plan of action.  So, I reviewed how I've been doing over the last 5 months, included the Aria scale in my plan, and am ready to try this experiment again at Star Wars Weekends!

How it all works:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Universal's Orlando Resort

Let your adventure begin at Universal's Orlando Resort!
With the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort, park to park tickets, and early park admission, your family will be able to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter before general admission crowds take over the lands!

For a Family of 4
4 Nights
4 Day Park to Park Ticket
Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Starting at $1500 !

Book Today and receive your FREE Copy of the Ultimate Fan Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  A Must-Have Travel Companion for all visitors!

Contact for more information

Disneyland Get A Ways

An unique adventure awaits you in Disneyland Resort!  From Cars to the Matterhorn to Snow White's Castle, Disneyland is a wonderful dose of Disney with a West Coast feel!

But why go to Disneyland when I love the Orlando attraction?  The answer is simple, Walt Disney World may be your favorite or the most popular, but to get to the roots of the magic, you must go to Anaheim, California:  it all started there!

Disneyland is packed with uniquely Disney things to do and see.  It's not "another Disney World" it is truly another adventure!

Now is the best time to experience Disneyland during the Magical Diamond Celebration!

Family of 4 Disneyland Vacation
4 Nights
3 Day Park Hopper
Good Neighbor Hotel - 3rd Night Free
Starting at $116 per person per night!

Ready to see the Wonderful World of Disneyland?

Contact for more information

Escape to Hawaii

What better way to spend winter than in Hawaii!

Escape to the beautiful Disney Aulani Resort with the Fourth Night Free plus Breakfast Special!

Family of 4
4 Night Hawaiian Vacation
starting at $1600

Contact for more information
Whatever your vacation dreams are the Castle, the Star Wars Half Marathon or Star Wars Weekends, Disney Savings can give you the vacation you've been looking for!

A family of 4
4 Night Value Resort
3 Day Park Hopper
Quick Service Dining
Starting at $166 per person per day

Contact for more information, to receive FREE vacation planning and to reserve your Room Now!

Deal of the Month - Voyages

Disney Cruise Line has introduced the Galaxy Far, Far Away coming to the Disney Fantasy Cruise!

7 Night Voyage to the Caribbean
Leaving from Port Canaveral
-Grand Cayman
-Castaway Cay
Starting at $2800

Contact for more information

runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

I ran my first runDisney race in 2008 by participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
 This was also my first Half Marathon!  I really had no idea what to expect on either the runDisney experience or the Half Marathon experience.   Once I crossed the finish line, I was sold!  For the next 2 years, I ran the WDW Marathon Weekend with the Goofy Challenge in 2009 and the Half Marathon again in 2010.

2008 WDW Half Marathon
Warm Florida Weather for my First runDisney Half! 

I Volunteered for the Marathon: volunteers received raincoats as swag.  The only size left was XL!

 2009 Goofy Challenge
It was an awesome weekend!  
2010 WDW Half Marathon
Ready to Run - on the Coldest Day Ever!  I ran in sleet!
One day, I'll run the WDW Marathon Weekend again...!

Have you experienced the WDW Marathon Weekend?  let me know

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Start Your Day with Cape May Cafe

Cape May Café Character Breakfast is one our favorite ways to start our day at Walt Disney World!   

Cape May Café is located in the New England style Beach Club Resort.  The meal is in a buffet style, which is tremendous, since it has something for everyone (even the pickiest of eaters) and is a great value as part of the Disney Dining Plan (one sit down credit only)!  We like to knock out two things from our long Disney to-do list, eating a great meal and hanging out with Minnie, Donald and Goofy.  This New England styled beachfront themed restaurant is unique in atmosphere, but consistent with Disney magic and excitement. Cape May Café Character Breakfast quickly becomes a must do on everyone’s list!

Monday, October 20, 2014


This Month's Craving:

Why I like this Recipe:  Using Hemp Hearts are a great compliment to the pie because of their nutty flavor and bonus protein content!

What do you add to your Pumpkin Pie to make it more healthy?

The Daily Good - My New Healthy Habit

I am always looking for new smoothies:  seeking new things to add to a smoothie or new twists on
my old favorites.  So, one day as I was searching for smoothie recipes, I came across Aloha's The Daily Good.  The contents were very intriguing:

The The Daily Good powder contains 14 whole sourced foods:














I did have to look up some of these ingredients and even what exactly "whole sourced" meant.  I discovered that spirulina is one of the richest nutrient sources on the planet:  it contains protein and iron, as well as all eight essential amino acids; potassium; zinc; calcium; vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B-12; and vitamins C, D, and E.   It is in a class called "superfoods".  And, whole sourced simply means foods that are unprocessed or unrefined (or as little as possible) before being consumed.  They typically do not have additives and are usually organic.  

Together, these ingredients are not only good nutrition but provide detoxifying benefits as well.

Sounded Perfect!  This little packet would be a great addition to my healthy living!  

Does it sound like something you would add to your diet?  Then, I would suggest trying before you jump completely into "green" eating, and take advantage of the free trial like I did!

And you can find this month's featured smoothie using Aloha, The Daily Good!
Please let me know if you tried The Daily Good and what you think!

Trying Something New - Hemp Hearts!

I was able to try something really unique this week:  Hemp Hearts!  No it's not the bad stuff!  It is a cousin to marijuana, but hemp hearts have none of the unwanted side effects from its bad relative.  Instead, hemp hearts pack loads of good into tiny seeds!
Hemp Hearts are a simple power food with a whopping 181g of magnesium, 10g of omegas and 18g of protein per serving!  They are good for digestion, blood sugar control and hunger cravings.  This simple addition to your diet is a great way to include extra protein without adding dairy or meat.  All of this appeals to me because I have to eat a high protein diet to balance my blood sugar.
And they taste great!  The hearts are soft in texture and have a nutty, earthy taste that reminds me of pecans.   To me, this flavor would add great depth to simple foods like yogurt or smoothies and would work well with recipes that list nuts as an ingredient.  In fact, I'll be adding it to one of my favorite breakfast muffin recipes this week!
Hemp Hearts were new to me, and maybe to you, too, mainly because Industrial Hemp has been banned as a farm product in America by the DEA.  Until it can be fully grown and processed in America, we have to reach out to Canadian companies such as the Manitoba Harvest and purchase online. 
If you'd like to taste it for yourself, Manitoba Harvest offers a single serving bag on their website!
Maybe you eat Hemp Harts?  Do you have a favorite recipe?  Send me your suggestions at
 Disclosure statement: This challenge was sponsored by Manitoba Harvest through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided a sample of hemp hearts. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumped Up Pumpkin Pie

I love Pumpkin Pie this time of year:  it is one of the comfort foods of fall!  However, I really debate every year if I should eat it or not; because, well, it's pie.  And pie is bad for you, right?

So, In order to make me "feel" better about eating it, I decided to make it "heathlier".

Earlier this month, I was challenged to try Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts.  This unconventional ingredient is packed with protein and omegas and has a nutty taste, which seemed perfect for getting my pie into shape!

I started with my favorite recipe and added 2 Tablespoons of Hemp Hearts.

1 Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Spice
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoon Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Mix all ingredients and pour into an uncooked 9 inch pie shell.  Cook in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.  The surface of the pie will "set" and crack when done.  Cover the edges of the pie to keep the crust from burning; and cool completely before serving.

And you have successfully pumped up your pumpkin pie!

I would love to learn how you use hemp hearts to add extra nutrition to your family's favorites!  let me know at

 Disclosure statement: This challenge was sponsored by Manitoba Harvest through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided a sample of hemp hearts. As always, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Running With a View

Running With a View is about all the outdoor activities that I enjoy doing.  I have lots of favorite places to run!   But, I'll also be sharing biking, hiking and the fresh air I see along the way!

Hiking Petroglyph National Monument

2016 Racing Bucket List

Possum Walk Heritage Trail

Where do you like to run?  Let me know at

Monthly Challenges

Challenges help you set goals, commit to daily physical activity, encourage fitness for a lifetime, and promote accountability!

Each month will bring a new challenge for all of us to do together!  And for those training for a Half Marathon, I'll include a Training Plan, too!

This Month's Challenge!
Past Challenges...

Apps and Applications

Our phones and iPads are full of applications and many of those work with our fitness goals.   I'll be experimenting with new Apps and new technology and hopefully finding some of the best tools for all of us!

I'll also be testing new things to wear and trying different treats to fuel our runs.  

There is so much we need to try....

The Fitness Games App

Jelly Beans With A Purpose

What is your favorite App?  Let me know at

It's FitBit For Me

I love my FitBit!  I have totally integrated into my life with MyFitnessPal and the Aria Scale.  My FitBit goes everywhere I go, and tracks my every movement!  I wonder where I'll go to next...


Activity Band Reviews

FitBit Charge HR Review

A Review of Popular Activity Bands

Real-Life FitBit Experiences

FitBit and The Princess Half Marathon Weekend

FitBit and Star Wars Weekends

FitBit and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Join Me In The FitBit Life:  Enter for a Chance to Win a FitBit!

Don't have a FitBit?  Purchase One and let me know where you take yours, and I'll send you a $10 Gift Card!

Syl's Solutions!

I am asked a lot of questions about running issues and problems, and friends just looking for advice on gadgets.   Through trial and error and seeking help from experts, I've compiled quite a file on fitness solutions, and I thought I'd start sharing those with you!

Fitness Geeks

As we challenge ourselves each week, we find that we don't have everything we need to meet our goals. There are so many new and exciting products for runners, and so many answers to every day running problems from sustaining energy to organizing your gear and preventing blisters.  For every problem, there is a solution; and I will experiment with the newest innovations here and if we don't find what we need the first time, we'll try, try again!


Running, trails, biking, challenges, nutrition; it's all things I care about and love to do.  I will share with you my journey and hope you come along with me!

October Goals and Challenges

3 and half months left till Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend! 

We are jumping our miles up by 2 with a goal of running 7 miles by the end of the month.

If you are training for the Princess Half Weekend, I have a copy of the October Princess Training Plan for you! .  If you are training for a half in January, you should be on schedule with me and download a copy of the October plan!

 My challenge this month is going to be using kettlebells!  I will be posting a new video each week with the goal of doing the video 3 to 4 times a week. You can read more about kettlebells in my new column Geeks Need Muscles Too: Kettlebell Challenge

It should be an interesting month!  I'll be getting up early mon/wed/fri to do the kettlebell challenge and running on tue/thu/weekends.  No rest for the weary!
What kind of goals do you have for this month?  let me know by commenting below send me an email

Jelly Beans With A Purpose: A Review of Sports Beans

As my running group is moving into longer runs, we are going to try different products to see how they perform and stack up against our need for energy.  And this past week we tried Sports Beans by Jelly Belly!

Top 3 Uses for Road-ID

emergency phone number medical ID ROAD ID

If you are an active family, on the go, and loving adventure, then everyone in your family needs a Road ID.  I have been a Road-ID user for many years, and don't go anywhere without it.  Here are my top 3 reasons why I use Road ID.

1.  It speaks for you.  Whether you buy one for your kids, your pets, or yourself, the Road ID will speak for you when you are unable to.  You have up to 6 lines of information that you can add to your ID such as you name, emergency contacts or special medical information.  For your kids or pets, the ID provides much needed contact information if they get lost or need assistance:  the ID can be their voice!

The Possum Walk Heritage Trail - My New Trail Run!

Scenic Byways to Space Possum WalkThis past weekend I ventured out to find a new trail run.  I am looking for trails in South Mississippi or Louisiana, that would not only be great trail runs, but could also be outdoor family learning experiences as well.

For this weekend's adventure,  I chose the Possum Walk Heritage Trail at the NASA Infinity Center.     The Possum Walk trail leads you to historic Logtown; a town rich in our founding French history and later the booming timber industry. 

The Beach, Fitness and Backpack Buddies

Justin Herring from Beau Vie Fitness helld Beachbum Workout
My love for fitness and for giving back to the community came together today at the Beachbum Workout in Long Beach, MS.  Justin Herring, from Beau Vie Fitness, is putting together fitness/charity events to help support the local community.  Today's event was in support of Backpack Buddies of Long Beach, managed by my friend Lori Cripple. 

Backpack Buddies is a program of the First United Methodist Church of Long Beach in conjunction with Long Beach School District to feed children on the weekend.  Food is handed out each week, to children in need, because "hunger doesn't stop on Fridays!" I have supported Backpack Buddies in the past and when I saw the Beachbum Workout activity,  it felt it was something I wanted to embrace.
Beachbum Workout at Long Beach

Justin gave us a high-intensity workout with every squat imaginable, kettle bells, and ladder fire drills.  The beach not only gave us added resistance with the sand, but also beautiful scenery to start our day!  It was an all around great workout!

As an affiliate of Motts Applesauce,  I am involved in supporting active families on the Coast.  I was excited to share Motts Applesauce with Backpack Buddies and all the athletes at the workout!

Motts Applesauce Beachbum Workout

I am looking forward to Justin's next event and more opportunities to help the community.

If you have fitness questions please contact me at

Would you like to support Backpack Buddies of Long Beach? please contact Lori Cripple at

Interested in the athletic opportunities through Beau Vie Fitness? check out their page 

Krav Maga for my Personal Protection

I signed up for a Krav Maga seminar this week and really enjoyed the experience and want to do more!  

Krav Maga, קְרַב מַגָּע [ˈkʁav maˈɡa], literally means "contact combat", and is a self-defense system developed by the Israeli military and focuses on real-world situations.  You learn counter attacks, target attacks, neutralizing your enemy, and awareness of your surroundings.   The idea is to feel more confident to defend yourself in normal life circumstances. 

Now, if you know me, you know that I love running and fitness and that I love The Walking Dead.  I am always thinking about... what if a zombie showed up right now, what would I do?  Those 3 half marathons I ran in the last 6 months might not exactly help when surprised by a mob of zombies!  But, learning real-world, self-defense that incorporates fitness might just be the ticket for me!  

The seminar was held at Flex Fit Energy Club in Long Beach, MS, and was taught by Master Edward Power and his instructors.  It wasn't just a demonstration, though, we jumped right into actual situations where we might be met with a knife, gun, or a bear hug.  We went through drills of where to hit (soft tissue) and how to hit; how to overcome a knife or gun.  Relying on reflexes and a knee jerk reaction can put you in more danger, and Krav Maga teaches you where to move your body, how to use your own weight, and what to do in a lethal force situation so that you can switch the tables and become in control.   

The seminar was an awesome hour well spent; and I was able to see that I am vulnerable.  For all the confidence that I do have, I am oblivious of my surroundings and lack the knowledge of how to defend myself.  I love that fitness is combined in the course, and feel it really is something I would enjoy and need to do!  In fact, I have signed up to take the course 3 days a week!

 The world isn't full of zombies, but it does have its share of crazies, and Krav Maga is a great choice to empower you for any situation.  After all, you do only have one life, protect it!

If you would like more information, please contact me at

Wearing My Personal Training

As we look toward the New Year, it’s not about making a new resolution for me, it’s about doing a better job with the one I have!   I don't want to work on my fitness haphazardly, but I want to do so more efficiently.  

So, I’m on a mission to find a way to combine my pedometer, my running log, my weight management, my calorie counter, and my sleep tracker! Since I manage these separately, I would love to see them all in one place and working with a cool gadget!

The hottest fitness devices are the activity bands.  The basic idea behind activity bands is to track all your movements and record them with the objective to keep you motivated!  I first came across the activity bands this summer at Disney where I met someone using the Jawbone Up, and I also have friends that are using the Fitbit Force and Flex.  It's time to figure out what is best for me!

Different companies have different philosophies; so for starters, I looked at things from the techy point of view and did a one-to-one comparison on the 5 most popular activity bands.
Here is what I found:

Polar Loop
FitBit Flex
FitBit Force
Jawbone Up
Nike+ FuelBand SE
Miles Walked/Ran
Step Counter
iPhone App
Integrates with MyFitnessPal


Integrates with Heart Monitor


Water Resistance


Sleep Tracker
Visual Display



I was surprised at all the things the tracker can do in one tiny wristband!  Now, with the geek side of me satisfied that I’ve picked a noble tool worth using… I need to think about what I really want out of an activity band, how it would make my life easier, and how it would make me more accountable.   
What do I really want from an activity band?  
Currently, I’m tracking miles with RunKeeper, calories with MyFitnessPal and sleep with Smart Alarm. I’m using these to measure my goals to lose weight, to run at least 3 times a week, and to sleep more.  My strategy is to not just tally my miles each week, but to measure calories in and calories burned;  and by pushing my body to reach these 2 goals, I will sleep better.  I would like my activity band to include these same applications with additional resources to help me be more aware of what I am doing and to achieve my targets.

How do I want an activity band to make my life easier?
First of all, I would like to pull up one app and see the total picture for the day.   I would like the band to be easy to use, lightweight, and have basic results at the touch of a finger on the band.  I like the idea of capturing the whole day and not capturing moments in the day as with my GPS watch.

And finally; How do I want an activity band to make me more accountable?
I would like to be able to see my goals and progress over the days, weeks, and months.  I am motivated through goals and being pushed by friends.  It would be great if I my friends and I were using the same brand because it helps to have other people on the journey with you! 

Putting the specs plus my desires together, I believe that the Fitbit Force will be the band for me.  The price is a reasonable range for this device;  I love the fact that it works with MyFitnessPal; my friends are using it; it has a visual display with a clock; its existence on my arm is negligible; the iphone dashboard has all the information I’m looking for; and best of all …

The Force Will be With Me!


I will be trying out the Fitbit Force over the next week, will run it through all sorts of trials, and will report back on what I think!  Stay tuned!