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.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Force Friday Sept 4th: Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Star Wars On!

Kessel Runner Star Wars

The Countdown is on to the Release of Star Wars VII!  And Friday, September 4, 2015 will kick off an around the world event celebrating the official release of the Star Wars VII merchandise!  Star Wars toys, games and memorabilia have been apart of our lives for many years, and with the fervor of the new movie the anticipation of the new merchandise will be at an all time high!

Here is how you can get involved in Force Friday:

1. Shop Target Stores on Friday at Midnight!

Target is all in for the Force!  They have been promoting their stores as THE place for families to connect with Star Wars by engaging us with some great commercials!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Introducing Freekeh to My Family

Family Nutrition

Freekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It's a healthy whole grain food that has been around for a very long time: in fact its called an 'ancient grain'!  It's packed full of fiber, protein and nutrients!  But, as usual, just because it is good for you, doesn't mean my family will eat it... So, I had to introduce it to them...

1st, I added it as a Smoothie Booster!

Freekeh blends really well in a smoothie!  It gives it a punch of extra fiber and protein that you need!  Along with protein powder, bananas, blueberries - I added 2 Tablespoons of Freekeh!

2nd, I added Freekeh into our Favorites!

By simply adding a 1/2 cup of Freekeh and 1 cup additional water to our favorite rice mix, I powered up our side dishes!

And once they realized it was great to eat, we just substituted it for rice altogether!

Trying something new isn't always easy, but it can really be worth it!  I encourage you to try it with your family!

Let me on how you would introduce Freekeh into your family, and you will have the chance to win a free bag of Freekeh!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Your Guide to The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2015

Yesterday's runDisney news has thrown us all into hyperdrive!  The announcement that the Race we've all  been looking for was coming to Walt Disney World was galactic!  And Endor once again launched fireworks in celebration!

But with all the excitement and various reports, the details seemed to be confusing.  So, I put them altogether for you here:  The What, When, and How of the Walt Disney World Star Wars Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend - The Dark Side!

Kessel Challenge Dark Side Challenge
Extra Bonus:  You can use this race to qualify for the Coast to Chateau when you participate in the runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon!  #AllinforParis !

I am looking forward to all the new information that will be heading our way in the next few weeks!

 I'm definitely #AllinfortheDarkSide !  How about you?
The Dark Side Challenge
Things to remember:
Get Ready to Register:  Check out My Blog on How to Register for The Dark Side

Plan Your Trip:  Check out Walt Disney Resorts at a Value Price for The Dark Side

Be in the Know:  Contact me to be on my Notification List for Star Wars News and Updates!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

5 Tips for Coming Back After Injury!

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," and I would add runners, too! 

My SMART Goals from earlier this year have definitely become skewed due to injury; however,  I'm slowly on the mend and have starting running again.  Coming back from a running injury stinks, but not as much as the injury itself.

And now that my Doctor is ready to let me go on my own, I have no excuses!  He gave me these 5 Tips for success to keep me moving forward:

Kessel Runner

These Tips are pretty simple but that doesn't mean the road to recovery will be.   It's going to take time: the important thing is never give up.  

I must always remember to be grateful for every mile, because the road to Paris will be worth it!
Are you recovering from an injury?  Let me know how you are fighting the battle.
Read more on my struggles with Tendonitis.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

D23 Expo Saturday Recap

August 15, 2015
The D23 Expo is the Convention for the Official Disney Fan Club, D23, named after 1923 when Walt left Kansas for Hollywood!  And the D23 Expo was buzzing with excitement on Saturday with lots of great announcements for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

Probably the most exciting news Saturday was Star Wars Land at both parks!  This will be a large expansion project that will help us relive the old and new Star Wars sagas!

And we have heard for some time about expanding Toy Story Mania - but a whole new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World was definitely unexpected news!  This expansion will broaden the appeal of Hollywood Studios for all ages!

Now, if you are like me, I just am not sure that I can wait for Star Wars Land! But to feed our need for all things Star Wars, Disney will provide new attractions this year with more phasing in starting early 2016!

Coming by the end of 2015: 

Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars
This will be an interactive experience at both parks that will take you into all the worlds of the Star Wars Saga including The Force Awakens.  To me, this has an Epcot feel to it much like Innoventions; a place to learn and experience galactic life.  (Not to mention a great place to get out of the sun!)

Star Tours
Star Wars

Both parks will be updated to include worlds and characters from The Force Awakens.  This addition to Star Tours will really broaden the rage of adventures.  It will be interesting to see how they mesh the new and the old together in the ride.  

Jedi Training
Jedi Training

Jedi Training will be expanded to include new Jedi and Villains to test your skills!  This attraction is gaining in popularity and adding the new characters will be an awesome addition.  Just imagine battling The Inquisitor!  

Coming 2016

Seasons of the Force

This exciting addition will reimagine Space Mountain in Disneyland into Hyperspace Mountain thrusting the rider into the middle of an X-Wing battle!  Space Mountain is one of my favorite rides, so moving this into the Galaxy Far Far Away will be an amazing experience for me!

And fans of Star Wars can come out each weekend to Hollywood Studios to see an exciting new Star Wars Fireworks show!

If you came to Star Wars Weekends 2014 and 2015, you were able to experience the breath taking Star Wars fireworks extravaganza!
This reimagined pyrotechnic/music show will be another great addition to the expanding Hollywood Studios!

We all grew up falling in love with classic Disney Park attractions, but the years to come will bring us many new things to share with our families and to fall in love again with Walt Disney's Dream!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hiking the Petroglyph National Monument

August 2015
Kessel Runner New MexicoLast week I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at a meeting for my day job.  And, as always, I try to make travel a Work-cation and find fun, outdoor, fitness adventures to do that families might be interested in as well.  My rules of Work-cations are easy:

1. Plan before you go: Talk to friends and family that have gone to your travel area, and google hiking and running in the area.  Look for any recreation trails, or National Parks.  I'm partial to anything managed by the National Park Service because I know that it will be safe, well maintained and family friendly!

2. Realize that you aren't on a real vacation and will have a limited time-frame and daylight to adventure.

3. Pack the appropriate gear, cameras, etc.

I had actually heard from a co-worker to look up the Petroglyph National Monument.  And I was very happy I did!   The Monument was perfect fit for me:  I love mixing history, nature, and learning something along the way!

The Monument has several trail areas to choose from with over 20,000 petroglyphs carved by Native Americans.  I decided to chose the Piedras Marcadas Canyon in the northernmost area of the Monument because it seemed the most rugged.

The canyon had small sandy trails to guide you and lots off-shoots from the main trail to explore. 

Kessel Runner New Mexico

As you got deep into the canyon you found yourself surrounded by black-eyed susans as far as the eye could see and some over 5 feet tall!

Kessel Runner New Mexico

I loved seeing the many different flowers along the paths and hearing all the busy honeybees and bubleblees!  They were actually quite loud!

Kessel Runner New Mexico
And I did manage to see a beautiful bird (which I think is a Say's Phoebe), a whiptail lizard and some ferocious fire ants.   
Kessel Runner New Mexico

But the main attraction of this park are the large basalt rocks and the petroglyphs.

New Mexico

The Pueblo peoples of the area were the main contributors to the petroglyphs.   The actual process to create them took a very long time, so they were thoughtfully put in place - not just random drawings.

 New Mexico

I was definitely intrigued and moved by the sheer number and variety of images.  Many were high on the walls of the canyon and I couldn't reach them at all.  But most were just a short climb away, and you were free to sit, touch and examine them close up!  Archaeologists think that images, like this one, are examples of birds from Central America showing a commerce between the areas.

To Native Americans, however, the drawings are to remain sacred, or secret: they hold a memory, a story that we can only imagine.   William Weahkee, a Pueblo Elder, said it best "Each of these rocks is alive, keeper of a message left by the ancestors... there are spirits, guardians; there is medicine"

I definitely left feeling at peace: a gift given to me by the ancestors and one that your family would enjoy as well!

See more of my traveling adventures!
Tip:  The Albuquerque Volcanoes are a side trip to the Petroglyph National Monument!  Worth seeing if you have the time!

You are exposed to the dry, hot, New Mexico Sun - bring plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen!

Watch out for Rattlesnakes and report any sightings to the Ranger.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Registration Tips!

September 2015 
To truly know the power of the Dark Side, one must run the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World!  But first, you must register for this momentous, galactic event!

So, Registering for a runDisney race seems simple right?  Well it can be, but it can also be stressful when the race sells out in minutes!  And the servers crash!  And you didn't get in!

And with the popularity of Star Wars and the anticipation of an exciting race such as the Dark Side, I expect a large number of runners registering for this event!

Over the years, I have learned my lessons the hard way, and I have some tips to share with you to make registering easier!

1. Know What You Will Be Registering For:  Don't wait untill you log in to think about what you are going to register for, know before you go!
  • Will you be doing the Family 5K and Kids Races?  
  • Do you need the Chear Squad for your family?
  • Will you be doing the 10K or half or both?  
  • Did you want commemorative merchandise?
Make a list and be ready!

5 Lessons You can Learn from Carving Pumpkins!

Funny how you can find life in the simplest of things... like carving pumpkins!  The art of carving pumpkins found me deep in thought and finding lessons in life!

1.  You Don't Want a Perfect Pumpkin!

The best pumpkins to carve have character!  Ideally, you want a pumpkin that has a flat side:  the side laid on the ground as it grew.  The flat side makes carving the face so much easier!

Life Lesson:  The best people you meet and the best friends you have, will show a little character; that flat side that shows wear and tear and growth!

2.  Use the Right Tools!

You can carve a pumpkin the easy way, or the hard way:  the easy way is using the right tools for the job!  Each tool has a specific purpose and makes carving more enjoyable!  

Life Lesson:  We often try to reinvent the wheel when it isn't necessary.  Most of the time, you can find a simpler way to do things; if you just look for them!  Chances are someone has step by step instructions to learn from their mistakes!

3.  Start at the Bottom and Realize It's Going to Get Messy!

I always start at the bottom and carve the hole creating a nice, sturdy candle stand.  A lot of people start at the top cutting their hole at the stem.  However, as the candle burns, it bakes and shrinks the stem and often times it won't fit anymore.

And cleaning out the guts is never easy; expect a mess.  It is ok to get dirty!

Life Lesson:  If we are going to work on improvements, you need to start at the bottom and work our way up; realizing that you have to reach deep inside, too, to create something new!

4.  Have a Strategy

An unplanned Jack-o-Lantern never turns out like you expect!  There are lots of great patterns on the internet and Pinterest: inspiration is everywhere!  And unless you are an accomplished artist, it is best to use a pattern or draw it on your pumpkin, first!

Life Lesson:  A vision with a goal, and a goal with a strategy  will drive you to success!

5.  Think Outside the Pumpkin:  Express Yourself!

It's ok to carve a traditional pumpkin!  However, reach outside the norm and be creative and have fun!

Life Lesson:  Tradition is awesome!  It is what binds a holiday and family together!   However, you need to find yourself in the tradition and create the Unique You!  You will be happier for it!

Do you find life in the most common of activities?  I'd love to hear about them!