Monday, September 30, 2013

Creating A Race Costume

I love a good race costume! Running in costume is SO much fun and really adds a lot to a race experience. Disney races are full of runners dressed in costume, most of them are Disney related of course! I love checking out others costumes while running by – it definitely helps pass the long stretch of miles when not in a theme park!

In full costume, I’ve run:

AAGPBL Costume

  • 2010 Jazz Half as an All American Girls Professional Baseball League player (this race was on Halloween weekend)

Rapunzel Running Costume

Karen Mousketeer 2[4]

None of the above costumes were easy to think up and create, especially the first one (logos were scarce at the time). Don’t let me scare you away, though….with a little time and creativity, you can make anything happen!

Here’s my tips on creating a race costume that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime:

  • Decide what you want to be – think of the theme of the race, your favorite character, the location you are running, the time of year, is it a holiday? Take all factors into consideration and jot down your ideas. For the Princess Half, I knew I wanted to be a Princess, so that narrowed down my decision a lot. The Disneyland 10K was full of runners dressed in Alice in Wonderland costumes since it was a Neverland Theme. You definitely don’t have to dress like a certain character because of a race theme, those are just ideas to help get you started.
  • Gather your supplies. Decide how involved you want the costume to be. Do you want a tutu? Arm sleeves? Any accessories? Picture your idea in your mind (this might/will change and grow as you develop the costume itself).
  • Look for items on clearance. My shirt for the Jazz Half was on the sales rack at Academy…developing a costume does not have to be expensive!  If you have to order online, make sure you ship the item with enough time to arrive before leaving for your race experience.
  • Are you ironing things onto your costume? I’ve seen fluff, sparkles, logos, duct tape, you name it! Need ideas? Google runDisney costumes and SO many ideas will pop up on the screen. Same with Pinterest!
  • Once your supplies are gathered, get to work! Craft stores offer items to make costume creating easier such as fabric glue, Heat ‘n Bond, tulle, elastic, iron-ons, paint…you name it, they’ve got it (well, almost)!
  • After your costume is complete, show it off! Post your work of art on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, your blog – we want to see your creation!!
  • Test out your costume….go for a test-run. You don’t want any surprises on race day. Seriously, this is very important!
  • If packing your costume for a race-cation, make sure items will fold well into your suitcase.
  • Finally, run your race, have a great time, take a ton of pictures, and enjoy every moment! (Once you’re back home, we also want to see race pictures!)

Below, you’ll find a step by step process of how I created my Mousketeer Costume for the Disneyland Half Marathon.

Mousketeer Karen

For the Disneyland Half, I decided on Mousketeer Karen. After a little research, I discovered that their skirts were blue and their hats were worn on the back of their heads (never realized this before….a very important detail)!

In order to make the costume itself, I needed several items – a shirt, a skirt, shorts, and ears.

Mousketeer Race Costume

I purchased the ears at WDW in January, before this costume idea was even born (definitely worked out for me)! The shirt was purchased at Wal-Mart, Danskin brand – somewhere around $5.00. I purchased a Sparkle Skirt to give a little pizazz to the outfit. The biking shorts came from Target and I already had them at home.

Yes, it IS possible to iron designs onto a “dry fit” shirt!

Race Costume 1

I purchased iron-ons to print my name on the front of the shirt and the logo on the sleeve. There are two types of iron-ons available – one for “Dark” and one for “Light”. Personally, I prefer the dark transfers because the colors are much brighter on them.

Dark Transfers – everything you see when you print the picture will look exactly the same when ironed onto your shirt, including the white of the transfer. When ironing “dark” transfers onto colored shirts, be sure to trim as close to the design as possible (this can be tricky)
Light Transfers – everything seen as white on a “light” transfer will take on the color of the shirt once it’s ironed on. Therefore, if you do not want everything that’s white on your light transfer to be the same as the color of your shirt, use dark transfers instead.

Race Costume 2

Here’s an example of the logo I used for my mom and I’s shirts during the Royal Family 5K. The logo was printed onto a dark transfer, then ironed onto a bright pink shirt. In hindsight, I should have trimmed away all of the white around the Mickey ears because that showed up on our shirts. Ah well, lesson learned.

After ironing on the Mousketeer logos, my costume was pretty much complete!

Mousketeer Karen 1

Mousketeer Karen 2

I really enjoyed running the Disneyland Half Marathon in costume! I especially enjoyed seeing the creative costumes others created! Overall, running in costume really added to the race experience – with my name on the front of my shirt, I received a ton of shout outs from spectators as I ran by. In the toughest moments of the last few miles, those shout outs really made a difference and helped push me through to the end.

Have you ever run a race in costume? If not, do you have a favorite costume…maybe one you’ve seen while running a race?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fitness Friday–9/27

Hello Friday!

Currently training for: Woman’s Half Marathon - December 8, Louisiana
Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – February 2, 2013, Louisiana


Saturday – No run – heavy rains/flooding on Friday night left our area in pretty bad shape 
Sunday – 20 minute core routine 
Monday – Yoga in the morning; 5 mile run after work
Tuesday – Rest Day
Wednesday – Cross Train with “boot camp” style workout
Thursday – Yoga and stretching; No run r/t lower back pain – I sat on the couch on a heating pad most of the night.
Friday – Hoping to get in a run today

Monday’s run was pretty tough as the weather was quite warm and humid in the afternoon. I tried to push myself, but I didn’t eat very well during the day and I felt it during my run. A coworker brought and amazing peach cobbler dessert breakfast to work, which I ate on Monday. After my awful run on Monday afternoon, I stayed away from the sticky sweet cobbler the rest of the week. It’s funny how easy of a decision that was for me….totally unlike me at all!


Saturday, I am going to run with the group, then I’m going wedding dress shopping with a friend! I’m so excited, I just love weddings…and her…looking forward to fun times! :0)

I have a favorite to share, too! This week, I won an Allied Medal Display from a giveaway hosted by Mindy! Trying to choose a display is not easy. These Magical Designs are definitely calling my name, I just need to make a decision. Funny story…..last week, Jason asked what I want for Christmas this year and I showed these to him. Whoops!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Careful Running

Growing up, I had the mentality of “Play hard or don’t play at all” when it came to softball. You know, the “Go big or go home” way of thinking.

warriors softball

I took practice seriously, I took summers off seriously, and I took games seriously. I loved the sport and I enjoyed being on the field. Softball didn’t come easy to me as I didn’t being playing until 7th grade and I was scared to death to transition to fast-pitch. Finally, it came to the point where I had to make a decision – either switch to fast pitch or don’t play at all. I trained hard, played on several all-star teams, and by the end of senior year, I made the All-District team. 

Pushing through pain wasn’t a question – we all did it, even if our coach wasn’t aware at the time. A teammate of mine used to tape her hand/wrist so tight, she couldn’t feel her thumb anymore. I once jammed my finger during a tournament and borrowed her tape for a “quick fix”. When I first began playing fast pitch, I can’t tell you how many times I crowded the plate so I could get hit by the pitch – that was an easy ride to first base. We did what we had to do to stay in the game.

This mentality followed me as I grew older. A couple of summer ago, I found myself on a softball field once again only this time, I was surrounded by adult women and men. While running to 2nd base after hitting a double, I was hit by a wayward ball. I heard someone yell “heads up”, so I reached 2nd base, ducked my head, and the ball hit me on the foot. No big deal, right? Wrong. The ball hit my foot in such a way that it split one of the phalanges in two –aka, I had a broken bone in my foot. Thankfully it was a clean break – I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t seem to “walk off” the pain. What do you think I did after that? My hard headed self and I finished playing the game. I finished the inning (running into home), then played the last inning in the outfield – I was in terrible pain but again, I did what I had to do to stay in the game.

With running, this “Go big or go home” mentality doesn’t always work, and I definitely learned the hard way when I dealt with my ITBand injury. If I could have taped up my knee so tight I couldn’t feel it and continued running, I would have. In the world of running, you have to listen to your body. Every ache or pain that goes ignored can lead to weeks and weeks of no running at all, perhaps even physical therapy or surgery.


I’ve noticed since my injury, I’m a more “careful” runner. I don’t always push myself as hard as I used to (which is not good for me or my sub 2 hour half marathon goal). Perhaps in a way, I’m scared to death of being injured again. I’ve told myself time and time again, some running is better than no running at all. Maybe I’m scared of being injured again? Maybe I feel as if my injury will resurface if I push myself too hard?

I’m still trying to draw the fine line between “go big or go home” and “careful running”.  In reality, maybe there really is no fine line to draw – maybe it’s ok to have a little bit of both in the mix. It IS possible to push yourself, but know your limits at the same time. I’m going to work on moving out of the comfort zone I’ve cornered myself into. I CAN be “careful” without being “overly careful”. 

Where do you fit into the picture? Are you a go big or go home kind of runner or do you find yourself more on the careful side?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Racecation Day 1 VLOG: San Diego

Sunday, August 25, 2013 – Astros game; Houston, TX & Vlog
>>Monday, August 26, 2013 – San Diego and Old Town<<
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – My Birthday and Sea World
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – San Diego Zoo
Thursday, August 29, 2013 – Travelling to Disneyland/Downtown Disney
Friday, August 30, 2013 – DCA and the Disneyland Half Expo & Vlog
Saturday, August 31, 2013 – Disneyland 10K and Park time & Vlog
Sunday, September 1, 2013 – Disneyland Half Marathon and more park time & Vlog 



On yesterday’s “Travel Tuesday”, I shared a a blog about our 1st Racecation day exploring San Diego. Today, please check out the vlog I made, showcasing our crazy adventures! We sure had a great day and really enjoyed spending time together. My husband is a goofball if you haven’t figured that one out already! :0)


Do you enjoy travelling with a big a big group of family/friends or a small group? I love both! :0)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Racecation Day 1: San Diego Adventures

Sunday, August 25, 2013 – Astros game; Houston, TX & Vlog
>>Monday, August 26, 2013 – San Diego and Old Town<<
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – My Birthday and Sea World
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – San Diego Zoo
Thursday, August 29, 2013 – Travelling to Disneyland/Downtown Disney
Friday, August 30, 2013 – DCA and the Disneyland Half Expo & Vlog
Saturday, August 31, 2013 – Disneyland 10K and Park time & Vlog
Sunday, September 1, 2013 – Disneyland Half Marathon and more park time & Vlog


San Diego was absolutely beautiful! I loved the weather, the sights, and the food. I have lots of pictures to share so let’s begin!

California from the air

The terrain of the West amazes me - I come from completely flat land and marshes/swamp terrain. As we flew into Cali, I kept my eyes glued on the window! Beautiful!

San Diego Airport

We made it. Too bad the Padres weren’t in town…would have loved to catch a game!

I have to interject here with a  funny story. Several months ago, I reserved a car for our SoCal vacay – 3 days in San Diego. My husband is in LOVE with convertible Mustangs and although I reserved a vehicle under the “convertible” category, there was no guarantee to which car we would end up with. After picking up our luggage at the San Diego airport, we rode a bus to the Alamo distribution center. We checked in, then walked outside to the car area and were asked by the attendant which car we reserved. I told the attendant that our reservation said “Chrysler Sebring or similar”. She looked around then informed us that she was out of Sebrings. Jason spoke up immediately and said, “That’s ok! We’ll take that white Mustang right there!” The attendant looked at our paperwork, shrugged her shoulders, and said OK! She had NO idea how happy she made my husband.

California Mustang

He was seriously like a kid on Christmas morning.

California Mustang 2

I found it rather adorable! :0) Glad he was happy!

After putting the top down (of course), we drove to the nearest In-N-Out Burger for our first taste of this SoCal goodness!

In-N-Out Burger

Jason ordered everything Animal Style. I had my fries and burger “regular style” and it was delicious!! I wasn’t too keen on his animal style fries. I’ll take just ketchup, please!

Paradise Point San Diego

After lunch, we checked into our resort, Paradise Point.

Paradise Point San Diego 2

It was a lovely resort with little bungalow type rooms near the bay. Stay tuned for a review of our beautiful resort!

Paradise Point San Diego 3

All we had to do was walk out our door, take a few steps, and there was the beach.

We dropped off our luggage, then hopped back in the ‘Stang for a little San Diego exploring.

Camera Angle

Why hello there! :0)

Coronado Island Bridge

First stop: Coronado Island and the Hotel Del Coronado.

Hotel Del Coronado 1

I’m so glad we stopped by to visit this gorgeous resort, especially since the Grand Floridian was modeled after this one. (Side note: several months ago, we watched a Marilyn Monroe movie called “Some Like it Hot” – this movie was filmed at the Hotel Coronado! Pretty neat!)

Hotel Del Coronado 2Hotel Del Coronado 3

We quickly discovered that parking would be an issue in San Diego – parking lots were scarce, most people parked on the side of the road. Hotel Del Coronado charged $20 for use of their parking lot and because we couldn’t stay long, we decided to drive down the beach and find a spot along the side of the road (ie: FREE!).

Hotel Del coronado 5Hotel Del Coronado 4Hotel Del Coronado 15

We spent only a short while at the Hotel Del Coronado, then we made our way to Old Town.

Old Town 1 (2)

Old Town is a Historical Park and is known as the “Birthplace of California”.

Old Town 5Old Town 6

Along the road were several historical buildings depicting life in San Diego around the time period of 1820-1870.

Old Town 3Old Town 11

Funny…..I buy this at my local Wal-Mart for $1.50.

Old Town 10

We enjoyed shopping the markets and seeing the sights around town. After spending several hours sightseeing, dinner began calling our name. Lucky for us, there were several Mexican restaurants inside of Old Town to choose from!

Old Town 8Old Town 9

Old Town 4Old Town 12

Jason had nachos…

Old town 11 (2)

I had quesadillas….

Old town 13

…and because of FourSquare, a dessert of churros was on the house!

Old Town 14

After dinner, we watched dancers on stage for a few minutes, then said goodbye to Old Town!

San Diego Sunset

On our way out, we chased the sunset to the nearest beach.

San Diego Sunset2

It was absolutely breathtaking, and we caught the sun just as the tail end dipped into the ocean.

We had a fabulous first day in San Diego and really enjoyed seeing the sights! (Now I’m hungry for a burger!) :0)

Stay tuned for a Vlog of Day 1 – up on the blog tomorrow!

If you’ve been to San Diego, what was your favorite thing to see?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles (Paleo Version)

Let me admit something before I begin.

Deep breath…ok, here we go.

I’m not a fan of Pumpkin flavored things.


I know, right? I’m like the world’s worst Fall loser. When it comes to Winter and peppermint, I’m all on the bandwagon…but I just  can’t bring myself to get excited about Pumpkin Lattes and Pumpkin Coffee Creamer. I also don’t like Pumpkin Pie. What kind of American am I, anyway?

However…yes, there’s a however here…growing up, my mom used to make Pumpkin Muffins and I LOVED them. My love for Pumpkin Muffins spurred on my curiosity of Pumpkin filled Cinnamon Rolls, which I love and now make every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas breakfast. (Makes no sense, right? I know…I’m crazy!)

On Saturday morning, heavy rains and flooding in the area prevent my friends and I from getting out for our usual long run.  We even made national news for the large amounts of rain – more than 14 inches in just a few hours!


(This was taken a 7:30 a.m. – at 5:30 a.m., this road was completely impassible.)

SO, instead of running, I decided to cook breakfast at home. When you can’t run, eat, right? (BAD motto, Karen…bad motto.) Since the inside of my home thinks Fall is in the air (the weather finally agreed with me this weekend), I thought Pumpkin Pecan Waffles sounded like a great idea for breakfast!

Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 1

I gathered the ingredients, then got to work!

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles (Paleo Style)
Adapted from The Turtlewoman’s Kitchen


  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (pinch) nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (your choice)


    Whisk together the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

    In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: eggs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pumpkin puree.

    Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mix until the ingredients are well combined.

    Heat waffle iron until ready, then pour half of the batter into the iron. (This batter will make two perfectly sized Pumpkin Waffles.) Once first waffle is ready, repeat process on 2nd waffle with remaining batter.

    Serve with pure maple syrup, honey, or favorite topping. Enjoy!

    Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 2Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 5

    Dry and wet ingredients. I mixed the dry ingredients, then poured the wet ingredients on top. I don’t follow direction well. Whoops.

    Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 4Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 3

    Don’t you love my waffle iron? :0) Things taste better when they have a little Disney inspiration behind them – besides, Cinderella’s coach WAS a Pumpkin! Fitting, right? I thought so!

    Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 6Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 7


    Paleo Pumpkin Waffles 8

    I enjoyed my Cinderella Pumpkin Waffle with a cup of hot coffee in my Princess Half Marathon mug and a bit of agave nectar (I ran out of honey)!

    The second waffle was stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for breakfast on Sunday morning.

    If you try these, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

    Are you a fan of Pumpkin flavored things? What’s your favorite Fall inspired dish/drink/dessert?

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