Thursday, September 20, 2018

Disney Cruise Day 3: At Sea Day

Our first full day on board the Disney Fantasy was an at Sea Day. It also happened to be formal night and our plans didn't include a whole lot of anything, which I loved.


We did sleep in a little bit after a late night at the adult club, then we decided to grab breakfast at Cabanas. Leisurely eating breakfast while relaxing and people watching was so nice and definitely something we haven't had a chance to experience in a little while.


Mickey waffles and museli are a favorite of mine on DCL.


Our first "activity" for the trip took place mid morning in La Piazza. We are huge nerds and LOVE Disney trivia, so we played as many rounds as we could on this trip! We also won!


Between lunch and the next round of trivia, we explored the ship and took a few pictures.


I also had my first specialty coffee from DCL (EVER...can you believe it?) and it was delicious! My new barista friend also gave it to me as a "gift" from Mickey for my birthday! Now that's a way to get the cruise started off just right! :)


Before dinner, we played another round of trivia...this time, it was Disney music trivia. We also saw a guy we recognized from the adult club the previous evening and he was alone, so we asked if he wanted company. He was a super sweet guy from London and we loved making a new friend! In fact, we continued to play trivia as a "team" several times throughout the cruise! He also loved our team name, by the way (Idiots on a Cruise prevails)!


As I mentioned before, formal night was also this evening and I'm so glad they decided to put this on the very first full day on the ship, before everyone was sunburned with weird tan lines and such.


Our dinner that evening was in Enchanted Garden. This restaurant is so pretty...I love the atmosphere!


When you start off in the restaurant with your meal, it's day time. As the meal progresses, the sun begins to set and the flowers begin to awake. By the time dessert has come around, it's night time and the stars are out. It's such a neat experience!


After returning to our room, Jason surprised me with a room full of decorations for my birthday the following day!


It was such a fun surprise! I loved it!

After a relaxing day at sea, we slept peacefully and prepared for our next relaxing day at sea! Take me back, please?!

That's it for today! Thanks for following along with our recent cruise vacation! Stay tuned for more next week! :) 

What's your favorite part of an at sea day?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tips to Keep the Excitement in Running

Let's face it - after running for a while, we all get to a point where we feel tired, worn out, or simply burnt out. I have certainly felt that way many times over the past 10 years or so since becoming a runner, and have found a few tips that help every time I feel that "slump" coming on. Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorite tips with you to help keep the excitement in running!




#1 Change It Up
Do you continually run the same route over and over again? Well, maybe it's time to branch out and explore...find a new route! Do you have a national park near your home? How about a gorgeous lake or a pretty school campus? Seeing new things or running a new route is always a plus for me. Add some variety to your running routes and it will make a world of difference, I promise!

#2 Register For A Race
Are you currently registered for a race? Having a race to train for and look forward to always gives a little extra motivational push for me and it's a great way to add some excitement to your training plan! Finding a local or even an out of town race can be a great way to give a little more excitement to your running regime!

#3 Find A Friend
Having a friend or a buddy to share in the miles with makes all the difference in the world. Branch out and find a local running group! It's not as intimidating as it seems, I promise. Running with a friend helps the miles fly!

#4 Cross Train 
Mix it up! Add a little variety to your training plan with a cross training day or two per week. Do you have a local gym, a spin studio, Orangetheory, a pool, or even access to YouTube? The list could go on and on. There's so many ways to incorporate cross training into your routine and your body will thank you for it, too!

#5 New Shoes
Ok, who doesn't love a run in a brand new pair of cushy running shoes for the first time? Or what about a cute new outfit to add to your running wardrobe? Yes, this one is totally superficial and I'm not encouraging you to go out and buy a new running outfit every single time you feel like you are in a slump, but it doesn't hurt every once in a while! Sometimes, you just gotta look for the little things....

Last but not least, REST.  When your body is telling you it's tired and you need to rest, go ahead and do it. I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but it's SO important to listen to your body and take those rest days when needed. When your next running day comes around, you'll feel refreshed and excited to run once again!

Running is such a fun sport and when that sparkle of excitement dims, it's sometimes hard to find it once again. So, I hope these tips have helped if you're needing to find that excitement once again!

How do you keep the excitement in running? 

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fitness Friday - 9/14

Long time no Fitness Friday!

This was our first full week back at work from vacation and we really got back into the swing of things! Brayden is doing awesome at Mother's Day Out and loves his little class! I was also able to get back into the groove with running and Orangetheory as well. Let's take a look!

Fitness Friday

Currently Training For:
  • Dopey Challenge 2018 - Walt Disney World
  • Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2018 - New Orleans, LA 
  • Contraband Days 5 Miler 
  • 4 on the 4th
  • Castaway Cay 5K (Cancelled)
  • Rock n Roll San Antonino Half 
  • Fairy Tale Challenge 
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday -
3 Mile Run with Brayden
Tuesday - Orangetheory Endurance Workout
Wednesday - Orangetheory Strength Workout
Thursday -
Rest Day
Friday - To be determined! :)
Saturday - 5 Mile Run

What a fun week we had!

Towards the end of last week, I had a small punch biopsy on my lower back which resulted in two stitches. All is well and nothing is wrong, but I was instructed not to work out for "a while". In my mind, "a while" translated to take it easy on the weekend and it's ok to resume on Monday...so yeah, that's what I decided to go with. Nurses are stubborn folks, I tell ya.


So, on Monday after work, I loaded Brayden up and we went out on a 3 mile run around the neighborhood! It had been a while since he'd gone with me and he enjoyed seeing familiar sights. About halfway through, I noticed the air in one of the tires was almost completely flat. Whomp whomp.


Oh well, we still kept a good cadence and pace! I was happy with it!


After work on Tuesday, I stopped by Orangetheory for an endurance workout.

This. Workout. Was. So. Tough.

We did mini bands along with other crazy things on the weight floor. The treadmill workout wasn't easy either. I've also noticed a huge change in my splat points since this new formulation they've come up with. My calories and average heart rate stay about the same, but I'm in red a LOT more. I used to feel like I had to workout to the max in order to just get in the orange zone and now, I'm hitting the red zone when I work out in the same manner.
 

So, I took that idea into account on Wednesday when I returned for my next Orangetheory workout and I dialed it back just a smidge. To be honest, I felt kind of tired from the previous day's workout, but by dialing it back a little, I actually felt great! I also love that no two days are the same movements, so where we did a TON of squats on Tuesday, we did mostly upper body on Wednesday. You'll notice my red zone time is much less, but my average heart rate and calories burned are close. I think I'll continue to take this approach from now on.

Thursday was a rest day because I was seriously sore from three days in a row of pretty hard workouts/running. I am pretty sure I haven't done anything like that since Dopey's Challenge in January!

Other fun things this week included a Disney Cruse Line inspired dinner of Jerk Chicken and Dole Whips for dessert. These "dole whips" are super easy to make and relatively low in calorie! I was shocked to see that this ranged about 70 calories per serving!


I'll definitely share this recipe in an upcoming post soon!


I also enjoyed a lot of fun Brayden time this weekend since Jason was working nights! We spent Saturday morning at the mall, playing with a friend!


He LOVES being around other kids and he especially loves the little playground in the mall. It's so much fun and a great way to spend a gloomy Saturday morning. Auntie Anne's pretzels might also be right across the way and they get me almost every time. Dangit.


Seriously, though...how grown up is he?! I just love it!

Well, that's my week in a nutshell! I hope to do some yard work this afternoon/evening and plan on a distance run tomorrow. I'll have to bring Brayden along, so air in the Bob tires will be necessary this time around!

Have a great weekend! Do you have any fun plans?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Disney Cruise Day 2: All Aboard!

When I left off last week on our recent Disney Cruise Line vacation, we had eaten breakfast at Port Orleans French Quarter and were waiting on the Disney Cruise Line bus to arrive to take us to the port.


Something to consider if you're planning on taking Disney transportation is the fact that they don't pick you up very early to bring you to the port. Traditional resort transportation won't arrive until 11:30 a.m. or later, which puts you getting to the port around 1 p.m. or later. For this trip specifically, it was closer to 2 p.m. for us. Now, if you'd rather not fight the port crowds, then this isn't a huge deal. BUT, if you like to board the ship early, eat lunch, explore, or even add an itinerary item, this becomes a bit of a bigger deal.


Anyway, our bus arrived at our resort at 12:10 p.m. and after a quick stop to pick up more cruisers from Old Key West, we were off!

For those of you who miss the classic, original Mickey cartoons, they still play them on the bus and I might have been a little happier than I should have been to see them.


The ride to the port was super smooth without any traffic, delays, or issues.


There she is!

Check in was super smooth. We didn't have much of a line and we were on the ship in record time!


Side note, if you have the Disney Cruise Line app, lots of fun things happen on your official sailing date!


 After a quick greeting in the lobby, we headed over to Cabana's for lunch!


I absolutely love the look and feel of the Disney ships. They are just so classy and timeless!


Lunch was extra delicious...and so was dessert! :)


By the time we finished eating, we realized our rooms had been ready for a little while, so we headed that way to drop off our carryons. I also facetimed my dad and brother to show them our room.


It was a beautiful day for sailing!


Our muster drill took place on the promenade deck and this was our first time to ever be placed outside for one of these. Although the day was beautiful, it was HOT.


As soon as the muster drill was over, we made a bee-line for deck 12 for the Sailing Away party! One of my favorite parts of any Disney Cruise is hearing the horn on that first day...it's the perfect way to begin a Disney cruise!


Mickey and friends had to join in the festivities, too!


Off we go!


This cruise was a little different for us in a few ways, too.  Apparently DCL was trying out a few "new" things and one of those was to change the show times up a little on port days, so those with late dining had a little extra time to get ready for the show before dinner. To be honest, I loved it! Also, instead of a different show every night, they basically had three main shows that were shown twice each throughout the cruise (Aladdin, Disney Wishes, and Disney Believe), plus one night of Christopher Robin. I also liked this as well as it gave us three "off" nights to do whatever we pleased.

Anyway, our first night on board was spent in an animation class since we can't do this at Walt Disney World anymore!


Our characters were Chip and Dale and for my serious lack of artistic talent (it's bad, y'all), I didn't think they turned out half bad!


Dinner on our first night was in Animator's Palate. I tried the Tuna Steak and really liked it! They also served Butternut Squash Soup which is a Cruise Line favorite of mine.


Dessert was delicious, too!


After dinner, we spent a little time in the adult only area before calling it a night.


We had a great first day on board the Disney Fantasy and were looking forward to all the fun to come!


Stay tuned for more from our 2018 Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean August Sailing! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fall Changes, Running Style

Has fall weather visited your place yet? It definitely has not here. Although we've seen a reprieve from the 100+ degree days of summer, it's still hot...and humid...and the mosquitos are BAD.


I do love this time of year, though. The weather and nature starts to show signs that things are changing. I also love fall decor and colors - pumpkins and all things orange and brown and green and cream! One thing I'm not is a pumpkin spice fan. Or pumpkin pie. However, I do love pumpkin bread! That counts for something, right? Sorry all of you pumpkin spice lovers. I've tried it and although I want to like it, I just can't!

We have a running joke here that the leaves on the trees go from green to brown. There's not much in between which is sad because fall foliage is so pretty!

So, how will all of this affect my fall running plans? Well, once fall weather DOES decide to arrive (usually around early October), I'll definitely have more motivation to run outside for starters!
  
Consistent Cross Training

This will be the first time in a very long time that I've been consistent with a cross training program (Orangetheory), so I'm curious to see if/how that affects my running performance this fall.
  
10K PR?

My current 10K PR is a really good one for me and I'm not sure if it's attainable at this moment, so we will see what happens with that too. I'm trying to not look at numbers and get scared or say "I can't do that again" because I know if I did it once, I CAN do it again. It's all a mental game. Hopefully the weather for race day is good - that will make all the difference in the world.
 
Warmer Running Clothing


"That" drawer in my closest will finally be opened again and my long sleeved running things will appear! I cannot wait!!

Consistent Training Plan/Longer Mileage 

Lately, I've been kind of doing "whatever" and "whenever" when it comes to working out and that will all soon change. Once I hit the training schedule for my next half marathon (which will be soon), my mileage will definitely increase and thankfully, it will be will a little less heat from the outside world!

 How will fall change your running plans?

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Friday, September 7, 2018

Day 1: Port Orleans French Quarter & Disney Springs

We've returned home from another amazing Disney Cruise Line vacation and I can't wait to share all of the fun details with all of you!

Our cruise vacation began a day early with an overnight stay at Port Orleans French Quarter, which was a resort we'd never stayed at in the past and quickly fell in love with it! Riverside is a huge favorite of mine and I assumed that French Quarter wouldn't live up for me but it DID!

I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's go back to where it began...the airport!


For this trip, Jason and I used the TSA Precheck that we purchased for the first time this summer.

It. Was. Worth. Every. Penny.  I honestly can't believe we hadn't done this sooner! Y'all...I can't talk it up enough!


After a super smooth flight from New Orleans, we landed in Orlando without any issues.  Thankfully, we used Magical Express so all of our bags were taken care of!

When we arrived at French Quarter, we stopped at the front desk to ask a question and the super kind cast member was very helpful and found a room for us that was cleaned and ready to go! (1 point for French Quarter!)


Inside our room was this super fun hidden mickey made with Mardi Gras beads! So cute!

After getting settled in our room, the bottom literally fell out of the sky and continued to pour for the next 45 minutes or so. Instead of letting the rain get us down, Jason and I took a nap while waiting on it to subside.


Our plans for the afternoon included a stop at Disney Springs for lunch and a little exploring. We also had ADR's at The Edison and we were really looking forward to it!


Since we didn't have a lot of time between "lunch" and our dinner ADR's, we split an order of Poutine! It was actually quite tasty!

Our first purchase of the trip was in the Pandora store where Jason surprised me with a Pandora charm of Walt and Mickey! It's one of my favorites for sure!

After a little shopping, we made our way over to The Edison for dinner.


This is seriously the coolest restaurant! We loved the decor!!


I ordered the fish and chips because they sounded tasty...


...and Jason ordered the Edison burger! By the way, do y'all like his shirt?! I bought it for him for his birthday last year!



Once we finished with dinner, we hopped on a boat and made our way back to French Quarter to meet up with our friend Randy!



It was so great to visit with him and see him again!


Our final stop for the evening was over at Riverside to see the Yeeha Bob show. I've been wanting to see it for a long time and just never made it over there. I arrived about 20 minutes before his show and the place was PACKED. Sadly, my seat wasn't the best and it was kind of hard to hear what he had to say. He was funny, though! Hopefully next time I'll be able to snag a closer seat.


On Saturday morning, we had a breakfast of Mickey beignets in the Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory. They were actually quite delicious and tasted much closer to the beignets I'm so familiar with back home. The old recipe from several years back was just...ok. Thank you to whomever decided to change this!


For this trip, we decided on Disney transportation and didn't have a pickup time until 12:10 p.m. which is later than we've ever been picked up before. We were kind of bummed about it and even though we knew that DCL resort pickups are later in the morning, we discussed taking a town car for our next trip.

As  I mentioned earlier, we LOVED Port Orleans French Quarter and all this cute, quaint, and adorable resort had to offer! I can't wait to stay there again! 

Up next: Our first day on board the Disney Fantasy! Stay tuned! :)

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