Monday, March 25, 2013

Music Monday [Sing the Blues]

This week's Music Monday theme is the blues, not necessarily blues music, but songs that make you sing the blues, sad songs, maybe even ones that make you cry.

I thought of so many for this week.  Most are from my past and younger years.  I don't know if that means I'm happier these days, better able to deal with sorrow or just not so lost in life.

The first song I thought of was Bette's Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.  This song always makes me think of my mom.  It came out just as I was starting high school.  I wasn't a typical teenage girl that hated her mom.  My mom always supported me and did so much for me.  The song is fitting.

This next one came out right about the time my grandfather died.  His death was the first that really shook my world.  One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men still makes me think of loved ones I've lost over the years.

This one is very powerful when you know the story behind it and think of it's meaning.  This song is about the pain and loss Eric Clapton felt following the death of his four-year-old son, Conor, after he fell from a window of the 53rd-floor NY apartment.  Now that I have kids, it's even more moving.  Will our loved ones know us in Heaven?  Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton

Everybody Hurts by R.E.M was a comfort to hear on the radio when I was already feeling depressed or alone.  It came out my senior year of high school/freshman year of college...times of big change for me.  It was refreshing to know everyone hurts and feels alone at times, everyone cries, but you have to hold on and keep going.

My last song pick is My Never by Blue October.  The singer Justin Furstenfeld says it's "For my wife. A term I use for 'the one you could never have'... (your never). The one who just shook your soul."  This is a haunting song that doesn't make me cry like the rest but does pull at my heartstings.

Now I'm a big blubbering mess!

What music moves you?

For Music Mondays, I’m teaming up with my good friend and fellow Marathon Mama, Denise. Please stop by and check out Denise's Music Monday.

Visit Xmas Dolly for more Music Monday.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Walk, Waddle & Wheel 5K

My family and I were invited to participate in the Walk, Waddle & Wheel 5K on Saturday, May 11 in St. Petersburg.  With Mother's Day the following day, what better way to spend a Saturday than being active with my family.  Dylan, my 8 year old son, will be my running buddy again (my husband and oldest son are camping AGAIN)!  I promised Dylan a medal at his next 5K and while I'm not sure the Walk, Waddle & Wheel 5K is handing out finisher medals, they do have a fantastic, family fun fest after the race.

Walk, Waddle & Wheel's W3 Fest is a family event with live music, great food with healthy options, tons of prizes, an obstacle course and a kid zone with climbing walls, quad bungee and more.  Dylan willingly took the W3 Fest over a finisher's medal, if they're not awarded.  He loves outside activities like what they are offering at W3 Fest and I love spending time with my sweet boy!

Who wants to join us by getting out and doing something active on Mother's Day weekend at Walk, Waddle & Wheel?  It's good, healthy fun for the whole family!

Register by March 31, 2013 and save 25% by entering the code TBBW3.


Disney On Ice Rockin’ Ever After Giveaway

My family has the opportunity to see Disney On Ice Rockin' Ever After.  My boys are very excited to see the Disney On Ice show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum this May.  My older son, Jared, saw Disney On Ice Monsters Inc. years ago when he loved Mike and Sully.  But my younger son has never been to a Disney On Ice show.  Isn't that always the case with the second (or third) child not getting to do nearly as many things as the first born.  Well now he gets to see his favorite Disney characters come to life in this rockin' musical ice show!
Here is the show description for Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After.
Get ready to rock out with some of the most magical idols of all in a musical showcase that features the hottest tunes and talent from across the kingdom in Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After! Jam to a Scottish jig as a group of royal contenders from the latest Disney•Pixar film, Brave, competes to win the heart of headstrong, sharp-shooting Merida, making her ice debut! Experience a show-stopping performance as Sebastian breaks out of his shell for one night only to take waves with Ariel. A chorus of harmless hooligans from Tangled unleashes musical mayhem when they get a visit from the sassy and spirited Rapunzel and her charming ally Flynn. And, get your feet moving as the Beast and his castle’s enchanted entourage take center stage in a spectacular show for Belle. It will be a rockin’ remix of royalty when Disney On Ice brings this superstar line-up to your hometown.


Disney On Ice Rockin' Ever After will be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum May 16 - 19, 2013.
Show Dates & Times
May 16, 2013, 7:00 PM
May 17, 2013, 7:00 PM
May 18, 2013, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM
May 19, 2013, 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM
Ticket prices are $75.00 for Rinkside Dining, $45.00 VIP, $35.00, $30.00 and $16.00.
You can save $5 on select performances with promo code MOMD13.
Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.
One lucky reader can win four tickets to see Disney On Ice Rockin' Ever After on Friday, May 17 at 7:00 PM in Tampa at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  Enter through Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, March 22, 2013

Avocado Egg Salad

I've been on an avocado kick lately.  I love Hass avocados!  I'm finding all types of dishes to add avocados too.  I'm also Catholic and this is Lent so that means no meat on Fridays until Easter.  This Avocado Egg Salad is a perfect, sandwich alternative.

Avocado Egg Salad

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cubed
  • 2 Hass avocados, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add avocados and lime juice to a medium bowl and mix.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl of avocados and gently stir until combined.
  3. Serve immediately or chill first.
Recipe by Chrissy @ Loving Life
Recipe adapted from never homemaker



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sarasota Half Marathon 2013 Recap

Last weekend I was in beautiful Sarasota for the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay.  This was my first time racing the Sarasota Half Marathon.  I registered for this race because of last year's awesome dolphin medal and knew this year's medal would be huge too.  They claim it's the largest medal in Florida.  Yes, it's all about the bling!

It's an hour and a half drive down to Sarasota so my friend Denise and I drove down on Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets from Fit2Run.   We didn't want to get up way before the crack of dawn to drive down on race morning so we spent the night with my sister who lives in the area. 

Fit2Run was a great packet pick up location (even dog friendly because I had my dog with me).  I was disappointed that they were out of the race shirts in the size I registered for.  Usually, I would have to pick from the shirts that were left which is so frustrating since I registered 6+ months ago.  BUT, they had an organizer writing down names of people in my situation.  I'm supposed to be mailed the correct size shirt.  Wahoo!

On the morning of the race, we got up, drove to the race start, and parked with no issues.  It was freezing cold at only 52 degrees so we hung out in the car, pinned on our bibs, collected our gear (garmins and music)and snacked on peanut butter crackers until we absolutely had to walk to the start.  This wasn't going to be a PR for me.  My hamstring was still sore from whatever I did to it last week so I planned to take it easy, but I still wanted to finish in 2:30 or less.

Here I am with Marie Denise.
The race started a little after 7:00am with the course taking us over the Ringling Causeway first.  I've run over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway many times and figured this causeway would be similar.  Plus it would be great training for Iron Girl next month.  But the incline on this bridge seemed to go on forever and ever.  I felt like we would never reach the top.  On our climb, we were entertained by a guy playing the bagpipes and a cool, remote control, helicopter camera.

The course took us around St. Armand's Circle at mile 3.  It was a cute, quaint shopping area.  I had never been down to that area of Sarasota before but would love to go back and visit.  Then it was back over the monstrous bridge.  But you what, it wasn't so steep on the way back.  This side of the bridge seemed like it was already at a higher elevation.  Score!  The sun was rising as we started our ascent.

By the time we got the other side of the bridge, we had already finished 5+ miles.  The weather was still cool, the sun was up, and the day was beautiful!  We even saw a sailor kissing a nurse and some wildlife.  heehee

One of our blogging friends, Caroline, takes photos of herself while running.  Here are my attempts to capture Denise and I in a running action shot.  None of them are very good but we had some great laughs taking them!

It was at about mile 8 that my knee started to ache on the sore hamstring leg.  It wasn't bad and nothing I couldn't run through.  Then we walked through the mile 9 water station outside the Ringling Museum of Art.  When I tried to run again the pain in my knee was so intense I could barely put weight on that leg.  Not good.  I took a minute to stretch my hamstring and it felt better so I started to run again.  I ran a quarter mile or so and then pain again, pain so bad that it stopped me in my tracks.
So more stretching. 

This went on until about the 10.5 mile mark.  I've never run injured or with any pains before and let me tell you, it sucked!  Then I realized if I ran on the right side of the road with my PIA injured leg on the lower side of the road slope, I didn't get the sharp knee pains. So that's where I stared running.  With the pains gone and 2.5 miles left, I could still finish under 2:30.
I was able to finish without knee pain!  Marie Denise and I came in at 2:26:25.

After the race, we met up with other members of our running group, the Suncoast Striders.  We snacked on some post race food included yogurt parfaits, bagels with peanut butter, muffins, and beer.  I didn't partake in any beer but the rest of the food was delicious.  Post-race had a party atmosphere with music and entertainment.

I loved this guy!

Overall, the Sarasota Half Marathon was a great race and I would do it again.
Feast your eyes on my lovely bling!

This was my #5 race for 13 in 2013.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekly Workouts & Spring Sprint Recap

Last week's workouts:
  • Monday - rest
  • Tuesday - 3.32 miles interval sprints
  • Wednesday - rest
  • Thursday - 6.2 mile tempo run
  • Friday - rest
  • Saturday - 3.1 mile race at the Spring Sprint 5K with my 8 year old
  • Sunday - 13.1 mile race at the Sarasota Half Marathon
I completely slacked on push ups last week so I'm not even counting them.  I'm back on track for this week!

No Track Tuesday today.  I'm taking this week off from running.  I pulled my hamstring last week.  I took it easy in the 5K on Saturday because I was running with Dylan and I knew I had 13 miles to run on Sunday.  Now my knee hurts, so no running for me until it feels better.  I have one more half marathon next month and I plan to run it pain free.

The Spring Sprint is a local race put on by one of our elementary schools.  This was it's third year running.  Each year they make little improvements and I hope soon they will hand out actual medals instead of ribbons.  This was Dylan's 4th 5K, but bless his little heart, he hasn't gotten a medal yet.

Our morning started out cold for March in Florida with temperatures in the upper 40s.  Since, as I mentioned, my hamstring was bothering me, I planned to run an easy race.  I told Dylan I would run with him if he wanted me to but he never really gave me a solid answer.  So when the gun shot, signally the start of the race, I wasn't surprised when he took off with his friend like a bat out of hell.  Their energy and speed quickly diminished and I caught up with Dylan and his friend after .25 mile.  The three of us ran together after that (it was his friend's first 5K).

There was a little whining, some walking and zig-zag running but I knew the course so they got a much needed play by play on where we were in relation to the finish line.  I encouraged them to keep running, even if we needed to slow our pace, instead of walking.  They did terrific!

We made it to the finish line in just under 33 minutes!  Dylan was very proud that he was the first of our group to cross the finish line with an official time of 32:50.  He was also ecstatic that he beat me by one second (according to the gun time).  ;-)

Here's our group, with my superstar #22.  This was my 4th race for the 13 in 2013 challenge.

How were your workouts last week?  Did you run a St. Patty's race?


Pretty Muddy

Pretty Muddy was a big maybe on my list of races this year, mainly because I've never done a mud run and they scare me.  Well, I've decided to give the Pretty Muddy 5K race a try.  This race, in particular, is appealing because it's only for women, it has pretty in the name and the obstacles are fun!
"Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have fun."
The obstacles were built with fun in mind so there shouldn't be any barbed wire or fire to maneuver.  Each obstacle also has a sign showing me how to go around it if I don't feel comfortable with completing the obstacle.  
My friends are doing Pretty Muddy and I do love finishing races with a group of friends. Races are so much more fun with friends!
Who wants to join me in getting pretty muddy?  Check out the Tampa Race if you're local or sign up for a race near you!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Music Monday [Remakes]

I spent some time in the car this weekend for a race that was about an hour and 40 minutes from where I live.  I always have the radio on so that's lots of music time.  I noticed Pitbull infuses tunes from old songs to spice up his own hip hop songs.  Music provides memories.  I hear a tune and it takes me back to another time in my life.  So when an artist remakes a song or includes a familiar tune, I usually enjoy the different sound.  This week for Music Monday's freebie, I decided to pick some of my favorite remakes or remixes.  Who can forget Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby set to the sound of Queen's Under Pressure...but I won't subject you to that today.  Here are some others you might not know.

My first choice is Alien Ant Farm's remake of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal.  I actually like the Alien Ant Farm version better.  It has a beat that makes me want to move!

Here's Pearl Jam's Last Kiss.  I knew the version recorded by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.

Seether's Careless Whisper, originally performed by Wham.

Then we have Pitbull who infuses old sounds into his hip hop music. Here is Back In Time with remade pieces from Dirty Dancing's Love is Strange.

Pitbull also has Feel This Moment which sounds similar to a-ha's Take On Me.

What music moves you? Do you have a favorite remake or remix?

For Music Mondays, I’m teaming up with my good friend and fellow Marathon Mama, Denise. Please stop by and check out Denise's Music Monday.

Visit Xmas Dolly for more Music Monday.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video Game Adventure at Disney Quest

For my nephew's birthday, we went to Disney Quest in Orlando. 

For those of you who haven't been to or heard of Disney Quest, it is a video gamers' dream come true.  Disney Quest is 5 floors of games including virtual reality, 3D encounters and classic video games.  Inside Disney Quest, it's dark and cave-like and I didn't know the time of day. It reminded me of the Lotus Hotel and Casino in The Lightning Thief but was perfect for all day gaming.

My sister and I both have 2 boys.  The four of them are each about 1.5 years apart.  They would eat, sleep, and breath video games if we let them.  They "verse" each other on the Xbox quite often.  So needless to say, they were in heaven at Disney Quest.

We got there when it opened to beat the crowds.  Our first stop was Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters.

These were bumper cars that scooped up balls and shot them at other cars.  It was a two person job so I rode with Dylan, my 8 year old.  He wanted to drive so I let him.  This left me on the cannon.  The cars started and oh my gosh.  Have you ever been in a bumper car with a non-driver?  It was painful.  We had to drive over the balls to scoop them up before I could load them in the cannon to shoot other cars.  Let me just say, I wasn't doing much shooting.  But we were getting hit which caused our car to spin in a circle.  This was the start of my motion sickness.  Dylan had a blast driving so that's all that really mattered.

 Here's my little driver!  The flash was so bright!

We tried to go on all the bigger rides first so next up was Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold.

We wore 3D glasses, stood on a rocking ship deck and shot cannons at other ships to steal their gold.  This was a fun one and didn't take much skill.

Next was the Virtual Jungle Cruise which hasn't change much since I was at Disney Quest back in the mid 90s.

On this one I had to close my eyes because I was feeling especially motion sick.  I should have worn my Sea-bands!  They work wonders for my motion sickness.

We continued on and played virtual reality, old school games, and interactive games. 

My boys' favorite ride was the create your own roller coaster at CyperSpace Mountain.  I helped design the coasters but only test rode one for fear I actually would loose the contents of my stomach.

After hours of playing video games, we pulled the kids away for a real dinner.  They have food in Disney Quest but it is theme park type food and we had already eaten lunch there.  Of course they all wanted to go back after dinner!!  My youngest is already planning his and his brother's birthdays there this summer.

Have you been to Disney Quest?  Do your kids love video games?