Sunday, June 1, 2014

BlueCross Riverbend 10k Run

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My mom passed away almost 8 years ago, and from that moment on my life has been different. There have been plenty of wonderful times and plenty of heartbreak since her passing. I miss her daily. I think of her often. And as I was flipping through different local races I realized there was one coming up on what would have been her 60th birthday, this coming Saturday.

As I went to the registration page I realized I could choose the 5k (my most familiar) or the 10k race. I instantly googled the distance of a 10k (6.2 miles), and realized a couple of months ago I had started running 6.5 miles on my long runs. It was never a continuous run and it usually took me about 1.5 hours but I did it several times, none the less. So, why not now? Why not sign up and run the 10k this weekend? 

My right brain has several reasons why I shouldn't: 
  • your plantar fasciitis will flare up
  • you may experience another asthma attack 
  • you'll get too tired
  • you know running with Sean will only frustrate you
  • you're not a good enough runner for a 10k
  • you're too overweight - the other runners will be slender and fast. 
On and on my brain could go with reasons of why I shouldn't run that race.

And then I ask my heart, 'why should I run the 10k?' 
  • Because you can. 
  • Because it would be a wonderful way to honor your Mother on her birthday. 
  • Because you would enjoy the accomplishment of finishing a 10k. 
  • Because you'll get to put that damn 10k decal on your car window. 
  • Because you have a goal to run a half marathon in November and this would be good experience. 
  • Because you are a runner and you have enough knowledge and strength to make it happen. 
  • Because fear is not a good enough reason to not run. 
  • Prepare yourself and enjoy the race.

I discovered Jeff Galloway when I first began running, back in 2010. I loved his walk/run program for it afforded me the opportunity of running longer distances while maintaining a faster pace. Now, to be honest with you, I feel a true, blue runner can run any and all distances, at a 9 min/mi pace, without ever taking a walk break. But as I grow and learn as a runner, I'm coming to understand that my way may not be my ideal way but it still get's the job done. 

There is no shame in a walk/run run. None. 

And it's time I accept that and focus on the advantages of what a walk/run program can offer me for a 10k race. 

So, I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna register for the race. I'm gonna spend my week working on my plantar fasciitis exercises, hydrating, and picking out my run outfit for the race. I'm then going to visual my run, over and over again, seeing myself successfully and happily finish the race. And whatever time I cross the finish line with will be good enough for me. This year is about personal acceptance, self love, and growth. 

Thanks, Mom, for giving me the courage to try new things and for always telling me, "you can do anything..." I'm gonna give it a go and see where I end up. :)

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Monday, May 26, 2014

{Review} PUR Gum: An Essential Ingredient To My Run

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One of the challenges I face as a runner is that of thirst. I typically map my runs out around water sources (water fountains, restrooms, or even the occasional seriously never know when you may need a drink). And when I think about running my half marathon in November, I get a little anxious of the idea of running 13 miles with a dry mouth. 

So that's why I've begun experimenting with different ways of keeping my mouth from becoming a pit of dried mucus: running with a water bottle (it kind of slows me down), a Fannie pack with water bottles (I'm sure it will take practice to run with water giggling on my hips), and then there's chewing gum. 

I've actually gotten pretty good with chewing gum and running. It's amazing how a small piece of gum can keep your mouth moist, as well as give you something to focus on rather than the screams coming from your butt muscles as you tackle a way too steep hill. 

And what better gum to chew than one that's actually good for you! We grown ups call this multi-tasking. PUR Gum is sugar and aspertaine free, a great alternative for Moms and/or runners who are trying to be more conscious of the toxins going into ours and our family's bodies. 

A bit about PUR Gum:
PÜR Gum has become the #1 selling chewing gum in the health food market worldwide. In 2010, 
PÜR Gum was created as an alternative to commercial varieties of gum that contain aspartame, and is available in 
Peppermint, Spearmint, Pomegranate Mint, Wintergreen, Cinnamon, and Coolmint. PÜR Gum is sugar-free, vegan, 
gluten-free, non-gmo, nut-free, dairy-free, diabetic friendly and Swiss Made.

PÜR Gum, the brand that has been kicking aspartame around the world is now spicing up the natural health market once more! Just in time for summer, PÜR Gum has revealed the newest members to its premium sugar and aspartame-free family, two mouth-watering flavors made with the highest quality ingredients and refreshing health properties. PÜR Cinnamon captures the perfect balance of hot and sweet sensations from nature’s very own cinnamon bark! Infused naturally, PÜR’s hottest flavor is bringing the heat this summer made with absolutely no artificial ingredients! PÜR Coolmint refreshes breath with a clean, crisp, and chilling flavor, with natural mint revitalizing senses for a refreshing and exhilarating experience. The two new flavors will be hitting retail shelves this May, 2014. 

 PÜR Gum is widely available at Health 
Food Stores, Whole Foods locations,, Sprouts, Meijer, Rexall, Sobeys, Jugo Juice and more than 10,000 
health-conscious retailers in 25 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit

Overall, my whole family enjoys this gum. We love the taste, I love the ingredients and the benefit that it gives to my running. Give PUR Gum a try and let me know which flavor becomes your all time favorite!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

You Don't Have To Live With The Pain, Get Help Today With Your Addiction

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Getting Help for Your Addiction

For those who are battling drug or alcohol addiction, it may feel as if the entire world is rooting for them to fail. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. There are people out there who want to help those struggling with addiction get clean and turn their lives around.

Take the First Step

The first step in conquering your addiction is to stop using the substance that you are addicted to. Going to a detox center will allow you to quit using drugs or alcohol cold turkey for a period of several days or weeks. Once the substance is out of your system and you have gone through withdrawal symptoms, you can start to focus on why you use the substance and how to live your life without it.

Support Groups Help You Through

One of the best reasons to go to a detox center is that you will have other people to talk to who are going through the same things that you are. If you have tried to talk to your friends or family in the past, they may have dismissed your addiction as the sign of a weak minded person or someone who doesn't care about the future. However, having the ability to talk to others without being judged can help you move forward with your life in a meaningful way.

Learn From Your Mistakes and Help Others

If you are able to successfully beat your addiction, you can learn from your experience and use it to help others. You can serve as a counselor or group therapist at a detox clinic or give speeches to kids and other troubled youths who may be dealing with addiction. Sharing your story with other people may help them see that they are not alone and that self-medicating is not the answer.

Finding a detox rehab center near you is as easy as going online and performing a quick search engine query. When you find a clinic for yourself or someone you know who is battling addiction, it is important to make an appointment to visit that clinic as soon as possible. The faster that you seek help, the more likely it is that you will get the treatment that you need in time to turn your life around.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dear Papa: I Can Breathe

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It's been almost two months since you left and I've just realized that I've gone the last two days without crying, without sobbing over your passing. My heart still aches and I constantly think of you through out the day - when I want to pick up the phone and call you, when I think of questions I know you could answer, and when I want to ask you for help such as putting up a damn ceiling fan. And then my brain reminds me that you're no longer here like that. 

I keep a picture of us on my phone so each time I touch my screen I see your face. It was that time you were playing Candy Crush on my iPad and I was leaned over with my head on your shoulder. I would always jump in and swipe a move and you never got mad. :)

Austin seems closer to me now. I guess he's come to realize how fragile life is and that we truly do need to spend time with those we love. Jeremy doesn't say much. Maddie still consistently tells me that my parents are's her way of dealing. Jacob doesn't say much about you anymore, but don't worry, I'll always have pics to share with him. But still, pictures will never do justice to your presence. Oh, how I miss you so.

It feels like it was a different life back then, the three of us - you, me, and mom. I miss that life. I miss those sounds, the smells, and the experiences of it all. I'm so far from that place right now, so far from who I was back then. Life has insisted on moving forward while I've tried to cling to broken bits of memories. 

I should be making plans to come and see you this summer. I don't understand this life and all it's pain. I sometimes forget what the real purpose of it all is, but somehow through it all, I went a day without crying. I almost made it two until I started typing this post then the tears came and Maddie asked again, "are you happy or sad, Momma?"

I love you, Papa, and somehow I now know there will come days when the pain isn't so bad, and when I'll make it more days without feeling so lost and afraid.

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Workin' The Core

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I love the fact that the core is compiled of a set of muscles that can be worked Every. Day. That's right, typically you need to take a rest day between your weight training sessions but according to,

 A toning style core routine can be performed 4-6 days per week once you have built up your tolerance for those exercises, but if you become overly sore you may need to take a 48 hour break to allow muscles to properly heal. Just make sure you take at least one day off each week, even if you never get sore.

When it comes down to it, your abdominal and core muscles are just like any other muscle group in your body and should be trained accordingly. The only difference is that abdominal muscles are particularly strong and can take a fair amount of punishment before they need to rest and heal, and they heal slightly faster than most other muscles, but only slightly. The main key to remember about how often to do abs workouts is that if it is sore, let it heal before you train it again, and even if it never gets sore give those muscles at least one day of rest a week.

And why is it so important to strengthen your core?

According to, the real world benefits of core strengthening include:

  • Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
  • On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
  • A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
  • Sports and other pleasurable activities. Golfing, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, running, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core. Less often mentioned are sexual activities, which call for core power and flexibility, too.
  • Housework, fix-it work, and gardening. Bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead — even vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are acts that spring from, or pass through, the core.
  • Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
  • Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.
Our core is just that, the center of our being, and without it, everything else will fall apart.

For great info on strengthening your core, join the Mamavation Hangout, May 19, 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST. 

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Who's Up For A Drink? Check Out Milo's Sweet Tea!

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Recently, my husband and I purchased the most adorable bunch of chickens. That's right, Folks, we are now Urban Farmers! 

PhotoAnd while my husband spent the week building our new chicken run, we had the wonderful opportunity to experience the new varieties of Milo's Tea. From lemonade, tea-lemonade blend, to a decaf sweat tea, Milo's Tea is a family owned business located in the beautiful Bessemer, Alabama. Since 1989, Milo's Tea has been sold to thousands of retailers across the U.S., still guided by the philosophy of high-quality, natural ingredients, while never sacrificing great taste. 

Lemonade_20Instantly, my kids and I fell in love with the lemonade while my husband enjoyed the tea-lemonade blend while out working in the yard. I also love that Milo's not only comes in gallon size jugs but they also offer their teas in 20 oz bottles. With no preservatives or additives, Milo's Tea uses filtered water, cane sugar, and custom blended teas to create a refreshing drink your whole family can enjoy. 

And after a long day of rounding up chickens and eggs, it's nice to simply sit on the back porch and watch the sun set while sipping on a nice, cold Milo's decaf sweet tea. Knowing the day is done, and done well, is a satisfying feeling, one in which I'm happy to share with my family and Milo's Tea.

I received a variety of Milo's Tea for review, this post is an honest and authentic review of products. 

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dear Papa: My Life Has No Normal

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Photo: I need to frame a nice pic of my mom and papa.I've tried to compare this period of mourning to what I went through when my Mom passed, but there are too many different variables. 

When you came into my life I was an 11 year old girl who was dealing with abandonment issues. My Dad had walked out of my life and still to this day I'm not sure why a parent chooses to leave the life of a child. Why did he go so far away? Did he love himself more, his desires more than he loved me?

My Mom was always dealing with medical issues and this in itself caused me a great deal of anxiety. I never truly understood the severity of it at that time, but never the less I sensed the sadness and pain of it all. I watched my Mom's world crumble when my Dad left. I had never seen someone in so much pain before. How could life be a happy and safe place when the loss of someone could rip apart so much?

But that's where you found us. You became my Steven, my stepdad, but more than that, you became my stability. You openly and instantly accepted me as, "Your Girl," but I took more time. I never wanted to replace my Dad, and you two were so different, but I needed a father figure, I needed to see a healthy relationship between two parents, and you gave me that. 

I keep telling myself that it's ok to cry for you. I keep wondering when my life will become normal again, when the sadness will end, and when my children will see a happy Mother again, but then I remind myself that you were such an important part of my life, of who I am now, that it will take time for me to find my balance. It's ok to cry for people we love. It's ok to miss you. It's ok to understand that we will create no more memories with you and that fact saddens me so. People will always say that I'll see you again, but first I'll have to live out the next 60 years without you. That's not an easy idea for me.

Sundays are the hardest days for me. That's the day I heard the news. I replay those moments over in my head. I don't recall the sound or even many of the words but it's more like a silent picture, watching Sean's face, his reactions. Calling Aunt Charlotte only to leave a message. Seeing Sean walk up to me shaking his head, "No..." I ended up outside, in the dark, in my pajamas, my face burried in my hands simply repeating, "Why...Why...Why..." I couldn't understand why Papa needed to leave. I couldn't understand why this was taking place. I couldn't understand...he wasn't sick (that we knew of), he hadn't been involved in an accident, he was even suppose to have visisted with us that weekend, Maddie's birthday, but he couldn't make it. I wish I would have had one more chance to hug him, to talk with him, to hear him laugh, to watch him play with the kids. 

I never cried when my Dad left. I never spoke of my pain or confusion. No one really asked or talked to me about it. Papa came into my life and healed a little girl's broken heart, he took care of my Mother as her body broke down, and he gave my kids a Grandparent to love and enjoy life with.

Sadly, I never developed a relationship with any other man that offered such security, safety, and love as I had with my Papa. I've never trusted any other man as I did my Papa. What a shame that my only comforter, the one person that I knew loved me completely is gone. 

The air feels so thick during these moments. My chest heaves up and down as if I can't get enough breath. My heart is truly broken. I can only imagine that the loss of a child would be greater than this pain. 

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FitsMe: Recipes That Fit You

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I can really struggle with weekly meal planning for my family. I've got the meals that I call "traditional weekly grub" that I know are quick, easy, and I can throw together between kids' soccer practice and homework time, but when it comes to actually exploring new tastes and pleasures, I'm sorta at a loss.

That's what I love about FitsMe. It is packed with gorgeous recipes, illustrated with pictures, cook times, and nutritional info. And we all know home cooked meals are more affordable as well as more nutritious, and what a great way to get the family involved! Check it out, sign up today, and let me know which recipe you'll be cooking up first!

FitsMe gives you the tools to create a food personality profile that incorporates your unique food preferences and dietary needs. Over time we'll learn what foods you like to eat most often and how you like to prepare them with our "forks up, forks down" system.
We want to make cooking at home more convenient by helping you discover new recipes and plan out meals that fit you.
You can also use this link: to sign up.

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Cinco de Mayo: A Celebration With Family

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My family and I enjoy any and every opportunity to celebrate life so it's no surprise that when Cinco de Mayo rolls around we pull out the fancy table cloth and Fiesta plates for a home cooked Mexican meal. Thanks to the Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff soft tacos, my kids will never again 
drop goodness from their tacos/burritos.

The Stand 'n Stuff tacos/burritos are uniquely shaped to sit perfectly in the palm of your hand while you stuff your taco to the brim. Then simply give it a gentle squeeze and enjoy the delicious treat. 
You can find the Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff products at your local grocery for around $3 to $5, depending on whether you go with simply the soft tocos or the whole meal which also includes sauces. 

And how do you plan to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year?

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Friday, May 2, 2014

{Product Review} Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Multivitamins

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As a Mom of 4, I've taken my fair share of prenatal vitamins. I typically opted for the vitamin with the stool softener because we all know how extra iron and pregnancy mix, but now you can experience a prenatal vitamin without iron, for those mothers who don't need the extra iron or who would prefer to take a single iron supplement along with their vitamin. Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Multivitamins provide you with all the great nourishment you and your baby need without any added extras that you don't. 

Prenatal Multivitamin:

  • One Easy To Digest Tablet Daily Provides Optimum, Nourishing Nutrients For You And Baby. Everything You Need, Nothing You Don't
  • Essential Vitamins & Minerals including Folic Acid, B Vitamins, Calcium and Iodine in a Iron Free Proprietary Blend
  • Therapeutic, Nourishing And Gentle Formula. Highest Quality, Non Constipating,
  • Can Take Before, During And After Pregnancy * Great During Nursing Does Not Contain Fancy Filler Ingredients That You Do Not Need
  • GUARANTEED**Proudly Made In The USA **Lovingly Made In a GMP/FDA Inspected And Approved Facility** 2 Month Supply In 1 Bottle

You can order your bottle of Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Multivitamins through Amazon for $29.99 or $15.00 if you're a Prime Member. 

Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Multivitamins also offers a Prenatal DHA softgel:
  • Once Daily Easy To Swallow Oval Shaped Softgel*BEST Prenatal DHA On The market Today!
  • Pleasant Mild Lemony Taste, No Aftertaste Like Other brands ** THE ONLY DHA SUPPLEMENT YOU WILL EVER NEED During This Important Time Of Life
  • Premium, Highest Quality Ingredients For A Happy Healthy Smart TM Pregnancy **GUARANTEED**
  • Can Take Before, During And After Pregnancy * Great During Nursing
  • Proudly Made In The USA GMP/FDA Inspected And Approved Facility ** 2 Month Supply In 1 Bottle

You can order your bottle of Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal DHA through Amazon for $29.90 or $20.00 for all Prime Members. 

Enjoy your pregnancy with the assurance that you and your baby are receiving all your vitamin and mineral needs through Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Multivitamins.

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