Free Disney Vacay

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know of a sweepstakes I came across yesterday.


I subscribe to the Disney Parks Blog because I love all things Disney and since I live only an hour and a half from Orlando, I like to stay current on promos, contests, etc. So this popped up in my reader and I was so excited I thought I would share- you can enter for a chance to win a free Disney vacation! The blog explains more, but I figure why not enter and just see what happens- someone has to win, right?

Read More Here

Disclaimer: Disney has not compensated me in any way to promote this sweepstakes, I just think it was awesome on its own!

Bravo Reality Shows

I am a reality TV junkie. I think it stems from being in a kind of mentally demanding job, where I have to be “on” all day. When I get home the last thing I want to do is read a book about history, watch a documentary or turn on the news. The best reality tv shows are undoubtedly on Bravo.

I started watching The Real Housewives of the OC back in 2005 when it first aired with my mom, and it had me from the start. I lost a few seasons over the years while a broke college kid with no cable (or time to sit around and watch tv for that matter) but as soon as I had a real big girl job I decided to treat myself to the luxury of cable. For the last few years, I’ve caught up not only with RHOC but also pretty much all of the other Real Housewives series. Housewives was like a gateway drug though, and before long I found myself watching more and more of the Bravo reality tv lineup.

Current Season of Real Housewives

image source

Currently, in addition to the Housewives (minus Jersey housewives, I never got into that one but feel like I’m missing out) I have been watching Princesses Long Island, Below Deck, Newlyweds: First Year, Don’t Be Tardy. (oooo I just saw on the Bravo page that Tamra’s from RHOC’s wedding is going to have its own series!!!)

My husband totally does not get my reality TV obsession nor do many of my friends. I’m sorry but I’m not trying to be a hipster who acts like I don’t watch tv – it is definitely my guilty pleasure. I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in the stories and the relationships, fights, trips, reunions ahhh just thinking about it makes me excited for next week’s episodes!

Here’s a tidbit from a recent episode of RHOC:

Do you like reality tv? What is your favorite reality series?

A-Z of This Week

I remember doing these little surveys on MySpace and LiveJournal and such so I thought I’d indulge myself and relive my teenage years. 

A is for age: 24

B is for breakfast today: I went really light on breakfast today since I was having an early lunch with my mom, some kiwi and cottage cheese and 2 cups of coffee- my lifeblood. 

C is for currently craving: water! I am surprisingly thirsty after running errands all day. 

D is for dinner tonight: Bonefish Grill with family. 

E is for favorite type of exercise: Running fo’ sho. Zumba has definitely been fun lately but running is a true passion. 

F is for irrational fear: Eels, yuck! Also: falling into the sewer via a loose manhole cover. I never run on them juuuuust in case

G is for gross food: mayonnaise. ugh, I just can’t. 

H is for hometown: well my adopted hometown is where I currently reside, Saint Petersburg, Florida

is for something important: confidence 

J is for current favorite jam: I have been digging Rihanna’s “Right Now” and also Kesha’s “Warrior”

K is for kids: Hopefully in the next couple of years we will have a little one running around! 

L is for current location: da Burg! 

M is for the most recent way you spent money: $20 bucks at target for some makeup

N is for something you need: a date night out with my hubby

O is for occupation: High School History Teacher

P is for pet peeve: when people bite their nails

Q is for quote: basically my mantra for my upcoming marathon: 


R is for random fact about you: John Irving is one of my favorite authors. 

S is for favorite healthy snack: hmm…edamame, greek yogurt, hummus…

T is for favorite treat: brownies ahhhh. Put brownies in front of me and you will see a magic trick- they will disappear right before your eyes! 

U is for something that makes you unique: I have been a ridiculously avid reader since I was very small. I used to carry a book with me everywhere and read through anything- I usually have a book on me even now!

V is for favorite vegetable: broccoli

W is for today’s workout: hopefully a run; the crazy Florida storms might prevent this one, but crossing my fingers

X is for x-rays you’ve had: this is a random question…chest, arm, face

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: A tasty lunch with my mom: veggie ravioli, ceasar salad and some leftover homemade falafel 

Z is for your time zone: Eastern

Thanks to Nutrition Nut on the Run for the survey!

Bad Blogger

I love reading blogs. I love writing. I enjoy having this opportunity to write about events, stories, share ideas, products, etc. And yet, I am terrible at keeping up with my blog.

I can make all kinds of excuses like how my last year at work was very hard and kept me busy, planning a wedding, working on my house, blah blah. At the end of the day I ascribe to the belief that you can make time for what is truly important to you.

With all that said, I do love to write. I do feel more creatively fulfilled when I can put some thoughts to paper screen, revise, read comments and participate in the blogger community. I am going to commit to posting more regularly. I don’t know exactly how often that will be. Once a week? Once a month? Whatever it ends up being, I need to commit to actually making time for this creative outlet, especially if I want to have more writing opportunities in the future – can’t be rusty, right?

Now that I’m sufficiently berated myself, here have a picture of my cats.


2012, A Year in Review

I never could have imagined all the amazing things that would happen in 2012.



At the beginning of the year, I was inspired to make a vision or inspiration board of what I hope to achieve  or focus on during 2012, by The Fitnessista. I thought it was a great spin on the traditional New Years Resolutions;  the board allowed the ideas to actually be written down and displayed where I could see it daily, which seems more powerful to me. We all know all the studies talking about how resolutions are so frequently forgotten by February, and usually I couldn’t tell you my resolution from one year to the next. As a chronic lister, being able to look back on the year and go wow, I really did make some strides is a very cool feeling.

My goals for 2012, and how I did for each one:

1. lose 20 lbs

Not only did I not lose this weight, I actually gained a few extra lbs. I feel like I got caught up in so many of the other changes going on that I did not make my fitness a priority. I’ve also identified some of the bad habits that have contributed to weight gain or failure to lose weight. So even though I did not accomplish this, I am honing in on why I continue to struggle with my weight and what I need to  do to be successful in the future. 

2. complete 3 half marathons, one at a sub 2:30 pace –CHECK!

This year I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in St. Pete, Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, and recently the Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete. I also finished the Princess at 2:29, and probably would have run that one much faster but I stopped to take pictures and really enjoy the race.

3. maintain any weight loss

Since I failed to lose any weight this one is also still a work in progress. I usually can lose weight fairly easily but gain it back just as quickly. I tend to be all or nothing- all about exercise and healthy eating or none at all, striking the balance between health and enjoyment of life is something I’ll be working on this next year. 

4. Get engaged. –CHECK!

Now obviously this one is not in my control, but I was certainly ready for the next step, after 3 years of dating the same guy, living with him for 2 years, and really feeling I found my perfect match in this word. Including this was more of a putting it out in the universe and hoping it happened (and providing a hint for my man- ladies you know sometimes they just need a nudge in the right direction…) This one will also shape a lot of the fun in 2013. 

5. Figure out some direction in my career — sort of check?

I did make a change in my career. I moved schools so I was at a place much closer to my home, teaching higher level students and teaching only one subject, so basically not going crazy with stress like I was the last year. Most importantly, I moved to a school where my administration is much more supportive, so its an overall better climate. I do still want to pursue my Masters degree in something to allow for more career potential in the future, and this I still have not figured out, so I made some changes, but still have more soul searching to do. 

6. Begin steps toward career changes — again sort of check

7. Try to be less stressed– CHECK!

I took some steps to reduce the amount of stress in my career, and also saw a doctor about ways to decrease the stress in my life. 

8. Take vitamins to avoid colds. -CHECK!

I was having a lot of chronic sinus infections at the end of 2011, and was frustrated with this and determined to improve my daily health. Now this is a case where things got worse before they got better- chronic GERD, fatigue, etc, but I am on a course of both prescribed, OTC and vitamin remedies to deal with daily ailments. One goal for next year will be addressing these issues with more natural remedies. 

9. Be thankful–CHECK!

I feel as thought I always am rushing through life to the next goal, next task, next accomplishment, and sometimes fail to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the things around me. I think being able to deal with stress and anxiety in my life has allowed me to go a little slower. Realize I am not in a competition against myself, and I have time to accomplish things. As a result, I have felt an increased appreciation of the day to day things. 

10. Take a road trip.

This one unfortunately did not happen because of other financial decisions we made, but it is on the bucketlist before we have kids. 

Some of the other amazing things that happened this year:

1. We bought a house!!!

2. We adopted a new member of the family: Henry


3. We have been planning a wedding, that is just over 2 months away.

I’m going to reflect on my goals for this year, work on an inspiration board and hopefully have it ready to post and discuss in the next day or so.

Are you going to make an inspiration board this year?

Henry and Aedan snuggling together in one of their cat beds yesterday.

Tying the Knot: Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses are tricky.

Not only do you have to find dresses that you, as a bride like, and match the style and colors in your wedding, you also have to be mindful of the budgets, body types, and personal comforts of your bridemaids. A tall order, to say the least. When you are asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend or family member’s wedding, you accept the inevitable of paying a lot of money for a dress you likely will never wear again. Its part of supporting your friend and their wishes, knowing you will someday be put in the same position. I was a bridesmaid for a good friend, who picked beautiful bridesmaid dresses. The color was sort of a raspberry/watermelon, the cut was a fitted bodice and flowy on bottom. It was perfect for a summer wedding. She also negotiated a discount on the dresses, so they weren’t quite as crazy expensive. She did everything right, and as a bridesmaid, I completely appreciated it.

My wonderful friend Becca, with all her gorgeous bridesmaids ;-)

My wonderful friend Becca, with all her gorgeous bridesmaids 😉

The only problem is the dress just did not work well for my body. While it looked flattering on all of us ladies, I was missing a key element to this dress: boobs. Without boobs to fill out and hold up my dress, I had to have the tie up corset portion of the dress pulled so tight I had a hard time breathing. It looked beautiful and fit the bride’s vision perfectly but the beauty came at the expense of a little pain. The dress did find a good home with my friend Evyan, who happens to have the boobs necessary to make it look and feel fabulous, so it will live a happy life with its new owner, who will give it a wonderful home in her closet. When I became a bride a few months later, I realized what a challenge she faced. There was nothing I was loving that wasn’t super pricey, so I decided to go the mismatched bridesmaid dress route. I found some inspiration on Pinterest: source


I had faith in my ladies that they could find dresses that fit the bill, as they are all stylish and beautiful. Unfortunately, I was getting feedback that they were having a difficult time finding what I was asking for. I didn’t want finding a dress to be an additional burden on them.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I went to Orlando for a Christmas Shopping weekend. We were in the Mall at Millennia and decided to stop into Anthropologie. I spotted a dress that was the perfect soft blush pink, and also had an adorable, slightly vintage feel. I asked my mom to try it on, since she was looking for a dress as my Maid of Honor. She put it on and lo an behold the dress was perfect! Not only was it my style (which tends to differ from my mom’s) but it also was flattering on her body. She decided to purchase it, but at $200, I didn’t feel comfortable asking my other bridesmaids to buy it.

The next Monday, I was talking to a coworker about the dress, and decided to pull it up from the Anthropologie site to show her. Amazingly, in the 2 days since my mom had purchased the dress, it had gone 50% off. The dress was now $99!!!!!!!!! I quickly called my mom, who was able to get a price adjustment through the store. I also called all my bridesmaids, and got their okay to get the dress. I felt the price was way more reasonable and was so happy to have found a dress I truly loved. I ended up ordering one for myself and it came in just in time for our engagement pics, so I wore it for them.

I am super excited and grateful for such a fantastic find!

Brides: did you have a difficult time picking out your bridesmaid dresses?

Bridesmaids: how did you feel about the dresses you’ve been asked to wear in various weddings?

Cute Cat Tuesday


Henry snuggling a sock monkey ornament the cats decided is their toy.

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