FlipBelt Review


Disclosure: I received a FlipBelt for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

FlipBelt

For me a running belt is a necessity. I have things that I like to have with me while I  run (phone, house or car key, inhaler, GU etc) and I don’t want those things to weigh me down. I also want my running belt to be aesthetically appealing and I want my running belt to be something I put on and then in a sense forget about. I don’t want it bouncing up and down or annoying me while I run.

It’s a tall list of requirements I realize but there is a running belt out there that can deliver all of that and more!

Meet the FlipBelt!

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FlipBelt is by far the best running belt I have ever tried. It holds anything and everything, it does NOT move as long as you purchase the correct size and it comes in every color you can imagine in case you want to coordinate it with your running clothes or shoes. It also has a sleek design so if you would rather not call attention to it you can easily have it on under your clothes and no one would be the wiser.

As awesome as the FlipBelt is for running, it is not JUST for running. You can use it any time that you would like to be hands free. You could use it while you are walking, while sightseeing on vacation, while you are at the park with your kids, taking your dog for a walk etc. The uses for FlipBelt are as numerous as you can imagine.

Check out this video to find out more about FlipBelt and see how it works!

To get a FlipBelt of your own or to find out more information, click here to go to their site!

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Suddenly Unemployed….

Recharge & reinvent

Here’s a post that I never thought I would have to write.

You read it right, I am unemployed.

Can we call it something else though? Unemployed has such a negative connotation to it. How about we call it in between jobs? That sounds better. So yes, I am currently in between jobs.

This is my first official week of being in between jobs. My last day of work was last Thursday and the news was delivered to me the day before I went on my runDisney vacation. Not exactly what you want to hear before you travel across the country. Most of the trip had already been paid for so we still went and had a good time, although my impending joblessness was always in the back of my mind.

I figure I can approach this in one of two ways. I can feel really bad for myself OR I can take this as an opportunity to recharge and reinvent myself. So recharge and reinvent is what I have chosen although I will admit to having a couple of days where I felt bad for myself. And I know that I will have moments where I still have those feelings and that is okay.

So to recharge myself I am focusing on what I get to do MORE of now that I am in between jobs.

I get to spend MORE time with my favorite kid. I even get to take him to school and pick him up instead of taking him to the before and after school program that he was in. He is loving the change and I am loving my extra time with him!

MORE Lego time!

MORE Lego time!

I get to spend MORE time working out. And I have no excuse not to get my workouts in.

MORE workout time (even if Chewie does steal my mat.)

MORE workout time (even if Chewie does steal my mat.)

I get to spend MORE time with Chewie. Instead of being alone all day he has me to give him belly rubs and take him on walks.

dog walk

I get to spend MORE time at home. I love home. Home rocks. I can even make sure that the house is clean all the time. It’s a strange concept

I get to spend MORE time blogging. Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies and now I can give it even MORE attention.

To reinvent myself, I am assessing whether or not I want to continue in the field that I was in. I liked my previous job but perhaps it is time for something new. Something that speaks to my passions and makes me feel fulfilled at the end of the day. Perhaps something fitness or social media related. I’m not sure yet. But I am allowing myself to take the time to find the right job instead of jumping head first into the first job that comes my way.

So now that you know I am in between jobs, let me know if you hear of something (in the Metro Detroit area) that you think I may be a good fit for!

 

Have you been in between jobs before?

How did you handle it?

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Are runDisney Races Worth The Cost?

rundisney cost

Running a runDisney race has been on my bucket list for quite some time and the main reason it took me so long to run one was the cost. Have you seen how much it costs to register for one of their races? Registering for one of their half marathons is almost $200 and if you decide to register for one of their challenges like Dopey or the Rebel Challenge, that is an even bigger investment. You also need to consider the travel expenses you will incur if you do not live near Disneyland or Disney World. It all adds up.

So are runDisney races worth the cost?

I guess that depends on what “worth it” means to you.

Obviously I am no runDisney expert as the Rebel Challenge (which included the Star Wars 10k and the Star Wars Half Marathon) is currently my only runDisney experience. And since the Rebel Challenge was held at Disneyland, I can’t speak for any of the races at Disney World. I can however, break down the pros and cons of my experience which will hopefully help you make the decision on whether or not a runDisney race would be worth it to you.

Pros of a runDisney Race

  • Very Organized – runDisney knows what they are doing and they do it well. We found every part of our runDisney experience to be well executed and organized. This included registration, packet pick up and race day.
  • Disney Magic – What other race can you run that incorporates the magic of Disney into the race? Running in the theme parks and the character stops along the way make the runDisney races very memorable and unique.
  • Instant Vacation - Running a runDisney race pretty much guarantees that you will also be getting a mini vacation as well. Unless of course you live nearby. Making a runDisney trip into a vacation can be a good thing and a bad thing though. Good because it is a vacation, bad because that means more money and more tired legs.
  • Great Race Swag – The shirts and medals that we got from our races were top of the line. The three medals we got are easily my favorite out of my entire medal collection.

 

Cons of a runDisney Race

  • Early Start Time – Most runDisney races have a very early morning start time. In the case of the Rebel Challenge, the races started at 5:30am. (The Wine and Dine is one race that does have a nighttime start which presents its own challenges.)
  • Big Crowds – Big races like runDisney races means that there will be lots of runners on the course with you. They do have a wave start which help but there will definitely still be congestion along the course and the wait for the characters may be longer than you had hoped.
  • Course Outside of Parks – Before signing up for a runDisney race you may want to check out the course map to see just how much of the race is inside of the parks and how much of it is spent outside of the parks. I loved the Star Wars 10k course but wasn’t impressed with the Star Wars Half course. The time spent out of the parks was a let down and not very magical.
  • Cost – As I mentioned the cost for a runDisney race is quite an investment. Often you could register for several local races (if not more that several) for the same price as one runDisney race. Do you want to allocate that much of your race budget to one race experience?

 

So would I run another runDisney event?

Absolutely! But I mostly just say that because I really want to earn the Coast to Coast medal. You can earn the Coast to Coast medal by running one qualifying runDisney race at Disneyland and another qualifying runDisney race at Disney World in the same calendar year. This year would probably be my only chance to do that as I don’t see us going back to Disneyland for a race.

We have our eye on doing the Wine and Dine this year to earn that Coast to Coast medal but we will have to see if we will be able to swing it or not.

In addition to wanting the Coast to Coast medal, I also would like to try out a race at Disney World to see how they compare. Maybe the experience would be different.

 

Now I want you to weigh in!

Do you think runDisney races are worth it?

 

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RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Recap

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Since the Star Wars 10k that we ran the day before was so amazing, we had high hopes for the Half Marathon as well. Like the 10k, the half marathon also had a start time of 5:30am. This time however, I definitely felt the earliness of the day when my alarm went off. As I mentioned, we spent the rest of the day after the 10k at Disneyland and although it was a fun day we spent a ton of time on our feet and stayed up later than we probably should have. Despite being tired and having achy feet we were still very excited about the race ahead.

We got into our corral for the half marathon about 15 minutes before the start. We had decided that we didn’t need to be there as early since we learned from the 10k that due to our corral placement we would be crossing the start line at least 12 minutes after the official start of the race. The only difference from the start line festivities at the half marathon compared to the 10k is that there were fireworks! Oooooh! Ahhhh!

A major difference between the 10k and the half is that a majority of the half marathon course was outside of the Disney parks on roads. I wasn’t sure what to expect with that but I knew that it wasn’t going to be as fun as being inside the parks. The time that we spent inside the parks was just as magical as the 10k but it wasn’t long before we were out on the roads.

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On the roads we still got the Disney mile markers as well as more than enough aid stations. There were several areas that had cheerleaders and bands playing but that was about it. It certainly wasn’t very magical and it was even a bit boring to be honest. The only thing that perked up the course was the generosity of random strangers. Near mile 9 there were a ton of people dressed up in Star Wars costumes. Initially I thought that it was an official RunDisney character area but I was wrong. It was just a cosplay group who did it on their on time.

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There were also a bunch of strangers that had their own “aid stations” set up. We saw people handing out bottles of water and some awesome people were even handing out licorice. It was the best licorice I had ever tasted. Thank you strangers! You all rocked!

On another note there was a good amount of police presence on the road portion of the half marathon. Most often at intersections. In a less than desirable area that we ran through there was a HEAVY amount of police presence which made me wonder if we should have really been running through that area in the first place. It was odd and a bit disconcerting but I lived to tell about it.

Like the 10k, we had no goal time for finishing the half. Which was a good thing as our feet were very sore from the day before and we also planned on going to the Disney California Adventure Park after the half. We just love to pack as much into our vacations as possible. lol

Once we crossed the finish line for the half we got the half medal and then we went over to the Rebel Challenge tent to claim our Rebel Challenge medal. They confirmed our identity by using the picture that they took of us when we picked up our packet. And what an amazing medal it is!

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Why yes, yes it is a spinner medal with Yoda on one side and Darth Vader on the other. Disney medals definitely live up to the hype!

Overall I thought that the Half Marathon was just ok. For the cost of the race and the reputation that RunDisney has I expected more. The road portion of the course was average at best and it definitely was not magical. I still enjoyed myself and I am glad that I did the Rebel Challenge but I think improvements can be made to enhance runner experience outside of the parks.



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RunDisney Star Wars 10k Recap


star wars 10k
Now that you read my recap and review of the RunDisney Star Wars expo and packet pick-up, we can get to the good stuff! The races!

As you know, Chris and I were signed up for the Rebel Challenge which meant that we would be running the 10k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. The only thing I found more shocking than the cost to register for the Rebel Challenge was the insanely early start times for all of the races. Both the 10k and the half started at 5:30am. I’m a morning person but that is way too early. I get why they do it, they want the runners out of the parks before the parks open but still.

Luckily on Friday my body was still on Michigan time so I was in bed by 9pm California time which gave me plenty of sleep before my alarm went off at 4am on Saturday. So in a sense, the time difference worked in my favor.

The start line and the finish line of the 10k were just outside of the Disneyland Hotel so we were already familiar with where to go since we had attended the expo and packet pick up there on Friday. We got to the start area about a half hour early and easily found our way into our corral. Chris and I were both in corral C which was close enough to hear and see what was going on at the start line stage. Because of the wave start, we ended up crossing the start line about 12 minutes or so after the race began.

Between the 10k and the half, the 10k had the best course as most of it was inside Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Running inside the parks is really the main reason anyone signs up for a Disney race in the first place right?!

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We stopped a lot throughout the course to take pictures. We had no intention of PRing at these races or even trying to get a specific time. These races were purely for fun and we planned to soak up as much of it as we could.

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It was so fun to see the parks all lit up. A lot of the rides were running (empty of course) and there were plenty of characters dispersed throughout. We found the lines for the characters to be way too long (Disney races are very crowded) so we mostly just took pictures of them as we ran by. My favorite areas that we ran through were by the castle at Disneyland and Cars Land in Disney California Adventure.

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Once we crossed the finish line we got our medal!

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Disney definitely does not skimp on the race bling. The medals I got that weekend are easily my favorite medals in my entire collection!

After getting our medals we got our post race food box and made our way to the finish line party area.

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We didn’t spend much time at the party area as we had a full day planned out at Disneyland. Both a perk and a downfall of the RunDisney races is being able to spend the rest of the day in the parks. We don’t regret it but walking around Disneyland all day made the Half Marathon on Sunday a little more difficult. But more on that tomorrow.

Overall I thought that the Star Wars 10k was awesome! As we were running it, I kept telling Chris that it was the best race ever. Between running in the parks, the characters and the sweet finishers medal we had a great experience at our first RunDisney race!

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RunDisney Star Wars Packet Pick Up & Expo Review


My first RunDisney experience (other than the mad dash to register for the Rebel Challenge) was packet pick up and the expo.

Chris and I got to Anaheim early in the afternoon on Friday and our top priority was to get to the expo to score some exclusive RunDisney merchandise that we had our eye on as we had heard rumors that they sometimes sell out. We also wanted to pick up our packets as well of course, but we knew that those would be waiting for us and therefore they weren’t as big of a priority.

Packet pick up and the expo were both at the Disneyland Hotel which was a short walk from the Marriott Anaheim that we were staying at. Because of the direction we were coming from we ended up coming in through the back way of the hotel and found the expo first. We later discovered that packet pick up area naturally filtered people into the expo so we went to the expo and then did packet pick up and then found ourselves back in the expo. lol

RunDisney expo

As a general rule I am not a big fan of expos. They tend to be very crowded and most don’t have any merchandise that I haven’t already seen. This was true of this expo as well although we did enjoy the RunDisney specific merchandise area.

Thanks to Instagram I had my heart set on one thing in particular that I wanted to purchase. Well technically two things. I wanted a Mickey and a Minnie Vinylmation runner. What I didn’t know about the Vinylmations is that they are blind packs so although I purchased two I couldn’t be certain that I got a Mickey and a Minnie. I immediately opened my boxes after I bought them and I ended up with two Mickeys. Bummer! Minnie is pretty hard to get though as for every 10 Vinylmations there is just 1 Minnie. (Why, Disney? WHY???) The odds were not in my favor. Oh well, I still think my runner Mickey is pretty sweet and now Chris has one as well.

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In addition to my Vinylmations, I also bought a Rebel Challenge magnet for my car. You all know how I love to showcase my running stickers on my ride!

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After the expo we meandered over to packet pick up which compared to the expo was empty! Packet pick up was very well-organized with a separate pick up area for each race distance. In our case, we headed over to the rebel challenge booth, showed our ID and presented our waiver and we were given our race bib and information packet. All Rebel Challenge participants also had to have their picture taken with their bib which was later used when picking up our Rebel Challenge medal to ensure that  we did in fact run the races. Talk about high security for the bling!

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Once we got our Rebel mug shot taken we were funneled into the expo where we picked up our three race shirts! Yes, THREE! One for the 10k, one for the half and one for the Rebel Challenge.

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After doing a final walk around the expo we had our picture taken at a few of the many photo-op locations and then headed to downtown Disney where we spent the rest of our day.

photo op

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Although I am not a big expo aficionado I can say that both packet pick up and the expo were very organized and easy to navigate! So that was a win for me and a good indicator of how the RunDisney races were going to be.

And speaking of the races, come back next week so I can tell you all about those! And to read Chris’s recaps, click HERE!



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7 Years: 20 Questions

7 years

Ah happy day! It’s B’s 7th Birthday!!!!

And sticking with tradition, I’ve asked him the same 20 questions that I have asked him the last two years and here are his answers!

1. What is your favorite color? Red (Same answer three years in a row. The red Power Ranger has been a big influence on him.)

2. What is your favorite toy? Power Rangers and Lego Minecraft. (Power Rangers are again holding strong for the third year.)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Apple

4. What is your favorite TV show? Lego Chima

5. What if your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pizza (And to think it took him many many years to even try pizza.)

6. What is your favorite outfit? Star Wars clothes.

7. What is your favorite game? Transformers Beam Box

8. What is your favorite snack? Ring Pops (lol)

9. What is your favorite animal? Puppies!

10. What is your favorite song? Scout song. (I have no idea what that is.)

11. What is your favorite book? Minecraft (He has all four of the Minecraft books and LOVES them.)

12. Who is your best friend? My friends at school…Zema and Logan.

13. What is your favorite cereal? Reese’s Puffs (They are pretty darn good.)

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play frisbee.

15. What is your favorite drink? Gatorade

16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas (For the third year in a row. He really does love it, although he doesn’t want anything to do with seeing Santa in person.)

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Olaf (I just got Olaf for him when I was in Disneyland.)

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cheerios

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza and chocolate cake!

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Fireman. (Holding strong for 2 years in a row.)

It’s fun to see what answers have stayed the same over the years and which ones have changed!

Happy bday

 

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Walmart Beauty Box Review

walmart beauty

I know you all are probably eager to hear more about my experience at the RunDisney Star Wars weekend and I am very eager to tell you about it….but first I wanted to tell you about the WalMart Beauty Box that I recently received.

The WalMart Beauty Box is a seasonal subscription box (you get one every season, so that equates to four boxes a year) that is a very affordable way to jump into the subscription box craze. For only the cost of shipping, which is a flat rate of $5, you get a box of sample beauty products. Sounds great, right?!

Let’s take a look at what I received in my first box!

walmart beauty box

In the box I received CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in coral sunset, Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes, Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner and Dove Nutrium Body Wash.

All of the items I received will be put to good use and I look forward to trying them out and I would definitely recommend the WalMart Beauty box to anyone who likes to try new beauty products at a good price!

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PopSugar Must Have Box Review

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Even though I really love Stitch Fix and the idea of subscription boxes in general, I really hadn’t taken the plunge on any other subscription box.

Until now!

When I heard that PopSugar was partnering up with Target for their Must Have fitness themed box, I couldn’t pass it up!

The box was $65 plus tax (shipping was included) and although it was a bit more than most monthly subscription boxes this one time box was rumored to be pretty awesome!

And awesome it is! Let’s take a look at what I got!

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 Gaiam Icy Marrakesh Yoga Mat 3MM: Retail Price $21.99

yoga mat

This just may inspire me to give yoga another try!

Simply Balanced Organic Dark Chocolate Trail Mix: Retail Price $6.99

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I can not wait to try this! I loooove me some dark chocolate! Although I will have to pick out the raisins since I am not a fan.

Brita Blue Sport Bottle 20 oz: Retail Price $8.99

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A girl can never have too many water bottles! This will be put to good use. (Or B will steal it from me as per the norm. That kid loves water bottles too.)

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity & Sleep Wristband: Retail Price $99.95

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I am SO excited about getting a Fitbit! Not only does it make this box a great value but I also do not have one, so I am excited to start using it. It is also a great purplish pink color which has my name all over it.

Laneige Advanced Hydration Trial Kit: Retail Price $10

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I have never heard of Laneige before but I am game to give it a try!

Burt’s Bees White Tea 10-Count Wipes: Retail Price $2.99

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I haven’t tried these either but I am a fan of Burt’s Bees!

C9 by Champion Non-Slip Headband: Retail Value $6.99

C9 headband

Headbands are typically not my friend as they generally hurt my head and make me feel like my head is being squished in. I would love it if that was not the case with this one but I have tried too many headbands to pretend that it won’t happen again. Oh well.

Target Gift Card: Retail Value $20

target gc

Can’t go wrong with a Target gift card! This was a welcome surprise!

And the grand retail value of the box is……(drum roll please)…. $177.99!!!

That’s a great value and the best part is that I will use a majority of the items that came in the box!

I am definitely impressed with my first PopSugar Must Have box and I am intrigued about future boxes that they offer.

Have you received any PopSugar Must Have boxes?

Do you receive any other subscription boxes?

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Next Up: RunDisney Star Wars Rebel Challenge

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You guys! It’s finally here! This weekend is the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland! I can’t believe it is finally here!

As you may remember, Chris and I are doing the Rebel Challenge which means that we are doing the 10k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. That also means we will be getting three medals, one for each race and a bonus medal for doing the challenge!

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Chris and I will be getting those three medals in the middle. I can not wait to add them to my medal collection!

This will be our first RunDisney experience so I am excited to see what all the hype is about. I am also excited for warm weather and enjoying our first trip to Disneyland. I am just overflowing with excitement if you couldn’t already tell!

I look forward to sharing my experience with you all when I get back but if you want to follow along with me on our journey you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

May the force be with us this weekend!

 

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