Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Guest Blog Post on Running At Disney!

I'm guest blogging for Sarah over at Running At Disney. It's my first time guest blogging and I am so thrilled to share my experience from the Tinker Bell 10k and half in comparison to the Disneyland 10k and half. My post is called "Flying with Tink or Dumbo"- check it out!

Running At Disney

Ciao from Italy!

I apologize for things being so quiet on the blog lately. After getting back from Disneyland (race recaps will happen!), I had work all week and then it was off to Italy! Lots to prepare for! 

In any case, we're in Rome right now. The weather is cold and rainy, but we had a nice clear day today. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where has all the time gone?!

I am still alive! And I promise to write all about my Tinker Bell experiences (hint: they were amazing!) soon. As of now, I'm trying to recover from my 5 days at Disneyland by working for 5 days straight. Not sure who's brilliant plan that was, but c'est la vie! For now, I will leave you with a few photos from my trip.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tinker Bell Half: Expo Shopping

runDisney Expos mean one thing to me - SHOPPING! I love to look around and peruse all the booths, but there are a few places that are a must for me. 

runDisney Official Merchandise

Check out the Disney Parks Blog for the full post here.

Don't you just love this jacket?!

Some of the clothing has this design on the back.

Perfect for my pre-race morning coffee. :) 

The official Tink Dooney! 
Personally I prefer the one offered at last year's WDW marathon and Disneyland half weekend, but this one is cute, too!

Raw Threads

I swear by their skirts. Perfectly soft and comfy! They also updated their design: there are now two pockets- a zippered pocket on the back of the waist and a pocket on the compressions shorts for your phone. Check 'em out at the expo!

I also saw these super cute headbands on their website! Can't wait to see them in person.

New Balance runDisney Shoes

I'm not planning to buy them, but I'd like to check out the new shoes.

What do you think of the merchandise? Any must-haves?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tink Costume Reveal

I know I said before that I was going to wait to reveal my 5k costume, but I'm caving and showing you now. If you see me, I'd love to meet you! 

Neverland 5k - Hipster Snow White

Aren't the glasses ridiculous? ;) 
My tights are a bright blue, not sure what happened here.

My friend is going to be Hipster Jasmine. We'll have signs with quotes as well. I'm planning to walk the entire 5k, hence the excessive clothing.

But wait! There's more!

I wasn't planning on a costume for the Tink 10k or half, but a little voice kept nagging at me. They're not the best, but I was able to throw together a little something!

Tink 10k - Tinker Bell
It's the Tinker Bell race weekend... It felt necessary!
I already had the top and the skirt was super easy to make.
I'll be running the Tink 10k solo, feel free to say hi and keep me company if you see me!

Tink Half - Snow White

My #TrD tank

I opted to go with Snow White for the half as I didn't want my friends to lose me in the sea of green. I still need to pick up the headband and skirt at the expo. 

Hope you enjoyed them! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Taper Time!

Anyone else get the tune stuck in their head?!

Today I'm running my last long run before the Tinker Bell races this coming weekend. My plan is to do 8 miles, maybe even 9. It's a lot more than most recommend less than a week out, but I think I better keep up the momentum while I still have it. ;) 

Thanks, but no thanks!

My main focus until Tink is staying healthy. There have been a lot of colds and flu symptoms going around at work and I have been doing my best to avoid the germs. When I get a tickle in my throat, I chug OJ like crazy. It usually does the trick, but maybe it's a placebo thing? 

How do you taper before a race? Any tricks for keeping the colds at bay? 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon: Goals

Race goals. It's hard not to form them when training. Mine are usually about improving time and achieving a PR. 

For the Tinker Bell half, 10k & 5k, I have a few goals: have as much fun as possible, stop for photos with characters, and finish to get these beauties!

(I saw a photo of the 5k medallion a while ago, but can't seem to find it again.)

This will be the first time I've done back-to-back-to-back races. My training has been worse than my normal half marathon training and most importantly, I won't have my running buddy (aka my husband and motivator) with me. 

I'm walking the 5k in costume with a friend, so I know that'll be a lot of fun. I'm running the half with another friend who is running her first runDisney race. I'll be starting in Corral E with her, so I hope we have time to stop for photos without worrying about getting swept. I don't have a running buddy for the 10k, so I plan to take it easy. I suspect there will intermittent running with lots of photos. :) 

Do you make goals for runDisney races? 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Foodie Friday: Pie in a Jar

Every summer my husband and I go berry picking and get a ton of boysenberries. They're like a cross between a loganberry and blackberry. Since they're only in season for a very short time and super hard to find even frozen in grocery stores, I make a bunch of mini pies and freeze them so we can enjoy boysenberry pie throughout the year. It's a bit time consuming, but very easy!

Mason Jar Mini Pies

I use the same pie crust and filling recipe that I normally use, but I assemble the pies in small mason jars. Instead of baking it, I throw them in the freezer. When I want to eat one, I bake it in the jar in the oven and in less than an hour, it's done!

Here is my recipe for Boysenberry Pie, complete with a homemade crust. 

You'll need:
- small wide-mouth mason jars with metal lids (wide-mouth is VERY important)
- pie crust dough (the pre-rolled stuff won't work)
- pie filling

(My photos are from when I made mini apple pies.)

Using small pieces at a time, press the pie crust dough into the mason jar. I start at the bottom to form the bottom layer and then work my way around the sides. Keep it to a thin layer. 

 When you have all the crusts formed, add the pie filling. Don't fill them too much, you will need room to add the pie crust top.

Make the pie crust tops. Roll out the dough, then using the metal mason jar lid, cut circles. If you want, you can also create a lattice top instead. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on the top if you desire. 
Screw on the lids and freeze.

How to bake the frozen pies:

Remove the metal lid (including round disk piece). Place jars on a baking sheet in a cold oven. DO NOT pre-heat the oven. Doing so may cause the frozen jars to crack. 
Once the jars are in the oven, set the temperature to 350-375. Bake for ~40-50 minutes (including time it takes for the oven to heat up) or until crust is browned.

Finished pie! You can eat it straight out of the jar, though it will be very hot.

Or you can serve it on a plate. The pies did not always come out of the jar as nicely and this one did, so we usually eat them out of the jar.

Do you have a favorite kind of pie?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tinker Bell Race Weekend: Packing List

In just a week (!!!) I'll be heading to Disneyland for the Tinker Bell races! I can't believe it's already here. I feel like it was just a month ago I was getting together a group of friends to run the half. The hubby is staying home and I'm a bit nervous since he's always been my running buddy. But I am super excited for my girls weekend!

I've been putting things aside for a couple weeks now, but I've finalized my list. I've also done a couple test runs of packing my bag and there's plenty of room for souveniers! 

A bigger suitcase means I can pack (i.e. buy at the expo) more things, right?

Some Important Tips:

- Carry-on: If you're flying, be sure to pack your race attire in your carry-on bag. If your bag gets lost, sure you'll be able to buy clothes at the expo, but do you really want to find out at mile 11 that your new running shorts chafe? :/ 

- Lay out your outfit: Before packing your race outfit, lay it out (including fuel belts, head bands, etc) to ensure you have every component. My husband forgot his fuel belt one time. Now we triple check everything!

- Save space: Clothes always seem to expand when packing to come home, even more so when you have all that new swag you picked up at the expo. Leave a little space or pack an extra bag to accommodate. 

No, my heels aren't part of my running costume. ;) I've got a couple meals to dress up for, so I have a wide variety of outfits I need to pack. I'm planning to wear my Team #runDisney shirt for one of my races.

My Packing List:

Running Clothes*
- shoes (x2)
- tops (x2)
- bottoms (x2)
- socks (x2)
- sports bra (x2)
- panties (x2)
- arm sleeves 
- 5k running costume and accessories (w/ undergarments and socks)
- compression sleeves/tights/socks for recovery
- cheap blanket/sweatshirt for before the race, but to toss after it starts

* I have doubles of my regular running clothes for the 10k and half.

Other Running Items
- running waivers (you can print them at the expo, but that means less time for shopping) 
- fuel belt
- Garmin or other pacing device & charger
sports bra iphone holder / ipod arm band
- headphones
- safety pins (just in case they get misplaced before the race)
- travel kleenex (never know about those port-o-potties...)
- hair ties/bobby pins 
- sunscreen & Chapstick
- deodorant
- sunglasses/hat/visor
- Tylenol
- band aids for blisters
- KT Tape/brace/stability item, if you need it
- foam roller/tennis ball, etc for stretching
- Road ID
- pace chart

- breakfast items (raisin English muffins, peanut butter & bananas)
- race fuel (I eat Clif Shot Bloks)
- hydration drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun, etc)
- recovery food for post race

Misc & Disney Items 
- travel documents (flight/hotel confirmations, park tickets/annual pass, gift cards, etc)
- Disney Visa (if you have one)
- chargers (phone & camera)
- camera
- Ear hats/other Disney attire you like to wear at the parks

Do you have anything I should add? Any travel tips?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Disneyland Entertainment Schedule

Heading to Disneyland Resort next weekend for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon events? Here's the park calendar and entertainment schedule for the weekend. Click here for the link. 

Some important things to note: 
- Fantasmic! will be dark and Big Thunder is still closed. My two favorite things! :(
- World of Color is showing starting on Friday, Haunted Mansion opens again on Saturday.

Park Hours


California Adventure
Friday         -         Saturday         -         Sunday         -         Monday

Do you have any must-see attractions when you visit Disneyland? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tink Tuesday: 12 Days to Go!

In just 12 days I'll be running the Tinker Bell half marathon! I have heard nothing but great things about the course. For those that have run it before, are there a lot of things to see once you leave the parks? I know the course goes through a residential area, but I'm wondering if I'll get bored. 

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: rest
Thurs: 1 mile 
Fri: 2 miles
Sat: rest
Sun: 8 miles 2 miles
Mon: 2 miles + 4 miles

This week's running was terrible. After doing 10 miles last Sunday, I took it easy during the week. All the holidays in the middle of the week are throwing me off, too. I was planning to run at least 8 miles on Sunday, but I started feeling really sick only a mile in. I'm really hoping that I'm not coming down with the flu. :( I got in 2 miles before work on Monday and 4 after. On the bright side, I'm still consistently stretching and foam rolling. The aching pain I was feeling in my hip has completely gone away.

In other news, have you seen the WDW marathon weekend shirts yet? Don't they look nice?! I like that they all have the subtle Mickey in the background. 
Best of luck to all the WDW runners! Can't wait to read all the recaps!
Have you done any split training sessions? Some in the morning, then another run later? 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ways to Save for Disney

I go to Disneyland more than the average bear mouse. I get a lot of "you're going to Disneyland again?!" I don't go on lavish trips, but feeding my addiction takes a nice chunk of change. I thought I'd share some of the ways I save for Disney.

Diverting Payroll Funds: I have a small amount of my paycheck directly deposited into a separate account that's for vacations only. It's small enough that I don't notice it, but it grows quickly. I have it labeled on my online banking as my "Disneyland Fund" as a little reminder. 

Coupons: I'm not talking about crazy couponing where your week's worth of groceries gets down to just $2, but using them when you can. Then, put the amount you saved in a jar towards your vacation fund. 

Gift Yourself: Once a month or whenever you can, buy yourself a Disney gift card. Tack it onto a grocery shopping trip or when you're at the store grabbing something else. This works best for saving for food/souvenirs. I tucked away a $50 gift card to use at my last runDisney expo. 

Side Jobs: This may not be something that applies to you, but if you have a side job (maybe you sell Avon products, etc or babysit or have an Etsy shop), put aside all or some of your proceeds for your next Disney trip. 

Birthday/Christmas/Bonus Funds: Grandma send you some money in that birthday card? Quarterly work bonus? If you receive funds that weren't expected, especially those for a special occasion (i.e. birthday), put it aside. Then when you're on your Disney vacation, you'll think of the person who helped make that trip possible. My next trip, a couple of my meals are courtesy of my brother. :)

Running Tip Jar: This is one of my favorite ways to save for a runDisney vacation is the running tip jar. I first heard about this from Lena at The Beginners Runner and posted about this when planning for my Dumbo trip. This is great for motivation and saving up spending money. 

How do you save for Disney? I'd love to hear other ideas!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014: Fitness Goals

I'm pretty pleased with how my running went last year. I logged more miles last year than any year before. I had 3 actual races (2 10ks and a half) and achieved a sub-2:15 half training run. Most of all, I've realized that running is less about physical strength and more about mental endurance. If I push myself, I can do it. :)

Fitness Goals for 2014

- Improve overall pace (hopefully closer to a 9 min/mile)

- Stick w/ a training plan

- PR at least once

- Run at least 2 half marathons and 2 10ks. Hopefully more.

- Incorporate stretching into my daily routine

- Learn and practice more yoga

- Strength training/more core workouts

What are your fitness goals for 2014? 

Saturday, January 4, 2014



I love New Years. It's a chance to wipe the slate clean and have a fresh start for the upcoming year. It's full of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. Just puts a smile on your face, right?

I'm not feeling it so much. This year is starting out in a very different direction than I hoped. I expected to still be at the bank (which I am), my husband would be done with school (he is) and have a new job (he starts in February), we'd run a few races (we've got a few planned) and overall, just enjoy being together (..."together" while living 3 states apart??).    

Living in different states for 8 months was definitely not in the plans. Granted, my husband always said his first year of work was going to be crazy and probably suck, but this was not what I had in mind. 

Still, we face life's challenges. I'm so grateful for this job opportunity for him. We're still going to do all of the above. The time we do spend together will be more meaningful and special. We're going to Italy soon and I'm sure there will be a lot of weekend trips where we meet up and explore a new city. He's been saying that Disney World should be on the list.

Instead of New Year's resolutions, I'm setting a few goals for myself. 

- Meet with friends once a week (drinks after work, dinner w/ friends, etc)

- Get more active with my social media (blog, twitter)

- Try a new recipe once a week

- Make a quilt or other sewing related project

- Organize my craft area

Since fitness is a huge focus on my blog, check back tomorrow for my fitness goals for 2014!

Did you make any goals for 2014? 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Foodie Friday: Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

I used to work at a popular Italian chain restaurant famous for their breadsticks. One of their other big hits was a thin creamy, yet spicy soup with kale, sausage, and potatoes. This recipe comes pretty close to the restaurant, but this version is a lot spicier. It could also just be the sausage I got. Still very yummy!

4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (ground or removed from casings)
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups chicken broth
3 cups Russet Potatoes, cubed (I leave the skin on.)
4 cups of kale, in bite size pieces
1 cup heavy cream

parmesan cheese, grated
crusty french bread


In a large soup pot, cook the bacon pieces over medium until crispy. Add the sausage. Using a utensil, break the sausage into small pieces. 

Once the sausage is browned and crumbled, drain off the grease, leaving a tablespoon or two to saute the onion. Push the sausage to the edges of the pot and add the onion to the center. Saute until translucent, then add garlic and saute until fragrant. 

Stir in the broth and potatoes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

Add the kale and cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with grated parmesan and bread. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: A Look Back In Photos

Eating healthy was a top priority.

We rearranged and organized the apartment.

I turned my sewing hobby into a side job that would fund my Disneyland trips.

I got a big promotion at work, which subsequently increased my wine intake. ;) 

We went on vineyard getaway to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. 

I created (and didn't follow) a lot of training plans.

I went to Disneyland!

And completed the Dumbo Double Dare (Disneyland 10k & Half Marathon).

I also became an annual pass holder again!

I said my farewell to the Court of Angels inside Disneyland. It's now becoming part of the exclusive Club 33, which I will most likely never get into. A girl can dream, though. :)

I finally hung up my race bling (half is my husband's).

I PR'd and achieved my goal of running a 10k in under an hour, just in time to submit it for proof of time for the Tinker Bell Half.

I got a FitBit! (I love this thing!)

And joined a gym. 

My husband graduated from college!

And got a job! (3 states away! More on that later.) 

Cheers to 2014!