Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Upcoming fitness challenges for 2013! Check it out and commit!!

This is the time of year where everyone gets geared up for better health and fitness for the new year!! I've started signing up for events/groups already and wanted to share them!! Maybe it will inspire you to start a new fitness or eating challenge-it will at least keep me accountable to what I'm committing to! :-)

First up...

The "Run 13 races in 2013" hosted by Jill Conyers

2013 Running Challenge
  1. Run 13 registered virtual or real life races in 2013.
  2. The number of participants will not be limited.
  3. Prizes throughout the year. Hint: Some of my favorite running and fitness products!
  4. We have set up a 13 In 2013 Facebook group to support and encourage each other and share the experience.
  5. To support everyone reaching their goal Jen and I will host 4 virtual races throughout the year. The first virtual race will be in February. More information coming soon.
  6. Share with Instagram and Twitter using the #13in2013 hashtag.
You might be wondering what distance we will be challenged to run? Unlike 2012, when everyone was running the same distance, in 2013 you pick and commit to one...

How to join:
  1. Sign up [and commit] using the Google document. Sign ups close midnight (EST) on December 31.
  2. Post the button with the distance of your choice on your blog on your sidebar (HTML will be provided if needed).
  3. Update the Google document with your progress and completed races.
If you’re having reservations about committing be on the lookout for an upcoming post, Tips for Running 13 Races In One Year!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jill at
Are you ready to commit? Do you have a running goal for 2013? What do you think would be the toughest part of running 13 races in one year?


Because of my work and personal schedule, I will mostly be doing virtual races. I already have 3 just for the month of January!! Leave a message below if you want to find out more about virtual races!! I just discovered them several months ago and its an awesome concept!!


"5 by the 5th Virtual Races" hosted by mommy run fast

I’d love for you to join me for “5 by the 5th” – a virtual race series in which we run a 5k or 5 mile run by the 5th of each month (for time or for fun), from January to June, 2013.

The 5 by the 5th series will run from January to June, with the option to run a 5k or 5 miler by the 5th of each month. You can run once, or every month, and it will begin with the Resolution Run on January 1, 2013.
The series of virtual runs provides an opportunity to win prizes every month, or to get competitive with yourself and track your speed or progress each month if you’d like to. New runners and walkers are also welcome!
  • All of the races are free.
  • Record your time each month as evidence that you ran, and each run recorded will count toward monthly prizes.
  • If you only run one race, your name will stay in the drawing through all six months. If you run all six races, you’ll have six entries by June’s prize drawing.
  • Tweets and shares will count toward additional entries.
  • If you blog about your races, I’ll provide a link up each month to share your post.
We’ll kick everything off with the Resolution Run. If you are local to Houston or Miami, you can also opt to meet up for a local fun run that morning. I’ll email details about the Houston run, and the Miami fun run will take place at 9 AM at South Pointe Park, Miami Beach (neither one is timed!)
Prizes! Prizes will be pulled each month!!


This is a great opportunity to get 6 of the 13 races done for this year and be in the drawing for prizes!!

and Third....

A New You Beyond the New Year hosted by Skinny
... let’s stop trying to achieve a “New You” during the first few weeks of the new year and let’s take small steps each month that make positive changes lasting all year (and beyond!) long.
We want everyone to create sustainable change. Start small and build on top of practical goals. Stop being SO results driven. That’s exactly why we have set up our New Year, New You Challenge month by month, and better yet, day by day. Let’s face it, simply saying, “this is my new years’ resolution,” is not…well, a resolution.
Here are the guidelines for our challenge—yes, “our,” the Skinny Mom team is doing this with YOU!
  • Each month Skinny Mom will pick a positive topic related to improving wellness (mental and physical).
  • For Example: clean eating in January, heart healthy habits in February, balanced nutrition, family health, etc.
  • Focus on incorporating positive habits based on our monthly topic each day during that month.
  • At the end of each month, Skinny Mom will pick a New Year, New You Winner based on the results of the challenge
    • Each participant will have the opportunity to fill out a form sharing their change. We will send out the form on our social media links (sign up below!) and newsletter.
  • We will provide tips, goals, and challenges each day through email,, and Skinny Mom social media outlets.
  • Keep yourself and the Skinny Mom team updated and accountable through social media.
    • Post pictures and status updates on Facebook
    • Tweet @skinnymomonline
    • Pin it on Pinterest
    • Follow/share on Instagram — We will have a Photo a Day Program going on each month as well. The more you follow the Instagram Photo a Day, the more chances you have to win!
    • The more you share, the more we motivate one another!
What’s in it for you? What, you mean you are not solely motivated by incorporating positive changes in your life all year long? Okay, well how about some PRIZES?!?! That’s right, each month we will pick a participant based on the changes you share to win AWESOME PRIZES from Skinny Mom and our partners.
Are you ready for changes that last all year long?! Make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to become an official member of the 2013 Skinny Mom New You Beyond the New You Challenge. Your participation is completely FREE so what do you have to lose? Except maybe a few negative habits? Join us now!.


I just saw this posting this morning, and this sounds so inspiring!! I think its a great concept to continue through the year to aspire towards healthy goals. I think alot of people are really focused in the month of Jan and maybe into February but then after that, not so much!!

LETS START AND END this upcoming year of 2013 right!! I hope you will also commit to some challenges like I have done-whatever will work for you and your goals. Just make sure to stay consistent and keep it up!!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PV Body exercise clothes subscription-review

I am so excited to tell you about this new company I found a couple weeks ago!!
Its called

and its a monthly exercise clothes subscription!!
How cool is that??!!
I was so excited to find this company and even MORE excited when they said I could become an "abassador" and offer discounts to my friends on facebook and here on my blog. I will also get a small commission for anyone who buys through my specific link.
I did some research ahead of time because I don't want to be representing or spreading the word about a company that I don't know anything about. They are just starting up, but so far so good in regards to customer reviews.

So, How does it work??

First, click on my specific link...
1 - 2 - 3
Take the quick quiz and create a personal pv.body style profile.
Our experts will put together a personalized outfit for you.
We ship your outfit to your door for free!
So, for $49.95 every month you can get a shipment of one top and one bottom shipped to you for free!!
First, shipping is expensive, so thats awesome they aren't charging extra for that.
Second, in your profile style you indicate what sizes you wear and what kinds of workout clothes you prefer. If something doesn't fit, you can contact them and exchange it for another size!!
So, are you ready for the best part??!!
I can offer you a 20% OFF DISCOUNT on your shipment box if you click on my link above!
So the total of the box would be $39.96!!
If you have ever gone shopping for GOOD name brand exercise Tops and Bottoms, you know this is a STEAL!! What do you have to lose? You aren't tied into monthly shipments-you can cancel at anytime! You can decided to get one shipment, you can decided to get one every other month-its super easy!!
I got my first box last night, so I wanted to post pictures for you all to see what I got!!
It came in this super pink mailer envelope which is so cool because it felt like I was getting a gift and I couldn't wait to open it! My top and bottom were wrapped separately in tissue paper.
First, I opened the bottoms. They are gray size Large by American Apparel-performance sportwear collection. They are super soft and stretchy. I was kinda worried because they are "leggings" but the fit was perfect when I tried them on! Its important to me for my clothes to be form fitting when I'm exercising so I don't have to keep pulling them up around my waist. And the length was perfect-not too long which is great because alot of yoga pants and leggings are too long for me. (I'm 5 feet 4 inches)
I googled American Appearl online and found this link
which I'm pretty sure are my exact pants pictured above, and they retail for $48.00!!
Next, I opened my shirt which was by NuxUSA in size medium. The fabric again feels very soft and super stretchy! When I held it up, I seriously didn't think it would fit me. It is snug but my husband reminded me that it will fit perfect in the spring because I keep losing weight and a large would have been too big. (Isn't he sweet?)
I googled NuxUSA  and found the link to their camis and tops.
I didn't find my specific top, but its safe to say that this top retails between $50-55!
Here's some pictures of me wearing my set! I'm going to wash them and wear this week to see if they wash well and roll up or bunch while I exericse. I don't anticipate I will have any problems.
 I know in my picture it looks pretty snug, but the leggings are ment to be tight (size large) and the top (size medium) will  fit be better in the spring.

So, if you want to try out this super cool subscription notice, click on my link below to save 20%!!!
Overall, I was very pleased with the customer service, fast shipping (I got it in one week) and the quality of my pieces. I won't have to return anything and I feel like my pieces are well worth the $49.95!! Let me know if you have any problems with placing an order and I'll help! Let me know if you give them a try! Will post again when I get another box!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Athena Book review! book 4 of Newport Ladies Book Club series

Athena is book 4 of the Newport Ladies Book Club. Like the other books (Olivia, Daisy & Paige) they follow the same time period, but they don’t have to be read in order to understand the series or characters.

At first, I found the book a little slow and hard to get into the story line, but realized the character herself, Athena, is “boring” at first because she has allowed her life and schedule to be the same thing day after day. She works alot so she rarely has any opportunities to do anything else. When she decides to make some changes in her life, like joining a book club and reading books based on a strangers (Grey) recommendation, the book gets more interesting.

I also liked that this book seemed to have less of the other characters involvements (probably because Athena kept more to herself) so you don’t read a lot of events that are mentioned in the other 3 books of the series. In other words, you don’t feel like you are reading one of the other books all over again.

I liked that this book showed Athena’s struggles to change and to understand her parents’ marriage and illnesses. I can’t even imagine trying to take care of a sick parent, especially one that could be violent or not even remember you!

Heather Moore did a wonderful job of expressing Athena’s emotions and struggles. Although I couldn’t relate to Athena’s experiences like I could with some of the other characters, the book itself and the emotions was very well written!!

I cannot wait to read the other set of 4 books, to be released in 2013. The other set of books will not cover the same time period, so the characters we have come to love in the first 4 books will be mentioned and we will see how their lives have changed!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

International Digital Scrapbooking weekend!!

It's that time again!!
It's International Digital Scrapbooking weekend!! whohoo!!
This is the time to get lots of freebies and play lots of games. Last year was my first year, and I was so surprised how big of an event it is!! I thought it would be one day, but it ends up being an entire weekend!! In fact, some designers have even started celebrating today, Thursday Nov 1st!
Make sure you check out the MyMemories Facebook page starting tomorrow thru the rest of the weekend.
First up, I want to tell you about a MMS blog train that starts tomorrow. You can also go to the facebook event page here:
to view more specifics.
It will start at page (which happens to be the designer I work with) and continue on to 25 plus other designer pages!! wow thats alot of freebies!!
Second, I want to tell you about a 20% off sale that CatDesignz is having on her new Little Jesus series- Nativity set. It is so cute!! Check out the link below to see the layouts we made using this kit. (including mine!)
This kit is great for christmas layouts, animal layouts and invitations!! Don't delay or you will miss this special price.

Happy Scrapbooking and enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sparkle Skirts product review

As you can see from my post below, I was recently in a night trail race.
I decided it would be lots of fun to get dressed up since it was sort of a Halloween race and as I was searching, I came across SparkleSkirts on facebook!!
They are made in Florida-The USA!! I had heard great things about them on my disney priness half marathon facebook group.
Well, last saturday they had posted a picture of an awesome orange SparkleLight skirt. I thought it would be perfect for my upcoming race and also maybe even my turkey dash next month!! I immediatly emailed Leah sunday night with my size and whether she could get it mailed to me in VA by friday so I could have it for my race on Saturday 20th. I got a response on monday that yes she could and later that day even got a shipping notification!! What prompt and speedy customer service!!!!

On wednesday-2 days later-look what I got in the mail!! I was super excited and my toddler loved touching the shinny fabric!!

I was really impressed with the speedy shipping and the fact that I didn't have to pay for super fast shipping. The skirt was wrapped in nice tissue paper with a couple business cards and a hand written thank you, which was impressive.
I was also very impressed with the quality of the skirt. The black band is soft and stitched very well. It even has a mini pocket in the back for something small like a tissue, dollar bill or key. the hemming of the skirt was very nice and there didn't appear to be any loose or crooked stitching or strings. I hate getting something "hand made" and it looks like it took 5 minutes to put together and looks sloppy.
Definitely use the size chart on their website ( because my waist is smaller than my hips/butt. I got a size medium and it fits perfect and should even fit next year! I wish my butt wasn't so big because it would have looked better, however I feel like it was the perfect length that it would be flattering on any size body-seriously!!
On race day, I wore my sparkle skirt over top my Target racing capris.
I didn't even notice wearing this skirt during the race which means it wasn't itchy or irritating which I think is important when racing. The last thing I need is my wardrobe getting on my nerves!! It was so fun to wear and made me feel special. :-)
Overall, I give this company full stars and a big thumbs up for their customer service, fast shipping, great quality, a good prices!!
My SparkleLight skirt was $32 (usually they are $30 but the orange was considered a special edition) which isn't unreasonable for the cost of fabric and the time to make it! Plus it's made in the USA!!
I'm hoping that later on, I can buy a Sparkle Tech skirt, which has built in jogging shorts underneath that are Guarenteed not to rid up!! I can't wait to try that out!! How awesome does that sound???!!They are alot more expensive, being priced at $65 so maybe I can get one at Christmas...
Just as a side note, I was not asked to do this product review. I paid for my product and was really pleased so wanted to share this company with others! Let me know if you have tried them out and what skirt you bought.
Happy Running!!  


Run into the Darkness Night Trail Run on Saturday

This past Saturday was the 4 mile (ish) Anthem "Run into the Darkness" night trail run with my 10 year old son and husband.
I've been "training" for the last month or two for this specific race. I was a little worried about it because two weeks ago I did a 5k trail race for Mercy Ministries and it was HARD!! scroll down a couple posts to read about it.
This past Wednesday I decided to do a trial run of the race, and jogged around my neighborhood in the dark with a flashlight. I was really pleased with my time and I only had to do my inhaler once. It was a little creepy running around in the dark by myself. I was really hopping that I would have more fun on saturday.

This is a screenshot from my Iphone using the app "runkeeper". Its free and I love it!! It appears to be pretty accurate against my FitBit.

I got ready Saturday afternoon for the race. I had a light dinner of a Luna bar (love them!!), banana and water. I was really nervous and didn't even feel like eating but I knew I would feel sick if I didnt.

Here I am still at home, getting dressed for the race. I got a new Sparkle race skirt in the mail, so I was really excited to try it out for this race. (separate blog post on my skirt later!) Note, I am still loving my Pink laces from Fit Approach website!! :-)

Here I am right before the race after I got my racing number, jacket and racing belt (no its not a fanny pack!) on. It was starting to get really really cold!! We hung around for a while, put on our glow jewelry and walked around to warm up.

My husband was in the first wave-called racers-so he started right at 7pm. My son and I stayed in the back because we didn't want to get run over my intense joggers. Mountain Junkies LLC announced this was their 6th race year and they had over 500 people attend!!

I started my fitbit a little early because I thought we would start jogging, but I don't think we actually went until 7:10 or 7:15. We hung out in the back and I was amazed by the sea of people up ahead of us, bobbing up and down with flashlights. We jogged for a couple minutes before heading into the woods. From then on, it was a trail race in the woods.

Through out the race, they had markers and signs and cute little halloween things like ghosts and pumpkins around. Very family friendly.

 As we continued to climb up and down this trail, I'm pleased to report that Steven and I were able to maintain and keep a good pace through out the entire race without stopping. However, because we were in the back group of people, as we tried to pass the slower people going up the trail, there were several times we got stuck for several minutes because (1) it was too narrow to pass them or (2) they were rude and purposely wouldn't move around for someone to pass. That was by far the most annoying thing!! We tripped several times on the trail because there were alot of loose sticks and rocks so it was hard to get a great pace for this race because of that and it was in the dark. It made me very nervous a couple of times with looking down some steep drops in the trail, but thankfully we didn't get hurt.

At one point there was a photographer on the trail that was taking pictures of people. Here is a picture of my husband, me and my son on the actual trail.

It was hard to figure out how much farther the race was in the dark, although I had my iphone RunKeeper app to tell me how far we had gone. I was a little bummed when we hit the 60 minute mark and it seemed like the trail was going forever. Then I heard my husband shouting my sons and my name and to keep going. I couldn't see him but I heard him so we started picking up our pace again and did some jogging. We passed a couple more people and started heading up our last hill. My husband Mike came back for us to cheer us on and to help encourage us up our final stretch. My son passed me with super light speed (because he wanted to be first LOL) and I was struggling to keep up with breathing but we finally did it!!! WHEW!! Took me a couple mins to catch my breath so we could take final pictures.


Here is a iphone screen shot of when I passed thru the finish line. As you can see, it was a little short of 4 miles.

This is my FitBit screen shot. You can see how many steps and calories I burned!! WOW!!

After we took pictures and stretched, we went inside a building for some water, pasta and yummy pumpkin bread!! We didn't win any door prizes or age group prizes, but that was okay.

Here are some stats from the race: 
Mike placed #62 out of 513 people and 9/33 in his age group.
Steven placed #482 and 25/27 in his age group.
I placed #485 and 35/38 in my age group.

Some final thoughts about the race:
* Glow Jewelry was fun to wear
* I must remember to bring gloves and a hat for next year
*Don't get stuck in the back with the "even slower than me" people because it will make me very aggitated.
*Jogging with a racing skirt and hand free hydration bottle was awesome
*Most impotantly, bring a "cheerleader" with you to the race!! My husband was my hero because he truly helped me get thru the last 5 minutes of the race cheering me on, gave me his gloves for the race, and brought me a jacket after the race to keep me warm.

Although it was a hard trail race, I feel like I keep doing better and getting stronger; so this will probably be a race that we do again in the upcoming years!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweat Pink and Fit approach website!!

I spend alot of time reading fitness blogs and facebook pages.
A couple weeks ago I was reading up on the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon (something I SO want to do in next year or two!) and I found a cool Facebook page: Their website is: and has alot of fun information and blog stuff. As I was reading, I specifically came across girls calling themselves, "Sweat Pink Ambassadors". You can view more about it here on their website:
Such a cool term and I'm totally jealous!! Ambassadors are basically examples to their friends and people around them about health and fitness and like to share what they learn with others!! HEY-that sounds like me!! ;-)
I facebooked them and they aren't taking applications until later this month for some more ambassadors, but I really love the shirts and shoelaces these gals are sporting!! I love to wear things that stand out and are example to fitness and health. Plus, who doesn't like black and pink??!!
I knew I would be doing two races this month, so instead of waiting if I might be accepted as an ambassador, I ordered a black tank top shirt and some shoelaces. I was so excited that they arrived in the mail on friday-the day before my trail race. If you dont know what race I'm referring to, just look at my blog post below. I tell you ALL about it!! ;-)
Anyway-I immediately laced up my outdoor shoes with my cool shoelaces hoping they would bring me luck on saturday!

This is me at the race sporting my new tank top and shoelaces. I ordered a size large tank and I should have gotten a medium. oh well!! I'm just excited that I can actually wear a MEDIUM!! oh-the tank is super soft and washes great.

I thought it would be a fitting race to wear this shirt because my fundraiser race was for Mercy Ministries which supports women and girls and helps them with eating disorders, abuse, addictions, etc. I'm all for women support and girl power!!
I got several compliments on my sweat pink tank while I was sweating up and down the trail!! ;-)

This is my son and I right after crossing the finish line.

Now, I learned after posting my blog post the other day about the race, that at least 212 bibs were spoken for which means that many people registered for this race. Out of that number, only 46 people crossed the finish line!! I'm totally serious!! Thats how hard the "trail"/side of the mountain was! The reason I know this, is because we were timed and if you didn't go through the trail two times, it didn't time you out. I knew lots of people stopped after the first go around, but I didn't know it was more than half!!

The reason I'm making a big deal about this, is because I did something on saturday that I didn't know if I could do. I am not a runner! The only reason I have started training and attempting to run is (1) to continue to be healthy and lose weight; and (2) build up my endurance to do a 1/2 marathon some day. It has only been since last July 2011 that I serious about my weight loss and being healthy.

Last spring of 2011 I had signed up for a 5k race at a park that I had done 2 years prior to having my second baby. I didn't properly train for this race, I wasn't really exercising and I was 75 pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant. Was I successful in this race? No I wasn't!! After maybe 10 mins I had to stop because I was in so much pain with my shin splints!! I had to send my son ahead with my husband so that they could finish the race. I was so discouraged!!

I finally decided to change my life and my habits around July after having my gallbladder removed the end of May. I didn't want my knees and back to hurt everytime I played with my son and baby! I hated feeling fat and miserable!! I wanted to feel sexy for my husband and look good in my clothes! I wanted to wear all my clothes that I had prior to baby number 2.

I started by reading books, blogs, facebook pages-anything that was about healthy nutrition and weight loss. I joined Beachbody fitness so I could have a support group! I started off slow doing Leslie Sansone walking dvds, and then Chris Freytag prevention dvds. I got more into yoga, cardio, pilates, etc. The more weight and inches I lost, the better I felt about myself and the more encouraged I felt to continue. I have not done any fad diets, pills, patches, etc. I have simply exercised every day, drink 8-10 cups of water, eliminated almost completely fast food and sugar, log my food into MyFitnessPal to track calories, use electronic devices like my FitBit and iphone to track steps and calories burned. My biggest supporter is my husband and family! They help me track my food, we plan healthy meals together, we exercise and play together...they are super supportive!!

So fast forward to this past saturday. I have gone from a size 20 to a size 12. I have lost 65 pounds since this picture was taken last April 2011. (220 pounds) and I have actually lost 97 total pounds since the birth of my second baby boy in June 2010. (I stopped weighing when I hit 250-yikes!)

I feel fantastic and sexy!! I can wear all my old clothes!! I still want to lose 15 more pounds to be at my "goal weight" but I recognize that I have more toning and lower body inches to lose as well so I'm not so obsessed with a scale number.

When I was hiking up that side of the mountain on saturday with my son up above me (the same one in the picture above) I KNEW I was not going to give up no matter how hard it was! I kept looking down at my bright pink shoelaces and knew I had to keep going. I wanted to prove to myself, my son, my husband and anyone else that I could do anything I put my mind to. I knew I was in shape to do this race and I knew I couldn't fail. I was going to "sweat pink" and keep going to that finish line!! There was another girl behind me and we just kept encouraging each other along and we finished within a minute of each other. It was fun to have a "gal pal" to chat with along that way.

 I am proud to say that I DID finish the race and I finished strong!! I didn't have any asthma problems or shin splints which was a total blessing!! My son finished in 62 mins and I finished in 63 minutes. I am totally sore 2 days later, but it is worth it!! and I'm excited that in 1.5 weeks from now, my son, husband and I will be doing a fun 4 mile night race (with glow sticks!) How fun does that sound??

So keep believing in yourself and your goals! Continue to be healthy, or make the decision today to start!! YOU can do it!! If I can do it, so can you!! :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mercy Ministries 5K fundraiser walk yesterday

Yesterday my 10 year old son Steven and I went into Salem (about 20 mins away) to participate in Mercy Ministries first local Fundraiser 5k race/walk.

You can find out about why they do the fundraiser walk here:
Their main website that talks about Mercy Ministries is here:

So, Steven and I got there about 7:15am for check in before the race began at 8am. It was a little cooler in Salem than it was in Botetourt (where we live) so we grabbed jackets from the car. After signing in, I got a small goody sponsor bag along with my Tshirt and race number. We waited in the car for awhile to stay warm, then did some warm up exercises and then it was time to race!

Before the race, I had looked at the race map online and noticed that there was some zigzags in a particular area but didn't really think anything of it. I'm not much of a runner or a racer, but I signed up for this race because I felt like it was a good cause and I wanted to be able to complete a race. I've been training outside for the last month or so with walking/jogging intervals, as well as doing some kind of cardio almost every day.
We started off down a grassy slope for a few minutes and then proceeded to go into the woods. The trail in the woods was marked by an orange string. I would describe it as a side of a mountain instead of a trail-steep with lose dirt and acorns. As you can see with the picture below, this is where the zigzags came in! We would trudge up the mountain and then back down, and up again and back down. over and over again! I spoke with a guy after the race who put the trail together and they did this obviously so we could get the necessary mileage in for it to be a 5k race. And the best part was that after all this, we would do it over again (2 loops around)!! I was really hoping that I could practice my Galloway training method of walking/jogging intervals but because of the severe steepness of the up and downs, my son and I basically had to walk the race, along with many many others. Going up and down was very hard on the knees, but we pushed on!

The picture above is my son ahead of me. I had to take my cell phone off my arm band in order to take the pictures. I wanted proof to my husband about how steep this race actually was!!

After the first round thru the woods, several people stopped because it was so exhausting-I would say about 1/3 of the people. I wasn't excited about it, but my son and I pushed on! I really wanted to be able to finish this race! My motivation was that last June 2011 I tried to do a 5k race and after 10 minutes I had to stop because of shin splits and wasn't able to complete it! Since that time, I have lost alot of weight and gotten more active. (more about that in another post)

We started the second round thru the woods and it was more tough than the first round because we were so fatigued. It was really nice that they had a couple people through out the course handing out water and cheering us on. They also had posters through out the course showing statistics of how Mercy Ministries helps girls. I kept cheering my son on who stayed ahead of me-he was doing awesome!! I did my inhaler at the beginning of the race and then in the middle which helped me alot. I was really hoping to be done with the race within 60 minutes but the last 10 minutes was super hard for me. My stomach was churning so bad and I felt so over heated that I felt like I was going to throw up. For the last 10 minutes I just keep telling myself that I could do it and not to throw up. I encouraged my son at the last stretch of the race when it got flat before the finish line, to hurry ahead and finish strong.

He finished about a minute ahead of me and I finished in 1 hour, 3 mins 48 seconds. Several people where cheering and so encouraging to those of us still racing.

Here we are a few minutes after we finished and then caught our breath. I was so sweaty!

This is a cell phone picture of my race results from Mountain Junkies LLC (who timed the participants)  that they posted online. As you can see, I wasn't the last person in the race and I wasn't the last person in my category!! WHOHOO!! AND I FINISHED!!

I was so happy (at the end of the race when I could breath again) that I had completed the race successfully with my son! It was such a pretty fall day and although the race was very tough, it was nice to be in the woods and enjoy nature.

This is a picture of all the fun things I got yesterday. I got a grey shirt (size MEDIUM-I just recently started wearing a size M which is super exciting) for signing up for the race, a water bottle and drawstring bag because I raised over $100 for Mercy, and a book because my name was drawn for a door prize.

They had lots of water and snacks and several people walking around checking on people and organizing the event. I was really impressed with several of the racers who went around congratulating others on finishing the race and telling them good job. What a great example of sportsmanship and event!! If we do this next year, I will have to definitely train more because this was a tough trail race for sure!! Now off to stretch and drink some more water!!  

Paige by Annette Lyon Book review

I had a chance to read this book several weeks ago. I actually read it in one night because I couldn't put it down!! :-)
This is book 3 of the Newport Ladies Book club. There are currently 4 books to this series with 4 different authors. I've reviewed the two previous released books in other blog posts and you can go to the website: for more info on the books and authors.

What I like about these books is that they can be read as a series or stand alone individually as books. So far the 3 books-Olivia, Daisy and now Paige have taken place during the same time period. Its really cool to read about some of the same events from the different womens views. I like that these books are Christian based but not preachy-just great clean fiction!

Paige is a Mormon-which none of the other ladies are not-so this particular book has more religious (specifically LDS Mormon) references. I love that this character seems realistic and has real problems that alot of women experience and face. I love that these group of women in the book all have trials but are able to help each other and use the spirit of sisterhood and service to develop their friendships in and outside the book club meetings. This book flowed and was very easy to read-like I said, I read it it one night because I couldn't put it down!! When I do book reviews, I don't like to give any specific references to what happened in the book, because I don't want to spoil it for you!

I can't wait to read book 4 "Athena" by Heather Moore which will be released to the public this month. (be looking for that book review shortly!)

and I was SUPER EXCITED to find out that the 4 authors (Heather Moore, Annette Lyon, Julie Wright and Josi Kilpack) will be writing 4 MORE books that will spotlight 4 new women and go forward in time. Which means we will find out more about Olivia, Daisy, Paige and Athenas lives!! WHOHOO!!!
Can you tell I love these books??!!
If you haven't read Paige yet, or any of the other books; check out amazon, seagull book. deseret book or anywhere else books are sold.

Here is the back of the book write up about Paige: 
After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start. She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it's the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom. She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right, something her ex never did. Yet Paige struggles to figure out who she is as a woman rather than a wife, how to help her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again. As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl's everpresent care, one thing becomes clear: healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Athena book #4 is available!!

ATHENA is on shelves at the Fort Union Deseret Book! Three years from idea to publication of the set.

Get your hands on ATHENA before anyone else! For Ladies Night, Heather, Annette, and Julie will be at the Fort Union Deseret Book signing--the ONLY store to get copies of ATHENA. Everyone else will have to wait another month.

Come on October 6th, 6-8 PM to get your early copy!

Spread the Love Contest for October 6th ATHENA BOOK LAUNCH. Help us get the word out and be entered into the contest. Winner receives 3 books by Heather B. Moore:

Check out the Newport Ladies Book Club facebook page for more details and pictures of the books!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Release #4-Athena!!

ATHENA's release date is November, but readers will get a change to buy an early copy at the October 6th Book Launch!

The book launch is at the same store where we held the others: Fort Union Deseret Book. 6:00-8:00 during their Ladies Night celebration, so there will be other authors/artists there, refreshments, and lots of fun.

I am so jealous that readers can get this book super early before others can online... I wish I lived in Utah sometimes!!! This is book 4 in the Newport Ladies Book Club series. This particular book is by one of my FAVORITE authors Heather Moore!! So I'm particularly excited to read this one...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CONTEST to win a book!!

In conjunction with the release of Tres Leches Cupcakes the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for free books.

To enter, leave a comment in the comment section on this blog before September 16th, 2012. Winners will be announced and notified September 17th 2012.

For additional ways to enter, go to

I am so excited for the release of this book!! I have read the entire series of these books and I have thoroughly enjoyed them!! Check out Author Josi Kilpack's facebook page and website for a listing of all her books.  

Description of the new book, to be released next month:  
For Sadie Hoffmiller, going undercover as an informant for the Bureau of Land Management on an archeological site in Santa Fe, New Mexico, seems like the perfect way to stay safe and busy while a threat against her life remains unresolved. Sadie’s days are spent digging up artifacts in the middle of nowhere while also digging up information on her fellow “dirt geeks.” With the help of her baking prowess—no one can resist those amazing dulce de leche bars—and Pete’s cousin, Caro, who takes to the detective work wholeheartedly, Sadie is finding herself again.
But the bright Southwestern sunshine only serves to illuminate the danger that lurks in the shadows. When recent burials are found on an ancient site, Sadie finds herself in the middle of an unexpected—and unwanted—investigation. The more she digs for the truth, the more secrets she uncovers—secrets that people would kill to keep hidden.
Before Sadie knows it, she’s arrested for starting a bar fight (which was totally not her fault), her new friend is missing, and she’s worn out her welcome in Santa Fe in more ways than one. A trip to the annual hot air balloon fiesta in Albuquerque is supposed to give her a break, but before long, she learns that when you’re dealing with the black market antiquity trade, you’re not really safe anywhere you go.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Book, Paige. Launch party!

Paige is here, and we're so excited for readers to read her story!

The official launch party for Paige will be THIS Saturday, August 11, from 1-3 PM at the Fort Union Deseret Book Store. (That's the same store the other launches have been at. Great store, and fantastic manager, whom we love!)

I love these series of books! This is book 3! Be looking out for my book review of this book within the month!! 
If you live in Utah, I hope you will be able to join them for their book launch party! It sounds like fun!! I'm totally jealous! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Using A Page Builder with your MMS software

Today I wanted to share with you something really cool I found in the MyMemories Digital software store. They are called "Page Builders" by Albums to Remember.
I started using these right after they were released in the store. Why? Because they are SUPER easy, it's super quick to make a page layout, and my pages still look nice and put together!!
Let me show you an example...

This is Page Builder #36 (4 pages of layout template. only $1.99!!) which can be found here:

(credits for layout: Page builder #36 by Albums to Remember. Papers and embellishments from "All in a Day" kit by Albums to Remember.)

All I did is change my paper colors and added a couple really simple embellishments. Thats it!! It's so easy!! The great thing about the page builders is that you can make it as easy or as detailed and complicated as you want it to be!! Because of these page builders, I'm able to keep up with my weekly scrapbooking layouts for the year.

Want to try out a page builder?
Go to the MyMemories store here: 
and browse thru all the page builders that Barb with Albums to Remember has made-there are alot of choices!!
After you buy one and go thru the check out procedures, you will need to download the template into your MyMemories software.
Next, open your software and click on "create album from designer template", scroll down to select the page builder number you just bought, and then "pick and click" to manually select and add photos to your album.
Then you can begin to personalize your page builder and add the pictures to create your page!
If you have any problems or questions, the MyMemories Facebook page or the Albums to Remember Facebook page are great places to get help and ask questions.
Enjoy and let me know if you like using you page builder.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Purse Cards-FREE until June 30th!

Today I have a great freebie for you!!  Purse Cards!

Think tea parties, bridal showers, baby showers, baby announcements: the possibilites are endless what you can do with these cute cards.  They even work great as a fun dress-up for little girls.


PS-You don't have to have MyMemories Digital software to be able to make these cards!! You can download them as an external file and create your purse cards that way. or you can download a FREE trial version of MyMemories from their website: If you want to purchase this awesome software-make sure to use my special code: STMMMS18853 so you can save $10 off the software AND receive $10 merchandise credit. 

Now onto making some purse cards!!

pink and purple purse cards

baby boy themed diaper bag cards

pink and black houndstooth purse cards

Using MyMemories Software to Customize your Purse Cards
  1. Download template file and install it into your software
  2. Using MyMemories Suite, choose Create Album From Designer Template and find your project
  3. Now you can print and enjoy the provided template, or customize it with your own papers and embellishments.

You can right-click on the white guide and lock it in place to keep it from moving while you are working. Make sure this is the top layer of your project before printing.

Instead of adding the paper as a background paper, you can add it as an embellishment so that you can move the paper around.  This is especially useful when using papers with stripes or circles, so you can decide which part of the paper you want to use.

Once it is added as an embellishment, you can now select the paper and move it into the position you want it.

Just SAVE and PRINT on cardstock!

Purse Card Tutorial

1.  Print your Purse Card templates on cardstock and gather supplies.  (Recommended supplies: small craft scissors, bone folder, 8-12" of ribbon, stapler, tape or velcro)
TIP: To print your information on the inside create another page with the template in place.  Put all your text and embellishments in (leaving a little room on the edges) and then remove the template right before exporting or printing the inside page on the back of the first.  This will keep from having to worry about if the templates line up exactly when cutting out your card.
front of sample cardback of sample card

2.  Using the scissors cut along outside line.
sample card cut out

3.  Fold card at indentations.
TIP: Using a bone folder will help you get crisp edges on your project.
folded sample card

4.  Repeat by folding down top flap.
top piece folded down on sample card

5.  Staple ribbon to both sides of your card on the inside to look like a strap or handle.
add ribbon to sample card

6.  Enjoy the finished cards and share.  Don't forget to use your imagination.  The possibilites are endless!
finished sample cards

Don't forget to visit their website for more details on this digital scrapbooking software: and make sure to use my special code: STMMMS18853 to save $10 off the software plus $10 of merchandise credit!!