Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lucky Number 28

That’s right. I’m calling in the big guns.

Yesterday I decided to pick up Tosca Reno’s new book, The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped, to help guide me down the final stretch to my birthday goal. I like to pull information and inspiration from many sources and I can ALWAYS count on Tosca for a little of both.

I had no idea when I picked up the book that it’s a 28 day plan. Coincidence? I think not. Yup, I’m 28 days away from my birthday – on April 28. I should so play the lotto.

So, I spent the better part of last night combing through the book and put it down even more dedicated to slipping into that bikini on my birthday, but most importantly, committed to 28 days of strict cleaning eating (yup the beer is on ice for the home stretch – gasp) that will lead to a healthier lifestyle for 40 and beyond.

Thank goodness for me that means 5-6 meals a day (I like to eat, ahem) filled with foods that’ll revitalize my body and give me lots of energy. I need that now more than ever since the running group I train with is having its kick-off this Saturday. Marathon training, anyone?

I’m excited to start training for Chicago and I’ve been longing for those LONG Saturday morning runs. I’m counting on the discipline I learned from running to help me survive carry me through the next 28 days.

Winks & Smiles,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Three Reasons Why I HIDE Chobani Greek Yogurt in My Fridge

It’s no secret that I’ve taken on a healthy lifestyle and I’m on a mission to get my body in great shape. I’m exercising and I’m making healthy food choices – most of the time. Ahem. I almost felt guilty saying yes when the good folks at Chobani offered to send me some of their yummy Greek Yogurt to review because I had several flavors already stashed in my fridge. GASP!

I’m a little late to the game, but I recently discovered Chobani Greek Yogurt and can’t seem to get enough of it. Apparently, I’m not the only one hence there are three reasons why I HIDE Chobani in my fridge:

Husband THINKS I buy it for him. Well, I do. Sort of. I buy it for both of us; it’s just that he devours it quicker than I do. Just because there are five in the fridge doesn’t mean you have to eat ALL five of them in the same day.

My SON discovered how good it tastes. That’s right; my 9-year-old is in on the secret and wants to eat all of the blueberry and black cherry Chobani in sight. While I LOVE that he likes something that’s so healthy, I need him, and his father, to save some for me.

It’s a SWEET surprise for me. Yes, I actually like pulling a drawer open and finding a scrumptious Mango 2% yogurt that I had no idea was there. And, yes, I’m still trying to find flavors that no one else in my house likes so I don’t have to hide anymore. The pineapple, strawberry/banana, blueberry, black cherry and raspberry are all HUGE hits for my family.

One of my faves – Pineapple!

The Upside:

It’s all natural, DELICIOUS and fits perfectly into my healthy eating plan.

The Not So Upside:

My family wants to eat it all and I can’t seem to keep enough of it in my house.

Truth be told, this review was an easy one for me because it’s a product that I already buy. That really says it all.

Winks & Smiles,

Disclosure: I was sent several flavors of Chobani to review; as always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Won the Lottery ... to Run the Peachtree Road Race

I WON the lottery! Me and 60,000 other folks. I woke this morning to find this in my email inbox ...

I'm excited that I and 60,000 of my closets friends will be running down Peachtree Street on July 4, in one of the largest 10K's in the world. I'm even more excited that my sister, Nicole, and my father will be running it, too. 

Me and My Dad at last year's Peachtree Road Race

Although its crazy over packed a tad crowded this is one of my favorite races and will be the sixth time I've braved ran it. I'm a sucker for tradition. Anyone else have a race that they find themselves running year after year after year?

Oh, and on a side note, today is March 28 - ONE MONTH away from my birthday goal. I'm excited, determined, positive, motivated, a little freaked out scared and still want to know whose bright idea was this anyway?

Winks & Smiles,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday's Confession: I'm a Warrior

Friday's Confession ... I'm a Warrior. Well, not yet but I will be once I run in the Warrior Dash on May 15, in Mountain City, Georgia.

I signed Husband and I up yesterday and I'm actually looking forward to it. I used to be a punk scaredy-cat before I ran a marathon and discovered I can do WAY more than I ever thought. Now, at Husband's request I will be trekking through mud and hurdling fire which is fine, ahem, as long as there's an ice-cold beer waiting for me at the end.

Make that TWO beers and some new shoes.

Winks & Smiles,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Women in the World: INSPIRED

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Summit: Stories + Solutions. I was invited and hosted by The Coca-Cola Company, a Leadership Sponsor for the event.

For three days I sat intently in New York City’s Hudson Theater and listened to an amazing array of women come from all across the globe to share stories of hardship, pain, joy, determination, triumph, defeat, success and their desire to make this world a better place for every woman.

There were high profile dignitaries and celebrities like President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright, Barbara Walters, Christine Amanpour, Charlie Rose and Ashley Judd. Equally as vital to the conference were women with unrecognizable names but immeasurable contributions to the betterment of our society. Learning about the different obstacles that women face in many parts of the world; the human rights that are still lacking; and most importantly about some of the brave women who are stepping forward to make changes left me INSPIRED.

Inspired to pay more attention to life outside my immediate world.

Inspired to become more active in my community as well as on a global front.

Inspired to strive harder for greatness in everything that I do.

Ashley Judd and panelists passionately discuss trafficking of girls in the United States

The Twitter stream for their hashtag #WIW2011

Sec. of State Clinton and Summit host Tina Brown with several of the speakers

Need a little inspiration? I encourage you to visit the Women in the World website. The videos and stories will amaze you.

Winks & Smiles,

Disclosure: My travel and accommodations were provided by The Coca-Cola Company. As always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Checking Up on Your Goods

"106/70. You're blood pressure is excellent."

That's what the nurse told me this morning when I went for my annual physical.

That number is WAY more important to me than the one that shows up on the scale because high blood pressure runs DEEP in my family. DEEP.

I was thoroughly poked and prodded this morning and received a "You're really healthy! Keep on doing it!" from my doctor who applauded and encouraged my running.

I not only applaud and encourage it; I ATTRIBUTE much of my great check up to lacing up my running shoes and making healthy food choices.

I'm 35 days away from 40 and I'm healthier than I was entering my 20's and 30's. A big part of that is making sure I visit my doctor. When is the last time you had a physical? If its been more than a year something just moved to the top of your "To-Do List." You schedule them for the kids, so please don't forget about you. Nothing is more important then checking up on your goods!

Winks & Smiles,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration Recap

I’m back from my second trip to Walt Disney World Resort, yes I spent half of March making friends with Minnie, and truth-be-told it just doesn’t get old. That’s right; I’m officially addicted to pixie dust and glass slippers.

This time I was there for the Social Media Moms Celebration – a gathering of nearly 200 women, and their families, complete with engaging sessions, dynamic speakers, lots of networking, some special celebrity guests, fun-filled parties, and of course – the parks!

It’s hard to wrap-up such an eventful weekend in one post. There were so many special moments like celebrity wedding planner and host of the TV show, “My Fair Wedding,” David Tutera popping in Disney’s Wedding Pavilion right before we saw a couple renew their vows and ride off in Cinderella’s coach. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. Oh, and the line up of speakers during Friday’s sessions were phenomenal. I’m in love with Rene Syler, author of Good Enough Mother and former CBS News “The Early Show” anchor. She’s so down to earth. I also enjoyed sitting with social media guru, Chris Brogan for most of the day. He was the only male speaker and survived a room full of socially savvy women, and that was before they surprised us with a champagne break.

All of the food, the drinks, ahem, the private parties, and, yes, the swag, (I’m just sayin’) truly made us feel like pampered princesses.

We stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa which simply put is GRAND. It’s on the monorail line with easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot; and is quickly becoming my favorite out of Disney’s many fabulous resorts.
While I didn’t run once this trip, gasp!, I’m sure I logged countless miles walking around the parks. My family and I hit up all four – Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and my favorite Magic Kingdom. Yes, we enjoyed the coveted Media Fast Pass that bumped us up to the front of most lines. Royalty, I tell you.

My son, Miles, held things down on the exercise front when he took part in the Magic of Healthy Living, “Play-Your-Way” games. Hosted by NFL great Darrell Green, the kids competed in a field day style series of high-energy games designed to show them how they can incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their daily routines. Miles’ smile was priceless when “Zeke & Luther” star Daniel Curtis Lee joined the kids on the field. Later that day, I attended a press conference to learn more about the new Magic of Healthy Living initiative. I just love that Disney is encouraging kids to be healthier. You can learn more about all the wonderful things they’re doing at the Magic of Healthy Living website which is now in heavy rotation at my house.

OK, OK, enough with the words, its picture time. Here's a sampling from the weekend:

The view from Disney's luxurious Grand Floridian.

We had sweet treats at Disney's Wedding Pavilion.

And, lots of healthy eats all weekend.

Not many conferences serve you champagne in between sessions - ooh-la-la!

Husband and the kids played while I was in the sessions. On Main Street in Magic Kingdom.

Me and Husband at Friday night's private soiree hosted by Disney Junior on Disney Channel at Hollywood Studios.

The Play-Your-Way games.

Little girl hamming it up!

Daniel Curtis Lee and Miles taking a break.

Me, Milan and NFL superstar, Darrell Green

Some of Disney's best and brightest at the Magic of Healthy Living Press Conference.

Playing in the parks at one of my family's favorite rides.

Goofing with the kids before the ride.

My sports fanatic family had to stop by ESPN's Wide World of Sports.

I picked up a little early birthday present. Turns out Walt Disney World and I were "established" in the same magical year. Could it be coincidence?

Many thanks and kudos to Laura Spencer, Leanne Jakubowski, their wonderful team at Walt Disney World Resorts, and everyone who had a hand in making this celebration a huge success!

Winks & Smiles,

Disclosure: I paid a registration fee for the conference that generously included my hotel, several meals, events, and park passes for my family. As always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sleep Running

I'm back from my WONDERFUL escape to Disney's Social Media Moms Celebration and have officially hit a wall. I've been on the road pretty much all of March and its slowly catching up with me. I realized I'm tired when I woke up this morning - during my run. GASP!

Um, yeah. I remember cursing my alarm out hearing my alarm go off then getting the kids up but there's a huge blur between that and mile two around the track. Don't worry the kids are safe, I did wake up enough to drive them safely to school, but I can't guarentee that they're rockin' matching socks.

I did manage to sleep get myself through four miles this morning. I'm excited because I felt strong even though I wasn't awake. I'm also excited to lie back down and catch up on some rest that my body is telling me I need. My travel recap is coming - it was an awesome event - maybe I'll write it in my dreams.

Winks & Smiles,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday's Confession: I'm Officially Counting Down, 40 til 40

Friday's Confession ... I'm officially counting down, I'm 40 days away from my 40th birthday ... and a pretty hefty birthday goal.

While I'm feeling good about my progress, its officially time for me to move into failure-is-not-an-option mode. Um, once I get back from Disney. Ahem.

The WONDERFUL folks at Walt Disney World Resorts are spoiling us rotten at Disney's Social Media Moms Conference. Incredible speakers, sessions, networking, food, drinks, swag, parties, the parks ... did I mention the food and drinks? I've been traveling like crazy this month and I've managed to make healthy choices through most of it, but THIS trip I seem to have the food and drinks in my hand on my mind. Gasp!

40 til 40. That's what's going to get me through, folks. That and a little bit of pixie dust.

Winks & Smiles,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Morning Glory


I took this photo from my bed this morning when I woke up in Daytona Beach. Yes, I'm on the move once again, this time I'm in sunny Florida headed to Disney's Social Media Moms Conference. And, yes, this time I had to bring my family with me because they were staging a coup happily brought my family with me. I also brought my running shoes but left my tiara and tutu at home. Maybe I can borrow Cinderella's.

Winks & Smiles,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Goal Motivation

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday ...

My current birthday goal motivation:

O.M.G. She's 43 and still training for yet another Olympics. I leave this magazine out on my kitchen counter where I need the most self control so I see it daily and don't mess up make healthy choices. Did I mention she's 43?

No excuses.

Winks & Smiles,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making Memories: Globetrotting with GP

As I was sitting on an airplane headed back from New York this past Saturday, my father and my son were sitting in Philips Arena watching the Harlem Globetrotters. While I so wanted to be there, I remember when my Dad took ME to go watch Curly and the crew make another team look silly, I was tickled that they had this moment together.

My Dad, "GP," with my cousin, Max, and Miles.

You know Miles talked my Dad into buying him a basketball. He hasn't put it down since.

It always warms my heart when I see my kids enjoy experiences that I did as a child - especially when it involves my parents. How about you? What do you do with your kids (or nieces and nephews) that you used to do, too? Don't tell me I'm the only sap out there ...

Winks & Smiles,

Disclaimer: I was provided four tickets for my family to attend the show. As always, my thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hunger Walk/Run 2011 Race Recap

I got back in town on Saturday and decided at the last minute to do the Hunger Walk/Run 5K on Sunday. My church participates every year and I've always wanted to join them. While I didn't have any lead time to raise money I made my personal contribution, picked up my number and joined the fun.

The race didn't start until 2 p.m. so I had plenty of time to catch up on some sleep, get my upper body workout in, and go to church before running.

My pre-race pick in the parking lot. CHEESE!

After picking up my number I decided to skip the porta-potty line - gasp - and headed over here ...

You've got a LOVE a race that has a Tweet Up Tent.

I left my mark with the others and went to find my dear friend Shameeka - The Broke Socialite.

Shameeka and her husband, Eric, are contestants in the Atlanta's Biggest Loser Couples competition.

After wishing them luck and connecting with some of my church friends I headed to the start.

The race started and finished at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves.

It's always fun to run under the Olympic rings. A girl can dream, right? 

The race had two water stations and entertainment all the way like this band. They were gettin' it!

Right before the end of the race the Homer, the Braves mascot, cheered everyone in!

Me and Juanita, one of the organizers for the event at my church, after finishing.

Shameeka and Eric celebrating their first 5K together!

My unofficial time was 33:30. It was a fun run for a great cause; and I'm glad I got to participate.

Winks & Smiles,
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