2015 Kentucky Derby miniMarathon Recap: I Made Mine A Double!

The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon (and Marathon) was the second race part of the Kentucky Half Classic! Note: KDF’s miniMarathon is the half marathon distance totaling 13.1 miles. On the last weekend of April, my HB and I arrived in Louisville for a fun-filled, festival weekend! When we arrived, we headed straight to the Expo to pick up our packets. As soon as we walked in we saw a sign wishing all of the runners “Good Luck” on the race!

Kentucky Derby miniMarathon


Expo Time 1 - Kentucky Derby miniMarathon

T-minus 15 hours!

I picked up my packet then went to check out all of the vendors. Of course Bondi Band was there. Y’all know I love my Bondi Bands! You can find them at and you can even customize your own!

Continue reading

Photography Over Coffee

This past weekend, I attended a DSLR Basics Photography Workshop with professional photographer Megan Tsang Hand at Revelator Coffee Company. This was my first photography workshop so you know I was super excited! I have loved photography since I was a little girl taking pretend photos with my Dad’s camera in my Smurf jammies. I mean…who doesn’t love beautiful pictures? I sure do and I look forward to learning more!

Photography Workshop

Workshop attendees learned all about Photography 101: basic photo techniques, ways to improve DSLR skills, equipment, and more. I’m happy that there were a lot of newbies in attendance. I really enjoyed the Q & A session because being a newbie myself, I had plenty of questions. If you know me then you know I will ask a TON! I have learned to ask questions no matter how silly they may be, because there will always be an answer and it could be the answer to someone else’s question. Besides, that’s the way you learn.

megan tsang photography workshop

Photography Workshop

Megan shared so much knowledge with us. There’s a great, big world full of moments waiting to be captured and I can’t wait to bring my ideas to life! Thank you Birmingham Bloggers for hosting! But wait, it’s not over…


what’s next? coffee!

There is nothing like the smell of fresh, ground coffee. I just needed to put that out there. Revelator Coffee graced us with a complementary coffee brewing demo after the photography workshop. They serve high quality craft coffee and tea. I absolutely adore this place and I love how warm and inviting it is!Revelator Coffee Demo

I was intrigued by all of the harmonious scents and flavors, especially since I haven’t advanced to the connoisseur level of coffee drinking just yet (i.e., drinking coffee straight). The craft coffee that I tasted was quite flavorful naked! I can tell you now, it’s going to be hard to tear me away from my crème and stevia, but I may give it a try. From what I understand, coffee has a naturally sweet taste. Our barista, Blake, suggested drinking coffee for one full week without the additions. This was such a fun demo!

Revelator Coffee Demo

Revelator Coffee Demo

Thank you Megan for such an informative workshop! If you are looking for a wedding or lifestyle photographer, make sure you visit Megan’s website at—and while you’re there, take a look at her beautiful work! Also, thank you Revelator Coffee (and Blake) for providing such a wonderful space and samples for us to try. To find your nearest Revelator Coffee location,  visit This is the perfect place to write out your thoughts, have a cozy date night, or have an intimate meet-up with friends—with a cup of delicious green coffee or tea, of course! I know you will love it as much as I do!


The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Tips, & Tweets!- My Pretty Brown Blog

The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Training Tips, & Tweets!

The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Tips, & Tweets!- My Pretty Brown Blog

The Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Weekend is less than three weeks away! I cannot wait to see all of my runDisney friends and earn my Coast to Coast Race Challenge bling! I will be running the Disneyland 10K and the Disneyland Half Marathon all part of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Plus, it’s Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! This will be my third Run Disney race and first Run Disney challenge–and just in case you haven’t seen the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge medals…here they are!

dumbodoubledare medals 1

I love these beauties! I can’t wait to see them in person.


Cigna, the sponsor of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend held a Twitter Chat with  runDisney and Jeff Galloway, runDisney’s official training consultant, to share training tips. There were so many great tips shared by Cigna, runDisney, Jeff Galloway, and other runners/walkers— I thought I would share a few tweets from the #CignaRunTogetherChat!


Magical Tips and Tweets!

Continue reading

Insomnia Cookies Review - My Pretty Brown

Late Night Munchin’ with Insomnia Cookies!

Insomnia Cookies Review - My Pretty BrownI had the opportunity to try Insomnia Cookies for the first time at the See Jane Write: Bloganista Mini-Con I attended a few weeks ago. It was seriously love at first bite and I only had ONE cookie! After enjoying the chewy deliciousness that is the “double chocolate chunk” cookie—I knew I had to make my way there sooner than later. 

Well…I finally made it! Let me just tell you, they were so worth the wait! Let me take a moment to acknowledge that they deliver warm, delicious cookies until 3:00 A.M.! How cool is that?! I wish they were around when I was living in Rast Hall back in my undergrad years. If you are student and you are reading this, make sure you take advantage of this awesomeness! Nothing like warm cookies to get you through a late night cram sesh.

Insomnia Cookies Review - My Pretty Brown

Insomnia Cookies Review - My Pretty Brown

Continue reading

Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips - My Pretty Brown Blog

Summer Running Tips from Jeff Galloway

Hi friends!

I just received NEW Galloway Blogger summer running tips from Jeff Galloway to share with you all! It has been so hot here in the South. *soul cry* I was so excited to get past winter that I forgot how hot summer can get. Let me just be honest, fall is the only season that does not come to me with baggage. We just belong together! We’re like Mike and Ike (yes, they are back together)…Bey and Jay-Z…Bebops/freeze cups and summertime. Back to this heat. This summer has come with a few challenges, including  having no other option but to use the treadmill (dreadmill). Well, I’m excited to share these summer running tips with you!

Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips - My Pretty Brown Blog


Dealing With the Heat | Jeff Galloway tips

Training through the summer can not only be grueling, but down right dangerous.  Here are some tips to train safely and as comfortable as possible in the hot summer months.

  • Slow down by 30 sec/mile (20 sec/km) for every 5F temperature increase above 55-60F ( every 2.5C above 14C).
  • When the temperature is over 70F (21C) you may take a 5 minute “cold shower break” every 25-30 minutes to keep cool.
  • Try to complete your run before the sun rises above the horizon.
  • More frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase.  If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30.
  • When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building.
  • Pick shady courses on hot days.
  • Don’t wear a hat!  Pour water over your head.
  • Have an indoor alternative—treadmill, etc.
  • Run in the deep end of the pool, using a flotation belt.



jeffgallowaysummerrunning 1ANOTHER AMAZING LAKE TAHOE RETREAT!

We stay at the beautiful and comfortable Squaw Valley Lodge. Lodge amenities include indoor and outdoor hot tubs, swimming, tennis, sauna and fitness room. Week camp began Thursday, July 23th.  Weekend camp began Friday, July 24th at 5PM. Both camps began with an easy run to get acquainted.  The morning breakfasts were followed by clinics by Jeff and his guests. Seminar topics include Running Injury Free, Nutrition, Speed work, Goal setting, Shoe selection, Pool running, and Running form / analysis.

After lunch, our guests shopped, went sightseeing, sunned by the pool, or joined the group for a scenic hike, T-shirt swap, bike ride, river raft ride, etc. The group gathered again in the evenings for dinner onsite or at one of the nearby restaurants and after-dinner relaxing.

You can learn more about the various Jeff Galloway Retreats at




Make your nomination today!

In conjunction with the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting, Road Race Management and MarathonFoto will again honor an individual who has made a major difference in the sport with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is for contributions to the sport of long distance running over the course of a lifetime. Nominees, who may be either living or deceased, should have made major contributions to the sport in more than one area, for example as an administrator, elite athlete, promoter of the sport, or innovator as an event director or vendor.

“We are seeking to honor a ‘sport changer’…a person who really made a difference,” says Phil Stewart, RRM editor and publisher.

Nominations from the public are being solicited and will close on August 31, 2015.

A ten-person committee will choose the winner to be announced November 6 at the Race Race Management Race Directors’ Keynote dinner in Hollywood, FL.

Make your nomination now!


You can read the previous installments of my Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips here. For more great tips from Jeff Galloway, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy running and stay hydrated!

30 Things I Love Right Now - My Pretty Brown

30 Things I Love Right Now

Last week, See Jane Write founder Javacia gave us a blogging/writing prompt to get our creative juices flowing. I enjoyed reading her 30 things that she loves (right now), so I said…I can do this! Confession: I’m really digging the writing prompt idea. Well…here goes it!

30 Things I'm Loving Right Now - My Pretty Brown Blog

1) My Gizeh Birkenstock sandals. | (2) Wearing a t-shirt with a cardigan. | (3) Curvy girls who run. | (4) The Hoka Clifton. | (5) My rowing machine. | (6) Run Disney. | (7) Dreaming Big. | (8) Smoked salmon cream cheese from Einstein Bros. Bagels. | (9) Lecrae. | (10) When pineapples and flamingos are printed together (stationary, shirts, pants, etc.) | (11) My Tribe. | (12) Fried chicken. | (13) Grinding my own coffee beans. | (14) Silvertron’s Fried Cheese. (15) Being a marathoner. | (16) “Good For You” by Selena Gomez. | (17) Chocolate girls who feel confident wearing red lipstick and ROCK it! (18) Alex and Ani bangles. | (19) Being unashamed. | (20) That everyone calls me “Artie Cakes”. (21) Downton Abbey (Ready for season 6, not ready for it to be the final season). | (22) Oreo Thins. My love for these tasty treats is real y’all! | (23) Grilled corn. | (24) HB. | (25) Authentic people. | (26) New journals. | (27) Singing, dancing, and feeling FREE when Hillsong’s “This Is Living (Now)” comes on. | (28) Love. | (29) Running for charity. | (30) Being inspired.

 Your turn!

Motion 2015

Weekend Vibes! Art in Motion

I knew that the last weekend in July was going to be crazy busy. Birmingham had so many events going on including the annual Schaeffer City Fest (featuring The Roots, Common, and Birmingham’s own–Taylor Hicks), Secret Stages, Jill Scott concert and two events that I would be attending: Motion Student Conference 2015 and the Bloganista Mini-Con hosted by See Jane Write Birmingham. I had to make sure I stayed on schedule with my workouts/marathon training runs to prepare for the weekend ahead. I decided to hit the trail for a peaceful, 5 mile run Thursday morning before my training.

Weekend Vibes

I had the opportunity to serve/volunteer at Motion 2015. It was such a great experience! “MOTION Student Conference is a catalyst weekend for students to be empowered by Jesus to put their faith into MOTION.” The conference welcomed over 10,000 students from all over the nation as they packed out the BJCC – Legacy Arena for the 3-day event! Motion 2015

Guest speakers included: Robert Madu, Christine Caine, Rich Wilkerson Jr., DawnChere Wilkerson, Josh Kimes, Chris Hodges (Founding and Senior Pastor of Church of the Highlands–conference host), and Mark (Jill) Pettus (Youth Pastor of Church of the Highlands). Worship included: Hillsong United, Lecrae, Passion Band, and Highlands Worship. After viewing the schedule, I knew there would be lots of walking, standing…and excitement! It was so amazing to see a generation of students ready to go out into the world to make a difference! I loved being in the midst of all of the awesomeness that was taking place! Motion 2015

Rich Wilkerson Jr. was the opening session for Day 1. After his session, the after-party kicked off with musical genius, Lecrae! I love Lecrae’s authenticity as he shares about his journey through Faith! He has truly redefined our pop culture. If you don’t know who he is…Google him! During the after party, Lecrae grabbed the camera/selfie stick from one of the students in the crowd and started filming. The crowd loved it! Fun times.


Day 2 sessions were all day long. Standing for long periods of time can put a lot of strain on your body, especially standing on hard surfaces like concrete. Luckily, we had a team that relieved us around lunchtime. It was so beautiful outside, so my teammate Courtney and I decided to head out to soak up some sunshine! I also ran into one of my sweet friends and fellow Disney Princess, Princess Leigh, (right) who is also part of the Dream Team. Gotta love the photobomb from one of the students in the background! Hilarious! Serving on the Dream Team is truly one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. An added bonus–working with the most amazing people/team on the planet!


Christine Caine was part of the evening session on Day 2. Christine is the founder of the A21 Campaign (an anti-human trafficking organization). I love how passionate she is about people and justice. I feel that she is a voice for this generation. For the after-party Hillsong United, one of my favorite bands, performed! I sang and danced my heart out! AH-MAZING!

Hillsong United - My Pretty Brown Blog

Hillsong United

 This is Living by Hillsong (United/Young & Free)

I could not believe my eyes when I looked at my FitStats for both days! 27,000 steps! Holy Fitbit, Batman! I almost walked a half marathon on Thursday! Well, I did run a 5-miler that morning that helped add to my stats. Friday was my rest day, but I still almost reached 10 miles while at the conference. I felt pretty good about my stats even though my body totally felt it. Owie! I don’t like to make excuses when it comes to getting in my activity–especially during marathon training season. I must keep moving! wpid-photogrid_1438622671536.jpgOn Saturday, I attended my first blogging conference ever! I’ll share all about it soon. All in all, it was an amazing weekend and I would do it all over again!

How did you end July? Did you reach your July goal(s)?