Because New Workout Gear Is Necessary!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Spring couldn’t get here fast enough! It seems like this year is really flying by. I know we need to take time to smell the roses. Now, we get the opportunity to do just that…outside and in lovely weather! I’m excited about the great things that are in store. The Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Weekend is less than six months away. So excited! Also, for my runDisney peeps, don’t forget the Avengers Half Marathon weekend goes on sale April 7th (the day before my birthday…woo-hoo!) and the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend goes on sale April 28th! You can check out my 2015 WDW Marathon recap here

Happy Spring! It's time to spring into fitness, runDisney races, and get new workout gear! #bondiband #rundisney #fitness | My Pretty Brown Blog

So…I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “summer bodies are made in the winter”. Well, spring has officially sprung! If you fell off during the winter then this is the perfect opportunity to get back on track. It’s going to be beautiful outside…pollen and all! I just added a Stairmill workout into the mix. The Stairmill is pretty intense. Someone called it the “dreadmaster”. I chuckled because it truly owns up to that name. It’s one of those machines that you want to hate, but you just can’t, because it WORKS! You can get that workout here and find out why I’m so happy a new season is here.

You can’t go into a new season without new workout gear! I don’t know about you, but I work harder when I have on cute workout gear. It just makes you feel good! Check out Bondi Band’s newest selection of “No-Slip, No-Drip” athletic headbands and other fashionable and functional apparel. I can’t wait to add to my collection!

I Don't Sweat I Sparkle - Bondi Band | My Pretty Brown Blog

The “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” headband is one of my favorite Bondi Bands. Check out the new design here!


Don’t miss out on your chance to win a set of Yurbuds and a Performance Wicking Hat of your choice. All you have to do is “Like” and share the Bondi Band Facebook Fan Page and post a picture of yourself to the page showing off your Bondi Band gear. A winner will be chosen on March 31st!

Bondi Band Athletic Headband and Accessories



Happy Spring! Do you have any fun events, races, or activities planned?



Shake It Off, Tone It Up + Stairmill Workout!

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for spring! I have been in complete struggle mode the past few weeks. Winter really had me in a slump. Lots of rain, a few snow days…I really needed some vitamin D. Then I realized, I have suffered from SAD. Did you know that SAD existed? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which simply means: you turn into Crabby Patty or you feel sad, anxious, tired, excessively eat with potential weight gain, and have trouble concentrating just to name a few. For me…I’m just ready for spring!

After my marathon, I had the Post-Marathon Blues. I remember my sister saying, “Artney, enjoy this moment! Your race will go by so fast and then it will be over.” Everything she said was true. About a week after my marathon the blues kicked in. You go through vigorous mental and physical training all while building a bond with yourself and your training. You put in days, nights, months of training then the big day comes, your excitement level is on fleek (yes, I actually detest this word, but it worked), then it’s over—just like that. I was sad, a little depressed, and this winter SADness didn’t help. I really enjoyed my sabbatical and not working out, but I can’t believe I’m saying this…I miss working out and I miss the endorphins! Euphoria, where are you? I had to figure out how to get out of this comfortable slump of laziness. It had to start with the renewing of my mind. So, I whipped my bum back into shape mentally and got on the physical train. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. No More Excuses! 

Shaking Post-marathon blues, Stair Master, Fitness Exercises

Have you ever had that one activity or machine in the gym that you just wanted to run from? Well, mine is the Stairmaster/Stairmill aka the HELL-master! This is one of the hardest machines on earth and 5 minutes is all it takes to have me calling on Jesus. I get bored doing the same thing, so when I found this Stairmill Workout on Pinterest I got excited! But…it’s hard y’all!!! I have to stop mid-way to catch my breath because my heart rate is always off the charts—but it works! I’m not trying to go in too fast, so I’m going to stick with one cycle for the first few weeks then add another, etc. Next time you’re at the gym, try this awesome workout from ToneItUp!


 Stairmaster, Stairmill, Fitness Exercises


What’s the one workout or machine that you have a love/hate relationship with, but gets the job done?



More Training and Motivation Tips from Jeff Galloway

A few weeks ago, I came off of my post-marathon sabbatical to run one of my favorite races, the Mercedes Half Marathon. It was also my 7th half marathon to date! I love this race because it was my first half and it’s also held in my hometown, Birmingham, AL. I was able to PR and Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run (intervals) helped me achieve it. I mentioned in my earlier post how excited I am to be part of the Jeff Galloway Blogger program sharing training and motivation tips from Jeff. Run Walk Run is a method that is tried-and-true and has helped countless runners meet their goals!

Here are more Training and Motivation Tips to help you stay motivated during your training. 

Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips | My Pretty Brown Blog

I use Run Walk Run on all of my long runs. It’s up to each person to decide how fast or slow they would like their long runs to be. I like to pace my runs 1 to 2 minutes slower than race pace. Just remember “slow and steady wins the race”. This is my mantra and I stick to it. I paced myself too fast one time and that’s all it took. When I use Run Walk Run, I recover quicker, have less fatigue, and I’m motivated to get back out there.

We all want to run and stay injury free. You can find Jeff Galloway’s Book Run Walk Run here and Running Injuries here.


Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips (Part 2) | My Pretty Brown Blog Runners from Austin, Duluth, Denver, Metro Dc, NW Indiana, and Montgomery County, MD – We are coming to you! There is a Galloway Training Program starting near you in the month of March! Check the calendar for more information.

All Roads Lead To Rome!
Deadline extended until March 8th. 
(Time & Space is now limited – 2 slots left)
Sign up at or


Offer Expires: 3/8/15


If you missed my first JG Training and Motivation Tips, you can find them here. Have you dealt with any running-related injuries? What methods did you use to recover and get back to running?




Grilled Chicken Taco Bake

Grilled Chicken Taco Bake | My Pretty Brown Blog


What happens when you have a snow day? You get inspired to make a new dish to last you a few days just in case you can’t get away. I really wanted to go to our favorite Mexican Spot for dinner, but with the roads being too icy and dangerous, I decided I would prepare something at home. I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items to make a Grilled Chicken Taco Bake. It’s similar to my Baked Chicken Fajita recipe found here, and it’s equally delicious!!!

Before I get to the recipe, I must say that one of the best kitchen accessories I could have ever purchased is my food processor! It has truly come in handy with so many recipes and has saved me a lot of time. From slicing veggies to shredding cheeses, meats, etc…you name it! It helps me pull recipes together in no time.

Grilled Chicken Taco Bake

Something is smellin’ soooooo good!


Grilled Chicken Taco Bake
Yields 6
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 2 servings of Clancy's Multi-grain Cheddar Crisps (approximately 42 crisps)
  2. 1 pound grilled chicken, cooked and shredded
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup of green chiles
  5. 2 Tbsps of taco seasoning
  6. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  7. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  8. 1 can of black beans, drained
  9. 1 cup chunky salsa
  10. 1 cup of reduced-fat Fiesta Blend cheese
  11. Extra chips for scooping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grill chicken, shred, and set aside. (I used my George Foreman)
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Sautee garlic, green chiles, and onions until soft.
  4. Add beans, salsa, shredded chicken, and taco seasoning and mix well allowing mixture (salsa) to thicken.
  5. Line 9x13 dish with multi-grain cheddar crisps. Press crisps gently to break them into pieces.
  6. Next add the chicken and bean mixture making sure it covers the crisps in the baking dish.
  7. Add 1 cup of reduced-fat shredded cheese to the top of dish and bake on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (or until cheese is nice and bubbly).
  8. Serve and enjoy!
  1. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7pp (If you divide recipe into 8 servings, wwpp = 5pp).
  2. You can add additional crisps for dipping and scooping, use Taco Bake for hard or soft shell tacos, or just make a taco salad!
  3. I used Clancy's Multigrain Cheddar Crisps from Aldi—so good!
  4. You can substitute Clancy's Crisps for any brand of tortilla chips.
My Pretty Brown Blog

Grilled Chicken Taco Bake | My Pretty Brown Blog

This recipe is yummy to my tummy and so easy, cheesy, AND delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


#ReesesSpreads Influenster VoxBox Review

I seriously cannot tell you how much I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. When I found out that there was a such thing as a spread, I knew it had to be heaven! Thank you Influenster for sending me a Reese’s Spreads VoxBox to try out!


There should have been a warning: PROCEED WITH CAUTION! Reese’s Spreads Peanut Butter Chocolate is so delicious! It’s one of those things where you have to practice serious restraint. Being a Weight Watcher, this stuff can be dangerously good! With the spread coming in at 6pp per serving (2 Tbsp), I like to find creative ways to still enjoy this tasty treat! It’s the perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter. I love Reese’s Spreads on apples, bananas, pretzels, and mini rice cakes. I’ve even found the perfect indulgence…A cinnamon and sugar mini bagel + 1 Tbsp of Reese’s Spreads = yumtastic! You can find perfect pairings here.


Reeses Spreads Nutrition Facts 

If you’re worried about over-indulging, just enjoy half of a serving to satisfy your craving. I’m looking forward to testing out some new recipes! In the meantime, here are some great recipes for you to try:

 Recipes of Peanut-Chocolatey Goodness!

Chocolate Spreads Pie

Banana Buttons

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake 

Chocolate Spreads Cheesecake



Have you tried Reese’s Spreads? What do you think? If you have a favorite recipe, share it below!


I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.



Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips

Guess what y’all! I am Jeff Galloway Blogger! Everyone knows how much I love Jeff Galloway! When I first started running, it was because of his Run Walk Run method that I was able complete my first half marathon AND my first full marathon injury free! Jeff Galloway is truly one of the nicest, most encouraging people I’ve ever met. I remember meeting him for the first time at the Princess Half Marathon expo in 2014, but little did he know I was already a huge fan. Well, he knows it now! He even helped me figure out the best interval ratios for my first runDisney race and he helped me configure my Run Walk Run Vibrating Timer. Talk about dedicated to runners! I am beyond thrilled that I was selected to be a part of the inaugural Jeff Galloway Blogger Program and I can’t wait to share Training and Motivation Tips with you!

Me and Jeff2


Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached over a million runners to their goals through his clinics, wonderful retreats, training programs, books and e-coaching.  Sign up for his free newsletter at Here are some tips direct from the man himself to keep you motivated through your training!


Jeff Galloway Motivation and Tips



I find these tips extremely helpful and they will be beneficial to runners of all levels. I’ve run continuously and I’ve found that the benefits of run-walk-run are significantly greater. I just completed my seventh half marathon (recap here) using run-walk-run and I PR’d by 7 minutes, 12 seconds! I can’t wait to share more of Jeff’s wisdom with you in the future!


Looking to run a half marathon or marathon that goes beyond the ordinary? RUN ITALY Tours offers more than others do and travel with “Coach Jeff”.

March 22, 2015 – Rome Marathon 26.2, 13.1 and 5K distances
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2014 Virtual 13.1 Half Marathon and 5K (Inaugural)
Last chance to become a “Legacy” participant! 
Closes March 1, 2015.
Offer Expires: 3/1/15

Do you use Run-Walk-Run? How does it work for you?




It’s My 3-Year Runniversary! + 2015 Mercedes Half Marathon Recap

This past Sunday I celebrated my 3-year Runniversary by running in the Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon in the Magic City (Birmingham, Alabama)! The Mercedes Half Marathon was my first half marathon and instantly became one of my favorite races. My weekend started by picking up my packet then dropping by the BGR Meet and Greet/carb load dinner with my running group. I was tardy to the party due to a jam-packed weekend, but it was so nice to see all of the ladies who traveled from various states to participate in the Mercedes Marathon Weekend: 5K, half marathon, full marathon, and/or relay team. Mercedes is a race weekend that attracts runners and walkers from everywhere!


The “Gotta Go Poncho” portable restroom found in my race bag is genius! I can’t make this stuff up. You gotta see this.


Rain or Shine…let’s get the pavement party started!

rummer2For the past few years, it has been extremely cold during Mercedes Weekend. This year was a lot warmer—mid 40’s-50’s. We’ve been dealing with crazy weather here lately, so after stalking the forecast for the past week I prepared for rain, mist, fog…AND THE HILLS! It was the perfect day to wear my “I Don’t Sweat, I Sparkle” Bondi Band found here! Nothing like a little rain to help you sparkle! #TeamSparkle

 20150222_064134Right before the start of the race I met Tammy, a fellow Half Fanatic, who was also celebrating her birthday! Happy Birthday, Tammy! Half Fanatics rock!!!


Run Mercedes 13.1 Ready!

Mercedes Half Marathon Ready!

 My intention was to walk the half with my HB due to him being under the weather and me still being somewhat on a sabbatical after my first full marathon (recap here). After waking up to rain showers, we decided to have fun and run our race!

20150222_085110You see the guy in the green? He’s the marathon winner, Joseph Amenya! Yep, he lapped us! lol Speaking of winners, three runners in the half marathon went the direction of the full marathon, so the runner in 4th place ended up taking the win for first. *shock face* Read about it here

20150222_102952aMy HB and I crossed the finish line together. It was his first Mercedes Half and third half marathon. I think someone has been bit by the running bug! 


There were lots of “firsts” that day!

BGR Birmingham Ambassador, LaJuana, completed her first marathon and I’m so super proud of her! Welcome to the 1% and Class of 2015, LaJuana! My Sole Sister, Gwen, and my cousin Shirley also finished their first half marathon! You ladies rock!


We’re ready!


Gwen rocked her first half marathon!

Go, Shirley Go!


I got to see my CurlFriend/BGR Sister/UAB Alum—Donyetta! We had to take our annual post-Mercedes pic! She was part of the relay team and she also completed the half! Talk about Beast Mode! Love this girl! 


Gotta love a post-race party with a live band and Jim-N-Nicks BBQ!

runmer1Guess who got to ring the PR bell!? Most people know that I’m not a competitive runner. It’s how I feel on any given race day. Don’t get me wrong, I want to finish strong—and me finishing is an awesome accomplishment. Now if Ryan Gosling is at finish line, that’s a whole ‘notha story. I am happy that I shaved 7 minutes, 12 secs off of my time—Thanks to Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run! Woo-hoo! 


Photo Credit: Cate McConnell

During races I like to enjoy the course, take snapshots (especially in different cities/states) along the route, and sometimes I’ll even meet new people and we’ll chat between the miles to make them go by. I met this sweet lady from Louisiana who race-walks and she completed 25 half marathons and 2 full marathons. I also had the opportunity to meet fellow Half Fanatic, Chester from Key West, FL (pictured above) on the course and we chatted after the race. I wish I would have gotten a picture with him because he’s a legend! He’s an incredibly fast race-walker and a true “Southernmost Walker” and gentlemen! He’s also a double agent (Half Fanatic/Marathon Maniac) and part of the 50 States Club. He’s so inspiring and I must add that he blew past us on the course! I hope to be as fast as Chester one day! When the race is over and the medal is hung—it’s remembering people like Chester and Sweet Lady Louisiana that keeps me inspired.



Happy 3-year Runniversary to me!

I must say, Mercedes really impressed me this year. I absolutely love our Finishers’ beach towel and the medal, as always—love! Mercedes Half Marathon will always be one of my favorite races…hills and all! When you live here you adjust to them, but it’s truly a great course! If you’ve never participated, make plans to come run the beautiful Magic City with us!

Celebration Time!

We ended our fun weekend with the Joe, Kem, and Charlie Wilson concert at the BJCC! Grooving to some good, old-school and R&B-Soul! 



Kem was getting down!


Charlie Wilson took us all the way back to the old-school!



Beautiful show and beautiful dancers!


Fun times! How do you celebrate after a race?



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race registration for the Mercedes Half Marathon. All opinions are my own.