#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

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 www.JeffGalloway.com. 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
Book NOW at www.RunITALY.com!    


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.

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day

It’s Race Day!!! I set my alarm for 1:15 a.m. Yes, I was that nervous. The shuttle didn’t start running until 3:15 a.m., but there was no way I was going to oversleep. I couldn’t believe it was here! The weather was perfect compared to the morning before. Not too cold, not too warm with a side of breeze. We made it down to the shuttle bus by 3:40 a.m. The line was already super long, so we ended up boarding the 4th one. We arrived to the holding area in time for me to shake my nerves and take care of last minute things. Me and my HB hugged then I headed for my almost mile walk to my corral. Thanks to the DJ, who had the crowd rockin’, I was now feeling more excited than nervous! 

I had such an incredible time! If you know me then you know I took lots of pictures to share the journey. Hang on for a Magical Ride!WDB


 In my corral counting down the minutes!


It’s showtime!!! Fireworks at the start line…what an amazing send off!

20150111_061712_LLSAbout one mile into the race I saw the Pirate Ship! I wanted to meet Jack Sparrow, but the line was way too long.








Main Street U.S.A. is so magical! I actually shed a few tears! The stop right before the castle even more magical which = being more emotional! This is a great place to capture memories! The crowd support is absolutely AMAZING! I tear up every single time. They smile and cheer you on and it makes you feel so warm, fuzzy, and grateful for that moment. It’s truly a magical experience that goes by so fast!



20150111_071254bc Look how gorgeous the view of Cinderella’s castle is!

 20150111_071244I ran into Run All The Races, on my way to the castle! #CignaRunTogether Team Turkey Stir Fry Foreva and eva eva! *in my Outkast voice*


Princess Anna and Princess Elsa!

20150111_072526 Look who I ran into down in Frontierland (or what I call Nawlins/New Orleans)…it’s Louis! Seeing Louis made me really miss NOLA!


On the road again…

As the sun was coming up I saw them….the Wedding Singers at the “wedding chapel”! (Not pictured) Oh my word…they were just too handsome! How could I not get a selfie with all of this gorgeousness? Just sayin’! I got word that a couple got engaged at the chapel shortly after I left!

Wedding Singers



20150111_075357Passing by the golf course I saw Donald and Goofy! Hi guyyys!

thespeedway1It was my first time at the home of the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway. 

20150111_082512Uh oh! Cruella De Vil’s stop was also very popular. I had to photo-bomb and keep it moving!



20150111_085941W3As we were approaching Animal Kingdom, there were animals lined up along the side of road for their close-up with us. They even had on race bibs! I never thought I’d see it, but…it’s a RUNNING Turtle! Slow and steady wins the race! #mymantra 

20150111_092223aMe and BALOO!!!

20150111_092921b I just adore Minnie and Daisy! Three is a charm! :)

20150111_093333Halfway there!


meandmatthewI ran into my friend Matthew (Sparkly Runner‘s beau) and we took a selfie!

byefelicia2I absolutely loved the crowd support and the signs were HILARIOUS! BYE FELICIA!

 20150111_095358…annnnd ACTION! I love how runners got into character. 


Next, we ran through the stadium at the ESPN World Wide of Sports. After we left there, it started rain. It was actually quite refreshing given the temps were high and the sun was playing peek-a-boo. We were also approaching mile 20.    20150111_113006



20150111_122216I felt like I was running in a scene of a movie!

20150111_122449bMickey’s Sorcerer hat was in the final stages of coming down. Sad to see it go.



20150111_123740When I saw this sign I got emotional. It was a reminder that no matter what…NEVER STOP BELIEVING! I needed this as I was approaching mile 25.

20150111_125718I was so excited that I got a chance to see Princess Jasmine with her beautiful self! She was so sweet! After parting ways, my dream was becoming a reality!


Nothing like a parade as you’re completing the last stretch of a marathon!




I was almost home when I saw/heard the Gospel Choir. As they were singing Israel & New Breed’s “(Lord) You are Good!”, I shed a few tears! I seriously couldn’t believe I was about to cross the finish line of my FIRST MARATHON at the place where dreams come true! All I could do is say, Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus I’m almost there!!! Even the guy in front of me was feeling the spirit of the finish line! I literally cut the corner and brought it on home!



 I DID IT!!! I’M A MARATHONER!!!!!!!!!


20150111_133819bI was hot, sweaty, and about 50 shades of brown—but I DID IT!!! I completed my first FULL MARATHON!!!

20150111_132711I was happy to see these sweet ladies, Jen (Pink Cupcake Girl) and Erin, after literally crossing the finish line!

20150111_142024I was also beyond happy to see my sweet husband/cheerleader at the family and friends holding area. Grateful!


Another thing I love about Disney races is you meet new friends along the course. This gentleman not only kept us laughing, but he was also a joy to share the course with! He finished Dopey! For those who don’t know…that’s Dopey Challenge: 5K, 10K, Half, and Full Marathon!




Downtown DisneyWe’re celebrating my marathon and my HB’s half marathon (recap here) at Downtown Disney! I’m so proud of him! It was also his first Disney race!

20150111_195745The foodie in me had to share my Celebration Eats. We dined at a restaurant called, Cookes of Dublin! It was the first time I ever had a Hand Battered (deep-fried) Burger: topped with garlic mayo, tomato chutney and mixed greens (served with beer battered fries)—yumtastic and EARNED! What a fun night!


20150111_142205The Walt Disney World Marathon was the most AMAZING race experience ever! I could not have asked for a better “first”. Every mile was truly magic! I met Disney characters along the course,  toured four Disney Parks, I never hit the infamous “wall”, and I finished injury free. I’m so grateful that I NEVER gave up and I thank God for seeing me through this process. Let this be a testament to anyone out there reading this that ANYTHING is possible to those who believe! I can’t begin to describe how amazing it feels to be a marathoner. I’m truly a walking (well…running testimony). My Testimony Post…Coming soon!

Until then…

Happy Running and See You Real Soon!—Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare 2015!


2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Recaps:

 Part I: Party at the Pop + Expo

 Part II: Cigna Blogger Cook-Off and Meet-up

Part III: WDW Marathon Weekend—It’s A Family Reunion



Disney Princess Half Marathon Magical Tips

The runDisney Princess Half Marathon was my first runDisney experience! It was truly one of the best races ever! I had so much fun and with each runDisney race I learn something new. It seems like each time it gets better and better, but every event is similar in details. Since it’s Princess Week, here are a few tips that I’d like to share to help make your race day experience a magical one!


Wear comfortable shoes. When you arrive at the ESPN World Wide of Sports for the expo, you will see that you will do a great deal of walking. Don’t be like me trying to be “cute” by wearing flat boots, ballerina flats, etc. It would be ideal to wear comfortable, athletic shoes with good support. You will absolutely do more walking than you say you’re going to do. It may even be a good idea to wear compression socks while you walk around. The expo does it to me every time.

Fit For A Princess Expo. The runDisney Princess expo was the first expo where I felt like a kid in the candy store circa 1985. You will see every vendor from sparkle skirts to running sticks, but don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s always good to set a budget because you could easily go on a spending spree and try to buy everything in sight. You can get a look at the 2015 Princess Half Merchandise here. If you’re thinking about getting the official runDisney New Balance, visit here. The Speaker Series is also a really great way to get a break from walking while getting education on running and race day and nutrition tips from the runDisney panel. Don’t forget to read through your event guide and race day instructions. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Princess Prepping. Dressing the part is so much fun! You will see every princess from Tiana to Cinderella and all kinds of tutus, tiaras, feather boas, things that sparkle, and anything a pretty princess could think of! Where else would you (or even your beau) dress up like a Disney Princess and have a Magical experience while doing it? Nowhere else! Also, make sure if you’re wearing any special accessories, skirts, etc. that you tested them out before race day. Yes, pin that tiara down! On race day you will see any and every costume and wonder how in the heck are they going to run in that!? But they will!

Lay out your costume/race day outfit. I suggest getting your flat runner ready the night before. You don’t want to deal with looking for last minute hair pins, socks, skirts, or safety pins the morning of because that early morning wake-up call will arrive before you know it.

Wake-up call. Get ready to be up before the chickens. I would set every alarm: the hotel alarm, phone, iPad…whatever—because you don’t want to miss the resort shuttle cut-off or the start of the race. This may not be a problem if you are like me and you’re so excited (and maybe nervous) that you can’t sleep the night before. Give yourself enough time to eat your breakfast and take care of any last minute things before heading to Epcot. If you are staying at a host resort, the buses will start running at 3:00 a.m. to shuttle you to Epcot to get you settled before heading to your corral. You can view the entire Princess Half Marathon weekend transportation details here.

Dress accordingly. You never know what the weather is going to be like in Florida. It could be hot and humid or cold and breezy, or even rainy. Make sure you check the forecast to see what to expect on race day. If it’s going to be cool that morning, you can turn a trash bag into a warming “shirt” while you’re waiting in your corral. Once you get running/walking, you will be good and warmed up. As far as music, you probably will not need it. There will be music along the course and you will want to be able to listen to what’s going on around you.

Me and Jeff2Run Walk Run. Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run method will be very popular along the course. Be mindful of runners who choose this method as their preferred race day plan. If you are using run walk run, raise your hand to signal those behind and around you that you are slowing down or about to stop. Make sure that you move to the far right, because this will help you avoid getting trampled over. 

Don’t run for time. If you try to run your fastest half marathon time ever then you will miss out on the purpose of running Disney. I get that some runners may bank on this being their Boston qualifier–if this is you, this tip is not for you. For others, it’s truly a magical experience so soak it all in! Don’t get overwhelmed with getting swept by the balloon ladies. Yes, they do exist. How else would we be motivated? Don’t allow the thought of getting swept scare you. If you are ahead of the balloon ladies, then you are good!

Keep it two or less. I’ve seen it countless times—many friends will run side by side. I’ve even seen five runners/walkers run across (side by side) and it’s hard to get by. It’s great to run with friends, but it’s important that you try to run in pairs to allow other runners/walkers to get around you and to keep you from getting bumped into.

Enjoy the course. It’s Disney! Have fun and enjoy every single minute! There will be thousands of runners celebrating every mile with you. Just remember, when you get to the finish line, you earned ALL 13.1 miles and you are still a half marathoner no matter how many breaks you took. Run, walk, crawl, finish—but make sure you do it with a smile on your face! Olaf will be waiting for you wanting warm hugs!

Character stops.  Again…it’s Disney! If you can, try to stop for at least one character along the course. No other race will be magical at every mile and in between. runDisney has taken steps to make the photo experience a lot smoother by having a character stop assistant take a photo with your camera/phone while the official photographers take theirs. This also helps the lines move faster. Once you are done, stay to the side and ease your way onto the course. This will help with overflow. Keep in mind that other runners/walkers will be stopping along the course to take pictures with the characters too. Even if you don’t stop for the characters, I encourage you to take photos at the Disney character mile markers. Do it for the memories!


Smile for the photographers. There will be PhotoPass/photographers sprinkled throughout the course like Pixie Dust. One of my favorite stop spots for family, friends, and spectators is Main Street USA. That’s a great place for your memories to be created! Enjoy the crowd support…it’s absolutely AMAZING! I tear up every single time. They smile and cheer you on and it makes you feel so warm, fuzzy, and grateful for that moment—so take your time, it’s truly a magical experience that will go by so fast!

The Castle Experience. Make sure you stop and take pictures before you get to Cinderella’s castle. There will be photographers as you are running to, through, and as you exit so make sure you smile! You can get tips on how to get your best runDisney race/castle photo at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom here!

If you’re running Disney for the first time, I’m wishing you the most memorable and Magical experience ever! My friend/sole sister, Tammy, is running the Princess Half and it will be also be her first runDisney race. I’m so thrilled for her! I hope you all have an incredible race, enjoy yourself, cheer others on, thank the volunteers, and don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment(s) at the Cool Down party at Downtown Disney! They will be offering special perks and discounts to finishers so make sure you wear your finishers’ medal.

Have a magical race!


You can read my Princess Half Marathon Weekend Recaps here:

Part One: Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo 2014

Part Two: Downtown Disney, Pasta in the Park, and Princess Prepping!

Part Three: Disney Princess Half Marathon 2014 Recap





I Did It Again…I’m Disneyland Bound! + Smart Snacking

DisneylandHalfLogoYesterday, I registered for my third runDisney race which will be held at the Happiest Place on Earth! In September, I’ll be going from Coast to Coast (pun intended) for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna! I will also be running the Dumbo Double Dare challenge! Did I mention it’s the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend? *insert scream here* This is seriously a dream come true! My sister lives in Cali so I figured this would be the perfect time to share with her about runDisney. She’s excited and preparing for her first Disney race with me in 2016, so you know that I’m one happy sister! I can’t believe this is all one month after returning from my Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. You can read my recaps for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 (Part 4 will post this week). Registration for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens April 28, 2015! Make sure you sign up for an email reminder.

I’m back on my Weight Watchers plan and I have been consistent with snacking and tracking. I love finding healthier foods and snacks! I found a new flavor of Sensible Portion’s Veggie Straws in cheddar flavor. You can cut the serving in half and still have plenty of straws for your meal or snack. I also found these whole wheat Smart Pockets by Toufayan which I really love. These smart pockets are the “new” pita and they are a healthy option for perfect “pita” sandwiches! Just stuff it with all of your favorite fixings and enjoy!

Toufayan Smart Pockets

Toufayan Smart Pocket, Grapes, Cheddar Veggies Straws (8pp)


It’s important that I stay on track. I’m back in the gym so I can cross train and get stronger. I’m approaching strength training from a whole new perspective. Strength training took the back seat during my marathon training (that’s another post) but it’s back to stay.


You can purchase an “Eat Hard, Run Hard” Bondi Band just like mine here!


I also just found out that I received a complimentary entry to one of my favorite races, Mercedes Half Marathon! That means I have to keep my diet and my workouts in check. I’ll be using run walk run (Galloway) especially since I’ve been taking it easy for the past few weeks. I’m excited I’ll have my HB along for his first Mercedes Half. This will also be the third anniversary of my first half marathon so this race is very special to me. You can register here. Registration closes on February 16th!

 Don’t forget my Valentine’s Day Bondi Band Giveaway ends at midnight! Feel free to share some of your favorite healthy snacks below!


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