Monday, February 27, 2012

The Joy of Alex and Ani

I'd like to take this time to write about a new product that I LOVE! I was turned onto this line of jewelry from a co-worker and I am so glad she told me about it! It is call the Alex and Ani Collection. They have bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings. All of the jewelry is made in the good 'ole USA, which makes me happy. The idea of buying something American made and putting money into our own economy makes me feel good. All of their jewelry is beautiful which makes it very easy for me to buy it too! 

The Alex and Ani brand has been featured in magazines like Elle, Glamour, and Vogue. Their jewelry comes with charms that are made to inspire and be unique to the person wearing them. They are made with recycled material and are eco-friendly which is AWESOME! All of the jewelry is infused with positive energy as well. I was going to try and paraphrase how they do it but I think their website says it best...


Alex and Ani embraces the power of positive energy as a core company belief.  We have made it our mission to share the benefits of positive energy through the unique beauty and symbolism of our products.
Inspired by the wisdom of ancient thinkers, Alex and Ani researched the most effective methods of infusing our products with the positive energy that ancients refer to as vital force. 
In the cutting edge field of subtle energy, scientists have developed technologies that have the ability to mix the subtle energy of the universe with vital force.
Subtle energy is still working its way up within the current scientific paradigm. Ancient and modern traditions refer to human energies as many names such as chi, prana, etheric energy, life force, zero point energy, homeopathic resonance, etc.
The research on energy reveals that it contributes to many measurable phenomena not currently explained by conventional science. While we may not physically see this energy, we can see and feel its effects.
Vital force is understood to be the key principle or animating force within living beings. In French Philosopher and Nobel Prize Recipient Henri Bergson's theory, vital force is independent of physical and chemical forces, regarded as being causative in the evolution and development of living organisms.
Alex and Ani’s revolutionary process of blending vital force and universal energy into each product is an important step in our mission of spreading positive energy worldwide.

I currently own two single charm bracelets.. An anchor and a compass. The anchor symbolizes hope, tranquility, and stability. The compass symbolizes objective, direction, and transition. I'm not going to get into the reasons why I picked these two to wear but they do mean something to me. I find that whenever I'm thinking about something, or trying to make a decision, or just start feeling a little anxious about something I simply look at them or run my fingers over them and it reminds me to take a step back and relax. I know it sounds corny and some make think its my mind playing tricks on me but I feel like they are special. Wearing something that is a constant reminder of who you are as an individual and inspires you to be the person you want to be is a pretty cool concept!

They have tons and tons of charms and all of their jewelry is so pretty! I get compliments on my bracelets all the time! Go check out their website Let me know if you pick some up! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Disney's Princess Half and my own progress!

Congrats to all of the Princesses who ran in the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon this morning! I was on twitter all morning watching the pace times, the pictures from the course, and tweets from the spectators who were cheering them on. it's gotten me really pumped to not only keep up with my training for the 5K during wine and dine weekend but to also start thinking about doing a half next year! :) I don't think i'll be ready for the wine and dine half but I definitely think I can do either the princess half or the wine and dine half next year!

I've been making some serious progress in my 5K training. So far my best time has been 3.1 miles in 39:00mins. And I have a picture to prove it! (Yes I am that freak that you see at the gym that takes pictures with their phone) I had to push really really hard to get the 39:00mins but normally i'm always somewhere in between 39:00 and 40:00mins. For not being a runner I think thats pretty good! 

I've decided once I get comfortable with the 3.1miles I'm going to start doing the Jeff Galloway program for getting ready for a half. I feel like if I can do a half marathon, just one, I'll feel totally and completely accomplished. I will be honest in saying that sometimes I have a tendency to start things and not finish them. It's like the second I start getting into something, I become afraid of failure and just stop before I can fail. This is something i'm going to make sure I do, and see through! 

Again Congratulations to all the runners who made it through the Princess Half today! You are all a major inspiration!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cake batter cookie madness

Tonight adam and I are having dinner with my dad before he leaves for florida. Dad will be gone for a month and I will miss him quite a bit. In honor of dinner I decided I should make something extra yummy and special.

I thought of what florida means to us and florida is bright and sunny and always somewhere we like to be to celebrate! What better time to test out this awesome recipe!

The recipe was pretty simple and the outcome was nothing short of scrumptious. Plus these cookies are adorable to look at, I'm always into presentation. Here is the recipe...

1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
Add in pudding package and cake mix and beat until well blended.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.
Mix in sprinkles sprinkles.
Roll into 1" balls and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
Not only are they good but they would be perfect for any party, you could do pink and purple sprinkles for a little girls birthday party or greens and blues for a little boy. for us big kids you could do wedding colored sprinkles or do holiday colors. The possibilities are endless and they will be a hit at any event...even if it is just a dinner with family :) Let me know if you try them out and how you liked them! Xoxo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I swear I'm here!

Hey guys,

Sorry I haven't been around. Been laying low for a bit. First I was sick and then Adam was sick. Then we had some family issues that needed our full attention. But I'm back and ready to get back into my normal blogging routine.

In the past couple weeks a few cool things have happened. I got both vacations approved at work so our next cruise and trip to Disney for the 5k seem much more real now. We also decides that we will be staying at animal kingdom lodge again. And we picked an excursion for our Disney cruise.

Other than Disney stuff I've recently made some girly purchases that I totally love and want to share with all my girly friends :)

Give me a couple more days to catch up and I promise I will be back in the swing of things! Have a great weekends


Monday, January 30, 2012

Hit a wall??

For those of you who don't know I have two dogs. I have my little man...


And my big man....


What I think is so funny about our dogs is that I was the one who wanted Duke, and Adam was the one who wanted Toby, however that is not who the dogs picked as buddies. Adam and Duke are like two peas in a pod and are happy to sleep in all morning on the weekends and watch pawn stars every night cuddled on the couch. Toby and I are up every morning together at the crack of dawn, even on the weekends, and we are both pretty easily amused. This bit of information is very important to the rest of my story.

There are so many TV shows and article written about people who have lost tons of weight and got healthy. I look at those people and they give me motivation to get out there and work hard to get the beach body I really want, and to not feel winded when walking up a flight of stairs. Shows like "I used to be fat" and "the biggest loser" show at least one mental breakdown where the person trying to get fit "hits a wall". They always have supporters and trainers and nutritionists who are there pushing them and motivating them to keep going. But what about the rest of us?

Last Saturday it was a brisk 45 degrees and I decided that instead of running on the boring treadmill I would brave the cold and run the beach. My brother in law went out with us on Friday night and spent the night at our home. So as quietly as I could I got up at 7am. The only other member of our little family that was awake was Toby. Toby is very high energy and would play catch with you until you ended up needing your rotator cuff repaired. I thought for a moment and decided that it would be better (and safer) to bring Toby running with me. I put on my running gear and loaded him up in his harness and off we went to the beach. 

I can't even tell you how bad of an idea this was. I couldn't believe how many people we on the beach boardwalk at 7am, on a Saturday, in JANUARY! Trust me when I tell you I love my dog and he is the sweetest thing in the whole world. Toby is my best friend and I can't imagine life without him. BUT, he  is a horrible running buddy! He is just too social! He wanted to stop and say hi to everyone we passed, had to sniff every dogs butt that he came in contact with, and then when he remembered we were running would take off at sprinting speeds. I must have looked like a fool trying to be all runner-ish and fit as I'm trying to pull by 80 pound dog along for the ride. 

I some how managed to run a mile but I was beat. I decided to turn back and run back to the car... at least I was getting in two miles right? On the way back we ran past an elderly women who had a tiny little white foo-foo dog with her. She took one look a my Shepherd/doberman mix and got very freaked out. I decided, against my better judgement, that the only thing I could do was to run on the actual beach. Everyone was on the boardwalk not the sand. This was horrible. Running in sand has to be one of the hardest things to do. On top of trying to keep breathing, Toby's new thing was "SEASHELL!" he stopped and smelled every seashell and every piece of seaweed that was in our path. I barely made it back to the car.

Toby jumped in the back seat and I got in. I looked at my runing app and I have only done 1.89miles and it took me almost 40mins! I felt so defeated, I was tired, sore, and frustrated. Toby, however, was grinning at me from the rearview mirror... he had the time of this life! When I got home the boys were awake and ready to go get breakfast. They both told me they were very proud that I actually got up and did it. This meant the world to me! I was feeling so bummed out that I didn't do the full 3 miles and that I couldn't even keep pace but you know what?? I made the effort! 

So to those of you who are training, trying to get fit, or are just trying to get motivated... even if you have a terrible day don't stop! Just the fact that you had a bad day means that you tried and that you aren't happy with the results and are going to try it again! Be proud of that bad day! 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Twice Charmed, Grand Cayman, and Palo!

Happy Saturday morning guys! I'm going to be working on a few posts for next week including one about the Disney Institute lecture that I went to but I want to devote more time into them and this weekend is alittle busy. Perfect time to share some more pictures, and stories about our Disney Cruise! Enjoy!!

Adam and I chose to do second dining. This means that every night we see whatever the first show is that night, and then head to dinner after. We normally aren't late eaters but this worked perfectly for us and we will be doing second dining again next cruise. 

We got all dolled up and headed to go see "Twice Charmed". This is the story of what happens after cinderella marries prince charming. It was an amazing show and if you ever get the opportunity to check it out I strongly recommend it! I was funny, great effects, and the cast was phenomenal!

Sorry for the bad editing but it was the only way to brighten up the picture. And I swear I'm not naked I as wearing a strapless dress.

Here we see Cinderella in her wedding dress, and Lady Tremaine (step mother) leaving the castle. 

Here is where we met Franco, the evil step mother and step sisters fairy godfather!

A black and white ball for the Step sisters to try and win back Prince charming

When all was right in the world the ball changed back to color which was awesome!

After dinner we went back into our room and found not one, but TWO towel creations. Oh of which was a fun sea turtle made with the pillow, extra blanket, towels, and Adam's sunglasses. The other creeped us out a bit... We had an angel hanging from a clothes hanger over our bed. Take from it what you will... I found it odd and so did our cruise buddies.

Anyway the next morning I was up early and went to do some exploring. We were anchored at Grand Cayman and the tender boats were all ready circling back and forth from the boat to the island. I decided to go do some exploring around the ship since everyone was either in line for the tender boat or still sleeping. 

Tender boat... a little rickity if you ask me

The Carnival cruise ship that was following us 

Grand Cayman

The pirate excursion boat... wish we did that excursion! It looked like so much fun!

The entrance into the Walt Disney Theater

I loved these! they were all over the ship, little TVs that showed where you were, what time it was, what course we were moving in, and where we had been. very cool!

I am sure you've all seen this chandelier either on TV or on the ship but it is just spectacular! Words and pictures do not do it justice!

After I got Adam up and ready to go we headed for the tender boats and were on our way to shore.

Look at how pretty our ship is!

More Grand Cayman

We found another couple from our boat that looked as lost as we were and asked if they'd like to share a cab to get over to seven mile beach. They said sure and we found the least scary looking one. Once we got there we found a spot to put our stuff and I was so excited to try swimming in water that doesn't make you go numb that I dove right in!! Adam was yelling at me because he was afraid of jelly fish and sharks but once he was in he understood why I didn't want to get out!

Look at how blue!

Our ship in the distance

While swimming we saw some nasty storm clouds coming our way. We thought they were pretty far off shore until there was some serious thunder and lightning. We left the water grabbed our stuff and headed into a restaurant for some lunch.It was a good thing we did because within seconds of getting a table under the patio it was pouring, windy as hell, and thunder and lightning everywhere!

Adam was starting to feel better thank goodness! I think the ocean water did him good!

Palm trees being violently blown around

We waited out the storm and when it started to lighten up we grabbed the next cab and headed back to the ship.

On the tender boat

Bye Grand Cayman!

All I kept thinking was... I need dry clothes!!!

It was only early afternoon when we got back to the ship and everyone was still on the island... Adam took advantage of that and hit up the jacuzzi!

That night we had dinner reservations for PALO. This place was incredible! the food was delicious and they serve one of my favorite wines, Rosa Regale!!!

There's my Rosa!


Thank goodness for that shawl... I was freezing! too much AC!

Doesn't he clean up nice!

Loved this!!! whoever did it needs a medal or something!

That night we went back to our room and were surprised with my favorite towel animal... my Rock Lobstah!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I love both football and futbol!

Since I had an amazing thing happen to me I thought I would share with you my other love in life. I have been, and always will be a soccer fan!

As a kid I played soccer up until I was 15. I was on a division 1 travel team and we were pretty darn good! When I got into high school my love for music outweighed my love of the sport and I decided to stick with band. As much as I cherish my band memories I still wish I played soccer.

Anyway, I was never into the MLS clubs because, well they weren't advertised and I honestly didn't know they existed. In 2006 I fell in love with the sport all over again during the world cup in Germany. I was a waitress in college at the time and spent most of my time watching the games at the bar in-between orders.

In 2010 I anticipated the world cup again. That year it took place in south Africa. I remembered how much I enjoyed the 06 world cup and I taped every game, downloaded the world cup widget to my work computer so I could get constant up dates, you name it I did it! The USA team did pretty well in that world cup and the commentators were discussing how the MLS was really gaining popularity in the states.

After the world cup ended I decided I couldn't wait another four years to see some soccer! I started watching the MLS games... Specifically my team! The new England revolution!

While its definitely not the same as the world cup, i thoroughly enjoy it! I watched every game last season. However, my issue with watching the games, and even the world cup for that matter, is that I'm usually watching alone. Nobody likes it here in the USA! Atleast nobody I know! Somewhere there is a disconnect here, so many kids play soccer and we have a term referring to "soccer moms" but at some point we forget it. And I don't understand it.

Either way let me share with you my amazing thing.... I met the vice president of the new England revolution!!! He was super nice and we talked a lot about the team, games, ect. One of the best things about the MLS and everyone involved with it is their love of the game and the amazing people they all are. During so many games last season I saw ads for revolution children's soccer camps or charitable events. This league is so approachable and appreciative of its fans! That's not to say others aren't but I think there is something to be said about a sport that is not as popular as others still reaching out into the community.

I will be seeing the VP again soon and I'm looking forward to talking with him again. It was awesome having that conversation with someone. This year I am definitely going to make it to foxboro stadium to see them play, even if I do have to go alone! I wouldn't mind meeting some other die hard revolution fans :)

Do you watch soccer? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

Happy Monday!!

I've been pretty busy the past week and I'm going to continue to be busy for the rest of this week. I swear there are some weeks where nothing is going on, and other weeks I feel like I can't catch up! This will be a quick post but I will be posting more through out the week :)

I've been continuing my training for the Disney 5K and I'm doing really well! I'm up to running 0.75 walking 0.25, running 0.75, walking 0.25, running 0.75, and walking 0.25. So I'm doing the 3 miles and it's getting easier and easier! I'm getting so excited about running in Disney and I can't wait for registration to open.

I am also starting to think about booking our resort this time. Adam and I always rent DVC points and i'm thinking to decide which resort we should stay at. I'm torn between staying at Old Key West, trying out Bay Lake Towers, or maybe doing Kidani Village. What are your thoughts? Where should we try this year?

Oh and one more thing before I go inhale a quick dinner... On Thursday I am going with my office to a big conference in Boston. My boss signed us up for a course with, get this, THE DISNEY INSTITUTE!!!  It is a course that teaches how to bring the same level of Disney customer service into your own office. I can't wait to take the course and tell you guys all about. Have any of you taken any courses with the Disney Institute?

Alright thats my quick Monday night update! Have a great rest of the week everyone!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome to Key West!

Ok, Let's face it, I haven't been very good about posting my last trip which was now almost four months ago. I was so good about doing the wedding report but this has become more of a chore and I couldn't seem to figure out why. I'm still thinking it has to do with the fact that we didn't do much, Adam had an awful cold the first few days which made us very dull vacationers.

However, I want to share my pictures and give some brief stories about the things we saw and did. I know I love reading trip reports and I know other people do too. So this is my best shot at doing one for our cruise. Prepare for picture overload!

Adam was pretty sick when we arrived in key west. He was sneezing and coughing all night. I woke up, got ready, and headed out to take some pictures.
 The lovely bar that we frequented
 The beautiful grand piano that filled the atrium with music every night
 Loved these elevators!!!
 Captain Mickey in the atrium

I went up to deck 10 to watch as we headed into Key West. It was very cool to watch as the captain and crew were able to pull it into port. I headed up to Topsiders to grab some breakfast and and found a little table right along the railing where I could eat breakfast and watch everything going on.

I went back to the stateroom and Adam was just getting up and getting ready. I brought him up to topsiders so he could grab some grub and waited for the major rush of people to get off of the boat before we made our way.

Key West was beautiful. We walked around the island, making a stop at a little convenience store to get Adam some dayquil. We didn't have an excursion planned so we walked to see the southern most point, We to the beginning of route one since we travel on route one every day where we live, had sloppy joe's at Sloppy Joe's, and made a stop much needed pit stop to get some key lime pie... because really how could you not??!!

 Absolutely delicious
 The little white house

 There were chickens everywhere!
 Ernest Hemingway's house
 Light house
 Southern most point

We met up with our cruising buddies on our walk back to the boat and we had some laughs at all the little stores that had some rather risque phrases written on tank tops and underwear. Definitely not Disney approved! 

Adam was fading on me fast so we headed back to the boat and the stateroom so he could take a quick nap and get out of the heat. Thank goodness there were a bunch of movies being played on loop on the stateroom TV's or i would've been really bored! I saw Rango about six times ;)
I'm leaving you with our snake, eel animal towel. I promise to keep up with these and get them done soon so I can start tell you all about our next cruise!