Monthly Archives: December 2017

11 posts

What I carry with me for a Marathon

We are just a few days away from the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon!

I literally am bursting with excitement for the Marathon, I had some struggles with my training but overall I feel confident in my abilities to complete the race! 
So, as I put together my lists of things I’ll be taking with me along the course, I thought I’d share it with you! 
Running Belt
I purchased this running belt prior to the 2015 Goofy Challenge, and have used it for most of my big races ever since. I’ve also purchased a handheld water bottle but found it to be difficult to take pictures while holding the bottle – so, for the 2018 WDW Marathon, I will be pulling out my running belt once again!

It does have some bounce, but I don’t find it to be unbearable. 

If a handheld water bottle is more comfortable for you, check out this one. I used it for the Navy Air-Force half last September and liked it. Like I said, it was hard to take photos while holding this bottle, and since I’m running at Disney, I know I’ll want to take a lot of photos! 
What’s inside my running belt? 
  • Fuel
  • Tums
  • Tissues
  • Vaseline
  • Headphones
  • ID
  • Cash
  • Ipod
  • Phone 
  • 2 Pieces of Chocolate for Mile 20
For this training cycle, I’ve found pretzels to be my preferred fuel. I find that the mixture of carbs and salt seem to be just right for my body. 
I’ve also been using some of these Clif Shot Blocks. They aren’t my favorite, as far as taste, but I know my body responds well to these for a boost of sugar during the Marathon. I tested our Skittles but found they gave me heartburn.

I sometimes get nauseated after my long runs, so I decided to take a few tums with me for right after the race. I considered having my husband keep them with him, but since it takes time to find each other after the race, I want to be sure I have what I need. 
In case my nose starts to run, or I find myself in a port-o-potty without any toilet paper, I’ll have what I need. 
In case of chaffing. 
Ipod and Headphones 
I don’t know if I’ll run with them during this marathon, but it helps me stay calm while in the corrals. I can’t stand all the chatter around me, so my headphones help me to get into the zone!
My phone to contact my hubby, and take way too many photos! 
ID and Cash
For my safety, I always like to have my ID and a little bit of cash on me. 
Chocolate for Mile 20
Because when I make it to mile 20, I want to celebrate with some chocolate! I did this during my first Marathon, and it really did give me quite a boost! 
What’s on your list of MUST have’s for running a Marathon?

Sharing is Caring, Pin for later! 

15 no fuss costumes for RunDisney

The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is less than a week away! Have you figured out your costumes yet?  Don’t be like me at my first RunDisney race, I had NO idea that we could (and should) dress up for the run!

2012 Everest Challenge 

Some people really go all out and make the most beautiful and elaborate costumes. Check out this Instagram account for inspiration. Personally, I start thinking up grand ideas for costumes, but when it comes time to put them together, I usually end up doing a more simple costume. 

So, to inspire those of us who just aren’t as crafty as others I wanted to share 15 of the costumes I put together with just a few basic articles of clothing. 
I used a skirt from Sparkle Athletic in all of my costumes, you can order them from or the Sparkle Athletic website! Right now if you order one from their website, you can pick it up at the WDW Marathon Expo!

Under my skirt, I wear these Under Armour Shorts, and I LOVE them!

Dressing up for the races is one of the most fun parts of the whole experience, but you don’t have to be elaborate in your costuming, here are 15 of my favorite Disney inspired looks!

1. Orange Bird 

  • Orange Running Shirt
  • Orange Sparkle Skirt
  • Green Visor 
2. Aladdin
  • White Sparkle Skirt
  • Purple Running Tank
3. Princess Aurora 
  • Blue Sparkle Skirt
  • Pink Running Tank 
4. Princess Anna
  • Green Sparkle Skirt
  • Black Tank
  • Hair in Braids
5. Mad Madam Mim
  • Purple Shirt
  • Pink Sparkle Skirt
6. Donald Duck
  • Blue Shirt
  • White Sparkle Skirt
7. Star Wars – Darkside
  • Star Wars Shirt from Rawthreads; or 
  • Star Wars Shirt from Sparkle Athletic
  • Grey Sparkle Skirt
8. Kim Possible
  • Black Tank Top
  • Green Sparkle Skirt
9. Marie 
  • White Tank
  • White Skirt
  • 2 Pink Bows 
10. Candice
  • White Sparkle Skirt 
  • Pink Shirt
11. Gretchen
  • Glasses
  • Blue Shirt
  • White or Blue Sparkle Skirt 
12. Princess Leia 
  1. White Shirt
  2. White Sparkle Skirt
  3. Silver Belt
  4. Hair in Buns 
13. Bellwether
  • White Tank
  • Black Jacket
  • Orange Sparkle Skirt
  • Hair in large poof on top of head
14. Benjamin Clawhauser
  • Cheetah Ears 
  • Blue Shirt
  • Orange Skirt 
15. Ariel
  • Purple Shirt
  • Green Skirt 

9 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Today my husband and I celebrate 9 years of marriage. Nine years of being married to the best friend I’ve ever had, nine years of struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned.

When we said “I Do” on that Warm December afternoon, after being together for 8 or so years, we thought we were pretty ready to face the adventure of Marriage and to be honest, we had some amazing adventures, but we also had some struggles and disappointments. So for my post today, I wanted to share 9 things that have helped our marriage thrive. – These are in no particular order, may they be an encouragement to you.

Laugh Often
There are so many struggles in the beginning of a marriage, for example, I didn’t know until I was married that there was a “correct way” to make a sandwich, and I had been doing is WRONG for my whole life!  In the moment, it was upsetting that this man I married would dare to be unhappy with something so silly as a sandwich, but 9 years later we still giggle about the silly diagram he drew me to help me pack his lunch.

A day without laughter is a day wasted

Charlie Chaplin

Love your Human

I think sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in the romance of marriage, and being in love. We watch cheesy romantic comedies, that portray perfect love, and grand gestures of love, and begin to picture in our minds how romantic life will be. Truth is, we are human and humans are not perfect. Sometimes your spouse will let you down, sometimes that will sweep you off your feet. Love your spouse during times when you maybe feel disappointed, like when he doesn’t give you a card or any type of acknowledgment on Valentines Day, and when he books a surprise day of pampering at the spa.

Love your spouse and all their imperfections, you yourself aren’t perfect either you know. 😉

*points finger at herself* 

Protect Each other

This one is a big one, it is crucial that you guard one another’s hearts and emotions. My husband is very good at keeping his frustrations with my faults between the two of us, he protects my feelings and encourages me to grow.


Listen to your spouse as they tell you about their day.
Listen to your spouse tell you about (fill in the blank)

Put down your phone
When we got married, Smart Phones were not in the hands of every middle schooler and above. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had a Sprint Flip phone with no texting.  Now that everyone has instant access to all forms of social media, and our friends it is easy to get distracted and miss out on the NOW. My husband and I recently took a trip to Disney for my birthday and as I went back to my phone to look at the pictures I realized I hardly took any.  Then I thought about all the conversations, and memories we made just connecting with one another, and I felt so content.

Give it a try, disconnect from your phone and just be together once in a while!

Thanks, Photopass!

Eat together 
No matter what, my husband and I always eat together.  – We find this to be a special time of the day, and one to connect with our children as well. To further the case for eating together, I was just reading a Canadian Study that looks at the long-term effects of families eating together starting in Early Childhood. In our family, we have always put the girls at the table with us when we eat, even before they ate solid food. – Read the study here. 

Travel Together
Have you ever watched couples on the Amazing Race? Isn’t it crazy how much they seem to bicker and argue?  Truth is, you can learn SO much about a person by traveling with them. For example, I am a planner, I LOVE to plan everything out, research menus, check the weather, make an agenda. My husband,… not so much.  Travel together, make memories!

We travel not to escape life, 
but for life not to escape us

Cherish your Marriage
Cherish: to care for deeply, to treasure
Let’s be honest, a healthy and thriving marriage is a lot of work. However, if it is something you truly treasure and love it doesn’t feel hard at all. 

Chase the SAME goal
It is so important to be chasing after the same goals and supporting one another. A couple years ago I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree while working full time, figuring out life as a WIFE, and supporting my husband, who was always pursuing his Master’s degree.
It was a mess. – I was doing fine in school, but I was so stressed out.
After many heart-to-heart conversations about our hopes and dreams and goals for the future, I realized that my Master’s in Reading Education would be fun to study, but it wouldn’t get us closer to our dreams.

Here we are, years later living one of the goals we discussed during that time, and it is AWESOME!

So, Happy Anniversary Chris! Here’s to many more memories and lessons learned together!

Sharing is caring, if you found this encouraging would you pass it along? 

Win an Authentic Disney Parks Pin from StorybookErin

Source: GIPHY
I am overwhelmed with gratitude! My little corner of the internet is growing, and I am pleased to announce that I have almost reached my goal on Twitter, in fact, I am so close that I’ve decided to host the giveaway! 
In October of this year, I was feeling so defeated as a blogger. So, I set a goal and if I accomplished it I would redesign my blog, and launch it in 2018. 
So, what was my goal? 

My goal was to increase my Social Media Following by 20%  in two months. 

I reached that goal fairly quickly on all social media platforms, except Twitter. So, I’ve been hanging out on twitter a lot these days and having a blast connecting with people! 
So much fun that I’ve decided that even though I am 44 followers short of my goal, I am going to host the giveaway anyway! 
What will I win?
I have purchased an Authentic Disney Parks Pin, for one LUCKY Follower!! 
How to Enter
  1. Follow @StorybookErin on Twitter 
  2. Tweet to me your Favorite Disney Ride and hashtag, #StorybookErinsmagicalgiveaway
    • Be sure to tag me @StorybookErin so that I can count your entry for the Giveaway! 
** This Giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with Twitter**

That is it! Good Luck to all who enter!! 

2018 WDW Marathon, Planning, Packing and the Party at the Finish

Source:  GIPHY
Give yourself a HIGH-FIVE! 
Not only have you made the commitment to run a MARATHON, but YOU have made it to the end of your training! If you are anything like me, you’ve probably had some challenges along the way. 
In my opinion, challenges are a part of the Journey to the Marathon, and it is how we respond and how we keep going that will prepare us for the Marathon!  So, here’s to YOU! 
Source: GIPHY
Now that we are less than 20 days away from the Walt Disney World Marathon, I thought I’d share some of the things this Florida native is doing to get myself prepared. 
RunDisney Forms & Information
I am sticking close to the RunDisney website, Facebook, and Twitter for any and all information I can gather. I like to have as much knowledge as possible BEFORE the race weekend, simply because the race is SO huge and SO overwhelming that I don’t want to miss out. 
Here are a few KEY things you will need before you head to the Expo! 
Forgetting to print out your waiver is not  the end of the world, they will have computers and printers available at the Expo for you to print out, but you might want to go ahead and take a look at the waiver because printed on the bottom you will find your much-anticipated BIB NUMBER

2. Bib Number 
Your Bib Number helps you understand where you will line up and begin on race day. You as a runner, want to be as close to the start line as possible, this gives you an advantage because there are fewer people on the course. So, once you’ve gotten your bib number head on over and check out your CORRAL PLACEMENT

3. Corral Placement
In order to keep some kind of order on the course, RunDisney separates all the runners into Corrals. Each Corral represents a predicted pace. This is why it is crucial to submit a proof of time by the deadline, you might remember my fail of an attempt for a proof of time from earlier this fall (Refresh your memory
For the 2018 WDW Marathon, my POT landed me a spot in the G corral, so if you are in my corral – say Hi! 
Find out your Corral Here. 
You might always want to check out the Event Guide to see where your favorite vendors will be and start following them on Social Media. The girls over at Sparkle Athletic are amazing on Social Media and are always giving away prizes, so make sure you follow along! 
Sparkly Soul has also been known to host a giveaway or surprise sale to their social media followers! 
Now that you are RIDICULOUSLY excited for the weekend, let’s talk PACKING! 

The weather in Orlando during the months of December and January are awful to predict, but here is what I can tell you based on the last couple of years of following along with this race.
In 2015, when I ran the Goofy Challenge with my husband Orlando was hit with a crazy cool front, that put the runners of the 5k, 10k and Half Marathon under FREEZING conditions at the start. I’m not talking, “freezing” for a Floridian, I’m talking actual freezing, in the 20’s weather! 
The Half Marathon was so cold for this Miami girl, that I actually ran the entire race in Sweat Pants!

2015, 5 months pregnant with Baby # 2 
In 2017 my sisters were scheduled to run the Goofy Challenge, but when torrential downpours happened on Friday night and into Saturday the race was actually CANCELLED and on Sunday it was absolutely freezing for the Marathon. 

It is still too early to do a weather watch for the 2018 Marathon weekend, but typically about 10 days prior you can start to see what you might expect for RACE DAY!

So, how should you pack for the WDW Marathon Weekend?

Pack in layers for all types of weather.

Here are some of my favorite race day options to stay warm before the race!*

You’ve done the training, you’ve prepared yourself as much as possible for the festivities of the weekend, now it’s time to Party!

Source: GIPHY
Now is not the time to be stressing over anything, except how much fun you will have! If you’ve been training and putting in the work to the best of your abilities than now is the time to sit back and enjoy the experience. There is truly nothing like running a Walt Disney World Marathon! 
Read all about my first WDW Marathon here.

Sharing is caring… 

Christmas with Toddlers, How we are doing things a little differently this year.

Christmas is such a loved season, by so many people – myself included. I love it so much, I had a Christmas themed wedding and got married on the Saturday before Christmas 9 years ago.

Now that we have children, it’s a whole new level of excitement.  Everything from the candy canes, Christmas Stories, Meeting Santa, and Decorating Gingerbread houses is exciting for them, and because of their excitement, I am also more excited for Christmas this year!

But even more than the fun of the season, I wanted my girls to see Jesus in the season. I wanted them to know the reason why we celebrate Christmas, and I wanted them to love Jesus. 

So, how do I foster of love for Jesus in an over-commercialized holiday? We talk about him, and the reason every, single, day. We read about the nativity story, act out the Christmas Story, and play with the nativity scene.  We also decided that this year, my husband and I would not purchase gifts for our two older girls (3 and 2). Instead, we have decided to let the girls pick our gifts for each other. 
It’s been such a treat to listen to them talk about it, and honestly, there is nothing I could buy that would excite these sweet girls as much as the much-anticipated trip to Target.  
Additionally, we have been counting down to Christmas using an approach inspired by Esther over at Story of this Life, She wraps a gift for her girls each day in December and has them open it and they read the scripture verse together. Our family started on Tuesday, December 12th, by reading the passage and playing with the piece of the nativity scene. So far the girls are really into it, and I am so thankful that Story of This Life made a printable so I could easily do this with my family and so can you! – Get yours on their Blog! 


Raising Kind Girls in a “Mean Girls” World

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, and quickly approaching the season of life known as “2 under 2” I was given plenty of “advice”. I was told things like…

“all they will do is fight, from birth to adulthood”

“it’s really too bad you aren’t having a boy, 

girls are too competitive with each other” 

Um… Thank you?? 
I’d often be in tears while talking with my husband about the things people would say to me and then, I gave up listening to the “advice” of the people who seemed feel as though the relationship of my two children would be strained from birth.  
Why am I going to let other people’s opinions shape my expectations of how my two children would treat each other?

Didn’t God give these girls to MY husband and I to raise? 
So, when our Zuzu-bug was born I made a conscious effort to guide their friendship, and help them to learn from a young age to work things out together and no matter what, to always love and support one another!

Do I have two perfect daughters who never fight or disagree? 
No, I don’t. 
Do I have two girls who love each other fiercely? 

So how did I encourage kindness with my girls? 
1. Model.

Our children are like sponges. Literally, EVERYthing we do, they see. For example, my husband has a cough and is in the practice of coughing into his elbow. What did our 1-year-old start doing when she developed a cough?
Yep. She’s coughing into her elbow like a little grown up. 
If we want our children to be kind and respectful, we need to check ourselves and be sure WE are being kind and respectful to our spouse, our children, and those we come into contact with. 
2. Define it. 
Children look to adults to learn the meaning of words, it’s so important that we help them understand the meaning. If I want my children to “show kindness” I better be willing to give them concrete examples in their daily life. 
For instance, we can say things like thank you for helping your sister clean up the toys, that was very kind of you. 
Any time you catch your child doing something nice or kind for someone else, TELL them!  

Let praise and compliments fall off your tongue and

 watch their confidence grow! 

There is always a Reason to BE KIND. 

Let’s get real for a moment, shall we? 
Do my children constantly show kindness? No, again. They are young toddlers. However, there are moments when they surprise you. Like the time at Disney when my oldest who was two at the time ran ahead as she saw two employees emptying a garbage can. She stopped, sang the cleanup song (from Barney) and said “thank you for cleaning” The smile on the cast-members face melted my heart and in that moment I knew we were on the right track! 

How can you show kindness to someone today? 

Gift Ideas for the BIG SISTER or BIG BROTHER to be!

Being a Big Sister (or Brother) is a pretty exciting new chapter in a person’s life. I remember when we welcomed my little sister into the world, it was a big deal. Of course, I was 5 years old so I have more memories of the time than I think my 2 and 1 year old will have, but nevertheless, I think it’s important to honor them as their place in the family shifts.

Since I was induced for all of my pregnancies, I made sure to pack lots of items to keep the big sisters occupied while they waited for their baby sister to arrive!

Coloring Books! 

I packed the girls gifts in a small backpack, I used one found at the Target Dollar Spot, but something like this would probably be better quality. 
Inside the backpack we had the following:
  • New Pajama’s 
  • Books
  • A new outfit
  • Bubbles
  • Coloring Books and Crayons!
  • Big Sister Button 

My girls were so excited to receive their gifts and absolutely adore their baby sister!

Question of the day: What would you include in a gift bag for a big sister or brother?

Quick, Easy, Frugal Friendly Sugar Scrub Recipe

Frugal Friendly Sugar Scrub

Disney Springs: Must Do

One of my favorite places to go to in Disney Springs is Basin.  Today I am going to share with you how I make my DIY scrub with just a few ingredients.  Visiting Basin is such a fun experience. I just love all the unique fragrances, hydrating scrubs, and Magical soaps!  One of my favorite products is the body scrub. I love the way it makes my skin feel. Since adding a couple of princesses to our family, we don’t get to shop in Disney Springs or visit Basin very often anymore. When I realized that I could make my own at home with only a few ingredients, I was thrilled.

Basin sells a jar of their body scrub for around $35.00, but you can make your own with just three ingredients that you might already have in your home!

Uses for the Sugar Scrub

I recently used to create party favors for my sister in law’s baby shower. This recipe was so easy that my three-year-old was able to mix the scrub and help assemble the jars for gifting. This scrub is great for gifts, or to use personally in your home.

DIY Body Scrub

Some of my favorite essential oil scents to try. 

  • Lavender
  • Lavender and Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Peppermint and Lavender
  • DoTerra Serenity

Why Fractionated Coconut Oil?

Fractionated coconut oil has been processed to remove the coconut scent, and also will not harden in cooler temperatures.


Can I use regular olive oil or coconut oil for the scrub? 

Yes. You can certainly use olive oil or the coconut oil for the scrub, I have. However, please be aware that the scent of the oil can be overpowering.

Where I buy DoTerra Essential Oils

I purchase my DoTerra essential oils directly from my mom who is a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. She has used EO’s for many years and has a lot of information on improving health and well-being through the use of EO’s. I’d encourage you to connect with her to purchase some oils of your own.

Purchase Oils Here! 


  1. In a mixing bowl add a 50/50 mix of sugar and coconut oil.
  2. Add 10-15 drops of essential oils
  3. Stir until you have created the consistency you prefer
    1. If the mix is too wet, add Sugar
    2. In the mix is too dry, add oil
  4. Store in a glass container and enjoy!



Disney Tip: 

Basin can be found in two places on the Disney World Property.
1. In Disney Springs
2. The Grand Floridian Resort
I love to go to the one inside the Grand Floridian as it is a much smaller store, and never as crowded as the one in Disney Springs. You’ll also get a chance to check out the beautiful Disney resort! *Pay attention to the floor in the Grand Floridian Lobby, you might spot some Disney Pals in the tile designs.

Get into the Holiday Spirit with this FREE Disney Experience

Want to Experience some Disney Magic this Holiday Season, but would prefer not to pay the hefty price tag for a park ticket? Check out the Christmas Tree Trail in Disney Springs!

November 10, 2017, through January 7, 2018, experience 
this festive holiday experience 

Where to park
The Christmas Tree Trail is located in the Market Place, very near to the Days of Christmas shop. However, there parking on that side of Disney Springs can be quite hectic and often full. Instead of parking on the Marketplace side, park in the Orange Garage and either walk or take the short boat ride to the other side of Disney Springs. The boat ride drops you off just outside the exit to the trail, so this option is especially great if you are traveling with any young children. 
The Christmas Tree trail features 25 trees beautifully themed after a Disney Character or one of your favorite movies.  You will also experience festive holiday music, snow and can even make reservations to see Santa Clause himself.  More details here
Each tree was beautifully themed, with intricate details about either the movie or character so you can either take a long leisurely stroll through the trail exploring each detail or just walk through enjoying the ambiance.  (Full Walking Tour on our Youtube Channel)

Whether you are leisurely walking through searching for Hidden Mickey’s and Secret details or chasing your toddlers through the trail, take a look at the tree toppers, each one was so unique and so beautiful. My favorite was Miss Piggy on the Muppet Tree! 
For an added treat to the Disney fan, pay attention to the signage around each tree. 
This Disney Magic experience is sure to get you into the Holiday Spirit! 
If you are traveling with older Children, or adults only check out Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt. This FREE Scavenger hunt through Disney Springs. Ask a cast member for your guide, and head on a tour through Disney Springs. If you complete the hunt, you will be eligible for a surprise! This activity could absolutely be completed with babies and toddlers but might be a little more challenging. 
If you are looking to add some FREE Disney Magic to your holidays, check out these two great Family Friendly Experiences in Disney Springs! 
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! 
Add to the Magic with these Fun and Festive Products!*

*Amazon Affiliate Link. 

What’s in my Lunchbox? Family of 5

Need some lunchbox inspiration? Look no further! Here are the items that I pack for an afternoon at the Zoo, Park or Theme Park with my family!

  • Sandwiches 
    • Peanut Butter only for the girls, cut into fun shapes!
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly for my husband and I
  • Nuts (for mom and Dad)
    • Almonds have been my favorite right now 
  • Fruit (pick 2)
    • Apples
    • Grapes
    • Clementines
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
  • Veggies (1 or 2)
    • Grape Tomatoes
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
    • Peppers
  • Cheese
    • Cubed
    • Cheese Stick
  • Yogurt
    • I like to freeze them, they are the perfect temperature by the time we eat lunch 
  • Something Crunchy (1 or 2)
    • Granola Bars
    • Puffs
    • Cereal
    • Pretzels
My current favorite lunch box is one that I purchased from my friend Deanna who is a Thirty-One consultant. 
The Around the Clock Thermal is perfect for packing lots of snacks for your day at a theme park, the local park or zoo. Some of my favorite features include a long strap for cross body carrying, front zipper to carry hand sanitizer and a small trash bag. 
Current Price: $30.00
Get yours from your local thirty-one representative or from my friend Deanna
Let’s support as many small shops and small businesses as we can this Holiday Season. Let me know in the comments below, what are some of your favorite small businesses?