Healthy Living

94 posts

Achieve your Fitbit Step Goal without leaving home!

Get your steps in

I see you. You’re frustrated that you aren’t hitting your fitness goals because you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom. I have three little ones at home with and only a double stroller. So I was finding it impossible to hit my step goal on a regular basis. Like you, I was frustrated.

Then I turned to my favorite FREE platform for workout routines and started WALKING in my living room! By following two 15-minute walking routines I can achieve my step goal. As a bonus, my girls all enjoy the fitness routine with me! Here are two videos I’ve been loving on Youtube that help me reach my step goal, and encourage healthy habits with my girls! This first is about 15 minutes and at the end, you’ve walked 1 mile.

The second workout is also 15 minutes and one mile long.
Adding these walking routines to my day lifts my spirits and inspires me to keep chasing my fitness goals!

What are your favorite ways to reach a fitness goal?

Here are my picks for exercising at home and three options to purchase your own Fitbit*. 
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*this post contains affiliate links. 

FAT-SHAMED at Davids Bridal!

Fat-Shamed

I have the great honor of standing up next to my future sister in law as she and my brother in law exchange their wedding vows this Spring. I didn’t imagine the struggle finding the perfect bridesmaid dress would be nor did I anticipate being fat-shamed at one of the most known bridal shops around.
 
David’s Bridal, this is for you…
on behalf of every other curvy girl who has to deal with your store and employees.
 

An Open Letter, My Story

Dear Davids Bridal,

Have you ever tried to make an appointment on your own site? 5 redundant steps with the last one being a second confirmation of the appointment?  I arrived at my local Davids Bridal and was greeted by two girls who seemed quite annoyed at my existence. When they couldn’t find my appointment, I was told I’d have to wait – the two girls then proceeded to talk about their personal plans and lives while still trying to gather information from me – After a few moments one girl says to me…
“do you have the brides phone number of not?!” 
I responded with
 “I was waiting for your personal conversation to end so I could give it to you” 

After a few minutes, I was greeted by a third (annoyed) employee. Every other word out of her mouth was how she wasn’t working the next day, and she’d had a rough day. She brought me the dresses I’d requested and then disappeared. Thankfully, I had my husband there to help me try everything on so I could make a decision and leave. The appointment was quite tense and the employee made no effort to assist in helping me find a dress.

Every time she came to me, her words were negative
“your back doesn’t look good in that dress”
 
 “are you sure you like that?”
 

 it just didn’t end, and I was feeling overwhelmed with her negativity.

To make the situation worse, I wasn’t able to get into one of the dresses that was the exact same size and material as all the previous dresses (that had been loose), so I asked her to verify that the dress was labeled correctly. 

Her response was quite sharp, and she says
“Yes, that’s the size. I didn’t bring you the wrong one”. 
 
 her sharp response frustrated me because she just wasn’t listening.
So when she brought a larger size of the dress, I showed her how the one she originally brought me was 4+ inches smaller than the other dresses of the same material, and it HAD to be mismarked.
 
That’s when she said it… words that hurt me so deeply and have rung in my ears for over a week. Words that put me in tears for hours, words that no one should ever have to hear. 
“You don’t know how big you are” 
I took a deep breath and responded with,
“WE ARE DONE TALKING!” 
Once in the dress that was now about 3 sizes too large, I asked her why the size she originally bought was $129.00 and the one I was wearing was 189.00.
She grabbed the tag from the dress I’d questioned and says…
“Oh, this is a Junior Bridesmaids dress. 
That’s why it’s cheaper”
(EXCUSE ME????)
She THEN proceeded to tell me that someone ELSE must have put it in the wrong place.
She Never took responsibility for bringing me the wrong dress
and she never apologized for her words.
I got dressed, grabbed my husband and left in tears.
Davids Bridal, you are the worst of the worst.
I hope I never have to set foot in your store again.
– – –
 PIN FOR LATER 

My Running Story.

“RUNNING IS THE WORST” 

You’ve said it, you’ve heard it, but do you really believe that running is the worst?
I used to believe that.
In fact, I spent most of my life believe that.
This is me before I ran, and then again while training for my second Marathon!
A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

 

So how does someone go from the girl on the left, 
to the girl on the right? 
How does one go from absolutely hating running
to obsessing over running? 
 

It started with a walk

…that turned into a run.

In the year 2012, my husband and I decided we’d lived our unhealthy lifestyle for long enough, and we were going to walk each morning before work. So, at 5:30 a.m. each day we got up and went for a walk around a nearby golf course. We started to lose some weight, and then one cool March morning an older large man ran by us.
I was so humiliated and inspired at the same time, so I took off running and I haven’t stopped since. I went to work and told a co-worker that I’d run a little bit that morning and didn’t hate it. So, what did she do? Encouraged me to sign up for the Everest Challenge at Disney! (Read all about it here)
After the Everest Challenge, I got serious about learning to run and the research began. I’d like to say that I figured our running pretty quickly, but the truth is, I didn’t. When I first started running, I would run, run, run until I just couldn’t run anymore and then I’d walk really slow trying to catch my breath. It worked and helped motivate me to keep training and through it all, I continued to lose weight!
In February of 2013, I ran my first half marathon than in April I ran my second and fully solidified my love of running!
5 years later, I’ve run 11 half marathons, 2 marathons, 2 10ks and countless 5k’s! Many of these races I’ve run while pregnant with one of our three girls and I’ve learned SO many things!
So, here are the things I tell people who have seen my love of running develop and how I encourage them on their journey.
 

HOW TO START YOUR RUNNING LOVE-STORY

Before you begin your running journey, I think it is important to set some goals.  Is your goal to run a 5k, run a mile? Maybe you want to run a Full Marathon! Set that goal, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it.
When I first started running, I had the numbers 26.2 written on a post-it in my office, I’d look at it every single day, and then in January of 2015 I hit that goal and it was awesome!
The second thing I tell people is to look into the Run-Walk-Run method of running. Developed by Olympian Jeff Galloway, the Run-Walk method is perfect for any level runner. – Find out more about the Run-Walk Method on this post.
Lastly, find accountability!  If you don’t have someone physically with you to run, try reaching out online. The running community online is so supportive! Track your fitness with apps and get social! I’ve found some amazing friends in the running community on instagram and twitter and i’d love to connect with you too!!
My Favorite apps for tracking fitness include:
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How to make money while working out!

Last week I made $10.00, just by sharing my workouts online! 


Too good to be true?  It’s not! 
In January of 2017, I ran across a blog post introducing the app Achievement. This is a FREE app, that pays YOU for working out! Since I was doing the 21-day fix at the time, I thought I’d give the app a try and you know what? it worked! My husband was the first to cash out, but I wasn’t surprised because he bikes to work every day, so obviously, he was earning more points than I was. 
How the app works

This application is basically like participating in a big market research, and health companies fund the app which in turn gives you financial incentives for making healthy choices!

How to earn points 

  • Connect your favorite health apps and work out as per usual. 
    • I have the following connected: 
      • Garmin
      • FitBit
      • MyFitnessPal
    • List of apps that you can connect here
How many points to cash out? 
You need 10,000 points to cash out at $10.00. The money is redeemable in Giftrocket or Paypal. 
How long did it take to cash out? 
It took me 1 year to earn enough points to cash out, and my husband about 8 months. 
There are ways to earn more points, by doing surveys and referring friends, we just simply didn’t do those things! 
So what are you waiting for? Let’s make some money JUST by tracking your exercise with your favorite device! 


*Use my link and we both get a point bonus!* 


How to stay warm before a race at Disney

Marathon Weekend 2018 was once again a very cold one at Walt Disney World, and my sweet friend spent the week before the race running around grabbing the most epic layers to keep us warm before the race.

So how does one dress when it is in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s at the start of the race?

Layers.
Beautiful, crazy layers! 

Being a Miami girl, I was pretty cold for more of the race, so I kept almost all my layers for 14 miles and then eventually had to ditch them.

Where to buy layers?
We found all our layers at Walmart for less than $10.00, and let me tell you, it was worth every penny!
What happens to the layers after you toss them?
RunDisney gathers the layers and donates them to local charities.  
Do you toss all your layers? 
No, I always keep my hat and gloves. 
I stuff them into an elastic on my running belt and keep them for the next race. 

Are you a Disney Mom or Disney Blogger?

PIN FOR LATER!


More RunDisney Posts

Did I meet my goal at the 2018 Disney Marathon?

If you’ve been on Instagram for 1/2 a second, you most likely saw too many a few photos from the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon! Today, I’m going to share photos from all along the course.
**SPOILER ALERT** I had so much fun at the WDW Marathon, and can’t wait to run it again!

The Course! 

Bundled up at the Start! 

Twinning is Winning! 

Miles 1-3

The first 5k really seemed to fly by, I started the race with my friend Stephanie and we were sticking to a run-walk interval of 30/30.

Stephanie and I parted ways just after the ticket and transportation center (between mile 3 and 4) because she needed to use the bathroom. 

Miles 4-7
Here is where we enter into the Magic Kingdom, I wanted to run with my friend and I was doing pretty well with my timing so when I saw some short lines of characters, I decided to get some fun photos! 

Running from the sweepers! 

The third *evil* step sister 😉 

 Miles 7-12

I saw my chEAR squad at the Grand Floridian, got a hug from my husband and kept on running. I had take my sweet time through the Magic Kingdom and knew I needed to make up some time while the weather was still cool and I was feeling good.

My daughters have recently been obsessed with Mary Poppins, so a photo with the Penguins was a MUST DO for me!

I actually kind of enjoyed this section of the course and even had negative splits! Around mile 8 I saw my friend Stephanie, and felt relieved that she was still in this! 
Miles 13-14
Animal Kingdom, … I started to get emotional at this point in the race. I had been feeling SO great during the first half of the race, but now I was getting nervous. I hadn’t heard from my friend in a while, I was starting to get nervous for her sake. I didn’t want her to get swept, I didn’t want to get swept. 
Another hug from my husband and a tissue from my sister and I was on my way to ESPN, Wide World of Sports! 
It was in Animal Kingdom that I had to finally ditch my blanket. I used the restroom and just couldn’t get it tied back on me comfortably, so on trashcan just outside of the Finding Nemo Show, I left my fabulous tie dye blanket. 

Miles 14-18

After a clif bar and a hug, I was ready to head back out to Osceola Parkway for the long stretch to ESPN, Wide World of Sports.

Miles 18-20

ESPN… Oh, ESPN… I didn’t remember it being this awful. Perhaps its because in 2015 when I ran the Goofy Challenge my sisters were chEARing for me in the parking lot… perhaps it is because there was a huge crowd of people, I don’t know but RunDisney… You NEED to get some more support on this section of the course. – Seriously, hear our plea…

When I made it to ESPN, it was pretty evident that I was towards the back of the pack. I hadn’t heard from Stephanie in a LONG time, and the sun was out and the winds were up. I was a weird combination of hot, cold and just plain miserable. With views of construction, direct sun, high winds and essentially zero cheering zones, I was one hot mess.

 Miles 20-23

Just leaving ESPN, I found myself amidst the 7-hour pace group. The Walt Disney Marathon has a time limit and you are required to maintain a 16-minute mile, or else you are at risk of being swept. So, when I saw that Jeff Galloway Pacer holding a 7-hour sign, I latched onto the group and with everything I had in me stuck with the intervals.

At one point I confirmed with another runner when we were safe from being swept because I was so scared I was going to end up on the “Parade Bus”.

I didn’t take photos during this time, I was focused on sticking to the intervals and not getting swept.

Mile 23-24

Finally made it into Hollywood Studios, where we were handed Halloween Candy… (Um, seriously RunDisney? Candy Corn M&M’s?  – No thanks). I stuffed the Candy Corn M&M’s in my bra and grabbed plain M&M’s down a little further and tried to relax a bit since I was almost beyond all the sweeper busses!

“There you are”

I hear from the crowd at Mile 24, I look up and see Chris searching the crowd desperate to find me. I smiled a little brighter after seeing him there and started to make my way towards the finish line. I knew he’d never make it to the finish line to see me, so I made the decision to soak everything in. 
I would stop for any photo I wanted, and venture off course to find a snack to eat at the finish line. I worked hard for this moment, and I wanted to enjoy it! 

Miles 24-26.2


THANK YOU RUNDISNEY VOLUNTEERS!
26.2 Magical Miles! 


 So what’s next for me? 
I promised my husband, NO more Full Marathons until after all our girls start school. Therefore, I’m going to focus on improving my time on the 10K, and Half Marathon before taking another 26.2-mile journey.

Thank you so much for all the love and support during this journey. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and ability to participate and complete the 2018 Walt Disney Marathon!

Finally, thank you to my number one fan, the man who sacrificed so many Saturday mornings of sleeping to watch our girls so I could complete my training runs. I wouldn’t have made it to the finish line without the many people who took a turn watching the girls so I could run.

Sharing is caring!

P.S. I friend Stephanie DID finish the race! 😉 

My outfit for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon

Happy Walt Disney World Wednesday!

We are just a few days away from the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon, those who are running the 5K, or Dopey Challenge are already en-route to the Happiest Place on Earth, but some of us won’t be heading towards Orlando until later in the week.

I’m not going to lie, my Instagram feed is full of amazing pictures of people soaking in the fun at the parks before the craziness of RunDisney weekend sets in, and I’m slightly jealous. So, to combat my fear of missing out I’m going to share my costume for the Marathon!

Originally, I was going to be someone very Shiney… 😉

I even bought a shell to spray paint for my Moana Crab (Tamatoa) costume. However, as the race approached I didn’t feel like I’d do the costume justice and genuinely felt like the shell would annoy me. So, I ditched that idea and started over. 
Training with three kids, ages 3 and under proved to be much harder than I thought it’d be. Throw in an exclusively breastfed infant who refused a bottle for most of her life, and you’ve got my reality.

Training for this race was harder than I anticipated, 
but I got it done! 
Around the time I was trying to find a new costume inspiration, my daughters had been requesting to watch Peter Pan on repeat, and I’m glad they did. 
For the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon, 
my costume is inspired by the Movie Peter Pan! 

If I have time, I plan to add a red feather to my visor, and white pom poms to my shoes.  We will see if I can make it out to a craft store for the supplies.
Costume Details! 
  • Shirt: Raw Threads, get yours here.
    • sign up for their newsletter, they always have amazing sales! 
  • Shorts: Under Armour Compression Shorts
    • These shorts are my favorite! They even work well during pregnancy. 

  • Skirt: Sparkle Athletic
    • sign up for their newsletter, they also have amazing sales! 
  • Timer: Gymboss
    • I plan to do 30/30 Run Walk Intervals for the Marathon, I felt it gives me a nice and comfortable pace. One that I can maintain for all 26.2 miles!  
  • Watch: Garmin Forerunner 220
    • Love this watch, it’s super simple to use and has very limited bells and whistles. It’s an older model watch, but it’s perfect for what I need. 
  • Costume Inspiration, Peter Pan! 
Who is your favorite Character in Neverland? 
Pin for later… 


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! 

Instructions

  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!

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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.

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? 

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    Evelyn Greer Park, Pinecrest FL

    Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the childhood obesity rate as more than doubled since the 1970’s and that 1 in 6 children from the ages of 6-19 is considered to be obese?

    The CDC recommends at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity for school-aged children, living in a small condo this isn’t always the easiest for us to accomplish that at home, so we love to explore all the beautiful parks in our area. We typically spend about 45 minutes to an hour at the park, and that includes our picnic time.

    One of the parks we recently visited a park located in Pinecrest, Florida and fell in love with all that it had to offer.

    Evelyn Greer Park is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! As we approached the park, I couldn’t help but notice the beautifully manicured park, and the fence around the playground. As a mom with multiple children, the fence is a huge perk!

    This park has several soccer fields, a batting cage as well as a fitness and walking trail that is a little longer than a quarter mile – great for the mom or dad who wants to get a little walk in before playing on the playgrounds with your family.

    Prior to Hurricane Irma this park had a large canopy over the playground, hopefully, this will be back up soon because there wasn’t much shade on the playground itself – but the walking trail was quite shady.

    Another thing I loved about this park was the large clean restrooms. When you have a potty trained and potty training toddler, clean restrooms are a must and this park provided!

    I can’t say enough positive things about this park, we had such a lovely time. If you’d like to see more of what this park has to offer, please take a moment to watch our Youtube Video and give us a subscribe. 😉