Yearly Archives: 2016

48 posts

Express Transportation at Walt Disney World

Have you heard about Disney’s newest mode of transportation between parks?

Disney Transportation is a great perk for guests staying on property, guests who want to park hop and also guests who come onto Disney property to enjoy a meal at one of their fine restaurants. I’ve opted out of driving my own car in order to take advantage of the Disney transportation for years. It’s great! However, it’s a little bit slow and as we approach a major Holiday such as Christmas, the transportation services are always a little bit more crowded and a little bit slower.

Enter. Disney Uber. It’s not really called “Disney Uber” it’s actually called “Disney Express Transportation” and in my opinion, it’s worth EVERY PENNY and here are my top 5 reasons why!

Yes, VIP! You’ve seen those guests being escorted around Disney property chatting with cast members like old friends, well… that could be YOU! Once your bus arrives, you are personally escorted from inside the park to backstage, loaded on a private bus and in 10-15 minutes you are back inside another park.

True, the bus is the same one you would ride with traditional Disney transportation, but the major difference is the crowd levels. The biggest amount of guests we rode with during our trip was about 6 people. This is especially great if you have strollers and young children. Cramming yourself into a crowded bus with a toddler (or 3) is NOT easy, but you do it because you want to experience as much Disney as possible!

Personally, I appreciated the VIP bus because we were able to spread out and feed our newborn comfortably while we went from park to park.

In order to maintain the 10-15 minute commute, the bus had to remain reliable. If the bus was scheduled to leave at 12:00 p.m. the bus left at 12:00 p.m. It was amazing! As an example, we went from Spaceship Earth inside Epcot at 12:00 p.m. to the FastPass Line of Rockin’ Roller Coaster inside Hollywood Studios by 12:10.

Ready to ROCK!

4. ONLY $15.00
If you’ve already invested in a Park Hopper Pass, then you want to take advantage of each day by being INSIDE the parks as much as possible. For an additional 15.00 per person, this program allows you to do that. Disney is expensive, we all know that and an additional 15 dollars per person can really add up, but in my opinion, this fee is something that should be in your budget planning.

On the last day of our Annual Pass we wanted to do the #4parkchallenge. Having the peace of mind that we’d be able to walk onto a bus to the next park at a specific time gave us the confidence to get in an extra line or two and ride some more rides before heading to our next park!

Heading Backstage in Animal Kingdom!

Yes, you read that right! Since you are literally being escorted from the park, to a bus and back into the parks you only have to go through security 1 time. This is especially helpful if you have babies on board, and require more bags and items.  During the Holiday’s you can spend 30-45 minutes just getting from your car into the park, it’s CRAZY! Who wants to spend their Disney day in security lines? Not this girl!

When would Disney Uber not be a good idea? Quite honestly, if you are traveling solo or with a small group without and bags, you might want to save your cash for a snack inside the park and go the traditional route of transportation for park to park. However, if you are in a hurry to get around the parks and make the most of your time INSIDE the park, Disney Express Transportation might be for you!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite Disney ride?

Baby Wearing at Disney, the best way to be Stroller Free!

Stroller Free at Disney?

Yes, my family of 5 has spent many days and nights at Walt Disney World without the stroller. There are perks to having the stroller but after so many trips of feeling overcrowded and frustrated with pushing the stroller through Main Street USA,  we’ve on more than one occasion ditched the stroller and been so much happier.

This post contains affiliate links.

Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

How to be Stroller Free with Three Kids (3 and under) 

 1. Pack lightly!

If you have young children in diapers, there is no way around the need for a certain amount of diapers and snacks, here is what I tend to pack in my backpack.
  • Diapers
  • Multiple Types of Snacks
  • 2 Servings of Milk
    • always saving one for them to drink on the way back to the hotel or car
  • Extra set of clothing

*Updated packing list April 2017*

2. Baby Wearing!

The quickest way to get from place to place in the parks is by babywearing.  Our favorite baby carrier for this is the Lille Baby Airflow. You can wear it six different ways, is very breathable for the Florida heat, and even has a zipper pocket for your phone and keys. – This purchase has been worth every penny for our family!

Lille Baby just partnered with Disney to make some adorable new prints. You can see all the new prints here on this post from Michele! 

3. Have a goal!

Before entering the park my husband and I like to take a few minutes to chat strategy. We go over our fast passes and decide what direction we will be going once inside the park.

This eliminates the stress of trying to “wing it” while chasing our three children. Since we are more relaxed we are able to experience the parks with our children.

4. Stay on property!

This isn’t an absolute necessity in my opinion, but it does help. Especially if you have very young children and would like to rest between morning fast passes and evening shows.

Sometimes, we just have to bring the stroller. 
For example, if we are planning a rope drop to wishes (or Happily Ever After) type of day. In situations like this, I find it best to park my stroller in the section of the park we are exploring and walk to a few rides. Grabbing the stroller only when we are moving to a new section of the park.

How about you, what are your tips for Disney with Kids? 




Best Christmas Lights in Miami

It’s hard to believe that Christmas will be here next week. December is such a busy time of the year for us, and since we have very young children, it’s a time I like to fill with magical memories and tradition.

One of my childhood traditions was to drive around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. Well, a lot has changed in the last 30 years and it seems to me that people just don’t decorate their homes outside like they used to, or do they?

For the last three years we have enjoyed visiting Christmas Castle here in Miami. Right in the middle of a neighborhood you will find a home and neighborhood beautifully decorated, complete with music, and a mailbox to send a letter to Santa if you so desire.

The light display is free to come too, but for the last 17 years they have been raising money for Autism Awareness. According to their website they have contributed about $8,500 to a local charity each year!

If you are interested in going with small children or in a group, I recommend you go early. There is an opening show right at 6:00, and the crowds are relatively small at that time so you will be able to see all the great details and take snap some pictures with limited photo bombers.

If you or your family is a little older, you might want to wait and go towards the end of the evening. I read on the website that they have a special farewell from Olaf at 10:00 p.m. 
One of my favorite things about going to the Christmas Castle is hearing all the Disney music and seeing all the Disney decorations. It’s obviously not as magical as the real thing, but it does the trick for getting you into the Holiday Spirit! 
So, if you’re looking for something fun to do one evening, head on over to the Christmas Castle! I hope you love it as much as we do! There is limited parking right at the home, but don’t be afraid to find a parking spot in the neighborhood and explore some of the other beautifully decorated homes. Just remember to be respectful, you are in a neighborhood after all. 
See more pictures on our Youtube Channel!
Christmas Castle
12331 SW 109 Terrace
Miami, FL 33186
*all opinions are my own, I am in no way affiliated with Christmas Castle. 

3 Tips for taking your Newborn to Disney

A Newborn…in DISNEY?

Yes, I took my newborn to Disney (more than once) and today I am going to share with you how I kept her safe and germ-free! I think the key to taking your newborn baby to Walt Disney World is confidence. If you feel confident about taking your child, go for it! Make memories, take photos and have a great time. If you are a little apprehensive about it, perhaps you might want to wait until they are a little older.

Tip # 1 – Wear your baby!

I don’t know why, but in my experience, if a baby is in a stroller people are more likely to breathe and touch them. However, if you have them tucked away nice and close to you in a baby carrier, people are more likely to give you some space! As an added bonus, baby wearing is beneficial to the emotional support of both mom and baby!

Here are some baby carriers that I recommend.* 

Tip # 2 – Be picky about where you change the diapers!

Walt Disney World has these AMAZING baby centers in each of the parks. It’s not always convenient to where you are located. However, if you have a young baby with you, it is worth the trip to the baby center. There are cast members inside cleaning up after each diaper change and can help you with anything you might need.

If you are in an emergency type (blow-out) situation, I recommend using a “companion” restroom. Your spouse and other children can come with you to help get your baby cleaned up and back out having a good time in a hurry. In my experience, not all of these restrooms have a changing table, but most of them do. Especially in Hollywood Studios.

Another thing you can do is bring a thick blanket to place over the changing table. Once you change your childs diaper, fold the blanket in such a way that the next time you need to change the diaper, your baby is only touching the clean side of the blanket.

Tip # 3 – Learn to feed and walk

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to eat often. My newborns always seem to take a LONG time to eat. So, instead of sitting on a bench feeding my baby, I learned how to breastfeed in a carrier. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little awkward at first but once you get the hang of it – you will be discreetly feeding like a pro! Be confident! If breastfeeding in the baby carrier isn’t your thing, you can also feed your child while on some of the slower moving rides – use your discretion.

If you need a comfortable place to feed your baby, there are lots of little private areas throughout the parks and there is even a private nursing room in each park! On a recent trip we had lots of family with us, so I went to the baby center and fed the baby before heading to the car.

You can also bottle-feed while you walk, the key is to walk slowly and always keep a visual on your baby, making sure their airways are not obstructed in any way.

 Bonus Tip

I was sure to keep babies hands covered. You can do this by putting the baby in one of those onesies with built-in mittens or buying some separate. I was sure to change her clothes throughout the day and not let the Characters get too close to photos.

We had such a lovely experience at Disney with our newborn, and I know you will too!

The Question of the day: How young were you on your first trip to Disney World?

More Magic!



Storybook Erin is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – Race Recap, Family of 5!

Last Thursday our family did as many did, we woke up extra early, ran a local 5k, watched the parade, stuffed our faces with delicious food and chatted about the Gilmore Girls over a slice of pie.

It was a beautiful day, one I will always remember.

My husband and I ran our 5th Turkey Trot together, and our first as a Family of FIVE! Weren’t we a sight to see. I with my #teamsparkle tutu and matching visor pushing a regular (non-running) stroller with our 2-month-old daughter tucked in, sleeping peacefully. Him in his running gear pushing a bulky double jogger, filled with two girls who would simply rather be anywhere but IN the stroller.

We start the race with a light jog to keep with the flow of runners, and just as we got a stride, it rains!

In a state of panic, I run to the side and throw my body across the stroller and shout to my husband to pass me the nursing cover so I could cover our precious baby and protect her from the cold rain.

Of course, the rain stopped as soon as we got back to running.

Did I mention the two toddlers begging to walk? Well, the stroller protest was just starting to get wild as we turned into a major road.

Back in the park, we pull to the side once again to let the girls walk with us.

 “You’ve got a long way to go” I hear someone shout to their friends who were walking nearby.

My sweet baby girl (19 months old) did a run/walk for about 3/4 of a mile. I was so proud of her, she was so proud of her.

As she ran, anyone who was actually behind us cruised right on by, leaving us and a few other families behind.

I offered to cut a corner in the race, horrified my husband said “no way!” So, on we went.

We convinced her to take a ride in the stroller for the rest of the course. Weren’t we something… Jogging through the parking lot section of the course, dodging cars filled with families ready to leave and enjoy some Turkey.

We thanked the volunteers and enjoyed ourselves as we entered the final section of the course.

Then let the girls out once again to run across the finish line.

It took us 1 hour to complete the 5k and you know what, I wish it was longer!

Why? Because for the hour, our family of 5 was completely engaged in the same activity and my husband and I were showing our girls that being healthy and active can be fun!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in PR’s and goals to improve our running, I’m totally guilty of it. Let’s take it easy on ourselves during the next festive race, and celebrate the finish line NOT the finish time.

Until next time…

DIY Turkey Hat and Toddler Hair Clips

I see you, Mom. You’ve got a Thanksgiving Celebration tomorrow morning and a couple little girls who would look adorable with a special turkey hair clip!

The only problem is, you are far too last minute to order from Etsy or Amazon and do you really want to invest in a hair clip your toddler may or may not wear? (Just me? – okay!)

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
These two crafts took about 10 minutes to complete and I did it with supplies I had on hand. 
Turkey Visor

 I used a visor I already owned, cut some shapes and attached it to the visor and called it a day! 

Hair Clips

After my success at the DIY hat, I thought I’d try my luck at some clips for the girls. 

For this one, I used a baby Tylonal bottle to trace a circle, used some eyeball stickers and made the rest of the shapes with construction paper. When I was all done, I hot glued it onto a couple of hair bows. 
I was pretty excited with how they turned out and can’t wait to wear them for our upcoming Turkey Trot! 
Question of the day: What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? 

#miamifamous Monday – Week 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are roughly 9 weeks away from my first baby number 3 postpartum half marathon!!!

<excuse me while I have a tiny panic attack>

Last year we had SO much fun at the #miamifamous Marathon and Half Marathon, that we registered during the registration blitz! Little did we know, God had some BIG plans for our family and we welcomed Baby # 3 in late September.

I am quite excited to participate in the Miami Half Marathon again this year, last year I had an absolute blast, and it is my current PR for the Half Marathon! A year ago I was hoping that this would be my annual PR race, a race that I’d work to get better and better at each year. However, since we have a newborn and two toddlers at home, I think crossing the finish line in one piece is enough for me.

Each Monday, up until the Monday for the race, I will be chatting about training and fitness! I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Fitness Recap

Goals for this week! 
  • Be active all 7 days 
  • Drink 60 oz of water a day 
  • Limit treats to only on Thanksgiving Day and the day after! 
What are your goals for the week? Link up with my good friend Mindy with The Weekly Chase to share! <3 

Professional Newborn Photos, Yes or No?

Yes. So much yes!

We’ve had the opportunity to work with Vinny from LXA with all three of our girls and the results are always priceless. 
Here are three reasons I believe newborn professional photos are a good idea.

1. Throwback Thursday. 
Because who doesn’t want to throw it back to when you were just a few days old? Your child will thank you for these awesome pictures some day- trust me!!
Not only that, but YOU will thank you for the photos. The first few weeks of motherhood are a blur, between 24 feedings and sleeping in stretches of 45 min to an hour you somehow lose track of just how small your precious baby is. 
2. Road Trip!  
Chances are the only place you are going these days is the pediatrician and maybe the grocery store. 
It’s a fun memory to get all dressed up, put together some meaningful trinkets and outfits to bring to your baby’s first photo shoot. 
A good photographer will make the whole experience fun, and it will be fun. 
3.  Instagram will eventually be a memory, Professional photos are forever! 
Anyone remember MySpace? Barely…right? Just as the season of MySpace came and ended social media will fade as well. Those cute photos you snapped on your phone and edited with an app will be lost or too small of quality to print out and display. Professional photos are high quality, edited to make your baby shine and can be printed clearly to display for years to come!

Question of the day: Did you, or do you plan on taking newborn photos?

7 Day Ab Challenge Results!

The Results are in!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed a few 3 minute work out each morning, and if you read this post you already know why there were a few short and sweet workouts!

My good friend Meagan over at put together a 7 day challenge to help kickstart your journey towards a flat tummy. Since I had just been cleared to begin exercising again, I thought I’d give it a try with a few modifications.

Details of the challenge:

  • Complete the AB circuit 1-3 times 2x a day
  • Drink only water
  • No sugar

My Modifications:
  • Complete the circuit 1x each morning
  • no added sugar to my coffee 
  • make a conscious effort to drink water 

My Goal: 
  • Fit into a pair of non-maternity shorts comfortably
  • commit to 7 days of abdominal exercises 
We had a visit to see family as well as a Disney trip right in the middle of this, and I knew I’d not be able to avoid treats so  that is why I didn’t want to commit to “no sugar”, I did try to watch my intake of treats. 
My second born daughter joined in on the fun with me each day, I loved seeing her try to plank with me and do some crunches! I believe it’s never to soon for children to see their parents making healthy choices. 
Proof Photos: 

The Results: 

Here I am at Disney at 7 weeks postpartum in a pair of non maternity shorts! 
I am very proud of myself for committing to all  7 days, I found that it only took about 3-4 minutes each morning to do 1 circuit, and if I didn’t have 3-4 minutes for my health, I needed to reevaluate some things. 
Question: Do you have 3 minutes for your health?

Fitness After Baby – The “Bounce Back” isn’t my jam.

It took me three pregnancies and three years to come to the realization that the “bounce back” just isn’t for me. I follow some incredible mommies on instagram, women who practically give birth then go run a 5k to celebrate. These women are beautiful, inspiring and give me a hope that some day I’ll be able to run without feeling like my who body is going to fall apart.

After baby # 1, I needed to get right have into running because I was training for the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney, and I needed to get ready. I never imagined I’d end up running 39.3 miles through WDW at 5 months pregnant, but I did.

Then, right after baby # 2, and a move across the state… I tried to “bounce back” into running again.

So, here we are. 6.5 weeks after baby # 3 and I’ve decided not to lace up my sneakers and run. For the first time, I was not back comfortably in my jeans and under my pre-pregnancy at my 6 week appointment, and for the first time I’m totally okay with that. I’m still rockin’ my maternity clothes, eating like a teenage boy and figuring out life with 3 girls under the age of 3 years old.

This does not mean I’m going to just continue to sit on the couch all day, unfortunately those lazy days need to start coming to a close and I need to start getting back into a fitness routine. So, that’s why I am excited to join my dear friend Meagan with her 7 day to a flatter belly challenge. (Join the fun, here).

2 out of three of my girls were sleeping this morning, so I took advantage of the “free” time and did 1 rep. My goal is to do at least 1 rep 2x a day for the 7 days. I’ll be posting proof pictures over on Instagram, so be sure to join in on the fun! 
Let’s work on our tummies together, thanks for the challenge! 

Running Tips from Jeff Galloway: Fast Lane 101

Content provided by Jeff Galloway, with the intent to share with all of you lovely readers. 

Neighborhood tracks are the most convenient place to run for most.  Whether you’re taking your first steps or wanting to improve your time, it’s easy to check your pace by timing each lap. Because I’ve spoken to many runners who mistakenly feel that they are not fast enough to run at the local oval, here are a few simple guidelines:
  • What is the distance of a lap?  Standard distance is 400 meters (@ .25 mile).
  • In which direction should I run?   In most cases, run counterclockwise.  A few tracks alternate direction from day to day,  so follow the direction of the other runners.
  • What lane should I use when running slow or walking?  The inside 3 lanes are reserved for faster runners and those doing speed workouts.  Most runners should use the 2 outside lanes.
  • How do I pass slower runners? Assuming a normal, counterclockwise pattern, move to the right to pass, with a smile.
  • Is it OK for kids to ride bikes and skate on the track? This is not a good idea.  Try to find another place near the track for these activities.
  • Do I have to pay to use a track?  Most tracks are free, but the hours of use may be restricted by the school.
  • Can I run on the track with an iPod? This is up to you but be aware of your surroundings and possible threats or faster runners coming up behind you.  Keep one ear uncovered.
  • Do I need special shoes?  No—you can use the same shoe for road, track or fitness trail—unless you are a competitor doing very fast speedwork.
  • Are there any times that I should not use the track?  If there is a track meet or organized track practice by the local team, find another running area.  Some track teams allow recreational runners to use the outside lane during their workouts.  
Say What?
Repeats—These are the fast segments during a speed workout.  Each repeat (usually about 3-5% of the distance of the goal event) is run slightly faster than goal race pace, followed by a rest interval of  walking or slow jogging.  Through a series of workouts, the number of repetitions gradually increases.

The Fix
I always lose count of how many times I’ve run around the track! How can I keep track of it better?  Office supply stores sell “counters” that keep track of the number of laps as you click each time you finish a lap.  Another method: time yourself for the first 2 laps, for two laps in the middle and 2 laps at the end.  Compute an average of the lap times.  You can compute the number of laps by dividing the total time run by the average time per lap.

The Excuse
There are lots of fast-looking people at my track; I’m scared I’ll get in their way. 
 The inside lanes are for faster runners.  If you run in the outside lane, you will not get in their way.


Don’t miss out on this opportunity to complete the First Annual Double G! 

The first 400 participants who register for the Double G will receive a JG-branded puffer vest! If you are one of the lucky 400, you will be able to pick up your vest at the Expo.

The Double G includes:

  • Barb’s 5K (Saturday, December 10, 2016)
  • JG 13.1 (Sunday, December 11, 2016)
  • 3rd medal for completing both races

* The Double G is only for those who participate in the actual races in Atlanta. It does not apply to the virtual option.

Register at

Our Visit to the Little Farm, Goulds, FL

If you live in the South Florida area and have young children, I recommend filling a car with some friends and family and heading down to Goulds for some fun at “The Little Farm“.*

The Little Farm, Goulds Florida
As a mom of young children I’m always searching the web for fun (free or inexpensive) adventures for our family. It was on one of these searches that I found The Little Farm. 
I was skeptical at first because it was 5.00 just to park the car, but… when you’ve been cooped up in your house with three kids for a few weeks you start to look for opportunities to get out. 
At The Little Farm you will find lots of animals to look at, a cute photo opportunity ($12.00), pumpkins, petting zoo ($4.00), butterfly garden (free), horse and pony rides ($3.00), a play area and food for purchase. According to the website, proceeds from the food and pumpkin purchases during the pumpkin patch event are given to charity.

First Family of 5 Picture! 

Our family had a lovely afternoon playing on the farm. We decided not to go inside the petting zoo and opted to just look at them from outside. For our girls (2,1 and newborn) that was exciting for them, but if your kids are a little older i’d recommend purchasing the armband. The armband gives all day in and out access to pet the animals.  We also spent quite a bit of time in the play area and let our oldest daughter ride on the pony before heading home.

Sisters in the Butterfly Garden
Playing in the play area
A few months ago she got to ride a long at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Walt Disney World, and ever since has been asking to go ride a horse. We were excited to be able to give our daughter the experience of riding a pony again.

Riding the Pony (3.00)
Tire Swing
The Pumpkin Patch event is going on for the rest of the month, so if you are looking for something fun to do with your family, go have an adventure at The Little Farm!

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

 *This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my very own.

Happy Due Date, Baby # 3!

I can hardly believe we’ve been snuggling our third baby for three weeks already! Our pint-size Princess has captured our hearts and we are so thankful that she is here and healthy.

(Birth Story Part 1 & Part 2)

It’s hard to describe life at home with all three girls. It takes some time to get into a routine, and with my husband being home for paternity leave, and then having a couple days off for Hurricane Matthew, it’s been a little hard to find a rhythm.  I am exclusive-ishly breastfeeding (she gets 1 supplement per day as per Doctors orders), and we have been going through a growth spurt – So,… that makes sleep a little rough right now. One little peep, and the whole house is woken up to check on the baby… :-/

My biggest challenge has been making sure I spend individual time with each of my girls every day. It’s hard, and exhausting because I’m breastfeeding, so sometimes I have to stop and feed the baby and I deal with some pretty strong mommy guilt, but I’m working on it. Now that we are supplementing with 1 bottle a day, I am able to use that time to pump and then read some stories, sing songs or play with the older girls.

We are so blessed and so thankful for our family of 5!

Top 3 Must Haves for the Hospital!

I fully intended to do a “what’s in my bag” YouTube video. I really felt I had a lot to share with the world,  especially since this is my third baby in three years.

However, the Lord had other plans and instead of making a YouTube video during week 36, I spent every moment prepping myself, my home and my toddlers to welcome baby! 
So, instead of a video, I’m going to share my top 3 items to bring to the hospital  for mom,dad, and baby!
For Mom. 

Headphones & phone (or iPod).
If you are induced, or have a long labor you will most likely be hooked up to a lot of monitors with beeping and heart beats. For a while, this can be very soothing. However, it can also be a little unnerving after a while. You also may be able to hear nurses and doctors and other movement in the hallways. Grab your headphones and put on a playlist to either help you relax, or get you in the zone! 
Tervis Cup with a Straw. 
If you are breastfeeding, or took any medication during the delivery you will want to drink a lot of water. 
The benefit of a tervis cup is that it won’t sweat on the tray next to your hospital bed. The benefit of the straw is that your partner can hold your cup for you to get a drink if needed. 
After my third baby I had to drink a whole bunch of water to flush my system. I started to have a reaction to the epidural and was itchy from head to toe! It was awful!! My baby girl was also very small and needed to eat every 60-90 minutes. 
Since my hands were full, having a large cup with a straw was a huge help to me! 
Jacket with a full zipper. 
Hospitals are cold, your hormones are all crazy after delivery and if you are breastfeeding and having skin-to-skin you will basically be topless for your stay at the hospital. 
A full zippered jacket gives you the ability to keep warm but still be able to easily breastfeed and have skin-to-skin. 

For Dad 

Snacks and a Water bottle.
It’s hard for dad to leave mom and baby, at least my experience. Bring some snacks so daddy is fed!
His Pillow!
Poor dad, he has to sleep on crazy chairs that pull out into a narrow “bed” or couch. Bring his pillow, it’s bulky, but it’s likely the most comfortable thing he will have for a few days. 

Something he needs but won’t remember to bring…
This could be his camera, or a charger or… Favorite shirt, … Just something you know he’d want but wouldn’t think about. 
For my husband it is his Miami Heat Beanie. The love of my life is 100% Miami boy! He can wear a sweat shirt in the middle of summer, if it’s 70 degrees, it’s freezing. So, I made sure to bring his warm hat, because the man freezes inside the hospital! 
I’m thankful we had the hat because I used it too! 
For Baby. 

Snap Pajamas 
After birth your baby will have his or her blood pressure, temperature and possibly his or her blood sugar tested. 
You will also be checking and changing diapers, your baby will be able to stay mostly dressed for all of those things if they are in pajamas that snap.
Yes, they have them in the hospital but there is something special about wrapping them in a blanket that was made for them, or purchased for them by someone who loves them! 
Cute going home outfit!
It’s a big and exciting day, you will likely take 10,000 photos of your bundle ready to go home, pick out a cute outfit! My husband found this outfit on clearance for 90% off over the summer AND we used a coupon so final price was less than 5.00. She’s swimming in it, but it is a newborn size!

What’s on your list of must have items for your hospital stay?!

Baby # 3, An Early Welcome to the World. Part 2.

In case you missed it, here is Part 1

In part one, I talk about why we induced at 37 weeks, so if you start reading and question why we would welcome our baby girl into the world at only 37 weeks, please take a quick look at part 1.

Thursday arrived, it was the day we would check into the hospital to welcome our third baby girl. My husband decided to stay home from work. We had a list of last minute things to do, and then drop the girls off with their grandparents.

After we dropped the girls off, I tried really hard to take a nap. Unfortunately, all I could do was count baby kicks and pray we would be able to deliver her without use of a c-section. My only fear with a cesarean is that I wouldn’t be able to hold my toddlers during the recovery, and I just couldn’t bear the thought. I expressed that concern to my obstetrician and he assured me that he felt confident we would not need a c-section, but if at any point the baby was showing she wouldn’t be able to handle the delivery we would have to.

Around 7:30 my husband and I curled up on the couch with a big bowl of pasta and watched some of The Voice on Hulu. We slowly gathered our things, and headed out the door around 8:15 p.m. It was the first day of Fall, so we made a quick stop at Starbucks on the way to the hospital so my husband could have his first Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the season. #PSL

#starbucksfail we asked for them to write “daddy” on the cup, but… um? yeah.

9:00 p.m. we arrived to the hospital and checked in and settled in for a long night of waiting on a baby.

by 10 p.m. we were on the monitors without any medication. I let my nurses know that I wanted an epidural as soon as we started the pitocin, so they started me on fluids by 10:30ish p.m.  I decided to take advantage of no medications by taking a nap. By 10:30 I was completely exhausted, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open and I went to sleep. My husband settled into the couch and watched a few episodes of Seinfeld.

12:00 p.m. we started with the first dose of medication, and I was instructed to stay still in one position for two hours. So, I rolled onto my side, put on some George Winston and took a nap.

2:00 a.m., hooray! I can move again. My nurse came in and let me walk around for a few minutes, it was so lovely to get out of bed.

4:00 a.m., dose number 2 of the medication, and more staying still. So, another George Winston classical piano playlist and another nap.

6:00 a.m., hooray, I get to take another short walk around the room! Shift change was coming, and I knew my OB would be in first thing to check on me, so I brushed my teeth before going back onto the monitors.

7:00 a.m., started to feel cramping and light contractions [was way too excited about this…]

7:30 a.m., met the day shift nurse, said thank you and farewell to the evening nurse (who was amazing!)

8:40 a.m., sent daddy over to the cafe so he could have some breakfast.

9:00 a.m.,  Dr. is here!

9:03 a.m., 2 cm and my water is broken.

9:10 a.m., “WOW, We’re going to have this baby by lunch!” – C. Jimenez

I have a history of going from 2 cm to baby in a short amount of time. 

9:12 a.m., Pitocin starts.

9:17 a.m. “Can I have my epidural now?”

10:00 a.m., 5 cm and I’m getting my epidural!

#epiduralfail well, the epidural only worked on half my body. So, you guessed it… I felt ALL the contractions, I felt the catheter and I felt that exam. If you have an epidural,… you don’t really feel those things.

We spent the next hour and 20 minutes with anesthesia and the nurses trying to get the epidural to work. Meanwhile, my contractions are so strong I really can’t talk. I basically just told the anesthesiologist that I didn’t want to try any more medications because I was going to need to push soon.  She of course told me that they had plenty of time to re-do the epidural, but I knew otherwise.

10:57 a.m., one last medication to try and get some relief.

11:03 a.m., I told the anesthesiologist that I felt like I needed to push and she rushed out of the room looking for my nurse.

11:10 a.m, I called the nurse and told her I needed to push.

11:14 a.m., Okay, you are 9.5 cm the doctor is on the way!

11:20 a.m., Doctor arrives “wow, you don’t waste any time do you?”  I think I might had tried to chuckle, but I was in so much pain because the epidural had JUST started working and hadn’t made it all the way through my body yet.

11:25 a.m., After pushing through 1 contraction, Risa Belle was born.

After the birth we had a lovely time of skin-to-skin, attempted (and fail) at breastfeeding, and just a very relaxing experience. The moments right after birth are always so precious, its like… an unreal feeling of pride. The anticipation of Risa had my emotions on super high, so when I was still pushing and I heard the nurse ask “is she trying to cry already” I was instantly relieved.

She was placed on my chest, and the neonatologist did a quick check and agreed to let her have an extended time with me before weighing her.  During this time the doctors confirmed that both the umbilical cord and placenta looked healthy, and the only note that was made was the placenta was small. Praise the Lord, for a healthy baby and delivery!

Her official stats:
Time of birth: 11:25 a.m.
Weight: 5lbs 5 oz
Length: 18 3/4 inches long

After she was weighed, they placed her in the warmer and both my husband and I curled up and took a nap. It had been such a fast and emotional day that once she was here, and healthy I just fell asleep.

When we were wheeled into our room for the hospital stay our day shift nurse ran over to my husband and I, gave us a kiss (very Miami!) and said “I KNEW YOU’D BE BACK!” It was the very first nurse I had after I delivered my first born daughter. The nurse who helped build my confidence as a new mom and one I think of often.

In a way, we’ve come full circle with our season of pregnancy and birth. Baby Number 1 and 3 were both born in delivery room 6, and were both snuggled and taken care of by the same nurse that welcomed us warmly after the delivery of baby Risa.

Farewell to the season of pregnancy, we are looking forward to many adventures as a family of five.

Baby # 3, An Early Welcome to the World! Part 1.

If you follow me on social media, you were flooded with pictures of our tiny sweet princess last weekend, and I even did a quick post about her name. Now, that she’s here and we’ve had our first pediatrician appointment, I thought i’d take a moment and share the story of her arrival.

I guess you could say the story of her earlier than expected birthday started at our anatomy ultrasound. During the ultrasound it was noted that our baby was measuring in the 25 percentile for gestational age. Even though I have a history of small babies, the doctor at the ultrasound place was concerned about her size so I was scheduled for monthly ultrasounds to check growth.

Pregnancy continued, baby was still measuring small but we were both growing. The weekend of September 17, we dropped the girls off with family and had a little #disneyside baby moon.  We stayed up late, watched movies, slept in, ate whenever and whatever we wanted… It was really a relaxing time. We also decided to go to a local park and snap some Disney inspired maternity photos.

On Monday, I went in for a routine ultrasound.

I was greeted with the ultrasound technician, and a medical student. I gave my consent to allow the medical student to stay for my ultrasound and meeting with the doctor, never thinking it could possibly be anything but a routine exam.

After she took what I had expected to be the final measurements, she started over again. This time she rechecked my placenta, took an extremely long time reviewing the umbilical cord and even measured the flow. Since this was something i’d never seen before, I started to have questions. I never claim to be an expert on anything, but after three pregnancies in three years, you start to know what to expect for a routine growth check.

I casually asked what she was measuring, and what it tells us about the health of the baby. She smiled, and calmly told me how it was just a way to see how the umbilical cord is working.

… (insert totally confused look here)…

Next she checked the brain. The Heart. The Kidneys…

“Don’t wipe all the gel off yet, we might need more pictures when the doctor arrives” is what she told me. Those few minutes waiting for the doctor felt like an eternity, my only comfort was feeling our little girl kick and stretch.

The doctor, medical student and technician came back in the room and without any hesitation, the doctor exclaims “we are going to go ahead and diagnose your baby now”

I’m not exactly sure what she may have said next because I instantly burst into ugly tears and said “DIAGNOSE?!!” “WHAT’S IS WRONG WITH MY CHILD!?!”

She backed down, got some tissues, gave me a minute and explained.

Our baby had dropped from the 25 percentile down to the 10 percentile, which is an automatic diagnoses of IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction).  Even though I have a history of small babies, this baby had dropped below the comfortable growth rate and it was recommended that we induce.

I sat in a private waiting room for a few minutes so I could gain my composure to call my husband and obstetrician to set up another ultrasound and a consultation prior to making the final decision to induce.

Everything was set up for an ultrasound and appointment, on Thursday, but my Obstetrician wanted to see me and my reports on Wednesday instead.

Tuesday I spent the day on google (BIG MISTAKE), repacking my bag, researching the NICU at my hospital, researching how to prepare for a potential stay in the NICU, and cleaning. I also called my pediatrician to talk about IUGR, and get his opinion on the induction.

Wednesday morning, my husband and I got up bright and early and headed over to the ultrasound. Thankfully the doctor wasn’t in yet, so I was able to just have them send the report over to my doctor and head over to appointment number 2 for the day.

During the appointment, my obstetrician agreed with me that the baby was probably measuring small due to genetics, but just in case there was an issue with my placenta or umbilical cord he recommended we induce the next day.

It is difficult to describe the range of motions, when deep down you know your baby is perfectly fine and healthy but there are these numbers that say we should prepare in case… I’m so thankful for our families. The support of our families both blood relatives, and those in our church family was amazing, and I am forever grateful to be part of the family of God.

Birth Story.

Welcome Baby # 3!

Just a short post to welcome Baby Risa to our family! 

I will give a more detailed update on the days leading up to her birth, how we prepared and her birth story once we are home and settled. 
But for now, I thought I’d share her name and the meaning behind it. 


Risa Belle
Risa is pronounced like Lisa only with an R and Belle. 
Risa is the Spanish word for “smile” or “laughter” and for all you Disney fans out there, you know it’s no wonder that her name means beauty…

So, Laughter Beautiful or Beautiful Laughter. 
We are so excited to have her here with us, safe and sound and look forward to sharing more of her story soon. 
For now, we appreciate all the kind words, texts, hugs and prayers for our family. 
Little lady, obsessed with “Dede Risa” and her tiny feet. (Also, she thinks my dress is so pretty!)

Love bug is not impressed with mommys dress, or hospital room… Looking forward to being home and bonding there. 

Preparing for Baby # 3 – Week 37 Update

Today marks week 37 of my pregnancy, and let me tell you… last week was a whirlwind of appointments, cleaning, packing, snuggling and long chats with my toddlers about becoming a BIG SISTER!!!

For this weeks appointments (Biophysical Profile Ultrasound) and obstetrician appointment, I had my husband go with me. Between our ultrasound appointment and OB appointment we made a quick trip to Jamba Juice. It was almost like when we were anticipating our first daughter, we used to treat ourselves to Jamba quite often after those appointments!

Kale + Apple without the Banana! (SO MUCH YUM!)

Weekly Stats

  • Weight Gain: 1 lb 
  • Pregnancy Total: 16 lb
  • Blood Pressure: 90/60
  • Baby’s HR – 140’s 
  • Granola Bars 
  • Ice-ICE-ICE cold water (!)
Big Sister Update
My oldest (2.5) never ceases to amaze me. She is so kind, and so loving, and I can’t wait to see how to does with another little sister. This week she’s spent a lot of time talking to her baby sister, and rubbing my belly. It’s very sweet to feel the baby respond to her voice with a gentle kick and then see my little lady giggle with excitement! 
She takes her role as big sister very seriously, and is always looking out for our love-bug. In fact, something I was not expecting, was her attachment to the infant carseat. Ever since we washed, and installed the infant carseat she has cried and cried about it being for Zuzu, and not the new baby. I totally didn’t see that one coming, so we are working with her on those emotions. 
Making “Happy Birthday” cards for baby sister!
Then there is my love-bug, she’s 17 months today. I simply adore her spirit, she is curious about everything and loves to keep me on my toes. Much like her sister, she is very sweet and loving. However, she is also nothing like her sister so I’m a little excited  nervous to see how she reacts to the new baby.

“Happy Birthday” cards for sister! 

This week we also made some Happy Birthday cards for baby sister. My hope and prayer is that when the baby arrives, she will have become such a household name that the transition is pretty smooth. 

My thoughts on transitioning from 2 to 3
This might sound a bit naive, but… I am far less nervous about adding baby # 3, than I was about adding a second… When we welcomed our love-bug into the world it was a crazy time for us. My husband was offered a job 3 hours away from any support systems, and we moved to a town where I literally knew ONE person. It was hard, I was “home” in a new city with a 15 month old and a newborn, my husband worked hard all day with his new job and came home to help me with the girls all night. I’m not sure we ever slept, … it took us some time to build our little community in Fort Myers, but once we settled into a church and had some consistency things got easier. 
Now, as we prepare to welcome baby number 3, we are back in Miami! My husband again just started a new job and will have very limited paternity leave BUT we have a much bigger support system. There are so many people who love and care for us, and more people than we even know praying for us in this new transition. 
When my husband and I were preparing to get married, we came across a verse in Psalm 126. It was true in 2008 and it’s still true today, The LORD has done great things for US, and we are glad (Psalm 126:3). 
We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we welcome our baby into the world very soon. 

Tips for a #disneyside Maternity Shoot

As promised, here are some of the photos from our #disneyside maternity shoot last Sunday. I will admit, I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get to take one more photo of my baby bump at Disney, but sometimes we just have to accept that plans need to change. 

Here are my tips for accomplishing a semi-non-cheesey #disneyside maternity shoot! 

1. Gather some Disney inspired props.

When I think about Disney world, and the Disney company, I think about attention to detail! From the sights, and smells at the theme parks, to the hidden similarities within the movies. The Disney company pays attention to detail. 

Why wouldn’t you do the same for your Disney inspired shoot?  I was tempted to put on some Minnie mouse earrings, but I didn’t think it would show up very well so I skipped it. Instead, my husband put on his Donald Duck shoes and Mickey watch. 

2. Don’t have Disney accessories? Use your wedding bands to create a Mickey shape on your bump!  

3. Have FUN! 
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever. 
(W. Disney)

Sliding down slides at 9 months pregnant, what could be more fun than that?  

 4. Embrace the bump! 

“Even miracles take a little time.” 
— Fairy Godmother (Cinderella)

No matter what size your bump is, the reality that you are supporting the life of another with your body is beautiful and a bump should be embraced and loved.  

The question of the day: How do you show your #disneyside at home? 

Disney Inspired Baby Moon – At Home

Since our plans to travel to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival were totally thrown out the window, we spent the weekend at home. My doctor didn’t feel comfortable with me traveling from Miami to Orlando at 35 weeks pregnant.

I had every intention of just going to Disney for the day, even though my OB didn’t fully support the trip. However, on Thursday evening I started having some pretty strong contractions. It was enough to make me second guess our trip. So, we opted to have a #disneyside babymoon at home.

On Friday afternoon we dropped our girls off with their grandparents, and I went and got my eyebrows waxed. After a little bit of pampering, we had to go to the store and return an item. It’s in the same shopping plaza as our FAVORITE Pizza place in Miami, so obviously, we had to treat ourselves to dinner.

Looking for great Italian food in Miami? Go to Marinos!

After dinner, the baby decided she wanted a Coke Slurpee. Since the Slurpee’s are buy-one-get-one at 7-11 right now, we journeyed to 3 different 7-11’s called 2 and ended up at Burger King for our frozen coke (the craving was legit!).

When we returned home, we put on our jammie’s and watched a Disney Movie! I’d heard poor reviews about the movie Tomorrow Land, but I still wanted to see it. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll just say it was “okay”. Not my favorite Disney movie ever, but also didn’t hate it completely. It’s worth a watch if you are a Disney movie buff.

On Saturday morning, my husband got up and went for a run while I started cleaning the house.
Clean and ready for playtime!
 After cleaning and his run, we enjoyed a home-made pancake breakfast (complete with beverages in Disney cups) and set off for a haircut and a little bit of retail therapy! 
Farewell, long hair. 
I’d had my eye on a specific doll for Baby Jimenez at Hollywood Studios. However, since we didn’t get to GO to Disney, we went to explore the Disney store. 
After shopping, we came home and watched some college football (#FIUPANTHERS!) then headed out in search of pedicure supplies. We ended up having dinner at Taco Bell, and then headed back home so I could soak my feet, and watch another Disney Movie in our pajamas! 
Does Spicey food really work to induce labor?
On Saturday evening we decided to watch Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day!  
I loved it!
Sunday morning, my husband went for another run while I did absolutely nothing…  (I’m a little impressed with myself over that one!) When he got home, we got ready to go to the park and have a #disneyside Maternity shoot. The shoot was SO.MUCH.FUN. It’s going to get its own post, so check back to see more of the photos later in the week. 
After our #disneyside Maternity shoot, we decided to do our groceries for the week, come home and watch some football! (#MIAMIDOLPHINS) and of course, catch up on the Amazing Race via Hulu. 
In the evening we ate some Salsa Chicken and watched Soul Surfer.  We watched Bethany on the Amazing Race, and since then we had Soul Surfer on our list of movies to watch. It was pretty inspiring to see her story. 
Even though I didn’t get to watch the Electrical light parade from start to finish one more time, or eat a Mickey ice cream bar all alone, or see the star wars fireworks without a toddler cleaning to me, it was a great weekend and I am so ready to have this baby! 

Crafting with Toddlers: DIY Onesies and Week 36 Update

Hello friends!

We are approaching the finish line, and thankfully our name reveal outfit has arrived! I will be doing a dedicated post on what’s in my hospital bag very soon, so stay tuned! One of the things my husband and I feel very strongly about is making sure our girls (even at 2.5 and 16 months) are aware of the baby, and that the baby is coming to live with us very soon.  When we welcomed baby Zuzu, our older daughter was SO excited! She had spent the last 6 months or so reading to the baby, giving kisses to my stomach and just bonding with her. I’ll never forget the moment she first saw her, I sat on my bed in amazement at the instant love they had for one another.

We’ve worked really hard to allow our girls opportunity to bond with their new sister, and one of the ways we decided to help them get excited for baby was to make a special gift for their sister.

Our girls are really into coloring right now, they just enjoy coloring so much. Since I had a 3 pack of white onesies, I decided to grab some iron-on letters and fabric markers for the girls to create a special outfit for their sister.

The girls were really into it, and even enjoyed Facetime with dad to show off their projects. It’s so much fun but if you plan to do something like this, here are my top two tips.


  • Well fed toddlers are happier during craft time
  • Make sure your supplies are ready 
    • If using paint, be sure you have plenty of wipes ready or direct access to the sink for cleaning those little hands
  • Have your camera ready 
  • Make sure they are dressed in an outfit that can also get messy
  • Enlist another adult to help if you have more than 1 toddler you are crafting with
We didn’t use paint this time, I opted for some fabric markers. I have painted many times with my girls before, and it was much more fun when I stopped thinking about the mess we were making and embraced the idea of making memories! 

Pregnancy Update – Week 36
Total Weight Gain: 15 lbs
Blood Pressure: 105/65
Baby’s Heart Rate: 150’s 
  • Ice Cream
Question of the day: What’s your favorite type of ice cream? 

Simple Spaghetti Bake

In the fall is 2013, I was anticipating the arrival of my first born daughter. I had NO idea what to expect, what to anticipate, how to prepare, nothing. Not.A.Clue. I had spent hours upon hours on pinterest trying to figure out how to prepare for life as a mom. One of the tips was to prepare meals for the freezer.

I think I got as far as a potential shopping list, and then got completely overwhelmed and didn’t make a single dish. In fact, I didn’t even have groceries in my house when I left for the hospital. Thankfully, my in laws lived down the street and were always stopping by with food. 
When baby number 2 arrived in the Spring of 2015 we were in the middle of a move to a new city, my husband was starting a new job, we were selling our condo, and life was a little chaotic. Needless to say, I did NOT have any meals prepared in advance.

So, here we are… Baby 3 will be here somewhere between now and mid October. I have two toddlers, running around, I’m potty training, and still overwhelmed by the thought of cooking a bunch of meals at once, or even shopping for supplies to make the food.

So, what’s a girl preparing for life with three kids under the age of three to do? Follow the advice of Tim Gunn, and Make it Work!

I decided that a whole day of filling my freezer with meals just wasn’t going to work, but what I could do was cook in bulk while I was cooking dinner for my family. So far I’ve put three meals into my freezer in preparation for Baby Jimenez # 3 to arrive.

My girls LOVE Spaghetti, it’s probably a good thing, because it’s ridiculously easy to make and all the ingredients are pretty much always on sale. I’m sure there are real chef’s who have mastered the perfect Spaghetti bake, but this is my version. It’s simple, and my family enjoys eating it.

Question of the day: How do you make your spaghetti?

FAST FOOD: Breakfast Ideas

As a Mom of two young toddlers and a newborn on the way, I’m often asked “how do you, how will you…”

To be honest, one moment at a time. It’s not easy, but it’s our life and it’s beautiful! 
So, for the busy human I thought I’d share one of my favorite breakfast ideas! 
This is something you can make for babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and adults! It’s simple and delicious! 

1. Cook Oats to taste 
2. Slice Apples
3. Add a spoonful of peanut butter 
4. Enjoy! 
With a baby you can easily skip the peanut butter and just mix in some apple sauce. 
I love the way peanut butter mixes in with oats, it gives it a cookie dough like consistency and makes you feel like you are eating a dessert! 
Question of the day: what’s your favorite breakfast? 

How do you love your spouse?

I was nominated multiple times to complete the #loveyourspouse challenge on Facebook.
Sorry, I never got around to finding 7 photos or writing sappy posts about the good ol’ days. I was busy loving my spouse and our children. 
For 16 years he’s kept my heart safe and secure, he’s loved me unconditionally and he’s worth dragging your 8 month pregnant self, 2 year old and 1 year old out of bed in the morning to drive him to work, and then loading two toddlers into a car in the pouring rain by yourself after potty training all day. 

#worthit #love #thisistherealhappilyeverafter #married #realtalk #hasitreallybeen16years 

Top 3 Olympic Moments: Rio 2016

Welcome Friends to my top 3 moments during the Olympic Games!

Raise your hand if you stayed up way too late watching the Olympic games at some point in the last 2 weeks?

*raises hand*

I must admit, we didn’t watch too much of the games this year, but I when we did it was important to me that our children (2.5 and 15 months) be involved in learning about the sport that was on.

So, without further ado, here are my top three favorite moments for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Number 3: During the opening ceremony. 
During the opening ceremony my two year old sat on the couch mesmerized by the flags, the dancing, and the colors. I loved having the opportunity to talk to her about the many countries represented, and have her genuinely be interested!

Number 2: While watching Cycling. 
“That’s my daddy!”

Yes, that really happened and I never want to forget the pride in my daughters voice as she thought my husband was actually IN the Olympics.

My husband has been cycling to work, and as a result he spends some time working on his bike to keep it in tip top shape, and my two year old loves to help him.

Number 1: The USA Chant.
During the Olympics we taught our two year old to recognize the American flag, and how we can cheer for our team from home. It’s so special to hear her chant “USA, USA, USA” whenever she see’s the American flag now.

I am thankful for our country and those who have given their lives in service to protect it.


What about you? What are your top moments from the Olympic games in Rio?

Morning Routine: Two Toddlers and the Third Trimester

We have been loving our little condo so much, and now that we are mostly settled I thought I’d share my morning routine. 
This is the current routine that’s been working for this momma of a 1 and 2 year old who is also in her third trimester. 
My 1 year old wakes up first, I typically sleep until she gets up, this is usually anywhere from 6:30-7:30. 
We wake up and snuggle on the couch drinking milk for a few minutes while listening to classical piano music on Spotify. After some relaxing I will feed her some breakfast, have some coffee and water before starting on some cleaning. 

I will either wipe down the bathroom, or start some laundry. It really just depends on what I feel like doing…
While I’m cleaning my one year old is typically following me around helping, and dancing with her plush toys. 
My two year old sleeps a little later (thank you black out curtains) and once she wakes up we all three snuggle on the couch while drinking some milk and then continue on with our day. 
I haven’t figured out a consistent afternoon routine, but so far most mornings are much like described above. 
What are your mornings like, do you include classical music in your day?

Trimester Two: Fitness Recap

Hello my friends, 

Can you believe we are in the last trimester for this pregnancy? I’m not sure where the time went, but it went! 
So, let’s recap my trimester 2 fitness! 
In trimester 1 I was much more scheduled with my workouts. However, when trimester 2 rolled around we were in the midst of working towards finalizing the purchase of our condo and the final preparations for our week volunteering at a children’s camp for a week. So, my fitness routine slipped away. 

I did keep up with exercise a few times a week and did activities such as:
– walking 
– squats 
– swimming 
– chasing my two girls ( 2 & 1)
– going to the zoo 
– going to Disney
Although I have gained the most during this pregnancy, I’ve still only gained 8 pounds total and am well within the weight gain goals my doctor and I discussed at the beginning of this pregnancy. 
It’s hard for me to see the scale numbers rise, mostly because from 2012 – 2013 (pre-pregnancy with baby number 1) I worked so hard to get my health in order and lost around 70 pounds! 
Each pregnancy is a journey, and I’m thankful for the gift of life growing inside my belly and little girl, YOU are worth every ounce of weight, every swollen ankle, every discomfort because YOU are a treasure! 
Question of the day: what are your favorite ways to sneak exercise into a busy day? 

Star Wars Darkside Half Marathon – RECAP!

The (Innagural) Star Wars Half Marathon

I was so excited to be able to participate in the Inaugural Darkside Star Wars Half Marathon. We had a busy day prior to arriving at the race Expo, and we were anxious to get there and talk to runner relations because there was a glitch in the system and my husband’s proof of time wasn’t read.  Thankfully he had put all the information in a notes section of Active and  RunDisney was able to (within seconds) place him in the appropriate corral! He moved from Corral J all the way up to Corral D [insert happy dance].

Since I am expecting, and had zero intention of stopping for anything except maybe a bathroom we agreed that he should run in his corral and I would run in mine (Corral G).


Prior to the start of the race, we took several pictures with some star wars characters and just had a lovely time enjoying the pre-race vibe.  My sister was also running the half but was in a different corral. I also advised her to run her own race and have a good time, because I knew I wouldn’t be pushing myself (at all) for the race. My only goal was to finish before the sweepers.

The Race Begins

The race started and I moved as far over to the right side as I possibly could and began my 30/30 intervals. I’d decided it would be short enough intervals to keep me distracted, and I wouldn’t get my heart rate up too high too quickly. On Friday I took a one-hour glucose test at the doctor to test for gestational diabetes and was still feeling “off” so I really just wanted to do my own thing.

My sister must have passed me around mile 2 because I received a text message with her 5k split a few minutes before I made it to the 5k mark myself. I never saw my sister, but that’s alright, we were all running our own race and having as much fun as possible.

Running Through Epcot

Let’s talk about the start of the race, we were in Epcot and IT.WAS.AWESOME!  We entered Epcot from the back (like think underneath test track) and ran around World Showcase for a bit. Since it was still quite dark when we ran through it, all of the buildings had white lights around the top, and there was Star Wars music BLASTING through all the speakers. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but whatever nerdy ounce I have in my body was thrilled.

Running through Epcot while the sounds epic light saber battles are all around you?

Best start to a race EVER!

Running through the Boardwalk

After Epcot, we entered onto the boardwalk area and ran the path that connects Epcot with Hollywood Studios. The course was quite narrow at this point, and as annoying as I was to all those around me, I continued to stick all the way to the right hand side and run 30/30 intervals.

Running through Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios was also pretty Epic. There was a large stage in front of the Chinese Theater with Kylo Ren and some storm troopers, you know encouraging you to “move along”.  I had every intention of taking a picture, but … I didn’t. I got distracted by the ambiance, and just kept moving.

Running through Osceola Parkway

After HWS we entered the first long (and boring) stretch of Osceola Parkway. One thing they did, that I wish they’d do more of during other half marathons is they played movies every mile or so on the long boring stretches! I mean, it’s not like meeting Jedi Mickey (Who was no where to be found) but it’s pretty cool and distracting!

Running Through Animal Kingdom

Before I knew it I was entering the Animal Kingdom. I got a little emotional during this part of the course, mostly because I was having deja vu from when I ran the Marathon (pregnant with Baby 2). The sun was rising, and everything just looked so pretty!  I had a good time running though the Animal Kingdom and took advantage of a REAL bathroom and sink to wash my hands.

Running on Osceola Parkways (again)

After the Animal Kingdom, we entered the final stretches of Osceola Parkway. I’d started to slow down at this part, but was still well above the 16 min mile requirement so I was comfortable with my slowing pace.

Running through ESPN Wide World of Sports

Before I knew it I was turning a corner into the woods and running on a dirt path entering EPSN Wide World of Sports. The crowd was vibrant was we entered ESPN and it was here that the tears just fell. I’d done it… My knees still felt great, and I was approaching the finish line.

My dad and younger sister had come to chEAR us on with signs, so I blew some kisses to them and then headed for the finish line. Where my older sister had waited for me so we could take a picture together!

This was not my fastest half marathon, in fact, it can go on the list as one of my slowest. However, it was the most fun I’ve had running a half marathon. I loved this race so much, and think it’s a great addition to the RunDisney races! 

Finish: 3:19:21
Pace: 15 minutes per mile
Pregnancy: 14 Weeks (Second Trimester)

The Question of the day, who would you dress up as for a Star Wars themed race?  

Excited are we, Announcing Baby number 3

On Friday morning around 5:00 a.m. we texted our family to let them know we were expecting baby number 3. Of course everyone was super excited but they had no idea I was actually pretty far along and would be announcing to Facebook on the same day that we told them!

If you are interested, here are some of the details of pregnancy number 3.


  • Cereal – can’t get enough… 
  • Salsa (if you have chips and salsa even better)
  • Cream Cheese – just keep it away, please. 
  • Joint pain 
  • Lazy – no energy (at all)
  • no nausea (hooray!)
  • Always hungry (just feed me and tell me I’m pretty)
Weight / Blood Pressure / Gestational Diabetes:
  • down 4 lbs
  • BP higher than my other two, but still healthy
  • Failed my 1 hour GTT, taking the 3 hour soon
Estimated Due Date: October 14, 2016

RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Happy Wednesday Disney Fans!

We’ve (finally) made it to the recap of the Princess Half Marathon. I won’t lie, I have been struggling to write this post. The fact is,… I don’t really want to re-live it. (Yes, it was that bad) but… My Princess Half weekend posts would be incomplete if I didn’t talk about the biggest race of the weekend, so bear with me – I had a pretty rough run. 
Before I went to sleep I decided to set 2 alarms, I just had a feeling I wasn’t going to wake up. I was absolutely exhausted from the previous two days and a little nervous about missing the race. It’s a good thing I set two alarms because in my sleep I turned off the first one and almost missed the second one. 
Actually it wasn’t the alarm that woke me up, it was our friend who was staying with us getting settled onto the bed in the living room that woke me up. 

I got up and zoomed around getting ready as fast as possible, and fast walked over to the bus. I was the last person on the first bus before they headed over to Epcot.  Once on the bus I texted my sister to let her know I was on my way! 

She responded that she would be leaving soon, so I got in line right away to meet some princesses. After I had met two different princesses, I got a text that she had locked her shoes in her room and didn’t have  key! 

Sooooo, I just kept hanging around with the Princesses waiting for her to arrive. 
When she arrived, I was almost next in line to Meet Mulan (again) so we snapped a quick picture and then had to head over to the corrals because they had already done “last call” announcements! 

As we walked my sister commented on how long the walk was! It’s nothing like the 10k where you start right in the parking lot. 
As soon as our corral left we started our run/walk intervals of 1:30 / 45. The course was really crowded, and a lot of people were trying to run in large groups so we did quite a bit of weaving.  Between mile 1 – 5 we cheered as the elite runners ran by us.  It’s kind of a blur as to the entertainment on the course, so I’m going to link you to Mindy’s blog – she stopped for all the characters with her friend Jenny! 
When I started the race I was feeling a little dehydrated so I had a slight cramp, but I pressed on. 
Once we made it into The Magic Kingdom I remember there being a TON of characters, and large crowds of people. We took a bathroom break just before mile 6 and kept on running. We did take a couple of selfies by the castle. 

Everything was going FABULOUS until mile 8. At Mile 8 I just wanted to cry… My cramp had gotten more severe and now my knees started hurting. 
WHAT?  My Knees??? 
I’ve never had a problem with my knees, so I was pretty discouraged. My sister kept dragging me along and then, (finally) we made it back to Epcot. 
I wish I remembered more about the last part of the course but all I remember was being in tears all the way through Epcot, and then feeling like my knees were going to shatter. 
I saw Donald Duck and decided to grab a selfie with him before the finish – he is my daughters favorite! 

We finished the race, I grabbed ice for both knees right away and headed back to my hotel. I didn’t stop for pictures, I didn’t look for people, I just went to my bus. In fact, I lost my sister in the crowd and just texted her from the bus – it was that bad. 

After some food and a shower I was feeling better, but my knees were still in pain and I still had that pesky side cramp. 
Our time was 2:57:08 
I was in a lot of pain but was still super proud of breaking 3 hours for the half. 

Question of the day: who is your favorite disney Prince? 

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – 10K Recap

Happy Wednesday friends!!

We are still working our way through my Princess half weekend recaps and today I am so excited to actually talk about the running.

I was pretty excited about the 10K mostly because we my sisters and I had pretty epic costumes, and it was the first RunDisney race for both of them! (See about our costumes here)

My husband arrived to Disney around 9:30 on Friday night and took over baby holding duty. The girls and I arrived on Thursday so I could be there for packet pick up and the kids races on Friday. As a result, our girls were missing Daddy and were both quite clingy.

Once both girls were sound asleep, I finally got my chance to go to sleep. I continued to wake up every hour until 1:00 a.m.. At 1:00 a.m., my husband was looking around the kitchen area, because the poor guy was starving. He didn’t eat dinner, he opted to just drive straight from work to Disney and only had a cup of coffee and a granola bar.

So, at 1:00 I just got up with him.

I took my sweet time getting my hair fixed, and putting on make-up, putting my wings on just trying to get my nerves in check. I have run several races, many of them at Disney – why do I still get super nervous EVERY time?

I was on the first bus over to the race, and quickly got in line to meet some princesses!  Since we were dressed as the Three Good Fairies, I knew we needed to get a picture with Aurora!

After our picture we headed over to our corral and waited for our turn to start.  When we finally got going my younger sister TOOK OFF! She was SO excited that she just went. I’m more of a slow and steady, run-walk-run type of girl so I just stuck to the interval we’d agreed on (2/1) and let them go their own thing.

The 10k seemed to fly by. Honestly, it was so much fun. I think it might be my favorite race distance to run at Disney.

After the race we stretched and headed back to our rooms to take a nap and then head out to Magic Kingdom (More on that in another post).

Question of the day: What is your favorite race distance?

Princess Half Marathon Kids Races

Happy Wednesday my friends!

I’m (slowly) making my way through the Princess Half Marathon weekend with all of you. Today I wanted to share some pictures and highlights from the Kids Races.

The theme for the whole weekend was The Little Mermaid, and the kids races medals were absolutely adorable (and if I could find where my kids hid it, I would have taken a picture).

This time the kids races had a huge area for the kids to play before or after their races. The area included:

  • Color your own crown
  • obstacle course 
  • music 
As done in previous kids races, they start with the 1-3 year olds and do all the “dashes” and then once all of the age groups have gone (just before the “Mickey Mile) they do the diaper dashes.  Since our group had two in the 1-3 age group and one in the 0-1 group we were out there pretty much all morning.  We packed lunches and while we waited for our turn enjoyed a pic-nic and played around in the field. It was such a beautiful day! 
I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again. The kids races are SO.MUCH.FUN. for your toddlers! (3 reasons to love Kids Races). 
The next opportunity to sign up for kids races (or RunDisney races) is Tuesday, March 29th at noon. This will be for the Wine and Dine weekend in November. We aren’t running the W&D this year, but are considering registering our girls for the kids races. (Stay tuned to RunDisney for information)
Question of the day: Do your kids love the same activities as you? 

Tips from Jeff Galloway – Fast and Fun – Its a state of mind

Good morning friends, I’ve received another set of tips from Jeff Galloway to share with all of you!  This time it’s all about speed! Who wants tips on how to improve your speed without increasing your risk of injury? 

_ _ _ 

FAST AND FUN—It’s a state of mind 

Why is running faster a good thing?  Short and fast segments not only help you run faster in races.  If you run a few faster segments each week you can improve your running efficiency while receiving a better attitude boost.

How long should you be running before you add some faster running in? After 2-3 months of regular running some short accelerations can be added with minimal risk of aches and pains. 

Is it possible that running fast can actually be fun?  Yes.  The secret is be creative and limit the length of the fast segment at first. 

How often should you run fast? Playful speed can be done once or twice a week.

Four Faster, Fun Workouts
1. Speed play that you can do on your own. ACCELERATE AND GLIDE.  After an easy 10 minute warmup of slow running, pick up the pace for 10 steps, then coast off the momentum for 10-20 steps.  Don’t be obsessed about the number of steps as this is just a guideline.  Don’t sprint–be playful.  Gradually pick up the pace, and then glide back down to a jog.  Repeat 2-3 times on your first attempt, and take a one minute walk break.  Each week you could increase the number of accelerations as you wish, with a recommended walk break of 1-2 minutes between each.

2. Speed play you can do with one friend—CHASE game.  After an easy 5 minute jog together, one person takes the lead.  As the leader changes the pace (speeding up, then slowing down, speeding up) the follower tries to stay close but not pass.  After 3-5 minutes, take a 1-2 minute walk break and repeat with the other runner leading.  Repeat as many times as desired.

3. Speed play you can do with two friends—SURPRISE game. Following the same format as game 1, the follower tries to surprise the leader by passing gently but quickly.  While there should be no sprinting, it is OK to run fast for 10-30 steps to pass.

4. A speed play workout you can do with three or more friends—INDIAN RUNNING.  The group is running single file for a minute or two at an easy pace.  Then, the last runner, passes all of the other runners and takes the lead for a minute or two.  The current leader sets the pace, and takes a walk break.  When the running resumes, the last runner starts to move to the front.  Each runner gets to take the lead at least once in this game.

_ _ _

I’m excited to try some of these tips on my next run! 

Question of the day: What pace are you working towards? I’m working on getting to an 11 min mile pace for distance. Right now I’m at about 12:30; so I have some work to do! 

Guest Post: My First RunDisney Expo

Happy Wednesday Friends! 

I have a little secret… I never actually went to the expo for Princess half. Yep… I skipped it.  My race packet and shirts were all in the same room as the Kids Races packets and since there had been tales of chaos over in the actual expo, I opted to keep my girls out of that mess. Honestly, there wasn’t anything I absolutely needed to purchase so it was the best decision. I am sad I missed it, but my sisters and niece went on Thursday evening. They seemed to have a great time, so I asked my little sister to share about her first ever RunDisney Expo and Packet pick up experience! 

Met Princess Minnie during packet pick up. 
Hello! My name is Dana and I am Erin’s younger sister.The Enchanted 10k was my first Disney race and my sister asked me to talk a little about my experience with the exposition and packet pick up!
I arrived in Orlando early Thursday afternoon with our other sister Ruth, so we could settle into our hotel rooms, pick up our packets and visit the exposition. The plan worked out for us because we didn’t have to rush to the Kids Races on Friday. Ruth kept Junebug (1.5 years)  in the carrier for most of our trip to the expo, so we wouldn’t have to worry about her running around.

Packet Pick-up: Quick and easy! In the downstairs hallway, there were computers and printers for people to print their own waiver. We printed our waivers ahead of time, so we skipped past that crowd. The main room was full of booths and each was clearly marked with the bib numbers that could be picked up there. Bib numbers are printed on the waivers and we were able to go straight to our assigned booths. 

After I picked up my packet, I found Ruth at the front of her line and she had already picked up Junebug’s packet. Since she was running the Glass Slipper challenge, she had to take a quick picture with her bib. 

There were 2 spots for character pictures, but no characters were out at this time.  We did get to do a Snow White themed photo opportunity! In honor of Snow White being released there was a green screen and 4 or 5 Snow White backgrounds to choose from. They printed out the photos for you AND they emailed you a digital copy! There were also free buttons on the table! 
Exposition: We had to go to another building for the Expo and this one was much more crowded! As soon as I looked down on the crowd I was ready to leave. 

I had to get over it for 3 reasons: 
  1. My shirt was on the far side of the room. Ruth and Junebug’s shirts were in the bag with their bibs because Ruth was a challenger and Junebug is a kid. 5k and 10k racers had to get shirts at the expo. Since there was nothing to do except pick up a shirt, that corner of the room was not crowded. If you needed a different size shirt, you had the opportunity to exchange it.
  2.  My sisters ordered from Rawthreads and Ruth needed to pick-up their shirts. 
  3. Ruth still had not purchased a running belt for herself and was also considering buying compression socks. 

By the time 1 and 2 were done I had made my peace with the crowd and started to enjoy the event. I was surprised by the amount of free stuff given away. We picked up a lot of samples throughout the expo and we took pictures at the GoodSense booth. GoodSense had a green screen and we could choose our 1 of 3 backgrounds and they emailed us a digital copy of our photo. They also had a prize wheel to spin and I won a sample pack. Junebug won a high five and looked so cute holding up her hand for her high five, she was also given a cowbell. Although it didn’t look too busy when I peeked in,  I never made it into the area where the “I did it” shirts were sold; but that’s okay because I really liked the 10k shirt that RunDisney provided with my registration.

_ _ _
Dana rocked her first RunDisney race and is *thinking* about doing another one next year after she accomplishes some swimming goals! 
Anyway, if you enjoyed hearing from Dana you can check out her FB page. She shares a lot of motivational posts and healthy recipes.  
For more about the Princess weekend, check back on the next couple of Wednesdays or here (10K costume) and here (half marathon costume). 

Disney Princess Half Marathon Outfit Reveal!

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Last Wednesday I revealed our costume for the 10K. It was a LOT of fun to fun in costume, and receive compliments on our totally awesome costumes – BUT, I was pretty excited to NOT be running with wings for the Princess Half.

Last June my sister and I decided we would be the Eels from the Little Mermaid, Yes… JUNE (before we knew the theme!). So, when it was 3 weeks before the race and the only thing we had was a green visor an no outfit inspiration for these Eel costumes, we turned to Raw Threads.

We decided to purchase the ‘I’m with the Villains” wear our green visors and a black Sparkle Athletic skirt. We decided to put a yellow eye on the visor to be more inspired by the eels and last minute I traced a little mermaid onto each eye.

Overall I was very happy with our costumes, because they were SUPER comfy, easy to run in and I felt we looked adorable!

DIY Little Mermaid Eye

  1. Pull up a picture of the mermaid on your phone
  2. Put the yellow paper onto your phone
  3. trace the mermaid 
  4. cut into a circle
Costume Pieces
  • Sparkle Athletic visor 
  • Sparkle Athletic Skirt
  • Compression Shorts
  • Raw Threads Villains shirt 
  • Pro Compression Socks 
Question of the day: Who is your favorite Disney Villain?

Disney Princess Half Marathon Outfit Reveal!

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Last Wednesday I revealed our costume for the 10K. It was a LOT of fun to fun in costume, and receive compliments on our totally awesome costumes – BUT, I was pretty excited to NOT be running with wings for the Princess Half.

Last June my sister and I decided we would be the Eels from the Little Mermaid, Yes… JUNE (before we knew the theme!). So, when it was 3 weeks before the race and the only thing we had was a green visor an no outfit inspiration for these Eel costumes, we turned to Raw Threads.

We decided to purchase the ‘I’m with the Villains” wear our green visors and a black Sparkle Athletic skirt. We decided to put a yellow eye on the visor to be more inspired by the eels and last minute I traced a little mermaid onto each eye.

Overall I was very happy with our costumes, because they were SUPER comfy, easy to run in and I felt we looked adorable!

DIY Little Mermaid Eye

  1. Pull up a picture of the mermaid on your phone
  2. Put the yellow paper onto your phone
  3. trace the mermaid 
  4. cut into a circle
Costume Pieces
  • Sparkle Athletic visor 
  • Sparkle Athletic Skirt
  • Compression Shorts
  • Raw Threads Villains shirt 
  • Pro Compression Socks 
Question of the day: Who is your favorite Disney Villain?

Budget-Friendly RunDisney Costume: Three Good Fairies!

This post may contain affiliate links. 

On Saturday we ran the first part of the Glass Slipper Challenge at Walt Disney World. I plan to do a full re-cap of the race with pictures, but I’m still waiting on a few things before that so in the meantime, here are our costumes!

I ran with my two sisters, and we decided to be the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. My younger sister was SO excited about this, because her all-time favorite Princess is Aurora.

We got a lot of compliments on our costumes, and had a lot of fun during the race.

Costume Pieces 

My costume:

I already owned the pink skirt, shorts and shirt so really the only money I spent on this costume was the wings for the three of us. So, if you already have basic colored clothing it is pretty easy to make an adorable costume for just a few dollars and a trip to the Dollar Tree!

The question of the day: Do you run in costume?


My Daughter’s FIRST Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar!

If you spend any time around Disney, chances are you’ve eaten something shaped like the beloved Mickey Mouse.  My favorite mouse shaped treat is the Premium ice cream bar! Smooth creamy vanilla ice cream shaped like Mickey Mouse with a thick coating of chocolate surrounding it.

It always tastes best when eaten on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, but I’m sure that’s just because you are looking at the castle. You can purchase the treat at the resorts and each of the parks, I just prefer to eat it on Main Street before the parade (It’s tradition).

Our “babymoon” 11/2013 
Since having children I haven’t gotten many of them because I just didn’t want to share, but on a warm February day in 2016 I decided it was time to introduce my oldest daughter (2 years old) to the joys of a Premium Ice Cream Bar. 
The verdict: She LOVED it! 

How old were you when you enjoyed your first Mickey Ice Cream Bar? 

First Premium Ice Cream Bar, 2-14-16 

Top 3 Rides in Epcot for Small Children


Epcot is the best place for young children. There is so much to love. For example, in each 
country, there is a Kid-Cot Fun Stop. There will be a cast member there with a craft for your kids to complete (for free).  It can be a great activity for your kids to do if it’s particularly busy that day. I love to walk around the World Showcase, I love to eat around the World Showcase, and some people even love to drink around the World Showcase. Typically it is considered to be a park for adults and it is, it really is, but don’t hesitate to bring your little ones to Epcot. There is plenty of fun things for them to do.

This post is to talk more about the rides my two girls (2-years-old and 9 months) have been loving lately!

Spaceship Earth.

This slow moving ride is perfect for your young family. When you first enter the ride you will answer a few questions on a screen and have your picture taken, then you will ride through the “big ball” and learn about the history of communication.

At the end of the ride, your picture is used to show you a cute and sometimes funny video.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

If you love Finding Nemo, you will enjoy this ride. This is another slow-moving ride that loosely follows the Finding Nemo story and at the end plays a catchy song.

We squeeze our family of 4 on one cart for this ride and enjoy watching our girls clap and point at all the “fishies”.

Gran Fiesta Tour Featuring the Three Caballeros

Our two year old LOVES Donald Duck (and Daisy). Our number 1 must do ride when she is with us at Epcot is the boat ride in the Mexican Pavilion. It’s kind of a hidden gem because when you walk into the pavilion it looks like several shops and a restaurant. Keep going! There is an adorable boat ride, fun for the whole family!

The question of the day: Have you ever been to Epcot? So there you have it, our little lady’s top ride picks for Epcot!

Top 3 Magic Kingdom Rides – 2 and Under


Training Update – RunDisney Glass Slipper Challenge!

*Calling all Princesses!*

The Princess Half Waivers and Corrals have been posted, so go check it out!

I was literally jumping up and down when these posted, I was just SUPER excited!! To be honest with you, it wasn’t until this week that I really got excited. A few weeks ago, all our plans kind of fell apart when my husband wasn’t able to get Friday off. Thankfully everything is sorted out now, and my dear friend is going to come with me to help with the girls at the kids races and packet pick up until my husband comes on Friday evening.


The corrals are posted and I’m not in the last corral (and neither is my sister) sooo…


Come on Princess Half!!!!!!! (but remember).

Now, lets talk Training.

Ever since my PR at the #miamifamous half Marathon, I have been SO motivated and excited to run. I’ve been hitting the treadmill after the girls are in bed and really enjoying my runs. So, I’m ready!

On Friday I will be running 5 miles and then Saturday I’ll attempt 14 miles. We will see how it goes on the treadmill for 14 miles. It’s supposed to rain on Saturday, so I just going to go straight to the gym, get some movies ready to go on my phone and RUN!

I’m strangely excited about it too. …

Next week is time to taper, HOORAY!!!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite ride at Walt Disney World?

Our Top 3 Rides in Magic Kingdom for Kids 2 and Under

Hello Disney loving friends!

For today’s post I wanted to give our top 3 favorite rides for families with very young children. These are my 2 year old’s MOST requested rides at the Magic Kingdom! I’m pretty excited that she loves these rides so much because I love them and also want to ride them over and over again!

As a point of reference, we have annual passes and very rarely wait in long lines for rides. We use the fast pass+ or often times go to the Magic Kingdom late in the evening after the girls have napped a lot of the guests have departed for the day.

Number 3. 

The Little Mermaid. 

My 2 year old has recently fallen IN.LOVE. with Ariel and the Little Mermaid movie. On our most recent trip to the Magic Kingdom there was no line for the Little Mermaid ride and so we rode it 3 or 4 times without getting off.

The line for this ride is also pretty cute, you get to see scuttle, some of the treasures Ariel finds and outside is Prince Eric’s castle and a boat with Ariel on the front.

Why we like the ride:

  • Slow moving
  • Bright colors
  • Music
  • Our family of 4 can ride together 
Number 2.5 (BONUS).
Winnie the Pooh. 
At 5 months old my oldest daughter identified Winnie the Pooh as her favorite. She loves the color yellow and Winnie the Pooh (still does at 2 years old).  So, I had to include this ride as a top for our family.  
The line for this ride is also very interactive, there are lots of games and activities to keep the little ones entertained. 
Why we like the ride: 
  • slow moving
  • brightly colored
  • fun music
  • our family of 4 can ride together
Number 2. 


When you think Walt Disney World, you think Disney… (am I right?).  It is simply a MUST DO ride. My husband grew up loving the movie Dumbo, and of course the ride as well.  Our 2 year old will now ask us to go to Disney to ride Dumbo. We can’t go to the Magic Kingdom without a fast pass for this ride. 
Recently Disney expanded this ride to have two dumbo rides and a huge play area for young children under the big top. We haven’t used the play area yet, but are looking forward to using it when our youngest gets a little older.  I believe there is a system in place where you can play for a bit inside the play ground and then go ride the ride, I’m not certain how that works but it sounds really great for families! 
Why we like this ride:
  • It’s Dumbo. 
  • Children are able to move the cart up and down
  • outside 
  • Iconic Disney Ride 
Number 1. 

The Carousel

Although Dumbo is her most requested ride while at home planning for a Disney trip, our top ride for 2 and under is the Carousel. I put it as number one because our daughter melts into a thousand pieces if we walk by this ride without riding it – she just LOVES it! 
One lesson I recently learned was that during the fireworks they close the ride down. This was quite unfortunate because that’s when we were about to go ride it. We spent some time with the princesses while we waited for it to open and all was well, but it is something to consider. 
The line isn’t too exciting, it wraps around the carousel and is pretty hot during the day because there is limited shade. We prefer to do this ride in the evening or early morning. 
Why we like this ride: 
  • Indepence
    • My daughter can ride a horse all by herself (with mom right there)
  • Beautiful views of the castle
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Iconic Disney ride
I’m sure as our children age, even this year, they will begin to have new favorite rides – it’s only natural. I am excited that these are their current favorites because they are some of my favorites too! 
Question of the day: What’s your most favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom?

#Miamifamous Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday we talked about the #miamifamous Expo, and TODAY we get to talk about the RACE!!

Seriously… WAY too early. But, we needed to be awake, and check out before we left for the race. So,… just like when you #rundisney, we got up far too early. 
In order to really wake up I like to take a quick warm shower! 
I spent quite a bit of time getting ready, I put on some make up, fixed my hair, ate an apple and slowly got all my things together for the race! 
We checked out before the race and seriously… that took FOR-EV-ER. There was only 1 employee and a bunch of people asking questions. I felt bad for the guy because he was getting flustered, but… it’s part of the fun of being a race hotel I guess. 
It took about an hour to get from the metromover, through bag check and into the corral. I met up with a friend (Crystal from RunDisneyDork) and somehow in the process lost my husband in the sea of people. He was in a different corral so it was okay, he called me right before the start of the race.
I was in the very last corral, and honestly… it bothered me because I’m so tired of always being at the end but… it was okay, I had a new running friend to keep me company. 
The race started and I was freezing! I knew if I was freezing during the first mile I’d need to keep my blanket to stay warm while I waited for my husband to finish the full. So,… I stuffed the blanket into my running belt as small as possible and ran. 
Mile 1 is straight onto a bridge, but I was so happy to finally be running I didn’t notice it too much. Crystal and I were doing 30/30 intervals and I was feeling fantastic. 

In no time at all we were across the first bridge and on our way to the second. Still feeling strong with our 30/30 intervals we entered Miami Beach! I joked with Crystal about how it was just a quick 10K around South Beach, back over the bridge and we were done. 
Well, it turns out it was pretty quick because with the distraction of the crowds and sunrise we were heading back over the causeway in no time! 

Around mile 10 I started to need to stop and go to the bathroom, I thought I could hold it but at mile 11 Crystal kept running and I stopped to go.  I hung around outside the bathroom for a little bit trying to see if Crystal had stayed or kept running, and finally decided she had most likely kept going. 
So,… off I went. 
Right before we got to mile 13 I saw Crystal just ahead of me and so I sped up so we could finish together. I was feeling so strong and proud of myself and Crystal because we just really had a FANTASTIC race! 

I crossed the finish line with an 11 minute PR and I’m still floating with excitement.  I finally broke the 3 hour half marathon mark!  Not bad for the girl who spent 3:27 minutes on her first half marathon just a few short years (and two pregnancies) ago! 

#miamifamous 2016 – Packet Pick up and Expo

If you saw my Fitness Friday post, you saw that my husband and I registered for the #miamifamous half and full marathons over a year ago during the registration blitz (happening now).

We were SUPER excited when we registered but with a job change, a move, a new baby and life itself the race weekend kind of snuck up on us.

We loaded the car on Friday night, and then left early Saturday morning for Miami. After dropping the girls off with my in-laws and having some lunch we headed to the hotel to check in.

We stayed at one of the race recommended hotels in Brickell, and it was a great choice as it was walking distance to the public transportation.

After checking in, we walked up the street to catch the Miami Metromover and head over to Bayside to catch a shuttle to the expo. The expo was held in a large warehouse in Wynnwood, it is my understanding that it’s often used for art shows.

The expo was loud and vibrant, honestly, I would expect nothing less from a Miami race. When we walked in there were large letters spelling out “Miami Marathon” and on the letters were the names of all the participants.

My husband and I were both on the “M” for Marathon. I was pretty excited about that because my husband was running the Marathon. Obviously I made him take a picture.

Picking up our packet was quick and easy, if you’ve ever done a Disney race, it was exactly the same set up. One thing I also noticed (and loved) was lots of information booths throughout the expo. When I registered my husband and I we didn’t have good times so we were both in the last corral. However, he was able to give a better time and move up one corral at the expo.

We looked around, did some shopping and took some more pictures before heading back to our hotel for dinner.

We ended up eating at Power Pizza for dinner and loving it. Actually, we loved it so much we ended up back there after the race for lunch! Power Pizza is a Miami native restaurant and is called Power Pizza because they use Whey protein inside the dough.  Read the story of Power Pizza here.

I couldn’t sleep, but I did enjoy watching some TV for a few hours before falling asleep.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to find out about the race!

Question of the day: Have any tips for falling asleep before a race? 

What is Club Disney at Hollywood Studios?

On our most recent trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios my husband wanted to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster before we left. So, I took the girls to explore while he waited in line for the ride.

I happened to see a big sign just beyond Rockin’ Roller Coaster with the FAB 5 on it, so we went to check it out. I then noticed Pluto was in a courtyard taking pictures, so he went over to say hello to Pluto.

A cast member invited us to dance with Pluto and friends inside club cool, so we did. I didn’t think my two year old would have as much fun as she did – mostly because she’s terrified of the characters who wear masks, but she DID. In fact, we were there for over two hours dancing and having the best time!

It’s kind of a hidden gem of Hollywood Studios, as it’s beyond Rockin’ Roller coaster, and typically I would just gone on the ride and moved on and never even known about Club Disney, but with kids you end up finding great treasures!

What is Club Disney? 
4 Disney Characters at a time come out and dance with the guests for about 30 minutes while a DJ plays music, and clips from movies play on big screens around the ceiling.

There is also places for you to charge your phone, a bathroom, and snack bar to purchase food.

What age is it for? 
All ages.

Extra Cost? 
Nope. It was included in your park admission.

Who are the Characters? 
When we were there (1/18/16) the characters were Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Donald.

The characters came out 4 at a time and danced for about 30 minutes.

More info on the Disney Parks Blog.

Here are some photos from our dance party with our Disney Pals!

Question of the Day: Have you ever danced with your favorite Disney Pals? 

3 Reasons to Love RunDisney Kids Races

I’m so excited to share about the 2016 WDW Kids Races!! This was my 2-year-old’s third time running in the Kids Races, and my 8-month-old’s FIRST time.

We left our home bright and early and headed over to the Expo and Kids Races. I just love the energy during Marathon weekend, I love seeing everyone proudly displaying their medals, and wearing their “I did it” shirts.

It’s so hard to attend Marathon Weekend without getting inspired by the amazing stories.

We picked up our packet, and the shirt this year was ADORABLE! It was white with Steamboat Willie and vintage Mickey.  I have to give a HUGE shout out to the voluntEAR helping me with my girl’s packets this year. I was a little annoying and couldn’t make up my mind if I’d gotten the right size shirts for my girls and she was just so kind and helpful. I apologized for being annoying and she laughed and said it wasn’t annoying to make sure your kid has the right size shirt, which of course made me feel so much better.

After recieving our bibs, we headed out to the Kids Races for some fun!

PRO TIP: You can pick your bib up for the kids races, the day of. Packet pick up is on your way to the field!

2016 Kids Races 

2016 Kids Races 

Little Lady’s group went first. It was adorable to see all the little 1-3-year-olds running the 100-yard dash. My husband ran with her and I waited near the finish line with the family (both sides of grandparents, aunties, uncle, and cousin).  After her dash, we had to wait about an hour before our love bug was able to participate in her Diaper Dash, but with the DJ going the time passes pretty quickly!

The mat for the Diaper dash was pretty far from the spectators this year, so I wanted to be in the last heat of babies to crawl.  This would help our family to have a better opportunity to see her race. It turned out to be the best decision ever because it was just our little bug and one other baby crawling with Mickey Mouse
ChEARing on our love bug

2016 Kids Races 
Me with my Minnie Me.

Jimenez 4 
I absolutely LOVE participating in the kid’s races and here are 3 reasons why. 
1. FUN Fitness – As parents, it is important to model healthy living for our children. RunDisney is SO much fun for adults, and the Kids Races give our children the opportunity to experience a FUN Fitness event from a very young age. 
2. Dress Up! – Who doesn’t love dressing up and being active with their family? For my oldest daughters first RunDisney race, we all dressed up as Tigger, Piglet, and Pooh. This year, I dressed up as Minnie to match my Minnie Me and put on a Tigger bow to match my youngest.

2014 – Tower of Terror Kids Races 

2014 Tower of Terror Kids Races 

3. It’s a DEAL!  – Seriously! The Kids Races are less than *20.00 and for that money you get;

  • Race bib with your kid’s name
  • Snacks after the race
  • A Cotton Tee
  • Medal 
  • A Chance to see a Disney Pal 
  • DJ playing music throughout the event
UPDATE: The prices have increased to $25.00 as of 2018.

We always sign our girls up for the kid’s races, and they play with their medals pretty much every day. I love seeing my girls enjoy running, and look forward to running 5K’s and other distances with them as they get older. 
The question of the day: Who would you dress up as with your family if you participated in a RunDisney race together? 

RunDisney Glass Slipper Challenge Training

In 5 weeks I get to run through the streets of Walt Disney World with both my sisters and I couldn’t be more excited! Unfortunately, I haven’t exactly done much training since November. My reason  excuse is the holidays mixed in with disney passes (a.k.a. Disney almost every weekend) and a sick husband and babies.

My girls have been passing a cold back and forth, and then when they are both better the weather goes from SUPER hot to cold and rainy – it’s so annoying! Anyway… here is my updated training plan for the next 5 weeks.

Tuesdays and Thursdays after the baby is in bed, I will sneak away to the treadmill and get some miles in while my husband is home to watch the girls. My husband does his long run on Saturday so I will get up before church on Sunday and get a longer run in.

I don’t like the idea of so many treadmill runs, but it’s got to happen. My older daughter (2 years old) has decided to drop naps. Therefore, as SOON as we put her in the jogger in the evening she goes to sleep and then… it’s next to impossible to get her down for the night. So, in order to avoid that I either have to run with them during the day or run on the treadmill at night when my husband is home.

I *might* be able to get the double jogger out the door on my own during the day every once in a while, but it’s not easy because of the set up of our apartment and the fact that it doesn’t fit through the door without taking the wheels off.


So, there you have it. My plan to get me to the finish line with a smile on my face.

Question of the day: How do you keep focused on a treadmill?

Our Storybook Life – 2015 Review

The year 2015 had a lot of big, exciting and scary changes for our family. I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the year, for each challenge I am thankful as it brought new things into our lives, and made us a better family.

We are looking forward to the year 2016 ready for what God has planned for us.


  • Diagnosed with gestational diabetes (again)
  • Celebrated the marriage of my sister in law
  • Pulled everything out for the new baby and got it washed and ready! 
  • Husband interviewed in Southwest Florida
  • Started prepping the condo to sell 


  • Welcomed Baby Girl! 
  • My husband started a new job in Southwest Florida
  • Sold our condo! 


  • Moved to Southwest Florida (Mother’s Day weekend…)
  • Started attending a new church 
  • Celebrated my husbands birthday! 


  • Surprise visit from my husband’s family! 
  • Visit from our besties (who live way too far away); double date to the movies and dinner! 
  • Attempted to start running again. 
  • All clear results from blood work (no more gestational diabetes!)
  • Sold our car
  • Bought a new car


  • Fourth of July in Miami
  • Visits to Central Florida to see family and friends


  • Family visits us in Southwest Florida
  • Beach Days
  • Lots of visits to the park on Friday afternoons
  • Settling into life in Southwest Florida


  • New Orleans Trip
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Babies First Halloween


  • Fort Myers Half Marathon 
  • Baby’s First Thanksgiving
  • Celebrating my birthday!
  • New York
  • Celebrating our 7th Anniversary
  • Disney Annual Passholders!
  • Baby’s first Christmas 
  • Happy New Year!
Thank you for being a part of our year, we look forward to 2016 and all the adventure it will bring!