Monday, January 30, 2012

A New Age Group

Well, tomorrow's the day.

I turn the big 4-0.


I've been fine with the idea of it, it's just a number, and 40 is the new 20, right?  I got ID'd at the liquor store the other day, the sales guy said he would never have thought I was that age, so that gave me a bit of a boost.  But then on Saturday night, it started to sink in. I realized it was the last weekend of my thirties, and I was sitting there in my pj's, with a glass of wine, playing catch up with the DVR.  Shouldn't I have been dancing on a table, or running around with a lampshade on my head? Or something??  I told Mike I didn't want a party, and I still don't, our trip to Disney was the best present I could ask for. Part of me wants to commemorate the day, but the other part of me wants to climb into my bed and wait for Wednesday.

My mother in law just left after staying with us for a couple of weeks, and my Mom is arriving this afternoon for a week. After she leaves, my Dad, and younger sister arrive for the weekend.  Tomorrow I'm heading to Mirbeau for a spa day, then I think we're going out to eat somewhere for dinner.  I have a stack of birthday cards to open, as well as a big package from five of my BFF's.  In a little while I'm going to head out into the snow, for one last run as a 39 year old.

I have much to celebrate and be thankful for, and I'm looking forward to whatever comes next.

Hopefully it's a chocolate birthday cake.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fast Friday Five

1. I just hauled myself off the couch after sitting there for the past 3 hours. I was trying to deny that  I was coming down with something, but I have. It feels a bit like my sinuses are filled with sand.

2. I have officially started half marathon training, I'm really excited for the More/Fitness Magazine Half, coming in April. Anyone else registered for this one??

3. This week when I was doing laundry, I realized I was washing clean clothes.

4. Eliza and I just split a Twinkie. It didn't taste like it used to. Maybe because it wasn't smashed up from being inside a lunch box.

5. Did you enter my Bob Harper Kettle bell DVD giveaway??? Check it out, here!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tag Time

I haven't done a random fact post in a while, and I was tagged by these two lovelies, Kristen from Run for Wine, and Jen from Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood.

And there are rules......

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

And I must share 11 random items about me:

1. My left foot is a size 11. My right foot is an 11.5.
2. My first car was a 1978 orange Chevy Malibu, the speedometer was broken the whole time I owned it. It finally died while my sister M was driving it, the floor under the pedals had rusted away, and the rug caught on fire from the heat of the engine.  No accidents or injury, she just pulled over and someone called the cops.
3.I have a dent in my forehead, which I got while I was a kid. I walked into an open dryer door at the laundromat.
4.When I go to bed, I must have a glass of water (which I usually drink at four a.m.), lip balm (which I put on after drinking), and tissues (because my nose is always running) on my nightstand.
5. No matter what I do, I always burn grilled cheese.
6. I have a scar on my inside arm, that perfectly matches my sister M's fingernail.
7. I've had a subscription to Glamour magazine for 19 years.
8. I was a Cheerleader Captain in High School.  I'll do a cheer for you, all you have to do is ask.
9. I'm appalled that my youngest sister A (by 12 years) hasn't seen movies like Better Off Dead.
10. I'm afraid of bridges.
11. I think that life is what you make of it.

And I must answer these 11 questions, from Kristen:

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? When people say AND when saying the date. As in two thousand AND one. AND means period, just say two thousand one.
2. If stranded on a desert island what 3 personal items (not including survival tools) would you want? lip balm, dental floss, and a book.
3. What’s the one food you could never give up? pizza. I can't even fathom the thought of giving it up.
4. What’s your best quality? I can liven things up if it needs to be done.
5. What was the last thing you really laughed over? When the dog brought a frozen piece of poop into the family room, and started playing with it.
6. What is your go-to book recommendation? Anything by Marian Keyes.
7. What’s your ideal time of day to workout? In the morning, get it done, then you have the whole rest of the day to do whatever.
8. What’s the last food you ate? a piece of banana bread.
9. Who is your favorite athlete (dead or alive)? Derek Jeter, or anyone from the 1986 NY Mets.
10. What’s the last movie you watched and would you recommend it? Bridesmaids, oh yes, I would recommend it.
11. Toilet paper over or under? Over. I really don't care, but my husband is particularly OCD about the toilet paper, so that's how I do it.

And now, the questions from Jen:

You are stranded on a deserted island.  Tell me

1. What are the 5 foods you would pick to have with you? bread, peanut butter, cheese, apples, and chocolate chip cookies. 
2. What 2 things would you pick to drink? water and coffee. Although I would miss my vino.
3. What book would you want to have? The Bible. I've never read the whole thing, but I would have plenty of time to read it on the island.
4. You are visited by ONE person for 24 hours only, who is it? My husband.  My kids have the rest of their life to travel to deserted islands.
5. You can have ONE skill that you do not currently posses? What is it? To hold my breath for a really long time so I could dive deep and search for the big fish.

You just won 5 million dollars! Tell me

1. What is the first thing you do? pay off my debt, and the debt of my family. 
2. What is the first thing you buy? plane tickets to Japan.
3. Who is the first person you share your winnings with? my hubs. He's let me stay home for several years, so I should share with him.
4. Would you relocate? Where? I'd keep our house in Syracuse, but I'd buy an apartment in our old neighborhood in Astoria so we could go back and forth.
5. Would you donate to charity? Yes, to the National Stroke Association, American Cancer Society, and the ASPCA.
6. You must buy me a gift, what do you get me?? running shoes! duh!!!

And now, these are the 11 questions I came up with:

1. what is the one song you never tire of?
2. what scares you?
3. what's on your bucket list?
4. salty or sweet?
5. what would you do with an unexpected day off?
6. boxers or briefs?
7. what would you have for your last meal?
8. what is your favorite body part?
9. what do you like best about your job?
10. Giants or Patriots?
11. what is your goal for 2012?

And this is who I tagged:

1. TriMOEngr at Climbing those hills
2. Wells L at My Story Chapter 2
3. Johann at Run Tall, Walk Tall
4. Stefano at Run With The Black Knight
5. Christi at Pedestrian Runner
6. BDD at Big Daddy Diesel
7. Miss Zippy
8. Marcia at The Studly Runner
9. Jill from Run With Jill
10. Michelle from Running With Attitude
11. Heather at 365 Days of Awesome

Have Fun!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I've Got Mail

I'm a happy girl when the mailbox holds something other than bills.  And last week did not disappoint!

I received a package from Italy, it was from Stefano, of Run With The Black Knight!

He was my Secret Gift Exchange Buddy, that Jill organized last December.  The package held a Nike neck warmer, a Moleskine planner, and a key chain from Venice!  You might remember in an older post, that last year Stefano sent me a key chain from Venice, but all I received was an empty envelope. He later sent me a key chain from Brussels, that I did receive. And this time around, everything was accounted for.  I've already worn the neck warmer, and in true Black Knight spirit, everything was black. Thank You Stefano!!!

Remember CSN Stores?  They're called Wayfair now, and I think the new website is much easier to navigate.  I had a chance to review one of their products, and I chose a lamp, which we really needed.  We have a desk for Luke and Eliza in a corner of the living room, but it was a pretty dark space.  I had to assemble the lamp, which meant threading the electric cord through each of the pieces that made up the stand (I used a chopstick to get it through the tight spots), and screwing in the lampshades.  It took 15 minutes to put together, and I really like the separate lampshade that I can focus directly on the desk.

Last year I did a two week challenge with Amazing Grass, and I'm about to do it again.  It entails cutting back on sugar, and eating as clean as possible, while having a daily dose of Amazing Meal, which I add to smoothies.  Instead of my usual chocolate flavor, I chose Pomegranate Mango, which just arrived.  I'll keep you posted.

Do you ever watch the Today Show? On Thursday's they have a feature, with items you can buy online for a ridiculous discount.  I've never ordered anything from it before, but last week, I couldn't turn down one particular item.  It's a Kathy Kaehler workout DVD, which is a celeb favorite.  It was usually $250, but the bargain price was $18!!

So I ran and got my credit card.

I'll let you know if my butt starts to look like Julia Robert's.

*Note, I was provided with a lamp from Wayfair for the purpose of the review, the opinions on the product are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bob Harper Kettlebell Workout, Review and Giveaway!

I've always been a fan of Bob Harper, I like how he puts his Biggest Loser Contestants through the wringer, but he seems to have a sensitive side as well.  I sometimes wonder how it would be to have a session with a celebrity trainer, I actually once entered a contest for a chance to work out with Bob.

When we got home from vacation, this was waiting for me:

Yahoo! Shine recently launched a new feature on their site called the Get It Guide, showcasing the things women are searching for and talking about, and the current Get It Guide topic is at home fitness.  Which is where this kettle bell workout comes in.

I enjoy kettle bell workouts, they're different, and fun. Bob's was similar to ones I've done in the past, but his kettle bell is ergonomically shaped, so that when you raise it up, it fits more comfortably against your arm, as opposed to traditional kettle bells:

The contoured purple bell is Bob's.

The 30 minute workout went by quickly, there was a warm up, followed by a demonstration on the correct  posture to have while using the kettle bell.  I was moving the entire time, doing squats, jumping jacks, and swinging the kettle bell.  One segment in particular was challenging.  It was a one legged row, I had to put my opposite foot down a couple of times so I wouldn't fall over, but I felt the burn in my hamstrings.  Bob included a stretch in between sets, which was good because I needed it!

We ended the session (don't you like how I say "we") with more stretches and then it was over.  I felt it in my hamstrings later in the day, and even more the next morning, but I was still able to do my Virtual 10k for Team Gab.


Would you like to try Bob's Kettle Bell workout?  Here's your chance!

To enter:

1. tell me your favorite workout DVD
2. be a friend of my blog
3. follow me on twitter @MollySBaker
4. share the info on twitter, your blog, facebook, etc.
5. this is off topic, but it's soup season, and I need some new ideas.  Let me know your favorite soup recipe!

I will choose a winner using on Monday, January 30th.

*Yahoo! Shine provided the product on behalf of their Get It Guide for the purpose of this review.  The opinions on the product are my own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Love A Virtual Race or Two

I'm feeling motivated on many levels, running wise, work wise, family wise.  I got so much done yesterday, that I was able to squeeze in the first of two Virtual Races I'm doing this week.  And kick off my half marathon training at the same time.

This 3.5 mile run was to celebrate Toni's (Running, Loving, Living) Birthday and 1st Blogiversary.  I needed to catch up on my Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on the DVR (who else has been watching??? Season finale next week!), so I hopped on the treadmill:

I worked up a good sweat, and tried to take a decent photo of myself, but Frank kept licking my face.

Today I'm going to do another virtual race, this time for Team Gab!

There is still time to register for this one, and raise funds for Pediatric Cancer Research, check it out here!!!!! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Many Firsts, the Disney Edition

It feels like we were gone for longer than seven days.  We packed so much into our trip, but it never felt overwhelming. I'm playing a game of catch up now, after Christmas and vacation, reality is going to hit hard tomorrow. 

We hit Disney World at a perfect time of year, the crowds were minimal, aside from the marathon runners we saw on Monday.  I watched one guy walk down a set of steps sideways, and I told him I knew the feeling.  We made sure to get to the parks as soon as they opened, and went directly to the most popular rides, we were able to walk right on, with little or no wait.  Then we got fast passes for rides we wanted to do in the afternoon.

Monday was Animal Kingdom
Tuesday was Magic Kingdom
Wednesday was Epcot
Thursday was Disney Hollywood Studios AND Epcot
Friday was Animal Kingdom AND Magic Kingdom.  

It sounds like a lot, on Tuesday alone we went on 14 attractions, saw 2 parades, and the fireworks show.  But we took the time to have a good lunch every day, we sat down for every ride, and had snacks and lots of water.  We went to the pool and hot tub at night, to work out the kinks in our tired feet. I didn't go near the pool, it was freezing, but my kids are tough.

I didn't run the whole trip. But this was the highest mileage for Friday, we walked a total of 34 miles over five days.

There were many other Firsts:

Eliza lost her first tooth walking out of the Soarin' ride at Epcot:

L & E battled Darth Vader for the first time:

I saw my friend of over 26 years, Christopher (who I think of whenever I see a bottle of Kahlua), the last time we were in Disney together, it was the ninth grade:

First time the kids freaked out at a 3D movie, It's Tough to Be a Bug. I myself didn't like the "stinger" that shot out of my seat and into my back. 

First time they met and got autographs from Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Mr. & Mrs. Incredible.  Eliza and I went to lunch with the Princesses: Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White and Ariel.  

Luke was psyched to see Mater and Lightening McQueen. 

It was the first time we tried Chick-fil-a, 

and Giordano's authentic deep dish Chicago Pizza (I'm still a devoted fan of NY style pizza).

I was excited to see Cinderella's castle again for the first time, so much so, that I bought a castle ornament, as well as castle mug. 

I was surprised at how much Eliza liked the Lego Store on our first visit:

it was probably the wall of Legos. 

The first time we rode Splash Mountain, L&E loved it so much, we rode it THREE times.

The first time we rode It's A Small World, Mike said it smelled like an attic.

The first time we rode the Safari ride, an Ostrich came so close to me, I thought it was going to bite my head off.

The kids had their names written in Arabic, Japanese and Chinese for the first time as we went through all the different countries in Epcot.

Mike bought a new video camera, that also took photos.  This was the first time he used it, and took a total of two hours of video, and almost 400 photos.  

I took over a 100. 

I think the next time we go on vacation, it's going to be to the beach.  And the first time I move, it will be to adjust my lounge chair. 

What have you done for the first time recently????

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who goes to Disney World Marathon Weekend and doesn't run? ME.

Remember how we planned a trip to Disney, and then the furnace blew, and we had to spend the Disney cash on a new one?

As luck would have it, I'm still making the trip down.

This is me, the last time I was in Disney, with my dear friend Anna, and friend Natalie.  We went with the high school marching band, I played the flute, and we marched in a Disney Parade.

Do you like my green sunglasses??

It took me a couple of weeks, but I realized that I'm arriving in Orlando the same weekend as the Disney Marathon. Only a few hours after it starts.

Oh well.

I'm hoping to try and meet up with a friend of mine, as well as some other bloggers.  The weekend is coming at a perfect time, with the post-Christmas let down, snowy Syracuse, and the stress over the health of my father in law. I just can't wait to get the heck out of here, and decompress.

But I do have some races to register for.

The Boilermaker 15k will celebrate it's 35th Anniversary this summer, I was able to defer my registration from last summer to this summer because of my foot, but they made a change.  I have to register with everyone else, but I have a code to use for the fee. This is my favorite race, and it gets more and more popular by the year, so I've got to get on the ball Saturday and register.

There is one other race that I want to do, and registration is next week, the More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon, it takes place in April, in Central Park.  Several of my friends want to run it, but this one is very popular, we'll see if I can get a chance to break away from It's A Small World and register for it.

aaaaaaaaaaand......I had to go bathing suit shopping.

In January.

After Christmas.

With pale, white, winter skin.

I found one online, and ordered it in two sizes.  I'll bring both with me, to see which one fits.

It better be the smaller one.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zipfizz! A review.

When I first wake up, I'm already thinking of coffee.  I love the taste, love the warmth of my cup on a cold day, and an icy jolt of it in the summer.   One cup, and I'm good to go for the day.  

I don't use energy drinks like Red Bull, but I do like electrolyte drinks after a long run.  My big thing is the amount of sugar and calories in these types of drinks, the less the better.  

Zipfizz is the only energy drink that comes in a tube, with 10 calories and zero sugar.  It contains no ephedra or other artificial stimulants, but it does have amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, including 41,667 grams of vitamin B12. It does contain 100 mgs of caffeine from natural sources of green tea and Guarana.

The B12 is what gives the dose of energy, which can last between 4 - 6 hours after drinking.  

The first time I tried Zipfizz, it was mid-morning, after I had a lousy night of sleep.  I already drank my cup of joe, and had a full day and night ahead of me.  I mixed a tube with 16 ounces of water (they suggest between 16 and 20 ounces), and gave it a go. 

I tried the pink lemonade first, it was tart, like real lemonade, and I liked the added fizziness of the drink.  About a half hour after I drank it, my head was less foggy.  I didn't feel jittery, and decided to go for a run.  I  hit the treadmill for four miles, and felt good!  I felt alert well into the evening, which was good because I had to take Luke to Cub Scouts.  If you've ever been in a room with 10 seven year old's, then you know how that goes. 

Zipfizz comes in five flavors, pink lemonade, grape, orange soda, citrus and berry.  They also have a limited edition orange cream, which was pretty good too. 

You can find more info on Zipfizz on their website here, or on twitter here, or facebook, right here

Note: I was given a sample of Zipfizz for the purpose of this review. The opinions on the product are my own. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I'm taking her to Disney on Ice tonight, even though she said my butt is fluffy.

Vega Sport: Prepare, Sustain, Recover. A Review.

Right at the start of the busy holiday season, I received a box from Vega Sport, filled with a bunch of 100% natural plant based goodies.

Right off the bat, I liked their attitude.

The box contained everything you need to prepare for, sustain, and recover from a workout.

I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, but I do eat meat-free meals often, when I do have meat it's normally at dinnertime.  I was very curious about the ingredients in this line of products, since they are dairy, gluten and soy free, with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.

I first tried the Pom-Berry Electolyte Hydrator, part of the Sustain products, while running on the treadmill. I was happy to see that it was zero calories, but the taste was rather sweet.  I added a bit more water to the bottle and that lightened up a bit.

One way I add protein to my diet is through a powder that I mix into my smoothies.  I usually stick to chocolate flavored powders, but Vega Sport's Performance Protein (recovery) has chocolate, vanilla, and a berry flavor that I thought was a nice change.  It mixed well, and I enjoyed the taste.

My favorite items were the Protein Bars, in both Chocolate Saviseed, and Chocolate Coconut. The coconut was seriously like a candy bar.  I used these on two different Christmas Shopping excursions.  I got my protein fix, and had enough fuel to battle the crowds at the mall.

The day after Christmas, I took Frank for a much needed run around my neighborhood.  I was tired from all the festivities, so when we got home, I mixed up the Apple Berry Recovery Accelerator with some water to re-hydrate.  What I especially liked was that the Accelerator "replenishes electrolytes....reduces inflammation.....and supports immune system function."  Everything a body needs after a busy holiday season.

I'm just starting a round of half marathon training, so once I get into my longer runs, I'm going to try the endurance gel.  For comparison sake, I looked at the ingredients of the gel, and compared it to the gel I normally use.  The first ingredient in the Vega Sport gel was dates.  The first ingredient in the other gel was maltodextrin.


I really like the fact that this line is focused on natural ingredients, you know exactly what kind of fuel is going into your body.

Starting today, you can enter the Vega Sport Sweepstakes, for a chance to win the following:

Grand Prize is a 15 day, $10,000 Vega Sport Adventure Trip for 2 to Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica!

There are 10 Runners Up prizes of $1,000 in Vega Sport Products.

There are 20 Finalist Prizes of $200 in Vega Sport Products.

Plus 5 Weekly Prizes of Vega Sport Products.

The Sweepstakes goes until March 31st, and you can enter HERE!

*Note: I was provided with product samples for the purpose of this review.  The opinions stated are my own.