Top 5 Things to Do at Epcot

Continuing with my “top things to do” series I thought I would continue with Epcot my second favorite pack.  There have been a few changes at Epcot recently so Im pretty excited to put this list together.  Since this is a list of 5 what better than to link up with Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five link up!  Click here for the full post.

  1. Soarin’ Around the World.  Caveat here…I haven’t actually been on the new edition before but I loved Soarin’ over California so I know I will love this version.  Its new and updated and has awesome technology.  Make sure you get a fastpass so you don’t have to wait in that super long line.  If you are afraid of heights this might not be the best ride for you but I’m a little afraid of heights and LOVE it.

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2.  Spaceship Earth.  Yeah, I want to be sorry this is on my list but I’m not.  I love the slow moving ride through the Epcot ball, I love the story and I love when you get to make up your own future.  Its also a great place to cool off and escape the Florida heat.  Its a little cheesy but hardly ever has a line so its a great ride to experience.

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3.  TestTrack.  We actually don’t ride this one very often because we usually save our fastpass for Soarin’ but this ride is lots of run especially since they remodeled it a few years ago.  There is a single rider line but the only draw back is you don’t get to design your own car like in the standby line.  Which, if you don’t have to wait nearly as long really isn’t that big of a deal.

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4.  Drinking around the world!!!!!  So this isn’t an attraction and is technically 11 different spots but let me tell you, its totally fun.  And don’t be lame and get a normal drink from each country, get sake in Japan, Margarita in Mexico, you know, things from that country.  Make sure you pace yourself and drink plenty of water though because those drinks can sneak up on you.  Fun fact—that’s what we did the day before our wedding and it was awesome and I have zero regrets about it.  Good friends drink around the world with you, I’m just sayin’ 🙂

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5.  Living with the Land.  This is  “ride” but not in the traditional sense.  This boat ride takes you behind the scenes of where Epcot grows different vegetation, fish and farm to table plants.  Its really cool, educational and never a long line.  If you go during the fall you can sometimes see the mickey shaped pumpkins which is pretty cool.  I love seeing what the different plants look like.  Vanilla and cocoa are my favorites.

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You may have noticed (any Disney fans anyway) that I did not include the new Frozen ride.  To stay away from a tirade this is what I will say.  I have not been to the park since the ride opened so I cant say one way or another if I like it or not.  The comments from Disney-philes like me has been positive but I am in no rush to go on the ride because I am so SICK of Frozen fever.  I have mentally gone off on way too many tangents just now so let me leave it with this…I cant say one way or another right now if this is a “must do” or not, I’ll save my judgement for when I actually do ride it, because let’s be honest we all know I’ll ride it eventually.

CHIME IN!!!  What is your favorite thing to do in Epcot?  Have you gone on the new Frozen ride?

The Truth About Travel Agents (TOL #45)

As I’ve mentioned several times (#sorrynotsorry) I am a Vacation Planner for Disney vacation destinations.  Well that’s a special fancy word for Travel Agent.  I think Travel Agents often get a bad wrap so I wanted to take some time and set a few things straight.  I’m linking up Amanda to thinking out loud!  You can see the full post here.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  • Travel Agents, or at least Travel Agents for Disney destinations do not charge a fee for their services as long as a room or package is booked.  The destination is the one that pays the agent.

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  • What that means for you is you get the service of someone who is an expert in travel for no cost to you!  If you find a great agent this really is an invaluable service because it takes a lot of time to become well versed in travel.

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  • I can tell you at least with Disney I read multiple blogs, news articles, facebook groups, instagram accounts, podcasts and more to stay on top of whats new, whats changing and just everything Disney I can get my hands on.  I bet a lot of “regular” people don’t want to spend time doing all of that.  Insert professional here.  You are using the agent to get the best recommendations (like time of year to visit, best places to eat, unique things to experience etc) and make the absolute most of your vacation.

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  • Not all travel agents are created equally.  I tried to use a referral travel agent for our trip to Italy, there were a lot of moving parts and I thought using an agent would make things easier for me.  It would have…if the agent had listened to what I needed and been willing to go above and beyond to assist.  When you choose an agent make sure they listen to your needs and make offers based on your interests not whats going to make them money (which is what I suspect my agent was doing).

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  • When you do contact a travel agent give them as much information about your trip as you can.   Wish list for dining / attractions, desired dates and most important budget.   There are all types of accommodations out there for ever budget.   Make sure you are transparent with your agent so they give you a product that fits your needs.

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  • Some travel agents will help you plan minor details of your travel (dining, transportation, recreation) but if you didn’t book a package or room through them there might be a fee involved.  If there isn’t you should probably offer.  Sometimes restaurants, limo companies etc do offer kick backs for referrals but its not a lot.

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  • At the end of the day,  travel agents/vacation planners/etc are here to plan as much or as little of your vacation as you would like.   Personally I love planning trips for others, I know I’m one of the crazy few 🙂  it would be my pleasure to plan your next vacation!

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  • Follow along on Facebook,  Instagram or Twitter for all the vacation planning fun.   Or email me at rachael@dreamcometruevacations.com

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CHIME IN!!!  Have you used a vacation planner before?  When is your next trip to Disney?  Can I go with you?!

Workout Recap 7/19-25

Picking the pace back up with week.  It didnt really go very well but hey its all part of the process.

Tuesday:  10 min warmup and cool down at 11:15ish pace then 9×45 second pick ups with a pace from 7:24-8:13.  Yeah thats a pretty wide range, the last two were brutal it was so hot and humid.  Its ok though ended with 3.67 miles and 10:26 average pace.  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

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Wednesday:  I slept like crap last night so its really no surprise at all that today’s run was utter crap.  The goal was 10min easy 10 min race pace two times then a 5 minute cool down.  Holy crap, so I ended with 8 min on then 6 min on with a pace of 9:06 instead of the 8:53.  I may have come home defeated but I did try my best.  I dont know why these 10 minute repeats are so hard for me Ill get it done one of these days!  10 minutes stretching / foam rolling that night.

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Thursday:  Recovery run goal was 11min pace but ended with an 11:32 and I rode the struggle bus the WHOLE way.  I actually had to walk a few times but I was having some digestive issues that made me end my run early.  I have no idea why my body was so angry today but yeah it was NOT happy.  No stretching tonight I got tied up with working on setting up my new laptop.

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Friday:  Rest day!!!  We actually went bowling at work so it wasnt TOTALLY a rest day but rest from running.

Saturday:  So….about today…I have every single intention of getting up and going to run those hot 8 miles.  When my alarm off I was so tired I could not get out of bed.  I set my alarm for an hour later…and couldnt get up then either…set it for another hour later to do my run on the treadmill and just gave up and let my body rest.  I think the stress from work and setting up the new job got the better of me and my body needed the sleep so I didnt fight it.  I feel really guilty about missing those 8 miles with being so close to race day but Ill try again tomorrow right?!?!

Sunday:  Yeah no, today didnt happen either but more so because I had too much wine last night then I was tired.  There was no way I was going to run 8 miles of anything hung over.  Sorry, real life here.  So no running.  I thought I would be able to do the run later in the day but I ended up having too much going on and wasn’t able to.  Whoops.

Monday:  Rest day!  My coach asked if I wanted to run today or tomorrow and I told her tomorrow.  I had to catch an early plane to San Antonio this morning and wouldn’t have time later in the day to get the run in so tomorrow it is.  Accidental 3 days off from running but meh I made peace with it.

CHIME IN!!!  How often do you stretch?  What’s your favorite fast run?  When was the last time you totally missed a long weekend run?

Top 5 Lessons

Hey guys!  Im linking up with Courtney and Mar again for the Friday Five.  Make sure and check out the full post here.

I wanted to share 5 lessons I’ve learned in life so far that

  1. Diversity needs to be celebrated and cherished.  I am fortunate enough to live in a city where there are many cultures and races represented and to me thats the norm.  It seems like everyday there is some new tragedy because people cant accept each other.  You don’t need to share the same beliefs or traditions as someone but a person is a person no matter how small.

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2.  Even athletes struggle with their sport.  I read a blog post from an elite athlete recently where she basically laid out how she rode the struggle bus the ENTIRE half marathon and had thoughts of quitting.  I cant tell you how much better that made me feel.  In the blog world you typically see someone’s best but not their worst.  Everyone has bad days, even elites so don’t feel bad when you have a bad day.

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3.  You have a special talent even if you don’t know it.  I found mine working at my current job.  Apparently not everyone is organized and can plan effectively.  I thought people just knew how to do these things but I was so wrong.  Because of my new-found “gift” I have been to 3 other offices sharing my knowledge.  If you have a talent share it!

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4.  If you say to yourself “I’m probably going to forget this” yeah your going to forget so you better write it down.  I cant even tell you how many times I’ve looked at something and gone “I should probably do x before I forget” not done it and totally forgot.  Face palm moment people, face palm.

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5.  You don’t know what you don’t know so be inquisitive.  I like information, I read things that interest me talk to people that know more than me and pay attention.  Knowledge is power so soak it all up.

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CHIME IN!!!  What’s a lesson you have learned?  Do you have a talent?  What are you doing this weekend?

Body Shaming, Obnoxious Passengers and Podcasts (TOL #44)

Linking up with Amanda for another Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  Click here for the full post.  I have some rants to share today…you have been warned

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  • You ever just see something so many times you cant ignore it anymore and accept that the Universe/God is trying to tell you something?  I’m sure you’ve noticed it too…all the posts about body shamming and how its super wrong (#truth am I right?!).  Ok so yeah women shaming other women totally wrong and bad example for kids, but what about women shaming ourselves.  Every day its “I don’t like this” or “I don’t like that” or “If I just lose x amount of pounds” yeah that’s body shaming yourself.  STOP THAT!  Stop myself as well, its not cool.  Yes I want to be at a healthy weight but my doctor has told me several times I don’t need to lose any pounds I’m fine the way I am…so why do I tell myself she is wrong.  Its sheer madness and I need to stop.  Consider this another in I’m sure many posts you’ve seen telling you that you are awesome and look fabulous.  Below is the face of someone who is super self-conscious, and I need to stop that.

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  • Of all the plane rides I’ve been on I’ve never wanted to punch someone more than the person sitting behind me on my last flight.  This sucker was the ONLY person on the flight to have an empty row meanwhile I’m sitting in the middle of my husband and a leg spreader with a baby (baby was fine, kicked me a few times but not the point of the story).  This sucker at least 10 times during the flight kicked/pulled/smashed our chairs so he could spread all out over those 3 seats.  NOT COOL DUDE.  Not cool.
  • I started listening to podcasts on the bus because Young House Love has a podcast and I love their blog.  It should come as no surprise then that I’ve added like 15 Disney related podcasts.  Some stink but some I’m feeling out to see if I will like then in the long term.  I was getting a little tired of the audiobooks so this is a nice change.  By the way, I use the app stitcher on my phone its free and so far I like it.

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  • This week has felt like that aren’t enough hours in the day.  From regular job to running to getting my new business up and running there are a lot of moving pieces.  You ever just have so much to do you just want to sit and not do it all.  Absolutely the wrong attitude to have when you have a two page to-do list 😀  If only I could clone myself then we’d be cooking with gas!

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  • I’m going to make it super short today because I have nothing else really to say other than I need a nap haha!  What’s your rant today?

WIWW #47

Today’s look is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!  From the second I put on my dress the Doctor Who theme song has been playing in my head and I’m not sad about it.

I love this dress its so comfortable, the seams hit in just the right places its not that hard to zip up and IT HAS POCKETS!  Why more dresses don’t have pockets is beyond me.  I thought about wearing a sweater today but waiting for the bus in this heat made me change my mind.

I do want to say that Spiffing Jewelry isn’t the best quality especially the bracelets that resemble Alex and Ani.  I’ve had 3 and all 3 have fallen apart.  The necklaces tarnish way too fast and the customer service is not great.  While I really like the necklace, just fair warning about the quality.

WIWW

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Fun fact about the inlay for this necklace—we are learning french and our teacher was trying to explain avon and I was just not getting it.  Then she wrote out the verb for each personal tense and when she got to allons…lightblub!  Thank you David Tennant for helping me with french.  Nous Allons means “We go” by the way 🙂

Dress:  ModCloth

Necklace:  Spiffing Jewelry (don’t make parts of it anymore)

Shoes:  Target (similar)

CHIME IN!!!  Do you like Doctor Who?  Do you know any french?  Wear anything geeky today?

Workout Recap 7/12-18

I guess I should make a countdown till half marathon day sinces its so close now…ok so this week is 10 weeks until Paris Half Marathon and 26 weeks until WDW Marathon!  The countdown has begun!!!

Tuesday:  Today was 35 minutes with 6×45 second pick ups with random rest periods because its hard to do math when your running.  I did all pick-ups between 7:11 and 7:42 pace which was a lot faster than I felt like I was going.  Legs were so heavy today and my cool downs were super super slow…I mean my average pace should have been 8:45 but I ended with 10:45 so yeah not the best day but the pickups went ok.  10 minutes stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses that night.  Oh and I ran the sprinkler gauntlet this morning.  Water hitting me in the face all over my body while Im trying to do a very fast effort, yeah that was fun.  It was nice because it was hot but then not nice because it got in my eyes.

sprinkler gauntlet

Wednesday:  Today was a spectacular failure.  I was SUPPOSED to do 54 minuntes with negative splits but I ended with 25 minutes.  I had this really weird shooting pain up my right legs that was pretty persistent and I didnt like it.  I did what I could then came home.  I have no idea what it is or why its happening but I have learned to not run when things arent good.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is better!  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses that night.

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Thursday:  I made it through today’s speed work alive!!!  No weird leg pain today but it was hot as hell so that was of course no fun at all.  I ended up running to the track to do this workout for a change of scenary.  6×400’s at 7:49-8:20 pace.  The goal was 7:49 for all of them but whatever I was close.  I was to do 6-8 but after the 6th one my speed dropped too much so I ran back home for my cool down.  Ended with 4.04 miles at 10:04 pace.  Not too shabby considering the horrible workout that was yesterday.  15 minutes stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses that night.

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Friday:  Rest day!!!  We are actually on our way to Las Vegas today for a surprise birthday party for my uncle!  Its going to be a fun weekend for sure!  Don’t know if the runs will happen but hey, I brought my gear just in case.

Saturday:  I woke up at 5am to go run the strip but the temp was already 89 with sunrise at 530am.  I slept for another hour then did 8.2 miles on the treadmill.   1 hour 35 minutes average pace 11:20.  I made it through by watching dodgeball and a fan on the treadmill.   It’s the little things 🙂  10 minutes stretching / foam rolling / yoga poses right after. 

Sunday:  4 mile run scheduled but did a 5 mile walk instead.   I was in no mood to get up early so we spent the day walking around Vegas.   Time well spent if you ask me!  

Monday:  Rest day and time to go home.   We did a little more walking today but most of the day was spent in the airport 😦

CHIME IN!!!  How did your workouts go?  Do you dwell on bad workouts?  Track, road, or trail which do you prefer?

Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

First let me say, unless otherwise stated all reviews are done because I think you might like to know.  I am in no way compensated for these reviews.  I pay for everything with my own money and if a discount is received its because I am part of a running club or a Disney membership, or something like that.  I like reading reviews so that’s why I share mine.  On to the review!

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It has been a hot minute since I did a shoe review.  Crazy I know but I don’t have a lot of shoes I run in.  I keep them until they are dead then in with a new pair.  Since my Hoka’s are both retired I decided to try a new shoe.  The Hoka’s were just too much of a difference from my other shoes and honestly the cushion of the Bondi’s was too much.  Off to the running store I went.  There is a Luke’s Locker close to me and they do a pretty awesome job of fitting shoes.  Granted you need to find a person that understands you personally and is a runner as well (that’s probably just my personal preference though).  I found a great guy to help me and I tried on only 3 pairs of shoes.  I know only 3!  With going through so many of these fitting I pretty much know what I want in a shoe which helps narrow down the selection.  I don’t remember what the 3rd pair was because I hated it but had a tough time deciding between the Saucony Triumph ISO 2 and the Brooks Glycerin 14.  They were pretty similar but ultimately the fit of the Glycerin was a smidge nicer so I went with those (those of you wondering they are the same price)

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I have had a these shoes for a few months now which means I’ve put enough miles in them to give a good review.  I am actually switching between these and the Brooks Launch 2 at the moment.  There is a lot of technical language with running shoes but to be honest I don’t really understand what that all means so I’m not going to mention it here.  What I will say is these shoes have a little more cushion, have a very flexible construction with nice support on the sides, and hey it doesn’t help its pretty to look at.  For the record though its not the reason I chose these over the Saucony’s, these really did feel better.

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These shoes are lightweight, slip on and off very easily and have given me zero blisters or issues these past few hot months.  Its totally random but I really like the shoe laces on the Glycerin 14‘s, they aren’t the typical shoe lace material and hold the knot better so I actually don’t need to double knot these laces!  Yay!

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I will say these shoes are a tad narrow.  Not as narrow as the Hoka Clifton 2’s but not as wide as the Brooks Launch 2’s.  I typically like a little more space in the toe box but I think maybe this shoe shape is working out better because my toes don’t have blisters anymore and my 2nd toe isn’t bothering me as much.  While I think they are a little snug maybe its for the best.

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I also really love how the inside of the shoe says “Carpe Runem”.  When I see that message before and after a run it just makes me happy.  I love little touches like this though which is why I love my runDisney shoes but sadly cant wear them to actually run haha!

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Kinds blurry but these shoes have 3D stretch print, again tech things that I don’t understand but from what I gathered at the running store the printing helps the construction of the shoe to help them last longer.  That’s fine by me I like my shoes to have long lives 🙂

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The oh so glamorous bottom of the shoe shot.  When I ran in the slick rain I didn’t feel like I had great traction but I was going around a corner when the roads were slick so there’s that.  I do think they grip pretty well overall but I don’t use these for speed-work I save these for my long and recovery runs.  My knees and shins feel great with the Glycerin 14 and overall I’m really happy with the purchase.  While the price-point is high, to feel good in a pair of shoes is important to me.  Already thinking about getting an extra pair to rotate in 🙂

From the website:

 1.SUPER DNA MIDSOLE-provides 20% more adaptable cushioning than BioMoGo DNA

2.  IDEAL PRESSURE ZONES-disperse impact for an effortless ride

3.  3D STRETCH PRINT-applies strategic mesh and strutcture for a perfect fit

4.  CONFORMABLE SADDLE-wraps the foot for a secure fit

SPECIFICATIONS

  • SHOE CATEGORY:Cushion
  • ARCH:Medium, High
  • PLATFORM:Universal Platform
  • SURFACE:Road/Track
  • LAUNCH DATE:June 1, 2016
  • WEIGHT:9.2 oz
  • MIDSOLE DROP:10 mm
  • SUPPORT LEVEL:Neutral

CHIME IN!!!  What was the last running shoe you bought?  Do you like Brook’s?  Do you keep track of your shoes mileage?

Friday Five Favorites

I haven’t really been cooking or eating out lately so I thought I would try something new and link up with Mar and Courtney for their weekly Friday Five post!  Each week is a different theme which I love.  Make sure and check out their blogs to see other great posts.

  1.  Cups with Straws.  You think I’m crazy but I have done extensive testing…ok just me drinking water…and I have found I drink more water when its from a cup with a straw then when its just a cup.  Annnnnnd I may have a “spill water on myself” problem…but lets not talk about that.  This is the one I use at works because obviously 🙂

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2.  Tieks!!!  I’m going to do a write up next week on my experience with Tieks customer service but let me just say, I’ve had mine for almost a year and I still love them just as much as the day I got them.  Don’t know what all the hype is about, check out my original post here!

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3.  In an unexpected twist…Behr all-in-one paint!  That’s right, I’m going all home improvement on you!  I have painted almost literally every room in our house and with the exception of one room have always used Behr.  This is not an ad for them by the way, I just painted a hallway yesterday with perfect coverage and only 1 coat of paint.  These are things that make me happy 😀

4.  Christopher Moore.  I love his books they are funny, sometimes inappropriate but all around entertaining.  I am currently reading “Secondhand Souls” which is a sequal to “Dirty Job”.  If you want a funny book to read check him out.

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5.  My new business cards!!!  Sorry to spam everyone with my new business but I’m really excited about it and these cards are metallic and awesome!  Check out my facebook page for a better view of the contact details, I know its a little shiny here 🙂  Disney is my specialty but I can do Universal and cruises as well.  Let the vacation begin!!!

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CHIME IN!!!  What are some of your favorite things?  Did I just make you think of the Sound of Music?  Whats new in your life?

 

Home Renovations, runDisney and Travel (TOL #43)

Its Thursday and you know what that means…its time to think out loud!  Thank you to Amanda for hosting, you can read the full post here.  Today is another unstructured, unplanned post.  Here we go!

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. I feel like I’m in a constant state of anxiety as the Paris trip keeps getting closer.  I feel like I’m not going to have enough time, I wont find good places to eat, I wont have enough money.  Anxiety and its never-ending.  Go away anxiety nobody wants you here.

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2.  This quarter is going to be a busy one at work.  I have a few trips to San Antonio and one to LA!  Pretty excited to head out to LA I really haven’t spent any time in the city even though I’ve been to Anaheim.  Harry Potter World here I come!!!

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3.  I got a few office supplies for my work area at home like a wall calendar and a planner.  I feel super fancy and cant wait to hand out my business cards.  What do you think?!

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4.  Is it just me or is July FLYING by!  I haven’t really felt that way about other months but for some reason I blinked and its already the middle of July.  I guess that’s a good thing because that means we are that much closer to cooler weather.

5.  I climbed up a 20 foot ladder yesterday and almost crapped myself from terror.  We are doing renovations to our upstairs stairwell and movie room which meant I needed to take down the movie banner we had up so I could paint.  Thank God my husband is a solid man, I know if I fall he will definitely catch me 😀

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6.  Apparently black and white tile is all the rage right now because we almost had to special order black and white vinyl tiles.  Apparently I am in with the design trends and I didn’t event know it!  I just wanted to do my floors like a lobby of a movie theater haha.

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7.  In case you were wondering why I choose vinyl tile over ceramic, let me break it down for you.  Main reason is vinyl absorbs sounds slightly better than ceramic.  Being that this is a movie room I don’t want sound reverberating off of the floors.  Vinyl is also slightly easier to install and definitely cheaper.  Oh and before you ask, carpet was NOT an option.  For some reason Oreo likes to potty up there when he’s mad and I am OVER cleaning that up and having nasty stained carpet…which is why we are doing this in the first place.

ripping up carpet

8.  I didn’t sign up for Princess Half 2017…on purpose.  I don’t even know who I am anymore!  To be fair, I am running the full marathon the month before so I don’t know if I’ll be up for it but still.  What’s even more strange is that the race is still available to book!  Its been a very long time since I’ve seen the Princess race not sell out the day it was open.  Its been available a full 24 hours and you can still book the half marathon and challenge (1ok is sold out).  I find that very interesting.  If when we get back from Paris and if there are still spots to book I might sign up then…until that time though I’ve made peace with this crazy decision 🙂

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9.  What’s going on in your world?