Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Day in the Cabana Life

It seems only fitting that since our summer is starting to wind down, less than a month until my little nerdy's are back to school, that I start dishing on our annual big summer blowout.  Two glorious weeks visiting my homes away from home.  Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World.

This trip was a big one for us in the sense that while we had a lot of amazing firsts, we had some pretty big lasts as well.  The growing up of our little people was so evident on this trip and it was as phenomenal as it was bittersweet.

Today though I'm going to talk about the awesome first that was a highlight for this Mama.  The Beach Club Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando is my happy place.  Seriously, no exaggeration.  Well, truthfully the whole resort is my spirit animal.  If a resort could be a spirit animal that is.

I could spend all day at this pool.  Sun, absolutely amazing food, music piped in and live music for part of the afternoon. Oh and beverages. While my kiddos love the pool, it's me that you have to drag away kicking and screaming to go play at the park.  Don't think I haven't toyed with the idea of letting Hockey Nerd take them to the park and let me just soak in the vibe. But FOMO is real and I don't want to miss that fun just for a little extra piece of zen for me.

So in that vein, we decided to splurge and rent a cabana for one day of our stay.  We called the Body Rock Spa at the Hard Rock in March to book our cabana for June.  Our one request was that we be close to the slide, we got the second cabana away and it turned out to be the perfect location.

Pool days are a good thing, but why be happy with a ten.  When a cabana rental can take your pool day up to eleven?

That being said here are my top four reasons why you should consider a cabana day on your next vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando.  Or really anywhere.  But some of what I discuss will be specific to what I know.

1. Location.
This will be your home for the whole day.  No looking for a spot, no jockeying for a better location. Once you are there you are home.  Our cabana came equipped with four lounge chairs a table and a couch in the shade.  Also a TV, a ceiling fan, piped in sound.  You could soak up the sun or chill out in the shade and never had to worry about trying to find a different spot.

2.  Service
We had a designate server all day.  She would check on us regularly when we were there.  A big shout out to Kristen from the Beach Club, she was a rock star.  Super friendly and personable. She was amused by my taking pictures of my food and when I told her I had been counting down since Thanksgiving to have it again.  She later came by and asked me how my pictures turned out.   Whenever we saw her after our cabana day she remembered us and our preferences.  If you are going to have a cabana be prepared to be totally taken care of while there.  I know we were in good hands.

3.  Food
Oh guys, I dream about the Beach Club food.  For real.  Reasonably priced (for a resort) and you definitely get what you pay for.  Hands down my favorite is the loaded nachos and I am not going to tell you how many days I had them (and maybe shared) while we were there.  The sampler is amazing also.  With our cabana rental we received a 50.00 food credit.  Which was a great start to the day as well.  This was a big plus for us when factoring whether the cost was worth it. Additionally, our cabana came with a refrigerator which was stocked with soda and water.  We also received a fruit tray and another big bottle of water during the day too.

4. Relaxation
It was nice to have a day with no big plans just playing in the pool,eating and having fun. Mighty and Mini got to play and be kids.  Hockey Nerd and I got to hang out and talk. Even though it was right in the middle of everything we still felt like we were able to have conversations and just be.  We meven put our devices down and just enjoyed and people watched.  There may or may not have been singing and or rocking out depending on the song.  It may or may not have been me.

If you want to try something different for a pool day.  I cannot recommend a cabana rental enough. For us it was a splurge, but it has turned into something that we will do again when we head back. The entire experience was well worth the cost and we all ended up enjoying it.  We also ended up getting an unplanned poolside portrait session when we were there.  New professional pictures of my favorite people at my favorite pool in the world.  What can be better than that?

Have you ever rented a cabana? If not have you thought about it before?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Revisiting the Superfication of Miss E

This is an older post that originally appeared two years ago before I merged my running and nerdy family thoughts into one handy dandy little spot. 

The first picture popped up today in my memories on Facebook, and I remember how much fun this conversation was and how much I love how her mind works.

Our topics are slightly different now at nine, but I still don't know where we are going with most of our conversations. Like yesterday when we had a conversation about whether lattice multiplication or partial products was the "more fun" variation of math, that she knows three words in French.  One being her full first name, the second bon jour (though arguably that's two and three) and finally flambĂ©. Any guesses as to what inspired those word choices?  I asked her if she knew what flambĂ© meant and she said yes.  Then channeling her inner Becky Lynch she said (straight) fire. 

I hoping she continues to retain that totally spontaneous thought pattern and stays true to being who she is. 

But for now, let me reintroduce to the seven year old wonder Super E. 

The Superfication of Miss E

That's a word right?  Superfication?  If not it should be. 

It was only a matter of time before it happened. Even with E's most recent obsession with the breathtaking spectacular that is Cinderella and the added bonus of a brand spanking new Frozen adventure... it happened.

May I introduce you to Super E.

I picked my girl up from school only to find out she now has her own alter ego.

Her reveal  started out the same as any of our afternoon conversations begin...

Me: "How was school? What did you do today?"

E: "I made a cape today. I need a glue stick to finish it "

Me: "awesome!"

E: "I have sidekicks"

Me: you have what?

E: "sidekicks.  You know you can't be a superhero without sidekicks"

Through the course of the conversation it was revealed that she is now Super E, she makes her own costumes and the capes of her sidekicks.  So she's super and she is crafty.  Believe me when I tell you she's crafty, this girl has had an artistic bent for as long as she's been able to reflect that crafty side.

Her super power is flying  and she stands for "hugs, cuteness and the protection of animals" and I for one feel much safer knowing she's around. 

My Princess loving girl has also discovered her superhero side.  I love seeing her play and create and be who she wants to be without worrying what anyone else thinks. 
Do you have a super side? If it was just as easy as making a cape and finding sidekicks, what would your super power be? 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

To my Girl

On International Women's Day...

Always remember that you CAN do whatever you want to do and be whatever you want to be.  Only you are allowed to define yourself.  No one else can.  You are so much more than "just a girl"

Always remember that you are smart and strong.  You are capable of so many great things. Don't ever be dissuaded from your path.

Always remember to support your girl friends.  Do not tear down, do not gossip, do not mock.  Build up other women, do not tear them down.  Though really this should apply to everyone, every day.

Always remember your worth.

Always remember that you can be anything even a superhero.  Or better yet, be your own superhero.

Always remember that you are loved.  Now "go, get 'em tiger!" 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bounty Hunter's Blend: A Dark Side Roast

It's St. Jude Heroes fundraiser time again.  This could quite possibly be one of my favorites.  I hit up my friend Chris at On a Roll Design for her creative genius and I am so excited by what she came up with  for me. 

I had the idea to attempt a T-shirt fundraiser through Booster and Custom Ink.  When I decided to move forward there was only one person I would trust to come up with the image for me and that was Chris. 

My request was as convoluted as it was simple.  Combining some of my loves into one image that I hoped other people would love as well.  She managed to combine Star Wars, my family's love of a certain Mandalorian bounty hunter and coffee and as always hit it out of the park for me. 

Introducing the design for my first ever t-shirt fundraiser.  It is active as of today and will close in four weeks on March 26th, with an estimated product delivery to you on April 11th.  Which would be plenty of time for any of my Dark Side Challengers to receive in time for race weekend. 

I currently have two options up and running the first is for an awesome charcoal grey Hanes tagless T.  It's so comfy and the design really pops against the grey.  Information and ordering options can be found here

I also have set up a Ladies Hanes X-Temp Tank in black.  This would be perfect for race weekend, for working out, or anytime you feel like showing off your caffeinated Dark Side.  Currently, the option to purchase is here, but will be combined to the above link within the next day or so.

All proceeds will go my St. Jude Heroes fundraiser for the year.  As always thank you for your support and thank you for helping provide the families of St. Jude the best gift to fight the Dark Side of Childhood Cancer.  Hope. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Worry Less, Run More

Well, I do believe this is my first running related post in my new home.  There are several reasons, but mostly because there hasn't been a whole lot of running going on in my world. Unless you count running errands, running  little people places. Truthfully,  my treadmill had been taken over by my cat who was less than thrilled to see me back.

I could say I've been busy, which is true.  But also it's been an excuse.  I could have run.  I could have put more effort into training for Dark Side and Light Side.  But I didn't.  

I let people, things, situations and what I perceived to be other people's opinions of me take up space in my head.  Being an anxious person by nature the smallest thing can set me off and spiral down a rabbit hole.  When that happens, I tend to isolate myself and stay close to those who love me in spite of myself and my flaws.

Running took a backseat to other activities. But here's the thing, I started running to get out of my head and clear out the negative. Running has always, always, always been my happy space. I lost sight of that for awhile. 

I got the reminder that I needed in January at the Light Side 10k.  I was under trained  but I was happy.  I ran the 10k by myself and I was happy. Giddy even and I even managed to get a Disney 10k PR. 

During that time there were no worries in my head.  Just me, my playlist, Star Wars and 6.1 miles in the Happiest Place on Earth.  It was not my best time but it was the BEST TIME.

Since then I have been working my way back into consistency.  I'm rediscovering the benefits that running plays in my life.  

With that being said 2017 is the year that I am declaring that I am going  to 
Worry less and run more. Lofty goals for me for sure but I can tell you I see a difference already.

So friends help hold my feet to the fire on this one if you see me slacking.