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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twofer Tuesday: Spring forward inside & out!

Winter is over, spring has sprung, and with it,  the desire to spring back to life yourself. Why should this time of year be dedicated only to the blooming that occurs in nature? After all, we Moms deserve the opportunity to refresh, renew, and "bloom" ourselves. Unfortunately, after a winter of personal "hibernation", it can be tough knowing were to begin. To get you started, I have comprised a guide to help you spring forward for a season of awakening. I have include an Easter basket of my favorite products to boost your personal confidence levels, and, a few points on what God has to say about your personal relationship with him. A complete awakening requires not only a focus on your outward appearance, but an inward assessment as well. We are God's creation, and while it's important we put Him first in all things, taking care of what He has sovereignly created, is an act of love and stewardship. Yes, beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive, but we have been entrusted with the fragility of one body and one life. God expects us to maintain this gift. Let's spring back to life!

Spring is in the air! The blossoms are out, the days are longer, and we're ready to get out and about. But wait, your arms and legs haven't seen daylight in months. Your smile has dulled from lack of fun in the sun, and your overall look could use a Spring pick me up. Fret no more, here is a list of products to get you bloomin' again.

1. Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. Shed that winter skin by gently exfoliating. This product is gentle enough for daily use- even sensitive skin types. It's also designed to even skin tone and texture. Exfoliating will reveal smoother, fresher, more radiant skin. This step will also prime your skin for step two!

2. Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer. This is a daily moisturizer designed to gradually create a healthy glow. No Umpa Lumpa orange here! The color really does give a sun kissed look. In addition, you can get a color to fit your skin tone- I have the fair/medium, no surprise there! The addition of SPF 20 gives it another plus in my book! Don't forget to exfoliate so your not blotchy, and blend, blend, blend, or you will end up with a massive line of demarcation!

3. Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer. This is for the body, and meets all the standards of it's facial counterpart. It may be purchased in lotion, or foam, and again, has a shade for every skin tone. What I prefer about the foam is how quickly it dries over the lotion. Also, the foam seems to have no offensive odor, as most products containing self-tanning agents tend to have. The foam also bears the approval of allure magazine, with an editors choice award. Again, don't forget to exfoliate to keep your look streak free. Oh, and, wash your hands!

4. Crest White Stripes Premium. Don't forget those pearly whites! The premium brand of stripes offers the same whitening ability as the original, but in seven days instead of 10.

5. Cover Girl Outlast Lip Stain in Saucy Plum. These lip stains rock! They provide beautiful color without being sticky like the outlast lipstick. And choosing stains that fall under the berry, or plum category, actually make your teeth appear whiter! Double bonus! My favorite colors are Saucy Plum and Cinnamon Spice. Buyer beware... they can also be very drying, make sure you are using a lip conditioner on your pout when not wearing the stain.

6. MOROCCAN OIL. Don't forget your tresses need pruned, too! Start by getting a good trim, especially if it's been more than 3-6 months since your last snip. Once you have your hair back to life with a trim, it's time to maintain with a fabulous hair oil for all types. The intoxicating light sent and instant absorption will leave all hair types shiny and conditioned. No rinsing necessary! My hair tends to be dry, frizzy, and I have a lot! Living in the humidity of the south sure doesn't help my cause. Using MOROCCAN OIL is a must for my mane!

7. Cute pair of the seasons hottest shoes. Lastly, we turn our attention to the feet. Now, I KNOW your peds have been neglected through the winter. Get ready to bear those piggies again with an at-home pedicure. Soak them, scrub them, clip them, and then paint then your favorite spring time color. Next, follow up with some of this seasons hot trends in shoes. Consider a sassy pair of T-Straps, Wood Soles, Peep-Toes, or my favorite, Wedges. With a cute pair of shoes on your feet, you can conquer anything, one step at a time.

And there you have it. An Easter basket of goodies to help you feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to bloom.

Now, we turn the focus to a beauty secret that is imperishable, inner beauty. Being beautiful begins within, regardless of the season. What better time of year then Spring to begin afresh and anew? While our outward appearance is not God's priority, letting yourself go does not proclaim the fact our Father is King of Kings. Even the Proverb 31 women described in the bible, is dressed in fine linen and bears an appearance pleasing to her Husband, as she represents her family and God. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, we are not to be consumed with our outward appearance. 1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us not to let our adornment be only outward- that will only go so far- we are to seek an inner beauty that is imperishable. By maintaining both an inner and outward beauty, and demonstrating a quiet and gentle spirit, we become the ultimate in "power under control". This means we are able to control ourselves, our words, and our actions. We are powerful, respectable, and strong, and at the same time we are quiet and still before God. This is the imperishable beauty secret, and will serve women well, in any season of life!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Twofer Tuesday: It CAN be done!

Some inspiration for your Tuesday, touted as the most productive day of the week. What steps will you take in the climb to your goals? Remember, it's easy as ABC! To Achieve, you must first Belive, then Commit to seeing your Dreams to fruition!

Take a RISK,
Take a CHANCE,
JOIN the Club,
Join the DANCE,
Learn to FLY,
Learn to SOAR,
Strive for JOY,
Strive for MORE,
BE BRAVE - Just DO!  
Be Brave - be YOU!

-My favorite refrigerator magnet

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't" but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, as he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one we know has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you'll do it

-Edgar Guest

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Princess Diaries: I went to the Ball!

Friday, February 25th.

I've made it! Months of anticipation and training have finally reached their pinnacle! Disney's Princess Half Marathon weekend has finally arrived. I couldn't be more excited to be participating in this grandest of  Balls! Although, my glass slippers have been traded for a pair of running shoes, and my tiara is affixed to a ball cap, I have never felt more like a princess!

Cinderella Castle, as seen from our room at Bay Lake Tower.

Our adventure begins by checking into our "castle" for the weekend, Bay Lake Tower. Our room comes complete with a view of the castle that started it all, Cinderella Castle. Next stop, Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo, where we receive our running princess packets. I have been placed in Corral C, along with my Sister, Princess Shasta. In addition to running the 1/2 marathon, we will also be participating in the Beauty & the Beast Family 5K, making for a lot of packets to retrieve. Once this is complete, it's time to dine. Our carriage (family car) transports us to Sanna, at Animal Kingdom Lodge's, Kidani Village. We dine on an amazing selection of Indian style breads, Tandori short braised ribs, and chicken with red curry sauce. We conclude the day with some down time at our castles pool area and a Signature Dining experience at the California Grill, at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Um, have you ever had a steak that could melt in your mouth? I did! To cap off a great day, Wishes, from the California Grill!

Saturday, February 26th

Today brings a 4:30am wake up call! We must have the carriage rolling toward Epcot by 5:15am, leaving us one hour to get parked and to the 5k staging area by 6:15am, for a 7am start. Belle & Beast encourage us as we begin our 3.2 mile journey around and through Epcot. I was so proud of my family! They did amazing and had so much fun in the process! With such any early morning, I was skeptical we could pull it off. In fact, I remember saying, "For the record, I think this is a bad idea, it's just too early, especially for Brooks". I was proven wrong. Upon completion we headed back to the resort to park our carriage and change our shirts. Then, it was off to Magic Kingdom for a day filled with, well, MAGIC! My neurotic self was a bit worried. According to my @TouringPlans crowd calender, MK crowds were anticipated to be at a level 8.9 out of 10, in other words, busy! But, I had a plan we stuck to and we got it all in! We ended the evening at MK with a perennial favorite, Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade. Last, but most definitely not least, Wishes, this time from our room! I must say, Tinkerbell must have sprinkled the children with Pixie Dust, because they could not have been better troopers!                                

Sunday, February 27th

The morning of the Ball has arrived and I hardly slept a wink! My 2:45am alarm, turned into getting up at 2:38am anyway! Not staying at a "host resort", we were responsible for our own transportation to the ball. Hence, the crazy wake-up time. I didn't know what to expect as far as traffic and road closures. Luckily, I know my way around the "World", so we had no problems. Once parked, I am taken aback! Spotlights galore, pink and blue flags, music blaring, and a red carpet entrance, my anticipation was mounting! I quickly ate a banana, took a Nuun hydration tablet, and we head for the party. As we waited in line for a picture in the staging area, the DJ kept reminding us to start heading to our corral. Now, I know why! The start line was about a 30 minute walk from the staging area, especially with a herd of 17,000 princesses trying to get there. We finally made it to Corral C, worming our way toward the front. And now, the moment we all have been waiting for, 6:01am....and we're off, 13.1 miles of magic here I come! There were DJ's, characters, acrobats on trampolines, and music- "I've got the power", by snap, was playing at about mile 11ish, I so needed that! Mickey, Minnie, the Princesses, and even eye candy in the form of a few firemen, also graced the course! And all along the way, spectators and VoluntEARS, there to encourage, hydrate, and even call you by name! Ya, I know they read it off my bib, but still! I even received a bit of a surprise, running into a co-worker from Charleston! I knew she was there, never thought we would actually "run" into each other, but magic always abounds at Disney!! More importantly, women encouraging other women to not give up. Mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends alike, all running together. Maybe it was to beat the odds, maybe it was in memoriam, or maybe just to try something new. Whatever the reason, for 13.1 miles we were all Princesses united! After a sprint to the finish line (I was told you're not supposed to do that, anyone know why?), I was no longer a "Princess in training", I was an official Princess! And it felt fantastic!

After re hydrating and changing out of a sweaty tutu, we headed into Epcot to "walk off" our run. I love Epcot, World Showcase, specifically! I could spend hours just exploring each pavilion, sampling each country's fare, and taking in the entertainment. What a marvelous way to bring closure to a most magical weekend!

Official 1st 1/2 marathon Princess time: 2:24:08, with photo ops.

Lastly, overheard at Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon, "Oh, look at all the lovely tutus! I want a tutu, but with my shape it would need to be a four-four!" - Fairy Godmother.

For more information on Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend, or other runDisney events, please visit
For information about Disney's Worldwide Outreach Program, VoluntEARS, please visit