Top Ten Tuesday – November Excitements!

Happy Tuesday and Happy November! I have to say, the month of October was pretty fun and full of scary excitement. But, spending the last weekend of it with a cold was not a great way to see it off, especially since I missed a Halloween party because of it. 


top ten tuesday


With a new month AND my favorite time of year, we are sharing our November excitements for our Top Ten this week. In no particular order, here’s what I’m looking forward to this month:


10. Christmas movies – They have already started Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel and I love them. The cheesier the better. Really they’re almost all about the same thing but I could watch them around the clock. Add in other favorites of mine like Elf, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, all of The Santa Clause movies, and more, and I am a happy big kid. Thank you, Daddy, for your never ending love of all things Christmas.


9.  Autumn’s 9th birthday – This will be the first birthday of Autumn’s that I will not be with her, but I will still be celebrating the amazing little girl that she is. I’ll be sending her lots of birthday wishes 3200 miles away and we already sent her a super cool pair of rain boots at her request. By the way, how is that she is going to be 9 already? I swear she was just that little 5 lb. 4 oz. baby girl that I met in the hospital and instantly fell in love with. 


8. Cooler weather – I say this one with a chuckle, because it’s Florida and it won’t really cool off for awhile. But, the humidity is dropping and it’s actually getting below 70 at night so there’s that. The time changes this weekend, which I love, because it will get dark earlier. 


7.  The Raging Idiots – Both my bestie and I are fans of The Bobby Bones Show and she treated us to tickets to his upcoming show at The Straz on the 19th. I am super excited for a girls’ night out with bestie, both of us sporting our Pimpin’ Joy shirts, and hoping to meet him afterwards. 


6.  Running – Shocking, I know. But with some cooler-ish temps, it makes running even more enjoyable. And if I’m going to tackle the Ultra Challenge at Gasparilla in February, I need to get going on a training plan. 


5.  Milestones Running & Triathlon Grand Opening party – This is pretty exciting, too. My friends at Milestones are having a grand opening party on Friday the 11th at their first ever retail store. It’s going to be fun!


4.  Christmas decorations! – I love Christmas. I love Christmas decorations. I love putting up our tree and seeing the ornaments that we’ve collected over the years. I’m also excited to add two more Christmas stockings to the mix for my mom and Minnie now that they live with us. Santa will need be busy when he stops by our house this year.


3.  Rib Fest – I’m hoping we make it to this so I can see Chris Young in concert. Ribs and beer will be great, too, but throw in country music and it’s even better!


2.  The Election – I swear I’m not making this a political post, but let’s just say I cannot wait for the election to be done and over with. I amy be counting the days just to not have to hear the endless commercials or see the endless campaign mail in our mailbox.


1.  Thanksgiving – I am very much looking forward to seeing Nick, Jenna, and Autumn for Thanksgiving. My mom and I are flying to Seattle and taking the ferry over to their new home in Poulsbo. I cannot wait to see them – I miss them so much. BUT! And it’s a big but, it will also  be a weird Thanksgiving as it will be the first one that Mike and I will ever spend apart. 


What are you looking forward to this month? Don’t forget to visit Run.Chew.Sparkle to see what is on her list of November excitements!

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Races

I’m so excited to talk about my top ten races today because I just got the most awesome pair of running shoes ever and I hit the pavement this morning for my first run since finishing my 100 day run streak and busting my baby toe. It was so nice to get out there.


top ten tuesday


I don’t have any races planned until the spring, but I am running a fun run this weekend with hubby and bestie. It’s a small local run, pumpkins and all, so it will be a fun way to get a 5K in. 

On to my top ten favorite races… Not necessarily based on how I ran, but the races themselves. Ready, set, go! 


10.   Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot 5K – Running with hubby and friends the morning of Thanksgiving just minutes from our house is a favorite tradition. And always makes me feel better baout how much yummy food I’ll eat later on. 

9.  Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon  –  My first ever half marathon was Rock N Roll in 2012 in downtown St. Pete. Such a fun course and while it was incredibly hard given that it was my first half and I was totally winging it, I loved it enough to go on to do 14 more half marathons. 

8.  Women’s Running Half Marathon – My second every half marathon that I mostly walked the first year due to my sciatica and then PR’d at the following year. 

7.  Santa’s Twilight 5K  –  I really wish they kept this race at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin. Running in the cool weather, at sunset by the beach, is pretty amazing. The course was off one year, it was short which through off my PR, but I still loved dressing up for it. If they moved it back to Honeymoon Island, we would do it again.

6.  Iron Girl – This race makes me happy  because it takes me over my favorite bridges and Clearwater Beach. It’s challenging but I love every minute of it. 

5.  Gasparilla Distance Classic  –  Pirates, Bayshore Blvd., and Tampa love makes this a fun race. I’ve done the 8K and Ultra Lime Cactus Challenge (8K and 15K). I am on the waiting list for the Ultra Challenge in 2017 to do all 4 races. It would be a HUGE challenge, but I am up for it.

4.  Sarasota Half Marathon –  I love this race because it takes you through St. Armand’s Circle which is my favorite part of Sarasota. This is the first half marathon I ever ran under 3 hours and it made me so happy. They also have dolphin medals which I love.

3.  Best Damn Race Orlando – Starts and ends at beautiful Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, I enjoy the route for this one. It also helps that this event in 2014 was and still is my PR for a half marathon!

2.  Space Coast Marathon – One and only full marathon was at Space Coast in 2014 and I loved every minute of it. The course took us back by the start at the halfway point, we saw a beautiful sunrise, great support throughout, and a lot of spectators.

1.  Best Damn Race Safety Harbor  – Forever and always, my favorite event because the first year was on my birthday and who doesn’t want to have a race medal with their birthday on it? I run this race every year, I’ve done the 5K, the half marathon, and the 5K / 10K challenge. Being a Best Damn Race Ambassador is pretty awesome and I have met some wonderful people because of it. 


And because I want everyone to enjoy the fun that is Best Damn Race, don’t forget to use my discount code NANCIC to save $5 when you register! 




What race is on your top ten list? Hop on over to Run.Chew.Sparkle to see her Top Ten list too!

10 Lessons I Learned While Running For 100 Days

It’s been two weeks since I finished my 100-day run streak and I haven’t run since then. Not because I haven’t wanted to, because I do! Two days after finishing my streak, and the day we got home from our anniversary getaway, I broke my baby toe on a bowling ball bag. Who does that? Me, apparently. I kicked it good and proceeded to say every bad word possible under my breath. It’s finally feeling better, no longer black and blue, and not sticking out at a weird angle. So, it’s time to lace up the running shoes and hit the pavement again.

I do some pretty amazing thinking and problem-solving when I’m running. And every day that I set out to run and marked the calendar for each day I ran, I thought of things I wanted to share. In true fashion, I created a mental list of 10 things I learned while running for 100 days, running a total of 193.31 miles. 




10.  If you really want to do something, you will make time. Some days were hard. If I couldn’t run first thing in the morning before my day started, I really really REALLY had to make myself run later in the day. I am not an afternoon runner. But I wanted to hit 100 days more than anything so I sucked it up, and ran in the afternoon heat if I missed the morning. 


9.  Pace does not matter. Unless you’re training for a race, your pace does not matter. Just get out there and run. Running every day for 100 days did not make me a faster runner. It did not mean that I can all of a sudden run a 9 minute mile. That’s not what my run streak was about. It was about taking time for myself and doing something that I love.


8.  Running when the sun comes up ROCKS. Several times I week I was running as the sun came up and that just never gets old. Just like every run is different, every sunrise is different, and they are all amazing in their own way. The more colors in the sky, the better. And watching the sun rise while I am doing something I love is just amazing. 


7.  I still don’t need music to run.  I remember when I first started running and if I had any hope of making it more than five minutes, I had to have music to distract me. Fast forward a few years to half marathon training and some really early morning runs by myself and I ditched the headphones for safety. When it’s dark outside, I need to hear things. It took a little getting used to, but then I realized I loved it. Listening to my feet hit the ground, hearing my breathing, and just feeling the run for what it is, that’s all I need. It’s been forever since I listened to music while I run and I don’t see that changing any time soon.


6.  You need two pairs of running shoes. As I got about a month into my run streak, I decided it was time to change my shoes up. Fortunately I had another newer pair and starting rotating them daily. It really makes a difference. Shoes, like tires on a car, can take a real beating, especially when you run every day.


5.  Distance doesn’t matter.  Just like pace, I threw trying to run a certain distance each time out the window. It was simply about running and as long as I could get in a mile each day, I was happy. If I had a crazy busy day and only had fifteen minutes to run, well I was still getting it done. If I had decided that I had to run 3 miles every single day, I never would have kept up with it.


4.  Running is not just for exercise. Yes, it has it’s health benefits and I could definitely feel my body change as I ran for 100 days. Nothing drastic, but enough to remind me that my legs are strong and they will slim down when I treat my body right. But for me, running is more mental. It helps my anxiety and depression. It reminds me that I am stronger than I realize and that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. 


3.  I need to be near water.  I like running in my neighborhood and I have a nice route that I could run with my eyes closed. But my favorite runs are those over the causeway to the beach. Running along the water is my absolute favorite. Add in a dolphin sighting and my run is made. 


2.  Running solo is as good as running together.  If you asked me if I prefer to run alone or with others, it would be hard to answer that. I enjoy running alone because I just think, I enjoy the quiet. But I love running with others because it’s fun to talk while running and catch up, especially when you run with someone who loves running as much as you do. i also very much enjoy it when hubby runs with me. I love that he was with me on day 99 and 100 of my run streak, and on day 100, he gave me a high-five and told me he knew I could do it. 


1.  You CAN run. Yes, I’m talking to you. You CAN run. Never think you can’t because I’m here to tell you that you CAN. If I can run, anyone can. I used to hate it. I swore I would only do it if I was being chased. And then I realized while yes it can be hard, it is still one of the best things I’ve ever pushed myself to do. It took me way out of my comfort zone, I’ve felt stronger than I ever have by running, and I have met some of the most awesome people because of running. 


Now that my poor broken toe is better, I am ready to get back out there. Not every day, because I want to get some strength training in as well, but I will run. My goal is going to be three runs during the week and then one longer one on the weekend. My 100-day run streak taught me once again that I can do what I put my mind to. YOU can too!






Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Favorites

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday again! Since we are well into October already, we are going to talk about Halloween this week. Except for the crazy clown epidemic going around, Halloween is pretty fun.


top ten tuesday



I didn’t like Halloween as much when I was younger, it only consisted of dressing up and trick or treating. But as an adult, I love it much more. Here is my list Top Ten list of all things Halloween!


10.  Halloween Stores – Here in Florida we have Spirit Halloween stores and they are so fun to walk around every year and see what costumes and decorations are popular. Hubby and I could easily spend an hour or more walking around and trying creepy masks on.


9.  Carving Pumpkins – It’s been a long time since I’ve carved a pumpkin, but I do love to do it. I’m not very good at it, I wish I could do one of the fun Minion ones for hubby, but I’m lucky if I can carve a plain jack-o-lantern face. 


8.  Costumes – We don’t dress up every year, but it is fun when we do it. We were invited to a costume party this year and I’m hoping we can go so I can dress up. I always tease hubby and say he can be bacon and I’ll be an egg. We’re perfect together.


7.  Scary Movies – Have I ever shared my scary movie rule here on my blog? My rule is that I have to watch scary movies in the daytime and not before bed. I will have the worst nightmares if I do. My all-time favorite scary movie is The Shining. It is so creepy and I love it.


6.  Scream-A-Geddon – This year was our first time going to this and I imagine it won’t be our last. Unlike haunted houses at Busch Gardens or Universal Orlando, Scream-A-Geddon has three haunted houses, a haunted trail, a haunted hayride, and a midway out in the middle of nowhere in Dade City, north of Tampa. They did a fantastic job because I was jumping and screaming at everything. The 3-D clown house was awful – and by awful I mean really good because it was so scary – but the haunted trail (Dead Woods) was absolutely terrifying. I’m surprised I didn’t cry. I kept saying “no, I don’t like this” among many other things I won’t repeat on here. It. Was. Scary.


5.  Trick or Treating with my niece – I had the pleasure of trick or treating with my niece just about every year, I missed maybe one. Now that they are in Washington state, I will have to make do with seeing pictures of her all dressed up. Just last year, hubby and I dressed up with Nick, Jenna, and Autumn and made some fun memories trick or treating together. 


4.  Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens – This has become a tradition for us the last few years. We like going because it’s close to home and they put on a good event. VIP night is quite a great time. They have scare zones and scare squads throughout the park that rival the haunted houses. And the haunted houses are so real, like Zombie Mortuary with the rat-infested room. These are the things my nightmares are made of.


3.  Haunted Houses – As you can tell, I’m a big chicken but I just love haunted houses in general. The more realistic they are, the better. Throw in creepy sounds and gross smells and they are the best.


2.  Candy – Let’s be real…. I love candy all year, but fun-sized Halloween candy is my favorite. My favorites are M&M’s and Nestle Crunch Bars. But really, I’ll eat just about any candy you give me, except Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.


1.  Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando – I am pretty sentimental about this scary event because hubby and I had our very first date there in 1999. Since then, we do our best to go every year. We missed a few years, but the last couple of years we’ve made it a long weekend getaway around our wedding anniversary. Going through haunted houses, scare zones, and watching the Bill & Ted show is one of our favorite things to do.



What is on your top ten list of Halloween favorites? Don’t forget to visit Run.Chew.Sparkle and see what is on her list too!



Earth Fare ~ Seminole

Thanks to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I had the opportunity to tour and preview the new Earth Fare in Seminole. I did receive gift cards but all thoughts and opinions are my own.




We all have our favorite grocery stores, some for their products, some for the convenience, and some for the pricing. I love going to new-to-me grocery stores that open in our area to see what they have that is different from my neighborhood store that I shop at. Earth Fare made quite an impression on me…





When we toured the store the day before the grand opening, we had the pleasure of getting a behind-the-scenes look and learned so much about their store philosophy. One of the things that I loved learning most about Earth Fare is their commitment to local vendors and interaction with community. They take the time learn about the area they are going into and each market is different based on community feedback. What is popular here in the Tampa Bay area is different that what is popular in Jacksonville. Taking the time to learn what local residents want and what is important to them can go a long way to making a grocery store a success. 




Because Earth Fare takes the time to learn what is important to the locals, they carry many local products. They even take the time to label which items in the store are local. 





They also carry many organic items. In fact, 75% of their produce is organic. The meat they carry has no added hormones or chemicals ever. All their seafood is traceable and sustainably sourced. Their products cater to a wide variety of specific dietary needs. And rather than have a small section for such, all products are mixed within. If you are someone who is gluten-free, rather than having a small section to shop from, you can find gluten-free products throughout the store. 



Knowing how busy everyone is these days, Earth Fare caters to those who have little time to cook and prepare their own food. From already prepared organic grains such as rice and quinoa, to soups and hot foods, and a fresh salad bar, you could easily eat healthy on the go. A quick stop in their juice bar could make for a healthy snack on the go while you are shopping or on the run.







From pantry staples, to fresh produce, to prepared meals, a large selection of cheeses, as well as wine and beer, and even health and wellness products, you are sure to find what you need when you visit Earth Fare. 




You can also join their healthy rewards program, called Tomato Bank, and earn points and special discounts just for being a member. 

I am very excited to shop at Earth Fare. The prices were very reasonable and not as expensive as other organic food markets.






If you have a chance to stop in to the new location in Seminole, you will enjoy it. If you’re not in Seminole, you can find a location near you with their store locator