Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coming out of 7

As you know, I participated in "7" this month and I loved it! You know, can only spend money in 7 places.. Remember that challenge??

 I cannot even begin to express to you the freedom of not purchasing things.. WOW! I had two really bad urges to go to the mall and only 1 time did I go.. I walked out of the mall without bags of clothes or more useless stuff that I don't need!!


I don't need stuffitis (inflammation of stuff) to make me satisfied! Last weekend, I was going through all of my stuff and I created a pile of stuff that I don't need.. Why do we fill our closets, cupboards and drawers with stuff that we don't need??

Why do we buy into the lie that more is better??? I think less is more freeing and then I don't have to maintain it all... 


I think coming out of "7", I expected to feel excited to be able to go out where I ever wanted to spend money, but I feel less excited and I don't really have the urges to hit the mall!!

7 continues to remind me that people, relationships and experiences are more important than stuff.. Think about, do you remember the wonderful travel experiences you've had? Or the wonderful family memorjies you have on Thanksgiving? What about that service project that changed your life?

 Are you experiences more memorable than your stuff??
That is what I thought!  Experiences have shaped my life and they make us who we are.. As I look forward to my creating my dreams and moving forward, relationships, experiences and people are what makes my life feel full..

Seven has reminded me that stuff is not important..


Ps.. Did you register to win a case of Chobani???? Register here!! You can leave a comment on this post too..

If want more information on Jen's book, check it out here

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Though my Heart is Torn Book Review


Though my Heart is Torn is the second novel in " The Cadence of Grace" series written by Joanne Bischof.
I did not have the opportunity to read the first book in the series, but this books is sweet and a beautifully written historical novel. 

Though My Heart Is Torn - Joanne Bischof

This novel will leave you torn wondering how this will end or will you have to read the next novel to find the ending? Lonnie and Gideon are finally settled into their married life with their young son. And then another women claims that she is Gideon's rightful wife. Secrets begin to unravel, anger begins to brew and heartache sets in.

This book at times is a fast and slow read. The reader experiences the ups and downs of this book. Some parts are fast reads and other parts are slow. I think as a reader, you just can't imagine the pain that Gideon and Lonnie experience.


I received an ARC copy of this book and it's due to hit the bookshelves sometime in April. Although this was the second book, I cannot wait to read the third book to find out what happens next. I'm left with curiosity and wondering what happens to the characters next. I feel like I know Lonnie and Gideon in real life! I love books that leave me feeling like I want to read more. However, I am concerned that more heartbreak will happen in the third book, either way, this was a GREAT read!!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.









Gaining weight, UGH!


As you know, my husband and I are competing in a weight loss challenge against one another.. I'm a bit FRUSTRATED or maybe a lot..  For the past week, I have been working really hard at staying on Weight Watcher points, but i've gained .2 !! WHAT? How does that happen??? I need to get to Disney people :)






So, now I am wondering if something is wrong.. Shouldn't I be losing weight?? All week, my body has been up and down 1lb.. Oh, my frustration!!!


My goal this week is to be very intentional about points and almost a little obsessed to make sure this tragedy doesn't happen next week. Losing weight is one of the most frustrating things..

When I look at my life right now, I see lots of areas that have stress and I am wondering if that is causing me not to lose the weight. I have a lot of things going on in my life that are PAINFUL and sometimes it's too hard to carry. I am sure this is not helping.




Question: what are you best weight loss tips?? How do succeed at weight loss??



Don't forget to enter my CHOBANI GIVEAWAY HERE!!! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do you protein?

I love being able to squeeze a long run in the beginning of the week. .It helps me unwind from the weekend and get ready for a long week ahead.

Photo: Got a a 9 mile run in the most slushy, puddling jumping crap, but it's done and the sun was worth it all!!


Yesterday, I ran 9 miles and that is the longest I have ran since our Disney Marathon. My body has REALLY needed the rest.. I have been fighting Plantar Fasciitis in my feet, so rest has been imperative..

Both my husband and I, can tell that my mood has changed since I haven't been running on a weekly basis.... I tend to be more crabby.. Can anyone relate??

It's frustrating when you're trying to heal from an injury and I have been working out other ways, but they haven't helped relieve the stress, the way running does..

I was more than thrilled to have put 9 miles in. The sun was finally out and I wasn't going to miss out on a chance to get some Vitamin D!!


After every run, I know how important it is to eat protein to rebuild what has broken down from my body.. I recently had the opportunity to taste all of the flavors of Chobani and let me tell you, I love all of them!!  It's great that Chobani offers low fat options and no fat options. I love eating yogurt for breakfast or right after a run.. Sometime my stomach can't handle a lot of food after a long run, but it does really well with Chobani yogurt!

My favorite is Apple Cinnamon! 

Photo: Chobani is that you?



The wonderful people of Chobani are allowing me to give a full BOX away to a READER!!!

Could you be a winner????



Rules: One winner will be chosen via random.org and you info will be sent to Chobani. Chobani will send you your yogurt!!! You may enter several ways!


Here are the ways you can enter my giveaway:

1) Like my facebook page


3) Tweet me on Twitter @ Sarahsmithstorm

4) Tweet about this giveaway! 

5) Leave a comment down below telling me why you want to win and your email address.

5) Shoot me an email @ sarahsmithstormdotgmaildotcom

6) Click "join this site" on the right side bar for future blog posts!!

 Leave me comment every time you do one of these!!!


Good luck everyone! This blog giveaway will end  Friday, March 1st at 8pm Central Time! 


What is your favorite flavor of Chobani??


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sparkle Me Disney

Happy Saturday!!

Many of my blogging friends are currently at the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend! 
Am I jealous? 

TOTALLY!! 


Am I excited for them? Yes!!! I cannot wait to read their re-caps and I love seeing all their Twitter feed! It makes me feel as if I am right there with them..

Speaking of Disney runs, I wanted to give you feedback on my Minnie Mouse Sparkle skirt.. When I was looking for a "Disney Costume", I knew I needed something that could with hold 26.2 miles. I couldn't just wear anything, especially since I didn't want shaffage or something that wasn't moisture wicking..



I looked at several companies when it came to running skirts. I have purchases running skirts from one other company, but wasn't impressed and would have not have ran 26.2 miles in one, nor recommend their brand.. So, I began searching last fall for the perfect material and skirt for my Disney Marathon..

When I came upon the brand Sparkle Skirts, I was hesitant because of my previous experience with another running skirts company that I wasn't fond of, but SPARKLE SKIRTS did not disappoint..

The first time I ran in my Sparkle Minnie skirt was on Race day! ( I typically never do this, nor recommend it.) Living in Michigan, I didn't have a choice to wear it.. You can't exactly wear a skirt in 30 degree temps here.. I had to trust the reviews I read online and pray that it was going to be okay.. I was skeptical because of the high price, but it was worth it!

And, it was MORE than I expected!



The skirt never rode up my legs! I did not chaff the entire race! The skirt material wasn't itchy, it didn't ride up on my waist and it felt completely comfortable! I was overjoyed with this skirt and could not believe how awesome it was! Hands down, one of the best things i have EVER RUN in!!!


It has a pocket on the leg, which I kept my camera in.

It has a zipper pocket in the front, so you can carry your id, car keys or in my case Clif Shots!

It can also be custom made for a certain waist size if needed.. I loved my Sparkle Skirt!!



As i look forward to my Double Dare Dumbo, I would love to run in this skirt!
Cinderella anyone??? 


Cinderella SparkleTech


Question: What is you favorite thing to run? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Do you tape?

Happy Tuesday!

 I don't know the kind of weather you're living in, but the snow machine continues to kick in and we are getting dumped! I am entirely sick of the snow. The snow keeps me from running outside and has kept me from going to the gym too.. With the roads being icy and snowy, I try to stay off them if possible.



I recently have been taping a lot! The more I tape and ice my feet, the better they feel! I am slowly starting to get relief from my Plantar Faciitis and I am so happy... Last week and this week have been entirely stressful and not being able to get a long run has made me CRABBY!!! The tape that I love to use is KT tape, but my store was out, so I had to opt for an off brand, which has been okay..



I'm a huge fan of KT tape and believe that it works. It provides relief for common injuries, super easy to use, light weight and in bright colors! I love the relief I get in my feet when I tape. It continues to help my Plantar Faciitis. I am so thankful for the technology that KT tape provides. It is made of 100% cotton and is very durable. I love that it's cotton, which doesn't itch or irritate my skin. It also reduces inflammation and increases blood circulation, which is why so many athletes use it..

As I continue to recover from Plantar Faciitis, I will tape! I strongly recommend taping or at least checking it out! Here is a video about taping!




Question: Do you tape?? Have you heard of KT tape? What do you think?




Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walt Disney World Weight loss Challenge

Happy Sunday! I hope you have enjoyed your weekend thus far!

This past week has been a very hard week. I'm emotionally drained, physically exhausted and am a complete insomniac. This past week, was one of those weeks you never Want to deal with again..

When I get stressed, I either workout or eat.. It's one or the other.. This week, I had a couple of workouts going on, but nothing significant. The stress has really built and I really need something to look or work towards something different.


Drew and I decided we need a lifestyle change.. We both are tired of workout hard, but not losing weight. After running the Disney Marathon, we both felt like we could have had a better time, had we been a bit lighter.. We were glad to finish, don't get me wrong, but want to get faster and that means shedding some pounds!



We are now going for a weight loss challenge to get us to Disney World!

We both, must lose 15 pounds and I will book us a summer vacation..



15 pounds seems like a lot of weight for me because I'm already smaller, so it's going to be hard.. I think my husband will have no problem losing the weight..




Since I need to set small goals, I have goals for every 5 pounds I lose. It will make it more fun and will help me stay on track!


5 pounds= facial makeover

10 pounds = New hair color or updo!

15 Pounds= Disney Trip and new shirts!


Drew and I are competing against one another to see who loses the weight first.. Whoever loses 15 pounds first, the other person owes a Walt Disney World gift card! I am a fierce competitor and I don't care if he is bigger than I am, I can totally do this!



This morning, we made a trip to the store to buy a scale. I have never owned a scale because I am fearful that I will become obsessed with weighing myself. However, we need one and I wanted to see are starting weight. ...



I am excited about this challenge.. I am nervous about paying for this trip, especially since we are going to Disney Land over Labor Day weekend, but if we are willing to be dedicated enough to lose this weight, we will be dedicated enough to saving for a WDW trip!

Let the weight loss begin!




Question: What inspires you to lose weight or maintain a healthy life style? What are your biggest weight loss secrets?





Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where are we with "Seven"?


If you read my post earlier, you know the story behind "Seven." If not, I encourage you to read that post first, so you understand what I'm talking about.


This month, we have been challenged to spend money in 7 places and I think we have been doing well..



We've had a couple mishaps, but if I had a council, I think they would agree with our decisions.



First, as you know I am trying to aid a foot injury from marathon training.. This caused a few unexpected expenses to the running store, which was not listed on the "7" places to spend money!

1) I needed Superfeet.. This is the best way to cure Plantar Faciitis or so they claim and lots of reviews on the internet.. I need to get rid of this ASAP, so I wasn't going to wait a whole another month to purchase them. The pain was getting unbearable and no amount of resting, ibuprofen and taping could cure. It was a last resort, but my feet feel so much better and the pain is decreasing! 


2) After talking with a girl at the running store, I was telling her about all the pain I was experiencing in my legs, thighs and calves, she told me I need to start foam rolling.. I've heard of this, but I didn't think this was necessary, until no amount of stretching would reduce the pain. I couldn't get my muscles to feel better.. 

She recommended a ball and I love it! Again, another unplanned spending event, but this could be all under the "medical' category if I wanted to get technical.



3) My final expense that was not on my list of "7", was a going away party for one of my co-workers. After school a bunch of us went to a restaurant to celebrate, I wasn't going to go, especially because it wasn't on the list, but I have turned down so many opportunities to eat out with friends at different restaurants, I felt that I had to do this for my co-worker.. I thought I was going to feel guilty about this decision, but I didn't, so I'm glad I went.




Picking seven places to spend money has been very freeing! It has caused me to watch where we spend our money and has allowed me to stop the consumerism in our house! I love that we are not buying into this lie. As a culture we believe more is better, but I am finding the less I have, the more simple life is!

It was especially hard a week ago when I got a 40% coupon to my local bookstore! It was sad to throw away the coupon, but I realized I didnt NEED to go there!!


I am learning that what I think I NEED and what I really NEED are two completely different scenarios! Next month, I cannot wait to purge seven items each day!



Question: Would you be able to pick 7 places to spend money?


Running tip: Don't exert yourself on "rest" days! They are just as important as   your exercise days! If you want the muscles to repair and decrease sports injuries, rest days are a must!




Friday, February 15, 2013

Draw the Circle

Have you heard of the book "Circle Maker?" Your local church maybe in the middle of reading it or maybe you're in the middle of the 40 day Prayer challenge? I don't know where you are at, but I had a great opportunity to read the 40 Day Prayer Challenge and I was challenged in so many ways.


First, I felt like every devotional content was for me. I felt that I could directly relate to where this author was going and where he came from. I cannot always say this for every book I read. Second, I could have read this book quicker than 40 days because it was so good! If you have read "The Circle Maker", this devotional is based off that book and provides similar content. I was very encouraged and inspired to pray and make prayer a daily routine. If you read this book and start praying, expect God to show up in the un-expected!

I really loved this devotional and would highly recommend it to anyone trying to develop a prayer life or someone need a little spunk to their prayer life.

Thank you Zondervan for this awesome book!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentines Day! Make sure to tell the special people in your life that you love them! You don't have to be married or dating to just tell someone you love them! 

For Valentines, we have nothing special planned.. Just hanging out and trying to enjoy life!


I had the opportunity to review a book called "How to choose a Husband and Make peace with Marriage" written by Suzanne Venker.


Initially I was completely turned off by this book and the title, especially since I am already married and I am at peace with that decision. As I kept reading, this wasn't a lot of new information, just a different perspective.





This book focuses on women's attitude towards marriage and how our culture has changed the perception of women's beliefs towards marriage. The kind of beliefs and information this book offers is the kind that you would find your grandmother giving you.




Overall, this book wasn't my favorite book, it has some good points, but nothing I haven't heard of before. 


Happy Valentines Day!!!

Question: Have you ever read a self-help book that changed your life?

Running Quote: "Everyone who runs knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring".
-Jimmy Carter

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fat Tuesday

Happy Fat Tuesday! 

So, since life is full of adventures, I took myself to Meijer and bought a Paczik! I've have never tried one!!! Can you believe that?

After last night's workout, I felt it was well deserved today... I had a moment yesterday during our group workout which left me feeling embarrassed and feeling kinda weak, but after some nice tweets from my friends, I felt much better and chalked it up to a bad workout day! 


Today, I bought a strawberry Paczik because I like strawberry stuff and thought it would be safe choice..  It's fat Tuesday after all! Gotta celebrate some how.



It was way better than I anticipated.. I think it was worth the 400 + calories!!!


Trying to get a decent photo while holding the camera and the Paczik is a hard task! So many of the pictures looked dumb, this is the best you're getting! HA! 


The sugar was so yummy!!!!!   Sugar lips anyone???


Question: What are your favorite kind of Paczik??


Running Tip: To improve your stride rate, run with a partner who runs close to 180 strides per minute ..

Sunday, February 10, 2013

IceMegadon

Happy Sunday!

I totally need to rant! Please, forgive me.


People, please shovel your sidewalks!!!!! 



Ok, enough said. I understand disabled, sick and elderly people cannot get out there to shovel, but seriously, I should have broken my ankles yesterday! It was ridiculous! 
Photo: Ran 4.5 miles in this ice.. The sun was awesome! Now to studying, movies, chocolate chip cookies and scrap booking!!

The snow was at least 6-8 inches deep in certain parts and because we got dumped again Thursday and Friday, so much of it was cover in ice and completely uneven.. I was getting so frustrated! I went out to attempt a 6 mile run, but after 4.5 miles, my great husband came and rescued me.. I couldn't handle it anymore. The un-eveness of the snow/ice was so terrible, that I literally had to watch ever step.

It took me an 1 hour and 30 minutes to go 4.5 miles! That tells you how slow I was going! I was trying to avoid breaking or twisting my ankle.. Oh, how frustrating!

I am thankful that I got a "run" in, and it was a great workout to trek in the snow, but it was painfully slow!


At least the sun was out and I could feel the warmth on my body. I'm looking forward to spring and have high hopes the snow will melt soon! Spring, please come in to the Mitten! I am dying to run outside on even pavement!


Question: What kind of weather are you running in?



Friday, February 8, 2013

Snowman Mickey

Yesterday and this morning, the mitten got hit with a huge snow storm that left us with heavy snow. You know the wet, heavy snow that sticks to your tires? The slushy kind?? That is what we got!
This kind of snow is perfect for snowman making! I have been wanting to make a snowman for about 2 years, but the snow has been terrible!! It hasn't been the packing kind. Every time I go to make a snowman, it doesn't stick, but NOT this TIME!  

I was determined after school yesterday, to get on my snow pants, mittens, hat and make a snowman! I was so excited when the snow stuck as I began to create the bottom half of my snowman! 


Of course, my snowman had to be a Mickey Mouse! He was pretty easy to make one I got the bottom part on. .The hardest part was lifting up the middle and top half of him..

I realized I need to do more weight lifting because my arm muscles aren't as strong as I would like them to be.



Who said adults couldn't have fun??? I had a blast making this guy! 

I was so thrilled to make this snowman and even more thrilled to wake up to a snow day this morning!!!

 Although the cold has been bad for my running, it has allowed my body the rest and recovery it needs. I cannot wait for warm weather ahead, but I sure had a good time making this snowman!


Question: When was the last time you did something kid like??? 

The Diamond Life

Do you ever have those moments of set backs? Do you ever why is this happening to me? Didn't I just go through this? Are you tired of being sifted and are always wondering, why me?

In the book "The Diamond Life" written by Tony Scott, he explores our lives as "Diamonds in the rough" that need to be re-formulated, chiseled, shaped and cut into something new.

If you're not interested in transforming your life, then STOP READING NOW! If you are looking to go out and live LIFE, read this book! As humans we are constantly being pressured and the trials we face, our the ones that bring us into new light.

How you handle pressure, difficulty, failure, fear and rejection will determine the significance of your life.

As a runner who feels failed right now, I can totally relate to this book. I am tired of being injured. I bleed running and it's making me so angry not to be able to run.. How I handle this injury will determine how I act when I am ABLE to run! It will help me to appreciate it more. As I am spending this time doing other things, I have to rely on God and try to maintain a positive attitude to carry me through.

I enjoyed this book, which probably because of the season of life I find myself in.

If you would like to read the 1st chapter, go here! 

I received this book for my review. I was not compensated for a positive review.. To learn more about this book and Tony Scott, visit here!






Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Marriage After God's Own Heart

Valentines Day is just around the corner. If you know anything about our "7" journey, you know that if the store isn't our list, we aren't going to buy something from there, nor can we go there.

This year, I think Drew and I will be making our Valentines Cards for one another and we will not be going out to eat, like we traditionally do for Valentines Day. That is okay with me! I like to spice up life and try something different. 

With that said, we had an opportunity to read and review a new Marriage book/ workbook called "A Couple after Gods' Heart written by Jim and Elizabeth George." 


This book takes a biblical approach through looking at marriage through the eyes of couples in the Bible, like Boaz and Ruth or Abraham & Sarah.

book title front

This book also includes a 30 day devotional Journey. I had the opportunity to review the workbook too... Both go hand and hand! The topics are relevant to marriage or to those engaged wanting to look at Biblical marriages.



My only complaint: The workbook devotionals were a bit longer than I anticipated at times, but well worth the time. Isn't your marriage and relationship with God important?


This is a great resource to help with communication, handling difficult decisions, utilizing conflict management strategies, learning to trust God, developing intimacy with one another, taking in depth look at couples in the Bible and realizing that God did not intend for you to do marriage apart from him.



Happy Reading and Happy Valentines Day! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Risk and Failure

Ever since I can remember, I have always been a risk taker.. Who else jumps out of a plane?




Travels to South Africa...






Gets a Masters Degree at the age of 24:





Runs a Marathon on a UTI with a dose of Epilepsy





A risk taker, THAT'S WHO!

If you really knew me, if you knew my heart, you would know that on the outside I look big and tough, but on the inside, I am just baby.


I cry all the time when I watch Hallmark movies! I'm a huge sap! 


I become a big mess when I read a heart wrenching novel.


I love kids more than anything. I have dreams of being a mom. (That scares the crap out of me)




When it comes to risk taking, I have no problem climbing the biggest or trying the next best thing, but when it comes to sharing my heart, sometimes the risk is too big.  This week, Holley Gerth has asked us to share our fears or risk taking moments when it comes to our God Size dreams.

My two biggest risk taking fears are that people won't like me and the mirror doesn't reflect an image that makes me feel beautiful. If I were to sit down with you over coffee and we were to get to the bottom of my issues, I would tell you that I struggle with my self-esteem and that I am fearful of people knowing the real me. I don't want people to know my story, I don't want them to feel sorry for me and I certainly don't want them to see the real me.


As I think of my fears, I struggle with sharing who I am as it pertains to my God Size dream. I don't want to be judged, I want people to like me...

God-Sized Button

The lie: If I truly believed that the Lord of the Universe cares about me, knows the number of hairs on my head and has called me by name, who cares what others think?

Who care if other people like me?

Who care if people judge my story?


But the truth, I still care..  It's hard to stuff that in your pocket and move on.. Where do I go from here? I just need to keep challenging myself and putting myself out there.. People need to know my story, not for me, but for him.. He is the reason..  I didn't ask to share my heart with the world.

As I step out in faith and begin to write my story, will you join me in prayer to understand that I was created uniquely and that I have a story that only he could write ! It is his story, not mine. He has never left me in the past, why shouldn't I trust him now? 


Where have you had to step out and take a risk? 









Be our Guest Restaurant - Marathon Weekend


Step into Beast's Castle for a unforgettable dining experience filled with wonder and delicious cuisine as you watch the snow fall from the windows of the castle. "Be our Guest' is the restaurant to experience the story of Beauty and the Beast.


  When we arrived to our table, the napkins were in the shape of a rose and were quite elegant. Disney never ceases to amaze me with the details. The details make the Disney experience remarkable.


The menu had a variety of delectable dishes and we had the opportunity to eat in Beasts ball room. There are three different rooms one can eat in, but we were lucky to experience the ball room. Drew and I both had the Cornish Hen with some vegetables. We didn't want to eat something funy two days before our Marathon, but we did not have a ton of "carb" friendly options on the menu.

 The chandlers were beautiful and these photo do not do them justice. We ate dinner late, so it was dark inside the castle, so my flash was necessary.The fact that we were able to get a reservation for this restaurant was amazing.




Belle has always been my favorite princess.  I think it's either because I have brown hair like hers or I always thought she was so beautiful dancing with Beast in the ball room castle.



 When I called for Reservations for "Be our Guest" restaurant, I did it on the day reservations opened, which was back in the fall. I wasn't going to miss my chance to have dinner at this wonderful restaurant. I hear it is booked up and people are having a difficult time getting reservations.


 Normally, we don't order dessert, but we made this our "Anniversary" dinner, so what the heck? The funny thing is, I lost a chunk of cash (we think at the Expo), which was suppose to pay for this dinner, but it all worked out.. (I have no idea where I lost it)




If you eat here, don't skip out on dessert. It is fantastic! They come around with this little cart full of delicious looking cupcakes and cream puffs. I had a triple chocolate cupcake that was divine and Drew had a lemon cream puff. We both were in love with the dessert and wanted to order seconds, but our stomachs were saying the exact opposite!


After dinner, we had to meet Beast!! You can't eat in his castle without stopping by to see Beast. The best part, we didn't  have to wait in line to meet him.. I lose my patience sometimes when we have to wait in line for characters, so it was nice to be able to walk right up and get our picture taken.


The stain glass was beautiful. If you eat in the castle, you must take a picture by this.. It is just so pretty..


We had an absolute wonderful dining experience at "Be our Guest" restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and I think we will go back to eat there for future visits. The food was excellent and reasonably priced for such an exquisite dining experience. I highly recommend it!


What is your favorite Disney Restaurant? If you haven't been to Disney World, where is your favorite restaurant?