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Archive for August, 2010

Let the countdown begin!

It is exactly 4 Weeks (25 days) until my very first 15K Race on Saturday, 25, 2010!  =)

Since the beginning of Summer I have been training for this race by following a 16-Week 15K Training Plan that I made using Runner’s World’s SMARTCOACH

I am officially down 12 weeks and about to start the final 4 weeks of the plan, man I can’t believe it has been 3 months already.  Felt like only yesterday I just started the plan at the beginning of June.  Man how time flies, as always it seems these days………..

This was by far the toughest training plan I have followed so far.  Not only did I have scheduled Long Runs at the end of every week, I also had Speed Work & Tempo Runs mid-week as well that kicked my butt just as equally as the longer runs did over the past 12 weeks. 

Please don’t be mistaken though, it was a tough plan but I loved ever minute of it and will continue to love it through my final 4 weeks.  Because not only have I become a faster runner I have run farther than I have ever run in my life!  =)

Check out some of my training run recaps below:

This weekend I am scheduled to run 11 Miles and then next week 12 Miles!  =O  Honestly, I am nervous about both these runs but I will achieve them even if I have to run at a snail’s pace (literally). 

Luckily, though that will be the last of my Long Runs, well extra long runs, as the last 2 weeks of my training will only call for my pre-race 15K (9.3 Mile) run and then the actual race 15K (9.3 Mile) run. 

After that I plan to take it easy on the longer runs for a bit…………..until I start training for my 1st 1/2 Marathon that is!  =O

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Despite my time of the month cravings for anything that is considered Junk Food (icecream, cake, chocolate, chips, etc.) I have kept things in check for the most part as you can see below from my EATS on Monday.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

In case you are wondering, the meat on the above dish is called Montreal Red Chicken and it is a recipe passed down from my Mom-In-Law that she has been making for years.  IT IS VERY GOOD!  Super easy to make, best the day after and heats wonderfully in the microwave or stove.  Try it out you will not be sorry.

Montreal Red Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces of chicken (dark meet), bone in but skin removed
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 3 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablesppons of hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of savory
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley

Directions

  1. Brown chicken on both sides in butter or oil in a fry pan.  Then place in a large casserole dish with a lid.
  2. Using the same fry pan, add the olive oil and saute the onion and garlice for a bit.
  3. Than add the remaining ingredients (ketchup, hot sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, water, savory and parsley) and bring to slight boil.  ***Watch out for splatter***
  4. After a few minutes poor the “red” mixture over the chicken.
  5. Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Serve with white rice and your choice of vegetable, green beans and broccoli go great with this dish.
  • I usually add a little extra ketchup to make a little more sauce to cover all the chicken. 
  • Also, I don’t use all (just slightly below) the “vingar” called for in the recipe per my Mom-In-Law’s advisement. 

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P.S.  I almost forgot………I ran 2 Easy Miles outside on Monday morning in about 22 minutes per my schedule.  This is now my 3rd week of getting up to run “outside” in the early a.m. and I am happy to report that I think I am finally starting to adjust to the change though I know it will be months before my body gets completely used to it and it becomes a habit.  For now though I am just happy that I actually get up and do it becuase in the past doing so always ended in FAILURE for me………..=)

I Took The Weekend Off!!!

Yes, I you heard correctly……..I took the weekend off! 

 

And, I also slept in on both mornings for a change until 9am, which is late for me as I am usually up at 7am or so. 

I also skipped my scheduled 5 Mile Run on Saturday!  =O 

Why did I do this you might ask???   

The answer is simple…..I WAS VERY TIRED!!!   

I think the past 3 months of race/toning training and 2 months of working on my new project at work finally caught up to me this weekend.  Because I was just so tired, falling asleep on the couch each night and then struggling to get out of bed the next morning

 

So when Saturday morning came and I was struggling to get out of bed my husband rolled over and said “why don’t you take the day off of running“.  It was like he was reading my mind.  

Later he also said “you have been going strong for a long time now, a day off won’t kill you“, which is exactly what I needed to hear and is exactly what I did…………I took the weekend off from running!  =) 

Fast forward to Monday morning and I am feeling great, very rested, thanks to my weekend off!  Plus, I also did not feel the least bit guilty about it.  Well ok I did slightly on Saturday morning but it went away fast because I knew I had not taken a weekend off in months (2 to be exact) and I obviously needed the rest!  ***Remember to listen to your body!*** 

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So what did I do during “my weekend off” you might ask!?!?!  

The following: 

  • Ordered pizza on Friday night from Papa John’s per my daughter’s request.

My "veggie" slices!

  • Slept in both mornings with my hubby!
  • Ran a bunch of errands on Saturday.  Had lots of “returns & exchanges” to do, plus last-minute School Supplies to buy as well.
  • Had lunch with my Mom on Saturday afternoon.  We went to a local favorite called BJ’s.  I love their food, especially a soup & salad combo they have as a “lunch special”.

My cup of tomato basil soup!

My plate pilled high with my BBQ chicken salad!

  • Grilled out on Saturday night.  We had t-bone & porterhouse steaks that were on sale at Publix, plus grilled veggies and baked sweet potatoes.  Than we watched the UFC 119 premlims and I fall asleep on the couch.

On The Grill!

On my plate!

  • Went into work on Sunday afternoon from 12pm to 4pm to work on a report that is due first thing Monday.
  • Prepared food (lunches & a dinner) for the week upon my return home from the office.  Plus I did the rest of my laundry.
  • Made dinner, than ate it with the family.

My bowl!

  • Watched a t.v. movie with the hubby and went to bed before midnight.

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4 Reasons To Sleep More

 

Why You Need More Sleep Tonight

 

IT MAKES YOU…HEALTHY
Skimping on shut-eye has the potential to be deadly: “Chronic sleep debt raises your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity,” says Dr. Emsellem. Your immune system is compromised too, “so you’re more susceptible to catching every virus that comes along.”

IT MAKES YOU…SMARTER
Though your body shuts down, your brain buzzes with activity as you sleep. That’s when it sorts, processes, consolidates, and stores the masses of information you absorbed during the day. “Sleep is crucial for learning, cognition, memory, and performance,” says Dr. Epstein. In fact, a Harvard study showed that adults who got a good night’s sleep performed 44 percent better on a memory test 12 hours later, compared with those who stayed awake.

IT MAKES YOU…SLIM
Recent research reveals “a very close relationship between insufficient sleep and the inability to lose or stabilize weight,” says Dr. Emsellem. A likely reason: Sleep debt interferes with the function of hormones that regulate how efficiently the body burns fat.

IT MAKES YOU…COORDINATED
Harvard scientists have found that after trying a new motor task — playing a piano minuet, doing an aerobics routine — a good night’s rest solidifies what you’ve learned, making it easier and more automatic the next day. “Studies show that your brain replays the same sequences during the night,” explains Dr. Emsellem. “The next day, you just know the moves — it’s no longer a conscious act.”

Florida Sunrise

 

Now that is worth getting up at 6am and running to see isn’t it!?!?! 

When I first headed out it was still dark out.  So I didn’t see the sunrise until I got back home.  And, do you know what that means?  That Fall is coming!  =)  WOO HOO, I love Fall!  I always know the seasons are about to change when the sun rises later and sets earlier, guess that is common sense huh!?!  =O 

I do not like to run when it is dark out but seeing as all the high schoolers are out at the many bus stops along my running route and that I also run along a busy street I felt ok with it this week.  Plus, I did not have much choice as I couldn’t wait until it got light out to run as I would have been late for work.  

Man sometimes I feel like running is so hard to fit in my schedule but you got to fit it in!  Schedule it like you would schedule anything else (a doctors appointment, a meeting or what not) because if you treat it like an appointment you are less likely to miss it.  At least it works for me.  I love to schedule and plan things so that is what I do with everything in my life.  Of course I used to freak out when things would not go as planned or off schedule but over the years I have worked to not let that control me and I just adjust my schedule as needed when things throw me off course.  

Such is life, you can plan all you want but that doesn’t mean it life will go as planned! 

Stressing about it will not do any good, actually it will do harm (stress is linked to weight gain you know) so just adjust things as they occur and move forward, that is all you can do. 

Trust me you will be much happier if you do it this way, take it from someone who used to not do that and was always stressed and unhappy. 

Let’s talk about my Morning Run now!   

I ran 4 miles in all.  Took me approximately 48 minutes, which is a 12 minute mile pace.  I was supposed to run at a 11:30 minute pace but felt really tired and it took me a minute to get going.  In the end I finished at a much faster and more comfortable pace.  A pace that I feel I could continue to run and run at, don’t you love it when you find that!?!  It doesn’t happen all the time so when it does I love it.  Just wish I could have kept on running and didn’t have to go to work but I did.  =( 

The rest of my day was crazy busy.  Such is my life these days.  Not complaining by any means, just trying to adjust is all.  Something that can take time sometimes.  Hopefully, I will feel more in control of things before the Holiday’s hit and things get even more crazy.  Yes, I said it……..the HOLIDAY’S!  They are officially only a few months away.  Can you believe that???  I swear I feel like the summer just started and now it is almost over, man who was so fast.  Again, such is life, right! 

My EATS were normal and pretty boring all in all.  I wish I had the option to eat a better variety of food and dishes but that just isn’t realistic for me right now……both budget & time wise, so here is what I get to eat until that changes one day. 

Blueberry Instant Oatmeal w/Lots of Fresh Blueberries

Avocado Black Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad

Taco & Rice

So that about covers it!  BORING, I know!  But each dish is affordable, easy to make and tastes good……..right up my alley. 

Off to stare at the T.V. until my hubby gets home.  A girls got to take advantage of being alone with the t.v. and being able to watch whatever I want when it happens………have a good one everyone.

Flashback

To 1998 when both my best friend Amy and myself turned 21 Years Old!!!  

Amy & Myself in 1998

Luckily, for both of us the 13+ years that has passed by since then has not changed us “TOO” much as you can see from the recent (2 weeks old) picture of us below!

Amy & I in 2010

What do you think, have we changed much???  

I see that are faces are much slimmer than back then and yes I also see some of those dreaded “age lines”, however other than that I think we have aged quite well!  =)  

Also, a few unseen changes I can see when comparing the pictures to each other is that we both are much more confident and happy with ourselves now than back in our early 20’s!   

Honestly, I can say that I love being in my 30’s!!!  Not only am I more confident and happy with myself I feel much more “secure” as well in all aspects of my life.  Back then I sort of felt LOST you know and it took years to truly find myself.  Now that I have I am just so much happier and content with life (MYSELF)! 

How do you feel about your age now, compared to your younger years!?!? 

Can’t wait to compare the pictures taken of us 10 years from now  to the ones above to see how we have changed again!  =) 

P.S.  I almost forgot, as you can see from the 1st picture when I was 21 I was about the same size that I am now but less tone and a bit thicker around my midsection/thigh/butt area as I was not hitting the gym or the pavement nowhere near as much as I do now.  However, I bring this up because I was basically the same weight, between 142-148 pounds, back then but yet I look smaller now at around the same weight.  Isn’t it amazing what “toning” and “running” can do to your body, even if you don’t lose weight on the scale you look smaller!  =) 

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Back to PRESENT DAY!  And, what a hectic day (week, month, year) it has been……….=O  The last few weeks especially.  

If you follow my blog you know that I had to skip the gym all together last week and that I started running in the early a.m. before work just to fit it in as things have been that crazy busy these days.  

Welp (not sure if that is a word but I am going to use it) that continued into this week, however I do plan to hit the gym at least once this week……….tonight in fact for at least an hour to do abs and upper body (back, biceps, chest, shoulders & triceps) and on Tuesday I ran 3+ miles outside in the early a.m.  I might also run a few miles but not postive on that. 

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Let’s see some of my recent EATS. 

Mind you I don’t have all of them as remember to take pictures with my present schedule is proving to be a bit difficult.  But I do have some to share luckily. 

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Breakfast

Lunch

I also have been enjoying Sugar-Free Lemon & Cherry Icees nightly after dinner!  =)

Have a great one everybody!

Categories: Flashback Tags: , ,

Yellow Dog Eats

   

Yellow Dog Eats

On Saturday, after my Double Digit run I met my BFF (Amy) for lunch at a local famous eatery called Yellow Dog Eats.  

We have eaten her several times over the years and LOVE IT!  In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that funds are a bit tight these days I would go every week for sure……….=)  Not only is the food amazing the atmosphere is as well!  

The eatery used to be a Country Store in Gotha, Florida.  When the owner and culinary chef, Fish Morgan, first saw the location he knew he wanted to make food in this place and he did just that.  And, 10 years later he is still serving up some of the best sandwiches & bbq around Central Florida!  

Check out the views upon entering:  

You order and pay for your food here!

You eat your food here!

You can also eat your food here "outside" on their patio!

They have an array of amazing sandwiches, salads and lots of bbq for you to choose from.  Check out their very unique menu below: 

  

 

 

Is your mouth watering yet!?!?!  I know mine does everytime I read his menu!  =) 

Amy and myself decided to split one of our favorites………Johnny Rocket which is a honey mesquite roasted turkey, raspberry melba, mild cherry ring peppers, local tomoatoes, smoked Gouda cheese, leaf lettuce on a multi-grain bread sandwhich that is served with chips and the yummiest coleslaw I have every eaten! 

Johnny Rocket

The entire combination comes together so perfectly and explodes in your mouthI eat it super slow so I can savor every bite! 

And, of course could not leave without having a piece of cake that a local baker makes for him daily.  We had the Hummingbird Cake, which is a cross between banana and carrot cake but I tasted the “carrot cake” portion mostly…….however instead of carrot pieces I got coconut pieces, YUM! 

Hummingbird Cake

 It was as good as it looks!  =)

I highly recommend visiting the Yellow Dog Eats if you are ever in the area.  I assure you will not be disappointed!

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In OTHER NEWS………I had homemade whole wheat pizza with tons of veggies and meat for dinner that night just in case you were wondering!  =)

Dinner

And, for breakfast on Sunday I had the below.

Breakfast

Than for dinner I made Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla with Avocado once again, that is twice in one month!

Dinner

This time I used only 2 Chipotle Peppers instead of the 5 the recipe called for and it was much easier to eat, though it was still quite spicy!  Oh, and I forgot one of the main ingredients “avocado” but it was still really good without it.  Check out the prep pictures below for this dish:

Prep1

Prep2

Prep3

In case you are wondering, I used “raw” skinless boneless chicken that I cut up instead of shredded pre-cooked chicken in mine as my husband doesn’t like “shredded meat”.  All you do is add it in while the mixture is cooking and it cooks along with it perfectly.

Prep4

Prep5

 I also add in green & red peppers for a little extra kick of veggies and “crunch”!

Prep6

Prep7

Try it out, you won’t be sorry!  =)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Yes, I know it is Tuesday now but I still wanted to say that………..I am a bit behind these days as you can tell I am sure.

Double D’s

No, I do not mean the Bra Size……….I mean Double-Digits Done, translated means I completed my 1st “double-digit” run today!  10 MILES!!!  =O

After last weekends 9 Mile Run I was not nervous for the 10 Mile Run I had ahead of me on Saturday morning, but that does not mean that I was 100% confident that I would complete it either.  However, I planned to give it my best shot of course. 

The night before I made sure to drink plenty of water so I would be plenty hydrated for the long run in the hot & humid Central Florida summer weather we are currently experiencing right now even early in the morning.  I find this KEY to performing well and making it through my longer runs, especially on hot days!

The next morning prior to departing for the Double D I hit up MapMyRun in order to see where I should run and to make sure I truly ran 10 miles as I didn’t want to short myself on this run like I did on my 7 Mile Run about a month ago.  Luckily, I found a perfect loop that was exactly 10 miles out and back from my house so I decided that was the one for me. 

Than I ate a granola bar with peanut butter and drank a glass of water while I got dressed and 30 minutes after waking I hit the road at 7:30a.m. exactly.

The first mile took about 11 minutes and was very easy-going.  Once I officially hit Mile 1 I took my first walking break for 1 minute.  It honestly felt a little strange to take one at this time as I have never done this so early in a run but I found that it helped me a lot, especially later in the run.  I than took my second walking break for another minute just after Mile 2 right as an up hill over pass hit, how convenient was that, huh!?!  Not, I planned it that way.  =)

A little information on Walking Breaks:

  • Once I was ready to achieve my 1st “double-digit” run I knew I would need to take plenty of walking breaks so that I would not hit the wall too early in my run and so I would also recover easier after my run
  • This “walking break” knowledge was made aware to me by Jeff Galloway and is called the “Galloway Method” or a/k/a Run-Walk-Run-Walk Method.
  • Basically, I planned to take a 1 to 2 minute walking break after every mile, but since I do not have a fancy dancy Garmin to tell me when I hit each mile and also could not remember “exactly” where I hit every mile from the map I made on MapMyRun I decided to just take a walking break every 15 minutes or so during my run, remembering to take my first one early as it is key!

Back to the run………Mile 3 was hit around the 50 minute mark and I continued to run on passed Mile 4, delaying my next walking break by about 5 or so minutes as I planned to take a break soon up the road when I hit a shopping center that was along my mapped route as I needed to visit the Little Girl’s Room and get a drink from the water fountain

Luckily, I was fortunate enough that my mapped run took me right past, not 1 but 2 shopping centers in which I could take a break at if need be.  And, that is exactly what was needed right soon after Mile 4 when natured called with a “vengeance”!  =O  So once the shopping center arrived I ran down to the store, quickly ran in did my business and walked out, getting back on the road about 5 minutes later. 

Now, mind you I would have never thought about doing this if it wasn’t for Caitlin @ Healthy Tipping Point mentioning doing the same on her longer runs.  What A Great Idea, Huh!?!?!  No need to worry if “nature calls” while you are out on a run if you have a few places you can run in and use the facilities easily and without hassle along the way.  Plus, for those (like me) that do not like to carry a big water bottle with them on the runs and don’t have a Camelback for their longer runs it is a great way to get hydrated too.

So…….5 minutes later I was back on the road, well “sidewalk” again and soon hit Mile 5 just up the road and about an hour into my run.  Right after that I started to head a very long hill that I went up slowly but surely and ended up not being too hard as it got higher gradually so it wasn’t very steep.

Once I reached the top I hit a long straight away that took me by several really nice neighborhoods and a few churches.  Mile 6 was passed during this time and right before Mile 7 I took my next walking break for 2 minutes just as I turned into a new road that had me heading back home………=)

After my walking break ended, about an hour & 40 minutes into my run right before 9am I hit the hotter part of the morning as the sun was out with full force so I slowed down significantly and it felt like it took me forever to hit Mile 8, but I finally did and took my next to last walking break due to the heat as I think I could have made it farther if it wasn’t for the it being so hot out.

2 minutes later I was running again and sort of “zoned out” at that poing and before I knew it I hit Mile 9 and took my last walking break on a slight up hill portion of my run.  About 1/2 way up the hill I started to run again and hit MILE 10 10 minutes later right before my house at exactly 2 hours and 15 minutes after I started! 

WOO HOO, I finally finished!  Not the fatest time, I was hoping for 2 hours, but given it was my 1st ever 10 Mile Run I think I did pretty good…….what do you think???

Upon completing my run I slowly walked the rest of the way home!  Stumpled with the key when I got to the door but luckily my hubby unlocked it and greeted me with a towel as I was dripping sweat.  Than I made my way to the fridge to get a BIG glass of “very cold” water and headed up stairs to take a long cold shower.  =) 

Can’t believe I did it, WOW!  If you told me a year ago I would have run for over 2 hours by this time next year I would not have believed you,  though I would have secretly hoped it was true……..=)

Later that day I met my BFF, Amy, for lunch at a famous local eatery by the name of Yellow Dog Eats and will post about it next so “Stay Tuned”!

Categories: Double D's Tags:

Harry Pottery Land

@ Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida

My Daughter in front of the Universal World Globe @ Universal

On Wednesday, I took my daughter to Universal for the day using our season passes that my mother so graciously purchased for us at the beginning of the year!  =) 

First we hit the long line for Harry Potter Land a/k/a The Wizarding World of Harry Pottery…….. 

Harry Potter Line (Rear View)

My daughter in line for Harry Potter Land!

Harry Potter Line (Front View)

The projected wait time for the line to get in was approximately 30-45 minutes, however it moved along pretty quickly and took a little less then 30 minutes to reach the entrance to Hogsmeads Village

Entrance

Along the way we saw many great views of Hogswarts Castle & Hogsmeads Village………. 

Hogswarts Castle

Hogswarts Castle2

Hogsmead Village

Hogsmead Village Entrance

Hogsmeads Village2

Hogsmead Village3

What views, huh!?!  It is so cool to see everything in person.  Feels like I am in the movies, aside from the oppressing heat that is.  =O
 
Upon walking through the entrance we were greated with tons more amazing views………

Hogswarts Castle (Inside View)

Hogswarts Castle (Up Close View)

We headed straight for Hogswarts Castle and the line for the Forbidden Journey ride.

The "long line" for the Forbidden Journey Ride!

While in line we went through the Herbology Class Room as seen in the above picture and came upon the Mandrake “Screeching” Plant behind cages.

Mandrake "Screeching" Plants

 Than we headed inside, finally!

Entrance into the "Forbidden Journey" ride!

The line went rather quickly from this point so I did not get to spend as much time in certain areas as I would have liked so I could have gotten some better photos, but I did get the ones below that were pretty cool.  It was like I was really in Hogswarts Castle.

Hall of Art

Dumbledore's Office

Sorting Hat

The ride was AMAZING!  Very realistic, like we were flying around the entire castle (in and out).  So realistic I started to get a little sick in fact as I usually don’t do good on these types of rides but I just had to see it. 

Next, we headed to a small rollercoaster ride next to the castle that featured more from the Harry Potter movies…..

Bird

Hagrits Cottage

 After the ride we headed towards Hogsmeads Village to hit the stores.

Hogsmead Village

Stores @ Hogsmead Village

Another Store @ Hogsmeads Village

Honeydukes @ Hogsmeads Village

My daughter outside of Honeydukes!

Chocolate Frogs @ Honeydukes

Pumpkin Juice @ Honeydukes

I would have tried the Pumpkin Juice as I love everything “pumpkin” but it was a bit pricey at $5.99 a bottle so didn’t as I got my daughter a bag of candy instead from Honeydukes.  It was extremely overprices at $8+, but very good and my daughter enjoyed it so that is what is important. 

Bag of Candy f/Honeydukes

After leaving Harry Potter Land we had lunch that we got at Publix before we got to Universal.  I got 1/2 a wholegrain turkey and cheese sub with mayo, lettuce, tomato & pickle………..YUM!  This sub is one of my favorites.  It is great to take to the beach or pool, something about eating it on hot days, it taste greats. 

Lunch

We hit a few more “water” rides around Islands of Adventure, as it was HOT out there!  Than we got a huge lemon icee to share, to help us cool down.  It was as good as it looks!  And, I did not feel the least bit guilty having it as I WALKED A LOT in the hot sun all day so I knew I could indulge a bit.

Lemon Icee

 I also had a juicy peach while my daughter played at one of the many water play areas they have in the park.

Snack

We left around 4pm after spending approximately 6 hours in the park and having the “sunburns” to prove it.  That night I made a simple dinner, over loaded (literally) burritos.

Dinner

It was a GREAT DAY all and all!  I was very happy to share the entire day with my daughter as these days have been so hectic that I feel I just do not get the “quality time” I should with her so it felt great to do that finally after a long and crazy busy summer.

Oh, and I highly recommend visiting Universal Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Pottery, you will not be disappointed I assure you!  =)