Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Directions

I can't believe that Neon Princesses has been going for more than 10 months! Holy smokes!!!

When Lisa and I started this we had no idea what we wanted or where to start. 

Life has been busy for both Lisa and I and we haven't been as active as we would like to be. Lisa has decided to take a smaller part in Neon Princesses. She will still post occasionally, but she has some family business going on and family comes first. 

I have been thinking about why we started Neon Princesses and what I want from it. After some soul searching I have figured out what my goal is: I want to inspire people, help people, and provide support and a resource for knowledge. 

It has been hard dealing with social media hiding posts and not getting to communicate with you all. This has led me to believe that the best way to help the most people accomplish their fitness goals is to create groups where you can check in, find motivation, accountability. You will be able to talk about workouts, have water reminders, get new recipes and much much more!

I have also decided to become a Beachbody coach. This will allow me be able to help more people with their fitness goals!!!! I am so excited. So from now on I will continue the Neon Princesses page, but there will also be groups for specific Beachbody Programs (P90X3, T25, Piyo, ect.) and a general accountability group! I want to help YOU accomplish your goals.

I will have a Piyo accountability/challenge  group starting JULY 7 for everyone who has me as their coach when they buy Piyo! I am so ready to do Piyo with everyone and help you achieve your goals.

There is also opportunities to join my team as a Beachbody coach. If you want to inspire others and make a difference while making money, email me at or my partner in crime Jeri Sue at JSFitness.

You can sign up for a free account on Team Beachbody and get access to me as your coach as well as recipes, tips, and support!

Giveaway Winner! 
 The winner of the giveaway is Katie Huges! Katie send us an email at so we can send you the Spartan Race Entry. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blog Hop, a Spartan Race Giveaway and a Giveaway Winner!

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Core Power giveaway is Amanda Whitley!!! You have until Monday June 23 to contact us at

Blog Hop

You know how much fun I had at my first Spartan Race. If you missed my Volunteering Recap or the Race Recap click on the links to read more about my impressions. So I decided to giveaway a Spartan Race Entry!

Follow the steps in the rafflecopter below to enter to win a free race entry to Spartan Race. Then you can hop on over to the next blog participating in the blog hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog Hop

What is a blog hop giveaway? 
A blog hop is a group of blogs that get together and each blog that joins the blog hop hosts a giveaway during a predetermined time. There is a linky tool that lists the blogs participating and this is a great way for new followers to find your blog. 

Who can join? 
Anyone with a blog that wants to host a giveaway. 

What can I giveaway? 
Anything fitness/running related. 

When is the deadline to sign up? 
The deadline to sign up is June 16th. 

How do I sign up? 
Sign up here

Monday, May 19, 2014

Haven Book 1 and 2 Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Haven is a series centered around a Haven a place where all super natural beings, Vampires, Witches, Elves, ect. are safe until recently. The first book is centered around Sam Dalcome and his friend Travis. When they discover a secret passageway and Sam Dalcome has been followed by a mysterious person.

The second novel in the series is centered around Alisa Dalcome and her role in protecting Haven and the portals to Haven.

I don't want to give too much away since it is a really good book. But I just want to stay that is it a great quality young adult novel. I love fantasy novels and the young adult ones tend to be the best in my opinion. You should check it out here!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

English Sombrero Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
The English Sombrero is a book that follows Don Simmons as he makes his journey into the running world. He went from selling cars to taking a year off of his day job to start running.

This book is hilarious and a great read! I read it before bed and it was hard to put done.

As someone who has struggled with weight issues all my life this book spoke to me. Everyday you just have to get up and get out there just as Don did. I personally don't smoke but Don struggled with this as well and if you are looking for a motivational book where someone faces the same struggles as you this book is for you! It can be hard to keep up with your journey as you face road blocks but you need to keep with it.

Be sure to check out this book when you have a chance. The comedy, motivation, and inspiration will help you out.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Core Power Review and Giveaway (Blog Hop)!

It is my birthday today (May 9th!) and I decided to review and giveaway some Core Power. Earlier this year Core Power sent me a fit kit and some Core Power to review!

 They sent me this wonderful duffel bag, a Core Power towel, yoga mat, stability ball, water bottle, and SAMPLES!! Core Power has original drinks and light drinks. The original Core Power drinks come in these flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Banana. 
Nutrition Facts for Core Power Banana Flavor
The light Core Power comes in these flavors:Chocolate and Strawberry. 
Nutrition Facts for Core Power Chocolate Light
Core Power is a post workout recovery drink that contains real, natural milk protein. It comes ready to drink, without needing to add powder, water, or any additives.

I got to try Chocolate, Chocolate - Light, Strawberry - Light, and Banana!

  • It comes ready to drink! I just put it in the fridge and drink it after my workout
  • It doesn't have to be refrigerated until it is opened (Though I like to drink mine cold)
  • The taste is AMAZING!
  • No powdery aftertaste
  • It is lactose-free, so I don't have any stomach problems after drinking it.
  • A GREAT source of protein, with a good carb/protein ratio to promote muscle recovery after workouts
  • They do tend to be on the more expensive side, but they are available on amazon (with free shipping for prime members) 
  • They don't have a light version for the banana flavor (which is my favorite)
Overall Core Power is great. They have a nice variety of flavors. The strawberry tastes like strawberry Quik (Nesquik), or the strawberry milk that you could get at lunchtime at school. The chocolate and the chocolate light taste like your average chocolate milk, but with the benefits of more protein! The banana flavor is by far my favorite (which is really odd for me, since I am not big into bananas). 

I love the fact that the Core Power come ready to drink. No mixer cups, or blenders necessary! Plus you never get that chalky taste that come with your average powder protein drinks.

Overall, Core Power gets my stamp of approval! Enter below to get a sample of Core Power and then hop on over to the other giveaways in the Linky below!

Disclosure : Core Power provided me with the samples free of charge for review. My opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UA Marbella Review

Last month I received a pair of the Under Armour Marbella athletic sunglasses to review. So far I have run in them, biked in them, gone horse back riding in them, and white water rafting in them. They are AMAZING. They stayed on my face, and even when I did drop them (they fell out of my gym bag) they didn't scratch or break.  Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of these glasses. I had to really look for a con though.

  • They are really lightweight 
  • They don't pull on your hair - I love this aspect of them since I have really long hair and I am tender headed
  • The are really dark so the sun never bothers me when I run
  • They are durable! I have worn these running, horse back riding, and white water rafting and they are still in perfect condition.
  • They have a rubber nose grip that prevents the glasses from sliding off your face.
  • The retail for these glasses is $100 and that is a lot less than most of the athletic glasses that I have seen. 
  •  They are a little wide on my face but I have a small round face, so for most people this won't be a problem. 
Overall I ADORE these glasses, and I have been recommending them to my friends. They are affordable and are a great quality pair of athletic sunglasses.

*The UA Marbella sunglasses were provided to me at no cost by UA through the Girls Gone Sporty Blogger Network. All opinions and comments are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fitathlon Volunteering Recap!

The ninja and I showed up at the Fitathlon at 8am, as per the instructions when we signed up to volunteer. The venue was set up, but there were maybe 5 cars and barely any volunteers.

It was very strange, maybe 200 people showed up to race and there were only maybe 20 volunteers in total. This was the first time that I had volunteered and raced in the same day, so when we signed up to volunteer we signed up to help out at the water tables together, so that it wouldn't be too strenuous.

Yea well that didn't happen. Once we got there one of the THREE staff members just assigned us to two different obstacles. He didn't even ask us where we signed up to be or anything. I understand that a lot of volunteers didn't show up, but it bothered me that they acted like they were giving us a choice, only then to turn around and ignore our preferences. On top of that the Ninja and I got separated, so what was supposed to be a joint effort turned into a day all alone at the obstacles.

We got to our stations at 8:15 or so, and the race started at 9, later than it was supposed to.  I was the only volunteer at my station and it was the same for the Ninja at his station. There was not a staff member to be seen, and no one had a radio. This REALLY worried me, what happened if someone got hurt. It would take me about 5 minutes to get back to the registration tent, and 5 minutes to get the staff member back to the obstacle if someone was hurt. Thankfully I didn't have that problem, but it shouldn't have been a worry in my opinion.

The first volunteer shift should have ended at 12. From 8:15 until 12 I didn't see anyone other than racers. No one came to relieve any volunteers to take a restroom break, or get any food. It wouldn't have been too bad but when 12:30 rolled around no one had come to even let the volunteers go to line up to race. Finally at 1 I had to leave my obstacle to go to the restroom. At this point I found a staff person and asked if they would relieve the Ninja so he could grab some food and a restroom break before the volunteer heat started. The volunteer heat was supposed to start at 1:15, but it didn't start until 2! This happened to work out ok, because the Ninja didn't get anyone to relieve him until 1:45 anyway. That was 15 minutes to change, get food, and use the restroom before we started the race. That was a huge difference to the 1 hour and 15 minutes described on the volunteer website.

Overall it was a very disappointing volunteering experience. It was so different compared to my volunteering experience at the Spartan Race. I understand that they were expecting more volunteer, but there were only THREE staff members!! THREE! I feel that if they wanted to put on a race they should have at least one staff member per obstacle, one at the start line, one at the finish line, and two at registration. That way if all of the volunteers show up it works great, but they aren't relying on those volunteers to pull off that race by themselves. 

Spartan Race All Terrain Series and "Spartan Up!"

Reebok All-Terrain Shoes
If you haven't heard yet, Spartan Race has partnered with Reebok to create the Reebok All Terrain shoes. Made for the Spartan Race.
 Theses shoes have several key points to make sure that you have all the tools needed to help you succeed at whatever Spartan Race you are going to participate in.

Key Features 
  • Drains located in the shoe to help release any water/mud that gets into your shoes
  • Rock guards to help with stability on rocky terrain
  • "Teeth" to provide grip in the mud and dirt
You can purchase these shoes already HERE for $109 retail. I will probably buy a pair sometime before my next Spartan Race and I will write up a full review then!
 "Spartan UP!"

Joe DeSena, the founder of Spartan Race, just wrote a book! The book is called "Spartan up!" and is the story of how Spartan Races came to be. The book also includes Joe's goals for Spartan Race and how he hopes that the Spartan Race will change the world and how people see fitness! If you want to find out more information about "Spartan Up!" you can find that HERE.

Here is the video about "Spartan Up!" The book is coming out soon and you can pre-order it HERE.

Spartan Race has also provided a 15% off coupon for any Spartan Race!! Just follow this link to their site to get the coupon code!

If you could ask Joe DeSena any question what would it be? Let me know and you might get your question answered!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spartan Sprint Race Recap!

Pre-Race Prep

Before the race started I did my normal race day prep; I ate my EnergyBits and not 1 but 2 bananas. The banana was really important, I think, because the day before I saw so many people jump over the wall of fire and, if they fell, not be able to get up because their muscles were cramping so badly. Needless to say I was going to get enough potassium for that not to happen. Of course because I was worried about food I didn't spray on any sunscreen. I am usually really conscientious about this, because skin cancer runs in the family.
Walking to Registration
The Ninja (my boyfriend if you missed that nickname designation in the previous post) and I got there about an hour before our start time. We were in the last wave of the day which started at 2:30, which had most of the volunteers in it. Picking up our race packet went really smoothly. Before we started we wondered around the festival and wrote our numbers on our arms and legs.
Here I am all marked up!

The Race!

So the first obstacle was before we even got to the start line! The start line was corralled behind an opening that was blocked with a 5 ft wall. I know that doesn't seem too high for most, but I am 5'4'' and there were no foot holes, or spaces in the wall where you could get a leg up. The finish line never seemed so far away as it felt in that moment. There were people passing me and catapulting over the wall around me. I tried pulling myself up and over the wall a few times, before a volunteer took pity on me and told me to use the posts on the side of the wall as a foot hold.
Me finally getting over the wall
Finally I got over the wall. As I stood at the starting line I was surrounded by people who looked like they weighed maybe 120 pounds and were tone and fit, and I just thought. . .what on earth am I doing? At this point I just thought about all of the people on the Neon Princesses Facebook page who had given me support and motivation, and I just couldn't turn back. Plus turning back would mean going over that wall again, which was not going to happen! As I heard other people talking about taking it slow with a 8 min/mile I just had to tune them out. So ahead of time I knew I was probably going to be the last person to cross the finish line, but that was okay, I was going to be a SPARTAN!

The "official" first obstacle were hurdles with shallow mud pits afterwards. Since I had hurt my knee the week before, I just hopped over the hurdle and jumped into the mud pit instead of taking them both on in one leaping bound. They just wanted to get straight to the muddy part, in case you had any illusions about making in through the Spartan Race without getting muddy!

Me making my way over the 5 ft. wall
The next obstacle was a series of three 5 foot walls, and after each wall there was a net that you need to get under. At this point I had a method to get up the walls. I would put a foot on the post that was holding up the wall and catapulted over the wall.
Under the nets I went!
By this time I was already tired! I couldn't believe it, we were barely into the course at all. At this point there was a long portion of trail between this obstacle and the next. The trail was beautiful. It was a sunny, warm day.
A nice creek where I got to wash some mud off my shoes!
We walked up and through the trails of the horse park. I have been in the horse park where the race was held and I knew there were a lot of hills that could really kick my butt if they were in the course. Thankfully we didn't get those larger hills. There were a few smaller hills, but overall the run portion of the race was easy and chill. I have to say that most of the difficulty occurred with the mud that was created after obstacles with water or if the course crossed or went along the creek. Even small molehills created sliding problems when they were COVERED in mud.

At this point in the course I really had to go to the restroom, but I was holding out for a port-a-potty somewhere along the course. I trekked on and went to the next obstacle. The following obstacle was a platform that was about 6 feet tall, and you had to climb the wall onto the platform, walk across it, and drop down the other side feet first.
Not a flattering picture, but it is what it is!
There was a volunteer at the obstacle that saw I was having problems pulling myself over the wall. He promptly asked if he could give me a hand, and as I really did need the help, I accepted. He bent down on a knee and let me use his knee as leverage to pull myself up the wall. 

Continuing to the run! Well, to be fair I decided that I would walk, to garner my strength. (Which I am really glad I did, I needed it in the home stretch later!). As the Ninja and I walked on the trail we could start hearing someone coming down the trail behind us. . .The SWEEPER!! I was so afraid that this person would come and kick me off the course because we were going too slow. During this portion of the course I was practically waddling the course because I had to use the restroom. I have to be honest here. . . I walked a little off trail and used the restroom. Well there is a first time for everything. Yeaaa. . . it was awkward but since the Ninja and I were alone on the trail, he was the lookout for me.  I don't know what would have happened if we were in the middle of the pack. Lets not dwell on that though.

We increased the pace and tried to make it to the next obstacle before the sweeper caught up to us. The next challenge was the inverted wall.
What I am calling the "inverted wall"
So I promptly grabbed the wall and attempted to pull myself over the wall. I just couldn't get my upper body to pull myself over the top. This was the first obstacle that I had to burpee out of. I knew that I was unprepared for this race, but I had no idea how difficult this was going to be. By the time I was done, the sweeper caught up to the Ninja and I. She introduced herself as Andy, but she said that she wasn't here to rush us, just to make sure that no one got hurt or left behind on the course.

Well that alleviated my fears. I didn't want to be stranded on the course, and little did I know that Andy would be an amazing help to me in crossing that finish line.

So I am going to take a small break in the race recap to tell you about Andy. She is an Elite Spartan Racer. I asked her about how long it would take her to race this course in Atlanta, and she guessed it would take about 45 min. 45 MINUTES!!! This course took me about 2.5 to 3 hours!! Yea so long story short she was in amazing shape. Not only was she super fit, she was really kind. About halfway through the race I just broke down and started crying. She encouraged me and offered support. Needless to say she went above and beyond her "job" throughout the course. She also writes blog posts on the Spartan Race Blog, if you want to know more about what she does!

Okay, back to the race recap.  Talking with Andy and the Ninja was a great past time as we made our way to the next obstacle.
Trench filled with Georgia Red Clay water
The following challenge was a series of trenches filled with water and mud hills that you had to pull yourself up. This was just a dirty and muddy obstacle but it was fairly easy and fun! You got mud everywhere, and yes I really do mean EVERYWHERE. WHOO MUD! It did feel nice and cool!
Muddy hill, there was a rope!
Then we slowly but surely made our way to the water station! YEAA!! I don't know if you all know this about me, but I only like drinking water when I workout. (Yes, I know this isn't healthy. I am trying to do better). As a result I drink a LOT of water during a run. I am the crazy person who brings a water bottle to a 5k, finish it before the first water station, fill it up, drink extra at the water station, and then finish the second bottle before the finish. I look forward to water stations. It was nice to be the last people of the last wave of the day. We got to wash our hands in the water that was being dumped out after we finished.
Spear/Javelin toss
Andy demonstrated a few different methods of throwing the spear/javelin. The Ninja got the spear to hit and stick the straw target on the first try. I was not that lucky and had to do 30 burpees.
Sorry for the bad quality picture. This is the sandbag pull.
We then made our way to sandbag pull. There was a 'girl' side and a 'guy' side, and the sandbag was attached to a rope and looped over one pulley. The Ninja said that the 'guy' side's sandbag was pretty heavy and that the bag almost lifted him off the ground! I didn't seem to have any problems with the 'girl' side.
The lattice platform
Next there was the lattice platform that you climb up and walked over and climb down the other side. Another easy one, to get you confident before the next obstacle which was more difficult.

The Ninja and I after the horizontal wall climb
The ninja went first and needed a little help at the end of the wall with foot placement. Of course I ended up needed help with foot placement and making sure I didn't fall backwards off the wall, which the ninja and Andy thankfully helped with.
Keeping myself on the wall was the hardest part!
After the past few obstacles to build confidence, we hit a series of 3 - 7 foot walls. I needed a boost on these as well, if you didn't already guess! But it was okay, even with the help I didn't give up and kept on going. We walked through the course and got to the previous 6 foot platform and went under it this time.
Under the platform I went!
At this point I was out of water and slowing dragging. I fueled before the race but at this time we were already about 2 hours into the course (yes, I know that I was slow). While there were no huge hills, there were some climbs off trail, at which point I felt like I just wanted to sit down and not move for hours.The next obstacle were cylindrical posts in the ground at varying heights where you hopped from one to another. Think Mulan without the water.
Thankfully there was a water station right afterward, which helped me get to my second wind. The sandbag carry was after this. I carried a 25 lb. sandbag up and around a hill, which wasn't difficult. Afterwards we went to the cargo net cliff climb. Now I have never been scared of heights. Well . . .I found out that I just trust mechanical things. Which makes sense because I am an engineer.

Cargo Net
Needless to say about halfway up the cargo net I looked down. Big mistake, then I looked up. Neither of the options looked good. I just knew that if my arms gave out that I would fall and it would not be pretty. I kinda got stuck there for a while, but I just took a few deep breaths, listened to the encouragement that the volunteers were shouting and then kept moving.

Andy climbed the cargo net after me (in an amazing time I might add!) and we all made our way along the course. The ninja and I were lucky to have her there with us, because at this point a volunteer had already made her way up the course taking down the path markings. She was really apologetic when she realized that we were still 'racing.' Once we got back on track we got to the tire pull. You pulled the tire out on its side, and then reeled it back in with the rope that was attached to the tire.  Next year I might bring gloves to wear during the obstacles, to prevent rope burn.

We were SO close to the finish line, I could hear the music coming from the finish line and the announcer letting everyone know that the last racers were coming in soon.

Then we reached the 8 foot wall. As I walked up to it, I kept telling Andy and the Ninja, "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can just do burpees." Andy wouldn't let me give up though. She actually let me use her shoulder as a boost. As I was clearing the wall, I just started crying and repeating that I couldn't do this. Apparently it was kinda funny to the ninja (who cleared the wall fine! With no training of course).
Only six more obstacles left at this point. We got to the rope climb, which was practically impossible for me at this point. I gave it my all, but ended up falling into the mud and had to do 30 burpees before I could get to the next obstacle.
First mud pit under barbed wire
 We were in the home stretch now!  We slid down the first small mud pit, that had barbed wire over it. The mud was very gritty, which made this a very difficult stretch of the race.

Inclined Wall Climb
In the middle of the mud pit there was an inclined wall climb, which was really hard, especially covered in mud. The staff and volunteers all came into the mud and helped the ninja and I over the wall. Even the ninja needed help with this one! Once I got up to the top of the wall, I really needed help clearing it. I just didn't have any more upper arm strength to hoist myself the extra distance.

Down the wall and into the second part of the mud pit we went! While this was a very difficult part of the race, the volunteers and staff were beyond AMAZING! They were cheering and streaming encouragement, which was helpful and motivating. Andy walked along side me and gave me a hand out of some of the pits of mud.
Some of the more watery parts of this obstacle were so deep I was just treading water before I pulled myself out of the "lagoon." I rolled a lot through the obstacle. I thought this was not allowed but apparently it is encouraged? That was what the staff told me apparently.
Finally we made it out of the mud pit! You know how it is out of the mud pit and into the fire, that's the saying right? Haha, but really the wall of fire was next.
The Ninja making his jump
As I made it to the wall of fire I didn't clear the wall of fire as gracefully as the ninja did.
At this point the finish line is 30 feet away. The last obstacle is the gladiator pit! I was going to go big at the finish line or go home! I took off my mud shoes and tossed them to the side and ran into the gladiator pit.
I checked one gladiator and slid by the other gladiator, then slipped and fell before the third gladiator got to me. They all helped me up and I crossed the finish line!
As the last two people to cross the finish line we got walking sticks!! Which I think is really cool! But next year there will be no more walking sticks for us, I plan on coming back to the Spartan Race stronger and more prepared.

Overall Thoughts
The Spartan Race was definitely the hardest, most challenging, and most rewarding experience I have ever had. The volunteers and staff were great. They were helpful and motivational. The obstacles were challenging, but doable with some help, even if you are out of shape. I really loved the people and the atmosphere of the race. I would really recommend this race to anyone interested in obstacle/mud races, by far it was one of my favorite races to date! Have you ever raced in a Spartan Race? Are you Spartan Strong? I am really proud to say that I am a Spartan!