Thursday, February 28, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013

Well I am happy to say I completed my 1st Disney Half-Marathon, my 4th half all together. This was a very fun run so I'm putting a little review of the joys to be had at Disney. The background - I am a casual runner who has done a few half's. I normally finish about middle of the pack; longest run was 2:15. For this run I purchased one half-marathon, and one Gold Chear Squad for the hubby. No other goodies and we stayed off -site. So on to the review:

DPHM ExpoThe Expo:This was held at the Coronado Springs Resort conference rooms. To get to the resort we parked at Downtown Disney and were shuttled to the expo. There were continuous shuttles so this was great, and Downtown parking is free. The line to get in was very long but moved quickly. At the entrance you printed your waiver and then lined up for the bib. NOTE: Disney has LOTS of lines, but they do move. You got the bib and then had to go across the room to get the swag bag, this part I wasn’t fond of, seemed too many lines. There were a lot of typical race booths, I admit I didn’t shop hardly at all, just to many people jammed in a small space. The RunDisney merchandise was in a small section off to the side, it had a huge line to get in so I didn’t bother. Overall review – it should have been held in a larger space.

DPHM 2013 swagThe Swag:In my bag was one Disney shirt, nice fit. One net bag, a large button for the half-marathon, a temporary tattoo, and a small luna bar. That was all. The coupons were digital, no gel samples, no biofreeze samples. I wasn’t impressed.


DPHM 2013 pre raceThe Pre-Race:To get the race for offsite people we drove. You had to be in your corral by 5am and everything said expect long delays. So we got to Disney about 4am, there was a runner drop off bypass so we took that. No long lines, I hopped out and started walking, hubby went and parked. He said the parking was very full but moved nicely so we wouldn’t have had a problem with that. In the starting area they had music, character photo ops, and LOTS of porto lets. I never saw a line for the bathroom, Disney did this right. They announce corral gatherings, you walked a lot to get to where you needed to go. At the entrance they had music, a little show, and eventually, with fireworks, we were off and running. This is a nice casual run, you can do fast if you want but will miss too much.

DPHM 2013 courseThe course:A few rises, no really steep killing hills. You will stop a lot for photo ops. The course is lined with spectators who can get shuttled around. The hubby was at the start, at Magic Kingdom, and at the finish with no problems. There will be many character photo ops, the lines move quickly. If you stop for other photos just step to the side. There were more powerade/water stops than I have ever seen, almost every mile. At each mile is decorative sign and a course clock, many people stopped there for photos.

DPHM 2013 finish
The finish:Mickey & Minnie were at the finish when I got there. Regretfully didn’t hear me call so he left about 2 min before I came through. You stop for your really spiffy medal. Powerade/water at end but you can only take one bottle. Medical with Biofreeze, Tylenol, and ice also at end. The end snacks are in a little box. Disney was very particular about snacks and stuff, nothing at beginning unless you bought a race retreat and they only handed out one box. The snack box was a medley of trail mix type snacks and granola bar.

Overall review:I would do this run again. The changes would be to stay on site, just for park convenience, and take a real camera on the run. My phone photos were not the best. Would not do chear squad, hubby didn’t get anywhere others could get to and weather was great. He didn’t have time for anything else. Princess Half Marathon Gear on Princess Half Marathon
DPHM 2013 Castle

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Year of the Snake 2013

February 10, 2013 Year of the Snake.
chinese new year 2013Since traditional Chinese holidays like the Moon Festival are based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the date on the western (Gregorian) calendar changes from one year to the next. This Chinese new year calendar provides dates and descriptions of significant traditional holidays and festivals in 2013, the Year of the Snake, which begins on February 10, 2013 and ends on January 30, 2014.

For people born this year you will be rich in wisdom and charm, you are romantic and deep thinking and your intuition guides you strongly. Avoid procrastination and your stingy attitude towards money. Keep your sense of humor about life. The Snake would be most content as a teacher, philosopher, writer, psychiatrist and fortune-teller.

Now for the advertisement, whee. If you would like some cute wear for this slithery year check out my CafePress designs. A little baby snake with rattle can be found in green, pink, and blue.
It is always fun to make crafts to celebrate the seasons. 2013 is Year of the Snake. So here are some snake and chinese new years ideas.

kid with snakeTo celebrate this year please remember that not all snake are bad and that serve a purpose in life. They keep the rodent population down and are a natural part of the ecosystem. This year is a good time to teach children to be cautious around snakes but not to automatically declare all evil and kill them. Fun snake facts.

Snake amigurmi – I have to admit I love the little amigurumi’s that I see on the internet but so far have been unable to make my own, just don’t have the patience. Here are some cute patterns that are available online.
You can use old fabric pieces to sew into a tube to make your own snake
Using those old plastic Easter Eggs you can make this snake. You can also use an old egg carton.
For interesting food ideas:
Papercraft ideas:
Bouncy Cobra Paper Craft
So have a very happy and safe Year of the Snake, enjoy the fun slithery year.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

St. Brigids Cross

Straw Brigid CrossHappy Groundhog's Day, Imholc, and St. Brigid's Day. Brigid's Cross is an equal-armed cross that is a derivative of the Celtic sun wheel symbol. It is traditionally hung in the home for protection. Making one is fun project that isn't too hard and can be a lot of fun for kids. Traditionally they are made with rushes, wheat stalks, and other grasses. But you can use any straight but bendable material to make your own. Colorful pipe cleaners are great for the kids to use.

Wooden Brigids CrossTo make this cross you will need 14 reeds, some string, and any embellishments you might want to add. The traditional length of the reeds is 12 inches. If you want to make smaller ones to use as key chains jewelry remember the total length across will be the length of your materials. A wonderful tutorial complete with pictures can be found at the Fisheaters website.

Many interesting materials can be used to make these crosses. Recycled materials like magazines and boxes are fun items to use. Here is a tutorial from Gingerbread Snowflakes on how to make one out of cereal boxes.
If you would like to know more about Imholc or the Feast of St. Brigid here are some links.
Enjoy the day and hopefully spring will be blooming in your neck of the woods soon.