Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Chasing a PR

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the goals I set for myself as part of the Under Armour What's Beautiful campaign that I'm participating with through FitFluential. One of the big goals and the one that I have had my eye on for many months is to run a sub-2:20 half.

Tomorrow I'm running the Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon in NC and I am more anxious than I was before my first half marathon. I know this is a course that has HUGE PR written all over it so if you have a minute say a little prayer for me and keep your fingers crossed that I can channel my inner speed demon and fly down those hills tomorrow. I have a pretty lofty time goal on top of breaking 2:20 but I'll wait and share that in my race recap!

Something that is even more exciting than the race is meeting Courtney and her husband and their chocolate lab Riley!!! They have graciously invited Allan and I to stay with them and even invited Sasha and Lucky. Unfortunately Lucky still has an ear infection and had to go to the vet this morning for a check up on that so he and Sasha have to stay home. I have been looking forward to meeting Courtney since I started reading her blog and I have a feeling we are going to be great friends!

This is after a 6 mile run at the farm-not tired and not dropping his ball
For those who enjoy reading about Sasha and Lucky and their little adventures you'll appreciate this episode from the vet's office this morning. Lucky doesn't like walking on slippery surfaces such as tile and hardwood and has reservations about the metal table at the vet. He backed in the corner of the room and proceeded to climb Allan like he was a tree when it was time to get on the table. The tiny vet tech got the same treatment when they had to put him back on the table a second time. On top of all this Lucky refused the treat that the nice ladies up front offered him when he and Allan first arrived. When it was time to leave they offered him every type of treat they had behind the counter and the fifth one was the charm so they gave him his own pile of treats to nibble on! He's a crazy dog but I sure do love him!

Enough rambling. North Carolina...here we come!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade is one of the best books I've ever read and I don't say that lightly. It's a book that immediately drew me in and I couldn't put it down. I'd recommend this to anyone who can relate to searching for God's will in their life and the patience and total surrender that process requires. I read the entire thing in one evening and probably wouldn't have stopped for dinner if it hadn't been cooked for me!

It's obvious from the beginning that there's a lot more to Meg Cole than meets the eye. Although her father's passing made her a very wealthy young woman and one who would soon take the reins of the family's oil company, it's obvious that money isn't something that she flaunts or spends freely. For the last 8 years she had been standing on her own two feet and supporting herself in a career she chose after college. She had made a deal with her father that she would have 10 years to live her own life before coming to work for the family and embracing what would be her destiny.

Unfortunately her father's death changed her plans and those of Bo Porter when Meg informs him she wishes to shut down Whispering Creek Ranch and sell off the Thoroughbreds that encompassed the racehorse farm. Bo convinced her to give him six months to turn a profit, unwilling to walk away from something before he had a chance to show her the farm could be profitable. Meg surprised even herself when she agrees to a six month time frame to shut the farm down.

What she didn't count on was the calming effect Bo and the foals would have on her nerves. It had been years since she had a full-blown panic attack but she knew the signs and how to prevent one. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine simply being around Bo would relax her and cause the stress to melt away. She also didn't count on her past coming back to haunt her and discovering God's plan for her life in the most unlikely place!


   Book Info 
 
About Undeniably Yours:

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.

Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their relationship-and their belief that God can work through every circumstance-survive?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/kGPEI

Watch the Trailer:

Undeniably Yours Book Trailer
Undeniably Yours Book Trailer

Meet Becky:

Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas.

Visit her website at www.beckywade.com. 
 Blog Tour Schedule



Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

UndeniablyYours

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!



I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's Beautiful

I'm part of a sponsored campaign for the What's Beautiful program through FitFluential and I'd love for you to join my team! My team is Summer Speed and as the title implies we will be focusing on improving our speed at any distance and hopefully setting some new PR's in the process. You can join the team here or if you just want to sign up to participate in What's Beautiful you can do that here.

http://uawomen.s3.amazonaws.com/wb3team/UA_WB3_Post.jpg

In case you have some questions about What's Beautiful here's a little snippet from the site that sums it up perfectly:

"Together we're redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we've ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.
We'll continuously post challenges for you. But that's just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes." 

The best part: Under Armour is going to be picking women each week who are standing out in the this challenge and awarding them with Under Armour swag bags. Oh wait, it gets better! At the end ten finalists will be chosen and of those ten finalists three winners will be selected to go to Costa Rica to a 4-day yoga and surf retreat. That sounds pretty amazing to me!   

I have challenged myself to run a sub-25 5K, a sub-2:20 half marathon, and to focus on strength training this summer. These are lofty goals for me and ones I WILL reach during the next 8 weeks!
Are you participating in What's Beautiful?
What are your goals?

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Once Upon a Prince certainly doesn't start off with a fairy tale feel as Susanna is dumped by her boyfriend Adam. They had been together since high school and now twelve years later she is expecting a proposal or at least that was "the plan". Susanna quickly finds out that when it comes to her life the more she plans the more things seem to fall to pieces. Thank goodness Nate is there to rescue her when her car has a flat tire the night Adam breaks up with her. Later he seemed to appear at the right moment when her father suffers a heart attack and she needs a ride to the hospital. For a girl who doesn't need/want saving she constantly finds herself at the mercy of Nate. When she quits her job he even hires her to redesign his father's garden at the cottage and she designs "A King's Garden. While Susanna's father is recovering Nate offers to help out at her family's business, The Rib Shack, where her mother puts him to work taking out trash and cleaning toilets.

When Susanna discovers Nate is really Nathaniel and he's a prince soon to be king she feels deceived. In his attempts to be honest with her he tries to explain an ancient Brighton law that would prevent he or anyone else in the royal family from marrying a foreigner. This revelation and the news Nate receives right after telling her this is a huge turning point in the novel. I won't talk say any more for fear of ruining the best part of the story so you'll have to read it yourself to find out what happens next!

The parts of the novel I found myself re-reading and taking a moment to think on were the ones in which Susanna ponders living her life according to God's will and examining her choices to see if she is giving him an opportunity to work in her life. In sharing this with Nate I believe it opened both their eyes and hearts to following God's plan for their lives and not being selfish but rather allowing their own desires to come second to those of the Lord.

With this being the first in the series I can't wait to see what the rest of the series holds!


 Book Info 

About Once Upon A Prince

The Royal Wedding Series Book One

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.
The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon's Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family's tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna's aid under the fabled Lover's Oak, he is blindsided by love.
Their lives are worlds apart. He's a royal prince. She's a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation.
It's the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God's will or their own?

Purchase a copy:
http://ow.ly/kFb0Y

Watch the Trailer: 
Once Upon a Prince, Book Trailer - Rachel Hauck
Once Upon a Prince, Book Trailer - Rachel Hauck
Meet Rachel:

Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner "Sweet Caroline", and RITA Finalist "Love Starts With Elle", and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, "The Songbird Novels". She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets. Rachel earned a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor.

Find out more about Rachel at: http://RachelHauck.com

 Blog Tour Schedule

**Can be found on landing page:


Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of Once Upon a Prince with a fun "Royal Wedding" Giveaway and connecting with readers at her May 28th Facebook Party.

PrinceHauck300

One "royal" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 27th. Winner will be announced at the "Once Upon a Prince" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 28th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of book chat, wedding trivia, laughter, and more! Rachel will also be sharing a sneak peek at the next book in the series and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Once Upon a Prince and join Rachel on the evening of May 28th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kona Kase Review

If you are like me then you've heard about Kona Kase from at least one if not two or more bloggers in the past few months. It really seemed like something I'd be interested in because after looking at the past seven months of boxes I saw several things I would like to try either before, during, or after a run or workout. Kona Kase provides you with a box each month that contains several different nutritional products that you can put to good use as part of your training regimen. Now on to the goodies!

IMG_6383
Love the Johan Wolfgang von Goethe quote in the Kona Kase!

  • Zing Chocolate Coconut-light coconut taste and not too sweet
  • Zing Cashew Cranberry Orange-little bit of a nutty taste with a citrus kick
  • Justin's Honey PB-it wasn't bad but I don't really eat PB, people who actually eat PB might love it
  • Journey Savory Nutrition Bar Sea Salt-not my favorite, tasted a little weird to me
  • Kind Plus Bar-one of my favorites in the box, I'll be buying these for us to eat!
  • Soyjoy Blueberry-much better than I expected, tasted like a blueberry muffin in a bar
  • Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Bar Toasted Coconut-yum yum, reminds me of a piƱa colada
  • Trachealth Simple Super Seeds Chia + Coconut-we put this on a bed of spinach leaves and topped it with Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard dressing and it was delicious!
  • Sun Cups Milk Chocolate Caramel Cups-creamy and not terribly rich and sweet, someone (hint: Allan) devoured them after I took a bite to taste it
  • Barbara Llewellyn Brown Sugar and Rosemary Cashews-an interesting flavor but I loved it! I'll be keeping an eye out for these at the store too.

IMG_6399
My favorite item in the Kona Kase!

My only disappointment was that there was nothing in the box I would use during a run or workout. Other than that the Kona Kase is something that may find its way to our doorstep each and every month!

If you are interested in trying out a Kona Kase yourself you can use the code 'FF2' to get your first month for $10!

I received this product free of charge through FitFluential in exchange for my honest review.

Sweet Scent of Justice by Debbie Wilson

A couple of months ago Debbie Wilson, author of Sweet Scent of Justice, emailed me the following: "On August 13, 2012, my book, Sweet Scent of Justice, was published. It is a faith-based true crime memoir about the miraculous way God worked in my life to help strengthen my faith and lead me down the path to find justice for my family. In 1981, my sister, Kathy Whorton, was brutally raped and murdered in our small community where she was a sophomore attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Shortly after her death, two notorious serial killers confessed to her murder, and her case was closed.

Twenty-two years later, I began to feel a strong desire from God to open the door to my past and find answers to the many questions I had about her death. After four years of riding a rollercoaster of emotions, her real killer was found through the use of DNA evidence. Because of lost evidence, her murderer will probably never be taken to trial for her death, but God made a way to provide justice for Kathy through a miraculous plan; His plan.

The book focuses on the strong faith that my family had during the death of my sister as well as during the search for the man who took her life. It also details my journey to forgive her killer. My personal tragedy actually strengthened my faith and belief in Christ, and my hope is that my story will strengthen the faith of others too. 

You can find more information about my book on my website at debbiewilson.org."


Her novel about the tragedy surrounding her sister's death was heartbreaking and at times painful to read. It made me grateful for all the advances in crime scene processing and the ability we have to test for DNA. I rarely take the time to think about how something so small can have such a huge impact in bringing the right person to justice. It's hard to imagine waiting years and years for law enforcement to find the person responsible. Debbie's willingness to forgive was a powerful reminder that forgiveness is a vital tool in healing and moving on from any tragedy we face in our life. Her faith in God is reflected in each and every step of the long, drawn out process that she and her family went through to find her sister's killer. I won't give away the story but things aren't wrapped up quite as nicely as one might think but for Debbie's family it was enough for the closure they needed.

Thank you for reaching out to me and for sharing your story, Debbie. I hope it continues to speak to people for years to come.

I was provided a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Road ID Winner

Sorry that this is late getting posted but I was in Nashville all weekend for a wedding and this week has been crazy. I'm on the Executive Board for our local Friends of the Library (yes I realize how nerdy that sounds) and the library is getting new carpet so I've been packing books, painting a bookshelf, etc.

Without further delay the lucky winner of the $35 Road ID gift card is commenter #2...

...which belongs to Courtney! Congratulations Courtney! I'm sure Riley will love his new Scout ID.




I really wish I could have given all of you a Road ID gift card. Stay safe out there you guys!


Gone South by Meg Moseley

http://www.randomhouse.com/images/dyn/cover/?source=9780307730800&width=125


Gone South by Meg Moseley takes place in Noble, Alabama, a fictional town outside of Huntsville. See why I immediately wanted to review this one?! Seriously though, even if this book wasn't set in Alabama the cover would have sucked me right in. I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl and I rarely wear a dress these days so I love the big dress over the jeans that Tish is sporting on the cover! Throw in the fact that my sister is a redhead and it's easy to see why I envisioned the main character Tish McComb as a composite of my sister and me.

The novel opens with Tish and her mother sitting down to eat and her mother giving Tish her father's family's letters that had been passed down from generation to generation. Soon Tish finds herself helping her mother and Charlie move from Michigan to Florida and before she knows it here she is planning a trip through Alabama on her way back home to Michigan to take a look at the McComb house that is on the market. Buying the McComb house and moving to Alabama turns out much differently than Tish had imagined. Melanie Hamilton, the prodigal daughter returning home, and George Zorbas, the local antique shop dealer, are the only people willing to give Tish a chance when they find out she is Leticia McComb, great-great-great granddaughter of Nathan and Leticia McComb. At first Tish is the only person willing to give Melanie a chance since according to everyone in town Melanie stole her grandfather's watch when she left town and pawned it to go to Vegas.

The author teaches us time and again in this novel about giving second chances and not judging a person based on what you think you know about them. As I learned more about both Melanie and Tish I saw many similarities between the two. Thanks to Tish, George begins to soften his heart toward Melanie and starts to see her again as his childhood friend Stu's little sister and not the thief people perceived her to be thus causing him to offer her a part-time job at his store. Will other people give Melanie a chance? Will anyone be able to look past the McComb name and see Tish for who she really is? Will God answer everyone's prayers to restore Melanie's relationship with her family?

If you think this sounds like something you'd enjoy reading you can read Chapter 1 here and check out Meg's website here. If you enjoyed my review and would like to take a couple of moments to rank my review you can do so here.

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.