South Jersey Belle

It's all about the attitude.

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Camaraderie as a Runner and Cyclist

One thing the running and cycling community has going for it is the camaraderie. Running and cycling is a sport you have to do by yourself. No one else can do it for you. But during training there are many times that runners and cyclist will meet up together so you are not isolated and training by yourself. If you are covering a long distance it can get pretty lonely sometimes spending hours upon hours by yourself training.

I honestly just thought about the camaraderie of these sports recently. Philadelphia just hosted the Love Run half marathon and toward the end of the race there is video footage that made the news where one runner was limping pretty badly. Two other runners in the race came up besides her and assisted her to the finish line. How awesome is that?!?

7c5e51c99d619e49a994711dab985383This morning I went on a 5.5 mile run through Philly. As I passed most runners they nod, smile, wave, or even say hello. I feel it is a little push of encouragement from my fellow runner. Like good job, keep it up! The same goes with cycling. Thinking back to when I rode the MS ride, my mother and I pulled over to recharge and get some energy chews out of our bags. Riders passing us shouted to make sure we were ok or needed help. Very cool!

Our society today has us more disconnected to human interaction then ever. We can go about so many tasks without ever talking to another person. Just think that little smile, wave, or hello could really help turn someone’s day around. Thank you runners and cyclists for acknowledging each other and supporting the healthy lifestyle we lead.

See you on the road!



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Bike MS

It’s that time of the year that I start raising money for a ride I will complete in September-Bike MS. I know its a ways off, but this year I have raised the goal of how much money I will be able to fundraise and the distance I will bike. 14022190_10104324653062473_7834320909764671262_n

Bike MS happens all across the United States. I will take part in the City to Shore ride from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ. Last year I rode 80 miles and was able to raise $400. This year I have set my goal to 100 miles and $500 to help find a cure for MS. Last year’s ride was the first time I have completed Bike MS. I was riding with my mom, uncle, and a riding group in Jersey I complete weekly rides with. I thought half marathons and marathons had a ton of people show up, but it was amazing how many bikes were on the road for this great cause.

What is MS you ask? MS -multiple sclerosis. MS is a disease that effects information being sent through the central nervous system from the brain to the spinal cord and other parts of the body. The cause of MS is still unknown. It can be difficult to diagnose since there is no single test for MS. It tends to be more common in women then men. I have had a family member that passed away from MS. Through the cycling event I’ve learned how important it is to advocate for change, raise awareness, and be involved by volunteering my time in the cycling event.

My experience from Bike MS last year was amazing. It’s hard to explain how it was without sounding a bit ridiculous. If you have ever taken part in a race you know the excitement when you take the first step over the start line and when you cross the finish, but with the Bike MS ride it was a bit more personal. It’s an all day event, you meet people that are from all over the country, some biking with MS. It’s so encouraging. Bikes take over the roads. Riders are looking out for each other, making sure everyone is feeling ok and not having issues with their bikes. When you ride into Ocean City the crowd of people welcoming you is sensational. Being able to donate money from all of my wonderful friends and ride in their behalf was incredible. It made me so proud to have such a great support group that I call my friends. I can not thank you all enough!


I can only ask of you once again to please help support my ride for this amazing cause. Help me to bring awareness to MS and help find a cure to end MS. If you would be interested in donating to my ride please click here. If you are interested in riding with me and joining my team click here. Thank you!

Don’t just ride, bike MS.





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Jet Lag is for Amateurs, but Fatigue is the Real Deal!

Yesterday I finished my 4 day trip. It wasn’t so bad! I worked with great crews and the crazies were to a minimum (I’m talking about passengers). I had overnights in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Boston. I arrived back in Philadelphia around 9am-Thursday morning. Wonderful, I have the whole day I thought, I can run errands, do laundry, go to the gym, and get myself organized for the weekend (because you know I’m always on the go). Well after getting to my car I was struggling. So tired. Need more coffee. But I already had my normal one cup I usually limit myself to. There was literally and physically no way I was going to stay away without another cup of caffeine.

I stopped at good ol’ Dunkin Donuts before heading to get some groceries. Ok, my second wind kicked in. Grabbed what I needed at the store and headed home. Plan of action, get the laundry started, take a shower and head to the gym. I never even made it to the gym! I did get (most) of my laundry done. After taking that shower I had a pep talk with myself, ok maybe you just need a quick little power nap. I NEVER nap! I had just travelled across the country and back in a span of four days and the time changes and long days literally were kicking my butt.

Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion, or stress. Jet lag, on the other hand I can deal with pretty well. Monday I wrote I only had a few hours of sleep, but when I got to Vegas I felt ok. I drank plenty of water, took my vitamins, and tried to eat “normal healthy” meals. Every morning I had van pick ups of 5:30 am so that meant getting up super early to be ready, packed, and downstairs. 3 of my 4 flight days were pretty long. 12 hour duty days are tough. Interacting with maybe 600 or more passengers a day.  17 hours of being awake is the equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.  Your IQ is lower and you are easily distracted, both of which are not helpful when working as a flight attendant, as alertness and focus are crucial, especially in the case of an emergency.

As disappointed as I was yesterday that I could not get myself motivated to go to the gym I knew my body was telling my to chill out, which I rarely listen to. As I fully try to recover from this sinus infection it was best that I just try to relax and get back on my normal routine. I’ve got a long run planned for this weekend as the weather is supposed to be beautiful in Philly and pretty sure I have to work at my part time job, while finishing the rough draft of the dissertation chapters. LOL.




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Doctoral Student & Flight Attendant

As if I didn’t have enough on my plate between working two jobs and training for races and taking on a triathlon, I’m working on my dissertation. During my four day trip I’ve talked to some coworkers that are impressed with my dedication, but I have to say I don’t feel impressive, I’m doing this for myself, for my future, and because I love a challenge. The photo above is the process I am going through except I haven’t gotten to the printing part (YET)! Many of my friends and family members know I am going to school, but they don’t know what exactly for. So I figured I would share some of the (what I think is exciting) knowledge and research I have been doing. My doctorate is in business administration and my focus is marketing.

Here’s some information on my concept that will be included in chapter 1.

“Each generation wants new names, new symbols, new cycles. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors,” exclaimed Jim Morrison lead singer of The Doors (Davis, 2004). Generation Y is more individualistic than past generations and comfortable in a global environment with non-traditional ideals (Testani, 2012). Generation Y’s population has the ability to transform life stages for future generations to come (Testani). The need to understand generation Y’s culture, characteristics, and trends hold precedence in understanding why companies are closing and jobs are disappearing.

Generation Y includes any United States citizen born in between 1980 and 1994, aged between 35 to 21 years old (Lazarevic, 2012). Generation Y currently spends between 153-155 billion US dollars a year (Lazarevic). Generation Y is the largest population in the United States and has experienced the boom of technology, the economic recession, and will continue to shape the economy for the future (Advisors, 2014).  Generation Y is categorized as controlling, technologically savvy, and environmentally conscious (Gurau, 2012).  Generation Y is more educated than any other generation to date (Advisors).

Marketers need to create brand loyalty within the generation Y population, as this population is currently disloyal to brands (Lazarevic).  Businesses benefit on customer loyalty, which can be described as repeated purchase and referring other customers to a company (Gurau). Marketing strategies that have been used on prior generations including pre-depression, depression, and the baby boomers do not appeal to the unique needs and behaviors of generation Y (William & Page). Generation Y looks for more subtle messages, language that gives visual pictures, and ad placement on and offline in appropriate media outlets (William & Page). Businesses are failing because of lack of proper research on a product/service or incompetence to reach generation Y (Schneider & Hall, 2011). The specific problem is that generation Y is not brand loyal, which is forcing marketing agencies to spend more money for products/services than past years causing company closures and the loss of jobs. (Testani).img_3516

Going through the process of researching, reading, writing, repeat, seems almost never ending. Revisions are made almost constantly. I am in my last week of my  qualitative research class that has helped me to continually  develop my dissertation method, design, and research questions. Just to give some background on what I have been working on in the past 8 weeks-

Chapter 1 includes:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Problem Statement
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Population and Sample
  • Significance of the Study
  • Nature of the Study
  • Research Questions
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Terms
  • Scope and Delimitations
  • Assumptions and Limitations

Chapter 2 includes:

  • Literature Review
    • Historical/Current content
    • Conceptual Framework Literature
    • Methodology
    • Research Design Literature


Typing out a list of what is included in those two chapters doesn’t seem that much, but I must warn you chapter 2 alone, when done will be close to 50 pages. Being this far in the process I have come to the realization its all about determination. No one else can do this for me, as much as I wish it was possible sometimes. It’s not always fun. I have to give up being social with friends and family sometimes to stay in and write, but in the end I know it will all be worth it.

Time to get sh*t done!





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You Don’t Have to Go Hard to Enjoy Vegas

I’m currently working a 4 day trip and I’m writing this from 40,000 ft above. (Got to love technology) The first layover on my trip was 19 hours in Las Vegas. Only down side, I was (and still am) fighting a sinus infection. I felt so lame thinking I’m wasting 19 hours in Vegas to lay in bed. 

I was still able to make the best of it! The dry heat actually helped my sinuses and I was able to lay out by the pool for a few hours. Vitamin C intake at its best! Sorry Philly, but I really enjoyed the 90 degree weather (can we hurry up on the Spring weather East Coast)! 

After relaxing by the pool and not allowing myself to go to the gym (trust me it was really hard to not allow myself to workout) I was ready to do some exploring with my crew. 

Crew debriefing as we call it in the industry is when you are off work and get to enjoy your layover. We met for a beverage and headed out for a taco joint that all the locals seemed to be raving about- Taco el Gordo. I was forewarned that it wasn’t fancy and most of the menu was in Spanish. 

Naturally, I had to order what I thought was the most unique item on the menu. Beef tongue taco. Delish. I’ve had beef tongue before in China prepared differently. I also had the chorizo taco and pork mulas. Everything was very fresh and tasted great! 

After stuffing ourselves with awesome tacos the crew wandered back to the hotel and talked about what epic thing we could do in Vegas to make this layover great. Well no one wanted to go out in party (we all had early departures), but we could go on a ride at the top of the Stratosphere Hotel! With 3 rides to choose from of course we chose the most intense-insanity! A contraption that dangles you over the edge of the hotel and spins! Loved it! Plus you got a great view of Sin City! 

As the crew and I walked back to the hotel we were even able to witness a couple getting married in one of the wedding chapels on the strip. Classic Vegas. I had a great time with a great crew and did not wake up with a hangover or lose any money! 

Until my next adventure! 




Sports Basement

I have to be completely honest most big box sports stores are a complete disappointment to me. I spend time researching and looking at reviews for quality versus price of swim, bike, and running gear. I like to support smaller companies that tend to be a little more creative than the conglomerates. Being a women seems to make it even a little more difficult. I’ve seen enough shirts that say run like a girl. (Insert eye roll here).

Recently I have been looking for a store that will carry equipment for swimming, biking, and running all under one roof. Trust me it’s more difficult that it sounds. In my google search I came across Sports Basement “Best Brands. Basement Prices. “ Only downfall it’s in the San Francisco area. Well crew scheduling couldn’t have sent me to the West Coast faster and I couldn’t have been happier.

Sports Basement has 7 stores in the Northern Cali area. All the time I’ve been going out to SFO I have been missing this store. In fact, on my run out to Hopper’s Hands I decided to change my normal route just a tad and there out pops Sports Basement on Old Mason Street. I planned my run out specifically to end when the store opens promptly at 9am.

img_3435Walking through those doors and seeing the selection of clothing and gear was exhilarating! I literally did not know where to start!!! Prices were amazing! The selection of clothing and gear was insane. I grabbed a ton of stuff and even ended up joining their basementeer program. For a one time fee of $25, good for my lifetime I would receive 10% off all of my purchases. This was a no brainer!

I will share just a few of the things I picked out! I’m sure the stock must change pretty frequently so I wouldn’t count on things always being consistent.

Rickshaw Bags– made in SFO. This bag usually retails for $15. It was marked as $12. There are many different prints to chose from.

Sugoi running/cycling skirt normally would cost me around $55 retailed at $25.

Twin Six a cycling company from Minnesota! Finally a cute bike shirt for a female!

I even picked out a Sports Basement cycling kit. I was so excited about it I had to try it on back in my hotel room. I’m ready for spring on the East Coast!

Sports Basement you did not disappoint in the slightest! I’m looking forward to coming back on my future trips. Maybe I will even be able to take a class or go on a group ride or run with the Sports Basement staff!

Catch me if you can!



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Find Your Happy Pace

I had so much going on during the weekend and it just seemed to overflow in to the week! I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! I want to share some of the fun and not so fun stuff that has been going on that has kept my pace steady!

Saturday I went home to NJ to get a 8 mile run in with my Mom. My family lives on the Delaware River so besides it already being cold the wind did not help! So we really got some great resistence training. ( I know awesome shot of our new Momentum bracelets!!)

Saturday night Jared and I went to see a new play that was premiering in Philadelphia and it was even written by a Philly playwright! The play was called Sh*theads! I know a little crued and the language was like that in most of the play. The premise of the show was about a local bike shop trying to compete to stay in business with larger corporations which we see in our every day lives. It was entertaining  (we both try to support local as much as we can) and the really cool part of it was it was at the Azuka Theatre where you pay as you wish, just give a donation. What a great way to be able to take in more shows! I would highly recommend the show and I would check out another show through the Azuka Theatre again! 

On top of running around, seeing family and friends- I am in a class working on chapter 1 and 2 of my dissertation. This week a rough draft of chapter 2-the literature review was due. When chapter 2 is finished it will be between 30-50 pages. The whole process is very exciting, nerve wrecking, and stressful. It’s one day at a time, one foot in front of the other and trying not to fall down along the way.

Monday morning rolls around and I was putting the final touches on my draft of chapter 2 and I was #2 on the list of flight attendants to be called out. Well RING RING RING- crew scheduling calls with a three day trip allowing me to escape the snow that is about to hit Philly and the rest of the Northeast. Where am I headed- long San Francisco layover and a long Atlanta layover. Ok! Win for me!!

San Francisco is one of my favorite places to run! I love the energy from all the other bikers and runners. The runners and bikers seem so dedicated as you can always find people out there exercising no matter what the weather. I love that kind of dedication. I got up early Tuesday morning to run to Hopper’s Hands. If you run out to Fort Point which is pretty much directly under the Golden Gate Bridge you will find a plaque of Hopper’s Hands. This is a turn around point for many runners. Hopper is an iron worker that repairs the beautiful bridge, also helping to talk people down from committing suicide. Hopper knew about this turn around point for runners and saw them touching this fence so for some inspiration took it on himself to put up a copy of his hands to give a high five! Thanks Hopper! You are awesome! Thank you for your encouragement and showing others life is not a dead end, there’s always a point you can turn around!

Never give up!



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Organize Your Schedule to Reach your Goals

To complete all my daily tasks I have to stay on a schedule. While being a flight attendant allows for a less than normal schedule I still find time to work a part time job, work on my doctorate, and fit time in to train. If you are determined enough you can make anything happen.

I want to share a story about a friend and how he has made changes to his own schedule to reach his personal goals. Korey and I met through the airline several years ago and I have seen his personal growth and it is so inspiring. Korey also works a part time job, serving when he has free time from flying. You may or may not be aware, but as flight attendants there is no normal schedule. 12313671_10103690480758853_2963282751741711904_nOne day we can be working a red eye flight from Los Angles back to the East coast and the next day you could be flying 4 flights between Boston and New York. Passengers tend to feel tired from long flights, imagine working those flights and trying not to feel fatigued. After becoming friends with Korey he quickly picked up an interest in going to the gym on a daily basis. We started going to kickboxing classes together in Philly and our friendship budded as we shared so many interests. I’ve seen Korey become so intrigued in his health and fitness routine; joining new gyms, meal prepping, and  inspiring others to join him at the gym. Recently, Korey reached out to me recently to talk about online school options. I’m happy to say I got a phone call when he was accepted to Arizona State University for his bachelors of art in Spanish. Korey- I’m so excited for you and I’m looking forward to seeing your journey in academics and fitness.

Korey is just one of my many friends that I can use as an example of how important it is to optimize your schedule. If you want it bad enough you will figure out a way to make it happen. During my  master’s program at Full Sail University I learned about Gary Vaynerchuck, he comes from an immigrant family, they eventually bought and ran a wine store in New Jersey and Gary took things to the next level. He incorporated a Youtube wine show and just basically started a hustle. He used what he knew how to do and just kept connecting with people and pushing himself to his limits. Today- Gary is known as serial entrepreneur and internet personality. If you look at some of his videos from years previous versus now its amazing how far hard work can get you. One of my favorite quotes from Gary are,” Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” I urge you to watch some of his videos like- how to live a life of passion. 

Looking back on my own life I feel I live a more rewarding life now then ever. No one told me or pushed me to work on my master’s or doctorate. I’m proud of how far I have come academically.You will have those that doubt you or do not understand when you can not hang out because you have to be disciplined to do your homework on a Friday night instead of going out. Trust me it will pay off in the long run. Or maybe you have to say no to drinking because you decided to run a half marathon, marathon, or triathlon. It’s your life and you get to make the decision of how you live it.


Are your going to get out there and push yourself to be the best or just settle for being mediocre?





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To Stink or Not to Stink

As a runner, cyclist, or competing in any form of exercise or sports, your shoes are going to stink! Do not pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. I know you have thought about it or maybe you were concerned someone else might smell your stinky shoes or feet. It’s normal people! You have your feet tightly wrapper up in a sneaker for miles on miles what do you think is going to happen!?!?!



Now there’s no need to be embarrassed because you can eliminate the odor. First, I have to say the socks you are wearing plays a part into this. I swear by Balega socks! These socks are amazing. They let your feet breathe, they are ultra light, but still have cushion, and they help fight against blisters.

IMG_3157Next I find this to be key-use a foot powder or spray. My Mom has been the Avon lady in our neighborhood since I was a child. Ding dong Avon calling. Yes, thats her. I swear by the Avon Foot Works line. I love the powder, just sprinkle some in your shoes and it helps keep your shoes and feet dry while fighting odor. There is also a spray that I have used on occasion. You can spray directly on your foot and in your shoe.

It is really important to take care of your feet! One simple thing to be aware of is athlete’s foot!  It’s not the end of the world if you get it and if you are an athlete you probably have had it before (speaking from experience). It’s easy to pick up being around pools, locker rooms, or not keeping your feet dry. In between your toes become itchy, cracking, and sometimes burns. There is over the counter creams that you can apply to help it go away. If it continues then you should see a doctor. Using the foot powders and allowing your shoes to dry out in between wears should help in this matter also.

Take care of your toes!




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Fitness Enthusiasts

I have officially been 30 for three days now! LOL.Other than that my birthday weekend was filled with good times and more amazing times to be had with friends that weren’t around this weekend. (Ugh conflicting schedules)  I received some really thoughtful gifts for my birthday that I thought I would share with all of you as it may help if you had to buy something for any other fitness enthused person.



My parents hooked it up with some new sunglasses. I have tons of sunglasses, but not any specifically I use when I’m being active. I have bought a few cheap pairs at race expos, but I have always hated how they looked. The last pair I had I wore during the Philly marathon and they literally fell off my face and broke halfway thru the race. So I was really eyeing up a pair that would be a bit more substantial and actually make it thru a race, training, and even day to day wear. I picked out the Kona sunglasses from Roka.

They are extremely light weight. I haven’t been able to take them on a run or ride just year because Philly decided to drop down to arctic temperatures (again!). I wore them today to and from the gym and they are super comfortable. And the name is inspired from the birth place of the Ironman race!!!


The bf surprised me by getting a sign that allows to display my medals, race bibs, and a photo. I had been wanting one of these, but really never got around to actually buying one for myself. These are a great way to show off all your hard work. I am so excited to actually get all my medals on this thing. I have so many packed away and some where just lying around in my apartment. Some of you may know that I have a Garmin Forerunner 235 (that was a bday present from last year) and I have really been wearing it much more this year to help myself keep on track with my times and training.img_3129 If you didn’t know you can switch out the bands! So cool. I have the frost blue watch and the band matches, but Jared got me a black band and hot pink one so I can change it up whenever I feel the need. Philly also has a local running store-Philadelphia Runner. Who doesn’t like to support local! I’ve got a new shirt to rep running the 215 and pint glass to have that well deserved beer after a long run.

Last, but not least my best friend from the airline, Roi, another fitness devotee got me some Under Armour gear. img_3124I have probably been complaining and talking about getting an actual gym back for like 2-3 months. I just couldn’t find one that I liked or justify spending the money when I had plenty of tote bags and free bags from shopping places. So Roi got me a hot pink Under Armour gym tote (see a trend here with the pink).  And of course no runner can have enough compression tights and the pair he picked out have an awesome zip pocket on the side of your leg for your phone or whatever you want to stash on your run. I wore them to the gym today for a 4 mile run and 11 mile bike ride and they fit great and were very comfortable.

Anyway, I hope this helped. I know I love everything and I’m looking forward to using all my new gear. I’m sure I will have more details in the future about everything!

Now go run your heart out!