About Haley

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the web. I'm Haley. I’m a digital marketer & social media strategist, a running coach, compulsive movie quoter, wannabe photographer, Capricorn, and a slightly sarcastic, ultra chatty extrovert living in Tampa with my awesome family. I love spending my time helping folks find their best self through fitness, health and wellness. I strive to help you live your best life, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes I write. It’s rarely worth reading, but I like to put it out there anyways.

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Here are my most recent posts

Spartan Dads

Can you think of anything that your father or child’s father would enjoy doing more than running around with his buddies reliving the glory days in a Spartan Race?

I know my husband loves the challenge and excitement of training. He revels in all competitive sports, and the fulfillment that comes with conquering physical obstacles is unlike anything he receives from his typical work and family routine.   But I also know how much he likes to take care of his family and make sure that I am able to work towards my fitness goals. So the unfortunate reality is that we both don’t always get to do the activities we want.

You have to admit, it’s really nice to spoil one another on our special days of recognition, like Father’s Day.    Which is why I’m so excited to share that I have some amazing discounts and promos available through the Spartan race organization.  Even better, I have a Spartan Race entry to giveaway to one of you!!

Right now the code SPARTANDAD will get you, or your father,  50% off gear, $69 races and two free digital books with any race purchase.

Not a bad deal if you ask me. And well deserving for the special dad in your life.

And just because I’m that nice, I’ll be raffling off one registration good for any US Spartan Race.

TO ENTER THE RAFFLE:

  • Visit spartan.com and find a race location where you’d like to participate
  • Leave a comment below telling me where you’d run for a chance to prove you’re a Spartan Dad – please included your email in the comment so I can message you if you win.
  • Tweet the link below to share this post on twitter.

Giveaway will run until Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at midnight EST and I will announce the winner via this blog, so please make sure to come back and see if you’ve won.

 

 

For more information on Spartan Race and the Father’s Day offerings, please visit them online or see the image below.

 

How are you spoiling your father this Father’s Day?  Does your husband or dad have a special activity he likes to participate every year to celebrate the occasion?

30 Day #MomLife Plank Challenge

**Disclaimer:   Please consult with your doctor or another healthcare professional before beginning this challenge or any fitness program.  The following is to be used for educational purposes and is based on my personal experience.  You should always consult with a physician or healthcare professional for any questions pertaining to your health or wellbeing.  

 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram stories you probably saw my post yesterday about how I started a 30 day #Plankchallenge And if you’re not following me on Instagram, you’re really missing out, because I post there waaaaaay more than I do here. Like way more. So go visit my Insta right now and follow me, Before you forget. I’ll wait here….. Also, feel free to download my stories if you like, as they might help you get into the plank challenge! And don’t worry, you can download instagram stories anonymously if you really don’t want me to know you’re doing it, haha!
Okay, So this 30-day plank challenge was something I’ve seen plenty of times, plenty of people do them and I wanted to get my run group in on the challenge. And back when I started blogging almost five years ago and only had one child, I used to do the whole #plankaday thing and it was great. I would come home from running, spend 10 minutes on a relaxing cooldown and stretch session then knock out a 1 – 2 minute plank before hitting the shower. But now that I have TWO kiddos and a waaaay busier schedule, I struggle just to get my stretches done before getting tackled and subdued with motherly duties.

You mammas know what I’m talking about.

And if I’m being completely honest with you and myself, I’ve really really slacked on the cross training all across the board. So putting some focus on core work is right where I need to be.  And I have just the perfect little break before I have to shift my mindset back to marathon training.  Eeeek!  I signed up for another one of those.
And who doesn’t love a good 30 day challenge???   I know I do.

And since I had some requests to post the challenge, I whipped up an image to share on social media and here it is.  I’ve made it extra fun for us mammas of youngins too.  Make sure to check out the graphic for all the details.  You can do any plank variation you’d like.  Feel free to mix it up on different days too to keep from getting bored.  I will probably switch back and forth from low forearm planks and full extended planks.

 

 

Any way you want to do it, you just have to have fun with it.  And remember, form is crucial with planks to avoid injury and maximize effectiveness.  If you need help with your form, try to set up near a mirror or take a picture of your form to see where you need focus.  Always be sure to hit these form bullet points to ensure you’re performing the planks properly.

  • Line up your shoulders over your hands
  • Keep body in total alignment from your head to your heels.  It should resemble a straight “plank” (thus the name?)
  • Squeeze Glutes
  • Tuck in tummy and engage abs
  • Keep neck in neutral position looking down at your hands
  • Push balls of feet downward into the mat
  • Direct weight of body forward
  • Don’t let your hips drop down

*** For an extensive explanation and a great video on plank variations, visit this article from Mind Body Green. 

 Would you like to plank with us this month??

 

 

Bare Naked and Loving It

Today I celebrate the bare bottom of my son.  Today I celebrate his cute little behind running around the house naked as the day he was born.  Today I celebrate his smile, voice and joyous laugh.  The laugh I have come to hear more and more these days. The laugh that has replaced the screams and cries and squeals of a child fighting furiously to claw his skin through his clothing. Today I celebrate a rebirth of my son and his baby smooth bottom and his flawless complexion   

Today I celebrate the love that I have for my son and how I just cannot keep my hands off him.

Since birth, Harrison has suffered from chronic eczema brought on from food & environmental allergies.  Only recently did we began to see an improvement in his condition, undoubtedly from the elimination of our carpets from our house, which are known to hold massive amounts of allergens.

 This photo, along with Harrison’s current obsession to run around naked, may not seem like a big deal to you, but, to us, it signifies a liberation. It indicates the freedom from being constantly covered up.

You see, up until just a few weeks ago, we were forced to keep him dressed in his footie pajamas to prevent him from scratching his ankles and elbows to the point of bleeding during an eczema flare up. He wore pajamas to the supermarket, to our friend’s & family’s houses, and to pick up his sister from school.   He wore his pajamas so much, he would wear holes in the knees and soles of the footies.

So, you see, the simple act of allowing him to play unclothed is more than just a simple disregard for apparel.  It’s a full on celebration of his freedom and redemption from a world of constant discomfort. Today we celebrate his clear skin and his gorgeous face, because it’s the best it’s ever looked and it’s the smoothest it’s ever been.

I love you Harrison and I’m so happy to see you free from the bondage of your clothes. ?

How to Take Running Action Shots for Instagram

This post is long overdue. And I’m sorry it’s taking me this long to construct it. So many of you have came up to me at races or asked on social media how I take my running pictures, and I’m sorry I’ve neglected this post that has been sitting in my draft folder for literally months. So this is for all of you on Instagram and Facebook who keep inquiring about all my dirty photography secrets. I don’t run with a little photographer. And no, I don’t run with a paparazzi. But I do have a couple tricks up my sleeve and I’m revealing them today.

Five years ago, when I first began filling my Instagram feed with snapshots from my life, I didn’t have a plan, theme or scheme in mind. I just took random pictures of my life and posted them: my kids, food, workouts, selfies, landscapes, etc. By no means did I feel like I had to create a certain look or theme to appeal to anyone other than myself. However, through the years, I realized I preferred a certain theme and look to my pictures. Bright, eye appealing shots were what I tried to achieve. And since running was my big passion and one of the accountability reasons why I was on Instagram to begin with, I decided to shift my focus to sharing mostly fitness and running snapshots – the same kind of things I looked forward to seeing from other instagrammers.

Overtime I’ve collected quite a following on instagram. I know some people struggle with that and decide to use sites like Nitreo to help them increase their following but luckily, I’ve done okay. As with most things, you get better with practice. And as my creative side started to improve, my running pictures transitioned from simple post run shoe selfies to mid-stride action shots. And I guess I got the hang of it, because I’ve had many requests asking how I manage to capture my images. So today I’m going to share with you just how I take my running photos for Instagram using my iPhone and a few other tools.

First and foremost, I always use my iPhone to capture my photos for my feed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, the best camera for taking pictures is the one you carry with you. That being said, I always have my iPhone 6 plus, so that’s the camera that I use to take most of my pictures. In addition to my iphone, I will occasionally use a clip on detachable lens to add a little bit of an artistic perspective to my pictures. There are many available on Amazon, but this one here is the one I use the most. I like it best because it opens up the composition and captures a much wider range than my iphone is able to on it’s own.

Next, decide what you want to showcase in your shots. Whether you want to achieve a snapshot of you running through your front yard, or posing while mid stretch session, you’ll want to decide what scene and setup is desired for your “photo shoot.” Many times I wait until after my run is complete to take my pictures. I tend to focus on my training runs until I’m done, then I’ll setup a scenario in my head during my cool down.

Determine if you need a tripod, or something to prop up your phone to achieve your photo. I used to carry one of those bendable tripods, like this one, but have since realized I can utilize other things without having to carry an additional item with me. I’ve used everything from a mailbox, to the hood of a car to setup my phone. Sometimes people think you’re a little creepy, especially if it’s not your mailbox or car you’re using, but it’s all for the sake of Instagram, so it’s worth the dirty looks….maybe. And quite frankly, the majority of my running pictures are taken from the ground, so just a little something sturdy, like a rock or my water bottle, tends to do the trick quite nicely. But I will warn you, achieving a flattering image at that angle is much more difficult.

Now comes the difficult part. Once you determine how you want to capture your action shot, you’ll need to set your phone’s timer and run back and forth in the frame trying to score the perfect angle, pose, and frame. Let me be the first to admit. There is no easy way to achieve this. On average, I repeat this process anywhere from two to five times before I’m happy with a frame. It takes a lot of trial and error and can be very tedious. But once you figure out which angles and directions you prefer to capture, you can easily setup for pictures without much thought.

One of the biggest tips I can share with you for finding the best pictures is to utilize your video feature. What do I mean by that? Set your phone up on video mode. Then set up your camera and take a video of you running back and forth a few times with your camera. Do it from different depths in the frame with every pass by the camera. Then play it back and pause the frame where you like. Then take a screenshot of that frame. With motion, the stills of a video aren’t always great quality, but at least you can pinpoint how you like certain angles, depth and composition. Then you can recreate those settings and apply them to your front camera with the timer feature, as it takes better quality photos.

Lastly, you’ll want to edit your photos to add your own personal touch and style to your pics. I play around with a few different apps like PS Express, Pixlr and VSCO before posting to Instagram.

So there you have it. My personal secrets for taking action shots while running.

 

 

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use for taking great instagram shots?

 

 

 

New Year, New Direction (not the pop band)

This is not going to be the kind of post where I tell ya how committed I am going to be in the upcoming year to goals A, B, and C  And I’m not laying out some spectacular schedule where I tell you to look forward to lifestyle blogs on Tuesdays & Thursdays and Fitness on Fridays. Nope. This post is going far from that direction. Besides, you’ve heard all that crap before. But if you really want to read something like that, you can read my previous end of year posts here, here and here. Or you can google “resolutions for 2017” and you’re sure to find hundreds of similar structured posts like that.

Today I’m finally admitting to everyone, mostly to myself, that this little blog of mine is slowly fading away.  It’s been a long time coming and I need to be honest about the direction I’m taking it.  While most bloggers I know are preparing to increase their blog’s productivity in the new year, I’m preparing to cut back…. like waaaay back.  Like, there’s not going to be any promises in the coming year of how much action this blog will receive.

But don’t worry too much,  I’m not ready to throw in the towel completely. At least not right at this moment. But I need to address my intentions to take a step back with this little side project of mine.   

Blogging has been a struggle for me ever since Harrison was born.

Let’s face it. 2016 didn’t really present a lot of time for me to be typing away at my keyboard. I’ve said it enough on the blog and social media.  Life has been messy and anything but easy for us.  And online journaling has been the furthest thing from my priority list.

Being that I’m as real a realist as there comes these days, I’m not going to toss out a bunch of aspirations and goals for myself for the upcoming year, only to feel unaccomplished and failed by the second week in January.  Sure, I can tell ya all the ways I’m going to stay on track with marathon training, lose the rest of my baby weight, potty train Harrison, etc.. and I genuinely enjoy sharing about these things in my life, but when the dominos fall and life gets messy, or my kids want me to tuck them in or read them a story, I don’t want to have a deadline for a post in the back of my mind.  I’d much rather close my eyes and take the trip to sleepytown.

Blogging started as a creative outlet but now it feels more like an obligation

I started blogging five years ago because I wanted a creative outlet. I wanted a way to reach outside of the four walls of my house and make a connection with the outside world. I was a new mother wanting to share those first years of my life as a parent, and I was a new distance runner needing to share my running adventures with someone other than my non-running husband. But those areas of my life have changed, for the better I might add. And if I’m being fully transparent, Instagram has shifted into that medium for me.

Instagram has become a micro-version of blogging to me.  And I see many others shifting their focus to instagram as well.  It’s like all the connections and content has shrunk, but the quality is still the same.  I can snap a picture with my iphone, edit it in my personal style, add a little story or synopsis, attach a bunch of hashtags and connect with hundreds of others in my niche. And if I’m being honest with myself, and you all, I enjoy the Instagramming scene much more than I have blogging in the past year.

Make no mistake, I got nothing but love for all the amazing bloggers I have met through this digital storytelling journey. I actually have more real-life friends because of writing this little blog of mine. But somethings needed to be placed on the backburner for a while, so that I can take the necessary focus and time on the things that are MOST important right now.  Those things like my family, my business, my personal development, and my social life.

So if you want to connect on the regular and you’re not already doing so, make sure to connect with me on my social platforms where I’ll be much more present.

Here’s the links for my social accounts:  Instagram, twitter, and facebook.  I’m working on some amazing things for myself this year that I’m certain I’ll be sharing at some point soon.  So make sure to check me out on IG where I’m most active. And I want to wish you all the best in the new year and beyond.