This week is looking a little different when it comes to my workout schedule. Typically Shane goes down for a nap at 9:00am and I will do the elliptical in the garage while Nathan plays outside with me. This has worked out so great! I can workout for 45 minutes, Nathan gets to play in the yard, and I still get time to shower after and then we head out for the day.
Just when I was really getting into this schedule and enjoying it, Shane has decided that morning naps aren’t his thing anymore. Scratch that, napping in general, isn’t his thing anymore. I’ve been trying to transition him to one nap since that seems to be what he wants, but he ends up only napping 45 minutes-1 hour smack dab in the middle of the day. He spends the rest of the day cranky, and I spend the rest of my day flustered and exhausted.
Starting the day off with a workout has been such a great source of energy and motivation for me to keep the rest of my day going. I know it’s only been a few days of this change, but it’s really throwing me off and I feel like I’m just dragging. I’d love to wake up before the boys and get in my elliptical time but Shane is up between 5:45-6:00am everyday so you do the math on that one. I’m a morning person but that’s not happening.
The last two evenings I’ve really had to dig down deep and find the energy to go for a run as soon as Greg gets home. It’s actually been a nice change to run while it’s still light out, get out my frustrations from the day, get home within 30 minutes (been aiming to keep to 3 miles at around a 9 minute pace), and then dive right into the dinner time madness. It would be nice to be out there longer but there are mouths to be fed, a dog to be walked, kids to be bathed etc etc. Greg would totally do it all but I can’t, in good conscience, let him try to fight that battle on his own after he’s had a long day.
Mamas…when do you find the time to workout? How do you fit it all in, or are you struggling with finding a routine too?
On a side note…I think 99.9% of the reason I enjoy going for a run is because I get to listen to my cheesy music. I actually find myself singing when I run…maybe it helps with my breathing? haha. I wanted to share what’s on my “Workout Mix 2013″. You can either laugh at my song selections, OR let me know a song or two that really gets you going when exercising. I love when a new, fun song pops up on my playlist….so please, let’s hear what’s on yours.
I’m pretty sure most people recap their weekends right after the weekend happens, but we do things late around here. I think Sunday nights would probably be a good time to catch up on what we did over the weekend, upload some photos and write a new post…however, I was in bed asleep by 9:30 Sunday night from a full day of fun (and too many mojitos!). At least that is evidence of a good weekend right? And then of course I could always try and write a quick post on a Monday, but the boys were in rare form yesterday. I’m almost positive Shane is transitioning to only one nap a day. That would be fine if this one nap lasted more than 45 minutes. Needless to say I chose eating my lunch instead of getting on the computer during my “break”.
Anyway…I personally like to think the weekends start on Friday, especially when Daddy was traveling all week for work and was flying in during the early afternoon. Before he got in, we met our friends at the mall to try and get a photo of our kids with the Easter Bunny. To say Shane was scared of the Easter Bunny would be the understatement of the year…he was petrified! Shaking, screaming, inconsolable and wouldn’t even look at him (it was a pretty creepy looking bunny so I’ll give him that). I thought his phobia of Santa was bad!! At least with Santa I could get the funny photo of the baby crying on a strange man’s lap….but this time I couldn’t even get within 5 feet of the bunny. My friend’s oldest daughter Ella also isn’t a Santa or Easter Bunny fan so she sat this one out too. Oh well, Nathan got to take his photo with Ella’s new baby sister Lilah.
Saturday I made it to Turbo Kickboxing in the morning. I’ve been doing TKB for over 8 years now and still love it as much as I have from the very beginning. I actually get excited to go, which I really can’t say for any other workout I have ever done. After I got home Nathan went to his swim lesson, and hurried home so we could walk down to the neighborhood Spring Celebration. We ended up meeting several of our friends there and had an awesome time. Here are some photos from the day.
Yes, that is Nathan pictured with his best bud Carson instead of his own brother with the Easter Bunny. Despite there being a less scary looking bunny Shane was definitely not interested! After the festivities the boys went down for naps, and I ran out to The Home Depot with Nana again. I am now obsessed with our tiny little garden and just had to get out for more supplies. We bought some hanging flower pots, got a large pot for my tomato plant, and added a kumquat tree! I really hope I can keep everything alive!
Sunday we woke up early and met our neighbors for our weekly run. Our neighborhood has a facebook running page and we reluctantly joined it a few months ago. I would always see them meet for a run on Sunday mornings and never thought I would actually join them let alone, ENJOY going. After the run we went out for brunch, and then got ready to head to our neighbors house for another fun-filled Easter afternoon. The parents indulged in yummy drinks, March Madness and a BBQ while all the kids dyed eggs, decorated cookies, and tossed around water balloons. We actually ended the evening with a huge water balloon fight in our driveway….adults included. It was such a fun way to end an awesome weekend! Already looking forward to the next!
It’s officially Spring! Winter was not our friend this year, so we were more than happy to say goodbye to the colder (and sicker) days, and say hello to a new season. Although the changing of the seasons may not be as distinct as they were growing up on the east coast, and we don’t have to sit back and wait for the snow to melt, we still welcome the gradual changes with open arms.
Nana flew in to town last week, and has been here helping me with the boys while Greg has been gone for business. They have been having so much fun with her…riding bikes, playing ball in the back yard, going for walks and just enjoying time together. My grandparents were such a huge part of my childhood, and it’s crazy to sit back and watch my own children doing things I remember doing when I was their age.
My Grandma Mary and Grandpa Pete loved gardening. I remember my Grandpa outside watering their garden, while my sister and I would help our Grandma pick vegetables. We would love collecting cucumbers because our Grandma would slice them up and pickle them in mason jars for us. We were so impatient we would only let them soak a few hours and open up a jar and eat them all that same day (drinking her homemade pickling juice too of course).
When Nana suggested earlier in the week that we plant some flowers, herbs and vegetables in our backyard it sounded like the perfect way to kick off the Spring, and I knew the boys would love helping her. We don’t have that much space in our yard, so we had to get a little creative on what kind of items we could plant and where we could put them. We ended up getting a large terracotta strawberry pot to plant herbs in. We planted basil, cilantro, spearmint, parsley and topped off the pot with three strawberry plants. We also bought a tomato plant that we need to still find a spot for, and Id love to find space for a citrus or avocado tree too. This house has a built-in sprinkler system and great sunlight throughout the day, so I’m thinking our new plants stand a chance despite my lack of a green thumb.
The boys loved helping their Nana…Nathan enjoyed digging with his shovel, putting in the plants and using “his” new watering can. Shane liked getting his hands messy and eating the dirt as you can see from the first photo. It said it’s organic soil, that means it’s good for him right?
Daddy comes home today and we can’t wait to show him our little project from yesterday. He’s going to love the homemade salsa we can make from our tomatoes and cilantro, and you know where that mint is going….mojitos! It sounds like Summer is right around the corner, but for now we love the way our Spring has started! Happy weekend everyone!
I’ve been seeing Workout Wednesdays floating around in the blog world (this is probably ancient news, but I’m admittedly late to the Blogging Party). I am constantly seeking out new inspiration when it comes to working out, especially advice from other busy moms. I love seeing healthy recipes, workout tips, weekly progress, fitness milestones being hit…it’s all so inspiring to me and gets my butt in gear when I’m starting to feel lazy (like right after I hit publish on this post I am GOING to the gym, even though I really don’t want to today).
Without the internet and women sharing their stories, I would have never met Jenny. We actually “met” about 8 years ago on TheKnot.com of all places. We were both planning our weddings and sharing every little detail over the internet with other future brides (I guess once you get hit by the social media bug it never goes away). We have followed one another’s journeys of wedding planning, married life, pregnancy, child rearing, party planning, house decorating, self-employment…come to think of it we enjoy doing a lot of the same things and at the same time even though we live several states away.
I was looking through Instagram one day and saw she was doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and was having great success with it. The New Year was approaching and I was looking for something different to jump start a healthier me. I reached out to Jenny and I am so happy I did. She contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in doing a guest post on her blog sharing the changes I have made over the last 3 months. OF COURSE!! If you’d like to read my post as well as check out Jenny’s awesome blog & photography/printing business click on her logo below:
I also thought I would share a progress photo for the month of March. Over the past few weeks I haven’t stepped on the scale and I don’t take measurements anymore. I am happy to have hit my goal weight and now I would like to start working on fitness goals for myself. Longer and faster runs, toning and weight lifting, trying a new class (The Bar Method? Pilates?). I am excited for more challenges ahead! If anyone has fitness blog suggestions they find inspiring please send them my way. I would love to put together a list to share!
I know every family runs dinner time differently in their household, but around here I like to have every day planned out ahead of time. I’m terrible at doing laundry, you will never find me scrubbing anything, I don’t think I’ve ever emptied a trash can and our bed is only made when I know people are coming over. Crafty? Sure! Domestic? Not even close. But I will make an exception when it comes to dinner…it’s always planned, and always ready by the time Greg gets home from work. I don’t think he has any expectations for my day besides making sure our kids survive so I know he really appreciates this after he has had a long day. Twelve hours of our day are spent on completely different wave lengths, and when our worlds collide at 6:00pm, sitting down to dinner as a family is the best way for us to get back on the same page. We may only get 10 minutes to actually eat our food, and sometimes dinner is spent standing around our kitchen island but we know this routine will get easier and easier as the boys get older. It’s important to us, so we try our best.
Since changing to eating primarily clean meals, I’ve also found that planning ahead makes all the difference. I used to buy a lot of premade foods from Trader Joes to make preparing dinner easier. Frozen meatballs, premade stuffed peppers, frozen turkey meatloaf, etc. At the time I thought we were eating fairly healthy (I mean isn’t everything from TJ’s healthy?), and I loved being able to throw these items together last minute with some side dishes, but now I know that dinner can be just as quick without taking the less healthy short-cuts. The best part is Greg hasn’t noticed any difference in the taste and portion department, but he has noticed a difference in how his clothes are fitting him. Since the new year he has lost almost 30 lbs on our diet changes alone!!! It’s truly shocking to both of us that this lifestyle change has made such a huge difference to our bodies without actually feeling like we have changed anything at all. I’m not going to lie we have cut back on alcohol. WAYYYYYY back! I think I can count on 1 hand how many times we have had drinks the past 4 months in comparison to having wine/beer a few nights a week to unwind. I’m sure as the warm weather approaches we will find ourselves outside with a drink in our hands, but for now this hasn’t been a difficult change to make.
There are so many awesome resources out there now for clean eating recipes, but like any creature of habit, I have found our favorites and just rotate them throughout the weeks. I’d love to know what some of your favorite “go-to” meals are during the week. Do you meal plan? If so, what’s on this week’s lineup? I try to do one new recipe a week and will add it to the rotation if it ends up being a hit. I’d love to hear new ideas!
Here is what I have planned for the week:
Monday- Hummus crusted chicken with roasted veggies
Tuesday- Zucchini turkey meatballs, marinara sauce over spaghetti squash (over brown rice pasta for boys)
Wednesday- Chicken fajitas with guacamole
Thursday- Rosemary pork with a sweet potato/mixed veggie quinoa side
Friday- Southwestern chicken and bean chili
Saturday- Buffalo turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Sunday- BBQ!! Chicken kabobs and grilled veggies
I just realized it’s not very nice to talk about all this food without sharing a recipe too. I made a new quinoa salad last week that was great! I suggest making a large portion of it…I was able to stretch mine out for a dinner meal for the family and then had enough for lunch the next 2 days. Hope you enjoy!
VEGETABLE QUINOA SALAD w/ FRESH BASIL
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used Trader Joes Organic tricolor quinoa)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 cups corn
3-4 green onions thinly sliced
1 handful fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
To prepare: Whisk together the EVOO, lemon juice and vinegar and set aside as dressing. Prepare the quinoa as stated on the package. While quinoa is cooking prepare/cut the above listed vegetables and throw into a large mixing bowl. Once quinoa has slightly cooled add to the cut veggies and toss together with dressing. Enjoy right away or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
We celebrated yesterday with friends, family and neighbors! I think I tried every version of corned beef and cabbage known to man, and had my first Irish Car-bomb since college! This mama still has it (not really, not really at all!).
I made this easy, fairly healthy, and festive rainbow fruit platter! Within minutes it was attacked by all the kids, and I was happy to see they went for the fruit before the “clouds” and “gold”.
I used strawberries, Cuties, pineapple, kiwi and blackberries. You could definitely use cantaloupe, honeydew, green or purple grapes, blueberries, and mango as well. The marshmallows were clouds but whip cream could also be fun, and I used Rolos as the pot of gold!
I hope you all have a lucky and SAFE St. Patty’s Day weekend!
Can we please get a moment of silence in honor of….a moment of silence. A rare, fleeting, millisecond of the day that you can finally hear yourself think for the first time. When you can sit down, close your eyes and take your first deep breath and let your brain catch up with your body and your body catch up with your brain.
I don’t know if it’s the time change, teething, nap schedule changes, or just this age in general, but right now I’m finding myself in the middle of a battle. Where the worlds of the 3.5 year old and the 15 month old clash head on and I just spend my entire day deflecting, protecting and reacting to their every move. By the time Greg gets home I am at a complete loss of words, energy and patience. He usually takes one look at us and the condition of our house, rolls up his sleeves and jumps right in. He has my back and I know I am so fortunate to have a husband that lets me tap out as soon as he walks in the door. For this, I am grateful.
Today was no exception to the chaos. I thought it would be a nice treat for me and the boys to eat lunch together in the warm Spring sunshine. What this looked like in my head, and how it actually came together are two completely different scenarios. Shane was clawing at my leg, begging and crying for me to cut his food up faster. Nathan was barking orders…”No, MOM I don’t want the skin on my apples. I don’t want WATER I need JUICE. This is NOT Juice! Stop making Shane’s food, I need MY food!” I’m not sure how 3 plates, 3 drinks, 1 highchair and 2 overtired kids made it out the sliding door but we finally got there. And once we did….there it was…that moment I described above. The birds were chirping, the boys were quietly eating, I got to actually chew my food sitting down, and all was right in the world again. I’m not sure when the simplest of things became so complicated, but I do know that I find these simple things to be what it’s all about.
Please don’t let these pictures fool you though. I got about five bites in before Nathan jumped up from his picnic table, knocked over his food and shouted out to the whole neighborhood that he “needed to go poop!!” Thanks kids it was fun while
all 2 minutes of it lasted.
Tired of the same old boring salad for lunch? I was too, and wanted to try something a little different yesterday. I am constantly eating fruit throughout the day, but I’m not sure why I never thought to put some on my salad come lunch time! This was such a nice change to my usual all veggie salad and will become a regular addition to my weekly lunches! It was SO good I think I’ll be having it again today!
2 large strawberries sliced
1 small “cutie” tangerine peeled and divded
1/4 green apple cubed (sliced up the rest for the kids)
A tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds
A tablespoon of dried cranberries
2 pieces of Trader Joe’s grilled sliced chicken
Top with a little EVOO and balsamic vinegar
Breakfast and dinner are always easy meals to plan in our household. Lunch is a whole other story! I feel like we are always running in the door after a morning of errand running, school pick ups, play dates etc and lunch can seem chaotic most days. I love finding lunch options that are quick, healthy, and kid approved. That’s why we love smoothies around here. I usually make a huge one for my lunch, and serve a small one for the boys in addition to whatever they are eating. There is no better feeling than seeing your kids chug down their fruits and veggies for the day all in one sitting! I also like to add ground flax seed. Flax seed is rich in several important compounds including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytochemicals, all of which have very important health benefits and should be included in a nutritious diet. To reap all of the health benefits of flax seed, it’s recommended that you eat 1-2 tablespoons a day. Here is a smoothie I put together today that turned out delicious! I like to experiment with different fruit/veggie combos usually based on what I have on hand, and this one passed the test by both me and the boys!
Blend the following on high speed until smooth:
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s frozen fancy berry mix (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
1/4 cup Trader Joe’s frozen pineapple bits
1 large handful of Kale
1/4 cup Almond Smooth almond milk
1/2 ripe banana
1 T. ground flax seed
Ice & water
ENJOY!! *Those of you on the Advocare 24 day challenge- this recipe is approved for both the cleanse and Max phase
March 1st, you were just what the doctor ordered. February was a tough month for our boys illness wise, but March greeted us with a beautiful, warm day and two healthy boys that got to enjoy it. We had an awesome weekend celebrating Greg’s birthday, great friendships, and good health. We are ready to Spring forward!
Here are a few photos from Friday’s beach day with the boys. It was so awesome to see Shane’s reaction to the beach now that he can walk. As soon as we got there both boys grabbed my hands and took off right into the ocean. We ran, we splashed, we jumped, we played, we laughed, we built castles, ate snacks (and sand…Shane ate lots and lots of sand), and most importantly we created memories that will stay with me forever.