Ban Kid’s Menus!

My kids really amaze me. I took the “baby” grocery shopping and he helped me pick out some really cool veggies. Ones that I may have overlooked. Then, when I made dinner, the other two tried the new veggies! Some were a hit, some were not, but that’s ok; they tried them! I don’t know if it’s just something they’re born with, or if it was my refusal to accept “kids” food. Food is food and if you want your little ones to grow up eating a variety of food, you can’t expect that to all of sudden happen when they hit 18.

Where did the idea come from that all kids can eat is mac and cheese, grilled cheese, plain pasta, and pizza? Look on any restaurant kids menu (I don’t like to limit their choices to these meager offerings). I read somewhere (it’s been so long that I have no idea what the source was) that these “kid menus” have very little nutritional value. Some healthy message we are sending kids.

Going out to eat as a family of five can get pretty pricey, but we’ve been pretty lucky. I share an entrée with Austin, our middle, Tyler, the oldest, orders his own, and the baby picks off of everyone plates. What am I going to do when they all want full-sized meals? Yikes! Eat out less often!

The best part of eating out...dessert!

The best part of eating out…dessert!

I’ve been pretty lucky to not have picky eaters. I know people who struggle with that and it does not look fun. Like I said, I’m not sure if it was my refusal to accept that there are no “kids” foods, or making my kids try at least one bite of something new, or declaring from the beginning that I will only make one dinner ( no short order cooks here), or if I just got lucky! But I am so thankful for adventurous eaters. Meal times should not be stressful.


By the way, the boys DO order from the kids menu sometimes. That’s just the way it goes, they love pizza. I say, “There is no food off-limits. Period”. Minus allergies (do I have to say that?).

Whew! Now that is off my chest…Good luck, future foodies!

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Shamrock Shakes

What is happening? I thought I had everything all figured out. I was getting things organized, getting the house clean on a regular basis, getting everyone to where they needed to be, getting all my workouts in (including strength), AND planning meals. Whew! I had it all together… then daylight savings hit. Hard. I am going to blame my lack of energy and motivation on that. It can’t possibly be me and the fact that no one can keep all that up forever. Yeah, daylight savings.



So now I sit here, contemplating the fact that I should be running 4 miles, or at the very least doing Nike Training Club, but I am writing and procrasting instead. Welll, I guess I am getting a post done, which is a good thing.

Back to workouts. I have been slacking on my strength training, I admit it. Running has been good and consistent, but a good runner has to be balanced, I need to keep telling myself that so I can get myself off the couch and just do it. Once again, I will blame daylight savings because I have had no energy since we lost an hour. I can’t believe it’s affecting my this much!

Let’s talk about my last run. It was a long run (6 miles) and it was awesome. What was not awesome was the ear buds that I am still using that came with my phone. I need to get a new pair, but I am really not sure which ones. Do I plunk down $30 for decent ones? Or go for the $15 ones? Will they have the same quality? More importantly, will they stay in during a long run? My dream is to get wireless ones, but that is beyond my budget for now. Sigh, a girl can dream. I will be getting new headwear (is that the right term to use here?), but for some reason it is just taking me forever to decide. I know, I know I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I will let you all know what the decision is as soon as I know. Suggestions?

As for today, I am not going to feel guilty if I don’t get my workout in. It’s St. Patrick’s Day and my little leprechauns and I have some good times planned, which may or may not include a Shamrock Shake. (I haven’t had one since I was a kid. I hope they are as good as I remember!)
Good luck with your motivation today!


PS- the shake was delicious!

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Blondies Have More Fun?

My weekly shopping trips to Trader Joe’s are something that my youngest and my nephew really look forward to. Mostly they enjoy the samples that the ladies make for us, as my nephew calls it, “try some! try some!”. Is it ok that the people who make the samples have gotten to really know us? I am giving it my stamp of approval. Anyway, I am trying not to buy packaged snacks, the whole trying to eat healthy thing. I always remember my son’s doctor telling me when I complained about trying to get him to choose the “right” snacks, “if it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it”. On the other side of the coin, if it is in the house we will more likely eat that. Soooo, I have been making my Pinterest-found healthy snacks. I like them, but it’s a harder sell for the smaller set.

On my quest to rid ourselves of packaged snacks I have also not bought any baking mixes. Once you start making your cupcakes and frosting from scratch you realize
1. You can certainly taste a difference. Homemade wins EVERY time.
2. It really isn’t that difficult and it doesn’t take much more time. I would say and extra 5 minutes of prep.
3. You get to control what goes in. This is a big one for me.
4. Once you eat homemade frosting, you just can’t eat the stuff out of the can. Gross.

But, sometimes you just can’t say no to this face

Mommy! Let's try these!

Mommy! Let’s try these!

Since it was Trader Joe’s I felt a little better about my choice.
It was only 3 ingredients; butter, egg, and mix. Hmmmmm….

Not low-fat or calories

Not low-fat or calories

They recommend using parchment paper, which I love to use on cookie sheets, but I couldn’t get it to lay straight

I gave up

I gave up

So, I pulled out my go-to baking spray (some things in a can are just worth it)

love this stuff!!

love this stuff!!

They were good, but not something that the household devoured. I think the fact that they were blondies threw everyone off. We are definitely more of a chocolate chip cookie family, but these were pretty good.

2.5 out of 5 stars

2.5 out of 5 stars

The fact that I only added melted butter and an egg turned me off. It wasn’t worth the calories, to me. On the other hand, at the Super Bowl party yesterday I found a few things that were worth the calories. Hint, it was chocolate chip cookies, not TJ’s blondies. Live and learn.

Good luck on a healthy week ahead!


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Soul Searching

I have been doing some serious soul-searching. OK, it’s really not that serious, I’ve been trying to figure out what the focus of this blog really is. I think I’ve come to a conclusion.
The reason I started this blog in the first place was because I was excited about running and the fact that I had lost weight eating right and controlling my portions. So, I searched and searched my (blogger’s) soul and realized I was writing because I was excited. Plain and simple. I get excited about things. Granted, I am usually the last one to know about, and try, new trends, but when I do I throw myself into them whole heartedly. Sometimes they stick and I manage to incorporate them into my every day life and other times it’s just a passing trend. Whatever happens I always want to shout about my newest obsession and this blog gives me a way to do that and not annoy the heck out of the people around me. Lucky you!


Now that I have figured this out, it will be easier for me to write my posts and get them to you. Whew! I feel great! Now, get out there and do some soul-searching of your own. You never know what you’ll find out…
Good Luck!


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Another Inaugural Race For Me

I just ran my second half marathon. I’m becoming a pro. Well, a pro at figuring out what NOT to do in certain situations.
Anyway, I would say the organizers did a great job. The course was so nice and flat, compared to my other half marathon, and the weather couldn’t have been better for a run.

Let’s start with the packet pick-up. It was nice coming from Santa Clarita (110 degrees) to Ventura (75 degrees). I needed to put on my sweater. For someone who has spent the entire summer training inside because of insane heat, this was a nice change. The pick-up was easy and on the beach, so we walked around for a while.

And took some pictures.

It was getting pretty windy by the time we got there and most booths were packing up. I was bummed since my favorite part is looking around the expos.

On to race day. I did not take any pictures during the race. There really wasn’t much to see. We started at the pier, ran through the neighborhood, past the Ventura Harbor (which, at certain parts had quite the, ahem, sewer smell), then we ran a few miles in Oxnard through some fields. I would have been bored out of my mind, but I started talking to a very nice woman, Deborah, and we ran the entire thing together. It was the first time I had EVER ran with anyone. It was fun and made the miles fly by. The only downfall is that I think I would have gone faster if I had ditched her. But, what’s the point? I’m not going to win or BQ so I may as well enjoy the journey. That’s what the quotes on Pinterest keep telling me.

As I was about a mile away from the finish line the police escort came through with the winner of the marathon. Let’s just say he flew by me. Impressive.
At least I’m not behind this guy

Anyway, my time was just about the same as my Wine Country half marathon, so I can’t complain. Although, I had a really bad attitude going into this race because I felt that I wasn’t getting enough of my training done. It turns out my training plan was just no good for my schedule. I tried the Intermediate Nike plan (once again, I can’t figure out how to link stuff, but it’s through Nike Plus website) and it was just way too many miles during the week for me. It’s tough when you have 3 kids in tow.

Then Ventura Marathon promoters promised a beach party after and delivered. It was fun to walk around and buy BIC bands (love them, check it out!) and eat burgers from a food truck. I may have even had a funnel cake. It’s ok, I just ran off 1,600 calories. Bonus: Ventura pier has a great playground right on the sand for the kids. So, my mom had an easy babysitting job. Thanks again, mom!

My son would not take off my new BIC band. So cute.

The only thing I was not prepared for was the weather. Although it was perfect running weather, I had never run in my lululemon skirt for longer than 6 miles, and between the fog and humidity from the beach I was in a world of chaffing hurt at the finish. The silicone that is sewn into the bottom of the shorts to keep them from riding up are now on my “do not wear for longer than 3 miles” list. Whew! nasty scene. Also, the New Skin spray that I used is going straight into the trash.

I would say they did a great job putting this together (yay! for lots of port-o-lets and water stations). The only downside I saw was the parking (we got one of the last spots) and the fact that it’s really hard to close the beach path altogether (I saw way too many of those tourist-y bicycle surrys get way too close to exhausted runners). The after race snacks were awesome (hello! Starbucks iced coffee) and the beach party was, well, a party. Good times.

Plus, the swag wasn’t too bad either.

As an added bonus, the medal is also a bottle opener!

Now, it’s on to a training schedule that isn’t so crazy and my next half marathon. See you in Camarillo!
Good luck!

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Disneyland Inaugural 10K

Note: This is a super late recap. I had it all typed out, then life events happened. I’m trying to be better. Mea Culpa.
Disneyland knows how to do things right. I have a lot of great things to say about this race and it’s not just because I’m still on a “runner’s high” from racing this 10K. It all started back on Friday of Labor Day Weekend…
Ok, enough of the cheese. I drove down to Anaheim from Santa Clarita around noon on Labor Day weekend, which is usually a traffic nightmare, but it was not too bad. I would say it took an extra 45 minutes to get there. I used my WAZE app and I think that really helped to make the drive not such a fiasco. And the fact that I packed my patience (I knew it was going to be a long, slow drive).
Once in Anaheim I met my friend, Melanie, at the hotel and we drove to the expo at the Disneyland Hotel. Woa. This was my first big expo. I was impressed. My friend got an awesome new hydration belt (it’s from Fitletic and I want one. They have one that holds actual water bottles! And when I can figure out how to put a link in I will.) ProCompression was there, holla! (you can get 40% off of anything with the code RACE and be entered into their contest. Thanks for the tip, Skinny Runner). AND we tasted some protein bars that were…good! Oh Yeah! bars are awesome and I am running to Vitamin Shoppe tomorrow to get some peanut butter chocolate. It really tastes like a candy bar.
Anyway, after running around the expo for a long time (haha! good one.), buying lots of things, and splitting a burger at Rainforest Café, my friend and I strolled through Disneyland and got some pre-race fuel
My cookie dough ice cream was perfect on such a hot, humid night.

We went to bed early because wake up was at 4AM. That was not a typo. The Disney people wanted us in our corrals by 5:45. There was a lot of waiting around.

There were a few people there
a guy behind me, as I shuffled toward my corral, told us that there were 8,000 people running the 10k. I believe it!
Finally! Ready to cross the start line.
It was so hot and humid, even at 5AM. so I knew the race was going to be tough for me. I am used to heat (not that I like running in it), but not the humidity. That part was awful.

I have to say, some people were not honest about their finish times because I was swerving around a lot of people throughout the entire race. And I ran a pretty decent race. There was so much, “excuse me”, “behind you”, and bobbing and weaving that I was getting pretty annoyed at the people who walked in the middle of the race course and took up the entire road. Especially the parts that narrowed. Ugh! It was very frustrating. This was my first big race so I’m not quite sure how these things work. Is this normal?

At every mile marker, there were the cutest signs that people were stopping and taking pictures with. And they had the characters out for photo-ops. But, the lines were so long! It was cute, though.

I took my own photo-ops
I love Disney Halloween!
Main Street. Hmmmm, it really doesn’t look like I’m in the middle of a race, more like meandering around Disneyland.

This girl had the cutest shirt. I HAD to ask her where she got it. Custom made. Genius. Just in case you can’t see it, it says: 2 slow 2 win
2 dumb 2 quit
with a super cute picture of Dumbo.

Of course the medal is awesome!

Then, after any good race where you leave it all on the course, there’s only one thing to do; go to Goofy’s Kitchen for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. This was heaven because I could try everything there (and I did).
I tried everything here, but I didn’t finish it. Believe me, a bite of everything here was enough to fill me up. And it was good.
And then I went for desserts. The bananas foster crepes were my favorite.

All-in-all I would say I had a great time. Not only did I get to catch up with a great friend, I got to run through Disneyland. Cool. I will have to wait and compare it to the Tinkerbell Half in January and see which one I would like to continue. They are expensive and I’m cheapfrugal, after all.

<strong>Anyone ever raced a Disney race before? Would you ever repeat?
This is my first one, I think I would like to race the half marathon, see if it’s easier to navigate.

Tell me some fun life events.
Soccer started for us. I never realized how much fun it is!

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Ready To Race!

Well, I am not 100% free from my hip pain, but I would say 90%. Pretty darn good. I have making my goal mileage and (I have to say) hitting my goal paces! That is a huge one for me because I am not fast and lately I have been mentally weak and stopping my runs early. I am more into running my own race anyway. Oh, and not being last.


Anyway, I am going to run the Disneyland 10K this weekend and I am so excited! Disney knows how to do things right, in my opinion. I am only sad that my family won’t be there, and the start is at 6 AM. But, on the up side, I get to race with a great friend that I don’t get to spend enough time with AND breakfast after the race at the (wait for it) all-you-can-eat-buffet! Woo hoo!

I went a little crazy with my race schedule after last season, but it’s just so much fun. And a great motivator.
Yup. Pretty much sums it up.

Annnnd, since I ran 8 miles on Saturday with no hip pain (at least while I was running. I have to work on stretching that hip out afterwards) I am ready for the races that are coming up. Good luck with that!

What are your goals for the Fall?
Mine are to stay healthy and finish each of my races strong.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and get/stay healthy?Upcoming races keep me motivated, but I have to say strong muscles, added energy are pretty motivating as well. Oh, and the fact that I can eat more!

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Back to School…And the Chiropractor

Yep, today was the day that 2 of my little boys went to school!! Now I just have my 2-year-old at home. It was a very quiet morning.

I decided today I would get up early (4:45 AM) so I could get my miles in and still have time to make that special breakfast. They requested eggs, bacon, and pancakes. That is a tall order for breakfast around here.
Anyway, I got to the gym, was only able to run 3 miles. Actually this was great because it was pretty much pain-free. I stretched before I ran (chiro’s orders, even though it goes against everything the internet tells me-and I totally listen to those guys). I was supposed to run 5, but once again I had time restraints. I really need real life to conform to my running schedule instead of the other way around.


I need to update this post since it’s now the second week of school. The boys are doing great and loving school, although they will be coming home with homework tonight. My kindergartener told me that I didn’t have to walk him to class on the second day (a proud and sad moment all wrapped up into one second). His big brother made me feel much better and offered to take him to class. Whew!


I am still getting up early 3 times during the week (ok, this is the second week, but it’s my plan) in order to get my miles in. I have been getting so frustrated with my schedule and trying to fit my running into my life. I was really feeling down about it. So, whenever I feel like something is not right or not working I take some time to reflect and see what I can change or why I think it’s not working the way I think it should. I have decided that the Nike Intermediate training plan I’ve been following is too many miles for my schedule so I’m going back to the beginner. It just fits my life a little better. It really is the small things in life.


Once again I find myself trying to fit what makes me happy and is good for me into my life. The point is DON’T GIVE UP. Where would you be if you quit? That’s right, sitting there wishing you had more energy and less extra weight.
Good luck with the good fight!

Are you having to rethink training plans and goals?

Anyone else getting ready for back to school? Are you ever really ready?

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A Trip to the Chiropractor

Oh my goodness, it’s August! Where has the time gone?! In a short week I will have two in school and one at home. Yikes! Ok, enough freaking out about things I cannot control. For now. You will all get an ear eye full about that trauma later.
On to running. Or lack of running.
Alright, I have been running, but not the mileage that has been on my plan. There have been so many distractions. The biggest is the fact that my hop has been bothering me. It hasn’t been enough that I stop in the middle of a run, but just enough to freak me out and make me think that if I don’t stop something devastating will happen and I won’t be able to run for months!


Update: Went to the chiropractor today and he adjusted me, did some fancy muscle stimulation and told me my hips were tight and needed to be realigned so they work the way they are supposed to. Whew! I will be able to run. Bummer, I am not supposed to do anything over 6 miles until the pain and inflammation are gone. Ummmm, Doc? I have a half marathon in a couple of weeks. Cross my fingers and hope for the best. Let’s just say I’m not expecting a PR for my Ventura Race on September 8. Well, life goes on…


And, by the way, I forgot that I always have a reaction to Ben-Gay-type products (only on my lower back) and he slathered it all over my lower back and sore hip. So, as I am typing I am fighting the urge to scratch that area like crazy!! Ugh!
Good (scratch) Luck (scratch) out there (scratch, scratch)

Who else is getting ready for Back to School?
I am in total denial that summer is ending.

Anyone else have to bounce back from an injury so close to a race?

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The Run That Almost Didn’t Happen

On Saturday I drove to Ventura Beach (about an hour away) to meet my mom so I could run. By the time I got there, got the boys settled with my mom on the beach, and ready to run, it was almost 10. I never run that late. Ugh! The bad mood had set in. I told my mom that I was going to run 10 miles, but I really don’t feel like it.
“Wow! That’s a lot! Well, if you don’t feel like it you can just run a couple of miles…”
Well, I don’t feel like it, maybe I can’t do it. Maybe I should give up and just play on the beach. Get out of my head negative thoughts!!
So, I called my sister. She said, “Yeah, I’m in the same mood. But, I’ll just go out later”
She’s right. Just get a couple miles in. That way I can say I ran today and put it in the books. Maybe it will help my mood too.

20130724-143555.jpg I had to stop and take a picture of this squirrel on the beach. Doesn’t it look like he’s yelling at me? “Get going! Just get it over with already!”

After what seemed like forever, I looked down at my watch (please let it be 1.5 miles. Please!) Nope. not even a mile. Push on. Convince myself to go 2 miles. Then, when I turn around it will be 4. Runner math.

OMG! A Smile! This was the point that my mood turned around and I knew I could finish. It’s true, “You’re only one run away from a good mood”.

This was my ah-ha moment for the run. I turned my belt around. It was heaven. No more bottles flopping all over with water spilling down the back of my legs! I also (finally) remembered to bring money so I could stop and get more water. I got over the embarrassment of being a hot sweaty mess and stopped in at the only store on the route and got more water. That made the last mile and a half so much better! Before that, I thought I couldn’t take another step! Water is soooooo important!

I went slow, but who cares? I did it when I didn’t want to get it done. Of course, the ice bath in the Pacific at the end wasn’t too bad. Now, that was a great reward.

No matter what, it’s better to get out there and do something! Have you ever heard anyone regret that workout? Me either. There’s a reason why there is a list a mile long on the benefits of exercise. It’s all true.

Get out there, but don’t forget to hydrate (that’s the real deal this time of year). Good luck!

Anyone else have any Ah-Ha Moments?

What about workouts that went from blah to woo-hoo?

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