3.29.2016

Take your Carbs Seriously.


I saw someone post an article the other day on Facebook about how eating cake for breakfast can be beneficial for your mind and waist. I have to say the I wholeheartedly agree with this statement! I feel more sated when I eat something sweet and carb loaded for breakfast, plus eating carbs after your workouts helps to replenish those glycogen stores. Loading up on carbs after your workouts gives you energy, they take you from feeling tired and beat to rejuvenated and ready to tackle your day!




There are many ways you could get in carbs after a workout, oatmeal, cereal, bagels, and my absolute favorite - Mug Cakes. I like that these are fast, easy, and I can get in 50g of protein eating a dessert. The protein powder you use makes a huge difference, if your cake tastes off it could be the type of protein you are using - I really only use PeScience now and my main go-to flavors are Gourmet Vanilla, Snickerdoodle, and Cookies and Cream. 


I use the Oikios Triple Zero yogurts, sometimes I flavor them with a 5g of Sugar Free Pudding and a splash of almond milk as the topping. The Salted Caramel is really good with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Caramel drizzle.


I paired the Vanilla yogurt with the Bark Thins, so so so good! Half the fun is finding new combos to try, which annoys Oliver because I spend time browsing the grocery store aisle. 


PB2 mixed with banana is good, throw on a few Skippy PB Balls for fun.


I keep my protein powder and protein in tupperware together in the pantry for easy access. I also cook my cakes in something bigger than a coffee cup, like this glass measuring cup, but mason jars work well too!


Lemon curd mixed with vanilla yogurt is so delicious, topped with some fresh raspberries and {Praise hand Emojis!}


I do love me some chocolate, but when the fruit is ripe and fresh in the Spring I crave it!



Now go and put those workouts to good use with some carbs in the morning! 

3.28.2016

Surprise!


I had the best weekend ever! My Mom pulled off a huge surprise party for me, I thought we were doing a family party, then when they blindfolded me I thought maybe a few of my friends, but I was shocked to see so many of my loved ones there to celebrate with me!!


My Mom told me she was 'crafting' something big for my birthday and I've been worried all week that it was going to be something totally crazy and huge and I was going to have to put it up in my house! LOL You really just never know with her. I had the best time, day drinking and spending the afternoon with all my friends!


I'm also really glad I decided to wash my hair after running that morning! The weather was gorgeous too, all the kids had a blast too, they found Mimi's craft room and it looked like Hobby Lobby exploded up there. Madison told them they could use anything they wanted except the hot glue gun :)


My Mom's been experimenting with cakes for a month, the strawberry cake was the winner! 


She even put up this amazing dreamcatcher, which is now going up in my bedroom! The driftwood is from our trip last summer to Lake Michigan, she found it on the beach and made us haul it around all day to bring home. I'll share more details when I get it up in my house!


Easter Sunday we had a very nice and relaxing day, I actually slept in until 8:30, when the kids came and woke me up in bed. We relaxed all morning and went to the Noon service so we could miss the crowds, then we came home and watched some movies before an early Easter dinner with my parents.


The Easter bunny finally came and hid the eggs around the house, we overestimated the amount of eggs needed for just 2 kids and now have a landmine around the house of chocolates. 

3.23.2016

The Birthday Check - In.

Black Capri Jumpsuit. Guppy Necklace.
Today is my 35th birthday. It's a Wednesday - I'm a business owner and mother so probably nothing super exciting happening today, but just being surrounded with my friends and family is enough. Plus I couldn't talk Oliver into getting on a plane to take a quick trip to a beach. 

My Mom sent me a very interesting article the other day about taking the day to do a Birthday Check - In. It's a way to evaluate where you are going and check to see if your life is on the track you want it to be. In my 20's I was so lost, some of those times most of us thought I might not ever find my way, so when I finally got my shit together in my 30's I've been on overdrive making up for lost time. The last 5 years have been full of amazing and wonderful times - from graduating college, to finding a job, to having my last baby, and finally starting my own business. 

I can tell you one area of my life that I've had a change of heart in this last year - being proactive. I'm done saying 'one day I want to do that' or 'I'd love to do that in the future' NOW IS THE TIME. I've decided that if there is something I really want to do then I'm going to put a plan into action and work toward it. No more sitting around wishing. This is one thing that Oliver and I differ on, he's a wishing kinda guy - like I know he really wants a new car, but he'd have to sell both of his first and do research and find one, etc. He doesn't put a plan into action so he continues to wish for it. He complains I usually get what I want, well that's because I've decided to go out and get it! 

My Mom told me that my 30's would be the best years of my life, she's not wrong. It's a great feeling to know where your life is headed, I don't live with questions hanging over my head. I have goals that keep me motivated, I wake up most days feeling eager and challenged. My life is not perfect, but it's a great feeling to go to bed at night and not have worried thoughts racing through my head. 

I certainly do not want to wake up one day and have regrets for my life, right now in my 35th year I can say I am putting my best effort forward to push myself past fears and reach for my dreams. 


3.22.2016

Struggles.


We all want the absolute best for our children, we want them to learn and grown, struggle, but not too much. We want to protect them and guide them into becoming the very best people they can be. Unfortunately babies don't come with a 'how to' manual and with Madison being our oldest, she's been the learning curve for Aiden. I will be the first to admit that when it comes to her education there is so much I didn't understand. I though Kinder was still story and nap time for half the day until I signed her up for school and found out differently. 

When she started to get back graded tests in first grade I was a little surprised, then she started to come home with failing tests scores on her math papers. When I asked about them I was told they are just practice grades getting them ready for 2nd grade, preparing them. At her parent teacher conference we were assured that they knew she was struggling a bit, but it was the beginning of the year and they were still working on learning the concepts in class. We saw progress reports from the i-Station testing - which makes absolutely NO sense to me. 


The year progressed and still her math tests were coming back with failing grades. I asked around to other parents for advice - some recommended apps for the iPad, other flash cards and workbooks, and others told me not to worry too much she was only in 1st grade. We tried apps, we got her a Math Slam game, we bought work books and practiced in those. I still did not feel she was progressing, so I finally decided to take her to be evaluated by an outside tutoring center. 


What I learned in that hour was very upsetting and distressing - Madison was still not comprehending things she should've learned in Kinder. She was struggling with the basics, everything she has been learning this year has been so hard for her because she doesn't get the fundamentals. I'll be completely honest, I cried and felt that I was failing my child. My baby. I wasn't fighting hard enough to get her help she needed, all those failing math tests were a reflection of my parenting. 

We live in a small community and we knew going into 1st grade that the school was a failing school, but last summer I called and talked to the director of curriculum for the district and was reassured that they had 'cleaned' house and steps were in place to bring the school back up to passing. As someone who is not familiar with school systems or the teaching world I struggle to know when I should be concerned or if they are indeed taking the right steps. We took a chance and stayed with her local school and now I'm regretting that decision. 

I've met with her teacher, who is very sweet and of course wants the best for Madison, but when I learned that she's been getting extra help with math for pretty much the entire year and is still struggling this much I have to ask - WHY hasn't more been done? WHY did it take me going outside the school? WHY has she not been tested further? 

I've learned a lot of lessons through this and looking back I wish I had pushed harder for more help for her. I shouldn't have assumed the school would take the necessary steps if she wasn't understanding the material. I wish there had been more communication weekly between her teacher and I on what she wasn't getting. 

Right now we are continuing with twice weekly tutoring outside the school and we will be meeting with the principals and diagnostician to see how we can further help her. Oliver and I have even discussed moving sooner rather than later to get her into a better school system, but I guess I need to see what plan of action her school can provide us. 



Sharing this was hard for me, but my hope is that other Mom's who are new to school age children and may be going through something similar will not feel so alone. When we go through difficulties in life - getting pregnant, weight loss, parenting - it's hard to not feel like everyone else has their shit together. You see so much of people's lives online, the highlight reel if you will, but I always feel better sharing my struggles and learning from others experiences. 

3.21.2016

Sprung.


My favorite weekend outfit - Glitz Hat + Bralette + Striped Life Pants. Spring has sprung and that means soccer and birthday parties every weekend! I have so many friends with Spring babies - plus my own 2 are March and April. Saturday's first soccer game was super chilly, we've been pretty warm here so the weekend cool down was quite a shock, we had to dig out the babies hat and gloves again. Madison scored lots of goals and played really well at both of her games, I love seeing her play so much! 


Aiden is such a timid child, he refuses to swing on a swing at the park or go down any big slides, at the birthday party he wanted to get into the foam pit, but sat and slowly lowered himself down. This kid is not jumping off any ledges anytime soon! He regularly looks at me for permission to do anything, I love it. Madison was a daredevil from before she could walk, climbing and jumping off whatever - it was exhausting! While I love and admire her fierce spirit it's sure nice to get to experience the other end of the spectrum though Aiden. 



Sunday was the Rock N Roll Dallas, the weather was cold, but clear skies, a bit windy. I ran with a bunch of the girls from my running group, SK decided to run last minute and found a bib so she came too. I'm trying to run all the RnR races I can this year so I can get some big Heavy Metals!


I can't get the video to upload, but this pretty much sums up Poppy before a race. My plan was to stick with them and just run for fun, but when we crossed the start line I lost them! I kept looking behind me and couldn't see them, then I saw SK and she told me they were way ahead of me. So I sped up to go find them - for 13 miles LOL. I decided to run without my watch or tracking on my phone, I constantly check it and it really messes with my head. Like if it says I'm running fast then I start to feel tired or if it says I'm slowing down I feel the need to speed up - I feel like I run better when I just do whatever the heck I want! 


Finally around mile 9 I realized I wasn't going to find my friends and then around mile 11 saw the clock time and started to try to math in my head - hmmmmm maybe I can actually PR this race! So I decided to not screw it up the last 2 miles - mile 12 was a longggkggg bridge with some crazy hard wind and without my watch I had no idea where I was because I never saw the mile 12 sign and it seemed like I was running sprints with no end in sight. I crossed that finish line in 1:52 which is about a 4 minute PR for me! I almost started crying when I finished - just pushing your body that hard is enough to bring emotions to the surface. I've been a runner for a few years now, but I'll never ever ever forget what it felt like the first time I ran a mile. Remembering that feeling makes me appreciate how far I've come and how much work I've done to change my health. Running does not come easy to me, I'm not a natural runner, I worked for it. I've earned it. 


I was completely unmotivated to do anything else the rest of the day. I showered and tried to nap while Aiden napped, couldn't fall asleep. I really need to do laundry, pick up {as noted by the random hanger hanging in my kitchen!} , and prep chicken. I told myself to get off the bed and do 1 thing, I got up walked around for 5 minutes and said 'nope' hahahah. After dinner I bathed the kids and declared it early bedtime day - lights out at 8pm. 






3.18.2016

My LASIK experience.

Happy Fri-Yay! I'm excited for some amazing running weather this weekend, just in time for the Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon! I'm running for fun,  not for time, and with all my friends so it should be a great race.

I was a bit concerned I wouldn't be able to go because I had Lasik yesterday morning and a few people said you couldn't run after having it done, but my Dr said it was fine as long as I kept the sweat out of my eyes and wore sunglasses. 

Speaking of Lasik - everyone told me

'Best thing I've ever done'
'So worth it'
'No big deal!'

Uh, it was the most terrifying 5 minutes of my life! 

Bullwinkle Top
I've been in glasses or contact since the 3rd grade, my vision is terrible, I can't see the E on the eye chart and even with contacts I never get to 20/20. Most of the reason I haven't done Lasik before now was because I didn't think I could because of my stigmatism - which actually doesn't have anything to do with it. A friend of mine got hers done and I figured if she could brave it out so could I! 


I was given no drugs what so ever - just drops to numb my eyeballs.  They take you in, lay you down, and put you under the first machine. Then he covers one eye and puts a ring around the other so you can't blink, a machine comes over it quickly, no pain at all. Actually the worst part is the bright freaking lights, you want to squint, but can't! Then they move you to a second machine that lowers down and you feel pressure on your eye, not painful, but uncomfortable for sure. 

This is where I started to freak out, but he did a countdown and I kept telling myself - they do this every day - millions of people get this done - it's no big deal - just keep still. Over and over again - it takes about 30 seconds and then they close that eye and do the other. I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but you literally go blind, but he's telling me I shouldn't see anything and that reassures me. 

Next they sit you up and walk you to another chair, you lay back and keep your eye closed while they get ready. Again you open one eye and they put the ring in to keep you from blinking, the dr plays around with your eye a bit with a few tools, it's not painful at all just weird, again the worst part is the bright lights. Then he tells you to stare at the green light - the laser - and it goes dim and you smell the laser working on your eye - 15 seconds. That's it. Repeat the other eye.

Then you are done, legit - 5 minutes! I stand up and walk into recovery room where they give me 2 Tylenol PM's and he checks my eyes with a machine. Then I go home. He told me to take a long nap because when the numbing drops wear off my eyes they will itch like crazy, so I took a 3 hour nap. When I woke my eyes were dry, I did my drops {you have to take 3 drops 4x a day} and felt better. They still feel a bit sore, foggy, and burn a bit. 


We has soccer practice last night, the wind was killing them because they are so dry, I'm glad I bought a scarf will me. I have to wear sunglasses for a while - 100% UV protected, hopefully these Ray Ban's are because they ones they give you are uncomfortable. 


Your corneas need to be protected and you have to wear these googles to bed so you don't scratch your eyes in your sleep - I caught myself several times reaching and hitting the glasses, it's such a reflex you don't even realize! 

I woke up today and immediately reached for my glasses until I remembered I don't need them anymore! I went to the gym, just careful to keep the sweat out of them and not rub them. They feel better today, I'll just be sure to keep my drops with me at all times. 


I also bought a years supply of contacts not long ago - if anyone wants them they are a -5.00 Acuvue Oasis I really hate to waste them! If you are in Dallas and thinking of getting this done I highly recommend Lasik Plus in Dallas - they were attentive and the nurses there are amazing! 

3.15.2016

Organizing My Kitchen


Sunday I woke up for a sunrise run with Poppy, we are both doing RnR Dallas this weekend and need to get in a few runs beforehand - with all the traveling and rain I haven't been running like I usually do. The time changes is killing me this week, just so tired when I wake up, but I know it will take a week or so to get my body adjusted. 


Came home to my boys still sleeping, Aiden hasn't been sleeping well in his crib and Saturday he was calling 'Mommy Mommy' around 10pm so I went and made him sleep with me LOL I just want to cuddle and he really prefers to sleep in his own bed. Anyways we found out his sound machine was broken and that's why he wasn't sleeping, he wakes up throughout the night and will push the sound machine on and put himself back to sleep. 


When I was at Smart Success one thing Chalene talked about how your surroundings affect your life. Especially when you work from home your environment needs to be one that fosters success, they asked us to think of one room in our house that causes stress, mine was my kitchen! I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, probably more than any other room in my house and when I first started to work from home I couldn't walk through it with out wiping something down or putting something away. It was SUCH a distraction for me. Things have improved since I've moved my office upstairs, I don't have to constantly walk though the kitchen.

I cook more often now and I can never find what I'm looking for, which just makes preparing meals that much longer to accomplish. So Sunday Oliver and I took a few hours to organize some of the cabinets, we still have more to do, but already I feel more in control and less stressed in there. 


My next house will have a walk in pantry for sure, but until then I have to make due with what I have - I had an entire self dedicated to pasta, we rarely if ever, eat pasta anymore so I got rid of all of it. Anything that's been in there for more than 6 months had to go. Another tip I learned that is SO SIMPLE but made complete sense was to put your trigger foods out of eye sight. You know those items you have a hard time not eating, I put those up high behind other items so I don't see them every time I open the pantry! As you can see we are obsessed with Combat Bars, don't buy them at Wal Mart - they are NOT the same - I bought on sale from Bodybuilding.com


The spice cabinet was another area that was a disaster, we have 2 or 3 of several spices because I never know if we are out!  I put them in alphabetical order, so simple yet makes a huge difference!! 


The same for the baking supples and vitamins, making my protein pancakes is now easier and faster because I don't have to hunt for the baking powder or extracts. 

I'm still needing to find a better way to store my pots and pans and my protein powders - those tubs are too freaking big! I may get some stackable tupperware and transfer them into those for easy storage. 

Do you guys have any simple storage ideas for the kitchen?

3.14.2016

Choo - Choo I'm Two!



We celebrated Aiden's 2nd Birthday this weekend, we got really lucky and the cloud parted just in time to bring some beautiful Spring weather! I got him up early so he would take an early nap before the party, he's such a good kid and actually did it LOL Nothing worse than a cranky toddler at a party you put a lot of work into. Mimi has been making train decor for weeks now and everything turned out so cute! 



We tried to use black duck tape to make train tracks leading up to the door, but the ground was still wet and my walkway curves too much so we skipped that part. 

Dress - Read Between the Lines
We bought these giant balloons on clearance 2 years ago from JCPenny, Party City wanted $18 bucks EACH to blow them up - Dollar General did it for a buck! 




I have such a great Mom, seriously couldn't ask for for better! 



The best part was the train we rented from Bounce N More, we saw this at a local festival and knew Aiden would love it for his party. His face when he came down the driveway and saw the train was priceless - that smile had me wanting to buy him all the trains in the world. If you are local to Dallas I highly recommend Bounce N More - they were super great about rescheduling in case it rained, didn't charge extra for anything, and showed up right on time - plus the driver was really great with the kids! The train runs about 300/hour, but less for each additional hour. 






Choo Choo Choo Choo - all. day. long. 

I'm annoyed that I forgot to get a family picture, swear Oliver was there ;)  

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