September 28, 2013


its not too often that i feel compelled to write, but this week i saw an instagram post from my new friend from the healthy living summit, heather.  her photo (shown below) really made me think. alot.   
recently, i have been feeling a little overwhelmed.  okay, a little may not even begin to describe it.  
this 'challenge' from @mariatrains is set to allow you to make a few goals and try to stick with them for a full 30 days.  they say it only takes 21 days to create a habit, right?!
here's the deal.
i work long hours, commuting almost an hour each way, rotate between day and night shifts.  i work out 4 days a week (training for a half marathon & body pump a few times a week), i try to keep a clean house, keep up with laundry, grocery shop and meal plan, and still fit in being a wife and momma.  frankly... i'm tired.
and from time to time... my house starts to look like this.  and when that happens, typically my brain starts looking like this too.  i find myself coming home about 9 pm, exhausted and starving after working a 12-13 hour day.  during that day, i typically haven't eaten much and don't drink nearly enough water.  that of course leads to me eating what ever i can get my hands on, before falling into bed.  all to get up and do it over again.  this is a recipe for disaster.  

my type a personality needs order is the culprit here.  i need order, routine, schedule, consistency.  i think that is why i like marathon training so much.  knowing what to do and when to do it works well for me.  i think that i need to implement the same system into the rest of my life...

i use my erin condren planner daily. it helps keep me mostly sane. i know who needs to be where, and when. whether i work days or nights, and who is picking up b from school.  we have monthly (or sometimes weekly) calendar meetings with me and hubby to make sure we both know the plan.  

i find myself wishing that my hubby and i both had jobs where we had a set schedule, where we could be home for dinner together, and didn't have to plan our lives weeks in advance.  but i have come to accept that we will never have that kind of "normal".  so, i must make the best of the schedule we have. 

here are my goals:
1. meal planning:
hopefully, having meals prepared so i can just heat them up will help to keep me from eating junk when i get home after a long day of work.  also, it is crockpot season.   thank goodness.  also, prepping fruit and veggies into snack size portions... i need to eat better for me food. 

2. make a housework routine.
systems like flylady implement zone cleaning in order to keep you from spending an entire day cleaning and doing laundry.  i have implementing these techniques before, i just need to modify it to make it adaptable to my adjustable schedule.  i think this one is going to be key for me!

3. make a workout plan:
i don't have to be training for a marathon to stick to a workout program... however, there is a late fall marathon (nov 24th) that i need to make a decision on, and quick.  my plan needs to include running, strength training and YOGA!

4. establish a skincare routine
now that i am getting closer to my mid 30s, i feel like it is high time to establish a skin care routine that works for me.  both morning and night.  my skin is in the worst shape it has been in since i was a teenage.  most likely, that is related to stress, lack of sleep and not making the best dietary choices.  

so this is how i am going to attempt the 30 days of consistency challenge.
any advice for me?! wish me luck!

September 26, 2013


my half marathon has snuck up on me rather quickly.  we are 10 days out. sunday, october 6th.  i am a little sentimental to this race, since its inaugural event was the first race i ran, almost exactly one year after having brody.  this year will be my third year running the half marathon. 
as most of you know, i have spent the last few months in a bit of a running funk, if you will.  i have been running, just not much distance, and not enjoying every minute of it.  i'm working my way out of it, but in the meantime... i want to talk about this weeks long run.
ten miles, ya'll.  
last sunday,  i headed out with the intention of running six miles.  by about mile 3 and a half,  i felt like i was done... i kept pushing until 4 and a half miles.  by then, it was everything in my power to walk the last mile back to the car.  i will admit, i was discouraged.  terribly.  my half was in two weeks, and i could only manage a 5k.  i was under hydrated, didn't eat enough and it was HOT!  blah, blah, blah.  
so, i set another goal for wednesday for another attempt at a long run.  i planned for 8 miles, but was secretly just hoping to complete 6 without feeling like i was miserable.  

wednesday morning, i woke up to it looking like rain.  i didn't need any more excuses for not getting my long run in, so i headed out anyway.  i figured i would get in what i could, and if i had to finish on the treadmill that was fine too.  i headed out to my local park, with the intention of completing two 4 mile loops.  the gloomy-er (is that a word?) it got, it figured maybe i should alter my route to make my first loop a bit longer.  i watched my heart rate monitor closely, and completed 6 miles at a pace that i felt i could sustain.  i stopped for a bit of stretching and some water and headed out for a little longer.  by this point, i was starting to remember how good it felt to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  i am by all means a second half runner, in that i am stronger on the second half of the race.  so, i decided to attempt the 4 mile loop i had intended on.  

well... i did it! 
ten miles.  and i lived to talk about it.  it wasn't at my fastest pace, but i covered the distance.  and even more... i think i enjoyed it.  
i did alot of thinking during that hour or so, and i decided that maybe you stop enjoying running when it becomes work.  and it becomes work when you stop doing it so frequently.  i think i need some kind of a plan.  after the half, i need to set some goals for how i want to spend the winter months, as it is easy for running to be put on the back burner while the weather is cold.  
has anyone else dealt with a funning funk?
what helped you break it?
anyone else planning on running the cowbell half marathon in october?!

September 21, 2013

brody and mommy date {september}

thursday, i took b out for our monthly mommy and brody date. 
i let b pick where he wanted to go for dinner.  
his selection?! sams club.  seriously, this kid passed up chick fil a for sams.  

i haven't quite figured out where b's obsession with sams came from, however... i can guess.  first, there is an amazing waitress at one of our local restaurants named sam.  b and sam are friends.  he asks for her every time we go there, and she takes him around the restaurant with her. so there's that. 
but also...
there's this.  yes. its a happy face.  the door man at sams, gerald. he draws a happy face on your receipt when you leave.  this man has won over my little b.  he looks for him every time we go in, or even if we just stop at the sams gas station, he tells me he needs to see gerald.  it is hysterical.  
(we really don't go that frequently either. maybe 2 x week for gas and maybe once a month into the actual store. weird, huh?)
so, dinner? it was pizza. and pretzel. and that darn 'bear drink' that daddy introduced him to.
this dinner selection being the reason we only frequent here once a month or so. 
but, for some reason it makes him insanely happy.
he somehow even sweet talked himself into ice cream
b was super talkative and was socializing with all the employees, and they all thought he was something else.  the nice man at the food counter brought him ice cream for being such a good boy.  
we then went home and promptly crashed from all the sugar/junk food consumption.
hey, i gotta let the kid live a little bit, right?

September 18, 2013

{wild harvest test kitchen}

friday morning, as a part of the healthy living summit, i had the opportunity to visit the wild harvest organics test kitchen in eden prairie, minnesota.  wild harvest is a branch of supervalu grocers, and their products are featured right here in st. louis at shop n save stores.  wild harvest strives to provide "organic food that's priced for families: real families with real budgets".  i really like that this is part of their mission, as i personally know how difficult it is to want to provide organic or natural foods for my family while trying to stick to a budget.  
we were divided into three groups for the tour.  the first stop was a session discussing the difference between natural and organic products, along with some more information about the company. 
we were able to taste test a variety of chips and salsa.  the mango salsa was the clear winner!
next, we moved to the recipe design station.  we met with genie, who demonstrated a recipe for turkey burgers with cucumber dill sauce.  holy yum.  this will be making its way into our meal planning soon!
our final step was a stop in the sensory lab.  this is where product testing and comparison are completed.  we participated in a mini survey of their new cherry vanilla granola. 
after completing the test kitchen tour, they had a very nice spread of wild harvest foods for us to sample, along with some yummy mock mojitos from our talented 'bartender' brian.  
lunch was really good and we had a great time learning about wild harvest and their products.  we received lots of samples from the actual conference, so i am looking forward to trying more new products and to start picking up some more new items at my local shop in save.  

have you tried wild harvest before?  what things do you love that i should try?

September 16, 2013

the rest of {#hls13}

i decided i was going to tackle the rest of my hls13 experience in one review.  see day #1 here.  so sit down, grab a cup of coffee, because this is going to be a long one! 
don't say i didn't warn you.
i started friday morning with a cup of hot tea, and a view.  
first up on friday's agenda was a tour of the test kitchen at wild harvest organics
{a post to come on this excursion later this week}  
 after arriving back at the hotel, i went to the registration table for the conference.  here i finally got to meet heather who was one of the two organizers of this years event.  you and julie did an amazing job.
i headed back to my room where i promptly dug through all my goodies.  
the photo above is only about 1/4 of the stuff we received.  
oh yeah, i also took a nap and walked to target (which is two stories, btw) during this bit of downtime.
next up was my roundtable discussion with kelly, from
we co-hosted the discussion about making your health a priority.  we had a great group, and were able to share lots of great tips involving ways to fit in fitness, suggestions for meal planning, clean eating, keeping a positive attitude, etc.   
here are a the awesome group of girls that attended our session!
it was great {albeit, i was a little nervous} to be a part of the sessions and i am already looking forward to contributing more the hls organization in the future.  thanks to everyone that participated.
after the session was a quick change of clothes, then off to a fit mingle at a local park with the trendy trainer, caroline. 
 caroline, that was an awesome workout! i am still sore lady :)
after our workout it was time for dinner.
kristen and i hit up barrio for dinner.  it was a casual little mexcian place.  we sat outside, shared some guacamole and queso fundido and talked for what seemed like forever. 
soon, it was time to get ready for the hls cocktail party.  
 the cocktail party was at the beautiful guthrie theater in downtown minneapolis.  we had a great night socializing and enjoying the views.  the cocktail party was a nice way for everyone to interact and get to know each other a little bit before starting the sessions saturday morning.
one of the hls bucket list items was to take a photo with your roommate during the cocktail party.  
don't you love kristens dress? i had dress envy all weekend. 
 saturday morning, i went back to caribou coffee.  omg. that pumpkin chai latte.  
(this pic is from friday morning.  didn't take a saturday photo #bloggerfail)
i am embarrassed to admit i was here friday morning, saturday morning and sunday morning.  
sad we don't have caribou in stl!
next, we started all of the blog sessions.  i was too busy furiously writing down notes to take any pics.  
{this one is courtesy of our hls photographer, megan}
saturday afternoon we finished our sessions with some yoga sculpt.  
i was looking forward to a nice, relaxing stretching session, but yoga sculpt was not it.  katie kicked my butt.  this was an awesome workout!
for saturdays dinner, we visited Masa.  
another really yummy mexican restaurant with a really cool vibe.  unfortunately, is started raining during dinner and we had to run back in the pouring down rain.  the food was fantastic though.  
wish i could remember what i ate.  some type of enchilada. 
after dinner, kristen had to head back home, so i headed up to hang out with caroline, melanie, becky and katie.  these girls were so much fun to hang out with. 
we didn't take any pics saturday night, but here is one from sunday morning.
sunday morning started with the hls 5K.  we headed out from the hotel, to the minneapolis sculpture garden and then back. 
all the hls-er's before the 5k
 some cheesy pictures were taken, because we are tourists after all.
with another stop at caribou coffee before heading back for breakfast. 
  what?! don't judge.  
the conference finished up with breakfast, some raffle prizes, chair massages and the announcement of next years dates and locations.  september 11-14.  madison, wisconsin.  
i had lots of time to kill before my flight, so of course i filled myself up with plans.  
first things first... packing. how am i going to get all this home?! plus my clothes? agghh.
ok, well i had to check a bag, but i did it!
after the conference, i met a sorority sister from college that i haven't seen in almost 10 years for lunch   
at spoon river.  the owner was our keynote speaker on saturday at the conference.  the restaurant specilaizes in local, organic, foods.  it was ah-mah-zing. 
after lunch, allison and i headed over to the mall of america.  when in rome, right? 
i didn't do any shopping (becuase i didn't have room in my suitcase to shove anything else in) but i took a few pictures before jumping on the light rail for a ride to the airport.
i spent a few hours camped out at the little lounge area reading all my new friends blogs.  
this little area was pretty cool, with an ipad to order food from, keep you updated on your flight status, and a charging station for your electronics.  my hubby has talked for years about how this would be such a cool concept for a restaurant.  he was less than thrilled to find out that someone beat him to his idea... hahahaha.
overall, i had the greatest weekend at my first hls.  i am so thankful to have met so many amazing people, and to come home with a few new friends.  i hope to apply many of the new information and tips i learned during the summit to my blog, and am eagerly awaiting any opportunities that may have come from the networking i did this weekend. 

thank you hls13!