Friday, February 27, 2015

On my camera

 Just had to share a few shots from my camera this week.  Its been so nice and low key.  I love crazy busy.  And then I love not busy at all.

He hauls wood in the snow for our fireplace.  He knows my love language.

Karly enjoyed the snow too.

Snowball fight prep is serious business around here.

I saw a glimpse of this through the window above the front door and had to stop my morning routine and open the front door and stare at this.  It was breathtaking.  It only lasted a few minutes and I was so glad I caught it.

Happy Weekend Friends!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This runner's fav's

Even though I've been running for 5 years now, sometimes, when I run, I'm like, am i really a runner?  Its kind of a panic moment.  Like I'm a poser.  But then I look at my gear and I'm like, well if I'm not, at least I look like one!

Every runner has their gear favorites.  Their staples.  And it can get tricky, because season's change.  You need the right ear and hand coverage.  Headphones matter.  And if you don't have the right shoes, you might as well go home.  I know some of my readers are new to running, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite running essentials.  You non runners are stoked, I know.

Lets start with the shoes.  Because at the end of the day, if you don't have good shoes,  you will hate running.  I'm shoe brand loyal.   I was loyal to Nike, my very first serious running shoes.  Then I was loyal to Asics for a few shoe rotations.  But by far, my Hokas are a cut above the rest.   I had a terrible case of planters fasciitis.  I was about to have to take a long break from running to take care of it when I was talked into these Hoka's.  6 months later I have my fastest half marathon under my belt and no sign of planters fasciitis.  They made me fast AND cured my ailing feet. And I heart them so much they are my blog header.  Its seriously shoe love.

Ok, cold weather accessories.  These gloves by Outdoor Research are a must have when running in below freezing temps.  They are light, which is perfect for those whose hands get hot and sweaty when they run, like me.  They usually only last through mile 2 but are a necessity up until then.

This RoadID is a must.  It has 2 phone numbers to call should someone run me over, along with my name and of course "Just Finish Strong" in case I'm dying and feel like I need to quit.  I got one for Andy for Christmas and he said it was his favorite gift!

The Spi belt.  This is an absolute necessity for me.  I hang my mace on it.  I put my phone, keys and fuel in it.  Now when you pack it full of all that stuff, its not so spy like in that you look like  you have this huge bulge in your lower abdomen, but hey, it serves its purpose.

Those are just a few of my favorite running essentials. Hmm... I was aiming for a clothing discussion but moved to accessories.  That doesn't surprise me.  I love accessories.  We'll do clothes later.  Something to look forward to!

Fellow runners - what can you not live without on your runs?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Who's glass is this???

We all have those personality traits that might annoy those we live with.  At least I'm hoping thats the case.   I have this need for clean dishes.  I can't stand for them to be sitting around after a meal.  A clean kitchen and dining room are my nightly goal.  I know this is genetic in my case.  My husband has had many a meal at my parents house where he has left his plate or cup only to come back and see that it is has been whisked off to the dishwasher before he was finished with it.  It happens often.  My mom calls it being efficient.  Andy calls it something else.

I also expect my people to clean up after themselves.  If they are at the age where they can do it, I expect them too.  Many hands make for light work.  Thats what I always say. And I'm all about light work.  Sometimes I have to remind them all of this.  So at lunch time today, when I realized there were still breakfast dishes on the dining room table, I politely asked them to stop what they were doing and put away their dishes.  Then I went on about my business.  An hour or so later I noticed there was still a half a juice glass sitting on the table and I asked them not so politely to please put away their breakfast glass, not knowing which of the 3 left it.  Later, when I noticed that glass was STILL sitting on the dining room table, I got ticked.  I called them all 3 in and we stood around the table and I said "WHOSE GLASS IS THIS?????".  I heard 3 "not mine"'s.  Well it has to be someone's I said sarcastically.  Neely then says, "Mooooom, thats where YOU were sitting.  Thats YOUR glass". 

I stood there and thought for a minute......whoopsie....that was my glass.  Insert apology to my children.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chili when its chilly

I want nothing other than chili when the weather is cold and overcast.  Its weird, I know, but sometimes I plan the menu according to the weather.  I've searched high and low for the best chili recipe.  And so far, my friend Bethany's chili is my family's fav.  It was the perfect meal to end our snow day today.  If your not married to your chili recipe, you should try this one.

Bethany's chili

1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 cans chili beans or kidney beans
1 can green chilis
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder

Brown ground beef with onion and green pepper.  Drain grease if necessary.  Add all other ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.  I turn off the heat and let it all sit and meld together for another hour.  Serve on top of fritos and top with cheese.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Its the little things - Healthy Changes for your Family Part deux

Look!  I used my two years of French in High School in my title!

Back here I shared a few changes we've made in our family to live a little healthier.  I'm going to share a few more.  Because its important and I care about you.  Here we go.

  • Cut out Soda - Oh wait.  I already used this one.  But it is sooooo important.  Don't start your day with a coke can in your hand!  In college, when I used to do this, I felt like such a rebel.  Having soda in the morning because my mom wouldn't ever let me do it.  Now I'm my mother.  Your body needs something it can use as fuel.  And a can full of chemicals does not fit the bill.
  • Smoothies.  Some people just don't like the taste of vegetables.  (Eyeroll) To them I say, time to visit Dr. Buckup.  But if your just can't do it, or just can't get your kids to do it, hide them.  Smoothies are the easiest way to hide all kinds of good stuff, like avocado, kale, wheat germ, flax seed, spinach, you name it!  Throw some leafy greens in with some vanilla greek yogurt, apple juice, bananas and berries.  My kids beg, I tell you, beg for smoothies.  
  • Coconut Oil  Coconut oil is something that has a million uses.  And with it being all natural,you can feel good about using it in everything.  We have gotten rid of the vegetable oil and replaced it with coconut oil.  It can withstand a higher heat so its a great substitute for butter. Eggs, popcorn,  cookies - whatever you normally use canola or vegetable oil for, you can substitute with coconut oil.  I even use it as eye makeup remover!
  • Ditch the Dyes  All those snazzy kids snacks with all those vibrant colors - artificial.  Colored applesauce - no thanks.  Blue anything except for blueberries, fake.  There have been links found between food dyes and behavioral problems in children.  Imagine that.
Small changes is all it can take sometimes.  Its the little things.  What are some healthy changes you have made for your family?  Post a comment - I might need to do it!

Happy Healthy Changes!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The third child

I was prepping my daughter, Neely's first birthday party when all of the sudden it hit me…Oh. My. Goodness. All the signs were clear as day. I am pregnant.  I raced to the bathroom, grabbed a test and took it.  It confirmed my suspicions.  How in the world was I going to do 3 kids under the age of 4.

Today, that sweet little surprise is 8.

Karly is the free spirit of the family.  Most of the time, she can be found working on some sort of project her little mind has come up with.  If she's not creating, she is watching  youtube videos on how to create, from cakes to play dough food.  She insisted on us making the cake below from a youtube video that had about 100 steps.

She's the first one in the kitchen pulling up the stool and throwing on her apron, begging for a job to do.  Its not an exaggeration when I say if I would cut her loose in the kitchen she would prepare a fabulous meal for us all.  But her help doesn't stop in the kitchen.  If her daddy is outside working on the car, she is handing him tools and asking how it all works.  Her clothes can be found all over the house, wherever she decides to change.  Her stuffed animals and dolls have immaculate beds and homes built out of shoe boxes and other household items.  Her Christmas gifts to the entire family were the first ones under the Christmas tree.  A car ride with her means you won't get a word in edgewise, but you won't care, because she will be telling a story with animated expressions that will have you captivated. She's the first to offer a trade should her brother or sister be dissatisfied with something they have received.  She's taught me in her 8 short years that things don't always need to be on a schedule, that people are what really matter, and if you have an idea, make it happen. I can't wait to see what she teaches me in her teen years.

Happy Birthday to sweet Karly!