Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Summertime swag

I scored some summertime must have's from the okcmomsblog.  And I thought I'd share them with you because who doesn't love great summer stuff?  And it just feels wrong to keep good things to yourself.  So lets get started.

                                               Chaney's Popcorn
Neely and I had this devoured in no less than 4 minutes.  We feel like we are popcorn connoisseurs, mainly because we are.  This got the thumbs up from us, obviously.  And for those who care, they are packed in snack sized servings.

Designs by Jamie
Some women love shoes, some women love jewelry, I love bags.  I would change my purse every single day if I could.  So this bag that is handmade by Jamie, will get a lot of use, and was the perfect thing for this bag obsessed girl.

Electric City Apparel
Who doesn't love a t-shirt sporting some OK pride?  Enough said.

Fit Circle
There is something about drinking beverages (water) out of a cute glass/mug/bottle that makes me want to drink more.  And this stainless steel water bottle is a first of its kind at my house.  Its already gotten use.  They have a store full of fun, active accessories in Edmond

Goddess Garden Organics
If there is one thing I'm learning it is how many chemicals are in the things we put on and in our body.   So I'm super pumped to try this sunscreen that is all natural.  And the fact that it will most likely not make it a week because we heart sunscreen, means I will be purchasing a lot of this.

Head Country
The mere fact that The Pioneer Woman uses this as her BBQ sauce of choice should put it on your grocery list.  I don't like their use of high fructose corn syrup but am willing to overlook it, a few times, because its that good, and its made just right down the road in Ponca City.

So I'm learning a lot about protein shakes.  I'm starting to use them and am excited to give this one a go.  And it claims to have 4 billion probiotics.  Who doesn't need 4 billion more probiotics??

Lemon tree
Dove, you just can't compete anymore.  We are on the natural soap bandwagon at our house.  They smell better, they feel better, and I'm not rubbing chemicals on my body.  This bar of soap smells divine made with essential oils and is made by a mom in Edmond who turned her hobby into a business.

Viva La Pies
I didn't share this.  I ate it all by myself, because thats what moms have to do sometimes - sneak really good food.  And sometimes they do it before they get a good picture....whoopsie. These are made locally and would be a nice change from cake balls at showers.  Score one for the pie pop. (See group photo above)

Venture Pass
With my kids getting older - the local pool is most likely not going to cut it for our summer water fun.    This pass includes 7 local fun spots! At least I've got my summer pass.  Kids - I don't know what your going to do..

Check these out and let me know what you think!  Time to start thinking about your summer swag!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The things you can learn on your run

Growing up in a single parent home, pets weren't a priority.  But my mom listened to my sister and my pleas to get a parakeet.  Thus, I believe my love of birds was born.  O'Malley, our blue parakeet, was our buddy.  He slept in the room my sister and I shared, he ate dinner with us at the table, we spent hours playing with him.  Our favorite game was to get a hanger, O'Malley would dutifully get on, we would walk him all over the place, drop him off at certain stations, only to make him get back on for another ride.  He even said a few things like his name, sweet birdie, dirty birdie and your weird. I blame my sister, Traci for that last one.  We cried and cried when O'Malley died.  But then we got another bird.  I think we had 4 parakeets when it was all said and done.  Prince Ivory, and 2 whose names I can't remember.  They weren't ever as great as O'Malley.  RIP O'Malley.

I really like watching birds.  Not the birds in the WalMart parking lot (where do those terrible things come from???  They have no fear)   It will most likely be my retirement hobby.  My in-laws live on the side of a mountain and have a birdbath just below their deck.  This past summer Karly and I sat and watched the birds while identifying them in a Colorado Bird book they happen to have.  They have the most beautiful blue birds.  Mother/daughter bonding bonus.

Today's bird business started on my way home from taking the kids to school.  There was the most beautiful yellow bird on a high wire at a stoplight.  I had to crane my neck to see it.  I enjoyed being stuck at the light for a bit.   My google searches have produced what I believe it to have been.

This, my friends is a Kingbird.

Then, on my run, I ran into not one, but 4 of these!  Just sitting on a fence.  I saw them twice!  They were chasing each other and having a good ole time.

This is a red winged blackbird.

Yet another reason to get out and run my friends. Ok, well, you don't have to be running to see birds, but go with it.  I (We) just learned 2 new bird species.  The world is our classroom.  Cue music.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Keepin' It Real

Here's the thing about Just Finish Strong, the blog.  I am devoted to keeping all things real.  My life isn't perfect, my kids aren't perfect, I am definitely not perfect and my house does not look perfect.  So if your looking for that blog where things look perfect, move along.  But I'm guessing you probably already figured that out by now.  For those of you who are perfect, I commend you.  I will never join your ranks.

So, I guess I'm raising a girl who likes to keep it real, as well.  I received this note the other day.

Its true, I get all riled up and I yell.  I like to call it passion.  No one else does, but I do. But thank goodness for that girl I'm raising who keeps it real, by heaping on the guilt and the love, all at one time.  Thanks Karly.....?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blogging at OKC Moms Blog today

I'm blogging today over at

Head over here for the smoothie weapon secret

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Blackberry cobbler + iron skillet = crazy good

This right here is a staple at our house.  And when blackberries are only .99 at Sprouts, well, it calls for some blackberry cobbler.  And I cranked it up a bit by baking it in an iron skillet.  Do you have one?  If you don't, go get one.  There is something about an iron skillet that makes everything cooked in it taste better.  Our ancestors knew what's up.   I made our Friday night just a little better.  Now its your turn.

Blackberry Cobbler

1 C flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Juice of half a lemon
4 cups fresh blackberries.

Preheat the oven to 40 degrees.  Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter until it looks like coarse crumbs.  Stir in the 1/4 cup boiling water just until its all moist.

In a separate bowl dissolve the cornstarch in cold water.  Add remaining 1 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries.  Stir to coat.  Pour into cast iron skillet that is on the stove and bring to a boil.  Drop dough into the skillet by spoonfuls.  Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I'm becoming one of those moms.  The ones who get all sentimental.  And it's totally unlike me.  I am not that sentimental mom.  I love my kids dearly, but I am not going to cry and stuff about them hitting milestones.  However, 12 years has shaken me up a bit. He's 12 and a half to be exact.  I'm reminded often.

He's almost as tall as me.
He hangs out in his room a lot.
He's texting girls.
He rides a skateboard.
He rolls his eyes at me when I think I'm funny.
He says things like "this song is my jam"
His voice is on the verge of changing…I can just feel/hear it.
He says things like "no paparazzi" when I try to take his picture.


He still plays with his legos
He wants me to lay with him at night so he can recap his day with me
He gives me lots of random hugs
He gave me a science lesson with his telescope the other night
He is making me super proud, and turning me into a teary eyed mom.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I love Easter.  I love the food, springtime, and the reminder how lucky I am to be forgiven.  

We spent the day at my aunt's farm on Saturday.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  

We did a little 5 day old baby holding

Some egg hunting

Some fishing

Some snake watching....{{shudder}}  Do you see it??

Some hiking

And some jumping

We ended the day with some last minute egg dying 

Happy Easter from our crew!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Chocolate Nests

I realize you can find the all over Pinterest.  But they're so stinkin' cute I felt there needed to be one more place to find them on the internet.  Just in case.  And you still have 2 days.  These literally take 7 minutes.

Chocolate Nests

1 12 oz bag chocolate chips. (Milk, semisweet, use what you got)
1/2 C peanut butter
12 oz chow mein noodles

Coat muffin tins for easy removal.  Microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter in a glass bowl at 30 minute intervals until melted.  Gently stir in the chow mein noodles.  Drop into muffin tins and get super messy while shaping them as nests.  Add chocolate eggs.  Refrigerate 15-30 minutes until firm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


When I run, I always use the ap Runkeeper.  That way, I know how far I went, how many calories I burned, what my pace was.  So during my run, at every mile, the mechanical woman interrupts my music and lets me know how far I've gone and what my pace is.  Sometimes when I am running, I can not wait to hear that monotone voice, because that means I get a 15 second walk break.  But its bitter sweet.  Because lately, she's been telling me how slow I am.  I then get annoyed, and make sure I pick up the pace, which might produce a side stitch and a lot of mental dialogue regarding my need to crank it up.  Its a love/hate relationship.  I need her, but I don't ever like what she says.

So today, when I left to go for a run - I couldn't use my Runkeeper Ap.  It looks like we have maxed out our data on our cell phone plan so for the next 3 days, its less cell phone usage for us.  This is actually a good thing, except when it comes to me relying on my monotone buddy to spew information in my ear as I suck wind.  So off I went, virtual friendless.  And a funny thing happened.  I actually enjoyed my run.  I had no idea how fast I went, I had no idea how far I went, I just …..went.  And it was freeing.

Sometimes the things we use impose expectations on us.   They become a crutch, or a habit.  Telling us we're not going fast enough, or long enough, or we're not good enough.  But really, who needs that in their ear all day?  I'm thinking I sure don't.  We all have enough expectations put on us.  Many that are unnecessary.  Do Instagram and Facebook set expectations for you?  Taking enough vacations?  Having enough fun? Friends with the right people?  Do people in your life have expectations for you that your trying to meet?  Is there a reason you should?

I'm kind of tired of expectations.  I'm ready to enjoy the run.