Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunday Runday: Fit Foodie 2015 and Promo Code!

I have good news for everyone today.  And isn't that exactly how you want to start your week?

As you may remember, last year I was chosen to be an ambassador for the Fit Foodie 5k Weekend, hosted by Cooking Light and Health Magazine.  It was so much fun! 

There was the gorgeous race course, the amazing Finisher's Festival, and then the Sunday Sweat Session.  The whole weekend is unlike anything I've ever experienced and it really caters to runners, loading them up with so much good stuff!

Well I am so excited to share with you that I have been asked to be an ambassador again this year - YAY!  November 6-8 you'll find me at this year's Fit Foodie events, which features a sweat session with the Tracy Anderson Method.  I'm especially looking forward to partaking in the weekend when I'm not battling first trimester morning sickness.

The theme for the weekend this year is Calories Burned, Calories Earned, which I do believe is also the theme of every runner I know  (ever seen those shirts that say "will run for ...(beer, wine, cupcakes)"?)

And this year's charity is the American Diabetes Association. 5% of all the proceeds from the first 2000 race entries and t-shirt purchases and 10% of all subsequent entries and purchases will go toward the charity.

So all of that is good news for me, but I'm sure you're wondering "What's in it for ME?"  I mean, let's be honest, no one really cares when someone else gets all the perks and good times.  And you guys know there is nothing I love better than being able to share with you.  The amazing people at the Fit Foodie Weekend have very generously given my readers a 50% Discount Code to use to for entries to the weekend events.  Which means YOU get to come run (with me!) and take part in a Finish Line Festival that has food samplings, wine and beer gardens, fitness demos, and of course lots and lots of giveaways.  

To sign up, go to and enter the code: GOODINTENTIONS

There will be more info and goodies coming - so stay tuned.  Until then, I hope you sign up and I look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Crave Wednesday:Garlic Thyme Burgers with Grilled Tomatoes

I'm tired you guys.  So very tired.  I mean, I'm usually tired around this time of year with birthday party prep, but it's compounded by middle of the night wakeups and early morning risings.  I spent all of yesterday thinking it was Wednesday.  Which it obviously wasn't.

On the plus side, we're getting lots of television time!  Are you watching the new premieres?  Because we are!  Lately television has been disappointing, and last year a lot of our favorites ended.  But so far there are some gems in the new fall shows.  I think.  Once I'm getting more than a couple hours of sleep a night I might re-evaluate.

I might also start being more adventurous with dinner.  Because right now I'm looking for the easiest cleanup I can find.  One pan meals.  I like that birgers are a quick weeknight meal, even moreso when I can use my grill pan.  Cooking light refers to this burger as having French flavors due to thyme and Dijon.  I didn't find it especially "french" but I did like the simplicity of adding some herbs into burgers for something a little fancier than "ordinary."  Which is perfect for a Wednesday night that feels like a Thursday that you wish were Saturday!

Garlic Thyme Burgers with Grilled Tomatoes (From Cooking Light)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
3/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground sirloin
4 slices beefsteak tomato
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 Kaiser rolls
4 baby romaine lettuce leaves

  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 inch thick patty.  Press thumb into center of patty, leaving a nickel sized indentation.  
  2. Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove patties from pan.
  3. Add tomato slices to pan; cook 1 minute on each side.
  4. Spread 3/4 tsp mustard over bottom half of each roll.
  5. Top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 1 tomato slice, and top half of roll.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Surving Staying At Home

Don't worry, I'm not about to start passing off advice on how to be a stay at home mom, because goodness knows, I am so far from the expert in that field!

This is less of a "how to" and more of an "how I."  I've been back at work for almost a month, but before that I was a stay at home mom for almost 3 months to these two guys.  I remember Thatboy being so nervous about going back to work and leaving me to handle a toddler and newborn on my own.  But I DID IT!  And this is how.

To begin with, I am a routine lover.  I find it makes things so much easier.  So I implemented one to help us through the day.

To begin, I woke up with Thatboy so I could get a shower in before the boys woke up, or at least before Thatboy left for work in case one of the boys did wake up.

Once they were up, it was breakfast, teeth brushing, and getting dressed.  And then we left the house.

This was the key to my routine, getting out of the house and doing something.  It helped keep Thatkid occupied, and tired him out a bit, and Thatbaby could sleep in the carrier.  This is when we went to museums, met up with friends, or even just headed to the library (which Thatkid loved). 

Then it was home for lunch and nap.  For all of us! 

Once we got up from nap, it was time for crafts.  I made SUCH use of Pinterest this summer!  Looking up activities to do and then putting them in action.  We made puffy sand, hanging suns, tye-died baby wipes, firework paintings,

Cotton ball sheep:

Shark hats:

And played games with balloons and pool noodles.

This was my dedicated Thatkid time.  Even though Thatbaby was usually with us, it was the time where I wasn't trying to do anything but spend time with him.   Which is important because after craft time, it was television time for Thatkid.  He got to watch a tv program while I put together dinner, and by that time Thatboy would be rolling in from work.  Another day survived!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Runday: The Rest of The Year

The last weeks of pregnancy, which felt like months, I got the race bug I always get before the fall rolls in.  There are so many San Diego races I love that come at the end of the year.  I started signing up for things right and left.  It's a sickness. 

October 24 - Surfing Madonna

October 24-November 1 - Zombies, Run! Virtual 5k

December 12 - Jingle Bell Run



Friday, September 25, 2015

A Homemade Life: Sliced Spring Salad with Avocado and Feta

If you do a google train search for "train birthday party" you'll notice a recurrent theme of "choo choo ____ is 2!"  Because for some reason, 1 year olds just love trains.  Well 3 year olds?  3 year olds love super heroes.   So it wasn't terribly surprising to receive a Superhero birthday party invitation from Super Toddler and Super Baby.  Since their birthdays are a month apart, and they're expecting another sibling in November, Super Mom decided a joint party was the thing to do.

The highlight of the party for Thatkid was that his all time favorite superhero in the entire world stopped by to make an appearance.


Don't get me wrong, the kid loves all super heroes, and happens to own not one, but two Spiderman action figures (because apparently you need one that talks, and one that doesn' least that what he is currently trying to convince me in order to acquire another Thor)

But Ironman has been his favorite almost since he discovered what super heroes were.   Which strikes me as funny, because he's a little too young to see any super hero movies, so I'm not sure how he knows about them, but he does!

The kids took turns being on Ironman and Spiderman's teams in playing tug of war.  (I think due in part because when they asked "who wants to be on Ironman's team?" Thatkid was the only one raising his hand and jumping up and down)

Spiderman and Ironman also led them in a bean bag tossing game.

And signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Thatbaby is still a little young for this superhero business.  He's really too young for the swing too.  Either that or he's just totally too cool for both.  Neither held his interest in the slightest.

He was much happier shoving his fingers in his mouth.  Because apparently that's what 3 month olds are into.


 Thatkid is seriously the biggest camera punk.  He begs me to put on a mask and take a picture, then makes this face.  As though the whole thing wasn't his idea.  As though it pains him to take a picture. Or maybe he's just trying to hide his superhero identity.

The only problem with the party is that it was roughly one million degrees outside.  Poor Super Mom.  Super Baby was born the first week of September so she doesn't remember being this pregnant during the hottest part of September.  I reminded her that Super Toddler was born the first week of October, so she would have been even more pregnant that September, but neither of us think it was as hot as it's been lately.

We're having a real heat wave round these parts.  That fact, combined with the fact that we're about to lose all the best parts of summer - the produce, has be craving salad like a madwoman.  I want as much greens as I can get my hand on.  I shared this salad with the rest of the family, but I could have eaten the whole thing myself.  It has some of my favorite salad ingredients, namely avocado and feta.  The dressing is light and the "greens" (endive and radicchio) are crunchy instead of leafy, which brings a fresh crispness to the salad. While it's call a "spring salad" I much prefer to wait for the buttery avocado which presents itself in late summer.

Sliced Spring Salad with Avocado and Feta (From A Homemade Life)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar 
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp olive oil
8 radishes
1 medium radicchio
4 Belgian endive
handful of cilantro leaves
1 medium avocado
1/2 cup crumbled French feta
  1. In a small bowl combine the mustard, vinaigrette, and salt.  Whisk to blend well.
  2. Add the olive oil and whisk vigorously to emulsify. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Trim the radishes and slice them very thinly into translucent wafers.  Toss them into a large serving bowl.
  4. Quarter the radicchio from stem end to tip and peel away any raggedy outer leaves.  Working with one quarter at a time, slice it crosswise into ribbons roughly 1/4 inch thick. Toss the radicchio into the bowl.
  5. Next slice the endive crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips, discarding the root end.  Add it to the bowl.
  6. Add the cilantro leaves and toss with vinaigrette to taste.
  7. Quarter the avocado from stem to base and discard the pit.  Cut each quarter crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips.  Distribute them evenly over the salad.
  8. Top with feta.  Serve.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mommy Mondays: The Older Child (Part 3)

Okay, the easy part is over.  You've had the baby and made the first introduction.  Now comes the sticky part - the time when the older child realizes that attention stealing newer model isn't going away.

This is the time of tantrums, where you become quite familiar with the idea that "negative attention is still attention."

I had a bunch of friends who already had second children (including a mother who had two kids).  I take no credit for the advice below, but I will say I followed it with much success, so I'm sharing it.

The key to all of these is to make sure the older child doesn't feel neglected, or like the baby is more important.  Because then comes the resentment and the acting out.

* The baby is not precious.  This one was from my mom.  Too much "be careful" "don't touch the baby" or that ilk makes the older child feel like the parents care more about the new baby.  Like the new baby is more special, or deserves more protection.  Babies are really very durable, so we allowed touching, holding, hugging, and all that behavior without saying boo.  And when Thatkid did something that could potentially hurt, we didn't make it about the baby, but about life in general.  "Hey, don't poke him in the eye!  You wouldn't like to be poked in the eye, right?"

* Vocalize the same phrases to the baby that you do with the older child.  There will be times you can't get to the older child because you're involved with the baby.  But there will also be times when you can't get to the baby because you're involved with the older child.  Now, obviously the baby doesn't really understand anything you say, but the older child will.  So I will often say "One moment Thatbaby, I'm helping your brother right now."  or "Listen Thatbaby, you have to wait your turn, it's not all about you."  This helps the older child feel like they're not the only one being made to wait.  Lately I've had to tell Thatbaby "We don't pull hair" or "Don't hit your brother,"  even though at 3 months he can barely control his movements, let alone purposely try to harm Thatkid.

 * Babywear!  Okay, this one is mine.  Wearing Thatbaby meant that I could really cater to Thatkid.  Play in the backyard, go on field trips, tie shoes, and basically be accessible.  Because there is nothing more destructive than a bored toddler.

* It's never the baby's fault.  This is especially important when those tantrums and bad, attention seeking behavior surfaces.  Whenever you're chastising the older one, give it a reason other than the baby.  So no "be quiet the baby's sleeping"  just "hey let's use our inside voices."  That way the older kid doesn't feel like s/he keeps getting in trouble because of the baby.  If you have another adult handy, this is an excellent time to make use of them as a distraction.  That way you don't have to yell at the older kid, the distracting adult can just take them out to play, or grab a bunch of legos to "build together."  If you don't have a second adult handy, then set up your own distractions.  Put a big bin of blocks wherever you spend the most time (or in every room, if your kid is like mine you have plenty of legos/blocks/etc.). When s/he starts doing something undesirable, ask him/her to build you the tallest tower s/he can, which will keep him occupied. Or something similar that would work for your kid and what s/he likes to do.

* One on one time!  From the time Thatkid came home from the hospital, Thatboy was in charge of bath and bedtime.  I always use that time to get dinner ready for the next day.  Once Thatbaby came home, this became our special time.  Thatboy took over putting Thatbaby to bed, while Thatkid and I did dinner, bath, and bedtime together. Which means every night Thatkid and I had dedicated time together.  He also got lots of one-on-one time with Thatboy as they'd run errands together or go out and grab frozen yogurt.

* Help make your older child self-sufficient.  Because there are times you just can't be there for them.  For us, I let Thatkid know that I would always put his needs first EXCEPT when I was nursing.  So he knew that he could ask me for things any other time, but if I was nursing, he'd have to wait.  So before I would nurse, I would set him up with something to do. Coloring, beads, a puzzle, a snack - so he has something to do while I'm occupied. I bought a bunch of $1 crafts from Michaels that worked great for this.  My hospital also recommends nursing with one hand, while you use your other hand to read a story to your older child who can cuddle up next to you.  I also created a "snack bucket" for Thatkid which had individually portioned bags of raisins, graham crackers, crackers, applesauce, cereal bars, granola bars, etc.  And he knew that he could help himself to those whenever he wanted, without having to ask me.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Runday: Santee Lap the Lakes 5k

After I posted on Facebook about my little racing companion last week I got a text from L&O.  Little LO wanted to run a race at Santee Lakes, and L&O thought maybe Thatkid would like to join him.

You guys know that runner's high you get following a race right?  When you start looking for you next race before you've even cooled down from your last one?  Well Thatkid had that last week and readily agreed to run a race with his buddy. 

When our alarm went off at 6am, Thatboy turned to me and said - "you realize, both boys are sleeping right now.  We could be sleeping, but instead we're getting up to drive to a race for a 3 year old?"

But by 6:30am, both boys were up anyway and shortly thereafter we were on our way.

We met up with Little LO who was ready to get his race on.

But first, there was some warming up to be done.

I couldn't figure out how long the kid's fun run was.  On some sites it said a mile, on others half a mile.  So I really wasn't sure what we were in for.   I also wasn't sure why Thatkid got down low for his starting position.  He surely didn't learn it from me!

 And they're off!

 We were at the back of the pack, being followed by a group of cheerleaders who ensured no man got left behind.  They unofficially adopted Thatkid and Little LO as their mascots.  They LOVED them.  The one in the picture below beside Thatkid introduced him to all her cheerleader friends who lined the course.  "This is my buddy.  His name's Thatkid."

I was actually thankful Thatkid had a running partner since he took off ahead of Little LO and I.  She even crossed the finish line with him!  The race probably ended up being closer to half a mile, as we did one lap around one of the smaller Santee lakes.    It was flat and easy - perfect for the little guys.

 One of the things I really loved about the race was that they had medals for the kids.  I think my views on medals has been beaten to death, and neither L&O nor I thought they'd have them for the kids.  But for kid runners, the medals mean a lot.  It's a real sign of accomplishment.  And I know Thatkid was so proud of his.

(Disclaimer - Thatkid had the black eye before the race.  It's because he doesn't see so well with a spider man hood over his face and he ran into a pole at school.)