Sweet 16 Anniversary Date

Hi Guys!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend!  I got to celebrate my 16th wedding anniversary on Friday.  I cannot believe it has been 16 years.  We decided we wanted to do something different for our Anniversary so we gave the Penny Date a try.  PennyDateI found this on Pinterest and it was a lot of fun.  We ended up going in circles and around the block a few times.  Out of our 12 flips of the coin we only turned right twice, but we ended up with some good options.  It was a tough decision DK Donuts or Shige Sushi?  

We opted for the sushi.  It was kind of a hole in the wall place, but different and somewhere we had never been before.  It is a sushi boat place, so that was kinda cool.  We got to try a few rolls we wouldn’t normally pick.  We finished the night with a nice bottle of wine at home and watched the Olympics which I am currently addicted to. 

The Anniversary date continued into Saturday where we celebrated with our daughters.  I think it is great to celebrate with your kids as well.  It is important to include them because they are part of something special in our lives and we are modeling what a good marriage looks like.

My hubby can be pretty creative too.  Here is what he had planned for our sweet 16 anniversary.  He didn’t  use Pinterest either like me!  Well he doesn’t really use Pinterest to be fair!  

Our bike ride on the greenbelt was a lot of fun.  We ended up at River City coffee which is a local coffee, breakfast and pastry place.  I had a yummy pumpkin chai muffin and the girls had a strawberry cheesecake scone!  So good!!!!! 

It was an amazing weekend and I am so thankful that God gave me such an amazing husband and friend!marriage quote

 

 

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Back To School Quick Meal Planning Tips

meal prepNext week is officially the start of back to school for us teachers and coaches.  My daughter will be starting cross country as well so that means I will be her chauffeur to practices a few times a day.  Usually the beginning of the school year is nuts and I am running around like a crazy woman and can barely get dinner on the table.  Not this year!  I recently went to a sports nutrition symposium and got to hear some tips from an awesome co-worker Hilary Horton Brown RD.  She is the Director of Sports Nutrition for BSU and is also an amazing fitness instructor too!  She had some great ideas for quick meal planning that I am going to do this weekend and try to keep up during the school year!  First I have to hit the grocery store!  I thought I would share her tips with you and maybe inspire you to start meal planning as well.  

The main goal of meal planning is to prepare many meals and snacks all at once to have ready for the week or longer!  This will not only save you time and money but also avoid impulsive eating and calling for pizza delivery on those rushed nights.  Try to add as many veggies as you can into your meals to increase your fiber intake and boost antioxidants.  

Here is what I plan to do this weekend to kick off my back to school meal planning: 

  1. Cook 3-5 pounds of lean ground beef.  Season your meat as you would like and freeze if you don’t plan on using it within a few days.  
  • Add in some taco seasoning, a can of rinsed black beans, and veggies.  You can use this for burrito bowls, tacos, or taco salads.  
  • Use italian seasoning mix and make spaghetti.  Add some finely chopped zucchini or carrots to up the veggie intake.
  • Make sloppy joes.  Keep sandwich thins or whole grain buns in the freezer.  My favorite sloppy joes recipe is http://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-sloppy-joes/
  1.  Bake a bag of chicken breasts or a whole chicken in the oven.   
  • Dice up portions of the chicken and freeze in freezer bags with a bit of chicken broth to add moisture.  Pull it out of the freezer and mix with veggies for a quick and easy stir fry or fajitas.
  • Marinate slices in your favorite dressing or sauce and freeze in the sauce.  Pull them out add a veggie and a sweet potato and you have a quick and easy meal.  My favorite dressing is a ginger sesame!  
  • Slices can be frozen plain and pulled out for easy lunches like salads, quesadillas or wraps.  Endless possibilities!  
  1.  Make a large pot of whole grain pasta or rice and use it throughout the week.  
  2.  Prepare your veggies for the week.
  • Clean, peel, and cut up veggies for the week for salads, stir frys or snacks.
  • Stock up on frozen veggies to add to soups or stews.
  • Make a large salad or mason jar salads for lunches or dinners for the week.  
  1.  Bulk cook your favorite meals
  • Make bulk batches of your family’s favorite meals like enchiladas, chili, lasagna or other faves and double or triple the recipe to freeze for later use.  
  1.  Break out the crock pot!  Or try an insta-pot.  My friend Ashley just got one of these and is raving about it!  I gotta get one!  
  • Layer chicken breasts in the crock pot with salsa or teriyaki sauce cook on low for 5-6 hours and when you get home shred and add to your veggies, pasta or rice.  
  • Cook an inexpensive roast with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce or season with a chipotle seasoning blend and cook on low all day.  When you get home shred it and use it with your favorite sides.  I love to make this into street tacos! Save the rest for a later meal.  
  1.  Prepare your snacks.  
  • Portion out veggies and dip into container for the week.
  • Make some energy balls for the week.  Try my no-bake energy ball recipe
  • Make some chia puddings
  • Make individual bags of trail mix with dried fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and pretzels.  

I hope this helped you to get started with meal planning.  There are so many awesome recipes out there on the web for crock pot recipes and meal prep.  I encourage you all to give this a try especially for you busy moms out there who tend to feel like me at the start of the school year!  I am hoping to get some pictures of my meal prepping (it may be scary) and share with you the outcome next week.  Have a great weekend!   

Gratitude Journal

Hi Guys, I hope you are having a great weekend.  I just thought I would share something fun I did during the month of July.  I like to start my day with a cup of coffee, read my Bible and write in my journal.  I pinned this on Pinterest and challenged myself to do it for the month of July. 

30-days-gratitude-infographic1

Link to site:  http://textmyjournal.com/gratitude-journal-prompts/

I loved this!  I plan to continue this for August as well.  It turned into a dinner conversation too at our house.  Every night I would ask my family what they are grateful for and it was fun to hear everyone’s answers.  Have an amazing Sunday! 

Hawaiian Fun in the Sun

I hope you all had a great weekend.  We just returned from an amazing trip to Hawaii visiting family and just having a great time.  My uncle in Hawaii is battling cancer and I feel so blessed that I got to spend some precious time with him and that my daughters got see him again.  It reminded me that life is so precious, especially with all the recent headlines in the news and all of the hatred in the world.IMG_4468 

Being with my family this past week really reminded that life is short.  I kept thinking about one of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln, “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

Abraham Lincoln

Such a great reminder to spend time with the ones you love, be healthy, have fun, and have faith.  

Here are a few highlights of our trip, our workouts, and our eats!  

We did a few beach runs, which I love!  We hit the hotel gym a few times, this was a little more difficult for me since I was unfamiliar with the equipment and it was a different space than I am used to, but I still got in a few good quick workouts.  We did a yoga class at the hotel which was fun and different.   By far my favorite “workout” was hiking up the Koko Head stairs.  IMG_1408[1] IMG_1413[1]

WOWZERS!!!!  That was a challenge.  It was a steep climb up the 1050 stairs to the top.  They weren’t really stairs either!  They were railroad ties that are not really wide enough to take just one step, unless you have really long legs!  About midway through there is a bridge section that was a bit tough to maneuver across and you could easily slip (I did).  Once you hit the top the view is breathtaking! It is an amazing view of Hanauma Bay and the Hawaii Kai area.  On the way down it started to rain making the downhill portion a bit more difficult with slippery railroad ties, sand and rocks.  It was worth it!  If you ever get a chance to hike the Koko Head stairs do it!  

Koko Head Stairs

We also got a chance to eat some yummy food.  A lot of it was made by my aunt Cammy.  I swear she can open her fridge and grab whatever she finds and make a gourmet meal.  I will be posting a few of her recipes she gave me soon!  One of the best places we ate was a small restaurant called Fete.  The food and wine was amazing.  We had the chicken liver mousse, which I was nervous to try, but it was sooooo good.  I shared the burger with my aunt which was also very tasty.  The hubby had the linguine carbonara, which was also great.  We all shared dessert and my favorite was the cherry chocolate pavlova.  It was to die for!!!!!  I was ready to lick the plate, but I didn’t!  This restaurant is highly recommended if you are visiting Oahu.  I didn’t get any pictures of my food, because I was too busy eating it and enjoying a lovely conversation with my family.  

Overall, our trip was amazing!  I think when you are on vacation it’s important to enjoy it.  We still worked out, but we replaced some of our normal high intensity workouts with fun activities like snorkeling, hiking, playing in the ocean, and long slow beach runs.  Our workouts let us enjoy our surroundings and not be stuck in a small hotel gym.  It was also great to try new and different foods that I can now incorporate into my meals at home.  Yes I did indulge a bit with more wine than I usually drink and a few extra desserts, but I still made sure my indulgences were worth it.  

I hope you guys had a great weekend!  I am excited to get meal planning and cooking next week with my new recipes!  

Spartan Race Recap & Tips For A First Spartan Sprint

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Well….we did it! We conquered the Spartan Boise Sprint Race.  We kicked butt!  For rookie Spartan Racers we feel very accomplished.  I got 4th place in my age group and my hubby got 1st in his age group and we have never done it before.  I am so proud of both of us.  I will say that it may be the hardest race I have ever done. It was a very hilly 5 mile course with rough terrain.  We  ran in the competitive group which I was nervous about but I am glad we did.  We started at 8:00 AM and it was hot!   IMG_1161

Going into this race I was nervous.  I had nightmares the week before.  I do tend to worry and fear the unknown.  That is just my personality type.  This race put me totally out of my comfort zone. Climbing a rope and dragging myself through muddy goat head water under barb wire is not something I usually do!  I had to face my fear and I did!  

Since this was our first Spartan I decided to put together a list of tips and suggestions for any of you crazy people out there who want a challenge and want to try a Spartan Sprint.  

First off the training.  I will admit that I did not really train for the Spartan specifically.  I did run a lot of hills and hill repeats.  That definitely helped.  It was steep and a lot of the time I was walking up the steep hills.  My glutes and hamstrings were on fire!  I did get a chance to try out a few of the obstacles at Camp Rhino Boise, which really helped with safety and techniques as well as to ease my fears.  I think a lot of my daily training helped in many ways.  What I like about how I train is that it is for functional fitness, which allows me to enter different types of races or try different activities without having to specifically train for them.  

If I were to do another Spartan I would definitely incorporate the following into my current training:

  • Hike up steep hills (maybe with a weighted vest)
  • Hit the playground and swing on the monkey bars!  I failed these obstacles and ended up doing burpees.  Monkey bars aren’t just for the kids!
  • Army Crawls and Bear Crawls!  You will do a lot of these in the mud and water under the barbed wire.  This was the scariest part of the course for me.  
  • Find a gym that does obstacle course race training and take a class on safety and techniques.  Practicing at the gym helped me to master the rope climb and helped with my confidence.  
  • Watch videos.  If you don’t have a chance to practice at a gym you can get tips and suggestions from all the videos on the web.  
  • If you have the opportunity to train and race with friends do it!  My friends Matt and Amy really coached me a long since they had previous Spartan experience.  

What To Wear:

  • Spandex and wicking materials.  Do not wear cotton it will get wet and weigh you down.  Wear tight fitting clothing.  I saw a lot of women in spandex shorts and sports bra’s but I chose to wear a tank.  For the guys, my hubby says go with no shirt (first time racing without a shirt but with water obstacles it was a good choice). He was fine wearing athletic shorts with compression shorts underneath.
  • Old shoes you are willing to donate.  My friend tried to wear her new shoes and was very nervous about it so I told her if she was nervous she should not wear new shoes.  You can donate your old muddy shoes at the end of the race and they will clean them.  
  • Sunscreen if you are in hot sunny weather like we were.  
  • I did not wear gloves because I didn’t train with them, I but saw a lot of people wearing them.
  • Compression socks or long tight fitting socks to protect your legs.  
  • Bring a set of extra clothes and extra shoes for the end of the race.  I took a pair of flip flops to wear around.  
  • Do not wear your garmin/watch or sunglasses

What did I eat for pre-race nutrition?  

I would eat and drink whatever you normally do before a long run.  Do not eat anything new.  You may be rolling down a hill and this is not the time to have new foods in your stomach.  I had some coffee and toast with peanut butter and banana about 2 hours before the start.  I drank sips of water at each of the water stations, but didn’t need any fuel during the race.  I would do whatever you normally do for runs or workouts longer than one hour.  

Lastly, these are just a few things I thought about during the race and after.  You have to pace yourself especially if this is your first Spartan.  At first I tried to keep up with my more experienced friend and then I realized that I needed to slow down and run my own race.  Don’t go crazy, be safe and be realistic.  If something goes wrong during an obstacle, pause and don’t freak out, then try to complete it.  One thing that really helped me was to watch other people in front of me complete the obstacles, especially the ones I had not tried before.  I can’t say that I will do another Spartan anytime soon, but I did have fun and I did surprise myself at how well I did without a specific training plan.  If you plan to do your first Spartan go into it with an open mind, have fun and just have a goal to finish.  Someone once said, “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable,” I love this saying especially for me and this race.  

Spartan Hill

Have you done a Spartan or another obstacle race?  Comment with any tips or suggestions you may have.  Have a great week!  

Happy Father’s Day and Bonus Spartan Dad’s Workout!

Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  I hope you all get to spend time together today and cherish the time you have with your dad and you kiddos.  Today is going to be great! We are going to start off with my special gift to my hubby a workout (don’t worry we got him cards and a pair of workout shorts too), then a yummy homemade bacon, sun-dried tomato and spinach frittata and church.  Later we are going to a BBQ at my Aunt’s house today and she has a pool, which mean’s major swimming!  It is a potluck, so I am going to make this yummy salad from another blog I love Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.  It’s a honey lime fruit salad with homemade cinnamon sugar chips.  It sounds delicious and healthy too!  

http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/03/24/spring-salads-honey-lime-fruit-salad-with-homemade-cinnamon-sugar-chips/

As you may or may not know my hubby and some friends  talked me into doing a Spartan Race.  I am scared!  However, facing our fears is what makes us stronger and I am always up for a challenge.  Today’s workout is inspired by my Spartan training and my love for running.  I hope you give it a try!IMG_1068[1]

Father’s Day Running and Burpee Workout

You will need some space for this workout.  It can be easily done at the gym or outside.  Today we are going to be doing our workout at the park so we have plenty of room and get to be outside instead of at the gym on the treadmill. This is a tough workout so feel free to modify as needed.

Spartan Workout 1

Time:  Approximately 60 Minutes                                Mileage:  Approximately 5k

Dynamic Warm Up

  • High Knee Walk:  As you step forward hug your knee into your chest keeping the chest high.  Repeat
  • High Knee Skips: This can be done in place or you can move forward and turn and come back.   
  • Grapevines
  • Alternate Lunge with Rotation
  • Reverse Lunge with Reach
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Walkouts or Slow Burpees

The Workout

  • Run 1 Mile Easy
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 15 Burpees
  • 40 Yard Sprint
  • 20 Burpees
  • 40 Yard Sprint
  • 15  Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run ¼   Mile Hard Pace
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run 1 Mile Moderate Pace
  • Cool Down Walk 1-3 Minutes

Core Conditioning:  perform each exercise for 1 minute each

  • V Sit
  • Plank
  • Hollow Hold
  • Stretch

Have a great day!!!!!

 

Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!

All  of my teacher friends know how valuable summer break is.  We all look forward to it and we are always very refreshed when we head back to school in the fall.  Today was my first day of summer break and it was great!  It started off with a quiet run with my dog.  The weather was beautiful and the sun was rising. After that I got to take my daughters to school since they still had one more day.  I always enjoy taking them to school since I don’t get to do it very often.  I cannot believe a year has flown by since I was dropping them off on the first day of school. 

IMG_0955[1]IMG_0956[1]

After that the hubby and I went down to our favorite winery the Teleya Winery in Boise to sit on the beautiful patio and enjoy some wine tastings while listening to the rushing Boise River.  We love the wine and the atmosphere.  Continue reading “Summer Break and Kale Salad!!!!”

Weekend Adventures in Portland Oregon

We had such an amazing 3 day weekend in Portland, Oregon.  My dad lives there, so we we decided to pack up and take a road trip to see him and meet up with some of our friends who live there as well.

Saturday started off with a trip down to the Portland Saturday market.  It’s a huge street market and fair that features tons of booths with food, jewelry, clothing etc.  I had to pick up my favorite kombucha (Brew Dr. Kombucha) while I was there.  I tried the lemon ginger and my husband tried the citrus hops.  They were both yummy!  Then we went shopping which was a blast.  I love checking out new stores and boutiques that we don’t have in Idaho.  After shopping we were hungry and tired, so we stopped off for some pizza and ice cream.  I had a super yummy slice of pizza and a kale salad at a local pizza place called Pizzacato.  For dessert we were off to Salt and Straw for ice cream.    IMG_0828[1] If you have never been to Salt and Straw ice cream shop  in Portland you need to go.  I don’t eat ice cream often, due to my dairy intolerance, but I had to try a few of their new flavors.  They do offer a dairy free and gluten free option, but I took a chance on the real thing.  This month at Salt and Straw they are featuring fermented flavors, which sounds odd and some of the flavors were a bit odd.  I wasn’t going to try any of them, but my server suggested I try the sourdough with chocolate and strawberry.  Here is the description on the menu:  The ice cream is made of Sourdough, with all it’s fermented tartness and malty-ness, with a gentle smear of liquified chocolate and strawberry jam. The ice cream itself is as pleasantly sour as walking into a bakery at five in the morning thanks to a house fermented sourdough mom we’ve created specifically for this ice cream and candied sourdough “croutons”. Ribbons of jam and chocolate slowly drool from each scoop with the same tenacity that you’ll drool over each bite.  So I had to take a chance and try it.  It was sooooo good!  It may be my new favorite ice cream flavor.  And since I couldn’t decide between all the flavors, I had two!  I went for a scoop of the almond brittle with salted ganache.  It was sooooo good too! I was a bit worried about having tummy issues after eating all that dairy, but it turns out I was just fine. It was soooooo worth it.  Salt and Straw is our Portland tradition.  You do have to stand in line for a while, but we don’t mind!  

On Sunday the hubby and I decided to go out for a run.  We searched around for a good trail and found the Wildwood trail that started at the Portland Zoo and went up to the Pittock Mansion.  When you reach the top of the hilly run it has a spectacular view of the city.  The trail is approximately 7 miles total, unless you take a wrong turn and get a bit lost.  Our 7 mile run turned into a 10 mile run, which was mostly hills!  IMG_0829[1]

The weekend went fast, but it was a lot of fun.  Catching up with friends, spending quality time with family, and enjoying all the sites, tastes and shops in Portland.  I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  

Happy Mother’s Day

Today was a great day.  It started out with an amazing hill run in the Boise foothills with some awesome friends.  I love starting my day with a run and today was a great one.  The hubby made me a yummy post run cup of coffee and breakfast and my daughters made me some hand made cards.  It was a great day.  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I think it is so important to surround ourselves, especially us moms with other inspiring women.  Today I felt inspired by so many moms, including mine who inspires me everyday.  Have an amazing week!  Keep up the good work with the plank challenge!!!!  This weeks pictures will be up soon. 

 

1 Thessalonians 5 11   

A Fun Filled Run Filled Weekend

 

IMG_0625Hi Guys, so our weekend started out with races and ended with races.  Those are my kind of weekends!  First off my older daughter Chloe had her final track meet for the season.  I am so proud of her!  She has improved her time with each meet and got a PR for several of her races at the last meet.  She made it to district track so I am a very proud mom.  She has worked really hard.  Saturday the hubby and I met up with our friIMG_0638ends Matt and Amy for a morning date.  It consisted of a lovely hill run followed by an amazing cup of coffee and some chatting.  These two crazy friends talked us into a Spartan race.  I am a bit scared of that!  On Sunday the whole family, including my mom and one of my good friends Rachel got together to support an amazing cause and do a fun 5k race.  The race is called Boise’s Got Faith (http://www.robiesgotfaith.org/) and it is a race that supports children’s cancer.  Each year the race directors select two children who are fightiIMG_0641ng cancer and help them emotionally and financially.  It was so awesome to see all the people out supporting this cause and all the kids out there running too.    My younger daughter Addy ran the kids 1 mile run and the 5k.  She is a little crazy like her mom.  It was a lot of fun.  Running with family and friends is awesome.  My hubby, daughters, mom and really good friend ran it all together.  My friend Rachel also hit a PR for her 5k and hit 150 miles for the year.  I am proud of her.  She just started running and I think she is addicted!IMG_0628