Mapping out this Week

Monday is here yet again, and I have to say I avoided thinking about it all day yesterday.  That seems to have done the trick to help me with my sleeping issues.  What may or may not have also helped is beer before bed (just 1) and about an hour, yes 1 HOUR, of reading before bed.  I like to read, but I always seem to not have the time or feel guilty taking the time.  Last night, I pulled out a pumpkin porter beer that was decent from my Trader Joe’s mixed 6 pack (which by the way I had no idea was such a thing until yesterday when I was there with a little boy who was getting a lot of joy from throwing lovely TJ items out of the cart) and cozied up with the book below.  Link to Amazon here.

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 I have seriously had this book for YEARS and never read it all the way through.  Several false starts but no follow through.  I really enjoyed the section on women in the colonies, and it did the trick to relax me and get me ready for bed.  Duh!  Why wasn’t I doing this already!??!

In other news, my mommy brought over a fun magazine to me this past weekend, Real Simple.  It is exactly what I needed ideas and info that are real simple!  I planned our meals for the week totally from this magazine.  See below for what we’ll be enjoying.

Sunday – Cheddar Tuna Melts (my own recipe) and Broccoli and Leek Soup (This was pretty good.  It felt very nourishing and hydrating.  However, the Mr. and I agreed that it was missing something.  Maybe garlic powder?  Maybe parmesan cheese melted in?  Not sure, but I was thrilled to get to see my immersion blender – which was a wedding gift – used for the first time.  It’s been over three years, lol!

Monday – BBQ chicken (my own recipe but inspiration from the magazine)

Tuesday – Chicken Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash (again mine but magazine inspiriation)

Wednesday – H and I are left to our own simplistic devices since the Mr. has an after-work engagement.  Bummer for us, but cooking-wise I’ll make something super easy that’s sure to please my low-key H.

Thursday – Fried Egg with Canadian Bacon and Avocado with Butternut Squash (Sounds crazy I know!  I thought it would be an interesting meat-free night.)

Friday – Wedding Time!  The Mr. and I are off to a wedding in Richmond, and I’ll definitely be missed H.  On the bright side, I’ll be enjoying seeing the Mr.’s family and eating delicious food that was prepared FOR me instead of BY me.  Yay!  

Here is a little linky to the Real Simple Recipe Search website.  I’ve used their recipes before, and for the most part, they are very simple and delish.  

I’ll leave you with a few fun pics from September.  It’s hard to believe today is the last day already!

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H’s shoes in his secret hiding place, under the dining room table.

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H modeling his cute Stellybelly outfit that I actually won via Instagram. He says, “Duck!”

This is the link to Stellybelly’s facebook site.  Cute stuff.  

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Smoothie made with left-over salad greens. Totally creeped out the Mr.

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Love weekend breakfasts at home!

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Favorite Toy = SHOES!

Have a happy Monday!

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Tommy & Karen, our newest family members!

We participated in a fun event to raise money for the local children’s hospital on Saturday.  My mom and sister made the trek over to take part in the fun too!  It was a lot more hands-on than we first though, lol, but we had lots of fun.  We went to the local MacDonald’s Garden Center in Virginia Beach and made life-sized scarecrows!  They had all of the supplies plus lots of fun clothing and accessories to look through to really dress up your newly made folks.  Although H was a little young for this event, he seemed to enjoy running all around and playing a little game of “chase” with my mom while sister and I took on the building process.  My scarecrow was named Tommy, and my sister’s was named Karen.  Tommy might need to make some better food/activity level choices in the near future as he was stuffed to the point of bursting with straw.  Karen, however, was quite modelesque with her stylish duds.  Here are a few pictures from the morning…

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What a fun day!  We dropped off H with the Mr., so I could enjoy a nice lunch with grown-ups at a kid-unfriendly location.  We picked Mermaid Winery in the Ghent area of Norfolk.  It was yummy and so pleasant to sit outside on a fall day.  I had the Mermaid sandwich with roast beef and horseradish.  Delish!  I also had the Mermaid wine flight, and it was so cool to be able to sample the different wines without commitment to one!

After a delicious and relaxing lunch, we headed up to MacArthur for some family photo session shopping.  I got this top for the session.  I’m going to pair it with some dove-colored suede ankle boots and dark wash straight leg jeans.

5052479_250_1Today is going to be filled with grocery shopping and meal planning and although that might sound boring, I’m kind of excited to get some variety in my life!  I feel like I’ve been in a food rut particularly for breakfast and treat/dessert time.  I’m looking forward to a Trader Joe’s trip after church for some more inspiring finds.  Have a great Sunday!

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Rest & Relaxation are the Rx

Things have been a little wild and crazy around here, and I’m definitely feeling the stress and strain of a schedule that doesn’t allow me a lot of down time aka me time.  Since switching my weekday Tues./Thurs. gym work-outs to an early 5AM slot formerly known as the after school spot, I’ve been really missing that little bit of “me time” that made a nice buffer between work and home time.  To accommodate a busy after school hours schedule at work and to spend more time with H in the afternoon, I’m officially a crazy person at the gym by 5:01.  Seriously.  I’m afraid that everyone (including the Mr., dog child, and H) are feeling the effects of this including me.  I was proud of myself for getting my yoga time in on Friday morning, but (to be perfectly honest) my heart wasn’t in it.  I was connecting “my mind to my breathing” as they say.  It was more of a going through the motions time.  I know that I NEED to get a grip on my schedule and just life in general to create some more space between scheduled activities for the things that come up in life.  Not to mention I need to be sure to actually schedule some time to be just me that doesn’t include bathroom breaks and gym time.  I mean, let’s face it someone is usually coming in the bathroom when I’m at home and going to the gym at 5 really doesn’t count because I’m hardly conscious until it’s time to go home.  I’m pretty sure I’m working out while I’m there…

I used our ever faithful frenemy, Pinterest, to find some inspiration.

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Nice little post with suggestions here.  

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A cute wikihow article with funny pics here.

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An interesting page on sleep and relaxation with guided meditation here.

Here are a few fun images for the working mom…

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 Link to website here.  

Food for thought on this Saturday.  

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Pinterest DIY Update and Small Commentary on the Institution

Thank goodness it’s Friday eve!  I’m excited to be able to say that as it has been a busy week (again!) for me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t hold up to my promise to myself to do my yoga DVD on Wednesday morning that I previously posted about.  I AM going to do it tomorrow (Friday) morning – 30 minutes of it!  I’ve been having off and on pain in my right hip and the left side of my neck, and I know yoga would help both.  I did some gentle stretching at the gym today, and I could tell my flexibility isn’t what it was this summer (when I was more regular in yoga time).  Anywho…

Here is the finished product that I blogged about here.  

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I made six of these bags to give out to people I see as I’m driving around who are homeless.  Inside I have placed a water bottle, granola bar, peanuts, toothbrush, toothpaste, and tissues.  I would like to place even more items like the recommended socks and ibuprofen, but I was sort of in a rush to get them organized.  I saw two people I could have given them to on Monday.  I was bummed that I didn’t have them ready to go.  One woman was displaying a sign for help with groceries.  I gave 2 of my 6 bags to the Mr. and put 4 in my car right behind the driver’s seat ready to go!  This was one of my Pinterest DIYs.  To be honest, I found this on a blog and then “pinned” it to my board.  

This brings me to the part of my post today where I’d like to address the Pinterest – Bad Mom, Good Mom crisis.  I heard on the radio yesterday about how women are competing against each other through the ever present social media world to “one up” each other.  The battlegrounds are children’s parties, seasonal decor, repurposing of items, etc.  I, myself, debated about deactivating my pinterest account due to my own comparing stealing my joy!  After thinking it over, I decided no thing is evil or bad.  It is MY choice in how I use it.  Do I use social media including pinterest as a tool to help me or as weapon against myself and others?  Do I use it to bring me up such as following uplifting, authentic bloggers and instagram accounts?  Or do I spend hours staring a this delicious pumpkin bundt cake knowing that I would want to throw it at a wall in the middle of the baking process?  

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If you really want to make this crazy cake, click here.  

We have to control ourselves and our moods as best we can.  We (including me!) can’t let negativity, comparison, and one bad day bring down all the good blessings we experience each and every day.  If I am having a hard time (i.e. several days where I’m down on myself or a situation), then I try to purge myself from lots of social media time.  This is when I notice myself starting to play the comparison game.  A quick fix is also to make a Thank You! list.  My thank you list looks like this for today…

  1. Coffee with sugar (first time this week and it was delish!)
  2. Sunrises that I get to see
  3. Smiles on children’s faces
  4. Text messages that make me smile
  5. An almost finished and successful 1st week of the reading program
  6. Painting time – see below 🙂
  7. Getting to watch H eat olives
  8. Healthy enough to work out
  9. The freedom to do it!
  10. Food in my belly
  11. Clean laundry all over the bedroom
  12. Pumpkin scented candles
  13. The Mr. at home each night
  14. A sleeping baby 
  15. Almond Butter, always almond butter
  16. Family Plans

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Count your blessings, and I’m sure you’ll fine that they far outweigh the “yucks” of your day.  

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Sometimes it just flops

As you may recall, I picked a few Pinterest-inspired projects to work on this past weekend.  I’m happy to report that I was smart enough not to try to do them all and skipped the food one.  I’m halfway finished with the bags to give out, and I did complete the foot soak experiment.  Read the entire post here.  

Anywho, the foot soak was a complete bust!  Doesn’t the picture look lovely?!?!?  The ingredients seem so simple, just Listerine, water, and apple cider vinegar.  

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I soaked my feet for the required 10 minutes, but all I got was feet that smelled minty fresh.  I have to admit it was kind of refreshing to have them all tingly.  I did also vaguely smell of vinegar.  Not so appealing.  There was no sensational removal of dead skin.  The dead/rough skin around my much-abused runner toes was tinged blue from the Listerine.  Again, not so appealing.  Here is my pic.  Much less glamourous.

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I will update and take the required pictures to document my help bags later this week aka this weekend when life slows down from 100 mph to a more healthy 60 mph.  

In other news, I’m having a hard time finding my next running race.  I selected the Christmas Town 8K at Busch Gardens for December 8, but I also got offered a trip to D.C. with my parents and sister.  I know we will make such fun memories that I decided to nix the race.  Another possibility was a Turkey Trot.  Although I love the idea of incorporating exercise fun-ness into the notorious food-centered day, I do also love taking it easy and not bothering anyone else’s schedule to babysit the bambino while I win race for a frozen turkey.  What to do?  What to do?  I’m not going to give up.  I do really like having something to look forward to like a race.  It definitely makes my work-outs feel more “real” and makes me more accountable.  I’m also anxious to see how I would do in a much faster paced 5K after my half-marathon.  When I timed myself on a 5K (3.1 mile) run on the treadmill, I came in at about 21 minutes 55 seconds.  This is by far my best time on this distance including all trail, road, and race runs.  Hmmm…how did longer, slower distances make me so speedy!??!?

My work-outs plans for the remainder of this week are…

  • Wednesday – 15 min. Vinyasa Yoga DVD & a dog walk
  • Thursday – GYM!  I plan to do my regular ab routine (6 sets of 20 ab exercises which I will post in more detail later),  supermans (lying flat on belly with arms and legs extended, tensing up like you’re flying, count to 10 release 3 sets of 10), leg curls, leg extensions, walk-out push ups 3 sets of 10, overhead press, and upright row – see pic below.
  • Friday – 15 min. Easy Yoga & a dog walk
  • Saturday – rest day, dog gets walked again!
  • Sunday – 5 mi. early run + weights at home 

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Photo from here.  This is a neat site for beginners and even seasoned athlete who need inspiration, new ideas, or ways to see proper form.  Check it out!

Here’s H’s latest feat of athleticism…

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Where I am right now –

One of my very first blogs that I committed to reading every post was The Daybook.  Sydney has phenomenal style in both clothing and her home’s interior.  Her photos are simple and moving.  She is a fellow momma to a sweet little boy.  What’s not to love???!?!?!  When I saw her sweet post about taking stock, I knew I wanted to copycat it!  Then, I followed her link to another wonderful blog, Meet Me At Mikes.  Such a fun one too!  I’m putting it on my “to read” blog list.  Here is my version of “taking stock…”

Making :  Food!  Always chopping, cooking, baking, browning
Cooking :  Pork Chops with Cranberry Chutney and Barley with Peas  ~ See recipe here.
Drinking :  Sleepytime tea
Reading:  The Purpose-Driven Life
Wanting:  More hours in the day and a good neck massage
Looking:  at my fall-colored painted nails and really digging them
Playing:  with my 18 month old growing boy
Wasting:  lovely pears that all got ripe (and overripe) at the same time 😦
Sewing:  nothing!  No way!
Wishing:  a new travel mug and planner  I’m liking this and this.  
Enjoying:  each and every afternoon when I get to walk out of daycare with H
Waiting:  the holiday deluge of Halloween into Thanksgiving into Christmas.  Love that busy, fun feeling!
Liking:  Cheerios, banana, and almond milk.  Every.single.day.
Wondering:  about life with two babes
Loving:  my husband, always.
Hoping:  for clarity in decision-making
Marvelling:  at how good sun can feel on a brisk-ish fall day
Needing:  not a thing but maybe just a 3 day weekend
Smelling:  what remains of my summer scented candles (burning them up to make room for fall)
Wearing:  yoga pants and a peace sign hoodie, namaste!

Following:  the news as best I can
Noticing:  H is stringing together two words to tell me things
Knowing:  that each day will get easier at work
Thinking:  about the future, family and career
Feeling:  strong
Bookmarking:  mom blogs ~ encouragement, tips/tricks, and just plain-old understanding is so nice to see/hear from others
Opening:  not opening exactly, but sorting tons of hunting mail for the Mr.  Some comes every day!
Giggling:  about a kid helping me figure out the computer system this morning and telling me “See, easy!”
Feeling:  tired, hopeful, overwhelmed, content all at once

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Happy Monday, Friends!

 

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Things are getting really fun around here!

The Mr., H, and I had another great weekend.  The weekends are in sharp contrast to our busy, work-filled weeks.  We headed over to the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth on Saturday morning with all of us folks including H’s C-PA and Meme.  The trip was almost made impossible by one closed downtown tunnel and a rather large high school homecoming parade, but we finally made it.  H was quite a trooper in the truck.

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Cute heads in this pic, huh?!?!?

Once we finally made it, the museum really showed us a good time.  I have to say my favorite part was the bubble room.  How amazing to be inside a bubble!  H love the little “tot lot” area with the bird’s nest.  I think his favorite might have been the life-size bus that was closely followed by the fire truck and the appropriately miniature grocery store.  Here are a few of my favorites from the day…

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We finished out the day with lunch at Eurasia.  H had super excellent behavior!  This is totally dependent on the day, so we were super thankful for that!  H is such a fun age right now.  I wish I could pause time in one way, but I’m so excited to see what more he has to say and do.  Precious boy.

Here’s hoping for a magnificent Monday!

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