10 Things I Splurge On

We (as in me and the little one) are home sick today with an unconfirmed case of pink eye for Holden and some itchy eyes for me.  Only time will tell if he has passed it on to the Mr. or me.  In other news, we are in the process of selling our home and buying (?) a new one.  In the meantime, we’ll be living in an apartment.  Yes, the Mr., me, Holden, and Roscoe the dog in 900 square feet of lovely, upscale apartment living.  I can already tell from the promo pics online that it may be a little too upscale for us!  It is definitely a necessary splurge though with the need for short-term housing in this home buying adventure.  This got me to thinking about other material things I/we splurge on.  Here’s my top ten in no particular order!


Holden’s Shoes – I love getting him a pair of Stride Rite shoes every 4 months or so.  I will never forget the first time I took him there, and they told me his shoes were two sizes too small in length and too small in width as well.  Poor cramped baby feet!  Now, we happily shell out what seems to be a whole heck of a lot for small little kicks that last only mere months.   Got my eyes on these for summer!



Dog Food – We love (I love and adore) Roscoe the Dog.  He has his share of issues, skin, stomach, other unmentionables.  Therefore, he gets Blue Wilderness dog food which is (and I can quote because it is recently burned into my eyes from a purchase) $55 for 24 pounds of food.  Good thing he’s on the smaller side!



Vitamins – I like the gummie ones plus the Viactiv chews ordinarily.  I highly recommend Theranatal prenatal vitamins.  It’s $55 for a 13 week supply.  You have to get an authorization code from your doctor to order.  I mean, baby making is serious business!  Why not get the best?



Beauty Products – I am particularly bad about this when pregnant.  I use the Good Guide app and website to help determine which products are best for the body.  I just switched to an all-natural deodorant with mixed results.  I’m happy to report that today is better!  This might be due to the fact that it is 50 degrees outside!  I’m in the process of switching to a more natural makeup line.  It is pricey, so don’t just throw out all your stuff.  Gradual is best.  Here’s the cosmetic site I hope to order from soon.  



Food – I’m snotty about food, and I admit it.  I don’t begrudge you your Twizzlers or Diet Coke.  However, you can guarantee that I don’t want that mess.  I am becoming a strong Trader Joe’s convert based on its quality, selection (on some items) and most importantly, prices!  I try to go organic whenever possible.  Fruits and veggies are the priority.  Avoiding hormone treated meat and dairy is also a concern.  Junk food is not welcome.  



Stroller – I just couldn’t go back to a non-BOB stroller.  They are the best!  I love my used one found on Craigs List.  Can’t beat it for walks, jogs, just exploring!  This is the newest version of the one I have.  I believe that mine is an ’09.  Still going strong!



Dr.’s Visits/Vet Visit’s – I don’t like to even think about cost when someone or something is ill.  Off to the doctor we go!  Thank goodness, we have good insurance for Holden.  Roscoe just costs an arm and a leg and a foot and an ear…  


Gas – I don’t know if this came from living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and having to drive lots of places to get what you need/want, but I don’t mind driving.  I don’t enjoy it, but you better believe that if I want to go to this park or place that’s thirty minutes or forty-five minutes away, I’m going to do it.  I try to save gas and ride with together with the Mr. when we can.


Running Shoes – I’ve bought the last four pairs from Running Etc. in Virginia Beach.  They all cost about $100, some less or more.  I replace them pretty often and don’t even ask the price before deciding what to get.  Apparently, I took Lieutenant Dan’s advice about foot care…



A Haircut – Now, I have done this in the past.  I typically go three times per year.  Pay $54 for a haircut…but I’m thinking about doing something different.  I mean, doesn’t that just seem like a ton for a trim!  I don’t have any crazy layers or special touches.  I’m currently wearing it pinned back with a low bun.  How plain!  That’s me though.  I may be exploring other possibilities.  


There you have it!  What I consider to be a worthwhile splurges for my moo-la!  These splurges do align with what I hold near and dear.  Fitness and family are top on my list.  How does what you spend exemplify your priorities?  Have a great Monday!


Positive Mind Through Better Outfits???

Greetings!  Another chilly spring day here in Virginia Beach.  I’m hoping that this is the last of it, and we have some warm weather headed our way!  This has just been the most daunting winter/spring.  I’m sure you are feeling the effects of it too.  I feel like everyone is having a hard time being patient and bearing with others just as much as you are having a hard time imagining yourself enjoying the great outdoors in the soon-to-be warm summer months.  I know that I have for one turned to chocolate a little too much recently to cheer me up in this gloom.  This week was an emotional roller coaster, but I’m proud to say I set the goal to be more positive mentally on Monday.  I think I did a pretty good job of sticking to it despite all the ups and downs of the week.  I also tried to commit to be being some what more stylish.  Now, I’m the first one to admit that clothes don’t concern me a great deal…some but not a lot.  My work attire can get downright sketchy if I’m in a hurry (who am I kidding??!?!  When am I not in a hurry!).

So armed with ironed outfits preselected on Sunday night and the breakfast plan that was fast and easy (1 slice whole grain bread, spoonful of raw almond butter, spoonful of organic raspberry preserves, and 1/2 a banana), I tacked this past week.  The work week capped off with a field trip to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Va which was actually fun!  I was so like, “Yuck!  I bet the kids will be so crazy excited that it will be dealing with behavior-type issues all day!”  Not so!  I had a lot of fun, and it was nice just to get to talk to them as kids, not as “students.”  A picture review…

IMG_2932 IMG_2950 IMG_2951 IMG_2953 IMG_2954 IMG_2955 IMG_2957 IMG_2958

Goal for This Week:  Keep up the positivity!  🙂



The Ever Changing Toddler Boy

Whew!  I, for one, am glad to say it’s Sunday night.  Typically, I’m bemoaning the end of another blissful weekend.  This weekend, although it had it’s moments of fun and family time, definitely stretched me a little thin.  Holden and I did a whirlwind grocery trip to Trader Joe’s and Petsmart on a nice and toasty Friday afternoon,  Then, we had to get all our items packed up to go to see family in Staunton, Virginia.  I absolutely love visiting with family (Jake and mine), but it does require preparation, flexibility, and patience.  I confess that I can handle the prep but the flexibility and patience are both challenges for me.  We left oh-so-bright-and-early on Saturday, and we were quickly reminded how our little baby is growing up into a big boy.  This big boy thinks it is absolutely a crazy idea to sleep AT ALL in the car on road trips despite the fact that we woke him up about an hour earlier than he would typically get up.  He chatted us up with statements and questions the whole way.  🙂  Once we arrived, it was all worth the prep to get to see those we don’t meet up with very often.  The sweet playground and duck pond were just icing on the cake!  I even got a run in on the “hilly” in my eyes land of Staunton with a rough estimate of 4.5 miles.  Fast forward to dinner, and you would see us trying to figure out why in the world our eat-anything-boy would not have a bite.  We quickly found out it was due to his upset tummy from a lingering stomach bug earlier in the week.  This whole event then became the up all night game.  We tried cuddling, rocking, letting him (gasp!) cry it out.  EVERYTHING!  He told us “go home in mommy’s car with dada.”  Our little man was homesick!  Then, he was just sick all together, and you can guess what came “up” next.  

Our little boy is changing.  He’s becoming more sensitive, more opinionated, more independent, more insistent, more stubborn/determined (depending on how you look at it!).  He’s still our little boy, just coming into his own and trying to figure out his place in this world.  



Have a wonderful week!  I can feel spring in the air, just happens to be icy rain as well!


A Mental Health Day?

Happy first official day of spring!  Thank goodness the temps were actually spring-like instead of another polar vortex!  Last night, little one woke up and threw up.  Yay for 12:30 wake up calls that require a bath and a crib scrub.  I put in sick leave via the computer for today and planned to stay home with my ailing child.  I did manage to still drag myself to the gym around 5:30 to get a workout in before the Mr. left for work.  I knew I’d need to be wide awake and energized to take care of this situation at home all day.  Upon rising at the late hour of 7:15, Holdie was ready to G.O.!  No sign of illness was present.  No fever.  No wanting to snuggle.  Just that he wanted breakfast and also wanted to know when we were going somewhere preferably outside, I think.  We headed off to the park to make the most of our sort-of sick day.  I kept him on a bland diet today that consisted primarily of Cheerios, which suited him just fine, thank you very much.  



Holden just adores to be outside.  He lives for it.  No matter the conditions or lack of super exciting stuff out there.  He is enamored with the outdoors.  I suppose this is fitting since his dada is the same way.  Although I’m certainly no wildlife spotter or plant dictionary like the Mr., I do enjoy my outdoor runs, reading outside, and just being in the fresh air period!  Holden even called to a bird today and got the bird to call back twice.  He was quite pleased.  I try to get outside with H several days a week, and I confess many times that he is strapped in the jogging stroller.  However, he is now nimble enough on his feet to really stroll on his own.  This does bring with it new challenges like keeping him moving in the right directions and stopping him from putting poisonous berries in his mouth (and yes, this happened today).  I just finished reading The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  Excellent book that totally reinforced what I know about the need for the outdoors in all people and especially our little developing kiddos.  Now is the time to get back outdoors and to MAKE those kids get outdoors.  He gave many practical suggestions on how to do this and lots of research-based evidence about why this is so crucial for our children’s childhood memories and also their growth and development.  Really makes you think!  So, I’ve renewed my commitment to letting H explore outdoors even if that means “inconveniencing” me or giving me a slight heart attack when he’s heading for the “DUCKS MOMMY!” in the cypress pond.  



Achieving Your Fitness Goal

Hi Friends!  

Over the St. Patty’s weekend, I completed an 8K that I was dreading quite possibly more than any race thus far.  This is a little odd since I’ve run with more pressure (running competitively in high school on a cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams) and greater distances (the Rock N Roll in Sept. 2013).  What’s the deal?  Well, ladies and gentlemen, I absolutely hate running in the winter.  Go figure that I pick the harshest winter in years as the one to continue running through.  Typically, I stop or basically stop (like maybe a 5K once a month!) in about November until late March.  I just ate running when the air is cold which is hard on my lungs.  There’s also just the mental mountain to climb to be outside at all in cold conditions.  This winter I registered for the Shamrock 8K here locally in Virginia Beach.  Thank goodness I had enough sense not to pick the half!  Although it was hard work, I did manage to train and finish at a great time.  It wasn’t my personal best on this distance, but I was very pleased considering the not-so-ideal conditions for me personally as well as some wind on race day.  I finished the 8K in 37:32.  I was 296 out of 8, 310 overall and 7 out of 793 in my age group.  Out of all the gals, I was 63rd.  Yay!  Basically, I just ran one day a week, an 8K run.  I can’t do treadmills, so I ran outside on either Saturday or Sunday depending on which day had nicer weather.  My Tuesday/Thursday workouts consisted of cross training cardio plus weights.  I did do an extra 5K run the week of the race and no weights.  Although I whined my way through this race prep and literally contemplated staying in bed on the big day, the Mr.’s encouragement plus the fact that I had already dealt with the packet pick-up made me seal the deal.  Once the race began, I  was all business and striving very hard to keep my 7:30 min. mile pace.  Competitiveness just takes over.  If you’re not first, you’re last!  So not true Ricky Bobby’s daddy!  😉  These were my tricks for staying focused on my goal…

  1. Write workouts into your calendar – I even do this for months at a time.  Go into detail and write what exactly you’ll be doing.
  2. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout – This, I definitely struggle with.
  3. Maintain a relatively fit body year round – Now, I’m not saying to live as if you’re training for an even tall the time!  However, if you are sort of in shape, it will be much easier to jump into training for something like a 5K or more.
  4. Don’t forget diet! – If you’re eating crap, you won’t want to work out.  This is also tricky for me when the classrooms I’m in have candy jars!  No one wants to run after a belly full of Tootsie Rolls.
  5. Tell your family/significant other about your goal – They can be your biggest encouragers.  You certainly won’t want to disappoint your adoring, loving, supportive fans.


My Finisher’s Medal 🙂


In corral 1…So nice to start first but oh-so intimidating!


My littlest fan who always cheers me on from the sidelines with his Dada

Hopefully, the spring weather will be here soon.  The season for runners is definitely spring in my opinion!  Happy running!


When a birthday is more than just a birthday

Our little one turned 2 last Friday, and it was a huge celebration weekend.  We visited family and had a nice party at my parents’ house.  I think the most special thing about it was seeing those who were there and how much they care for us and H.  I’m so grateful to have family and extended family who take time out of their busy days to celebrate another year of growing up for our little/big boy.  

The menu consisted of 2 chills, cornbread (boxed stuff but it was good), guac and chips, delicious rice crackers, fruit and dip, and the desserts of course!  We had boxed cupcakes with homemade “Death by Chocolate” frosting with the dang cutest decorations from etsy. After my second boxed cupcakes flopped (and I do mean totally just awful), I made a really good homemade cake from Real Simple.  Frosting recipe here.  Cake recipe here.   I did get a little fancy with some sprinkles and used a paper towel folded over to gently make the cake smooth.  I hope you enjoy these pics!  Click to see all of my ideas for H’s first and second birthday parties on Pinterest.   






Of course, I have no pictures of H and I from the big day.  Typical mom problem.  I think he most assuredly knows that I was there, and I certainly won’t forget it.  🙂


A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.

-Tenneva Jordan


I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.

-Abraham Lincoln



The Thigh Gap Situation

Happy Monday to You!  We had a great weekend filled with a big boy’s 2nd birthday as well as great news about our for-sale house (we have a signed contract!).  I have to admit that this all combined with a a 70 degree temperature reading this afternoon made for an awesome Monday.  That does’t happen very often, but it was truly a great day.  In other not-so-great news, there’s this whole thing going around on Instagram, the Internet, social media in general about a “thigh gap.”  Now if you haven’t heard about it, I would suggest you google it or maybe not.  It’s actually kind of sad.  Basically, women (isn’t it always us women with body image issues?!?!) are trying to achieve what is called a thigh gap.  This is a space between your thighs when your feet are touching, side by side.  Apparently, this is highly desirable.  I’m not sure if men are giving their vote, opinion, or two cents on this.  However, enough people deem it as “super cool” that it is a very searchable phrase all over the Internet.  

I must admit that I used to be a member of such club.  This was back before it became the chic thing to have.  Now, I no longer am in this little circle.  Why?  Well, I lift a lot of weight, have larger thighs, and am basically a bad a**.  So there.  But I think there’s more to say about it.  Why this pressure?  Shorts season is almost upon it, and I’ve even seen signs that say “Keep Calm and Do It For The Thigh Gap.”  Is this really “keeping calm?”  Are we really doing it for this visual aesthetic?  I know that it is not my place to judge another.  Some folks are just born that way.  My sister, for example, has quite beautiful long legs with thighs that are a definitely on the smaller side especially compared to my ever-growing Christmas hams.  Is this upsetting?  Only when I can’t fit into her clothes and borrow/take them.  it’s just a difference in our bodies.  🙂  

If you are eating lots of good-for-you food, not depriving yourself from occasional treats, and busting your tail in whatever workout you do (walking, yoga, running, lifting, etc.) and you have a “thigh gap,” well, there you are.  The mental place you are is so much more crucial than a thigh gap, a scale, or others’ opinions.  Look for your best spiritual and physical self.  Thigh gap, schmigh gap.  

Interesting Pics…


Link here  Which would you prefer to look like? Hmmm…I think I like my legs in socket.  



Article about the Reality Behind the Thigh Gap


Clearly, she is not fit.  What the heck.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
Mahatma Gandhi