Rise and Shine

Good Morning!  I thought I’d share the breakfast that I’m loving right now.  It’s is really just an combination of fruit, cinnamon, ground flax seed, and plain greek (or regular) yogurt.  Oats optional but do not exceed 1/4 c.  The picture below includes almonds, no oats.

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To prepare, just add fruit, yogurt, flax, cinnamon, and a splash of water (more if using oats) to a bowl and place in fridge overnight.  Of course, you could assemble in the morning if you weren’t using oats, but it does make a healthy breakfast a little easier if it is already assembled!  Another variation…

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Leftover rice, raisins, cinnamon, almonds, and splash of skim milk.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I think it is also the easiest meal for me to get stuck in a rut with.  Enjoy yours today! 

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P.S.  Here is the fat burning butt sculpting yoga youtube video that had me sweating the first 10 minutes were done!  Enjoy this too.  🙂

Traveling Across Virginia

Good Tuesday afternoon!  The little one and I are snuggled up in the apartment on this chilly late April day.  He’s got a molar coming in on top of a yucky chest cold, and I’m just suffering from car-lag (my version of jet lag???) after our big weekend.  The Mr. and I traveled to Roanoke, Virginia for a wedding.  The Mr’s fraternity brother married his college girlfriend in a beautiful, rustic-inspired ceremony.  It was so nice of them to get married and invite us!  We are so bad about making time to be together just the two of us.  I guess the hour to hour and a half between when Holden goes to bed and we go to bed doesn’t count!  We enjoyed two kid-free nights/days.  A lot of it was spent in the car.  Good thing we are good company for each other!  Here are some pics from our travels…

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Friday – We stopped in Lynchburg, Virginia to have lunch at Waterstone in the downtown/riverfront area.  Food and atmosphere were great!  We ate outside, and the sunshine was just wonderful.  The fried green tomatoes lived up to praises in the Southern Living article.  The pizza was good too.  I would have preferred smaller pepperoni slices.  However, you can see that I didn’t snap a picture, because I ate it immediately!!!  Then, we visited my alma mater, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now known as Randolph College.  I hadn’t been back since visiting the year after graduation.  Wow, 7 years ago!  The campus is still as beautiful as ever with a few more dudes walking around.  Roanoke looked like a good place to explore.  Unfortunately, we had only a limited time there.  The Hotel Roanoke was a great hotel with interesting decor and history.  Read more about it here.  Of course, reality hit as soon as we got home with a fussy bambino, dirty dishes, and to do lists.  It’s so hard for me to keep that easygoing, calm attitude going once we get back in the trenches of day to day.  Despite all the craziness of getting back into the swing of things, I’m so thrilled to report that I had the best day at work on Monday!  I had (what I thought!) was a great observation by my principal along with some end of the year testing for students that demonstrated a huge amount of learning and growth for them this year!!!!  Yay!  

Goals for this Week:

  • Get an easy 3.1 mile in some time
  • Read 4 chapters of the new Jennie Allen book I got from the library
  • Q-tip painting with Holden

Hope you’re having a good week!

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5 for Friday

Wow!  The week after spring break felt like a weird combination of fast and slow!  Nevertheless, Friday is here!  Woo hop!  Here are five things on my mind this lovely day…

{ONE}

Wedding time!  The Mr. and I are attending a wedding this weekend in Roanoke, VA.  We are excited to see many of the Mr.’s fraternity brothers at the wedding, but we are mostly excited just to have a night to ourselves.  I think I’ve been personally counting down to this weekend for at least a month or two.  We don’t have anything like an official “date night” which I feel must be mostly an urban legend.  I always look up venues before the actual wedding, and I’m totally excited to see this one.  Photos from Schaal’s Catering & Events

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Not sure if the venue will look exactly like this, but isn’t it beautiful!?!?!

{TWO}

New dress!  After much hemming and hawing, I finally got a new dress.  After shopping at a pricey store here in Town Center VB, I decided to do some perusing at the trifecta of deals, the Marshalls-Ross-TJMaxx.  Sure enough, I found a dress I liked in my size and the color I wanted at Marshalls for fifty bucks!  This was so much better than the one I was tempted to buy at the more pricey store.  

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Cute, huh?  I’m going to pair mine with some nude open-toe sling backs.  

{THREE}

My top 5 favorite on the road snacks!  

  1. water bottle filled!
  2. red grapes
  3. apple with almond butter
  4. fruit bar
  5. gum

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{FOUR}

Love this video showing a girl who does pushups for 100 days to challenge herself to become stronger…love the progress this video shows!

Click here.  

{FIVE}

I signed up for a Mud Run that is a week and a day away.  I immediately have buyer’s remorse after I pay for/register for an event.  Like, I should have spent the money on something else for instance this week I’m thinking about socks for me, Roscoe P’s upcoming vet visit, and Holden’s need of a new spring/summer wardrobe.  However, what’s done is done.  It always good to challenge yourself *myself* and work towards a goal.  I have a love-hate relationship with running.  Hate:  the first five to ten minuets always!, how red and sweaty it makes me (there’s no recovering without a full shower)  Love:  how much energy and confidence in general it gives me, the best mood changer, the feeling like I got a real workout in, health benefits, an extremely low heart rate (seriously, I’m barely alive according to my heart rate and that tickles me to no end, so weird).  Here’s a nice summary of the health benefits!

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What are you up to this Friday?  

Any favorite road trips snacks that are healthy options?

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Monday

Hi Friends!  

Hope you had a great Easter weekend!  I personally am so glad that spring break is behind me.  Moving, unpacking, the crappy weather, travel, and the everyday stressors of special occasions kind of make me crazy sometimes!  I’m like a newborn baby.  I need a routine!  It was with a not-so-reluctant heart that I sprang up at 4:45 today to get back in the school mindset.  I hate to sound ungrateful for the paid time off from work, but I truly was glad to see this spring break go.  We spent some time visiting family on the Eastern Shore.  Granny even got together an egg hunt that Holden wasn’t too excited about, but Auntie Brookie and I certainly enjoyed the treats!  We finished the weekend by going to church, participating in an egg hunt there, and eating a yummy meal which I forgot to photograph at home in our little place.  Here are some pictures from our Easter weekend…

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Backseat Selfies!

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What a face! He loved the animal crackers but was not a fan of jelly beans!

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Family Picture – A black eye joined us courtesy of a raccoon by way of a gun.

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Ducks who make their home in the small park by our apartment

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Easter Nail Prep

My mom joined us for Easter Sunday.  See the menu below…

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  • Salmon with Cucumber-Radish Relish {Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart}
  • Green Peas 
  • Trader Joe’s Crusty French Rolls
  • Chunky Mashed Potatoes {made with butter, splash of milk, salt, rosemary, and good helping of parmesan cheese}
  • Strawberry Tart {Photo Courtesy of she wears many hats} with Haagen Dazs Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

I really enjoyed it all especially the mashed potatoes (which I usually skip at meals) and the strawberry tart.  This was super easy and looked much more fancy than it was!  Score!

How was your Easter?  Any special dishes?  Try anything news?

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Compulsive by Nature for Nature?

Hi Friends!  As you may (or may not) know, we are apartment dwellers now.  This is *hopefully* just a short interlude for us as we have made an offer on a short sale that most likely will not be very short.  It is totally out of our hands now, but we have faith that we made the right choice in selling our sweet, first home and making an offer on a home we can hopefully be in for quite some time.  Anywho, apartment life or perhaps just the idea of it has made me hyper (well, I’m always hyper) concerned about how in the world we are going to get outside time!!!!  I’m developing a good case of we-must-get-outside-every-day-ness.  Such heights as this can only be compared to my obsession with a “green” vegetable at every lunch and dinner (no, I don’t have a thing against carrots or cauliflower just not my perceived notion of what constitutes the superior vegetable).  After lots of chores around our place today, we finally managed to throw on some duds and head to a different spot in the same park we went yesterday, First Landing.  This time, we were on the portion closer to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  I think this side is possibly more interesting due to the little hills along the trails and since we don’t visit as much.  Holden enjoyed himself again!  Big surprise.  I think his favorite was going up the hill and then toddler running down.  

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He’s almost as agile as a little mountain goat!  We gathered up some unidentified nuts, sorted through rocks, and talked about why we should eat the red berries that are for the birdies (not people or Roscoe, for that matter).  If you’re looking for an easy way to feel like you’re doing the right thing as a parent, just take your kid outside.  Not the outside like “Let me stick you on some playground equipment and check my email/Instagram/Facebook.”  Now, I agree that good enough is good enough sometimes.  Sometimes, any fresh air will have to do even if it is just a walk around a few city blocks.  I admit to checking my social media and email and what not, but what Holden gets and what I get out of actually being out in nature without distractions and exploring together is so much greater.  Times like these help me to press the reset button and remind me of what my focus is and always should be.  Not who is doing what elsewhere.  What my child is discovering right in front of me.  

What are your favorite outside activities? 

Best kid-friendly options?

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A Basket Full of Fun for My Little One

Happy Hump Day!  Even though the temps were not spring-like at all today, we enjoyed a visit to the park.  Holden loves walking along the trails.  By walking, I truly mean “meandering.”  He likes to stop and looks at moss, sticks, berries, holes in trees, his own feet, other doggies, etc.  It is so nice to see everything through his eyes.  I remember when I would walk with Roscoe on those very same trails before Holden.  I was typically going fast to get my heart rate up and a good workout in.  Now, my workouts are done before Holden cracks his little eyelids open.  Sure, I’m tired early in the evening.  The trade-off is that I get to take leisurely strolls with Mr. Explorer.  

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Although I admitted to kind of falling down on the Easter activities, I am so glad that I went ahead and got H’s Easter basket stuff squared away quite awhile ago.  Here’s what he’ll be enjoying…

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In H’s basket-My First Read and Learn Bible, Annie’s Organic Bunny Grahams, Russell Stover Chocolate Cross (I fully anticipate him to try and eat this in one sitting.), 4 colors of Play-Doh, and a new outfit!   I love the T-shirt’s caption and the cute belt.  Both pieces from…Wal-Mart!  So cute and both pieces for under $10!

To go along with the randomness of this post, I thought I’d share a dinner that we had last night.  Doesn’t it look yummy?!?!?

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It was a layered dish with the bottom layer being mushroom risotto from Trader Joe’s, seasoned venison, and baby broccoli on top.  Looks great, but it made me feel terribly ill.  I know better than trusting packaged food (even my love, Trader Joe’s!).  The risotto came with a “spice packet.”  This is usually lethal for me in the digestive department.  However, I’ve fallen madly in love with Trader Joe’s and thought no wrong could come from there.  Well, the taste/smell was great, and it only took a couple minutes to make.  My stomach is just not meant for easy dishes.  For me, looks were deceiving on this dinner!  

Have you ever made something that looked  or smelled amazing and then flopped?  

What would you ask the Easter bunny for in your basket?

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An Easter Treat

Happy Holy Week!

My Easter celebrations have not gone as planned.  That’s an understatement.  I totally bombed my Lent challenge after 1 week which was NO CHOCOLATE!  I bought Resurrection Eggs but haven’t done a thing with them.  I missed Palm Sunday and may miss Good Friday services.  I’ve sort of kept up with my Easter devotional, but I have to admit to being a day or two behind throughout Lent.  However, it is never too late!  Isn’t that the story of Easter?  Second chances, forgiveness, and such.  I’m practicing a bit of that with myself today.  I’m going back to my Lent challenge and instituting no chocolate until after Easter (6 days, I think I can do it!).  I’m planning an Easter menu that’s hopefully tasty but not too crazy.  I’m being flexible with my quiet time and going to do it first thing during Holden’s naps this week, and I think we’ll just pull out the Resurrection Eggs and talk about them daily until the big day.  Of all things to actually accomplish, I made two batches of “Bunny Bait” that has been running around Pinterest like crazy.  This stuff was delicious!  I shared some with H’s daycare ladies, coworkers, and also our moving help.  There are so many variations on this recipe.  See what I did below…

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Sidenote:  Holden was highly supervised, but I decided to do separate batches for the bait leaving the house.  I am well-aware that other folks might not find his germs as cute as we do!  If you were a recipient, just know it was Holden germ-free.  🙂

On another note, things are also looking up at apartment 707.  I’m feeling more positive about life in general and focusing on being thankful instead of pointing out all things that are missing.  This was tricky to remember when I got lost in the parking garage AGAIN.  I’m certainly thankful that there is some nearby green space for Roscoe’s potty breaks.  I’m also very thankful that it’s spring.  It’s light longer in the afternoon (park trips in our future!).  Trees and flowers are blooming (what a fun time of the year to be forced into a little exploration to find our nature).  We have fun Easter plans, and it looks like it won’t rain on the big day.  All gifts.  

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What are you most enjoying about the spring so far?

I can hardly believe that tomorrow will be a balmy high of 48!!!!  Geez!  We’ll have to bundle up, but we are heading out for some out-of-doors time.  

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