Post Workout Smoothie

I have put together the most delicious post workout smoothie. I could drink it all day long. And I'm going to share it with you.



Turns into this:


The recipe:

You can sub any frozen berries for the blueberries. I tried it with mixed berries tonight and it was so yummy!

You could cut your banana in half if you prefer, or if you have a toddler that loves bananas. I liked it with the whole banana better, sweeter and creamier than just half.

You could use a frozen banana and skip the ice cubes.

I used a carton Chobani Plain Greek yogurt. I know different brands have different flavors. I just prefer Chobani. You could also use a flavored yogurt to make it even sweeter. The pomegranate juice can give it a tart flavor if your berries aren't sweet enough. I would stick to a berry flavored or honey flavored yogurt if you're going that route. I haven't tried it with anything except plain at this point so I can't comment any further :)

Even this sweet girl liked it:



Now, what makes it perfect for after a workout?

The Greek yogurt and banana will help to quickly replenish your energy. Your pomegranate juice, berries and spinach will help with muscle soreness, and help speed up recovery.


What's your favorite post workout snack?




Polar Vortex? Just plain cold!

A busy day at home with the kiddos.

Snow day #6 here. Thankfully, Ohio came up with (and our district adopted) a plan to give us a few extra snow days without adding days to the end of the school year. Enter Blizzard Bags.

Busy working on their Blizzard Bags in their pjs:


Miss Lydia had to be in on what the big kids were doing:


So much so that we had a no nap day. Maybe she'll sleep tonight? Probably not.


Funny story about the laundry today:

I was putting in the 2nd load of the day, I had a shirt and skirt of Lydia's on the dryer (pretreated with Dawn after an incident with a green marker). I started the water and tossed those 2 in, ran upstairs for the rest but completely forgot what I was doing. As in, I didn't remember what I was doing until I heard the dryer go off and went in to switch and noticed I forgot to put the lid down on the washer AND then I still didn't remember until I went to switch them to the dryer and whoops! There were only 2 pieces of clothing still in the washer. Oh, there's more- I switched them to the dryer and apparently forgot to turn it on. I may be losing it.



Chicken philly sub and cheesy potato chips. The bun? Oh, just yesterday's bun from Jimmy John's. 50 cents. So yummy. It really made the sub. Go. Buy one or two tomorrow.


Chad told Lydia to come say night night to Noah. She cracked up laughing and crawled into his bed. Cuties.



The temperatures today were not as cold as it was a few weeks ago, but still so bitter cold. This has not been good for the running. . . I know I sound like a broken record. I keep thinking that at any point this winter will somehow turn into last winter. Remember? 30s and 40s all winter long? Yes please.

I am excited for Friday though, the forecast says 37! A run with the BOB is looking good :) Hopefully, the bike trail is thawed out by then, I'd really like 5 flat miles.

Oh, and I'm really hoping that next winter is less brutal since I'll be finishing up marathon training in December and January. I'm still in denial I'm even saying that out loud.


Are you looking forward to warmer days ahead, whenever they get here?



Sick? Workout or Don't Workout? That is the Question

I woke up this morning with the start of a head cold. I have been all stuffed up and nose drippy and miserable all day long. I couldn't even smell the tomatoes and garlic roasting in the oven tonight. Not even fair.

Since I'm still pretty new at this running and working out community and I'm rarely sick, I still get a little uneasy about working out or running when I am sick. Kind of the cross between I don't really feel like working out, and knowing that when I don't want to, that's when I really should.

I found this really great article on Runner's World that really spelled out about running or working out when you're sick. I think it's really important to listen to your body.

If it wasn't like freezing cold and crazy windy, I probably wouldn't have run today anyway because of my dripping nose. It would have driven me crazy. But that is just personal preference. Just stuffed up, maybe.

So what did I do?

After my brief hiatus (oh, the beach plus some days) from my Squat, Crunch, and Plank Challenge, I picked up where I left off: week 2, Friday. The squats were pretty easy to complete, the crunches are definitely going to hurt tomorrow, and the 1:40 plank was brutal.

In case you've forgotten:


After that, I wanted to do something else, and found this pyramid arm workout by Be Mom Strong.

My arms are going to be a little sore in the morning, maybe even a lot sore, but I can not wait to get some heavier dumbbells for a really great burn.

My first workout in a week was short, but great.

Hopefully, I'll be feeling better tomorrow and I can get the kids (since they are off school because of the extreme cold) to join in a little cardio and yoga.


What's your rule of thumb when it comes to running or working out when your sick?

How's the weather where you are? Freezing cold is putting it lightly.


Meal Plan Monday- clean out the freezer and pantry edition


As I usually try to do the last week of the month, this weeks menu is full of meat from the freezer (that I got on managers special) and pantry as much as possible.

I am also going to spare you the redundancy of listing leftovers for all of my lunches, cause that's what it's going to be!

I've also switched up the color that represent a link. Hopefully, where there is a link, you now see a burgandy color instead of a slightly lighter grey. Today, these links represent recipes.


Week of January 27-February 2

Kids' Breakfast

Monday: blueberry muffins

Tuesday: apple and peanut butter quesadilla

Wednesday: oatmeal

Thursday: cereal

Friday: pancakes with peanut butter and banana

Kids' Packed Lunch

Monday: chicken taco, strawberries, yogurt

Tuesday: grilled cheese and tomato soup, cheese stick, broccoli, fig newton

Wednesday: quesadilla, corn, apple slices, yogurt

Thursday: ham, cream cheese, spinach pinwheel, carrots, strawberries, fruit snack

Friday: leftover mac & cheese, apple with peanut butter and granola, fig newtons

Weekend Breakfast

Saturday: banana and granola bar, yogurt with granola

Sunday: pancakes

Weekend Lunch

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: salmon, roasted red potatoes, steamed carrots, cheesy garlic biscuits


Monday: pork chops, leftover carrots and potatoes, leftover rolls, salad

Tuesday: leftover chicken philly subs on day-old Jimmy Johns bread, baked fries

Wednesday: veggie filled minestrone soup, homemade Italian bread (from the freezer)

Thursday: homemade sloppy joes on homemade wheat buns, mac & cheese

Friday: a quick sandwich before a full night of back to back basketball games

Saturday: homemade pizza

Sunday: chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice



A Glimpse Inside: Laundry

As I mentioned in this post, I *think* I have a laundry system that works for me. And I'm going to share it with you tonight.


When I first quit work in 2011, I tried a load a day start to finish system and it just didn't work for me. Well, I was good at washing and drying one load a day. But I had trouble following through with the fold and put away part, and we were living out of baskets of unfolded laundry and I was folding everything at the same time.

Tuesday is washing day. I gather up everyone's dirty clothes hamper and tote them downstairs to the laundry room. Then I sort into piles of towels, warm whites, cold whites, darks, jeans, and running/workout clothes. I usually have 2 loads of towels and sometimes an extra load of darks. After the dirty clothes are sorted, I throw the piles back into the hampers to await washing, otherwise, Lydia would be dragging dirty laundry all over the house.

Throughout the day, I throw in one load at a time. Depending on how many loads I have in a week, I'm usually finishing up before I have to get the kids off the bus. Tuesday ends with hampers full of clean clothes.

Wednesday is folding day. I start by sorting the clean clothes by person and separate all the socks. Each persons pile goes back into their hamper. Then I get started folding. I always fold the basket of socks last incase socks get stuck in with the clothes. I try to get one basket folded before Chad leaves for work. Sometimes I can fold some here and there if Lydia is feeling independent, sometimes I have to speed fold during nap time. I try to get it all done before I have to get the kids off the bus, sometimes I do, sometimes I just don't. When the big kids get their homework done, they put their clothes away- I put away mine and Lydia's.

I've been pretty successful in keeping up with the laundry using this system. And I don't constantly feel like I'm behind. That's a win if you ask me!


What's your laundry schedule?

What's are favorite laundry detergent? I'm a Tide and Bounce girl all the way.



Friday Favorites: week 4


I'm feeling pretty bad that I haven't checked in too much this week. But the week kinda escaped from me. And I was tired.

1. Favorite Workout

The 3 miles I ran on the beach for megsmiles. I ran hard, the sun overhead, windy ocean inches away, sand underfoot.

Truth time: this run, and then the 7 miles I ran Monday is all I have exercised this week. Yeah, workout fail for this mama.

Returning to our regularly scheduled challenge Sunday. I can't ruin the streak now can I?!

2. Favorite Article

This article about digital photo storage and organization was a great one this week. My favorite word: DELETE! The designated print folder in each months folder is great too. I've bookmarked this and need to get my photos organized. ASAP. And I think Sara's ideas are brilliant.

3. Favorite Picture

I had a lot of pictures I could have chosen from our weekend adventure. But this one just warms my heart.


4. Favorite Meal

Again, I could have picked our free lunch at the hotel restaurant. I mean what's better than free lunch?

Or vaca date night. And it was good (and great alone time with hubby), the salmon was good, but mine is just as good.

I think for this week, Wednesday nights dinner of classic spaghetti and garlic bread. The homemade garlic bread was a hit.

5. Favorite Moment

I hate to sound like a broken record, but again (I know AGAIN), I could have picked a whole slew of moments from the beach.

But last night, after getting home from Noah's basketball practice and getting Lydia and Noah in tub and then in bed, I had 30 minutes of pure quiet before Chad and Madison got back from her practice. What did I do with these moments? NOTHING! Shhhhh, don't tell my hubby :)


What are your favorites for the week?



Winter Beach Vaca

We had a great extended weekend. At the beach. I have never been happier to see sandy beaches and clear sunny skies! Especially since it was like 11 degrees when we left Ohio.

And this beautiful sunset:


I was lucky enough to be able to get a few minutes away to run a couple times. On the beach. Without a coat. Or gloves. Or a hat.

Saturday afternoon, I ran 3 miles for Meg.


It warmed my heart in the final half mile to see someone else had written #megsmiles in the sand.

Monday morning, I ran 7.3 miles for my half marathon training run. Probably the hardest run in a long time.


Let me tell you a few secrets about running on the beach:

1. Time matters: Saturday, I started out about 2:15pm, the tide was way, way down. I had a ton of packed sand to run on the entire way. Monday, I started about 7:15. The tide was up, but there was still plenty of packed sand to run on. It was softer than Saturday's sand, so a little more work, but that's okay right? Just makes you stronger :) what I didn't consider was it would continue to creep up on me my entire run and I would run entirely out of packed sand before my planned miles were completed. I'll definitely pay more attention to the tide charts next time.

2. It is windy. Like, so windy, you ask yourself, am I even going forward?

3. It. Is. Awesome! I'm so grateful that I was able to run on the beach, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Tomorrow? Yes, please! In fact I thought running on the beach was so awesome, I'm considering the MB marathon next year. Say wha?!




Meal Plan Monday (on Wednesday??!)


So sorry that my meal plan post is a few days late. We enjoyed an extended weekend at the beach- more about that and running on the beach later :)


Meal Plan: Week of January 22-26

Kids' Breakfast

Wednesday: cereal

Thursday: blueberry muffins

Friday: bagel with cream cheese and jelly


Kids' Packed Lunch

Wednesday: peanut butter and honey bagel, cheese stick, goldfish, orange, cookie

Thursday: leftover spaghetti and garlic bread, broccoli

Friday: ham and cheese roll up on crackers, strawberries, cottage cheese, cookie


My Lunch

Wednesday: guac and tortilla chips, yogurt, banana

Thursday: salad, cottage cheese, strawberries

Friday: leftover taco chili


Weekend Breakfast

Saturday: pancakes with peanut butter and banana

Sunday: cinnamon rolls


Weekend Lunch

Saturday: leftover chicken philly sub

Sunday: tacos



Wednesday: spaghetti and garlic bread (using this Italian bread), steamed broccoli

Thursday: crockpot chicken chili

Friday: crockpot chicken philly subs on homemade Italian hoagy, baked potato

Saturday: salmon, brown sugar steamed carrots, salad, garlic biscuits

Sunday: roast in the crockpot with red potatoes, onions and carrots, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls


Are you trying out any new recipes this week?

Rolls or biscuits, which of you prefer?


Friday Favorites: week 3


It's been a seemingly busy week, yet when I look back I can't think of what we actually did. I do know there was a lot of coffee consumed.

1. Favorite Workout

I have to say it was my first training run for my next half marathon. 10k in 59:10. I originally planned 6, but decided to go the extra .2 to see if I could run it in under an hour. I've been chasing a sub-60 10k since my first 10k back in August, and check it- I ran it in a training run like it was no big thang.

2. Favorite Article

Why Runner's Need to Strength Train. I think the items listed are things we all know, but need to be reminded of from time to time.

3. Favorite Picture

I'm digging the closet this week. It makes me happy every time!

4. Favorite Meal

Wednesday night's dinner. I threw together "healthy" grilled cheese (no butter, olive oil spray in the skillet). I loaded mine up- avocado mashed up and slathered on like mayo, a slice of turkey, red pepper, spinach, and bacon. Does "healthy" go entirely out the window at them mention if bacon? It was so yummy!

5. Favorite Moment

Thursday morning. Waking up to the realization that I'm going to beach tomorrow helped me get through yesterday and today with smiles :)

Now I get all that last minute stuff ready so we can get out the door on time! And keep the kiddos quiet so Chad can get some sleep.


What are your 5 favorites for the week?




Let's take a moment to talk about the death of Meg Menzies. Oh, you didn't know her? Me either. She was a wife, mother of 3, avid runner.

I have struggled the last two days with what to say, not wanting to gloss over it, or (worse yet) pretend that this tragedy didn't happen. Nothing I can say will ease the pain her family feels.

You can read about her tragic death here.

From the moment I heard the news (here), it cut straight to my heart. Of course, my heart was broken for her 3 young children and her loving husband. But also, selfishly, I began thinking of my own 3 young children and how their lives would change without me to guide them. I hugged them all a little closer and a little tighter that day. I pray for Meg's family to find comfort in The Lord.

If you are planning on running or if you have the chance to run or walk on Saturday, I would urge you to consider taking part in #MegsMiles (Facebook event here). Take a mile or two to run in silence to remember the importance of running safety. Think of Meg and her grieving family. Hug your little ones close after your run. Be sure to snap a pic and post it to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #megsmiles.

The last time I checked, over 58,000 runners have joined in the virtual run. Way to go running community!



KY Derby Half Marathon Training: Day 1

I am happy to announce that I had a successful first day of training :)

I ran 6.2 miles in 59:10, an average of 9:33 per mile. *hello sub-60 10k*

<insert Garmin photo here (if I had one)>

I had a good comfortable training run. I ran my first 3 miles in 27:40 and the final 3.2 miles in 31:30, can we say headwind? All together now: headwind.

I did determine, however, that I need new music. Like ASAP. I've been listening to the same songs since April, and I'm pretty much done with that. For a good long while anyway.

Race day countdown:
And many more miles to go.
And I came home to a perfectly clean and organized closet. And a missing earring, courtesy of the Tornado Toddler.

<go hubs :) by the way! my side was already clean and organized>

Now, if I can get him to clean off his dresser...


I have added a Challenges page to the blog (you can go straight to it here). As I add more challenges, this will keep them all in one place.


Song suggestions? Give 'em to me!

When is your next race?

What challenge would you like to see in the months to come?


Meal Plan Monday

It's a short week for us since we are heading down to Myrtle Beach for the weekend, so I have left Saturday and Sunday off of the schedule.

I had to make a menu change for lunch today since I didn't actually have chicken for chicken francese, so we had pork chops with herb dijon sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and garlic cheesey biscuits. Yum-o!


Week of January 13-19

Kids' Breakfast

Monday: blueberry muffins, banana

Tuesday: apple pie oatmeal

Wednesday: eggs & toast, orange

Thursday: granola bar, banana

Friday: pancakes with peanut butter and bananas

Kids' Packed Lunch

Monday: turkey and spinach wrap, cottage cheese and apples, popcorn, yogurt

Tuesday: peanut butter and honey bagel, apple, red pepper sticks and ranch, blueberry muffin

Wednesday: quesadillas, tortilla chips, salsa, carrots, cookie

Thursday: cream cheese and jelly bagel, apple and peanut butter, snap peas and ranch, yogurt

Friday: ham and cream cheese roll up, red pepper sticks and ranch, orange

My Lunch

Monday: leftover pork chop, biscuit, salad, apple and peanut butter, yogurt and granola

Tuesday: salad with turkey, bacon, and avocado, leftover asparagus, orange

Wednesday: taco salad, cottage cheese, apple, and granola

Thursday: turkey, bacon and avocado wrap, yogurt, orange

Friday: salad with salmon, orange


Monday: herb-butter penne with salmon, garlic cheesy biscuits, asparagus

Tuesday: cowboy quesadillas, salad

Wednesday: ham, pesto, mozzarella grilled cheese and pasta salad

Thursday: crockpot pork chops, steamed carrots, rolls

Friday: homemade pizza


What are you eating this week?



Challenge Check-in

Since it is Sunday again, I wanted to check in to see how everyone's 4 week Squat, Crunch and Plank challenge is going.

In case you missed it or if you want to start today, here is the schedule:

Personally, I am loving this challenge. In a hate kinda way :) I love to hate it anyway.

I do know I have had sore legs for a week now. And I'm sure I'll have sore legs for 3 more weeks.


And sweet girl has a new snack spot (I finally got a pic):




Basketball, an arm workout, training change, and hair. Random? Probably

I hope you guys had a grrrr-eat Saturday :)

We had a busy basketball Saturday. I had to miss Noah's game today- they both had a game at noon.

But I'm glad I was able to see both of them play their first games of the season.

Here they are this morning:


<Madison was chomping at the bit to go! She was so excited to finally have a game>

And a cute outtake with Little Sis:


Oh, I almost forgot, Madison and I started out the morning with this little arm workout (like that segway?):

I wanted to do something, but my legs were (and still are) so tired from the 4x4 workout, and squats and yesterday's run that I wanted to rest them a little so they're ready for the extra miles on Monday. First run over 3 miles since December 16th. And actually, that's not as long ago as I thought it was. So, I'm feeling a little better about it than I was.


Since I realized I'm not as far out from higher miles as I thought, I'm rethinking my training program for the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon. I was going to follow this Jeff Galloway training plan (the bottom one for a time goal) . But now I think I'm going to up my mileage a little quicker, focus on those first 10 miles- I HAVE to get them under 90 minutes to have a chance at a 2 hour half.

So here's what I'm looking at for my long runs:

January 13: 6 miles

January 20: 8 miles (on the beach, yes please :)

January 27 through March 3: 10 miles

March 10: 11 miles

March 17: 12 miles

March 24: 13 miles

March 31: 15 miles

April 7: 13 miles

Yes, that is 6 weeks in a row with 10 miles. It's a risk, but I think if I really focus on speeding up on those last 5 miles, it can pay off. My plan would be to take the first week one easy. And then each week that follows, I'll start running more miles as a tempo run, and hope I'm looking at 80-85 minutes by March 3rd- I only have to cut off 20 minutes from the last time I ran 10 miles :/ yeah, I've got some work to do!

Sorry Elizabeth!


I got distracted tonight looking for something new to do with my hair.

Here it is down:

<photo by: Happy Daisy Photography>

I wanted something new, up (to keep the kids from crawling all over it), cute, classic, easy, and not a bun.

I think I'll try this:

<photo source and tutorial found here>

I'll let you know how it goes!


How was your Saturday?

What awesome workout have you done/plan to do this weekend?

Have you made last minute training schedule changes? How did they end up working out for you?

What is your go-to hair style?

I definitely always go for the bun. Sometimes the "hoopty". Sometimes a braid.



Five Friday Faves: week 2


1. Favorite Workout

The mamas over at Be Mom Strong have outdone themselves again. This workout is 22 minutes of pure hurt. For real. They call it a 4x4 workout: 4 circuits with 4 exercises repeated. Chad actually said, "that was really intense!" After the workout, I did my 70 squats, 50 crunches and 60 second plank, my legs were pretty much jelly. I don't regret it one bit!

I was looking through their YouTube channel for a workout, and just arbitrarily picked this one. And then, they posted about it this morning? Say what?! Great minds think alike :)

Check it out:


2. Favorite article

This week, I have been doing a little blog research on how to do things better around here. Ironically, a post came through the BlogHer network called Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don't Own On Your Blog. The author goes through her personal experience with using a photographers photo in a post. Her experience was very eye opening for me, a blogger who is just starting out. She also lists free open source resources to use. Thank you!

3. Favorite picture

4. Favorite meal

I have to say, it felt good to cook again. The menu this week was full of yumminess. But my simple Apple Pie Oatmeal breakfast from Tuesday was the best this week.


5. Favorite moment

While we certainly missed Madison while she was gone on Tuesday afternoon, I did enjoy the quiet time with Noah (and Lydia) making cinnamon rolls. He's getting more and more interested in helping out when I cook (especially when it comes to controlling the mixer). I need to swallow the "I know it's just going to make a big mess" lump more often and just let him. He was proud :)


Tell me your favorites for this week!



5 Non Running Lessons I Am Learning From Running

Running teaches lots of people lots of things. Endurance. Strength. New words: pronate, neutral, supinate. Negative splits. Pace. Effects of weather. You name it, someone probably has learned it from running.

5 Non Running Lessons I Am Learning From Running

1. I Can

As cliché as it may be, it's true. I started this journey in April, not sure if I could. And truth is, it was hard, especially those first 8 weeks. I can remember (vividly) the first time I had to run 20 minutes without walking. Before I started, I was sure I wasn't going to be able to. But I did. And I pretty much didn't stop talking about it for an hour. Just ask Chad.

2. I love my kids

But it's okay to take a few minutes for myself, all alone. Just me thirty and the road.

3. I can inspire others

When I started, I kept it a secret to most. I even kept these blog posts private. But what was I ashamed of? Sure, I was slow. Sure, I was awkward. But I was becoming the healthiest I had ever been in my life, why would I keep it a secret?

My best friend started running shortly after I talked to her about it (and now she's pregnant with sweet twinnies).

My dad kept running. More consistently. He pushed for more and more miles. And we ran a half marathon together.

And these guys even ran a race, because they wanted to run like mama.

Madison is truly into it. We're planning to run a 5k together in May. I'm super excited!

Can't get the hubby out of his chair tho!

4. I am happier.

Truth. I hate to say that I was "unhappy". But at the same time, I can tell that I am less grouchy. It isn't just that, but I have more confidence in more aspects of my life. The other day, I could have been feeling a little grouchy and Chad told me to go for a run. You know what? I came back feeling better.

5. I still don't like to get up in the morning.

Yeah, sorry, I am still not a morning person. Even when I was getting up early to run in the summer, I hated every second of waking up, getting my running clothes on, toasting my bread, and eating my peanut butter toast. But as soon as I was out the door I was glad I was running.


What has running taught you?