Monday, August 31, 2015

ABCs of Me

Today seemed like a good day for an A-Z post all about me.

A: Age, 27

B: Biggest fear, losing my kids or husband to death or kidnap.

C: Current time, 12:48 PM

D: What I last had to drink, water.

E: Excited about, Our cruise!!

F: Favorite songs...there are so many! I don't think I have a favorite.

G: Grossest memory, I don't think I've ever thought of my grossest memory.  I've had several super embarrassing ones. Like throwing up in the middle of class. And almost getting into the wrong motor home on a family trip because I thought they were going to leave me.

H: Home town, Provo, Ut.

I: in love with my family.

J: jealous of people who have it all figured out. I don't have anything figured out.

K: kindest person: Again, there are many, my dad comes to mind first because he's always thinking of others and he doesn't get angry with people.  He's a really calm guy.

L: longest relationship, the one I'm in now. We've been married for almost 6 years and we've been together for 8 years.

M:middle name, Lee

N: number of siblings, 2 brothers and a sister

O:one wish, hmm. That we would have a clear answer on what to do next in life.

P:person I talked to on the phone last Trevon.

Q: question I'm always asked, What's next for Trevon? Answer: we don't know, we're just going by the spirit and doing what we know is right in hopes that it will lead us where we need to be.

R:reason to smile. My life is pretty awesome.

S: song you last sang, Fight Song by Rachel Platten

T: Time you woke up 6:30 am

U:unsure of what I doing with this blog most of the time. haha.

V: Vacation, our next vacation is our cruise that you'll be hearing more about shortly.

W: worst habit, picking at split ends?

X:X-rays mostly just dental but I did get one on my shin when I had a stress fracture.

Z:Zodiac sign. Virgo, not that I believe in those much. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Month of Pictures

August moved faster than any other month this summer.  I can't believe summer is over and kids are back in school. J starts pre school on the first!  Whether your sad that summer is gone or happy the kids are back in school, here is a recap, in pictures, of our last month of summer.

This is how we do family reunions. M loved sharing cookies with the dogs and J got up the courage to go down the slip n slide.  This was actually in July but I missed posting about it so I thought I'd share this now. Every year for my grandma's birthday, we go up to the family cabin and update something or fix something that needs fixing. We have done this for several years. One year we built a fire pit. Another we built a deck and painted the wheel house. This year we replaced the rock path leading to the front door. 
But, as you can see from the pictures, we're not all work. We like to play too. It was a lot of fun to let the girls run around up there again. 

The beginning of the month was J's birthday.  You can read the recap HERE.  For her birthday dinner she chose to go to Wendy's.  Clearly it's been a while since we've been there because I thought it was pretty cool that they have a new fountain drink machine that lets you customize your drink.  I got strawberry sprite. I'm not a huge soda person, but it was pretty good. I think Sonic's strawberry limeade still has this beat.

These are my tomatoes. They are huge. I didn't even know tomato plants could get that big.  They got so big that they fell over and we had to tie them to the fence. The best part is that all of my tomatoes are starting to ripen and they are so yummy! 

We have had lots of fun birthdays this month. August is our busy birthday month for my side of the family. That means lots of splash pads, swimming parties and good food. This is all the cousins except for one family who live out of state. 

There were a few days that the air was super bad due to fires and smoke blowing in. The picture at top doesn't look so bad unless you know that you can usually see a huge mountain behind those houses. So we have to improvise sometimes. Sometimes that means the girls doing play chores while I do my chores or coloring inside empty boxes. Whatever makes them happy. 

M wasn't feeling good for a day or two. That meant lots of cuddles and not getting much else done. Poor thing. 

J sometimes watches movies during quiet time.  I went down one day to check on her and found this. Her doll family was watching the movie too. I'd like to point out that the baby is even sitting on the mom's lap. 

Got back from a Saturday run to see these two cuddling on the couch.  She loves her daddy.  I've also been loving fruit with whipped cream for my after run snacks. 

She loves to jump on the bed while I try to make it. 

I went on a run to my sister's house so we could go to a boutique.  I thought it was a really great idea until I got there and wanted to try things on. It doesn't work great when you're wearing a sports bra.  Trev said this skirt was too busy so I didn't get it anyway, plus it was too much money for a skirt in my opinion.  Then we went to my grandma's house to see her new kitty. I am allergic to cats and so I don't care too much for them but this little guy was pretty cute and playful.  

Last Sunday we were enjoying some family time and the girls just really wanted to cuddle. I love to cuddle with them even if it interrupts my Sunday nap. I like that M is even making sure her giraffe is looking at the camera. 

That sums up our August of pictures. Thanks to Jenna for her monthly link up!

What are some of your favorite August memories?

Do your kids have close cousins?

Do you have an allergies?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

27 Thoughts on My Mind During a Run

People seem to think that runners always have to have a lot of focus and that their mind's don't wander while they run. For some, I'm sure that's true. It's just not true for me.  Some runs I have more focus than others, but not all of them.  Here are 27 things that might be going through my mind during a non-focused run.

  1. Finally, I get to go running today. 
  2. It's been a long day. Gotta run the stress off now.
  3. This feels like a great pace. I can keep this pace the whole time.
  4. It's hotter than I thought it was out here, I hope I hydrated good enough.
  5. I wish I was fast enough to earn money for running. I wonder how fast I need to be exactly. Maybe I should look into that. I love running, I should make running my job. 
  6. This hill is the hardest part of my whole run. Make it up this huge hill and it'll be smooth sailing all the way.
  7. I should unlock my pepper spray now, just in case someone tries to jump out of that bush and attack me. Maybe I should roll play that just in case. 
  8. This hill is always bigger than I think.
  9. Just like a race now, Speed up the hill and just keep going. That'll syke out the other runners. They won't know what hit them. 
  10. Oh, good song. This will help me keep a pace for a little bit.
  11. Oh no, is that a dog? Please don't jump on me dog. I hope that owner is paying attention and holds on to their dog. I hate when dogs jump on me when I've got a good pace going. Oh good, they passed. 
  12. This is a fun run. I should do this run more often.  
  13. It's pretty hot out here. I wish someone had their sprinklers on. Or maybe a rain cloud would come over. 
  14. Not this song. Why do I even have this song. Skip!
  15. I really need to go through my music again. Skip
  16. Ok this one's good.
  17. Gotta speed it up a little bit. I slowed my pace too much after that hill.
  18. I wonder how many miles it would cut off to turn back here. I probably shouldn't though. Just keep going. More than half way done anyway.
  19. I might have to pee. I think I can hold it. Just ignore it. 
  20. Almost done. Then I'll have ice cream to reward myself. I should probably eat something better than ice cream. But ice cream is so good.
  21. Last mile and a half. That's super easy. I got this
  22. I'm going to slow down just a tad so I can make sure I have the energy to finish strong.
  23. This pace should be good for the rest. Only like a mile left. And half of that is down hill.
  24. That's a great sunset. I should stop and take a picture. Although I have about a thousand of that same picture. I'll just keep going.
  25. OK, let gravity take me down the hill. Just don't slap my feet...or fall. 
  26. Maybe this is the hardest part of the run. I need to speed up for the last stretch.
  27. Done! That wasn't so bad. Now where's that ice cream.

What is on your mind while you run?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trinkets In My House

I've been looking around my house lately and noticing things that I have around.  Most things I have do serve a purpose, but others are just things. Part of me wanted to start clearing the things out, but as I started thinking about the things, I started to notice that those things have some meaning to me and I don't know if I could give them up.

For example:

The clock that sits on my desk at the moment is from my grandparents house.  I don't really actually love the look of it, but the sound is really soothing and comforting to me.  It's a sound that brings back really fun, comforting, happy memories for me. It even reminds me of the smells and the feelings from their house.  It reminds me of a house I grew up going to most days of the week and the people who loved me and who lived there.

The boat that now sits on our hutch in our dining room reminds me of Trevon.  It came with him when we got married and although he knows I don't love it, he keeps it there.  It reminds me of when we were first married and it became a game for us to hide the boat where we thought it ought to go.  I would move it to the office, where only Trevon could see it, and with in a week he would move it out in the living room for every one to see.  It's not that I hate the boat, it just doesn't look good displayed in a living room. It doesn't match our other decor.  Eventually we will maybe be able to move it into a boy's room but for today it sits in on our hutch in our dining room and reminds me of that funny game.

My old toys that I keep in my cedar chest. They aren't work any money, they only get played with on special occasion when the girls need something new and promise to be careful. Why do I keep them? Just like my old baby blanket and some of my old dresses, I have happy memories with them. And I also want my kids to see what kind of toys and things I had.  I like to be able to tell them stories about those things.

Running shoes, that one is weird, I know. And I don't keep all of my running shoes, but some of them turn in to everyday shoes, camping/grunge shoes and others, like my spikes, I just can't get rid of because I ran some really great races and had some really fun memories wearing those racing shoes. I don't wear them anymore, they don't have a lot of purpose but I hold on to them because I'm a runner and that's what I do.

An old, film camera. It was my first real camera. I got it for Christmas one year and I was over the moon excited.  That camera was my companion for several years. And although I don't use it anymore, mostly because I don't have batteries for it and because it's film, I still keep it because someday it will be really cool to show my grandkids what kind of camera I used.

The candy dishes remind me of the kid of person my grandma was. It reminds me to be more like her. Every time a kid leaves my house from playing with my girls, they get to pick a treat out of the candy dish. That's how Grandma did it, and I always thought it was fun. So that's the way I do things now. Plus, it's easier for the parents to get the kids to leave if I give them a little candy bribe.

I keep things in my house that some might think has no meaning or is just clutter, but it has a meaning to me. The things in my house are important to me. They give me memories that I hold on to dearly. Things that were gifts, or inheritances,  things that will someday have more value than they do now, things that my girls will learn to appreciate and love like I do. Those are the kind of things I have in my house.

Do you have special trinkets or items in your house?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

20 Minute Block on the Treadmill

The air quality has been seriously hurting my running plan for the week.  The people on the news keep saying that it's still "safe air", but...

There are usually mountains there. You can't even see them. It's due to some fires, I believe in California. I ran outside for my first run of the week, and it was really hard to breathe stupid asthma.  So I've moved the rest of my workouts inside. 

One of my favorite treadmill runs is a 20-minute run that I do. I break the 20 minutes up into groups, there are a couple of different ways that I've broken the time up, today I'm going to share one with you.

First block: 5 minutes, warm up pace. For me, that's about a 6.5-7 or about a 65% of my full speed. 

2nd block: 2 minutes at a good pace, I usually put it up to 7.5 or 75%.

3rd block: 2 minutes speeding it up to 8.3 or 85%.

4th block: 8 minutes steady tempo, back down to 70-75%

5th block: 2 minutes back up to 85% 

6th block: 1 minute sprint or 90-100% 

Obviously you need to change this to you. My speed will not be the same as your speed so you have to play with the blocks and the speeds to find what works best for you.

I like this work out because it helps me figure out how to pace myself in a race. After doing this 20 minute block run several times, your body finds a really good rhythm and it will remember that on race day. It's also really easy to adapt to fit you and your personal needs. 

As I was finishing my work out I started slipping a lot.  I kept thinking there is no reason I should be slipping around this much.  When I got off the treadmill and did my stretching I noticed this. 

Sure enough, the tread on my new shoes is already run down.  I haven't had this problem happen this fast since high school, but thinking about it now, I have been running at least the same amount as I did back then so my shoes will wear down quicker. But I swear I just got these! I guess I know what I'm getting for my birthday this year. 

Hopefully soon the air will clear and I'll be able to run outside more without worrying about dragging my inhaler around. I hate that thing. Until then, you can find me on the treadmill for my runs. There will have to be a lot of switching things up, TV watching, and good music to keep me sane on the treadmill.

How do you adapt your work out for the weather/air quality?

Do you have a favorite indoor work out?

How often do you get new shoes?

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Post of 27 Things For You

This week I'm turning 27. So in honor of my golden birthday this week, I'm sharing 27 things with you.

3 Things I want to try:

Food trucks. They've been around for quite a while now but I've never tried eating at one. I feel a little lame about that because they seem cool.  We just don't ever think about that as an option when we go out to eat.

Drive in movies. Again, I feel lame that I've never been to one. But most of the drive in theaters in my area are gone. I never got to go as a kid, but I think it would be a fun experience.

Surfing.  I love stuff like this.  I grew up doing a lot of water sports so it just seems fun.  I would hope that it would come easy to me but I can't say that it would. Maybe someday I'll find out.

3 Products that I love

Melissa and Doug reusable stickers. This is one of my favorite toys my daughters have.  They love stickers but I hated how you could only use them once and they were done and all that money was gone so quickly.  But then I found these reusable stickers and we use them all the time.  There are a lot of different options to choose from, and they are low maintenance. You can find some HERE.

Roosport, this is no surprise. I've written a lot about the roosport. You can read about it HERE.

NYX dark circle concealer is my favorite make up product. I wear it every day because even on the days that I get enough sleep, I don't look like I get the sleep I need. It's just part of being a mom I think. You can find some for you HERE.

3 pictures of the past

"oooh, look at me. That's me as a baby!" Who can name that movie?  The girls could be my twins.

Me in high school. 

I guess this isn't really of the past. This is our family now. We are so lucky to have such a great family.

3 of my favorite movies

Anne of Green Gables

You've Got Mail

Harry Potter

3 songs to run to

Say Geronimo - Shepard

Immortals - Fall Out Boy

Under Pressure - David Bowie

3 things I've learned

If you're being true to who you are and doing what you know is right, it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks.

Don't over do it running, taking breaks is smart.

You don't have to be perfect as long as you're doing your best to get to perfect.

3 book series I read over and over

Harry Potter - Jk Rowling. Everyone knows what this is about so there's no reason to explain it. It's just awesome.

Children of the Promise - Dean Hughes. This series is a historic fiction by a LDS author, about a family during WWII

The Lottery Rose - Irene Hunt. This is an easy read but if you haven't read it yet, go get it now.  This is a great story about a little orphan boy and how he finally feels loved and wanted. It's pretty touching.

3 things I do in my free time




These are all great things, but they make me sound a little boring.

3 of my favorite trips I've been on

Zions. This was a really fun cousin trip I took this summer. You can see pictures and read all about it HERE. It was definitely one of my favorite things this summer.

California. Before Trev and I decided to have kids, the two of us went to California. Trev had never been to Disneyland and we decided that needed to change. We went during spring break, stayed at his uncle's house and spent the week doing great things there. We went to the La Jolla beach, we went to Disneyland and we went to the San Diego Zoo.

Family trips.  There are way more than 3 trips that are my favorite. Family trips to Boulder Mountain and Lake Powell happened every summer growing up.  There are so many memories I can't even begin to share them all here. But there were other trips that I remember too. Like going to Boston with my mom and aunt.  And like the Church History Tour we went on when I was in 4th grade. It was a great experience, and while I don't remember a lot of it, I remember some really special things from that trip.

Now it's your turn. Pick one of the topics above and share some of your favorite things with me!

Friday, August 21, 2015

What My Picky Eater Eats

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time finding lunch.  Not just for me, but for the girls too. We get bored of the same foods, I don't always feel like preparing something big, and J can get super picky. And you know what, I've tried all those "healthy lunch options for picky eaters" lists on pinterest, the girl is just not going to eat green smoothies and avocado for lunch, most kids wont, and that's ok. It's ok for them to eat things that aren't organic or perfectly healthy all the time.  So I started to think of a list of the girl's favorite foods so that I could have easy go-tos for lunch. Then I thought I'd share them with all of you, just in case you're the same way.

One of the things that we all eat well is left overs.  I love having left overs for lunch. It makes lunch a no brainer and super simple.  A couple of the left overs we sometimes have (I say sometimes because most of the time we don't have leftovers) are:

This super easy Ziti, you can get the recipe HERE

and this Garlic Parmasan pasta, you can find the recipe HERE

J's all time favorite food is quesadillas. And I like quesadillas because they are easy and you can put just about anything into them. Lately J has been liking chicken, cheese and refried beans in hers. But you could add peppers to make them a little healthier and you can add any kind of meat. I've even heard of breakfast quesadillas where you put scrambled eggs, bacon, peppers and cheese in it.  Then, of course, J always asks for sour cream to dip it in. She loves sour cream.

M is really easy when it comes to food. She likes just about anything, thank heaven! So sandwiches are the easiest thing for her. Any kind of sandwich will do, today it was grilled cheese and chicken.

J was never a sandwich girl, but recently she came up with a sandwich she likes. A banana sandwich. Just bread with sliced bananas on it. Nothing else. I don't know where she came up with the idea, but hey, it's healthy and filling so it's fine by me.  Sometimes that's what it takes to get picky eaters to eat, letting them come up with new things on their own.

And of course, on the days that we either have nothing in the fridge to eat or we just don't want to even think about it, we pull out the chicken nuggets and hotdogs. Sometimes it's ok to feed kids food that isn't 100% healthy. We always have fruit, yogurt, cheese or apple sauce with our lunch anyway.

What are some of your kid's favorite foods?

What are your favorite picky eater tricks?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Running Goal and Plan of Attack

Most experienced runners are all about those marathons. And while I would love to do a marathon or two someday, right now my focus is on perfecting (can you perfect a run?) my 5k.

I want to get really good at running a 5k, that's my running goal right now.  I've ran so many 5ks that I honestly lost count several years ago. Most of those were in high school.  So why do I want to master my 5k?

Well it probably has a lot to do with high school actually.  I know that I would have been a much better runner then, if I knew how to do things right.  I never took breaks, even when injured (big, giant, no no!) I wanted to be good at it so bad that I pushed myself too hard during practice and never had enough to give during the races to do great at them. So, I guess that one of the reasons is that I want to show myself and others who saw me run back then, that I am better than I was at running.

5ks are easier to train for.  I'm a mom of two young girls, I don't have a lot of time to train right now. It's easier for me to go running after dinner for less than an hour than for me to go run double digit runs and not get home until 10 PM.

5k's are cheaper to enter than marathons.  That's self explanatory.

My next 5k is in October. I'm really excited to run it with my sister in law. It's the same organization I ran with back in March, The Pink Series . It's been a couple of months since competing and I'm ready for the challenge again.  Since I already have the milage down and don't need to worry about that, I'll be working on a lot of hills and doing a lot of speed work to get me ready.

Speed work is really important to help you learn how to pace yourself. It also helps you with endurance during your race.  I think in high school speed was my least favorite work out day. But now I'm starting to really like it. As long as I mix it up and do a few different speed work outs I usually look forward to it.

After my last speed work out. I was exhausted. 

Hills are really great for building your muscle, endurance, speed, and power.  If you practice hills, you're going to make it up the hills a lot easier during a race. And, think about it,  the last time running a race with a big hill, and you saw someone pass you going at a way better pace than you, what was your thought?  It's almost intimidating to other runners to see someone pass them on the hill. Practice makes perfect.

So you'll hear a lot about those kinds of work outs, and when the race is done, you'll all be getting a really great recap of how it all went.  Hopefully, it's a really good recap with lots of pictures.  But, we all know how great my running pictures turn out.

What are some of your goals right now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Starfall Review and Giveaway

****Giveaway is over, Congratulations to Becca Francis! Hope you guys enjoy starfall as much as we do.

For ever one else, you can access the free version of starfall on your phone, computer or tablet. ****

For those of you with little kids who are getting ready to start school for the first time, or who need a little extra help, I have a really great computer program you should try!

A couple of weeks ago, while we were at a family party, my aunt who teaches kindergarden was talking to me about J.  J won't be in kindergarden this year, but she does start pre-school in September (what?! how did that happen?).  My aunt was telling me about this program called Starfall.

Starfall is a great, online program that teaches the basics of reading, writing and math skills for kids pre-school age to 2nd grade. They have a lot of fun games and programs that teach everything from the ABC's to division.

There are so many great things about this program. You can use it as a home school, instead of putting them into pre-school. You can use it during the summer to keep your kid's minds sharp. And it's a great way to prepare your pre-school aged kids for school.  If they are already in pre-school a couple days a week, you can use this along side of that to keep them learning all the time.

J loves Srarfall because there are so many fun, educational games to choose from. She asks every morning to play and, although we have a time limit, I usually do let her play every day because she's learning good things too.
Her favorite game is "Who am I?" which is where you get to make a character and once the character is made, there is a little matching game. You match the words to the right body part.

The also have one for different rooms in a house too. 

The words are not said, it just tells them to match the right word with the shape of the word. J gets this right all the time. She caught on to that so fast!

There is a free version of this program, so I thought I'd share the differences between the free version and the one you pay for:

  • First, the free version is limited. You can do things on the computer, like the ABC's and a few of the songs and other activities. But when you sign up for the program there is a way bigger variety of things you can do. Anything from learning the abc's to multiplying and dividing.

  • And when you pay and sign up for Starfall, they keep track of what you've done.  So it is really easy to see what they kids are doing well in and what they need work on or help with. It also is nice because if you have to turn it off in the middle of one of the activities you can see what "levels" you've worked on.

While Starfall is geared towards preschool-second graders, it is also really great for smaller kids too. M is not quite two yet, but she's picking up on the colors, numbers, ABC's and on certain words already. It's helped her start talking more too.

Whether you're wanting to give your little one a head start at school, or they could use a little extra practice, that is also fun,  this is a fantastic way to do it.

And Starfall was so nice, and agreed to give one lucky reader a one month free trial to the website.  If you have grade school or younger kids, I'd be entering this giveaway for sure!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free month's trial in exchange for doing an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you teach your kids from home?

What are your favorite educational apps?