Friday, March 30, 2018

Fast Friday

Friday! And it's spring break next week which I have mixed feelings about. I'm really excited about not having to rush in the morning and get J to the bus, but I'm a little bit not looking forward to them all being home all day. So we will see how that all goes, but for now, let's talk about what has happened since last Friday.

Trevon's truck is starting to have some issues and it's time to get a new one. So last Friday he took some time off to go look for a new one. We didn't have a whole lot of luck, but M and V enjoyed the hospitality of a mechanic we took a few of the trucks to get checked out.

Later on Friday, we went to Trevon's work party.  His work does really awesome stuff for families every quarter. This time they took us all ice skating.  I feel like I should have stood on the bench with the girls in this picture to make it evener(<---- my computer told me this is a word...? I don't think I've ever said evener before) height wise. Trevon's 6'3" and I'm 5'2". So most of our pictures end up with him super tall or me looking like a kid unless we are sitting down haha.

J loved it and did really well.  It took her a little while to get the hang of it but once she did, she loved doing it as long as I didn't get too far away.

M didn't love it quite as much and neither did Trevon. So they went to play broom hockey while J and I skated. (we decided not to take V this time so he stayed home with Trevon's mom and had a nap).

On Saturday, I went out on a run. I was feeling really good and my knee hadn't bothered me at all so I decided to go a little further than just a warm-up.  I did 1.5 miles at a really easy pace.

It felt amazing to get out running again! The weather was also amazing.

We went from almost 60-degree weather on Saturday to this on Sunday! Utah has a hard time making up its mind that it's spring.  Hopefully, this will be the last time for a while. Luckily it melted Monday morning. 

My knee also didn't hurt on Sunday, but on Monday it was mad and I felt it for the next couple of days.  I made sure to ice and stretch and foam roll. I only did a little bit of rehab on Monday and took it pretty easy. I also decided to see if I could still do a headstand. It's been a really long time but I was surprised that I could still do it. Now to work on my handstand. 

On Tuesday J's school had mustach day so she went to school like this. 

And I did an arm workout at my mom's and did some good stretching afterward.

Wednesday I took a rest day because my knee was really bothering me. I took my workout time to do some good foam rolling.  I had a berry pineapple smoothie for lunch. Or what was left of it after this happened. I usually use the big Blendtec jar but grabbed the small one this time and I put too much in. It exploded. On a positive note, my ceiling got a really good wipe down after that so I can check that off my spring cleaning list.

Wednesday afternoon the girls were playing at their friend's house and I needed to get out of the house. So V and I went on a walk around our neighborhood.  V loved that he got to go for a walk. He's felt very cooped up inside with the cold and he kept pointing up and say "sky".  Trevon had meetings and it was kind of a long day so I knew it would help me through the evening if I got out and moved around a little bit and got some sun and fresh air. It did help a lot!

Thursday morning I decided to try doing my hair like this. I've always wanted naturally curly or wavy hair but growing up I didn't have much luck with my hair at all. It wasn't straight but it wasn't wavy and it was very thin. So after having kids, my hair started getting a little wavier and a little darker so I thought I'd give it a try again.  Eh, maybe once in a while I'll do my hair like this, but I'll probably go back to wearing it normal.

Workout totals for the week:

Saturday: 1.5 mile run

Sunday: off day

Monday: rehab/at home workout

Tuesday: upper body and core

Wednesday: 1.5-mile walk and foam rolling

Thursday: Full body workout

Friday: Rehab and foam rolling

Total miles: 3

In case you missed any of these, here are this week's top posts:

The Why and The How to Meal Plan

How an Art Teacher Changed The Way I Thought

What's For Dinner Tonight:Pizza

Transitioning Between Treadmill and Outdoor Running

What Happened When I Followed a Training Plan

I hope you all have a great weekend! We will see you back here on Monday!

What were your highlights of the week?

Do you have straight or curly hair?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easing Back Into Running

I'm slowly working my way back into running. I ran 1.5 miles last Saturday and felt great. Monday I had a little pain which shows me that I need to take a little step back so that I don't have to take a big step back later. I'm still running, just not quite as hard or far for now. I really, REALLY want to be ready for the 10K I was planning on but that is just something we will have to wait and see on.

This stage can get frustrating and discouraging.  We don't want to lose what we've worked hard for and you don't want to keep running and get injured really bad.  I can see my goals and want to reach them really bad but I have to make sure I'm being smart about all of this. So what do you do while you're in this in-between stage?

It's really important to remember to start back slow. This has always been really hard for me. I usually come back and run 3 miles on that first run back and progress from there and end up getting injured again. Our bodies need to be able to adjust to the level of activity we are doing. Especially if we've gone from running a lot of miles on a weekly basis to running none for a month or more. So I'm trying really hard to take it easy when I do run.  Even though I want to be ready for a 10k in the next couple of months, I need to take it slow so that I can be ready for that race at some point.

Reminding myself while I'm on my runs that I need to take it easy (because when you're out on a run and feeling great it's hard not to push yourself too hard). And also reminding myself that it's ok if I don't feel as good as I did before I got injured. It's normal to lose a little of your fitness and it's frustrating too. Some runs are going to feel hard and frustrating, but if you keep slowly working your way back, it will come back.

I keep working on the things I was working on in replace of running. One thing that being injured is good for is that it gives us time to focus on other parts of our fitness that we want to improve. So now, while I'm working on building up my miles slowly, I'll still be working on my rehab exercises, arms, and core. I noticed a huge difference in my running performance, and in the lack of injury, I had while I was regularly strength training.  I'm hoping that already having a set routine with my strength training will help me keep it up.

Taking time to stretch, ice and foam roll. Recovery is important. Making sure that I'm taking at least 1-2 rest days a week is important in order to keep my body healthy and strong to meet my goals. Rest days are an essential part of keeping our bodies strong and recovered enough to keep working for those goals.

Also part of taking care of our bodies is making sure we are getting enough water, good food, and sleep. When I'm not running I don't pay much attention to these things. I stay up later, I eat food that doesn't do much for my body and I really don't drink enough water (water intake is something I'm working on in the first place). If we aren't going to take care of our bodies with these things, our bodies won't work the way they are supposed to.

What do you do to make sure you're easing back into working out after an injury?

Do you have a workout schedule or do you just do what you want to do?

Monday, March 26, 2018

How An Art Teacher Changed The Way I Thought About Myself

When I was in college I took an art class because I was going to be a photographer and they made you take an art class for that degree. I'm not an artist. I've never been able to draw more than a stick figure. (A side story, around this same time I taught the 9-year-old kids in our church and one lesson I had drawn a river up on the board and they asked why I drew bacon. haha. Not an artist). Anyway, one day in class while I was trying to draw something that would look kind of like what it was supposed to look like my teacher passed by me and just said: "you are such a fighter". I wasn't sure what to think of that. I laughed and wondered what she meant. I ended up changing my major and going for a psychology degree instead, but I always thought about that day and thought it was pretty funny and never knew what she meant by it. Was it a good thing, was it a compliment?

It took me a while but I realized that I start thinking about that every time I start running again. On Saturday I was able to go out for a run. I did a mile and a half at a really easy pace, stopping if I need to...but it felt really really good. There was no pain in my knee at all!  I hope this continues so that I can keep it up. When I was running I started thinking about that again and I've decided that I like that about myself.

I thought about how in high school I was injured every year. There was always something I was dealing with. But I loved to run and I hated the idea of feeling weak and giving up. Giving up was never an option for me. I would come back from an injury with an even bigger desire to prove that I could improve and do better than last time.

I thought about how I've dealt with depression my whole life. I've fought it and struggled with it but never gave up on life. I want to be happy. I want to show people that there is always something worth fighting for. There's always something to be thankful for and happy about.

It seems that being a fighter has been a pattern in my life and I've decided that, while it can become really annoying and exhausting to have my struggles in life (every single person has their thing, their struggle. I know I'm not alone on that.) I love that people think of me as a fighter. And I'm not going to be giving up anytime soon!

Having a teacher say that to me became something that helps me shape my life. It's helping me make hard decisions. It's kind of become something of a mantra for me. When things get hard I can hear my teacher saying to me "you're such a fighter". It helps me find that extra fight to keep going.

I know that this is going to be something I will be needing to remind myself as I get back into running.  There will, undoubtedly, be hard runs that I feel like absolutely zero progress has been made and there will be runs (very soon) that will make me feel like I've lost every ounce of fitness that I've ever had. But that's not going to stop me.  I'm a fighter and I will keep fighting every step of the way!

Has anyone ever said something to you that stayed with you all your life?

Is there one teacher who changed your life?
I don't know if I'd ever think of this teacher changing my life, she changed my thinking but she wasn't a teacher that I ever think about being a favorite or learning much from. I do have a coach and a piano teacher that changed my life!

Are you a good artist? 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fast Friday

It's Friday again which means I need to share everything we have done since last Friday.

Last weekend was kind of a cold one so we took the kids to an indoor play place for a little while. It was pretty crowded though so we didn't stay really long. We decided to head to my parent's house to play in their yard. They have a big yard with lots of space to run around so we go to their house a lot to get some play time. Trevon played tag with the girls (I still couldn't run) and then we played mother may I for a little while before it got too cold.

We went home an no one felt like having a real dinner so we had find it yourself night and the kids had chicken nuggets. Then they a had bedtime snack picnic on the kitchen floor. 

I showed the girls some funny filters on Instagram the other day and they thought it was pretty funny.

 On Monday I went to see a physical therapist about my knee. He had me run on the treadmill for a minute to see what he could tell was going on. We figured one thing out, I  pronate a lot more on my right foot than I thought I did. My heel almost doesn't even touch the ground. This is why I had shin splints so much in high school. It took us a really long time to figure this out but I'm glad we know now so that if that becomes a problem again we know what to work on.

We came to the conclusion that I'm ok to start running again! It didn't hurt to run at all.  I have to start really slow and just do maybe a quarter mile at a time for now, but hey it's something to warm up with for my other workouts.  He gave me a scraping massage. I don't think anything has felt so good and hurt so bad at the same time. I got a nice bruise pretty quick.  Since then I've felt pretty good though, so far. 

If anyone in Utah County is looking for a good physical therapist, I suggest this one! 

J had a field trip to the aquarium on Wednesday and I got to go. It was fun to spend most of the day with her! We had enough time to see everything at least twice. The first time we went to the aquarium she was scared to go on the rope bridge but this time she went on it at least 5 times. 

After she went back to school for the last couple of hours, V napped and M and I spent time in the warm weather. 

While doing laundry, V is always sitting like this waiting for his blanket to be done drying. 

We got this tent for Christmas and it was a really great idea.  Every kid likes to sit and play in this. It's easy to clean up and it's easy to set up and it helps them use their imaginations.

My workout update:

I have been able to run a total of .75 miles this week. Haha, not a lot but it's something for now. I'll get back up there.

The good thing about not being able to run is that I've had more time to focus on my upper body strength.

Have a great weekend. Let's chat on Monday.

Did you have a security blanket that you hated being washed?

How far did you run this week?

What was one of your favorite Christmas presents you ever got?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Why and How to Meal Planning

When Trevon and I got married I was not the planner in the relationship. I liked to do things more on a whim and Trevon always wanted to have a plan and a schedule. That didn't change completely after getting married, but I learned quickly that it's best to have a plan when it came to meals and a list for grocery shopping. Meal planning became part of our regular routine.

When we first got married, we would both get home from work and try to find something for dinner and we would always end up frustrated because we were hungry and didn't have what we needed to make a meal. Trevon started telling me that I should write down a list of things I need at the store to make dinners so I wouldn't forget things (sometimes I still forget things even though I make a list now). And then we quickly realized that in order to make a good grocery list, I needed to have an idea of what we wanted for dinners that week. It surprised me that he was the one that was a little bugged by this because he had mentioned that his family rarely ate dinner together, while my family had dinner together every night.

Being newlyweds, we decided that we wanted to be able to cut back on spending somewhere and decided that groceries were a good place to start. We tried the extreme couponing thing and at first, we decided it was a really great idea. Build up food storage and save some money while we were at it. It required some work though, and eventually, we decided to quit doing that because it wasn't working like we hoped. We ended up buying so much junk food that never filled us up instead of healthier, good food. We were spending a lot of money on things we wouldn't normally buy too, like pop tarts, just because it was a good deal. So we quit doing that.

After a few years of living with family, we moved into our own place and when we did that, we really needed to save extra money! Then one area that we could see easy potential in saving was, again, groceries. So we really got down to business on what we needed to buy instead of what was a good deal. The best way for us to do this was to plan our dinners for the week, and write a grocery list that was easy to stick to.

So, every Sunday, we sit down and meal plan by making a list of things that we want to have for dinners that week. We ask the kids what they want, and we go through the schedule and see if we have any plans that would cut out any of the dinners (like if we had plans to go out with friends, or a family dinner party). And we look at the grocery store ad to see what is on sale that we actually use and need to stock up on.

Once the dinner list is done, we start on the grocery list. We go through and see what we need to buy for those dinners.  From there we add things that we will need for all of our lunches to the list. We see what we are out of in the fridge and in the pantry and put that on the list, and then produce, and snacks.

Then I put the dinner menu and the grocery list on my phone in the order I would get them at the store. This makes shopping incredibly easy. I only go down the aisles that I need to go down. We avoid the candy/snack aisle and the pop isles always (unless there's a treat we need to take for school or for a holiday) so it's really easy not to impulse by treats that we don't really need. I can honestly get the grocery shopping, from the time I get in the car to the time I get back home (kids and all), done in 30-45 minutes if I put my list in order. It's become a really easy routine.

Meal planning and making a grocery list has saved us so much money! We are a family of 5, and we are spending around $130 a week at two stores (on a week where we have a lot to buy) We don't use coupons, I do use the Ibotta app, though, which is a rebate app for groceries.  We just stick to the list of stuff we know we need to get. We very rarely impulse buy this way and most of our food is produce. I remember hearing some of my married friends talk about how much money they spend on groceries a week and I never understood how a couple without kids could spend $300- $500 a week!?

Meal planning also makes making dinner really easy. I just look at the list and see what we have left on there and pick what we feel the most like that night. This helps us to get dinner on the table by 6:00 and stops us from spending a lot of money on takeout. There are days that I don't feel like cooking or that we don't want anything on the list. And on those days we have "find it yourself night" which means the girls have chicken nuggets and Trev and I normally have a bowl of cereal or leftovers.

So, now that I've been doing this meal planning thing every week for almost 6 years, I guess that kind of makes me a planner.  It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't need to be a menu board or scheduled out day by day. If that's what works for your family, great! But it can be as simple as writing it down on a piece of paper like we do. I still like to be spontaneous or a little more relaxed with other things, but making dinner and grocery shopping has been so much easier since we started to meal plan.

Do you have a grocery list every time you go to the store?

What is your most used dinner recipe?

Monday, March 19, 2018

10 No Fail Ways to Boost Your Mood

We all have those days that we just feel grumpy or gloomy.  No one is exempt from them and most people can't just snap out of it without changing something that's going on in their days, whether that's something inside their heads that they are dealing with (that little voice in your head can sometimes be your worst enemy) or something that is happening to them in the workplace or with family life or anything else that is stressful or frustrating. Sometimes everyone could use a little mood booster.

No one likes to feel down or upset. Sometimes it happens for good reason and we need to accept it (like with grief), but when there is a way to change it, who doesn't want to make themselves feel better and be happier?  There are things you can do every day to help your day go better, but It can be hard to come up with things that will help you feel better when you're in the thick of it so here are some ways to be sure to boost your mood.

Do something productive.  Deep clean one room in your house. Get one job marked off your list at work.  Get a project you've been working on finished. It doesn't really matter how small the thing you choose is. There have been studies that show that marking off something from your to-do list increases dopamine, which is a hormone that helps you feel happy, to your brain. And once you start marking things off your list, chances are you'll have a lot more motivation to mark other things off and your happiness levels will just keep rising.

Get out of the house. This is tricky for me when the weather is cold (thank heaven it seems to be warming up around here.) but getting fresh air and sunshine -- even on a cloudy day-- helps you feel refreshed and helps clear your brain. Plus, vitamin D does a ton of good things for your mood.

Turning on some music. Find that one song that you just can't help but smile when you hear it. Turn it up loud (or not if you work in a quiet environment) and let it repeat until you feel better. Or make a whole playlist of songs that make you feel good. You know the ones that I'm talking about, you hear them on the radio and you can't help but turn it up. You'll get even more endorphins if you make a dance party out of it.

Speaking of endorphins, go get some exercise. Most people think of exercise as something that will help with long-term happiness, and it will, but exercise helps you almost immediately. There is no way to measure the number of times that I have left for a run in a terrible mood and come back a completely different person. Not only do the endorphins get moving when you get moving, but working out often gives you a way to process emotions and other things going on in your head. And your brain functions much better during and after exercise. So you can sort a whole lot of stuff out during a 20-minute (longer if you have the time) run or workout session. Get moving.

Make a list of everything that has gone right this week.  This can be a hard one, especially if you feel like you're taking hits left and right when it comes to life lately.  But there is always something that you can be happy about. There's always at least one blessing that you can find in your life to be thankful for.

Talk.  If you're down and feeling lonely a phone call, or even a text conversation, can help you not feel so alone.  Have someone who knows that some days just suck and sometimes you just need to talk and give them a call.  For me, this is my mom and my sister. I know that if I'm really just struggling and down that, I can call or text them a huge list of complaints and they will always help me look for the good and find something to smile about. And, seriously, if you can't find someone to talk to, please email me! I've been there a lot. I know what sad and depressed is like and I'll do my very best to help.

Treat yourself to an indulgent snack or with some me time, or both.  When I can't get myself out of a funk, I find some chocolate and watch a chick flick or a sappy tv show (This is Us anyone?) and I just let myself relax and not think about the things in my life that are stressing me out.

Do something for someone else. Just about every person has experienced the joy they feel when they see someone else happy because of something they did.  Serving each other helps us think of all the good things in our lives. It boosts empathy for others. It strengthens our relationship and love for others.

Write down the good things from your day.  I did really good for a while to write in a journal every night and highlight the best things from the day. Doing this really helps you see that most days are mostly good with a few hard or bad things in there. But on the days that really just are horrible, you can look back at your other good days and find hope.

Go to sleep. At the end of the day, if none of that has worked, go to bed early so that you can start your day off better tomorrow.  Sometimes days are just hard and long and sad. Sometimes you hit a bad streak and your days feel hard and you feel down or frustrated and nothing seems to be going right. But remember that for every bad day that you have, there are always good days to come.

What do you do to boost your mood on a bad day?

What song is on your happy playlist?

What is your favorite tv show or movie to watch?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fast Friday Favorites

It's the weekend again, so here is our quick weekly update for you.

We have had some amazing weather this week! It was beautiful and warm for the first three days.

We went on a walk after school to play at the park. The girls are loving having their bikes out and everyone at the park loved our wagon (so did V). We got THIS wagon when J was a baby and it's been well used and is still in great condition. I love it way more than pushing a stroller and this is what we use for all walks. My sister also has a wagon train that we used to use all the time too. It's perfect if you have lots of kids! 

V spent some quality time making messes while I tried to clean the rest of the house. He's getting really good at this. 

On Tuesday when the girls were done with school, we went to the park and then spent more time running around my parent's backyard. If I could change only one thing about our house it would be that it would have a bigger backyard. These kids love playing in this much space. 

J's backpack has taken a beating over the last couple of years and it finally got a few holes the other day. So I did what I could to patch it up. Make it do or do without right? She will get a new one for the new school year but we are hoping to make this work at least that long. 

Wednesday the nice weather left and it rained for 2 days.  We needed the water though and I'm really glad it wasn't snow.  We didn't have many exciting things Wednesday but it was Pi day so I made  Pizza (pie) for dinner. I was a little disappointed that no one on instagram took me up on my pie offer. 

We spent some time doing my stretching together. Let's get this knee feeling better!

And now for some Friday Favorites.

I've never been a fan of protein powders. They all taste fake and I can't handle it. But I've heard lots about this organic PBFit protein powder so I thought I'd give it a try. Do you know what it tastes like? Peanut Butter and that is it. It doesn't have a chalky taste at all. You can use it in pancakes, shakes, you can even make actual peanut butter out of it.  You can get it HERE for only about $12.00 and that is a lot cheaper than other protein powders. 

So when I was young I remember my grandparents having a funny little vacuum that was portable. (It wasn't all that odd, I just didn't know people had those when I was little).  When we went to visit family last year one of Trevon's aunts were moving and cleaning out her house. She gave us this vacuum for the camper and at first, I thought I wouldn't use it all that often. This is one of the most used cleaning tools in my house now. It's super convenient and I don't have to get the big vacuum out every time V dumps cereal out all over the floor. So, if you don't currently have one THIS is the new version of ours and I think it's really a must at this point. 

Have a great weekend!!

What is your most used cleaning tool?

Is it warming up where you're at?

Did you celebrate Pi day?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What's for Breakfast? My Take on the Breakfast Burrito

Instead of what's for dinner tonight, I'm going to share what's for breakfast tomorrow morning. I find myself, a lot of mornings, looking for quick but healthy options for breakfast. I also don't like to have the same thing to eat every day like a lot of other people don't mind doing. Doesn't it just get boring?  So I decided to create myself a breakfast burrito that I can put together and freeze to warm up later. These are great because it's easy to just find what you have in your fridge and put it all together. This is my super easy, simple take on the breakfast burrito. Here's what I do.

1/2 Lbs sausage (or bacon)
6 eggs
1/2 red pepper
1/4 onion
Cheddar cheese
tortilla shells

Brown the sausage and set it aside. In the Sausage grease, cook your scrambled eggs with whatever seasonings you would usually use.

Chop your veggies up. I usually use onion and red pepper because we have them on hand and because they are freeze and reheat easily. mix them in with your eggs and cook until onions are clear.

Layer everything onto a burrito sized tortilla and grate some cheese to go on top.

Roll up and then wrap it in tinfoil. When you're ready to eat one preheat oven to 425 and let it cook in there until it starts to get golden brown on top. 

What is one of your favorite healthy breakfasts?

Do you eat an early breakfast or a late breakfast?