Sunday, January 3, 2016

I'm back....

Anyone who knows me knows I love to write and connect with people. It's probably clear just based on my overly wordy Facebook statuses. I miss writing very much but my life doesn't allow for a lot of time for hobbies.
However, 5 year ago I started this blog to hold myself accountable for a healthy life style and to connect with people in a similar situation.

And truth is, I've been slacking folks.

My weight is up, I'm tired, I'm not weight training like I used to and I want to get back to doing what I love. Writing, cooking healthy food and exercise.

So feel free to follow along, laugh with me and try not to critique my grammar too much.

Happy 2016,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where have I been? Blogging like a big girl

This is just a quick post to let anyone who stops by know that the reason I am MIA is because I finally decided to try and be a real blogger.

From here on out I will be blogging at

I know that if I actually want to write and have followers I needed to buy an address and figure out how to format everything.

The blog will change a bit too. It will focus on the health of our entire family and my husband is going to be involved. We want to include information and reflection on growing and raising food and of course healthy children too.

You can check out how it is doing so far, but it isn't quite ready yet.

Mainly I am having issues with transferring over my followers and the blogs I follow. Without this I am not sure what to do...but since I have transferred to wordpress it is requiring some figuring out.

So check it out and if you bloggers have any advice I would love to hear it!

I will be back in action soon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Food we are diggin' lately

So Delicious Coffee Creamer in Vanilla: Uhhh YUM! This stuff walked into my life via healthy eating blogs a few months ago. It is no secret that I love me some coffee. This is a great, natural, dairy free way for me to flavor, sweeten and lighten up my coffee all in one. I am trying to get back to banning artificial crap from my diet as well as cutting back on animal products. This stuff is so good and comes in plain and hazelnut too. You can even download some coupons of of their site HERE

Kashi Go Lean: Good ole' Go Lean has been a part of my life for ever. It has a pretty low sugar count (6 grams), good dose of fiber, tastes good and is just sweet enough to act as a great yogurt topper or before bed snack with some blueberries and even a quick before the gym breakfast with some almond milk.

Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread
Who doesn't love a good wrap? Or a Burrito? If I could, I would probably eat a burrito everyday of my life. I absolutely love burritos. I try to keep them healthy by leaving meat out and adding extra veggies. But have you ever looked at the calorie count of the tortillas or wraps at your fave sandwich or burrito shop? It might depress you and probably takes your favorite sandwich into the high calorie range. As an example, the Chipoltle tortillas have 290 calories (which is pretty good compared to many wraps..our local burrito places wraps are 350 calories). To me this seems like a steep count for something that just holds all the good stuff together. These wraps are 100 calories for a very big wrap. I usually cut them in half, which makes it only 50. Plus they are so good and soft and made with some nice ingredients. They are a bit pricey, but worth it. I just made veggies burritos in some last night. YUM.

Summer Veggies (Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Green Pepper, Kale, Herbs, etc.): All of a sudden we are loaded with our tasty organic produce Thanks to my hardworking, farmer of a husband we have great produce to eat. I love my veggies grilled, but am hoping to try some interesting combos/ recipes in the next few weeks. There is nothing like real local, non-GMO food.  Now that I am done babymaking, I am hoping to spend more time trying to use our land to feed my family. It is a great joy watching the kiddos grow, maintain, pick and eat food.

Our mini-farmers


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Monday, July 23, 2012

Five years of marriage, what I have learned

We have returned from an epic family camping adventure and I am forced to get back into the swing of things (especially eating better and hitting the gym). Why is that first day back always so hard?

While we were gone we celebrated our anniversary. On July 21, 2007 my husband and I were married on the water in front of many friends and tons of family. I loved that day, but I certainly didn't know all that we were in for during the next 5 years of life.

Five years is certainly not a long time when I think of the fact that we will spend a lifetime together. However, it has certainly been long enough to teach us a thing or two, to give us time to grow and change, to allow for some hard times and a significant amount of joy, to teach us more about each other and to log some serious hours side by side.

In five years we have had THREE children. That alone has taught us more about family and marriage than I could have ever dreamed.

I have seen many a post about what makes marriages work. I know that what makes my marriage work might not work for others. We have our own unique situation. But I thought I might share the 5 biggest things I have learned about MY marriage in the last 5 years.

1. It Ain't Easy-
When you are young and in love and you are dating it is are passionately, deeply in love and you want to spend as much time as possible with each other. But when you get married it becomes more than that. You have to pay bills, you have to worry about if your unborn child is healthy, you have to be a part of each other's family, you have to share everything and make hard decisions together. It takes effort. You cannot get lazy and stay stagnant. Mike and I have had to work through tough financial and personal problems and in order to keep our marriage strong, we had to work. It doesn't just stay all rainbows and puppy dogs without mutual effort.

2. Leaving is not and never will be an option-
This is a non-negotiable. Neither of us ever thinks of or uses the "D" word as an option. No matter how hard times may be, no matter what argument we may have, we are in it together and have no choice but to sort through it and work together. I believe that if you think of leaving as an option it would be easy to cause hurt by throwing that around or using it as a threat. We stand by each other and leaving each other will never be a solution to a problem.

3. If you feel slighted, say something-
Marriage is a partnership. When someone in a marriage feels like things are not equal then resentment starts to creep up. Most likely it isn't any one's fault, but if you feel an inequity it is important to make sure you get what you need. An example might be that if one person takes on all of the responsibilities of taking care of the kids, they may start to feel alone, or like the other doesn't understand. Suddenly they become angry with their partner. I find that when I need something from Mike (help with the kids, more time at the gym, etc.) I need to be a mature adult and voice my needs. Our marriage works because we both honor what the other needs and do our best to find away to get it for the other.

4. Our priorities are the same and we discuss them all the time to be sure
I would probably lose my mind if my husband played video games, or had a man cave, or insisted on going out every Friday night. I know this works in some marriages, but not in ours.

 -Our top priorities are the same: the kids come first and we spend the majority of our minimal spare time doing things with them/ for them. We sacrifice some things we might otherwise do in order to spend that time with them. We don't stay away from them over night or get babysitters of any kind (with the exception of family on a rare occasion).
-We put fitness and healthy eating as a priority. We agree that we want to be fit and are willing to put money and time to make that happen. This was something we had to figure out together and we agree it can never change.
-We go to bed together each night and spend time together. This has also been something we had to learn. We give up TV, going out with friends and even some classes we have been involved in to make this happen. It has made a huge difference in our relationship and our closeness and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

5. Leave the drama at the door

Since the day I met my husband, life became much less complicated. Our relationship is simple: we love each other, we are partners and therefore there isn't anyone else we are as close to. We do not put ourselves in positions where we might act inappropriately. I cannot even imagine what married people are thinking when they cheat. It seems so complicated and horrible to me. We might argue sometimes, but we do not raise our voices, scream and yell or any other big dramatic gesture. This was true when we were dating and is true now. It certainly doesn't mean we are perfect, but there has never been any cheating, yelling, leaving, etc. I cannot imagine going on in a relationship if any of that was to happen. I guess I am lucky that I married someone who is very much like me in how we deal with people and approach relationships. I would hate to live my life in a dramatic whirlwind.

So we have survived 5 years without getting sick of each other. It is pretty amazing to think of how much has happened in these last few years. I barely even remember who I was before I met my husband. I have never once regretted my decision to marry who I believe to be one of the most selfless, loving and compassionate people I have ever known. I am one lucky girl and I cannot wait to see what happens during the next 5 years that we spend together.

I love you Michael! You will always be my cowboy

Friday, July 20, 2012

Healthy(ish) camping

I am ALL about making memories with my family. Anyone who went on family trips as a kid has to have dozens of happy memories bonding with their family. Even though our oldest child is only 4, he has already been on many little and big adventures and I pray that some of the memories will stick with him for a life time.

Right now we are camping for 3 nights and honestly are having the best time. Packing for and camping with babies and toddlers is hectic, but if you are laid back enough and know how to let things go then it can be great.

Sometimes it is okay to have smores for dinner or 2 ice creams in one day, or to stay up late, or blow a whoopie cushion at innocent pedestrians as you drive through the campground.

But I am not a spring chicken anymore and I really cannot get away with sitting on my butt for
4 days and eating nothing but crap. So what have I done differently to help make this a slightly healthier camping trip?

1. I worked out hard right before I left.
I got up at 4:30 and attended a group fitness class to whip my muscles into gear before a long car ride.
2. I packed good snacks like this:

3. I bought healthier alternatives to our fave camping dinners. Think spinach feta chicken sausages instead of hot dogs, whole wheat buns, grilled veggies and veggie burgers

4. When it is hard to eat your normal veggie amounts you can drink them

5. And I am seizing the moment to exercise: I just completed a 30 minute cardio blast interval workout by timing thirty sec and one minute sets of exercises like-

Stepups on the picnic table

Abs using random campsite items

Planks on a beach towel

And lots of walking lunges and planks up a hill on our site

This mixed with burpees, jumping jacks and bear crawls did the trick. Sure it was only 30 min but I was a sweaty mess.

I had no set workout plan but I seized to moment when this happened

That would be 2 sleepy little girls taking an hour long tent nap while their daddy and brother went fishing. Carpe Diem

So now I off to make more memories my kiddos won't forget,,,,like this:

A nice balance between healthy and happy makes for the perfect trip!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Envy: Comparing yourself to other women

Why do women spend so much time comparing themselves to other women? We are all guilty of it. It's sad to think that it really starts at childhood, when you wish your hair was as blond or as long as Kristen Bell (the girl who sat in front of me in second grade) or that you talked to the boys with ease like Laurie (my best friend in 5th grade).

And it doesn't end with childhood does it? Us grownup girls do the same thing. Why don't I have it all together like Jen? or Why can't I have legs like the 5am gym chick?

I don't dwell on it as much as I did when I was a kid, but it still happens.

I found myself thinking about this at the gym today. Thanks to summertime my gym has suddenly been taken over by college kids who are home for break (I cannot believe I am old enough to call them kids...**tear**) and I have been watching some of the girls try and one up each other. I wonder what is going through their heads as they compete to wear the skimpiest gym clothes possible in the hopes of getting the former baseball hero of their high schools attention. They roll their eyes at each other and pick each other apart.

It's sad really, that we spend energy comparing ourselves to others. As I have gotten older I realize more and more that there is a good chance that, while you may be envious of other women, those same women are probably looking at you and envying some quality that you have.

A perfect example of this is my sister and I. As kids we were fairly close. We spent our time playing and imagining together. I was a mother hen and she was the crazy second child who had no fear of strangers.

We were and are POLAR OPPOSITES.

It wasn't until the teenage years (or maybe preteen) that we started comparing ourselves to each other.
I am fairly certain that  she envied how easy school was for me, how I got the grades and made it seem like nothing, how people thought of me as responsible.
And I envied her: her outgoing personality, he fearless approach to things, her assertiveness in asking for what she wanted and for sure her long, thick, straight hair.

I was the skinny one, she was the fun one. I was the smart one, she was the one with all the personality.

As teens this took a toll on our relationship. We didn't get along. We were not friends. We were different and we would not ever admit out loud that the other wished just a little bit that they were more like their sister.

How stupid! If we could have just said it: "Man Ashley, I really wish I could be as outgoing as you." I bet we could have moved on from our envy and just been friends. The problem with envy is that it seems to come out as that you are annoyed by the very quality that you admire about a person. I constantly scolded my sister for embarrassing me when she talked to some random person at a restaurant, but somewhere inside I wished I could do the same thing.

So now that I am older and maybe a tad bit wiser I have found an approach to combat my envy of other woman. I tell them what it is that I admire about them. I compliment and recognize and admit. For example, there are a group of woman at my gym, some of who I know personally, that have been working out really hard and look fabulous. I wish I looked like them, were as strong as they are. And I let them know. I tell them they rock (because they do). I let the mom at the playground know that her patience with her 5 kids is far superior to my patience with my 3 and that she is my hero. I use them as my role models, even when I know sometimes that what they are will never be what I am.

Sometimes I catch people off guard: like when I asked my boss what she does for her skin because it is glowing and beautiful. But most of the time people seem happy and often they give a compliment back.

It is liberating to let that envy out. I think it makes me like myself more. I know it is better than letting it turn inward, where I let the comparisons to other woman eat me up and chip away at my self esteem.

So college girls at the gym, stop comparing yourself to the girl next to you, it really does no good.

And Ashley, if you are reading this, I will forever be envious of your amazing hair, your much bigger boobs, your skinnier upper legs, your ability to say what is on your mind, your outgoing and bubbly personality, the way you are with kids, your natural energy and your fun outlook. I will never be like you, it is not in my nature, but know that sometimes I wish I could.

Friday, July 13, 2012

2 month postpartum body update

One month after baby vs. there a difference?

My one month post can be found HERE
and my one week measurements are HERE.

I am pretty much wearing the same outfit, the tank top is the same size and style but a different color.

                Two Months                                       One Month



So what's the verdict? The only picture I notice a difference in is the first. My belly has improved some (which makes sense) and my rib cage looks smaller to me. Both the side and back view are about the same...but I will take the belly improvement
Here are the stats:

One Week Measurements
Two Months Measurements
Net Loss
High waist
Waist (at belly button)
Right upper thigh
150 (at 1 month)
So the good news is that I am shrinking (slowly but surely). The bad news is that my body seems to want to hold on to this weight. I can't help but be frustrated with that, but as past experience has taught me, it will come off and loosing weight while nursing is a tricky game of balance.
So what are my current goals?:
1. Build muscles and get stronger: I figure if I keep lifting and taking my new fitness class then I have to burn fat and eventually the scale will have to show it.
2. Run more (self-explanatory and necessary for the Diva Dash)
3. Track calories when I can to be sure I am eating enough for my activity level (this has been hard but I am not sure I cannot totally stop doing it)
4. Get up earlier: I do better when I wake up by 5am. The baby makes this hard but it is getting closer to possible.
So I will check back in, in one month. Here's to hoping the scale decides to be my friend.


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