Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Santa Race Review)

I've taken a little unplanned blogging break over the holidays but I'm jumping back in today.  I have lots of posts that I wanted to write over the past month so I'll be doing a little bit of catch up.  I also am so excited that 2014 is over and am looking forward to 2015.  I'll have some updates on what's in store for me and the family in the next few days as well.

First up, my review on The Santa Race that I did back on the first Saturday in December.  It was put on by my favorite racing company, Speedy Sneakers Racing and I was offered a free race entry for myself and 2 friends.  It was a small race, capped at 200 people, in my favorite place to walk, Creekside Gahanna, so it was a no brainer for me to do this race.

I got up early Saturday morning to a very cold and rainy day.  I'll be honest, I REALLY didn't want to go.  I am not one of those athletes that like to be out in the rain, I sort of hate it actually.  But I knew 4 of my friends were waiting for me, so I got dressed and headed out.

The rain pretty much stopped by the time I got there less than 30 minutes before the race to pick up my packet and meet up with my friends.  The volunteers were great and I had my shirt, Santa hat and bib in just a few minutes.  I went back to the parking garage with Jen and Keri to put on all my new Santa/Christmas themed items & my bib/timing chip.

We headed back out to the starting line and met up with Sherry and her kids who were walking the race as well.  We did a few pictures in front of the beautiful tree and before we knew it, it was time to line up and get started.
Jen, Keri & I ready to go!
The race went off right on time, as always.  We started on the streets in downtown Gahanna and then on to the trail through Creekside.  It was a course I've done a few times before and I love it.  It's got a few hills, beautiful scenery and is a great out and back.  Speedy Sneakers volunteers did a great job of marking the course, keeping traffic going while keeping us safe and marking the turn around.  They had one water stop which is plenty for a 5K.

The six of us kept a nice pace for the whole race, challenging but I didn't want to die after it.  We finished in just under an hour, 57:13 was our official time.  Not a PR for me by a long shot, but it wasn't really about racing for me.  I just wanted to get out, be active and have fun!  I achieved all three of these things!

This was a very fun race.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!  The shirts and hats we got are awesome, as is the medal.  I enjoyed spending time with my friends that morning, despite some not great weather.  I'm glad the rain held off for most of the time, and that it wasn't super cold.  Thanks again for a great event Speedy Sneakers!!  I'll be seeing you at the start line in 2015!
Jen, Keri & I after the race with our medals
Sherry & I after the race with our medals

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 12/15 - 12/21)

Well last week went by in a blur of fevers (me and Zak), cancelled commitments and helping as much as I could to get ready for our school's Pancakes with Santa event.  I am shocked (and pleased!) that I stuck with the meal plan all week.  Today I did not cook as I suspected, but we have so many leftovers that we still ate great.

This week the plan is to shop for as little food as possible and eat leftovers then clean out the fridges and freezers.  I want to get most, if not all, of my Christmas baking done.  Plus I'd really like to finish my shopping.  I am feeling the stress of the season with Adrian working 60 plus hours each week.  But I'm doing what "has to" get done and everything else can wait.

I'll probably take a few weeks off from menu planning.  My parents get in for a ten day visit on Friday, so there will be a lot of dinners with them and my brother and his family.  I know we're making sausage one day (from scratch!), having home made pizza, making a turkey and of course Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Plus Adrian will still be working a ton.  The boys will be off so our schedule will be light so we'll be winging it.  I'll be back the first week in Jan when I not only get back to menu planning, but back to eating much healthier than I will be the next 2 weeks!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Ham & Butternut Squash Spaghetti - with leftover ham from yesterday
Tuesday - Freezer Meal of Beef & Broccoli with cauliflower rice
Wednesday - Butternut Turkey Chili - I have a butternut squash to use up
Thursday - Leftovers or a Freezer Meal
Friday - Leftovers or a Freezer Meal
Saturday - Making homemade sausage with the family at my brother's house
Sunday - Chili in the crockpot while we finish up baking, shopping and visit with my parents

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Snowflake Castle)

Last week we did one of our favorite Christmas traditions, Snowflake Castle.  It's put on by a local senior center and is an amazing event.  Kids get to make a wooden toy with an "elf" and then paint it on their own.  After making the toy, you head outside on a beautiful walk to Santa's house, including a stop to see his sled.  You visit mostly privately with Mr & Mrs Clause and get a picture with them.  Very low key and very low stress.  We go every year and love it every year.

The boys picked their toys, AJ picked the one part of the train he hasn't made yet, Daniel made a Christmas tree and Zak made a bear.  Their elves were all great with them and very brave letting them all handle drills and hammers.  The painting was super fun and super messy.  It took 2 days for the toys to dry because there were so much paint on them!

The Santa visit also went great, no one cried this year and Adrian and I didn't have to be in the picture!  Zak is still a little unsure about the whole thing, he didn't talk to Santa at all.  But he went up, shook his hand, sat with Mrs Clause and did the picture.  We also wrote Santa letters this past weekend and Zak is asking for "a present."  No problem kid, easy peasy!!

Here is the day in pictures, they probably show the fun better than my words.
Waiting in line for our elves

Santa's sled!
Checking out Santa & telling him what they want for Christmas
The finished toys

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 12/8 - 12/14)

I feel like I just wrote up my Thanksgiving meal plan and now this week includes a Christmas meal plan.  I love this time of year and am trying to savor it, but it's moving fast!  We have a full week this week including Secret Santa shopping for the boys at school (and me volunteering a few days to help kids shop), Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Christmas with the Jones side before most of them leave for Florida for the winter and of course our normal crazy life.  We also have to mail our Santa letters this week.

The meal plan this week is short and sweet.  Lots of slow cooker meals or things I can make before hand and heat up for dinner.  I also have my first of two cookie exchanges this week.  I thought doing two would be too much, but since I'm doing two Christmas dinners I'll need all the cookies for dessert.  I love doing the exchanges.  I get a few of a bunch of different cookies and I don't have to do all that cooking!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Buffalo Chicken Lasagna - hold over from last week.  I'm actually making it tonight, then will just bake it tomorrow when I get home from a long day of volunteering at the school
Tuesday - Broccoli Tortellini Salad - another hold over.  I was supposed to make this for a pot luck but I couldn't go because Adrian got stuck at work.  I have everything for it so it will be our dinner now.
Wednesday - Pork Loin with Apples and Blueberry Coleslaw (Relish recipe)
Thursday - Not so Sloppy Hot Dogs - Daniel has been requesting everyone have hot dogs for dinner one night, so I'm going to give these a try.  I'm assuming the boys will just eat plain hot dogs.  Also making Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies for my cookie exchange.
Friday - Italian Ravioli Stew
Saturday - Christmas Dinner with the Jones family including Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Homemade Applesauce, Broccoli Casserole, Stuffed Mushrooms - couldn't decide which ones so I'm making both Bacon & Blue Cheese and Bacon & Cheddar, Assorted Cookies from the Cookie Exchange, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Peanut Butter Banana Bread.
Sunday - Probably leftovers, but if I have enough motivation I'll make Mexican Baked Potatoes (most likely these will bump to next Monday)

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (TerraFit Week 3 of 12)

Well this was a rough week.  I was trying so hard to have Thanksgiving just be one day and then go right back to healthy eating on Friday.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  I ate bad all weekend.  Sigh.  I have a feeling this is going to be a very rough month.  I really need to limit the bad eating to only the specific days or parties.  This week alone I have a pot luck and a birthday party to try to survive.  And it gets worse from there.  Thankful I have so many Zumba classes to teach!

I've talked about the food aspect and the workout aspect of this challenge.  Today I'll talk a little about the oils.  I'm new to essential oils and I am a very quick fan!  I can't believe how well they work for me and the boys.  I now use numerous oils for things, but I'll stick with the three that I'm using for this challenge today.  I'm using either Lemon oil or the Slim and Sassy blend in my water every day.  I love how this flavors my water while helping me feel healthier and more energetic.  I try to switch back and forth each day, but tend to use Slim and Sassy more often.  I was using these before this challenge.

The other oil I'm using now is peppermint.  I bought it when we had a stomach virus come thru the house but now I use it daily.  I rub it on the back of my neck before working out.  It helps with my breathing and also gives me a little energy kick.  Last weekend when I had my 3 hour Zumba training, I hit the wall around hour 2.  I rubbed some on my neck & was ready to go for the next hour.  Awesome!!

I had a great week of working out, but with all the extra Zumba and cooking/cleaning I was really sore Friday and Saturday.  I rested on Sunday even though I had planned to workout that day.  I felt my body needed the second rest day.  I think it worked as I am back to myself today.

Here's how the week looked:
Monday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba class
Tuesday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba class
Wednesday - Taught a 90 minute Zumba class
Thursday - Rest day (except for a ton of cooking and cleaning!)
Friday - Taught a 45 minute Zumba class, then took a 45 minute Zumba class.  Fun time team teaching with a great friend!
Saturday - Taught a 60 minute Zumba class
Sunday - Rest day

Weigh Ins:
11/24 - 216
12/1 - 219

 Up 3 lbs after eating pretty much all carbs all the time this weekend.  Not surprised at all.  Can you imagine how bad it would have been if I didn't do all that Zumba??