Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Last Couple Weeks

Wow!  It has been so busy around here!  I kind of thought that when school started and we were in a routine that things would be a little more calmer.  A little more sane....well, nope!

I started my Jillian Michaels over again....ready for another 90 days of this challenge.  I'm loving that while doing the first couple weeks I feel so much stronger than the first time I did this challenge.  I love how much stronger I am feeling.  I really do like this program. So much that this is the third time I have done this program.  But the really nice thing about it (besides the fact that it is just 30 minutes a day) is the variety.  I have not been doing the cardio workouts because I have been running, so I just have the strength workouts, which I really like.  I will be doing a full 90 day before and after of inches and pounds lost.

I've been running 4 times a week, following the plan laid out for me by my TNT coach.  She's been great at working with me to meet my goals for the Tinker Bell half marathon in January, while also taking into account the half marathons that I have planned for this fall.

Speaking of half marathons this fall, I have two more coming up.  The first one is in less than two weeks!  I'm very excited to be running in the Inaugural Crawlin Crab Half Marathon on October 7.  I'm loving the cool, fall weather that we are starting to have in Virginia.  I am hoping that we are in for a great race in a couple weeks.  Next up will be Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I'm really looking forward to being back at Disney to run, and this will be my first nighttime race.

I've been back to meal planning, which has been so helpful with helping me keep a little more balance in our busy schedule.  So far we've been pretty good at following a plan.  I have to say- I love how much easier our evenings seem to be when we have a plan.  And I am finding that my crock pot has become a permanent addition to my countertop- I've been using that most- I love being able to fix it and forget it!  Last nights Crock Pot Chicken and Rice was another big success.  I'm really lucky, my kiddos love broccoli, so I can pretty much make that our side vegetable every night and they'll eat it up. But, when I try out new ways to cook chicken, it can go either way.  This one they liked- the littlest one especially loved the rice part!

Other news- my great pal at Run Find your Happy Pace and I decided to start our own business Running Happy.  We make non-slip headbands and also extremely adorable runner decals!  Stay tuned for more....and if there is something you'd like to see us carry, suggestions are welcome :)

So, the kiddos and I are finding our balance again amidst school schedules, after school activities, homework, running, JMBR, and meal planning.  I am still working on what seems to be my best weekly schedule so that I can use my time wisely and not end up just wasting it....those 12 hours to myself a week really go by fast!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

This week we have another pretty busy week.  I'm trying out 2 new crock pot meals in hopes that we have some new crockpot meals to add to our growing list of crock pot meals.  I'm finding that it is so much easier to cook using my crock pot throughout the week instead of having to find the time to cook meals between getting home from school, homework, and other afternoon activities.

Monday- Crock Pot Chicken and Rice from Sparkpeople
Tuesday- Firehouse Subs
Wednesday- We have a birthday party to go to this afternoon and evening.
Thursday- Crock Pot Salsa Chicken from Sparkpeople 
Friday- Pizza/movie night
Saturday-Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole from SkinnyTaste.  We didn't have this one yesterday, so I'm sticking it on for the end of the week again.
Sunday- Leftover night

What's for dinner at your house this week?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crock Pot Potato Cheese Soup Review

This was another really easy one :) I'm really loving the ability to throw something in the crock pot and just dish it out when it comes to dinner time. I decided to serve this with broccoli, and I just put my broccoli in the soup as well. The only thing I'd change next time- I would make a half recipe. I've got leftovers to share, which is good, but I don't always eat leftovers. So with just me and the kiddos, I'm better off with less leftovers. This one is very kid friendly- two thumbs up all around ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

The past week has gone really well with meal planning.  It was very nice to have everything planned out and for the most part ready to go each night.  We've got a couple changes to our after school activities for the week, so a couple changes to the plan as well.  If these changes stick, I'll be looking for ideas of meals to take on the go for both me and the kiddos.

Monday:  Crock Pot Potato Cheese Soup from Sparkpeople.  This was on the menu over the weekend, but we didn't get to it since we were invited to dinner with friends.
Tuesday:  Trying out a new gymnastics class that will have us out later than normal, so I'm planning on taking dinner with us (or grabbing dinner from Subway, since it is just across the street)
Wednesday:  It's the littlest's 3rd birthday, so it's her choice.  My guess is she'll choose mac and cheese (and not the yummy homemade kind!) or Chick Fil A
Thursday: Late gymnastics again, same plan as Tuesday
Friday:  Pizza night
Saturday:  Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole  from SkinnyTaste  We've had this one before, and it was one that everyone liked.
Sunday:  Leftovers or dinner with friends

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicken Stroganoff Review

This one got 10 thumbs up!

I started the crock pot at 8 this morning and turned it down to "keep warm" when we left for gymnastics.  When we got home from gymnastics I made some whole wheat pasta and some broccoli to go along with the chicken.

This meal was met with much more enthusiasm than last nights.  Even though they ate the zucchini enchiladas, they were much happier with the chicken.  The sauce was really good, and I will definitely make it again!

I've been doing a little bribery about tomorrow's pizza night.  My oldest is working on following the rules of his new class at school.  He's had 3 out of 4 "green" days at school.  We made an agreement that if he got 4 out of 5 "green" days, that I would get them take out pizza instead of making our own.  So, only time will tell... and the next new recipe is Saturday :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zucchini Enchiladas Review

This was a really easy recipe to make. It all came together very quickly and the baking time was short as well. It is also one that could be made ahead and cooked later.

I really enjoyed the meal. My kids love refried beans, so I made that as a side for them as well as the quinoa mexican salad.

The kids were not too impressed. Three out of four ate it anyway- with the promise of yogurt for dessert. One is just not a fan of zucchini- even with cheese.

Tomorrow's meal also looks promising...at least to me :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

It's back!  I have a plan for this week!  I do so much better on a plan.  When I was really meal planning during the winter and spring, I found some great new recipes.  Now that I've started up again, I plan on trying to find (at least) one new recipe a week to try.  This week, I have three new recipes!  I've gotten some questions about what I have for breakfast and lunch....usually breakfast is a smoothie if it is after an early run.  Lunch most of the time is leftovers.  I also keep tuna on hand and salad stuff.  So, with those things in mind, here is the plan for the week:

Monday:  Picnic dinner with friends....I actually have a 31 party and the hostess decided to have it at a park so that kids would be able to play and have something fun to do while the moms shopped.
Tuesday:  Gymnastics night and also kids eat free at Firehouse Subs.  The kids asked to go last week and we didn't get to, so I promised we could go this week.
Wednesday:  Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas from Skinny Taste  New recipe that I am very interested to try.  I love mexican food and I am always looking for healthier alternatives to my favorites.  I'll be sure to post a review- especially the kids' reactions.
Thursday:  Chicken Stroganoff from Sparkpeople I'm looking for new healthy crock pot recipes now that we are back to school and gymnastics schedule.  This is another new one, hopefully it is a hit!
Friday:  Homemade pizza and salads.  Friday is usually our pizza and movie night, so for this one, I'm going to go with making our own.
Saturday:  Crock Pot Potato Cheese Soup from Sparkpeople  The last new one of the week.  Hopefully another good one.  I'd like to find a good variety of crockpot meals for this school year.
Sunday:  Leftover night

So, if all goes as planned, I'll have three new recipe reviews to post this week.  I hope they are good.  If you've come across any great healthy recipes, please share!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Race!

Registration is going strong!  We have almost 50 adults registered and about 25 children running the mini pumpkin mile!

Registration will close on September 23.... Details here:  The Great Pumpkin Race

Will Run For Sanity Bondi Band

When I was purchasing the "will run for cupcakes" and the pumpkin dot bondi bands, I decided to order a few extras to sell.  They have a "will run for sanity" bondi that I thought was perfect!  I bought a few extras and want to give you the opportunity to purchase one for a donation to LLS.  I've got three different colors, four of each.  These are first come, first serve.  If there is enough interest, I can order more, but I wanted to see how these would go first!  They will be $8 each, and I will pay for shipping.  If you are interested, please send an email to run.in.sanity@gmail.com with your color selection.  I will invoice you through paypal (or we can work out other payment options if you prefer!).  Thank you!

**At this time, I do not have any additional 'will run for cupcakes' bondi bands**

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hot, Humid, and Slow!

That was the story of the Rock n Roll Half Virginia Beach Half Marathon!  I'm happy I did it (now that it is done!), but it was a really rough half.  Not just for me.  I've been reading comments on RnR VB's Facebook page, and that seems to be the overall story.  I was very thankful for the overcast sky- the sun only peeked out for a few minutes, and you could definitely tell a difference in temperature during those few moments.

It all started with a 4:15 am wake up call, I've learned to lay out all my clothes the night before so that I don't forget anything, got dressed and then headed out to take all of the carseats out of my car so that I could fit all the adults in :)  It was then that I discovered the humidity was a bit suffocating.  I'd been watching the weather for the past week, so I knew it wasn't going to be a very 'nice' day for a half, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so humid for the start.

We got to the shuttle pick up point and then rode the shuttle over to the start line.  Took a few pictures, had a porta-potty stop, and then made our way to the start corrals.  As they were starting the corrals, the advice given to everyone was not to try to make this a PR race.  It was already that hot and humid.  I took that for what it was- great advice!

I started off with my sister and my friend.  We ran along for a while and eventually all fell into our own pace.  RnR races are usually very well organized, and for the most part, this one went off without many issues.  Only a couple stick out to me....the first water stop seemed behind in getting set up, so I did have to wait a bit for water there.  And the water stop at mile 5 was out of cups when I got there.  I heard they ran out of cups really early.   The course support didn't seem to be as good as last year- more people just standing and watching, not as much cheering.  That is, until I got to the neighborhoods- the locals were a bit more supportive.  Positives....I loved the wet sponge around mile 11, and really didn't mind running through some hoses that many friendly neighbors were providing.

All in all, it was a  good experience.  Definitely not my favorite half so far and not a new PR like I was hoping for.  But, training through this summer has proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated, so I had gone into this race not expecting a PR.  I am really looking forward to my next half The Crawlin Crab...in just 4 weeks :)  Maybe that'll be a new PR...

Just a few pictures:

My friend kelly from Ohio 
 Darlena from Run Find your Happy Pace
 Half Marathon #7
Kelly, sister Katie, Darlena, and I