Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek Tweet Up! October 24, 2012

Tonight (or last night, as I write this) I attended The Fresh Market Sneak Peek Tweet Up for their new Roseville store. I was so excited to be invited, because it was my first blogging/media event! It was a great evening, learning more about the store, meeting other local bloggers (which I got to see Giselle again!) and vendors, as well as sampling some delicious goodies! The Fresh Market is an East Coast gourmet grocery store chain and the Roseville location is their first store on the West Coast. The store is located at 2030 Douglas Blvd. in the Rocky Ridge Town Center. It officially opens Oct. 24th at 9 a.m.

The Fresh Market originated in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1982. The store was founded with one objective: to bring family, friends, neighbors high quality products in a friendly and inviting environment with the highest level of customer service. Since they opened, they now have more than 125 stores in 24 states mainly in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions.

The moment you walk into the store, your eyes are mesmerized by the beautiful array of flowers in the floral department, followed by a pristine rainbow color assortment of produce. The store reminds me of a smaller and more personable version of the Nugget Market and Whole Foods. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer any questions that we had.

I just love all of the colors!

Such a perfect display!

Our tour started out in the produce section where most of the fruits and veggies are locally sourced within a 100 mile radius of the store,  following their awesome “100 miles or less” program. They have signs with the location, mileage and name of the farm (they had organic Fuji apples from my hometown!). When you look up above, they have signs that direct you to the specific region in California the produce is from. They also have produce from around the country and world, for those items that are not in season, but their main goal is to offer as many local fruits and veggies as possible. They offer organic and conventional produce. One thing that I noticed was the size of their organic produce; it was pretty much the same size as their regular ones. Most other stores’ organic produce is much smaller than their regular fruit and veggies.

From my hometown!

More signs, as part of their local 100 program!

Next, we headed to the cheese section and sampled a 24 month aged Parmesan cheese imported from Italy, which brought me back to memories living in Italy! They freshly grate and cut all of the Parmesan cheese in their store. They also feature 200 different cheeses to choose from and if you aren’t sure about something, they are more than welcome to let you sample before purchasing. You can select a cheese and have them cut it to amount you want. During the holidays, they are also going to offer baked brie!


After we learned about the cheeses they feature, we headed over to the candy section. As we approached the candy, I must say it was the largest bulk candy selection I have ever seen! They have every color and type of candy you could imagine, even ones that looked like legos! They also have chocolate covered walnuts, pecans and almonds, as well as chocolate peanut butter caramels! 🙂

I just love the colorful display!

Aren’t the jars cute?

My weakness!

Their bulk foods section was a decent size, not as big as others, but very unique in that they offer veggie chips, such as okra and green beans (something I haven’t seen before). They also offer three types of “make your own” nut butters from regular peanut, honey roasted peanut and almond. All you need to do is get a cup, press the button to grind the nuts and you have fresh nut butter of your choice!

Good variety in their bulk foods section!

Honey roasted peanut butter, YUM!

Next up was their deli counter and hot foods bar. They feature fresh Indian food daily from a local restaurant, as well as Chinese food and some seasonal dishes. They allowed us to help ourselves and take home a plate of Indian food. I was quite impressed; the ikka masala was excellent! In addition to the hot foods, they also have a salad bar, featuring four types of lettuce and all kinds of fixings. In their deli, they offer twelve different salads, packaged salads to-go, fresh whole rotisserie chickens and chicken breasts.

Fresh and delicious!

Next to the deli counter was their large meat and seafood counter. They feature fresh (never frozen) and cut-to-order meat and seafood. Their seafood is locally sourced from San Francisco and most of their beef comes from the Mid-West (where most grocery stores buy their meat). They have a natural section of beef, but it is still corn-feed. They currently don’t offer any grass-fed beef, but are thinking about adding it in the future.

Speaking of beef, we watched one of their chef’s prepare a steak in a nonstick pan with some wine and blue cheese. Sine I’m not a blue cheese fan, I was a little unsure of how it was going to taste, but it was excellent! The steak was perfectly tender, rich in flavor and had a hint of sweetness from the cheese. I am definitely going to keep this in mind for when we have steak!

After sampling the steak, we headed over to the bakery. My mouth was salivating just looking at all of the delectable desserts! They offer cupcakes, whoopie pies (even pumpkin ones!), pastries, custom cakes, as well as fresh baked bread daily, including small quick breads, such as zucchini, pumpkin and banana nut (two loaves for $5.00!).

So decadent!

Pumpkin whoopie pies, YUM!!

Lots of different freshly baked quick breads to choose from!

As we made our way to the dairy section, I noticed it was a little smaller than other stores, but it was packed with several different brands. They offer organic and dairy alternatives (soy, almond, coconut and goat milk) for all of their milk and yogurt products.

Lots of different flavors and types of yogurt!

Last, but certainly not least, we made our way to the wine and beer department. Though their section is slightly smaller than other stores, they have a great variety of international and local wines, as well as a lot of craft beers. The best part about their beer selection is that you can mix and match, creating your own six-pack for $8.99! Most other stores don’t allow you to create your own six-pack, so I was excited to see The Fresh Market offering it! I can’t wait to bring my husband so we can create our own six-pack, since we always love to try different beers! Also, they have someone staffed in the wine and beer department daily to help provide suggestions or answer any questions that you may have.

Wine and more wine!

Mix and match!

In addition to taking a tour, we got to meet some local vendors and sample some of their products that are featured in the store.  We first tried some of the best toffee I have ever eaten from Toffee Boutique, which is located in the Sacramento area. Lisa, the owner, was very friendly and offered us some generously sized samples. I look forward to having my husband try some of her toffee!

Another local vendor that was present tonight was Snow’s Citrus Court. They are a family owned business that operates a citrus grove in Newcastle. They have a variety of products from mandarin orange syrup, marinade, salad dressing, oil, sauce, fruit spread and chocolate sauce. We got to taste their fruit spread, which was excellent on top of brie, and some of their chocolate sauce. I’m not a huge fan of orange paired with chocolate, so I didn’t care for their sauce.

The fruit spread with brie was a perfect combo!

The last vendor we got to meet was The Chef in Black, that makes salad dressing, marinades and dips. Dorene Humason, the owner, was featured on NBC’s “Shark Tank,” which helped kick-start her business. We were able to sample some of their salad dressing, which was good! Unfortunately, they ran out of their dip, so I couldn’t try it. 😦

A great salad dressing (or could be used as a marinade)!

Some other cool things about The Fresh Market is that they offer free cooking classes once a month, as well as a monthly publication called, “Inspirations,” that contains recipes, meal ideas, tips and tricks. They also have over 1,000 in-house products, including pumpkin cider (which was SOOO tasty!) and pumpkin spice almonds! In addition, they offer gift baskets for that special occasion where you need to bring a gift to an event or holiday gathering.

Pumpkin cider, yes please!

Soooo good!

Beautiful gift baskets!

All, in all, The Fresh Market is a fantastic store, featuring local produce and products, having superb customer service, and best of all, being competitive in its’ prices (lower than other local gourmet grocery stores!). I highly recommend checking out the store if you live in the Sacramento area. Since the grand opening is tomorrow (well, today, as I write this), they will have tastings throughout their store all week. I can’t wait to go back and shop there!

Since I had so much to say about The Fresh Market, I’ll post about our awesome roasted beet salad we had for dinner last night (well, on Monday night, since it is so late) later, as well as my PR (personal best) on power cleans! It is WAY past my bed time, so good night! As you can see, I still need to work on my sleep…

Questions: What are some of your favorite grocery stores? When you grocery shop, do you stick to your list, or do you tend to venture off and buy new items? I love the Nugget, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now, The Fresh Market. With our budget, I stick to my list, but when I shop in a specialty grocery store, I tend to venture off of my list to try new things!


TGIF and At Home Date Night! October 6, 2012

Happy Friday! It has been another long week, so I’m ready for the weekend! Though, it is going to be another busy weekend, it will be nice to have some family time. Tonight, we are having our “at home date night” after Keenan goes to bed and finally catching-up on all of our TV shows that we missed this week. On the menu for tonight is spaghetti squash tomato bake with chicken (since I didn’t have any ground turkey) paired with a nice bottle of Chianti. I’m also thinking of making a microwave cookie for dessert that I saw on Kristen’s blog! It looked pretty tasty!

Oh, before I go into more about our day, I thought I would give a recap of last night’s dinner experiment/creation. It was a hit! It is definitely something I’ll be making again! The chicken was super moist and the black beans combined with the onion, bell peppers and salsa made a “pseudo chili!” Although, it turned out more like soup, it was still delicious and Keenan REALLY loved it! He sucked down his plate in minutes! I just love crock pot meals, because you can truly toss everything in, let it cook and forget about it (even frozen chicken!)! I’ll definitely be doing more crock pot meals, especially as the weather gets colder. Here is my recipe:

Mexican Chicken in the Crock Pot…so good!

Mexican Chicken in the Crock Pot: (serves 3)


-3 frozen chicken thighs

– 1 can of black beans

– 1 red bell pepper (diced)

– 1 green bell pepper (diced)

– 1 onion (diced)

– 1 cup of salsa

– 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

– 1 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp pepper

– 1 tsp garlic no-salt seasonin

– 1 tsp oregano

– pinch of salt


1. Place frozen chicken on the bottom of the crock pot. Meanwhile, mix black beans, bell peppers, onion, salsa and spices in a small bowl.

2. Place bean mixture on top of chicken. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

3. Once the cooking is complete, put your crock pot on warm and place the yogurt or sour cream on top. Let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Notes: If your salsa is too watery (like the salsa that I used), drain before mixing it with your bean mixture, to prevent your meal from turning into a soup. Top your dish with slices of avocado and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and your meal is complete!

After Keenan went to bed last night, my husband and I enjoyed a glass of  Samuel Adam’s Imperial White while we watched “Up All Night,” before heading to bed. It was the first time I had the Imperial White and it was good. I definitely recommend it!

I was surprised at how good this was!

Speaking of going to bed, my husband and I got to bed early last night, by 10:30! It felt good to go to bed early. I’m hoping to do the same tonight…sticking to my goal one day at a time!

This morning when I got Keenan up, he immediately asked me to go in his crib to read books and go “sleepy sleep.” He thinks it is SO fun to have my husband and I in his crib…it is too cute! So, we read a few stories in his crib before getting changed and heading downstairs for breakfast. Since I went to the morning CrossFit class, we ate a simple breakfast of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and banana slices. Of course, I also enjoyed a latte! As you can see, Keenan was thrilled to have peanut butter for breakfast this morning!

Enjoying his peanut butter!

My yummy breakfast this morning!

Speaking of CrossFit, we did a great partner WOD of: 100 sumo deadlifts, 50 sumo high pulls with a 50 lb kettlebell, 100 ring dips and 50 push presses (95 lb). The time cap was 25 minutes and my partner and I were able to finish in 20 minutes (using a band for our ring dips). It wasn’t too bad, but my left shoulder has been bothering me since Wednesday, so after today’s workout, it is definitely sore! Lots of ice and stretching for me!

After CrossFit, I took Keenan to get a haircut, since his hair was getting long and shaggy. The moment I told him we were going to get his haircut, he started crying and saying, “no haircut Keenan!” He was completely scared to even walk into the haircut place (even though he got his hair cut there before). So, after talking with him and offering a small treat of chocolate milk and a sticker book if he was a big boy and didn’t cry while getting his haircut, he was fine. He even smiled while getting his haircut and gave the lady a high-five! I know, I shouldn’t offer bribes, but sometimes it is the only thing that works!

Look who got a haircut!

After Keenan’s haircut, we stopped at the store and Keenan was SUPER excited to pick out his chocolate milk! Unfortunately, they didn’t have sticker books, so I’ll have to get that another time. When we got home, I made lunch: a turkey and cheese sandwich with avocado for Keenan and microwaved egg whites topped with tomato, avocado and salsa, with a side of baby carrots for me. After Keenan finished his lunch, he enjoyed his glass of chocolate milk! He was SO excited to drink it!

Since I went to CrossFit this morning, Keenan and I headed to the park to play a bit after he woke up from his nap. I definitely prefer going to the park in the morning because it was completely crowded with older kids this afternoon!

Well, I’m off for a little bit of “piano time” with Keenan before his dinner and then it’s date night! I can’t wait for our spaghetti squash tomato bake and some wine! Doesn’t it look good and it is not even baked yet?

This should be good!

Question: What is on your menu tonight? Any fun plans for the weekend? We are heading to our local farmer’s market tomorrow morning and then to a birthday party in the afternoon, followed by a charity event in my hometown. I’m hoping to have some time to relax on Sunday and maybe do some pruning/weeding in our backyard.


Health Lessons Learned Lately: “We eat our way, the way that works for us” September 14, 2012

Loving his sweet potatoes!

Today, I am linking up with Healthy Living Blogs, as the theme for the month of September is “Health Lessons Learned Lately.”

Fact: With the food we eat serving as fuel for our bodies, it’s important that we properly fuel ourselves for our daily activities. Fact: Everyone is different.

I’ve noticed that some people feel the need to drastically change their diets and dive into a whole new way of eating, when they want to make positive changes in their overall health. Yes, if you’re only eating fried chicken wings and drinking milkshakes during every meal of every day, not too many people will deny that drastic changes in your diet will benefit you mentally and physically. A balanced diet comprised of fresh, whole foods doesn’t seem like it should really be altered, though. Most Americans simply eat too much, so changing how much you eat might make more of a difference than what you eat, if you’re already trying to eat a healthy diet.

Some ways of eating advocate very drastic changes, and others dictate specific food groups to be avoided. It seems that the Paleo way of eating (or diet) is a hot topic these days, or has been for a while, now. In the CrossFit box that I work out in, there are a lot of people eating Paleo. Many people have experienced significant changes, such as losing weight, gaining more lean muscle and improving their performance. But the question that I ask is: Could someone experience the same results by just eating “clean,” i.e. by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods (little to no processed food), lean meats, nuts, whole grains, dairy, healthy fats and practicing mindful eating? Though I am not a medical professional or Registered Dietician, my knee-jerk answer is, “Yes!”

By cutting out whole food groups, of course it will be easier for someone to lose weight, but is it necessarily healthy or sustainable for a lifetime? How do you make sure your body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it needs if you are cutting out food groups? In addition, once your body consumes the foods that it hasn’t had in a long time, what happens? You might find your weight slowly creeping up or your body can no longer handle/digest the food as it did before.

I am a firm believer and advocate of adopting healthy eating habits that will last lifetime. When I was working as a Health Educator in physician’s offices, many patients would ask me to provide them with a list of foods that they could no longer eat and/or a specific meal plan. In addition to it being out of my scope of practice–since I am not a Registered Dietician–I would never provide anyone with a list of what they can’t eat or a set meal plan, because it is not practical in real life. In life, we are faced with eating out, dinner parties, holidays, meetings with catered food, cooking for a family, etc, so how can you eat Paleo or any other diet 100% of the time?

As I have met more and more people following “set diets,” and achieving results, I have learned that I need to do what is best for me, my body and my family. I have achieved my own results with practicing mindful eating and listening to the needs of my body (eating when I am hungry and stopping when I am full) and witnessed even greater results in my husband: My husband lost 23 pounds since he started CrossFit in January of this year, while he also ate healthier, practiced mindful eating and cut back on his portions (he used to go for “fourths”… no joke). For myself, I have put on more lean muscle and have more muscle definition, while maintaining my weight pretty consistently over the past two years. We eat “clean” by rarely eating any processed foods, except for Kashi cereal and a few pita or tortilla chips every once in a while (like special occasions when we have company over, or are on vacation). We still indulge in dessert every now and then (usually allowing ourselves one splurge a week) and drink alcohol (wine and beer). It is something that works for us, makes our bodies feel good and–most importantly–we are able to sustain it. When we travel and splurge WAY too much, such as the cupcakes last weekend, we cut back as soon as we get home by eating salads or lean protein, veggies and fruit for the first few days (until our bodies get back on track). It is a give-and-take and I like to say we eat healthy 90% of the time and allow ourselves to eat “not so healthy,” i.e. ice cream, cupcakes, gelato, french fries, milkshakes 10% of the time.

In the end, my most important lesson learned is listening to the needs of my body, not someone else, as they don’t lead my life. I eat to maintain my health, while still fueling my body for intense workouts. If someone is mainly sedentary, their daily nutritional needs are much different than someone who is working out every day–let alone an athlete! Find what works for you and your family. If you can sustain a “set diet,” then more power to you! Maybe your entire family is eating Paleo, so at family functions, you don’t have to worry about what you can and cannot make or eat. For me, it just doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I love to bake with almond flour these days (more often than whole wheat flour), because of the nutrition that it packs, or even sweet potatoes. At times, we do eat meals that consist of just lean protein and veggies, but we don’t limit ourselves to only eating a certain way. We eat our way, the way that works for us.

Speaking of eating, here is the recipe for the spaghetti squash tomato bake with added turkey, that I promised:

Spaghetti Squash Tomato Bake with Ground Turkey: (Adapted from Roni at Green Lite Bites)


– 1 medium spaghetti squash (cooked) *I cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, fill the inside with a 1/2 cup water and put the top half back on and microwave (covered) for 10 minutes.

– 2 large tomatoes sliced

– 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)

– 2 lbs. ground turkey

– 1 onion (diced)

– 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

– 1 clove garlic (minced)

– 2 Tbs olive oil

– Italian seasoning

-garlic (no-salt) seasoning *I use one from Costco

– salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 11 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

2. Caramelize onion and garlic in large pan and add turkey. Cook until turkey is browned.

3. Spread about one cup of spaghetti squash in the bottom of the casserole dish (using a fork to scoop out the flesh).

4. Add a layer of turkey on top of the squash (enough to cover it, but not too much, saving enough for a second layer).

5. Add six tomato slices over the turkey. Sprinkle with basil and spices.

6. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the tomato slices.

7. Repeat the layers: squash, turkey, tomato slices, basil, spices and cheese.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (until the cheese is browned and bubbly on top).

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before we cut into it!

*Notes: You might need to add one more layer, if you have a large spaghetti squash, thus increasing the amount of the other ingredients. The turkey makes this casserole pretty thick, which was good! I love the added turkey this time, because it added a ton more flavor and protein, making this a one-pot meal!

Enjoying his pancake with pumpkin butter!

Well, today was “cleaning day” at our household, so after eating breakfast (something different this time…toasted pancakes with a spoonful of Fage 0% Greek yogurt for me and pumpkin butter for Keenan, in addition to slices of strawberries and a banana with a latte!) and prepping tonight’s dinner: turkey meatloaf in a crock pot with roasted sweet potatoes (I set my oven for a delay start) and sauteed kale with a red bell pepper (I washed and chopped everything, so it was ready to cook when we got home from the gym), Keenan and I cleaned house. Today, he wasn’t into helping me as he usually is, but he definitely wanted to vacuum and mop! We finished everything in time for CrossFit!

My breakfast…it is becoming one of my new favorites!

“Helping” me prep dinner!

Well, it’s late and I’m exhausted after a busy day and a hard workout tonight: 5 rounds of 15 hanging power snatches (women weight: 75 lbs), 30 air squats and an alley carry of 35 pounds (weight for the women) with a 30 minute time cap. I tore my hand while doing chest-to-bar pullups on Tuesday, so I had some issues with my grip today, thus slowing me down. I was halfway done on the last alley carry (my 5th round) when the timer hit 30 minutes, ugh! Have a good night!

Oh, don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post , if you would like to be entered in the Sweaty Bands Giveway! The contest ends at noon PST tomorrow!


Recap of our weekend Part 1 and Gelati Pazzo Marco Review September 11, 2012

Well, it is back to the grind (and back to our normal, healthy eating habits and regular exercise) at our household today! We had a great time in Gualala and at my cousin’s wedding this past Satuday, as well as visiting my uncle yesterday, but it is nice to be back home. Though I’m not ready to face reality, it is nice to sleep in my own bed! I am a creature of routine, so it was nice to get back into it today. Are you a creature of routine? How do you get back on track after being on vacation?

Keenan had music class this morning, so we had to be up and out of the house quickly. Since we were all SO tired from staying up late and not sleeping well over the weekend, Keenan woke up at 8:50 a.m.!! It felt wonderful to be able to sleep in this morning because our bodies needed it! Since Keenan’s class was at 10:00 and it takes a good 20 minute drive, we ate a quick breakfast of toasted pancakes with peanut butter and honey. My lovely husband made me a latte to go, so I could drink it on the drive. After class, we went to the grocery store to stock up for the week (since we hardly had any food in our fridge).

After we got home, we had lunch: Our “usual” breakfast–since we hadn’t had yogurt in a while–with peaches, flax seed and Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal. Keenan was so wired (and tired) from  a lack of sleep over the weekend, he thought everything was funny! He kept saying, “That funny!”

After Keenan’s nap, we headed to CrossFit for a MUCH NEEDED workout! I was looking forward to a gruelling WOD, because I need to burn off all of the calories I consumed over the past 5 days! Today’s WOD was 7 rounds for time (12 minute time cap) of 10 kettlebell swings (35 lb for women) and 10 ring dips, rest 3 minutes and do as many burpees as you can in 90 seconds. It was short, but certainly sweet!

Well, onto a recap of our weekend (Part 1) and review of the Gelateria, Gelati Pazzo Marco, that we visited on Friday, while we were in Gualala:

I know I said this in Friday’s post, but WOW! I was so impressed with Gelati Pazzo Marco’s gelato, and owners (very friendly and accommodating)! The texture and creaminess of the gelato was exactly what I had while I lived in Italy! Most other gelato that I have tried in the States has a great flavor, but lacks the texture and creaminess that you find in Itay. Gelati Pazzo Marco is a micro-gelateria (making small batches of gelato) in Gualala, California. Marco Moramarco and Paolo Vierra moved to Gualala, leaving the corporate world in San Francisco to do something that they were passionate about, leading a slower pace of life, thus making gelato. Marco studied the art of gelato making in Bologna, Italy and worked in a gelataria, before starting Gelati Pazzo Marco. Most of their equipment is imported from Italy, and they make all of their gelato from SCRATCH, and use all natural, organic ingredients, unlike many other gelaterias in the states that use a pre-made base. Since they make their gelato from scratch, they are a USDA licensed milk handling facility, thus they can make anything with milk, including cheese (something that they are working on for the future). They purchase their milk from Walter Stornetta Ranch, a local dairy a few miles up the road from them; in fact, Marco and Paolo pick up the milk themselves in the stainless steel jugs below.

Gelati Pazzo Marco Gelateria: All of their gelato is made in this small building.

After they get the milk, they pasteurize it. Once it is pasteurized, they place it into a cooling machine to bring the temperature of the milk down to 39 degrees quickly, so they can mix in the other ingredients (sugar and any other flavoring, etc). Depending on what flavor they are making, they mix in the rest of the ingredients and let the gelato sit for 24 hours (so the flavors meld together) before pouring it into the freezing machine.

The jugs that they use to collect milk from the dairy.

A view of the machine that pasteurizes the milk (cylinder in the corner) and the chilling machine (rectangle to the right).

Once the gelato is in the freezing machine, it mixes in there until it’s ready.

Taking the gelato out of the freezing machine.

After it is done, they take the gelato out and store in the freezer for 24 hours before packaging it.

Paolo packaging the gelato!

We were very fortunate to taste about a half a dozen delicious flavors! We tried some of their sorbetto (non-dairy) flavors, such as plum-apple, peach and blood orange, which were amazing! We also sampled their regular gelato flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, hazelnut and mint stracciatella. All of the flavors we sampled were excellent…perfect texture, creaminess and richness. It is now three days later and I can still taste the different flavors in my mouth, in fact, my mouth is salivating just thinking about it, again! I wish we lived closer, because I would be a regular customer! Anyhow, I HIGHLY recommend trying some of Gelati Pazzo Marco’s gelato, if you are ever visiting the North Coast, or traveling through Gualala!! You can find their gelato at a couple of local stores, Trinks Cafe or at Surf Super Market (both serve cones or cups), or you can purchase a small container to go.


On Saturday, we headed to Healdsburg for my cousin’s wedding. Before we went to the hotel to get dressed, we stopped at a little cupcake shop for a little snack and a coffee (my husband and I desperately needed a little pick-me-up). We ended up getting three cupcakes, because they looked SO good! My cappuccino and my husband’s macchiato were probably some of the best (if not THE best) espresso we both have ever had! Anyhow, look for my review/write-up of the cupcake shop for my next post!

Once we got dressed we headed to the wedding, which was outside, in a small courtyard, next to Bear Republic Brewery. It was a lovely wedding and Keenan had so much fun dancing and playing with all of my little cousins! It was so cute to see the little boys take him under their wings and dance and play with him! Keenan enjoyed himself so much that he literally partied until he dropped (on my shoulder), around 10:00 p.m.! It was a wonderful evening and it was fun to see Keenan interact with everyone, especially dancing with Uncle E, Nonna and Avo! Poor thing, we didn’t get back to our hotel until 11:30 p.m., so Keenan was exhausted, to say the least! We had to be up fairly early to meet my uncle for church the next day, so we were all tired!

Having fun with Nonna and Avo at the wedding!

Playing with his cousins!

Dancing with Uncle E!

Such a tired boy!

Well, this is already getting to be a long post, so I’ll save the recap of the rest of our weekend for my next post! Have a great evening!


Relaxing by the Sea September 6, 2012

Filed under: Beer,Coffee,Family,Food — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 10:06 pm
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There is nothing better than waking up to the sounds and smell of the ocean! I just love the North Coast! Keenan slept until 7:30 this morning, so we were able to sleep in a bit! After a long day of driving yesterday, my husband and I were so tired, that we quickly ate dinner and went to bed (after putting Keenan to bed). We all woke-up refreshed this morning and ready to enjoy the coast!

For starters, my husband made us a nice breakfast: An egg, thick cut bacon and cheese sandwich with tomato and avocado on whole wheat bread. It was SO yummy!! Keenan practically ate his sandwich in less tan 5 minutes! In addition, we had lattes (we brought our french press with us) and we all shared a peach.I know I have said this before, but there is something very satisfying about eating a sandwich, burger or burrito with your hands? Maybe it is our primal instincts…I don’t know. Do you feel the same way when you eat food with your hands?   

Our delicious breakfast sandwich!

After breakfast, we relaxed a bit, played with Keenan and then went for a walk around town. Keenan picked up some rocks along the way and we stopped to take pictures!

Finding rocks!

Putting the rocks in his pockets!

Enjoying our walk!

We browsed in a few shops and I tried on a pair of TOM shoes that didn’t fit. I was bummed because I have been wanting a pair for a while, and this store had them for 50% off! While I was trying on shoes, Keenan wanted to wear my shoes! Doesn’t he look funny with my big shoe?

Wearing Mommy’s shoe!

After doing some more window shopping, we headed back to the house and I made Keenan lunch. I made him his favorite: A peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of milk. He was SO content and SO tired, too. He walked a lot, so I think we wore him out!

After Keenan’s nap, we are going to walk down to a little cafe called Trinks, that overlooks the ocean and serves local gelato. We promised Keenan an ice cream cone, so we are going to eat our cones while we watch the ocean! Since we are in “relax mode” today, I don’t think we will be heading down to the beach for a workout. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get a workout in!

Now, time for a little reading and relaxing with some beer! Enjoy the rest of your day!


On the road again…a mini vacation

Filed under: Beer,Coffee,CrossFit,Family,Fitness,Food — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 3:43 am
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Today, we are on the road again, headed to the North Coast for a few days before my cousin’s wedding on Saturday.  I am looking forward to escaping the heat and relaxing a bit! Since coming back from Alaska, we have been on the go, so it will be nice to have a mini vacation for a couple of days.

Since Keenan had a doctor’s appointment (his 2 year check-up) in Davis this morning, we had to pack-up and get out the door quickly. To get one last workout in (though, we are planning to do a workout on the beach either tomorrow or Friday), I got up bright and early to attend the 7:00 a.m. CrossFit class. After not working out in the morning for a long time (and going to bed late last night; I know, not early like I had wanted), it was hard for my body to get moving this morning. I felt like I was in slow motion! My body is certainly accustomed to working out in the afternoon!

Today’s WOD was: Three rounds of 25 pullups, 25 see the lights (women weight: 25 lb plate) and 25 box jumps with a 15 minute time cap. Prior to that, our skill was 70 hollow rocks, 30 bridge ups, 50 grasshoppers and 10 bridge ups. After yesterday’s workout, going to bed late and waking-up early this morning, my body was tired, to say the least! I’m glad I did it and got one last grueling WOD in!

Enjoying his breakfast this morning!

After I got back from the gym, we ate breakfast: the last of the oatmeal peach crisp with Greek yogurt and blackberries on top. My husband and I also had iced coffees, using his coffee concentrate. Before I forget, I had a small snack of half of a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter prior to going to CrossFit this morning.

My breakfast.

Keenan has to be cutting some more teeth because the past few days he was been unusually fussy, not sleeping as well (shorter naps) and getting upset over the littlest things. This morning, he wanted breakfast and then he didn’t want it. He wanted to drink water out of 3 cups, and immediately got upset when I told him he could only choose one cup. He also seems tired, overall.  Needless to say, I think (and hope) his recent behavior is due to teething since he is usually an easygoing child! How do you help your child and/ or children manage teething? Any tips or advice for making them feel better?

At Keenan’s doctor appointment, his Pediatrician (Dr. O) agreed that he is probably working on his 2nd year molars. So, teething it is, ugh! Poor little guy, he got his Hep A booster and a flu shot at his appointment, so in addition to his teeth, Keenan isn’t going to be feeling too well.

Enjoying his lunch!

After Keenan’s appointment, we ate our lunch that we packed (peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches with carrots and peaches), at Davis’s Central Park. After we were finished, Keenan played for a bit, before we got back in the car to get gas and run an errand prior to beginning our long road trip.

Playing in the park!

My husband had heard of this great beer shop in Davis, so of course, we stopped there to pick-up some unique beers to take with us. Keenan kept saying, “Keenan get the beer,” while we were in the store. He is definitely his Daddy’s son! 🙂

Well, after a LONG 4 hour drive (with a stop in Healdsburg for cupcakes!), we arrived in Gualala. Now, time to unpack, settle-in and eat dinner! Have a good night!


Cleaning…it is highly overrated July 27, 2012

After Keenan woke up this morning, he immediately took all of his animals (that he sleeps with every night) and sat with them on the rocking chair and “rocked!” It was too cute!

Well, today was cleaning day…big excitement (not really)! Cleaning house, oh how I despise you! Though, I love having a clean house and keeping things neat (my husband thinks I’m a little too neat at times), I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning it! Who does? Needless to say, it is something that has to get done, and someone has to do it! Having a dirty house drives me nuts, so I stick to a pretty strict schedule of every other week. One day of cleaning every other week isn’t too bad, but I still don’t care for it!

Fortunately, my mom came-up for a visit today, so she and Keenan played while I cleaned upstairs. Once Keenan went down for a nap, I cleaned downstairs. Without having Keenan around, it makes things go SO much faster! He loves to help me “dust” and vacuum, which is nice (because he learns to clean and take care of things), but it takes twice as long to get everything done! Do your children like to help you clean? If so, how do you involve them?

Aside from cleaning, today was a typical day. Keenan and I ate our “usual” breakfast and I enjoyed my latte, of course. For lunch, I made my mom and I turkey sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and avocado on a sandwich thin, spread with jalapeno yogurt dip from Costco, with baby carrots and a nectarine. Keenan had a turkey melt with avocado and nectarine on the side.

Once Keenan woke-up from his nap, we headed to CrossFit for another amazing and brutal workout (200 pushups with a 15 minute time cap and 30 snatches: women weight: 75 lbs/ men weight: 115 lbs with a 10 minute time cap). After class, I snacked on a few almonds and dried fruit, since I stayed to help coach the beginner’s class. It was great to see new faces and feel the energy of so many people wanting to improve their health and fitness levels. It was also great experience/practice, since I’m getting my CrossFit Level 1 Certification in a month. After obtaining my certification, I hope to start coaching a couple of classes!

When I got home, my husband I made dinner, which consisted of grilled chicken with grilled eggplant on the side, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of feta cheese. I complimented my dinner with a nice cold IPA from Stone Brewing Co.! After today’s workout, the beer tasted SO good! Sorry, yet again, I failed to take a picture of our dinner. I guess I enjoyed it a little too much!

Tomorrow is full of last minute errands before we pack and head to Alaska on Monday! Have a good night!


Home Sweet Home July 23, 2012

Such a tired boy!

We got home late Saturday night, around 10:30 p.m. Keenan was SO tired. He fell asleep on the way home, around 9:00 p.m. and then woke-up after an hour, crying and saying, “Keenan all done!” Poor little guy, he just wanted to get out of the car and be in his crib. The drive back was the LONGEST drive we have ever taken! There was so much traffic on the road, it was ridiculous, thus making the drive even longer. Needless to say, we were all glad to be home (though, not for long, since we leave for Alaska next Monday).

Yesterday, we spent the day unpacking, cleaning out the car, doing laundry, getting groceries, working on Keenan’s birthday invites (which I’ll post about later this week) and catching up on sleep, since we were all so tired. Keenan slept till 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning and still took a 3 hour nap!

Keenan is still catching up on his sleep because he slept till 9:15 a.m. today, sleeping for over 13 hours! So far, he has been napping for over 2 hours! We are putting him to bed on time tonight and hopefully, he will be back to his normal “schedule,” tomorrow (but, it sure is nice that he is sleeping in so late!).

As promised, here is a recap of our trip:

Beach: Our house was 7 blocks from the beach, so we tried to go to the beach as much as possible, which ended up being every other day. Our beach days were our “relaxation days,” after a busy day of site-seeing the day before. Our house was on a hill, so the walk to and from the beach was a great workout, especially pushing Keenan in his stroller with all of our beach gear (thank goodness for our BOB!). Keenan and his cousin loved playing in the sand and building sand castles. Keenan loved getting more water in his bucket with my dad and “jumping the waves!”

Having fun “jumping the waves” with Nonna and Avo!

Keenan and his cousin after a morning of playing on the beach…they were tired!

Sea World: The day after we arrived, we headed to Sea World. It changed SO much since I was there 15 years ago! The park now has roller coasters and water rides (my dad, brother, husband and me managed to squeeze in a ride on the Manta, which was fun!). We saw all of the shows and I think I enjoyed watching Keenan’s reaction to seeing dolphins, whales and sea lions for the first time, more than the actual shows! He was mesmerized! We also watched a Sesame Street show and Keenan and his cousin got to meet Elmo, Abby and Cookie Monster. I wasn’t sure how Keenan was going to react, but all he wanted to do was “hug Elmo!” I had to hold onto him during the entire show because he kept wanting to climb-up on stage to see Elmo. After the show, we stood in line and Keenan and his cousin got to take pictures with all of the characters. When it was our turn, Keenan ran to Elmo and gave him a big hug; it was adorable! Since he was so enamored with Elmo, we had to get him a little Elmo doll and Elmo sandals, which he loved (he sleeps with Elmo every night and hasn’t wanted to wear any other shoes, but his Elmo ones!).

The Shamu show!

Keenan was SO happy that he got to meet Elmo!

USS Midway: After a “relaxation day” at the beach, we headed to the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier that has been turned into an aviation museum. It was incredible! We learned so much. It was especially interesting, since my dad was a Naval Officer and lived on a similar ship (though a lot smaller) many years ago.  The Midway provided me a glimpse of what life was like for my dad (something he hasn’t talked much about). In addition, Keenan enjoyed seeing and sitting in all of the airplanes and helicopters!

Standing in front of the “Top Gun” plane.

Zoo: On our last day in San Diego, we went to the Zoo. It has also changed so much from when I was there 15 years ago; there are so many more animals to see! Like Sea World, I couldn’t wait to see Keenan’s reaction to all of the animals, since this was his first time going to a Zoo. He was mesmerized by the Elephants, Kangaroos, Giraffes and especially the Polar Bears (we saw one sitting-up and eating a carrot!). But, the highlight of the day was the petting zoo, where Keenan and his cousin were able to pet sheep and goats. Keenan was in awe; he loved petting the goats and giving them hugs. I think we stayed there for at least 30 minutes, because Keenan and his cousin did not want to leave!

Petting the goats at the Zoo.

“Hugging” the goats!

Our Eats: Since we stayed in a house, we cooked every night, to make things easier and to save money. It’s hard (and expensive) for a family of 8 to eat out every night. For all of our family vacations, my mom usually takes the lead to cook most nights. But, we made sure to give her a break and cooked every night during this trip. During the day on our “relaxation days” we made sandwiches for lunch and when we were out and about, we dined out. My husband and I went to Costco and Trader Joe’s to stock-up on groceries, once we arrived in San Diego. We planned most of the week’s menus, except for a couple of nights that my brother and sister-in-law cooked. We made roast chicken with roasted broccoli mixed with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, pork loin with roasted cauliflower, fish tacos, burgers with oven-baked zucchini fries and an antipasti picnic night. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the food we made!

Keenan enjoying an ice cream cone after visiting the USS Midway, thanks to Nonna and Avo!

Beer: My husband’s favorite brewery is Stone Brewing Co. (which is located near San Diego), so we had to visit. We tasted almost all of their beers and my favorites were the Smoked Porter, Levitation Ale and Ruination IPA! The brewery is huge. It’s out in the middle of of an industrial park, but their restaurant and outside patio (where we sat) was quite nice and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting their brewery if you are ever in the area, or at least trying some of their beers (you can find them at BevMo or some grocery stores).

The lineup that we tasted at Stone Brewing Co.

Coffee: We brought our french press, grinder and some coffee beans, so we were able to make fresh coffee everyday. But, since we were in Southern California, my husband and I made sure to stop at as many Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf  shops as possible. They only have one shop in Northern California, in San Francisco, so anytime we are down south, we take advantage of them! Our favorite drink is their Carmel Blended! It is probably the best frozen coffee drink I have ever had! They make it with the toddy and add their non-fat vanilla powder, caramel and ice. It is creamy and not overly sweet. Again, I didn’t manage to take a picture of any of the ones we had, sorry!

It is time to get back to reality and head to CrossFit this afternoon (my goal is to workout 6 days this week, to maximize my time before we leave for Alaska next week) and start getting ready for our next trip. I have lots of errands to run this week, as well as things to do, such as cleaning the house (I’m not looking forward to it, but it needs it!).

What are your plans for the week? What kinds of things do you do to get ready for a trip?


Goodbye, San Diego! July 21, 2012

Keenan wiped-out after a fun, but long day at Sea World.

All things good must come to an end (unfortunately). We are packing-up and getting ready to leave San Diego bright and early tomorrow morning. It is going to be a LONG drive home, around 8 hours or so, UGH! Even though I’m sad to leave, I’m looking forward to being home, getting back into my routine and working out (I need to after all of the yummy goodies we ate this past week!)! I miss CrossFit!

The week went by WAY too fast. I could have easily spent another week here; it’s so beautiful and we all had so much fun! We definitely kept busy: going to the beach, Sea World, the Zoo, USS Midway and even tasting beer at Stone Brewing Co. (one of my new favorite beers is their Levitation Ale!). It was a perfect balance of activity and relaxation; I just wish we had a few more days! It was so nice to spend quality time together as a family. Keenan and his cousin had so much fun together, they were practically joined at the hip! 

Well, it’s time to get some sleep, so we are rested for the long drive tomorrow. I will post a full re-cap of our week, once we are home! Night!


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