Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Friday Favorites December 8, 2012

TGIF! Look where “Peanut” was this morning…sitting on top of our Advent Calendar! Keenan was very happy that she was not playing with his toys and back by the couch!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Enjoying the view from the Advent Calendar!

Anyhow, I’m glad it is Friday, but anxious about tomorrow: my first real CrossFit competition! I didn’t sleep well last night in anticipation for it and I know tonight isn’t going to be any different. I am going to go there tomorrow and do my best, give it 100% and have fun (at least try to!) At the end of the day, I know I will be glad that I competed, but I will also be VERY relieved! My husband and I are planning a special “at home date night” tomorrow night with a truffle brie cheese that we picked up at Costco, as a little reward for competing; I can’t wait!

On Sunday, I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing family day of finishing up our homemade Christmas gifts, baking and looking at Christmas lights in the Fab 40’s neighborhood of Sacramento (such a great place to look at lights!). I can’t wait to see Keenan’s reaction to all of the lights!

Since it is Friday, it is time for “Friday Favorites!” I love Fridays, because it is nice to look back on the week and think about all of the great things that happened and great things we ate! Don’t get me wrong, I love that Fridays also equal the end of a long week and the start of the weekend, too!

Favorite Moments:

  • Singing with Keenan in the car to the song, “Someone I Used to Know” at the top of our lungs! He loves that song so much that we have to play it at least twice when we are driving (if he had his way all the time, we would ONLY listen to that song!).
  • Watching Keenan find “Peanut” every morning and trying not to laugh when he gets so irritated that she is playing with his toys.
  • Playing with the box of baby wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

    Having fun with his empty box of wipes!

  • Dancing with my husband and Keenan to Christmas songs and playing “Ring Around the Roses!”

Favorite Eats:

Serious about his No Oat Oats and Coconut Whipped Cream!

  • Paleo Pancakes topped with Coconut Whipped Cream

    Such a yummy breakfast!

    Such a yummy breakfast!

  • Turkey Wraps

    Still one of my favorite things to have for lunch!

Keenan is waking up, so it is time to head outside for a walk while Keenan rides his trike and then some piano time playing Christmas songs! Have a great evening and weekend!

Questions: What were your favorite moments and/or eats from this week? Do you ever get so nervous for an event/race that you wonder why you signed up in the first place? How do you calm your nervous energy and tell yourself you will be fine prior to an event and/or race? I am a competitive person and have always loved competition, but every time before an event, I get SO nervous! Even though I know things will be okay in the end, I can’t stop feeling anxious.

REMINDER: There is still time to win a box of the BEST popcorn EVER!! Angie’s Popcorn giveaway ends next Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Click here to enter!

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Holiday Survival Guide and Angie’s Popcorn Review and Giveaway!! December 7, 2012

Guess who was hanging from the lights this morning? It took Keenan several minutes to find “Peanut!” I had to prompt him to look up because he kept looking all over for her and asking, “Mommy, where is she?” He looked on the couch, in the coat closet, under the TV stand, under the coffee table, by the Christmas tree and in his toy box before I told him to look up to the ceiling, where he found her! It was SO hard for me to keep a straight face!

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Anyhow, this morning was a pancake kind of morning! I made Paleo pancakes topped with leftover coconut whipped cream and strawberries; they were SO good! It was interesting, because usually I can eat three small-medium size Paleo pancakes, but with the coconut whipped cream, two pancakes filled me up! The healthy fats in the coconut made the pancakes very filling (in a good way!).

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Speaking of healthy fats, I have one more day and then it is competition time! I’m excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I feel ready as I will ever be, but as I’ve said before, I just want to get it over with! I think the hardest thing is not knowing what to expect. I’m looking forward to resting tomorrow and then putting my game face on for Saturday!

On another note, I recently read an article on Health.com about surviving the holidays, which made me think about how I am managing my stress and keeping up with healthy habits (nutrition and exercise) throughout this holiday season. Since there are only two and a half weeks left until Christmas and still so much to do (at least for me!), I thought it would be good to put together my own little Holiday Survival Guide with tips on how to manage holiday stress, since I already put together a list of Healthy Holiday Eating Tips.

  • Keep up with your healthy eating habits. With so many parties to attend and things to do during this time of year, it is easy to slack off and eat more fast, processed and convenient foods or eat one too many desserts at your friend’s holiday party, especially if you are stressed (hello emotional eating!). Keep in mind that having good nutrition helps your body manage stress better. A properly fueled body can help keep your immune system strong (stress suppresses your immune system) and allow it to continue functioning at its prime to get everything checked off your to-do list! Also, by sticking to your healthy habits, you are less likely to gain those additional holiday pounds!
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is so vital to keeping your energy levels high throughout the day, in addition to keeping you in a good mood. When we are tired, we more likely to feel irritable/ cranky and also crave sugar and caffeine to provide us with energy. By going to bed at a decent time each night and giving your body adequate rest, you are more likely to manage your stress better, have more energy, thus feeling better overall and keeping up with your healthy habits of good nutrition and exercise.
  • Stay active. With so many things to do during the holiday season, exercise can be put on the back burner. Instead of making excuses of not being able to exercise, make time for it by scheduling it into your day. Take some time on your lunch break to go for a walk or workout at your gym. Or, get up early before your kids wake-up to fit in a quick workout. Even better, involve your kids by taking them on a jog or walk to the park. The more you move, the better you will feel, both mentally and physically!
  • Breathe. When we are stressed, our breathing tends to be more shallow, taking less deep breaths. Take a few minutes to stop what you are doing and take three deep breaths. When I take time to breathe, I automatically feel better, even when I am extremely stressed. Breathing allows me to focus on my breath, relaxing my body, so I am better able to finish what needs to get done (feeling less overwhelmed).
  • Enjoy every moment. Most importantly, enjoy the special time of the holidays, cherishing each moment with your family and friends. It is such a magical time, so take time to really have fun and appreciate all the moments you get to spend with your loved ones!

Now onto Angie’s Popcorn!

Angie’s Popcorn generously sent me a box of their popcorn to try a few weeks ago. I had seen their Boom Chicka Pop popcorn in stores, but hadn’t tried it, so I was super excited when I received my box! Popcorn is one of my favorite snack foods, especially Kettle Corn, the kind that is freshly made in front of you at a street fair or festival. In fact, my family and friends would probably call me a “popcorn fanatic,” because I love it so much!

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Angie’s prides itself in making small-batch kettle corn and popcorn. They only use a few ingredients and pop it fresh, batch by batch in Minnesota. They offer several different flavors: Kettle Corn, Sweet and Salty, White Cheddar, Salted Caramel, Sweet and Spicy, Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt, Boom Chicka Pop Lightly Sweet and a holiday line of Holidrizzle: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and White Chocolate Peppermint. The company was started by Angie and Dan Bastian in 2001 who wanted to start a college fund for their daughters. They tested small batches of popcorn in their kitchen and sold them at local events. The demand for their popcorn increased and in 2004, they became the official popcorn for the Minnesota Vikings, thus growing into a real business.

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I have to say, I loved all of their popcorn! I can’t say that too much about other products, but Angie’s does a great job in making good popcorn, simply (with as few ingredients as possible). The salted caramel was the first bag that we opened and my husband, mom (she was at our house the day the popcorn arrived), and Keenan were pleasantly surprised. It was excellent–not overly sweet, but still salty at the same time. My mom couldn’t stop eating it! My husband immediately opened the Sweet and Spicy (since he loves anything with spice) and fell in love. I could barely have any, because he kept the whole bag for himself! It was really good! The white cheddar was another one of my favorites, perfectly balanced with cheddar, salt and a hint of sweetness. The Boom Chicka Pop was also excellent, very fresh air-popped popcorn with a hint of salt. Lastly, the Kettle Corn was my all-time favorite (of course). I couldn’t believe how fresh and perfectly balanced the salt vs. sweet was! It tasted like it was freshly popped at a local street fair or farmer’s market! All in all, I was very impressed by Angie’s Popcorn and I can’t wait to try their holiday flavors! I will definitely be eating their popcorn again…maybe bringing it for a snack on our flight to Montreal to see my brother!  You can buy their popcorn in pretty much any grocery store, as well as Costco. Of course, you can buy it online from them, or on amazon, too. As an added bonus, each bag is pretty inexpensive, costing you less than $3.50!

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Angie’s was so generous that they offered to send one lucky reader a box of their assorted popcorn, too!

To enter the giveaway, please follow the steps below:

1. Leave a comment on this post stating why you would like to win some popcorn!

(Optional) Earn four additional entries by:

1. Like Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy’s Facebook page

2. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy on Twitter: @FitNWellMommy

3. Post on YOUR Facebook page or Tweet, “I want to win a box of popcorn from Angie’s Popcorn and Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy!”

4. Follow Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy by email

*Make sure to leave a second, third or fourth comment on this post with your Facebook post, Tweet, like or following, in order for your extra entries to be counted (a total of 5 chances to win!!).

The giveaway ends next Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. PST!! Good luck!

 

Another year older and Life November 5, 2012

My husband captured this picture yesterday afternoon of Keenan watching Avo and Grandpapa talk; this really sums up my thoughts for today.

It is the start of another week and I am now a year older. I still can’t believe that another year has flown by and I’m 31! Crazy how that happens! 🙂

Anyhow, I had a wonderful birthday weekend, starting off with a nice date night with my husband on Friday. We had two great groupon deals: one for a couples massage and one for dinner. It was the perfect evening and probably one of the best massages I have received in a long time! Dinner was really good too; we ate at Monsoon, a fairly new Indian restaurant in downtown Sacramento. My husband and I were so relaxed that by the time we had dinner, we got a little treat at our favorite chocolate shop in midtown, Ginger Elizabeth, and headed home and went to bed! We usually are ones to stay up and watch a movie or something, but we were both so relaxed and tired, that sleep sounded too good!

On Saturday, we slept in (since Keenan was at my parents’ house) and made a nice breakfast. I made paleo pancakes while my husband made “regular” pancakes. He wanted to have the real deal, but I have to say my pancakes were delicious! In the afternoon, we headed to my parents and enjoyed a nice steak dinner that my mom made.

On Sunday (my birthday), after a nice breakfast and church, my mom and I went to the spa at Wine and Roses in Lodi for a nice relaxing afternoon. We enjoyed a nice lunch, some time to read by the fire (I actually read 100 pages in my book, “Paleoista,” which is so interesting!), followed by some pampering. My mom got a massage and I had a facial. In the evening, we met my husband, Keenan and my dad for dinner. Keenan was excited to help me blow out my candle; it was cute! It was truly the perfect day to spend my birthday. Sorry, I completely forgot to bring my camera, so I don’t have any pictures of the evening.

While my mom and I were at the spa, my husband, dad and Keenan had some “guy time” at the shop, riding in the pick-up through the fields and looking at tractors.

Riding in Uncle Chris’s pick-up with Avo!

Unfortunately, today has not been as joyful as the weekend. Last week, a very good family friend passed away, so his funeral was this morning. Since our families grew up together, we stayed to make sure we could be there, today. It was very sad, especially since he passed away so suddenly. It is always so hard to see people pass away who had so much life still left in them. It baffles me as to why it was their time to go, just like my brother, Chris. I can’t help but question it. Attending a funeral not only brings back the memories of when my brother passed away, but it always puts things back into perspective, thinking about life and what is really important. For me, my family is the most important thing in my life. It is so vital to cherish every moment with them, as well as tell them that I love them. You can’t always think about the what-ifs, but you can show your love and appreciation every time you see them because you never know what can happen…

Question: When was the last time you told your spouse, child or family member that you loved them?

 

Healthy Halloween Tips October 31, 2012

I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween and then we are into November! The holidays are going to be here before we know it…crazy! I love the holidays and I can’t wait to see everything through Keenan’s eyes this year, but I’m just not quite there, yet. There are so many things going on between now and the holidays, it is hard to think that far ahead! Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyhow, onto today, “Halloween Eve:” We started our day off with toasted leftover paleo pancakes! I think they are actually better toasted! Keenan topped his with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. I topped mine with yogurt and strawberries. In the spirit of Fall, I made myself a pumpkin pie latte…so good!

Yum!

We also started our day with a new spin on potty training: an “Elmo” potty chart! Every time Keenan goes number one on the potty, he gets a stamp, and when he goes number two, he gets a sticker to place on his chart. My mom gave Keenan an Elmo Potty Time” coloring book a while back. The book came with a potty chart and stickers, but Keenan wasn’t ready to use it at the time . Yesterday (out of the blue), Keenan mentioned the potty chart, along with the stickers, so I thought it was time to give it a try. Today, he got four stamps! He was pretty excited to get his stamps, so I am hoping the chart with help (fingers crossed!). I’m going to give this a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t work, I think we will try the “pant-less” method. I’ll keep you posted…

Hopefully “Elmo” and his potty chart will work its’ magic!

Since we so busy yesterday (and Keenan has been so tired lately, getting up between 8 and 8:30 a.m!), we stayed home this morning and played. I had some watercolor paints, so I thought it would be fun to show Keenan how to use them and paint some pictures. He didn’t quite grasp the whole concept of dipping your brush into the water first, then the paint and, finally, painting on the paper. He kept wanting to take the paints out of the package and use them as finger paints! Needless to say, we didn’t do any painting. Instead, we played in his sandbox and cuddled with Slinky!

Putting toys on Slinky!

Cuddling!

To get Keenan ready for Halloween and trick-or-treating, I have been talking to him about what to say, but for some reason, it hasn’t sunk in. He knows that carrying his pumpkin bucket equals candy, but saying “trick-or-treat” is another story! He keeps getting “knock knock” jokes confused with saying “trick-or-treat,” because when I asked him earlier today about what to say when he rings the door bell when trick-or-treating, tomorrow, night, he said, “knock knock!” I laughed so hard; it was too funny!

Speaking of Halloween, Keenan seems to be fixated on having candy! After our MOMs Club Halloween party on Friday, he kept asking to have candy. So, tomorrow shall be interesting. I am going to have to cave and let him enjoy at least one piece of candy! This is why I tend to buy healthier things to pass out, such as fruit snacks and rice krispies (though, not the healthiest, but better than candy!).

If you are taking your children trick-or-treating tomorrow, and/or passing out candy at home, and you’re trying to stay good and not over-indulge in too much candy, here are a few healthy Halloween tips:

  • Instead of buying a huge bag of candy, buy one small bag and a couple of bags of healthier treats, such as rice krispies, fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks or raisins. Mix everything together in a big bowl, so the candy is mixed in with the healthier things. (My husband says to be careful, though, as you’ll be known as “that house” if you don’t have a good ratio of candy to “clean” treats. I think he’s crazy.)
  • After the last trick-or-treater has gone and you still have a bunch of candy left, don’t save it, as you will be tempted to eat it! Donate it to an office (or bring it to your office, though you will probably still be tempted to eat it!), or throw it away.
  • If you must have a piece of candy, choose your two favorites. Eat one of your favorites on Halloween and save the other one  for the next day, as a treat to look forward to. If you save a handful, you might be more inclined to eat all of it in one sitting. (My husband also told me that he would “stretch out” his candy stash until Christmas. Talk about self-control!)
  • While you are passing out candy, have some healthy treats to munch on, such as popcorn, homemade kettle corn, nuts, trail mix, no-bake peanut butter chocolate snack balls and fruit. If you have some healthy snacks out, you might be less tempted to indulge in candy.
  • Last–but not least–if you do slip-up and indulge in one too many pieces of candy tomorrow, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on track the next day!

Speaking of getting back on track, yesterday and today’s WODs were hard, to say the least! Yesterday, we did 100 double unders followed by 3 rounds pf 20 ring dips, 20 kettle bell snatches (35 lbs) and 20 box jumps. The time cap was 15 minutes and I finished 2 rounds and 45 reps (just shy of 10 box jumps to finish). The ring dips were the worst (something I have to work on!). I used the lightest band, red, but they are still difficult!

Today’s WOD was 5 rounds of thrusters (95 lbs) and over-the-bar burpees with a 20 minute time cap. I finished in 16 minutes and 49 seconds, using the prescribed weight. It wasn’t too bad, but we did max deadlifts for the skill beforehand, so my lower back is pretty sore! So, we’ll see how tomorrow goes…

I had to include this! Keenan was wearing a wrap that you put ice or hot packs in for your back. My husband was wearing it on Sunday, so Keenan wanted to give it a try!

Before I wrap-up this post, I have to share this picture of Keenan playing the guitar with my husband on Sunday. Since he was over at his friend’s house while I attend last week’s The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek, Keenan has been fascinated with guitars! My friend’s son had a mini-guitar that Keenan played with most of the evening. Once he got home, he wanted to play with my husband’s guitar. So, on Sunday, my husband and Keenan re-strung and tuned the guitar together, and spent some time playing it. Keen was SO excited! It was too cute!

Making music!

Questions: Are you passing out candy tomorrow night? If so, what do you usually give out? What do you do with the leftover candy?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Artisana giveaway!! Contest ends tomorrow, October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Friday Favorites October 27, 2012

TGIF! Another week down; where did it go? I can’t believe we are almost into November and even scarier, the holidays! This year has flown by so fast! Has anyone else felt that way?

Anyhow, as I was sitting down to write this, I was thinking about all of the things we have done this week, since it has been so hectic. When things get busy, I often forget to slow down and cherish each and every moment, especially those with Keenan. I often get stuck in the hustle and bustle of life and forget how important it is to live in the present, enjoy every moment (good or bad) without thinking about what needs to be done or what I have to do next. Most importantly, I need to appreciate the little things and not take things for granted. I need to remind myself of being in Alaska and what is truly important in life: Family, health, faith, food and shelter. Everything else is not that important (if at all).

With that being said, I thought it would be good (and fun!) to reflect back and cherish some of my favorite moments and eats from this week, aka “Friday Favorites!” Maybe this will be a new theme for my Friday posts…

Favorite Moments:

  • Yesterday, when I was getting ready to head to a blogging event (more on that later!), Keenan wanted to wear my hair clips! When I put them in his hair, he kept looking at himself in the mirror and giggling! He kept the hair clips on while he played with his toys for about 20 minutes! It was too funny!

    Having fun with my hair clips!

  • Dancing with Keenan to “Steve and Greg,” on Wednesday, while I was getting lunch ready. I had just changed Keenan’s diaper and he didn’t want to put his pants back on, so he was dancing in his red train sweatshirt, blue socks and his diaper. I was able to record it on video, but unfortunately, I shot it sideways, so it doesn’t make for great viewing, sorry!
  • Attending my first blogging/media event: The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peekon Tuesday evening! It was such a fun event and I met some other local bloggers and awesome vendors!

    The wonderful local produce at the The Fresh Market in Roseville!

  • Getting a PR (personal best) on power cleans at 125 lbs!
  • Cuddling and reading books with Keenan in his crib!
  • Having some much needed cuddle time and catching-up with my husband last night!
  • Today’s Halloween party that my MOMs Club put on was also a favorite moment! Keenan dressed up in his Fireman costume and had a wonderful time collecting candy in his bucket (practicing for Halloween!), decorating (or rather just eating) his cupcake and hanging out with his good friend!

    A picture with my Fireman before heading to the Halloween party!

Our little Fireman!

Buddies!

Favorite Eats:

We had a good partner WOD at CrossFit this afternoon: 100 m x 10 relay followed by 300 double unders and then 21-15-9 of sumo deadlifts and over your partner burpees and lastly, a 100 m wheelbarrel carry! Friday workouts are always fun, but SO challenging!

For dinner, we enjoyed chicken burgers with oven-baked sweet potato fries! My husband is off to see Eddie Izzard tonight with a friend, so I’m going to finish up some work and then snuggle on the couch with a movie, glass of wine and some popcorn! Have a good night!

Question: What were some of your favorite moments and eats from this week? 

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

 
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