March 2015Back Home Again: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's Ok April Fools Edition

Airing My Dirty Laundry

It's ok...that I don't have a meal plan for this week.

It's ok...that I haven't had a blog post with lots of substance in over a week.

It's ok...that I have been spending more of my time planning my garden and looking up potential races than blogging.

It's ok...that I ran 5 miles even though I haven't finished my c25k training.

It's ok...that I want to eat Mexican everyday.

It's ok...that I also want to bake brownies after dinner each night.

It's ok...that we decided to get a dog even though I can't stand them. 

It's ok...that I posted for April Fools' a day early.

It's ok...that you can guess which of these are true!

Monday, March 30, 2015

#boyMom Box Swap Reveal!

Stephanie over at Wife, Mommy, Me and Liz over at Chasin' Mason had this great idea for a box swap...all about moms and little boys! 

My partner for the #boyMOMBoxSwap was Crystal from Hall Around Texas. She's mom to her adorable son Mason. 

Ewan got a Paw Patrol book (which he has to read every night since we got it), a TMNT and a gardening set. He put it to use today helping me plant some of our garden. The kid LOVES to help in the yard.

I got a gift card to have no idea how happy that made me to see that arrive in the mail :-)

Thanks again Crystal!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GoPure with 100% Pure Peppermint Oil

I received this product in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 

About a year ago, I started really getting into essential oils. I use them for all sorts of things and one of my favorites is peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil was my very first experience with essential oils and I didn't even know it. I was so nauseous when I was in labor with Cecily and my doula put some peppermint oil on a little stick for me to sniff to help with the nausea. I was definitely skeptical, but willing to try and to my amazement it actually worked. I now use a few drops of peppermint oil in the shower to help clear my sinuses when needed, I'll sniff it when I'm feeling nauseous or when I have a headache. It is one of the most popular essential oils and has a history for over 3000 years. I love the scent of peppermint and could just smell it all day, honestly.

Here are a few other ways you can use peppermint oil: I am not an expert, but this is what I have observed in using peppermint oil. Use at your own risk.
  • relieves muscle pain
  • helps remove dandruff and lice
  • relieves itchiness
  • stress reliever
I recently received a bottle of goPure Naturals 100% Pure Peppermint Oil to try. The very first thing I noticed and wound up loving is the fact that the bottle came with it's own dropper. I love the fact that it's more controlled than most of the essential oil bottles I have, where you try to only get a drop or two and 10 come out instead. It was wonderful tonight when I put some diluted peppermint oil on my aching muscles tonight. Perked me right up. 

You can purchase goPure Naturals 100% Pure Peppermint Oil on Amazon and find them on Facebook or on the goPure Naturals website.

Hopefully you'll enjoy #PeppermintOil as much as I do!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

LEGO® KidsFest Missouri

I was given 4 tickets to attend the opening night of LEGO® KidsFest Missouri. However, I was not influenced by the promotional materials. All opinions are my own.

Last evening we took the kids to LEGO® KidsFest Missouri at the America Center in St. Louis. This is the third time we have been and it didn't disappoint! I'm so glad we decided to go again because it is so much fun for the entire family. 

This time the kids knew where we were going and they were so excited. Once we got into the exhibition, Ewan was off. He built a Bionicle, battled in the Ninjago arena and I didn't see him again until he and Alan found Cecily and I making a castle with the DUPLO® bricks. We also all built a section for the Creation Nation, a giant map of the United States that you can help build.

We all made cars and raced them on the Race Ramps. The kids loved the fact that mine kept falling apart!

My favorite part is always the LEGO Model Museum. Can you imagine how long it took to build these?!

The LEGO KidsFest 2015 tour stops include Arizona (Glendale): February 27 - March 1; Missouri (St. Louis): March 20 - 22; Tennessee (Nashville): April 17 - 19; and Texas (Austin): September 4 - 6. If you're in the Midwest, Missouri is completely sold out and Tennessee has limited availability. If you plan on attending, I highly recommend getting your tickets ASAP because it does sell out!

Have you ever been to LEGO KidsFest? What did you think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Home Really Is Where the Heart Is

As I entered my mother's home, my childhood home, for what was quite possibly the last time last week, I was shocked.

Shocked at how much it no longer felt like home and how much it just felt like an empty shell. I made the comment to Alan that it reminded me of one of the abandoned houses we document - only traces of the people that lived there remain, but no longer a home. 

Better times at my mom's: My 5th birthday and 5th Christmas

I haven't been inside since before my grandmother died and it was just weird. My mother has been living there by herself for a little over a year and it's amazing at how different it is. She and my uncle have been slowly cleaning out my grandmother's things, as well as some of my mother's, and the place has that abandoned feeling to it, especially since my mom hasn't been able to get around by herself very well. 

As I was going through things, taking some of my stuff that I wanted to make sure was kept, it hit me. This place was no longer my home. Physically it hasn't been my home in almost ten years. It's where my family was, so it was still home in a way. But no longer. 

While my mom will always be my mom no matter where she is living, my home is with my family. With Alan, Ewan and Cecily.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's Ok...St. Patty's Day Edition

Airing My Dirty Laundry

It's ok that I have barely done anything blog related in over a week because of how crazy things have been.

It's ok that taking an unintentional mini blogging break has been kind of nice.

It's ok that I haven't been to a band rehearsal in over a month. 

It's ok that neither of my kids has a St. Patrick's Day outfit.

It's ok that the squirrels have eaten almost all of my irises...and dug up my spinach seeds.

It's ok that I really don't like squirrels.

It's ok that spring is finally here and I am super excited!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Becoming Empowered Through CARE

A big thanks to CARE and Linqia for sponsoring this post. 

I recently discovered CARE, an organization that helps individuals and families in 87 countries around the world help fight poverty. The organization helps empower women to get out of poverty by offering support for disaster relief, maternal health, family planning, child survival, nutrition, clean water and education.

CARE was founded post-World War II as the  Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, which sent packages to starving, war weary survivors. Thousands of Americans contributed to these packages, including President Harry Truman.

CARE was changed to Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere as the organization's activities changed over time. They are continuing to make a difference for people who desperately need help throughout the world.

Take Zeba, who lives in a small village in India. She is largely confined to her home, as is the local custom. Four months into her first pregnancy, she began  to experience bleeding, watery discharge and weakness. Her mother-in-law, considered a midwife despite having no training, reassured her and said she did not need to see a doctor. Unfortunately, Zeba had a miscarriage. After she learned she was pregnant again two months later, elder women who knew about her miscarriage invited Zeba and her mother-in-law to a health education meeting where they learned about how to stay healthy during pregnancy and recognize complications. There was even a class for her husband, who learned how to support her during her pregnancy and care for a newborn. 

This is a cause that is dear to my heart and I love that #CAREKnowsHow to empower people to help themselves and change for the better. To learn more about CARE and how the organization helps empower women and girls around the world to fight poverty visit the CARE homepage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Familiar Sights

Since I'm up visiting my mom in my hometown, I decided to continue my c25k training outside in my favorite neighborhood. While there is still snow on the ground - that meant dodging melting snow and ice - it was a gorgeous day and I wanted to take advantage. Especially since today is gloomy and gray.

Back when I lost all that weight years ago, I used to walk/rollerblade this neighborhood. The houses are beautiful and I would imagine what it must be like to live in such a place. Not to give an architectural history lesson, but most of them were built in the early 20th century and exhibit the various styles popular during that time.

This one is my favorite. 

The local park has a beautiful rose garden and is also one of the few places in the city where you can ice skate on the pond in the winter. 

Just imagine what this looks like without the snow and beautiful flowers everywhere.

I was always a little jealous of the runners out running the boulevard back in the day. Well, yesterday I was one of them! Running outside is definitely harder than the treadmill and toward the end I felt so incredibly slow. Especially compared to the lady in running gear with her dog. But you know what? I was out there doing it. How many people are actually out there doing it v. how many say they are going to but aren't actually out there. I may super slow, but at least I'm doing it. 

What are you going to do today?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

February Mileage

With everything that's been going on this week, I realized I forgot all about seeing my mileage for February. 


Are you seeing what I'm seeing? 64 miles. Holy cow! This includes both the exercise bike at home and c25k training, but that's awesome! Not that I've really kept much track before, but that is the most I ever done in a month I think. 

As I'm running more and more, it's getting more difficult but you better believe this is motivation. I can't wait to see what mileage I have by the end of March!
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