March 2016Back Home Again: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Goals

My March goals were half and half, that half completed, half not. Work is still crazy busy, which means that one or both of us is out of town, making it harder to get things done. April, May, June and probably the rest of the year don't look like they're going to slow down either. Hopefully I'll still be able to get things done that I plan on doing!

Here's how I did in March:
  • Run 30 miles this month. Done. Even though I have been sidelined due to sickness this week, I still ran 35.4 miles this month. If you count what I have walked and ridden, it's more like 78 miles of activity.
  • Eat out once a week for the month. We did well about half the month. It's really hard to cook from scratch when life is busy and you're on the go a lot.
  • Figure out 101 in 1001. I have started working on this, but coming up with 101 new things is really hard!
  • Start my spring garden. I cleaned out the one raised bed I'll be using this year, as well as the herb garden and planted potatoes, carrots, greens and some cold weather herbs. Pretty much everything I can plant until the temps stay warmer at night. Now to start cleaning out the beds to get rid of the dreaded chameleon plant...

And here are my goals for April:
  • I kind of mentioned it above, but clear out and take apart the raised beds where the chameleon plant is coming through to kill it this summer. Don't ever plant this stuff in your landscaping...the previous owners of our house did for groundcover and it's horribly invasive and hard to get rid of...yuck!
  • Finish my 101 in 1001.
  • Go through my "box of crap" in the basement. When I was helping to clean out my mom's place last year, I threw a bunch of stuff that I wanted to keep in bags to bring home. And it's been sitting in the basement ever since. Alan keeps bugging me to sort through it. 
  • Sort through and price stuff for the yard sale. We always throw stuff in boxes in the basement for the "yard sale." Unless it's from a previous year though, there's not rhyme or reason to it. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law's neighborhood is having a yard sale at the end of the month that we're putting some things in so we need to get on it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Doing Disney With Pixie Vacations

This post is sponsored by Pixie Vacations. 
As you probably know, we took our first family vacation to Disney World the first week of January. While I still haven't finished writing about it (sorry!), we had a blast and the kids still like to talk about all they saw and did. 

I recently received a Main Street Popcorn Pixie Scent that when I put it in my tart burner reminded me of our trip. We love popcorn in our house and getting some freshly popped popcorn was one of our favorite snacks while at Disney. There's just something about that buttery, salty goodness that is amazing. One of my favorite memories of our trip is sitting along the street in Hollywood Studios enjoying our popcorn while people watching. I love that we have a little reminder of our trip right in our living room. You can get a Free Disney-inspired Pixie Scent like mine here.

Pixie Vacations wants you to have your own Disney vacation and they are offering a 2016 Disney World Vacation Package where you can enjoy a 5-day/4-night Walt Disney World vacation package for a family of 4 for as low as $1,714.* This package includes 5-day theme park tickets and a 4-night stay in standard rooms at Disney's All-Star Music Resort for as low as $1,714 for a family of 4. Book this offer April 3 through May 26, 2016. 

Pixie Vacations is a US-based Mom and Pop company run by a family that worked at Walt Disney World for many years in Parks and Resorts. They went to the parks as kids and now with a family of their own. Because they worked at Disney, they have experience not only as guests but behind the scenes as cast members. They might have even checked you in or given you park information from the Magic Kingdom information booth during one of your past trips. They have used Magical Express and the bus system and have been on Disney Cruise Line and planned conventions as a convention coordinator at the Grand Floridian as cast members and now as Authorized Disney Vacation Planners.

Here's how you can book this offer to enjoy your own Disney vacation:
Contact a Pixie at
Phone: 678-815-1584

Hope you can take your own Disney Vacation soon! 
*Sample package price based on 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10-17), and 1 child (ages 3-9) for a 4-Night/5-Day room and Magic Your Way Base Ticket. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advanced reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney's Art of Animation Resort - The Little Mermaid Standard View Rooms. .@usfg

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's OK March 29, 2016

...that someone stole my mom's package I sent to her for Easter. Actually it's not. Not at all. The package contained not only some Easter cards that the kids made for her, but also her Christmas and birthday presents. I'm pretty pissed. Hopefully whoever is enjoying the gift cards has the decency to give her the photos instead of just throwing them in the trash.

...that I caught a cold over the weekend.

...that on top of being sick, I have broke out in a rash on my arm and knee. Again.

...that it has been six months since I last had a rash so I thought I had figured out the issue.

...that Alan's car needs a $900 repair. 

...that I cannot wait to see my friend Mary this weekend!

What's ok with you this week?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Healthy Snacks That Damage Kids' Teeth

This post is sponsored by Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Many parents encourage children to eat snacks and lunches that are good for their bodies – including their teeth. Yet, product labels are misleading, causing parents to choose snacks that actually end up building plaque around their teeth and gums. In fact, some so-called “healthy” snacks are loaded with sugar and other ingredients that can lead to childhood tooth decay, which is the #1 chronic childhood illness worldwide.

I'd love to share some tips from Dr. Swati Singh, DDS of Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry to explore the topic and share how parents can teach their kids to make sensible food choices that build healthier teeth and gums. Below are a few:
  • Fruit flavored snacks may sound like a wholesome choice, but the stickiness will stay on your child’s teeth all day and will mix with bacteria to cause cavities.
  • Chips and crackers contact fiber that is beneficial to the digestive system and can help prevent some diseases, but they also come with a high carbohydrate level, which break down into sugar.
  • Breakfast bars are also promoted as energy boosters, but the reality is that most of them contain as much sugar as your typical candy bar.
What do you do with your kids to promote healthy teeth and gums?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Run of Luck 7k

This morning I ran the Run of Luck, a local 7k St. Patrick's Day race. And it was the best race I have ever had! The weather was cold and rainy - cold I don't mind, but rainy and wet meant that I was concerned I was going to roll my ankle again. I was determined that that wasn't going to happen. 

The kids did NOT like being out in the cold so I had Alan take a photo before the race since I wasn't sure if they would see me during. 

I had ran a 7k at the gym on Thursday in 55 minutes so I knew I could do it in less than that since I always run faster outside and when it's cold. But, I went into it with my half marathon plan of run a mile, walk a minute, plus walking the turnarounds so I didn't slip again. The gun went off and I started running...but not before being silently amused that it was a St. Patrick's Day race and they had bagpipes...playing Scotland the Brave. I know most people probably don't know the difference, but to this girl who's proud of her Scottish heritage, it was pretty funny. 

My first mile was really good, except that my leggings kept falling down...and I mean, I was having to hold them up. Hopefully I didn't accidentally flash anyone behind me! I haven't lost that much weight, but apparently it's enough that I might need some new running gear... :-) I finished mile 1 in 11:18. Somewhere in the second mile my pants started cooperating and I realized that I was running near someone I always am around during River Run training. So, I decided to pace myself off of her. I finished Mile 2 in 12:19.

By mile 3 I realized I was going along a quite a clip for me. I ran a 5k in 37:29, which while not the fastest I have ever ran a 5k, it was the fastest I have ever ran it in a race. I had just over a mile to go and I floored it, keeping pace with the woman from the group runs. Not gonna lie, I did kind of feel like I might throw up at the end, but I knew a PR was in reach, so I was going for it. I had no way to tell Alan that I was going to finish earlier than I expected, so I was really glad to see them as I was rounding the corner to the finish. I finished in 48:54, with an average pace of 11:15/mile. You have no idea how ecstatic I am about that finish. It was six minutes faster than what I had run on Thursday and is the fastest pace I have ever run in a race. I can run that fast for about a mile or so, but have never been able to keep it up for longer than that.

It's 12 hours later and I'm still on a high from that race. I am just in awe of myself. It's so amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Remember when I ran my first ever 5k last summer? Well, this course is basically the same as that one and I killed my 5k time from that race today. Heads up Colon Screening for Life, it's on!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lime Pretzel Jello Dessert

You asked for it so here it is! And just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Years ago my college friend and roommate, Melanie, used to make this strawberry pretzel jello dessert that was really good. As I was looking for something to make for St. Patrick's Day, I remembered that I had some lime jello in the cabinet so I decided to attempt to recreate her recipe. I remembered that it had a pretzel crust, a cream cheese and whipped topping filling and jello on top. After playing with the combinations, this is what I came up with. 

30 pretzels roughly chopped or crushed
2 tbs melted butter
2 tbs brown sugar
1 box lime jello
1 tub whipped topping
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz powdered sugar

Combine pretzels, butter and brown sugar. Press into a 8x8 baking dish and bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. Mix together cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered sugar. Spread on top of pretzel crust once it has cooled. Whisk jello with 1 cup hot water and pour on top of cream cheese mixture. Let set for 4 hours or overnight. 

My friend would always put fruit in her jello layer and if I made this again, I would add crushed pineapple to the jello. I just didn't have any on hand when I made it. However, it was still really good and was gone within a couple days because the kids and I gobbled it up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It's OK March 15, 2016

...that someone clipped my car while we were out and about this weekend and now there's a nice white scrape and bare metal showing. 

...that Ewan got his big boy, twin Pokemon bed and there might or might not have been some Mommy tears. 

...that I ran 3.5 miles last night to redeem myself from Saturday. 

...that while Alan was out of town last week, Cecily went to bed with almost no issues. Now that he's back, she's currently playing with her Mickey books as I type this at 10PM. 

...that I made lime pretzel jello to take to a meeting tonight in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I haven't had this stuff in close to 10 years and it is SOOO good!

What's ok with you this week?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

St. Practice Day 5k

This morning I ran the St. Practice Day 5k along the Ohio in downtown Evansville. It was part of a two for one deal that I took advantage of around New Year's. Register for the Run of Luck 7k and get your registration for the St. Practice Day free. Ooook. Sign me up!

I had really high hopes for this race because I have been running 12-12:30 min miles on my own and at River Run training so I was secretly hoping to go sub-40 this race - something I have only done once in a race, the Turkey Trot in Louisville last year.  I knew I could do it as long as I kept running. 

I started out strong and finished my first mile in 12:12 and things were going great. Then at the turnaround not too long after the first mile, I somehow managed to roll my ankle. I'm not really sure what happened - if it was a combination of the road being wet, the large number of people on the turn or what, but holy cow that hurt! Mile 2 wound up being a combination of limping and running and I finished it in 14:03. I so wanted to quit but hearing the voices of my children cheering me on gave me the strength to go on.
I ran the rest of the way starting somewhere in the second mile even though it hurt incredibly. When I finished mile 3 in 13:17 I knew I was in the home stretch, even though the race was more like 3.3 miles instead of 3.1. I finished in 43:08 and my foot and ankle were completely numb by the time I got to the finish. Definitely not good. I was walking on it at Target this afternoon, but have been off it since we got home and it just aches. I had plans to run six miles tomorrow, but we'll see how it feels in the morning. I really don't want to make it worse and not be able to run the Run of Luck next weekend.

This was my worst 5k and even though I'm pretty upset about what happened, I'm trying to look on the bright side. I got to see some runners from my running group and I got to meet someone in person from my online group. Plus, when I entered my miles on Map My Run earlier, I noticed that my slowest mile was still faster than most of my miles for the Evansville Half Marathon last fall. So, my hard work at getting faster has paid off, even though I had to walk.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Kids Behind the Blog:

So I saw this link up last month and thought it was a great idea. I participated in something similar a couple years ago (wow!) with Alan and had a lot of fun doing it. This month it's all about Ewan.

Our Pretty Little Girls

What do you enjoy doing with Mommy and Daddy?
Playing games.

Name one thing you are really good at?
When we play one of my games.

What's one thing that Mommy and Daddy tell you often?
To clean up our toys.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A ninja and a spy that fights bad guys and spies on them. A NinjaSpy.

What do you think Mommy and Daddy do when you go to bed at night?
Watch tv? Because I can hear your watching tv when I go to bed.

Ewan then proceeded to ask me some questions of his own! Smart kid.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It's Ok March 8, 2016

...that there has been illness after illness in my house and I am so over it! First I had strep, then C and Alan had norovirus and now the poor girl has a double ear infection...come on spring!

...that I just quit a local moms Facebook group because I couldn't deal with the trashiness and idiots anymore.

...that today is National Pancake Day and we are so having a pancake extravaganza for dinner.

...that I'm running races the next two weekends and I can't wait.

...that I signed up to do another 5k with my friend in Louisville in April.

...that if it doesn't rain this weekend I will get to start planting greens outside.

...that I'm really excited it's finally the beginning of gardening season!

What's ok with you this week?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Goals

Here it is March, and I can honestly say that for the first time I have failed at all of my goals for the previous month. I don't really have any excuses, other than I was just sick, out of town and had other priorities in February. So, here are my goals for March:

  • Run 30 miles this month. I ran more last month than in January, but still not 30. So, this is my goal again.
  • Eat out once a week for the month. I wanted to meal plan, but it didn't really happen last month. So, my goal is to only eat out once a week and cook at home, whether it's meal planning or not.
  • Figure out 101 in 1001. I either need to come up with a new one, or get rid of it. I like it because it's a list of long term goals, but I really need to do something with it either way.
  • Start my spring garden. Since it's March, I can begin planting greens in the garden. I cannot wait!

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