Monday, November 30, 2015

And then we got food poisoning...

Hi, everyone!  Anyone else feel like it's so much harder to go back to work on the Monday after a holiday weekend?   I know I'm feeling that this morning!

I planned to set myself up for a great week on Sunday by food prepping, getting ahead on school work, decorating for Christmas, and getting my normal Monday blog post ready...

...and then we got food poisoning.  Yuck!

Needless to say, none of that happened yesterday!  In fact, not much of anything happened other than napping and taking turns entertaining Baby Fish.  Thankfully, both Joe and I were able to stomach some food at dinner time and are good to go today!

Oh, and having a baby while both parents are sick is QUITE the challenge.  We are lucky that Baby Fish took lots of naps on Sunday!  Otherwise, I'm not sure how we would have done it.

I'll be back at the blogging tomorrow to share a fun way to motivate yourself on runs this holiday season!

Question for you: Have you ever had food poisoning?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Survey

Hi everyone!  I hope that all of my American readers had a very happy Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Family picture on Thanksgiving
We enjoyed our day with Joe's side of the family.  I think Baby Fish likes Thanksgiving, too!  Especially when I give her little tastes of sweet potato casserole.
I saw this survey on Julie's blog and thought it'd be a good way to round out this Thanksgiving week.  I love reading about how people celebrate the holidays, so I thought I'd share a little about what we do for Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!
  • Favorite Thanksgiving food item?
My favorite Thanksgiving food item overall is my Mama Gen's creamed potatoes.  Think mashed potatoes but melt-in-your-mouth smooth!  In general, though, it's a tie between stuffing and sweet potato casserole.
  • What is one of your favorite Thanksgiving memories?
Our football game from 2014
I love my family's traditional older siblings vs younger siblings mid-afternoon football game!  The best one was probably the year my brother and I kept trying to tackle each other (the game is two-hand-touch).  So much fun!
  • Do you go to a movie on Thanksgiving?
Not usually.  
  • Any Thanksgiving foods that you do not like?
Cranberry sauce.  I'm sure I'd like the taste, but the appearance has kept me from trying it!
  • How do you feel about stores interrupting Thanksgiving now by starting their sales on Thanksgiving day?
I am NOT a fan.  In fact, I turned down an offer to go shopping yesterday because I would not support the stores being open on Thanksgiving.  The early Friday morning was bad enough for the workers, let them just enjoy their Thanksgiving!
  • Do you hit up the sales on Thursday/Black Friday or do you avoid them like the plague?
Generally avoid them.  If I shop on Black Friday, it's later in the day.
  • Do you typically run a race on Thanksgiving or go on a run on your own or take the day off?
My normal activity is a football game when we do Thanksgiving with my family, but this year I did a 10K Turkey Trot!  

Full recap next week!
    • Do you prefer a big get together for the holiday or to keep it small?
    The ladies on Joe's side of the family-2013
    I prefer a big gathering of all the family.  That's what we did growing up, so if we don't have that, it feels lonely to me!
    • What is your food assignment for this year? Are you in charge of the whole thing or are you going out to eat?
    We brought store-bought pies and I made the sweet potato casserole this year.  Both were a hit!
    • What time do you typically eat Thanksgiving dinner?
    With my side of the family, we do Thanksgiving lunch around noon with my dad's side then Thanksgiving dinner around 5 with my mom's side.  Lots of eating!  With Joe's side, we normally do "dinner" around 1:00.

    Question for you: Your turn!  Answer one of the questions above about your Thanksgiving traditions!

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Life Lately 11/23/15

    Hey hey, everyone!  How's it going?  It's been quite a while since I've regularly blogged, so let's quickly catch up, shall we?

    -This fall has been busy, busy, busy (as always)!  I absolutely love everything going on in the fall, but we've sure had a busy one around here!  We took a trip to Athens, GA in late September,
    had visitors in early October for Baby Fish's baptism,
    attended quite a few high school football games on Friday nights,
    With my co-worker Erika
    traveled to Gainesville for our friends Chris and Taylor's wedding,
    Beautiful background for their vows
    got dressed up for Halloween,

    went up to Richmond for my 10-year high school reunion and to see Kristie, Joe, and their baby!!,

    and my mom came down for a visit.

    Phew!!  Busy, busy!  But lots of fun, of course.  Things aren't slowing down any time soon, either, with Thanksgiving travels next weekend, and then all of the Christmas excitement!  Maybe we'll rest a little in January?

    -Having a child and teaching is a lot harder than I imagined.  I knew that going back to work after having Baby Fish would be hard, but I was NOT prepared for just how different and challenging it is!

    When I come home now, all I want to do is hang out with Baby Fish after not seeing her all day.  Then, after she goes to bed, I have chores to do and preparations for the next day (bottles, lunch packing, etc.).  Once all of that gets done, it's right around my bedtime!  I don't have much relaxing time, much less time for any grading or lesson planning.  

    At first, it was really affecting my job.  I wasn't getting my lesson plans done until the night before, and grading took over a week sometimes!  Thankfully, I finally feel like I've gotten more efficient with my home/family responsibilities and can get some school stuff done in the evening.  It sure has taken a little bit to get there, though!

    Side note: I do all of this with my wonderful husband, and I feel like I'm running around crazy.  This makes me have mad respect for all the single parents out there!  How y'all do it and keep it all together, I have no idea.  You really are super heroes!

    -We're in the process of buying a house!  Looking at houses is taking up our evenings now, and we sure have looked at a bunch of them!  I think we're finally honing in on what we want, so hopefully this process will be over soon.  It's taken a little longer to find one than I expected, but as our realtor said, it's a big decision and a lot of money to invest, so we should take as long as we need!

    -I finally joined a gym and have a gym buddy.  One of my coworkers and I got a buy one-get one membership together and have been going to some gym classes together.  She's also a new mom, so we're doing a good job keeping each other accountable!  It feels great to be back in the gym and working out again.

    I'm also now in training for the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge in February!  I haven't done such a good job keeping up with my training plan, but I have at least gotten in about 2 runs a week over the last two weeks.  

    Aaaaaand I think we're all caught up!  I should be back on the blog tomorrow and Wednesday before enjoying Thanksgiving with family.

    Have a great Monday!

    Question for you: What have you been up to during my blogging break?

    Friday, November 6, 2015

    Hemp Hearts Review + GIVEAWAY!

    Disclaimer: I was sent one package of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in exchange for an honest review as a Sweat Pink Ambassador.  All opinions are my own.

    What do you use to add nutritional value and staying power to your meals?  There are a lot of different ways to do this, but a common answer is increase your protein.  In my mind, I hear that and think "add meat", but there are a lot of other ways to add protein to a meal.  One of those things is using seeds or nuts.  I recently was sent Hemp Hearts (aka raw shelled hemp seeds) from Manitoba Harvest to try, and they were a fantastic way to add nutrition and staying power to my meals!
    Image Source
    I decided to try this product at all three meals to see how versatile they are.  Spoiler alert: they were easy to incorporate and added value to all three meals!

    At Breakfast
    I first tried my Hemp Hearts during breakfast time.  I topped my morning oatmeal with a sprinkle of hemp hearts in addition to my normal peanut butter and really enjoyed it!
    They didn't change the taste, but they really did add to the staying power of my oatmeal, keeping me full for an additional hour.  After I first tried it, I've been using them at breakfast time ever since.

    At Lunch 
    Next up, I decided to incorporate Hemp Hearts into my lunches.  I started packing salads to take to school for lunch, and I added a sprinkle of hemp hearts for a week.

    They added a slight crunch to my salad, which was a nice change of texture.  It also added staying power to my lunch.  Without changing anything else about what I packed, and I wouldn't need to eat my afternoon snack until I got home when I used Hemp Hearts on my salad.

    At Dinner
    I needed some inspiration for how to use Hemp Hearts during dinner, so I turned to the Manitoba Harvest website.  They have some great recipes that incorporate Hemp Hearts into every meal or snack possible!

    The verdict on Hemp Hearts: I love them!  This is definitely a product I would use in the future, particularly because of the staying power they add to each meal.  As a teacher and a breastfeeding mom, I need my meals to fill me up as much as possible.

    And now it's YOUR turn to try Hemp Hearts!  The people at Manitoba Harvest are gracious enough to offer one package of Hemp Hearts to one lucky reader.  All you need to do is enter to win below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway ends at midnight on 11/15.  One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 

    Question for you: Have you tried Hemp Hearts before?  What do you add to your meals for added health benefits and staying power?

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015

    2015 Goals: Three-Quarter-Year Check-In

    Hey, everyone!  Long time, no talk!  I've been busy with life and getting our routine down.  Now that things are finally in a groove, I'm starting to add "extra" things (like blogging) back in to the schedule.  Plus, I've missed y'all!

    I'll do a catch-up post here soon, but for now, let's reflect on my 2015 goals.  Believe it or not, we are in the second to last month of 2015!  I started reflected on them at the end of September, but never finished this post.  So, let's talk about progress toward those goals today!  Better late than never, right?.

    1. Memorize 24 verses of Scripture through the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.
    Unfortunately, I have not made this goal a priority since mid-February.  However, I'm not going to give up for the rest of the year!  I'm going to commit to keeping up with this goal for the remainder of the year.  While I may not memorize 24 verses of Scripture over the year, I can still equip myself with about 12 verses this year!

    2. Be the mother God would have me be.

    I sure do pray that I am being the mom that God will have me be!  I know for sure that being Baby Fish's mom is definitely my #1 priority right now, and I have really adjusted my daily activities to reflect that.  It has taken some time, but I really feel like we are in a groove with getting things done and still having fun together!
    She's definitely a blessing to us, and I am so thankful that I am her mother!

    3. Run the Richmond Marathon in November*.
    Well, I haven't been talking about marathon training on the blog, so I think this one is pretty obvious: I decided not to sign up for the Richmond Marathon this year.  I wasn't keeping up with my running when it was time to start training, so I knew that properly training for my first marathon was probably not going to happen.

    I also have not signed up for a fall half marathon, which is probably a really good thing after falling and spraining my foot.  My running focus for the rest of the year is going to be  training for the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Half Marathon weekend in February.
    I started my training plan last week and will focus on sticking to that plan for the rest of the year.

    4. Take care of daily chores first.
    While they may not be the very first thing I take care of every single day, I am definitely getting chores done around the house!  I usually get them done while Baby Fish naps when we get home and after she goes to bed at night.  I'm definitely doing well at meeting this goal!

    5. Meal Plan to ensure healthy eating and saving money.
    Since school started at the beginning of August, I've been doing a really good job of this!  I'll make a rough plan of what we'll eat during the week and grocery shop according to those plans.  It's made making dinner each day so much easier because I know exactly what I'll be making and am able to prepare for it beforehand.  It's also helped us use up the perishable items before they go bad, which makes me happy because we aren't wasting food or money!

    Overall, I'd say doing well with 3 of my 5 goals for the year is doing pretty good, considering all of the life changes this year has brought.  Making progress toward those 3 goals will hep me be able to focus on the other two, which are goals that pretty much put me first,, for the rest of the year.

    Question for you:  What are your goals for the rest of the year?