About that Challenge


For the most part, it hasn’t been too hard on me, giving up the junk food.  As with any time you try to give up any kind of junk food or improve your eating habits, there are a few saboteurs to watch out for.  I’m not talking about someone coming up behind you grabbing you and literally forcing you to ingest whipped cream.  It could happen.  It did to me.  Really.  I spit it out.  But no, I’m talking about the sneaky saboteurs… the sweet lady with the sweets on her desk who sweetly gives one to each of your daughters, then says “Mommy deserves some too” (and she has the good stuff).  The cutie pie with curly pigtails who asks if Mama wants a bite of her donut.  Yes!  Wait I mean no.  Yes, I want it.  No, I’m not going to do it.  Don’t look at her cute face!  Can’t say no to the cute face!  That yellow and red sign (did you know they use those colors because people eat more when they’re surrounded by warm colors?  Evil!) all lit up and beckoning… offering deep fried mozzarella comfort after a long night at school.  Those are the saboteurs to watch out for!  Oh, an last night… the worst.  I was making myself some banana “ice cream” and asked if Scott wanted anything.  He did… just a bowl of ice cream… only my favorite ice cream in the world (excluding my great aunt’s homemade ice cream because that stuff is unbelievable).  Sure, no problem.  I’ll just scoop out a bowl of this dreamy, chocolatey, peanut buttery…

IMG_2094  … perfection!  I still love you.  We just can’t be together right now.  I need a break.  I’ll always love you.  It’s not you.  It’s me.  Get it together, Leetra!  Stop talking to the ice cream.  It is just food.  It is not love.  But seriously!  I am so proud of myself.  I did not even pick out one of those little peanut butter cups for myself.  Never have I ever served this particular type of ice cream without at least a little taste…. until last night.  I didn’t even realize it was humanly possibly to do so.  The willpower!

Another almost breakdown:


No not the onion dip.  Ew!  The Red Bull.  I have a feeling Scott is trying to kill my resolve.  Okay, it’s more than a feeling.  He was the aforementioned whipped cream attacker.  I’m actually kinda pretty certain, he is attempting sabotage.  Last time he put one of these boxes in the refrigerator, it was for my birthday.  Well, it can just stay there,  I’m doing this!  Nothing can stop me (unless that homemade ice cream I mentioned somehow shows up.  Scott, if you really want to sabotage my challenge, Call my Aunt Malinda.  It will be over)

The fun part of the challenge has been coming up with healthy, non-junkie snacks.  Hummenade…  It’s what happens when I’m making red pepper hummus and then decide I want tapenade too.  I throw in handful of green and black olives at the end so they stay chunky.  It looked absolutely disgusting and tasted amazing.  Pistachios… love them!  Any fruit or vegetable…


Hungry?  Eat a carrot!  No, I’m not forcing the girls to do this challenge with me.  I actually asked her what she wanted for breakfast and that was her first choice (hashtag proud mama).  You already know about Amazeballs and the secretly healthy chocolate frosting.  There you have it… some of my go-to 21 Day Challenge snacks.  For me the trick to better eating is to arm myself with a snack before I leave the house.  That way when someone offers me something on the “no” list, I can say “no thanks” and know I’m not going to miss it too much.

As for the other half of my challenge, the water part… also not too hard.  Remember I am drinking a gallon of water a day?  You may have seen this rather viral picture.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 8.53.40 AM

So apparently if I drink a gallon of water every day for a month, I will magically know how to apply foundation properly.  Awesome!  Still hasn’t happened, but it’s only been a week.  I will post I picture of my make-up skills in three more weeks, so you can see how they improve.  Prepare to be impressed!

I have a little trick for the water challenge:


This.  16 times a day.  I like a lot of ice, so I can’t quite fit two in a glass.  I fill my the cup and dump it in my glass and start chugging to make room for the second one.  Then any time I leave the house, I fill a 16.9 ounce water bottle (that .9 is just going to make me all the better at foundation application).  As a stay at home mom, this works for me.  If you’re out and about more, you should probably just bring a gallon jug along with you.  16 8 oz cups or 8 16 oz bottles… whichever way sounds easier.

P.S.  As I was peeing, I had a total Aha! moment… So important I had to hurry to my computer to let you know.  Drinking more water –> Improved foundation application.  Here’s why: She spent so much time running to the bathroom, that she decided to just stay there.  Mirror + Make-up + Time = By the end of 30 days her techniques were perfected, and her skin looked fabulous.



Have you ever done this challenge or anything like it?  

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

What is your most irresistible junk food?

Frosting by the Spoonful: The “Recipe”


I promised you a recipe (ish thing), and a recipe (ish thing) you shall have.  It all started with me wanting this:


Aliana’s breakfast.  A bagel with butter.  I’m pretty sure a white bagel counts as white bread and therefore, is on the “No” list for the 21 day no junk food challenge.  And butter?  Well, that probably goes without saying.

Then I wanted the other part of Aliana’s breakfast, carrot cake.  (If you’re currently questioning my credentials as a mother, please read yesterday’s post to see why it is perfectly acceptable to give your child cake for breakfast).  Unfortunately cake is also on the “no” list.  Anyway what I really wanted was the icing… cream cheese frosting.  So I had this:

IMG_2029A whole grain bagel with “cream cheese” on one side and chocolate “cream cheese” frosting on the other.  And then this happened:

IMG_2030Eating the frosting by the spoonful.  No guilt.  Food shouldn’t be associated with guilt anyway (but that is another story), and no cheating on the challenge either.  Why?  Because this was my own totally healthy invention… fruit, nuts and a bean or two.  It started with the basic method for making vegan “cream cheese”.  I’m not a vegan, but I like to make healthy vegan alternatives when I can, and this stuff is delicious.

Start with a package of raw cashews (the nuts).  Make sure you buy the raw ones.  I forgot about that part the first time I wanted to try this, so I had to eat them all… poor me.  Throw them in a bowl, cover them with water and soak overnight.  Notice I said a package?  How much is in a package?  Did you throw it away when you soaked them?  Of course you did.  Now you can’t share your recipe.  Call Publix and ask how many ounces are in their Greenwise raw cashews in the square box.  5.5 ounces.  Thank you, Publix.  You’re the best!  Okay so after those are soaked drain them, put them in a food processor or good blender (I love my Ninja for this and for everything else), and press the annihilate button… crush, destroy, obliterate, pulverize… whatever… use the highest setting.  Blend until creamy.  I left them in there for about 5 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally to make sure everything ended up smooth.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and about 1/8 teaspoon of salt (if you’re making the plain “cream cheese” double both of those and maybe add a little more salt to taste).  If the texture is thicker than soft cream cheese, add a splash of nondairy milk (I use Silk unsweetened almond).  Add about 20 dates (the fruit)… more or less depending on how sweet you want it.  These are your sugar.  Add 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (the bean)… more for darker chocolate, so of course I used more.  And voila… Totally healthy chocolate frosting that you can spread on anything or eat by the spoonful!

Optional additions: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee (bean #2), a sprinkle of cinnamon, whatever else you feel like.  There you have it, probably the closest thing to a recipe I will ever share.

It’s not that I’m too lazy to follow a recipe.  Cooking is like art.  Following a recipe is like coloring in a coloring book, and staying inside the lines.  A real artist creates, invents, does not follow rules or stay inside lines.  I am a culinary artist.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it (even if the partial truth is I just don’t like measuring and following directions)!  To make things a bit easier for anyone who wants to try my recipe (ish thing), I guess I should include of those ingredients lists thingies, right?  Here it is:

5.5 (ish) ounces Raw Cashews

20 (ish) Dates

3 (ish) Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Splash of Almond Milk

Optional: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Coffee, Etc.

In addition to eating it by the spoonful, this is delicious on bananas, apples, strawberries, bagels, just about anything that chocolate would be good on (so just about anything).  The girls love it rolled up in tortillas with peanut butter and sliced into pinwheels.


These are perfect for a breakfast tea party!


And fit for a princess!




Do you follow recipes?

What’s your favorite secretly healthy snack?



Let Them Eat Cake (for Breakfast)


Yesterday my Baby turned three.  Three.  THREE!  3!  My baby isn’t a baby anymore (but she’ll always be my baby).  I love this stage.  I love every stage.  But I also miss the over-way-too-fast baby stage.  So much!  I may or may not have cuddled the baby doll she got for her birthday just a little too long.

“Mommy, that’s MYYYY baby!”

“I know, Sweetie.  I’m just holding her for you”


Yeah that happened.  That’s how much I miss holding a new born.  Is that weird?

A milestone like this, gets a mommy like me reminiscing.  A little over three years ago, I was eagerly awaiting her arrival (also eagerly awaiting a day without throwing up).

I made this huge mistake: 386235_2269806111573_525196983_n Never, ever and I mean ever, stand next to a super model while super pregnant.  Seriously.  Just don’t.  You will wind up in therapy.  That’s some pregnancy advice that isn’t in the books.  I’m normally fairly confident about my body, but any body issues that I do have, I blame on that moment.

Anyway, that major pregnancy mistake was soon forgotten because: 380448_2483420771806_433415283_n Totally worth feeling like a cow standing next to a swan, and all the puking, and the waiting.  Yes, this girl made me wait a week after her due date.  Longest. Week. Ever!  Remember when you were a kid, and Christmas was 7 days away?  It was an eternity, right?  Multiply that times 100.  And the present I got after that excruciatingly wait?  Multiple every present you ever got by 1,000,000, then add all the presents you wished you’d get… and mine was still better!

Just look:429573_2645523824281_1222922452_n




See what I mean?  Perfection.  Best thing that ever happened to me!  Did you know that you can actually have more than one best thing ever?  The number of best things ever a person can have is equal to the number of children that individual has.  It’s basic mathematics.

I sometimes feel like she should still be that tiny baby.  I am so thankful that she hasn’t stopped being my cuddle bug.  Little or big, Aliana will always be my Baby.  She is fun and funny.  The girl has a mind of her own.  She keeps me on my toes and keeps me laughing.  Sometimes I’m not sure if she’ll turn my hair grey or keep me young, but whichever it is, I’ll take it, because she’s worth it.  She is an amazing and unique three year old, and I love her more than I ever thought possible!   With Isla and Aliana as my daughters, I am the luckiest Mama in the world!


Three Fingers

Three Fingers


Let Them Eat Cake

Happy Birthday Baby!  (Sure, I’m a day late, but at least I didn’t make you wait a whole long week!)  I love, love, love you!

And of course I would do a 21 day no junk food challenge that spans over my daughter’s birthday.  No cake.  No Ice cream.  No Pizza.  It was fine.  I was busy and didn’t miss it much.  I had my banana soft serve chocolate “ice cream” after the girls were in bed.  But then this morning… oh this morning…  I decided to be a cool mom, and let my baby have leftover birthday cake for breakfast.  In my defense it was CARROT cake… practically a vegetable.  And then cake is eggs (mixed with a bunch of other stuff), right?  And who doesn’t eat eggs for breakfast?  This morning I wanted some too.  I’m not much of a cake eater, but it was my Mom’s delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  I wanted cake!  I practiced exceptional self control by running (literally) away from that cake like it was chasing me.  Then I made myself some healthy treats.

Have you ever wanted to eat chocolate frosting by the spoonful.  Me too!  (You did say yes, right?)  You can.  I did.  No guilt.


Oh, and I’m going to share the recipe (ish thing), because it was delightful and definitely not junk food!  But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that.








If I bite your head off, I’m very sorry.  It is probably because you look so sweet… like candy… like I want to eat you… literally (not literally).  Yes, apparently I am more sugar addicted than I realized.  I blame my headache and short temper and my sugar love problem.  No, I’m not giving up refined sugar forever (don’t be ridiculous!), but as part of my 21 day challenge, I am replacing my typical snacks with healthy, real food.  “No” to candy stolen from my children.  “Yes” to an apple.  “No” to processed foods, full of who knows what.  “Yes” to Amazeballs.  Amazeballs?  Yes, Amazeballs.  If you’ve never heard of them, that might be because we renamed them.  The basic idea is the Chocolate Covered Katie recipe for Fudge Babies.  I know, I know, I shared this yesterday.  But seriously, it’s good enough to share twice.  I am willing to share the recipe… less willing to share my delicious Amazeballs.  Make your own!  Double the recipe.  Triple the recipe.  You can thank me later.

Anytime a recipe suggests that you “smush it all together in a plastic bag,” you need the help of a little one.  Trust me, they are better (and cuter) at smushing!

IMG_1900 IMG_1899


This is a great recipe to make with your children!

What Katie neglected to mention is this (once smushed) also doubles as a fabulous edible play dough that can keep your cuties busy for hours (unless, of course, they perform a magic trick like Aliana, and “disappear it” in a second).

Isla made a penguin.


And then made it disappear.


Aliana was just really super great at the disappearing trick.

IMG_1905 IMG_1904 IMG_1912 IMG_1908

I’m also pretty good at that trick, and it seems to be improving my mood.  So if I don’t bite your head off, you can thank Chocolate Covered Katie.  She is kind of my hero at the moment.

Be a hero.  Share a healthy dessert recipe with this chocolate craving mama!

Have you ever given up sugar (or anything else you loved)?  



I Just Want a Donut!


I came across this little graphic on Instagram.


(Follow Jenereesa’s No Junk Food Challenge with me on Scoot a Doot)

Junk food?  I don’t eat junk food!  Not me!  Not I!  Never!  This girl does not eat junk food!  Okay, well, maybe a little.  So there is that one small enormously gigantic bowl of ice cream almost every night after school and before bed.  But for the most part, I don’t eat any of that stuff.  Skip the chocolate.  We’ll get back to that.  I hardly eat any candy (other than chocolate).  I don’t love cookies (unless it’s a BJ’s S’mores Pizookie… in which case I can devour all 1580 calories because those things are like falling in love).  Cake… no thanks.  Muffins… nope.  Pastries… only if I’m in France.  White bread… don’t like the stuff.  Chips… okay I sometimes eat them, but I can do without.  Fast food… no big deal.  Soda… gross.  Simple, right?  I can totally do this challenge!

But wait!  Ice cream… Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!  Did you hear that scream yesterday?  No matter where in the world you live, you probably heard that agonizing sound.  That was me giving up ice cream for 21 days!  I didn’t even get to say goodbye.  We had no closure.  That’s not the way to end things!  I should have cuddled up with a giant bowl and explained that I was going to miss it, but this is something I have to do.  It’s not you (you’re delicious), it’s me.  I’ll always love you, but you are not good for me.  Our relationship is unhealthy.  But no.  No goodbye.  I didn’t even give it a second look in the grocery store.  We are like strangers now.

Ice cream is for break ups, but what do you do when you break up with ice cream?   Fortunately this girl knows how to cheat without cheating.IMG_1874

That’s all I need.  I know I’ve shared my “secret” before… healthy “ice cream.”  Peel, slice and freeze the bananas, blend with cocoa powder (no need to add sugar… the bananas make it sweet) and add enough almond milk to make it a nice soft serve ice cream texture.  So that will get me through the nights when I miss my ice cream most.

I said we’d get back to the chocolate. Here’s the thing.  Chocolate is not bad.  It is good.  Don’t believe me?  Ask your mom.   Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean.  Beans are vegetables.  “Eat your vegetables!”  Yes, I’m quoting your mother at you!  So do it!    I am not giving up chocolate.  I am, however, going up the unhealthy additives that make it “bad”.  Cocoa powder in the “ice cream” fine.  Also I made these chocolate truffles adapted from the lovely Chocolate Covered Katie’s Original Fudge Babies.  And by adapted I mean I can’t, won’t or don’t follow a recipe (I blame my mother), so I took the general idea and then just did whatever I felt like.


Dates, Pecans (I didn’t use walnuts), cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of salt.  That’s all.  I basically used the CCK method, but just didn’t follow her measurements.  After shaping them, I shook them in a plastic bag with extra cocoa power and a little cinnamon.  The only problem: I want to eat them ALL and I don’t want to share!  These definitely satisfy the sugar craving that I didn’t think I’d have.  Apparently I eat more candy and junk than I thought… A bite of Isla’s cookie here, a couple M&Ms from Aliana there.  No, I never buy myself anything like that, but I do the Mama thing, and I didn’t even know I was doing it.  I think that is the best part of this challenge.  I am learning to consciously eat.  I am enjoying my food.  I am not mindlessly noshing.

Another thing I didn’t know I’d miss… Donuts!  Not donuts actually, but a donut… the donut, the weekend donut.  When I thought about what I was giving up, I totally missed that one.  Notice it isn’t in my list?  I just didn’t think about it.  Once a week, either Saturday or Sunday, we go to Dunkin Donuts, and I have a large coconut dark roast coffee black, and a French Cruller.  I guess I can handle three weeks without it, but seriously I just want a donut!

And you can’t take something away without giving yourself something to replace it right?  Well, you could, but that seems cruel.  So for these 21 days without junk food, I am drinking a gallon of water a day.  It’s harder than it sounds.  Try it.  The idea is that I will get in the habit, and continue to do it even once I stop measuring.  And that my skin will become perfect, and I will radiate health and youth.  And look 10 years younger.  And grow a foot taller.  And become a Victoria’s Secret model.  Okay, probably not all that stuff.  Maybe some of it.  I’ll keep you posted.


Who wants to join me?

What would be the hardest junk food for you to give up?


Who I’m Wearing… and What and When and Where


Who are you wearing? I’ve always thought that red carpet question sounds a little odd… and very pretentious.  Unless you are Cruella De Vil, and you’ve succeeded in making a coat out of Lucky, Patch And Roly, that is, in which case the question makes perfect sense.  Who are you wearing?  Oh good.  Not Perdita.  I always liked Perdita.  Or if you’re that creepy guy from that creepy movie… the one who was making a coat out of people.  I guess he would have a whole list of answers to that question too.  Maybe I just don’t get it because I don’t own fancy designer clothing.  Maybe if I did, my clothes would have names too.

In fact for the Somo Marathon, I did have some pretty great designers.  I was wearing an Isla and Aliana original.



Give your kids paint, and an article of clothing and permission to be kids.  There will be smiles.  Also there will be paint.  On everything.  And everyone.  And everyone’s hair.  And that is okay.

Of course my designer shorts were the best part of my marathon ensemble.  But the rest was pretty good too (and by good I mean no chafing to the point of bloody abrasions).

Here who what else I was wearing:

My beloved running shirt from Victoria’s Secret.

IMG_1834I hate running!  It was a lie at the beginning, but by the end, pretty true.  I got a lot of understanding smiles and friendly “me toos” from the other runners.  It’s a love/hate thing.  Runners get it.

And under that, the Runway by Victoria’s Secret sports bra.  Love, love, love this bra (and not just because it has run in the name).  It’s super comfy and cuter than the average sports bra (which is not saying much, I know).  It holds all the right junk in all the right places!  The zipper front helps avoid the “Get Me Out of this Thing Shimmy,” that crazy post-run dance, which is sometimes more of a workout than the run itself.


…And hot pink Zensah compression sleeves.  So comfortable.  And All the better to see you in, My Pretty.  I try to wear something that will stand out so my parents can easily find me in the crown of runners.


Yep, they’re hard to miss.  I usually reserve these for recovery, but I can make an exception for a marathon.  It’s weird, but when you run 26.2 miles, sometimes your legs might start to hurt a bit.  It took me a while to try the compression thing, but it’s great… totally worth all the hype.  And they are pink.  So there’s that.

And last but not least, I wore shoes.  Not just any shoes.  These shoes.


My Skora FITs!  Zero drop construction for natural running.  Extra cushioning while still being a minimalist shoe.  Um pink.  I could go on.  But really you have to feel it to believe it.  I love these shoes!

Get Some!



What (or Who?) are your favorite running clothes?

How much thought do you put into your race day attire?

Me?  Way too much probably.

No Sparkly Dress Selfie


I’ve been reading all about my favorite bloggers New Year’s Eve Celebrations.  They have one thing in common.  Everyone looks fabulous… Glitz, glamour and, of course, sparkly dress selfies!  Not me!   I couldn’t decide between this:


And this:

Gummy Bears Dress

So I left both those dresses in my closet.  My only sparkle was sweat.  I guess I could post a pic of that, but I didn’t take one (and really if this isn’t your first visit to my blog, you’ve seen enough pictures of me covered in sweat to know how that looks).

I ran from 2014 right into 2015 (almost).  It was a strange New Years Eve.  We were staying in a hotel, and the girls needed to be in bed way before midnight, so there was no going out for us.  But let’s be honest we haven’t partied like rockstars since we had kids (if we ever did).  We haven’t even gone out for a New Year’s celebration.

Every New Year’s Day, I go for a nice run.  I reflect on the past.  I make goals for the future.  I thank God for the present.  That’s it.  That’s my tradition.  Delightfully boring.  Focusing on what really matters, it is just a nice dose of “me time” to start the year off.  I don’t really need a special day for that, but after all the craziness of Christmas, it is nice.

I think Old Year’s End, more commonly known as New Year’s Eve, is kind of over-rated.  Getting all dressed up (okay that part is fun!) to go somewhere overcrowded, drink too much, and hopefully kiss a stranger (who sober you wouldn’t even give a second glance)… Not really my thing.  Oh, and don’t forget the resolutions… Saying you’ll do a gazillion things that you won’t.  Come on.  You won’t, right?  I mean maybe for a few weeks, a couple months if you’re lucky.  But really.  If you want to make change, you don’t need a special day for it.

I guess I do like the newness of the new year. That’s why I start it out with a nice run. Really every day should be a fresh beginning like that… Reflect, be thankful, set goals.  Anyway this year, I knew I wasn’t going to have time for my running tradition during the day.  So I decided instead of ringing in the new year (whatever that means), I’d run in the new year.  I almost did.  In a bizarre hotel gym, lit only by a TV, I was running on a treadmill. Then at 11:55, I ran upstairs for a midnight kiss. And that is another story for another time and place never and not on this blog.  Sweating on a treadmill with some weird creeper watching through the window, that was how I said goodbye to 2014.  To be fair, the creeper was probably not the weird one… considering that I was the one running in a “gym” (actually just a very small hotel room with 2 treadmills and elliptical), in the dark… and by choice.  Yeah maybe I was the weird one, but he was the creeper watching.



How did you end your 2014 and begin your 2015?  If it was a party, I want all the details (and a sparkly dress selfie)… I vaguely remember parties.


Which of those lovely dresses should I wear to my next party (maybe this is why I’m never invited to parties?)

Blah, Blah, Blah…



So it’s a new year and everyone who blogs is blogging about it.  2015.  Fitness, resolutions, eat right, lose weight, clean slate, motivate… And to quote Aliana (in response to pretty much anything I say) “Blah, blah, blah… Vewy funny.”  (Please let this be a phase that ends before her teenage years).  Okay I actually have nothing against all the resolution posts, and I’ll probably get around to writing about the new year at sometime before it ends and the next one starts.  But first (since I’m always running late) the last quotes of 2014 from my vewy funny girls.





“Mommmmmyyyyyy Aliana is going to tattletale on me!”

While I do admire the proactiveity of a preemptive strike, what’s next?  “Isla is going to tattletale on me for tattletaling on her for…”?  It’s smart really.  I’m way too confused about who did what to whom to do anything about it!


“I’m telling God on you!”


“Cousins are like having brothers only better because you only get to see them sometimes.  Brothers you have to hang out with allllll day, and they’re boys.”


“Mommy do baby vampires suck blood or milk?”

Sorry, I’ll have to brush up on what the babies of things that don’t exist would hypothetically eat if they did exist and have babies.  I’m a bit rusty on that.


“Mommy you look so cute in that shirt! You are totally a nightmare dressed
like a daydream”

Thank you, Taylor Swift.


“I can’t wait to buy you a present with Daddy’s money!”


Singing “All I want for Christmas”, Isla and I were car dancing like crazy at a red light (yeah, we really don’t care).  She pointed at me and finished with a loud “Is youuuuuu!”… Then quickly added “But just so you know I actually do want a lot of other stuff too.”





Aliana: Daddy always says rude things to me!
Me: Like what?
Aliana: Like “no you can’t watch TV.”

Yep, pretty rude.


Mommy, Isla put my ball somewhere hidely.

Meaning she hid it… And I do believe her way of saying it actually follows the grammatical rules of the English language.


“C’mon Mama, can’t you just help a kid out?”

Sure. When I stop laughing at said kid… Sorry, Kid.


Aliana: Mommy, I want some peanut butter toooooo!

Me: Okay, get a spoon.  Wow!  That’s a big spoon, Aliana!

Aliana: Yep!  Because I need big peanut butter!


“Frozen Yogurt, it’s like yogurt but frozen.”

Yes, and South America is like America but South (“Up” reference for those of you who haven’t yet memorized every kids’ movie ever).


“I love to kiss my mama, but we don’t kiss boys because boys are gross! Pleh! We never kiss the boys! That’s just so ewww!”

Just keep thinking that for the next 18 years or so, please.





Aliana: What is hot chocolate made of, Allah?
Isla: Chocolate.
Aliana: And hot?

Happy New Year!  What are your resolutions?  Blah, blah, blah!  We’ll talk about that later (maybe).  Tell me something vewy funny your kids said.


Those Big Brown Puppy Dog Eyes


He was so happy to see me. I guess he just wanted someone to run with. I was less than happy to see him. I like to run alone. Plus he was dirty and he kind of smelled. When he ran up to me, I was a little scared. But then he wagged his tail and looked up at me like this:

And of course I couldn’t say no. At first I did try to send him home, but since I didn’t know where that was, I gave in (and besides, those eyes). R.B. (short for Running Buddy… creative, I know), stayed with me for about a mile, and that mile was the highlight of my run which was the highlight of my day. So I guess he pretty much made my day. And I’m not even a dog person! But you know I couldn’t tell him that… Because those eyes.
He would disappear into the woods then somehow come out in front of me, head down, tail wagging, looking at me like “What took you so long? Hurry up!” So hurry I did. That was the fastest (and happiest) of my ten miles.
With the exception of that one mile with R.B., today’s run was a slow one. Muscles don’t move well when they’re frozen. It was 32 degrees up here in the mountains of the Shenandoah National Park. Freezing! Literally… Not just Florida girl freezing (which could be anything below 60). It took about two miles to even get up to speed. Then the hills slowed me down again. But it didn’t really matter. I was happy. It was a perfect route on a gorgeous day.


And I had a friend!


Do you prefer to run alone, with a buddy or with a four legged friend?

What do you think of mountain running?

From Posed to Candid in 9 Years

On this day, in 2005, I had dinner at Bahama Breeze… A date. I broke all the rules… well at least two of the big ones… the laws of dating. I took home leftovers (sorry, Cosmo. In my defense I was a broke college student, and also that’s a dumb rule). And I kissed on the first date (sorry, Mom). I’m just a scofflaw like that… And I guess he likes the bad girls because nine years and two babies later, I am still kissing him and still taking home my leftovers (but seriously, why is that even a dating don’t?).
Nine years is a long time. A lot can (and has) happened in nine years.

We used to look like this:

And now we’re more like this:


Notice the difference (the one and only difference because we, of course, look exactly the same today as we did then)? Now we are almost never in the same photo. These days, one of us (usually me) is always holding the camera (which used to be an actual camera and is now a phone) and chasing the kids. It just isn’t conducive to the smiling at the camera together type of picture that couples take in the beginning of relationships (our children would be half a mile away in two different directions before we could say “cheese”). But it is fun! I’ll take today’s crazy candid photos with kids any day over our perfectly posed pics of the past. Why? Because it’s us. It’s real.
The change in the style of our photos reminds me of the way a relationship progresses over time. At first you put your best foot forward. Follow the rules. Don’t take home leftovers (unless you’re me). Smile. Pose. It’s all very pretty. Then over time, things get real. You feel comfortable just being you. You only brush your hair on special occasions (okay maybe that’s just me). He’s him. You’re you. It’s candid.
Sometimes I miss the posed perfection we had in the beginning. Then I remember I like candid better. It’s not always pretty but it’s real.
Happy anniversary, Scott! Congratulations on finding yourself such an amazing girlfriend putting up with me for nine years.

Have you ever broken any of the “rules” of dating?

What was your best ever first date?