by Melanie

Calming Down and Getting Motivated

March 26, 2015 in Crazy Life, Family Life by Melanie

Apparently, I’ve become a “once a week” blogger!!  Geesh.

However, I’m happy to say that my “crazy, constantly running, pull out my hair, nutzo life” is officially calming down to just “normal crazy.”

Phew.

In fact, my less chaotic schedule and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having has made me feel particularly motivated!  I’m in the mood to clean my entire house, throw everything away, organize the crap out of every little thing, kill it in the gym and clean up the diet!

Yay.  I still DO NOT have enough hours in my day, but I’m going to do my best to work hard, maximize my time, be productive and get ‘er done.

…makes me giddy as a school girl.

**********************

Since I haven’t been blogging a lot (super lame), I have a lot of things to share!

First off, I was so excited to have a couple of my recipes featured in the digital March issue of Personal Trainer Magazine, a UK publication for personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts.

Personal Trainer Magazine March 2015

It is a FANTASTIC magazine full of so much helpful information!  They featured my Spinach, Watermelon and Chia Seed Protein Shake and my Healthy Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies!  I was thrilled.

PT Magazine feature

I was also thrilled to receive a fun package from Kohl’s recently.

Bliss products from Kohl's

Kohl’s recently started carrying Bliss products in their stores and since I’m a part of the Kohl’s Health and Wellness Preview Group, they sent me some to try out.

I LOVE both of these products so much!!!  The Body Butter is phenomenal.  It has a refreshingly clean scent, moisturizes very well and seems to absorb almost instantly.  I hate lotion that makes me feel greasy…this lotion makes me feel refreshed, soft and clean.

Love, love, love.

The Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask is AH-Mazing as well!  Seriously.  It made my skin feel SO clean and healthy.  It tingled and seemed to pull out all of the impurities on my face.

I’d never tried Bliss products before, but now I’m a HUGE fan.  I LOVE Kohl’s so much as well!

******************

I also thought I’d share a few pics from our crazy weekend last week!

I got together with some of my most favorite people in the world on Friday night.

Friends at Melodi's House

We were all friends and roommates (just the girls, hee hee) down at college and had SO MUCH fun together!  I’ve been friends with Melodi (dark hair) since birth and Ali (blonde hair) since Junior High.

We got together with our spouses, had dinner and laughed all night long!  I must also say that my friend Melodi is such a health inspiration to me!  She is a health coach, Reiki Practitioner and incredible cook!  You can find more information about her services here.  She is amazing folks.

We also celebrated two of my kiddos birthdays on Saturday!

This little cutie turned SEVEN and is growing up WAY too fast!!!

B with his giant birthday cookie

We had a fun time going to Airborne (indoor trampoline park) and then getting some Chinese food at my son’s favorite Chinese restaurant.  I took this cute pic at the restaurant that I just have to share…

B and C with a drink at Janbo

My cutie pie baby LOVES eating so much!  If anyone has food or drink anywhere near him, he smacks his lips, leans forward and tries to get it.  Ha ha.  He is so much fun!

Here’s another example of my baby’s food obsession (he’s also just in the cute “grabby baby” stage)…

Gook and C with her birthday cake

My FOURTEEN year old daughter had a small party with some friends Saturday night.  They did funky makeovers on each other, had pizza and enjoyed this giant Costco Chocolate Cake.

BTW, I’d never tried that Chocolate Cake before (although I’ve noticed it in the store for YEARS!), but I don’t think it was all that great.  It tasted just like your typical store-bought cake; nothing to write home about.

Oh and my cute son went to Prom that day/night too…

T after Prom

He had a great time and looked entirely too grown up!  What in the world is happening to my kids!??!??!  They keep getting older and I’m not a fan. :-(

Kev also started getting our Garden boxes ready over the weekend and I’m so excited!!!

Kev and B working the garden

We haven’t planted a garden in two years and I’ve really missed it!  Oh, and my sweet seven year old has always loved helping Kev in the garden.  He was thrilled when he saw Kev out there working and quickly grabbed a shovel.

Too darn cute.

Oh, and I told Kev that I’m SO GLAD his dad was/is such a great gardener!  Kev learned so much from him and I’m so happy we can benefit from his knowledge and “skills.”  I also told Kev that I’m glad his DAD was the gardener and not his MOM.  Hee hee.

Kev actually enjoys gardening and I help where I can, but mostly I just call him the Little Red Hen and I get to be the Cat or the Dog.  It’s a great arrangement.

******************

Well, it’s getting late and I need to go to bed.

I do want to say that since life has calmed down a bit, I’ve become super motivated to “Get a Grip” on my life and my health.  I’ve been upping my workouts, making more of an effort to eat well, trying to get more sleep and drink more water.

I actually have a whole bunch of deep thoughts to share about healthy living, but I will save it for another day (hopefully tomorrow!)  I’m sure y’all can’t wait.  BUT, I NEED to go to bed.

I hope you all have a wonderful night!  It’s almost Friday!  Eeeee.

**I received the complimentary products from Kohl’s, but the text and opinions in the post are entirely my own**

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by Melanie

Crazy Life, Johnson Family Farms and a Fun Trip to Vegas!

March 19, 2015 in Adventures, Crazy Life, Family Life, Running, Travel by Melanie

Ok Woah, I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA lately.

I don’t even think I remember HOW to blog.  Holy moly.

In all seriousness, my life is insane guys.  I know I say that all the time, but it’s reality folks.

AND, it’s not changing anytime soon!  We’ve had so much going on, mostly good stuff, but MAN I’m feelin’ pretty fried.

We went on a quick family trip to St. George (Utah) and Las Vegas last weekend and we had a ball!

Kids in Vegas

Life has just been so hectic lately and Kev and I felt like we NEVER even saw each other, so we decided to leave the craziness behind and skip town for a few days.  It was so nice.  I’ll talk more about it in a sec.

We’re also smack in the middle of birthday season at our house!  Three of my kiddos have birthdays within three weeks.  It’s always crazy, but always fun!

Cute Birthday Kids

My daughter got a new bed last year (she used to use my old bed from when I was in High School) and she’s wanted “pretty bedding” and curtains for the canopy for a while now….so that’s what she got for her birthday!

My cute squishy SEVEN year old got a whole bunch of random things.  He told me he wanted “a lot of Kit Kats and some surprises!”  What a cutie.

Oh, and FYI, I decided I was going to stay away from treats EXCEPT for all of my kid’s birthday cakes.  Well, guess what???  My seven year old didn’t even want a CAKE or any other treat for that matter!!!!

Say wha????

Who doesn’t want a cake on their birthday?  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said, “I don’t want a cake.”  I then asked him if he wanted me to make a different kind of treat for him and he said, “Nah, I don’t what anything.”

I’m like….ARE YOU SURE?????

So ya, I only get to enjoy TWO of the cakes.  Sniff, sniff.

**Secretly, I’m happy he didn’t want a cake though**

Oh, and BOTH of these two kiddos are going to have their birthday parties this SATURDAY!  We were out of town last weekend and we’re busy this Friday, so they will BOTH be this Saturday; one in the day and one at night.

Insane.

Oh, and my oldest son is also going to PROM on Saturday as well!  This is his first High School dance and he’s really great at organizing and planning ahead (insert GIANT sarcasm here), so we’ve been running around this week dealing with tux rentals, corsages, etc.

I am a tired lady.

Oh, not to mention that I have a sweet baby who doesn’t like to sleep too well at night.  I wish I could say “Uncle” right about now.

Consequently, my workouts and healthy eating have been all over the place!  I’m still sticking to my half marathon running schedule for the most part, but it’s been tough to fit my other workouts in.

However, I’m SO HAPPY to say that I’ve been loving running lately!  I haven’t loved running in a long time!  The weather has been perfect and my body has felt pretty good!  I went on a wonderful five mile run with the baby last week and I loved it so much!

5 Mile Run with the baby

It was the first time I’d run five miles since I before I was pregnant and it felt SO GOOD to feel like a “normal runner” again.  I’m hoping the rest of my training goes well and my body cooperates.

*******************

Well I want to tell you guys about a WONDERFUL local farm that I’m so impressed with!

Johnson Family Farm

The Johnson Family Farm is a fourth generation farm located in Cache Valley, Utah.  They offer their fresh produce at local retail markets and Farmers Markets throughout the growing season.

Johnson Family Farm Pic

Their produce is available at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market (May-October) and the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers Market (June-October) every Saturday.

They also offer a fantastic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that I love!  You can purchase a CSA share anytime from January-May and then you can enjoy farm fresh produce all summer long!

Johnson Family Farm CSA

They offer several different share options.  You can click here for more information and for pricing.  If you enter in the discount code, Fresh Veggies at check out you can get ONE WEEK FREE!  The discount code expires March 31st.

I will be enjoying their produce this summer and can’t wait to try it!  You can check out the Johnson Family Farms website for more information about their farm.

Love it!

*******************

Well, I thought I would share a few more pics from our fun little trip!  FYI, St. George is about 4+ hours from our house and Las Vegas is about 6.  It’s so nice to have warm, palm tree places that aren’t too far away!

I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of Vegas though.  I’ve been there MANY times and I’ve never loved it.  It’s a fun, exciting “town” with so many things to see and do, BUT I just really don’t love the overall feeling there.

Blah.

I’ll just shoot it straight; in Vegas it seems like every single vice or addiction that can plague man is advertised, encouraged and even celebrated!!!  I also think the slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is brilliant from a marketing perspective, but extremely disturbing from a “trying to be a good person” perspective.  It’s like it gives people a “green light’ to do whatever the heck they want and feel okay about it!!!???

The whole feeling there is carnal, hollow and evil.  So, why in thee heck did we decide to go there on a FAMILY TRIP you ask?

Well, Vegas is a very fun, exciting place too!  There are so may cool things to do as a family.  It really is a FUN city, I just wish it wasn’t mixed in with so much crap.  However, in a weird way I think it’s good for the kids to “see the world” and venture out of our little bubble from time to time as well.

I must also say that it’s fairly easy to avoid a lot of the crap in Vegas if you’re careful.  There are definite “family friendly” places to go and plenty of “non family friendly” places to go too.  However, as we were leaving the Wax Museum there was a small group of random people dressed up in Vegas attire who were charging people to have their picture taken with them.  Well, ONE of those people happened to be a topless lady only wearing pasties!

Um ya.  In the middle of the day…in the middle of the street!  Thankfully, Kev and I saw the lady before the kids did and we asked the kids to look the other way as we walked by.  Crazy.

Soooo, we took the kids to Container Park, which is a cool place!  The kids played on the giant playground there…

Kids at Container Park in Vegas

We also took a pic in front of the giant metal Praying Mantis (he apparently shoots out fire balls, but we never saw it….maybe it’s just at night)…

Kev and the kids with the Praying Mantis in Vegas

And a big heart covered in messages that were padlocked to it.  It was very sweet.

The kids and I with the metal heart in Vegas

We also took the kids to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.  I’d never been to a wax museum before and it was a lot of fun!  The wax figures are unbelievable and look so real….it’s creepy.

I took my pic with Elvis and Brangelina.

Me at the Wax Museum

Sadly, the quality of the pics didn’t turn out too great.  Oh, and supposedly the wax figures are exactly life size.  They are the same height and weight as the celebrities in real life.  Soooo, I felt like a giant next to Angelina.  Ha ha.  She is teeny.

I took some pics of the kids with Nick Fury and Babe Ruth.  So fun.

Kids at the Wax Museum

Kev and my oldest son (and baby!) even got to golf with Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.

Kev, T and C at the Wax Museum

There was also a replica of a Wedding Chapel there and we couldn’t resist…

B and J at a Wedding Chapel at the Wax Museum in Vegas

It was a lot of fun.  At the end of the museum, we saw a short 4D Marvel Avengers movie and it was fantastic!  We all loved it!

Later on, Kev took a few of the kids on the giant roller coaster at New York, New York.  I didn’t take any pics, but here’s a pic I found on the internet.

Roller Coaster at New York New York

Kev said it was quite a rough roller coaster ride, and he got “beat up,” but they still all loved it!

That night, we watched a couple of the water fountain shows at the Bellagio and it was wonderful (and free!)  I’d never seen them before and it was so beautiful!  The fountains are all synchronized to music and it is so fun to watch.

The Bellagio Fountains in Vegas

We had so much fun in Vegas, but we were all worn out!  We pretty much went non-stop from 10 AM-11 PM!  The baby did amazingly well too!  Kev kept track of how far we walked on his phone and it said we walked 9.6 miles!  Wow.

I couldn’t believe my cute little kidlets didn’t even complain.

Oh, and we stayed at my sister’s condo in St. George and it was so nice.  I loved visiting Vegas, but I was happy to get away from that city and stay in a quieter, happier, safer place.  I took ONE picture of the kids on the deck overlooking the pool and palm trees..

The kids on the deck in St. George

It was the perfect little getaway.  The weather was in the upper 70’s the whole time and it was heavenly.

Well, that about sums it up!  I need to head to bed.  I will try to blog again soon and about more healthy things!!!!  Oh, and I promised to post my Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe last week and I didn’t!

So sorry.

I really shouldn’t promise anything with the way my life is going lately!  Geesh.  I will TRY to get that recipe on here ASAP!  Have a wonderful night!!!

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by Melanie

#DontLetTheProduceDie + a Fun Run with the Baby

March 11, 2015 in Baby, Family Life, Meal Ideas, Running by Melanie

K, so yesterday morning I opened my fridge and found a whole bunch of almost dead produce in there.

I really, really hate wasting food, so I decided to execute Operation #DontLetTheProduceDie.  Ha ha.

I pulled everything out, other than a big bag of carrots, container of baby spinach and bag of cauliflower because they were not quite dead yet.

**I have to chuckle when I say that because I can’t help but think of Monty Python.  Ha ha.  I’m not even a fan of Monty Python, but they sure have some great one-liners!

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here’s all of my almost dead produce….

Trying to save all of the veggies in the fridge

Unfortunately, I declared my poor cucumber “officially dead” (I swear cucumbers last 2 days tops!), but everything else was still okay.  I washed everything and cut it up into usable portions.

My Don't Let the Veggies Die Prepared Veggies

I have learned time and time again that if my produce is washed, cut up and ready to eat….I eat it!  It’s so simple to just grab it and add it to things.  It definitely makes eating well easier!

Case in point, I immediately made myself a yummy egg creation with broccoli, peppers, onions, celery, spinach and a little cheese!

My Don't Let the Veggies Die Egg Creation

I also made myself another random creation for lunch too!  I just mixed some leftover brown rice with hard boiled eggs, turkey, broccoli (I steamed it in the microwave first) and a spoonful of Tzatiki (from Costco.)  Note: I actually took this pic on Saturday, but I had the same lunch yesterday too!

My random rice, veggie and egg bowl

And, after I took this pic, I realized I’m gettin’ old.  Man.  I think the teenagers, sleep deprivation and sweet baby are taking a toll.  Sigh.

Oh, and my sweet 4 (almost 5!) year old has decided he likes my brown rice/veggie/random stuff concoctions too.  He asked me to make him his very own.

J with his Rice Veggie Bowl

FYI, this child is one of my healthiest eaters.  He told me broccoli is his favorite food and he doesn’t like pizza!??!?  Woah.

Let’s hope it lasts.

Last night, I also decided to make homemade pizza for dinner.  I made my typical homemade pizza for the kids, but I made a cauliflower crust pizza for Kev and I…

Cauliflower Pizza

I topped it with tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives and of course, sauce and cheese.

This pizza is seriously so good and I’m sorry I haven’t even shared the recipe with y’all!  I WILL share it this week!  Promise.

Sooo, yesterday I successfully used up all of the broccoli, most of the peppers/onions and about half of the celery.  Score.  I also finished all of the cauliflower and some of the spinach.  Yay.

I’m always trying to get more veggies in the diet and I need to remember to make my life a little easier by taking a few minutes to prepare my veggies beforehand.

Live and learn.

******************

Yesterday, I played a fun game called Dungeon with my cute babies…

The game Dungeon with cute kids and oatmeal

Um ya, the baby didn’t really “play,” he was too enthralled with his binky.  Ha ha.

Love him.

I had a ball playing with my preschooler though.  FYI, I had this game when I was a kid and I LOVED it.  A couple months ago I decided to look it up on Amazon to see if it was still around….

Sure enough, they had it (albeit, the new and improved version!)

I decided to get it and my kids have loved it!  I must say that I realize now it’s a bit of a “geeky” game (it now says it’s affiliated with “Dungeons and Dragons” on the cover), but it’s really fun and simple to learn.  I must also say that I don’t know anything about Dungeons and Dragons!

Actually, maybe I do….but if I do, I don’t know I do.  Does that even make sense???  Ha ha.

Anyway, I also made myself some Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal because I was craving a treat.  I love this oatmeal and it totally scratched the itch.  It filled me up for a long time too!

Oh, and my baby wanted to share with me too.

Mom and C with a chocolately oatmeal mouth

He loved it.  Can ya tell???  Ha ha.

Speaking of a cute baby, I was able to go on a run with him in the jogger yesterday!

Going for a run with my Thule Jogger

It was his first time in the jogger and he loved it!  The weather was perfect (~60 degrees) and it felt so good to be outside.  I only ran 3.5 miles, but it was just right.

I kept checking on the baby throughout my run and I snapped this cutie pie picture of him

Tired C in the jogger on a run

He was so tired and was just spacing off, enjoying the ride.

I loved running with him and am so glad the weather is warmer now so I can take him with me.  I’m supposed to run 5 miles tomorrow and I’m nervous.

I haven’t run 5 miles since before I was pregnant!

Ya know, 5 miles isn’t really that far, but it’s all relative.

Back it the day, I used to run 5+ miles on a regular basis and I considered it a short run.  Now, it’s my “long run.”  Hee hee.

Funny how that works.

I’m happy to be running again though and it’s fun to ramp up the miles.

Well, it’s late and I need to hit the hay, so I’m going to end this.  I hope you are all happy and healthy!

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