Monday, June 30, 2014

Smoked Meat + Wild Flowers

Good morning!  I think my Mac dislikes Monday mornings as much as I do, because it is giving me trouble again.  So, I am blogging from my phone- so there will be even more typos than usual.  

Yesterday after church and grocery shopping, we headed to Dan's dad's house for lunch.  

And boy did we have it.  The food was so good!  I decided that I prefer smoked meat over any other method to cook meat- so flavorful!  There was also a pepper-slaw-salad I am going to repeat ASAP.  

After lunch we hung around and let Ina entertain us, which she was happy to do.  

She especially loved playing with her Auny Kotey and Dan's step-mom Sherri. It was so great to see them and we were sad to leave.  

On our way home we couldn't help but stop and pick some wild flowers.  They were just too pretty.

Dan used if always bring me home wild flowers, so it was fun to see his picking strategy and bouquet making method.

Once we were home we actually did some yard work. I am sure my neighbors are still in shock.  I personally am in shock that I managed to not clip a body part off while trimming the bushes. 

I think that means I had a successful Sunday.  Have a good week!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Food and Fitness Plan #42

Good morning from (half of) the flower by our back door (the dogs dug out the other half).  

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How has the weekend been treating you?

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Ours has been fabulous.  Friday night Dan was helping a friend move some furniture, so Ina and I met some friends at a FREE splash park nearby.

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I have never been to such a thing before, but have decided that it is the best invention ever and will be visiting there on a weekly basis.  

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Yesterday was a pretty chill day - we read lots of books, worked, T25-ed during nap time

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and I cleaned out my crisper drawer and transferred all the random vegetables (radishes, turnips, zucchini, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, etc) to my crockpot.  I have never thought of roasting vegetables in the slow cooker - but added some olive oil and seasonings and it is perfect!

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Last night we went to a friend’s first birthday party and then out to eat for Mexican food with some other friends.  

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Dan and I came home and weirdly had energy to stay up and watch a movie.  He picked Captain Phillips - I think I have reached my suspense quota for the month after watching that.  I cannot believe it is based on a true story.  

This week is a short one - yay summer holidays! - but here is my plan:

Running with Racheal


Fitness - my LAST week of alpha T25

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: total body circuit 
  • Tuesday: ab intervals
  • Wednesday: total body circuit 
  • Thursday: cardio
  • Friday: total body circuit 
  • Saturday: lower focus

What are you up to this week?

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Really Good Day

Yesterday was a really good day.  

Like super good.

It might have been the fact that I could do almost every move in T25 Total Body Circuit.  I even tried a few oblique push-ups, but nearly fell on my face.  

It may have been that I was able to drink coffee again.

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[Using the cold brew method.]

It may have been that I wore heels, which happens once a year.

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[I had a presentation and Ina was at her grandparents’, so I thought I could take it.]

It may have been that I had some serious power foods for breakfast

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[brown rice, lentils, kale and egg]

and lunch.

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[salmon with brown rice and a kale, feta, and cherry salad]

Or maybe because Ina and I went to the farmer’s market

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[That silly hat]

or possibly because we also received our CSA share.

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[So many goodies - eggs, raw honey, watermelon, carrots, green beans, snap peas, baby zucchini, corn, onion, basil, and jalapeños.]

My day only got better while listening to Ina saying, “hippopotamus”  and then giggling her heart out while swimming in our high quality pool.

When Dan licked his plate clean (literally) after dinner, I knew my day was complete.

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[Turkey burgers, roasted green beans and mushrooms, and baked sweet potato with coconut oil]

So, when Ina learned how to use the couch on the other side of the wall to climb up to the kitchen sink, turn on the water, and turn on the garbage disposal in a matter of minutes, I took it all in stride.  

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We might have some re-arranging to do.

It was a good day indeed.  Looking forward to repeating my mood throughout the weekend.  I hope your weekend is great too!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday - The Iced Coffee Edition


Why am I yelling at you?  Because today my thankfulness cup runneth over.  Most likely because I just had my first sip of coffee for over 10 days and all is right with the world again.  But, it wasn’t just any coffee.  

I decided to take it to the next level by making my own cold brew coffee.  For years I thought that iced coffee was just coffee brewed in the coffee pot that was leftover, put in the fridge to get cold, and then put over ice.  I have tried that method many times and it kind of tasted like cold coffee that I left on the counter for too long.  

Then I read about this super easy cold brew method and decided to give it a try.  I added a little almond milk and my life was changed.  Try it.  

So, other than the magic that is iced coffee, I am also thankful for:

- This picture of Ina.  Can you even?  

Dani of Sage and Jude Photography captured this at the birthday party we went to last weekend and it is perfect.  The smile. The  hint of ornery in her eyes.  The curls.  The way she is holding on to that apple like her life depended on it. Just perfect.  

- My alarm message

Our pastor told us this week the theme should be to pray, “God, use me.”  So, I thought the best way to capture that would be on my alarm.  How can you press snooze to God?  You can’t.  You have to get up.  

- My mom who made too much chicken stir fry and then gave me the leftovers.  Guess who didn’t cook last night?  

- My small group.  Man, just when I think I can’t love them more, I do.  Every single week.  

- Our friends Brad and Chessa who brought me a special present I will be enjoying this weekend

- My in-laws for watching Ina last night, even though I miss her so, so much.  Wednesday nights are rough.  

- Coffee.   Have I mentioned that yet?

What are you thankful for?  Have  a wonderful day!  Friday is almost here.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Five Things

Good morning!

Brace yourself for a random post.

Five recipes I have made lately and loved:

  1. No bake blueberry jam bars  (completely DPD friendly)
  2. Crockpot lentils and brown rice - I have recently discovered how much I love lentils
  3. Pineapple, cucumber, and mint salad - I made this for small group last night - I liked it, but I don’t know if anyone else did - ha!
  4. Sun dried tomato turkey burgers - so good we are having them again for dinner tonight
  5. Roasted sugar snap peas - I continue to believe that every vegetable tastes better when roasted

Five things I am looking forward to:

  1. The detox being over tomorrow - coffee, here I come.  I want to try to make my own iced coffee.  I will likely add in the occasional dairy, but I am going to try very hard to stay away from sugar and of course gluten.
  2. A laid back weekend - it seems we will have the perfect mix of planned activities and sitting around, which I love.
  3. 4th of July!
  4. Running again.  I love T25, and I am finally feeling like I can do most of the workouts, but I do miss running.  I have one more week of T25, and then it is back to pounding the pavement. 
  5. Football season.  Is it too early for that yet?

Five new things Ina is saying:

  1. “Yeah” which has replaced “no” or “uh-uh” very appropriately and I couldn’t be more thankful
  2. “Yay Royals!” while clapping
  3. “Hummus!” which might be her favorite food of all time.  She says it as soon as I open the can of chickpeas.  
  4. “Luv you Momma-Daddy”  which is so sweet
  5. “Two” after I say one, and “Eight” after I say seven.  She will still repeat the rest of the numbers after me, but she knows what comes after one and seven.  Ha!

Five things I would do if there were more than 24 hours in a day:

  1. Train for another triathlon.  The one I want to do is the same one I did last year and it just happens to be on my 30th birthday.  I think there is something so cool about that.
  2. Read the last book in the Divergent series
  3. Clean out my pantry - I swear this needs to be done once a month at least or else things start falling on me
  4. List all the things we don’t need / use  in our house on Craig’s List or Ebay.  I have done this with a handful of items and it is very surprising what other people want.  
  5. Spend more time with Ina just being with her and not trying to do something else at the same time.  

OK, I think that is enough. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Which Peach Should I Pick?

And which peach should I leave there to get bigger?

Better yet - which peaches does God want me to pick and which ones does he want to get bigger?


Me too, but let me fill you in.  Last night during my Daniel Plan small group study Pastor Rick Warren (Daniel Plan founder) told a story about a peach tree in his back yard (largely paraphrasing here).  His peach tree was doing fabulous - so great in fact that it had hundreds of peaches on each limb.  Initially, that would seem great, but the problem was that if a limb has hundreds of peaches, the peaches don’t get very big.  So, he had to pick most the peaches off and throw them away, so much smaller number of peaches could grow big and juicy.

Anyone else want a peach right now?

This story was obviously a metaphor for life.  If I pull myself in hundreds of directions, the fruits of my labor will be many, but small.  However, if I discard many of the little things, and focus on a small number of important things, I will get a big juicy peach.  Or something like that.

I loved this story because it rings true in my life.  The fact is, I have too many little peaches.  I knew this before I saw this video, long before.  

The problem is, I have absolutely no idea which peach I want to grow.  I have thought and prayed about this long and hard, but I can’t seem to discard anything from my life.  They are all so important to me and none seem disposable.  My time is mostly taken up by the following things:

  • Full time job
  • Being a mom to Ina
  • Church and leading two small groups
  • Part time job - about 6 hours a week
  • Being a wife / not-very-good homemaker
  • Cooking / grocery shopping / dishes
  • Writing this blog
  • Exercising
  • Spending time with friends and family  
  • Sleeping

How could any of the above be taken away?  

I am going to think and pray on this more, and I don’t know if there is a clear answer here.  However, I want to make a goal to discard a few peaches in my life - soon.  

I have said this before, but I know I am not alone here.  I have talked to many people about it and everyone has the same busy-life story.  

Imagine what we could do with all of our big fruits!

What i really like hearing are the stories of people who have given things up for other areas of their life to flourish.  Have you done that?  If so, please tell me about it!  

Thanks for listening to me ramble and I hope you have an amazing day!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Pool

Yesterday our family took classy to a whole new level when installing a new pool.

By installing, I mean borrowing our neighbor’s air compressor to blow it up - which took 25 minutes.

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Like I said, classy.

I snagged the pool at Aldi Saturday for $22 after enjoying some swimming action at our friend’s birthday party.  I didn’t really pay attention to the dimensions, so we were quite surprised by how massive it was when we took it out of the box.

In my opinion, we have already gotten our money’s worth.  Yesterday my friend Liz and her daughter Sadie visited us at church and then came over later for some pool action plus a grilled lunch.  

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Then I worked like a beast weeding our garden for 2 hours.  Remind me to never procrastinate that chore again.

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[Before pic, I didn’t have the energy to take one after.]

After Dan and Ina woke up from their nap we all changed into our swimsuits and relaxed a little while staring at all the yard work that needs to be done.

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While we were swimming our friends stopped by to drop off dinner - leftovers from a crawfish boil they had attended the night before.

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Ina didn’t really know what to do with it and tried to eat the shell a few times, but she liked the meat when we de-shelled it for her.

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See - the pool even brings us luck!  

Just the day I needed for the energy to tackle the week.  Let’s make it a good one!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Food and Fitness Plan #41


Weekend going well?  

Mine is going okay, but would be much better if my little baseball team hadn’t lost their last 3 games.  Hmph.

Despite the loss on Friday night, we had an equally wonderful and scorching time at the game.  We didn’t get home until 11:30, and on the drive Dan and I were trying to figure out the last time we had been up that late.  It has been months.  

Yesterday was a combo of work + play.  I worked in the morning, then we went to our friend Rayna’s 5th birthday party.

Water balloons for the win.

Then we did the grocery shopping thing, came home, and started some yard work.  Good times. 

The evening ended at our friends Eric and Courtney’s house for a little get together, then watching some fire works off our back porch.  

I hope I will never forget Ina sitting on my lap watching the fireworks and either repeating what her dad said about each one (big one! loud! cool!) or saying Whoa!  She is definitely a fan of the fireworks.  <3 

Here is the plan for this week:

Running with Racheal


  • Sunday: slow cooker beef stew with a salad
  • Monday: pesto chicken with brown rice pasta and roasted broccoli
  • Tuesday: small group - likely bringing roasted sugar snap peas
  • Wednesday: turkey burgers with sweet potatoes and roasted green beans
  • Thursday: cheeseburger one pot casserole (the detox is over on Thursday, so coffee will also be back in my life)
  • Friday: egg, potato, and veggie hash with turkey chorizo 
  • Saturday: grilled marinated chicken with grilled veggies and corn on the cob
Food prep for snacks / lunches / easier dinners:

Fitness (4th Week of T25):

  • Sunday: active rest - likely pulling the monster weeds out of my garden
  • Monday:T25 Cardio
  • Tuesday:  T25 Total Body Circuit 
  • Wednesday: T25 Lower Focus
  • Thursday:  T25 Total Body Circuit 
  • Friday: T25 Ab Intervals
  • Saturday: T25 Speed 1.0

What are you up to?

Friday, June 20, 2014

House Guests + Blocks + Bunny Ears

Happy Friday!  

Last night sort of felt like Friday night, because we had some house guests.  

Our friends Brady and Chessa came over because they had painted their house and needed some fume-freedom.  

I wish I could say I was perfectly prepared for having last minute dinner guests.

Instead I had a tiny freak out over having people over while trying to be on this detox, but then I realized it was completely possible.  Not only was it possible, it was awesome.  

I just stuck the leftover smoked turkey in the oven to warm up, prepped some kale from our CSA to sauté, and then cut up the random potatoes, onions, and peppers we had left to make a hash.  

It was fun to have them over for dinner and of course Ina felt the need to be the evening’s entertainment.

Who needs TV when you have a toddler running around with tights on top of her head?  

Once we told her she was a bunny she hopped, twirled, and summersaulted around the room. Chessa was the genius behind that idea and I think it will be repeated often.  

Forcing myself out of bed to do T25 this morning was hard, but I did it.  

This weekend is looking pretty busy - Royals game tonight, work tomorrow morning, a birthday party tomorrow afternoon, and another get together tomorrow evening.  Sunday is church + church life development classes. 

I hope you have an amazing weekend!  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!

There are so many things to be thankful for today, so let’s get to it.

Today I am thankful for my small group friend / T25 partner in crime who also smoked an amazing turkey and gave me all the leftovers. I could eat smoked turkey breast for days.

Today I am thankful that Ina was able to go the blueberry patch yesterday with Danielle.

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Seriously, I feel like she is living my dream summer.  Petting zoo last week, pool earlier this week, and now the blueberry patch.  

I am thankful that Dan is sticking with this Daniel Plan detox.  He is cracking me up, asking me what he can and cannot have.  He is actually doing a really good job, and has found his new favorite breakfast - hard boiled eggs and avocado.  

I am thankful for nooch popcorn.

I am thankful for the Kansas City Royals are first in their division - something that has not happened in a very, very long time.  We are going to the game tomorrow to cheer them on.  

I am thankful for my grandma’s sewing skills -I gave her an entire basket full of clothes that had a rip or missing button and she fixed them up within a few days!

I am thankful for my small group, for air conditioning, for ice cold water, for the idea of having coffee in a week, for my parents and parents-in-laws, and heck, my whole family.  

I am thankful for having the bible to read and discuss freely and openly and thankful beyond words for the amazing gift that Jesus have given me everyday.  

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Squatting with a Baby

This morning, at 5:40, I was attempting jump squats while holding a crying toddler.


Adding 26.2 pounds to my T25 workout brought a whole new set of challenges.  

I am sure you are wondering the same thing that I was at the time - how does a person get in that situation?  It was one of those moments when all the mistakes of my life flew through my brain.  

To make a long story short, Ina is waking up early.  Yesterday was 5:50, today was 5.  

I am so looking forward to tomorrow.

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The good side of early wake-ups is that we get a lot done before we go to work and daycare.  We have slid down the slide many times, swung back and forth, weeded and harvested the garden, and are all caught up on the episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the DVR.  

A few other things to note: 

- Yesterday a couple from our small group brought kites to fly - I had absolutely no idea how much of a workout kite flying is!  I was sweating up a storm after just 5 minutes, which I am sure everyone in our small group greatly appreciated.  

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- Lately I have been adding stuff to my water to give it some extra pizazz - yesterday I added mint and lime which is my favorite combo so far.

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- Ina went to the pool with Danielle yesterday - those arm floaties kill me.  

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Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daniel Plan Detox, Round 2 Day 1

Good morning!

Yesterday I started my second Daniel Plan detox.  I don’t think the plan really emphasizes doing it multiple times, but I am leading the Daniel Plan bible study at my church, so I thought it was only right that I am in the trenches with the rest of the group.

The story is pretty much the same as the first time, I am completely fine with having no gluten, no sugar, no dairy, and no processed foods.

What I am not fine with is no coffee.  Yesterday I was hurting, but after a few Tylenols and a lot of water, I feel like I came over the slump. 

What has also helped is changing up my morning routine - I now exercise first thing in the morning, so waking up earlier just to make/drink coffee doesn’t sounds as appealing.  

The best part about the detox is that I am not hungry at all - 

Breakfast - 2 hb eggs with a sliced tomato and avocado 

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Lunch - lentils, brown rice, and chicken sausage with an apple and veg / hummus for snacks

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Dinner - roasted broccoli with brown rice and chicken and veggie stir fry

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Dessert - banana soft service - frozen banana, peanut butter, and almond milk in the food processor 

All this cooking required a lot of dishes, but Ina was on it.  

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Have a great day! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Good morning!

I hope you had a fantastic Father’s Day / Sunday!

Here are a few pictures from ours:

The food 

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Watching the Royals win!

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My other baby girl

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Not pictured - a whole lotta food prep.  My kitchen looked like a tornado went through it after I finished prepping our food for the week.  But, it is done, our fridge is full, and my mind is at ease.  

I also wanted to share this video:

We watched it at church and I was still crying halfway through the sermon thinking about the wonderful men I have in my life and how they have guided me.  I am one blessed woman!

I hope you have a fantastic week!  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day + My WFFP #39

Good morning and Happy Father’s Day!

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I know that being a dad is a tough job and one that often goes unfilled. I am so very blessed and thankful for the awesome dads in my life (both pictured and not) who do it fun and do it right.

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I love you guys.  

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This weekend has been an absolute blast so far.

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Friday Ina’s Great-Grandma Ina came over to watch her,

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then we had a fajita dinner

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and played outside.

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Saturday morning started off great with a family walk / run to the park (after my T25 ab workout),

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then Ina and I went to my nephew Kauffman’s T-ball game,

and then we came back home to get dinner ready for our friends Brad and Chessa.

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Their son Silo is getting so big and this was the first time that Ina really played with him.  They took our tupperware drawer down.  

Today we are going to church and then celebrating Father’s Day with a bon-fire.  

Here is what this week looks like: 

Running with Racheal

Food - remember we are starting the Daniel Plan Detox this week.

  • Sunday: we are bringing dill cucumber and radish salad and red skinned potato salad to the bonfire
  • Monday: chicken and veggie stir fry (made with a tamari sauce) with brown rice
  • Tuesday: small group - smoked turkey and kale salad 
  • Wednesday: Trader Joe’s Chimichuri wild Pacific salmon with lemon quinoa and roasted broccoli
  • Thursday: Dr. Hyman’s walnut pesto chicken with white beans and peppers
  • Friday: almond flour chicken fingers with a salad and sweet potato fries
  • Saturday: we are going to a party, but I plan on making crock pot beef stew to have on hand for hungry Dan and Racheal

Breakfasts: alternating between green monster smoothies and avocado + hb eggs

Lunches: alternating between chicken sausage and lentil soup and sun dried tomato turkey burgers

Snacks: berries and nuts and artichoke hummus with veggie sticks

Fitness - third week of T25:

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: total body circuit
  • Tuesday: speed 1.0
  • Wednesday: lower focus
  • Thursday: cardio
  • Friday: total body circuit
  • Saturday: ab intervals

What are you up to this week?

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