Sunday, September 30, 2012

Menu Planning...What's For Dinner?

Today I'm linking up with Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness and Laura from Mommy, Run Faster starting this week.  With all the craziness of life (not just the fact that we're adding another member to the family but just the working mom part) I can not get through my week smoothly if I don't plan out meals ahead of time.  It helps keep healthy meals on our table as well as keeps my grocery bill in check.  I go in with a plan and don't come out with a lot of extras...especially if I go alone!

This challenge will last from today, September 30 until October 31. Every Sunday morning Mommy Run Fast and Fitness, Health and Happiness, will share their meal plans for the week, including recipe links and/or a new recipe. This challenge comes at a great time to make sure I am doing that even with a new little one around! 

Here is what the week is looking like in Fancy Nancy Land!! (I've included recipe links where I can)
Breakfast (Monday-Saturday) 
Green Monster Protein Smoothie (quick and easy and I can drink it while I drive to work)
Lunch (Monday-Friday)  
Rachel Ray Italian Chicken Noodle Soup...I make a big pot of it on Sunday and have it for the yummy!!
Monday: Man-Pleasing Chicken with roasted asparagus
Tuesday: Taco Salads (with ground chicken and guac)
Wednesday: Chicken and broccoli in the crock pot (It's swim lesson day so I try to use the crock pot each Wednesday so dinner is done when we get home!)
Thursday: out...we go to my in laws each Thursday for dinner
Friday: Leftovers...I know very exciting!!  I always feel like I need at least one day for this to clear out the fridge!
Saturday: Make your own pizza night....the hubs is working a body building show so Em and I have a date day.  I wanted to have a special day with just her and I before the baby comes...park, manis, her favorite food, and a movie!

What's for dinner at your house this week???
Any great recipes you've tried out lately?

Friday, September 28, 2012

#Fitness Friday...Emotional Exerciser

First thank you all so much for your support from my last post!  I am always touched by the support this community gives!! 

This morning I was reading Ali Mc post on Running with Spatulas from yesterday and she mentioned that she exercises less when she is feeling down.  This got me thinking about myself and my habits with exercise.  Now we have all heard of emotional eating...
 ...but could there also be emotional exercising?
Much of what we all talk about and researchers show are the many emotional benefits of being healthy and exercising.  We all know how a good run or workout can put us into a better mood.  As a matter of fact the other day when I got home from the doctor, all I wanted to do was go for a hit the pavement so hard that my stress would come out and stay there (I did head to Fancy Nancy's Gym-still looking for a good name-and hit the treadmill for a bit until I didn't want to scream).   I have always tried to be mindful of when I was eating/craving junk food and whether or not it was tied to how I was feeling.  I've worked hard to not eat just because I was sad/stressed, but I've never looked at my exercise patterns.  I would like to think that I am a "I'm stressed so I'll go for a run" type of girl.  The stressful times in my life looking back have gone hand and hand with the highest mileage months to date, but what about you? 
Do you turn to workouts when you are stressed or feeling down or do you tend to stay away from the sweat fest when you're blue?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Things Thursday

It certainly has been a while since I have put on my random hat on a Thursday and brought to you three randoms but here you go!!

1.  I'm sorry...WHAT?...I'm leading with this one since it is the most on my mind.  I am going to attempt to not sound like I'm whining but it is weighing heavy on my heart.  During my doctor's appointment this week (mind you I have seen my doctor only 1 time in 9 I'm pretty sure he could never pick me out of a line up) I asked the nurse practitioner about writing me a letter to say I can't go back to work for a certain period of time due to my c-section (We are allowed 12 weeks as teachers but they are 12 UNPAID weeks.  The letter would allow me to get paid and thus be able to take the time).  Her response was 6 weeks....6 weeks...1 1/2 months and then I hand over my daughter to someone else for 6 hours a day and I go back to teaching.  To say the thought of this is devastating to me would be a HUGE understatement.  I am so thankful for my job and being able to help provide for my family but this news just hit me so hard....that and the lack of compassion from the nurse.  She kept saying, "But you get 12 weeks right?"  She stopped saying this after I said to her, "Yes but you give me your paycheck for 6 weeks and let me know how easy it is to pay your bills".  I still don't know what to do about this but like I said it is weighing on my heart and thought I would share. 

2.  Family 5k...This week hubs started talking about setting another goal for himself and getting back to doing more cardio....and then it happened...he suggested we run a 5k together!  It was during dinner so I tried to keep my happy dancing (like picture Gangnam style) tucked deep inside but I was psyched!!!  I'm sure I had some smart comment like, "Oh sure now you want to run with that you'll probably beat me!" but really I couldn't be more excited!! 

3.  Throwing in the towel...Yesterday as I was driving Em to swimming (she has by the way turned into a out Michael Phelps someone is gunning for your record!), I had a thought pass through my head.  What if I just threw in the towel and just ate whatever I wanted....if I craved it I would eat it and not care about how healthy it was.  Then I remembered how awful I feel when I do just that.  Pregnancy brings cravings but along with that are the ramifications for giving into those swollen feet and hands (so sexy I promise) or heartburn that feels like you may be able to take a side job as a fire breathing dragon!  Yeah needless to say it was a fleeting thought and I won't be spending the last 1 1/2 weeks gorging on all my cravings!!

Have something random running through your life right now or something exciting coming?
  Share away!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Almost" Wordless Wednesday

This is my view lately!!  
Less than 2 weeks to go!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two Days of #ZOOMA Fun!

What's better than an a great race with tons of awesome swag?
When it turns into a two-day event!!
Day one was an appearance by none other than Sarah and Dimity from Another Mother Runner who have written the awesome "Run Like a Mother" and "Train Like a Mother".
I was beyond excited to meet Sarah and then Dimity the next day!  LOVE these ladies!!!
Following that was a great expo complete with shopping booths by Skirt Sports, Bani Bands (who will soon be available at Dicks Sporting Goods), and Sarah and Dimity.  The night finished with a "mocktail" hour sponsored by Hint water overlooking the ocean at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel.  It was a gorgeous sunset....pardon the blurry picture
and a beautiful night just relaxing with friends, fellow ambassadors, and the ZOOMA ladies Brooke, Brae, and Tricia!  I had met many of them before but it was great to meet Felice and Tricia.  I have been reading Tricia's blog for YEARS and it was awesome to talk with her in real life!!  Time sailed and we headed home to rest up for the next day's race!

I drove with my sister Amy to the race and my friend Marissa followed us there.  They were both super nervous since this was their first 10k race.  I knew they would rock it but they just needed to believe it!  Arriving at the Sea Crest, which was both the starting and finish line, was awesome!  Such a fun and exciting atmosphere and VERY well organized!  I heard from so many runners after about how well organized and fun they thought the whole race was.  New England runners tend to be a little finicky (we're actually pretty finicky about a lot of things) so the ZOOMA crew should consider this a huge compliment!  I dropped the ladies at the starting line and headed to our ZOOMA Ambassador surprise aide station!!

Since I wasn't running I thought it would be super fun to work the aide station with Ryan, Bethany a fellow ambassador's hubby and amazing distance runner.  What a great surprise to have so many Falmouth High School athletes there to help out!
The race was so fun to watch and I have to admit that I got chocked up more than I would normally admit!  I just love cheering people on!
My friend Marissa did great....
and so did my sister Amy
who ran the distance faster than she has ever run it!!!  I seriously couldn't be more proud of her!!!

After heading back and finding my sister again at the finish, we headed to the finish line was awesome!!!  Tons of vendors, a live band, great food, and massages on the beach!!  It was awesome!!  Overall I have to say I was seriously impressed with the whole ZOOMA event start to finish...not to say that I am surprised having worked with these ladies!  So much fun!!!  I can't wait to join in on the fun next year!

Weren't able to run ZOOMA Cape Cod?  Well check out their website for all their locations.  The two events coming up are Great Lakes and Florida (which could be a fabulous birthday present for me!!).  Be sure to check out the ZOOMA blog for more recaps!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Motivation

I don't even know where to begin to say how inspiring it was to watch all the ladies running the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon and 10k this Saturday!!  Just so many digging deep and rising to the challenge!  My sister rocked it and finished her first 10k 15 minutes faster than she had ever run it!  I'm so proud of her!!! 
One thing about ZOOMA races is that they have amazing signs along the routes that have inspiring quotes.  After talking with a few friends after the half marathon, one of them mentioned seeing this sign,
and how it inspired her to finish what she had started!  How many of us have reached the end of our rope?  Injury getting in your way...weight not coming off as fast as you not as easy as it should be...looking at giving up?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

#ZOOMA Cape Cod

Today is the big day!!!!  Today is ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon and 10k!!!!  I am so excited to be a part of this event and I am beyond proud of all the ladies there today!!  Good luck to everyone and I'll be sure to have a recap this coming week!!!
Last night we were here for the mocktail hour and I can't wait to gush all the details!!!  Such a great weekend celebrating strength!!!  If you want a scoop on the action during the race and after party be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @lilfancynancy!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fitness Friday...Being Unapologetically Strong

There are moments in my life when I feel physically strong...crossing a finish line, finishing a hard workout and being left with that rubbery feeling, hitting my doorstep after a long run.  There are also moments when I feel emotionally strong...going through a trial and coming out the other end, putting on a brave face while watching my daughter struggle with something, seeing a loved one go through a trial you wish you could shoulder yourself.  My Degree Women "Unapologetically Strong" story began when these two met...I was physically AND emotionally strong!!
I can remember the night was New Year's Day (midnight to be exact) 2009 and I was nursing my brand new baby girl with tears streaming down my face.  Not only was I in the worst shape I had been in my entire life, but I was also dealing with post-partum depression that lay across my shoulders like a wool blanket.  I was struggling to get past my dreams and expectations for what these moments were supposed to be like, and embrace the reality that lay ahead of me.  Looking down at my daughter's face that night, I knew what I needed to do...and what she needed me to do.  I needed to be fill the role I had been given and be the example to my daughter of what strong looks like!
The next year was not empty of trials, but I held tight to my goals and became the example for my daughter!  I shed 70lbs and triumphantly crossed the finish lines of races setting prs each time...I believed in my dreams, pushed through the walls, and felt stronger than ever!!!
Degree Women and Erin Andrews are Unapologetically Strong....check it out!  After watching be sure to head on over to Degree Women's Facebook Page and join in on their contest and share your very own Unapologetically Strong story!!
I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network, I received product, and am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIAW....What's in My Lunchbox

Another Wednesday is here already!!  The weeks seem to be ticking by quickly now that I am back in school teaching.  One aspect of being back to school that I am finding my rhythm with is packing this bad boy
Since I am up early trying to pack all that I can into the 1 1/2 hours before I head out the door with one of these in my hands,
I pack my lunch the night before with lots of snacks
 and of course my lunch
This chicken salad recipe I made up from taking pieces of recipes that I found on Pinterest.  Basically I took chicken and shredded it (you can poach it or use a rotisserie chicken).  Then I combined an avocado, a tiny amount of mayo, and green onion.  I added a little salt and pepper and threw it on a flax wrap...oh let's not forget some pickles!

I'm linking up with the fabulous Peas and Crayons....check it out and see some amazing eats!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 Running Related Questions

Since I'm late to the party I probably don't need to explain too much about Dimity and SBS' posts on Another Mother Runner with her 10 Running-Related Questions.  I feel like it is fitting to answer them this week since she is headed to my great state for ZOOMA Cape Cod!!

1. Best run ever: I have had some really great training runs but I would say my best feeling race ever was when I ran the New Bedford Half Marathon in 2011.  It was one of those days when it all just clicked.  Each pace I set was faster than the next and they all felt comfortable!  I honestly think I would have gotten in under 1:50 if it wasn't for the KILLER hill that lasted just about all of mile 12!  Why?!?!
2. Three words that describe my running:  Right now I would say, "Not very graceful" since I lumber along but when I'm not 37 weeks pregnant I would say, "Focused, determined, and driven"
3. My go-to running outfit is: Always involving a running skirt and Saucony shoes!  In the summer it is a running skirt, tank, Chicaband or other frizz tamer, and compression shorts.  In the winter or colder months it is a running skirt, compression tights, a BondiBand pony tail hat, and several layers on top. I have also been known to throw a tutu in the mix from time to time!

4. Quirky habit while running:Hmmmm...not sure about this one.  I tend to kick my own legs when I am running faster.  Perhaps that I suck on mints in order to sooth my belly!
5. Morning, midday, evening: In a perfect world where I didn't have that silly thing called work, it would be morning runs always.  I love getting up and running!  It clears my head and I also have nothing that can get in the way of it!
6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Well last year I would have said dark since I have night blindness and am afraid of my own shadow.  However I got my nifty head lamp, Saucony reflective jacket, and a killer running group to get me outside on winter evenings!!  Now I would say icy....I'm just never that graceful!!
7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: I injured my back very badly when Em was just 6 months old...talking ambulance at the gym hurt.  I rested and made sure I did physical therapy and was SUPER careful.  I still make sure I am always paying attention to that part of my body!!
8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: I head out for a long run bright an early no matter what the weather outside!  I love it when people say, "You ran in that???"  I also was feeling very badass when I ran a half marathon this May to celebrate 20 weeks of pregnancy.
 9. Next race is: I'm hoping to run the New Bedford Half again this year in March...actually on St. Patrick's Day!  I will be 5 months post baby.  I've been out of race mode but I am itching to get back into the game!!!
10. Potential running goal for 2013: Let me say it and let out a loud EEEEK!  I would love to run a marathon in 2013.  More than anything I want to find my balance again as a wife and mom of 2 chickies!  I would love to hit 1500 miles again in 2013 but I am going to set my goal for 1000 and see what I get!  Let's sum it up to say my goal for 2013 would be a healthy, strong year as a running momma!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Motivation

The beginning of this past week this verse brought tears to my eyes in a sad father was in the hospital again with another infection and my husband's grandmother was as well with a broken hip.  This verse reminded me that my hope is in the Lord and not on the things that I can see.  After this weekend (and my father coming home), I have read so many inspiring posts of many accomplishments of all of you and this verse brings tears of rejoicing!  PRs were made all over, 50 mile races conquered, challenges faced and rocked....things you may have never believed you would be able to do if someone had told you about them!  Hold onto hope....great things are coming your way!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Take the Challenge....Believe it WILL Happen!

There is just 9 days until ZOOMA Cape Cod and boy am I getting super excited!!!  
Perhaps that is because I can't wait to see all the ZOOMA ladies again....not to mention Sarah and Dimity too!  Another reason could be that I get to cheer everyone on during the race, something I usually do not do since I'm usually the one IN the race.  I can't wait but I have to say I'm nervous...I get so chocked up at finish lines watching others accomplish their goals.  Add to that the fact that I'll be literally "ready to pop" pregnant it could turn into an ugly cry!
Ha!  Imagine?!
Crossing this finish line, along with many other women will be friends that I have bullied into encouraged to run the race.  Their first words for me were, "I don't think I could finish".  And then....there will be my sister!  I will save the gushing of pride for after she finishes the race, but I am so proud of her!  This summer while we were beginning training for ZOOMA, she kept saying it was my goal for her....but something tells me that as this hot, humid summer has zoomed by, she started wanting this for herself!!
Amy running her first race in 2010
On Saturday she ran 7 miles....alone.  She woke up early (which if you knew my sister is a feat in itself), laced up her shoes, and headed out for her 7 miler.  She put the pending craziness of her day getting kids where they needed to be on hold to do what she needed to.  I know this is hard for her...and for moms put themselves first...but I am SO proud of her!  Here is her reflection of her training time thus far:
"It took a long time, but I am coming to realize that I have to insist on taking physical time for myself. This summer has not been one of the healthiest ones for me, physically and mentally, and so much changes when I lace up. Alone. Or with my sister-its like having a therapist that is stuck listening to your crap because what, are you going to leave me there on the road? And while I am relieved to find out I have not grown new tonsils (because yes, that can happen and was a possibility), I know that on the days I can, I must move. For a whole host of reasons."
 What has taking a challenge taught you about yourself?  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

That's My Jam!!

Power songs....we all have them on our playlists.  You know those songs that give you that extra kick to get you through that last mile or tough stretch.  Well I'm reaching out to you for a secret mission that I have been given.  I could tell you about it but then.....well no I wouldn't have to kill you but it would just ruin a surprise!

For this mission I'm looking for either what is you go to, get your rear in gear, badass feeling song that you love to hear at just the right time, or a summer/beach themed song that just puts you in an awesome mood.  Two different types of songs I know....I recognize that I sound a little nuts but hey aren't we all?!

Let me lead by example....Here are some summer/beachy songs that always put me in a good mood.

I always find myself singing this one at the top of my lungs....
This one is just fun!
Another fun one for the country fans!
I mean really what beach mix would be complete without a little Will Smith and some Summertime from way back!?

Pick up that pace and start fist pumping!!

So your turn!  
What jams would you add that are either beach/summer themed or a sure fire way to pick up your pace???  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW-Barilla Pasta Makes Life Easy #BarilaIn60

Since starting the Fresh Start Fitness Challenge with Tamara at Fitknitchick, I have been working hard at cleaning up what I eat each day.  That meanss I have been drinking a daily one of these....
And choosing snacks from here...
One added challenge has been going back to work last week.  Shifting gears from summer (which equals lots of time to prep my meals) to school (which equals much less prep time and only a very short time to even eat lunch) is always a challenge so I was excited to try out these....
If you love Barilla pasta and their sauce as much as me you would be excited too!  These are their new microwave meals that take just 60 seconds in the microwave!  All you need to do is microwave, peel off the top...
 and pour the sauce over the steamed pasta!
 How easy is that?  
Barilla Microwave Meals are made from 100% natural ingredients and contain that NO preservatives!!!  Plus they come in these great flavors...
  •   Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
    • Mezze Penne with Traditional Marinara Sauce
    • Mezze Penne with Spicy Marinara Sauce
    • Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara Sauce
    • Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
One night it was just the chickie and I...dinner for mom in a snap!  I browned up some turkey sausage...stuck this bad boy in the microwave


Voila!  A great, healthy meal in less than 10 minutes.  An added bonus...only one pan to clean up!  Score! My favorite flavor is the spicy marinara sauce but I do love having the option of the whole wheat pasta which is not chewy at all!  Check them won't be sorry!!

I'm linking up this week with Peas and Crayons for WIAW!!

Fitfluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We all remember where we were...what we were doing...on the day when "the world stopped turning".  
Remembering the lives lost...the families forever changed...and those who continue to sacrifice so that September 11th won't happen again!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Motivation

What are you going to do today or this week to make yourself proud?  
Go out there and DO excuses!!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three Things Thursday....Finding Food Habits

We all have our habits that become like a security blanket to us...some we may not even notice that we have until we start to look a little closer.  As part of the Fresh Start Fitness Challenge, I've been keeping a food journal of what I eat and when I eat it.  It has been really revealing to me about some of the habits that I have that need to finally be addressed. 
Here are my three revealing food habits:
1.  Afternoon Snack Monster....One habit that I have, and might I add have had for a LONG time, is that when I get home from work in the afternoon I need a snack.  One healthy snack is fine however I tend to turn into a snack monster who wants to basically sample every darn thing in the cabinets!  NOT GOOD!  I end up eating more than I should and not being hungry for dinner.  Not to mention the added calories that I am taking in!!!
2.  Sweet Nothings....After lunch...after dinner....during the afternoon snack buffet I crave sweets.  Now you would say a piece of fruit would suffice but oh no...I need those empty calories that only a piece of candy can provide!  I think part of my afternoon binge is trying to find that sweet snack that will fill that craving without totally derailing my calories for the day....yeah total fail since I end up eating 10 other foods when all I really want is chocolate!  From what I have hear and read about sugar, it is like a drug and the longer I get away from it the better I will be however this pregnancy is all about the sweet!
3.  I just ate what??...Mindless snacking is another habit for me that is no good.  Now that I am back at school and only able to eat what I have packed in my lunch box, it isn't as bad for a good portion of the day.  Again though once that snack monster hits, I tend to eat without even realizing how much or what I am eating.  Having to write it all down this week I am seeing just the volume of food that gets consumed at this time.  We are talking football lineman volume but more than I should be eating.  Not stopping what I'm doing (getting Em settled, playing with her, unpacking bags, reading mail) and paying attention to what I am eating is setting me up to consume way more than I need.

Now that I have identified my habits I need to come up with a plan for how to break them.  I am going to try to put out a snack for the afternoon that I can have when I get home.  After that the kitchen is closed until dinner....just like I do with my daughter.  I also should plan more things outside of the house so that after our snack we just go outside...i.e. away from the food! 
Any suggestions???  How have you been able to break your bad habits?  Am I the only Afternoon Snack Monster?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Word for Wednesday

Today Em started preschool and while I'm super excited for her and the year she is going to have, I can't believe our little girl is getting so grown up!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Try it Out Tuesday...Zipfizz Review

I was psyched when the people at Zipfizz asked me if I wanted to try out their product.  Ummm extra energy for just 10 calories...Yes Please!!  If you've never heard of Zipfizz, check out these stats from their website...

Zipfizz is an all-natural, great tasting energy drink-mix powder
that delivers a powerful charge of micronutrients to the body's fuel
system. It contains no ephedra or other artificial stimulants. Most
people experience an immediate, revitalizing burst of energy after
taking Zipfizz.
Zipfizz is healthy energy in a tube! Give your body a rush of
vitamins, minerals and key amino acids to protect the immune
system. Zipfizz has created an advanced formula that provides a significant amount of vitamins, fewer calories, lower carbohydrates,
superior taste, variety and unique packaging! Simply put, it's
different because
it's good for you!
Fancy Nancy gives it a
My favorites were grape and pink lemonade...yum-o!!  It was just the right pick-me-up I needed when the afternoon snoozes started to know that time in the day when I just wanted to put my head down instead of workout or chase Em around the yard!!!  They come in packs of 20 tubes or you can get a sampler pack and find which one you would like to stock up on!!
Go get your rear in gear and check them out!!! 
Facebook (Like Zipfizz and score a $1 coupon!)
What flavor would you love to try?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Movitvation....What's Your Choice?

September marks the last month (more or less) of pregnancy for me.  With my last pregnancy, I used this month to eat all those things that I was not going to eat once the baby got here.  This time around I am taking a different approach and I started the Fresh Start Fitness Challenge with Tamara.  I had three choices and I'm choosing to give it my all!  We are all faced with these choices on our way to reaching our goals.  
What are you going to choose today?   
Are you going to give up, give in, or give it your all? 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Summer

September is upon us and this weekend I want to spend as much time soaking in the last drops of summer.  Yesterday we went to the beach with friends and it was as if none of us wanted to ever leave...we just didn't want it to end!!  So in an effort to spend as much time as I can off the computer and outside enjoying these are some memories of this summer.  Have I mentioned how much I love PicMonkey??