Thursday, April 27, 2017

TTT...Around Here

Seeing as how I spent last week's vacation in radio silence on here (I do post most often on Instagram so head on over and follow along with the fun!), I thought I'd center my randomness for the week around our vacation from school.  This vacation week held particular sentimentality to me because it is the last one with just the chickies and I.  The next time that we have a school vacation, there will be a little man with us.  So the name of the game last week was to suck all the life out of vacation...and I think we successfully did!

Easter fun...I love when our April vacation nicely flows from Good Friday into the week, and this year it did just that.  It makes you feel like you have more options.  Easter started EARLY with our oldest waking up every hour starting around 3am! 

Once we agreed on an acceptable time (i.e. when we were convinced that our neighbors wouldn't mind hearing squealing and running girls), they were up and out looking for their eggs from the big bunny!  Then we headed to church....the girls picked their own dresses this year (eeeeek I don't like not having control!)
We then headed over to my in-laws house for lunch and playing fun!  It was a full day!

Marathon Monday...The next day we woke up bright and early to head to the marathon!!!  We watch in Framingham around mile 7 every year and I just LOVE it!!!  This year was HOT and super sunny!  I felt badly for the runners!  You never know what you're going to get from Mother Nature on race day in Boston...some years are wicked hot and sunny (there is ZERO shade along the course) while others are rainy and cold! 
I wouldn't say the girls love waiting for the runners to get to us but they like it once it has started!  Maybe one day I'll have a huge sign and be cheering for them!!  I was able to see a few friends (Michelle and Bethany) fly by but unfortunately I did not get to see everyone.  Next year I won't be so massively pregnant and I'll be able to stay longer!!!

The elite men flying by!
Homespun....Thankfully we were able to head down to my hometown to visit my family!  I love how much these girls love each other!!!
We filled our time with strolls (cold) around Newport, hiking out to a place called Hanging Rock (which I don't remember the hike out being quite as treacherous as it was the last time I did it), and visiting the baby goats and chicks!  The farm that my grandmother grew up on is still a functioning farm (and still in the family) and they have days when you can go snuggle the babies (they are also doing a night when you can go do yoga with the goats....sounds hilarious).  Usually the baby day is Sunday but they had a special vacation day.  I mean seriously how can you not smile at 30 baby goats and a dozen baby chicks just hanging out?! 
You could pick them up and hold them or park yourself on a hay stack and let them come to you!  They were super soft and cuddly!!!
Aubs was all about it but Em kept her distance...she had more fun feeding the older goats and horses!

We also hit up an aquarium in Mystic to round out our "go until you drop" vacation week!  The weekend left us tired (and mama was sore) but our memory buckets were certainly filled to the brim!  How do you like to spend vacations?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Our Week With Blue Apron

Two weeks ago we were gifted a free week (thanks to my fabulous mama) of meals from Blue Apron.  The concept of meal kit delivery has always intrigued me and I honestly have always wanted to see what it was all about.  The problem for me always came down to picking one to try!!  Free always sounds good to me so Blue Apron it was! 

For those of you who aren't familiar, Blue Apron is a service that delivers a meal kit to you complete with just about everything possible you would need to make a meal and a step-by-step recipe to follow.  There was zero grocery shopping involved and you can choose from various meals on their site, along with the option for a family sized meal or one for 2.  I chose the meal-for-2 option knowing full well my children (one of which is SUPER picky) would not have eaten the meals listed for a family.  I chose three different meals and the whole kit was delivered on Saturday to our doorstep!  As I said before, this was a free kit for us but regularly it is $59.94 (or $69.92 for family). 
For me it was like a dream come true...meal shopping-DONE...Sunday afternoon food prep-DONE!  Bad blogger move though is that I posted most of my pictures on my Instagram Story so I don't have most of them!  Blogger fail!  Our meals were chicken under a brick with roasted veggies and potatoes, fontina stuffed pork chops, and a spinach and ricotta flatbread.  Day 1 I did the chicken....and quickly realized some things about myself one of which is that new recipes during the week STRESS ME OUT!  I didn't realize this about myself before!  Quickly my house was filled with smoke!  The meal tasted great (their sauces all week were awesome!) but boy did I look like a mess by the time I got everything onto the table! 
Day 2 were pork chops....this went much better!  Minimal smoke and a slightly easier recipe skill-wise to follow.  Again the sauce was delicious and they couldn't be easier since there is ZERO measuring because everything comes in tiny serving just dump it in!  Day 3 I have to admit I went off script!  I looked at the recipe for a flatbread pizza with spinach and ricotta cheese and knew that my very patient husband had had about his fill of this experiment!  So I made the sauce that came along with the kit (which again was fabulous) and made the pizza as a traditional one using the ingredients that came with the kit (minus the spinach-that was saved for our morning smoothies).  It turned out great and was really actually the easiest recipe of the kit. 

My thoughts....
  • The food really tasted amazing from start to finish...My mom made a different recipe when we were down visiting and it was amazing too!  The quality of the food that I got was great (with the exception of one pepper that was getting squishy) and having all the ingredients included and measured out was awesome.
  • The convenience of not having to meal plan, shop, and prep was awesome especially considering I scheduled it to come after we had had a busy weekend.  It was great knowing that I had everything I needed right there.  
  • I thought the price was right for us....we normally spend about that much for three meals anyway.  The added advantage was that I didn't have to buy whole bottles of spices and other things to just use a teaspoon so that saved in the budget department!
  • Ok now there are a few negatives....the biggest one for us was the portion sizes.  The plan was for 2 people but the portion sizes, especially the meats were very small.  I think that if this was improved upon we definitely would get it again, but once the meat cooked down there really wasn't much there.  
  • Skills....I am ok at chopping and what-not but the amount of chopping or other things took me much with two hungry chickies coming into the kitchen every 2 minutes while I make dinner to ask for a snack (please tell me my children are not the only ones who ask for a snack while I'm LITERALLY cooking dinner!!!) it made for a stressful situation.  Here I am trying to make sure I press down my chicken like a brick and they're rummaging through the cabinets!
  • Because of my children, I was making two meals every for them and then one from the kit.  Now this isn't all that much different from the norm (I know I need Super Nanny) but it did add to the craziness of the time!  
 Have you ever tried Blue Apron or another food kit delivery service before?  What were your thoughts?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Motivation

5 weeks out until baby boy is here....and this is really my mantra lately!  I have not hid the fact that this pregnancy has challenged me physically making it hard to move at the pace I really want to be moving, but I'm in the stage where it is all about continuing to move!  Really that is all we need to do...find what gets us moving and keep doing it!  Get creative...find what excites you...and just MOVE!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Motivation

I've always been a goal setter....a race time, a nutrition goal, organization goal...but lately I have gotten away from my usual goal setting focus and I've been missing it honestly!  Setting a goal doesn't always have to be hardcore...however I would love some hardcore goals right about now...but it is something that keeps you focused/motivated day after day!  With 6 weeks left, I decided to keep my goals week by week.  This week's goal is to get to the gym 4 days this week.  I have my workouts planned already and the first day is already done and conquered!  3 to go!

What goal do you have for this week?  How are you going to kick it in the face?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I've been proctoring standardized tests all times here in Massachusetts...and so I thought some dishing about some of my favs lately would be about the right speed! 

THE FRIGGIN SUN!  Spring in New England...especially on Cape Cod...can be described in three words, gray, raw, and rainy!  Seriously it is crazy!  We go from Summer!  That is why I was so excited to step out my door this morning and to see the SUN!  It's's's warm....and it will be gone this afternoon so I am trying to get as much quality time with the big ball of gas before it hides behind a cloud again!!  Everyone has a little pep in their step this morning!  Amazing what a little sunshine will do!  What's Spring like in your neck of the woods?

Boston in Massachusetts and Patriots Day is more commonly known as Marathon Monday!!! 

I LOVE going to the race and cheering everyone on...looking for my friends each year...and cheering on the elites with my family!  This year is no different!  There are going to be so many amazing elites running it this year and so many of my friends towing the line that I am just giddy!  Next week expect lots of flashback posts to Boston!!!  Are you running Boston this year?  Let me know so I can keep an eye out!  I'll be the super pregnant lady cheering her head off!!

SmartyPants...So many women struggle to find just the right prenatal vitamin that is going to give them all the nutrients they need but doesn't upset their stomach or isn't giant sized.  I was so excited to find SmartyPants gummy vitamins!!
I had tried SmartyPants a while back before I was pregnant and honestly had to fight my children off since they thought I was eating candy every morning.  I thought of them when I needed to find a prenatal vitamin since they were so easy to take and tasted great.  The prenatals did not disappoint!  I can order them easily on Amazon and they are at my door in a day!  They aren't expensive and are so easy to take...even in the first trimester when my belly was not happy!  They have vitamins for everyone in the family!

Boy Shirts...Please don't get me wrong I love me all things glitter and pink, but I have been having so much fun finding boy shirts!  Seriously whoever said dressing a boy is not as fun didn't know about etsy or anything like that!  Here's the latest that I got the man on esty....
The biggest debate in our house is what style to put him in...on my side I love me some madras and preppy all the way while my husband loves superheroes and trucks!  We've been meeting in the middle...or rather just buying our own thing so he'll be styling no matter the day! 

Shop For Me...The latest trend in cooking is food meal kit services that send you everything you will need to make a meal from scratch.  You can really get anything that you could want from vegan to gluten free.  Even our favorite guy Tom Brady is in on it with his new meal kit on Purple can dress like TB12...sleep like him...and now eat like him!  This week my Mom, because she loves me and know the love/hate relationship I have with meal planning, gifted us a free box from Blue Apron.  I went online to order and it couldn't be easier! 
Saturday a box will be delivered to our door!  I am so wicked excited to not have to plan 3 meals next week!  I order meals for 2 since we have some picky little eaters in our house.  I will let you know how it is!  Have you done a meal kit delivery service before?

What are you loving lately??  Anything fun planned for this weekend?  I am so excited to head to RI tomorrow for a sprinkle for our little man!!!  My sister and mom are hosting and I am so excited!!!  It means so much!!! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Workout Wednesday

Once I hit the point in this pregnancy where running was causing me more stress and pain than any benefits, I turned to finding ways to use HIIT workouts and weights to stay active and burn all the crazy off! 
I began using a training plan that was having me lift a lot of heavy weights, which at the time was helping me feel awesome!  I was able to maintain the muscle that I had and I was leaving the gym sweaty and with that spent feeling I loved after a long run or speed work.  However, not being a trainer, I got to a point where I was doing/lifting too much (hello weight Russian Twists at 20+ weeks probably not smart) and I had to scale back.

Sticking with my goal of staying active and maintaining as much strength/core strength, I started then using kettlebells more in each workout.  I started using kettlebells after I had our second daughter and loved the way I felt stronger and tighter through my core. 
The past few weeks I have been part of a 30 Day Challenge with Fit Mom Strong Mom.  I love the way that Jen started us by taking us back to basics...lunges, squats, nothing fancy but boy is it working!  Even though I'm pregnant doesn't mean I don't crave the feeling of an awesome workout or sore muscles! 

This is the third week and not only am I excited to be back exercising after a nasty cold but I'm just loving that I am still active now in my 8th month! 
My goal is to take each week as it comes....and really would love to be sweating it up at the gym the day before I go in! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Motivation

Last week I was blessed with the cold straight from hades!  I'm still nursing a cough that won't quit leaving my ribs screaming in pain, but it's Monday and I cannot take another day to brain needs some healing...the kind of healing that can only come with sweat!  I could dwell on the fact that I wasn't well enough to work out or I could use today to get out and give my all!  No matter what mistakes happened last week, today is a new day!  Let's own this week!!