August 19, 2014

Wonder Mom Wednesdays- Back to School

I'm excited to announce a new blog link-up that I will be hosting with a couple other bloggers; Sue blogs at This Mama Runs for Cupcakes and Susan from Mom Swim Bike Run. I have been following their blogs for quite some time so it's an honor to host this link-up with them. Please head on over and check out their pages!

What is a link-up? A link-up is a way to connect with other bloggers, join in on fun topics and grow your blog audience. As a blogger it's a way to show off your stuff! You may attract new readers that want to stick around and isn't that the point of blogging? One thing Wonder Mom Wednesday encourages is that if you link your post, please visit and comment on at least two other blogs. If you come back each week to link-up try and find two new blogs. Also it's good blogger etiquette to use the Wonder Mom Wednesday graphic in your post or at least reference/link to the hostesses blogs.

Our topics will be different each week. We will post all of the topics for the next month so you can plan your link-ups ahead of time. No need to scramble the day before to come up with content. Feel free to join in on as many or as few link-ups as you would like. Most of our posts will be "mothering" or "fitness" related. Why Wonder Mom? Well because we all know deep down inside most of us mommies feel like Wonder Woman! We encourage anyone to link-up with us. Take the weekly topic and interpret it into a blog post however you would like.

This week's topic is: Back To School

Ahhhhh three little words that are music to this Mama's ears! 

Don't get me wrong I love my kids and I enjoy staying home with them but summers are extremely stressful for all of us. My kids enjoy going to school (they'll openly admit that) and being off a schedule is confusing for them. They crave a constant routine and those daily mental challenges that school brings for them. 

Back to school is a fun time for my kids. We have some traditions that we like to do the first week of school:

Back to school breakfast: I usually make something fun for them on the first day. This year my "littles" asked for cinnamon rolls. I couldn't argue so cinnamon rolls it was!

Photos by the door: I take their pictures in the same spot every year so we can see how much they grow from year to year. Even when they are in high school I'll still try and get that same picture. It may not be posed but I'll try!

Lunchbox notes: My oldest is at that age where it's not cool to have "I love you notes" in his lunchbox. I just sneak those in later on in the day. Instead I fill his lunchbox everyday with fun facts. Facts such as: Cat urine glows under a black-light or A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. I'm sure his facts are read aloud at lunch and are enjoyed by many classmates.

School supplies and a surprise If we don't get the class supply list ahead of time we usually shop that first week of school. This way I can ask the teacher if there are additional items she/he may need or if she has way too much of another item. My kids love shopping for their supplies. They read the list and eagerly fill the basket with each and every item. I always let them pick out a small school related surprise which is typically a special pen or lunchbox. 

And what do I do on the first day of school? Go home after drop-off, grab a cup of coffee, sit in silence and wait until I get to go pick them up to hear all about their adventures!

What back to school traditions does your family have?

Next week's topic 8/27/14: Reasons Why I Exercise (again you can take this topic and interpret how you would like).

August 17, 2014

Overnight Relay Packing- Hood to Coast

My head is spinning. My anxiety is in over-drive. I'm trying to fit it all in before I take off on an airplane to Seattle for Hood to Coast on Wednesday. Between finalizing schedules, making sure the house is stocked with meals (because I'm pretty sure my husband and kids just might live on pizza/beer for 5 days, if I don't stock up) pick-ups and what kid is going where...

I have to pack. And boy do I have to pack!

I've never done a relay so here is me taking a guess at what I am supposed to bring. Let's hope I have it all. I'm bringing one large bag (my Ogio should be big enough) to hold all my clothes since we have various things on our agenda that require a "non sweaty stinky relay" attire. And I am also bringing my new Apera Active Pack, pink of course! I plan to leave the big suitcase at Nuun headquarters and just bring the pink backpack in the van since space is limited.

Here's what is coming with me on the relay:
  • Shoes (2 running pairs, flip flops,) 
  • 3 run outfits packed in large Ziploc bags The bags not only hold your running gear nice and neat but they also serve as a way to get rid of the stinky sweaty ones. Just zip the stinky clothes up and tuck those away. I'll be sure and warn my family when I return home to step away from the laundry room! I also threw in a couple extra bags in case not everything fit. It's important to keep the nasty clothes away from the clean ones. The run outfits of course must all be color-coordinated with our team: Team Nuun Energy Wild Berry. So you'll see a lot of blue and hot pink on me during the race. I'm most excited to wear the two-tone glitter skirt that Katie from Chase this Skirt custom made for all the Nuun ladies.
  • Phone, charger, iPad and portable charger Notice that this is the third most important item? I mean I'm a blogger what did you expect? I'd probably forgo eating just to save space for my phone, charger and iPad! Not really but you get the point. The portable charger is a small little charger that I picked up from Target. It gives you extra battery life when you don't have access to a plug or the van outlets are all being used. Our van is filled with awesome bloggers and social media fanatics, so I can imagine we will be competing for outlet space!
  • Cold weather run gear Sure it's 135 degrees in Arizona right now but Oregon gets chilly. And I'll be running a nighttime leg so I want to be warm. The gloves might be a little much but you just never know.
  • Emergency rain poncho Again it's Oregon so it could rain during one of my legs. And with my luck it would be all three.
  • Headlamp The first item I bought when I found out I made the Nuun Hood to Coast team a pink (of course) headlamp. It was sort of my "yay this is really happening" present to myself. It seemed like so long ago I talked about using the red light feature on it but now I'm getting ready to use it for real. I don't plan to turn the red light on.
  • Travel pillow, sleeping bag or blanket I'm not sure how much actual sleeping I will be doing but I am bringing a sleeping bag. It will be nice if we get a chance to stretch out somewhere and even just a hour or two is better than nothing.
  • Comfy clothes I plan on bringing a set of comfortable clothes to snooze in. I'm pretty sure I will want to change out of my sweaty run clothes (if not my vanmates will make me).

It will be tough to cram all this in to one backpack but I have to remember that van space is limited. Is there anything important I am missing? Leave me a note below if you can think of anything!

Also be sure and follow our journey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you search using the hashatgs noted in the graphic below, you can follow each and every one of our posts.

August 11, 2014

Vanilla Bean Pineapple Infused Water

This recipe has been in the back of my mind for several months now and I am finally getting around to post it. In May we visited Maui and one morning while staying at the Kaanapali Westin I decided to go for a run. On the way back from my run, I discovered that each morning the resort would set up an area with different infused waters. That particular day I happened to sample the one called Pineapple Vanilla. To my surprise it was delicious! I filled up my cup 6 times (yes I counted). I  later learned that each day the resort would have a new mix. Sadly that was the only day it was offered during the remainder of our week. When I came home I tried to find the exact recipe but no such luck. I did a little mixing myself and came up with a very similar tasting recipe just like the Westin. Aloha and enjoy!