CSN gift card giveaway

Just in time for Christmas shopping, CSN stores is offering one lucky reader a $60 gift card to any of their 200 stores for any product(s) of your choosing.  For runners and moms on the go, check out their sling backpacks which were made for healthy back support.  These could double as a diaper bag and/or gym bag on the go with the many pockets. 

I like the variety of products that CSN stores offers.  They have various Cyber Week sales - check out their site. I have ordered the waffle maker, popsicle molds, Bundle Me for Kara, and playdoh to name a few things. They offer something for everyone at various price ranges, which is great! Many of their products have free shipping also.  I was going to order the snap and go stroller, but Clare let me borrow hers which has been super helpful - I use it ALL the time for Kara!  What would you buy at CSN stores with your $60 giftcard? Enter the giveaway below and let me know.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment for each entry
1. Visit CSN stores and let me know what you would use the gift card to buy(mandatory entry)

For one additional entry each,  (one comment each one)
2. Follow my blog.
3. Link to this giveaway from your blog and leave the link where you did so.

Giveaway ends Friday, December 3. Winner to be announced on Saturday.


CSN Review: Bundle Me and Waffle Maker

Last month I had the opportunity to review 2 CSN products of my choosing. I finally caved and ordered the waffle maker, and decided on a Bundle Me for Kara.  I LOVE the waffle maker. I have been making waffles or pancakes almost every day. My recipe is an adaptation of the Non Dairy Queen's recipe that I posted before. Here is what I'm using now below. Honestly, I don't measure, but these are my guesses on measurements. It's SUPER easy and so tasty and filling. 

1/2 c food processed oats (so it is like flour)
1-2 T almond/nut butter
1 T flax
1 T chia
2 T protein powder
1/2 - 1 T maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 c almond milk, water or milk

I mix all of this together. If I'm in a hurry, I warm it up and eat it. If I'm feeling pancakes, I warm up coconut oil on the griddle and make pancakes. Now, I have the option of making waffles. If I do waffles, I add less milk.  So tasty! And versatile.  I haven't mastered waffle making just yet and I only make my recipe for 1 person, so it doesn't make a whole huge waffle.

I love the waffle maker. IT makes one super huge waffle and tastes up negligible space.  Here it is below. Very affordable, very fun, and now Nick gets homemade Nanners waffles for breakfast. Lucky boy.

The other thing that I selected was the Bundle Me for Kara. I was thinking pink would be adorable, but to be smart, if we have more kids, I wanted to be able to use it for a boy or girl. I picked khaki in the original form.  It looks like they have urban ones that look cool too. I love it! It keeps her warm and attaches right to the car seat. I feel bad I didn't have this with Nick (a winter baby!) It's so cozy looking.  For $40, totally worth it!

Happy Black Friday! If you are shopping Amazon, please consider linking from my blog's amazon search box on the left  - I'll score some extra cash. : )

Amazing Grass is having a 30% off sale from 11/25 to 11/29. Use coupon code 'greenholiday' at checkout.

I buy mine on subscribe & Save at Amazon!

So many things to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for
* my family - so blessed to have 2 healthy kids and Bill
* grandparents who help out
* friends, especially newly added mom friends
* the ability to run and workout
* my health
* being able to stay home with the kids
* time for hobbies

What are you thankful for?


Christmas cards: how do you get a toddler to look and smile?!

It's time for Christmas cards again. This year is much more difficult than last year! At the time, Nick was not moving. Now it is almost impossible to get a good shot. Nick is a menace. Everytime I take out the camera he runs away. I guess I have taken too many pictures of him. If I can get them to sit together, Nick either looks away, moves away or I have to pretend there is a spider on my head. Any tips on that? Toddler Christmas pictures. Share a link if you have a good picture posted!! Kara is easy though!

If he was looking in the first picture, it would have been cute. I have both matching PJs that I'd settle for in a Christmas picture or I have been trying in their nice Christmas outfits.  It's a pain because it's hard to find a time when they are both awake and Kara isn't spitting up all over her outfit (she's a huge spitter). Also, I've been trying outside but it's super cold and the times that the light is good, both or at least one of the kids are usually asleep.

Here are the fail pictures so far, I don't have a very good one to use. I'm hoping with help I can get one over Thanksgiving.  It's definitely a 2 man job! I've been sending out Christmas cards with pictures since we were married in 2005. That year was our wedding photo, the next year was a picture of us on vacation, 2007 was a marathon picture and 2008 was probably another vacation picture. Last year was Nick (VACATIONS OVER) and this year I'm hoping for Nick and Kara!

family pic

Once I finally have a picture, I am going to check out the Christmas cards at Shutterfly.  They also have holiday cards if you don't celebrate Christmas.  I'm also looking into the calendar idea for grandparents.  I feel like they love seeing and having pictures of the kids, so I'm going the photo gift route this year. What are you giving your parents/inlaws for Christmas? Where do you shop for holiday cards?

Some cards ideas with the best picture I have so far:

Sweet deal! Shutterfly is offering 50 free holiday cards to bloggers. Check it out here for more info.


e21, recovery & nutrition

I was sent Recovery e21 to try and review. From the website, e21 is"new, natural, full spectrum electrolyte replacement product for athletes who regularly put their bodies to the test." It is marketed for muscle cramp relief, and my understanding was that it helped in recovery after a hard workout.  I think I actually could have taken it in place of gel or blocks yesterday around mile 7 or 8.   Regardless, I took 2 capsules of e21 a few hours after finishing the half yesterday.  I could tell I was going to be sore around mile 9 when places on my body kind of just hurt!  After the last one, I felt like I wasn't going to be able to get out of bed and I was sore for a couple of days. I am definitely sore but it's a lower grade sore. I feel like it did help ease my muscle pain and make the recovery a bit easier. Another factor was that I was in better shape going into this one, which also helped. I'll report back with more as I use e21 for training runs and races going into the spring, but I think it is definitely something to check out for electrolytes and muscle cramps.  Here is some info from the website as to what is included. It has a money back guarantee - check it out here! 

Also if you want to try it out for 20% off, use code 'mamasimmons'

What is sore today?
  • I have shin splints - why why why? Usually I would get them if I did speedwork or raced too fast. Maybe I'm just not in the right shape? or maybe it's my shoes. Got them in Sept also. 
  • My shoulders/upper back need a major massage. This happened last time too - again, maybe just not in proper shape?  My form?
  •  My quads need a roller (yep, have one!) and hamstrings feel a nice stretch when touching my toes (can't reach- ouch!) 
  • The inner thighs are a little sore - butterfly stretch.

Overall LAME-O!! But yes, it's only been 4 months. Sometimes I forget that. I think in about 5 more months I'll be ready.  Here I come spring!

I have been eating mostly whole foods, non processed crap: fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, beans.  By 4 months after Kara(just a few days ago), my weight from Kara was gone (goodbye!) and I have 4 pounds to go to pre-Nick weight! I haven't been doing anything special, but I think the good eating paired with chasing around Nick and having Kara also keeps me on my feet and burning energy.   Maybe the nursing is helping too.  This will help along with getting into shape so I can post some good times (hopefully!) in the spring.

Winners of CLIF

The winners are Karyn and Colleen selected by random.org! Please send me your addresses to tosha25italia at yahoo. Congrats! Thanks everyone for entering.

What's next?

Of course the day after a race, you want to sign up for the next thing. I have tentative plans for next year and I'll write about that soon, but I'm thinking about the right now. Do I take off a few days, stretch out, cross train? Or get right back into it with some easy runs?  What do you do after a half assed half marathon?  I'm sore today but not half as sore as I was after the one in September. I believe the e21 was a factor in that as well as being in a little better shape (wanted to DIE in September versus happy the whole race yesterday). 

Stay tuned later for CLIF winners - still time to enter, I'll draw later
e21 experience
racing plans 2011


Feeling inspired


Today was the Philly marathon and half. Going to the expo and thinking about the weekend, I really wished I was in top shape to do the marathon. I was excited about this morning!

I kind of went into it with my goals A:PR (sub 1:53), B: under 2 hours C: beat time from September 2:07:xx.  My entry was a comp from the organizers since I write running articles and promote the event (btw - would love for you to subscribe to my articles and leave comments!) so I went into it knowing I was planning on taking pictures and videos so that I could write a good article. I wasn't racing it.  The last 2 days I didn't run. I felt like I was just falling apart not doing any exercise for 2 days and I kind of didn't care?!?!

Yesterday I bought Clif Vanilla Shot gel and Margarita Shot Blocks. I probably should have looked up the benefit of extra sodium? What is it?  It says on the package it helps with cramping so I thought that would be helpful.

For breakfast I had a Smores Z bar, cup of coffee and toast w/ PB. Kara was up from 3-4:15 last night. She's been sleeping the night for almost 2 months and this always happens the night before a race. I am BEAT at this point.  Before the start I ate one block. Starting out, I felt GREAT. I had lots of energy. AFter a mile, I was running 9:30. I was kind of PO'ed that I wasn't running faster but it didn't get me down. I was "reporting."  My pace continued along in the mid 9s. I knew I could go faster but I felt good so I just kept on running.  I had another shot block after about 40 minutes and a third towards the end.  My stomach wasn't right all morning but I was running fine. At mile 8, I had the Vanilla Clif gel. It was AMAZING. I have to try it when I am not mid race, but holy moly, I was in love. It tasted like homemade vanilla icing. LOVE!
I felt good until about 11 miles and my stomach was just a mess, legs tired. I still wanted to be there enjoying it and did, and made it through.

I finished in 2:06:xx which is TOTALLY disappointing - I definitely thought I could go under 2, but I don't care all that much. I didn't train hard for it but still, I feel like I should ne able to knock out a sub 2 hour half w/o hard training. The last 2 weeks haven't been my strongest running weeks. We'll see if I give myself more time if I can get my mojo and speed back!

I would say things that worked:
not running the last two days - my legs felt rested.
Coffee definitely gave me a boost. I felt so good!

Things that didn't work:
Got there too late (6:20 for a 7 start) and used port-a-potty then ran to my corral last minute
Whatever I ate yesterday - I had stomach issues for about 4 hours after finishing. Mess!

I watched the winners finish the marathon and the 3:20/3:30 runners and was so inspired just watching. I want to get in top shape again and do a marathon under 4 and get my real half marathon time when I'm in shape. I'll come up with a schedule of a few key races and hopefully get back on my horse.

Now I need to know how moms get motivated to do their best and find the time. My drive has definitely decreased. I was so strong going into Boston a couple months after Nick was born, then I burnt out, then I got pregnant with Kara and here I am: BLAHhhhhhh.  I'm not sure what my plan should be for the next couple of months but I don't want to just sit around and be fat and lazy. Lucky for the Bootie Buster challenge I will be somewhat motivated?

I took Recovery e21 (thanks Mama Simmons) and I'll let you know what I think of it this week!
I got to meet the winner, 25 year old Dan from MA. Nice guy!

No kids/family today - I was a loner! Fun morning :)


2 days until go time!

The Philly marathon & half marathon is in 2 days. I'm not looking to break any records in the half, just have a nice run with a bunch of other runners, take some pictures and enjoy the day.  This week I ran 2 7-milers, one at moderate pace and one with 4 x 800 at goal pace. They both went well. Yesterday I did 6 miles and it was brutal. I took off today and might take off tomorrow. My legs have been tired, and my knees have been hurting too! And I'm coming off of a bad sinus infection or cold. I had to take Nick to the doctor today and he has ear infections in both of his ears - bad ones! I'm pretty sure I've had the same thing going on in my ears too, they have been full of pressure and not comfortable.  I'm ready to finish this race but I don't think it will be a PR (sub 1:53 is my PR at this time).  I have not ran a half marathon or marathon fully trained at my fastest race pace, only shorter races (10 mile, 5k and 10k). One of these days I will train hard for a full and half and get the times I should be getting (I think around 1:45 and 3:50ish).  Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!

Don't forget to check out my CLIF GIVEAWAY!


Amazon & Amazon Mom

Amazon is my favorite online store.  Last spring I paid for Amazon Prime - $80/year for 2 day shipping. I shop there for everything that I need that they offer. Otherwise, I go to Target!  What are your favorite online/non-online stores?

It was a total bonus when they announced Amazon Mom -  you can save up to 30% on diapers. For instance, I am getting a 176 to 204 pack of Baby Dry for around $29. I used to spend about $41! To save 15% join Amazon Mom.   It is a free sign up and then you get free 2 day shipping for 6 months. Then every time you spend $25 on a baby purchase they add another month of free "prime" - 2 day shipping.   If you choose subscribe and save when you are ordering diapers, wipes, etc then you get another 15% off - you don't have to keep the subscription - it is free to cancel it at any time. Let me know if you need any help joining or if you are interested and have questions. I am pretty sure it's the best deal out there, but let me know if you buy your diapers/wipes elsewhere and have found a better deal!

I am an Amazon associate so if you click from my site over to Amazon I get a percentage of the sale. Here are some links below to Amazon Deals with my associate ID for some upcoming deals! Every penny counts these days. Thanks for your support :)

Black Friday Deals Week
Cyber Monday Deals
Top Holiday Deals


Happy 20th Anniversary, Clif Bar (giveaway) !

On November 17th, 1990 the founder of Clif Bar & CO, Gary Erickson, took a 175-mile bike ride in Northern CA. He could not take another bite of the only energy bar on the market at the time and this moment was called "The Epiphany." He decided he could make his own and this is when Clif Bar began!

Some interesting info & Trivia
*Gary spent over 6 months experimenting with flavors and recipes before introducing the first bar
*The first 3 flavors were Apricot, Oatmeal and Date, and Double Chocolate
*The rectangular shape was designed and cut by Gary
*The name Clif comes from where?! 
*Clif Bars have been to the North Pole, South Pole, Mt Everest, Great Wall of China, & on Space Shuttle Discovery. Where else do you have to add?
*Gary's favorite flavor is ??

I live on LUNA BARS - Cookies and Cream is my favorite. The new Gels are awesome and MOJO bars are among my favorite. For Clif bars, my current favorite flavor is the chocolate brownie.

This is for 2 winners - one is geared towards running and the other just a variety of Clif products.
To enter:
1. Mandatory: LEAVE a comment below telling me your favorite CLIF product.  Be sure to include your email address.
2. For an extra entry, visit the CLIF website and tell me something about the company or something interesting that you learned. Also first to answer the trivia questions correctly get an extra entry.

This giveaway will close on Monday, November 22nd. Winner will be emailed & will have 48 hours to respond to my email with info.

Running prize #1 - Shot Roks, New Shot Gel, Builder's Bar, Shot Blocks

Prize #2 - shot gel, crunch bars, Luna bars, Clif Bars, MOJO bar


Taper & Pumpkin Pancakes

I woke up last Tuesday with little of a voice and I can't seem to kick whatever is going on in my head/ears/throat. It's awful and I never get sick!  Last week I heard a study that people who work out 5 days/ week have half the chance of getting the common cold and I was telling Bill about it because he was coughing and I was not sympathetic. Look where that got me.

I ran 9 miles Tuesday morning anyway because I felt ok, just didn't have much of a voice.  I did an easy bike and one mile on Wednesday, 9 miles on Thursday and then just decided to rest so I could kick this thing.  We had a rough night on Thursday night with Nick coughing all night and waking us up and Kara kicking herself out of her swaddle and waking herself up (3 times!) so by Friday I was just exhausted! I intended to take off Friday and planned on swimming or running Saturday and Sunday and then I just slept and didn't do anything. Now I have this half marathon coming up in one week and I'm not 100%. I think it is good my legs got to rest for 3 days but I'm a little nervous now. Should I rest until it's gone or start up again tomorrow?  My demeanor is definitely different from the lack of activity - it just makes me feel so good!  And energized too.

During the week I made Heather's Truffles  but added in protein powder to add something healthy and used coconut oil instead of butter:

10 Whole Foods Brand Duplex Cookies, crushed in food processor
1/4 c hemp protein powder
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
2 T chia seeds
Mix all - shape into balls, put in fridge to firm up. They were actually way too sweet and I kept adding more protein powder and chia.

 This morning for pancake Sunday I used Sarena's Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancake Recipe under November 4th - can't figure out how to link right to the post. Very good and fall like.  My favorite are still her peanut butter oatmeal ones.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
(serves 1)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground up whole oats
1 TBSP flax meal mixed with 3 TBSP hot water and set aside for 5 minutes
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 T maple syrup
3 shakes pumpkin pie spice
1 shake cinnamon

Mix everything together and cook in a nonstick skillet or a regular skillet with coconut oil.

The Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes adapted from Non Dairy Queen Sarena

1/2 cup quick oats
2 TBSP nut butter
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP flax
1 c almond milk + more if needed
2 scoops hemp protein powder (optional) 
chocolate chips (optional)

Cook up in coconut oil. Yum!


Running & Caffeine, Instant Oatmeal, and the swim part

How do you feel about running and caffeine?  Do you think it gives you a boost. I like how the Clif gels have different levels of it and most gels now do, and usually I just drink tea before running. One week before my long run I drank maybe 4 oz of coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker but that run went really well! Today I did 9 miles and had maybe 10 mg caffeine via gels.  I'm usually not a caffeine person but I've heard small amounts can boost your performance. What do you think?

Instant oatmeal - this is random, but rather than buying the big thing with added sugar, I want to just make my own in bags for on the go (especially for Bill @ work). I tried it  and added in some brown sugar and cinnamon but it wasn't that good. Any tips for making this?

The swim part - My sister signed up for the Philly triathlon in June and I was planning to do the same and then I started freaking out about the swim part - is it scary? Is it safe?  I'm a strong swimmer but I'll freak out if I'm getting kicked and mangled. Help?!  What is the swim like in a tri?

By the way, I haven't swam in almost 2 weeks. Bill has been going in early and I've missed a few days because of that, and a few because I just want to sleep a little later.


#2 - getting shafted on naps

Every morning for Kara's morning nap, we are out and about. She usually falls asleep on the way somewhere (library, gymboree, errands) and wakes up while we are there and doesn't go back to sleep. Her nap is only 30 minutes and then she is not too happy.  It stinks because then she is awake and I can't really do the activity with Nick either.  I feel bad that she is not getting to nap at home but I guess that is the way that it is. Any tips for mom's dealing with the same thing here? 



Next Sunday I'm running the Philly Half. I haven't fully put in hard training for this and I've kind of decided that that isn't going to happen until I want to devote the time to it, but I'm not sure when that will be.  Ever since I went to the track workout (which was awesome) a couple of weeks ago, my legs just can't recover quickly and my running schedule has been kind of poor. I've been doing my long runs mid week and running 3 days in a row. My legs have been TIRED!

 I almost took off the whole weekend this past weekend to rest my legs. Instead I didn't run Friday or Saturday and then had a great 3 miler on Sunday. I took off Monday and felt good today with 8 miles.  I'm getting some kind of cold and might take off a couple of days to recover so that I am not sick for next weekend! I really wanted to go to the track tomorrow night for speedwork but I don't think it will be in the cards.  I did 2 bike trainer sessions in the last week. I don't like the bike. My butt kills! What is with that?

Leading up to the half, I want to get in a speed session early next week and then just run at goal pace for a tempo run at some point. Let me know if you have any tips.

I've been trying to get some Christmas picture ideas. Love anything matching. I took a photography class this past weekend and have been having a blast taking pictures of my little ones. Love them!

matching PJS. A must.


The New Clif Gel

If you haven't heard, Clif came out with a new recipe for their shot gels.  It has the minimum of ingredients, is almost 100% organic and adds 50% more electrolytes than the previous recipe.  The gels include: Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Water, Sea Salt, and various concentrates depending on the flavor. They come in varying levels of caffeine.

The flavors and caffeine:
No caffeine: Chocolate, Vanilla & Razzberry
25mg: Strawberry and Citrus
50mg: Mocha
100mg: Double Espresso & Chocolate Cherry

I was sent a handful of the gels to try and review.   I'm not into much caffeine so I tried the chocolate (no caffeine), raspberry (RAZZ) (no caffeine) and citrus (1/2 shot of caffeine).   The chocolate flavor reminded me of chocolate-raspberry. The after taste was a little bitter (not too sweet) and it still tasted a bit thick.  It grew on me by the end, but I preferred the fruity flavors.  The raspberry and citrus were much different, much thinner and very tasty.  They might have even been a bit too sweet. I could taste the raspberry flavor and I'm not usually a big raspberry fan- it was yummy! I would definitely do the fruity flavors.  One gripe: An ingredient of the chocolate is Natural Flavor - I'm never sure of what that means.  I also tried just a little bit of the Mocha and liked the taste and consistency.  That gives you a big boost so I only had a little bit.  100mg is way too much for me so I didn't try the double espresso or chocolate cherry but look out for a giveaway next week with some of these gels included!

Have you tried them? What are your thoughts?
 Be on the lookout for a giveaway including the new gels coming up for Clif's anniversary in mid November!

* I was sent gels to review but was not compensated for this review. The opinions are all my own.


The week started with this list: kale, peppers, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, portabellos. I made a list for the week of how I could use everything before we got a delivery today of more produce. I'm happy to say I succeeded! Below are some of the things I made this week. Our produce box this week sucked big time (for next week). I order it occasionally and like the variety. I think we got ripped off this week though!

Dinner one night was this with roasted carrots with garlic & thyme - decent but wayyyy dry. I need to find a way to make it more moist. It was good with hummus + nutritional yeast sauce.  This used black beans and broccoli.
Crunchy Quinoa Loaf

roasted pepper spread worked too
Thursday I roasted peppers at 400 with olive oil and salt and pepper and then popped them in the food processor. This spread was delicious! and an easy way to get in some veggies!

Earlier in the week, I made breadcrumbs for the first time. What an easy way to save money!  I used Ezekial Bread - baked it in the toaster oven at 300 for about 5-8 min and then food processed it.

I used the bread crumbs atop zucchini boats (zucchini, butter, cheese, breadcrumbs) and portabello mushrooms.
Other things I made: sauteed kale and beans, the asparagus soup, & wheatballs! This time I baked the wheatballs and used some peppers in place of mushrooms. They were delicious!

This first week of November I am thankful for the opportunity to stay home with my kids and spend my time with them while they are little.  I'm also thankful that I have been blessed with 2 healthy and happy little ones. What are you thankful for?


Baby schedule 3.5 months and running log

Skip for those not with babies:
I am always looking for schedules of well established babies so I'm posting mine because I feel like Kara did really well on a schedule and I've moved her to 4 feedings and so far she is doing well.   Hopefully I will help someone out there, I am always looking for help! She started sleeping the night right around 8 weeks and doing really well with it and now she sleeps about 11 hours at night.
2 & 3 months - 8/11/2/5/8 feedings. 3-4 naps a day about 1 hour to 1.5 hours after wakeup I used babywise as much as possible- getting her on a schedule as soon as possible and I think it really helped.   With Nick, I never woke him up to eat and didn't get him on a schedule till 5 months.

3.5 months 
I'm up around 5 to pump. Sometimes I work out and start the day then or I just go back to bed!
7:30/8 Kara wakes up - feed
Naps around 1 hour 45 minutes after waking up say 9:30-11/11:30 - swing or car
Feed 11:30/12
Nap around 1:30-3:30 - swing
Feed 3:30/4
Nap around 5:30-6 - swing
Feed before bed after bath and books - rock to sleep
Pump before bed!
*not on a healthy sleep schedule yet (in the crib) or going to sleep on her own but I'm cherishing the moments until I have to do that and rocking her!

baby girl

Running/training etc.
Last week I did the long run mid week and I'm going to try to do that again tomorrow. My long run last week was 12, so I'll be happy with 10 miles tomorrow. I feel about 70% for the half marathon. Not sure that it will be a PR but I think I can beat my September time.

My legs have been tired. After the track session, it took me awhile to recover. Last week there was too much back to back running. I only swam one day and didn't bike at all! This week I'm running 3 days in a row and then one day off then run again. I'll try to swim 2 days and do some strengthening. I enjoyed running only 3 days and fitting in everything else but then can't reach my mileage goal as easily. I got the bike trainer set up and I have to get some air in my bike and get going! 

I've been using the Runner's World log for all of my running, swimming, biking. What do you use? Do you log your miles? I feel like I have to log them and like looking back at them, but sometimes I feel like I'm just logging junk miles just to reach my goal.  Abby said she stopped tracking miles which I found interesting and wonder if I could do! What's your take on this? Amanda had posted on this a bit ago and I enjoyed reading her post and comments. One thing I've incorporated post Kara is the rest day. I really enjoy it and would like to even have 2 rest days. It feels so good, I don't feel guilty and my legs get a break. Happy balance.


Asparagus Soup

ASPARAGUS SOUP adapted from Vegetarian cooking for everyone

1 bunch asparagus
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 T olive oil or butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 T brown rice uncooked
salt and pepper
lemon juice to taste

Slice the asparagus into three parts: ends, middles and tips. Chop the middles and set the tips aside. Use the asparagus ends and greens in the stock.

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and rice and saute over medium high heat for 8 minutes, until onion is slightly colored. Add 1 cup stock and stew 10-12 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus - ends and middle and simmer partially covered 12-15 minutes.  Cool a little bit then puree and pass through a food mill to get rid of any of the fibers.  Add  pepper to taste and lemon if needed.  I used boullion cubes and it was very salty. I used 3 cubes for 6 cups, and I think next time I would only use 1 or 1.5.  IT didn't need salt. Keep on the stove warm. 

Meanwhile, drop the tips into boiling salted water and cook till tender, 4 minutes and add as garnish to the finished soup. It was delicious with brown rice crisps!


Brown Rice Crisps and Pizzert; Happy Halloween!

WE had tons of fun last night taking Nick and Kara out for Halloween. Nick had a blast going up to the houses. Last year he couldn't walk - we went to a few relatives' houses but that was it.  This time we made it to 8 houses, and he said 'trick or treat,' knocked on doors and reached for candy.  We let him eat one piece - he picked a kit kat! then he wanted more more more but that was it.  He was WOUND up before bed, I think from the sugar. All in all, such a fun night!

What did you do for Halloween?

On the weekends, I've been trying to plan out the meals based on what I have in the house from the last week's shopping trip. Yesterday I made some asparagus soup for tonight's dinner. It might be a little too salty (from the veggie boullion) but it's tasty! 
I'll post the recipe later on.

For breakfast today -

Blueberry Pumpkin Maple Coconut Breakfast Pizzert
adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 T. maple syrup (one for top after cooked)
  • 1 c almond milk
  • 3 T. pumpkin
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/8 cup coconut
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until set. Top with 1 T maple syrup. Delicious!

Brown Rice Crisps!

I had Trader Joe's brown rice tortillas and wasn't feeling them, but didn't want them to go to waste. I made them into chips. Drizzled w/ olive oil and baked at 300 for about 8-10 min. They brown fast so keep your eye on them! They will go really well w/ the soup!