Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Family Fun Day

Some days it feels like we don't see each other enough. Brian works crazy hours being a realtor, Ella goes to her fathers a few days a week, I feel like a taxi at times, and always cooking and cleaning. (plus making concoctions, breaking up fights, being a jungle gym, reading books, ad so much more.) The kids are growing up so fast. I just want to pause time and enjoy everything about them. 
Last week Brian took a full day off work and we had a family fun day.

Our day started off by surprising the kids with a trip to the local Cleveland Metro parks Zoo. We pulled in and I was a bit discouraged after seeing at least 50 buses. It is that time of the year for end of the year trips and it was a gorgeous day. When we normally go to the zoo we start off going to the Rain Forest. This time we went straight into the zoo first in gear that there would be a million kids in an already cramped Rain Forest.

Ella had decided she wanted to go and see the fish first. That meant walking up to the top of the zoo to the Primates and Aquatic section. It actually turned out to be an awesome idea cause we all were pumped and full of energy. There are a few options to get up there, the lazy way of the tram (but you have to take the baby out of the stroller and to me its a pain), walking the hill, or walking the wooden path with ramps and stairs. We ended up taken the wooden path, which is normally what we do. At the top of the bath is this turtle statue. 

The first animal we saw was the Cheetah. They were very active and walking around. Austin called them a kitty. 

Inside the building Austin was running loving the freedom and seeing all the monkeys and fish. 

Ella got excited when she saw one in what she called a "hamster wheel"

Both kids stood here for a good 5 minutes and just watched him run. 

I was found of all the babies Primates. 

What can I say about the fish. They both just love fish and could stay there all day and be happy. But there was still so much more of the zoo to see. 

On the walk back down the wooden ramp, Ella and I stopped and took a picture overlooking the trees. It is so peaceful and calm up here. 

The whole day we drank lots of water. Both kids had their own bottle, Brian and I had a bottle to share, and we had 4 frozen bottles as refill and share. With all the water we were drinking, means lots of peeing too. On the back of some of the bathroom doors were these little stories and facts. Ella liked me reading them to her. 

Over in the Australian Adventure Ella got to listen like Kangaroo. Plus see Kangaroos, a Koala bear, and a bunch more. 

They also had a petting zoo with some Netherlands goats. 

We had a picnic lunch that I had packed for everyone. We found a table in the shade. Ella had a turkey sandwich, Austin and Brian and pb & j, and I had almond butter with blueberries. To share we had grapes, goldfish crackers, pretzels, and they had oreo cookies. Going with a plan and bringing out own food saves so much money and we can keep it healthier. The Cleveland Zoo has McDonalds and Pizza Hut that were open. There is also other options but due to being "off season" nothing else was open yet. 

Ella didn't feed the Giraffe's this time, and was disappointed that a baby giraffe is still taller than her. 

Some got tuckered out from the heat and running around. However he ended up only taking a half an hour nap. That's not long for him.

We tried for a family picture with a Elephant behind us. The Elephant moved the the lightening ended up sucking. But we still tried. 

After doing the main part of the zoo we decided to do the Rain Forest before we left. By this time most of the schools had left so it wasn't very crowded. The kids stayed and watched this baby Orangutan for a good 10 minutes. He is 2 1/2 years old. 

He liked "showing off" for Ella and hanging upside down. 

Before we left we did achieve a somewhat good picture of all of us. I used the cupholder on the stroller to hold my phone (I forgot my tripod at home). 

After the zoo we went home to relax. I was really hoping Austin would fall back asleep, and Ella would take a nap. Ella did amazing with walking all day, wasn't in the stroller, and Brian only carried her so she could see the Zebra's. By surprise they both stayed awake. We went home and they played outside for a little while. 

As part of our family day we went out to dinner. Stonehouse Grill is becoming our new regular. They have delicious affordable healthy options, plus a kids menu my kids will eat from, and they have a beautiful outdoor patio. I got chicken tacos. 

Ella wasnt happy after dinner because I wouldn't tell her what the rest of the surprises we had planned were. After dinner our first stop was Lowe's. I needed dirt for my garden, plus more flowers, and Brian needed a few things. We go to Lowe's at least once a week lately. 
Afterwards all got ice cream. I love Mitchell's ice cream. All there options are homemade fun flavors. A big win for me is they have Vegan ice cream made with Coconut milk. (I get horrible stomach pains when I eat dairy). I tried there Vegan Salted Caramel Pecan, OMG it was amazing. 
We had a fun, memorable Family Fun Day. Ella keeps asking if we can do it again tomorrow, everyday. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

One step forward two steps back. Seems to be the story of my life. Everything happens for a reason I am learning from each step. A lot about myself, and a little others as well. 

As the saying goes "Never Miss A Monday". My week started off strong. I woke up with my alarm at 5:30am and went downstairs and got my workout done. I get thrown off with this program however though since day 2 of the week is rest day. I think moving forward I am going to change my rest day.

Wednesday I got a little workout in, plus that night I took Austin for an evening walk, had to make sure I got my steps in for the day.

Last week was a winning week on sticking to eating clean, whole foods, not much processed. This was my healthy start to my day on Thursday.

I did not do the planned workout on Thursday. We had a fun filled family day and took the kids to the zoo. At the zoo alone we did over 11000 steps. By the end of the day I had done close to 18,000. All of that walking was an hills was a workout in itself.

Friday I was back at it getting my workout done during naptime. In just two weeks I am starting to notice little gains in muscle, being able to use some heavier weights, and more reps with less struggle. 

Saturday was a busy day, but that was no excuse for not getting a workout in. Austin went down for his nap and I pressed play.

Saturday night was Girls Night In. My girlfriends and I went to dinner, then had a fun party at the house, with lots of laughing, and snacks which included brownies, rice crispy treats, and smores. I enjoyed myself, but regretted it Sunday. I woke up with horrible stomach pains and lots of blotting. I took it easy on Sunday and drank lots of water, and tried to eat light. (Brian made dinner and didn't listen when I said I didn't want anything with spice) I don't know exactly what caused all the pain, could have been the sweets, the soup at dinner, the late night snacking, etc. 
Today I am still feeling really bloated. I didn't take measurements or weight because I know they are going to be off. I don't want that to be a discouragement. I am just hoping back in, learning from mistakes and pushing forward. 
Week 3 is ready to go. 

If you are interested in more info on the monthly accountability and support groups I run check out the next group, Super Mom's Slim Down that starts June 5th. 

Friday, May 19, 2017


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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends. I can't believe it is Friday. My days are all messed up. One moment I though it was Monday another moment I thought it was Wednesday. It has been a crazy week and so much going on this weekend as well. 
I'm linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea again this week for another Friday Favorites. 

We are finally back to the warmer gorgeous weather again. We are back to doing our family walks every night, well most nights. I love having two jogging strollers, one for each kid. Even though Ella is big enough to walk with us she enjoys being like her brother. Austin has been falling asleep on our walks but then wakes up either when I take him out of the stroller or within an half an hour. Then he stays up until 11. He needs to get back to his schedule.

Austin is so affectionate. His new thing is grabbing your face and giving you long powerful kisses. I will take them as I can get them. I know this stage won't last long. 

Ella recently is always wanting pig tails. I am not a huge fan of them for personal reasons. Today however she let me do "Minnie Mouse" pigtails. I do love these ones, just not the ones that you can grab.

These are 3 of my favorite people in the world. I can't wait to see them tomorrow night for Girls Night In at my house, with some fun, games, and a Pure Romance party. 

Have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Last week was week 2 of my new workout program and Beta test for my nutrition. I have to admit I didn't work out once last week. I was dealing with a very painful allergic reaction to a new deodorant I tried. It hurt to lift my arms, to move them, etc. I tried to work out last Monday and couldn't bear the pain. Finally the pain is gone and I am back at it. 
My nutrition was on and off. Thursday night the local school where Ella will be going had a community ice cream social with all proceeds going to the new play ground. Ella had yet to see inside of the school we decided to check it out. (which by the way she loves the school it is so cute small, quaint and not intimidating) I decided to try a strawberry shortcake bar. Not a good idea. I had horrible stomach pains the rest of the night. I even tried taking a lactose pill and it didn't help. Other than that my stomach is doing better. I started drinking Kombucha and Live Pro-biotic drinks again plus had some golden milk a couple of nights.
I stepped on the scale Monday morning and did my measurements like normal. I honestly expected to be back to where I had been before I started since I hadn't worked out and enjoyed myself for Mother's Day Brunch. To my surprise the scale stayed the same. An even bigger surprise was when I was down another inch. 
This week (week 3) I am focusing on drinking more water, especially with the temperatures being in the 80's, and getting back into working out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Recap

I can honestly say I had the best Mother's Day ever. It was relaxed, busy, drama free, loving, sweet, ... really an wonderful day. Brian and I had both decided to have everyone over at our house, instead of running around and doing the hustle bustle. This was the best decision ever, We got to see both our families and they got to see each other also, which normally only happens at birthday parties.
Saturday afternoon Brian took the kids to go buy my mothers day girls, and I got to go shopping by myself for the rest of the items I needed for our brunch. Sometimes just that 30 minutes of alone time is the best. 

When they came home Austin carried in my new bouquet of flowers for my table. (that was after her tried to eat them). I tried to get out of Ella what they bought me and she told me no. Then 10 minutes later she came back and said "Mom we got you a cup you asked for but I can't tell you anything else" It was so sweet. She really is my daughter, I use to suck at keeping secrets.

On Mother's Day morning both kids walked into the kitchen, where I was baking for brunch, and brought me my presents. I got a coffee mug that Ella picked out that says "Home is where Mom is", Minnie Mouse earrings, and a Mickey Mouse necklace that says "my heart belongs to you". i love it all. Incase you didn't know I have a Disney obsession especially Mickey and Minnie.

My mother in law surprised me when she came over and brought me two bouquets of flowers, one mixed and roses. The mixed ones I put in the same vase that the kids got my the night before and the roses I put in there own vase. I love having fresh flowers on the dining room table. It really makes my house feel like a home and I love the smell.

My mother surprised me with a lilac bush that I need to plant. I mentioned a few weeks ago I wanted one and ta-da I got one.

Don't we look so pretty. It's not everyday we dress up but we all felt like it surprisingly. 

I actually got my kids to sit with me for 30 seconds to take a half way good picture. 

My mommy and me. We don't have many pictures of just the two of us together

Couldn't leave out the love for my dad also.

Now time for the food. I have to let you know I am not a baker. I try to be at times and normally fail. This was a half way good attempt at Lemon Blueberry Scones. They tasted really good, but weren't hard like I think of when I think of a scone, and they weren't shaped like a scone at all. But all the matters is everyone liked them.

These were a hit, Nutella, Banana Crescent Rolls. I made them for the kids, but everyone enjoyed them. I will have to make these again, recipe coming soon.

Cute little mini pancakes. We had 3 flavors, banana, chocolate chip, and blueberry. The chocolate was liked the most. 

The main dish was Sausage Hash Casserole. Recipe will be posted later this week.

It isn't brunch if you don't have Mimosa's. We also had Punch also with no alcohol. Plus coffee.
We also had a mixed fruit bowl, and my mom brought Banana bread and a Raspberry bread, both of which were delicious. 
After brunch the kids played outside. My family had planned on going to the cemetery to put flowers at my mothers parents grave. Which just so happens to be 5 minutes from my house. Ella had asked the other day if we could place flowers on a grave after we drove past a cemetery on the way to school. It was a great lesson for both girls to learn and see where you go when you die and go to heaven. 

I ended my day relaxing while Brian planted some flowers and did some weeding. I enjoyed a Pina Colada that you place in the freezer and enjoy. 
Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and time with there family.