Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend + Oscars

This weekend was good and really low-key, which is always nice. The weather was mostly terrible and rainy, so lots of indoor activity took place the first part of the weekend.

Let's see.  We kicked off Friday with a play date for Davis. I brought two of his little friends home with us from preschool, and let me tell you: four-year-old boys in triplicate are a bit of a handful. A funny handful, but still. I am so spoiled because Ava's play dates are, and have always been, super-easy. Like, they just entertain themselves, and require almost no supervision intervention. The boys, on the other hand, need a little meddling from me to prevent things from getting to physical. 

Anyway, that was fun. Sort of. Saturday kicked off with Ina Garten's blueberry streusel muffins. If you haven't made them, do it this weekend. Or right now. They are so good. My kids each ate 3, along with about 5 pieces each of bacon. And it's possible that I scooped out a few spoonfuls of the streusel topping before it even went on the muffins. 

We hit the movies for an encore of Wreck-It Ralph. As wild as Davis can be, he is really good in a movie, so it's the perfect rainy Saturday activity.

Later that afternoon, we watched the UNC-NCSU game. I made a little good-luck cocktail, and I think it worked to help the Heels get a much-needed win.  We have a lot of yummy grapefruit juice around, so I used the citrus juicer to help make a little vokda-grapefruit cocktail. Tasty and healthy, right?

It was also way past time for me to get some new running shoes. Luckily, I had a 20% off coupon for Omega, so I got the PureFlow2 from Brooks. I love the way they feel, although the colors aren't my most favorite. They make me look more hard core than I am, though. 

Last night we watched The Oscars. Okay, that's kind of a lie. I watched the red carpet, then about 2 hours of the show, and then I went to bed. I thought it was a good show, as far as Oscars go. I thought the musical performances were great, and my girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence was solidified, especially when she talked to the press after the show. And that Dior creation she wore? Heaven.

She's kind of irreverent, in that "I-don't-care-that-this-is-Hollywood" sort of way. Like, she's just going to be JLaw no matter what. Especially when she does this:

And follows that up with an apology that she had just taken a shot. Not everyone can pull that off without seeming vulgar, but from her, it comes off as endearing. 

What were your favorite moments or dresses?

Friday, February 22, 2013

The 6am Workout, aka Getting it Over With

Long hiatus in blogging here, folks. Sorry - just been busy and uninspired. And trying to catch up on American Idol, which, after not watching for a season or 2, has me liking it again. Let's talk more about that soon.

Today, let's talk about workouts. Specifically, early morning workouts.

So, once upon a time, I would have NEVER gotten up at 5:30am to run or go to the gym. Never. But 2 or 3 years ago, I started meeting my two closest friends for early morning runs. They already had a routine established, and at that point, I was training for a half marathon, but had never actually run with anyone. I was kind of nervous to do so, thinking I couldn't keep up, but it was fine. And more fun. Lots more fun. The early morning part? Well, that wasn't easy, but knowing there were 2 people who were expecting me to meet them helped keep me accountable.

Anyway, fast forward to now. Our workouts have evolved and changed. With Davis in preschool 3 days a week and child care at my gym, you might think I would have moved beyond the early morning workout. And there are days that I don't get it done early. Days that I just want to sleep in til the grand old hour of 7. But even on preschool days, I prefer to get the workout done and have the option of my 4 preschool hours being all mine to get other stuff done. Or, to get a second workout in, but that's just my own little obsession. I like to eat. I don't want to gain weight. So, sometimes, there are two-a-days. Don't judge.

I often have people ask me, "How do you exercise so early? I could never do that!" Well, folks, if I didn't have my friends to keep me accountable, I would turn off my alarm every single morning. But as it is, I (usually) get up when we have an early workout on the calendar. So, if you can find friends to exercise with, do it! Nothing feels better than being done with a workout by 7am, and having the rest of the day ahead of you. Plus, if you exercise with friends, then you have a little social time to kick your day off right.

These days, we don't run quite as much. It used to be two 4 mile runs, and one 6-miler every week. Now we cross-train a lot more. We change it up with running, spinning, and strength. I want to run another half marathon in the next year or so (Rock and Roll Half is coming to Raleigh in 2014 - yay!), and I'm doing the Tar Heel 10 Miler again in April. I love the changes. I used to loathe spin classes. Now, I go 2-3/week and actually look forward to them just a little bit.

The point is this: if you think you can't exercise at the crack of dawn, you can. You really can. Oh, and I've forgotten to tell you the very best part of our early mornings: there is always coffee. Always. We all have the Bruegger's Bottomless Mug cards, so we hit Bruegger's after every early workout and get coffee.

And that's the real reason I get out of bed at 5:30am.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Boy Style, or Lack Thereof

I think I'm going to be able to save some serious dough on kids' clothing, because my son only wants to wear "sports shorts" these days. This is a bit frustrating to me because 1)he has a closet full of cute clothes, and 2) it is only February, and therefore mostly still pants weather.

In addition to the shorts, he really only wants short sleeves. This is where I find myself fighting back, because really, if it's only 50 degrees, one can not wear shorts and short sleeves without looking foolish. Shorts are not practical, but everyone knows that boys like to wear shorts all the time. In fact, I have had to talk my dear husband out of wearing shorts on a plane before, just because I find it inappropriate for business travel.

Anyway, I present to you Davis' outfit for today:

Tuesdays are exhausting. Naps are needed. Apparently, so are midriff-baring shirts.

Sadly, these are the only "sports shorts" he owns. This morning, I found myself browsing online for other athletic options. I don't like any of them, but I have got to get him into something other than NC State red. So, I came across these:

Pretty cool, for what they are. Except that they are FORTY DOLLARS. Seriously. Am I being Punk'd here? Not paying $40 for shorts I don't really like, unless they come with a guarantee that Davis can at least have a spot as a walk-on for the Heels in 2027.

So, I also found these. And they're only $16. Better, I guess. Even though they are still not what I want him to wear.

At least he and I still agree on shoes. It's going to be time to replace his Adidas Dragons soon. I love the new colors:

But then I kind of love these Nikes as well:

I guess I should be happy that he's all boy and that I can allocate more funds to myself. 

And speaking of, one of my friends got this tote as an early V-Day present. Of course, I need it, too. When packing for a weekend trip a few weeks ago, I put my books and magazines in a diaper bag. A diaper bag, people. I do not have any diaper-wearing people in my life. There is no need for me to be toting around a diaper bag. So I need this bag in my life. But do I need pink or navy?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Frivilous Friday

Davis has a buddy over so I'm trying to sneak in a quick Friday post. Here's what's on my mind today:

1) I can tell Davis is getting older because playdates are easier. A few months ago there was less sharing, more pouting, and generally more interfering that needed to be done on my part. Remember, I was used to girl playdates, where there are no issues involving pushing, hitting, or tackling. 

2) I have been such a good girl all year (yes, the whole 5 weeks of the new year). I have made almost no purchases for myself. All I've bought were two clearance tops from Old Navy ($6.97/each. At that price the purchase does not count). I also got a new sports bra from lululemon, but that is more of a necessity than a frivilous purchase, so again, it doesn't really count. In case you're wondering, it's the Free to Be bra, and if you are of the less endowed variety (as I am), you will love this one. It's really flattering, and super-comfy. And this green is so cute peeking out from a tank.

Anyway, I'm going to try really hard to continue my non-shopping spree this month. It's a short month. Shouldn't be too hard. 

3) The reason I need to save my dollars is so I can have these lovlies for spring:

Oh, hi there turquoise Revas. I won't blame you if you find your way into my closet. 

4) Also, Ava and I need these new Lilly Pulitzer dresses:
                                            via                                                           via

5) Lastly, I have a few Trader Joe's items that have become pantry staples:

First, Chipotle Pepper Hummus. Delish, especially on a sandwich or wrap.

Next, dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Move over, Reeses. These are way better.

And then, the thing that I can't be without: these Dark Chocolate almonds.

Clearly, I have issues with chocolate. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How I Feed My Family

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I no longer make separate meals for my kids. I always feel like this is a bit of a hot topic among moms, so I thought I'd expand on it a little.

First of all, my kids are not awesome eaters. They aren't those kids you see out at restaurants eating salads and steak and caviar and all sorts of grown-up foods. They like pretty simple, kid-friendly fare. But I don't really like to cook like that. And I especially don't like to cook multiple meals.

I used to do just that, though. There was a kid dinner, and then there was a grown-up dinner. Due to different schedules, we didn't eat together. The kids ate together, I sat with them and had a glass of wine, and then I would cook a grown-up meal for Morgan and me once he got home from work. This usually kept me in the kitchen, either cooking or cleaning, until about 9pm. Plus, we were eating way too late. But I didn't want to eat chicken nuggets or plain pasta, so that's just how we rolled.

I finally decided it was ridiculous. All that time in the kitchen, all those meals. Just crazy. I don't remember a single time as a child when I was served a separate meal from the rest of the family just because I didn't necessarily like what was on the menu. Sometimes I liked what we were having, sometimes I didn't. And that was fine.

So, sometime within the last year, I made a change. I now make one meal, and it's what we all eat. Lately, Morgan has been able to eat at the table with us a few nights a week. Those nights, we eat around 6:30 or 6:45. The family time has been really nice. If Morgan is working late, I usually eat with the kids and then let him warm up his dinner, and that works well, too. 

I don't make super-fancy meals, but I do make things that I actually want to eat. Do the kids balk? Yes, often. But they know that what's on the table is what's for dinner. I don't make them clean their plates, but I do make them try a few bites of everything. I also make sure there is always something I know they'll eat, like fresh fruit, and maybe bread. My kids don't starve, and neither will yours. I think it's really important for them to learn to eat real food.

Here's the thing: I don't think there's a ton I do particularly well as a parent. But this dinner thing? I'm pretty darn happy with myself for the change we made on that front. Having everyone fed and the kitchen clean by 7:00 is fabulous.

Now maybe I can start working on better discipline tactics.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ina Garten's Lentil and Sausage Soup

Last week I promised a good recipe, and I failed to deliver. Blame the stomach bug. I just couldn't think about food. That's how you KNOW I'm sick.

I think Ina Garten is my favorite celeb chef, with Sara Foster coming in a close second. I have all of Ina's cookbooks except for one - Barefoot In Paris - and I think I'm missing out by not having that one.

Last weekend, my two besties and I had lunch at my parents' house, and my mom served up the most delish soup. Not surprisingly, it was Ina's, and it was in the Barefoot in Paris cookbook. Luckily for me, the same recipe was available online, and I made the same soup last Monday night.

Now, I'll warn you. My mom told me this is a really easy recipe, and she's right, it is. But there is a considerable amount of chopping.

Also, it makes a TON. Like, I have two quarts of it in my freezer, and it made a couple of meals last week. Also, my kids hated it, but I no longer make them a separate dinner, so they ate a few bites each, and filled themselves up on the sourdough bread and fruit I served with the soup.

Here ya go:


  • 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quartsChicken Stock, or canned broth (I used organic chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar (I used wine)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stocktomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until thekielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekend Wrapup

If we're Facebook friends, then you already know that my dear husband deserted me this weekend for the Superbowl. So, it's just been the kids and me since Friday morning. How did he get so lucky? Well, he HAD to go for work. It's a rough life, but somebody's gotta live it. Really, though, I'm sure entertaining customers and hanging out in New Orleans is exhausting. I haven't gotten to talk to him much, but I can't wait to hear all about his weekend, and especially that crazy power outage!

I still think Beyonce's kick-ass performance had something to do with the lights going down. Either that or Ray Lewis shot the lights out. But, really, let's talk about Bey for a sec. How hot was she?? I am jealous and want to be her for a day or two. Girl was born to perform.

Other than the Superbowl (which I only sort of watched), Ava had a slumber party Friday night. The mom said the girls (7 of them) slept from 12am-7. That's not a lot of sleep, and the mood on Saturday morning was less than stellar. We made it through the day, though. The day, by the way, was cold. Davis feels no weather, though, and insisted on shorts all weekend:

Yesterday, we went to church (free childcare!), had lunch with my parents, and then headed to the gym. The spin instructor kindly offered to make our 60 minute class a 90 minute one. Not one to want to look like a slacker, I stuck around for the extra half hour. 

Then we got home in time for Davis to have the mother of all meltdowns. I may or may not have done a terrible job of behavior modeling during this meltdown. I was done, though. Luckily, after a shower and dinner, he was happier, and I let him watch a few minutes of the game. I tried explaining football to him as we were watching, but I'm not sure I really know what I'm talking about. 

Just to illustrate the difference in my two kids, let's take a look at a photo:

Ignore the terrible photo quality and the mess in my den. Note that Ava is reading the paper (well, the comics), and Davis is happily watching the game. She has no interest in the game except to comment on the uniforms. My daughter indeed.