My Favorite Salad

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This is my favorite salad of the moment!  It’s seriously perfect, and I CRAVE IT (and I am not one to craaaave salads – I crave chocolate and wine, thank you very much).


The key is making it ahead – I think it tastes a lot better if you let the dressing wilt the greens.


In the mix:





Chopped yellow and red baby peppers

Raw sugar snap peas <— essential

Sprouted pumpkin seeds (found at Costco)

Sea salt and pepper

Homemade dressing of olive oil with Italian spice blend mixed in


I do a side of plain whole milk Greek yogurt for a protein punch.  Yum.


In non-food news, I…


Survived my trip to the dentist.  I have to go back for more work though.  Now that I know I get to watch HGTV in the middle of the day, I don’t mind so much…


Went and voted in the Democratic primary runoff for Charlotte mayor.  My candidate won!  She got my vote because I listened to her in the debate and really liked her, and she walked in the Pride Parade.  Charlotte schools need help, so I hope she wins the election and does everything she promised.


Henry liked pushing the VOTE button.  He kept asking where the BOAT was, though.  No matter how many times I explained that we were VOTING, he kept asking when we were going to go BOATING.  Hah.


And last, but not least, I am going to redo my Capsule Wardrobe soon!  The weather is getting chilly, and its time to revamp things for the Fall/Winter.


(Kiddo toy pick-up is so much more fashionable these days! Hah)


In all seriousness, I have really enjoyed Capsule Wardrobe and do feel more fashionable on a daily basis (here’s an explanation of the concept).  Getting dressed is so much easier than I don’t even WANT to live in yoga and sweatpants anymore!  So many of you asked me to follow up on it, and the bottom line is this – I don’t think I will ever organize my closet another way again!


What’s new with you?


Tuesday Mornings

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After two years of Erin Condren planners, I have switched to a $8 one.  Even thought it’s only October 6, I keep needing to flip into 2016 and write down info – my old planner stopped at December 31.  I kept on meaning to order another super cute Erin one (I love the covers), but then I stumbled upon a total gem at FedEx and bought it on the spot.  It fulfills all my paper planner requirements – a calendar view, a weekly view, lots of room to write…


I switched to paper planners two years ago and haven’t looked back since.  I used to use an electronic one for appointments and use scraps of paper for To Do lists – but now it’s all in the same spot.  Long live the paper planner, whether cheap or fancy!


My morning:





Full of muffin-making, slide-sliding, and lots of love. <3 <3 <3




This was a good one!  Big and hearty.


Roasted potatoes



Eggs with spinach and Swiss


And here are some quotes that resonate with me today:



And in other news, I have a toothache so I made a dentist appointment for tomorrow. I am actually pretty scared of the dentist and haven’t been in longer than I care to admit.  So I hope everything is okay!  I’m going to focus on healthy teeth and hope it multiples.  Hah.


Have an awesome day!


Hi, Friends!

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How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?


On Saturday afternoon, the Husband and I attended our friend Isaac’s birthday party at the 5-star Ballantyne Resort. We hung out with friends, sat in the hot tubs, relaxed in the steam rooms, and drank mimosas.  I left the spa feeling very adult, peaceful, and calm, but when we got home, there was immediate kid chaos!  Even in the face of a scream fest, I thought, “Man, I actually missed this while we were away…” 


… Although I seriously wouldn’t be opposed to more “spa voices” in my real life!  Claire has gotten SO LOUD in the past few weeks, and the kids now have screaming competitions.  I swear that my ear drums are bleeding. 


Speaking of Claire, she turned 10 months on Friday.  She has gotten really good at waving bye-bye (doing it unprompted now!), and she said her third word – CAT!  Mama and Dada were #1 and #2.  And she’s taken a few steps but hasn’t really started to walk.  It’s funny how different the kids are; once Henry took one step, there was no stopping the process (he took his first step at 7 months and was a fully independent walker at 9!).  But Claire seems more cautious.  Which I am totalllly okay with.


In other exciting parenting news, I accidentally left Henry’s sneakers on the roof of my car and drove away.  I heard a THUMP THUMP when we were on a busy road and saw the sneakers go flying off the back – whoops.  I was pretty jazzed when I retrieved them several minutes later and they were not squashed flat.


It’s the little things in life, am I right?!


So… How is “No Excuses” life going for everyone?  No Excuses <— I will workout.  When there’s a will, there’s a way.  I had to dig up serious will on Sunday, when H refused (like, flat-out REFUSED) to go into gym childcare.  I ended up doing sprint intervals on the track and some strength-training moves (squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, pull-ups) while he played on a nearby playground.  It actually ended up being an awesome workout, and it made me want to do playground-workout combos more often.  Everyone was pretty pleased!


And see those stormy skies?  We have been having some rotten weather, no thanks to Hurricane Joaquin.  I’m loving the cooler temps but this rain has got to go!


We rounded out Sunday evening with a play date with friends.  Brandi made quinoa muffins – I need the recipe!


Hope you have an awesome Monday.  <3


I’m making a real effort to get back on track in all areas of my life.  Healthy eating – CHECK.  Sleep – CHECK.  Fitness – CHECK.  Catching up on Fear the Walking Dead – CHECK (and AHHH! So good).  And last, but not least, Book a Week!  When I was about 15 books into my New Year’s Resolution, someone asked me if trying to read a book a week would burn me out on reading.  At the time, I said, “Nope!” But… It did.  I definitely had a period where I did not want to pick up a book… so I didn’t.


I’ve been getting back into the habit.  Here’s a GREAT parenting book that I just finished this week.

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Week 27: It’s Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids


This book is AMAZING, thought-provoking, and insightful, and I highly recommend that all parents of young children (2 – 6 years old would probably be the best) pick up a copy.  This book was given to me by Henry’s preschool director, as many of the philosophies described guide the school’s procedures. 


This book has a huge emphasis on unstructured play, which I love.  And the book discusses so many crucial topics and gives great guidance on handling many “discipline” issues… which actually aren’t discipline issues at all.  I loved the idea of “changing the place, not the child” when it comes to so many things, like roughhousing, messy art, or even swear words. This is a very progressive book that places a lot of emphasis on understanding and respecting a child’s emotions.  It also gives a good look at what kids are developmentally capable of understanding/appreciating.


The title – “It’s Okay Not to Share” – focuses on the fact that the author does not support “forced sharing on demand.”  Adults do this, she says, because of social politeness, but what we’re really teaching kids is that 1) they can’t trust adults to protect their play and 2) they should get what they want instantly. She also argues that forced sharing doesn’t actually teach generosity. Instead, the author advocates taking long turns and sharing only when one child ready to be “done,” which actually benefits both kids on the equation. Makes sense to me!  If this mindset sounds logical to you, check out another chapter of the book here!


I think the hardest part of applying these ‘renegade rules’ is applying the rules in public with parents/kids who don’t follow the same philosophy.  There’s a section at the end of each chapter about this very issue, which I really appreciated!  I have actually long been against forced sharing; this rule is easy to enforce when your kid wants something someone else does.  But its haaaard when a stranger is demanding your kid share on demand.  The other day on the playground, another mom told Henry to get off the swing for a kid who had just walked over!  She said, “It’s his turn now. Get off!”  I wasn’t sure what to do so I spluttered out a, “Henry, this boy would like a turn. Are you ready to be done? No? Okay, well when you are, let him have the swing” but I felt SO AWKWARD because I was definitely going against the grain.  Thanks to reading this book, I know that I was politely supporting his right to play (just as I would’ve protected the other kid’s right if Henry had wanted his swing). 


A reader on Instagram asked me for a list of parenting books that I have read and love.  Here you go!


Big Kids

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money


Pregnancy, Childbirth and Babies

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Birthing from Within

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

Panic-Free Pregnancy

Happiest Baby on the Block

Baby Whisperer

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding


What pregnancy, baby, or kid books do you recommend?


No Excuses

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In the vein of my “Add, Not Subtract” mentality of healthier living (a no-stress way to focus on the positives, not the negatives, especially when it coming to healthy eating), this week I am doing a NO EXCUSES shift when it comes to exercise.


Step 1:  Kick off my “Return to Fitness” with a fun event – a sprint triathlon <— DONE!

Step 2:  Plan out my workouts for the week.  If it’s in the calendar, it’s happening.


Step 3:  Have a talk with Henry that when I say, “We’re going to see the ladies at gym childcare!” he can’t scream, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and dramatically throw himself on the floor.  Well, he CAN, but we’re still going regardless…

Step 4:  Register for a race to stay committed.  I’ve chosen a 5 miler on October 17.  Wahoo.


Step 5:  Do it.  Seriously.  just do it.  Stop making excuses (too tired, too much good TV, would rather sit here and stare at the wall) and just work towards the BIG goals that I actually want to do.


Here was yesterday’s gym workout with Brandi!


5 minute warm-up on the rowing machine


Two Rounds of these Strength Moves:

20 weighted squats (15 pounds)

20 twisting, weighted lunges (10 pounds) on each side

30 jumping jacks (plus a much-needed two-babies pee break halfway through…)

15 push-ups (modified)

20 tricep dips

1 minute plank

High knees for 30 seconds



1 mile run/walk on treadmill


Arm moves – bicep curls, shoulder presses, raises until I was too tired to lift anymore!


Are you in NO EXCUSES mode, too?

Healthy Tipping Point