Run DMT

I'm a mom on the run!

Run DMT - I'm a mom on the run!

Pinning and Planning – Week of July 21 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of July 21 {Dinner Menu}The lazy days of summer are slipping away quickly. I can’t believe the kids will be heading back to school very soon.  Between blogging obligations, the Food and Wine Conference and my family’s July birthdays, the month of July has been a blur for me.

This Wednesday, we’re celebrating Little Lion Man’s 4th birthday. Can you believe my little man is turning four?  Remember when I used to sing my best Minnie Riperton to Little Lion Man and he squealed. These days, he squeals EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! In less than a month, Little Lian be off to VPK five days a week and hopefully, he’ll potty train before that. (Don’t judge me because my children are late potty bloomers.)

On Wednesday, the whole family will gather to celebrate Liam’s birthday and I’m making a big batch of Baked Ziti. It’s the perfect potluck dish for a large crowd and my kids love it. Baked Ziti is a winner dinner!  As for the cake, Iron Chef Allan will bake a Lego cake at the birthday boy’s request  similar to this one, which was recommended to me by my friend and Sunday Supper sister Amy of KimChi Mom.

Amy made this easy Lego cake for her daughter’s birthday complete with Lego face cups. I’m totally stealing that idea!  How adorable is that?!

This Friday, I’m flying to Wisconsin to participate in a live Google+ hangout with American Family Insurance and Isabel of Family Foodie to share ways for “Fit and Healthy Family Living” and present yummy, healthy recipes like my Grilled Tilapia and Tomato Fennel Orzo. So, join us this Saturday for this live online chat and Google+ Hangout. RSVP here.

AmFam Google hangout Pinning and Planning   Week of July 21 {Dinner Menu}

Then before I fly back home to Tampa on Sunday, I’ll be celebrating my birthday with a virtual birthday run in Wisconsin and I would love for to join me. RSVP via the Facebook event here. To be my virtual running partner, just run as many miles as you can and then post a sweaty selfie on the Facebook event wall. Your sweaty smile will be the best birthday present ever!

sundaySupper Pinning and Planning   Week of July 21 {Dinner Menu}

Then later on Sunday, I’m hosting the #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams Twitter event at 7 pm. Join us for more recipes and tips to live a healthy family lifestyle.

As for the Food and Wine Conference, it was even more amazing than last year and once again, my brain and belly was fill to the rim of goodness. I’ll have a full review of the event later this week, but I will tell you that my brief meeting with the Idaho Potato Commission and the Beef Council has me craving meat and potatoes. So guess what’s on the dinner menu this week?

Meatless Monday – Onion and Jalapeño White Cheddar Quesadillas

Tuesday – Steak Fajitas

Wednesday – Liam’s 4th Birthday – Baked Ziti with a Garden Salad

Thursday – Loaded Baked Potatoes, Cheddar, Broccoli and Bacon

Friday- Pizza

What interesting recipes are you pinning and planning? What’s on your dinner menu this week?

Five Things That Make a House a Home

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lennar Tampa. The opinions shared are my own.

When my husband and I bought our first home, we were singletons making the transition into life as a couple. As a young couple, we didn’t think about building a family and how a growing family would fit, or not fit in our modest, quaint home.

After one child (never mind the three we now have fifteen years later), we quickly learned some valuable lessons which led to essential features that we now look for in a home.  Office space, functional living space, reasonably-sized bedrooms and a large kitchen that offers space for two amateur chefs who regularly entertain guests, are all basic features we now expect in a home to fit our family of five and extended family and friends.

For me, this breaks down into a nice little list.

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Five Things That Make a House a Home

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1.  Location, Location, Location!

Deciding where to hang your hat starts with selecting the right homesite. Before you decide on a homesite, drive through the adjacent communities at different times of the day and on different days of the week. If you commute, time the distance to work and notice traffic patterns on the major roads to understand how it will impact your drive to work.

Also, research the schools nearby. Even if you don’t have kids at the moment, check out the neighborhood schools for when you decide to build your family. Utilize online tools such as GreatSchools.com and FL DOE to learn how the schools perform. Thankfully, the schools in our area are excellent.

We love our neighborhood, but we always toy with the idea of buying a new home.  For our next home, I would love a slightly larger floor plan and to live on a caudle sac with a conservation view relatively close to where we currently reside.

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2. Community Amenities 

As much as I would love a home with a pool, the reality of building a pool just isn’t in the cards for us financially. However, we are an active family and we love to be outdoors.  Therefore, it is important that the community we live in offers a playground, trails, tennis courts, pool and a clubhouse.

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3. Selecting the Right Floor Plan

Confession: I have no spatial awareness. I will look at a floor plan and the measurements mean nothing to me. Although online virtual tours help, I still need to walk through the home to visualize how my couch would look in the family room. Can I picture my family noshing on meals in this breakfast nook?

Having lived in two homes now, I pay close attention to how the rooms are decorated in model homes.  Is there a twin bed or full in the bedroom?  How much furniture is in the room? Can you move around in the room? Unless you can afford buying all new bedroom sets for your entire family, you need to make sure that the furniture you will move in will fit the rooms.

To help take the guesswork out of visualizing how you and your furniture will fit in a home, Lennar offers an interactive tool, the Interactive Room Planner. With a large assortment of furniture options that can adjust to specific measurements, the Interactive Room Planner beautifully helps illustrate how all your furniture and family will fit in a home.

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4. Storage

As your family grows, so will your belongings. It’s amazing how much stuff one family will accumulate.  Not to mention, there are a ridiculous amount of holiday items like Christmas trees (Yes, we have more than one.) and other miscellaneous decorations. My family and I declutter only to make more room for more stuff.

For us, a two-car garage just doesn’t fit two cars and all our storage bins, bikes a second fridge and my husband’s carpentry and automotive workshop. We need a three-car garage just to store stuff and then maybe we could actually park a car in the garage.

But three kids also means three times as many things and a family of five means five mouths to feed. Storage space inside the house is also a must! We have bundles of board games, piles of shoes and stacks of jackets and clothes.  Each child needs their own place to store their belongings. As for my husband and I, we don’t share well. Therefore, his and hers closets are a necessity in the Master Suite.

Also, with two cooks in the kitchen, we need plenty of large cabinets. For years, I have longed for a walk-in pantry to store our dry-goods, entertaining dishes, platters and small kitchen appliances.

As for the laundry room, it should have a set of cabinets to hide detergent. The laundry room should also provide plenty of space to sort dirty laundry, fold clothes as they come out of the dryer and room to hang drip-dry clothing, as well as discarded shoes and backpacks.

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5. What’s Included?

It’s the next natural question when looking for a home. Upgrades are expensive. Once you start adding in granite counters, large maple cabinets, fixtures and flooring the basic price of the home quickly starts to climb. When you start to factor in window treatments such as blinds, it can be an unforeseen cost. When upgrades and even functional items like window treatments are included, you are offered a more realistic price for a home and can avoid newspaper shades.

As a Mommy Certified Blogger for Lennar, follow me as I discover how a Lennar Tampa community fits my criteria for making a house a home.

mommy certified Lennar Five Things That Make a House a Home 

2014 Lutz Independence Day Run 5K Recap

Once again, I went into a race more concerned about my looks than my performance. And once again, I showed up to the Lutz Independence Day Run in full stunner apparel wearing my red, white and blue tutu and a new Firecracker shirt I bought from one of the vendors at Iron Girl.

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My personal life has been so hectic with trying to entertain the kids while they’re home for summer break. I’ve not been eating right or sleep well or even hydrating properly and that all makes for a bad combination whether you’re running a 5K or a marathon. Therefore for this hot, humid Fourth of July race, I had no intentions to PR. I just hoped to finish under 30 minutes.

My kids decided to pass on this race and I can’t say blamed them. It was crazy hot.

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I bumped into Daffodil outside packet pickup and we headed to the start line. 

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I took a few selfies and some older gentlemen teased me. “Can we be in the selfie?”

“Sure! Get in here!”

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Sadly, no one sang the National Anthem to start the race. Only a faded foghorn sounded the official start and we were off.

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Daffodil and I paced together for about the first mile until we reached the first water station.  At that point, I needed to walk and catch my breath. The heat and humidity was really getting to me. I grabbed two cups of water and watched Daffodil set off while I walked a bit longer.

For races like this in the heat, I should really carry my hand-held Nathan. Relying on water stations when I am so dehydrated is a recipe for disaster.

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The course followed the same residential road it follows every year. Only this year, none of the residents or spectators ran sprinklers for the runners.  I missed that mist. Catching a small sprinkle from a hose works wonders for me during a hot, humid 5K, but not this year. This year, I trotted along wishing for just a drop of water.

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As the course wound back to the start, I spotted several floats gearing up for the Independence Day Parade which follows shortly once the race ends. Staring at floats made me thirst for ice cream floats and thinking of ice cream floats made me long for a cool refreshing drink like lemonade water.

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Hot and bothered and wanting to be done, I struggled with the next mile but promised myself not to walk until I reached the water station. Once I came upon the oasis, I grabbed three cups of water. I dumped one on my head and gulped down the other two.

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Feeling a bit refreshed, I tried to get my pace back, but it wasn’t happening. I was really struggling. Then, I caught a whiff of something and it gagged me.  Over in the distance, I caught a truck spraying the field with some kind of chemical which choked me. Great.  Now, I was struggling to run and breath. With less than a mile to go, I coughed it out and tried to get my head back in the run.

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As I turned the final corner, I captured a few final photos and then I spotted Marcia and Patrick cheering for their favorite Striders. Of course, there was no cheering when she saw me snapping pictures, rather she scolded me. “I see you snapping!”

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As Marcia shook her finger at me, I sprinted to the finish line and I came *this* close to top ten.

Chip Time 30:22
Gun Time 30:34
Div Place 12/42
Overall  292/584

Only a handful of the Striders ran the Lutz Independence Day Run, but we represented, especially Jolene who placed first in her age group and Daffodil who walked-ran her way to an under 30 finish time.

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*Photo credit to Luke*

After the race, I stayed for the post-race raising of the flag and to chat with Uncle Sam on stilts.

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But honestly in my opinion, nothing says “America” like red Solo cups and a red, white and blue tutu.

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*Photo credit to Luke*

Marvel Universe Live! {Review and Giveaway}

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

IN TAMPA!

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Marvel Universe Live! kicked off its tour in Tampa on Tuesday night with a dress rehearsal. My family and I were fortunate enough to experience this never seen before living comic book.

This action-packed superhero ensemble includes 25 of Marvel fans favorite characters from superheroes  to super villains. With fireworks and an amazing light display, Thor begins the show with a mighty blow of his hammer shattering the Cosmic Cube before it enters the hands of evil, his brother Loki.

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To Thor’s dismay, Loki harnesses the power of the fractured pieces to embark on world domination and the ultimate destruction of Earth.  Other super villians enter the scene as the Marvel super good-doers stop Loki’s evil plan.

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The super team combs the dessert, climbs the Himalayans and battles on top of the statue of Liberty to protect Earth and defeat the villains. With high-flying acrobatics and motorcycle stunts, the audience follows along on a high-speed, high-stakes adventure.

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From the fight scenes to the fireworks, my children were captivated by incredible action scenes. Even my husband and I enjoyed the show, despite the corny 1980s Saturday morning dialogue. Be prepared for sad puns and over used super speeches, however, you will look past the bad puns when you witness the pyrostunts. Marvel Universe Live! has turned up the heat on family entertainment and live performances. This is no Princess on Ice performance!

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Marvel Universe Live! will be fighting evil in Tampa until Sunday, July 13. For tickets, visit the TampaBayTimesForum.com.

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Win tickets to the Friday, July 11 evening performance in this flash giveaway.  One lucky winner will four tickets to the 7pm Friday evening performance. To enter, name your favorite Marvel Superhero.  Follow the Rafflepcopter prompts for additional entries. Flash giveaway ends Thursday, July 10 at 11:59 pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit TampaMama and DadScribe for additional chances to win Marvel Universe Live tickets.

RANdom Tuesday Thoughts About Some Exciting News, Being a Superoo, Mommy Certifiable and My Training Runs

Some very exciting things unfolded for me last month that will provide some amazing adventures. Based on my Trekaroo reviews, I was selected as a Superoo.

Superoo RANdom Tuesday Thoughts About Some Exciting News, Being a Superoo, Mommy Certifiable and My Training Runs

trekaroo superoo RANdom Tuesday Thoughts About Some Exciting News, Being a Superoo, Mommy Certifiable and My Training Runs

What that basically means, I will be covering special assignments and reviewing the best family-friendly travel spots in Florida on behalf of Trekaroo. I am so excited about this Superoo status as it will open more doors for me and offer me the opportunity to grow my repertoire as a travel blogger while networking and learning from other outstanding travel bloggers.

mommy certified Lennar RANdom Tuesday Thoughts About Some Exciting News, Being a Superoo, Mommy Certifiable and My Training RunsAlso last month, I was selected as a “Mommy Certified Blogger” for Lennar Homes of Tampa. As part of this agreement, I will visit Lennar communities, review floor plans of homes and their overall energy efficiency and explain how Lennar Homes are mommy approved by meeting my expectations of what I look for in a home. I am so honored and proud to have been selected for both and I hope I can deliver and meet both companies’ expectations.

July is such a crazy month for us around here with three July birthdays. Then, because I’m bored or something, I’m training for a marathon, planning another Danny Did Fundraiser and I’m attending the Food and Wine Conference next weekend  all while trying to entertain my children over the summer  with “Camp Mommy”.  And of course, there’s housework. Did you get tired just reading all of that or what?

Seriously, I’m exhausted. I just need to survive July.

You know what you make a house a home? I’ll take a home that cleans itself by washing all the dishes and putting them away or sucks up all the dog hair and dirt and magically spews it outside or washes, dries, folds and puts away all the laundry. Can I have that? Where is that home? Now, that house would be Mommy Certified for sure!

As for my trainings and workouts, no one can do that for me. That’s all me. Of course, I’m so tired lately that it has been a struggle to get up and run, but I’m hanging in there.

Last Wednesday, I had my very last Body Back session. As I expected, Regina tortured us with a doozy of a workout for the last session. We did 100 reps of a variety of exercises.

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You know how working out is supposed to invigorate you? Yeah, not so much for me after that last class. I was broken and truly exhausted. I could hardly move and I struggled with each exercise. It might have to do with the fact that I ate rich heavy foods at a sneak peek tasting at Roux the night before and drank way too many cocktails. Plus, I’ve not been sleeping well. But I survived and I’m really proud of my progress.  Now, I just need to maintain it.

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Thursday, I slept in and didn’t work out at all and I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. Friday, I ran the Lutz Independence Run 5K. It was crazy hot as you would expect for a Fourth of July race in Florida. I did o.k., not great. I know it’s because I haven’t been eating well, sleeping well or hydrating properly. I’ll have a full race report later this week.

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Saturday, I slept in again because it was a holiday weekend. Don’t you just love my excuses? Well, you will be pleased to know that I ran 10 miles on Sunday on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with my Chicago Marathon running partners:  Daffodil, Chrissy and a new friend, Victoria.

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Time 10:47
Ave Pace 10:43

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The UTBT is a gorgeous trail. I love mixing it up because I become bored running the same routes. Field trip runs are the best, especially when you’re running partners are up for running in new places.

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Funny enough, we ran into a bunch of other running friends along the UTBT. Looks like lots of runners like to run different places too instead of the same old, same old.

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Monday, Allana tagged along for spin again. I love that she enjoys the class and I have a spin buddy for the summer.  It also gives her a chance to become a more efficient rider by learning proper pedal strokes and techniques.

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Today, I skipped out on speedwork with the same excuse. I’m tired.  However, I made it to Express Body Pump for a two leg workout tracks. Yay. That’s what I get for being tired and skipping out on speedwork.

Tomorrow, I’ll make up missing speedwork with a 4.3 mile tempo run and a 7 mile run on Thursday. With my daughter’s birthday this weekend and LEGOLAND on Sunday, I’ll need to plan my long run (14 miles) for Friday. No excuses and no sleeping in!

Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. The recipe and opinions are my own.

In an attempt to eat healthier, my family and I began incorporating a weekly “Meatless Monday” and a plant-based diet into our dinner menu. At first, my family fought the new, healthy change, especially since a meatless menu would force them to eat more greens. Once my husband and three children realized that meatless dishes would include hearty vegetable alternatives like portobello mushrooms, they were on board.

 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Then, I took our healthy Meatless Monday meals one step further by trying incorporate carb-free alternatives, such as mashed cauliflower. By steaming and “mashing” cauliflower with bit of parmesan cheese, it helps mask the vegetable which often turns kids’ (and husbands’) noses. Of course, before they even tasted, my family fought me, but once they tried it, they loved it.

By substituting cauliflower for is starchy counterpart, I cleverly fed a vegetable that is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C.  Plopping some cauliflower on top of a portobello mushroom, I offered my family a double dose of potassium in one Meatless Monday #WeekdaySupper.

And then, I threw some steamed arugula at them.  Oh the horror of eating heart healthy veggies! 

 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Once my family could overlook the added green, they learned to love the richness, flavor and color the arugula added to this white earthy, healthy meal.

 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

With adding arugula to this already healthy dish, it delivers even more vitamin A, K and C as well a calcium and iron.  Plus, in the heat of the summer, arugula also helps hydrate your body. This one gluten-free, Meatless Monday #WeekdaySupper delivers a stack of superfoods that packs a healthy punch, which is so important for growing children and a long distance runner like me.  One portobello cap (or two because their carb-free and so healthy) fuels me to run multiple miles and continue to #ChooseDreams of running more marathons.

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Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Portobellos stuffed and stacked with steamed arugula and mashed cauliflower that will satisfy your most carnivorous family members.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4-6 large cap Portobello mushrooms
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and gently remove dirt from Portobello mushrooms. Brush mushrooms with olive oil and lay mushrooms on baking sheet cap side down. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until soft. Flip halfway through.
  3. While portbello mushrooms are roasting, rinse and trim cauliflower into medium size florets. Add to double-boiler to steam. Cook until fork tender and crumbly.
  4. Once full cooked, move cauliflower to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, 1.2 tsp ground black pepper and parmesan cheese. Blend until soft and smooth; set aside.
  5. Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on a low heat. Add garlic and simmer until fragrant and golden brown. Add arugula and sauté until wilted.
  6. Remove portobellos from oven. Layer about a ¼ cup of arugula on top and top with ½ cup of mashed cauliflower. Serve as is or finish off under broiler for about two minutes for a golden brown crust.
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 Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

AmFam Choose Dreams Logo Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Through a partnership with American Family Insurance, we are encouraging all families to take steps to #ChooseDreams and turn your favorite family recipes into healthy ones.  For more great healthy recipes, follow AmFam on Pinterest.

Also visit American Family Insurance on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest,Google +Youtube, and LinkedIn.

8404230378 f78c6dfe98 o Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams Want more healthy, quick dinner ideas? Check out these amazing #WeekdaySupper meals for some pinspiration!

Meatless Monday – Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellas by Run DMT

Tuesday - Loaded Mediterranean Sweet Potato Fries by Neighborfood

Wednesday - Grilled Salad with Skirt Steak by Country Girl in the Village

Thursday - Mango Avocado Quinoa Chicken Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Friday - Tex-Mex Shrimp Skillet by The Weekend Gourmet

Pinning and Planning – Week of July 6 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of July 6 {Dinner Menu}I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. We had such a fabulous Fourth of July hanging out our friend’s house. Our lives are so busy these days, but it’s wonderful that we can pause the madness for a bit and just spend time enjoying each other’s company and catching up.

These were the first friends my family made when we moved to the area over eight years ago and over that time, these friends have become our extended family.  Over the years, we’ve celebrated new babies and watched our children grow from preschool playmates into high school students.

This Fourth of July was more than celebrating our country’s freedom. It was also our chance to celebrate how much we mean to one another and our friendships with some fireworks and great food.

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Speaking of great of food, I will be sharing my first ever #WeekdaySupper post for the Supper Supper Movement tomorrow (Monday). The recipe, Mashed Cauliflower and Arugula Stuffed Portobellos, is something I have been working on and refining for some time and I will finally be sharing it tomorrow. YAY!  So stop by again tomorrow to see this really tasty Meatless Monday dish.  For your viewing pleasure, here is a sneak peek.

 Pinning and Planning   Week of July 6 {Dinner Menu}

It would appear that the Iron Chef genes have been passed onto another generation, because my youngest daughter, Emmalynn, has requested a cooking birthday party for her 9th birthday. She planned a lovely hands-on kid-friendly menu for her friends including Fruit Kabobs, Mini Caprese Salad Skewers, Pizza and Create-Your-Own Sugar Cookies.

Basically for the pizza, Iron Chef Allan will throw together some dough for the girls to roll and flatten and the we’ll offer the girls a variety of toppings for them to create their own personal pizza to their liking. Then, for dessert and the Create-Your-Own Sugar Cookies, we’ll make a basic sugar cookie batter and the girls can mix their own ingredients (mini M&M’s, colored sprinkles, etc.), to add their own flare to each cookie.

As for all the other tasty things we’re cooking up this week, here’s how our dinner menu looks for the week.

Sunday – Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers

Meatless Monday – Grilled Summer Veggies and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Tuesday – Tilapia and Sweet Potato Hash

Wednesday – Chicken-Mushroom {and Spinach} Quesadillas

Thursday – Mojo Roast Chicken with Quinoa Tabbouleh

Friday – Healthy Chicken Salad with Bibb Lettuce

Saturday – Chef Emmalynn’s Cooking Birthday Party

What’s on your dinner menu this week? What recipes are you pinning and planning? 

Experience a SeaWorld Summer

Disclosure: My family and I received one-day admission passes to Aquatica and SeaWorld in exchange for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own.

I know the word “SeaWorld” may cause some people to squirm, cringe or even whisper the word like a politically incorrect slur. Even mentioning the word in a hashtag or tweet makes you a target for anti-SeaWorld cyberbullying.

SeaWorld Pelican tweet Experience a SeaWorld Summer

Pelican tweets Experience a SeaWorld Summer

I have not watched Blackfish. I simply refuse based on my continued partnership with SeaWorld.

I belong to PETA. I buy animal cruelty-free products and yet, I eat meat, wear leather shoes and enjoy zoos but I don’t like circuses. Yep, I’m a walking contradiction.

So let’s take this all for what is. I enjoy affordable Florida entertainment and basically, that’s what SeaWorld offers while educating its guests about marine life and conversation.  As I’ve said before, even if SeaWorld removed its star attraction, we would still visit the park for its message of conversation, animal rescue and rehabilitation and the incredible roller coasters and if you include, Aquatica, its outstanding water slides.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

Thanks to my ongoing SeaWorld partnership, my family and I started our SeaWorld summer adventure with Aquatica .  With the recent addition of Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, we had to experience this horrifying 80 foot drop for ourselves.

IMG 20140620 152713 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

After feeling the overwhelming height of the Ihu’s Breakway Falls looming over me like a skyscraper, I decided to stick with the smaller slides at Kata’s Kookaburra Cove.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

Sadly, we were just starting to get our feet wet when a typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm rolled in and we had to cut our visit short.  Though the park would reamin open, all the waterslides and pools would close due to inclement weather.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

Later that evening, we popped over to SeaWorld to experience a whole new exhibit Generation Nature LIVE. With the help of Bindi Irwin (daughter of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter), guests discover how they can protect wildlife and their habitats.  Bindi encourages kids to be Game Changers for nature and learn now how we can help wildife.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

For the launch of this show, we came face to face with a sloth, an America Bald Eagle and a pelican.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

After the show, we had the chance to meet a few animals up close and a few of their friends in the SEA Garden.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

My youngest daughter loved the ponies.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

After our animal encounter, we enjoyed the new Shamu experience, Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up The Night. While we waited for the show to begin, we enjoyed the music and watching random guests dance on the large monitors positioned throughout the stadium.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

This all-new high-energy show features original music and production elements, as well as new killer whale behaviors.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

With stylistic lighting and colorful backdrops, Shamu Stadium transforms into a celebratory atmosphere that ends with the most amazing a fireworks finale.

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

 Experience a SeaWorld Summer

The best way to experience a SeaWorld Summer and these amazing new shows this summer is with an all-new ticket offer, Your Day, Priced Your Way, where guests can save $15 on a ticket valid any day of the week. 

If you have a flexible schedule, you can save $30 on a weekday ticket.  Plus, planning in advance and buying tickets online allows guests the convenience of printing at home and going straight through the turnstiles. This special ticket offer is available to U.S. residents for advance purchase only at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

For more information, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com. Follow SeaWorld on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

On July 27, I turn 43 and to celebrate the occasion, I decided to share 43 gifts before my 43rd birthday. You may remember that I shared 42 gifts last year as part of a #birthdayproject, which included hosting giveaways and a variety of random acts of kindness. Like last year, I plan to complete another  #birthdayproject with #43gifts by hosting giveaways and performing small gestures to pay it forward during my birthday month.

43gifts Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

Also during the month of July leading up to my birthday, I plan to run 43 miles. With training for a marathon, it should be relatively easy to achieve. On my birthday, I plan to host a virtual run. Last year, I loved seeing all the photos of my friends from all over the globe running some miles with me and taking selfies of their sweaty smiles to celebrate my birthday. It was the best gift ever! So let’s do it all again! Who’s with me?

RSVP for my Virtual Birthday Run for Run DMT here. Run whatever you can, wherever you can on Sunday, July 27 and then upload a sweaty selfie to the event page. If you are on Instagram or Twitter, share it with the #RunDMTbdayrun.

On Saturday, I ran 12 miles with Daffodil. It’s so stinking hot here and we just want to finish the miles and not push ourselves. We just took it easy and walked about every mile for about 30 seconds. Who knew 12 miles would go so well?!

12mile 6 29 Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

On Sunday, I ran an easy 3 miles followed by a ½ mile swim. It felt good to be back in the pool and I couldn’t believe how quickly I finished the swim (under 6 minutes) even with months off. Since my Garmin is off being refurbished, my times are estimates based on the time I leave my house.

3.1 miles
Time 35:00
Ave Pace 11:17

Yesterday, Allana joined me at spin class. There were a lot of climbs yesterday. My legs were toast. Even Allan was sore.

IMAG5376 Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

Today, started day one of my 43 miles and I just wanted to run. No sprints, I just wanted run a fast 4.3 miles, but I did throw in some ½ mile sprints for good measure.

4.3 miles
Time 42:00
Ave Pace 9:18

I had planned to do a #sexylegs workout but I ran short on time and promised to take my kids to Adventure Island, which offered me another type of #sexylegs workout climbing the Splash Attack ropes to keep up with my Little Lion Man.

Last week, I had my final evaluation for Session 1 of Body Back. I was really surprised my results. I lost 3 pounds. I dropped about 2 inches off my waist and an inch and a half off my hips. That is INCREDIBLE! Even my overall strength improved! It’s yet another example of how small changes can bring big results.

BodyBack finalevaluation Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

Tomorrow is our final Body Back class. I know Regina is going to really push us hard as a good-bye gift.

Speaking of gifts, as I mentioned before, I’m sharing 43 gifts for my birthday. So, let’s kick-off the giving with a Knuckle Lights giveaway!

These bright LED lights have been a godsend while training for marathons! You may recall me boasting about these before when I borrowed Mica’s light.

IMAG4207 Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

These lights are so bright, I only use one. Even on the lowest setting (There are three settings:  high, low and blinking.), one Knuckle Light shines bright enough to illuminate a pitch black path. The light fits conformably and ergonomically across my hand and honestly, I often forget I’m wearing it. I seriously love them and I want you to enjoy them too.

IMAG5381 Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

I’m giving away a pair of blue Knucke Lights. To enter, simply tell me how you will plan to use them. Will you use your blue Knuckle Lights during the wee dark early morning hours or for a night time run?

Blue KnuckleLights Random Tuesday Thoughts About #43Gifts, the #BirthdayProject, #43miles and a Knuckle Lights Giveaway!

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Music Monday: (I’ll Be Running ‘Til) Love Runs Out

rundmt musicmonday1 Music Monday: (Ill Be Running Til) Love Runs OutFour weeks ago, I kicked off my Chicago Marathon training, with a 10 mile bridge run.  On Saturday, I began my NYC Marathon journey with a 12 week run. As you can imagine, with three marathons in seven weeks this fall, there will be a lot of running in my future.

I’ll be doin’ this, if you had a doubt,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

As we ran our slow, easy 12 mile run, Daffodil and I talked marathon training plans and the best way to combat the heat while training the summer months. We both feel like we need to do something different this time around. We discussed the Chicago Marathon Training Plans from NikeHanson Plan, the Galloway Method, MAF heart rate plan, The Kastor-Asics Plan (which I loved) and the good, the bad and the ugly multiple 20 miler runs that most plans make you do. For us, we feel like that is overkill since we know we can run 20 miles.

But what marathon training plan should we follow? Until I figure it out, I’ll be running ‘til the love runs out.

I got my mind made up, man, I can’t let go.
I’m killing every second ’til it saves my soul.
(Ooh) I’ll be running, (Ooh) I’ll be running,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

And we’ll feel alright, and we’ll feel alright,
‘Cause we’ll work it out, yes, we’ll work it out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
‘Til the love runs out.

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