Run DMT

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

LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary one-day admission tickets to LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Water Park for the purpose of a review. The opinions shared are my own.

IMAG5626 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

With three birthdays in July, there are only so many pool parties you can do before you guests turn into pool party prunes. Instead of parties, my family and I decided to celebrate our July birthdays with a family outing to LEGOLAND. It had been years since my kids and I last visited LEGOLAND Florida Resort for a school trip, however, my husband had never experienced the park before.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

Typically, Floridians avoid theme parks in the summer. Not only does the heat suffocate the joy of the experience, most theme parks have tourists packed in like sardines.

Upcycled on the former Cypress Gardens site in the Greater Orlando area, LEGOLAND Florida is a stone’s throw away from Walt Disney World and about an hour and a half from Tampa. Situated on Eloise Lake, the lakefront property provides a beautiful breeze even on the hottest of summer days and offers several nice shady spots for a picnic, especially when guests are permitted to pack their own sandwiches and healthy snacks.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

Gentle sprinkler misters spray guests as they amble throughout the park and they were a saving grace on a hot July day as were the friendly summer safety tip reminders.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

All of those were certainly bonuses on a hot summer day, but let’s face it. My family and I were here for the LEGO themed rides. Specifically designed for the younger Master Builders, my two younger July birthday children truly enjoyed the park. Little Lion Man met most of the height requirements for the rides but when he didn’t, he quite happily played with the LEGO building stations in the queue while he waited for his sisters.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

We started our adventure in LEGO TECHNIC. While Dad and the girls rode Project X, Little Lion Man and I boarded the Aquazone and then squealed wiht delight as we cycled on the Technicycle.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

As we made our through LEGO CITY, the kids earned their licenses at the Ford Driving School and then shortly after, we headed straight for the LEGOLAND Water Park.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

IMAG5643 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

The Build-a-Raft greeted us upon entering the park and beckoned the girls to come for a swim. Liam and I splashed around DUPLO Splash Safari while we waited for his sisters to return.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

From the Joker Soaker to the Splash Out, we could have easily spent the rest of the day there, however, my little thrill seeking Lion Man was disappointed that he didn’t meet the height requirements for some of the flumes on the Joker Soaker. Thankfully, there was plenty of LEGO Master Builder fun to go around and please him, especially at the Wave Pool.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

Storms rolled in the later afternoon as they often do in the summer months and sadly, we needed to cut our AWESOME LEGOLand adventure short. Upon our next visit we will head straight to the World of Chima first since we missed it for this visit.

 LEGOLAND Florida Resort is AWESOME

This fall, experience the wonder of LEGOLand and the magic of the holidays with two Bricktacular events only LEGOLand could build.

Guests will invade LEGOLAND® Florida Resort during its kid-friendly Halloween celebration of Brick-or-Treat presented by Wells Fargo this Fall.  This spooky event takes place weekends in October, and features trick-or-treating along the brick-or-treat trail, super brick build activities, the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, Halloween entertainment and an all-kids costume contest with brick-tastic prizes!

On Saturdays and Sundays in December, Christmas Bricktacular will feature tons of holiday festivities and family fun with park admission including a photo opportunity with a life-sized LEGO Model Santa Claus!

For more information on upcoming events and to purchase tickets or annual passes, visit florida.LEGOLAND.com.

To explore the LEGOLAND Hotel opening in Summer 2015 or to reserve a room, visit florida.legoland.com/LEGOLAND-Hotel

Experience “3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition” and MOSI

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

I have fond memories of visiting The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) when I was a kid. One of my strongest memories involves me stepping into the hurricane simulator and being blown away by the experience.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share Tampa’s MOSI with my children. Of course, the center has grown since my childhood days. In fact, MOSI’s scientific playground offers more than 450 hands-on activities and holds the title as the largest science center in the southeast United States.

For our most recent visit, we explored MOSI’s newest addtion, 3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition.  Through a hands-on exploration and live demonstration, we unraveled how 3D printing technology works, how it is used, and the amazing possibilities for the future.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Upon entering the exhibit, my Whovian children immediately spotted the 3D TARDIS in the display case.

3D%2520TARDIS Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Photo captured by my daughter, Allana

As we ambled through the exhibit, we uncovered so many ways that 3D Printing has impacted our world although we didn’t realize it.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

The creative 3D designs of the live demonstration amused us, particularly the Stephen Colbert Octopus.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Since 3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition is more suited for older children, my twelve year old enjoyed the 3D Workshop, especially when she had the opportunity to draw with the world’s first 3D printing pen.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

There was definitely an art to draw with the 3D pen. Allana wanted to design a more a complex structure but struggled with the material. She opted to a more simple design, her initials.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Once she finished her 3D design, we joined the rest of the gang upstairs to explore The Amazing You exhibit, which consists of seven developmental life stages: beginning of life, childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle adult, older adult and end-of-life issues.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Given that some of that content can be a bit intense for younger children, we skimmed through and focused on the hands-on healthy living aspect of the exhibit.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

As much fun as MOSI can be, exploring and climbing MOSI’s  Sky Trail® Ropes Course & Zip Line really pumped my kids and me up. Little Lion Man was too little, so he stayed behind with Daddy. Once Emmalynn gazed upon the looming size of the Sky Trail Ropes Course and Zip Line, she chickened out she hesitated and decided against it.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

Allana and I were the only two brave souls left standing.

This multi-level structure, which opened in 2011, offers many paths and multiple challenges as guest navigate and climb their way to the top harnessed to the apparatus for safety measures. The course can be as challenging as guests choose to make it and since I love a challenge, I attempted a path that resembled tightrope. After losing my footing and nearly falling, I decided to stick to the plank paths and platforms. I met Allan at the top for the Zip Line but she decided against.

I was the last one standing and I was about to be catapulted across the length of a football field. And it was AWESOME! When I relive the adventure, I will plan a MNO event to experience the Sky Trail® Ropes Course & Zip Line  with my thrill-seeking mommy friends.

For the remainder of our visit, my family and I explored our favorite exhibits such as and Kids In Charge! The Children’s Science Center (which is perfect for the little ones), Disasterville, Dr. Richard T. Bowers Historic Tree Grove and the Gulf Coast Hurricane, where I could relive my childhood hurricane memories and create new hurricane simulator memories with my children.

 Experience 3D Printing the Future   The Exhibition and MOSI

3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition made its debut on June 14, 2014 at MOSI and is a limited engagement experience.

MOSI admission, which includes 3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition anda documentary IMAX film, is $22.95 for adults, $20.95 for seniors (60+) and $18.95 for children (2-12). Museum hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, call 813-987-6000 or visit mosi.org.  ***Children under age 2 admitted for FREE. There is a $2.50 convenience fee for reservations made by phone and web orders.

For this special 3D Printing the Future – The Exhibition MOSI has teamed up with The Dali Museum. The two museums will have reciprocal displays in each of their exhibitions and will offer special discounts to those who visit both museums. MOSI will offer 50 percent off its admission to anyone who presents a ticket stub from The Dali Museum.

 

RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

Disclosure: JD Sports generously sent me a pair of running shoes to review, but the Asics GT-2000 were too narrow for my wide feet. The review is brief, but the opinions shared are my own, including the fact that I really, really wished the shoes fit.

In the marathon training sense, I found myself really struggling to get back into routine the week when the kids returned to school. Hubby and I managed to share the jobs related to the morning school routine and getting the kids off to school on time, but beyond that I didn’t know which end was up.

Honestly, I knew that was going to happen and I planned for it. I gave myself some slack and just focused on surviving the first week of school. After weeks of sleeping in and enjoying the lazy days of summer, I couldn’t face an alarm at 5:00 a.m. So I didn’t.

Some people would call that an excuse. For me, I see it more of redirecting my attention. It’s so hard to juggle training for a marathon, blogging and still trying to be there for my kids and husband. Something has to give. If you are a regular reader of Run DMT, you probably already know which was ignored.

Although I felt no guilt, I have been feeling a bit depressed over the past week which may be a direct link to my lack of workouts. The anxiety and depression could be hormonal but it might also be caused by a lack of endorphins from running less and spinning less and not weight-lifting. It also might be the “end of summer blues”. To overcome this sadness, I know I need to focus on eating right, avoiding sugars, reducing my alcohol consumption and commit to a regular workout routine. I also need to reconnect with my running partners and carve out some positive family time not related to a blogging job, a tech-time out so to speak.

With one school week under way and seven weeks left until the Chicago Marathon, I was ready (kind of, sort of) to face marathon training again and to shake off the anxiety and sadness I had been feeling. That’s not to say I jumped out of bed at 5:00 a.m. but more slumped out of bed around 6:00 a.m., as was the case this morning.

Yesterday, I missed my golden hour to run before my family wakes up but I wouldn’t allow myself to miss another run. So I decided to run around 9:00 after I dropped Little Lion Man off at preschool.

That was a bad move.

Like a bad prank, the morning seemed a tad bit cooler and I thought I would be fine running later in the morning. Unfortunately, my body temperature rose right along with the heat index. Even though I set up extra water for a water stop in my neighborhood, it wasn’t enough. Halfway into the run I changed my course and ran to my local Publix supermarket just for more water some A/C and a potty break.  I filled up my handheld Nathan and still barely made it back to my planned water stop.

IMAG6596 RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

I set out to run 8 miles but could only manage 6 miles in the heat and I was totally fine with that. At least I was committed to running regularly again. And you know what? Even though I felt as though I was going to die from a heat stroke, I felt remarkably better.

Screenshot 2014 08 26 11 01 58 RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

Wanting to avoid another heat stroke, I decided to run a tad earlier than the day before and attempted some speed work. Last time I ran intervals, I ran 4 x 800s and since I need to slowly build up to hit the magical Yasso 800s, I decided to shoot for 6 x 800s today. Not great, but I made good progress toward my marathon goal. Next week, I think I’ll aim for 6 x 800s again to hopefully show some improvement.

Screenshot 2014 08 26 10 37 31 RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

On a side note, I’m totally loving the MapMyRun app, which I discovered through my running partner, Daffodil. Although I was using the free version, I just purchased the upgraded app for $1. I find the MapMyRun to be a great little substitute while I pine over my dead Granny Garmin and decide which watch to purchase next. I just wish I could link the MapMyRun data and workouts to the Daily Mile.

In case you’re interested, today is the last day that the discount will be available, so don’t delay. Get yours today! The MapMyRun app is available in the iTunes store or Google Play store.

I recently received a pair of Asics GT-2000 from JD Sports which was perfect timing as I was due for a new pair of running shoes. Funny enough, my very first pair of running shoes was Asics and I find it amusing to come full circle in the running shoes sense.

This generation of the Asics GT-2000 is a really gorgeous shoes with Dynamic DuoMax® Support System offering lots of support and cushion in the heel (where I need it for my plantar fasciitis), however, no wide width was available and the shoe was a bit tight for me.  I felt a slight pinch on the inside of my foot. *insert sad face*

IMG 20140728 173129 RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

So off to my favorite running store for a new shoe fitting although I waited until tax-free day on August 1 to save a bit of money. As much as I loved the cushioning in the Brooks Ravenna, I feel like the shoes really did some damage to me. In longer runs, my toes would go numb and then, I grew a hideous and painful bunion on my right foot. Ok so, maybe it wasn’t the shoe but rather other factors involved (like my gait for one), but since it all occurred while wearing the Ravenna shoes, I had a mental block and wanted to try something new.

After a few trials, I chose the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 which is funny because I rejected a previous generation of the Brooks Adrenaline years ago. Rumor has it that Brooks added its famous Brooks DNA to the Adrenaline for added comfort and I would agree to that. My heels are happy and my bunions aren’t complaining either. And knock on wood, no numb toes!

IMAG5969 RANdom Thoughts: Seven Weeks Until Chicago, Some New Running Shoes, a Hotspot and Back on Track {Tuesday}

Then, the other day, I wore my new Brooks Adrenaline to the Zoo Run Run and forgot to pack my favorite Speco recovery flip-flops. I made the mistake of wearing my shoes on the Gator Falls flume ride and my shoes got DRENCHED! UGH! I absolutely despise wet shoes but I hate walking around in wet running shoes even more. My feet felt like they would never dry out. As a result, I believed I developed a hot spot from it. For the past couple of days, I have this horrible sore in the center of my sole that feels like a blister but I can’t see it. It’s painful! According this, I think there may be a blister under the callous. OUCH!

How is your training going?

Have you ever developed a hot spot? How did you “fix” it?

Do you allow yourself a moment to recharge and refocus?

What shoes are you running in these days?

Pinning and Planning Our Dinner Menu – Week of August 24

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning Our Dinner Menu   Week of August 24 We survived the first week of school. Yay me!  Did your kids go back yet? Did you survive too?

I wish our school started after Labor Day, like other parts of the country. Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer and it just makes sense to start school after that date. Of course starting later would mean wrapping up the school later and that’s not good either. I like closing the school year just in time for Memorial Day, the holiday that symbolizes the start of summer. Since students, teachers and parents can’t have longer summer break, it’s no wonder why the school calendar is designed the way it is. Maybe I just like long breaks and summer?

Speaking of Labor Day, have you made your plans yet for Labor Day? If you need some Labor Day entertaining and cookout suggestions, the Sunday Supper Movement has some tasty twist on the typical Labor Day fare.  As my contribution to the Sunday Supper recipe list, I shared a Mango Riesling Coulis. Served over vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or an icebox cheesecake it’s cool, refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

We haven’t made any plans for Labor Day but at least I know what’s on the dinner menu for the week.

Sunday – Mojo Marinated Butterflied Grilled Chicken with Zucchini and Tomato Orzo

Meatless Monday – Grilled Vegetable and Cheese Paninis

Tuesday – Grilled Fish Tacos with Summer Salsa

Wednesday – Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) – Vegetable, Egg and Potato Skillets

Thursday – Lightened Tilapia Picatta over Pasta

Friday – Pizza

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

13 Facts You Should Know About ALS Before Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

By now, the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon has taken over your Facebook feed. There’s no escaping the hundreds of videos starring your loved ones dumping gallons of ice cold water on their heads.

Perhaps peer pressure compels people to experience an avalanche of ice water or maybe they were moved to take action after witnessing the horrific effects of ALS on their loved ones. Nonetheless, the #IceBucketChallenge is definitely a fine example of social media gone viral on steroids.

Through the efforts of the #IceBucketChallenge, the ALS foundation has received record donations reaching $41.8 million as of August 21. As reported by the New York Times, “More than 739,000 new donors have given money to the association. That’s more than double the $19.4 million in total contributions the association received during the year that ended Jan. 31, 2013, according to a filing with the Internal Revenue Service.”

But it had me wondering, how many of my friends were challenged and opted to dump ice cold water on their heads rather than donate money?

Inevitably, I was tagged twice to take the ice bucket challenge and I declined. I did however donate the amount of money stated in the challenge and doubled it.  As an advocate for breast cancer, lung cancer and epilepsy, I am passionate about educating people and building awareness for these causes.

Dumping ice water on heads certainly created awareness for ALS and spotlighted a disease often overshadowed by other life-threatening diseases, but did the #IceBucketChallenge campaign really educate the public about this crippling, horrific disease?

Therefore as an advocate, I decided to educate and build true awareness about ALS.

ALS 13Facts pin 1024x1024 13 Facts You Should Know About ALS Before Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

Thirteen Facts You Should Know About ALS Before Dumping a Bucket of Ice Cold Water on Your Head

1.  ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

 

2.  ALS claims its victims with a progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.

 

3.  ALS is not contagious.

 

4.  It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.

 

5.  Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.

 

6.  The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.

 

7. The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis. About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years.

 

8. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.

 

9. There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease

 

10. ALS can strike anyone, any race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

 

11. Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties.

 

12.  There are three classifications of ALS: Sporadic, Familial and Guamanian. Sporadic, the most common form of ALS in the United States, makes up 90 – 95% of all cases and Familial (genetic dominant inheritance) accounts for a very small number of cases in the United States, approximately 5 - 10% of all cases.

 

13 . ALS is 20% more common in men than in women; however with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is more equal between men and women.

*Facts and statistics borrowed from ALS.org*

 

However since video seems to be the more effective medium these days, here’s the one #IceBucketChallenge video you should really spend time watching.

Learn more about ALS and how you can help here or donate to ALS.org to fund research and alleviate the heavy medical costs mentioned above here.
ALS logo 13 Facts You Should Know About ALS Before Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

While the weather may be cooling down up north and signs of autumn are appearing, down here in Florida it’s full on summer. The weather is warm and the supermarkets are still stocked with summer fruits and vegetables, which is perfect for Labor Day entertaining and cookouts.

IMAG6411 Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

For our hot Labor Day cookouts, the warm weather pairs well with a chilled Gallo Family Vineyards Sweet Red and Riesling. These sweet, light wines are best served over ice while soaking in the sun.

IMAG5863 Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

In my family, frozen yogurt and ice cream complete a Labor Day cookout or any other hot summer day. Since mangos are still in season here, I wanted to create a Mango Riesling Coulis for our next cookout.

IMAG6413 Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

The crisp, fruity ripe citrus and peach flavors of the Gallo Family Vineyards Riesling really compliments the mangos and are a perfect combination for a fresh fruit coulis. The Riesling and mangos blended with lemon juice and agave offer a tart, refreshing topping for your favorite vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or even cheesecake. For some added texture, alternate layers of ice cream with sponge cake and drizzle the Mango Riesling Couli over top.

Mango Riesling Coulis pin 633x1024 Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

Mango Riesling Coulis

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh mangos
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Agave
  • 1/3 cup Gallo Family Vineyards Riesling

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice mango. Reserve ½ cup of mango and cut into 1/8” cubes.
  2. Add mango slices into blender; add lemon juice, agave and Gallo Family Vineyards Riesling. On a low setting, blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).
  3. Pour into bowl and stir in reserved mango. Chill for about an hour before serving. Serve coulis over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
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 Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

GFV family logo Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupper

The #SundaySupper Movement and Gallo Family Vineyards have teamed up to share several recipes for Labor Day Entertaining.

Labor Day Beverages:

Labor Day Savory Bites:

Labor Day Desserts:

For more Labor Day entertaining menu ideas , Gallo Family Vineyards has some great recipe suggestions.

Find where to purchase the Gallo Family Vineyards Sweet Red, Riesling or other great Gallo Family Vineyards wines here and save $1 on your next purchase with this coupon.

Learn more about their incredible selections of wines by following Gallo Family Vineyards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

8386732081 f232fda104 t Mango Riesling Coulis #SundaySupperJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

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

It’s back to school season here in Florida. Back to school also means returning to a busy schedule full of homework and lots of extracurricular activities and sports. Shuffling kids from school to soccer or football practice leaves little time to prepare dinner. However, when your kids are heavily involved in physical activities and strenuous sports, it crucial for them to fuel properly and replenish their young growing bodies with muscle repairing proteins found in lean meats, like chicken.

 Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

These simple Chicken and Potato Empanadas are the perfect pocket-sized meal packed with plenty of good carbs and protein and great for a dinner on the go. For busy evenings, you can prepare the filling in the morning and fill the pre-made empanada dough at dinner time.

IMAG5889 Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

 Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

For even busier days, you can prepare the empanadas the night before and bake them at dinner time. The leftovers freeze and reheat well for a ready to eat dinner on the go.

chickenPotataoEmpanadas pin 682x1024 Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Chicken and Potato Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 1 - 10 count frozen empanada dough (small disks)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup for basting
  • 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 lb baking potatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Defrost frozen empanada dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by brushing it with olive oil.
  3. Rinse and chop potatoes into small ½” cubes. Boil until fork tender. Drain; set aside.
  4. As potatoes boil, sauté onions in a large skillet on a medium to low heat. When onions are soft and translucent, add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add chicken and cook thoroughly.
  5. Once chicken is cooked, add potatoes and toss through chicken and onions. Sautee for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes and spices. Simmer for a couple minutes allowing flavors to combine.
  6. Take an empanada disk and spoon about a quarter cup of filling into center of disk. Place empanada on baking sheet and fold in half. Seal empanada by pressing down the edges with the prongs of a fork. Poke a few holes on top; brush with olive oil. Repeat steps with remaining filling and disks.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
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 Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

AmFam Choose Dreams Logo Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Through a partnership with American Family Insurance, we are encouraging all families to take steps to #ChooseDreams of healthier lifestyles and to turn your favorite family recipes into healthy ones.  For more great healthy recipes, follow  American Family’s Health and Fitness Board on Pinterest.

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

8404230378 f78c6dfe98 o Chicken and Potato Empanadas #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreamsWant more healthy, quick dinner ideas? Check out these amazing #WeekdaySupper meals for some pinspiration!

Meatless Monday – Grilled Veggie Sandwiches by Jelly Toast
Tuesday – Tequila-Lime Chicken Chopped Salad by The Messy Baker
Wednesday – Chicken and Kale Quinoa Bowl by Runner’s Tales
Thursday – Chicken and Potato Empanadas by Run DMT
Friday – Pizza Frittata by Alida’s Kitchen

Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

After a long summer break, all three of my children (ages 12, 9, and 4) start school tomorrow. My youngest starts his first day of preschool. *gulp* No more fun in the sun, lazy days of summer. It’s back to the back to school grind.

IMAG6256 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

With two night owls and three picky eaters with three different tastes in food, I dread the back to school morning routine. I can already see my children hiding their faces in the crooks of their arms refusing to wake up and eat breakfast.

IMAG6252 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

That’s why smoothies make the best the breakfasts. Even my most tired, “I’m not hungry” kid will slurp down a smoothie. Plus smoothies made with fresh fruit, veggies and chia seeds are full of Omega-3s, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to power kids’ brains and bodies for a busy school day.

IMAG6254 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

I first created this monster green smoothie over the summer. With training for a marathon in the heat of the summer, I began to feel rundown and sluggish. I realized resulted from a lack of iron. So, I experimented with green smoothies to help with my energy levels.  Rich with superfoods like kale and chia seeds, I called it a “superhero smoothie” to encourage my four year old to try this bright green colored smoothie.

IMAG5403 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

My oldest daughter said, “It’s not a superhero smoothie. It’s a Hulk SMASH smoothie.”  From that moment on, the name stuck. Hulk SMASH Smoothie the perfect name for a breakfast smoothie that packs a punch!

Hulk SMASH Smoothie pin 661x1024 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

Hulk SMASH Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Serving Size: 4

A monster green smoothie made with kale, mango, banana and chia seeds serves a breakfast full Omega-3s, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to power kids’ brains and bodies for a busy school day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh kale or spinach, chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 1 fresh mango, sliced (or 1 cup frozen)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups ice

Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into blender and blend on a high speed for about 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Serve with toast or a side of scrambled eggs for extra protein.
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 Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupper

This week’s Back to School #SundaySupper event is being hosted by Tammi of Momma’s Meals with help from host-in-training Gwen of Simply Healthy Family. Thank you to Tammi and Gwenn for leading this outstanding recipe list of Back to School lunches, after school snacks, sweet treats  and quick & easy meals for busy school nights.

Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

8386732081 f232fda104 t Hulk SMASH Smoothie #SundaySupperJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pinning and Planning – Week of August 16 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of August 16 {Dinner Menu}

Where did the summer go?! I know it’s so cliché but I feel like summer rolled through quickly like a Florida thunderstorm. Although my kids and I did so much this summer, there are still so many summer activities left on our list and it breaks my heart to say so long to summer so soon.

Of course, my kids are ready for school with their new backpacks, lunchboxes and school supplies. They are excited about seeing their friends every day and all their new teachers. All three kids will be in afterschool activities this year, so healthy lunches and snacks full of protein and good carbs will be crucial this year.

During the school year, I dread making lunches every day, even though I know lunches packed by mom are much healthier than the school lunches. But with three kids each with three different requests, it can be a bit overwhelming. I typically chop and prepare lunches at night to save time in the morning. Then in the morning, I throw it all into the lunch box with an ice cold blue block.

Since sandwiches become boring, I’ve been pinning fun and easy lunch ideas that my kids will love. This pin provides a month’s worth of lunch ideas and a printable checklist to make sure you offer your kids a sampling of each of the food groups.  Have you seen the #RocktheLunchbox campaign from Applegate? These lunch ideas are guaranteed to make your kids smile at school.

Tomorrow, the Sunday Supper Movement will share over 50 recipes for kid-approved lunches, after school snacks, sweet treats and quick, easy meals for busy school nights. As my contribution, I will be sharing my green monster smoothie recipe. So stop by tomorrow to take a feast your eye upon the smoothie cleverly named a “Hulk SMASH Smoothie” by my kids.

As for dinner, with it being the first week of school and the first week adjusting into a regular routine, I’m planning easy and quick dinners. Here is how our dinner menu looks for the week.

Sunday – Grilled Buffalo Wings with Grilled Figs and Blue Cheese Crumbled Salad

Meatless Monday – Healthy Vegetable Samosas with Kachumber Salad

Tuesday – Ground Turkey Tacos

Wednesday – Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) Veggie Omelets with Baked Home Fries

Thursday – Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Friday – Pizza

When do your kids go back to school? What types of lunches and snacks do your kids like to eat? 

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

Music Monday: Dolphin Tale 2 – Gavin DeGraw “You Got Me” and Giveaway

Everyone loves a story of an underdog who faces amazing challenges and struggles to survive. In Tampa Bay, Winter the Dolphin is a hometown hero and our lovable underdog (or in this case, underdolphin), who overcame incredible odds just to live.

Winter’s story begins at three months old when a SeaWorld rescue team saved her from a crab trap. After a death-defying release, the young calf was brought to the Clearwater Marine Aqaurium for rehabilitation, however, they could not save her tail. With the help of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc. and CMA’s incredible team of marine mammal veterinarians and trainers, they created a prosthetic tail for Winter. And this incredible tale all happened here in Clearwater with CMA and Clearwater Beach as the backdrop for the motion picture film, A Dolphin Tale.

But Winter’s amazing tale continued when Hope arrived as we learn in the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2.

Only 2-3 months old, Hope was rescued very close to the same location where Winter was found five years earlier. Once again, the CMA’s amazing team of marine mammal veterinarians and trainers had to nurse a young and extremely dehydrated calf. Although the goal is to nurse marine animals to full recovery and release them back into the wild, Hope lacked the skills to survive. In the best interest of the dolphins, Winter now has Hope.

Dolphin Tale 2 movie splashes into theaters on September 12, although I will be attending a red carpet tour pre-screening and press junket event at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium this weekend. As a pre-screening swag gift to you, one of my readers can win a download of Gavin DeGraw’s new song “You Got Me”. To enter, leave a comment below. Download giveaway ends Wednesday, 11:59 pm.

For more Dolphin Tale 2 updates, follow Dolphin Tale 2 on Facebook and Twitter by following @DolphinTale @WinterDolphin #DolphinTale2 and #WinterhasHope.

Follow the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for Winter and Hope updates and news on all the marine animal residents at CMA.

Dolphin Tale 2 2 Music Monday: Dolphin Tale 2    Gavin DeGraw You Got Me and Giveaway

 

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