Run DMT

I'm a mom on the run!

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

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 

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.

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

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

#ARunnersDrive with Reeves and the Subaru Forester

Last year, I made the transition from mini-van to SUV. I loved my mini-van but with all our outdoorsy adventures of races, camping, beach trips, canoeing and trips to the North Carolina Mountains, it seemed like a SUV would fit us better. So I traded in my Odyssey, The Black Pearl for a Pilot, The Jolly Blogger. (Yes, all my vehicles have pirate-themed names. It’s a Tampa thing.)

Sadly, after driving my Pilot for nearly a year, I’m ready to trade it in. Although its ruggedness fits my family’s lifestyle, the drive didn’t fit me. It drives like a truck.

Now that may seem like a dumb statement. Of course, it drives like a truck! It’s a truck. However after driving a mini-van for over eight years, I was used to the cushioned, more car like feel of a mini-van. Plus, no matter how much I shift the seats and steering column, I cannot get comfortable in my Pilot.

The next obvious question: Didn’t you test drive the vehicle? Well, of course, I did, silly! It felt fine for the fifteen minutes I drove the vehicle along the highway.  But a year later with many, many miles (over 20,000 added on since the day we drove it off the lot), it is just too much truck and too much wasted gas for me.

I need a vehicle that can handle the miles, good on gas and FITS ME!

When I saw the commercials for the Subaru Forester 2015, I instantly fell in LOVE with the vehicle. After all that’s what the ad told me to do. But it was the family in the commercial that reminded me of my own family. New cars don’t hang onto their new car smell for very long, especially with my son’s moldy sippy cups under the seat.

Then, I saw this one. I was sold, because “They lived.”

Subaru Forester 2015 is good on gas and the safest vehicle on the road with its five-star safety rating. YES! I want it. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.

But I had to convince my husband. He was already in agreement that the Pilot had to go, but we couldn’t agree on a vehicle. Five rows? Seven rows? What about the storage?

Then by chance, Reeves Subaru had parked a Forester on the lawn at the Spring Beer Fling. I could explore, touch, see and feel a Forester up close and in person and drool over it.  I even tweeted about it and Reeves invited me in to test drive.

 #ARunnersDrive with Reeves and the Subaru Forester

But this test drive wasn’t your typical fifteen minutes, so what do you think test drive. Reeves allowed me to take a 2015 Forester home for the weekend to see how the vehicle fits my lifestyle, my family but most importantly, me – THE DRIVER.

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First off, the Forester fit me perfectly! I’m petite, so I always have to move the seat as close as I can to the steering wheel without kissing the windscreen. With the Forester, I found myself seating a little further back with some lift and I could still see the road. It was amazing! When hubby adjusted the seat for his 6’2” frame, he had plenty of headroom, which is an issue for him.

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Reeves Subaru was kind enough to provide me with a top-of-the-line Forester Touring. I wasn’t used to turbo and the peppy acceleration, but man, that was FUN! I found myself passing and merging like Speed Racer all while staying within the speed limit.

There were so many incredible features and technology that I became accustomed to very quickly, like the color touch screen to access the Navigation and XM, which also displayed all the engine telemetry. I could also access the controls from my steering wheel.

The Eyesight Driver Assist was another outstanding feature. My Pilot has a small back-up camera in the corner of the rearview mirror. In addition to a full screen back-up camera, the Forester uses two cameras mounted by the rearview mirror to monitor traffic and react to conditions even before the driver.

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An alert would flash up on the dash along with a visual warning anytime I crossed the adjacent lane or came close to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle even applied the brakes automatically.

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Another feature that this mom on the run loved was the Rear Lift Gate which I could operate with just one push of a button on the key fob, on the dashboard or on even on the hatch. When I’m loaded down with groceries and pushing a stroller, one push of button to open the hatch is fantastic! The hatch had plenty of storage for a mom on the run…

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but unfortunately the backseat was a little tight for my three kids, one still in a full car seat.  There is no third row option with the Forester.

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And speaking of key fobs, this little Forester had a fancy Keyless Access and Start. I had all the features of a high-end luxury car in the suburban mom price range.

Next to cool engineering and mechanics under the hood of incredible vehicle, the Dual Climate Control made my hubby smile. We could each adjust to the temperature to our own liking.

But what I truly loved the most was the DRIVE. It drove like a car with all the cool SUV specs. My husband called the Forester “a driver’s car”. And that’s no lie! This runner found the right ride in a Forester.

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Run DMT and Reeves are partnering up to showcase Reeves’ extensive line of luxury vehicles. Over the next few months, I will test drive a variety of vehicles and share my review of the ride and how it fits my mom on the run lifestyle. Follow #ARunnersDrive #DriveReeves on Twitter and Instagram along with @ReevesTampa, @denisermt and @run_dmt for updates, tweets and photos.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, visit Reeves Import Motor Cars online to view their complete inventory of new and used vehicles available.

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT: The Movie and My Motherhood Musings #MNOmovie #MNO2014

Having been a mom for close to 13 years and served as lead mom for a local moms group for almost as long, I empathize with the guilt that some moms experience with going out for just one night, even if it’s just for a few hours.

 MOMS NIGHT OUT: The Movie and My Motherhood Musings #MNOmovie #MNO2014

I understand how women dream about being moms then feel let down or unfilled by days full of poop-filled diapers, or even losing a child or never being able to conceive at all.

It’s o.k. to be sad. It’s perfectly fine to feel less than perfect, because each of us knows that motherhood is far from perfection. When did life ever promise a perfect ending?

As moms, we try our best every day to provide just the simple basics for our family. Sometimes we scream and “have a moment”. Other days, we lose it often and other days we get it right. We’ll barely survive one day just to do it all again tomorrow. We secretly pray for a better tomorrow to be a viewed as a hero instead of a villain by our children.

Motherhood can be elation and depression all at once.

As any mother veteran will tell you, for a small window of time each day, it is absolutely essential to do something for yourself before you lose yourself in the chaos of motherhood. Find what makes you happy and hold onto it and enjoy every fleeting moment.

My happy “me time” is running, blogging and the occasional MNO with my mommy friends. The other night, some friends and I took a break from our maddening mommy worlds and entered the world of four moms in different places of motherhood: the mommy blogger of three young children, a pastor’s wife and mother of a teenage, the best friend and mommy of toddler twins and the very young SIL single mom of an infant. Each faked motherhood and struggled just as much as the next, but one thing was certain. They all needed a break.

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The movie mirrored my mommy friends (SAHMs and WAHMs) and me. We laughed over the silly idiosyncrasies and cried over the similarities to our own fears of failing our children. With the addition of a pastor’s wife there was a faith-based aspect to the plot, but not the focus of the film. (Motherhood is a beautiful mess. God loves your beautiful mess. So why can’t you love you?)

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The important message to take away from the movie is to remember you are not alone. Despite loving our husbands and our children unconditionally, we occasionally have this sad, twisted empty emotion inside us. Every mom everywhere has felt that emotion one point and no matter how laced-up , buttoned-up and beautiful someone’s life may appear on the outside, they’ve felt it on the inside too.

To all the moms, when that emptiness hits, just remember you are never alone.  When your husband travels and you’re trapped under a pile of dirty laundry, dirty dishes and dirty diapers, you are never alone.  You may need to call a rescue party to find you, but a true friend will definitely deliver the life line you need.  Let them lift your spirits and lift you out of the funk you feel.

If you feel depressed, call someone. Plan a dinner date or a coffee chat to reconnect to another adult. Join a book club, wine club or a women’s bible study. Take a moment for you and be o.k. with it. Remove the guilt. Your family needs you to be happy just as much as they need to be happy.

the hand that rocks the cradle MOMS NIGHT OUT: The Movie and My Motherhood Musings #MNOmovie #MNO2014

And just remember, it’s not babysitting when you leave your kids with their dad. That’s called being a parent. His job is important too.

And while we’re talking about Dad’s role in the chaos of parenthood, husbands should never, ever, ever travel on Mother’s Day. (Shame on you, Sean!) That’s the mother of all days for a mom to take a break; so Dad, be there and be present for Mom.

MNO movie MOMS NIGHT OUT: The Movie and My Motherhood Musings #MNOmovie #MNO2014I was inspired to share a motherhood reflection post after hosting a National Mom’s Nite Out 2014 MOMS’ NIGHT OUT Mommy Party movie viewing party which is now playing in theaters everywhere. For tickets and show times, visit MOMS’ NIGHT OUT online.  Follow MOMS’ NIGHT OUT on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Visit the MOMS’s NIGHT OUT YouTube channel for trailers, interviews and other fun videos.

About the film: Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation . . . a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag, theyneed their husbands to watch the kids for three hours—what could go wrong? MOMS’ NIGHT OUT is an endearing true-to-life family comedy that celebrates the beautiful mess called parenting.

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My Mother’s Day {2014}

Twelve years ago I became a mom and every day I am amazed by our beautiful children. During my long dog-days of motherhood, I’ve come to realize that my family’s love and some help with a few housework chores is all I really need.

 My Mothers Day {2014}

When it came to celebrating Mother’s Day this year, I really had no idea how I wanted to celebrate it. With Allan traveling so much the weeks before the holiday, I could barely manage planning dinner, never mind making plans for a Mother’s Day celebration. Sometimes not having a plan produces the best plans and it really proved to be true this year.

In the end, I requested a pedicure and a nice meal followed by a sunset on the beach.  And that’s just what I got.

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Whatever it takes to get everyone in the photo.

 My Mothers Day {2014}

 My Mothers Day {2014}

 My Mothers Day {2014}

 My Mothers Day {2014}

 My Mothers Day {2014}

My parents stopped by for a Mother’s Day brunch. My mom has such simple tastes and a brunch prepared by Allan is always her favorite present. French toast, veggie omelets, biscuits and gravy, bacon and home fries were among some of the items on menu.

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After breakfast, Allan, the kids and I headed to our community pool for a Mother’s Day splash.  Lots of food, some R&R, sun in the fun was just what this mama needed.

 My Mothers Day {2014}

 My Mothers Day {2014}

One happy mama and three smiling children was a perfect gift for me this Mother’s Day.

 My Mothers Day {2014}

RANdom Thoughts about Getting My Running Groove Back and Running for All Children Recap

Last Thursday, I returned to running with the Striders again. It felt so good to be back for a Thursday tempo run. Even though I started earlier than the group and ran the first couple of miles by myself, it was so great to see my running friends, squeeze some much needed hugs and smiles out of them and catch up with everyone.

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Photo credit to David Griner, Suncoast Striders

The run wasn’t too shabby either. Not great, but for me it was more about getting back into the routine of running on early Thursday mornings again.

6.21 miles
Time 1:06:37
Ave Pace 10:44
Max Pace 5:35

Friday, Little Lion Man and I went to the Y so I could get my Body Pump on. Since weather has been so sunny and lovely, we splash around in the pool after Mommy’s Pump class.

On Saturday, I registered for the Running For All Children 10K which my friend Leah shared with me. I needed a May race so I could earn my first wedge of the Time of the Seasons Medal.

It was hard to choose between Miles for Moffit or Running for All Children, but in the end I decided to run this race because my niece and my son have received services from All Children’s Hospital. Running this race was my way of giving back to a fantastic facility and hospital staff.

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The small intimate race followed the same course as the inaugural Best Damn Race. As much as I love downtown Safety Harbor, the “hills” are always a shock to my system.

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The start line began at the Safety Harbor Marina and the weather seemed cool at first, but the breeze off the bay fooled us.  Before the start of the race, I sucked down a raspberry Vega Endurance Sport Gel because it matched my outfit I knew I would need the pick me up and the electrolytes in the heat.  I was right about that because once we stared running, it warmed up quite quickly.

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By the time I reached mile one, I decided I would stop at each water station along the course to stay hydrated. At the very first water station, I quickly gulped down some water to keep a decent pace.

Once I hit mile two in the heart of downtown Safety Harbor, I was ready for more water but sadly there wasn’t a water station yet. The next water station didn’t appear until the 2.5 mile mark, the 5K turnaround.  Apparently, a few of the 5K runners missed the 5K turnaround and ran longer. As for me, I didn’t miss any water stations, but I did keep missing Leah even though she snapped several photos of me.

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Photo credit to Leah Coffin

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A “hill” conveniently sprung up at mile three. Although I wasn’t happy to see a hill, I pushed along.

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Just after mile three, we turned to run along a street which led us to a wooded trail.  I was grateful for the shade and the change of scenery.

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Around the 4.5 mile marker, we turned around to head back to Bayshore Blvd. On the return trip, the hill appeared at mile 5. To quote my friend Mica, “Who puts a hill at mile 5?!”

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Photo credit: Leah Coffin

Once over the hill and after some much need rehydration, I pushed it to the finish line. It wasn’t best 10K great race, but I suffered through some Florida hills and heat for a May race to earn this cute medal handed to me by the cutest beauty queen, who also happened photograph me before the race.

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IMAG1382 RANdom Thoughts about Getting My Running Groove Back and Running for All Children RecapNot to mention I also scored this awesome 25% off coupon for Hooters, because y’all know how much I love my wings! YES!

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To my surprise, I finished in the top ten for my age group…just barely.

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Chip Time 1:04:20
Gun Time 1:04:57
Ave Pace 1:29
Div Place 10/19
Gender Place 48/120
Overall Place 90/183

For a small, hometown race, the post-race party rocked! There was beer, bagels, fruit and my new personal favorite, breakfast pizza. Oh yeah! That little post-race delicacy has inspired me to create my own breakfast pizza very soon.

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By running two races in March, one race in April and this 10K, I will receive my first little slice of the seasons medal.  WOOHOO!

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Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, I opted for a well-deserved day of rest. (Stop by tomorrow to see photos of my Mother’s Day.)  Monday, Little Lion Man and I had a date at the YMCA again. After my spin class, we splashed around at the pool once more and I rejuvenated with some Mamma Chia. (Check out my giveaway here to win some Chia Vitality.)

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Today, I decided it was time to get serious and back into Track Tuesday. Ok, so it wasn’t exactly a track workout or speedwork but more a chance for my body to adjust running on Tuesdays again. And boy, did that feel good!  Although once again it was a less than stellar run, I just loved being back into a running routine again.

4.1 miles
Time 43:47
Ave Pace 10:41
Max Pace 8:52

After the 4 miles, I stopped by the Y for an Express Body Pump Class. My legs felt like rubber bands and I loved it. I think I may rest tomorrow and save my legs for another tempo run with the Striders this Thursday.

Mamma Chia Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: As part of a FitFluential campaign, I received a Mamma Chia gift set  in exchange for my honest review and for the purpose of a giveaway. The opinions shared are my own.

Ever since I read that Runner’s World article about the importance of protein in a runner’s diet, I have been obsessed with adding protein to my meals. Not to mention my recent obsession with chia seeds and the great source of Omega-3s they offer, therefore, this offer to review Mamma Chia products had the perfect timing!

 Mamma Chia Review and Giveaway

Besides my obsession with adding protein to my diet, I have been very concerned about my 8 year old daughter’s diet. Her refusal to eat some meats and an aversion to certain textured foods continually denies her body and her brain the proper nutrition she needs to function, which adversely affects her performance at school. By sneaking about a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds in her fruit smoothies at breakfast, I have noticed a huge adjustment in her behavior, particularly her ability to focus.  (Stay tuned for some of our favorite Mamma Chia smoothie recipes! In the meantime, follow Mamma Chia on Pinterest for great chia recipes.)

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As a runner, I understand the importance of fueling properly and the need to rebuild and repair muscles after a run or intense workout. That’s why these Mamma Chia Squeezes are perfect for a mom on the run because they’re portable and store easily in my gym bag and purse.  But more than a quick and easy way to refuel, they are so healthy.  One Mamma Chia Squeeze offers 1,200 mg of Omega-3s, 4g of fiber, 2g complete protein and less than 80 calories per pouch.

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It’s important to coordinate your Mamma Chia Squeezes to your workout clothes.
Now that’s really living Chia Vitality!

But what I really love is that Founder and Chief Executive Officer Janie Hoffman created Mamma Chia in the kitchen of her small, rural San Diego farm while trying to perfect the Mango Coconut and Wild Raspberry Chia Squeezes. In fact, both of these flavors are made using nutrient-rich organic chia seeds infused with organic fruit and vegetables, have the right balance of sweetness and are Non-GMO Verified, gluten-free, vegan, kosher and Certified Organic by the USDA.

In Hoffman’s book, Chia Vitality, she shares how she suffered from a host of debilitating autoimmune diseases, including severe lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome. After years of trying Western medicine, she turned to alternative methods, including mediation, an organic diet, and, eventually, the chia seed. Within three months of making chia a daily part of her diet, she was symptom-free.

Chia Vitality nourishes the body, mind, and soul with a combination of yoga, meditation, service, and, of course, the amazing chia seed. In 30 days, this plan harnesses the power of chia as part of a healthful lifestyle to boost stamina, lose weight, get healthier, and feel more alive than ever before.

After witness the benefits of chia seeds first-hand with my own family, I’m Chia Vitality believer!

 Mamma Chia is a conscious and sustainable company with a mission to share the magic of chia through delicious, high quality, organic chia-based foods and beverages which be purchased online at www.MammaChia.com or at natural food markets and mainstream grocery stores nationwide.  As part of its mission, Mamma Chia donates one percent of gross sales to support farmers, community groups and organizations that build healthy local food systems. For more information, visit www.MammaChia.com.

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Mamma Chia wants you to experience a small sample of Chia Vitality with a Mamma Chia prize package just in time for Mother’s Day! One lucky Run DMT reader will receive:

  • One week’s supply of Mamma Chia products – 7 Chia Squeezes (varied flavors) and 7 beverage vouchers
  • One copy of Janie’s book – Chia Vitality
  • One Mamma Chia T-Shirt

Fitfluential Giveaway Mamma Chia Review and Giveaway

To enter, leave a comment telling me what part of this prize package (retailing about $75) excites you the most. For additional entries folllow the Rafflecopter prompts.

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RANdom Thoughts about Stress, Mother’s Day and a Much Needed MNO

Before kids, probably even before we were married, Allan and I had multiple discussions about traveling related to jobs. Growing up, my dad traveled so much and my sister and I felt the stress it put on my mom. I never wanted that for my kids. Unfortunately, in a global market, companies require their employees to travel more. My family has felt that demand firsthand.

As of late, Allan has been traveling so much forcing me to become a flying solo parent and his absence leaves me with way more than I can handle. I become easily agitated and very irritable. The stress is slowly chipping away at me and I’m losing my energy and spirit.

With a schedule that changes weekly, it’s hard to find a training schedule I can stick to and I find myself running less, which makes me even sadder. Running would definitely help with the stress. My life at the moment reads like a really bad novel. Motherhood of the Stressful Running Pants

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Thankfully, my ankle felt better last Friday so I could fit in some Body Pump and a run. Since it was rainy and icky, I attempted to run three miles on the treadmill with an average pace around 10:30 mm. Not great, but at least I ran.

It rained Saturday, so I went for a make-up run on Sunday with some Striders.

8.1 miles

Time 1:27:11

Ave Pace 10:46

Max Pace 8:48

Yesterday, I hoped to do my usual Monday morning cross-training spin class, but I accidentally attended a cycle circuit training class at the Y. A sub was in for the regular instructor and she mixed in HIIT (high intensity interval training) spin with some conditioning stuff. At first, it was a shock to my system but once I got into the groove, it offered a nice change. We would get our heart rate up on the bike and then do some conditioning exercises off the bikes with weights. I modified some of the exercises because I didn’t want to overdo it. In the end, I really did like the change and my accidental circuit spin class.

With Allan out of town again this morning, I elected to take today as a rest day to catch up on some work.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and I have nothing planned. No dinner reservations made. No brunch. Of course, all I really want is happy, healthy (mentally and physically) children and a pedicure and a bottle of Prosecco. Is that too much to ask?

I did make some MNO plans, though because I really do need an escape a break. If you feel the same way and you live local, I would love for you to join me at the AMC Westshore 14 at 8pm to see Moms’ Night Out the movie.

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Here’s a sneak peek of the move.

If you watch to join me, purchase your tickets online and RSVP on my Facebook page here.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day?

RANdom Thoughts About Run DMT Being MIA, Digital Running Spring Dawn Challenge and a Color Me Rad Giveaway

Hi. Remember me? I’m Denise is Run DMT, the author behind this mom on the run blog. In some running circles, I used to be known as one bad mother runner but lately I’m one really bad runner. Two weeks prior to Iron Girl, I came down with a nasty chest congestion that I hits me every spring. Not being able to breathe forced me to rest and my Iron Girl race was less than stellar, shall we say.

I began to feel a bit better but as fate would have it, last Monday I tripped on a step in my bedroom and thought my foot would make a great pillow to land on. I thought I broke my foot as I sat there crying in disbelief. The pain was unreal.

That was last Monday. The same day as the Boston Marathon and the very same day that every runner on the planet decided to run virtually with Boston, but first I had ice my ankle and pop two ibuprofen first to see if I could even put pressure on it.

I elevated my foot with some frozen peas on my ankle. My foot hurt so bad that the cold burned my ankle. As I anxiously waited for the pain to subside and the swelling to go down, I wondered how I would manage while hubby is out of town if my foot is broken. Could I even walk? How would I drive? Who can I call at 6:00 a.m. to take me to the E.R.?

With no exaggeration, I laid on my couch for 45 minutes as my Little Lion Man patted my back while I sobbed.  When I tried to stand, I could still feel some tenderness, but I could hobble and put pressure on it.  I could at least survive the usual morning routine.

And then, like a dumbass, I dressed in blue and yellow from head to toe…

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…and then headed to a spin class at the YMCA in an attempt to run 2.62 miles on the treadmill to prove how Boston Strong I was.

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Oh yeah, I was sooooo Boston Strong that my foot started to swell again the pain intensified. Sadly, I was forced to take a week off.

Today was the first day I ran since last Monday and I only ran 3 miles to see if my ankle could even handle that. It was a slow, pathetic run, but at least my foot didn’t swell….too much. And later that morning, I went to Body Pump because I’m swell like that.

In all seriousness, there is still some tenderness but it’s nothing too painful, just annoying.  Even more annoying is that fact that I get to a point in my running where I feel strong and confident in my ability and then something stupid like my allergies or a dumb, non-running related injury sets me back. It’s so frustrating.

As I try to return to my former mother runner self, I find myself focusing on future races. With the completion of Iron Girl, I finished two thirds for the first installment of the Digital Running Time of the Seasons Spring Dawn medal.

 

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To earn the pieces for this medal, I needed to run at least one race a month. I haven’t decided on a May race, but I need to find one in order to earn the Spring Dawn Challenge segment. There’s still plenty of time to register and join me in the Digital Running Time of the Season Challenge.

Unfortunately, virtual races or fun runs like the Color Me Rad do not count, but it’s all good because these types of no pressure fun runs are perfect races to share with my kids.

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My girls and I had such a fun time last year, we going for the color bomb again this year and we’ll probably wear white again to experience the full effect of color bombs and color clouds. It’s fun to wear a rainbow like a medal.

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The course will wind through Florida State Fairgrounds again and hopefully they’ll have more of those cool color sprays again. Those were perfect of a hot May day!

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If you want to join my girls and me at the Color Me Rad on May 24, simply leave a comment telling me why you want to run this totally rad fun run with us.  One lucky winner will be selected on Monday May 7th. For addtional entries, follow the Rafflecopter prompts.

Or register here and save 25% with code RUNDMT25.

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For an additional chance to win, join the Tampa Bay Blogger Color Me Rad Twitter party this Thursday at 8pm. Two entries will be given away! Follow @TBbloggers @ColorMeRad5K @denisermt and hashtag #TBBRad.

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