Tag Archives: travel

Off to a Super Week

Happy Monday friends! Wow, the weekend went by way to fast, like always.  Actually the whole week seemed to go by quickly!  Between work, getting back to my training, celebrating the Hubs birthday, making Valentine’s cards, creating & eating yummy food, and working on getting my house back in order, I managed to still make time for some sleep and a mini road trip!

I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin today for their Weekly Wrap!
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A few new recipes.  You can get the BLT recipe here, and I am still tweaking the pancake recipe!


I worked on some Valentine’s cards with my nanny kiddos and some for my family & friends.

Ever since the beginning of December I have felt like a slacker of a house keeper.  Life has been uber busy with weddings, traveling for vacation (Costa Rica!!), the holidays, being sick and putting forth a great deal of effort to get better sleep, the house work has lacked.  It drives me crazy though because I am a bit of a neat freak and like to have everything organized.  Thankfully last week a friend posted she was taking place in a challenge for 30 bags in 30 days.  Basically a challenge to declutter and organize places in your home that have been neglected.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit how many places in my house need reorganizing.  Most evenings last week I spent 15-30 min working on some spots and it has been a huge help.  I missed a few days with our trip but I plan to get back on track! Here are a few of my spots from last week.  I hope this inspires me to really finish the neglected areas and to FINALLY finish my office!!


The Hubs had a great birthday celebration!  We did a mini celebration at home with a lovely dinner and some new Spurs gear.  Then we headed to San Antonio on Friday night and spent the weekend with his family and we went to the Spurs game! It was a blast!  They were playing the Lakers, and it was Kobe’s last time to play in SA.  They had a really nice tribute to him before the game began.  The game was a nail biter down to the last few seconds of the game, but I am happy to report the Spurs came out with a win!!  The Hubs had a great birthday!

We enjoyed spending time together during the Superbowl.  We played some Monopoly (one of the Hubs other birthday gifts), and enjoyed some yummy snacks. I think I almost ate the whole veggie tray!  The guac was a hit and we both devoured it!

I hope you had a delightful weekend!  Did your team of choice win the Superbowl?
How about those commercials (the one time of year I actually watch them)?
Have you ever participated in a cleaning challenge?

Be filled with Joy and Health!
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Energy Balls Revisited

Hey friends!
Welcome to the most wonderful (and busiest) time of year!  If you are reading this Friday morning I am currently on a plane to GA and AL!  I get the privilege of seeing one of my dearest friends get married this weekend!  I also get to see one of my besties and some other friends too! I am so thankful for such wonderful friends and the ability to travel and spend quality time with each of them!
I met my sweet friend Kim a little over 15 years ago on a mission trip to Costa Rica and an instant friendship was born! Kim has been such a encouragement and support in my life over the years, and she is probably one of the kindest individuals I have ever met!  Her life shines for Jesus and she shares love with everyone she comes in contact with!  I can not wait to see her marry her love!  It is an honor to be there for her this weekend!  Love you Kim!!!!
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This past week was a super packed week again.  I took a week off from blogging to refocus on some other areas of my life.  This past week the Hubs and I celebrated 2 years since his major heart surgery!  It so happened that one of my FAVORITE artists, Natalie Grant, was in town this week.  Her music really encouraged me through his surgery and recovery and it was the perfect time to do a lot of celebrating!
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As this season of year is packed full of so many activities (and traveling for me), I revisited an old recipe for a fab snack that is packed with energy and fiber!
I am linking up once again with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit!! Our theme this week is dried fruit! One of my favorite ways to eat dried fruit is in a homemade trail mix.  My other fav way is in my homemade energy balls!

foodiefridayCranberry Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

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Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 min.
  2. Remove from refrigerator & form mixture into balls. Place in a storage container with a lid.
  3. Store them in the refrigerator. If you are anything like me, they will not last long!

IMG_2670Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂

Have a fabulous day and a healthy and joy filled weekend!  I am sure I will be posting lots of updates and pics on instagram! Come check out all the fun 🙂

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Weekend Recap!

Happy Monday y’all!   I am linking up today with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddin for Weekly Wrap!
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Well, fall weather has finally settled in.  This morning it was in the 50s! The humidity was gone and it was gorgeous out!  I love this kind of weather.  Cool mornings warming up to a pleasant mid-70 degree day!  I really can’t say I miss the northern weather.
IMG_2306It has a fun filled weekend like normal!  Ha
Friday night I had a *tough* babysitting job.  It is rough when the kids are already in bed and I have to do it chill 😉  It was a nice end to a bit of a nutty week!

I woke up early Sat morning to news that my nephew had arrived!! Yahoo!  I got to meet him over FaceTime. He is so sweet!
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Saturday I had big plans to going to the gym for a class or so, but I slept really cruddy Friday night so I ended up resting some before doing housework and my own home workout.
The hubs went out of town for a memorial service for one of his nephews.  Not the best reason to see family, but he had a nice time with his sister and some other relatives.
I was able to get some work done at our house and rearranged some furniture in anticipation of some new items!!
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Later in the day I had the privilege of taking care of 2 of my favorites overnight!  We of course had a blast!  Made tacos, had movie night and a huge cuddle fest!
IMG_2217Sunday we all woke up and the kids wanted biscuits, so biscuits I made, along with some eggs, fruit and some gravy with ground bison!
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Mid afternoon the Hubs came back into town and we got our new to us couch loaded into his truck.  Plodded back to our house and got the couch in the house.  Then headed off to pick up our new-to-us TVs.  It was a bit of a production getting them home.  For some reason, the 3 main roads that head south were all backed up!  Instead of it taking 10-15 min to get home it took almost an hour.  It was an annoyance but I kept reminding myself that we were safe, not in an accident and a-ok.  We sat in traffic and belted out Natalie Grant’s new single!
When we got home the Hubs warmed up some dinner while I got things ready to move furniture!  It was a bit messy but ended up turning out pretty well!

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In the middle of the chaos

After we moved the furniture and I set up the new TVs 🙂
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The new set up is homey and we have tons of space for anyone who wants to come over 🙂

That is about it for the weekend!  I still have lots of work to do on the rest of the house, and especially my office….for being an organizing queen, the disarray is driving me batty!  My goal is to have it mostly finished by tomorrow night! I would like the housekeepers to actually be able to clean when they come!  😉

To end the weekend on a fabulous note, I finally booked our last trip of the year!  I am taking the Hubs to Costa Rica!  He has never been and I have not been down for 7 years!!!  This will be my 10th time and I can not wait!  I was able to find an awesome deal.  It is like Christmas came early!
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How was your weekend?  What was on your schedule??

Have a healthy and joyfilled day!

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Five Things Friday…Dream races!

Many years ago when I first really got into running, the lure of races seemed exciting, but also impossible.  At the time my health was not that great, and I was still deep in the eating disorder that held me captive for 20 years.  I did manage to pull off a handful of races before I went to treatment and was fully on the road to recovery, but the races after treatment have been so much better!  They caused me to dream again, and realize that running a half marathon is NOT impossible like it seemed so many years ago!  8 down and many more to go!
Lately I have been slacking with my running.  Mix the southern summer heat with just plain old life stuff, and running has been on the back burner.  I have been really wanting to get back out there, and I know that racing is one way that motivates me to keep going.  So I am taking some time to look at my dream races again and get my running mo-jo back!!

1. Maui Half Marathon
This has been on my radar for over 10 years now!!! My goal is to get there in the next 3 years!maui Source

2. Rome Marathon
I mean, if I am going to go to Italy, I might as well run a race right?
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(Elizabeth, if you are reading this, we are still ON for this!!)

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon
As soon as I heard about this race a few years ago I knew it was one I wanted to do!  I have already finished several other races with the Rock ‘n’ Roll organization, and they have been fabulous races!  Plus, my bestie lives close enough that I could see her too, so win-win!
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This *might* happen in 2014, but if not, then 2015 for sure!

4. Isle of Harris (Scotland) Half Marathon
My family heritage includes some Scottish roots, and I have always wanted to visit.  Seeing some of the amazing races and the views of Scotland in pictures has made me want to run there even more!!!  And I have a client from Scotland, so I can get all the inside info I need 🙂
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I mean, who WOULDN’T want to run here?!?

5. Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon
This looks like one amazing race! Running on the eve of the Summer Solstice! Wow!  That just seems incredible!  And I am sure it is perfect running weather too!
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Yes please!

Have you ran any of these races?  Or any international races?
What is one of YOUR dream races?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Before I travel…

I have this thing…before I travel (especially flying), I have to clean.  And not just surface clean, but deep clean everything!  I don’t know why, but I have been doing it for a while now.  Monday  night as I began to do laundry I realized I was about out of my homemade laundry soap.  So I picked up some supplies yesterday!  When I got home from work I made a new batch!  For me I like to know what I am putting on my body (clothes, bedding, towels), and I don’t want to pay a fortune for it.  I have used some more natural detergents in the past, but they were more than I really wanted to pay.  I finally got brave last year and made some laundry soap.  It was a HIT!  Both the hubs and I LOVE IT!  It is pretty inexpensive to make, smells great, and I have a peace of mind about what I am using to wash my clothes.  (This is in NO way judging anyone who uses any other type of laundry soap!  This is just what works for my family).

Ingredients:
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Use equal parts of each powder ingredient then use a grater to shave in the soap.
The Oxi Clean comes with a small scoop and measures out about 13-14 scoops.  I use the same scoop to measure the borax (about 1/2 the box), and the washing soda (almost the whole box).
I scoop them all into a shoe box sized plastic container.  Between each layer of powder I shave in some soap, then blend it all together.
Overall it takes about 15-20 min to make, most of that time is spent grating the soap.
I usually only use one bar of soap, but since I have been having some sleep issues I added an extra bar of lavender soap in hopes that it will help me sleep better!
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I use a smaller scoop for my laundry, or if I use this one I only use it 1/3 full.

Breakdown
Washing Soda – $3.19
Borax – $3.79 (1/2 the box = $1.90)
Oxy Clean – $7.52
Dr. Bronners bar soap – $4.69 (2 = 9.38)

Total = 21.99

14 cups of each product = 42 cups x 3 loads per cup = 126 loads

Price per load = $0.17
(Only $0.14 per load if only one bar of soap used)

Comparison with other brands I have used in the past:
Tide powder – $0.22 per load
All – $0.21 per load
Seventh Generations – $0.21

Well it is back to cleaning and packing before I travel up north! Oh speaking of traveling, I was featured on a travel blog today, Your Fit Trip!  You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/wybesther

Do you have any pre-travel rituals?
Have you ever made your own laundry soap?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Life…ups and downs…

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Beautiful sunset reminding me my auntie is always with me…

This past weekend was full of ups and downs.
The ups included the hubs and I getting away for a little trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Overall it was a good trip.  We had yummy food, I got to run with the ocean (gulf) next to me, and I even got a little bit of sleep.  The downside to the trip was that our hotel lost power for a few hours Friday evening, so it threw our plans off a bit.
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The drive in, and our view from lunch!
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The BEST burger place we have yet to eat at!  Cafe Michale Burger! We eat every time we are in Galveston 🙂
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More of our view from lunch 🙂
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Hotel ‘fitness center.’ Yeah, I ran outside instead…
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View from our room.  We were able to check in a little early, so we got one of the good rooms.
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Chilling by the pool…we never actually got in cause there were about 20 kids in there while we sat and read for a bit.
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View from dinner 🙂
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We tried a new spot, called The Spot.  I had the most amazing salad 🙂
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Walk on by the beach at night! Love hearing the waves 🙂
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Morning run and some fun in the sun.

I am so thankful we were able to get away, even just for 24 hours.

The downs:
On my way to babysitting Sat afternoon my mom called to say her sister passed away.  It was (and still is) a huge shock that she is no longer here.  I miss her so much!!  I will cherish the memories and always hold her in my heart.
Thankful that these kiddos brought me many smiles and gave lots of hugs on Saturday!
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The last pic of all of us together from my sister’s wedding.
Sis, auntie, grandma, mom and me.
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Till we meet again…Love you always…