Thursday, January 29, 2015


Praise Lord Hallelujah! I feel apprehensive even writing this because I'm afraid I'll jinx it all but I am 99.9% sure that Kenley K is POTTY TRAINED. It's like Christmas, my birthday & the Gopher home opener all rolled in to one! 
There was no trickery, no treats and no fancy method - it was just a girl and her mom spending a week mostly at home in Doc McStuffins undies. 

It took two days of half accidents/half successes for it to sink in and then once it did it was "Nen doh pee", "Nen doh poop" all day long! Nen, by the way is what Kenley calls herself and it's fantastic. It has been, brace yourself, 8 days since we've had an accident and I just could not be more excited or more proud. 

The difference between this time and attempts number one and number two is that I was committed. I mean, I was ready to rid my home of diapers a year ago but I really didn't put the time and effort in to teaching Kenley what she needed to do. I just kind of thought if we had a potty, she'd figure it out. I truly think potty training is harder on the parents than the kiddo, but once I was ready to tackle it with complete focus and attention - Kenley nailed it! I should have given her more credit and stepped up to the plate a while ago. But Hakunah Matata - my kid is potty trained and I am a hot minute away from throwing away any and all diaper paraphonilia and then I am going to have a one person dance party because I AM SO HAPPY! 

 Next up....big girl bed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

all about oils {PEPPERMINT}

Ah, Peppermint Oil. What can I even say? This is far and away my favorite oil - we fly through it at our house. With so many different uses and an incredible smell and taste, it's one that everybody should have for sure! 

Description: The peppermint plant is actually a hybrid of watermint and spearmint and was first described by Carl Linneaus in 1753. A high menthol content—like that found in the dōTERRA Peppermint essential oil—distinguishes the best quality Peppermint from other products. Frequently
used in toothpaste and chewing gum for oral health,
Peppermint also helps to alleviate stomach upset and promotes healthy respiratory function. Peppermint continues to be one of the best-selling favorites among dōTERRA essential oils.

Primary Benefits: 
-Promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing
-Alleviates stomach upset
-Frequently used in toothpaste and
chewing gum for oral health

How I use Peppermint:
- Mixed with Wild Orange as a little pick-me-up (especially in the morning)
- On my teeth to freshen my breath
- On my belly for stomach aches
- On my temples for headaches {aka hangovers}
- On my neck when it's sore
- In my lattes! Holy smokes is this delicious! Minty and yummy without all the nasty sugar and chemicals found in those syrups.
- In baking - peppermint brownies anyone?!?

To buy your own Peppermint Oil, simply go to
 And, of course, if you have any questions don't hesitate to email me!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The First Injury

Last Thursday night was an eventful one at our house! Jason slipped on our second to last stair while holding Kenley. It was terrifying because of the giant boom his booty made while hitting the ground but other than that all was fine. However, Kenley would not stop crying. We knew she was scared and so we consoled her and made sure she knew all was good. But then we noticed a giant welt on her left foot. Her foot was swollen and black and blue immediately. We put some ice on it but it looked bad enough that we felt someone should take a look at it just to be safe.
I called our pediatrician who said "It sounds like it's fractured so you should go straight to an orthopedic specialist." In an attempt to not completely lose it, I called the orthopedic office who thankfully had a walk in clinic. After waiting for nearly two hours, Kenley was finally seen and it was determined she definitely needed X-Rays. This was the worst part for mama because Kenley was so scared. She screamed bloody murder but had to sit still. We were both trying to be brave and with the help of the nicest nurses ever we were able to get the pictures of her little feet that we needed.
Thank God, her tiny foot wasn't fractured. What a relief!!! The doctor decided a splint would be a good idea to protect her foot and help it heal. Because it was so swollen and bruised and she wasn't able to walk on it at the time, it seemed like the right choice. Turns out putting a splint on a two year old ends up looking like she had some sort of major leg surgery.
It was a little dramatic for the severity of the injury, but better safe than sorry!  I am so thankful that she is fine and it wasn't anything serious, but it was definitely a wake up call that I am not going to be able to protect her and keep her safe from all harm forever especially since her daddy's side of the family is notorious for injuries. It might be time to start wrapping her head to toe in bubble wrap every day.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gettin' Back on Track

It seems to be the consensus that the end of the year is kind of a slack time in terms of diet and exercise. There really is no excuse for not being healthy, but it sure is a lot harder during the holidays. I know I for one really let myself go the past couple of months. Birthdays, holidays and a week in Mexico have left me with some unwanted winter weight, and so, it is time to get back on track in a big way. 

Kicking off my half marathon training has me excited to workout more and improve my running while hopefully shedding some pounds but equally as important in preparing for the race is strength training and stretching which is why I am PUMPED about Class Pass coming to Minneapolis! Class Pass is a monthly membership to the best boutique studios in the area. Basically for a monthly fee you get unlimited access to a variety of different classes and a variety of different studios all over town. It's pretty stinkin' awesome! I did a Yoga Sculpt class with Carolyn yesterday and it kicked my booty in the best possible way. 
I am doing Zumba this morning and have another yoga class scheduled for Friday. It's such a fun way to experience different exercises and different studios. I don't know about you but I get bored doing the same thing over and over, so this is the perfect solution! 

For all my Minnesota friends looking to sign up, if you use this link, you can skip right over the waitlist and start using your Class Pass today!
And to my out-of-state friends, check out the Class Pass locations to see if there is one in your hometown (Austin, Chicago, Denver, Columbus, are all for sure on the list!)

While getting back in the gym has felt great, we all know there is two parts to this equation:
gym + kitchen = results
I am back to logging in to My Fitness Pal every day which helps me so much. Of course the ultimate goal is to not have to track calories but I also know this is what works for me, plus I actually think it's kind of fun. I actually enjoy entering my food, tracking what I'm eating and checking in on my nutrition. I am sure some day I will get to the point where it's annoying to track and hopefully at that point I will have met my goals, will be in the "maintain stage" and won't have to concern myself with counting. But until then, I am going to have fun experimenting with different meals and tracking them! Like this week, I made some pretty delicious and nutritious meals. A couple of my faves were the following:

Breakfast: 1 slice Little Big Bread (toasted) with 1/3 of an avocado (mashed), 1/2 cup baby spinach, 1 cage-free egg cooked over-easy in tsp of coconut oil & 1 tsp chia seeds served with half a banana. All organic. All fresh. All delicious. And a great way to start the day. Not pictured: a giant cup of coffee, obviously.

Lunch: 2 cups baby spinach, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans, 1/2 avocado, 4 black olives (sliced), 1 tbsp shredded parmesan & 2 tbsp Organic Ville Olive Oil & Balsamic salad dressing (my new favorite). All organic. All delicious. An awesome lunch. Plus, I split the beans & avocado with Kenley to create a healthy lunch for her as well. 

Dinner: 4oz Simply Balanced Shrimp tossed in 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper & cumin then grilled, 1 tbsp Annie's Organic Ketchup, 1 cup broccoli florets with 1 tbsp shredded parmesan & 1 cup baby spinach with 1 tbsp Annie's Organic Papaya & Poppyseed salad dressing. All organic. All delicious. And actually really filling and satisfying! 

It feels really, really good to be getting back to the lifestyle that helped me lose so much weight last year. I am anxious to see more results and finally hit my goals! 2015 is going to be the year and I can't wait!

Linking up with Kelsey for Motivated Monday!
Kelsey @ Random Randts

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Half Marathon Training Plan

Today is a big day - today I officially start training for my half marathon. Being that I am still very much a novice runner, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to work up to running 13.1 miles.
Will it EVER stop scaring me to say that? 

I had started the Couch to 10k program during the fall {the Couch to 5k program is what helped me to not completely hate running}, so I figured finishing up where I left off on that plan would be a good way to first build up my distance and kick off the training. I researched a lot of different plans and after talking to my running coach aka brother, landed on Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Training program. I'm committing myself to a minimum of 3 runs a week then adding one day of cross-training {most likely yoga or some kind of fitness class or weights at home}, one day will be intense stretching, a light walk and strength training and the other 2 days will be for much needed rest. With some extra planning, I was able to work in some fun runs {can runs be fun?} while on vacations I have planned AND Goldy's Run which Jason and I have done with my brother and sister-in-law the past two years. 

Obviously, I had to make my training plan cute because let's face it, if it's not cute, I'm not going to do it and therefore no matter how boring you thinking this is, just had to share it! 

If you need to find me in the next 20 weeks, this is what I'll be doing.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Week in Paradise {part 2}

Yesterday, I recapped our days in the sun which were of course amazing, but our nights in Mexico were equally as memorable. The El Dorado Royale has 8 incredible dinner restaurants of which we ate at 6. I really cannot express the caliber of food this resort serves. Everything we ate was SO delicious. And being that we're all such good friends, we shared pretty much everything we ordered so that everyone could try it all. Every night consisted of dinner, a show, lots of cocktails and then room service. But, because I want to remember every detail of this trip I'm going to recap each night separately.

After all 4 of us were showered, dressed and ready, we'd meet outside and wait for our favorite, crazy, hilarious shuttle driver Edy, to swing by and pick us up to bring us to dinner.
No matter the duration, shuttle rides with Edy were hilarious! We loved him!

On Sunday night, we got a late start as we didn't get to the resort until late afternoon. We had dinner at Rincon Mexicano which they describe as "Mexican author Cuisine". This was probably my favorite meal of the trip. I had Tortilla Soup and Beef Brisket and it was to die for. They also had a serve-your-self-tequila bar which we couldn't resist partaking in.
After dinner we headed to the main bar called Guacamayas for a Michael Jackson show. The show itself was pretty brutal but it was a blast to watch the bad impersonation and listen to Michael's classics. After the show Sharisse and I took the floor for full on sweaty dancing. We busted a serious rug, made friends with a small British man who copied all of our moves, lost about 15 pounds of sweat and whipped our hair so much our necks were in serious pain the next day.

Monday night we started off at a wine tasting hosted by the Jackson family, which both Jason and Colin sell! It was a total coincidence and an awesome surprise.
After the tasting we went to dinner at JoJo's Seaside Caribbean Grill. I think across the board this was our least favorite meal - I had a Pepper Alfredo that was good but nothing special. After dinner Sharisse was feeling pretty exhausted from the previous night's shenanigans so we escorted her back to the rooms where we encountered a raccoon eating someone's old room service. Then out of nowhere a cat shows up, hisses at the raccoon that's double it's size, scares the raccoon half to death causing it to run away and then eats the food. It was, without a doubt, one of the weirder things I've ever seen.

Me and the boys weren't quite ready to call it a night so we stopped by the gift shop to buy some cigars then hit up the martini bar for a nightcap. 

Tuesday, we had dinner at Kampai, which was (on our honeymoon) and still is my favorite on the resort. They serve sushi and Pacific Rim cuisine and it is SO FLIPPIN good.  We shared sushi, satays, and spring rolls along with our delicious meals - mine was a noodle and beef stir fry that was to die for. After dinner we went to the show at Guacamayas which was another night of medicocre impressions - this one included Beyonce, Britney and LMFAO among others. It was definitely hilarious and entertaining. We also played a few games of Hockey which is a very intense and competitive card game among our group of friends. And then, more sweaty dancing ensued.

Wednesday night we decided to mix it up and head in to Playa del Carmen for the night. We ate at a fun Mexican (you'd be surprised how many non-Mexican restaurants there are) overlooking the mall. It was fantastic people watching but most of our attention was drawn to a group of men charging people to hold baby cheetahs.  Our dinner was good, but we were definitely spoiled by our resort's amazing food. After dinner we strolled the streets of Playa, shopped for souvenirs and stopped for a drink at another one of the bars. 

Thursday is famously referred to as "fancy night". While planning our vacation, Sharisse and I were very excited about having a nice night with our boys where we could dress up. We made our reservation at the fanciest restaurant at the resort and were pumped.
Fancy night took a turn for the worst when walking to dinner my heels and the ground decided to catapult me flat on my face. I have a nice scrape on the side of my face and chin along with my left hand, left shoulder and right knee. I felt like an idiot and was in some pretty annoying pain but nonetheless we made it to our fancy night dinner. We ate at Fuentes which is a "culinary theater". It's super cool because they have big screen TVs all around the restaurant and in between the courses the chef comes out and explains and prepares the dish so you can see how it's made. The food was delicious! We were all obsessed with the beer, bacon and potato soup along with the shepard's pie with whipped potatoes. 
We did however, bail on our dinner early because it took forever in between courses and we were stuffed. After dinner we were all exhausted and extremely full so we stopped by the show but left early. Colin and Sharisse headed to bed while Jason and I stopped by the martini bar for one more cocktail. Needless to say fancy night was a bust and became a running joke the rest of the trip.

Friday night, Sharisse and I were both disappointed that we only got to wear our fancy night dresses for a short time, so we agreed to re-wear them and in part redo fancy night. We had an incredible 5 course dinner at D'Italia along with bottomless glasses of wine (one of the many benefits of all inclusive). After dinner we went to the show which was El Dorado Idol also known as a karaoke contest. It was so entertaining and so fun to watch! We also had a rematch of Hockey and hung out/danced with our favorite guys from the entertainment team (see yesterday's post).

Saturday, our last night, we had dinner at Sante Fe which was a family style 5 course meal. The chef prepared the appetizers, salad, and soup and then we all chose our entree. I sound like a broken record, but it was incredible. We were all so full from the week, we were certain this final meal would cause us to burst. Per usual, we headed to Guacamayas for the show which this time took place on the beach. It was a fire show and was the best show of the week. I mean, just check out this video:
How on earth do they not burn themselves? Crazy! After the show we went back to the bar to bid farewell to our favorite guys which was super sad. Jason and I got one last margarita and walked to the end of the pier to say goodbye to the ocean. Then, obviously, ordered room service one last time.
This trip was more than I could have ever anticipated. I feel so incredibly grateful that we were able to go and spend quality time as a couple and with our dear friends. There aren't enough thank you's in the world that I could give to our parents for taking Kenley so that we could enjoy this time together. Life is crazy and busy and with little ones it's not always possible to take time like this to yourselves and we are so lucky we were able to do so. I am also grateful for such amazing friends. To be able to spend a full week together and get along so great and not get sick of each other is pretty awesome. We came home with killer tans, great stories, and countless new inside jokes {worms, yeah yeah yeah, i retract my boom, sunglasses, warm tequila, extra inch....}. We are all in a post-vacation funk and are so sad this fabulous trip is over.  Now to figure out when we can go back.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Week in Paradise {part 1}

Last week, Jason and I spent 7 days with our best friends in paradise. We returned to the resort where we spent our honeymoon, the El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya. We were a little apprehensive to return to the same resort because we weren't sure we could duplicate the amazingness of our honeymoon but after looking at pretty much every resort in Mexico, we decided there was no where else we wanted go. This trip, while different than the first, was equally as amazing. The resort was just as beautiful and fantastic as we remembered and having a week in the sun with close friends was basically the best possible way to spend the beginning of this new year.

The trip kicked off last Sunday, with a morning flight. I was majorly stressed about leaving Kenley for a full week with limited communication and some tears were definitely shed but once we got to the airport I was excited and ready for a week away with my man. We arrived in Cancun around 2pm and the second we were out of customs we grabbed a "cerveza" while waiting for our shuttle.

Once we made it to the resort we checked in to our beautiful rooms, promptly put on our swimsuits, had lunch at the seaside grill, took a quick dip in the pool and explored the resort.

I am realizing as I write out a day-by-day recap of our trip that we, for the most part, had the same routine each day - so I'm going to recap our daily routine today and then break down our fun nights and amazing dinners tomorrow!

Our days always started somewhere between 8am and 10am. Sometimes we were all up-and-at-em for breakfast together, sometimes we had breakfast as couples and sometimes I got up early to enjoy coffee on the beach on my own. All of our breakfasts were either at La Isla which was right off the pool or Cocotal which had a bomb buffet.

After breakfast we set up shop at the pool for the morning. Our pool time consisted of laying by pool, laying in the pool, sitting at the pool bar, and drinking cocktails! Lots and lots of cocktails!

We very quickly made friends with the "entertainment staff". These boys were responsible for hanging by the pool. talking to the guests and running the activities. This worked out great because my darling husband is incapable of sitting still so he always had some sort of game to play (volleyball, water polo, water aerobics, ping pong & beach volleyball). We ended up absolutely loving these guys by the end of the week and I'm pretty confident they loved us back. I was particularly attached to the adorable 20 year old boy from Croatia named Tomic who we called Wally because he looks like a young version of a former Timberwolves basketball player.

After our morning at the pool, we'd head to lunch at either the Pizzeria Cabana, The Health Bar or the last two days they did a cookout right by the pool with an amazing buffet.

After lunch we'd head to the beach where we'd nap (or I should say, I would nap), go for a walk or just hang out by the ocean.

We'd finish up the afternoon back at the pool for a bit (so Jason could play water polo - seriously, cannot sit still) and then around 4ish would head back to our rooms to get ready. Getting ready usually consisted of a a nice soak in the jacuzzi, an order or room service chips & guac, lounging on the patio and then eventually actually getting ready for the evening - which really just meant the boys would drink beers on the patio while the girls primped.

What happened after the primping is coming up tomorrow!