Moving along in July

I can’t believe we are half way through July! Maybe it’s because Arthur decided to stop by our Fourth of July that it doesn’t seem possible that it’s already July 17th; yet, we have had a lot of fun this month!

We have been enjoying plenty of beach time, company, friends and family. The boys have been enjoying baseball camp, swimming lessons and their track class. Our summer schedule seems to be working well for everyone :)

50 Miles in July

I was hopeful to hit this goal after missing it by so many miles in June. Thankfully, I am back on track (literally ;)) and have logged 31.5 miles this month. I am meeting our ever growing group at the track tonight and hope to get in 6-7 miles.

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We have been walking the first lap for a warm-up and then running three laps and walking one while the kids are in class (90 minutes). It’s a great way to keep it interesting. We chat and catch up along the way.

Next week, we will bump it up to 4 laps and walking one. Keeping the lap count smaller keeps it more interesting and less daunting :)

Grilling Veggies

Our CSA is in full swing. It’s still mostly greens, along with summer squash, spring onions (one of our faves) and this week, baby red potatoes.

One of our favorite ways to use the greens is to grill them. I put a little olive oil and often Trader Joe’s Everyday seasoning on the greens before grilling. Our youngest loves it! The first time, I put a little on each of their plates and our youngest asked for more spinach (it was kale) and has devoured both the kale and Swiss chard :)

Here is our grilled salad from last week…

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We grilled kale, spring onions, summer squash and broccoli (not from the CSA). Then, I added some tomatoes and cucumbers that I had in the fridge with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese – delicious!!

We have also grilled kale and zucchini (from the CSA) as sides to chicken on the grill. You really can’t go wrong :)

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This week, we have collard greens and I am not sure what to do with them. Have you prepared collard greens? What’s your favorite recipe? How is your summer so far?

Simply Kid Chefs: Taco Burgers

20140714-063427-23667433.jpgAfter some busy and fun weekends, our oldest took the kitchen back this weekend. Over the winter, the boys wanted to know if they would be cooking over the summer and I said, yes. They were beyond excited to think about using the grill.

As we talked about them getting back in the swing of cooking, they were both excited to return to the kitchen. I reminded this week’s chef that he could pick a grilling recipe.

It is no surprise that cheese burgers on the grill was his immediate decision. I suggested that we should do something to mix it up, a special sauce or flavoring. Without pause, he wanted to add taco seasoning to the meat. Why not?

After the beach, we went to the store and he selected toppings to go with his burgers. He decided on cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips and Dad requested green chiles.

We came home, watched a little World Cup and got to work. He crushed the chips (I think one of his favorite parts) with a potato masher in a bowl and then got to work mixing the meat.

I helped him divide the meat, but he made the burgers himself.

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Then it was time to grill and he had a great teacher!

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He did everything except take the burgers off the grill. There was a little re-adjusting at times by Dad, but overall – he did the grilling.

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We kept everything pretty simple. The burgers were about 2 pounds ground beef with one packet of Old El Paso taco seasoning.

There are so many ways you could play with this. Fresh garlic, onion, cilantro with chili powder and paprika is one variation that jumps to mind.

As for easy and yummy, this meal received four thumbs up! Our youngest, who generally doesn’t eat burgers (he is a devout hot dog eater) ate his entire burger and complimented the chef :)

How do you mix up burger recipes? Did you watch the World Cup?

If you missed it, last week I was featured by My Fit Family :) Click here to read it!

June is done and July has begun!

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Soooo, my June goals didn’t exactly end up as I had hoped. I knew it was ambitious for such a busy month, but I wanted to try.

I had originally planned on running during our trip to California, but my body was begging for some real rest. Of course, we walked a lot and explored; but that was it! Frankly, what my body needed.

We got back and I jumped into my heavy teaching schedule. My miles were still hard to come by. Then, it got back to normal. I wound up with 33.5 miles – a long way from 50.

In the past, I wouldn’t share if I didn’t hit a goal – darn ego. Now, I’m a little older and realize that life happens inbetween. It’s not only about miles but quality time with friends and family.

Because of my mile challenges, I have generally found more quality time by walking with my family, and running with my husband and friends. It’s also important to be at little league games and end of the school year celebrations.

That being said – I’m going for 50 miles in July! Thanks to the boys being enrolled in a running program, I should hit this goal and have fun with my friends along the way.

I need to regroup on the blog and I’m planning to be back on a more consistent basis. Starting next week, I will be back to a Mon/Weds/Fri publishing schedule. I’m taking part in a new Instagram challenge through Fit Approach that begins today! Follow along or join in the fun :) #SweatPinkSummer

The most important goal is to enjoy summer and all that it has to offer with family and friends. We are off to a good start with beach time, house guests and more beach time. This week we will take in some Cape Cod baseball and of course fireworks!

What are your goals for July? Do they change for the summer? What are your summer plans?

School’s Out!!

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Yesterday was the last day of school for the boys and summer has officially begun! They finish with a half day and I wanted to make it special. Each of the boys invited a friend over; they had pizza and watermelon for lunch and then we ventured off to the beach.

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It was not a post card beach day, but that never stops us! We were invited to be guests at a beach club and all of the boys had a blast swimming to a diving dock, playing soccer (we have World Cup fever) and our oldest even tried paddle boarding. Definitely a great way to kick off the summer!

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Vacation definitely changes my workout routine. Running before teaching will be out as there is limited time in child watch and soon the boys will be dropped off at baseball camp before I scoot over to teach.

Starting next week, the boys will be taking a class at the high school track. A few of my friends and I will be there running and walking. We did this last year and it made a huge difference in my running.

I am hoping to get back in the habit of walking after dinner with the kids and hubby on non-track nights. Due to baseball and rainy evenings, we have fallen out of the routine. It’s a great way to get out and catch-up!

We are looking forward to logging some serious beach time with friends and family and taking in some summer baseball!

What are your summer plans? Do you change your workout routine for the summer?

Travel through the eyes of our children

Over the years, we have been lucky enough to travel with our children. While they have both been to California, it has been about five years. Basically brand new for the kids.

On the day of our departure, we woke up early and enjoyed muffins on the way to the airport. While waiting for our flight, we saw a Red Sox player named, Mike Carp. He’s no Papi, but the kids were thrilled – even more so when he was on our flight!

We have the flying down. One kid gets the window, mommy in the middle and the other on the aisle. Daddy gets the other aisle seat ;). The youngest had the window for the flight out (of course we switch on the way back) and enjoyed all of the different sights.

He was surprised to see the quilt-work of the farms and then the Rockies appeared. He had us get the camera and took a picture himself. Then, the Grand Canyon.

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It is nice to have a reminder of just how BIG the United States really is! The excitement and commentary of the kids is infectious!

Once we were settled into Cayucos, we spent a lot of time celebrating the upcoming wedding of my brother-in-law with friends and family. We were sure to get out and explore as kids don’t do well cooped up in a hotel and really, isn’t exploring part of the fun?

I’m the daughter of a naturalist (you can check out my mom’s nature blog, here) who was raised to observe and enjoy my surroundings. My husband was also raised to enjoy nature and to be aware. As a result, our kids LOVE looking at different animals.

A different coast means plenty of different wild life! We ventured to San Simeon to see the elephant seals and were lucky enough to see many zebra along the way. The zebra are from Hearst Castle and often surprise people along highway 1.

20140618-065117-24677681.jpgWe saw a bunch of sea otters in Morrow Bay, a heron rookery full of nests and babies and plenty of new birds. Our youngest and I even saw a whale breaching off in the distance as we went for a morning walk.

Each day, the kids ran down the beach and checked out the many tide pools along the way. When traveling with kids, you have to be prepared to stop (often) along the way.

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It is fun to see them so excited about how different a squirrel or sea gull is from the ones at home. They also notice the similarities of some crabs, and birds. It’s great for them to experience a completely different ocean and all that it has offer.

I love that traveling with the kids brings a whole new perspective and causes us to slow down and really soak in our surroundings!

Have you traveled with children? Do you make a point of stopping and soaking it in? Where is your favorite place to travel?

A little craziness to get back at it

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We had a great trip to California for my brother-in-law’s wedding (more on that later) where we ate, drank and were merry. We got out and walked on the beach everyday, but the only running came when our youngest wanted to race to the next rocks.

We came home and jumped right back into the craziness that is the end of the school year. On Tuesday, I couldn’t wait to run and work out! It felt great!! The rest of the week was more of a struggle.

I taught all of my classes, but chose to plant my flowers over walking and couldn’t pull it together to run before teaching. Friday was my day to meet my friend and go running. One of my favorite activities.

Go figure, it rained all morning and was looking pretty yucky for the afternoon. There was no way I was going to wimp out! I didn’t want to be the reason for slacking off. It was a light sprinkle and that seemed ok.

About a half mile into our run, the skies opened up – or so we thought. We were drenched, but chatting and having fun. A mile later, the skies showed us what it means to truly open up.

It was a sideways-driving, road flooding rain. It was around here that we began to question our sanity. The beauty of running outside is you have to get back to where you started. We did what we had to and kept on going.

The rain let up a little and we continued chatting and laughing. As we got back to our cars, we laughed about the insanity of our run and how happy we were to get it in. We could have done without the rain, but we got our run in and it felt great to accomplish our goal.

I think I needed the extra push to get back into my routine. Overcoming my laziness and a pretty valid weather excuse helped me get mentally back in the game. 50 miles is not looking like it will happen, but I’m not throwing in the towel just yet.

I’m a little more rested and hopefully, I can get out of own way for the next few weeks!

Do you struggle getting back into routine after travel? Have you run in the rain? What is your favorite weekly activity?

Ahhhh, June

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So it’s June, three weeks of school left for the boys and then it’s summer living! I realize I’m a few days late, but I’ve been conflicted with goals for June. As you know, I really embraced the May goals and found success. So now what?

I would like to continue striving for 50 miles. Of course, I’ve only completed five miles this month. Not a fantastic start. We are currently visiting family and attending a wedding this weekend.

I am planning on running today and at least walking on Saturday. There is a lot of travel and frankly, my body can use a break. I’m not sure I’ll hit 50, but I would like to give it a try. It has been great motivation to keep me moving and finding new ways to sneak in miles.

As for yoga, I would like to continue working towards more power moves. I’m often conflicted about this and I find I’m energized and ready for it. I’m going to find ten minutes a day to work towards a new pose. I’ll get photos when I can and keep you posted!

For the most part, June is going to be about continuing moving forward and fitting in what I can, when I can. The miles should add up once I’m home and I loved the yoga Instagram challenge.

What are your goals for June? Do you always have a specific goal or more of a general idea?