Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes

blueberry pancakey goodness.
Pancakes and I? We have a great relationship. We go way back.

They're a simple breakfast that are easy to make, satisfying, and heart-warming. Huge bonus: they're a fantastic way to squeeze some fruit and nutrients into your breakfast and into your kids' bellies!

All you need:

- 1 and 1/4C whole wheat flour (you can use white flour if desired, but why not get in your whole grains?)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp flax
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1.5C of milk (more if you prefer a thinner pancake)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1C blueberries
- 1/2C dark chocolate chips

Toss all your ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together, adding in your blueberries and chocolate chips after your wet and dry ingredients are well mixed. My kids absolutely adore helping me mix the batter!
mixing fun!

Pour a desired amount of batter in a lightly greased pan (I use Pam) over medium heat until the tops of the pancakes start to bubble. Flip them over and keep them going until cooked through. I like my pancakes to be thinner so I flatten them while cooking, but my husband likes his fluffy so I let it rise!

Everyone in my house seems to have their own preferred pancake toppings - I adore using raspberry jam, Boy Lego loves his topped with yogurt, Daughter Lego likes hers plain, and Daddy Lego uses syrup.
me with my raspberry jam topping! yuuummm
definitely a child-approved recipe.
Prepare your batter before going to bed, and all you have to do is in the morning is cook and serve!

Public Service Announcement: best served with coffee. Just sayin'.

The entire batch comes out to be 23 points - so divide that by however many servings you get out of it. We make six medium pancakes out of our batch, so they cost roughly four points each. You can make 12 mini pancakes or even four huge ones - just make sure to calculate the points and don't forget to count your toppings too!

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Spare Ten Minutes!

At last week's WW meeting, we talked about how we can fit exercise into our busy schedules. I had to smile when I saw the meeting's topic because WOW, as a busy working mom and housewife, do I ever know about squeezing time into each day for exercise!

When the majority of us are asked, "Why don't you exercise more often?", our answer would be "I'm too busy! There's just not enough time in a day!". I'll admit, I've used that line a time or two (or twenty) in my life. Or this week.
so. very. true.
Many of us see exercising as getting together our sweats after a day of work, going to a gym, and working out for an hour, then showering and heading back home to prepare dinner for our families. If you can do that daily or even a couple of times a week - kudos to you!! Awesome!

But the vast majority of us just can't find that time. Between getting the kids ready for daycare or school, working a full day, meal planning and household duties, it can be extremely tough to get an hour away for exercise. And truth be told, once we can spare an hour, we truly want time for ourselves (a hot bath, relaxing with a good book, enjoying the golden silence of children sleeping ..).

We really should make the commitment to ourselves to get an hour of solid exercise in at *least* a couple of times a week. Be it an hour at a gym, going for a run, or rolling out a mat at home and moving to a cardio DVD - as long as it gets your heart going, do it!

However, on those days where getting an hour to work out just isn't in the cards, you CAN still get some exercise in. All it takes is ten minutes. And the location? Anywhere.

Waiting to pick up your child from school

Don't just sit in your car, checking Facebook updates on your phone (you know we all do it!). Jog laps in front of the school, or walk a lap around the track. Picking up litter too, is a great way to get moving and help to clean the environment!

In the waiting room at the doctor's office

Instead of sitting on a chair and reading last month's People magazine, do some wall-sits! Even standing to wait for your appointment is a better alternative to sitting. For someone of my weight, standing for ten minutes will burn about 21 calories - better than the zero I'd have burned by sitting on my arse!
Daughter Lego and I doing wall-sits .. Boy Lego is goofing around :)
Pumping gas:

Jog on the spot, or do squats. Instead of paying at the pump, walk inside to pay (and avoid those yummy tempting chocolate bars sold at the cash!).

Making dinner

Get some music going and dance it up! Make it a party and get your kids dancing too! Wear ankle weights to really get those leg muscles working.

Running errands

Walk instead of taking the car! You'll burn a lot more calories and use a lot less gas. Carrying home a 4L bag of milk is a great workout!
Walking to work instead of driving / taking the bus!
At work: 

We've all heard of taking the stairs vs taking the elevator .. For some different ideas, bring a jump rope to work and skip for ten minutes on your break. Do jumping jacks at your desk. Take a walk on your lunch hour. Instead of emailing a colleague a question, get up to go see them at their desk.
Remember how much fun it was to jump rope as a kid? It's still fun - and an amazing workout! :)
I have a 5lbs weight that I use at my desk at work. Every lift counts.
The bottom line here is to NOT let life get so busy that you can't take even ten minutes a day to exercise. Our bodies and our hearts need those ten minutes every day to keep performing at their best!

Weight loss begins with correcting our eating behaviors and making healthy food choices - weight loss continues with exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is maintained by those healthy food choices and regular exercise. They go hand-in-hand.

And so, I challenge you: will you make the promise to yourself to get at least ten minutes of exercise in every day? Let me know how you do it! I'd love to share your ideas!

I will be making the promise to myself. I know that an hour every single day isn't always doable with my work/home/mommy schedule, but ten minutes is an easy enough number to get in. And my kids adore exercising with me - so I'm going to make it a family activity! :)

Can't wait to hear how your ten minutes go! :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

So, I'm kind of obsessed with this soup. It's smooth and creamy and suuuuper healthy! Not only that, it is perfect for a cool day and it's so filling! I've been making big batches of this soup at a time and throwing it in the freezer for a quick go-to lunch. It's even great to have as a snack on those days where you want to eat but don't want any "bad" foods! :) Points value per cup: approximately three.

All you need:

- Five carrots, peeled and diced

- Two large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

- One small yellow onion, finely chopped

- One box of no-salt-added chicken broth

- 1.5C water

- Minced garlic (to taste)

- Minced ginger (to taste)

- 1 tbsp yellow curry powder

- Salt and pepper, if desired

All you do:

Throw all veggies into a pot with the container of no-salt-added chicken broth and water, and let it boil for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.

Pour the soup into a food processor and blend it down until there are no chunks of veggies remaining (or use an immersion blender!).

Pour the creamy soup mixture back into the soup pot. Add salt and pepper (to taste). Add one tbsp of yellow curry powder and let simmer for a few minutes.


(This soup can me made TONS of different ways - in fact, I've made many variations of it. This one was my favorite by far!)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are You Hard On Yourself?

I've been horribly sick this week, as you all probably know from my whining.
My "sick Mama" essentials.
I don't get sick often, but when I do, it's usually pretty bad. This time around was no exception. Fevers, congestion, lack of breathing due to the combo of chest cold and asthma, severe headaches, no energy ..

And you know what? I handled it poorly. I was miserable. I sat around feeling sorry for myself. I gave myself trouble for not being able to make it into work. I stressed about the financial implications of my missing those two days of work. I became angry and frustrated with myself because I was unable to keep after the housework, and seeing it pile up was unacceptable to me. I felt like a bad mom for needing my kids to entertain themselves and a bad wife for not being able to have those hot meals ready for when hubby came home after a long, hard day at work - and then for making him do the dishes (he didn't care at all - but I did). I wasn't making the best food choices and my exercise had to be put aside for the time being .. I was so down on myself.

As I was talking to Daddy Lego last night (through the delirium of yet another fever), he made me realize something: unless I'd been bitten by a zombie during the day and was slowly transitioning into a Walker (I've been watching too much Walking Dead!), then I'm HUMAN.

Huh. I'm human. Who'd have thunk?

If my husband had been the one so sick, I'd have expected him to take time off work to recover. I'd have wanted him to take a break from his household responsibilities and rest. I'd have told him that the kids would be great if they entertained themselves for a day or two - they play so well together anyhow that they would never miss him! And I'd tell him not to beat himself up about his eating and fitness - that once he was feeling better, he'd get back on track in no time and his strength and determination would be stronger than ever.

So why was it so easy for me to say those things to Daddy Lego (or anyone else in that position) but not to myself?

Turns out I'm pretty hard on myself. And I'll bet I'm not the only one out there who is unrealistically tough on myself (or ourselves).

Maybe something for me (us?) to work on!

My healthy lifestyle journey isn't just about healthy eating and exercising - it's also about keeping a positive outlook in life throughout any situation. I wasn't being very positive this week. And y'know what, that's okay. Remember how I learned about being human? Apparently, humans make mistakes. True story! And as long as we learn from the mistakes we make, we're only bettering ourselves!

So, lesson learned. I'm going to go a little easier on myself and accept the fact that I.am.sick. I need to rest and take it easy while my body works on getting rid of this virus. As long as it doesn't become a fire hazard, then the housework can wait, my kids will be great, my husband will still love me if he has to make dinner. And he'll do it with a smile because he wants to see me get better and is happy to help.

Life will return to its regular scheduled programming once I'm better.

Are you super hard on yourself too? Here's one thing you can try: fill in a permission slip for yourself. Give yourself permission to do that one thing you give yourself trouble for. Here's mine: 
And another example:
I'm sure he gives himself tons of trouble over all the cookies he eats!
I'm going to remember to write out a permission slip for something when I'm giving myself a hard time. Then, in order to keep in control of myself and my situation, I will make a promise to myself:

Atta boy, Santa!!
It's all about our journey and the lessons we learn along the way. We learn that sliced apples with peanut butter is a more nutritious snack over chips and cookies, going for a long walk is better than couch-potato'ing, and that being nice to ourselves does a lot for our well-being. One day, one lesson, at a time :)

PS. I'm still sick - but feeling a LOT better because of my new positive outlook. Even if I can't breathe. (ha!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Those Signs ..

I have a terrible cold today. I don't get sick often, but when I do, I get it BAD. So I was sitting here, feeling sorry for myself, and needed to cheer myself up. So I got to thinking ..

Over the past few weeks, I've been noticing things. I've been getting those signs.

Signs of weight loss!!!

And those signs I've been seeing are WAY better than any number on a scale could do for me!

Sign One: I've had to start wearing my reading glasses again because my headaches were back, screaming at me to help out my strained eyes ... And they don't fit well. They don't grip my face quite like they used to and are always slipping off .. Because I've lost weight! The glasses were initially fit to my chubbier face!! Time for an adjustment :):)

Sign Two: I was stuck behind an elderly lady at the store, holding a 4L bag of milk in my hand. This lady was taking for-ev-er because she was trying to convince the cashier to let her buy a Student Price Card (that only students can buy with proof of student ID) .. The cashier couldn't sell it to her and blah blah blah ... I'm standing there, waiting to buy this bag of milk, and wait a minute - Normally I'd be struggling to hold the heavy bag of BRICKS but I wasn't .. I was comfortably standing, holding this heavy bag, struggle-free. That's a testament to my daily planks, yoga, and the weight-lifting at my desk at work - my muscles are getting stronger, therefore I'm not struggling with heavy objects like I did before! (okay, that wasn't really an example of weight loss, but it was kinda related).
Working out at work!
Sign Three: my Sweat Pink swag came in! I was nervous when I ordered the largest size (XL) for my tank top because they said everything was sized small. I'm just starting to fit into a regular XL so I thought for sure the tank wouldn't fit. I was happily wrong!! It was SO exciting to fit into that tank top and I wear it with so much pride!!
Kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes! :)

It fits!!!
Sign Four: I pulled my Fall / Winter coat out of the closet. Last year, in order to fit into it, I'd have to lift it up so that it sat on top of my hips instead of wearing it over them like the jacket was made to. This year? It slides nicely down over my hips AND my bum and I've got room to spare!!! (the only downfall of the coat? Not finding cash in the pockets when I pulled it out of the closet!)

Sign Five: I was able to walk into a Halloween costume store, see the one thing I wanted, tried it on, and did NOT have to ask for a larger size! (which is a good thing because I tried on their largest and if it didn't fit, I would have been out of luck!)
Mama Thor!
Who needs a scale to see how your weight loss progress is going when you can have signs like those? I'm so incredibly happy :)

This serves as a reminder to me. I broke up with my scale quite some time ago and now that I'm back to my weekly WW meetings, I've found myself pulling out my scale more frequently .. And that's a habit I'd like to break again. My goal isn't just a number - it's a lifestyle balanced with healthy choices and habits. It's about feeling good! And that cannot be measured on my scale!

And so .. Scale who?!

Have you been getting any signs? I'd love to hear about them!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Soup's On!!

Creamy, Cheesy Cauliflower Soup.

That's right. The words "cheesy" and "creamy" can be used in your healthy lifestyle!

I bought a large head of cauliflower one day (not at my beloved Farm Boy, but at another store), and the very next day it had that not-so-fresh rubbery feel to it .. (Serves me right for cheating on Farm Boy!) So I knew I needed to use it ASAP to avoid wasting it. And I despise wasting.

So I was browsing through Skinnytaste for some apple recipes and happened to come across a cauliflower soup recipe. It looked so simple and I had all the ingredients .. So I went for it. But I made it mine by kind of making up my own version as I went along. Here is what I came up with!

All you need:

- One large head of cauliflower, chopped
- Four cups of water
- 3/4 cup of diced onions
- one cube of Knorr reduced-sodium chicken stock (you can also use bouillon or even  chicken broth!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 4 pieces of light Laughing Cow cheese*
- a one-inch cube of sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated

*if you prefer using an all-natural cheese, substitute for sharp Parmesan cheese and adjust the WW+ points value accordingly.

All you do:

Put the cauliflower, onions, water, garlic, chicken stock and water in a large pot and cook on high just until it starts boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cover, leaving it to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is softened to your liking.

Take an immersion blender to the mix, until all the pieces of cauliflower and onions are completely puréed (if you don't have an immersion blender, just use a regular blender or a food processor to blend!)
Cheese, please!
Add in the Laughing Cow cheese pieces and the grated cheddar and mix well until the cheese has completely melted. I used the immersion blender for a few minutes here also to fully blend in the cheese.

Salt and pepper to taste and away you go! Lunch is ready!
I added mushrooms in for lunch!
This soup is delicious on its own, or you can add some broccoli or mushrooms to it (cheesy broccoli soup?! Heck yeah!!). I even used some to add into my kids' pasta (sneaking in some extra veggies and calcium into your kids' food is never a bad thing!) and again in our mashed potatoes at dinner.
Homemade mac and cheese with the cauliflower soup blended in!
Enjoying her cauliflower and not even knowing it ;)
Cauliflower soup added to the mashed sweet potatoes!

The points value per serving varies on how large a serving you have. The only thing that had a points value in the recipe is the cheese! My servings of one cup each were only worth one point ... And considering the fact that it tastes like a 12pts kind of soup, I'd say it's worth the one point! :)

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dear WW: I'm baaaaaaack!

So Saturday was the day!

I finally got to rejoin WW! The stars had aligned, and I was finally able to get back to my weekly meetings.

I was SO excited Friday night that I had the hardest time sleeping. I was just like a kid on Christmas eve, I tell ya.

Getting up to a 7am alarm after barely getting four hours of sleep kind of sucked - but it was for ME, and well, I'm learning to remember that I'm worth the effort :)

Such a bright red tree!!
The walk to the meeting was beautiful and cool and crunchy! (yay Fall leaves!). When I got there, I was SO happy to see Leslie, my regular leader - and she was happy to see me too! It was such a nice welcome back!

And get this - in my 3 month absence, I lost 9.5lbs (bringing my total loss to an official 59lbs!!)!! This is a HUGE victory for me. Normally if I knew I wouldn't be attending meetings for a while, I'd totally fall off the wagon. Or fly out a rocket ship - it was that bad. Cheezies for an after-breakfast snack?! Why not?! Pizza after dinner, two nights in a row?! Sure! I had that mindset, "Once I go back, I'll commit myself to it again. Until then ..."

Not this time.

I'd worked so hard to lose my first fifty pounds and I did not under ANY circumstances want to see even one pound come back on!

But it wasn't just about the weight loss maintenance this time. There was more to it, as I've come to learn along my joirney that the numbers on the scale are so minimal in the grand scheme of things. I'd worked very hard to train my mind to where it happily is now (healthy vs skinny, how I feel body-wise vs what the scale says), and to develop my good habits vs my old bad habits (apple slices after dinner instead of panzerotti, ground turkey vs ground beef, yoga vs couch-potato'ing). Did I really want to risk having to go through that again? To have to detox my body of all the garbage I was putting into it, suffer for days on end through the sluggishness and the enormous cravings?

Not even a tiny, Cheezie-sized little bit.

I'm so committed to my healthy lifestyle. I feel so good both physically and mentally. I have SO much energy!

I'm not going to lie - I did indulge along the way, maybe even sometimes more than I should have. Maybe I could have lost more than the 9.5lbs had I not treated myself as much as I had.

But y'know what? I'm totally thrilled with how my three months away went. I LOST 9.5 lbs instead of GAINING thirty. Total win.

I was able to prove to myself that I can be and will be successful on my new path, for good! I was able to keep at it on my own, even while I was away, and being able to prove that to ME, my harshest critic? A total confidence booster. I can't tell you how happy I am! As long as we make that commitment to ourselves - anything is possible! We can all do this!!

I'll tell you more about the meeting in another post. It was a great one!!

Have an amazing Sunday, everyone!
Our leader passed out Halloween goodie bags and this paper was in it - Good to know for the trick-or-Eaters!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

SNT October!

Welcome to October's Edition of Something New Thursday! 

For any new readers, SNT is the act of trying something new (food, recipe, meal at a restaurant, etc) and sending in a picture to brag about it! I always encourage trying new foods to keep us active and interested in our healthy lifestyle and to keep us out of food ruts (I'm sure I'm not just speaking for myself when I say, food ruts make me bored which then usually leads me to eating baaaaaaad things!)

Any time you have something new, send a picture to me via FacebookTwitter, or email me mama_lego@yahoo.com .. I'll include your pictures in that month's SNT post and even include links back to your blog / page! :)

So without further delay .. Here's what was cooking this month!

Christine A made Stew Good To Be True. She said she liked it, but she's thinking she'll stick to her usual stew recipe.

Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. We made this for lunches on those cooler autumn days. It is so full of flavor and just delicious! It's rich and creamy (without cream added!) and so low in points (3 pts / cup! Yum!). Recipe to come :)

I love sweet potatoes yet I've never had them mashed ... Until now!! I doubt I will ever make regular white mashed potatoes again, the sweet potato mash was SO good!! And knowing that sweets are so loaded with nutrients is an added bonus. So yum!
Since making these, we haven't had white potatoes once. I'm obsessed.
Daddy Lego loves to experiment with different pancake variations, and I love tasting them! This here is a whole wheat - flax light pancake made with chopped pecans and a swirl of homemade caramel. Oh ... My ... Yummm!!

I made a big batch of pumpkin yogurt for the family. They loved it! And I loved how nutritious this dessert was!

Christina made a fried rice made with all sorts of ingredients she had laying around. In it you'll find bok choy, eggs, onions, red pepper, and bacon. Doesn't that look delicious?!

Christina also bought these k-cups for her keurig .. Cheaper and healthier than buying from a specialty coffee shop! She says they're SO yum!!
Yeah .. I need these in my life.

Country Harvest w/ flax is my favorite whole grain bread .. And now it has quinoa in it!!! So happy to have found it!
So moist, tasty, and nutritious!
Now that the Fall / Winter season is upon us, Daddy Lego and I have been wanting warm, hearty meals. He made a rich and delicious ratatouille and it was SO good!! The best part was that it felt as though we were eating something "bad" but it really wasn't. It's basically vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, turnip, carrots, onions) marinated in a homemade tomato sauce with fresh herbs. He made a large batch so we have lots left over to make into a pasta sauce!

Christina made cabbage rolls for the first time and really liked them! She said the hardest part about making them was peeling the cabbage leaves off the head without breaking them. Will you be making them again?

I made a shepherd's pie - instead of beef, I used half lean ground pork and half lean ground veal (they were both on special and way cheaper than beef!) and I used mashed sweet potatoes (because I'm obsessed with them). A-ma-zing. Took an old favorite, leaned it up, and made it taste 500 times better!! :)
I must have been married to a brussel sprout in a past life because WOW do I ever love that veggie!!
Christine made these peanut butter, banana and oatmeal squares. She said they were good, but she'd make a couple of changes to make them great!

Christina made a soup with leeks, potato, bacon and cheddar .. Is it a "cheat night" kind of soup? Looks sssssooooo amazing. I could just imagine how great your house smelled while this was cooking!

After hearing from many people about how great coconut water is, I really wanted to try it! So when I saw it at my local Rexall, I immediately grabbed one to take on our morning walk. Oh my. I wish I could say I loved it - or even liked it. A little. It tasted like really old, past the expiration date kind of juice. Maybe it was just this brand?

And that wraps up October's Something New Thursday! Doesn't seeing all these delicious foods inspire you to get cooking?! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Less Than Stellar?

*This post was written on Saturday*

I got a good reality check today!

I was having a good day. I made some kick-ass apple cinnamon whole wheat pancakes with flax for breakfast. The pears I bought a week ago were finally ready for eating and omnomnom those were good! The kids were in good moods and the sun was out.

I wanted to run.
I'm so lucky that my running path is SO gorgeous!
Another shot of my path.
So I busted out my new headband and tank top ($3 at Old Navy!), got the Lego Kids bundled into the double, and out we went.
Pre-run silliness!
My goal was to get the first day of week 6 of my C25K program wrapped up. It was simple - 5 minute warmup walk, and two 10 minute runs separated by a 3 minute walk. Easy! I'd just run a 5K the night before in 37 minutes!

... Yeah.

The first ten-minute stretch sucked. My legs were aching with every step. I just couldn't get my breathing right. My left-side hip injury kept nagging me. I really had to force my way through it. I was so unbelievably relieved when the announcer told me to start walking. Yes please!!!

Those three minutes walking just FLEW by and it was time to get running again. I pushed myself to it and oh Lordy ..

I started seeing spots in front of my eyes. My head began to spin and I knew I needed to stop. I had my babies with me and I didn't want to pass out or be unable to make my way back home. So with five minutes of scheduled running left, I had to slow it down to a walk and headed home. 
Yeah, she had the right idea!
I was frustrated with myself. I was angry. Why couldn't I do this simple run?
Sad Mama.
I got back home and tweeted about how I was trying not to beat myself up over my less-than-stellar run .. And an amazing sweat pink sister got back to me.

Isn't she amazing?! (by the way, her blog is amazing too, and she's up for one of the Top 25 Circle of Moms blog awards - vote for her here!)

She was totally right and made me feel 842% better. Sure, I didn't complete my run - but I RAN. I did my best and for that I am proud and happy. And I stopped when I knew I needed to - smart me!! :)

Not every run will be like my blissful run. Some of them won't be great. But ALL of them will be 100% better than sitting on the couch and will ALL be done with pride!

Day One, Week Six - we shall meet again .. With a great big ol' smile on my face!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Bucket List

Fall is definitely underway. The cooler weather has arrived, the leaves are changing colors, that gorgeous fireplace scent is in the air, and my flip flops are packed away where my comfy sweaters once were :)

(and oh, hello, last year's jeans that are falling off my butt!)

One of my favorite bloggers (Hi Tara!) posted her bucket list for Fall. I've been wanting to do a bucket list for the longest time and figured, why not start now?!

So here it is!

You can see Tara's bucket list here (she has some great ideas!).

Is there anything you really want to do this Fall?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cupcake Classic 5K

My first virtual race is in the bag! What a fun experience it was - no starting pistol, no crowds, no onlookers, no finish line, no medal. Just me, my pedometer, my timer, my asthma inhaler and my favorite running partner: Daddy Lego.

We made the night special. We got a babysitter and planned to make it a date night. A running date. Definitely a first for us, and definitely not going to be the last!

Daddy Lego and I met down town (he had worked earlier in the day) and made a big mistake: we went for dinner before our run. We went to our favorite restaurant and I was so proud of myself for choosing healthy options: a turkey burger with avocado and a side salad (instead of the normal "cheat night" meal I would have had while treating myself to the rare restaurant meal!). In any case, though I ate well, I ate too much.

To burn off some of that "too full" feeling, we walked around the market and explored the mall (we so rarely get to go down town anymore!) for about an hour, then made our way to the canal for our run (but not before going to Lululemon for the first time ever and coming out with a new non-slip running headband!).

What a gorgeous night. The ducks were sleeping in the canal waters, the wind was perfectly breezy, and it was cool and dark but just perfect for a run.

We began our run and I was SO proud of how much faster our pace was (when compared to the sloooooow jog we had at the Army Run!). We were actually running!

So we get about eight minutes in and oh, crap .. I have a horrible cramp. Shouldn't have eaten so much before running!

We had to slow our pace to a jog and then a fast walk. And we had a total blast. We splashed through puddles, joked, laughed, reflected on our lives (totally in love with that man!).

Daddy Lego: "Come on Lulu, move your Lemon!" lmao
When we got halfway through the 5K, we turned around and began jogging again, and made a running boot to the finish. I couldn't believe we had run 5Ks in 37 minutes! Totally beat our old PR of 45 minutes!

So we headed to the bus stop and home we went .. To eat our cupcake reward (as was customary for the Cupcake Classic 5K - hence the name!). Daddy Lego had an Oreo cupcake (it was amazing!!!!) and I had a maple cinnamon cupcake (sounds better than it tasted).

The cupcakes were a little bit destroyed on our run / way home .. But were still cupcakes :)
We had a totally relaxed approach to our run and had so much fun. That's what running is all about, though, isn't it? Having fun!

The eating cupcakes part didn't hurt, either :)

Thanks so much to Jess at Run With Jess for working so hard to organize the run, and for inspiring us all to get up off our butts and race for US! We'll see you next year!