Category Archives: Things I Love

The Tuesday Tank

It’s reflection time. I’m taking a moment to soak in all the little details that have shown their faces among the big happenings around here the last few weeks. All work and no play would be boring and obnoxious, after all. Times like these are when I’m grateful to my kids because they remind me to step away and get some play time in. Mostly they remind me by tearing the house apart and then drawing all over it. That’s when we go outside, breathe in the autumn air, ride bikes and crash nose-first into the concrete.

So here we have the second installment of “The Tuesday Tank.” This is where I share with you small tidbits I’ve either learned, read, cooked, purchased, attempted or simply found worth acknowledgment. You can catch the first installment of “The Tuesday Tank” here.

Read on, curious people.

Today’s Tank:

~It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start with breakfast.

You like oatmeal? You like eggs? You need 3 Minute Egg-White Oats from pbfingers.com. Possibly the most satisfying way to eat breakfast without overeating. This stuff happens in a microwave with a bigger-than-normal bowl (seriously, you will think I’ve lost my oats when you see how much it expands when cooked). My favorite way to eat this so far is by mixing in almond butter, pure maple syrup and flaxseed. Preferably before (or after) a good run or cardio workout.

Photo from pbfingers.com
Photo from pbfingers.com

~Speaking of breakfast, let’s speak of more breakfast.

I’m a big fan of steel cut oats but very rarely make them because they’re so dang time-consuming. Enter: Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats. I finally walked into Boise’s new Trader Joe’s not knowing what to buy and walked out with vino (duh), hummus and this brilliant timesaving container. Now I can enjoy my steel cut oats any day I want in under 10 minutes. Lila prefers to call them “steel cut oh’s.”

traderjoe'soats

~We’re on a roll, so let’s talk bread.

Specifically, oatmeal pumpkin spice bread. Yes, I’m a fan of the pumpkin bandwagon this time of year and yes, I jumped on it with this recipe a couple weeks ago. It makes 2 loaves and my intent was for the hubby to take one to work to share but turns out it was Friday. Whoops. Two loaves of fall-bliss-in-a-bite down this family’s hatch! It was originally a Paula Deen recipe but some nice people at Pop Sugar took the heart attack out of it.

Photo from popsugar.com
Photo from popsugar.com

~Now that you’re stoked about gluten, maybe this will make you feel less guilty about consuming it:

The findings in the study this article talks about are worth considering: “Science Proves Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t Real, People Are Just Whiners.” Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying, “hmmm…”

~Drink your wine instead of doing an hour of exercise?

I managed to steer clear of reading this study as it was circulating Facebook but after multiple clients came in the studio doors claiming they could just go drink 8 glasses of wine and call it a week’s worth of exercise, I finally gave it a look: “Is Drinking Wine Better Than Going to the Gym? According to Scientists, Yes!” Well folks, the bad news is they’re talking about ONE glass in this case and they’re also only talking about red wine. Which, from this red wine lover’s point of view, is not a problem. But you’re more likely to see me getting my sweat on so that I can enjoy TWO glasses of the good stuff. Sooo…not really encouraging science to me, but maybe you’ll find a way to justify it.

~Hey parents, bath time just got easier!

I’ve admittedly had a Lush addiction for over a decade now, so when the connoisseurs of homemade bath and beauty products opened up a store nearby I leapt at the chance to go with my favorite females. While I left with a few yummy things, my favorite new find was their FUN line – yummy smelling multi-purpose moldable soap for kids (and adults who like to act like kids). Lila flipped for this stuff and honestly, so did I. Bath time smelled even better and both kids were completely entertained while washing their own hair with this Play-Doh-like stuff. We’ve only tried the Blue Fun bar because the sleep-inducing smells of chamomile and lavender sold me (earlier bedtime for the kids means earlier wine time for mom), but we will definitely be trying them all.

Photo source: dolcevanity.com
Photo source: dolcevanity.com

~So about this parenting thing, how’s it working for our marriages?

“How American Parenting is Killing the American Marriage is worth thinking about. Even if you don’t agree with it I think we can all applaud the author who, when met with criticism about her viewpoint, rebutted by saying “her outlook has had a positive impact on her children by giving them a sense of security in their parents’ relationship.” Read the original essay, “Truly, Madly, Guiltily” in The New York Times, here.

Thanks for scrolling, good people!

6 Favorite Things

Of course there are several things that keep us sane(ish) in life. Coffee, exercise, quiet time (aka: your commute to and from work), date night, the outdoors, etc. What about those things we don’t necessarily need but that make our life easier to navigate? That’s what this post is about. I’m not trying to paint the whole misguided “If you were stranded alone on an island what one thing or person would you want with you?” scenarios. I’m talking about this scenario: “If you were you on any given day and you could pick a few things that you actually use and are in your purse/gym bag/car right now, what would they be?” In my case, I have six of these things (so far). They don’t necessarily make me a better mom but I do think they make me feel less discombobulated/manic/confused/stressed/ill equipped, in general.

Please share: What things make your life “better”?

Miss A Knife Kit

(overstock.com)

Need a toothpick? No problem!
Need a toothpick? No problem!

This bad-girl was given to me at my son’s baby shower by a mother of two who obviously knows her stuff. Like the fact that sometimes your day boils down to needing a Swiss Army knife on crack! It boasts 16 different tools including a pill box, flashlight, needle and thread (Pfft! As if I’ve ever used that one.), safety pin (surprisingly handy), tweezers (for retrieving weird stuff my kids stuff into various holes everywhere), a corkscrew (Hellooooo! WinnerWinner!), a nail file, scissors, and a pen, among other things. And yes, mine is pink. Yours doesn’t have to be, they come in many colors. As this post gets published, overstock.com is sold out but I hear that happens a lot with this item so keep checking back.

Go Fit Weight Lifting Gloves

(Target)

Not just for moonwalking...
Not just for moonwalking…

You don’t have to lift psycho-sized weights to justify a pair of these. Plus they’re not that expensive. These save my hands from getting tired during a workout even if I’m lifting moderate weights. I sometimes wear them when I do Pilates or yoga too because they keep my hands from sliding around. I used to scoff at people who wore gloves as though they were a frivolous accessory. Turns out these are pretty clever! I got mine in the Target store but you can also find them on the website.

Fitbit

(Fitbit.com)

My Accountability Officer
My Accountability Officer

Yes, I’m that nerd who wears something on my waistband everywhere I go. But they make cool ones you can wear on your wrist, too. I love the Fitbit – it tracks all my steps for the day and factors in my calorie burn. I can even track my sleep if I’m ever so inclined to wear it to bed. It syncs up with your computer or phone so you don’t need a bunch of wires every time it needs a charge or to check your data. I use the Fitbit app on my phone which also allows me to log exercises I do outside of walking and running. Plus, if you’re a fan of the MyFitnessPal app it syncs with that as well.

Card Organizer

 (cardcubby.com)

Organized chaos!
Organized chaos!

Someone who understands me very well gave this to me a long time ago and it’s been a lifesaver when it comes time to find a random gift card, points card or other seemingly-useless-until-you-suddenly-need-it card. This thing makes me look organized! And until I look at the rest of my purse, I believe it.

Gymboss Interval Timer

(Gymboss.com)

Torture yourself with this! It's fun!
Torture yourself with this! It’s fun!

My last post was about HIIT workouts and how much I love them because they’re total time savers. This timer is what I use for those. It’s also handy when I’m doing sprint intervals on the greenbelt (it’s got a vibrate mode which keeps other people from getting freaked out). It makes my home workouts that much easier because I set it beforehand and therefore don’t have to watch the clock. Luke likes it because it beeps and Mom doesn’t want him to play with it. So, naturally, he spends the entirety of the workout trying to eat it.

Psst! For a quick HIIT workout check out this post!

To-Go Wine Glasses

(Gas stations everywhere, USA)

It's not ghetto to get your wine at a gas station if the packaging's cute, right?
It’s not ghetto to get your wine at a gas station if the packaging’s cute, right?

The answer to the prayer I might have made! How clever are these people who read our minds about needing a travel-sized, single-serving glass of wine that doesn’t taste like the cardboard it usually comes in? I can’t tell you how many times Von and I have needed/wanted/wished for these things! They are almost like collector’s items in our house. Because we need more junk…

Do you use any of these above things?