8 Things Small Children Hate and Adults Crave

There are definitely a few things my kids despise that I can’t blame them for – ear drops (currently dealing with this debacle), me licking my fingers to wipe their face (which I swore I’d never do), a really @#$! hot seat belt buckle, sun block (I never have liked the feeling of the stuff, either), melted ice cream, and flies, among other things. But there are a few things they balk at and I want to pull my older-wiser-trust-me card and tell them how one day they’ll look back and wish they’d taken advantage of the situation.

Before I list off those things, let it be said I completely recognize that children hate these things for developmental reasons and their need for more autonomy and it’s all good for their self-confidence, blah-blah-blah. Let’s just put the child-rearing psychology aside for a moment and have a chuckle.

Feel free to add to this list if you have things your children hate and you not-so secretly wish you could trade places.

Thank you, tumblr user mamazahran. This nails it.
Thank you, tumblr user mamazahran. This nails it.

1. Time out 

Whenever Luke hears “Do you want to go to the corner?” he promptly says “nuh” (no). Once he’s in the corner he cries as though we just told him he’ll never eat again. Pretty standard reaction from a toddler. But as an adult, let’s think about this: You’re telling me I get to  go to the corner, by myself, not talk to anyone, and relax, until I feel like I’m ready to come out and engage reasonably with other people? Pfft! Hell yeah I want to go to the corner! Show. Me. The corner!!! I will stay in the corner all DAY if you want me to! Just slip a little food and water my way once in a while and you won’t have a problem with me again.

2.  Nap time   

This is a given but I couldn’t skip over it. Although instead of my daughter’s favorite stuffed kitty, just toss me a bottle of wine to snuggle up with.

3.  Getting their hair washed 

My kids actually love bath time, but when it comes to rinsing the shampoo out they each take a deep breath and wave their hands around as though they’re going into the deep end. I pour cups of water over their head and we do this as quickly as possible so that they’ll start breathing as quickly as possible. I’ve tried being more gentle about it but they’re all business when it comes to getting their hair washed. Not me. I can’t wait for that hair appointment every 6-8 weeks so my wonderful hair dresser will massage my scalp while washing my hair. Having my hair washed is heaven. I would gladly let my mom wash my hair for me again if it wasn’t at all weird now that I’m 32.

4.  Having their outfit chosen for them 

Luke’s still young enough he could care less what he wears, but Lila – my sweet, opinionated, princessy, giggly, short-fused spaz – has a very clear idea of what she wants to wear that day. I just don’t have a frickin’ clue what it is. Obviously, because when she tells me she wants to wear her pink skirt with the sparkles on it and I grab the pink skirt with the sparkles on it and she tells me that’s not the one, that she wants the other pink one (that’s really purple) with the sparkles on it (which it doesn’t actually have) and she melts into tears because I should know better…I want to grab her by her fairy wings and tell her how one day, ONE DAY, she will wake up in the morning, run to the coffee pot, run back to the bathroom to get ready for work and realize all her laundry is in the washer and she has nothing to wear but has to be out the door 5 minutes ago. Then, THEN, she will wish someone had picked out her clothes for her regardless of the pinkness or the invisible sparkles.

5.  Being bored 

I know I have only begun to tread into “I’m borrrrrred” territory. My kids don’t actually say it yet but I can tell when they’re bored. Luke starts throwing major appliances into the kiddie pool and Lila starts crying because her cup of milk isn’t in the same spot she left it in. The inside of our house has been toilet papered countless times because of boredom. All hell breaks loose and war is imminent. It’s up to Mom or Dad to think of something fast or no one is having a good day and there will be multiple wine bottle casualties. I only wish I could get bored. If I were bored I would get a lot of things done. Or I would catch up on a bunch of shows I started watching while pregnant the first go-around and haven’t laid eyes on since. Or I would just laugh at everyone else running around doing stuff, not being bored. Being bored would be a hoot.

Photo credit: Flickr user Laura Libert
Photo credit: Flickr user Laura Libert

6. Long, social meals enjoyed anywhere but home  

We very seldom go out to eat with the kids. Mostly because we don’t want eye daggers, hate mail, or tire slashing from the restaurant staff. Once Luke has finished his meal and there is no more food left within a 5-mile radius he’s over it and tries to haul off anytime we look away. Lila gets restless, starts asking a bunch of weird questions and talking in what can only be described as baby-talk meets rabbit. The dynamics are a train wreck. I would love a good long sit-down meal with friends at a restaurant where we don’t have to cook or clean. Some day we will hopefully have those kind of outings again but in the meantime we’ll keep enjoying our meals at home so I can inevitably get pulled away mid-bite because Luke pooped.

7. Anything on TV not involving princesses, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, PBS cartoons, or sing-a-long music 

Our mornings typically go like this: Lila wakes up, snuggles me for 5 seconds, plods into the living room with her slippers on, plops down on the couch and begins her first sentence with “I wanna watch…” You know what I want to watch? Something funny, or R rated, or something with anyone in it besides Elmo and crew. The entire last season of Dexter and definitely more cooking shows so I can drool over whatever America’s Test Kitchen is onto this week. The list is pretty long because we haven’t really watched anything without falling asleep. As it is, Daniel Tiger has actually appeared in my dreams. I’m pretty sure the only on-screen person who used to appear in my dreams pre-kids was Mark Wahlberg.

8.  Saving money on the water bill

In child-rearing, everything is just a phase. Well we’re in this phase where our money gets flushed down the toilet. I mean I think it’s super sweet how Luke likes to be in the bathroom with me as I’m getting ready in the morning. He watches me, talks to me, throws my hair brush in the garbage, and flushes the toilet about 80 times because it’s hilarious. Then he proceeds to the hallway bathroom to climb up on his stool, brush his teeth and make sure the sink faucet runs for 15 minutes. The kid is adorable, really he is. And his adorableness is evident every month our water bill comes due. You know how before you had kids “they” always warned you how expensive kids are and you just smiled and agreed because, yes, obviously, that made sense? You had noooo idea, did you?

Well now you tell me...
Well now you tell me…

Why You Should Stop Working Out for a Week

Typically most workout articles or fitness posts on Facebook I read  are about pushing yourself, working out hard, and making sure you’re consistent about doing so. Those are all legit and all great points. But I’m going to discuss something you don’t hear very often: It’s OK to take a break. Not only is it OK, it’s actually really good for you.

exercise-recovery

If you’ve been hitting it hard and working out consistently (by which I mean you’re only taking one to two days off from working out each week), at some point you’ve likely found yourself losing motivation, feeling weak and exhausted, and actually accomplishing less during your workouts. This was the case for me last month and I knew a break was in order. Enter: Family vacation and total workout strike. Not to say we didn’t walk a lot on the beach, which was definitely the case. And I did go for a short run and do some pushups and triceps dips one day. But there was no strength training, no HIIT, no power yoga or kickboxing. I ate what I wanted, which ended up being mostly healthy things after the second day since my gut couldn’t keep up with the inner fat girl trying to come out. But for the most part I just did what I wanted to do – which was relax.

Using my extra time to learn to fly a kiteboarding kite. Lots of fun!
Using my extra time to learn to fly a kiteboarding kite. Lots of fun!

All that relaxing and regrouping was what I needed physically and mentally to get motivated again when I returned home. And the funny thing? I actually feel stronger now that I’m back to my workouts. I’m sure my clients were super-thrilled with me on Monday morning when I was back to being that trainer who was more excited about their workouts than they were. “Oh great, spaz here went on vacation and she thinks I care how motivated she is.”

So I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking you’ll gain a bunch of weight, lose all the muscle you’ve worked so hard for, and fall completely out of shape. Well, you won’t. It just isn’t gonna happen in one week. It takes about 4 weeks for your muscles to atrophy and start breaking down, even if you feel like it happens sooner. The thing is, most people forget that recovery is a crucial part of making progress. After 8-10 weeks of consistent workouts and fitness gains, you really should take a week off to let your body repair everything you’ve done and work its magic. Another plus – that change your metabolism will undergo because you’ve switched up your activity level will only do you favors once you surprise it again the following week.

So about that diet during this week of freedom. You still need to eat mostly healthy, but a cheat meal or two won’t hurt because again, it will change your body’s metabolism temporarily. And since our intention is to begin working out hard again the following week, that change is a good thing. But don’t fall off the wagon completely, although if you try to I can almost guarantee that your body will rebel the way mine did. One of the things about having a healthy lifestyle is that once you try to go back to poor eating habits it makes you physically sick. (This does not work with wine, however. I could take a break and go back to it very easily, but I digress.)

Will you gain weight? Probably. But it’s not as bad as you think. You will likely gain a few pounds because of fluid retention. Plus, all that extra energy (aka: glycogen) your body is holding onto will be accounted for in that slightly elevated number on the scale. But you’ll lose it within the first week of getting back into routine. I gained 4 pounds on our trip to the coast. Did I feel disgusting? Yep. Little did I know that by the Monday morning following our return I would be back to normal and feeling energized and strong. Okay so the trainer in me DID know that would be the case, but the self-critic in me was still a little manic about it.

You see, there’s a big fat elephant in the room named Burnout. We all know the definition of insanity by now, right? Apply that same principle to your body. If you keep giving it the same thing over and over, nothing will change. Remember how when you first started working out you saw the best results and felt better than ever? A total break from fitness will give your body that same advantage when you start back up. Eventually you’ll plateau again and you’ll recognize this by feeling mentally underwhelmed, physically exhausted and neurologically frazzled. That’s when you take a week off. Huffington Post actually published a great article about the benefits of taking time off from exercise. While they were focusing more on athletes and recommended a longer break (which is your prerogative, but unless you’re in the athletic zone I don’t recommend taking more than 2 weeks off), they really break down the science of why it works. You can check that out here:

“Why Taking Time Off From Exercise Is Good For Your Health”

“What we really do in hard workouts is apply a stimulus that elevates our heart rate, breaks down muscle fibers, causes the adrenal glands to secrete the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and generally tells our body that the status quo won’t cut it anymore. The ‘getting fitter’ part – the body’s response to that stimulus – comes afterward.” – Huffington Post

And again, I know what you’re thinking (because I AM that girl): “If I take a week off I’ll never start back up.” My answer for that is, you’re overthinking it. I’m saying take a week off from weights, from cardio, from whatever fitness train you’ve been on. I’m not saying take a week off from thinking about it or setting new goals for yourself. I couldn’t wait to get back to working out again because I had all these new goals in my head, as well as new approaches to achieve those goals, which I had the time and energy to think about. I had time to figure out what I wanted to get out of my workouts and why it mattered to me. That’s what counts – as Jillian Michaels would say – figuring out your “why”. Love her or hate her, that woman has some good points about fitness and the human condition. During your one week off you won’t have to try to remember why you workout, your body will remind you.

One last point worth mentioning: I can attest to not always feeling stronger after a week off – there are times I’ve felt weaker and you may experience that. That’s OK too. Because even if you have to do fewer reps or shorter cardio sessions when you hit it again, your body has to respond to that stimulus and it WILL respond, faster this time and with renewed vigor.

So tell me, have you ever tried this break thing and how did it work for you?

Exploring Washington (Coast) Wines

After spending a week vacationing in Westport, WA located on Gray’s Harbor, I think I can scratch a few things off my bucket list.

Rent a beach house on the Washington Coast, check.

Beach Arrival 1

Beach Arrival 2

The condos where we stayed.
The condos where we stayed.

 

Go clamming on the bay, check.

Turns out that although fun, this is a lot of work. I suppose that's why most people buy their clams.
Turns out that although fun, this is a lot of work. I suppose that’s why most people buy their clams.

 

Set crab traps off the pier and learn how to clean them properly before cooking, check.

Von and my mom checking our crab rings.
Von and my mom checking our crab rings.
My dad checking to make sure this crab is a legal size to keep (it was, and tasted great later).
My dad checking to make sure this crab is a legal size to keep (it was, and tasted great later).
These mean things are actually really easy to clean.
These mean things are actually really easy to clean.

 

Eat a geoduck clam, check (pronounced goey duck, which makes no sense to this grammar nerd).

Meet Geoduck, Jr.
Meet Geoduck, Jr.

 

Try wines produced in a coastal town, check.

To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting tremendous wines on the coast. I wasn’t sure about the grape-growing situation or the demand for turning those grapes into drinkable form. Not to generalize or anything, but Westport and the surrounding area is a fishing destination and a hot spot for clamming during open season. This may be pure speculation but I’m going to bet most fisher-people get off a boat after a day or two and reach for a shower and a beer.

Nevertheless, we were looking forward to checking it out once we arrived. We visited two wineries, both are located in Westport and both are large-production outfits, meaning they put our 300 – 400 cases a year to shame.

But are they any good, you ask?

First stop: Westport Winery

Westport Winery

This was a fun place because they had a small vineyard on-site that they built beautiful gardens around. After we each tasted our 5 complimentary wines we purchased a glass of our favorite and walked around the gardens while we drank and the kiddos ate popcorn (brilliant!). They even had a giant outdoor scrabble board and a putting green.

Happy kids, happy mom.
Happy kids, happy mom.

These guys make over 30 wines, which is a feat in itself considering all the label work that goes into each one, and boyyyy do Von and I know a little something about label work. Which brings me to point out another thing I liked about Westport Winery – their labels were a lot of fun.

Westport Winery 4

With names like Mermaid Merlot, Charterboat Chick, Jetty Cat, Peaches on the Beaches, and Nirvana, how can you not have fun with that?

(A quick tidbit about the ‘Nirvana’ reference: Kurt Cobain grew up in the area. Specifically he spent his childhood in Aberdeen, WA which is about 25 minutes away from Westport. There are Kurt Cobain memorials and tributes throughout the area.)

Did the wines we sampled blow our hair back? Not really, but they were decent. All three of us chose the Nirvana, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, as our favorite. Von and I both purchased a glass of the Surfer, a Syrah, but my mom had purchased a glass of Nirvana and we definitely preferred hers. When she went to inquire about the price of a bottle she found out it was $49. It was good, but we weren’t feeling it was $49 good. So there ya go.

I would have liked to sample more wines but we couldn’t have possibly tried all 30 (At least not with small children in tow. “You want to play with that glass decanter? Suuuure!“). Plus, many of them were sweeter blends and the sweet side isn’t really my cup of vino. They also have a hard cider, sparkling wine, and raspberry chocolate wine that sound like fun (okay, so maybe the raspberry chocolate sounds not-so-good to me, but I’m sure lots of people love it). Overall this was a neat place and we were definitely glad we stopped.

Second stop: Cranberry Road Winery & Bog Water Brewing Co.

Cranberry Road 1

So here’s the deal: These guys don’t use any grapes for their cranberry wine, which makes sense but it also painted this tart and sweet picture that I was prepared to dislike. Still, we were really curious and we love seeing other people doing fun and different things with wine like we are. They also brew beer and, if I was a beer girl, I think I would have really liked their Rye IPA. As it was, I somewhat enjoyed two sips and went back to what fits like a glove to my hand – my wine glass.

They have two cranberry wines: Straight-up Cranberry and a Cinnamon Cranberry. Both were surprisingly good and not near as tart or syrupy sweet as we had pre-conceived. As we were sampling, the owner (a really friendly woman) began telling us how they drink these wines. The Cranberry wine is apparently terrific as a sangria, so she gave us the delicious-sounding recipe for that. Alternatively, the Cinnamon Cranberry makes a really yummy mulled wine which I loved the sound of, especially as we enter the Fall months. Mulled wine and Halloween go together for me like…grapes and yeast.

Cranberry Road 2

The three of us were happy with this fun find and we bought a couple bottles of each to try out the recipes. Talking to this woman reminded me of how we talk to people at the market when they try our jalapeno wines. We start with a conversation about wine and pretty soon we’re talking recipes, then food, then experiences. It’s a really cool way to make wine enjoyable on more levels.

At the end of the day, we went back to our beach house, watched the sunset, and poured a glass of Pinot Noir from Santa Barbera County my mom had brought along on her drive because it was so aptly named SeaGlass. It wasn’t Washington Coast wine, but it was perfect.

Westport Sunset
Paradise.

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?

Beginner HIIT Workout!

As I get ready for our family’s summer getaway I’m reminded of how completely unfocused, chaotic and jam-packed the schedule gets the week leading up to vacation. So much work goes into planned relaxation, it’s pretty comical really. So in the interest of preserving my sanity, keeping my body strong and saving time, I’m focusing on HIIT workouts right now.

Those of you who have trained with me know I love my HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and, essentially, it entails working out as hard as you can with very little recovery between exercises and getting it done in half the time of a traditional workout. Sometimes even less than that. And since time is not usually on our side it seems, these HIIT sessions can really save your butt (literally and figuratively).

As far as HIIT goes, there’s a lot of options. You can apply HIIT to pretty much anything – running, the elliptical machine, the weight room, body weight exercises (my favorite), even Pilates. I have yet to figure out how to apply it to potty training, but you never know…

"HIIT for Parenting", the book we haven't yet seen on the shelves.
“HIIT for Parenting”, the book we haven’t yet seen on the shelves.

Although HIIT isn’t exactly new, I know there are a lot of people who haven’t yet tried it. Or they’ve tried it without realizing it. So this post is dedicated to HIIT newbies. Which, by the way, doesn’t mean you’re new to fitness or even that you’re out of shape. I have quite a few clients who are in fantastic shape and have a solid workout regimen but have never tried HIIT. I always start them out at the beginning, even if they’re a triathlete. HIIT could care less about your conditioning level because it’s all about max effort with little rest between that effort, all with the intention of burning body fat more effectively. In other words I don’t care who you are, it’s going to make you sweat! Still aren’t buying what I’m selling? Read more about the hip HIIT benefits here.

All you need is a timer or stop watch. You’re going to complete each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the same exercise two more times (for a total of 3 times). Then you’ll move on to the next exercise. Complete the entire workout once, rest for 1 minute, then do the whole thing again. If, after two rounds, you feel like you have more left in you still, you should do it for a third time. 

This specific workout requires a three-minute warm up of your choice. If I’m at home my three minutes usually consists of a minute each of squats, jumping jacks, and alternating front-to-back kicks. If I’m at the studio I prefer to warm up with an easy jog on the treadmill. The idea is simply to get your body warm and ready for a workout.

A couple things worth noting before you dive in:

1. You’re going to get tired, that’s the whole point. You want to walk away from this 20 minutes later feeling like you left it all on the gym or living room floor.

2. If you’re doing the pushups and you feel like you’re not doing them correctly or your form is suffering, go down on your knees PLEASE! I don’t know why the world is afraid of knee pushups. It irritates me to no end. Sure, it’s best if you can do them on your toes and the idea should be to work up to that. But let me just tell you, if you do a knee pushup correctly, you’ll get the same results.If you’re doing full pushups with poor form you’re not doing yourself any favors whatsoever. End of rant.

A few demos to watch before you begin if you’re unfamiliar with any of the exercises I’ve given:

Traveling Pushups Demo

Bicycle Crunches

Butt Kicks

Skater Hops

Got it? Good. You’re ready! BeginnerHIIT Let me know what you think. I’ll be posting more HIIT workouts in the future and if you enjoy this one please share!

Embracing White Wine

Here’s a quick note to my younger self: You will like white wine one day.

"Brace. Yourself."
“Brace. Yourself.”

I started out drinking red wine in my early 20’s mostly because, I’ll admit, I was embarking on my career in fitness and wanted to enjoy social drinking without killing my gut and calorie budget. Red wine seemed like the way to go. I started drinking merlot (a good entry-level variety), then cabernet, then tempranillo….then I became a red wine equal-opportunist. I guess it sort of negates the calorie-dodging argument if you go into full fledged wino mode, huh?

With all the wine drinking I was doing never did I get excited about white wines. Don’t take this personally, my white-wine-loving friends, but I actually thought white wine was for wimps. To me it was the equivalent of ordering a wine spritzer and the only people I knew who drank white wine were my girly friends who always complained about their weight and ordered salad for dinner everywhere we went never mind the fact that it was covered in crispy fried chicken and ranch dressing. (Enter Despicable Me Minion voice here: “Whaaaat?!”)

It wasn’t until Von started making wine that I gave white wine a shot. In fact, the first wine he ever made was white and to this day it is my favorite. Too bad we were amateurs then and only made a few cases. He probably did everything wrong as far as wine making goes and it was a huge hit, at least among our family, friends, and the judges at the Western Idaho Fair. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Actually more often than not.

While red wine is still the breadwinner of our wine cellar (and by cellar I mean the rack on our kitchen counter), this whole winery ownership thing has forced me out of my comfort zone and into the realm of white wine. Here are a few of my favorites:

New Age with Ice and Lime

This has been around a while and most people who drink it know it’s best fixed this way.

Good for when it's 100+ degrees outside and you want to forget about how much you're sweating just from walking to your mailbox.
Good for when it’s 100+ degrees outside and you want to forget about how much you’re sweating just from walking to your mailbox.

Mouvance Pinot Gris (local winery)

They’ve sold out of the 2010 but their 2009 is exciting too. We purchased a bottle last Fall when we took my mom to the Boise urban wineries for a day of tasting. I’m sure they all loved our children crawling around on their stuff.

Check out Mouvance on Grove Street downtown.
Check out Mouvance on Grove Street downtown.

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

You’ll find a lot of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc since Marlborough is a region in New Zealand. I’m sure there are quite a few good ones out there. This is one we were given by a friend and really enjoyed.

Give it up for the people of Marlborough, they seem to know their @#$!.
Give it up for the people of Marlborough, they seem to know their @#$!.

Potter Wines Riesling

Oh c’mon, you knew this was coming! But shameless plug aside, we’re pretty happy with this. Neither of us are sweet wine lovers so in order for us to do a Riesling it had to be on the dry/off-dry side and taste like this. (Von says I’m sweet enough for the both of us. His sarcasm drew me to him in the first place.)

“I'll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano." - Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), Dumb and Dumber
“I’ll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.” – Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), Dumb and Dumber

My younger self would probably call my present self a snob. Little does my younger self know what she’s in for, or that she should enjoy that social drinking while she can because someday very soon the majority of her drinking will be done inside her living room after the kids go to bed. Who am I kidding? I never wait that long.

Do you have some favorite white wines, local or other? Please comment and share what they are!

Cherry Basil Green Smoothie + Dirty Dash Entry Giveaway!

In case you’re interested in the Dirty Dash Boise race but haven’t yet signed up because the entry fee just went up AGAIN last week, I think you’ll want to check out this post for a sweet giveaway! They’ve added more waves like they do every year and when the rep from the company dropped off 2 free entry cards to me the other day she also gave me a code to give out to my clients, family, and friends to get 20% off registration. So drop me a line if you want it!

More on how you can win one of two free entries in a bit. But first…I’ve got a new green smoothie recipe for you that you’ll love if your basil obsession mirrors mine. And if you’re new to green smoothies (smoothies made with spinach or kale, usually) and you’re thinking it sounds gross, well…you’re wrong. ;)

There, I said it.
There, I said it.

For the most part I typically use baby spinach because it’s really mild and I honestly don’t even taste it when I blend it up with all the other ingredients. So you get all that green vitamin-packed Popeye goodness without feeling like you’re sipping bitter grass. Another little trick when making green smoothies: A banana makes a world of difference. I always add one.

This is my new favorite smoothie recipe and I can definitely see me drinking it most mornings over the course of the basil season. It’s light, refreshing and the right amount of filling!

Cherry Basil Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or your favorite milk/milk substitute
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 5-10 leaves fresh basil (I used closer to 10 leaves because. as I mentioned, I really like basil)
  • 1 cup or heaping handful baby spinach
  • 6 oz container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 3-4 ice cubes (especially if you’re not using frozen fruit, the ice makes a difference)
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp. bee pollen granules (I throw this into all my smoothies to help keep my allergies at bay. Some people can’t stand the flavor, I honestly don’t notice it anymore. Von thinks it tastes like he imagines bee poop would, so there’s that visual for you.)
  • Also optional: Drizzle a small amount of honey or pure maple syrup as you’re blending if you like it a little sweeter.

Blend it all together until you have a smoothie that looks kinda green/kinda purple/kinda red, depending on various things you’ll have no control over.

Cheers!
Cheers!

So good!

If you’re interested in the nutrition stats, here you go:

(This does not include the bee pollen or honey/maple syrup)

378 calories, 7.4g fat (0.8g saturated), 274mg sodium, 1263mg potassium, 48.8g carbohydrates, 10.3g fiber, 28.6g sugar, 23.5g protein

So about that giveaway!

Who knew mud mad us all so happy?
Who knew mud made us all so happy?

Right now entry for the Boise Dirty Dash (held Saturday, August 2nd at Bogus Basin) will run you $60. I would love nothing more than to help two of you get in for FREE! Okay, I would like some things more, like my own personal assistant to bring me wine and cherry tomatoes whenever my cravings strike. But seriously, if you’ve ever wanted to try the Dirty Dash or have done it and want to see how they’ve up’ed the ante this year, here’s how you can win:

Simply comment on this post by telling me what your favorite summer outdoor activity is. That’s it! I’ll choose 2 lucky winners at random and will announce them this Thursday, July 17th. Really, it will be random and if you’re worried about any favoritism I’ll even the playing field and let Luke pick the winners based on his responses to your comments. He pretty much says “no” or “yeah” to everything, so I don’t know how it gets any fairer than that. And if you don’t win but still want to register, contact me for the 20% off code!

And please, don’t mess up your ankle like Von did last year while doing the tire runs. While I am proud of him for finishing the race on one leg and without complaint, I don’t wish the resulting walking boot on anyone! Except for that jerk at the grocery store who rammed into me with her grocery cart…

10 Life Lessons My Kids Have Down

Most lessons we learn over time, or by doing it the hard way, or via social embarrassment. And then there’s some lessons we never learn (“that last shot seemed like such a good idea”). But if there’s anything I’ve learned lately it’s that my kids know more than I give them credit for. I may have to teach them how to pee without touching anything in a porta-potty, but I’m pretty sure they’ve got these 10 lessons down already.

1.  Take care of the Earth

A little water, sun, and Lila love.
A little water, sun, and Lila love.

Lila says: “Plant a seed and it will grow. And sometimes it grows those hot spicy things my parents are so obsessed with.”

2.  If you’re gonna take a selfie, learn how to do it correctly.

Ladies, this is how it's done.
Ladies, this is how it’s done.

The annoying kissy duck-face phenomenon is out, apparently. That I can handle.

3.  Eat your veggies…

Seriously?!
Seriously?!

“If I have to eat this, you can suck it up, too.”

4.  …But don’t overeat.

"One...more....bite...zzzzzz..."
“One…more….bite…zzzzzz…”

Dang you, serotonin!

5.  Let ‘em know who’s boss.

"I'll eat you for dinner!"
“I’ll eat you for dinner!”

If you want to be the Alpha, never show fear.

6.  Rock your style.

The person with the best caption wins a night of no sleep.
The person with the best caption wins a night of no sleep.

There’s so much that confuses the eye here, but her happiness is clear. You could make anything look good with a smile. Anything except men’s crocheted shorts, that is:

Because I was really hoping to purchase the mannequin WITH the shorts...
Because I was really hoping to purchase the mannequin WITH the shorts…

7.  Practice excellent quality control.

Our bottling specialist
Our bottling specialist

“Hey slackers, this one’s empty!”

8.  Work hard, party hard, and pay the consequences in the morning.

"I turned 3 and my body fell apart!"
“I turned 3 and my body fell apart!”

She definitely shouldn’t have had that last cup of milk.

9.  Love the one you’re with.

Nothing comes between a man and his dog, except bacteria.
Nothing comes between a man and his dog, except bacteria.

We don’t know where Eddie’s tongue has been, but Luke doesn’t seem to mind. They say dogs have a sixth sense about people. Eddie peed on Von’s couch the first time they met. They still don’t get along. In Von’s defense, he has never peed on a couch, that I know of.

10. Always have a good backup plan.

Foiled again!
Foiled again!

Don’t worry sis, I got this.”

You Have a Winery in Idaho?!

A few weeks ago Von and I attended a seminar at the Idaho Wine Commission called Shaping and Telling Your Idaho Wine Story. It was a wonderfully helpful 1.5 hours and the two presenters, Lisa Donoughe from Watershed Communications and Cole Danhower, a respected wine writer, were full of great information for us. So the take-away was: What’s our story? Everyone has a story, something compelling that makes people want to engage and learn more about them. Jalapeno wine is a story, for sure. How we got started making it, though, is pretty simple and as much as I would love to tell you we stumbled upon it by accident (since there are so many tasters out there who can’t believe we’d ever purposefully make jalapeno wine) we very much knew what we were doing. Well okay, Von knew what he was doing. I was just watching him do it, being supportive and staying open minded (because yes, for those of you wondering, I did actually cringe when he told me he was going to make jalapeno wine).

Holy Jalapeno!
Holy Jalapeno!

See here’s the thing: If you’re a wine lover like both of us are then you already know how intriguing wine is from both a science and taste profile perspective. There are so many ways wine can go, so many complex components that develop out of seemingly simple processes. I’m awed by how much I still don’t know, in fact. Von knows infinitely more than I do and he’s still learning new things all the time. We appreciate the wine industry and we can appreciate a $100 bottle of Del Dotto Vineyards Sangiovese from Napa Valley(seriously, that place is amazing and you MUST check out the wine caves if you go). But we also very much appreciate a $26 bottle of Split Rail Mourvedre from right here in our back yard (The District 44 Wineries are a quick jog from our front door step as well as from our own winery, but more on that later!). And while we’re being honest here, let’s just say we’re no stranger to the $10 two-in-1 bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz-Granache from the grocery store. When you drink as much wine as we do you slow the roll a bit on the wine budget, alright?

Yum!
Yum!

With all that said, wine can be seriously snobby. Not wine itself so much as the whole attitude circling it. I read Food & Wine magazine and want to start planning our next vacation to Spain, Chile, Tuscany, etc. And someday hopefully we will indeed go to those places. But then I remember that we’re working-class business owners, we’re busy parents, we’re not Kathy Lee Gifford with millions to invest in creating and marketing our wines. Why should we compete with people like that? Not to mention there’s plenty of delicious wine all around us. So let’s offer something different. Let’s make wine fun, interactive, open up conversations about it and in some instances unintentionally really annoy the ones who think wine has to be a certain way.

So, here we are. We’re making spicy jalapeno wine! We’ve got this “rustic shack” winery we’ve created from the ground up, quite literally, and we’re prepared to do the work ourselves so that one day we’ve got the charming tasting room you might envision. But we won’t be doing it in a way that means we have nothing left to give to our children, our future, or our families and friends. There’s something very meaningful to us about building a legacy slow-and-steady instead of pushing a bunch of money at it, money we don’t have and won’t pretend to have. And for me there’s something exciting about being part of an industry that is about to explode locally. I love working with other like-minded business owners in the community and building friendships. I guess my idea of community service is giving the only way I know how and that’s through owning a business and offering people things they can’t get anywhere else. Von, by nature, is a do-er. He is a pro at troubleshooting – figuring out how things work and making them happen. Rather than throw tens of thousands of dollars at a bottling line, he’s the guy who will find out how to build his own by hand. That’s what he’s good at and what he loves.

Hot off the press!
Hot off the press!

So that’s the story. It’s a simple one but it’s ours. And to answer the question: “What were you thinking?” We were and still are thinking that of all the directions the two of us have taken both separately and together, this is by far the most interesting one!

We have some exciting things to release in the next 6 months – some of them on the conventional side and some follow suit of the red-headed-step-child side that is the jalapeno wine. I’ll be showing you both!

My Fitness Philosophy

I’ll preface this post by saying I’m totally supportive of anyone who trains for competitive reasons, whether it’s body building, bikini contests, marathons, triathlons, etc. I’m also all for setting out to accomplish something and adhering strictly to a plan until that thing is accomplished. We all do that in some fashion or another in some aspect of our lives whether it’s starting a business, raising children, planning an important milestone event or keeping to a budget. Goals are terrific and super, super important. Yay, goals!

Make it Happen
Make it Happen

Now that I’ve put that out there, I’m going to possibly confuse everyone a bit when I tell you about my fitness and healthy living philosophy because most people are used to hearing an all-or-nothing mantra from personal trainers. But if there’s any message I want to convey on this blog it’s authenticity – no BS or smoke and mirrors. No one is perfect and believe me, if you’ve spent any time at all in the fitness industry (even if it’s just going to the gym in a vaguely consistent manner), unfortunately you know that often there is a whole lot of effort (and marketing $$$) that goes into making someone appear perfect. But it’s just not my thing and this isn’t that blog. I am not perfect. There, I said it! I am just a woman who wants to be healthy and help others with the same goal, without being annoying about it (purposefully, anyway).

I can sum up my philosophy with three sentences:

  • Workouts: Keep it interesting
  • Food: Keep it real 80% of the time
  • Body Image: Keep it in check

 

Workouts: Keep it interesting

I get really bored with doing the same fitness plan all the time. In fact, outside of training for the running events I’ve done in the past as well as those I will likely randomly sign up for in the future, I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to a fitness “plan”. That’s not to say I don’t have a plan, but my plan just happens to be to not plan too much (which is completely hypocritical of me because I am indeed a planner by nature). As I write this post I’m three days away from running a fun 5K with my kids in the stroller. It’s not a competitive race by any means but I have some benchmarks I want to hit with it: Run the fastest 5K I’ve ever run while pushing a stroller (a consistent 9-minute mile); Don’t feel like crap doing it.

That’s it. It’s not groundbreaking, but I’ve still done a fair share of preparation by running at least three days a week, training with sprint intervals, running hills on the treadmill (thank you, iTunes!), and just seeing how hard I can push myself. I’ve really enjoyed it, but three months later I’m totally over it and so is my body. I’ve stopped seeing the results I was seeing in the beginning and I’ve become used to everything both physically and mentally. It’s time to mix it up.

Yeah, pretty much...
Yeah, pretty much…

 

I practice this same philosophy when training my clients. Sure, you could realistically come in each day you see me and we’ll have a master plan and we’ll stick to that plan and never, ever stray. But then life happens, injuries happen, illnesses happen, vacations happen, financial burdens happen, being on the verge of a mental breakdown happens (I’m not pointing any fingers)…and you need to be able to adjust your fitness routine or you risk dropping it all together. I can actually see on a client’s face when they walk in the door if my pre-planned workout is going to go down well that day. If I’m not convinced it will, we change it up. I’m not saying that if your pre-planned workout sounds too hard when it comes time to do it you should drop it. Sometimes you have to know when to tell your inner critic to shut the @!#$ up and suck it up. But if your heart’s not in it and you’re going to come out of it feeling like a failure, then spend your time sweating in a way that’s going to be beneficial and leave you feeling better.

Mix it up, try new things, keep fitness fun. Do yoga one day, HIIT the next, weight-lifting after that, etc. Don’t ever be afraid to switch gears. Sometimes the easiest-looking workout is the hardest for your body to do simply because you never do it. Keep your body guessing and your mind will thank you!

Food: Keep it real 80% of the time

Although I don’t want to call it a “movement” since I really do hope it’s here to stay and not just a trend, the real food movement is big right now. Eat local, eat organic, eat clean, don’t eat processed foods, you know the drill. And if you don’t, check out THIS BLOG for a great lesson on what real food is.

I agree with all that, 100%. But I only practice it 80% of the time. The rest of the time I eat my TCBY frozen yogurt and my chips and salsa (not together, in case you had that image going on in your head). If I don’t allow myself a treat once in a while I will likely end up in a straight jacket, divorced, with kids who hate me.

But all kidding aside, diets just don’t work. You can do the shakes, the frozen meals, the multi-level marketing programs, and you’ll see results. Until you get sick of that food, sick of never treating yourself and sick of the guilt when you do treat yourself. Or if you’re like me, you’ll just get sick of having to do it. And then you’ll put weight back on and be back to where you started. Why not just eat well most of the time so that some of the time you can do whatever you want without the rude self-talk? This is also why I don’t do meal plans for my clients. They’re no fun, they’re not realistic, and they don’t work long-term. And while on that note, it’s worth mentioning that I also do not follow a set of guidelines when eating healthy other than consuming mostly clean foods and if they’re not clean they’re still whole, unprocessed foods that either don’t have a label because they’re not in packaging or if they do require a label it lists less than 5 ingredients. While I do dabble with recipes from every kind of nutritional influence, I don’t do Paleo or raw or vegan or meat-free or gluten-free. Of course if you do and it works for you long-term, I think that’s terrific. All bodies are different and what works nutritionally for one person won’t always work for the next. But eating real food 80% of the time will work for most.

Broken Record!
Broken Record!

Body Image: Keep it in check

This is perhaps my biggest point just because I think it’s easy to comprehend but it’s not implemented enough, especially in the fitness industry. Have you ever heard the quote: “I wish I were as skinny as I was when I thought I was fat”?  Here’s the thing: No one notices your body as much as you think they do. I know that may sound harsh but I’m being serious when I say we are all waaaayyy more concerned with how we’re being perceived than the people perceiving us are. And that’s likely because they’re too busy thinking about how they’re being perceived. It’s one of those qualities that makes us human – our egos can really take over a room.

Yes, by all means lose that weight to make yourself healthier, stronger, and overall more comfortable and confident in your skin. Unfortunately I see people who achieve remarkable things like losing 100 pounds and they eventually go into a tail-spin over whether it’s enough, which body part looks fat now, which body part looks the best now, which food they should or shouldn’t be eating, it goes on and on. I know there are some really great exceptions to this and I’m not trying to generalize, but in my experience some people have actually become depressed after becoming extremely fit or losing a significant amount of weight because they thought it would change their lives MORE. They look for constant feedback and validation that they look good and when they don’t get it they think it must mean they’re still fat. You likely know someone like this. How annoying is that?  Always keep your body image in check. Yes, we should strive to be the healthiest people we can be. But not at the risk of our sanity, our relationships and the way we view ourselves.

Do it!
Do it!

For me I think about my daughter and how I want her to feel about herself. I don’t want her to grow up with a mom who’s constantly looking in the mirror and commenting on how fat I look when I’m all dressed up, or wearing my swim suit, or just changing out of my workout clothes. I didn’t grow up with a mom like that and I truly believe it’s the main reason why I’ve never had severe body image issues, even when I was heavier than I should have been. I know my body’s not perfect. I know where my trouble spots are. I know there are other personal trainers out there with better bodies than mine. I also know that overall I’m pretty happy with the body I have. I could see my stomach stay perfectly flat every minute of every day, I’m just not willing to do what I know I’d have to do to get there (stop drinking wine, stop having an occasional frozen yogurt with my daughter, stop noshing on gourmet cheese and crackers and chocolate with my husband at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival the few times a year we go).

I could go on and on, but bottom line of my outlook on body image is keep it in check. Stay who you are fundamentally while always striving to be better in a well-rounded way. Forget the crappy self-talk, the fake smoke-and-mirrors expectations. Leave all that to Hollywood. This is YOUR life, live it! Now where’s my damn chocolate…

Can't we all just get along? Where wine, fitness, and child rearing come together.