No Time to Exercise?

Most days, I feel drained. Having an infant mean getting less sleep at night and having a toddler means waking up early because she doesn’t understand the term sleeping in, or naps for that matter. I do not have the desire to work out ever. I got a Fitbit a few Christmas’s ago and while I am aware of my activity, I am also aware of my sleep patterns, calorie intake and burn off, as well as how much water I drink.

During the warmer months, it’s a lot easier to get a work out in. I don’t even think about it. After having both my kids, I was fortunate enough (thank you, genetics) to bounce back to my pre pregnancy weight within day of having the kids. I, however am getting older, and I fear the point in my life where my metabolism decides to slow down and I balloon up. It happened to my mom and grandma, and I’m sure it will happen to me.

During the spring and summer we are outside, working in the yard and the garden. We have a smallish hobby farm (minus the animal as of now, I want chickens eventually) and we have a variety of fruit and vegetables and a little under 2 acres to take care of. I run around with Kenzie or ride bikes, so exercise is more about fun and taking care of the yard rather than going to the gym. My arm work out, well I get that from lugging around a 17lb.+ baby boy.

kenz-snomanBut come winter, I do not want to be outside, it’s too cold, and I hate the snow. I think it has something to do with me growing up in California. But you know how it goes, if your kid sings “do you want to build a snow man” you build a snowman.

If I am not at home, and taking care of all that entails, I am at work. I have recently developed a no fuss work out that I can do while I am working or while I am doing daily tasks.




At work I:

  • Do lunges- We have to restock gallons of milk at least 4 times on a 4-hour shift. I can carry 2 in each hand, about 32 pounds, for about 500 feet. I do lunges for that distance.
  • Do squats-instead of bending over to put the milk in the refrigerators or grab any products I need from that lower distance. The same applies to cleaning and wiping down areas.

At home I:

  • Chase Kenzie up and down the stairs for several minutes.
  • Lift Hunter up and down consecutively in 10 reps a few times.
  • Plank while Hunter has “belly time”
  • And I do “Kitchen counter push-ups”

Follow this link to see what I mean by kitchen counter pushups.

It’s not as hard when you don’t think of it as exercise, and you can incorporate it into your daily task. I mean, I even have coworkers doing it at work, so I will take that as a win on impacting some people.


Eating Healthy While Eating Out


There are many days that I feel like all I want to do when I get home is order a pizza or reach for a frozen entree. Since my days are consumed with work, school and raising a family, eating out (better said being invited to eat out) is a luxury, and a dreaded one at that because of the kids. But, in an attempt to be slightly less anti-social than I have been since having kids and the only one in my circle of friends nearby with them, we accepted with the conditions that it was kid-friendly.

For 2017, my family and I wanted to eat healthier, and when eating out its sort of hard to do. I mean, you can always go with a salad, and while it is a healthy option, I feel like there is something wrong with ordering just a salad. Plus, it’s not often that we go out to eat as a family, let alone with others who are willingly putting themselves in the same room with a threenager and an 8 month old.

Here are a few tips on how I try and eat healthier when we eat out.

  • Portion control- While this seems like a no brainer, there is no denying that you get huge portions at restaurants and some even like to offer endless entrees or appetizers.  In particular, we went to a Mexican food restaurant, and they have endless chips and salsa, and while you are waiting for your entree, you consume what seems like half your weight in them. STOP! Eat a few, but not a full meals worth. This is a filler with no positive calorie count. On a side note, watch how much your kids eat too! Kids meal portion sizes are almost as big as an adult plate.
  • Be mindful of what you order to drink- I am not going to say not to enjoy your meal out, but be aware of what you are ordering. We tend to drink water 80% of the time (the other 20% is fueled by coffee), so when we go out we may order a soda (what these Michiganders call pop), or and adult beverage, usually we settle for an Arnold Palmer. Beware of the complementary refills on fountain drinks. Not only do you fill up on this pre-meal, they are also empty calories.
  • Beef, Chicken, Pork or Fish??- Each one of these proteins has it pros and cons. While we lean towards chicken, any of these options are fine. Keep in mind that you may want to stay away from any of these if they are battered and fried, deep-fried or come with an obscene amount of sauce.
  • Side options- This is where you can take healthy by the reigns and own that eating out experience without feeling guilty. Go for a steamed vegetable, side salad or opt for brown rice or corn tortillas vs flour. Try not to get two carbs, or if you have the option, go sweet potato fries vs. regular.

If you are interested in other tips, here are a few sites that you can go to get more ideas and/or help with this if you want to indulge without the bulge.

7 tips from
eating out life hacks
WedMD takes on eating out

Image credit to

Snacks, Seasonings and other things that start with S’s.

My 3-year-old is obsessed with school. In part, it is both a parenting fail and a parenting win.  In an effort to potty train her before she turned 3, we took her want of riding the school bus and turned it into “only girls who use the potty can ride the school bus.” She potty trained with flying colors just shortly after her 2nd birthday by using a sticker “reward” method and has been asking ever since when she will get to ride the bus. I don’t think she’s even allowed in a preschool program till she’s 4. As a bridge until we can get her in somewhere, she has (which I would recommend for parents with this age group) and has been learning about the letter S.

She has been calling me by my first name, Sandra; She wants to help with spices; She wants to pick out her own snacks; Most of all, she wants it to snow every day. I, on the other hand hate the snow. She says all these words and says “See momma, I mean Sandra, they all begin with S.” Lucky for me, she only called me by my first name for a few days.

kenziebakesI let Kenzie help in the kitchen, even though it sometimes (more often than not) ends up being more cleanup work for me and a battle to keep my sanity during the process. She likes to help and I’ll take it while I can because one day she won’t be as willing.

She helps me with my pre-made seasonings. I will never have Italian seasoning or taco seasoning on hand, BUT my spice arsenal has everything that I could need for both, and it tastes a million times better than the prepackaged stuff and it does not have all those preservatives you can’t pronounce that are bad for you.




Homemade Italian Seasoning

*this is enough for one Italian inspired meal*

1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon basil.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

*I usually triple the recipe since we have tacos quite often. I sort the extra in an air tight container. Depending on the amount of flavor you would like, use 3-4 tablespoons per pound of around meat*

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper (I use 1/4 teaspoon, but I like spicy)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

As for snacks, we try and keep it healthy. Things like pretzels with hummus, yogurt, fruit, string cheese, trail mix so on and so forth. She has actually been leaning toward the fruit recently, as have my husband and I. If I haven’t mentioned, we drink a lot of coffee. For Christmas last year, we wanted and got a counter top compost tin (which we take out to our garden when full). We realized that it was ALL coffee grounds and decided to buy more fruits and veggies. Turns out that since these items have been available in the house, we actually eat more of them. What a concept, and a no brainer that we should have noticed sooner.

Snow. like I said, I am not a fan of it. But, Kenzie Loves it. So I toss on my snow gear, put Kenzie in hers, get Chewie (our miniature poodle) his snow outerwear and bundle Hunter in his snowsuit and toss him in the infant carrier and I become a momma kangaroo ready to face the snow. It took us just as long to get ready as we spent outside, because Kenzie wanted to make snow angels and frozen her threenager buns off. Of course this was after pulling her around on a sled, and this (although fun in her eyes) was a work out for me. This is actually a good thing, since during the winter months here in Michigan it is hard to find motivation to go work out.

One Skillet Baked Spaghetti

There are no alarms set for the weekends and I am fortunate enough to not have to work them. Weekends are for catching up on homework and most importantly, spending the minutes making memories with my family.  But like all good things, it has to come to an end.

Mondays come all to quickly with its loud alarms and need to hit the snooze button just one more time. I’m lucky that most Mondays, my husband is home and can take the kids to daycare, which is Nana’s house. I generally work 9-530 and have no patience by the end of my shifts, especially since most of the customers I have dealt with are the types that need their coffee to get their day going. Mondays are for quick meals, that still look (and taste) like you slaved over a stove for a few hours.

Let’s talk spaghetti. Specifically, baked spaghetti. Spaghetti that only takes about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish and only requires one pan which makes clean up a breeze. I think that’s one of the many reasons I like this recipe. Classic Italian with a kick and a comfort food feel gives this plate a face lift. Husband and 3-year-old approved.


30-Minute Baked Cast Iron Spaghetti

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

A few notes for this recipe, I have made it with both ground beef and ground turkey and the taste is not compromised. We tend to use whole grain past but have made it with regular and vegetable pasta as well and it is undetectable by my 3 year old. For the Italian seasoning, I use 1 tbsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. basil.

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