May 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Tips to Live, Warrior Dash) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s a 5K at Brookfield Zoo, in Chicago. Only two weeks left not to embarrass myself. The run is awesome! We get to be in the Zoo before it opens and then run the race on the Zoo grounds and then hang out at the Zoo all day if we want! It is going to be so much fun! I won’t win or anything, I just participate as fast as I can.

So I went out running around my favorite outdoor track in the forest preserve. I swear those trails are the best thing the Park Districts/Counties have ever done. I love them. This particular one is perfect for me because it’s 3.6 miles so it covers me for everything. If I can make it around there I can make it….well, you know. After that is the Warrior Dash! 6K Plus.  I’m just training to run—I’ll probably just wing it for the rest of it. How do you really train for crawling over cars, or thru the mud? I guess next time I’m at the Forest Preserve I could run through the little swampy areas and then start jumping over everybody’s cars parked in the lot…I’m sure I’d be VERY popular after that. “Hey! I’m training for the Warrior Dash!!” is what I’ll be shouting from the back of the police car. People just don’t understand!

It’s beautiful today. 72 and sunny in the burbs and I just couldn’t sit in the house at the computer, or on a treadmill at the gym. But I’m back now and posting up for the race and then some new scanned in things for another fun post!

We are still following Extreme Fat Smash but we keep getting derailed in the middle of the week. You would think it would be easy to eat pretty much nothing and move on with your life, but less food means more planning. But I’m not knocking it. I think it works really well. I am the same weight as I was last week, and I’ll admit that I cheated on the food and did not exercise to the book. Luckily, if you live pretty well, normally, you can deviate to the dark side somewhat and not throw the whole cart off the path. Another mini philosophy break.

Here’s a  mini tip on yogurt eating:

I like to mix in granola, which technically is not on the list but if you work out extra hard and buy a good product with good ingredients, I think its worth the extra calories. Plus it really makes you feel like you are getting a good meal.

Anyway, I like to let it sit a bit to get the granola to a softer consistency, like cookie dough, but with bite. Today though, after I put the yogurt and granola together I got distracted with a phone call and the kids and it sat extra long. IT WAS EVEN BETTER! I mean, like really good. It was almost the texture of oatmeal with lumps. Tasty, delicious, granola lumps. Still firm enough to chew, but with none of the hard edges. Try it and see what you think. If it sounds gross, just try it anyway, you might be surprised!

And I also ate a hard boiled egg. I just love those too.

It’s supposed to be a good week so here’s to 4 more days of running the trails and eating smart. Hopefully I’ll go into this race at my lightest weight since before I had my children. A girl can dream.

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Tip for Tuesday / Lunchtime Version / Tongue in Cheek

April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm (Tips to Live) (, , )

My children are cold-lunchers. Whereby they bring their lunch to school every day, instead of paying for the school-cafeteria hot-lunch. Over time I have come up with these easy-to-follow instructions to make this daily process much faster and maintain the flow of our busy mornings. This may seem second-grade, but beware the simplicity. There is a boy version and a girl version. As follows:



I like to start with 2 pieces of bread. Any kind. (I find the thinner, wheat kind is popular with my son, but not the overly-grainy kind. Avoid any bread with actual seeds or oaty pieces inside or attached)


NO bread.


Using a knife, spread Miracle Whip, on the inside of  both pieces of bread for the first half of the school year. Then inexplicably, switch to Mayo for the remainder. Remember to cover the whole slice, edge to edge; thick enough to taste with every bite, but not overpowering and squeezing off the sides.


NO condiments.


Place various meat slices on top of one spread bread. Turkey or ham exclusively and separately. Never together.

Two slices or three depending on meat choice and addition of mustard or a nice piece of lettuce, which you will not be asked to add to the final product until sandwich is completed and already in lunchbox and book bag. Thereby voiding the request and eliminating the need for this sub-article.

Arrange meat slices in such a way that they cover the bread but avoid the dreaded “hanging off” fashion.  Choosing the right kind of lunch meat is key here. Shape-Wise is Brand specific. You’ll have to commission that for yourself. It takes time, several grocery outlets and a bit of skill, but 3 months in, give or take, you will be expert.

Fit together, the one slice of bread with meat along with the other  spread-only slice, and form the “sandwich”.  The meat and spread should be inside, while the outside remains dry and handle-able.  Put sandwich in plastic zip-lock type baggie. Place entire structure in lunchbox.


Put  two pieces (3 if she’s hungry) of lunch meat (any kind, any shape) in plastic baggie. Place in lunchbox.


Now just add various other things into the lunchbox. This portion is not part of  the actual “sandwich making”  but it can be equally helpful.  I like to add in water bottles,  ice packs, napkins, a salty snack and a sweet snack. The  boy gets a quarter for milk. (The girl doesn’t like milk). Lately, they’ve also had a string-cheese stick.

Please keep in mind that these instructions are generalized for the elementary set, but specific to MY kids. Change any ingredients/additions according to your own personal child’s preferences.

It may seem intimidating at first or time-consuming, but with practice, two or three times a week, it becomes like second nature!

7 months into the school year and my children enjoy a sandwich almost every day! How many mom’s can say that?

I hope this post was very helpful. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion to better improve this site. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This was written in a highly satirical and hopefully comical style for the complete benefit of my son who has the best sense of humor of anyone I know in the 11 year old/fifth grade range. XO. Now eat your lunch!

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Tips to Live. Hard Boiled Egg Edition.

April 14, 2009 at 11:49 am (EFS, Tips to Live) (, , , , )

Oh yeah. The big time here. But seriously. How do you do it? I was actually thinking about this early this morning when I should have been sleeping. This may have been more relevant a few days ago, but we don’t color eggs anymore so I didn’t think of it. We do use them as part of the EFS and BFL so it’s still good information. This is how I do it and for the most part it works and the shells always come off easily and in few pieces.

Put eggs in pan. Cover with water. (I don’t use hot/cold/warm–just whatever)

Turn on heat high. Get them Boiling. After they start boiling, time them for 10 minutes. (Keep them boiling…)

After time is up, take them off heat and run under coldest water possible. Drain and fill pan until the eggs are warm. Then I dump in a tray of ice (Boyfriend’s extra tip. I used to just keep running them under cold water until they were cooled.) The ice seems to work good and faster.

After the ice is melted throw them in the fridge. When you peel one later, or immediately, the shell comes right off!

This has worked consistantly for my whole life. Every now and then you get a tough egg , with a shell that just won’t come off, but that’s true with everything in life.

Try it out, see what you think and if you have a better way, send it on. Leave a message and I’ll try yours.  We always need  good eggs over here!

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Tip to Wrap–Save some Bucks

March 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm (Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , , )

This is a new idea I thought of to add to the rolling list of nonsense that goes thru here. Kind of a “TIP” section. Things that are kind of helpful maybe to someone. I thought of it obviously while wrapping a present. Whenever I come across something I think is tippy, then I’ll post it. So, if this helps, great! If not, just move along! Thanks.

This is a quick tip for wrapping presents. I’m sure alot of people already know this, but I just figured it out.

As usual when I went to go get supplies for the b-day party we are having today for the boyfriend, I forgot some stuff. Like wrapping paper for the present. PLUS, I really hate spending money on things that just get torn off and thrown away. In the mail, I got a big pack of sales fliers. Alot. Like for 10 different places. DING!

The Jewel sales paper is perfect! It feels the same weight as wrapping paper, doesn’t bleed all over your fingers, is super colorful, and it’s FREE.

So I wrapped the present in it. I think it looks very party like, and it works for ALL occasions. You can always get fancy for things like weddings and Christmas, but I think it would work pretty good for everything else.

You can try other papers too. I noticed some are really faded looking, some are black and white, some are heavier or thinner–its really up to you and what you prefer for the present you have. For something really large, just throw it all on there! There’s an endless supply! I put a picture up of my present. Hope it saves you a few bucks!

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The Boyfriends Birthday Present—Wrapped Cheaply

March 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm (Pictures, Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , )


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Tip for girls—don’t throw away those clothes just yet…

March 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm (Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , )

If you have a flip flopping girl like I do (she likes this pair of pants today, but hates that ugly shirt and vice versa) then listen up. My daughter gets alot of clothes for presents, b-day, x-mas, easter, whatever…and some she likes, most she hates. Not because there is anything actually wrong with the clothes–but because they are just not EXACTLY “right”.

The number size is correct. It’s things like: the color is too dark or too light; the waist has the wrong belt band; the length is too long or too short; the buttons or designs are bright, sparkly, dull, beaded, not beaded, stitched…; or the worst of all, too tight, not tight enough, tight on TOP but too baggy at the knees, too baggy at the ankles, too tight at the ankles, not flarey enough…it goes on and on until I tell her not to wear them then! Whatever–JUST GET DRESSED–WE HAVE TO GO!!

Then she demands they be thrown out and never allowed back in the house again.

I however,  know that in a week, tops, someone at school is going to have those pants and guess what? She NEEDS to have those pants. So, under much resistance, I tell her we are not throwing them away. She can put them in the bottom of her drawer and try them at a later time. Just trust me here, you are going to want them eventually.

NO!! I don’t want them in my drawer!! Fine. Then put them in your closet.   FINE. But they are going in the very bottom of the junkiest spot in there. Fine. Just get dressed, please. UGGHHH!! And off she goes. It’s so much fun, and she isn’t even really THAT close to the teens yet.

Go forward a few days. The pants get brought back out quietly. Tried on. Pranced around in. Paired with various other,exiled, ugly tops, and suddenly you find yourself looking at your daughter decked out in her most horrible, horrendous, hideous clothing to go to the party AND she tells you, “I love these pants SO much! They are my FAVORITE pants! They fit so good, don’t they mom??”

Yes honey.

If that doesn’t work for you, I keep a bag in the garage for the Salvation Army. They come around with trucks every few months. If it doesn’t make it back into the house by then, someone who needs it more will get it. Obviously, this scenario might not occur for everyone, but it’s working like this for me right now, so maybe it will help even a little. Like most kids, she’s really good…until she’s bad!

Have a great day!

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