weekend scenes + the home improvement project you don’t want to take on

August 25, 2014 in Blog, Family, House, Kids, Love, weekend by lindsaymwright

Hi, hello and how are you?!?

I sometimes feel like a broken record with these weekend recaps (“it was great…it was short…can we please have more time together”…) but I really enjoy sharing a few pictures of our family time.  This weekend we tackled the home improvement project from hell.  There’s just no other way to put it.  The project?

We painted our basement floors.

Except we didn’t.

We painted like a quarter of what we’d hope to paint.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this type of work yourself, but the process of painting concrete is exhausting (and expensive!).  We set out to paint about 1,000 sq. feet of floor (which in hindsight was just way too much) and ended up painting around 300 sq. ft.  <-even this took a lot of time.  I’m sure it didn’t help that we’re inexperienced and have a 70-year old basement floor but I still think it would be a hard project for anyone (or maybe it’s really easy and we’re just wimps?).  The actual painting was a breeze – the preparation work before you can paint…that’s the hard part.  Anyway, lesson learned and now we’ve got this neat little (out-of-place) patch of beautifully painted cement in the corner of our basement.  Hehe.

Live and learn, right?  I’ll try and remember to share the finished look when it’s completed (we still have one last step to do).

Here’s the weekend in pictures (no particular order):

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^^We’ve been having “Smoovie” night every week.  I make a big batch of peanut butter-banana smoothies and we drink them while watching a movie.  It’s the best.^^

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^^Review to come this week– still learning all about this new Polar F60.^^

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^^Had to.^^

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^^On Saturday morning, the Track Stars group completed “Hit The Deck.”  They LOVED it (I think….).

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^^I like to document our group through pictures but we’re kinda running out of poses. Smile^^

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^^Buy these!!^^

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^^Meal prep.  For more time saving tips, go here.^^

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^^Like puttin’ lipstick on a pig.^^

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^^Postpartum hair loss is no joke.  I think this past month has been the worst.^^

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^^I just ordered these.  I’ve yet to put them on.  Have you tried Jamberry yet?^^

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^^This x2 plus allllll the coffee.^^

QUESTION:  Best thing you ATE all weekend???

splendid…lindsay

the building bridges mud run

August 22, 2014 in Blog, Goals, Love, Marriage, Races, Training by lindsaymwright

First, thank you for chiming in on yesterday’s post!!  There was some great commentary – I hope you’ll go read.  I also wanted to remind you of the 24 Day Advocare Challenge that we’ll be starting next Saturday.  If you’re interested in signing up, do so soon so that your product arrives in plenty of time!  I’ll also be offering a 24 day training program for anyone who signs on!  Go do it! ;)

Drastically changing gears, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the mud run that Travis and I have signed on to do!!

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On Saturday, September 13th, we’ll be running the Building Bridges Mud RunIf you’re local, I’d encourage you to JOIN US!!  Playing on a muddy obstacle course is really super fun – there’s a reason why these things are so popular right now!

What IS the Building Bridges Mud Run??

From their website:  The Building Bridges Mud Run is Haywood County’s first mudtastic mud run!  Nestled in the mountains of beautiful Waynesville, NC, this course is designed to accommodate the advanced, moderate and beginner mud runner.  The objective is quite simple:  provide a challenging mud-filled obstacle course for all to enjoy!

The course is 3.5 miles long and will involve traversing creeks, hills, multiple mud pits, various obstacles, and a slippery surprise for the finish.  Prizes will be awarded for the fastest team in each category and fastest individual.  Teams and individuals are given timing chips to ensure accuracy!  <-pretty legit! 

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When/Where?

Saturday, September 13th.  The race starts at the Waynesville Recreation Center.

Time?

Building Bridges Mud Run will have a 9:00 a.m. staggered start time, beginning with the advanced Mudders and concluding with beginners.

Cost?

The cost is $35 for individuals, $70 for teams(Very affordable for a mud run – I remember we paid $65 per person for the Warrior Dash!)

Proceeds from the race will go to the Canton Lions Club and Lions Club International.

How Do I Register?

To register, go here!  To connect and/or ask questions, be sure to “like” them on Facebook!

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Now that you know about the race (and will hopefully sign up to run with us), I thought I’d share a little bit about how we’re TRAINING for the race!

You see…Travis hates to run.

It’s like pulling teeth.

We’ve run three races together and the only one that he didn’t want to bop me on the head afterwards was the Warrior Dash.  Throw some mud and obstacles at us and we’re a great race team.  Without those, I’m this super-high-on-endorphins-crazy-cheerleader-girl and he’s like “shut it.  this sucks.  i wanna go home.”  I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t see any 5k’s in our near future.

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Bruce Springsteen called….

We’re both really excited for this race and want to do well, so we’ve been training together for the past two weeks.  If I had my way, we’d just go out and run for an hour.  Travis gagged at that idea so we’ve been incorporating a lot of Crossfit-esque type of workouts into our training – aiming for a good mix of running AND strength (for the obstacles!).  We’ve done this 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) twice now. 006

It’s a good sweat but we need to add more time onto it.  Last night we went down to the track and ran 30 minutes of stadiums – again not just straight running.  I’m sure we’ll do those at least a few more times before the race.  I’ve also pinned this one and this one for us to do!  More than anything, I’ve just loved this time of being around Travis…we treat it like a date.  If you have any fun running workouts, leave them in the comments!

QUESTION:  Ever done a mud run?  What’s your favorite racing distance?  <-I love the half marathon and would like to train for something next Spring when Porter is a bit older.

splendid…lindsay

*I received two free race entries in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own!

weekend scenes (plus #15minutesforyou WINNERS!)

August 18, 2014 in #15minutesforyou, Blog, Family, Happy Birthday, Kids, weekend by lindsaymwright

I kinda feel like I need another weekend to rest from the weekend.

Ever feel that way??

Sometimes Henry will wake up for the day and come and say to me –“This is a BIG day today, Mom.  A big, BIG day.”  The day might not hold anything spectacular but he craves those “BIG” days of excitement.  I’m afraid I disappoint him 95% of the time.  Smile  Anyway, we had a BIG weekend – Clara turned 4!  Saturday we had her party and another birthday party to attend, we went to a special breakfast, had birthday pedicures, and made everything Clara-themed.  The weekend slipped by in an instant and now I’m wondering how on earth it’s already Monday!?!

Here’s everything I caught on my phone from Friday through Sunday – not a lot – I tried to stay present as much as possible!  Enjoy!

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^^Muscle Ropes sent me these battle ropes to review.  We used them Friday & Saturday during Track Stars – a great training tool!^^

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^^I talked Travis into something.  Stay tuned….^^

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^^Mom watched the kids while we had a date at the track (we’re training for an upcoming mud run!).  We did this workout and again, it whooped my butt.^^

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^^Our best “Arnold”…except it’s all wrong and we have no idea what we’re doing.  Birds of a feather.^^

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^^I order this pretty much every Saturday morning: eggs, bacon and tomatoes.  Salt goes on everything.  Coffee on the side.^^

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^^Part of her “birsday” present:  a trip to the salon.  She’s all girl and loves getting her nails painted.  After much debate (probably 7 minutes worth), she chose silver glitter.^^

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^^For almost 6 years now, we’ve had a cupcake bar at our parties.  I can’t take any credit – Katy does all the baking.  She makes bottoms and icing and then we just let the kids go to town, decorating their own cupcake.  Always a hit!  Katy also made Clara her very own heart-shaped cake you saw above!!^^

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^^I’ve been eating ice cream like it’s going out of style.  But that’s impossible – ice cream will always be stylish.^^

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^^A friend sold us this table seat for Porter and he LOVES it!  We just don’t have room in our kitchen for a high chair plus the Bumbo was just way too small for his thighs.  Here’s the one we got.^^

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^^I think I had more fun playing with Clara’s presents than she did.^^

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^^Planning out September and we’ve already got a few too many activities for my liking.^^

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^^Nursing and snoozing.  Our favorite.^^

QUESTION:  What’d you do this weekend???

splendid…lindsay

P.S.  The #15minutesforyou Challenge winners are K. Daniels (Arctic Zero prize bundle) and Sarah (Onnit gift card)!  Congrats ladies!!

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tips for saving time in the kitchen

August 14, 2014 in Blog, Breakfast, Dinner, Family, Favorites, Food, Lunch, Review by lindsaymwright

**I was sent free product by Flapjacked Protein Pancakes in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own and I have/will used my own money to purchase this product before!**

We’ve all been there.

You open the fridge and there’s absolutely nothing to eat.  Or rather, there’s a yogurt, two sticks of celery, deli meat and a hunk of cheese that you vaguely remember buying last week.  Or was it last month.  Just scrape the mold off.  Cheese is supposed to be moldy and stinky.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have some freezer meals tucked away from after Porter’s birth (thanks to our church family!!!) but for the most part I still have to prepare food, three times a day, seven days a week, for this family of five.

Meh.

I want to like being in the kitchen.  I want to like preparing meals.  But I just don’t.  I don’t have that part of homemaking in me.  Luckily my clan is easy to satisfy: cereal for dinner (and lunch…and breakfast), casseroles, crockpot dishes, mac n’ cheese and microwave quesadillas.  Those are our “go-to’s.”

(Yes.  I said microwave quesadillas.)

Since I’ve yet to find a personal chef that will cook in return for a smile and one of Clara’s crayon drawings, I have to get myself in the kitchen and feed this family.  Here are some of my “go-to” tips for saving time in the kitchen.  SUPER applicable coming from the laziest mama around.

Tips for Saving Time in the Kitchen

1.  Prepare lean proteins in advance!

In an effort to eat healthy, we always buy a large pack of chicken breasts and grill them at the start of the week.  Money saving tip: buy the largest pack you can find (on sale) and then cut off the skin and de-bone at home.  You’ll save quite a bit of money over time and it doesn’t take that long.  I even use kitchen shears to cut the chicken into long, tenderloin-type strips so that they grill faster!  Once cooked, we store the chicken in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and incorporate them into our meals!  Thirty minutes to prep your meats will save you a lot of time during the week.

Other lean proteins that pair easily with steamed veggies or on a big salad:  baked/grilled turkey breast, hard-boiled eggs, diced honey baked ham.

2.  Aluminum foil is your friend!

In order to save time scrubbing grease and cooked-on particles from your baking dishes, line everything with aluminum foil.  Once your dish is cooked, you simply throw out the aluminum foil – no elbow grease required.  I also buy crockpot liners that function in the same manor.  (Coupons.com almost always has a $.75 coupon for Reynold’s wrap foil!)  Who wants to be stuck scrubbing dishes?!   Not I.

3.  Pre-cut your fruits and vegetables.

Whenever I prepare our grilled chicken for the week, I also take the time to cut up broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (we go through SO many carrots!).  I also make a large bowl of fruit salad (cantaloupe, peaches, blueberries and cherries are in our fridge now).  When healthy items like these are prepped (and put at an easy level for the kids to grab), we gobble them up much faster.

4.  Make breakfasts EASY!!

My last tip:  prep your breakfasts!  If there’s one meal that I rarely have time to cook, it’s breakfast!  This often results in us having cereal, but I’m really trying to mix things up and provide a little more protein at this meal.  That’s where Flapjacked Protein Pancakes help out!  With this easy to make (seriously, all you need is water), high protein, high fiber option, I can create a large batch at the start of the week and FREEZE them in ziplock bags!  I just pop a few in the microwave and serve them up!

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We like to add blueberries or chopped bananas and strawberries to the mix and then top them with almond butter and maple syrup.  I think the one thing I like the best is that after I eat these protein pancakes, I don’t feel like there’s a big glob of dough in the bottom of my belly – they’re light!!  One serving has just 200 calories and 17 grams of protein!  Waaaaaay better than a bowl of cereal.

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Flapjacked is having a BACK TO SCHOOL SALE (starting today and running through the 17th).  Take 20% off your total order by using the promo code: BACKTOSCHOOL!

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Go here to buy! You can also stay current with later sales by following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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QUESTION:  What are some of YOUR tips for saving time in the kitchen?  (seriously – I’ll take any advice you can throw my way!)

splendid…lindsay

back to school with finish line

August 11, 2014 in Blog, Homeschooling, Kids, Review by lindsaymwright

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Clara:  Shirt and shoes, Nike. Backpack, Under Armour

Henry:  Shirt and shoes, Nike.  Backpack, Under Armour

Finish Line recently sent us some goodies to help the kids’ back-to-school wardrobe.  One of the perks of being homeschooled is that you can literally sit around all day in your pjs, but I still try to make an effort to get us all dressed and ready for the day even if we’re not leaving the house.  (Which in all honesty rarely happens.  I am the stay-at-home mom who never stays home.)

We took a couple of weeks off from formal school during our beach trip (and the week after) but start back up again TODAY.  Armed with coffee and some freshly sharpened pencils, we’ll start Henry on his first grade assignments and Clara on some Kindergarten fundamentals.  I’m using a mish mash of curriculums (Sing, Spell, Read & Write, Reading Eggs, Math Seeds and a few Kumon workbooks) and I actually have a PLAN for how this year will look.  This same time last year, I was so sick with Porter’s pregnancy that we struggled through a lot of the first few months.  Luckily my children just went along with the ride and retained a TON of information – Henry learned to read chapter books and Clara can do most anything I ask of her.  (Except to stop singing “Let It Go” off key.  She most definitely will not stop doing that.)

I’m truly excited to see what this year of homeschooling will bring!  Exciting times ahead for us Wrights!

QUESTION:  If you have kids, when do they start back to school?  How old?

splendid…lindsay

*I received free product in return for a review. All opinions are my own. 

beach vacation recap (the day-to-day)

August 5, 2014 in Blog, Family, Travel, Trips by lindsaymwright

After a week of the beach and a break from blogging/social media, I can say (scream?) with all honesty – “I AM REFRESHED!!!” 

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If you’re just tuning in (welcome!), my family and I just returned from Blue Mountain Beach, Florida (about 15 minutes east of Destin).  The trip was a Christmas present from my mom and dad to my sister and I.  We had 6 adults, 2 kids and 2 infants!  We stayed in a condo right on the beach (more on that tomorrow!) and spent the week eating, relaxing, swimming and just soaking up one another’s company.  The overall focus was, naturally, the children and their enjoyment, but with extra sets of hands Travis and I were able to sneak away quite often for one-on-one time each day.  I think I had a perma-smile on my face the entire week!

Today I’ll share a short recap to give you an idea of how we spent our days (mostly so that I can look back and remember).  Tomorrow, I’ll share a few of the workouts that we did, some condo information and how the digital detox went!

A Typical Beach Vacation Day

My family and I have been vacationing in Panama City/Destin since I was a baby.  Growing up, we would stay in Panama City but it slowly started turning more commercialized and “Spring Break-ish” (which is great if that’s your goal but we’re more laid back) so we headed west along the Gulf Coast and found Blue Mountain Beach, Florida.  I guess every family has their own vacation rhythm as to how they spend their days – we are no different.  Since I was little, our typical beach vacation day has looked like this:

  1. Wake up early (6:30-7am).
  2. Eat a BIG breakfast (biscuits & gravy, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc – every day is different but the food is heavy).  Usually cooked by my father.
  3. Set up camp at the POOL and lounge/swim/walk down to the ocean from about 9am to 1pm.  Snack or eat a very light lunch.
  4. Naps from 2pm-4pm.
  5. Showers.
  6. Dinner out – early bird special.
  7. Shopping or sight seeing.
  8. Back to the condo for ice cream.
  9. Bed.

Pretty fun and always relaxing.

Blue Mountain Beach 2014 – Our Day-to-Day

Saturday, July 26th:

Left Franklin around 12:45am.  Stopped twice (once for gas, once to nurse).  Arrived in Destin around 8am.  Ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel then shopped at Target, Marshall’s, Homegoods until we could check into our condominium.  Got into condo around 1pm.  Took naps.  Showered.  Dinner at Goatfeathers, grocery shopping, then back to walk on the beach.  It was Clara’s first time seeing the ocean!  Slept HARD!

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Sunday, July 27th:

AM Workout (25 min. sprint/jogs on the treadmill).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach from 9:30am-12:30pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2pm-4pm.  Early bird dinner at The Red Bar (<-a MUST eat).  Shopping in Seaside (<-a MUST visit).  Back to condo for ice cream and bed.

Monday, July 28th:

AM Workout with Katy and Adam (tri-set circuits using KB’s + tabata finisher).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach from 10am-1pm.  Lunch, showers.  Tried to nap but Porter wasn’t having it – stayed up and played with him while everyone else slept.  Early bird dinner at Bayou Bill’s Crab House (great crab legs!).  Back to condo for movie night with brownie sundaes!  Bed.

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A bit foggy but I needed proof that I wore white pants.  Plus Clara’s princess pose.

Tuesday, July 29th:

AM Workout with Katy (KB/goblet squat ladder, stair runs).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/Kayaking from 10am-1pm.  Snacks, showers.  Nap from 2pm-3pm.  Drove to Panama City – BIRTHDAY dinner at Captain Anderson’s (a MUST eat!).  Sunset dolphin tour in a glass-bottomed boat from 6-7:30pm (sadly we didn’t see any dolphins, but the kids LOVED it!).  Back to condo.  Cereal in bed.

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Wednesday, July 30th:

Long beach walk (date) with Travis (<-thank you, Katy!).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/Kayaking from 10:30-2pm.  Poolside lunch, showers.  Quick Walmart run (by myself) while everyone else napped.  Back to the pool for a picnic dinner.  Walk on the beach (wore Porter in the Ergo carrier).  Back up to condo.  Muppets and ice cream.

Thursday, July 31st:

Slept in (until 7:30..ha).  Breakfast.  Pool/beach/kayaking from 10am-1pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Early dinner at Cheeseburgers In Paradise.  Outlet mall shopping.  Froyo!  Back to condo for Wreck It Ralph.  Bed.

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Friday, August 1st:

AM Workout (Upper Body Strength circuit).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/kayaking from 10am-1:30pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Dinner at Local Catch.  Back to condo to pack up the car.  Depart for home around 7:30pm. 

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Saturday, August 2nd:

Arrive in Franklin around 3:45am.  Crash.

A few random notes:

  • We usually eat at the same places every year.
  • We set up a home base at the pool (rather than the beach) because my mother HATES sand and salt water. <-I tend to agree.
  • My dad rented two sea kayaks for a portion of our trip!  We loved getting out in them (the water was really mild most days) and even took Henry a couple of times!
  • We nap HARD at the beach. And we need to take one every day, else you get the beach crankies.
  • Gone are the days of laying out in the sun.  I have three (needy) children.  Not only do I kinda love them, but I’ve come to the realization that the sun creates wrinkles.  Only took 32 years.  SPF 50 and I have this love affair that can only be described as scandalous.
  • Henry and Clara had an absolute blast, but were glad to be home when we got back to NC. Creatures of comfort.  <-me too.
  • I LOVED watching television in bed every night (we don’t have cable or a tv in our bedroom at home). There’s just something so fun about flipping through the channels.  We might have to get a TV for our bedroom, Travis.

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Phew.  That was long – thanks for hanging in there!

QUESTION:  What does your typical family vacation look like??  What’s the ONE thing that’s a must?  Last time you went to the beach?

splendid…lindsay