Category Archives: Life

Tom’s of Maine #GoodnessStory



I think there needs to be a good news channel on TV. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be nothing but bad news broadcast 24/7. After being pummeled with it day after day, you start to forget that there are really, really good people in the world. Good things, big and small, are done every single day but the bad gets more attention. That’s just not right!

That’s why I’m happy to help spread the word about a new promotion that has joined two of my favorite local companies – Tom”s of Maine and Hannaford Supermarkets. Together they are celebrating all the good both companies do for the local communities and want to know what’s your #GoodnessStory?

Goodness can be as simple as:

Holding the door for people.

Smiling. It’s free. Use it often and wide.

Helping an elderly neighbor with yard work.

Saying thank you.

Socially Responsible Companies

Tom”s of Maine is known for giving back to the community with goodness. Tom’s employees are able to use 5% of their paid work time volunteering for the nonprofit organization of their choice. In addition, 10% of of Tom’s profits are donated each year to nonprofit, community based organizations committed to human, healthy and environmental goodness. Now that’s some goodness!

I’ve been shopping at Hannaford since we moved to New Hampshire over 9 years ago. One of my favorite things about the store is that they sell local farms veggies and fruit in the produce section right next to everything else. It’s perfect for one stop shopping when you can’t make a separate trip to the Farmer’s Market.

Tom’s of Maine would like to know your own #GoodnessStory. To enter the #GoodnessStory Sweepstakes simply submit, a Facebook comment including the hashtag “#GoodnessStory” and “#sweepstakes”. At the end of each Drawing Period, 1 winner will be selected randomly from among all eligible submissions to receive a $100 Hannaford Gift Card.

Click HERE to enter!

FYI – Hannaford Supermarkets are located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. You can find if you have a location near you HERE.

What’s your #GoodnessStory?

Disclaimer: Tom’s of Maine and Hannaford provided me with gift cards in exchange for promoting the sweepstakes. In all honesty, I shop there every week already because they have everything I need at great prices!

How Running Makes Me a Better Parent

First Day home

Five years ago, yesterday, I became a mama.

I started getting nostalgic, thinking about how much my life has changed in the past five years. Obviously, things are a lot different.

While I can honestly say it’s absolutely marvelous to be a parent. I had no clue what I was in for when it all became a reality. I had absolutely zero child care skills before my kids were born – I had never even changed a diaper before!

And then there I was with not one, but TWO helpless little ones staring at me, depending on me for everything.

To say it all was overwhelming, is an understatement.

a & L 3months

Like a lot of women, I really got into running after I became a mama. I mean, I ran before having kids, but things went in a different direction.

I soon found running makes me a better parent.

I found running as a source of comfort. It was something for me to do. Somewhere for me to go when I need to clear my head, recharge my patience, to think without any noise except my breathing and the white noise outside. It became my alone time, where I could just zone out yet tune in at the same time.

In the beginning, I felt guilty for leaving my babies to go for a run. But for every time I would voice my guilt, a fellow mama would squash that doubt. Every single one of them reminded me that I needed to take care of myself FIRST before taking care of my kids. Remember the pre-flight instructions – in the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. It’s so true in all aspects of life. You need to be healthy to take care of others.

To the outside eye, it may have looked like I was running away but really I was running towards finding my identity again.

First BOB Stroller Run

Even when we all ventured out for a run in the big red BOB, it still made my day. And they enjoyed it too.

After 5 years of parenting, some days I feel like a pro, and then my kid (or most likely kids) will have a massive meltdown over something ridiculous and I lose my mind because I can’t handle the emotional roller coaster of a Five-ager. I’m reminded how parenting is forever evolving with each milestone and how the majority of us are just “winging it” as we go.

Running is the same way. There are days when I can hit my prescribed paces in a training plan, with no problem. There will also be days when I can barely squeak out 5 miles because my legs feel like lead and I just want to quit running forever. I’m continuously learning how my body reacts and what it needs to thrive as a runner.

Wallis Sands 12 marathon 2014 after

Parenting and running go hand in hand. Running makes me a more patient, confident and healthy parent. It’s a great outlet for stress relief in any stage of parenting – I can only imagine how many miles I’ll be racking up when I have teenagers. I’m setting an example for my kids of how to balance family, work and fitness. I’m showing them to set goals and that it’s necessary to do hard work to achieve these goals.

But mostly, I’m showing my kids that it’s OK to take care of yourself first.

Editor’s note: We won’t talk about what my parenting skills are like since I’ve been injured and not running. :)

A Day in the Life

Early morning fog |
It’s been awhile since I did A Day in the Life post. I’m super nosy interested in how other people spend their days – the schedules, the activities, and the boring day to day stuff. Even mundane tasks are interesting to me.
My previous Day in the Life posts have showed a typical day as my job as Mama (HERE, HERE and HERE)and my other as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. Today I’m showing you the Mama side just because I can share more pictures and details. The other one involves too much HIPPA and red tape!

Wake up!

I wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off, quietly tip toe downstairs, where I do my usual morning routine and get dressed. I had planned on going for a bike ride, but at first glance it looks quite foggy outside. After debating a few minutes, I look again and decide to go for it.

I’m glad I did – the fog burned off quickly although it was still foggy over the bay.

I also saw my little friend. Thankfully I’m used to this little guy. Otherwise I’d freak out if I saw him in the dark!

alien lawn ornament |

Once I get home, everyone is up and Ron is about ready to head out the door to work. We saw good bye and then the kids eat breakfast and I can get started on mine. I was chilly from my ride so I opted for good ol’ oats. Is there really anything better in the morning?

Cocoa oats |

We finish breakfast, clean up a bit before I take a quick shower and the kids start playing. I get dressed and immediately strip the sheets off everyone’s bed while I’m upstairs. I get sidetracked cleaning out and organizing the kids dresser drawers. Once I’m done it’s time to start a load of laundry – the first of many for the day.

Since the kids are happily playing, I take some time to do blog tasks and respond to emails. After about 20 minutes, they come looking for me in the office. I print off some fun Father’s Day questionnaires for each of them. I swear I don’t know where they come up with some their answers although Ron will be happy to know they both think his age is 21.

Done with the questionnaires, the kids head upstairs to dress and brush their teeth while I do even more laundry. Of course they are hungry as soon as they brush their teeth. I don’t know if it’s a phase or what, but “I’m hungry!” comes out of their mouth every 30 minutes during the morning. I’ve talked to a few other moms who say their kids do the same thing. What’s up with that?

Coconut Chocolate Chip larabar

They snack on homemade coconut chocolate chip larabars (and I have one two) before we run errands to the bank and Target.

BTW – I am loving my new Vionic Flip Flops. The company sent me a pair in honor of National Flip Flop Day (it’s on Friday 6/19). I am a flip flop lover all the way, but with my Posterior Tib Tendonitis, I was left hobbling every time I wore a pair. Not so with the Vionic. It hugs the arch of the foot for full support. My feet feel great even after walking around and touching every single thing in Target. I think I need another pair!

Vionic Flip Flops

Lunch time arrives back at home. I mix up a batch of Kale Blueberry Superfood Salad (with added chickpeas and subbing Craisins for Goji berrie since I ran out). It’s become my weekly thing to have on hand. So good!

Kale Blueberry  Salad

After lunch, we read books and then the kids head outside to play for a bit in between the rain. I start writing this post, returning emails and sending contracts back.

Before I know it, it’s time to go to my physical therapy appointment. My foot/Posterior Tib Tendonitis is feeling better everyday. I still have pain when my foot is in certain positions. So no running (yet). It’s frustrating to say the least. For the past week, my PT has been treating me “aggressively” with Graston during each visit. It hurts like hell but it works. I can be uncomfortable for a short time if it means I’m closer to running!

Post PT ice treatment |

On the way home from PT, I promised the kids I would show them the alien from my ride that morning. After seeing the picture, they HAD to see it. Needless to say, they were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a real alien. And that it didn’t resemble E.T. at all. But it was still “cute” according to the littles.

When we got home, I started on a Summer Vegetable Tart (recipe courtesy of Amanda) for dinner. I didn’t have a pie crust on hand, so I made my own with almond meal, sea salt and coconut oil. The whole meal was simple and really delicious – perfect for summer although I would add more tomatoes next time.

Summer Vegetable Tart

Once Ron is home from the gym, we eat dinner and chatted about the day. Afterwards it was a flurry of clean up of the dishes, prodding the kids to clean up their toys/games/books from the day, folding laundry and eventually me giving kisses goodnight as I headed out the door to yoga.

yoga mat

It was a class of everything I needed. We even got to practice forearm stand. It’s really not that scary once you have someone holding your legs up! It ended with the most lovely neck adjustment to make me feel oh so relaxed.

When class was over, I go home, finish this post, return some more emails, turn off the computer and then head to bed to read. I guarantee I’ll last 2.2 seconds before falling asleep.

And that’s a day in the life of me! Nothing super exciting but the day flew by.

It’s been FOREVER since I did a WIAW. Thanks for hosting Jenn!