Category Archives: Life

Get Out There

Get out there

Remember a few weeks ago when I had a post all written up about gratitude and nature and then Fire Fox decided to quit on me and I lost everything? Well, I finally got around to rewriting it!

The sun on my face. The sound of the river trickling over rocks. The smell of leaves, dirt and fresh air. To quote Incubus – In this moment, I am happy.

I sit on a large rock, in the middle of a river, basking in the early September sunshine. I feel a huge sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me but more importantly that I get to see this. I started to think about how many people will never have this opportunity. How many people have never stopped to appreciate the beauty that is nature.

As Ron and the kids pile rocks on top of rocks to make a small dam, I start to wonder how many children will never get to see this? Are my kids’ the lucky ones who do? I’m not talking about global warming and how “the wild” is no longer becoming the wild – that’s an entirely different subject. I’m talking about kids who never experience nature because their parents don’t take them out in it or because they are too wrapped up in technology. How many of their classmates have had experiences like this?

Little hikers |

Growing up, my family spent a lot of time outside. My parents made it a point to show us experiences in nature. It was common place for us to be in the woods or at a lake during any season throughout the year. Our family trips mostly involved camping. We even spent a whole summer driving across the northern U.S., through Canada and into Alaska. I still remember details from that trip like it was yesterday even though it was almost 30 years ago. At times I hated our family trips. Why couldn’t we be like all my friends who vacationed at fancy resorts? Now I look back and am so thankful for those experiences. I’ve seen some things in nature that others never will.

Carins |

I will be the first one to admit that I love my technology. As sad as it is to say this, my phone is glued to my hand most of the time. Spending time outside and ultimately going to a place where there is no cell service, makes it easier to remove all the technology that dominates my life. We think we are staying connected by staring at screens, when in reality, we are more disconnected than ever. When I get out there, it’s the perfect time to be present, to breathe and to observe the beauty that is all around. No filter needed. Although I do like to enhance my Insta pics just a bit.

After spending the day splashing in the water and exploring the trails, we make the drive back home. Both of my kids are drunk on sunshine and fresh air. They chatter about building a dam, swimming, catching a frog and all the other adventures from the day. Then my son says, “This was the best day ever. Thank you Mama and Daddy.

Heart melted.

Further proof that it’s experiences, not material things, that kids will remember for a lifetime.

Eat Smart with the Perfect Salad

Eat Smart Beet Salad

I try to eat at least one salad a day. Most of my salads are of the everything but the kitchen sink variety. Nothing is off limits to topping my greens. Fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, quinoa – give it to me. It may not be the prettiest, but dang it tastes good.

I’ve had co-workers comment on my salad about how great it looks but it’s so hard to make the perfect salad. Say what? What’s so hard about making a salad? I think most people don’t like all the chopping. I don’t either. That’s why my salads will never be picture perfect or restaurant ready. I tear up greens with my hands. There may be small and large chunks. It’s all good to me. Toss and go is my motto.

Eat Smart Salad Kit

A solution for those who don’t like chopping (or if you don’t like to tear things up like me) is to buy convenient bag salads. I know what you are thinking – Gross. My experience with bag salads has usually been one of two things – it contains nothing but iceberg lettuce and two skinny carrot twigs. B-O-R-I-N-G.  Or the greens turn brown within a day and everything in it is slimy. Yuck.

Well things have changed a lot since the last time I tried bag salad kits. Eat Smart Salad Kits are chef-inspired salad kits that contain six or more superfoods and include everything needed for a delicious salad. Savoy cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, roasted pumpkin seeds, quinoa and beet greens – You won’t find boring here.

Eat Smart Super Caesar Salad

Eat Smart Super Food Salad Kits each contain 6 or more super foods and include everything you need in the package for a delicious chef-inspired salad. The flavors are sophisticated and it’s super convenient to be able to toss and serve something that tastes like it was prepared in a restaurant. We enjoyed the kits with dinner each night and I brought the leftovers for lunch the next day at work. I topped off the Beets and Greens with grilled chicken for the perfect protein packed lunch to keep me full and satisfied throughout the afternoon. It really is a marvelous way to get your greens.

My favorite salad kit was Eat Smart Wild Greens & Quinoa Vegetable. I’ve tossed quinoa in my salads before but never like this. Uncooked, the quinoa gave the salad a nice little crunch like from a seed or nut. Plus it’s perfect for Meatless Monday.

Eat Smart Plant Powered Quinoa

Eat Smart also has new Plant Powered Protein Salad Kits that contain at least 11 grams of protein. They are single servings and individually wrapped for freshness. They are perfect for taking to work. Ron brought the BBQ Ranch to work one day and raved about how awesome his lunch was. BTW – he’s one of those people that hates all the cutting and putting together to make a salad.

Eat Smart Plant Powered Protein

You can find the Eat Smart salad kits nationwide. Check out Eat Smart’s store locator on their website to find a location near you.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How to Celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Adora Calcium Supplements as one of their Blogger Ambassadors. All opinions are my own, as always.


On Wednesday, September 30 2015, over 500 community groups from across the United States will be hosting health and fitness events just for women. National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, is a way to draw attention to the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.

I like to think that every day is women’s health & fitness day, however, as women (sorry if I just excluded the one guy who reads HFM), we tend to take care of those around us first. In the process, we end up forgetting about our own health. I’m constantly thinking about the airplane safety speech – In the event of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. If we forget to take care of our own health, it can lead to some serious stuff— heart attacks, stroke, and cardiovascular disease – the #1 killer of  women.

If you can’t make it to an event in your area for National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, here are ways for you to celebrate on your own. Even better, why not try to celebrate your health & fitness every single day.

Go for a run – Of course I would pick this as my number one way to celebrate being physically active. Check out all the reasons why I love running.

Hawaii Run |

Eat real food – Commit to not eating anything processed for the day (longer would be even better!)

Hydrate – Make a plan to drink at least 8 glasses or more of water throughout the day. Your whole body will thank you.

Get your OM on – Yoga is so much more than stretching – although it does a fab job of that. Reap the benefits of setting aside even 5-10 minutes of yoga stretches daily.

Low Lunge |

Get a massage – Your muscles work hard every day. Give yourself a treat of massage for relaxation, better circulation and help with preventing injuries.

Find a workout buddy   When you make a date with a friend to sweat it out you are more likely to stick with it all while having fun and staying social.


Try a new recipe – Having the same thing every single week can be quite boring. Make a commitment to trying a new recipe at least once a week. You can check out what’s for dinner at my house for new ideas at the bottom of this post!

Adora at breakfast

Protect your bones  – After age 35, bone breakdown overtakes bone buildup, which causes a gradual loss of bone mass. Bone health becomes a daily battle against a ticking clock as calcium absorption decreases to 15%-20% in adulthood, and continues to decrease as people age. Maintaining a calcium and vitamin D rich diet and increasing bone mass through weight bearing exercise are key to reducing the risk of bone fractures. Taking one Adora Calcium Supplement disk daily, delivers 500 mg of calcium and 500 IU vitmain D for enhanced calcium absorption.

It’s Sunday, so that means meal planning. Here is what I’ve got planned for dinner this week:

Sunday: Grilled Salmon + roasted squash + massaged kale

Monday: Pumpkin Pancakes – late night with kids’ soccer

Tuesday: Roasted Broccoli Peanut Noodles

Wednesday: Crockpot Two Bean Veggie Chili

Thursday: Grilled Chicken over 4 Ingredient Pesto Zoodles

Friday: Rise.Run. Retreat.

Saturday: Rise. Run. Retreat.

How are you going to celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day?

What are you having for dinner this week?