Category Archives: Life

Fill in the Blanks Survey

fill-in-the-blanks-happyfitmama-com

Remember back in grade school when it was the day before a holiday break and it was basically a free day? We would watch movies and do fun things for the whole day because the teachers knew there was no way the kids would have an attention span to learn anything new.

That’s what I feel like today is.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving. Most people (in the U.S. at least) are traveling, hanging out with family or prepping for the big day tomorrow. The busy season has arrived.

I bookmarked this Fill in the Blanks Survey from Julie’s blog earlier this month knowing that it would be perfect for the day before Thanksgiving.

So if you took some time out of your busy holiday schedule to read this post, I thought I should at least make it light and fun. What better way than with a survey? If you are a long time reader, you know I love these types of things. It’s been forever since I’ve done one. It’s long overdue. I always love it when you guys participate in surveys, too. Feel free to pick and choose or answer all of the fun prompts in the comments.

  • I would go skydiving once.

I’ve been afraid of heights for my whole life but I have this vision of skydiving at some point in my life. I have no idea why it appeals to me. Because why would jumping out of a perfectly safe and sound airplane sound like a good idea? I had a patient last year who skydived at least a few times a month, had broke more bones than the average person but talked about it so intensely that he almost had me signed up. Almost.

Fill in the blanks survey | happyfitmama.com

I could have probably done my first jump out of the plane I took to and from my parents house last month.

  • The weirdest thing I ever ate was squirrel.

I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where hunting is the norm. I had a grade school classmate that took it a step further. His family regularly hunted squirrel. We had a class potluck and he brought in squirrel stew but wouldn’t tell anyone that it was in fact squirrel stew till every tried it. I’m kind of ashamed to say it didn’t taste all that bad. Have I had squirrel since? Hell no.

  • The movie of my life would star Tina Fey.

My brother Pete swears I look like Tina Fey when I wear my glasses. I think it’s only because we have dark hair and wear a similar pair of glasses at one time. Although I would be thrilled if she played me in my life story because it would be hilarious. BTW – I could only find one pic of me with my glasses on. It was from a middle of the night feeding when my kids were 3 days old. You’re welcome for not sharing it.

  • My go-to food indulgence is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Peanut butter and chocolate. Need I say more? When that’s not available, a spoonful of PB and chocolate chips is the next best thing.

Fill in the blanks survey | happyfitmama.com

  • The last live concert I saw was John Mayer.

And it was pre-kids. Lame. If I’m being truly honest, the last live concert that I attended was some kiddie concert from the summer but that would make me sound even more lame so let’s pretend I didn’t just write that. It’s John Mayer.

  • My favorite jeans are Kut from the Kloth.

I have 4 pairs of Kut from the Kloth jeans, all from StitchFix orders throughout the past couple of years. They are hands down my favorite. The fit is the best.

Fill in the blanks survey | happyfitmama.com

  • My can’t-live-without beauty product is Magnesium Lotion from Life Flo.

I’m so not into tons of beauty products but I’ve been loving this Magnesium Lotion for the past 4 months. I had been hearing tons of info about how low magnesium can result in so many ailments, one of which is tendonitis. Rather than taking a pill, a friend recommended using a lotion and recommended this brand. I can’t say that I feel any different from using it but *knock on wood* my foot has been feeling so much better the last couple of months. It’s got a nice scent and makes my skin soft and smooth so at least that’s a bonus!

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I am so thankful for each and every single one of you. 

Your turn! Fill in the blanks…

  • I would ________ once.
  • The weirdest thing I ever ate was ____.
  • The movie of my life would star _____.
  • My go-to food indulgence is _____.
  • The last live concert I saw was _______.
  • My favorite jeans are ________.
  • My can’t-live-without beauty product is _____.

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When the lights go out

when the lights go out | happyfitmama.com
I had hoped to have a great gift guide post up for you guys today but as luck would have it, our power went out at about 6:30 Sunday night.

If I was a well prepared blogger, I would have had the post completely ready prior to Sunday night and set to go live at 1:00 a.m. like my posts usually do.

But I’m not that type of blogger. I’m more of the night before bang it out time of blogger.

So instead of a gift guide, you are getting a rambling post about what my weekend entailed and what’s swirling in my brain right now.

That’s what happens when the lights go out.

You guys, if I could, I’d run strictly trails. Saturday morning, I met up with 2 new friends to run some sunrise miles on a local trail. The 90 minutes flew by as we chatted the whole time. I was a tad bit worried that I was going to do something stupid like seriously roll an ankle because of the darkness or the leave and root covered trails.

I’m happy to report that I did nothing to injure myself. Woohooo! Although my legs are wicked sore which is funny because there was hardly any climbing.

Trail running When the lights go out | happyfitmama.com
I just love running on dirt, single track and among the trees. It’s just too fun!

The subject of ultra’s came up since one of the friends I was with is doing a 50 miler in May. There was one time I said I’d never do an ultra, but now I’m kind of rethinking that. Never say never right?

Let’s face it, road marathons (training and the actual races) haven’t been the nicest to me. I feel so much better running on dirt than pavement. And the trail scene is so much laid back than a road race. Maybe I would do better?

Isn’t it funny that while running, it seemed totally logical and sane to run a 50 miler. But then I got home and was thinking – what the what?!?! I’m not sure I’d jump to a 50 miler but maybe a 50k first?

Later Saturday morning the kids and I met friends for a hike up Blue Job Mountain. It’s a quick hike that the kids love and has a great view from the summit.

Hiking | happyfitmama.com

Cooper likes to show off his best side in pics.

The weather was simply marvelous. Karin and I kept exclaiming – It’s crazy that it’s November 19th and we don’t have jackets on!

Sunday morning I slept in till 7 a.m. Something that is completely unheard of for me. Even my kids did! I had hoped to run before yoga class but that wasn’t going to happen.

I’m so glad I went to yoga because Elizabeth based the class on everything headstand. I still like the comfort of the wall behind me but I’m amazed at how easy it is to float up now compared to a year ago. So fun!

Remember that run I wanted to get in?

It didn’t happen until much later in the day because I got wrapped up in moving furniture and cleaning out closets and rooms as soon as I got home.

Running | happyfitmama.com
It was the perfect rainy and windy day to do just that. Plus I feel so much better when I get rid of crap that’s cluttering the house.

How does that happen? Oh yeah. I have two kids who like to keep everything.

So my GPS watch died on me. I’m waiting to hear back from Timex on what can be done about it but in the meantime I’m thinking about other options. Give me some feedback – What watch should I get? I’m a fan of Garmin so I’m leaning towards that direction. I’d love to get the rose gold Fenix because Allie and Sue make it looks so damn pretty but I can’t justify the cost. Unless it seriously drops for Black Friday.

Help me out – What GPS do you recommend?

Now I’m laying in bed, with a headlamp on writing this post on my phone.

And I just looked out the window.

It’s snowing!!!!

Fingers crossed the power is back on in the morning.

Edited to add: Hallelujah it is!

How was your weekend?

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How to Be a Weekend Hiking Warrior with Kids

How tobe a weekend hiking warrior with your kid. | happyfitmama.com

One of our favorite fall activities to do as a family is hiking. Before kids, Ron and I would spend hours and hours hiking on the weekend. We’d pack up Cooper, a lunch and be on our merry way to the mountains. No need to worry about what time we left, how long we’d be gone or when we’d be home. We were carefree to wander as we pleased.

When we found out that we were expecting twins, we didn’t think anything would change. We dreamed of when we could take them out on the trail, in a pack to start with and eventually on their own two feet, to share our love of wandering. You just pack and go, right?

Oh how silly of us.

After kids, everything changes. Including how you hike.

Hiking with kids isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when you are first getting started. But it does get easier as the kids get older. And it gets more fun too. I get asked quite often how we got our kids to become weekend hiking warriors. Here’s some tips we’ve picked up over the years.

1. Start short and slow. Don’t expect to cover 5 miles at a brisk pace for your child’s first hike. This goes for if your kid can walk on his/her own or if you’ll be wearing them in a backpack. Starting off with a short distance at the child’s pace is best. Be prepared for frequent stops. LOTS of stops.

Weekend Hiking Warrior with kids | happyfitmama.com

2. Toss out your agenda. Let your child lead. You may want to hike for hours, but if they call it quits after 15 minutes, it’s better to head back to the car rather than force them to keep moving onward. I remember when my kid’s were around 8 months old. It took forever to pack ALL the gear we thought we’d need for our hike. We thought we’d be gone an hour or two. We hiked 20 minutes before the kid’s both let us know it wasn’t going to happen. The screaming in our ears was enough to know that it was not the best day to hike.

3. Emphasize fun. The whole goal is to make sure that their experience is FUN so they will want to go again. We want the kids to see hiking as play rather than a chore. I know I see it as play time!

Hiking with kids.  | happyfitmama.com

4. Snacks and fluids. Hiking requires a lot of energy. When kids run out of energy, what happens? They get cranky. Very cranky. Keep your child happy and motivated by taking numerous small breaks for fluids and snacks. I’ve learned that you can never pack too many snacks. If you think you’ve packed enough, pack some more. More is always better. Trust me. I’ve been unprepared many times!

Fuel your hike with CLIF Kid Zbars. | happyfitmama.com

One of our favorite snacks to fuel us on hikes is with CLIF Kid  Zbar®.  It has important nutrients for active kids. Made with organic ingredients and are non-GMO, there’s no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor or synthetic preservatives to make you wonder what exactly are you eating. It’s just the right portion size for kids in flavors that they love. And adults love them too. Ron and I will both happily munch on any flavor while out on the trails. Ok, you can probably find one in my lunch bag for work too!

Fuel play with nutritious snacks from CLIF Kid. | happyfitmama.com

Getting outside for active play is very important to Ron and I. With the kids in 1st grade now, we are already finding that the weekdays and even the weekends are busy with after school activities and homework. And with less daylight hours and colder temperatures, it’s easy to hibernate. I like to remind my kids (and myself) that we are not bears. We do not need to hibernate. Put on a headlamp. Put on jackets and boots. Get outside and play no matter what the date on the calendar is.

CLIF Kid is dedicated to reclaiming play all year long.  And they are encouraging boys and girls everywhere to get back outside, push their boundaries and feed their adventures. To see a great reminder of why play is so important, be sure to check out this CLIF Kid video.

There will be whining. There will be complaining. But hopefully, there will also be laughter, excitement and joy in enjoying a fun experience as a family in the great outdoors. And that is marvelous when it happens.

Get out there and play!

Do you like to hike?

Where’s your favorite place to hike?

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