Fall Running

October Running Update

Don’t you just love Fall?  I LOVE running in the beautiful Fall colors and enjoying the cooler air.  This month I have gotten back on a running schedule and have been super motivated.  I’ve spent time reviewing my goals, making new goals, and enjoying life.  It’s been a great month, and I’m so excited for this Halloween weekend!! To help hold me accountable, I’ve got my October running update.

At the beginning of the summer, I set a goal to improve my 5k pace.  I was pretty consistent with training, but towards the end of the summer, between vacations and moving, training definitely took a back seat.  Despite that- I was still able to decrease my time from 24 minutes to 23 minutes using this plan.

Reaching Goals

I’m super proud of this!  My goal is to shave off one more minute and run those 3 miles in 22 minutes, or pretty close.  I’ve set up new goals, and I’m back to running track repeats and tempo runs.  I’ve got a 3 month training schedule- hoping the rain and holidays don’t throw me off!

My Running Mantra

What are your goals for the holiday season?  Happy running everyone!

Halloween Crafts

Halloween Crafts

Happy Halloween everyone!!  Halloween is in full swing at our house- we’ve had decorations up since September.  Yea, we’re not obsessed or anything.  This year I loaded up with supplies from the $1 section at Target- love that spot!  I’ve also been searching the internet for easy and fun crafts to do with the kiddos.  Here’s a collection of what I’ve found!

Halloween Crafts

We made the candy bar mummies from THIS website with my daughter’s preschool class.  They were all unique and super cute!  I just ripped up coffee filters, cause that’s what I had on hand, and it worked great.  There are tons of other really cute and yummy mummy crafts on here as well.

mummycandybar2 (1)

Photo from http://www.theidearoom.net/2016/09/mummy-crafts-treats.html

Another cute website with easy crafts.  Lots of these crafts use supplies that are lying around the house.  Easy peasy.

Photo from http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/30-halloween-kids-crafts-pictures

And one more fun one, who doesn’t love HGTV? 

Halloween Crafts

From this picture, I got the painted pumpkins, witches, and the Ghost Screams from the $1 section at Target.  I absolutely LOVE my ‘A Witch lives here with her little MONSTERS’ sign.  I’ve had that a few years- and sadly, sometimes it’s true.  HA! The candy bar mummy is so cute!  In the back is “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.  I got the printable from here. I love it!

Happy Haunting!


Top Halloween Movies For Kids

It’s October!!  The holiday season has officially kicked off! Pumpkins, skeletons, witches, oh how I love this month! One of the best ways to get into the Halloween spirit is movies!!  I’m kind of a scaredy cat, and I don’t like creepy horrifying movies, plus I want to keep it kid friendly for my littles.  So, here is a list of the top Halloween movies for kids (and wussy adults like me).

  1. Hocus Pocus- This is a classic from my childhood.  I remember being totally freaked out by this movie so the recommended age is 10 and up, depending on your kids.

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2. Casper- Another classic and much more child friendly.  Recommended age 6 and up.

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3. The Witches- Based off of a book by Roald Dahl, the witches have a few scary scenes so recommend age is 8 and up.

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4. Monster House- This is a fun Halloween movie, but still has some fright!  Recommended age 10 and up.

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5. Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2- A more recent movie that is full of laughs.  This is a favorite at our house!  Ages 6 and up.

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6. The Haunted Mansion- Based off of the Disney ride, this movie does have some funny moments but is still a little creepy.  Ages 10 and up.

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7. Monsters vs Aliens- need I say more? Ages 6 and up.

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8. Spooky Stories 1 and 2 by Dreamworks- short stories from classic Dreamworks movies Shrek and Monsters vs Aliens. Ages 6 and up.

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9. Bedknobs and Broomsticks- An oldie but a goodie.  Ages 4 and up.

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10. The Book of Life- I absolutely LOVE this movie!!  If you haven’t watched it, add it to your list!  Ages 6 and up.

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Here’s even more Halloween movies, including fun Halloween specials found in your kids favorite series, most can be found on Netflix!

Happy Halloween!!

How To Find Balance

How To Find The Balance Between Over Scheduling And Too Much Free Time


School is back in session and every day seems to be jammed packed with activities.  Once the bell rings to dismiss the kids, it’s go go go nonstop until bedtime.  It’s brought to mind the age old debate of how to find the balance between over scheduling and too much free time.

I’m all for giving my kids free time to play and just be kids, but if they have too much unstructured time, they start to fight, destroy things, and chaos starts to rule with four little gremlins as king. 

This was an issue during the summer where we lived in a neighborhood with no other children around.  We would get out and walk or bike in the mornings, but in the 110 degrees (sometimes even hotter) of the afternoon, we felt trapped inside our house.  We still did a lot of fun things- lake days, swimming at the pool, camping, but we’re not able to do those things every single day.

Contrast this time, when kids had all the free time in the world to play and just be kids vs now.  We get up at 6:30, kids are off to school.  They are out at 3 pm.  With four kids, we have activities every single day after school, they all have their thing.  My kids aren’t old enough to be left home alone, so we all get to go to everything.  And you know what’s happened in our house?  Less fighting (not no fighting just less fighting) and less destruction.  So here’s my question, what’s the balance between too much free time and over scheduling?

5 Ways To Find The BalanceBalance

This is something I’ve thought about for the last few years since the kids have started school.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Each child is different and handles things differently. My oldest son seems to thrive with lots of activities, sports, and socializing.  My oldest daughter gets overwhelmed with too much activity.  She does not handle change well, and likes consistency.  She requires more downtime.  You know your children best and what they can handle.  Being fair does not mean giving each child the exact same thing.  Being fair is making sure that each child’s needs are met in the way that they NEED them to be. (This brings to mind the object lesson with the teacher and the band aids, have you heard that one?)  It also varies with age, older kids usually can handle more activities than the younger ones who need more play time.
  • Sleep is king and priority number 1! Children need sleep to focus and stay happy.  If activities are cutting into sleep time, it’s too much!!
  • Routine should be the foundation of everything. Especially at home, kids thrive with a consistent routine.  Our routine allows for play time, reading, chores, homework, and bedtime.  Routine helps our kids know what is expected of them and helps reduce battles over homework or bedtime.
  • Communicate! I always let my kids know in the morning what is going on that day.  We let our kids choose an instrument and choose a sport, but we try not to force them to do anything! (We do make sure they follow through with something once they’ve committed.  You can’t back out of soccer half way through the season because it’s too hard.)  Communicate means letting your kids know what is going on everyday (this is where a routine comes in handy!), and letting your kids choose some of their activities.  Listen to them!
  • Make time for each child. In all the hustle and bustle of the day, children need to feel connection.  This seems like a no brainer, but sometimes life gets so dang busy and while you’ve spent the last three hours with your kids driving them around from place to place, this doesn’t mean that you’ve connected with them individually.  This one thing can have a huge impact on your child’s behavior.  Quality time vs quantity.  Bedtime is the perfect time to connect with children if you haven’t already during the day.Balance

Finding the balance between free time and over scheduling will always be something we are battling to some degree.  I’m always looking for ways to help our home run smooth, so…..

How do you find the balance?  What’s too much and what’s too little?

Successes And Failures

I have to say that I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest.  I love how accessible everything is from recipes, DIYs, parenting advice, and everything else.  But every once in a while, I get sucked into a pin only to fine that it is not what it claims to be.  For example, I saw this pin for a delicious looking entree.  I was so excited to try it, only to find that if I followed the instructions, the dish would look NOTHING like the picture.  I still followed the instructions only to end up with an ugly and gross dinner.  I felt so deceived!  Every week I am experimenting with new recipes, work out tips, and homemade products.  I’m going to update on what I’ve tried, what works, and what didn’t work.

This past week I made two new recipes and started making my own almond milk.  The first one was a protein mango cookie.  I’ve been stepping up my running game lately, trying to increase my pace so when I saw this recipe, I was super excited!  A protein cookie was just what I wanted.  I immediately went to work.  I whipped up the batter in no time, but the cookies wouldn’t bake.  After leaving them in the oven way longer then the instructions said to, I finally pulled the mushy goo balls out.  It looked NOTHING like the picture.  Still, I was optimistic- I gave it a taste and yuck!  They were awful.  I won’t be making those again.  Ever.


The next recipe was a success.  I made this delicious chocolate pumpkin pudding cake.  This was really good and healthy.  Next time I want brownies or something chocolate- I am making this.  The only changes I made was using Truvia in place of the sugar in the batter, and I don’t drink coffee, so I used hot water instead.  It was sooooo good!

I am so in love with homemade almond milk.  It is so easy and saves money!!  I’ve been so skeptical of making my own, but a friend gave me a super easy recipe, and it is amazing!  I will be posting about this soon!!

almond milk

This next week, I am experimenting with homemade deodorant and some new recipes as well.  I’ll be using the deodorant for a full week so I can get a good feel for it before I report on it.  

Until next time!!

Peach Berry Cobbler

Healthier Peach Berry Cobbler

Moist and Delicious Peach Berry Cobbler

One of the best things about summer is camping.  I love being out with my family while discovering the beauties of this world.  I love sharing these moments with my kids.  I also love the food when camping!  But on our quest to eat more whole foods, what to eat while camping has become a struggle.  It’s been hard to find the balance between convenience and still keeping things healthy.  I’ve come up with a few recipes that are perfect for camping- easy to prepare, delicious, and whole food approved.

This week I’m sharing a delicious peach berry cobbler recipe.  This is still a dessert, but I’ve adapted the recipe to include less sugar and whole grains.  And trust me, it still tastes amazing!  I took my first bite of this and wanted to cry it was so delicious- yes I can get very emotional about food. 🙂

To make this easier for camping, I cooked the peaches and berries before we left- it was super easy and took less than 10 min.  I put it in a gallon sized ziplock bag and froze it.  Next, I combined all the dry ingredients and put it in a bag as well.  I wrote the instructions on the bag so I wouldn’t forget once we were at the campsite.  This recipe calls for coconut oil, so I measured it out and put it in a container.  Once we were camping, all I had to do was unthaw the fruit, mix the oil with the dry ingredients, and dump it in the dutch oven.  So easy!  I prepped this right before making dinner so it cooked while we ate.  It took about 40 min and came out beautiful!  I also brought along a can of fat free whipped cream to top off the cobbler.  It was soooo good!

Peach Berry Cobbler

You can sprinkle a brown sugar mix on top, but when I prepped this while we were camping, I forgot to add it.  The cobbler was so good, even without it.  I honestly didn’t realize I had forgotten the sugar topping until I found it while we were packing up.  Oops!  Because it was so good without it, I probably won’t add it, but I included it with the recipe just in case you want that extra sweetness.

Healthier Peach Berry Cobbler
  • Fruit:
  • 6 peaches- sliced
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • (You can use any combination of fruit you want.)
  • 4 Tbs. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • Cobbler Mix
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour is perfect for this!)
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup truvia sugar blend (or ½ cup regular sugar)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Topping (Optional)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Combine peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 min. If camping, pour fruit into a gallon sized ziplock bag and freeze until ready to go. If cooking at home, pour into a 2 L baking pan- I used an 8 x 11.
  2. Mix flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. If camping, store mixture in a bag or container until ready to use.
  3. Add in coconut oil and water. Stir until combined.
  4. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. If cooking in a dutch oven: pour fruit mixture in first, spoon the cobbler mixture on top, then sprinkle sugar mixture over the top. Use enough coals so it cooks about 425. Rotating dutch oven at least once to ensure even cooking. Ours took about 40 min.
  6. If baking at home, pour the cobbler mix over the fruit mixture in the pan and top with the sugar mixture.
  7. Bake at 425 for about 30 min.

Happy camping and happy eating!

Peach Berry Cobbler




S’mores For Grownups

Summer is in full swing, and we are absolutely loving all the free time!!  This past weekend we went camping to the amazing Redwoods.  Every time we go there I am struck with awe at how majestic these beautiful trees are.  There’s this feeling of peace and humility that just flows through the forest.


Since we were camping, OF COURSE we had to do s’mores.  Over the past few years we have stepped up our s’more game.  I mean, s’mores are good, but the s’mores we make, are AHMAZING!  Seriously, you must try these!

Here’s our favorite variations:

  • My all time FAVORITE- Regular graham crackers with Ghirardelli squares filled with caramel (caramel is my favorite but you can use any flavor).  I love Ghirardelli chocolate!
  • Fudge Stripped cookies- this is super easy and a kid favorite.
  • Samoa Girl Scout cookies or Coconut Dream cookies.  These are my favorite Girl Scout cookie and the melted marshmallow in the middle is oh so yummy!
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with graham crackers- This is a match made in heaven for all lovers of peanut butter!
  • Cookies!  Like chocolate chip or snicker doodle.  A super soft chewy cookie with a melty gooey marshmallow equals taste bud heaven.
S'more Cookies
S’more Cookies

What are your favorite s’more combinations?  We’re always looking for new yummy additions to our s’more family!

Happy summer days!!



Why I Took My Kids’ Clothes Away

Why I Took My Kids’ Clothes Away, Well Most of Them, And How Less Is More


Keeping a clean house can be downright challenging when you have kids.  There have been several times when I’ve cleaned up a room and by the time the vacuum is put away- the room’s a mess again.  Sigh.  It feels like a never ending battle.  I expect my kids to clean up their own messes including their rooms, ahem, well, at least I try.  🙂  For one of my children, this has been a challenge, an extreme challenge.

Ever since she could walk and climb, she found joy in pulling everything out of her closet and onto the floor.  Nothing was safe, no matter how high, she would find a way to get it- and throw it on the floor.  It was extremely frustrating.  As she got older, the messes kept getting worse and bigger! Then one day, I just had enough.  So I took away her clothes, well, most of them, and all the toys in her room.

S was my third child and clearly she had way too much stuff in her room.  She had a lot of hand me downs plus her own stuff she’d accumulated in her 4 years of life (Yes, she was 4 by the time I did this (Why did I wait so long??)).  I took a few boxes into her room, and I had her pick 5 tops, 5 bottoms, 5 pajamas, and that’s it.  Everything else went into the box.  At first, this was hard.  I didn’t want to box up clothes that she had received as gifts or that were sentimental, but I did it.  She got to pick 5 of each.  Next, we removed all the toys and took them downstairs.  Her closet looked so bare, but I figured I would have less mess to clean up every day. I put the boxes full of her clothes in her closet on the top shelf. 


The result?  She now has the cleanest room of all my children, and it stays clean! Even months later, she still keeps it clean.  After years of emptying her closet every day, she stopped.  As an extra bonus for me, her laundry is so easy because there isn’t much to wash. 

This experience reinforced the idea that less is more and that children don’t need much to survive, thrive, and be happy.

Check out this post from Living Well Spending Less– she had a similar idea and I totally laughed when I read this.  It’s nice to read about other moms who share your pain and have similar solutions.

What have you done to help control the chaos in your home?

why I took my kids clothes away

Why I took my kids’ clothes away


10 Ways For Moms To Survive Summer

Summer Survival Guide For Moms

School had just ended for my kiddos on Thursday.  Now it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m hiding under a pile of pillows in fetal position in my room praying my children won’t find me.  School had only been out for 3 days, 3 DAYS!! How had it come to this already?  My house was a disaster and no matter how much I begged, bribed, or hollered, it was not going to change.  2 of my kids were in tears the other 2 were yelling and running around leaving a path of destruction in their wake.  All thoughts of a productive, happy, and perfectly planned out summer were gone.  In that moment, I was in survival mode and that meant hiding from my monster children.  But seriously, how am I going to survive this summer?

What I’ve learned so far

My kids are destructive when they are bored or have nothing to do. I find when I just give my kids free time they end up fighting or destroying something.  But it’s not realistic to plan out every second of every day, yikes!  That just sounds exhausting!  So, I’ve tried to find the balance between not over scheduling and providing constructive free time.

I am a better mom when I take care of myself.  Being a mom is an emotional roller coaster.  I’m better at handling the ups and downs when I’ve taken care of myself spiritually, physically, and mentally.



10 Ways For Moms To Survive Summer

10 Ways For Moms To Survive Summer

  1.      Have options– For the times when you are at the house with nothing planned, or maybe you’re trying to cook dinner or you need to take a shower, give your kiddos options of what they can do so they don’t go and flood the bathroom or pull everything out of their closets and onto the floor.

I love the idea of having a craft box full of activities that they can choose from- water color paint, clay, coloring books, sensory bottles, etc.  If your kids are not into arts and crafts, the two of you can come up with a boredom buster list.  Have them come up with ideas of what they can do when they feel bored. Do they like to build?  Blow bubbles?  Cook?  Clean? (I wish!), then fill a box of activities geared just for them.     

  1.      Early bedtime for kids– Having an early bedtime for your kids, even in the summer, is a gift, for you. I NEED that couple of hours every night without my kids demanding my attention every second.  This is time for my husband and I to reconnect, talk about our day, and relax!  Yes, I let my kids stay up on some nights, but not every night because I need time at the end of the day to finally breathe and catch up.     
  2.      Girls night out/ or date night– This doesn’t have to happen every week, but schedule some fun time just for you with no kids!
  3.      Plan activities YOU like to do– I love all the summer lists on pinterest for kids activities, but schedule some family activities that you like to do too as well! I love sharing what I love with my kids.  I love to cook, so I let my kids pick a recipe and we cook and eat it together.  I love to hike, so we’ve done some hikes together.  Summer should be fun for everyone- including you!
  4.      Exercise– Exercise isn’t just for your body or to be healthy. Exercise helps you be strong mentally and moms need a lot of mental strength.  Get those endorphins flowing with whatever exercise you love!  Even better, exercise with friends for an added boost.
  5.      Routine– Kids need routine. It helps them and you stay on track.  This doesn’t mean you have to schedule out every minute of every day (unless you want to), but some type of consistent routine is needed.   If kids know what is expected of them every day, then they are more likely to get it done.
  6.      Have quiet time or reading time during the day– again this is for your sanity, and of course it’s great for the kids!
  7.      Chores– Getting kids to do chores is hard. I know.  But there is no way mom should do all the work.  There are tons of strategies online to help motivate kids to do chores.  Find what works for you and stick to it.  I love when my kids help out around the house.  They can be seriously helpful.  And, of course, kids need to learn responsibility and how to work, so win win.
  8.      Get outside– Staying inside the house all day is no fun for you or your kids. Get outside for an immediate mood boost.  Play in the back yard, go to a park, go for a walk, whatever it is- spend time everyday outside even if it’s just 10 minutes.
  9.      Take care of yourself– get enough sleep and eat healthy! If I stay up late reading or watching TV it’s the perfect formula for grumpy mom the next day. Or if I spend all day snacking on junk food, I feel so gross by the afternoon.  The days I feel my best, and am therefore the best mama, are when I’ve slept well, read scriptures, eaten healthy, and exercised.  I feel my best physically and mentally, and therefore I’m able to be the best for my kids.

10 Ways For Moms To Survive Summer

Remember, to be the best mom you can be- you need to take care of yourself.  When you feel good, spiritually, mentally and physically, you are better prepared for whatever your kids throw at you.  Summer fun is for everyone!!


Delicious Breakfast Crepes

Ever since I was a little girl, crepes have been one of my favorite breakfasts.  I love filling each crepe with sweet goodness and then rolling it up.  My favorite filling as a child was maple syrup mixed with a lot of powder sugar.  Now that my taste buds have matured past the sugar overload phase, I love how versatile crepes are- you can make them as healthy or unhealthy delicious as you want.  Luckily, I have found some healthy AND delicious ways to enjoy crepes.


I made these crepes with half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour.  I think these would work using 100% whole wheat flour, but I would suggest using a whole wheat pastry flour or something a little lighter than regular whole wheat.

To the horror of all French people, I’m sure, I did not use butter.  I used coconut oil, and they turned out just lovely.  I just feel so much better eating and feeding my children coconut oil instead of butter.  I try to make the swap whenever possible.


As for what goes inside the crepes, the power is in your hands.  Ha ha!  I love filling crepes with greek yogurt and fresh fruit, berry syrup or jam, and for my kids-maybe just a sprinkling on top of powdered sugar.  

Delicious Breakfast Crepes
  • 2 cups flour- I used half whole wheat and half white
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk- I used unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 4 tsp sugar- I used 2 tsp organic cane sugar and 1 tsp Truvia blend
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until combined.
  2. Heat a small round fry pan to medium heat- make sure it doesn't get too hot. (If the pan is too hot it is harder to spread the batter around.) Spray with cooking oil and pour about ¼ cup of the batter into the middle of the pan. Immediately tilt pan and swirl the batter around in a circular motion. The point is to make the crepe into a very thin circle.
  3. Let cook for about 1-2 minutes and then flip. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until the crepe is cooked through- which will vary depending on how thick your crepe is.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit, yogurt, jam, syrup, whipped cream, and whatever else your heart fancies!

This is a great recipe to get the kids involved, and each child can personalize their own creation.  Enjoy!