Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mommy Unplugged

This time last week, I was relaxing and laughing on the French side of St. Maarten with some of my dearest friends.  The occasion.  My closest friend from B-school was turning 40!  The outcome.  Partying. Relaxation. More Partying. More Relaxation.

It’s important to have some adult time to reconnect with longtime friends.  And it is even MORE important to have some kid-free time with my hubby.  A key part of “the basics” is nurturing the relationship that existed pre-kids.

We had so much fun that I cannot begin to describe it here.  However, we were already planning our next trip on the flight home!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Day of Firsts

So today marked the official end of summer vacation.  It was the first day of school for the kids and the first time that they have been at the same school.  It was also the first time that this sad mama didn’t get to walk them to class.  Not that I didn’t have the opportunity.  I am not traveling for work this week for the sole reason of being fully present for all the ups and downs that go with the beginning of school.  The reason I didn’t walk them to class is because they really wanted to ride the bus and get back into their routine.  A part of me was elated at their independence while another (small) part of me shed tears  and mourned the end of hand holding and goodbye kisses at the classroom door.

The good news is that the school year is off to a great start and promises to be extra challenging for my sixth grader who managed to make it through the past two years with straight A’s.  It will also be challenging for my 3rd grader who is not longer the big man on campus at the K-2 elementary school and now part of the youngest group and the 3 – 6  intermediate school.

Today was also the first time that I did sled pulls in CrossFit. Yes! Sled. Freaking. Pulls.  Physically and psychologically challenging and one of the best workouts ever!  Go me! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Whirlwind Week

Sometimes I feel like I travel more by plane than by car.  Even though this past week was technically a “work from home” week for me, I managed to travel to/through at least 3 airports.

Actually, last weekend’s travel was for pleasure since I went to visit a close friend and her gorgeous newborn.  It was also a mini reunion of sorts since a couple of other friends from business school met me there.  It’s always great to spend time with some of my favorite peeps. 

We all met up in Charlotte on Friday night and started off Saturday with a super hard spinning class at Flywheel.  Ten minutes into the 60 minute class, we were looking at each other like WTH have we gotten ourselves into?!  This is from two women who do Crossfit, marathons, and any other challenging activity. 

Luckily, we stopped by a fantastic juice bar prior to class and each had an amazing juice blend or we would have both been on the floor.  After class, we met up with our two other girlfriends for lunch, laughter, and wine (of course!)

Fast forward through the flight home,  a great Sunday afternoon with the family and a kickoff to a week of working from my home office.  That is, until I received a request to fly to Kansas City for an impromptu presentation.

Wednesday was a whirlwind of travel, brainstorming with execs from company, meeting with a new client, and more travel.  It was an exhausting but productive day especially since I had connecting flights both ways.  Thank goodness I know where the good restaurants are in the major aiports.  I stopped at Cafe Intermezzo in Atlanta for a veggie omelet for breakfast.

And Beaudevin in Charlotte for a Greek chicken salad on my way back home.
The rest of the week was business as usual and I am especially proud to report that I was able to squeeze in 5 days of Crossfit between Monday and Saturday.  Maybe a bit excessive but it does wonders for my stress level!  The great thing about Crossfit is that the workouts are always challenging and my gym/box feels like home. 

On to the next one….

Monday, July 8, 2013

Today was a travel day which means I was exhausted as usual I was also hungry all day. Fortunately I had packed egg muffins, sweet potatoes cooked in coconut oil,  and blueberries for my in-flight snack. 

After being inside all day I needed some fresh air so I took a walk through the University of Dayton campus to get some exercise and to get out of the hotel room. 

I am trying to eat clean because I have a vacation coming up in St. Maarten and I want to feel confident in my bathing suit. So I went to Dorothy Lane market which is a local fresh market and bought grilled wild salmon, a large salad, and some fresh fruit for dessert. Now off to bed and ready for tomorrow.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fresh Veggies

OK, so maybe I'm a bit nerdy but I truly get excited on produce pick up days.  I belong to a Florida Fields to Forks co-op and every Thursday I pick up my produce share. This week's share included fresh organic kale, red-leaf lettuce, red chard, rainbow carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, avocados, cauliflower, and mangos.  

It takes a few days to get through all of the produce so I try to make sure it is properly stored so it remains fresh.  I discovered a great trick to keep lettuce fresh for over a week (seriously!)  Just wash it, spin it dry and store it, wrapped in paper towels, in an airtight container.  A week later, you'll still have fresh lettuce - no that slimy, funky smelling stuff that it usually turns into after a week.

I travel next week, so I will cook most of these veggies over the weekend so my family can enjoy fresh side dishes in my absence.  More on that later...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Plane Food (yep, that's what I meant to say!)

Weekly travel can wreak havoc on healthy eating habits.  I've found few favorite spots in the airport for dinner however I cannot seem to find a breakfast that's not heavy on gluten and/or grease.  Occasionally, I'll grab a veggie omelet but it always seems like I taste whatever was cooked on the griddle beforehand.  Lately, I've been packing my Lunchbots with filling and healthy snacks so I won't totally fall off the wagon while traveling.  Check it out:
Veggies and a 100-calorie packet of guacamole

Fresh organic fruit

Gluten-free morning glory muffins w/a side of papaya and blueberries 
Boiled eggs and chicken apple sausage 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekly Cookup: May 26th

As a management consultant, I travel a lot for work however I try to minimize disruption to my household.  When I am home, I enjoy cooking for my family because I think it is healthier and I like to try new things.  So, when I am away I don't want them to revert to takeout for dinner every night.  Not only would this be expensive, it would not be nearly as healthy as the organic farm fresh food I typically prepare.  This week, I will only be out of town for a couple of days so I prepared a couple of dishes.  I made lasagna roll-ups when essentially have the same ingredients as regular lasagna with a slightly different prep.

Rolling lasagna noodles filled with ricotta and shredded cheese

I also cooked curry chicken which I threw in the crockpot as we were on our way out the door to a Memorial Day cookout.

Though I cook a lot, I have a general rule that my time in the kitchen should not exceed 30 minutes for a meal unless it is a truly special occasion.  So the crockpot is a perfect solution.  My weekly cookup includes meals that reheat well and make good leftovers.  Let me know if you have any suggestions to add to my repertoire.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lazy Sunday morning and iced coffee

I turned my Memorial Day weekend into 5 days of downtime thanks to vacation days on Thursday and Friday.  I've taken on additional leadership responsibilities at work so I really make an extra effort to be fully present during family time which means unplugging and relaxing.

I started if this morning with iced coffee and mango pancakes (my hubby is the Pancake King!)  Normally, I eat protein, fruit and veggies for breakfast but I could not resist these awesome pancakes.  The mango carmelized as they cooked....yum!

Then I spent some time on the patio with my daughter as she planted her taco and pizza gardens.  My hubby and son had a tee time at Turtle Creek so it turned out to be a Girls'' Day In.  We relaxed and gave ourselves pedicures on the patio.  It turned out to be a perfect holiday Sunday.  Feeling blessed!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ending a Busy Week

As a management consultant, I often travel Monday – Thursday.  So yesterday, I headed home.  I left my client’s office a bit later than normal which means I arrived home a lot later than normal (11pm).  However, since I now know the Atlanta airport (my connecting point) like the back of my hand, I had already planned to treat myself to a decent meal during the long layover.  In my opinion, the best restaurant in the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport is One Flew South.  It has a wine bar feel and a fairly unique menu.  I enjoyed salmon bruschetta with a salad of mixed greens, pears, and goat cheese.  A nice oasis in the hustle and bustle of the world’s busiest airport.

This morning, I was up and at ‘em early for my 5:30am Crossfit Class.  As usual, the workout appeared fairly simple but still managed to leave us all flat on our backs.  But boy, what an awesome way to start the day!

The kick a$$ WOD (workout of the day) we did at 5:30am

My awesome post-workout breakfast!

The rest of the day was a blur of dropping off/picking up my kids at school and juggling conference calls and client deliverables.  I felt like I was operating in a haze of fatigue (because I was!) and was more than happy to end the day with drinks with my husband’s staff.  It was nice to finally exhale…