Summer Vacation Has Started

Summer vacation has started and thus far it is taking a serious toll on my wallet and my patience. Don’t get me wrong, I do revel in foregoing the school routine in the morning. Last week was the boys’ first full week out of school. Admittedly, I felt their hot lunch bill was taking a huge toll with the multiple sandwiches/entrees and drinks everyday, but boy was I wrong. Let’s take a look at their first week home by the numbers:

  • 8 frozen pizzas slayed
  • 120 pizza rolls devoured
  • 60 juice boxes demolished
  • 14 Jimmy Dean croissant sandwiches gone
  • 12 Powerades depleted
  • 10 hotdogs enjoyed
  • 4 gallons of milk
  • A jar of peanut butter gone
  • A loaf of bread
  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • A jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 bag of brown rice

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I say slayed for the pizzas because one met a different fate having been dropped half in the bottom of my oven, while the other half fell to the floor. I should also mention that over the course of the week, the Mayor did cook them spaghetti with onions and jerk chicken with black beans and rice for lunch on separate days. With the younger two boys now 13 and 15, my grocery bill is sky rocketing. Both boys are growing like weeds and eating like they’ve never been fed. I might send them to summer school to bring down my food bill! This week I added some more milk and more fruit.

Back to the pizza for a second because I fully thought they had eaten 8 frozen pizzas. After all I bought 6 Digiorno pizzas on Wednesday and by Thursday night there was only one left. Apparently, the Mayor had a slight pizza mishap with a major portion of it landing on the bottom of my oven. Importantly, the Mayor forgot to mention to anybody that this had happened. You can imagine my surprise when the room became very smoky as I pre-heated the oven for brownies. We’re still working on getting the smoke out of the house! Fortunately, it was only a lot of smoke and no fire, but the Mayor learned an important lesson: make sure you tell your parents if you drop a significant amount of food in the oven.

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While they’ve been busy eating us out of house and home, they’ve also logged some nice hours outdoors fishing. The weather has only been cooperative for them in the morning and evenings these past few days. Fortunately, the Mayor and Goalielocks have been able to take advantage of the few morning hours and fish before the daily afternoon storms fire up. Our lake in back has some nice sized large mouth and peacock bass, which my boys love to fish.

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Of course, they’ve had their share of chores over this past week. Unfortunately, they’re not as proficient in competing their chores as they are in eating their weight daily. Nonetheless, we saw some some serious progress on that front at the end of the week. Thankfully, I’m able to control our house’s wifi from my phone, so there was no wifi until all of the chores were completed.  Summer vacation has started and hopefully as the weeks go by they get better at completing their chores.  One could only hope!

 

 

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Lazy Sunday

After an insane week, lazy Sunday was the perfect follow up to lazy Saturday.  Yep, there was a 90% chance that today was gonna be a Netflix and chill type of day and indeed it was.  That’s not to say I wasn’t productive.  I caught up on all the laundry after Goalielocks finished scorekeeping at the rink this morning.  I even meal prepped for the week.  Meanwhile Goalielocks fished and the Mayor watched Netflix from the comfort of my yoga silk.

As I continue to on the Graves/thyroid rollercoaster, meal prepping has become increasingly important in my attempts to stay healthy.  I say healthy because while I see no change on the outside, I’d like to think under the layers I’m getting both stronger and healthier.  We’ll see what Dr. G has to say when I see her on Tuesday.  I’m sure she’ll be none to thrilled that I didn’t just complete the corporate run, but two other 5ks as well, but more on that later.

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For my meal prep, I look for something easy, high protein and relatively quick to put together.  This week I made five containers of chicken stir fry and brown rice.  For my fasting days, I’m currently doing the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan, I did not include brown rice.  For simplicity and time’s sake, I used Target’s Simply Balanced organic steamed in the bag stir fry vegetables.   Tyson’s thin sliced chicken strips, non-gmo and antibiotic free, were the perfect protein for the stir fry.

I started my meal prep, by firing up my Instantpot to make brown rice.  Fortunately, the Instantpot has proven to be a real time saver for cooking rice.   If you’re not a fan of brown rice, you could definitely substitute white rice.  Each weekend, I’ll cook up an entire bag of brown rice, which I’ll use for my weekly meals.  In addition, I have enough rice to package up three portions of rice that can be used for family meals.  This is where my Foodsaver plus is truly clutch.  I cook the rice in a 1:1 ratio rice to water for 22 minutes on high pressure followed by 10 minutes natural venting.  Lastly, I turn the knob and release all of the pressure.

Meanwhile on the stove, I’ve already browned my chicken.   The vegetables, which were steamed in the microwave were then stirred into the pan with the left over oil from the chicken.  Once I’ve cut up the chicken, I add it back to the pan with the veggies and teriyaki sauce.  In the span  of less than an hour, I’ve made my lunches for the entire week.  Additionally, thanks to my beautiful egg cooker, my breakfast for the week was done even before the rice had finished cooking.

The key to maintaining healthy habits is ensuring it’s simple, easy and can fit into your lifestyle.  If it takes too much time or is too cumbersome, it won’t stick.   My Instantpot, Foodsaver and egg cooker have been complete life savers.  These three handy appliances have been life altering.    I can now plan ahead and meal prep my lunches as well as family dinners.  We don’t time during hockey season to make family dinners.   Fortunately, being able to prep on a rare free weekend gives us the help we need to eat healthy during the crazy hockey season.

This evening I was able to sneak in a 30 minute run on the elliptical as the roast cooked in the oven.  My ankles have been a bit sore since the last 5k, so I’ve taken it easy on them this week by sticking to the elliptical instead of the road or treadmill.  Tomorrow will be leg day – oh joy!

P.S.  Tonight’s drama was our duck’s escape from its cage.  Yeah, there’s a whole series of posts coming your way on our duck drama.  I assure you it will be worth the wait.

Products used for today’s Meal prep:

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My Favorite Referee

Since 2010, I’ve been a loud and proud hockey mom, now I’m mom to my favorite referee.  Oh yes, my Goalielocks has become a zebra.  The oft maligned position in sports is as critical to the sport as it is criticized.  It’s a tough position with lot’s of pressure in any environment.  When you throw crazy hockey parents on top of that it’s a lot.

There are a lot of great reasons for your kid to become a referee many of which I’ll cover here.  I’ll start with the obvious: they make good money as a teen.  I’m so excited for my second born to have his own income.  There’s no better way for him to understand the value of a dollar then by earning his own.  In order to make the same money at a normal “teen” job, he’d have to work more than double the hours.  With his intense school schedule and travel hockey schedule, refereeing is the perfect part time job for him.

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Selfishly, it’s been nice because I’ve learned a lot.  We’ve got a couple of rule books around the house and I watched some of the modules with him.  Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about the rules from my referee friends.  (Extra bonus is that he now gets to work with these fabulous people.). Nonetheless, there’s still a knowledge gap. Thankfully, when I’m watching a game and have a question about a call or a rule, he can explain it to me.

It’s also a great way for hockey player to learn the game and see it in a different light.  Goalielocks has been in net for close to a decade and before that played out as a forward.  When you referee a game, you see it in a whole different way.  One that gives you appreciate and enhances your knowledge of the game.  What could be bad about that?

In addition, to enhancing their knowledge of the game, refereeing gives young referees the opportunity to learn important life skills. Hockey is a fast game and being able to see and make the right call is awesome.  The ability to make decisions under pressure is a crucial skill that will translate well into adulthood.

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Lastly, and I’m sure I’m missing many reasons, it teaches them conflict resolution.  There will be times that calls are made that coaches, parents and players will disagree with.  As a referee, their job is resolve that conflict as professionally as possible.  These conflicts can be highly emotional and aren’t always easy to solve, but this teaches a valuable life skill.  Where else can a teenager get that kind of on the job experience?

As for my young zebra, he refereed his first squirt game with his mentor.  It was his first full ice game, but he picked up quickly.  As his games progressed yesterday, it was fun to watch him grow increasingly confident in his role.  He capped off his day by scorekeeping a couple of rec games, so he could learn how to use the clock.

For all my Florida hockey parents, your kid can start refereeing at fourteen.  The referee seminars are held in the fall throughout Florida.  If you have any questions, let me know!

Looking for referee gear, you can shop his look here:

 

It’s Been Crazy

It’s been crazy around these parts hence the several month hiatus from the blog.  While the kids went north this summer, the hubby and I worked.  Oh and I tore my posterior tibial tendon, which has been so much fun.  Needless to say I didn’t do much this summer but work and elevate my leg.  Now I’m bootless, scooterless and ready to write!

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I did take on a new, super girl like identity as the summer ended: Scooter Girl.  You know like Avril Lavigne’s skater boi just older, with a boot and a lot less coordination.  I spent eight weeks in a boot and on my glorious scooter.  Whoever invented the scooter, also known by its significantly less sexy name as a knee walker, is my hero.  I can’t imagine having to spent eight weeks in a boot and on crutches – I wouldn’t have gone anywhere.  The scooter was a complete lifesaver.  It helped, of course, that my scooter was pimped out with a basket, a cup holder (how else would I carry my coffee), a memory foam padded knee pad cover and a bell (thank you KB.)

While I was on the scooter, I noticed that people were much nicer and helpful.  Even the snowbirds near me were sweet – amazing.  It was, however, a little demoralizing when a woman in her 80s told me she had been in the same boat and that I’d be okay.   She was so sweet.  Seriously, the snowbirds were sweet and if you lived in S. Florida you’d understand how amazing that really is.  It also sucked having to put on a cast bag to go outside or take a shower.  Having a cast during rainy season isn’t awesome.

The scooter also got us VIP entrance and upgrades at a couple of concert.  I definitely was not  looking forward to being on the law at an amphitheater with my scooter.  However, nothing was going to stop me from seeing the Imagine Dragons or Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence.   I think maybe that’s the lesson in all of this.  No matter what life throws at you, don’t stop living.  P.S. The Imagine Dragons with shirtless Dan is a must see show!

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Thankfully, I’m off the scooter as the craziness of hockey season is in full swing. I did have a scooter buddy at the beginning of the season, but I’m happy to report we’re both off our scooters!   It was a challenge to fit my scooter and their gear in the car.  Not too mention it’s tough to navigate the rink and find a comfortable viewing place for the games. I’ll admit that the bell prevented several potential collisions as I glided down the ramps at Ice Den.  Fortunately, the breaks on the scooter were quite effective.

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Perhaps the hardest part of the boot life is the inability to really exercise.  For eight weeks I was relegated to water workouts only.  We don’t have a pool at home, so I was at the mercy of traffic and the weather.  It’s been tough to be outside my normal workout habits.  It’s also tough to be passed in the pool by a geriatric swimmer, but I digress.  I’m still not cleared to run or do Zumba, but spent sometime on my TRX this past week.  It felt amazing.

At any rate, it feels good to back at the blog and bootless!

P.S.A.

While I won’t be able to run this year’s Purple Stride, I am still captain of Team Deb Force Five and am taking on an expanded role at the event.  Please join the Fight by joining Team Deb Force Five as a participant, donor or virtual strider!  Together we can help PanCan double survival rates by 2020.  Here’s the link:  Join Team Deb Force Five

Grocery Shopping

Since yesterday was a crazy day, I did grocery shopping today.  Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s a Super Target right by our house.  Today I was pretty disciplined in my shopping.  Consequently, we’ll say it’s fortunate we’re so close to Target.  Before I left for the store, I had my list ready, Cartwheel and my Ibotta ready to go.

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If you’re grocery shopping in S. Florida during snowbird season, you’re really taking your life and your heels into your own hands.  I can’t tell how many times they’ve run into the back of my cart.  Nor could I tell you how many times they’ve held up the line arguing over an expired coupon or a coupon for another store.  Thank God for earbuds!

Despite the list and the well intentioned planning, I inevitably forget 2-3 items on my list on the regular.  This week it seems that I got my entire list, but last week was an entirely different story.  Last week, I forgot bananas, sandwich bags and jelly.  Fortunately, we live close, so I returned Monday to get those items.  Well, except for the bananas because I forgot them again.  Perhaps I should try a mnemonic device instead since the grocery list strategy isn’t bullet proof.  On second thought, that probably won’t work either.

This week’s list was quite light  as the Mayor and Hubby are still in Georgia for hockey while Goalielocks and I will head to Boston Thursday.  Of course, I tried to buy enough stuff so the Hubby wouldn’t have to grocery shop in my absence.  After all, the last time he grocery shopped, we ended up with Spam sandwiches.  P.S.  Spam sandwiches are awful.  You may as well put a salt lick between pieces of bread.  P.S.S. the mnemonic device pictured below is a lie!

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It’s back to work tomorrow!  I know you’re as excited as I am about the return of Monday.  Believe it or not, I’m actually excited for tomorrow.  I cannot wait to see my Mayor and the Hubby.  It sounds like they’ve had an amazing trip.  The Mayor will be sure to share all his stories with me upon his return home and that will be incredible!

Tonight’s song performed by Goldfinger is “99 Red Balloons.”  Sorry – JS I couldn’t find a good English video of the original!

 

 

 

Award Winning

I am now an award winning blog.  The Sunshine Blogger award is a peer nominated award, which is pretty awesome.  Moreover, it certainly is nice to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve put into the site. The great thing about a peer nominated award in blogging is that the nominator understands the blood, sweat and tears that go into a blog.  I’d like to profusely thank Floatinggold whose blog I quite enjoy.  On this great blog, you’ll find great posts from topical news of the day posts, creative writing and wonderful motivational posts.  You should definitely check it out.

In addition to winning the Sunshine blogger award, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed some award winning donuts (Jupiter Donuts), pizza (Louie’s) and amazing wings (Wings Plus.)  Needless to say after the feast that was our team lunch, I probably won’t have to eat again until Sunday.  Overall, it was an award worth Thursday.

Finally, the best part of Thursday of course is that it is Friday eve.  Oh wait, my weekend is equally as busy as my weekdays.  The Mayor has two games in Coral Springs Saturday while Goalielocks has practice in Palm Beach at the same time.  So far, Sunday looks to be pretty open, so I’ll be heading to aerial yoga and spin in the morning.  Fortunately, this will leave me well prepared for the gorge fest that is the Super Bowl.

QUESTIONS FOR ME:

  1. Would you rather move to a new city or town every year or never be able to leave the city or town you were born in and why?  I’d rather move to a new city and explore the world than be constrained to one place in this world.
  2. What was the last picture you took with your phone?  The Mayor eating a Girl Scout Cookie.
  3. You discover that your wonderful one-year-old child is not yours because of a mix up at the hospital, would you want to exchange the child to correct the mistake?  This is a tough one.  I’d probably exchange the child or create a co-parenting situation.  After all, the kids would need to know their biological family and their associated health risks.
  4. Do you ever talk to yourself? When and what do you say?  All the time… It’s like a running monologue on my day and no I don’t answer myself…
  5. What is the best part of being a part of your family?  We have a blast together.  Our life is crazy, hectic, stressful and wonderful all at us.  I couldn’t ask for a better family.
  6. Is there something you constantly lose?  I lose my keys, my sunglasses, my water on the daily.

NOMINATIONS:

  • http://pvcann.wordpress.com/
  • https://mypaceoflifeblog.wordpress.com/
  • https://authentically50.wordpress.com/
  • https://bikeclimbrunswimrunyoga.wordpress.com/
  • https://adventuresofabusymom.com/
  • https://chungwipff.com/

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. If you could move anywhere in the world (money is no object), where would you move and why?
  3. What’s your favorite book and how has it influenced you?
  4. Coffee or tea?
  5. What makes your heart sing?
  6. If you could see any artist in concert, who would it be and why?

RULES:

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for the blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate other new blogs to receive the award and compose new questions for them to answer.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
my world

My World

For tonight’s blog, it’s all about giving you a glimpse in my world through the share your world challenge.  It’s one of the challenges run here in the blogosphere that make for fun and interesting reads while also connecting you to others bloggers.  So here it goes.

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?   I’m not good at being bad. So no I wouldn’t cheat because know I’d get caught.

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What things in nature do you find most beautiful?  I love the beautiful sunsets that light the Florida sky.  Also a top the items I find to be most beautiful are flowers, the beach, the fjords, mountains and waterfalls.   The Norwegian countryside was beyond beautiful.  Neither pictures nor words can adequately describe its beauty.

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to…  I love to stay in the neighborhoods and experience the city or country as a local.  Consequently, we stayed in AirBnB’s in both Bergen and Oslo while travelling throughout Norway.  These accommodations were in the neighborhoods away, but not too far from the tourist sights.  In Oslo, our apartment had the cutest nest like area over the kitchen where the younger two boys could sleep.  Fortunately, they loved their little area.  Goalielocks had a similar room when we were in Bergen, which he also loved.  Nevertheless, the point is I want to be immersed in the culture of where ever I have traveled to.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  This week I was heavily inspired by my dear friend Debbie, here family and our friends.  Months of hard work culminated with the Purple Stride event Sunday morning.  After the event, I was looking to see updated fundraising totals on the site and noticed a quote from Debbie. Here’s here quote that as a part of her keynote speech at the 2016 Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride event.

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My first PurpleStride was in 2015. I wanted to complete the 5K as my own personal challenge. Being able to attend my second PurpleStride this year in 2016, was about showing that patients can live, cherish the moments they have in their lives, teach others to celebrate their own lives and to remember the gifts of those lives that are no longer with us.”

Tonight’s song comes to us courtesy of Tom Petty.  Enjoy “Learning to Fly!”