Life since we last caught up + our video + we gotta go easy (which is easy most of the time but hard some of the time)!

How is it already Thursday?  I swear this week is flying by!  Thank you so much for your sweet comments yesterday, they made my day!!! As you can tell, I am a little excited about the whole thing!  Okay, let’s get talking about things that have gone on around here since we last caught up.

It didn’t end up snowing again so we took the kids out to the hill to get some sledding in.

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Brooke is very cautious and Knox is all about going as fast as possible. The idea of ‘catching air’ is so thrilling to him.  Just like me and Andrew ha.

Sometimes I feel like they are just our miniature versions.

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It was snowing in the mountains and luckily we had the whole hill pretty much to ourselves!

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I don’t know how to explain it well but when the four of us are all together at the same time, my heart just feels happiest.  There is a lot of back and forth and all over the place with our situations but it just feels peaceful when we are all together.

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I have a little video from the day (ehhh hour—>  Brooke and I lasted about an hour before our toes almost froze off) together:

Let’s catch up on some of the delicious food we have had around here.  Andrew and I have made one really huge goal (for us) to REALLY limit our eating out.  I think all of the eating out on our trip to take Brooke to California for Christmas took it out of us… Eating out is killing us.  Trips are obviously different (or when it is a family thing with one of our families) but when we are at home, we are limiting it to 1-2 times a week now and are on week #2 now (haha yes, that is a big deal for us).  It’s really great though because it is cheaper, tastier, way healthier for us and I am home more which I love.  When I was single I am pretty sure Brooke and I were NEVER home.  It was exhausting trying to go ALL OF THE PLACES.  Being home (especially since I work at home) more feels better for me and the kids I’m sure.

Bagels have been the breakfast of choice.  Toasted, cinnamon raisin, post-run goodness.

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Andrew told me the other day that he never really ate sweet potatoes before me and now he has one almost every day.  Who says people can’t change?

This one had ground turkey, cheese, corn, avocado and this homemade salsa (I think we added more jalapeños than the recipe called for this time though ha, my mouth was on fire still an hour later).

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Salsa is easy when you just toss it all in the blender!

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These easy chicken fajitas were amazing.  We put mashed black beans with garlic and salt on the bottom, sour cream and the fajita toppings on top.

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For dinner last night we went with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches but I think I have showed you 10 pictures of that in the last few weeks already:) These blueberries sure are good to snack on though.

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I found my new favorite running song yesterday and then randomly found out they are from Utah so that is fun.  They have a few songs that are great for running, fast beat and happy sounding music (if that makes sense).

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I went with my sister to the gym at way too early o’clock.  Josse was there too so I got to do strength training and some running with my sister and then finish up my run with Josse.  My sweet niece was there and she rocked out TWO MILES.  She told me she wants to do some 5ks this summer… maybe she will be the one to sign up for a 5k.

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My niece’s love for Brooks running shoes has started.  She told me they are just so comfy and they fit her feet perfect.  I’m just a proud aunt over here.

I did 8 miles on the treadmill at an 8:40 pace (and got home before Brooke woke up… boom).  I did speed on Tuesday and felt surprisingly good on Wednesday to the point that I was really wanting to go faster on the treadmill than I was (I know… that NEVER happens to me).  Running is such a patient sport.  Years on end of injuries one after the other has taught me that even if I think I feel ‘great’ there is damage done to the muscles even down to the cellular level during hard workouts.  This means that recovery runs are NECESSARY and that is what I remind myself when I don’t feel like going easy… luckily, my problem normally is going easy too much lately:)

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I don’t really remember what was happening here but the picture was on my phone and I am guessing Brooke wanted me to be the horse.

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Andrew studied like crazy for a pharmacology test, took the test and then passed out for a half hour… Beretta is always happy to join Andrew in every activity that he does.

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We went with the rainbow nails last night.  Painting nails is turning into a tri-weekly activity for Brooke.


My dad sent me this article about a 105 year old man that just set a world record by riding 14.010 miles in one hour.  Absolutely amazing.

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***Post coming soon—>  the daily misadventures!  Chrissy gave me the idea to write a post about all of the daily mishaps (there are a lot;) that go on over here.  So be prepared.


Have a favorite homemade salsa recipe?  Please share!  Are you into hot, medium or mild salsa?

Do you stick to a food budget each week.. yay or nay?  What about an eating out budget?

What days of the week do you do your hard workouts usually?  Why that day?

Do you paint your fingernails often?

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I used to paint my nails every Sunday but my boyfriend doesn’t have a functioning dishwasher so we hand wash dishes and my polish just chips too much so I gave up. First world problems.


We have to hand wash too but I just wear gloves :)


I’ve always tried to not eat out very much, so I make meal planning and prepping on Sunday a priority! I usually have my lunch and breakfast cooked and packed for the week, then each dinner planned out. I don’t really follow a budget but try to keep each week under $50 for the two of us. We usually only go out to eat once or twice a month. It’s a lot easier to give up going to restaurants now that I’m vegan because it’s hard to find places that I can go ;)

When I moved last year, I actually threw out all of my nail polish and haven’t painted my nails since. It’s crazy how strong they are now and they grow like crazy!


That sweet potato looks delicious. I haven’t had one in a few weeks, so I’m thinking it’s about time again. I LOVE the combo you introduced me to of chicken, BBQ sauce and avocado on a sweet potato. SO good.

My hard workouts are usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes I add faster miles into my long runs on Saturdays. When I had a coach, those were my two hard workout days of the week, so I guess I just got into a habit of it. Plus, it really works out well with my schedule to have those be my harder days. And I’m glad I’ve finally learned to take my easy days easy–it’s so important for recovery and staying injury free!


I think that is why I do mine usually on tuesday and thursday… habit from when I had a coach! SO happy you have learned what helps you to stay injury free Natalie! So glad you love the best combo ever on a sweet potato… I eat it way too much!


Man, I really hope I’m capable of climbing on a bike at 105. Or 95. Or 85. Or, let’s face it, 75. That is crazy awesome.

I paint my daughters’ nails rainbow colors too! Although the oldest one is suddenly getting more mature and asking for things like alternating silver and gold.


I loved getting my nail done when I was little and I would have them do my doll’s nails too. I still love getting my nails done, usually go once a week…I try not to eat out as much during the week but we totally go in phases where we are eating out more often! I made dinner 3 nights in a row this week so I feel accomplished lol


You are such an excellent role model for healthy, but also realistic eating – thank you! Cooking healthier meals for our family is definitely one of my goals this year. Thanks for the inspiration as well as the reminder that the occasional cookie or doughnut is okay in moderation. I want to be just like you when I grow up :O).


Oh thank you Megan! You are way too nice. Yeah, I can’t live without the junk hahah but I do love the healthy stuff too:) Enjoy the rest of your day Megan!


Hi Janae!

I wanted to share something that has been working for me an my husband in terms of an eating out budget…like you, we said for months (ok, years…) that we were going to cut down on our meals out of the house, but never seemed to make it stick when things got busy.

We have a baby on the way (beginning of March–AHHH!) – and that motivated us to *actually* get serious about things. In order to force ourselves to stick to an “eating out” budget, we take $300 out in cash at the beginning of the month, and split it. Our rule is that we have to use that money for any food not cooked at home (including drinks or snacks), and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

If we got out together, we try to roughly split the bill using the cash each of us has left, but we can also use “our” cash to eat out by ourselves if we’re craving something throughout the work day. I’m sure this isn’t for everyone – and the monthly number will obviously vary from family to family, but for us – IT WORKED. Our monthly credit card bill has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY every month, and we’re both feeling healthier and like we have more energy. In addition, we find ourselves saving our money for more special dates or getting something we really really want instead of just picking up a random pizza for dinner because we’re tired.

Good luck!


Great idea! Thanks for sharing!


CONGRATS ON YOUR PREGNANCY Elizabeth! I am so beyond excited for you! THANK YOU x a million for sharing what is working for you guys. I think that would work perfectly for us to be honest… my brother kind of does a similar thing and it has worked really well for them. Thank you for sharing, reading your comment to Andrew now:)


Great post! Now that my little is in elementary school it really helps to limit the amount we go out to eat during the week. We just don’t have time or energy! But we do go out on the weekends. We really enjoy the extra time together when we go out. No one seems to be rushing from the table to do dishes, or play. So I consider the trade off of maybe less healthy meal and more $ to be worth the extra family quality time.

I LOVE the look of painted nails…but it doesn’t stay on long so I save it for special occasions! Love Brooke’s rainbow nails!


I feel like I paint my nails at least once a week!! Love Brooke’s rainbow nails!


Ha! Actually our goal is to limit eating out too. You can definitely save a ton of money that way. I paint my nails 1-2 times per month. I like to keep them polished but nothing over the top.


Your sweet potato post looked incredible! How do you cook the ground mince? I am such a wimp that even mild salsa is normally too hot for me – it’s a running joke in my family that our chicken curry is actually chicken in sauce!

I try and do my hard workout toward the beginning of the week because I know I won’t want to do it on a Friday!

I don’t really tend to stick to a meal budget but I do stick to a meal plan and I am super boring because I will eat the same meal every single day for a week – I find it so much cheaper to make batches of food but it means by Friday I am so so bored of my meals and can’t wait to make next week’s ones!! I’m also trying to limit going out – some weeks I can spend 2 x my weekly shop on eating out but hey, it’s fun and it’s quite nice to try something different every now and then :)

Please could you also Brooke to paint my nails – her’s look so much better than mine!


I go through cycles — but always get store bought. Sometimes I want mild and chunky, other times I want spicy and smooth.

We have a food budget and follow it loosely. If I’m super thrifty with groceries, we can eat out. If not, we eat in.

I stick to a 3 day a week hard workout with the other 4 mild/easy or recovery.

My nails are almost always painted, but as I’m typing this I realize I’ve chipped off all my polish. Whenever I’m in the car for long road trips (like the one I just had for the holidays) I tend to pick at my nail polish. This must explain my current naked nails.


Oh yes we are big nail painters over here. We nixed eating out so much years ago. It keeps getting more and more expensive. As you said, it’s cheaper and healthier at home, and makes so much more. Now we limit eating out to birthdays, anniversary’s and some holidays. On occasion, on a super busy night, I either try to make that left over or crock pot night. But if we are not home, we will hit Subway, pizza or taco’s somewhere. But that’s not often. So it’s a big treat now. Then we got an amazing cupcake and ice cream shop in our town. Ugh, talk about torture. We quickly had to set strict rules for that place. They knew us by first name way before they should have.


I used to paint my nails once a week, but last year I stopped doing it. I have two weeks working on maintaining my nails done all the time, and so far I’m loving it:)

My hardest workouts of the week are my long runs. I do them every Saturday because I have more time in the morning.

I do stick to a budget for grocery shopping and eating out. I gotta say I’m pretty good with the grocery shopping budget but not that good with the one I designate for eating out.


three manicures a week. what a lucky lady that brooke is! does she sit still for them to dry?


I’m happy while running the Chicago Marathon that there aren’t any hills. When it comes to sledding, however — not so much.:P

Being Texan, you’d THINK that I’ve made homemade salsa. I believe that I have, but I couldn’t tell you when or how.

Harry and I have a bi-weekly budget that we generally stick to. Two nights a week, we eat out with the running group/friends, and pizza night on Fridays (just like when I was a kid!).


I almost always do my speed work on Tuesdays unless I race the Sunday before. When I ran my first marathon ever (Boston for charity) our team did track and hill work on tuesdays so it just stuck.

I just started training for the Eugene marathon after taking the fall off from training and man, I’m discovering it’s taking me a lot longer to recover than it used to. I’ve also gotten weirdly ticklish to my roll recovery!!?! Hoping things return to “normal” soon.

Had to postpone my morning run today because it was still a blizzarding mess here in Denver. Planning 7 miles at the gym later!!! Have a great day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post!


That sledding hill looks amazing!


I have so many fun memories of going sledding with my family. I’m sure my parents used it as a way too tire my brother and I out.

I like to get my toughest workouts done early in the week. Once I have the tough stuff done, the other workouts feel a lot easier by comparison.


We try to eat out only about once a week. Since we both work from home currently that means all meals. (although I almost always brought my lunch to work. It was cheaper and I am a good cook. :) I am also told I make some of the best salads.

My spin class is tough, I literally had sweat dripping off my nose Tuesday. So Tuesday, Saturday (spin or run), and usually Thursday are hard days. I try to balance out to prevent injury.

I prefer medium salsa but I appreciate all kinds. Mine is basic: tomatoes, garlic, lime, red onion, fresh jalapenos, and cilantro (or parsley if I can’t find cilantro). Salt and pepper to taste. My husband (who is not usually a fan of salsa or spicy foods) will eat this cooked on fish. I make fish packets and top the fish with the salsa before sealing the packet. (which if you are looking for an easy clean up meal – this is the way to go. Cooked rice on the bottom, top with veggies, and then the fish).


We have a separate grocery and eating out budget for each month :)

Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually my hardest days because I meet up with my running partners on those days and I have more time on Saturday because I don’t have to work.

I have gel on my nails. I love having something on my nails.


Thank you for sharing the Totem City song – I am totally obsessed! I feel like I am constantly searching for new songs to run to. I love the beat in Prequel. I will definitely listen to it during my run in the SNOW later today!


Isn’t it amazing!! So glad you love it now too! Enjoy your run in the snow:)


I don’t paint my fingernails often, but my toenails get done once a week or every two weeks, just depends what I’ve got going on. It’s so relaxing to me, and I love that they’re pretty. :)

Grocery budgets. Hmmm. There are two of us now. I used to just shop for me, so these past few months have been a transition. We’re spending between $35 – $45 each week for two of us, and eating well so I feel good about that. We’re lucky though, we had a great summer in the garden last year, so we have tons of homemade canned salsa & pasta sauce + pickles. And the MR is a hunter, so we always have fresh, local, organic deer meat to use. So I pretty much never buy ground beef.


My hubs and I are both foodies, so we love to eat out, but it’s expensive so we do have an eating out budget that we try to stick to. Luckily for me, my husband (Italian descent) is an amazing cook and does 95% of the cooking. My work hours are crazy and his are normal so thank goodness he takes care of that part for our family. We also both limit how much we buy lunch during the work week.. i usually bring my lunch to work. I actually have no idea what our budget is because he is the CFO of the family and keeps track of all that :0. Not very modern of me, but I do earn a large percentage of our family income and he manages everything else :). It works for us. He’s better at it than I am anyway!


Are all of Andrews nursing classes online? What school is he taking courses through? I would love to be able to mainly do online courses!


HEY KASEY!! Yes, all of his classes are online through Western Governors! He has a bunch of clinicals/labs etc to do at the hospital but everything else is online, it is so nice!


High five to your niece!! ??


My oldest boys like hot salsa, my daughter likes medium (especially a black bean and corn salsa) and my youngest thinks he likes it hot but in reality does not.

During XC season hard workouts were on Mon/Wed. Now I am such a bare bones runner-I just run and don’t do any detailed workouts. THen again I’ve been dealing with an annoying lower back/hip injury for 14 months so I am careful to not do to many intense miles.

No set grocery budget per week but we rarely eat out. I know this sounds weird but we’re too busy to eat out. However, our options are limited over here so going out to a German Gasthaus is expensive and a bit redundant. My kids LOVE Doner kebabs so I get those for them on occasion. We do try to get to sushi though because, well, sushi.

My daughter will practice painting nails on me. I’m a picker. I do paint my toes to cover up all the runner toe blemishes-I have a really nice dark color that I constantly use on the toes!


hi janae, I may have missed it, but where is andrew getting is aBSN?


Thanks so much for posting meal ideas!! It helps me get out of my rut!!


Wait, did Andrew wear shorts for sledding? Ha


I paint my fingernails for like a month and then I don’t for a year.

I am craving a bagel with pb and a banana now. That sounds and looked amazing. And I am pretty sure I could live off chips and salsa. I made 7 layer bean dip for our friends new years eve party and I ate it for lunch and dinner the next day. Cause sometimes snacky food trumps real food. Amirite?

I am proud of you for going sledding. I already have hermit tendencies and now that is keeps getting colder, I find myself never wanting to leave my house.


Way to go getting in that sister + gym time. LOVE it! I just moved to SLC and miss my sis. Im also looking for a good gym. Which one do yall like?
And its normal to run on snowy roads right?
I love it here so so much!


We just committed to eating out once per weekend. We were practically getting every weekend meal out, which isn’t good for our financial or fitness goals!

I try to stay at a grocery budget but with less eating out it’s definitely going up.

I rarely paint my fingernails. I’m terrible at it! But I do try to keep my toenails looking nice. Now that we live in FL it’s sandal season year round.

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