Hello Monday

Linking up with my girl Andrea over at She’s Crafty for my first hello Monday post of 2014 … gonna make it a good one.

hello challenge — Today we kick off our second Advocare 24-Day Challenge with nearly 300 of our newest online friends and even a couple of family members. Since our first 24DC in September, Brian and I have lost a combined 40+ pounds! Our goals this time around have shifted from weight loss to fitness but we are just as excited to see our results in the end. It’s not too late to join us in this adventure, leave a comment if you are interested or check it out here.

hello menu —  Weekly meal planning is the only way to guarantee a successful week of clean eating in our household. Working ten-hour days outside of the house while maintaining a steadfast rule to eat a healthy, homemade dinner together as a family every single night requires dedicated proper planning and preparation. Here’s what my 100% clean-eatin’ menu board looks like this week:

MONDAY – Roasted Ratatouille 

TUESDAY – Slow Cooker Whole Chicken 

WEDNESDAY – Turkey Ragu 

THURSDAY – Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon

FRIDAY – Bruschetta Chicken

SATURDAY – We are attending a dinner party with good friends who were traveling over the holidays. We will be bringing our own quinoa-brown rice pasta to go with her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce.

SUNDAY – Chicken Avocado Soup


hello office —  I wish I could say that I was actually looking forward to going back to the grind after two weeks off for the holidays, but I’m not. What I am looking forward to is the structure and productivity that comes with a work week vs. endless weekend (what day is it again?).

hello sunrise — Oh, 5:30am boot camp … you were not missed. The option of 6:30, 7:15 or 9am workouts (depending on wine consumption -or waking toddlers- the night before) for two whole weeks has been luxurious to say the least. But with structure comes sunrise butt kickin’. Maybe we will see ‘hello muscles’ in a future hello Monday post?

hello sweet surprises — One day this week I will come home to a tiny package on my doorstep. I have no idea when it will arrive or what running lover’s goodness will be inside, and that’s the beauty of receiving my monthly Stride Box. Not sure how they are going to top December’s awesome reflective shoe laces … hurry up & get here already!

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  • andreaJanuary 7, 2014 - 7:15 am

    i adore your post! i am going to check out some of those recipes for sure! we have to pre-plan foods as well or we will end up down the wrong road. good job to you and brian for making fitness a priority!
    glad to see you back in bloggyland!ReplyCancel


We have been anticipating a home cooked meal by our international friends Marco & Klo since they shared Christmas dinner with our family last year and told stories of the wonderful Italian dishes that they make. Finally, the time arrived to mangia! And boy, did we ever. Starting with some incredible appetizers of smoked salmon in a lemon sauce that was to-die-for and a handful (plus a few) of these delectable little treats.

Bresaola e Caprino (Italian beef and goat cheese rolls with chives) — aka. Heaven Rolls.
And while the children slept, the adults continued to eat and eat and eat. I think five courses in all. Accompanied by equal amounts wine, of course. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to cook for them with confidence again, even my Christmas Duck à l’Orange paled in comparison. Better stick to grilling by the pool instead.
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One year ago…

One year today…

My heart bleeds with love and pride for you, Little Man. I don’t know what else to say. I love you.

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It’s all in the details

I like to keep things simple organized interesting and have everything prepared early on time at the last minute. Who am I kidding? The morning of a party is always chaotic and rushed. That’s why I brilliantly plan afternoon parties. I had hoped to have all of the decorations up and ready to go with the exception of balloons & cupcakes the day before, but honestly what fun would that have been? Certainly a midnight home delivery of custom paper products by my favorite stationary queen, Stephanie Cooley of Stephanie J Designs, is far more exciting. In the end, it always turns out ah-mazing…and this party was no exception. See for yourself, courtesy of my talented friend Klo (aka. savior of not having to play hostess/Mommy/photographer for the day — even though I tried anyway).

For the record, I do not recommend putting cute cotton candy toppers on cupcakes (to look like blue Who hair). Apparently, frosting (even with fondant barriers) dissolves cotton candy. Consider yourself warned.
This is just a taste of the fun to be had. I will post more birthday photos with invitations, planning, & menu details later soon before my next BIG bash. Promise.
Custom Stationary: Stephanie J Designs
Smash Cake & Cupcakes: Nolands Cakes
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taking a break

What did we do today? We had another play date with our friend RJ, of course. It was a minimum day for Madison so she tagged along. I felt like I had a million things to do and was quite stressed about spending the afternoon visiting when there were only three shopping days left to get ready for Lucas’s Big Boy party.

We met at Starbucks for a pick-me-up, where RJ managed to escape behind the counter to meet the barista up close & personal. Never a dull moment with these boys. Then we took a trip to Michaels in an attempt to be productive before heading indoors to get out of the rain. After trashing RJ’s house, we (the Mommy’s) decided that some quiet time was due, in the form of Baby Einstein. RJ has taken a liking to Madison. Which doesn’t seem to bother Lucas one bit.

It took me about an hour to get out of my funk and stop worrying about last minute party details. But once I was able to sit back and relax, it turned out to be just what I needed to get organized.

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