Running In July

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July run

It literally seems like yesterday that I was posting about “Running in June.”  Right!?  Anyone else feel like this summer is flying by!? Woah. OK, so I have been KILLING it with miles lately and I have been (overall) feeling great.  The heat has obviously made my outdoor runs (more on that later) suuuuper challenging and I’ve suffered at times from a bit of heavy legs, surprisingly when I am not running (more when I am walking around with the kiddos, on my feet a long time, etc).   Other than that though, I am feeling great and am seeing gains in my running fitness, which is awesome.  I followed through on my goals for July.  Here they are again with my progress bolded.

  1.  Weekly long run at 10 miles and tempo speed- My half marathon plan was tweaked here– weekly long run was 8.5 this week and 9.5 (maybe 10?) next week.
  2. Run outside once a week AT LEAST (if it allows w the littles)- YUP!  In fact ran outside on average 1.5 times a week this month which is huge!
  3. Core train with a PURPOSE (read: planks, etc.) so to take pressure off of my joints and for the longevity of my running “career!”- NOPE.  Did like 4 planks this month.  LOL

Newtons.  Always.  FTW.  No socks. I know.

OK, so here are my three August goals:

a.  Weekly long runs to build for the half marathon, maintain consistency (might be hard as we are traveling a bit in August

b.  Run outside 1.5 times a week (also might be hard with travel-I tend to rely on hotel gyms when I travel as my natural GPS is crap)

c.  Core train – LOL

As you can see, my goals are pretty much to maintain what I have been doing.  We are traveling in August so we shall see how things progress!  I am super stoked for the half in September and will do my best to get those long runs in!  I will leave you with some cool scenes from my recent runs!

And two jump shots, but of course…



Running Lately: Highs and Lows

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Good evening!  I am feeling super thankful in light of some recent events so wahoooo!  I wanted to check in on some running things of late and thought it would be fun to do it in a high/low format!

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Old picture 🙂

HI:  Weekly mileage- Super stoked that my weekly mileage was 39 miles two weeks ago and 36 last week.  This week I’m on track to do 38.  Loving these “stacked” weeks as I call them (stacked w a lot of miles, for me at least- I usually average low 30s) BUT they lead to…

LOW:  Lead legs-  I have really been feeling like “my legs are heavy” this week and the end of last.  This could also be a result of increasing and doing hill/speedwork more consistently.  Luckily today my legs felt great an I was able to do a long run on which to build my next 6 for the…

HIGH- Registering for the Philadelphia Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon!  It is Sunday, September 18, in just 6 more training weeks, but I feel like I have a solid (running)fitness foundation for it so I am SUPER STOKED.  Also SUPER excited about the new (FAST!) course!!! I just mapped out my long runs (these are the only things I really plan when training for a race.  I will soon be doing a post detailing how I train if you are interested). As a quick aside, I have 7 training weeks (including this one)  left I so will be doing my long runs as follows (started this week-today): 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 12.5, 13.  I am mindfully maxing out at 13 even though many training plans don’t require running race distance.  I feel more confident when I have that “time on my feet.”

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LOW:  The babysitter at gym that we beyond love has been out sick with her son.  So, my treadmill runs over the last week have been bit impossible, however, that leads me to

HIGH:  More outdoor runs which means with the jogging stroller= extra training and checking my July goals off!  YAY!  This also meant exploring a new (to Gabriel) running route.  I didn’t want to bring the stroller on the bridge so we did a river trail run!  We ran from our home to the Schyulkill River (25 and Spruce) then accessed the river trail with up the ramp)

LOW:  My feet have really been bothering me.  I feel like they have been bearing most of the burden of my treadmill-running and kid-running.  I am on my feet A LOT.  I need to figure out how to be kinder to them.  Any suggestions?  Foot massage?  I REALLY need to roll them over tennis balls. I actually like to roll them over these prickly balls I got for G initially (don’t worry- they are cheap enough that I bought him another :)) Soooo goooood.  Just need to remember to do it (and find the time to sit!!).

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HIGH:  New Newtons (Gravity V)– These Gravities are EVERYTHING.  LOVE the color too. You can read more about Newton here.


So, I leave you on (another) high:


Love.  This.  Picture. 

3 Cheers for Diggerland, USA!

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Hello everyone!  I wanted to do a quick review post on Diggerland USA, because after I posted a few snapshots on FB I received about a dozen questions about it!  Totally worth a post 🙂  So, we have been looking to try Diggerland for about a year now.  The olders are 4 years old and G is up and running and thinks he is at least as old as the others 🙂  Really.  I had avoided this “theme park” because I thought it was far and I am not a big car ride lover.  But when we tossed around some ideas for our weekend fun, I researched and it was actually only 35-40 minutes from our home (Center City Philadelphia)!  Score.


Matching digger tanks FTW!

OK, so I guess a few caveats are needed:  I felt that we were one of the few families there when we arrived around 10:30.  The park opens at 10 and we were planning on doing this as a morning activity only due to the heat and the still napping (knock on wood!) kiddos.  The regular park hours, though are typically 10-7, however there are some changes daily so check the website prior to going.  There were literally NO lines.  It seemed so empty and easy, but again, though, as a caveat, I think the heat scared some people away.  And understandably so.  There is VERY little shade at Diggerland which in yesterday’s heat could have been a disaster!  However, I really felt like Diggerland did a GREAT job at managing the heat as best they could.  Every few feet there was a fan misting water and a huge umbrella for shade over many benches.  As for other “indoor” areas at Diggerland, there is really only a large tented area with tables near the food vendor, a covered “arcade” that had a good amount of air circulating, and of course, the gift shop.  The rest is out in the open.  Like legit in the open.  BRING SUNSCREEN!  We applied many times within the course of the morning.


OK, so a note on pricing: (Because I am anal) I bought our tickets on line ahead of time.  I used a coupon code.  You should use it too!  It is $5 off any day ticket (coupon code DIGMANAGER).  So, I made the mistake of buying Gabriel a ticket.  Admittedly, the pricing online is a bit confusing and I thought that he would need a ticket.  When I got to the park, they said I didn’t need a ticket for him, so THEY immediately offered to refund me the money onto a Diggerland gift card which I thought was pretty awesome!  We then had $25 to spend on food!  Speaking of food, we got the family party bucket which was $29 and fed us all!  It was chicken fingers and fries. We did have to pay for drinks and the mandatory ice pops 🙂 But having that additional $25 was pretty great.  Here is some information on single-day tickets:

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So, speaking of Gabriel, there were not many rides that he could go on.  He could do some “lap rides” and the park provides you with this height guide to peruse ahead of time.  We found that to be super helpful.  Our older boys were able to go on pretty much everything, and certainly anything they wanted to.  Gabriel was unfortunately left out of those rides :/


But, there are some really great things for toddlers his age (18 months).  The playground (Kid Zone) area was FABULOUS.  ALL 3 boys LOVED it and it was a GREAT addition to Diggerland.  We were SUPER pleased with it.

OK, so back to the rides for a moment…the boys started out on the Barrel Train.  SO FUN!

They also took turns on the mini diggers (ducks-catch ducks, bowlers-knock down pins and treasures-dig through dirt), giant diggers, Backhoe Adventure, Argo off road, and a few more (I was doing some back and forth-ing to the car for sunscreen).

Ahhhhh so speaking of back and forth-ing to the car. We also thought this was fabulous: the parking could NOT have been more convenient. OUr car was mere steps from both the Exit and entrance, and after a hot day we were more than appreciative of this!  It was also great for grabbing things from the car (diaper changes, sunscreen etc) at any given point.  GOOD DEAL.  So funny what becomes important as a mom…LOL!  Oh, and here is the park map!

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Also, while we were there, we were able to see some birthday parties in progress and I was SUPER impressed.  One to love a good themed birthday party, Diggerland does it right. I didn’t want to sneak pics of some strangers’ birthday party, but the decor was adorable, complete with construction tape roping off the area and cute construction “toolkits” written on with chalk as centerpieces. Super cute.  Might have stolen some ideas 🙂 Information about their party packages are here.  Also, I found a coupon code for $40 off party bundles: 05DLNL40.  OK, so that is some information on Diggerland!  We certainly enjoyed and hope you do too if you plan on visiting!  Feel free to send along additional questions and comments!  And stay cool out there, guys!


House Cleaning Hacks and Tips on Staying Healthy with Kiddos!

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Hello hello!  Everyone enjoying this 90+ degree weather that has no end in sight?!  We are 😉


Trips to Chick-Fil-A are not only delicious but necessary when they have a super fun COOL indoor play space!

OK, so I wanted to share a few hacks I use when doing some around-the-house cleaning!  I have been finding my laundry piles to be extremely overwhelming.  One day I decided to just fold the towels as I pulled them fresh from the drier and stack them on top to put away. Woah did this decrease the amount it seemed!  This little think just makes my laundry loads seem much more doable!  I know it sounds little and silly but it really helps me!


Another thing are these AMAZING sponges (Debbie Meyer GeniusSponge) that my Aunt initially got for me.  She said they were “the best sponges ever” and she was right!  She got hers from HSN as she is an avid HSN/QVC consumer.  I have yet needed to replace my supply because they are dish washer safe and last forever.  SUPER pleased with these.


My Dyson Hand-Held– Yea, so I use this baby about 5-10 times a day. I love the different attachments that allow me to get into the sofa, around corners, etc.  Get one. It is worth it.  I have the V6 Trigger that costs about $198 but there are other options too.

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Mint Spray for ants– I admittedly get super freaked out by critters of any sort and size, so when I started to notice the beginnings of an ant issue near our front door, I jumped into action.  I wanted to use something that was safe for the kids and that would repel the ants, not kill them.  So, I bought a spray bottle at CVS for 2 bucks and added freshly chopped mint.  I keep the bottle in my fridge and spray the door frame first thing in the am, once in the pm and then at night (if I remember lol).


PLINKS!  I HATE the way disposals can smell, but I LOVE these Plinks!  I have used them for years and since then, they have come up with different scents.  Right now we are using lavender. I can’t say enough good things about these babies and they only cost about $5 per pack on Amazon!  How often you use them is up to your individual needs/preferences.

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OK, now, how I avoid getting sick with 3 boys at home.  First thing is first: SLEEP. I cannot tell you how much sleep I insist on getting because it is downright embarrassing.  Truly.  LOL. But the point is, sleep is so so so important to your health overall and certainly to your immune system.   Because I run a good deal, I try to get at least 9-10 hours of sleep at night (I literally go to bed by 9 latest). It is really important that you support your immune system if you are a runner because distance runs work on the same glyco stores as does your immune system. So, I also take a shot of Emergen-C  EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Without fail.  I literally cannot recommend doing this loud ENOUGH!!!!


SUPER obsessed with the tropical flavor and super confused as to why it is upside down.  LOL.

Since I started this regiment about 6 months ago, I really have not gotten sick.  A few weeks ago I was laid up for about 12 hours with what felt like the start of a fever but I slept it off and it went away.  I would also say to try to limit stress.  And I say that as I laugh, because, who doesn’t have stress?! But the truth is, stress takes YEARS off of your life!  You cannot control the things/people you are dealt with in life, but you CAN control how you react to them and the attention you give to these stressors.  Remind me to read this over again later today when I feel stressed beyond belief 🙂  Happy people are the healthiest!  Be happy!  LET yourself be happy.  Love and accept all that life has to offer you!     And as an aside, be happy for others!  Sending positivity out into the world will surely allow  you to attract happiness for yourself!  Remember- there is NOT a finite amount of happiness in the world- your support of others will ADD to your happiness, NOT subtract!  Ok.  Preach over 🙂

A Lesson on Buoyancy for your Little Ones

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Hello!  I hope everyone is surviving this heat!  I hear we are due for a break in the humidity come Wednesday and BOY are we looking forward to Wednesday!  In the meantime, here is a super fun activity for your to do with your littles that will teach them the primary concept(s) of buoyancy.  

We watch a good amount of Sid The Science Kid in our house, as I feel that it does an excellent job of promoting the exploration and learning of STEAM for our kiddos.  Yes, it is admittedly a little cheesy and a LOT catchy 🙂  Does anyone else watch this?  Anyway, on a recent night, Zach asked if we could do a “super fab lab” at our home.  The super fab lab is where the kids on “Sid” learn all sorts of cool science concepts such as inertia, friction, etc. So, this particular night, I scoured my old teacher brain and quickly whipped out a big bowl of water.  I then asked the littles if they wanted to see what would sink or float in our water. I then started singing one of the “Science Kids” songs, substituting the word “buoyancy” and the littles were HOOKED.


We tested out all sorts of objects, discussing why they might or might not sink or float.   I had them guess first if it would sink or float and we made a little chart, checking off “sink or float” for the final results.  This is actually teaching the primary concepts of journaling, super important for STEAM.  We first, of course, tested out a Lego.


I really thought it would sink due to the holes in this particular Lego, but it floated!  We then tried a can of tuna (buna- I make silly names for things).  Sunk.


Zach was then super interested in trying a piece of the Lego box. At first it floated, then he “tried to make it sink” and it worked.  I asked him why he thought this happened. An important part of these activities are the questions you ask your littles as these become tools for higher order thinking.


How fun, right!??! Even the adults got in on the action. The big guy was CONVINCED the pretzel would both float AND sink.  The boys got tired of waiting, but then…he was right!


Oh, so this is what G was doing when he got sick of the buoyancy game…


We are slightly obsessed with these amazing Melissa and Doug Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Magnets (less than $8!).  OK!  Hope you liked this cute little activity!  It is one that can be repeated too, which is always good!

Guns in the Home and Our Modern Family

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OK.  It is time.  The latest Baton Rouge slain officers are the straw.  The camel’s back has broken.  I have to make a statement in strong support of those officers who risk their lives daily for us and our safety.  I have to make a statement against the hatred that I see every. single. time. I turn on the TV.  This world is scary and shit is getting real.  So, our stance on guns in the home:  they do not exist for us.  There is NO need for ANY civilian to have a semiautomatic weapon, but I will end my diatribe there.  In our home, with 3 boys, we DO NOT allow the use of the word “gun.”  Of course our children play with water shooters, etc. but we will not use the word “gun” and there is no need for them to do so.  I worry that it normalizes the word and the subject.  And it isn’t ok. I will not raise my boys to raise guns.  Instead, we call anything that “shoots” a “blaster,” “pashooter” or the like.  But never a gun.  Guns are for police officers, military and similar, and our boys will be taught as such.


We, of course, allow our children to play games, but we explain VERY thoroughly that these are JUST games.  

This is a discussion that we have had between our two homes (ours and the boys dad’s) and we all agree.  Speaking of who these people are; they are OUR MODERN FAMILY.  I have had dozens of emails, comments, etc understandably wanting an explanation as to who is included in our modern family and how they got there 🙂  I promise you, this post will be coming!  Unfortunately we are in active litigation (NOT involving my children, thank God) right now so I have to protect those involved right now, but soon!  I promise!

Loving Lately: July

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Hello hello!  How is everyone holding up in this swamp!?  Here are ten things I am loving lately (and a few pertain to said swamp lol):

  1.  Water Play- DAMN it is hot!  We are loving playing in our “yard” area with hoses and bubbles (more on that in a minute). We also take the occasional trip to the “splash pads.”  There are 3 within a few blocks from us:  Star Garden (6/Lombard-our favorite as it is the least crowded, so the boys can run easily between the splashing and the play equipment), Seger (10/Lombard) and Headhouse Sq. Fountain.
  2. This kid’s ponytail– I refuse to cut his curls yet, so in the heat I will give him a pony and good GOD is it cute!?
  3. San Pellegrino Blood Orange– HOLY.YUM.  So, I typically am not a fan of beverages with calories.  I don’t love juice- it always seems thick to me and fills me up (I know, weirdo).  And admittedly, we have a bit of a diet soda issue around here (refrain from commenting- WE KNOW).  BUT, when I met this here honey, I fell for it immediately.  I drink it as a snack almost as it is refreshing and has just the right amount of sugar to put some pep in my step.  And it is soooooo delicious!?  I know it is hardly new, but it is new to me!                                                                           IMG_0094
  4. This IKEA Lunchbox– Zach asked for this the last time we were in IKEA and I really hesitated.  I thought it would be like many other things he “begged for” and never needed up using LOL. But given the price tag of $3.99, I decided to go for it, and what a hit!  The kids fight over this lunchbox and so we are going to make a trip over there soon to grab some more.  I highly recommend it.  It is easy to clean, you can throw in dishwasher if needed, and it holds just the right amount of stuff! LOVE THIS.IMG_0137
  5. Bubble Bashing– We got one of these cool bubble machines (only $13 and comes with awesome bubbles-you know some are lame, these are not) and a new game we have been playing as of late is popping the bubbles with their paddles.  (Song optional, but it is “We’re gonna pop, pop, pop the bubbles…”)  We LOVE this Melissa and Doug Tootle Turtle Racquet and Ball Set as it fills our ball/paddle needs too.  It legit keeps the kiddos entertained for minutes!  LOL 🙂 EFCC0F2E-D43B-4555-8AF6-A49C013DA5E3
  6. Crayola Color Wonder markers and coloring books (only 7 bucks!)- With this heat we need some more indoor play options.  This one we are playing with is Mickey Mouse- Gabriel loves it.  He calls Mickey Elmo, as he does with any animated or fuzzy character.  I LOVE this because there is NO MESS and the kiddos LOVE it!601AD5A0-4055-4477-B794-0CB51F6FDAA7
  7. Litehouse Ranch- So, funny story- I am not typically one who sees a commercial and is impacted by it, but I saw this recent TV ad for this Ranch dressing.  It basically states that dressing should be refrigerated (agree) and not filled with crazy artificial ingredients.  Also agree. The ad is actually really powerful (lol) and prompted me to try this Litehouse Ranch. UMMMMM totally obsessed.  And the kiddos too! Chace will stick his WHOLE hand in the jar to “dip” his carrots. It is beyond adorable.  IMG_0095
  8. The “grape cutting” trick- (!!!!) Our kids LOVE grapes, but mommy doesn’t love the ojeda it gives her 🙂  So, I was told you could put the grapes between two plates and half them like so.  Voila!  Ummmm well, it took FOUR tries to get it right, but it WORKS!  Here, let me save you some time:  Put the grapes on a real plate (not paper-tried that). Then, put another real plate on top (bottom down- DO NOT flip it over- tired that as well LOL).  Push down hard as you slide a knife between the two plates-serrated works best- and slice through.  When you lift the plate you will see all halved grapes! Yay!  Try it.  Kinda cool.
  9. Our Nest thermometer Man, I could wax poetic about this, but it is pretty obvious why I am loving this lately!  PS:  Did you know Amazon carries this gem!?                                                 153DAEE1-EE2E-490B-B0CF-8B2DF9C1C54E
  10. Running the Ben Franklin Bridge- I wrote about my “goose bump run” that took place on the BFB, but it is worth mentioning again.  One of my July goals was to get run outside once a week and I am happy to report that I am doing it!  I have been trying to run this great bridge with beyond amazing views each weekend. It is a PERFECT route for me.  1 mile there, 1 mile back and the bridge itself is 1.5 over and 1.5 back.  5 miles total with some GREAT elevations thrown in there.  In fact, here is the BFB’s elevation profile:  Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 4.11.46 PM.pngAnd here are the details from Map My Run.



Goddamn I love that bridge.  Can you tell!? LOL