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Friday, October 4, 2019

Road Trips with a Toddler

A long distance road trip with a toddler is no joke!  And now that Derek and I have a few longer trips under our belts (9.5 hour and 12 hours) I thought I would pull a post together to share my tips and tricks for making the trip as smooth and as fun as possible!

Keep in mind I am not expert, these are the things that worked for us!  So let's get started!

Toys/Books - I bring A LOT of toys/books on trips with us.   Not only are toys and books great for a car ride, but they are great for the end destination too (think play time in the hotel, bedtime stories etc.)  I typically fill Theo's little school backpack with an assortment of his favorite smaller toys and a few of his favorite books (think balls, small toy animals, toys with buttons/zippers, cars , flashcards and interactive/activity books).  Being that I sit in back with him on most longer trips I simply pull one toy out at a time, let him play with it and when he gets bored move onto the next!  A favorite activity on our last long car ride was putting his small toy animals through the holes in Derek's helmet.  Once all the animals were pushed through the helmet, we would free them and start the game all over (pictured below).  Get creative and use other non-toy things in the car to help pass the time!

Snacks - Car friendly snacks are a must!  I love having an assortment of yummy and healthy snacks that pack/travel easy and help fight off hunger.  I throw car snacks into there own bag and put it in the back seat next to my toy back pack (mentioned above) so snacks are easy to grab and hand out when hunger strikes!  Here are a few of my fav/go to portable snacks!  Applesauce/Vegetable Pouches (we love the GoGo Squeeze Brand and Costco Brand), Teddy Grahams, Goldfish Crackers, PB + Graham Cracker Sandwiches, Bananas, and fresh berries washed and stored in small tupperware containers (but warning, this can get a bit messy if your little one smooshes them or drops them in the car).  I also make sure to pack a water bottle/sippy cup for Theo, you gotta stay hydrated!

Stops - Lets face it we all get antsy on long car rides!  Stops for us were/are key when taking long road trips!  We usually will make a lunch/dinner stop depending on the time of day we start our road trip, this is nice because it is typically a bit longer of a stop and everyone can get a good meal in them (you don't want anyone getting hangry)!  Along with stopping for Lunch/Dinner we will also make the occasional bathroom/gas station stop or park stop!  We have found that even though stops will make the trip a tad longer, they help with our sanity in the end!  Everyone does better on a long car ride when they can get out, stretch and run around!

Naptime - Take advantage of nap time and use it to your benefit!  Theo only takes an afternoon nap these days, but we still have learned to use that afternoon nap to our advantage!   Below are two ways that we have utilized nap time to our advantage -

1 - If you are going on a longer road trip and you are going to be breaking the drive up over a few days start the first leg of your trip later in the afternoon.  For example when we drove out to MI we drove half on Friday evening and the other half Saturday morning.  Here is how our Friday evening half looked... We picked Theo up from school around 1 PM (close to his typical nap time) and let him nap in the car (roughly a 2-3 hour nap).  When he woke up we played for a bit with our bag of toys, had a snack and made a pit stop to stretch our legs.  Then we drove a bit more, stopped for dinner, changed him into PJS and drove to our hotel for the evening.   Since we drove the second half of our MI trip in the AM, we left after breakfast and just made more stops to stretch etc to keep everyone happy.

2- If you are not planning on driving the trip over multiple days, I recommend leaving in the AM after breakfast and then keep your little entertained with toys/snacks etc.  Make sure to make plenty of stops to keep people happy!   Stop for a longer lunch and then get back in the car for nap time!  

And my last and final tip... don't hate!

Ipad/Movies -  Sometimes on a long road trip you just need to sit back and relax and that is where the Ipad/Movies come into play.  We use the Ipad/Movies as a last resort when snacks/toys/books/and stops just aren't cutting it.   We typically have 1-2 movies downloaded to the Ipad that Theo can pick from and then we usually let him watch 1 movie during the road trip to our destination and then another movie home.  Again, we use this as a last resort when we all just need to relax!

I hope you found this post helpful!  Again, I am not an expert these are just the things that have helped us when traveling with our little by car! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

One Pot Pasta

I feel like every mom, or dare I say every adult has those 1-2 go to recipes.  The recipes they reach for when they need to get dinner on the table quick (under 30 Mins), and the recipes they know always turn out just right!

For me this  One-Pot pasta is one of those recipes!  On any given night I can whip up a batch of this spaghetti like pasta, and Theodore (and Derek too) will happily eat it up.  The last time I made this recipe Theodore gobbled up 3 helpings (seriously made my night)!  Another bonus of this recipe (besides being delicious) is it creates minimal dishes!  All the ingredients get thrown into one pot.  It is amazing!  

The original recipe comes from Cooking Light, linked here.  Most times I add in additional veggies! Just toss them into the post while the pasta is cooking and voila, no extra dishes!  A few of our fav veggie additions are broccoli, broccoli slaw (cooks up like noodles), peas and carrots!    I seriously will do anything to get more veggies in front of my kiddo!  I have also added cooked chicken sausage to the pasta prior to serving for additional flavor and a good protein kick!  


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Guest Post - My Yoga Teacher Journey

I am so excited for today's post!  My little sister Miranda is sharing all about her journey to becoming a Yoga Teacher!  I am insanely proud of her for going after this dream of hers! Thanks, Miranda for sharing your journey with us! 

It never ceases to amaze me how people have such strong opinions about Yoga. Including, if they practice yoga, the studio they sweat at, , types of classes, and all the accessories (I can’t stop buying yoga clothes). I had never really been a “yogi”- I always saw yoga as a waste of a workout because “if you weren’t sweating and doing cardio, you aren’t getting a workout."  Enter Yoga Sculpt at Core Power Yoga (CPY)! My friend Lindsey is an avid sculpter and lived next to a studio. She convinced me to come along one day and I was INSTANTLY hooked.

What made it different? It took the principles of yoga but added weights and cardio all while being HEATED to 93 degrees. It was high intensity, heart pumping, with all the jams you could ever want.

I started going religiously- I am talking 5-6 times a week. Somehow, I still couldn’t bring myself to go to a “real” yoga class. It seemed too zen. At this point I felt pretty part of the CPY community and met some bad a** instructors. One of which really encouraged me to attend teacher training. I was at a point where I wasn’t feeling challenged at work, I had some big personal life changes and thought “why not? I am not committing to teaching.”

Our crew from YSTT (Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training) graduation! 
Through the 5 weeks of Teacher Training and then 4 weeks of extensions- I met AMAZING people, learned so much about myself, took my first “real” yoga class and pushed myself way outside my comfort zone.

We invited friends to take free classes and with each session I felt more confident in my knowledge and ability to teach and LOVED it. So much so that I decided to teach!

Friends that came to our free classes!

I started teaching at YogaFit and the YMCA and am honestly so happy with it! I was so scared before my first class, what if I forget my words, what I if I sound like an idiot. And then I remembered the class isn’t about me- it’s about my students having a great work out, fun, and doing so in a safe way. If I keep them at the center of my mindset all will be okay!

Two of my instructors/mentors/friends and boyfriend at my First class! 
I am so thankful to the CPY community for building me into the teacher I am and for providing me a great foundation! I think Yoga Teacher Training taught me to go outside my comfort zone and live my life in the most authentic way.

What is stopping you from taking that next step in something you want to do?

Hope you all enjoyed this post, again thank you Miranda for sharing your journey with us!    For those in the Minneapolis area that are interested, Miranda teaches Monday/Tuesday at the Minneapolis YMCA and Saturday at YogaFit in Northeast!   I am taking her class in a few weeks at YogaFit, I am so excited! 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Papa Wolfe's Classic Pancakes

Pancakes are always a crowd favorite in my house, and I don't make them nearly as often as I should!  Whenever I make pancakes I always think about weekend mornings growing up!  Growing up my dad was the pancake maker in our house, and weekend mornings were usually reserved as pancake day!

Pancake day was always a favorite of mine.  Probably because of all the memories that were made around my parents kitchen table while munching on pancakes (and also because who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast).

So today in honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, I want to share with you my Dad’s Famous pancake recipe.  Whip up a batch this weekend for the special guys in your life!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did/do!

Papa Wolfe’s Classic Pancakes
1 Large Batch! 


Dry –
1 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt

Wet –
1 Egg
1 Cup Milk of Choice (add more in small amounts if you want thinner pancakes)
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

For Serving - 
Maple Syrup
Peanut/Almond Butter 
Cookie Cutters - Fun for kiddos, my sister and I used to cut shapes out of our pancakes and thought it was the best thing ever! 


1 – In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and stir until combined, set aside.
2- In another small/medium bowl combine all wet ingredients and stir until combined. 
3- Gently pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk together until combined, and there are no lumps in the pancake batter.
4- Pour 1/4 cup batter onto a hot lightly greased griddle/skillet.  Flip pancake once tiny bubbles form.  Cook on second side until done through.  Remove from griddle and place a square/slab of butter on center of each pancake (nothing better then hot pancakes, with melted butter).  Repeat step 4 until pancake batter is gone.  

Note - I like to warm my oven slightly and place cooked pancakes in oven (on plate) to keep warm while I make the rest!  Serve pancakes warm with favorite pancake toppings!  See suggestions above! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Global Running Day

**Disclosure - The below post contains affiliate links.  Which means I will receive a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  Clicking the link is no cost to you.**

Happy Global Running Day!
First Stroller Run of 2019! 

I love running, and recently shared this post on how my relationship with running changed after having Theodore!  But today, in honor of Global Running Day, I wanted to share with you my must have gear for Summer running!   These are the items/things I reach for the most when heading out for a Summer run.  I have also included a few things I take with me on my run depending on if I am running solo or taking my tiny running buddy with me!   

1st Female Overall - Stillwater 1/2 Marathon 5k 2019

Enjoy and Happy Running!

Shorts/Tank  -
  • Hot Summer days require running in a tank and shorts!  Lululemon  tanks and shorts are hands down my favorite!  I love the Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank and their Run The Line Off IV 2 Way Stretch (4”) Short!  I know Lulu can be a bit on the pricier side, but their workout gear seriously lasts! 
Good Quality Shoes –
  • Good running shoes make the world of a difference in your running, and I highly recommend checking out your local running store so you can get properly fitted!  I have been fitted several times at Mill City Running in Minneapolis, and think they do a fabulous job!  A few of my favorite running shoes both past and present are the Brooks Launch and the Nike Pegasus. 
SPIBelt –
  • If I am running solo without Theodore and the Bob (Running Stroller) I love to wear the Large Pocket SPIBelt!  It’s a great lightweight belt that I can stash my house key, ID/Credit Card and cell phone in while I am running outdoors!  I love the SPIBelt so much that I actually own two of them! 
Sun Protection
A Good Hat –
  • When I first started running I found that I hated my hair in my face especially as I got sweatier and sweatier on my run.  At first I tried headbands to keep my hair out of my face, but I could never find one that stayed in place.  So in came my love for running hats!  I love running in a hat because not only does it keep my hair out of my face, but it also helps shield my face/eyes from the sun!  I love ones that Velcro in the back so I can easily adjust the hat to fit my head!  Under Armour, Lululemon and Nike make some great ones!     
Sunglasses –  
  • As I mentioned above I love running in a hat, not only because it keeps the hair out of my face, but for the added sun protection for my face/eyes.  However sometimes a hat isn’t enough and sunglasses are needed!  So on top of running in a hat, on extra sunny days I will even run in sunglasses!  My sister gave me a pair of Goodr Running Sunglasses for my birthday and I am in love with them!  They are light weight, and don’t bounce around while I am running!  Plus they have a ton of styles! 
  • As I have gotten older I am starting to realize/understand the importance of Sunscreen!  Don’t get me wrong I am not great at always remember to wear it, especially when I am in a hurry to get my run started.  But when I do remember to put my SPC on I love Beautycounter’s line of Sunscreen!  Beautycounter’s Mineral Sunscreen lotion is my favorite.   It goes on smooth, rubs in nicely and smells great!   

Misc -
Water Bottle –
  • If I am doing a solo longer run outside 10-12 (but lets be honest, that isn’t happening as much anymore!), I love to carry a hand held water bottle!  I really like the Nathan, QuickShot Plus Hydrating Flask.  It is a small handheld water bottle that fits the palm of my hand well and doesn’t get to heavy!
Misc Items for Theodore!
  • Now that I have a little running buddy, I also need to think about him when we head out the door for a run.  I always pack a water bottle/sippy cup of water, snacks (banana, small crackers, granola bar), and small toys for Theodore when we hit the road/trail for a run! Most of the time he is happy cruising along in the running stroller checking out the scenery.  But other times he wants toys/snacks/water!  I also always have kid friendly music easily accessible so I can play that for him if he gets bored!   Oh and Sunscreen, can’t forget that!

What is your must have gear for Summer Running?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Zucchini Muffins

I originally shared the recipe for these yummy Zucchini Muffins over on the Girls on the Run blog (original post here), but decided to re-share the recipe here!  

After becoming a mom I realized I was always looking for fun/yummy ways to sneak veggies into my sons diet!  And these delicious muffins definitely help me do just that!  I love these muffins because they are made with simple ingredients, and packed with a healthy dose of veggies, plus they are delicious!  And I know Theodore thinks they are tasty because he will gobble them right up! 

I usually make a batch Sunday/Monday night and we enjoy them throughout the week!  We love having these Zucchini Muffins for breakfast (with a side of yogurt and fruit) or as an afternoon snack/sweet treat!  Sometimes I will even serve them post dinner as "Dessert!"

I usually make half of the batch into mini muffins which make them the perfect size for Theodore’s little hands!   Mix up a batch today and enjoy! 

Zucchini Muffins 
Makes 12 Regular Size Muffins or  24 Mini Muffins 

Dry - 
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour 
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar 
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon 
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger 
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 

Wet - 
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil Melted - Note I have also used Melted Butter, Canola Oil and Olive Oil all work well!
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of choice 
2 Large Egg Whites 
1/3 Cup Honey/Maple Syrup - I use Maple Syrup now with Theodore 
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce 
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
1/12 Cup Grated Zucchini (About 1 1/2 Medium Zucchini) Skin On 

Other - 
12 Paper Cupcake Liners (or Cooking Spray if not using cupcake liners) 

Optional Mix Ins -
1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips 
1/3 Cup Raisins 
1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut 

1- In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl whisk together melted coconut oil, almond milk/milk of choice, egg whites, honey/maple syrup, apple sauce, vanilla and zucchini until well combined.  
3- Grab your dry ingredients and slowly pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  If using mix ins stir them in at this point.
4- Fill 12 muffin cups/24 mini muffin cups (that are lined or sprayed with cooking spray) 3/4 of the way full.  
5- Bake muffins in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes (12-15 min for mini muffins) or until muffin tops are golden brown and when a tooth pick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

My Skin Care Journey Part 1

**Disclosure - The below post contains affiliate links.  Which means I will receive a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  Clicking the link is no cost to you.**

As I have gotten older I have started to become more conscious about the types of products I use.    As someone who lives an active lifestyle I was already pretty conscious of what I was putting in my body food wise, but wasn’t putting as much thought or care into what I was putting on my body!   I was the type of person that never had a true skincare routine, and kinda just bought products with little to no research hoping I would see the results I wanted.

Fast forward to turning 30 (and later becoming a mom) and something switched in me.  I finally decided enough was enough and started the search for a more natural skincare routine, a routine I could stick with year after year.  Eventually all of this searching led me to a little natural soap shop in my little MN River town and Beautycounter. 

Today I want to share with you my morning skincare routine because it differs greatly from my nighttime routine.  I want to share with you the products I am loving, and that might work for you!  

My morning routine is simple, because hello mom life!  These 4 products are how I prep my skin for make up and the day ahead!  I have found a few good quality products can elevate even the simplest morning routine!  

So let’s get it started!  

Cleanser -

I am a shower in the AM girl, so while in the shower I use Modern Roots (local all natural soap shop) Milk Kefir Face Wash  or Beautycounter's CounterControl Clear Pore Cleanser.    I love these face washes for many reasons.  But the major reason I love them is because they help me combat breakouts (because post Theo I now have teenager like skin and breakouts galore)!  Both face washes are all natural and smells great, and bonus they exfoliate!   

Moisturizer – 

Post shower these are the products I lean on in the AM.  I apply all three prior to putting on my make-up.         

This is my go to all over moisturizer and I love it!  This moisturizer is light weight but super hydrating, and not greasy at all!  Along with providing 24-hours of hydration, but the hydration  levels actually adjust throughout the day to give your skin exactly what it needs.   

Before Beautycounter I thought a facial oil would make me oily, and was scared to try them (especially with my new found postpartum breakouts).  But I was so wrong!  I use a few drops of Beautycounter No. 1 Brightening oil in my Beautycounter Adaptive Moisturizer.  I love the extra boost of moister this oil provides but also love that the Vitamin C helps brighten my dull tired skin and also helps erase dark spots and discoloration.  Plus this oil smells amazing!

I remember my mom giving me my first pot of eye cream at 25, and even though I didn’t have a firm skin care routine, I always made sure to use an eye cream.   This eye cream has been a game changer for me.  I love it because a little bit goes a long way, and because it has seriously helped with the tiny fine lines I am starting to see pop up now that I am 30!

I hope you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for my nightly skincare routine coming soon!  And as always if you have any questions feel free to reach out! 

Friday, March 1, 2019

My Relationship with Running

Sharing a little different post with you today, a post I have been thinking about writing for a while now.   It just took me longer then anticipated to get my thoughts out on “paper.” 

If you have followed the blog for any length of time, or even my Instagram account you will know that I used to be an obsessed runner!  I was never the fastest runner, and I never won any races but I was obsessed.  Obsessed with logging miles, pushing my body, and reaching new PR times. I was constantly thinking or talking about runningto the point where running sort of became my only identity. Don’t get me wrong, identifying as a runner is not a bad thing, but running consumed every part of me to the point where running felt like a chore most days and was turning into more of a stresser in my life than a stress reliever. 

I share this background with you because having Theo has changed my relationship and outlook on running and working out in general.  When I was pregnant with Theo I viewed running and working out as a way of keeping myself healthy to endure the 9 months of carrying a baby.  Working out pregnant helped me clear my head and feel like my pre-pregnancy self.  I will admit once I delivered Theo I was anxious to get back to my pre-baby self, and counted down the weeks until I was cleared to workout.  But what happened once I was cleared to workout again amazed me.

I found myself running when I had time, or when my body truly felt up to it.  I learned what it meant to truly take a rest day and listen to my body.  I found I had more fun pushing Theo in the running stroller for short runs than on solo runs.  And I felt like my love for running was coming back.  I was enjoying moving my body, and not stressing about the next training run our if I would PR in a half (or other race distance).    

I share all this with you because sometimes we get so sucked into one aspect of our life that it can consume us.  Having Theo was a good way for me to reexamine my life and priorities.  Having a healthy body and lifestyle is still a priority but being a wife, mom and Christian are also major priorities that come before running or working out. I also share this with you because it is ok to examine your life and shift your priorities.  You have to do what is best for your current life and not try to fit societies standard for yourself!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Chicken and Spinach Meatballs

When I was pregnant, Derek and I would have countless conversations about our future as a family of three.  And one of the things I found myself talking about a lot was feeding our little one.  I had this vision of raising a little foodie!  But let me tell you the reality doesn't exactly look like my picture perfect vision! 

Family dinners these days are loud and messy.  They are challenging and fun, and most nights more food ends up on the floor then in Theo's mouth!  But this is the season of life we are in and I am embracing it, mess and all.  

Don't get me wrong Theo is a good little eater, but we still have our less than stellar days (cue he doesn't like what I made, or he isn't in the mood to eat).  It's the less than stellar days that remind me to go with the flow, and enjoy the process of teaching him how to eat and enjoy food.   

I have found that simple meals work best for this season of life which is why I am excited to share the recipe for these Chicken and Spinach Meatballs with you!  Theo gobbled these meatballs right up which made for one happy mama!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!   And P.S I plan on sharing another post on our approach to solids with Theo at a later date, more to come! 

Chicken and Spinach Meatballs 
Makes about 24 Meatballs 

1 Lb Ground Chicken 
1 Cup Fresh Spinach Roughly Chopped
2 Eggs 
1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs 
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning 
1 Teaspoon Garlic 
Dash of Salt and Pepper 

1- In a medium bowl combine the ground chicken, spinach, egg, bread crumbs and seasoning. 
2- Mix everything by hand until combined. 
3- Roll chicken mixture into medium size balls and place in a casserole dish that has been greased. 
4- Bake for 20-25 min in 350 degree oven until cooked through. 

Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping, a simple green salad or your favorite roasted/steamed vegetable (Broccoli is a fav in our house)! 


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hey...It's been a while!

Hi All!
It has been a while since I have hit publish on a blog post, but I am dusting off the cob webs and giving this blogging thing another shot!  I will say I have missed sharing recipes and little glimpses of my life on here!

Life these days looks a little different then it did almost two years ago!  Derek and I are no longer newlyweds,  and we are now the proud parents of an energetic 10 month old, Theodore!  See, I told you things were a little, OK maybe a lot different these days! Theodore has truly been one of our greatest blessings.  He brings so much fun and excitement into our day to day lives.  Don't get me wrong, having a 10 month old brings about new challenges but I am totally embracing this season of life we are in.

 (Photo Credit - Midwest Lifeshots)

So join me as I share family friendly recipes, our experience as first time parents and so much more!  I can't wait to share this new season of life with you all!