Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekly Chase

Peanut butter. In oatmeal. Mmmmmmmmm.

Okay, so I discovered how delicious peanut butter is in oatmeal this morning and I just had to share!

Road Runner Girl

Last week I decided to focus on one thing from each "area" of my life and while I didn't complete all of my goals I definitely think it helped!

Eek, I didn't do this because it was too cold to take Clay running and the park is right next to yoga, BUT Clay and I did get some good snuggle/play time in this week!

Done! Woohoo!

So I didn't get in until 9 those days so I had to work a four hour day on Friday. Not ideal, but a definite improvement.

Finally. Done. I feel like my life instantly became calmer once the table was cleaned off! Hopefully it will stay this way...

Welllllll, I ran once... Liz and I could only meet up once to run this week and I really struggle to run on my own!

Done! I'll be sharing the recipe for the frozen breakfast burritos later this week!

Done! I (finally) finished Liz's Christmas present and I attempted to leave "good lucks" on fellow chasers posts but for some reason my silly ipad wasn't cooperating!

On to this week...

Finish going through Clay's closet. I finally started this and got halfway through before I had to stop. Also, I'd like to spend less time rushing to get everything done and more time enjoying my time with Clay.

Buy myself flowers. So before life got crazy with baby I used to keep flowers on my table all the time. Seeing fresh flowers just brightens my day :)

Make Z&Z a special snack. I found a recipe for zucchini sticks and another for healthy mozzarella bites.

So I have this closet. It's actually a rather large closet- like large enough that I have put my desk in there and it will double as an office. This closet has been a dumping ground since we moved in for all of the random stuff that doesn't have a home plus everything that I actually want to keep in there. Needless to say, I haven't been able to use it as an office or anything really because it is a MESS. So my goal this week is to get it usable.

Register for the Thunder Road Half in November. Eek! I can do that, right??? And focus on getting up to running 5k without stopping.

I'm not sure if I will try any new recipes this week since my mom and aunt are coming to town at the end of the week but I have a couple of new foods I want to make for Clay to try.

It's a secret :) I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Good luck to all of my fellow chasers!


Friday, February 22, 2013

High Five for Friday

It's Friday! Woohoo! Once again I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk.


And once again I couldn't narrow it down to five pictures so it's a double high five with a Clay edition. Seriously, isn't he the best????


1. Salted Caramel Brownies from Amelie's. If you live anywhere remotely near Charlotte you should go get one!

2. I FINALLY finished Liz's Christmas present! I will definitely be making one of these scarves for me!

3. Scrambled eggs and ketchup. Don't judge. I've been craving these for weeks!

4. Gorgeous snow on the street where I work.

5. Baby meal planning. MAYBE since Clay is not even 6 months old I'm getting a little crazy with this but I don't really care. :)

Clay edition:


Happy weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Continuing with my theme of being thankful for people this month, I am thankful for my Pappaw! His birthday is today so how perfect is that?

I should have been more prepared with this post since I've had it planned for weeks, but I'm not. For now I will leave you with a few awesome photos and hopefully post more later!

My awesome Pappaw!

My grandparents on their farm.

Clay and Clay!

Since my grandfather's birthday was today I dressed Clay like him!

Who are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday- Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter. My love. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I went a day without eating it. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter include: on toast with honey, a classic pb&j, with vanilla ice cream, on a spoon, with apples or bananas, and peanut butter cookies! My mom has been making these cookies as long as I can remember and I'm so excited to share the recipe with you. These are actually the cookies that I took to the hospital when Clay was born for everyone to enjoy (yes, I took a treat for everyone)!

Here ya go:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients in bowl.
Mix well.
Roll into ball & press with fork.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

I mix these together with my hands (after thoroughly washing my hands) because they just mix so much better that way!
You can change a couple things up: add chocolate chips (!) or use chunky peanut butter!

Easy peasy.

With chocolate chips.

Let me know how these work for you!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekly Chase

Road Runner Girl

Recap of last week:

1. Run, run, run & add workouts!
One run :/ The weather this weekend was yucky and I didn't want to drag Clay out in it.

2. Get our morning routine to under two hours.
I somehow got ready in under two hours but I still want our mornings to have more organization.

3. Water!
Err...I drank a lot but didn't record it...

4. Get caught up on laundry and not let it get out of control.
Does it count if I got caught up last night? I think so!

5. Complete the Flat Stanley I got and mail it back.
Done! I can't wait to write a post about this!

6. Do something nice for someone.
So I attempted to make Clay's daycare teachers cookies, but I burnt them. So I ate them all myself. Sigh. BUT I did still take them cute notepads and Valentine's from Clay. AND I mailed out several cards on Saturday!

7. Keep up with posting on a regular basis.
Yay! I did this! Check out my posts from last week!

8. Read to Clay everyday!
This is still pretty sporadic. We have a very loose bedtime routine because sometimes Mike puts him down and sometimes I do.

Overall I think I did fairly well. I at least did part of all of my goals!

This week:

Instead of being off the wall with my goals I'm going to focus on one goal from each "area" of my life.

Take Clay to yoga on Wednesday! I bought a package of classes a month ago and need to start using them!

Take a bubble bath! I've decided this should be a weekly requirement for mommys!

Get to work at 8 on Tuesday and Thursday so I can work short days Wednesday and Friday.

Clean off my dining room table! It sets right as you walk in the door and has unfortunately become a dumping ground for mail, projects, etc.

Run three times and do at least one Nike workout.

Make Clay more baby food and breakfast burritos for me to freeze :)

I have a few ideas for some things to do...I'll let you know next week how they work!

Good luck to all of my fellow chasers!


Friday, February 15, 2013

High Five for Friday

So I was torn. I had way too many photos from this past week to choose I'm presenting... High Ten for Friday! Or High Five for Friday x2. Your choice.


Clay edition:


Regular edition:


1. Pretty flowers from my boss on Valentine's Day!

2. Target. Pretty much the best store. Ever.

3. A magnolia leaf from the 7 year old I nanny. He said, "this is for you for Valentine's Day because magnolia trees are your favorite." One of the best Valentine's ever.

4. Wine glasses float in bubble baths. Enough said.

5. Fresh guacamole from the Trader Joe's guacamole kit!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Since today is Valentine's Day, the object of my thankfulness is... My little man, Clay Lucas!

I'm always hesitant to stay that Clay Lucas was an accident. Because although he wasn't a part of the plan I had for my life, he was definitely part of the plan that God had for my life. I have always known that I wanted to have kids someday, always felt like that was my calling in life- to be a mother. But in no way was I thinking about having one when I got pregnant. I was single, I had just started working for a family a few months before that I loved, I had no family in Charlotte. How would things work? I completely put all my faith in God. I had NO clue how everything was going to work. How could I handle a baby and a full time job? Would I still have a job?

One of Clay's newborn portraits

and here we are... Clay is almost six months old and I couldn't imagine my life any differently. I'm still working for the same (very supportive) family, Clay's dad sees him every day and helps out, my friends are great, and I have found an awesome daycare for Clay.


This little man is the light of my life. On a daily basis he makes me laugh and cry and love so much that it hurts. In lieu of me blabbing more I will leave you with some photos of Clay that are my recent favorites!

First Valentine's Day!



Such a personality already!




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday- Polenta!

I have a confession to make. I've recently fallen in love. With polenta.

I was inspired to try a polenta recipe after seeing THIS recipe over at Pinch of Yum. At first I was going to make that recipe then realized I had practically none of the ingredients so I thought I would go about making up my own recipe using polenta. I've made two dishes in the past week with polenta and loved them! I used premade polenta in both of these recipes to cut down on time by you can easily make your own.

Easy Peasy Chili Polenta Pie

Note: I also have an obsession with canned chili, but you can easily substitute your own chili recipe.

2 cans of chili
1 tube of polenta
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-spray pie dish with cooking spray
-layer in dish one can of chili, half of the cheese, other can of chili
-cut polenta in slices and place on top
-top with remaining cheese
-cook 15 minutes (or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through)


Taco Polenta Pie

Basically any dish I make with polenta will end with "pie" just because I like the way it sounds.

1 pack of chicken breasts
1 onion
1/2 package of frozen corn
taco seasoning
tube of polenta
1 1/2 cups of Mexican style shredded cheese
taco toppings of your choice

-place chicken and chopped onion in crockpot and salt and pepper to taste
-cook on low for 8-10 hours
-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-spray dish with cooking spray
-shred chicken (this is SUPER easy after the chicken has been in the crockpot all day)
-mix chicken with cooked corn and taco seasoning and place in dish
-cut polenta into slices and place on top of chicken
-top with cheese
-cook for 15 minutes (or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through)
-top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!


This dish is super customizable. Change up the meat! Change up the toppings! Put it on top of salad! Add peppers to the crockpot!
Trader Joe's sells a kit to make your own fresh guacamole. It tastes REALLY good on this dish!

I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Training Tuesday

Well, hello there! On Tuesdays (well, maybe not every Tuesday), I will be bringing you Training Tuesdays. I'll be sharing updates on my race training and all that goes with it (running, workouts, weight loss, eating well).

Without further ado...

My first race of 2013 is coming up on April 6th and I'm so excited! I'm running a Color Me Rad 5k in Knoxville with Lizbeth! So far I'm up to running a mile and a half without stopping and I have my mile to under 12. This is HUGE for me! Liz had made me a running program and she's already had to adjust it once because I've been doing so well! Woohoo!

I decided last week to add other workouts to my training and had multiple people refer me to the Nike Training Club app. So far I've only done one workout but I love it!
Here's why:
-It has different level workouts (beginner, advanced, etc).
-It has videos showing you how to do the move.
-It has 15 minute workouts for when I'm running short on time.
-You can sync the music off of your phone to the workout.
-It talks to you throughout the workout!

If you're looking for new workouts I would recommend that you give the Nike Training Club app a try!

Well, that's all for now!

Happy Tuesday!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Chase

Road Runner Girl

Recap of last week:

1. Get in at least three runs!
I went running on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, AND Saturday! Bam! Plus I'm up to running 1.5 without stopping and I have my mile down to 12:13!

2. Bubble bath.
I actually took two. The first one was only fifteen minutes long before it was interrupted. The second was much longer and involved a glass of wine. Success!

3. Actually work on scrapbooks and organize photos.

4. Make Clay's fruits this weekend.
Done. Well, sorta. I made applesauce and bananas. The will definitely be on the list again next weekend.

5. Make sure I'm drinking enough water.
I did fairly well with this but definitely feel as though there is room for improvement!

6. Think of ideas for spreading love this month.

7. Stick to the schedule I made for this week!
I did really well, except for taking Clay to yoga. It's only offered two days a week and it's hard to work it in with everything else.

8. Make a list of post ideas for my blog and write some of them!
Done! Check out my other posts from last week!

...and this week I will:

1. Run, run, run & add workouts!
Now that I've got the running thing down I would like to add some workouts to my routine. Liz and I tried one of the Nike Training Club workouts before our run yesterday. Bad idea. I'll add them to my non-running days. My goal is to lose 5 more pounds to get back to my prepregnancy weight before Clay's 6 month birthday. I only have a little over 2 weeks! Eek!

2. Get our morning routine to under two hours.
No matter how much prep work I do the night before it still takes at least 2 1/2 hours for us to get out of the house after waking up. Even if it takes writing everything down in detail I have to improve on this!

3. Water!
I want to start keeping track of my water to make sure I'm getting enough!

4. Get caught up on laundry and not let it get out of control.
I have a 5 month old. Enough said. Hahaha.

5. Complete the Flat Stanley I got and mail it back.
I recently received a Flat Stanley in the mail and I need to get it sent back! I'll be writing a blog post soon about this.

6. Do something nice for someone.
I'm REALLY struggling with this one...

7. Keep up with posting on a regular basis.
I did great with this last week and want to keep it up!

8. Read to Clay everyday!
I think it is SO important to foster a love of reading when kids are young and I hope that Clay enjoys reading as much as I do.

Wow. Eight goals again...sheesh!

As always, good luck to all of my fellow chasers!


Happy Saturday!

Just because you can never get enough of this kid...


Happy Saturday!


Friday, February 8, 2013

High Five for Friday

I know you've all been driving yourselves crazy trying to figure out what would be replacing Food Friday...well, here it is! On Fridays I will be linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk and sharing five of my favorite things from this week!


Here ya go:


1. New coffee from Trader Joe's!

2. How presh! I love that Clay and his doggy are sleeping in the same position!

3. Trying to get this month organized to save my sanity.

4. Chili Polenta Pie. I'm OBSESSED with Polenta lately!

5. If you don't know who Flat Stanley is, look him up. I recently got a Flat Stanley in the mail so it's spending the week with me and seeing how awesome Charlotte is!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Since February is the month of L-O-V-E, I have decided to focus on people for my Thankful Thursday posts and I thought since her birthday was this past Sunday I would be thankful for...


My mom holding me, oops, I mean Clay. (Side note, he looks exactly like me when I was a baby in this picture. In real life he looks exactly like his daddy.)

Although my mom and I have had our share of arguments, she has always been there for me no matter what! Like seriously, no matter what. I got a stomach virus a couple of Christmases ago and even though I was 26 my mom still took care of me. When I was in the hospital after I had Clay she stayed the night with me and even stayed up with Clay when I was so tired but scared to go to sleep. (Seriously, moms, was any body else on the crazy train after giving birth?)

My crazy family: my mom, Clay, my sister Sarah, and me.

I had this elaborate post planned in my head but when it came time to put the words down they escaped me so I will leave with this:

Even though it may not have always seemed like it, I am very thankful for all you've done and all you do, momma! Clay is so lucky to have an awesome Mammaw like you!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday- Sweet Potato Fries

In an attempt to revamp my blog, Food Friday has now become What I Ate Wednesday! I hope you enjoy this and all the other posts that will be coming your way!

Last week I was discussing sweet potatoes with the girl that I nanny for (really, this wasn't the weirdest topic we've ever had), and we discovered that we both LOVED sweet potato fries so I promised I would make them for a (healthy!) snack the next day. I've made sweet potato fries before but it's been awhile and I couldn't remember what temperature, how long, what to season with, so I went on the Internet to search. There are a hundred different ways to make sweet potato fries. Garlic salt, oregano, paprika, and on and on. Finally I decided to go basic and they were a huge hit!

Here's what I did:


Start with fresh sweet potatoes. Clean, peel, and cut into fries according to preference.


I cut these up during the day while the kids were at school to cut down on prep time after school.

I didn't get a photo of the next step (sorry!), but here's what I did:
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Line baking sheet with wax paper.
-Toss fries with a LITTLE olive oil and spread out on sheet.
-Salt and pepper according to preference.
-Bake for 20 minutes turning the fries once halfway through.
-Let cool and enjoy!


What are some healthy snacks that you make?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reindeer Romp 5k

After I had Clay I couldn't wait to start working out again! Besides some rock climbing I had majorly slacked off the few months before I got pregnant and during my pregnancy I climbed a little at the beginning then just walked the rest of the time. I contemplated getting a gym membership again but honestly, I can think of a million other ways to spend $50 and when would I ever have time to go? Who would watch Clay? It was then that I decided to start running. I've tried in the past but I was pretty determined to stick with it. It's free (or should I say WAY cheaper), I can take Clay (weather permitting), and it's a great workout.

I decided from the beginning that I should just pick a race and sign up for it. I thought if I did tht I would definitely stick with running because I had paid the entry fee! I started running on October 14th and my race wasn't until December 15th. I could do that, no problem, right? Umm...

Life happened. It was harder than I thought to get back in the work schedule with a baby, we moved at the end of November, and we travelled to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. I think by the time December 15th rolled around I had ran a total of 9 times and was no where near being able to run a 5k straight.

Since the Reindeer Romp was a run/walk I went ahead with it. Liz joined me the morning of the race and we did run/walk intervals. Honestly, there were a couple of times where I wanted to stop and refuse to run any further. I hung with it though (thanks to Lizbeth) and even ran the last little bit across the finish line. My time was a very slow 47:30; but I finished!

I recently signed up for two more 5ks. One in Knoxville in April and one at the Biltmore (!) Estate in May. Liz and my schedules are finally matching up more so we're able to run together more and it helps so much! I've forgone the Couch to 5k method and am now on the Liz Dawkins training plan. It helps so much to have an accountability partner with my running!

First race bib!

Liz and me after the race!

Sweet medal


Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekly Chase

Road Runner Girl

Recap of last week:

1. Rest
Sorta. I feel back to normal and I even ran a mile without stopping on Friday for the first time ever!

2. Take a bubble bath
This week!

3. Make skillet lasagna
Done! Check out my Food Friday post!

4. Spend at least an hour working on my maternity scrapbook for Clay and his baby book!
This week!

5. Decide which photos I want to print out to frame.
Halfway done! I even ordered the ones for the hallway already!

On to this week...

1. Get in at least three runs!
I am going to do this this week! The forecast looks good, the times have been planned, and I'm determined to go a quarter of a mile longer each time.

2. Bubble bath.
I can't wait!

3. Actually work on scrapbooks and organize photos.

4. Make Clay's fruits this weekend.
Now that I have a freezer full of veggies (that he loves!), I need to make some fruits and freeze them.

5. Make sure I'm drinking enough water.
My milk supply has plummeted and I'm fairly certain the culprit is not enough water. This is unacceptable and must be fixed.

6. Think of ideas for spreading love this month.
I'm at a loss for ideas...

7. Stick to the schedule I made for this week!
Including taking Clay to baby yoga! I'm so pumped!

8. Make a list of post ideas for my blog and write some of them!
I still haven't blogged about my race in December!

I'll stop now before I get too crazy.

As always, good luck to all of my fellow chasers!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

5 months

I love pictures. I get it from my family- I grew up with a camera in my face. There are albums and albums of me when I was younger. So it's only natural that I would take tons of pictures of Clay (no joke, there are over a 1,000 pictures of him on my phone already). Sometimes after Clay is asleep or while I'm at work I find myself going through the pictures of him on my phone or on Facebook and I find myself in complete awe. I did that? The other night I found myself on one such journey looking through photos from the hospital and I was amazed at how much Clay has grown already. In honor of Clay's 5 month birthday (a few days late), here's a look back at each month:


This photo was taken less than an hour after Clay Lucas was born. I LOVE how alert my little man has been, right from the start!


1 month old!


2 months old! He was already beginning to show SO much personality!


3 months!


4 months. This photo was taken around 11:30 one night. Clay was refusing to sleep so I thought I would at least be productive!



And at 5 months! You'll notice that he seems to have lost a 1/4 inch...apparently the nurse and I measure differently (meaning I'm sure she doesn't use the tape measure from her tool box).

I can't wait to continue to share photos with you of Clay as he grows!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Food Friday- Skillet Lasagna

As you know, I love shopping at Target. I'm a frequent buyer of Target brand foods and I noticed awhile ago that most of the items had recipes on the back. Finally I decided to try one, and then another. And let's just say that they are amazing. None of them are overly complicated which I love because with a 5 month old a glass of water is a treat and most are healthy meals or can be made healthy. Today I'm sharing the recipe for Skillet Lasagna. I apologize for the lack of a photo but as yummy as it was, this was not an attractive meal (it basically looks like the inside of lasagna).

Whole Wheat Skillet Lasagna

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings

What you'll need:
20 oz. ground turkey (I used lean beef)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat penne or rotini pasta
24 oz. jar pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 1/2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used more because I love cheese!)

1. Cook ground turkey until no longer pink. Add pasta, sauce, and fill jar with water and add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
2. Add ricotta in 6 dollops on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes until mozzarella is melted.

That's it! Enjoy!