New Fitness Show Category, Condiments & Dips, Shopping Finds & Impulse Buys, Back to Basics


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Hi Bloggies!  What’s happening on Hump Day? I have been insanely busy.   The morning started off with cardio, a trip to the gym to lift, a house showing (read: making it perfectly clean at a moment’s notice.  As an aside, we have shown our house 66 times since January and dropped the price more than you want to know, but the economy is in the crapper and the real estate market is saturated and I don’t think I can give my house away but we are keeping an optimistic attitude). 

Then, the Fitness Show promoter and organizer contacted me and asked me if I would like to also compete in the Sports Model division in addition to doing Bikini.  Basically, the Sports Models wear a cute and sporty workout outfit, and I have to give a 30 second speech.  Introduce myself, talk for a second about what fitness means to me, and just sound poised and confident and articulate.  I can do that.  But in saying yes, I needed to find a sporty outfit.  And I did!  17 outfit changes and 4 stores later.   

Then, to add even more chaos, I realized I also needed a print swimsuit in addition to what I already have.   So, I drove to a swimsuit store on the other side of Phoenix and found one 43 suit changes later. 

Skylar was such a trooper!  And just to add even more chaos to the day, I had to do a Target run.

Since I’m not going to show anyone my outfits until after the competition, I won’t show you photos of what I found today (super cute though!) and you’ll have to settle for these.  I know, not nearly as exciting, but hey, suspense is good.

I found these bars on sale at Target for 2.44 for 6.  I am not a fan of processed soy and as much as I’m sure these claim to be minimally processed, I would beg to differ.  

Box of SoyJoy Fruit Bars

Nutritional Facts on SoyJoy Fruit Bars
Hand holding one SoyJoy Fruit Bar
Close up of one fruit bar

But, whatever.  I am trying to train for a show and pack.  And Skylar loved the blueberry.   When she likes something, she says, “Mommy, WHERE did you get these?”.  Why my sweet child, I found them on a dirty Target shelf, eat up.

Hand holding bar showing side
They do seem rather small for adults.  But she’s 3 so that evens out.

The color reminds me of my Sesame Ginger Maple TofuAlthough I’m pretty sure the flavor is completely different.

Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu on foil lined pan
Close up of stacked Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu

Also at Target, I picked up a sports bra.  I love Target’s 16.99 sports bras!

Blue sports bra on countertop
This is a new-to-me color.   I think they just got it in and I couldn’t refuse snatching it up.  It’s so interesting how lighting can make shades look totally different from one frame to the next. 
Close up of sports bra

And I also snagged $1 Dollar (dollar bins to the resuce!) Shades for Skylar

Pink girls sunglasses


And $4 dollar shorts.  Am I the impulse buy mama today or what?
Pink flowered shorts
Oh well, for less the the price of a Frappucino, my kid is looking pink and sporty.

From Yesterday…
Thanks for telling me you liked my hair color

Woman showing new hair style
  I felt super silly posting air-dryed, totally un-styled hair, but since that’s what I look like most days and most times, and I post real pictures of real life, well there you have it.

And there was Vegan Vanilla Softserve with Chocolate Sprinkles

Vegan Vanilla Softserve with Chocolate Sprinkles in blender
Close up of Vegan Vanilla Softserve with Chocolate Sprinkles in white bowl

Thanks for letting me know your fave ice cream flavors!    Lots of Mint Chocolate Fans in the house! 

I also have some clean readers.  Most of you told me you are showering fanatics.   At least once a day but many of you twice a day.

To paraphrase an interesting fact, though…most of us are chronically Vitamin D depleted, especially Vitamin D3, and current research suggests not to wash off after you’re in the sun as you are literally washing off and preventing full absorption of the D.

Thanks to Bitt of Raw for dropping in the links in my comments section that I didn’t have time to dig up.  

the book is called vitamin D the sunshine vitamin–here’s a link…

kevin gianni has talked about it on his show too. don’t have the direct link but maybe do a search:

Aimee also recently reviewed a Vitamin D book on her blog, too

Reading about tipping and what you tip and why was fun as were your tips and tricks for staying calm and centered in the moment when chaos is breaking out!

Moving Along…
Green Food: In an effort to eat up every glass jar of condiments before we move, it was time to get busy with my TJs Mango Ginger Chutney.  For the garlic/onions/sodium avoiders, this chutney is perfect.

Sugar snap peas and jar of Mango Ginger Chutney
Sugar Snap Peas are Perfect Dippers! 
Open bag of peas and bottle of Chutney

I have also been dipping the Sugar Snap Peas in Glass Jars of Nut Butters

Three nut butters on countertop
 Vanilla Peanut Butter jar
Vanilla Almond Butter Jar

Naturally Nutty goes perfectly with Carrot Sticks, Sugar Snap Peas or the new Mary’s Crackers I purchased

Two boxes of Mary's Gone Crackers
Close up of box of Black Pepper Mary's Gone Crackers

I’m not really liking these so much because I am not a big fan of rye…

Close up of box of Caraway Mary's Gone Crackers
But Skylar likes them!
Young girl sitting in room playing with toys

This is what she does while I pack.  Or while I do dishes, reply to emails, cook, clean, or when I can’t attend to her directly.  She gets out her “friends”, lines them up, and talks to them.

Young girl sitting on floor playing with barbies

She has an extremely vivid imagination.  Probably because we don’t turn the TV on.  I’ve posted about my “alternative” and non-mainstream parenting choices here.


And I’ve discussed my stance on extremely minimal TV watching here
Young girl sitting on floor look at bookYoung girl smiling while looking at book
Books baby.  Open them.  Read. 


 And Just Play!
Backside of young girl playing with toys

Imaginative, self-directed, creative play.  So simple and basic, and fundamentalI hope more parents take an old-school lesson and get back to basics.  Video games and light-up toys that make crazy sounds do not help facilitate the goals of churning out well-adjusted, creative, compassionate humans who can think outside the box.  Imaginative play does.  Get back to basics, please, parents.  A pen and paper helps a child’s mind to grow and blossom; being parked in front of a DVD on continuous loop does not.  

I don’t put much stock in what the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics says) but they don’t recommend TV or Videos for Children Under 2I wonder when those Baby Einstein dvd’s will bite the dust.  Here’s PBS’s take on it.  I know many of my commenters are not parents, but I know my readership is full of parents, so there you have my gloss-over stance on playing and tv.

Moving Along to Dessert:  
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with a High Protein Option)

No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls stacked in container


 Close up of one No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ball
 When Are You Making These?

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Legs.  And I am sore.  I’m still trying towork on making my butt bigger.  Thank you to April who chimed in with This Link for Glute Exercises and to reader Jessica for directing me towards this Comprehensive Post about Glutes.(pictures are a bit much, but the exercises and tips are helpful!)  Today was my last day to really hit my legs and glutes hard before my show on Saturday!

Tip of the Day: Did you see Who Won My Digital Kitchen Food Scale Give Away?

EatSmart™ Precision Pro - Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale w/ Extra Large LCD and 11 Lb. Capacity
Click Here to See Who Won!

1. Have you tried the SoyJoy bars?  Have you tried any new-to-you bars lately?  Any home runs or awesome finds?  Any duds that you would not buy again? 
Normally I make our own Homemade No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars but sometimes you just gotta cut a few corners when life is so busy!

Close up of side of one No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

2.  How many jars of condiments (including nut butters) do you have in your fridge, pantry, or cupboards?  

a. less than 10
b. less than 20
c. less than 30
d. less than 40
e. I am freakin’ insane and have more condiments than you even want to know about

Me = e.
Allow me to explain…
Various jars of nut butter = about 20 or so
Mustards = about 5 jars
Salad dressings for Scott (I only eat ones I make myself) = about 5
Relish, horseradish, ketchup, mayos/or vegan mayo = another 7 to 10
Syrups/Agave = 6
Random things like pickles and olives  = 3

I won’t even count my spices…

As you can see, I clearly love condiments and have been eating them all up, jar by jar for the last month without buying newAre you a condiment fiend?  What’s in your fridge, pantry, or cupboards?

3. Favorite thing to dip?
Once upon a time I would have said chips and salsa.   But I have moved past that.

My Coconut Oil Chocolate Sauce and Strawberries is a great sweet dipper.  

Strawberries in container
Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate Sauce in bowl with spoon

Raw veggies dipped in anything works.  Maybe try my 4-Ingredient Vegan Homemade Hummus

 Close up of 4-Ingredient Vegan Homemade Hummus
 5 Minutes or less for the 4-Ingredient Vegan Homemade Hummus Recipe


Raw Broccoli dipped in my Vegan Slaw Dressing using Reduced Fat Veganaise.  I just dip straight into the jar and devour.  Classy, I know. 
Hand holding head of broccoli

I love broccoli!  Did you know that the nubs on broccoli clean your teeth, gums, and your intestinal tract.  I always think of of the broccoli as scrubbing my body on the inside.  TMI but it’s true.  I mentioned this last week, but some of you didn’t know it, so I am mentioning it again.

Jar of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing with ingredients in background

What do you like to dip and into what?  (there’s the dip and the dipping “utensil” such as a carrot stick or a chip or a strawberry, etc.)   

4. Are you an impulse buyer?  
I would say, in general, I really am not.  I have grown up and realize I don’t need another cute pair of shorts to wear around the house, another random overpriced “powerbar” from Whole Foods.  I don’t need another purse or watch or hair conditioner or cute coffee mug or kids toy or marked down set of sheets or whatever.   I have grown up a lot on not impulse buying because: I hate clutter, I don’t “need” the item, and financially it’s not a wise decision.

But I’m not perfect and for $4 bucks for shorts for Skylar, what the heck.  Impulse buys that are under $5 bucks are pretty guilt-free, by and large.  Are you an impulse buyer?  What was the last thing you impulse bought.  Any regrets?

5. Getting Back to Basics.  This is such an important principle not only in child-rearing, but in all aspects of life.  I think that we could all benefit from simplifying our lives!  Whether that’s unplugging more from the technology that surrounds us and follows us everywhere to getting out a book and reading with a child rather than letting the TV babysit to growing one simple plant such as a kitchen window herb “garden” to using a pen and paper rather than an Excel spreadsheet to walking or biking or simply driving less.

My back to basics and minimal TV approach is working with Skylar.  She turned 3 in February and in the past two days, she’s told me:

“Mommy, please wait while I get myself situated.”  
“Mommy, look, there’s an airplane.  I wonder if it’s bumpy for the people and if there’s any turbulance.
“Oh there’s a gopher.  He’s going down his gopher hole.  But not for hibernation.  Just for a nap.”

Holy vocabulary!  Then again, clearly brevity is not my strength and I can chatter with the best of ’em!  Plus, we speak to her as if she’s 10 or 15 years old most times, so it should follow we aren’t exactly working on “cat” and “truck”.

Woman crouching next to young girl sitting in chair smiling

Yes, it’s true that getting back to basics can sometimes seem that it takes greater effort (in the short run) especially as it pertains to child-rearing but also in life, too.  I believe in the long run, however, it’s much more satisfying to sometimes do things “the old fashioned way” or take what can appear to be the “harder” path. 

Recently I sewed a button on a shirt and I buy un-cut produce and chop it myself and I prefer my 2.99 datebook from the drugstore to a fancy iphone or Blackberry application.  Some things I like keeping basic.

Is there anything you keep basic by choice?  What would you like to try to do more of to “get back to basics”?

Stay Tuned For Microwave Talk…

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