Meals and Miles http://mealsandmiles.com One Girl's Journey Through Food and Running Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:28:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 15754866 Weekend Vibes http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/26/weekend-vibes/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/26/weekend-vibes/#comments Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:28:45 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66906 more »]]>

It’s Monday! Time to reminisce over the weekend.

We’ve officially reached the rainy season in Florida, which translates to rain, rain, and more rain on a daily basis. Luckily we caught a break with the weather over the weekend and actually had some sunshine in the forecast. It was still hot, hot, hot – but we managed to stay cool.

Friday Night

Derek was out at happy hour with some co-workers, so it was just the girls on Friday night. We played, had dinner, and then decided to take an impromptu trip to Jeremiah’s for Italian Ice. This was the first time we’ve taken a random trip out for dessert after dinner and it felt a little adventurous to break the rules and stay out past bedtime. We split a peanut butter ice and Annalynn loved every bite.

Saturday

Our morning started out with swim class.

We switched to the parent-free class back in April and – in full disclosure – it’s been a bit of a struggle. We were told the first couple of classes would be difficult as she adjusted to mom not being in the pool anymore, but a “couple of weeks” turned into a “couple of months.” She does great with all of the skills in the water (girl can kick like a champ and loves to swim to the wall), but she doesn’t like waiting her turn and pretty much cries the rest of the class. I thought it was getting better, but we had a bit of a set-back with some tears this week.

She loves the water, I think she’s still getting used to mom not being there. She also has her mom’s strong will power and big lungs.

While Annalynn and Derek stayed home to nap, I met my friend Jess for a mom’s day out. We got pedicures, had lunch, and tried the new Hyppo Ice Pop place I’ve been dying to try (FYI – the champagne mango popsicle was top notch!).

It’s been FOREVER since we hung out and it was so nice to soak up some girlfriend time. Of course, we talked about our kids the entire time because that’s what moms do.

(p.s. top was from Le Tote and I’m obsessed with it!)

I got home just after nap time and we headed back out to a local spashpad to let Annalynn burn off some energy.

After that it was a pretty crazy night of falling asleep to HGTV on the couch. We are party animals!

Sunday

I dusted off my bike and met some friends at the bike trail for a 20 mile ride.

Head to the bike trial used to be a part of my regular weekend routine. Now, it’s been so long since I’ve been to the trail that they actually extended it and built a new trailhead. By the way, the new Suncoast Trailhead off of Lutz Lake Fern is amazing. They did an awesome job.

It was a nice, easy bike ride with a group of friends. It not only felt great to be on the bike again, but it also felt great to ride with other people. I miss doing group rides or runs and soaked up the company. The 20 miles seriously flew by.

They may have even talked me into a 50K ride coming up at the end of July. I was riding that post-workout high and probably would have agreed to anything if they asked me. I do need to get my bike to the shop, though. It’s about 4 years overdue for a tune up.

Derek worked on the yard/pool, while I met up with a friend at a local indoor playground (Bounce House) with Annalynn.

 

At first I was a little nervous that the playground would be a little advanced for her, especially since parents weren’t allowed up it, but she did great. Annalynn loves to climb and was off and climbing to the highest point of the jungle gym about 5 seconds after we arrived. It was all just a big reminder that my baby isn’t a baby anymore and is a full on toddler. *hold me*

We met Derek at the grocery store and then had homemade chicken paninis for dinner.

It was an awesome weekend full of just enough activities to prevent us from getting bored, but also enough downtime to let us feel refreshed.

How was your weekend?

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Hi! + Brooks Running Giveaway! http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/16/hi-brooks-running-giveaway/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/16/hi-brooks-running-giveaway/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:45:46 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66893 more »]]>

Hi! I’m alive!

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here. Work has really been picking up at the office, my sister and her family were in town last weekend, and I simply don’t open my laptop up as much as I used to when I’m at home. Honestly, the days and weeks seem to fly by way too quickly – I honestly can’t believe we’re halfway through June!

Let’s play a little catch-up.

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

Dang, this show is good! The cinematography, the storyline, the characters – everything immediately pulls you in and it’s hard to look away. The modern dystopia depicted in the show is so relevant in the current political climate and definitely makes you think. The storyline was so enticing, that I downloaded the original book and have been listening to it on my daily commute, as well as my morning runs and evening walks with Maddie. Despite originally being written in the 1980s, the book still feels very fresh and not dated at all. If you’re a fan of the show – I highly recommend the book for a deeper dive into Offred’s head and thoughts.

What I’m Wearing: Le Tote

I signed up  for Le Tote last month and have really been enjoying it thus far. I head of a while ago Le Tote (thank you Facebook ads), but it wasn’t until I complimented someone’s shirt at bar class, that I actually became curious about it. She told me her shirt was from Le Tote and continued to gush over the clothing rental subscription service. Basically you pay a monthly fee that grants you access to an online closet you rent from. You select your pieces, wear them, return them, and they immediately send back another box of clothes. For someone who loves to wear new clothes, doesn’t have time to shop,  and likes to change it up – this sounded great. I did a test box and just kept it going from there.

LOVED this Free People dress I received in my first box.

If you want to try it, use this link for $25 off your first month.

What I’m Doing: Glazer Children’s Museum  

Derek and I recently purchased an annual membership at our local children’s museum and love it. It’s a great way to wear out an energetic toddler and it’s a great escape from the summer heat. It gets serious bonus points for being INSIDE, which is really key for Florida summers. We had a zoo membership last summer, but the heat and humidity were brutal. Plus, it’s nice to change up our memberships every year. Next year we might be touting our new Aquarium membership.

What I’m Excited About: Brooks Endorsed Athlete

I’m about a week behind, but in case you missed it, Brooks made a really cool announcement on National Running Day.

 

According to the fifth annual Brooks Global Run Happy Report, the majority of runners across the globe (62%) dreamt of becoming a professional athlete as a kid; however, big-time endorsement deals in running are generally reserved for only the fastest in the world. Brooks is mixing things up because the company believes all who run—fast or slow; chasing a personal record or feeding the soul—deserve support in their running pursuits. So in celebration of all runners everywhere, they want to help make those childhood dreams come true by inviting all runners to become a Brooks endorsed athlete with the Brooks Big Endorsement.

All runners can head to www.BrooksAthlete.com now to sign their endorsement deal with Brooks. All endorsed athletes will receive a $1 check, as well as bragging rights and access to a community of fellow endorsed athletes. It’s really just a fun celebration of runners everywhere and a big reminder of why I love Brooks so much – they really do believe in all things Run Happy!

Speaking of Brooks, they also just released the new Glycerin 15s.

The Glycerin shoes were my initial introduction to Brooks way back in 2009. I like to refer to them as Brooks’ luxury shoe since everything about the Glycerin is luxurious. They’re maxed out with cushion, keep my feet feeling strong, and are my absolute favorite shoe for casual long runs. I’ve pretty much run in every release since then and the 15s 100% live up to everything I love about the Glycerins.

I particularly enjoy the extra-cushioned wrap around for my heel. It’s so soft and doesn’t dig in at all, I almost feel like I could run sans-socks and not have to worry about any blisters in that area. I feel like my foot is wrapped in a big pillow.

Granted, I wouldn’t call these a flat and fast shoe for hard-core speed training days. But for the days you just want to run on cruise control – they’re perfect.

Giveaway Time!

So who wants to try a pair of their own? Brooks has graciously offered a pair of the new Glycerin 15 to one lucky Meals and Miles reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below letting me know what’s your summer running plans. Running a race? Sticking to the trails? Or Simply taking a break? Leave a comment below and I’ll pick a random winner next Wednesday, June 21st. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

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8 Items We Loved On Our Beach Trip http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/02/8-items-we-loved-on-our-beach-trip/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/06/02/8-items-we-loved-on-our-beach-trip/#comments Fri, 02 Jun 2017 12:25:31 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66877 more »]]>

We had a blast during our stay in North Captiva Island, but before the trip, there was a lot of pre-planning and coordination of ALLTHETHINGS on the backend. Amazon was definitely our friend and I discovered the joys of same day delivery (it truly is a beautiful thing). Here are a few purchases that made our beach trip a little easier.

  1. Puddle Jumper

My sister had originally brought the puddle jumper for my 2.5 year old nephew, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He preferred dry land and the kiddie pool. You do you, buddy. However, since we couldn’t keep Annalynn away from the water, we decided to try it on her to give her a little freedom. She LOVED it. It took her a few minutes to figure it out, but once she did, she didn’t want to take it off. I was a little concerned Annalynn was too young for the puddle jumper at 19 months, but it ended up working out fine. I ordered her own puddle jumper as soon as we got home.

  1. Inflatable Baby Pool

The baby pool was a clear winner of the trip. We dragged it to the beach each day and filled it with buckets of ocean water. All of the kids (ages ranging from 10 months to 2.5 years) enjoyed splashing in the water with their beach toys. It was also nice having the ability to keep the pool under the shade to limit sun exposure.

  1. Aveeno Baby Sunscreen

The Aveeno Baby Sunscreen is hands down my favorite sunscreen for Annalynn. It’s very mild, easy to apply, and kept Annalynn’s skin pasty white. We made sure to reapply regularly, while also keeping her under the shade as much as possible especially since she refuses to keep a hat on. How do parents get toddlers to keep hats on – teach me your ways!

  1. Pop-up Beach Tent

My brother brought the Pacific Breeze Easy Up Beach Tent and it was amazing. There was no need to spend 20 minutes trying to figure out tent poles, loops, or digging out instructions. He pulled it out of the bag, wiggled the tent to pop it up, and he was done. That’s it – no extra assembly required. It was a nice, cool spot for the kids to rest and I even enjoyed laying in it.

  1. Heavy Duty Beach Wagon

Even with 9 adults helping, it was still a huge pain to get everything to and from the beach… especially with 4 kids to wrangle at the same time. The folding wagon made life 10 times easier. Instead of filling up arms and bags – we just filled the wagon up. It was easy to load and easy to pull through the sand. Technically this was my parents’ but I’ve added it to my Amazon wish list for the future.

  1. #MomBod Friendly Swimsuit

This was my first swimsuit purchase from Amazon and it’s inspired me to buy many more. I first discovered that Amazon even had swimsuits when I was browsing the internet one day and stumbled upon a Buzzfeed article on the best swimsuits on Amazon. The Retro Halter Peplum Bikini instantly stood out to me. It was cute, had awesome reviews, and was only $25 – sold!

The suit is super flattering with retro high waisted bottom and a cute halter top. I like that I can chase Annalynn on the beach in it and not worry about anything popping out. It also conceals my soft belly, while still giving me some shape. Plus, it was $25. You really can’t beat that.

  1. Safety 1st Gate

The beach house we stayed at had 3 floors and a ton of stairs. I had ordered this gate right before we left and it came in handy. Not going to lie, it was a pain to get in secure, but once it was secure, it didn’t budge.

  1. Toddler Cot

I’ve blogged about this before, and I’ll keep blogging about, this cot is awesome. My sister actually purchased one for the trip and my 2.5 year old nephew did great on it. It’s easy to travel with, easy to assemble, and is the perfect size for a toddler. The cot fit perfectly between the closet and our bed. I highly recommend if you’re traveling with a toddler.

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I Love North Captiva http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/30/i-love-north-captiva/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/30/i-love-north-captiva/#comments Tue, 30 May 2017 21:00:52 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66862 more »]]>

 

I just returned from my family’s annual getaway to North Captiva Island and I’m already longing to return.

We first discovered the wonders of North Captiva Island back in 2010. My mom was looking for a pet-friendly beach house for our expanding family and stumbled upon the beauty of North Captiva Island. The whole family fell so in love with the island, that we’ve made it an annual tradition to return year after year. You can read my full, original review of North Captiva here.

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway in Florida, I standby my original review and can not recommend North Captiva enough. It’s the perfect peaceful island for a relaxing vacation. It’s only accessible by ferry – so you’re avoiding typical beach crowds – and you really can’t beat that lazy island vibe.

Of course, a few things have changed since our first visit. For starters, our family has grown. Now, instead of a house full of dogs, we have a house full of babies. This year we had four little monkeys playing in the sand.

James (11 months), Owen (2 yrs), Weston (10 months), & Annalynn (19 months)

There’s something truly amazing about introducing a place you love so much to the next generation. This was Annalynn’s second time on the island (and Owen’s third), but it’s almost like we got to re-introduce it to her. She was only 7 months last time and not even crawling yet. Now she’s a talking, opinionated toddler who had so much fun hanging out with her grandparents, destroying sandcastles, and splashing in the water. It was difficult to get her to leave the beach or pool! She could have easily stayed waterside all day if she could.

Really ,the addition of the kids just makes us love the island even more. We rented a house right on the beach again this year, which was perfect for four little kids on varying nap schedules. Instead of everyone having to leave every time a baby needed a nap, we were able to quietly walk away and put each kiddo down on their own terms.

Annalynn takes one nap a day and usually snoozes for 2-3 hrs right after lunch. We had a steady routine of playing on the beach in the morning, then heading back to the house for lunch and a snooze. We brought an extra baby monitor along, which made everything that much smoother. While she napped, we had the monitor poolside and were able to relax and enjoy some quiet baby-free time.

We also brought the toddler cot again this trip, which fit perfectly next to our bed in the room. I really can’t say enough about traveling with the toddler cot. It was light weight, easy to travel with, and could be assembled and dissembled in a matter of seconds.

At night we were able to put all the kiddos to bed and still have time to bring the chairs to the beach to watch the epic sunsets.

I managed to get one beach run in on our first morning on the island.

I was hoping to get another in, but sleeping-in just felt way too good to give up. I rarely get a chance to enjoy lazy mornings in my PJs and I wanted to take advantage.

Overall it was a relaxing weekend full of the beach, pool, hanging out with family, and watching movies. We only left our little corner of the island a couple of times for ice cream or a little exploration. Otherwise, there wasn’t really a desire to do much else. Sunshine, food, and family time – that’s all we needed.

Now it’s back to reality. Le sigh.

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Mac & Mia Review: It’s StitchFix for Kids http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/22/mac-mia-review-its-stitchfix-for-kids/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/22/mac-mia-review-its-stitchfix-for-kids/#comments Mon, 22 May 2017 13:18:58 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66849 more »]]>

I tried something new this month. It’s called Mac & Mia and it’s a clothing subscription box service for kids.

Yep, it’s basically StitchFix for kids. Or I guess I should really say StitchFix for babies and toddlers, since sizing ranges from newborn to 5T. The set-up is super similar to StitchFix (and a lot of other subscription box services). You create an account, set-up a profile, pay a styling fee, and in about a week you receive a box full of new clothes for your little one. You keep what you like, send back what you don’t, and schedule the next box at your leisure.

I first heard about Mac & Mia about a year ago when my friend Diana emailed me raving about it. She has two kids and loved the convenience of the service, as well as the unique adorable clothes you won’t find anywhere else. I loved the idea but, at the time, Annalynn was outgrowing clothes at rapid speed and I couldn’t justify spending so much on baby clothes (warning: the clothes can be a tad pricey averaging about $20-$40 apiece).

I didn’t really look much into it, until I recently received an email from one of their stylists asking if she could style a box for Annalynn. She offered a code to waive the styling fee (which, by the way, you can take advantage of, too. Use this link for a $20 credit for Mac and Mia. You’re welcome.) and I decided to give it a try this time. Annalynn is a little older so she’s not growing out of clothes as quickly as she was before and I’m in the process of building up her summer wardrobe anyway. (p.s. not a sponsored post, but there are affiliate links in here)

Setting up a profile was quick and easy. I took a mini-style quiz and was able to request light and airy summer clothes for Annalynn. After I placed the order, the box arrived fairly quickly. The packaging was adorable and I found it amusing how much smaller the box was than my typical StitchFix box is.

As I mentioned above, the pricing is probably a little more than I’d normally spend on clothes for my toddler, but the quality is definitely there and the prices aren’t too outrageous. The most expensive item from this box was $40. Plus, if you keep everything, you receive a 15% discount. There was a sweet note from the stylist in the box, a pre-stamped return envelope, a price sheet, and a dress-up paper dolls for Annalynn to play with.

The box was packed tight and I was surprised with how much was in it. Each Mac and Mia box contains 6-8 items.

Now, I’ll spare you a full fashion show of Annalynn wearing everything from the box. To all the moms out there who can get their kids to change in and out of a dozen outfits for a full photo shoot – I salute you! There were some pieces I knew weren’t going to work based simply on size or my initial reaction when I saw the piece. However, there were some adorable pieces I instantly fell in love with and those were the pieces I wanted to try on Annalynn.

First up: Blu and Blue – Ikkat Romper ($40)

This was the first outfit that caught my attention as soon as I opened the Mac & Mia box. Oh my word, is this romper adorable! Of course, I fell in love with the most expensive thing in the box, but how cute is this?! Am I willing to spend $40 on a romper? Well, when you think about it, I have that $20 styling credit I could apply to the order (again, use this link to get your own credit!), so it would really be $20. That seems more reasonable. With that rationale, this is totally going in the keep pile.

Next, Bitz Kids – Peplum Cherry Dress ($30)

Please note the bow lasted about 5 minutes, but at least I got a cute photo out of it. 😉

This was another adorable dress. The cherry pattern, cut, and style make it a perfect summer party dress, especially when paired with a big red bow. It was a little big, but that’s not exactly a bad thing when it comes to toddler clothes – you’re pretty much guaranteed they’ll grow into it eventually. Unfortunately as much as we liked the dress, it wasn’t 100% love. It went in the return pile, but I may have some regrets looking at this photo. She is pretty cute in it.

Finally,  Lali – Printed Fringe Shorts ($29) and Frankie and Sue – Avery Tank ($28)

Every model requires a personal Mickey, right?

Those shorts! I loved those shorts right out of the box, but they did a weird puffing thing when I actually had them on her. I loved the print and style, but they just didn’t work on Annalynn. However, the tank top was adorable. It’s a really light weight material and has a criss-cross back – perfect for the Florida summer heat.

I ended up keeping the tank top and returning the shorts.

Overall we kept two items and returned the rest. We had fun with the Mac & Mia box and would definitely order one again. I’d say Mac & Mia is great for anyone who is looking for unique clothes for their toddlers. Every item in the box was adorable and a big step outside the box of what we usually shop for. It is a bit pricely for kids’ clothes, but nothing overly crazy.

If you want to try Mac & Mia for yourself, use this link for a $20 credit on your first box. Happy shopping!

 

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My Current Fitness Routine http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/18/bar-method-review/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/18/bar-method-review/#comments Thu, 18 May 2017 13:20:47 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66843 more »]]>

My fitness routine changes pretty regularly. I find something that works (until it doesn’t) and then I move on. Usually my schedule changes, something new comes up, or life happens. The only thing that ever stays constant is running, but even my approach to running can vary depending on my current goals and what races I’ve signed up for.

Recently my fitness routine has involved Bar Method classes. Psst…This is NOT a sponsored post, nor was I given anything free or discounted in exchange for a review, I’ve just legit enjoyed my experience with Bar Method and wanted to share it here.

A couple of months ago a co-worker forwarded a “March Madness” special for a month of unlimited Bar Method classes for $44. Umm… $44? Considering the unlimited packages are usually $175 a month, this was a great deal – sign me up! The real selling point was the ability to take classes during lunch. The studio is about a mile from my office and offers 45 minute express lunchtime classes. It’s really difficult to fit morning or evening classes into my current schedule, so lunchtime access is key. Even better, three of us ended up taking advantage of the deal on my team, so I instantly had two accountability partners to go to class with.

This was not my first time trying any type or style of Bar/Barre classes (I actually took my first one back in 2012), but it was the first time I made an effort to stick with it consistently. I’m usually more of a fan of intense cardio/ powerlifting. You know – the classes where you build up a sweat and know it’s a great workout based off how soaked your clothes are. Bar Method is basically the complete opposite of that and it didn’t exactly pull me in to want to stick with it. At least, it didn’t back then. Now? Those are all the things I love about it.

For starters, you don’t sweat. In fact, the floor is carpeted and the room smells amazing – no smelly, sweaty bodies in here. The AC runs cool, they run the fans, and it actually feels nice.  All the movements are tight, concise, and effective. A newbie coming in for the first time might question why so many swear by this workout… until they try it and they’re silently cursing the instructor halfway through. Trust me, it’s brutal. Brutal in a “my legs are shaking and I can’t possibly hold this any longer” way – not brutal in a “OMG I’m covered in sweat can can’t breathe” way. Sometimes I come back to my desk and it still feels like my legs/arms are shaking – but it took a few classes to get there, so sticking with it was definitely key.

I’m a runner with tight hips, so my flexibility is terrible. And despite years of being dragged to ballet as a kid (sometimes literally kicking and screaming), I have zero grace or residual form. For the first several classes, the instructor was constantly over me adjusting and correcting my form. I got called out… a lot. When I registered they mentioned it would take at least 10 classes to feel comfortable in class, and they were absolutely right. I’m at 20 classes now, and I’m still adjusted or corrected at least once per class, but not nearly as much as I used to be. I actually feel semi-comfortable moving into position without having to check everyone’s form around me 100x before committing. It’s starting to stick, which is a huge confidence booster out on the floor. It didn’t come overnight, I’ve definitely put the work in, and am happy with where I’m at, though I still have so much more to learn. There are quite honestly some positions where I look around and think “how the hell are all these people so flexible?!” And then I attempt it, laugh at myself, and move on. Hey – at least I tried.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve struggled to stick with any sort of strength routine. I’ve been doing Bar Method for 2 months now and it’s been awesome to see some results. Even if I’m probably the only one who see the difference, I’m gaining definition back – finally.

I’ve been doing Bar Method 3x, running 3x a week, and taking Saturday for a rest day. I’ve loved this routine because it works perfectly with my current schedule. I wake-up early on mornings I have to run, sleep-in on mornings I do bar, and I don’t feel crazy burnt out. Bar Method has been great during lunch and having my co-workers take the classes with me means I have automatic accountability partners to go with. We all completed the original challenge and then signed-up again when the studio offered us another introductory package of $99 for one month of unlimited classes.

I’m still going month-by-month (these classes ARE expensive), but right now it’s worth it for a little “me time” in the middle of the day.  At the very least, Bar Method inspires me to get out during lunch and stick to strength training. Who knows what my fitness routine will be months from now, but right now I’m enjoying where I’m at.

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Staying Organized at Daycare http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/09/brother-label-maker-review/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/09/brother-label-maker-review/#comments Tue, 09 May 2017 12:03:20 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66830 more »]]>

This post is sponsored by Brother.

Any parent who has ever had a child in daycare knows how easily things go missing. We’ve lost bottle tops and sippy cups, clothes and shoes. Our daughter Annalynn has come home with gear that wasn’t hers, and I know her stuff has gone home with other kids. I was warned this would happen going into it, but man is it a wakeup call when you’re actually in it. Of course, this is in no way meant to fault the daycare or the teachers, it’s just what happens.  I can only imagine how crazy it is to keep track of that many kids and all of the stuff that goes with them. I lose stuff with just one kid at home – it happens.  So my goal as a parent is to make it as easy as possible to keep track of my kid’s gear.

Here’s how I’ve learned to make it work:

I only send stuff to daycare we can live without or is easily replaced.

Annalynn has a dedicated drawer at daycare that holds her blanket, spare clothes, extra pacifiers, etc. The spare clothes are there in case there’s an accident or something happens to what she’s wearing. It’s rare that she needs to use them and there have been times that outfits will stay in there for months without being used. In most cases she usually outgrows them before she needs them. Often times those clothes will get lost in the shuffle and we never see them again. Because of this, I only send spare clothes that we have no attachment to. The spare clothes tend to be random clothing that were hand me downs or permanently stained.  If we don’t see them again – no biggie.

Have extras of everything.

When we first started sending Annalynn to daycare with bottles, I only had the exact amount of nipples, tops, and bottles that she needed for each day. Then one day she came home without a bottle’s top and I panicked. I had to run out to the store that night and replace it so we would have enough for the next day. After that I doubled up on all of our bottle supplies. She probably comes home with something missing every two or three months, but there is no more panicking and no more late-night runs to the store.

Label Everything

My husband loves to make fun of me because I now label everything. Trust me, I didn’t start out this way, but I’ve slowly evolved into the mom that marks her daughter’s initials on every diaper cover and bib. True story.

I recently started using the Brother P-touch PT D210 label maker and it has been a true game changer for my labeling obsession. Writing with a marker eventually wears off and ordering custom labels can get pricey, but P-Touch TZe labels are durable and they stay put. They’re also water-resistant, fade-resistant, and temperature resistant.  Plus, the P-touch D210 offers lots of ways to personalize your labels: 14 fonts, 97 frames, and more than 600 symbols.

When the P-touch arrived, I legit spent over an hour playing with everything it can do. I mixed and matched all of the fonts, symbols, and borders until I found the combination that worked best for our needs.

Replacing the P-touch TZe tape is simple, and there’s a wide variety of tape colors to choose from.

The berry pink tape with white text was my ultimate favorite. It has great contrast and is really eye-catching.

Yep, as you can see, I went a little crazy, but sometimes you need to be a little crazy as a mom.

The P-touch PT-D210 is available for purchase at Staples.

How do you stay organized for daycare?

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Day in the Life: 5/4/17 http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/04/day-in-the-life-5417/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/05/04/day-in-the-life-5417/#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 01:20:11 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66818 more »]]>

5:03am: Alarm goes off… because 5:00am felt too early and 5:50am seemed too late. Press snooze anyway.

5:08am: Alarm goes off again. This time Maddie knows what’s up and starts licking my face. Okay. Okay. I’m up.

5:10am: Grab the leash and take Maddie for a walk. We do two loops around the neighborhood and I attempt to wake up.

5:35am: Back at home I fill Maddie’s water bowl and hop in the shower. Do I shave my legs today or can I wait a little longer?  Meh. I can go another day.

5:50am: Sit on the couch with my coffee and scroll through Facebook for 10 minutes. I tell myself that at 6:00am I need to get up and be productive. Pinky swear.

6:03am: Couch time is done. Time to blow dry my hair and be productive.

6:12am: Head back to the kitchen and prep breakfast. I like to have breakfast ready to go before Annalynn gets up, so she gets to sleep in as much as possible. This morning’s meal was a mix of cereal, fruit, peanut butter, and yogurt (for her).

6:20am: I head into Annalynn’s room to wake her up. She’s not really a morning person, so our routine allows her a couple of minutes of tossing and turning before deciding she’s finally ready to seize the day. While she’s gaining the motivation, I’ll pick out her clothes for the day and set them on the changing table.

6:23am: Annalynn nurses for a few minutes.

6:27am: After she’s done nursing, I change her diaper and dress her for the day.

6:32am: We emerge from her from her room and Annalynn heads straight to her high chair in the dining room. She knows this routine well.

6:33am: I give Annalynn a handful of cereal, berries, and a yogurt pouch. While she eats, I put her hair in pigtails for the day and reheat my coffee. Afterwards I sit down and eat my own bowl of cereal.

6:50am: Derek is up and takes over Annalynn duty. I put the breakfast stuff away, feed Maddie, and head to the room to curl my hair.

7:00am: I pick a dress from the closet and pair it with a pair of shoes and necklace.  I throw my workout clothes in a bag, hoping I’ll be able to take a class during lunch.

7:10am: I give Annalynn and Derek both kisses and head out the door.

7:17am: Arrive at Publix and head inside to pick-up a few supplies, including some items for teacher-appreciation week (which I’ve totally been slacking on). Today’s theme is chocolate, which should be an easy one to pull off. I grab a bag of assorted Hershey candies, a salad for lunch, snacks for my desk, and call it a day.

7: 30am: Back in the car and on my way to work.

8:00am: Arrive at work. Looking stylish with my giant tote. I’ve recently consolidated all of my little bags into a giant tote. I’m still a crazy bag lady, but the big bag makes me feel more efficient.

8:30am: I log on and attempt to reserve my sport for today’s Bar class, but quickly realize I have an offsite meeting at 1pm and can’t go. Darn. No bar class today.

9:00am: Have super productive conversation with male co-workers regarding dry shampoo. They are all baffled at its existence.

10:00am: Break into my bag of cashews (BOGO at Publix this week!) and snack on a couple of handfuls.

11:00am: Oh, look! I was quoted in an article on Racked.com about Lularoe and Disney. Proceed to tell my coworkers that I’m famous now. They all ask what Racked is. Okay. Not famous. But still a cool article.

12:15pm: Consume my Publix salad for lunch.

12:30pm: Prep candy bags for teacher appreciation week. They’re so fancy, you can just call me Pinterest Mom. 😉

1:00pm: Offsite meeting with potential client.

3:00pm: I was so excited to try the Chameleon Cold Brew Vanilla Ready-to-Drink Coffee today. I fell in love with the concentrate version when the company sent me some sample a couple of weeks ago and grabbed the ready-to-drink version at Publix this morning for a mid-afternoon pick me up. Unfortunately I didn’t read the label. The Chameleon Vanilla Coffee concentrate is unsweetened with natural vanilla flavor added, while the ready-to-drink version has added sugar. It’s not a lot of added sugar, but it was just enough to give it a sweet flavor. I’m just not a fan of sweet coffee, especially ready-to-drink sweet coffee. I was definitely bummed.

4:00pm: More cashews to get me over the hurdle.

5:10pm: Close up for the day and head home.

5:40pm: Pick Annalynn up from daycare.

5:50pm: Arrive home and it’s pouring. I quickly get Annalynn out and head to the garage. It’s locked. I don’t have a key for the garage, so we head back into the rain to go to the front door. Annalynn is laughing and trying to catch rain drops with her mouth. She finds the whole thing hilarious.

5:55pm: Attempt to take Maddie outside, but she’s not budging. She’d rather hold her pee for another hour than head outside in the rain. Your call, dog.

6:15pm: Annalynn plays with the magnets on the fridge/ dishwasher while I start dinner. She loves taking the magnets back and forth between the fridge and dishwasher – hours of fun!

6:30pm: Derek arrives home and dinner is almost ready. We’re having breakfast for dinner: pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fresh mango.

6:45pm: We sit down to have dinner as a family. Annalynn loves the meal and has two pancakes, a full egg, and two servings of mango.

7:10pm: Derek gives Annalynn a bath while I take Maddie outside and load the dishwasher.

7:20pm: I help Annalynn brush her teeth, then take her to her room for pjs and story time.

7:30pm: It’s bedtime. I nurse Annalynn and then give her one last kiss goodnight before putting her to bed.

7:40pm: Maddie and I head out for a walk around the neighborhood.

8:00pm: Derek and I watch an episode of the Daily Show with the creators of Pod Save America. It’s his new favorite podcast and he’s a big fan of the trio.

8:10pm: While the show is on I pull out my laptop and start this post.

9:00pm: Bedtime? Maybe.

Good night!

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My Review of the Juno Redesign http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/04/25/my-review-of-the-juno-redesign/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/04/25/my-review-of-the-juno-redesign/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:59:35 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66810 more »]]>

My favorite sports bra of all time (the Brooks Juno) recently had a complete overhaul and I wanted to share the details with you guys.

A little background…

I originally discovered the Juno sports bra when I was pregnant with Annalynn and my boobs basically grew three sizes overnight. Suddenly the running tanks with built-in shelf bras I had been relying on were no longer cutting it and I needed something heavy duty to support my new DDs. I met with a sports bra fit specialist, who introduced me to the Juno. It was love at first run. I now own 5 in various sizes (thanks to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and my ever-changing body) and it’s also my go-to for lounging around the house, as well as running.

So what’s new with the Juno redesign? According to Brooks, they’ve added increased ventilation and an updated back design. The redesign makes the Juno more breathable and easier to get on and off.

I sat-in on a product demo with the Brooks team a couple of months ago and was pumped when they broke down the lighter and smoother look of the new Juno. The main complaint everyone has with the Juno is how difficult it is the get on and off. If they somehow fixed that issue, then they would be my new heroes.

I had been planning to purchase the redesigned Juno to test it for myself, but ended up lucking out when I checked into Brooks’ Altitude Camp last month and there was one waiting in my gear bag. Sweet! I think I let out a little squeal when I saw it (anyone else get this excited with new sports bras? Just me?).  I headed straight to the bathroom to change clothes and put on the new bra.

Unfortunately, I knew something wasn’t right from the start. The sports bra felt big and loose. I re-checked the size and it was the exact same size of the Juno I had just ordered in December, and had been wearing pretty regularly, but this one felt different. The fabric was gapping/puckering pretty excessively at the front and the band felt loose, even though I adjusted everything to the tightest setting.

I found a Brooks employee and she agreed something was off. I ended up trying three different sizes until I found a combination that worked. I had to go down a full cup size and band size to get the right fit. I asked Brooks if the Juno redesign affected sizing, but they didn’t believe it did (however, multiple reviews on the product page do state otherwise). At first I chalked it up to almost being done breastfeeding and my boobs being all over the place, but my newest Juno (purchased right before the overhaul) still fits great in the larger size. This isn’t faulting Brooks, just a bit of a heads up in case you decide to order a new Juno in the future. If you do, I would definitely recommend heading to your local retailer and trying the new Juno on first before committing to any size. In my opinion, the sizing and fit are definitely different.

Once I got the right fit, in terms of support, the rest of the bra is pretty comparable to the original. Everything feels contained, secured, and isn’t moving. I can run for miles and not worry about any pain creeping in or crazy marks from straps digging into the my shoulder. The shoulder straps are still wide and lightly padded, and the adjustable straps that the Juno is famous for are still there and, in my humble opinion, still one of the best parts about the bra.

The material itself is a lot lighter and noticeably more breathable than the original design. The cut of the Juno is also a bit smoother and very modern feeling to the touch. As a hot and sweaty Florida runner, I do appreciate the cooler direction of the bra. However, as far as the highly marketed ease of getting the redesigned Juno on and off, I honestly not tell much of a difference.. At the end of the day it’s never fun taking a sweaty sports bra off, no matter what the design is. Unless you get rid of the supportive cross back of the straps, I don’t see much of a way around that. If you are looking for ease in taking a sports bra off, may I recommend the high-impact Brooks Jubralee. The Jubralee has an open back with just a simple closure, so there’s no need to bring it over your head to remove – you just unhook it. I own it, and while it is a great sports bra, I find myself missing the additional support of the crossback every time I wear it. Yes, the Juno is a pain in the butt to take off (again, as are most sports bras), but if that means I get more support because of, then so be it.

So here are my final thoughts on the Juno redesign:

The Good:

  • Same great support
  • Lighter, more-breathable material

Not-so Good:

  • Sizing runs big and fit is very different
  • Still a pain to peel off

In the end, I’m still happy with the Juno and it will continue to remain my go-to sports bra. I do hope they address the sizing and fit issue as it does seem to be an overwhelming concern out there. Again, if you plan to purchase a redesigned Juno I can’t recommend enough heading to a specialty running store and going through the fitting process in person. It will save you a big headache in the long run.

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Easter Hopping 2017 http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/04/17/easter-hopping-2017/ http://mealsandmiles.com/2017/04/17/easter-hopping-2017/#comments Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:43:28 +0000 http://mealsandmiles.com/?p=66756 more »]]>

Happy Belated Easter!

I know I’ve said this before, but the older Annalynn gets, the seriously more fun holidays become!

Last Easter Annalynn was still working on sitting unassisted and wasn’t sure about all the plastic eggs everyone kept handing her. This year she was an egg hunting machine and it was so much fun to watch.

Our Easter celebrations actually began a few weeks ago when Mary hosted an early Easter Egg Hunt Brunch for all of the friends’ kiddos. It’s always fun to get the kids together, especially for holidays or other interactive activities.

It was Annalynn’s first official Easter egg hunt on two feet and it really didn’t take her long to grasp the concept. She loves picking up toys and dropping them in buckets, so putting eggs in a basket was a no brainer.

She also enjoyed decorating eggs with stickers and then refused to give up her freshly decorated egg. Which was adorable… until she dropped it and the hard boiled egg broke into a hundred pieces. There was no putting humpty dumpty back together again after that.

Her school hosted a “Spring Extravaganza” on Good Friday that included an egg hunt, picnic, and other activities.

The teachers saidAnnalynn was a “pro” and knew exactly what to do when it came to collecting eggs. She’s got mad skills.

On Saturday our neighborhood hosted a giant egg hunt at the neighborhood park that had a couple of hundred kids, thousands of eggs, raffles, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing makes you feel more like an adult than being in a sea of parents with your kid waiting for an Easter egg hunt to start. Luckily the hunt was at the park so we spent 30 minutes going up and down the slides, swinging, and walking in circles.

30 minutes to wait for the start of a hunt that lasts less than 5 minutes. There was an 8 egg maximum, but that didn’t seem to bother Annalynn. She just kept dumping her bag out and re-hunting the eggs she had just claimed – problem solved!

Finally, on Easter Sunday, we ditched the rest of our Easter traditions and  started one of our own by heading to the beach.

It was actually Derek’s idea and it was perfect. We slept in, made a big breakfast, Annalynn napped, and then we headed to the beach. Pretty good Sunday if you ask me.

I know this is a totally random post, but I wanted to quickly jot everything down for my own memory. Time flies way too fast around here.

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