Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Days

I am always nervous about a run.  It doesn't matter what the distance is or whether the course is easy or hard, I just get nervous.  I have run two half marathons in the last two years.  I am proud of that and I plan on doing more. 

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is only five days away and I am so super nervous.  I am trying to remain as calm as possible and just trust that I will do well and I am going to enjoy the experience.  This is my first Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Last year, I did the relay and when I was done and saw all the excitement and the finishers, I decided right then and there that I would do the half this year.  There was no hesitation at all.

So, here we are....five days out from the race.

I am nervous but I am also very excited.  I can't wait to see all the cheering crowds, the awesome bands and all the spectators.  The atmosphere of this race is amazing. The cheering is so awesome and it really does carry you through the course.

I cannot wait to reach that finish line and receive the finisher's medal. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Get Your Smoothie On For a Dose of Protein

I am not a regular smoothie maker or drinker but when I do have them, I absolutely love them!  I love being able to throw everything in the blender and have this nutritious, tasty treat and it can replace a meal!  So easy for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Summer is coming which means that more fresh fruits will be available to throw in the smoothies.  There is one recipe that I go back to often because it is one of my favorites.

Strawberry, Banana Smoothie with Almond Butter

Now, my kids love smoothies too so this recipe is enough for several people....maybe four depending on how much the kids take. ;)

2 Cups Plain, Greek Yogurt
2 Medium Bananas
2 Cups Frozen Strawberries, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. Almond Butter

I make sure I cut the fruit up into smaller pieces just because it seems to blend up a little better and you don't have to keep scraping the sides of the cup.  Throw everything in there and blend away!  So simple, so yummy and so nutritious!

When having this particular smoothie, you will get approximately 6-7g. of protein from the almond butter.

There are other things that you can add to a smoothie to get a good source of protein.  Some of those things are: kale, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, oats and chia seeds.  I tend to stay away from adding anything into my smoothies that will add too much texture to it.  That is just my personal preference though.  I encourage everyone to dust off their blenders and make a smoothie today!  It is easy, fast and so delicious!

I'd love to see what you enjoy in your smoothies..go on #ShowUsYourSmoothie  If you would like to see what DailyBurn has to offer with their line of protein-packed products, you can visit their site here.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I was contacted to be a part of the #showusyoursmoothie project through DailyBurn.  I was not prompted or scripted for this post. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Product Review: Canvas Print from Canvas Champ

If there is one thing I love to look at, it is photos.  I have always enjoyed looking at photos, whether I know the people or places in them or not.

What do I love even more?  Photos of my family together.  We, often times, don't all get our picture taken together and so when I had the opportunity to do a product review for Canvas Champ and receive a 10"x 8" canvas print, I said, "YES!"

The process was super simple. They just asked me which photo I would like to use and I sent it.  They took care of the rest.  Obviously, the process will be a bit different for anyone going on their site and ordering a canvas print.

Their site is so easy to navigate and their pricing is outstanding!!  I have seen the same products for well over what Canvas Champ is charging so that is a thumbs up to begin with.  I always love a good deal so when you put two of my favorite things together, you get my vote!

I quickly received my custom canvas print and I was in love.  Here was this picture that I already loved and it was on a canvas print and it was perfect!!

This is what I received:
A photo of my entire family all dressed up for a wedding. We were looking good and happy. Success!

The canvas is wrapped too so the piece is sturdy and isn't cheaply made.  I have seen some that are of lower quality and they fall apart. I feel confident that this will last a very long time.

The back of the print has the hanging hardware already attached and ready to go!!  I love the sticker that says it was "handmade with love"  such a nice touch. Also there is a sturdy frame with a board behind the canvas front so it is not flimsy at all. It is a really nice product.

Canvas Champ was an absolute pleasure to work with and I am so pleased with my new work of art to display my family photo.  I will definitely be heading to their site again to order more canvas prints to add to our walls.  I encourage everyone else to do the same.  Check out their products and their awesome pricing!

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation nor was I scripted for this review.  All photos, opinions and praises are my own. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

When Things Don't Go Exactly As Planned

We had plans that we thought were solid.  It came to our attention that those plans were never in place in the beginning, let alone now. 

In short, we thought that the house we are renting right now and have been renting for the past 5.75 years, was going to be sold and we were going to buy it.  The landlord kept stalling on selling and each time I asked about it, they gave a very short answer of no.  I had to finally ask if they were ever going to sell it and if so, if we can get some terms on paper.  She replied with the fact that she had no plans of selling and couldn't commit to selling. 

BOOM!!  That was the sound of my heart plummeting to the bottom of my gut.  For almost six years, we have been paying a large amount of money to live here which we were sort of fine with because we had the intention of buying this house and living here for years to come.  We had a list of upgrades we were going to make, what we wanted so desperately to get started doing, as soon as we knew that it would eventually be ours.  Our hopes, plans and optimism were crushed.  I didn't really know whether I wanted to scream, cry or throw things. 

The disappointment is paramount.  It may seem really silly to some who are thinking so why not just pack up and buy a different house?! Oh how I wish it were that easy.  Due to so many things that are totally our own fault, we are not in a position to buy a house.  We were really thinking that the rent to own option was our only option and that a portion of the money that we've been paying would help us to buy.  That is out so now we are changing our game plan and hoping for a solution that is feasible and won't cause us too much heartache.

We really do love where we live. We are close to everything, yet we have the privacy and space to do whatever we want.  It's not the fanciest house but we have made it our home and we will be sad to leave.

I'm still not sure what we will do.  Ideally, we would like to find a lease to own contract but that isn't very common in this area and we want to stay in the same school district and area.  That is the hard part.  We've talked about moving to a different area or even a different state but we do still want to stay in the area.

My point in all of this is.......we can no longer rely on others when we want to make plans.  We have to put our own plans together and go from there.  I am hoping that we are able to buy a house within the next year and look back on all of this as a lesson learned.