From Cheerios to CrossFit to Counting Chickens

Holy cow, does anyone else feel like this week is totally flying by?! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday – and the day is already half over. Hey, I’m not complaining because I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend, but, whoa, this week has been quite the whirlwind.

My Hump Day started bright and early with the buzzing of my alarm. My original plan was to get up before everyone else to get some work done, but, unfortunately, our noisy dog woke up Quinn. The pug is just too darn excited about breakfast! I am too, so I get it, but, jeez, he is LOUD in the morning.

Speaking of breakfast, I started my day with a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios with sliced banana, pumpkin seeds, and some collagen mixed into the almond milk. I actually used to mix protein powder into my milk, but the collagen doesn’t add such a strong flavor –  actually, it barely adds any flavor at all. And, of course, it added a decent amount of protein to my breakfast. #boom

Quinn was happily watching TV, so I headed into the kitchen to put away the dishes. As I was putting them into the cabinets, I realized just how many random ones we had accumulated since we moved into our house a couple of years ago. I suddenly had the urge to purge ALL OF THE DISHES. Does that ever happen to you? You just want to get rid of everything? I’m totally in one of those phases right now. I’ve heard I need to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

After that, Quinn and I woke up Dada. Mal wanted to go to CrossFit with me, but we still needed to walk Murphy and drop Quinn off at daycare. Mal ended up having a slow start to his morning, so I walked Murphy, dropped Quinn off at daycare, and then met him at the gym later on. (We needed to take two cars because I had plans with a girlfriend after class.)

The workout at CrossFit was definitely a good one. It was mostly running with a few strength movements mixed in. The 25 minutes actually seemed like quite a long time!

After class, I grabbed an iced coffee with a friend at Coffee Shack. We sat and chatted for a while and then headed back to her house, so she could color and cut my hair.

Gym. Hair. Iced coffee.

Hooray for new hair!! I love the color and cut so much! 🙂 Plus, my grays we’re definitely starting to take over, so I’m glad I was able to say goodbye!

After my hair appointment, I headed home for a shower and then lunch. In the mix: Shredded chicken, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and feta.

After lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon working. I had a bunch of phone calls, followed by a ton of social media stuff for Designed to Fit Nutrition. Mid-afternoon, I started to get a little hungry, so I snacked on cinnamon spice Pumpkin Seed Health Warrior Bar. I figured with the seed cycling protocol I’ve been doing, it was a perfect snack!

I did a little more work, snacked on half of a banana with sunflower butter, and then took Murphy for a walk.

While I was gone, Mal picked up Qman from daycare. When we all returned home, everyone said they were hungry, so I broke out some hummus and carrots for us to snack on.

I didn’t do a huge grocery shopping this week because we have so many plans that involve dining out, so we mostly just winged it with meals. Mal and Quinn ate leftovers, and I nuked a Fire Roasted Quinoa Bowl from Kashi.

I mixed it with some leftover zucchini and summer squash, and it was really good – much better than expected! It had some awesome flavors and textures.

After dinner, we played a few rounds of Count Your Chickens, which is THE BEST game for a 3-year-old. It’s a cooperative game, so everyone works together to get the chicks in the coop. Plus, the focus is all about counting and even adding, so it’s an educational game too. We’ve played it a lot lately! 🙂

After we put Quinn to bed, I was starving (hormones?), so I ate two rice cakes, each with a thick layer of sunflower butter.

Mal and I watched Big Brother and then hit the hay.

The end.

Questions of the Day

What game are you (or your kids) loving right now? 

Gray hairs: Cover ’em up or let ’em fly?

P.S. If you have a second, TODAY is the FINAL day (of this round) to VOTE for me in Massage Envy’s “Train Like a Pro Challenge.” Please head over and cast a quick vote for me! I totally appreciate it! 🙂

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Collagen Powder Benefits + How to Use It for Healthy Skin

With all this talk about healthy skin, hair, and nails through superfoods powders, you may have come across some of the collagen powder benefits as well. If you have ever eaten a gelatin-based dessert, then you’ve consumed collagen. But today, the protein-based connective tissue is more than just an ingredient in snack food. The beauty […]

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A Day with Family, Quiche, Legos & Oikos

I have partnered with Dannon to help promote Oikos. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review Oikos. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you to Dannon for partnering with me on this blog post.

Since Mal is off for the summer and Qman is only in daycare part-time, I’m busting my tail to get all of my work done Monday through Thursday, so I can enjoy “summer Fridays” with my boys. I’m up and at ’em at 5:15 AM along with Murphy, who is starving for breakfast. He’s practically jumping in circles around me as I walk into the kitchen. I immediately feed him because he’s making quite the ruckus and I don’t want him to wake up Mal and Quinn and then I pour myself an iced coffee. After that, I head upstairs and sit down at my laptop. It’s time to work – at least for a little while.

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At 7:00 AM on the dot, Quinn’s alarm clock tells him it’s “ok” to wake and get out of bed. I hear his bedroom door open, so I poke my head into the hallway, say “good morning,” and give him a big hug. (I love sleepy Quinn. He’s so cuddly!)

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Quinn tells me he want to “go downstairs,” so I scoop him up (and his seven blankets – the blanket posse grows bigger everyday) and bring him downstairs. We watch a show together while he wakes up.

I start to get hungry, so I make breakfast for Quinn (pancakes, peaches, and milk) and reheat a piece of Easy Tortilla Breakfast Quiche that I had made the night before. Just as we’re about to sit down to breakfast, Mal wakes up and comes downstairs into the kitchen, so I reheat a piece of quiche for him too. I also make him some toast while he pours himself an iced coffee. Mal finishes off breakfast with a strawberry Oikos Triple Zero Greek Nonfat Yogurt (because he’s obsessed with them too).

easy tortilla breakfast quiche oikos

Meals are still kind of a struggle with Quinn, but we do our best to make them fun. This morning, he eats a couple of mini pancakes, all of his peaches, and some milk, so Mal and I are happy! 🙂

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After breakfast, we get ourselves ready for the day and the drive to Legoland Discovery Center at Assembly Row in Somerville. We purchased tickets online and arrived right when it opened, so we only waited in line for a few minutes.

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Legoland was awesome! Qman absolutely loved it. There was so much to see and do, including interactive games, play area, rides (FYI: kids need to be at least 3-feet to ride most of them), and even a short 4D movie, which was my favorite part of Legoland!

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I’ve never seen a 3D movie and this one was 4D, so we got wet and wind blown in our faces! 🙂

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After some fun at Legoland, we grabbed lunch out at a restaurant before heading home for Qman’s afternoon nap.

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During nap time, I cleaned up the house and did payroll for Designed to Fit Nutrition. Mid-afternoon, my stomach starts to grumble, but dinner is still hours away, so I grab a banana creme Oikos Triple Zero Greek Nonfat Yogurt from the fridge, add some rice cereal and chocolate chips, and snack time is one of my most delicious ever! Combination of flavors and textures is basically dessert, but without a ton of sugar and a protein boost to help me feel satisfied.

oikos triple zero banana

When Quinn woke up from his nap, it was time for a family walk with Murphy around the neighborhood. It was a fun way to get some exercise in for the day! 🙂

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When we returned from our family walk nearly an hour later, it was just about time for dinner, so I whipped up a quick meal for us. In the mix: Ground chicken, rice, spinach, and jarred cowboy caviar. So good!

After dinner, Mal and I give Qman a bath, get him in jammies, read books, and put him to bed. Mal and I usually take turns doing his bedtime routine, but, recently, we started doing it together as a family. It’s a nice way to spend some extra time with one another.

Once Quinn is asleep, it’s time for Big Brother and dessert, which is my current favorite situation. I had two Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and, my goodness, they are the best treat ever. I love how decadent these cookies are – the Oikos Triple Zero Greek Nonfat Yogurt definitely adds some extra nutrition!

oikos salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

After our show is over, we get ready for bed. Mal and I both read for a bit and lights are out just 15 minutes later. What a day! 🙂

The end.

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Day Trip to Littleton

Rise ‘n’ shine, it’s breakfast time!

I tried out a new “recipe” yesterday morning as a way to incorporate pumpkin seeds into my day. (I’m onto Phase 2 of Kelli’s seed cycling protocol.) In the mix: Sliced banana, collagen, pumpkin seeds, sunflower butter, and almond milk. I envisioned a cereal-like breakfast, but it didn’t quite do the trick. It definitely needed something more, so I ended up adding a handful of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios halfway through eating it – much better! 🙂

I typically get up super early in the morning to work before Mal and Quinn wake up. Quinn slept until 7:40 AM (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), so Mal was awake, pouring himself an iced coffee, and not-so-secretly making fun of my “intense” working face.

Derp. At least, I can laugh at myself!

Once Quinn was awake and everyone ate breakfast, it was time for a road tip out to Littleton, where Mal and I grew up and our parents still live today.

These two are usually best buds, but, apparently, Murphy had some seriously bad breath. Quinn kept saying “Murphy smellllllls” over and over again. Haha!

At Papi’s house, we swam in the pool and my mom (Grandma) came over for a little while. It was great to catch up with the grandparents – we’ve barely seen them this summer! 🙂

Eventually, it was time for lunch, so we headed to Tavern on the Square. It was my first time there, and I really enjoyed my experience. The Littleton location is big and open with an cute little outdoor patio.

They also had cool straws.

And delicious food! I loved my Kale & Quinoa salad. Mmm!

Question of the Day

When was the last time you visited your hometown? Do your parent(s) still live there? 

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First Drive-On Beach Experience

Have I mentioned that we’re never leaving the South Shore? 🙂 The longer I live here, the more I love it.

Sunday was an awesome day – easily one of the best of the summer. We spent all day (10 hours) at the beach with friends and, my gosh, we had a great time. It was our first experience driving onto Duxbury Beach and now we know why everyone raves about the experience so much. The actual drive to the beach was breathtaking (I felt like we were on the California coast) and the ease of driving all of your stuff right onto the sand was the best thing ever. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at a trip to the beach the same way again!

Once we parked and unpacked, sun protection was our first matter of business. Putting sunscreen on Quinn used to be the biggest fight, but now he loves applying his “kid’s sunblock” and insists on doing it himself.

Then, breakfast was our next matter of business.

Our friends brought ingredients to make breakfast sandwiches and home fries, which, of course, was the greatest thing ever. They’re Duxbury Beach regulars, so they had things planned out to a science.

Oh, yea, the spicy Bloody Mary’s were pretty epic, too! FYI: My insulated tumbler is from Corksicle – it’s my favorite!

Once we had food in our bellies, it was play time for both the kids and adults! 🙂

The morning flew by and, before we knew it, it was lunchtime and there was all sorts of delicious food to share.

We had originally planned to leave after lunch with our friends for nap time (their little guy is 2 years old), but then we thought maybe the boys would nap in the car if we took them for a drive down the beach. Sure enough, they zonked out and our beach day continued!

Qman slept for nearly 2 hours and woke up ready to play at the beach some more! (He’s holding a tiny hermit crab in his hand.)

Eventually, the tide came in and we ran out of space, so it was time to leave. On the way home, we stopped at The Oysterman for dinner, which ended up being the perfect way to end a day at the beach.

We shared pulled pork sliders and fried oysters as appetizers.

And then I ordered a big salad with spiced chicken for my entree. We had heard The Oysterman was a great spot, and it definitely lived up to its positive review. We’re big fans and will definitely visit again!

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite part about a day at the beach? 

I honestly love it all, but I especially love quiet mornings on the beach. They’re so relaxing.

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Mini Ghostbusters

Saturday morning started with a fun partner workout. I teamed up with Marisa and whizzed right through it. It wasn’t a hard workout with regard to the weight, but, holy cow, it was a grip-smoker. I actually had to put the bar down on the hold during the Hang Cleans. Ouch!

After CrossFit, Qman and I arrived home. I had half of an iced coffee (French Toast + SFH vanilla) in the fridge from the day before, so I grabbed that while we played outside.

A little while later, we headed inside for lunch.

I made Banza pasta (high-protein) and then mixed it with a jar of bruschetta and grated Parmesan cheese. Lunch came together in a matter of minutes and, my goodness, it was delicious!

After lunch, Qman went down for his afternoon nap. I cleaned up around the house and started some laundry. Quinn usually rips off a 3 or 4 hour nap when he’s at home, but he was awake after 1.5 hours. (He’s definitely going through some sort of developmental thing – his sleep has been so usual lately.)

Once we were all ready to go, we headed to our friend’s house for a birthday party, which was a lot of fun!

Greta, the Frenchie.

I ate approximately 1 million Doritos.

Hauperts + Greta butt! 🙂

Quinn had the best time playing with Uncle Jon’s Ghostbuster toys and went on a ghost-busting spree around the house!

The party concluded with the most delicious strawberry shortcake. I forgot how much I love this dessert – must make ASAP.

Question of the Day

What’s your all-time favorite dessert – like if you could only pick one dessert to eat for the rest of your life? 

Do you believe in ghost?

Me: Funfetti cake with thick frosting and yes, definitely.

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Bar Hoppin’

Good morning!

To date, I have written and published 5,291 posts on Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Isn’t that nuts? Along with these blog posts, I’ve come up with 5,291 titles – some good and some, well, not so good. Usually, I have a title in mind when I’m writing a post, but, sometimes, I need to write the whole post before something comes to mind.

I came up with “Bar Hoppin” for today’s blog post title and kind of laughed to myself. I went to two bars on Friday night, which, I guess, technically, is bar hopping, but not like I used to do back in the day. I used to play this game call “Pub Golf” with my friends, where you drank a beer at NINE different bars – and your goal was to drink the beer in as few sips as possible, like strokes in golf. Oy. Apparently, my idea of “bar hopping” has changed quite a bit over the years. Haha! Anyway, let’s recap Friday!

Our morning started with the usual CrossFit + Coffee Shack combo. The workout was a spicy one – I used #75 pounds for the OHS and it really wasn’t that bad!

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At Coffee Shack, I ordered a French Toast iced coffee, which I later added vanilla protein powder to. Delish!

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Back at home, I took a quick shower and boogied over to the Capital One Cafe for a couple of meetings and a bunch of work. We hired a new coach for DTFN! 🙂

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Later the night, Mal and I headed out for dinner at The Pour Yard, a cute place in Quincy (next to Cagney’s) that serves small plates and delicious drinks.

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We sat outside on the patio and had such a wonderful time. I feel like the two of us haven’t hung out in ages! Ha! Well, we’ve seen plenty of each other this summer, but we’re usually with friends or Qman, so it was nice that it was just the two of us.

We started with the charcuterie board.

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And then shared the spicy chicken lettuce wraps and duck tacos for dinner.

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The chicken tacos were reallllly spicy, but the duck tacos were perfect – I actually wished we had gotten two orders of them!

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Date night!

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Before we left The Pour Yard, we met our friends, Marisa and Jeff, there for a drink. Then, the four of us headed to our friend’s birthday party at Alba for more drinks and fun. It was quite the night of bar hoppin! 🙂

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Back at home, I broke into a brand new box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios from my friends at General Mills. For a second, I debated if it was too soon to open them, but their deliciousness won me over. They’re seriously one of my favorite cereals ever! 🙂

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Question of the Day

When was the last time you went bar hopping?

Is it too soon for pumpkin?

I would normally say yes, but Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are SO GOOD!

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