Sand Castles and Soccer Games

15 Apr

remember boston

I am Boston Strong! I can’t believe its already been a year. I ran in a memorial run last year and REALLY wanted to again this year, but obviously I’m not supposed to. I can still remember those affected either way, so that’s what I did. I’ve read a ton of articles on the survivors and their awesome stories. This years race is going to be epic! You can read about my race and experiences in Boston last year in the following posts: Expo, Elite Runners I met, The Race, the bombing, Being a tourist Part 1 and Part 2.

What’s the best thing to do when you’re trying to have kids but are having a hard time?

Spend time with other people’s kids. It’s good karma :)

This past week was the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Castle Festival on Clearwater Beach. If there’s anyone who loves the beach, it’s my gal pal Erica and her gorgeous little girl Willow. We made plans to meet up and head over there Thursday afternoon, bring lunch and hang at the beach.


The theme of the castles was Hollywood and all the carvings were of movies throughout the years.



Willow loved the Minions from Despicable Me. I’m sure you can guess what most of the movies are. The bottom left of the below collage is Winter the dolphin, who lives at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and has a prosthetic tail. Quite the story.


Everything had to fit under a huge tent because it tends to rain here in the spring and obviously that would ruin the sand castles. Overall, the sculptures were really cool, but I thought it was a little small.

I nannied for a little boy named Owen a few years ago and I still love hanging out with him. On Saturday, Todd and I went to his soccer practice/game and it couldn’t have been more cute.


I also used to referee soccer back when I was a teenager and it was always super funny to watch the little ones run around in a group chasing the ball. This was pretty much the same thing, haha. They all had fun and the weather was great so I’d say it was a success. I’ve also been keeping hydrated with a concoction I stole from Erica’s baby shower…

IMAG1884Cucumber, lemon and mint infused water. Yummo! The temps are warming up here and having something to quench my thirst with a little added flavor always helps keep me from grabbing a soda or iced coffee. It is mother approved, as my mom came over Sunday to watch The Book Thief and tried some. She loved it… both the water and the movie! We read the book a few years back and was so excited when it came out on Netflix. I’d say I had a nice little weekend with friends and family and kept my mind off not running- which is quite the task these days!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Were you Boston Strong today?


My Oatmeal Creations

13 Apr is a website where you can literally create whatever kind of oatmeal tickles your fancy using their “Custom Oatmeal” tab or choose from any number of premade mixes, like PB&J Cupcake or Ginger Cookie. You get to pick and choose what you want in it and how much. You want nuts? OK. Chia seeds? Sure. If you can think of it, they probably have it. They also have a HUGE array of flavorings that really make building your own blend fun. Another product they have is PB Lean- dehydrated peanut butter that has 85% less fat- that you can also flavor… what?!

I ordered two, 1 lb bags of oatmeal and one 8oz bag of PB Lean. For the flavors I made Wedding Tier 2, which was, you guessed it, the flavor of the second tier of our wedding cake- red velvet/frosting and Monkeying Around, which was banana and peanut butter flavored. For the PB Lean I tried Vanilla Frosting flavored.


As you can see, the bags come STUFFED to the brim! You can see how much actually fits in there by the amount in the ziplock bag above. You can also see from the ziplock that the flavoring kind of goes to the bottom, so keeping it in this bag will make it easier to mix before I measure it. As for the flavors, I liked the Monkeying Around blend the best. I wasn’t a huge fan of my red velvet/frosting blend. Didn’t really taste like anything, even after adding sweetener. That’s OK though, I figured they would make for a perfect baking ingredient. I tried two different recipes: Banana Bread Bars and PB ChocoNaner Cookies.

Banana Bread Bars
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups My Oatmeal oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×9 pan. Mash bananas until they are practically liquid. Stir in vanilla. Add in oats, salt, nuts and mix it all together. Press the thick mixture into the pan and bake for 30 min. Makes 8 bars.

Cals: 150  Carbs: 27  Fat: 4  Protein: 3  Sugar: 10


This is half of the recipe.

PB Lean ChocoNaner Cookies
1/3 cup PB Lean
1/3 cup water
2 tbps dark cocoa powder
2 cups My Oatmeal oats
2 bananas
2/3 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the oats, PB Lean and cocoa powder, set aside. In a large bowl, mash bananas then add the water, vanilla, brown sugar and applesauce. Combine the dry and wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (which I didn’t have so I used aluminum foil sprayed with Pam), spoon the dough onto the sheet and press into cookie shape. Makes about 18.

Cals: 85  Carbs: 16  Fat: 1  Protein: 4  Sugar: 7


Again, this is only half the recipe.

Todd and I both LOVED the Banana Bread Bars. They weren’t super sweet, but if you wanted to leave out the sugar, I’m sure they would still taste good. To me, they were like a healthy version of banana bread to a T. Yum! The cookies however, were just OK. You couldn’t taste the PB Lean at all (but that might be because I used the red velvet/frosting flavored oats?), so I’d suggest adding almost double. They are more of a chewy cookie, which is fine by me!

What I love about these recipes AND is that you can make them as healthy or as indulgent as you want. I think that the oatmeal is a bit on the expensive side for me (remember, I’m super cheap) but a great option as a treat or for those who want a healthy, easier option than some of the prepackaged stuff out there.

Disclaimer: Fit Approach sent me the My Oatmeal products. I was not paid for the review, and all opinions are my own.

Have you ever heard of My Oatmeal?

Do you think you would use the site?


The Boston Marathon is Next Monday!!! (4/21)

11 Apr

Every year on Boston Marathon Monday Todd goes into work late and we stream the race live- well, every year but last year because I ran it :) It’s a fun tradition that I look forward to. I love reading articles and watching videos of the athletes leading up to race day on how they prepared. It’s a little bittersweet this year, as I always use Boston to pump me up for training through the FL summer for a fall marathon… Not so much this year. Following these elites just gets me so excited about running!

This year, we have two GREAT American contenders- Shalane and Desiree. I really believe we will have an American winner this year. Both of these ladies want it SO BAD and have been doing everything they can to be race day ready. Running Times did a wonderful article on Shalane, Shalane Flanagan’s Game Face, and Brooks did a super cool YouTube series about Desi training in Kenya. I’ve conveniently provided the episodes for you to watch. You’re welcome.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

How awesome is that? For real. Todd asked me if I’d go there to train and I said, “In a freakin heart beat!” Maybe that will be my push present (the gift a woman gets for pushing out a baby, haha) after our second kid… if we can make that happen, haha. I can totally see it, me and Desiree, chatting it up on our runs- me doing speedwork while she’s doing her easy run for the day, haha. Who wants to join us?

And, the winner of the PRO Compression Giveaway is…. drum roll please… Laura T!!! E-mail me at with what product you’d like!

And if you didn’t win, check out this awesome promotion PRO is doing…

During the month of April, PRO Compression is donating a portion of select product sales to Team in Training and Train 4 Autism.
All Purple and Powder Blue Products are 40% off with Coupon Code SOM4, as well as the new Red, White and Blue Stripe Marathon “Tube Socks” which are perfect for any 4th of July race you may have coming up :) You can still use coupon code BLG14 for 40% off and free shipping as well :)
Have you been following any of the Boston Athletes? 
Do you plan to watch the race?

‘Twas the Night Before Tuesday

9 Apr

… and at the Winchell house,

Heather had just come home

from an ice cream date, out.

She put on her robe

and washed her face with care,

when she got a text from Pam

who was at Walmart

having her guess what was there?


No freakin way. I couldn’t believe it. I told Pam on our ice cream date that I had been searching for the Carrot Cake M&M’s and hadn’t found them at the Wal-Mart by us. She had to stop there on her way home to get stuff for work the next day and she found them… at the same Wal-Mart I was JUST AT 6 hours earlier. I even asked an employee and she said they didn’t have them. LIAR! So Pam, being the awesome friend she is bought them and brought them over at 10:15PM.


She also brought me a bag of Magic Pop :) Anywho… even though I had just brushed my teeth, I decided to break open the bag and try these suckers out.

IMAG1857 (1)

Oh. Emm. Geee. They are so freakin good. Just. Like. Carrot Cake! Todd, Kristin and my parents really liked them, too. When I tried the Candy Corn ones, they were good and got better the more you ate, but didn’t really taste like candy corn… these were spot on. Cakey and frosting-y. I’ve already bought a second bag.

As you can see from the M&M picture above (and a lot of my other food pics) we have granite counter tops in our kitchen, as well as our bathrooms. You can’t use just any ole spray to clean them and the ones specifically for granite can be expensive- and we all know I’m cheap. So, I make my own :)


Homemade Granite Counter top Cleaner

  • 1/4 c. rubbing alcohol (this is what eliminates the streaks)
  • 3 -4 drops dish soap
  • water — enough to fill the 16 oz bottle
  • 2 or 3 drops essential oil (optional- I didn’t use them)

I doubled the recipe and just used an empty Windex Bottle (32oz). Don’t you love the scratched out the label and scribbled “Granite?”  I know, so crafty I am. Obviously you could put this in a store bought bottle and create a cute label, but I like to keep it simple (or maybe I’m just lazy!)

Happy Hump Day! There’s still time to enter my PRO Compression Giveaway if your reading this before the clock hits 12am Thursday! If you missed the giveaway, you can use cod BLG14 for 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves :)

Do you make any homemade cleaners?

What fun M&M flavors have you tried?

Tampa Bay Rays & a Baby Shower

7 Apr

There’s nothing like a weekend filled with friends and family and that’s exactly how I spent mine :) The Tampa Bay Ray’s and Hillsborough County Schools hold a promotion every year where if your school sells at least 150 tickets to a specific Ray’s game, Raymond- the Rays mascot- will come to your school. The tickets are sold at a reduced price and the money is used to support education. Not all schools sold that many tickets, but for the second year in a row my mom’s school did! The kids LOVE meeting Raymond and I LOVE spending time with Todd and my parents at the game. It’s a win win situation.

IMAG1849Mom and Dad. Their 30th Wedding Anniversary is coming up and they are looking cute as ever…


And for all the flack they give us for being on our phones, look at what I captured during the game…

IMAG1850I’ll give my dad a pass, since the UConn/Gators game was being played, but mom… no excuses ;) The Rays won after a comeback in the 8th inning! Woo Hoo! On Sunday I went to Erica’s baby shower. Her family put it on and did a great job. There was a huge spread of food and the most delicious infused water. It had lemon, mint and cucumber. I WILL be making it at home. After chowin down, we played a few games…

babygames.jpgHer cousin? SIL? (not exactly sure the relation) made the owl and mini cupcakes as a crossword puzzle game to guess they baby’s name. Under the owl it says, “Hooooo is R. M. K.” It’s a girl… can you guess/find her first and middle name? Then we guessed her circumference (it was a 3way tie and I was one of the 3) and drew a nursery with the paper on our heads. The drawings were interesting to say the least.


She is one popular lady and got a ton of gifts! My favorite has to be these cute little Nikes our friend Anna got her. So stinkin cute. Overall, it was a great shower and I can’t wait to meet baby RMK!


Isn’t Erica just glowing? One day (hopefully soon) that will be me people. One. Day. For now I’ll stick with rocking the food baby and celebrating my friend’s little ones.

You still have time to enter the PRO Compression Giveaway!

What do you think Erica’s little girl’s name is going to be?



Triathlete Treats

A life of running, triathlons, and desserts!

Defy Your Limitations

moving forward, one step at a time

run. eat. sleep. repeat.

The journey of a (pregnant) distance runner.


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