Friday, February 27, 2015

Making awful videos & Friday Faves

TGIF!!! What a morning it's been! 

I wanted to have the Giveaway winner posted early this morning but LIFE gets in the way sometimes and happens.

When we got to school this morning, I closed the car door on Sophia's pinky finger. She screamed, I screamed, and her finger swelled up like a balloon. Instead of going to school, we ended up at the doctors office, then to the X-ray office to make sure it wasn't broken. In other words, it's been a long exhausting morning for everyone. 

In unrelated news, Sophia picked out our Giveaway winner out of a hat last night! We loaded up the entries, and Sophia picked!. We made a video but it's absolutely awful. I look awful after running, and Nelps kept turning it off and picking up the phone. This is kind of how it went...
Our winner was...JACLYN BURGESS! Congratulations Jaclyn, I am sending an email your way so you can claim your goodies! :) We're all so excited for you!
Thank you to everyone who participated! There are many more giveaways in the future! 

Friday Faves

All hail Brooks Running shoes! I got a new pair for my birthday and I have been absolutely LOVING them on my runs this week! I had Brooks before, then switched to Reebok, and now happily in Brook's loving arms again.

Manicure Parties! The other night we painted all our nails and Nelpe was so proud of her pretty pinks!

On the web

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Keep those little fingers away from car doors! :(


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Breathe In...Breathe Out...Woosa

What a week! Happy Thursday by the way...

**The giveaway closes TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m.! Don't forget to enter!!!**

Yesterday I was MIA due to our internet being out. The Verizon modem at the office took a turn to the darkside, so we took the one from the house to replace it. Turns out that one joined it's modem friend in modem heaven during transit. The office & house were both internet-less and everyone panicked! :) The office one got fixed right away, while the house internet just got back up this morning. 

I took yesterday off from everything to do some more packing for the move. I got almost all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets cleaned out and into boxes. I had to UNPACK a few things when I realized that I still have a week in this house and actually need things like cooking utensils if we want to eat dinner.

Tuesday was a cake-carb-coma day for my birthday. Donut for breakfast, cake for lunch, and another for dinner. Calories don't count on your birthday, ya know!?!
Celebration at the office with my favorite Sweetie's cake!
Celebration at the parent's with my favorite mom's homemade carrot cake!

Yesterday morning was the Daddy's breakfast at school. Pop In With Pop! I worked the buffet line, while the girls had fun eating with Angelo. 
Today is another busy day trying to catch up on work, the blog, packing, and an endless to-do list. I'm so glad my #bff Alisha got me these Essential oils for my birthday. I'm REALLY loving the Peace & Calming one. Breathe In...Breathe Out...Wooosaaaah

Hope you have a great day! 
It's almost the weekend & we're going away for a little getaway tomorrow!! (In the middle of packing & moving...are we nuts?!)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Running for a Cause {PCH Awareness}


First things first...Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet? If not, go on over and show some comment love & enter! :) 

Secondly, rewinding a little bit to Sunday when I ran the Gasparilla 8k and had my first PR ever! {PR = Personal Record} 

Do you know what a PR feels like? Well it basically makes you feel like you can do anything! Kidding, not really. And it makes you think back to all the training you've been doing and think "Wow, all that hard work actually HELPED!" The hard part is the training. The easy/fun part is kicking so much ass butt at the race. My goal was to run at a pace of 8:30 and ended up doing 8 minute miles! For 2 miles I had a pace of 7:45! Katie stuck with me and made me push myself. I wasn't going to slow down if she didn't slow down and I think she was thinking the same thing. :)
Pre-Race Selfie
I ran wearing a shirt for a friend to help spread PCH awareness.( Click here to read about PCH.) I'm not gonna lie I got real tired around mile 4 and started thinking about slowing down. But, I knew I only had one more mile to go and there was no way I was going to let my silly mind convince me to slow down. I knew the faster I went and the more people I passed, the more people would see that beautiful girl's face on the back of my shirt. That's what wearing the shirt is all about. 
PCH is such a rare disease and not many people know about it, therefore there's not a ton of research or funding put towards it. Spreading awareness is just a little/tiny way to contribute to society. It's kind of like how that ALS Ice bucket Challenge got the ALSA so much attention, and donations went through the roof! Bringing awareness to such a rare disease could eventually save lives! Three people came up to me and asked me what PCH was. I'm glad I knew a little bit about it to share! Spreading awareness! :) 

Thirdly, today is my birthday!! When Sophia woke up this morning, Angelo said "Sophia, it's mommy's birthday today!" and she responded "Yeah and my birthday is next!" To celebrate, I volunteered at the school this morning setting up for the Daddy breakfast tomorrow. They offered donuts and I said, "Yes of course I'll eat a donut, it's my birthday!" It's the little things in life. :)  After I pick Sophia up from school, we're going to daddy's work to eat cake, then taking the celebration to my parent's house for dinner. 

I hope everyone has a great day! Spread love!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Spread the BIRTHDAY love GIVEAWAY!

Happy Monday everyone!! I hope everyone is well rested and starting into what will be a productive week! 
Tomorrow just so happens to be my birthday! To celebrate, I have a lovely giveaway to share with you! What better week to have my FIRST official blog giveaway than this magical week?! Excitement all around!

When I first started this blog years ago, I never really thought it would be anything other than a diary of some sort for me to look back on. Then, in August I rekindled my relationship with the blog, and the growth I have seen in just a few months puts the biggest smile and look of wonderment on my face! Say it ain't so! ;) 

To thank those who have been sticking with me for the past few months and to those who are just now getting to "know" me via the blog, I thought I’d put together a little giveaway package for a lucky reader featuring some of my favorite things. Just some love and thanks for all the support you've given me. 
What one lucky winner will get:
- Kate Spade "On Your Mark, Jet Set" bangle 
- Two (2) Month supply of JuicePlus Orchard, Garden, and Vineyard Blend Capsules (1 bottle of 120 capsules each)
- One (1) Box of QuestBar Protein Bars (your choice between S'mores OR Cookies & Cream)
- $25.00 Trader Joe's Gift Card

How to enter:
- Follow me on Instagram (@al2getherFIT)
- Follow me on twitter (@alaymet)
- Leave a comment saying you followed AND something that you are loving this month (product, person, restaurant, etc)

The winner will be chosen at random on this THURSDAY at 8:00 p.m. and announced in FRIDAY'S post on February 27th. 

Thank you again and may the odds be ever in your favor! ;)


***This giveaway is not sponsored in anyway - just some love & gratitude from me***

Friday, February 20, 2015

Exciting News & Friday Faves

Happy Friday!!

This is race weekend in Tampa!! Good luck to everyone running in the Gasparilla Distance Classic! There are races all weekend starting tomorrow morning. If you aren't running, but live around the Bayshore area, you should stand on the street and cheer us all on...even bring a sign to wave around.

Also, you need to go check out the 8 On Your Side Health Expo at the Tampa Convention Center today or tomorrow! My parents have a JuicePlus booth there! So GO, look around,stop by and tell them Alex sent you. :)

Friday Faves
In honor of my parents having a booth at the Health Expo this weekend..Juiceplus is the real deal..the cat's meow...the beezneez. I am a true believer in it. It's simply fruits and vegetables in powder form, in a capsule. What's to NOT LIKE?!
I'm in love with this Kate Spade 'On Your Mark' bangle! It's "sporty" in a high fashion way ;)
My favorite "not so heartbreaking for your wallet" running socks...Thorlo socks. If you've ever been in the market for new running socks, you know they can get pretty pricey. I mean there are socks out there selling for over $200. Yes, you read that right. For only $14.99 these do the trick for me!

Around the web:

TGIT did not dissappoint!... and gives a new definition to VIP

**I'm so excited to announce my FIRST BLOG GIVEAWAY will start on MONDAY!! My birthday is Tuesday, the 24th, and I'm going to spread the birthday joy!! (I feel like Oprah right now) Stay Tuned!

Let me know what you're loving this week in the comments!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

White Chicken Chili

Florida, you are drunk. 
Sophia has Spring Pictures today at school and it just so happens to be the coldest day of the year. Sophia is in a "I only wear dresses" stage and pretty much becomes the hulk if I dress her in anything else. Today she HAD to wear a specific dress. This dress just happens to be sleeveless. I get her to accept the fact that she must wear leggings or tights, but refuses to wear a sweater or anything that covers up her beloved dress. 

I toss the sweater and throw a ski jacket into the car. I force this child to wear a ski jacket on the walk into school. She takes it off the instance we enter the building. Her teacher gives her a funny look and asks "Does Sophia have a jacket?" Yup, this huge ski jacket,which does not match her dress, but will have to do today. Whatever works, ya know?!

So that's how my morning went, but I get a laugh that there's going to be a spring background (I'm thinking flowery meadow) and the kids will be bundled up in turtlenecks, except Sophia of course.  

Anyways, since the weather is freeezzing (by my standards), naturally I cooked up some soup for dinner last night. This white chicken chili is beyond easy and only 5 ingredients! Amazing! 

White Chicken Chili
What you’ll need:
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans in chili sauce (I used Bush’s Best)
2 cups (16 oz) Salsa Verde
3 tsp cumin
Avocado to top

What you do:
To cook my chicken, I boiled the chicken breasts in a large pot of water. Then cooled, and chopped up to add in soup.
Add chicken, broth, beans, and salsa verde into a large soup pot.
Add cumin and stir to mix.
Bring to boil, then turn down heat and let simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Serve in bowls and top with avocado and Salt & Pepper as desired. 
*Additional toppings can include green onions, sour cream, or shredded cheese.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baked Caprese Chicken

Good morning to you!
The sun is shining today, so it's a good day!
Yesterday's weather was nasty. (I don't do cold/rainy weather so well.) 
I'm over here complaining about some wind and rain, while people up North are all like 

Yesterday Nelpe & I had a hair appointment (meaning I got my hair cut and colored while Nelps roamed around the salon like "hey guys, whats up?") 
I go back and forth with my bangs. It's one of those love/hate relationships. Now, the bangs are officially back! 
I go to Images Hair Salon in South Tampa, if you're looking to get your hair done right! ;) 

Anyways, on to some delicious eats!
Do you feel more put together in life when you have dinner planned for the week? I do! Especially when my cooked meals get gobbled up by the family! 
This delicious Baked Caprese chicken was a winner on Monday night. I'm a fan of all things caprese. Caprese sandwiches are on the top of my favorite things list. If you're in the same boat as me, give this Caprese Chicken a try!

Baked Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Glaze

What you’ll need:
2 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to create 4 thin filets
1 egg

¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. FlavorGod Everything Seasoning or any Italian Seasoning
½ lb. fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 slices
1 large tomato, sliced
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
Fresh or dried basil leaves (I only had dried tonight so that’s what I used)
Salt & Pepper

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a small bowl, create an egg wash by scrambling an egg and tbsp. of water together with a fork.
In another small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and seasoning.
Take each chicken filet and dip first into egg wash, then into breadcrumbs, making sure it is completely covered.
Place on a baking sheet lined with foil & sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
Bake chicken in oven for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
(This is when you can create a balsamic glaze if wanted)
Take chicken out of oven and top each filet with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
Put back in over for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Take out of oven and top with sliced tomato, balsamic, and basil.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reasons My Toddler Did Not Eat Their Lunch

If you have kids, you know the constant back and forth they can be towards food. Some days they're extra picky, while others they are brave adventurers and will basically eat anything you put in front of them. That's why packing a lunchbox for a toddler is a challenge. What they liked yesterday, doesn't necessarily mean they'll like it tomorrow, BUT they might like it again next Monday...Keeps you on your toes really.

Every day after school, while unpacking Sophia's school bag, I open her lunchbox and empty out what was left, and put the ice-pack back in the freezer. Most of the time she eats her entire lunch, but there are times when she leaves some items to be tossed...and these are the reasons why.

Reasons My Toddler Did Not Eat Their Lunch

This is real life...

Blackberries - "They were too bubbly" (As opposed to...?)

Apple slices - "They had skin on them" (Sorry I didn't spend an extra 20 minutes in the morning removing these skins)

Raspberries - "They were too squishy" (I'll give her that...)

Half of her sandwich - "I was full from eating my yogurt" or "I asked for peanut butter" (No you didn't...)

Cantaloupe - "It was too orange, I don't like orange things" (BUT you eat clementines like no other)

Yogurt - "It was too cold" or "I was late to snack time"(This makes no sense...where were you at snack time?!)

Clementines - "They had too many white strings on them" (Peel them off please)

Peach - "I don't like peaches" (She ate me clear out of peaches the past 3 times I bought them)

Crackers - "They were too crumby, like snow"  (Eat them...don't crumble in your hands!)

Banana - "It was cut in half..." (Yes, because you USUALLY only eat half of one at lunch time.)

Ravioli - "My butt hurts..." (No clue, but I'm guessing this means she had to go #2?) TMI Sophia...

Watermelon - "It was too wet" (Yes, my dear, because dry watermelon would be gross)

Carrot sticks - "They were too hard" or "You forgot my ranch" (A girl after her father's heart...)

Cucumbers - "I couldn't eat them WITH my strawberries...yuck!" (That's why they are packaged separately...) 

What do you usually put in your toddler's lunch box for school? 
I'm always looking for new lunch ideas!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Love & Running: A Weekend Recap

Good morning to you!
I didn't really want to wake up this morning, and Angelo claims he tried waking me up twice before I finally rolled out of bed at 6:45 am. Just one of those mornings.
Mondays are always hard when you have a wonderful weekend! This weekend was filled with love & running! Sophia ran in the Jr. Gasparilla Distance Classic Saturday morning and she dominated the competition! :) It's in her blood. This was her 2nd year participating and she loves it!
My valentine's. All day, every day!
Warming up
Winner winner chicken dinner!

After the race, we went on a family Valentine's adventure (along with grandparents!) to Piquant in Hyde Park. Nelpe asked for one of everything in the bakery case, and all I wanted was a delicious latte!
I ordered their Heartbreaker latte with almond milk. It has dark chocolate & cinnamon. YUM!

As we sat in Piquant, I looked around and thought to myself. Valentine's Day weekend is probably the most unromantic weekends to go out. I mean for romance involved when it's the busiest day of the year for restaurants. Any other day will do. :) Spread love always!

Saturday night Angelo planned to grill steaks and lobster tails for dinner. BUT, because the Lebron James Fashion Show was on TV, he completely charred the steaks.
The lobster tails were saved, and he ran to the grocery store to get two new steaks. They turned out perfect! Nothing like that picture. :) 

Dessert included CakePopsByLu!
I'm IN LOVE with her new Cookies & Cream flavor.

Sunday, we did a 10 mile run and were completely exhausted afterwards. We took Friday & Saturday off from running and it definitely showed. We made a run to Costco to stock up for the week and called it a day. Mexican for dinner and the SNL 40th anniversary show on the TV rounded out a perfect weekend. 

Hope you had a great weekend! 

How was your valentine's Day? 
Did you spend it with family, friends, or a special someone?


Friday, February 13, 2015

Kombucha On Sale makes me smile & Other Friday Faves

How has your week been? I hope fabulous! Or at least, "good...", like Sophia tells me when I ask her how school was everyday.

This morning Nelpe had her 15 month check up at the doctor. Three shots and she's running around this house right now like a champ! We also had a house showing this morning and they came 10 minutes after Nelpe fell asleep. Have I mentioned how much I hate house showings? Maybe? 

Anyways, it's FRIDAY so I'm not going to let anything ruin that! 
Here are a few things I'm LOVIN' this week!

Friday Faves
How cute is my little?! She was so excited for her Valentine's Day Party at school yesterday!

We booked our Summer Vacation last night and I'm pumped!!

The Tower Garden is starting to grow some eggplants! They're beautiful...
Publix was having a sale this week on Kombucha. Sadly, they didn't have my beloved Grape flavor but these did the trick. Have you ever made your own? I'm scared...

Favs Around the Web

HOW big is Shaq?!

Have you ever put BUTTER in your coffee? THAT and other coffee hacks

Peanut Butter Maker on the Want List

Kayne West Designs for Adidas - just say NO!

Hope you have a romantic/relaxing/exciting weekend! 


Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

TGIF! (Am.I.right?!) 
This week has been booked solid with activities, pampering, twerkin', and workin'! (JK on the twerkin' part) And it doesn't look like there's any slowing down for the next two months. Why, calendar,why?!

In the midst of the chaos, I managed to whipped up these delicious stuffed sweet potatoes on Wednesday night. There were leftovers,so I ate one for lunch yesterday. At first I didn't think to share the recipe because it was one of those things when you just throw a bunch of stuff into a pan and dinner's served. But while I devoured one for lunch I thought, "YES! I must share this!" 

On Tuesday we had tacos, and I used the left over ground turkey to make these stuffed potatoes. So, before you start this recipe, go cook up some ground turkey. 

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
What you’ll need:
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 lb ground turkey, cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning
1 tsp EVOO
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans
1 12oz package Birds Eye Southwestern Corn, cooked
½ cup cheddar cheese
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Salt & Pepper

What you do:
Preheat oven to 400
Wash sweet potatoes, prick with a fork or knife, and place on baking sheet lined with foil.
Bake for 1 hour or until tender.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the filling:
Heat a skillet over medium heat.
Add EVOO and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beans, ground turkey, and corn. Stir to combine.
Add cilantro & salt and pepper to taste.
Remove sweet potatoes from oven. Slice down the middle and season lightly with salt. Spoon the filling with a slotted spoon into the cooked sweet potatoes.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and serve!
For an extra kick, serve with sriracha.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

How NOT to sell your house

We put our house on the market two weeks before Christmas. (Mistake #1) We only had one showing for the month of December. Come January, the showings started picking up, and there seemed to be some legit interest. Come February and we're still here...

Not to be anxious or anything, but I don't know how many showings I can live through.

It seems like every time we have a showing, that day isn't a good day for a house showing. When you have two toddlers and two dogs, when IS the right time for a showing? I know! Approximately 11:00 P.M., when we're all sleeping and not making complete destruction of the house. Come, feel free to roam about the house while we're getting some shut eye and out of  your way. :) 

The constant  making of beds, putting books back on shelves and toys in toy boxes. The constant cleaning yogurt stains off the couch and making sure the laundry hampers don't look over flowed. Showing after showing, cleaning after cleaning. House showings make you stay on top of your game and housework. I.Don't.Like.It.
How do you keep a playroom clean?!

When we first put our house on the market we would put our dogs (two em dearly) in the backyard fenced-in playground area. (Mistake #2) That way people could still go outside and see our backyard without being licked to death by our dogs. It turns out that Rome, our 5 yo rescue dog, doesn't like to be locked up in the playground area and makes a sound that imitates a person dying. After the third showing I decided that couldn't be good for selling. How stressful would you feel if you walked into a house and all you heard was a screaming dog? Exactly..I blame this house not being sold yet on ROME!
Yeah you! ;)

A few weeks later, I started taking the dogs for walks when people would come see the house. Some days it's nice to get out of the house and the weather is perfect for a walk. Other days the weather is cold and windy with rain. One day, we had two  different showings scheduled between 11:30 and 12:30. It was around noon that the first one showed up and right as they went inside the house, I slipped out back with the dogs to go on our walk. Nelpe didn't feel like walking so I had Nelpe in my left arm and two dog leashes connected to two dogs who think they just broke out of jail in my right arm. Probably the longest 20 minutes of my life. As soon as I saw the cars drive away I went straight back to the house. 

At this time it was 12:25 so I figured the 2nd showing was a no-show. (Mistake #3) I started making lunch for Nelpe and I. Making a mess, I cut up some avocado, put a chicken sausage in the microwave, and gave Nelpe some crackers to munch on. I hear a knock at the door. I look at the dare they!

All this may sound like I don't even want to sell our house. That's not the case. I want to sell this house a.s.a.p., because as soon as we sell this house we can get started building a new house. BUT as soon as we sell this house, we get to go live with my parents while the new house is being built. Pros and Cons.

Someone come buy my house! :)

So what have you learned from all this?

1. Do not put your house up for sale right before Christmas. People are not looking to move during the holidays and everyone is broke. 

2. Do not put your house up for sale at the beginning of the year. People are broke. 

3. Do not put two dogs outside while people are roaming around your house. Unless your dogs are obedient and highly trained.

4. Do not come home and start making food at 12:25 when the time frame for showings is 11:30-12:30.

And last but certainly not least...
5.  Do not live in your house while it's on the market.

Have you ever sold your home before?
Do you have kids and dogs? How'd that go for ya?


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spinach Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan got a makeover by Popeye!

Spinach Chicken Parmesan
What you’ll need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut in half to make 8 thin chicken filets)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp FlavorGod Garlic Lovers Seasoning (or Italian seasoning)
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
½ cup almond milk
2 tbsp chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
10 oz bag of fresh spinach
Salt & Pepper

What you do:
Preheat oven to 375.
Lightly salt and pepper each chicken filet.
In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese and seasoning.
Roll chicken filets in mixture to coat and line up on a slightly greased baking sheet.
Bake chicken for 15 minutes. (Depending on chicken thickness)

While chicken is baking: In a saucepan, sauté green onions, garlic, and butter until tender.
Stir in flour and milk. Simmer until bubbling, stirring constantly.
Add spinach to pan and mix with garlic with wooden spoon.
Let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all spinach is wilted.

Take chicken out of oven, spoon spinach mixture over chicken and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
Place back in over for 5 minutes.

Serve with brown rice or vegetables.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 Non-Candy Valentine's Day Ideas

Contrary to what Target will tell you, Valentine's Day does not need to be another candy overload holiday. Haven't we had enough of those in the past couple months? 

Last year, instead of sending Sophia to school with a bunch of chalky conversation hearts to pass out, I made these Applesauce Valentines. 
This year I'm going to make the Silly Straw Valentine's for her class (see below). 
I've collected my favorite non-candy Valentine's ideas, so our kids can share the love, and not the sugar!




Lip Balm




Silly Straws

Water - sounds lame until you make them into "Frozen" waters!


All the links will take you to the FREE Printable to recreate these Valentines!