Author Archives: runeatplay

It’s All About That Kale

Yesterday, I received another box of Door to Door Organics produce.

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There were a lot of great fruits and veggies including bananas, pears, apples, carrots, potatoes, romaine lettuce, red onions, and green peppers.

There was also kale.

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I’ve had kale before at restaurants, Whole Foods, and a wedding, but I have never had it at home so I was excited to get it in my produce box.

I knew I wanted to do something super simple with it so I decided to use it in a salad. Kale can be eaten raw but it needs a little bit of prep work before it can be eaten.

It needs a massage.

Yes, you read that correctly – kale needs to be massaged. Raw kale is slightly tough and bitter but by massaging it, it transforms into a soft and sweet vegetable. As you massage, the leaves will get darken, shrink and turn softer.

Massaging kale is easy to do. First, you need to rinse the kale.

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Then, you need to remove the leafs from the rib. This is easy to do by taking your fingers and sliding them down the rib in the middle of the kale. This will break the leafs right off.

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Then you need to break the leafs up into small bite sized pieces. You can use a knife but I found it easier just to rip the pieces with my hands.

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Then you get to massage! You just want to squeeze and massage the kale for about 2-4 minutes or until the leaves start to darken and shrink.

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Ta-da! You have massaged kale that’s ready to go into a salad!

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You can store your massaged kale covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Another option is to add olive oil, salt, or lemon to the kale before massaging. I just left mine plain because I knew I would be adding dressing to  my salad.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Kale: yes or no?

 

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Halloween Weekend Fun

Good afternoon! How was your weekend? Ours was busy!!

The Gym

Since having hip surgery, I haven’t really been able to do much cardio. I kind of gave up on swimming. It’s just not really my thing and I don’t enjoy it. Since my adductor muscle has been feeling better lately, I tried a HIIT workout on the stationary bike.

I usually ride the stationary bike for about 10 minutes when I get to the gym and physical therapy just to warm-up, but on Friday and Saturday morning, I decided to ride a little bit longer. I rode for a few minutes to warm-up then I alternated between one minute as fast as I could and one minute recovery for a total of thirty minutes.

My legs were a little tired on Saturday morning so I alternated between one minute fast and two minutes recovery.

I did this on both Friday and Saturday morning. My hip/felt good when I was doing without any pain. It felt nice to be able to get my heart rate up and really work up a sweat! Hopefully, I’ll be able to move on to the elliptical soon. So far, I’ve only been okayed to do the bike and walking on the treadmill.

The Weekend

We had some activities planned with my family this weekend. On Friday, we went to a nearby town to check out the houses decorated for Halloween.

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The town actually holds a contest for the best house and you can print out a guide online of all the house that are participating. This year there were 13 house participating and we made it to about 8 or 9 of them.

Some houses just decorate, others have live actors scaring people, and some even set up haunted houses in their houses and back yard. We weren’t able to make it into any of the haunted houses this year because the lines were crazy long. But the nice part is everything is free.

One house had their garage set up with a bunch of family friendly activities. They had pumpkin paining, popcorn, trivia with candy prizes, and they had a few creepy reptiles – turtles, snakes, and a boa constrictor!

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I am extremely surprised to walk into their garage and find a huge snake!!

We had a lot of fun seeing all the different house and my dad hung out with Maleficent at one of the houses. These people go all out!

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On Saturday afternoon, we drove about an hour away to go to a corn maze.

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The maze is huge and it has a bunch of stations that you have to find and then you can punch your card.

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The kids had fun navigating the maze and punching the card.

The weather was a little chilly but it was a perfect day to go to the corn maze!

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Of course, we had to take some corn maze selfies.

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After we walked the maze, the kids had fun going down a slide they had set up.

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Danny even went down :)

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This weekend coming up is the Halloween party. I have the pieces of my costume purchased, I just have to finish putting it together!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?

 

 

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Halloween Costumes

Happy Friday!

The winners of the Door to Door Organics gift cards are: Faith B., Jennifer C, and Christine B.

I will be sending you an email later today!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know how much my dad family loves Halloween. And every year, I share some of my favorite Halloween costumes from past years. If you don’t have an idea for a costume yet, maybe these costumes will help inspire you!

  • Peacock and Inflatable Flamingo

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I have to start out with my all time favorite costume from a few years ago – my peacock costume!

I made a lot of my peacock costume and I was very proud of it. I ordered peacock feather off of eBay and spent a lot of time hot gluing them to a triangular piece of cardboard that I slipped into the back of my shirt. I used tulle to make the peacock tutu, and I found a peacock belt and necklace at Forever 21.

Danny was an inflatable pink flamingo that year. Pink flamingos are an ongoing joke in our family so it was really funny that year. And I thought it was cute that we were both birds.

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  • Clown and Indian Princess

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My dad makes a pretty scary clown.

  • Taco and Hot Sauce

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This costume was another one of my favorites. I made the hot sauce by cutting up a big red t-shirt and using strips of the t-shirt to sew up the sides. Then I just used white duct tapes sheets to cut out the letters and stuck them on the dress!

Danny looks so happy to be a taco.

  • The Joker and Batgirl

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Danny and I wore this costume when the Joker was really popular and I thought it came out great!

  • Zombies/The Walking Dead

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You can never go wrong with a good Zombie costume. I love Zombies.

  • The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter

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A few years ago, my grandparent’s dressed up as The Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I loved how their costumes turned out!

  • Inflatable Costumes

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Inflatable costumes are great because their easy and so funny!!

  • Sports Themed Costumes

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Great for a couple!

  •  Luigi Riding Yoshi

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One of my favorite costumes that Jaden ever wore was Luigi riding Yoshi. Yes, it’s really an dinosaur. You have to use your imagination.

  • McDonald’s and KFC

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My brother and sister-in-law wore these costumes last year and I thought they were really unique and clever!

  • Wonder Women and Clark Kent/Superman

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Danny and I wore these costumes last year and I loves how they turned out. I made the Wonder Women tutu. I seem to love wearing tutus. I really wanted to wear a tutu this year but I held back. :)

To be clever, Danny changed into a Superman costume halfway through the night.

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Those are just some of the costumes we have worn over the years! I can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes at this year’s Halloween party!

  • Do you dress up for Halloween?
  • What is your favorite costume that you’ve even worn?

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A Shoulder Workout and Delicious Waffles

Good afternoon!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a shoulder and core workout. My physical therapist wants me to work on strengthening my core, so I am doing the ab exercises that I’m able to at the gym.

First, I started with a shoulder superset workout. I did the following exercises back-to back, resting one minute in between sets. I did three sets and between 10-12 reps of each exercise.

  • Shoulder press machine
  • Front raise with plate
  • Arnold press
  • Bent arm side raises
  • Upright row with kettle bell
  • Overhead press with bar

I finished up my workout with some core work. I did single leg hip brides, sit-up ups on the stability ball, planks, and side planks. Although I still have to be careful with my hip, I am glad that I am able to do a lot more in the gym now.

Post workout, I had a Shamrock Farms protein drink. I found these at the grocery store yesterday and bought a few to try out.

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The lean protein drink has 20 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs which is prefect for after my workout. I really liked the chocolate flavor and I will definitely be buying more!

After leaving the gym, my niece and I stopped at Joanne Fabrics to pick up a few items for my Halloween costume.

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My family always keeps our costumes a secret until our annual Halloween party, so I can’t tell you what it is yet. :)

I’m making most of it, and hopefully it turns out good! I couldn’t find one thing that I needed at the store, so I had to order it online and I am hoping that it arrives in time!!

Lunch

Most days for lunch, I have a veggie pizza on flatbread, but today I decided to change it up a bit. Today, I made a pumpkin protein waffle with the Kodiak Power Cakes mix.

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I mixed together the Kodiak mix, an egg white, some pumpkin, some water, and chocolate chips. Waffles are always better with a little bit of chocolate. I put it in my waffle maker and six minutes later, the most perfect chocolate chip pumpkin waffle was born.

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Yum!!

Have a great afternoon!!

  • Favorite core exercise?
  • What did you have for lunch today?

 

 

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Dave’s Killer Bread Review

Disclaimer: I received this product free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

As a  Moms Meet ambassador I was recently given the opportunity to try out Dave’s Killer Bread.

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I love bread. It’s one of those food, I could just eat and eat and eat! What I love about Dave’s Bread is that it’s organic, non-GMO, and made with high quality ingredients.

I like that they have a thin version of their bread. This means I can eat more of it without feeling guilty! Each slice also contains as much protein as an egg! This is great for people like me who are always trying to find ways to add protein to their diet.

Dave’s Killer Bread comes in 12 varieties in major grocery stores and is available in 17 states and parts of Canada. When I went to visit my aunt and uncle in California last month, my aunt actually had this bread and we often ate it with a little bit of butter for dinner.

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Dave’s Killer Bread comes in many varieties. Their 100% Whole Wheat bread is seedless and has just a touch of sweetness. Perfect for sandwiches!

Their Seeded Honey Wheat bread is the first Non-GMO Project Verified honey wheat bread on the market. It has 5 grams of fiber and protein to keep to feeling full longer.

The 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Thin Sliced bread has a hearty and grainy texture with 60 calories per slice and tons of flavor. This bread was my favorite.

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Good Seed bread and 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per slice and has the boldest sweetest flavor of all the Dave’s Killer Breads.

Dave’s Killer Bread can be used for some many things – sandwiches, toast, French toast, etc. I decided to use the 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Thin Sliced Bread to make one of my favorite recipes – stuffed French toast!

Using the bread, I made pumpkin peanut butter stuffed French toast. Yum!

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I mixed together one egg white, a splash of almond milk, and cinnamon. Then I used the Jif Whips pumpkin peanut butter and spread it on two slices of Dave’s bread. I put the slices together like a sandwich and dipped it into the egg mixture.

Then I cooked it on a hot pan on the stove until each side was golden brown.

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It’s a fast and easy recipe but so delicious!!

If Dave’s Killer bread is available in your area, I definitely recommend trying it!

  • What’s your favorite way to use bread – sandwich, plain, toast, French toast, etc?

 

 

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Shoulder Workout and Pumpkin Farm

Good morning! Happy Sunday!

On Friday morning, I went to the gym and did a shoulder workout. I am always looking for new shoulder exercises to do and I found a great shoulder workout on the FitnessRX website.

I did the “Ultimate Shredder” workout which consisting on the following exercises done in a giant set:

  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
  • Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Raises
  • Dumbbell Seated Rear Delt Raises

I did each exercises for 20 reps back to back with no rest in between. I repeated it five times with two minutes rest in between sets. By the time I was done, my shoulders were dead. Dead. That was a tough workout.

I finished up my workout with a little bit of my physical therapy exercises and some core work. I am very happy because my physical therapist gave me the okay to do sit-ups on the stability ball, side planks, and regular planks. I had to start with doing the regular planks on my knees because my adductor muscle would kick in when it shouldn’t but now I can do a plank on my toes for 30 seconds.

I am just very happy to be progressing and getting back to where I used to be pre-surgery. Darn hip bone being all misshapen.

Saturday

On Saturday, we went to a local pumpkin farm with my mom.

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It was beautiful out yesterday, and the pumpkin farm was crowded. I am the kind of person that can’t handle large crowds for very long. Luckily, the pumpkin farm in large and spread out so it wasn’t too bad.

The kids went on some rides.

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Jaden’s favorite part was riding the camel.

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In totally unrelated news, my brother in law was on the news the other day!

He is a firefighter and the local news station does a feature on Firehouse Chefs. Local firefighters come into the station and get to cook their recipe on tv! I thought it was very cool!!

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Have a great Sunday!

  • Favorite shoulder exercise?
  • Do you go to the pumpkin farm?
  • Have you ever been on tv?

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Door to Door Organics Recipes and a Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Some of the products I used in these recipes were purchased using the gift card that Door to Door Organics provided me with. Door to Door Organics is providing gift cards to three readers. All opinions are my own.

Good afternoon and happy Friday! I have a great giveaway for you today so be sure to enter!

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I received some great produce and groceries from Door to Door Organics in Chicago. I used some of the produce and groceries to create two recipes. One is an easy lunch idea that serves one person and the other recipe is great to serve your whole family for dinner!

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Grilled Veggie Flatbread Pizza     Serves: 1

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Ingredients:

  • 1 oz (28 grams) red and orange peppers sliced thin
  • 1 oz (28 grams) onion sliced thin
  • Flatout pizza crust of your choice
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Note: There are so many veggies that would work on this pizza so feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand. I love the onion and pepper combo so that’s what I used.

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I used the Cucina Antica pizza sauce and Organic Valley mozzarella cheese from Door to Door Organics.

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat grill pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray. Grill veggies about 5 minutes or until desired doneness.
  3. While veggies are grilling, place flatbread in oven for 2-3 minutes directly on rack. This is will help the flatbread crisp up so it can hold your toppings.
  4. Once flatbread and veggies are done, spread sauce on flatbread. Top with grilled veggies and cheese.
  5. Place flatbread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This recipe is my go-to lunch recipe. It’s quick and easy and tastes delicious!

I also had this pizza with a salad on the side. I used the super green salad mix from Door to Door Organics and added some chicken, pecans, and croutons.

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Chicken Parmesan    Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 16 oz spaghetti

I love Organic Smart Chicken and I was excited to see that Door to Door Organics offered it on their website. I am super picky about chicken but this one is my favorite.

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Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Then combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning in a dish. Place egg in another dish.

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  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Dip each piece of chicken into egg then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Place chicken in hot pan and cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned.
  4. While chicken is cooking place about a quarter of the marinara sauce in a baking pan. When chicken is browned, add it on top of the sauce. Top with about a quarter more of the sauce.
  5. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly between chicken breasts and continue cooking approximately 15 more minutes.
  6. Serve on top of spaghetti and with additional marinara sauce.

My family loved this recipe – it came out perfect and so delicious!!

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I served it with some fresh green beans.

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I steamed them for about five minutes and then added just a bit of olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic.

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Giveaway

Now you can win your very own Door to Door Organics gift card! Door to Door Organics is giving away a $50 gift card to three readers.

Please note: Since Door to Door Organics is a local Chicago company, they only deliver to Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. You can enter your zip code on their website to see if they deliver to your area. If you’re not in Chicagoland but know someone who is, please pass this giveaway along to them!

You can also enter coupon code: ChicagoParent14 to save $10 off your first box now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Door to Door Organics

Disclaimer: Door to Door Organics provided me with a gift card to try out their products. All products were chosen by me and all opinions are my own.

Door to Door Organics

Yesterday afternoon, I received my first Door to Door Organics delivery!

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Door to Door Organics is a weekly service that delivers organic produce and natural groceries right to your door.

On their website, you can choose what size produce box you would like. You can also decide to have it delivered weekly or every other week. Shipping is always free.

You can chose from veggies, fruits, or both. I really liked that you have the option to switch out a fruit or veggie that you don’t like. For example, I had a pomegranate in my box but I knew it probably wouldn’t get eaten in my house so I swapped it out for some raspberries instead.

You can also create a preferences list and add fruits and veggies you like to one list and fruits and veggies you don’t like to another list. That way Door to Door Organics won’t send you a fruit or veggie that you don’t like!

All the fruit and veggies that were delivered were fresh and delicious! They are all seasonal and organic.

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Door to Door Organics also is a regular grocery delivery service with produce, meats, dairy, bakery, deli, meals, beverage, frozen, and pantry items.

This was the first time I’ve ever had groceries delivered and I loved it. I will admit that grocery shopping is on my list of “things that I hate doing but need to be done.” Having the groceries delivered right to my doorstep was awesome. Awesome.

Door to Door Organics provided me with a gift card (check back Friday for your chance to win a gift card) and I picked out some groceries.

First, I chose my produce box. I picked the small mixed veggie and fruit box. I set it up to be delivered on Tuesday.

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My produce box included: onions, potatoes, red potatoes, red pepper, broccoli, green beans, carrots, grapes, bananas, raspberries, and apples. I also added some mixed super greens to my box.

I liked that the items were all packed nicely, the glass items were wrapped up, and the frozen items were packed in dry ice.

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From the grocery section, I added some drinks to try out.

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Chocolate milk for Jacob, a Kombucha, and iced coffee with almond milk. Jacob immediately drank the chocolate milk and loved it.

I also got some kale chips. I have seen these kale chips at Whole Foods and always thought about buying them.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t love the kale chips. I think it was the seasoning that I didn’t like because normally I like kale. I put them in a bag to give to my mom to try. :)

I also got a few meat items – Applegate Naturals chicken nuggets, boneless pork chops, and a New York strip.

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I loved the huge selection of meat there was to pick from. I’m not a huge meat eater but Danny is.

Of course, I always need a few snacks and treats. When I saw they had the Justin’s organic peanut butter cups I was very excited. I got two bags. I don’t even want to admit how fast I go through these things. They are so good.

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I also got a variety of Luna, Kind, and Clif bars.

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I picked out some Stretch Island fruit chews for Jaden. He loved them and he loved that the package had a word search on it even more.

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One thing I really liked about Door to Door Organics is that they have a dairy-free section. They also have meat alternative and gluten free sections. Since Jaden is allergic to dairy, I was most excited about the dairy free section.

Jaden loves tacos and quesadillas but he hasn’t been able to eat them lately because he can’t have cheese or sour cream. Luckily, Door to Door Organics had both dairy-free cheese and sour cream!

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We haven’t tried them yet but I plan on making tacos this week. I have also heard from other people that the dairy free sour cream is pretty good.

Overall, I loved Door to Door Organics. I loved the fresh fruits and veggies. I loved the large selection of food on their website. I really loved the fact that they had free shipping right to my door.

Check back Friday for a recipe and a Door to Door Organics giveaway!

Three readers will each win a $50 gift card! Winners must live in the Chicagoland area. If you know anyone in Chicagoland that would love some fresh fruits and veggies, share this with them!!

You can also go to the Door to Door Organics website and use coupon code: ChicagoParent14 to receive $10 of your first order now!

  • Have you ever used a grocery delivery service?

 

 

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Doctors and Drinks

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?!

This morning, I had my three month check-up with my hip surgeon. The doctor said that I’m right on track where I should be. He said that the adductor pain I was having was totally normal and after about 12 weeks post surgery the recovery goes a lot faster.

I still have to do at least six more weeks of physical therapy and I can slowly start progressing to exercises like squats and core work. He said I will eventually be back to 100% and do all the things I used to do, like running, but it will just take awhile to get to that point.

I have another appointment in six weeks and he said that at that appointment he will let me know if I can start running or not. He said that I am not able to run until I build up more strength in my right leg but he’s hopeful that in another 6-8 weeks, I can start a walk to run program. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I didn’t realize what a big surgery and recovery process this was going to be! I’m just glad that eventually I will be totally healed and normal, and the physical therapist said my running should even improve since my hip problem is fixed!

Yesterday I felt really good. Normally I can only walk about 10 minutes or so before my hip starts to tighten but yesterday we took the kids to a nearby forest preserve and we walked for almost 50 minutes.

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We did take one bathroom break and about a five break to take some pictures but I was amazed at how good I felt walking.

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I haven’t walked that much without breaks since before my surgery! I was a little tired by the time we got back to the car but overall I felt great! I feel like I am finally making some progress!

Backing up to the weekend a bit…

On Saturday morning Jacob had a soccer game. After his game, we came home and I started making chili because my family was coming over for a bonfire and a Halloween drink night (I told you my family is crazy about Halloween).

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My dad’s Halloween drink was amazing and I was scared to drink it because the darn thing was boiling!

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Luckily it was only dry ice that gave it that effect and we were able to drink it. Leave it to my dad to make the craziest drink!

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It was a fun night of chili, s’mores, and Halloween drinks!

I haven’t been to the gym in a few days because we’ve been so busy and I had a doctor appointment this morning but I plan on getting back to the gym tomorrow morning!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween

The Kupp’ Review

If you’re kids are anything like mine, they go through a bunch of cups a day. It drives me crazy when they get a new cup every time they want a drink of water (not too mention all the water being wasted from washing so many cups) so we have been trying to use only one cup a day.

When I was given the opportunity by Moms Meet to try out the Kupp’ for the kids, I jumped at the chance.

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The Kupp’ was created by Katesplace founder Kate Oliver as a tool to help her young boys learn accountability and responsibility. She gave each of her children their own glass in a different color and they were in charge of setting the table with it, washing it, and putting it away. I think this is a great way to teach kids responsibility.

I admit more times than not, I’ll just clean up my kid’s food or load their dishes in the dishwasher because it’s easier and gets done quicker if I do it myself. But that’s not teaching them to be responsible so what a great idea to start with something easy like one glass. Before you know it, I’ll have them loading the whole dishwasher!

The Kupp’ is a six-ounce glass with a colorful silicone sleeve. It’s designed for kids ages 3-10. Perfect for Jaden and my niece!

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They loved that they got to pick their own color glass that was only theirs.

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The silicone sleeves helps protect the cup from damage and the glass is safe and toxic free. The Kupp’ comes in four colors to represent the environment (very cool idea!): blue for water, green for Earth, orange for sun, and red for warmth.

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I love that the Kupp’ is six-ounces. It’s the perfect amount for younger kids and it teaches them not to be wasteful. It’s made in the USA using imported glass, and all materials are sourced from environmentally-friendly manufacturers that adhere to EU and US regulations. The silicone sleeve is BPA/BPS free and made with medical and food grade silicone to prevent damage.

The whole cup can be put right into the dishwasher which makes cleaning up very simple! Each Kupp’ retails for $16.99.

We took the Kupp’ Challenge for a week letting each kid be totally responsible for their own glass – setting it out at mealtimes, cleaning it, and putting it away for one week. The week flew by and the kids did great taking care of their own cup. I think it made Jaden feel older and more responsible to help out in the kitchen. And it helped me cut down on the amount of dishes that I wash, the amount of waste from over pouring in big cups, and taught the kids responsibility.

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Yay for the Kupp’!

To learn more about the Kupp’ you can check out their website, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

  • How do you keep your kids responsible?

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC of the manufacturer of this product.   

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