June 16, 2014

More changes!

So with all that has been going on with my work outside of the home with teaching barre classes we have decided to sell our house because we need more space. So we put it on the market over a month ago and sold it in three days! 

And we'd been looking for a month before the house was on the market and then ramped up the looking. We went out every weekend and toured open houses and also during the week. We put in one offer and were denied because we were contingent. We put in a second offer and same thing. Then put in a third offer and were best out on price (but were secretly ok with it because we knew the house wouldn't appraise for what it went for), and we put in a 4th offer and were told the owners had a bottom line they couldn't let the house go for below that because of what they owed. So we were discouraged to say the least.

 Kept looking and last week a house in our current neighborhood went on the market. Seemed perfect online (4 bedrooms and a bonus loft, formal dining and living, family room, walk in pantry/utility room, HUGE master walk in closet, 3 full baths and a 1/2 bath, tons of storage, yard that is larger than our current one, and so much more.) What made it even more perfect was that it was right across the street from us! So we went to the open house and loved it. Decided to put in an offer since they had another offer. We offered for them to rent back since we are doing that on our current house and were told that they would love that. Offer was accepted Sunday and we are now I'm escrow! Inspection is tomorrow morning! We are so excited because we will be gaining almost 1000 sq feet in the house and 2000 sq feet in the lot.

 We close mid July and move in either at the end of July or the end of august depending on of they rent back or not. Love that we will stay in our neighborhood, and that we will be moving almost exactly 3 years from when we moved in to our current place! Stay tuned!

February 19, 2014

New year, new you...

For me, this has never been more true than this year. I'm starting on a new venture. About a year and a half ago, I took a barre class at The Union Method which is a local place owned by the cousin of my Stroller Strides owner.  I loved it and signed up to take some more classes. Fast forward to last spring, when the owner sent out a Facebook post asking if anyone would be interested in a training for her truBarre method. I instantly replied and in June, spent two days taking classes, learning about the method and different muscle groups.

After I completed the training in the studio, I spent the next two months teaching friends for experience. At the end of August, I completed my training and became a certified truBarre instructor. I taught at The Union Method for a bit and then contacted some local places closer to my home at the end of the year. In December, I was hired at a local gym to teach one class a week and at a local women's wellness center to teach two classes a week. My clients range I'm ages at both places and I've received some really positive feedback from my clients and my supervisors. I am really enjoying it, and it's motivating me to stay in shape too!

My plan is to continue with these classes, and possibly add one more in the evenings at the gym. But my schedule is pretty full between teaching, Santi being in school and going to the gym myself during the week. I'm excited about the changes and especially the possibilities!

January 26, 2014

Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

Many of you who read this blog know that I had Kawasaki Disease when I was 15 years old, back in 1993. Because I was "older" than the typical KD patient (most kids who get it are 5 and under) I was first thought to have the flu, then another virus, then meningitis before being admitted into the hospital in isolation and finally, 11 days after onset, I was diagnosed with KD and treated with gamma globulin. Thankfully that worked for me and I spent a week in the hospital recovering.

However, because of my late diagnosis, I was left with multiple giant sized (8mm-11mm) coronary aneurysms on my left an right coronary arteries. I have taken blood thinners and beta blockers since I was 15, and have had 4 small (non-damaging) heart attacks since 1996.

In spite of this, I listened to the advice given to me by Dr. Jane Newburger at Boston Children's Hospital who told me to remain active (but avoid contact sports due to complications with the blood thinners.) So I was a runner in high school, a cheerleader in high school and college, and an active gym goer.

I grew up, got married to my college sweetheart, and, with the help of a perinatologist and my cardiologist monitoring me since prior to becoming pregnant, had two healthy children (a boy, Santiago born 3/15/10 and a girl, Gabriela born 1/28/12.) There were slight complications with my c-sections but mostly due to my blood thinners.

Since having the kids, I've remained active, took up running again, completed a half marathon and have most recently become a barre fitness instructor (teaching 3-4 classes a week.)

KD Awareness is a part of my everyday life. I joined the board of the Kawasaki Disease Foundation 6 years ago and we've been working to raise funds to create a diagnostic test for KD for awhile now. A diagnostic test would help prevent so many children from having the heart complications created by late diagnosis of KD. Please read the info below and visit kdfoundation.org for more info and to donate.

Dear Friends and Family of the Kawasa      
The Kawasaki Disease Foundation's 4th National KD Awareness Day is today - Sunday, January 26, 2014! Please help to spread the word about KD by talking to people you meet, friends and family.

The key is to tell people about KD - what it is, who it can affect, and most importantly, the signs and symptoms to look for as well as where to go if they have questions (www.kdfoundation.org).

You can also participate through our $26 on the 26th campaign. Donate $26 (or any amount) and all funds raised go towards KD research!

We're on a mission to raise $2,600,000 for Kawasaki disease research which could help save precious hearts, so please donate $26 on the 26th and/or invite your friends and family to contribute in any amount they are able to. Every $1 gets us closer to solving the many unknowns of KD, so please donate today by clicking here.

We thank you for helping raise awareness of KD on this 4th National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day and for considering a donation to the Kawasaki Disease Foundation. Even in the absence of a medical break-through, precious lives can be saved through education and awareness.

With much gratitude and appreciation,

The Kawasaki Disease Foundation

Donate $26 on the 26th for KD Research!
Join us online on the 26th to help raise additional awareness for Kawasaki Disease. Share your pictures, status updates and tell us what you're doing to raise KD awareness in your town. Follow the conversation:

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/kawasakidiseasefoundation
Hashtags: #KDAwareness, #KDFoundation & #KawasakiDisease
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Kawasaki Disease Foundation

January 1, 2014

And now it's 2014...

I've been around, just not here. What's even happening? Life. Last post was in July. So here's what I've been doing:

Mothering - Gaby is now almost 2 (in 27 more days!) She is a full fledged little girl now, so girly (she loves her hair bows and princesses), running around, talking a TON (just like her brother!)

Santi will be 4 in March. This is crazy to me. He is so, so smart. Talks a TON, very active and such a boy (loves his cars and especially garbage trucks!) He started preschool in September and has done awesome and even has a little best friend! It melts my heart when I drop him off and his friends yell "Santi!" and run up to him and give him hugs.

Being a wife - Tito and I celebrated 9 years married last month and will celebrate 13 years together in February. Time has flown but we are very happy and continue to surprise one anotherand  have fun together!

Working- In June, I took a barre certification class and became officially certified to teach in September. Since then I have started teaching barre classes at 4 different studios. I love it. And I have no excuse to not work out now.

Happy Homemaker - in the other parts of my days and weeks I take care of the house. I had a huge, albeit unsuccessful garden this summer, managed to do some painting, we re-did the floors in the downstairs (ripped up carpet and linoleum and replaced with wood and tile) and I also installed board and batten on my own in our downstairs bath and painted the walls a light blue (formerly a deep burgundy shade.)

Traveling - we took a trip back home to Maine over Labor Day weekend and I flew solo to San Diego, CA in Novemver for a Kawasaki Disease gala where I got to meet Sarah Chalke and Gary Busey (both whose children had KD.) An amazing experience and we raised a lot of money for KD research! We head to Peru at the end of this month and we are all so excited.

Reminiscing - my grandfather passed away in June (at 92) so I flew home for the funeral and brought Gaby. I then lost my uncle Paul a month later. Both of these men were very important in my life and they are missed. 

We also lost our kitty Eponine in July very unexpectedly. She was fine when I left to go out with friends and then Tito called me to tell me she wasn't moving but still breathing. I rushed home and was able to hold her and tell her we loved her and she died in my arms after about an hour. Very sad and unexpected (she wasn't sick and I suspect she might have been bitten by one of the numerous hobo spiders that were around the house.) She is missed by us and her "sister", our other kitty Monet.

I'll be back soon but leave you with some shots of what I've been up to since the summer: 

July 9, 2013

Recipe Share!

I made this for the first time last night and it was a HIT in our house (even the 3 year old loved it!) so I figured I'd share. Takes about 35 mins to make, and I actually made "dessert" (chocolate chip zucchini bread) while I cooked this as well.)

Chicken and Orzo Supper

Chicken and Orzo Supper

tablespoon vegetable oil (I actually used an EVOO spray instead)
lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
clove garlic, finely chopped
1 3/4
cups chicken broth
cup uncooked orzo 
2 tomatoes cut into small pieces
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into slices (2 cups) 
2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green)
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese (optional) 

  1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken and garlic in oil 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is brown.
  2. Stir in broth and pasta. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender and most of liquid is absorbed.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and zucchini. Cook uncovered 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle with cheese.
Makes 4 servings (1 cup each)

May 26, 2013

Another quick change

Happy Memorial Day Weekend all! We've been busy tackling a lot of housework and yard projects. I managed to make a quick change and painted our brass house numbers with spray paint. I changed them to a dark metallic color. The best part is that it took all of 15 mins to paint and then within an hour they were dry and back up on the house! I have little experience with spray paint so I was happy for this easy project!

I of course forgot to take a photo of the before so I had to use my neighbors as the "before"... 

An then the new numbers (15505) are with the new paint color. I love how it pops on the house and the brass is gone. And it matches all of the house hardware now!

May 3, 2013

Ivory 2 in 1 Power (Influenster sponsored post)

So I recently joined Influenster, which is a company that does market research with people who have a web and social media presence.

My first assignment was to try out the new Ivory 2 in 1 Power wash. It's a soap/body wash and shampoo/conditioner all in one. It smells terrific too!

I received it last week, and used it with my evening shower after I'd worked out and done yard work, as well as played with the kids all day. I loved how clean it made me feel, and my hair smelled so good afterwards. It wasn't an overpowering scent but just fresh and clean.

If you're interested in learning more about it, check here to watch a short video. You can also visit Ivory's Facebook page.

I received this product as a part of the Influenster program.

May 2, 2013

Guest blog

So I recently wrote a guest blog over at You Plus Two Parenting's blog. You can check it out by clicking on this link here.

My piece is about my issues with post-partum depression/anger and the importance of "me" time as a mom...something that is hard to get, but oh so important for our mental health! And for the sake of our significant others and children! A happy mama = a happy household!

April 25, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal no-bake bars

I'm constantly on the hunt for healthier snacks for the kids and myself. Last week, I made these cookies and they were devoured (aside from a few that were left in the pantry and started molding after a couple of days in there - the beauty of "real" food that doesn't have preservatives in it!)

This week I wanted to try something new and something with a sweeter taste. I searched Pinterest and found a recipe here that I liked but I had to adapt to make larger portions since there would be three of us (maybe four) eating them.

1/2 cup unsweetened Hershey’s chocolate chips
1/2 cup  natural peanut butter (I use Adams natural and the kind I had on hand was chunky which I figured would add more texture to the bars, but almond butter, sunbutter or another nut butter would work)
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or rice milk or regular milk would work...I used rice milk since I have a dairy allergy and only had that on hand for myself)
2 cups oats
4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Tbsp Sweetener (I used agave syrup, but you could use honey, Truvia, etc…)
4 Tbsp Dry Ingredients (I used unsalted almonds because that's what I had on hand, but flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, protein powder, etc. would work too. I just ground up the almonds in my food processor to make them into a powdery consistency)


1. Melt the first three ingredients together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring and checking (mine took about a minute and a half total to melt.)

2. Add the oats and the additional ingredients, stir to combine.  (You want this mixture to be somewhat dry.  If it’s not dry enough, add more oats one tablespoon at a time.)

3. Press mixture into bars or balls. I used an 8×8 pan for thin bars, but you could use a smaller pan if you want thicker bars.  Simply pour the “batter” into a pan lined with wax paper.  Spread batter until even and put in refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars have set up. Slice into bars. I keep these in the fridge and give them out for lunches or snacks.

April 20, 2013

Finished (for now) Mudroom in the garage

So I have finished the garage mudroom makeover for now. I still have a little to do (paint the door and step and add a bench and get a new shoe rack) but for now its done and we've been "living" with it for a couple of weeks.

I hung two coat racks that I made myself. I literally went to Lowes, picked out a piece of wood and had it cut in half there. Then I came home and painted it and then added some brushed nickel hooks and screwed them into the wall, one above the other. Little people coats and book bags on the bottom and big people coats and stuff on the top.

I then added a new shelf and some bright yellow buckets I picked up from the dollar spot at Target to hold outdoor toys, and my gym equipment (since I use the garage to work out in too). I added a hook above that to hold our reusable bags, and next to that I hung a shoe rack that we use to hold odds and ends.

Right next to the door I hung two hooks to hold umbrellas - this is Seattle after all! On the other side of the door I hung a wire letter organizer and decided to use it to hold things like tape, measuring tape, stud finder, etc. All those things you need at hand but don't really have a place.

Right below the wire hanger is a shelf that holds our extra toilet paper, paper towels and emergency kit. I added a rug in front of the step and a shoe rack under the cost racks too. Not bad for now and it feels so good to be so much more organized as utilizing the space better.