Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Hello gorgeous friends!
Happy Friday and happy weekend! I was just saying that I couldn't believe it was July 1st and now here we are at the 31st of the month. 
I am sad that July is over, but looking forward to all the fun times that August has to bring. Hooray for plenty of summer left to enjoy!

We are still on vacation, but I wanted to share with you what I am loving this week. Here we goooo....

1. I love a delicious, light summertime drink. Sangria is one of my favorites and THIS one looks divine. Not a lot of sugar and doesn't it look so pretty? I'll be making this in the month of August!

2.  THIS podcast! So inspiring and such great information. I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did :)

3.  THIS cookbook! So exciting - healthy, easy, creative snacks for kids. I need this book NOW :)

4.  THIS book if you want your heart to race a little (okay, a lot!) while on the beach - cause we still have a lot of summer left :)

5.  THESE running shorts look super comfy and I have heard nothing but amazing things about them. I can't wait till they arrive in my mailbox.
Also, super excited that I am now part of the Oiselle Volee running team! Hooray!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Great Ways To Organize Your Family Vacation + More Lake Tahoe Adventures!

Hi friends!
The week is flying by - I can't believe it is Thursday already! We are still having a blast in Lake Tahoe and I am soaking up every moment. My knee is getting stronger every day and it's so fun to be able to exercise with my kiddos!

We hiked in Squaw Valley - gorgeous scenery and a somewhat tired Josh!

First we took 8 min tram ride up to the top (8,200 feet above sea level)!


We are truly filling up our days with fun activities and lots of family time. It's so nice to wake up and get ready for a new adventure! 

Almost every evening we go for a stroll - somehow Jerold got caught with a funny look on his face!

The kids couldn't wait to go biking and we biked on the most scenic paths....

Yay for my Mom being with us this week! We are loving the QT with her :)

We stopped for lunch at the most amazing lakeside restaurant! If you are ever in North Lake Tahoe, be sure and visit Sunnyside Restaurant! Beautiful views and great food. 

What every kid wants after a long bike ride - to color of course!

I had the trout and rice bowl. THE BEST.

Today we took an incredible 30 minute drive to the Nevada side of the lake and had a wonderful afternoon of SUP fun.

My Mom's first time on an SUP! I am so proud of her :)

Family vacations are so much fun, but I have found that you have to be organized to make things run smoothly. On this trip, we have our family of five plus my Mom. Add in a napping two year old = a lot of planning and organizing needs to be done.

Great Ways To Organize Your Family Vacation

1. Rentals can sometimes be better than a hotel

We rented a condo for this trip and it is awesome! Not only does it have it's own backyard (with green grass!) for the kids to run around and play, you can't beat having a washer and dryer. I have been throwing in a load of clothes every evening :) I love a great hotel, but having our own kitchen and multiple bathrooms makes it easy for everyone to spread out. Plus, when the kiddos go to bed, we can still watch a movie and have a glass of wine. Bonus!

2. Unpack

This is huge for me. If I am going to be away for more than a few days, I find that unpacking is KEY to my sanity. When we arrived, the first thing I did is unpack everyone's suitcases, hang clothes, use the drawer space and place the toiletries in the bathroom. It makes our morning routine so much easier!

3. Make an itinerary

Before I leave home, I try and do some (okay, a lot) of research on the area, ask for recommendations on what not to miss, great restaurants and most importantly- fun activities. I also try and make dinner reservations in advance and purchase tickets to popular attractions if I am sure we are committed.
I'll type up a brief itinerary outlining each day and give a copy to each adult. Of course all is subject to change based on how we are feeling and what the kids are up for!

4.  Be flexible

You're on vacation! Sometimes, things aren't going to go as planned or you make changes along the way. Bedtimes aren't exact like they are at home and nap times may get pushed a bit. Go with it! We have been so relaxed this week and the kids are in heaven. S'mores have been roasted at bedtime and our two year old has been staying up a bit later with the big kids. It means she may nap a little longer in the afternoon and I'm okay with that.

5. Have every adult pitch in

I love this part! My Mom is here with us, which means we have 3 adults to 3 kids. Score!! We all take turns cooking, bathing the kids, etc. Everyone gets a break and we are able to get things done so much faster with more hands. 

What is most important to you on a family vacation?

Anyone racing this weekend?

Any fun August plans?! (Can you believe August 1st is on Sat?!!)

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Time In Lake Tahoe Day 1 And Exercising With Your Kids!

Hi friends!
Normally Monday is a Meatless Monday post for me. However, with Blogfest last weekend and leaving for our vacation this weekend, I haven't had a whole lot of time for cooking! I will get back to my normal schedule soon, but for now I am enjoying this special time with my family.

It is 10:30 PM here in Lake Tahoe and I am just finishing up this post. Since it is still technically Monday, I'm going to roll with it... 

We are having such a wonderful family vacation. Long days filled with sunshine, exploring nature's beauty and spending joyful time together. 

Right before our kayaking adventure!

It is so important to me to be a good role model for my kiddos and show them that exercise is simply a way of life. It's what we do, it's fun and a great way for our family to bond together.

Josh and I had so much fun kayaking this afternoon. Great upper body workout!

I love that my kids love the water, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming as well as running!

I love seeing the smile on her face!

For my 2 year old, even though she couldn't join in the fun of kayaking just yet, she is watching and learning. She can't wait to get out there!

Today was our first day here and we have done so much already. Observing amazing wildflowers everywhere....

I get so much joy watching my kids get excited about nature. Josh spotted this blue jay and was jumping up and down in excitement. I'm so happy I was able to get a picture of this beauty...

We love walking down to the lake and there is the most beautiful walk (another great way to exercise with your kids, and they always end up running a lot too!) from the place we are staying...

Fresh air and exercise = healthy, happy kids!

What is going on with my running? I am so grateful to be full on walking for the past 2.5 weeks. I miss running SO much, but I have to take baby steps and heal my body. I go back to the doc mid August and that is when I'll be able to start running slowly on the treadmill. I was on the most beautiful path today and was yearning to go for a run. But, I had an amazing power walk and it felt so great! With the power walk and kayaking today, I had a pretty solid day of cardio - considering where I have come from...

As an injured #motherrunner, my kids are observing two things:

1. Exercise is tons of fun and being in nature is wonderful.

2. When life hands you lemons, never ever give up (make some lemonade!).

What has been your favorite part of summer so far?

For parents, what is your favorite exercise to do with your kiddos?

I hope you are having a happy start to your week!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday friends!
Hooray for the weekend is all I have to say. Cocktails, sun, sand and s'mores (not necessarily in that order!)... Another summer weekend and we are getting very close to the end of July. That just makes me want to hold on tight to every summer moment we have left.

I can't believe it's been a week since I attended BlogFest and the Idea World Fitness Convention. Friday went by in a blur, hence zero Friday Favorites last week. However, I'm ready to get back in the saddle and tell you all about what I am loving this week!

1. Jillian Michael's Bodyshred
It was really cool to work out with Jillian herself last weekend. Yes, it was in a huge room and yes, there were tons of people. But Jillian was engaging and a lot of fun + we got a great workout in 30 minutes! Also, it was key for me to modify part of the workout, based on what was okay for my knee. Total win, cause I was still able to do a lot and work up a sweat!

2.  Lorna Jane running shorts
Love the fun bright colors of these running shorts! Plus, it has a back pocket zipper, which is always important to me :)

3.  Siggi's Yogurt
If you read my takeaways from Blogfest, you know I am in love with this yogurt. Apparently, a lot of people are in love with it too! So, if you haven't tried it yet - do it! :)

I was able to attend his lecture at the Idea World fitness convention last weekend. I was so impressed with his straight forward, matter of fact advice about running. I felt so happy to be sitting there, taking it all in. I promise, a post is coming with details from his talk. By the way, the below quote hits the nail on the head!

5. Strong glutes
I have been working hard on strengthening my glute muscles. I am excited to come back to running - stronger and faster. Cheers to that!
Check out this article for info and exercises. Also, I'll be sharing on the blog soon the exercises I have been doing for my lovely glutes. :)

Have a glorious weekend!!!

What are your weekend plans?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Kids' Thoughts On Why Mom Runs

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you and are you as excited for Friday as I am? Yep, I thought so :)
I have been excited to join in on the fun of interviewing my kiddos. I saw Allie's interview with her kids a few weeks ago and loved it. Since then I have checked out Sue and Angela's fun interviews also!

My kids love to talk, so they were more than happy to be interviewed about having a Mom who runs! 

Taken today!

1. What does Mom eat before a run?

Josh and Megan (shouting together): "Running Gu!!"

Megan: "Cause then you'll get all sweaty if you don't drink Gatorade before you run and while you're running."

Elle: "My turn, my turn!"

Elle: "Gatorade!"

Too funny! 
Also, I don't drink Gatorade! I think they are remembering when we were in Ohio last summer and I had to run 20 miles (training for the Ventura Marathon). My Dad bought Gatorade for me when I finished!

Megan is loving her new running shoes!

2.  How far does Mom run every day?

Megan: "2 miles"

Josh: "3 miles!"

Elle: "My turn, my turn!" 

Elle: "Every day we go!"

I haven't run in so long, they really don't have a concept of miles. I was definitely running more than 2 or 3 miles a day :)

3. Why do you think Mom runs?

Megan: " Because it's good exercise"

Josh: "And it makes you happy!"

Megan: "Don't run a whole marathon, then you get sweaty."

I was jumping up and down inside when they answered! Cracking up about Megan's advice about NOT running a marathon! 

Josh and I right after I finished the Ventura Marathon last summer.

4. Does having a Mom who runs make you want to run?

Megan: "Yes. And it makes me happy, because it makes me want to be a runner just like you.

Josh: "Yes! But I like to run more track and field."

Awww. Proud Mom moment. As you can see Megan is going to be my cross country runner!!

Megan running the kids' race at the Ventura Marathon.

5. Have you learned anything from having a Mom who runs?

Josh: "Yes. That it's good exercise, it's good for your body and it makes you happy."

Megan: "When you are not on crutches, you teach me how to run, because I didn't know how to run."

Very interesting how much they absorb. Megan and I have never really run together. She has just naturally always been interested.

Megan hydrating like a champ after a trail run.

6. What else does Mom do?

Josh: "Takes care of her wild kids and goes to physical therapy."

Megan: "You help and you run before you are on crutches."

Wild kids? I have never said that to them! Too funny! And what about cook, clean, do laundry, drive everyone around, read to them, play... :)

7. What injuries has Mom had from running?

Josh and Megan (together yelling): "KNEE SURGERY!!"

The story of our lives for the past few months!

8. Do you like going to Mom's races?

Josh: "Yes. I love them. I keep forgetting you are a marathon runner, because you haven't run in so long."

Megan: "Yes. When you go to races, you don't win and then I am sad."

Wow!! From the mouths of babes. As you can tell, Elle has wandered off long ago and wants nothing more to do with the interview :)

Josh and I after a 4th of July 5k last summer.

9. What is your least favorite thing about having a Mom who runs?

Megan: "If I didn't have a Mommy and only a Daddy, I would be sad."

I love you too Meg.

Tweet: Kids' thoughts on their Mom's running? ----> Read all about it! @Natrunsfar #Motherrunner #fromthemouthsofbabes

What do you think your kids would say?!

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Blogfest 2015: My Top Ten Takeaways Link Up

Hi Friends!
I am really excited to be co-hosting this link up with Tiffany and Debbie!!

If you attended BlogFest 2015, you need to participate as you’ll have a chance to win prizes!
If you DIDN’T attend, you can still benefit from the knowledge/inspiration at BlogFest by reading everyone’s Top 10 Takeaways! 

Tiffany, Debbie and I have shared our Top 10 Takeaways; best moments, best blog tips, inspirational speakers, etc. We’d LOVE to read yours, but if that isn’t incentive enough to participate, we have a prize to giveaway!

BE TRU with Truitt Family Foods

All bloggers who participate in this LinkUp are entered to win a prize from our sponsor, Truitt Family Foods. Truitt strives to BE TRU to their family’s vision of working with local, family farms to bring fresh, natural products to you!

They’ve partnered with us to help you BE TRU to your vision for your blog/business and encourage you to share what inspired you the most at BlogFest and IDEA World. One lucky link up blogger will win a free pair of custom NIKEiD shoes! WOW.


Here are MY top takeaways from BlogFest & IDEA World:

1. The Science of Running:
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am super passionate about running! When I saw this presentation on the schedule during Idea World, I jumped at the chance to attend.
Jason Karp, is a running expert (and also the 2011 Idea World personal trainer of the year!) and I learned a ton from him. I learned so much that I'll have to write a separate post about it, but here are a few key highlights:
- To become a better runner, the number of miles (or time) run each week is the most important component of training.
-Pace is not as important as time spent running.
-Slowly and systematically increase mileage from month to month + year to year.
-Every runner is an individual - don't download a plan from the internet  (<---- GUILTY).
-Long runs shouldn't comprise more than about 1/3 of weekly mileage.
-How to avoid injury ---> Don't increase mileage every week! Never increase volume and intensity at the same time.


2. Best swag:
Cynthia, Sandra and I participated in a 15 minute min yoga class and got these awesome shoes from Ahnu Footwear! They are so cute and really comfotable + I love the color = SCORE!!

Sandra and I showing off our new shoes!

3. DREAMING about the yogurt:
I really enjoyed hearing Siggi talk about making his yogurt and developing the business. Very inspiring and the yogurt is FANTASTIC. I can't wait to pop over to Whole Foods and buy a bunch for my fam! I loved the thick, rich texture and the clean taste. YUM.

4. The BEST Ab workout ever!!
I was looking around the room on Saturday hoping to see another SPA sister! We all want to improve our core strength and this workout was AWESOME.

This tube is filled 1/4 full with water...

And we were shown a wide variety of workouts!

I met so many wonderful people this weekend - bloggers that I follow and others that I knew from social media. Meeting everyone IRL was really special. Business cards were exchanged, friendships were made and fun times were had by all! A huge thank you to Alyse and Jamie for bringing us all together!!

My link up co-hosts Tiffany and Debbie!

Sarah and I at Gabrielle's workout!

Sandra, Cynthia, Laura and I at a fun Mexican dinner!

6. Great Instagram Tips!

A great talk from Kasey Arena about growing your Instagram following.
Here are a few key points:

-Use @ mentions to get the attention of brands or bigger Instagram account, but also tag them in the photo.
-Engaging with people is a good thing!
-Don't put unrealistic expectations on yourself with feeling the need to post all day, everyday.
-Don't hesitate to reach out to brands to show yourself using their products.
-Pay attention to the time your are posting. Test different times to lead to more engagement for you.

Beautiful, smart and funny... we had the incredible opportunity to listen to Gabby speak, workout with her and snag a photo op. A definite highlight!!
She offered great advice:
"Work as hard as you can, but have fun!"
"You cannot substitute real food"
"Happy, Interesting, interested in life... that person is dynamic"


Cynthia and I were in the same cycling class on Saturday and it was such a great workout. Perfect for me, as it was low impact and I am all about the bike these days. The bike was very cool and Cynthia ended up winning one!!! Woo hoo!

9. Great advice from a celebrity trainer!

Gunnar Peterson spoke to us and I thought he was hilarious and matter of fact:

"Pilates makes your muscles long" - Um, yeah. That's a myth people!

"Very light weights = very little results" - Don't be afraid to lift with a heavier weight.

"Give you body a chance to recover!" - Hydrate and get extra sleep.


We had a lot of delicious snacks during the weekend, but I have to say I loved the hummus from Truitt Family Foods (who is also the sponsor of this post!). We eat a lot of hummus in our house and the grab and go cups of hummus were so good. I brought some home for my kiddos and they went crazy for it (and they ate their carrots too - win!).

Join the LinkUp!

How To Participate:

  1. Make sure you read Tiffany’s and Debbie’s Top 10!

  2.  Write your Top 10 Takeaways post and include this copy at the top:“I’m joining Tiffany,DebbieNatalie and Truitt Family Foods in sharing my Top 10 Takeaways from BlogFest 2015.”
  3. Insert this image in to your post with a link back here.

  1. Come back to add your link at the very bottom of this post BEFORE AUGUST 1st and you’ll be entered to win prizes!
  2. Share your post on social media with hashtag #betruBlogFest!
  3. Click to Tweet:
Tweet: LINKUP: #BlogFest Top 10 Takeaways @CoachHenness @CoachDebbieRuns @NatRunsFar @TruittFoods #betruBlogFest

ADD YOUR LINK HERE to join TiffanyDebbieNatalie and Truitt Family Foods in sharing your Top 10 Takeaways from BlogFest 2015.