Category Archives: Fitness

Thumbs Up

A month or so ago this article was bouncing around Facebook and I clicked on and read through it ~ Six Reasons Parents Should Not Watch Practice .

Was I doing it all wrong? Was I supposed to just drop her off like some of the other parents? Was I not supposed to lug my chair, my blanket and my complaining son from the parking lot across the BIG field and sit for an hour and a half and watch her practice?

Was I “watching” practice or was I there to be social with the other moms? Was I staying because I felt more it was more safe being there?

Truth be told…I enjoy sitting at practices and visiting with other mamas while Holden plays with other soccer siblings. I don’t watch per se and take copious notes or correct her or make sure she’s listening to her coach. I’m just there for my daughter while she practices because it’s less stressful than running a few errands and rushing to get back by practice’s end. Generally her practices are over by 6:30 and we’re home by 7:00 for a rushed dinner, shower and bedtime on those nights. But now she’s started practicing from 6:30-8:00 and it makes for a late night.

Jay and I have been sharing the latched on parent roll {LOL} and tag teaming her practices. I’ll take her and stay ’til he gets there around 6:45 and then I’ll go home and get dinner going, get Holden fed and in the shower, etc.

Recently Jay said, “Just drop her off. Hardly any of the parents stay.” As lovely as that sounded, I had to ask myself, “Is she old enough to just be “dropped off”?” “Should I just stay until he gets there?”


Truth is….YES, she’s old enough to be left with someone that I trust for 45 minutes before Jay gets there. YES, it’s OK if I can’t {or don’t want to} stay and “watch”her practice or be there to “protect her”.

She’s almost ten. It’s time to let the leash out a little longer, so to speak. Remind her about strangers. Let her get out of the car while I pull to the side of the parking lot, grab her water jug and her bag and walk across the field to meet her coach and teammates. By herself. I don’t need to park and walk her over there.

It’s hard. I worry. I promise her that I will NOT drive off until she waves at me when she sees that her coach is there.

Tonight I sat, jack parked, and watched her walk across the big field. She stopped and looked back to see if I was still there. I was. I hadn’t yet got “the wave”. She walked a little further, then turned back and looked at me again. She started walking back towards the parking lot. I stuck my head out the window in case she needed to yell something to me. She gave me a thumbs up and smiled. I did the same. She turned and headed back across the field. And I watched her in the distance….I followed her in her hot pink Wonder Woman shirt and her light blue socks from her first AYSO season when she was on the Cotton Candy Girls. I still had to make sure she got there OK. Even though I got a thumbs up.

I hope she knows that even though I stayed long after I got the OK from her, that I trust her. And I hope she knows that when the day comes and I leave immediately after I get the OK from her, that I love her.

It’s hard to let the leash out. Part of me wants to keep it retracted and close. Not let her wander too far. Dropping her off at soccer practice is different than dropping her off at school.

It’s a learning experience for BOTH of us. Letting go for me and gaining a little bit of independence for her.

And you know what, we’re BOTH going to be OK.

Thumbs up!

Kaleidoscope ~ The Color Run

Well, hello readers!

Are any of you still out there? I sure do kinda miss blogging and hope to post more now that the holidays are upon us….my absolute favorite time of the year.

But, what I’m sharing today is the fun time we had this past Saturday morning in Ventura participating in The Color Run. We’d been wanting to cross this off our bucket list for awhile now and coupled with the fact that my vision for this year’s Christmas card involved lots of color, we needed to get this done sooner than later so mama could make sure her vision would be carried out. 😉

So, we rose super early, threw back some coffee, tied up our tennies and headed out the 126 before the sun came up. Needless to say, the kids couldn’t understand why we woke them up “in the middle of the night”, but once we got there and got our bibs, shirts, temporary tattoos, and headbands, their excitement built.




{It was a freezing 51* so we sat in the warm car until it was time to line up in the chute}




{about a mile in we ran through the pink station}


{…then came yellow…}


The route took us down Main Street and by the Mission San Buenaventura. It turned out to be a gorgeous morning for “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”.



Before we knew it, we ran through the final color station and the kids had fun gathering samples of KIND Bars, McDonald’s smoothies & Oberto Beef Jerky!


Once you cross the finish line, you are handed your own powder dye pack and encouraged to partake in the group color bomb that happens every 20 minutes or so. The kids were a little skeptical at first, but quickly warmed up to the idea!




{Holden had Hulk Hands when all was said and done}


So glad we finally did this….the whole family had a blast and the kids are asking when we can do another one.

May I suggest adding this event to your 2015 Bucket List?

So fun!


Busy Calendar

Hello and Happy-day-after-St. Patrick’s Day!

Our day of {all things green} was just like any other Monday pretty much.

It started out with my favorite pair of gold Havaianas having a blowout in the same spot as all my other well-loved pairs. The little part between the toe gave way and forced me to switch to my gold flats. Havaianas are my absolute favorite and I did get 3-4 years out of these, but I imagine the chlorine from the pool and the trips to the beach eventually take their toll on the rubber…..sad face.


Mama Leprechaun dropped the ball on the once-a-year-Lucky-Charms-for-breakfast deal so she popped them in the car for a donut with green icing and shamrock sprinkles at Albertson’s on the way to school instead! Not the best breakfast to start Health Week off with….

We had a leprechaun come and turn our toilet water green which seemed to freak the kids out a little more this year.

Last week I sampled a precooked corned beef brisket at Trader Joe’s and immediately knew I was going to serve it on a hectic, homework-filled St. Paddy’s Monday night. Fortunately Mondays are our “easy” days and we have nowhere to be, but it was nice to know all I had to do was heat the brisket for about 30 minutes in the oven and sauté up some cabbage and onions to make some sauerkraut! I also squeezed a couple drops of food coloring into a lone bottle of Mexican beer and hit it with a little lime juice for an adult after 5:00pm treat while I prepared our Irish feast.


Holden brought home a friendly little leprechaun and I updated our “days until” sign {which hadn’t been updated since Christmas!!}. That was the extent of SPD at Chez Aspiras!



And as for our nice, quiet, after-the-holidays schedule……that is all coming to a screeching halt and the calendar is quickly filling up again.

Elliott is back in full swing with Spring soccer through AYSO and is on another great team. They’ve played two games and walked away with a shutout in game one and managed to tie game two up this past Saturday. The Spring season is a lot more relaxed as there are no playoffs and only 8 games, but it is a great way for the kids to keep up with their skills and build up their momentum for the Fall season. We are so proud of her as she ASKS to go and practice at the park above and beyond her normal practices. She was chosen to be a team captain this past week and Jay captured this sweet picture of her teammate and her after they won the coin toss…


She also has stepped up her dance game and has taken on another class aside from her Friday hip hop & jazz. Last week she went and tried a lyrical class with her friend, Tiffany, and came home so excited to show me what she had learned. In one hour she had mastered choreography for the Spring recital number and the teacher asked of she was doing the recital! I thought the deadline had passed to order costumes, but apparently it was extended so BOOM she’s enrolled in one more dance class during the week and I ordered her second costume for the recital.


This warms my heart as lyrical is one of my most favorite styles of dance and I have been nudging her to take this class for a couple years now.

I feel so blessed that she can go from aggression and speed on the soccer field to beauty and grace in the dance studio. I pray that she will continue to grow in both of these activities and is always able to keep one foot in a soccer cleat and one foot in a dance shoe.


Holden is about to start Spring baseball so we will throw in a practice during the week and a Saturday game into the calendar for the next couple months. He is very excited and received new baseball necessities from Gramma Kathy for his birthday last month ~ fancy cleats, official baseball pants with a big boy belt {no more drawstrings!}, a bat and some awesome batting gloves. I need to uncover his right-handed glove out in the garage and he’ll be good to go! He hasn’t played since being on the cutest little t-ball team 3 years ago, so this league will be a great way for him to be reintroduced to baseball.

He and I also enjoyed a little mother/son bonding time at a PTA sponsored bowling event last weekend. Our team made our own tie dyed shirts which was a first for me and so much fun. The afternoon of bowling was equally as fun and we can’t wait for next year!



The weeks are simply flying by. Aside from these activities, they are both doing after school activities and their weekly religious education classes. Spring Break is on the horizon and that just means one thing…..Summer is not too far behind!

As mentioned in my last post, our summer is going to be filled with events leading up to the marriage of my brother-in-law to his precious finace in late July so we have all that goodness waiting for us on the books, as well.

Feeling so grateful for our busy calendar.

Have a beautiful day, friends!


Mud Run Eve Eats ~ Tequila Lime Chicken Pasta

Jay signed up for the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run again this year ~ his third year in a row.

It’s a lot of fun to be a spectator as well as participate…I partook last year and it was quite the comedy. You can check that out here.

Jay requested a nice pasta meal the night before the 10K and, of course, I was quick to say, “Sure!”. He decided on Tequila Lime Chicken Fettuccini ~ a fabulous choice, I thought.

Cilantro? Jalapeños? Tequila? Lime?



I followed the recipe precisely, however, subbed half & half for the heavy cream to feel a little bit less guilty. Also, wasn’t too sure about the soy sauce ingredient since this isn’t an Asian dish, but decided to roll with it. I didn’t think it took away from the tequila lime flavor at all, though.

We both thoroughly enjoyed it. Personally, I thought it needed more heat. Next time I think I will use 2 fresh jalapenos and leave the seeds and the ribs in since that is where all the heat is {this time I only used one and took out most of the seeds and innards}.

We were up bright and early to report for duty at Lake Castaic!

Jay did awesome and watching from the sidelines this year made me want to set a goal to do it again next year….


With his dog tag medal….



So, I guess I am half way committing to doing the 5K again next year.

I’d like to get a team together and make a party out of it. Anyone interested?

Definitely going to need to {train} better and tackle some bigger hills leading up to the race, but mostly it’s a novelty event and just getting out there and getting dirty is what it’s all about!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.



Hi friends!

Happy Friday…we’re already 10 days into the new year and I’ve been meaning to share my/our word for Twenty-Thirteen.

This is the first year I’ve done this, but I think it’s a great way to focus and a good reminder to what it is that you’d like to accomplish in the upcoming 12 months…


I love this word because it can be used in so many different ways.

REACH out ~ make that phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Send a note in the mail just to say “Hello!”. Drop off dinner to a friend that is having a hard day/week. Meet a friend that you haven’t seen for awhile because of your crazy schedules for a quick cup of coffee and get caught up.

REACH to help others ~ Hold the door open for someone. Help the little old man reach something on the top shelf at Target. Hand out a random $5 gift card to a near by fast food restaurant to someone that looks like they could use a meal. Offer to buy someone a hot cup of coffee instead of washing your windshield {like we recently did in Barstow on the way to Vegas}.

REACH your goals ~ I don’t know about you, but I seem to have the same goals every January 1st and that is to lead a healthier life. Lose weight. Exercise more. Make healthier food choices. Look good in my jeans. Blah. Blah. Blah. I struggle with this daily and I hope that this year I can really come closer {or even actually REACH} some specific goals that I’ve set for myself. I know that I have it in me because I’ve seen it before….just need to get focused and sometimes that is the hard part. But, no excuses!

Most importantly, in order to accomplish the things listed above, I/we need to try to REACH out of my/our comfort zone. We all love our comfort zones {because it’s comfortable, ha!} and, for me, that is what prevents me from branching out and starting new routines or dabbling in something that I’ve been interested in. We can’t SEE a change unless we MAKE a change.

So, with that said, I’m going to post this word-of-the-year around the house as a reminder to stretch, push, forge ahead when things get tough.



Do you have a word or a slogan for the year ahead? If so, please share. We can all motivate each other.

Have a blessed day and WEEKEND!


AmYSOccer Mom

Well, it’s official…I’m not only a soccer mom, but a soccer coach mom!

I’ll be channeling my {non-existent} inner Brandi Chastain and coaching Holden’s U6 team this fall.

Scary since the last time I “played” soccer was circa 1983 in PE class at Wangenheim Junior High. However, the nice people at AYSO assure me that I can coach these cute boys with no prior soccer experience and one training session. {there weren’t enough coaches for this age group, so they needed volunteers}

I’m up for the challenge!

I received my roster and a coach’s bag complete with brand-spankin’-new soccer balls and orange cones! I’ve contacted my team and we’re meeting next week.

Elliott is also playing for the first time this season and I just got the e-mail from her coach this morning. Practice starts for her this coming Monday.


I’m excited and super nervous all at the same time.

I may drop to my knees at the end of the season, but I promise not to strip down to my sports bra! {wink. wink.}

Health Wars

I decided that July was going to be dedicated to focusing on health….mainly mine. I needed to step up my fitness goals and revamp my/our eating habits a little despite the fact that it’s summer, HOT and all that sounds good is eating out and having ice cream on a daily basis.

Just because we have “Coconut Pancakes in Pajamas” on our summer to-do list doesn’t mean that I have to stray from my goals and lose focus. I had seen these Biggest Loser pancakes on Pinterest and decided to make those for when we had our friends over for breakfast last week.

I’m happy to report that they were reeeallly good. They were dense, hearty and filling and with a few fresh berries, some coconut and a little sugar free syrup, totally satisfied the flapjack craving. I will most certainly make these again, doubling the recipe to make extras for easy, microwavable breakfasts during the week.

As mentioned, too, I am taking part again in {45 Miles in July}. Same gist as June, but Marta upped the mileage to 45 in July…I went a little crazy last week and attacked the pavement and the elliptical. I’ve been walking up to our clubhouse {2 miles round trip} and doing 5 miles on the elliptical while I’m there! I can do 5 miles in an hour ~ one hour {plus about 30 minutes walking} out of my day for ME. For me to think, reflect, plan, daydream, reminisce, cry, sweat. Yes, I am tired at 7:00pm when I take off, but once I am out the door and in motion, I am invigorated. It also helps that I have a slew of Instagrammer friends that cheer me on and keep me motivated. Their sweet comments and likes as I report my daily mileage are just the fuel I need to get me out there every afternoon or evening and KEEP GOING.

And this weekend I told my self that just because it IS the weekend doesn’t mean it’s OK to take a break. Olympic athletes don’t not train on Saturdays and Sundays so why should I?

True story…yesterday I watched Cupcake Wars whilst on the elliptical for an hour. To some that may be the ultimate fitness fail, but it kept me striding along because I just had to see who won the battle of the buttercream! Hey, whatever works, right? I’d rather watch others bake and decorate than do it myself and be tempted.

Perhaps America’s Next Top Model would be more appropriate. Next time.

And previously I would take the weekends to bend the healthy food rules a bit and chalk it up to {it’s the weekend} and tell myself that I would start strong again come Monday morning. Uh, easier said than done, of course.

This weekend we enjoyed our town’s first Summer concert in the park and while this is usually a time when I spend the afternoon preparing a fun picnic, this time we ate dinner before we went and just brought some snacks for the kids and ONE adult beverage to sip. We did indulge in a scoop each of good old fashioned Thrifty {Rite Aid} ice cream afterwards. I am logging my meals and snacks into an app called My Fitness Pal and had a thousand calorie deficit for the day, so I treated myself…

{Yummy Circus Cookie!}

I didn’t feel guilty for having this. I had worked for it all week and it was worth every calorie.

And yesterday we grabbed a quick lunch at Chipotle before catching a movie. Chipotle is my fave. Like I could eat their salted, limey chips and guac multiple times a day fave. Jay and I sometimes will share a carnitas burrito, but I’m sure there are still gazillions of calories in a half as those things are bricks wrapped in foil! Yesterday I decided to get a salad with chicken ~ no tortilla. no rice. no cheese. no sour cream. no guac. no chips. Just lettuce, black beans, fajita veggies, chicken, corn salsa and hot salsa. I got the dressing on the side and just dipped my fork in it from time to time. It was delicious and I had no urge to sneak a chip or ask Jay for a bite of his scrumptious steak burrito.

These are all baby steps. Baby steps that will hopefully add up to one big step towards a healthier & fit me.

Yes, it’s hard because I am someone who loves to try new comfort food recipes and bake s’mores brownies, but it’s harder to get further and further away from your health and fitness goals as each year passes.


It’s only been about 8 days, but I’m already feeling better. My head is clear and I am focused.

One baby step at a time.

Feeling Independent ~ A Festive & Fit Fourth

This year we’re attempting a more healthified Fourth of July. Lately I’ve been feeling a little {off} and am hoping that dedicating July to establishing a healthier lifestyle will alleviate some feelings and anxiety I’ve been having about my well being lately.

I have decided to bow out of a Cupcake Wars that I was invited to attend…for now, I need to step away from some cooking and baking things that I love and start focusing on lighter, less sugar meals and snacks. I’m making little tweaks with the daily eating habits, but not being unrealistic and saying that I will {never} eat ice cream again. Or cutting carbs out once and for all. Forever. No, just making better choices…fresh choices…and taking the time to prepare them and the time to sit down and ENJOY them. Eat to live, not live it eat, I guess you could say.

Yes, I will still bake indulgent goodies, but certainly not as often as I was. But I know that I also need to learn that just because I make or bake something, I do not need to eat it, but I think we all know that it’s easier said than done! For now, I am just better off not making these sweet treats at all until I can get some good focus and momentum with this new lifestyle change.

I am proud to say that I hit just over 40 miles in June and am shooting for over 45 in July. Join me on Instagram {@aaspiras} or just start your own daily log ~ it’s equals out to a little less than 1.5 miles a day. Last night alone I started the month off with 4.75 miles and wasn’t even feeling 100% so I know I got this 45 mile thing wrapped up. YOU do, too. I prefer getting out there at night when it cools off rather than an early morning outing. C’mon, let’s go!

All that said…..

Tomorrow we’re planning on hooking up the bike trailer and going for early morning Starbucks {for Jay and me} and donuts {for the kids} to kick off our Fourth.

A couple breakfast options are:

Red, White & Blue steel cut oats ~ Oats topped with raspberries, blueberries & coconut

R, W & B smoothie ~ Ice, 1/2 cup almond coconut milk, 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt, raspberries, banana & blueberries {with a festive straw, of course!}

The Fourth isn’t complete without some burgers and fresh sweet corn…

R, W & B Turkey Burgers {protein style} ~ Fresh summer tomatoes, sweet vidalia onion and blue cheese wrapped in big lettuce leaves

Fun Grilled Corn Disks


To wash it all down a little drink that was inspired by an IG post from {@baxtronlife}:

Pseudo Mojito

Add some fresh muddled mint, raspberries, a splash of sparkling water and some rocks and hopefully you won’t miss the rum!

For dessert I thought some individual angel food trifles with fresh berries would finish off the day before fireworks…


And I can’t wait to wear my new chevron skirt from Old Navy that I picked up for about $10!


Just pairing it with a simple navy tank and red rosette!


I’m actually looking forward to not overindulging this year. It’s definitely time for a change.

How are you celebrating Independence Day?


Get Movin’ In June

Hello and Happy June!

I meant to pop in yesterday, but the day got away from me…looks like the year is getting away from me, too. Yikes.

Marta over at {Haus Of Girls} is promoting a little challenge for the month of June that I immediately hopped on board with.

40 Miles In June

If you’re on Instagram you can report your daily progress there with hashtag #40milesinjune and cheer on your fellow participants. If you’re not on IG and you want to commit to 40 miles, put a little chart on your fridge and tally your miles there. Or maybe grab a Mason jar and 40 marbles and drop one in every time you complete a mile! It’s 1.3 miles a day {or just a wee bit more since it’s already June 2nd!}.

1.3 miles is nothing…a little after dinner stroll. A pick-me-up walk on your lunch hour with co-workers. A walk to or from school with your kids instead of driving. An early morning jaunt before it gets too warm.

Run or walk…doesn’t matter. I’m even going to claim elliptical or treadmill miles! Shoooooot.

I just squeezed in 3 miles before we head to a graduation party this afternoon and I’m truly looking forward to getting out tomorrow and doing the same.

I love Marta’s slogan too ~ “Strong Is The New Skinny!”

C’mon, who’s with me?

Come find me on Instagram ~ @aaspiras


Only 37 miles to go.

Let’s do this.


Hi friends!

Again, so sorry I haven’t checked in for much of this week. Just taking care of business, I guess…sometimes the days can become monotonous, but then again the routine and structure is what I feel works best.

Always trying to find the {perfect} balance between homework, play dates, activities, chores, down time, etc.

Last night I went and signed up both kiddos for AYSO. This will be our first year and I am very excited about it. Holden was placed on a wait list because for his age group there aren’t enough coaches. I was a little bummed because he is the one that I most wanted to get signed up! Elliott does dance and has CCD so adding soccer is a little bit of a stretch, but we are more than willing to make it work. I was told that if I volunteered as a coach, Holden would automatically have a place on a team. I sort of laughed because I have not played a game of soccer in my life…maybe in PE back in the day, but soccer was not one of the sports I participated in as a kid. I think it is a fantastic sport and I am so thrilled that both Elliott and Holden are equally excited about it. After Elliott’s evaluation last night, the guy mentioned that all I would have to do to become a coach is read a book or something and become certified and run a 1 hour a week practice, blah, blah, blah. I was thinking my services would be more along the line of hair bow making or fancy post-game snack assembling, but I drove off with a little voice in the telling me, “Maybe you SHOULD be a coach”.

Am I crazy?

I will keep it on the back burner, but in the meantime I will pray that a more qualified soul will come forth and volunteer to coach another BU6 team.


Speaking of cartwheels, this week has also be sprinkled with a little bit of summer agenda drawing up ~ scheduling weekly camps for Holden and coordinating gymnastic day camps for Elliott. For me, I try to have them be at an activity AT THE SAME TIME so that I can maintain my summer sanity and have a little alone time. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, but then I overhear a mama {raising her voice} at her kids in Target and I realize that {I am not the only one}…always a welcome feeling when it comes to parenting.

I also completed our 2012 Summer To-Do List that I will be sharing here real soon. We have done this the past two years and have really enjoyed it. You can read about that here and here.


Anywhoo….just cartwheeling through our weeks making sure we don’t forget anything! Somedays I feel like there is so much to remember and I worry that something will slip by…anyone else feel like that?

This weekend I look forward to a 3-generation pedicure, a formal Mother’s Day tea that Jay so sweetly arranged and taking a wee break to sit back and enjoy the beauty of motherhood.

What about you? What are you up to?