Ready to Run

I am a runner.  I finally feel comfortable saying it, but it has taken me a very long time.  Like about 12 years (which happened to include 1 marathon, 5 half marathons, and countless 5K’s).   Growing up I never considered myself an athlete.  I was a dancer, a cheerleader, and a gymnast but not an athlete.  Running was always a challenge for me.  In fact I remember one Spring before an ill fated stint as a softball player my Dad actually had to teach me how to run.  I think I did more of a frolic.  But when I was 26 I decided I wanted to run a Marathon so I started training.  I started with a 5K and went on from there.

In my years of running I’ve figured out a couple of things.

*Keep moving.  You won’t get better unless you put in some training time.  But you can do it.  You might be slow.  You might have to walk at first, but you can do it.

*Find a running friend.   They keep you accountable and give you some entertainment and motivation while you run.  I have had some of the best conversations of my life while running.  Nothing strengthens a friendship like miles under your feet.

*Ignore that voice in your head that tells you to stop.

*Get professionally fit for running shoes.   You can’t pick out ones that you think are cute and just go for those.  You need someone to watch you run and fit you in the right shoe.  For reals, you will save yourself so much pain and money if you go to your local running store and have them help you.

*Listen to some tunes.  It really helps keep you going when you are feeling tired.  But only wear one earbud otherwise you won’t be able to hear other runners or bikers.

*Don’t wear cotton shirts unless you want a rash.     Get yourself a cute workout top.  You can get them for as cheap as $10at Costco.  Don’t workout in old t-shirts unless you like chafing.

*Sign up for a race.  They are so much fun and give you a goal to achieve.

I’m currently getting ready to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon next week.  Over the last couple months, I have been training with two fabulous ladies, who I adore.  They’ve turned my onto some great gear and I have shared with them too.

Here are some of our favorite things:


(Sweaty, sweaty selfie)


VSX Incredible Sports Bra

This bra is AMAZING!!!  It does everything you want a sports bra to do. But it also looks so good. No uniboob!   Seriously, I feel so cute in it.  Great patterns, great colors, and great cleavage.

SPI Belt

It’s not a fanny pack, it’s a SPI Belt.  I use it to stash my iPhone, ID, and cash.  It doesn’t move around.  It doesn’t dig in.  It is my most favorite bit of running gear ever.

Simple Hydration Water Bottle

I don’t always run with water.  But when I am going to be out for while or it is really hot it is essential.  I love my new water bottle.  It can go anywhere.  I often put it between my hip and  SPI Belt or in the back of my sports bra.  It is the perfect size.  Not too big or too small.

Lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II

I will wear shorts for 3-5 mile runs, but when I do anything over 5 I wear crops.  Lulu makes my favorite ones.   They are so wonderfully tight and light.  It almost feels like being naked, but better cause nothing is moving around in these babies.  I wish I could wear them all the time.


Get Running!!!




What the **** is a Girl Push Up?

For most of my life I have only done girl push ups.  You know, the type you do on your knees. Through years of dance training, cheerleading and gymnastics I never ventured to try a real push up.  Growing up in P.E. I remember being told by my teacher that I didn’t need to do the boy push ups, I could just go ahead and do the girl ones.  And from then on,  I never really tried to do a traditional push up.  Sad to say, I kind of assumed that they just weren’t for me and I probably couldn’t do them.  I hate that.

Then one day it occurred to me that I found the idea of a modified push up being called a girl push up deeply offensive and stupid.  Girls are strong.   The underlying message of labeling a modified exercise for females  sends a terrible and disempowering message to half of the population.

Last  summer I decided I wanted to be able to do real push ups.  I was determined.  So last June I challenged myself to be able to do 20 pushups straight by the end of the month.  Guess what, I could totally do it.  I started with just 3 and slowly built up.  I found this great 30 Day All Body Challenge on A Champagne Dream and used it all month long. I loved it because it had more than just push ups in it.   It starts out really easy and slowly builds.  By the end of the challenge you will be doing 20 push ups, a 2 minute plank, 100 squats and 100 crunches. Most nights I got it done while I watched TV.  (Exercising while watching Real Housewives somehow reduces my guilt over watching terrible television.)





It’s the start of a new month.  I’m starting the challenge today.  Anyone want to join me?


a champagne dream blog 30 day crunch squat push up plank body challenge

Travel Love

I love to travel. And I really love to travel with this guy.


Some day the two of us will travel alone again. But soon we are leaving for Thailand with our two kiddos. Yeah for travel!!!! Boo to 20 hours of flying with a five year old and and 2 year old. But I won’t let 20 hours of misery stop me. I’ve got a trip to plan for and I love planning for trips. So here is what I’ve been obsessing over this week.

1. Finding the Perfect Travel Bag

I’m in my 30s and I’m a stay at home mom. On the regular, I don’t need to shlep around laptops or files, so I don’t have a backpack, attache, or messenger bag. (What I do have are some very nice purses.) But traveling with two littles means bringing lots of snacks and toys and small bottles of alcohol. So I need a travel bag.

At first I was considering a back pack. I spent hours, and I mean hours, browsing sooooo many websites. But I was underwhelmed. Nothing seemed quite right. Everything I liked required lots of unbuckling. Kind of a pain when you have an angry toddler demanding dried mango. I need zippers people. But if you don’t have an angry toddler. I think this backpack is lovely.


Somehow I stumbled up Fjall Raven. A lovely outdoorsy company from Sweeden. And they make a tote bag that is also a backpack. And it has zippers. My mind is blown. So, I got the Totepack 1. It is perfection.


2. Purchasing Yummy and Healthy Snacks

I know some people say that on vacation you should just eat whatever you want. Well it just so happens that I want to eat healthy food. Also if I just eat whatever, I feel so gross and have major tummy trouble. No fun. So I always bring food. Snack food is especially easy to pack. At meal times I will be eating lots of fresh Thai food. But if I need some good snacks I’ll be prepared. I’ve picked up Lara Bars, Kind Bars, Justin’s Almond Butter, Pistachios, Dried Mangos, and Dried Cranberries.


3. Planning Some Good Workouts

Again, I actually like working out on vacation. I love running on vacation. My local green belts are beautiful but getting to run on a beach or through a new city is amazing. So I’ll be running a lot while I’m away. But I also like doing other workouts. Here are a couple good ones.

And this is my favorite do anywhere workout.


Don’t worry, I’ve also been loading up my kindle with some good books. Mama needs some downtime.


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how i sweat (JR)-an exercise in necessity

So working out is necessary for my sanity and physique.  I’ve embraced this truth.  If I don’t work out I get cranky and squishy.  Here is my routine.


I try to do cardio at least 4 times per week.  I teach Zumba two times a week.  If you love to dance, enjoy music, and are looking for an excuse to shake your booty, you should try a class.  I included a link so you can check it out.  I seriously love teaching and it’s the most fun way to workout.  When I’m not doing Zumba I either go for a run (3-5 miles) or long bike ride (10-12 miles).  Our town is super bike friendly so I try to ride as much as I can.  I have an uber nerd cargo bike that both my kids fit on.  Pedaling two kids around town is a great way to burn some calories.


I have two trainers for this.  Karena and Katrina at Tone It Up!  Their workouts are super great.  They actually have a bunch posted on their You Tube! channel .  I like their workouts because I can do them anywhere and anytime.  I normally  do them in the morning before my kids are up or during their nap time.  I’ve committed to the 2013 Bikini Series so I’m doing one of these everyday!


how i (erin) workout – an exercise in embarassment

My daughter Emmie and I get serious about working out with the girls from Tone It Up. There were some laughs.

Watching myself exercise is mortifying to say the least. Hopefully my little bit of courage gives you the oomph you need to get from your couch to the floor. it’s never been more awkward or awesome time to get fit.

Week 2 Update & Jumpstart to Skinny Grocery List Too

One week into Bob’s plan and I’ve got some results for y’all. Plus, there’s been a very positive internet response to posting the grocery list he so graciously left out of the book. So, buckle up kiddos, it’s about to get real…


weekly plans of an unreadable nature. but i’m wearing a bright pink shirt and my kitchen is a mess. so, cheers.

Before I start this thing in earnest I have another Protip: You will re-write your opening sentences 10 times if you try watching The Miracle of Swindon Town while writing. No joke, nothing pulls me down the YouTube rabbit-hole like the boys of Swindon. 

If this was a weigh in show I would weigh 4 pounds less than last week. Solid work Bobby Harps!!! Solid work me!!!

But first, as with all great honest relationships we start with True Confessions:

I had wine one night – I don’t feel bad about this perse. Bob says no to alcohol, but my tomato fish stew said yes. I went off book and had quinoa every morning since I won’t eat the bread on Pizza breakfast day (plus, gross).  Breaking with my no wheat rule, I was ravenous at the mall and had 1/2 a slice with emmie’s salted egg salad sandwich from starbucks (her favorite – more proof kids are plain bizarre  i mean i like egg salad as much as the next grownup, but why get that when there are cake pops. weirdo.)Also,  I did not exercise every day and I had a small bowl of 4 ingredient ice cream my niece made for me last night – I don’t feel bad about it though, life is not really life if one cannot celebrate familial kid culinary generosity.

Now, the part where I brag on myself:

I did my pre-breakfast workout 4 mornings this week. BOOM BABY!

Ok, I know Bob and K&K want me to get moving every day before breakfast.

But, I’m gonna bloody well pat myself on the back since this is 4 more morning workouts than ever before. And the verdict is in on AM workouts: They make the entire day better. More energy. Less weird food cravings. More positive feelings about myself for being a champion morning workouter (cheesy-slash-lame, but true). Less guilt about not getting to the gym after naps like I planned.

Save the exceptions in True Confessions I ate what Bob suggested and it was delicious. The Spaghetti Squash Bolognese and PBJ quinoa-meal were high points (will post my recipes soon).

But, you didn’t stop by to hear all about me, or maybe you did – I am fascinating after all. I know you came for the grocery list.

So, without further ado, have an awesome clean eating week all you Bobites.

WEEK 2 GROCERY LIST for 3  (*post edit: adjustments for 1 person in parenthesis)

fresh produce

8 (3) zucchini

4 (1) yellow squash

2 (1) bunches asparagus

cherry tomatoes

2 garlic heads

2 (1) cauliflower heads

10 (4) plum tomatoes

3 (2) bags arugula

3 lemons



8 (2-3) kale bunches

3 (1) swiss chard bunches

broccoli (lots)

spinach (lots)



3 (1) sweet potatoes


10 (4) persian cucumbers

dandelion greens

green onion

2 (1) avocado

4 (2) mix green bags


5 (2) red bell peppers


butter leaf lettuce head

cold stuff

egg whites (over 100 worth)

1 lb (1/2 lb) ground turkey

fat free green yogurt

sliced turkey

1 lb (1/3 lb) halibut/cod

1 lb (1/3 lb) shrimp

1 lb (1/3 lb) steak

5 lbs (1.5 lbs) chicken breast

dry/canned goods


whole wheat penne ** (not me)

low sodium vegetable broth

apple sauce no sugar added


liquid aminos


i also attached a pdf of the list in case you want to print it out. yeah, yeah, yeah, you are welcome. 

week 2 grocery list

week 2 grocery list

Bikini Series

Just when you thought we retired.  We’re back.

It’s bikini time!  Or should we say tankini time!Whatever the case may be summer is quickly approaching.  Too be honest Erin and I both fell of the wagon a bit post her Hawaii trip.  Nothing like having to be half naked and wet to get you motivated.

Karena and Katrina over at Tone It Up! are kicking off their 3rd Annual Bikini Series!Image

It’s not too late to join.  They post great workouts, nutrition tips, and recipes.  Plus they are super positive and really motivating.   Disclaimer, they are both really hast and have not had babies.  But we won’t hold that against them.  Erin and I have signed up for the Bikini Series challenge.  Eight weeks of working out and clean eating.

Want to join?

Off to do some toning while I watch the Real Housewives.  (How I adore nap time).