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A Midwest Life Posts

A summer with two toddlers

Happy Friday!  We have an exciting weekend planed and are skipping out early today to head up to St. Paul to get a head start on the fun!  First, though, I wanted to share a few things I have learned this summer with having two toddlers.

toddler summer

  1. A lot changes when you kid turns three.  Last spring, when I enrolled Max in preschool for this upcoming fall I was convinced he was not going to be ready.  I think anyone who has had to potty train a spirited child will agree with me that it is not easy.
  2. You want to desperately to be able to have full conversations with them and then they won’t stop talking… Max was a little slower to talk (as in he didn’t really talk until nearly three years old.  Now, he won’t stop.  It’s fun, but loud 🙂 .
  3. They learn things no matter what you do.  I am not the mom pulling out flash cards every night or doing specific learning activities (I’ve tried but it just isn’t me).  However, Max is still somehow learning, a lot!  Like more than he probably should, he can even spell a few words?  I have no idea but I’m glad something is working.

Now on to my little Asher 🙂 .

  1. Obviously I have had a one year old before but the second one is just as unique, if not more, and there is still a learning curve in learning what works for him.
  2. He is a lot more daring.  Making convincing David for number three incredibly difficult 🙂 .  I’m not sure if this is a second child thing or just a personality thing but Asher is always on top of something, upside down, in something, or getting into something.  Of course Max did this as well but not to the same extent.
  3. It’s fun to do something separately with your kids, learn about, and encourage their separate interests.  Max and Asher are almost to the day 16 months apart and they share a room so they often get put together.  It is important to encourage them to have differences and it actually takes quite a bit of work to do this!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  I am off to get a bit of work done before we pick Max and Asher up and head off to the cities for the weekend!


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Back to school fit tips

Happy Monday!  Back to school is right around the corner for a lot of us and between busy work schedules, back to school shopping, getting back on a school schedule, and starting up all the other activities such as sports this is a really busy time of year for most families!  I grew up with two parents working in the education field and now I also happen to work in education.  Although none of us are actually teachers, August is still a really busy time (I think it is for a lot of families!), especially when your work load significantly increases!  I know I have been finding myself running out of time to fit in exercise and plan meals so I thought I would share a few fit tips we do as a family to try to keep up with fitness and eating healthy during back to school.

Plan everything!  Meal plan, plan your workouts, organize your family calendar, even plan your clothing for the week.  Find quick, easy, healthy meals.  I love searching online for new recipes but also keep a book full of our favorite recipes.  This makes it easy for me to plan meals I know we will like.  I also make sure to maintain our pantry and freezer supply so our weekly grocery shopping is kept to a minimum.  This is for another post but, we do one big shopping trip a month and then just pick up perishable items each week.  This saves so much time!

Know your limits.  When you are super busy don’t stress yourself out with scheduling even more.  This will just make it more difficult to make healthy meals at home and create less time to spend as a family stress free.

Stay active as a family.   Instead of sitting and watching your kids play in the yard go for a walk or run together.  Play a game, go swimming, just move!  This will also help combat the extra sitting you are doing with working longer hours 🙂 .

Participate in a workout challenge or program.  This will not only create accountability but also provide you with a plan each day so you don’t even have to think about what you are doing.  There are quite a few workout plans out there for you to choose from and while I love a lot of them my most recent favorite is PIIT 28 created Casey Ho!  She is also the creator of Blogilates which I have mentioned quite a few times in the past.  I have been following her and her workouts for a long time.  I will admit, when I first looked at the workouts I thought they would be too easy.  Not the case.  Of course they could be, but, if you push yourself, it is an awesome workout in only 30 minutes.


PIIT 28 is a mix of Pilates and cardio moves to help you strengthen, tone, and build your endurance in a short and efficient workout.  The workouts are done in intervals of 45 seconds on with 10 seconds of rest.  The time flies during this workout and leaves you nice and sweaty!

Here’s what PIIT28 will do for you:

  • Cut your workout time in half
  • Melt all-over body fat fast
  • Increase your resting metabolism
  • Build lean muscle with no equipment
  • Sculpt the strongest Pilates abs ever
  • Improve your posture so that you’ll look taller
  • Increase your confidence and happiness levels
  • Find new friends and make real relationships with like-minded people

Sounds fun right?  You can either follow along with the videos on the website or follow the written and visual instructions in the ebook.  Either way the workouts are fun, effective, and are less than 30 minutes.  Perfect for those of us who are crazy busy 🙂 .

Get your PIIT 28 Power Pack here.  $89(The workout program along with the 28 day reset nutritional guide$- saves you $19!)

Get your PIIT 28 Workout Program here.  $39

28 day Reset here.  $69

The 28 Day Reset is the perfect companion to PIIT 28 as it provides detailed meal plans and even grocery lists (a fantastic time saver!)

Here’s what you will receive when you get The Blogilates 28 Day Reset:

  • The Blogilates 28 Day Reset Nutrition Guide E-book (Instant download!)
  • The 28 Day Reset Meal Plan (4 weeks)
  • The 28 Day Reset Grocery Lists (4 weeks)
  • Over 150+ unique clean-eating Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack recipes to create your own unique mix ‘n match meal plans based on your body’s needs for the next 8 weeks and beyond
  • 8 fill-in Meal Planning Calendars
  • 8 fill-in Grocery Lists
  • Mix ‘n Match Protein, Fat and Carb Chart (for recipe substitutions)
  • 100+ pages of full color, taste bud tantalizing food photography
  • Lifetime Membership to The 28 Day Reset Foodie Forum
  • Vegan plan is also available!

If you have anymore questions email me at .  I would love to chat more about PIIT 28, Pilates, or anything for that matter!

How do you keep motivated to eat healthy and maintain regular workouts when you are super busy?

*I am a PIIT 28 Amdassador. 

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Hello!  This summer has simply completely gotten away from me.  Between work, life with two toddlers, and a few unexpected things this space has taken a back seat for awhile.  However, Max is starting preschool in a month and, while life will always be busy I am hoping that with having a little more time with Max and Asher busy with their things I will have a little more time as well!  What better way to start than with updating everyone on life’s happenings?

First, I had surgery!  I know, I literally told zero people.  But for good reason!  I found out I was having surgery less than 24 hours before it happened an I spent that entire time making sure laundry was done and put away, the house was clean, and ensuring childcare for Max and Asher.  The surgery was quite minimal and to be honest I really have no idea what exactly I had done (anesthesia is always incredibly effective for me) .  All I know is that I apparently had a torn muscle in my abdomen along with a ton of extra scar tissue that was removed but may return.  I’m still recovering but am generally feeling pretty good all things considered!

Max is officially a preschooler! I can’t believe he is going to be going to preschool already!  It will be so good for him though as he loves his daycare, especially when they go on trips (they are going to the fair this week!).  It became official when his teacher mailed us his back to school shopping list.  Did anyone else love back to school shopping growing up?

I am taking my second ever over-night work related trip away from Max and Asher!  I have obviously spent numerous nights away from both Max and Asher but this is the first time David will be taking care of BOTH of them by himself while I am away overnight.  While they will be in daycare all day and it is only one night I am hoping the house is at least a little picked up when I get home, and that Max and Asher have eaten something green, that would also be lovely 🙂 .


From my last trip to Kansas about a week ago.  It was gorgeous (and a little warm), even through a dirty windshield 🙂 .


We are moving forward on more house renovations.  Kind of.  We are currently in the process of taking down the wallpaper in the living area.  Ok, David has done all of it… it is pure coincidence he started taking it down the day before my surgery 🙂 .  Max is convinced we are going to paint the walls red (his favorite color) however I love Benjamin Moore’s Sea Foam so we will probably go with something similar to that.  We are also still working on getting the floors refinished.  David called both individuals who are able to refinish and fix original wood floors but we haven’t heard back yet, 3 months later, the joys of living in a more rural area 🙂 .

We have also been in the process of updating a bit of our furniture!  Some of it my Dad and brother are actually making and then we have been finding a few other items here and there.  Our latest purchase was some new chairs from Ikea.  The longevity of Ikea items has been hit or miss for us in the past but I have high hopes for these chairs!

I think that is all the major stuff!  I have a few great ideas for this space in the near future so be sure to subscribe or keep checking back!

Have a wonderful week : )

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Top Summer Essentials

Hello!  I didn’t get this post done yesterday because I was busy celebrating with Max!  We have a preschooler!  Technically we celebrated his birthday all weekend by going to the zoo on Saturday and then on Sunday we went on a picnic, the zoo, had cake and opened his present from Asher (we bought a swing set but it won’t be arriving until later this week).  It was a full summer weekend of fun!

It was also the first weekend that was really nice and we were at home for this year.  Since summer seems to finally be here to stay (I feel like I have been saying for the past month) I am sharing my summer essentials.  These are products I use pretty much everyday during the summer and they help me not only fend off the heat and sun but also help me look a little more put together as a mom who basically lives outside once it warms up 🙂 .


Sunscreen: We all know about the importance of sunscreen, especially for the face.  I have been using Cotz sunscreen for awhile and love it.  I don’t feel it at all on my face and I can even buy a tinted color to help even out my skin tone a bit on days I’m not wearing makeup!  The tinted sunscreen can be a little too dark for me (although is claims to be translucent), especially if I don’t have any tan yet but it works really well once I have been in the sun a bit.  I have never gotten burned while using this brand, even in the Caribbean!


A nice pair of sandals for everyday: Since I work from home and am with my kids either at home or just around town I almost never wear nicer shoes than a simple pair of sandals in the summer (I’m not a huge shoe person!) .  I love finding a pair of sandals that are practical, comfortable, yet at least a little stylish so I look more put together.  I have ones similar to these that work great pretty much everyday.


A couple hats: I don’t really own a lot of hats but having a few really good ones helps keep the sun off my face and keeps my hair from getting too bleached by the sun.  My hats are all at least a few years old but the I have a hat similar to this one that I love.  I also have a bigger sun hat and a Cubs hat similar to this that is probably nearing 10 years old?  I keep telling David I am going to get a new one but it is still in really good shape so I never take the time to do so.  I also, of course, have a running hat which is just a basic baseball hat!


A good book: Summers are meant to include a little relaxing!  I have a list of books I want to read a mile long but I just finished this book and highly recommend it.  Especially if you are a fan of memoir type books.


Refreshing face mist: I discovered these types of sprays a few years ago and am hooked!  I am still working on find the perfect brand and type for me but they really do not only help my makeup look better on the days I wear makeup but also make me feel more refreshed as I use it throughout the day when being outside in the heat.  I haven’t tried this one yet but it is on my list to try this summer, and I typically like Tarte’s products so I’m hoping it works well!  I have heard good things about the Rain forest of the Sea product line so far.

These are five of my top must have products for summer.  I am off to spend some time chasing around two crazy toddlers for the day.  It is suppose to rain so it should be a crazy and busy day with them cooped up all day!

What is your must have product for summer?

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MedCity Marathon Recap

Hello!  How about a quick marathon recap?  It fortunately isn’t too late, only 8 days later thanks to a busy week with David traveling again and a certain toddler deciding to boycott bedtime all week 🙂 .  Last Sunday, (May 29th) I ran the MedCity Marathon in Rochester, MN!

MedCity Marathon Finish


My official finish time was 3:43:49 with an average pace of 8:33 per mile.  I actually finished 9th woman overall and 3rd in my age group!

Overall I loved the race and had a great time.  It was well organized and big, but not overwhelmingly large or congested.  Everybody was super friendly, both the volunteers and the spectators.  I didn’t really know what to expect or what my goals should be going in to the race but I had kind of set a goal of finishing in under 4 hours and keep a relatively easy pace throughout the race.

The race starts in Byron and the first six miles went by really quite fast and were also the hilliest so it worked out great!  I personally think the Rochester area is really pretty so I didn’t mind the hills and they really aren’t bad, they are more like little rolling hills than anything else.  Once we got into Rochester there were more spectators and over all I never really got bored with the course (am I the only one with this problem?).  There were water stops about every 2 miles so I didn’t need to stop at each one even though it was by far warmer on Sunday than it was during any of my training runs!  I trained in 30-40 degree weather and it was 60-70 Sunday morning, definitely a temperature range I’m not used to running in yet, especially with the humidity 🙂 .

MedCity Marathon

The week before the race I ended up getting the flu and then having a huge allergy flair up so while I wasn’t feeling 100% I was still hoping to meet my goals.  My training went really well.  I completed all my runs (running 4-5 times a week) except for my 20 miler!  I ended up not feeling well the week I was supposed to run 20 miles and never completed it!  Mentally, this was more nerve-wracking than anything else.  Just in case this happens to anyone else, don’t let it concern you!

I also started having trouble with my foot just a couple of days before the race.  It has been bothering me on and off for the past couple of years and when it started to feel a little sore I cut out speed work which seemed to help up until the last week.  My doctor had said to keep it stretched and ice it and that it was fine to continue running as long as the pain didn’t worsen throughout training and it really wasn’t horrible until the last week.  Obviously I wasn’t about to not run having just finished all of the training and my x-rays looked good (no stress fracture) so I just iced and stretched a lot before Sunday.  While the icing and stretching may have helped it still hurt quite a bit by the end of the race and I am still not running yet.  I went to the doctor on Monday and was told to take a week off but I will have to play it by ear since, while it is significantly better it still isn’t great (it is a tendon issue and the marathon really aggravated it).

Overall I had a great time and hope to be able to run this race again someday, both the half marathon and marathon if all goes well!  I don’t have any current race plans for the rest of summer as I am waiting to see how my foot heels but I hope to run a 5k in late summer/fall!

Do you have any summer running plans?

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