We have been soaking up every ounce of summer this season. Our afternoons have been spent at the swimming pool, and watching the kids gain more and more confidence in the water with each passing week has been exciting and entertaining all at the same time.

All the credit goes back to Goldfish Swim School. You all, I can’t rave enough about the swim instructors there. On any given afternoon, the pool is littered with orange shirted swim instructors. There are always several life guard swim instructors walking around the pool monitoring the lanes, as well. Many times, if Luke or Eden has a large class — they will move to another lane and have a private lesson, which is AWESOME! We recently rain into one of Eden’s instructors at Target and she was so excited to see her! Eden isn’t the type to run up and hug someone, but she ran to her swim instructor with open arms…which is just a testament to the kind of people they employ.

Goldfish Swim School is opening a new Lewis Center location this fall. We will probably still go to Westerville, due to proximity…but I am super excited to see the newest facility. They are now enrolling students and now hiring.

For more information, check out the link here!

https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/lewis-center/

*This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School, all opinions are my own.*

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I feel as though you’re either a Bloody Mary fan or not. Frankly speaking, I am a fan. Which is why I was extremely excited to test out Cameron Mitchell’s newly developed cocktail recipes for Double Comfort featuring their blends and spices.

The recipes are incredible….but we’ll get to that later.

One of the reasons I was super excited to partner with Double Comfort was because of their mission. 100% of the profits from their sales benefits local food pantries. To date, Double Comfort has funded over one hundred thousand meals. AMAZING!

The recipes I made were developed by Andrea Hoover, Beverage Operations Manager at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. All 3 are delicious!

 BLOODY MEMPHIS (Bloody Mary)

Prep Glass: Service Glass

Garnish: Soul of the South Spice Rim, Celery Stalk

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Salted Lemon Cordial (2 oz. lemon juice, 1/4 oz. Saline {20% salt, 80% water})
  • 5 oz. House Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 dash Memphis Heat

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

MEMPHIS MARIA

Prep Glass: Service Glass

Garnish: Soul of the South Spice Rim, Celery Stalk

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Patron Tequila
  • 1/4 oz. Salted Lemon Cordial (2 oz. lemon juice, 1/4 oz. Saline {20% salt, 80% water})
  • 5 oz. House Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 dash Memphis Heat

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

BLOODY MEMPHIS MIX

  • 1 qt. Pureed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 7 oz. Beef Bouillon (2 tsp./7 oz.)
  • 7 oz. Water
  • 2 oz. Demitri’s Horseradish Bloody Mary Mix

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all ingredients in service glass.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir to combine.

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Double Comfort Foods

Not really the “buddies” I had in mind…

*this post is sponsored by Double Comfort Foods — all opinions are my own.*

If we’re being completely honest here, I haven’t really worked out or focused on my health in over a year. That is, unless you count chasing children as cardio. Sure, I eat pretty healthy. We indulge in Chick Fil A on occasion just like the next yoga pants, messy bun wearing mom in suburbia, but we aren’t frequent fliers. I implement fruit and veggies in my weekly meal planning, and I try really hard to drink water over wine…but my health has not been a priority.

I just don’t have time for it.

Finding the time has been the hardest hurdle for me, and I’m sure so many moms can relate! Between juggling work, schedules, school, activities, meals, events, and writing I hardly have time to shower let alone workout.

Last week, that all changed.

My sister-in-law has been living with us this summer while she’s still in nursing school, and we made it a goal to start running together. But like life, summer got really busy and it went to the wayside. Until last week when I put on my tennis shoes and walked out the door.

I ran two miles my first time out, which ended up kind of being a mistake considering I hadn’t run in probably 8 months. I was sore, but in a good way. I felt better about myself just getting a decent sweat in.

Five days later, I’ve run every consecutive day since. I’m not sore anymore and I can tell my lungs are strengthening. I want to eat healthier foods and drink more water and less wine………..

Here are some simple ways I try to stay healthy in the rat race of life serving as a chaos coordinator…. AKA, mom of 3.

  • Drink 24 oz. of water BEFORE my first cup of coffee. This is a hard one, but it’s crucial. Did you know your body is incredibly dehydrated when you wake up from a night’s sleep? Drinking water will fire up your metabolism, help your body flush out toxins, give your brain fuel, and it may even make you eat less.
  • Kids Yoga. Stick with me here. There is a show on Amazon Prime called Cosmic Kids Yoga. If you have small children, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only does it calm your children from the craziness of the day (we typically turn it on around 2) but I enjoy it. I’m not a yogi, I wish I was….. next fitness goal…. but until then, Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great outlet to get my blood flowing and muscles stretched.
  • Fitness watch. I have the Apple Watch, only because my husband can’t wear it in his current job. I know they are pricy and I’m not endorsing you to spend a lot of money…but if you have the means, it’s life changing. Really, it is. I am ultra aware of my steps and “closing my rings” — it’s kind of become a healthy obsession. My fitness goals are pretty standard, honestly, I don’t think I ever changed the factory settings on them…but the sheer gratification of “closing a ring” is one of the things I look forward to the most. I also feel extremely disappointed when I don’t get anywhere near my goal, like when I have to sit in a meeting all day. Oy.
  • Real foods. Look, I have three kids under the age of 6 so I know how easy it is to give them goldfish and french fries on the road. I try really, really hard to pack their lunches every single day. We are a family on-the-go: from the park to the zoo to the fair to the pool to the local shopping center, we have something lined up on our agenda daily. It’s easier, healthier AND cheaper to pack lunches. I have the ability to select the real foods, such as carrots, cucumbers, grapes. And skip on the chicken nuggets and fries. I purchased bento boxes from Target and they have been a life saver. I have linked the ones we have here!
  • Put on your shoes and GO! Listen, I know this is going to sound ridiculous but lacing up your tennis shoes is half the battle. Whether it’s heading to the gym, hip hop class, going for a run or a brisk walk… lace up your tennis shoes and walk out the front door! 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour later you’re guaranteed to feel so much better.

Things I’ve noticed since starting my workout routine:

  • More energy
  • Happier
  • Eating healthier
  • Drinking more water
  • Drinking less wine… kidding… but not really
  • Sleeping more soundly
  • Skin is brighter (probably from more water)

Hurdles!

  • Holding myself accountable. How do you keep yourself motivated? What drives you to workout? Comment below, I’d love to hear your tips!!!

This past weekend was by far our favorite weekend in Columbus. Every year, thousands of people descend upon central Ohio for ONE GOAL. END CANCER. Pelotonia is much more than a weekend ride, it’s joining a team… a team we consider to be the Greatest Team Ever.

This year marked the 10th year of the organization’s powerful fundraising event. It also marked our family’s 4th year of participation. My husband did the first ever Sunday ride, which was great considering the crowds were significantly smaller, and he ended in our home town!

But first, a little about the organization. Pelotonia is a grass roots organization that’s raised more than $117 million for cancer research. The model of the 3-day event is simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by generous funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by riders, virtual riders, and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

I know that’s a lot of jargon to really say, we are big supporters of this amazing cause. Not to mention, there is a shift in the air in the entire city with all of the surrounding communities who participate in Pelotonia. The weekend is filled with love and support. You meet so many kind strangers, volunteers, riders, and people who just want to come out and witness the powerful movement.

The kids look forward to watching their daddy cross the finish line every year, this year they wore previous year’s riding jerseys. With cow bells in tow, we cheered rider after rider rolling across the finish line with ONE GOAL. END CANCER.

If you happen to be in the Columbus area the first weekend of August, or would like to learn more about this amazing event… I encourage you to check out Pelotonia’s website!

http://pelotonia.org/

Here are some photos from the weekend!

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When I was a kid, my mom would take me to the Ohio State Fair once a year. I don’t remember ever riding any rides, and the smell of the fair food always made me feel sick. What a lame kid! But I loved going, every single year…it sort of marked the end of summer.

Now that I have kids of my own, I still love going that one time a year. Our trips look completely different from when I was a kid. I pack lunches…not because I’m cheap, but because my kids will want something from every single food vendor. From cotton candy to deep-fried everything. It’s challenging enough to get them out of the carnival game section without spending a giant wad of cash. I do splurge on the giant fresh-squeezed lemonades. I just can’t go to a fair without those cups of lemony sugar goodness.

My kids have their favorite spots at the Ohio State Fair. We have to start with the Goldfish game. I only let them play the “Win Every Time” games. I learned my lesson a couple of years ago. $10 drains fast with little kids and horrible aim. There is a great Goldfish/Hermit Crab win every time game in the middle of the game area, past the giant slide. For $5 both Luke and Eden won a goldfish and their own containers! It was a challenge to keep Adam from shaking the goldfish. After about 30 seconds, the new pets had names (Ladder & Flower) and we were on our way to the next stop.

*Editor’s note: Ladder & Flower have since passed away. RIP little fish who gave our kids a whopping 8 hours of joy. #neverforget*

The AG & Hort Building is their favorite where they can watch the large electronic train, learn about zoo animals and ride little tractors. The pedal tractors are a big hit with Luke and Eden, no joke…they remember them every year! The kids also like seeing the bunnies, little chicks and learning about zoo animals.

Next stop was the Natural Resources Park where we attempted to wait in a long line to fish. About 10 minutes in the line, Eden decided she didn’t want to walk…or stand…or cooperate…so after a major meltdown, we left…sans fishing trophies.

We stopped to eat our packed lunches, which in itself takes a solid 45 minutes. There is just so much for the kids to see, it’s hard for them to concentrate on eating. I don’t blame them…people watching at the fair IS. THE. VERY. BEST.

This year we didn’t make it into the livestock barn. Last year, Eden cried because of the smells (perhaps the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree) so we made one last stop at the kiddie “win every time” games where the kids won their favorite blowup toys. A princess doll, a sword and a puppy power hammer. Two giant lemonades on the way out and that was a wrap!

All in all, we faired pretty well! (See what I did there?!) And now we’re good for another 365.

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Ladder & Flower (RIP)

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Cute kid multiple called a girl. haha.

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Sword & Puppy Power Hammer

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I blame the little one for shaking the water bags. eyyyyy.

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Win Every Time games for the WIN.

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Duck, Duck, Goose.

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A Family Af {Fair}