Shakeology and Tough Mudder Training….AKA Back on the Workout Wagon!

I totally fell of the diet/workout wagon for a couple weeks there. And I gained some unwanted weight surprisingly fast! My running buddy, Katie, got us signed up for the Deer Park St Paddy’s 10K next month and that totally got me back on the motivation train! KATIE ROCKS! I upped my personal training to 2x a week, we started running again and have a plan to get up to 10ish miles by the end of April!

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Here is what I’m focusing on:

1) Water – filling up my 20 oz water bottle at least 5 times a day

2) Strength Training 3-4x a week (2 with my trainer and 2 independently, just found this and want to try it)

3) Increasing the running miles by 1 mile every week until we get to 10 miles.

4) Diet – Shake for 1 meal replacement and paleo-ish for the remainder (but still have 1 cheat day!)

Started back this week and already down 3 pounds!

And it helps that I have my little assistants to help me with my post run stretches…

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Here is my morning shake! 1 scoop chocolate shakeology powder, 1 cup crushed ice, 1 1/2 cups almond milk

Very tastey. I really like these shakes, its more than just protein, its full of other healthy stuff like antioxidants and probiotics too. Its on the expensive side, like kinda ridiculous, but I’ll try it a month or two and see how it goes.

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Lake Geneva with No Kids….AKA…A Much Needed Break!

I adore my boys, but when the opportunity arises that The Husband and I get to take a couple days off of parenthood…well, gotta jump at it. Keeps us sane! We were invited to our friends cottage in Lake Geneva to go skiing…yes…skiing! And it was so fun! We even went up a day early and just hung out us two. We had these big plans to go up early, have a skiing lesson (I have never been on them before), go out for dinner and walk around the town. We get to the cabin and it was…quiet…SO GLORIOUSLY QUIET! So rather than take a lesson, we had a beer and read a book, basking in the lack of noise! No complaining, no questions, no crying, no fighting! It was awesome. Now don’t get me wrong, after a while I missed the lil guys. But a mom needs a break sometimes!

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The next day we tried skiing. It was fun, scary but fun! Any time I started going too fast I would freak out and make myself fall over….but I will def keep going and try to build the control so that I can actually successfully go down something other than the bunny hill. The Husband kicked butt, he barely fell. JEALOUS! AND OMG…my calves and upper are STILL SORE. I skipped working out yesterday, but am making myself go today. I’ll just skip those muscles.

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We also got to check out some snow sculptures that were done in the area a couple weeks ago. Very cool! (I totally wanted to jump through that hole…but decided not to get arrested on my grown up only weekend)

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I can’t wait for summer time so we can go back to the Lake during warm weather for paddle boarding and kayaking. My girlfriends and I did this later year and it was so fun! I LOVE PADDLEBOARDING!!!

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Mean while at home, the twins have moved up to macaroni and cheese and they LOVE PICKLES! Kinda awesome not having to fight them for the spoon anymore when we are trying to feed them. They would get MAD! And these huge bibs are a life saver! Charlie asked me this week if he can take karate lessons to improve his ninja skills….yeah…that’s my boy. We got Ethan a lil boy potty. He loves to flush it but every time we ask him if he wants to try sitting on it he says NO! Which is his new favorite word. FOR EVERYTHING! I hope we can get him excited about it soon. If I can get down to 2 in diapers by summer, I would so throw a party!

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Researching MBA Programs…..AKA Time to up my Lopram dosage!

So I have decided that I want to complete my MBA. Yeah I may be nuts.

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I have 4 big reasons for this

1: I want to make sure my boys know the importance of education and that it doesn’t ever end.

2: I want to show the world that women, esp moms, can kick ass.

3: Just plain old ambition, I would like to get to the executive level in business where I can make a real impact.

4: Build an awesome networking community and gain security in my ability to obtain and keep jobs.

Other reasons being that I would love to be the first person in my family to get an MBA, it would make The Husband insanely proud, I think its important to put yourself out of your comfort zone and I just love learning. I have always loved school.

So. I have completed my first step, which has taken me a couple weeks. Researching programs. I have probably looked into at least a couple dozen schools. I have narrowed my secondary research to 6 schools, which are in varying levels of intensity/rankings. So my next step will be to attend information sessions to get a better feel for each school and to start studying for my GMAT. And yeah…I haven’t looked at a math book in over a decade…so when I see this in the GMAT math workbook…

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I kinda wanted to curl up, die and say screw all of this. But I am working through the workbook and the math is coming back surprisingly fast! There are test sections in Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative reasoning. Now depending on the school, the average score for accepted applicants widely varies. A perfect score is 800. Northwestern and University of Chicago peeps average around 720(very good, like 95% good)…..kinda intimated there! The others on my list below vary between 540 and 650 (average to good). Feel a much more confident that I can hit those numbers, but will try for the 700s! So when the kids go to bed…I am studying…a lot.

I have been reading TONS of articles and blogs on the benefits of an MBA. (another) Some articles that say the opposite. Others about going to a prestigious school vs a more affordable school. Executive MBA vs regular MBA where you can have a concentration. The information gets overwhelming from time to time but has helped tremendously in giving me an idea of where I want to focus. I want to apply to Northwestern and University of Chicago because they are ranked as the absolute best in the Chicagoland area, will give me a huge amount of credibility and a great network system. HOWEVER, who knows if I will actually get in and wow…I could get a vacation house with the cost (which my husband comes back with, the ROI would come through the salary I could get in the future with an MBA from those schools). The other 4 I feel more confident I can get accepted too and the people in the programs will be less intimidating to my introvert self, while at the same time they are good schools that I will learn a lot from and I will gain networking.

If you are curious, here is my lil table I made for myself to compare my top 6 that I have decided to focus on. Decision factors were location, flexibility/when classes were available (focusing on Saturday classes), total time until completion and ranking vs cost.

School Program PROS CONS Smart Ranking Status
University of Chicago Weekend MBA/EMBA Best School, Opens a lot of doors, networking, Weekend classes, Mangerial and Org Behavior concentration or Stategic Management concentration, Wekeend classes/EMBA goes to Hong Kong and London expensive as  hell, 121K in 2 years, hard to get in (20%)/$148K +airfare to HongKong and London, DT Chicago Campus 4 Weekend MBA or Executive MBA requested info, started application process, registered for info session
Northwestern/Kellogg MBA -Saturday program #2 Best School, Opens a lot of doors, networking, Saturday program hard to get in(20%), 122K in 2 years, DT Chicago Campus 7 Saturday MBA- starts in JUNE, 2-5 years requested info, started application process, registered for info session
DePaul MBA_Weekend Cohort Good school, good rep, couple interesting concentrations, 52K$, weekend cohort ohare campus, weekend cohort assigns concentration 91 Weekends requested info, started application process
NIU EMBA EMBA NIU alumni, international trip, 2 years, Saturday only classes, 50K$, Hoffman Estates Campus full schedule, no concentrations 149 Weekends requested info
Loyola MBA Good school, Vernon Hills Campus, 77K Rep isnt as high as others, not excited about concentrations but can do general with project mgmt type electives 156 Weekends/Evening requested info, started application process, info session scheduled
LFMBA MBA Good chicago land rep, affordable, Several friends go here, super flexible, no GMAT, Org Behavior Concentration not accredited, Not mentioned in top Chicago MBA articles Weekends/Online/Evenings requested info, started application process

Paleo-ish Recipes: Lemon Chicken and Asparagus…and EPIC FAIL!

So I wanted to make a lemon chicken recipe. Looking up recipes I found this one. (Has yogurt in the marinade so not totally Paleo, but that’s why I go with ish 🙂 I also wanted to get fancy w. my asparagus and make a hollandaise. I usually go with the blender version, which is much easier. I tried the traditional way AND EPICALLY FAILED! Totally killed my night. But anyway…

asseemmmbllleee the ingredients….(totally saying that in a whiny mumblely voice, sorry)

We have yogurt, lemon (juice and zest), cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, asparagus, chicken, eggs and butter

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So first I made the marinade. Threw the yogurt, coriander, lemon juice, zest, cumin and some salt in a bowl and then transferred to a bag w. the chicken and let it hang out for an hour. Then I put it all in the oven at 425 in a shallow oven safe dish. The Husband I have found that the perfect chicken is ready in about 20 minutes when you have it 425.

So next…. Make the sauce….this is where the first fail of the night comes.

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The recipe said to mix egg yolks and cold water….I HAVE NEVER done a hollandaise w. water. So was already kinda side eyeing this sucker. (but I did have an adorable assistant who LOVED snapping the ends off the asparagus. Got a bit ambitious sometimes and kept snapping, but oh man he was so happy to help!)

Move this to the double boiler…get to like 150 degrees. In my epic fail I didn’t bother with the temp. And I CURDLED THE DARN EGGS! so gross and so sad. and I was out of eggs so couldn’t go back and do my usual blender version. Totally bummed me out. The Husband came and saved the day by  making a lemon butter sauce with some Worcestershire. Not as amazing as my hollandaise would have been… but it did the trick…

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…but then another fail…I OVER COOKED THE CHICKEN! In my state of abject depression over my failed sauce, I forgot to take out the chicken at 25 minutes….it was totally dry

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ALAS! WHYYYY!!!?!?!?!?!?!!?!  We still ate it….but oh man! Well I will try again when I have more eggs and hopefully will persevere and kick some hollandaise butt! And I am glad I have a husband that can bring be back to earth when I am in the depths of cooking despair and some how make it edible! And the boys liked the asparagus! yay!

Paleo-ish Recipes: Baked Chicken w Spinach and Atrichokes

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My aunt Lynn posted this recipe on her Facebook and it looked pretty awesome. Here is the link to the original recipe. Very uber healthy, pretty darn tasty.

So first! ASSEMBLE THE INGREDIENTS! 4 chicken thighs, carrots, yellow onion, red onion, butter, salt, veggie broth and garlic

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Oh and artichokes, can’t forget artichokes, in fact I used 2 cans instead of just one. Love those suckers.

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Next melt the butter at the bottom of a deep pan that is also good in the oven. Dutch ovens rock (and I mean the cooking ware…sicko…gosh…mind out of the bodily fuctions!) Then put your salted chicken thighs in for about 5 minutes a side so they get all brown and delicious looking.

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Meanwhile, chop your veggies, drain and rinse the artichokes

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Take out the chicken and set aside. Add all veggies, stock and garlic (except spinach) cook for like 10 minutes. Then add in the spinach, let it wilt down.(oh and I added some salt at this point)

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Next bring back chicken, cover and throw in a 425 oven for 20 minutes

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Then take it out, and NOMNOMNOM. I did have to add a lil more salt to my plate. But over all, pretty darn good. I might try adding some bacon to it for the next round. Or perhaps  fresh Thyme. It was good, but could use an extra flavor kick. Def will do it again though!

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Crazy Stuff My Kids Say..AKA Deep Thoughts by Charlie Part 2

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The things this kid comes up with! Here are some good ones from the last couple months:

Mom will I tip over if I only have 1 boot on?

Can you ask Santa to invent a batman that turns into a machine batman?

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Mom this ribbon is black blue….(to which I respond ‘you mean dark blue?’)  That’s what I said!

Married means your very old

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Mom, that orange light is strange. I’m going to have to figure out that mystery later.

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The Cat is gonna guard my stuff when I’m gone and attack the people that touches it

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My butt doesn’t have gravity

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No Daddy, I’m not guilty! I don’t even know what guilty means! (not sure if that will hold up in a court of law kiddo..)

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Kindergarten Registration…AKA….BUT HES JUST A LIL GUY! OMG MY LIL GUY IS GOING TO SCHOOL SOON!

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How did he go for my baby to my almost kindergartner??? (Yes that is a baby taking a bath in my kitchen sink…it works people!)

So first of all…..I found out like late last week that kindergarten registration was THIS WEEK. WTF. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe that the town would send something in the mail. Maybe that nothing like this would start to happen until summer. Maybe that I can hold on to my lil buddy being a lil kid and not starting school yet! I’m super excited for him, but oh man the last 4-5 years has flown by! So the next thing I was struck with was…I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO OR EXPECT!

I go to the school website and all I can find is a blurb that says: Kindergarten Registration on Feb 3rd. Call (phone number edited out) for more information. Um seriously?????!?! How about a posted list of documents? How about what should we  be expecting? You really want a couple hundred parents calling instead of just supplying the info online? (Please note, later I found out this is all available on the PTO site oh and now I see it on the district site too….yeah cuz I would know that or something, duh Chantal…not really…come on school, be a lil more intuitive about what your peeps need) So I call around and get some kind of idea of what to bring.

For those of you out there that may need more info. Here it is. Maybe I will help one of you out so you know what to expect!

1- You can go in anytime during the registration  hours, don’t have to be there at 4. Its not an orientation type of thing. That happens later.

2- Bring your own pen, the pens at the school sucked.

3- Be prepared to fill out a billion forms, many with the exact same honkin info. Form list:

Student Information Form

Health and Emergency Information Form

Home Language Survey Form

Proof of Residency Form

Breakfast/Lunch Program Form

4- I did not need medical forms…YET…but was given the requirements. See as follows:

State Physical Exam Form

State Dental Exam Form

State Vision Exam Form

5– Here is a list of Vaccinations they ask about:

DTP or DTaP

Tdap; Td or Pediatric DT

Polio

Hib Haemophilus

Hepatitis B

Varicella (Chicken pox)

MMR combined Measles, Mump, Rubella (or single antigen)

Pneumoccal Conjugate

Other/Specify Meningococcal, Hepatitis A, HPV, Influenza

6- You will sign  your name many times…kinda felt like I was buying another house

7- I don’t know if all schools do it this way…I HOPE NOT, but there was a form to join PTO. On the back was a list of the programs you can volunteer for. All it did was give the  name of the programs. No dates. No description. No idea what volunteering may entail. Am I going to have to take off of work? Do I need to bake a cake? Do I need to go to door selling wrapping paper? A lil more info please!

8-When my twins go to kindergarten, I will get to fill all these forms out…..TWICE! Srsly if they could do this all electronically they could make everyone’s life easier.

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9– OH and you will want to bring your kids birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency in a couple different forms. We brought our water bill, electric bill, property tax bill and drivers license and that seemed to cover it.

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10– Be prepared to already feel judged by other parents for not being prepared and for peacocking hot moms, especially when you bring your gorgeous husband 🙂  JK, the other moms were fine. Being an introvert, I didn’t relish the idea of being around a bunch of other parents, but we all survived.

11- Got a Supply List (due at orientation in August) – Evidently he will be using a lot of markers….this is kinda fun, reminds me of getting all excited for school to start and going supply shopping with my mom.

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Now it turns out that some schools have a lottery. I guess ours doesn’t unless you want the AM time slot. They have 1 AM class and 2 PM classes. We are ok with either, but I guess if you want AM at our particular school, then you have to cross your fingers. Kinda disappointed that there isn’t full day, but we will figure it out. At least I still get to see him as a lil guy a lil longer. I hope he stays cuddley for at least a couple more years before he is all like ‘GET AWAY YOUR EMBARRASSING ME!’ And part of getting old means he loves to help out 🙂

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