Super Booda Birthday Celebrations!

John David turned big number 4 last Saturday and we’ve been celebrating ever since! While we were in Tallahassee we didn’t do too much softball watching since MK has a broken wrist but instead we did whatever John David, a.k.a. Booda wanted to! We have also been busy ever since we got home Sunday night, which explains my absence and the fact that I am being lazy enough to do a slideshow!

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Hope you enjoyed all my pictures and my complete lack of brains tonight! I plan on doing a more wordy post this week about how my “detox” is going…if you need a hint that’s say I ate a few bites of a pop tart and little debbie cake tonight=/

Questions for You!

How long do you celebrate your birthday? Do you celebrate like a 4-year-old? I act like a 4-year-old for about a whole week!

What do you do when a “detox” or diet starts to make you feel binge-y? Clearly I allow myself to cheat on a one time only place like City Cafe but then later cannot control myself…

In honor or John David: Who is your favorite Super Hero? I love Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man just as much as John David, I’m eager to see Ryan Reynolds The Green Lantern though!

Back to Florida!

I’m Back in Florida!  But only for the weekend…we’re in Tallahassee for a softball tournament for my cousins Mary Kathryn’s(MK) softball tournament unfortunately she broke her wrist in two places at a softball tournament last weekend. However my Uncle is a coach and our family already had plans to meet us here so we came anyway! I do feel bad for poor MK who has to sit in dugout and sweat in her cast:(

This week Aunt Jen and Uncle Dave were in NYC for three days which meant I was a very busy girl! Every time I watch my cousins I wonder how Aunt Jen possibly does it all! It is just a little exhausting! I tried to remember to snap some pictures during the day to show just how busy I was!

7:30-8:30-Wake up and squeeze in some blog reading to start my day:)

Don't I look lovely in the morning..

8:45-9:15-Wake up John David and Josie then get them dressed and fed breakfast

He was not excited to wake up...

9:30 or 3:30 Swim Lessons for John David and his friend Harrison!

He wasn't too nice to Miss Kelly since he was still a little sleepy but it is amazing the progress they can make in just a few days! He will be swimming in no time...is that a good thing?

Breakfast of Champions at the pool for swim lessons!

10:00-11:30-Josie has Tennis camp everyday at this time and I cleaned the house and did dishes and laundry! 

Just call me the laundry fairy:)

Noon-3:00-  Spend time at the pool! This is a great way to wear out children!

*I never got a picture at the pool since I was too busy watching a 3 year old..way more important!

3:15-Drop off Josie to the carpool for gym. That child does tennis for an hour and a half, four hours of gymnastics, and at least 2 hours at the pool…she is crazy! She also has a rock hard body which makes me wish I were a gymnast!

3:15-8:30-Do various “mom’ like things…

Grocery shopping!

More laundry...I think it never ends...

Snack on yummy things I found at Fresh Market!

Prep for a late dinner after the girls get back from gymnastics and softball...Tacos were requested!

Hmm...this is peculiar...

Ohh look! It keeps going into the bedroom...I think I also located the guilty party.

and going...

Phew! and it finally ends!

8:00-Pick up Josie from gym carpool and go home for dinner! The rest of the night is chaos!

I skipped out on tacos and opted for taco salad with Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs they rock!!!

John David enjoyed his first ever sweet cherries with his dinner....he was having a little difficulty with the pits though..

I cleaned up the tape mess. That was a lot of tape....a pretty cheap toy though!

"Is my Transformer annoying you Rob?" You can see how highly helpful Rob has been...not!

I got to enjoy a Spiderman wrestling match during my workout...it was very entertaining! John David kept screaming, "You killed my Father!"

I've been doing pretty good with working out minus last night when we had an epic dance party instead! I'll spare you the pictures:) Let's just say I can't do the jerk, the shuffle, the cat daddy, or the dougie!

11:00-1:00-Bedtime?? I am not the greatest babysitter because I don’t put John David to bed I just work on wearing him down all day, put on movie, give him chocolate milk, and wait for him to fall asleep on his own *It takes about 5 minutes! Way better than crying over the dreaded bedtime:) The funny thing is I also fall asleep in 2.5 seconds if I turn on the tv because they are wearing me out!

Tonight we went to Mk’s game and they won! We were all starving after so we went searching for somewhere to eat!

We ate at Olive Garden since it was right across from our hotel..I ate a very large portion of salad, kids whole wheat spaghetti and marinara, and a side of veggies. It was actually quite good!

Tomorrow is John David's 4th Birthday so we did some early celebrating which I think he enjoyed very much! Ice Cream!

Rob, Josie, and I just got back from the teeny tiny hotel gym..even though it was small we got in a good sweat session! Josie and I did 20 minutes on the treadmill-the first time I’ve run in over a week! and it felt great! Then Rob helped us learn some arm exercises with free weights…I learned that an almost 10 year old is pretty much stronger than me, she’s a gymnast maybe that’s why? Now I am all showered up and ready for bed but before I go I wanted to share some stuff about my detox….

I discovered tofutti better than cream cheese and it rocks! It taste just like cream cheese but the nutritional info is even better than 1/3 less fat not quite up to par with fat free but who wants to eat fat free cream cheese?

We ordered Mellow Mushroom last night and they have Daiya Vegan Cheese but sadly it was not the same...I'd rather just skip the cheese all together and go saucy with tons of toppings!

So far so good with the detox though and I am feeling great, except last night after I consumed tons of dough from Mellow Mushroom and today after I ate french toast sticks and an egg only breakfast burrito from Sonic…so I think I see where the problem is! But I am on vacation with other people who already think my eating habits are crazy enough so I am being a little lenient when I am not at “home” a.k.a. Aunt Jen’s house. I am happy to report that I have resisted french fries, frozen yogurt, and chocolate chips cookies all this week. It is slightly painful to watch the kids and Rob eat it…I even dreamt about eating french fries but I know my body is thanking me!

Speaking of my body…it is now begging me to go to sleep and I have a nice late wake up of 9 am for 10 am breakfast at Cracker Barrel to celebrate John David’s Birthday! We’ll see if I can resist those wonderful fluffy buttermilk pancakes! Good Night! or should I say Good Morning!

Questions for You!

If you’re a Mom or a babysitter what is your favorite thing activity to do with your kids/someone else’s kids? I need ideas:) I have another week of babysitting coming up while Aunt Jen is in the Caribbean!

What is your favorite meatless or dairy free products? Those Meatless Meatballs rocked my world and Better than Cream Cheese is here to stay! Soy Milk is pretty great also!

How do you stay healthy on vacation? Whenever I’m with Aunt Jen’s family I use Josie as my workout buddy and she always holds me accountable! Food wise is sometimes difficult but you can be pleasantly surprised like I was with Olive Garden tonight!

 

 

 

 

 

Detoxin’

May was a hard month for goals. I literally “failed” every single goal with the exceptions of reading more-if you count magazines and relaxing. Let’s recap…

Finish 100 miles in May…Failure. I only finished 73.6. I got my 50 running miles in but fell short on biking.

Get abs…Failure. Although I did keep up with Bess’s Abs challenge she pointed out that abs are made in the kitchen and you saw what I ate all month!

Take yoga class…Failure. But really I was in my yoga clothes at the yoga studio and found out that the class was canceled because it was memorial day. Can’t say I didn’t try!

I could go on but I don’t what you’re thinking…this is so not positive and I try to hard to be positive! In case you couldn’t guess I haven’t exactly been succeeding with that recently either! Surprise!

But for the month on June I’ve decided to hold myself more accountable and after a week of eating delicious but not exactly healthy food in Michigan I knew exactly where I needed to start! It was detox time! Now please don’t go thinking that I am drinking only juice and water because that is so not me! I need real food to be satisfied but that was just it I need real food not a whole bunch of ice cream junk. I also figured it was the perfect time since June marks the middle of the year! I cut out desserts and fried food in January after the holiday season so it was high time for me to do it again! This time with more of a guideline and here is what I came up with.

Grace’s Detox

  • Eliminate white flour and sugar. I’m still eating my beloved carbs just in their whole grain form!
  • Go dairy-free. I never noticed how much dairy I eat until I can’t eat it but soy milk is helping me with my cereal fix.
  • No desserts
  • No fried foods
  • No alcohol Do I really drink it that much…no but the drinks I enjoy contain lots of sugar!
  • Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and healthy forms of protein!

Here are a few of my dinner on my detox! Salad, Coucous with brocoli, and black beans...This might be a detox but I was stuffed after this and didn't even finish all of my food!

Last night Aunt Jen made an awesome healthy pasta dish with whole wheat spaghetti. mixed fresh veggies, tomatoes, and she even grilled me up some shrimp with their usual chicken:)

I am not quite sure if this makes sense to anyone else besides myself but I am doing pretty good at following it! I do have a few rule benders though…

  • If it is once in a lifetime eat then stick to the three bite rule.

What this means is…if I think I won’t get a chance to try a certain food that I shouldn’t eat according to my detox ever again than I may eat three bites of it. The three bite rule is something Mom learned in Weight Watchers and I think it makes perfect sense! The first bite, the middle bite, the last bite….that way you savor every bite and don’t just gobble it down without appreciating it. I have used this rule once already. When I arrived at Aunt Jen’s house at midnight on thursday she immediately brought out White Chocolate Bread Pudding she had ordered at a fancy restaurant called Chuck’s here in Birmingham. She bought it just for me and Rob so I thought it would be rude if I didn’t try any, great excuse right, I also decided probably would never get the chance to eat it again so I used my three bites rules and it was delish!

Not sure that this is the most appealing picture but my three bites were amazing!

I also made a rule about exercise the I only just started following Saturday night…

  • Sweat everyday.

This is not difficult seeing as I start sweating as soon as I walk outside! But seriously I want to do a workout everyday even if it is a small one! Saturday night I did Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Cardio DVD and he kicked my butt! I had only done the 20 minute workout but my 9-year-old cousins Jose wanted to do the hour workout and then the 20 minute workout! She is gymnast what can I say! I’ve been sore for the last two days and I keep complaining but I secretly like it because I know I worked hard!

Here we are wiped out on the floor of the gym after...

Last night I logged 30 minutes on the arc trainer and tonight I’m going to some Jillian Michaels yoga and some more time on the arc trainer! I’m trying to get up the courage to run in the heat since I haven’t run in almost a week!

We spent all morning after John David’s swimming lesson, he has them all week so I’ll take some picture of the “big boy”, at the pool and now we’re cleaning up and getting ready to go see…..

I am so excited to spend some time with my favorite Captain!

Questions for You!

What do you do when your feeling like a failure?

Do you ever had “cheats” or rule benders into your diets? If so what is something that would qualify for my three bite rule?

Are you a Pirates fan? I personally love most things that Disney puts out but Pirates had always captivated me and left me feeling in a Caribbean mood for days after the movie! Hope this one is the same:)

A little taste of Michigan Giveaway!

Hello from steamy Birmingham, Alabama! Yesterday we made the trip from Ludington, Michigan to Clarksville, Tennessee where we parted with my Dad, Liza, and the two most adorable puppies ever picked up my car and then drove to Birmingham! Today I’ve been busy getting myself situated at Aunt Jen’s since I’ll be here for more than a month! But before Michigan is too far out of my mind I wanted to share just a few small treats I picked up during my trip with one lucky reader!

Treasures from my travels:) It's not a lot... but I wanted to share!

This is NOT real bacon! It's made from soy:) I got it from the farmer's market from the Jam Lady!

Here I am with the Jam Lady:) She was so nice! Her jam was awesome but a little too fragile and heavy to ship:( But her dip was just as delish!

Since I couldn't go the jam route...I opted for Michigan honey in a plastic bear-much more shipping friendly!

This chocolate covered rice krispie came right from Kilwin's in downtown Ludington! I cannot resist anything dipped in chocolate!

I went into this cute little store in Pentwater and found....

this cute little button!

While I was in Pentwater I also found some of the most addicting popcorn ever!

This is "Pentwater Corn": White Cheddar and Caramel Corn mixed together...I had "Chicago Style": Orange Cheddar and Caramel corn and let's just say it didn't last very long!

I finally found more of my favorite bracelets at the biggest Hallmark Store ever in Ludington! I couldn't for the life of me take a decent picture of the bracelet but I'll send one in this giveaway:)

Ways to Enter:)

  1. Follow me on Twitter!
  2. Like Your Daily Grace on Facebook!
  3. If your blog has a Facebook page add Your Daily Grace to your page’s Favorites!
  4. Comment and tell me your favorite thing dipped in chocolate and your favorite flavor of popcorn!

Hurry though because I’m announcing the winner late tomorrow night! and be ready for a post about my big goal failures…ahh summer….

 

 

Sand Dunes, Ice Cream, and Puppies.

So I hope you all like looking at pictures…or at least I hope you don’t have any expectations of gaining any knowledge from reading my blog. Expect pure fluff, no real content:) I can tell you one thing I’ve learned this week: Michigan has some seriously bipolar weather. It can be chilly and foggy one day and warm and sunny the next!

Sunday

We decided to say the heck with the crazy foggy weather and seize Aunt Erin’s last day in Ludington and head out to play on the sand dunes!

It is actually pretty crazy....you drive outside of town toward the state park and all of a sudden the landscape turns into these huge sand dunes!

We walked along the beach and picked up little rocks and what not...Dad was calling us "crazy pickers!"

Playing in the dunes was fun minus the fact that there were little baby bugs everywhere since there was zero wind that day...we are sprinting to avoid inhaling a whole bunch of buggies=/

Here I am "gracefully" using a root in an attempt to climb a steeper sand dune....

Aunt Erin's treasures...

After exploring we decided to drive to the other side of town to Lake Hamlin and we saw this man walking out of his house holding these adore puppies! It just so happens Dad has been thinking about getting puppies!

We all feel in love with the puppies but felt it was best to wait until Dad's wife Liza arrived before making any rash decisions...

Lake Hamlin looks like a really fun place but I think the weather would have to be much warmer before I did any water sports since I'm a huge wuss!

Rob and I headed to House of Flavors for the second time and I would say always order breakfast because this wrap was not nearly as yummy as my omelet.

This "Little Piggy Dinner" made up for my not so yummy wrap though! It is one of their three signature sundaes, this one is the smallest, and you get a pin that says, "This little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home!" Naturally I was screaming wee wee as Rob and I walked home:)

Late night Apples to Apples! Taking advantage of every last second of our time with Aunt Erin!

Monday

Did I mentioned the weather was bipolar? It goes from a thick layer of fog all day...to this? No complaining I guess since it was beautiful!

I finally dragged Rob out of bed and then we headed to Tess and Drew's and dragged them out of bed to lunch at Luciano's. This was the only picture I took, I guess I was really hungry?

Later Drew decided to take us on an adventure and it started at McDonald's! I indulged in a snack size Oreo and Reese's Mcflurry!

Next he took us to "Peter Pan Land." Not like Peter Pan ranch of anything...it's just these huge sand cliffs that over look Lake Michigan-I'm pretty sure they call them that because it look like the movie.

See! This does not look like a lake! It looks like a magical island! The boys came back later without us and climbed the sand cliffs. Tess and I decided we'd go to yoga instead...except it was canceled due to memorial day:( Not to be thwarted we did some yoga in the living room:)

 

Dad arrived back to Ludington that afternoon after picking up Liza from the airport and a memorial cookout was in order! We did some team work no knock out the skewering!

We ate outside to enjoy the beautiful weather! I'd like to point out that it is 9 pm and still light out in this pictures...crazy!

Tuesday

Yesterday instead of a workout we made the "sandy and windy" journey in the state park to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Drew found a cool walking stick. I'd also like to mention that it is a bit discouraging when we started walking to the lighthouse and cannot see it until you're half way there....

Rob was taking his "workout" seriously so he proceeded to lift and throw/flip over every log we came across. It was pretty entertaining....

Almost there!

The boys didn't realize I wanted to walk up the lighthouse....I explained that I wasn't walking two miles there and back just to look at it!

View from the top! There was a sign that said "your shoes are 92 feet up!"

Success! Safely at the bottom of the lighthouse...the way down was a little more scary than the way up...

We walked back along a trail instead of along and beach. I thought the sandy walk there was a bit difficult but that didn't really compare to walking into the 20 mph wind for 2 miles...I know, I really like to complain:)

This! Is what we came back from the lighthouse to!!! Puppies! How can you deny that face!

This is pure bliss.....can you spy the second puppy?

I tore myself away from the puppies for a few minutes for a coffee break! I decided to have my one coffee per week and it was an amazing one from Redolencia! Look at the size of this thing!

Rob and I also split a Norwegian chocolate pastry...I love Redolencia but I am somehow happy there isn't one near me....

We came back caffeinated and ready to play more!

We ate at Jamesport again, which is fine with me since we had the best server ever!

I am pretty sure Drew was thrilled and not at all embarrassed to get to wait on half of his family!

Drew tried the fried asparagus when he was at work the other night and I knew I had to try it! It blew the fried mushrooms and zucchini from the other day away! I ordered the same thing I did the other night so I didn't think we wanted to see it again....

Tess and I even bought them cute little sweaters on our random trip to the Dollar Store!

We all took Liza to House of Flavors and I got ice cream for the last time!Before bed last night Tess and I got inked! Mine is already coming off this morning though:( The fuzz from my blankie stuck to it last night

Well we are all off to an early morning breakfast at Brenda’s to send off Gigi and Pop…if you are thinking to yourself man, Grace has been eating a lot lately! I would like to completely agree with you and let you know that today is the beginning of my semi-annual “detox.” It isn’t a crazy one and I am not going “vegan” because I am about to be at Aunt Jen’s house and she cannot handle a vegan:) I’ll detail what my detox involves in my next post but I’m pretty sure a big bowl of oatmeal is in order this morning!

Questions for You!

Are you a dog person or a cat person? I am a dog person all the way! No cat lady here!

Any ideas for “matching” boy and girl puppies names? The puppies are just “him” and “her” for now…

Do you ever feel the need to detox your body? Any advice on what I should and shouldn’t be eating? I’m not following a plan just making my own and I’d love some advice!

The graduate.

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while…this post might be exceptionally long and pictured filled but it’s hard when you don’t have a solid internet connection:( I really miss being able to read blogs whenever I want to-I guess you don’t realize what a luxury it is until you don’t have it…. Anyway! I stole some pictures from a few other people’s camera so I have some more coverage of Drew’s Open House and of course his graduation!

Thursday-Open House!

Hanging out around the little bonfire:)

The graduates grandparents...

Drew and his good friend Danny...all of his friends seriously had my hysterically laughing!

It seems like they're the ones related...

Ping Pong got a little more interesting...

Friday-Graduation Day!

My sister, Tess, wanted us to go to breakfast at one of her favorite breakfast joints, Brenda's! The pancake was amazing!

Dad and Aunt Erin acting like dorks while we shopping on Ludington Avenue.

Look at all of our farmer's market goodies Aunt Erin and I picked up that afternoon! A few of these things might be included in a later giveaway!

We fit in a workout before graduation! I was doing Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, Rob was using resistance bands, and Aunt Erin was playing...of course Dad thought this was great photo opportunity.

Rob and I sweating in the bleachers...so glad this graduation wasn't in Florida it would have been sooo hot!

Drew was the keynote speaker and he did an amazing job! I teared up a little...I am so proud of my baby brother!

Officially graduated!

The whole crew:) From left to right: Aunt Erin, Jason (my step brother), Diane ( the VERY proud Momma!), Gigi, The Graduate!, Tess, Dad, Me, and last but not least Pop! Rob was not important enough for this photo:)

But he was important enough for this amazing picture! Look at these two handsome AND matching guys!

Drew: Future World Changer!

We had a pizza party at Drew's House to celebrate! Mushroom pizza, greek salad, and mike's raspberry margarita!

Saturday

We headed to the little town of Pentwater to do some shopping!

 

I had my coffee for the week at Village Grounds in Pentwater-can you guess which one was mine? It was a delicious white chocolate mocha:)

Look how pretty their menu boards are!

Lunch in Pentwater was at the Brown Bear-it most definitely had a lodge type feel!

My go to steakhouse/carnivore lovers restaurant choice is the baked potato and side salad...

Vegetables in their fried form.... the zucchini was good but I'm spoiled by tempura veggies and these were beer battered=/

On of the must do things in Ludington is walk out the break wall to the lighthouse..The boys walking out to the lighthouse.

 

Smiley Siblings!

Me and Aunt Erin!

It was a little chilly!

Drew and I blending into the scenery...

Watching the Badger, the car ferry that crosses Lake Michigan, spin around in port! It is so cool:)

Aunt Erin served us pizza strips as an appetizer last night:)

 

This might be the perfect plate: macaroni and cheese, spiced apples, asparagus, potatoes, and greek salad:)

Last night we took a late trip to Meijer! I'd never been there before-it's sort of like a Walmart and Target mixed together... I'm still a Target girl:)

We had way too much fun!

Today

This is what my morning run looked like...sort of creepy

I can finally see the lighthouse...

This is what I found when I got back from my run...Sunday morning mimosas!

Whew! That was long! Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday afternoon:)

Questions for You!

What did you wear on your graduation? Rob and I noticed how open Ludington High was with their “dress code” or lack thereof…our high school was very strict! I had on a dress under my gown with black closed toed shoes…so original:)

What have you been up to this weekend?

Have you ever been to or hear of Meijer? What is your favorite “Super store”?