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For my birthday weekend, Matt & I drove up the California coast and spent the weekend in the Carmel Valley and Monterey. We got a late start, as usual :) I was really proud of myself for not forgetting a thing for the girls or us, though! My wonderful mom watched the girls and they were in heaven having a sleepover at Nonnie’s house.

After the 3 hour drive, we could not have asked for a more welcome sight! We pulled into the Quail Lodge and it was so peaceful. They just underwent a huge renovation and it shows.


Loved the giant tub and tiled shower!


This is the breathtaking view the greeted us when we woke up:


I wished we could have stayed there forever!

From Carmel, we made our way to Monterey (about a 20 minute drive). We went to The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which turned 30 this year — just like me! They have a one-of-its kind exhibit called Tentacles that opened in celebration of the landmark birthday. It is all about cephalopods and has the most incredible installations.

They put up these tentacles outside that blew in the breeze and reminded me of Ursula :) Evidently they made people talk and speculate about what was going on at the aquarium while they tried to keep it under wraps.

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This special series of exhibits is the first of its kind because cephalopods are known for their mastery of camouflage and hiding. I can’t believe what a great job they did making every species visible!


You are led through exhibits and I especially loved the history of sea monsters and creatures.


They have an interactive cephalopod selfie station where every time you make a different face, it changes your coloring into different shades one might use to disguise itself. So much fun!


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As a SweatPink Ambassador, I received a digital copy of this cookbook to review in addition to a promotional item. I made two recipes and photographed them. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  

I was so excited to have the opportunity to review Lorna Jane Clarkson’s new cookbook! Lorna Jane is a fitness apparel brand based in Australia. I’ve seen their stores at Westfield Mall in San Jose and Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara. The day I shopped at the store in Santa Barbara, their air conditioning was broken and it was a really hot day! The sweet retail girl put a fan in the dressing room for me and brought me a bottle of cold water. Thank you for that!!

Looking through Lorna Jane’s cookbook, you have pictures of her in various workout attire and quotes on her food philosophy. It makes you want to hang out with her! I decided to go for one recipe that scared me and one that sounded like something I’d normally make.

The first recipe I tried was the Glow Elixir. It has all kinds of good-for-you veggies in it and no sweeteners besides some apple.


To be honest, it was gross at first. Each subsequent sip wasn’t as bad, but I thought about wheatgrass and how you take a shot of it and get it over with, so I would treat this the same way. It’s good for you and it tastes that way! Very minty too.

Glow Elixir
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ c. spinach
  • ⅔ c. water
  • ½ c. chopped cucumber
  • ½ chopped small apple
  • ½ chopped small carrot
  • 6 mint leaves
  • ¼ small avocado
  1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. (I used the juice button on my Blendtec). Pour into glass and serve.

The next recipe I tried was Roasted Balsamic Tomato & Avocado on Toast. It was delicious!! I’m glad to have leftovers so I can make it again. The only thing I would add is salt on the avocados and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the bread. I love the combination of the tart roasted tomatoes with the creamy goat cheese & avocados. In the cookbook, she has a recipe for a bread that she uses for the toast. I decided to go with a whole grain sourdough bread instead of baking bread.

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Roasted Balsamic Tomato & Avocado on Toast
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices whole grain sourdough
  • 2 ounces arugula
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted walnuts (I forgot to add these...oops)
  • 1½ ounces soft goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F.
  2. Combine tomatoes and vinegar in a large baking-paper-lined baking dish; season to taste. Bake about 10 minutes or until tomatoes are browned lightly and beginning to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, toast bread. Serve toast topped with rocket (arugula), avocado and tomato; sprinkle with nuts and cheese, drizzle with any pan juices from tomatoes.

Lorna Jane says that she, in true Aussie fashion, spreads some Vegemite underneath all of the other goodness on this toast. My dad used to fly to Sydney and bring home Vegemite. He would ask us kids if we wanted some chocolate and trick us into eating it!! So terrible! I like how she refers to the arugula as rocket, too. I want to start calling it that :)

Right now Lorna Jane is running a #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative and you can win:

 - A hard copy of NOURISH – The Fit Woman’s Cookbook!

- A $200 gift card to Lorna Jane!
Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

I have to say I love my running top from Lorna Jane. It’s cute and different than any other workout tops I have. It’s got a little interest in the back!

I hope you enjoy these recipes and get a chance to check out Lorna Jane’s new cookbook. There are numerous other recipes, everything from omelettes to healthy desserts!


Keep Momming

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

As an actress, a public health advocate and former journalist, Holly Robinson Peete has seen it all. And as a mother of four, she’s encountered just about every parenting challenge you can imagine. One of her biggest challenges as mom is building and maintaining a close relationship with her teenage daughter, Ryan.

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique one, and that dynamic can be even trickier during the tween years. Yet sometimes, people dismiss certain behaviors as “typical tween girl behavior” when those behaviors can be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

I’m proud to be joining forces with Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub, KeepMomming.com, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

Don’t miss Holly’s message about the keep momming initiative http://goo.gl/Uayao5, and be sure to check out the website at KeepMomming.com.


It’s all about the little moments when you are raising young children. It may sound cheesy, but I live for the little things! There’s nothing better after a long, exhausting day than to hear your sweet child say, “You’re my best Mommy.” Those moments always make me re-center and focus on the big picture. People say that the days are long but the years are short…even if it doesn’t feel like it when you’re down in the trenches. I added that last part ;)


Stanford Children’s Health wants you to focus on the little things that make your child extraordinary. You can make a video showcasing what makes the children in your life special! Here is the video I made for Ada & Lola. I totally cried the first time I watched it!

Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own!

With Ada, it’s our talks. She is growing up and understanding so much more. I love the questions she asks and watching the wheels turn as she comprehends what she’s learning! The other night she was afraid of the “Bad Kermit” with the mole from the latest Muppets movie. She wasn’t falling asleep and I told her that movies aren’t real. She thought that if there were real humans in the movie it was real, and if it was a cartoon movie it was made up! Makes sense, right? After I told her about scripts, actors, and cameras, she went right to sleep. I love watching her learn!

With Lola, it’s picking her up from Nursery at the end of church. I try to sneak in and watch her, usually curled up on someone’s lap reading books. Then I kneel down and say her name until she hears me. When she does, she jumps up and yells, “MOMMY!!!!” and comes running full force to give me a huge hug (that’s why I kneel down, so I don’t get pushed over in my heels). It’s the best!


For my Bay Area friends, Stanford Children’s Health doctors can be reached within 10 miles of most homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are the largest Bay Area healthcare provider with an exclusive focus on children and expectant women. Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been the top-ranked children’s hospital in Northern California for over a decade!!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


I LOVE Fresh & Easy Markets! We like to head there on our way to the beach to pick up a quick lunch. It’s so convenient thanks to the store’s setup and self checkouts! My mom is so cute with her granddaughters, looking way too young to be a grandma :)

freshandeasyIt’s better than the time I made us all sandwiches, wrapped them up, got them ready to put in my beach bag, and my girls decided to put them in a bag of their own. And leave them on the counter. Out of sight out of mind for me…so they were left behind! We had a big talk about not touching things that don’t belong to you after that incident. Matt was happy when he got home from work because he had 3 sandwiches waiting for him! :)

Today we went with the Turkey Provolone Sandwich and it was perfect! It had tomatoes and lettuce on it that were fresh and not soggy at all. All 4 of us shared it and were full!

Fresh & Easy

The Good to Go section is perfect when you want a healthy, easy lunch or snack. F&E has juices, fruit, sandwiches, fruit cups, cheese slices, and more:


We got a fruit cup that had cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple, and apples in it. Lola was in charge of that while sporting my mom’s sunglasses :)


Fresh & Easy has their own brand food and brand name as well. We got a bag of SunChips to complete our lunch and were on our way to the beach!

Head to Fresh & Easy the next time you need a quick bite, you’ll be happy you did!


Fresh & Easy Markets are currently located in CA, AZ, & NV. Find where your nearest market is here

This post is sponsored by Fresh & Easy. All opinions, as always, are 100% mine.


I’ve heard of Les Mills workouts before, but this is something totally new! The Project is Immersive Fitness, using screens in a special studio surrounding you to make you feel like you are in a movie!! An instructor leads you through movements to combat and outrun the bad guys :) Here’s a teaser video:

Doesn’t that look fun? Would you take these classes if they were offered at your gym?

I love taking group classes. This would be such a blast! It kind of reminds me of those bike or treadmill programs that make you feel like you’re outside instead of in a gym.

I hope that The Project Immersive Fitness comes to my little town! There are plans for a 2015 tour that will have pop-up workout centers for all to try the latest and greatest in group fitness!

Check out The Project on Instagram & follow here: http://instagram.com/thepr0ject

The next level of fitness is here. IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ surrounds participants with cinema quality video content projected onto screens of a purpose-built studio.  Exercise moves synchronize perfectly with music and graphics, creating a truly immersive fitness experience. Learn more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Les Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.


I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador and was sent this product to try and review. As always, all opinions are honest & 100% mine.

When it comes to supplements and refueling, I have pretty much no idea what to use. I usually have a glass of chocolate milk after a good, long run. Big vitamin stores scare me and I leave all of that up to my husband. He likes talking with the employees and is all into the latest and greatest protein or glucosamine drink. So this is me:

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Vega Sport’s Fuel Your Better movement is helping people like us to see how you can better fuel and optimize your workouts!

I was extremely excited when Vega Sport offered to send me some recovery accelerator! I love the idea of not being as sore after a workout and recovering quicker.

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The powder is completely plant-based and tropical flavored. You mix it into 1 1/2 cups cold water and drink immediately after your workout.

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I was really surprised by the flavor! Reading plant-based made me think it would taste like, well, plants. That was not the case! It’s like a watered down mango pineapple juice. I liked it all except for the last sip. No matter how much I shook and mixed it, there were always some bits at the bottom that I couldn’t drink.

I’m still trying to master the mirror selfie…I may have been distracted by a cute little two-year-old coming in the door :)

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I have a really sensitive stomach, so I was worried about how the drink would affect me. I found that if I drank it and made sure I got some food in my stomach afterward I was fine. If I only drank the recovery drink and didn’t eat anything for a couple of hours, I’d start to feel woozy.

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The best part about Vega Sport’s Recovery Accelerator was that it actually made me less sore after a workout! Especially one where I sprint to smoke my husband at the end ;)


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #collectivebias 


We’ve been doing a preschool co-cop with my friends and their children. During one of my weeks to teach, the lesson was on setting goals and how we can accomplish them. One child said he was going to learn to put his socks and shoes on all by himself. Another said she wanted to help her mom set the table for dinner. Ada said she wanted to learn how to ride her bike without training wheels! We’ve decided to practice this summertime to help her achieve it and #CelebrateEveryGoal this summer!

Lola had to get in on the action with her scooter too :) I love how Ada has her Violet puppy in the basket with her for moral support!

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Of course there will be some bumps and bruises along the way, so we stocked up at Walgreens with the essentials to keep us all healthy and happy. Right now, when Balance Reward Members (it’s free to join) buy $15 worth of Johnson & Johnson products, they get 3,000 points! Princess BAND-AIDS® are a must :) Can you see them on both girls’ knees already? We go through them so fast in our house! I’ve never tried NEUTROGENA® sunscreen before and am loving how it smells. We will definitely be using this can up quickly with park days, beach days, and bike riding in the sunshine!

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Walgreens has everything you need to celebrate every goal this summer. The big game is coming up…who are you rooting for? I asked my Sunday School children and the loudest response was BRAZIL!!!


Whatever you hope to accomplish this summer, good luck with all of your goals. Have fun celebrating each and every one of them, no matter how big or small!!

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On the year anniversary of my first marathon, I’ll post my recap of last year’s Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. Congratulations to all of you who ran it today! I am insanely jealous & hope that I’ll be running it again next year. It just wasn’t in the budget this year and I have a pinched nerve in my back right now. Lovely :)
Last Saturday, I ran my first half marathon ever! It was amazing. It was a gorgeous course running from Santa Ynez to Solvang (30 min. from my hometown). I ran with my cousin & friend, and we stuck together the whole time! I keep thinking that when my children look back on this picture, it will be neat to see the gas prices waaaaay back in 2013!
Rach forgot her bib in her mom’s car, so she got a random bib 2 minutes before start time! It was so funny to hear people at the aid stations give us water and say, “Great job, Kara! Go Roxanna!” It’s her sexy running alter-ego :)
Before the race & scenery along the way:

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Birthday Birthday Birth Month!

Last month, I turned the big 3-0! Pretty cool. I found this book in a cute little British shop in Santa Barbara & felt it was appropriate and hilarious.

As I was looking at it, a man walked over and picked up the 70 one. He said he was going to a friend’s 70th birthday party soon and thought it would be a good gift. He said, “You’re 30?” I said, “Almost!” His wife then said, “Oh, that’s depressing. You’re so young!” I’ve had a couple of comments like that regarding 30, so that’s cool. I guess I’m still young? What’s in an age anyway?! Birthdays are an excuse to celebrate and eat cake :)

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Thank you to everyone who made my birthday wonderful! I am so grateful for my family and friends. They’re the best.

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