Thursday, September 14, 2017

Our Skin Needs Moisture Too!

Living in a hot and dry desert climate, and being a runner and being outside often, my skin takes a beating. It's such a delicate balance to maintaining an optimal skin moisture balance, and feeling like a sticky oily mess from over-hydration. That's why I was so happy to be introduced to this Dynamic Renewal Cream by NatureWell.

This skin cream comes packaged in the prettiest mint green glass jar and can be used morning and night. What I initially loved was the texture of this cream - its neither too light nor too heavy and it's almost "whipped"! It glides effortlessly onto my skin and sunk right in without a hint of greasiness, yet helped it stay nice and softly moisturized all day.

Each jar of  Dynamic Renewal Cream is infused with 33 natural ingredients including 26 botanicals, 4 waters, and 3 oils, all working together to hydrate and plump your skin to make it appear more youthful and radiant. It also smells amazing - like cucumber water at a spa.

I have been using this scream for a couple of days now and, while I can't comment on any long term youthful traits, my skin feels great and I'm hooked - it's an excellent value for the quality and available in a 2 pack for UNDER $20 at

Saving money and looking good?! Sign this tired mama up!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Baby Has A Severe Peanut Allergy

I never thought I'd be an allergy mom - especially not a peanut allergy mom. In fact, I remember reading a magazine article while taking a bubble bath, pregnant with Taylor, about a mom who had a teenage girl that DIED while eating a bite of cake at a birthday party because she has a severe peanut allergy. I remember being shocked that that could happen, and crying there in the tub for this girl and her poor mama. But never in a million years did I think I could be on the same side of the table of this family - dealing with a daughter who has potentially life-threatening peanut allergies too.

I am very much a type A personality especially when it comes to parenting my babies. I'm scheduled, a rule follower, and try to do everything by the books. So I followed the current guidelines about introducing peanut butter to my baby girl early on, in hopes of escaping a peanut allergy. When Taylor was around 8 month sold, I started giving her peanut butter spread on a whole wheat tortilla with her breakfast couple of times a week. She loved it! And like any new food introduction, I always only brought in one new food at a time and watched closely for reactions.

It wasn't until a good month or two after eating peanut butter consistently every couple of days that Taylor had her first allergic reaction to the food. It was an afternoon I would never forget. She woke up from her nap, and I put her into her highchair so I could feed her a quick lunch before we headed to school to pick up her big brother. I fed her four things for lunch that day (all some of her current favs): hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, strawberries, and peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla. We were pressed for time and she seemed to be eating a little slower than normal, so quickly wiped her down and loaded her into the backseat of the car to drive to her big brothers school. As I was strapping her into her car seat I noticed a few white bumps on her arms that seemed to look like bug bites to me, but didn't think too much of it, thinking maybe she got bit by something on our morning stroller run together.

Her brothers school is about a 12 minute drive from our house. When I pulled into the dirt lot by his school where we park and get out to walk up to get him, I was floored when I saw her in the back seat. Her face was so red and puffy, to the point that her eyes were almost swelled shut, the white bumps were now covering her arms and legs and had a red splotches all around them too.

I have experienced an allergic reaction to food myself so I immediately thought that might be what was happening to my sweet girl, and I was doing my best to remain calm. As I walked up to the school I saw a fellow mom (that I had never spoken to before) and asked if she was a nurse, because I noticed she was dressed in scrubs, and if she could look at my daughter and tell me is she thought it was an allergic reaction. She had no hesitation in telling me immediately that it looked like it and instructed me to drive right away to the drug store nearby and give her benadryl right away. I don't really remember picking up my son, driving to the store, or calling my husband (who later told me he couldn't believe how calm I was in such a situation - I couldn't either, I was basically freaking out inside!)

I remember running into the drug store that afternoon with the baby in my arms, clutching the hand of my oldest child, and shouting to the pharmacist on duty to please look up the correct dosage of benadryl for my 20 pound daughter because she was having an allergic reaction. I administered the meds right there and within a few minutes her color started to return to normal and her swelling reduced. Thank Goodness.

I spoke to her pediatrician and he said I did the exact right thing and the next step was to figure out which of those four foods she ate right before her reaction caused it. I immediately eliminated all of the foods in question, and added one back in every third day, monitoring her very closely. The first three days we tried strawberries and she was fine. Then we tried cheese for the next few days and had no reactions. The third thing we tried was eggs and still, she tolerated them just fine. The last thing we added back in was peanut butter. On the tenth day, I spread a little peanut butter on a tortilla and cut it into tiny bites like I had done so many mornings prior. Within 20 seconds of her first BITE, her ears started itching immensely, then turned bright red and swelled. She again started getting the white pin point dots on her skin, and red raised hives started forming. I immediately administered her dosage of benadryl again and within an hour or so her color started to go back to normal.

Her doctor referred me to an allergist at the our local children's hospital to get further confirmation that our sweet baby did indeed have a peanut allergy. While there, we showed the allergy doctor the pictures of her most recent reaction at home (I was so freaked out during her first reaction and all I could think about was SAVING her, that I took no pictures). We discussed her previous reactions and then did the skin test. During the test, her back was slightly scratched with a tiny bit of the allergen and an antihistamine control. After these were applied to her back, we waited an agonizing 20 minutes, watching the wheals form and red raised spots appear, indicating that she did, indeed, have the peanut allergy.

While there I was told, that the only real food allergy test that they can preform on a small baby, such as ours is the skin test, and the most accurate measure is what we preformed on our own at home, with the exposure and reactions to peanuts. That, coupled with the pictures that the doctor saw of her reaction, was enough for her to diagnose our baby with a severe peanut allergy. She did say that our case was a rare one, and that most people who have a peanut allergy show signs of a reaction on their first ingestion. Our baby had has peanut butter at least 20 times before having her first allergic reaction.

We were given instructions to have a strict avoidance of all nuts, an anaphylaxis action plan should another attack occur, and instructions to carry a set of Auvi-Q pens (a different and new type of Epi Pen) with her at all times and be prepared to use them if necessary. Our heads immediately started spinning - this was out new norm.

What now? We are obviously taking the utmost care to not give her any nuts of any kinds and reading all labels to avoid even bringing anything into our home that was processed in the same facility as nuts. This is huge, as so many product have hidden nuts or traces of nuts in them! We want to make sure our home is as safe as can be for our little girl and are going through great lengths to make it that way. If our home is strictly nut-free it will give us some sense of relief.

We will learn to be okay with asking the serves at restaurants a million and one questions about how food is prepared, and if in doubt, our daughter's safety is at stake. We will need to ask that no one brings any food in to our house without our knowledge or approval - they may think that  the baby won't get into that bag of trail mix in their purse, but little kids have a way of getting into everything. We will need to be comfortable asking the questions about what the ingredients are in foods at BBQs. parties, and holidays, and plan ahead, usually bringing our own food or snack just in case. We will have to be those parents that are constantly wiping down swings, highchairs, and especially table tops and little hands, multiple times, just in case someone beforehand ate peanuts there. We will have to not care if people think we are being over-protective or irrational - we are just trying to make sure our daughter stays SAFE.

This is all new to me, but writing about it helps a lot, so I promise to share more about how we are handling our daughter's peanut allergy as the months and years roll on. Thank you all so much for your kind encouraging thoughts.

This is our personal story about how our daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I am not a medical professional, and am in no way trying to give out medical advice. I would suggest seeking professional medical consultation if you suspect your child could have a peanut allergy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

PrAna Fall 2017 Haul and Review

I am a HUGE fan of PrAna for their unique and classic styles and their quality, sustainably made clothing. I was lucky enough to try a few of their pieces in the Spring line (read my recap here), and was THRILLED to be chosen again to receive and review a couple of items from their new Fall line too in partnership with FitApproach! I love, love, love the items I chose from PrAna's Fall line!

I have been searching for the perfect lightweight white lace top for years and I finally found it in PrAna's Robyn Top. This top is pure bohemian perfection!! I adore the scoop neck and bracelet length sleeves. The sleeves are perfect to push up casually and the slight elastic around the sleeve opening helps keep them in place (without digging into my skin).

The slightly curved front and back of the top give it a super flattering fit. I love to wear this top either untucked or half-tucked. The feminine lace detailing is my favorite part of this shirt! It has the most intricate and beautiful lace detailing on the front of the shirt, and that's carried around to the back as well. there's also the prettiest center open stitch detail that adds the prettiest interest to the top as well.

It's made of a breathable Lenzing Modal which gives it a soft and almost silky feel. It's super lightweight and the perfect transition piece, gorgeous to wear now, and then will look amazing all season long under a cardigan too!

I'm wearing the Robyn Top in Winter White, which is slightly sheer, but not so see-thru that I feel like I need to wear a cami underneath. It also comes in 2 others colors as well. It runs true to size, as I'm wearing the XS size and it fits perfectly.

I paired my Robyn Top with the London Jeans from PrAna. I must admit, I was a little nervous ordering a pair of jeans online -fit is SO IMPORTANT for jeans, but let me tell you - these did not disappoint at all and in fact, they are my current favorite pair of best-fitting jeans I own!! Well done, PrAna!!

The London Jeans are a skinny leg, mid-rise jean, which means they are fitted all the way down the leg. The rise on these is absolute perfection - they sit just below the waist, and don't show your undies when bending over - making them perfect for moms and teachers!

One thing I don't like about jeans is that they can be sometimes uncomfortable - these are the comfiest jeans EVER!! They are super soft, probably due to the organic cotton they are made of. They are constructed of a medium weight fabric that gives them a nice structure to them, yet the 1% lycra elastine makes them fluid as well. They don't stretch out, or get saggy in the bum, even after wearing them for a couple days in a row. They also don't have that annoying waist gap. Who else gets so annoyed with constantly having to wear a belt to cinch in the waist of jeans or are always having to hike up the back because they slip down?! That doesn't happen with these!!

I really do feel like these PrAna London Jeans were made for body types like mine - athletic, curvy, a little bit of a booty. They aren't too tight over my larger-than-average runner's calves, and they hug the booty in all of the right ways. My only complaint is that they are a little more fitted in the ankles, so I do have to do the lie-down-on-the bed-and-wiggle-my-way-out-of-them dance at the end of the day! Even though they are tighter at the ankles, they still aren't too tight to roll a cuff in them if you want. I love to style them this way when pairing my jeans with sandals.

The London Jean by PrAna comes in 3 colors, multiple sizes, and even 3 inseams, which as a shorty, I absolutely LOVE this option!! I am wearing the Dark Indigo shade which is the perfect dark blue with subtle wiskering on the thigh area. They run true to size and I am wearing a size 0 short. The short size is still plenty long enough for me to cuff up to pair with sandals and then leave uncuffed if you can talk me into wearing them with heels!

I really can't say enough good things about the entire PrAna Fall lineup - but I'm especially in love with my two choices and I know they'll be on heavy rotation in my closet all season long. The awesome folks at PrAna gave me a discount code to share with you - FAAJ15 for 15% off any purchase on You can use it to purchase the Robyn Top or the London Jeans or anything else your heart desires!! What are your favorite clothing items to wear as the weather cools down?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Steps to a Successful #SparklingDetox

I'm gearing up for my 5 day #SparklingDetox with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and I couldn't be more excited!! I've never participated in anything like this before but I'm ready to make some positive changes! Even though the #SparklingDetox doesn't officially start until September 11, there are several things I have started doing NOW to ensure that I'm prepared for when it's time:

-I've joined the Gerolsteiner's Sparkling Detox group on Facebook. This free support group allows me to connect and share my experiences with fellow detoxers, as well as garnish tips, exercises, and food inspiration from expert in her field Ariane Hundt. Having an online support system like this will be vital to my detox success!
-Cutting back on alcohol and coffee. For the last few days I have gradually decreased my coffee consumption from 2 cups to 1 a day, with the goal of eliminating coffee from my diet for all 5 days of the detox. Cutting back on caffeine slowly has allowed my body time to readjust and is a more gradual transition than quitting cold turkey.

Similarly, I have eliminated my nightly 1/2 glass of wine for the past few days, and haven't missed it! I actually have replaced it with a nightly glass of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and have woken up more refreshed and energized each morning!

-Researching fun new fitness classes. I want to make my #SparklingDetox FUN and full of new adventures so I looked into some new exciting ways to challenge my body during the 5 days. A new Barre studio is opening up near my house and they are offering free 45 minute classes in their studio during the challenge week! I've already signed up for one and am really looking forward to it.
The weather should also be cooling down a touch in mid-September, so I plan on getting in at least one hike during that time frame, in addition to my normal half marathon training I will also be completing.

-Stocking up on Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water so I have plenty on hand come detox time. Drinking at least 1.5-2 liters of Gerolsteiner a day will ensure that I'm adequately hydrated for the challenge, Not only is Gerolsteiner an excellent source of hydration, but it also contains 2500 minerals including calcium and magnesium per liter bottle to nourish and revitalize my body from the inside, out!
You can use the online store locator feature on the Gerolsteiner website to see where you can stock up for yourself. Gerolsteiner is always available at your local Whole Foods or online at or as well (and they always ship for free on orders over $35!).

-Looking up recipes and meal planning. I am the meal planner and prepper in our home so I've been going through recipes and browsing on Pinterest, remembering old favorites, and gathering new exciting entree ideas for the #SparklingDetox week. New dishes can sometimes be hit or miss, so I've been trying out some new finds ahead of time to see if they are keepers! One of my new everyday favorites are Veggie Sandwiches - my entire family is smitten with their over-the-top flavor!
The weekend before the detox, I will make sure I go to the grocery store and meal prep for the week ahead. I will cut and wash fruit and veggies for quick additions to salads, sandwiches, and snacks. I'll also make sure I have plenty of healthy snacks on hand for when hunger strikes such as low fat mozzarella cheese sticks, small bags of nuts, veggies with hummus for dipping, season fruit, and of course plenty of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water!
How are you gearing up for a successful #SparklingDetox? Make sure to join me and hundreds of other participants September 11-15 for the 5 day challenge where we replace all beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water, workout, and make clean eating a habit. Follow along on the #SparklingDetox Facebook Group and share your challenge experiences all week long on Instagram with the hashtags #SparklingDetox and #GerolsteinerUSA. Good luck and I can't wait to go through this detox journey together!

This post was written in partnership with Fit Approach and Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Chocolate Protein Donuts

Last weekend my son asked for chocolate donuts for breakfast. I'm the biggest health nut around, but if there's one thing I can never say no to it's chocolate. So I set out to make a chocolate donuts that has some added protein and is low fat, something I can feel good about giving to my kid and myself. The bonus though, that I wasn't expecting, is that these donuts are LEGIT amazing. so rich and chocolaty, the texture is like that of a brownie - trust me, you're going to LOVE these!

Chocolate Protein Donuts Ingredients (makes 9 donuts):

Donuts Ingredients:
-1 cup flour
-2 scoops Sports Research Chocolate Protein with Collagen
-1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/2 cup almond milk with a squeeze of lemon added (I used this as a buttermilk substitute)
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 egg
-1TBSP melted butter
-10-15 drops of Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme Stevia (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together and then mix in wet ingredients. Pour into a silicone donut pan that hs been sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine usually need all 10 minutes). Let them cool in pan and then remove carefully. While donuts are cooling mix together the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 scoop Sports Research Chocolate Protein with Collagen
-1TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
-10-15 drops of Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme Stevia (to taste)
-1/3 TBSP almond milk (to consistency)

Mix well and dip donut tops into the glaze. Sprinkle with sprinkles and ENJOY!! Each donut has approx. 7 grams of muscle building protein - so this a treat you really can feel good about eating!

My love for Sports Research Collagen runs deep. I have a scoop of their Collagen Peptides (or two!) in my coffee every morning. What are the benefits of taking Collagen Peptides? Collagen Protein helps support joint pain, inflammation, and mobility. They aide in digestion of food and vitamins, and help increase bone density. They slow down skin ageing and strengthen your hair and nails. For me, I know it;s been essential in my postpartum recovery, i no longer have achy joints or knees, and my skin has never been more glowy, my hair never been stronger, and my nails have never been longer. It truly is the only supplement I take, and one I believe in 100%! I buy my Sports Research Collagen Peptides on Amazon (here), and if you look for them, they frequently go on lighting deal!

Have you tried Collagen Peptides yet? What have been your results? How do you like to take them?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fun Toys for Dining Out

Dining out with kids can be stressful - but it doesn't have to be! My best advice when going out to eat with kiddos is to have fun toys that are ONLY for when you go out. This makes them always fun and exciting and almost guaranteed to entertain. Below are a few of our most recent favs that we took with us last Friday night - BONUS, each of these toys are small enough to stash in a diaper bag and under $10 - score!

The Magnetic Car Race Game from The Purple Cow was so much fun!! My 7 year old and hubby loved to play it. The dice and playing pieces are magnetic and the metal case unfolds and then is held together with a plastic clip to form the playing surface - brilliant! The game is straight forward, rolling the dice, and moving forward or backward a certain number of spaces, but it lead to quite the entertaining wait time for the two of them!

Playgro Playmate Elephant is perfect for my little 10 month old baby girl! It is brightly colored and fun and there are so many things on it to engage her senses. The elephants ears crinkle. She loved to suck on the elephants trunk, and the little plastic rings that slide around were another fun feature. She basically had a grip on this fun toy the majority of the night!

HABA Wooden Puzzle was another fun toy for the baby and her big brother to play with. It's a series of 4 emergency vehicles in a layered puzzle design. Not only did we have fun putting the puzzle together, but we also loved using the puzzle pieces for pretend play too! HABA products are the best quality wooden toys and we're big fans of everything they make!

How do you keep your kiddos entertained at restaurants? Liked this post? You can read more about dining out with a baby here!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'm preparing to take on a Sparkling Detox - Join Me!

Summer was a blast - I lived it up with my family taking multiple vacations and indulging in all of the local flavors. I was in the moment and I loved it. Now that school is back in session though, and Fall racing season is approaching, I want to get more serious about my training and my eating habits. I have some big goals this Fall and I know I train and race better when I fuel my body with healthy options.

Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is hosting a #SparklingDetox Challenge that I’m really excited about! They are challenging you to replace your normal beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Natural Mineral Water for 5 days (from September 11-15). Part of eating healthy is drinking healthy too, especially when running and training in the hot desert climate like I am in Arizona.

For those 5 days I plan on eating and drinking 100% clean. I’ve never done this before - I’m more an 80/20 eater - I love my lunchtime salads but my after dinner ice cream and glass of wine are daily indulgences too.

Avoiding certain foods, even just for 5 days, can make a big impact. It will help reset your body and retrain your mind, leading to new behaviors and helping you develop new long term healthier habits. How am I going to do this? The weekend before my Sparkling Detox I plan on making a meal plan and formulating a grocery list. Once I get my meals and snacks planned out and shopped for, I will meal prep as much as I can ahead of time: hard boil eggs, chop veggies, wash fruit, etc. By prepping ahead of time, it will allow me to stay on track by simplifying meal times.

How will I prepare for my Sparkling Detox?

  1. Stockpile Healthy Snacks - Eating healthy snacks can help curb overeating and control cravings too. For me, if I have a healthy snack prepped, I’ll reach for that over a handful of the kiddos chips in the pantry. The key though, is pre-portioning out the healthy snacks. One ounce of nuts is a great clean snack - the entire bag is not! If a healthy snack doesn't already come portioned out, I’ll do it myself ahead of time, so when hunger strikes, I’ll be able to grab a snack and move on.

2. Organize my refrigerator - Make your healthy prepared foods and drinks the first thing you see in your fridge and those will be what you reach for! I line the top shelf of my fridge with my bottles of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and have my cut up fruits and veggies in clear containers right at eye level so I’ll be most inclined to reach for them.

3. Get Support - Tell your friends and family that you are participating in the Sparkling Detox Challenge. You’ll be able to rely on them for support and encouragement and who knows - you may even inspire them to join you too! Gerolsteiner has set up an online Facebook Group for the challenge. I encourage you to join it  for extra support, daily motivation, and useful nutrition tips from experts and the community! Visit HERE for a direct link to the free challenge support group.

Want to join me? Gerolsteiner invites you to “Mineralize Your Life” for a chance to win a FREE Gerolsteiner Water Supply just in time for the challenge. Go HERE to find out details and register to win. I know we can do this together!!

This post was written in partnership with Fit Approach and Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. All thoughts and opinions are mine.