AMPLA Fly Your Run

HOLD THE PHONE, I’ve been running.  I know, I know.  How long have I been talking about getting my butt in gear?  Well, I’m doing it.  I’ve been running 3-4 times a week most of the summer.  I’m still only doing two miles each run and I’m having a really hard time getting past that.  I don’t know if it’s the heat, fear, or what.  Last spring, I ran a half marathon with barely any training, and the little running I was doing was just once a week!

You’d think since I’m keeping my distance the same, my speed would be improving.  Unfortunately, that’s not either.  But… I keep running!  For my excuses, I’m going to use the heat and a massive hill at the beginning of my run.  No, not to make excuses or anything, but I do think those factors play a role.  I run as early as I possibly can (accounting for William) and pretty much the first mile of my run is uphill with a giant hill right at the beginning.  It’s hard.  Though it is amazing on the mile run (mostly) downhill on the way back.

running ampla

While I’m frustrated my speed is not improving, I think my distance would / could improve if I just went for it.  It’d be nice if I had a running partner to push me.  (Any takers??)  At least I’m running consistently again; that feels good to me.

Recently I had the chance to try out a brand new running shoe – AMPLA.  New gear always makes running / working out more fun, so I was excited to give these guys a go.  My initial thought is that they are VERY springy!  They feel good to run in and have some distinct characteristics about them.  Ampla has quickly become a trailblazer of “firsts” both in design and business strategy.

  • Full length carbon fibre Forcepower plate that guides foot strike and releases stored energy at toe-off
  • Actively uses a runner’s natural force during foot strike
  • Lightweight cushioning and a seam free Diamond mesh with micro-suede upper
Direct to Consumer Business Model
  • First premium shoe to implement a 100% direct to consumer model
  • No added marketing or sales commissions padding the price
  • Free returns within 30 days, no questions asked

ampla shoe

You can watch this video to learn more about these Ampla Fly Carbon Fiber Plated Shoes.  It features Harvard trained sports scientist, Dr. Marcus Elliot who talks about giving runners a mechanical advantage and getting some free energy based on the design of the shoe.  (Hey, I’ll always take free energy while running!)  The feel of them remind me of Newton’s, how the heel is elevated because of the toe box causing them to feel springy.  On me, these shoes come up a little higher than my other running shoes in the back.  It’s not a big deal, I just wear higher socks.

For additional reading material, check out how Sports Illustrated highlighted Ampla in their latest issue.  Read HERE.  The article discusses how these shoes can help correct running gait.

stop not running right

stop not running right // appropriate motto to support Ampla’s philosophy

What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?  Have you tried Ampla before?

*Disclaimer: I was provided this pair of running shoes free of charge in exchange of my honest review.  No compensation was provided. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016

If you know me, then you know I’m the least crafty person ever.  I’m a fourth grade teacher, but have awful handwriting.  If I need to write nicely, I need to write very slowly and make an intense conscious effort.  (I will say, I do have nice cursive, if I take my time.)  My mom is an artist through and through.  My sister got that gene, too.  They both have great creative eyes.  Not me.  Anyway, I’m proud to share some Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016 today!  You’ll see what I mean when I say I’m not crafty.  These Pinterest craft wins were made by my toddler, facilitated by me for the special guys in our lives.

fathersday16 dad

My dad, he’s just the best.  Seriously the best.  And can you see why I’m obsessed with my hair?  This was the first time after I washed it and it took me five minutes to blow dry, no flat iron needed!  Alright, now onto Father’s Day Pinterest crafts!

My dad, William’s “Pops”

fathersday16 pops

William, if there’s one person in the world who I want you to be exactly like, it’s your Pops.  My dad is the smartest, kindest, most selfless, hardest working person I know.  We joke that he’s perfect and never make mistakes and I follow closely in his lead.  He can fix anything and do anything.  In fact, no matter where we are, if something is broken, William tells me, “Pops, fix it!”  We sure love our Pops!

A close-up of Pops’ masterpiece:

craft footprint pops

Made up of four footprints, I had this piece matted.  When I saw it on Pinterest, it was really four separate pieces, but I knew we could squeeze it onto one.  William is very into all of these, fire engines, tractors, dump trucks, and race cars, so it was perfect!

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Papa”

fathersday16 papa

Papa is the athlete of the family and calls William his number one!  He’ll be fine-tuning William’s skills for all sports soon enough.  Papa’s biggest sport is golf and he’s won some impressive titles during his golfing days!  So his craft:

craft papa

You are the best Papa by par!  Heh, heh.  Hand prints for the grass, golf tees, and colored pom poms for the golf balls.

linking up with katie and erin 

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Poppy”

fathersday16 poppy

Poppy’s expertise is fishing, boats, and cars, just to name a few.  He tells William to hug him, “but not too tight!”  It’s so funny to hear him say this since they’re the same words we heard growing up.  It won’t be long before William goes to his first circus or rodeo with Poppy, just like I did!

craft poppy

Hooked on Poppy!  Footprint for the fishing pole and hand print for the fish.  William so beautifully helped color in the water.

See?  Even I could handle those crafts!  William LOVED making hand and footprints!  It was fun picking out crafts for each of these wonderful men.  To say William and I are both blessed to have them in our lives would be an understatement.  We love every minute we get to spend with them!

One more bonus photo from the weekend.  Audrey slept over and brought clothes that she knew William could match.  When I did her hair in the morning, she requested a side pony, so of course William wanted the same thing, as well.

aud matching june16

Are they the cutest twinsies or what?!  Possibly my favorite picture of them.

Are you crafty? Do you enjoy making things?

Friday Favorites

This should really be called “Thursday Favorites” instead of Friday Favorites since all the photos are from yesterday, but hey whatever.  Lots of bloggers do a Friday Favorites thing, so here we go.  And let’s not forget that this is the THIRD time I’m blogging this week!  Go figure, right after I write the post about why I’m struggling to blog, I do a halfway decent job this week. Hopefully I’m onto something!

So on Wednesday, I got the express keratin treatment at Preston Salon Spa.  My hair is super frizzy and the humidity in St. Louis is out of control.  I literally cannot even straighten my hair in the summer because it frizzes so much.  I don’t mind curling my hair, but I feel like I always look super done up or not put together at all if my hair is not curled and just thrown up.  Anyway, it’s been years since I’ve gotten a keratin treatment and last time I loved it and this time is no different.  I snapped this selfie at the Butterfly House which is very humid and my hair was still bone straight with no frizz!

keratin june16

And check out my blonde!  My stylist at Preston Salon Spa put tons of blonde in my hair a couple of weeks ago and then did the keratin treatment in my hair this week.  I love her!  Preston is definitely THE place to go to for hair in St. Louis!

William posed by a giant butterfly before heading in.

butterfly house june16

The Butterfly House was shorter lived than I anticipated.   William was pretty tired and didn’t understand that you couldn’t touch and kiss the butterflies and had to stay on the path.  He did fine while we were there, but it was definitely time to go once we made it through.

We went to my parents’ house afterwards for a couple of hours.  We had a blast, as always, but William fell asleep on the car ride home and woke up when I was transferring him.  I couldn’t get him back down which is never a good thing.  My boy needs his sleep!  So I needed to find a distraction and FAST.  Over to my sister’s we headed.

pbk chairs

Jacob and Audrey provided just the entertainment that William needed!  They stacked up their Pottery Barn Kids chairs to make a tower and all piled on top.  All fun and games until it crumbled.  Luckily, nobody got hurt!  We had a fun afternoon over there and did a million things.  We baked a cake, the kids played school, the boys played soccer, and Audrey took several selfies of her and William with my phone.

silly selfie june16

In every selfie, William was mimicking Audrey exactly.  Too funny!

And because we like to stay busy, we met our friends Julie and Wolf out for dinner at Five Star Burgers.  Julie and I actually went there last week and it was awesome.  I had ordered a mushroom and swiss burger that you can see on Instagram.  We went for their happy hour with our little ones because they have $1.50 sliders and sides (sweet potato fries!).  The boys wouldn’t quite cooperate for a picture (hello, two year olds!), so I’ll share a cute one I got of William walking around the fountain outside the restaurant.

walking happy june16

That’s one happy kiddo!

What are your favorites from this week (or yesterday)?

all in a day

Oh summer.  How I longed for you!  I couldn’t wait to have entire days filled of adventures with William.  And while I’m definitely loving and soaking up all this time with my little man, we have GOT to stay busy!  I am so not somebody who can stay in the house all day, not even all morning actually.  Everyday we find new activities to do, both in and out of the house.  We’ve had lots and lots of play dates.  The past two days we’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Brittany and her two sweet kids!  On Monday we went to a pool and yesterday they came over.

playdate june16

William had a blast!  He was obsessed with this precious little girl.  He wanted to hold her constantly!  He’s been interested in babies in the past, but never for more than a few minutes.  He sang to her, rocked her, kissed her, patted her, literally wouldn’t leave her alone!  It was pretty stinking cute.  They’re going to have to make more regular visits.  Catching up with Brittany was great, too.  She’s one of those down to earth, tell it how it is kind of gals with a heart of gold and the kindest soul.

After they left, William was more than ready for a nap.  He took a decent nap, but was still pretty tired when he woke up.

yawn june16

Once he fully woke up, we played a bit more before heading to Yaya and Pops’ house.  William asks everyday if we can go to Yaya and Pops’ house.  He certainly loves them  – definitely the very best grandparents (and parents!).

Summer in St. Louis has officially begun; this means hot and humid weather!  Pops was watering the yard, and William just loves to help.  Pops taught him how to spray with a hose.

hose pops june16

After they played with the water, we went back to the pond.  Everyday, William pretends to go fishing at our house.  He has a cute magnetic fishing set that he plays with and he also pretends long sticks outside are fishing poles. So you can imagine his excitement when he and Pops actually caught a fish!

fish pops june16

Once everyone had enough sun, we went inside. William ate a snack while Yaya read to him and then they played with all the exciting toys at their house.  William challenged Yaya to an air hockey match.

air hockey june16

Miraculously, he scored against Yaya probably a hundred times.  Then he made Yaya switch sides with him another hundred times.  Yaya is a very good sport.

We came home, took another walk, ate dinner, bathed, read books, and then it was time for bed.  William had to get in a quick cuddle session with Zoey first.

zoey snuggle june16

We were all exhausted after our long day!

What has been filling your summer days?

Why I’m Struggling To Blog

The frequency of my blogging has decreased.  That’s no secret.  I used to be a religious Monday through Friday blogger, and for the past couple of months, it’s been a post or two a week.  It’s not that I don’t want to blog; I DO.  I really do.  I miss blogging, I miss writing, I miss having a routine, I miss the community.

It’s time.  That thing that always passes too quickly and we never have enough.

I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to feeling like there’s not enough time in the day.  It doesn’t matter what life stage you’re in or who you are, I bet you wish there was more time.  I know I do!  I used to blog every evening.  That was my routine; that’s what I did.  Well now, I just started sleep training (again) my little darling.  His bedtime is 8:00 pm, but it’s been taking him a looong time to fall asleep.

sleep june16

But when he does, isn’t he precious?

That means it’s close to nine o’clock before I can blog.  But let’s not forget that most days, when William sleeps this is my only chance to get other things done.  Important things, like showering.  Not to mention picking up the house, cleaning, laundry, eating, you name it.  So lately other things have been taking priority over blogging.  I really miss it though.  I have content I want to share.  I have recipes, workouts, reviews, daily life happenings, etc.

We’ve been visiting splash pads and pools more now that the weather is HOT in St. Louis.  William and I both love being outside, and I love it even more because it really wears William out and causes him to take nice, long naps!

carly june16

This is William and his girlfriend, Carly.  They were being so cute holding hands the other day during our play date!

linking up with katie and erin 

And sometimes life just gets in the way.  I love blogging, but sometimes (many times) life is more important.  I thought I’d have all this extra time now that summer is here, but really I’m just enjoying that time.  Take mornings, for instance.  I wouldn’t call them lazy because William would never let me be lazy, but they’re much more leisurely.  Instead of rushing around trying to get us both ready, we’ve been spending more time outdoors first thing in the morning when we let Zoey out.  William rearranges all the flower pots, uses sticks to go “fishing,” and listens to the birds sing.

smile chair june16

“No shoes on,”  William says as we open the door to let Zoey out.  Then he runs to the kitchen to get his Crocs which are his only shoes to fit over his pajamas.

Last night we picked up my parents from the airport and spent some time at their house.  William helped Pops workout by adding some extra weight to his plank!

pops plank june16

I’m not sure who thought it was funnier!

Yaya has always taught William a million new things each time she spends time with him.  Last night it was the game Hi Ho Cherry-O which she still has saved from when we were kids.  She was explaining to William how you put the cherries on the tree from the basket.  William put one on and shouted, “Did it!”  We laughed as he still had nine others to do.

yaya game june16

So even though I’m not blogging as consistently as I’d like, I’m here.  I do Instagram most days, so definitely follow me there at @itzlinz.  In the meantime, I’ll keep on working on this schedule thing.  And just enjoying life.  You should, too.

What’s been going on with you? Do you feel like you’re short on time?

just livin’ life

I tried to think of a creative blog post title, but clearly was unsuccessful.  I thought about what today’s post was about… golfing, selfies, cars, cute baby burritos, Zoey, farmer’s market, yeah a lot of randomness.  So I decided to call it what it is. Just livin’ life, y’all, that’s what I’m doing.  That’s what summer is all about.  Need I tell you again how much I love this season?

Here’s my life lately:

burrito june16

Let’s start with the cutest baby burrito ever.  I just want to eat him up.  Every night and every day.  That’s not to say I don’t have my day-to-day challenges with raising a darling toddler… 😉 but most of the time he sure melts my heart!

audrey june 16 selfie

These two.  Siblings.  Basically.  Audrey actually called him her brother the other day, LOL.  When she came over and saw him wearing this shirt, she was confused and asked me why William was wearing a Cubs shirt.  That’s living proof that everyone, kids included, are Cardinals fans here in St. Louis!

driving car

Riding along in my automobile…

William loves this little car at my parents’ house.  He’s awful and steering and just simply doesn’t understand it as he drives into the grass and bushes.  My dad always tells him he drives like his aunt (Stephanie).  LOL.

farmers market

Farmers markets are back!  I used to go every weekend, but have gone very rarely since having William.  Well, we went to the Delmar Loop’s farmers market which was great.  It was smaller than Soulard (where I used to go) and not crowded at all.  It’s been awesome having fresh fruits and vegetables at home!

mama mms june16

We visited Mama and Papa yesterday.  William always gets a special treat, just a few M&Ms, from Mama, but Papa was in charge of the candy yesterday.  William so very rarely gets sweets, but I’m ok with Mama and Papa giving him a few M&Ms every once in awhile.  Well, Papa let William stick his whole hand in and dig in!  My mom and I had to stop Papa!  He couldn’t resist!

yaya golf june16

My mom has recently taken up golf.  Papa was giving her lessons in his front lawn, and of course William had to get involved.  My mom was teaching William, and he said, “Yaya’s turn!”  Then he dragged another golf club out for me.

zoey vet

And last but not least, Zoey.  Zoey will be ten in July.  Small dogs are more prone to gum and teeth issues, so it’s recommended that they get their teeth professionally cleaned.  Well, at Zoey’s last yearly checkup, the vet noticed a tumor on her gums.  So yesterday she was put under to have her teeth cleaned, tumor removed, and also ended up having a tooth removed.  The tumor is being sent off to be tested (positive thoughts, please!), and I should find out next week.

William was SO upset to take Zoey in even though I kept telling him it was just to get her teeth cleaned.  “Zoey.  Doctor.  All done,” he kept saying.  Then when the vet took Zoey, William burst out in tears and cried the whole way home.  He was much happier when we picked her up!  Zoey seems to be doing fine, but is whining a little bit.  I hope she’s back to her normal self soon and the tumor comes back benign.

Tell me, how have you been livin’ life lately?

Mamma Chia Giveaway

You know when you love something you just have to take a duck-faced selfie with it?  No?  Just me?

mamma chia drink

Oh c’mon, you know you do it, too!

Mamma Chia, the leader of the chia revolution, has created a delicious new beverage that combines the powerhouse of chia with healthy, vibrant greens.

Chia & Greens is a delicious, fun on-the-go beverage with one of the lowest amounts of sugar and the highest amount of nutrients in the green drinks universe. In fact, each bottle delivers 2500mg of Omega-3s, seven grams of fiber, four grams of complete protein, 25% RDA of Vitamin A, and 95mg of calcium. Enjoy it as a kick-start to your day, as a revitalizing mid-afternoon pick-me-up or anytime you want that feeling of rejuvenation!  It comes in four tasty flavors:

  • Soulful Greens (Cayenne and Lemon)
  • Love Greens (Beet and Ginger)
  • Grateful Greens (Kale and Mint)
  • Joyful Greens (Ginger and Lemongrass)

People always ask me if chia drinks are good.  YES!  The texture is different since obviously they are filled with chia seeds which forms a gel-like consistency, but if that doesn’t bother you, then the taste is amazing.  Not to mention the awesome nutritional benefits that, Mamma Chia especially, chia drinks deliver!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mamma Chia.  They recently sent me a huge package which William and I both have been enjoying.

mamma chia bar

The chia vitality bars are great to throw in your purse.  I took this one out when I was getting my hair done at Preston Salon (the best in St. Louis!).  These chia vitality bars are extra amazing since there are only four grams of sugar in them.  This is VERY low compared to other snack bars and the flavors are awesome!

I also received some chia vitality granola clusters which is the crunchiest granola I’ve ever had.  The flavors are: Wild Blueberry Clusters (my favorite!), Vanilla Almond Clusters, Cinnamon Pecan Clusters, and Honey & Oats Clusters.  I’ve been topping my smoothies with them, adding granola to yogurt, and eating it straight out of the bag.  The wild blueberry flavor tastes like a blueberry muffin!

~ linking up with healthy diva ~

William has been demolishing the chia squeezes.

mamma chia squeeze

William is a picky eater (aren’t all toddlers?!), but always loves pouches.  I try to reserve them just as treats, and the chia squeezes are definitely treats with their fun flavors.  William gets an extra punch of nutrition when he eats one of these squeezes.  Audrey approves of them, as well, and now always asks for one when she comes to my house.  Check out these fun flavors: Cherry BeetBlackberry BlissGreen MagicMango CoconutStrawberry BananaWild Raspberry.

Now for the best part: Mamma Chia is graciously giveaway away one gigantic package of Mamma Chia goodness to one of YOU lucky readers!  You’ll receive the same package that I did (plus a couple extra chia squeezes that aren’t pictured since William got to them before I snapped the photo!):

mamma chia

To enter this giveaway, comment on this blog post and tell us which Mamma Chia  product you’re most excited to try (mandatory!).  For additional optional entries:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Twitter and tweet the following, “AMAZING @MammaChia giveaway on @ItzLinz’s blog! Check it out – #SeedYourSoul #FitFluential”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Instagram and like my Mamma Chia Instagram post.  Tag up to three friends for additional entries!

Be sure to comment on this post to have your additional entries counted!  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm CST.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, June 10, 2016.  CLOSED

Congratulations #18,  Gia E. Please email me with your shipping information, so we can get your package of Mamma Chia goodness to you ASAP! 🙂

~Disclaimer: Through my partnership with FitFluential, I received these products at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


I LOVE SUMMER!  I’d say I’m sorry for saying that yet again, but I’m not.  However, I will say that I’ll try not to start every single summer blog post with that.  But it’s going to be really hard!  There are so many fun things going on and we’re really trying to take advantage of every moment.  We’re spending tons of time outdoors, I’m working out (like consistently, actually!), we’re with family and friends a lot, and so much more.  Summer is just amazing.  And it’s just beginning – even better!

Take yesterday, for example.  We had an impromptu play date with my niece Audrey.  I took the two to the splash pad for the first time this summer; then we played at my house for a bit before returning to my sister’s house.  Audrey and William both like doing “yoga” poses with me and flying superman, and yesterday they took matters in their own hands.  Suuuuperman!

superman may16

It may have lasted only half of a millisecond, but it was so hilarious while it did considering William is literally almost Audrey’s size these days!  I captured the photo at the absolute perfect time.  I’ll bet that within the next year or so William will be able to fly Audrey superman!

We headed back to Stephanie’s house and all four cousins were together.

aud jackson jacob may16

Family is obviously important to all of us, but sometimes it’s hard to coordinate all of our schedules.  “I get to hold William!”  Audrey, of course, shouted.

cousins may16

In order from youngest to oldest… because we had to find an order that everyone would agree upon and nobody could argue with this.  Though no matter what “order” or configuration we do, it always seems Audrey weasels her way next to William.  Sneaky girl!

I’VE BEEN WORKING OUT CONSISTENTLY!!!  It’s the first time in quite some time, and while I’m starting slow (mostly), I feel so good.  I actually feel really out of shape, but I’m glad I’m working out.  Hopefully my endurance, strength, and speed will improve.  Here’s what it looked like starting with the first weekend of summer:

  • Saturday – run two miles
  • Sunday – run two miles
  • Monday – run two miles
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – lower body workout at home
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – upper body workout at home along with a long walk while catching up with Annette
  • Saturday – run two miles
  • Sunday – off
  • Monday – biked 32 miles

32 miles

Yeah, that’s right, I biked 32 miles.  It was the first time I’d taken my bike out all year and the longest I’ve ever ridden in my life.  We rode 16 miles out to Fast Lane Classic Cars Annual Memorial Day Car Show.  Once we were there, we ate (A LOT!); I was famished.  We hung out for about an hour before heading home.  The whole ride was hard and the hills were killer!  I was sore after, but felt awesome!  I think it’s time to sign up for some summer sprint triathlons and races!

My little jumping bean hasn’t stopped moving this summer either.

jumping may16

He jumps ALL THE TIME.  He jumps anywhere and everywhere.  Any time he walks down stairs, he will jump from the very last step.  Any surface that is slightly raised, he will jump off.  He will randomly jump throughout my house, stores, wherever.  “Jump higher!” he says.  And he gets some serious air.

Oh, summertime, we just love you.


My little sidekick and I are off to enjoy another day! 🙂

How have you been enjoying summer?

Goody Bags for a Two Year Old’s Birthday Party

When William turned one, I did a post on first birthday party favors (swag bags!).  It got a good response, so I decided to do one for William’s second birthday, as well.  Goody bags can be pretty tricky.  I knew I didn’t want to fill the bags with junk as I hate receiving those.  (Seriously, who needs more junk at their house?)  I also didn’t want it to be filled with candy because… well, they’re toddlers, and I find that unnecessary.  So what could I put in the party favors that would be useful, not too expensive, and toddlers would like?

goody bags for a two year olds birthday party

William’s second birthday party was at a gym, so I didn’t feel the need to make his goody bags themed.  That helped since I wasn’t limited at all with what could go inside.  I had about 25 kiddos at his party.  I used clear treat bags; these cost hardly anything and I like that you could see inside them because the kids (or parents) could choose which color of some of the items they want.  Not that it’s a big deal, but choice is nice if possible.

party favor

The main item in the goody bags were bath crayons from Nuby.  These alone could have been the party favors as I feel like they’re pretty substantial.  Nuby has AWESOME bath toys (and other products!), but these bath crayons are especially fun and perfect for toddlers.  William is very into coloring and drawing right now, so bringing crayons into the bathtub is so much fun!

nuby bath crayons

Don’t worry, mommas!  These Nuby bath crayons are easy to clean!  In fact, William has just as much fun wiping away the crayon as he does drawing with them!  (It’s easiest and best to wipe up right away… which William is very happy about!)  Even my niece and nephew who are a few years older than William appreciated these bath crayons.  One pack lasts us a long time, especially when I give William just one crayon at a time to use.  Amazon and Babies R Us both have tons of Nuby bath items, in addition to lots of other great products!

party favor back

Other items in goody bag:

Stickers! What kiddo of any age doesn’t like stickers?  I put a sheet of sports stickers (William’s favorite!) in each goody bag.  Sometimes when we’re out to dinner, I will bring a sheet of stickers for William to play with.  It keeps him busy and is good for his fine motor skills when he works to peel off each sticker.

Pop Toobs!  Again, something else that is so great for toddlers and older kids.  You can pull them apart and they become really long and then push them back together again.  They make a funny noise when you do this.  You can twist them and attach them together if you have more than one, or you can make a circle with just one.  It’s awesome because they really foster kids’ imagination as they can get creative with them.  Pop Toobs come in all different colors, too!

Bubbles!  Another all kid favorite.  I got “Birthday Bubbles” from Bubble World, and they’re extra fun because the top has a little maze with a tiny ball.

Snacks!  Giving out a snack is always a good idea since everyone needs to eat.

earth's best snack bars

Like I said before, I didn’t want to put in candy, so I chose Earth’s Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars.  These are great since eight come in a package, so just a few boxes were necessary.  William is a picky eater, but he loves these bars.  Some other reasons why these bars are wonderful:

  • Made with real strawberries
  • No hydrogenated oils – no trans fat
  • Made with no Genetically Engineered Ingredients
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Contains calcium, B Vitamins, iron, and zinc

Snack bars are perfect to throw in your bag for an on-the-go snack.

So I’d like to think I did a pretty good job with William’s second birthday goody bags.  Several parents told me they appreciated and loved everything in the party favors!

party favors

What are other good ideas for toddler party favors?

Disclaimer – Nuby and Earth’s Best provided their items at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

summer running has begun!

It’s official, summer running has begun!  Just writing the word “summer” makes me so happy.  I love love love teaching, but I also love love love summer!  (Can you blame me?!)  My last day of school was last week, and William’s school celebrated his last day with a picnic.  Of course Yaya and Audrey joined us to make it even better!

picnic yaya audrey

Do you spy those Mamma Chia squeeze pouches in the kids’ lunches?  I received an AMAZING package from them and will be giving away the very same package in the near future – it was loaded with Mamma Chia goodness! Stay tuned!

William couldn’t finish his lunch fast enough before he got to play.  There was “fishing” (in a kiddie pool with magnetic fishing poles and fish), swinging, throwing, catching, running, and more.  There was also a special visit from an ice cream truck!  I got a vanilla ice cream cone for William because I know he likes those.  Big mistake!  Audrey got some character popsicle thing (disgusting, in my opinion lol), and William HAD to have the exact same thing…

ice cream aud may16

Lesson learned, Mom.  About 12 licks later, he was over it anyway.

Last week, it seemed to rain just about everyday, so when the sun was shining this weekend, we made sure to soak up every second!  We went on lots of walks, runs, and bike rides.  If William wants to run, he gives me Zoey’s leash to hold.  Well on Saturday he wanted momma to run, so he held Zoey while I trotted along in front.

running zo may16

William seriously LOVES to run (maybe all toddlers do??), and that makes me so happy!  Something that doesn’t make me happy is a stinky dog.  Whenever I wash my bed sheets, I always give Zoey a bath.  I figure that everything / everyone can be clean at least for a day.  William likes to help me give Zoey a bath.  When we’re finished, I bundle up Zoey like a baby in the towel, and last time William wanted to hold her for the first time.  He did a great job and thought it was hilarious, so I had to snap a picture!

zoey bath

linking up with katie and erin

And my own summer running has begun, as well.  I know I always talk about wanting to get back into running, but I’m so constrained by time.  This summer, I should be able to run four times a week – that’s my goal.  It might shift into different workouts, but right now I really want to build up my endurance and speed because that is long gone.  Come on muscle memory, where are ya?!  So this weekend, I pounded out two miles on BOTH Saturday and Sunday!

running selfie

They were slow, but I made it through!  Hey, it’s a start!  Now I’ve got to make my racing calendar for the summer!

Who ran this weekend? What are your summer racing plans?