It’s been a long time since I just talked about what the current state of my life is, so I thought I’d do a quick recap.
Life plugs along as usual, and another school year is coming to close. With that comes a constant stream of activities, finals, open houses, and end of the year stuff. It’s great to see all of the work that the teachers and kids have done over the course of the year. It’s always the busiest, but the best time of the year.
Not only are my kids excited for school to be out, but so am I! No more rushing around in the morning trying to get everyone out the door. I look forward to summers at the beach and pool, early morning runs before my husband leaves for work and a few vacations that we have planned this summer.
It’s difficult to wrap my brain around how fast my children are growing. Honestly, the years slip past us like a balloon from a child’s hands and all I can do is sit and watch them lift off into the abyss. Wow! That sounded dramatic, but in all seriousness, it feels like they were born yesterday and now I am looking at the other end of the road… College and adulthood.
That’s why spending time with them this summer is so important to me. Yes, it can be stressful because they bicker and say they’re bored and all that garbage, but when you look back you don’t really remember those moments, you remember the games of Marco Polo, Flashlight Tag, and walking to 7-11 for a Slurpee.
On a different note, last week our dog was bitten by another dog. She had to be rushed to the vet where she was given 21 stitches on her belly and three on her ear. It could have been much worse, but it was still really upsetting to see our fur baby in pain. It’s been two weeks of antibiotics, the cone of shame, and reduced activity for her.
I must admit, walking the dog through our neighborhood can be incredibly stressful, the majority of dog walkers keep their dogs on those retractable 20-foot leashes and claim that their dogs are friendly. Even if they are friendly, I don’t necessarily want to get all tangled up in those horrible fishing line type leashes, and oftentimes I don’t have time to stop and chat. The dog who bit ours was being walked by a young boy who had no control over him. It’s frustrating and now I feel like I need to walk in the middle of the street to avoid other dog owners. An activity I used to enjoy has now become a source of stress.
I honestly try not to be too negative about the world, as I know that there are many wonderful, responsible and kind folks out there, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. I know people mean well and I’m confident that their dogs are sweet and kind at home, but many don’t understand that you need to be the boss when walking your dog otherwise your friend will feel the need to fill that role.
Not to make comparisons, but kids are no different. It’s my opinion that when you allow the kids to run the house they become aggressive, too! Did I just compare kids to dogs? haha! Oops! Anyway, I try and see all sides and I do understand that being a mean dictator isn’t the answer either. I believe in being a fair but firm leader with my dog and kids. It’s not always that simple, I know, but I try.
Speaking of kids and being a fair but firm leader, finding a healthy afterschool snack and school lunch ideas that we can all agree on can be super challenging. We are so short on time these days and when we get this crazy, I like to make snacks and lunches ahead of time otherwise we end up eating junk on the go. I make these Toasted Coconut Chocolate Strawberry Yogurt Parfaits ahead of time in these small Mason Jars and put five or six of them in the refrigerator to have on hand for the kids. They’re so good and easy to make that many times the adults in the house end up eating them as well.
With just four or five ingredients, depending on how you make them, they’re simple and much better for you than store bought yogurt parfaits that can contain large amounts of sugar and preservatives. I use Plain Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt and my Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce to sweeten them and buy the Chocolate Thai Toasted Coconut Chips from Aldi, but THESE work just as well. Garnish these parfaits with the coconut and this adds a wonderful texture and flavor to this snack. As an alternative, you could also use Granola like this RECIPE. Then, last but not least drizzle these with this Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce.
This is also a great post workout or long run meal/snack with a nice balance of protein and carbs. Speaking of which my friend Bry just wrote a very informative article about CARBS, so if you’re an athlete or runner looking for more detailed information on nutrition, head over there and read her series on the subject. I found it very helpful and I think you will too.
- 1/2 cup of Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon of Agave or Maple Syrup ( Optional )
- 2-3 Sliced Organic Strawberries
- 1/4 Cup of Chocolate Toasted Coconut or Granola
- A drizzle of Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce
- In the bottom of a small Mason Jar, place the Greek Yogurt.
- Add the Agave and mix well.
- Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Then slice and place on top of the yogurt layer.
- At this point, you can seal them and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- When ready to eat, add the coconut and chocolate drizzle.