chick-fil-a review // healthy options for mom & kids

I was invited by my local Chick-fil-A (CFA) to host a Mom’s brunch to test out two new products: Spicy Southwest Salad and Frosted Coffee. In addition, we were able to try the Superfood Side. CFA knows that one of their biggest customer bases are moms with young kids – and they’re doing everything they can to make the menu healthier. From Honest Kids apple juice to fruit salad to Superfood Side (made with kale), there are options that will appeal to even the healthiest (and pickiest) of eaters.

I never thought I’d order anything other than chicken nuggets from CFA, but the Spicy Southwest Salad might change my mind. I love the crisp romaine and baby greens (I’m a picky lettuce eater) and the Chile Lime Pepitas add an unexpected crunch. The portions are big and I was able to get two meals out of one salad. At 420 calories (not including dressing), the Spicy Southwest Salad is an excellent choice for those looking for a healthier option.

Ingredients: Slices of grilled spicy chicken breast, chilled and served on a fresh bed of chopped Romaine lettuce and baby greens, topped with shredded red cabbage and carrots, grape tomatoes, a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and a zesty combination of roasted corn and black beans. Made fresh daily. Served with Seasoned Tortilla Strips, Chile Lime Pepitas and Creamy Salsa Dressing (or guest’s choice of dressing). Chick-fil-A SaladCreated to replace the coleslaw side, the Superfood Side is a healthier alternative to its predecessor. Filled with broccolini and kale, and tossed in a sweet vinaigrette, the Superfood Side is both delicious and healthy. I love kale, but many of the moms in my group did not – until they tried the Superfood Side. At 140 calories, the Superfood Side is sure to change any kale-haters mind.

Ingredients: Chopped Broccolini® and kale blend, tossed in a sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with flavorful dried sour cherries. Served with our roasted nut blend.

Last up — the Frosted Coffee. I love coffee and I love vanilla Icedream (if it werChick-fil-A Frosted Coffeee socially acceptable to eat icedream for lunch, I would). The Frosted Coffee is an amazing combination of two things every mom needs – coffee and ice cream. Not too much of either flavor, the Frosted Coffee is delicious and only 240 calories. Available for a limited time.

Ingredients: A delicious hand-spun treat that combines our custom blend of cold-brewed coffee with our famous vanilla Icedream®.

Menu items are available at all locations but subject to availability

A special thanks to the Chick-fil-A Seven Corners for hosting the Mom’s brunch and providing a wonderful meal to us and our kids. If you’re in the area, try new Mobile Ordering and Reserved Parking Spots (like a drive-thru but without the long lines) – order and pay online and when you arrive, a CFA employee will bring out your food.

6108 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
See map: Google Maps


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valentine’s day favorites

This year I did all of my Valentine’s Day shopping at Whole Foods. And if you’re busy like me, you can appreciate the one-stop-shop. I was able to pick up a few of my favorite things for my favorite people.


Find the closest Whole Foods here.

What’s on your Valentine’s Day List?

happy birthday, daddy

Happy Birthday to the rock of our family, the one we always lean on and the one we love to hug. I’m thankful for all you do but most importantly, I’m thankful I get to spend my life with you. Enjoy your special day – we love you!


review // lily jade co

Do you remember that line from Mean Girls: “I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom“? Yea, in my head, that’s me. But in real life, I’m just a regular mom that happens to like cool things. Things that are practical but pretty. Things that make mom-life better (and easier). Things that double as other things.

That’s why I love Lily Jade Co diaper bags. This is a diaper bag disguised as a purse.


I love my Marc Jacobs Eliz-a-Baby but with 2 kids in 2 years, I needed something that was both pretty and practical. I needed a diaper bag that was also a backpack that was also a cross body that was also a purse. And that’s when I stumbled upon Lily Jade.

Lily Jade bags are made from premium full grain leather (think soft but durable). Each bags comes with a removable inner bag, referred to as the “Baby Bag”. The “Baby Bag” is machine washable (gentle cycle) and contains pockets for both baby’s and mommy’s needs. The “Baby Bag” is designed to quickly snap out and be easily transferred to your pool, gym, travel bag, office bag, or another one of your totes – making it versatile and functional. Add a cross body strap (that also makes the bag a backpack), silver hardware, and a brandy/camel color that will make you swoon, and you’ve found a diaper bag that will last you well beyond the baby years.

Screen Captures7You can find me mostly wearing my bag as a backpack (I need both hands with 2 little ones). I love the size – not too big, not too small. Big enough to fit everything I need. Small enough to fit in the stroller basket. Light enough that I can wear my baby and my bag. Strong enough to withhold the rigors of motherhood. Stylish enough to use as a diaper bag and purse. Functional enough that it fits into motherhood.


If you’re looking for a bag that doubles (or triples) as something else, Lily Jade Co has what you need. And if you’re like me, less is more, you’ll love this bag even more.


The bags range in price and are comparable to other name brand bags. When you buy a Lily Jade, you’re getting a great bag for a great price. Head over now – most bags are on sale, including my beloved Madeline in Brandy!

What do you love most about your diaper bag?


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note: I was given a Lily Jade bag in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

kale & butternut squash salad

I’m kind of obsessed with kale & squash right now. They are healthy. Runner’s World Magazine lists them as a “seasonal superfood”. And they are just so damn tasty.


It’s starting to get cold at night, so I’ve been craving hearty but healthy and not too filling. My kale & butternut squash salad is the perfect combination of all three. Pair that with delicious & unique flavors, and you have a salad that everyone can enjoy.

Butternut Squash
Pomegranate Seeds
Shallots/Red Onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Fresh Salt & Pepper

Heat over to 350 degrees. Cut off top/bottom of butternut squash. Using a peeler, peel skin off of the butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds (discard). Slice into small sections and cut into chunks. Drizzle with EVOO and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until done.


While the squash is cooking, prepare the pomegranate seeds and kale. Our Whole Foods sells ready-to-go pomegranate seeds but at $9.99 for a small container , I opt to prepare them myself. It can be tricky and not-so-pretty at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite easy. Check out this tutorial here. Wash kale thoroughly and chop, and cut shallots into thin slices. In a small bowl, mix together EVOO, juice from one lemon, salt and pepper.


Prepare the salad while butternut squash cools. Kale, shallots, pomegranate seeds, and pecans. Top with roasted butternut squash and drizzle with lemon dressing.





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dreams & aspirations // 2016

I rarely set resolutions. That’s not my personality. I’m not motivated by “On X day, I’ll start working out”. If I want to do something, I usually just do it.

I do, however, have dreams & aspirations for the New Year. There are things I want to do, things I want to start, and dreams I want to dream. My top priority is more sleep but we’ll see if I can manage that one 😉

In no particular order:

  • journal more // i need a place to share my thoughts, my fears, my joys – a place without judgement
  • run more // pretty non-existent in 2015 but now that Coco can (safely) run in the Bob, i have more options
  • laugh more // sometimes i forget to laugh because i’m so exhausted (i was up 7 times in 7 hours last night), but i never want to stop laughing
  • dream (BIG) more // i have some big dreams for 2016 and i want to have confidence to start them
  • blog more // it was really hard to blog in 2015. i had 2 kids under 2 and no childcare or help. i hope i can change that this year
  • be more intentional // with my time, with my friendships, with my family
  • travel more // i crave adventure and hope we can travel more this year
  • pray more // i pray everyday but I want to be more intentional when I pray. In the little things, in the big things, and the good & bad things

What are your dreams for 2016?


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the best of 2015

I can’t believe today is the last day of 2015.

2015 was filled with miracles, new life, challenges, lack of sleep, lots of laughter, forgiveness, adventures, friendships, and y grace. I became a second time mom, to sweet Baby Coco, and motherhood handed me new set of challenges. Motherhood, however, continues to be my greatest adventure and I can’t imagine spending my days any other way (at least for now).

I ran my entire pregnancy with Mr. President by my side, or rather, in the Bob. It wasn’t fast or far but I did it. I sold my road bike – it hadn’t been ridden in 2+ years – and bought a mountain bike and Burley bike trailer. Mr. President loves riding with me. 2 weeks ago, I set up the Double Bob and took both kids on a run. I’ve barely run (I can count the number of times on 2 hands) since having Coco. I didn’t run a single race in 2015. But I’m okay with that. For now. I hope 2016 is filled with more running & biking. My heart is craving a good run.

I had a baby GIRL! Coco (given the nickname from her big brother) is such a blessing, a true gift from God. She’s exactly what I needed. She’s happy all the time, smiles and laughs when you need it the most, loves her big brother, and has the most beautiful big blue eyes I’ve ever seen (pictures don’t do them justice). She’s also a boob snob which makes it almost impossible to leave her, but secretly I love that she needs me. There will be a point when she doesn’t.

Mr. President and I set out on a crazy set of adventures before the baby was born and called it the #bucketlistbeforebaby project. We had so much fun exploring new – and old – places. I did it on a whim – and now recommend it to everyone. Make a list, create an adventure, and explore. It’s such a fun gift for your kids.

BJ and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. I can’t believe it. I’m thankful for all he does for our family – and especially the gift of being able to stay home with our kids. We had our ups and downs and challenges (2 kids under 2 and serious lack of sleep doesn’t help) but I wouldn’t want to journey through life with anyone else.

My family, but mostly my mom and sister. I couldn’t have done this year without him. Like that time BJ went to Cambodia 6-weeks postpartum, or when he got a parasite and was sick for 12 days, or when I just needed a hug or a vent or a cry or a laugh. I’m so thankful they live close and I’m so thankful that they give their time & love to my family and me. It’s a huge blessing!

God. I thank God for these gifts. Every. Single. One. The good times, the bad times, the laughs and cries, the mishaps and adventures, the joys of being a mom. It’s an emotional roller coaster but I wouldn’t want my life to be any other way.

I hope your 2015 was filled with the good & the bad – that’s what makes life so real. That’s what makes life worth living.

I’m excited for 2016. I’m excited to journal more, run more, spend more time with friends, laugh more, write/blog more, sleep more (a girl can hope!), and love more.



the most wonderful time of the year

I say this all of the time but I don’t know where the time goes. Christmas is 4 days away. And it’s almost 2016.

Even with the hustle & bustle of the holidays, I’m trying to enjoy every little minute with my family. And it’s wonderful. From Christmas lights to Nativity scenes, train displays and nature walks, I love spending this time living out the beauty of Christmas. The birth of our Savior. The reason for the season.

At two years old (26 months), Mr. President is old enough to share in the spirit of Christmas. It’s such a gift to hear him sing “Away in a Manger” or “Jingle Bells”, play with his Nativity set (if you don’t have one, you need this), turn on the Christmas lights, and decorate his tree. We tell Coco about the birth of Jesus and even let her chew on baby Jesus (much to the chagrin of her big brother). We read Christmas stories and end every night with a choice of Christmas hymns. It’s so much fun to relive Christmas through the eyes of a child.

The next 10 days are packed with fun Christmas activities, especially since my sister’s are in town. We’ve got the National Harbor, Botanical Garden’s Pollination Station, Roosevelt Island, Griswold Christmas lights, National Christmas Tree, and so much more. I’m beyond thankful for this time with my family.

I hope I always remember these moments. The fun ones. The hard ones. The joyful ones. It’s really what makes life so joyful & sweet.




I hope your days are filled with love, joy, peace, and laughter.

Merry Christmas to you & yours.


diy // christmas tree for kids

Mr. President is two. He’s tall. He’s curious. And he gets into everything. I knew my Christmas decorations didn’t stand a chance, so I decided to make Abe a tree of his own. A tree he can decorate, un-decorate, change, mix-up, and have fun.

vsco-photo-1 (1)

This Christmas tree couldn’t get much easier or cheaper if I tried. I spent $8 total (less if you elminate/already have glitter pens) and about one hour of my time (Baby Coco helped while Mr. Prez was napping).  Plus, it was fun to make. I just love Christmas decorations.

What You Need
1 yard green felt
5 8×10 swatches of felt (I bought red, yellow, blue, white, and brown. 5/$1 at JoAnn Fabrics!)
Crayola glitter pens – to decorate ornaments (optional)
Cookie cutters – to make ornaments (optional)
Sharpie marker
Command strips/tape (to hang the tree to the wall)


How You Make It
I started with the ornaments. A star, circles, snowflakes, candy canes, and gingerbread kids (one for LJ and one for Coco). I drew them by hand (with a sharpie) and cut them out. If you aren’t comfortable free styling, this is where the cookie cutters come in handy. Once the ornaments are done, it’s time to decorate. I drew stripes, chevrons, polka dots, stars, and more. Be creative!


While the ornaments are drying, it’s time to make the tree. Fold the green felt, long-ways, in half. Draw the outline of a tree with a sharpie Again, I drew the tree by hand but you can use a ruler to draw straight, even lines.  Once your tree is complete, cut it out.


To hang tree, attach command stripes/tape to all corners of the tree (I used 7 stripes) and hang on the wall. The best part about this tree is that felt sticks on felt, so it’s easy & fun to decorate.


I waited about 18 hours for the ornaments to dry and in the morning I handed them to Mr. Prez to hang on the tree. He marched right up and decorated the tree. He loves it! And his favorite ornament is Gingerbread Girl Coco (he loves his little sister!).


That’s it – a fun, simple, cheap Christmas project that the kids will love!

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What fun Christmas Crafts have you made with the kids?

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Twitter: @run4margaritas


fair trade matters

from far away farms to your shopping cart, products that bear the Fair Trade Certified logo come from farmers & workers who are justly compensated – @fairtradeusa

October is Fair Trade Month and I’m celebrating by consciously looking for and buying Fair Trade certified items. There are so  many reasons why Fair Trade matters and makes a difference.


Did you know? Fair Trade:

  • promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers
  • protects fragile ecosystems
  • builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification

Fair Trade is near-and-dear to my heart because my sister, Lindsey, started a clothing company that is employs indigenous  women in the Republic of Panama and pays fair-trade wages. The impact that 4Love has had on their lives and families can not be replicated. 4Love’s mission is to bridge the gap in social inequities among indigenous women by empowering them through stable employment, profit sharing, and ongoing educational opportunities. When you buy fair trade, you are changing someone’s life. 


It’s easy to buy Fair Trade. Just look for the Fair Trade Certified Label on your favorite items.


Some of my favorite brands are Fair Trade. Are yours? 

Bark Thins
Numi Tea
Pura Vida Coffee
West Elm
Dang Foods
4Love Clothing


Join the conversation at BeFair.Org and enter to win Fair Trade Certified prizes every day in October.


Learn more about 4Love and the lives they are changing at:

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Twitter: @run4margaritas