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This past Saturday I ran my very first 1/2 Marathon - yay! I had the pleasure of training with a wonderful group of moms from my children's school, who encouraged and motivated me. Here we are after we all crossed the finish line. Looking good!
I know that my 1/2 marathon may not seem like a huge deal, but it is to me. I wrote about why I started running and why I finally decided to run this race - you can find that post here. Honestly, it felt like such a big day for me, mostly because getting to race day proved to be harder than I had planned. First, I couldn't register because the race was full. Lucky for me a few spots opened on my birthday and I officially enrolled. Next, I hurt my foot on our 12 mile run two weeks before the big race....Lucky for me it healed. Then there was finding time to train. Finally, my baby scratched my eye so bad the week before the race that I couldn't see...Lucky for me it healed fast too. On race day I felt really good...both feet and eyes were working as they should!
My friend from my running group picked me up at 5:30 am and then we met up with the other ladies from our group to carpool to the race. It was fun and exciting getting there at the crack of dawn and chatting away. This particular 1/2 marathon is part of the Great Race of Agoura. The Great Race is a huge fundraiser (they have several races that morning) for local schools and really has a ton of community support behind it. The volunteers were out in full force so early in the morning and that made me super happy. A bathroom break was next and then we made our way to the start line, which is located at the top of a residential street.
I felt nervous and excited at the same time. The race starts easy...you go down that long hill that you climb earlier (to get to the start line) and for the next 3 miles you run on flat land through charming Old Agoura. At mile 3 you hit the trail head and for the next 7.5 miles you run on the Cheeseboro Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. It is really quite beautiful...You would never guess that you are so close to LA and a major freeway! I started the trail portion feeling really great, with a good pace that I kept up until mile 6. That's when I almost cried. I realized that the hard part of the race was just starting. The flat trail was about to turn into a series of hard short climbs. I said a quick prayer and kept on going. Yep, those little rocky parts were harder and longer than I remembered from our practice runs but everyone was pushing along.
Then came the LONG steady climb up to the highest elevation. Most people, including me, walked for part of the climb. I made it to the top - pictured below - I was VERY happy to see this view! I knew that the next part of the race was mostly downhill!
It's a fast way down for about a mile...then you hit flat land, climb one more tough hill and finally you run on the streets for the last 2.5 miles. The last 2.5 miles took forever to finish. I was beyond excited to see that finish line! It was so nice to congratulate the ladies in my group on our run - we all did great! After the race my family took me out for a celebratory lunch - I enjoyed the biggest burger and cocktail! Here's a picture of me after I had made it up and down that hill!
How did I do? I finished in 02:07:11. I think that's great. 8 months ago I had struggled on my 1st post baby run. It was 2 miles and I cried when I got home because it had been so hard to complete. I have come a long way...until the next one!
I believe in hiring companies that not only do a great job but are also are good stewards in the community. A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to have Zerorez SoCal come to my house and clean my kitchen and bathroom floors. They did a wonderful job and I will definitely have them over again to work on other areas of my house. I told you all about their non-toxic technology that's used to clean pretty much any surface in your home and how their water is so safe that even my kids drank it! See the picture on the left?
But did you know that Zerorez SoCal is also actively involved in helping our communities with their Zerorez SoCal Minor Miracles program? That's what makes them a really awesome company - they care about their work, your family's health, the environment and the communities that they serve.
"Minor Miracles is a program Zerorez SoCal has developed to help deserving organizations or individuals. We regularly choose individuals or organizations that we feel need a lift, and we clean their home or offices for free. We have noticed that helping provide a clean, healthy environment is greatly appreciated by recipients and gives them a psychic “boost”, and it also allows us to be a part of our community by improving the lives of those we touch with our “minor miracles”.
I have been incredibly fortunate to be around people who care about giving to others. The earliest lesson came from my parents, who taught me to give to the less fortunate, even though we didn't have much ourselves. Then, for a large part of my childhood I was enrolled in an after school program where I later volunteered as a mentor. I saw so many people give their time to help inner city children. Now, I am involved on the Board of two non-profits. I know first hand that these organizations depend on community support in all shapes and sizes! That's why I love the Zerorez SoCal #minormiracles program! They are doing their part to work with local organizations to better carry out their missions!
Do you know of a non-profit, church, or community space in Southern California that could benefit from free cleaning by Zerorez SoCal's #MinorMiracles program? Please take a few minutes and fill out this form and submit your nomination. Note their Service Areas: Orange County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino.
Some of their past “minor miracle” recipients include:
- Working Wardrobes offices and showroom – helping the homeless train, dress, and apply for employment.
- U.S. Veterans offices – Provide apartments for veterans who are homeless and seeking a new start
- Women’s Shelter of Huntington Beach
- Mother’s Day Program (10 deserving moms provided cleaning service, recipients to remain anonymous) One winner filmed here: http://youtu.be/5vq2lr8ON-I
- Family of five teenagers who lost their father to a heart attack (recipients to remain anonymous)
- Whitehouse Restaurant of Anaheim – over 500,000 free meals provided to homeless “motel” kids
Zerorez SoCal Services include:
- Carpet Cleaning (great on berber!)
- Area rug cleaning (incl wool, silk, cotton, Persians)
- Upholstery cleaning
- Tile and grout cleaning and resealing
- Natural stone cleaning (marble, travertine, etc.)
- Hardwood clean and buff
- Mattress cleaning
- Air Ducts and Furnace cleaning
- Pet urine removal
- Linoleum and vinyl tile cleaning
- Counter top cleaning
- Shower cleaning
- Leather furniture cleaning
- Patio decks, garage floors, walkways
- Autos, boats, and motorhomes cleaning
- Carpet stretch and repair
- Commercial facility cleaning
St. Patrick's Day Recipe Tips by Coco Peate
Happy St. Patricks' Day!
I love that you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, that’s for sure! It’s a great holiday for fun and games. It's one of those days that everyone can enjoy and be a little green!
I've been thinking about healthy snack and recipe ideas for celebrating this holiday with your family, check them out below.
Tip 1: Start with Green-Colored Ingredients
- Green Apples
- Green Beans
- Green Chiles
- Green Grapes
- Honeydew Melon
- Spinach Pasta
- Spinach Tortillas
Tip 2: Plan a green meal. Just add a dab of green food coloring to some your favorite soft-textured foods. Here are some suggestions:
- Alfredo Sauce
- Cake Frosting (white/light colored)
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Deviled Eggs (add green dye to yolk mixture)
- Low Fat Vanilla Pudding
- Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt
- Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
- Mac & Cheese (with a white cheddar sauce)
- Vanilla or Banana Milkshakes
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ranch Dressing
- Pasta Salad
- Pesto Sauce
- Potato Salad
- Scrambled Eggs
- Sour Cream (for garnishes)
- White Gravy
- Whipped Cream (low fat)
Tip 3: Serve Green-Colored Recipes/Foods
- Leafy Salads
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Spinach Ravioli (with a cheese sauce)
- Spinach Dip (with green veggies)
- Spinach Soup
- Spinach Tortillas (as wraps)
- Green Fruit Pops
- Green Colored Smoothies or Shakes. This site has some great ideas.
- Whip up a batch of sugar cookies, adding a couple of drops of green food coloring to the dough. Try substituting 1/2 of the white flour with wheat flour.
- For a healthier alternative to corned beef and cabbage, try these two recipes at Healthyrecipeoftheweek.com and www.dailyspark.com.
The larger my family has gotten, the more I have employed the 5-second rule. Dropped pacifiers being the biggest culprit...I remember that when my first child was tiny their dropped paci received a complete sterilization session, but by the time my 5th child came along, well, let's just say the pacifier has been given to back to the baby (by me) with a quick wipe on my shirt on a many occasions. You name it - toys, food, sippy cups - pretty much everything that my kids put in their mouths also ends up on the floor. All day long. Every day. It would make me crazy trying to clean every single thing that fell on the floor before handing it back to my kids. Lucky for me, conventional wisdom has allowed me to happily employ the five-second rule for quite some time.
1. My floors and carpets are clean. Well, ok, they are clean enough when you consider that I have 5 young kids, a husband and a dog that live in our house. 2. I have super mom reflexes that don't allow most items to stay on the floor too long.
BUT...see this cute baby?
He spends most of his day crawling around on my floors. He drools on them, plays on them and yes, licks them! Even though I clean the floors 3 days a week, between all the foot traffic and spills, I know this little guy is hanging out with some nasty stuff. I can see it in these pictures - see the dark grout color?
While I employ the five-second rule for my sanity, I know that it's a myth. Research has shown that once an item hits the ground, it's contaminated. Sure, the amount of contamination totally depends on how long you leave it on the floor, what's actually on your floor and the type of item that fell. I'm not a complete germaphobe, you just can't be with lots of kids in your home, but I do want to make an extra effort to keep the floors clean, especially when I have a baby crawling around on the floor.
So, now what? The floors were brand new when we moved in to our home 2.5 years ago. However, just in that short amount of time they have shown lots of wear and tear. I'm picky about how we were going to clean them because we've been working on making greener changes to how we eat, live and clean around here. That's why I was excited to have Zerorez Socal come to my house and clean the kitchen floors and bathroom floor.
What makes Zerorez SoCal different? Zerorez is a green technology for cleaning surfaces in your home without use of harmful chemicals or solvents. That's my kind of cleaning service! They use fresh alkaline water to clean instead of harmful chemicals that can leave residue. Zerorez cleaning services are based on their unique EMPOWERED WATER™ technology. Their water that is electrolyzed and oxidized to create a powerful cleaning solution without harmful toxins or chemicals - cool! As a matter of fact, their water is so safe that you can drink it - see? This is me drinking the water!
My kids were so shocked to see me drink the water that they just had to try it out too, of course.
Did it work? Yes!
Here are before and after pictures of the toughest kitchen area that our super friendly and professional Zerorez SoCal technician cleaned.
What do you think? Like night and day, right?
Want to check them out?
I was really impressed with Zerorez Socal. I'm going to have them back again soon to continue making our home clean and healthy! You can have them come to you by taking advantage of this special deal for Vidacoco readers! Zerorez SoCal can clean your carpet, hardwood, tile and grout, and natural stone. Zerorez SoCal does clean upholstery, but it is not part of the deal.
Thanks Zerorez SoCal! It was great having you out to our home and we look forward to having you all back. The kids are still talking about drinking the water!
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I have created a list of food items that I keep on hand in my pantry, refrigerator, freezer, etc. I did this for a friend…