Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shanti Uganda–Opportunities to Give

“In the past year Shanti Uganda has assisted in bringing 113 new lives into the world safely and peacefully, tested over 400 mothers and partners for HIV and other STIs, provided 1000 antenatal care appointments and run a weekly infant immunization and family planning program.”

Now, in 2013 Shanti Uganda has big goals, but they need our help to make them become a reality!

Please check out all of their opportunities to give to donate any amount to help purchase an acre of land, provide birth supplies & emergency transportation to over 2000 Ugandan women, provide solar power for the birth house & laboratory or a place to call home.

You can follow the organization on:

facebook, twitter, pinterest or flickr

UNICEF’S End Trafficking Project

There are more than 5.5 million children worldwide who are used for forced labor and child trafficking.  Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 of the United States. The victims suffer from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.   This horrific practice can include prostitution, pornography, and sex tourism as well as labor for domestic service, factory or construction work, and migrant farming.

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UNICEF is working to bring an end to child trafficking. Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Join or start a UNICEF club at your high school or
    college. Visit unicefusa.org/highschool or
    unicefusa.org/campusinitiative
  2. Find out how many slaves work for you. Slavery Foot
    print’s website allows consumers to understand how
    their purchases may connect them. Take the site’s survey and
    use their action center and mobile app to raise your voice for
    ethically sourced products. Visit slaveryfootprint.org.
  3. Keep Learning. Visit unicefusa.org/endtrafficking and
    notmylife.org to learn more about what UNICEF and
    other organizations are doing to protect children.

If you would like to report potential cases, get help, or request information and training. Please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, 1-888-373-7888. This 24/7 toll-free hotline is 100% confidential.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chowdafest 2013

chowdafest

On Sunday, February 3, 2013, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. the 5th annual Chowdafest will take place at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT.  This is seriously one of my favorite events of the year.  There will be 23 different restaurants in attendance, serving up 30 different kinds of chowder! AND you get to vote on your favorite in each category (New England Clam Chowder, Creative Chowder & Soup/Bisque)

The tickets are only $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 years old and 5 & under are FREE! All proceeds benefit the CT Food Bank and if you bring a non-perishable food item, you will be entered into a raffle for a Stop & Shop gift card.

Some of the restaurants that will be there are:

Blue Lemon (Westport), Bobette’s (Milford), The Brewhouse (Norwalk), Bobby Q’s (Westport), Close Harbour Seafood (Plantsville), Crab Shell (Stamford), Donovan’s (Norwalk), Dunville’s (Westport), Ginger Man (Norwalk), The Goose (Darien), Liquid Lunch (Shelton / Milford), Mansion Clam House (Westport), Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro (Norwalk), Norm Bloom & Sons (Norwalk), Old Post Tavern (Fairfield), On the Rocks (E. Haddam), O’Neill’s (Norwalk), Restaurant at Rowayton (Rowayton), Rory’s (Darien), Soup Thyme (Monroe), Southport Brewing Co. (Stamford/Fairfield), Super Duper Weenie Dog (Fairfield), Swanson’s Seafood (Fairfield), Tavern on Main (Westport) and Valencia Luncheria (Norwalk).

It’s sure to be a great time for the whole family! I hope you can make it!

Workout Wednesday–Get up, Get down

Happy Workout Wednesday everyone! This week I did a mix of core work and cardio.  Links to the workouts are under the graphic.

workout

Jumping Jacks

Plank

Burpees

Side Planks

Butt Kickers

ENJOY!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mamavation Monday

mondaysgraphicwbrown1

I wrote the title for this post… I think maybe 12 hours ago and I haven’t been able to figure out what to write about.  So I guess just a quick update will do!

I spent this past weekend in NYC with my sister and had a blast! I ate, I drank & I was merry.  We saw Newsies on Broadway, did some shopping and attended a party for her company that she has spent months planning.  It was great! My one responsibility for the weekend was to make reservations at a restaurant for Friday night.  I found one with excellent reviews that served super fresh, local & organic foods and if I may toot my own horn for a minute – it was supposedly really hard to get reservations at this place and I got them! It was also really cool to see right on their menu that they were against GMOs and they don’t serve them, how cool is that? And oh yeah, the food was bangin’! It literally made me want to cry tears of joy.

I didn’t do a whole lot as far as exercising, not even walking around the city. It was frigid. But, I am signed up for a virtual 5k for this weekend and I have a 4 miler with my sister the following weekend.  I also have a birthday party, a baby shower, a chowdafest and of course some super bowl watching to do this weekend. I’m going to be super busy!

Hmmm… look at that, it looks like I had more to say than I thought!

Have a great week!

This post is sponsored by Beanitos and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Workout Wednesday–Thighs & Flies

 

Here’s a great workout for your thighs and arms.  Try doing the full 3 circuits, but if you are having difficulty you can adjust the amount of reps, the size of the weights you are using or the number of circuits you do.  There are links at the bottom to videos or pictures of the exercises. Enjoy!

thighsandflies

Sumo Squat With Side Arm Raises

Narrow Squat With Overhead Press

The Flamingo Balance

Lunges With Dumbbells

Reverse Flies

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mamavation Monday–New York State of Mind

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It’s going to be a long week.  You know when you are looking forward to something that is coming up and time seems to slow down to snail speed? Yeah, that will be this week.  On Friday I am leaving for NYC for a weekend with my sister and I can’t wait!!

I’m also really excited about the Mamavation twitter party tonight. We get to find out who the two new mamavation mom’s are going to be.  There are so many great candidates, I honestly don’t know who I would choose if it were up to me! I’ve been following along with most of the hazing workouts they’ve been doing.  I didn’t push myself quite as hard as normal because I have a knack for getting sick after overdoing it and I am not missing out on NYC! But, I have all the workouts written down and they will get done!

Here is my progress on my 2013 goals:

Run 13 5Ks – 1/13

Run 365 miles this year – 19/365

Run a 30 minute or less 5K – Best time: 34:01 for 3.17 miles.

Read 5 books – 0/5

Do a split – Still stretching daily!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mamavation Monday

mondaysgraphicwbrown1

Whew! What a week, I was busy, busy, busy! Luckily, it was all fun stuff for the most part.  Monday my youngest son started his new semester at music class.  It’s so much fun to dance and sing with him and watch him learn!

Then, on Tuesday I was invited to Mohegan Sun Casino to blog about their restaurant week. It was a great experience and I got to meet Jennifer from Savoring the Thyme! disneyonice

On Thursday a friend invited my oldest son and I to see Disney on Ice.  She had won front row seats and we were practically on the ice.  The kids had a blast (okay, we may have too!) 

Friday we went out for dinner and I worked on redesigning the blog, (still in the works.) And, on Saturday we went to see Beauty and the Beast at our local cabaret theatre!

I had a lot of fun all week, but man, am I exhausted!

Here is where I am at with my 2013 goals:

Run 13 5Ks – 1/13

Run 365 miles this year – 16/365

Run a 30 minute or less 5K – Best time: 34:01 for 3.17 miles.

Read 5 books – 0/5

Do a split – Still stretching daily!

This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun

Last night I had the chance to go to one of my favorite places in the whole world, Mohegan Sun.  It’s a little over an hour from my house but so worth the drive.  Every time I walk through the doors I instantly get an ear-to-ear smile plastered on my face.

My husband and I had gone there in October to celebrate our anniversary at  BrewFest and we also went a couple weeks ago to see Coldplay! This time around I brought my Mother-in-law, she had been invited to Mohegan Sun a couple weeks ago, but she couldn’t go….because she was babysitting for us….so we could see Coldplay…at Mohegan Sun. Sorry! 

So, we headed up to take advantage of one of the great dining deals they have this week for Restaurant Week. We decided to eat at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, neither of us had ever been there before.  They were offering 20% off of your food purchase so it was the perfect time to check it out!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I looked at the menu online so I had an idea of what sort of food they served, a Regional American menu that features dishes which showcase the wealth of ingredients and traditions of New England. Everything on the menu looked absolutely amazing and unique, but I had no idea that the atmosphere in the restaurant would also be amazing. It was a Tuesday night so I didn’t expect it to be too crowded.  It was very relaxing and even as more and more people shuffled in it maintained it’s peaceful ambience.  The staff were all incredibly friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the menu.
bobbyflaybread
They brought us out a basket of assorted breads to start with, I tried a multi-grain dinner roll and a cornbread “finger” (I don’t know if that’s the real name, ha!) They were yummy and not too filling before dinner.

bobbyflaywine


Oh, there was wine too! Don’t worry, they are not stingy with the wine.  I had taken a few sips before I snapped the picture!









Next, I had a sampling of their three Shellfish Cocktails. Shrimp-Tomatillo, Coconut-Crab and Lobster-Avocado. They were the perfect size, served in cocktail glasses.  My favorite was the Lobster-Avocado but the tomatillo sauce that came with the shrimp was AMAZING. Which, I found out later is one of Bobby Flay’s signature sauces.
shellfishcocktail

bostonlettucebobbyflays
My mother-in-law tried the Boston lettuce salad which included a poached egg on top.  She wasn’t too sure about the egg, but ended up really enjoying it!








2013-01-08 18.20.39I ordered the Gala Apple Salad for my dinner and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pomegranate dressing that it came with had tons of fresh pomegranate seeds. It was a really nice compliment to the apples, spinach, blue cheese and walnuts in the salad.






My mother-in-law ordered the New York strip steak. I stole a little bite and it was easily one of the best steaks I have ever eaten! (And I’ve eaten a lot of steak!)
We had a great time and I can’t wait to return!


Disclaimer: Mohegan Sun provided me with a gift card to pay for my meal, as always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year’s Goals… a week later

I’m not really a fan of the whole New Year’s resolution thing. Mostly because it is widely known for setting people up for failure.  I like goals though, something achievable that you are able to work towards. I had already started making goals in my head as 2013 approached but decided I needed to get them out there and solidify them! I am also going to try to make an update each week in my mamavation post on how I’m doing with reaching my goals. Most of them involve running, but I’m sure I’ll think of more as the year goes on, so I can just add to my list!

2013 Goals

Run 13 5Ks – I signed up for the #13in2013 challenge and I’ve already run my first race, 12 more to go!

Run 365 miles this year – I don’t usually get the chance to go running every day but I think a collective 7 miles a week should be doable & get me to get out there and go running! So far this year I’ve run 9.7 miles.  I’ve been tracking with dailymile.

Run a 30 minute or less 5K – The couch to 5K app I used on my phone when I started running has a “5K improvement plan” I started it today and ran just over a 5K (3.17 miles) in 34:58!

Okay! Enough with the running goals!

Read 5 books – I hardly ever find the time to read, but I love too! I was able to read 3 books last year (okay it was the 50 shades series.) So, I think I should be able to get in at least 5 this year! Any suggestions?

Do a split – Yes, feel free to laugh.  I just always thought it was awesome when someone was able to do a split so I turned to my most reliable source of information. Google. And looked up the stretches you should do if you want to be able to do a split. I’ve been working on doing them everyday.  This actually doing me some good already because I always forget to stretch!

I also have a goal just for the month of January of getting the kids playroom organized! I’ve been working on it little by little and I’m starting to think I probably should have made this a year long goal as well!!! Haha.

This post is sponsored by Schick Intuition and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Restaurant Week at Mohegan Sun

restaurantWeek-012013-cpToday is the first day of Restaurant Week at Mohegan Sun and there are a lot of really great deals that range from a cup of coffee at Starbucks to a steak dinner at Michael Jordan's Steak House. It took me forever to decide which restaurant to dine at for my upcoming visit but I finally decided on Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain. I’ve been wanting to check it out since it opened and now that they are offering 20% off your food purchase for restaurant week, it’s the perfect time! 

They offer a diverse American menu which you can read all about in my review after I visit on Tuesday.

There are also two new restaurants that recently opened at Mohegan Sun, Hash House A Go Go and The Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House.  They both have special offers for restaurant week and I hope to visit them soon!

Click here to check out the rest of the great dining deals, which are available through January 11th.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#13in2013–Race number one!

Happy New Year!
13in2013race1

This morning I ran my first 5K of the year.  A “Chilly Chili” run! Thankfully, it wasn’t too chilly, about 40°F and clear skies.  I finished with a time of 39:17. (Yes, I’m a slow runner!) which is just about a minute over my PR. 

There were four runners in the race who were over 90 years old, with the oldest being 94! How awesome and inspiring is that? They had all recently had or are having birthdays so they had a birthday cake for them at the end, and chili, lots of chili!




newbalance


My New Balance sneakers that I got fitted for last month were great during the race, although, I was a little sad that it was muddy out! Haha, I know they can’t look new forever.  I am still free of aches/pains/injuries.





lentilchili


When I got home, you’ll never guess what I made. More chili.  There were thirteen different types of chili’s offered post race but I wasn’t a fan of the one I chose. So I made some lentil & chicken chili because, well, lentils are supposed to be lucky for the New Year, so why not eat some!







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…and a new bib for my wall’o’bibs! woohoo!








How did your first race of the year go? If you wrote a post about it please feel free to leave a link in the comments!

Oh! And I’m going to make an effort to use dailymile more this year, so please follow and leave a link to yours in the comments, too!
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