Apparently It’s Been A Year

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

I just started working with a career coach. I’ve been feeling stuck in my career for a while. Like, years. While I have always enjoyed my job and found a lot of self-satisfaction with supporting myself and being of service to others, I have felt that there is more I could be doing, but I have no idea what exactly that is or what it looks like.

So I’m looking back on certain milestones and events in my life to pull out what about that time was the “reason to live juice” that moved me forward, and any noticeable obstacles or setbacks that may be influencing me today. As I scrolled through my photos, social media, and other resources that I’ve used to document my life, I found myself scrolling through my old blog, my first blog Munchies ‘n’ Marvels. I rebranded to this blog a few years after starting M&M, when I wanted to do less “mommy blogging” and more focused health and fitness stuff.

But I read my old M&M posts, and by no means are they pulitzer nominees, but I felt this beautiful, nostalgic wistfullness of that time. It was a diary, a photo album of a slice of my life. Sure, I mostly blogged about what I was eating and what the kids are doing. But that’s the stuff I like to talk about, what interests me. At some point, someone (I shan’t mention names) told me that type of content was boring and I would never be a successful blogger if that’s what I talk about.

But now, nearly a decade later and looking back, I know that person was wrong. Blogging was never about success. Blogging was about my creative outlet, a way to express myself and make sense of my world, and share what’s important to me. I miss it terribly. Even my crappy photos. I used to take photos of everything al lthe time in case I wanted to use them in my blog posts. Now I hardly take any, especially of myself and the kids, and I’m realizing that the lack of documentation makes me sad. This is the best way for me to preserve my memories, to watch myself and my family grow on my life path. I will never be a professional blogger. This will always be a hobby, a creative outlet. And that’s perfectly fine.

I’m starting a new business, a Whole30 health coaching business (, and I want it to be good. I want to feel good about what I’m creating. And that’s always what this has been. To create something good that I feel proud of.

So I’m back. Maybe just for today, just for my annual post. But word-vomiting on this page gives me so much relief and strength and joy. I love sharing my words with you as I share bits of my life with you.

Go make it a great day 🙂

Get It: Goals for 2019


Woo-hoo! Can we just take a moment to celebrate reaching the new year? I don’t know about you, but this year was HARD in the best of ways. So much healing and growth over here, and a LOT of fun memories. But now I am super, super stoked to have a fresh, shiny new year before us with all the magic and possibilities. Who knows what can happen?

Lately, I have stopped setting “goals” in the sense of having a specific thing and deadline to acheive said thing. I find that I either get really “meh” about it and give up, or once I achieve the thing I’m left with a “what’s next?” feeling and it takes a while to get motivated to do a new Thing. So nowadays I prefer to think of my goals as more like intentions or affirmations. Stuff I want to become, but are ever-evolving so I don’t have to feel pressured to not “fail” and not get into a slump. For me it’s a way more positive way to look at it.

So what’s in store for 2019?

One more Whole30 in January

Ugh. I know. Again. I just did one in September! But some of my coworkers are on board, and I said I’d do it in solidarity. Honestly, this may be my last one for a while. I feel pretty good on what food works for me/doesn’t work for me, and my challenge currently is to put more effort into being intentional with my health-for-me eating. I tend to get lazy and order a lot of take-out and convenience food when I feel overwhelmed with the usual Life Stuff, which if you “choose your own hard” just means I feel crummy and tired which begets more unhealthy-for-me convenience food. It’s a cycle.  So this Whole30 my focus is more on the habits to get me eating consistenly well, and less about the what I’m eating: weekly meal prepping, planning ahead, and forcing myself to eat what’s in the fridge rather than grab something on-the-go.

CrossFit 3x/week (and maybe some half marathons)

I recently started up my membership at my local gym again, and I am sooooo happy to be back! I had taken a year off, and I really missed it. As much as I love running, there is something about the fellowship of seeing familiar faces when I walk into the gym that I don’t get elsewhere. Also, holy wow I LOVE barbell work. We’ve been doing TONS of oly lift work since I returned, and I am just so warm-fuzzy good. Just slap some plates on a barbell and I will snatch, clean, jerk, and be happy.

Also, since my cancelled half back in November, I haven’t really been running or looking for new races, and I do want to get back to it. Now that the sun will slowly be creeping back in the morning I’ll have fewer excuses to get outside and run. I’ll put together a racing calendar for the year and in between the strength I’ll gain with CrossFit and a steady running program I’ll be able to do some distance racing consistenly. Because fun, right?

Marie Kondo All the Things

OMG, you guys, did you know that the new “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” show is on Netflix? That’s right, they made the hit home organizaiton book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” into a series. I started watching last night and I am so ready to go through my house and “spark joy” all over my stuff. My kids and I all have birthdays in November/December and then Christmas happens, so by the new year we are drowning in stuff! For my own sanity I am making plans to start going through the house and declutter. There’s something about a small home that makes a few items out of place feel like a few hundred. But I am in fact a strange human and I LOVE to clean and declutter, so while this will be an extensive project, I’m super pumped for it.

Bloggy Blog!

Finally, I want to blog more than once a month. It’s been something I’ve been trying to get back to doing consistently for a while, but haven’t figured out how to make the time for it other than get less sleep, and I like sleep. It keeps me healthy and sane. Both good things. But I also like writing and sharing my life here. So I’ll keep experimenting with different schedules and pockets of time (sometimes writing from my WordPress app on the train commute is the best I can do!) to compose my posts and do my best to remember “progress, not perfection!”

And that’s my stuff! Are you putting together some goals or intentions for the year? Or are you just winging it and seeing what comes your way? I’d love to hear your thoughts on new years resolutions!

Go make it a great day!

Do’s and Don’ts When Preparing for a Holiday Feast

It’s almost T-Day, y’all!


I know it’s not Monday, but I still thought this was good.

This year I’m flying solo like a festively roasted bird. And honestly, I have procrastinated in making any plans for the big day! I may crash a friendsgiving, or I may go on a long and crave-worthy hike (weather/smoke permitting!) and catch up on “The Christmas Prince” with some Indian take-out. Then my folks are coming down over Black Friday so we can hang out and prep for Buttercup’s fourth (Fourth!!) birthday party. How did you get so big? Stop getting so big.

But I know not everyone can be so lucky  as to enjoy take-out and watch cheesy Netflix rom-coms on Thursday. So if you’re stuck with a big houseful of people and have some apprehension for the ritual of sitting with others to stuff your face, never fear! I’ve put together a little “do’s and don’ts” list for your gratitude feast.

DO: Make time for a little movement before the party

If you’re feeling stressed about the day (especially if you’re the host that’s cooking the thing! I’ve been there, and I feel ya), almost literally all the research shows* that 30 minutes of movement can improve your mood and energy. So before you roll up your sleeves and shove your arm up that bird carcass, put on your shoes and go for a walk around the block, fire up a quick Aaptiv class (<– affiliate link!), or have a pillow fight with your kids. Exercises gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. And you know what they say about happy people.


DON’T: Exercises to try to “Earn It” or “Pre-Burn” the calories

I know, I said that you should move around before the party starts, and I’m not trying to be confusing. There’s a difference between exercising because it makes you feel good and keeps you healthy, and exercising to punish yourself or to be deserving of indulging in food later. Now, I totally used to be one of those people who would go for a run the morning of Thanksgiving to give myself some caloric wiggle room for the day. And my whole evening the mental chatter would include, “Did I run long enough to eat this? Or this? Oh shoot, I forgot to include the calories in the wine!” Instead of relaxing and enjoying the experience of enjoying a good meal in good company, I was mentally calculating and planning a gym visit in the moring to cover for all the extra indulging I did. Total holiday spirit, amirite? So give yourself a pass and some grace this time around.

DO: Enjoy any and all dishes and “worth it” treats that make you feel festive and happy

Unless you have an allergy or aversion to something that’s really going to mess with you, it’s perfectly okay to unabashedly enjoy whatever you want during a celebration. All the stuffing? You do you. Both pumpkin AND apple pie? It’s like we’re meant to be. Starting with a salad and saving the indulgences for after you get in your veggies? A brilliant and strategically sound move. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy what you want, be that the marshmallows off the sweet potato casserole or the roasted brussel sprouts. You do not need to apologize or feel bad about yourself for making choices that feel right for you and doing what you love!


DON’T: Feel pressured to eat something you don’t really want

One year, after dinner I was feeling quite satisfied and decided to forego dessert. I received some mild pressure and questioning from my family about not having a slice of pie in front of me. “No, thank you” I responded to the offer, sipping my coffee and enjoying the cozy post-dinner downtime. Folks, we are all adults here and are perfectly capable of making our own choices. If you know the stuffing is going to mess you up, you’ve never been a fan of mashed potatoes, or you don’t want to be uncomfortably full but they’re passing pie around, you can say no. It’s totally up to you.

DO: Take time to participate in or start a holiday tradition that’s not about the food

Yes, we are free to eat, drink and be merry. But let’s be honest, there can be a lot of time where we sit around and stare at each other, mindlessly muching. So after the meal, plan an activity to get everyone away from the table and spending some non-food time together. In my family, we are huge cribbage and jigsaw puzzle players. Or go for a neighborhood walk, play charades, or break out some crafty goodness projects. The best memories are the ones created from shared experiences.

DON’T: Comment on people’s diets, what’s on their plate, or what they’ve eaten/didn’t eat

Otherwise known as the “keep your eyes on your own plate” rule. This should be more general knowledge, but we work with what we have in this life. No one likes to sit down to a meal only to be told what we’re eating is wrong or unhealthy. We’ve all had that one family member (or maybe BEEN that one family member #guilty) that wants to dispense all the diet opinions over dinner, and comment on the food choices of others, whether it’s by choice or doctor’s orders. Just this one time, let’s just not. As much as you like and appreciate the freedom and autonomy to make your own decisions about what you do with your health and body, allow others the same dignity to live their own lives as well.

The Nutshell


See what I did there? Holidays are a time to hit the pause button on all of the Life Stuff and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life. As long as you make choices that feel good to you and keep you moving to the next chapter, you are rocking your own road.

Go make it a great holiday!

The Last 90 Days: A Challenge

How is it October already?? I have to admit, September was a complete blast for me. It’s quickly becoming my most favorite month of the year. The summer starts to drift to fall, the sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous, all of the new school activities are in full swing, and it’s what I now lovingly refer to as my “Em-dependence Day,” the day I became a fully-functioning adult!

Moving Day! Sept 23, 2017

I’ve recently been turned on to Rachel Hollis and her new book “Girl, Go Wash Your Face.” If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend you check it out! Rachel has a unique brand of tough love that can really get you fired up and ready to live your life! She is currently hosting a challenge called “The Last 90 Days,” where you put the same focus, passion, and fire into the last 90 days of the year as you had done right after the new year. Because the year isn’t over yet, y’all, and even if your January resolutions crashed and burned, who says you can’t dust them off in October and give it another go? So I signed up for the challenge. Because I love me a good challenge. 😉

It’ll be quite the trip, and you should come with me! You can sign up on Rachel’s website, and get more info there. Or you can just follow me along on my journey, you Damian Lurker you.

Ready to start? Or at least got your popcorn ready to sit back and observe the floundering chaos that I’m about to perform for you? Great! I’ll see you tomorrow with my weekly update.

Go make it a great day!

Social Media Break 2017 Is Here!

Friends, the year is coming down to a close, and it’s no secret that the last few weeks of it are usually bananas. I’m finding myself more and more feelings like “I have no time!”/”I want what they have!” which of course is always 100% correlated to how much time I waste scrolling. So I’m going to delete Facebook and Insta from my phone until the new year, and use this time to stay present to the things that matter right in front of me. I talk a lot about #selfcare, and this is exactly what I need right now!

In the meantime, I’ll still post, because to me posting is more of “creation, not consumption” where I can share me and it doesn’t put the same emotional spin as looking at others’ beautifully curated profiles and wondering why I can’t do that and where did I go wrong and how much would that camera cost and do I even need a camera and I need to travel more so I can have more interesting topics and with what money and God I am so broke hey look Trader Joe’s sells single-serving cans of sparkling wine this seems like not a bad idea. And on it goes. Yeah, I want to stay away from that crazy spiral.

So I’ll see you on the socials in the New Year, which I am freakishly excited and curious for. Bring it, 2018. I feel like it’s about time for us to rise from the ashes.

Go make it a great day!


p/c Pinterest


By William Ernest Henley


Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how straight the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Early in my CrossFit journey I stumbled on a book written and published by CrossFit Invictus called “The Invictus Mindset: An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness.” I stumbled on the book during my peak of “All the CrossFit!” personal obsession, but I find any advice pertaining to mindset and psychological tools to be helpful in not just the athletic world. It was a really great book and worth the read when it comes to goal-setting and figuring out what you want.

Anyway, the book started out with this famous poem by William Ernest Henley, which is where CrossFit Invictus’s namesake was born. I have since printed it out for my inspiration wall. I find it an extremely thrilling on most days, and on those unfortunately frequent tough days as of late the words can bring me back to my task of moving forward and living life.

I hope these words may inspire you to be the master of your own week this week.

Go make it a great day!

Get Back Up Again: Tips for Picking Up Where You Left Off

Can there be anything more exasperating than trying to pick up an activity or habit again that fell to the wayside? Okay, maybe my two-year-old is more exasperating, but really, why is it so difficult to climb back on the wagon? And I don’t mean with just diet and exercise. With everything. For example, I ran out of dental floss for, like, two days, and when I bought more it took maybe two months to get back into the habit of flossing. Or I haven’t consistently blogged in forever, and it took me about four consecutive days of opening a blank page and just staring at it before the words started appearing on the page. And I’m pretty sure this’ll be the only post I write for the next couple weeks, despite my best intentions and promises that I’m going to find a consistent rhythm of writing and not let it drop like dinner on a plate when handed to a two-year-old (ah, we’re back to the exasperating again). And don’t get me started on the piano I bought two years ago, because I played a lot of piano in my youth and had the delusional thought that I would totally have the time and energy to pick it back up.

Getting started again always feels more daunting than trying something new. With a new thing, it’s so thrilling! You don’t know what you don’t know yet (ahh, blissful ignorance!) so you just do stuff and see what happens. There’s no bar set, no standard to uphold. You just do you.

Then you do it for a while, and maybe you tire of it, or Life Stuff happens and priorities shift. Other things in your life start to take up that space that once was. It fades.

Then one day you think, “Hmm, I should start playing the piano again!” And you commit to doing the thing, taking the classes, doing the chore. Maybe once or twice. But damn, it’s hard to remember that I’m supposed to do the thing now! Or maybe you remember how awesome it used to feel, because of skill level or life circumstances, and now it doesn’t feel the same way. Now it’s difficult, and kind of depressing. What used to be fun is not fun.

The one constant in life is that things change. Sometimes the pieces that once fit perfectly don’t quite fit together anymore. And that’s okay. I can get pretty frustrated with myself when I can’t pick up where I left off again. So here’s a few tips I’ve gleaned from that sage wisdom giver, Google, for when you find out that your sophomore round is a lot more daunting than your eager, green freshman run:

1. Be honest with yourself: is this really something you want to do?

At one point after my son was born, I thought I would get back into bike racing. I still had all the gear, so why now? Well, because now I have a small human at home, I don’t exactly have the time that I used to for 4+ hour training rides. Nor do I have the same level of fitness I once had. And once I really started thinking about it, did I even want to ride a bike? Like, is it an activity that made me excited and happy? Because I’m now in the Life Spot where any time away from my kids needs to be some form of productive or beneficial time to me, otherwise I feel like I’m wasting my time when I could be with my family. And I had to be honest with myself: no, I do not want to ride a bike.

If my heart wasn’t in it, no amount of scheduling, coaching, or bullying myself into training would have worked. I would just be even more cranky and bitter than my postpartum, sleep-deprived self already was. Life is too short to spend time on stuff that doesn’t contribute to happiness and well-being. So I prefer to focus on the stuff I do enjoy. I signed up for a boot camp class instead, and I loved it.

2. Get some new tools

Trying that eating/meal prep plan again, but it’s tough sticking with it for some reason? Sometimes you need to try something new or bring in another resource to push past the plateau. Say you’re eating plan leaves you lackluster and roaming the goodies aisle at the grocery store? Try out some new recipes, or join an only accountability group to offer a new perspective. Finding it hard to stick to a new at-home workout program? Splurge on some new music, or set a new ring tone on your phone for when you want to work out (extra bonus points if it’s “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie) to zap your mind in the “oh, we are doing this now!” mentality.

To get back into blogging, I’ve dusted off my old Feedly account to look for other inspiring bloggers, and am getting more involved with other blogging networking groups. It’s the little boost and camaraderie I think I need to get the flywheel turning again.

3. Accept that you are a different person today than you were yesterday

We all change and grow, and sometimes what worked before just doesn’t work anymore. I used to have no issue waking up at 5:00 to bike to work in the morning. But after 5+ years of sleep deprivation (because small humans), there is no way my body is waking up before 6:30 on a consistent basis. I can do it a couple mornings in a row, but by Day 3 my body completely shuts down. So I’ve had to accept that getting up early in the morning to do anything as a routine is just a no-go for me. I’ll have to find another way to squeeze in that workout/get some writing done/tackle that work project. There is nothing wrong with recognizing your limitations for where you are at today, and rolling along with Plan B.

Above all, just know yourself, and trust that where you are at and where you’re going is exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Any thoughts or tips from the trenches on starting over?

That’s it for now. Go make it a great day! xoxo

The North Bay Fire Relief

Hi everyone!

You may have heard on the news by now, but there are severe wildfires decimating the San Francisco North Bay area right now. While I am safely south of the danger, I have many family and friends that have been affected. I used to live in Santa Rosa, and it’s been heartbreaking to witness the devastation and terror as I hear recounts of friends running for their lives with only the clothes on their backs, and seeing pictures of familiar places utterly destroyed.

Santa Rosa has always felt like home to me. I moved there shortly after college, and it was some of the best years of my life. It’s where I found an amazing fitness community, ran my first marathon, and discovered the joy of an active lifestyle. Even now, when things were getting tough and tight, I think to myself, “If things turn south, I could always move back to Santa Rosa.” The people and community there are the warmest, most welcoming and true folks around. I can’t believe this is happening to my old home.

I know there have been disasters and crises abound lately that have really impacted all of us, but if you still have the capacity, please consider helping my friends and family in Santa Rosa. The Redwood Credit Union has partnered up with The Press Democrat and Senator Mike McGuire to provide relief funding to those affected by the fire. Absolutely 100% of donations will go directly to those in need.

Here is the link to the website with instructions on how you can help:

Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and support. If ever there was a “rise from the ashes” analogy, I’m sure this will be it. The community will rise again.

Go make it a great day, and give your loved ones an extra hug! xoxo



Loading the Bar

Happy Monday, and what is up all of you lovely people? I have been out lately on new adventures, and am happy to be back in the groove to share the little pieces of my life on the internets.

I went to Costa Rica. It was amazing. The end.

  So many monkeys. And you can’t make those sunsets up. Magical.

Yeah, Costa Rica deserves its own post. Someday; it’s on the to-do list.

Then I took the kids up to my parents’ new place in Oregon to celebrate Easter. And consume way too many jelly beans and chocolate bunnies.

I’ve been hitting the CrossFit hard the past two weeks. It helps coming off of a CrossFit retreat, but I’m sad that my workouts are now at the gym instead of the beach and after the WOD I don’t get to jump straight into the ocean. But you know, I’m managing all right. Plus, at the gym there are barbells!

When I was in Oregon I dropped in on CrossFit GP for a super awesome workout called “Death” (it was) that ended with a 1RM ground-to-overhead. To which I accomplished a jelly bean-fueled PR of 115 lbs. I’m still doing a happy dance over that. Then last Wednesday at CFSL we did a 1RM complex of power clean, squat clean, and push jerk which I got up to 53kg (116 lbs). I  tried for 54kg but that last little kilo is the heaviest, I swear. Also, my double-unders have been magically on point for me lately, meaning I was able to Rx the last two workouts. I am usually unable to Rx since the workout will call for either a skill I don’t have yet (pull-ups) or a weight I just can’t lift for a workout. But I’m getting stronger, I’m getting more confident in pushing outside of my comfort zone, I’m seeing a PT for my hamstring (as it turns out, it’s really a lower back thing) issue, and I’m just riding this motivation train as long as it still has gas in the tank. I even worked out in the garage last week. Alone. With no workout planned. I just took the dog for a walk then worked up to my 1RM deadlift (only 175lbs since my smallest plate is a 5lb), but it was good to finally use the equipment that I’ve invested in and stop making excuses when EVERYTHING I NEED IS RIGHT THERE.

I’m also cleaning up my diet. I had to detox a bit from “Jelly Bean Utopia of 2017” (aka Easter) and am choosing more veggies with my meals. I might be doing a Whole30 soon but I haven’t made a firm decision yet. But right now I’m seeing satisfactory results from less sugar and more veggies, so I’ll roll with that for a while. It’s certainly less stressful.

A huge source of my health motivation lately? For once, I could care less about the scale or what I look like in the mirror. I just want to get stronger. The end. I want to see the numbers on the barbell increase. I want to lift my body weight (whatever that is) over my head. I want to pull myself up and over a bar. I want to feel stronger. And the only way to really do that is to eat to perform, then go and perform. No stress. No shame. No beating myself up for eating a cookie and “blowing it” or fretting over minor details like my dress size. That stuff doesn’t matter when all I want to do is increase the size of the plates I load on my bar. Because I know once I start doing the right things for the right reasons, the results don’t really matter. The changes speak for themselves.

Go make it a great day!

CrossFit Christmas is Over: 17.5 Recap

The 2017 CrossFit Open is now over, and I am sort of sad. I really enjoyed being a part of the larger community, the anticipation of the workout announcements, and seeing all of the #openmagic moments on social media.

I had to do the 17.5 workout right after it was announced, as I was traveling that weekend and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to a gym to make it up before the Monday score submittal cutoff. So I showed up at the gym 45 minutes after the workout was announced (and of course watching Katrin and Sara compete at the open announcement!):

Open 17.5 for Women’s Scaled:

10 rounds for time of:
9 thrusters, 45 lb.
35 single-unders

That’s it. I was sort of relieved it was super simple. To be honest, I had serious consideration to attempt it Rx, which would have been 65 lb thrusters and double-unders. My double under game has been really keeping me happy lately, and I wanted to test myself out. But thrusters … meh, I have a rough time just managing the bar. Since the spirit of the workout is to be a lung-burner and not to feel super heavy, I stuck with Scaled.

When I was warming up, I was practicing double-unders. Because. Then when we got ready to start, I thought, “I should probably do a few singles to make sure I can just jump rope.” I botched every single jump. But I was already there, so might as well see what happens!

I smoked it! No issues at all with the jump rope, I was able to do all 10 sets of single-unders unbroken, and I had to start pausing with thrusters around round 6, giving myself breaks after 3-4 reps without putting the bar down. The limiting factor was my lower back – clearly I have some core imbalance, mostly because I have no core strength and I never work on it. My coach was judging me, and she kept cuing me to keep my core tight and to protect my back. The last couple of sets were a struggle bus with the thrusters, but I was able to crank the whole thing out in 9:16! I was super stoked with my result.

I had so much fun this Open with getting into the workout announcements, enjoying the camaraderie and friendly competition at the Friday Night Lights at my gym, but most of all seeing the improvement from the last year. I’m super pumped to light it up for the rest of 2017 and see what the 2018 Open brings!


Oh, and I’m leaving right now for Costa Rica for the Girls Gone WOD CrossFit retreat. WHAT!?! I know. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Not me, sadly. But soon to be me! PC: Juli Bauer of PaleOMG

Go make it a great day!