wait, i've known you for how long!? + 29 weeks

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say hello to our little 29 week acorn squash-sized baby! i seriously wish i had done this week by week with the boys. heck, i'm in the grocery store often enough to make it happen.  they both now know what the heck acorn squash even is plus i love having hands-on fun with learning when food is involved. who doesn't!? 20160911_193400_001-01so guess what else went down during my 29th week of pregnancy!?  Mr. Egwuatu and i celebrated 9 years of marriage together!  meeting him on campus at UH back in 2000 happened yesterday.  yall hear me? yesterday *sobs uncontrollably* :( anyway,  around this time last year we were in Maui frolicking on the beach, but this year we stayed local for a change.  not only cause of the current zika threat, but cause of other current financial obligations, a new full-time kindergartener, and because Lord willing, we plan to do it BIG next year for #10 (and take that family Disney vaca before Dego turns 3...CAN NOT WAIT).  it's saving season for us.  so, we found some local things to do and enjoyed our special day together, just the two of us.

20160915_045059-01we <gasp> started with a 530am workout, whoop!  Sonny joined the #5amWorkoutClub for a day and was front and center for my Barbell Strength class.  he is clearly not one of us, haha. 

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facetune-20160925-1515312362"A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity. The order varies for any given year."

can't argue with that. season after season, we come out stronger, wiser, and closer....only by the grace of God. 

happy number 9,  Milk Dud Sonny.  <3

20160915_083536-01 we took our time, laughed, joked, and enjoyed our lifting session together.  no rush whatsoever.  usually our boys are in the child center so we have to get it in before the time limit is up and the staff comes to hunt us down!  this was needed.

20160915_101314-01and so was this!  Sonny found the cutest, yummiest little cafe for our post-workout breakfast.  

then we went home to.....REST! oh and clean up our house before hurricanes Chiso & Dego returned.

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matchy, matchy!  we dined at Caracol for our anniversary dinner.  i have been wanting to try this place since my birthday this past April!  i was looking for a nice restaurant back then and one of my Lifetime Fitness class members suggested we go there.  weeell, Sonny had already made plans so this occasion was perfect for checking it out.  our taste buds were in HEAVEN! YUM!  

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  • i started with an unpictured salad (Lechugita Orejona)
  • we split the Taquitos Tronadores de Carnitas (top left)
  • Sonny ordered the biggest hunk of protein on the menu per our waiter (Bistec con Moras)
  • i finally stepped outside of my box and ordered the scrumptious  Callo de Hacha (bottom left)
  • we split the Piña Rostizada (and coulda used 2 more scoops of ice cream!)

20160915_212202-1then, it was on to sing and rap our faces off with P. Diddy at his Bad Boy Reunion Tour Concert!!! we don't do concerts often..in fact this was our very first one together! pregnancy narceolpsey didn't take me out and we were literally up and on our feet for most of the performances reminiscing and jamming.  great show!


remember this lil' lady!? photogrid_1475369014299 she was born on our anniversary last year and we met her via Skype while in Maui.  we are another year older and she is now one.  happiest of birthdays, baby Natalie!

basically, September 15th ROCKS ;)

thanks for reading!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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mini Trader Joes haul + healthy travel snack tips

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TJ's is such a fun specialty store!  they walk to the beat of their own drum.  i stopped by there yesterday and picked up a few healthy travel snacks ( hellooooo wedding anni #8!) and also some things that looked too interestingly tasty to pass up:

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boo-yaaaaah! i exercised a little restraint and didn't get any chocolate. yet.

  1. PhotoGrid_1442027550671Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips - one of my guilty pleasures!
  2. Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa - salsa + eggs = :)
  3. Creamy Sun Butter - hey there, portion control!  both my boys eat this stuff right off a spoon. it's basically roasted sunflower seeds. so yummy.  it's nut-free if you or any of your loved ones have nut allergies.
  4. Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Raspberries - so i picked up every single pack of freeze-dried fruit they had and the raspberries had the lowest amount of sugar per serving @ 12 grams.  the serving size is one whole bag  though and how about that fiber count-- 11 grams per serving!

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  1. Trader Joe's Wild King Salmon Jerky - high protein, non-refrigerated snack.  turkey jerky is great too.
  2. Organic Sriracha Ranch Dressing - i knew my hubby would FLIP once he saw this!  two of his fave things combined in one.
  3. Coconut Oil Spray & Olive Oil Spray -  i don't normally use oil to cook, so these are perfect.

 healthy eating travel tips:

  • a lil' planning goes a long way.
  • never let yourself get too hungry between meals! keeping snacks on you saves money and keeps your hunger attitude at bay.
  • they never give you enough snacks on the plane anyway!
  • are you even hungry.... or just thirsty?  guzzle your water every chance you get.
  • protein rich, non-refrigerated, and/or nutrient rich snacks that won't leak or get smashed in your bags are best. examples:
    • low sodium turkey, salmon, beef jerky
    • roasted, unsalted raw mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
    • single serving nut butter packets
    • Modern Oats for a healthy breakfast
    • fresh or freeze-dried fruit (apples, bananas, raisins, avocados, halos),
    • raw veggies (carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli)
    • rice cakes
    • Quest Bars
    • Stevia packets
    • Magic Pop
    • whole grain, air popped popcorn
  • take a cooler bag (or actual cooler) for refrigerated snacks like:
    • babybel / string cheese
    • unsweetened applesauce
    • pre-cut fruit
    • hummus/pretzel combo single serving
    • greek yogurt

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found some new mustard i'm lovin' on!  they are from HEB and were 2 for 3 bucks.  the whole grain one is DELISH on top of fish.

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so i made some for dinner!  fresh steel head trout was on sale as well and came home with us.  i used South African Smoke seasoning & coconut aminos from Trader Joe's on it, and i bake it the same way i bake salmon-- high heat (450 degrees) @ 5-7 min per lb.

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someone missed their first official day of school!  my hubby is very proud of the fact that he had perfect attendance from preschool through high school. crazy!! anyway, apparently there's a stomach virus going around that got the best of him. we sure do miss the Sprout channel's Summer Family Movie Night, but we watched his fave shows while he ate Trader Joe's (how many times can you say Trader Joe's in one post :D) turkey corn dogs, Go-Go Squeeze applesauce, and strawberry magic pop on the couch. enjoy your friday night too, fit friends!

Q:  the very last trip you took on a plane....where did you go?

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breakfast in 3! w/ Modern Oats

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fall is basically here and it's back to school time, parents!  we are all busy. we are all often scrambling to get ourselves and our kids together and out the door in the mornings. been there!  actually i'm there every day.  now that Chiso has started preschool (no tears from either of us, yay), i make sure he is focused and ready to learn before he leaves the house. how? some brefus! yes, breakfast.  it's incredibly important for everybody, so don't downplay it or sweep it under the rug.  statistics don't lie, peeps.  easy, to-go options in the form of healthy carbs are the way to go, not unhealthy, sugary, prepackaged, instant, frozen junk.  they need good, wholesome, nutrient dense foods that their bodies recognize so they can perform at their very best.  start this with your kiddos NOW!  they will only get busier and busier as each year passes; by the time they are teens and beyond breakfast will be second nature (and hopefully non-negotiable).  parents, we must send our babies off right and set them up for success.

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if ya follow my blog or my Insta account then you'd already know how much Chiso (4 yrs) despises all vegetables.  however, he still loves oatmeal something serious!  so when this very special delivery hit our doorstep,  Chiso went BANANAS and could not wait to crack it open.

'yummy oatmeal, mommy!!!' yep, Modern Oats was officially in the building. look at all the pretty colors and tasty flavor combos!

  • 5 Berry
  • Mango Blackberry
  • Apple Walnut
  • Goji Blueberry
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Chocolate Cherry
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Chiso is nowhere near as indecisive as i am and chose 5 berry immediately.

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there's an oatmeal cookie recipe on the back of the carton that i'm totally going to try!  anyway, if you don't/can't whip out a pot to boil water, then don't.

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microwave a mug of water (enough to cover the top of the dry oats) until it's pretty darn hot (bout 2.5 min),

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carefully pour it into the carton, put the top on,

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and in 3 minutes you've got a nutritious, power-packed, start to your busy day.

i love that:

  • i can pronounce and recognize every single ingredient
  • gluten-free & non-GMO
  • small & portable w/ a lid
  • it's naturally sweetened from the antioxidant rich fruit
  • filling & hearty
  • incredible flavor combos
  • my kids ate it ALL!
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toddler tested, fit mom approved.

and dad!

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i whipped up the apple walnut flavor for Dego.  there were chunks of apple, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and walnuts in each bite.... delish.  

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aaaand i ate my brekky right along side them. so exciting. lol. if you haven't seen my IG posts, my wedding anniversary is coming up and my hubby hasn't told me exactly what we're doing, but that i should pack a bikini!!!!!  so, i wanted to tighten up a lil' bit these last few weeks and get serious with my nutrition.  sure i eat oat bran and egg whites every morning anyway, but i miss being able to snack in moderation (quest bars, arctic zero, wheat thins, goldfish crackers, fig bars, dark chocolate covered raisins, kettle corn) whenever i please!  maintenance mode (concerning my calorie intake / body fat percentage) is fun and where i belong right now, but i just want to bring my best package to the beach, hahaha.  master trainer and 1/3 of the 6 Pack USA team, Brian Egwuatu quickly drew up a customized meal and workout plan for me that has got me wondering if i ever want to compete in a bikini competition again LOL!  it's been 3 years or so of not having this many restrictions, but hey, the more change you desire, the more restrictions you must make.  it is what it is.  plus i'm working on an outrageous 2 week timeline so just know ya girl is over here STRUGGLIN' for the cause!  once we are done frolicking and celebrating i will happily return to maintenance beast mode. 

i HATE leg extensions!!!!!!!! that is all.

anyway, if you'd like your very own Modern Oats variety pack, you can order them right here via my FFL Store!

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we did a Modern Oats Periscope yesterday too; check it out via katch.me along with all my other past scopes if you're interested.

Q: you're rushing outta the house and have not eaten breakfast yet.... what do you do? be honest!

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**this post contains an affiliate link; this means i will receive a commission if you purchase this item through my link.  you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. thank you for your continued support!**

what itch? 7 year anni wkend

 aaaahhh!! so many pictures! well thank God for pic collage apps or this blog post would be 2 miles worth of scrolling.  we had a low-key, relaxing time in Lakeway (right outside of Austin) at the Lakeway Resort & Spa this past weekend for our 7th wedding anni. time for a new mattress.

this sweaty selfie was taken after my last workout before our anni weekend began.  i had only managed to unbraid half of the what seemed like 1 million braids in my head at that point, so i threw on a head scarf and got some upper body and cardio done regardless.

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 not gonna lie, i worked out with the anticipation of some good food in my near future! intensity is everything and i turned it UP. here's my stair slaver workout: (video coming soon)

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after i posted this pic of my go-to traveling snacks on Instagram i remembered it would tip Sonny off about our trip, whoops.  it's my year to plan and i hadn't told him a thing about leaving to go anywhere. oh wells.

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i hardly ever leave for trips without:

  • fresh fruit (nectarines this time)
  • bottled water
  • turkey jerky (high protein snack)
  • Quest Bars ( i like Double Chocolate Chunk and Sonny likes Cookies & Cream the best)
  • gum to combat mindless munching! that gets me in so much trouble
  • roasted, unsalted nuts
  • granulated stevia (for my coffee, tea, and oatmeal when eating at restaurants still operating in the stone age)
  • Beats headphones + Spotify
  • fitness or foodie mags

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off we went!  breakfast, snacks, and breast pump in tow.  i actually sat in the passenger seat first but soon as my butt hit that seat Sonny reminded me that it was my year to host.  yeah, yeah.  i actually had another stop planned along the way, but the weather ruined it! i did NOT even check nor consider the weather when i was planning everything, seriously. i just knew it would be clear, hot, and sunny as usual. no. so i'll save that stop for a later date.

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we're here!  however, our room wasn't ready since we arrived earlier than expected.  we were hungry again though so we hit up the resort's breakfast buffet per the front desk attendant's suggestion.  boy was he right!  everything, and i mean everything was as delicious as it looked. so.many.options.  we love a good omelette bar and both got egg white omelets loaded with veggies.  no surprise there.  Sonny is prepping for a few upcoming shows and did his best to stick to his meal plan.

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bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, migas, fruit... sensory OVERLOAD.

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next, a couples massage i have been anticipating since i booked the appointment. we were already full and lethargic from breakfast and the massage was the icing on the cake for Sonny. at one point he was over there drooling.

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the view overlooking the pool from the spa. the gym was right across from the spa and you knoooow we checked that out next.

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impressive! you can get an excellent full body workout done in there, oh yeah. hotel gyms are high on our amenity list and this one gets 5 stars from us. they had my beloved arc trainer, treadmills, a full rack of dumbbells, and a bunch of machines including a Smith machine. lovely.

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our room was ready by this time so we headed to check it out and take the most incredible, uninterrupted nap, EVER.  boooo to the weather though.

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it didn't start clearing up until the day we left, but we will certainly be back with the kiddos so they can have the time of their lives out there on that slide!

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 next up, an early dinner before the big Mayweather fight.  so this was my first time seeing my hair straightened (my beautician wrapped it at my appointment friday and i kept it that way) and i was blown away.

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 may not seem like much to anybody else but man my hair has come a long way as far as length and texture! i decided not to get another perm but i knew that as soon as the tiniest drop of moisture hit my head, it would never be the same!  after wearing my braids for a year (shout out to my gorgeous, mobile (yes, she will come to you), braid lady, Ogechi) with 3 short breaks in between, they really are the best fit for my sweaty, on the move lifestyle. they'll be back very soon, but i enjoyed being girly and flipping my hair around town all weekend, lol.

one of my regular Lifetime class members, Sally,  lives in Austin and really hooked me up with the scoop on where to go in ATX.  she suggested we stay downtown close to 6th street with the youngins' but after i told her how Sonny just wants to actually relax on his vacations she said to stick with the hill country, (i.e., Lakeway).  we hit up Oasis and saw a little bit of the sunset.  through the fog.

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after perusing the menu for forever i finally decided on salmon with sweet potato cakes, grilled veggies w/ a side salad, and Sonny went with a grilled shrimp salad. i ate most of those chips. 20140913_192822_1

then, we stopped by the landmark Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin for snacks and gelato! so many nostalgic memories here for me. you can read about one of them in the IG post i made that day <3

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gosh i love this store.

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especially this aisle.

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unpictured are the plantain chips and chocolate covered raisins i killed before the fight even started.

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was it just me or was the Mayweather fight...boring?? anyway, the next morning we were both up super early as usual and headed to the gym before breakfast. who forgot their workout shoes? :'(  so unlike me!  i went anyway but i don't advise working out in flip-flops around weights, guys. in addition to the shoe fiasco, i had one of THE dumbest workouts ever.  complete waste of time. i was so worried about my hair puffing up i didn't want to move. and i love to move. i think i did the arc trainer for like 8 minutes super slow, then some dumbbell curls, lunges, and squats holding the dumbbells. didn't sweat a drop. ridiculous. i love my hair like this so much but unless i flat-iron it every single morning (and i definitely won't) then i just can't rock the straight look with my lifestyle. THE struggle.

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we got cleaned up, explored the resort a little more, then headed to hit up the omelette bar again.

20140914_103932_1_3 7 years in the marriage game! hard to believe i've known this dude for almost 14 years. we had plans to go out on the lake that fell through, so we hit the Lakeway Galleria Outlet Mall to look around and get some lunch and fro-yo.

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found a new fave flavor i've never had before-- taro. yum! i discovered it at Red Mango back in houston too.

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pistachio & taro fro-yo randomness.  worth every bit of dairy bloat.

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while walking through the galleria, i did a double-take after seeing the word Chiso!  close enough. what a rare sighting.  from there we went back to the room to pack up because #Texans. yeah, they were apart of last years Miami trip too.  so was the Mayweather fight now that i think about it!

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i requested a fridge to our room to freeze and store the milk i was pumping.  gotta get it out, and gotta get it done.  we headed to watch the Texans game at Sally's beautiful home in the hill country before heading home to our boys.

our actual anni this year is on monday, september 15th, and instead of going out to dinner, we went to the gym and sipped on anniversary protein shakes.

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wouldn't have had it any other way.

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happy 7th anni, Mr. Egwuatu!

thanks for reading:)

le

blogging from de plane

that post title is false advertisement.  i was so excited to blog from our plane headed to Jamaica to celebrate our 5th anni that i started the post early, from home!  however........ after all the hustle and bustle of the previous night (we had a FANTASTIC time and did well at our first bodybuilding show!!!!! details in my next post) that we naturally *sigh* overslept and missed our WI-FI enabled first flight. UGH. the second flight, which only left 1 hr later, was not wi-fi enabled because well, that's just how things go.  SO, Sonny and i actually spoke to one another (cause people still do that :shock: ) about the weekend's events, the highs and lows of training under one roof, our bodies then and now, how we felt on stage, how each other looked on stage, future shows, etc... yeah we had lots of time to catch up as life has finally slowed down a little.

i can't shake this 'i need to be prepared for anything' feeling, which is a good thing though. i knew i wouldn't go completely HAM on sweets so soon after the show, so i packed some healthy stuff for our trip a few days beforehand to make this a gradual thing:

 strawberry flavored magic pop, some shelled pistachios, light tuna packed in water, apples, chocolate PB2, canned salmon, and a stack of Food Network magazines i never found time to sit down and crack open.

not gonna lie- even though we woke up super late and rushed out to miss our flight, i still had my oats and bananas lol!   i really WANTED them though and didn't have time to get creative and make something else anyway.  we had a quick layover in Charlotte, NC, and it was there where i was reunited with the dairy food group again after over 3 months. i had an unused Starbucks gift card from Christmas, so i whipped it out and ordered a fruit cup and one of my fav drinks- a skinny vanilla latte.   

so, even on vaca, and i said i was gonna try and stick to 5-6 balanced meals a day, but also indulge and live a little! with everything being all-inclusive (unlimited food and drinks EVERYWHERE) this is hard.  not doing TOO bad so far though- there are different menus everyday, so i'm grateful for the variety.  for breakfast, there's a live omelette bar- was so excited to see that!! can you guess what i've been ordering? haha

 they only have *GASP* instant oatmeal which is disgusting and tastes and looks like wall paper paste. maybe even worse. i see why some people might be turned off by oatmeal if they ever have this stuff when eating oatmeal for the first time, my goodness. i mean it was BAD.  there aren't enough toppings in the world to mask a bowl of that stuff :shock:

my lunches and dinners have been looking a little like this: salad,

fruit / veggie plate - raw celery, tomatoes, artichokes, watermelon, cantaloupe.

and yes that's a slice of cheese pizza lol- i said on IG that i've had a slice with every meal so far except breakfast and that is still in effect!

random lunch plate - curried tilapia, roasted yellow potatoes, sautéed green beans/onions, jerk chicken.

random dinner - grilled jerk chicken, beet salad, raw tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken/tomato pizza;)

have we been indulging? DARN RIGHT. they don't just put out one dessert as you can see.  i made us a sample plate and well, we got our sample on.

rum cake, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla mousse cake, and chocolate cake.

there is a poolside grille that is open til 1 am (they shouldn't have told us that) and we took advantage right away.  fried fish and french fries - we split this though!

the buffet people see us coming a mile away LOL. we are always right on time for every meal!

 having a really good time so far and i can't wait to post about our show.

 for now, back to Jamaica!

le