Category Archives: Life Balance

October in photos

November is off to a crazy start, right? I’m going through photos tonight distracting myself from election coverage and wanted to share October through pictures and captions.

Girls weekend in Chicago at Soul Cycle (we’re the ones wearing shirts!)


Little girls’ giggles make hard weekends feel goodAudrey&Maurine

Matt and Audrey are “sweet” on each otherCakeMatt

Ice cream with Uncle James got a little messyIceCreamJames

Bath-time is better with a buddyBathtime

10 years of being married!Goldstien2016-47_bw

First half-marathon in 8 years was a blast because of AbbyFinishPhoto

Cutest half marathon cheering section everMyCheerSection

Playing in the backyard in OctoberOctoberPlay

Halloween 2016 with Sesame StreetHalloween2016


Blogiversary Giveaway!

Hello there!  I realized the other day that I was coming up on two years of blogging.  I started this blog as a way to show off baby Jack to friends and family who lived far away from us and to chronicle my journey of maintaining a healthy balance in life.  The last two years have seen that baby grow up to a toddler (almost a little boy), a move to a different state, me starting a PhD, and the addition of a new baby girl.  Thanks so much for coming along the journey with me!

To celebrate two years with you, my friends, I was thinking of two things that I could do as a give away to show my appreciation for you reading along…..Car ride

No!  Not those two things!! (I’m sure that’s against FTC regulations anyway.)

TRXFirst up:  A TRX training session for you and up to three of your closest friends.  You pick the time and I will deliver a great and fun workout for you and friends at Parkwest Fitness.  Must be in the West Lafayette area or willing to travel here to win.  You know that I love using the TRX for my own fitness and I love teaching.  I’m so excited to be able to share this with you!

Second up:  Well Fed 2 cookbook/recipe wonderland.  I have the original Well Fed and while I don’t follow anywhere near a strict Paleo diet, this cookbook has been great for inspiring me to use vegetables in more creative ways (and in greater proportion to the rest of my food) and has rekindled creativity in the kitchen for me.  I am going to treat myself to Well Fed 2 and want to also treat one of you to the book.  (And this is easier for me to mail to you rather than taking the TRX show on the road, wink wink.)

What do you have to do to get a chance to win?  Keeping with our theme of healthy balance, leave a comment about either (1) your favorite way to eat vegetables or (2) your favorite way to stay fit.

I’ll pick two winners at random and let you choose your gift.  Good luck!

A New Type of Anniversary

Baby Audrey is here!  It has been a whirlwind of a week, and has been wonderful in so many ways.  Matt and I also celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this week.  Eight years ago we were celebrating starting our lives together.goldstein_1046
goldstein_0559We have celebrated our anniversary in Portland/Willamette Valley, Boston/Martha’s Vineyard, Savannah/Tybee Island, Santa Fe, Europe, and the Grand Canyon.  And now, on our second night home from the hospital, we spent the day celebrating starting our lives as a family of four…at home.    IMG_4103Matt and I are a little older than the couple in the first pictures, but we couldn’t be happier with the changes on the horizon.  Our local anniversary celebration is one of my favorites yet!

Fitness Momma Gift Ideas – And a Giveaway!

This time last year I already had my Christmas shopping done, presents wrapped, and was trying my hand at the new mom thing. But this year, I got caught up in a busy first semester of my PhD, celebrated Jack’s first birthday, and as a result Christmas has completed snuck up on me!

So if you’re also a little behind on shopping and are looking for some Christmas gifts, I have some tried and true favorites that any fitness-minded momma (or non-momma) would love. (And continue reading through the post for an awesome give-away!)

1. Lululemon Wonder Unders – I love these pants! I have them in capri and full length. They are amazing for a run or yoga class because they are such a nice weight and have an amazing wide and comfy waistband. Plus, you can totally get away with throwing a pair of boots over these pants with a tunic (please cover your bum!) as non-workout attire, and then it seems a little easier to justify the price.wonderunders

And, no, sadly, that is not my backside but is from the Lululemon website.  Sigh.

2.  Philips Wake-up Light – This light alarm has pretty much changed my life. (A little dramatic, no?) I have tried to play around with workout scheduling but at this point in my life, early mornings just work out best. I am more consistent if I make sure to make my fitness a priority in the day, and getting a workout in before Jack (& Matt!) are up makes me feel like I am not missing out on them more than I already do. But the sun doesn’t rise until almost 8am at this time of year, so getting out of bed before 6am is tough.Wake-up Alarm

This light gradually lights up your room. You can also program it to play birds chirping. A lot of mornings, the light wakes me up before my phone alarm goes off. There are a couple of models out, but this is the one we have.

3. Another great gift for a busy person on your list is a TRX, especially if your giftee is familiar with suspension training. The basic TRX does come with a DVD (admittedly, I have not watched it) if your giftee has not done TRX before. I love it because I can workout at home if I can’t get out of the house for whatever reason. I used it a lot over maternity leave to sneak in a good workout over naps. Plus, I think it will be fun to take to the park with Jack so we can both play.TRX

4. A personalized fitness gift? How about a package of small training classes? At my new gym in West Lafayette, International Sports Club, they have a holiday package for 8 Barre classes for $55. Pretty nice deal! Or try small group training, like training offered by my favorite trainer in Kansas City, Jenny Chronister at City Gym. These classes feel like such a splurge, and what greater way to spoil someone you love?

5. And a final gift suggestion for the busy fitness momma friend if you’re looking to not drop as much cash…how about the gift of time? I am so impressed with friends who have trained for marathons. It is such a time commitment. And if you have kiddos, it is even tougher to carve out that time for adequate training. Gifting play time so that your loved one can get some running, yoga…whatever – time is truly a thoughtful gift.

Good news if you’re still in the midst of your holiday shopping. has put together some great lists for the moms, dads, kids and teens in your life.

XMAS_FB_GIFTGUIDE_FINCheck out their gift giving guides for some good ideas AND make sure to sign up for a chance to win one of the four $500 gift cards to featured retailers. (Enough money left over to buy something for yourself…) Holiday Sweepstakes

This link will show you the list of the gift baskets that is giving away.

I especially like their “moms” gift guide and coupon codes (free shipping, anyone?) to accompany their gift suggestions. And I’ll definitely be entering the Mom’s raffle, and hope you get a chance to enter too. $500 worth of gift cards to Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Kate Spade, Fresh Produce, Express,, Sephora, Bath&Body Works, and Target sounds like a nice start to a Merry Little Christmas. holiday gift guides for Moms

AND more good news!! I’m part of a group of Kansas City bloggers giving away a $200 Amazon e-gift card. Use the rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Good luck and happy holidays!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Question: What would you buy with a $200 Amazon gift card?

This post was sponsored by  All product reviews were my own opinion…but if you want to buy any of them for me, that’s cool.  Just kidding…mostly…

The good and bad of adjusting

I’m starting my third week of classes and finally feel like I have caught my breath.  Nope, the house is still not completely unpacked.  I haven’t had a run outside our neighborhood.  I’m working through reading and writing more than I’ve done in any of my other engineering schooling.  And I started to feel “homesick” last week when I started thinking about my friends in Kansas City.

I pulled up some pics that made me smile.  On my last run with my runner girls, self dubbed Runch (we run, then we lunch), I found these signs all along our route.  Wow, do I miss these girls!  (And a certain couple of other friends who weren’t necessarily part of the runner gang but who made me smile all the time.) IMG_2441IMG_2443IMG_2442

So I let myself pout about missing people for a bit.  And about having to leave a pub where we were going to order dinner because Jack is “underage.” (Indiana has some strange liquor laws).   But my PhD program is surpassing my expectations.  I am so excited about my classes and potential research.  My cohort is amazing!

Plus we are now close enough to make easy trips to see family.  We went to Rossville on Saturday to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  Jack was a charmer the whole time. IMG_2580

We also bought a baby pool this weekend because Jack is such a water baby.  The cuteness could just about kill me.

IMG_2601IMG_2615IMG_2616(Believe it or not, the “toy” Jack is holding is his favorite and was attached to his baby bath tub.  He calls it Blah Blah)

And I took a much needed study break on Monday to go for a hike at Ampitheater Park in West Lafayette.  It was beautiful weather and a pretty flat but shaded hike.  I think we will be here a lot in the (1)

And tonight I taught my first cycle class at International Sports Club near Purdue Research Park.  I have a 5:30pm Tuesday night class.  SO excited to be jumping back in!  Plus, I have the option of 3:30pm classes with college students.  Flexibility is nice!

Plenty more adjusting to do, but so happy to have my two favorite side-kicks with me for the journey.  Has anyone been to Lafayette?  Any suggestions for places we need to check out?



This may come as a surprise to some, but I am not a big fan of change.  My big brother teased me for not wanting to embrace the technology of CDs when I still wanted my cassette tapes.  I think I finally made the switch around 1990.  (Mark – you are always right about that kind of stuff.  I should listen more.)
I like routine.  I thrive on being up for a run or to the gym by 6.  I like knowing which coffee shop I visit on which day.  Matt and I have two different pizza toppings that we rotate, and always from our favorite pizza place.  You get the point.  But somehow I find myself in a big state of change.  Baby, career change to grad school, moving to a different city…and its wonderful and scary at the same time.
Then I get to see the change Jack is experiencing.  All in the course of a weekend he is growing so much! He is pulling himself to standing completely on his own.  It is so exciting to see him so happy with his work, and walking in his room to see him standing in his crib.  On Sunday our neighbors’ dog came outside where we were sitting and barked.  Jacked jumped a little, but when the dog had settled a little more Jack gave the dog a quiet “woof, woof.”
In this moment I was reminded how exciting change can be, and am even more excited for what is waiting for us just around the corner.  Good luck to each of you in your changes, big or small, this week!

Countdown of Kansas City Favorites

I’ve lived in Kansas City 6 and a half years.  Five of those years have been in wonderful Brookside.  I love this city and am going to miss a lot when we are gone.  We are trying to take advantage of our remaining time here (just over a week!) by visiting with our favorite people and places.

Thursday at Bier Station with my favorite people, the best cupcakes in the city (Cafe Europa lemon and red velvet), and a game of Cards Against Humanity:IMG_2334 IMG_2335 IMG_2336 IMG_2337

A walk around Brookside with the “Jack Pack”IMG_2348

And today at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, with the famous shuttlecocks. IMG_2370

It was an unseasonably nice July Sunday here so we took advantage of walking around the Sculpture Park and the Kauffman Gardens.  IMG_2385IMG_2401If you live in Kansas City or have been to visit, what would make your “must do” list?

A Matter of Perspective

The last couple of weeks have been more stressful than I would like to admit.  There have been a lot of great things like getting an offer on our house (yay!) but the impending move has me feeling anxious.  I know that this change is going to be a great one in the long run, but the uncertainty of leaving a place that has become so comfortable is making me crawl out of my skin.  And, when I am feeling overly anxious, I almost always choose this time to be unhappy with me – my body, my abilities, my relationships….and on and on in a horrible spiral.

Last Monday I started feeling these negative thoughts.  Matt and I took the rug rat for a run, and I was feeling slow and tired.  We got in a short 2 mile run before heading back home for dinner, bath time and the normal night with a baby.  When we were changing from the run, I put Jack on our bed.  I had a shiny bracelet at the other end of the bed that caught Jack’s attention.  I watched as his expression said, “I’m going to get that!”  He army crawled to the bracelet pretty slowly, and he was panting!  But he was so determined.  When he got to his prize he smiled and grabbed.  I let him have a few congratulatory seconds before stealing it back.  What a mood changer!

While Jack only moved about 2 feet, he gave it his all and accomplished something completely new.  I’m going to try to quit whining and just get out there and go for it.  Whether the “it” is getting in a slower 2 miler, or moving hundreds of miles away to get closer to achieving a dream.  I hope your week gets you closer to an accomplishment, big or small, too!  (Now trying to pack with a more mobile baby is another story…)IMG_2232


Because we have this going on:

IMG_2206Our routine has been a bit off.  Luckily that has meant extra pool time.IMG_2176IMG_2132IMG_2166IMG_2050Dining al fresco every chance we get:IMG_2030Playtime with friends in the park when we take advantage of being gone for open houses:IMG_2201

Neighborhood parties with our Swedish friends and their midsummer’s traditions (see the greens pole in the background of the cuddly baby):IMG_2119Easy dinners that involve very little cooking and very little clean up:IMG_2219Lots of running and walking family time when (again) we need to be out of the house:IMG_2214(This guy never complains about being outside!)IMG_2210

And keeping my sanity with friends who challenge me with hills sprints.  (Please note I did not see this smile on any of the sprints because I spent every one trying my hardest to catch this speedy woman).EmAnd not nearly enough coffee moments with friends (but I am going to change that with a run and coffee with friends tomorrow).
coffeeDoesn’t this cinnamon honey latte make you want to get out of bed in the morning?

Why I Love the Rain and Other Weekend Info

I hope your week is off to a great start and that you feel refreshed after the weekend.  Last week was a little draining and made me enjoy my weekend even more than usual.  Jack and I spent a lot of time outside on Friday.  It was his first time to play on a blanket in the yard and the first time to feel grass on his little tootsies.  He was one happy baby!IMG_1829

Saturday started with morning cuddles before heading off to teach spin class.  I had a woman stay after class to say she came to my last class before Jack was born and that the class changed her perspective on fitness.  She was viewing exercise as just another thing to check off the list, but got a kick out of seeing how much fun I seemed to be having even with a belly full of baby.  What a great feeling to be able to have a positive influence on someone!  It is easy to take our bodies and our abilities for granted.  There are plenty of people side-lined out there who would love to be able to have your capabilities.  Being able to move your body is a gift.  Get a smile on your face and get going!

The rest of our Saturday involved grocery shopping with my sidekick, HopFest with friends, plenty of laundry and a graduation party.  Sunday started with jogging with(out) Jack before Jack’s BFF, Meyer’s, baptism party.  What cute boys!IMG_1860

Sunday continued with more picture taking and lots of family time.IMG_1850




During his last nap of the day, Matt and I chatted, chopped and put together these salad jars for the week:

IMG_1883Quinoa/Lentil/Chickpeas Mason Jar Salads

Bottom layer: Italian dressing
Next layer:  chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped bell peppers
Next layer:  lentils and quinoa mix
Next layer:  chickpeas
Next layer:  spinach and romaine lettuce
Final layer:  sharp cheddar cheese

This has been my favorite salad so far!  I love, love, love cold quinoa and lentils on my salad.  It is always my go-to at the salad bar at Whole Foods.  I cooked the lentils and quinoa together in my new rice cooker.  I think I’m in love with this appliance…after I experiment more I will give some details.

I saved the best for last (at least by my new standards).  I am making an effort to live in the moment and slow down to enjoy the little things.  Time is going by so quickly, and I am reminded of this fact every time I look at Jack.  Sunday was his first big rainstorm.  Matt, Jack and I stood in the door and let the wind hit us as we watched the rain together.   He kept turning around to look at us with his eyes and his mouth open as if to say, “Do you guys see this?!”  I think I was as thrilled to watch Jack’s reaction as he was to see the rain falling.

I hope your week brings many happy small moments and the ability to slow down and enjoy them!