Lighten Up!

I got off night shift yesterday morning and only slept for 3hrs before giving up on sleeping. The house was noisy, but I knew it would be so I made peace with it and got up for the day at 1pm. Needless to say I passed out on the couch at 2130! I had planned to get up at 0500 for the 0600 class this morning (the girls don’t have school today) and I was regretting that decision when my alarm went off! I got up anyway and made my way to the Box for this:

Warm-Up: Cindy x 3 rounds (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats)

I couldn’t get my pull-ups with just the blue band so I added up the purple band and was n’t impressed with how I was doing, but at least, I was warming up.

Skills: Handstand push-ups: 4-5 x 6-10 reps

I’ve been struggling to find the ideal “tripod” position between my hands and head and I only managed one successful round of 5  strict reps from a yoga block + 3×5# plates. I’ve done better in the past, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I did try a kipping rep and it is SO MUCH EASIER!!! I guess I should master a strict without any scaling before I start thinking about kipping my reps though, right?!? 😉

 

WOD: Lift Up Step Down

Coach Caleb said we should aim at 75-80% for our DL. That meant I should have gone with 120#-125# for my reps, but as I was warming up, 105# felt challenging enough as it was and I stuck with that for the WOD. My DUs are still elusive and I can only manage one-at-a-time interspersed with single skips in-between. I aimed at the FG for 8 DUs + 16 SUs for each rounds.

We got going and I managed the 1st round doing all the BJ Rx. I did, however, scale it back to step-ups for the rest of the rounds as I felt my form was suffering and I didn’t want to make my sciatic angry. I know DL usually make it angry, so I wasn’t gonna push it too much with the BJ.

Here were my times for each rounds:

1:55 – 1:40 – 1:37 – 1:32 – 1:37

fastest + slowest = 3:27

Was I happy about my performance today? Nope, but at least I went and did the work. Sometimes, you have to cut yourself some slack and not allow a crappy workout to turn your day into crap. Funny enough, the Box blog post was all about scaling and how there’s no shame in scaling movements or weights once in a while!

I realize I haven’t blogged at all last week. I made a conscious decision to deal with more important family affairs and that meant the blog took the back burner. Our nanny is moving at the end of February, so I’m trying to find a suitable replacement. It feels like my days off are spent working out, cleaning, cooking and having nanny interviews. Not my idea of a fun day off and since the girls have a pro-D day today, I’m cutting this post short so I can make the most of our day together!

In other news, BĂ©atrice drew this this morning. It’s her 1st “character” drawing where you can actually recognize the features. Apparently, I’m the one on the right because I’m “the angriest!” Lol!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

Budding artist makes me so proud!

 

The one at the top reminds me of Barbapapa!

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Anybody else used to watch this show as a kid?

Moving Forward

2015 ended on a high note in my fitness life (finally reached a huge goal of mine to back squat my body weight), but it was very sour and looking bleak on a more personal level. I am taking the appropriate steps to change and that and I’m remaining positive that this year will be better than the last and I’m looking forward to acquiring new tools to make this year better. Always growing and always learning makes you a better person. I’m a firm believer that we should always strive to better our personality and if it’s not a priority of yours, I strongly believe we wouldn’t have much in common.

As such, I made it a priority to get a workout in today and, after discussing it with my other half, I was cleared to make it to the 0600 class this morning. Yesterday was stressful at work and I felt like I was putting out fires all day, but it all comes with the territory of being a charge nurse. I did my best and came home feeling accomplished. Exhausted, but accomplished! I think it is slowly becoming apparent that my fitness is important to me as my co-workers are blurting out comments to me. I had 3 that made me laugh a lot because they were as random and out-of-the-blue as they come.  When I told a co-worker I was going on break, she asked: “Will you be back squatting your bodyweight in the break room?” Then, another (female) co-worker blurted out that “Your ass is tight!” clarifying shortly afterwards that I looked lean and fit and a third co-worked noted how I “Eat healthy all the time”. Preach by example, don’t impose your beliefs on people and answer questions is my way to make people understand that it’s all about hard work and dedication, but the rewards make it worth it by the ten-folds! I came home bone tired, my sciatic was acting up and I was ready for a long night of uninterrupted sleep.

My night was uninterrupted, but didn’t feel long enough with a 0500 alarm! I was happy to be back with my OG crew (the 0600!) and to be surrounded with people who share a passion for hard work. Here are the shenanigans we got up to today:

 

Skill: Deadlift 4-8-12-16 E2:30

I’ve been having a hard time concentrating lately. I read the WOD at night, elaborate a game plan and then, somehow, in the morning, I forget about my plan or can’t focus enough and can’t count plates properly. I was meaning to start the DL at 135# and take off 10# with each set, but instead, here’s what I did:

145#x4

125#x8

105#x12

85#x16

Meh! Can’t win them all. I was also wondering why I was struggling so hard to hang onto the bar on my 1st set and then realized I wasn’t using my mixed grip, like I normally am when DL heavy! See what I mean?!? Can’t focus to save my life!

Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

Mixed grip demo. Not my legs, in case you were wondering! Lol!

I did manage to hang on to the bar for all my rounds without having to drop it, so I was pretty happy with that!

WOD: Bingo Bango

I could have scaled this the same way I normally do, with banded pull-ups, but I decided to go a little harder. I had talked to Coach Caleb last week about my pull-ups and he suggested doing some building up with this little gem:

It’s more of a strict pull-up drill, but it really recruits the appropriate muscles needed for a pull-up and I was ready to put in the work today. I set-up my bar on the rig and we put a 70#KB in front of my feet so that I wouldn’t slide forward as the reps increased and I was set to go.  I wrote my rep scheme on a small whiteboard and I had written up to 10 pull-ups, thinking I would probably make it to the round of 7. Much to my surprise, I completed the 9th round for an AMRAP of 135. I was really conscious of my BJ and made a strong effort to not become sloppy for my reps. I was pretty happy with the work I put in today and came home to were proudly my new muscle shirt, gifted by the Nanny. She gets me so well and had given me this shirt that says: “Muscles and Mascara” on it.

My muscle shirt! <3 it!

My muscle shirt!

 

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

BeZU, flexing like a beast with Mama!

Having people who think like you, support and encourage you in your crazy adventures make the world of a difference and I was happy I got to see reconnect with my bunch of fit people this morning. These people are a source of inspiration on a daily basis and I consider myself lucky to have like-minded people in my life who provide friendship, love and support when it is needed! I am lucky to have a bunch of them in my life!

 

So Close I Can Taste It

I’m tired. I have been on mommy duty by myself since Friday and I’m pooped. The girls are good, but I’m exhausted and trying to get the last-minute purchases done for the girls while I am married-single-parenting is exhausting. Thank goodness I had planned ahead and booked Nanny to the rescue for today. She came in just in time for me to go to Crossfit and since she was curious about the whole thing, we packed everybody in the car and BĂ©a and Nanny came to watch me workout!

I did my usual solo warm-up and then I went onto the rig to try some TTB. I managed the usual 2 and went for an extra one and managed this one as well! I got greedy and tried for a 4th, but no luck. Still, a PR during the warm-up was nice! I teased Rob about it on Facebook (we have a bet as to whom will get to 10 TTB first. Although, now that I think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever established what the winner gets… Rob, if you’re reading, I say bragging rights!) and then moved onto the team warm-up:

I teamed up with Marie who recently graduated from the OnRamp and since we’re about the same height, I figured it would take us similar time to get through the erg.

 

Skill: Back Squat 5×3 E90s

I was trying to PR on this one and go for 140#. It would have been a 5# PR. It didn’t happen, but I was close and considering I was still feeling my new depth at the bottom of the squat, it felt REALLY good. I felt strong, more able to keep my chest up and didn’t feel like I was “butt-stripping” getting out of the squat. Here was my progression:

120#-125#-130#-135#-140# (managed 1 rep and bailed coming out of my 2nd).

I think there was a lot happening for me on these:

  1. I was seeing stars coming up from my 1st rep @ 140# and I didn’t take a long enough pause to breathe and recoup at the top
  2. I was in my head a lot. I knew that if I managed to do this today, I was literally 5# away from my bodyweight back squat and I’ve been chasing this one for close to 2 years now. My heart was pumping fast and I could tell I was in a hyper mode.

I may not have PR’d my 5×3 and I don’t have a 1RM, but I’m confident that 140# was an amazing 1RM for me! The fact that I felt so good and strong during my reps gave me a ton of confidence. Also, being able to bail out of the lift safely made me feel good too. It’s nice to know that I not only have the technique to do my lifts in a safe manner, but I also have the knowledge to get out of them if I can’t complete a rep.

WOD: 4 Hundred

I paired up with Marie again and even though she was doing the FG+, I firmly believe that we both were working equally hard at it. I decided to try this one RX and it did not disappoint! I started us off on the wallballs because, well, in all honesty, I just wanted to get them done and over with! Lol! We broke them up in sets of 10 and I then had to break my sets into 2×5, pretty early in the game. Marie was doing squats while holding the med ball because of shoulder issues, which meant that she was done a lot quicker for her sets and I had less time to recover. She was nice enough to get us started on the push-ups and surprisingly to me, I was really struggling through those. We both did them all RX and Marie was so strong and straight throughout them all, I was super impressed! We split them up into sets of 5.

I took over for the reverse lunges and I was apprehensive about those as any split movement is usually what gives me sciatic pain. I tried my best to brace my deep abdominals and so far, *knocks on wood*, no butt pain! We split those up into 10s and got through them fairly quick.

I started us off for the Plates ground to overhead and it was my 1st time using the 25# plate for those. They felt really strong. It felt like I was really able to keep the plate close to my body and really use my hips to get it overhead. There were two reps towards the end where I struggled to get the plate to actually touched the ground, but even if we finished last, I felt really good about our work today.

Once I was done, I clean dup quickly in the bathroom and BeZU, Nanny and I were off to hit the stores. I managed to find one item on the girls’ Santa list and I was happy with that. I hid my purchases in the trunk and BĂ©a was none the wiser.

After lunch, we came back home where I finished laundry and relaxed a bit on the couch. We then went to pick-up Rina at themes stop and we trooped everyone to a smaller mall where I was hoping to get the girls’ picture taken with Santa.  I had scoped the hours ahead of time and I knew the big guy was supposed to be there until 5pm. To my surprise, there was nobody in line when we got there. I forked out the $14 for one 5×7 pic (not without some grumbling) and approached the jolly red dude. BĂ©atrice was scared to death and wanted nothing to do with him. She kept hiding behind my legs and I could feel her little body shaking against my leg. I asked Santa if I could sit next to him to warm her up to him and once he said it was fine, she climbed on my lap. I tried to get her to sit on his lap: No. I tried to get her to sit next to him: No. I tried to get her to stand in front of here sister (who was, by then, telling Santa everything she wanted for Christmas): No. In the end, I decided it was going to be a family picture and I got in there with the girls. After all, I wanted them both to have their picture taken, but I wasn’t gonna hang around there forever!

I turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn't care less!

It turned out much better than I thought and at least both girls are smiling. I look like an exhausted, sweaty mom (because I am), but I couldn’t care less!

Once we were done, I went to get the envelope with the picture and noticed there was another sheet in there. At first I thought it was an order sheet to order extras, but when I took it out, I saw this:

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

Rina, handing Santa a drawing she had done

I was so unaware that the photographer had taken this one and I was really touched that she had included it in the envelope. I thanked her profusely and we all went on our merry way home, where we had dinner, I bathed everyone, made lunches for tomorrow, took my work clothes out and now, I’m about to make myself a cup of broth with my hot water bottle on my back and do my version of #NetflixandChill which is #Netflixandbroth 🙂

 

Grace

I got up at 0500 for the 3rd day in a row and got ready to hit the Box for this:

 

Dark and wet

Dark and wet

It was raining for the 1st day in about 3 months this morning and I’ve been noticing how dark it is already when I get up for the 0600 class. Back to fall weather soon, I guess.

 

WOD: I warmed up with 55#, then moved on to 65# as suggested by Tracey and Coach Caleb. I had a plan of breaking my reps into sets of 3 for the first 15, then do single reps. I got to 15 according to my plan and I still felt good so I kept going with sets of 3. I figured I would keep it up until I felt unable to do so, but it turns out I finished all 30 reps broken into sets of 3. According to Mark, I looked strong doing it too. Does that mean I sandbagged this one? Should I have gone with 75# instead? I’m not sure. Coach Caleb was very adamant that we make sure our form was perfect the whole way through and I apparently managed to do just that. I wasn’t last to finish, I think I finished in the middle or towards the end of the pack, so maybe my scaling was on point? I’m not sure. I’m so used to scaling and finishing last that I feel like maybe I screwed up when I’m not last and maybe I didn’t work hard enough. Maybe I should see it as myself getting stronger instead? I’m not sure how to analyze this, but at least, I now have a benchmark for Grace and it gives me something to go from here on out.

I paired up with Neil aka Boy and we did our 5 rounds of the Skill #2. That ab wheel was something new and it hurt my wrists for some reason.

lifeline-powerwheel

Strap your feet in and bring your knees into a tuck or pike

I only managed to string 10 DUs once. The rest of my reps were singles upwards of 4 in-a-row. Not my best performance, but today is my 4th day of Crossfit this week and I feel beat up. I was pouring sweat after the Skill #2 and I came back home, dreading having to attempt the entire house cleaning for yet another day this week.

Walking into the house, I noticed our black “leather” couch had been decorated with gold Sharpie… I hopped back into my car and drove to the only grocery store open to get a Magic Eraser. Some of the disaster has disappeared, but not all of it. Ben thinks if we draw over it with a dry-erase marker and then wipe that down, it will lift off the Sharpie as well. We’ll try that later. That’s one of the reason I didn’t want to get a real leather couch just yet… I knew it would get ruined at some point by the girls, I just didn’t think it would happen 8 months after getting our couch! 😩 Ugh!

Ben and Nanny have agreed on a plan in order to help keep me sane today: Ben will take the girls out of the house and Nanny will help me (hopefully) finish cleaning the main floor. This way, the girls have a better chance of staying alive to see another day and Nanny and I will power through the cleaning.

She looks all innocent wrapped up in my blanket, but son't get fooled by appearances. She's the gold Sharpie culprit

She looks all innocent wrapped up in my blanket, but don’t get fooled by appearances… She’s the gold Sharpie culprit and is grounded for today!

Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

Photo 2015-08-27, 5 53 29 AM

The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.

My

My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

Photo 2015-08-27, 7 17 19 AM

I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉

Gentle reminders

I went to bed last night petrified. I had looked up the WOD for this morning and saw that it was Mini Murph. Yikes! I woke up before my alarm and made sure I fuelled up appropriately for it:

  • 1/4 cup ground turkey (Tex Mex seasoned with lime juice)
  • 1/2 oz cashews
  • 1/2 banana (normally, I don’t do the banana, but this morning, I felt I could use the extra carbs. I’m glad I did this!)

I hopped in the car and tried to get my head in the game. My butt was still sore from all the lunges on Monday so my head slowly started to tremble with fear. Just e gentle reminder that my butt still needs working on. I tried to keep a cool attitude though. Fake it until you make it kind of attitude!

Bo showed up and then there were two of us dreading the WOD. He also kindly gave me a 2-month supply of multivitamins for free. His wife had extras and he figured: share the love!

Coach AJ showed up and we warmed up. We discussed the WOD and strategy and I chose a plan of attack: 800m run, 10 x (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats), 800m run. That seemed a little more decent than trying to do everything at once. The warm-up had some running in it and that made me dread the WOD even more. Just a gentle reminder that I am not an efficient runner.

We came back inside and set up our pull-up stations. I tried to do a few with just the red band, but seeing as there were 50 to do, I added the purple band as well. I was already tired and the WOD hadn’t even started. Just a gentle reminder that shift work, no matter the amount of sleep you get, wreaks havoc on your body.

3-2-1-GO!

I let everybody pass me easily and held out at the back. I did my 1st 800m run without stopping. It had rained earlier and although it wasn’t raining anymore, the air was cool and it felt good to run in cooler weather.I came back inside and jump don the rig to tackle my 1st set of pull-ups. I pretty much went with little rest for the 1st 5 rounds. I then allowed myself a sip of water and went back to work. I was determined to do all my push-ups RX and as I rested on my 6th set, I inhaled deeply and could smell the very typical rain smell in the air. It calmed me down and I kept going. Rounds 7, 8, 9 and 10 were a struggle. Not so much for the push-ups as I had anticipated, but the pull-ups were slowly doing my head in. I kept staring at the bar and my head was just telling me “Nope! No more!” Thank goodness, Coach AJ and Tracey were there to tell me to get back onto the bar. I listened to them, instead of my head and keep going.

After round 10, I took another sip of water and headed out for the last 800m run. Mark and Gail came out and ran with me. We did the first 400m and I was trying to potentialize on the downhills as much as I could and tried to pick up the spreed. I was struggling. I took of for the last 400m and Mark stayed with me. I felt like telling him to go back inside, I got this (after all, he had done the WOD with a 20# vest on and had finished way before I did), but I’m glad I didn’t. He was chatting me up while I picked up the speed a little more on the downhills. On the last uphill, Mark told me to give ‘er and not save anything. My head was saying I didn’t have anything left. Once again, I listened to Mark and picked up the pace until I was running full speed and made my way back inside. Just a gentle reminder that your head will want to quit before your body does. I looked at the clock: 31:10! I was exhausted, but so proud! I was expecting this to take me an hour! Just a gentle reminder that I am stronger and fitter than I think. When you doubt yourself, trust in the people who believe and support you.

I came back home on such a high! I showered,  dolled myself up and am now ready to spend a day with my entire family. The rain has picked up now and is a gentle reminder of the fall and winter weather slowly approaching.

Natural high!

All dolled up and on a natural high!

 

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

Rain on my car and Crossfit on my mind!

I still can’t believe how much my fitness has improved in the last few months. I am stronger, physically and mentally and a tad faster too. I am also more confident in what I can achieve and it is empowering to see how much I can get done. Just a gentle reminder to trust your body more than your head. While your head will screw with you, your body will show you how strong you really are.

In other news, French Nanny (from now on, she will be Nanny) is a delight to work with. She has picked up the slack this week when temporary Nanny got sick and she has raised above and beyond the call of duty. She has cleaned up my floors more than I do myself, has done our laundry, even though it wasn’t asked of her and she plays tirelessly with the girls, so much so that they fall asleep before hitting their pillows at night. To top it all off, she woke me up with coffee in bed yesterday afternoon, after my night shift! I told Ben he had some fierce competition: she makes me coffee AND she cleans! Lol! He said she was Mary Freakin’ Poppin! I will make sure to do everything in my power so she doesn’t fly away from us. Just a gentle reminder that there are still good, loving people out there.

Feeling Accomplished

I came home last night and French Nanny had done the laundry, baked a cake and cupcakes with the girls, cleaned the 1st floor, went to the pool with the little ones and played basketball with them. I could get used to that!

I went to bed exhausted and was looking forward to sleeping in until 0600, except our smoke detector chirped twice at 0515 for no reason. Of course, nobody but me work up from he smoke detector… So much for sleeping in!

I went to the 0700 WOD this morning and was surprised to see another 0600-er! Bo had missed the WOD yesterday so he was there to do it today, just like me.

Skill: Kipping pull-ups practice

As per Coach AJ, if we were using band, she wanted us to do strict pull-ups and work on our swing instead. I tried using the red and purple bands, but had to increase to red and blue since I couldn’t do a single rep. I managed well considering and felt good doing those. Below are my reps:

5-6-7-7-7

WOD: Deadlimp

I had done this one back in May and had used 115# for the DL and had to go down from 35# to 26# for the reverse lunges as well as do step up box because my quads were seizing back then. My goal for today was to use 120# for the DL and 35# for the reverse lunges for all rounds. I had the 26# KB next to me, just in case. Midway through, I had to resort to doing step up boxes again, for fear of face planting on the box. I ploughed through with the reverse lunges and even though I had to break them into 2 sets of 6 for most rounds, I managed all rounds with that 35#KB! I was so happy! It was the 1st time I ever managed a full WOD with weighted lunges at that weight. For some reason, I’m still pretty weak on those and they are a struggle, but I pushed through and managed to finish it all with an average of 45s rest for each intervals!

I came back home and text Kathleen about the WOD. We had been texting back and forth about it last night and she wanted to know how I fared this morning (she had done it yesterday). I love how we can be “juiceheads” together and discuss and strategize over WODs! Strong women unite! I ate myself a lovely breakfast and got to work cleaning the rest of the house that French Nanny didn’t have time to do yesterday. I managed to do that while Ben finished the laundry (Thanks Babe! You rock!) and then got cooking. I am adapting this Beef Stroganoff recipe from The Paleo Mama for my slow cooker. I used ground beef and threw the beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms and seasonings in my InstantPot and sautĂ©d it until the beef was cooked. I then shut off the sautĂ© function, added 1 can coconut milk, 2 tsp of vegetable Better Than Bouillon, about 1-2 tsp of arrowroot powder, and about 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste (I usually freeze my left-overs from the can flat in a ziplock bag and cut whatever I need for recipes. Today, I just threw in whatever I had left in the freezer). Turn on my InstantPot on the slow cooker function on high for 4hrs. While this is stewing and filling the house with lovely comfort-food fragrance, I prepped a cauliflower head into rice and stir-fried my “rice” in the Wok. Now, everything will be ready for me to pack into work tonight when I get up from my nap! I’ll add some frozen kale in my container when I pack it up and that will be perfect, convenient and healthy! I’ll update with a picture once everything is ready to be photographed!

The girls have been absolute angels all morning. They’ve been playing together quietly while I was cleaning and I didn’t have to discipline them once! They sure are growing up!