More than a cute outfit…

Disclaimer: this post started out as a little update in the Skirt Sports Ambassador group but quickly grew into something more.

The 2017 Skirt Sports Ambassador season began just a few short weeks ago. It’s expanded so much this year and it’s so exciting. Heck we even broke the internet and the company is switching to a new host to help speed up things for all the new skirt converts. 

This week I was asked a few times how I became an ambassador.  Most people mean well when they ask such a thing but I did have one person who was a bit shocked that a company would pick someone like me to be an ambassador. I mean let’s be honest here, I am not the fastest runner, I am not the most flexible person, I am not good at lifting I’m not even that great of an athlete honestly.  Even though I used to coach [swimming and lacrosse], I don’t coach sports anymore. I don’t have any sort of personal training certification heck I don’t even have a real job by societal standards.  So really, why would a company choose someone like me to be an ambassador for them?  I’m not completely sure honestly but here I am for my second year as an ambassador, and at the captain level for this year, so there must be something about me that they see that others may not.  I’m not writing this to brag or anything, I just want to share my story with you. 

A while back Skirt Sports did a photo shoot with some of the ladies in my Moms Run This Town [MRTT] group from Savannah, Georgia.  That’s when I first became intrigued by the company and signed up for their emails.  I didn’t buy anything right away because at the time I was pregnant with our 4th child [Mikey] and about to move from Georgia to Texas. I didn’t think these clothes were for someone like me. Yet then as the stories about these ladies that I ran with started rolling out…real stories, real women (now I get what they say “real women move” as part of their motto), I became more and more interested.  Even though Skirt Sports was founded by Nicole DeBoom and even though she’s an amazing well know triathlete, she’s real.  She’s more than her athletic accomplishments. She recognizes this in others as well. She recognizes that real women move and she has built an amazing community and company around that motto.  I am proud to now be a part of that community. 

After asking many questions to my friends who had tried Skirt Sports I finally bit the bullet and bought my first skirt, the poparrazi gym girl ultra.  When it first arrived in the mail I was still a bit hesitant but then I thought hey, I played field hockey all the way through college and knew what it felt like to run in a kilt with shorties underneath and I missed that feeling.  Let me give you a bit of backstory here that I don’t really like sharing because I don’t like this side of me being shown but I know how important it is to show it every once in a while…I was severely depressed when I bought my first skirt. I was so depressed that I couldn’t even see how depressed I was. I was at one of my lowest lows in life and barely recognized myself.  Heck, I had chopped off all of my hair in hopes that it would help bring some spunk back. Yet it didn’t.  I was in darkness very badly.  When I look back at pictures of myself from that time, even with all the compliments of how cute my hair looked, I never felt like myself. I felt like an imposter. I was faking it. 
If you knew me back in college you may know that my sophomore year I battled depression very badly. I was almost kicked out of school for not showing up to class and for failing one course and getting a D in another and plummeting my GPA, it was a 1.9 that first semester.  I wasn’t a 4.0 student but I was at least a Dean’s list student. I know that was almost 15 years ago now but I still think about it regularly because my coaches recognized that I needed help.  With the help of my coaches and teammates I climbed out of that hole and look fondly back on my time at Regis. So there I was about 12 years later and back down in a hole and longing for my team again.

I decided that I would start training in the gym girl ultra and use it for one of the legs in my upcoming capital to coast race. I was surprised at how well the skirt worked. No chaffing was a huuuuge bonus.  I bought a second gym girl ultra for C2C.  The skirts worked amazing during my legs of the race and I couldn’t talk enough about them. It was around that time that other friends started encouraging me to apply to be an ambasaador. So I did. 

I had no clue what to write on the ambassador application and asked Troy his thoughts. His response was classic, “I like how your butt looks in the skirts.” No joke y’all, I included that in my application.  Around the same time I found out that I was pregnant with baby Cinco [Audie] and in that same week we also found out that Troy would be leaving just a couple weeks later for a 6 month deployment to Africa. I plunged deeper into depression. 

When I went to do the OB paperwork for my pregnancy with baby Cinco the nurse recognized that I scored fairly high on the depression screening and that I needed help.  I finally said yes and agreed to start therapy.  Shortly after, I was accepted as a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and am honestly still a bit in shock.  2016 was an extremely difficult year for me. As I’ve said before, I cannot take medication because my body doesn’t process it properly and it does me more harm. So I have tried almost all other alternative therapies out there. Heck I even did some hypnotherapy sessions, which were some of my favorite sessions honestly. One of the things we discussed in therapy was to focus on the simple things. To just get dressed.  That’s it, get dressed.  We discussed my fitness and how important it was to keep active. OK so now all I had to do was get dressed in my active wear. So I did. I know, I know, it’s ridiculously simple, but when you’re battling your demons even what seems to be the simplest of things can be a huge accomplishment. So here’s where Skirt Sports comes in again; get dressed in my active wear and then go work out at some point.  I know it may sound trivial but it helped me out so much. I love how my skirts look. I enjoy taking the time to focus on something simple. I enjoy choosing a cute outfit. I enjoy putting on that outfit and love how it makes me feel. Heck I liked it so much that as you know, I chose to wear one of my favorite skirts and sports bras as one of my outfits for my maternity photos! 

 Not just the the clothes but the encouraging community behind Skirt Sports, all the other real women, they may not know it, but they helped me out of that hole.  I’m not saying that life is all fine and bright and dandy now because honestly, it’s not. I still struggle. I still have days where it takes every fiber of my being to just do the little things but it’s so much better than it was before. 

When the outfit shown above arrived at my door today, I felt the need to share a bit more of my story with you because even though this is a ridiculously cute outfit, it’s more than that.  I am very thankful that Skirt Sports saw something in me, and chose me to be a part of the ambassador team.  I’m more than my athletic accomplishments, I’m more than a mother of 5, I’m more than the wife of an active duty solider who is yet again on another assignment away from his family, I’m more than my depression…I don’t know exactly how else to describe it than to say it all adds up to be me. Beautifully flawed, real, me. 

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Review & Reflection on Love Warrior

In 2016 I set out with a goal to read at least 1 book a month and I finished with waaaay more than that.  2017 my goal is to read at least 2 books a month and to host a monthly book club.  I have completed 11 books so far this year.  Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton is the latest book I have completed.  I have been so moved by this book that after writing a quick review in my goodreads account I feel the need to expand on the review and put it into a blog post.  By the way if you don’t have a goodreads account yet I highly recommend getting one.  It’s an excellent place to keep track of the books you’ve read and books you would like to read.  Click here to follow me on goodreads.

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Last year a friend of mine had posted about how she was reading Love Warrior.  I tend to enjoy most of the books this friend has recommended so I looked into it.  There was a long wait list for Love Warrior and so I checked out Melton’s first book Carry On, Warrior.  While I enjoyed her first book it did not move me in the ways that this book has.  I do recommend reading Carry On, Warrior but I feel like it’s not necessary to read the books in chronological order.  Both memoirs stand alone well.

Here’s what goodreads has to say about Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton:

The highly anticipated new memoir by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton tells the story of her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

Just when Glennon Doyle Melton was beginning to feel she had it all figured out—three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list—her husband revealed his infidelity and she was forced to realize that nothing was as it seemed. A recovering alcoholic and bulimic, Glennon was familiar with rock bottom. In the midst of crisis, she knew to hold on to what she discovered in recovery: that her deepest pain has always held within it an invitation to a richer life. Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. This astonishing memoir reveals how internalizing our culture’s standards of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for men and women to ever really know one another—and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they’ve been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love.

Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

Let me expand on that by saying that I recommend this book to all women.  I truly feel like all women can find something to relate to among the pages of this memoir.  With out giving too much away I just want to say that this book truly takes you on a journey and it caused me to reflect on my life and relationships.

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Reflection…

Warrior flow is one of my favorite yoga sequences.  In it I feel powerful and ready to take on the world.  It challenges me but strengthens me in the challenge.  That’s life as well – strength in the challenge.  Overcoming, learning, etc…today is Thursday and I used to practice Thankful Thursday on a regular basis as a form of resiliency training.  Dare I say today that I am thankful for my experience with depression?!  I am.  I am thankful for struggle.  I am thankful for the challenges and the newfound strength they have given me.  With that let me make it clear to you that I believe struggle is relative to the individual.  It bothers me when people take my struggle and then throw back at me “it could be worse” or “oh but I [insert one downer statement here]” when someone does that to me or I hear about it being done to someone else I feel like that persons feelings are being discounted and that’s not right.  Everyone is allowed to feel the way they feel and to discount someone’s feelings and struggle just because you think you have it worse or better or whatever the case may be robs that person of an experience, of a journey that she may need to go and grow through.

I spent all of 2016 in regular counseling.  I was in an extremely dark place for a long time.  I cannot take medications because of how my body processes medications; it does more damage than good for me.  That is my experience.  I am sharing with you not to be a one upper or a one downer but to hopefully help show you that there is a warrior in us all.  That in the darkness there is light.  That sometimes things just suck and the challenges are so tough we need professional help out of them and that’s OK!  Don’t envy me don’t be like me, be the you-est you possible, you’re the only one who can do that.

This blog is called Rambling Mom for a reason, I tend to ramble on.  I tend to write in stream of consciousness and I often wish that I could just place a recorder of sorts in my head to properly get all my thoughts out.  Alas that hasn’t been invented yet.  My brain processes my experiences by writing about them with a pen and paper and then processes them again in a different way by typing and then processes them again a different way by talking about them.  That’s something I learned in therapy last year; that our brains process in various ways.

Back to my reflection of the book Love Warrior…

I’m often told that people look to my marriage with Troy as a #relationshipgoal.  I always think ugh, why?!  Trust me, you don’t want my marriage.  I’m not saying that my marriage is awful or anything but I am saying that my marriage isn’t exactly what you think it is.  My marriage struggles.  My marriage is a ton of time spent apart because of the paths we have chosen in life.  My marriage is missed birthdays and holidays and other special occasions.  My marriage is like the oceans tide where we struggle with the currents and the ups and downs.  There is peace in it though.  I truly know there is no one else in the world that I would rather be with.  It’s our relationship and no one else.  That’s what I encourage you to be in your relationship and in your life…you…you, you, you, your experience.  Your challenges make you the warrior that you are.

The quote below is a gentle reminder for myself and to you as well…

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…and remember YOU ARE A WARRIOR!

What’s Up Wednesday – Bra Review

Hey Hey Hey Rambling Mom Fans…WELCOME TO WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY!!!

Last Wednesday I did a quick little vlog (video) with some of the latest from me.  I did this because I am always getting messages or comments asking – hey, what is it that you’re drinking?  What are you wearing?  How do you like this or that?  Wait, what?!  People actually want my opinion?!  So I’ve decided to embrace that I’m apparently what they call a “social media influencer” – maybe my Regis College Bachelors in Communications is actually paying off – haha.  Anyways, so now most Wednesday’s I’ll be doing a quick little vlog post onto my YouTube Channel so click subscribe so you can check them out every week.  At the very least you’ll get a little giggle from me to cheer up your hump day.  To help me with my 2017 goal of writing more I will go into detail a bit more about something I featured in my What’s Up Wednesday’s vlog by writing about it here on my blog (well that’s a mouth full).  So here’s what’s up this week…

SKIRT SPORTS BRA SALE!!!  WOOT WOOT!!

Ladies, it is super duper important that you take care of your boobs and support them properly during your workouts.  I don’t care if you run or bike or walk or yoga or crossfit or…whatever it is that you do that moves you, and whatever your size may be, big or small protect them all!

Right now my personal favorite sports bra is the Kelly by Skirt Sports.  Let me tell you, I love this bra, not just because I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador, but because someone FINALLY created a product that meets my needs!  For about 10 years now I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding and my boobs have been everywhere from an A-D and many miles in between.  Even though I played sports all the way through College and I considered myself an athlete, I never gave much thought to my sports bras in the past.  Honestly, I just went with what was the cheapest because I had tiny boobs back then so really, what did it matter?!  Let me tell you, if you’re like how I was then well, I wish I knew then what I know now…

From Runner’s World –

What happens to our breasts while we are running?

During walking, a woman’s breasts move the same amount in and out, up and down and from side to side: about 33% in each dimension.

Up the pace to a jog or a run, and the movement is split: 51% up and down, 22% side to side and 27% in and out. The overall pattern is a figure of eight (on it’s side).

Breasts move as much during a slow jog as they do during a sprint, meaning no matter what your pace, you should always wear a sports bra!

Which translates to possible ligament injury in your breasts which can lead to sagging.  No one wants saggy boobs and contrary to popular belief breastfeeding isn’t what causes saggy boobs, improper support does.  So, what does this mean for a fit breastfeeding mama?!  It’s so tough to find a good comfortable “easy access” sports bra!  Well ladies, let me tell you, the Skirt Sports Kelly Bra has GOT YOU COVERED!  This bra, hands down, is THE BEST for breastfeeding mamas!  I’ve included some pics below (don’t worry, it’s not on me, I’m not going to flash you or anything but my dress form will haha.  Honestly, I think it’s an excellent bra for ALL women because it’s so versatile.  Check it out…

The Kelly Bra from Skirt Sports in Razz

Check it out, Velcro straps for “easy access” if you’re a breastfeeding mama or it’s just a great way to adjust the straps for any woman.

Now here’s a couple pictures of the back because you have a couple options for how the straps of the bra can be. It also shows another area of how to adjust the straps of the bra depending on your needs.

Option 2 is to have the straps criss-cross which is perfect for under racer-back tanks.

Another reason why I love this bra is because it has slight padding.  The padding is juuuust right so you don’t have to worry about unsightly headlights, y’all know what I’m talking about haha.

There you have it, my current favorite bra, the Kelly by Skirt Sports and lucky you it’s 50% off right now so go on over to www.skirtsports.com and check out all the cute bras they have to offer.  Also, you can use code: 1SSCAPT20 to get 20% OFF the rest of your order – how sweet is that?!  Enjoy!

Easy Airfryer Beneigts

Last weekend we took a rock n roll trip to New Orleans, Louisiana [NOLA]!!! I had a fabulous time but that’s a story you can see on my Instagram.  While in NOLA I of course had to try some of the official donuts of Louisiana aka BENEIGTS!  I almost bought a box of beneigts mix but at the time I didn’t have an Airfryer and I also thought that I would be able to come up with my own recipe anyways. So after doing some research on Pinterest I came up with the following recipe:

[Dry] ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon or 1/4 tsp of each

[Wet] ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup [vanilla] Greek yogurt [or blended yogurt or sour cream]
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

[Other] ingredients:

  • Sprinkles of flour to kneed dough with
  • Powdered sugar to top beneigts

Directions:

  • Preheat air fryer to 350 °F
  • In a large bowl stir together all dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl whisk egg and then whisk in remaining wet ingredients
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients, dough will be sticky
  • Lightly flour a surface to place the dough on [countertop]
  • Slightly kneed the dough until it forms together and then roll it out in a rectangular shape until dough is about 1/2 inch thick/takes up the space of a legal size sheet of paper 

  • Cut the dough into sections, about 12-15 pieces
  • Depending on the size of your air fryer you can fit 2-4 ish pieces in the basket just make sure the pieces aren’t touching

  • Airfry for about 5 minutes
  • Use tongs to remove beneigts from fryer basket being careful to not burn yourself
  • Place beneigts on a plate
  • Continue frying batches of the pieces until all the dough is used 
  • Top generously with powdered sugar
  • Serve warm and enjoy with a cup of cafe au lait 

HAPPY SKIRT YEAR!

Today marks the first day of the new ambassador year for Skirt Sports!  YAY!  This year I will be serving as a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain and I am so excited for this opportunity.  The Skirt Sports Ambassador program is like no other – it’s not just about getting out the word on their products it’s TRULY about supporting other women in the community.  One of the motto’s of the company is #realwomenmove and this company truly embodies that spirit – seriously, go check out the website and you’ll see all sorts of women sporting the gear – it’s amazing!

As y’all know my New Years goal is to write more so here I am writing to you about my love of the skirt.  I used to play field hockey so wearing a skirt/kilt was a regular thing for me.  When I started running as an adult I ran (maybe I kinda sorta intended that pun haha) into some major issues with chaffing [cue cringing face].  No matter what sort of shape I was in I would have problems and so I started wearing capris more but that presented another problem [cringe face again…camel toe].  What’s a woman to do?!  Then I joined the MRTT [Moms Run This Town] group in Savannah, Georgia and a few years back all of these ladies started posting adorable pictures of themselves running in…skirts…I CONFESS…I was a HUGE skeptic at first [I pretty much always am].  Then one day they were having a sale and a friend posted a discount code and I bought my first ever Skirt Sports skirt – the Gym Girl Ultra in Pop-arazzi print.  I was still a bit hesitant to test out the skirt but I finally gave in and was shocked!  The shorties underneath stayed nicely in place and for the first time in a loooooong time I did a run and didn’t have any chaffing issues!  Oh and there were pockets!  Yes, pockets!  Seriously, women’s clothing hates pockets for some reason and it’s frustrating as heck but Skirt Sports takes care of that issue and gives you amazing pockets left and right and back and all over and…*sigh*…I was a changed woman.  I quickly converted to skirt.  The following year when my friends posted about ambassador applications I thought hey, why the heck not and applied.  After being rejected by some other companies I was shocked to receive my Skirt Sports Ambassador acceptance letter for the 2016 season!  I cried.  My skirt sisters helped me in ways they probably don’t even know about.  They encouraged me along my journey as a preggo mother runner.  Yes folks I comfortably wore their skirts for my entire pregnancy and even did a photo shoot in my favorite Skirt Sports outfit.  I share the love of skirt just because I truly believe in this company.

Anyways, that’s just a brief glimpse into my skirt loving world.  I will continue to share more of my journey with you this year.  So please keep checking the blog and if you’re interested in checking out Skirt Sports click on the link at the bottom of this post.  Oh, and to kick off the new ambassador year how about a 20% OFF code?!  1SSCAPT20  Follow me on Instagram @RamblingMom and be sure to tag me so I can see what you end up buying and be giddy about it with you because we are sisters like that now 😉 #RamblingMom #SkirtSports #converttoskirt #skirtluv17

Enjoy!

Skirt Sports

Protein Pancakes 

I love to experiment in the kitchen. I especially like to adapt recipes to make them a smidge healthier by sneaking in some nutrients my super picky son (he’s on the autism spectrum) may otherwise not get. So I took my good ole pancake recipe and came up with something new. As usual I’ve added some variations for you so that you can make it however you like. 

Ingredients:

*2 cups oatmeal (it will be turned into oatmeal flour. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill 5 Gran rolled hot cereal because it contains many grains: oats, wheat, rye, barley, triticale & flaxseed.  You can use any sort of oatmeal you’d like)

*Or the alternative instead of grinding up oats for a flour is to use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour regular or whole wheat  

1 scoop Vega one protein powder (it’s important to use a pea based/vegan/vegatarian protein powder. Cooking with whey protein turns out icky for some reason imo)

3 1/2 tsp baking powder 

1/4 vanilla Greek yogurt or blended yogurt or 1 banana or 1 egg (I personally like to use egg alternatives because I have a strong egg sensitivity/allergy and really limit the number of eggs I eat)

1 1/4 cups milk (whatever kind you like here it can be almond milk or coconut milk, etc) 

1 heaping cup of blueberries or chocolate chips (if you want – you don’t have to add a filler ingredient but we like to. Chopped up strawberries or another sort of berry also make for a good pancake)

Directions:

  • If you’re choosing to regular flour route then add it and the protein powder and the baking powder into a large bowl and mix well. 
  • If you’re making the oatmeal flour then pour your two cups of oats into a blender or food processor and chop it up really well until it turns into a flour. After you have your oatmeal flour then pour in the protein powder and baking powder and mix it all together then pour the dry mix into a large bowl. 
  • Making a well in the center of the dry mix add in your “egg” and milk and mix well. 
  • Fold in your pancake filling. 
  • Cook like you normally would any other type of pancakes. 
  • Drizzle with berry simple syrup** (recipe below) or regular syrup or local honey or however you like to top your pancakes. 
  • Enjoy! 

Note this recipe makes about 12-18 pancakes depending on how big you make your pancakes. I usually use my 2 tbsp scoop to make my pancakes and get about 15 from this recipe. 

    Berry Simple Syrup: 

    This recipe is easy peasy and can be used with pretty much any type of berry. 

    Ingredients:

     1 cup berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or even a combination of berries)

    1 cup water 

    1 cup sugar

    Directions:

    • In a saucepan combine all ingredients and cook on medium heat. Let sugar dissolves and the mixture to come to a slight boil. Steadily stir for about 5 minutes once it starts to boil. 
    • Drizzle over your pancakes. 
    • Enjoy. 

    If you have any syrup left over you can place it in the fridge and reuse it. To reheat it do so in 30 second increments and stir in between so as to not get any hot spots in the syrup. 

    So what are your favorite type of pancakes?!  I’m a personal fan or blueberry but my oldest daughter is a chocolate chip girl and sometimes feels tricked if I load the pancakes with berries instead of chips haha. 

    DeLise Turkey, Bean & Spinach Meatballs 

    Dinner tonight was a magical moment of making something out of basically nothing. In these circumstances some of my best recipes have been created. Tonight was another win in my book; so in the spirit of getting back to writing and while the recipe is fresh in my mind (because honestly half the time I just throw everything together and don’t give it much thought) I wanted to share it with you all.  These are some protein packed ridiculously delicious meatballs that could be formed into a patty for a burger or rolled into smaller balls for an appetizer at a party or made as noted below and serve with some pasta or zoodles or even made into a sub. Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 


    Ingredients:

    1 lb(ish – because mine was actually 1.25 but that’s OK) ground turkey

    1 egg

    1 can (15.5oz) cannellini beans

    1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs 

    1/2 cup chopped spinach

    Sprinkles of various Italian seasonings such as a lil bit of garlic, some basil, oregano, parsley (flavor to your taste) 

    Olive Oil (the EVOO kind or canola oil) to coat your pans

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F
    • Open the can of beans and drain them (mostly it’s OK if it’s not completely drained) and place into a small bowl and smash them up well (I used my potato smasher to do this but if you don’t have one just use a fork)
    • In a large bowl combine: ground turkey, egg, smashed beans, bread crumbs, spinach (it’s OK if your spinach came straight from the freezer as long as it’s nice and chopped up), season to taste (with the seasoning don’t go out of your way buying specific stuff just use what you have unless you don’t have any then obviously go out and get something)
    • Line baking sheets with foil and brush on a little coat of EVOO 
    • Using a regular table spoon scoop, shape and roll out your meatballs. This recipe makes about 18 meatballs using this method 
    • Bake for 27-30 minutes (depending on your oven; our current one sucks so it almost always takes me a smidge longer)
    • Enjoy!