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The July Adventures Continue with Mudderella

We spent the Fourth of July weekend in western Massachusetts with the first stop at The Clark which was gorgeous and calm. We visited for the Splendor, Myth, and Vision exhibit (on view through October 10th) as well as the stunning permanent collection of Impressionist paintings. A lovely afternoon in the museum followed by a short hike through the grounds.

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View from the terrace

Then it was on to Charlemont and the Warfield House Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast on a picturesque farm. Good thing we warmed up with a hike on Friday because Saturday and Sunday were action packed. Since we’ve been white water rafting a few times, I knew what to expect, we had a terrific guide – no one even came close to falling out of the raft -and we made new friends, too. But zip-lining was a new experience for me, and while the rest of my family LOVED it, I liked a little bit of it – the brief, fleeting moments when I forgot to be afraid –  but those moments were only sparsely interspersed throughout the rest of my mostly anxiety fueled day. I don’t like heights or high speed anything, so, yeah, not really my thing. And I do have to give Berkshire East a huge shout out for having well-trained, professional, patient and kind staff members, and a wonderfully well-run program.  Thanks for the adventure weekend, dear family, but next time let’s do something a little more my speed, like…going to a bookstore or another museum…okay?

And the adventures continue! At first I was only cautiously optimistic about completing the upcoming Mudderella event. Now? Not a worry. If I can fling myself across a canyon on a cable, I can tackle any obstacle, mud included. What is Mudderella?

Mudderella, what is it?

  • A unique, 5-mile obstacle mud run where women are able to come together and celebrate strength, teamwork and everything that makes them feel like an empowered woman. The course, designed by women for women, promotes working together, having fun and owning your strong. We never refer to the event as a race or talk about participants in terms of competing –it’s more about taking on a challenge together!

When/Where

  • It’s taking place in Epping, NH on Saturday, July 30th.

What’s the course like?

  • The course features 12-15 obstacles. You can check out our 2016 obstacles here – including completely new obstacles Stunt Double (a 10’ leap onto a crash pad below in front of cheering teammates and spectators) and Charlie’s Angles (a steeply sloped A-Frame structure). It helps to be a good runner, but you don’t have to be a trained marathon runner in order to be a Mudderella. You can go through the course at your own speed and can skip an obstacle if you’re not comfortable with it. Remember, you’re stronger than you think you are.

Why?

  • Mudderella was created as an opportunity for women to experience new challenges alongside other women – whether these women are our friends, family, or someone else running next to us on event day. The courses are designed to not only challenge you, but to bring you closer together.

And I have a discount code (15% off) for you, too. It’s MUDMOM – go to this page to learn more. Sign up with some friends and have fun!

There are tons of things to like about this event – celebrating teamwork, strength, women’s empowerment, fun, mud, and laughs, and what I also love about it is that Mudderella partners with Futures without Violence, a national nonprofit that is working to prevent and end domestic violence. You can donate through this page or build a team to raise money for this wonderful nonprofit organization. FYI – Mudderella New England events have raised over $90k for local chapters of the organization over the last two years.

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Mudderella also has great training tips and workouts to help get you on track. Check them out – I’ve only just started The Basics and am working on my cardio, too! I signed up to do this for my daughter and her friends – it looks as if I am both the chaperone and the person they will have to help over every obstacle. It’s about team building!

I’ll keep you posted on my workout progress and share pics of the team shirts we’re making. Go team!

Follow Mudderella on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram. And check out their blog and Youtube channel.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post but am being provided with admission to the event.

Celebrate Italy at Brothers Marketplace

Celebrate Italy at Brothers Marketplace

Since Brothers in Medfield is one of my all time favorite places to get delicious food anytime, when I was invited to a blogger lunch to celebrate Italy, I was immediately on board. Brothers is running a promotion through March 10th, Amiamo Italy,  focusing on great prepared foods and products from Italy. The Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan are wonderful and among their top-sellers. I tested both (again, I’m so nice like that), and it’s easy to see why. Delicious! Brothers also has a great coffee bar, soda shop counter, and some seriously amazing prepared foods – and while they are featuring Italian foods this month, there are always amazing sandwiches, a hot bar with comfort food favorites, and the bakery. Don’t miss grabbing a coffee and sitting at the farmhouse table with some of their delicious baked goods. You’ll thank me later.

 

 

So a group of bloggers and people from the local media got to sample oh-so-much-delicious food! What a lovely group! We learned about how Brothers finds new products and had a lovely lunch with a tour of the store. Absolutely unabashedly love this place. Is there a possibility for a Brothers in Newton? I can only hope – and keep asking the wonderful management team.

 

 

Recipe for the Zucchini Fritters as promised

 

So check out what’s happening at Brothers – it’s always something good!

Find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

The Perfect Portion Cookbook – perfectly in time.

While we always strive for balance here – sometimes things tip in a not ideal direction. Like keeping to healthy eating during the holidays, or special events or…heck, I’ll say it, winter. So I was thrilled to get to review The Perfect Portion Cookbook and, happy days – this snow day is perfect time to explore comfort food in just right portion recipes. Oh, and happy days? Yes, even more so because Anson Williams, formerly of Happy Days*, is one of the co-authors of this sweet cookbook. Potsie? You ask…can cook? Evidently, and especially when teamed with the NYT best-selling cookbook author Bob Warden and Cornell educated nutrition expert Mona Dolgov.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes from this cookbook that combines comfort food with healthy portions. I’m not great at figuring out what a healthy portion is, so this cookbook is really helpful. There’s even a chart for ideas on how many calories to eat throughout the day. The chart shown is based on 1,800 calories per day but there are guides in the book breaking down both 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day. This is a a general reference guide, as every person’s caloric needs are different. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or nutrition program.

Let’s start with a hearty breakfast to gear up for snow shoveling, sledding, skiing or just playing outside in the snow! We love avocados -it was the first food for both of my kids – and avocado toast is something we are on board with any time of day. It’s terrific after school snack and great for breakfast on the run. What, you don’t eat breakfast in the car?

No tomato? No basil? No problem – it’s perfect as is.  Or add chia seeds or red pepper flakes to change it up. Did you know you can freeze ripe avocados? You can. Simply halve them and store in zip-lock bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For lunch my snow day go-to is grilled cheese and tomato soup – love these two perfectly portioned and delish recipes. I’m switching it up today and making the lentil soup partly because I have all of the ingredients and partly because we are out of sandwich bread. Sigh. That’s a New Englander fail right there. I do have batteries and milk, though and thankfully all the veggies.

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There are 150 comfort food recipes that take you from breakfast to the hearty fare for SuperBowl Sunday, snacks and sweets. I love a good recipe video and here is one for Southwestern Chile that I’m going to try next. You know, after I dig out the car and get to the grocery store.

I’m planning on making these yummy Cheese Crackers next – so many delicious recipes!

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The Perfect Portion Cookbook is available for pre-order now on Amazon $29.95 and will be sold on QVC for a limited time with a special pre-order price of $19.95 plus $5 shipping/handling at this link.

 

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a copy of The Perfect Portion Cookbook for review. All opinions are, and always will be, my own. Now I have to go dig out the car and get some sandwich bread.

*Included for my, ahem, younger readers.

My Daily Cup from The Atlas Coffee Club

Coffee from The Atlas Coffee Club

It’s been a while since I used our coffee grinder, since there is no shortage of coffee grinding options out there but I was sent a sample of coffee to try from The Atlas Coffee Club and wanted to try different brewing methods so I opted for whole beans.

 

Luckily, the grinder still works, and I brewed this delicious coffee in our new French Press, our old reliable drip coffee maker, and a ceramic sweet pour over brewer. Yes, we do like coffee here, and no, not all in one day! I’ve tried several times in the past to use the French Press but without resounding success until I followed these instructions from the Atlas Coffee Club’s site. Clear, concise, and the coffee was top notch – even our in-house coffee expert thought so! I also loved their instructions for a great cup of pour over coffee – check them out here.

I chose coffee from Ethiopia mostly because of this wonderful description:

ETHIOPIA SIDAMO COFFEE
OUR 2015 ETHIOPIAN BATCH

About the Region:
The Sidamo region of Ethiopia is one of the oldest coffee growing regions in the world, rumored to date back to the 9th Century. In fact, many people consider it to be the birth place of coffee as the world knows and loves it today. The Ethiopians love their coffee so much that even though they are the 7th largest producers of coffee in the world they consume more than half of it domestically!

 
What makes this batch special?
Our 2015 Ethiopian Batch is one of our highest rated batches with notes of dark chocolate, blueberries and a hint of honey. Naturally processed and meticulously dried over 2 weeks to help hold in the berry and citrus flavors, it’s one of our personal favorites and hopefully
will become one of yours. 

They had me at ‘notes of dark chocolate’.

Check out The Atlas Coffee Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They offer a subscription service – get one for yourself or as a great gift for the coffee lovers in your life, or just order the coffee by the bag.

 

I was not compensated for this post but did receive coffee to facilitate the review. All opinions are always my own.

 

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