Archive for ‘winter’

February 6, 2013

cake boss was here

sister-weekend-2another successful sister weekend is in the books! along with a few workouts from jillian michaels herself (addison), a game of memory and the super bowl, being equipped with frosting and plenty of sprinkles seemed to be the highlight of our weekend together. definitely the cutest baker i’ve ever seen!

February 1, 2013

sister weekend

It’s Friday and I’m officially off juice and onto Sister Weekend!! My baby sis and I have been having Sister Weekends long before she could talk, crawl, or sleep through the night! I love this one to pieces and now that she’s getting older (and sleeps through the night) our weekends continue to be more and more fun. This time around Sister Weekend will be spent in Stillwater due to her carefully arranged Super Bowl bash, complete with Valentine’s for every guest. She’s been planning since last week. And I’m serious. We share that “I love to plan” gene. Looking forward to a weekend filled with Cake Boss, Webkinz, interpretive dance and a cushion bed! xo

January 29, 2013

it’s in the bag

in-the-bagI just swallowed the last little sip of my final day 2 drink and I feel AWESOME!! This cleanse is so easy! If you’re at all feeling in need of a restart, I encourage you to give this a try! I have been feeling super energized and strangely happier. I don’t know why I say strangely. I feel good so naturally I’d be happier I guess. If you drink all 6 juices that you’re supposed to in a day, you consume a bit over 1,000 calories (1,070 to be exact). This is much less than I’d consume in a normal day, but all the calories I’m consuming are good calories keeping me energized (and full).

To be totally honest, last night was a bit rough. The little drummer boy excusing my brain for a musical instrument was excruciating. I went to be early. Really early. When I woke up this morning, I was pleased to notice that he had skipped town. Headache free zone!  No headache and all this extra energy resulted in karate chopping my to-do list at work (I didn’t even notice I had stayed nearly two hours later than normal), blogging at home (as you can tell by my sporadic posts, typically my TV family gets in the way of keeping this thing up to date), and a yoga date with my sister. HOME-RUN!

And yes, yes, yes. I’m drawing all these conclusions and crediting them to my cleanse after barely two days but I just can’t help it. I’m excited and it’s really the only thing that’s changed. I’m probably just high off of juice, but my day today was great. And yes, I’m crediting the juice! If tomorrow feels as nice, I just may elongate this for another day or two! Join in the fun! You will be so glad you did!!

January 28, 2013

hitting restart

I’m 6 juices in. Today I started a 3 day Suja Juice cleanse and so far it’s going well (compared to the Master Cleanse which I’ve attempted and failed multiple times). I was motivated by my friend Alyssa over at Reverent Lion to hit restart and redirect my focus on food from fun to fuel. She has an amazing story, one you should all check out – so click on that link up there and pay her a visit.

To be honest, I haven’t been hungry at all today. I’ve been drinking these juices constantly which has left me minimal time to miss food in whole form. I do have one complaint … one that’s most certainly my own fault. I should have listened and weaned off the caffeine before day 1. I did not do this and now me and this horrid head ache I’ve had all day are regretting it. Let’s hope day 2 is void of the drummer boy in my head but repeats my motivation to hit restart!

January 3, 2013

Christmas Crazy

We kicked off Christmas in Indiana where we celebrated Borntrager-style. We were lucky enough to completely dodge two major blizzards – one on the way and one on the way home. I guess if there’s ever a reason to get up at 5 AM, that would be a good one! We continued Christmas festivities back home in Minnesota spending a few days at the cabin in true Reichow fashion. It was a week full of family and fantastic food! We spent lots of time around the Christmas trees enjoying good company. We are a lucky bunch!

A walk in the woods  |  Birthday boy and Uncle Brent  |  Balancing act  |  Borntrager bunch  |  Joutfit (jean-outfit)  |  30 year old on baby sled  |  Back in the days when things were black + white  |  Blue eyes  |  Where they catch No Name Steaks  |  Cabin fever  |  Auntie + Finn  |  Light as a feather (disregard Brent’s facial expression)  |  Brent’s girls  |  The cutest trio  |  Finner ready to walk himself back to the cabin

January 18, 2012

don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears

I write the same thing every January 18th – it seems impossible that nearly an entire childhood has passed since the day we had to say goodbye to my extraordinary mother.

11 years ought to mean I miss her less. With Amy’s adventure into motherhood and my journey into marriage, I will say that this year I have missed her close to most. I have been fortunate to have many wonderful women in my life – Lisa, my Aunties, Nana, the girls, and many of my Mom’s long-time friends never fail to show us the motherly love all kids need – but as I venture further into adulthood I can’t help but wonder how we would be. What would it be like to dive into dating and breakups, marriage and babies with her here? These are the things we’d play and dream about.

I feel like yesterday I was talking about the cutest high school boys, learning how to wear makeup, and riding in the yellow Jeep with her. So maybe part of me will always be 15.

“You have all come here today to celebrate my life, and oh such a great one it was. Possibly I knew it might be short, so I tried to live each day to its fullest, smashing everything I could into 24 hours. I did not want to miss anything. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything. I wanted to touch all of you. I wanted to go for it, and I did, and then God decided I could best serve Him, beside Him. Don’t be angry, just carry on my dreams.

Al, the love of my life. I will miss your touch, the special way that you would look at me and the way you could read my mind. You are my soul mate, my knight in shining armor. I can leave knowing the kids will be fine. You will have each other, and when you look at them you will see me. Al, listen and you will hear me.

Amy, Ashley, and Joe. I am so proud of you. You are everything I would have wanted you to be. You are the loves of my life and every waking moment of my day was dedicated to you. Take care of Dad, Nana Shirley and Papa Rich, do good in school, stay out of trouble, and keep God in your life. Teach your kids what I taught you; to give of yourselves unselfishly, to see the best in people and to forgive willingly. What I wish for you is happiness and the fulfillment I received from you. My hope is that you will find someone like I did in your Dad who will love you unconditionally and who you can share your life with. My spirit lives within you. “Celebrate your spirit” is what Oprah would say, and you know how much I liked Oprah. Stay close to each other. Your brother and your sister will be your best friends. Lastly, listen to your Dad. He will know what is best for you, and when Auntie Anne tells you to go to the doctor, go, and when Nana tells you to go to bed, go. Be good examples for your little cousins. They look up to you. Play my CD’s in the house and in the car really loud, and sing! You inherited my energy, so run towards your dreams, don’t walk and don’t be afraid. Listen and you will hear me.

Mom and Dad. I would not have been me without you. Everything that I am or had hoped to be is because of you. You have always been there for me. You taught me the importance of family, commitment, and faith. Your unyielding love runs through me and flows from Al and the kids back to you. Al couldn’t be more of a son to you unless he would have been born to you. I know Al, and the kids will be fine because you will have one eye on them, and Mom, you hear everything. So, listen and you will hear me.

Anne, Bill, Jim, and Lisa. Take care of your brother Al. He might need your shoulder every once in a while. Be there for the kids. Even though they are pretty independent they will still need a little mothering sometimes. Keep celebrating all the birthdays and Christmas with lots of presents and good food. Take care of my nieces and nephews and when you come to my house they can have as much candy out of Auntie Linda’s special drawer as they want. Remember me every time you step on a “Lite Brite” in the middle of the night. Take care of Mom and Dad. Go to the cabin a lot. Dad likes that. Listen, and you will hear me.

All my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Thanks for being here. Stay connected with Al and the kids. They love California and being with you. I am with Grandma and Grandpa now. Grandpa always had a twinkle in his eye for me and you should see that twinkle now.

To anyone I have cut, curled, permed, styled, or washed. I will not miss playing with your hair as much as I will miss the time I spent with you. It never felt like a job, but an opportunity for us to talk. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. You enriched me life. No one else will be able to cut your hair like I did and that’s ok, but tell them about yourself. You will be giving them a gift, because then they will know you. Listen and you will hear me.

To Amy, Ashley, and Joe’s friends. My kids need you now. Encourage them to talk about me. Come to my house and have crazy parties. Not too crazy, because Al has to get up in the morning. Support them, and every once in a while, share your Mom with them.

To all my friends. The class of ’76 was the best and will always be. Stick together and support each other like you supported me. I loved growing into adulthood with you. We turned out really good.

Coffee girls. I will miss the lattes and the laughs. You are the best neighbors anyone could have asked for. Mary, keep walking. It’s good for you.

Swim team friends, hockey friends. You have been there for us, helping to keep the kids on track. They will especially need all of you now to be with them while they do the things they love so much.

To all of you. Exercise, eat Godivas, plant flowers, build something, preferably out of rocks. Laugh with your friends. Drink lattes, shop till you drop, tell your kids that you love them everyday. Go somewhere warm in the winter and build a house for a family, maybe in Mexico. Be the first one to help a neighbor. Commit yourself to a charity, go to lunch with your sister, hug your Mom, kiss your Dad. Ask your brother over for dinner. Go away for a weekend with your husband. Call your cousins. Send a card for no reason. Get up early. Paint. Sing. Dance. Run, don’t walk toward your dreams. Go for it. Believe in angels and listen, you will hear me.”

written by Auntie Anne in memory of Linda
(January 18, 2001)

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January 3, 2012

Auntie Ash!

Wow. I totally fell off the blog train – skipping over excuses, I’ll just say that I have thoroughly enjoyed and indulged this holiday season! Undoubtedly, my family received the most amazing surprise on Christmas with the addition of my very first nephew, Finley William. He is my sister and brother-in-laws first baby and is nothing short of perfect. Amy went into labor late morning on Christmas Eve, and Baby Finn arrived just after midnight on his due date – Christmas Day! I was lucky enough to be with Amy and Barret through the entire process which was nothing short of amazing. I have never seen my sister stronger or more brave. She was a literal rockstar and made labor look so simple the thought of making my own baby has crossed my mind a time or two .. no reason to be alarmed. 2012 won’t be the year of the Borntrager baby! I have promised my husband a few years of wedded bliss before we hop on that boat.

I have been lucky enough to spend an extended amount of time with the new little family (definitely worn out my welcome) and even managed to capture at least 100 photos of the little fella … but my sister is beginning her own little blog, and since Finn isn’t actually my baby, I better let her share those! Here’s one of my favorites from Finn’s first 24 hrs just to hold you over! Happy New Year everyone.

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December 10, 2011

winter necessities

Since the high temperature in Minneapolis was 9f on Thursday, I thought it might be time to share my favorite winter products used for fighting a dry, Minnesota December, January, February, etc… Once I pull out the Uggs, I know it’s time to update my bathroom with minty, organic products to keep those cold, winter conditions off my skin and outta my hair!

1. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion: I’ve been using this lotion for years mainly because I love how it smells (the “unscented” smells much better than scented) but also because the jojoba, sesame and avocado oils keep my skin looking more porcelain than paper maché  as winter rolls in (available at Whole Foods and local co-ops).

2. TwinLab Na-PCA Spray: I just started using this spray last winter and let me tell you – it is AMAZING! If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just use this (no lotion) and it never fails. I know the exterior doesn’t look very fancy, but this stuff is like a dry-skin miracle in a bottle! The ability of skin to hold moisture is directly related to its Na-PCA content, which pulls water out of the air, moisturizing the skin. I told you it was amazing (available at local co-ops and at online drugstores).

3. Burt’s Bees Chapstick: Who doesn’t use this stuff? With Vitamin E and peppermint, it’s like a little facial for you lips. Tingly too! (available basically everywhere)

4. Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Cream Cleanser: I love this face wash as an alternative to my exfoliating cleanser. It’s mild and gentle on my skin, which is why I like to use it in the winter when my face is getting beat up by below-zero temperatures. And it’s Aveda, so … what’s not to love? (available at JUUT)

5. Aveda Active Composition Oil: I started using Aveda’s Active Composition oil a few years ago when I first got into yoga. I initially bought it to help soothe my sore yoga muscles, but now I love to use it in a hot bath when it’s freezing outside or even as a body oil in the shower. It makes my winter skin soft and supple. The Composition oil comes in other “flavors” but Active is my favorite because of its wintergreen and menthol essences. There’s something about the cooling + heating sensations that I love during the dead of winter (available at JUUT).

6. Kiss My Face Eucalyptus Menthol Bath & Shower Gel: My love of mint in the winter stems from a mother that loved Vix Vapor Rub, so if I can get that smell in a daily product, let me at it! Aside from the lovely aroma, this body wash contains olive oil and aloe vera making it a winter skin must (available at Whole Foods, local co-ops, and Walgreens)!

7. Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Face Lotion: I use Weleda Wild Rose Face Lotion year round to increase the vitality of my skin and for added softness. It’s extra beneficial in the winter due to the gentle, but effective jojoba and rosehip seed oil that keep everything moisturized (available at Whole Foods and local co-ops).

8. Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser: Jojoba once again! This cleanser uses exfoliating jojoba beads which I find helps eliminate dry, winter skin. It also contains creamy mango butter which makes my skin feel oh so soft! And it smells awesome – more like summer (fruit), but by this point my nose could use something other than peppermint! (available at JUUT)

9. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Body Balm in (of course) Peppermint: I was first introduced to Dr. Bronner’s Body Balm after receiving my latest tattoo at Crimson Heart Designs. The balm protects the tattooed area of your skin and helps it heal faster which is exactly why it is extremely beneficial for fighting dry skin conditions. In the winter when your knuckles are chapped or you have that annoying dry patch on your bicep, use Dr. Bronner’s Body Balm (also good for keeping elbows extra soft)! After using the Body Balm on the effected area for two – three days, you will definitely notice an improvement in your skins conditions (available at Crimson Heart Designs and online).

10. Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo: Breaking news – I color my hair. Once fall hits, I like my hair to be dark and rich, so to keep it from fading I use Color Conserve. The lovely smell of this shampoo is made from 100% organic aroma which makes me want to use it even more (available at JUUT).

11. Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner: This is a MUST-have all year round, but especially in the winter when most of our hair looks like it needs a big glass of water. You’ve heard that quinoa is good for your body? Well, this conditioner uses quinoa protein to keep your hair strong and resist the breakage caused by cold, dry, winter weather (available at JUUT).

*This information is purely opinion – I am not a licensed esthetician, dermatologist, etc.

December 5, 2011

cookie party

I got a jump start on adding that extra layer this weekend at the first annual Christmas Cookie party.  The girls and I gathered ingredients, recipes, all sorts of goodies, and baked away the afternoon. I was hoping baby Stoks had a sweet tooth and was going to venture out amidst all the cookies, but he actually didn’t bother.  Amy has about 3-1/2 weeks to go (babe is due on Christmas Day) but I swore he told me he was planning to come out this week.

After successfully dipping pretzels, rolling oreo balls, laying caramel, sprinkling cookies and placing kisses, we each ended up with about 5-dozen treats to take home! Needless to say, none of our husbands / boyfriends / buddies minded the 5 hours we spent in the kitchen.  This year was the first year we all got together to bake cookies, but I can guarantee you it will be happening again. The six of us seem to always come up with new traditions at this time of year. We’ve been having “Critchmas” for over 10 years now, last year started our annual ornament exchange (hiiiilarious!), and this year kicked off the cookie party. Every time I look at all of us and think about how we have grown from skinny little swimmer girls to mature working women, wives, and mothers, I am so thankful to have friends like this. Despite the craziness of life, we have somehow managed to stay as close as we were before boys, babies, and bills. This new tradition was a perfect start to this sweet season with some super sweet sisters!

November 17, 2011

birthday party reunion

My little brother was just in town for a surprise birthday weekend! He turned TWENTY-FIVE on the 2nd of November and was gifted a plane ticket right into Minneapolis. Thankfully, the gracious giver (i love you Alyson) gifted herself with  a ticket as well which was a treat for everyone. Dad was able to drive on home from his current living quarters in Nebraska (where he’s building the new Corn Huskers Stadium) and the rest of us residing from Golden Valley to Stillwater came together for a giant family weekend! Take all that and add in my baby sister’s 5th birthday and you get:

  1. Great food
  2. Better company
  3. A giant sleepover
  4. Our first family photo since Addison was born (aside from sweaty wedding pics)
  5. Lots of Polly Pockets + an Easy Bake Oven

Needless to say we had a great time being together. It was so nice to all be in one place at one time without any major life events going on. I loved every minute of it and am so thankful for these people and the way we’ve come to be.