Stitch Fix and “Hot Mom Trends Awards”

How do YOU know if you're spot on?

A few weeks ago I (Mary-Claire) wrote about my freak out just before heading to a business conference where the dress code was supposed to be “business casual”. I mean, what the heck IS that, even? After discovering I had no Pinterest-able outfits, I quickly called one of my stylish sisters, Jessica, for shopping advice.

(Speaking of Pinterest, we now have an official Mary-Claire and Paul Pinterest page with fun suggestions for the family).

How is that that of 5 girls in my adult family, 2 are super stylish, 1 is a “mom” dresser, 1 is a “stretchy” dresser (that would be me) and 1 was nominated for What Not to Wear. For real. Our niece Allie nominated her.

Since I refuse to wear soccer mom hair (as defined by Urban Dictionary),

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Exercise hurts…but eating is great fun

How do you view your health?

So the rollercoaster continues for me when dealing with my… blubber.  Yes, I was on the right track for a while with exercise and eating well.  Then, like millions of others, it stopped.  More like I stopped.  What is your perception of exercise? Mine of late has been very similar to the video below.

Mine of late has been very similar to the video below.

Adele remix:  Hello and exercise.


As many can find the humor in this video, as did I, just as many are tired of the extra tire around their midsection.  So, what to do?

Mary-Claire and I have touted, within the past year, the results we have seen with a two-fold approach.

  1. Eating better.  Ok, I can hear it now as you say ” Wow, that really solves things for me.”  I’ll get more into that some other time. ( You can always go to our ‘Health & Fitness‘ page and get some great info. )
  2. BurstClub.  Yes, exercise.  It doesn’t have to kill you to make a big difference.  Nor does it require huge blocks of time to accomplish.  You merely need some commitment.

As winter is winding down and the realization that spring is well on its way many of us are considering our outdoor activities

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12 Tips to Avoid Gluttony This Thanksgiving

Trick your brain

We all love Thanksgiving, right? It’s the one time of year we are certain to make sure we give thanks for the things we have (and then hopefully don’t proceed to trample each other later that night while shopping).

Holidays seem to be the one time of year where we don’t really pay attention to how much we eat, or what we eat. According to the Calorie Control Council (who knew there was such a thing?), the average person eats “4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering from snacking and eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.”

Ouch. That’s more than double the recommended amount of calories for a healthy, active male and triple for that of a woman.

It’s a great idea to get some exercise in the morning and

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Sneaky Mom: Cream of Potato Soup

fortified with red lentils and garbanzo beans

Our 9-year-old, Dominic, requested cream of potato soup tonight, a soup I’ve never made before. I tend to stay away from potatoes as they’re so starchy and are highly glycemic, meaning they turn to sugar quickly in our systems.

As luck would have it, I had recently found a recipe for butternut squash soup that included red lentils, which added protein and fiber. Using that recipe as inspiration, I used lentils and garbanzo beans for protein and fiber and left the skin on the potatoes.

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What’s the Correlation Between Junk Food and Parenting?

The answer may surprise you.

This past weekend, I (Mary-Claire) spent a little time with a play therapist from Arkansas,  Amy Flahery. As she’s been working with families and children for 10 years, she has plenty of experience. Amy told me of how while many parents bring their children in to “fix” them, that in reality, it’s often the parents who need to create change in themselves before their children can change.

When I asked her if she’d noticed behavioral differences in children whose parents fed them well and those who ate a lot of junk food, her answer surprised me.

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Sneaky Mom: Burgers With a Twist

Chia and flax give these burgers extra nutrients

Earlier this year, I had decided to make hamburgers for dinner. It had somehow escaped my notice that we didn’t have any veggies that would go with burgers. Canned peas (in storage in case of an armageddon-they’re probably expired) would not do the trick. What could I do to get a little fiber into our family?

What about chia? One serving (3 TBSP) has 11 grams as well as a good amount of calcium. As a standalone product, they have virtually no taste. When added to liquid, they expand and create a gelantinous goo. I use them and flaxseed in our daily smoothies. Why not burgers?

(In fact, flaxseed packs a punch too. With magnesium, phosphorus and copper, it’s also an excellent source of  fiber, thiamin and manganese.)

With a bit of trepidation, I let some chia seeds soak in water and started to chop onions, which were to be sautéed.

Frankly, I was a little nervous when I served them to the family. I mean, chia seeds in burgers? But they were a hit. In fact, Naomi (our eldest daughter) asked for “Mom’s special burgers” for her birthday.


This recipe was made for our large family

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Sneaky Mom: Better-For-You Zucchini Cake

Nutrition Dense, Kid Approved

A few years ago, we were at some friends’  house–I had brought my special secret-ingredients-fiber-rich-brownies for dessert. Although my friend had told her 3-year-old she could only have one brownie, she didn’t do anything when the little girl took a 2nd, or when she came back for a third.  I finally had to say, “You really need to listen to your mom, or you’re going to have some potty problems!”

It’s been my goal for lots of years to get our kids to eat more vegetables. I’ve been sneaking spinach into brownies, cauliflower into eggs, and I even tried chickpeas in cookies (epic fail, that one).

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An Honest Review of the 3 day Suero fast

Why, how, and did it work?

What the heck is a Suero cleanse and why would we do it?

Suero whey water cleanses at the cellular level through proper hydration, sodium-potassium balance, and toxin elimination. Typically, a 3 to 4 day fast, drinking only the Suero, is recommended at 6-8 per day with no food.

Hippocrates called whey water “healing water”. It works on the liver, kidneys and GI tract.  Despite caloric restriction, you don’t lose the muscle mass like you would on normally calorie restricted diets. (Check out the video at the very bottom of the post if you’d like more info.)

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How You Can Use Body Language to Be Better

and What it Says About You

The summer I (Mary-Claire) was going into 7th grade, we moved from Alpena, a small town in northern Michigan, to the large university city Ann Arbor so my parents could work on their advanced degrees. Although the word “popular” doesn’t come to mind when thinking about my childhood, I certainly had lots of friends and was quite a happy child.

So there I was in this new school, a very large, culturally diverse school, unlike any place I’d ever been. I don’t know that I ever thought it was bad, and I don’t recall every being scared about going there.

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Are You Happy?

Stay positive, quit your complaining and face your reality

Many of us desire to be happy and would agree that being happy is healthy.  This desire comes with a potential bus load of baggage which most seem to never unload and place into its proper space.

The first video below provides us with a perspective from one who many would say was at a huge disadvantage for that coveted happiness badge so many others are striving to acquire and often fall extremely short of finding.  Sam tells us why we come up empty handed and gives a little food for thought as to how one may wish to approach a happy life.

3 minutes in he explains his philosophy to a happy life.  However, what caught my attention (Paul here, by the way) just prior to that was his comment that he doesn’t want people to feel bad for him as he doesn’t let his obstacles live on the forefront of his mind and admits to being able to overcome them regularly anyway.

As I believe we can learn something from just about anybody, it is always refreshing to witness a positive attitude from those who, if their attitude were like most, would have plenty of reason to complain.

Yet, they do not.


Lessons and different methodologies can be learned daily if we search and desire to be better today than yesterday.  Although this boy is only 17 one can

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