All posts by mike

Tips for Having a Great Virtual Race Performance

As an athlete, perhaps the only thing harder than being injured is not being able to race and compete. For many, that is the goal or purpose of all those early morning workouts or pushing through a hard session when you aren’t feeling your best. It’s not necessarily about about winning or losing but challenging ourselves to get better, faster, stronger and achieve our invidiual goals.

Can we do that in this current pandemic world? Sure, but virtual racing presents a new and different set of challenges from the typical in-person experience. I’ve found some competitive release in racing the bike on Zwift and doing some virtual running events. Here are my tips to nail your next virtual race. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Dancing & Disney

One thing that I really had to work on during homeschooling this spring and now, into the summer, is making sure I didn’t completely slip into a habit of constant negative feedback for the girls. We are around each other so much that if I stopped and recorded our ‘conversations’ they would mostly consist of me saying things like: Stop doing that. Don’t touch this. Turn off Netflix. Vacuum up the unicorn sprinkles. No. No. No.

The negativity comes from a good and well-meaning place (here is where Ce would roll her eyes). I want to keep them safe. I want to show them how to be better. I really want a clean floor.

But I realize the constant barrage can eventually flood their feedback systems and come out not as encouragement but nitpicking criticism. For all my good intentions, that is not the way to have a healthy relationship with kids.

So this Saturday, with Michelle away most of the day, I challenged myself to be more positive. Let the little things go. Find some Jedi ways to say “Yes” even when I really mean “No.” I needed to engage with the slime rather than try to hold it at arm’s length.

I still insisted on sweeping the floor. If you give glitter one inch…. Continue Reading

How to Substitute Whole Wheat Flour in Cookie Recipes

Who doesn’t want a little more whole grains in their diet? Whole grains are high in nutrients and fiber, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, support better digestion, and reduce inflammation. I’ve talked about adding whole grains to pizza dough, but what about baked goods such as cookies? Adding more whole grains into your baking is a simple and easy but there are a couple things to watch out for when you bake with whole grains. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Freckles & Rum

After eleven Father’s Days, my one piece of advice to my fellow Dads is to embrace and accept that you are not in control anymore. It’s not that the kids have all the control, it’s more the fact that you now have other lives to care for beyond your own.

It’s both freeing and humbling. You no longer have to decide the priority of things. It’s not a choice. You ARE driving to dance practice. You ARE making the lunches. You ARE watching another episode of Full House (cut. it. out.)

Embrace it and enjoy it. It’s not changing anytime soon. Or ever. I imagine even after they graduate or move out. You are still on call. Continue Reading

My Favorite Ongoing Mystery & Suspense Series

There is nothing better as a reader to discover a new series, especially one with a long backlist with plenty of books to catch up on. I know I won’t have to wonder what book I’ll be reading next and once I catch up, I know I can look forward to spending some time with ‘new friends’ each year.

As we head into prime beach reading season, here are my favorite current mystery and thriller series. Any of them would be great to throw in your suitcase for a vacation or in your beach bag to pass a lazy, sunny afternoon. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Camping Redux

As we prepare to make the transition this week from school to summer, we started talking about a specific superpower. There’s definitely been an uptick in sister-on-sister violence in the last few weeks. I think they are feeling the strain of all the togetherness, but unfortunately we still have a long camp-less summer to go. Everyone is spending unprecedented amounts of time with people whom we may love but still have the ability to make us upset.

But wait? Can they actually make us upset? What if we all had a superpower to stop it?

They can try. They can provoke you, intended or not. But whatever the other person did is on them. Whatever your reaction is, that’s on you. No one can make you angry, only you have that power. Someone can certainly say something offensive or stupid or mean, but no one can make you upset. That’s your choice.

For a more peaceful summer, don’t give away your power over yourself. You can’t blame your sister if that happens. Continue Reading

8 Easy Ways to Improve a Boxed Brownie Mix

8 Ways to Improve a Boxed Brownie Mix

The best thing about boxed brownies mixes are the convenience and ease of use. It’s really hard to screw up a boxed brownie mix. If you have a half hour, you can make the fudgy, chewy treats for a quick chocolate fix.

But those two selling points are also the pre-made mixes biggest limitations. You’ll scratch that chocolate itch but you really won’t wow anyone with the results. Even the best box mix will still be a box mix. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can do to dress up that box mix. Continue Reading