Sip Your Nature's Greens

Having a husband from the "true south" I've become quite accustomed to greens; collards, mustard and kale.  James grew up in Florence, South Carolina, though his family has roots in Tampa dating back to the 1880's. James traveled with his grandparents and mother who were all in academia and they moved from Tampa to Florence in the late 1970's, moving back to Tampa in 1984. It was his stint in South Carolina that gave him a fondness for greens.

For as long as we've been married (13 years!!) he's been buying greens, but over the past few years as I taken over most of the cooking responsibilities the greens he's bought have stayed untouched in the fridge. There is just something so foreboding about a giant bunch of greens looming in my fridge. They intimidate me. I can't explain it. They just do. I look at them, and I'm just flabbergasted.

But that all changed when I discovered Nature's Greens produced by WP Rawl out of, you guessed it, South Carolina.

Natures Green's provides me with triple washed, cut, and bagged greens, available in either a one or two pound bag. They offer many choices including turnip greens, and a greens blend, but I've been enjoying the kale, collards, and mustard greens. My 9 year old daughter made kale chips one night. You can find my recipe HERE.

 I also made Italian Wedding Soup with the Kale, and that was super yummy. All 3 of my kids took it in their Thermos for lunch at least 2 days!

And the collards and mustard greens I've been making with a chicken base, seasoning, and James' special ingredient....BALSAMIC vinegar. It cuts the bitterness from the greens and makes them totally palatable.

But you can do so much more with Natures Green's. YOU CAN DRINK THEM!! I haven't attempted to drink my greens yet, but I want to. Really, I do. And I will. One day. But I know a lot of you do already drink your greens, so you should enter the Natures Green's Pin to Win Contest!!

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If you live in Florida, you can find Natures Green's at:

  • Publix
  • Sweetbay (if you are lucky enough to live in an area that still has a Sweetbay around...most of ours have gone bye-bye!!)
  • Wal-Mart
  • Winn Dixie
  • Save-A-Lot

  You can also follow WP Rawl on Facebook to stay connected! They post recipes, infografs, and all sorts of cool stuff! Like this great tidbit here! Love this!

 

Do you like greens? Which one is your favorite? How do you like to prepare it? Do you drink it or cook it, or both?

Music Monday: Summer Breeze

Summer is not "officially" here for another 6 weeks, but with the children and I already thinking about what we are going to do, and our temperatures nearing 90 degrees, it certainly feels like summer.

Sitting out on my back porch swing this afternoon I caught a wonderful whiff of my gigantic Jasmine bush, and suddenly this song popped in to my head and I knew it had to be my song choice for Music Monday.

I was born in 1971, this song was released in 1972, and I remember singing it throughout my childhood. So turn it up, and sing along. It will make you feel fine.

Push Away the Screen-The Great Mother's Day Race

For the second consecutive Mother's Day, the kids and I woke up at dawn and headed down to Al Lopez park to participate in the 2nd annual Mother's Day 5K run.

This is a great local race made better this year by having Ronin and Matthew join us. Smile James had to work doing a code deploy so for the second Sunday in a row he missed out on all the fun. Undecided I'm sad he's not able to come with us, but so proud of him for all the hard work and dedication he shows to his job.

The kids played on the great playscape while I checked in and got our race bibs. We walked our stuff back to the truck and we still had time for some pre-race photos! Ella is just such a beauty with long, fast legs!

All of us wore our Polar gear today (including Matthew who has a Polar patch on his vest!!)

We met up at the start line with fellow Polar Ambassador Mindy from Mindy's Fitness Journey. Mindy's 9 year old son was running the race, too!

 

I don't remember hearing the National Anthem (if you were there, please let me know...) and soon we were off!! Ronin took off like a mad-man, and thankfully so did Bryce! I had Matthew (the dog) and the girls. I tried to weave through the people to make it up to Ronin, but the dog created some issues because I couldn't weave through the walkers like I normally can and before I knew it Ronin was out of my eyesight and I made it to Mile Marker 1, and I was all alone. Well, me and Matthew.

I had NO kids with me. Such an odd feeling. I backtracked to find my daughter's and they were holding hands, walking and talking. I asked if they were okay, they assured me "M.O.M. we are FINE, go run" so Matthew and I took off to try to catch Ronin.

Matthew and I sprinted past the mile 2 sign and up ahead in the distance I could see Ronin's white hair, and thankfully I also saw Mindy. Thank goodness because I was quite worried. I knew that Ronin has run enough races WITH me that he knows what to do; he knows to stay on course, and wait at the finish line, but the fact that he was so far ahead of me had me a bit freaked out. Matthew was also nervous and he was really pulling me along trying to get to his boy. I hollered for Ronin, and he turned and saw me, and that little stinker took off!! Surprised I heard Mindy say "I've got him Jenny" and that made me feel so much better, but Matthew and I continued our pace until I caught up with Mindy. She took my photo at Mile 3 and I was so hot and sweaty. And so was Matthew; he was panting up a storm!

I knew Ronin would continue his sprint to the finish, and Bryce was there waiting for his mom, so again, I felt good knowing that Ronin would see a familiar face when he crossed the finish line. Mindy and I sprinted, grabbed hands, raised them high in the air and crossed that finish line with our boys waiting right there for us. Kiss

The four of us (and Matthew) got some water, snapped some pics, and waited for the girls. Ronin was a VERY hot, sticky little dude but he was so proud of himself, and I was quite proud of him, too. This is the FIRST race he's completed where he wasn't "beaten" by one of his sisters.

We waited at the finish line for the girls for quite some time, but they just weren't coming so we decided to head back on the course to try to find them, but a lovely shaded picnic shelter was calling our name, so we decided to stop there first for a few minutes. It was then that we saw the girls and they were still walking. I hollered to them that the finish line was "right there" and I heard Haley say to Ella, "okay sissy, when we get to that bench, we are going to race to the finish line, okay." Ella agreed, they reached the bench, and BAM....they were off like pistons!

 

Ella came in before Haley, but they really pushed each other that last little bit. It was great to see!

We met them at the finish line, they got their water, and then we got a group shot!

We let the kids talk us into 15 minutes of playground time, and Mindy and I sat under a very shady tree and chatted. This is where I ran into Jen K. from Boys will be Boys and a fellow blogger on the Tampa Bay Moms Blog.

This was a great race. What could have made it better? Just one thing: BLING. I love race bling. I know many 5K races don't give bling, but it would have been such a nice Mothers Day present Smile

Race results came in and I placed 191/326 overall, and 26/46 for my age group. I know I could have done better if I didn't backtrack to find the girls and if I didn't have the dog. But again, this is not my year for PR's. It's THEIR year, and Ronin set himself a new PR. He didn't wear a chip timer so I don't know what his time was, but he did good. I'm proud.

Overall, it was a great race and I hope the kids and I can do it again next year.

I have to give a HUGE shout-out to Skora Running shoes. This was the longest distance I've run in my new shoes and they were AWESOME!! Usually I have to stop at least once during a 5K to adjust my shoe laces, but not this time!! They were also very lightweight and I felt that they really helped improve my overall stride. Excellent running shoes.

These feet were made for running!

 

Do you run races with your kids? Do they usually run ahead of you? Or do you run ahead of them? Or do you try to stay together? What's the longest race you've done with your kids?