Healthy Holiday Tradition-Veggie House

Every year I usually throw my good common sense to the wayside and indulge my children with the traditional making of candy houses. Gingerbread, gumdrops, frosting, icing, M&M's and a host of other "goodies" laden with high fructose corn syrup, sugar, food coloring, and ingredients that none of us can pronounce. They make the houses nibbling along the way, eventually complaining of headaches and stomach aches. So why do I do this anyway?

This year I had decided to skip the madness and just forgo all candy house making. They hadn't asked for it, and I didn't remind them. And then on Saturday night, my oldest daughter (9yo Haley) and I were looking up stuff online when suddenly we came across this fun photo!

We both thought it looked AWESOME and after reading through the directions, we thought it would be fun to make on our first day home for Winter Break.

We hit up Publix on our way home from CrossFit and bought all the ingredients we'd need, came home, washed, peeled, and got our stations ready.

It was not as easy as it looked. Tongue Out

After some back and forth we decided that we'd all attempt smaller houses rather than the bigger lodge.

I made it this far before I threw in the towel and started eating my house. I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and I was pretty hungry, so it was a good time to call it quits.

Haley made it a bit further with her house.

And Ella made her house, it fell down, so she made a snowman Wink

And Ronin. Sweet Ronin. He was eating carrots and celery as fast as I could cut them, so his house never made it past the first level.

So while our grand plan of making a beautiful veggie house went out the window, we had fun, no one asked for candy, and we all munched on veggies.

I call that a WIN. Laughing

Does your family make any unique "houses" for the holiday season?

Women Who Lift: Meet Amanda

Welcome to my feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at  I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I am spotlighting Amanda. Amanda works out at my box CrossFit En Fuego.She is an amazing woman who has been on an inspiring weight loss journey of her own. She also works to save children from drowning as a trained infant swim resource instructor and lifeguard. She's inspiring.


Meet Amanda

Name: Amanda Leigh K.
Age: 37
Occupation: Certified Infant Swim Resource Instructor and lifeguard
Location: FL
Favorite WOD: Murph
Favorite Lift: Squats and bench press
Deadlift Max:  170
Back squat Max: 145
Overhead Max: Which lift? Push Press, 105
Favorite Girl? Angie
Got Muscle-ups? No
1 mile run: 8:47

How long have you been CrossFitting? 15 months

What keeps you coming back/motivated? CrossFit is constantly changing and always a challenge to be better than yesterday.

How did you find CrossFit? My honey joined and was really excited about the results.  I had been working on my fitness level and weightless for 7 years and wasn't seeing the results I wanted.  I tried it once with him and a really good friend and her husband and was hooked.

What is your athletic background? I've love sports!  I ran cross country and track in high school and played recreational sports in college.  I love to hike, swim, cycle and playing outside.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?  It has transformed how I view myself and my fitness.  CrossFit has become a family passion and I love having something we can all share together.  I am stronger now than I've ever been and that is truly exciting for me.

What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? I can do a pull-up and Rx weights in multiple WODS.  

What motivates/inspires you?  Being stronger than yesterday and experiencing noticeable personal and physical positive changes motivates me. Over the last 8 years, I have lost 121 pounds and I remember where I've come from, this is a huge motivator for me.  I know how hard it is to stay healthy and continue to progress toward a healthy lifestyle.  I am inspired by hard working, dedicated woman that know where they've come from and remember the struggles that got them to the strong point they are at now.  

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Diablo Games was my first competition and I know I gave everything I had, did my best and hit several PR's.

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?  I plan to  continue to work toward being able to do multiple pull-ups without having to stop.  I also plan to continue my work toward doing HSPU without any head mats.

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit?  I completed my first Tri and CrossFit competition this year.  I can also do a pull-up and HSPU's (with 1 mat).  I have increased all of my weights by a lot:).

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? I am a certified Infant Swim Resource Instructor at the YMCA.  I LOVE watching children gain confidence in the pool and watching a child rollover into a float position never gets old for me.  I love the outdoors, gardening and anything that has to do with the ocean or water.  I love spending time with friends and family but also those  rare but quiet moments when it's just me and nothing to do but reflect on my faith, goals, achievements and plans for the future.  I am completely excited about being able to re-establish myself as a professional while still being able to be a good wife and mother.

Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30?  Yes, I follow the "healthy choices" plan.  In all honesty, I eat healthy the majority of the time but I enjoy what I eat and refuse to make food and meal planning a chore.  

What is your favorite meal?  One that someone else plans and cooks for me :). I love Caesar salad and the sundried tomato and shrimp with pasta dish my honey makes for me.

Any advice for new members?  Stick with it, keep track of your progress, allow yourself time and push hard toward your goal.  Never ever lose track of your goal and be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small.  Every step makes you stronger than yesterday.


13 in 2013 Completed!

One of my goals for 2013 was to participate in the 13 in 2013 challenge. 13 races of varying distances completed in 2013. I'm happy to report that I DID IT!! Here is my list of races Smile


Commitment Day 5K with my 3 kids and dog


Best Damn Race 10K

Gasparilla ½ Marathon

Dirty Girl 5K


Citrus Trail 4 mile with my daughter Ella

Purple Run for Epilepsy 5K with my 3 kids


Iron Girl Clearwater 5K Also honored as the Athleta Power to the She Winner also ran with my oldest daughter


Mother’s Day Race 5K with 3 kids and dog

Color Me Rad 5K with husband and 3 kids


Running Mad 1/2 Marathon Virtual Run


Bazinga 1/2 Marathon Virtual Run


Girl Scout Thin Mint Sprint 5K with my 2 daughters

Iron Girl Clermont Triathlon 1/2 mile swim, 14 mile bike, 5K


Susan G. Komen Race 5K for the cure with my mom and 3 kids


Tough Mudder 12 miles


Pretty Muddy 5K with my 3 kids


I'm really proud of myself for following through with this challenge, and have decided to do the 14 in 2014 event as well. I had so much FUN doing a lot of these races with my kids.








I had some other goals that I didn't quite learning how to braid my own hair, so I cut it off instead Tongue Out but overall it was a pretty successful year. How was your 2013??