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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our May Mom of the Month

In less than a week we will celebrate ALL moms... but for the month of May we want to highlight one special Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh mom for the strides she is making in fitness, motherhood and life! Our May Mom of the Month is Ashley Collins (aka Beatrice Kate's mom)- pictured below with her husband and daughter at the March for Babies!

Congratulations, Ashley! You're a super-mom and a wonderful example to our group in faith, fundraising, friendship, fitness, and of course- motherhood and we want to celebrate you! Ashley's most recent hobby has been raising money for the March of Dimes via the March for Babies walk that took place on Saturday in the Triangle. Under her leadership our team raised nearly $3500 in honor of her daughter, Beatrice Kate, who was born 11 weeks premature and is now a healthy and happy 1 year old!

We had Ashley answer a few questions so that we could get to know her a little bit better and this is what she said...

Hometown : Lincolnton, NC but I went to high school in Durham at the NC School of Science and Mathematics
Education : B.A. in Chemistry from NCSU
Stroller Strides
Member/Participant since: September 2010
Members of your Family: Myself, my husband, Casey and our daughter Beatrice Kate (13 months)
Current Career : Mommy (and I LOVE IT)
What was your childhood ambition? To be a paleontologist (I even went on a fossil dig in high school!)
What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood to me, means knowing a love like no other. From the moment I first saw Beatrice Kate's tiny, postage stamp-sized hand in the delivery room, I knew that my life was now bigger than just me. Being a mother means living everyday for someone else.
What is the furthest you have been from home? Cusco, Peru. We hiked for 4 days to get to Machu Piccu and it was well worth it!
What has Stroller Strides done for you? First- Stroller Strides provides a fun way to get in daily exercise. It's the only exercise class I've ever taken that I don't constantly check the clock! Secondly, Stroller Strides has given me a sense of community and a place to connect with other new moms. It's something that I look forward to every day and I love that Beatrice Kate also gets to meet new friends!
What is your favorite exercise? Hiking or Kayaking
What is your proudest moment? My most proud moment was the day that we took Beatrice Kate home from the NICU. We waited six long weeks to feel like a "real family" and I was so proud to finally have our daughter at home with us (even if none of us got any sleep for the next 3 months!). I remember drinking a cup of coffee the morning after she came home and thinking, "Wow. We did it!"
What are three of your favorite things (besides your family!)? Our dogs, Cooper (9) and Arnold (15); baking for friends and family; going to the movie theater (especially movies in IMAX)
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or makes you unique. I can read books really quickly. It's really nerdy, but I read the entire Twilight franchise in two days and the Sookie Stackhouse novels in two weeks (all ten of them!).
If we asked your spouse what they think your best qualities are, what would they say? I asked him and he said, "You always put other people's needs ahead of your own." I would say that I try to, certainly- unless one of those needs is the last chocolate chip cookie- and then all bets are off.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fundraising Yard Sale this Weekend!

On April 30th our moms group will walk in the March for Babies- a local event that raises money for and awareness of the work of the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes' mission is to "help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies". To help raise money for this worthy cause we are hosting a fundraising yard sale THIS SATURDAY in North Raleigh. All proceeds will go towards the March of Dimes.

How can you help? Please consider helping out in one of the following ways:
  • Donate your sale-able items (email Missy for info)

  • Volunteer your time to working the yard sale (Fri pm/ Sat am)

  • Shop the yard sale- starts @ 6am at 4004 Sherlock Ct, Raleigh

  • Going to be out of town this weekend but still want to help? Donate online using this link: I HEART BABIES.

Thank you for your support!

~The Bea Team & Team Stroller Strides~

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feeding the Family: Chicken, Red Grape & Pesto Pizza

Chicken, red grapes and pesto? Weird, right? No... amazing! Gina suggested this recipe to me weeks (or maybe even months) ago and I've been meaning to try it out ever since. My parents are in town this weekend and always up for trying something new so we made it for dinner tonight and it was SO good! (Thank you, Gina!) The recipe dates back to a 2009 issue of Cooking Light magazine... enjoy!

1 can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
Cooking spray
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 ounces shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (or the pre-cooked "short-cuts")
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (we left this out since our pesto was extra garlicky to begin with)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (we used shredded mozzarella)
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into a 12-inch circle; gently place dough on a pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Spread pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Arrange grapes evenly over dough; top evenly with chicken. Top with garlic and mozzarella; sprinkle with Romano and pepper. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with onions. Cut into 12 wedges.*

*We followed the directions on the pizza dough and set the oven at 400 degrees, pre-baked it for 5 minutes before added toppings and ended up cutting the cooking time to 10 minutes... do what works for you!

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)

CALORIES 364 ; FAT 14.4g (sat 4.8g,mono 6.3g,poly 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 191mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.6g; SODIUM 562mg; PROTEIN 22.6g; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 2.5mg