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Saturday, October 29, 2011

November's Mom of the Month

Our Mom of the Month program allows us to honor one of our Stroller Strides moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle while getting to know her better at the same time. November's Mom of the Month is Amanda Falsone (aka Epi & Anna's mama)!

When we first met Amanda (early summer 2010) she was mom to one sweet little baby boy (Epi). Shortly thereafter she became our first pregnant Stroller Strides mom and remained a dedicated Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby participant throughout her pregnancy. In the winter of 2011, Epi became a big brother to baby sister Anna and Amanda moved into the world of double strollers.

Despite having her hands full with two little ones under the age of 2, Amanda makes it out to Stroller Strides class and playgroup activities multiple times/week. She always arrives with smiles and energy to spare and makes it look easy to get to class with two little ones (though she assures us it's not- and we believe her- see below). She also hosts a fabulous Breakfast with Santa and backyard Wet & Wild summer play dates for our playgroup!

We asked Amanda to answer a few questions so that you can get to know her better and this is what she said...

Hometown: Covington, Louisiana
Education: Louisiana State University for Ceramics and NC State for Industrial Design
Stroller Strides Member since: May 2010
Members of your Family: Joseph, Epi (23 months), Anna (8 months) and Scout our Jack Russell mix who's going on 15 years!
Current/previous Career: lately I've been juggling the babies' nap schedules full-time but as a career I taught ceramics and art to adorable students at Explore!
What was your childhood ambition? Being the youngest of 5 I think my ambition was to just be good and stay out of the trouble!
What does motherhood mean to you? What a question! It's given me a better perspective on just what a miracle it is that my husband and I created these little extensions of ourselves. I feel blessed, humble and grateful to have been chosen to be their mother. I'm one happy and lucky mama!
What has Stroller Strides done for you? It has done a lot! The exercises are always challenging, especially the ab work. I really enjoy the social aspect of it for both myself and the babies. Also, being a part of a program was a real test after having a second child to (try) to keep a schedule for myself and get everyone out of the house on time. Lucky for me you guys don't count tardies. One more thing I LOVE.... learning cute songs to sing to my babies!
What is your favorite exercise? Kick backs I think they're called. I love feeling the booty burn.
What is the furthest you have been from home? Venice, Italy for our honeymoon.
What is your proudest moment? There are two-When Epi opened his eyes and looked up at me seconds after delivery and second when I heard the blaring cries of Anna. I was shocked something so tiny could put out such sound!
What are three of your favorite things (besides your family!)? Rollerskating, listening to my mom play piano, making things- be it awesome birthday decor, murals or art with Epi (and soon enough, Anna).
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or makes you unique. I have an incredible lucky streak. I once won a 7-day all expense paid trip to Hawaii when I called into a radio station. While on the plane to the island I won the contest the stewardesses announced. It was only 3 cans of macadamia nuts but I felt lucky to have won. I'm currently hoping to win a playhouse I bought raffle tickets for!
If we asked your spouse what they think your best qualities are, what would they say?.....coming from my husband's mouth:
"It's generic and cliche but I want to say, 'You're a great mom."' pause..."I would also say you're kind."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feeding the Family: White Bean & Chicken Chorizo Stew

I love when the weather starts to turn chilly and I get to make soups and stews! Last night I tried out a new recipe and Daniel (darling husband) and I loved it! (Monty had a yogurt for dinner- this wasn't really his speed.) It was so tasty, easy, and healthy that I thought I would share it with you!

I initially found this recipe in this month's Real Simple magazine (under "White Bean & Kielbasa Stew") but their recipe called for dried beans and a slow cooker... I didn't do my grocery shopping until mid afternoon so that wasn't really an option for me yesterday.

2 cans white beans (rinsed and drained)
1 package chicken chorizo sausage (cut into 1" chunks)
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large onion (diced)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
5 oz baby spinach

  1. In a large soup pot saute the garlic and onions in 1/4 cup of chicken broth until onions are soft.
  2. Add in all other ingredients (except spinach) and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Stir in the spinach just before serving. (If you want to freeze some of the soup- don't add the spinach to the portion you are going to freeze.)
Makes 4 large bowls- 357 calories/serving.