July Friday Faves

It’s the last Friday of the month, so that means it’s time for Friday Faves!

Let’s start out with my most favoritest thing lately:

Meeting Other Bloggers!

Last month I met Alexis from the super informative and oh-so-helpful baby sleep blog, Troublesome Tots.

Troublesome Tots and Fit Mama Love

A couple weeks ago, I had coffee with Jacqueline from Skinny Chick Blog, she writes about running and life.

Skinny Chick Blog and Fit Mama Love and kids

Last night at BlogHer’s “selfiebration” kick off, I hung out with Lisa from Healthy Nibbles and Bits, which I think is a pretty self-explanatory name.

Healthy Nibbles and Bits and Fit Mama Love

It’s so fun getting to meet the real, live person behind the blog. I’m looking forward to meeting even more bloggers during the rest of BlogHer this weekend and also next month at BlogFest.


Sproutzels from Costco

A healthier pretzel made from sprouted whole wheat flour, these pretzels are extra crunchy and delicious. The salt on them is almost like it was painted on instead of just nubby bits of it all over. The kids are kind of “eh” about them, which means more for Doug and me! The last time I was at Costco a week ago, I bought three bags of them and now we have one left. What was that about portion control?

New iPhone

Finally! I broke my phone’s screen in March after dropping it one too many times and just finally got a new one. I was able to upgrade to the 5S without any additional cost too, so that was pretty great. I bought an Otter Box case to go along with this one, so it’s better protected against the falls.

Trader Joe’s Dolmas In A Can

Trader Joe's Canned Dolmas

I didn’t think canned dolmas would be good and put off trying them for awhile after I bought them, but today Emme and I enjoyed them as a snacky sort of lunch and we polished off the can together. If you’re unfamiliar with dolmas, they are grape leaves stuffed with rice and are a traditional Greek food. I’ve always loved them, but was highly skeptical of the canned variety.

Emme Saying Flamingo

I’ll leave you with this because i know you wanted to hear her say it. :)

You can tell I had her say it for the camera once before this because she starts out asking if I want her to say it again. Now whenever I go to record her, she says “f*ck-ohhh” and then asks to see it. She might never say flamingo properly with how we laugh at her now

Happy Friday!

Keep in touch with me:
Twitter -> @FitMamaLaura
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Not Much of a What I Ate Wednesday, But Ooh, Grilled Artichoke!

I was planning on doing a WIAW post today, but my eats have been pretty standard and uninteresting and I don’t want to bore you posting the same old stuff all the time.

So for quick, here’s breakfast:

Eggs, ham and cheese on a tortilla with cholula

Cheesy scrambled eggs and ham on a corn tortilla stopped with Cholula

And here’s dinner:

Grilled sausage on top of farro and spinach with pecorino

Farro and spinach topped with grilled chicken sausage and pecorino

Since yesterday was a pretty typical and unexciting day of eats and I didn’t even remember to take pictures of everything, I thought I’d throw in a recipe for grilled artichoke that I made the other day. Usually I simply steam my artichokes and we dip them in mayo, but occasionally I grill them up for a little something special.

If you’ve never cooked an artichoke before, don’t be intimidated by their outer appearance. With a little knowhow, you can prep it easily and enjoy the tender center.

Tip: Prep them right at cook time because they turn brown very quickly after being cut.

Grilled Artichoke with Garlic and Lemon


2 Globe Artichokes
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
1/2 Cup Olive Oil (‘m just guessing here, I don’t measure)
Salt and Pepper
Pecorino Romano, grated (optional)


Bread knife
Paring knife

First, rinse your artichokes. Always rinse off your produce even if you’re not eating the outside of it. Otherwise whatever yuck stuff is on the outside of it ends up on the part you eat when you cut it.

Then, start by cutting off them stem. You can try peeling and cooking the stem too, but I’ve never had good luck with this, so I just discard it.

Cut off artichoke stem

Next, slice off the top of the artichoke, up to halfway down. I find a bread knife works best for this task.

Chop off top of artichoke

Using scissors, snip off all the sharp ends. No one wants to be stabbed when they’re eating!

Use scissors to snip off sharp ends of artichoke leaves

Then stand the artichoke on end and slice it in half.

Slice artichoke in half

Using a paring knife, cut out the choke right along the bottom edge of all the fuzzies.

Cut out the choke with a paring knife

Nice and clean.

Artichoke with choke removed

Steam for about 25 minutes.

Steam artichokes

While they’re steaming, prepare your dressing. Whisk together garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until artichokes are done steaming.

After the 25 minutes, place artichokes cut side down on a hot grill. Brush the backs liberally with the dressing, getting it between the leaves. Grill about 5 minutes or until nice and charred and flip. Brush liberally with dressing on the cut side and sprinkle on the pecorino romano. Grill for another five minutes.

Grilling artichokes with garlic and lemon

This garlic is minced pretty big since I did it by hand. I prefer how it comes out with my garlic press.

To eat them, start from the outside, peel off a leaf and scrape off the meaty part with your teeth. Continue until all that’s left is the heart. Savor and enjoy!

grilled artichokes with garlic and lemon


Artichokes are fun for the whole family! My kids love scraping off the leaves with their teeth. They actually don’t care for the heart yet, I think because it looks so ugly and gray when it’s cooked. More for me!

What’s your favorite way to prepare an artichoke?

Were you intimidated the first time you tried to cook one?

Keep in touch with me:
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Pictures From Our Mini Vacation

I wish we were staying longer, but today we’re driving home from our mini vacation in Gold Country. We had such a good time enjoying this part of the Sierras as a family and it definitely deserves it’s own longer post. For now, since I’m technically still on vacation, here are a few quick pictures from the weekend.

We spent lots of time on various bodies of water.

Paddle boarding with the kids and dog

Mountains are a dog’s happy place

Emme enjoying the creek

Enjoyed a few grilled meals (learn how to cook your own grilled cauliflower)

a grilled dinner

Got down and dirty with nature

Reece on a fallen tree at Big Trees State Park

Emme and Reece next to a giant sequoia

Reece getting dirty at Big Trees State Park

Dirty kids are the bestHiking with the kids

and a spent little time in town.

Reece outside Aria Bakery in Murphys

Doug and Emme being silly in Murphys

Smiles all around!

Family Photo at Big Trees State Park

How did you enjoy weekend?

Have a marvelous Monday!

Keep in touch with me:
Twitter -> @FitMamaLaura
Pinterest -> FitMamaLove
Instagram -> FitMamaLove
Bloglovin’-> FitMamaLove
Facebook -> FitMamaLove