A Trip to Trader Joe’s, Soft Star Run, and Our Rain Barrel

Trader Joe’s recently opened up shop right next to us and I’ve been wanting to go check it out. I’ve been to TJ’s several times before, but it’s been awhile since my last visit. As a proclaimed foodie, I’m drawn to the less mainstream grocery stores, and decided to finally pay the new location a visit.

And what better companion than my daughter, Avery, to peruse the aisles of a new store! But not before someone decided to back into us as we were parking. A guy in front of me turned into a perfectly open parking space on the left and I turned into another on the right, then the proceeded to back up to park in the other space next to me! It ended with his rear bumper connecting with mine. Nothing too serious, but annoy nonetheless. Just one more “to-do” by needing to call the guy’s insurance to have it repaired.


Like I said, not that bad, but also not that good. But guess it could be a lot worse and I’m thankful the guy was actually nice and apologetic. Avery didn’t even know what was going on and she kept rather calm.

We left Going Mom at home so she could have some time to work on getting her rain barrel setup and on our refreshed veggie and herb garden. Yep, I do the grocery shopping while my wife works on the yard. No shame here, plus I still do the mowing. Well, except for when Kelley wins an argument over who gets to use our EGO Power+ Lawn Mower.

But next time, it’s all mine! Unless there’s a good sale at Costco Then I’ll drink beer and grill steaks!

Back to Trader Joe’s; I was not impressed. After spending some time picking up every item and reading the ingredients, I finally remembered doing the same thing last time I went and couldn’t figure out what makes it so great. Most of what I found were packaged foods with processed vegetable oils, sugar, modified corn starch, sulfur dioxide, etc. when all I really want is some freakin’ frozen mixed veggies or a decent bag of snackworthy mixed nuts. There were some good finds, though, one of them being this bottle of cold brew coffee concentrate.

trader joe's cold brew coffee

Normally, I make my own, but this will be a lifesaver when I’m in a pinch. So I don’t plan on making many trips back there as my usual stores suit me just fine.

After Saturday’s let down of an exciting store trip, Kelley kept Avery with her as she continued yard work so I could go on a solo Sunday run in my Soft Star Shoes. I’ve been  running rather short distances with Avery in the stroller and holding the leash for our Golden, Abby, to tag along, but haven’t had the chance for a solo run in a while. Needless to say, I was excited for the bit of freedom.

I ended up running about 66 minutes and covered 7.8 hilly miles. It was wonderful, liberating, and….it kinda hurt. Stupid chafing. Just a few years ago, this distance would be an easy, laughable even, run, but now it’s my long run!

However, I did see a giant home with a Ferrari and Lamborghini parked in it’s own upscale shop. Just for a little motivation, I ran up their driveway for a closer look, waved to the owners standing outside, and turned right around to continue my run. Sorry, no pictures since I run with as little as possible, but trust me, the cars were nice!

When I returned, Going Mom had a lot done and our garden is ready to grow several organic herbs and vegetables. Waiting sucks, but hopefully it will all be worth it.

New Garden by Kelley

Avery kept busy by running wild and throwing dirt every which direction as Kelley watched her while trying to get her own dirt “thrown” around. Being the Going Mom that she is, my wife did an outstanding job on the revamped and extended garden and the rain barrel G-Ma got her for X-Mas.

Rain Barrel

Now we just wait for the next rain and see how everything holds up.

I’m not sure what it was exactly, but that evening, after her nap, Avery was a wild child the rest of the day. She was in the sun a little longer than usual, so the only reasonable thing I can think of is that there’s some strange correlation between the sun and inner demons. It might sound far-fetched, but Avery has been known to house a demon in the past.

I mean, even the cat, who usually doesn’t mind her, went into hiding….


Or maybe it’s just being a toddler.

What do you think of the sun-demon connection? Is it a thing or just a passing phase?

Do you have a rain barrel, a garden, or other aspect in your home that you’re proud of?

From Gym Time to Playtime with Rhone Activewear

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions about Rhone Activewear are mine alone. #RhoneFever #CollectiveBias

Do you find the clothes you wear affects how you feel physically and mentally? When I worked in the wild world of accounting, the business casual attire of slacks, a polo, and dress shoes never suited (pun intended) me that well.

Immediately after arriving home from work, I’d change into my workout apparel and feel an instant increase in energy and motivation. Now that I’m a stay-at-home dad, I wear athletic apparel practically all day because, well, why wouldn’t I? Plus, it’s especially helpful when I have to pick up my boss’ slack, or just pick her up!


I have worn many kinds of fitness apparel over the years, and find that it’s mostly useful for one  or two things which means changing is a must. For example, running shorts that show off my white thighs are not the best for chores around the house or to go to the store with Avery, plus they usually stink afterward. Besides being the first guy to prove you can embarrass a 16 month old, I would be without much needed pockets for keys and portable snacks anyway!

Luckily, I found Rhone Apparel, stylish activewear for men on the move. With Rhone, I’m able to avoid the dreaded “transition” time associated with changing into clothes for the task at hand! No more going through several types of outfits in one day just to find what helps me perform the best or because I smell bad.

Donned with Rhone’s Bullitt Shorts and General Short Sleeve shirt, I can move freely and functionally during my workouts without the common after-stench. Whether it’s doing hill sprints while pushing Avery in her stroller or kettlebell clean and press, Rhone’s athletic apparel keeps me comfortable and is up for any task!

Rhone Athletic Apparel

Anyone who has spent time in a gym or home gym knows, proper form/movement can make or break a great workout. I love how the General short sleeve and Bullitt shorts allow me to perform without getting in the way or catching on each other when I’m lifting heavy weight or performing complex moves like the kettlebell swing.


When I’m finished with an exhaustive workout, that’s just the beginning. Now that Spring is here, we have a yard to tend to. Before, this would mean changing out of my sweaty clothes into something dry so I don’t have grass sticking all over me. But with Rhone Apparel, I stay dry even during intense exercise, and save time by not having to change for the next task, which is mowing the lawn with our new EGO Cordless Lawn Mower!


Not that I’m always strapped for time, but I don’t want to spend it changing in and out of clothes for each activity I do in a day. I need clothes that are highly functional and preferably stylish at the same time. Rhone fills that need by motivating me to push the limits when working out and not worry about how bad I sweat or stink afterward. Especially when I need to hold my daughter close while teaching her how to mow!


Known as the Rhone Edge, Rhone creates high quality athletic wear with superior anti-microbial, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you fresh and dry in style. Perfect for when you want to play with your kids and not have them asking “What’s that smell Daddy?” Not that Avery talks yet, but the look on her face says it all when I’m sweaty and smelly. But when I’m wearing Rhone, I get all smiles all the time!


From their website, here’s Rhone Apparel’s story:


As a group of busy professionals and passionate athletes, our team became perplexed by the tremendous gap in activewear. Rhone was created to fill that void, speaking directly to how men live, work, and sweat. We wanted clothes that stand up to the test of everyday “transition” times. Whether running errands, jumping on a flight, or pushing hard in the gym, Rhone feels good, looks good, performs better. Ultimately we want to capture that which inspires all of us. Our belief is we can push each other and our product forward each day.


We are American guys who believe in producing a great product (and where possible made domestically). But we also have been inspired by the places we have traveled. A collective favorite of ours is the Rhone Glacier and Rhone River in Switzerland and France. As an important trade route for the Greek and Roman empires, the Rhone is not only aesthetically beautiful, but was also highly functional for surrounding civilizations, as they grew based on trade. There is something about that current that resonates with us. We want our brand to reflect that strong and classic inspiration: a handsome line that is highly functional, always flowing, and moving #ForeverForward

I’d say they are living up to their name and delivering on their beliefs for sure! I just feel cool with their activewear, even if I’m only lounging around the house. Plus, I never know when I’ll have to chase down a rampant toddler or just show her a few moves in the gym.


When moves alone won’t cut it, I have no problem turning playtime into part of my workout. Bonding with Avery while lunging at the same time demands I have clothes that will work with me, not against!

Ordering from Rhone’s website is simple. First, I browsed their entire line, and then checked out their new Spring Collection to buy what I wanted.


There’s plenty more to choose from, and I will have to get more to add to my dadrobe very soon!

Head on over and check out Rhone’s high performance selections for yourself or the active man/dad in your life and let me know what you like best. It’s okay if you say everything, because I do too!

How much time could you save by not having to change for different things like working out and yardwork?

Do you feel renewed with energy after changing out of work clothes that wear you down?

Peek-A-Boo Swing: #MySundayPhoto – 03.29.15

I brought Avery to a bigger park/playground near the city we live in last week. I thought it would be a nice change from the small playground in our neighborhood, but she was still only interested in picking up mulch and peek-a-boo time.


Guess we can just stay in our back yard and let her pick through the garden if that’s all she wants! Nevertheless, this playground had baby swings and she LOVES swings! I captured this pic after 100 blurry shots and love seeing her face peek over the rim.


I’m sure the time will come soon when she wants to run all over the equipment, but until then, I guess it’s just swings and mulch.

Do your kids seem to find the most random thing to play with when there is something bigger (and you think better) to enjoy?