okaaaaay, so that went well.

29 people have reached out to me in 110 hours today to sign up for the june fitness challenge...which i have named JUNE VA-VOOM because of rhymes and dignity.

we have got folks in haiti, folks in germany, folks in IL, GA, TN, MD, SC, MN, IN, AL and more that i dont even know yet. we've got moms, singles, newlyweds, athletes, nerds, people who have never exercised and probably a diabetic or two. this is going to rock!

but, oh hey, when real humans depend on you for more that coffee-fueled jabber, it makes things a lot more real. as such, i spent a lot of time today coming up with a system that should work for everyone. i based it on calories burned, intensity and general hatred of each exercise.

if you were waiting in the shadows for more details on exercises, prizes and rules and such, here they are in the form of the explanation email i sent to the group just now:

ok, so i am emailing you if you contacted me about joining the month-long fitness accountability challenge. we would start keeping track tomorrow and go the entire month of june.

i will create a google doc (based in excel, my wonderland) that we will all be able to edit. i have made categories for all the major exercises that i want to work on plus some that yall asked to add that i think are great.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: we are on the honor system, yall. obviously, with a shared doc i could fib or fudge or outright fictionalize the smack out of this and win it all really easy. hopefully i would enjoy my winnings in jail because obviously i would be a heartless sociopath on the fast track to a life of crime. i cant wait to tell me cell mates,"my mommyblogging triceps fraud paid for this gang tattoo!" only record what you really do! if you forget, lowball it or leave it out altogether. this is primarily about doing something good for ourselves and secondarily about motivating and inspiring each other. the prize is, like, so tertiary.

about the prize: the overwhelming majority want to just do a $10 contribution to a group pot (it will be $10.60 due to paypal fees because doing a group invoice is easier than all of yall sending me personal friendly money). so i will shortly send out a paypal money request for that amount. when you pay, you're in! the disbursement of the prizes will be as follows:

1st place: 65% of the total pot
2nd place: 25% of the total pot
3rd place: 10% of the total pot

so how do you win?

based on WAAAAAY too much thinking and research, i have settled on the following values for each exercise below. if there is a URL, you can follow that to the correct form for that exercise. because so many of us do so many different activities, i added a general cardio category with intensity levels.

Exercise points per
1 triceps dips (legs straight out on ground) 0.05
one full sit up 0.015
30 seconds of continuous plank (side or front) 0.1
1 good form Boy pushup 0.06
1 set of lunges (1 on each leg = 1 set) 0.04
1 mile @ <8 min/mi 3.5
1 mile@ 8-9min/mi 3.2
1 mile @ 10-11 min/mi 2.9
1 mile @ 12-13 min/mi 2.6
1 mile @ 14+ min/mi 2.1
10 min other intense cardio (talking is dead to you. All resources devoted to breathing) 2.5
10 min other moderate cardio (you*could* talk but prefer to listen) 1.75
10 min light cardio (you could totally talk during it) 1.0

so if tomorrow i ran 1 mile at my blazingly typical 12 min mile pace, did 20 pushups, 50 lunges, 20 minutes of easy walking with my kids and 30 situps, i would get 8.3 total points for the day. does that make sense? all the math will be automatic because of excellence.

i will set up the spreadsheet so that each person has a sheet of their own and then that info will feed into a global recap sheet with graphs to show everyones progress/make me angry and motivated. i call this sheet MASTERTRON!

you may want to keep your own personal data on your own too just in case somebody gets drunk and obliterates the group data (unlikely?).

if you're in, just send the money via paypal when you get my money request. i will use whichever email you contacted me with to share the google doc with you.

any issues, let me know!

love and sweat,


we'll start keeping track tomorrow, and of course you can join late if you want. just email me at putapuredukes (at) gmail (dot) com.

did i forget any answers you were looking for? ask here!

p.s. Joie! i nede your info, i couldnt track you down anywhere.

any takers?

i'm buzzed pretty hard right now on a starbucks frappuccino. i drink coffee maybe twice a year because it hits me so hard and makes me a crazy person for about 4 hours. caffeine IS a drug i tell you. it's PCP/angel dust to be exact.

so i am on a leeeeetle bit of a bender right now and, obviously, need to take this opportunity to write publicly on the internet while the brown lightning is coursing through my veins.

i mentioned a few weeks back that i was doing a friendly accountability competition with raechel. this turned out awesome. the shared challenge and reporting did wonders for my motivation.

1000 lunges in may=success!

so i want more. it may be the coffee talking, but i am ready to TAKE OVER THE WORLD using only fitness and google docs (and obviously much, much more of my colombian mistress bean).

here's what i am thinking: i want to make a group pool. i am interested in making myself do the following (but am open to adding more events)-pushups (boy style), lunges, and running. ideally this would be mostly for people who are having a hard time making time or feeling inspired to work out, and not for some ringer who already runs 30 miles a week to just join up and win the prize without changing any normal habits.

maybe we all pitch in $10 or something. or maybe we can all offer a prize (like an etsy shop credit, or gift card or any little prize you'd like to offer, then at the end of june there will be 1st/2nd/3rd place prizes for the winners.

we would do some sort of conversion chart where like 50 lunges=30 pushups=1 mile or something and assign points across all events. maybe drinking coffee should be worth 100 points. I WIN!!!

the best way for tracking this is probably through a shared google doc that you will enter your stuff into whenever you want and can check the progress of all the other participants.

ok, so does this sound fun to anyone?

if you want in, i am going to start tomorrow and make in a june affair (of course latecomers are more than welcome). email me STAT at putapuredukes (at) gmail (dot) com to be added to the spreadsheet. if you are passionate about adding another exercise, let me know too.

recap-email me your name, if you want to add any "events," and what you think the prize should be/what you'd be willing to contribute to the prize pool.



mexican pin-meal

two pins, two mexican dishes, two successes.

our spicy avocado chicken enchiladas.

pinned here.

-ours looked nothing like the recipe picture. if you just saw the picture of our, you might think that we didnt add the sauce at all. well, we did. we needed to go back and double the sauce amount to be able to adequately cover all the enchiladas. the sauce is AMAZING so i highly recommend doubling.

-not the quickest recipe to whip up, but the payoff made the work and all the ingredients totally worth it.

-we used corn tortillas because we had some on hand and thought they were a pain to wrap, they have proved delicious as the corn adds an unexpected sweetness to the whole dish that is authentic tamale-like and it perfect.

-TONS of leftovers. reheats well. add sour cream.

our 1 minute salsa

pinned here

-i was SO skeptical of a salsa that used CANNED tomatoes. i am a salsa snob and mostly just made this to be able to prove it disgusting.

-nope. it was straight legit. it was very very easy to make and really did taste great. i think it managed to taste fresh because of the fresh onion and cilantro. my mind tried to keep psyching me out by reminding me that the tomatoes were canned, but my mouth was all, "who cares?! this is tastatcular! (not to be confused with another homophonic adjective).

go. cook. win.


bowties, brits, babies, blankies & birthdays

we had a packed holiday weekend full of people, sunshine, food and birthdays.

friday was judah's actual birthday so we let him call all the shots. such fun to have a 3 year old at the helm of your family plans.

he chose some good, fun stuff. here is an instagram breakdown:

1. dinner at "wapple house!" up at the tall, spinny counter chairs: chocolate chip wapple, sausage, OJ. he also swiped jesse's bacon while he wasnt looking and said, "mai swiper da fox!" and totally ate it.

2.he got a woody dress up set for his bday and needed a 6-shooter for his holster, so we hit target. here he is saying "may free today!" on the big red balls in front of the store.

3. when the birthday kids wants a drink while shopping, you let it rip. we got him a tiny starbucks smoothie a la ryan myers's brilliant trick

4. while i grabbed a blank t-shirt for a sewing project, he spied none other than a curious george shirt! as you may remember (i personally have tried to repress it) we LOVe george. for $8 it was ours. actually, before we even paid for it, it was ours, as he was stripping before i could even react.

5. his sweet preschool teachers gave him his birthday gift during the last week of school since he has a summer bday. we kept it wrapped and sitting on our windshield and let him open it friday. whoops. it was a lightning mcqueen coloring set. with crayons. in a GA windshield for a week. pretty!

6. target was a BUST. nerf weapons and star wars blasters are fantastic, but woody needs an authentic revolver, so we found one at the local fancy pants toy shop. "reach for the sky!!!"

7. a $3 cupcake with 3" worth of chocolate frosting? on your 3rd birthday...of course!

8. he probably thinks he's the lucky one. he's wrong. it's us.

saturday morning we were up and on the road for judah's BFF, benjamin's 3rd birthday party. benj was born to my BFF natalie in england 47 hours after judah was born. this is his first bday since moving back to the USA and we wouldn't have missed it.

here's what we got him (knowing that he is also a well-loved child with MANY toys, we opted for handmade gifts that were far more exciting to mommy):

a bowtie for every season!

due to his parentage, benj is destined to be a hipster artsy cool guy, so these feel like they are right up his alley.

he, naturally, tossed this thing aside as soon as he opened it to head for greener pastures of toys and fun. no harm, no foul. i have to force judah into his own bowties.

and then i also spotted this for him:

a mini boden t-shirt that combined 2 of benj's first loves: drums and the UK. woe was me though when i saw the $28 price when we are in the midst of some financial tightness.

but, uh-doy, i can sew, so i made him one myself for $5 (thus the target blank shirt i was shopping for above):

i like mine even more because the proportions and placement seem even better than the original and i added a highhat.

i LOVE this thing.

natalie is a wonderful friend who knows me well. she instantly announced, "you guys, keight MADE this!" i pretended to be embarrassed but secretly loved it. character flaw.

whistlin' dixie god save the queen

how pumped was i when i saw his big gift from his parents!?!? a new set of drums to replace his old broken ones. yes. ad he is beyond adorable.

and then sunday night we got word that jesse's brother and his wife were on their way to the hospital to welcome their 3rd little girl, finnley rae.

i was hoping she could hold on past midnight so that she would be born on memorial day, and she did! so though judah's birthday is the 25th and finnley's the 28th they still share a birthday because they were both born on memorial day. funtimes. (this add another cousin bday pairing: layla was born on her cousin--and finnley's older sister--bella's birthday).

she is tiny and perfect and positively delicious:
hopefully my uterus will accept this newborn as a placebo to keep my baby fever at bay for the foreseeable future.

to welcome finnley, i made her a few special things. her mommy, my sister in law jackie, had me redo a few accents of her carseat with some new and cute fabric. when i was done, there was lots leftover, so i whipped up a few paci clips and a pinterest project i had been hankering to do for a long time, the ruffle baby blanket:

this is a family the LOVES little girls, so ruffles all around fits perfectly!

finnley's room is grey and purple, so i backed the blanket in a gray dandelions.

someone was having a HARD time staying off the blanket, despite my constant requests to please not touch or stand on it.

she is PUSHING those boundaries.

and then, she just leans into the disobedience and snuggles right up under the blanket.

when i start to really correctly her for not only touching the blanket, but completely pulling it away while i was trying to photograph it, she is up and on the run to escape correction. little lady is a flight risk at all times. especially when she is a wanted fugitive.

an A+ weekend full of laughter, friends, bug spray, family, outside and grilling like only a summer weekend can be!



just. like. that.

happy third birthday, judah bug. you are the most wonderful firstborn son that we could have ever dreamed of. and even our wildest of dreams were too conservative for how magical you have turned out to be and how much we love you. thank you for rocking our worlds, thank you for teaching us about jesus, thank you for every speck of who exactly you are.


lightning mcprincess

due to 3 days in a row of unspeakable morning/post-nap fecal smearing HORROR, layla has been relegated to zip-up jammies for the foreseeable future. because 2 parents shouldnt devote 4 total hours to poop cleanup in a 72 hour span just because girlfriend looks cute in 2-piece pj's that she can reach into.

until i can get to a consignment shop, these are the only ones in the house that fit her:

we have taken this as an opportunity to: 1. tentatively try potty training with her, and 2. let her play with play-doh during the waking hours to her heart's content.

we obviously have a passionate sculptor on our hands if she is so dedicated to her art that she goes diaper diving for suitable medium. but this is a bit avant-garde for my taste.


judah's 3rd birthday party

judah turns 3 on friday. i suffer from crippling event-planning paranoia (that no one will come), so to avoid a potential memorial day exodus, we had the party this past sunday.

it was amazing.

we had it at jesse's parents BEAUTIFUL home, and after 2 years of torturing ourselves and our guests with dry outdoor parties, we wised up, banked on may in georgia being a scorcher and went with a WATER party.

the weather complied, pinterest came through, about 40 people showed up, and this little dukes family had the time of our lives celebrating our judah-bug.

and now a hundred million photos.

the main attraction:

a MONSTER water slide. home-made. 100% reusable. over 50 feet of slippery goodness.

daddy + the birthday boy

mommy + the little man of the hour

an utterly squeezable little sis

a BITCHIN' cake

not just one gorgeous cousin...

...but two! (i mean seriously)

"uncle" rick manned the grill

we ditched tables and chairs in favor of blankets on the grass.

we had friends from all over the place:

school friends

bruncle friends

english-born friends (putting out the "hey girl hey" vibe)

baby and mommy friends!

this is judah's "benignly bewildered" look and it is a spitting image of many of jesse's sweet baby pictures. ADORE!

he gets the furrow/scowl from his momma.

g-ma vincent showed up with water balloons and squirt bottles left over from her school's field day

the kids lost their minds over the dukes' "hillbilly hot tub."

they could NOT get enough of this thing.

seriously, like 9 kids in that thing at once.

sophie is armed and dangerous. layla is just eating her ammo.

when layla wasnt poolside, she found herself inexorably pulled back towards the fun

since layla was too young to protest (like judah did), jesse was able to chuck her down the slide.

best moment of my life. check out jesse's follow through and layas face and tiny wet pigtails!

judah had to be taken down buddy-style. after running onto the slide a few times and biting the dust and bonking his head he was a little gun shy. "wow, mom and dad, you made me a treacherous surface that injures me for my birthday, thanks!"

daddy did not hold back



more action shots:

with not a cloud in the sky, SPF was crucial. some parents opted to rub it into their kids skin

other parents went a different route :)

and some whities tried to catch a little pigment

i guess i was embarrassing her in front of her friends.

i must say the cake became my little idol. jesse and i stayed up until 2 am the night before the party making this thing by hand. i had cannibalized a few ideas for monster truck themed cakes from pinterest and melded them all into one monster monster truck cake.

i was 100% in love with the thing and needed everyone else to agree with me. so presenting it to judah was a grand affair.

he has spotted the cake and is bee-lining towards it (that would be my 38 weeks pregnant sister in law. it's not even fair how hot she is.)

i could just kick myself for putting superman in the wrong place. he's supposed to be finishing up crushing the little cars and be half on the green one and half on the graham cracker path so that you can see the candles perfectly. DRAT!

his current "cheese face"

i mean really, those flipping donut tires freaking MAKE the cake.

iron man ramping up into the arena

my love for this cake cannot be overstated (one gross thing: the sun was so hot that the icing letters started to leak grease due to the fat being rendered out of them...butter and shortening border!)

our fam celerating our firstborn!

jesse was whistling to bring everyone over for the blowing of the candles, and judah wanted to help. he just put his fingers in his mouth and screamed. perfection

a donut tire, cake and either birthday cake confetti or chocolate trinity ice cream for all!

the patches of shade were the place to be

diaper changing station in the barn office

oh, i let them eat cake. yes i did.

hahaha goobers

sissy went DEEP into extra innings, staying up about 5 hours past naptime and partying HARD the entire time.

and then the presents were opened. it was kind of obscene. so. many. toys.

hahahahaha. the other kids could NOT resist encroaching on judahs personal space as he was showered with gifts. and regan ordered the chocolate ice cream, for the record.

beyond happy that he joined us

the consensus is that we will just keep repeating this party every year. this kids will think of new and more dangerous uses for the slide, we can add more advanced water games and activities, and we will get really good and efficient at this exact event. practice makes perfect. plus, if it's not broke, why fix it?

happy birthday party, judah man!