Thursday, November 29, 2012

High Five for FRIDAY

Hello Friday!
Does anyone else still listen to the radio while driving? I do in the mornings.
I am still half asleep and most likely just fought a toddler into submission of the carseat buckle, not to mention probably running late for work, so I can't mess with pandora or itunes, I listen to the radio.
My favorite morning talk show always screams Hello Lady! Any of you hear that? Ever?
It's so simple, yet it cracks me up.

Anyways.....back to linking up with Lauren for another High Five For Friday!


1// Getting back in the gym and making sure my holidays are healthy!
 Big thanks to all of you that read my guest post sharing tips for healthy holidays and for ALL your support during my setback. It felt so GRRReat to finally get back in the gym!

2// A big reason why I stick with exercise is food! It's hard to say no to all the Pinteresting recipes out there!
I'm thinking this will be part of the teachers and co-workers holiday gifts. It could be considered "somewhat healthy" if you omit half the butter and sugar but...girl, it was good and worth any extra mile.
Cranberry Walnut Bread >

3// Get out of here Pinterest! I fell into the temptation of wrapping a wreathe with yarn and glueing DIY felt flowers to it. I'm actually impressed with it's finale.

4// Seashells. I am a summer girl. Always will be. I was lucky enough to live Hawaii for a while and that just confirmed this even further. My MIL, who is the best around, vacationed recently and brought back this basket of shells and coral for our home.

5// Yea. So we DID NOT win the lottery. Big whoop. For all of those people in that weeeee-little town in MO and/or AZ,  you've got 180 days to claim that money and send a few Ben's my way. Speaking of winning, you could win yourself a mini blog design by entering my GIVEAWAY, today's the last day!

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where in the Blogging World is She?!

If you're wondering my whereabouts can find me here!

My bloggy friend, Laura @ My Calm Delight, has invited me to guest post!
I'm thrilled to spend a day with her and her readers!!

Tips on Staying Healthy and Fit over the Holidays are just a click away!

Go! Read away! And while you're there, check out all of Laura's goodies. Now that just sounded weird. Don't check out her goodies. Take a look at her posts. She's got the scoop on Paleo, Crossfit, Redesiging, Cherishing your little ones, and much more to include snapshots of the beautiful Alaskan scenery that surrounds her.
Her blog truely is - a calm delight.

In case you missed it....I've got a GIVEAWAY going on thru Friday!

I've linked up today with Take it from me for Welcome Wednesdays and Walkabout Wednesdays with Handling with Grace.... and of course Random Wednesday with the too cute Shanna at Because Shanna Said So.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not What I Was...Effects of Setbacks

Have you had a set back? Neglected your commitments to fitness?
My set back required me to put my fitness gains on the side.
Remember when Nosey Nancy hit me up in Wally World or I ran into my timeout?
Well, times up! It's been 4 weeks and I'm ready to pound the pavement and get back in the gym.

The problem I'm facing and maybe you too - if you quit your routine or have a set back is....
not being what I was.

If you've read my 10 reasons to not fear the gym, then you already know, I left this reason out.
I didn't know at the time of that post - that this is, yet, another reason we may have a hard time getting back on track. lacing up the running shoes. and breezing through the gym doors.

It's too easy to be held back by the discouragement of knowing you are not what you were.

But why would we do that to ourselves?
Let's insert some truth and motivation....

I know what I was and I will be that again, and better!

My husband rags on me all the time because I always want to know everything. Knowledge is like a blanket to me. The more I know, the better I feel. Hopefully your game for a little food for thought...

3 truths on what happens when we quit or have a setback from our fitness routines

Studies show and I can concur based off of the last 4 weeks that progress is lost quickly.
It is all relative to you as an individual.

Within 2 weeks, Endurance gains are lost.
Read that one again. It is depressing! Yet motivating! Think of all the hard work you've put into yourself to just give it up and let it get away. 2 weeks of time. 14 days. Flys by. Life gets busy and kids get sick. Work demands overtime and bills must be paid. But we have to commit to committing. Stopping a routine for just 2 weeks strips us of our gains in endurance and sets us back a few steps, no pun intended.

Another change within 2 weeks, strength.
Our muscles need to be challenged and conditioned continuously. Any of you wear braces as a kid? The movement of your teeth took time. The time we put into our workouts are like those periodic visits to the dentist. And after so much progression and noticeable changes in our muscle definition or tooth alignment it becomes time to kick it up a notch. The dentist would run new elastic with a new strategy enforced. Same with the gym. A tougher program is created for more muscle gains. A scoop of protein added to our shakes and carbs rationed at a rate for building and feeding those muscles. After this tweak your muscles are stronger and your teeth are aligned. Now, what if you lost your retainer? Wouldn't you panic? Without that tension your smile would relapse immediately. Why not have that same level of excitement in your strength training? Just 14 days of not lifting, not pushing, not swinging allows our muscles to fade back to their original levels of strength. Saddening and frustrating.

The fastest gain to loose at just one week, Flexibility.
People, that's a fast-closing window of time. This fact, for me, is more upsetting than the other two. I love a good stretch. I live for a good stretch. At anytime of the day you will probably find me stretching something. My lower back. My forearms. My neck. My hips. This world cramps us. Offices are not designed ergonomically, at least not mine. Couches and computer chairs don't position us in a relationship good for our spine, butt, and legs. Not to mention any of the stress you may carry through the day. These things hurt us in the sense that we tense something, somewhere, which triggers a reaction, somewhere. Stretching releases this and primes us for what's next. Yes, there's debate in cold stretching and while the verdict is still out, I think it's safe to say that when cold stretching, just go lightly. Dig deeper after the body/muscles have warmed up.

7-14 days, ladies and gents. If we can be young, healthy & active but have bodies that breakdown within just one week of neglect....think of all the good we can give ourselves in latter years -if we just commit to committing.

At this point, I'm asking myself  "is this an excuse" to not workout or "is this a legit reason" to miss a workout.

Have you faced a set back?
Ever discouraged by the thought that you're not as good as you once were?
What are your thoughts? I really do love to hear them!

*And the ortho analogy....I couldn't resist. I work in dentistry, it's taken care of me for 13 years.

**Are you wanting a new header or button? Blog need a mini makeover?
Enter my GIVEAWAY for a chance at winning just that!

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I've linked with Misty and Brittany for Getting Fit Friday!!!
I've linked with Helene in Between and Newlywed Moments
Helene in Between
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blog Makeover and My First GIVEAWAY!

There's so much to share with you, including a Giveaway!

Take a look around! Whatchya think?

I love it...each little detail, feature, function and of course, it's new name!!!
*be sure to check your feed for my new name and posts! Even Google is slow to this migration process.

What I love even more....the fact that I just daydreamed through the whole process.
This chic, who I'll tell you about, is a total master of blog design and blog migration.

That She did all this for me! She blogs at Wrangling Chaos and Poop Whisperer and stands behind the lens @JessWright Photography. Check out each of her sites and be sure to visit her design page.
She's a blogger, a wife and a witty mom of 4...(who I could totally spend an afternoon/night out with)
and when she's not creating photography masterpieces she's a serious master of web design.

She worked endlessly with me through each idea and the blog migration...putting it together, seamlessly, for me and you to enjoy!

A while back I wrote this post telling you of my frustrations with this, here, little blog.
So many of you commented and emailed words of encouragement and support.
That meant more to me than you know! One way of showing my gratefulness is to offer you....

My First Give Away!!!

I loved working with Jess, so much that, I want to give you peeps a chance to work with her too!
Jess has put together a free package to include.....
1// header
2// navigation bar
3// button

*Each one of these is totally built from scratch, completely custom to you and your liking

What are you waiting for?! Enter below as many times as you'd like and cross your fingers!
Spread the cheer! Share this giveaway with others or just keep a hush on it, hoping to win it all for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and spreading the cheer! Winner will be notified after December 2nd. Good Luck!

Today I linked with YOLO MONDAYS hosted by Carly at Lipgloss and Crayons and Molly at Still being Molly...
And Mommy Moments hosted by Faith at The Life of Faith and many other awesome mommy co-hosts..
And errrr-body gets around at the GFC Blog Hop hosted by Heidi (a new fav of mine) Bre, and Autumn

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Friday, November 23, 2012

High Five for FRIDAY

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!
High Five to Friday....or as this one is best known, Black Friday.

We're not shopping this Black Friday unless you consider a trip to the Drugstore for Childrens Motrin shopping?! Thumbs down to missing out on some incredible deals and two thumbs down for lil' Landon being sick. Kiddo just didn't get enough of yesterdays feast so he's having a side dish of some fever and sinus congestion.


1// Being a kid again. And old, ruffled tanks with military knit cardigans. We were treated to beautiful, warm weather yet again this week. I got down with the kids and tossed the leaves around, enjoying the simple things.

 2// One of my favorite candles! Christmas on the Beach. Been there, done while living Aloha. Now, each Christmas/Holiday season...we light this candle to remember.

 3// This handsome man finally caught up with me in age! We're only a few months apart but during those months he takes every stab, joking about how old I am. No worries tho, I always tell him he gets more sexy with age. We both took the day off from work and enjoyed lunch and shopping together, kid free :)

4// And to further celebrate his birthday...we tucked the kids in bed and chatted it up with some fine sipping!
His good ole' friend PBR and mine...a long lost friend, Korbel. I've missed late night chats with a bottle of champagne! If this photo is familiar, you probably saw it here...hook up with me there!

5// Yet another simple joy in my week! It's the little things that make my day, like these adorable measuring cups! Steal of a deal found while Christmas shopping at Pier 1 Imports. But this find, I had to keep for myself! It made making these even more fun....

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Free your Focus

No, it's not good. It's completely out of focus.
Said my husband after taking this picture.

He couldn't have been more wrong. Sometimes we need a change in our field of focus.
I'm thankful for this change....

Be free in your focus.

Let your mind wonder as your belly growls from the Thanksgiving table spread.
Listen to the laughter surrounding you. The melody of your friends and family.
Watch the smile lines curve upward and the eyes squint & twinkle.
Take time to sit and watch the leaves blow by and the clouds roll on.
Count the rays of sun, lighting your life.

Give thanks for all the little pleasures around you....
For that's what really makes the heart whole.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do you really understand the word POTENTIAL?

Do you know your full potential?
Have a good understanding of the word potential?

I read this article a few weeks ago which had a profound effect on me, today it was put to use.
It asked, when you encourage someone to use their explain to them what their potential really is. We adults have a lesson to learn from this.

My oldest son has struggled with the start of 6th grade.
Over the last week we've searched for a better understanding of areas in which he struggles.
Then it hit me, I need to use the word potential.

People, in general, no matter their age respond to encouragement. Many dreams would have faded away, never pursued, if they weren't realized and encouraged.

Encouragement knocks on the door of potential.
But do you really understand your full potential?

For my oldest, we broke it down into 4 simple steps.
We asked him to be a better him, therefore using his potential to reach a higher success at being a student, making the grades expected of him.

Simply telling a child to use their potential is as useless as telling a tree.
Children need their parents guidance in understanding their entire capabilities.

Us adults need it too.
As we helped Lance understand these steps, ie: changing his attitude, focusing, fidgeting less, balancing play with studies, and exercising to release stress and energy, he began to feel real confidence in his ability to be a better him. His potential.

All that time digging into the issues that prevent him from using those simple 4 steps made me think about how many of us don't realize and therefore, aren't using our own potential.

We may seek to be better parents.
So whats distracting us from achieving that?
Is it the dishes or a mess of dirty clothes? A self-imposed deadline? Do those tasks really matter if we weigh it agaisnt the time we could be spending with our children to strengthen our bonds? Making us better parents?! I've always believed the answer to better parenting is held within our own children.

We may seek to more disciplined in our diets and exercise.
What would help us stay strong in those areas?
Maybe, first shopping the perimeter of the store, filling our cart with healthy choices like produce, veggies, fruit and dairy then, when virtually all space is filled, we allow ourselves a few shelf items.
Maybe it's clocking out an hour early from work once a week to hit the gym, or getting up early twice a week to workout in the living room before the house lights up and the day really starts. Or more simply, breaking a 30 minute sweat into incrments of 3. Situps during commercial breaks, squats while the children play, tricep dips off the kitchen chair before cooking dinner.

Are we scared to leave our comfort zone
and venture into the real time of what excites us deep down?
This is a tough one for me. One that I battle. Many a secret thrill wrapped up in this beauty.
I find surrounding myself with positivity helps me keep the confidence to seek new adventures. Anything from, engaging with FRG to promoting new ideas at work, to wearing fashions that seem more trendy than 30'something year old mommy, to running races at distances, I thought I'd never finish.

Whether we dream a little or dream alot. It takes the courage of realizing and applying our potential to reach those dreams and live them.

Tonight I helped my oldest dig inside to find his potential. We outlined them. We discussed the distractions he faces, keeping him from his hidden potential. We noted how life would change if he eliminated those and just relied on the potential he had locked away.

And now, I sit with pride and reassurance that we can make it through 6th grade and all the years that follow. Seems so simple, and I wonder why I haven't dug into this fact before. It's nothing for Lucas or I to push our toddler into his realms of potential but as we grow older and life hands us its stresses, I guess it's easy to forget the keys, locking the box of potential.

*Lucas and I found this box while on a hike at Crabtree Falls. Curiosity got the best of us. What we found inside still touches my heart. A book of notes written by hikers over the years, safely kept in a ziploc, the originator wished us well and asked a handwritten wish be left behind, for those who follow.

Do you live at a fraction of your full potential?
Ever broken it down to your children in hopes they would grow in a new direction?

This week I've linked up with Tell Me about it Tuesday
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Monday, November 19, 2012

A Tinkle. A Shower...and a DIY'errrr

This past weekend was filled with family, holiday parades, and one adorable baby shower.
That baby shower gave me, yet another, reason to whip out my beloved, hot glue gun.

Her shower was a time filled laughter, tears, silly games of course and beaucoup gifts!
This momma was feeling the love. Beautiful venue, beautiful friends, beautiful baby bump!

Gift Registries are a God sent.
I purchased items she had selected for all things rides, shopping trips and restaurants. Once they were packed neatly and wrapped. I moved on to the gift topper.

First tho, did you know Hallmark sells wrapping paper that acts like contact paper?! Hello, easy!
Look for this stuff and snatch it up. I highly recommend it!

Secondly, my girls always give me a "rap" about my gift presentation. I can't resist.
Sometimes it's epic, most times it's not.

If it's a bachlorette party expect your gift wrapped in lace and hazard tape, if it's my Papa's birthday he expects a 3-tier cake of, none other than, Coors Light stacked and wrapped in bows.
For baby showers, expect anything from silver rattles to car seat toys, paci's and rosettes as a gift topper or maybe the gift itself will be wrapped in a fuzzy blanket.

Back to this gift topper, I used felt and burlap. Buttons too.
All of this, became the gift topper instead of the standard bow.
Cutting circles from felt and using dots of glue, I created rosettes and a button, burlap flower.
Each, was then grouped in a pleasing way and hot glued to a large felt square.
(speaking of girl and that glue gun go back years, maybe even decades)

It's also a wonderful keepsake for the mother.
A piece that can easily be framed in the child's room or set on top a stack of books.
If the gift is for a girl be sure to include a head band or knit hat so mom also has the option to attach the rosettes to hairpieces for later use!

I always try to be creative with gift wrapping. It's another way to continue the gift giving.
Giving is fun, I'm always looking for ways to add just one more gift to the package.

Now for the tinkle.

Whats a "tinkle"? It's a party for the second baby! 
A great way to help mom stack up on necessities like diapers and wipes.

Here's a variation of the typical diaper cake, inspired by Pinterest, sometime last summer.
The only photo I took was via Iphone, sorry for the poor quality.

How cute is that bundle of diapers?!

A knock off of the "storks delivery".

This gift holds two in one.
Find a nice blanket and fold it longways
into thirds then roll up diapers
(I used varying sizes) and stack.
Start at the center and build. As your stack grows bring sides of blanket up to wrap and hold the form of a bundle. Once you finish simply tie off with ribbons and streamers!

Think of other goodies that could go in the bundle ie: burp clothes, bibs, onsies, and other receiving blankets.

Easy DIY. Easy "Tinkle" Gift.

Have you heard of a "Tinkle"?
Keep it in mind, it's a perfect way to celebrate the second baby and help mom stock up on diapers, etc.

And what about those oh,so famous rosettes?
Any tips to making them big and beautiful?

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

When it's time, you just know...

Our sweet pooch has lived the life. 18 years of the good life.
Lance did the math, that's equivalent to 126 human years, so they say.

She was, first, my sisters dog. Picked from a liter of golden graham colored pups.
She lived with Anne for 5 years.

Then, she lived with me and my oldest, Lance for nearly 5 years.
We cared for her and she cared for us, protecting our home and greeting us each day.
Lance and I took her on many walks through parks and trails of the James. She loved a good squirrel hunt and never feared the river rocks or a quick dip.

When we moved to Hawaii with Lucas it became my parents turn to care for her.
(little did we know, Lucas' orders would bring us right back just a year later)
There she played endless hours with their dog and wore her path into their backyard.

Literally, Poochie Girl wore out a path, a straight line, in whoever's yard, she lived. She may have suffered from an array, that can't be diagnosed or explained in her latter years, but one things for sure, she was OCD. She's always had "her path" and she stuck to it, no stray.

Until Sunday. She strayed and didn't come back. We found her at the animal control center.
Someone had found her "sunbathing" in their backyard, worried she was hurt or failing, they called for help.

Lance and I drove to the center excited and overjoyed to bring Pooch back home.
We spoke with the county workers and asked them the question my family has discussed endlessly...
"How do you know when it's time to let your dog go?" The workers confidently said, "you just know."

We walked on, to the car, and lifted Pooch into the backseat.
To my surprise, she didn't have the strength to sit in my backseat against the force of my driving.
We made it hardly 20 yards and on the second roll into the floorboard, called my parents, owners of a Tahoe, to come for help. It was sad. Very sad.

Lance and I sat with Pooch in the grass.
We bundled her in a blanket and talked with her telling her everything was ok.
She had been through so much in this day and simply couldn't do for herself anymore. In the time that we waited for my parents, it became a peaceful decision, that it's now the time for her to pass on.

Pooch is like a great grandmother, if you will.
She's touched the lives of mine, my sister and my brothers and has been prominent in my oldest sons life. We've watched a playful dog become old and tired but she never stopped showing her joy in living. She's become old and a bit delirious but she knows her loves. And she loves to love. We let her come and go in her sweet, slow pace always staring in awe of the miracle that she's still ticking through another year.

In her 18 years she has never been as helpless as today. She's worn her self out.
I explained to Lance that sometimes God hands us the decisions to make.
I feel at peace with this decision. It's come as a great help to my parents who have gone in circles with their thoughts and worried for us children.

Pooch has lived a good life.
She's taught many puppies "the rounds". And taught my oldest son a very strong lesson.

The passing of something you love is a difficult time, even a family pet can cause deep grief.
For a tween to process through this is difficult. Our circumstances of choosing a day makes this even harder for him.

Being a pet owner is a tremendous commitment.
If and when you find yourself in the position of deciding if your pet needs to be put to sleep you may find comfort in talking with as many people and doctors as possible. My entire family and I have been doing this for a year now. We've watched Pooch fade over the last few years and know beyond a shadow of doubt that we are doing her no favor by allowing another day of discomfort.
It's a heartbreaking decision but if not tended to, the dogs happiness is at stake, solely by the owners selfishness. The woman was right when she said "when it's time, you know".
Much of Pooch's story has been left out of this post but if you worry or doubt for any reason, please don't hesitate to ask or comment. We've made this decision as a family after much time and prayer, now finally at peace with moving forward, memories in tact.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five for FRIDAY

TGIF is so 1990''s way cooler to say H54F.
Sticking with the best of Friday Link up's, hosted by Lauren, here's to another week survived!

I bring you evidence that this family needs a vacation!
Considering a vacay is not an option, seeing as all money is going towards holiday shopping, we're settling for the excitement found in knowing there are hidden Christmas the car, closets, or under the bed, in the shed, and maybe, even, that attic?!

Hubby and I am beating the crowds this year (men get off so easy on this task) and not dealing with once in a lifetime sale prices, overstimulated children and rickety wheels on shopping carts. It's been fun and definitely gotten me more into the holiday spirit!

Back to this weeks big and little moments that made it awesome!


1// I can't be the only one who loves a surprise warm day during the winter months?!

2// This man is the lucky recipient of an early birthday gift.
Gifted by himself or not, I find this headset thingy to be amazing! It's been more of a gift to me than him :)
When he puts that thing on....there's silence. Complete silence. The kids are finally asleep, the day is done and I'm left in silence. No more COD sounds. Ahhh, turning 31 is nice, even if my bday was really 4 months ago.

3// This wild child of mine (yes, he is in a dog crate) caught a rock in his forehead just minutes after this. Now it's time to have the stitches removed. No one will be high fiving today at the Doctor's office. Instead,
I will be giving apologies, in advance, to all who are in a 50 mile radius. This visit will not be fun but at least this whole ordeal will finally be behind us.

4// Words of wisdom from my 6th grader. If you're accepting prayer request, please pray for us! ha!

5// I mentioned a while back in this post that hubby and I were giving our room a makeover. It's taken us over a month but we're almost done! Most items were purchased but I couldn't find the right throw pillow and thanks to Pinterest and you crafty bloggers, I got crafty!

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.


I'm also hoping to link my H54F with The Bargain BlondesFriday Favorites
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Scared of the gym? Top 10 reasons not to be.

Lets be real.
Each one of us at some time or another has held a fear large or small towards the gym.
Hopefully, that fear has diminished and not prevented you success in the gym.
If hope is to help you overcome them, now.

10 reasons to NOT be scared of the gym.

I am scared everyone will watch me.
This is probably the most common of all fears. People Watchers.
They are not at the Gym. They are at Walmart or the mall. If you find one at the gym, they do not matter.
We are all very busy people. Members of your gym, like yourself, have tight schedules and most likely, a limited time to spend at the gym. Their priority is fitness, not you. Yes, you may notice someone glance at you but if you really spend time facing this will see that no one has the time to really watch you.

I can't do a single push-up, pull-up, or sit up.
That's ok! No one has ever started at the top!
We all start from somewhere.
Try a push-up against the wall.  Push-ups on bent knees or at an incline. Modify sit-ups .....
Find the piece of equipment that trains your muscles for pull-ups. It exists! This piece of equipment has a bench for you to kneel on and is spring loaded, so that, when you reach above head for the bars, you glide up and down...eventually removing the kneeling pad.
Learn the proper modification for the exercise you want to do.
Again, consult with an instructor for direction. Take a level 1 class. Sign up for water aerobics.

I do not know how to use the equipment. Where do I start?
Think of the gym as a small community.
Get familiar with the equipment available to you and make a mental map. Straight forward to the elliptical then a left to the free weights and then a quick right to the floor mat for crunches.
Start with 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Progress to 1 hour, 3 times a week, etc.
Remember, a good gym is able to cater to needs of all fitness levels.
You do not need to fear the gym equipment.  Most times the equipment has pictures, suggestions for exercises and muscles groups targeted. If not, ask an instructor to demonstrate, they are paid to help you and are happy to do so. Your gym should have resources readily available to you. Use them and understand how to control the equipment so that it doesn't control you.

I don't have clothes for the Gym.
This excuse fear just needs to die out. It's horrible.
Let's look back at #1 reason to not fear the gym. People do not go to the gym for outfit inspiration.
And, in case you are wondering...any old pair of cotton shorts and any old t-shirt, holey or not, is perfect gym attire. You do not need to wear the latest Nike trend or even be color coordinated. Just remember deodorant.

I don't like the way I look. People will see my flab.
Give yourself one month. Just one month and this feeling will go away. I promise.
This shouldn't be a fear. People of all shapes and sizes have a gym membership and use it.
Who's to say which size is right? Really, it's society's fault that women and men have some image of perfectionism. Screw that image. Get yourself into the gym, give yourself one month and you'll find a new level of confidence. Try going at times other than peak hours until you are more comfortable. Overtime, you may have lost a few pounds or the number on the scale may be the same as day one. But what you gain from your time in the gym is what you need to focus on. We all go to the gym for the same reason, improvement.

I may hurt myself.
While this is a completely legitimate fear it is, also one, that can be easily dealt with.
If need be, speak with your doctor before starting any routine, getting clearance and special instructions for your gym plan. Check your gyms website for classes geared towards any special needs that you may have. Most gyms offer classes at different levels for this very reason.
Read the details regarding each class available until you find the one best suited for you. A good gym will have instructors trained to catch weak form that could result in injury. After taking a few classes you will find yourself more comfortable and knowledgeable of your skill level. Learn a few, good stretches. Stretching will help prevent soreness and that awkward stiff walk.

I sweat like a pig. Breathe heavily. And look like death after a workout.
I am this person every time I hit the gym!
The quote, 'if you look cute after a workout, you didn't do it right'...explains it best.
I prefer to think, I'm glistening after a workout. And, any chic finishing a sweaty set is pretty damn hot.  Every one of us sweats while we workout. We want that to happen. Our core temperature raises during a good workout and sweating is one of the body's ways to regulate this. You want to sweat. Breathing heavily is ok too. You should aim for a comfortable rhythm. Listen to music, it will drown out the sound of your breathing and give you a tempo. You do not want to be gasping or hacking. That is not healthy and no, no one would appreciate the latter of the two.

I don't know which Gym to join.
This is a big fear for many and understandably so. With so many do you chose?
Begin with walking in. Simple as that. Visit your area gyms, ask for a trial membership. Most gyms offer a few days free to help you with your decision. During this time you should look for a wide range of equipment, class availability, an indoor track if you prefer that over a treadmill, a swimming pool, a sauna, daycare options, after school care....any of these options that may influence your decision. Make a list of your needs and what you want most from your gym membership. After each tour take a few minutes to cross compare with your list and make a note of the open and closing times of each gym.
Obviously, money is a factor but if possible, not a deciding factor. If you are, at all, serious about this membership you will find yourself spending a lot of time here and the quality of the gym and its resources will far outweigh a few dollars of savings per month.

The gym is boring. I'll get bored and quit.
If this is one of your fears you may want to look at back at "which gym to join"
Your gym should have a variety of options available to you, preventing boredom.
Set up a schedule for the week, create a colorful calendar, to keep you rotating through different pieces of equipment or classes. Focus on upper body one day and lower body another day.
Taking a spin class on Tuesdays and Pilates or Yoga class on Thursdays. Classes are a great way to expose yourself to exercises and routines you may not have known about and also gives you a chance to meet other people. Gym buddies will save you from boredom!

The gym is dirty.
The gym can be a very dirty place. A good gym will supply sanitizing spray bottles, use these, unfortunately you can't trust that other members have cleaned the equipment after use. Bring a towel with you. A good workout may include some floor time, you'll feel better about laying your head on your own towel. Wash your hands before and after your time spent in the gym and of course cover any cuts and scrapes with appropriate dressings or clothes.

If you still have fear towards the gym and aren't quite ready to start, dedicate time to working out at home or in your neighborhood. You can, certainly, grab a DVD and some pieces for a home gym.
Eventually you'll find your stride and head right into the gym.
Once you go a few times, you'll have a new confidence towards the gym.

No one was born with the perfect body and really, it doesn't exist.
And as they say, no one walks in the gym a master of its equipment.

Get yourself a good pair of gym shoes and be comfortable in your sweaty skin.

Have any tips to add? 
Other fears not discussed? 

I've linked with Fitness Friday

Please share!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Smiles to Stitches. Pajamas to ER.

With all the makings of a good day....what could go wrong?

A backyard pajama party, warm weather all weekend and Landon's nasty virus fading away,
we took full advantage and stayed outdoors, as much as possible.
Lance was away this weekend. The timing of his return was planned perfect for his end of the season football party.
Our twin nephews turned 1 this weekend and the gifts were wrapped and party ready.

So with all the to-do's taken care of and half of them rescheduled for another weekend, outdoors we went!

We played with rocks. ***More on rocks later.....

We counted rocks. We threw rocks. We stacked rocks. We did all "boy things" rocks.

We checked on the bird bath. Poor bird bath. Needs a cleaning and water.

Did I mention this was a pajama party? Robes, fake Ug's, bed hair and all?!

I think we should have more of these PJ parties. Landon completely agrees.
We sang Itsy-Bitsy Spider and many, many rounds of the Wheels Go Round n' Round.

Finally it was time to go in and get ready for the big day ahead.
Booooooo. We were having so much fun!

I left a little extra time in our schedule to play, out front, in the leaves before heading to the twins birthday party. I packed all that we would need for the car ride and the evenings football party.
Dad had left during naptime for the birthday party and we were just about ready to leave and join the fun.

What I hadn't planned ...was a trip to the ER.

Nothing too major. But....major enough to nearly send me into a panic and get Landon 3 stitches.
Sweet Landon had left the pile of leaves for rocks.

This little boy loves him some balls, trucks, and ROCKS.
Except, he never meant to fall off the bottom step into the rocks.
Poor guy stood up from his fall, with a rock -literally- stuck in his forehead.
Screaming, crying, and bleeding worse than you would think, I scooped him up and rushed inside.
I cleaned the area best I could and quickly pulled out the rock.
At this point I was able to apply pressure and somewhat, stop the bleeding.

Then I called grandma!
Now, my poor mom!
I simply said, "Mom, I need you to come over and help me decide if Landon needs stitches, thanks, Bye!"

(why was I even questioning this?!? the child just had a rock in his forehead. call it optimism, being wishful & hopeful, or the faint at heart)

Lucas was a good 30 minutes away at the party and I worried that if I called him, at this point in time, Landon's screams and my blunt question might have caused him to oh, you know, friek out a bit!

So off to the ER we went.
While in route, Lucas got the phone call. He was surprisingly calm!
We completely missed the birthday party. And Grandma saved the rest of the day by taking Lance to his football party.

3 hours later, 3 stitches later, 1 Mickey Mouse band-aid later, and 8,379 kisses later -we made our way back home. Landon did ok. Now that he's home, he's much better.

Poor little man. He's been through so much.
The ER didn't have the anesthetic 'of choice' in stock so instead of waiting an additional hour for it to be delivered...we opted for the alternative. (needle)
(what an evil place to put two parents, not an easy decision to make)
It's a horrible, horrible feeling having to stand by, helpless to your child's cry.
It outraged me that our son had to go through the worse of the two evils simply because someone hadn't checked their list twice. This 'overlook' caused an ER to be out of stock of the one item that would have prevented a lot of pain for our son.

It still baffles me how this all happened. It was as quick as a snap, a clap, a wink. And I guess that's how these things happen. He doesn't have a single scrape on either hand or knee. His little nose is red and blue. His forehead is torn and sutured, now bruising and forming a knot. I thank God his fall wasn't any worse.

He's a tough guy. A real champ.
He understands his cuts need our attention and he likes his Mickey Mouse band-aids.
I think, I better stock up on those :)

No matter how well you plan your day.....accidents can happen.
So, make sure you start your day with a backyard, pajama party and pack for the unexpected!

Do you plan for the unexpected and over pack the diaper bag?
Have you had a similar occurrence with your little ones? Do share!

And, as mentioned already, do have a pajama party in your backyard!

*I've got some fitness posts in the works. Hang ten, they'll be up soon!
I'm excited to share with you some great news and other places you'll find me highlighted.

* I've linked this post to Embrace the Camera. The beautiful Emily over at Anderson Family Crew host this party and I just couldn't resist the fun! Head over and check it out for yourselves :)

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts

I haven't done many post on army wife life...because, well, we're on recruiting orders.
Not a whole lot to report and talk about. Ok, really there is plenty to talk about and lots to bring you up to date on but until then just know....
While I miss the regular army life this phase has been quite nice!

With Sunday being Veterans Day, I assume most bases have some sort of a celebration planned and I hope you and your families have the time to partake in them. Our little one is sick with a horrible sinus infection and some other nasty viral bug or we'd head out to Fort Lee to see friends and watch the parade...

I feel Veterans day is, sometimes,'s not marked by the opening or closing of the pools and it's crammed between Halloween and Thanksgiving. With this year being an election year (regardless of your choice winning or not) I hope the patriotic spirit carries on to Veterans Day.

It's a day reserved to honor the service given to our country.
These men and women have sacrificed an immense amount of their lives to secure our freedoms.
Each of them have volunteered for this position and they wear their uniforms proudly.
Those who have since retired or satisfied their enlistment are still deserving of endless thank yous.

I ask you to take time to thank a soldier and their family.
Thank the elderly who wear their hats and inked art of war days gone by.

A huuuuuuuu-mongo ThAnK yOu to all of you oh-so very deserving of this holiday.
And another one of those heart felt ThAnK yOu's to each spouse and family member.
Also, my thoughts and prayers are with you if your loved one is deployed at this time.
It's part of the deal and it's the part that sucks most.

Check out these FREEbies and Discounts available to all Veterans and Active Duty peeps...
select any or all...from free meals to a free nights stay at an Inn with incredible Red Rock Canyon views!
Get your plannin' on you can make the most of your day off! Happy Early Veterans Day!

Enjoy your long weekend!

*Check the website or call those you are interested in to be sure your local one does participate.

side note...if you read this post from top to bottom you are amazing! and extra cool points for commenting with words of encouragement :)
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High Five for FRIDAY

Friday! oh, how I've been looking forward to you!
Why has this week dragged on and on? 
Maybe it was the time change, maybe it's the darker evenings or maybe I just need to work less days during the week. 
But what working mom doesn't say that? 

Lets go for another round of High Five for Friday! Link up with all the fun at From My Grey Desk.

Each of you and Lauren should know just how much I love a H54F post.
It makes my little Friday all the better and entertains me all day Friday at work. 


1// Can you say 5.99?! I'm in love with this scarf and have bragging rights on it costing less than 6 buck-a-roos. Another right I own....this woven wrap of a beauty is from a glorious end cap of Walgreens. Hilarious!!!

2// This pic is 5 years old. Both of us remember the night perfectly. It marks the start of something bigger than either of us saw coming. He still looks at me the same way he did that night. Love is a beautiful thing.

3// This little booger is seriously entering the terrible twos, prematurely. He was lazy to crawling, lazy to walking. So way to excel kid! (; I say this with all the love in my heart ;)

4// This big guy finished off his 2012 football season. We're all so proud of him and his team. They rocked their league winning 8 games, only loosing 3. Great coaching, awesome sportsmanship and real memories to take with us to Colorado's team, next year.

5// Simply put.....Hot Cocoa on a cold day. You could compare it to a love of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. (I've got to quit being a Starbucks snob)

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nosey Nancies and Avoiding the Gym

Counting 1,2,3....7,8,9....and now 13,14,15 days since I've been to the gym or ran a good run!

Over the weekend while out shopping (nothing fancy, just groceries) I hear my name being called from the cheese section of the isle. I was at the far end of that isle grabbing milk. Before I could turn around to see who in the Wally World was calling my name, she was at my side with all sorts of questions about where I've been.

She is one of my gym girls. Not the one who plateaued and couldn't loose weight but the most outgoing, goofy one in my gym classes. She is outspoken to say the least and clearly should be an instructor as she always breaks out into her own dance moves during class.

We carried on talking, one of her kids almost fell out of the cart while the other got trapped climbing underneath, all the while shoppers passing by watching me, in my awkwardness, explain why I hadn't been to the gym.

I could of told her the truth. She may have noticed the truth. Probably not, between the cheese and her kids she was awfully distracted. But she got me thinking about the foreigness of having these extra hours at home with my hubby and kids and the nagging need to get back into the gym.

Since I have another 2-4 weeks before the doc's give me the say-so on returning to the gym, I figure I'll plague you with my list of pro's and con's for 'dedicating time to working out'.

More time with family
More time for laundry, cleaning, sprucing
More time for homework review (Lance really loves this part)
Less stinky sweaty clothes to launder
Less urge to go shopping for the latest, greatest in sports wear (isn't it so addicting?!)
No rushing between work, home, and daycare to get to gym for 5:30 class

Achy, crampy muscles
Loss of strength and endurance
Less calories burnt at resting state
Less calories burnt. Period.
Loss of flexibility
Less connection with gym buddies
Paying membership fee without using it
Upcoming Nosey Nancies asking 'where you been and why'
Separation anxiety may set in for my youngest who attends daycare at gym
Decrease in motivation to go! (yes, a part of me feels that. the easier route to say no is as it suggest, easier.)
The option to drink is water becoming less and less entertained
Less time at the gym also means more time to crave fast food or other junk

I've counted once already in this post so I won't get all 'elementary' again but isn't it obvious that my con's list is longer?! I'm sure if I allowed myself more time for this post I could add at least another 10.

Time dedicated to working out is very important to me.
The rewards of a good workout are endless.

When you dedicate time to working out the body uses its stored energy and consequently begins asking for water, fruits, protein, etc. All healthy lifestyle choices. We all know fast food is crap and then add burning less calories....that's a bad combo (no pun intended). It's worse than saying "yes" to the "Can I supersize your combo" question.
I've been guilty of this over the last week or so. Not the supersize option, that's just gross but the fast food option in general. When I workout during the week I seriously don't crave greasy foods but you let me lay around on the couch for a few days...and yep, it's as if I have a severe hangover and can only function again if I get some Advil and greasy fast food. ewwwww. No matter how good a Chick-Fil-A combo is or how healthy Arby's claims to be...those fries and that soda will get you!

Back to the rewards.
Working out also requires a bit of stretching.
Stretching...I could really go on about how good this feels but since my fitness posts tend to be longest I'm gonna force myself to keep it short. Many people rave the "Feel the Burn" applying it to the burn you feel at the final moments of a work out....I like to also apply it to the final stretch of a stretch. Does that make sense? When you hold a stretch and after a brief time your body allows you to push more into that stretch. That's what I mean. Stretching is a powerful aid to your body healing and growing. I think it was Dr. Oz (really, a Dr. Oz bomb in my post?!) who said to watch a cat when it first wakes up...a cat will take the time to stretch before it goes about its day....he tells us that we should each adopt that as part of our morning routine. Whether you're a cat person or not or a Dr. Oz or Oprah person, he is right. It does the body good. And this I can still do with no increase in heart rate.

Yes, it's sad to take time away from my family & home
but really my family's routine has always included gym time.
My kids are used to the gym. They know to expect it.
When my oldest gets home from school it's one of the first things we talk about.
He loves the rock wall and has a mean free throw on the bball court.
My youngest has been in the daycare since he was 3 months old. He absolutely loves Ms. Looooda.
And his interaction with other children and new toys is good both socially and developmentally.
My husband attends a different gym in the mornings before work when he's not mandated to station PT but on the evenings me and the kids go to the gym he goes to the gym twice,  meeting me for my 2nd class and helping me get the kids back home.

So to the Nosey Nancy that I really do love seeing at the gym....I'll be back. I won't come back better than ever, that's just not practical but I'll be back. I didn't quit or give up. I didn't stop loving myself or my body.
In fact, I'm taking good care of it. I'm following Doctor orders, allowing my body time to do what it needs. I'm tending to my house, spending more time with my boys & my husband, making delish dinners and doing best to not burn the pumpkin muffins. I'm not rushing between places to grab kids, change clothes and be at my step by a certain time, and I'm certainly saying no (from here on) to the temptation of fast food.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Swirls of Cream Cheese Frosting on top moist Pumpkin muffins, a deliciously, sweet dessert.
Perfect for holiday parties and dinners. Easy to follow recipe with a 30 minute baking time.

Are these Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Cupcakes?
You decide. Hubby and the kids swear they are cupcakes...must be the sweet Cream Cheese Frosting.

The recipe comes from our local grocery store. (Kroger)
Trust me, it's good.
And your house will smell incredible.

What you need....
11/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon and dash of nutmeg
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup solid-packed pumpkin (little less than 15 oz. can)
Preheated oven to 350 (25-30 minutes baking time) (makes 12)

What you do....
whisk all these ingredients except the flour into a large bowl. Mix well then add flour.

Keep mixing! And smell the goodness.

Spray muffin tin or use liners.
Be sloppy like me and dump batter into each little hungry hole or do it like a pro and fill only 2/3's of the way....

Test their "doneness" (I'm making that an official word despite auto-spell check) after 25 minutes.
I needed the full 30 minutes. Let muffins, ahem...cupcakes, cool for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack until room temperature so you can add frosting.

You could eat them just like this. Save a few calories and simply sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
But why?!!! It's the holidays...we all deserve a little extra!

pumpkin cupcake, pumpkin muffins, cream cheese frosting, pumpkin muffin with cream cheese

There. Doesn't that look a lot better?

12 look even better :)

One dish for home, one dish for work.
Happy Monday to my coworkers. Such a nice way to start the workweek!

Hope you give this recipe a try!
I had my doubts, mainly because I've never gotten a recipe from the grocery store. But it makes sense.
I purchased the items I needed which were oh,so coincidentally on sale and who better to knock off a common recipe than a grocery store chain the size of Kroger?

Linking up with Hey, That's Pin-tastic!
They are on week of 8 this Pintastic am just now finding out about this?
Hop over to AP's blog I love you more than Carrots and check it out!

I've also linked up with Wonderful Food Wednesday!
Go ahead, click the link to join the fun....
 At Home Take 2 is one of the host for this linky party - hop over and find all things mommy!

And to not miss a good weekend party I've linked up again with Serenity Now!
So get your bloggy weekend reading on...and find some tips on serenity, now.

Pumpkin Muffin with Cream Cheese Frosting

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