Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whats On Your Salad #4

Have you had your salad today?
Salads are cool. Salads are crunchy. Salads are fun.

They're the perfect way to be sure of healthy eating. Salads are an option at practically every restaurant, as cheap as one buck-a-roo at the drive thru, and take less than 5 minutes to throw together in your own kitchen. They offer a bang of fiber and can satisfy one serving of fruits and veggies, add nuts, meats, or seafood for a boost of protein then pick the right dressing to pull it all together.

In last week's salad post I promised to share with you some easy home made dressing recipes.
Here's what you may have missed up to this point...

Thai Peanut Dressing - paired with slaw mix, every veggie in the fridge, and nuts
Sweet Asian Dressing - paired with Napa Cabbage, ramon, and almonds
Citrus Dressing - paired with spring lettuce, asparagus, red onion, and mandarins

home made salad dressing, chickpea salad, tahini salad dressing, salad recipe

Tahini Dressing - paired with spinach and chickpea

1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tbs red vinegar
pinch cayenne & salt
1 clove garlic
let sit 5-10 minutes then whisk in...
1/4 c. tahini
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced


home made salad dressing, salad recipe, Orange Citrus Salad dressing

Orange Zest Dressing - paired with scallops and oranges on arugula

1/2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
let sit 5 - 10 minutes then whisk in....
1/2 c. olive oil


I recommend trying any one of these 5 dressings. It's too hard to pick a favorite, they are all seriously that good. Each one is healthy...a little olive oil does the body good. Home made dressings are easy to make and more tasty than store bought, since you can alter the ingredients to your own liking. You could even take the simple route of filling a jar with vinegar and infusing it with your favorite herbs like dill or cilantro or peppers and Italian seasonings. get creative!

Here's my favorite salad of the week....can't wait to see what you've been chomping on!!!

salad recipe, panera bread salad recipe, asian chicken salad recipe, home made asian sesame dressing
Mix chopped Romaine lettuce with grilled chicken breast slices. Add almond slivers and wonton crumbles. Sprinkle sesame seeds and cilantro on top! Brace yourself for a yum, yum salad, the cilantro adds a punch!

Asian Sesame Dressing - Panera Bread Knock Off

1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp sesame seed
whisk and let sit then add 3/4 c. canola oil
straight off the Panera site!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Play on Patterns...the fun and casual way!

With clouds of snow moving in, I grabbed hubs and requested a few quick pics of my outfit.
We were having a simple day...both us left work early to meet up for lunch and run a few errands together.
Knowing this and the chance of mucking through snow and messy parking lots...I opted for some old boots.
Good choice if you ask me. As for all the patterns mixed together!? You be the judge.....

mixing patterns in outfit, layering patterns, shabby chic outfit
mixing patterns in outfit, layering patterns, shabby chic outfit

See what I mean about simple?! Easy, comfortable outfits are perfect for lunch and errands.
The colors are all so soft but the patterns...each very different. I wore stripes, floral and polka dots!

mixing patterns in outfit, layering patterns, shabby chic outfit
I loved this look yet was a bit nervous of what others would think. Turns out...they loved it!
I heard complements from shabby chic to how brave! Guess they felt it brave to wear polka dot pants?!

I feel this look all comes together because there are only two colors...blue and tan.
Well, white too. But, keeping with the same colors made it easy to play with different prints//patterns!

mixing patterns in outfit, layering patterns, shabby chic outfit

Funny how I get so excited over what may be considered an easy fashion trend......Regardless, the floral shirt is as old as I am...not really, but almost. The pants and sweater set off Old Navy's door alarms...at $4.99 each and those boots, my friends...scored for less than $20.00 at none other than Target.

Have you tried mixing patterns? 
What do you think is the trick to making them match? Tell me your thoughts!


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WIWW, Random Wednesday, Wednesday Walkabout, Style Sessions, WhateverWhenever, Diaries of a Bargainista, Mama Style
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guest Blogger - offering Beauty Tips and More!

Have you noticed all the fun, new editing options on Pic Monkey? They added horror for Halloween, decked the halls for Christmas and are now shooting arrows for Valentines Day. I'm lovin' all the new fonts and labels. There's so much to play with, you could literally spend days creating your little hearts out. Another awesome feature of theirs, that I use....oh, almost daily....is the shine reducer! Girls, this girl can get shiny! I've always been prone to a T-Zone shine. Lucky me. Thankfully I've met Lindsay. Have you noticed her hanging with us on the blog? She's got the solution for this problem-o of mine, so now I can use my time spent editing photo's on the fun stuff! Lindsay has way more to share with you than just beauty tips...before you hop over to check her out first get the dibs on what will most likely be my next purchase...




Hi everyone!
I am thrilled to be guest posting for Kristine today. Isn't she great?
I hope you get some inspiration out of her blog posts, because the fab lady sure inspires me!

I’m Lindsay and I blog over at Pursuit of Pink, which is my little place of happiness on the internet. I blog about all things that make me happy: beauty, personal style, home d├ęcor, recipes, organization and more.

And yes, my favorite color is pink, so there is plenty of that great color all over my blog. I am a person who tries hard to stay positive and I certainly hope my blog is uplifting to each of my readers. I’d love for you to stop by and say hello!
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Reward Yourself & Chocolate Banana Smoothie

By now we've all gotten used to writing the year 2013.
Goals and resolutions for the year have been set.
And, we're working hard to meet those goals, right?



Many of us resolved to have healthier, happy, and fit lifestyles this year.
We've dropped beads of heart shaped sweat. We've cut foods from our diet that once delayed our progress and maybe even added a salad or two to our weekly meal plans ;) We've made a plan and followed through, making huge progress on what was just a dream 30 days ago.

So with one month down...you can look back and see what has and hasn't worked for you. Was anything missing from the plan? In the scheme of creating the perfect plan, often times, we forget to outline a list of rewards. There's no good reason to not reward ourselves.

Adding rewards to your plan will keep it fun! The more fun you're having, the more likely you'll keep it up!

*If you've lost weight you're probably noticing your pants and tops fitting poorly.
Head out shopping! Try the style you've pinned so many times and rock it :)

*If you've ran miles this month you're feet are sore puppies. Schedule an appointment for a well deserved mani/pedi. Soak up the lotions and the time of pampering :) 

*If you've lifted heavy you've most likely experienced sore muscles. Let someone roll out the knots and unkink the spasms. Close your eyes and drift far way as the muscles relax and loosen :) 

*When you're looking in the mirror do you see a new face? All that weight loss and improved self esteem may have you ready for a day in the salon :)

*Noticed all the bright, eye catching sports gear and attire? It might be time to reward yourself with new workout clothes or free weights and other gear for the home. You've undoubtedly learned new moves and routines, why not try a few at home?!

*For the lucky ones, this reward may get as big as planning a vacation! If that includes you, go for it! Grab your favorite suit and get your vacay on :)

Sometimes without thinking, we automatically apply the word "reward" to food. Oh, this cookie is my reward, or this 500 calorie latte is my reward and duh, this second slice of cake is my reward. I am sooooo not talking about these kind of rewards. In fact, these kind of rewards can leave us with guilt and uneasy feelings. These rewards can even send us down the wrong path. But if we must go there....food as a reward...let me share with you one of my favorite smoothie recipes!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie - loaded with protein!



Blend in blender....
1 c. Almond Milk
1 scoop chocolate protein
1 banana, cinnamon and some ice!

All that you've accomplished in the last 30 days is amazingly beneficial your system, inside and out. Reward yourself. There is no reason to wait. We humans live for appreciation, why not give a little to ourselves? You'll find that the goals of February will be that much more attainable :)

Do you reward yourself? 
How do you "treat" yourself after a hard work out?

P.S. If you're wanting yet another way to reward yourself enter one of these giveaways, I'm participating in here and here!

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Fitness links .... Fitness Fridays
 
I've linked with YOLO Mondays, Monday Meetup, Miscellany Mondays, Love my Online Friends, Tell Me Tuesday, and the wonderful Desire to Inspire
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Love me a FRIDAY

It happens every night before bed. No worries, I'm not getting mushy or TMI on you. All I'm mentioning is that I take the dog out to water the lawn. Normally this consist of me shivering and rushing her to take care of business but last night I stood on the smallest of front door rugs and watched the first snow flake fall. Then the next and all that followed. The below 20 degree weather wasn't sending chills down my spine like it normally would. I was lost in the darkness of the night counting flakes that drifted so slowly to my front steps. Last night was the first time I truly enjoyed a snow fall. I stood there quietly, alone and smiling. In that moment Zina spared me from the normal routine of her darting back in the house and off to bed, instead my thoughts and stresses of the week just faded away like each flake hitting the ground.

H54F




1// easy, breezy. getting down with the cool kids on the block. those kids being mine and that block being the neighborhood school's playground.

2// our second snowfall of the year. hometown doesn't see much more than a few inches.

3// fun, new way to wear a scarf! make a loop, put that on then take tails and figure out how to braid it yourself, haha!

4// it's hot cocoa says the me the coffee snob. making the work day a little better.

5// yes, that will be my Saturday morning motto. I'm changing up the workout routine this weekend by hitting up a local Crossfit gym open house. uber excited and a little nervous for the opportunity!


P.S. Yesterday's #whatsonyoursalad post was lots of fun, it's running through the weekend if you'd like to add your link! Thank you to all that linked up and commented...it made my day and inspired some healthy bites for the coming week. Just one more week of this, let's keep it going!

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


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Let Them Eat Cake
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Co - Host w/ Fitness Fridays Link Up!

It's been a busy week on this little blog!

From the beginning of my blogging journey I have kept an open eye for fitness focused link ups. Just recently I've found a few and have met so many inspiring, beautiful ladies! One of these women being Desirae at Going with the Flow. She is on a mission to stay fit and be healthy. She's created this link up and host it each week on Fridays. It's a safe spot for us all to share our stories. We each have one. and, sharing is caring people. There's so much inspiration in each of our fitness stories and the motivation we can offer by sharing our experiences with each other is endless. From trials to successes there's much to be learned....not to mention the accountability factor that plays out each time we post our stories and goals for the upcoming week. So join us, won't you? 

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whats On Your Salad #3

Emerald, Tender Shoots, Jade, Sunflower, and Poppy Red too!
Beautiful, fun colors breaking out this year into all realms of fashion and home design. Have you purchased a few pieces of these colors? Seen the latest trends flying off the shelves of Target's home section? I was just there hoping to score a few good finds. Thankfully, the section was sparse, keeping my wallet happy and full.
I walked on, sad face and all. Until I hit the grocery section. There I found the colors I was after.

I know, I know....weird twist but I couldn't resist. Work with me. Think about it. These bright, vibrant hues are found all through nature. And they should be showing up on your plate too.

All of our "stay fit" & "get fit" efforts will be washed away if we're eating wrong. If you're taking the time to eat properly, then in essence, you're rewarding yourself for all the hard work you've put in. Salads are, seriously, an easy choice in making sure to fill up on nutrition and healthy bites! When you take the time to fill your bowl with shades of green from lettuces, bright orange from carrots or tangerines, poppy reds of apples, and yellows of seeds and nuts...you've rewarded your body for all the *hell you put it through during your workouts.

What I learned this week....raisins on salads are like candy. scallops make anything fancy. there is a difference between sherry and red vinegar. tahini is expensive, I must make hummus asap. arugula is super rich in nutrients and a little zesty. #whatsonyoursalad is working, it even inspired the cashier. salads make me smile.

My week of salads.

Seared scallops?! uh, yes please! Hubs said it was like dining out. I highly, highly recommend trying this! You know I'm craving sweets when I toss apples and raisins into my salad, I'm always relieved at how this hits the spot. And, hello, new way to use chickpea's. Yum!

*I know some of you are concerned with the calorie count of store bought dressings. I try to stick with the 2 tbs rule but sometimes you just can't help it! One way to curve this is by creating your own dressing. I'm really impressed with the dressings from this month and look forward to sharing them all with you next week!

In the meanwhile, back to last week's Thai Peanut Slaw Salad...

Grab a bag of slaw and thawed frozen peas, plus handfuls of chopped cilantro, green onion, and peanuts. The original recipe also calls for chopped red peppers and mint. Mix all of these in a large bowl and toss with dressing. This is an excellent side dish or stand alone salad. It is amazing with chicken rolled up as a wrap.

Thai Peanut Dressing 

1 granny smith apple chopped
1 1/2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs seaseme oil
1 tbs white rice vinegar
2 tbs peanut butter (make your own like me!)
1 tbs water
pinches of garlic and paparika
Dump in blender then toss with slaw mix!

I've linked this with Work It Wednesdays and Wonderful Food Wednesday (archive linky below the break)
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If I were a boy...

Linking with Gay and Erin for If I Were A Boy....this might have been the easiest post for me, ever!
As soon as I read the tweet, I glanced up at these 3 "boys" and opened blog press. Post done 5 minutes later. And yes, Beyonce played on in my head but somehow it turned into C'mon Irene. who does that?!

If I were a Boy...

I'm guilty of it, you are too. Admit it. In busy days, that time of the month, the long day of labor you've thought it and I have too... Oh, if I were a boy!


I'd have that "lean back" pose mastered, no double chin and no -where did that come from, roll?!
I'd even look good makeup free, covered in a layer of tractor exhaust and dirt.
I'd shamelessly wear that shirt again, and again, knowing it hadn't been washed.
I'd probably even pick my nose at the red light, screw on-lookers.

If I were a boy, my furniture would all be thrift, the more worn and smelly the better.
My throws would represent my teams of every sport.
My dishes would be fine plastic, the 'I recycle' kind and my fridge fully stocked with beer.

Being a boy would make it easy to release. A shake, would be all that's required.
The world my bathroom, if you will.
Chipping polishes and smudged mascara would be no problem.
Static in my hair and #ootd's would never cross my mind.

Oh, if I were a boy, I'd never worry with makeup or dryers and straighteners.
I wouldn't worry with spritzing perfume or blotting oily spots.
I'd never, ever lower the toilet seat. Or wipe it clean.
My sink would dull from dots of shaving cream.

I'd mindlessly drift off to sleep and happily rise, starting the day peacefully ahead of everyone else.
As a boy, I'd be on time to everything never worried by what outfit to wear, if my belt matched my shoes or if my accessories complemented the outfit.

But, if I were a boy, I'd always keep my shoulders square, live out chivalry, and move with confidence.
I'd tip generously and never let a woman pay, open doors, or carry all the groceries.
I'd know of the corner flower shop and the best bakery in town.
I'd have restaurants on speed dial for last minute reservations and I'd love the life out of Mrs. Right!
For these, last mentioned, are just a few things my boy does for me.....



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Mystery Host w/ Wednesday Walkabout Blog Hop!

I'm so, very excited to have been chosen as Mystery Co-Host of the Wednesday Walkabout hop! This hop has introduced to me to a wonderful group of ladies and I'm hoping you'll take some time to get to know me a little better too! By all means, don't just follow along because it's recommended by the hop rules :)

I blog life. I blog family. I blog fitness. I hope to motivate and inspire...healthy, fit lives! Posting on this subject has certainly helped me hold myself accountable. I love food (ahem, desserts) just as much as the next girl...but I also crave healthy snacks and salads.

Staying in shape is a top priority for me and my family. Hubs is Army, his days include mandatory physical fitness training. But for the rest of us....well, we have dig down for motivation and keep focus on our goals. All of my posts are from the heart especially the fitness ones. I've feared the gym, have you? I've wondered how do you know you're runner and searched for tips to be better at running. My New Year resolutions included a review of my weakest links....searching my chain of strengths and improving where need be. I've had my setbacks and I've had some victories. I believe in sharing my experiences with you and am motivated even further by all the stories you share back with me.

I spit out a random fashion post or two and I make my own sunshine. I love viewing all the fashion post in this huge blogsphere and am forever inspired to try new fashions. I wholeheartedly love the joke "if only everything I pinned, appeared in my closet".

I have two handsome boys that light up my world and one amazing husband. We're a military family, but it doesn't define us.  Our pride in this country is endless and our action to call is one in a million+. While the Army sends us where they may we'll always have our roots.

I hope you find reasons to stick around. Pretty please, drop a line! -so I know who you are. I'd love to hop over to say hello!! Enjoy another round of Wednesday Walkabout :)


 

What is a Walkabout? It's a blog link-up party, every week here and with our co-hosts! Simply put your blog address or a specific post in the linky, visit some other people, and make some friends. Easy at that! I can't wait to talk to everyone!

PS: You only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts!

The Rules:

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how to follow you! To be entered as next week's Mystery Host, follow all hosts from this week.

Mystery Host Kristine- Heart Shaped Sweat
Chantal- Scattered Shells
Jane- Taingamala

2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do). The more, the merrier.



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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I will style you 'til Spring...eShakti!

We've had days of rain and one solitary day of snow. Know what that's left us with? Swamp land.
Dirt tracked through the house, heels sinking 3 inches deep and the smelliest of dogs. What is it about a wet dog that repels me so much? I can happily say the rain has finally moved out and the snow has melted. The sun is shining and the dog has had a bath.

While they couldn't predict the weather in my hometown or the photographer of the day.....
they could predict the fit of this dress. When eShakti offered me this dress, finding the perfect fit was easy. I sent off a few measurements and within days this custom styled dress was at my doorstep. 

eshakti, blogger product review, denim dress,
I was thrilled to slip into this dress and happy to find it zipped to a 'perfect fit'. The length is of most appropriate, the neckline flirty, cap sleeves so sweet, and each dart & stitch delicately done. eShakti delivered as they promised. Considering it's still brrrrrr-y winter, I'll be waiting a few months to wear this dress as is. In the 'meanwhile' layering will do. I grabbed a few pieces from the closet and created three looks that should carry this dress until warmer weather. I don't normally layer over a dress but when it's made to fit your body, layering was easy and comfortable. Not once did I have that feeling of puffiness, you know - the kind that makes you want to instantly rip your scarf and coat off? The dress felt like a slip underneath the layers....

eshakti, blogger product review, denim dress,

I promise you, one look at their site and your wallet will appear to your left. ok, maybe your right. They give what they promise, a perfectly created piece, just your size, catering from 0-36. They're site is growing and evolving to fit trends of every women's needs. You'll find pieces from vintage to nautical, A-line to pencil, even bridesmaids dresses. Have a look for yourself.

*obv's this was a product review. opinions are all my own.


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I've linked with WIWW and Random Wednesdays and Style Sessions
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Get it Done with Planks + a Vlog for YOU!

Muscle. Fat. Do you believe the fact - muscle burns more calories than fat?
The more strength in our bodies the more calories we burn. Even when doing nothing.

Working out is hard. But, hey, blogging is hard work too and we're doing that :) It takes time and commitment to see the changes we're hoping for. It takes serious persistence to meet our goals. We all have it within us. We just have to channel it. For some it's as easy as posting a fit pic on our fridge. Others have it good by simply lacing up. Some of us need a shopping spree at Dicks to get us moving. And a few of us need facts, truth and matching fitness routines.

Where do you fall? What have I left out? I'm a little of everything listed above. Primarily though...I need facts, I need truth and a manageable routine. Aside from the gym 3x's a week, I try to plank each day, stretch each day and when weather permits I throw the kid in the stroller and head out for a run. Biggest motivation ??? is the simple fact, - muscle burns more calories than fat.

Some of us workout with the hopes to live longer lives. But my guess is that most of us work out to loose weight and maintain weight. Being aware of the calories burned each day will help assure this happens. Good for you, like major kuddo's, if you track and journal your daily food consumption. I don't think I could handle another to-do, instead I mentally track my activity level. I like food. I love salads, meats, pastas and yes, the occasional fast food meal. Too track all of that would be insane for me. What comes easy for me is being aware of my activity levels each day. This tells me if I've put out what I've taken in.

Lifting weights is the fastest way to build muscle. It's pretty obvious this will build dense muscle, creating fires for our consumed calories. But how many of us have weights laying around? I have 6 dumb bells and 1 kettle bell and a 30 pound toddler. Know what I pick up the most? The 30 pound load of cuteness. But, I know I'm still toning on my off days from the gym because I plank. Yes, we're totally going to "talk" about planking.

plank exercise benefits, reasons to plank, how to plank, planks exercise, the plank exercise


Everyone should try planking. Planks engage almost every muscle in the body, simultaneously  How's that for an all in one workout? Lovely. I try to plank everyday. Once you get it you'll see it's actually, meditative. I joined the plank a day challenge a few months back and after 30 days was holding a half plank for 4:15. To do this I did many, many variations of the standard plank.

I worked up the nerve to do a vlog - showing a few of my favorite variations of the plank!
Hubby recorded, geez was I nervous and damn did he chew gum and sniffle the whole time, excuse us!

Have a look!!!



Pick one, pick two, pick all. Start with 10 seconds holds, increase to 30 seconds, wow yourself by combining and alternating the plank positions. Just try it. I promise you, you feel amazing.

Planks strengthen core muscles which in turn strengthens back muscles. Perfect combination for good posture. Arms, shoulders, back, glutes, quads and hamstrings 'all' burn during the hold and alternation of planks. Planks will maximize your balance and stability. Planks are no joke. I can't say enough about them.

Remember, your knees are always the resting point. Keep your head in line with your spine, tuck the tailbone. And, breathe through the holds. Try using a timer and aim to increase your time by just a few seconds each day. Always listen to your body. Keep in mind, I am just another girl working on her fitness!
And hoping to build muscle and burn a few calories, even while sleeping.

So tell me.... how are you feeling about planks right now? how was that for a first time vlog?
The floor's all yours :)


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I've linked with YOLO MondaysLove Online Friends. Miscellany Mondays, & Tell Me about it Tuesdays!
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gathered Answers and a Few Suggestions...

I've had bad blogger manners. 4 of these bad boys have come way. And I never acted on any of them until now! And now....it's a little late, according to the rules. So, I figured it would still be fair and lots of fun to play with the idea behind it. You've got questions. I've got answers. I dug back into some archives and grabbed a few questions from each blogger that so thoughtfully sent it my way...

I sincerely appreciated each one and loved that someone had me on their mind and gave a shout out. I genuinely care about the interaction here in this little corner. I started this journey completely clueless. Literally. The last time I fooled with HTML was MySpace. And how many years ago was that?! While learning codes, my writing style, my passion for this blog, realizing I should start using twitter again, balancing this crazy new 'obsession' to check emails, write posts, edit photo's and learn more....I've gotten to know some wonderful ladies and gained a better understanding to what it means when someone says 'the blogging community is close knit and one of a kind'.

So, this week, when the Liebster Award (yes, that's the bases of all of this) showed itself again, I realized what an ass I had been for not going through it with it...technically it's for blogs of 200 or less, so I'm putting my own little spin on it, no award here and no award passed along. I now see it as a chance to share a little about me and as a chance to direct a reader to another open door of.... hello, friend! And a real time to.......



If you're upset or offended by me at this point...I understand but say, don't be. Pretty please?!

random tidbits
1. I envy my dog, she has it made
2. I like to clean and fold laundry but hate to put it away
3. I'm not keen on waterparks much prefer poolside or oceanfront
4. I can fold my tongue into a 3 leaf clover
5. I have 1,000 too many seashells
6. I'm clumsy. like stub my toe, hit head into cabinet door clumsy
7. I love days with open sun roofs and/or endless roads to run
8. My husband and my boys mean the world to me
9. I straighten my already stick straight hair
10. My first bike was green, complete with bears, banana seat, streamers and spoke beads
11. I will always drop my 5th glass of vodka//ginger. always.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

High Five for FRIDAY

Hey all! It's been a week of routine. Not alot of ohhhh's and ahhhh's to report here.
It seems our family is back on track with the regular. The holidays are long gone and there's not much ahead of us until spring time. This pace in life is nice, just the regular stuff with plenty of wiggle room for spontaneity....we'll see how long it last!

Linking up with Lauren for a Friday favorite!

H54F

H54F


1// snow. oh snow, how I love you more than rain.

2// giving it my best at the gym! lots of indoor cardio, weight lifting and having fun with cxworx.

3// nicknamed spider man. he made it to the top of the hardest path on the rock wall this week, after working hard on this goal for months.

4// what you say mom, I was busy on my new tricycle!? this kid cracks me up, the way his little legs and feet pedal in such a scurry only to quickly stop -jumping off to add to his collection of bark.

5// and hello, official orders for Colorado. we were told of these orders a few months ago but it is now on paper and our names on the wait list for housing. let the countdown begin...


P.S. Yesturday's #whatsonyoursalad post was lots of fun, it's running through the weekend if you'd like to add your link! Thank you to all that linked up and commented...it made my day and inspired some healthy bites for the coming week. Let's keep it rolling for a few more weeks!!


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


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Let Them Eat Cake

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whats On Your Salad #2

Feeling fabulous can be as easy as adding a new scarf to your outfit, ordering a spiced latte, or knocking out a killer workout. The thing about feeling good is it varies for each one us. There's so much in each of my days that makes me happy and one of them is eating smart. It's hard to make the right choices all the time. One way I know that I've made a good, healthy choice with my eating patterns is to have a salad each day, typically for lunch.

Salads are incredibly versatile and packed with uber amounts of nutrition. Last week's post showed 5 very different salad creations and lots more thanks to all of those who shared and linked up! Keeping nutritional choices in the house will make eating healthy, loosing/maintaining weight, and feeling good -easy.
Creating a grocery list and meal plan is the first step. I hope to inspire some salad ideas in these link ups and to those who have joined in...you have absolutely inspired me to venture out and try new things!

What I learned this week...you can't have too much lettuce in your bowl - you just need a bigger bowl. Walnuts might be better than sunflower seeds as a crunchy topping choice. My taste buds do not like eggplant. Peanut butter and apples blend nicely into a delish salad dressing. Some days you gotta cheat and add some sugar to your salad. Lentils are odd but packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants that the body needs. An egg as dressing for your salad taste much better than you'd imagine. Quinoa loaded with veggies is amazing. Cabbage deserves attention too. And I missed my edamames.

My week of salads.
whats on your salad, salad creations, healthy eating inspiration, salad ideas, salad recipe

The Thai Peanut Slaw Salad was de-O-licious! I'm saving that recipe for next week. Hubs and I had it twice in one day...as a side salad and with chicken as a sandwich wrap! I made a huge batch of the veggie quinoa, we ate it as a side with some meals and spread with hummus on pita as well as dumped on top romaine lettuce!


And for the "sweet" cheat of the week....

napa cabbage salad, home made salad dressing, sweet asian salad dressing
Chop two heads of Napa Cabbage, couple tablespoons of chopped green onions, add handfuls of almond slivers and broken pieces of ramon noodles. Those ramon noodles should first be browned in a skillet with butter. I died over this salad. It taste even better the next day. The recipe was given to me by a friend...

Sweet Asian Dressing 

1/2 c. oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. distilled vinegar
boil for one minute, let cool and chill before tossing with salad


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Making My Own Sunshine

It's only January and for my home state this month is really the kick off to winter. Luckily, February pretty much wraps it up. While it's been cold, the temps aren't low enough for snow. oh,awesome. Instead we're getting rain, rain, and more rain hence the guest appearance of the brightest pink umbrella ever and my choice in sunny yellow....

pink umbrella, yellow blouse, smiling in the rain


Winter blues? Nah, I don't have those. Dreary days of movies and cuddly blankets on the couch? I got those! So much so, that this would be the only outfit creditable to post.

pink umbrella, yellow blouse, smiling in the rain, dancing in the rain

I mean, really. What's a girl to do during non-stop rain?
It was time for sheer sunshine and puddle hopping. Bam!




top//cardi//pants//booties

FYI...what's on your salad is tomorrow! Stop by for fun salad creations, link up if you'd like!

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Linking with YOLO Monday, WIWW and the fab Shanna for Random Wednesdays
and Wednesday Walkabout hosted by a group of awesome ladies!


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Sunday, January 13, 2013

You know you're a RUNNER when...

How do you know you're a runner? 

Is it the fancy decal proudly rubbed onto your back windshield? Or the magnet clinging to your bumper that declares you a runner? Perhaps it's the tread on your well traveled running shoes....
Wonder what makes a runner and how to be one?

Here's how...
Find the nearest exit...open the door and walk out. When it slams shut, take a deep breath and start your run. Run as far as you can. Run at your pace. Stop when you want. Then, look back to where you came from and smile. Pat yourself on the back and own that new title. You are now a runner.

running tips, tips for running, beginner runner, train



Tips for running...


Create playlist. Music will keep you moving. Music will motivate you. It will renew you, better your pace and help set time limits on your run.

Practice intervals. Running doesn't always mean a consistent pace of jogging. If you're training for distance don't just assume long runs will get you there. There's power in intervals. Sprint straightaways and jog curves. Sprint every other light post, mail box, street sign, mile. Make running fun for you.

Learn to breathe. Find your rhythm. Inhale through nose, exhale through mouth. Continue this method through the entire run. Slowing down your pace when needed. This will prevent and calm cramps.

Dress right. Choose layers for colder temps and wrap them at waist when you warm up. Invest in arm bands for iPods, keys, Chapstick. Find a water bottle (similar to mine). Choose breathable, dry-fit styled clothing. Pull hair back. And, of course, pamper your feetsies with proper soles.

Stretch. Every runner knows that function means speed. Every runner also knows that some runs will lead to more soreness and stiffness than others. It is of utmost importance to warm-up/cool-down and include stretches. Stretching at the end of your run will ensure that you maintain correct posture and form, enabling speed and light-footed grace. View this video for one of my favorite stretches and more tips.

Find accountability. If running alone, track your progress privately or through social media apps, tell others your story or find a training team and/or run with buddies. Talking about what you're doing will give you the upper hand and reinforce all that you've accomplished.

Pride yourself. Whether you ran one mile or five, one street or an endless country road....you ran. No one can argue "a body in motion". Praise yourself and commit to doing it again.
Find a decal and rock it. Sign up for a race, I do! All runners will agree that the feeling during a race and at its finish line is so very liberating. Being a part of a running crowd does wonders for your soul and future runs.

Do it again. Your first run may seem like a fail. It's not. Re-read this if you still think it is. Give yourself time. It takes time to feel your own rhythm. Stick it out. There's nothing bad about your first run. Well...only if you make it your last run.

Remember when you're on that open road...it's your road, your run. Create your course and wear blinders. Give no worries to passer-by's - they have no clue how far you've gone or how fast/slow you're going. The same applies to treadmill runners. If you're in the gym, surrounded by other runners...keep on, getting on. Incline, decline, speed up, slow down. You are in control of your run. And, if you fear the gym, read this.

competition, running tips, tips for running, beginner runner, train


So there. That's how you know you're a runner. If you haven't yet, give it a try. Each of us respond differently to exercise. You may love every minute of your second and third mile but hate the first. You may love the first mile but feel like death on the second. Try new things as you experiment with what kind of runner you are. The one and only thing we all have in common is the want to start and really, never finish.


My healthy living goals are simple  !be better than the day before! I really believe in the simplicity is this goal.


Tag! You're it! Any of these tips helpful? What other tips can you add to this list?


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also linking with Brittany and Misty for Getting Fit Friday
AND Fitness Friday hosted by Kelly at Honor, Courage and Commitment
YOLO MondaysGFC Monday HopMonday MeetupTell Me About It Tuesday!
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Friday, January 11, 2013

High Five for FRIDAY

This is one sleepy momma! Don't how or why but the week has felt long. Must be the withdrawals from having enjoyed 4 day weekends and holiday breaks this past month. Anyone else feeling this way??
Temps, here in VA, are super warm for this time of year and we're making sure to enjoy it. We have plans to have no plans at all and spend the weekend outdoors...let the kids run free, take on the hills, climb a tree.

Linking with Lauren for a very welcomed "Friday" link up....

H54F





1// can I just say some days getting to the gym is a workout in itself? Rallying up these two boys should be easier than it is. And once we get to the gym....we're that family that isn't forgotten. Landon catches a fire up his a$$ and takes off running and screaming with joy that he's there until he realizes he's headed for daycare then the screams are more of the hell-no kind. Within seconds he's over it and happily engaged with other children but during that explosion of will you've got strangers going "oh, he's so precious, look at those curls" to "oh, ehhh, don't think you're getting in a workout today, good luck". Whatever people...we go through it every time.

2// took the boys to the most obnoxious place in the world....Chuck E. Cheese. Needless to say, they had a blast and really, I enjoyed myself too...after 5 beers....kidding, only kidding.

3// came home from work and look who was cooking dinner! WHAT?!! how awesome. I immediately grabbed a seat at the patio table and took in the scenery.

4// just one of those nights when all is quiet and there's nothing to be done. ahhh, perfect. Hubs and I sat back together and watched Terrible Pitch. And, this afternoon we're sneaking away to see Zero Dark Thirty while the boys are still in school...  Any of you seen either of these movies?

5// My MIL gave me this necklace for Christmas. She shares my love for the ocean and endless seashell hunts. I've worn this piece A LOT since Christmas. I'm always ready for summer.


P.S. Yesturday's #whatsonyoursalad post was lots of fun, it's running through the weekend if you'd like to add your link! Thank you to all that linked up and commented...it made my day and inspired some healthy bites for the coming week. I'm soooo excited to see what next week will bring!!!


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


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and that Friday Blog Hop!
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