Monday, August 31, 2015

Marvelous Monday Birthday Recap

Oh my goodness Monday is off to a crazy start already!

I've had at least 50 interruptions while trying to get this post written. 

Texts about a missing math book, texts about needing a doctor's appointment 
for a suspected sinus infection, dogs wanting out, dogs wanting in, laundry going 
in and out of the wash, and in and out of the dryer, internet going on and off, 
and on and on.

I better hurry and get this post written before anything else pops up.
Let's get started!

- Friday -

Friday night, Hubby and I had a night in. I had been craving a cheeseburger
since Wednesday, so he fired up the grill to make my cheeseburger dream 
into reality.

 Of course Hubby had a little help making sure those burgers looked just right.

They turned out enormous. I could only eat half of my burger. so I finished the
other half for lunch on Saturday. 

Nothing like a cheeseburger hot off the grill!

While Hubby and I enjoyed our burgers, this is what Miss S was up to.

This picture of the student section was taken just before the football game on Friday 
night. The theme for the game was "White Out" so that's why everyone is in white.

They had a blast, and her school won in the last few seconds of the game!

- Saturday -

Saturday was an absolutely perfect peaceful day!

Hubby started his day playing golf,  I started mine with a nice long
walk, and Miss S started hers by sleeping in until noon.

After my walk, I relaxed in a bubble bath and finished a book that I started
almost a month ago. Clearly I need to work on finishing books a little faster, ha.

Saturday night, while Miss S hung out with friends, Hubby cooked steaks on 
the grill. So good!

After dnner, we somehow got sucked into a NCIS marathon on T.V
and watched three or four episodes back to back. Thank goodness Miss S 
came home and broke the spell or we might still be sitting there today!

- Sunday -

After church, we officially celebrated Hubby's birthday with
family and friends.

He would never admit it, but I believe he enjoyed the extra love and
attention that he received during his birthday lunch/party.

While he was being spoiled and loved on by family, I was enjoying
every delicious bite of this Grilled Chicken Pecan Salad.

Don't even try to tell me the calories, because it was worth every bite!

After the party, we stood in the rain saying goodbye to everyone and posing
for a few pictures.

My hair never looks super great, but I do blame the rain for this flat/frizzy style 
that I'm sporting. At least it's not in my usual ponytail!

I would say we had a blessed and happy weekend.

- Monday -

Today, Hubby and I are determined to get our food choices back under
control. There has been too much sweet tea and birthday cake lately, so
I'm going to meal prep a healthy breakfast and snack recipe to have on
hand throughout the week.

I will be making Egg White Muffins

and Jamie Eason's Protein Lemon Bars.

recipe here

These two choices for breakfast or snack will at least help us get started
again with making healthier food choices.

It's time for my workout!

Have a marvelous Monday!

I'm linking up for #MIMM with Katie.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Meals and Moves { Week 2 }

Meal & Workout Plan for August 31 - September 5

Additional meal planning tools:

  1. For free, printable meal plan organizers, click here.
  2. For a free, printable master grocery list, click here.
  3. For another master grocery list option, click here.

Sunday 8-30   ----    Yoga

Monday 8-31    ----    Shoulders / Chest / Triceps

Tuesday 9-1   ----   Cardio  +  Legs

Wednesday 9-2   ----   Back / Biceps / Core

Thursday 9-3    ----   Cardio  +  Yoga

Friday 9-4    ----   Cardio  +  Full Body Circuit

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It's the last weekend of August which means (hopefully) fall weather is
right around the corner!

I know some people are on "Team Summer Forever," but since I have
no pool, no lake, and no ocean near by to keep me cool, I am a card carrying
member of "Hurry Up Fall!"

Miss S will be ditching us tonight to spend time with friends at her high school
football game, so Hubby and I will be having a date night tonight.

I'm hoping he will fire up the grill while I enjoy my new Adirondack
chairs that he built for me.

I love having a handy hubby and I love that he built these awesome chairs
for our deck.

I'm also happy about this plant.  

This guy is a trooper. I've killed several plants before him, but he is hanging tough. 
Look! There is even a bloom on it. I don't think I've ever gotten a peace lily to 
bloom before.

I'm feeling pretty proud of my green thumb this week.

(See what happens when your child turns 16 and leaves you behind?
You suddenly take up caring for houseplants! Sigh.)

I saw this shirt in Target this week.

Isn't it the cutest? It would have come home with me if the two that were left 
in the store weren't a size XS. So what's a girl that doesn't wear an XS to do? 
Snap a pic and keep on walking, of course. No shame in my game!

Wednesday was National Dog Day so in honor of the occasion I made a 
photo collage of my boys.

Just look at these sweet brothers. They may argue and fuss sometimes but they 
will always be best friends. Please no one hurt their feelings by
telling them that they are dogs!

Another Target find this week...

I brought home these awesome galvanized lanterns. I fell in love with them 
(but didn't buy them) about a month ago, and then this week, I found them on SALE!

I can hardly wait to fill them with fall goodies like pumpkins, or leaf
garland, or many options. And lots of possibilities for
Christmas decorating too. Pretty excited about my lanterns!

Well, there you have another edition of...

Stop by either Erika'sNarci's, or Andrea's to see other favorites being shared this week.

I'd love for you to follow along on facebooktwitter, or instagram 
if you don't already.

What are your favorite things from the week?

Do you have a green thumb?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am so very happy to be back online today.

The internet was down in our area yesterday for over 12 hours.
It was a tragic time!

You have no idea how often you want to google something, or check
Pinterest for something, or just hop on facebook to see what's happening
in the world until you can't anymore. It was kind of a helpless feeling.

Yesterday I realized just how thankful I am for internet!
I'm thankful that I'm back in touch with the world so that I can
share three things that are on my mind today...

Miss S has a new drink love. She has been loving lemonade for years, and has been 
on a raspberry or strawberry lemonade kick for months, but recently we have 
discovered this...

I'm thinking we need stock in Ocean Spray now because we are currently 
buying plenty! It's Cran-Grape in the mornings and now Cran-Lemonade 
in the lunchbox.

If you love lemonade, you should give this a try. You will probably love this 
as much as she does.

It's certainly no secret that I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks.
I'm anxiously awaiting September 8th so I can get my hands on one.
(12 more days!!)

I was super excited when M & M's came out with a new flavor for fall.
I thought I was going to be lucky and get a taste of pumpkin spice early.

Ewwww. No such luck.

I have made an important discovery.

I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I like M & M's.

I do not like the two flavors combined.

So disappointed by these.

The flavor is way too artificial, and the aftertaste is worse. Don't bother 
rushing out to get your hands on these. Do yourself a favor and wait 
for the real PSL at Starbucks.

Have you heard about the benefits of using a foam roller regularly?

I recommend foam rolling to almost all my clients. Even though I recommend it,
I know I don't use it often enough myself, so I wanted to quickly discuss the
benefits and proper use of the foam roller. Maybe this will help me us get
motivated to use it more regularly.

The foam roller is able to perform myofascial release, which is a technique that results 
in softening and lengthening of fascia, increased blood flow and circulation, relief for 
joint pain, increased flexibility, and can help to break down scar tissue.

More info and demonstrations for proper use:


Using the foam roller on my upper back, lower back, and glutes has
been a lifesaver in helping with back pain. Still, I'm guilty of not using it
enough. Check out this video for more information and really good tips
on foam rolling correctly.

(If you subscribe by email, you may need to visit my site directly in
order to click through to view the video.)

Helpful video tutorial:

I read in Men's Fitness magazine that if you are 20, you should use a foam roller
two days per week. If you are 30, you should foam roll three times per week.
So, for me, I should be foam rolling four times per week.

Remember to start slowly and build up to regular foam rolling.  The benefits 
definitely outweigh the discomfort.

Foam rollers are easy to find. Any sporting goods store has them, plus
stores like Walmart, Target, and TJ Maxx.

Spend your money on a foam roller and not on pumpkin spice latte M&M's!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pure Pumpkin Genius

Yesterday I couldn't resist another second. I used up all of my "Home" scented 
Bath & Body Works candle, so I gave in and brought out what was left of last 
years "Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin" candle. It smelled glorious!

My thoughts are that as soon as I use up what's left of last years fall candles then I
can justify restocking for this year! See how smart I am?

When Bath & Body officially releases the 2015 fall scents on September 9, I will
be there and will NEED to buy things. I will have to buy enough to last me through
until next year. Pure genius!

In addition to burning fall candles, I'm looking forward to making these muffins.
I made them last year and will definitely make them again.

This is one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. Not only is it easy, it's delicious too.

I want to share it with you today so you can enjoy pumpkin spice muffins too!

Here are the only ingredients that you will need.

only 4 ingredients!


                                                                       1 box of Spice Cake mix

1 can of pumpkin

1/2 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup water

That's it! Only four simple ingredients. If you're not a fan of golden raisins, you
could easily substitute regular raisins, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts,
pecans, or anything else you  might enjoy. You can also leave them plain if you'd prefer.

Simply mix all ingredients together and bake in a 350 degree oven until cooked through.

The recipe makes 18 muffins.

I could have easily frosted these with cream cheese frosting and created 
pumpkin spice cupcakes instead.

There you have it. A super easy, incredibly versatile recipe that can be enjoyed for
breakfast, for a snack, or even as a dessert. You choose!

Are you ready for fall?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ups, Downs, and DVD's

I woke up to 65 degree temps this morning! It felt wonderful and almost made me
not quite so miserable to be out of bed. 

A morning person, I am not! Mornings would be a lot less painful if they 
started after 8:00!

I mentioned yesterday that it was Hubby's birthday. Poor guy. Nothing went as
planned for his special day. He had planned to take off work yesterday, quickly
do some much needed work in the yard, and then have the rest of the day to enjoy
his birthday. Well, that plan started falling apart almost immediately.

Three people that work for him called in sick, and three overslept. His phone was
ringing off the hook and his receptionists were freaking out!

Right in the middle of trimming the hedges around our house, he had to stop,
come in and shower, and go to the office. Poor guy! All he said was, "Merry
Birthday to me!" 

After several more ups and downs during his day, he finally made it home
for dinner together with our little family. Miss S had asked to meet a friend
at Starbucks to study, but I quickly shot that idea down. Ugh. Teenagers!

Maybe next year I can convince Hubby to take a mini vacation for his birthday,
and somehow leave his phone at home! 


Last week, I borrowed this DVD set from work to watch at home for fresh
ideas and inspiration. I was super excited to give these a try.

It wasn't long before my excitement turned to depression.

These DVD's are intense.

Brook Benton's explanation of the exercises and safety tips that she gives
are excellent and I did get a few new ideas to use in my 50/50 Circuit program
at the gym that will be starting up again in a couple of weeks, but these DVD's 
are no joke. 

- DVD 1 - 

Cardio Kettlebell has lots and lots and lots of squats, wood chops, lunges, 
and KB swings. After about 10 minutes, my previously strained back was
not having any more of that! And due to that previous back injury the KB 
Mountain Climbers were not even attempted. I know that I don't have the 
range of motion for those.

- DVD 2 -

Yoga Burn is a combination of Power Yoga and athletic conditioning.
Again, very good explanation of the moves along with tips for safety, but
my body was not ready for this DVD either. 

- DVD 3 -

Bell Body Sculpt begins with good instruction on kettlebell use. She
used a quote that I really loved. "More time under tension means more
tone in the tush." Apparently that is her reasoning for all the squats!

If you attempt  these DVD's you may be able to breeze through them with
no problem. But if you are like me and find that your body is not there yet, don't
fall into the comparison trap. We are all different. We have different bodies,
different abilities, and different journeys. If you are a beginner or have had an injury,
there is no reason to get down on yourself. It's best to focus on what you can 
currently accomplish and let the rest go.

I would like to use these DVD's as a tool to measure my fitness gains. I may
attempt these DVD's again in 8 - 10 weeks to see how I'm improving. Until then
I will listen to my body and design workouts that are appropriate for me.

The Kettlebody By Brook videos are on Youtube if you would like to try them
out for yourself.

 My workout for the today will be cardio and legs.

I will be doing some squats, but more like 30 of them, not 150 of them!

What are you doing today?

Do you ever find yourself falling into the comparison trap?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Marvelous Monday { Weekend Recap }

Happy Monday everyone! Today is an extra special day at our house.

It's Hubby's 50th birthday!

Hubby and Miss S

I have no idea how he is already 50 years old. When I look at him, I still 
see the handsome, kind, funny, loving, and intelligent man that I fell in love 
with 26 years ago. I still remember celebrating his 25th birthday!

Time sure flies by. 

This weekend involved cake!

We went to a football kickoff party on Lake Martin this weekend and I
baked Mix and Match Mama's Nutella Bundt Cake for the occasion.

This weekend also involved chairs!

Hubby built these two gorgeous Adirondack chairs for our deck.

I absolutely love how they turned out! We will either stain them or paint them,
but I can't quite decide yet. I think I'm leaning toward staining them to give
them the "farmhouse" feel that I'm obsessed with currently. Once the weather 
cools off a bit, they will be perfect next to a fire in the fire pit!

The weekend also involved birthday signs!

Just look at how cute the dachshund is and ignore my lack of artistic 
ability. The signs were made with love and that's what counts!

Hubby took the day off today for his birthday, so I'm going to wrap up
this blog post, get in a workout, and spend time with my love.

I'm linking up for #MIMM with Katie.

Have a great day!

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