Life Lately

A very belated “Happy Valentine’s Day!” to you!  Last week was extremely hectic, and the proof of the too-fast-pace is on my face in the form of not so fabulous skin.  We did manage to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with chocolate (and yes I caved in my quest to be chocolate free!), treats, and ending with family time + a date night.  Being a teacher I got so many sweet valentines from my students!  A lot of those valentines included chocolate treats.  Delicious, decadent chocolate treats.  You can see the temptation now.  

I’m so happy to have been able to celebrate with my valentines, the Mr. and the ever-growing big boy.  


A random collection of Holden’s daycare valentines (orange cups were the treat in the bag!), play-action shots of H, shot of my favorite accessory (wedding rings), shot of my favorite person (Mr.), and a little smile and fitness inspiration.  Pictured food is a venison pot pie (Bethenney Frankel’s Recipe – I subbed ground venison) and black bean patties (Tosca Reno’s Recipe).  Both excellent in my slightly healthy-biased opinion.  Have a great Monday!


Staying Motivated

This whole gloomy, chilly weather really does a number on a fitness resolve.  I find myself really struggling with even wanting to walk the poor dog when it’s 38 degrees and windy.  I know it could be much worse as the Northern and Midwestern U.S. gets what seems like nonstop snow and freezing temps.  Where in the world is spring?!?!?!  Then, there’s that business with the groundhog’s doom and gloom report from last Sunday.  I am actually avoiding looking at our gas bill (we heat our home with natural gas) as I’m sure it has gone up considerably since the last billing period.  

As far as the eats and workouts go, we’ve done pretty well.  I tell you what though…a 4:40 AM wake up call twice a week (three times a week for the Mr.) is really, really jarring, but the cold, icy air that hits legs in shorts is the real cold water in the face of it all.  I did make it to my Tuesday gym date in those early hours, but Thursday was a bust as I didn’t sleep well the night before.  When this happens, I either try to make it up in the afternoon or do a little home workout.  Well, the whole gym time in the afternoon doesn’t really cut it anymore with work and then quickly getting to the little man.  This leads us to Jillian.  Oh, Jillian.  Queen of the quick and very dirty, very ugly 20 minute workouts.  I did the 30 day shred DVD by Jillian Michaels with Holden and Roscoe.  They were both pretty well behaved, but the living room looked like a whirlwind blew through while I was sweating in front of the TV.  Sometimes, I can get Holden to kind of participate with me by counting reps, sitting on my pelvis while I do those butt enhancing pelvis thrust things that look crazy.  Jillian will allow for none of that.  It’s so fast and so furious that I’m gasping just to keep up with her!  In other news, yoga feel by the wayside as per usual.  I did get a freezing nice 5.1 mile run in on Saturday and a gym workout today!  Yay me!  




I also bit the bullet so to speak this weekend and ordered up a new dvd, Pure Barre.  I was seduced by the novelty of it and the fact that it promises “long and lean” dancer muscles.  Well, I certainly CAN’T dance, but long and lean I like.  In other news, I’ve been enjoying these HUGE wheat biscuits that the Mr. got me from Wally World.  They are GIGANTIC!  And so very filling!  I’m actually down to my last serving, but his accidental purchase was pretty satisfying.  I’ve been eating them with 1/2 a banana and a sprinkle of dried cranberries + ground flax seed with milk.  I’ve also been enjoying eating them with my little table mate below.  



Hope you have a great week filled with moments of warmth even if you got to sit in front of an electric heater!


5 for Friday

Yay!  We made it alive and in one piece through the five day work week!  I have to admit it went by very quickly with lots of meetings both personal and at school.  I can hardly believe that next Friday will be Valentine’s Day!  With that being said, let’s get to a 5 for Friday before it’s Saturday!  


Thinking about little man’s upcoming second birthday exactly one month from today…



Enjoying my books…E-books are overrated.  Old-fashioned ones are the way to go.  No tech issues here.  This is a sign on one of my classroom bulletin boards.  



Matching yogurty breakfasts!  Blueberry whole milk organic yo for H plus some ground flax seed – 1/4 c. oats, slash of water, spoonful of ground flax, and a pineapple Chobani for me with a few pretty berries.  Breakfast ready to go in the fridge for the next day.



Today is day 3 of no chocolate.  I’m still having sweets like the oatmeal cookie I enjoyed from Subway tonight.  Just no chocolate.  I just lose my mind with chocolate, and I look up and realize the whole bag of morsels is gone in 1 weekend!  This is a recipe that I tried this week.  Very satisfying!  The bake time is a little long.  You could microwave it and then slip it into the oven just for the broiling/browning purposes.  Original recipe can be seen here.  




***   I used old-fashioned oats in mind as well as regular whole wheat flour.  

I did use applesauce for the primary oil with just a bit of butter on top.  ***


I am thankful to have health insurance that allows me to take the little guy pictured below without fear of not being able to pay.  For twenty dollars, we got to talk to Dr. Kagan, get H’s chest listened to, ears checked, and just generally have a grand time flirting with all the office staff.  It turns out that his cough is resulting from the molar teething process.  His excess saliva is just choking him right up.  Of course, I turned to Google just to see if there is anything I can do to help the process.  I did find this interesting article with some tips.  Hopefully, we’ll have those teeth in soon.  


P.S.  Thanks for the handsome shirt, Granny!  🙂

Hope you have a great weekend.  


Where I Am Wednesday


thinking – how to live large in a small setting

drinking – coffee, oh how did I forget to yesterday?!?!?  Hello headache!  Also, I tried coconut water for the 2nd time, and I actually liked it!

wishing – more hours in the day.  Seems like I always have one last thing to do!

reading – My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife by Sara Horn & Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman

eating – NO CHOCOLATE!  Day 1 was a success!

wearing – my most favorite bathrobe that is huge and white with a purple “N” ❤

contemplating – spring plans.  Busy weekends ahead hopefully in warmer temperatures.  

laughing – at the reality show “Party Down South”  I watched a clip on Youtube, and it looks like a super guilty pleasure.  

needing – my headache to go away.  Also, definitely needing a hair cut.  This mess is crazy!

singing – (in my head only, I am completely tone deaf) Hey Brother by Avicii

writing – to do lists, always making those lists!  I did finally switch over to a Google calendar that I can access through computer or phone!  Crazy, I know.  

smiling – about my husband and the fact that we are so alike.  Hyper and hilarious!  Well, at least we think we are.  😉

buying – Little Blue Truck books, Builder Goose, and some Welda face cream (super good brand for all-natural stuff!)  See here.


What are you up to on this Wednesday?  Isn’t the week flying by!?!?!?  I think it’s all the busyness after the snow-cation!







Quitting Chocolate


Oh you addictive thing, chocolate!  See its interesting history here!

I confess that I’m addicted to chocolate.  I like it after every meal.  Shoot, I even like it as a mid-afternoon snack.  It’s time to face facts.  I eat too much chocolate.  I’ve even been known to eat the not-so-desirable candy bar milk chocolate crap that doesn’t even taste like chocolate.  With that being said, it’s time to get a grip.  I had planned to give up chocolate for Lent this year, but Lent is another month away.  I am in a dire situation with serious steps needed.  I turned to my ever-ready friend, you know Google, right?  Googled on up some tips on how to break the chocolate addiction.  I absolutely love how hilarious and dry-humor this Wiki step by step how-to article is.  It is seriously worth a look for a chuckle or two.  According to this article, there are a few steps to follow…

  1. Identify the symptoms. – I feel I need it to “end” a meal.
  2. Why is my chocolate addiction a problem in my life? – Well, I really should just be eating more nutrient-dense food.  It is satisfying only in the immediate arena.  It isn’t feeling, and I usually feel guilty for over-indulging.  Bummer, I know.  Also, I do have headaches occasionally.  From previous experiences with migraines as a teen, I know that chocolate is a trigger.  You would think that would teach me not to eat it, right?  Wrong!  The brown stuff is powerful!  Another issue is that I buy it and then eat some a throw away the rest of it to keep from inhaling it.  Crazy!  Not to mention a waste of money.  The Mr. is like “Where did the chocolate go again???”
  3. Identify the cause. – My biggest cause is being tired or feeling as if I “deserve” a treat.  This is typically after lunch or after dinner.  My plan after dinner is to make a cup of tea to sip while I wash up the dishes. 
  4. Solve the root problem. – I’m NOT going to buy chocolate to keep at home.  Treats will only be out.  To fix my after lunch back to work transition, I’m going to pop some gum and take five minutes or so to scan news headlines.  I always feel like I don’t know what’s going on in the word, so this might be the perfect time to take a quick glance before my lunch time is over.  
  5. Know what to expect as you minimize your chocolate intake. – Just expect to feel icky!  
  6. Be careful not to substitute chocolate for something else unhealthy. – Lots of healthy foods!  Proteins and fruits!
  7. Sort myths from realities when it comes to health benefits of chocolate. – See article here.

So…Wish me luck!  Here’s to breaking the cycle! 



Planning for a Full Week

Tomorrow is a Monday in a big way!  We (H and I) have been on a snow vacation since last Tuesday night when we got the “school’s cancelled” call.  Being home 24/7 for 3 days straight was a little daunting at first with my wonderfully busy 22-month old.  However, we got into an awesome rhythm and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Reality strikes tomorrow, and I felt/feel myself panicking for most of this Sunday.  The day was filled with cleaning, church, groceries, and kitchen duty.  I did go for a run  after whining about it for an embarrassingly long time.  The Mr. finally got me to get a move-on and get it done.  I tried out my new shoes and was slightly bummed that one foot felt great in them.  The other…not so much.  I’m going to try this lacing method out…



I saw this neat-o picture on New Balance Virginia Beach’s Facebook site this evening.  Click here to check out there page.  Since everything is super soggy here, I ran about 4-ish miles at the VB Oceanfront Boardwalk.  Into the wind for the first two miles and with the wind pushing me along for the end.  



I am so glad to say that we (and I do mean “we” – – it was very much a team effort today!) are ready for a full work week with lots of after-work plans as well.  This is what’s on the menu for the week…


Recipes seen below for some of the items…



The “Serves 6” recipe is an awesome chicken pot pie.  We enjoyed that tonight!  Seriously good.  Also, the venison turned out to be much, much better than I thought.  The Mr. usually handles the gamey meat, but I stepped up to the plate and hit a homer (sport references are appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday, right???).  P.S.  I am not watching.  So there.  Another P.S.  “Broc.” is a certain green veggie that makes FREQUENT appearances at our house thanks to H’s demands.  

Now that food is all taken care of, the ultimate plan is just to take it a day at a time and focus on making it through Monday with a good attitude.  Yikes!  Here’s my fitness plan for the week…

  • Monday – 15 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM), walk the doggie
  • Tuesday – AM run/PM weights at home with Holden spotting (LOL!)
  • Wednesday – 15 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM), Rain likely so we’ll see about the doggie walk
  • Thursday – GYM workout!!!  Cross-train
  • Friday – 30 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM)

Have a wonderful week!  🙂