Tag Archives: Miscellaneous Ramblings

Slow Going, But Still Moving

icy roadsWell, after cranking out 27+ miles in one week, I managed only 6 miles last week. Sigh…

I know, 6 miles isn’t awful and it’s only 4 miles off from the minimum of 10 miles per week that I set for myself. Little setbacks just tend to aggravate me, and so does having my routine thrown off!

Mother Nature has not been cooperating with my goals as far as running goes. Last week it was brutally cold out and it brought my routine to a screeching halt. I don’t mind running in the cold at all, however when you team -16 wind chills up with icy roads, it raises the risk of falling and breaking something. That doesn’t sound like fun to me and would end up halting my goals even further!

As a result of moody Mother Nature, I’ve been lifting weights, doing yoga and tossing in some of the Quick Workouts I have post here in the past.

I really wish I liked the treadmill, I’ve just never felt comfortable on one and as a result, gave ours away a few years back. I was supposed to head out and hit the pavement today, but the snow started sooner than I hoped and the roads became slick very quickly. Hopefully tomorrow I can squeak a few miles in since I’m at a total of zero miles for this week. Sigh…

What do you do when Mother Nature rears her bitchy head? Do you push through anyway or hit the treadmill instead? Any tips on learning to love the treadmill?

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{Product Review} Palmolive Fresh Fusions

Palmolive Fresh FusionsI recently joined a site called Influenster, which allows you to give opinions of products and experiences. It creates links between brands and members to reward participation and also helps to influence future products that manufactures may be looking to release.

As a member, I was recently selected to participate in a product review. I couldn’t wait to open my box of Palmolive Fresh Infusions when it arrived. Right away, I was very pleased to see the pretty bottle design! I normally transfer my dish washing liquids to a decorative bottle which I leave on the sink, but I now get to skip that step! I was also VERY pleased to see a Lime Basil scent option, as it is a favorite scent combo of mine.

Luckily (only in this case…normally this is not a lucky thing) I had a sink full of dishes that needed to be washed, so I picked a scent and went to work.

The first scent I used was the Ginger White Tea. It had a light scent that I really enjoyed and it did a terrific job of cleaning the dishes, that had been sitting in the sink for quite some time. (Don’t judge me! Sometimes you have to leave the dishes in the sink so you can get your workout done or fit that run in.) Like with other Palmolive products I’ve used, a little went a long way and everything was left squeaky clean!

Later in the day I had a few stray glasses to wash, so I tried the Lemon Thyme, and it worked just as well. My hands were left soft when I was done and the citrus smell was a nice pick me up, as well.

As for the Lime Basil, I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan on using it on tonight’s dinner dishes. I will however admit, that I have popped the cap opened quite a few times to inhale the wonderful scent!

Overall I think Palmolive has hit a home-run with this new line of dish washing liquids. I love that they created a sleeker bottle and bath & body style scents, while keeping the grease cutting power and hand softening qualities that many people have always loved.

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*I did not receive any monetary compensation for this blog post. I received the three bottles of product as shown, along with some coupons. I did not have to write a blog post about the product, I just simply liked it and felt like sharing. All opinions are strictly mine.*

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2012 – A Year In Review

goodbye 2012Last year I couldn’t wait for 2012 to arrive. I was fed up with 2011 and thought things had to get better. Well….I was wrong. My 2012 had a very shitty start, then improved, then bottomed out and finally fixed itself for the most part. One might say it was a roller coaster but I always thought those were supposed to be fun….hmmmmm.

Now were was I? Oh….right…. I learned a lot over the past year. I learned that I can handle a lot without breaking (although I came pretty damn close), who my real friends are (and that there aren’t many), that as much as it’s nice to have fun with people – you have to be able to enjoy being alone as well…..cause happiness comes from within and if you aren’t happy with yourself, it’s hard to be happy with others. There were many other lessons but that’s the gist of it. Or at least all I’m willing to openly discuss ;)

As 2013 prepares to make it’s grand entrance tonight at midnight, I’m both excited and a bit nervous. I have high hopes that 2013 leads me towards new, exciting and happy things, but as I mentioned above, I learned a lesson in 2012 …things could always get worse.

Anyway, I’m going into this new year positive, happy and with the mind set that anything can happen. I have a list of goals and things I’d like to do in the up coming months and I have a new focus on what’s important to me.

With that being said, 2012 wasn’t all bad and I have the photos to prove it! Here are some of my most treasured moments from 2012…

As much as they drive me crazy, my family is the most important thing to me.Top Left: Mike & I at a BBQ over the summer, Top Right: Family photo while visiting Lady Liberty. Bottom Photos: My amazing kids at the beach.

As much as they drive me crazy, my family is the most important thing to me. Top Left: Mike & I at a BBQ over the summer, Top Right: Family photo while visiting Lady Liberty. Bottom Photos: My amazing kids at the beach.

Good friends are hard to find! Top Left: BBQ with Mike's coworkers. Top Left: Mike with Beth at the Jersey Shore. Bottom Left: Me with Kris during one of my OH trips. Bottom Right: Cheers to new friends!

Good friends are hard to find! Top Left: BBQ with Mike’s coworkers. Top Left: Mike with Beth at the Jersey Shore . Bottom Left: Me with Kris during one of my OH trips. Bottom Right: Cheers to new friends!

Fitness Goals & Fun! Top Left: I can finally rock a bikini. Top Right: The fitness trail & my goal of being able to run a 5k. Bottom Left: The Color Run. Bottom Right: Me sporting my "tough" look.

Fitness Goals & Fun! Top Left: I can finally rock a bikini. Top Right: The fitness trail & my goal of being able to run a 5k. Bottom Left: The Color Run. Bottom Right: Me sporting my “tough” look.

The Sky's The Limit! If you know me, you know I love taking pictures, especially of sunset and landscapes. Here are a few of my favorites from 2012: Top Left: Times Square while walking to Sweet Suite at BlogHer. Top Right: Open field on my way to the mall. Bottom Left: Sunset on my drive home. Bottom Right: My daughter and friend swinging high above Point Pleasant.

The Sky’s The Limit! If you know me, you know I love taking pictures, especially of sunset and landscapes. Here are a few of my favorites from 2012: Top Left: Times Square while walking to Sweet Suite at BlogHer. Top Right: Open field on my way to the mall. Bottom Left: Sunset on my drive home. Bottom Right: My daughter and friend swinging high above Point Pleasant.

This quote is so true and I know I'm capable of making great strides in my fitness this year.

This quote is so true and I know I’m capable of making great strides in my fitness this year.

If there is one thing I hope to do...it's to never lose focus on this.

If there is one thing I hope to do…it’s to never lose focus on this.

There is always good to focus on, despite the bad that might be plaguing you. Here’s to a very Happy and of course Healthy New Year! Thanks again for following my blog and keeping me focused on what is important to me. You all inspire me so much and I’m forever grateful to everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings.

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Don’t Give Up

Remember, that little voice inside your head begins to lie when you force yourself out of your comfort zone. You are capable of amazing things, you just have to keep pushing yourself.

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New Additions and Holiday Traditions

Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately, but things always tend to get hectic around this time of year. Being as I am a cake decorator and the hubs is a letter carrier, the holidays spark an increase in hours for both of us. It also seems that we have both been doing some hardcore drugs, cause we decided our family needed a new puppy. Yes, you read that correctly, a new puppy. I blame the show “Too Cute” which airs on Animal Planet. I also blame the convenient timing of the pet adoption at Petsmart, which just happened to be going on the day after I watched a “Too Cute” marathon AND the fact that I happened to have my son out running errands with us. You see, a puppy is something he has been begging us for. Without further delay, I introduce you to our little bundle of fur, cuteness and pointy little fangs…

Meet Jax. He’s a Catahoula/Beagle mix who is currently trying to sit on my lap along with my laptop…sigh…

Now that you have been mesmerized by his cuteness, let me tell you that puppies are like newborns! I forgot what having a newborn was like since our youngest is 8 years old now and it’s been 13 years since we’ve trained a puppy. Jax has been with us for almost 2 weeks now and I think we are all starting to settle in, get into a routine and hopefully we will be sleeping through the night soon.

My other issue is that while he is like a newborn at night, he is like a toddler during the day. He is super curious and has to check out everything.

This weekend, like every year since I was little, we put up the Christmas tree. Poor Thanksgiving tends to be nothing more than a day that people eat too much and finally don’t feel like freaks for wanting to listen to holiday music, shop for presents and break out the holiday decor.

With a new puppy in the house, I had to approach the tree a little differently. I made sure I secured it to the wall, so when I have to army crawl under it to retrieve his tiny butt, I don’t knock it over. We also didn’t put any breakable ornaments on the bottom a) so he doesn’t knock them off, break it and then eat something that could hurt him. b) so we don’t kill him for breaking our memories.

Our tree with three of my favorite ornaments. The stockings sum up how my kids feel about each other, while the cd ornament I made a few years back, capture them at what I think might be their cutest.

Our tree is my favorite part of the holidays. We have an eclectic collection of ornaments that we put on it, ranging from handmade/photo ones that the kids have made over the years at school, to figurines from the mobile that hung above my crib when I was an infant. Our tree is full of memories and I love unwrapping each ornament and remembering a moment from my past. It warms my heart and also makes me sad at times, because there are loved ones who are no longer with us, but special ornaments that represent memories with them.

The kids love putting the tree up…ok…they love hounding me to put the tree up, come in, select their favorite ornaments, put them on the tree in the worst spots ever and then leave me to fix things. Yes, I admit, I let the kids put stuff on the tree and then rearrange things to my liking when they disappear to their rooms. Don’t act like you don’t do the same…pfft!

I know this post is a little all over the place, but so is my life. I have however been very consistent with my Couch to 5K! This past week I had to shift my run days around due to my work schedule, but it worked out well because I got to go out and do my own personal Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. Tomorrow starts week 4, which means I am at the halfway point. I look forward to seeing what the next few weeks bring, since I have steadily improving. Yesterday I beat all of the my previous pace/time/distant stats, which made me really happy.

I hope everyone is ready to have a happy and healthy holiday season. Hopefully I will be a little better about finding time to post here, too.

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Semi Wordless Wednesday {Our Experience With Hurricane Sandy}

As Sandy approached we waited on long lines for generators and prayed for the best.

When the power went out, we all shared a room and passed time making shadow puppets on the ceiling and using portable electronics. (Thank goodness for those!)

The days after the storm were filled with some chaos, downed trees and lines, long gas lines and a scramble to find more firewood since it was our only source of heat.

As stories of damage emerged via Twitter and Facebook, you became grateful that the least of your problems was no power and heat. Having a generator/fireplace, roof over your head and your family safe and sound was all you needed. It truly humbled you.

Halloween was pushed back to November 5th here in NJ. We had power back at this point (I know many still do not).

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Sunday Funday

Normally in this house, Sundays are as lazy as it gets. There is usually a late start to us getting out of bed, breakfast, looking through the Sunday paper and then we watch the NFL RedZone channel all day while yelling at the TV and checking our Fantasy Football scores. Yesterday, however, I didn’t feel like sitting home. I don’t know if it is because the Broncos had a bye week or if it was just the nice weather calling to me, but I wanted to be outside.

To start the day off, the hubs and I got dressed and headed over to the Englishtown Auction. At first I was thinking we should go for a run, but I’m happy we decided to just walk around there. We were able to have some alone time, talk and just enjoy being together. Neither of us had been there in quite some time so we just walked, soaked up some sunshine  and checked out what the vendors were offering.  I always forget that they have great local farm stands there. They are not organically grown, but sometimes my budget doesn’t allow me to stick with all organic stuff, and to be quite honest, I’m okay with that these days. I scored some beautiful strawberries and amazingly large sweet potatoes while there. I really should have picked up some more stuff, like eggplant, peppers and cauliflower but to be honest, I didn’t feel like carrying them around with me and the sweet potatoes were heavy enough to be considered a workout.

A sample of the farm stands at the flea market. Most items were between $1 – $3 per basket. You can’t beat those prices!

After walking around the market, we headed home, and my son decided it would be fun to go bowling. It was nice to go out as a family, especially since my daughter has reached that age were she is too cool to hang with us and is usually running around with her friends instead. It was also nice to get my son away from the video games and have both kids being active without the aid of an electronic device.  I’m not going to say this excursion was all laughs and giggles, but it was nice to be out as a family and enjoy some time together.

Our afternoon of bowling. Top left: Matt who was happy he got to choose want we did today. Top Right: Maddie bowling, Bottom Left: Me hoping for a strike, Bottom Right: Maddie & Mike Instagraming or checking FB. lol.

These days, we all tend to be so busy. Between work, workouts, school and chores, there just never seems to be enough time for everything. Yesterday I realized that there are certain things you just HAVE to make time for and family time is one of them.

What kind of activities do you like to do as a family?

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Love The Journey

Three years ago, I had a goal to lose weight. That was it. I set up small goals to reach, always thinking that one day, I would reach my goal and finish. Little did I know back then, that this becomes a way of life.

No wonder I had failed so many times before.

There is no finish line when you truly embrace a healthy lifestyle. The key is to enjoy what you are doing to become healthy. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.

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Lucky vs Strong

I consider myself healthy, not skinny, and the road to getting healthy definitely made me strong!

Speaking of strong, today starts Phase 2 of P90X for me. As I expected, I didn’t see a change in my waist, hip or thigh measurements and I’m happy with where I’m at with those, so it didn’t bother me. I did however see a half inch increase in both of my biceps, and I can see nice shoulder definition which really makes me happy!

Results take strength and determination, not luck. Put your mind to it and the results will come.

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{ Fitness Friday }

Wow…another week has come and gone! Is it just me or has this year just flown by?

Last week not a single one of you shared or linked your fitness triumphs, goals or successes with me….which means you all SUCK! It’s ok…I’ll just continue to post for my own benefit, after all, who doesn’t like screaming out of an open window hoping that someone hears them?! ….sigh….

Sunday will be the official finale of P90X – Phase1 for myself and the hubs. This week has been a rest week, although I wouldn’t really say there is anything relaxing about YogaX and Core Synergistics.  Between the prior three weeks, two 5K‘s and the Plank Challenge I’ve been taking part in, my body feels like it was hit by a truck and yesterday’s Xstretch workout, was pure bliss. Speaking of the Plank Challenge, I am almost to my goal of 5 minutes!! It’s getting REALLY hard to hold the position with proper form, but I’m fighting for it. I’m not sure if I will be doing today, as I am sore as hell AND I have Core Syn on deck tonight.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve completed Phase 2 of P90X. I’m honestly looking forward to it and can’t wait to lift heavier weights and continue working on my form. I can see a change in my body from just the first 30 days (I’ll be doing my measurements and what not on Monday) and I now the magic really starts to happen in month 2! So in the words on Tony Horton, I say BRING IT!

I’ve been pretty good on the nutrition front as well. After Saturday’s 5K, the hubs and I did go to a sports bar for lunch and I did splurge on some fried pickles. I never had them before and they had half-price apps, so who was I to say NO, right? The weirdest thing for me was not having a beer while watching football on Sunday, but I wasn’t even craving one, so I skipped it! *SHRUG*

My slow cooker and I are still trying to learn to get a long with each other. I think I need a newer one with the programmable features so I can set a shut off time and just keep it warm until ready to serve. It seems some recipes call for much shorter cook times than others, however my work schedule does not. The result is meat that sometimes dries out and I don’t like that. At. All.

Now it’s your turn! Share with me what you have done on the fitness front this week….or what you plan on doing this weekend! Let’s keep each other motivated!

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