Blog Archives

Sunday in the kitchen

I went to the park this morning, excited to try out my new Brooks running shoes. As I expected, they were fabulous. All the other miles I did this week were walking, today I *mostly* ran. My new shoes were definitely worth every penny.

 

072212 run 1    072212 run 2

072212 run 3    072212 run 4

 

I also really liked my new water bottle. It holds 16 oz. of water plus room for ice. My iPhone fits perfectly in the zipper pocket and it’s very comfortable holding it while running. I was a hot mess when I finished my 3.11 miles. Florida humidity is no joke, even at 7am.

When I got home from the park, hubby gone to Starbucks. He likes to take Blue and Ozzie with him on the weekends, they love to go for a ride and the folks at Starbucks get a kick out of them at the drive thru. And of course they get treats from them. Much excitement for Blue and Ozzie! And bonus for me this morning, because hubby brought home a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher for me. Oh so refreshing after a run!

 

072212 starbies

 

After some grocery shopping and breakfast, I put together our dinner, which was slow cooker chicken. This is such an easy recipe, smells wonderful while it’s cooking, and makes for good leftovers. Do you sense a theme to the meals I make? Any meal that creates lunch for hubby the next day makes me happy.

Slow Cooker Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 red potatoes (medium to large)
  • 1/4 white onion
  • Bottle of fat free Italian dressing
  • Celery salt and pepper

Clean the potatoes and cut them into thirds (depending on size). Leave the skins on. Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes. Cut onion into small strips and put on top of potatoes. Cut chicken breasts into halves or thirds depending on size. Add whole bottle of dressing. Top with celery salt and pepper. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5 – 5 1/2 hours.

 

072212 dinner 1    072212 dinner 2

072212 dinner 3    072212 dinner 4

072212 dinner 5    072212 dinner 6

 

I don’t normally serve any side dishes with this as it’s pretty filling itself. The dressing make the chicken very tender and juicy, it just pulls apart with your fork.

What slow cooker meals do you like?

Thoughts on Thursday

This morning on my way to work, I stopped at Starbucks. My newest obsession there s the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher. Oh. My. Gosh. It is so yummy and well, refreshing! It’s actually made with Green Coffee Extract, basically taken from a coffee bean while it’s still green, before they are roasted. It has no coffee flavor whatsoever (which I do love), low calories, and NO fat. This drink is perfect for summertime. I even like it better than the Passion Tea Lemonade. One of the things I like the most about it is the whole blackberries they put in it. This drink lasts me a couple hours – as it melts down, I add more ice and it’s still just as yummy. I was enjoying it so much this morning, I had to document it…

071912 sbux refresher

 

In my email today, I received the first two weeks of workouts for the Best Body Bootcamp 2 that starts on Monday. I am really impressed by all the information and how thorough it is. Well worth the $25 entry fee. I printed out everything, including screenshots of the exercises, and I put it all in a binder. No searching for any of it when I need it, I know right where it is. And because I’m kind if a geek, I out it all in a binder and even made a nifty cover for the front of it. I can’t wait to get started.

071912 bbb binder

 

After having rain off and on everyday this week, I decided to skip out of work a little bit early so I could get home and walk. I decided to take Blue and Ozzie to the park with me. We made it 2 miles before they were ready to keel over and die, but they had a fun time. They so love the park and there is much excitement when we’re getting ready to go. It seemed to take forever to get out the door, and the 2 miles took a really long time to walk with all the stop and start. But I am positive that I also got an upper body workout at the same time. It can be a bit challenging to walk 2 dogs.

071912 happy ozzie

071912 happy boys

071912 tired boys

071912 walk proof

 

Since I like to do at least 3 miles, when we got home from the park, I jumped on the treadmill. I was all hot and sweaty and decided to push myself. I did 1 mile on an incline of 10. Holy quads, did I feel that. It was awesome. I was definitely #fitfluential today!

071912 treadmill proof

 

Hubby is working late tonight so I was on my own for dinner. I decided to cook some lean ground beef, zucchini, and onion. It was very tasty and filling.

071912 dinner

 

I am so glad tomorrow is Friday. As always, I am so ready for the weekend. I need some down time and I hope to get some more miles in !

Birthday and Father’s Day fun!

Yesterday morning, I gave hubby a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (his fave!) and Father’s Day cards from Blue and Ozzie. When I saw these cards, I knew I had to get them. They were PERFECT. Who says father’s of furbabies can’t be honored on Father’s Day?

mikes cards 1

blue card 1      blue card 2

ozzie card 1      ozzie card 2

Then, hubby and I went for a walk at the park with Blue and Ozzie. We love talking the boys to the park. They are so happy and so excited when we go! I couldn’t resist getting a picture of the boys with hubby. He loves his boys!

mike blue ozzie 061712

In my BIG, crazy family, there is something to celebrate just about every month. A tradition was started years ago, as the family grew, that we would get together and celebrate birthday’s, holidays, anniversaries, etc… It works out that almost once a month we get together, sometimes having a dinner for multiple reasons. My hubby’s birthday is on June 22, so every year, we all get together on Father’s Day AND celebrate hubby’s birthday.

Hubby decided he wanted to go to Hooter’s for his birthday. No one in this family ever complains about going to Hooter’s. All jokes aside, we are a Hooters-loving family. Smile

It was really a nice afternoon, with the usual, family craziness. There are a lot of us and we are loud. It always requires planning to eat out. I went to Hooters an hour early just to make sure we could get a table for 18. 18!!!

As always, there was a lot of talking and laughing. I really treasure our family time. The kiddos are adorable and there is silliness and laughter. Pair that with yummy bad-for-you-food and beer, and it’s a GREAT afternoon.

As always, I took way too many photos and Instagram’d the heck out of them. It’s hard to get photos of everyone and everything, but this is a great representation of the fun we had yesterday to celebrate my hubby’s (40th!!) birthday and Father’s Day.

me and my honey 061712           autumn monster

uncle mike autumn 1         silly autumn

autumn and daddy        autumn and cooper

cutie cooper        cutie cole

cooper and grandmommy         uncle toe and autumn

cooper and cheryl        cooper and uncle nick

uncle mike and cooper         joey jenni

me and jenna        chocolate and beer

It happens every year!

It’s happened again. Just like it does every year. I have been bitten by the sunshine bug. It happened Saturday, when I walked in the afternoon for 4 miles, in the hot Florida sun. It was hot and I sweat my butt off, but man, the sunshine felt fantastic on my shoulders. Of course I was red that night and the next day because my shoulders have not seen the sun in awhile.

So today, I got home a little early from work and what did I do? I threw on my most comfy Nike pants, my tank top, laced up my shoes, and headed out into the heat – AGAIN. I found myself craving the sunshine.

The sunshine may be what gets me through my not-being-able-to-run-in-the-heat phase. Mentally, I have a real issue with not being able to run in the heat. And before you tell me to suck it up and just do it, I can’t. I’ve tried. it just does not work out. I may try from time to time because I’m stubborn like that, but it is like trying to run while I am being strangled. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s not mental, it’s physical.

So, I have to learn to be okay with walking during the hot months. And I think my love of the sun will help me with that. My fear is that I won’t be able to start running again. But I have to remember that I didn’t run all of last year and started up again, and even did my first half-marathon. I must have faith in myself.

And, I actually walked twice today! We walked the dogs at the park this morning and while it’s not the fastest walk, I totally count the mileage. I was moving and if you’ve ever walked not one but TWO Aussies, you know that can be a workout. This morning’s mileage was 1.3 miles in 37 minutes. This afternoon, I did 3.72 miles in 1:03… See? Here’s my proof:

walk proof 051512 pm

Do you enjoy the sunshine? What other outdoor activities do you enjoy in the hot summer months?

Friday Fun

TGIF! Somehow I survived the week. YAY!!!

I was on the road all day and finished earlier than I thought given the distance we had to travel. So to get home around 2 was a real bonus for a Friday afternoon. When I got home, I decided to take Blue and Ozzie to the park. They LOVE the park and they love walks. I was a little concerned about the heat, but figured with the shade in the park they’d be fine. They stopped a few times to take a break so we headed home after about 30 minutes. Total distance walked: 1.37 miles in 42:41. They have to stop and smell and/or pee on everything. They are such boy dogs.

See how happy they are?!

They HAVE to walk right next to each other. I love it.

After I walked them, I decided that I was going to go back out myself and run. I’ve been complaining about the heat and wondering how I’m going to deal with it. I figured today was as good as day as any to get out there and see what happens. Worst case, I’d end up walking. Yea…. That’s exactly what happened. I ran 1:1 for the first 11 minutes and then I walked for much of the rest of the 3.11 mile route. I would run every once in awhile, but it was mostly a walk. It was just too damn hot out there and I wasn’t going to be stupid about it.

Running is not a pretty sport.

Once I realized this was turning into more of a walk than a run, I decided to take advantage of this time and take photos of the pretty sites I saw. I absolutely love our park and it just never gets old. There is always something that catches my eye while I’m there and I have to take a picture of it. Here’s what I liked today:

Pretty trees…

I saw a turtle too!

I ended up running / walking 3.11 miles in 46:51. I guess it’s not terribly bad. See, here’s my proof!

Proof!

Despite the heat, it really was fun to get out there. I love the sunshine and it felt great on my shoulders. I just have to find a way to run in the heat. This is Florida afterall and it will be hot. Oi.

Have you done anything fun today?

Happiness Is…

I haven’t done a Happiness Is… post in quite sometime. After reading one yesterday, I thought today would be a good day to do it!

 

Today, Happiness Is…

  • Today is finally THE day for the Mutt Strut and even more exciting is that it’s at the park across the street from our house. It is put on by the Humane Society of Pinellas where we adopted our sweet Ozzie boy from and they always do a great job. The last few years it has been at Honeymoon Island State Park which was always nice, but I love that we can walk to it today AND not pay for parking. It’s sure be a super fun family day!

 

  • On Monday, one of my fabulous aunts from California is flying in to be here while my mom has surgery and to stay with her. We can’t wait to see her and are so thankful that she is able to come out. I know that if my other aunts could come along, they would too. They will all be here in spirit.

 

  • Having the whole weekend ahead of me. I have been so busy lately, I don’t know which way is up. There are so many things I want to do, along with the things I need to do. Regardless of what I accomplish, I hope that there is a nap and reading time in there somewhere tomorrow. I love a nice Sunday nap.

 

  • Having a hubby who gets up early on Saturday morning and goes to get me a yummy soy latte from Starbucks. And he brings it back OCD-compliant as I like to have it.

 

  • The smell of orange blossoms. I can smell them in our backyard, thanks to our neighbor, and at the park.

 

  • Having 2 crazy, sweet, adorable dogs. They are a handful and they do drive me crazy at times, but I love them. They are my babies.

 

 

What makes you happy?

 

 

Sleepover!

This weekend we had our niece Autumn over for a sleepover.

We went to the mall for fun on the playground, dinner, and ice cream – and brain freeze!

Autumn is full of laughter and silliness and she is the sweetest little 4 year old I know.

I love her laughter filling the house and how she loves to help.

I love her happy good morning face.

I love that she is so comfortable in our house, refers to the guest room as “her room”.

 She knows that when she stays over we will walk to the park that’s across the street.

We are so lucky to have such a bond with this amazing little girl.

I don’t care.

I always worry about how I look in my clothes. I like to be invisible, I don’t like to draw attention to myself. So as I was running this morning, I was thinking about how when I run, I don’t care what I look like.

I don’t run fast, I don’t run pretty. I wear what is comfortable, not worrying about the size of my butt, or how big my arms look, or how my tummy would be so much nicer if it were flatter. None of that matters when I put on my Nike running pants which are very fitted. Or my dri-fit running shirt which is also fitted. I pull my mess of hair back in a make-shift ponytail and out the door I go.

My mind is not consumed with thoughts of what I look like as I run down the sidewalk to the park entrance. Or how silly I must look when I am on a walk break, pumping my arms like there is no tomorrow. I’m not worried about how sweaty I am.

I don’t care.

What I do think about is how I am taking that time for myself and how every mile I run is good for me and will go along way to making me feel better in my clothes when I’m not running. I care about the journey that I am on. I don’t care what people think when I am huffing and puffing along or when I get caught up in the moment and I’m singing along with whatever fabulous song is playing on my iPhone. I don’t wonder what people think when I get caught up in the moment and end up crying from the stress relief or me just being the emotional mess that I am sometimes. I am too busy feeling empowered.

I don’t care what people think. All that matters is what I think and I know I am out there giving it my all. And that is all that matters.

 

The truth.