Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lazy Saturday

Sometimes you just need a day to veg that's what we did.

Here's hoping everyone had a restful day!!

What Fun the Snow Can Be!

I have to share this fun in the snow with all of you - how cute!!

The snowman is cute...but look at the snowdog beside it...I love it!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Snow Has Arrived

Well, it's snowed.  A lot....which alone is not that big of a deal.  The 4 foot ice block wall that the plow truck left blocking my driveway this morning...not good.  I kicked it, I beat it with a shovel and I finally resorted to trying to jump it, which I managed successfully after many tries.  Many.  Did I say many?  There will surely be some talk from my neighbors that were, no doubt, watching from their windows (probably with a cup of coffee and a warm bath robe).

Ok, I feel better after venting.  I am safely at work now and will block out the drive home and the idea of tackling my driveway until later.

While the snow was flying last night, it was quite beautiful!

But there was some thunder so Levi was nervous.  We snuggled.

Stay in if  you can today and be safe!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!!

OK, not was actually pretty nice today.  What weird weather swings.  Yesterday I spent the day in PA with my mom.  On the drive up, it was a balmy 8 degrees outside (yikes!!!!)

Yes, I know that's a lot of miles on there...she's a good old girl though, I think she has another 100K in her!!

I kept myself warm with the cozy back warmer.  It is supposed to be a butt and back warmer, but the butt portion went from burning a hole in my left butt cheek to going out completely.  I hope my car doesn't catch on fire.  At least not with me in it!!  Does insurance cover that?

I also enjoyed a yummy bowl of oatmeal on the drive.

In the mix:
1 cup of oats
1 3/4 cups of almond milk
1 banana
1 handful of walnuts
1 handful of cranberries (sweetened ONLY with juice - I love cranberries and most brands sweeten them with sugar - what's the point??? - these I LOVE)

It was delicious and hit the spot!!

Mom is getting a little better, but it is going to be a really slow process.  Her shoulder was essentially hanging on my a what amounts to a piece of dental floss.  It's supposed to be attached now, but has a long way to go.  Then...shoulder #2...she is a lucky girl.  That must be where I get a lot of my crazy luck in life :-)

Today was a 1/2 work at the office and 1/2 work from home day.  I am loving this new situation.  I can be productive at work during the day, then head out and go for a run, shower, have some lunch, then jump back into it at home.  I can run down the street to work for awhile at a coffee shop or the Mexican restaurant with free wi-fi...I know, weird, but, hey, a change of scenery makes ALL the difference.

The prediction is 6-8" of snow for tomorrow...we'll see!  Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here I Am....

I know I have been missing in action...just not taking the time I would like to stay current here.  I am going to try to turn that around...

So, the past week...

Levi and I have been sticking to our running plan.  He is VERY dramatic when we finish up though...see a pattern here?

I probably look like that too, Cooper just hasn't figured out how to use the camera to catch me in action!!!

I also tried to drive into DC.  Yes, you read that  For those of you that have never driven in DC, this might not seem like that big of a deal.  It is a HUGE deal.  Apparently DC is worse than New York City.  When there was a left turn option on my Garmin, there were actually 3 left turn lie!  Whichever lane I happened to be in when I turned left was the left I took and it was ALWAYS the wrong one.  I spent 4 hours in my car going to the convention center that is 35 minutes away and didn't ever stop my car.  I saw some sights along the way...

All unintentional of course...but pretty nonetheless.  Let's just say that after some serious hyperventilating, some panic of not having a bag to throw up into in the car, I realized that the Metro was made for people like me. It's not public transportation because people that live in the city don't have cars, it's for people that live outside the city that are dumb enough to think they can drive into the city.  DC is not meant for driving!!!  I wanted to kiss this when I saw it:

I also made some big changes at work over the past week.  I am "phasing out", not at all in a negative way, in a very positive way.  I've been given the opportunity to design my job the way I want it.  It is starting with spending less time at the office.  I have a lot of personnel responsibilities, so this will be gradual, but great for me...a goal I am really looking forward too.  I worked for a few hours in my home office the other day.  I usually have a line of people outside my office door.  At home, I have this:

He's cuter than most of the people that are usually at my door!! :-)

Mom also had surgery, so I went to PA to spend some time with her.  She is a bionic woman!!!

That's it in a nutshell.  Tomorrow is the start of EOD posting.  Every other day...that's my goal.  I would like to eventually get to every day, but I don't want to jump into toooo big of a commitment too soon.  I have some other business plans in the works as well. so I'm learning to balance my time correctly.

I wish everyone a wonderful week!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Where I've been for the past week

I wish I could say I was off on some tropical vacation, but no....just running around like a crazy woman and not taking the time to concentrate on posting.  I'll get the week long recap together and post tomorrow to share....  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mindful Giving

I have been blessed with an amazing life.  No, I am not finishing up a bottle of Merlot or asleep as I write this.  I've been through many ups and downs, more in the last couple of years to make up for the next couple of lifetimes.  But, when looked at as a whole, those things have nothing on me.

To some degree, giving has always been a part of my life.  I like helping others where I can.  The start in this goal for 2011 is to make my giving more mindful, more purposeful.  I want to really think about the giving I already do and really look for opportunities to give elsewhere.

I plan on continuing my current giving - FCF church, American Red Cross, Girls on the Run.  I'm also going to reach out more - I took on my first shift at the Cold Weather Shelter in Frederick last week.  WHAT A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE!!!  That is something that made me believe that first sentence even more!! These are not people in some third world country, these are people from my community.  They have nowhere to go.  It broke my heart, but it made me feel like I was exactly where I needed to be to help and it made me take another look at my life and the gifts that I have.

Here's another chance to join me...try mindful giving.  Up your giving in the new year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eating Real Food

Another new goal.  It may not be very measurable, but who needs measures for everything, right?  I lean this way anyway, but leaning isn't enough for me anymore.  I'm certainly not aiming for perfect, because, well, that's just stupid...there's no perfect.  I want to eat more real food.  I love to cook anyway, so what better way to explore new foods.  Since I've stopped eating meat, meals have taken a little more thought.  Eating more real foods is healthier and cheaper (I know the opposite seems true, but it's not!).  I'll share some of my adventures along the bear with me, there will be good and bad I'm sure :-)

Here are some of the starts:

Salsa...can't imagine store bought...EVER AGAIN.  This takes 2 minutes and is delicious.  Tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime juice (and I made it again with avocado chunks...yum!)

Egg whites with goat cheese, asparagus, tomatoes, clementines and cranberries!!!

Lentils with tomatoes, onions and collard greens (who knew!!) with Indian spices:

Pumpkin black bean burgers - ok, I forgot the tbsp of pastry four which is why it looks more like mush...but it was still really good!!

And colorful salads - spinach, greens, carrots, peppers, olives, tomatoes, cranberries, oil and vinegar

And with my kids...nothing goes to waste:

Wish me luck...and again, feel free to join!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fitness Goals and Plan

The first of many things to START in this new year.

As most of you probably know, I have signed up to run a 1/2 marathon on May 7, 2011 in the Frederick Running Festival in Frederick, MD.  I am very excited and nervous all at the same time.  Preparation.  That's what it comes down to right?  You can do anything if you are prepared.

The most consistent training I've done to date has been for the GOTR 5K back in November.  A plan to get the distance in is one thing, consistency a whole other monster!!  I've designed a 6 week consistency training plan for myself that will gradually increase in distance until I am running 4 miles 4 days a week.  Then the 12 week 1/2 marathon training kicks in.  One step at a time.  I really believe that anything you jump into at 150% will fizzle.  Things that are incorporated and made into habits (you don't have to check off if you've brushed your teeth or put your shoes on, do you?) are the things that stick.

I have my running partner.  Levi now knows 2 cues.  As soon as the Bose speaker comes out, he knows we're heading to the treadmill.  Now, as soon as he sees the running tights and gloves, he knows we're heading outside.  And he WILL NOT be left behind...he has made that very clear by leaping down the entire front stairs (they're covered in foil so the dogs don't try to escape through the front door - a story for another time!!), crying and jumping at his harness and coat.  It's quite the scene, but it's worth it for a great running partner (minus the squirrel obsession of course!!).

Come May 7, I'll have a different running partner - MAC!!  The fiance of one of my dearest friends, Terri, he is always a great guy to be around.  She will be training for a marathon at the same time, so they will be able to get some training time in together.

I'm am definitely looking forward to it, but am VERY happy to have this time to prepare!!!

Fitness goal # 2 for the year - one hundred pushups.  I attempted this training plan for a week a few months back, but once I hurt my back I threw in the towel.  Not being very strong with pushups was probably no help to my oncoming weak back issue at the time!!  So I'm starting now.  I'll do it in 2 phases - the first is girl pushups...then onto real pushups.  Hey, I'm a girl.  I think that gives me a right to start there!!!  Besides, 100 pushups, girl kind or not, I would be happy!! It's 6 weeks for the first phase, then 6 weeks for the second phase (modified at points if needed).

Fitness goal #3 - get back into Yoga!!!!  I practiced Yoga weekly for about 6 months and absolutely loved it.  I am not inherently flexible, but it really helped.  And there are A LOT of other benefits to Yoga.  I will start to attend Yoga regularly, beginning with at least once a week.  The downside to this goal versus #1 and #2 is that Yoga can be expensive.  I've tried DVD's, they are just not even close to the same for me.  I like to have a live instructor and the interaction of a class.  Somehow, it works for me.  But, to stay in line with my other goals, I have to find a way to practice Yoga, in a class, without paying much.

So, I started to research.  There is a studio in Frederick that offers walk-in Friday night $5 classes - that's a steal (classes are usually $15 a piece!)  But it gets better...if anyone has used Groupon, you know it is AWESOME.  Lots of great coupons for things in your area.  I found a $15 coupon for 5 classes - $3 a class - you CANNOT beat that.  Oh, actually I did!!!  There is another studio in Frederick that offers classes on Sunday afternoons for FREE, yes FREE.  Ok, the classes are taught by students in Yoga training programs.  But, when you are trying to save money, who cares!!  The only people that take Yoga training classes are those that were decent at it in the first place.  I think it's a win-win.  So between the $5 classes, $3 classes, and FREE classes, I have the $ part of it under I have to make sure I do it!!!

Fitness goal #4 for the year - try some new things and add variety.  I wanted to make sure I wasn't too bogged down with lists that I didn't enjoy things.  I think a happy balance of planned and unplanned works well.  So this goal is pretty loose - I will try some new things and add some variety into my fitness schedule.  For instance, there are plenty of cool place to hike around me - FREE!  I also found a Pilates class offered through my church - FREE!!  No excuse to anyone that says they can't get exercise because the only free thing is at home boring stuff...not true!!

Anyway, there you have it...2011 fitness goals in a nutshell.  Wish me luck...or better yet, join me!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


A new year usually brings with it a feeling of starting over, starting again, getting back on the wagon, etc.  When I was thinking of my adventures into this new year, none of those seemed to fit.  They all seem to indicate that something went wrong, we failed somehow and now we are going to fix it.  Maybe so many people walk away from so called "New Year's Resolutions"  within a month or two because, well, no big deal, I'll give it a try again next year...eventually maybe it will stick. 

Everything we experience in life starts with our attitude about it.  Everything.  The same thing can happen to two different people and the feelings generated from it, the actions that take place as a result of it and the impact it has on their lives can be DRASTICALLY different.  The difference is in how we think.

My feeling for this year is one of STARTING. PERIOD.  Starting to put more effort into my relationships, starting to expand my business into divisions that have long existed only in my head, starting to consistently train for a 1/2 marathon, STARTING.  When deciding on how to design my 2011 (at least those things that are within my control of course), I wanted it to be "big picture", the creation of wholeness.  Now I know that might sound a bit cheesy, but it's what we really all strive for, it's what we all need in our lives...cheesy or not.

I spent New Year's Eve with a person I absolutely adore - my beautiful and wonderful sister - and Bob and the boys (those boys have just stolen my heart!!)

With a start like could this new year be anything but amazing!!!

Stay tuned for a series on the specific areas and goals...hey, accountability is the secret to accomplishment!!!