Hike, Cook, Eat, And Explore….Just A Few Of My Favorite Things

I don’t get a whole lot of down time with being a wife, mother, childcare provider, and a person that will not pass up a day outside if the sun is shining. However, there have been a few things consuming what little free time I do have.

Trip planning…..I should have been a travel agent. Although, do people even use travel agents any more???? Who knows. Anyhow, I have been working hard at planning our next adventure vacation and I am finally at a place where I can say it’s complete. I till have two places to book for the night but for the adventure part of the trip, it’s complete. Sleeping is just details anyhow…right? This vacation is going to be like no other since I am not ready to live the airline HELL again any time soon, so we are driving this one, exploring many places, and of course hiking to some of the places on my bucket list.

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Cooking….again something I have been enjoying but I know will soon become a chore for the next few months with the warmer weather. There is nothing worse than having to come in from outside to cook…uggg. Why do we need to eat in the summer time….its such a waste of good summer time hours? Anyhow, I splurged and bought a spiralizer and have been experimenting with it. My husband is a bit scared of what I may put on the dinner table in the next few weeks and our son has already said to give him notice and he will go out for dinner. Party pooper!!!

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And I have been roasting veggie mixtures like crazy and found that I LOVE roasted lemon slices on my veggies. Lemons turn to sweet slices of heaven when they are roasted. You have to try it!!!

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We are planning frantically for camping season and I could not be more excited. OK, well maybe if it were paddling season but that is still a ways away for me. Waters are still a bit chilly so why not camp instead. I placed and received my yearly order of grab and go camp meals for when the urge hits and we have no time to prepare…we just grab and go.

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I have to mention my new love…..sushi. I have had sushi in the past at a few places but this months dinner out with my brother was for sushi at an actual sushi restaurant here in Green Bay. I was nervous,excited, and a little scared to be honest. They often will serve fish eggs on many items and being married to a avid fisherman, I cannot eat fish eggs from any species. However, we easily worked around this dislike and I was amazed at how wonderful our meal tasted, looked, and I cannot wait to return. We had the chef prepare everything we ordered on one plate to share between the three of us and it was like a party in our mouth, literally!!! Look at this plate of food. I am loving these monthly dinners with my brother, he is an adventurous soul and a great foodie at that. And, I will never again have to try and figure out where to go for my future birthday dinners….without a doubt it will be out for sushi.

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That sums up my free time as of lately. I will leave you all with an end of week rainbow and a wish for a great weekend ahead.

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Back On Track With Workouts And In The Kitchen

After needing three days to recover my very sore joints from mountain hiking without any training in the Smoky Mountains….I am finally back to a normal workout routine. I eased slowly back into it and now feel better for not pushing myself too soon. I was really sore when we returned home for this trip. Here’s what my week was like:

Sunday: gym:30 minute elliptical, stretching

Monday: home: total body weight routine, mall walk 3 miles

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Tuesday: gym: 45 minutes elliptical and stretching

Wednesday: yoga and upper body weights

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Thursday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing, abdominal workout, and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 45 minutes elliptical, rowing, stretching

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One of the nicest things after being away from home is eating at our dining room table. I like eating out but not every meal, every day. This is why, when we do travel, we will often make a grocery store trip for dinner and enjoy it in our hotel room instead of a noisy restaurant.

After a quick trip to the grocery store when we returned home, this is what I came up with for the week in meals.

Pot roast(thank goodness for the crock pot the day after vacation). Super easy and basically cooks itself with little preparation needed.

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Chicken potpie with biscuit topping. I used this recipe but topped it with biscuits instead of corn bread.

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By mid week I was feeling good again so I tried a new recipe, tater tot chicken and spinach casserole. Everyone agreed…..success. It was so simple and so delicious. I also made roasted broccoli and roasted whole garlic cloves to go with it.

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And one evening we had shredded chicken salads. I love meal salads and try and have them at least once a week.

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Not too bad for throwing together the meal plan and grocery list on the plane ride home.

 

Items That Help Me Survive Winter In Wisconsin

It’s no secret winter is not my favorite season. I suffer from seasonal depression and literally count down the days on a calendar until the clocks change again, daylight appears past 4p.m., and I see green grass. Once the holidays are over is when it really gets rough for me. Although, I have lived here my entire life and have found some things that I simply could not live without during the winter months. So for all of you making plans to visit us here in the midwest during the winter or for all of you thinking about moving here from a warmer climate…read on!

#1 Lotion: Once the heat is turned on and the water we shower in is turned up it’s like death to your skin. You dry out, you itch and it’s just plain rough on the skin to be out in the elements of winter.

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#2 Lip Balm: Much like our skin, our lips are every sensitive to the cold also. I have these little tubes of moisture in every little hiding spot I know…..SUV, car, pockets of all my jackets, next to the bed, in my purse, and even in my backpack if the urge would hit for a quick snowshoe hike through the woods somewhere.

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#3 Tea/Coffee etc: You may think being in a warm house you could drink anything and maybe so, but something mentally happens when it starts to snow and you literally crave something warm to drink. We here are not all day coffee drinkers but tea makes an appearance quite often during the days of winter.

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#4 Down: I will never regret buying my down bed comforter and my down winter jacket. They are the best investments I have made to help me survive winter.

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#5 Hobbies: I am not sure if you would call this a hobby but it does take my mind off the snow and the days that are so incredibly short and cold. We do jig saw puzzles during the winter months and its always a goal to see how many we can finish before the snow melts.

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#6 Memories: What once was will come again. I look back at my summer time pictures often during the winter months. They help me recall a much happier time in life and give me something to look forward to.

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#7 Exercise: You know it baby….it’s the only time I can break a sweat during the winter months. Sometimes I will workout twice a day just to feel warm.

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Are you from the midwest?

What is one thing you could not live without during the long winter months?

First Hike Of 2017

We decided to forgo the gym on January 1st. and hike since the sun was shining and I came down with some sort of nasty respiratory bug which made working out difficult the day before. Plus, my husband was dying to try out his new GPS we bought him for Christmas.

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We headed to my favorite nearby trail to see if the construction signs were removed yet and the trail had reopened. Upon arrival, I was thrilled to see it open….it had been closed for at least the last 6 months. We wasted no time making tracks in the snow since it was too cold to stand around.

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The temperature was about 20 degrees when we arrived but the winds were quite low which made this hike fairly tolerable for this time of year. The trail did have varying depths of snow cover but was still easy to maneuver through.

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It felt so good to be outside and soak up some natural sunshine. It has been weeks since I have ventured onto any trail in the area.

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Even though my toes were cold by the time we were finished, it was a great way to start the new year.

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Today we hiked the first 3 miles(almost) of many more to come this year.

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Did you do anything special on January 1st?

Shivering Off Calories

Recently, I read an article in a magazine that shivering can burn as many calories as a half hour workout. First, I want to say, if this is true I have been working out all week, non stop, and should have lost weight without even trying. And second, I want to say, even though I may not agree with the amount of calories burned in a half hour of shivering….I do believe it’s exhausting to shiver for hours each day.

This week it has been frigid here in our area…..I mean, it hurts to go outside and have the wind hit you in the face. So, of course, I stayed in as much as I could and did anything possible to warm up, which meant I had more home workouts than gym workouts.

Sunday: gym: 40 minute elliptical, rowing, and stretching

Monday: home: total body weight workout, recumbent bike 15 minutes, stretching

Tuesday: a quick(15 minutes) home weight lifting routine….something is better than nothing at all

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Wednesday: mall lap walk 3 miles

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, abs and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 45 minutes on the elliptical, rowing and abs

Last weekend I had a gentleman contact me to purchase my home gym. I was sad to see it go but knew in my heart the days of heavy lifting are over.

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So after he came to pick it up, I rearranged a bit, and assembled my new workout area.You really do not need much to get a really great workout at home if you know what your doing. This week, I have been finding my groove again and loving my new home routine.

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Speaking of this week, what a mess it turned out to be. Every Sunday we take a look at the calendar and have a pretty set plan of action for the week ahead. Tuesday is when it all fell apart after hearing a major snowstorm was on its way to our area apparently bringing too much snow to drive in safely for the upcoming weekend. Which meant, I needed to move some appointments around making time for them during the week, which in turn meant forgoing my original gym nights. This did not make me happy but sometimes life gets in the way. However, about mid afternoon Saturday during this snowstorm, I was chomping at the bit to go to the gym and convinced my husband that this was the reason we bought a SUV with all wheel drive….so we could still travel if needed during snowstorms. Which, in my opinion, I needed a workout at the gym in the worse way and eventually he said, “then just go.” So I did and let me tell you, it felt wonderful and I made it there and back just fine.

 

 

 

Your New Year Resolution Is To Join A Gym But Excuses Are Getting In The Way

You want to join a gym but you don’t think you have time, you can’t afford it, you don’t want others to look at you, you sweat like a pig, you……yadayadayada!

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I know I have heard it many times… actually many, many, many times. And when I do I just shrug it off, go on my way and think…..ha, you had time to sit and watch a two hour movie on Netflix last night, you had money to purchase coffee every morning this week, and people will look at you no matter anywhere you go, and of course your going to sweat that is what happens when you exercise.

With the new year right around the corner and everyone planning to jump on the good ole diet and exercise party bus…..I know there are some of you that want to join a gym,start exercising, and just plain feel better about your health in general. And I also know there are some of you that want this but won’t because of the fear of exercising in public. I want to ensure you all, exercise may be difficult, it may be sweaty, it may be painful at first, but the hardest part of making this wish a reality is taking that first step through the front door of your preferred gym. I know, I have been there, and I have taken that first step with friends and family because they had this same wish. For me, however, I did it all alone and I have not looked back since.

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Belonging to a gym and to have others around you working to achieve the same health goals is empowering. It’s not a fashion show and no one will care if your bottoms match your tops or if your shoes match your headband. No one is judging you, watching how much weight you lift or how many minutes you run on the treadmill. Everyone is in their own little world, listing to their own playlist, and doing what feels best for their bodies. And everyone is sweating…..and if they are not then they are not there for the right reasons.

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So if your at home debating starting your own journey down the road of health and fitness I encourage you to take that first step through the door of your preferred gym and go for it. Most gyms are very affordable, most offer classes if you need assistance, and all will show you the ropes if you have never stepped foot on a cardio machine in your life. You will be so proud and feel so amazing after the initial stiffness wears off that I bet you never look back either.

Now get up, put on some shoes, grab a water bottle, stand up tall, hold your head high, and take that first step toward your health.

I am rooting for you…..

 

 

Back To Normal Life Once Again

Well, this week meant it was time to return to normal life again. Which meant back to work, errands, appointments, cooking and a little fun thrown in here and there. If only we could stay on vacation forever…..but then I believe it’s called retirement….right? And I am not even nearly close to that yet!

One thing I did not miss this week were those steps we had been training on for weeks prior to this trip.

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Yes, they made my legs feel so strong but they also took away my gym time which I love. The gym is my place to go for mental health treatment….a good workout is great for the mind. As of next week, by the time I get done working and dinner is over it will be dark, which means we plan to return to the gym on a normal basis.

Sunday I came down with what I call “plane plague”….you know…the every time you fly you get sick kinda thing. Which really put a bit of a kabosh to any big workouts because my head, throat, body….well let’s just say everything hurt.

So here is what I did manage for workouts this week:

Sunday: 4 mile hike with my son on an area trail

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Monday: floor weights/stretching, 3 mile walk with all the ghosts and goblins in our area

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Tuesday: 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, and weight lifting

Wednesday: 30 minute recumbent bike, floor workout, 3 mile walk

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Thursday: rest

Friday: floor workout with weights and stretching

Saturday: 4 mile hike with a friend

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As for meals this week…..I made a big batch of veggie soup and a big batch of slow cooker beef stew. This way we could eat a meal off both and freeze the remainder for quick, grab and go meals for lunches since our freezer meals were running a bit low.

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And to top off the week, I was treated to an awesome dinner of hibachi/sushi with my brother. WOW, was it fantastic!!!!

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