Happy Easter

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. I am not quite sure why since we never really have a huge celebration or anything but maybe it’s because things are typically getting greener, plants are sprouting from the ground, and signs of life everywhere are beginning to show again after such a long winter. Either way, Easter is reason to celebrate even if it’s just hanging out and doing nothing but being with family on a relaxing Sunday.

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This year we had planned to hike a state park in our area for Easter but with thunderstorms predicted we decided it would be best to cancel. Although, we had enough other things to do to keep us plenty busy.

Speaking of Spring and Easter…..has anyone else found themselves reaching for the allergy medications and the kleenex box yet? I am quite lucky myself, with little to no seasonal allergies. Our son on the other hand has it BAD…and is MISERABLE!!! Along with that, all my daycare kids have runny noses and some sort of allergy/virus plaguing them also. So we are going through the tissues like crazy at our house. However, I am not going to lie and say I wish everything would freeze solid as a rock again….since it is so nice to be outside and enjoying the fresh, pollen dusted air once again.

Anyhow, here is what my week was like as far as workouts go.I started the week with a sore back and a visit to my chiropractor on Monday and also ended it on Friday with one more visit. Hopefully I will be pain free soon. Not much weight lifting was done this week but I still am quite happy with what I did do in the cardio area.

Sunday: 2 miles of disc golfing

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Monday: rest

Tuesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, legs, and abs

Wednesday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike and 3 mile evening walk

Thursday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: 3 mile walk

You all have a fun and safe Easter….try and spend some of it outside if it’s nice in your area.

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

As we all approach the Christmas weekend I thought I would take a few seconds of precious time and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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I hope you all enjoy your family and friends as we will be busy enjoying all of ours here during the next two weeks. I will return with a look back at 2016 in the new year.

Until then……Merry Christmas!

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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.

 

 

 

Warm Sunshine Drink

There is nothing like curling up under a warm blanket with a wonderful warm drink to take the chill out of winter. After reading many different recipes online and making some adjustments of my own…I think I finally found a drink that will bring me back to summertime in the middle of winter.

Here is my version of warm sunshine in a mug.

4 cups 100% apple juice

3 cups orange juice

1 cup water

2 TBSP. lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

dash of cinnamon

Malibu Rum(optional)

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In a kettle on the stove top mix all the ingredients together except the rum. Heat until the sugar is well dissolved and serve warm in a hearty mug.

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Add a splash of rum if you really want to warm your insides.

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I Love Four Day Weekends….We Get So Much Done!

Here at our house the holidays are pretty laid back and casual. Typically, Thanksgiving morning I always hit up the gym first thing in the morning, my husband preps the smoker to smoke our turkey breast, and our son either works or sleeps in. This year things were a bit different…. we started out with a hike this year and a friend of mine joined in on the adventure. It was something our family has done the last few years on Christmas Day and this year I thought, why not go for a hike on Thanksgiving also. Our original planned hike was scrapped when we arrived at the trailhead and it was posted as “closed” for the gun deer hunt season.(FYI:This is why we are wearing blaze orange vests during todays hike) So after some fast thinking by my husband, we crossed town and headed to a new trail we had never hiked before but had drove past numerous times.

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After hiking we came home and prepared to cook Thanksgiving dinner. This is a few hour process when smoking a turkey breast so in between we did some chores.

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Earlier in the week, my husband finally caved to my my request to buy a new Christmas tree. So I went through our Christmas box and did some much needed tossing of old or unwanted decorations and threw a few in the donation bags I planned to drop off.

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After dinner was cleaned up and everyone was tired and full from a fabulous meal, we started our first jigsaw puzzle of the winter. If you don’t know from past winters, this is what we do to pass the long, cold, snowy months of winter here in our house. Jigsaw puzzles are, in my opinion, mind numbing and make time pass faster than just sitting watching the clock and waiting for Spring to arrive.

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Then Friday, the first thing on my list was a trip to the gym. I rarely have the opportunity to workout in the morning hours so every chance I get I take full advantage of.

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Then it was time to decorate for Christmas. I must say…we all love our new slim Christmas tree. We even put our old one in the drive way with a FREE sign on it for someone to utilize who may not have a tree for Christmas. It was picked up in 20 minutes…..this made us pretty happy.

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Saturday, again started out at the gym. Why not, right?

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When I returned  from the gym I washed and cut all our fruits and veggies needed for the week. I also hard boiled some eggs and made egg omelet cups for the week ahead to make breakfast easier on those hectic mornings. Doing this on the weekend saves me so much time during the week when time is always hard to find.

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My husband and son then went fishing together and I headed out for lunch with a friend and the goal of finishing my Christmas shopping. We had a wonderful lunch and great success shopping. I found everything on the list and then some.

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Sunday rolled around and we had discussed going for another hike to finish the trails we started on Thanksgiving day. So about mid morning we headed out and began our hike and ended up hiking for almost 4 miles and seeing some fabulous wildlife.

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I must say….I have been a resident of Green Bay for my entire life and have never known these trails existed…..and now I plan to hike them regularly they are so nice. I will blog more about these in an upcoming post, but wow, what a great place to hike. See for yourself.

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Thanksgiving Week- Finding Ways To Fit In Exercise

Well, winter temperatures have officially arrived. We woke up Saturday morning to a covering of snow and quite chilly temperatures. So long 60’s, I hope to see you again soon;-(

Speaking of cold…..one of my dear friends sent me this on my email one morning. Maybe this means I am “that friend!”

(I will admit, this sure does look cozy;)

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Since this was the week of Thanksgiving, things were a bit all over the place in the exercise department. However, no matter how little time I had, I still made time for some type of workout. Here is what my week consisted of:

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Monday: 3 mile hike on a trail under the stars…..great stress reliever on a hectic Monday.

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: home: upper body and abdominal workout

gym: stretching and 30 minute elliptical

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Thursday(Thanksgiving): 2.0 mile hike with my husband and a friend

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Friday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing and stretching

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Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, abs, rowing and stretching

home: 1.5 mile walk in the evening with my husband

As I said above, this was quite a whirl wind week. I was very thankful to have a four day weekend by the time Wednesday rolled around. We had so many things on the agenda and thankfully we fit everything in and still had time for fun.

 

 

 

Big Changes Bring On Big Decisions

Gosh, I thought October flew by quickly but November has been even faster. It literally feels like just yesterday my family was vacationing in Arizona and now it’s mid November already. Alright, I admit, my Sedona tan is fading fast…..but I really don’t know what has happened to the first few days of November. Let’s catch up a bit on what’s been happening.

Wisconsin has seen some amazing temperatures so far this fall. Honestly, I am still going to the gym in shorts and not wearing sweatpants over the top of them. This is a miracle in itself. However, they say it’s on the way….you know that wonderful white stuff that covers every green surface I love so much….grass.

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Unlike my younger years when all my Christmas shopping was done by Thanksgiving and I spent the week of deer hunting wrapping while everyone was gone….I literally just started shopping this year. However, we really revamped the way we shop today compared to past years and I do not have many gifts to purchase at all. With very little contact with nieces and nephews it was time to make some big changes to the way we spend. Most will get gift cards and only the people we are close to get actual gifts. So it is much easier to shop today than it was when we had a bunch of gifts to purchase.

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I have come to the conclusion that I am as good as I am going to get. Let me explain a bit….January of this year(in case some of you missed it) I had major surgery. I was told it would take me a year to completely recover but without a doubt life has improved greatly. However, there are a few things that I have been trying to ignore, look past or really just try to get back to and simply can’t. Did I think 10 months ago laying there for weeks with so much pain that I would ever get back to normal….no not really…..but I am really trying to learn what my new normal is and I believe this next step will help. I have decided to sell my home gym weight machine. Now if you know me, this is a big decision. I LOVE to exercise!!! However, I have tried this machine numerous different ways and with much lighter weights than before surgery and everything I have tried causes me pain for at least two days afterwards. So then I back off, workout with different things for a few days all while this machine stares back at me and the guilt for not trying it again drives my crazy. So I do and again, two days of pain! I have discussed it with my doctor, I have done what they told me to do to try and remedy the issue and nothing is working. So I have decided to sell it to keep from torturing myself. I have to learn to live with my new normal and I can only hope this helps.

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As we approach Thanksgiving many people are planning to run/walk the Turkey Trot in our area on Thanksgiving morning. I however, am not into run/walks because, well, I am too cheap to pay the admission cost to walk on a street when I could do that right in my own neighborhood for free. Although, this did give me an idea and I approached a friend of mine who has given hiking a try and loves it and we are now planning to do a hike Thanksgiving morning together. Our plan is to hike a trail near us at a waterfowl preserve that is about 3.5 miles long. This should be a fun way to start a great Thanksgiving day and maybe we can make this a yearly tradition.

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I have also been experimenting with some new holiday warm drinks to take in a thermos on winter hikes. I came across one and tested it out this week and hit the jackpot. I even may make this for our Thanksgiving morning hike….it is so good!!!

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As for the next few months I am concentrating on just getting through the holidays. With Christmas parties planned, family get togethers planned, and hopefully a Christmas Day family hike somewhere, I just want to enjoy the next two months. January for me is when the seasonal depression really hits hard and I can only hope winter is not so rough….although everyone has told me the farmers almanac says its going to be a doozie this year. We also have some big plans coming up in January and possibly some big family decisions to make….but let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet…..the rest of November and all of December come first.