Currently…..

Currently I am…..

Reading: Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn

Enjoying: All the time I am spending on my standup paddle board while my husband does water therapy in nearby lakes and the bay of Green Bay.

IMG_1280

Missing: Morning walks with a friend of mine. She is a crossing guard so during the school year we walk every morning. Since school is out for summer break we have only walked a few times and I miss this social time.

Eating: Spicy everything….I was never a spicy foods lover until about a year ago. I am not quite sure why my tastes are changing but I am enjoying it.

IMG_0717

Struggling With: Our recent lifestyle. Ever since my husband was put on weight restriction with his back/nerve injury we have not gotten to do many things that we love to do. No disc golf, no whitewater kayaking, no tennis, no nothing and it’s driving both of us crazy.

IMG_1168

Making Me Smile: I walked into the gym this past weekend and noticed two new stair master machines. I was standing next to one when my husband walked out of the locker room with a look of Christmas on my face and he rolled his eyes at me. How could I not give this a try? It was calling my name the second I saw it. Super awesome!!!!

Anticipating: Our upcoming vacation. I have no idea what or if we will achieve everything on the list that we had hoped to do thanks to these medical issues. I just really want a safe, enjoyable trip as a family.

Waiting Patiently For: MRI results and a game plan on how to fix my hubby.

IMG_1410

Researching: Yurts for a possible Christmas vacation in the wilderness

DSC_0366_edited-1

Have you ever stayed in a yurt?

Where?

During what season?

Advertisements

Life’s Highs and Lows

Doesn’t it always seem when something happens that is great there is always something right behind that is not so great? Lately, this has been the story of my life, high and then low. Much like being on a roller coaster, which in case you did not know, I do not enjoy roller coasters!

Take A Look:

High: It’s now December, one month closer to Spring. Hurray!

Low: December is crazy busy with parties, family, stress, shopping, birthdays etc.

High: Every week that passes is one week closer to vacation.

Low: I am already dreading coming home from vacation and I have not even left yet.

High: My Christmas shopping is almost done.

Low: Now I need to wrap everything.

High: 2015 will be bringing many changes in my daily life, but I am confident it will all work out for the better.

Low: Sleep has been pretty scarce lately. I blame stress over these changes.

High: Our health insurance deductible has been met this year thanks to our son and his accident back in May. (We have not met our deductible in years) So health care has actually been affordable.

Low: Our deductible will start over(as most do) Jan. 1.

High: I walked 5 miles for the first time in months without my ankle taped up and I had no pain:)

Low: My husband is sick with a respiratory bug and I am hoping I am not next to battle this illness.

High: I have a girl’s Christmas get together planned for this month and it should be fun.

Low: Our daycare Christmas party is also planned and even though it’s an exciting time for the kids, it’s always a very rough day for me. Kids don’t understand that there is only one of me to three of them. And let’s face it, whom ever thought of twist tying or using screws and plastic pieces to secure toys to the cardboard packages they are sold in could not have had any children. This is simply over kill in my eyes. And it takes FOREVER to get the darn toy out of the box. My only hope is that we have a major snowstorm that day and my husband stays home to help. Or my son has off of school and work that day and I can use him to my advantage. (now let’s just hope neither one of them read this post)

High: We are really doing well on our training. My cardio time has improved significantly and if I had more time in a day, I know I could even go longer.

Low: I am dreading January when the gym we belong to fills with new year’s resolution newbies!!! I know….. how bad I am to think this way. I really do support a healthy lifestyle, it just frustrates me when you join a gym to become healthy and spend most of that time walking around or sitting on the machines texting instead of working out. Do that in the lobby and leave the machines for those of us that really want to be healthy and fit:)

As you can see, there are many things weighing on my mind right now. Some good, some bad and some are even quite ugly. I just keep my head held high and remember life could be so much worse.

 

 

 

Keeping Healthy During The Holidays

Keeping healthy during the holidays is really not as hard as you may think. It is far from impossible.

Do you know the average weight gain is 5lbs. from Thanksgiving to New Year’s? That just blows my mind. Yes, we all have parties to attend, stress, work, family issues, and so on to worry about during this time. However, none of these things should effect how you gain or loose weight during the holidays. Or at least not anymore than any other day of the year. I have heard many people say that the holidays is a time to cheat and enjoy themselves. I will agree with “enjoy” not “cheat”. Please enjoy this time of year but why cheat and end up not enjoying the outcome later on.

Whether you are the host, hostess, or the guest at someone’s home here are a few pointers that I think you may find helpful.

  • Show support to family and friends. If you know your family member or friend is watching what they eat please don’t say something like,”Oh just this once won’t hurt, try it.” They are well aware what they want to eat/drink to maintain any success they may have already experienced in their healthy journey. Do not sabotage this by telling them it’s ok. Let them make that decision for themself.
  • Start a new tradition. For instance, after Christmas dinner and before opening gifts go for a family walk in the neighborhood and enjoy the light displays. Or have everyone with kids in the family bring sleds and go sledding, or make snowmen in the yard. Plan an active activity to do as a family. Our family went snowshoeing Christmas Day last year and had the best time.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum. The holidays should not be about whom can drink the most to be the merriest.
  • Assign a dish to bring. When someone asks if they can bring a dish to pass, speak up. By having a mental or written list of healthier dishes, you can easily pick one off the list and give them what they asked for. If you leave it up to them, their healthy and your healthy can be completely different.
  • Always bring a dish. This is the only way you can be guaranteed there will be something you can eat that will fit into your healthier eating plan.
  • Substitute healthier alternatives in recipes. Most people will never know that you used low fat cream cheese (among many other things) if you don’t tell them.
  • Exercise throughout the holidays. Don’t laugh….you can find the time. I have already researched the holiday hours of our gym and have a plan. You can too!

These are just a few suggestions. I am not saying have no fun, don’t drink, and stop eating. I am just saying that keeping healthy during the holidays is completely possible if you want it to be.

Do you have any to add to my list? I would love to hear your suggestions.

 

What I’m Loving Lately….

Let me share with you a few things I have been loving lately. It’s funny how this list changes with the seasons, weather or even my own person likes and dislikes, especially food preferences. Lately, I have been finding that I actually enjoy flavors that I never did when I was younger.

Sriracha sauce on eggs no less.I never use to like hot and spicy anything, but lately I just can’t get enough.

Chai honey on an english muffin with peanut butter. It’s something about the cooler temps that brings out my love of chai. I rarely drink or eat anything chai until Fall. Here is a recipe for homemade chai honey if you want to give it a try.

Smuckers fruit-fulls. I have tried every brand of fruit pouches which have become very popular as of lately. I gave this brand a try because I had a coupon and I was very happily surprised. Ingredients are only fruit, no added anything, and they are very tasty and not as baby food textured as most pouches from other companies. I don’t know of many adults that consume these since I feel they are basically marketed toward children. However, this is a terrific way for adults on the go to get in a serving of fruit. Plus, in my case, it’s a great way to level out my blood sugar issues in a hurry. I grab a Luna bar and a fruit pouch and I am good to go for a few more hours:-)

Blue Diamond Almondsyum,yum,yum!!! My flavor of choice is the Bold Habanero BBQ. Which again, is surprising due to the spice but they are delicious.

Enough about food, let’s move on to other things. About two weeks ago I finally made time for a haircut. For quite a while now I have been debating going back to a short hairstyle and finally just did it. It was as long as the middle of my back and is now shorter than shoulder length. My two youngest daycare kiddos were hesitant to even come to me the next morning. I must admit, I wish I would have done it sooner. It’s faster to style, very quick to dry, my husband no longer rolls on it during the night, and working out with short hair is fantastic! I love it 🙂

As you all know I have been dealing with some ankle pain and sore legs some nights. I broke down and bought a pair of compression socks to try after reading how they are used for recovery after runs and workouts for athletes.  Now I would never consider myself an athlete but WOW, I can seriously say they have provided me much relief. Not so much with my ankle but my legs are loving these socks.

Workouts lately have been just what I need to get out of my house and feel alive again. It’s no secret I am not an indoor person, but when the temps drop I spend 90% of my life in my home. So a trip to the gym to break a sweat puts a smile on my face:-)

I am enjoying watching our son interact with one of my daycare kiddos in a field he loves. Our son has always had a love of science and experimenting. You can only imagine the types of disasters I have had to clean up over the years. As he has gotten older this love has only grown and now with one of my kiddos mentioning one day that she too likes experiments, they have been inseparable. He has been laughing at her and she has been learning with him.

IMG_0279 IMG_0299

And last but not least, I have officially started Christmas shopping which means I am a bit closer to finished. I am not a big fan of shopping in slush, snow, parking lot grime and pushy people at holiday time. I typically try and start early and finish by Thanksgiving. This year I should have no problem finishing. Most have asked for money and that only leaves me with a few others to buy actual gifts for.

That should do it for now.

What have you been loving lately?

 

 

 

July Goal #3- A Mom’s Day Off-Door County, WI

Although I don’t consider myself a full time mom anymore to our now grown 19 year old son, I am somewhat of a substitute mom to all my daycare children. That being said, whether I am a mom to my own child or doing my job, all mom’s needs a day off once in awhile. And that is exactly what I did on Monday, took a day off and had some fun with some friends.

I started my day with a little me time at the gym, alone and very early. My favorite time to workout is mornings and I rarely get this opportunity so I took full advantage of it.

IMG_3391

After that is was home to get ready for our day of fun in Door County, WI. I have visited this area more times than I can remember and almost always spend most of the time hiking trails or on the water doing something water related. Today however, was all about food, shopping, and wine tasting. No need for hiking boots or paddles but I was ok with that.

Our first stop was a new coffee shop in Sturgeon Bay, WI called the Glas Coffee House. I had already had my fill of morning coffee so I went with a blueberry smoothie which was perfect after my awesome morning workout.

IMG_5013

After this it was time to go deep into the Door County experience and shop. All three of us are foodies so we were literally like kids in a candy store. We tasted dips, salsa, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, BBQ sauces, cookies, cherries, and of course WINE!!!!!

IMG_5041

We did sneak away and explore a few of the other shops with some authentic Door County art.

IMG_5034IMG_5033

Then somewhere along the path we came across a very special holiday shop that is decorated year round with Christmas decor.

IMG_5019

And I’ll be honest, walking into this shop in the middle of July was against all my morals but I did it. (You will all understand why if you remember how much I dread snow, cold, and winter.) I will also admit, the Christmas music that was playing sent a shiver down my spine but the decor was very, very beautiful.

IMG_5024

We did take a short break and have a real meal in between all the culinary delights we tasted and ate at the Chef’s Hat in Ephraim, WI.

IMG_2542

My meal of choice was the gorgonzola roast beef sandwich with potato salad. It’s like a party in your mouth, it’s so good.

IMG_5028

Door County has so much to offer that I know we could never see it all in one day. However, we saw quite a bit of it.

Eventually, I hope to get the girls to visit and venture out into my world a bit and either do some hiking or explore by water but until that happens a glance at the calm waters of Door County was not far from my sight.

IMG_5032

After all, it was a day to relax, enjoy being child free, enjoy being with friends and not have to worry about going back and picking up anyone in this area either:)

IMG_5035

To finish off our day, we had the pleasure of stopping in at the cabin of one of the women I spent the day with and sharing a dinner of all our Door County treats. WARNING: VERY UNHEALTHY MEAL….but so worth it!

IMG_5044

Yes, believe it or not, this was what we ate for dinner. Cookies, chocolate covered cherries, port wine cheese, crackers and wine. It was awesome.

Have you ever been to Door County, WI?

What was your favorite activity you did while there?

 

 

Looking Back ….

Did you all have a great holiday? We did. Looking back, I can’t believe everything we did in just a few days.

It all started with my first night geocache, where you use a flashlight and follow reflectors strategically place in the woods to find the actual cache. VERY fun, EXTREMELY cold (8 degrees) but I have high hopes to do this again when it’s a little warmer. (I have no pics because I was shivering too hard to even try and hold the camera steady, sorry)

Let’s see, we also moved our son back home because he has decided to transfer schools back to our hometown.We hosted Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, then went to my in laws and celebrated with my husband’s family. Christmas morning we had a wonderful breakfast.

IMG_3718

Then proceeded to open gifts in our jammies. I love celebrating with just the three of us, in jammies, with no where to go, no time restraints or worries. After gift opening we decided to do what we do best, head outdoors for some fun. We went snowshoeing for a couple hours.

IMG_3737

We saw some beautiful winter scenes.

IMG_3739

Arriving back at the truck with some hot chocolate waiting for us.

IMG_3750

After this it was back home for some relaxing family time. Our son even took a nap for two hours!

Thursday brought a day to celebrate our son’s birthday. He chose a great pizza place to visit for dinner.

IMG_2502

Then he ventured out later that night with a friend from high school to do something I think is just crazy. They went kayak sledding. Yes, that’s right, sledding down a snowy hill with their whitewater kayaks!!!! Dad would have normally joined in on the fun, but they left too late and he had to work in the morning so his fun will have to wait until next time. Myself on the other hand, will not do this. I like my water unfrozen, warm and the sun to be shining brightly in the sky.

The weekend brought ice fishing for my hubby that went very well. He caught his limit of fish which we enjoyed for lunch the next day.

IMG_3759

I was able to get in two wonderful workouts, which always makes me happy.  I also was able to get all the holiday decor put away.

Finally, as of today our normal routine is back and life will once again have some order to it.

I am working on a challenge for the New Year that I will post Wednesday. Not so much a New Year’s resolution but a “gift” I think we can all give ourselves for the New Year. So make sure you take a quick peak on Wednesday and see if your interested in challenging yourself.

Until then…

Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

Years ago our son  became friends with a classmate which resulted in our families becoming friends all through their school years together. He once visited their home and they had this recipe while he was there. He raved about it for days which made me finally ask for the recipe. Now, every Christmas morning this is our breakfast. It has been for years, and I hope maybe someday he will keep up this tradition with his family.

I will warn you, this is far from a healthy breakfast, although it is cream cheese free:) This is what makes it all the more special. It’s the one day a year I make it and enjoy it and don’t worry about what’s so bad about it.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

2 loaves frozen bread dough

1/2 c. butter(1 stick)

1 cup brown sugar

1 lg box cook n serve vanilla pudding

2 TBSP milk

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Defrost the bread for 1 hour so it is easy to handle and cut. Cut each loaf into 4 parts lengthwise then cut into 1 inch pieces.

Grease 9×13 cake pan and put the pieces from one loaf in a single layer. Melt all the other ingredients together over low heat until smooth. Pour this over the bread pieces. Next, take the pieces from the second loaf and fill in the spaces. Let it rise for about one hour.

IMG_3712

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

IMG_3714

Let it cool for about 15 minutes and turn it over onto a large plate.

IMG_3715

IMG_3718

Enjoy the ooooy gooooy yumminess with your family.