Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday +week in review of workouts: Aloha Edition

Today I am going to let my pictures do the talking mostly: 
Shrimp, rice, salad

Mai Tai by the pool

After the beach a refreshing fruit boat and cottage cheese

I've been loving putting real whipped cream on my coffee some mornings ;)

This turkey burger was  awesome! I still have. Half to eat! It was turkey with gruyere,  sautéed onions, & pear!

This was a tasty dessert: it was chocolate& caramel latte ;) nom!

My workouts have not suffered since being in Oahu:

Last Thursday: X3 Yoga
Friday: rest
Saturday: triometrics
Sunday: rest & stretch
Monday: MMX & tumbling...I haven't tumbled in nearly 20 years....decided to break out the back bends & stuff...see my Instagram for the videos! Haha
Tuesday: Woke up super sore! Doing back walkovers & stuff after not doing them for a while makes one crazy sore! But did Decelerator & swimming 

Today: triometrics, tumbling, and stretching. 

So far it has been so fun here in Oahu, weare having a great time. Any suggestions of must see stuff while we are here? We have one more week!

Linking up at:
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Aloha! Hawaiian Menu Plan Monday!

Aloha! I am writing today from Hawaii! I took last week off from blogging because, well,  I just needed a break-sometimes that happens. 

I arrived in Hawaii last Thirsday night, my best friend of nearly 30 years picked us up from the airport with beautiful lei''s a super unflattering picture of us with them...

We have enjoyed several delicious meals with our friends. I've had the enjoyment of watching my god daughter learn to swim and share my love of exercise with her. 

We've enjoyed some quiet days reading in the backyard & getting sun while lying in the hammock. I finished Divergent while here, that is an excellent, fast read. I highly recommend picking it up, if you haven't already. 

Sunday we went to a military resort here in Oahu. It was a really nice resort and the weather was perfect! They have a bar and snacks, a pool and beach access. 

We had a great seat to enjoy Mai Tai's, Lava Flow's....

This girl is enjoying some vitamin d! I'm tanning up quickly and I've been using an SPF 50 daily!

So, since we are staying at my friends house this is what our menu looks like for the week...

Breakfast Options:
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal, eggs, English muffin with pb and bananas, leftovers, I'm sure we will eat out one morning

Lunch Options:
eat out once or twice, leftovers, sandwiches

Dinner Options:
Since we are on vacation we aren't really setting anything in stone....
Pork tenderloin in the crockpot with red potatoes and carrots, chicken tacos, grilled chicken thighs and veggies, spaghetti squash with marinara and bread, and I'm sure we will eat out a few times.

We always have on hand on vacation the supplies for a sundae bar, some cookies and othe treats, we will grab shaved ice this week as well as several other fun and delicious Hawaiian snacks.

What sort of goodies are you munching on this week?

I will be linking up at , and

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Anne Boleyn: HERstory over at History of a Woman


Today I am guest posting over at History of a Woman, telling the tale of a favorite woman of mine from history.

As you all know I got the fantastic opportunity to visit London a few weeks back. I was super stoked because I was going to get to walk the halls of a favorite woman of mine: Anne Boleyn!

Anne was a strong woman who had the unfortunate fate of being put in a precarious situation. Go on over to learn more and see a few more pictures from my trip to London and get some great book recommendations!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Travel Diary: London in a day

A few weeks back during my What I Ate Wednesday post I mentioned we had traveled to London! It was the best experience. I had never been to Europe so the fact that we got the opportunity to go and on such short notice was amazing...sometimes business travel has its advantages.

We actually traveled to Cambridge  where the husband had his meeting. Prior to leaving we knew we would only get one day in Long so after doing a google search for "London in a day" we got several great itinerary ideas, but this one from Frommer's seemed to have every single site that was a "must see" for us. So, we started at the train station in Cambridge, took a train in to London. It was fairly cheap, if I remember correctly I think it was just £60 total for the two of us round trip, including all day tube travel while in London! 

Once we arrived at Kings Cross this is how we did London in a day:
  1. Take the tube to Westminster. 
    1. This is where you can check out the houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.
      1. Westminster Abbey-we decided to forgo the tour, it was pretty expensive and since we truly only had one day just enjoy the outside, the architecture it was quite beautiful. 
      2. Houses of Parliament and Big Ben....just enjoyed checking out the architecture. 
    2. Next we walked north along Whitehall, toward Trafalgar Square. Once we saw the square we turned left toward Admiralty Arch. This is a beautiful piece, but pass through it and keep walking until you get to Buckingham Palace. If you can time this just right you can see the changing of the guard. Sadly, we missed it, but I am sure we will see it at some point. The gold work on the gates at the palace is amazing. Truly, I've never seen anything like it. I was amazed. 
    3. St. Jame's Park is an easy see, as you walk back toward Admiralty Arch it will be on the right hand side. It's a nice walk along the water. Enjoy it...even if it's cold and windy. 
    4. Trafalgar Square was a must see for us simply because a lot of history engulfs that area. Plus the lion statues and the National Gallery are quite impressive. We skipped going inside as it was getting to be lunch time and the day was passing us by so we walked over to Cafe in the Crypt, it's on the east side of the square, next to St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, you can't miss it.
  2. Next, walk back to the Tube entrance at Westminster and take the Tube to Tower Hill.
    1. This is where you will see The Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We skipped a lot on the original itinerary because this is a giant museum with a lot of amazing things to see. 
    2. Pay to get in, it is rather expensive £44 all together for both of us...but well worth it! Make sure to see the crown jewels, some of the stuff the Queen wears is amazing, it is so old...hard to believe some of it has lasted this long!
    3. Walk over to Tower Bridge, check it out, it is pretty amazing. You can walk across and see some other things but this was where we departed. 
  3. We took the Tube back to Kings Cross, jumped on our train and did dinner in Cambridge.
I felt like we were really able to get a good feel for London and I felt really accomplished when we left the city. This hit every highlight I wanted to see and I didn't feel deprived at all. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Feature Friday #3

Woohoo! Friday it is! Does anyone have any fun plans for the weekend? - Friday is my second favorite

I know we have New Restaurant Friday and then Saturday the Teenager is having a couple friends spend the night. Sunday will actually be relaxing since there is no cheerleading. Hoping to fit in a run that day.

If you missed last week's Feature Friday make sure to check it out here. This week has been a great week in the blog-o-sphere! I've found lots of great stuff to read!

What I've Read:

The first article I read that really spoke to me is from another fitness mama. She's Rachel & she is over at Random Kings. She writes about Birth Stories and why they are a big deal. I have never judged someone for how they choose to give birth. That is obviously a very, very personal experience and what is right for the goose is most definitely not right for the gander. My friend Rachel had two completely natural births..good for her..I am jealous. I wish I could have done that, but I am a huge wimp and got the as soon as I could! I had the most enjoyable, lazy birth. I will say when I tell people my birth story they are amazed my epidural worked so well. I have never felt judged by it though. Maybe I am just not that sensitive to notice if someone was judging me. But, as women I do feel that when we are in online forums and talking with our friends no matter what we should support them, especially with a birth story. Everyone makes the best decisions they can at the time and things don't always go as planned no matter how much you try to plan! So tell me what you think? Have you ever felt "judged" by your birth story? Have you ever judged someone for how they chose to handle the birth of their child? Better yet, leave her a comment on her site ;)

Next, I read two articles that I wanted to feature. Tomorrow I have a travel article coming up and these two ladies posted nice articles about places they have recently visited. The first is from Cosmos Mariners she writes about How to Have an Inexpensive Trip to Scotland. This spoke to me because we just got back from a fairly inexpensive trip to London. We love to save money so any tips on making trips less costly are always appreciated! The final article I am going to write about is from Megan Joy Jaunts.  She writes about visiting Seville, Spain! While there they visited a beautiful cathedral: Catedral de Seville. Go check out her beautiful pictures, this place is definitely on my must visit list some day! 

What I Wrote:

During my Meal Plan Monday post I write about 5 things you can do on Sunday to make your whole week run smoother & make sure you don't miss those workouts ;) This week I also continued on my weekly deep cleaning series: Living Room and Dining Room. Finally, if you didn't see this beauty yesterday I posted my recipe for making Granite Cleaner Wipes. Go over and check these out. Let me know what you think! :)

What I Watched:
I don't really have any links but this week we have been crazy into Big Brother Canada! Any one else watching? I love how they had the new house guest come in! Excited to see how that will shake the house up. 

I've also been way in to Reign.  It's getting super interesting. I love how they are going down an interesting sexual path with the King. This last week when he screwed the woman right out the window was shocking! Who else watched? What do you think?

I'm linking up over at Blogitudes today, if you are a blogger go link up too ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to make Granite Cleaner Wipes

I clean-a lot! LOL As you can tell from my Tuesday posts the last few weeks:
Now, for a good majority of these I use just basic cleaning tools like my microfiber cloths. However, when I have to wipe down the counters in my kitchen and bathroom each day I need something with a little disinfecting power.

Now, I've mentioned this before so y'all know I don't use harsh chemical cleaners. They stink, make me cough, and dry out my skin. So, all these factors meant I needed to find a way to make a homemade cleaner that was safe for my granite. Enter: Google & Pinterest!

I found One Thing By Jillee and her great granite cleaner recipe. I decided to take this and turn it into wipes!


  1. I make three different containers of wipes. One for each bathroom and one for the kitchen. Put rags in each container.
  2. In each container measure out 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol.
  3. Add 3-5 drops of Dr. Bronner's (or your choice of dish washing liquid in each container)
  4. 5-15 drops of essential oil depending on how strong you like your scent/what scent you are using.
  5. Add about 1/4-half cup of water to just sort of fill the container.
Essential Oil Variations

  • Lavender-lemon: 5 drops lavender, 5 drops lemon
  • Peppermint 5 drops peppermint
  • Lavender: 15 drops lavender
  • Lemon: 12 drops lemon
  • Sweet orange: 15 drops orange
  • Citrus: 6 drops lemon, 8 drops orange
  • Natural: 7 drops tea tree
  • Orange Lavender: 5 drops orange, 5 drops lavender
That is about the extent of the essential oil scents I use ;) I am hoping to expand my collection soon and come up with more fun ones. The lavender-lemon is my fave!

Do you use homemade cleaning products? What is your favorite recipe?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday + my week in workouts!

This past week I have been trying to make sure I eat a lot healthier than I had been. I am in my final block of P90X3 so I want to make sure I am really getting the most out of it!

This was our Saturday night dinner: chicken fried steak with a yummy cream gravy, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and broccoli! I sprinkled a little corn over mine because the Mr. had that and I couldn't resist.

Monday, since it was so gorgeous here in downtown the kiddo & I went for coffee after school, she obviously talked me into a chocolate chip muffin. We were going to sit out side but it was a bit too windy for that. I love the reflection in the table.

This was Tuesday's lunch and afternoon snack. On the left is strawberries, blueberries, and banana with coconut yogurt & a hard boiled egg. On the right is a big hunk of peanut butter-because ya know, sometimes life just calls for a scoop of PB-and a hard boiled egg.

Tuesday's coffee...I was feeling fabulous so I went for the Vegas mug ;) 

This was dinner one day last week a big salad with my delicious apple cider vinegar dressing and PaleOMG's Almost 5 Ingredient pizza pie.

Weekly P90X3 Review:

Wednesday: Eccentric Lower

Thursday: X3 Yoga...after eccentric lower I needed it!!! I was s-o-r-e!
Friday: Triometrics-This one is so funky because you do one exercise for 1 minute, but every 20 seconds he makes it a little you wind up doing one exercise 3 different ways! o_O It is exhausting, but oh-so-good!

Saturday: Eccentric Upper. This was the first time I remember doing this one. It was ok, not my favorite.

Sunday: Active "rest". I felt so poorly about Saturday's workout, even though I was sore, I didn't get the sweat I wanted so I did dynamix. If you want a sweat session without anything overly intense this is the workout for you!

Monday: MMX...after dynamix yesterday I woke up super sore. So, I was glad it was MMX but I must be getting it way better shape because I am working harder and harder during this workout every week and this one is a serious sweat session with serious hard work!
The silly selfie lol this was me after MMX...I was exhausted and so sweaty! 

Tuesday: Decelerator. This workout is funny. I feel indifferent about it...I don't necessarily like it, but I don't despise it either. This one has what I call the "impossible exercise": crane push ups...if anyone out there can do these please check my about page & email me a picture I would love to brag on you!

Today: Pilates. Was supposed to be Triometrics, but I feel like I need the stretch from pilates, so that is what I am going with, trio tomorrow.

So, that's it for this week...What have you been munching on this week?
My X3 ends in a few weeks and my original goal from the new year was to start half marathon training. However, due to some things that have come up I won't be able to attend the half I was planning on, so that is out....trying to figure out what to plan for those 12 weeks...any suggestions?

Organization: Weekly Deep Cleaning: Living Room and Dining Room

It is yet another week on the schedule. We have been getting signs of spring though so it is making the cleaning much, much easier. Last week I was in the entry, laundry room and porch; this week I am working in my living room and dining room. I do these two rooms together because we have an open concept house which means our living room and dining room are just one big space pretty much, as I think most homes are this day in age. 

So, here is what the schedule looks like on my iPad:

Here is what I have:
  • Move furniture and sweep/mop or vacuum. Use the attachment or long duster (aka broom) if need be to get up all the bunnies. If carpeted, steam clean if need be. 
  • Vacuum couch & cushions & dining room chairs.
  • Wash blankets and fluff pillows.
  • Dust ceiling corners
    • Using broom wrapped with a microfiber cloth secured around it with a rubber band get cobwebs and dust being careful of the sprinklers.
  • Dust baseboards & wipe down with a rag.
    • If scuffed use peroxide to get them up, if chipped fill in holes with paint.
  • Dust window sills & wipe down with a rag.
    • If scuffed use peroxide to get them up, if chipped fill in holes with paint.
  • Remove all books from book shelves, thoroughly dust shelves and place books back in an orderly manner.
    • Go through & tossing (or upcycling) any that are outdated or unwanted. I know for some of you this is a travesty, but believe it or not if our kid is 14 we may not want Hop on Pop up there any more. ;)
    • After placing books back on shelves replace any holiday decorations that may have passed and we just didn't get them put away.
    • If there is any paperwork that got placed here "to be filed" file it now.
This system seems to work and keep things in order. Believe it or not these items each only take 15 minutes or less to complete. They are so simple and keep the house so neat and tidy, plus my holiday decor us usually fairly up to date with this system. ;) Anyone else a chronic "ooops why is this bunny from spring still here in ...August?!"

See more in this series:
Weekly Power Hour
Morning & Evening Routine
Deep Cleaning: Bedrooms

Entry, Foyer, Laundry Room

Sunday, March 9, 2014

5 Ways to Make Your week smoother +Menu Plan Monday #42

Week days are hectic. Whether you are a stay a home mom/wife or if you work inside or outside the home weekdays are very, very busy. In order to keep my workouts, healthy eating, and house in order there are five simple things I like to do on Sunday:
  • Wash all my workout clothes. 
    • I read an article about this a few years ago when I was still working. It really does help to keep me on track and to get up on Monday and workout. If I have to dig through and search for a dirty workout outfit it just sort of lowers the morale.
  • Gather the family to make sure anything they may need clean for the week such as work pants, work shirts, etc are in the laundry and ready to be washed and/or dry cleaning is by the door and ready to be dropped off. 
  • Write your meal plan and go grocery shopping.
    • For a lot of people this is difficult, but I find you have a basic outline of what you will eat & have the food in the house you are more likely to eat that food then stop for a fast food option.
    • Some easy ideas for breakfast options are egg muffins, homemade muffins, cut up fruit, smoothies, granola and milk, overnight oats
  • Prep the food.
    • For exmaple, if you have salads planned for lunches and as sides for dinners make a very large salad for the week. Cut up toppings for sandwiches, go ahead and start marinating some meats if you wish. Cook up your breakfast options or prep them & have them in the fridge.
    • I label any leftovers in the fridge for lunches and who will be taking them.
  • Make a list of activities going on that week, phone calls that need to be made, and errands that need to be done.
I find these five simple things really help the week go smoothly. I rarely get a hon/mom, where is my ____________. But, it is there responsibility to get it to me, I just usually have to give a gentle nudge of "hey, get me your ______________'s you may need clean for the week. Also, with having breakfasts prepped ahead of time & lunches labeled in the fridge if we are running behind it is super easy to grab everything and get out the door.

Now for the weekly menu:

Breakfast options: egg frittata, paleo pancakes, paleo muffins, omelette for Saturday and Paleo Pumpkin Poppers for Sunday

Lunch options: chicken/tuna salads, leftovers, Sunday will be a brunch of scrambled eggs, bacon, and leftovers

Monday: bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with onions/mushrooms, corn and peas
Tuesday: burger for the hubs, fish for the kiddo & I with corn/broccoli/potato wedges
Wednesday: Pizza pasta bake with veggies and salad
Thursday: BBQ chicken sandwiches with salad and leftover veggies
Friday: New Restaurant Friday: We will finally be eating at the Calabash Bistro...almost beginning to think it wasn't meant for us to eat there! o_O
Saturday: Cheese burgers with salad
Sunday: Steak and shrimp with broccoli/corn/leftovers

This week I was looking in my freezer and pantry and going through and trying to clear them out. Every now and again I like to use everything up and restock so I know it is all fairly fresh.

What do you have planned for the week? We are in the countdown to Spring Break! Just 10 days until we leave for our vacation! Yipee!

Linking up at: Org Junkie, and Mommy Run Fast. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature Friday #2

These weeks seem to be going by faster and faster these days! I am less than two weeks away from my Hawaii Spring Break trip with my 14 year old to visit my best and oldest friend from childhood! I can't even believe it. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but to get to share that with  my daughter and my best about a dream come true!

Another exciting thing that happened to me earlier this week is my feature over at The Wednesday Round Up!

Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt

Go on over and check it out! While you are there check out all the other great things that were linked up last week and this week! 

Last week I did my first Feature Friday and I linked up over at a great site called Blogitudes. If you are a blogger and do a weekly wrap up like this head on over and link-up! Otherwise, if you just love to read go check it out and read the other bloggers who link up! 

What I Read

This last week I read some great articles by other bloggers. The first thing I read was this great article from a blogger I have followed for many years. This woman in fact is who {unknowingly} inspired me to start my blog! I loved everything she posts and since it is somewhat from her everyday life I loved reading it so figured I would do the same! Well, the last week in February, I didn't find it until earlier this week though, she had the opportunity to interview a young woman who runs ultra marathons! I am a runner. I truly love running, I love feeling the sun on my face, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriends when I run. I however have no desire to run any longer than 13.1 miles. I am though inspired by those who run marathons, ultra marathons, triathalons, etc. I find it amazing that they have the willpower to make that happen! So, go on over to Creatlive and read the interview with Samantha Gash, ultramarathoner!

The next thing I read that really spoke to me was from The Jenny Evolution. She has written part one of her experience with something called Novasure.  This is a procedure that isn't quite as intense...but with a similar outcome, i.e., no more children, as a hysterectomy-but helps with women who have seriously unbearable menstrual cycles. Go on over and read it, it is a great article documenting her experience. Here is part two.

The final thing I read was a super fun one! It is from Blogitudes herself. She took a writing prompt and wrote a very cute fictional piece called,  The Letter. I've never read a piece of fiction on a blog but it made me smile and let me know that just when you think things are bad, something good always comes out of it. Yeah, yeah, I'm a major sucker for a happy ending! 

What I wrote:

This last week I wrote another piece on my deep cleaning schedule. On the agenda was cleaning my foyer, porch, and laundry room. These are very small areas in our city condo so they are easy to do in one fell swoop! Go on over and check it out! 

Another fun piece is my lamp makeover. This was a cute, easy, fun project! Plus, you can check out one of my pinterest boards. Go follow me if you aren't already, I pin good stuffs. 

My most popular post this week was my What I Ate Wednesday post along with my week in workouts. 

What did you read this week, anything I should check out? Leave me a summary & a link in the comments and I will gladly pop on over and check out any interesting articles.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lamp Makeover

I LOVE a good makeover! Knowing this, a few months back my teenager decided she wanted her room made a Moroccan theme. So bright, colorful and lots of DIY projects! I pinned everything I thought would be perfect to accent her room: 

As you can see, as time went on she decided she wanted a "cheer" themed room. Not bad because cheerleaders a colorful, just like a Moroccan theme so it has all worked out!

I am all about up-cycling so we tried to use what we had on hand along with our extensive craft collection to make all of her decorations.

First up was this lamp...

  • A lamp (mine is a full lamp, I just couldn't get a nice picture with the top of it in there)
  • Some Aleen's jewel-it (I found this worked best, it is most like cement)
  • A bag full of multi-colored jewels
  1. Make a circle of glue around the base, just a small circle because it dries fairly quickly and you don't want to waste it.
  2. Lay down some jewels, like this
  3. Continue until you have the base covered!

Finished product:

You may be asking, "why didn't she do the top of the lamp?" Well boys and girls, I didn't do the top because that lamp gets really, really warm. I was afraid if I did the top it would get warm, heat the glue and all the gems would fall off! That would be embarrassing right?! 

So, there we have it a cute and simple project! It only took a wee bit over an hour to complete. This was done back in September, it is now March and she still talks about how cute it is! 

Do you upcycle?? What is your favorite upcycled project you've completed?

What I Ate Wednesday +week in review of workouts!

I have a confession. I love food. All kinds of food, but good quality food especially. Loading up on good healthy food excites me, especially with the workouts I do it is essential. 

Last week I mostly fueled myself with garbage mostly. But, this week I have redeemed myself. 

Homemade fruit, yogurt & granola parfaits made all fancy like in wine glasses.
Broccoli & egg hash.
Wednesday Treat: Vanilla Latte & chocolate covered graham crackers
Roast with mushrooms & onions, broccoli, and sweet potato fries.

I am on a major broccoli kick lately...must be lacking iron or something...

This was my favorite meal of the week! It is 21 day sugar detox friendly. Look at the stems on that broccoli! Yum, yum!

Salad bar I chopped up for the week! This has been amazing in me getting in at least one salad a day!

P90X3 Update....

Now, on to the workouts! Last week was transition week in my P90X3 journey. This is the 2nd transition week, the one before the final block.

Wednesday: Accelerator

Thursday: Pilates X

Friday: CVX

Saturday: X3 Yoga

Sunday: Nap
I was really tired after this transition week. My whole body felt the work. I am definitely seeing a major difference in my abs...60 day pics to come next Wednesday.
Monday: Decelerator
Tuesday: MMX
I really struggled through this one yesterday. I was sweating bullets. Normally MMX is an easy one for me but I must have been giving it my all because I was sweating a lot and I can really feel it in my obliques.

Today: Eccentric lower
I woke up super sore today. My glutes, arms, and back are really feeling this week! Can't believe I am in the final block of this!