Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Are you a Champion??

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I've never been a big fan of working out. Especially not in group settings such as a boot camp. I would begrudgingly go to the gym, just because I was "supposed to", but I dreaded it and I did not enjoy it while I was there. I could never understand the people who got excited about working out, or worse - running. It boggled my mind. There were so many better things I could do with my time, I thought. But as I get a little older and I realize that my body and my metabolism are not what they used to be, I realize more and more how important it is to take care of it now. I guess having a personal trainer as a soon-to-be husband might have a little something to do with it as well. Perhaps. I'm stubborn, though, and try as he might over the last two years, I wasn't hearing it. He wasn't going to tell me that I needed to change. For my own good. Hmph.

South Park Cartman  whatever! I do what I want!

But little by little I've come around. I joined a boot camp back in October that I initially loathed. Hearing the name would make me prickle up. But now, as I've continued to go and I've gotten comfortable and become chatty with some of the other campers, I actually look forward to going and I enjoy it while I'm there. Well, if I'm honest, I think I'm dying while I'm there, but I feel good when the hour is done and like I’m dying a little less each time. It also helps that I really like the trainer and feel like he actually cares about his campers, he's not solely there to make a buck.

I feel like I'm accomplishing something and while I still need to incorporate the gym into my weekly routine, I can see some change already. It's made me want to do more than just two days a week, which is what my regular schedule allows me right now, which means that I will have to adjust my schedule and wake up veeerrrrry early to go to the gym or boot camp. And while I know that will be hard, I feel like the results and the energy I will ultimately gain from it will be more than worth the couple of hours of sleep I will lose. 

I'm also fortunate to have amazing supplements at my fingertips, as J is also an AdvoCare distributor. Spark in the morning, ThermoPlus before meals, and Catalyst before a workout. Those are my go-to products, but there are so many more. J takes a lot of them as he's more hardcore in the gym and needs more to supplement and recover, but as I get more involved I will incorporate more products to fit my needs. There are a lot of supplement companies out there and I am one of the biggest cynics/critics about those sorts of things, but this is one that I can stand behind and recommend to friends without hesitation. Quality products that are natural, full of vitamins, and free of any banned-substances. Oh, and the best part – you will see noticeable results. Whether it's energy, weight-loss, muscle-gain or recovery, or overall health and wellness, you will see a noticeable difference from the time you begin taking the products. They even have a skin-care line! And if you're into the products and using them regularly and want to get a discount you can become a distributor and save 20% right off the bat, with the potential to save up to 40%! And then if you have friends or family that you think can benefit from the products they can order from you and you'll make a little money, or they can sign up as distributors to save some money themselves.

The first thing most people (raises hand) think when they hear about companies with this sort of structure is – pyramid scheme – and they shut down and run for the hills. I'm the first to say that I am usually one of those people. And to be honest, had J not been the one getting involved, I would probably still be one of those people. But having been to seminars and tried the products, and having first-hand knowledge that there is no scheme involved, I can honestly say that this is not that kind of company. Sure, if you get people signed up under you, you have the potential to earn more money but it is not required. You can sign up and just get your own discount. You can share the product with others – or not. It's a company that has opportunities for various goals. Whether it's health & wellness or financial, you have an opportunity. And there is nothing that ties you to it should you so decide that it's not for you. You just stop ordering the product. Other than your initial kit, you don't have to buy anything. But once you try the products and see how they can change your life, you won't want to stop. And you won't want to keep it to yourself. You're going to want everyone you know to try it and start their own path to better health and better results from their efforts.

AdvoCare is a world-class company that is doing great things and is backed by big names. Athletes who endorse their products because they know they're safe, and they know they're effective. Oh, and they aren't just some paid endorsers like the ones on TV. They legitimately use and like the products. Drew Brees even has his own Performance Elite line with AdvoCare.

I'm not really sure how my post about my working out journey turned into an AdvoCare promotion, but I guess it's because it's a company with products that really have impacted my life, both before and after I got serious about working out and getting healthier. And if it could affect a skeptic like me in such a positive way, I'm willing to bet there are others like me out there who could really benefit from hearing my story and trying the products for themselves. I've lost weight, I have more energy, and I have more stamina and endurance in the gym and on the boot camp field. If you're in the mindset that you want to change your health, I highly recommend that you at least research the products. There is no shortage of information and the members of scientific and medical advisory board come from some pretty impressive backgrounds. If you have any questions, visit J's website, contact him or me and we'll be glad to help answer those questions.

But do something, because planning to take care of yourself later in life, may be too late. It's what we do today, right now, that ensures a more healthy future.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I said YES! to the dress!!

This past Saturday was a quite a day for me. I woke up early, made two venison sausage and baby greens quiches, and started preparing for company to arrive. My mom and step-dad, along with my friend (and one of my bridesmaids) would be arriving at my house around 10 a.m.

My step-dad and J were going to work on some house repairs while my mom, Amber and I drove to David's Bridal to meet Tracy and Jillian (my Matrons of Honor) so I could find my wedding dress. It was chaotic in the store and my consultant was a little...well, she was nice to me, but a little snotty/snarky to my girls. Which I didn't like.

There were two dresses that I went to the store intending/hoping to try on. Neither one of those dresses was actually IN the store. Go figure, right? So, we went over my likes and dislikes, what I was looking for in a dress, etc. and she started pulling some off the racks.

Things moved pretty quickly and Tracy hadn't yet arrived by the time I went into the dressing room, but she got there just after I came out in the first dress. She walked up and got teary-eyed and said, "It's so real now!" I waved my hand at her and told her no crying allowed, because if she (or anyone else) started crying, then I'd cry, and we'd never get through the day!

So about the first dress...it was amazing. Other than having a longer train that I wanted (I wanted pretty much no train at all), I couldn't complain about anything. The perfect neckline, nice detailing, and it made me look SO skinny! Like, size 2 skinny. Which I am nowhere near...lol...but it made me feel that small!

After that I tried on about 4 more dresses (5 total). I liked dresses 2 and 4, notsomuch dress 3, and hated dress 5. So, in the end I circled back to the very first dress and that is the dress that I will walk down the aisle in. I can't wait to see his face when I walk out onto the aisle.

I'm not much of a girly girl, and I don't really "do" frilly or princessy or whatnot, but this dress really made me feel like a pretty, pretty princess and I didn't want to take it off. That, my friends, is how you know you've found the one. The dress.

Of course he wants to see it, or a picture, but I told him no way. I want the first time he sees it to be on our wedding day. Not so much because it's "bad luck" or tradition, but because I want to see the look on his face when he sees me all done up...hair, make-up, and that dress. He's going to be blown away. Maybe even get teary-eyed himself :)

I'd post a pic, but ya know...the off chance that he could see it here, means you have to wait as well!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cruise Re-cap!

Honduras was amazing. We went ziplining through the rain-forest, and then we ate a local delicacy. Iguana! I know, poor little (or not-so-little) lizard. But it's what they eat (though I'm not so sure it's "legal") and we wanted to try the local fare. It was...interesting. The taste was good - it was flavored with curry. But they leave all the bones and skin intact while cooking, so when they shred it, those are in there too. So...not so fun having to pick through all of that! It was definitely an experience though! See...

Next was Belize, where we visited the Mayan Ruins (which so kindly gave me the gift of FORTY mosquito bites - and I had on bug spray!), and went cave tubing. Our tour guides that day were awesome and we had a really amazing time. Oh, and after cave tubing we had a local meal of roast chicken with rice and RUM PUNCH! Yep. I was loving that stuff, fo sho!! Made me quite silly on our ride back to the port.

Black Orchid

This is where the mosquitoes got me...

Our final port destination was Cozumel. Folks, let me just tell you...all-inclusive beach day is not a good idea for this gal. We'll just say that very little food consumption and very much tequila does not a good ending make. We did have an amazing time while there, though. J and I got a massage on the beach (on tables, not literally ON the beach), we played sand volleyball, and had a lot of laughs. 

Our group pic, upon arrival to the private beach

My one meal for the day...oops!

Post-volleyball sand face :)

And all the time before and in-between those ports spent on the ship was a lot fun as well. If you've never been on a cruise before let me just tell you - it's like a city on the water. Restaurants - with amazing food, bars, clubs, shops, pools, hot tubs, entertainment, a fitness center, a spa. Pretty much anything you could want to do, you can do. Even a casino. And a huge screen out by the pool where they show movies at night (and some during the day as well.)

Most importantly, and the whole reason we went on the cruise, our friends got married our second day at sea! We got to get all gussied up and witness a beautiful ceremony, then celebrate with the group afterwards.

Overall, it was just an amazing vacation, especially since it was our first "real" vacation together and his first cruise! He's ready to go on another one already...ha! But Costa Rica is just under 5 months away for our honeymoon and so much adventure awaits!! Squee!! Seriously though...4 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day from now I will be marrying the love of my life and I am just over the moon excited. Plans are all coming together nicely and I predict that in the next couple of weeks all the final details will be taken care of.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Am I getting old...??

For the love of all that is holy...what has been going on with my body lately? I mean, aside from the insane attraction that mosquitoes (and now possibly other bugs, too) have to me, I did something yesterday that still has me baffled. I went to the gym (that's not the baffling part) and as I am changing into my gym clothes, I somehow manage to tweak or otherwise hurt something around my left shoulder blade area.

Now, if I was actually working out and hurt something, I could deal with that. But I was changing my clothes for cryin' out loud! Putting on my sports bra, specifically. And I hurt it so badly that moving my left arm, shoulder, or my neck was almost debilitating. That is ridiculous, y'all. Re.dic.u.lous.

Fortunately it's feeling a little better today, but not nearly back to normal. James says I need to roll against a golf ball on the wall to get down into the muscle (rhomboid) to work out what he believes is a knot, but that it will hurt and I will likely cry. Um...why in the world would I want to do that to myself?? I'd rather lay on the bed and have him dig his elbow into the knot than do it to myself. So...tonight, maybe we'll try that. In the mean time, heating pads and ibuprofen. I'll attempt to go to the gym again this afternoon, and hopefully I'll manage to get changed without any further injury.

I just can't even....ugh. 6 weeks shy of 34 and already injuring myself for absolutely no reason. Isn't getting older grand?? LOL.

Until next time...

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Heart to Serve

Well, the garden took a hit last week. We had a nasty storm last Thursday with winds upwards of 50 mph, and we lost a few jalapenos (not the plants, just some of the actual jalps), a tomato, and it all but destroyed one of the zucchini plants. All-in-all, though, the garden held up pretty well. That is definitely one major downside to living up on a windy hill with no way to block it. Seriously...people can't even have wooden fences out there because the wind is so fierce it'll just knock 'em down. Sad, really.

Oh, and we finally have a little baby cantaloupe! Just one, of course, as is par for the course with everything in our garden. Ha!

Roo is doing a little better with the potty training, when we are at home with him, but when we get home from work there is always a mess to clean up. So...we're putting in a doggy door this weekend. I'm not a proponent for leaving dogs outside all day, especially in this Texas heat, so this will allow for him to stay in the cool of the laundry room, but slip outside if he gets bored and wants to play (i.e. eat grass, sticks, or whatever else he can find) or go potty. Fingers crossed that he actually uses the doggy door. Mommy is tired of cleaning up mess every day. 

And now onto some exciting - well, I think it's exciting - news. I'm not quite sure what's come over me this last week, but it seems that God is putting it on my heart to do more. More involvement with church. More volunteer work concerning kids. More to serve. I've looked into things before - bible studies, volunteer programs in the city - but my shy nature tends to get the best of me and I'm just too scared to join a group full of people I don't know, or make a commitment that I will absolutely have to keep. But I knew, in my heart, that it was time to stop being a scaredy cat and step outside of my comfort zone for the better of someone else.

I signed up for my very first Women's bible study at church. It starts next Monday (the 30th). It's called "Keep your love on" and while I'm nervous for so many reasons, I'm going to do it anyway. I already volunteer in the nursery at my church, and I just really feel this need to become more involved and actually get to know some of the other  people there. I think it will be good for me in a lot of ways. There is another bible study group on Wednesday nights, and the next one starts on July 9th. If all goes well with the first one, it's very likely I will join that one as well. 

In addition to church involvement, I have also signed up for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Central Texas. I'm still in the beginning application stage, so it may be awhile before I'm assigned a "Little", but I'm really excited about the opportunity to make a difference in a little girl's life. No doubt it will make an impact on mine as well. 

There are some other things I feel God has put on my heart this week, concerning children and the future, but those are still in the "sorting out" phase so nothing to talk about just yet. 

I've always been the caretaker type for those that are close in my life, but I really feel like it's my time to share that ability with others, outside of my little circle of life, who really need it. We aren't meant to be self-serving, self-centered people. We're meant to serve others, and lift them up. Get involved, volunteer, make a difference in someone else's life. You'll be amazed at the changes you'll see in yourself and the joy it will bring to your life. I say all this without having actually done anything yet. But just taking those first steps has made a world of difference for me. 

Until next time...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gardening and Mosquitos

An odd post title, I know, but I just couldn't think of anything more clever to say. Especially since those are the things I'll be writing about!! Let's face it, summer is upon us and since planting our garden back in March, we are watching it like hawks. We have terrible soil on our land...black clay soil filled with hundreds of rocks. Tilling it was...most unpleasant for James and even with the addition of good composted soil, we were unsure whether or not the plants would grow and thrive.

James doesn't think they are doing as well as they would in really good soil, but I think the fact that the majority of what we planted is growing and much of it is already producing is a great thing!! We had 1 zucchini plant and 3 spinach plants that never sprouted, and cucumbers that we planted that died right off the bat. Other than that everything is growing. Including the weeds. Man I hate weeds. But, that's just part of it  unfortunately. I told J that despite the outcome of this year's crops, I'm really glad that we planted what we did and in small quantities, so that we can see what adjustments to make next year. Like the strawberries. I was so excited for the strawberries and they've been very disappointing. The plants are growing and strawberries grow and turn red, but they are so stinkin' small that I don't even see the point. Especially when they are only ripe  2 or 3 at a time. No strawberries next year. More tomatoes (cherry tomatoes especially) and more onions. The rest is still TBD.

Here are some pics of the garden in June...

The cherry tomatoes are the most fruitful so far, though they only produce about 4 or 5 ripe ones at a time.

The Big Boy tomatoes are nice, but only 1 is ripe at a time usually. 

The jalapenos are finally growing like crazy, but I'm not sure if they'll get more than 2 or 3 inches long.
 They've been hot little suckers though, just ask James!! 

The Bell Peppers each have 1 "big" one so far with a few babies sprouting. 

I'm not sure if the beets are going to produce, the ground may be too hard and compact. Same for the yellow onions. Didn't even bother with pics of those. 

Yellow Squash is also sprouting like crazy now...what will I do with it all??? 

Zucchini has a couple on there. 

Cantaloupe...?? The plant is growing like crazy with flowers, but no idea how long until we actually have a little cantaloupe on the plant! 

And then the okra...the plants are growing well and there is 1...yes, just 1...ready to pick. What in the world would I do with ONE okra? Sheesh. 

And all this garden talk brings me to my next topic...mosquitos.  -_-

I don't know what it is about me that they are drawn to. I went out to water the garden the other night and I kid you not...I was out there less than 2 minutes and had SEVEN bites already. What the hell??? I know it's that time of year and I know I'll get a hundred more bites before it's over, but it seems exceptionally bad right now. Maybe I'm outside more than usual? I don't know, but it needs.to.stop. I can't remember to put bug spray on every time I run out the door to do something. They need to come up with a mosquito repellent shot, like an allergy shot. I would totally buy it. I've heard lots of suggestions for how to soothe the itching AFTER a bite, but little on how to prevent them. Other than rubbing a dryer sheet on me. 

I did that the other day. It kinda hurt. They're kinda scratchy. Any other suggestions? Help a sista out here!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Puppy Potty Training

Exhausting. I mean, I guess I didn't realize how long it's been since I've had a puppy. We've had Roofus now for about 3 1/2 weeks and I feel like we're getting nowhere with the potty training. And if it's raining? Forget it. It doesn't matter if he's been sleeping for 6+ hours and we all know he has to go - it's not gonna happen. He will just stand there and shiver and shake and whine and run back to the door until my head wants to explode and I just let him back in, soaking wet myself from standing out there with him. And at 5 o'clock in the morning that makes for one grumpy mama.

Oh, and whoever said that puppies don't like to pee where they sleep - hasn't met our Roo. While we are at work during the day we keep him in a small kennel. He pees in it. Every day. Then lays in it and soaks up all the pee with his fur. Fan-freaking-tastic. So, every day when we get home, the kennel has to be cleaned and he has to be bathed. When we are home we take him outside often, he knows what "potty" means, and he's pretty good about not having accidents. However, if he drinks a little more water than usual or we get busy doing something and don't take him out as often, he gives us no indication that he needs to go (like running over by a door) and  just pees wherever he happens to be standing.

I don't know what to do, or how to fix this. I realize it won't happen over night, and it's been less than a month, but it is freaking exhausting. I imagine that caring for a puppy is similar in many ways to caring for a baby. I just hope that we figure something out soon before mommy and daddy both lose their minds.

It's a good thing he's so cute.