happy birthday pretty girl!

I will never tire of this picture.  And I will never tire of you, Clara.  You are a BLESSING, not a burden.  You are my joy, never my sorrow.  You are an arrow in my quiver and I will try my hardest to sculpt you into a SHARP one.

Thank you for the past year.  Thank you for being “an easy child”.  For the JOY that can’t help but radiate off of you.

Looking forward to many, many more years with you, my darling girl!



in a hurry

Last night, I was in a hurry to get in some gym time before we went and took center stage.  Travis usually walks through the door around 5:15, our gym is 10 minutes away (so 20 minute round trip), which left me with about 45 minutes of time to get in a full body workout!  In a hurry?  Yes.  Worth the trouble?  Absolutely!

Any longer than an hour lifting weights is a waste of time.  Let me say that again:  you’re wasting your precious time when you turn into a gym rat.  Time that could be spent on Facebook or Twitter or if you’re like me, polishing your trophies.

Numerous studies agree with this view.  According to the NASM, “training programs that exceed 60 minutes are associated with rapidly declining energy levels.  This causes alterations in hormonal and immune system responses that can have a negative effect on a training program”.  In fact, you can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week (source).  I know for me, I’m much more likely to stick with something that I can still do even when I’m short on time.  Or need to “become one” with Dorothy.  (I’m a shoo-in for that part, btw).

I’ll admit, there are some days when I workout twice, cardio in the morning and weight training at night.  I would NEVER lift twice in a day, or on consecutive days, because that wouldn’t allow my body to repair the muscle tissue that I’ve broken through lifting.

One of my favorite ways to get a great lifting workout when I’m rushed – CIRCUIT TRAINING!!  Circuit training consists of a series of resistance training exercises that you perform, one right after the other, with little to no rest.  I like to have active rest in almost any lifting workout I do.  And you’ll want to make sure you do an upper body move, followed by a lower body move, so you’re allowing different muscle groups to rest.

Here’s how it went down last night:

  • 5 minute warmup – StairMaster – Level 13
  • 10 minutes of core work


  • Ball Dumbbell Chest Press
    • 15 reps, 30# each hand
  • Lunge
    • 20 reps, 10# each hand
  • Lat Pulldown
    • 15 reps, 80#
  • Plie Squat
    • 15 reps, 35#
  • Seated Row
    • 12 reps, 80#
  • Woodchop Throw
    • 10 reps each side, 15#
  • Hammer Curl
    • 15 reps, 15# each hand
  • Leg Extension
    • 15 reps, 75#
  • Tricep Kickback
    • 12 reps each arm, 12#
  • Overhead Press
    • 15 reps, 20# each hand
  • Repeat circuit 2-3X through.  Active rest in between circuits.

Last night, I only had enough time to go through the circuit twice but I usually like to do it three times through.  My active rest is typically jump rope, high knees, prisoner squats or high kicks.  Just something to keep my heart rate up.  Pull out your wallet sized photo of Ryan Reynolds.  That should do the trick.

I’m now on my way to go interview for a personal training/fitness class instructor position at our local fitness club.  If I get the position, it’ll mean a free membership and also teaching a 6AM Bootcamp class.  I’m hoping I can convince them that I can function that early.

Or maybe I’ll just sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“.  That’ll wow ’em!


somewhere over the rainbow

Tonight, we audition.

Tonight, I’m Dorothy and Travis is Scarecrow.

Tonight, we will triumph over the flying monkeys.

Tonight is the night where I’ll belt it out, sing it high and sing it low.  I’ll lay it all on the line for a chance at stardom.  For a chance at glory.  For 2 minutes, I’ll shine.  Footloose and fancy free, I’ll pitter patter down that yellow brick road.  And when the curtain has closed and my voice is hoarse from besting Judy Garland at her own game, I’ll sleep better knowing that I’ve left it all out on the stage.

Tonight, my friends, we change the world.

(This was all just a bunch of hype to tell you that tonight, we audition for our local theater’s production of the Wizard of Oz…where I’ll likely play a poppy and Travis, a tree.)

If I was trying to be famous, I wouldn’t use a community play to do so.

I’d start a blog.


song list – 8/14

Only three more days until Clara’s first birthday?!?  Parents are notorious for saying, “Where did the time go”?  But seriously, where did my newborn go?  It seems like just yesterday that I was holding this little noodley baby in my arms (while simultaneously trying to block out the pain of the last 7 hours).

Gah…So stinking cute! 

I realize that some of you might have taken one look at the post title and wanted to head for the door.  In fact, according to my stats, my Sunday posts have been my least viewed.  But that’s ok.

This isn’t your blog, it’s mine.

And as much as I’ll try not to get preachy or overly religious, my faith is a part of who I am.  Probably THE biggest part.  Just like my workouts and my food and my family and my humor, my faith helps to define me.   So hopefully, if you like all those other parts, you’ll respect my need to share this one particular part.  One day a week.

Travis works really hard to pull together a good set list.  I think this week’s might have been one of the best yet.

(links are to YouTube.  My thoughts on linking the set are here)

If you only watch ONE of those clips, make it Revelation Song.  Jesus Culture rocks my socks off.

I’m off to mow the lawn.  PUSH mow.  I’m manly.

Have a blessed day!  And come back tomorrow please.



becoming 2011

It’s 10:31pm on Saturday night.  I. am. exhausted!  And I really haven’t done anything active all day. What is it about being in a car and sitting around in a conference room that makes you so tired?!?  I’m going to make this post short and sweet, slap some photos up, forget to spell check, and call it good.

Let’s get to it.

Today, I attended a women’s conference in Asheville, N.C. called Becoming 2011.

Taken from Southern Savers’ website:

“Becoming 2011 is a weekend designed to encourage and inspire women to live  intentionally by becoming more creative,  purposeful, and  frugal. As women,  many of us desire to be more intentional with our time and financial resources;  more intentional with our family and homes. As we gather from all walks of life, we will tackle some of those day to day issues that typically seem mundane. Our desire is that you will leave, not only refreshed, but encouraged, empowered, and motivated with the practical and tangible ideas you have received. Hopefully, by tackling the mundane, they will now have a sense of magic.”

I have yet to divulge my LOVE of couponing yet on the blog (it’s coming…oh, it’s coming!) but let’s just say that I have amassed a small stockpile of items that has slowly taken over our kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity.  I wouldn’t say I’m an “extreme couponer” because that brings to mind that awful TLC show, which while entertaining, is basically a show about hoarders parading around as couponers.  Nobody needs 63 bottles of mustard!  I’m too tired to make a mustard joke.  (Eden, do you have any??)  Anyway, I only buy things we USE or items that I can donate.  And I must say, I’m getting pretty good at it!!  All thanks to Southern Savers.

For anyone who doesn’t add sugar to their tea, you might not be familiar with this amazing website.  Blogger, Jenny Martin, takes all the guesswork out of couponing by matching store ads with available coupons and posting daily deals.  There are similar sites out there, but Southern Savers is by far my favorite!

This woman has helped me save well over $1,000 this year!!  Thanks, Jenny!

The day started out bright and early, with the alarm going off at 5:45AM.  Ugh.  Coffee and Oats In A Jar were devoured on the car ride over.

The marketing genius that came up with this one deserves a raise!  “Sugar Free” peanut butter, you know, for low-carbers or diabetics.  It’s just natural peanut butter people.

Dance Party…ghetto style.

ok..maybe not.

I swear, I’m awesomer than I look in pictures.

From 8:30AM to 5:00 PM, there were 5 hour-long sessions on couponing, home decor, consious parenting, frugal living and budgeting.  I’ll not go into all the details, but if you want to see the agenda, go here.  I learned SO much more about couponing, specifically at drugstores, but my favorite session, “Creating Purposeful Moments In Our Mothering”, helped to remind me of some core values that I sometimes forget.  Like patience and encouragement.  Repeat to self: this is just a stage, this is just a stage.

Swag bag, filled with goodies

Green salad, BBQ Pork, Fried Okra, Snap Peas.

On the way home, we stopped by EarthFare, an Asheville-based health foods market.  I picked up all the essentials: almond butter, Kombucha, Annie’s Cinnamon Bunnies.  Yes, all must haves.

Oh, ya’ll….this was a new product, Broo!  Shampoo and conditioner, made with hops from a local brewery, Highlands Brewing Company.  It smelled JUST like a can of beer. 

I spend most of my day thwarting off Travis’ advances already.  Beer hair?  That might just put him over the edge.

A huge thank you to Travis for being willing to watch the kiddos all day long.  To Jenny for putting on a wonderful conference!  And to Katy, for throwin’ them bows.

gnight all!



[vegetarian] chocolate p.b. icing

I hope you got a good laugh out of the title.  Nope, there is no meat in the frosting recipe.  Not in this particular one, at least.

Look at what Katy brought me last night.

Take another guess.

“It’s A Cake In A Bag” – SNL, anyone? anyone?  (sorry Mom!)

I think Katy calls this stuff, “cake droppings“.  Sounds gross…tastes delicious!  It’s basically the shavings that come off of a cake that is being decorated.  Katy happened to be making three birthday cakes yesterday and this is what she shaved off to make them nice and pretty.

Not sure what I did to deserve TWO cakes in one week, but I’ll take it!!

Let me clear something up though:  If you’re a new reader (welcome!), judging by my posts of late, you may be under the impression that I’m a sugar-holic.

I am.


For the most part, I eat a balanced diet, high in protein and fiber.  I eat 5-6 meals a day, getting roughly 1600 calories.  I try to eat lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats.  I DON’T measure out food or calculate calories though.  I USED to do that, and was maniacal about it, but that’s a story for a different day.  Today, I try not to restrict my eating whatsoever, and instead, choose healthy foods first, and save room for dessert.  Moderation is key!! 

I indulge EVERY SINGLE DAY!  But I also exercise hard EVERY SINGLE DAY (minus rest days).  Life’s too short to live in restriction.  If I had a weight problem, I probably wouldn’t eat as many sweets.  But I don’t, and I feel energetic and healthy with the way that I eat.  It works for me. 

Glad we cleared that up.

Try as I might to resist, Katy forced the “cake in a bag” on me and made me take it home.  Tie my hands, why don’t you!  I still had some gorgeous peaches that were begging to be made into a cobbler or a crisp.  But peaches freeze well.  Cake, not so much.  The memory of our freezer-burnt wedding topper still haunts me 5 years later.  So I cut up the peaches and froze them.

But what to do with my cake bag?  A parfait?  A trifle? Pour it into a bowl and make “cake cereal”?  The possibilities were endless.

But I actually had just the perfect topping in mind.

[Vegetarian] Chocolate Peanut Butter Icing

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Melt butter in the microwave.  Add the cocoa powder.

Place bowl in sink…you know, because A) you don’t have a fancy schmancy Kitchen Aid mixer and B) you’re a crazy, psycho neat freak. 

Add vanilla and cinnamon.  Add peanut butter to taste.  I used about 1 tablespoon, but next time, I’ll add 2.  Mix well, until peanut butter is incorporated.

Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating well after every addition.  Cringe at the thought of people seeing your grundgy Hamilton Beach mixer. 

Ta-da!!  My finished product actually turned out to be a little runnier than I would have liked.  Less almond milk next time.

Take your “cake in a bag” and place in 8×8 pan.

Smush down the cake with clean hands.  Tempted as you might be, do not take your anger out on the cake.  It’s not the one who kicked the back of your seat with dirty shoes and asked the same question 34 times!

Drizzle icing over cake base.  Second cake in a week.  I’ll take it!!

But seriously Katy, I’m trying to run a healthy living blog over here! 

[Let’s take two weeks off….then come talk to me.]