Spring Trip Spontaneity

This spring is my final time of having both my girls home full-time. Once fall rolls around, my oldest will start her first year as a college student and my youngest will start the high school odyssey that progresses into her being gone more than home.

I spent months kicking around the idea of taking advantage of the girls’ tandem time off and planning a family trip. Our last full family trip was in 2011 when we went to a working family ranch in Georgia. It’s been too long and I hate the idea of missing this chance.

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5 Podcasts You Should Add to Your Playlist

In my previous office environment, I was interrupted constantly by students wandering in to my office. Some days, I felt like I was on Candid Camera or someone were playing a giant trick on me because of the sea of people that flowed in and out the door. Now that I work in a quieter work environment, I find my mind wandering if it becomes too quiet.

I have developed an affinity for podcasts–and discovering new ones– and thought it worth documenting some of my new (and old) faves.

Which of these have you listened to?

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Wanna Engage In Some Bloglovin?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It isn’t as sketchy as it sounds! I’ve been a user of Bloglovin’ for awhile now and I wanted to share it with you! The best way I can describe it is a blog showcase, but it’s so much more than that! After I told the site what I liked, it provided me with links and previews to blog posts that fit my interests. And, every day I receive an email with 20 posts that are must reads. Most of them are also must SHARE!

I love sharing great tips, tricks, ideas, and fun with the visitors to my Facebook page and this service totally helps me find the gems of the internet.

There is even an app to use, so you can discover new blogs & read great posts anywhere anytime.

Check it out & let me know what you think!

 

Three Things I Am Adding To My Life

After having been on this planet for four-and-a-half decades, it now seems that my body is teaching me lessons I was loathed to learn in my 20’s or even 30’s. Being a hard-charger who rarely says “No” to a task and saw resting as weakness, it has been difficult to realize that my body is no longer willing to stay quiet when I abuse its many delicate systems. I’ve decided to make some changes, and keep other recent changes going, so that I can make sure my body doesn’t call it quits before I am ready to go.

Maybe you can benefit from adding some things too?

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Good Deals Are Sweet Like Honey

bitstripiconI love to use coupon codes, search for best deals, and never pay full price. Technology has helped in that so much! Today, I stumbled on something that looks kind of new (maybe I’m late to the party?!) and I wanted to share it with you.

The service called “Honey” is a browser extension and I became interested when I saw how it will help me find the lowest price on Amazon taking into consideration all parts of a price and also recognizes my Prime membership. I’ve used plenty of coupon code finding sites, but never one that works in my browser with Amazon. So, that’s new to me!

For the Amazon part alone, I was sold enough to try it. It not only identifies the best deal on the item I’m interested it, but will also apply any and all site-wide coupons/deals with the easy click of a button.

If you want to check it out, you’re welcome to use my referral link–then refer your friends with your own link and make $5!

Weekend in DC

In July, I attended a week-long conference in Baltimore. One of my dearest friends had recently moved to DC and I had not seen her in years. I realized how close I would be to her and decided if she could meet me in the District that I would make it happen. I booked a great hotel at a great price. We packed a ton of fun and great food into our weekend. Wanna see? It’s on the other side of the jump!

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Eloise Had It Right

When I am staying at a hotel, it’s because I have traveled somewhere to do something. I have a speaking engagement, a conference, a wedding or sports event to attend, or something that likely prevents me from having a good night’s sleep while I am not in my own bed–no matter how comfortable the bed at my temporary spot is.

When I used to read the Eloise stories to my girls when they were small, I always thought “living in a hotel would be pretty sweet.” I have only slightly modified my thoughts on hotels, but now I think to myself, “If I could spend a weekend every month or two at a hotel, I would have a chance to do some work, take a nap, and RELAX.”

I have a chance to test my theory this weekend as my husband had to travel not too far from home for an all-day meeting. I tagged along because our anniversary is approaching and this is one way to be sure we have a chance to go out to a nice dinner. It also seemed a lucky coincidence that this meeting fell on a weekend that was 1) close to our anniversary; 2) after the two prom weekends of my oldest, and 3) on a weekend when no soccer was scheduled.

It’s a little after noon and so far, I’ve showered, had breakfast (and a great cup of coffee is still beside me), tidied up the room, started the process to have an email for this domain name created, began on a customer newsletter for my Scentsy clients, and found an Empire marathon on the television. I have not had a chance to catch much of Season 2, so I’m binging today and will be all set for the upcoming season finale.

I still have some reading to do [book club book & Scentsy leadership group chapter] and I want to work ahead on a few projects. But, I definitely think I’m on to something–this is way better than going into the office for a day or sitting in Starbucks!

 

June Book Club Choice

My Pure Barre studio’s Book Club has provided me a reason to put “reading” on my to-do list. It’s sad that reading for pleasure makes me feel guilty, but it does. It requires me to sit comfortably somewhere and do nothing else. So, I rarely do it. But, if it is an ASSIGNMENT with a DEADLINE, well, the obsessive-compulsive overachieving task master in me takes over and it becomes a MUST lest I be unprepared for the meeting.

¬†This month’s reading to prepare for June’s meeting is Some Women by Emily Liebert. I don’t know anything about this book except that I like its cover. And given that I often select wines by their labels, I am guessing I could like this book. The old cliche about judging books by its cover aside, I am thinking this one might be a keeper.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Mother’s Day Approaches

We have a local florist that has been a part of my relationship with a very special person for over twenty years. My first mother-in-law [I refuse to call her “ex” because that makes it sound like she is no longer in my life] fell in love with Oberer’s, as did I, when I was planning my first wedding. As a mom to three sons, she didn’t imagine she would be included in wedding planning. But, we hit it off and even though she lived in Connecticut, I wanted her to feel connected to the wedding. Once I selected the flowers, I asked the florist to send her a bouquet with examples of all the choices so I could walk through them with her by phone and tell her how each one would be used.

She took on planning the rehearsal dinner with gusto. Because we had so many friends and family from out of town attending the wedding, she planned a larger event and invited many more than traditionally might be included in such a dinner. It was a great night with friends, family, shared memories and new ones made. And the centerpieces she worked to design with the professionals at Oberer’s were absolutely breathtaking.

For as many years as I have been a mom, my first mother-in-law has always remembered me on Mother’s Day. She plays a very instrumental role in my oldest daughter’s life and, as the first grandchild, my daughter has enjoyed a special relationship with her grandmother. It’s hard to believe my oldest will be a senior in high school this fall!

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.46.37 PMFor the past handful of years, I have been gifted with a gorgeous patio pot from Oberer’s for Mother’s Day.

These patio pots never fail to be healthy and gorgeous and they really liven up my lackluster porch. When you live in a 1972 tri-level in an older neighborhood, you need all the help you can get!

Sometimes the pots involve perennials, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the season. I always like to add fresh plantings in future springs/summers because you cannot go wrong with gorgeous full containers of flowers. The girls don’t even mind watering them either and the pots do thwart hungry rabbits ¬†better than some of our flower beds do.

Not to be outdone, my girls sent me some fantastic orchids today. They also included a Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.46.50 PMpretty vase–if I didn’t know better, I would think my oldest picked a vase that would look great in HER room once the blooms fade.

I know my husband ordered the flowers and penned the sentiment on the card, but he did it in the girls’ voice which made it very sweet. We have been married almost 14 years and have recently had some major moments, but he’s trying very hard and being the most mindful he’s been since very early in our marriage. I appreciate that.

This year, like most, the Army has scheduled something for him to do during the weekend closest to our anniversary. But, like any ride-or-die who waits out all distractions including Mistress Army, this is the LAST such anniversary. His outprocessing after 22 years of service is scheduled for the Saturday before our 14th wedding anniversary. I’m thinking we are going to celebrate two big moments that day!

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.04.03 PMLast Sunday was his final duty day. It was bittersweet. Luckily, it worked out that the girls and I could attend–especially given that our youngest had a soccer tournament. Sometimes it works out when you don’t play in the championship match!

What was just supposed to be us watching his final formation, turned into a bit of a special moment. He received some beautiful gifts from the troop and from or youngest plus had a chance to speak to all those assembled prior to them being dismissed.

It’s been a long road on many levels and we are forever changed by his service. We know that we are stronger for it and, for better or worse, we live with the edge the Army gave us. I don’t think we would be as tight as we are without his service and I know for a fact that I would not have met some of my closest, dearest and most fantastic friends who are now like family without it.

Are Macros Just Food Math?

After a year of working out and only half paying attention to what I have been eating, I know I have reached the limit of my 40-something body to continue to be more fit than fat. I have lost weight and I have been maintaining. But, I’m kind of to the point that I would like to go ahead and not see a loss of firmness around my middle if I have to miss a few gym appointments. Annoying.

I have heard about macros and counting them and all that, but I have never completed more than a cursory Google search to understand what all the letters stand for in the acronyms. Once I knew most of my personal numbers that needed slotted into a macro calculator, I, of course, plugged them into one. So now, I have ordered my personal macro blueprint and I am still not sure what I will do with that information once I have it. I see where I should consider downloading a tracking app [I should have bought the iPhone with more storage…total lapse in judgment] as well as purchasing a food scale.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.27.52 PMIt seems like at some point in the next day or so, my mind will start racing about whether or not I will be able to master this mathematical-sounding approach to being flexible in my fitness.

It isn’t lost on me that I was reading about this during my lunch hour while I ate Jif on white bread–so help me GOD if you just silently judged me, I can’t EVEN with you right now!–but this wouldn’t be the first time I know better, but didn’t do better.

What is the hubbub with macros? Do you count them? Do you use a tracker app? Are there good sources online or otherwise that really helped you start your macro mastering?

Do you have a food scale? Is one like this adequate? It doesn’t even cost $12, but it has a bunch of positive reviews…

Reasonable Price and Good Reviews, so should I order it?

I’m willing to learn and I think this could be my next level fitness coming to call. So, help a sister out & give me the full report.