Friday, August 29, 2014

Random Friday Thoughts

And a 3-day weekend!

Time to share my favorite random stuff from the week that was.

  • OMG. This is shoe porn. Shoes of Prey allows you to design your own. How about these for a Friday night?

  • I'm going to bake these to take to the lake this weekend. Not  exactly on the nutritional top ten list but sometimes you have to live on the edge, right?
  • Can't stop listening to Sara Bareilles. Spicy, sultry music that lights up my soul. And did you see her on the Emmys this week? That girl's got talent.                                                          
  • This is State Fair week in Nebraska. I'm not going but if I did, I'd eat fried food on a stick while looking at animals and quilt exhibits. My friend Curt tried a hamburger on glazed doughnut. (Or is it donut?) He's my hero.

  •  It's still summer, dammit and I'm going to enjoy it this weekend. Lake time and pool time on the agenda. 
  • But I am starting to look ahead to fall. During the month of September, I'm joining Not Entirely Perfect, Life According to Steph and Keeping Up with Ashley and Cody for their Choose Your Own Adventure goal setting link-up. The theme this month is fitness so it's right up my alley. We're supposed to set goals for the month and link up on October 2 to report our progress. One of my goals is to walk three days a week at work so that I'm not sitting at my desk all day.
  • I really want this shirt designed by a native Nebraskan now living in Chicago.
  • And if I had it now, I'd wear it on Saturday. Because you know what happens on Saturday, right?! Go Big Red!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ten Ways to Love Your Body....

It's the only one you have.

Fara, one of my fitness gurus, inspired her class earlier this week by taking the stage with her glorious pregnant belly on display. Fara is one of those people who loves her body, takes care of it and celebrates what it can do. In this case, her body is building a little human. Amazing, right?

No, I'm not suggesting we all invest in crop tops. But we all can take a lesson from Fara and celebrate what we've got.

Here are 10 ways to Love Your Body.
  1. Stop obsessing. Don't stand in front of the mirror and pick yourself apart. Nobody has a perfect body. (Well, maybe Halle Berry and JLo, but I've long said they aren't human. And I bet even THEY are unhappy with something.) And while we're on the topic, stop rewinding the negative messages in your head. Instead...                                                                                                                          
  2. Celebrate what your body can do. Run, dance, swim. Open a jar of pickles. Hug a child.      Create some something wonderful. Garden. Paint. Sew. Strut down the street in drop-dead gorgeous shoes. Which brings me to...                                                                                                    
  3. Dress the body you have. That was the advice from What Not to Wear hosts Stacy and Clinton. Don't slouch around in oversize sweats because you want to hide from the world. (Unless, of course, all you want to do is go home and take off your bra. I have those days, too.)                       
  4. Fuel it. Eat real food packed with nutrients. Drink lots of water. Cheat once and awhile and when you do, savor it, and move on. NO guilt.                                                                                    
  5. Pamper your body. Take it to the pool or slather it with scented lotion. Get a massage or a facial.                                                                                                                                                       
  6. Exercise it and take it out to play. Consistent, regular exercise produces results. But don't get stuck in a rut. Walking the dog or taking the kids for a bike ride counts as activity.                                              
  7. Quit comparing it to everybody else. I will never by tall and willowy. I will never look like a supermodel. But we all know even the supermodels don't look like supermodels in real life. That's airbrushing and Photoshop. And if they do look like that, they aren't human. (See Halle/JLo reference above.)                                                                                                                      
  8. Surround yourself with supportive people. If they drain your energy and make you feel bad about yourself, maybe it's time to cut them loose.       
     9.   Let it rest. Your body needs days off, too.

     10. Have fun with it! I love to dance so there's nothing more fun than Jazzercise. Maybe running
           or riding your bike is what turns you on. Find what you love. And do it.                                                          

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Workouts and Other News

I had one of those weekends that was both productive and fun and I didn’t want it to end.
Saturday, I finished a project that I’ve been working on ALL SUMMER.

Horrid Sewing Cabinet Before
I call it The Horrid Sewing Machine Cabinet Refinishing Project. It belonged to my great-grandmother and I finally decided to strip the horrible stain that was on it and bring it back to bare wood. I spent hours stripping and scraping and trying to avoid breathing toxic fumes.
And after.


When I got everything off, I discovered the wood grain was not very pretty, which is probably why it was painted to begin with. So I ended up re-painting it and covering the inside with fabric.

I do like it much better now and it's very handy for holding towels and sheets in the basement bathroom.

And I discovered I don't like to refinish old furniture. So I won't be doing anything like this again soon.

I've been drooling over Colorado peaches so I baked a peach and blueberry cobbler this weekend. And it was tasty, if I do say so myself. I've been eating those peaches like candy. The sign of a good peach is when the juice runs down your arm to the elbow. Yum.

I made time for Jazzercise on Saturday, too, with Christy Dempsey and did a few routines I’d never done before.  That’s the fun thing about trying different instructors – the music differs and you get to do something new.
(I doubt it totally made up for the cobbler I ate but it helped a little, right?)

I spent Sunday with friends floating down the Elkhorn River. I love water. It's therapeutic and totally Zen. I ate a really bizarre collection of goodies while floating: sandwiches, cheese and fruit, Twizzlers and cookies. And wine, of course. (I lost a little bottle of wine somewhere along the way so there my be some tipsy fish in the river.) We talked and laughed and I want to do it again. Like, tomorrow.
Couldn't quite fit myself in the selfie. You can see my visor on the left.

I missed my usual Sunday step workout at my gym and Strength at Jazzercise. But it was totally worth it.

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Goals, Accomplishments and M&MS

I am a Jedi Master.
No, I don’t have a leather outfit hanging in my closet. I do own some pretty kick-ass knee high boots but no laser sabers. And definitely not that body. (Thanks Curt Bright for making my Jedi self look impossibly buff!)

What makes me a Jedi Master is that I set goals and go after them with a vengeance. And sometimes I succeed.

After four plus long years, I have a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications. Four years of reading, papers, presentations, deadlines, research and, as family and friends can attest, lots of whining.

I learned a lot, and not just about my chosen field.

I learned I can hold my own in a class where one of the students is a childhood friend of my son’s and used to sleep over in my basement.

I learned to ask for help. I practically moved into my stats teacher’s office one semester and we’re now BFFs.

I learned I have a fabulous support system: co-workers, family and friends who put up with my kvetching and helped along the way.

I learned the act of writing a paper must be accompanied by M&M’s.

I learned exercise keeps me sane. Or at least, less crazy. It also helps counteract the impact of the M&M’s.

I learned to stretch and try something new. Never give up. Find a way.

So. What now?

First, I’m going to put on that shapeless black robe and sashay across the stage to pick up my diploma. Then I’m going to sit on top of the mountain I just climbed and enjoy the view.  
And then I’ll set a new goal, maybe one that's a little less ambitious than grad school.

I’m thinking about going to Italy. Who’s with me?

What accomplishments make you proud?