Monthly Archives: February 2013

A day off with my hubby


Yesterday was a school holiday….for me. Big Man had the day off with but prior Q had to go to school.



We went to Smithville Village to get breakfast but the store was closed. We did make a new friend!! I have no idea what kind of bird he is, but he was friendly! Plus, he’s pretty cute to boot!



We found breakfast!! We drove past and THIS sign drew me in! The Country Kitchen was so cute! Good foods AND good reading material! Yep, I bought the shirt!


After breakfast, we made our way to our favorite Italian Market where they make the most amazing homemade sausage!!


Once at home, I needed to prep some food for the week. And one of my new favorite lunches is my Veggieful Beef Scramble. Scrambled ground beef and whatever veggies I have in the fridge….voila…it’s lunch!!





AND then I went to the gym!

First time back in the gym in at least 6 months!

A smile and serious sweat!!

❤ #polar #proof


Yummy dinner (a team effort, my kitchen may be small but it is mighty!! AJ and I create wonderful yummies! Then I did a whole lot of yoga/stretching while we watched a movie!

And what movie is complete without movie snacks?!?

It was an awesome day off from school!

I LOVE my man and I really LOVE when we get to spend random days off together!


Back to Comfortable


At this moment, I have one pair of jeans that fit and really they are too tight. Well, they were too tight. I still wore them but these jeans were TIGHT. I needed to shimmy into them and suck in my belly to button and then I’d be uncomfortable all day.
The other day I was getting ready for work and I just pulled the jeans on. There was no tugging or sucking in of the belly or shimmying. The jeans just went on.
And they were comfortable.
I rode in a coworker’s car for 35 minutes.
I sat/stood in 4 hours of meetings. Then I sat and ate lunch. And then I rode back home in same coworker’s car.
And my jeans were comfortable.
Now. Those jeans were off almost as soon as I got home but I had no irritated red line around the waist. I could have worn my jeans much longer. But I prefer jammie/lounge pants when I’m home! 😉



I’m rather thrilled with this revelation!! And I know most of my recent weight loss and lost inches have ALL to do with how great I have been eating. Next goal is to increase activity levels and get there jeans to be TOO big!

FMM: Personal Quirks and Habits


So, its Tuesday, not Monday but here is my FMM post!!  I don’t join in on Kenlie‘s fun often enough but I should!


Personal Quirks and Habits

1. Share one unique character trait that sets you apart from your friends. 

I am not sure if it unique but I always, always look for the brighter side of things. I am positive and perky; almost to the point where I probably annoy people (especially my students).

2. List at least two pet peeves that always aggravate you.

When people bitch and bitch about the same things and never do anything about it!! OH and know-it-alls! My husband has this “friend” who talks louder to make sure you listen to him, because in his mind he knows it all! Sadly, this is the same guy who bitches about his girlfriend and his life but NEVER changes! Seriously, it has been the same conversation for years.

3. Is there a word or phrase that you say so regularly that people expect to hear it from you?

Dude. I use the word ‘dude’ A LOT! I have been overusing the word since I was a pre-teen!! I guess this is a side effect from growing up on the beach.

4. Are you a risk taker, or do you typically play it safe?

Play it safe. 😦

I think I have been this way ever since I became a mom. I worry more and I want to make sure I am around for her. I used to want to go skydiving and bungee jumping and I want to open a bistro or coffee/book shop or a soup and sandwich shop….but I don’t because I worry I wont be around or have enough to take care of my kid. The biggest risk I have taken since she was born, was leaving the other half of her and trekking from Florida home to NJ. Then I went to college and racked up debt. I have a great job but I will be paying off student loans until I am 97.  This knowledge leaves me a bit paralyzed when it comes to taking risks.

5. Describe your life as it was in high school. Are you the same person? Have you changed?

OMG!! I have changed light years and yet stayed the same just a more grown, more confident, more comfortable version of myself. I have always talked too much. I have always overshared. I have always had a big heart and would/will do anything for anyone else. In high school, I lived with a very controlling mother who didn’t always know how to talk to her teenage daughter. In fact, I was often criticized and degraded and left in tears. My father was pretty much non-existent in high school. We (my sister and I) were busy with high school life and he never pushed so it was once or twice a year visits. I felt like I was not enough, not good enough, not pretty or smart or good enough for either of my parents. I overcompensated with friends and I let people walk all over me. I would do anything. I also found that when I let my true awesomeness shine I was too much for most people.

Now, on the verge of 35, I am ok with me! I am ok being too much for some people and not enough for others. Because I KNOW I am enough, I am perfect , I am awesome…just as I am!! Those who love me accept me as I am! I finally accept me as I am!

I think this makes me more empathetic to my teenage daughter and the students I teach!

6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done that you’re glad you did?

I was 19 and I was dating this boy, Shane. My ex (yep, the sperm donor) was feeling bad for being a jerk and he probably didn’t like the new boy, invited me to Cancun. The trip was only a week away. I broke up with the boy and went to Mexico with ex and his cousin. We had a blast. Cancun was the first time I had done anything like that! First time on a plane, first vacation by myself, first drink til I puke party….needles to say, a lot of firsts!

I was bit with the travel bug right then and there. I have not traveled as far or as wide as I would like but if I had unlimited resources I would travel ALL the time!!

7. Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, share an example.

Just one example?!?!?

I talk to myself ALL the time!

8. Share something you did that unexpectedly helped shape your life.

I was never going to have kids. Then I did. Well, I had one! That one life act has shaped everything I have done since then! Q changed my life in ways I never imagined!

Knowing that one day she would see the way I was being treated by a man would one day be ok with a man treating her that way. I couldn’t handle it! More so than how I was being treated, the thought of my beautiful baby girl being treated in such a terrible manner broke my heart!

In a very roundabout way, leaving my ex and living the experience I lived with him added on to how I grew up helped me with my current career. I started a literature degree thinking I would be a teacher and have a great schedule. The same schedule as my daughter. Little did I know I would wind up teaching at an alternative high school working with kids who live the life I left.

9. Do you follow a strict routine, or are you a free spirit? Are you somewhere in between?

I am so not strict. At All!

I am much more of a free spirit. I do things at my own time in my own way! However, I get too carried away procrastinating AND I have a real job in the real world so I have to be at certain places at certain times. I know I work better when I am on a schedule/routine. But I fight it!

10. Share something about yourself that you hope will inspire others.

I seriously do hope to be an inspiration. I want to inspire at-risk kids to go to college or go to trade schools. I want to inspire these same kids that no matter where they come from, they can go far! My heart definitely goes to the young girls, I want to be a role model so they know they are not alone! They are not stuck!!


Now, it’s your turn…answer any and/or all of the questions above and let me know!! Also, link up with – for some fun times with Friend Making Monday!!!


The weekly planning



Monday: chicken thigh stew
Tuesday: skirt steak and brussel sprouts Wednesday: meatballs and spaghetti (squash for me)
Thursday: Cajun chicken over hash Friday: cheese steaks, oven fries and a salad
Saturday: 40-clove garlic chicken
Sunday: bolar roast

Monday: kettlebells, walking DVD, yoga DVD
Tuesday: stationary bike, gorilla app, yoga class
Wednesday: walking dvd, yoga dvd, kettlebells
Thursday: stationary bike, gorilla app, yoga class
Friday: walking DVD, yoga DVD, gorilla app
Saturday: outside walk/run, maybe outside yoga.
Sunday: join the gym – elliptical, kettlebells

Food notes:
Later in the week you will notice I only noted the protein. I will pair with the veggies we have left based on what needs to be eaten first.
Fitness notes:
I’m working on fighting through some confidence issues (that’s another post entirely) but I am going to keep plugging along until I bust through my self doubt. I am rejoining the gym on Sunday but for now I don’t trust the treadmill at school. And I’m just not ready for outside walking/running, as lame as that sounds.

I decided to add in a workout plan so I’m not being willynilly about my workouts. When I don’t plan its easy to get sidetracked by life, kid, well, everything. This became very evident last week. Q was home from school all week, sick again! AJ had a toothache that actually was infected. My car stopped working. Guess what suffered?!? I did one real workout. I also did a lot of yoga stretching-yoga poses and stretching while doing other things but no real yoga practice – following a video out going to a class where the 20-60 minutes is focused solely on yoga.

Planning is good for me! With a plan already in place, I can pack my good and clothes the night ahead and workout at school before AJ comes to pick me up! With a plan I stay more organized and less scatterbrained. See, it works all the way around.

Did you plan your meals? What about your workouts?

rough week, reset needed


I have had a ROUGH week!

Q is sick! Again! She has been home from school all week!!

AJ has a tooth infection and has been miserable at home all week.

My car sputtered to a stop last Saturday and has not run since.

All this plus hormones and a medical “thing” for me on Thursday.

It’s been a crazy and rough week!

I have not yoga’d or exercised the way I would like. My family needed me. I needed to take care of them, the house and myself. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite figured out how to do it all. Instead of beating myself up for being human, I am trying something new!

I am hitting the reset button.



My goals have to changed. I still want to improve my yoga. I still want to complete a marathon in November. I still want to lose weight and find my happy place with food and my weight.

I just had a bit of an obstacle course this week. I am sure I could have handled it all better and found a way to get my workouts and yoga but I did not.

Instead of getting caught up in what I didn’t do, what I didn’t get done and why I am choosing to move on.

Life happened and I am hitting a reset button!!

But what does that mean?!?

My reset starts today and I will focus on a few things that will help me get to my goals. I will reevaluate this list in March! For now, I will:

  • complete 28 days of daily yoga.
  • get caught up, and continue #YogaADay pics
  • strive to earn a Trophy on my Polar every week
  • walk/run on the treadmill or outside for 30 minutes, 3 times each week
  • use gorilla app every other day.


Other than a few splurges, I have continued my good eating habits. January was amazing and I really loved following the #Whole30 guidelines. While Whole30 was very strict, and I don’t plan on continuing SO strict, but I like the way I feel so I will continue with MANY of those good habits. The last two days were WAY OFF (not bad but off due to a medical procedure) but today (remember I hit that reset button) I am back to making good for me food choices.


This IS PROGRESS for me!! Normally, I would say, “screw it!! you already screwed up so you might as well eat whatever you want!!”  PROGRESS is setting the RESET button!

How do you handle obstacles? Day of no exercise? Days of bad eating?

Do you need to hit the RESET button?

Menu plan, February 4, 2013


Monday – lemon and artichoke chicken thighs and asparagus with roasted root veggies
Tuesday – garlic beef stew (pot pie over mashed potatoes for husband)
Wednesday – pineapple chicken stir fry
Thursday – pork chops, coleslaw, Mac & Cheese for husband and kid, veggies for me.
Friday – meatloaf, mashed potatoes (for husband) and cauliflower (for me)
Saturday – chicken drumsticks
Sunday – braised Chuck roast

I have learned I cannot force anyone to eat the way I want to eat. My husband and daughter have ridden along with me as I tried all the tricks to lose weight. I have made some dinners that were winners and others that were not even close to winners. I have counted points, calories, points again and I never found my happy place.
The whole30 changed so much for me. At first I thought it was going to be so restrictive and I would hate it. I never imagined those restrictions and rules would be so good for me. There was no way of fitting oooeygoooey, cheesey, or chocolatey favorites into the rules of whole30. I had to make real changes not just sorta changes.
I feel different as I proceed.
I can’t blame my family for being skeptical.
I can only keep leading the way.
Truth be told, they eat almost the same way with additional foods I am not eating. I used to eat them. Some of these foods are not “all that bad” but not all that great either. At least not for me.
So I’m back to menu planning, not that I ever really left, because planning is so important and I miss blogging it.
Do you menu plan? How in depth is your plan? Do you plan all your meals?

If you planned your menu this week, leave a link in the comments so I can check out what’s on your menu!

Jen’s February Challenge


I will celebrate my 35th birthday in about 3 weeks. I have been toying with different ways to celebrate/honor this momentous occasion.

  • my friends (yes, you and all my twitter/facebook/fitbloogin’ peeps) live ALL over the place. 
  • I can’t take off and fly to a tropical climate. Seriously, who wouldnt want to spend their birthday on a tropical island?!?
  • I was working on a list of 35 “things” I want to accomplish this year. Not sure about this one anymore (I do better one month at a time, not the whole year)
  • I wanted to have fun, challenge myself and drag my friends along with me
  • AGAIN, I can’t jump on my private jet and gather all my friends and land on a tropical island
  • But that sounds great, doesn’t it?!?

So how does a girl celebrate with her friends when her friends are scattered all over the country/world?!?

She drags them into her crazy scheme challenge…

Jen’s YogaLove Fest February

Ok so the name needs work!

I am challenging myself and YOU to daily yoga!! Complete a yoga practice (10 minutes minimum) EVERY day in February!!

Yoga at home using a video, yoga doing your own thing, yoga at a studio, any yoga is a good yoga!

Are you with me?!?!

Yoga Sources: (huge, free video library)

30 minute beginner video  (I use this video a lot)

another 30 minute beginner (a little more intense as the vidoe above, I love it)

my yoga pinterest board (I will keep adding videos and information here as I gather it)

Then we can all celebrate MY 35th Birthday….I mean World Yoga Day

I will also be more committed to doing and posting a picture of growsoulbeautiful’s  #yogaaday pose!


So who is with me?!?

Can you?

Will you ?

Yoga with me every day?

It’s good for your heart, your head and your body!

Plus, you will make me smile!!