Friday, March 26, 2010

Dreaming of a 5k

Recently Matt ran the Shamrock Run and it sparked an interest in me to try a 5k run someday. After 12 weeks of working out at the gym ... mostly on the treadmill and elliptical 5 to 6 days a week ... I was surprised and a bit disappointed to find that running OUTSIDE requires much more training and dedication. I am in no way ready for a 5k at this point in my fitness regime.
While I was off work this week I loaded my iPhone with a fast paced playlist, familiarized myself with Walkmeter app and hit the pavement. What an awakening ... I was ready to give up after running only a few minutes where at the gym I can stay on the equipment for 45-60 mins. Hmmm ... this will require much training and take longer to build up the required strength and stamina.
The same day I tried this I discovered one of the blogs I follow started a new fitness blog and she is training for a 5k . She was actually the inspiration / motivation to get me started on a new fitness regime for 2010. Di Hickman is a fitness instructor and personal trainer. I found her design blog through a scrapbooking/card making connection. If you are presently working out or making a decision to get started, check out her fitness site for inspiration and encouragement.
In the meantime I'm going to supplement my gym time with a short run outside on "fair weather" evenings and I'm hoping to build enough stamina to run at least a mile. I will say that after two short runs I feel muscles in my thighs that I haven't been acquainted with in quite some time ... ouch : )
Whatever form of exercise you choose ... keep moving and motivated : )

Spring Break Activities

Today was my last day of Spring Break and I am sad to see it come to an end. What a fun-filled week it has been.
Sunday evening the grandkids came over to spend the night and we had a delightful time with them. They are so artsy-crafty (I think they get this from Mom) and we spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen coloring and painting. I ended up finding old coloring books from when our boys were little ... a great "retro" find ... I can't believe I kept so many of them.
After driving the kids home Monday morning I stopped at a few stores in their area ... fun to have the time to shop/browse. I found a few fun items for the deck at Craft Warehouse. Despite the forecasted weather report, I am ready for spring and pleasant weather.
Tuesday and Wednesday were bonus days -- blue skies and warm sunshine. I washed the car and cleaned the flower beds in the backyard. Amazing to see the new growth shooting up through the earth. Our Bleeding Heart is enormous and it's only March ... love the plants and flowers of spring!
Thursday I joined Donna on a shopping excursion to a new store ... new to me anyway. It's Real Deals Home Decor in Hillsboro. Check it out here. Your first visit to the store requires several trips up and down the aisles. Each time I discovered something I hadn't noticed before. It was fun to find that even the smallest, most inexpensive item added such a nice touch to our home. Many of my purchases were for our yard and deck ... another reason I would like to see pleasant weather ... I want to put out all the yard decor! We made many other stops to stores/malls in the area and even enjoyed a Newport Bay lunch. Can't think of a better way to spend spring break : )
Today I spent time getting my mindset back on work ... cleaning house, doing laundry, baking etc. I didn't mind too much as I have a new audiobook and this gave me an opportunity to get more involved in the story ... multi-tasking at its best.
I hope you had an opportunity to discover new things, spend time with those you love and enjoy some pleasant weather this spring break!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Great Finds ...

Look ... it's back on the store shelves ... my favorite salad dressing!!! For several years this product has not been available -- at least not at the stores where I shop. It was a great find at Fred Meyer this week. Litehouse ... you have me back as a loyal customer.
Another find I discovered on the Fred Meyer shelves ... Lemon Wafers. They are similar to Vanilla Wafers. Only 130 calories for 7 ... the problem is stopping at 7 : ) I bought them to crush over berries and adding a bit of whipped topping ... my version of a yummy light dessert.
Saturday night we made a stop at Teavana. My tea selection was getting a little slim. I used to buy Mrs. Earl Grey there but for some reason they discontinued my favorite tea. One of the employees suggested adding Tarocco Ruby Orange with regular Earl Grey and I have to say ... this is the best. What a wonderful way to start my day with a delicious cup of tea.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gone With the Wind

After a long nine-month journey with Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Melanie the last pages of this great book were read this week. You may be thinking ... why did it take so long? A new job with longer hours, the holidays, a new exercise routine ... reading books from work, knitting projects etc. Gone With the Wind seemed to get pushed aside wherever the wind took me : )
The book pretty much followed the movie ... with the exception of Scarlett's older children. I was a little surprised by Rhett ... I don't think his motives were fully played out in the movie.
Well, now I'm a bit lost without these fictional "acquaintances" and even though I would like to read the sequel for the second time I think it's time to move on to something else. A trip to the library is in today's plan ... right after I finish cleaning up the backyard flowerbeds.
Oh, how I love Spring Break ....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Amazing Day Off

Today was the beginning of a 4-day weekend ... and much needed time off. I dedicated today to doing things I can never get to ... I actually finished a book this morning!
This afternoon I thought I would give a new nail salon in our "neighborhood" a try. This place was recommended by the gal who cuts my hair. She raved on their service and reasonable prices. What better way to pamper myself than with a manicure and pedicure. I was there for over one and a half hours ... and I was not disappointed. She did a fabulous job and it was fun to see how another salon provides their services. Their prices were indeed reasonable ... a french pedicure for $20 and a manicure for $14. I highly recommend this business and I know I will be back.
In addition to this relaxing experience I had the opportunity to read more of Gone With The Wind. For those who have been following my long journey with Scarlett ... I am now at the point where Rhett and Scarlett return from their honeymoon and are in the process of building their home on Peachtree. I have about 250 pages in the large print edition to go before completing this lengthily read. Donna ... it has been tempting to just stick the DVD in and finish it up : ) but I will keep going. I'm kind of persistent in that way. Then I'll sit back and watch the movie again. It's one of my favorites!
To top off my relaxing afternoon I stopped at Starbucks and used a Christmas gift card from my coworker. She recommended the chocolate cherry mocha ... and it was divine!
Tomorrow it will be time to get down to business and do all the prep and cleaning for the Bunco event of the year ... at least it is when I am the hostess hahaha. It always seems a bit overwhelming getting ready but so much fun when everyone arrives ... such a fun group of gals.
Hope you are finding ways to unwind from your busy schedule and discovering unexpected JOY in your day.


As Calleigh gets older, sometimes a memory is triggered while we are playing together. I'm not sure what takes me back to the late fifties but I think it's her hair, skin and eye color that remind me of my childhood friend, Debi.
Debi lived across the street from my daycare provider and we met as toddlers. I remember playing together at her house or mine. We both loved dolls as you can see by the picture -- it was taken in my bedroom. What an awesome "girlie" room I had : )
The school years can change routines and friendships and Debi was a year behind me in school. She attended a neighboring grade school even though we only lived about 4 blocks apart. When the school district changed the boundaries in the mid-sixties she was transferred to my school. We crossed paths again in high school and she married one of Walt's best friends. We share much history together and even though we haven't seen each other ... (except at a memorial service for Marie, my daycare provider) ... I still think of her often.
The memories of Debi became so strong after Christmas that I had to locate her. I found her email address and contacted her a month ago. It was so nice to get a response and hear about her family and her life. Do you have someone that comes to mind often? Follow the prompting and get in touch. I'm so glad I did!

Women's Retreat ... Priceless

Our attendance was smaller this year but the fun was mighty big at the Tillikum Retreat Center! What a perfect weekend to get away ... to be challenged ... to laugh ... to rest ... to find JOY ... and we were not disappointed.
This year's theme was, "Loving Well" and our speaker was Beth Moore via DVD. She is an enthusiastic, honest and open woman ... full of energy and a great sense of humor with a challenging message.
With the temps in the 60's we also enjoyed walks around the lake and good talks on the deck in our free time. I enjoyed the retreat more this year ... sometimes it's easy to feel lost in a crowd and with the smaller group I had the opportunity to get to know many of the women better than just "hello" in the church foyer.
And an added benefit of the weekend ... Walt turned our water off while I was gone so he could work on the plumbing in the basement bathroom. For that reason ... my weekend away was priceless : ) Perfect timing!
Thank you to our retreat planning team ... it was a great weekend getaway.