Monday Musings

As I write this post I wonder if I’m the only one aware that the seasons are doing that sneaky, yet subtle, shift. Darkness has fallen earlier stealing the long lazy evenings with lingering daylight that I fully embrace.

Long evenings allowing me to go out and do work on my projects or just enjoy the cooler air as the sun has dropped over the horizon. Long evenings where the breeze caresses my skin and I can watch light gradually fade and the moon begin to rise.

But that has changed. The long evenings have been replaced by earlier darkness forcing me to wrap up outside work. As much as I embrace fall, I miss aspects of the summer season. 

Anyone else relate?

Not my backyard, but somewhere in the world…..

Right now though in south Texas we will enjoy a variety of weather as we get crisp fall mornings yet still have afternoons that are definitely comfortable short weather.Β  This can go on for months. It’s always a toss up to what we get.

Hey after all, only earlier this year we got snowed in not only once, but twice, in the same week.

Surreal. Absolutely surreal. For all of us it was a weird, most likely, once in a lifetime thing.

A few of the many pics from that epic week

Ok and I get it. If you’re up north or in parts of the world you see this all the time, don’t send me hate mail over my snow pics. πŸ˜‰ you are not impressed with this stuff. I get it. Hopefully,  we won’t see that kind of winter this year!

Ok…on to other topics….

We did have a nice chilly morning this week which had me digging out a bit more clothing for my outdoor activities. I had recently gotten new shoes so I wanted to start logging some miles on them ( Did a little over 4)

Black. What all cool kids wear. My new Asics are too.

As I’ve shared briefly in previous posts, I had a total knee replacement in April. I just hit my 6 month out. I figure I’ll be doing a post on my experience fairly soon. I have chronicled things from the start and have tried to use my voice to encourage or help others in this process.

Meanwhile….I’ve not exactly been doing nothing…

On the bike….
Strength training

I’ve got goals ya’ll. But we will chat more about that later.

In things that make me laugh….

My granddaughters critters watching the football game

We arrived at my grandsons football game Saturday and my granddaughter has positioned her critters with a front row seat for the game. In a crazy world, I constantly embrace the beauty of my grandkids and the simplicity of childhood.

And listen, if you don’t have any of these yet, they are totally worth it. You love them in such a special different way. ❀ I feel beyond, and I mean, beyond blessed and fortunate that my kids grew up, started their families and wanted to have their homes on family property ( cool when you have space for them to do that) I mean, they liked us enough to stick around 😜

In other news….

I’ve shared before about my vintage business and love for old things. I got this pink stool earlier in the week. If there’s a time period that fascinates me, it is the short lived 50s pink kitchen era. So to find a pink stool, even if it was dirty and needed a cleaning, was impossible to pass up. Now the question remains, will it go to my shop? πŸ€”

Original ad for the common kitchen stool

Before I leave you…

I’ve gotta share a few recipes I’ve used lately. Having a big family that likes to hang out and eat, I’m always testing new foods.

Here’s one of my favorite “one pan ” recipes that’s always popular.

https://pin.it/1KUIqvy

Tasty, and fast to assemble.

https://pin.it/9JLma9B

And another popular dinner. I cannot tell you how delicious this is…try it!

And of course I need to leave you with a dessert. And what’s better than a fall inspired one called Fresh Apple cake. I’ve made this like 3 times this month. The beauty of this recipe? Stir it all into one bowl, pour in pan and bake. The frosting is cooked in one pan on stove that you pour on top.

https://pin.it/1v8I0cU

Ok, your turn! How’s life? What’s new? Who is ready for upcoming holidays?

Saturday Snippets

Happy weekend kids!

Like many of you, I’ve got things planned for my day but wanted to squeeze in a quick workout first.

Contrary to a lot of thinking you don’t have to take lots of time to get a solid workout in. Like many of you, I prefer longer ones but sometimes that doesn’t always work.

Enter 20 minutes

I set aside 20 minutes,  armed with a 35 lb kettlebell and 25lb dumbbells.  I rotated between kb swings and doing other work with dumbbells. I did not really rest between sets other than to change over equipment.

20 minute workout

Can you say sweat?

Obviously going from swings into other work and repeating sets didn’t take long to get my heart pumping and sweat flowing. It was a quick but good strength session

Please note I did warm up 5-8 minutes before starting

And that my friends, is it. We may not always have the longest time, but we can squeeze in some time, just really make it count.

25 lb dumbbells and 35lb kettlebell, my workout buddies…oh and water always water. πŸ˜‰

Monday Musings

Hey kids! Happy Monday and the start of a new week. Honestly, with this past year, on any given day I’m thinking ” where are we in this week?!”

Please tell me I’m not alone in this….

I’d say Monday’s are for coffee but really, every day is for coffee.

We’ve been enjoying a milder than usual summer here in south Texas. When I say milder I mean we’ve not had any 100 degree days. And to make things even better we’ve had more rain than we ever see in a Texas summer. Like things are still green! And not crunching under your feet….amazing.

Oh it’s still hot enough and we’ve also got that wonderful humidity to go with it too.

Which makes morning workouts awesome

I had to forfeit my morning walk the other day when unexpected thunderstorms showed up. So I went to my plan b, heading into my own little gym in my garage. But gosh by the time I finished, I looked like I had been out in the rain. Serious sweat fest.

I opted to start with 20 minutes on the elliptical and followed up with 40 minutes strength training. I love mixing up my workouts. Sometimes I start and end with cardio and sandwich strength training in the middle.

My version of hitting the bar

I did get out for my power walk the next day. I’ve been increasing my miles and wanted to incorporate these huge hills into those miles. I planned to do a couple sets of them when I got down there, which I did.

When you take your heart rate from one extreme to the other. πŸ˜…

The large number on top is what I watch while I’m cooling down. The rate at which it drops back to normal gives me a good idea of my recovery heart rate. Minutes after I took this pic, it had dropped to the 70.

I think when people start an exercise program they aren’t really thinking about how it builds their heart and lungs, which are obviously muscles. Your recovery heart rate gives you a good idea of how your exercise is helping your heart

It is recommended to get a 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week. Are you getting yours?

Exercise goals

I believe everyone should have some kind of exercise goals. We all have a starting place from where we can begin working to build our strength and fitness. Recently, I personally found this so true and was so grateful to fall back on a foundation of strength and fitness.

Why you may ask?

Well kids, April 15th I had total knee replacement surgery. I fully plan to write a specific post on my experience with the process, my recovery, and how cool high tech surgery is now days. More than ever was I grateful for all the days I had spent training my body working out and building strength as I leaned into that while my other leg got back on track.

I won’t spend a lot of time on it in this post, yes I’m doing great. I will say I set a goal to do a 18 mile race on my bike, 10 weeks post op, and I did. πŸ˜‰

Actually I did a little over 19 miles πŸ˜‰

So that has been one of the um… more interesting….things I’ve been up to

Then there’s my vintage business

If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I have a business where I flip vintage furniture, among other things. That has grown quite a bit this past year and I’m grateful!

Not a bad transformation eh?

Just one of the many projects I’ve been working on. *** so…many.. projects… ****

Then there’s food

I do have fun exploring new recipes. I made this recently, it always goes over well.

https://pin.it/7HO3EOA

The mixture of chicken, rice and peppers and pineapple makes for a savory meal.

And one more….I’m on a chicken kick

https://pin.it/yYOAQpO

I’ll leave you with this

I hope no matter how your day is going, that you will find the good in your day and be grateful. Grateful for the life you have and literally the next breath you take. I hope that you see the good in life and embrace it and you find joy in ordinary moments ❀

This.

Fruit or Vegetable?

I recently did a random post on my Facebook page ( oh heck most of them are random) showing off my breakfast ( food pics,novel, I know)

I had come in from a longer bike ride, hungry, with food on my mind. Not just any food, I wanted avocado, fresh tomatoes and a piece of whole grain bread.

Good carbs…healthy fats….perfect.

As I bantered back and forth with comments from my post one of them said something about loving fruits and veggies for breakfast.

Ah! Rats. In my casual post I really didn’t get technical as to if these items were….fruits? Or vegetables? The comment was later indicated that he just enjoyed both at breakfast, not getting technical. Well by then my mind had already started crafting this post.

So….what are they?

Like many of you, I never deeply pondered what they are, I just enjoy them. But are tomatoes and avocados a fruit or veggie?

So delicious. But what are they?

Let’s talk about avocados

Not particularly beautiful, but very tasty…….

Avocados are one of the few fruits (yes, technically they’re a fruit, not a veggie) that contain healthy unsaturated fats. These fats help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol when eaten in place of saturated fat. The avocado is considered a fruit because they fit all of the botanical criteria for a berry. They have fleshy pulp and a seed.

Avocados ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. To speed up the process, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem comes out easily (or, if the stem is gone, when the fruit yields slightly to gentle pressure).

Nutritional info: One serving (about one-third of a medium Haas avocado) provides about 80 calories and nearly 20 different nutrients, many of which are considered heart-healthy, including unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, and potassium.

Now….. on to the tomatoes…

The botanical classification: Tomatoes are fruits.A botanical fruit would have at least one seed and grow from the flower of the plant. With this definition in mind, tomatoes are classified as fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the tomato.

But wait….there’s more

It’s also a vegetable because someone said it is.

Say what?!

Botanically it’s a fruit. Legally, it’s not. Legally it’s classified a vegetable.

And the origins of that discrepancy lie in a 19th-century Supreme Court case so obscure, many tomato experts aren’t even aware of it.

β€œTomatoes have such an outlandish history,” said George Ball, the chief executive at the seed company Burpee. β€œMost people hear it and are bewildered for life.”

As Ball explains it, fruits and vegetables differ in one major botanical way. A fruit is technically the seed-bearing structure of a plant β€” and a vegetable can be virtually any part of the plant we eat.

At the time of the court case in question, Nix v. Hedden, fruits and vegetables differed in another big way, as well: Imported vegetables were slapped with a 10-percent tariff upon their arrival in the United States, and imported fruits were not.

When one Manhattan wholesaler β€” John Nix & Co., owned by John Nix and his four sons β€” got hit with the tariff on a shipment of Caribbean tomatoes, he disputed the tax on the grounds that tomatoes were not technically vegetables.

The case, filed in 1887, made its way to the Supreme Court in 1893. There, the court disagreed with the Nixes, ruling that people neither prepare nor eat tomatoes like fruits β€” and that they should be taxed accordingly.

β€œBotanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas,” wrote Justice Horace Gray in his 1893 opinion. β€œBut in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables.”

So there you go. The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled them as a vegetable….long ago…..

Bet you learned something new, didn’t you?

About my breakfast….

Admit it….it looks delicious

I’ll leave you with a refreshing summer tomato salad to try.

https://pin.it/4DTTYOB

Your turn

Do you like tomatoes and avocados? What would you say they are? Fruit or veggie?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday kids. Let’s do this thing.

A new week, new goals to crush, more coffee to drink.

One of the things I’m seeing tonight as I write this is one of my posts from 2 years ago is trending in the top two spots on Google search…..go. me.

Single Ingredient Diet

Yeah so that’s kinda nice. People wanna read me and I like to think I have positive words to offer up, along with a dose of sassy humor. πŸ˜‰ you can check this post out later.

Speaking of humor…..

You may have seen the Target dress challenge on social media. Basically Target launched this line of dresses they were like, apparently serious about.

They look like left over Little House on the Prairie wardrobe pieces. Ankle length frocks, quite lovely.

Ugly? Yes.

Frumpy? Oh yes.

Man repellant? Most definitely.

Wearing these dresses makes you look like you’re ready for a long day on the farm preparing for a locust invasion.

But wait… I was eating at a local restaurant the other day and they have a gift shop with all kinds of goodies in it. Imagine my horror when I saw this…..is everyone getting on board with this??

😱😱😱

And the ones behind it weren’t much better…trust me.

When it comes to fashion like this, I’m always glad that I’m out here doing my own thing.

Oh yeah..my own thing. Wanna see?

Decided to start my new year with a fun flare. πŸ–€

Shades of pink, but most rose gold, I love the mix of it all and nicknamed it my Neapolitan hair.

The main factor is that I love it, but after that, the fact others like it is cool too.

A girl checking me in at my dr appt commented on it….

“Love your hair! Kudos to you for being so bold and doing it”

I thanked her, but here’s the deal.

It doesn’t take much for me to be bold and adventurous. But really, I love doing things that please me, and that is usually something outside the box.

Can I suggest that if you’ve pondered doing something, why not do it? What’s holding you back?

If this past year has taught me anything, live life, even if it is diving into rosegold hair.

Do what makes you happy and brings you joy.

Ever notice how life can randomly point things out to you? πŸ˜…

The truth of this hits deep

Teasing aside, I am thankful and grateful for every year I’ve lived, even if there are days that are harder or a body that wants to go rogue, I am thankful for the years I’ve lived.

In other news..

The month is almost over and there has been of course, the push for people wanting to get back to exercise and “get in shape”.

If you’re in that boat, you aren’t alone! I think during this past year so many have gotten out of a normal routine or have been sidetracked by the weird turns of life.

My simple suggestion to get back in the groove? Get out for 30 minutes.

Take 30 minutes to do something that moves you, that makes you feel alive and refreshed. Can’t do 30? Make it 20, but make it count.

If I’m short on time and decide to do 20 minutes on the rower or elliptical, I pedal down and go all out in those 20 minutes and believe me, it’s a solid workout that works me.

Life is hard. Exercise helps.

Food. Food helps too.

I thought I’d share a salad I made with you during the holidays. I used greek yogurt in place of the sour cream for a lighter healthy swap.

https://pin.it/5nfOFBT

And cold weather is often perfect soup weather. Try this Stuffed Pepper soup, it’s a family favorite!

https://pin.it/63Ik60t

Alright kids, that’s a wrap in my ramblings. Do something good for yourself this week and while you’re at it, do something for someone else too.

Tell me, how’s the week gone? Have you done something for yourself a little different or fun?

Tips For A Healthy 2021

Happy New Year! Here we are in 2021, poised on the threshold of so many new possibilities and adventures. Like my new empty planner, the year waits to be filled with the ordinary and extraordinary.

I promise not to wax all nostalgic on you or proclaim “new year, new me!”

About the only thing new happening is getting a new haircut, with some color adjustments coming soon too 😏

Is this sassy enough for you?

Let’s face it though, before the candy and wrapping paper are out of the store aisles the focus turns to weight loss products. The snake oil people rise up in full force ready to capitalize on those bemoaning their excess weight.

Shakes, supplements, pills and cleanses abound.

All promise fast, unrealistic results, yet sadly none will work and the individual will be back where they started.

If you make any goal or resolution for yourself, don’t give in to diets or gimmicks that won’t help you in the long run.

What can you do?

I get it. 2020 was, well, intense for most of us. Quarantine had so many at home for longer periods of time, this equaled more sedentary time, out of our usual rhythm, eating more and more foods that we may not usually eat.

Enter, a few extra pounds.

This has many looking for ways to quickly get rid of it.

The reality is, there is no “fast ” sustainable way. We have to methodically work our way backwards to our goals in a slow and steady manner.

May I offer a few suggestions?

So what will work to get back on track and be sustainable?

Forget about pointless things like 21 day juice cleanses, detox teas, and pills, weight loss shakes and replacement “meals”. Don’t cut all your carbs or withhold treats or resort to the lastest diet craze.

Detoxes and cleanses do a good job of cleaning your pockets.

Besides your liver and kidneys do a great job detoxifying your body. πŸ˜‰

Do however……get plenty of rest, drink 2 liters of water, get in 10k steps a day, and use a 80/20 approach to eating ( 80% of the time you eat healthy balanced food, 20%, hey have some fries πŸ˜‰)

Balance is key to long term sustainable success. No one wants to feel restricted or deprived. Allowing for some treats gives us freedom and thus keeps us from giving up.

Some basic 101 food suggestions

This can work for all of us…

Eat at least two fruits a day, load up on veggies at every meal, choose complex carbs, eat lean proteins and healthy fats and make water your drink of choice. Eating a good variety keeps us satisfied and reduces the chances of binging on less healthy food later.

Finally, a few reminder notes for 2021

Focus on nutritious and healthy foods. Think of how good you’ll feel fueling your body with good food.

Focus on progress, not perfection. Slow steady progress wins over a fast quick ( temporary) fix.

Get in some purposeful exercise that you like and makes you feel good.

Track your water, exercise and food if it helps get you on track.

Set realistic weight loss goals and celebrate the big and small goals.

With some careful adjustments, 2021 will be a year of positive progress for you!

Tell me, what strategies do you use to lose a few pounds and keep your eating healthy? Do you have some goals for this year?

Monday Musings

Another Monday, another spin around the sun, and the first Monday in November.

This year is just blurring on by, isn’t it? You know what this means right?

Full on Christmas coming at us now.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and I go all out for it.

I just want my turkey first….. and pie.

I want those tasty dishes that seem to be extra delicious on Thanksgiving. I want to smell those amazing smells of the day as my often, loud and wonderfully goofy family shows up to eat, watch football and celebrate a day of giving thanks for all we have.

I want that before I’m propelled into the Christmas whirlwind.

I want that set aside day of focusing on thankfulness.

Reasons to be thankful

Do we need to be reminded? I think, sometimes, we get so set in our lives we don’t really take time to focus on all we’ve been blessed with.

I was at the stop sign the other day and a local homeless woman was in her chair as she usually is. She is often just down the street at Starbucks sitting by the drive way but has changed up her location again ( she moves between both areas) it is known she has mental issues. It is also known she supposedly chooses this life.

I don’t know much except she’s a staple in that area. I greet her when I walk up to get my coffee, I will not look through her and pretend she isn’t there as many do.

But on this day, she was seated at the stop sign.

As I waited for the car in front of me, I couldn’t help but notice her, really see her.

Head in her hand holding her sign, her face red from days of sitting in the sun, a cigarette loosely held, her worldly possessions around her, it was her face that caught me.

The look of someone holding back emotion or trying not to cry.

It took everything in me to not turn around and go back and ask, are you ok? Except, with her mental instability, you just don’t know what you will get.

In those moments so much was impressed on me.

You think you’ve had a hard year, but you’ve not had hard like that homeless woman on the corner hard.

I thought about the nice car I was driving, wearing nice clothes. I thought about my beautiful home that protected and sheltered me. The abundance of food we had, the things that made my life comfortable, my family that surrounded me, and the simple luxuries I had. I thought about my husband and how much he has been brought through and how our needs are always met.

I felt humbled in that moment. And thankful

The thoughts continued to flow….

Your hard isn’t the family divorcing, ending what they have known. Your hard isn’t the young mother who lost a twin, or a parent watching their child continue the path of addiction or a family member dealing with alcohol addiction, or a widow grieving their partner

All situations I’m personally aware of.

We all have our levels of hard to deal with, right?

November marks a year since my husband was told he had two types of cancer. To say this year has been a new level of “hard” is putting it mildly. There have been ups and downs and moments that have overwhelmed me leaving me feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Throw in a virus, him being unable to work right now, Dr appointments, chemo treatments, constant dancing around with insurance and the daily shifting of life, it can make the strongest person feel weak at any given moment.

Yet, that thought bounced through my head.

Your hard isn’t like hers. Your life, while it has been difficult, painful even, is good.

We all have our own version of hard

We do right? Struggles, pain, suffering, hardships. They may look different but we all have that road to walk on some level.

I firmly believe how we approach it has a huge impact on the rest of our lives. Has this year been easy?

Not even.

Have I been amazingly blessed? Absolutely.

Do I choose, look for all the good I have in my life even if it is hard? I do.

As we go into November, a month in which we have a day set aside to think of all we’ve been blessed with and give thanks for those blessings, I choose to set my sights there.

So stand down Christmas.

I want my turkey and pie. I want more mashed potatoes than I should eat. I want breakfast with my family still in jammies with messy hair crammed around the table eating the pastries I made. I want to enjoy the food, the laughter, the controlled chaos, and most importantly, my tribe. The beautiful people I’ve been given to share this life with.

Life is hard. If there weren’t hard times we wouldn’t deeply embrace the good. Life is made of both.

I am thankful and abundantly blessed. I hope you too, even as you may deal with difficulties or uncertainty will also celebrate the good and the blessings you have as well.

And hey, go ahead and have another piece of pie. πŸ˜‰