Monday Musings

Hello world! and hello my faithful followers. Yeah, I’ve been absent for a bit… I’d say I’ve been lazy but that’s definitely not the case. Life is busy and besides the usual life stuff I’ve been busy working on projects for my vintage shop… and burning a lot of midnight oil working on projects.

Find my post on my journey here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

It’s crazy I do some of my best work late. I guess I like it ’cause it’s usually quiet, everyone is in bed, no one wants anything from me and I can happily focus on what I’m doing.

It’s really a very relaxing thing for me to work on my pieces. There is something tremendously satisfying watching something old, ugly, tired and often discarded as useless come to a new life again.

I wrote a post on that here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

It takes me on adventures dragging it home….

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Of course, once I hit the pillow, my mind is still wandering in a million places and often the creative part refuses to shut down.

For instance, I just finished this little piece last night.  I had it in my shop hanging out for awhile in “as is” shape. Meaning, it’s original finish.

It looked like this….

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Kinda boring and dated. It had no back… a hazard of old pieces. Things go missing over time

But look now at it… I’m so in love with how it came out.

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Fresh white, some distressing, a new back with some cute Paris themed fabric and it’s not so dated anymore.
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And because I’m a girl….details.

Ok I’m gonna show you one more thing I scored this week. An amazing, beautiful, yet sad and needy piece that I can hardly wait to get my paws working on.

It was actually in a listing for two antique chairs I wanted. The lady offered me a generous and low price for chairs and basically said if I’d take chairs for that price I could have the desk for 10.00.

Yeah 10.00.

I’ll let you take a look at it….

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I know you’re wondering why I dragged it home, aren’t you? I love the challenge that awaits me! The opportunity to breath life into this piece. So here’s the deal… I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve been messing with this furniture craziness for a year now. I have an eye for “the good stuff”. I could hardly wait to get this home, examine it really close, take inventory of what needed done and then do some research on it to see what I could find on it.

I knew the desk was really old just based on the construction and the wood. The wood is rough cut and more fitted and glued together in many places than nailed. The “mirror” is no longer that, but mostly glass that’s tarnished and long gone. Someone along the way painted it white. It’s original finish would’ve been stained oak.

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A peak inside… and yeah.. it has no back. Like… what the heck is up with things losing their backs??
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Once again… look at those details…

So I did some research and it turns out this piece was produced by the Larkin Soap company and dates somewhere late 1800’s.

Ironically, Larkin’s main production was soap and toiletries. The furniture was a “give away” for purchasing various products. They offered chairs, lamps, tables and the popular secretary styled desk. The furniture was massed produced at the time of rather ordinary type woods.

This is the Readers Digest version. I found the whole history to be rather interesting. Larkin was quite the savvy business man of his time and had an extremely lucrative business.

And here I am…. over 125 years later… entrusted with the restoration of this amazing and cute piece.

Of course I have a long check list lined out of what to do haha

I’ve also scored lots of other cool things, with which I won’t bother you here. I’ll share in upcoming posts some updates.

Oh and I did finally start a business insta page so if you like antique and vintage furniture and other cool stuff, follow me there at vintage_1964 to see other shenanigans I’ve got going on.

I have been up to other things too….

The weather has been less than inviting and it just makes me wanna stay holed up in the morning drinking coffee…

But no…. I’m a good girl and try and get some kind of workout in. Right now, I consider myself in more of an “off season”. With the duathlon behind me, I haven’t been pushing as hard.

I’ve really been spending some time hitting the heavy stuff and focusing on that several times a week. I usually try and warm up with 15 mins or so of cardio…rowing or boxing… and then weights. I think I’m a weirdo but my body responds quickly to it so I guess there’s a bit of reward to keep at it. Not only that, it’s so empowering doing moves that previously may have felt “heavy” but now I do with ease.

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Gotta love a chilly morning that makes you work up a sweat

That organizing thing….

It is still on my list to keep cleaning out drawers, closets etc. I mentioned in a previous post the whole cultic Marie Kondo thing going on got me to trying her folding methods.

Don’t look for me to go all minimalist, but I do like a lot of her ideas.

I just need more time in my day for things! Anyone else out there?

I’m a list maker and if I can keep to doing that I am far more likely to accomplish an exact number of tasks in my day. otherwise, sometimes I can be all over the place ( my mind is a whirling place many times 😛 )

And finally….

The chilly wet weather has had me experimenting with some new soups and tasty food.

this soup was hearty and loaded with flavor. I doubled up and made a big pot of it. I used really big carrots and cut into large chunks for my non carrot loving people. I added warm French bread and it was perfect for a cold night.

https://www.littlebroken.com/2016/10/11/one-pot-chicken-stew/

And the chicken stew was amazing as well.

Try one of these out if you need a tasty cold weather meal.

Your turn, tell me what’s new with you. Tried any new recipes lately? Are you sticking with your exercise even if it’s cold where you live?  What keeps you motivated to stay with it?

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Saturday Snippets

Well the first week of the New Year is almost under us. How’s it going for you? How’s it going in getting on track with your health and fitness goals? Did you stay fairly focused through the holiday season or did you get de-railed?

New Years Day morning had me out on the road for a few miles. I really love being out on that first day because it mentally sets a tone for me in the up coming year and my pursuit of being physically active.

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A crisp, clear, cold morning to start the year

Not that I’m “not” planning to being working out… but it definitely centers me for my goals and commitment to being fit.

Maybe you’re like I am though. Maybe you are making some changes in getting your eating back on track after a season of cookies and other treats.

Maybe you want to get back into your exercise after being off your normal routine for awhile.

I hope you haven’t just gone into the “all or nothing” approach. Sometimes easing back into things is the best way to get into a disciplined routine again.

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Here’s a few tips that may help:

Don’t think you have to eat up all the left over cookies, candy, chips, whatever it is you may have laying around.  I’m kinda joking, but kinda serious too. People do think they will make a final “last supper” moment and eat up stuff before they go on their “diet”.

Do allow yourself something if you’re craving it. Having a piece or two of chocolate is way less damaging than ignoring your desire than binging on a half a bag later on.

Don’t go all extreme and restrictive in your eating.  Your body will rebel if you drastically reduce your food if you’ve been feeding it more than it needs.

Do gradually adjust the type of food and amount of food you have on your plate.  It doesn’t take a lot to satisfy your appetite.

Don’t cut out all things you love.  This goes a long way to being successful in new eating habits.

Don’t “over” exercise. Doing more than you are used to will only make you sore and not want to continue.

Do ease back into your normal routine if you have been exercising but maybe got off of it for a few weeks.  Adding a bit more to what you do through the next week or two will bring you back up to where you were without negative side effects.

Do set small, attainable goals. If you have a set amount of weight to lose, consider looking at it in 5lb goals. This is easy to achieve and makes it a bit of a game.  Weigh in only once a week.

Don’t get discouraged with what you need to do by staring at the “big picture”.  Focus on one day at a time making positive small choices. These will add up. Move through each day with a focus on those choices.

Do remember that change takes time and don’t get discouraged because you are expecting to much to soon.

If you keep in mind that each day is a series of baby steps leading to your larger goal, it will be easier to manage and you will be much more successful in the end.

Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you to help you get back on track or to reach your goals?

 

Saturday Snippets

Hello faithful readers! Can you believe we are winding down the final days of 2018? I hope your Christmas/ holiday celebrations were wonderful.

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As we are in the middle of Christmas and New Years week with plenty of food and maybe alcohol thrown in for some of you, you may find yourself in that place of feeling like you’ve over done it eating and snacking on all the delicious holiday foods and treats that are available.

Yours truly is right there with you. It’s hard not to indulge with so many good things!  I do however, hate how I don’t feel quite like myself when I throw my body out of it’s usual normal rhythm of predictable ( mostly) healthy foods so I try and keep most days in check.

So assuming many of us are in the same boat, I thought I’d throw out a few tips to finish out the year and hopefully head us into the new year in a positive way.

  • Don’t do anything crazy. By that I mean, don’t decide you’re going cold turkey from every single treat. A gradual reduction will help ease any cravings.
  • Do drink plenty of water. With extra sugar and sodium on board we can bloat and retain extra fluid. Adequate water is a good way to keep us hydrated and flush toxins from our system.
  • Don’t give up some form of exercise. I too understand how it can be more difficult to get it in or maybe the weather is awful but find some activity that is easy to do, even if it’s not the most intensive thing. A good brisk walk can help clear your mind, leave you feeling positive and maybe discourage snacking.
  • Do try and add or maintain adequate fruits or veggies in your day. These keep your internal system moving smoothly along.
  • Don’t try and “out exercise” over eating. You can’t do that and at the worst you’ll maybe do something that leads to an injury.
  • Do work in consistent exercise that your body is already used to.
  • Don’t obsess over the scale. Honestly, don’t weigh yourself during this time especially since all those extra foods tend to cause us to hold onto additional fluid which will reflect weight gain.
  • Do get a your numbers when you’re ready to begin to make changes that you need to make. Then weigh in only once a week.  Remember, those numbers don’t define you.
  • Don’t be to hard on yourself. No matter where you are be loving and kind to you.
  • Do take steps to make positive goals for the upcoming year in your health and fitness.

I wish you all a Happy and safe New Year! It’s back to the health and fitness grind and I hope to offer some helpful advice, encouragement, challenges and other thought provoking posts as we move into 2019.

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Tell me… do you have New Years Eve plans? Do you go out or just like to stay home in your pj’s?

Monday Musings

Hello world! Well not only is it another edition of Monday Musings, it also happens to be Christmas Eve on this particular Monday…. which gives me another perfect reason to write a Christmas post.  ( I told you it would be coming ) We’ve got plenty of time heading into 2019 to continue our health and fitness conversations.

But for now…..

As I write this it’s Sunday night. My weekend has been busy with all kinds of preparations and the usual Christmas activities getting ready for the big day.

Who else out there hasn’t been up to their eyes in wrapping paper and tape?

I’m ready to be still for awhile, drink some coffee, and let my thoughts out writing.

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this is my current mood and comfy place while I’m writing. This cute fox cup is one of my favorites Starbucks offered at Christmas two years ago.

Yesterday the kids and grandkids were over to decorate cut out cookies. These are definitely a more time consuming cookie to make, but are so worth the effort.  I get the cookies made, (using cutters that were my grandmothers)  and the kids decorate till they are covered in frosting and sprinkles.

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Can you resist a fat sugar cookie?

I may or may not have eaten one or two”ish” 😉

I love building memories with my family. It’s especially fun watching not just my kids playing and making cookies, but my grandbabies as well.

Oh… and if you know anything about cookies like this then you know they have to be rolled out to a specific thickness.

Rolling pins are the necessary tool….

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Old family rolling pins and some greenery gave this a festive look…. just ignore the coffee part… I was to lazy to change it 😉

So the cookies are done ( well mostly) I never think I have enough. I kinda like giving stuff away to people too and the clan likes having some left to graze on… which means plenty of candy and cookies all around.

Speaking of all those treats….. 

It’s always tricky finding the right ways to put the treats out, yet keep them safe from the dog or little child hands.

I love how this 100 year old desk I refinished earlier this year looks so festive with some goodies on it….

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The cookies are made… the packages are wrapped and spilling from under the tree….

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Christmas evokes many emotions and feelings…..

I love all of the traditions we have during this season. I love the energy and excitement of it. Most of all I love watching my kids during this time. Even my adult kids still get excited.

I recently asked them what made Christmas “Christmas” for them, excluding gifts. (this is what happens when your Mom has a blog and writes. Everything becomes a writing exercise. )

My oldest son told me that Christmas made  home feel “extra homey”

Another one told me that “Christmas is Christmas when all of us are piled up in the kitchen in our jammies, anticipating gift opening and just enjoying the company of FAMILY.”  ( when everyone is older, it’s easier to wait till day breaks to open gifts haha)

Another told me she “loves the “glorious mess” created in the living room on Christmas day. ” she continues…. ” I love the excitement we get waking up, eating breakfast and then opening gifts .”

( it should be noted, they anticipate my breakfast as much as gift opening)

I am going to remember and hold onto the “glorious mess” reference.  I think it’s one of those cool statements to keep for future use. ( I will attempt to remember this in the aftermath on Christmas day)

Christmas is also bittersweet……

I think of all markers of time, each Christmas shows me how we’ve all changed in a year. I look at my children, now adults, and in my mind see them years ago as they were on Christmas morning, children.  Now I watch my grandkids with the same eager anticipation of the morning and know next year, they too will have changed.

Next year as well,  we will have a new family member with the addition of another granddaughter.

I look at all of their excited faces as they sit in their “spots” we all claim each year. This has had to adjust at times when someone new comes into the  Christmas morning.

I see my husband playing “Santa” handing out gifts as he’s done for …well… a whole lotta years now….and think how blessed I am to have him and share another Christmas with him… our 36th.

The dogs are awkwardly everywhere not sure of this loud chaos in their morning.

As I look around the room at my “tribe” my mind also goes to Christmases past, thinking of family no longer with me. Thinking of times when my parents would take certain places on the sofa, or how we’d tease about them falling asleep on each other in the afternoon when things had settled down.  They would come loaded with beautifully wrapped gifts for everyone in huge bags.

My parents were children at heart during the Christmas season and loved doing for others.

They haven’t been gone that long that the ache in my heart isn’t still tender and deep with a carefully grown scab on the grief.

My mom has been gone 4 years and my dad not quite 2.

So my mind sees them and thinks of those days… I remember them in their places and with all their funny quirks that amused us.

I miss them and fiercely wish they were still a part of our family and Christmas celebration.

The beauty in bittersweet….

Although my mind may wander back to Christmases from the past and memories of those I loved, I focus on the beautiful blessings of those I have and the memories we are creating together.

Nothing makes me happier than one of the kids telling me something they enjoy or mentioning a tradition they look forward to.

I find myself doing the same thing I once used to tease my grandmother and mom about. Everyone would almost be done opening gifts and they would have a pile of gifts around them, lost in watching everyone else open theirs.

Last year my kids were like… Mom! open your gifts! As I too, had my pile around me, watching the antics of my family.

So I will join in opening my gifts this year, watching, and adding to the “glorious mess” of the morning and another Christmas will go down in the books.

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Gorgeous right? An unexpected gift this week

But for now…..

For now, tonight, I will sit and admire the beauty of the tree with all the gaily wrapped packages under it.  I know in just a short time, the place under the tree will be empty again. a “glorious mess” left in it’s place,  so I will appreciate the view for this season, for these last few hours.

I will drink my coffee in my fox cup, memories dancing through my head, with my mind thinking about things to still do, tasks still waiting on my list before Christmas day arrives.

I will give thanks I have so much that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree and it’s those gifts I value the most, those are quite priceless.

And Christmas will come and go, and long after a gift may be forgotten there will be new memories, stories and traditions that will become a part of the tapestry of our family, and that my friends, is what makes Christmas “Christmas” for me.

I wish you all the merriest holiday season and a joyful New Year!

Now tell me… what makes Christmas “Christmas” for you?

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Saturday Snippets

Oh my gosh has this week sailed by! Here we are posed on the weekend before Christmas and my jolly little self has several tasks to still accomplish before Christmas day arrives.

All things I enjoy….like baking and wrapping gifts and shopping for food…. it just seems like the hours in a day fly by in my attempts to finish them off.

I love this time of year. I don’t want it to rush by.

How do you feel about it? Does time fly or do you get done and have time on your hands?

One thing all done has been my decorating and I love, love, love being home with my house all festive.

As my son said, Christmas just makes home “extra homey”.  I love that.

So for todays Saturday Snippets, I’m going to leave you with a couple posts from Christmases past… don’t worry no ghosts are involved in these posts being shared with you 😉  ( if you don’t know, I am referencing The Christmas Carol here)

You can read at your leisure. In them I’ve shared things I love, and what makes Christmas “Christmas” for me. I talk about traditions and things that get passed down thorough generations. I share some of my “favorite things” with you as well.

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My old cardboard village is one of my most favorite Christmas things. The house and churches are between 75- to nearly 100 years old.

Find my favorite things post here……https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

Find my Most Wonderful Time of Year post here…… https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/12/08/the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/

And stay tuned…. Christmas makes me sappy so I’m sure there will be another one or two nostalgic posts in the days ahead.

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Holly, jolly and bright…. with a little edge 😉

Tell me… are you ready for Christmas? What do you enjoy most?

Saturday Snippets

If you missed it, last week was my first edition of my Saturday Snippets. You can find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/12/08/saturday-snippets/

I’ve had the idea for awhile to just toss out something short and sweet ’cause on the weekends yours truly is busy and I know you are too.

These posts will contain anything from a current recipe I’ve found and love, an exercise idea, thought, inspirational quote… well… you’ll just have to check in week to week to see what it is.

Today I want to offer up a sweet treat recipe. Birthday’s are still a big deal in our home regardless of how old you get.

Every year is worthy of a celebration.

birthday

My amazing hubby just celebrated another trip around the sun so when I asked what kind of delicious cake he wanted me to whip up for him I got the not so unexpected response of…

Carrot cake.

Now don’t start gagging if the idea of veggies in a dessert seems every kind of wrong. Carrots make a wicked, moist and tender cake… and I promise you have no idea they are there.

Anyway, I’ve made these before but went searching for something “new” and found a recipe to try.

Oh my goodness. It was worth the little extra effort it took to make it ( you make a buttermilk glaze to pour on warm cake.. then frost when cooled) the frosting is …well.. can I find words??

Cream cheese and  real butter with a hint of vanilla…

It made a marvelous 3 layer cake that even my carrot cake hating kids were drooling over… they are now singing a different story 😉 It really was the most amazing delicious cake.

And here’s the recipe to try out. Be sure and check out my board “homemade cakes” on Pinterest!

Are you a carrot cake lover or hater? If you don’t like it, why?

Holidays And Healthy Eating

December. A month packed full of tasty possibilities.  You may have office parties to navigate, neighborhood get togethers, church gatherings, and of course your own family festivities to attend.

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Food. There’s an abundance of delicious fares available during the holiday season.

Eat, drink and be merry now because January will soon arrive and all you’ll see will be weight loss shakes, diet books, and new plans for starvation after all your feasting has gone on.

Tell me I’m wrong. It’s a sad dismal reality every…single…year.

Like anything, I believe balance and moderation are crucial during the holiday season. Not only in regards to weight, but really, overall wellness and how you feel. To much excess in food or alcohol will make you feel sluggish, bloated and not your best.

Maintain balance and moderation and you won’t need or want any of those awful shakes. Live a constant healthy lifestyle and you can move through this season and not have to think about doing anything different in January.

I get it.

Among other things I love doing for Christmas is baking and making candy.  I’m old school so it’s all from scratch. Really, nothing is better than sugar cookies made with real butter.

A fat Santa? A fluffy reindeer? A round snowman? Who can resist a fun sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles?

christmas cookies

Not me that’s for sure. Those are my favorite Christmas cookies and I don’t restrict myself… but nor do I go crazy and over eat on them as either.

It’s all about that balance, right?

I think where people often fail is having an “all or nothing” mentality. They restrict so much that when they decide they are going to have treats, it turns into a feeding frenzy.

Neither approach is really helpful or healthy.

Let’s be honest. Of course you/I/we all know we are going to indulge. It’s just a matter of how you handle the indulging part.

Make healthy eating your main thing.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, just because we are in the “holiday season” doesn’t mean you just need to go hog wild eating everything in sight. It doesn’t mean you proclaim you’ll worry about it “next year”.

To keep feeling your best, limit any weight gain and enjoy yourself, make sure you keep your meals as healthy as possible.  If you know you will be participating in a party later that day, eat well, but don’t go to the extreme of not eating because you are “saving your calories”.

All you’ll do is show up ravenous and most likely eat way more than you would have.

Eat sensibly, go with a plan to the party, and then be super selective about what you eat.

For goodness sakes, don’t eat everything on the buffet if there are some things you don’t like a lot.

Save your calories for your most favorite foods 😉

I wish I could claim the fat loss hack below….

I saw this and it was perfect to share here. I tend to operate this way and find it easy to do.  I especially love the second part. To often people think if they’ve had one “bad” meal they should just throw in the towel and eat bad the rest of the day.  No… you get back to sensible eating again.

I think this is a great reminder as we go through the holidays that one meal full of extras doesn’t have to be what the rest of our day is like.

Eat your normal foods more often than not, if you eat extra treats get back to normal at your next meal. Keep things simple.

fat hacks

Other things to consider…

Make sure vegetables and fruit are a big part of your daily diet. Well, you should even if it isn’t Christmas time, but more so now. They keep you full, give you energy and keep that sluggish feeling from setting in when you’ve had an overly laden high fat/carb meal.

Drink adequate water. This will help keep you hydrated, especially if alcohol makes it’s rounds with you.  Water can help flush excess sodium from foods we’ve consumed and it also helps prevent headaches that can come from to much excess.

Mindful eating. So often we graze and just load food into our mouths without even being aware of what it is or why we are eating it. Think about what you eat. If you aren’t hungry, walk away from it.  Find something else to occupy you till the desire passes.

Keep up with your exercise. Not only does it help reduce stress, it also allows time for you to think and sort ideas, clear your mind and help with creativity.  Not only that, it can help keep your weight in check as well. Don’t dismiss it as not having enough time. I am a big fan of HIIT workouts that are 20 minutes, but packed with lots of hard work.

Trust me, you’ve got 20 minutes in your day to do something positive for yourself.  Check out this weeks Monday Musings for one of my 20 minute workouts.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/12/10/monday-musings-29/

Keeping a few simple strategies in mind will let you enjoy the tastes and flavors of the season you love while keeping you from gaining excess pounds to deal with in the new year.

Your turn. Do you have any tips or tricks for enjoying the holiday season but not being to self indulgent? Do you keep up with your exercise ?