Monday Musings

Welcome to the last edition of Monday Musings for 2018! It’s hard to believe we sit poised on another brand new year full of possibilities and adventures.

2019
It’s all about your perspective

I promise this isn’t gonna be any kinda “new year, new you”  post nor will it be full of cliché end of year rhetoric.

Just yours truly with some random musings to end the year with and perhaps a little sass thrown in the mix just for fun.

The holiday season has been great

OK I don’t know how it goes for everyone, but my holidays have been good.

Busy? Yes.  Controlled chaos at times? Yes. Food? Ugh more than enough. Family? See “controlled chaos” ha

Seriously though, I’m blessed to have my tribe together and everyone is happy and the kids play and drag toys everywhere to which I find pieces of things tucked in my sofa till summer time and Nerf darts in odd places but it’s all good stuff, ya know?

There’s been a plethora of food and sweet treats and really at this time of year I’m officially getting sick of food.

I’ve been cooking and baking since… well… Thanksgiving.

I’m ready to get back to easy meals and I’m ready to take a break from sugary treats. I guess it’s good I’m used to eating healthy most of the time because it doesn’t take long for me to realize it’s not my comfort zone.

The Snake Oil People Are Coming

Oh I have a good time with all of the “health and wellness” leeches out there.  I don’t have a voice here for no reason, and having a blog and my social media is the perfect platform for speaking out against some of the craziness.

I wrote a post on it.. find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/10/24/snake-oil-diets-and-more-wizardry/

The tv ads have started. The stores have begun to set up huge displays of “meal replacement shakes”  with athletic wear in the front of store and my social media feeds have all the DM people hawking their wares for weight loss.

Tricks and gimmicks abound.

Yeah, yeah we all ate cookies at Christmas and maybe to much of grandmas pie.

Whatever.

Here’s the deal, you don’t need their wizardry to lose weight, honestly, you don’t. Keep your money, buy healthy, real food and smaller clothes with it.

You don’t need to be cleansed, detoxed, purified, or any of that other nonsense. ( remember you’ve got a liver and kidneys to do all that 😉 )

I’m not gonna go crazy in this post about this topic but I WILL leave you with a great article that clearly defines all the “lingo” these companies use so you’re a little educated.

https://qz.com/quartzy/1510840/a-handy-guide-to-the-toxic-language-of-diet-culture/?fbclid=IwAR2pCvjN_m6ZaQb_FwQKbQzKKD2hQmg5X1oLmOdnbLHKDeaK2MfTDdmZOPo

Let’s not forget exercise….

I have not gotten in the amount my body craves these past few weeks. I came off months of training, did the duathlon at the end of November, and headed into a busy month working and preparing for the holiday season.

I did get out the other day for a ride… of course it was one of the coldest mornings we had this week….

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My Ninja look. I was kinda numb when I got back but I felt amazing

I  hope you have found time to get out and enjoy some purposeful movement.  I hope that as you move into the year ahead, you are already planning to make it a part of your daily routine.

I enjoy other less “active” activities…

The day after Christmas found me with my first “free” day in quite awhile. And by that I didn’t feel totally task oriented with a to-do list in my face.  So I trolled the local stores for any after Christmas items I couldn’t live without then I went and got coffee and just spent some time… reading….

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Coffee and a good book. It’s the simple things right?

I started a book  ( One Bridge To Life) before Thanksgiving and it got set aside ’cause I just didn’t seem to find extra time to lay down and leisurely read.

I was able to attend a public meeting  at a local church and the speaker was a 92 year old man who had survived the Holocaust.

There is something very humbling about sitting there listening to someone recount horrors from ages ago, yet watching his face at times, it was like he was seeing it all very clearly in his minds eye. That got me more than anything… seeing his look become distant as if he were seeing it all over again… and he most likely was.

Of course his time to talk went all to fast so, what do you do to fill in the gaps?

You buy his book of course.

This one is his personal recollections of his life before the invasion, during his time as a prisoner, and then his liberation.

I read and then have to walk away at times as I’m dealing with the truths that these were real people. The horror is almost like todays graphic horror except I know this was real life.

I keep reading and I start to get involved with a “character” and I want them to make it… to get out…to escape…so many never made it to survival.

I’ve had to set the book down and walk away for awhile more times than I should admit.

I just cannot wrap my mind around the horrible, ghastly, inhumane treatment of human beings done by other “human beings”.

Yeah, not light reading I know.

I believe like so many others, these stories, the lives of those who went through this monsterous atrocity, must always be remembered. I guess educating myself further is a way for me to “not forget” such a horrible point in the history of mankind.

Boy that got heavy….

I finished my weekend up by working at the shop. If you remember I shared in previous posts, I took a space in a Vintage store in town to house all my creativity and to keep some of it out of my house 😛

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

Anyway, a slow afternoon let me re-work my space and take down Christmas, and overall be a bit productive.

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All the pretty green things

Speaking of taking down Christmas

I will admit to feeling like… HUH? when people whip their tree  and decorations down the day after Christmas.

Like what’s up with that?

I guess ’cause I put so much into my decorating I just love to enjoy it for as long as I want. My tree has stayed spectacular this year, for a live tree, now past Christmas, it’s not even dropping needles.

Considering how big it is, and how much work it took to make it look so gorgeous, I’m in no hurry to pull it down.

I jokingly tell my kids it may have Valentine hearts on it.

And with that I’ll leave you with this weeks question to ponder…

Do you take your decorations down soon after Christmas? Or do you enjoy leaving them up for awhile?

 

 

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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?

Monday Musings

Hello world! It’s late as I sit down to write this and I’m toying with crawling into my bed after a busy day OR knocking out a post for your Monday viewing pleasure.

It looks like writing is winning out so here we go.

I feel pretty victorious right now…..

I got a lot of my Christmas wrapping done yesterday. I think this is a huge win. Don’t get me wrong, I love wrapping. I love making beautiful presents for people to open. It’s just the “sitting down and doing it” part that I need to commit to.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I’ll get these done just in time for all my Amazon purchases to start arriving this week then it’s on to more wrapping.

And seriously? I’ve been the Amazon shopping queen this year. Free standard shipping? Delivered by Christmas? I’m all over that. Definitely saves me time, gas, energy, and not having to deal with 1.5 million people in places that aren’t made for that many people.

Sometimes, it’s very “people (y)” out there and I’m just not crazy about that. Weird I know considering I’m really pretty much an extrovert but even then there are times I don’t want to be surrounded by so much humanity.

Like… where do they all come from???

Online shopping is where it’s at.

Things I’ve realized lately….

The older I get the more I realize there are things I care less about.

Let’s consider unrealistic expectations.

The laundry will never be “all done” and I won’t make myself a basket case 😉 trying to hit that illusive goal. It doesn’t matter. It’s never “done”.

My floors will never be spotless. I’m cool with that… mostly. I’d rather pour my energy into something else than attempting to keep them looking like no one lives here.

My closets will never be magazine perfect looking organized.  They are tidy and I know where everything is… that works.

I will never be able to make everyone happy at any given time and it’s not my job to do that.

As much as I want my holiday meal table to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, it never will. If people are fed, happy, content and loving I will consider that a total win.

Taking care of myself is just as important as taking care of others ( pay attention to that.) Being a martyr and thinking it’s not something you should do is not right. Take care of you.

And one other tidbit ( I could write a lot on this topic… but one more)

Life is just to short to fold and mate socks together.

There. I said it.  All you OCD people are choking on your coffee right now.

I realized a complete freedom one day tossing all of my socks into a drawer helter skelter and walking away.

Freedom. On to something more exciting.

When I grab them I may or may not have them as matching colors. That has become irrelevant to me as well. Uh.. they do have to be the same “kind” of socks though.. I do that have standard hahaha

I do still match hubby’s ’cause he deserves to pull out a complete set in the wee hours as he gets ready for work.

In other fun events…

If you read my Saturday Snippets post, https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/12/15/saturday-snippets-2/    I mentioned hubby had a birthday and I shared the cake recipe with you. What I didn’t tell you about is the cool gift I was able to surprise him with.

What was it you ask?  Tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera that was playing in town.

I knew he’d never, ever suspect it so it made watching him open it that much more fun.

Anyway we got to go on Sunday and it was amazing.  The show is downtown ( I love downtown… it has such a “feel” a life of it’s own)  at the Majestic Theatre which opened in 1929 and when you walk in, you feel like you’ve stepped back into that time period. The design, structure, everything makes you feel like you’re in the roaring 20’s. The theatre was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.  It was also the first theatre in the state to have air conditioning. For many years it remained the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest in the United States.

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A side view of the theatre

 

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Playbill

This is the longest running show having been produced for 30 years. Not only was the entire show incredible, the singing literally left chills running down my spine.

The talent of the main characters was just breath taking.

The story is bittersweet with a love triangle between the young opera singer, her love interest in her life and the Phantom who lives in the bowels of the opera house.

Want to learn more about it? Read it here http://theenchantedmanor.com/tag/a-synopsis-of-andrew-lloyd-webbers-the-phantom-of-the-opera-musical/

As we were leaving we passed this….

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The stage design and props were amazing

It takes a lot to move this show across the country.

May I suggest, if you get the chance to see this, you should. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon and end our weekend.

Honestly, it was one of those events that I would easily go see again.

Alrighty, now it’s on to my week ahead! Lots to do before Christmas… have a good one boys and girls!

Ok your turn…have you seen this before? Do you enjoy the theatre? How goes your Christmas preparations?

 

 

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 ?

 

Monday Musings

Happy Monday beautiful people! It’s really Sunday evening as I write this, and I’m  finally finding a moment to sit down after a long busy day and catch my breath.

Football has been on all day and of course all my men must keep the sound at a level that resembles being at the actual football game.

When the games are over, the sound comes down, it’s then I’m reminded how nice a quieter house is.

With everyone here I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family…. even if they do have the football games ridiculously loud 😉

Family.

It’s hard to not reflect on how blessed I am with my family. I have an amazing, wonderful husband, great kids, my sons wives, grandkids ( another on the way arriving in the spring!) and my daughters boyfriend who after 2 years of putting up with her 😉 is also family.

I’m grateful for who we are as a group. For the love, laughter, silliness and uniqueness of each person.  I guess I’ve become even more appreciative in a world where so many families aren’t like that, who are mean spirited and cut throat to one another, where jealousy and petty things take place over the value of relationships. These behaviors are so sad to me.

It just makes me want to hold closer those I love and what we have. I don’t mean “perfection” because not one single person or family is “perfect”… that also is an illusion many try to present…. just learn to love perfectly with not perfect people.

But really though, if you don’t take care of your family, at the end of the day what do you have? The world is a rough place, love those who are yours, over look faults, be patient with weaknesses, set loving boundaries, speak truth, love fiercely and  value the uniqueness of those who are your tribe.

Ok I’m gonna get off my soapbox now 😉

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Speaking of family… for me Christmas and family are closely tied together.

This past week I’ve gotten all my Christmas decorating done and my massive tree all decorated.

All 13 feet of it.

It’s got over 400 lights, 180 feet of silver beaded garland, and 100’s of ornaments. It took pretty much every ornament I have and my 6’0 body hanging precariously off the very top of a 6’0 ladder… but it’s done.

It is really, I think, the most spectacular tree we’ve ever had.

I love turning all the lights off at night and just sitting in the quiet house before I go to bed and just looking at it.

I find those times peaceful as it lets my mind unwind and wander and reflect on so many things. It’s a practice I’ve enjoyed for years and I find simple joy in it.

Here… I’ll let you have a sneak peak at it all….

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All of the glass ornaments that were my grandmothers and moms go at the top for safe keeping 🙂

 

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How beautiful is this?

Long before you young whippersnappers had that crazy little Elf on a shelf thing going on, I had this little guy be a part of all my Christmases…which are getting up there now 😉

According to what I was told a long time ago, these little guys came on dish soap bottles back in the dark ages.

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My grandmother was the one who got them ( a green and a red one) the green I retrieved from an old tub of my mom’s where Christmas decorations go to die. Although faded and more worn looking I dragged him out and he has a spot on my primitive toy tree ( I’ll show you later )

The red one comes out every year to quietly perch among the branches of my tree.

I don’t have to do anything with him, move him around or pose him in a bowl of cereal.

He’s just a quiet sentinel marking another Christmas in his family.

I love having things from my childhood past to share with my kids and grandkids. Those things evoke feelings and memories of Christmases long ago and the people I loved who I shared them with.

I hope these traditions continue a long time in my family.

 

But on the topic of trees….

I somehow, in the past few years, have managed to have more than one tree. I’ve got little theme trees that I haven’t been able to resist doing.

A primitive toy tree surrounded by my old rocking horse obsession. A cool black and silver tree that holds all my kids ornaments they lovingly brought home from school projects years ago, a silver tree that holds tons of little glass ornaments that date back to my great grandmother. It’s so vintage looking… I love it.

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This tiny tree is only about 2 feet tall. In a old wood crate it’s surrounded by old glass  ornaments who are “wounded” and can’t hang on the tree anymore.

A few years ago I got a pink one. Sorry, I’m a girl and pink is like one of my favorite colors. It’s in my kitchen and it’s all gingerbread and candy themed and my granddaughters adore looking at it.  It’s full of whimsical sparkly play candy and garland although I do buy various colored candy canes to add to it.

I think I’ve got like five theme trees around my home… but hey! It’s better than being a crazy cat lady, right??

In other news….

in a busy month with not only usual life activities, but holiday preparations as well it might be tempting to skip your workouts.

May I suggest something short and sweet that also brings a punch ? HIIT (high intensity interval training) is hard work in a short amount of time.

Got 20 minutes?

Here’s an example of one I did last week.

10 push ups

10 burpees

10 jumping squats

20 jumping jacks

20 mountain climbers

30 sit ups

30 second plank hold

Do as may sets as you can in 20 minutes.

It was a cold morning when I did this. I was sweating at the end. I managed to get 5 sets done. I was thinking that didn’t seem like…a lot.. until I realized I had done 150 sit ups in those 5 sets. I do butterfly sit ups with a 25 lb weight plate to make it a little harder.  I do a longer hold on my plank as well.

It’s important to remember that you can always modify a workout to your current physical abilities.  If you’re stronger, add some weight or push a little harder.

If you are just starting out, reduce reps if you need to and go at an easy pace.

Short, powerful workouts are very effective and if you are limited on time, they offer a high energy boost and get you on your way.

Visit me on Pinterest and find more short workouts on my fitness boards.

Ok and you know I need to leave you with something tasty….

I will also encourage you to maintain healthy eating habits during the festive season of Christmas and all that goes with it however there are going to be tasty treats to eat as well…..

My daughter in law found this recipe and suggested we should try it. We are quite the dessert lab rats around here haha

These are delicious and will probably be added to our list of favorites. Don’t take my word for it, go make it and see what you think.

My cookie baking and candy making will be getting going soon so I’ll share some of my favorites with you in an up coming post 🙂

So tell me… are you ready for Christmas? How goes the decorating? Are you done shopping yet? Do you have a favorite Christmas item or recipe?